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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
4 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Non-violent protesters begin vigil outside evicted Palestinian family’s home
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 05, 2009 - 00:34, After a Palestinian family was forcibly removed from their home by armed Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, international and Israeli peace activists have descended on the neighborhood to hold a vigil in support of the evicted family.

One fisherman injured by Israeli navy fire south of Gaza
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 04, 2009 - 16:52, A Palestinian fisherman was injured when Israeli navy opened fire at his boat of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah shore.

The Israeli military kidnap six Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 04, 2009 - 16:45, Six Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Wednesday by Israeli troops during invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities

Army orders three Palestinian families to demolish their homes in Nablus city
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 04, 2009 - 16:43, Three Palestinian families were ordered by the Israeli military on Wednesday to demolish three homes that is located in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Clinton Arrives In Cairo
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 04, 2009 - 10:29, US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, arrived in Cairo on Tuesday evening for a short visit aiming ath holding talks with the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.

Israeli military attacks and takes over Iranian ship
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 04, 2009 - 09:35, An Iranian ship was attacked in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea by the Israeli navy early on Wednesday morning, while apparently on its way to Lebanon.

Ma'an News

No road to Jerusalem: Documenting the latest wave of violations
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Photos - The strategy of Israel is one of provocation/reaction to justify repression, and in the case of Israeli abuses in Al-Aqsaa reaction is guaranteed, artists Magda and Andrea explained. The photographers behind the exhibition of images depicting the humiliation and brutality of Israel's checkpoints, the two women hoped to stress the nature of the checkpoint, "mahsom" in Hebrew and "hajiz" in Arabic. In local languages the word means "barrier" and the images the women captured show the frustration behind the world's largest physical barrier preventing men, women and children from realizing both their religious freedom and rights to movement and access. The start of Ramadan at the end of August marked the start of the recent wave of tension, as long lines of worshipers were mistreated, abused, and refused access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month. 

Israel issues demolition orders in Nablus area
11/4/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers distributed warnings of house demolitions on Wednesday to three Palestinians from Ad-Dayheh, near the city of Nablus. Palestinian Authority official Ghassan Doghlus, who monitors settlements in the northern West Bank, stated that Israeli soldiers administered the notifications to Hazem Nather Kathem Antar, Abdel Qader Ahmad Hashem and Majdi Shukri Khalil Asi. Doghlus highlighted that house demolitions in the area work in tandem with settlement expansion and called for an immediate end to "such harassment. "  The news of further house demolitions in the West Bank appears as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement on Wednesday calling for the end of house demolitions and evictions by the Israeli military in East Jerusalem. 

Israeli troops say new Palestinian city under military control
11/5/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Landscapers in what will some day be Rawabi city, a planned community six kilometers north of Ramallah, were ordered by Israeli forces to stop planting more than 2,000 trees ordered for part of the project's "Grow for a Greener Palestine" program on Wednesday. The soldiers told workers tree planting was illegal because the area in question was "Area C" and under Israeli civil and military control. As such, they said, there was no work permitted in the area. Rawabi is a 200 million US dollar Qatari-backed initiative of Palestinian businessman Bashar Masri, who told the Middle East North Africa Financial Network (MENAFN) in 2007 that "The land on which Rawabi will be built is a 20 to 25 minute drive from the city of Ramallah and is located in an area under the control of the Palestinian Authority. " 

Adalah: Israel’s attorney general to falsely indict Arab MK
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an -Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz intends to indict Palestinian Member of the Knesset Muhammed Barakeh in an attempt to "criminalize his political actions," a letter from the official said on Sunday. The independent human rights organization and legal center, Adalah, which received the letter, condemned Mazuz's intention to indict Barakeh, who leads the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality. The indictment seems to charge him for a range of assault charges dating back to 2005. Adalah stated in a press release that "The indictment is not based on any evidence that would convict MK Barakeh; it simply criminalizes MK Barakeh's legitimate political activities against the Wall and the War on Lebanon and attempts to harm the reputation and status of an Arab leader. " Mazuz intends to indict Barakeh for four separate assault charges against police officers. . . 

Ministry: Gaza fisherman shot by Israeli navy
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli naval forces shot a Palestinian fisherman on Wednesday whilst he was fishing near Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. The Agriculture Ministry in Gaza stated that fisherman Bilal Muhammad An-Najjar, 20, was shot in the stomach by Israeli naval officers. The ministry stated that An-Najjar was fishingone km from the Rafah shore line and was taken to Abu Yousef Najjar Hospital, describing his injuries as moderate. Additionally, the ministry remarked that the Israeli occupation holds responsibility for the fishermen's lives. Israeli military officials said they were investigating the claim. [end] 

The housing struggle and the popular committees of Silwan
11/4/2009 - Jerusalem - AIC - Seen from within, the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan seems to be more refugee camp than district of the Jerusalem metropolis. Cinderblock houses are thickly stacked, some separated by inches and accessible only through alleys four feet wide. In this former farming village, homes have been carefully patched and repaired with everything from old boards to blankets. Silwan's appearance is especially striking considering its location: it sits directly downhill from Jerusalem's Old City and the "City of David" archaeological complex, a few kilometers from the city's busy center. Those areas are immaculate and attractive. The trash-free streets are smoothly paved and well-lit, benefiting from excellent municipal services. These and other benefits do not reach the Palestinian residents of Silwan, despite the taxes they contribute. 

Erekat: Two-state solution may have to be abandoned
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The continued expansion of Israeli settlements could force Palestinians to abandon the notion of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Wednesday. It may be time for President Mahmoud Abbas to "tell his people the truth, that with the continuation of settlement activities, the two-state solution is no longer an option," Erekat told a Ramallah news conference, according to Reuters. Israel has refused to comply with previous obligations to dismantle settlements on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. Israel's current government has rejected calls from it close ally the US for a freeze on settlements as a step toward re-launching peace negotiations. On Saturday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that talks be resumed without a settlement freeze, a notion Abbas rejected. 

Israel opens two Gaza crossings
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings in Gaza on Wednesday, while the Nahal Oz fuel terminal will remain closed, according to a Palestinian crossings official. The official, Raed Fattouh, said Israel would allow 66-76 truckloads of aid through Kerem Shalom, in addition to 128 trucks transportingwheat and animal feed were expected through Karni. The Kerem Shalom deliveries will include 330 calves. The crossings, operated by the Israeli Airports Authority, were opened on Tuesday for commercial merchandize, humanitarian aid, and limited quantities of fuel and cooking gas. Fattouh added that the Nahal Oz crossing would be closed. The move to open the border crossings with Israel comes after the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border was opened on Sunday. 

Israeli army detains two Palestinians in raids
11/4/2009 - Ramallah/Jenin - Ma'an - The Israeli military detained a resident from the Qalandiya Refugee Camp on Wednesday and distributed a number of summons orders from Israeli intelligence, in addition to seizing a resident of Birqin, south of city of Jenin, according to Palestinian security officials. The sources state that Younes Jamal, 20, from Qalandiya, and Mohammad Abed Al-Karim Hamdan, 30, from Burqeen, were both detained following a number of raids and forced entry into several houses. A further Israeli military incursion took place in the Tulkarem district, involving the raiding of several homes in the village of Beit Lid, and the distribution two summons orders issued by the Israeli intelligence to Naheed Salamah and Mohammad Jum'ah, security officials said. The detentions follow the surrounding of coffee shop and the interrogation of its patrons by Israeli forces on Tuesday in the town Tubas, also in the northern West Bank. 

Detainees punished for hunger strike at Nafha prison
11/4/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Palestinian hunger strikers at Israel's Nafha prison have been denied family visits since the start of their protests against constant bunk raids and maltreatment by Israeli prison guards, Kadura Fares, head of the Palestinian detainees' society, said Wednesday. The hunger strike, which began Monday, has reportedly been answered by"repressive" actions by the prison administration against Palestinian detainees. Fares said the prison administration also sent some prisoners to isolation cells for their involvement in the strike. [end]

Al-Qassam Brigades: Ready to resist next Israeli war
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Spokesman of Al-Qassam Brigades Abu Obeida told members of the Hamas-affiliated militant group that "In any next confrontation with the Zionist army, the Brigades will not keep silent; we will take any measure to protect the Palestinian people. "Abu Obeida's comments came following the broadcast of remarks by Israel's military Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi at an officer graduation ceremony, were he said "The army will return to face the places where they [Gaza militants] launch rockets which is in the most densely populated areas, [soldiers will return] to fight in the villages, cities, mosques, hospitals, kindergartens and schools because the enemies want to impose this method of fighting against Israel. " A website dedicated to the Al-Qassam Brigades quoted the spokesperson as saying, "These proclamations indicate that the Zionist entity is fribble [sic] with. . . 

US House condemns Goldstone report
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The US House of Representatives condemned as biaseda UN-mandated report alleging war crimes in the Gaza Strip in a resolution on Tuesday. The nonbinding resolution passed by an overwhelming margin of 344 to 36. Twenty-two lawmakers voted "present," in effect abstaining from the vote. The action came in spite of a letter of protest from the report's author, Richard Goldstone, a preeminent South African jurist and former war crimes prosecutor for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. The letter addressed inaccuracies in the resolution's text, and called on its supporters to make sure the text was correct before it was voted on. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who visited Israel in August on a trip sponsored by a pro-Israel lobby group, said the Goldstone report "paints a distorted picture," and "epitomizes the practice of singling Israel out from all other nations for condemnation," according to Reuters. 

Rafah border open for fourth day
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto Ministry of Interior confirmed on Wednesday that the Rafah border crossing will remain partially functioning for a fourth consecutive day. Ministry of Interior spokesperson Ihab Al-Ghussein stated that the border was partially opened to allow five buses to pass through Rafah, two of which were coordinated with Egypt. The ministry stated on Tuesday that twelve buses traversed through the Rafah crossing, including nine buses transporting civilians and students along with three transporting patients. In addition, the ministry noted that approximately 900 people left Gaza, while 150 entered. The ministry called on Egyptian authorities to continue opening the Rafah border crossing regularly as it reports that 6,000 Palestinians in Gaza have requested permits to enter Egypt, in addition to 1,200 persons approved to enter Gaza from Egypt. 

Israel: Weapons ship intercepted
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's navy said special forces discovered hundreds of tons of weapons after they boarded a ship 100 miles off the coast of Israel on the Mediterranean early on Wednesday morning. Israeli authorities said they suspected the weapons were being shipped from Iran to Syria on the Antigua-flagged vessel. The ship was intercepted outside of Israel's territorial waters, which extend 12 miles from shore. The Israeli military said the ship was intercepted during a routine patrol. After an initial search, the ship was towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod, north of Gaza. Israel Navy chief General Rani Ben-Yehuda later told reporters that the ship contained 40 containers filled with 300 tons of weapons each, making it Israel's largest ever arms seizure. In a statement received by Ma'an, the military said the weapons on board were concealed to give the appearance of civilian cargo. 

UN chief: Israel must end provocation in East Jerusalem
11/4/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon implored Israel to bring an end to "provocative" actions in East Jerusalem following the eviction of a third Palestinian family from their home in Sheikh Jarrah on Tuesday. In a statement released by his spokesperson, Ban Ki-moon stressed that "these actions stoke tensions, cause suffering and further undermine trust," a response to the eviction of the Al-Kurd family by Israeli settlers on Tuesday. The UN secretary general further stated that Israel must "cease such provocative actions" and commit to carrying out its obligations under the Road Map peace plan which stipulates a halt to all settlement activity and the reopening ofPalestinian institutions in East Jerusalem. Ban Ki-moon referred to continued Israeli evictions and house demolitions across East Jerusalem and settlement growth as obstacles to peace and a derailment from the Road Map. 

Netanyahu: Palestinian elections could complicate talks
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's Ministerial Committee on National Security hopes to "enter negotiations quickly, while finding a way to overcome the obstacles obstructing this goal," a statement from the group said Wednesday following a meeting. The group also addressed concern that Palestinian elections, set for 24 January, may cause "a polarization of Palestinian Authority positions regarding Israel," and hinder possible talks. According to the statement from the ministers, they were joined by military, intelligence, security and Foreign Ministry officials. [end] 

Pre-talks continue as US-led peace remains illusive
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an -The US-led peace process continues to stagnate as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Cairo with her partner in re-starting Middle East peace talks, special envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday. Clinton reiterated her backtracked position on settlements during comments reporters following a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. She noted that while the US sees the Israeli offer to slow down settlement construction as a positive step, the country ultimately wants to see construction halt "forever. "  Clinton arrived in Egypt from Israel, and Mitchell from Amman, where both are working to get Arab partners on-side for what appears to be the next American push for a peace resolution. Before "we leave the region" US State Department Spokesperson Ian Crowley we want to "touch base with one of the key players in the peace effort. 

Israel raises alert in north
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli military raised the security level to red alert on Wednesday in the Sharon region in northern Israel on Monday. A spokesperson for the Israeli military stated that "the alert was raised for fear of infiltration. "The spokesperson refrained from commenting any further on the situation. There were reports that large numbers of Israeli police and military forces were deployed around the cities of Kfar Saba, Petah Tikva, and the settlement of Ariel, near Nablus. [end] 

Hamas: We are in indirect talks with USA, EU
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas continues to hold indirect talks with the USA and the EU via Switzerland, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the de facto government Dr Ahmed Yousef said Wednesday. Yousef explained the mediation at a meeting of Palestinian Legislative Council members in Gaza city. He said members of the de facto government contacted Swiss officials and clarified their position on elections, unity and peace talks. The Swiss officials will pas the information on to American and EU officials. Yousef said France and Sweeden has also sent envoys to meet with members of the de facto government. During his own meeting with one of the envoys, Yousef said, he explained the obstacles in front of the government work in Gaza, as well as the achievements, particularly of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the past three years. 

UNGA begins debate on Goldstone report, draft resolution
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Delegates to the UN General Assembly began discussing the draft proposal that seeks to push forward investigations into war crimes alleged by the UN-mandated Goldstone report on Wednesday. The draft resolution, submitted by several Arab states, asks that the report be handed up to the UN Security Council for discussion and also be placed under the supervision of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who would oversee the progress on independent investigations into allegations by both Israel and the Gaza government. Egypt's ambassador Maged Abed Al-Aziz, in his address to the assembly, said all parties "must seriously and collectively confront the realities highlighted in the Goldstone report and act accordingly and responsibly in accordance with all obligations under the [Human Rights] Charter and international law, including international humanitarian and human rights laws," Al-Jazeera reported. 

Az-Zahhar to hold Cairo, Damascus talks on unity
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar will travel to Cairo and Damascus for talks regarding the now-stalled Palestinian reconciliation negotiations, he said Wednesday. In a statement, the Gaza-based leader said he believed"Reconciliation is [a]real and strategic option and a factor of power to complete the Palestinian liberation project. Hamas realizes the risks of division and what it does to eliminate the Palestinian cause. "  In Cairo, Az-Zahhar is likely to hold talks with Egyptian mediators, involved for the past year in creating a unity deal between Hamas and rival party Fatah. In Damascus, Az-Zahhar is expected to meet official's from Hamas' highest governing body, the Political Bureau. Talks went off the rails in mid-October after the sides failed to reconcile over what was at the time called a final Egyptian proposal. 

Hamas: PA detained six of our members
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Hamas movement said on Wednesday that Fatah-allied Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces detained six of the movement's members in the West Bank over the past two days. Hamas said its supporters were arrested in the Hebron, Jenin, and Bethlehem areas. The PA has not responded to this report but has denied in the past that it holds political prisoners. [end] 

Bethlehem deportees in Gaza deny link to government
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinians deported to Gaza after the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem stressed on Wednesday that they held no ties with the de facto Hamas investigation services, adding they have never intended to harm the population of Gaza. Responding to rumors claiming that the deportees are working for Hamas' investigation services, Fahmi Kan'an, spokesperson for the Gaza deportees, said,"We are as a unit with one attitude and we seek national unity," adding that such rumors were instigated and spread by persons working for Israel with the intention of tarnishing their image. Kana'an stressed that, "We, the 26 deportees, confirm that none of us has anything to do with such rumors and we do nothing against anybody, however; we support our people and we seek the national unity. 

Hamas official: Egyptian reconciliation plan 'still alive'
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas official Khalil Al-Haya stated on Wednesday that theEgyptian-mediated proposal to reconcile with rival Fatah is "still alive, if it is implemented in one package. "  Khalil Al-Haya, member of the group's Political Bureau was quoted by the Palestinian media forum in Gaza City as saying "the only way for conciliation is for Egypt to host the Palestinian factions to discuss with them the notes on the Egyptian proposal. " Al-Haya added that "Hamas sees conciliation as the only way out of the reality that they are living under and the division among them. "  He continued to note that "Any elections that will be held without national agreement will fail," adding that, "We are ready to the election soon after creating the atmosphere for holding them," rejecting at the accusation that Hamas seeks to separate Gaza from the West Bank. 

Fatah: Hamas bans Arafat rallies in Gaza
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas has banned Fatah activities in the Gaza Strip commemorating the fifth anniversary of the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat next week, Fatah official Abu Shahla said on Wednesday. He told Ma'an that Hamas banned also banned holding a memorial for Fatah leader Sakher Habash who died on Monday in Ramallah. Abu Shahla, who lives in Gaza, explained that Fatah would always commemorate Arafat's anniversary because "he died a martyr without abandoning any of the Palestinian unchangeable principles despite the fact that most Arab countries abandoned him. " On the other hand, the Interior Ministry of the Hamas-controlled Gaza government denied Fatah's story about banning commemoration of Arafat's anniversary. "We have not banned anything, and Fatah has not applied for permission to organize a commemoration," said Interior Ministry spokesperson Ihab Al-Ghussein. 

No obvious successor for Abbas: Interview with Said Zeidani
11/4/2009 - The following interview with professor of political science at Birzeit University Said Zeidani was conducted and published by bitterlemons. org bitterlemons: In the past week we've twice heard reports that Mahmoud Abbas is considering not running for re-election. How serious do you think this is? Zeidani: As far as Abu Mazen [Abbas] personally is concerned, I don't think he is interested in another term. He has expressed his desire to step down and I think he is sincere. The question is whether he will be allowed by his own Fatah faction to do so. I think there will be pressure on him to stay and run for another term. B: Why? Z: The movement is split, it's not as unified as it should be and there continues to be infighting and intrigue. I think it would be difficult for Fatah members to unite around another candidate. 

Poll finds support for Hamas dropping, most support elections
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinians have flip-flopped in their support for Hamas, which spiked markedly following Israel's war on Gaza last winter, a poll from the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion said. The poll used face-to-face interviews of 1,050 Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip during different working hours, selecting one individual in each household using the Last Birthday Method. The choices were taken from a total of 156 election sites, from which 116 are located in the West Bank and 40 sites in Gaza Strip. The poll has a margin of error of 3. 6% In the October poll, 52. 1 % said they would vote for President Mahmoud Abbas in the upcoming Presidential elections, if he is a candidate, while 14. 5 % said they would vote for de facto Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh. 

Bahar: Elections need national consensus
11/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinians must achieve a national consensus before elections proceed, Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council with the Hamas bloc Ahmad Bahar said on Tuesday in Jabaliya. He told attendants of a public meeting, that elections must be free from American and Israeli influence, and gave listeners an overview of his assessment of the Palestinian situation. Bahar remarked that the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem had been subjected to an intense Israeli campaign, threatening the existence of Palestinians and condemned Arab and international silence on the recent outbreaks of violence at Al-Aqsa. The deputy speaker added that Jerusalemites needed strong Islamic and Arab stances to save Palestinian homes in Jerusalem. The deputy speaker made note of the 15,000 graduates in the last two months who have memorized the Qur'an as an indication that the current. . . 

Fire destroys Tulkarem restaurant
11/4/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - A fire erupted in a restaurant of on the ground floor of a residential building following an explosion on Wednesday in the West Bank city of Tulkarem. Firefighters rushed to the scene to contain the blaze which originated in the Ash-Shahed restaurant. The fire caused extensive damage to the restaurant's surroundings, including the residential building it was located in and telecommunication and electricity networks in the area. Palestinian civil defense in Tulkarem said that a gas leak in the restaurant caused the significant explosion that damaged nearby stores. No injuries were reported. Salamah Ash-Shahed, owner of the restaurant said that "the total amount of damages are estimated at (70) thousand shekels", adding that there was no gas leak when he left his restaurantlate Tuesday night. 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.17% on Thursday
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Wednesday, as the Al-Quds Index decreased by 0. 85 points (0. 17%) to close at 500. 1. Trading volume was 330,449 shares traded for a total value of 540,266. 82 US dollars, over the course of 280 trades. The shares of 19 companies were traded. The share prices of nine companies rose, while those of four declined. The top five gainers were GCOM by 4. 26%, QUDS by 4. 24%, AZIZA by 4. 20%, AHC by 3. 90%, and NSC by 3. 85%. The top five losers were NIC by 2. 47%, AMB by 1. 32%, GMC by 1. 25%, and PALTEL by 0. 38%. [end] 

Heavy rains flood several Palestinian areas
11/4/2009 - Many sectors of Palestine saw more rain in the past week than in the entire first four months of winter last year, causing floods. The torrential rains caused schools, roads, and even hospitals to close. In Gaza, where thousands remain homeless as they await the arrival of construction materials blockaded by Israel, the rain meant flooded tent homes and mud-lined streets. Photos 1-3 show flooding in the northern Gaza Strip, with 2-3 in the most recent refugee camp, Al-Karama. Photos 4-6 show the city of Tulkarem, which saw more than 200mm of rain fall in five days. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

ANALYSIS / Arms ship seizure just another battle in the secret war with Iran
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Israel shouldn't congratulate itself too much for intercepting hundreds of tons of weapons apparently meant for Hezbollah. 

WATCH: Video of Israel Navy commandeering arms ship
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Ship believed to be carrying weapons from Iran, disguised as civilian cargo, to Hezbollah. 

Israel Navy chief: Hezbollah-bound Iran ship carried hundreds of tons of arms
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - The Antigua-flagged ship was raided by the Navy not far from the coast of Cyprus before dawn Wednesday. 

Police call off search for terrorist feared loose in Israel
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - The highest level of alert has been declared by security forces in the Sharon plain. 

ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Hamas has used the lull in fighting with Israel not only to restore, but improve its capabilities. 

Iran twitchy since Israel strike on Syria nuke reactor
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Der Spiegel: Iran has demanded Syria return uranium delivered to it prior to the Israeli attack. 

B'Tselem: IDF probes alleged cases of harm to civilians in Gaza
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - B'Tselem reports that IDF is examining 21 cases of violence against civilians during Operation Cast Lead. 

UN chief to Israel: End 'provocative actions' in East Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Settlers force Palestinians out of East Jerusalem home after court rejects family's appeal. 

Sources: Iran gave Hamas missile that can hit Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - MI chief: Hamas has missile with a range of 60km; Hamas refuses to discuss reports of test-fire. 

IDF executes largest-ever terror attack simulation
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - The drill will simulate an enormous explosion in a mall in Haifa, causing around 600 casualties. 

Settlements are fertile ground for Jewish terror
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Had Teitel been satisfied with acts of murder against Palestinians, he would never have been caught. 

Report: Mossad hacked Syrian computer to uncover nuke site
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Mossad agents planted malware on Syrian official's computer while he was at London hotel, 

How Israel caught the suspected Jewish terrorist
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - After Yaakov Teitel was arrested in Jerusalem, armed police broke into his home and roused his family. 

Settler admits to murder, series of bomb attacks
Ha'aretz 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 Nov 2009 - In recent months, the similarity of the threat facing Israel and its Western counterparts has grown. 


[] Video: Israeli Confessions (Never Before Campaign)
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - If one wants to know why and how the conflict started in Palestine more than 60 years ago, the "confessions" of Israeli and Zionist leaders should make it very clear. 700,000 Palestinians (more than half of the Palestinian population at the time) were expelled in 1948. More than 600 towns and villages were ethnically cleansed. Thousands...

[] How the "most moral army in the world" wages war on students (Part 2)
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - The Israeli embassy in London has finally made its excuses for the "senseless outrage" of preventing Berlanty Azzam, a fourth-year student of Bethlehem University, from continuing her studies and robbing her of her degree. She was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint and deported to Gaza blindfolded and handcuffed, and dumped there in the dark late at...

[] A court decision that reflects what type of country the U.S. is Even when government officials purposely subject an innocent person to brutal torture, they enjoy full immunity.
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - It's not often that an appellate court decision reflects so vividly what a country has become, but such is the case with yesterday's ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Arar v. Ashcroft (.pdf). Maher Arar is both a Canadian and Syrian citizen of Syrian descent. A telecommunications engineer and graduate of Montreal's McGill...

[] Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be raped with broken bottles' 
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - The CIA relied on intelligence based on torture in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place where widespread torture practices include raping suspects with broken bottles and boiling them alive, says a former British ambassador to the central Asian country. Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until 2004 the UK's ambassador to...

[] Hamas want Britain to make amends for crimes against Palestine
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - Hamas marked the 92nd anniversary of the infamous Balfour Declaration by recalling the misery of the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) and insisting that European states in general and Britain in particular make amends for the crimes committed against Palestine. It is worth reminding ourselves from time to time what started the trouble all those years ago. Arabs...

[] Detainees punished for hunger strike at Nafha prison
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - Palestinian hunger strikers at Israel's Nafha prison have been denied family visits since the start of their protests against constant bunk raids and maltreatment by Israeli prison guards, Kadura Fares, head of the Palestinian detainees' society, said Wednesday...

[] PFLP: U.S. is not a mediator but an enemy of the Palestinian people
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said on November 3, 2009 that the Palestinian Authority, and all Palestinian parties, must immediately end any and all illusions about the United States or its president, Barack Obama, and instead reject its "negotiations" based on surrender and rely on the Palestinian people and their resistance, unity and...

[] The Goldstone Report at the UN General Assembly: States Must Ensure Victim's Rights and Not Compromise the Rule of Law
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - Today, 4 November 2009, the General Assembly will meet to discuss the Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report). A draft Resolution has been presented to the General Assembly for debate, and it is evident that those who claim to speak on behalf of human rights and international law...

[] Gazans not allowed to rebuild their lives
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - Azzam Salim used to be one of the leading construction contractors in the central Gaza Strip. Today, however, he spends most of his days idly chatting with other unemployed friends near a bank that he helped build several years ago. "As a human first and foremost, I need to live normally like before. This situation is...

[] UN debates Goldstone report
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - The United Nations General Assembly is debating a UN-sponsored report which says Israel committed war crimes during its military assault on the Gaza Strip. The Goldstone report, which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, has already been dismissed by the US House of Representatives as being biaised against Israel. The House on Tuesday voted...

[] Citizen's arrest for Israeli ambassador in Nottingham University today
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - You might recall that Nottingham University students were among those who occupied in support of Gaza in January. In response to a visit by the Israeli ambassador, they have issued the following press release: A planned visit to the University of Nottingham campus today by the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, has caused widespread...

[] Q&A:'This Calm Will Not Last' Jon Elmer interviews Palestinian icon LEILA KHALED
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - Leila Khaled became an instant icon of the Palestinian struggle in 1969, when at 24 she was an operative in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacking of a Boeing 707, the first in a series of high-profile actions intended to put the Palestinians on the political map. She was in a group that...

Palestine Telegraph

Israel: The Army Will Fight the Next Battle Soon in Gaza Strip
Gaza, November 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israeli Army, made a statement this week that "the army will come back to face the rocket launching stages in the overcrowded areas and fight in cities, villages,...

PRC sends a Parliamentarian delegation to Palestinian Refugee Camps, meets Syrian President
London, November 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) coordinated a delegation of parliamentarians to the Palestinian Refugee Camps in Syria. The delegation included a number of MPs and MSPs who investigated the living conditions and suffering experienced by...

Jewish Extremists "Manics" attack Palestinian family in Jerusalem
London, November 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A group of Jewish "Manics" extremists, broke into the closed part of Al-Kurds house which owned by an 85-year-old Kurd woman in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied east Jerusalem. The extremists attacked the house,...

Fenced in but defiant in Israeli-occupied West Bank
West Bank, November 3, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Sabri Mohammed Ghraieb has seen the olive groves that once fringed his West Bank home turn into a Jewish settlement and prison-like walls but still he refuses to leave.

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.

The National

Obama must press Iran on human rights
The National 4 Nov 2009 - While welcoming dialogue with Tehran, lawyer warns west not to concentrate solely on the nuclear issue. 

UN debates Goldstone report on war crimes
The National 4 Nov 2009 - With the General Assembly to vote its on next move, UAE and other Arab nations want the Security Council to consider findings on Gaza conflict.

Israel seizes arms shipment
The National 4 Nov 2009 - The Israeli navy intercepts a ship carrying weapons 100 nautical miles off its coastline overnight.

Obama marks Iranian embassy siege
The National 4 Nov 2009 - Iran must choose whether to open the door to opportunity and prosperity, Barack Obama says, marking the 30th anniversary of the storming of the US embassy in Tehran. 

Succession not on Mubarak agenda
The National 3 Nov 2009 - Opposition is growing in Egypt's political scene to speculation that Hosni Mubarak's youngest son, Gamal, will take over the presidency.

Clinton vows support to Muslim world
The National 3 Nov 2009 - US secretary of state pledges to help with education, women's rights and civil society in struggling countries and to send embassy officials out to offer training.

Hizbollah goes public with security worries
The National 3 Nov 2009 - Group says a series of mysterious events along Lebanon's tense border with Israel pose the greatest risk to safety since the Lebanese civil war.


Settlements 'end two-state hopes'
AlJazeera 5 Nov 2009 - Palestinian negotiator says two-state solution is not an option with continued activity.

Unrest as Iran marks embassy siege
AlJazeera 4 Nov 2009 - Opposition protesters dispersed with batons and tear gas as Iran marks capture of US embassy.

UN debates Goldstone report
AlJazeera 4 Nov 2009 - UN to vote on resolution endorsing findings of report on Israel's assault on Gaza.

Toll rises in Israeli siege on Gaza
AlJazeera 4 Nov 2009 - Health ministry says number of dead from lack of medicine exceeds 360. 

Alternative Information Center

The Goldstone Report at the UN General Assembly: States Must Ensure Victim’s Rights and Not Compromise the Rule of Law
Alternative Information Center 4 Nov 2009 - The Goldstone Report at the UN General Assembly: States Must Ensure Victim’s Rights and Not Compromise the Rule of Law Adalah – Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel * Addameer  * Al Dameer Association for Human...

Seminar Declaration: United in Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism 
Alternative Information Center 3 Nov 2009 - United in Struggle against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism 24-25 October, 2009 Bethlehem , Palestine Seminar Declaration Towards the unity of all forces in struggle for boycott, divestment and sanctions for Palestine

Interview with Shir Hever of the AIC: Clinton, Goldstone and True Cost of the Occupation
Alternative Information Center 3 Nov 2009 - After US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Jerusalem this weekend, the US-mediated peace talks threaten to collapse. Meanwhile Israel ramps up its occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported last Friday...

“We Will Stay Here Like the Fig and the Olive Trees”: The Housing Struggle and the Popular Committees of Silwan 
Alternative Information Center 3 Nov 2009 - Seen from within, the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan seems to be more refugee camp than district of the Jerusalem metropolis. Cinderblock houses are thickly stacked, some separated by inches and accessible only through alleys four feet...

Palestine News Network

Violation of media freedoms in oPt during October 2009 
PNN 4 Nov 2009 - ISRAELI VIOLATIONS AGAINST JOURNALISTS WERE ESCLATED SPECIALY IN JERUSALEM DURING LAST MONTH PNN\ There have been disturbing violations of media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during October 2009. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) monitored many of the Israeli violations against journalists, especially incidents in Jerusalem and Hebron committed by Israeli occupation forces. These included attacks on: Alquds...

Spain and Sweden help Palestinian Authority to meet end of year payments
PNN 4 Nov 2009 - PNN/ Spain and Sweden have joined forces to help the Palestinian Authority (PA) meet its wages and pensions bill until the end of the year, thus helping to ensure the continuous delivery of public services to the Palestinian people. Spain is contributing a total of €25 million and Sweden €4.85 million to the salary and pension payments for almost 80,000 civil servants...

Fenced in but defiant in Israeli-occupied West Bank
PNN 3 Nov 2009 - BEIT IJZA, West Bank — Sabri Mohammed Ghraieb has seen the olive groves that once fringed his West Bank home turn into a Jewish settlement and prison-like walls but still he refuses to leave. For a quarter of a century, the 73-year-old who goes by the nickname, Abu Samir, has stubbornly refused to abandon his home, despite Israel's efforts to make him...

IOF sets up separate court for Palestinian minors
PNN 3 Nov 2009 - The (IOF) is setting up a separate military court for West Bank youths, Haaretz has learned. Until now, adults and minors were judged by the same legal authorities. The change was ordered by GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni on July 29. The order calls for a first-instance military court for youth, presided over by a single juvenile-court judge or by...

Jerusalem Post

J'lem to get 2 additional deputy mayors
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Legislative amendment would pave the way for two haredi members of Municipality's Council to receive salaries as deputy mayors.

Edelstein: Seized Iranian arms proves Goldstone Report encourages terror
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Rivlin: "UN hearing on the Goldstone Report makes it harder for us and for the states of the free world to maintain struggle against terror."

Weapons bound for Syria, Hizbullah
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Hundreds of tons of arms discovered; officials: Shipment 10 times bigger than that of Karine A.

PM: Ship proves Iran supports terror
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - US, Israeli officials condemn arms smuggling attempt; Syrian FM calls Israeli forces "pirates".

US envoy: Obama Israel's closest friend
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - James Cunningham says Washington's opposition to Goldstone Report proves US president's support.

Erekat: PA may ditch two-state solution
Jeruslalem Post 4 Nov 2009 - Palestinians may consider "other options" if peace process falters; Clinton: US opposes settlements.

FM: Democratic states fighting terror should be supported
Jeruslalem Post 4 Nov 2009 - Lieberman tells EU diplomats terrorism "not only Israeli problem"; Shalev slams Goldstone Report in UNGA; EU tries moderating resolution.

Israeli envoy in Turkey pelted with eggs
Jeruslalem Post 4 Nov 2009 - Turkish students condemn Israel for "murdering Palestinians" while attacking ambassador's car.

PA TV: Jews have no history in this land
Jeruslalem Post 4 Nov 2009 - Fatah says Israel created "artificial Israeli symbols" such as "an alleged Temple" in order to erase 4,000 years of Palestinian history.


SYRIA: WFP pilots SMS food distribution
IRIN DAMASCUS Wednesday, November 04, 2009 (IRIN) - A new pilot project by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria has come up with a novel way of getting food aid to Iraqi refugees. WFP claims the project is a world first.

EGYPT: Dabbas Haile, "When life is hard, you have to be tough"
IRIN CAIRO Tuesday, November 03, 2009 (IRIN) - I come from the Gash Barka region of Eritrea, near the Sudanese border. I escaped from prison and left my country on 1 January 2004 to come to Sudan and then Egypt, where I was jailed again.

ISRAEL: New report highlights exploitation of migrant workers
IRIN TEL AVIV Friday, October 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Migrant workers in Israel’s agriculture sector are among the most exploited, according to a 28 October report by Kav LaOved, an Israeli NGO campaigning for the rights of disadvantaged workers in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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...

U.S.: Congress Out of Step with Public on Intl Law? 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (IPS) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution Tuesday condemning the Goldstone Report on Israeli and Hamas actions taking during the Gaza War as "irredeemably biased" against Israel and calling on U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to oppose any...

Stop The Wall

Protests focus on Wall and prisoners
Stop The Wall 5 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. [

Ni’lin resists the Wall under heavy rain
Stop The Wall 5 Nov 2009 - The heavy rain which fell in the West Bank did not prevent the people of Ni’lin village from protesting against the Apartheid Wall. This week, people marched under the slogan of the “Black Wall”, bringing car tires to burn along the base of the Wall. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(22- 29 Oct. 2009)

International Solidarity Movement

Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon
11/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Los Angeles Times - Every Friday, Mohammed Khatib's forces assemble for battle with the Israeli army and gather their weapons: a bullhorn, banners - and a fierce belief that peaceful protest can bring about a Palestinian state. A few hundred strong, they march to the Israeli barrier that separates the tiny farming community of Bilin from much of its land. They chant and shout. A few teenagers throw stones. Khatib helped launch the weekly ritual five years ago in an attempt to "re-brand" a Palestinian struggle often associated with rocket attacks and suicide bombers. "Nonviolence is our most powerful weapon," says the media-savvy secretary of the Bilin village council. "If they cannot accuse us of terrorism, they cannot stop us. The world will support us. ”. . . . The Israeli army has targeted him. He was arrested, severely beaten and threatened with death during a series of midnight raids on the village this summer. 

Settlement by stealth belies promises of restraint
11/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Independent - Maysaa Al-Kurd has lived all her life in the home her family moved into in 1956. The pomegranate tree standing in the garden was planted by her father when she was still an infant nearly half a century ago. But that hardly reassured her yesterday when she heard the Jewish settlers break into the next-door extension building her brother Nabil built to house his family in 2001. "I heard the door opened by force," she said. "And then I heard one of them say: ‘This furniture belongs to whom? '" Later she saw "with my own eyes" a settler breaking a television set. Outside, a refrigerator, cushions and household furniture, apparently removed by the intruders, stood for several hours in the pouring rain. Inside, broken glass could be seen above a stove. What Ms Kurd, of the inner-city East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, was hearing at about 10. 30am yesterday was the latest in an accelerating series of highly charged and organised moves by settlers into the city's Arab sector. 

Action Alert: Write the LA Times in support of Bil’in
11/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The LA Times has published a great article about Bil'in and the popular struggle in today's edition (November 4th). As past experience teach us, an assault by Israel's supporter is sure to follow immediately, and be directed at both the paper itself, its editors and the reporter. These attacks are beyond mere nuisance - they apply real pressure on those targeted, and often dissuade major media from covering Palestinian issues in an objective and truthful manner. Media coverage generally and articles such as this are of great importance for us here on the ground, and we would like to do everything within our power to counter the attacks that threaten them. I urge you to dedicate just a few minutes of your time and send a supportive letter to the LA Times and to the reporter, Richard Boudreaux. The emails to send letters to are, respectively: letters@latimes. com and boudreaux@latimes. com. -- Links: LA Times article

Eleven organizations demand that Mets cancel Citi Field fundraiser for Israeli settlers
11/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Adalah NY - Eleven organizations from the US, Palestine and Israel have called on baseball's New York Mets to cancel a November 21st dinner at the Caesars Club at Citi Field for the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund. The dinner is a fundraiser for Israeli settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank City of Hebron. In a letter sent to the Mets on November 3rd, the groups said, "The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the Obama administration's call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron. "  Seven hundred Israeli settlers, living amidst 150,000 Palestinians in Hebron, are expanding their hold on the historic old city by driving out the Palestinian residents. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israel instructs its diplomats: Use seized arms ship to direct pressure to Iran
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a document to Israeli embassies and consulates around the world on Wednesday, instructing employees to utilize Israel's seizure of a ship carrying some 300 tons of weapons, believed to have been shipped by Iran and meant for Hezbollah, to direct international pressure toward Iran. ...

Students hurl eggs at car of Israel's ambassador to Turkey 
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - Israel's ambassador to Turkey was forced to cancel a university visit in the country's Black Sea region on Wednesday after a group of students pelted his car with eggs. ...

Peres calls Abbas to discuss resumption of peace talks 
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - President Shimon Peres called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday to discuss efforts to restart the peace process. ... 

UN report finds no evidence of arms smuggling to Lebanon
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - Two days before Israel's capture of a ship that was apparently ferrying arms to Hezbollah, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a report to the UN Security Council in which he said the United Nations took the Israeli allegations about weapons smuggling to Hezbollah seriously, but lacked the ability to independently verify the information. ... 

UN assembly set to call for probes of Gaza war
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - The United Nations General Assembly debated on Wednesday a resolution that would call on Israel and the Palestinians to investigate charges of war crimes during the Gaza war detailed in a report that has infuriated Israel. ...

The Guardian

UN set to call for Gaza war investigations by Israel and Palestinians
The Guardian 4 Nov 2009 - General assembly expected to back resolution endorsing Goldstone report on alleged war crimes The UN general assembly is expected to approve a resolution this week calling on Israel and the Palestinians to carry out independent investigations...

Israel seizes ship 'carrying weapons for Hezbollah'
The Guardian 4 Nov 2009 - Military says vessel flying Antiguan flag had ammunition disguised as civilian cargo on board Israeli naval special forces today seized a civilian cargo ship near Cyprus which they said was carrying weapons, including rockets, destined for...

Settlers evict woman from disputed east Jerusalem home
The Guardian 3 Nov 2009 - Hired guards evict elderly Palestinian woman as settlers display what they say is a court order granting them ownership Jewish settlers forced their way into a disputed house in east Jerusalem today, using hired guards to...

Hillary's mistakes | Michael Tomasky
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - The consensus is clear that Hillary Clinton stepped in it on her recent overseas trip. Here's Jason Zengerle at TNR , quoting in part Ben Smith of the Politico: It's certainly starting to seem that way. Last...

Lionel Davidson obituary
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - Award-winning writer renowned for thrillers such as The Rose of Tibet and The Chelsea Murders Graham Greene called Lionel Davidson, who has died aged 87, the first contemporary storyteller to have recaptured the high adventure of...

Arab anger as Hillary Clinton backs Israel on settlements
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - US secretary of state praises concessions by Israel 'Israel can get away with anything,' claims Arab League Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, sought to deflect the anger and disappointment of pro-western Arab states today...

Palestinians must prepare for statehood | Hussein Ibish
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority is taking a unilateral approach to institution-building. It's a policy that demonstrates maturity In an article last week, Ahmad Samhi Khalidi derisively dismissed the plan of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to build the...

American-Israeli settler questioned over terror attacks
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - Yaakov Teitel 'deeply involved in terrorism in all different levels', police spokesman says Israeli security services were today re-questioning an American-Israeli settler who they say has confessed to attacks including the killing of two Palestinians and...

Palestinians condemn Hillary Clinton over Jewish settlements stance
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - Call for return to peace talks rejected after secretary of state praises Israel for offer to curb settlement construction The Palestinian government has accused the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, of undermining progress towards Middle...

Ha'aretz National page

Israeli scientists find stroke drug could help cure cancer
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - Israeli scientists have identified a substance that can kill cancerous cells without harming healthy ones, paving the way for more effective cancer treatment. ... 

Thousands of unsterilized dental implants on their way to West Bank
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - Thousands of unsterilized dental implants have been stolen from the Adin Dental Implant Systems factory near Afula and are believed to be on their way to the West Bank to be sold or smuggled abroad. ... 

International poll: Israelis no longer worried about recession 
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - Israeli consumers have regained the faith, in the economy that is. Their concerns regarding the recession have largely, if not completely, abated, relative to their peers around the world. ...

Hebrew University professors now lecture to train passengers 
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - The passenger at the Modi'in train station who Wednesday asked which carriage on the train to Tel Aviv would be the site of the university lecture on Albert Einstein's love letters was not confused. After exploring the feasibility of making its faculty available for lectures on trains, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem gave the honor of delivering the first Israel Railways train lecture to its former president, physics professor Hanoch Gottfreund. ... 

Government proposes work camps for illegal migrants
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - The government is considering establishing work camps in the south of the country, where illegal migrant workers will receive shelter, food and medical care, Army Radio reported Wednesday. In exchange, illegal migrants would perform manual labor outside the camps, but would not earn a salary. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: 'Leave all politics and selectivity at the door and take up the cause of justice,' urges UN GA President, as body takes up report on Gaza conflict
Relief Web 4 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: General Assembly begins debate on UN rights probe into Gaza conflict
Relief Web 4 Nov 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Syria/OPT: Pedal for Peace Bike Ride 2009
Relief Web 4 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Influenza A (H1N1): Eastern Mediterranean Region - WHO latest update, 02 Nov 2009
Relief Web 4 Nov 2009 - Source: World Health Organization

Some 400 million people could join ranks of slum dwellers by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to reverse trend, UN–Habitat tells Second Committee
Relief Web 4 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Palestinian state may have to be abandoned - Erekat
Relief Web 4 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

PM presents 'Goldstone-Iran absurdity' 
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - While Tehran sends arms to terrorists, prime minister says, UN committee's report points finger to Israel 

IDF: Arms smuggling will continue 
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - Military says that while capture of Hezbollah-bound weapons shipment was major blow to Iran, Syria and Shiite group, smuggling attempts are likely to continue using different routes 

Protestors call on settlers to evacuated disputed Sheikh Jarrah home
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - Palestinians, leftists rally against entrance of Jews into al-Kurd family home in east Jerusalem in accordance with court order. 'Settlers thwarting future agreement; it will be hard to divide Jerusalem into two cities,' one of them says. Settlers: They must respect the law 

ElBaradei: Iran wants to be seen as regional power
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - UN nuclear chief says Iran's nuclear program is attempt to be seen as regional power, 'means to an end' 

Gillerman sent to NY to help in anti-Goldstone PR campaign 
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - Former UN ambassador heads to US at Netanyahu's request, says will do his best to explain that Gaza war report is 'one-sided, distorted and biased' 

Swine flu: J'lem school to suspend studies Thursday
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - Education Ministry, under Jerusalem Health Bureau's directive, closes capital school due to students developing H1N1 virus symptoms 

Netanyahu on seized arms ship: World must back Israel, pressure Iran
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - PM calls on international community to work towards blocking Tehran's 'criminal activity,' support Israel in 'fight against terrorists, their sponsors' 

Arms ship: How Iran tried to dupe Israeli intelligence 
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - Hezbollah-bound vessel carrying vast amounts of weapons, ammunition left Iranian port 10 days ago; cargo was transferred to German ship, seized a few hours after leaving Egyptian port on Tuesday. IDF: Syria planned to transfer arms to Lebanon by land 

Terror alert in Sharon region lifted 
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - Roadblocks removed after few hours of highest police alert level in Sharon, Triangle areas for fear of terror attack 

UN meets on Goldstone Report 
YNet News 4 Nov 2009 - General Assembly session on report probing Gaza war underway. Assembly likely to defer report to UN Security Council, where US is expected to veto proposed resolution imposing new inquest 


Update on Cast Lead investigations
2 Nov 2009 - The Military Police are investigating some 21 incidents from Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. However, these investigations address specific incidents and will not address larger policy questions. They will also not examine the responsibility of civ

Daily Star

Protesters and police engage in violent Tehran clashes
Daily Star 5 Nov 2009 Riot police waded in with batons and teargas to break up opposition protests in Tehran on Wednesday, as huge crowds staged a noisy anti-US rally nearby to mark the storming of the American Embassy by students 30 years ago. Witnesses said the clashes occurred at Haft-e-Tir Square in the heart of the capital, where several hundred opposition supporters.

Israel settlement-construction activity 'illegitimate,' says Clinton
Daily Star 5 Nov 2009 The United States does not accept Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land but believes resuming peace talks is the best way to curb them, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. Clinton, facing Arab criticism over a perceived US tilt to accommodate Israeli expansion of West Bank settlements, said Washington's stance on the tinderbox issue had not changed., The United States does not accept Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land but believes resuming peace talks is the best way to curb them, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. Clinton, facing Arab criticism over a perceived US tilt to accommodate Israeli expansion of West Bank settlements, said Washington's stance on the tinderbox issue had not changed.

UN General Assembly set to call for probes into Gaza offensive
Daily Star 5 Nov 2009 The UN General Assembly debated on Wednesday a resolution that would call on Israel and the Palestinians to investigate charges of war crimes during the Gaza war detailed in a report that has infuriated Israel. The nonbinding resolution on the so-called Goldstone report, which looked certain to be approved by the 192-nation assembly.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas: Obama’s administration gives Abbas hollow promises
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Hamas Movement has accused Wednesday the administration of US president Barak Obama of encouraging the Israeli settlement activities, and of giving Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas “hollow” promises..

Hayya: Egypt must find answers to the Palestinian factions’ reservations
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Dr. Khalil Al-Hayya said on Wednesday that the national reconciliation was the only solution for the Palestinian people to bail themselves out of the political crises engulfing them.

Bahar: Holding elections need national consensus away from external dictates
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, stated that holding any Palestinian elections needs national consensus away from the Zio-American dictates.

Farwana: 350 Jerusalemites detained in IOA in jails without any rights
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is detaining 350 Jerusalemites in its jails including four females without according them any rights, Abdul Nasser Farwana, an expert in prisoners affairs, said.

Haneyya government warns of impact of Ashkenazi’s threats against Gaza
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian government warned Wednesday of the impact of the serious remarks made by Israeli chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi about waging another all-out war on the Gaza Strip.

IOF soldiers storm Balata, wound fisherman in Gaza
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus city, at an early hour on Wednesday and paralyzed life in the camp for almost an hour.

Miles of Smiles convoy moves by sea route to El-Arish
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The government committee against the siege declared that the European medical aid convoy "Miles of Smiles" sent to the Gaza Strip has finally moved from the Egyptian Port Said harbor to El-Arish.

Mother deprived of seeing her three sons in Israeli jails passes away
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Al-Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies reported that a mother of three Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails called Itaf Al-Qawasmi, 62, died Monday after spending two weeks in hospital.

Zahhar in Cairo next Thursday to follow up reconciliation file
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, a member of Hamas political bureau, said Tuesday that he intends to go to Cairo next Thursday in order to follow up the inter-Palestinian reconciliation file.

Islamic Jihad: Abbas's militias still hunting our cadres
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The Islamic Jihad Movement has charged security militias loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas with continuing their arrest campaigns in lines of its cadres in the West Bank.

Los Angeles Times

Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon 
LA Times 4 Nov 2009 - Mohammed Khatib and his West Bank supporters hope to rally others to a peaceful campaign for statehood. But fellow Palestinians seem largely indifferent, and Israel's army is not amused. Every Friday, Mohammed Khatib's forces assemble for battle with the Israeli army and gather their weapons: a bullhorn, banners -- and a fierce belief that peaceful protest can bring about a Palestinian state. 

Clinton meets with Mubarak in bid to ease Arab frustration 
LA Times 5 Nov 2009 - The secretary of State makes an unscheduled stop in Egypt to try to clarify her stand on Israeli settlements and salvage prospects for Middle East peace talks. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday in a move to rescue shrinking Middle East peace prospects and regain the confidence of Arab nations angry that Washington has not pressed Israel harder to stop building settlements. 

In Iran, anti-government protests rival anti-America rally 
LA Times 5 Nov 2009 - On the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover, the official rally in Tehran is countered by boisterous protests against the regime in several cities. Clashes in the capital turn violent. A cry from the streets of Tehran put Iranian attitudes toward America at the center of a day of violent clashes Wednesday. 

Iranians brace for tougher economic times 
LA Times 4 Nov 2009 - Profits for small businesses are shrinking and the government is wrestling with an overhaul package that may cut subsidies on food and fuel. It's not a good time to be a dry cleaner in downtown Tehran. 

Hamas tested rocket with a longer range, Israel says 
LA Times 4 Nov 2009 - The rocket was reportedly supplied by Iran and can reach Tel Aviv from Gaza. Israeli officials say the launch is the latest sign that the militant group is rebuilding and upgrading its arsenal. Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip have test-fired a rocket with a 37-mile range, Israel's military intelligence chief said Tuesday, giving them the capacity to reach deeper into Israel and strike Tel Aviv's southern suburbs and possibly its international airport. 

New York Times

Clinton Backs Peace Talks Before Israeli Settlement Freeze
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s call for peace talks to precede a freeze of Israeli settlements conflicts with Arab and Palestinian demands.

U.N. Set to Endorse Inquiry Into Possible War Crimes in Gaza
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - The U.N. is expected to endorse a report that found evidence that Israel and Palestinian militants had each committed war crimes during last winter’s Gaza conflict.

Israeli Navy Captures Arms Shipment
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - Officials say a cargo ship captured off Cyprus was carrying weapons for Hezbollah but offered no proof.

Short-Term Fixes Sought in Mideast
New York Times 4 Nov 2009 - With the peace push stalled, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is sketching out a more modest effort.

Israel Says Hamas Test-Fired Rocket
New York Times 4 Nov 2009 - Hamas militants in Gaza recently test-fired a rocket that flew 37 miles into the sea, which could put it within the reach of Tel Aviv, Israel said.

Israel Navy Captures Arms Ship
New York Times 4 Nov 2009 - Israel said the weapons found on the ship near Cyprus were sent from Iran to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, but did not say how the connection had been established.


Settlers evict woman from disputed east Jerusalem home 
11/4/2009 - The Guardian - Hired guards evict elderly Palestinian woman as settlers display what they say is a court order granting them ownership - Jewish settlers forced their way into a disputed house in east Jerusalem today, using hired guards to evict an elderly Palestinian woman and throwing out other residents' belongings. The settlers displayed what they said was a court order granting them ownership of the single-storey building. Human rights groups said the takeover was part of a push by Jewish settlers to expand their presence in the traditionally Arab sector. Palestinians and Israeli supporters clashed with the settlers after they took over the building, and police intervened to restore calm. One Israeli protester was arrested, officials said. Similar clashes have broken out over nearby buildings in recent months. " It's clear to me that this is another case of settlers taking the law into their own 

UN set to call for investigations into Gaza war by Israel and Palestinians 
11/4/2009 - The Guardian - General assembly expected to back resolution endorsing Goldstone report on alleged war crimes - The UN general assembly is expected to approve a resolution this week calling on Israel and the Palestinians to carry out independent investigations into serious allegations of war crimes committed during the Gaza conflict last January. A debate on a highly critical UN report, written by the South African judge Richard Goldstone, begins today, with a vote on a resolution likely. Negotiations are continuing on the resolution and several European countries are trying to change the wording. " We're listening to all comments, but the draft resolution as it stands, the thrust of it, is asking for investigation, and there is unanimity on that call," said Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian observer at the UN. "We'll take it from there. " 

Israel seizes ship ’carrying weapons for Hezbollah’ 
11/4/2009 - The Guardian - Military says vessel flying Antiguan flag had ammunition disguised as civilian cargo on board - Israeli naval special forces today seized a civilian cargo ship near Cyprus which they said was carrying weapons, including rockets, destined for the Hezbollah militant group. The ship, flying an Antiguan flag, was boarded and brought to an Israeli port after ammunition and weapons "disguised as civilian cargo" were found on board, the Israeli military said. It was intercepted 100 miles west of the Israeli coastline and brought to Ashdod. Matan Vilnai, the deputy Israeli defence minister, said the weapons included Katyusha rockets. Vilnai claimed they were destined for Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group that fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006 and which Israel claims is Iranian-supported. Hezbollah fired thousands of Katyusha rockets into Israel during the conflict. 

Palestinian workers: We’re being treated like cattle 
11/3/2009 - YNetNews - Thousands of laborers waiting to cross into Israel via Eyal checkpoint, near Qalqilya, have to do so while exposed to harsh cold - The 4,500 Palestinian workers who travel through the Eyal checkpoint, near West Bank city of Qalqilya, on their way to work in Israel, are finding it hard to enjoy the long-awaited winter. The checkpoint provides cover for those waiting to cross it, but its little shed can shelter about 100 people at the most, leaving the rest exposed to rain and cold winds. "I usually like the winter, but why do we have to stand here like this? "wondered Majid Nazal, a construction worker who crosses the checkpoint daily. According to Nazal, Sundays and Thursday pose the biggest challenge, as about 5,000 people crowd the checkpoint starting at 4 am. "We stand there in the rain like cattle… what are they waiting for – someone to die from the cold? " Mahmoud Diab 

Erekat: Palestinian state may have to be abandoned 
11/4/2009 - YNetNews - Reuters - Chief Palestinian negotiator expresses concern over continued expansion of Jewish settlements, says goal of independent state will not be fulfilled if US does not interfere - The alternative left for Palestinians is to "refocus their attention on the one-state solution where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live as equals", Erekat said. - Palestinians may have to abandon the goal of an independent state if Israel continues to expand Jewish settlements and the United States does not stop it, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Wednesday. It may be time for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to "tell his people the truth, that with the continuation of settlement activities, the two-state solution is no longer an option," Erekat told a news conference. Israel has rejected the idea of a de facto annexation of the occupied West Bank, incorporating the Palestinians 

General Assembly begins debate on UN rights probe into Gaza conflict 
11/4/2009 - United Nations: International Law - 4 November 2009 – The General Assembly today began its debate on the report of the United Nations probe which found that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants were guilty of serious human rights violations during the Gaza conflict earlier this year. The report is the result of a three-month investigation, led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former prosecutor at the UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and mandated by the UN Human Rights Council. The four-member team found evidence that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants committed serious war crimes and breaches of humanitarian law, which may amount to crimes against humanity, during the conflict in December 2008 and January 2009. The report calls for a number of measures, including its referral to the Security Council, since neither the Government of Israel nor the responsible Palestinian authorities 

Hizbollah goes public with security worries 
11/3/2009 - The National - Beirut // A series of mysterious events along Lebanon’s tense border with Israel, as well as growing concern that the Shiite community could be targeted by Sunni militants, had pushed Hizbollah to increase security to previously unseen levels, according to members of the Shiite movement, as well as independent observers. Hizbollah officials and members say the group faces a series of threats that, when combined, pose some of the greatest security challenges that the group has seen since the end of the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s. “We have moved to the highest state of alert we have,” said one Hizbollah military commander, who is responsible for security in Beirut’s southern suburbs, where the group’s top officials and infrastructure is based. “Between the arrest of over 70 Zionist spies in the last year, threats from Sunni groups with al Qa’eda and the incidents in the south, we have 

Israel: Gaza rockets can reach metro Tel Aviv 
11/4/2009 - - AP News - Hamas militants in Gaza have successfully test-fired an Iranian rocket able to reach Israel's largest urban center, the country's military intelligence chief said Tuesday. Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee that the rocket could fly 37 miles (60 kilometers), and strike metropolitan Tel Aviv, Israeli media reported. Until now, rockets fired from Gaza have reached up to 25 miles (40 kilometers), putting one-eighth of Israel's population within rocket range. Yadlin said the rocket was fired in recent days, but no further details were immediately available from his testimony before the closed session. Defense officials say Palestinian militants in Gaza generally test-fire rockets into the Mediterranean Sea. It was not clear whether the rocket actually flew 37 miles (60 kilometers), or why Yadlin described the rocket as being of Iranian origin. 

Israeli General Claims Iran Nuclear Facility Has No Civilian Use 
11/3/2009 - - Accuses Iran of 'Intentionally' Having Legal Nuclear Program - Israeli Major General Amos Yadlin, the nation’s military intelligence chief, publicly denounced Iran today, insisting that there was “no possible civilian use” for its new Iran’s Qom enrichment facility. Iran revealed the facility, still under construction, in September. Last week the IAEA inspected the facility, but hasn’t made public any of its findings yet. Western officials have condemned the site, which Iran insists will be used for civilian enrichment. But Maj. Gen. Yadlin sees those claims as an insidious plot. He went on to accuse Iran of “intentionally” developing its nuclear program in such a way as to be of purely civilian use (and therefore legal) so as to avoid international moves against them. He also claimed the Qom facility was an effort to make it harder for their program to be sabotaged. 

Hamas denies Israeli allegation about having ballistic missile 
11/4/2009 - War in Iraq - GAZA, (PIC)-- The Movement of Hamas categorically denied an Israeli allegation that it conducted successful experiments on a missile with a range of 60 km that may reach Tel Al-Rabi (Tel Aviv). Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said this allegation is a proactive step taken by Israel to influence the world opinion prior to the discussion of the Goldstone report in the UN general assembly. Spokesman Barhoum added that the adoption of the Goldstone report prompted Israel to fabricate such lies to incite the world and public opinion against Hamas. He also warned that this fabrication could be an attempt by Israel to justify intended crimes against Gaza people. For his part, Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, refused to comment on Israeli intelligence reports that the Brigades tested a ballistic missile that could reach Tel Aviv but said that Israel has many malicious goals behind spreading fabricated news. 

Israel bides time after making Hamas rocket claim 
11/4/2009 - China View - JERUSALEM, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Israel now believes the militant Palestinian organization Hamas has taken possession of a rocket capable of reaching Tel Aviv, the country's main conurbation. The claim was made by Israel's head of military intelligence Amos Yadlin during a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, on Tuesday. Pondering reactions followed Israeli claim, analysts believe that at the present it is not in the interests of both sides to see military confrontation breaking out anytime soon. HAMAS DENIES ROCKET CLAIM - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) believes Hamas now has a foreign-made missile with a range of 60 km. That brings into range Tel Aviv and large towns in the Jerusalem foothills. Israel maintains that Hamas tested the rocket over the Mediterranean Sea last Thursday, on a stormy day, perhaps in a bid to 

Int’l community will not tolerate Israeli violations: Palestine 
11/5/2009 - China View - UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Palestine Wednesday called the situation in the Gaza Strip "grave and highly volatile" with continued Israeli crimes, warning that the international community will "no longer tolerate its illegal actions. "This statement came as the permanent observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, was taking the floor at the UN General Assembly on the debate of the Goldstone report, which found evidence that both Israel and the Palestinians committed serious war crimes during the 22-day Gaza conflict which broke out on Dec. 27, 2008. "Today, we call upon the international community, on behalf of all the Palestinian victims who have suffered from the Israeli crimes, to take a clear stand for upholding justice and international law," said Mansour. "The draft resolution before the General Assembly represents a serious, responsible, collective 

Israel says Hizbullah ’amassing weapons’ in civilian homes 
11/4/2009 - Daily Star - UNIFIL insists there is no official proof to back up the claims - BEIRUT: Israel’s military intelligence chief on Tuesday accused Hizbullah of stockpiling wea pons inside civilian homes in south Lebanon, a charge dismissed by current and former UNIFIL officials as either premature or disingenuous. During a briefing with Israel’s foreign affairs and defense committee, Major General Amos Yadlin said that Hizbullah’s arms were proliferating and being stored in areas in which international peacekeeping troops operate. “The organization continues to arm itself and it is amassing many weapons by [procuring them from] Iran via Syria,” a parliamentary spokesperson quoted Yadlin as saying. “It is accumulating these arms south of the Litani River, inside civilian homes in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. 

U.S. hope dims for high-level Israeli-Palestinian talks over state 
11/4/2009 - Washington Post - CAIRO -- The Obama administration has concluded that an early resumption of high-level negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over a Palestinian state is unlikely in the near future -- an acknowledgment that it has fallen short, for now, on one of its major initial foreign policy goals. While still pressing for face-to-face talks between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Binyamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun to urge Arab states to encourage Palestinian participation in lower-level talks with Israel to avoid a vacuum. " We recognize that things have stalled," Clinton spokesman P. J. Crowley said. "We're looking at a variety of ways that increase interaction between the parties in some form. "He described the proposals as "baby steps" that would eventually "create a momentum of their own, and the effort can pick up steam. " 

Clinton diverts to Egypt for Mideast peace talks 
11/3/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP - CAIRO – U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a hastily arranged stop in the Egyptian capital Tuesday to consult with a longtime Arab ally amid indications of a shifting U. S. strategy for getting Israel and the Palestinians back to peace negotiations. Instead of returning to Washington, as scheduled, after attending an international conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Clinton flew to Cairo and held late-night talks with Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian intelligence chief. She was due to meet Wednesday with President Hosni Mubarak before returning to Washington to brief President Barack Obama. Egypt and other Arab nations reacted with strong concern to remarks Clinton made in Jerusalem on Saturday. She caused a stir when she said with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at her side that his government's offer to restrain — but not stop — settlement activity in Palestinian areas was unprecedented. 

Defence minister: Renewal of negotiations is vital Israeli interest 
11/3/2009 - Monsters and Critics - DPA - Tel Aviv - Israel's moderate defence minister insisted Tuesday that the hardline government he had joined was interested in renewing peace talks with the Palestinians. Speaking as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Middle East envoy George Mitchell were wrapping up a visit to the region, Ehud Barak said he that reviving the negotiations was a 'vital' Israeli interest. 'We in Israel appreciate very much the efforts of the secretary and of Senator Mitchell to try and bring about a renewal of negotiations between us and the Palestinians. The Israeli government continues to act and I am in the government mainly to make sure that this happens,' said the Israeli minister, of the left-to-centre coalition Labour Party. He said talks with the US would continue when he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travel to Washington early next week. 

Foxman to Goldstone: Recant 
11/3/2009 - JTA - The ADL's Abe Foxman wants Richard Goldstone to reepudiate his report accusing Israel of committing war crimes during last winter's Gaza war. Foxman's address to the Oct. 30 ADL national meeting was redistributed today, on the eve of consideration of the report by the U. N. General Assembly as an open letter to Goldstone. In it, the ADL's nhational director notes Goldstone's accomplishments as a judge and a friend of Israel, but says he was dangerously naive if he thought he could sway the manifestly anti-Israe4l U. N. Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report: "I have had great respect for you over the years. Your work at the head of the South Africa Reconciliation Commission and in helping to find a just solution to the Bosnian conflict deserves the highest commendation. Moreover, I know you to be a proud Jew who serves on the Board of Trustees of Hebrew University and who has a daughter living in Israel. 


Settlement by stealth belies promises of restraint 
Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem, The Independent 11/4/2009
      Hillary Clinton has praised Israel for its policy on settlers but, the displacements go on
     Maysaa Al-Kurd has lived all her life in the home her family moved into in 1956. The pomegranate tree standing in the garden was planted by her father when she was still an infant nearly half a century ago. But that hardly reassured her yesterday when she heard the Jewish settlers break into the next-door extension building her brother Nabil built to house his family in 2001.
     "I heard the door opened by force," she said. "And then I heard one of them say: ’This furniture belongs to whom?’" Later she saw "with my own eyes" a settler breaking a television set. Outside, a refrigerator, cushions and household furniture, apparently removed by the intruders, stood for several hours in the pouring rain. Inside, broken glass could be seen above a stove.
     What Ms Kurd, of the inner-city East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, was hearing at about 10.30am yesterday was the latest in an accelerating series of highly charged and organised moves by settlers into the city’s Arab sector. Armed with a court order saying they own the property, the settlers – about 40, according to Ms Kurd – decided to break in just four days after Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, dismayed Palestinian and other Arab leaders by praising the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s "unprecedented" promise of "a restraint" in illegal settlement activity.
     Mrs Clinton sought on Monday to "clarify" her remarks by acknowledging that Mr Netanyahu’s proposals fell well short of the settlement freeze the US had earlier called for. And, while Mr Netanyahu has offered temporarily to halt authorisations of new settlement building in the West Bank, he has resolutely set his face against any slowdown in East Jerusalem..... more.. e-mail

From Washington and Jerusalem: more bad news 
Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy 11/2/2009
      Back in 2007, we wrote that AIPAC has an "almost unchallenged hold on Congress." Little has happened since then to alter that conclusion, and we will probably get another demonstration of Congressional spinelessness this week. On Tuesday, the House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 867, an AIPAC-sponsored resolution denouncing the recent Goldstone Report on possible war crimes by Hamas and Israel during the Gaza War last year. You can read the resolution here. You should then read Judge Goldstone’s response here, which points out the errors in the House resolution. And then read historian Tony Judt’s eloquent statement here. If you’re convinced that the resolution makes a mockery of America’s professed commitment to justice and human rights, then you might express that sentiment here or here. Or just call your Congressman’s office and tell him/her to grow a backbone and vote against it.
     Meanwhile, over in Israel itself, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is completing the Obama administration’s humiliating retreat from the principles set forth in the president’s Cairo speech of less than five months ago. In a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Clinton did not criticize continued Israeli home demolitions in East Jerusalem (a practice she had previously denounced), and praised Netanyahu for making "unprecedented concessions" on settlement expansion. Huh? This is Clintonian double-talk worthy of her husband. Netanyahu’s "concession" was to insist that Israel would keep building whatever and wherever it wished in East Jerusalem, and would also continue the "natural growth" of settlements in the West Bank, but would not start any completely new settlements for awhile. Bear in mind that virtually every country in the world regards all of the settlements -- both the unauthorized outposts and the vast neighborhoods built by the Israeli government -- as illegal under international law, and the United States used to say this too.... more.. e-mail

Who decided to go to war in Gaza and why? 
Aluf Benn, Ha’aretz 10/28/2009
      I want to know how and why it was decided to embark on Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip and to expand it into a ground offensive. I want to know if the decisions were affected by the Israeli election campaign then underway and the change in U.S. presidents. I want to know if the leaders who launched the operation correctly judged the political damage it would cause Israel and what they did to minimize it. I want to know if those who gave orders to the Israel Defense Forces assumed that hundreds of Palestinian civilians would be killed, and how they tried to prevent this.
     These questions should be at the center of an investigation into Operation Cast Lead. An investigation is necessary because of the political complexities that resulted from the operation, the serious harm to Palestinian civilians, the Goldstone report and its claims of war crimes, and the limits that will be imposed on the IDF’s freedom of operation in the future. There is no room to argue that the government should be allowed to govern without interference and investigations, with the public passing judgment at the ballot box. The government changed after the Gaza operation and the questions remain troublesome.
     The investigations by the army and Military Police are meant to examine soldiers’ behavior on the battlefield. They are no substitute for a comprehensive examination of the activities of the political leadership and senior command, who are responsible for an operation and its results. It’s not the company or battalion commanders who need to be investigated, but former prime minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and the heads of the intelligence chiefs and Foreign Ministry, who were party to the decisions. It is also important to investigate Barak and Livni’s election campaign advisers to find out if and how the campaign affected the military and diplomatic efforts. more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
J Street conference only step one
Electronic Intifada: 4 Nov 2009 - Was the recently held J Street conference the herald of an incipient peace treaty in Israel-Palestine? The supporters of the new lobby group hope so. Its name is a riff on K Street, the real Washington, DC address of many powerful lobbying firms. With a staff of 30 and a budget of millions, it has set itself up as the liberal alternative to AIPAC. Max Ajl comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

New York Mets called on to cancel settlement fundraiser
Electronic Intifada: 4 Nov 2009 - Eleven organizations from the US, Palestine and Israel have called on baseball's New York Mets to cancel a 21 November dinner at the Caesars Club at Citi Field for the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund. The dinner is a fundraiser for Israeli settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank City of Hebron. 

Book review: "A World I Loved"
Electronic Intifada: 4 Nov 2009 - "This is my story, the story of an Arab woman," Wadad Makdisi Cortas states in the opening line of her memoir A World I Loved . Born Wadad Makdisi in Beirut in 1909, which at that time was considered a part of Syria, she discovered Arab nationalism at a young age and lived a life true to the idea in every sense. Cortas believed passionately that Arabs, in order to protect their culture and values, should liberate themselves from Western colonialism which sought to impose its ways and divide the people. Matthew Cassel reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Gazans not allowed to rebuild their lives
Electronic Intifada: 4 Nov 2009 - Azzam Salim used to be one of the leading construction contractors in the central Gaza Strip. Today, however, he spends most of his days idly chatting with other unemployed friends near a bank that he helped build several years ago. "As a human first and foremost, I need to live normally like before." Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

In Gaza
peak hour
4 Nov 2009 - Children swarming the streets coming from school, men and women going to market, people employed as traffic police, police –many who worked for the former government and continued with the current government –people on bikes, in taxis, afoot… These were the scenese when Israel began dropping bombs all over Gaza on December 27 and kept it up for the next 22 days, indiscriminately targeting civilians at a peak hour, in their homes, schools, cars, mosques, kindergartens… Think of these children, and justice for Palestinians.  And ask, what more than supporting the Goldstone report (important, but certainly not marking Israel’s first violations of international human rights) can we do? … BDS :...

Palestine Chronicle
A Nation of Golems
5 Nov 2009 - By Professor William A. Cook “Even the most perfect of Golem, risen to life to protect us, can easily change into a destructive force. Therefore let us treat carefully that which is strong, just as we bow kindly and patiently to that which is weak. Everything has its time and place.” (Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, 1512-1609) The U.S. House of Representatives voted 344-36 in support of H. Res. 867, a vote to reject the Goldstone Report Findings and Recommendations, thus protecting Israel against indictment for crimes against humanity and illegal acts of war as determined by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s special investigation of the Christmas invasion of Gaza this past year. The House of Representatives, acting as a body, embodies the most heinous machinations of the ancient legend of a mythical beast called the Golem. The most famous of the Golem stories comes out of Medieval Prague where Rabbi Loew contended with the paradox of human existence as driven by human desire to control life on the one hand and God’s absolute power over life, “from dust to dust,” on the other. The good Rabbi, it is alleged, turned to the forbidden scriptures to give life to a human form created out of the mud of the Vltava River that flows through Prague; this figure constructed of clay, inanimate matter, a shapeless mass, imperfect, unformed, a body without a soul, responds in perfect obedience to his master. He symbolizes the ultimate protector of the victimized as he...

Hillary Clinton's Diplomacy Inaction
5 Nov 2009 - By James Gundun - Washington DC Like a room filled with methane, the combustible element of failure waited silently for a spark. Neither special envoy George Mitchell nor President Obama could budge the Palestinians from their demand for an Israeli settlement freeze. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with an established pro-Israeli bias, is known to bite. Coming off a three day jaunt in Pakistan that left America with even less friends, she detonated another bombshell in another conflict, her diplomacy more stagecraft than statecraft. ‘What the prime minister has offered, 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,’ an upbeat Clinton said in Jerusalem, next to the solemn Benjamin Netanyahu. An Israeli cheer session so late in the hour poses obvious obstacles to a two-state solution, indicated by the Palestinians’ swift and harsh response. Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for PA president Mahmoud Abbas, warned, ‘The negotiations are in a state of paralysis, and the result of Israel's intransigence and America's back-pedaling is that there is no hope of negotiations on the horizon.’ Senior negotiator Saeb Erekat added, ‘Pressuring Palestinians to make further concessions to accommodate Israeli intransigence is not the answer.’ But Clinton wasn’t so wrong to state her true position as to retreat from a hail of missiles under a two-face shield. ‘This offer falls far short of what our preference would be’, she said a day later in Marrakech, ‘but...

No Emergency Summits for Arab Human Development Crisis
3 Nov 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud When the first Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) was published in 2002, a star glistened in a vast, gloomy sky. The fact that a UN-sponsored report, authored by independent Arab scholars would receive so much attention in Arab media, was in itself a promising start. The fact that such terminology as human security, personal security, economic security, etc – as highlighted in the report – would even compete with the largely ceremonial news bulletins’ headlines in many Arab countries was in itself an achievement. But then, the star quickly faded, the terms became clichés, and the report, published seven times since then, became a haunting reminder of how bad things really are in the Arab World. Those who wish to discredit Arab countries, individually or as a collective, now find in these reports plenty of reasons to fuel their constant diatribes; those who genuinely care and wish for things to improve are either silent or muted. The last report, sponsored, like the rest, by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) was published in July 2009. It was the grimmest. Its statistics are intriguing, although depressing. 2.9 million square kilometers of land in the Arab World are threatened by desertification. Natural resources are depleting at an alarming level. Birth rates are the highest in the world. Unemployment is skyrocketing. 50 million new jobs must be created by 2020. Arab oil-based economies leave some Arab countries entirely vulnerable to market price fluctuations or the depletion of oil altogether. While...

Noam Chomsky: No Change in US 'Mafia Principle'
3 Nov 2009 - By Mamoon Alabbasi – London As people across the world breathed a sigh of relief to see the back of former US president George W. Bush, top American intellectual Noam Chomsky warned against assuming or expecting significant changes in the basis of Washington's foreign policy under President Barack Obama. During two lectures organized by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, Chomsky cited numerous examples of the driving doctrines behind US foreign policy since the end of World War II. "As Obama came into office, Condoleezza Rice predicted that he would follow the policies of Bush's second term, and that is pretty much what happened, apart from a different rhetorical style," said Chomsky. "But it is wise to attend to deeds, not rhetoric. Deeds commonly tell a different story," he added. "There is basically no significant change in the fundamental traditional conception that we if can control Middle East energy resources, then we can control the world," explained Chomsky. Chomsky said that a leading doctrine of US foreign policy during the period of its global dominance is what he termed as "the Mafia principle." "The Godfather does not tolerate 'successful defiance'. It is too dangerous. It must therefore be stamped out so that others understand that disobedience is not an option," said Chomsky. Because the US sees "successful defiance" of Washington as a "virus" that will "spread contagion," he explained. Iran The US had feared this "virus" of independent thought from Washington by Tehran and therefore acted...

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