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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
22 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Resistance In Gaza: “We Did Not Agree With Hamas To Halt The Firing Of Homemade Shells”
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Monday November 23, 2009 - 00:32, The National Resistance Brigades, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Al Aqsa brigades, the armed wing of Fateh, said in separate press release that they are not part of any deal to cease the firing of homemade shells into adjacent Israeli areas.

Israeli legislators plan commemoration of Jewish terrorist Meir Kahane
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 22, 2009 - 22:26, Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Member Michael Ben-Ari is organizing, with other legislators and supporters, a commemoration this month of the death of Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose organization, Kach, was declared a 'terrorist cell' by the US and Israeli governments in 1994 after a follower of the movement massacred a group of Palestinians praying in a mosque.

After ceasefire declaration by Hamas, Israel launches air strikes in Gaza
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 22, 2009 - 21:19, Early Sunday morning, the Israeli airforce launched a series of missiles into the central, northern and southern Gaza Strip, wounding seven Palestinians. The air strikes follow a Saturday night declaration by the Hamas leadership in Gaza (the elected leadership of the Palestinian people) that they had managed to convince the armed factions in Gaza to cease firing homemade shells across the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Hamas Convinces Armed Factions To Halt Homemade Shelling
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 21, 2009 - 23:26, Fathi Hammad, Hamas' interior minister, announced Saturday that Hamas had convinced all the armed factions in Gaza to cease any firing of homemade shells across the border from Gaza into Israel.

P.A To Move Four Main Files To The United Nations
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 21, 2009 - 23:19, The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank decided to move to the UN four main files, regarding borders, the Wall, the Palestinians state and the illegal weapons used by Israel during its offensive against the Gaza Strip.

Troops Kidnap Five Palestinian Security Officers In Salfit
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 21, 2009 - 01:33, Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Friday morning five Palestinian security officers near the West Bank city of Salfit. Israel confirmed the arrests but did not provide details on the circumstances.

Ma'an News

Israeli warplanes strike Gaza Strip overnight
11/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Eight Palestinians were injured in Gaza as Israeli warplanes struck several targets on Sunday morning. Israeli aircraft targeted a blacksmith's workshop in Jabaliya to the north, injuring one person, said Dr Mu'awiya Hassanein, the director of ambulance and emergency services for the Gaza Health Ministry. Hassanein added that Israeli struck at tunnels leading into Egypt. Israeli war planes further targeted another blacksmith's workshop in central Gaza, in Nuseirat on Salah Ad-Din road. Hassanein also reported five injured in Yabna to the south, describing one Palestinian as critically injured, adding all six people were taken for treatment to the Kamal Adwan Hospital, northern Gaza. An Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an the country's air force targeted three sites early Sunday morning in response to a projectile fired into southern Israel the morning before. 

Two Gaza border crossings sealed amid gas crisis
11/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow food into the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday, a Palestinian crossings official said. The official, Raed Fattouh, said both the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings would stay closed. The Kerem Shalom crossing, he said, would allow the delivery of between 122-132 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. Twenty trucks will carry 600 calves, he added. The Nahal Oz crossing was only open for four days during the first 20 days of November, a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs report said Friday. The crossing was, according to Israeli media, being closed for "security concerns" and its infrastructure being transferred to the Kerem Shalom crossing. During the first weeks of November, all domestic gas transferred into the Strip went through Kerem Shalom until 18 November, when Nahal Oz was opened for the transport of 257 tons. 

B’Tselem marks 20th anniversary ’with a heavy heart’
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - On Sunday, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem commemorated 20 years since its founding with release of data collected by the organization from 1989 through 2009. This period includes many of the main events of the first intifada, the Oslo period and the second intifada, as well as the recent Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. B'Tselem's executive director, Jessica Montell, said that "a 20-year perspective leaves one with a heavy heart, especially due to the ongoing violation of the right to life of Palestinians and Israelis resulting from the conflict. "However, we can also note several human rights achievements: for instance, 20 years ago, thousands of Palestinians were systematically and routinely tortured during investigations. Thanks to the efforts of the human rights community, including B'Tselem, this torture has stopped. 

Jordanian detainees on hunger strike in Israeli prisons
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jordanian detainees in Israeli prisons initiated a hunger strike on Saturday evening. According to the Jordanian Committee of Prisoners in Israel, the hunger strike is an appeal to the Jordanian government to exert more pressure to ensure the release of prisoners, and investigated the poor living conditions in Israeli prisons. The committee further expressed concern over detained Muhammad Rimawi, who was placed in solitary confinement after he was diagnosed with an unspecified infectious disease. A representative from a human rights organization was made to wear a protective mask during an interview with Rimawi, who was kept behind a glass barrier. Rimawi's health has significantly deteriorated over several months, the committee noted, adding that the Israel Prison Services have refused to transfer the detainee to hospital for treatment. 

Bereaved Gaza families delayed on Hajj journey
11/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A thousand Palestinians who were to travel to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage were delayed from departing on Sunday because their passports had not yet been returns containing Saudi visas, according to officials. The hopeful travelers were among a group of 2,000 Palestinians who lost family members to the conflict with Israel, who were to be allowed to travel to Mecca on expenses-paid trips. PA Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash announced the free pilgrimages last week. Ehab Al-Ghussein, the spokesman of the Gaza Interior Ministry, said that Egypt would eventually open the crossing once the visas are granted. He did not say why the visas had been delayed. Al-Ghussein also said Gazan authorities were trying to persuade Egypt to open the Rafah border crossing to allow students, those with visas, and others to travel in both directions. 

Two shootings in Hebron, one injured
11/22/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Saturday night at a Palestinian man in the center of Hebron in the southern West Bank, causing critical injury before fleeing the scene, Palestinian security sources told Ma'an on Sunday. Police believe that the shooting was reprisal for two alleged murders, including that of the unidentified gunmen's brother six months prior. Ahmad Atawna, director of Hebron police public relations said that they are investigating the incident. Separately, unidentified gunmen opened fire at two brothers from Beit Ula during a car chase in west Hebron on Saturday morning. The gunmen fled the scene and no injuries were reported. Both incidents took place in areas under Israeli security control. 

PA: UN wants Israel to admit secret prison
11/22/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The UN has sent an official request to Israel to admit the existence of secret prison camp 1391, dubbed in the press "Israel's Guantanamo Bay," according to the Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners affairs. Minister Issa Qaraqe told a news conference in Ramallah on Saturday that the UN had asked the Israeli government in a letter to officially acknowledge that the facility. Human rights experts with the United Nations Committee Against Torture questioned Israeli officials about the facility in may when the country came up for a regular review under a treaty obligation, Reuters reported. Although Israel declined the UN's request to discuss 1391 earlier this year, Israeli officials have indirectly confirmed the facility's existence. Former Israeli Justice Minister Dan Merridor (currently the official negotiating the release of a soldier held in Gaza). . . 

Israeli expert: World would recognize Palestinian state
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - More than 130 United Nations member states would recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, Israeli international law expert Moshe Hersh told Israeli TV on Saturday evening. According to Hersh, "Mahmoud Abbas can declare a Palestinian state nowadays because 100 countries will certainly support his decision, in addition to 30 others who are likely to vote for the decision. "Furthermore, there will be European support, even though it will not be overwhelming. The US intends to oppose the Palestinian decision, yet the limited European support will be embarrassing to the US. "  "International organizations that have Palestinian membership will also support the decision," Hersh added. The expert explained that international recognition of a Palestinian state would help the Palestinians and at the same time embarrass Israel, which the world will see as an occupying force. 

India’s PA envoy delivers US $1 million for UNRWA
11/22/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - India's representative to the Palestinian Authority, Bishwadip Dey, delivered a check for 1 million US dollars to UNRWA director Karen AbuZayd in Jerusalem on Friday. Dey expressed appreciation for the work of the commissioner-general and UNRWA. He congratulated UNRWA on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its establishment. Dey also commended UNRWA's work in providing humanitarian assistance, including education, health care and social services for Palestinian refugees. Dey reiterated India's "unwavering and consistent support to UNRWA for its efforts. "He also mentioned that India, in an effort to ease UNRWA's financial burden, had already made a special contribution of 1 million dollars in January 2009 in response to the Gaza flash appeal made by UNRWA. "In view of the present financial constraints faced by the agency, India has enhanced its contribution by 50 times," he said. 

Syrian soap superstars enter Gaza
11/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Syrian soap opera superstars were among a delegation of actors that entered the Gaza Strip on Sunday on a solidarity visit to the besieged enclave. The group of 12 includes Wafa Mousselie and Salim Kallas, who play leading characters on the hugely popular soap opera Bab Al-Hara (Gate of the Neighborhood), which appears nightly during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Watched by tens of millions across the Arab world, Bab Al-Hara is popular among Palestinians, particularly for its depictions of Syrian resisting French colonialism in the 1930s. The delegation also includes Duraid Lahham, a leading comedian and director, who is visiting Gaza for the second time this year. Jamal Suleiman of the show Ahla Raya is also on the delegation. Also among the group are Assad Eid, Rafiq Sbeie, Assad Fadda, Susan Najem Ad-Din, Radwan Aqili , Talhat Hamdi, Hadi Baqdunes, Hesham Hasbani and TV cameraman Ayman Salameh. 

Fayyad: We won’t accept fragmented state
11/22/2009 - security forces in the Jordan Valley [MaanImages] Jerusalem - Ma'an - "We will not accept a fragmented state, and we refuse all interim and transitional solutions. The eastern border of the state of Palestine is Jordan," said caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Sunday. Fayyad's comments follow former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz's initiative to announce a Palestinian state on temporary borders, a proposal staunchly rejected by Palestinians officials. It was further reported in the Israeli media last week that President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were discussing options to resume peace talks with the Palestinian side, including the declaration of Palestinian state on interim borders while Israel draws up a withdrawal plan from remaining territory. Fayyad's speech was given at a graduation ceremony for police officers in Al-Fari'a in the Jordan Valley. 

Lieberman opposed to Palestinian ’interim state’
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday that his party would "staunchly oppose" the creation of "an interim Palestinian state. ""The issue has not been discussed in any forum "¦ I fervently hope it's a fabrication," Lieberman told reporters before the weekly cabinet meeting, according to Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper. The notion of a Palestinian state on temporary borders, with a partial Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank reemerged earlier this month when Israel's former defense minister, Shaul Mofaz proposed a new peace initiative based on an interim state. The proposal also calls for direct talks with Hamas. Hamas rejected Mofaz' overtures, and the Palestinian Authority has also rejected the suggestion of temporary borders. "We will not accept a fragmented state, and we refuse all interim and transitional solutions. 

Three Gaza armed groups deny ceasefire pact
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Three Palestinian armed groups in Gaza said on Sunday that they are not bound by an agreement to hold their fire at Israel. The armed wings of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and Fatah denied the deal, which the Hamas-backed government in Gaza announced on Saturday. "We affirm that we were not part of any agreement on stopping the firing of rockets at Israel or to neutralize any form of legitimate resistance as granted by all international codes and conventions," read a statement from the armed wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. The statement released stressed that confrontation and resistance to the occupation will remain an option, denying any agreement to stem the launching of projectiles into Israel. 

Hamas official: Occupation needs no excuse to carry out crimes
11/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - "The Israeli occupation does not need any excuses to carry out crimes against the Palestinians," Salah Al-Bardawil, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and Hamas affiliate said on Sunday. Al-Bardawil further stated that, "Israeli escalation, the spark of which has increased, is a means to check international policy and an attempt to explore the interests and the reactions of the international community to new crimes that it might carry out against the Palestinians. "  Additionally, the PLC member pondered if "the Goldstone report had an effect on the international community in preventing new Israeli attacks, particularly as the occupation remains part of its crimes against the Palestinian people. " Al-Bardawil concluded by urging Palestinians to unite in steadfastness and resistance, and to compel Muslims and Arabs to stand against Israeli attacks,. . . 

Mubarak tells Peres: Settlements must stop
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak told his Israeli counterpart on Sunday that it bust stop expanding settlements on occupied Palestinian land if there is to be peace. "I expressed my concern to President Peres that peace talks have not progressed since our last meeting in July and that Egypt is looking forward to an Israeli response, such as halting the building of settlements in east Jerusalem," he told a Cairo news conference after meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres. "We want an end to settlement in occupied lands including East Jerusalem and to resume the negotiations about all the issues on the final status, from where they stopped," Mubarak also said, according to multiple reports. "I say peace is still possible. But there is a need for the political will in Israel. . . [it] realizes the dangers of losing this peace opportunity. 

Japan deplores plan to expand Gilo settlement
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The government of Japan on Sunday deplored Israel's Jerusalem municipality for approving the construction of 900 housing units in the Bethlehem-area settlement of Gilo last week. Its Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement to Ma'an that "the Government of Japan calls on the Government of Israel to freeze settlement activities including 'natural growth' in the West Bank which includes East Jerusalem. "The statement added, "Israel's decision this time would hamper the efforts for realization of a comprehensive Middle East peace and the ongoing endeavors for re-launching peace negotiations. " "It is incumbent on both Israel and the Palestinians to fulfill the previous obligations such as those under the Road Map. Japan strongly hopes that the peace negitations will be resumed as soon as possible," the statement concluded. 

Tribute to Kahane planned by Israeli legislators
11/22/2009 - Nazareth - A plan by right-wing legislators in Israel to commemorate the anniversary this month of the death of Meir Kahane, whose banned anti-Arab movement is classified as a terrorist organization, risks further damaging the prospects for talks between Israel and the Palestinians, US officials have warned. A move to stage the commemoration in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is being led by Michael Ben-Ari, who was elected this year and is the first self-declared former member of Kahane's party, Kach, to become a legislator since the movement was banned 15 years ago. The US Embassy in Tel Aviv has sent a series of e-mails to Reuven Rivlin, the parliamentary speaker, asking that he intervene to block the event. According to US officials, pressure is being exerted on behalf of George Mitchell, US President Barack Obama's special envoy to the region, who is concerned that it will. . . 

Barak vows ’iron fist’ against pro-settler activism
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said his country would react with an "iron fist" to put a stop to pro-settler soldiers refusing to evacuate illegal settlements in the West Bank. At a ceremony last week, several Israeli soldiers held up signs saying they would refuse orders to "evict" Jews from settlement units. "A state that seeks to survive must use an iron fist to put an end to insubordination from both the left and right," he said during a closed-door discussion on the issue Saturday, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade have been most vocal in support of the settlements. A few placed anti-evacuation signs on the roof of a military base just after the army razed two outpost settlements, the newspaper said. An army commander recently found a sign bearing the words, "Kfir doesn't expel Jews," the report added. 

MoH: Woman dies of H1N1, death toll reaches seven in West Bank
11/22/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - A woman from Hebron died on Sunday from the H1N1 virus as the fatality rate for swine flu rose to seven in the West Bank, the caretaker Palestinian Ministry of Healthsaid on Sunday. Director of the health care unit for the ministry, As'ad Ar-Ramlawi, told Ma'an that the unnamed woman, 45, who also suffered from heart disease,passed away as a result of the H1N1 virus, adding that there are 1,170 registered cases of swine flu in the Palestinian territories. Ar-Ramlawi reasserted that the H1N1 death toll in the West Bank remains at seven, clarifying that the suspected case of a swine flu-related death of a school teacher in Tulkarem was in fact due to pneumonia. The Ministry of Health's statistics contradict those of the Thabet Thabet Hospital northern Tulkarem where ore than 10 cases of H1N1 have been diagnosed in the last week, according to medical sources. 

Bethlehem racer crowned motorsport ’Hero’
11/22/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - The Palestinian Motor Sports Federation held its final five-hour round in Jericho on Friday, sponsored by President Mahmoud Abbas and mobile provider Wataniya. Some 400 fans of all ages, decked out in bright red Wataniya caps, arrived early to cheer on racers from their districts, including Jericho, Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah and Bethlehem. Drivers set the track ablaze with an imaginative and thunderously loud pre-race speed show, invigorated cheering fans kept in line by Palestinian Authority police forces who deployed nearby. Ramallah's Ibrahim Al-Bajjeh took first prize in his BMW, while Bethlehem-native George Sa'adeh in his Peugeot won second place, in addition to the 2009 Palestinian championship and the coveted Hero of the Year recognition, which is compiled statistically each year. Sa'adeh told Ma'an that the Hero recognition amounted to "a dream come true. 

PSE rises: Al-Quds Index up 0.64% on Sunday
11/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus rose on Sunday. The Al-Quds Index closed at 501. 36, marking an increase of 3. 19 (0. 64%). Trading volume was 349,383 shares, a total value of 1,250,686. 75 US dollars, excecuted over 346 trades. The shares of 23 companies were traded. The shares prices of seven companies rose, and 11 declined. The top five gainers were GCOM by 2. 75%, AIG by 2. 56%, ARE by 1. 92%, PALTEL by 1. 71%, and AMB by 1. 28%. The top five losers were PIIC by 3. 95%, PRICO by 3. 95%, MIC by 3. 51%, NCI by 3. 23%, and LADAEN by 3. 03%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Rabbis at secret meet: Soldiers willing to refuse orders are 'heroes'
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - Religious Zionist rabbis hold meeting to discuss ways of bolstering refusal to evacuate settlements. 

Iran launches 'huge' war games amid threats to strike Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - War games aimed at helping protect nuclear sites; Iran cleric: We'll strike heart of Tel Aviv if attacked. 

IDF vows 'zero tolerance' for soldiers who refuse orders
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - IDF Chief echoes comments made by Defense Minister and PM, says troops will be needed for all missions. 

IDF soldier who tried to sell army rifle jailed for 20 months
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - Offending soldier and two others were suspected of burying stolen weapon with the intention of selling it. 

Number of IDF recruits seeking combat service jumps by 6%
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - As in previous years, IDF infantry brigades are most highly sought after, of which Golani still most popular. 

ANALYSIS / Gaza war brought Israel its quietest year in a decade
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - However, formulating an answer to rocket attacks seems to be a complex and lengthy process. 


[] Israeli spies infiltrate' Johannesburg airport 
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - South Africa deported an Israeli airline official last week following allegations that Israel's secret police, the Shin Bet, had infiltrated Johannesburg international airport in an effort to gather information on South African citizens, particularly black and Muslim travellers. The move by the South African government followed an investigation by local TV showing an undercover reporter being...

[] Gaza family greets chilly winter in tent
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - Ten months after their house was completely destroyed by Israeli bulldozers in last winter's offensive, Mohammed Khader, his wife and their five daughters are still living in a tent as another cold winter is approaching. The 22-day Israeli military offensive, which ended on Jan. 18, left about 500 families in tents as well as 11,152 houses...

[] The global civil campaign against Israeli apartheid gathers momentum
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - The situation in Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is worsening every day. In blatant disregard of international law, illegal settlements continue to spring up on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinian houses are demolished, sometimes bizarrely at the hands of their Palestinian owners under the threat that if they don't tear down their own homes they will...

[] Khiaban No. 52: Nature and Destination of People's Movement
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - ...In the current movement in Iran nearly all social classes have been mobilized. Some try to define this movement as a movement of the middle class of Tehran. Their most significant evidence is that most of the people's protests take place in Tehran and in areas to the north of Azadi St. and Enghelaab St. Those...

Uruknet November 22, 2009 - It is not a joke. Independence Day is marked every year on 15 November in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The celebration was instituted by Yasser Arafat following the Declaration of Independence in Algiers in 1988. This year it fell on Sunday and as usual it was a day off. In Gaza everything was closed but the...

[] Arab League demands international inspection of Israeli jails
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - The general secretariat of the Arab League has called for opening the Israeli jails for international inspection and monitoring to put an end to the Israeli violations of Arab and Palestinian prisoners' rights. The League, in a press release on Sunday for its assistance secretary general for Palestine and occupied Arab lands affairs Mohammed Subaih, asked...

[] Cats Are Illegal; A Potential Terrorist Threat
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - The Israeli Prison Administration at the infamous Negev detention camp decided to banish and punish wild cats for befriending Palestinian political prisoners and providing them with light services. It seems that imprisoning the detainees under conditions that violate the international law and the Fourth Geneva conventions is not enough, it seems torture, medical negligence and solitary...

[] B'Tselem: Israel killed 1,500 Palestinians since start of 2009
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed 1,500 Palestinians since the start of 2009 mostly in the 22-day war on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli information center for human rights B'Tselem reported on Sunday. It added in a report on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its inception that the conflict between Israel and the...

[] Video: Israeli warplanes pound Gaza

[] The resistance of the oppressed
Uruknet November 22, 2009 - On Thursday 26 November 2009, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday is celebrated in remembrance of the pilgrims and in order to give thanks for the harvest. About the holiday, Professor Robert Jensen has written: European invaders exterminated nearly the entire indigenous population to create the United States. Without that holocaust, the United States as we...

[] Hamas, factions agree on halting Gaza rocket-fire
Uruknet November 21, 2009 - Hamas authorities agreed with Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip not to fire rockets at Israel for the time being to avoid possible Israeli military reaction, a senior official said on Saturday. "We have agreed with the factions that nobody carries out any action involving rockets for now," said Fathi Hammad, Hamas' interior minister. But...

Palestine Telegraph

Hamas: Gaza armed groups agree to truce
Gaza City, November 22, 2009, ( Pal Telegraph ) - Agreement between Al-Qassam Brigades and other factions seeks to keep together internal front. Hamas's armed wing on Sunday said that armed groups in its Gaza Strip stronghold had finalised a deal to stop firing rockets into Israel, but said they would respond to Israeli raids.   "The agreement between (Ezzedine) Al-Qassam (Brigades)...

A New Intifada: Palestinian Refugees and Diaspora also voting?
UK, November 22, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Is it time for a new Initifada? Trying something new? What if Palestinian refugees and diaspora also voted at the some time as Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza? Is it time for them to be seen and heard from the ballot box? Around the world?

Israeli air raids hit Gaza
UK, November 22, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - At least seven Palestinians have been injured in a round of Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian witnesses say. They told Al Jazeera that the first raid hit a metal workshop in the Tufah district of Gaza City early on Sunday, while the second struck a workshop in Burij in central...

Palestinian farmers struggle with water crisis
West Bank, November 21, 2009 ( Pal Telegraph ) - Israel's water policies causing tremendous harm to Palestinians, their livestock, in West Bank. Once a proud grower of bananas, Abdullah Naji has been harvesting little more than dust in recent years. He blames his ill-fortune both on drought and on Israel's water policies.   "Every day I pray for water," says Naji,...

More illegal settlements in Jerusalem
West Bank, November 20, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - An Israeli lawmaker reveals plans to build several thousand new houses around Jerusalem Al-Quds despite worldwide condemnation of Tel Aviv's relentless settlement expansion.

The National

Ahmadinejad begins visit to Latin America
The National 23 Nov 2009 - Iran’s defiant president aims to show that he enjoys legitimacy in countries far nearer to Washington than Tehran.

Tehran residents fear poison from the tap
The National 23 Nov 2009 - Residents in south sector of capital could be exposed to higher levels of nitrates due to pollution from sewage in other parts of the capital.

Hamas revises prisoner swap list
The National 23 Nov 2009 - Reports suggest Hamas has submitted a revised list of names to Israel in an effort to move forward a prisoner exchange deal, long expected, between the two.

Woman's arrest at Western Wall highlights Orthodox Jewish influence
The National 23 Nov 2009 - A female medical student broke the law and outraged conservatives when she wore a shawl and prayed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Bad blood between Egypt and Algeria runs deeper than football
The National 23 Nov 2009 - Violence is latest incident in escalating diplomatic row between Egypt and Algeria, whose two World Cup qualifying matches this week inflamed decades-old tensions.

Cairo peace talks marred by renewed violence
The National 23 Nov 2009 - Continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and renewed attacks – last night Israeli planes bombed the Gaza strip – will likely present stumbling blocks.

‘Hate matches’ draw Mubarak’s fury
The National 23 Nov 2009 - Egypt simmers after alleged Algerian attacks on its citizens at football matches, but observers say the issue is being sensationalised.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 23 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.


Iran tests nuclear sites defences
AlJazeera 22 Nov 2009 - War exercises prepare Iran's nuclear sites for possible future attacks.

Egypt: Israel must stop settlement
AlJazeera 22 Nov 2009 - Cairo tells Shimon Peres no final peace agreement if settlement expansion continues.

Senior Iranian cleric sentenced
AlJazeera 22 Nov 2009 - Senior Iranian reformer to face a jail term following election protests in Iran.

Palestinians hurt in Gaza raid
AlJazeera 22 Nov 2009 - Israel calls attack "response to rocket fire" as Hamas seeks deal to rein in armed groups.

Palestine News Network

Coming to Amreeka
PNN 21 Nov 2009 - The filmmaker on her feel-good (sort of) movie, Palestinians in the Windy City, and how personal experiences can trump political arguments. During the first Gulf War, Palestinian-American filmmaker Cherien Dabis’s family, living in Ohio, received death threats; the Secret Service even came to her high school to investigate a rumor that her seventeen-year-old sister threatened to kill the President. When Dabis entered...

UN marks 20 years of Convention on Rights of the Child
PNN 21 Nov 2009 - Ceremonies are taking place around the world to mark the 20th anniversary of a landmark agreement protecting children. The UN says the Convention on the Rights of the Child has transformed the way children are treated. But it says a billion children in the world still go without food, shelter or healthcare and that millions are facing lives of poverty and abuse....

Israel arrests 5 top PA intelligence officers
PNN 21 Nov 2009 - Five senior Palestinian General Intelligence Service officers have been detained by Israeli forces near the West Bank village of Salfit in an overnight raid. The detainees include Salfit region intelligence commander Mohammad Abdel Hamid. The Israeli military has also demanded the Palestinians hand over an additional officer who was not apprehended. A Palestinian security source said the Friday morning arrests were apparently...

Jerusalem Post

Hamas official: Progress in Schalit talks, but no deal yet
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - Al Arabiya: Hamas sources claim swap could be days away; Fox: New list of 70 prisoners removes last obstacle; Peres confirms progress.

Abbas to postpone PA elections
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - Palestinian elections committee can't ensure voting in Gaza; rivals see move as admission of failure.

Rise in motivation to join combat units
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - Ashkenazi: IDF has no tolerance for insubordination, soldiers should "answer only to commanders."

'Female battalion' aims with missiles
Jeruslalem Post 22 Nov 2009 - Appointment of 4th female commander makes unit become "most female battalion in the IDF."

Islamic Jihad, PFLP against holding fire
Jeruslalem Post 22 Nov 2009 - Two Gaza groups disagree with Hamas decision to stop firing rockets and missiles at Israel.

Morocco boycotts gov't, but not Livni
Jeruslalem Post 22 Nov 2009 - Labor: Livni hypocritical to defy boycott that came due to Gilo construction she claims to support.

Arens says he did not mean to call Amir Peretz a fool
Jeruslalem Post 22 Nov 2009 - Ex-Labor minister says he's sick of being a scapegoat for Second Lebanon War.

Iraqi child abduction called 'new form of terror'
Jeruslalem Post 22 Nov 2009 - Iraqi MP: "Recently the practice of targeting children by killing, kidnapping and raping them has mushroomed." [The Media Line]

Mubarak: Jerusalem a 'pan-Arab' issue
Jeruslalem Post 22 Nov 2009 - Peres: Muslims should respect synagogues to the same extent Israel respects mosques.


Inter Press Service

U.S.: Obama Returns to Greater Middle East Mess 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (IPS) - As Barack Obama arrives home from his weeklong tour of East Asia, he confronts a growing list of ever more urgent problems in the Greater Middle East that he inherited from George W. Bush's "global war on terror".

MIDEAST: West Is East, When Israel Decides 
IPS JERUSALEM, Nov 18 (IPS) - Along a wall not about to come down - a hotel no longer a hotel, but an outpost.

Stop The Wall

Update on Mohammed's dentention
Stop The Wall 22 Nov 2009 - 58 days since his arrest, Mohammad remains imprisoned and under interrogation. He has not been charged, and the military courts continue to renew his period of detention. Following a two-week ban on any lawyer visits, which serve as Mohammed’s only contact with the outside world, contact has been reinstated. Today, Mohammed was finally been allowed to contact his family. [

Two protestors shot and injured with live ammunition in Ni'lin
Stop The Wall 22 Nov 2009 - Last week, the popular committee of Ni’lin received information that the Israeli army would ‘step up’ their operations against Ni’lin’s resistance against the illegal Apartheid Wall. This information was confirmed when the demonstration reached the Apartheid Wall yesterday. The fence was expanded with additional concrete blocks and upon arrival, demonstrators were ‘warned’ by the Israeli army that if they would not leave, they would be fired upon with live ammunition again. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(12-18 Nov. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 6 civilians, including two children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

Al Ma’asara demonstrates against the Wall built on the village’s land
11/22/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 20 November 2009 - Some fifty Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators marched on Friday noon from the center of Al Ma'asara village towards the route of the Apartheid Wall that is to be built on village lands. Like every other Friday, demonstrators were stopped by Israeli soldiers and boarder police who laid barbed wire on the main road leading to the fence, forcefully preventing the march from proceeding. When asked if their actions had any legal basis, soldiers refused to answer. Protesters then delivered speeches in Arabic, English and Hebrew, and called upon the soldiers to leave their weapons and join the non-violent struggle for two independent states and against war crimes committed by Israel. Slogans were chanted, and the joint drum band, made out of Israeli Qasamba drummers and the village children, played and cheered the demonstrators up. 

Why is Israel laying claim to an Arab home in Jaffa?
11/22/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz - Tziona Tajer Street in Jaffa, off the main thoroughfare, Yefet, begins with a lush park and ends in a narrow picturesque alleyway bounded by refurbished old homes. One of these houses, behind a heavy blue gate, belongs to the Shaya family. Hanging by the entrance is a large portrait of the family patriarch, Salim Khoury Shaya, a priest who served in the 1920s as the spiritual leader of the Christian Arab (Greek Orthodox) community. Around that time he also built the house on a hill in Jaffa. Salim Khoury Shaya died at age 90 in 1963. His daughter-in-law, Fadwa Shaya, who married his son George, is now the eldest resident of the house, where she has lived since 1947 and where her children and some of her grandchildren grew up. In the guest room, surrounded by hand-carved dressers and ornate 1930s-era mirrors, she tells the story of the Shaya family, at least the three generations she knows. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Shalit family has doubts as Gilad's release reported imminent
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Noam Shalit, the father of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad who was abducted by Gaza militants in 2006, remarked Sunday on reports that a deal to secure his son's release was nearly sealed, saying that the family had received no official notice and that the reports were still in doubt. ...

Shalit deal may be near, but nobody's talking
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - There are telling signs out there: Al-Arabiya reports that Hamas sources say a deal on kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit will be reached in a few days. Fox, the American network, says that Hamas has presented a new list of prisoners it is asking to be released in exchange for Shalit. ... 

For Obama, the world doesn't revolve around Israel
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - One needed to hear Bruce Riedel last week to understand once again that Israel is not the center of the universe. Riedel, who spoke at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, said that the most important subject on the foreign affairs agenda of President Barack Obama's administration is the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ... 

Hamas official: Shalit swap could be sealed by Friday
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - A deal for the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit could be sealed by Friday, Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha told Haaretz on Sunday. ... 

Israel seeks crackdown on women who fake religiosity to dodge IDF
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a bill aimed at curbing the growing number of secular girls evading service in the Israel Defense Forces by claiming to be religious. ...

The Guardian

Gaza militant groups agree to stop firing rockets into Israel
The Guardian 22 Nov 2009 - Deal appears to be attempt by Hamas to prevent another descent into conflict Hamas has won an agreement from other militant groups in Gaza to halt rocket fire into Israel for the first time in almost...

Joe Sacco | interview
The Guardian 21 Nov 2009 - Colleagues laughed when a young journalist in Palestine announced his intention to tell the story of that region though cartoons. Twenty years later, Joe Sacco is one of the world's leading exponents of the graphic novel...

Israel Is Real: An Obsessive Quest to Understand the Jewish Nation and its History by Rich Cohen | Book review 
The Guardian 20 Nov 2009 - Antony Lerman takes issue with a lop-sided critique of Israel With its laboured, punning title, you might expect Rich Cohen's book to be a propagandistic defence of Israel, perhaps arguing that, despite its detractors, the Jewish...

The pro-Israel lobby and antisemitism | Antony Lerman
The Guardian 20 Nov 2009 - C4's Dispatches has been branded 'antisemitic', but surely Britain's Jewish community can cope with reasoned scrutiny? The serious charges levelled by critics at the Dispatches documentary investigating the UK pro-Israel lobby amount to accusations of gross...

Ha'aretz National page

T.A. gay community says city trying to evict them from cruising site
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - Independence Park in Tel Aviv has for years been known as a meeting place for gays looking for casual sex as well as relationships. Poems and books have been written about the park, and it inspired several films. The park retained its popularity as a discreet and convenient location, even as other venues catering to the LGBT community emerged in Tel Aviv over the years. ... 

Educators to Hebrew U.: Don't let Disney use Einstein's name
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - An American coalition of parents, educators and health experts is urging the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to withdraw its permission for the Walt Disney Company to use Albert Einstein's name in its Baby Einstein series of children's videos. ... 

Tel Aviv students: Rent here is twice as much as tuition
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - Tel Aviv University students pay nearly twice as much for living accommodations as they do for tuition, states a Tel Aviv Student Union position paper. ... 

Why do fewer Arab women have jobs in Israel than Saudi Arabia?
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz appears to have been unaware of some important facts when he said at a recent conference on discrimination that Arab society in Israel is partially responsible for the low levels of employment for Arab women. ... 

Israeli study: Men exposed to pesticide more likely to have girls 
Ha'aretz 22 Nov 2009 - Men who have been exposed to a pesticide known to cause male sterility but have children anyway are more likely to have girls than boys, a recent Israeli study has found. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Improving delivery of justice for juveniles - EU signs MoU with Ministry of Social Affairs
Relief Web 22 Nov 2009 - Source: European Union

EU-funded course empowers Palestinian unionists in the West Bank to tie in their economic, social and cultural rights with the Palestinian National Budget
Relief Web 22 Nov 2009 - Source: European Union

IOF arrest, abuse 8 Palestinians, including child: Al Mezan calls for protecting civilians, ensuring accountability for human rights violations
Relief Web 21 Nov 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Acting on 20th anniversary of Child Rights Convention, Third Committee approves annual resolution on rights of the child by consensus
Relief Web 21 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Gaza water unfit for human consumption, Palestinians say
Relief Web 21 Nov 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Israeli planes strike targets in Gaza
Relief Web 21 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

'Heavy' prisoners: We're on our way to freedom 
YNet News 22 Nov 2009 - As reports on impending prisoner exchange deal increase, Palestinian prisoners involved in deadly terror attacks contact their families, inform them they are about to be released in return for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Bereaved parents planning to petition High Court 

Palestinian village suffers water shutdown over donkeys 
YNet News 22 Nov 2009 - Arb al-Ramdin village supplied with water from nearby settlement for 13 years. After Alfei Menashe council head's daughter hits village's donkey with jeep, father decides to cut off water for entire village 'to illustrate matter's gravity.' Water reinstated after meeting with village dignitaries 

Border Guard officers attacked by settlers 
YNet News 22 Nov 2009 - One of force's jeeps damaged during patrol near illegal West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad; no injuries reported. 'The jeep was driving wildly. We are against violence,' outpost resident says 

Fox News: New Hamas list meets Israel's demands 
YNet News 22 Nov 2009 - American network reports new list of 70 prisoners submitted by Palestinian organization meets criteria set by Jewish state for swap deal securing kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's release. President Peres returns from Egypt, confirms progress made in talks 

Report: Shalit deal to be executed Friday 
YNet News 22 Nov 2009 - Hamas sources tell Saudi network al-Arabiya prisoner exchange with Israel to take place on first day of Eid al-Adha holiday; 450 Palestinians prisoners to be released to Gaza, West Bank in return for kidnapped soldier's transfer to Egypt 

Daily Star

Abbas confirms Palestinian vote to be postponed
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January will be postponed, confirming that he has accepted advice not to hold the vote. Abbas, speaking to BBC Arabic, said the Palestinian leadership would take measures to avoid a constitutional vacuum - although he did not spell these out.

35 Egypt police hurt as soccer violence simmers
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Protesters hurled stones and firebombs at riot police near the Algerian Embassy in Cairo on Friday, leaving dozens of officers injured and triggering a diplomatic spat following a crucial soccer match. Several hundred demonstrators took to the streets following reports of attacks on Egyptian fans in Khartoum soon after their team missed out on a place at the 2010 World Cup finals to bitter rivals Algeria.

Iran has 'not responded positively' to nuclear offer
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Major world powers expressed disappointment Friday that Iran has "not responded positively" to a plan for resolving the standoff over its nuclear program or agreed to new talks. "We are disappointed by the lack of follow-up" to understandings reached when the six powers met with Iranian officials in Geneva on October 1, they said in a statement after a meeting in Brussels.

Winter of discontent ahead for Gazans living in damaged homes and tents
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Tens of thousands of Gazans living in tents and damaged homes face a wet, cold and miserable winter as Israel's blockade of the coastal territory continues to prevent the importation of building and reconstruction material. During the last few weeks Gazans were given a brief reprieve from the oncoming winter as an unseasonal snap of warmish.

Torture and killings rife in Yemen, says UN watchdog
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 The United Nations Committee against Torture called on Yemen on Friday to end the widespread torture of detainees and investigate allegations of unlawful killings by its security forces. It voiced concern at reports of grave violations "committed in the context of [Yemen's] fight against terrorism."

Mediating role wins kudos for Ankara among Arabs
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Turkey's efforts to solve regional problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the dispute over Iran's nuclear program have enhanced its standing among its Arab neighbors, a report said on Friday. About three-quarters of Arabs believed Turkey should be more active in tackling the region's problems, according to the study by the Istanbul-based Turkish Economic., Turkey's efforts to solve regional problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the dispute over Iran's nuclear program have enhanced its standing among its Arab neighbors, a report said on Friday. About three-quarters of Arabs believed Turkey should be more active in tackling the region's problems, according to the study by the Istanbul-based Turkish Economic.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamdan: a prisoner swap deal not possible without meeting resistance demands
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Osama Hamdan who is in charge of the foreign relations in the Hamas Movement said Sunday that his Movement was and still is concerned to achieve a prisoner swap deal with the Zionist occupation..

Bahar hails Marini for urging Europe to end the political isolation of Hamas
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar hailed Philippe Marini, a member of the French senate, for calling on European states to end the political isolation of Hamas and the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza.

Bardawil: Israel escalation to probe international reaction
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil said that the latest escalation in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip was an attempt to probe the international reaction following the Goldstone report.

Nofal: Settlement activities intended for imposing a status quo in W.B and J'lem
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Hamas lawmaker Emad Nofal stated that the escalating Israeli settlement expansion is aimed at imposing a status quo in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

IOA renews administrative detention of Dr. Fidda
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - The IOA renewed the administrative detention, without trial or charge, of Dr. Majeda Fidda for three months for the fifth time running, the international Tadamun institution for human rights said.

B'Tselem: Israel killed 1,500 Palestinians since start of 2009
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed 1,500 Palestinians since the start of 2009 mostly in the 22-day war on the Gaza Strip, B'Tselem reported on Sunday.

Khater slams Arabs for not showing zeal for Aqsa as they do with football
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Secretary-general of the Islamic-Christian commission Hasan Khater said that Israel would not have dared to Judaize Jerusalem if the Arabs were enthusiastic for the Aqsa as they were for football.

Arab League demands international inspection of Israeli jails
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - The Arab League has called for opening the Israeli jails for international inspection and monitoring to put an end to the Israeli violations of Arab and Palestinian prisoners' rights.

CMWU: The water situation in Gaza reached a critical stage
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Director of coastal municipality water utility Mundher Shiblak warned that the current water situation in Gaza reached a critical stage, adding that Gaza water is no longer suitable for human use.

New Israeli air raids on Gaza wound seven, damage homes
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Seven Palestinian citizens were wounded and a number of homes sustained damages during Israeli air strikes on several areas in the Gaza Strip.

Los Angeles Times

Egypt's Nile Delta: Fertile land, but not for jobs 
LA Times 23 Nov 2009 - Young men scatter from the area like seeds on the wind, taking what work they can get in neighboring countries, hoping to save enough, perhaps, for that apartment that would allow them to marry. The rice has been harvested, the chaff burned. It's time for planting winter wheat, seed sunk deep into new furrow, as white birds with razor beaks land on fields to feast. 

Iran begins air-defense drills to protect nuclear sites 
LA Times 23 Nov 2009 - Iran says Israel would pay a heavy price if the West launched airstrikes. Meanwhile, opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi praises anti-government protesters. Iran on Sunday launched what it described as its biggest air-defense drill ever with the aim of preparing to protect its nuclear sites from possible airstrikes as international talks to resolve the long stalemate over the nation's atomic research program falter. 

Lula takes risk in welcoming Ahmadinejad to Brazil 
LA Times 23 Nov 2009 - President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may lose global influence by playing host to the Iranian leader, who is searching for new economic opportunities ahead of stiff sanctions the West has threatened. Reporting from Bogota, Colombia Borzou Daragahi, and Beirut -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives today in Brazil on a Latin American and African tour amid U.S. and domestic criticism that, by playing host, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is squandering his newfound global influence. 

Sabbath protest in Jerusalem 
LA Times 22 Nov 2009 - Thousands of the city's ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrate at a new Intel chip factory that operates on Saturdays. About 3,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrated Saturday outside an Intel plant in Jerusalem to protest its operating on the Jewish Sabbath, an action they view as a desecration of the sanctity of the holy city. 

Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza Strip 
LA Times 22 Nov 2009 - The strikes targeted two weapons factories in central and northern Gaza and a smuggling tunnel under the border with Egypt, an Israeli army spokesman said. Israeli planes carried out airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip today, injuring seven people, Palestinian medical workers said. 


Why is Israel laying claim to an Arab home in Jaffa?
11/23/2009 - Ha'aretz - Tziona Tajer Street in Jaffa, off the main thoroughfare, Yefet, begins with a lush park and ends in a narrow picturesque alleyway bounded by refurbished old homes. One of these houses, behind a heavy blue gate, belongs to the Shaya family. Hanging by the entrance is a large portrait of the family patriarch, Salim Khoury Shaya, a priest who served in the 1920s as the spiritual leader of the Christian Arab (Greek Orthodox) community. Around that time he also built the house on a hill in Jaffa. Salim Khoury Shaya died at age 90 in 1963. His daughter-in-law, Fadwa Shaya, who married his son George, is now the eldest resident of the house, where she has lived since 1947 and where her children and some of her grandchildren grew up. In the guest room, surrounded by hand-carved dressers and ornate 1930s-era mirrors, she tells the story of the Shaya family, at least the three generations she knows. 

Ten wounded in overnight Israeli strikes on Gaza
11/22/2009 - Monsters and Critics - Jerusalem - At least 10 Palestinians were injured in three successive Israeli airstrikes overnight and early Sunday on the southern, central and northern Gaza Strip, medical officials and the Israeli militarysaid. They said the aircraft fired two air-to-ground missiles at the borderline area between southern Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, completely destroying three tunnels used for smuggling. Mo'aweya Hassanein, the head of the Gaza Strip emergency services, told reporters that at least five Palestinians were injured in this attack. Five Palestinians were wounded in the two other airstrikes, he said. The second airstrike was carried out early on Sunday, when Israeli aircraft hit what Palestinians said was a goldsmith's shop, and the Israeli military said was a weapons-manufacturing facility, near al- Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip. 

Israel-Palestinian conflict kills 8,900 in 20yrs: NGO 
11/22/2009 - Yahoo! News - AFP - JERUSALEM (AFP) – The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed almost 8,900 lives in two decades, the vast majority of them Palestinians, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said in a statement published on Sunday. Israeli forces killed 7,398 Palestinians, including 1,537 minors, both in Israel and the occupied territories during that period, while Palestinians killed 1,483 Israelis, including 139 minors, B'Tselem said. Among the Israeli victims, 488 were police officers or military troops, and the remaining 995 were civilians killed in attacks in Israel or in the occupied territories, the statement said. This year, marked by Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip, was the bloodiest in the past two decades for Palestinians. A total of 1,033 Palestinians, including 315 minors, were killed so far in 2009, most of them during the Gaza war, the report said, adding that a 

Israel’s Peres reports ’progress’ in talks to free Shalit 
11/22/2009 - Yahoo! News - AFP - JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Sunday there has been "progress" in talks to free soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip for the past three years. " Everyone knows there is progress and I hope it will come to something," Peres said on Channel 2 commercial television on his return from a trip to Egypt to meet President Hosni Mubarak. Peres, the only political leader to have spoken about the case in recent days, did not elaborate. Israeli military censorship has imposed a blackout on information about indirect negotiations brokered by a German intermediary between Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement, which holds the 23-year-old. Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi defended the censorship on the talks, saying that leaks "have already caused damage. " 

Shocking levels of racism are commonly accepted in Israel 
11/22/2009 - Hybrid States - Is Israel unique in having serious social problems with racism, particularly with anti-Arab racism? Of course not. Just about every country in the world has racist undercurrents that occasionally bubble to the surface. But in what other ostensibly Western, democratic societies would the team captain of a professional sports need to apologize publicly to the team’s fans for daring express the sentiment, at an anti-violence conference, that he wanted an Arab player on the team? More importantly, how could society accept this? Yediot Ahronot reports:Beitar Jerusalem captain Aviram Baruchyan met Thursday evening with fans belonging to the “La Familia” organization and apologized for saying that he would like to see an Arab play in the football team. The fans told him they were hurt by the remark he made about 10 days ago at an anti-violence conference. -- Links: Yediot Ahronot story

Israeli jets attack Gaza, 7 Palestinians injured 
11/22/2009 - Press TV - Israeli jets have carried out air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip, injuring seven Palestinians. On Sunday, Palestinian medical workers and witnesses said other areas targeted by Israeli planes included a caravan in the northern Gaza Strip and smuggling tunnels in the south under the border with Egypt, the New York Times reported. In addition, the Press TV correspondent in Gaza reported that Israeli gunboats were approaching the coast of Gaza. The attacks occurred one day after Hamas said it had reached an agreement with smaller armed groups in the territory to halt sporadic rocket fire toward Israel. In July, the Israeli military offensive into the impoverished Palestinian coastal sliver, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, claimed the lives of over 1,400 people and injured many others. According to UN figures, a large number of the victims were civilians, including women and children. 

VIDEO - Israeli warplanes pound Gaza 
11/22/2009 - Uruknet - Reuters - A Palestininan girl is wheeled into Kamal Odwan hospital in Beit Lahiya after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip early November 22, 2009. - Nov 22 - Israel launches air strikes in the Gaza Strip which it says were triggered when a rocket luanched from the enclave landed on its territory. Paul Chapman, Reuters. [end] 

The New Politics of Conscientious Objection in Israel 
11/22/2009 - American Prospect - For years, it was the left that argued about selective disobedience -- but the right is now picking up the charge. - Driving through the West Bank recently, I picked up two hitchhikers. Both wore the long, thick sidelocks and extra-large skullcaps that have become the mark of young men on the religious right, especially among settlers. Since they were what Israelis call army age (what Americans would call college age), the conversation turned to military service. Despite Israel's universal draft, the hitchhiker in the back seat said he didn't intend to serve. The Israel Defense Forces, he argued, hurts Jews -- a point he presumed was obvious from the "uprooting" of settlements in Gaza four years ago and the occasional dismantling of tiny, illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank more recently. Besides that, he said, the IDF "doesn't want to kill Arabs because it wants to look nice in the world. " 

Law proposed to monitor draft dodgers 
11/22/2009 - Jerusalem Post - The government on Sunday passed a bill in the first reading, which aims to combat the phenomenon of girls avoiding being drafted into the IDF by pretending to be religious. The bill calls for surveillance of the young women after they are released from the IDF. Speaking against the bill, Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman said that the bill would cause a coalition crisis if it is put into law. MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), former deputy director of the Shabak (Israel Security Service) and head of the Knesset Caucus for the Reduction of Draft Evasion, responded through a statement Sunday night to the proposed law meant to combat false claims of religious lifestyle as a means to avoid mandatory military service. In response to the proposal that private citizens be under surveillance, Hasson said, "The army should not be the body determining who is religious and keeping kosher and Shabbat. 

Israeli minister plans to send troops into schools to boost conscription 
11/18/2009 - The Independent - Soldiers would meet teachers in bid to encourage students to join up - The Israeli education minister has unveiled plans to take teams of senior army officers to high schools across the country to help teachers "foster the motivation" of pupils to serve in combat units following a decline in conscription rates. In an announcement that infuriated liberals in a country where compulsory military service is still a fact of life, the right-wing Likud member Gideon Saar announced that about 200 meetings would be held between teams of senior army officers and teachers, with the stated intention of encouraging schools in "contributing to the society and community". Saar, who has previously courted controversy by floating the idea of increasing education funding for schools where more people enlisted, also said that he would experiment with publishing individual schools' conscription rates, a move 

Egypt’s president warns Israel over Jerusalem 
11/22/2009 - - AP News - Egypt president tells Peres that Jerusalem is an issue for all Muslims, not just Palestinians - Egypt's president on Sunday criticized Israeli construction in east Jerusalem, telling his Israeli counterpart that settlement activity in the disputed sector of the holy city threatens to anger the entire Muslim world. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak emphasized to Israeli President Shimon Peres that the future of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital, is an issue for the entire Islamic world. Mubarak also said that the time had passed for talk on temporary solutions and borders — which has been floated as a step to solving the crisis — and instead a final peace agreement should be concluded swiftly. " I expressed my concern to President Peres that peace talks have not progressed since our last meeting in July and that Egypt is looking forward to an 


The US Congressman who sold his soul to the Israel lobby 
Adam Shapiro, Redress 11/22/2009
      How Tom Perriello became a slave of Israel - Adam Shapiro tells the story of a hitherto principled friend and campaigner for justice and human rights, Tom Perriello, who ran for Congress and, once elected, betrayed all of his principles and became a mere tool of the pro-apartheid American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC.
     ”...the consistent lack of US credibility in the world spans Democrats and Republicans and is a consequence of our relationship with Israel and the exceptionalism applied to an occupier nation foisting apartheid on the Palestinians.”
     One year ago, I watched election results coming in for Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, where my friend and colleague Tom Perriello was challenging incumbent Virgil Goode, Jr. CNN kept flipping the winner because the vote was close. Finally, Tom emerged with a 727-vote victory. I was elated, because I knew Tom and knew his deeply rooted principles. And daring to accept that there might be something to this overall atmosphere of change and hope espoused by the president-elect, I felt encouraged by the seemingly new direction and new leaders the country was embracing.
     Two years earlier, I met Tom in Afghanistan when he arrived as a consultant with the United Nations to explore transitional justice possibilities for the country. I was already working for a human rights organization, promoting rule of law, women’s rights and transitional justice. Tom had done similar work in Liberia helping launch a truth and reconciliation commission. more.. e-mail

The Israeli Exception: Gilo and East Jerusalem 
Binoy Kampmark, CounterPunch 11/22/2009
      In 1987, the conservative author Midge Decter described her association with Israel and those willing to place it above conventional judgment. ‘We know ourselves to be bound by ties so deep, so essential, so unconditional, that they are beyond daylight examination. To be a Jew is not an act, it is a fate. The existence of Israel is absolutely central to that fate. The rest is mere details – knowable, unknowable, makes no difference.’
     This vein of thinking can be gathered from Israel’s leader David Ben-Gurion in a New York Times Magazine article in December 1960. On that occasion he was defending the illegal abduction of the war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who had been nabbed by Mossad agents from Argentina. ‘I know they [the abductors] committed a breach of the law, but sometimes they are moral obligations higher than formal law.’
     This idea of Israel, and Jewish fate, being placed in the realm of an obligatory ‘higher law’, does lend itself to various, dangerous implications. Decter’s observations resonate with the recent decision by Tel Aviv to allow 900 new homes to be built in East Jerusalem in the sprawling Jewish neighbourhood of Gilo. 40,000 Israelis are already resident there. President Obama has gone so far as to see the move as ‘dangerous’. The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon has publicly seen the gesture as one that undermines the peace effort.
     International conventions and views, which tend to find such settlements illegal, are considered inapplicable by the rank and file in Tel Aviv. The law of nations, that seemingly abstract body of customs and norms that are often more honoured than people might realize, are cast aside as undue hindrances to the functioning of the state. more.. e-mail

Zionist control of Britain’s government: 1940-2009 
William A. Cook, Redress 11/21/2009
      William A. Cook charts the history of Zionist control of Britain’s government and argues "it’s time that Britain is reborn, free from the shackles that bind it to this corrupt power that flouts international law, wantonly commits crimes against humanity and in brazen arrogance tells the United Nations to shove its demands to comply with the civilized communities of the world".
     “After so many years of setting the tone, bribing UK politicians and controlling the BBC they [the Zionists] are used to being untouchable.” (Gilad Atzmon, “Time for Britain to reclaim its sovereignty and dignity by de-Zionizing itself”)
     This week the British people listened to the Daily Mail’s Peter Oborne present, on Channel 4 TV, his devastating account of the Jewish lobby’s control of the British government. Now we know that virtually all the principal politicians in the UK of both parties, like their brothers across the lake in our House and Senate, take “contributions” from the Israeli lobby machine, ensuring that the Anglo-American Middle East policies follow the dictates of the Israeli government. Gilad Atzmon responded to this report in his article “Time for Britain to reclaim its sovereignty and dignity by de-Zionizing itself,” noting that, because this control has been in place for so many years, the lobby feels “untouchable”.
     How many years are “many” one might ask? On 16 October 1941 the high commissioner of Palestine, Harold MacMichael, senior Palestine Mandate officer for the British Mandate forces in Palestine, sent the following “Top Secret” “Memorandum on the participation of the Jewish national institutions in Palestine in acts of lawlessness and violence” to the secretary of state, a report prepared by the Palestine Police, Criminal Investigation Department.... more.. e-mail

In Gaza
you mean Gaza isn’t being rebuilt?
22 Nov 2009 - In East Beit Hanoun yesterday, still roughly 2 km from the eastern border with Israel, we are surveying the destruction of water wells and cisterns, along with their motors  –noting that new motors or parts are not available in Gaza, and that the rubble those wells within 1km of the border to Israel cannot be cleared due to a very fear of Israeli shooting. Alongside one of the hundreds of wells destroyed in Gaza, we see the Basiouni family re-building their flattened home.  They are more fortunate than those over 4,000 whose homes were destroyed by Israeli bombing, intentionally-set explosions, and bulldozing. The house being re-built is smaller than the...

Palestine Chronicle
As a Light Unto the Nations
23 Nov 2009 - By Gilad Atzmon 'Israel is the light onto the nations' says the Torah. Indeed it is, and not just because the Torah says so. Israel is ahead of everyone else in many fronts. Take for instance, terrorizing civilian populations and practicing some of the most devastating murderous tactics upon elders, women and young. The Jerusalem post reported yesterday that the Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, visited Israel earlier this week to study "IDF tactics and methods that the military alliance can utilise for its war in Afghanistan." A senior Israeli defence official added "The one thing on NATO's mind today is how to win in Afghanistan...Di Paola was very impressed by the IDF, which is a major source of information due to our operational experience." I would advise both the Israeli official and Admiral Di Paola to slightly curb their enthusiasm. The IDF didn't win a single war since 1967. Yes, it murdered many civilians, it flattened many cities, it starved millions, it has been committing war crimes on a daily basis for decades and yet, it didn't win a war. Thus, the IDF cannot really teach NATO how to win in Afghanistan. If NATO generals are stupid enough to follow IDF tactics, like the Israeli generals, they will start to see the charges of war crimes pile up against them. They may even be lucky enough to share their cells with some Israelis in due course, once justice is performed. Admiral Di Paola spent two...

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