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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
1 December, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Hamas Official: “Swap-deal Reached An Advanced State”
IMEMC 1 Dec 2009 - Wednesday December 02, 2009 - 03:59, A senior Hamas official stated Tuesday that a prisoner-swap deal between Israel and Hamas managed to reached an advanced level that requires both sides to make decisive and difficult decisions.

EU to consider resolution recognizing East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital
IMEMC 1 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 01, 2009 - 11:08, Sweden has introduced a resolution to the European Union to be considered next week in Brussels that would call for the recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of any future Palestinian state. Israeli officials immediately condemned the proposal and said that it will harm negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Israeli Helicopters Drop Warning Leaflets On Rafah
IMEMC 1 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 01, 2009 - 10:23, Israeli choppers dropped on Monday evening thousands of leaflets warning the residents of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, that the army would bombard their areas once again should the smuggling of weapons continue.

Israeli soldiers get 'slap on the wrist' for force-feeding detainees
IMEMC 1 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 01, 2009 - 09:56, Four Israeli soldiers who were caught abusing and forcefeeding Palestinian detainees were sentenced Monday by a military court to a demotion of one rank and a small fine of less than $500 each. Prisoner rights advocates called the sentence an outrage.

400 Detainees Approved For Release, Talks On 50
IMEMC 1 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 01, 2009 - 09:43, A senior Hamas source stated that the movement and Israel agreed during indirect talks on 400 names of Palestinians detainees who would be released in return for the release of prisoner of war, Gilad Shalit, and that the talks are currently focused on the names of 50 additional detainees.

Fundamentalist Jewish settlers attack Palestinian villagers in northern West Bank
IMEMC 1 Dec 2009 - Monday November 30, 2009 - 17:01, On Monday midday, a group of Israeli settlers attacked the village of Bureen near Nablus city in the northern West Bank.

Ma'an News

Mother of Hamas prisoners dies
12/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The mother of two Palestinian prisoners from Gaza died on Monday, amid speculation that Israel and Hamas could conclude a prisoner exchange soon. Ward Abu Odeh, 65, was the mother of Assad and Said Abu Salah, according to the media committee representing Hamas prisoners in Gaza. She lived in the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. The committee said in a statement that the family's home was twice demolished by the Israeli military, once in 1967 and again in 2001. In 1970 Abu Odeh husband was jailed by Israel. After the second demolition, Abu Odeh husband suffered a heart attack, but was barred by Israel from travelling to Al-Maqasid hospital in Jerusalem. Abu Odeh's grandson was also jailed by Israel, the committee said. 

Two Gaza crossings sealed
12/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza on Tuesday, while the Karni and Nahal Oz crossings remained closed on Tuesday. Palestinian crossings official, Raed Fattuh, said that between 98-108 trucks of commercial products and humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The closure of Nahal Oz means at most a bare minimum of fuel can be transferred into the Strip. The crossing is the only one set up for the transport of large quantities of fuel into the Strip, and Israeli authorities announced in early November that it would be closed and the equipment transferred south the the Kerem Shalom crossing. In the first weeks of the Nahal Oz closure, fuel imports to Gaza were down 88% from the weeks before. Gaza officials blamed the slow-down on the lack of transfer equipment at the Kerem Shalom crossing. 

Settlers occupy Al-Kurd home in Jerusalem
12/1/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A group of Israeli settlers accompanied by armed Israeli occupation forces occupied the sealed house of Rifka Al-Kurd in Sheikh Jarrah at 10am on Tuesday. Before surrounding and overrunning the Al-Kurd home, the settlers reportedly produced a court order which gave consent to the settlers' take-over of the house. The family was not present inside the locked up house, in compliance with a court order issued by the Israeli court prohibiting their entry into the home. On Sunday, an appeal by the Al-Kurd family to return to their home was turned down an Israeli magistrate's court. The latest incident follows a long line of assault and forced entry into the Al-Kurd home. On Wednesday, settlers reportedly threatened and assaulted members of the Al-Kurd family as they stormed the home, before Israeli police intervened.

Report: Netanyahu okays 25 new settler homes despite ban
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an order Monday to allow the construction of 25 new homes in a West Bank settlement despite a recently-declared moratorium. According to the website of the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Netanyahu made the order in a phone call with his Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The order was in response to an appeal from settlers living in the settlement of Qedar, east of Jerusalem, where the 25 units are to be built, the report states. Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, told Ma'an that the buildings were permitted because their foundations were laid before the moratorium was called. "We said from the beginning that what was started could be completed," Regev said. A spokesperson for Israel's Civil Administration, the branch of the military responsible for enforcing the ban deferred comment on the issue to Netanyahu's office. 

EU to recognize East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an -The EU's foreign ministers will recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state next week, according to a Tuesday report in the Israeli daily Haaretz. The newspaper said it obtained a draft document authored by Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency, implying that the EU would recognize a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood. The report also states that Israel is waging a diplomatic campaign to block the declaration, but diplomats close to the EU's deliberation said it was virtually inevitable. EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on 7 December for a two-day meeting in Brussels on the peace process, after which a statement outlining the body's Middle East policy is expected. According to passages of the draft quoted by Haaretz, the expected EU declaration calls on "all parties to refrain from provocative actions. 

Netanyahu: Settlement freeze ’one-time’ move
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that the current 10 month halt to settlement construction in the West Bank is in fact only a "one-time, temporary" standstill, according to Israel media reports. During a conference held by the financial newspaper Calcalist, Netanyahu reportedly said that following the 10 month stall, Israel "will return to building,""The future final-status accord in Judea and Samaria will be determined at the end of negotiations and not a day earlier," he said. The prime minister's comments follow reports on Tuesday that settlers in the West Bank prevented Israel's Ministry of Defense inpsectors from implementing a halt to settlement construction in the illegal settlements, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. Residents from numerous illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank amassed to prevent. . . 

UN ’dismayed’ at Israeli occupation of E Jlem Palestinian home
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon "has expressed his dismay at the continuation of demolitions, evictions and the installment of Israeli settlers in Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem," a spokesperson said Tuesday. Speaking from outside the Sheikh Jarrah home of the Al-Kurd family, which was occupied by Israeli settlers earlier in the day, Richard Miron, spokesperson for the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, reiterated the concerns of the UN secretary-general at the continued Israeli violations in Jerusalem. "Provocative actions such as these create inevitable tensions, undermine trust, often have tragic human consequences and make resuming negotiations and achieving a two state solution more difficult. We reiterate the Secretary General's call for these actions to cease immediately," he said. 

Israeli forces seize 3 Palestinians overnight
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's military said on Tuesday it detained three Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank. The detainees, who were taken because of their status as "wanted" people, were taken for questioning, the military said. On Monday evening Palestinians said Israeli forces detained five people from the Old City of Hebron. A military spokeswoman said the army was unfamiliar with the report. [end] 

Egypt police kill migrant on Israel border
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Egyptian forces shot dead an African migrant who attempted to cross the Sinai peninsula desert border to Israel, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The report says Egyptian police have stepped up efforts in recent months to control the frontier with Israel following an increase in human trafficking through Egypt. At least 17 migrants have been killed at the border since May. The Sinai border is on one of the main routes for migrants and refugees, seeking work or asylum in Israel. A security source told Reuters that said police did not know the dead man's nationality, but he appeared to be in his early twenties. Eritreans are the largest group of people trying to cross into Israel from Egypt, but Ethiopians and Sudanese also make the journey. A week ago Egyptian security forces seized a shipment of weapons they told Ma'an were bound for the Gaza Strip. 

Fighters awaiting amnesty stop hunger strike following talks
12/1/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Twelve Palestinians detained in the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority-Israel amnesty program announced the end to their six-day hunger strike following promises by officials to push forward their their amnesty cases on Tuesday. The 12, eleven of which were formerly affiliated with Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades, were taken into protective police custody one month ago as part of a deal that would lead to their removal from Israel's "wanted" list. In the days before the Eid Al-Adha holiday, 198 Palestinians were granted various levels of amnesty, but the 12 were not on the lists, prompting the declaration of a hunger strike. According to the former fighters, Palestinian notables promised to deal with their cases, prompting an end to the strike. The men were being held in Nablus' Juneid Prison, under PA control. 

Islamic Jihad condemns un-coordinated prisoner transfer
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two political prisoners affiliated with Islamic Jihad were transferred from the Juneid to Jericho prisons without notice on Tuesday, officials from the party announced. A third man with the party, Abdel-Fattah Khazima, was reportedly released due to a worsening health condition. Though pleased with the release of Khazima, Islamic Jihad officials were angered by the move, which they said was carried out with out consultation or explanation. A statement from the party identified the men transferred to the Jericho facility as Tayseer Khazima and Fayez Shayeb from Qabatiya. It condemned the continued detention of party members for "political reasons," but noted officials were working with Palestinian Authoirty officials to end the file of politically-motivated arrests for all factions. 

Israeli forces detain 7 Palestinians
12/1/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians from Bethlehem and Hebron, in addition storming several homes, on Tuesday afternoon, according to Palestinian police. Israeli forces raided the Old City of Hebron and searched the homes of Nidal Al-Ewewy, Humeidan Al-Ewewy, and the Al-Karaky family, the information office of the Palestinian police said. The detained Palestinians from Hebron were identified asas Sa'id Nidal Al-Ewewy, 20, Fareed Humeidan Al-Ewewy, 20, his brother Muhammad Humeidan Al-Ewewy, 15, Imad Al-Karaky, 15, his brother Muhammad Al-Karaky, 14, and Muhammad Yousid Jawabra, 19. In Bethlehem, the Israeli forces detained Muhammad Mansour Hamamra from the town of Husan and impounded his car. 

Abu Hasana: UNRWA budget to hit zero by new year
12/1/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The UNRWA budget will reach zero by the New Year and threaten the regular payment of salaries for UNRWA workers as well as the level of services for refugees, the organization's media consultant Adnan Abu Hasana said Tuesday from Gaza. Large international donors are not paying what they used to, the number of individuals depending on UNRWA services are increasing, and several Arab states have failed to follow-through on aid pledges, the spokesman said. The shortfall comes despite tireless work by the general commissioner of UNRWA, Abu Hasana said, and is principally the result of some of the "big powers" failing to continue their support of UN and humanitarian projects. Contributing reasons for the shortfall, Abu Hasana said, is the growing number of refugees that do not fit under the original mandate of UNRWA. 

Six injured after Jerusalem football match
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Six Palestinians from Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem sustained minor injuries on Sunday after their bus was attacked by Palestinians from As-Sawahira Ash-Sharqiyya, east Jerusalem, following a football match between the villages' teams. Director of Bethlehem Emergency Services Abdul-Halim Mahafra told Ma'an that residents from As-Sawahira stopped a bus with people travelling from Beit Fajjar, forcing them to disembark at the Container checkpoint, before attacking them and causing damage to the bus. Mahafra added that six people sustained bruises to the face and body and were transferred to Beit Jala Hospital in Bethlehem for treatment. The residents from Beit Fajjar were en route to visit relatives in Nablus, Mahafra said. The assault followed a football match held in Jericho on Sunday, where the Beit Fajjar team won against As-Sawahira. 

Samir Al-Quntar meets PA delegation in Mecca
12/1/2009 - Mecca - Ma'an - Samir Al-Quntar, the Lebanese former prisoner of Israel, met with Palestinian officials who made the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Ma'an learned. Al-Quntar met with the Palestinian Authority's Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash and other officials. Al-Quntar expressed appreciation for Palestinians and their resistance to Israeli occupation. He also urged Palestinians to restore political unity. The former prisoner said he wished he could visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after it is freed from Israeli occupation. For his part, Al-Habbash called on Al-Quntar to tell the world about the dire conditions Palestinian and Arab prisoners face in Israeli jails. Al-Quntar was freed in 2008 in an exchange between Israel and Hizbullah. He was hailed upon his release as a symbol of "resistance" to Israel. 

UN expresses solidarity with Palestinians
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem Ma'an - Members of the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People discussed the status of Palestinians and the ongoing Israeli occupation on Monday as the UN observed the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his concerns over the failure to resume peace talks based on a two state solution for over a year and further called on Israel and Palestinian authorities to conduct immediate investigations into allegations of grave human rights violations committed in Gaza during Israel's Operation Cast Led last year. "Now more than ever politics must be made credible. Those who try to undermine moves towards peace through violence or by changing facts on the ground must not be allowed to set the agenda," he said. Ban also stressed the imperative need to reunify Gaza and the West Bank and. . . 

Report: Prisoner deal hinges on 50 names
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel and the captors of soldier Gilad Shalit have okayed 400 names of Palestinian prisoners who would be released as part of a prisoner swap, while the names of 50 others are still being debated, the London-based daily Al-Hayat reported on Tuesday. The report cited anonymous Hamas officials saying that controversy remains over three female prisoners: Amina Muna from Jerusalem, Ahlam Tamimi from Nabi Salih village near Ramallah, and Qahira As-Sa'di from Jenin. Israel accuses the three of organizing operations in which Israelis were killed. Also among the 50 contested names are Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Secretary-General Ahmad Sa'adat, as well as several leaders of Hamas' military wing such as Ibrahim Hamid, Abbas As-Sayyid, Abdullah Barghouthi, Jamal Abu Al-Hayja, and Hasan Salamah. 

Magazine names Fayyad one of 100 top global thinkers
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was ranked 61 on the American magazine Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers list published this week. Fayyad earned his spot, the report said, "for showing how to govern effectively in the middle of a conflict. "Summing up his contribution to global leadership, the magazine wrote:"With his boss tottering and peace talks stagnating, Fayyad has emerged as the last, best hope for a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Fayyad, who holds a Ph. D. in economics, rose to prominence as the IMF's representative in the Palestinian territories, where he subsequently became finance minister. In June 2007, he was promoted to prime minister, finally giving him the authority to root out corruption and embark on institutional reforms, such as making the Palestinian Authority's notoriously opaque annual budget public. 

EU position on east Jerusalem impairs peace talks, says Israel
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's Foreign Ministry accused the recent EU move to recognize east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital of harming the renewal of peace talks, according to Israeli media on Tuesday. According to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry "The process led by Sweden harms the EU's ability to take part as a significant mediator in the political process between Israel and the Palestinians," as quoted in the Israeli daily Haaretz. "After the important steps taken by the government of Israel to enable the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians, the EU must now exert pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Steps like those being led by Sweden only contribute to the opposite effect," the statement added. Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli media reported that the EU's foreign ministers will recognize east Jerusalem. . . 

Costa Rican President visits Bethlehem ahead of Christmas rush
12/1/2009 - "I am happy to be here in Bethlehem; I came to express solidarity with Palestinians, to share my experiences in Central America, and to offer advice in resolving disputes," Costa Rican President Óscar Arias told Prime Minister Salam Fayyad during his visit to Bethlehem on 28 November. Arias, who arrived just ahead of the Christmas tourist rush, was taken on an official tour of Bethlehem's Nativity Church, where he prayed at the siteChristians believe Jesus was born. A star marks the historical birthplace, and a small grotto inside the church is where Mary is said to have laid the baby Jesus in a manger. Following the visit to the church, Fayyad took Arias to lunch at the presidential headquarters in Bethlehem. 

PA Finance Ministry sets fuel prices for December
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Finance Ministry announced prices of fuel and cooking gas across Palestine for December 2009 on Tuesday as follows: One liter of diesel = 5. 31 NIS - One liter of gasoline 95 Octane = 6. 10 NIS - One liter of gasoline 96 Octane = 6. 10 NIS - One liter of gasoline 98 Octane = 6. 58 NIS - On liter of kerosene = 5. 31 NIS - Twelve kilogram bottle of cooking gas = 58 NIS for consumers - Forty-eight kilogram bottle of cooking gas = 232 NIS for consumers - One liter of cooking gas = 2. 60 NIS [end] 

Al-Aqsa Brigades: Hamas detained Gaza commander
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades,accused the Hamas de facto government on Tuesdayof detaining the group's leader in the Gaza Strip, Muhammad Ubeid. In a statement released Tuesday morning, the military group said, "At one after midnight, the de facto government's security services detained Muhammad Ubeid, the general commander of Al-Aqsa Brigades in the Gaza Strip who is wanted by Israeli occupation forces. " The statement held the de facto government accountable for any danger to Ubeid's life. In late November the de facto Ministry of the Interior said that it had reached an agreement with armed groups in Gaza to cease cross-border attacks on Israel. Several groups, including the Al-Aqsa Brigades, denied having entered any agreement. 

Hamas: PA security forces detained 4 supporters
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority security forces seized four Hamas affiliates in the West Bank on Monday, Hamas said in a statement released on Tuesday. According to the statement, PA forces abudcted four members, including one journalist, from Nablus and Tulkarem. On Wednesday, The Palestinian Journalists' Association called for the release of 11 Palestinian journalists and members of the media detained in West Bank jails. [end] 

Ministry of Social Affairs: Poorest of the poor to receive cheques
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs began its disbursement cheques under its social protection program on Tuesday, Minister of Social Affairs Majida Al-Masri announced. The program, entitled The Poorest of the Poor and funded by the World Bank, offers financial assistance to Palestinians, with 4,842 Palestinian beneficiaries receiving 4, 354, 997 shekels in total. Most of financial aid will be distributed among 3,757 Palestinians living the Gaza Strip, receiving 3, 385, 272 shekels. Additionally, 969, 279 shekels will be disbursed to 1,805 Palestinians in the West Bank. The beneficiaries were advised to attend the social affairs directorate in their respective municipalities and to proceed to their local branch of the Bank of Palestine to receive their aid. The disbursement process for The Poorest of the Poor program will last two weeks, starting from 1 December to 15 December. 

POEM: I return crowned with a laurel
12/1/2009 - Ma'an's Arabic site receives and publishes short story, essay and poetry submissions, which are occasionally translated for our English readers. The following is a submission from the Palestinian poet Munir Mezyed. I Return Crowned with a Laurel Dedicated to this troubled world. . . Saturated with selfishness and hate. . . How great to be honest at a time when honesty is a sword hanging over the necks of the truthful"¦ How great to light a candle at a moment of darkness But the greatest is to be human in inhuman times"¦ A lover at a time when hate is beats its drums. . . For the first time I see myself facing death With the language of love and heaven. . . My love Death is a very hungry cloud Hovering. . . searching for prey I can not resist itshungry, deadly claws My hell meets my heaven in my sorrows Threatening to ignite the fire. . . 

PSE plummets amid Dubai worries
12/1/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus dropped on Tuesday as regional markets slumped for a second day after news that Emerati holding company Dubai World wants to delay repayment of its debt. At the close of Tuesday's trading, the Al-Quds Index stood at 488. 82, marking a decrease of 13. 3 points, 2. 65%. Trading was 410,539 shares, a total value of 564,901. 03 US dollars, in 299 trades. The shares of 17 companies were traded. Fourteen of those dropped in value. None rose. The top five losers were WASSEL by 4. 76%, GCOM by 4. 55%, QUDS by 4. 13%, PALTEL by 3. 77%, and AIB by 3. 25%. Dubai's stock market closed 5. 61% down. Abu Dhabi's dropped 3. 57%. It emerged late last week that government-owned Dubai World wanted to delay repayment on some of its 59 billion US dollars in debt, triggering concern in regional financial markets. 

Beggars impersonate freed prisoners for cash
12/1/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Palestinian police arrested two men posing as prisoners recently released by Israel, who used forged documents to con citizens out of cash for "bus fair home" and meals, police in Nablus said. The con came during the Eid Al-Adha holidays, as rumors of a mass prisoner swap circulated. Begging is frowned upon in Palestine, and can be considered fraud under Palestinian law. It is a rare phenomenon in the West Bank, and according to police, in the last two months, only eight beggars were arrested. Police legal advisor Major Khalid Sabbatin was quoted in a statement sent out by the Investigations Department of the Palestinian police, saying the falsification of papers for the purpose of fraud is a violation of Penal Code article 389 which says "anyone found going from one place to another collecting charitable donations of any kind based on a false claim is considered to be begging. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF chief wants to enlist Arabs, Haredim in national service
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Ashkenazi: Changing demographics in Israel require the IDF to construct 'new models of service.' 

IAF considers buying $65m aircraft capable of vertical take-off, landing
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - On combat missions the V-22 was included for the first time in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Pre-army students to Netanyahu: Don't free hardened terrorists for Shalit
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Court: Details of Shalit swap must stay secret; Report: Israel to free 17 East Jerusalem Arabs in deal. 

Ban 'dismayed' at East Jerusalem eviction of Palestinian family
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - UN chief's comments come after Jewish family's claim to home results in eviction of Palestinians. 

Ex-IDF officer: I claimed to be a pedophile to get out of army
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - 24-year-old soldier said he molested 17 children before enlisting, but retracted confession after arrest. 

How does the U.S. help fund pro-settler IDF troops?
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land has offered NIS 1,000 a day to any soldier who fights evacuation. 

New IDF unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Top IDF spokesman's Office official: We must show the totality of IDF actions without a filter. 

Medics: Explosion in car kills Gaza militant
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Two wounded in incident, which seems to be accident involving militants; doctor: Explosives in car caused blast. 

Hezbollah chief: Armed struggle is best way to end occupation
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Nasrallah's comments come amid criticism in Lebanon of Hezbollah's refusal to disarm. 

Chief justice: Still no point in naming prisoners in Shalit swap
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Beinisch calls deal 'complex;' bereaved parents to High Court: Will our kids' killers be freed for Shalit? 

Two Border Policeman charged with beating Arab youth
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Suspects detained 10 days ago for allegedly assaulting youth passing by them in Jerusalem's Old City. 

Israel likely to free 980 Palestinians for Shalit
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Shalit parents meet FM, say neither 'encouraged nor ill at ease'; soldier reportedly to be brought to Egypt. 

Shalit deal / What would Israel do if Iran captured an IAF pilot?
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Israel must prepare for the possibility that if it strikes Iran's nuclear sites, not all of the pilots will come back. 

Hezbollah leadership split amid fears of fresh IDF attack
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Fearing repeat of mistakes made in 2006, top militants slam civilian leaders, Lebanon media report. 

Security officer for IDF General Staff suspected of attempted rape
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Officer at rank of captain arrested on suspicion of trying to rape 22-year-old near Tel Aviv nightclub district. 

Palestinian killed as IAF strikes Gaza rocket launchers
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - 3 additional gunmen seriously hurt; IDF: Targeted rocket-launching squad was preparing to fire at Israel. 

IDF foils terror attack along Egypt border
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Infiltrator carrying bomb flees to Egypt; Gaza militants fire 5 mortars into Negev, causing no injuries. 

Two Israelis stabbed near Hebron; attacker shot
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Palestinian stabs, lightly hurts Israelis in West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba; IDF launches probe. 

Report: Lebanon says Hezbollah has right to fight Israel
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - New cabinet has agreed on a policy statement acknowledging Hezbollah's right to bear arms against Israel. 

Report: IDF troops allegedly abused comrade for eight months
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Kfir Brigade soldier nicknamed 'punching bag' beaten, humiliated on almost daily basis, reports Israel Radio. 


Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - On Friday, Nov, 27 2009, on occasion of the celebration of "Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture" in the "Haus der Begegnung" in Vienna, a great cultural and folklore evening was held under the auspices of Dr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Fritz Edlinger, Secretary General Society for Austro-Arab Relation, "...

Video - Freedom For Gaza: Why We're Marching
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - Activists for peace and justice in the Middle East discuss the events that first inspired them to get involved with the Gaza Freedom March.

Mizan: IOA blackmail Palestinian patients at crossing points
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - The Mizan center for human rights has accused Tuesday the Israeli occupation authorities of blackmailing Palestinian patients at Beit Hanon (Erez) crossing point and pressuring them to turn spies in exchange for allowing them go for medical treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip. In a statement it issued in this regard, and a copy of which...

Israeli courts give permission for settlers to move into Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - Israeli settlers take over Palestinian home, elderly resident suffers severe medical complications. On Tuesday morning at around 9.30am, a group of settlers surrounded the al-Kurd family home in Sheikh Jarrah and took over a section of the house. Fifteen to twenty settlers, accompanied by private armed security and Israeli police forces, entered an extension of the...

* Home * About ISM * Join us in Palestine * Action Alerts * Archives * Donate * Contact Home > > Features > Israeli courts give permission for settlers to move into Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah Israeli courts give permission for settlers to move into Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah 
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - Israeli settlers take over Palestinian home, elderly resident suffers severe medical complications. On Tuesday morning at around 9.30am, a group of settlers surrounded the al-Kurd family home in Sheikh Jarrah and took over a section of the house. Fifteen to twenty settlers, accompanied by private armed security and Israeli police forces, entered an extension of the...

Israeli authorities deport African American political activists
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - Al-Awda New York, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, condemns the racist denial of entry to Palestine of African American political activists Dhoruba Bin Wahad and Naji Mujahid by the Israeli occupation. The occupation of Palestine has always been based on the racist theory and practice of Zionism, including the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of...

Israeli secret agency defends use of torture
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - The Israeli secret service agency, Shin Bet, responded to a petition in Israel's High Court on Monday, defending their use of torture against detainees. The petition was filed by the Public Committee Against Torture, a prisoner advocacy group which challenged the Israeli practice of forcing Palestinian detainees to sit on small chairs with their hands cuffed...

Netanyahu Approves The Construction Of 25 Units In Keidar Illegal Settlement
Uruknet December 01, 2009 - While peace talks are obstructed due to Israel's ongoing illegal settlement activities, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, approved the construction of 25 units for Jewish settlers in Keidar illegal settlement in the West Bank. Netanyahu also said his government would compensate settlers "affected by the temporary settlement freeze". He added that the 25 units are not...

New IDF unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman's Office is to begin drafting computer experts with an eye toward establishing an Internet and new media department unit, Army Spokesman Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu said Monday. Speaking at the Eilat Journalists Conference, Benayahu said the new department would focus on the Internet's social media networks mainly to reach an international...

Report: Prisoner deal hinges on 50 names
Uruknet December 1, 2009 - Israel and the captors of soldier Gilad Shalit have okayed 400 names of Palestinian prisoners who would be released as part of a prisoner swap, while the names of 50 others are still being debated, the London-based daily Al-Hayat reported on Tuesday. The report cited anonymous Hamas officials saying that controversy remains over three female prisoners:...

Palestinians organize for the Gaza Freedom March
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - "From the besieged Gaza Strip, we call upon all peace lovers around the globe to come here to participate in our Gaza Freedom March that is aimed at breaking a repressive Israeli blockade on Gaza's 1.5 million residents." So said Mustafa al-Kayali, coordinator of the steering committee for the Gaza Freedom March. The march is scheduled...

Tour the Palestinian archipelago
Uruknet November 30, 2009 - When an image of the West Bank map is invoked, the map that typically comes to mind is the broad double-hump of the Green Line-defined area. This is most people's reference map: the implicit, assumptive spatial unit that orients prototypical thinking about Israel, Palestine, partition, and two states. If this is your mental map, then partition...

Palestine Telegraph

Israeli tanks target houses in Gaza
Gaza, December 1, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli army tanks have opened fire on houses and farmlands in the northern sector of the Gaza Strip, according to a report. A number of Israeli tanks commenced firing Monday afternoon while withdrawing from an area southeast of the town of Beit Hanoun, which they had entered in the morning, witnesses told Ma'an...

Vietnam asks Israel to stop expanding settlements in Palestine
UK, December 1, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam at the UN, has urged Israel to immediately stop expanding settlements and dismantle check-points in the West Bank.

Israeli navy shells Palestinian fishing boats
Gaza, November 30, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli navy has fired several shells at a number of Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza. The Israeli navy opened fire on the fishermen near the al-Shudaniyya shore, northwest of Gaza City. No injuries were reported in the shelling, according to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC). An Israeli...

Abu Wajeh, News Vendor: The War Destroyed My House, the Siege Destroyed My Livelihood
Gaza, November 30, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Ismail Wajeh Al Ayoubi, or Uncle Abu Wajeh, as he is known to all of his customers, has been a newspaper vendor in Gaza for forty years. When he was two years old, his family settled in the Alshougaia district of Gaza City, after being expelled from Yaffa, during the Nakba.

Areej - A Child Who Lost Her Home, But Found Paper To Draw Her Dreams
Gaza, November 30, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - After the collapse of her home in the recent war on Gaza, loss and an uncertain future were waiting.

The National

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 1 Dec 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Israel not happy with EU’s leaked Jerusalem proposal
The National 1 Dec 2009 - Bloc says reaching peace requires finding a way to settle the future status of the city 'as the capital of the two states'

Iran’s warning over captured British sailors
The National 1 Dec 2009 - Tehran warns of possible “hard and serious” measures against the British crew of a Bahraini yacht seized in Iranian waters.

Bad blood between Egypt and Algeria runs deeper than football
The National 1 Dec 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.

Journalists' union election lifts lid on internal split
The National 1 Dec 2009 - The vote is mirroring disagreements between pro-government and opposition forces Egypt generally.

Dark waters
The National 1 Dec 2009 - World Sign of a self-determined Egypt, tool of foreign profiteers, emblem of a populist movement, and reminder of its failure – 150 years after work began on the Suez Canal, Maria Golia tallies the project’s many faces.


Iran vows firm action on UK sailors
AlJazeera 1 Dec 2009 - Aide warns yachtsmen will face consequences if proved to have had "evil intentions".

Hezbollah vows to boost arsenal
AlJazeera 30 Nov 2009 - Nasrallah calls for Lebanon to have defence strategy built on popular resistance.

UN rebuke 'forced' new Iran plans
AlJazeera 30 Nov 2009 - Tehran says IAEA resolution prompted move to build 10 new nuclear facilities.

Alternative Information Center

Palestine News Network

Prosecutor outlines prisoner-swap plan
PNN 30 Nov 2009 - Israel's state prosecutor on Sunday provided a broad outline of a plan to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a kidnapped Israeli soldier who has been held by militants in the Gaza Strip for more than three years. Under the plan, which is still being negotiated, Israel would free roughly 1,000 prisoners to win the freedom of Cpl. Gilad Shalit....

EU to recognize East Jerusalem as capital of Palestinian state 
PNN 1 Dec 2009 - European Union foreign ministers are expected to officially call next week for the division of Jerusalem, to serve as the capitals of both Israel and Palestine. A draft document authored by the current holder of the rotating EU presidency, Sweden, and implying that the EU would recognize a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood, has been obtained by Haaretz. Jerusalem is waging a...

Jerusalem Post

Ex-IAEA inspector: Press Iran harder
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - Albright tells 'Post' "negotiations going nowhere," urges comprehensive sanctions, arms control.

Rivlin insists Jerusalem will never be divided despite EU plan
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - "Splitting sovereignty would bring about complete chaos," Knesset speaker says in response to EU plan to recognize city as Palestinian capital.

Pinchas Buchris steps down as director-general amid growing tensions in Barak camp
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - Sources close to Buchris claim his relations with Barak were good.

Pollard enraged by Schalit deal, urges PM to kill Hamas prisoners
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - Jailed Israeli spy explains that while he wants kidnapped soldier home, the thought of Israel releasing terrorists "boils him with anger."

Pre-military academy students urge PM to reconsider Schalit agreement
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - Mass release of prisoners can pose a clear and present danger to many Israelis, teens write in letters to Netanyahu, Barak.

UN Ambassador calls Palestinian Solidarity Day 'one-sided narrative'
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - Shalev recalls Arabs rejected UN Resolution 181 in '47, says UN event undermined endorsement of two-state solution.

Israel: Don't call J'lem Palestinian capital
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - Foreign Ministry warns Sweden that recognizing e. J'lem as capital of state will harm EU efforts in ME.

Ashkenazi: Few will join IDF in 20 years
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - IDF chief of staff says although enlistment rate is decreasing, motivation among soldiers is growing.

IDF security detail unit comes under fire
Jeruslalem Post 1 Dec 2009 - 


SYRIA: Drought response faces funding shortfall 
IRIN DAMASCUS Tuesday, November 24, 2009 (IRIN) - With a few weeks left before the end of this year’s planting season, UN officials have raised concerns over the lack of funds to help drought-hit farmers and herders in northeastern Syria.

LEBANON: Sex workers still shun condoms
IRIN BEIRUT Tuesday, December 01, 2009 (IRIN) - Four years ago, at 16, Rana's husband forced her into prostitution. Despite the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Rana, like many local sex workers - estimated to number at least 6,000 - often did not use condoms.

ISRAEL-OPT: Travel restrictions eased
IRIN TEL AVIV Thursday, November 26, 2009 (IRIN) - The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has announced that restrictions on the West Bank's population in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) will be eased during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha between 26 November and 2 December.

Inter Press Service

US-IRAN: Moving Again Toward Confrontation 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (IPS) - Iran's announced intention to build 10 new nuclear enrichment plants has been deemed "unacceptable" by the administration of President Barack Obama, which warned Monday of increased pressure on Tehran if it does not soon accept Western proposals to curb its nuclear programme.

BOOKS-US: Hawkish "Israel Lobby" More Bark Than Bite? 
IPS WASHINGTON, Dec 1 (IPS) - The Nov. 25 announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of a "moratorium" on settlement construction brought very different responses from the Jewish American "pro-Israel" groups J-Street and the heavyweight American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), calling attention to the increasing divide within the American...

PCHR Weekly Report

(19-24 Nov. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, 9 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. 

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli courts give permission for settlers to move into Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah
12/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Israeli settlers take over Palestinian home, elderly resident suffers severe medical complications - On Tuesday morning at around 9. 30am, a group of settlers surrounded the al-Kurd family home in Sheikh Jarrah and took over a section of the house. Fifteen to twenty settlers, accompanied by private armed security and Israeli police forces, entered an extension of the Palestinian house, and started clearing it of the family's belongings. The family was not present in this section of the house in compliance with a previous court order, however local sources reported that the settlers also attempted, on several occasions, to gain entry to the inhabited part of the house. One Palestinian resident, Khamis al-Gawi, has been arrested shortly after the settlers arrived, and is still being held at a local police station. Two international activists, American and Swedish nationals, who were filming the settlers taking over the house were also arrested by the police and their video cameras confiscated. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Aluf Benn / What Netanyahu really thinks about settlements 
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Why did Benjamin Netanyahu alter his stance and agree to a Palestinian state and the freezing of settlement construction? Was he only giving in to pressure from Barack Obama, or were there domestic reasons? Did his assessment of the situation alter since he returned to power, or is this that "same old Bibi," who simply got hold of a new list of slogans? ... 

Iran: No need to tell IAEA about new nuclear sites
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday his country did not have to tell the United Nations nuclear agency about its plans to build nuclear sites unless it used imported technology. ...

U.K. Zionists 'bemused' by British Jews' support for Goldstone report 
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - British Zionist activists reacted on Tuesday with "bemusement" to a letter cosigned by hundreds of pro-Palestinian Jewish compatriots urging Gordon Brown to adopt the Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of committing war crimes during its operation last winter in the Gaza Strip. ... 

EU envoys: Israel trying to sever East Jerusalem from West Bank 
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - A classified report drafted by European consuls in East Jerusalem and Ramallah slams Israeli policy in East Jerusalem and recommends that the European Union take steps to strengthen the Palestinian Authority's status in the city. It also advises taking various measures to protest Israeli policy in the city, as well as sanctions against people and groups involved in "settlement activity" in and around it. ... 

Haaretz Exclusive: EU draft document on division of Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Current EU president Sweden has proposed that the body recognize East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital.

The Guardian

East Jerusalem should be Palestinian capital, says EU draft paper
The Guardian 1 Dec 2009 - Israel accuses EU of destroying prospects of renewed peace talks with document seen as an effort to strengthen Abbas An EU document stressing that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state brought...

Freeze won't hurt Netanyahu | Benjamin Pogrund
The Guardian 1 Dec 2009 - Israel's rightwingers are furious, but that doesn't mean the prime minister's halt to settlement building means much in practice Israeli rightwingers are furiously condemning the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, for his 10-month freeze on building houses...

Israel ready to release 1,000 Palestinians for captive soldier
The Guardian 29 Nov 2009 - First official confirmation of prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit captured in 2006 Israel revealed for the first time today it is ready to release nearly 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure the freedom of Gilad Shalit, the...

Ha'aretz National page

In live donor first in Israel, father gives son two organs
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - For the first time, a live organ donor in Israel has provided two organs for transplantation. A 47-year-old resident of the Galilee village of Iblin, Hasnin Atta, provided both a kidney and a portion of his liver to his 19-year-old son. ... 

Health Ministry mulls letting gay couples use surrogate mothers 
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - The Health Ministry is considering allowing gay couples to have a child through surrogate mothers, ministry legal adviser Mira Huebner-Harel said Tuesday. ... 

Israel stripped thousands of Jerusalem Arabs of residency in 2008 
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Last year set an all-time record for the number of Arab residents of East Jerusalem who were stripped of residency rights by the Interior Ministry. Altogether, the ministry revoked the residency of 4,577 East Jerusalemites in 2008 - 21 times the average of the previous 40 years. ... 

Netanyahu: Settlement freeze is 'one-time, temporary' move
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that a 10-month freeze of new construction in West Bank settlements was only a "one-time, temporary" move, in an apparent bid to ease settlers' fears. ...

Can a Knesset debate improve Israel's Eurovision chances?
Ha'aretz 1 Dec 2009 - MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu) suggested on Tuesday that the Knesset should hold a special parliamentary session to discuss Israel's lack of success in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years. ...

Relief Web

UN GA concludes debates on question of Palestine, situation in Middle East, deferring action on resolutions until Wednesday
Relief Web 1 Dec 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: UN's Middle East envoy urges halt to demolitions, evictions in East Jerusalem
Relief Web 1 Dec 2009 - Source: UN News Service

OPT: Statement by Richard Miron, Spokesperson for the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry
Relief Web 1 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories

OPT/Lebanon: Refugees remain sceptical of Nahr al-Bared reconstruction
Relief Web 1 Dec 2009 - Source: Medical Aid for Palestinians

Global: How not to fight over scarce resources
Relief Web 1 Dec 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

Minister Kohout approved granting of a humanitarian aid
Relief Web 1 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of the Czech Republic

YNet News

Bereaved parents vow to fight swap deal
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - Bereaved father calls on terror victims to swamp prosecution with letters of appeal against release of terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit, also asks MKs to extend 48-hour period allotted to public debate 

Iran: Not obligated to report uranium sites
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - President Ahmadinejad says Iran not obliged to inform IAEA of plans to build nuke sites 'unless technology is imported.' Adds: Talk of isolating us 'psychological war launched by West' 

Cadets: Shalit deal – not at any price 
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - Dozens of military academies' students send Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak letters voicing concerns over current outline of prisoner exchange deal; say Israel cannot give in to terrorists 

Shalev slams UN 'Palestinian solidarity day'
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - Israeli ambassador tells UN its tradition of marking November 29, which Israel sees as date legitimizing its independent existence, as day of mourning for Palestinian people is harmful to peace process 

IDF: Mild resistance to settlement freeze orders 
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - Despite settler reports of clashes with inspectors enforcing construction moratorium, army says most patrols in West Bank went by uneventfully. 'Policy is to resolve disputes through dialogue,' IDF official says 

Netanyahu stresses freeze is 'temporary'
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - Prime minister tells Calcalist forum Israel will continue to build settlements after 10-month construction halt. 'Future accord in Judea and Samaria will be decided at end of negotiations, not before,' he says 

EJC: Sweden’s call for divided Jerusalem 'impediment to peace'
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - 'After Israel’s recent moves it is time for the EU to push the Palestinians back to the negotiation table,' EJC President Kantor says 

Court: Evidence links army chief's ex-bodyguard to attempted rape case
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - IDF officer suspected of attempted rape remanded for additional six days after judge says police has unequivocal evidence implicating him 

High Court: Details of Shalit deal to remain undisclosed 
YNet News 1 Dec 2009 - Judges reject petition filed by terror victims' relatives calling for publication of list of Palestinian prisoners slated for release in Shalit deal, say 'we were convinced security concerns behind secrecy' 

Daily Star

Israeli settlers protest freeze of illegal construction
Daily Star 1 Dec 2009 Israeli inspectors trying to enforce a government moratorium on new building starts in illegal Jewish settlements ran into defiance on Tuesday at an enclave in the occupied West Bank. About a dozen settlers challenged several inspectors who had come to halt construction at a building site in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, adjacent to the West Bank city of Hebron.

Iran lashes out at nuclear partner Russia over IAEA vote
Daily Star 1 Dec 2009 Iran hit out at its longtime nuclear partner Russia Tuesday over a "yes" vote for a censure motion at the UN atomic watchdog and insisted it was serious about plans for 10 more uranium enrichment plants. President Mahmoud Ah madinejad said that despite the support given in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) vote Friday by Russia and China, Western governments would not succeed in their efforts to isolate Iran., Iran hit out at its longtime nuclear partner Russia Tuesday over a "yes" vote for a censure motion at the UN atomic watchdog and insisted it was serious about plans for 10 more uranium enrichment plants. President Mahmoud Ah madinejad said that despite the support given in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) vote Friday by Russia and China, Western governments would not succeed in their efforts to isolate Iran.

Saudis taking lead in battling Yemen's Houthi rebels, say analysts
Daily Star 1 Dec 2009 Saudi Arabia appears to be taking the lead in Yemen's effort to crush Houthi rebels, despite Riyadh's insistence that it only aims to secure its porous border, security analysts say. One month after Saudi forces struck back after rebels carried crossed the border in a brief but deadly raid, Saudi jets, helicopters and artillery continued to attack Houthi positions along the Yemeni frontier early this week, according to Saudi press reports.

Jordan, Turkey sign long-awaited free-trade deal
Daily Star 1 Dec 2009 Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Jordan's King Abdullah II signed a long-awaited free-trade deal on Tuesday before holding talks on further boosting economic ties, the palace said. "The free-trade agreement, which was signed today, is key to enhancing bilateral economic cooperation and boosting trade as well as investments between Jordan and Turkey," a palace statement quoted the king as telling Gul.

Occupied East Jerusalem status sparks EU-Israel row
Daily Star 1 Dec 2009 A row broke out between Israel and the European Union Tuesday over a draft EU proposal that occupied east Jerusalem should become the capital of a future Palestinian state as part of a Middle East peace deal. At the heart of the diplomatic spat is a suggestion by the Swedish EU president that European Union nations should call for an "independent.

Iran suspects yacht Britons of 'ill intentions'
Daily Star 1 Dec 2009 Iran said on Tuesday that five British sailors detained in southern Gulf waters by the elite Revolutionary Guards would be dealt with firmly if found guilty of what it called "ill intentions." The five men on board the 18-meter racing yacht were detained last week,  the Revolutionary Guards navy chief told the Fars news agency.

Palestinian Information Center

Mizan: IOA blackmail Palestinian patients at crossing points
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - The Mizan center for human rights has accused Tuesday the Israeli occupation authorities of blackmailing Palestinian patients at Beit Hanon (Erez) crossing point..

Khudari: Arab and International efforts to break Gaza siege “shy”
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - Palestinian MP Dr. Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, has described the Arab and international efforts in breaking the unjust siege as “shy”

Bardawil: all news about a prisoner exchange deal are test balloons
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - Dr. Salah al-Bardawil, a Hamas leader and member of the PLC, said on Tuesday, that all information published lately about the negotiations over a prisoner-exchange deal were test balloons..

Egyptian architect implements wooden Gaza house on the ground
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - An Egyptian architect Dr. Hisham Juraisha has practically implemented his idea of building wooden houses in Gaza Strip to provide thousands of Palestinian families with much needed shelter..

Jewish settlers take by force a Palestinian family home in Jerusalem
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - A group of Jewish settlers protected by Israeli occupation police, forcefully occupied on Tuesdat a Palestinian family's home in Sheikh Jarrah suburb in occupied Jerusalem.

One man killed, 3 others wounded in mysterious explosion in Gaza
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - One man was killed and three others were injured on Monday evening as a result of a mysterious explosion in a Volkswagen mini-bus, at the Shati refugee camp to the west of Gaza City.

Palestinian Memorial Week: Commemorating the 1st Anniversary of Gaza War
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) is preparing to mark the first anniversary of the Israeli genocidal war against Gaza perpetrated in late 2008.

Marking 60th anniversary of UNRWA: Report and Study to be released
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) is preparing for an International Conference on Palestinian refugees to be held on 16th December in London..

Madi: Massive international march to enter Gaza by end of December
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - Fadi Madi, the head of The Anti-US and Israeli Globalization and Hegemony Movement, has said that final preparations for the international solidarity week with Gaza had kicked off.

IOF troops detain two Palestinians, settler stabs Palestinian teen
PIC 1 Dec 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday detained two Palestinians west of Bethlehem city during raids at the pretext that they were wanted for interrogation, Hebrew press reported.

Los Angeles Times

Craftsmen carve out their corner in Egypt 
LA Times 30 Nov 2009 - With almost no unemployment, Damietta, a center of handmade furniture, is an anomaly in Egypt. But the $1-billion industry, reliant on exports, is feeling the squeeze of the global downturn. Chisel, scrape, chisel, scrape. 

Iran plans 10 more large nuclear plants 
LA Times 30 Nov 2009 - Tehran's declaration that it will expand its nuclear program comes days after a rebuke by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Experts say Iran lacks the ability or material to build the plants any time soon. Two days after the world's atomic energy watchdog rebuked Iran over its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic's Cabinet on Sunday ordered a dramatic expansion of the program that would include 10 more nuclear plants. 

New York Times

Jewish Nationalists Clash With Palestinians
New York Times 2 Dec 2009 - The confrontation in East Jerusalem came after the Israelis took over a house by court order in a predominantly Arab area. 

Israel to Recruit More Building Inspectors to Enforce a Freeze on West Bank Construction
New York Times 30 Nov 2009 - Israel’s defense minister told his staff to recruit dozens of new building inspectors to supervise the government’s temporary construction freeze in West Bank settlements.

Israeli Military Says Air Force Thwarted a Gaza Rocket Attack
New York Times 28 Nov 2009 - A small Islamic extremist group influenced by Al Qaeda was blamed for the attempted strike in northern Gaza early Friday.


Palestinians Expected to Press UN for Statehood
11/30/2009 - - EU Expected to Back Call, Despite Israeli Outrage - The Israeli government is poised to be officially outraged tonight amid expectations that Palestinian diplomats will ask the United Nations Security Council to recognize a unilateral Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Israeli Ambassador Shalev is already scheduled to address the UN assembly tomorrow to express opposition to the “one-sided” call for Palestinian statehood and to declare that the international body is misguided for even considering it. Still, the Palestinian movement is expected to receive a shot in the arm in the form of European Union support, as Israeli media outlets are reporting the multi-national organization’s foreign minister will call for the formal division of Jerusalem and would recognize unilateral statehood for Palestine. Though President Obama has come out in favor of a Palestinian state in theory,. . . . 

Israeli family takes over Palestinian home in East Jerusalem
12/1/2009 - Earth Times - DPA - Jerusalem - An Israeli family backed by a large Israeli police force moved Tuesday into a Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, eyewitnesses said. The takeover of the home came after the Israeli district court ruled that the home is owned by the Jewish family and ordered the Palestinian family evicted. Hatem Abdul Qadder, former Palestinian Authority minister of Jerusalem affairs, accused the settlers of forging the documents presented to the court and said the Palestinians have filed a counter-suit with the Israeli High Court to overrule the district court's decision. " The court decision is racist and was based on false documents," he said to reporters near the disputed home. "Such acts will not bring peace to Jerusalem. " He said a large Israeli police force protected the family as they moved into the home and arrested Palestinians who clashed with the family to prevent the takeover. Israelis have recently taken over two Palestinian homes in similar moves in the same neighbourhood. 

Jordan, Turkey discuss peace moves; sign free trade accord
11/30/2009 - Earth Times - DPA - Amman - Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday discussed the prospects of resuming peace negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbours, a royal court statement said. Gul began a three-day state visit Tuesday to Jordan on Tuesday that saw the signing of several cooperation agreements, including one for the creation of a free trade zone. " The agreement, which goes into effect in 2011, provides for the total removal of custom duties between the two countries in 12 years," Jordanian Minister of Trade and Industry Amer Hadidi said. Since Jordan and Turkey are both party to the Euro-Med agreement, a free trade accord would enable Jordan to use Turkish raw materials in the manufacturing of products to be exported to European Union countries, he added. Hadidi's Turkish counterpart, Nihat Ergun, meanwhile said the agreements would open the door for joint business ventures. 

New IDF unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
12/1/2009 - Ha'aretz - The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman's Office is to begin drafting computer experts with an eye toward establishing an Internet and new media department unit, Army Spokesman Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu said Monday. Speaking at the Eilat Journalists Conference, Benayahu said the new department would focus on the Internet's social media networks mainly to reach an international audience directly rather than through the regular media. The new unit, as well as an initiative by the Information and Diaspora Ministry to train people to represent Israel independently on the Internet and in other arenas, were presented Monday at the conference during a panel discussion on Israeli public relations abroad. Responding to criticism of Israel's ability to face hostile entities on the Web, Benayahu said the new program would be able to deal with the problem. 

’IAEA inspectors visit Dir a-Zur’
11/30/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Damascus Claims Uranium Found in Site Was Israel's Doing - In November, it was reported that inspectors who visited the site - in ruins since 2007 - found traces of highly processed plutonium, indicating that Syria's nuclear program was further along than was previously assessed. The facility, named al-Kibar, was demolished in September 2007, allegedly by IAF fighter jets. Damascus has repeatedly denied claims that it was aiming to produce a nuclear weapon, adamantly insisting that Syria envisions a Middle East free of nuclear arms. According to the al-Watan report, it now claims the uranium found at al-Kibar was left there by Israel. Syria's leadership "assessed that the source of the uranium is tactical nuclear bombs dropped by Israel during its attack on the facility," Al-Watan quoted two Syrian sources as saying. 

PCHR Condemns Killing of Child in Central Gaza Strip
12/1/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemns the horrific murder of an 11-year-old child in the central Gaza Strip, and calls upon concerned bodies to investigate the crimes, publish the results of investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 08:15 on Sunday, 29 November 2009, the body of Ahmed Mousa Mohammed Farajallah, 11, from al-Nussairat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, was found in an animal farm belonging to one of his relatives. The victim was found handcuffed with signs of beating and blood on his head. According to the victim's father, his child had been missing in the previous evening, so the father thought that his child was sleeping in a relative's house. However, as the child did not come back home in the morning as usual, the father got worried, so the family started to search for him. 

Massive International March To Enter Gaza By End Of December
12/1/2009 - Political Theatrics - Fadi Madi, the head of The Anti-US and Israeli Globalization and Hegemony Movement, has said that final preparations for the international solidarity week with Gaza had kicked off, adding that it would start on December 27 and end on 3 January 2010 with the participation of 2,600 world figures in a massive march called the “Big Freedom”. Madi, in a statement on Sunday, said that the participating figures, who include human rights activists, parliamentary delegations from 60 countries and even Hollywood stars, would flock into and gather in Cairo by December 25. He said that entry into Gaza would take place on December 29 where the itinerary would be scheduled by the local authorities. Madi noted that rallies and peaceful demonstrations would be organized in various areas in the European, Northern and southern American continents on the first anniversary of the Israeli aggression on Gaza. 

UN’s Middle East envoy urges halt to demolitions, evictions in East Jerusalem
12/1/2009 - United Nations - 1 December 2009 – The top United Nations envoy to the Middle East today reiterated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for an immediate end to demolitions, evictions and the instalment of Israeli settlers in Palestinian neighbourhoods, as he visited the Sheikh Jarrah area in East Jerusalem, outside a house that was occupied by settlers. “Provocative actions such as these create inevitable tensions, undermine trust, often have tragic human consequences and make resuming negotiations and achieving a two-State solution more difficult,” read a statement issued by the spokesperson for the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry. Last week senior UN political official Haile Menkerios told the Security Council that Israel’s refusal to freeze settlement activity was one of several key challenges to the peace process. 

UN uses speeches, photo exhibit and concert to voice solidarity with Palestinians
11/30/2009 - United Nations - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Riyad H. Mansour of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine30 November 2009 – The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is being observed today at United Nations Headquarters in New York with a special commemorative meeting, a new photographic exhibition and a concert by Maqamat, an orchestra of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. Addressing today’s meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it is vital that a sovereign State of Palestine is achieved, noting that the Palestinian people continue to struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination – a fundamental, universal human right enjoyed by so many others across the world. “Vigorous international efforts are essential for advancing the political process, ending the occupation and achieving a solution to all permanent status issues,” he stated. 

Settlers Take over Palestinian Home, Elderly Resident Suffers Severe Medical Complications
12/1/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - JERUSALEM, December 1,2009 (WAFA)- A group of Jewishi settlers surrounded the al-Kurd family home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah and took over a section of the house. Fifteen to twenty settlers, accompanied by private armed security and Israeli police forces, entered an extension of the Palestinian house, and started clearing it of the family’s belongings. The family was not present in this section of the house in compliance with a previous court order, however local sources reported that the settlers also attempted, on several occasions, to gain entry to the inhabited part of the house. One Palestinian resident, Khamis al-Gawi, has been arrested shortly after the settlers arrived. Two international activists, American and Swedish nationals, who were filming the settlers taking over the house were also arrested by the police and their video cameras confiscated, International Solidarity Movement said in a press release. 

Prohibit Live Ammunition in Circumstances are not Life-Threatening in WB, B’Tselem
12/1/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - JERUSALEM, December 1, 2009 (WAFA)- Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territory, B'Tselem un justified the Israeli army use of lethal weapons in the Occupied Territory. Real-time observations by B'Tselem and video footage filmed at two demonstrations indicated “that the gunfire was completely contrary to army orders. There was no justification to use lethal weapons in these incidents. Persons from the village were indeed throwing stones at Israeli forces on the other side of the fence, but from a few dozen meters away. The Israeli forces found cover behind concrete blocks or inside shielded jeeps, so they were not in a life-threatening situation. ” It added “The security forces had other means, which cause much lesser harm, that they could easily have used to distance demonstrators from the fence, among them tear gas and an odorous liquid sprayed at demonstrators from a tanker. ” -- Links: B'tselem

UN: sustained focus needed to revive stagnant peace talks in ME
12/1/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - NEW YORK, December 1, 2009 (WAFA)- Nearly a year after Israel's military offensive into the Gaza Strip which left some 1,400 Palestinians dead and pushed an already desperate humanitarian situation into crisis, the question of Palestine was at a critical juncture, and sustained focus was needed to both revive stagnant peace talks and create conditions for broader peace in the Middle East, General Assembly delegates said, as they launched their annual debate of those and related issues. Opening the meeting, General Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki, of Libya, said the question of Palestine remained the oldest unresolved issue before the world body -– a fact that weighed heavily on the United Nations. Today's observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People should 'remind us that the human cost of the Middle East conflict is borne by the Palestinian people'. 

Netanyahu: Settlement freeze only temporary
12/1/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP – JERUSALEM – Israel's prime minister emphasized Tuesday that his 10-month freeze on new housing in the West Bank is a one-time measure that will not be extended. Palestinians had already rejected Benjamin Netanyahu's moratorium as inadequate, because it allows about 3,000 homes already under construction to be completed and does not include Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, claimed by Palestinians as their future capital. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded a comprehensive freeze before peace talks can resume. Also Tuesday, Israel sternly warned the European Union against adopting new language that endorses east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. Speaking outside Tel Aviv at nightfall after several minor clashes between government officials and angry settlers in the West Bank, Netanyahu sought to reassure the settlers, who have been among his main backers. 


Obama Administration Takes from American Farmers, Gives to Israel 
Alison Weir, If Americans Knew 10/23/2009
      Policy change slips in under the radar
     At a time of financial crisis in the United States in which thousands of Americans have lost their jobs and homes, an Israeli news service reports that President Obama has just signed a presidential memo eliminating a tariff on Israel that protected American dairy farmers and that raised money for the American economy.1
     In addition, according to the Israeli report, US trade authorities have ordered the return of $17,000 to an Israeli export agent for a levy paid for butter produced by an Israeli company.
     The move comes at a time when American dairy farmers have been facing what industry representatives call a “crisis.” According to the National Milk Producers Federation website, “U.S. dairy producers have been facing unprecedented losses over the past year due to low milk prices and high input costs. The dire economic straits have forced many dairy farmers to exit the industry, oftentimes having to sell their herds or farms.”2
     According to the news report by Israeli wire service Ynet, the Obama memo, which was signed several days ago, removed the import subcharge on dairy products from Israel.
     The report noted that such levies are important for protecting local production against competing imports, “which put the local production at risk.” The levy is required from most countries that export dairy products to the U.S.
     According to Ynet, Israeli agricultural attaché Yaakov Poleg was able to convince the US that “the trade agreement between Israel and the US prohibits placing taxes on exports from Israel.” more.. e-mail

Hasbara author vs Iran’s 'bomb' 
Gilad Atzmon, Redress 12/2/2009
      Israel propagandist David Aaronovitch’s incitement against Iran - Gilad Atzmon looks at how Israel propagandist and Times columnist David Aaronovitch is whipping up British public opinion against Iran in a manner that is reminiscent of his role in advocating war on Iraq.
     Hasbara author1 David Aaronovitch is pretty much unstoppable. The man who together with the Jewish Chronicle writer Nick Cohen encouraged the war in Iraq, is now warning us about the evolving Iranian bomb. “Wake up”, he urges us in The Times, “this threat is too big to ignore.” As if the more than one million Iraqis killed in a war he advocated were not enough, the enthusiastic Hasbara author has a new conflict to propel.
     Israeli propagandist David Aaronovich: favoured war on Iraq and now inciting against Iran Aaronovitch, who back in 2003 was mobilized by an imaginary threat that was crudely forged by Blair and company, seems to be shaken again. This time it is the Iranian nuclear threat. “Most experts seem to agree, training the steed is mostly a matter of time,” he says. But there is something Aaronovitch is failing to mention. The state that lists him as its “Hasbara author”, the state that was recently found complicit in colossal crimes against humanity, also possesses hundreds of nuclear bombs that have kept the entire region on constant red alert for more than four decades. The Jewish state has not signed the non-proliferation treaty and does not let any International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors into its nuclear facilities.
     Aaronovitch is worried because “there are suggestions from different sources that Iran is indeed researching a weapons capability.” I would ask Aaronovitch, or any other Hasbara operator, to come with an answer to this rather pertinent question: why shouldn’t it? more.. e-mail

Imposing idiot sanctions on Iran is a direct route to war 
Simon Jenkins, The Guardian 12/1/2009
      Britain has no interest in bullying Iran over nuclear proliferation. The very trap that led to Iraq and Afghanistan looms again. What is the difference between Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran? The answer, future historians may relate, is none. At the dawn of the 21st century, all three states were ruled by nasty undemocratic regimes to which America and its allies took exception. Antagonism began with hectoring ostracism. This led to economic sanctions, diplomatic isolation and bloodcurdling threats of "other measures". Finally a pretext was drummed up for military intervention, for bombing, invasion, occupation and appalling destruction.
     Will Iran really be on this list? At present the west, covered in blood and expense, is trying to leave Iraq and Afghanistan, yet at the same time it stumbles into an identical trap in Iran.
     The casus belli is the same. There is a declared ongoing threat and this is inextricably linked to a "humanitarian" need for regime change. In Afghanistan the trigger was the harbouring of Osama bin Laden. In Iraq it was a tenuous claim that Saddam possessed a nuclear capability and was preparing to use missiles against western targets.
     In Iran similar claims are being made about nuclear enrichment. There is the same stumbling UN involvement, the same histrionic spin and the same regime abuse. There are the same threats to increase economic sanctions and the same sabre-rattling about "no option being off the table". Childish tit-for-tat diplomacy sees yachtsmen arrested and cultural exchanges impeded. The rhetorical slither to confrontation is seen on every side. more.. e-mail

Australia hosts war criminal Ehud Olmert
Electronic Intifada: 1 Dec 2009 - The news that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was in Australia and was welcomed by the honorable members of our parliament came as somewhat of a shock. It is one thing to have allowed a man charged with corruption and suspected of war crimes into Australia at all; it is another thing that he was listed as a distinguished guest in Hansard -- the official record of parliamentary proceedings -- and received a resounding "hear, hear" from our elected representatives. Sonja Karkar comments. 

Israeli authorities deport African American political activists
Electronic Intifada: 1 Dec 2009 - Al-Awda New York, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, condemns the racist denial of entry to Palestine of African American political activists Dhoruba Bin Wahad and Naji Mujahid by the Israeli occupation. Dhoruba Bin Wahad, a former US political prisoner and leader of the Black Panther Party, and Naji Mujahid, a student activist from Washington DC were deported en route to the International Conference on Palestinian Political Prisoners in Jericho that was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners and ex-Prisoners Affairs. 

Palestinians organize for the Gaza Freedom March
Electronic Intifada: 30 Nov 2009 - "From the besieged Gaza Strip, we call upon all peace lovers around the globe to come here to participate in our Gaza Freedom March that is aimed at breaking a repressive Israeli blockade on Gaza's 1.5 million residents." So said Mustafa al-Kayali, coordinator of the steering committee for the Gaza Freedom March. Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Discrimination keeps Palestinian women out of Israel's workforce
Electronic Intifada: 30 Nov 2009 - Israel's finance minister was accused last week of trying to deflect attention from discriminatory policies keeping many of the country's Palestinian Arab families in poverty by blaming their economic troubles on what he described as Arab society's opposition to women working. Jonathan Cook reports.

In Gaza: 29 Nov 2009 - *’Eid decorations on Nasser street, the long-torn-up street serving a number of Gaza’s hospitals and clinics. Only now, after over one year (or more), small sections of it are slowly being repaved, using old interlocking blocks rather than pavement, building materials long-banned by the Israeli occupation authorities, despite the great need after Israel’s winter massacre of Gaza. *the sad, torn-up street somehow mirrors the feelings this ‘Eid.

Will the Church Act to Save the Children of Gaza This Christmas?
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Dec 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood – London (Open letter to: The Most Rev. and the Rt. Hon. the Archbishop of Canterbury, Spiritual leader of the Anglican Church) Dear Archbishop, Two years ago, on returning from Gaza and the West Bank, I wrote about the dire conditions and the British government's complicity in the crippling blockade, and reminded prime minister Gordon Brown that Gaza was formerly entrusted to Britain under mandate, which was reason for us to feel a special responsibility. I urged him: “Go see for yourselves the misery, the human tragedy and the devastation you have heaped on these nice people. Feel the pain and weep. “Then amaze us. Do something courageous for once. Lift the cruel siege. End the 90 years of betrayal that has so shamed Britain." That was before the horrific blitzkrieg launched by Israel last December/January, in which at least 350 children were murdered and thousands more maimed or made homeless. Gazans have to exist in circumstances that are simply indescribable. You know that the Strip is still under daily bombardment, the promised reconstruction has still not begun, all borders remain sealed to form a vast concentration camp and marauding Israeli warships machine-gun Gaza fishermen in their own waters. Today I was disgusted to learn that chocolate, which few can afford but all regard as a great delicacy, especially at Muslim holy festivals such as Eid, is prohibited by Israel and banned from entering Gaza. It has to be smuggled in at great risk through the tunnel...

Barry Rubin and Leonard Asper Rewrite History
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Dec 2009 - By Jim Miles Canwest Global Communications Inc. is owned by the Asper family, with Leonard Asper its current CEO. The corporation is decidedly pro-Israel and frequently has news articles on television or in the daily newspapers that give strong support to Israel. A current article in the Vancouver Sun follows the tired and true formula of blaming the Palestinians for the problems that afflict the Palestinian people, the old victim as perpetrator rhetoric that is so prevalent with all occupying powers. The author of the article is Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research In International Affairs and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs, both rather impressive sound names, as all names of think tanks should sound. What was not mentioned is that Rubin is also professor at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel. While checking this out on the internet, I discovered that the IDC had recently held a conference on victims of terror and how to help them: “…the first advanced academic conference focusing on the victims of terror and their families. The conference dealt with the impact of terror attacks on society and the individual and presented theoretical approaches and practical methods of helping the victims.” Even though it is a side issue to what I initially set out discuss, it only emphasizes the pro-Israeli slant of Rubin’s connections as all the terror victims discussed in the precis were Israeli, soldiers, or U.S. victims of the Twin Towers. Absolutely no mention, as one...

Obama's Presidency: A One Term Show?
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Nov 2009 - By Dr. Ludwig Watzal On December 10, 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The award was premature, and for Obama it will be a heavy burden. That is why it would have classy to turn it down. Obama delivered many elegant speeches that gave rise to high expectations. But all his nice talk led to nothing. The discrepancy between his words and his deeds caused frustrations around the globe. In terms of foreign policy, his presidency has thus far remained empty rhetoric. After his speeches in Ankara and Cairo, the Muslim world expected some concrete results and a change of policy in the Middle East and Central Asia. So far, the results are elusive. The U. S. is still fighting its illegal war in Iraq and the so-called “war on terror” in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan the situation is catastrophic, and in Iraq the conditions are horrible. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are in control of 80 percent oft the country, and Iraq has been totally devasted by the “coalition of the willing”. All the talk about the success of the surge in Iraq is just spin. There are attacks by the Iraqis every day, and the control of the Iraqi government does not reach beyond the so-called green zone. In fact, both countries are run by American puppets. Without Western occupying forces both governments would be overthrown within weeks, and the indigenous peoples would settle their differences their own way, like many opposition...

Israel Killing Peace Hopes with Ethnic Cleansing Settlement Project
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Nov 2009 - By Stu Harrison Israel's ongoing takeover of East Jerusalem shows it is trying to kill any hope of a negotiated settlement to Palestine’s struggle for self-determination. Israel approved plans to build 844 housing units outside the East Jerusalem Jewish-only Israeli settlement of Gilo on November 17. South of Jerusalem’s centre, Gilo is home to 40,000 residents. It is part of a ring of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem that inhibits the possibility of it becoming the capital of an independent Palestinian state, based on the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This has been the demand of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation since the 1993 Oslo Accords. Since 1967, East Jerusalem has been part of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel, along with the West Bank and Gaza. The new settlement will expand Gilo in the direction of the Palestinian West Bank town of al-Walaja, where residents are struggling against Israeli plans to demolish their homes. The plan would also connect the settlement to Givat Yael, a planned settlement that will straddle the Jerusalem border and cut off access from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the West Bank, Americans for Peace Now said on November 17. This effort is being further supported by the construction of an ever-growing “separation barrier/wall” that will force 55,000 mainly Palestinian residents outside the city limits. The wall’s planned route will help connect the Gush Etzion settlement block in the West Bank to Jerusalem. The ideology of Zionism, which supports an exclusively Jewish...

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