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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
19 October, 2009


Ma'an News

Smuggled letter: Israel denies US citizen medical care in prison
10/19/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - A letter smuggled in the intestines of fellow inmates has revealed the testimony of inmates that 36-year-old Palestinian-American Ahmad An-Najjar, has been denied medical treatment for a growing tumor in his throat. The letter said An-Najjar, who was imprisoned by Israel in 2003, was scheduled to have surgery two years ago, but was denied the treatment by prison officials. He said the tumor was so large he could no longer talk, and would shortly be moved to the Ar-Ramle prison facility, which has a small medical ward. Written by concerned fellow prisoners in the Nafha desert prison facility, the letter said An-Najjar's mother, 55-year-old Karimeh, has been denied permission to visit her son for at least two years. She was reportedly told to send her son letters, but says she sends many more than he receives. 

Nine Palestinians seized across West Bank
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces operating in the occupied West Bank rounded up nine Palestinian men in overnight raids, a military spokesperson said on Monday morning. The spokesperson added that the Palestinians were "wanted for suspected terror activities," but did not elaborate on those suspicions. At least 13 West Bank residents were arrested the day before, not including 14 who were briefly detained and released at checkpoints and residential areas throughout Sunday, according to Palestinian Authority security sourcesFour Palestinians were seized in the East Jerusalem-area town of Abu Dis, PA officials said. Israel's military police unit claimed they were suspected of throwing Molotov cocktails toward a road. In Tubas, soldiers took Bilal Fouzi Said Sawaftah at the Tayasir military checkpoint around 7pm, the PA said.

Actress Mia Farrow: West Bank closures 'agonizingly difficult'
10/19/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - American Actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow wrapped up a visit the region on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where she voiced concern about movement restrictions imposed by the occupying Israeli army. "Daily life is agonizingly difficult for Palestinians, with barriers and checkpoints separating them from their families, farmlands, schools, hospitals and places of work. " Farrow also briefed on the closure regime enforced across the West Bank, including some 600 physical obstacles to movement such as checkpoints and roadblocks, as well as the 710 kilometer separation wall Israel is building. The actress also traveled to a nearby village, where she met with a former child detainee, UNICEF said in a statement. She also spoke with former child detainees processed through the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs. 

Report: Netanyahu, Obama reached settlement deal
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - "We solved the matter of the settlements with the Americans," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted in the Israeli press as saying Sunday. "I cannot say more than that. If you are interested in hearing more details, ask in Washington," he added in a report published in the daily Haaretz. Initial rumors of some sort of deal with the US came as Netanyahu spoke with his Spanish counterpart Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last Thursday, around the same time reports from several watchdog organizations announced ongoing construction in at least 12 West Bank settlements. Palestinians stopped peace talks as Israel went to war on Gaza, ultimately killing more than 1,400, and demanded its leadership demonstrate their seriousness over talks by halting settlement construction before Palestinian negotiators would head back to the table. 

PFLP: Egyptian plan has holes, may deepen division
10/19/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - There are "real obstacles ahead if the conciliation agreement goes forward," member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Jamil Mezher warned on Sunday. "There are some important issues that were not included in the proposal and not even taken into consideration," he said, noting the right of return and the right of resistance as key points missing from the document. While the PFLP never got an official copy of the Egyptian proposal, Mezher said party members got a good idea of what it included via media reports and other parties. In addition to missing comments on the right of return, the official said the issue of elections needed to be further thought out. He put forward the following demand for the PFLP, "we demand elections be held using a full proportional representative system for the Legislative Council with a 1. 

United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
10/19/2009 - On 3 April 2009, the president of the mainstay UN rights body, the Human Rights Council, established the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. Its mandate was "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after. "The HRC president appointed South African jurist Richard Goldstone, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to head the mission. The other three appointed members were: Christine Chinkin, professor of international law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, who. . . 

Israel allows desalination supplies into Gaza
10/19/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing on Monday to allow food into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a local Palestinian official. Raed Fattouh, a Gaza border crossings representative, said that both the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings with Israel would remain closed. Fattouh added that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be open for 55-65 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. Amongst these trucks are four carrying equipment for a desalination station for the Gazan water authorities. Israel's army confirmed that all the crossings were closed save Kerem Shalom, which an official said was opened for 65 trucks, adding that 440,000 liters of fuel and gas were scheduled to cross over on Monday. According to Fattouh, however, those fuel imports were below estimated needs. 

Egypt arrests Bangladeshi man for trying to enter Israel
10/19/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian police have arrested a Bangladeshi man who tried to enter Israel through its sensitive Sinai desert border, security sources said on Monday. The Egyptian sources told Ma'an that police patrolling the border spotted the man attempting to climb the barbed wire fence, five kilometers south of the Kerem Shalom crossing, on the Egypt-Israel-Gaza border. The sources said the man was arrested without a struggle. The man reportedly told his captors that he intended to enter Israel both for tourism and for employment. He also told them that he had paid foreign smugglers 1,500 to help him enter Israel, the sources said. The sources said this was the first time on record a Bangladeshi attempted to sneak into Israel through the Sinai. There have been cases of people from China, Russia, and Turkey pursuing this route. 

Researcher accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza
10/19/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A Palestinian human rights campaigner on Monday accused Israeli forces of committing a number of war crimes during its military assault on Gaza over the winter and before. "The [Israeli] occupation committed war crimes against Palestinian prisoners and injured," said Nash'at Al-Wahidi, a researcher with the Popular Movement for Prisoners and Rights in Gaza. During the invasion of the Az-Zaitoun neighborhood east of Gaza City on 11 May 2004, Al-Wahidi said, Israeli forces "buried the wounded alive," leading to civilian deaths that he alleged were intentional. Israel also killed prisoners after they were detained, he insisted, identifying some as Muhammad Said Abdul Kareem Malakeh and Walid Khalid Azzam, both residents of the Az-Zaitoun neighborhood, and Muhammad Amer from Khan Younis. The latest assault led to the loss of "many Gazans whose fate is still unknown. . . " 

DFLP wing says fighters clashed with Israeli forces
10/19/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the National Resistance Brigades, claimed on Sunday evening that a group of their fighters exchanged fire with Israeli forces. In a statement on Monday morning, the group said a special Israeli unit made an incursion across the border into Beit Hanoun, and retreated under heavy fire. Israel's army denied that the reported incursion took place. Ma'an could not independently confirm the report. [end] 

PFLP wing: Israeli soldier shot in Gaza
10/19/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed that they shot an Israeli soldier in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun on Monday. In a statement the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades said the soldier was on top of a tank in the area when he was shot. Group also said the shooting was part of their continuous retaliation to Israeli "criminal acts" against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. An Israeli military spokesperson said she was unaware of any such shooting. Earlier fighters affiliated with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) said they exchanged fire with Israeli special forces in the same area overnight. In a statement on Monday morning, the group said the Israeli forces were forced to retreat under fire. 

Palestinians angered over Al-Jazeera broadcast of mock anthem
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Al-Jazeera Arabic played a mocking parody of the once Palestinian national anthem "My Homeland," titled "It was my homeland" during an interview with Fatah and Hamas leaders from a Beirut studio Saturday, angering Palestinians. The lyrics of the song, originally a poem written by Palestinian poet Ibrahim Touqan put to music by Lebanese artist Mohammad Flaifel, served as the national anthem until the late 80s. The poem was an ode to the land, the people, the holy sites and the trees of Palestine. The opening lyrics of the song Al-Jazeera played were as follows: My homeland, My homeland / Curse and perversity, Plague and hypocrisy / Are in your hills, Are in your hills / Tyrants and oppressors, Cunning not fidelity / Are in your sanctuary, Are in your sanctuary / Will I see you? Nothing else / The verse is a parody of the original: My homeland, My. . . 

Europe sponsors Palestinian trade show in Israel’s north
10/19/2009 - Nazareth - Ma'an - A Palestinian industries exhibit was held in Nazareth Saturday, with the support of the municipality and the European Chamber of Commerce, in an effort to support communications and trade between Palestinians in Israel and those in the West Bank. Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khuloud Deibes addressed the assembled industry leaders on the first day of the three-day exhibition. "Palestinians, despite all the tragedies they are facing, prove every day their determination to push on with life and their adherence to the prospect of freedom and independence," she told participants. Deibes also apologized for being late, saying her car was seized and searched for two hours at the Bisan checkpoint by Israeli authorities, "under the pretext of a security search," she said. The event is expressly to promote the building of a local economy between. . . 

Dozens protest settlement mogul in Manhattan
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Some 40 rights advocates rallied at Madison Avenue jewelry store of Israeli settlement mogul Lev Leviev in New York City on Saturday, demanding that Israel release jailed Palestinian activist Mohammad Othman. Othman, held without charge and in solitary confinement since 22 September, is from Jayyous, a West Bank village where Leviev's company LIDAR (Leader Management and Development), is building the illegal Israeli settlement of Zufim. Protesters urged Israel to end a wave of arrests of Palestinian activists from Bil'in, a West Bank village campaigning against the construction of settlement homes by another Leviev company, the Africa-Israel Group. "Israel's arrest of Mohammad Othman and residents of Bil'in simply affirms the need for a global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions, similar to the movement against apartheid South Africa, to hold Israel. . . 

EU’s Solana praises PA security
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The EU's top foreign policy official, Javier Solana, praised the Fatah-allied Palestinian security forces during a visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday. "When the Palestinians take control over difficult issues like security they do a very good job," said the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy during a news conference atthe headquarters of EUPOL COPPS, the EU's police-training mission. "Am very happy that everybody recognizes the efforts by the Palestinian security forces to guarantee security in the territories that the Palestinians control," Solana said, according to a statement. "I hear this from the Palestinian people, from the Israeli leaders and today I even read it in the press. "  "We are proud if we contribute to that and I hope that we have contributed to that but the important thing is the Palestinians," he said, referring to EUPOL COPPS. 

Fatah Revolutionary Council appoints 19 new members
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - In its ongoing session, the Fatah Revolutionary Council approved 19 new members Sunday out of 24 nominated by the movement's Central Committee. During the August elections in Bethlehem for the body, sources said the council, in its first session, would appoint 25 new members including 20 Palestinians who are currently prisoners of Israel. Their membership in the committee was to have been "suspended" until they were released. Sunday's appointments, however, did not include current prisoners of Israel. Eight of the new members are from the Gaza Strip, and eleven from the West Bank. The names of those appointed to the party's second most important legislative body include: Abdullah Abu Samhadana, governor of the central Gaza district, Adnan Dmeiri, director of PA department of political guidance, police official, Ahmad Tamimi, Fatah leader in Hebron. . . 

Abbas, Mubarak to discuss unity plan
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to arrive in Cairo on Monday to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak the following day, according to Palestinian ambassador to Egypt Barakat Al-Farra. The visit coincides with a crisis in Hamas-Egypt relations after the latter accused Hamas of haggling to avoid a historic reconciliation with Fatah brokered by Egypt. "The Egyptian reconciliation plan, which Fatah has already signed, was offered in order to be signed, and not negotiated," said Husam Zaki, spokesman of the Egyptian foreign ministry on Sunday. He warned that Egypt won't await Hamas approval of the plan forever. Meanwhile, Sulaiman Awwad, a spokesperson for the Egyptian president said, "Egypt will not stop exerting efforts to complete a Palestinian reconciliation agreement despite the deep disagreement between rivals of Hamas and Fatah. 

Fatah intelligence founder declines Revolutionary Council nomination
10/19/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Founder of the Palestinian intelligence services Amin Al-Hindi excused himself from consideration for the Fatah Revolutionary Council via an official letter to Fatah leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, sources said. Fatah's Revolutionary Council, meeting in Ramallah from Sunday through Tuesday, received 24 recommendations for appointments to the Council from the party's main decision making body the Central Committee. The Council okayed 19 of the recommendations on Monday. The appointments include several Fatah-affiliated police and security services leaders. In his letter to the council, Al-Hindi is reported to have written: "If I wanted this position, I would have nominated myself [for the council] during the [sixth Fatah] conference and obtained it democratically. " No further indication as to why he chose not to participate in the council was given. 

Dahlan: Hamas procrastinating on deal
10/19/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Fatah's former Gaza strongman Mahmoud Dahlan lashed out at Hamas on Monday for allegedly attempting to "ruin" an Egyptian initiative to reunite Palestine's divided parties under one political framework. Pressure is mounting on Hamas to sign Egypt's latest proposal, which calls for a multi-faction coordinating committee would bring the West Bank and Gaza back under one administrative umbrella. Fatah unilaterally approved the deal last Wednesday, a day before the deadline set by the Egyptian brokers. Speaking at a news conference in Ramallah on Monday, Dahlan claimed that the proposal met all of Hamas' conditions, "and Fatah accepted it in order to unite the West Bank and Gaza, in order to face the Israeli occupation. " Once the Palestinian Authority's security chief in Gaza, Dahlan left the territory days before Hamas' June 2007 takeover of the territory. 

Palestinian director wins at Abu Dhabi film festival
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Palestinian film director Elia Suleiman won one of the two top awards at the Abu Dhabi Middle East International Film Festival Saturday, for his latest release, The Time That Remains. The film's top spot in the festival's Best Middle Eastern narrative film category, portrays the daily life of Palestinians living in Israel. The events of the film were reportedly inspired by the diaries of Suleiman's father, who remained on his land during the founding of the state of Israel, and quickly became a minority in the new country. The Nazareth-born director was also awarded Variety's Middle East filmmaker of the year award, earning him 100,000 US dollars. The festival had entries from across the Middle East and Southeast Asia. More than 129films were screened throughout the festival, including 72 feature films and 57 short films. 

Ma’an pursues legal action against Gaza politician
10/19/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - For the first time in its five year history, Ma'an News Agency is pursuing legal channels against a political figure who verbally attacked the agency. The controversy concerns remarks by Gaza-based Hamas lawmaker Mushir Al-Masri, who sought to discredit a Ma'an news report that Hamas plans eventually to sign on to the Egyptian-backed Palestinian unity initiative. The report stated that Hamas will sign the deal as soon as the head of Hamas' Political Bureau, Khalid Mash'al, returns from consultations with a foreign country not named by the source. Al-Masri slammed the report on a Gazan website, saying, "What was posted on Ma'an was just an anecdote "¦ Ma'an is a Fatah mouthpiece whose cheap dealings and publishing of lies bolster the Zionist movement. " Ma'an's attorney, Shawki Issa said that Al-Masri's accusations were harmful. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel worried Fatah may resume suicide attacks
19 Oct 2009 - Fatah members have urged followers to use the 'doom's day weapon' employed during the second intifada. 

UN: IDF may have planted spy gear in Lebanon
19 Oct 2009 - UN probe indicates devices planted in 2006 war; IDF: Hezbollah trying to cover up truce violations. 

Family who lost 29 members in Gaza war: We envy the dead
19 Oct 2009 - The Samouni family says Richard Goldstone has finally lent the Gaza offensive victims a voice. 

Why Israel failed in the Gaza war
19 Oct 2009 - The IDF was not actually responsibile for the failure in the 3-week offensive against Hamas. 

Hezbollah vs. Israel: Who has 'real' video of Lebanon blast site?
19 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
19 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
19 Oct 2009 - State-run news agency reports 32 suspected militants detained in raids across eight provinces. 

Report: Syria supplying long-range missiles to Hezbollah
19 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
19 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
19 Oct 2009 - Plan is to hand out 4.5 million kits within three years; GOC Home Front Command: We don't have enough kits. 


[] A Country Of Sacred Cows And Ten Commandments
October 19, 2009 - ...The world needs to change its conception of what Israel is. Israel likes to present itself as a little country surrounded by a sea of hostile Arabs trying to push them into the sea, when they just want peace and no violence. But in reality Israel is the fifth largest nuclear power in the world with...

[] Smuggled letter: Israel denies US citizen medical care in prison
October 19, 2009 - A letter smuggled in the intestines of fellow inmates has revealed the testimony of inmates that 36-year-old Palestinian-American Ahmad An-Najjar, has been denied medical treatment for a growing tumor in his throat. The letter said An-Najjar, who was imprisoned by Israel in 2003, was scheduled to have surgery two years ago, but was denied the treatment...

[] Hamas - They're not bad, they're just drawn that way
October 19, 2009 - In many parts of the West, certain political parties or movements are treated as if they come from the Moon or are alien to any body politic. Their existence among the people is always scrutinised as negative, transitory and something created in a boardroom or a backroom, imposed upon an unsophisticated public that is unable to...

[] U.S. arrests ex-NASA scientist over bid to spy for Israel
October 19, 2009 - A former scientist at the United States' space agency has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to spy for Israel, the U.S. department of Justice announced on Monday. According to a statement by the department, the suspect, Stewart David Nozette, is a Maryland scientist who once worked in varying capacities for the Department of Energy, the...

[] Breaking the Thirst Water Deprivation as a Means of Ethnic Cleansing
October 19, 2009 - In the South Hebron Hills of Palestine, 3500 Palestinians are suffering from the most extreme lack of water. They have no water infrastructure, face high water hauling costs, and must contend with Israeli soldiers and settlers destroying their road access and even poisoning their small wells. On September 26th, 2009 some 100 activists with support from...

[] Iran, western powers hold 'constructive' uranium talks
October 19, 2009 - Iran and world powers on Monday held new talks on a uranium enrichment deal which UN watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said got off to a "constructive" start though no breakthrough was announced. "We had this afternoon quite a constructive meeting. We're off to a good start. Most of the technical issues have been discussed," ElBaradei said...

[] A Tragically Bad and Unsustainable Idea Zionism: an Anti-Semite's Dream?
October 19, 2009 - ...Democracy and equal rights in a unitary state in the land which, until 1948, was called Palestine, coupled with freedom of choice (with attractive choices for resettlement being generously provided) for those who would prefer not to live in such a state, would offer a far greater hope for eventual peace in the Middle East than...

[] Israel pulls textbook over reference to 'ethnic cleansing'
October 19, 2009 - Israel's Education Ministry has recalled all copies of a history textbook because of a passage alleging "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians during the 1948 war, a newspaper reported on Monday. Israel's Haaretz newspaper said the secondary school textbook was removed from shelves because it sought to present both Israeli and Arab perspectives on the departure of some...

Palestine Telegraph

Puppets on Road to Jerusalem
Palestine, October 19, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) 'Courage ... courage to movement, courage not to give up, courage to break doors, the courage to overcome barriers, the courage to fly', are words advocated by participants in the march of the road to Jerusalem, organized by...

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow Concludes Visit to Palestine
Palestine, October 19, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - World renowned actress Mia Farrow ended Sunday a six-day mission to the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel. The mission focused on children affected by conflict, UNICEF said in a press release.

Locked in: Life in Gaza
Gaza, October 18, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Munzer al-Dayyeh is a 40-year-old mechanic living in Gaza. In a land of ruin and disrepair, Munzer is kept busy fixing generators and repairing motorbikes.

Iran: Israelis should stand trial over war crimes
Iran, October 18, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - In light of the Goldstone report on Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki calls for legal action against the Tel Aviv leadership.

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...

The National

Eavesdropping sparks fresh border tension
19 Oct 2009 - The discovery of three eavesdropping devices planted in southern Lebanon has prompted a wave of spying allegations between the country and Israel.

Good start' to nuclear talks, says ElBaradei 
19 Oct 2009 - Landmark negotiations between Iran and world powers resume in Vienna aiming to finalise a deal on Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran vows revenge over suicide bombing
19 Oct 2009 - Tehran accuses the United States and Britain of involvement in the militant attack.


Lebanon blasts called 'spy devices'
19 Oct 2009 - Hezbollah and army say Israel detonated underground sensors in country's south.

Hamas delays unity deal delegation
18 Oct 2009 - Hamas holds back unity delegation, accusing Egypt of making unauthorised amendments.

Alternative Information Center

The World March for Peace and Nonviolence continues in Bethlehem
19 Oct 2009 - On 14 October 2009, the World March for Peace and Nonviolence reached Bethlehem. Organized by the international pacifism organization World Without Wars, the march began in New Zealand on 2 October, Gandhi’s birthday and the “International...

Palestine News Network

Palestinian delegation asking UNESCO for condemnation of Israeli excavations around Al Aqsa Mosque
19 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – The Palestinians are asking that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization condemn the Israeli excavations around Al Aqsa Mosque. Dr. Hamdan Taha, Assistant Undersecretary of Archaeological and Cultural Heritage in the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, is leading the delegation attending the UNESCO meeting, ongoing from 6 through 23 October.The Palestinian delegation is asking specifically that UNESCO...

Council of Ministers welcomes UNHRC adoption of Goldstone, pushes for follow-up, end to settlements
19 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers welcomed today the adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council of the Goldstone report that states the Israelis committed war crimes in Gaza. The meeting of the Council of Ministers was chaired by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah and stressed that the Palestinian National Authority is determined to follow-up...

International peace cycle joined by Qalqilia bike club arrives in Bil’in
19 Oct 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - This weekend in western Ramallah, members of the Bi'lin community lined the streets to greet cyclists from Belgium, the UK, Canada and Sweden. With temperatures at 38 degrees Celsius, the group has continued the Peace Cycle 2009 seemingly undaunted.The initiative aims to educate foreign visitors of the suffering of West Bank communities caused by the Israeli occupation.Since starting...

Five year old dies in Hebron after falling from seventh floor balcony
19 Oct 2009 - Hebron / PNN – Five year old Ahmed Shalaldeh died today after falling from the seventh floor of his father’s home in the southern West Bank’s Sair Village. The Information Department in the Hebron police said Monday, “The police received a tip from Al Ahli Hospital in Hebron when the child was brought in deceased. The case was moved to the Investigation Division...

How wide is the space for Palestinian nonviolent activism?
18 Oct 2009 - As has been reported, the head of the Stop the Wall Campaign, Mohammad Othman, was arrested by Israeli forces at Allenby Bridge as he returned to the West Bank on 22 September from a conference in Norway. He remains one of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons.The group Jewish Voice for Peace is advocating for his release by writing today:“How wide is...

Human rights director from Gaza addresses meeting in Madrid on Goldstone report
18 Oct 2009 - On 17 October 2009, Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), addressed the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) working group meeting on Israel-Palestine, which took place in Madrid. The address formed part of PCHR’s continuing efforts to ensure the implementation of the Goldstone report’s recommendations, particularly in light of the 16 October Human Rights Council Resolution endorsing the...

Leftist PFLP hosts cultural evening honoring armed struggle
18 Oct 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hosted a cultural evening in Gaza yesterday to mark the armed dimension of the struggle against occupation. It was on the seventeenth of October 2001 that right-wing Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi was killed in retaliation for the assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa in August of that year.Abu Ali Mustafa...

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

Farmer arrested, others prevented from harvesting in Beit Jala
19 Oct 2009 - Last Wednesday, soldiers prohibited farmers from entering their land and harvesting olives in the area of Wadi Ahmed, west of Beit Jala (Bethlehem). Residents stated that they were heading to their lands in the morning when they suddenly encountered Occupation forces who had placed a gate and barbed wire in their way. Farmers were turned back under the pretext that they did not have proper permits. [

BDS Marathon Action Calendar
19 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!". [

PCHR Latest

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

PCHR Weekly Report

(08- 14 Oct. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
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

International Solidarity Movement

Iraq Burin: Local farmers and international volunteers plant 45 olive trees on land reclaimed from a nearby settlement
10/19/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 18 October 2009 - On Sunday, 18 October, about 30 internationals from several different solidarity groups accompanied inhabitants of the village Iraq Burin south of Nablus to plant olive trees. 45 plants were donated by the Palestinans Authority and the action was considered successful by the local residents. Farmers from Iraq Buring plant olive trees on reclaimed land The olive trees were planted close to the illegal settlement Bracha, on 30 dunums(30 000m2) of land that has recently been returned to its rightful Palestinian owners as a result of an agreement with the District Coordination Office. This is the first success of its kind, and is a result of weekly demonstrations, where local protesters and international activists came together to protest illegal land annexation and settlement expansion in the West Bank. After the olive trees were planted the protesters stayed in the field chanting pro-Palestinian slogans, celebrating the reclaimed land. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

U.S. arrests ex-NASA scientist over bid to spy for Israel
19 Oct 2009 - A former scientist at the United States' space agency has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to spy for Israel, the U.S. department of Justice announced on Monday. ...

Cabinet likely to discuss probing Goldstone Gaza Report findings
19 Oct 2009 - The security-diplomatic cabinet is likely to discuss on Tuesday whether Israel should establish a commission of inquiry into the findings of a damning United Nations report on the Gaza war. ...

Russians deal Lieberman 'slap' by endorsing Goldstone report
19 Oct 2009 - Click here for more on the Goldstone commission report on the Gaza conflict ... 

Fatah official: Hamas has bigger stock of lies than Netanyahu
19 Oct 2009 - A senior official in the Palestinian party Fatah lashed out at the rival Hamas movement on Monday, blaming the Islamist group for the recent failure of reconciliation negotiations, AFP reported. ...

Top Republican: Obama 'charm offensive' won't halt Iran nukes
19 Oct 2009 - The former Massachusetts governor and presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, on Monday blasted U.S. President Barack Obama's outreaches to Iran as failing to thwart the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions. ...

The Guardian

US scientist faces espionage charges
19 Oct 2009 - Man accused of passing classified information to a person he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer A Maryland scientist who worked for the US defence department and other agencies has been arrested on espionage charges. The...

Obama's mettle is about to be tested | Simon Tisdall
18 Oct 2009 - As the Middle East slides towards renewed conflict, the president has to revitalise US efforts for a peace or face humiliation It's getting harder each day for the Obama administration to maintain the illusion of progress...

Hamas patrols beaches in Gaza to enforce conservative dress code
18 Oct 2009 - Lawyers resist campaign to make Palestinian society more Islamist It began with a rash of unusually assertive police patrols. Armed Hamas officers stopped men from sitting shirtless on the beach, broke up groups of unmarried men...

Reviving hope for Middle East peace | Olivia Hampton
18 Oct 2009 - Hope that Obama could make progress toward peace has evaporated. To get back on track, he should turn to Syria Hopes are dimming in Ramallah over Barack Obama's ability to deliver on his promise to revive...

Ha'aretz National page

Israel's Napoleon: Ehud Barak's lavish lifestyle under scrutiny in Israeli media
19 Oct 2009 - As Defense Minister Ehud Barak continues to be the subject of a torrent of criticism over his extravagant spending on five-star hotels with the use of taxpayer money, Israelis are becoming increasingly aware of the decorated former general's lavish lifestyle. ...

Former basketball executive Moni Fanan commits suicide
19 Oct 2009 - Moni Fanan, the former chairman of the board for the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball club, was found dead in his home on Monday after he committed suicide. ...

Haredi urges: Give a year of your lives to save ailing rabbi
19 Oct 2009 - An ultra-Orthodox supporter of former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who has been hospitalized in a serious condition for more than a month, has urged the Haredi public to "donate" a year of their lives to spur the rabbi's recovery. ...

VIDEO / Border Policeman admits beating rightist at West Bank outpost
19 Oct 2009 - A member of the Border Police's Yasam special forces unit confessed in a police disciplinary tribunal on Monday to attacking a right-wing protestor while evacuating an illegal West Bank outpost. ...

Police to probe Russian Mafia ties to Rishon family murder
19 Oct 2009 - The three generations of the Oshrenko family found dead in a partially torched apartment in Rishon Letzion on Saturday appear to have been murdered by one or more professional killers who may have come to Israel to commit the crime and have fled the country, police said Sunday, after receiving the initial autopsy results. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: USAID West Bank/Gaza mission program achievements - Week of 5 Oct 2009
19 Oct 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

Palestinian refugees reject 'sell-out' deal
19 Oct 2009 - Source: Medical Aid for Palestinians

OPT: Israel's reaction to the decision of the UN Human Rights Council
19 Oct 2009 - Source: Government of Israel

ICC Prosecutor receives Palestinian Minister of Justice, Arab League and Independent Fact-Finding Committee
19 Oct 2009 - Source: International Criminal Court

OPT: Ensuring the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution on the Goldstone Report: PCHR director addresses EMHRN meeting in Madrid
18 Oct 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

One month later: COGAT continues to boycott human rights organizations
18 Oct 2009 - Source: Gisha

YNet News

Report: Hezbollah plans attacks on Israeli targets in Turkey
19 Oct 2009 - According to leading Turkish news website, planned attacks come in retaliation for assassination of senior Hezbollah member in 2008; possible targets include American, Israeli institutions, synagogues, tourist destinations 

US scientist charged with attempted spying for Israel
19 Oct 2009 - Stewart David Nozette arrested, charged with attempting to transmit classified information to man he believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer. Justice Department: No wrongdoing by Israel 

Iran signals it may not strike nuclear deal
19 Oct 2009 - Islamic Republic also refuses to talk to France, blaming country for breaking enriched uranium deal 

Dahlan: Hamas has bigger stock of lies than Netanyahu
19 Oct 2009 - Senior Fatah official tells reporters in Ramallah Islamist group delaying Palestinian reconciliation due to pressure from Syria, Iran; says Abbas will call for January elections in absence of truce agreement 

Diplomatic victory for Israel: IPU won't debate Gaza offensive
19 Oct 2009 - Delegation to Geneva conference blocks Arab proposal to debate army's conduct during December-January offensive in Strip. Minister Shalom: World sick and tired of one-sided discussion on Israel 

Daily Star

Iran nuclear talks off to 'good start' despite tensions 
19 Oct 2009 

Israel ties obligated probe into war crimes - jurist 
19 Oct 2009 

Fatah lashes out at Hamas over stalled unity deal 
19 Oct 2009 

Iran's Khamenei points finger at US for suicide bombing 
19 Oct 2009 

Egypt's Brotherhood denies reports that leader has quit 
19 Oct 2009 

Washington misread Russia's Iran sanctions comments 
19 Oct 2009 

Iran attack puts Lebanon on alert
19 Oct 2009 

Palestinian, Russian films win lucrative prizes at Abu Dhabi festival
19 Oct 2009 

The dark tourist comes home to Lebanon
19 Oct 2009 

Neither Sri Lanka nor Israel should have impunity in their 'wars on terror'
19 Oct 2009 

Saving the Special Tribunal for Lebanon from failure: a response to Jamil al-Sayyed and Antonio Cassese
19 Oct 2009 

Palestinian Information Center

Barhoum: Fatah’s media campaign against Hamas reflects the size of its crisis
19 Oct 2009 - Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stated that the media and instigation campaigns escalated by Fatah leaders against his Movement reflect undoubtedly the enormity of the real crisis inside Fatah.

Birawi: Egyptian authorities promised to accelerate entry of Euro convoy
19 Oct 2009 - The Egyptian authorities have renewed commitment to facilitate entry of a European convoy carrying aid to Gaza children, Zaher Birawi, the campaign's spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.

IOA extends administrative custody of former minister, municipal council member
19 Oct 2009 - The IOA has extended the administrative detention of former minister of prisoners Wasfi Kabaha, only two days before his release, for four more months at the request of the Israeli intelligence.

Wahidi: Israeli soldiers buried Palestinians alive during the war on Gaza
19 Oct 2009 - Human rights activist Nashaat Al-Wahidi, revealed that the IOF troops deliberately killed Palestinians after detaining them and buried others alive during Israel’s military aggression on Gaza.

Radwan: Hamas needs safeguards regarding the reconciliation agreement
19 Oct 2009 - Dr. Ismail Radwan said that his Movement needs safeguards from the Egyptian sponsor guaranteeing that Mahmoud Abbas would implement what is agreed upon in the reconciliation agreement.

Ghoul: The Goldstone report should be used to put Zionist war criminals on trial
19 Oct 2009 - Mohammed Al-Ghoul, the Palestinian justice minister in Gaza, has said that the Goldstone report was an international document that could be used to condemn the Israeli occupation.

Israel kidnaps Palestinian journalist in Al-Khalil
19 Oct 2009 - The IOF troops kidnapped Sunday a Palestinian journalist called Iyad Sorour from Al-Khalil city, south of the West Bank, only one month after his release from the Palestinian Authority’s jails.

Khameni: OIC should act in support of the Palestinian people
19 Oct 2009 - The Iranian spiritual leader, Ali Khameni, has said that Palestine is in need of a strong and well-planned support on the part of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

Salah to reveal documents on serious judaization plans in Jerusalem
19 Oct 2009 - Sheikh Ra’ed Salah stated that he would reveal soon documents illustrating the seriousness of the judaization campaigns carried out by Israel against the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Gov't committee against siege asks Egypt to allow entry of Euro aid
19 Oct 2009 - Hamdy Shaat, the head of the government committee against siege, has urged the Egyptian government to allow entry of the European aid convoy "Miles of Smiles" into the Gaza Strip.

Los Angeles Times

Dozens killed in suicide attack on Iran's Revolutionary Guard 
19 Oct 2009 - A bomber in tribal dress infiltrates what was to have been a reconciliation meeting between Shiite and Sunni tribesmen. Six guard commanders are among those slain. At least 28 people are wounded. In a brazen attack on Iran's military elite, a suicide bomber on Sunday killed six Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders and 36 others at a gathering of tribal leaders in a southeastern province near the Pakistani border known for drug running and religious extremism, according to the official Iranian news agency. 


Netanyahu: Israel and U.S. have resolved settlements row 
10/18/2009 - Ha'aretz - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last Thursday that talks between Israel and the United States over construction in the settlements on the West Bank had ended. " We solved the matter of the settlements with the Americans," Netanyahu told his Spanish counterpart. " I cannot say more than that. If you are interested in hearing more details, ask in Washington," added Netanyahu. It is not clear what Netanyahu meant and what the details of the "solution" are, but this is the first time that Netanyahu has said that the issue of the settlements, which is the main bone of contention between the Obama administration and Israel, has been solved. Sources in Jerusalem said that Netanyahu spoke about the matter after his representatives Mike Herzog and Yitzhak Molcho reached agreements in Washington during their talks last week. 

U.S. arrests ex-NASA scientist over bid to spy for Israel 
10/20/2009 - Ha'aretz - A former scientist at the United States' space agency has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to spy for Israel, the U. S. department of Justice announced on Monday. According to a statement by the department, the suspect, Stewart David Nozette, is a Maryland scientist who once worked in varying capacities for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The department said Nozette, 52, was contacted via telephone by an individual purporting to be an Israeli intelligence officer, but who was in fact an undercover employee of the FBI (UCE). " During that call," the statement said, "Nozette agreed to meet with the UCE later that day at a hotel in Washington D. C. According to the affidavit, Nozette met with the UCE that day and discussed his willingness to work for Israeli intelligence. " 

Israel pulls textbook with chapter on Nakba
10/19/2009 - Ha'aretz - The Ministry of Education has taken the unusual step of collecting all copies of the history textbook, "Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East" which was published about two months ago by the Zalman Shazar Center. They will be returned to the shelves only after corrections are made to the text, particularly with reference to the War of Independence. The book had already been approved by the ministry. "Collecting the books from the shops is an unnecessary [form of] censorship," said Dr. Tsafrir Goldberg, who wrote the controversial chapter on the war. "The process of approving the text was completed in serious fashion from both the pedagogic and the historic points of view. The fact that the education minister changed does not mean that it is possible to bypass this procedure. "On September 22, Haaretz reported that the textbook, which is meant for 11th and 12th-grades, for the first time presented the Palestinian claim that there had been ethnic cleansing in 1948. 

Russians deal Lieberman ’slap’ by endorsing Goldstone report 
10/20/2009 - Ha'aretz - "We sought to moderate the wording of the resolution but we failed because of the stance of Western countries," the Russian ambassador claimed. - Israel relayed a sharply worded protest to the Russian government following Russia's vote in favor of adopting the Goldstone report at the Human Rights Council in Geneva Friday, according to senior Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman suffered a personal blow by the Russian vote, which went against the promises he received from his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, days prior to the vote at the United Nations body. Russian officials clarified that Moscow would oppose any discussion of the Goldstone report by the UN Security Council, Israel Radio reported on Sunday night. Russia's envoy to Israel met over the weekend with Foreign Ministry official Pinchas Avivi to hand him a letter of clarification from 

Shelter for families blocked at border 
10/17/2009 - The Independent - Donald Macintyre - Israel has refused for eight months to allow into Gaza 488 prefabricated buildings donated by Turkey to house families whose homes were destroyed in last winter's three-week military offensive. Despite applying for permits in February, the Turkish Red Crescent has been unable to ship in the homes, which it says are intended to accommodate Palestinian civilians who are among the estimated 20,000 still homeless as a result of the war. While a majority of those are living in overcrowded temporary accommodation or with relatives, the Red Crescent said that others were living in tents, the wreckage of their destroyed buildings or a cemetery. There is no evidence that the bar is connected with recent political tensions between Israel and Turkey, which has strongly criticised the military offensive. The Red Crescent said it was still waiting for an official response from the 

VIDEO - Just Say No – Refusing the Drug of Propaganda at an Early Age
10/19/2009 - P U L S E - Israeli media is finally starting to feel the pressure. These past two weeks, the news has been full of the issues that activists have been working hard for and paying with their freedom for. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is slowly making headlines, the Goldstone report has been on the Israeli mind all week and the issue I’d like to highlight today, has been gaining momentum: The Shministim. In Hebrew “Shministim” means “seniors”. Every high school senior, in Israel, gets their drafting order in the mail. On rare occasions, these seniors refuse on ethical grounds, becoming conscientious objectors. In Israel, conscientious objectors are jailed by the army. They serve up to 28 days (those refusing to wear an army uniform, during their jailing, are sent to solitary confinement), are released and jailed again, until the army agrees to discharge them. 

The World March for Peace and Nonviolence continues in Bethlehem 
10/19/2009 - Alternative Information Center - On 14 October 2009, the World March for Peace and Nonviolence reached Bethlehem. Organized by the international pacifism organization World Without Wars, the march began in New Zealand on 2 October, Gandhi’s birthday and the “International Day of Nonviolence” declared by the United Nations. It is scheduled to conclude in Argentina on January 2. The march aims to increase global awareness of the need to renounce violence by passing through cities worldwide. In Bethlehem, the march was attended by Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in Palestine and Jerusalem; Luisa Morgantini, a member of the European Parliament; Sami Awad, Executive Director of the Holy Land Trust; and Victor Batarsa, mayor of Bethlehem. Several hundred internationals and Palestinians also marched from Manger Square to Aida Refugee Camp, chanting “Israel is a fascist state” and singing the Italian anti-fascist song “Bella Ciao. 

Gaza costs Israel another friend: there aren’t many left 
10/18/2009 - The National - Tony Karon - For years Israel has acted as if the unconditional support of the US would be enough to shield it for ever from the consequences of its behaviour – which is why last week was an unusually traumatic one for them. No suicide bombers detonated themselves and no rockets or mortar shells fell, but the double whammy of a Turkish snub and a UN Human Rights Council vote shook Israelis even more than any aimless shelling would have done. Those two events signal profound changes that leave Israel paying a growing political price for the attack last winter that killed some 1,400 Palestinians and reduced Gaza to rubble. It was the brutal pummelling of Gaza that prompted Turkey’s democratically elected government to break the silence among the region’s moderates and stand up for the Palestinians. At the time, the prime minister, Recep Erdogan, condemned the Israeli actions as war crimes, 

Lebanon takes a seat at UN Security Council 
10/15/2009 - The National - NEW YORK // Lebanon will succeed Libya as the Arab nation on the UN Security Council next year after winning a vote that brought other politically divided nations, such as Gabon and Bosnia, to a 15-nation body designed to maintain global peace. Analysts question whether Lebanon’s government travails, Gabon’s ongoing election dispute and Bosnia’s ethnic strife will leave the new members hindering a body that is charged with tackling threats to international security. Bosnia and Lebanon will be in the unusual position of hosting UN peacekeeping operations and will themselves be subject to the scrutiny of the council while they serve out their two-year terms. “It’s an unusual collection of cripples and non-performers joining the council,” said Jeffrey Laurenti, a UN expert at The Century Foundation. “Look at Lebanon and Bosnia. 

Arab League says US donations used to finance settlements 
10/17/2009 - Yahoo! News - CAIRO (AFP) – The Arab League on Saturday urged US President Barack Obama's administration to prevent American associations from collecting funds to finance Israeli settlement building in annexed east Jerusalem. Mohammed Sobeih, a deputy secretary general in charge of Palestinian affairs, told reporters such funding was being used for "a hostile and illegal act which stands in the way of reaching a peace deal. " Such associations, exempted from taxation, help to finance the building of Israeli settlements in the Old City and other districts of east Jerusalem, according to a report compiled by the Arab League's office in Washington. Sobeih said the report showed some of the funds were being used to seize properties from their Palestinian residents and to expel them, singling out the ultra-nationalist "American Friends of Ateret Cohanim. " 

Turkish PM slams Israel as a ’persecutor’ 
10/17/2009 - Yahoo! News - ANKARA (AFP) – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Israel as a "persecutor" on Saturday in the latest verbal volley since the Gaza offensive raised tensions between the regional allies. " Turkey has never, in its history, been on the side of persecutors, it has always defended the oppressed," Erdogan said without directly naming Israel in a speech in the central city of Kirsehir. " Turkey has not hostility against any country, but. . . we are against injustice," he said in the televised remarks. Ties between the strategic allies began to sour in January when Turkey strongly condemned Israel's 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which was launched to counter rocket attacks by Palestinian militants. Relations took another sharp downturn last week when Ankara excluded the Jewish state from annual joint military exercises, prompting a rebuke from the United States. 

Syria asks to delay signing of EU partnership agreement 
10/18/2009 - Earth Times - DPA, Damascus - Syria on Sunday asked to postpone the signing of an economic partnership agreement with the European Union, following disputes over provisions covering human-rights and political reform. At a press conference in Damascus, Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah al-Dardari said his country needed "more time to study the. . . agreement," calling the 20-day period he said the EU had proposed for consideration "inadequate. " Syria had been due to sign the agreement, which would pave the way for its full participation in the European Neighbourhood Policy, in Luxembourg on October 26. All other countries along the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean have signed similar agreements with the European Union. Syrian and EU diplomats drafted an agreement in 2004, but negotiations snagged over provisions introduced by the Netherlands making "respect for human rights. 

Official: EU can’t effect breakthrough on Israel-Palestinian issue 
10/18/2009 - Earth Times - DPA, Tel Aviv - The European Union cannot effect a breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but by offering economic incentives it can make it easier for the sides to come to an understanding, European Commission Vice-President Gunter Verheugen said Sunday. In addition, he told the German Press Agency dpa, internal divisions within the EU on the Israeli-Palestinian issue make it difficult to come up with a unified strategy acceptable to both sides. Acknowledging that many Israelis don't fully trust the EU, Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, said that "Europeans must send a clear message that Israel has a right to exist within secure borders. " Once the EU makes this acknowledgement, he said, it would be in a position to be a broker. Verheugen acknowledged that the EU can only offer what he termed "soft power," but the economic advantages the EU can 

Popularity of Palestinian President drops against Hamas, poll finds 
10/18/2009 - Earth Times - DPA, Ramallah - The popularity of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declined sharply and he would run neck-and-neck with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh if presidential elections were held now, a poll released Sunday has found. Abbas would receive 16. 8 per cent of the vote, to 16 per cent for Haniyeh, the poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC) found. Haniyeh was also the politician respondents trusted the most, scoring 14. 2 per cent to Abbas' 12. 1 per cent. In the previous JMCC poll in June, Abbas' rating stood at 17. 8 per cent In addition, a majority of respondents - 55. 6 per cent - said they were "somewhat unsatisfied" or "very unsatisfied" with the way Abbas was performing as president, compared to 39. 4 per cent who said they were "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied. " According to the JMCC, anger at a decision by Abbas' Palestinian Authority (PA) to agree to 


'They killed him because he was Palestinian' 
Jody McIntyre writing from Yabad, occupied West Bank, Electronic Intifada 10/14/2009
      On 30 September 2009 at 11am, 17-year-old Fuad Mahmoud Nayif Turkman was standing outside his school in the village of Yabad, when he was run over by an Israeli military jeep. Yabad is located in the occupied West Bank, near the city of Jenin. An Israeli military spokesperson later claimed that "hundreds" of Palestinians were "rioting" in the area, and that the jeep had experienced "mechanical difficulties." However, eyewitnesses from the scene say that the students were doing nothing of the sort. Jody McIntyre spoke with Fuad’s father, Mahmoud Turkman, and his 12-year-old brother Fadi for The Electronic Intifada:
     Jody McIntyre: What was Fuad like?
     Mahmoud Turkman: He was like any boy, really. Worked hard in school, popular with his friends. He was in his last year at school and was planning to go on to university. Fuad always told me wanted to finish his studies as soon as possible in order to support the family [which includes 11 brothers and sisters]. During the school holidays, Fuad would come to help me with my work building houses. Once he asked me, "Father, you work so hard all the time to give us money and put food on the table -- why do we take it so for granted?"
     At home he was always on his computer -- he bought it independently, refusing to allow me to contribute anything to the cost.
     Fuad was always keen on looking the part, dressing nicely and playing with his hair. I don’t know if there was a girl he liked. If there was he was too shy to tell us. more.. e-mail

No sympathy from the court 
Nurit Peled Elhanan, Ma’an News Agency 10/19/2009
      On Wednesday we, members of the Combatants for Peace movement – women of Mahsom Watch, members of the Forum of Bereaved Families for Peace and writer David Grossman – attended a hearing at the High Court of Justice on the matter of the closing, due to lack of evidence, of the investigatory file on the killing of ten-year-old Abir Aramin about three years ago.
     The hearing, which had been scheduled for eleven o’clock, and then for nine o’clock, and then for ten o’clock, and then for one o’clock, began at two. Journalists ran to and fro in the corridor:
     “Who died?” “A little girl?” “Really?” “Excuse me, sir, did your daughter die?” “Yes.” “Then you are Bassam Aramin?” “No, I am Rami Elhanan.” “Oh, sorry.” “So where’s that Aramin? And who are you?” “We are from Mahsom Watch.” “From what checkpoint?” “What are you doing here? And who are you?” “I am a friend.” “Of those Palestinians?” “Yes.” “How come? How can it be? Can I interview you? Did you too have a daughter who died? Really? When? How? What was her name? And after all that you are on their side?” [Smadar (14), the daughter of Nurit Peled Elhanan and Rami Elhanan, was killed in a suicide bombing on Ben Yehuda Str. on 4 September 1997]
     But at the end of the day no Israeli reported on what happened.
     Salwa and Bassam Aramin are not Jews and they are not Israelis. They live under a cruel occupation and they have experienced all it has to offer: exile, imprisonment and the killing of their small daughter Abir by a rubber bullet that was allegedly fired from the rifle of a Border Guard soldier who was sitting in an armored jeep and thrust the barrel of his rifle through the opening that was allegedly designed for that purpose and allegedly aimed and fired at the head of the girl who was standing beside her sister at a kiosk, allegedly buying candy during the break between the first class and the second. more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Believing in the nonviolent struggle
19 Oct 2009 - The tactics of Israel seem to promote armed resistance. They refuse to release just one of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners currently rotting away in Israeli jails, but when an Israeli soldier is taken hostage, they are willing to negotiate. How can I convince the mothers of those martyred and those imprisoned that nonviolent resistance is the way forward? But in my heart, I know that nonviolent resistance is the path to freedom for our nation. From my small village of Bilin, I hope our actions can set an example for others to follow. Ahmed A. Khatib's story as told to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre. 

EI video of Olmert protest goes global
19 Oct 2009 - The Electronic Intifada's exclusive footage of the multiple disruptions of former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech in Chicago last week has now been seen by millions all over the world. EI's exclusive video report of this event, posted on YouTube, had 100,000 views and had been reposted or cited as a source by news organizations all over the world. 

Book review: Juan Cole's "Engaging the Muslim World"
19 Oct 2009 - In his timely and insightful new book, Engaging the Muslim World , University of Michigan professor Juan Cole debunks prevailing myths and presents a set of compelling policy prescriptions that aim to encourage dialogue and defuse hostilities. However, while he convincingly addresses the questions of knowledge, he leaves issues of power largely unexamined. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

UN body adopts Goldstone report 
19 Oct 2009 - UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - The 47-member Human Rights Council 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. As expected, the United States threw a protective arm around Israel and voted against the resolution, along with some members of the European Union. 

In Gaza
dignified beyond losses
18 Oct 2009 - *Mahmoud Musleh: “I’ve had three main things destroyed by Israeli forces: a tile factory on Sikka street (northern Beit Hanoun), another tile factory on Salah el Din street (Beit Hanoun), and the water well on my land. My olive trees have been bulldozed many times by Israeli forces. I’m 70 years old and now I have nothing, like when I was 16.” *Mohammed Zaneen [eastern Beit Hanoun]: “I had 11 dunams of olive trees, bulldozed by the Israeli army. I used to earn well over US$11,000 from the olives. Now my oldest trees are just 4 years old and produce only a meagre amount. We also have bees. When there...

Palestine Chronicle
Zionism: An Anti-Semite's Dream 
19 Oct 2009 - By John V. Whitbeck In a commentary published in the Arab News (Jeddah) on October 17, the British journalist Neil Berry focuses on a reality which is rarely mentioned in polite society: that Zionism is, and has always been, an anti-Semite's dream come true, offering the hope that one's own country's Jews can be induced to leave and move elsewhere. Berry writes: "The imperious British statesman, A.J. Balfour, who gave his name to the declaration, was an earnest supporter of the 1905 Alien Act, which was specifically designed to stem the inflow into Britain of Jews who were fleeing from persecution in czarist Russia. A century ago, immigrant Jews were seen by many, much as Muslims are now, as subversive intruders menacing the British way of life.... Zionism and anti-Semitism became inextricably bound up with one another." Citing a better-known cause for the enduring shame of Western states, Berry continues: "In the aftermath of the liquidation by the Nazis of some 6 million Jews during World War II, the United States, Australia and Canada, brushing aside Arab pleas to treat displaced Jews as a challenge for the whole world, refused to relax their immigration restrictions, thereby ensuring that the great majority of them poured into Palestine, even though many would have preferred to settle elsewhere.... It was with shrewd foresight that Herzl predicted that anti-Semitism would become Zionism's greatest ally." Western governments which, today, are not anti-Semitic should, rather than feeding justice, human decency and international law into a shredder...

America Confronts the Middle East - A Book Review
19 Oct 2009 - By Jim Miles A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East. Lawrence Freedman. Anchor Canada (Random House). 2009. The subtitle to this text carries an interesting choice of active verb, 'confronts'. It signifies 'coming face to face in hostility or defiance.' That alone brings to question the U.S. perspective, generally expressed in most U.S. media that U.S. intentions are generally positive or at best benign ("kind or gracious to inferiors") and are done to assist the others involved within U.S. actions. Preface The preface and last chapter of Lawrence Freedman's A Choice of Enemies expresses this same double standard of how the U.S. explains itself in association with whatever action it takes on a given issue. Freedman's "amero-centric" viewpoint (with apologies to all the other citizens of the Americas not living in the U.S.) is clearly expressed in the preface and last chapter of the book. He writes that the wars, the confrontations are "not the result of avarice.nor for a want of beneficence," but "with genuine conviction, commitments were made to work to improve the lives of ordinary people in the region." The U.S. is "not the first external power to struggle in this part of the world," a part of the world that "contains multiple sources of tension." The obvious disconnect here is that some of the major "sources of tension" happen to be all the imperial forces that have invaded and occupied the lands over that past couple of centuries. Yes, "the Middle East has lacked...

Empire in Trouble: Approaching Defeat? 
18 Oct 2009 - By Deepak Tripathi President Barack Obama is having a bad time. The health reforms he so confidently promised have been bogged down in Congress for months; his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, said the other day that the pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp by January 2010 would take longer to fulfill; Obama’s top general, Stanley McChrystal, appeared to break military discipline by openly demanding forty thousand extra US troop for the Afghan War, warning his commander-in-chief that otherwise the mission would fail; the award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama brought more scorn and disbelief than congratulations and encouragement; it generated an odd unity of purpose between the Left and the Right, his erstwhile supporters and bitter adversaries out to destroy his young presidency; and two decades after the United States defeated its superpower adversary, a resurgent Russia made plain that sanctions against Iran over its suspicious-looking nuclear program were not acceptable to Moscow. History is full of contradictions between what American presidents offered and could deliver. Upon the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1789, President George Washington spoke of ‘the eternal rules of order and right? and ?the preservation of sacred fire of liberty’ in his inauguration address. In fact, American Indians and black slaves were to endure white oppression for a further two hundred years. Two and a half centuries ago, history recorded that Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in 1865. In truth, re-enslavement occurred quickly under different laws and slavery was...

Critics of 'Holy Israel' Targeted by Christian Zionists 
18 Oct 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London Christianity too has its extremists and none worse than the Christian Zionists. A prize example is His Eminence The Very Reverend Charles J. Edgbaston, DD, PhD, Chair, Christians for Moses Ministries Inc. and Rector, Zion College of Canada. At least, that is what he calls himself. This person has just declared me an enemy of Israel. He says he will broadcast the sentence of his church court to the media and my family. His disciples are “empowered to facilitate” my removal from my place of work. He is applying to the Home Office to revoke my passport and warns that medical and pension benefits may be stopped and my bank accounts frozen. And he has ordered his goons to put me under close surveillance. He is also getting Israel to ban me from the Holy Land. He’ll do all this, he says, unless I hand over a suitcase full of US dollars. The Very Reverend Edgbaston claims to have 55,000 followers worldwide. Others who were similarly threatened have tried to find out who Edgbaston is, and the results can be seen here . So… is this a full-blown church of thousands, or a sad little one-man extortion racket run from a garden shed full of flies? The charge-sheet he sent me provides an entertaining glimpse into the hatred and self-delusion that drives this particular Christian Zionist and his colleagues (if he has any). It is headed “Notice of Judicial Sentence by Ecclesiastical Court” and begins: "Reliable...

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