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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
23 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Israeli TV: “Israel Agrees To Freeze Settlements For 10 Months”
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 01:49, The Israeli TV, Channel One, reported on Monday at night that Israel agreed to freeze all settlement activities, except in Jerusalem, for 10 months.

Shalom: “Israel Will Not Free Barghouthi, Saadat”
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 01:28, Visiting London, Israeli deputy Prime Minister, Silvan Shalom, stated that Israel will not release Fateh leader, Marwan Barghouthi, and Secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Saadat.

Abbas: “Palestinians Will Not Start A New Intifada”
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Monday November 23, 2009 - 23:16, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated Monday that the Palestinians will not start a new Intifada despite the fact that they are disappointed by the stalled the peace process, sponsored by the United States.

The Israeli military kidnaps two civilians during a number of invasions in the West Bank
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Monday November 23, 2009 - 15:29, Two Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Monday at dawn by Israeli troops during military invasions targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian vehicles in northern West Bank
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Monday November 23, 2009 - 15:20, A Group of 20 Israeli settlers hurled stones, on Monday afternoon, at Palestinian vehicles driving at road near the northern west Bank city of Nablus.

The Israeli military hands out 25 evection orders to Palestinian families near Jerusalem
IMEMC 23 Nov 2009 - Monday November 23, 2009 - 15:19, 25 Palestinians families living near Jerusalem city received on Monday at dawn evection orders from the Israeli military.

Ma'an News

Palestinian bus driver attacked by settlers
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian Jerusalemite was attacked by Israeli extremists in the illegal settlement of Bitar Eliet, south west of Bethlehem, according to Israeli media on Sunday. Maher Medwani, 47, from Ras Al-Amoud in East Jerusalem, was severely beaten by three Israeli settlers on the bus he was driving, who then proceeded to throw stones at him, according to the Israeli daily Yedihoth Ahronoth. Medwani stated that he refuses to return to the settlement out of fear that he will be killed by the settlers, the newspaper quoted. Yedihoth Ahronoth further reported that the recent beating of Medwani follows a pattern of violence and discrimination against Palestinians in the settlement, adding that hundreds of settlers, supported by local rabbis, demanded the dismissal of Palestinian workers citing that they harass women settlers and that their presence in the exclusively Israeli settlement causes what they term "spiritual concerns". 

Egyptian security raids 4 Gaza smuggling tunnels
11/23/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian authorities stormed four smuggling tunnels and a warehouse between Egypt and Gaza, Egyptian security sources revealed on Monday. The sources told Ma'an that Egyptian security forces raided the area near Salah Ad-Din on the border between Gaza and Egypt and found four smuggling tunnels. The forces were unable to arrest the smugglers, who had fled scene, according to the sources. However, large quantities of electrical appliances were found on their way to the Gaza Strip. The Egyptian authorities also raided a warehouse storing food and goods that were en route to Gaza via the smuggling tunnels. More than 450 smuggling tunnels have been apprehended this year by the Egyptian authorities. Since Israel and Egypt imposed a devastating blockade on Gaza in 2007, a vast network of smuggling tunnels has become the only reliable means of moving goods into Gaza. 

Egyptian banks demand return of shares in King David Hotel
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two Egyptian banks petitioned the Israel High Court of Justice, demanding the return of their shares in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Israeli media reported on Monday. The Egyptian Arab Land Bank and the Bank of Egypt stated that the shares in the hotel were purchased during the 1930s and are worth millions of US dollars, according to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv. The petition put forward stated that after the 1948 war, the shares were transferred to the Israeli Absentee Property Custodian, which in turn sold the shares to Israeli companies. The petition further highlighted that the Absentee Property Custodian should have returned the shares owned by the Egyptian banks following the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, as stipulated by international law. 

Palestinian nun beatified in Nazareth
11/24/2009 - Nazareth - Ma'an - Thousands of Palestinians attended a beatification ceremony for a Catholic nun in Nazareth on Sunday morning. In a special mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Annunciation, local clergy praised the late Sister Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, an educator who campaigned against illiteracy. Archbishop Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints who presided over Sunday's ceremony, said Ghattas devoted her life to helping others. She died in 1927 at the age of 83. Born in Jerusalem in 1843, Ghattas co-founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem in the 1880s in Palestine. More than a century later, the institution still serves Palestinian girls in what is now Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In Nazareth, Amato delivered a message from Pope Benedict XVI, who approved the beatification over the summer. 

PA official banned from nearing Al-Aqsa
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli police reportedly banned senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official Hatem Abdul Qader on Monday from coming within 150 meters of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israeli radio reported that Abdul Qader will be allowed to appeal the decision after seven days. Abdul Qader was arrested by Israeli authorities three times recent months during Palestinian demonstrations at the Mosque, Islam's third holiest site, amid Israeli intrusions into the site. The Haram Ash-Sharif compound which contains the mosque is a focal point of Palestinian nationalism. Right-wing Israeli groups also lay claim to the area, causing tension. A visit by Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the compound in September 2000 sparked the second intifada, dubbed the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Abdul Qader is the Fatah official in charge of Jerusalem affairs. 

VIDEO - Film imagines army checkpoints in London
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A new short film transposes Israel's movement restrictions on Palestinians in the occupied territories to London. In No Way Through a man drives through London in a desperate attempt to reach a hospital, after an ambulance is blocked by soldiers from reaching the scene of an accident. The seven-minute clip is an apparent attempt to compel Western viewers to imagine themselves in the shoes of Palestinians. Although analogy is not exact - the soldiers "occupying" London are British and speak English, unlike Israeli forces in the West Bank who speak Hebrew instead of Arabic - the film captures something of the challenges Palestinians face inside their own territory. The film was co-directed by Alexandra Bouillon and Sheila Menon, released in May as a part of the British experimental art and activism initiative Ctrl. 

Israel: Gaza projectile falls
11/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinians in Gaza launched a homemade projectile into Israeli territory on Monday, the country's military said. A military spokesperson told Ma'an that the projectile launched from northern Gaza landed Israel's Negev desert, west of the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, causing no casualties or damage. Israeli media reported that a siren sounded at 6:50pm. An explosion was also heard in the area. No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the reported strike. The launch comes two days after the Hamas-run government in Gaza announced it had reached an agreement with armed groups to cease cross-border attacks into Israel. However, three groups, the armed wings of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and Fatah, all said that they were not bound by the agreement. 

Israel opens two Gaza crossings for aid delivery
11/23/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings in Gaza on Monday, while Nahal Oz remained closed. Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattuh said between 108-118 truckloads of commercial merchandize and humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza through Kerem Shalom. He said that aid will include 20 trucks carrying 600 calves for the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday, during which sheep and calves are traditionally slaughtered. Fattouh added that 95 truckloads of wheat and fodder would be allowed through Karni. Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday and allowed 20 trucks loaded with 600 calves, in addition to aid and merchandise. Both Nahal Oz and Karni remained closed. 

Palestinian detainees to receive 550 Shekels for Eid
11/23/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian prisoners will receive 550 New Israeli Shekels for the Eid Al-Adha holiday and for October and November, according to a statement released by Palestinian Minister of Prisoners and Ex-Detainees Issa Qaraqe on Monday. Qaraqe added that the ministry was successful in raising prisoners' canteen allowance to 50 NIS to allow detainees to purchase sweets during the Muslim Feast starting on Friday. The ministry also raised 94,000 Shekels to provide winter tent covers for detainees held at the Negev prison, to protect them from winter weather. According to the statement, Qaraqe accused the Israeli prison administration of delaying the approval of 350 Shekels for 900 Gazan detainees to buy clothes as their families have been banned from visiting for the last three years. The Palestinian ministry awaits Israeli approval, Qaraqe added. 

Woman killed in car accident between Ramallah and Jerusalem
11/23/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - A Palestinian woman was killed and her son was injured in a hit-and-run accident on Sunday, on the road between Ramallah and Jerusalem. The Palestinian police media office explained that a car with an Israeli license plate hit Khayriyya Kan'an,48, and her son, 13, from Qaddura refugee camp in Ramallah. The driver fled the scene towards Ramallah, the media office reported, adding that patrols found the car and are continuing the search to find the driver. Paramedic Imad Nofal, who evacuated the victims from the wreckage, told Ma'an the woman sustained serious wounds to the head and body. The road between Ramallah in the central West Bank, and the entrance to Ar-Ram, near East Jerusalem, has been the site of three accidents during recent months. The crossroad has no traffic lights and is usually highly congested. 

Donated books to enter Gaza in the coming days
11/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A consignment of books and stationary will arrive in the Gaza Strip in the coming days, The Qatar Foundation announced on Monday. The Qatar Foundation, in conjunction with the Jordan Hashemite Charity, will deliver 18 trucks containing 250 tons of books and stationary to the Gaza Strip worth an estimated 10 million Qatari riyals, according to a news release issued by the organization. Qatar's ambassador to Jordan, Mane Abdel Hadi Al-Hajery applauded the efforts of the Jordan Hashemite Charity in overcoming the significant difficulties associated with sending aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, additionally commending Palestinians that have contributed to the implementation of the project, which focuses on supporting education in Gaza. The statement added that Al-Hajery paid tribute to the admirable initiatives undertaken by The Qatar Foundation in support of. . . 

Hamas leader: Swap coming soon, and on our terms
11/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - An Israeli-Palestinian prisoner swap will be finalized soon, said Ahmad Bahar, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, in a speech on Monday. The Hamas official was referring to the day's media frenzy over hints of a breakthrough for the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured in 2006. Addressing relatives of imprisoned Palestinians gathered at the Red Cross building in Gaza City on Monday, Bahar said "the light has dawned. You will soon meet your imprisoned sons. "He added, "Our people will soon celebrate the return of Palestinians from the occupation's prisons - and on the captors' terms,"In turn, Bahar called on factions holding Shalit not to alter their demands. "Your brothers in Hamas and in the government insist on an honorable resolution for our people. . . . " 

Prisoners optimistic amid exchange rumors
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jailed Palestinians were in good spirits on Monday despite what they termed "torturous" rumors of an imminent prisoner swap that reported in the media. Responding to the reports of progress toward an exchange between Israel and the Gaza-based captors of an Israeli soldier, Chris Bandak, a Christian from Bethlehem, wrote that he and his fellow detainees "are sure the Palestinian leadership is doing everything it can [to free us]. " "Despite what is and isn't published in the media, this does not shake our confidence in ourselves and our right to liberty and to live with our families," he added. He was referring to Monday's media frenzy over hints of a breakthrough in negotiations between Israel and Hamas, which is seeking the release of around 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured in 2006. 

Muslim-Christian group: Jerusalem holier than football
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The head of the Muslim-Christian Commission, an interfaith Palestinian organization, expressed regret on Saturday that the Arab and Muslim world was more focused on soccer than protecting Jerusalem. Speaking at the commission's new headquarters in Jerusalem, Secretary-General Hasan Khater said he was disappointed by the enthusiasm soccer players demonstrated last week in Sudan compared to their support for holy sites in Jerusalem. "I thought the Arab and Muslim countries were in a coma, unable to get excited about anything, but the match between Egypt and Algeria proved there is incredible potential. . . unfortunately it's being used for everything but furthering the nation's interests and real concerns," he said. He asked how soccer fans could become so "hysterically excited" over a match, but not when "Israeli soldiers hunt down and arrest Palestinian worshipers in Al-Aqsa's courtyards. . . . " 

Haniyeh receives Syrian soap stars in Gaza
11/23/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an -De facto government Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh received a delegation of Arab actors visiting the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday. During a reception held for the delegation of actors at the de facto government offices in Gaza City, Haniyeh asserted that Hamas was willing to reach a reconciliation agreement and had undertaken great efforts to cooperate with Arab countries. "We are an inseparable part of Levant, and we feel close to the people and the leadership of Syria. The Palestinian people always watch Syrian TV productions which are always committed to the Arab causes in general and the Palestinian cause in particular. The latest popular soap Bab Al-Hara symbolized the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip,"Haniyah said, addressing the delegation of Syrian actors in Gaza. Haniyeh added that, "Inter-Palestinian rivalry is an exception, and we want real Palestinian. . . 

Stranded Gazan pilgrims permitted to travel to Mecca
11/23/2009 - Mecca - Ma'an - The 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims from Gaza will travel to Mecca on Wednesday, according to Palestinian Minster of Endowments and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash, despite Egypt's announcement earlier on Monday that the Rafah crossing will not be opened for them to travel. The minister assured that the remaining pilgrims from Gaza will leave on Wednesday through the Rafah border crossing at dawn and fly to Jeddah via Cairo airport, adding that the formal documents were being finalized. Al-Habbash added that 1,000 Palestinians from the West Bank, whose travel costs were undertaken by Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, will leave for Mecca on Tuesday morning at 10:00am through The Allenby Bridge and then will travel directly to Jeddah. Earlier on Monday, Egyptian sources told Ma'an that the Rafah crossing would not be opened to allow the 1,000 Palestinians from Gaza. . . 

In Argentina, Abbas overshadowed by Ahmadinejad
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Argentina for talks on the now comatose Middle East peace process on Sunday, on a visit overshadowed by Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahadinejad's visit to neighboring Brazil. Abbas was to meet with his argentine counterpart Cristina Kirchner on Monday. Last week Kirchner told visiting Israeli President Peres her government favors the creation of a Palestinian state. Palestinian-Israeli peace talks were broken off in December 2008 when Israel launched a three-week war on the Gaza Strip that ultimately left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead. Abbas recently rejected an Israeli offer to resume talks on the grounds that Israel must halt the expansion of settlements on land taken from Palestinians. During his meeting with Kirchner, Abbas praised Argentina for voting in support of a UN-mandated investigation into the war. 

Syrian soap superstars tour Gaza
11/23/2009 - 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 included 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 resistance to French colonialism in the 1930s. The delegation included Duraid Lahham, a leading comedian and director, who was visiting Gaza for the second time this year. Jamal Suleiman of the show Ahla Raya was also on the delegation. Among the group were Assad Eid, Rafiq Sbeie, Assad Fadda, Susan Najem Ad-Din, Radwan Aqili, Talhat Hamdi, Hadi Baqdunes, Hesham Hasbani and TV cameraman Ayman Salameh. 

PA cabinet rejects temporary borders
11/23/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian caretaker government rejected all partial solutions and plans to establish a Palestinian state on temporary borders during its weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah on Monday. Cabinet members guaranteed to end the transition stage which started sixteen years ago following the Oslo Accords and that the Palestinian state must by lands occupied by Israel in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital. The cabinet expressed their appreciation for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who rejected the proposal of a Palestinian state on temporary borders. Members further condemned settlement expansion plans announced on Thursday by the Jerusalem Municipality to build 900 housing units in Gilo. The cabinet further established a ministerial committee to discuss the implementation of a retirement system for Palestinian Universities in coordination with the Higher. . . 

Germany criticizes settlements before Israel visit
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Germany assailed Israel on Monday in unusually stark terms over plans to expand settlements on land taken from Palestinians, a week before the two counties leaders meet in Berlin. "We greatly regret the recent decision to allow the construction of new homes in East Jerusalem," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm told reporters at a regular news conference, according to Reuters. The remarks coincide with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's first trip to Israel and are in response to Israel's approval last week of plans to build 900 new housing units in the settlement of Gilo, south of Jerusalem. Germany is believed to be softer than other states in its criticism of Israel due to the legacy of the Holocaust in which the country's Nazi regime killed six million Jews. 

Tulkarem Mayor Abdul-Raziq dead at 64
11/23/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - The mayor of Tulkarem, Ahmad Abdul-Raziq, died on Monday morning at an Israeli hospital. He was 64. Abdul-Raziq was first hospitalized on 25 September. He was appointed head of an interim committee to take charge of Tulkarem's municipal council on 5 January 2009. The deceased was born in Tulkarem in 1945. He studied engineering at Alexandria University in Egypt. He joined Fatah when it was established in 1965, and headed the Union of Palestinian Students across the world in the 1970s. In 1977, he was appointed representative of the PLO in Alexandria, then in Bangladesh (1980-1985), then Pakistan (1985-1988). In 1988 he became Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan. In 2005, he was appointed ambassador of Palestine to Algeria. Abdul-Raziq was also member of the Palestinian National Council. 

PA to pay workers on Tuesday
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority, the largest employer in the occupied territories, will pay its workers on Tuesday ahead of the Eid Al-Adha holiday, according to a union official. Workers' union leader Bassam Zakarneh said on Monday that by Tuesday workers will be able to withdraw their salaries from the banks. On Wednesday, caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced that the Israeli Ministry of Finance had approved the transfer of the PA's tax revenues in time for the disbursement of salaries before Eid Al-Adha, which begins on 27 November, and denied Israeli news reports that Israel was delaying the transfer of tax revenue collected on behalf of the PA. 

Palestinian police dismantle explosive
11/23/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Nablus police explosives unit dismantled a grenade found in a scrap shop in the old city of Nablus on Monday, according to a police statement. The information office of the Palestinian police statement noted that officers from the explosives unit arrived at the scene after the shop owner reported to the police that a grenade-like object had been found in a scrap metal pile he bought from an Israeli salesperson. Upon confirming that the object was a live grenade, the explosives unit team transferred and dismantled it in a safe place, the statement said, adding that the process resulted in no injuries or damage to property. The information office urged Palestinians to report to the police immediately if they encounter any suspicious objectives. 

MoE seizes contraband meat, settlement products in the West Bank
11/23/2009 - Hebron / Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian consumer goods monitor department seized 10,800 kilograms of frozen imported meat on Sunday, during a field tour of Palestinian market places in Bethlehem and Hebron. The contraband meat was not labeled in Arabic, violating guidelines set out by the Ministry of Economy, the consumer goods department said. Meanwhile, the consumer goods monitor group seized an unspecified amount of milk in Bethlehem that was produced on an unnamedIsraeli settlement. All contraband goods will be destroyed in accordance with Palestinian governmental decisions of 2005, the department added. Minister of Economy Hasan Abu Libdeh has urged Palestinians to boycott products manufactured on illegal Israeli settlements built within the 1967 borders. The Ministry of Economy further seized 1,175 kilograms of textiles in Nablus that were manufactured on the illegal settlement Barqan in the West Bank town of Salfit. 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.39% on Monday
11/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell slightly on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Monday, as the Al-Quds Index closed at 499. 4, dropping 1. 96 points (0. 39%). Trading volume was 385,731 shares traded for a total value of 905,848. 05 US dollars in 262 trades. The shares of 24 companies were traded. The shares prices of 13 companies rose, and five declined. The top five gainers were PLAZA by 4. 84%, PRICO by 4. 11%, ARE by 3. 77%, PCB by 3. 75%, and MIC by 3. 64%. The top five losers were AHC by 5. 00%, LADAEN by 3. 13%, BPC by 1. 63%, PALTEL by 1. 49%, and AMB by 1. 27%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Abbas: Palestinians won't launch new intifada, despite frustration
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - 'We will not go back to an intifada because we have suffered too much,' says Abbas in Argentina. 

Netanyahu: We'll have public and Knesset debates on Shalit swap
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - PM seeks to calm hopes over deal for soldier; Shalit's father 'not reassured' after meeting negotiator. 

Gaza rocket hits Israel, despite Hamas moratorium on Qassams
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Hamas declared Sat. that militants agreed to halt cross-border rocket fire; no casualties in attack. 

Rightist MKs: 'Cursed' deal for Shalit will bring terror to Israel
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - 'These murderers have killed between one to 65 people each, so start doing the math,' says MK Eldad. 

Netanyahu aide hopes PA peace talks will be renewed within weeks
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Uzi Arad: Our priority is to renew the peace talks; Peres: PM can and must make peace with Palestinians. 

Two settlers charged with attacking Palestinian shepherd
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Suspects claim to have acted out of self-defense when they beat shepherd near Mitzpeh Yair outpost. 

Israel looks toward IDF pullout from Lebanon border village
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Ministers recommend handing control of Ghajar to UN troops, letting residents keep Israeli IDs. 

Rabbis at secret meet: Soldiers who refuse orders are 'heroes'
Ha'aretz 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 Nov 2009 - However, formulating an answer to rocket attacks seems to be a complex and lengthy process. 

Palestine Telegraph

Press reports 'progress' in talks to free Shalit
Jerusalem, november 23, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Report Hamas leaders will meet to study details of plan to swap Israeli soldier for Palestinian prisoners. 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...

NGO: Israel-Palestinian conflict kills 8,900 in 20 years
Jerusalem, November 23, 2009, ( Pal Telegraph ) - B'Tselem says 7,398 Palestinians killed, 4,300 homes destroyed in 20 years of conflict. 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...

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...

The National

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.

Hamas-Israel prisoner swap deal in decisive stage
The National 23 Nov 2009 - After months of negotiations a deal could be reached this weekend for Israel to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

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.

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.

Israel softens prisoner swap terms for Gilad Shalit
The National 23 Nov 2009 - A deal to exchange hundreds of Palestinian inmates for an Israeli solider held in the Gaza Strip draws closer.

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.


'Progress' in Shalit swap talks
AlJazeera 23 Nov 2009 - Israeli president raises hopes captured soldier will be swapped for Palestinian inmates.

Lula backs Iran's nuclear programme
AlJazeera 23 Nov 2009 - Brazil president declares support for Tehran's quest for "peaceful nuclear energy".

Gaza groups deny rocket ceasefire 
AlJazeera 23 Nov 2009 - Palestinian groups say there has been no deal on suspending rocket fire into Israel.

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

Palestine News Network

Mubarak, Peres hold 'frank' Middle East talks
PNN 23 Nov 2009 - EGYPTIAN President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, have held discussions in Cairo on efforts to restart Middle East peace talks after the Egyptian leader accused the Jewish State of creating obstacles to a settlement with the Palestinians. The talks, according to Reuters yesterday, came as Israeli aircraft attacked two suspected weapons-making factories and a smuggling tunnel in the Gaza Strip...

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...

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....

Syrian Actor Duraid Lahham Enters Gaza along with a group of actors and actresses
PNN 23 Nov 2009 - Duraid Lahham is probably considered one of the most prominent Arab actors to participate in breaking the siege on Gaza. The Syrian actor and satirist is perhaps the equivalent of Bob Hope, Larry David and Jon Stewart put in one. Through his most famous character, Ghawar Attoshe, and for several decades, he provided the most stinging political satire and social commentary the...

Jerusalem Post

IDF commissions study: 'Who wins war?'
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - The paper's main focus will be on clarifying the nature of victory in modern warfare.

Abbas: We won't launch a third intifada - we've suffered enough
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - In Argentina, Palestinian Authority President says his people are focused on the path of peace; calls on US to press Israel on settlements.

Hamas confirms progress on Schalit
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - Group says 'it's too early to speak of agreement'; Netanyahu: There's no deal and no decision yet.

PM's brother-in-law urges him to quit
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - Ben-Artzi says if Netanyahu signs prisoner swap deal with Hamas, "It will prove he has no spine."

Arad: Cooperation with US on Iran a high priority for Israel
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - National Security Council head says Jerusalem is working with NSA on Iran.

'Saving the Stones' seeks to preserve Israel's artifacts
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - 

Trial of Olmert's travel coordinator gets underway
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - 

PM defends building in Gilo to German FM
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - Netanyahu points out it's only minutes from Knesset; Merkel's spokesman: East J'lem construction is a "major stumbling block" to Mideast peace.

'World must engage, not isolate Iran'
Jeruslalem Post 23 Nov 2009 - Ahead of meeting with Ahmadinejad, Brazilian president voices support for dialogue with Teheran.

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: Palestinian Children Face Daily Settler Attacks Getting to School 
IPS AT TUWANI, Nov 23 (IPS) - Being able to travel to school in relative safety is something children all over the world take for granted. But, for Palestinian children living in the shadow of the ubiquitous and illegal Israeli settlements dotting the West Bank, simply walking to school can be...

Stop The Wall

Daily invasions rock Jayyus
Stop The Wall 23 Nov 2009 - For the past weeks, the village of Jayyus has been subjected to daily military raids. In response to residents’ ongoing resistance to the Wall, soldiers have threatened individuals, destroyed property, set curfews and engaged in shooting on a near daily basis. Collective punishment has feature strongly into this campaign, with Occupation forces targeting house owners, youth and farmers. [

Jayyus still held hostage by invasions
Stop The Wall 23 Nov 2009 - Military incursions into Jayyus continued this past week, as many as three times daily. Clashes and curfews have characterized village life, and undercover units have attempted to trap local youth. Although there has of yet been no serious injuries among the villagers, a group of young men were arrested several days ago. [

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

Top Israeli diplomat holds secret talks in Oman
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Foreign Ministry director-general Yossi Gal has held secret state-level meetings in Oman's capital Muscat, a senior official in Jerusalem told Haaretz. Diplomatic relations between Israel and Oman were cut off in 2000 at the start of the second intifada. ... 

Funding for Diaspora Jewry in disarray as agencies duel
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON - Threatening to shake the fragile structure of the American Jewish federations' umbrella organization, one of the key partners for overseas funding has turned down a proposed agreement on distribution of funds, putting the system in a state of disarray. ... 

Netanyahu may ask cabinet to okay 10-month settlement freeze
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering seeking either cabinet or governmental approval for a ten-month freeze in West Bank settlement construction, in a bid to relaunch stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. ...

Turkey Deputy PM: Our ties with Israel must improve 
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - The Turkish deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, said on Monday that Turkey-Israel relations must improve, during a meeting in Ankara with Industry, Labor and Trade Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. ...

Abbas: Palestinians won't launch new intifada, despite frustration 
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Palestinians will not launch a new uprising against Israel despite their frustration at the deadlock in U.S.-sponsored peace efforts, President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday. ...

The Guardian

An insidious argument for censorship | David Henshaw
The Guardian 23 Nov 2009 - The legitimate questions raised by Dispatches deserve better than to be dismissed as Islamophobia and antisemitism So what's it like to go from being Britain's top Islamophobe (Dispatches' Undercover Mosque ) to Britain's top antisemite (Dispatches' Inside...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Netanyahu may tell cabinet he couldn't find suitable AG
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman has set himself a mid-December deadline for completing the process of appointing a new attorney general. That will allow at least 30 days for the appointee to learn the ropes from Menachem Mazuz, whose term as attorney general ends January 31. ... 

IDF: Hundreds of immigrants without Hebrew in combat units
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Hundreds of new immigrants are serving in combat units even though they don't know enough Hebrew, commanders and officers in the Israel Defense Forces Education Corps say. ... 

Yossi Melman / Israelis know the price of bringing Shalit back
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - You don't have to be part of any inner circle to understand that the deal for Gilad Shalit is not advancing because of the German mediator's talents. ... 

Pre-state Jewish police force fights for its heritage
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - Eighty six-year-old Haim Karbi raised his voice: "I was one of the Notrim and I am still one of the Notrim," he said, referring to the Jewish supernumerary police force that served under the British police during the Mandate. Karbi, a resident of Kiryat Tivon, spoke on behalf of most of the members of the Jewish force who had been active during the British Mandate, a force which effectively served as a legal arm for the Haganah (a pre-state underground militia). He spoke at a conference held last week in the former British police station in Nahalal, and attended by the former guards as well as pupils from the Reali school in Haifa. ... 

Analysis / Who wins and who loses in Shalit deal?
Ha'aretz 23 Nov 2009 - 1. Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried hard Monday to lower public and media expectations of an imminent deal for Gilad Shalit, via a statement issued by his bureau and remarks to the Likud Knesset faction. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: Paper football signed by UN chief fetches over $200,000 at charity auction
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Letter dated 18 Nov 2009 from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN addressed to the Secretary-General (A/ES-10/469–S/2009/598)
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly, UN Security Council

Lebanon/OPT: UN SG informed of location of remains of UNRWA's Alec Collett
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

OPT: West Bank movement and access update - Nov 2009
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Three Israeli air strikes injure 10 Palestinians and damage Palestinian houses and other property; Al Mezan condemns escalation of Israeli aggression
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Ambulances prevented from entering Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem without prior approval or police escort
Relief Web 23 Nov 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights

YNet News

Jordan calls early election
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - King Abdullah dissolves parliament dominated by independent, tribal MPs criticized for inaction, failure to oversee government 

Approved: IDF widows who remarry to continue receiving pension
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - Knesset passes bill allowing widows of slain IDF soldiers to remarry and continue receiving husbands' military pension. MK Ariel: Great injustice rectified 

Abbas sees no new intifada
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - Palestinian president says his people will not repeat 2000 revolt because they 'have suffered too much' 

Minister Shalom: Barghouti, Saadat will not go free
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - Deputy prime minister tells BBC in London that the two terrorists will not be included in a possible list of Palestinian prisoners to be released in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Shalit, despite earlier reports 

Despite Hamas declaration, Qassam hits Negev region
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - Rocket fired about two days after terror groups in Gaza agree to halt cross-border fire lands in open area near Negev kibbutz. Official: We knew agreement wouldn't mark end to attacks 

Netanyahu: No Shalit deal yet
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - Amid reports of progress on deal for release of captive soldier, Prime Minister's Office stresses reports in foreign media 'not credible', says 'efforts continuously underway, out of media's sight'.' Netanyahu: Any deal will require cabinet's approval. Hamas delegation in Cairo to discuss deal 

Senior Fatah figure banned from al-Aqsa for 6 months 
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - Hatem Abdel-Qader, who was arrested during recent east Jerusalem riots, says won't respect ban if it is aimed at 'making it easier for settlers' to take over Temple Mount 

Palestinian 'community center' contests shutting down order
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - East Jerusalem center closed due to intel saying it was used as meeting place for PFLP terrorists 

Turkish FM: Crisis with Israel over
YNet News 23 Nov 2009 - After meeting Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in Ankara, Davutoglu says Turkey willing to resume role as mediator in Israel-Syria talks. Israeli minister: Turkey can help solve problems in Middle East' 

Daily Star

Iran begins large-scale war games to protect nuclear sites
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Iran on Sunday began large-scale air defense war games aimed at protecting its nuclear facilities from attack, state television reported, as an air force commander boasted the country could deter any military strike by Israel. It said the five-day drill would cover an area a third of the size of Iran and spread across the central, western and southern parts of the country.

Saudis assault Yemeni rebels, arrest scores of insurgents
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Saudi air force and artillery pounded Yemeni rebel hideouts to push the rebels away from its southwestern border and stop the war spilling into its territory, a Saudi security source said on Monday. The source said Saudi forces also detained scores of rebels during the military operation in the strategic Jabal Dukhan border area on Sunday., Saudi air force and artillery pounded Yemeni rebel hideouts to push the rebels away from its southwestern border and stop the war spilling into its territory, a Saudi security source said on Monday. The source said Saudi forces also detained scores of rebels during the military operation in the strategic Jabal Dukhan border area on Sunday.

Jordan's king orders early elections
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 King Abdullah II of Jordan dissolved Parliament on Monday and ordered the holding of general elections two years early. In a royal decree, the king dissolved Parliament from Tuesday and instructed the government to take the necessary steps to organize the poll.

Mubarak warns Israel over Jerusalem construction
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Egypt's president on Sunday criticized Israeli construction in occupied 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.

Ahmadinejad seeks support for nuclear program during Brazil visit
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Brasilia on Monday seeking support for his controversial nuclear program, the first leg of a South American tour that critics say could dent Brazil's ambitions on the global diplomatic stage. Opposition politicians in Brazil condemned the visit, citing concern over Iran's nuclear program, its denial of the Holocaust and human rights abuses.

Prisoner swap deal with Hamas closer as Israel softens terms
Daily Star 23 Nov 2009 Israel has softened its terms for a prisoner swap with Islamist group Hamas and the two enemies are nearing a deal to exchange hundreds of Palestinian inmates for an Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip, officials said on Monday. A delegation from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, crossed into Egypt for a planned meeting with several Egyptian security officials in Cairo.

Palestinian Information Center

Abdelqader: The PA became a burden on the Palestinian cause
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Hatem Abdelqader, the resigned minister of Jerusalem affairs, launched a scathing attack on the PA, saying it failed to achieve the national goals and became a burden on the Palestinian cause.

Int'l campaign holds IOA responsible for catastrophic water conditions
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - The international campaign to break the siege on Gaza Strip has held the IOA responsible for consequences of the worsening humanitarian and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Strip.

IOA orders Palestinians to evacuate 25 apartments in north of Jerusalem
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Palestinian sources reported that the IOA handed last night court orders to evacuate 25 Palestinian apartments in Samiramis area behind the segregation wall in Jerusalem.

Taha denies speaking to the media on prisoners' exchange deal
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Ayman Taha, one of Hamas's leaders in Gaza, has denied telling anything about the prisoners' exchange deal between his Movement and Israel to any media outlet.

Blind prisoner exposed to harsh interrogation by Israeli officers
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - The information committee of Hamas in Israeli jails revealed that prisoner Obadah Bilal, who is a blind 30-year-old young man, has been exposed to harsh interrogation by Israeli officers.

Abbas's militias kidnap 5 Hamas supporters
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Militias loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas kidnapped five Hamas supporters in Anabta village, Tulkarem district, over the past couple of days, locals reported.

Masri: The Palestinian pilgrims performing Hajj away from political differences
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - MP Mushir Al-Masri stated that the Palestinian pilgrims are performing their religious rituals away from the political differences between his Movement and Fatah faction.

Khudari asks donor countries to fulfill promises on reconstruction of Gaza
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - The head of the popular anti-siege committee, MP Dr. Jamal Al-Khudari, has asked the donor countries and governments to live up to their promises for reconstructing the Gaza Strip.

Haneyya meets Syrian artists, reiterates Keenness on national untiy
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - Premier Ismail Haneyya stated during his meeting with Syrian actors and film directors that the inter-Palestinian division is exceptional and that his government is keen on ending it.

Abu Obaida: No agreement with factions on halting missile fire
PIC 23 Nov 2009 - The armed wing of Hamas Movement, the Qassam Brigades, has denied reaching an agreement with other Palestinian factions to halt firing missiles at Israeli targets from the Gaza Strip.

Los Angeles Times

Israel, Hamas said to be near deal on prisoner swap 
LA Times 24 Nov 2009 - Israeli officials are tight-lipped as negotiators hammer out details in Cairo to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, being held by Hamas, in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Expectations of a swap of hundreds of jailed Palestinian militants for an Israeli soldier held by Hamas soared Monday after some of the most promising signs of progress in years of negotiations. 

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. 

New York Times

Prisoner Swap Appears Near in the Mideast
New York Times 24 Nov 2009 - Hundreds of prisoners could be exchanged for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and officials said the deal would likely include Marwan Barghouti, a popular West Bank leader. 


Prisoner exchange could see Israeli soldier swapped for Marwan Barghouti 
11/23/2009 - Times of London - Israel and the Palestinians are close to reaching agreement on a prisoner swap that could mean freedom for an Israeli soldier held for more than three years in exchange for the release of nearly a thousand Palestinian militants. Gilad Schalit, the young Israeli corporal captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid in June 2006, could be freed as early as Friday, when Palestinians observe Eid al-Adha — a traditional period for amnesties. Among those expected to be released by Israel is Marwan Barghouti, a leading candidate to succeed the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who has threatened to step down over a lack of progress in the peace process. Barghouti, the leader of the Fatah young guard, is serving multiple life sentences for murder and attacks on Israelis during the last intifada. Seen as a more militant leader, Barghouti is one of the few figures who may be able to bridge. . . . 

Lieberman: After all the insults, Turkey can’t mediate Syria talks 
11/22/2009 - Ha'aretz - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday said Turkey could not resume mediating Israel-Turkey peace talks, shortly before another minister, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, was reportedly set to propose that the country did exactly that. " Fuad's trip to Turkey is. . . an important trip, but has not been agreed upon by the Foreign Ministry," said Lieberman at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, referring to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor by his moniker. " After all of Turkey's insults and tongue-lashing against Israel, they can't be a mediator. " Tensions flared between the two countries in September after Turkey banned Israel from participating in a NATO air force drill. Ankara further strained relations last week when it refused to take off the air a television drama depicts Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian children. On Saturday, sources in Jerusalem said Ben-Eliezer was expected to propose. . . . 

Palestinians looking to U.S.-style suburban housing, financing 
11/23/2009 - Washington Post - The hills around this city have seen plenty of construction, often the distinctive red-roofed homes favored by Israeli settlers. But the bulldozers and laborers active here recently are laying foundations and building roads for a different type of development -- planned communities targeted to middle-income Palestinians, including one billed as the first "new city" for Palestinians in modern memory. These communities are patterned after American suburban development -- the new city, Rawabi, is specifically designed for upwardly mobile families of a sort that in the United States might gravitate to places such as Reston, Va. The developments are also relying on another American import, the home mortgage, including creation of a Fannie Mae-style institution for the West Bank. Though Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have stalled, Palestinian officials have put a focus on building the institutions of a future state. . . . 

IOA orders Palestinians to evacuate 25 apartments in north of Jerusalem 
11/23/2009 - Palestinian Information Center - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) handed last night court orders to evacuate 25 Palestinian apartments in Samiramis area behind the segregation wall in the north of occupied Jerusalem. Hatem Abdelqader, the Palestinian Authority’s resigned minister of Jerusalem affairs (who seems to be still functioning in the position), said that a large number of Israeli troops and policemen along with an extremist Jewish figure known as Aryeh King stormed at night the neighborhood and handed the residents evacuation orders. Abdelqader noted that these apartments accommodate more than 200 individuals most of them are children and women. He said that according to the documents that the residents of these apartments received, the Israeli settlers claim ownership of 33 dunums of the Palestinian lands. . . . 

Blind prisoner exposed to harsh interrogation by Israeli officers 
11/23/2009 - Palestinian Information Center - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The information committee of Hamas in Israeli jails revealed Monday that prisoner Obadah Bilal, who is a blind 30-year-old young man, has been exposed to harsh interrogation by Israeli officers since he was transferred a week ago to Petah Tikva interrogation center where his wife is also detained. The committee said that after the kidnapping of Bilal’s wife last week, he was transferred from Negev prison to join his wife in Petah Tikva, where Israeli interrogators maltreated and physically assaulted him despite the fact that he cannot see. In another incident, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) prevented the mother of prisoner Hamza Qa’kour, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, from visiting him in Shata prison and confiscated her visit permit which she obtained from the Red Cross without giving reasons. 


NATO had better steer clear of Israel 
Gilad Atzmon, Redress 11/23/2009
      As a senior NATO official visits Israel to learn tricks of the killing trade to employ in Afghanistan, Gilad Atzmon warns that all the Israelis can offer NATO is the art of murdering civilians, and all NATO can look forward to in consequence is the prospect of war crimes charges.
     "The IDF [Israel Defence Forces] 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 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 done."
     “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 using some of the most devastating and murderous tactics against elderly people, women and the 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 utilize for its war in Afghanistan”. A senior Israeli military 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.... more.. e-mail

Federation? Why not? 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 11/22/2009
      Three days mark the 5th anniversary of the murder of Yasser Arafat, and bring back to me our last conversation at his Ramallah compound, a few weeks before his death. 
     It was he who brought up the idea of a threefold federation "“ Israel, Palestine and Jordan. "And perhaps Lebanon, too. Why not?" "“ the same as he did at our very first meeting, in Beirut, July 1982, in the middle of the war. He mentioned Benelux, the pact between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg that predated the European Union. 
     Lately, the term "federation" has come into fashion again. Some people believe that it can serve as a kind of compromise between the "two-state solution," now a world-wide consensus, and the "one-state solution" that is popular in some radical circles. "Federation" sounds like a miracle: there will be both "two states for two peoples" and a single entity. Two in one, one in two.
     The word "federation" does not frighten me. On the contrary, I was already using it in this context 52 years ago.
     On 2 June 1957, my magazine, Haolam Hazeh, published the first detailed plan for an independent Palestinian state that would come into being next to Israel. The West Bank was then under Jordanian occupation and the Gaza Strip under Egyptian occupation. I proposed helping the Palestinians get rid of the occupiers. According to the plan, the two states, the Israeli and the Palestinian, would then establish a federation. I thought that its proper name should be "the Jordan Union". more.. e-mail

Saving Human Lives And Olive Trees In Palestine 
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD, Desert Peace 11/22/2009
      Today over 150 Palestinians and internationals participated in an activity to reclaim and plant olive trees on a threatened hill in an area called Um Salamuna. Um Salamuna already lost significant amount of its land to colonial Jewish-only settlements like Efrata and Migdal Oz.The wall that includes the settlements has not been completed in this area and is slated to zig-zag to capture the hill we worked on to add it to the colonial settlement area that is already stolen. The village is one of over 20 villages and towns in the Bethlehem area that lost land to these illegal colonial settlements. In total the Bethlehem district had already been shrunk to about 20% of its original size. This 20% is a concentration camp with few openings (that could be closed at whim by the colonial occupiers) but 97% of its residents (including me) are not even allowed into occupied Jerusalem (a mere five miles away). On my way out of the area, I stopped by to take some pictures and talk with some of the occupation soldiers. Most would not talk to me. A black (Ethiopian) soldier exchanged a few words with me before his officer came and ordered me not to talk to him or other soldiers (lest they get a glimpse of the war crimes they are engaged in!). I think these grass-root Palestinian activities are critical but they have to be far better organized, planned, and managed. There were no instructions and many of the volunteers did not know what to do. Representatives of the PA (Palestinian authority who a friend jokes as standing Public Announcement) spent much of their time talking to the media. I urged them to speak to the people assembled and to organize better/bigger activities and most importantly to participate themselves (and their security staff) in planting and in clearing the land of the rocks etc.
     Many Palestinians want the PA to develop real influence instead of fictional authority under occupation (and we are here talking about both the West Bank and Gaza). They have lots of resources at their disposal: most of all people they could mobilize to organize and resist. Our options are not really restricted to endless useless negotiations or shooting home-made rockets.....
     -- Links: Photos -- See also: Photos more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Hebron's architecture of occupation
Electronic Intifada: 23 Nov 2009 - The word "revenge" is scrawled in Hebrew on a Palestinian school in Hebron in the occupied West Bank. The windows are covered with screens and the play yard obstructed with more screens tipped with barbed wire, to obstruct the stones regularly pelted down by Jewish settlers. Sarah Lazare and Clare Bayard write from Hebron, occupied West Bank. 

Palestinian students cross barriers to discuss boycott
Electronic Intifada: 23 Nov 2009 - The right of Palestinian students to an education was the main theme of a video conference between students from the occupied Gaza Strip and the West Bank on 12 November 2009, sponsored by the al-Quds Bank for Culture and Information Society and Bethlehem University. Bianca Zammit reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

South Africa deports Israeli airline official spying on citizens
Electronic Intifada: 23 Nov 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 travelers. Jonathan Cook reports. 

In Gaza
moving on, until the next massacre
23 Nov 2009 - Three years after the murder of seventeen from the Athemna family –among them fourteen women and children, including an infant –and one from the Kaferna family, the pain has little receded for the Athamnah family survivors. When Desmond Tutu visited the region a year and a half after the attack [coming from Rafah after being prevented entry by Israeli authorities], he aptly described the 8 November 2006 Israeli shelling of the family sleeping in their homes as a ‘massacre’. This particular massacre came just a day after the Israeli army had pulled out of Gaza, following their 6 day-long invasion dubbed “Autumn Clouds” (in line with the sadistic tradition of...

Palestine Chronicle
As a Light Unto the Nations
23 Nov 2009 - By Gilad Atzmon - London '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...

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