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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
5 December, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Egyptian Security Uncovers Tunnel, Two Storehouses
IMEMC 5 Dec 2009 - Sunday December 06, 2009 - 01:46, Egyptian security forces uncovered a tunnel and two storehouses filled with goods meant to be smuggled into the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip., The tunnel and storehouses were uncovered as Egypt is conducting a security operation targeting tunnels across the border with Gaza.

Egypt Invites The Reconciliation Committee To Resume Unity Talks
IMEMC 5 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 23:03, The Egyptian leadership issued an invitation to the Palestinian National Reconciliation Committee to visit Cairo in an attempt to resume the talks and efforts to end internal divisions and achieve national unity.

Soldiers Invade Nur Shams Refugee Camp, Kidnap One Youth, Elderly Man Wounded Near Tulkarem
IMEMC 5 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 02:00, Israeli soldiers invaded on Friday at dawn the Nur Shams Refugee Camp, near the northern West Bank City of Nablus, broke into several homes and kidnapped one youth. A 75-year-old man moderately wounded in a separate attack near Tulkarem.

Five Palestinians Wounded Near Nablus
IMEMC 5 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 00:29, Palestinian medical sources reported that five Palestinians were wounded, on Friday morning, by setters and soldiers fire in Aseera Al Qibliyya town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Eight Palestinians Wounded Near Jerusalem
IMEMC 5 Dec 2009 - Friday December 04, 2009 - 23:15, Palestinian medical sources reported Thursday that eight Palestinians were wounded by Israeli military fire in Shu'fat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem.

Bil’in residents demonstrate in support of recent Swedish initiative calling for a Palestinian state
IMEMC 5 Dec 2009 - Friday December 04, 2009 - 14:28, Residents of Bil’in village, central West Bank, alongside international and Israeli solidarity activists, demonstrated on Friday against the Wall after the midday prayer.

Ma'an News

Prisoners’ association condemns Israeli detention center
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem/Gaza - Ma'an -The prisoners and ex-detainees' association Hussam shed light on the poor living conditions in the Etzion Detention Center, pointing to wide scale neglect of Palestinian detainees, the association reported on Saturday. According to Hussam, Palestinian detainees lack suitable food, toilet facilities and hot water for bathing. Prisoners held in solitary confinement have been prevented from bathing, resulting in the appearance of sores and skin disease. Additionally, the association reported cases of medical neglect, as well as verbal and physical abuse. In letters sent to Hussam, prisoners elaborated on the harsh living conditions endured in the detention facility, including Israeli prison staff preventing the detainees from sleep and using the restroom facilities in addition to persistent complaints of malnutrition and medical neglect. 

Israeli military urged to release rights activist
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli military appeals court should end the administrative detention of Mohammed Othman, a Palestinian rights activist, and order his release, Human Rights Watch said Saturday. Othman was detained without charge by Israeli authorities and has been held more than two months on what appear to be politically motivated grounds. On the basis of secret evidence that Othman and his lawyers were not allowed to see, a military court confirmed a military order consigning Othman to three months administrative detention. Othman has no criminal record and is not known to have ever advocated or participated in violence. His detention period, which may be renewed indefinitely, ends on 22 December. "The only reasonable conclusion is that Othman is being punished for his peaceful advocacy," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, in a statement. 

Gaza official: Israeli blockade unrelated to Shalit
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the People's Committee Against the Siege, said the blockade on Gaza should end immediately and not be conditioned on captured soldier Gilad Shalit's release. Al-Khudari said in a statement that the siege amounts to collective punishment, and Israel is obligated under international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention to allow the free passage of goods and people through their sovereign borders. The blockade, led by Israel and Egypt, began in 2006 when Hamas won legislative elections, was intensified following the capture of an Israeli soldier in June of the same year, and turned into a total siege in 2007 when Hamas-backed forces took control of Gaza. 

Locals say Israeli navy shelled Gaza coast
12/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli naval boats shelled Palestinian fishing boats near Rafah and Khan Younis south of Gaza on Friday, local sources said. While no injuries were reported, fishermen cleared the waters for at least an hour fearing more attacks. An Israeli military spokesperson, however, said there was no such incident reported. [end] 

Fatah official: UNRWA finance crisis spells human disaster
12/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Reduced services from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) due to a budgetary shortfall risks political and social consequences if a solution is not found, member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Mohammad An-Nahal warned on Saturday. "The UNRWA financial crisis will not only affect the services offered to the more than four million Palestinian refugees but also the cause ofPalestinian refugees," An-Nahal said. "UNRWA is the only body in charge of the wellbeing of the refugees until we can realize UN Resolution 194," which calls for a just solution for Palestinian refugees, the official explained. Last week UNRWA officials in Gaza announced that the organization had a "zero budget" for the new year, noting the financial crisis could mean failure to pay salaries of UNRWA workers and a decrease in the provision of services for refugees across the Middle East. 

Indian FM reiterates support for Palestinian state
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Shashi Tharoor, India's minister of state for external affairs,expressed support for Palestine's in its struggle for self-determination in Delhi on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Tharoor said he hoped a just and comprehensive solution could be achieved for Palestinians, resulting in a "sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine. "He said India supports the Arab Peace Plan, which offers Israel peace with all Arab and Muslim countries in exchange for fulfilling its obligations. In line with its backing of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, India supports a negotiated solution to the conflict, which, it is convinced, "is essentially political in nature and cannot be resolved by force," Tharoor added. 

Russia courted by Israel, Palestine
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A series of diplomatic visits between Israel, Palestine and Russia over the next few weeks will mark the reappearance of Moscow in the peace process, Russian leaders have indicated. Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki will visit Moscow next week to recruit support for a plan to seek UN Security Council recognition of Palestinian state, he told the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan on Friday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will make a return visit to the region a week later. On Friday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was in Moscow at the Russian-Israeli Intergovernmental Commission, where he was praised by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for his rise in the Israeli political scene. "We are very happy that people from the Soviet Union build such a brilliant political career," Putin said of Lieberman, according to a report from Agence France-Presse. 

Hamas: Talks ongoing despite rhetoric
12/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel's supposed plan to continue the siege of Gaza even if its soldier is released is a continuation of the country's offensive against the Palestinian people, a Hamas official said Saturday. The comments, made by Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, followed Israeli media reports quoting officials close to the swap negotiations saying a prisoner exchange would not mean an end to Israel's three-year blockade. Abu Zuhri noted that there were "parties inside the movement that will study [the development] and evaluate" the Islamic movement's response. Although an end to the siege has not been a condition of the soldier's release, Israel tightened the blockade of Gaza following his capture, and many inside Gaza reasoned that a release would bring an ease to the closure. "Hamas will not surrender to the continued Israeli siege and will keep on searching for alternative. . . 

Qalqiliya strawberry farm backed by Israeli NGO
12/5/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - The Peres Center for Peace cooperated with Palestinian farmers in Qalqiliya to boost strawberry farming in the area, according to Israeli media on Saturday. During the past months Israeli experts have trained Palestinian farmers in the particulars of strawberry farming, as well as provided the necessary equipment to export the crops, according to a report on Israel's Channel Two broadcast this week. The project, Strawberry Fields for Peace, aims to "encourage dialogue and positive interaction between Palestinians and Israelis while fostering an environment in which innovation and inventiveness flourish. This collaboration and the mutual exchange of skills and ideas furthers the goals of peace and prosperity for both Palestinians and Israelis," according to the Peres Center. "I was the initiator for the strawberry cultivation," said Ahmad Salmi Zaid, who has planted more than five dunums of strawberries. 

Egyptian security forces raid tunnel and storehouses in Rafah
12/5/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian security services raided a tunnel and two storehouses holding goods to be smuggled through tunnels into the Gaza Strip, following a security operation on the Egyptian border with Rafah on Saturday. The Egyptian security forces exposed a storehouse behind the local council of Rafah City, on the Egyptian side, and discovered a smuggling tunnel. Further Egyptian security sources stated that they confiscated a number of goods in the warehouse, many of which were smuggled through the tunnel. They also raided another storehouse owned by a fish merchant in Al-Arish, where they found four cars loaded with fabric prepared for the tunnels. The sources added that four men were detained, including one governmental employee in Al-Arish city, who admitted that the goods were prepared for smuggling into Gaza via the tunnels. 

Firefighters ask residents to heed emergency instructions
12/5/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Palestinian Civil Defense personnel in Ramallah contained a house fire in the village of Beit Surik northwest of Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, officials said. Firefighting and rescue teams responded to a call and rushed to the scene, evacuating two residents and putting out the fire to prevent it from spreading to neighboring buildings. Firefighters said the blaze was caused by an electrical short in the home's bedroom. Those living in nearby homes were asked to evacuate the area for safety reasons, although officials said some stayed behind hoping to protect their homes. The office of the general directorate of Civil Defense issued a statement following the incident, warning residents not to intervene in rescue efforts. "After calling 103 and summoning the Civil Defense forces, citizens should listen to the instructions of the specialists and follow them directly," the statement said. 

Hamas: PA forces arrest 3 party members
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas officials accused the Palestinian Authority of arresting three of its affiliates in the West Bank in a statement released Friday. The Islamic movement said PA security forces arrested three supporters from Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron. [end] 

Gaza gov’t: No reported cases of swine flu
12/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Gaza Strip has not had any reported cases of the H1N1 virus, according to Hasan Khalaf, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in the de facto government. "There are no suspected or confirmed cases "¦ all news reports are untrue. All the patients that have been hospitalized are suffering from severe pneumonia," Khalaf told Ma'an. Concerning Palestinians returning from Mecca this week, Khalaf said: "The pilgrims took their vaccines before leaving for Hajj and were supervised on their way back to Gaza. In the event a case is suspected, it will be handled immediately. " The undersecretary further stated that the de facto Ministry of Health will provide the vaccine against the swine flu virus to people considered most at risk from contracting it. 

Hamas preps for 22nd anniversary celebrations
12/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Events marking the 22nd anniversary of the founding of the Hamas movement will be held in Gaza on Monday 14 December, an official announced Saturday. Speaking in Gaza City, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told locals that Hamas still "holds its covenant to liberate the land, holy places and prisoners of Palestine, and to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip. " The celebrations will be held under the banner of the Grand National Festival, held on what Abu Zuhri called the "victory anniversary. "The spokesman appealed to the people of Palestine, promising that the movement would not abandon them, particularly prisoners awaiting news of a potential swap deal that would see 1,000 Palestinians freed from Israeli jails. He also appealed to the Palestinian Authority, asking that officials accept the terms of the national reconciliation plan, along with the amendments suggested by Hamas, in a collective effort to end the occupation. 

PPP: No constitutional void after Abbas’ term ends
12/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The PLO will not have to extend President Mahmoud Abbas' mandate as president when his term ends 24 January 2010, Palestinian People's Party Secretary-General Bassam As-Salehi said Saturday. In an interview, As-Salehi said there would be no constitutional void to fill as the political process distinguishes between the legal dateAbbas' term ended and a presidential mandate extending it. As such, the PLO Central Committee will not have to extend the president's mandate, he said. According to As-Salehi, the most favorable course of action would be to pursue the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and to form a state council composed of members of the Central Committee, the Legislative Council and independent party politicians. The PPP's undersecretary further pointed out that if there was an emergency concerning the president's position, the Central Committee would play a crucial role in dealing with the situation. 

MoH to open three new emergency burn units in Palestine
12/5/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Ramallah-based Ministry of Health announced on Saturday its intention to open three emergency burn units in Palestinian hospitals, during Palestine's first nursing conference on critical care, Minister of Health Fathi Abu Maghli said on Saturday. Abu Maghli stated that, "The Palestinian people, who stood, fought and sacrificed everything, deserve unique and developed medical services. " "This is the approach of the Palestinian government under the guidance of President Mahmoud Abbas: To build the foundations of an independent Palestinian state by building modern institutions and developing the human resources. " The Ministry of Health's announcement followed the inauguration of the first nursing conference devoted to critical care, Critical Care in Palestine between the Past, Present and Future Challenges, attended by Professor Koleen Green and Dr Aneed. . . 

Palestine theatre linked with Wales arts centre
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Palestine's The Freedom Theatre and the Aberystwyth Arts Centre have established ties, the news agency Wales Online reported on Saturday. The exchange scheme was being established between the two organizations to help develop the skills of the young people working for the Freedom Theatre, according to the news agency. In early 2010, two trainee technicians from Jenin were expected to travel to Aberystwyth for a two-month work placement. [end] 

Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church heads mass in Bethlehem
12/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - MarMar Ighnatios YoussefIII Younan , the Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church, headed mass during his visit to the Saint Joseph's Syrian Catholic Church in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on Saturday. His visit was marked by a parade of Palestinian Scouts and Girl Guides' Organization on the streets of Bethlehem. The Holy Mass was presided by His Beatitude Mar Ighnatios Youssef III Younan at the Syrian Catholic church in Manger Street. Mar Ignatius Joseph III Younan was elected Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church on January 20 2009. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Gideon Levy / Settlers, leaders act out scripted roles in 'The Freeze'
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - As long as Tel Aviv viewers of the PM, settler's 'show' remain bored and indifferent nothing will change. 

Israel rejects Russian request to give PA armored vehicles
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Matter was raised with officials in 2005 but no progress was made due to opposition from Israel's defense. 

IDF troops wound Palestinian at protest against West Bank fence
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Demonstrator moderately wounded near Na'alin; army says troops opened fire after protestors hurled fire bombs. 

Revealed: The secret war over IDF officers' exorbitant salaries
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - News of battle comes after revelation of shady deal in which army arranged NIS 3m pension for MK Shai. 

IDF draws up doctrine on missile threat protection
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - In a report last year, state comptroller criticized the lack of an operational plan. 

Did top Hamas officials discuss the Shalit deal with Nasrallah?
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Hezbollah TV station says delegation met with Iran-backed group's leader for talks on U.S. Mideast policy. 

Lebanon cabinet lets Hezbollah keep its weapons
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Decision signals group still has no intention of disarming; report: Lebanon army shoots at IAF warplanes. 

From Mishnah to MI: Haredi yeshiva graduates enlist in IDF
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Seventy yeshiva graduates serve in unique program that brings ultra-Orthodox into Intelligence Corps. 

IDF chief wants to enlist Arabs, Haredim in national service
Ha'aretz 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 5 Dec 2009 - Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land has offered NIS 1,000 a day to any soldier who fights evacuation. 


Video: Gazans fleeced in investment scam
Uruknet December 5, 2009 - "Underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip are the only way for millions of dollars worth of essential supplies to get past Israel's siege of the coastal territory. But it has now emerged that at least 40,000 Gazans have lost their life savings in scheme that promised up to 50 per cent profits in return for an...

Increased settler attacks on villages around Nablus followed by army invasions including the use of live ammunition
Uruknet December 5, 2009 - Settler attacks have increased across the Nablus region this week, as residents of Yitzhar settlement target the villages of Burin and Asira al-Qabliya. Israeli Occupation Forces have aided and abetted settlers, terrorising the villages with the use of live ammunition, sound bombs and firing tear gas on Palestinian residents. The homes of Ahmad Jamal and Ahmad...

Israeli military urged to release rights activist
Uruknet December 5, 2009 - The Israeli military appeals court should end the administrative detention of Mohammed Othman, a Palestinian rights activist, and order his release, Human Rights Watch said Saturday. Othman was detained without charge by Israeli authorities and has been held more than two months on what appear to be politically motivated grounds. On the basis of secret evidence...

Rafah under attack
Uruknet December 5, 2009 -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and Israeli gunboats fired at Rafah homes and Palestinian fishing boats south of the Gaza Strip on Saturday, local sources reported. They said that IOF navy boats opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast but no casualties or material damage were suffered.

Report: 14000 Palestinian olive trees subjected to Israeli aggression in 2009
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - A Palestinian research centre, specialised in monitoring Israeli violations, revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed 14000 olive trees in the Palestinian territories during 2009. Such assaults included the uprooting of thousands of olive trees, for the sake of expanding the Israeli settlements, and the burning and cutting of thousands more by settlers. In a report...

Putin lauds expat Lieberman's 'brilliant political career' in Israel
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday for his rise to a senior cabinet position in Israel after having emigrated from the former Soviet Union. "We are very happy that people from the Soviet Union build such a brilliant political career," said Putin at a meeting in Moscow, referring to the...

Israel closes sole oil and gas terminal on Gaza border
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The population of the Gaza Strip is facing an acute cooking gas shortage this winter, after a unilateral Israeli decision in October to permanently close the sole oil and gas terminal between the coastal Palestinian territory and the Jewish state. The Nahal Oz crossing has been shut down for "security reasons," an official with the Israeli...

Israel seeks to prohibit call to prayer in Al Aqsa Mosque because it disturbs settlers
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The Israeli Knesset is discussing a bill to ban the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from raising the dawn call to prayer in order not to disturb the settlers in the holy city. Israeli media reported on Thursday that the draft law now under scrutiny by parliament will affect other densely populated cities. According to Israeli media,...

Gaza Freedom March less than one month away
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The Gaza Freedom March that will take place in Gaza on 31 December is an historic initiative to break the siege that has imprisoned the 1.5 million people who live there. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and nonviolent resistance to injustice worldwide, the march will gather people from all over the world...

Fatah, Hamas trade accusations over mutual arrests
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The Islamic Hamas and Fatah movements traded on Friday accusations over carrying out mutual arrests against each other's members in Gaza and the West Bank. Fatah movement's armed wing al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said in a statement sent to the press that security forces that belong to Hamas Interior Ministry arrested several members of the armed wingin...

Propaganda disguised as academic inquiry at the University of Illinois
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - Chancellor Richard Herman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently resigned due to his cooperation with political influence-peddlers seeking to gain admission for less qualified but privileged applicants. But Herman also participated in a more acceptable form of political corruption -- publicly displayed with the invocation of high principle -- in his cooperation with the...

Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism?
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - In the current climate, perhaps given: -- America's police state laws; -- no due process or judicial fairness for any state target; -- mass illegal surveillance; -- targeting dissent; and -- the power of the Israeli Lobby over Congress, the media, academia, the clergy, and most anyone confronting them. During Israel's war on Gaza, only 5...

Palestine Telegraph

International Conference on Palestinian Refugees: Change of Event Venue
Gaza, December 5, 2009 ( Pal Telegraph ) -Due to the growing number of participants and many distinguished guests taking part in the International event. The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) has decided to change the venue of the conference from Friends house in London Euston to the Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B3LS near Totenham Court Road station.

Gaza Suffers from Water Crisis
Gaza, December 5, 2009 ( Pal Telegraph ) - Naji , six , before going to school in the morning , he goes to the water station to fill some bottles of fresh water . He alternates with his sister Marwa, 12. Because of the salinity of water in their home, they have to daily suffer the hardship of going to obtain water, as they come...

President Abbas receives call from Mitchell
Ramallah, December 5, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - President Mahmoud Abbas received a telephone call, yesterday, from U.S. peace process envoy, George Mitchell, in which they discussed the renewal of the stalled peace process because of Israeli stubbornness.

EU: Israel illegally annexing Jerusalem
Jerusalem, December 5, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- The European Union accuses Israel of actively pursuing the annexation of East Jerusalem Al-Quds, undermining hopes for peace with Palestinians. Diplomats in Brussels say an EU meeting on Monday is to likely to discuss the stalled Middle East peace process, which is continuously being obstructed by Israel. East Jerusalem Al-Quds has been seen for years...

Viva Palestina will head to Gaza
London, December 5, 2009 ( Pal Telegraph) - An international aid convoy is scheduled to take humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip from London, marking the first year anniversary of Israel's three week war against Gazans. The Viva Palestina convoy of 250 vehicles will deliver medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Palestinians who are suffering a long-running Israeli blockade on their...

The National

Dozens missing after boats collide on Nile
The National 5 Dec 2009 - An Egyptian security official says two motorboats have collided in the Nile in northern Egypt and dozens of passengers are missing.

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

Unexploded mines: Lebanon’s hidden horrors
The National 5 Dec 2009 - Beirut says it wants to become a signatory of the international Mine Ban Treaty, but continuing tensions with Israel pose a major obstacle.


Syria blames blast on tyre blowout
AlJazeera 4 Dec 2009 - "Excessive pressure" in tyre, not terrorist attack, caused deadly bus blast, minister says.

Palestine News Network

Surge in East Jerusalem Palestinians losing residency
PNN 5 Dec 2009 - Israel stripped a record number of Palestinians of their right to live in East Jerusalem last year, an Israeli rights group has said. Some 4,570 people had their residency rights removed, more than a third of the total number since Israel took control of East Jerusalem in 1967. Palestinians fear an attempt to reduce their presence in Jerusalem, which both they and...

Jerusalem Post

Bostoner Rebbe Levi Yitzhak Horowitz dies at 88
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - First US-born hassidic master brought many closer to Judaism, laid to rest at J'lem's Mount of Olives.

Flap over Irish FM's Gaza visit desire
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - Yigal Palmor denies report Israel rejected Michael Martin's request to visit Strip without giving reason.

Americans see Iran greatest threat to US
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - Survey shows less sympathy for Palestinians than Israel; participants express growing isolationism.

Hebron rabbi permits construction by non-Jews in settlements on Shabbat
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - Ruling made to combat building freeze.

Settler leaders: We must break Netanyahu's 'White Paper'
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - At emergency Ofra meeting, suggestions raised include refusal to do reserve duty for 10 months, eviction of IDF from structures within settlements.

'Turkey to step in again as mediator'
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - Gov't officials downplay Egyptian reports Ankara will resume mediation between Israel and Syria.

Obama won't move embassy to J'lem yet
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - US president informs secretary of state of decision, marks 2nd time administration has delayed transfer.

Conference to present Yiddish as a 'blossoming' language
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - J'lem seminar aims to prove there is more to Yiddish than the "oy veys" and "kvelling" of your grandparents' generation.

Iran: 20 more enrichment sites needed
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2009 - Iran's top nuclear official says uranium needed to power up nuclear reactors, Teheran won't leave NPT.

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.

MIDEAST: Palestinians Say No to Crumbs 
IPS RAMALLAH, Dec 3 (IPS) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) appears to be successfully countering the Israeli government's refusal to work towards a two-state solution to end the decades- long conflict.

PCHR Weekly Report

(03-12-2009)  Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR - PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. - PDF

International Solidarity Movement

Palestinian demonstrator shot with live ammunition during Ni’lin protest yesterday
12/5/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, 4 December - During yesterday's demonstration in Ni'lin, Hassan Naffe', 21, was illegally shot by a sniper using 0. 22" munitions. The 0. 22" munitions, often colloquially referred to as ‘twotwo' were classified as live ammunition and banned as crowd-control measures in 2001, by the then Judge Advocate General (JAG) Menachem Finkelstein. Naffe' was shot in the groin and evacuated to the Ramallah hospital. An Israeli sniper using 0. 22" munitions shot Palestinian protester Hassan Naffe' in the groin yesterday, during an anti wall demonstration in the West Bank village on Ni'lin. Naffe' was moderately injured and evacuated to the Ramallah hospital, where an xray showed the bullet had lodged itself in his hipbone. Late in 2001, the then JAG, Menachem Finkelstein, reclassified the 0. 22" munition as live ammunition, and specifically forbade its use as a crowd control means. The reclassification was decided upon following numerous deaths of Palestinian demonstrators, mostly children. . . 

Increased settler attacks on villages around Nablus followed by army invasions including the use of live ammunition
12/5/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 4 December - Settler attacks have increased across the Nablus region this week, as residents of Yitzhar settlement target the villages of Burin and Asira al-Qabliya. Israeli Occupation Forces have aided and abetted settlers, terrorising the villages with the use of live ammunition, sound bombs and firing tear gas on Palestinian residents. The homes of Ahmad Jamal and Ahmad Mohammad Saleh in Asira al-Qabliya sit a short distance from the Shalhevit Yam outpost of the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, notorious for the violent ideologies of its residents. At 8:30am this morning, December 4, approximately 50 settlers stormed the eastern edge of the village, swarming around the homes of the Jamal and Saleh families and hurling stones. Ten Israeli military jeeps arrived shortly thereafter, attacking the village already under siege from its violent ‘neighbours'. The jeeps entered the Asira al-Qabliya firing tear gas, sound bombs and live ammunition, the entire attack lasting 2 hours before the final jeep exited the village. 

Gaza Freedom March less than one month away
12/5/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Electronic Intifada, 4 December - The Gaza Freedom March that will take place in Gaza on 31 December is an historic initiative to break the siege that has imprisoned the 1. 5 million people who live there. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and nonviolent resistance to injustice worldwide, the march will gather people from all over the world to march - hand in hand - with the people of Gaza to demand that the Israelis open the borders. Marking the one-year anniversary of the December 2008 Israeli invasion that left more than 1,400 dead, this is a grassroots global response to the inaction on the part of world leaders and institutions. More than 1,000 international delegates from 42 countries have already signed up and more are signing on every day. Participants include Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, leading Syrian comedian Duraid Lahham, French Senator. . . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Jewish boxer 'Star of David' knocked out after 76 seconds 
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Unbeaten American Jewish boxer Dmitriy Salita was knocked out on Saturday by Muslim boxer Amir Khan, the former WBA light-welterweight champion, after only 76 seconds in the ring. ...

PM makes final push to foil Swedish initiative to divide Jerusalem 
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Israel and the Palestinian Authority are each lobbying European Union foreign ministers to adopt its respective position on Sweden's initiative to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine. The proposal is to be discussed tomorrow in Brussels at the meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states. ... 

Ministers to vote on bill regulating rights of refugees in Israel 
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will vote today on a bill regulating the status of asylum-seekers in Israel. The vote comes after many years without a policy, shirking the international convention on refugees and asylum-seekers. ... 

Ministry bans student Jewish Agency trips to U.S.
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - As of next month, elementary and high schools will no longer be allowed to send students and teachers on delegations outside Israel during the school year, the Education Ministry recently said. ... 

Dubai economy in tatters, but shopping malls still crowded 
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - DUBAI CITY - Traffic is bumper-to-bumper and the shopping malls are full. It's Wednesday, and columns of smoke rise from barbecues in the public parks. No, this isn't how the people of Dubai are coping with the worst financial crisis they've ever known. It's a national holiday. ... 

The Guardian

My return to Gaza, and the fears of another intifada
The Guardian 5 Dec 2009 - Kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was freed in July 2007 after nearly four months in captivity, reports from Nablus on the brittle peace in the city and the threat of renewed violence if no progress...

Transatlantic transactions, part 3 | Simon Head
The Guardian 5 Dec 2009 - The Middle East dominates as Rory Stewart, Robert Malley and Margaret MacMillan close the New York Review of Books debate The multiple crises of the Middle East Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Iran and Afpak (Afghanistan/Pakistan) are collectively the...

EU could bring peace to Middle East | William Nitze and Leon Hadar
The Guardian 4 Dec 2009 - The union must stop free-riding on US policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict offering both sides membership could be key With much of his time and energy being consumed by the enormous challenges of rebuilding the American...

Realistic engagement with Hezbollah | James Denselow
The Guardian 4 Dec 2009 - Britain's decision to talk to Hezbollah is a nuanced move, but any call for disarmament is likely to fall on deaf ears David Miliband told the Lebanese Daily Star this week that he believed "carefully considered...

Shattering Israel's image of 'democracy' | Ben White
The Guardian 3 Dec 2009 - In the Negev, an area targeted for so-called 'development', lies the Israel that its government does not want to be seen A struggle over land, home demolitions, and an Israeli government working with Jewish agencies to "...

Ha'aretz National page

Ministers to vote on bill regulating rights of refugees in Israel 
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will vote today on a bill regulating the status of asylum-seekers in Israel. The vote comes after many years without a policy, shirking the international convention on refugees and asylum-seekers. ... 

Gideon Levy / Settlers, leaders act out scripted roles in 'The Freeze'
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - Like every production, be it a flop or a hit, the future of this show will also be decided by the audience. In the meantime, as the first act shifts into high gear, the viewers are yawning. ... 

Comment / Jerusalem's 'holiness' is dashing any chance of peace
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - There are about 200 countries in the world, but it seems that only two attribute holiness to their capital: Israel and Palestine (still not a recognized state, but on the way there). Perhaps three, if we count the Vatican as a state. ... 

Haifa man suspected of raping Canadian kibbutz volunteer
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - A 24-year-old Haifa man was arrested on Saturday on suspicion that he had raped a Canadian woman volunteering at a nearby kibbutz some six weeks ago. ...

Settlers: We will disobey settlement freeze order
Ha'aretz 5 Dec 2009 - The settlers' fight against a 10-month settlement construction freeze declared by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government last month is gaining speed. Some 200 people, led by the chairman of the Yesha settler council Danny Dayan and MKs Tzipi Hotovely and Uri Ariel, convened an emergency meet in the West Bank settlement of Ofra on Saturday to raise practical tactics to thwart the freeze. ...

Relief Web

Lebanon's 'non-ID Palestinians': no legal status, no hope
Relief Web 5 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Remarks by U.S. Senior Advisor Richard Erdman, at the Ad Hoc Committee of the UN GA for the announcement of voluntary contributions to UNRWA
Relief Web 5 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of the United States of America

OPT: Al Mezan condemns killing of woman from Shati' refugee camp; Calls for perpetrators to be brought to justice
Relief Web 5 Dec 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Press conference by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, International Criminal Court Prosecutor
Relief Web 4 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

OPT: In the presence of the French Foreign Minister the Palestine Red Crescent signs an agreement for the reconstruction of Al-Quds hospital in Gaza
Relief Web 4 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestine Red Crescent Society

Interview - W.Bank eyes post-war political risk insurance
Relief Web 4 Dec 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

Settlers vow to violate freeze order
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - Settlers reject ban on Jewish life in heart of country, Yesha Council chairman says in emergency meeting; struggle is not only over Land of Israel, but also over Bankruptcy of Israeli democracy, Likud MK Hotovely says 

Jordan: Israeli peace moves insufficient
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - Jordanian foreign minister says steps taken by Israel are illegal, violate international law 

McDonald's blackmail plot foiled
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - Baka al Garbia resident contacts fast food chain in Israel demanding millions of shekels over bogus film clip allegedly showing worms inside one of company's local branches 

Iran warns Switzerland over minaret ban
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - Iranian foreign minister warns Swiss of 'consequences' over minaret ban; 'values such as tolerance, dialogue and respecting others’ religions should never be put to referendum,' he says 

Haredim continue Jerusalem protests
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - Unrest in Jerusalem continues with some 200 members of ultra-Othodox community protesting against parking lot's opening on Saturdays. Earlier, haredim rallied near Intel plant 

PA promotes Swedish initiative
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - PA seeks to convince EU to endorse document calling for recognition of Palestinian state 

Internal security minister: We won't go easy on settlers
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - Minister Aharonovitch says lawbreaking settlers will be dealt with firmly 

MK Ben-Simon: PM says Shalit deal nearly complete
YNet News 5 Dec 2009 - Labor MK Daniel Ben-Simon says he heard from Netanyahu that prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit to be completed within next two weeks; adds deal will include Barghouti, who may become Palestinian leader after his release 

Daily Star

Tehran to rein in cooperation with atomic watchdog
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 A nuclear official said Friday Iran will not answer to the UN nuclear watchdog about its plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites beyond the barest minimum required under the international nonproliferation treaty. The comments by Abolfazl Zohrehvand, an adviser to the country's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, came days after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

Iraq buys border security system for Iran, Syria frontiers
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 Iraq has bought a $49-million border surveillance system to better secure its porous frontiers with neighboring Iran and Syria, the US military said on Friday. The system will only monitor activity along a third of Iraq's borders with Iran and Syria, which spawn 1,458 kilometers and 605 kilometers respectively, according to the American mission charged with training Iraq's security forces.

Israeli stalling over prisoners blocking swap deal - Hamas
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 Israeli objections to releasing certain prisoners are blocking a swap deal in which an Israeli soldier captured three years would be freed, an official of the Palestinian movement Hamas said Friday. The deal is supposed to see the exchange of hundreds of Palestinians, including 450 chosen by Hamas, for soldier Gilad Shalit.

Turkish-US relations strained by regional ties
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may face probing questions about whether NATO member Turkey is tilting away from the West and toward Iran when he meets US President Barack Obama next week. Erdogan, whose party has Islamist roots, visits Washington at a time when Ankara's efforts to cultivate stronger ties with Tehran have raised concerns among Western allies.

Sailors return to UK after Iran detention
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 Four British yachtsmen seized by Iran returned to Britain on Friday, saying it was "great to be back," as they planned a trip to the pub. Oliver Smith, 31, Oliver Young, 21, Sam Usher, 26, and Luke Porter, 21, flew back into London Heathrow Airport from Dubai. Along with David Bloomer, a Bahrain-based radio journalist, they were detained by Revolutionary Guards on November 25 and freed Wednesday.

Saudis nab 821 Yemenis, Africans in border crackdown
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 Saudi forces have arrested 821 Yemenis and Africans attempting to sneak across the southern border from Yemen over the past two weeks, Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Friday. The crackdown took place in the region where Saudi forces are fighting Yemen's Huthi rebels, security sources told the Saudi-controlled, London-based newspaper.

Tehran warns against protests on Students Day
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 Iranian authorities have warned opposition supporters against holding any protests when university students mark the annual Students Day on Monday. Each year, students remember the December 7, 1953, killing of three peers by security forces of the shah, just months after a US-backed coup toppled popular Premier Mohammad Mossadeq in order to keep the monarch in power.

ElBaradei mulls Egypt presidency if poll 'democratic'
Daily Star 5 Dec 2009 Former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said he would consider running for Egypt's presidency but only if the election process were democratic, in a statement published on Friday. ElBaradei, who ended his 12-year stint as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Friday last week, said he had been closely following calls for him to stand, the independent daily Al-Dustur reported.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas: The Israeli siege was not imposed for the capture of Shalit
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - The Movement of Hamas stated that the Israeli decision not to end its blockade on Gaza in case there was a prisoner swap deal confirmed that the siege was imposed for purely political reasons.

Rafah under attack
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and Israeli gunboats fired at Rafah homes and Palestinian fishing boats south of the Gaza Strip on Saturday, local sources reported.

Sawasiya warns of humanitarian catastrophe, asks Egypt to supply Gaza with gas
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - Sawasiya center has warned of the difficult living conditions the inhabitants in the Gaza Strip are experiencing that would be exacerbated if the IOA continued to bar entry of cooking gas.

PSL surprised at absence of Arab reaction to Israeli calls for banning Adhan
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - The PSL has expressed surprise at the Arab and Islamic silence towards the Israeli calls for banning the Adhan (call for prayers) in Jerusalem and Palestinian land occupied in 1948.

Hosam society: Conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Etzion inhumane
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - Hosam society for detainees said that the incarceration conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Etzion prison are extremely inhumane because of the repressive practices against them.

Sheikh Salah warns of Israeli plan to turn museum in Aqsa Mosque to synagogue
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands, warned Friday of an Israeli plan to turn the museum of Islamic art in the Aqsa Mosque into a synagogue.

Medical source: No swine flu in Gaza
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - A medical source in the Gaza Strip has refuted Fatah-affiliated media claims and categorically denied the presence of swine flu in the Strip in a statement to the PIC.

Brother of prisoner appeals for ending suffering of his sister in Israeli jails
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - The brother of Somoud Karajeh appealed to all organizations concerned with the issue of prisoners to pressure the IOA to end the psychological suffering of his sister in Israeli jails.

IOF soldiers arrest Palestinian, settlers attack farmers
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian young man in Beit Ummar, north of Al-Khalil, in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday, local sources told the PIC.

Palestinians wounded in IOF quelling of Bilin march
PIC 5 Dec 2009 - A Palestinian youth was hit with a bullet while many others suffered breathing problems when IOF used rubber coated bullets and teargas to disperse the weekly peaceful anti-wall march in Bilin.

Los Angeles Times

West Bank settlers reject Netanyahu's pleas for order 
LA Times 4 Dec 2009 - After meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Jewish settlers vow to continue confronting soldiers and resisting enforcement of his moratorium on construction. Defiant West Bank settler leaders rejected a personal plea from the Israeli prime minister Thursday to respect a government-ordered construction freeze in their communities, vowing to continue to confront security forces sent to enforce the edict. 

New York Times

Yes, Miky, There Are Rabbis in Montana
New York Times 5 Dec 2009 - With a rabbi’s help, a bomb-sniffing dog trained in Israel finally heeds his owner’s commands. 

Israel Arrests Settlers Fighting Freeze
New York Times 3 Dec 2009 - A moratorium on settlement construction was meant to help restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks but has so far succeeded only in pitting the settlers against the state.

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.


On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 Nov.- 02 Dec 2009)
Alternative Information Center - 3 Dec 2009 - Israeli Occupation Forces Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Closure on the Gaza Strip   6 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. An Israeli...

There are settlers in Hebron because Israel wants them there
Mondoweiss - 5 Dec 2009 - The spacious manicured streets of the illegal Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba. (Photo: Alessandra Gola) I’ve been to al-Khalil a number of times. I’m intentionally using the Arabic name for the city because every time I’ve visited it has been to the areas populated by Palestinians. I’ve...

‘NYT’ correspondent in Israel is ‘thoroughly Israeli’
Mondoweiss - 5 Dec 2009 - A few weeks back I wrote a letter to New York Times correspondent Isabel Kershner asking her if she is Israeli, as I’d been told. She did not respond. Well my friend J.J. Goldberg of the Forward has now answered my question. In a blog item...

Chomsky: the ‘unipolar moment’ is working out fine for ‘the satisfied nations’
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Last night, Noam Chomsky delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture at Columbia on "The Unipolar Moment and the Culture of Imperialism." Some notes from David Bromwich who was there: Chomsky took up a major theme of Said’s writings. In the big constellation, Enlightenment/Rationalism/Liberalism/Democratic Values, a missing...

I told my congressman, ‘keep the child’s picture in your desk and look at it the next time there’s a vote on Gaza’
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Susan Johnson blogs under the name above. She visited Gaza last May-June and was finally able to get a meeting with her congressman, a PA Democrat who was not present for the recent vote condemning the Goldstone Report. Johnson wishes to keep his name out of...

Donna Edwards might face AIPAC-backed challenger
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Donna Edwards, the star congresswoman from the Maryland suburbs of D.C. who took a brave stand on the Gaza slaughter, is being primaried by another black politician, this one likely to earn the backing of the traditional Israel lobby. So reports JTA/Washington Post : Glenn F. Ivey,...


Trying to fill the hole our father has left 
Jody McIntyre, Ctrl.Alt.Shift 12/3/2009
      As we move into the cold months, many of you in the UK will be looking forward to Christmas. In the Palestinian village of Bi’lin, last weekend marked the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, a time to see family and friends and for people to eat together. But for many Palestinians, the Eid was not so festive. Rajaa Abu Rahmah, aged 19, only has one wish this festive season, to see her father freed from prison.
     On 10 July 2009, Adeeb Abu Rahmah, a leading activist and organiser from the occupied West Bank village of Bi’lin, was arrested during the weekly demonstration at the Wall. A man committed to non-violent direct action, Adeeb was charged with incitement to violence, a blanket charge often used to indict leading members of Palestinian communities resisting against the confiscation of their land. A judge initially ruled that Adeeb should be released with restrictive conditions, forbidding him from attending demonstrations, but an appeal filed by the military prosecution was upheld, meaning that Adeeb would be held until the end of legal proceedings. Trials for Palestinians in Israeli military courts often last for over a year, leaving Adeebs family fatherless for the holidays.
     Jody McIntyre spoke to Rajaa, Adeebs eldest daughter of eight children who is currenlty studying medicine at the All Quds University, to see how the family were coping during Eid al-Adha:
     Jody McIntyre: Why do you think your father was arrested?
     RA: Because he struggled against the Wall and the settlements, and to defend our land. They said in the judgement against him that they would serve a high punishment to make an example for others participating in the non-violent resistance here, so I suppose they are using my father as a symbol to dissuade others from continuing with the struggle. more.. e-mail

Israeli concession is no concession at all 
Yousef Munayyer, Ma’an News Agency 12/5/2009
      The Israelis finally agreed to a 10-month moratorium on settlements in the occupied West Bank. This proposal does not include East Jerusalem, also occupied in 1967, and the would-be capital of a Palestinian state.
     Israel will attempt to characterize this as a painful concession in a sincere quest for peace, but in reality this is no concession at all.
     In 2003, the Road Map for Peace, adopted by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and the Russian Federation, set forth that the first Israeli obligation was to stop settlements. Yet, in every year since 1994, when the Oslo Accords established a framework for peace negotiations, the world has seen more settlers, settlements and the expansion of existing settlements.
     Settlements contravene US policy on this issue and international law. A plethora of UN resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention (to which Israel is a signatory) decry the colonization of Palestinian land.
     In effect, what the Israeli prime minister has said is "I’ll stop breaking the law, in only some places, and only for a limited period of time."
     This does not meet the Road Map expectations of 2003, so to frame this as a concession in 2009 makes it clear to the Palestinians that Israel will not be held accountable by any American administration.
     Israeli spokesmen tell Americans that they want peace, but their consistent acts of colonization speak to different intentions.
     Palestinians would be fools to fall for this ploy again after years of seeing Israel disregard its obligations while Palestinians continue to live under occupation and the threat of sanctions if they do not march to the beat of Washington’s drum..... more.. e-mail

Human currency
Electronic Intifada: 4 Dec 2009 - "We do not negotiate with terrorists" -- a long-cherished mantra of Western democracies. In reality all the major powers have at some stage been forced to discuss with militants, from Northern Ireland to Iraq. Now Israel seems on the verge of granting their fiercest enemies Hamas a major coup with the mooted release of up to 1,000 prisoners. What message does this send? Kieron Monks comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Propaganda disguised as academic inquiry at the University of Illinois
Electronic Intifada: 4 Dec 2009 - Chancellor Richard Herman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently resigned due to his cooperation with political influence-peddlers seeking to gain admission for less qualified but privileged applicants. But Herman also participated in a more acceptable form of political corruption -- publicly displayed with the invocation of high principle -- in his cooperation with the Israel lobby in opposition to the British boycott of Israeli academics, and in the funding of the Israel Studies Project at the Urbana campus. David Green writes for The Electronic Intifada. 

Gaza Freedom March less than one month away
Electronic Intifada: 4 Dec 2009 - The Gaza Freedom March that will take place in Gaza on 31 December is an historic initiative to break the siege that has imprisoned the 1.5 million people who live there. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and nonviolent resistance to injustice worldwide, the march will gather people from all over the world to march -- hand in hand -- with the people of Gaza to demand that the Israelis open the borders. 

quiet with the philosopher
In Gaza: 2 Dec 2009 - After stopping in at the Jabaliya/ Dawwar Zimmo Red Crescent office yesterday, to catch up with some of the bravest people I know –the medics– I went by Ibrahim’s Gaza War cemetary . Run  the Commonwealth War Graves Commission , the cemetary grounds have been kept for over five decades by Ibrahim, and now by his sons. My reason for stopping by yesterday was to gather some information on gravestones for someone outside of Gaza.  But actually,  I just like the place, particularly Ibrahim. He’s a mixed bag: a grandfather, a philosopher, a host –100% Palestinian–, enthusiastic like a child, a teacher… From the first visit, Ibrahim has extended an open welcome...

Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism?
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Dec 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago During Israel's war on Gaza, only 5 of 535 congressional members dissented on pro-Israeli resolutions. On January 8, 2009, the Senate unanimously passed S 10: "A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process." On January 9, the House, by a 390 - 5 vote, passed HR 34 "Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process." More on this below. Then on October 28, Obama signed the expanded 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, some call a stealth war on free expression and civil liberties. More on this as well. Also consider events in Canada, initiated by a body called the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA), a voluntary association of 22 MPs investigating anti-semitism because, it says: Its "extent and severity is widely regarded as at its worst level since the end of the Second World War," despite contrary evidence and much to show how Israel twists opposition to Zionism and its international law violations to be an attack on Jews. On October 29, in fact, Reuters reported that: "Anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States are at a historic low, with 12 percent of Americans prejudiced toward Jews, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey found" based on polling done from...

Game Theory Approach to Palestinian Resistance
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Dec 2009 - By Mary Rizzo Anyone who has witnessed the events in Palestine/Israel has been able to notice a cycle that repeats itself continually between the two groups of people. It can be summed up in two words: action/reaction. Sometimes the action is carried out to elicit a reaction (which we can define then as a provocation). A provocation has as its goal to incite or irritate another, sometimes it can be the prelude to the “true action” and sometimes it is there just to demonstrate something. We all have in our memories the famous sparks that set off the first and second Intifada. The first was Ariel Sharon “strolling” on the most important site for Palestinians, al-Haram al-Sharif as if he owned the place, and the second was provoked by Israeli soldiers running over two Palestinian workers at a checkpoint. In and of themselves, the events were bad enough, but they had a common aspect that certainly would have surprised Israelis and the West, and one that perhaps surprised even the Palestinians themselves. The fact that those relatively minor events could have such an impact: that a “stroll” and an “accident” could be the sparks that set off the most effective and widespread popular uprising in the history of the Palestinian struggle for liberation. The events that were “the breaking point” were far less damaging than a raid or bombardment, things that we seem to be convinced are the events that have the capacity of waking up the world to the...
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