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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
1 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

UN Report: Israel trades in 'blood diamonds'
IMEMC 1 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 01, 2009 - 09:18, According to a new report presented to the United Nations Security Council, Israeli diamond traders buy and sell diamonds from the war-torn Ivory Coast of western Africa, getting diamonds at a cheaper price because they are obtained through brutal force.

Abbas-Clinton Meeting Ends With No Progress
IMEMC 1 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 01, 2009 - 00:42, The Abu Dhabi Saturday meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, ended without any progress. Abbas told Clinton that the Palestinians cannot resume the peace process with Israel while it is ongoing with its settlement activities.

Israeli Tourist Killed, 34 Wounded In Traffic Accident In Jordan
IMEMC 1 Nov 2009 - Saturday October 31, 2009 - 08:46, Jordanian security sources reported that an Israeli tourist was killed on Friday afternoon and 34 Israeli pensioners were wounded when their bus flipped over south of Amman while they were heading to Petra.

Barak To Accompany Netanyahu To The U.S.
IMEMC 1 Nov 2009 - Saturday October 31, 2009 - 06:26, Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, will be accompanying Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his next week visit to the United States to hold talk with President Barack Obama and other senior U.S. officials.

Clinton To Meet Abbas In Abu Dhabi
IMEMC 1 Nov 2009 - Saturday October 31, 2009 - 06:13, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is expected to hold a meeting with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in Abu Dhabi next Saturday.

Four Palestinians Wounded By Settler Fire In East Jerusalem
IMEMC 1 Nov 2009 - Saturday October 31, 2009 - 01:17, Palestinian medical sources reported that four Palestinians were wounded on Friday morning after a number of fundamental settlers opened fire at them.

Ma'an News

Top Palestinian MK to be indicted over Bil’in protest
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's attorney general decided on Sunday to indict Mohammed Barakeh, a senior member of the Palestinian delegation in the Knesset, for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a demonstration against the West Bank separation wall. Barakeh, the chairman of the Israeli Arab party Hadash is accused of striking an Israeli Prison Service officer during a protest in the village of Bil'in in 2005, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said. The officer was taking a detained demonstrator to a police car at the time of the alleged assault, the newspaper said. Israeli peace movement leader Uri Avnery described the incident in a May 2005 article, saying that soldiers fired tear gas before beating demonstrators. "MK Barakeh had a heated exchange with an officer, and while they were arguing passionately a soldier fired a gas grenade at point blank range between Barakeh's legs. . . . " 

Abbas: US not advancing peace
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - President Mahmoud Abbas leveled a rare direct criticism of the US on Sunday, a day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Israel for supposedly curbing settlement expansion. "The United States did not offer anything new that would move the peace process forward between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Abbas said in an interview with Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television. Abbas is currently in Abu Dhabi where he met with Clinton before she flew to Israel. "This US position is illogical. A six-month settlement freeze does not mean halting settlements completely, which is a condition for the resumption peace process," Abbas added. Despite this criticism, the president insisted that "there is no disagreement between the Palestinian Authority and US on resuming the peace process. "Despite this criticism, the president insisted that "there is no disagreement between the Palestinian Authority and US on resuming the peace process. . . . 

Two killed in Gaza tunnels
11/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Two Palestinian workers were killed in smuggling tunnels underneath the Gaza-Egypt border in the city of Rafah on Sunday, medics said, marking an uptick in fatalities. Medics at Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah said Ghasan Barakeh, 25, was electrocuted in a tunnel. Earlier, officials said an unidentified man arrived at the same hospital after suffocating to death when a tunnel collapsed on him in the As-Salam neighborhood of Rafah. Sixteen people were injured by collapsing tunnels in the past week. Egyptian security forces also discovered and shut down five such tunnels. The tunnel trade is the only reliable means of importing many goods made scarce in Gaza by an Israeli-led blockade that began in 2007. Hundred of such tunnels are now known to exist. 

Israel: Shots fired at farm vehicle in Gaza
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli military said it fired on a Palestinian man riding a tractor near the Erez border crossing in northern Gaza on Sunday. Sources in Gaza, however, were unaware of any incident in the area. An Israeli military spokesperson said that soldiers identified a "suspicious vehicle approaching the border fence" and firing warning shots. When the driver did not respond, the forces fired directly at the vehicle, the spokesperson added. The military was unaware of any injuries. The spokesperson also said the vehicle appeared to be a farm tractor. On Saturday Israeli forces shot and detained a Palestinian man near the border in the town of Beit Lahiya. It was the third such shooting in recent weeks. The Israeli army maintains an "exclusion zone" of up to several hundred meters wide inside Palestinian territory along the border. 

Guards: Armed man caught at Al-Aqsa
11/1/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - An Israeli man was caught by Palestinian security guards at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound early Sunday morning, onlookers and security officials told Ma'an. Worshipers said the man attempted to reach the Al-Mathara building using a ladder from Az-Zurba alley, which is adjacent to Al-Qattanin Gate in East Jerusalem's Old City. Onlookers said a machine gun was strapped to the man's back. While several people reported a struggle as the man attempted to flee, there were no reports that he tried to open fire. The man was handed over to Israeli police around 2am, as guards believed he "intended to commit a massacre against worshippers at dawn prayer," one of them insisted. Later, Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld confirmed that a "28-year-old disturbed man" was "picked up" when he was found wandering around the area, but denied that the man was armed. 

Israel releases Hamas lawmaker from Hebron
11/1/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israel released Hatem Qafisha, a Hamas-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) on Sunday, according to sources close to the official. Forty-six-year-old Qafaish was seized by Israeli soldiers from his home in the city of Hebron at one in the morning on 6 November 2007, and has been held in administrative detention since then. He spent the past year in Israel's Ketziot prison camp in the Negev desert. On Monday, Israel is expected to release five other lawmakers affiliated to Hamas: Muhammad Badr, Khalil Raba'i, and Samir Al-Qadi from Hebron; Mahmoud Al-Khatib from Bethlehem, and Wael Al-Husseini from Jerusalem. According to the Ad-Dameer Prisoners' Support and Human Rights organization, Qafisha had been detained by Israel five times previous to his latest detention. 

UNRWA director launches new education plan
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - In line with the West Bank's Education Recovery Plan, implemented in June, several donors and key partners participated in an official launch entitled "Toward a Brighter Future" on Saturday in Jerusalem. "Indeed the well documented declining education standards across the occupied Palestinian territory in PA, UNRWA and private schools is cause for serious concern and concerted action," the refugee agency said. The launch took place on Saturday in Shu'fat refugee camp, where UNRWA provides basic education to some 2,600 pupils. The UN agency said its plan aims to better "educate, protect and enrich the lives of the more than 55,000 Palestine refugee children attending UNRWA schools in the West Bank. " Attending were Barbara Shenstone, director of UNRWA operations in the West Bank, and the Consul General of France. 

Israeli forces seize Palestinian in Nablus
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized a Palestinian near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday, an army spokesperson said. The "wanted" detainee was picked up in the village of Tubas, northeast of Nablus, and was transferred for questioning, the army said. [end] 

Israel seals two of three Gaza crossings
11/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow food into the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday, a local Palestinian official said. 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 90-100 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, Egypt opened its sole Gaza border crossing at Rafah and announced it would operate three extra days. Rafah opened in mid-September for three days, but has generally been closed since 2007 when Egypt began cooperating with an Israeli-led blockade on the coastal strip. 

Settler arrested for string of killings, bombings
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli police arrested a West Bank settler last month for a string of killings and murder plots, including the slaying of two Palestinians, according to reports on Sunday after a gag order was lifted. An immigrant from the US, Yaakov Teitel, 37, was arrested in Jerusalem on 7 October. According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Teitel confessed to authorities to shooting to death a Palestinian shepherd south of Hebron in 1997 and killing an East Jerusalem taxi driver the same year. Teitel is also suspected to have carried out a series of bomb attacks, including one that seriously wounded a teenager from a Messianic Jewish family in the settlement of Ariel, and another that lightly wounded liberal Hebrew University historian Zeev Sternhell. He also was also allegedly responsible for a blast that damaged a police car at the time of a Gay Pride Parade. 

Clinton lauds ’unprecedented’ settlement restraint
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday evening departed from her administration's insistence that Israel halt settlement growth, instead applauding its "restraint on the policy of settlements. "Palestinians have refused to enter into negotiations with Israel until it fulfills prior obligations to stop expanding its borders into occupied territory, a stance President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated in Abu Dhabi hours earlier. Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Clinton said, "What the prime minister has offered in specifics of restraint on the policy of settlements. . . is unprecedented in the context of prior-to negotiations. ""There are always demands made in any negotiation that are not going to be fully realized," she explained. "Negotiation by its very definition is a process of trying to meet the other's needs while. . . 

Egypt opens Rafah for three extra days
11/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Egyptian authorities opened the Gaza border crossing at Rafah on Sunday and announced it would operate three extra days. A passenger bus crossed into Egypt before noon as eight others were still waiting for approval, crossing sources said. Some 700 passengers were expected to cross into Egypt by Monday. Intensive care unit ambulances will transfer 15 seriously ill or injured patients while two buses move others to Egyptian hospitals, according to Muawiyah Hassanein, the Gaza Health Ministry's director of ambulance and emergency services. A Palestinian-Egyptian agreement stipulated that passengers will cross on Sunday and Tuesday, while foreigners and Egyptians have Monday to cross either way, crossings sources told Ma'an. Rafah opened in mid-September for three days, but has generally been closed since 2007 when Egypt began cooperating with an Israeli-led blockade on the coastal strip. 

Egypt to ship 10,000 cattle to Gaza ahead of holiday
11/1/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egypt has agreed to allow 10,000 head of cattle into the besieged Gaza Strip ahead of the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday in late November, according to a humanitarian official. MustafaAt-Tayeh, of the Union of Arab Physicians said that an initial shipment of 3,000 cows will arrive in Gaza in the coming days. At-Tayeh said that negotiations were held in recent days with Egyptian authorities to ensure that the shipment would reach Palestinians in Gaza as a humanitarian gesture. Israel announced last week that it will allow 7,000 head of cattle into Gaza for Eid Al-Adha, which commemorates Abraham's sacrifice of his son Ishmael in a display of obedience to God. The sacrifice of domesticated animals is customary during the holiday. At-Tayeh also said that Egypt allowed ten tons of medical supplies, including medication, ex-ray equipment, and ambulances, to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing point. 

PA: Limited hours at Allenby Bridge on Monday
11/1/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority station at the Allenby Bridge will operate for limited hours on Monday, police announced on Sunday. The crossing will be open for Palestinian travelers from 7am to 2:30pm due to an Israeli military exercise, a police statement said. This will affect travelers in both directions. [end] 

Fatah co-founder Habash dead at 70
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Sakher Habash, a co-founder of the Fatah movement and former member of its Central Committee, died in Ramallah on Sunday. He was 70. Born in 1939 in Bait Dajan, near Jaffa, Habash became a refugee during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, ending up first in Ramallah, then Balata refugee camp near Nablus. He studied geology and water resources at Cairo's Ain Shams University beginning in 1958. Habash became active in the Palestinian national movement during the early 1960s, and co-founded Fatah in 1962, becoming responsible for recruitment. He was appointed regional commander in Lebanon in October 1972. He was selected as a member of Fatah's Central Committee in 1989. A prolific writer and poet, Habash served as the movement's general deputy of intellectual affairs. 

No sign of meat price adjustment ahead of cow transfer into Gaza
11/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The impending arrival of 7,000 cows ahead of the Eid Al-Adha fest has yet to impact the high prices residents of Gaza face when shopping for meat for their families. Meat is a staple of the Palestinian diet, where a lunch meal is generally incomplete without chicken, fish or red meat, with the latter the most valued. Of late, fresh meat of any kind is a rare commodity, and families who can afford meat at all make due with frozen chicken and fish. Abu Al-Abed, an employee of the Palestinian Authority, said, "I bought chicken today because somehow I got a reasonable price, 11 shekels per kilo (three US dollars). "There was no such good deal on red meat, however, at 50 shekels per kilo (13 US dollars), "it's unreasonable" Abu Al-Abed complained. He explained that it took at least four and a half kilos of meat to feed his family of nine for a meal. 

November’s regulated fuel prices released
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Finance on Saturday released regulated fuel prices for November. One liter of diesel = 5. 35 NIS One liter of kerosene = 5. 35 NIS One liter of cooking gas = 2. 41 NIS One liter of benzene 95 octane = 6. 14 NIS One liter of benzene 96 octane = 6. 14 NIS One liter of benzene 98 octane = 6. 61 NIS 12-kilogram bottle of cooking gas = 54 NIS for consumers, 50 NIS for dealers 48-kilogram bottle of cooking gas = 216 NIS for consumers, 200 NIS for dealers [end] 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.35%
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus opened the week with a drop in value on Sunday, as the Al-Quds Index fell 1. 77 (0. 35%) to close at 498. 41. Trading volume was 337,082 shares for a total value of 531,799. 26 US dollars, executed through 266 trades. The shares of 19 companies were traded. The share prices of five companies rose, while those of 10 declined. The five gainers were ARE by 3. 77%, GCOM by 3. 20%, PIIC by 3. 03%, UCI by 1. 69%, and ISBK by 1. 35%. The top five loserswere AIG by 4. 82%, TRUST by 4. 67%, JPH by 4. 27%, NIC by 3. 00%, NSC by 1. 89%. [end] 

Cell provider Wataniya Palestine launches in West Bank
11/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The West Bank's second mobile phone provider, Wataniya Palestine launched service on Sunday although Israel has refused to released the range of frequencies agreed for the network, Reuters reported. Mohammad Mustafa, head of the Wataniya Palestine's board, said the firm had begun functioning with a frequency range of 3. 8 MHz, less than the 4. 8 MHz Israel had agreed to open under an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed last year. "They will give us the additional 1 MHz as soon as possible," Mustafa told Reuters, adding that Quartet envoy Tony Blair had promised the firm it would acquire the remaining frequency. As the occupying power, Israel controls the airwaves of the West Bank, and has so far refused to honor an agreement to allow Wataniya to operate. The launch of Wataniya has been a main project of caretaker Prime Minister Salam. . . 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Settler admits to murder, series of bomb attacks
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Yaakov Teitel suspected of killing 2 Palestinians, attemping to kill Messianic Jew, leftist professor. 

Settler leaders: Jewish terrorist does not represent us
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Suspected Jewish terrorist Teitel's neighbors shocked by arrest, declare he is innocent until proven guilty. 

Rightists confront 'IDF organ trafficking' reporter at Israel airport
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Upon Swedish journalist's arrival in Israel, rightists at Ben Gurion airport call for his expulsion. 

Former IDF chiefs trade barbs over failures in Second Lebanon War
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Dan Halutz blasts Ya'alon's 'obsession' with matter after deputy PM accuses him of arrogance. 

Israeli Arabs accuse Israel of 'ethnic cleansing' in Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Umbrella group calls on Palestinians and Arabs to 'defend' Al-Aqsa mosque and East Jerusalem. 

Report: Lebanon nabs top militant over rocket attack against Israel
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Lebanese daily reports arrest; Lebanon FM: Israel's cease-fire violations hint it's planning to attack us. 

The IDF has become Israel's diplomatic channel to the West
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - In recent months, the similarity of the threat facing Israel and its Western counterparts has grown. 

Lebanon warns UN: Israel planning to attack us
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - UN envoy condemns IDF artillery attack and cites repeated Israeli threats, says Lebanese paper 

U.S. official: Syria must rethink support of Hezbollah, Hamas if it wants better ties
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Assistant Secretary of State: Dialogue with Syria will not be at the expense of Lebanon's sovereignty. 

Barak: Soldiers' political protest harms IDF, Israel
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Defense Minister warns of perils of IDF soldiers protesting settler evacuations within confines of the army. 

Trial of suspected Hezbollah cell resumes in Egypt
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - 26 men are accused of planning attacks against tourists and the Suez Canal and possessing explosives. 

Lebanon army dismantles 4 rockets aimed at Israel
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Rockets ready for launching were discovered Wednesday; Katyusha struck northern Israel on Tuesday. 

Aluf Benn / Who decided to go to war in Gaza and why?
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Did the cabinet consider that hundreds of Palestinian civilians would be killed during Operation Cast Lead? 

VIDEO / Settlers clash with Palestinian 'security threat' olive growers
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Settlers reportedly uproot dozens of Palestinian olive trees; IDF lets settlers protest inside Palestinian village. 

IDF Chief: Israeli inquiry into Gaza war proper response to Goldstone
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Gabi Ashkenazi said Israel can't let anyone control its future, in his first visit to Germany as Chief of Staff. 

Peres: Unlike Hamas, Israel protects its children
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - President tells schoolchildren that Israel doing everything possible to bring Gilad Shalit back home. 

Israel to set up team to review Gaza war probe
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Netanyahu stresses that team will recommend course of action, IDF troops won't be investigated. 

Hamas: War will settle Jerusalem dispute, not talks
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Jordan to Israel: Temple Mount violence derails peace efforts; Arab MK: Israel letting extremists desecrate Al-Aqsa. 

IDF troops who waved pro-settler banner expelled from brigade
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Offending troops also given 20 days in military prison after holding banner at IDF swearing-in ceremony. 

Israel Police battle Arab rioters on Temple Mount; PA official arrested
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Abbas aide among 15 arrested by Jerusalem police in fresh unrest; three cops wounded. 


[] Video - October 2009: Settlers harass Palestinians and steal crops during olive harvest in the West Bank
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - The video shows three events that took place during this year's olive harvest in the West Bank . In the first incident, documented on 15 October by a volunteer in B'Tselem's camera distribution project, settlers are seen stealing olives from a grove belonging to a resident of al-Mughair village in Ramallah District, near which the Adey Ad...

Uruknet November 1, 2009 - The plot begins first in London England and will continue throughout the world, in each country, if it is successful in England: "If the Jewish people have one reservoir that will never run out, it's lawyers. Every Western capital boasts at least five successful Jewish law firms, and most of them will be glad to represent...

[] Clinton sides with Israel on settlement expansions
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken a new and surprising tack by abandoning America's demands for Israel to freeze construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Palestinian leaders have repeatedly said the peace process cannot resume until all construction stops - even the natural expansion of existing settlements. But during a visit to...

[] Tortured Memories and the Culture of War
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - ...The United States under the Bush administration embarked on a war on terror that not only defended torture as a matter of official policy, but furthered conditions for the emergence of a culture of cruelty that profoundly altered the political and moral landscape of the country. As torture became normalized under the Bush administration, it not...

[] Video: South Africans 'fought in Gaza war' 
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - Efforts to prosecute those who may have committed war crimes in Israel's war on Gaza have spread beyond the Middle East. A lawyer in South Africa has identified 75 South African nationals who he says were fighting with the Israeli army in the war earlier this year. Feroze Boda, based in Johannesburg and working on behalf...

[] House to Vote on Resolution to Reject Goldstone Report Findings and Recommendations
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on a resolution calling on President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the 'Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' in multilateral fora." Headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge...

[] South Africa's legal war over Gaza
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - The Goldstone report on last winter's Gaza war has become something of a fixture in the media since its publication in September. But for South Africans, it is another investigation carried out by the distinguished judge Richard Goldstone - a commission that exposed the brutality of Apartheid security forces in the early 1990s - that looms...

[] Dear Jon and Message to The Media
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - On 10/28/09, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did what the mainstream media has failed to report about-the rapidly growing global nonviolent solidarity movement of resisters to the occupation of Palestine, by hosting a Palestinian politician and American Jewish scholar and activist author. The News Media should be interviewing Dr. Mustafa Barghouti & Anna Baltzer, Jon's...

[] Lebanese Communist Party marks 82nd anniversary of its founding
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - The Lebanese Communist Party celebrated the 82nd anniversary of its founding with a popular festival in the city of Baalbek on October 29, 2009. Comrade Samir Lubani (Abu Jaber), a member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, joined the celebration along with a large PFLP delegation. Dr. Khaled Hadadeh,...

[] Netanyahu savours victory after US drops demand
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - Israel's premier savoured a victory on Sunday after Washington hailed his "unprecedented" position on settlements and backed his call for peace talks to resume without the construction freeze sought by the Palestinians. "There is no question that the United States are our staunchest friends and that Israel's firm stance on its positions pays off," Deputy Foreign...

[] UN Report: Israel trades in 'blood diamonds'
Uruknet November 1, 2009 - According to a new report presented to the United Nations Security Council, Israeli diamond traders buy and sell diamonds from the war-torn Ivory Coast of western Africa, getting diamonds at a cheaper price because they are obtained through brutal force. Israel's Diamond Controller Shmuel Morderchai denied the report, saying that Israel has never done business in...

[] US to Israel: Settlement freeze not a precondition for peace talks
Uruknet November 01, 2009 - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Saturday during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the US government will no longer press the Israelis to freeze settlement construction as a precondition for peace talks with the Palestinians -- but she insisted that this was not a policy change on the part...

Palestine Telegraph

Fateh calls on Hamas to release Fatah members from Gaza jails
London, November 2, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Fateh Spokesman Dr. Fayez Abu Eita held Hamas and it's affiliated militants responsible about the life and safety of Fateh member Dr. Ziyad Asarafandi who has been detained in Hamas jails since five months.

Attacks by Israeli settlers spark more by the army as Palestinians defend themselves in West Bank
Jerusalem, November 1, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-The media office in the Palestinian Authority police reported on two separate incidents involving Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank yesterday evening.

Palestinians Believe Abbas's Election Decree Ends Chances for Reconciliation
Gaza, November 1, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Gamal El-Zahhar, 27, had good reason to be angry last week. Living in Khan Younis in southern Gaza he came to realise that his chances of marrying Shaimaa, a Palestinian girl living in Jordan whom...

On the arrest of Greek diplomat in Sheikh Jarrah
Greece, November 1, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)   The Palestinians will not be left...

Entering Gaza: The Hard Way in from Egypt
U.S.A, October 30, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) -Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock is chaos at Rafah Crossing, the Egyptian-controlled entrance to the Gaza Strip. Black-clad Egyptian security forces stand by their trucks, ready if things get out of hand. Aid convoys line up...

The National

Peace talks stumble on settlements
The National 1 Nov 2009 - Washington's apparent support of Israel's stance on settlement construction is seen as 'unhelpful' and disappointing to Palestinians.

Women's teams playing their part in the peace process
The National 31 Oct 2009 - More than 10,000 women flocked from all over the West Bank to watch the Palestinian women's national team take on Jordan in an historic, first-ever home match.


US criticised over stand on Israel
AlJazeera 2 Nov 2009 - Palestinians accuse US of jeopardising peace process after backing Israel on settlements.

Mubarak dodges presidency question
AlJazeera 1 Nov 2009 - The son of Egypt's president refuses to say whether he has presidential ambitions.

Palestine News Network

Israeli Attorney General issues final indictment against MK Mohammad Barakeh for demonstrating
PNN 1 Nov 2009 - Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN – Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has issued another indictment against Palestinian member of the Knesset Mohammad Barakeh. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin pushed for the decision against the Chairman of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality on Sunday afternoon.Barakeh is being charged with assault after participation in West Bank demonstrations against the Wall during which...

Edward Said Conservatory of Music: a world where children play melodies against the walls of siege
PNN 1 Nov 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Music is the language of the people, one of the signs of excellence and growth believes the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. The programs and projects of the Conservatory clearly aim at improving the musical life for all age and socio-economic groups in the provinces of Palestine. It targets the disadvantaged to discover their...

Attacks by Israeli settlers spark more by the army as Palestinians defend themselves in West Bank
PNN 1 Nov 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The media office in the Palestinian Authority police reported on two separate incidents involving Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank yesterday evening. In southern Nablus, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and noxious gas at Palestinian youth. The trouble began when settlers attacked Burin Village. When the Israeli army arrived, soldiers went after the Palestinians.Among the injuries...

Sussex University Students' Union first in United Kingdom to boycott Israeli goods
PNN 1 Nov 2009 - Ramallah - Following a landmark referendum, students at Sussex University have voted to boycott Israeli goods. The decision will become part of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, which calls upon the Israelis to respect international law and end the occupation of Palestine. Besides being penned and assisted by Palestinian, Arabs and international supporters, the referendum received messages of support and...

Central Committee member and former Secretary General of the Revolutionary Council dies at 70
PNN 1 Nov 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – A leader in the Fateh movement has died at 70 years of age in Ramallah. The photo from shows him laying a wreath on the tomb of the late President Yasser Arafat. Sakhr Habash, Abu Nizar, was a Fateh Central Committee Member and the former Secretary General of the Fateh Revolutionary Council.Known as an intellectual in the movement,...

Egypt allows 75 Palestinians to return to the Gaza Strip on humanitarian grounds
PNN 31 Oct 2009 - Rafah / PNN – The announcement that the southern Gaza crossing with Egypt would be open in both directions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday was supplemented on Saturday. Early this morning Egyptian authorities allowed 75 Palestinians to return to the Strip. Considered “humanitarian cases”, the returning medical patients will be joined by more of the stranded and sick early next week. During the...

Eighteen members of Palestinian parliament remain in Israeli prisons, 7 soon to be released
PNN 31 Oct 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – Seven Palestinian Legislative Council deputies who were arrested after winning the elections in the Change and Reform bloc are slated to be released from Israeli prisons early next month. With the end of the sentences that were imposed by an Israeli military court, the parliamentarians should be able to return to their homes just as their terms in office...

Jerusalem Post

Lieberman: Interim deal currently best option
Jeruslalem Post 2 Nov 2009 - FM stresses that such a "long-term" deal would mean no Palestinian state in near future.

Russia envoy: 'UN-backed deal good for Iran'
Jeruslalem Post 2 Nov 2009 - Russian ambassador in Teheran: West not trying to "trick Iran" by taking uranium from out of its hands.

Iran calls for panel to review nuke deal
Jeruslalem Post 2 Nov 2009 - Mottaki: Teheran has "some technical and economic considerations" on UN-brokered uranium plan.

Kol Isha: Praying for rain
Jeruslalem Post 1 Nov 2009 - We pray for rain in Ohio because our prayers should be directed homeward, to Israel.

Wolfensohn: 'Fayad's two-year plan is a very smart move'
Jeruslalem Post 1 Nov 2009 - The average Israeli and the average Palestinian would just like to get on with life, says former World Bank president and Quartet envoy.

Analysis: Foreign workers - financial boon or demographic threat?
Jeruslalem Post 1 Nov 2009 - Israel still doesn't have a policy for economic migrants.

Lebanon arrests man who fired Katyusha
Jeruslalem Post 1 Nov 2009 - After Ya'alon says Lebanon espionage unavoidable, Lebanese minister calls Israel "a reprehensible enemy."

State closes probe into draft-dodge group 'New Profile'
Jeruslalem Post 1 Nov 2009 - High Court informed that state lacks evidence against organization suspected of encouraging Israelis not to join IDF.

Rights group 'Gisha' questions goods-to-Gaza policy
Jeruslalem Post 1 Nov 2009 - NGO petitions Tel Aviv court demanding to see gov't "Red Lines" document on minimum required food intake required by Gaza residents.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: On Nuke Disarmament, It's Still "You First" 
IPS UNITED NATIONS, Oct 31 (IPS) - Is the ongoing controversy over Iran's nuclear programme helping to advance the United Nations' agenda on nuclear disarmament? To a number of diplomats and experts who have participated in past U.N. discussions on the spread of nuclear weapons, the answer is, yes – although...

MIDEAST: Israelis Show the Light to Palestinian Herders 
IPS SUSYA, West Bank, Nov 1 (IPS) - Hundreds of impoverished Palestinian herders and farmers living in caves and tents in a remote area of the Palestinian West Bank have been provided free electricity due to the ingenuity of two Israeli physicists.

Stop The Wall

Ni’lin demands Palestinian unity
Stop The Wall 2 Nov 2009 - Six people were injured, including one young man who was shot in the jaw with a rubber coated steel bullet, when more than 200 demonstrators attended the weekly demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in Ni’lin yesterday. This week the demonstration was calling for Palestinian unity, and the protestors demanded a stop to all factional rivalry and unification against the occupation. ‘The Palestinian people are one, the Palestinian people all live under occupation and we can only overcome if we stand strong as one! [

Protests focus on Wall and prisoners
Stop The Wall 2 Nov 2009 - This Friday, in spite of heavy rains, soldiers and tear gas, the people of Bil’in and al-Ma’sara marched against the Wall. In Bil’in, organizers dedicated their protest to jailed activist Adeeb Abu Rahmeh, who was arrested this summer and remains in prison for his role in organizing grassroots resistance. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(22- 29 Oct. 2009)

International Solidarity Movement

Village of Iraq Burin invaded by Israeli army in the aftermath of a settler attack
11/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 31 October 2009 - The village of Iraq Burin, in the southern region of Nablus, came under attack again today in a display of force yet more brutal than last Saturday's clashes with settlers and Israeli military forces. Palestinian youth clashed with 30 settlers on the edge of the village only to be driven back, as Iraq Burin was invaded by approximately 50 Israeli soldiers, firing tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and sound bombs on civilian residents. One man and woman were injured and another man arrested. In a repeat of last week's events, at 2pm 30 settlers approached the eastern edge of Iraq Burin from the illegal settlement of Bracha, reaching a now-decrepit well that lies on a small hill opposite the village. In a bizarre display of provocation (the well is located in very close visual proximity to Iraq Burin itself, and well within its rightful territory) the settlers proceeded 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Top U.S. officials: Mideast peace talks have hit impasse
Ha'aretz 2 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with U.S. special envoy George Mitchell again Monday afternoon in an attempt to find a way to allow the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Senior U.S. officials admit that the talks have reached an impasse. ... 

Jordan and Egypt accuse Israel of 'derailing' peace efforts
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Leaders of Jordan and Egypt on Sunday warned that Israel's unilateral actions in East Jerusalem and other Arab areas were "derailing" efforts aimed at resuming peace negotiations with the Palestinians, and would thereby have a "catastrophic" effect on the region. ...

Netanyahu: 'Minority' of violent far-rightists must be stopped
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Following the arrest of a West Bank settler suspected of multiple murders and bomb attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel must fight the terror posed by violent extreme rightists, whom he termed a "marginal minority." ...

Have we finally reached Holocaust overload?
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Have we finally reached Holocaust overload? ...

Netanyahu: I hope Palestinians 'get a grip,' renew peace talks
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit out Sunday at the Palestinian Authority over its demand for a complete Israeli settlement freeze before embarking on any fresh peace talks, saying he hoped the Palestinians would "get a grip" and drop this precondition. ...

The Guardian

Obama must try harder | Richard Silverstein
The Guardian 1 Nov 2009 - After his magnificent speech in Cairo, Obama's Middle East peace policy earns an 'A' for vision but only a 'C' for action Though Obama campaigned as somewhat of a hardliner on issues like Iran and Jerusalem...

Writing Jews out of Jerusalem's history | Jeremy Sharon
The Guardian 1 Nov 2009 - The whipping up of unrest around the Temple Mount is part of an insidious campaign to cast Jewish people as modern interlopers The Temple Mount, or al-Haram al-Sharif to Muslims, must rank as one of the...

The Observer Debate | A year on, has Barack Obama met the hopes of the world?
The Guardian 31 Oct 2009 - Last November, in Chicago's Grant Park, world politics was transformed by the arrival of America's first black president. But has he made good on his groundbreaking promises? Keith Richburg: On one year Time is needed to...

The personal jihad of Melanie Phillips | Ed Husain
The Guardian 31 Oct 2009 - In her McCarthy-style paranoid parallel universe, the Spectator columnist views every Muslim a potential Islamist terrorist Melanie Philips's zealotry and ignorance frighten me. How did we produce a public commentator filled with such anger, venom and...

The Arabs by Eugene Rogan | Book review
The Guardian 30 Oct 2009 - Robert Irwin on an eloquent history of Arab hopes and disappointments The Arabs: A History by Eugene Rogan 532pp, Allen Lane, 25 Early on in his book Eugene Rogan, who teaches the modern history of the...

The far right wrath that killed Yitzhak Rabin | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 30 Oct 2009 - Israel has never recovered from Yitzhak Rabin's assassination. Sadly, the firebrand rhetoric that led to his death is still prevalent In Jewish communities throughout Israel and the Diaspora, everyone remembers where they were the night Yitzhak...

Ha'aretz National page

Jerusalem children's hospital gets green light on swine flu vaccine
Ha'aretz 2 Nov 2009 - Four children at the Alyn Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center in Jerusalem have been diagnosed with swine flu, the health ministry said Sunday. Seven more children are thought to be infected with the virus, and have been quarantined. ... 

Shin Bet probing whether or not Jewish terrorist acted alone
Ha'aretz 2 Nov 2009 - The authorities have arrested a resident of the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel for suspected murder and a role in a string of murder plots, according to details of an investigation revealed Sunday after a gag order was lifted. ... 

After 82 years, Israel may finally get aviation law
Ha'aretz 2 Nov 2009 - After 82 years, Israel may soon have a law governing aviation in its skies. Sunday, the ministerial legislative committee approved a draft Aviation Law, which will replace the regulations inherited from the British Mandate and enacted in 1927. ... 

Tel Aviv councilman accuses city of 'erasing Arab memory'
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - A Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council member resigned Sunday in protest of what he called "efforts to erase any memory of Arab names and identity from the city." ... 

Amir Oren / Israel's new kind of terrorist 
Ha'aretz 1 Nov 2009 - "Guns don't kill people," the notorious ad by the National Rifle Association proclaims. "People kill people." ... 

Relief Web

OPT: CARE succeeds
Relief Web 1 Nov 2009 - Source: CARE

OPT: Remarks with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Relief Web 1 Nov 2009 - Source: US Department of State

Settlements still 'main peace obstacle': Palestinians
Relief Web 1 Nov 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Israel urges Palestinians to restart peace talks
Relief Web 1 Nov 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

General Assembly considers annual report of Human Rights Council
Relief Web 1 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Clinton urges swift resumption of Mideast peace talks
Relief Web 31 Oct 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

YNet News

Somali extremists threaten Israel 
YNet News 2 Nov 2009 - Militant Islamist group says will attack Jewish state over its attempts to 'destroy parts of the al-Aqsa Mosque', CNN reports. International organization: They should be taken seriously 

12 years of terror: Could Shin Bet have done more?
YNet News 1 Nov 2009 - Former top security service officials analyze Teitel affair. Ayalon says Shin Bet could have done more, while MK Hasson draws attention to complexity of gathering intelligence within Jewish communities 

Norwegian university considers boycotting Israel
YNet News 1 Nov 2009 - Board of directors of Norwegian University of Science and Technology to decide on November 12 whether or not to declare academic boycott against Israel. Chairwoman says opposes move 

Israel releases Hamas MP
YNet News 1 Nov 2009 - Hatem Qafisha steps out of Israeli prison on Sunday after one year in detention; spent total of 10 years behind bars 

Labor confirms negotiations with party 'rebels' 
YNet News 1 Nov 2009 - Special team established to settle differences with four MKs who were opposed to joining Netanyahu coalition. Barak: Freedom of thought important, but majority rule must be accepted 

PM: Foreign workers' kids to complete school year
YNet News 1 Nov 2009 - Netanyahu decides to allow 1,200 children of foreign workers to stay in Israel until end of August; tasks committee headed by interior minister with examining various kids' cases by end of May 2010. 'Kids got time, not status,' Yishai says. Migrant Workers Hotline disappointed with decision, says will fight until status is granted 

Egypt backs Palestinian demand for settlement freeze
YNet News 1 Nov 2009 - Egyptian foreign minister says Cairo 'understands' Palestinian refusal to renew peace talks before Israel freezes construction in settlements. 'Israel is determined not to respect roadmap,' he says during press conference with Jordanian counterpart 

Daily Star

Nuclear fuel deal benefits Tehran, says Russian envoy
Daily Star 2 Nov 2009 Russia's envoy to Tehran on Sunday urged Iran to sign on to a UN-drafted nuclear fuel deal in a bid to resolve the controversy over its atomic drive, which he said lacks "complete transparency." Alexander Sadovnikov's comments came a day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tehran that world powers had limited patience as the Islamic Republic dilly-dallied over offering a categorical response to the proposal.

US approach toward Syria has changed but no big steps - Assad
Daily Star 2 Nov 2009 US President Barack Obama's administration has replaced "commands" with "dialogue" but there have been no big improvements in relations, Syrian President Bashar Assad said. "What has happened so far is a new approach. Dialogue has replaced commands, which is good, but things stopped there," official SANA news agency on Sunday quoted Assad as saying.

US Congress to vote on UN Gaza war-crimes report
Daily Star 2 Nov 2009 The US House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution calling on President Barack Obama to reject the UN's Goldstone report, which accuses Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes in Gaza. The bipartisan proposal calls on Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration" of the Goldstone report.

Israelis protest against visit of Swedish journalist
Daily Star 2 Nov 2009 Several dozen Israelis protested on Sunday against the arrival in the country of a controversial Swedish journalist who has accused Israel of stealing organs from dead Palestinians. The protesters were waiting at the airport for the arrival of Donald Bostrom, who is in Israel to attend a media conference in the southern city of Dimona on Monday.

Islamic conference urges UN to hold Israeli 'aggression' talks
Daily Star 2 Nov 2009 The world's largest Islamic organization called on Sunday for the UN Security Council to hold a meeting on Israel's alleged "aggressions" against the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) urged member states and Russia, which has observer status, "to request an emergency meeting on Israeli violations of international law in Al-Quds - and aggressions against the holy places."

Egypt ruling party says discussions on Mubarak successor not on agenda
Daily Star 2 Nov 2009 Choosing a possible successor to Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, 81, is not on the agenda for a ruling party conference this weekend, a party official said, despite silence on the issue fueling speculation that it might be. Mubarak, who has run Egypt for 28 years and will address the National Democratic Party conference that began on Saturday, has yet to say whether he will run in the 2011 election.

Palestinian Information Center

Palestinian MP freed from Zionist dungeon
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday freed Hatem Qafisha, a member of the Legislative council after a protracted administrative detention in Israeli concentration camps and dungeons.

Islamic Movement: Israel responsible for any harm inflicted on Aqsa
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - The Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands held the Israeli occupation authority fully responsible for any harm inflicted upon the Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian worshipers inside it.

British MPs to meet Palestinian factions in Damascus including Hamas
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - A British parliamentary delegation currently visiting Syria is expected to hold a meeting with Palestinian factions including Hamas Movement, a well informed Palestinian source said on Sunday.

Miles of Smiles to head to Gaza by sea due to Egyptian restrictions
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - The Miles of Smiles aid convoy is expected to leave Port Said for El-Arish city by sea during the coming two days and then for Gaza after Egypt refused to allow the convoy to travel by land.

Bardawil: Zahhar in Kuwait to attend parliamentary conference
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - MP Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, the political bureau member of Hamas, arrived in Kuwait on Sunday to attend the Islamic parliamentary conference in his capacity as head of Hamas's parliamentary bloc.

Tadamun: 4 Palestinians including child killed by IOF, 330 detained in October
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - The international Tadamun (solidarity) center for human rights has said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed four Palestinians including a child in the past month of October.

Radwan: Clinton’s remarks on settlement expansion dealt a blow to Abbas
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - Hamas official Ismail Radwan stated that Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the need to resume negotiations without freezing settlement expansion dealt a heavy blow to Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiators.

Hamas: Settler's attempt to attack Aqsa part of Zionist scheme
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - Hamas has opined that the Jewish settler's attempt to attack the Aqsa Mosque was not a unilateral step but rather fell in line with a well organized Israeli plot to control the holy site.

IOF soldiers, settlers attack Palestinian citizens
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - Jewish fanatic settlers on Saturday night assaulted Palestinian citizens in Iraq Burin village, south of Nablus city, local sources reported.

Abu Marzouk: Hamas is not bound by Abbas’s call for elections
PIC 2 Nov 2009 - Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk stated that Hamas is not bound by Abbas’s edict to hold elections next January, adding that Hamas has options if elections were held in the West Bank.

Los Angeles Times

Clinton praises Israel stance on peace talks 
LA Times 1 Nov 2009 - In the Mideast to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls Israeli offers on Jewish settlement growth 'unprecedented,' but the Palestinians insist on a freeze. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, trying to coax Palestinian leaders to restart peace talks with Israel, said Saturday that Israel was offering "unprecedented" concessions to limit the growth of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. 

L.A. rabbis in Israel seek to model tolerance 
LA Times 31 Oct 2009 - The 18 rabbis visit Israel on a trip intended to show that different factions of Judaism can coexist. Their message is exemplified by their behavior at the Western Wall. The Western Wall is a unifying spiritual magnet for Jews the world over. It is also a place of contention over a rule by its Orthodox custodians that forbids women from standing beside men while praying there. 

Iran insists on changes to nuclear deal 
LA Times 31 Oct 2009 - Iran refuses to send its uranium abroad all at once, the nation's official news agency reports. Contradictory messages confound Western officials. Iran has yet to formally reply to an international plan to ship its enriched uranium abroad to be turned into fuel for a Tehran medical reactor but insists it won't agree to send all the material abroad at once, the nation's official news agency reported Friday. 

New York Times

Israelis and Obama
New York Times 2 Nov 2009 - Obama is not popular in Israel because he is serious about peace.

Israelis Arrest West Bank Settler in Attacks
New York Times 2 Nov 2009 - Jack Teitel, an immigrant from the United States, was charged with the murders of two Palestinians and two bombings that wounded a professor and a 15-year-old boy. 

Clinton Asks Abbas to Return to Talks
New York Times 1 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed an Israeli proposal, relayed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to limit building to 3,000 additional housing units.

Netanyahu Backs Nuclear Deal That Iran Rejected
New York Times 31 Oct 2009 - The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, cautiously endorsed U.S.-backed efforts to limit Iran’s nuclear program through shipments abroad of its enriched uranium. 


In Jerusalem, Clinton hails ’unprecedented’ Israeli settlement concessions 
11/1/2009 - Ha'aretz - Israel is making "unprecedented" concessions on West Bank settlement construction, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Saturday after arriving in Israel in the latest U. S. bid to renew peace talks in the region. The Obama administration had previously demanded Israel halt all settlement building before negotiations could resume. But speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Clinton said there has never been such a precondition. " It has always been an issue with negotiations," she said. "What the Prime Minister has offered in specifics of a restraint on the policy of settlements which he has just described - no new starts for example, is unprecedented in the context of prior to negotiations. " "It's also the fact that for forty years, Presidents of both parties have questioned the legitimacy of settlements, but I think that where we are right now is to try to get into the negotiations. 

Netanyahu: I hope Palestinians ’get a grip,’ renew peace talks 
11/1/2009 - Ha'aretz - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit out Sunday at the Palestinian Authority over its demand for a complete Israeli settlement freeze before embarking on any fresh peace talks, saying he hoped the Palestinians would "get a grip" and drop this precondition. " We've done things that have not been done until today, although while we are taking steps toward negotiations, we have encountered preconditions demanded by the Palestinian side, which were never demanded before," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. The prime minister's comments came after visiting U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Saturday that Israel was making "unprecedented" concessions on West Bank settlement construction. But the Palestinians on Saturday rejected Israel's offer to dial down settlement construction in the West Bank, rather than bringing it to a complete halt. 

Netanyahu savours victory after US drops demand 
11/1/2009 - Uruknet - AFP - JERUSALEM — Israel's premier savoured a victory on Sunday after Washington hailed his "unprecedented" position on settlements and backed his call for peace talks to resume without the construction freeze sought by the Palestinians. " There is no question that the United States are our staunchest friends and that Israel's firm stance on its positions pays off," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon happily told public radio on Sunday. Speaking before the weekly cabinet meeting, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz proclaimed: "The US administration understands what we have always said -- that the real obstacle to negotiations are the Palestinians. " The Israelis had reason to be glib. In a joint news conference held, unusually, before talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed for negotiations to be restarted as soon as 

Palestinians accuse U.S. of killing peace prospects 
11/1/2009 - Yahoo! News - JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Pointing an accusing finger at the United States, the Palestinians on Sunday said Washington's backing for Israeli refusal to halt Jewish settlement expansion had killed any hope of reviving peace negotiations soon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, buoyed by new-found support from the Obama administration, urged the Palestinians to "get a grip" and drop their settlement freeze precondition for restarting talks suspended since December. On a one-day Middle East visit on Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed Israel's view that settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank should not be a bar to resuming negotiations -- contradicting the Palestinian position. Netanyahu has proposed limiting building for now to some 3,000 settler homes already approved by Israel in the West Bank. 

Congress to weigh in on U.N.’s Gaza report 
10/31/2009 - Washington Post - House resolution calls the findings 'irredeemably biased' - The House of Representatives on Tuesday is poised to pass a nonbinding resolution condemning a controversial U. N. report on alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip that has become a major complication in Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's diplomacy in the Middle East this weekend. Clinton will meet in Abu Dhabi on Saturday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who has seen his popularity plummet since he initially agreed under pressure from the Obama administration to defer U. N. consideration of the report. He later shifted course, and now the U. N. General Assembly will consider it on Wednesday. But Israeli officials have warned that any effort by the United Nations to add further legitimacy to the report will undermine the administration's efforts to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians. 

'Juniper Cobra Drill to Help US Design Missile Shield'
11/1/2009 - - Results of the Juniper Cobra missile defense exercise staged by Israeli and American forces, which will come to an end this week, will be used by the US Defense Department to help formulate a new NATO missile shield for Europe, senior Israeli military officials said Saturday. Some 2,000 US and Israeli military personnel will wrap up maneuvers this week during which they are testing five different missile defense systems against a probable ballistic missile attack, and creating the infrastructure that would be necessary in the event that the Obama administration decides to deploy US systems ion occupied territories in the event of a conflict. The current drill was relevant for a European missile shield, officials said, since it provided the Americans with experience in how to work together on missile defense issues with other western militaries. 

Israel confirms running spy networks in Lebanon 
11/1/2009 - Press TV - Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon has confirmed that Israel is running intelligence-gathering networks in Lebanon. " When we are in conflict with an enemy, we gather information about them," Haaretz quoted Ya'alon as saying on Saturday. " The moment Hezbollah renewed their attacks, we began to collect intelligence. We will stop when Hezbollah disarms itself and the [Israel-Lebanon] border is a border of peace," he added. In October, two explosions over occurred in southern Lebanon after Lebanon's Hezbollah discovered cables used for spying in the al-Abbad area near an Israeli border post. The UN peacekeepers in Lebanon (UNIFIL) who were called out to investigate the cause of the blasts later confirmed that the explosions aimed at destroying Israeli espionage equipment. " Preliminary indications are that these explosions were caused by explosive charges contained in unattended 

Israeli spy in US wanted $2 million for his secrets 
10/29/2009 - Press TV - The celebrated American scientist charged with spying for Israel had asked for $2 million for his secrets, federal prosecutors has revealed. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Stewart D. Nozette on Oct. 19 as he attempted to deliver state secrets to an undercover FBI agent, disguised as an Israeli intelligence operative. According to the FBI, during the recent weeks and before his arrest, Nozette collected $11,000, through a Washington DC post office box, for sharing sensitive information with the FBI agent. During his last meeting with the undercover agent, which took place at a Washington hotel after the post office box exchanges, Nozette told the agent that he had "crossed the Rubicon," in terms of sharing sensitive data, and that he wanted $2 million for the secrets, prosecutors wrote, according to a Washington post article on Thursday. 

Stewart Nozette, NASA scientist, denies spy claim 
10/31/2009 - - The Daily Telegraph - A NASA scientist credited with helping discover water on the moon pleaded not guilty to charges he tried to sell US defence secrets to Israel for $US2 million ($2. 23m). Stewart David Nozette, 52, is charged with two counts of attempted espionage for allegedly trying to sell information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer. In their final discussion, the undercover agent allegedly handed Nozette $10,000, which he tried to hide inside a hotel bathroom toilet tank when federal agents arrested him. The FBI also searched his safe deposit box in California where they found 55 gold Krugerrand coins worth about $50,000 and $30,000 in savings bonds, court documents said. Nozette has worked at the US space agency NASA, the Energy Department and on the White House National Space Council. If convicted, Nozette could face the death penalty although his execution is considered unlikely. 

Perry’s Secret Jerusalem Trip Raises Questions 
10/29/2009 - CBS - FORT WORTH (CBS 11 / TXA 21) ? The city of Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and it has a new defender: Texas Governor Rick Perry. In August, Perry was given the "Defender of Jerusalem" award. So Perry and his wife flew first class to Israel at more than $5,000 per ticket. The governor's security detail of four Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers was also along for the trip. They all took the 7,000 mile journey to accept the award at a time when the governor was asking everyone else in state government to cut back on travel. During a speech in Houston, Perry directed state agencies to "curtail taxpayer funded travel. " According to state documents, the taxpayers' bill just to take Perry's security officers on the 5-day trip was more than $70,000. The breakdown includes $17,000 for rooms at the swanky King David Hotel, nearly $13,000 for food and more than 350 hours of overtime. 

A New Generation Rises at J Street 
10/29/2009 - The Nation - Britt Harwood: The new progressive Jewish organization J Street has benefited from the blogosphere's interest. But will exposure turn into political mobilization? - Rachel Jones spent the past week in Washington, DC, at the first annual conference for the new progressive Jewish organization J Street. She was passing out literature for Meretz USA, an American nonprofit that supports the platform of one of Israel's most left-wing political parties. Politically and socially, Meretz USA is a far cry from Jones's upbringing as a devout Jew in small-town Iowa. The only story Jones, now 24, heard while growing up in her tiny community--a story she now calls "right wing"--was that Israel's borders included Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights, and that Jewish identity was staked on the country's defense. Her transformation from a conservative Zionist to a J Street volunteer is a product of the two years she spent in Israel. 

Ancient wall found in Jerusalem 
11/2/2009 - BBC Online - A 3,700-year-old wall has been discovered in east Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists say. The structure was built to protect the city's water supply as part of what dig director Ronny Reich described as the region's earliest fortifications. The 26-ft (8-m) high wall showed the Canaanite people who built it were a sophisticated civilisation, he said. Critics say Israel uses such projects as a political tool to bolster Jewish claims to occupied Palestinian land. Excavations at the site, known as the City of David, are in a Palestinian neighbourhood just outside the walls of Jerusalem's old city. It is partly funded by Elad, a Jewish settler organisation that also works to settle Jews in that area. Open to the public - The wall dates from a time in the Middle Bronze Age when Jerusalem was a small, fortified enclave controlled by the Canaanites, before they were conquered by the Israelites. 


America, stop sucking up to Israel 
Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz 11/1/2009
      Barack Obama has been busy - offering the Jewish People blessings for Rosh Hashanah, and recording a flattering video for the President’s Conference in Jerusalem and another for Yitzhak Rabin’s memorial rally. Only Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah surpasses him in terms of sheer output of recorded remarks.
     In all the videos, Obama heaps sticky-sweet praise on Israel, even though he has spent nearly a year fruitlessly lobbying for Israel to be so kind as to do something, anything - even just a temporary freeze on settlement building - to advance the peace process.
     The president’s Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, has also been busy, shuttling between a funeral (for IDF soldier Asaf Ramon, the son of Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon) and a memorial (for Rabin, though it was postponed until next week due to rain), in order to find favor with Israelis. Polls have shown that Obama is increasingly unpopular here, with an approval rating of only 6 to 10 percent.
     He decided to address Israelis by video, but a persuasive speech won’t persuade anyone to end the occupation. He simply should have told the Israeli people the truth. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived here last night, will certainly express similar sentiments: "commitment to Israel’s security," "strategic alliance," "the need for peace," and so on .
     Before no other country on the planet does the United States kneel and plead like this. In other trouble spots, America takes a different tone. It bombs in Afghanistan, invades Iraq and threatens sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Did anyone in Washington consider begging Saddam Hussein to withdraw from occupied territory in Kuwait?
     But Israel the occupier, the stubborn contrarian that continues to mock America and the world by building settlements and abusing the Palestinians, receives different treatment. Another massage to the national ego in one video, more embarrassing praise in another. more.. e-mail

My Problem with J Street 
Philip Giraldi, 10/29/2009
      As readers of certainly are aware, J Street was created a year and a half ago to serve as an alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). J Street supports creation of a viable Palestinian state that would exist side-by-side in peace with Israel. Unlike AIPAC, J Street advocates first negotiating issues rather than dropping bombs and it rejects the view that American Jews should close ranks and reflexively and unconditionally support every government in Israel. J Street targets liberal minded American Jews who are troubled by the Israel Lobby’s right wing-Likud orientation. It promotes itself as pro-Israel, pro-American, and pro-peace, maintaining that it is possible to support Israel without having to endorse all Israeli government actions. It has recently concluded its first Washington conference which attracted a smattering of politicians. General James Jones, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, was a featured speaker.
     J Street has come under attack from the usual suspects, to include the Weekly Standard, the National Review, and assorted individual neocons. Because of the attacks, there has been a "my enemy’s enemy" response and a number of opponents of AIPAC and the neocons have rallied to J Street, in some cases purely because the neocon onslaught suggests that J Street must be a good thing. Some defenders of J Street have pointed out that it is more moderate than AIPAC and therefore must be considered a better lobbying option even if it sometimes has to embrace compromise policies that are imperfect. Others have argued that even when it has to take certain positions tactically it still represents the best hope for a peaceful future in the Middle East. 
     I have to disagree. I believe that J Street is just another Israel advocacy group with a slightly more progressive and politically correct and therefore acceptable message. J Street wants carte blanche United States support for Israel and, indeed, it might reasonably be described as little more than a spin-off of the existing Israel Lobby to make it more palatable to the liberal Democrats that make up the Obama Administration.... more.. e-mail

Legal Implications of Operation Cast Lead (PDF) 
Noura Erakat, Rutgers Law Record 11/1/2009
      Part 2, Volume 36, Fall 2009
     On December 27, 2008, Israel launched a 22-day military offensive against Gaza called “Operation Cast Lead.”1 Israeli forces killed some 1,300 Palestinians, including 280 children, and injured approximately 4,300 others, including 1,100 children.2 Civilians comprised nearly 70 percent of the Palestinian death toll.3 The aerial and ground offensive also destroyed 2,400 homes, 29 schools, 121 commercial and industrial workshops, 60 police stations, and 30 mosques.4 During the Operation, thirteen Israelis were killed including three civilians and four soldiers killed by friendly fire.5
     International law’s single exception to the prohibition on the unilateral use of force is self- defense.6 The legal nature of “Operation Cast Lead” is therefore contingent on its characterization as an act of self-defense as opposed to one of aggression. Accordingly, throughout the offensive and its aftermath, Israel and its allies characterized Israel’s attack as one of self-defense.7 In an address to the Israeli Knesset on December 29th, then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated, “Israel is entitled to defend itself against any attempt to harm its sovereignty, the well-being of its residents and the security of its citizens. Israel’s actions fulfill its basic right to self defense.”8 In a Congressional resolution passed on the fourteenth day of the offensive, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized “[Israel’s] right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against Hamas’s unceasing aggression, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.”9 This article will examine the doctrine of self-defense in international law and its application to Israel’s offensive against Gaza. 
     Jus ad bellum, or the justice of fighting a war, is the legal framework that regulates self- defense.10 This is to be distinguished from jus in bello, or the regulation of the way that a war should be fought.11 There is a substantial argument that despite Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, the Strip remains occupied territory.12 As such, the laws of occupation, and not armed conflict, would govern Israel’s offensive against Gaza. Under the laws of occupation, Israel’s claim of self-defense appears dubious because self-defense is a legal justification for the initiation of force (jus ad bellum), not for its exercise in a situation of belligerent occupation (jus in bello). Be that as it may, for the sake of this discussion, I will examine Israel’s claim as if the Gaza Strip were not occupied.13. more.. e-mail

In Gaza
Palestinian volunteerism and defying Israeli occupation policies and attacks
30 Oct 2009 - * Amal Nassir, Local Initiative volunteer, harvests olives in the Beit Hanoun border region. 1st published: (IPS) ** - On a quiet October morning, Fida Zaneen, 19, sings a traditional love song as she pulls olives from trees in Beit Hanoun’s border region during the annual olive harvest. “My grandmother taught me the folk songs. They were popular all over Palestine many decades ago.” Saber Zaneen, 44, and Khalil Nassir, 45, alternately belt out traditional harvest songs as they, too, strip the limbs of the green and black fruit in the northern Gaza region. Keeping Palestinian culture alive is one of the mandates of Local Initiative , a Beit Hanoun-based volunteer group...

Palestine Chronicle
Convicted of Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America 
31 Oct 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago In an October 22 press release, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced another victory in its Global War on Terrorism, renamed the Overseas Contingency Operation to continue its jihad on Muslims, abroad and at home. By now the charges are familiar, always bogus, and announced earlier about three Ohio men in a Justice Department February 2006 press release as follows: "Three (Toledo, Ohio men) have been charged with conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against persons overseas, including US military personnel serving in Iraq, and with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists...." On February 16, 2006, a Cleveland federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi, and Wassim I. Mazloum alleging they conspired, together and with others, "to kill or maim persons outside of the United States, including US military personnel serving in Iraq, and with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Amawi is also charged, individually, with distributing information regarding explosives and two counts of making verbal threats against the President of the United States." Amawi holds both US and Jordanian citizenship. El-Hindi is also a US citizen, and Mazloum is a permanent legal resident. The indictment further alleges that these men "engaged in activities in furtherance of their common goal to wage violent jihad, or 'holy war,' against American soldiers and Coalition allies serving in Iraq. Such activities included training and target shooting, receiving instructions in the construction and use of explosives - including improvised...

Israel is Unlikely to Yield
31 Oct 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh Top aides of the Obama administration have this month been quietly stoking the peace process fire, raising expectations that the American president, whose popularity remains relatively high, may now be willing to go beyond gentle rapping Israeli knuckles. The ball started rolling when Barack Obama's National Security Advisor General James L. Jones addressed the Fourth Annual Gala of the American Task Force on Palestine on October 15. "The president is committed to achieving two states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security", he began, adding, much to the delight of his large audience, "make no mistake about that". He also stressed that Obama was not going to wait until the end of his administration to do something about Palestine. This is "a clear priority", Jones said. "The president is personally committed to this goal because he believes that peace is in America's interests, just as it is in the interests of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples'". A week later, Susan E. Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations and a close confidant of Obama's, told the Israelis, face-to-face, that it is not enough just to pay "lip service" to peace and urged the government to immediately revive negotiations, without preconditions, aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state. She was speaking at a conference in Occupied Jerusalem hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres. In contrast to these two encouraging statements, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put a dampener on the mood, reporting to Obama...

Waging War on Students
31 Oct 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London If there's one thing the Israelis are good at it's making war on women and children. They killed 952 Palestinian children in their homeland between 2000 and the start of the Gaza blitzkrieg in December 2008 (according to B'Tselem statistics). They murdered at least 350 more during their Cast Lead onslaught and have kept Gaza under daily attack ever since. So the brave Israelis must have eliminated nearly 1400 youngsters by now. Would anyone care to guess how many they left bleeding, maimed and crippled? The "most moral army in the world" also loves waging war against Palestinian university students. Not long ago I wrote about Merna, an honors student in her final year majoring in English. Israeli soldiers frequently rampaged through her Bethlehem refugee camp in the middle of the night, ransacking homes and arbitrarily arresting residents. They took away her family one by one. First her 14-year-old cousin and best friend was shot dead by an Israeli sniper while she sat outside her family home during a curfew. Next the Israelis arrested her eldest brother, a 22 year-old artist, and imprisoned him for 4 years. Then they came back for Merna's 18-year-old brother. Not content with that the military came again, this time to take her youngest brother – the ‘baby’ of the family - just 16. These were the circumstances under which Merna had to study. Israeli military law treats Palestinians as adults as soon as they reach 16, a flagrant violation...

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