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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
14 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

East Jerusalem settlements continue to expand despite Israeli government assurances
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 15, 2009 - 03:31, As part of the 3,000 units scheduled to be constructed in the coming months in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, construction has begun in Ras al-Amud, Pisgat Ze'ev and a number of other East Jerusalem settlements. This is despite a statement earlier this week by Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Attias that no new construction permits have been authorized since March.

Abbas-mubarak To Meet Wednesday
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 15, 2009 - 00:40, Nimir Hammad, advisor to the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated Saturday that President Abbas and his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, will be holding a meeting in Cairo next Wednesday November 18.

African Man Killed By Egyptian Fire, Three Wounded
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 15, 2009 - 00:36, Egyptian border guards opened fire on Saturday at four African men trying to infiltrate into Israel from an area 5 kilometers away from the Salem terminal.

No Independence Holiday for Gaza Schools
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 22:13, The Palestinian Ministry of Education in Gaza stated Friday evening that Independence Day, Sunday November 15, will be an ordinary school day, but Gaza schools would designate the first two classes to the occasion.

Palestinian Youth Killed By Army Fire In Gaza, Three Wounded
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 21:46, Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Friday that a Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli army fire, and three others were wounded, when the army invaded an area close to Juhr Al Deek, east of Gaza City.

Miles of Smiles Convoy Leaves Gaza
IMEMC 14 Nov 2009 - Friday November 13, 2009 - 19:42, Miles of Smiles Convoy left the Gaza Strip on Friday evening after spending 48 hours in the coastal region and delivering humanitarian supplies.

Ma'an News

Cooking gas shortages reported in Gaza
11/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli-imposed changes to the fuel transfer point in Gaza have lead to a shortage of cooking gas for residents and the closure of dozens of fuel and gas stations as supplies remain low. Head of the society of the owners of the fuel and gas stations in Gaza Mahmoud Ash-Shawwa said Friday that filling stations for cooking fuel had been closed for more than 25 days already. "At least 60 percent of the bakeries here do not have any more cooking gas," he said. Ash-Shawwa blamed the shortage on Israel's decision last month to shut down the Nahal Oz crossing, currently the only fuel transfer point for the Gaza Strip, and instead divert fuel transfer infrastructure to the Kerem Shalom crossing. "Since the switch started we have noticed supplies dwindle," the official noted, wondering aloud why the switch was going forward. 

Negev detainees punished for marking Arafat memorial
11/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Negev facility have been banned from receiving prisoners for a month, reportedly as a retaliation for a celebration held by the prisoners marking the fifth anniversary of the death of former Palestinian Prime Minister and PLO founder Yasser Arafat. The anniversary itself events themselves were stymied, detainees reported, as prison guards prevented groups from gathering and stifled attempts at speeches on Friday. Prisoners reported the incident over the phone to a lawyer working with the Detainees Society, and called on the Red Cross to prevent the collective punishment. [end] 

Palestinians breach wall near Tulkarem
11/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - At least six demonstrators were arrested in the northern West Bank after they breached a section of Israel's wall on Saturday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said. The protesters said they intended to march to lands that were left isolated behind the wall in Deir Al-Ghusun, northeast of Tulkarem, and managed to break open one of the barrier's gates before Israeli soldiers invaded the village. One demonstrator was lightly injured after being struck with a rubber-coated bullet in the leg, onlookers said. "Today's demonstration was the opening salvo for a public campaign by the Deir Al-Ghusun municipality and the affected farmers," said Anarchists Against the Wall, an Israeli group, in a statement. "As the demonstration was coming to an end, a large group of soldiers surprised a group of the protesters by closing in on them from the direction of the village, and arrested 18 of the village's youth. 

PLO to plan for potential constitutional crisis
11/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Central Committee of the PLO will meet on 22 December to determine the proper legal formula regarding the possible constitutional vacuum if elections do not take place on 24 January, an official said. Walid Awwad, a member of the Palestine People's Party political bureau, announced Saturday that the body would discuss what will happen to Palestinian leadership after 24 January, the date set for the recently called off Palestinian presidential and legislative elections. The term of current President Mahmoud Abbas expired on 9 January 2009, but he has remained in his post mostly uncontested. The term of the Palestinian Legislative Council, inactive since 2007, ends on 24 January 2010. Abbas' Fatah party said his term legally extends to the end of the legislative term, and that both government bodies must go to elections in January in order for legitimacy to be maintained. 

PLO leader: Hamas wants mini-state in Gaza
11/14/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the PLO's Central Committee, on Saturday accused Hamas of planning to establish "a state within a state. " He compared Hamas' "aims" to Hizbullah's control of southern Lebanon. Speaking at a session of the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah, Abed Rabbo said the PLO and Palestinian Authority were threatened by "Hamas' hostage-taking campaigns and attempts to kidnap Palestinian legitimacy. " "Hamas conducted a coup in Gaza and still wants to dominate the Gaza Strip - yet now it's demanding control of the West Bank," he said, while Palestinians in Gaza "are still paying the price of this internal division. "Meanwhile, he said, the Palestinian leadership and people are undergoing "Israel's fierce political attacks, especially against Jerusalem, via their settlements and house demolitions. 

Erekat: PA planning to declare statehood
11/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The Palestinian Authority is mobilizing international support for declaring statehood, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday. "The idea is clear and understandable," Erekat told the Arabic-language daily newspaper Al-Ayyam. "Now we mobilize. "Palestinians will bring the issue to a vote before the United Nations Security Council, which would declare a Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 border with Israel, he explained. He called the initiative a response to Israel's policies, which would send a clear message that "settlements and other unilateral actions are null and void and do not establish rights or territory. " Erekat said he had discussed the idea more than once with the Americans and Europeans, while President Mahmoud Abbas raised the proposal with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian officials, who reacted positively. 

Nativity deportees meet relatives in Medina
11/14/2009 - Medina - Ma'an - Thirteen Palestinians deported from Bethlehem to the Gaza Strip in 2002 were able to meet some of their family members for the first time in years as they congregated in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. The 13, half of the group of 26 known as the Nativity Church Deportees, are barred from entering the West Bank where their families live. They were deported to Gaza following a weeks-long stand-off with the Israeli army as the group, including another half dozen deported to Europe, took refuge in Bethlehem's Nativity Church. Fifty-six-year-old Yasin Al-Hreimi, the oldest of the deportees, met his eldest son Jalal in the yard of the Prophet Muhammad Mosque in Medina for the first time in 10 years. When Al-Hreimi was deported to Gaza, his son Jalal was serving a 12-year sentence in Israeli jail. 

DFLP: We’re ready to counter any new Israeli attack
11/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The National Resistance Brigades, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), rebuffed recent Israeli threats for a new war on Gaza, calling them an expression of Israel's failure to halt projectile fire. Brigades spokesman Abu Saleem said in a statement that militants would continue firing projectiles at Israeli targets as long as Israel maintains its siege on Gaza and its attacks on the Palestinians. "No Israeli war will meet its objective" of stopping the projectiles, he said. Abu Saleem called the recent comments by Israeli military Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi an expression of Israel's "failure of achieving the goal it set out in the first Gaza war," which at one point was to stop the flow of projectiles over the border wall. The comments from Israeli military personnel and militant leaders came as both sides are being. . . 

Prisoners on agenda at Arab League meet
11/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Arab League met in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the plight of Palestinian prisoners. Delegates were expected to discuss allegations of mistreatment toward 33 specific women, including torture and forced confessions. Issa Qaraqi, the Palestinian Authority's minister of prisoners and ex-detainees, said the meeting would initiate an international and Arab campaign "to support prisoners politically and legally," and said he would present a report on "inhumane Israeli practices" in the country's jails. In a statement, he stressed that the international community should seek curbs on imprisoning minors, as well as efforts to end to administrative detention, a term that refers to Israel's policy of detaining Palestinians for up to six months at a time without charge. Qaraqi said the Arab League will vote on two new observer members, Norway and Slovenia, as. . . 

Hamas: No word on new Egypt talks
11/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas has not received an invitation from Cairo for renewed talks, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Saturday following announcements in the West Bank that unity talks were back on. "If we receive an invitation from Cairo we will go," Barhoum said over the phone from Gaza, affirming what he called a Hamas commitment to conciliation. Fatah officials announced Friday that Egyptian mediator Omar Suleiman had opened the door to continued talks set to take place at the beginning of December following the Eid Al-Adha holiday. Barhoum expressed concern over recent announcements from Fatah and the Palestine People's Party that said the Central Committee of the PLO would meed in mid-December and determine what should be done about what they called the "constitutional vacuum" on 25 January after the legal term of the defunct Palestinian Legislative Council expires. 

Abbas to meet Egyptian President Mubarak
11/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo on Wednesday before leaving for Latin America, an official said on Saturday. Nimir Hammad, the president's political advisor, said Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would discuss asking the UN Security Council to adopt the Arab Peace Initiative. They will also review the Middle East peace process and inter-Palestinian dialogue, Hammad added. The Palestinian Authority is mobilizing international support for declaring statehood, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday. Palestinians will bring the issue to a vote before the United Nations Security Council, which would declare a Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 border with Israel, he explained. Erekat said he had discussed the idea more than once with the Americans and Europeans, while President Mahmoud Abbas. . . 

Deputy PLC speaker slams Fatah ’provocations’
11/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Ahmad Bahar, the deputy head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, condemned statements made by Fatah officials on Saturday, describing them as "provocations" against the parliament's legitimacy. In a statement, Bahar said "these Fatah positions and statements reflect poor political actions against the Palestinian Basic Law. "He added that "the media campaign being waged by Fatah against the authority of [parliament speaker Aziz] Dweik and the council leadership is a reflection of a real serious crisis that needs to be resolved. " He said Dweik would remain the head of the PLC despite efforts to stifle his work. Fatah Central Committee Member Jamal Muheisen had said earlier that the party was considering withdrawing its approval for Egypt's reconciliation document. Unwilling to wait until the term of the last elected government, defunct since 2007, expires. . . . 

Gaza schools observe Palestinian Independence day Sunday
11/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - De facto government schools will close Sunday to observe Palestinian Independence Day, the Gaza Ministry of Education announced on Friday. Spokesperson of the de facto government ministry Khalid Radi said the decision was a reflection of the will of the people in Gaza, but also said the government did not want others up in arms if no celebration was called. "We want to avoid misinterpretations," he said. The ministry was not initially going to give children a day off school, preferring to use the day as a teaching tool on the history of Palestinian Independence Day. " That would have been better than having students sit at home and know nothing about Independence Day, however, to avoid misinterpretations by one party or another, we decided to announce holiday," he said. "

Police: 10 fugitives captured during slow week at Allenby
11/14/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Police operating at the Allenby Bridge border crossing near Jericho detained ten Palestinians they called fugitives apparently trying to leave the country. Police noted, however, that traffic at the border continues to be light, with a surge expected next week ahead of the Eid Al-Adha holiday on the 27th and Palestinians heading to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. In years past, wanted individuals have tried to slip into Jordan during the busy pilgrimage season and the traffic at the bridge. According to the police media center, 10,788 passengers departed for Jordan from the West Bank between 8-14 November, while 5,855 arrived in the West Bank, including 111 foreigners and 30 Israeli ID holders. The traffic is down from the week before, the report said. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF chief Ashkenazi: Army open to looking into Goldstone claims
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Ashkenazi says Israel must explain the war's justice as it is possible we will be forced to act again in Gaza. 

IDF Chief Rabbi: Troops who show mercy to enemy will be 'damned'
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - 'The IDF fought in Cast Lead with all their heart and soul, and with all the resources.' 

ANALYSIS / Next round of Gaza hostilities will be more intense
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - To halt rocket fire, IDF will have to combine massive firepower with deployment of ground forces. 

Hamas: Israel fabricating pretext for new Gaza war
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Spokesman says IDF report of Hamas test-firing rocket is intended to cover up 'previous crimes' in Gaza. 

IDF Chief: Israel will fight in Gaza again if needed
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Hamas tells Red Cross: Israel planning another war in Gaza'; Palestinian militant killed by IDF at border. 

IDF troops kill Palestinian militant at Gaza border
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Gaza militants fire rocket into south Israel; Palestinian arrested over bid to stab cop near Temple Mount. 

Olmert: Groups using Goldstone Gaza report to attack us are 'hypocritical'
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Former PM, who launched Gaza offensive condemned in UN report, says Israel must continue fighting terror. 

Brazil to buy $350 million worth of drones from Israel
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - The deal was signed during President Peres' official visit to Brazil, but negotiations began months ago. 

Israel shows papers linking Iran to seized 'Hezbollah arms ship'
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Iran urges Russia: Ignore Israeli pressure, deliver S-300 missiles are capable of shooting down warheads. 

U.S. accuses Iran of arms shipments to Hezbollah
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - U.S. raises issue of arms shipments to Security Council; UN: Both sides violating UN Resolution 1701. 

IDF to Palestinians: Bring forth Gaza war complaints
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - IDF chief says criminal investigation division along with five committees now probing 45 Palestinian complaints. 

Alleged Jewish terrorist to be charged with murdering two Palestinians
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Yaakov Teitel arrested a month ago on suspicion of murder, involvement in several murders and bomb plots. 

IDF Chief: Hezbollah has rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - IDF chief says calm is 'misleading - Beyond the fences the terror groups are gaining strength.' 

Most advanced, expensive fighter jet headed to Israel
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - The U.S. is scheduled to respond next week to Israel's request for 25 F-35 stealth fighter jets. 

Outpost residents finally admit IDF official issuing demolition order
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Police negotiating with residents of unauthorized community, Givat Asaf, who refuse to accept decree. 

Lebanon source: Israel working with Islamists to hurt Hezbollah
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Lebanese official says Katyusha fired last month was arranged with Israel, to make Hezbollah take blame. 

Report: Hezbollah rearming for imminent conflict with Israel
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - The British Observer quotes a Hezbollah commander as saying they expect an Israeli attack by spring. 

U.S. top brass: Nuclear Iran is existential threat to Israel
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Mullen: A nuclear Iran would undermine the stability of a region that is already highly unstable. 

Lebanon authorities detain 'arms ship' crew for questioning
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - After Israel releases ship found to be carrying tons of weapons apparently to Hezbollah, crew questioned in Beirut. 


[] IDF Chief Rabbi: Troops who show mercy to enemy will be 'damned'
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - The Israel Defense Forces' chief rabbi told students in a pre-army yeshiva program last week that soldiers who "show mercy" toward the enemy in wartime will be "damned." Brig. Gen. Avichai Rontzki also told the yeshiva students that religious individuals made better combat troops. Speaking Thursday at the Hesder yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of...

[] Delusional Self Defense, Delusional Congressional Vote
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - ...Thus, neither the facts nor the law support an Israeli self-defense claim. Rather than condemn Israel's act of aggression and its ongoing occupation and blockade of the Gaza Strip, Congress added its name to a pungent piece of manipulative delusion: that Israel's onslaught of Gaza constituted an act of self-defense. The House is now on record...

[] Palestinians breach wall near Tulkarem
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - At least six demonstrators were arrested in the northern West Bank after they breached a section of Israel's wall on Saturday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said. The protesters said they intended to march to lands that were left isolated behind the wall in Deir Al-Ghusun, northeast of Tulkarem, and managed to break open one of the...

[] Spotlight on Palestine An Interview with Stuart Littlewood
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - Stuart Littlewood is one of the most consistent and passionate writers on the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine. His book, Radio Free Palestine, and his frequent articles, focus readers on the plight of the Palestinian people, on the occupiers who are responsible, and on the governments who support Israel's slow-motion genocide and theft of an Indigenous...

[] U.S. rejects Ahmadinejad call to choose between Israel and Iran
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - The United States on Friday rejected a call by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for it to choose between supporting Israel or Iran. "Israel is a very, very close friend of the U.S., and we don't think we have to choose between Israel or any other country," State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday...

[] Gaza: Union of fuel companies warns of humanitarian crisis due to gas depletion
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - The union of fuel companies in the Gaza Strip warned Saturday of an imminent humanitarian crisis after the depletion of cooking gas from fuel stations for the 25th consecutive day. Mahmoud Al-Shawwa, the head of the union, said that the gas stations in Gaza shut down after they sold out their stocks. Shawwa explained that the...

[] Israel general says Hamas curbing Gaza rocket fire
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - Hamas has suspended its rocket launches against Israel since the Gaza Strip war and is similarly curbing other armed Palestinian factions in the territory, Israel's military chief said on Friday. The rare Israeli recognition of Hamas restraint came as both sides pursue Egyptian- and German-mediated prisoner-swap talks...

[] Palestinian People Will Not Live As Slaves Under Occupation
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - During a conference held at Wattan Media Center, MP Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, exposed the current political situation in the Palestinian territory. "What we see today" declared Dr Barghouti in the opening of his speech "is a deep and concerning political crisis whose origins reside in Israeli policies - international and...

[] Ashkenazi threatens new Gaza war, IOF raids southern Gaza
Uruknet November 14, 2009 -- Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli chief of staff, has threatened to attack Gaza anew if the rockets fired from there did not stop while a unit of his forces raided southern Gaza on Friday night. Ashkensazi, speaking to secondary school students in Beersheba on Friday said, "Although the Hamas rulers in Gaza have of late been restraining...

[] Iran creates Internet crime unit
Uruknet November 14, 2009 - The Iranian police have created a special unit to monitor Internet crime, particularly political offences, a senior police officer was quoted by the ILNA news agency as saying on Friday. "A special committee has been created to monitor the Internet ... and it will act against attempted fraud, illegal advertising, insults and false statements," an officer identified...

Palestine Telegraph

Bees Provide Pain Relief in Gaza
Gaza City, November 15, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - In a clinic in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, Ratib Samur makes his way from one patient to the next armed with little more than a small box filled with enraged bees.

Doctor from UAE performs string of operations on deaf children for free in Israeli-besieged Gaza. I 
Palestine, November 14, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Doctor from UAE performs string of operations on deaf children for free in Israeli-besieged Gaza.

Marching for peace in Bethlehem and around the world
Palestine, November 14, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A million people around the world are marching for peace. In the past few weeks alone, they walked through the streets of Sarajevo, Zagreb and Gendema, on the Sierra Leone-Liberia border. At the same time,...

Abbas resists US pressure for talks!
Palestine, November 12, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian president on Wednesday resisted US pressure for a resumption of peace talks with Israel, repeating his demand for a complete halt to West Bank settlement building before negotiations. Mahmoud Abbas also offered no...

Arafat's death: Who is the killer?
Palestine, November 11, (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinians are marking the fifth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. Hundreds of people gathered in the main square of the West Bank city of Ramallah to remember the late Palestinian leader.

The National

Palestinian groups send out feelers
The National 14 Nov 2009 - Schools in both the West Bank and Gaza will close to observe the PLO's independence declaration in 1988 amid signs of a temporary rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah

Syria turns to France to defuse tensions
The National 14 Nov 2009 - Washington's failure to draw up a viable action plan for the Middle East peace prompts Damascus to explore alternatives.

Frustrated Israelis increasingly favour peace talks with Hamas
The National 14 Nov 2009 - Almost six in 10 Israelis would support holding peace negotiations with Hamas if the group abandons terrorism and recognises Israel.

Play fair, and Egypt may yet be land of the rising son
The National 14 Nov 2009 - Sultan Al Qassemi: Creating a free and fair electoral process is not the impossible task that some Arab regimes scaremonger their citizens and the West into believing. In Egypt, for instance, there is a rule that a presidential candidate has to have led a political party for one year.

Abbas may put off Palestinian elections
The National 14 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, is today likely to announce the postponement, possibly indefinitely, of parliamentary and presidential elections.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 14 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.


Palestinians denied access to water
AlJazeera 14 Nov 2009 - Israel dubs Palestinian farmers trying in vain to irrigate their lands "water pirates".

Cairo match ends peacefully
AlJazeera 14 Nov 2009 - No violent incidents as Egypt celebrates football victory over Algeria. 

France meets Syria over peace plan
AlJazeera 13 Nov 2009 - Sarkozy expected to persuade al-Assad to restart Middle East talks.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian
AlJazeera 13 Nov 2009 - Palestinian hunting birds killed near Gaza crossing by Israeli soldiers.

Palestine News Network

Erekat: PA may ask UNSC to recognize state on '67 borders 
PNN 14 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority is considering asking the UN Security Council to recognize the existence of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines with its capital in east Jerusalem, top PA negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper in an interview published Saturday. Erekat said that, in light of the long-stalled negotiations with Israel, the PA was currently busy enlisting the support...

Marching for peace in Bethlehem and around the world 
PNN 14 Nov 2009 - BETHLEHEM: A million people around the world are marching for peace. In the past few weeks alone, they walked through the streets of Sarajevo, Zagreb and Gendema, on the Sierra Leone-Liberia border. At the same time, halfway around the world, others marched in Mexico City. Next on the agenda? New York, Paris, Freetown and Santiago. The first-ever World March for Peace and...

Fatah official: Palestinian elections likely to be delayed 
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to accept a recommendation that he postpone elections scheduled for January, a senior official said on Thursday. The independent Central Election Commission, responsible for organizing elections on Thursday confirmed it had recommended postponing the vote, the head of the Central Elections Commission said. We met today and we decided to tell the president, who called these...

Frozen efforts may still lead to reconciliation 
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - an interview with Mahmoud al-Ramahi BI: It seems Egyptian mediation efforts between Fateh and Hamas are stuck. Is that a correct reading of the situation?Ramahi: Let's say they are frozen. BI: What happened?Ramahi: The dialogue started at the beginning of this year, as you know. After eight months, Fateh and Hamas reached compromise on all outstanding issues. But in the final proposal...

Surgeon from UAE heals Gaza children deaf from Israeli bombings
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - Doctor from UAE performs string of operations on deaf children for free in Israeli-besieged Gaza. GAZA CITY - Wafa Sarhan was devastated to think her two sons would never hear her voice again after an Israeli strike on Gaza left them deaf.Then Dr. Hajeri showed up in the impoverished enclave.Bahaa and Qusei Sarhan, today six and five, lost their hearing in June...

High Court examines Israel's refusal to allow a 21 year old student to complete her BA in Bethlehem 
PNN 12 Nov 2009 - Today, Thursday, November 12, 2009, a hearing will be held in the Israeli High Court of Justice in the case of Berlanty Azzam, a student at Bethlehem University who was detained and forcibly removed to the Gaza Strip. Berlanty was to complete her BA in Business Management in just two months.Israel admits that it has no security claims against Berlanty and that...

Jerusalem Post

Assad rejects direct talks with Israel
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - Syrian president supports resuming contacts mediated by Turkey, calls on Netanyahu to send experts there.

Livni slams Mofaz over his diplomatic proposals
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - Former defense minister called to establish Palestinian state with temporary borders in 60 percent of West Bank while annexing settlement blocs, and then negotiating final borders.

Haredim protest against Intel in J'lem
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - Approximately 1,500 people demonstrate against company's operations on Shabbat; violence reported.

Lieberman: Return to '67 borders would move conflict into Israel
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - At Saban Forum, FM reportedly warns Israeli Arabs would demand autonomy if a Palestinian state were established in Judea and Samaria.

Middle Israel: On the debris of the Berlin Wall
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - The 1989 revolution was followed by a counterrevolution, whose handling demands a new Truman Doctrine.

'We would've had peace within 3 years'
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - Bill Clinton: Had Rabin not been assassinated, there would be comprehensive peace in the Mideast.

Hamas: Israel lying to justify next war
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - Reports of rocket testing were fabricated by IDF to "create pretext" for "new aggression," group says.

Analysis: IDF backs peace talks with Syria, but questions of mutual sincerity remain
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - Asheknazi, Yadlin wants peace with Syria in order to isolate Iran. stop Damascus support of Hizbullah.

Abbas has little chance of winning PA election, think-tank report says
Jeruslalem Post 14 Nov 2009 - Recent threat by Abbas to drop out of the race for the Palestinian presidency is a political maneuver, MACRO reports.


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...

US-MIDEAST: Baseball Team Urged to Cut Ties with Israeli Group 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (IPS) - A coalition of 11 U.S., Israeli and Palestinian groups are calling on the New York Mets baseball team to cancel a fundraiser by the "violent and racist" Israeli Hebron Fund which is scheduled to be held at the Mets' stadium, Citi Field, on Nov. 21.

Stop The Wall

"We are going to Jerusalem!"
Stop The Wall 14 Nov 2009 - This afternoon, exactly 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, popular committees struggling against the Apartheid Wall and the settlements destroyed part of the Wall near Qalandiya. Hundreds of people, with some 30 international supporters, used a truck to pull down part of the Wall in the area east of the Qalandiya refugee camp and beyond the UN Vocational College. They also destroyed iron gates and other pieces of concrete in the same area. [

Medic beaten, youth destroy fence in Ni'lin
Stop The Wall 14 Nov 2009 - More than 200 people participated in the protest that the Ni’lin popular committee organizes every week on Friday. In response to the recent tearing down of the Wall in both Qalandiya and Ni'lin, a large contingent of soldiers were waiting for the protestors, and immediately started fire huge amounts of tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and also live ammunition. Despite this, a group of youth managed to cut up parts of the fence and partially damage the gate. [

PCHR Weekly Report

PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank

(12-11-2009) Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

International Solidarity Movement

Settlers cut olive trees south of Nablus
11/14/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 12 November 2009 - A group of 25 settlers from Yitzhar settlement, south of Nablus, cut down 97 olive trees in the village of Burin this morning. The attack comes on the heels of a similar attack made 5 weeks ago, and a continued campaign of intimidation and harrassment of Burin's residents from nearby settlements Yitzhar and Bracha. Approximately 25 settlers began hacking the trees to pieces at 3am this morning. Although cutting manually, the noise awoke a Palestinian resident, whose house is located close to the scene on the Yitzhar 'side' of Burin. After alerting the village, the Palestinians arrived in the olive grove as it became light to survey the damage, amongst them the owner of the land, Burin farmer Akram Brahim Embran. They counted 97 trees destroyed. It is not the first time this year that Burin's olive trees have been caught in the middle of territorial violence, for which Yitzhar settlers are notorious. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Comment / Only precondition for peace is that Netanyahu be a statesman 
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Another innovation has been added to the list of sophisticated negotiation-stalling tactics. It is known by the business term "without preconditions." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's latest message is that he is ready to conduct negotiations with Syrian President Bashar Assad without preconditions, and the same applies to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. ... 

IDF chief Ashkenazi: Army open to looking into Goldstone claims 
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said last week that the army was willing to probe claims of wrongdoing by its soldiers. ... 

Sarkozy offers to host summit to break Mideast deadlock 
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered last week to host an international summit in Paris to break the deadlock in the Middle East peace process. Sarkozy first raised the proposal in his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, then with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Syrian President Bashar Assad. ... 

New British law lets museums return works stolen by Nazis 
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - BERLIN - A law passed Friday in Great Britain allows national museums to return art stolen by the Nazis during World War II to their previous owners or their descendants. ... 

Gideon Levy / Peres is a small man, not Richard Goldstone 
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - President Shimon Peres considers Richard Goldstone a "small man, devoid of any sense of justice, a technocrat with no real understanding of jurisprudence." Same to you, we used to say when we were kids. Indeed, it's amazing to see how aptly these harsh remarks describe Peres himself, a small man, devoid of any sense of justice. ... 

The Guardian

Israel 'personally attacking human rights group' after Gaza war criticism
The Guardian 13 Nov 2009 - Human Rights Watch denies having political agenda or seeking funds from Saudi Arabia America's leading human rights organisation has accused Israel and its supporters of an "organised campaign" of false allegations and misinformation, including "extremely personal...

The community leadership we deserve | Antony Lerman
The Guardian 13 Nov 2009 - Jewish leaders too often lose their moral compass over Israel, but we ourselves are to blame if we do not hold them to account There was something both homely and understatedly heroic about the Guardian front...

Israel's dark view of the world | Charles Grant
The Guardian 13 Nov 2009 - Many Israelis see little need for a peace settlement but feel isolated in what they regard as an increasingly hostile world The official explained to Bibi Netanyahu that if there was a peace settlement, extra investment...

Letters: Distorted claims
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - Tom Porteous, London director of Human Rights Watch , says: "Bernstein's central argument is that HRW should focus only on 'closed' societies, such as China and not report on 'open' societies such as Israel" ( Letters , 30 October)....

Mahmoud Abbas puts off Palestinian elections after Hamas opposition
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - Prospects for restarting the stalled Middle East peace process hit new uncertainty today when the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, decided to postpone crucial elections due to have been held in late January. Officials said Abbas would...

Fragmenting Palestinian land | Ben White
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - A young student deported from the West Bank to Gaza is just the latest victim of Israeli efforts to sever ties between the territories Twenty-one-year-old Palestinian student Berlanty Azzam was seized by Israeli soldiers at a...

Obama fails to resuscitate the Middle East peace process
The Guardian 12 Nov 2009 - Obituaries for the hope generated by his election are being written in Arabic, Hebrew and English Barack Obama seems to have failed dismally in his first sustained attempt to show he is serious about making peace...

Ha'aretz National page

Firms charge Holocaust survivors high fees to file restitution claims 
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - The Company for Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets, established by the state in 2005, has not been able to prevent some private firms and lawyers from unnecessarily mediating between the company and the Holocaust survivors in filing their claims and charging high fees, despite Justice Ministry regulations instituted this year. ... 

Bikers to make Israel's highways hellish to protest insurance hikes 
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Motorcyclists are planning to create traffic jams on roads from major cities today in protest against proposed hikes in insurance rates for two-wheeled vehicles. ... 

Galilee woman hit by stray bullet while solving crossword puzzle
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - A woman from the Lower Galilee suffered a head injury while was solving a crossword puzzle on Saturday, when a local hunter accidentally fired into her living room. ...

Jerusalem Haredim protest Shabbat opening of Intel plant
Ha'aretz 14 Nov 2009 - Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators on Saturday gathered outside the Jerusalem compound of computer chip manufacturer Intel to protest the company's opening on Saturdays. ...

Haaretz poll: 57% of Israelis support plan to talk to Hamas
Ha'aretz 13 Nov 2009 - In a few words, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was able to encapsulate the political situation in Israel: "There is no more peace camp." New survey numbers appear to prove him right. ... 

Relief Web

Trends in staple food prices in selected vulnerable countries- Issue No 5, Oct 2009
Relief Web 14 Nov 2009 - Source: World Food Programme

Israel kills Palestinian in Gaza confrontation 
Relief Web 14 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

UNHCR Iraq Fact Sheet Sep 2009
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Palestinian families at risk of being forced to leave homes
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: Save the Children

Life on the edge: The struggle to survive and the impact of forced displacement in high risk areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: Save the Children

Palestinian electoral body postpones January polls
Relief Web 13 Nov 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

YNet News

Lieberman: Withdrawal won't end conflict
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - Establishment of Palestinian state to shift conflict into Israel's borders, foreign minister says 

US expert urges all-out financial war on Iran
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - Former US Treasury official tells Ynet time has come to 'get serious', hurt Iran financially 

Clinton: Rabin's death prevented peace
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - Former US President Bill Clinton tells Israelis, Palestinians 'divorce not an option' in conflict, says he is convinced peace deal would have been struck within three years had Rabin stayed alive 

Hamas makes U-turn over Palestinian national day 
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - Islamist movement overturns previous plan to keep schools in Gaza Strip open on symbolic Fatah holiday marking the Nov.15, 1988 declaration of independence by late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat 

6 protestors detained in anti-fence rally
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - IDF says demonstrators arrested after damaging gate; protestors say 18 held for questioning 

Iran opposition: Ayatollahs worse than Shah
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - Iranian opposition leaders slam clerical rulers, criticize 'ugly acts' committed by security forces 

Erekat: PA may declare state via UN
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - Chief Palestinian negotiator: PA seeking global support for declaring statehood 

Egyptian guards kill African at border with Israel
YNet News 14 Nov 2009 - An African man fatally shot while trying to cross Egypt-Israel border 

Daily Star

Israel hits back in super-sized salad war, fosters town ties
Daily Star 14 Nov 2009 Residents of the Israeli town of Shfaram were seeking Friday to make the world's largest tabbouleh salad, hoping to bring reconciliation after violent Christian-Druze clashes. "We are trying to get the Guinness record," said event organizer Ala Khuria as residents were busy chopping 700 kilograms of tomatoes and other ingredients that should make up a more-than 4-ton salad.

Jewish troops shoot Palestinian dead in Gaza confrontation
Daily Star 14 Nov 2009 Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian and wounded two others in a confrontation near a Gaza Strip border on Friday, the Israeli army and Palestinian medical workers said. A rocket fired from Gaza struck later in an open area near an Israeli town, causing no injury, the army said. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for that shooting.

Middle East radicals fill abyss created by impasse in peace talks
Daily Star 14 Nov 2009 Iran's closest allies in the Middle East are seizing on a deadlock in US-backed peace efforts to try to sway a frustrated Arab world to their side. Radicals have escalated their rhetoric as hopes for progress on an Israeli-Palestinian deal have faded. The leaders of Syria and the Shiite militant group Hizbullah endorsed violence against Israel and attacked President Barack Obama's Mideast approach in recent days.

Obama vows to strengthen engagement in Asia at start of first regional tour
Daily Star 14 Nov 2009 Barack Obama insisted on Friday that the United States was a "pacific" power and vowed to deepen its engagement in the region as he set foot in Asia for the first time as US president. "The United States will strengthen our alliances, build new partnerships and we will be part of multilateral efforts and regional institutions that advance regional security and prosperity," he said in Tokyo as he launched his four-nation tour.

Palestinian Information Center

Union of fuel companies warns of humanitarian crisis due to gas depletion
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The union of fuel companies in the Gaza Strip warned Saturday of an imminent humanitarian crisis after the depletion of cooking gas from fuel stations for 25th consecutive day.

ISESCO condemns Jewish edict allowing murder of children
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) has condemned the Jewish edict that allowed murder of non-Jews even if they were children if they posed dangers to the Jews.

Bardawil: Israel trying to portray Hamas as hostile to justify its crimes
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil stated that Israel has embarked on portraying itself as a country suffering from fear and horror and Hamas as an aggressive force in order to justify its crimes in Gaza.

Dweik denies affirming reconciliation agreement to be signed by end of November
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, Dr. Aziz Dweik has denied telling the press that he expected Hamas to sign the Egyptian reconciliation paper by end of this month.

Sheikh Salah warns of Israeli plan to build Talmudic parks around Aqsa Mosque
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands, warned Friday of an Israeli plan to establish mythical Talmudic parks around the Aqsa Mosque.

Members of Miles of Smiles leave Gaza
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - Members of the European aid convoy "Miles of Smiles" left the Gaza Strip at a late hour on Friday night after staying there for 48 hours.

British trade unions launch boycott campaign against Israeli products
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The British federation of trade unions announced the initiation of a campaign to boycott the Israeli products manufactured in settlements in West Bank, which were built on occupied Palestinian lands.

Der Speigel: Exchange deal to bear fruit soon
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The German mediation has succeeded in achieving a breakthrough in the prisoners' exchange deal between the Hamas Movement and Israel, German weekly Der Spiegel reported in its latest edition.

IOA closes Ibrahimi Mosque before worshipers
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has closed down the Ibrahimi Mosque in central Al-Khalil city before Muslim worshipers for undeclared "security reasons".

Israeli troops kill Palestinian boy, kidnap four east of Gaza
PIC 14 Nov 2009 - One Palestinian boy was killed, another was taken to hospital and three others were kidnapped before noon on Friday during an Israeli military incursion into Johr Al-Deek area, east of Gaza Strip.

Los Angeles Times

Authorities move to seize U.S. properties allegedly tied to Iran 
LA Times 13 Nov 2009 - Federal prosecutors seek the forfeiture of Islamic centers, mosques and other properties they accuse of funneling money to an Iranian bank involved in Tehran's nuclear program. Federal authorities Thursday moved to seize an array of U.S.-based properties, bank accounts and religious sites that they charged in court documents were funneling money to an Iranian bank involved in that country's suspected nuclear weapons program. 

Disagreement in Middle East over Iran's nuclear program 
LA Times 13 Nov 2009 - A TV debate in Qatar shows sharp divisions over whether Iran can be trusted not to build a nuclear bomb. Perhaps most surprising is the sympathy shown for Tehran. It's a sentiment bubbling just below the surface of a lively and charged televised debate over whether to trust Iran not to build a nuclear weapon. 

New York Times

Unusual Partners Study Divisive Jerusalem Site
New York Times 15 Nov 2009 - Israeli and Palestinian experts, seeking to promote understanding, collaborated on a new book about the holy site known as the Temple Mount and as Haram al-Sharif . 

Israeli and French Leaders Meet
New York Times 12 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a joint statement agreeing “to use all efforts” to restart the Middle East peace process.

Blair Hails Economic Steps in West Bank
New York Times 11 Nov 2009 - Palestinians marked two breakthroughs: a second mobile telephone company opened, and a long-closed crossing point from Israel allowed limited motor traffic. 


Israeli judge rules legal system discriminates against Arabs 
11/14/2009 - The National - Jonathan Cook - Nazareth, Israel // An Israeli judge made an historic ruling last week when he decided that an Arab teenager needed “protection” from the justice system and ordered that he not be convicted despite being found guilty of throwing stones at a police car during a protest against Israel’s attack last winter on Gaza. Prosecutors had demanded that the juvenile, a 17-year-old from Nazareth, in northern Israel, be convicted of endangering a vehicle on the road, a charge that carries a punishment of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, as a way to deter other members of Israel’s Arab minority from committing similar offences. But Judge Yuval Shadmi said discrimination in the Israeli legal system’s treatment of Jewish and Arab minors, particularly in cases of what he called “ideologically motivated” offences, was “common knowledge”. 

Palestinians denied access to water 
11/14/2009 - AlJazeeraEnglish YouTube - Israel dubs Palestinian farmers trying in vain to irrigate their lands "water pirates" - Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, or "water pirates" as Israeli occupation forces prefer to call them, are siphoning off drinking water pipes in an effort to secure water to irrigate their farmland. Water is an increasingly disputed resource between Israel and the Palestinians. A World Bank report has accused Israel of using four times more water than Palestinians from the so-called Mountain Aquifer that bridges Israel and the territory and runs along the West Bank. Israel disputes that claim and says the Palestinians are jeopardising the resource through illegal use. Palestinians argue they are being denied access in order to force them off their land. This exclusive report from Al Jazeera shows Israeli occupation forces dismantling a farmer's water pipes in the agricultural village of al-Baqa. 

Poll: Most Israelis Support Peace Talks With Hamas 
11/13/2009 - - As Talk of New War Continues, Israeli General Notes Hamas Curbing Rockets - In a poll that shows a stark disconnect between Israeli public opinion and the hawkish government elected in the nation earlier this year, a full 57 percent of Israelis were supportive of the idea of peace talks with Hamas. The poll was worded to gauge reaction to a proposal by top opposition figure and former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who suggested that he would support talks with Hamas if the group recognized Israel. Hamas’ recognition as with Israeli officials’ willingness to talk with them, seems to differ based on which official is speaking. Hamas officials have suggested the group is willing to recognize Israel within the 1967 borders, but at other times have suggested no recognition at all was possible. But despite continued talk from the right-far-right coalition government that another war against. . . . 

Syrian president says Israel doesn’t want peace 
11/13/2009 - - AP - Syrian president says Israel isn't a serious partner in stalled peace talks - Syrian President Bashar Assad urged France on Friday to support Turkish mediation efforts to get momentum in the Middle East peace process. Assad welcomed renewed indirect discussions mediated by Turkey, but appeared to dismiss suggestions of a direct meeting with Israel's prime minister. " What would we talk about, the menu or the return of land? " Assad told reporters after talks and lunch with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. " Me, I say we would talk about returning land, and for this subject there is a framework," mechanisms and specialized negotiators to handle this, he said. "It is neither me nor Mr. (Benjamin) Netanyahu. " Assad was in Paris two days after the Israeli prime minister visited the city and said he was ready to meet the Syrian president anywhere, at any moment, but without pre-established. . . . 

PLO Plans Gov’t Reform To Phase Out Hamas 
11/14/2009 - Political Theatrics - Israeli electronic site Ynet reported on Saturday that the Palestinian Authority is currently putting the finishing touches on carrying out a revolution within the Palestinian government institutions, in order to put an end to the paralyzing division, and be rid of the legislative obstacles placed by Hamas. PA sources told Ynet that according to the plan in formation, the role of Legislative Council, which has served as the parliament since the establishment of the PA and is currently ruled by Hamas, will be usurped by the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Central Council, which will become the supreme Palestinian legislative body. Hamas is not a member of the PLO, and it will have no foothold in the council. According to the plan, which is slated to be put in action in January, Mahmoud Abbas’ main role will be PLO head, meaning the current president, who recently announced he does. . . . 

French Source: Israeli Military Option against Iran Alive 
11/14/2009 - Political Theatrics - In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy got the impression that as far as Israel is concerned, the military option against Iran’s nuclear plans is very much alive, and he was sure to pass this message on to Syrian President Bashar Assad, “knowledgeable” French sources told al-Hayat newspaper. According to the report published in the Arabic-language, London-based newspaper on Saturday, during the meeting that took place between Assad and Sarkozy on Friday, the Syrian president said Tehran’s steps should be closely watched and not rejected automatically. Sarkozy said in response that he believes no false expectations should be developed in the matter of Iran’s position. According to the French sources, Sarkozy warned in the meeting that if talks do not yield results, this could lead to a sensitive situation, especially in light. . . . 

Naalin: Protestors say IDF using live fire 
11/13/2009 - YNetNews - Two anti-fence protestors injured in West Bank claim soldiers fired at them with banned Ruger rifles - Two Palestinians were injured Friday at the weekly anti-fence protest in the West Bank village of Naalin. The protestors claim Israeli security forces have reinstated the use of Ruger rifles, which have been deemed live fire by the military prosecution. The IDF confirmed the use of the rifles, which can be used to fire live ammunition with relatively low force. Earlier this year B'tselem appealed to the military prosecution with a demand to ban the rifles. Judge Advocate General Avi Mandelblit said in his response to the appeal that "the guidelines for use of this ammunition are severe, and parallel to those for the use of live ammunition". In June a Palestinian was killed during an anti-fence protest in Naalin, assumedly from ammunition fired from a Ruger rifle. 

Intel places barbed wire fence ahead of haredi protest 
11/12/2009 - YNetNews - Electronic chip manufacturer prepares for Shabbat battle, puts up barbed wire fence around Har Hotzvim complex. Jerusalem councilman: 'We are obliged to protest' - The Shabbat wars continue in Jerusalem- Following Intel's announcement it will begin activity at the Har Hotzvim plant on weekends, and the ultra Orthodox rabbis' call to protest the move in a mass rally on Saturday, the electronic chip manufacturer played it safe, erecting Thursday a barbed wire fence on top of the existing iron fence surrounding its complex. A source at Intel Israel confirmed the company will be placing the barbed wire fence, saying "we work in Intel Jerusalem for the past 24 years, following the company's needs and in accordance with the law. The status-quo did not change during all these years. " However, outrage is at its peak among the haredim. 

The U.S. Jew whose Iran views rile Israel intelligence officials 
11/14/2009 - Ha'aretz - WASHINGTON, D. C. - Hillary Mann Leverett and her partner and husband, Flynt Leverett, make the Iran desk staffers in the Israeli intelligence community see red. For the past two years the Leveretts, both of whom are former U. S. National Security Council and State Department officials, have preached relentlessly against using sanctions and threats against Iran. In late September, a harsh op-ed they wrote condemning the Obama administration appeared in The New York Times. In it they argued that the lofty talk of "openness" and the promise of "dialogue" with the Iranians are just empty rhetoric. On their Internet site, in lectures, in interviews and in their journal articles, they present assessments and proposals for action that are different from, and sometimes nearly the opposite of, those that politicians and experts in the West and in Israel present the public. 

IDF vs. Goldstone: PR ’commando’ explains war against Hamas to Americans 
11/13/2009 - Ha'aretz - When it comes to public relations for Israel, Col. (res. ) Ben Tzion Gruber is a one-man self-appointed PR commando unit. Deputy commander of the reserve division that served in Operation Cast Lead, Gruber has crisscrossed the United States - even before the Gaza campaign - explaining the unique way the Israel Defense Forces conducts itself in its war against Hamas terror. Gruber, from Efrat, is a businessman who serves an average of 100 days a year of reserve duty. Over the past 20 years, during which he also served as a reserve brigade commander during the second intifada, he frequently lectured to IDF units, in schools and abroad. The pay he receives for his foreign lectures "more or less covers expenses," he says. Gruber returned from the Gaza campaign with a deep awareness of the complexities of fighting terrorists operating among civilians. 

Israel general says Hamas curbing Gaza rocket fire 
11/13/2009 - Yahoo! News - JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Hamas has suspended its rocket launches against Israel since the Gaza Strip war and is similarly curbing other armed Palestinian factions in the territory, Israel's military chief said on Friday. The rare Israeli recognition of Hamas restraint came as both sides pursue Egyptian- and German-mediated prisoner-swap talks. Egypt is also trying to mend a rift between Hamas and U. S. -backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who has often accused the Islamist group, which rules Gaza, of jeopardizing their people's national aspirations by provoking the Jewish state. " For now, at least, I can say that the Hamas movement is holding back, and is holding back the others," Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi said in a speech in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba. "Now and then, here and there, there is firing, but overall the situation is quiet. " 

Turkey says willing to store uranium from Iran 
11/13/2009 - Reuters - ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey would be willing to store enriched uranium from Iran, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Friday, responding to a United Nations suggestion that Iran send its low-grade enriched uranium to a third country. Officials from Turkey and Iran, which have friendly relations, have discussed the idea of Tehran sending its uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel to keep a nuclear medical facility running. " There is no problem from the side of Turkey with Iran storing its low-grade uranium in Turkey. We cannot say no," Yildiz told reporters. Addressing Iran's misgivings over sending low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad before it gets reactor fuel in return, the U. N. nuclear watchdog has suggested Iran place the LEU in a friendly third country like Turkey, pending arrival of the fuel. Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a telephone conversation with International. . . 

How Rahm Emanuel Made Mega-Millions and Bought His Way to Power 
12/9/2008 - AlterNet - ProPublica - Since Rahm Emanuel was appointed the next White House chief of staff last month, ProPublica has been retracing his previous life as an investment banker, which earned him more than $18 million in less than three years. The New York Times recently shed new light on Emanuel's Wall Street days -- and how they helped send him to Congress. In late 1998, Emanuel left the Clinton White House to work for Wasserstein Perella, a now defunct investment bank run by Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor. " I had this idea that this could work and that it had upside," Wasserstein told the Times. "It worked out better than I could have hoped. " Indeed, as we previously noted, Emanuel used his political connections to broker major deals while at the firm. (One deal was a $16 billion merger that created Exelon Corp. 


Hope? – Obama, Abbas, Abunimah and Morrisons 
Qunfuz, P U L S E 11/12/2009
      The hope invested by many in Barack Obama has dissolved. Dare I sing ‘I told you so’? I do. The audacious hope of Obamamania was always faith-based, founded on the believer’s premise that the handsome candidate didn’t mean what he actually said, that we should read his words esoterically, as code for profound radicalism. Now reality bites, and we discover that his promises to AIPAC and the military were solid and literal.
     It’s certainly something that a black man has become president of a country built by African slaves, although we must place this in the context of the fierce racist backlash since his election (would those guardians of the constitution raving about the tree of liberty being watered by the blood of tyrants be quite so eager to wear their guns on their sleeves if the president were white and not a jumped-up negro? I doubt it). But that’s the achievement of Obama’s skin colour, not his policy; in fact it’s the achievement of the people who voted for him. Another achievement is that – in the company of war criminals such as Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Henry Kissinger – Obama has already won the Nobel peace prize. Hooray!
     But let’s get back to reality, the reality of blood and tears as suffered in the arc of American-led or funded conflict. As promised, Obama has escalated the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan and put no pressure at all on apartheid Israel as it gobbles up the few remaining slivers of Palestine. His address to the Muslims in Cairo was sweeter in tone than what we had become accustomed to, but remained an offensive imperialist lecture. He pontificated about hijabs (he called them hajibs) and the education of women, and repeated the Bernard Lewis-Dick Cheney orientalist line about “a self-defeating focus on the past”, instead of addressing American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and backing for assaults on Lebanon and Somalia in the present. He mocked Palestinian resistance and misrepresented the history of black resistance in America while he was about it. He failed entirely to mention the enormous violence meted out to the Palestinians by Zionism. But he won applause for this: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace." more.. e-mail

Debate on Gaza report shows growing resolve to challenge pro-Israeli stance 
James Zogby, The National 11/12/2009
      WASHINGTON // The significance of the congressional debate of the Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict last week may have been ignored by many given what appeared to be the lopsided vote in favour of the anti-Goldstone resolution.
     It will be recalled that when the report was first released, members of Congress were quick to denounce it using, at times, near hysterical language. Since Goldstone had no vocal champions, when the foreign affairs committee chairman, Howard Berman, and the ranking Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen introduced their anti-Goldstone resolution, one might have thought that the matter would be quickly resolved with a near unanimous vote.
     But that was not to be the case.
     For his part, Justice Goldstone mounted a vigorous defence of his work. In an open letter to the congressional sponsors, the justice offered a point-by-point rebuttal of what he detailed as the misleading and factually incorrect statements in the resolution.
     In addition, two members of Congress, Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, and Brian Baird, Democrat of Washington state, who had visited Gaza after the war, wrote articles and pressed their colleagues urging a more thoughtful consideration of the Goldstone report. Leading human rights organisations, Arab-American and American-Jewish groups, a coalition of Christian churches and other non-governmental organisations mobilised their memberships and addressed letters to Congress.
     As a result, instead of a quick and quiet vote, an extended debate took place. At least 16 members of Congress rose to speak about their opposition to the bill. more.. e-mail

How to Press the Advantage With Iran 
Flynt Leverett And Hillary Mann Leverett, New York Times 9/29/2009
      TEHRAN’S disclosure that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qum has derailed the Obama administration’s already faltering efforts to engage with Iran. The United States will now cling even more tightly to the futile hope that international pressure and domestic instability will induce major changes in Iranian decision-making.
     Indeed, the meeting on Thursday in Geneva of the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany with Iran (the “five plus one” talks) will not be an occasion for strategic discussion but for delivering an ultimatum: Iran will have to agree to pre-emptive limitations on its nuclear program or face what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls “crippling” sanctions.
     However, based on conversations we’ve had in recent days with senior Iranian officials — including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — we believe it is highly unlikely Iran will accept this ultimatum. It is also unlikely that Russia and China will support sanctions that come anywhere near crippling Iran. After this all-too-predictable scenario has played out, the Obama administration will be left, as a consequence of its own weakness and vacillation, with extremely poor choices for dealing with Iran.
     Because President Obama assembled a national security team that, for the most part, did not share his early vision for American-Iranian rapprochement, his administration never built a strong public case for engagement. The prospect of engagement is still treated largely as a channel for “rewarding” positive Iranian actions and “punishing” problematic behavior — precisely what Mr. Obama, as a presidential candidate, criticized so eloquently about President George W. Bush’s approach. more.. e-mail

In Gaza
graves in Gaza: denied dignity
14 Nov 2009 - Long denied cement, a sparse few are able to improvise with over-expensive, tunnel-delivered Egyptian cement.  The others simply bury under the sand.  Most of these sand-graves in Jabaliya’s Faluja cemetary are from the Israeli massacre of Gaza nearly a year ago.  The same inadequate graves can be found in cemetaries across Gaza. In the Gaza War cemetary , roughly 360 graves were damaged in the Israeli massacre, according to the cemetary groundsman, Ibrahim Jeradeh.  He says the majority of the damage was from shelling in the areas around the cemetary, as it lies withine 2km of the eastern border between Gaza Palestine and Israel. Yet, these graves, mainly of British and...

Palestine Chronicle
Lebanese Students Advise Obama How to Get it Right
13 Nov 2009 - By Franklin Lamb- Beirut If those in Lebanon watching the news on 11/12/09 blinked they might have missed an interesting news item. It appeared at approximately 4:20 pm on, the pro-US/Saudi news website. The news item read "4:16 pm, American Ambassador Michele Sison (sp) departed Lebanon for her country." Ten minutes later the item disappeared and, as it turned out, the ten minutes was exactly how long it took for the US Embassy security and press office to inform Beirut media outlets that "the American Ambassadors movements are to be reported at least one hour after they occur not one minute." The hasty departure of Ambassador Michele Sisson, according to the US Foreign Relations Committee office, may have been because the Obama administration is preparing for a 'deep review' of its 9 months effort in Lebanon and the region, debriefing key officials arriving from the area to participate. Ambassador Sisson will likely give the White House an ear full, including a report of what the Embassy Press Office referred to as the spectacle this week of former US friends and assets in the March 14 majority coalition warmly and very publicly embracing at various events marking the end of the 5 month effort to create a government here of those "Iranian surrogates" in Hezbollah. The Ambassador may also report to the White House that Hezbollah in now the most popular and respected political party in Lebanon and the main pillar of the new government and that it is about...

Fort Hood Tragedy Sparks Islamophobic Response
13 Nov 2009 - By Steve Lendman - Chicago A personal note. This writer was stationed at Fort Hood in summer 1956, a quiet time, post-Korea and pre-Vietnam, when terrorism and Islamophbia weren't issues, and shooting only happened on firing ranges to learn and improve marksmanship. On November 5, The New Times headlined, "Mass Shooting at Fort Hood, saying: "the Army confirms that the gunman (thought to be killed) was Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan. Reports said 12 were dead (raised to 13, including one civilian) and 31 others wounded from an incident at the base Readiness Processing Center where troops prepare for deployment. Two other soldiers were detained as suspects. Another was believed at large. The shooting began about 1:30PM after which Fort Hood was locked down." CNN reported over 100 rounds fired. Some military retirees were skeptical, calling it bogus. An unidentified Army captain said it's impossible for a non-combatant like Hasan to fire that much with two pistols without being subdued. He'd have had to reload giving someone a chance to do it. Others said the same thing. Sergeant Donald Buswell called the official story illegitimate saying a room full of combat veterans wouldn't let one shooter do this kind of damage. "Multiple shooters is the only plausible scenario. This sounds like Major Hasan has been used, and perhaps is a patsy." Vietnam veteran Michael Gaddy said the Army's version doesn't compute. "People on the ground have told me cell phone towers were jammed to prevent unauthorized dissemination of information after...

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