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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
23 October, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Bahar: “elections Without Unity Will Not Be Accepted”
23 Oct 2009 - Dr. Ahmad Bahar, deputy head of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), stated Thursday that any elections without reconciliation and unity will not be accepted by the Palestinian people as such elections would lead to further divisions. 

Abbas Decides On Elections Date
23 Oct 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, issued on Friday a presidential decree stating that January 24 2010 is the official date for general elections; both presidential and legislative. 

Settlers Sing And Dance In Front Of Palestinian House They Occupied In East Jerusalem
23 Oct 2009 - Dozens of fundamental settlers held prayers on Friday in front of a Palestinian home they occupied by court order in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in East Jerusalem. After praying, the settlers held a dance and party. 

Israeli troops attack Bil'in weekly protest, dozens treated for gas inhalation
23 Oct 2009 - Dozens were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday as Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest against the wall in Bil'in village, central West Bank.

Four injured, one critical as the military attack the weekly Nil'in protest
23 Oct 2009 - Four civilians were injured, one critical, on Friday, by the Israeli military fire at the weekly protest against the wall in the central West Bank village of Nil'in.

Mutiny within Israel’s Army?
23 Oct 2009 - As Israeli soldiers, members of the Shimshon Battalion Brigade, were in an oath taking ceremony in Jerusalem, several soldiers and their relatives carried posters vowing not to evacuate Israeli settlements. 

Ma'an News

Police: Israel detained three, beat fourth in WB overnight
10/23/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained three men from Qabatiya early Friday, and severely beat another after breaking into two homes, Palestinian police reported. A police record said Israeli forces entered the central West Bank town's market area under gunfire and surrounded the home of Hamza Abu Ar-Rab, along with the home of his brother next door. Those detained were identified as 25-year-old Hassan Hamzah Abdul Rahman Abu Ar-Rub, 21-year-old Jihad Abu Ar-Rab and 22-year-old Ahmed Hassan Abu Ar-Rab. A police catalogue of Israeli incursions into the West Bank said Israeli forces also overran the An-Nakhil building in Jenin's Al-Basatin neighborhood, forcibly entering the home of Abdel Fattah Abdullah Abu Obeid. Forces told Obeid they were searching for his son Bassam, who is allegedly wanted by Israel. Not finding Bassam at home, soldiers beat his father. . . 

Six more months in solitary for PFLP leader
10/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli military court in Beersheva extended the isolation of PFLP Secretary General and PLO member Ahmad Sa'adat on Thursday, as the Palestinian political leader remains in the Negev prison facility. According to a group lobbying for his release, the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat, the leader has already spent six months in isolation. A statement noted the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine official refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli court, as he has done since his incarceration. The campaign said the leader "has already been held in isolation for over six months, in a special solitary confinement unit at Ramon prison where he is confined without access even to the other prisoners in the larger isolation unit, and deprived of basic human rights. His personal books have been confiscated and he is routinely denied access to television, newspapers or any other source of information. 

Soldiers detain party leader, six others at Hebron rally
10/24/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers detained a leader of the Palestinian People's Party and six activists at a demonstration against settlements in northeast Hebron on Friday evening. Onlookers said troops shut down a protest planned by a group of youths, in cooperation with the People's Party, in front of the entrance to Israel's illegal Kiryat Arba settlement. Soldiers fired tear-gas canisters and detained Fahmi Shahin, a member at the People's Party Central Committee, as well as six other unidentified solidarity activists, local residents said. [end] 

Palestine’s ongoing state of disunity
10/23/2009 - On 25 January 2006, Hamas won parliamentary elections that ended Fatah's long reign as the leading political party in Palestine. Hamas took 44. 45 percent of the vote to Fatah's 41. 43 percent, and secured 74 of 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas remained president while Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh became prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Despite the wide belief that the elections were fair and democratic, Israel and much of the international community, including the Quartet, rejected the results and boycotted the unity government formed in 2007. Israel and Egypt blockaded the Gaza Strip, preventing any movement out and letting only a trickle of people and goods inside. Meanwhile, Hamas' surprise win strained inter-Palestinian relations, eventually leading to a national crisis. 

Abbas announces date for next elections
10/24/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - In a presidential decree on Friday, President Mahmoud Abbas set the next Palestinian elections for 24 January 2010. In Ramallah, he said the vote would be held in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Abbas also said legislative and presidential elections would be held simultaneously. The PLO's central council will likely approve Abbas' decree on Saturday. The announcement came days after Hamas failed to sign an Egyptian-backed reconciliation agreement that called for elections on 28 June 2010. Senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan called the move "a blow to efforts made toward conciliation and a response to American orders, in service to the occupation and an outside agenda, and to deepening the Palestinian division. "In an interview with Ma'an, he added, "Mahmoud Abbas lacks legitimacy and has no right to issue a decree for holding elections that should be held within a national agreement. 

Gaza borders open 5 or fewer days per week; closed Friday
10/23/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Though the Kerem Shalom crossing is scheduled to operate Fridays, Israel has announced a last-minute closure since mid-August. Gaza border crossings representative for Palestine Raed Fattouh said he was notified that the Kerem Shalom, Nahal Oz and Karni crossings will remain closed Friday. What now appears to be a policy of reduced crossing openings was preceded Thursday by the announcement that Israeli authorities would gradually shut down the Nahal Oz crossing, used to transport fuel to the Gaza power station and humanitarian organizations. "The decision. . . was Israel's, and it's ultimately up to the occupation, whether or not Palestinians object," said Fattouh. 

Families clash over Hebron crash
10/23/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian police under the caretaker government arrested 12 family members involved in a clan clash in Hebron Thursday night, a report from the public relations office said. Officers were called to the area by local residents to quell a family feud and detained four relatives. They left the area but were quickly called back after hostilities broke out for a second time with a barrage of stone throwing. Eight more individuals were detained. The root of the argument was an unreported car accident in Halhoul, with both sides claiming the other's family member was responsible for damages. [end] 

French national hurt at anti-wall protest
10/23/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - A French citizen and nine others sustained light injuries during an anti-wall demonstration in the central West Bank village of Bil'in on Friday, according to news reports. The unidentified protester was reportedly struck by a tear-gas canister. Demonstrators at the protest, among them Palestinians and internationals, applauded several Israeli high school seniors who recently opted not to participate in Israel's forced military draft program, a refusal that could eventually lead to their arrestsMeanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators also rallied against the construction of Israel's separation barrier in Na'lin, which cuts through some 50 percent of village's farmland. Israel's military fired tear-gas canisters and other riot means at the largely peaceful crowd, according to onlookers. There were also reports of rock-throwing on the part of a handful of Palestinians near the demonstration. 

Riots reported in East Jerusalem neighborhood
10/23/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Riots erupted between Palestinians and dozens of right-wing settlers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Friday night, onlookers said. Several religious settlers reportedly performed "group dances" at the home of the Al-Ghawi family, which was evicted earlier this year before their home was handed over to Israelis. Palestinians gathered drumming pots and pans in an effort to annoy the settlers, Ma'an's correspondent reported from the scene, adding that Israeli police dispersed both crowds without incident. [end] 

Soldiers detain two farmers near wall in Hebron
10/23/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers arrested two farmers near Hebron on Friday, local sources reported. "Soldiers opened fire on two farmers in the Al-Bus area near the wall," a source said, identifying one of the detainees as Hamza Jibril Al-Jeiyawi. The other detainee, said to be from the southern Hebron town of Ithna, was not identified. Both Palestinians were taken to an undisclosed location, the sources added. [end] 

DFLP forces report hitting Israeli troops in Gaza
10/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the National Resistance Brigades, said it hit Israeli troops with an explosive charge late Thursday night near Johr Ad-Dik. A statement from the group said Israeli forces responded by shelling the area. No injuries were reported by the militant group, which declared its actions were an affirmation that they would continue to employ violent resistance to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. An Israeli military spokesperson said there was no military activity in the area Thursday night, that no attacks had been reported in the area, and that no shells had been fired. [end] 

Report: Settlers ramping up West Bank construction
10/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - West Bank settlers are ramping up construction efforts in Palestinian areas, Israeli news sources quoted military officials as saying in a Friday report, confirming warnings by West Bank watchdog groups. "The settlers are very much in tune with the ticking political clock," the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz quoted a senior defense source. "You can sense it on the ground, with the infrastructure work that is being done, but also in more minor things. They are acting without any legal authorization and are ignoring the state"¦the approach at this time is that whoever can, goes ahead and builds. " On 10 October, West Bank watchdog organizations alerted media to an observed increase in settlement construction, including ground preparation, pouring concrete and drilling construction foundations, in Carmel, Kiryat Arba, Betar Ilit, Elazar,. . . 

Hamas: 'Intense' Shalit talks under German mediator
10/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Negotiations for a prisoners swap have been ongoing since the release of a one-minute video of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shait under German mediation, a Hamas official said, calling them "intense," in a Thursday statement. Party official charged with the Shalit file Usama Al-Mazni said a resolution was pending, and noted intensive German mediation efforts over the issue. The announcement followed the release of two Druze prisoners from Israel's Gilboa prison on 15 October, a move that Israel called a "goodwill" gesture, while Al-Mazni called the release a response to a demand from Hamas and Gaza factions working on the swap negotiations. The two men, Issam Al-Louli and Bashar Al-Moqt, were released four years ahead of the end of their their 27-year sentences. Both had participated in anti-occupation operations in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. 

PA seeks to reverse Gaza fuel terminal closure
10/23/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Nathmi Mhanna, the Palestinian Authority's head of borders and crossings, said he and others were working hard to thwart Israel's recently announced plan to shut down Gaza's main fuel terminal. Israel's military said on Thursday is planned to close the Nahal Oz crossing, which is the only border terminal staffed jointly by Israelis and Palestinians as per previously signed agreements with the PA. In an interview, Mhanna said Israel was seeking to shut down the crossing due to unspecified security concerns voiced by individual soldiers. He added that the PA would work to keep all border crossings open and continue the import of goods into the besieged coastal strip, claiming that Israel was beginning to relax bans on certain items at Kerem Shalom. The official also said it recently relayed a request that Karni be open for five days each week, adding that Israel promised to study the issue. 

Abbas updates Obama on peace process
10/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US President Barack Obama on Friday called President Abbas and reiterated his "personal commitment" to creating a Palestinian state, according to the Palestinian Authority's official news agency. The Ramallah-based WAFA reported that Abbas emphasized his commitment to the peace process, emphasizing that it "should lead to the creation of an independent Palestinian state as well the [halt] of all settlement activities. " The president's spokesman, Nabul Abu Rdeina, was also quoted as saying the phone call "was very important to the future of the peace process and the Middle East," according to WAFA. On Thursday, Obama's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, said it was too soon to brand his efforts to resume peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders a failure, according to The Associated Press. 

America’s UN ambassador tours West Bank
10/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - During a three-day trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice visited the West Bank on Thursday, the US Consulate said in a statement. During her visit, she met with caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and PLO General-Secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo. In Ramallah, Rice visited Jalazoun refugee camp, where she spoke with students at the UNRWA Girls School, the Jalazoun health clinic, funded by the US government, and a USAID emergency jobs program in Birzeit. She held a roundtable discussion with Palestinian civil society and business leaders, and a discussion at Exalt Technologies focused on the information technology industry. 

Official: PLO likely to endorse January elections
10/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The PLO's central council will likely approve Mahmoud Abbas' expected presidential decree setting elections for January 2010 on Saturday, according to a politburo member of the Palestinian People's Party. "But the prospect of holding elections should be within the national agreement, in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem," added the official, Walid Al-Awad, in an interview on Friday. In an interview on Saturday, Al-Awad said the council would "discuss the deep crisis in the peace process, and the ongoing stubbornness of the Israeli government and US administration attempts to pressure the Palestinian leadership to reduce its demands. "He said US President Barack Obama wanted the Palestinians to immediately enter into negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, with or without a settlement freeze. 

A reflection, an attempt, ’a country of film’
10/24/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - "My country is a country of films," said director of the Cannes International Film Festival Thierry Frémaux, capturing it all, while addressing Palestinian artists and film directors moments ahead of the final screening of the fourth Al-Kasaba International Film Fest in Ramallah on Thursday. Despite having the two-hour long session cut short to 25 minutes on account of Qalandiya traffic and airport delays, curious directors dove in to a discussion about a recent concern plaguing international film festivals: how do they categorize foreign films into their various countries, particularly when controversy or ambiguity arises? Among those cited was Palestinian director Elia Sulaiman, whose films have been categorized as French and Palestinian, though he holds an Israeli passport, as were Taiwanese films criticized by the government of China, and Austrian directors who produce distinctly French and German films. 

Palestinian worker seriously injured on job in Israel
10/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian worker was seriously injured after falling several stories while working on a building in Nes Tziyona, in central Israel on Friday. Israeli medical sources have not yet released the man's name, but said a Palestinain with a West Bank ID card was taken to hospital, and police had opened a file into the incident. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF threatens to dismiss 'disgraceful' pro-settler troops
23 Oct 2009 - Group of Kfir Brigade soldiers waved anti-disengagement placards during graduation march in Jerusalem. 

Palestinian leaders urge Gaza militants to kidnap more IDF troops
23 Oct 2009 - Hamas says release of two Syrian Druze prisoners from Israeli prison last week was part of Shalit film deal. 

U.S.: IDF defense drill helping craft Europe missile shield
23 Oct 2009 - U.S. and Israel launched joint drill as world powers try to persuade Iran to curb uranium enrichment. 

'Hamas holding intensive negotiations over Shalit'
23 Oct 2009 - Senior Hamas official quoted by Israel Radio as saying negotiators studying remaining issues. 

IDF planes strike Gaza in response to Qassam attack
23 Oct 2009 - No reports of casualties in bombings at arms depot and smuggling tunnels. 

Egypt airline: Hijacker tries to divert Cairo-bound plane to Jerusalem
23 Oct 2009 - Security officials say Sudanese man used knife from in-flight meal to threaten crew members. 

Clinton: Iran must quickly implement uranium deal
23 Oct 2009 - Iran negotiators voice support for deal under which Iran's uranium will be processed abroad. 

International rights group: Hamas must probe attacks on Israeli civilians
23 Oct 2009 - Israel considers pressing war crimes charges against Hamas in international court. 

Eyeing Iran, Israel tests missile defenses with U.S.
23 Oct 2009 - The two-week biennial drill will include a simulation of an Iranian missile attack on Israel. 

Senior Shin Bet official: Hamas completely lost Gaza war
23 Oct 2009 - New report argues group's battle doctrine was proved hollow and failed to cause any real damage to Israel. 

Major U.S.-Israel defense drill to highlight military alliance
23 Oct 2009 - Exercises will test technology that could be used to defend Israel against possible Iranian attack. 

U.S. officer: If Israel strikes Iran, U.S. will likely join
23 Oct 2009 - Former top-ranking U.S. Air Force officer cautions: I don't think Israel can do it alone. 

Top IDF officer warns: Settlers' radical fringe growing
23 Oct 2009 - Over the past two years, the defense establishment has taken a harder line against unruly settlers. 

Israel worried Fatah may resume suicide attacks
23 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
23 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
23 Oct 2009 - The Samouni family says Richard Goldstone has finally lent the Gaza offensive victims a voice. 

Why Israel failed in the Gaza war
23 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?
23 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
23 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
23 Oct 2009 - State-run news agency reports 32 suspected militants detained in raids across eight provinces. 


[] Audio: Interviews with Olmert protesters in San Francisco
October 23, 2009 - Last night, 22 activists were arrested at Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech to the World Affairs Council at the Westin St. Francis Hotel at Union Square in downtown San Francisco. More than 250 individuals were protesting outside the hotel, as dozens of activists launched an organized campaign of disruption inside the auditorium, including attempting to...

[] Karroubi is attacked at Tehran press fair
October 23, 2009 - Mehdi Karroubi, the leader of the Etemad Melli Party and the most vocal critic of the Iranian regime, was attacked at the Tehran Press Fair this afternoon after being loudly cheered by supporters, according to Iranian media reports. The following footage shows the crowd shouting 'Long live Karroubi! May Mousavi stand long!'...

[] PCHR Release English Version of Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 - 18 January 2009)' 
October 23, 2009 - Today, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) releases the English-language version of 'Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 - 18 January 2009)'. This report comprehensively documents the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, in which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, and over 5,300...

[] Polish emergency workers' trade union expresses solidarity with Palestinian emergency workers under occupation
October 23, 2009 - On October 6, 2009, the movement of international workers' solidarity with Palestine took another step forward, as Poland's biggest independent medical rescuers union - The Nationwide Trade Union of Medical Rescue Employees (Krajowy Zwiazek Zawodowy Pracownikow Ratownictwa Medycznego) KZZ PRM - passed a historic motion of solidarity with Palestinian rescuers and emergency workers, and against Israeli...

[] Hamas rejects Abbas' decree over holding Palestinian elections on Jan. 24
October 23, 2009 -- Gaza Strip ruling Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Friday the decree of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who called on the Palestinians to go for general elections on Jan. 24, 2010. In a written statement sent to reporters, Hamas movement considered Abbas' decree "a destructive strike" to all the efforts to achieve an inter-Palestinian reconciliation, adding "the...

[] Islamic-Christian Committee: IOA investing millions to judaize Jerusalem
October 23, 2009 - The Islamic-Christian Committee said on Thursday that huge sums of money were allocated by the Israeli occupation authorities for the judaization of the occupied city of Jerusalem. Dr. Hassan Khater, the secretary-general of the committee, pointed out that the Israeli budget for the fiscal year 2009-2010 included hundreds of millions of dollars that were purposely allocated...

[] Why I disrupted Olmert
October 23, 2009 - If former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had merely been a diplomat or an academic offering a controversial viewpoint, then interrupting his 15 October speech at University of Chicago's Mandel Hall would certainly have been an attempt to stifle debate (Noah Moskowitz, Meredyth Richards and Lee Solomon, "The importance of open dialogue," Chicago Maroon, 19 October...

[] Iran delays reply on nuclear plan
October 23, 2009 - Iran will respond to a proposed deal on its controversial nuclear programme by the middle of next week, it has told the UN's atomic energy agency. Agency chief Mohammed ElBaradei said he hoped the answer would be "positive". The UN watchdog had suggested exporting most of Iran's enriched uranium to Russia and France for further refining....

[] Video: Citzens arrest and mass disruption of former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert in San Francisco
October 23, 2009 - Bay Area residents attempted a citizen's arrest of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while he gave a speech to the World Affairs Council in San Francisco on 22 October 2009. Twenty-two people were arrested for challenging Olmert directly and demanding he be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and...

[] Gaza: A Prison by the Sea (Video)
October 23, 2009 - The U.S.-Israel-Egypt blockade forced on Gazans has turned it into-what AntiWar Radio host Scott Horton calls-"a prison by the sea". This documentary for al Jazeera (AJE), Locked In: Life in Gaza by George Azar and Mariam Shahin, looks into the everyday life of Munzer al-Dayyeh, a 40-year-old mechanic supporting a family of eight children in the...

[] A Palestinian Dismay
October 23, 2009 - A Hamas news conference last week regarding the Egyptian Palestinian conciliation proposal, came the day after that Hamas political and social leader Khaled Mash'al conveyed at a dinner together with supporters in Damascus Syria, where Mash'al live in political asylum since 2001. Hamas media office spokes person Fawsi Barhoum, informed the journalists gathered in Gaza City,...

[] Iran lawyer in 'blood money' plea
October 23, 2009 - An Iranian lawyer has appealed for money to spare the lives of four of his clients, who face execution for murders committed when they were aged under 18. Under Iranian law, a family can pardon a relative's murderer, and compensation - called blood money - is often paid. Mohammad Mostafaie said he needed to raise $200,000 (...

Palestine Telegraph

Israel army attacks peace activists injuring 6
West Bank, October 24, 2009,(Pal Telegraph) - More than 200 demonstrators attended the weekly demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in Ni'lin today.

President Abbas calls for general elections
Egypt, October 24, 2009,(Pal Telegraph) - Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmud Abbas announces presidential and legislative elections will be held on Jan. 24 in both the West Bank and the Gaza strip.

European aid convoy "Miles of Smiles" stalled in Mediterranean awaiting Egyptian permission to dock
Egypt, October 24, 2009,(Pal Telegraph) - The 58 vessel "Miles of Smiles" convoy is stuck outside Egypt's Port Said, unable to move forward.

Israel urges Ban to stop Goldstone report
Palestine, October 24, 2009,(Pal Telegraph)  - The Israeli foreign minister has urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon against sending the Goldstone report on Israel's war crimes in the Gaza Strip to the Security Council or the General Assembly.

Rafah Tunnels Provide Lifeline for Gaza
Gaza, October 21, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Dusty sacks filled with cans of Coca Cola were being loaded onto trucks by young boys, headed for supermarkets in Gaza City. Thousands of motorcycles were lined up on display in a nearby stadium, ranging...

The National

Iran delays decision on nuclear proposal
23 Oct 2009 - A draft plan would require Tehran to send 70 per cent of its enrichment to Russia.

Trapped by war and politics
23 Oct 2009 - Kirkuk, which is referred to as Kurdistan's Jerusalem, sits on about 0.7 per cent of the world's proven oil reserves. But an explosive combination of corruption and the threat of sectarian violence has deterred much needed foreign investment.

Israeli soldiers to be disciplined for pro-settler demonstration
23 Oct 2009 - Several Israeli soldiers from an elite unit will be disciplined for staging a pro-settler demonstration during a military swearing-in ceremony at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall.

Egypt records sharp rise in divorce rate
22 Oct 2009 - Growing numbers of young Egyptian couples are turning to marriage counsellors amid a sharp rise in divorce rates.

Gaza casts dark shadow over annual summit
22 Oct 2009 - The Doha Conference on Interfaith Dialogue was diminished by notable boycotts this year but there were still messages of hope.

Tehran and Tel Aviv in nuclear war of words
22 Oct 2009 - Iran angrily denies Israeli media assertions that senior nuclear officials from the two countries held confidential talks last month.


Abbas sets Palestinian poll date
23 Oct 2009 - Fatah leader's call for elections across Palestinian territories angers Hamas.

Iran misses atomic deal deadline
23 Oct 2009 - Tehran to respond to UN agency proposal next week after US, France and Russia back deal.

Goldstone dares US on Gaza report
22 Oct 2009 - Gaza war crimes report author says US must justify claims his findings are flawed.

Israel 'must be serious on peace'
22 Oct 2009 - US ambassador says Israel must decide whether it will pay 'only lip service' to talks.

Alternative Information Center

High Court Accepts Petition on Segregated West Bank Road 
23 Oct 2009 - On 22 October, Israel’s High Court of Justice accepted a petition submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), against a military order prohibiting Palestinians’ movement on a central thoroughfare. The petition was submitted...

The Settlers Next Door: Notes from Wadi Fukin
22 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian farming village of Wadi Fukin (population 1,200) borders the Green Line 12 km from Bethlehem. The village’s inhabitants practice a 2,000-year-old form of agriculture dependent on a system of terraces and wells that feed...

Palestine News Network

Bil’in demonstration: in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians
23 Oct 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - Some 200 people gathered for Friday’s demonstration in Bil’in Village, among them Israelis who have refused to join the occupying army. In conjunction with a week of actions against Israeli occupation taking place in the UK, a group of British activists made statements of solidarity with a group of anti-war protestors awaiting trial for taking action against the...

President Abbas issues decree for presidential and legislative elections on 24 January
23 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree Friday night calling on the Palestinian people of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip to participate in general elections. For both the Presidency and the Legislative Council, Abbas called for free and fair elections on Sunday, 24 January, 2009.The Hamas government has said it will not accept elections during a period...

Settlers pray at Ghaoui family home, warnings of Sheikh Jarrah becoming Israeli neighborhood
23 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Dozens of Israeli settlers chanted outside the Ghaoui home, holding their Friday evening prayers. The settlers began singing and dancing in front of the home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah while under the gaurd of Israeli soldiers and police.Sheikh Jarrah is under threat as are many East Jerusalem neighborhoods as it is...

Hamas government’s deputy chair: we want free and fair elections away from Quartet conditions
23 Oct 2009 - Gaza / PNN - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the First Deputy Chairman of the elected Legislative Council, said today that free and fair elections are in order, not the conditional democracy of the Quartet. Bahar is among those elected to the PLC in 2006, an election that although free and fair, was not accepted by the United States or the Israelis. Sanctions were imposed...

Protesters burn coffin at Wall: demonstration in honor of Awarta man killed on Thursday
23 Oct 2009 - Na’lin / Salah Khawaja – In western Ramallah’s Na’lin Village the popular resistance held its weekly demonstration today in protest of the Wall and settlements, and the land confiscation and violence that accompanies them. Four demonstrators were injured, including a Norwegian photographer and another person who sustained a face injury.Hundreds of people participated in Friday prayers on the land near the Wall. During...

European aid convoy "Miles of Smiles" stalled in Mediterranean awaiting Egyptian ...
22 Oct 2009 - Egypt / PNN – The 58 vessel “Miles of Smiles” convoy is stuck outside Egypt’s Port Said, unable to move forward. While still in Europe, the medical and education humanitarian aid convoy gained assurances from the Egyptian embassy that it would be allowed to pass through Egyptian territory en route to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Crossing.However, the convoy is stalled in...

Al Ma’sara four year anniversary of popular resistance today in southern Bethlehem
22 Oct 2009 - Al Ma’sara – To mark three years of popular resistance in southern Bethlehem’s Al Ma'sara and Umm Salamuna villages, the Popular Committee against the Wall and settlements in Al Ma'sara village is hosting an anniversary march today. Beginning at 1:00 pm the demonstration will leave from the center of Al Ma’sara Village and move to the site of the Wall built on...

Jerusalem Post

Abbas: Elections for presidency and parliament on January 24
23 Oct 2009 - In official decree, PA head calls on Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and east J'lem to vote; move follows failure of talks with Hamas.

Iran: We're still considering UN offer
23 Oct 2009 - Envoy to UN says Teheran is weighing nuclear deal "in a favorable light"; Western powers accept deal.

'Abbas and Obama speak on the phone'
23 Oct 2009 - According to Ma'an report, US president said he is committed to establishment of Palestinian state.

Lieberman discusses Goldstone with Ban
23 Oct 2009 - FM calls UN secretary general, asks him not to send UNHRC-adopted report to UNSC or to UNGA.

IDF must allow Palestinians to use 'Israelis only' road
23 Oct 2009 - ACRI: Israel discriminates by maintaining separate legal systems for Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

From Kaifeng to kibbutzim
23 Oct 2009 - 7 descendants of China's Jewish community arrive in Israel.

Livni sends support letter to J Street
23 Oct 2009 - Kadima to send three senior members to conference that Israel's ambassador to the US already snubbed.

ADL blasts Madrid for excluding Ariel U. from solar competition
22 Oct 2009 - Spanish Foreign Ministry: Decision based on "position of international community" on Israeli settlements.

'Iran may gain enrichment legitimacy'
22 Oct 2009 - In 1st high-level Israeli statement on draft nuclear deal, defense minister voices dissatisfaction.


EGYPT: Swine flu risk for Cairo’s overcrowded schools 
CAIRO Thursday, October 22, 2009 (IRIN) - The Egyptian ministries of health and education have ordered all schools in Cairo to halve the number of children in each class to mitigate the possible spread of H1N1 influenza - no small challenge in this overcrowded city of 20 million.

ISRAEL: 1,200 children face deportation
TEL AVIV Thursday, October 22, 2009 (IRIN) - Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai has said he will not grant legal status to some 1,200 children of migrant workers, triggering an anti-deportation campaign led by several NGOs.

In Brief: Travel restrictions hit Gaza students
TEL AVIV Thursday, October 22, 2009 (IRIN) - Some 838 students formally offered places and/or enrolled at foreign universities are unable to leave Gaza, according to the Palestinian interior ministry and Gisha, an NGO campaigning for freedom of movement.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: NIE Reveals Qom Facility Followed 2007 Bush Threats 
WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (IPS) - The Barack Obama administration claims that construction of a second Iranian uranium enrichment facility at Qom began before Tehran's decision to withdraw from a previous agreement to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in advance of such construction. But the November 2007 U.S. intelligence...

POLITICS-US: Pro-Israel Group's Money Trail Veers Hard Right 
WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (IPS) - StandWithUs - an "organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told" - has become increasingly aggressive in challenging the "pro-Israel" credentials of moderate Jewish-American groups, going so far as to suggest that receiving money from Arab donors and supporters of Human Rights...

Stop The Wall

29 days after Mohammad’s arrest still no charges have been laid
23 Oct 2009 - n Monday 19 October 2009, a court hearing at Salem military court, in the Northern West Bank, extended Mohammad Othman’s detention period for another 11 days, failing once again to provide any evidence justifying Mohammad’s arrest. Read more about the conditions of detention and interrogation methods used against Mohammad. [
23 Oct 2009 - More than 150 people attended the weekly demo against the Apartheid Wall. Protestors held signs with the names of the five Nil’in prisoners, and others called for the freedom of the 11,000 other Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Youth marched with their hands tied, imitating the means soldiers use when they arrest Palestinians. Soldiers constantly tried to capture protestors, and jeep mounted launchers showered the area with gas. Soldiers also targeted medical teams, firing tear gas directly at them. [

PCHR Latest

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

PCHR Weekly Report

(15- 21 Oct. 2009)

information on boycott, divestment and sanctions

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli Forces kill Palestinian near Awarta
10/23/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - A 29 year old man was killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces yesterday, Thursday 22 October, outside Awarta village in the southern region of Nablus. Mohammad Abed Ar-Rahman Qawariq suffered a violent death when he was thrown from his car as it was rammed by a military jeep. Mohammad, 29 years old, was born and lived in Awarta and worked as a labourer in Israel. He leaves behind a widow and two children, one of 2 years and one of 3 months. At 4pm yesterday he drove to meet his family in their olive groves along a small road (used exclusively for farming purposes and until now has always been accessible to Palestinians) to the east of Awarta and passed two Israeli military jeeps. According to eyewitnesses, the jeeps took off after him, the first immediately attempting to ram his car from behind. The chase continued only about one kilometer further down the dirt track before soldiers fired 

Israel confirms settlers ramping up West Bank construction
10/23/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Haaretz - The defense establishment confirmed that in recent weeks West Bank settlers have been making a noticeable effort to expedite construction, in an attempt to maximize the "facts on the ground" before the United States and Israel reach an agreement on a settlement freeze. A senior security source said this week that the defense establishment's view on the situation was reflected in reports published in Haaretz last Friday, which stated that extensive construction is currently being carried out in at least 11 settlements. "The settlers are very much in tune with the ticking political clock," the senior defense source said. "You can sense it on the ground, with the infrastructure work that is being done, but also in more minor things. They are acting without any legal authorization and are ignoring the state. The approach at this time is that whoever can, goes ahead and builds. . . " 

Dozens suffered tear gas inhalation at Friday demonstration in Bil’in
10/23/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Several demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation from canisters thrown at them by the Israeli occupation soldiers in their attempt to suppress the weekly protest of Bil'in citizens and solidarity groups. The demonstration was called by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and started directly after the Friday prayers. Bil'in citizens were joined by a group of international and Israeli peace activists and together they raised Palestinian flags and banners condemning the occupation, racist policy of building the Wall and settlements, land confiscation, road closures and detention and killing of innocent people. The Shministim (Hebrew for high school seniors), an Israeli group of activists who are refusing military service, participated in the demonstration. One of the Shministim, Emelia (18) from Tel Aviv, said: "I came to support the people of Bil'in in 

UK: Carmel Agrexco blockaders in court
10/23/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - On October 26 – 29, 2009 two women will be put on trial in the United Kingdom for taking part in a blockade of Carmel Agrexco's produce warehouse during the Bloody Valentine Week of Action. They are accused of obstructing police officers and assaulting a police officer during the women only action. This is only the second time that people have been brought to court for actions against Carmel Agrexco in over 5 years of sustained direct action at the London depot. The action was taken in solidarity with the Palestinian people on whose land the flowers, fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested. The action came in the aftermath of the 3-week Israeli invasion of Gaza in which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed. Carmel-Agrexco is the Israeli national exporter of fruit and vegetables and imports large quantities of goods from illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Abbas calls Palestinian elections for January
23 Oct 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Friday for presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 24, in a bid to regain dominance of the badly divided Palestinian movement and sideline his Islamist rivals, Hamas. ...

Netanyahu hopes for Obama meet in November
23 Oct 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Washington next month for a conference of Jewish organizations and hopes to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, an Israeli official said on Friday. ...

Shalom: International community must condemn Iran agreement
23 Oct 2009 - Vice Premier Silvan Shalom told UN chief Ban Ki-moon in a meeting on Friday that the international community must condemn the nuclear draft deal currently in discussion with Iran. ...

State-run TV: Iran rejects nuclear draft deal 
23 Oct 2009 - Senior Iranian officials stated on Friday that they would not respond to the United Nations-drafted plan that would ship most of the country's uranium abroad for enrichment until next week. ...

Solana to Haaretz: New rules of war needed for age of terror 
23 Oct 2009 - For exactly 10 years Javier Solana has represented the "international face" of Europe; 10 years in which he has closely followed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with all its turns and crises; a decade in which, to a great extent he was the answer to the famous question of Henry Kissinger: "Who should I call when I want to talk to Europe?" ...

The Guardian

In praise of Amira Hass
23 Oct 2009 - Only Amira Hass could have received the International Women's Media Foundation lifetime achievement award by saying her life as a journalist had been a failure. By her standards maybe, but then she sets them high. If...

Israel and Palestine by Avi Shlaim | Book review
23 Oct 2009 - Avi Shlaim's essays address the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, says Ian Black Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations by Avi Shlaim 392pp, Verso, 16.99 It is hard to think of another issue on which feelings...

Pro-Israel with a twist: J Street lobby group works to loosen big beasts' grip on Congress
23 Oct 2009 - Boost for J Street as Obama adviser attends conference, but Israeli ambassador will be staying away Members of Congress signed up by the score when they were invited to this weekend's "pro-Israel" conference. But then the...

What BNP leader says and what the facts show
23 Oct 2009 - On fascism "I am not a Nazi and never have been." Griffin was convicted in 1998 of inciting racial hatred for articles that denied the Holocaust and praised the Waffen-SS. On immigration "The indigenous people of...

Iran: Nuclear fission
22 Oct 2009 - If Tehran tries to renegotiate the draft nuclear deal agreed in Vienna on Wednesday , it could all fall apart. But before we list the pitfalls that lie ahead, it is worth contrasting where we are today...

More on the J Street dinner | Michael Tomasky
22 Oct 2009 - I did a video recently about New York senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand pulling out of a big fundraising event for J Street, the Jewish lobbying outfit that's trying to be the liberal answer to...

Israel is in denial over Turkish rage | Simon Tisdall
22 Oct 2009 - Turkey was shocked by Goldstone's report on the Gaza conflict, but Israel is seeking other explanations for deteriorating ties The apparent inability of Israeli leaders to see their actions as others see them that is to...

The rewards of talking to Iran | Abbas Barzegar
22 Oct 2009 - The Iran nuclear talks may be progressing slowly, but they confirm that the best way to deal with Islamists is engagement Despite the diplomatic grandstanding over Iran's nuclear programme, the latest round of the P5+1 talks...

Roy Greenslade: Award for Amira Hass, the brave reporter of Gaza
22 Oct 2009 - Amira Hass has received the International Women's Media Foundation 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for her remarkable bravery in being an Israeli citizen who lives and reports from Gaza. She is a regular columnist with Israel's Ha'aretz...

The liberal Jewish challenge | Antony Lerman
22 Oct 2009 - Can the liberal Jewish lobby group J Street become as effective a political force as the hardline Zionist right? President Obama's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, may be shuttling back and forth, but right now there...

Ha'aretz National page

Israel confirms settlers ramping up West Bank construction
23 Oct 2009 - The defense establishment confirmed that in recent weeks West Bank settlers have been making a noticeable effort to expedite construction, in an attempt to maximize the "facts on the ground" before the United States and Israel reach an agreement on a settlement freeze. ... 

Will arrest of key rightist further inflame settler extremism? 
22 Oct 2009 - Ariel Gruner is a familiar sight to all the judges, lawyers and Shin Bet security service agents who deal with cases involving suspected right-wing extremists: Anytime someone is brought to court for right-wing activity, Gruner is there too - to counsel the detainees on their rights, arrange money for bail, or find host families for those put under house arrest. ... 

Court: Allow Palestinian movement on West Bank road 
22 Oct 2009 - Israel's Supreme Court ruled Thursday against military regulations prohibiting Palestinian motorists from using a West Bank road, but stopped short of banning a widespread security measure that has drawn charges of discrimination. ...

Four suspected of stealing 35 tons of meat from Holon warehouse
22 Oct 2009 - Police arrested Thursday four people on suspicion of stealing more than 35 tons of meat, worth millions of shekels, from a warehouse in Holon. ...

Chinese Jewish descendants start a new life in Israel 
22 Oct 2009 - Seven Chinese people with Jewish roots landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday to start a new life in Israel, becoming the largest such group to ever arrive here. ...

Relief Web

Third Committee hears presentations from six UN Human Rights Experts, as debate on promotion, protection of human rights continues
23 Oct 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Opening doors of opportunity - The Government of Germany and UNDP inaugurate a school for the blind in Beit Jala
23 Oct 2009 - Source: Government of Germany, UN Development Programme

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (A/64/328)
23 Oct 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Letter dated 13 Oct 2009 from the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the UN addressed to the Secretary-General (A/ES-10/465)
23 Oct 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Interview - UN envoy urges Israel to show vision, grasp peace bid
23 Oct 2009 - Source: AlertNet

No way home: The tragedy of the Palestinian diaspora
23 Oct 2009 - Source: Medical Aid for Palestinians

YNet News

Abbas calls January 24 elections
23 Oct 2009 - Palestinian president issues decree for presidential, parliamentary elections in all Palestinian territories, serving lethal blow to Egypt's mediation efforts aimed at brokering Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal. Hamas rejects decree, calling it 'unlawful' 

UN envoy urges Israel to show vision, grasp peace bid 
23 Oct 2009 - UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry says Israel must seize opportunity to resume negotiations on final peace treaty with Palestinians, is 'pessimistic another such opportunity would come anytime soon', adds 'would like to see more commitment' from Israeli side 

Report: Iran says will reply to IAEA proposal next week
23 Oct 2009 - (Video) Iranian state television reports Islamic Republic 'interested in buying fuel for Tehran research reactor' rather than accept a UN-drafted plan to ship much of its uranium to Russia for further enrichment, but state's representative to IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh says to give official response to plan 'next week' 

Minister Shalom to UN chief: Bury Goldstone Report
23 Oct 2009 - Deputy prime minister meets with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, tells Ynet latter vows not to pass Gaza war report on to General Assembly before examining Human Rights Council's decision to adopt it 

Obama tells Abbas committed to PA state
23 Oct 2009 - Palestinian news agency reports US President Barack Obama phoned Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas and stressed his commitment to establishment of Palestinian state. Abbas spokesman calls conversation 'very important' 

MK Whbee to Erdogan: You must be objective
23 Oct 2009 - Former deputy foreign minister representing Israel at Istanbul conference approaches Turkish PM after speech on Israel's conduct in Gaza, tells him, 'Don't forget children of Israel who suffered rocket attacks for eight years' 

Report: 9 injured in anti-fence rallies 
23 Oct 2009 - Palestinians say French citizen hurt by gas grenade in West Bank village of Bilin, six protestors wounded by rubber bullets in Naalin 

IDF recruits protest settlement evacuation 
23 Oct 2009 - Military oath taking ceremony turns into a political demonstration when several soldiers, their family members raise signs reading, 'We won't evacuate Homesh.' Following incident, army reconsidering troops' service in Kfir Brigade. Extreme rightist group says will reward troops with thousands of shekels 

World awaits Iran's decision on uranium proposal
23 Oct 2009 - Russian FM Lavrov says his country has agreed to proposals by UN nuclear watchdog to help reduce Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium. Diplomat says US, France to also say 'yes' to deal 

Daily Star

US presses Israel, Palestinians on peace talks
24 Oct 2009 

Iran delays response to UN-backed nuclear deal
24 Oct 2009 

Israel asks UN chief to nix Gaza war crimes report
24 Oct 2009 

Four Pakistanis slain in Iran Guard attack - report
24 Oct 2009 

EU donates to Lebanon $64m to improve human rights
24 Oct 2009 

Does Iran's rigid stance invite war?
24 Oct 2009 

The comedy that lingers over occupation
24 Oct 2009 

Palestinian Information Center

Abbas threatened with aid being stopped if he signs and agreement with Hamas
24 Oct 2009 - The Jordanian al-Ra'i newspaper revealed on Friday that the US threatened the PA with punitive measures if they signed an agreement with Hamas without recognition of the Quartet's conditions.

The Aqsa Foundation warns that extremist Jews intend to desecrate Aqsa on Sunday
24 Oct 2009 - The Aqsa Foundation for Awkaf and Heritage warned of new attempts by extremist Jews to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque on Sunday to commemorate what they call the "Rambam ascent to the temple mount."

Islamic-Christian Committee: IOA investing millions to judaize Jerusalem
24 Oct 2009 - The Islamic-Christian Committee said on Thursday that huge sums of money were allocated by the Israeli occupation authorities for the judaization of the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Abu Mahfooth: The Aqsa floats on a network of tunnels under it
24 Oct 2009 - Saud Abu Mahfooth, the expert on Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque, has warned Wednesday that the holy Aqsa Mosque is floating on an ever expanding network of tunnels dug by the Israeli occupation

UNRWA official: Israeli refusal to allow stationary into Gaza illogical
24 Oct 2009 - An UNRWA official in Gaza criticised the Israeli occupation for not allowing stationary and textbooks into the Gaza Strip describing this action as illogical and unacceptable.

Jerusalem families appeal for inclusion of their sons in any exchange deal
24 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem families have appealed to Palestinian factions holding Gilaad Shalit to include their loved ones in any prioner-exchange deal with the Israeli occupation.

Mansi calls for pressuring Israel into lifting the siege
24 Oct 2009 - Dr. Yousef al-Mansi, called on the international community, the OIC, the Arab League and human rights organisation to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip

Palestinian refugees in Brazil appeal for help
24 Oct 2009 - Palestinian refugees in Brazil complain about their living conditions and the fact that the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has gone back on many promises to them and pays no attention to their plight.

Israeli troops establish military checkpoints in Jenin and Tubas
24 Oct 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) established at dawn Thursday several military checkpoints in different areas in the occupied Palestinian governorates of Jenin and Tubas.

Abu Marzouk: The reconciliation did not collapse and we wait to go to Cairo
24 Oct 2009 - Dr. Moussa Abu Marzouk stated that the reconciliation did not collapse despite the clamor raised in this regard, noting that his Movement is waiting for an invitation from Egypt to go to Cairo.

Los Angeles Times

Egypt camel trade runs into the sand 
23 Oct 2009 - Squeezed by higher costs and cash-poor butchers, middlemen at an Egyptian market wonder if they'll ever get over this hump. The sun is high and it's a slow day for selling and there's not much for a camel trader to do except scatter hay and greens and listen to the big beasts munch. Sounds like shoes walking through gravel. 

Iran delays response to nuclear enrichment proposal 
24 Oct 2009 - The United States signs off on the negotiated plan to send Iran's uranium abroad to be turned into fuel for medical research, but Tehran misses the deadline to agree to the deal. Iran said Friday that it would respond next week to a proposal to ship the bulk of its enriched uranium abroad to be turned into fuel for a medical research reactor. The delay plunged into doubt a deal aimed at easing the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. 

U.S., Iran move closer to nuclear deal 
22 Oct 2009 - Regional security concerns and diplomacy clear a path to a multinational agreement in which Tehran would transfer its nuclear material abroad to be processed for medical purposes. Deft diplomacy and regional security woes are driving Tehran and Washington toward a deal on Iran's nuclear program, experts say, illustrated by movement Wednesday in talks to transfer most of the Islamic Republic's fissile material abroad to be processed for medical uses. 


VIDEO - Gaza: A Prison by the Sea 
10/23/2009 - Little Alex in Wonderland - Filmmakers: George Azar and Mariam Shahin - The U. S. -Israel-Egypt blockade forced on Gazans has turned it into—what AntiWar Radio host Scott Horton calls—"a prison by the sea". This documentary for al Jazeera (AJE), Locked In: Life in Gaza by George Azar and Mariam Shahin, looks into the everyday life of Munzer al-Dayyeh, a 40-year-old mechanic supporting a family of eight children in the Gaza Strip. "It’s like we are orphaned," he says. -- 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. In June 2007, Israel placed Gaza under siege and imposed an unprecedented blockade on nearly all movement and supplies in and out of the Gaza Strip. Munzer is a traditional man from a conservative society where inter-marriage is common. 

VIDEO - Stephen M. Walt: The Israel Lobby and the Prospects for Middle East Peace 
10/23/2009 - WHYnotnews - Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, October 22 - Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvards John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, and cochair of the editorial board of the journal International Security. His book The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy, co-authored with John J. Mearsheimer, was a New York Times best-seller and has been translated into more than twenty languages. Sponsored by: UVM Departments of Political Science, Geography, History, and Middle East Studies and Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel. NOTE: Audio problems at beginning are very brief. 

VIDEO - A Debate on Ending Israel’s Occupation: BDS 
10/23/2009 - WHYnotnews - St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, Monday, September 14 - In the international peace community, the movement to end the Israeli occupa tion of Palestinian territories through the use of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) has been controversial. Our speakers will debate both the fairness and effectiveness of BDS as a method of resolving the conflict. Arguing in favor of the motion: Omar Barghouti, Palestinian researcher, commentator, and human rights activist. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and a leader of the BDS campaign against Israel. Arguing against the motion: Dr. Steven Scheinberg, professor emeritus of History at Concordia College in Montreal and co-chair of Canadian Friends of Peace Now, a Zionist organization that works for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and monitors illegal settlement activity in the West Bank. 

PCHR Release English Version of ‘Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009)
10/22/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - Today, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) releases the English-language version of ‘Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009)’. This report comprehensively documents the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, in which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, and over 5,300 injured. The overwhelming majority of those killed and injured were civilians. Attention is also paid to the extensive destruction of civilian object, including homes, and the damage inflicted on industry, agriculture, and the infrastructure of the Gaza Strip. -- Links: The report is available for download here. 

High Court Accepts Petition on Segregated West Bank Road 
10/24/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) - Negohot, one of the two settlements for which the Israeli only road was built. On 22 October, Israel’s High Court of Justice accepted a petition submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), against a military order prohibiting Palestinians’ movement on a central thoroughfare. The petition was submitted on behalf of the residents of 22 villages in the Hebron Hills in the southwestern region of the West Bank. In its first ruling on segregated roads, the Court stated that impeding the freedom of movement of tens of thousands of Palestinians for the benefit of fewer than 200 Israeli residents of illegal outposts is not proportional, given the massive violation of human rights it constitutes for local Palestinians. Though ACRI welcomes the ruling as it will potentially improve the lives of tens of thousands of local Palestinians, 

Israel asks UN chief to nix Gaza war crimes report 
10/23/2009 - Uruknet - JERUSALEM — Israel's foreign minister has urged UN chief Ban-Ki-moon not to send the Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes to the Security Council or the General Assembly, his office said on Friday. During a telephone conversation on Thursday night, Avigdor Lieberman also harshly criticised Cuba, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, which are among the 25 countries that voted in favour of a resolution endorsing the Goldstone report. " Lieberman told Secretary General Ban ki-Moon that he hopes he will not move the Human Rights Council decision on the Goldstone report to the Security Council or the General Assembly," the minister's office said in a statement. " Lieberman told Ban that a distorted international reality has developped where in every international forum there is an automatic majority of states far removed from concerns for human rights, such as Cuba, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, that 

Polish emergency workers’ trade union expresses solidarity with Palestinian emergency workers under occupation 
10/23/2009 - Uruknet - Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - PFLP - On October 6, 2009, the movement of international workers' solidarity with Palestine took another step forward, as Poland’s biggest independent medical rescuers union – The Nationwide Trade Union of Medical Rescue Employees (Krajowy Zwiazek Zawodowy Pracownikow Ratownictwa Medycznego) KZZ PRM - passed a historic motion of solidarity with Palestinian rescuers and emergency workers, and against Israeli occupation. The statement, agreed upon at the Union’s national conference on October 6th in Piotrkow Trybunalski, southern Poland, condemned the Israeli occupation and its violation of international law and announced plans to form twinning relationships with Palestinian ambulance stations in Gaza and the West Bank. The KZZ PRM’s statement said: "Nowhere else in the world is Occupation and the contempt for international and humanitarian 

Hamas rejects Abbas’ decree over holding Palestinian elections on Jan. 24 
10/23/2009 - Uruknet - GAZA, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Gaza Strip ruling Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Friday the decree of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who called on the Palestinians to go for general elections on Jan. 24, 2010. In a written statement sent to reporters, Hamas movement considered Abbas' decree "a destructive strike" to all the efforts to achieve an inter-Palestinian reconciliation, adding "the decree is a rejected step. " Meanwhile, Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Radwan told Xinhua in an interview that holding the Palestinian elections without a national agreement of accordance "is a response to the American instructions. " "This step is actually serving the American demands. . . as well as the Zionist enemy," said Radwan, adding "There is no doubt that this declaration has undermined all the efforts made by Egypt to end the split; it simply deepens feuds and disputes. " 

Joint Letter to H.E. Ambassador Riyadh Mansour on Action in UN General Assembly regarding Goldstone Report
10/22/2009 - Al-Haq - Addameer * Al-Dameer * Al-Haq * Al-Mezan * Badil * Defence for Children * ENSAN Center * JLAC * Ramallah Center for Human Rights * NordSud XXI * Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling - H. E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations - Your Excellency, Re: The Goldstone Report – Time for Action -- We, the undersigned representatives of Palestinian civil society organisations and international supporters of Palestinian human rights, are deeply concerned that the recommendations contained in the Goldstone Report may not be fully and effectively implemented in a timely manner before the UN General Assembly. We are therefore writing to inquire how civil society might best support your efforts in the coming days to ensure adequate attention is paid to the Report and its recommendations by the UN bodies in New York or by those to whom the New York bodies may refer the report. 

UN Human Rights Council Endorses Goldstone Report: Adalah Statement Stresses Lack of Accountability for Palestinian Victims in Gaza
10/22/2009 - Adalah - On 16 October 2009, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution endorsing the report and recommendations published by the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the “Goldstone Report”). The Human Rights Council also decided that the report will be discussed in the UN General Assembly. The vote passed as follows: 25 member states of the Council voted in support of the report, 6 voted against and 11 abstained. The special session of the UN HRC was requested by the Palestinian Authority and 18 member states of the UN HRC. Adalah Attorney Fatmeh El-‘Ajou represented Adalah at the special session; she gave an oral statement before the UN HRC. In the statement Attorney El-'Ajou spoke of the lack of Israeli domestic remedies for Palestinian victims from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) injured or killed by Israeli military forces and the need for a strong and united international community stand to end impunity. 

VIDEO: Citizens arrest, disruption of Olmert in San Francisco 
10/23/2009 - Electronic Intifada - Northern California Palestine justice groups - Twenty-two activists were arrested at Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech to the World Affairs Council on 22 October between 6:30 and 7:30pm at the Westin St. Francis Hotel at Union Square in San Francisco. Inside the auditorium, activists began disrupting the event by placing Olmert under citizens arrest. Every couple of minutes, more activists disrupted his speech, barely allowing him to speak, by reading the names of the children killed in Gaza last winter, reading from the recently published Goldstone report and displaying banners that read "Lift the Siege on Gaza" and "War Crimes are Not Free Expression!" Activists were removed from the auditorium chanting "war criminal!" and taken to the Tenderloin Police Station where they are being held for citation. Ten additional persons participated in the action but were not arrested. 

Israel is in denial over Turkish rage 
10/22/2009 - The Guardian - The apparent inability of Israeli leaders to see their actions as others see them – that is to say, to put themselves in other people's shoes – may partly explain the depth of the outrage with which they greeted the Goldstone report on last January's Gaza conflict. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu seems to have been genuinely taken aback by the UN inquiry's hard-hitting conclusions, in particular its recommendations about the investigation of individual Israeli responsibility for possible war crimes. What Netanyahu, former prime minister Ehud Olmert, opposition leader Tzipi Livni, defence minister Ehud Barak and rightwingers such as foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman viewed as a fully justified act of self-defence in the face of relentless Palestinian rocket attacks was seen by much of the world, despite Israel's ban on media access, as an appalling, disproportionate assault on a defenceless civilian population. 


Israeli intelligence pose as Arabs to spy on citizens 
Jonathan Cook, Electronic Intifada 10/21/2009
      Civil rights groups in Israel have expressed outrage at the announcement last week that a special undercover unit of the police has been infiltrating and collecting intelligence on Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority by disguising its officers as Arabs.
     It is the first public admission that the Israeli police are using methods against the country’s 1.3 million Arab citizens that were adopted long ago in the occupied territories, where soldiers are regularly sent on missions disguised as Palestinians.
     According to David Cohen, the national police commissioner, the unit was established two years ago after an assessment that there was "no intelligence infrastructure to deal with the Arab community." He said that, in addition, undercover agents had been operating in East Jerusalem for several years to track potential terrorists.
     Israel’s Arab leaders denounced the move as confirmation that the Arab minority was still regarded by the police as "an enemy" -- a criticism made by a state commission of inquiry after police shot dead 13 unarmed Arab demonstrators inside Israel and wounded hundreds more at the start of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000.
     In a letter of protest to Israeli officials this week, Adalah, a legal rights group, warned that the unit’s creation violated the constitutional rights of the Arab minority and risked introducing "racial profiling" into Israeli policing. more.. e-mail

Palestinians Behind Bars with No Recourse to Justice 
Christoph Schult, Spiegel 10/23/2009
      Administrative Detention in Israel
     Hundreds of Palestinians are kept behind bars in Israel without charges having been filed and with no access to a fair trial. Not even their lawyers are allowed to look at the evidence. Some governments in the West have expressed their concern, but the Israelis haven’t budged.
     The cell is only a few square meters in size and there are no windows. A mattress lies on the floor; a hole in the floor for prisoners’ needs, cynically called a "Turkish toilet" is next to it.
     Mohammed Othman has been held in Kishon Detention Center in northern Israel for almost a month. But neither he nor his lawyer knows exactly what he is being accused of. Othman is locked up as an administrative detainee -- called Maazar Minhali in Hebrew -- and is one of around 335 Palestinians currently in the same position.
     According to a report from the human rights organization B’Tselem, more than a third of such administrative detainees remain behind bars for longer than six months, a further third longer than a year. Eight percent stay locked up for at least two years. The Israeli army has confirmed the numbers, but emphasizes that they have been dropping in recent years.
     Allegedly Incriminating Evidence
     Nevertheless, the practice is problematic for a democracy such as Israel’s. Military judges decide if the detention will be prolonged -- and for the most part they merely rubberstamp the motions filed by the military attorneys, who, for their part, received information from Shabak, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency. The allegedly incriminating evidence is not shared with the detainees or with their legal representation. more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Audio: Interviews with Olmert protesters in San Francisco
Electronic Intifada: 23 Oct 2009 - Last night, 22 activists were arrested at Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech to the World Affairs Council at the Westin St. Francis Hotel at Union Square in downtown San Francisco. More than 250 individuals were protesting outside the hotel and Nora Barrows-Friedman, senior producer of Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio, was on the scene, interviewing those who had gathered to voice their outrage at Olmert's presence. 

Why I disrupted Olmert
Electronic Intifada: 23 Oct 2009 - If former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had merely been a diplomat or an academic offering a controversial viewpoint, then interrupting his 15 October speech at University of Chicago's Mandel Hall would certainly have been an attempt to stifle debate. But confronting a political leader suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity cannot be viewed the same way. Ali Abunimah comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

VIDEO: Citizens arrest, disruption of Olmert in San Francisco
Electronic Intifada: 23 Oct 2009 - Twenty-two activists were arrested at Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech to the World Affairs Council on 22 October between 6:30 and 7:30pm at the Westin St. Francis Hotel at Union Square in San Francisco. Inside the auditorium, activists began disrupting the event by placing Olmert under citizens arrest. 

Israeli Jews take on settlers
Electronic Intifada: 23 Oct 2009 - AWARTA, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Away from the media spotlight that focuses on the widening chasm between Israelis and Palestinians, a group of Israeli humanists is quietly working to break down barriers with their Palestinian neighbors. Rabbi Arik Ascherman, director of Israel's Rabbis for Human Rights, has been used as a human shield, arrested, and beaten up several times by Israeli security forces while defending Palestinians. 

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
Deal or No Deal in Palestine
23 Oct 2009 - By James Gundun Washington D.C. The Middle East has a new game to play. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, plagued by internal and external pressure, issued a peace call for the ages during his opening address at Israel’s Presidential Conference, titled ‘Facing Tomorrow.’ Netanyahu voiced a sound suggestion to rekindle the peace process. ‘I ask of you," he appealed, channeling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, "something I have not even asked of myself. We must discuss peace as soon as possible, and I am ready to do so. But these cannot be closed talks. We must say these things to the world, to our people and to the Palestinian people.’ Months of back-channel talks rushing into the open would breathe fresh air into a stale conflict. Back-room deals have their place and time, but conflict between Israel and Palestine is a unique situation that would benefit from increased public discourse. The obvious downside is an invitation to criticism, a risk multiplied by false positions. Motive becomes an immediate question with Netanyahu rushing so suddenly towards peace. Is he sincere or responding to international opposition created by the Goldstone report? His cause is instrumental in determining whether he’s ready to negotiate and compromise, if Palestinians will accept him, and if he can strike a deal. Netanyahu applied a softer touch in contrast to his confrontational, sometimes braggadocios language, affirming his commitment to negotiations along with support for Palestinians, who could stand to hear more grace from him. Going for the cheese, he...

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