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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
5 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Erekat Thanks UN For Its Stance Against Home Demolitions, Settlements
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 05, 2009 - 22:48, Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, thanked the United Nations for its stance rejecting Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes of Jerusalem, and the ongoing illegal settlement activities.

Hamas: “Abbas’ Decision; Political Bankruptcy”
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 05, 2009 - 20:44, Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated that the speech on Abbas and his decision not to run for president is considered political bankruptcy.

Abbas will not be running for President
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 05, 2009 - 20:20, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Thursday that he will not be a presidential candidate in the upcoming January 2010 elections.

Israeli court charges Palestinian official of assaulting a police officer in Jerusalem
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 05, 2009 - 16:05, An Israeli court found on Wednesday Sheikh Ra'ed Salah guilty of assaulting a police officer.

Gazans Not Allowed To Rebuild Their Lives
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 05, 2009 - 15:49, 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.

The Israeli military kidnaps 18 Palestinians from several parts of the West Bank
IMEMC 5 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 05, 2009 - 15:46, The Israeli military kidnapped on Thursday 18 Palestinians during attacks targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Ma'an News

Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians overnight
11/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers detained 16 Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank, Israeli media reported on Thursday. According to the Israeli news site Ynet, five of the detainees were from the city of Nablus, where they report that a gun was found in the houses that Israeli soldiers raided. Palestinian security sources reported that six locals were detained from Al-Ein refugee camp west of Nablus. Those detained from Al-Ein refugee camp include Taha Oday, Muhammad Shawkat, Mustapha Kasem Mabrook, Muhammad Khaled Al-Buhi, Muhammad Omar Abu Khamis, Abdel Sattar Abu Saris. Security sources added that Israeli forces raided theBeita village south Nablus and detained Muharej Abdullah Ahmad Hamayel, 25, noting that these seven detainees are being held at unknown locations. Israeli troops also reportedly seized a hunting weapon from a Palestinian car at the "Container" checkpoint north of Bethlehem on Wednesday night. 

Israeli army closes entrance to Nablus-area village
11/5/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli forces closed the main southern road to the village of Qaryout south of Nablus overnight on Thursday, an official said. Israeli bulldozers arrived to the place accompanied by military jeeps and closed the road, head of the village council Abdel Nasser Al-Qaryouti said. Over the phone he explained that troops used piles of dirt to shut the road. The targeted entrance is the area of the village closest the the Shilo settlement entrance. Al-Qaryouti said troops refused to give reasons why the road was being closed, only noting they were carrying out military orders. Last week rioting settlers clashed with residents of the village who were harvesting olives on land abutting the same settlement. Local officials said the harvest had been coordinated with the Israeli military. 

Rafah border closed
11/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip closed on Thursday, according to de facto Ministry of Interior spokesman said, after having been opened for four days. The spokesman, Ihab Al-Ghussein, added that 4,000 Palestinians from Gaza passed through the Rafah crossing over the course of four days, including civilians, patients and students. The ministry added in a news release that 3,117 locals left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border while 852 entered Gaza from Egypt. The ministry said that 368 persons were banned by the Egyptian authorities from leaving Gaza. Egypt had allowed the Rafah crossing to operate since Sunday. [end] 

Abbas: I will not seek second term
11/6/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas announced in Ramallah on Thursday he would not seek a second term in office. Confirming day-long rumors of his impending retirement, Abbas said the decision came amid Israel's intransigence on settlements and the international community's indifference to it. "I have informed the PLO Executive Committee and Fatah's Central Committee that I do not intend to seek a second term in the upcoming [24 January 2010] election," he said in a televised address. "This decision is not up for debate or negotiation. "The president said he decided to step down when it became clear the US would not alter its position in favor of Israel and the settlement enterprise. His announcement came days after Palestinians were left stunned when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised as unprecedented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to limit. . . 

Fatah leader: Abbas to deliver speech on candidacy
11/5/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Backtracking on his earlier claim, Fatah leader Sultan Abul Enein confirmed an Israeli media report that Abbas will deliver a political speech Thursday, in which he may announce his intent not to run for reelection in January. Abul Enein earlier called the news "fake" and noted Abbas would be engaged in regular meetings all day and would not deliver a speech Thursday. The comments came following the publication of a report by Israeli journalist Roni Shaked, whose article in the Hebrew language version of Ynet, said he expects President Mahmoud Abbas to announce that he will not run for reelection in the upcoming elections. The report, published Thursday, said the speech would come later in the day. Shaked cited unidentified Palestinian sources as confirming that Abbas "seeks fairness and democracy" and will not run in the next elections. 

Deported BU student to test Israeli movement restrictions
11/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An early-evening court appearance on Tuesday saw Israeli prosecutors deliver a statement declaring 21-year-old student Berlanty Azzam to have been illegally residing in the West Bank. Berlanty, a fourth-year Business Administration student at Bethlehem University three credits shy of graduation, was seized from a minibus on her way back to Bethlehem from a job interview in Ramallah on 29 October. She was kept at an Israeli military checkpoint inside the West Bank for five hours, then blindfolded and transported to the Gaza Strip, where her family lives. Lawyers from the Israeli human rights group Gisha were denied permission to visit Berlanty before she was forcibly removed from the West Bank and transferred into Gaza. According to a spokesperson at Bethlehem University, the Israeli court set a hearing date of 12 November, which she. . . 

Israel closes two of three Gaza crossings
11/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Thursday, while the Nahal Oz fuel terminal and the Karni crossing remained closed, according to Palestinian border crossing official. Raed Fattouh, the border crossing official, stated that Israel would allow between 94 and 104 truckloads of aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing while the others will be closed. The undersecretary of the Ministry of National Economy in Gaza Nasser As-Sarraj said that Israel had informed them that canned meat and fish would be allowed through next Monday. [end] 

Police: US citizen missing in West Bank
11/5/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - An American citizen went missing after travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho, according to the information office of the Palestinian police. Palestinian police stated that Tares Temple, 55, has short hair and was wearing blue trousers and a silver jacket when she was last seen. The police have appealed to the public to urgently contact them if they have any information about Temple and her current whereabouts by reporting to the nearest police station. A photo of Temple will be released upon receipt, police said. [end] 

Israeli police detain Jerusalem youth over Al-Aqsa protest
11/5/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli police detained a Palestinian teen from his home in the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday night, after police targeted his family home and that of his aunt, searching both buildings. Nasser Qaus, 15, was accused of participating in the demonstrations held at the Al-Aqsa Mosque two weeks ago, the latest in a series of confrontations as Israeli settlers and soldiers threaten Haram Ash-Sharif, the compound that houses the mosque, with increased military presence in the area, and announced break-ins by settler groups. Following his late-night seizure, it was reported that Nasser's detention has been extended for 24 hours. The youth is one of dozens who have been detained for their involvement in what Palestinians call protective action for the third holiest site in Islam. 

For first time in two years, Gazans perform Hajj
11/5/2009 - Al-A'rish - Ma'an - The first group of Hajj pilgrims will leave Gaza on Friday morning via the Rafah crossing, Palestinian communication officer for the border Jaser Al-Mashukhi announced Thursday afternoon. Al-Mashukhi said the 300 expected pilgrims will leave Gaza for Al-A'rish and from there to the local airport on the same day. He noted a second group would pass through from Gaza at 9am, and that the rest of the six groups, of approximately 300 each, would leave once a day over the next six days. There were over 3,300 Palestinian passports sent to the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Cairo, Al-Mashukhi said, but only 4,500 were granted visas for travel to Mecca. Egypt was responsible for sorting out travel from the crossing to Al-A'rish airport for the thousands of travelers. Other arrangements were made jointly by the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Waqf, and the de facto government's offices in Gaza. 

Egypt to Clinton: Israel hindering peace process
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel is putting conditions on its reply to the US request for a settlement construction halt that will enable the country to "continue the settlement activities even. . . if these settlement activities are limited," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Abu Al-Gheit" told reporters. Abu Al-Gheit spoke during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following a day and a half of meetings in the Egyptian capital. "United States and Secretary Clinton feel that there has been a progress. . about the issue of freezing the settlements, even if it's not fully complete," the foreign minister continued, echoing the American stance that the most recent Israeli offer on the matter is a step forward. Clinton explained again the stance Israel put forward, "What we have received from the Israelis to halt all new settlement activity - and I'll repeat. . . " 

US envoy snubs UN Goldstone debate
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The US envoy to the United Nations did not attend a General Assembly debate on Wednesday on a resolution calling for further investigation into allegations of war crimes in Gaza. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice failed to attend the discussion, sending her deputy, Alejandro Wolff, as an observer instead. The debate concerns the 575-page report of an international, independent fact-finding mission led by renowned South African judge Richard Goldstone, which addresses Israel's three-week assault on Gaza last winter, which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead. The General Assembly is considering a nonbinding resolution that would ask UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send the report to the Security Council, and also demand that Israel and Palestinian authorities conduct their own credible investigations into the war crimes charges. 

UN General Assembly overwhelmingly endorses Goldstone report
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The UN General Assembly in New York overwhelmingly endorsed South African jurist Richard Goldstone's Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict on Friday. A resolution supporting the report passed the UN's largest body with 114 votes in favor versus only 18 opposed. Some 44 states abstained. The report accuses both Israel and Palestinian combatants of committing war crimes during the Israeli army's three-week assault on Gaza. The resolution "requests the Secretary-General to transmit the report. . . to the Security Council, while granting Israel and the Palestinians three months in order to launch an internal inquiry into its charges. "The unaltered resolution passed with wide support from Muslim states and the Nonaligned Group. There had been concerns the Arab Group, backed by the PLO's envoy, would tone down the report's content in an effort to make it more amenable to European Union support. 

Peres asks Abbas to renew peace talks
11/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli President Shimon Peres called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asking him to reopen the peace process, Israeli media reported on Thursday. According to the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, Peres asked Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel and to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu. In a security cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Netanyahu stated that Israel intends to resume talks soon but cited the Palestinian elections in January as a possible obstacle to the recommencing discussions. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday to compel Abbas to restart peace talks with Israel. 

Barakat Al-Farra appointed PA ambassador to Egypt
11/5/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Barakat Al-Farra was appointed as the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Egypt and permanent delegate to the Arab League on Thursday, the Palestinian embassy in Cairo said. The news released by the embassy added that "after Al-Farra was sworn in by PA President Mahmoud Abbas he became the Palestinian ambassador to Egypt officially and the PA's delegate in the Arab League. " Al-Farra had worked as the alternate representative of the ambassador for more than a year and a half. The embassy also said Al-Farra "proved his professionalism mainly after former ambassador Nabil Amr quit in October. " Additionally, the source anticipated that Al-Farra's new appointment would positively affect Palestinian diplomatic obligations in Egypt and Arab functionaries, highlighting Al-Farra's extensive experience in the field of diplomacy spanning more than 20 years. 

Hizbullah denies link to arms seized by Israel
11/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Hizbullah on Thursday denied Israeli accusations that a captured arms shipment was destined for the Lebanese organization. "Hizbullah staunchly denies any link to the weapons that the Zionist enemy has seized from the Francop ship," the group said in a brief statement quoted by AFP. "At the same time Hizbullah denounces Israel's piracy in international waters," it added. Israel said its Navy intercepted the massive shipment of arms on board a freighter flying the flag of Antigua on Wednesday morning, about 100 miles from the Israeli coast. Israeli officials said the ship's contents - hundreds of tons of Katyusha rockets and other material - originated from Iran and was on its way to Syria. Hizbullah's allies Iran and Syria both rejected accusations that the ship was carrying weapons. 

US consul general tours Bethlehem
11/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Consul General to Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein made a tour of Bethlehem organizations and institutions on Thursday, visiting Ma'an Network's headquarters and Bethlehem University, among others. At the university, Rubinstein expressed concern over Israel's recent seizure and deportation of 21-year-old student Berlanty Azzam, for whom a court case is pending. In the newsroom, the consul general said he appreciated Ma'an's coverage, adding that he frequently consulted the website. He also noted Palestine's need for similarly professional media outlets. "Frankly, we were afraid America would try to control Ma'an through its financial support," editor-in-chief Nasser Lahham told the consul. "But now I can say with confidence that you did not try to intervene in Ma'an's objectivity and I say that Ma'an News will always be professional and keep the same strategy. 

Fatah, PLO urge Abbas to reconsider candidacy
11/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas' announcement on Thursday evening that he would not be seeking a second term has left the PLO and Fatah without their top nominee, several officials said beforehand. According to Yasser Abed Rabbo, the secretary-general of the PLO's Executive Committee, Abbas remains the preferred candidate for next January's elections. He told reporters at a news conference in Ramallah that the PLO would reject Abbas' retirement from politics. It is the committee's assumption, the secretary-general added, that Abbas will run for president not only on Fatah's ticket, but representing every PLO member faction, as well. Several hours before Abbas' announcement, Abed Rabbo said Abbas has the PLO's full support, and urged the president to reconsider. For its part, Abbas' Fatah party scheduled a protest march in Ramallah in protest of the president and party. . . 

Hebron police arrest alleged burglar
11/5/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The Investigation Department of the Hebron police arrested a man accused of burglary on Thursday, the information office of the Palestinian police said. The information office stated that the police received a claim from a resident after his house was broken into by an unamed assailant on 5 September 2009 reporting that more than 100 grams of gold had been stolen during the incident. A suspect was identified following an immediate investigation and examination of the crime scene. The perpetrator of the robbery was arrested and turned over to the general prosecution for sentencing, the information office said. [end] 

PA pays civil servant salaries with donations from Spain, Sweden
11/5/2009 - through an earlier EU contribution [MaanImages] Bethlehem - Ma'an - Spain and Sweden contributed a total of 29. 85 million euros to the Palestinian Authority in November, which along with a second payment will cover wages and pensions for civil servants until the end of the year, the European Commission stated on Wednesday. Approximately14. 84 million euros(21. 99 million US dollars) reached the bank accounts of 79,916 civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank this week, covering their October payments. In a statement released by the European Commission's press office, Ambassador Ramón Ansoaà n, the Spanish general consul in Jerusalem said, "The total Spanish contribution of 25 million Euro reflects the support of the Government of Spain to institutional and social stability, in the framework of the preparation necessary for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State. 

Hajj pilgrims to receive H1N1 vaccine
11/6/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that it will offer Palestinians performing Hajj the vaccine against swine flu, and starting Friday morning. In a statement, the ministry said Hajj pilgrims would receive the injection against the H1N1 virus from health departments in their respective municipalities on Friday and Saturday between 3:00pm and 5:00pm. The Ministry of Health signed a contract with the global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, based in the UK, providing it with 20,000 doses of the vaccine for swine flu for this year's Hajj pilgrims. In addition, the company will supply a million doses of the vaccine over December and January, specifically for those most at risk, such as patients with chronic diseases, young children and pregnant women. Dr Omar Al-Naser, the head of public relations at the ministry, said Health Minister Fathi Abu Mughli. . . 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.49%
11/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks declined overall on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Thursday, as the Al-Quds Index decreased 2. 47 points (0. 49%) to close at 497. 63. Trading volume was 672,589 shares traded, for a total value of 1,071,873. 51 US dollars, in 325 trades. The shares of 22 companies were traded. The share prices of three companies rose, and the shares prices of 10 others declined. The top five gainers were AHC by 5. 00%, AZIZA by 4. 84%, and AMB by 1. 33%. The top five losers were PIIC by 2. 90%, ISBK by 2. 67%, PRICO by 2. 53%, QUDS by 2. 44%, and ARE by 1. 75%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Netanyahu: Iran's shipment of arms to Hezbollah - a war crime
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - PM responds to seizure of hundreds of tons of weapons believed to be Iranian shipment to Hezbollah. 

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 tons of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah, disguised as civilian cargo. 

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. 


[] Interview: Living under constant fear of arrest
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - Mohammed Ahmed Issa Yassen, 20, lives in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where he works in his family's car garage business as a mechanic. He is also a student at the al-Quds Open University, but since he has joined the Israeli intelligence's "wanted" list from the village, studying has been difficult. The Electronic Intifada...

[] Criminal convictions of 22 CIA agents in Italy The accountability imposed by another country for the CIA's kidnapping and torture reveals much about our own.
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - The criminal conviction of 22 CIA agents (and 2 Italian intelligence officers) by an Italian court yesterday -- for the 2003 kidnapping of an Islamic cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, off the street in Italy and his "rendition" to Egypt to be tortured -- highlights several vital points: First, illustrating how these matters are typically distorted...

[] Abbas: I will not seek second term
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas announced in Ramallah on Thursday he would not seek a second term in office. Confirming rumors of his impending retirement, Abbas said the decision came amid Israel's intransigence on settlements and the international community's indifference to it. "I have informed the PLO Executive Committee and Fatah's Central Committee that I do not intend to...

[] Bipartisan Attack on International Humanitarian Law
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - In a stunning blow against international law and human rights, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Tuesday attacking the report of the United Nations Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict. The report was authored by the well-respected South African jurist Richard Goldstone and three other noted authorities on international...

[] UN body endorses Goldstone report
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a UN-sponsored report which says Israel committed war crimes during last winter's military assault on the Gaza Strip. The Goldstone report, which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, has already been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, which sponsored the fact-finding commission. The General Assembly on...

[] A Nation of Golems
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - 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...

[] Army: 12 dead, 31 wounded in mass shooting at Fort Hood
Uruknet November 5, 2009 -- The U.S. Army says 12 people have been killed and 31 wounded in a shooting rampage on the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. The Army says one shooter has been killed and two others apprehended on Thursday in the shooting and all are U.S. soldiers. The victims include a civilian police officer. "This appears to...

[] The Daily Harassments at Qalandiya
Uruknet November 4, 2009 - 15:30: We drove past Atarot CP on our way to Qalandiya. Twenty-five vehicles were wending their way slowly past the CP. 15:40 - Qalandiya: Already on our arrival a Palestinian ran to ask us to go into the checking area where an elderly couple from Gaza had had their permit to return home confiscated. We found...

[] Why Does AIPAC Spy on Americans?
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Steven J. Rosen will be allowed to move ahead with his civil defamation lawsuit against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen and fellow AIPAC employee Keith Weissman were indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act in 2005 along with Department of Defense Employee Col. Lawrence Franklin for passing classified...

[] The Gaza Chronicles: Part 3 - Shattered Minds And The Children of Gaza
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - Over 40 years of Israeli military occupation have had a devastating effect on Gaza; airstrikes, artillery shelling, ground invasions, jet flybys and their sonic booms have all led to an epidemic of suffering among Gaza's most vulnerable inhabitants. Soon after the recent winter Israeli assault, a group of scholars at the University of Washington discussed different...

[] Gaza: peak hour
Uruknet November 5, 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 scenes when Israel began dropping bombs all over Gaza on December 27 and kept it...

[] Palestinian Women Suffer as Israel Violates CEDAW
Uruknet November 5, 2009 - Palestinian women continue to suffer abuse and denial of basic human rights at the hands of Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is in flagrant violation of Israel's obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is the first international...

Palestine Telegraph

Abbas Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election
West Bank, November 5, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has decided not to run for the presidency in elections next year, according to reports from Ramallah.

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.

The National

The legal legacy of a hedonist' 
The National 5 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Care urged for young victims of war to break cycle of violence
The National 5 Nov 2009 - The head of the United Nations' children fund in Syria has warned that Iraqi youths still struggling to cope with the traumas of war.

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. 


Abbas: I'll not seek re-election
AlJazeera 5 Nov 2009 - Palestinian president says decision not to stand is no compromise or manoeuvre.

UN endorses Gaza war crimes report
AlJazeera 5 Nov 2009 - General Assembly backs resolution supporting Goldtone Report on Israel's war in Gaza.

Syria and Iran deny arms boat claim
AlJazeera 5 Nov 2009 - Syrian minister says ship seized by Israel was carrying "imported goods from Syria to Iran". 

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

Alternative Information Center

Government of Israel Postpones Elections in the Abu-Basma (Bedouin) Regional Council , Until the Minister of Interior Decides "They are Ready"
Alternative Information Center 5 Nov 2009 - Thanks to massive efforts by the leadership of the residents in the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Israeli Negev, six years ago the Government of Israel started a process of recognizing the Bedouin villages. The Government...

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...

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...

Jerusalem Post

'Signs Iran tested advanced nuke tech'
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - 'Guardian': IAEA suspects Teheran experimented with warhead designs; ElBaradei: Qom is harmless.

UN General Assembly endorses Goldstone Report
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Israel rejects Arab-backed resolution after it is approved in 114-18 vote with 44 abstaining; report may reach Security Council despite EU objections.

'Israel knew it had survivors' assets'
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Head of state-run Holocaust Victims Assets Restitution Company, blasts country's past conduct.

PM: UN should discuss Iran 'war crime'
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - At briefing with Ashkenazi and Barak, Netanyahu blasts world for ignoring arms smuggling attempt.

Israel's seniors in poor financial shape compared to Europeans
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - 

Barak still hopes for talks with PA
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - After Abbas's withdrawal speech, White House and Clinton praise PA leader's efforts for Palestinians.

Latest ancient finds to go display in J'lem
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Israel Antiquities Authority presents new exhibition which includes ancient coins uncovered at Temple Mount, 2,000-year-old sarcophagus lid.

The haul: 320 tons of Katyushas, other rockets, shells and bullets
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - IDF photos show identical Katyushas deployed in Lebanon.

A daughter's discoveries
Jeruslalem Post 5 Nov 2009 - Tracing her parents' Zionist activities took Ziva Galili from Israel to NY to NJ to Russia and back.


EGYPT: Nearly a third of children malnourished - report
IRIN CAIRO Thursday, November 05, 2009 (IRIN) - Despite a number of positive economic indicators, Egypt has a hunger problem: Nearly a third of all children are malnourished, according to a new report compiled by the Ministry of Health and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

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.

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...

POLITICS: U.N. Affirms Israeli-Hamas War Crimes Report 
IPS UNITED NATIONS, Nov 5 (IPS) - A 575-page blistering report by Justice Richard Goldstone detailing war crimes in Gaza last December is refusing to die despite an aggressive Israeli smear campaign to kill it.

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. [

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

UN General Assembly adopts Goldstone report
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The United Nations General Assembly is calling on Israel and the Palestinians to investigate war crime allegations leveled in a UN report on the Gaza war. ...

ANALYSIS / Is Abbas just crying wolf again?
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - Resignation, or rather the threat of resignation, is not an invention of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser used to wield the same weapon to boost his public support, and Yasser Arafat would from time to time threaten to quit just to shake up public opinion. It is true that Abbas sounded adamant on Thursday, but within the past year he has made decisive announcements on other matters only to backtrack later. He accepted the resignation of his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, only to reappoint him. He pushed for the submission of the Goldstone commission report to the United Nations, but reconsidered and shifted course again. ...

Abbas: My decision not to run for re-election is final
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Abbas cites stalled peace talks as reason for reluctance to run; Hamas to Abbas: Admit to failure of talks. 

Islamic critics blast Beyonce Egypt show as 'insolent sex party'
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - As Egypt gears for pop diva Beyonce Knowles' first performance in North Africa, Islamic conservatives are branding her show an "insolent sex party" that threatens the Muslim nation's social peace and stability. ...

IAEA: We found 'nothing to worry about' at secret Iran nuke site
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - United Nations inspectors found "nothing to be worried about" in a first look at a previously secret uranium enrichment site in Iran last month, the International Atomic Energy chief said in remarks released Thursday. ...

The Guardian

Palestinian president: A dream turned sour
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Whether he makes good on the pledge he made last night not to stand in next year's elections , or whether he is eventually persuaded to stay, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has had enough already. And...

Palestinian presidency: Likely candidates
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - If Mahmoud Abbas follows through with his threat and does not stand in the next Palestinian presidential elections the most likely candidate to replace him is probably Marwan Barghouti, a popular Fatah leader who is now...

Grave blow to fading hopes of a two-state solution | Ian Black
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Posters in Gaza, ruled by Mahmoud Abbas's enemies in Hamas, already scorn the Palestinian president as being "on the dustheap of history"." His announcement last night that he does not wish to contest the next elections...

Mahmoud Abbas will not seek re-election as Palestinian president
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Leader of Fatah movement, seen as a moderate by the west, to sit out forthcoming election according to reports in West Bank The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, announced tonight his surprise decision not to run in...

Hezbollah, Iran and Syria disown arms shipment
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Israel displays hundreds of tonnes of weapons it says were bound for Lebanese militia disguised as bulldozer parts Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian backers have flatly rejected Israeli claims that a shipment of arms and...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Islamic leader in Israel convicted of assaulting cop
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, was convicted on Thursday of assaulting a police officer during a 2007 protest in Jerusalem. According to the court, Salah spit in the face of a Border Policeman in 2007 in the midst of a demonstration against reconstruction work in Jerusalem's Old City. ...

Police suspect love quarrel behind teen murder in Arab town
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Israel Police believe they may have solved the murder of a student who was killed last month when gunmen opened fire on the school bus he was riding. The Petah Tikva court is expected to extend the remand of the FOUR minors allegedly responsible for the shooting until Monday. ...

A musical tribute to the Australian philanthropist Richard Pratt
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - It may have been cold and rainy outside, but inside a heartwarming ceremony took place in Jaffa's Nalaga'at Center, where friends, family and recipients gathered on Friday to commemorate Australian Jewish philanthropist Richard Pratt. ...

Israel proposes work camps for illegal migrants
Ha'aretz 5 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. ... 

Israeli students told by Poland trip leaders: Don't wear flag
Ha'aretz 5 Nov 2009 - Leaders of youth delegations to Poland this week called on schools to stop students from wrapping themselves in the Israeli flag during the visit. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 28 Oct - 03 Nov 2009
Relief Web 5 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: Israel says U.N. censure should focus on its foes
Relief Web 5 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 29 Oct - 04 Nov 2009
Relief Web 5 Nov 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: Ketchup and lemon juice boost Gaza's starved food supply
Relief Web 5 Nov 2009 - Source: Department for International Development

USAID promotes Palestinian information and communication technology - ExpoTech 2009
Relief Web 5 Nov 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

OPT: Joint statement - Draft resolution tabled by the Arab States at the UNGA rgarding Goldstone report
Relief Web 5 Nov 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

YNet News

UN endorses Goldstone Report
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - Scathing Gaza war report to be transferred to Security Council, where US veto is expected, after 114 states endorse it in Thursday's UN vote; only 18 states object to report's adoption, 44 states abstain 

Israel files UN grievance over arms ship
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - Jerusalem's UN ambassador urges Secretary-General Ban, Security Council to probe Iran's foiled arms smuggling to Hezbollah 

Abbas: Israel ruins all peace efforts
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - End of an era? Palestinian president convenes special press conference, accuses Israel of 'ruining peace efforts'; Abbas announces decision not to run for reelection, says declaration is not a manipulation attempt or tactical move 

Hamas dismisses Abbas retirement plans
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - Palestinian Authority leader's threat directed at his 'American, Zionist friends,' Hamas says 

IAEA: Iran Qom site 'nothing to worry about'
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - UN inspectors find no problematic evidence in first tour of Iranian nuke site, atomic agency says 

Gazan gets 3 life terms for tank attack
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - Three IDF soldiers were killed after their tank was blown up in Gaza Strip in 2002 

PM: UN must probe arms ship war crime 
YNet News 5 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises defense establishment for capture of Francop ship carrying weapons destined for Hezbollah, says 'UN should investigate these war crimes. Instead it convenes to condemn Israel' 


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

Palestine's Abbas says he will not seek re-election
Daily Star 5 Nov 2009 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday he would not seek re-election in January due to his frustration with the American position on Israeli settlements, officials said. However, it was not immediately clear if Abbas would follow through with his intentions as a top Palestinian body urged him to reconsider. "President Abbas told the PLO executive committee.

IAEA says Qom findings no cause for concern
Daily Star 5 Nov 2009 UN inspectors found "nothing to be worried about" in a first look at a previously secret uranium-enrichment site in Iran last month, the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) chief said in remarks published on Thursday. Mohamed ElBaradei also told the New York Times that he was examining possible compromises to unblock a draft nuclear-cooperation deal between Iran.

Syria gains new confidence on world stage
Daily Star 5 Nov 2009 Emerging from international isolation with a flurry of high-level Western visitors and ties boosted with Turkey, Syria has gained in confidence to the point of holding out on an EU partnership. The European Union hoped to sign a partnership accord on October 26, after a freeze of several years by the EU side, but the Syrian side now insists it must review the terms to protect its interests.

Chinese workers struggle in Algeria
Daily Star 5 Nov 2009 More than 25,000 Chinese work on huge housing projects and cross-country highways in Algeria, but few have any deep contacts with the local population. For more than a decade tens of thousands of Chinese workers have flowed into Algeria, one of the many African nations that have embraced trade and closer political links with China that will be strengthened at a China-Africa summit in Egypt from Sunday.

Palestinian Information Center

Abbas admits failure of the peace process
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas has finally but belatedly admitted that the so-called Peace process with Israel has completely failed and that the Palestinian people will have to seek an alternative to it.

Turkish university students throw eggs at Israeli ambassador
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Turkish students in the city of Trabzon on Wednesday hurled rotten eggs at Israeli ambassador to Turkey Gabby Levy during his visit to their university in protest at Israeli war crimes.

Resheq demands British gov’t to apologize openly for Balfour declaration
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq, a member of Hamas political bureau, called on the British government to apologize outright to the Palestinian people for the crime committed by Arthur Balfour against Palestine.

Euro delegation confers with Syrian president on Palestinian refugees
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The PRC has organized a visit by a European parliamentary delegation to Palestinian refugee camps in Syria followed by a meeting with president Bashar Al-Assad over conditions of those refugees.

Gov’t slams Abbas’s envoy to UN for accusing Palestinians of violations
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian government denounced the remarks made by Abbas’s envoy to the UN Riyadh Mansour in which he accused Palestinian parties of committing violations against Israel.

Winter rains to drench Gaza
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The Gaza sewerage treatment station and the rainwater drainage system in Gaza could not deal with heavy rains, which means that certain suburbs could be flooded, the director of the station said.

Hamas: Abbas is keen on controlling the Palestinian arena, clinging to power
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Hamas stated that Mahmoud Abbas is very keen on controlling the Palestinian arena, clinging to power and carrying out Zio-American projects detrimental to the Palestinian people’s rights.

Mishaal meets American CNI delegation
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - Khaled Mishaal met on Wednesday with an American popular delegation representing the Council for the National Interest (CNI) headed by its executive director in the presence of Hamas officials.

IOA delivers demolition notifications to Palestinian families
PIC 5 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has delivered notifications to three families in one of Nablus southern suburbs that their homes would be demolished, local sources said.

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..

Los Angeles Times

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. 

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he won't seek reelection 
LA Times 6 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority president cites a lack of U.S. support for demands that Israel freeze settlement expansion. His decision is seen as a bid to push Israel toward compromise. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection next year, citing a lack of U.S. support for his conditions for resuming peace talks with Israel. 

Israel seizes ship with alleged Hezbollah-bound arms 
LA Times 5 Nov 2009 - Israel's navy intercepts a vessel off Cyprus that it says contained 300 tons of weapons being smuggled by Iran to Syria, bound for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. Iran and Syria deny the charge. Israel's navy seized a cargo ship Wednesday, intercepting what officials described as 300 tons of weapons being smuggled from Iran to Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas. The haul was the largest in Israel's decades of efforts to curb arms flows to its militant Middle East foes. 

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. 

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. 

New York Times

Goldstone and Gaza
New York Times 6 Nov 2009 - The dispute over the Goldstone Report will continue, but Gaza needs help right now.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Narratives Under Siege (23): ‘The Israelis Attack us Every Day’ 
11/5/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - Saber Al-Hissie has been a fisherman in Gaza for fifteen years. His 20 metre boat is scarred with bullet holes from the Israeli military, who harass the fishermen daily “I’ve been a fisherman for fifteen years now, ever since I was fifteen years old. My father was a fisherman and so was my grandfather. I have spent half my life at sea. But every day we face problems from the Israeli gunboats: they follow us, and then they start shooting at us because they want to force us to stop working. ”Saber Al-Hissie comes from a Gazan family of fishermen. His 20 metre vessel belongs to his father, who, after many years of fishing, has finally passed the family business over to Saber. There are more than 3,500 professional fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and the majority of them live in and around Gaza City, where the main harbour is located. 

PCHR Organizes Panel Discussion on Developments in Shari’a Courts 
11/5/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - On Wednesday, 4 November 2009, the Women's Unit of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized a panel discussion on "Developments in Shari'a Courts" in PCHR’s main office in Gaza city. President of the Supreme Shari'a Courts "Dr. Hassan al-Jojo, Presidents of Shari'a Appeal Courts of Gaza and Khan Yunis, judges of the Supreme Shari'a Court and the two Appeal Courts, number of Shari'a lawyers, representatives of number of women and human rights' institution which defend women's rights attended the panel discussion. The panel discussion was opened by Deputy Director of PCHR "Jaber Weshah" who delivered a speech welcoming the attendees. He commented on the special relationship between the Shari'a Courts and PCHR, particularly, the Women's Unit. He pointed out that this panel discussion is part of the ongoing cooperation and coordination between the two parties; in addition, 

Higher Military Court in Gaza Issues Death Sentence
11/4/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - PCHR Calls Upon President not to Ratify Sentence and Demands the Abolishment of Death Penalty from Palestinian Law - On Tuesday, 3 November 2009, the Higher Military Court in Gaza sentenced Mohammed Ibrahim Isma’il “al-Sab’a”, 36, from Rafah, to death by hanging after convicting him of treason and participation in deliberate murder, under the indictments presented against him and in accordance with Article 91 b of the Code of Military Justice # 4 of 2008. On 19 July 2009, the Permanent Military Court sentenced Isma’il “al-Sab’a” to life imprisonment with hard work after convicting him of collaboration with hostile parties and deliberate murder. The Military Advocate General appealed against the sentence of the Permanent Military Court and the Higher Military Court in Gaza was convened on an exceptional basis to review the sentence. 

PCHR Receives Delegation from Le Counseil General du Essonne 
11/4/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - On Wednesday, 4 November 2009, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) received, in its main office in Gaza, a French delegation from the General Council of Essonne County (Le Counseil General du Essonne) south of Paris, in France. The ten-member delegation included French MPs and representatives from different political factions, and was headed by Patrice Vinyl. The delegation members met Deputy Director of PCHR, Jaber Wishah, who criticized, in his opening speech, the last French stance in the meetings of the Human Rights Council regarding the Goldstone Report. He called on the delegation members to pressure the French government to adopt a stand supporting justice and humanity. Mr. Wishah noted that, in this regard, the prosecution of alleged Israeli war criminals and an end to impunity for violations perpetrated against the Palestinian civilians and properties is essential. 

Why Does AIPAC Spy on Americans? 
11/5/2009 - - Grant Smith - According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Steven J. Rosen will be allowed to move ahead with his civil defamation lawsuit against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen and fellow AIPAC employee Keith Weissman were indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act in 2005 along with Department of Defense Employee Col. Lawrence Franklin for passing classified national defense information. Franklin pled guilty, but Rosen and Weissman’s case never went to trial — US attorneys gave up (PDF) after the presiding judge made a successful prosecution unlikely. Rosen’s 2009 civil lawsuit contends that AIPAC defamed him when its spokesperson claimed that he "did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees. "Rosen’s many filings in court reveal that his fundamental case is that AIPAC commonly circulates and distributes classified US government information when it suits the organization’s purpose in lobbying for Israel. 

ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza 
11/4/2009 - Ha'aretz - Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, director of Military Intelligence, announced Tuesday that Hamas launched a rocket some 60 kilometers into the sea, apparently as an experiment. Such a rocket, if fired from the northernmost point of the Gaza Strip, could strike the southern cities of the Gush Dan area - including Rishon Letzion, Holon and Bat Yam - and possibly reach as far as Tel Aviv itself. Although Yadlin didn't specify the type of the weapon used, it appears to be a standard, foreign-made rocket smuggled into Gaza. Yadlin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Hamas has accumulated an arsenal of rockets slightly larger than the arsenal it possessed before last winter's Operation Cast Lead. The experiment hardly caught Israeli intelligence by surprise, as it had assumed Hamas had acquired a similar type of rocket several months ago. 

VIDEO - Meanwhile, in the West Bank 
11/4/2009 - P U L S E - Fatah founders and the likelihood of an uprising deepens, while US Secretaries of State continue to speak with forked tongue. - Fatah’s Demise in the West Bank? from Sequence News (10:30) - Transcript - SOUNDBITES: YOUNG MEN IN RAMALLAH, YOUNG MAN CLASHING WITH ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN NI’LIN, PALESTINIAN PROFESSOR, SENIOR MEMBER OF FATAH, MOTHER WHO LOST HER SON - 00. 00 – 00. 19 Baghdad café in Palestinian capital Ramallah is getting full as young men gather around the tables. They come here to smoke, drink tea, play cards and of course… to discuss the never ending flow of breaking news coming out of the Middle East. 60 years after the birth of Israel the West Bank is on all levels a politicised society. 00. 19 – 00. 32 (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) MUHAMMAD MOSTAFA: “ – Tzipi Livni, Olmert and Barak will be taken to the court. If God is willing. 

Rep Dennis Kucinich blasts ‘Operation Cast Doubt’ 
11/4/2009 - P U L S E - Includes transcript of speech - “Today we journey from Operation Cast Lead to Operation Cast Doubt. Almost as serious as committing war crimes is covering up war crimes, pretending that war crimes were never committed and did not exist. ” - The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a nonbinding resolution (344-36) that urged the President and Secretary of State to oppose the endorsement of the Goldstone Report condemning Israel’s war crimes during its war on Gaza. Of the 36 representatives in the US Congress who voted against the obscene resolution (H. Res 867 a. k. a. the Ros-Lehtinen/Berman resolution) condemning the Goldstone Report as ‘biased’, the responses of Dennis Kucinich and Brian Baird are worth highlighting. Kucinich’s blazing two minute statement on the floor can be watched in the clip below and the transcript appears over the fold, as does a list of Congressional representatives who voted against the resolution. 

Adalah: The Attorney General’s Decision to Indict MK Muhammed Barakeh Seeks only to Criminalize his Political Action 
11/4/2009 - Adalah - On 1 November 2009, Adalah received a letter from the Attorney General (AG) of Israel, Menachem Mazuz, informing of his intention to indict MK Muhammed Barakeh, the Head of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (“al-Jabha” or “Hadash”). The charge sheet includes four items: 1. Assaulting a border police officer during a demonstration against the Wall in the village of Bil'in on 28 April 2005. 2. Insulting a public servant during a demonstration against the war on Lebanon in Tel Aviv on 5 August 2006. 3. Attacking a right-wing activist during a demonstration against the war on Lebanon in Tel Aviv on 22 July 2006. 4. Obstructing the police during a demonstration against a meeting of the Labor Party in Nazareth on 7 July 2007. Adalah emphasizes that the indictment is based on false evidence that has been completely refuted and rejected by MK Barakeh. 

The Goldstone Report at the UN General Assembly: States Must Ensure Victim’s Rights and Not Compromise the Rule of Law
11/4/2009 - Al-Haq - Joint Press Release, various human rights organizations - 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 are failing in their mandate. The draft Resolution is a politically motivated compromise, intended to obtain support for a Resolution without substance, one which fails to protect victims’ rights or to pursue accountability. While the draft addresses certain demands, it does not explicitly include operational steps for the implementation of the Recommendations of the Goldstone Report, and absolutely fails to bring remedy and redress to victims. 

Clinton Backs Peace Talks Before Israeli Settlement Freeze 
11/4/2009 - New York Times - CAIRO — Winding up a Middle East tour, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton repeated on Wednesday that while the Obama administration rejects the legitimacy of Israeli settlement expansion, it nonetheless believes that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations should precede a permanent freeze on such construction. Her arguments conflicted with Arab and Palestinian demands that all settlement activity be frozen as a precondition for resuming talks with Israel. Mrs. Clinton was speaking to reporters after meetings here with President Hosni Mubarak and other Egyptian officials. During Mrs. Clinton’s regional diplomacy, Arab officials have expressed anger at her readiness to promote a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for a moratorium on new housing units in the West Bank that would allow building or finishing about 3,000 more units and exclude East Jerusalem from any construction limits. 

Final Vote Results For US House Roll Call on Goldstone report
11/3/2009 - Clerk of the House - H RES 867 - QUESTION: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Agree, as Amended - BILL TITLE: Calling on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the “Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict” in multilateral fora. Vote results detailed. 

Iran tested advanced nuclear warhead design – secret report 
11/5/2009 - The Guardian - Exclusive: Watchdog fears Tehran has key component to put bombs in missiles - The UN's nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting that Iranian scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design, the Guardian has learned. The very existence of the technology, known as a "two-point implosion" device, is officially secret in both the US and Britain, but according to previously unpublished documentation in a dossier compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iranian scientists may have tested high-explosive components of the design. The development was today described by nuclear experts as "breathtaking" and has added urgency to the effort to find a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis. The sophisticated technology, once mastered, allows for the production of smaller and simpler warheads than older models. 

American deported to Lebanon denies terror charges 
11/5/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP, BEIRUT – An American citizen convicted on terrorism charges in the United Arab Emirates said on Thursday he confessed under torture and suspected that U. S. authorities played a role in his detention and prosecution in the Gulf country. Naji Hamdan, an American of Lebanese origin, was deported to Lebanon last week after completing his 18-month sentence in Abu Dhabi. The Emirates' highest court convicted Hamdan on Oct. 12 on terrorism-related charges, including having links to an al-Qaida-affiliated group in Iraq, and sentenced him to 18 months in prison. Hamdan, 43, was freed shortly afterward because the court counted time he served before his conviction. Speaking to The Associated Press in Beirut on Thursday, Hamdan called the charges against him "fabrications" that he admitted to during harsh interrogations by the Emirates' state security agents. 


On Israel’s ’Domination and Its Intoxications’ 
Amira Hass, The Nation 11/4/2009
      Amira Hass, one of Israel’s most courageous journalists, has received the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation, which said: "For almost twenty years Hass has written critically about both Israeli and Palestinian authorities. She has demonstrated her ability to defy boundaries of gender, ethnicity and religion in her pursuit of the truth in her reporting. In covering the Palestinian Occupied Territories, her goal has been to provide her readers with detailed information about Israeli policies and especially that of restrictions of the freedom of movement."
     Hass, who writes for the daily Ha’aretz, is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege (2000) and Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land (2003). In 2008 Haymarket Books published Hanna Lévy-Hass’s Diary of Bergen-Belsen: 1944-1945, the account of her mother’s time in a Nazi concentration camp, with a new foreword and afterword by Amira Hass.
     Below is Hass’s acceptance speech:
     Allow me to start with a correction. How impolite, you’d rightly think, but we Israelis are being forgiven for much worse than impoliteness.
     What is so generously termed today by the International Women’s Media Foundation as my "lifetime achievement" award needs to be corrected. Because it is failure. Nothing more than failure--a lifetime failure.
     Come to think of it, the "lifetime" part is just as questionable: after all, it is for only about a third of my life, not more, that I have been engaged in journalism.
     Also, if the "lifetime" part gives you the impression that I am soon going to retire, then this has to be corrected as well. I am not planning to end soon what I am doing. more.. e-mail

Israel’s Latest Attempt to Wipe Palestine Off the Map 
Mohammed Omer, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 11/4/2009
      2009 September-October edition
     The Cairo-based League of Arab States has denounced a July 13 decision by the Israeli Transport Ministry to eliminate Arabic and English names of cities and towns on its road signs and use only Hebrew ones.
     In a press release, Mohammed Sobeih, the 22-member organization’s deputy secretary general in charge of Palestinian affairs, described the new Israeli policy as “a grave racist move.”
     Israeli road signs currently are trilingual, in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Occupied Jerusalem, for example, is identified as “Yerushalaim” in Hebrew, “Jerusalem” in English and “Al Quds” in Arabic. Under the new policy the Holy City will be identified only as “Yerushalaim” in all three scripts.
     “This decision is part of a series of measures and Israeli policies aimed at imposing the ‘Jewish state’ motto,” Sobeih stated. He urged “all international oppose, as firmly as possible, this racist decision.”
     Cultural Genocide
     Following the 1948 war, Israel systematically replaced with Hebrew names the Arabic names of most Palestinian villages and towns it had conquered or received under the previous year’s U.N. Partition Agreement. In 1971, then-Prime Minister Golda Meir made it Israeli state policy that the 1948 Green Line denoting the internationally recognized division between Israel and the newly occupied territories of the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza be permanently removed from all Israeli maps. more.. e-mail

Arab Parties in Israel Avoid the Main Issue: Poverty 
Yacov Ben Efrat, Challenge 11/4/2009
      The Monitoring Committee of the Arabs in Israel declared a general strike for October 1, 2009, in memory of those killed in the demonstrations of October 2000. The strike was explained as a response to a series of anti-Arab bills presented to the Knesset, above all the proposed Naqba Law; this would forbid ceremonies commemorating the catastrophe of the Palestinian people in 1948, which culminated in its expulsion from the land. If this bill passes, the State will punish all recipients of government funding that organize Naqba ceremonies.
     General strikes proclaimed by the Arab Monitoring Committee don’t usually make ripples in Israel as a whole, because they have little effect on the day-to-day economy. Moreover, the influence of the Arab parties in the Knesset, or in public campaigns, has lessened considerably since the events of October 2000. Nonetheless, the very fact of the strike’s proclamation amounts to an act of defiance, a reminder that the gap between the State and its Arab citizens is growing, together with anger and mutual mistrust.
     The three parties representing the Arab public in the Knesset share a consensus on certain topics: First, they agree that the State of Israel discriminates against its Arab citizens in all areas of life. Second, they oppose the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian territories. Third, they decried Israel’s recent war in Gaza and condemn its crimes.
     However, the rivalries among the Arab parties sow confusion when it comes to the interests of their constituents. In the week when they decided on the general strike, each party acted according to its own agenda, without coordination. Instead of focusing on the right-wing Israeli government, they busied themselves with attempts to hamstring their rivals, more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Interview: Living under constant fear of arrest
Electronic Intifada: 5 Nov 2009 - Mohammed Ahmed Issa Yassen, 20, lives in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, where he works in his family's car garage business as a mechanic. He is also a student at the al-Quds Open University, but since he has joined the Israeli intelligence's "wanted" list from the village, studying has been difficult. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre interviewed Mohammed about living under the constant threat of arrest. 

Why I am not a Zionist 
Electronic Intifada: 5 Nov 2009 - I have come to realize it is actually simple and clear. I am a Jewish-American man in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Justice and resistance to imperialism is a global, human concern for all people. For Jews, yes, but not Jews alone. For Palestinians, yes, but not Palestinians alone. It will take us all to push and demand governments and corporate interests to create fair, equitable living conditions. It will take all peoples to hold history accountable for the atrocities that occur. Kevin Coval comments for The 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. 

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
Hamas Wants Britain to Make Amends
5 Nov 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London 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 know the details only too well, but you would be surprised how the British people are kept in ignorance. The history of the Arab-Israeli struggle is seldom taught in schools and our politicians are afraid to talk freely about it. To all intents and purposes the fuse to the present powder-keg was lit by the British foreign secretary, Lord Balfour, on 2 November 1917 in a letter to the most senior Jew in England, Lord Rothschild, pledging assistance for the Zionist cause. It was a moment of madness that showed utter disregard for the likely impact on Islamic sensibilities and the day-to-day lives of those (Muslim and Christian) already living in the Holy Land, and for peace in the region. This lethal scrap of paper, which called itself a declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, actually said… "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing and...

A Nation of Golems
5 Nov 2009 - By 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 assumed...

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...

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