Jerusalem towns being cordoned off, nearby village under complete isolation
(12 July) Israeli forces have
imposed a travel ban on the street leading to the East Jerusalem town of Beit Hanina and the Bir Nabala neighborhood. Nabi Samwiil is
utterly isolated due the road closure and impossibility of passing the
checkpoint. Residents from neighboring
villages are unable to use the street as well, causing a wide gap in the
international right to freedom of movement. Nabi Samwiil has also recently been
separated by Israeli forces from the rest of the West Bank. The village with a population of 220 Palestinians is now almost
entirely isolated. The old village is now 'interfering' with the much more
recently built Israeli settlements of Givat Ze'ev and Ramot. . . This is not
the first case of total isolation in the West Bank. Villages in Nablus, Bethlehem
and the Jordan Valley faced similar scenarios. It is part and parcel to the
creation of cantons and the Israeli policy of eating the West Bank until the lives of the Palestinians are so difficult, they leave on
demolished family home without explanation
(11 July) A Palestinian
family on Thursday said that the Israel Defense Forces demolished their house
in the West Bank city of Hebron without giving them an explanation why. An Israeli
army spokesman described the demolition, which destroyed the home of two brothers
and their families, as a 'military operation' but declined to comment further. Faisal
Karameh, 31, one of the two brothers, told Reuters that soldiers forced the
occupants from the house at gunpoint during the morning. After he told them his
39-year-old brother Jamal was not present, the IDF demolished the two-story
building. "We had no idea what they were doing," Karameh said. "My brother
Jamal is a maintenance worker and a peaceful person."
denounces Israeli approval for large settlement construction in East Jerusalem
(11 July) Spokesperson for
the French ministry of foreign affairs Eric Chevallier called for the Israeli
government to reconsider this decision. Chevallier said that France is calling on Israel to stop any unilateral act that might negatively
affect the final status of the Palestinian territories especially concerning Jerusalem.
Twilight Zone / 'Worse
than apartheid' – by Gideon Levy
(10 July) I thought they
would feel right at home in the alleys of Balata refugee camp, the Casbah and
the Hawara checkpoint. But they said there is no comparison: for them the
Israeli occupation regime is worse than anything they knew under apartheid.
This week, 21 human rights activists from South Africa visited Israel. Among them were members of Nelson Mandela's African
National Congress; at least one of them took part in the armed struggle and at
least two were jailed. There were two South African Supreme Court judges, a
former deputy minister, members of Parliament, attorneys, writers and
journalists. Blacks and whites, about half of them Jews who today are in
conflict with attitudes of the conservative Jewish community in their country.
Bankers arrested in one week
(12 July) The Palestinian Center for Defending Detainees, a Gaza-based organization,
revealed on Saturday that Israeli forces apprehended 130 Palestinians in six West Bank districts during the first week of July. The report said that there
were children and disabled individuals among those arrested. According to the
report, Israeli forces relied mainly on undercover forces which raided cities,
towns and villages in order to apprehend and assassinate Palestinians. They
used police dogs to scare women and children during arrest raids.
US: Stop Israeli incursions into West Bank
Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad
said on Friday evening that he sent a letter to the US monitor General William
Fraser complaining about Israeli incursions in the West Bank, specifically in
Nablus in the northern West Bank. Fayyad explained in an interview with the AP that
Israeli activity impeded his government's efforts to keep law and order. The
number of Israeli military operations in the West Bank, said Fayyad, rose by 50% during the first half of July compared to
the same period in June.
Many injured in mass demonstration in Ni'lin
(11 July; photos, video) An
estimated 400 Palestinians, internationals, Israeli activists and world media
marched on the construction of the illegal apartheid that annexes much of the village of Ni'lin's
land. One 70 year old American working with the Christian Peacemaker Team was
shot in the lower back by a rubber bullet. Six Israeli activists were severely
beaten by batons, one activist was rifle butted in the head, another suffered
injuries that will disable him for a week caused by a baton-wielding Israeli
border guard, two others had their hands broken and another was hit in the head
by searing hot teargas cannister that was fired as a projectile weapon. .
. By the time the fires caused by the
hot tear gas canisters had been put out
more than fifteen trees were burnt beyond salvation.
army apprehends medical team at entrance to Ni'lin
(12 July) The Israeli army
apprehended a medical team from the Palestinian Medical Relief Society and the
Committee of Physicians for Human Rights in the early hours of Saturday morning
at the entrance of the village of Ni'lin. Dr Mustafa al Barghuthi that Israeli
soldiers apprehended the medical team while they were trying to reach Ni'lin to
offer treatment to residents who had been under a strict curfew. The team was
barred entry into the town, and was not able to transfer in the medications
that they had brought with them.
weekly report: Palestinian child killed, 23 civilians injured in Israeli
(11 July) A Palestinian child
from Rafah died from the explosion of an unidentified object left by the
Israeli military. In addition, 23
Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, and a French human rights
defender, were wounded by Israeli military gunfire. 11 of these civilians were
wounded during peaceful demonstrations organized in protest of the construction
of the Annexation Wall.
Women's Centre stages protests against Israeli army's invasions of Nablus
(11 July) The Women's Centre
of Nablus is a social centre for women and children. The center supports women
economically and socially by organizing summer clubs for children, a bakery to
support children with food and much more. At 12 o'clock at night to the army entered the centre. They took
five computers as well as files and books with addresses for the organization's
work. No reason was given to why the centre was raided by the army. Immediately
the same day after the invasion the women's centre organized a protest against
the invasions with a message to the Palestinian Authorities to support them
against the Israeli army's violations.
Borders: Israeli soldiers close West Bank TV station
(11 July) Reporters Without
Borders calls for the reopening of Afaq TV, a Palestinian commercial TV station
based in the West Bank city of Nablus which Israeli soldiers yesterday closed for one year
on the grounds that it was a 'terrorist' media. The station has stopped
broadcasting and seals have been place over its entrance. "Palestinian
journalists must be allowed to enjoy the same freedom and ability to work as
their Israeli counterparts," Reporters Without Borders said. "Israel's arbitrary measures against media in the Palestinian Territories are unacceptable and unworthy of a democracy. The
military must put a stop to this policy of censoring Palestinian media."
Escalation of Israeli raids is unacceptable
(12 July) Vice President to
the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini released a statement Friday condemning
the "ongoing raids, closures, arrests and confiscations actuated by the
Israeli army against Institutions, associations and even schools in Nablus." She stated that such actions are illegal, and
represent "not only a clear violation of International law" but
"a direct attack on the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's
delegation expresses shock at Israel's human rights violations
(12 July) OCCUPIED JERUSALEM,
(PIC)-- Press sources in the 1948 occupied lands reported that Dr. Peter Byron,
the deputy speaker of the Bulgarian parliament, and his accompanying
parliamentary delegation expressed their shock at Israeli human rights
violations against Palestinians they witnessed during their visit to Palestine.
The visiting delegation which was invited by Arab Knesset member Wassel Taha
and the national democratic assembly said that what they saw and heard during
their visit exposed the size of the Israeli official lies to the public opinion
forces try to arrest pardoned Fatah activist in Jenin camp on Saturday
(12 July) Israeli forces
stormed the northern West Bank refugee camp of Jenin at 2:00 am on Saturday with the aim of arresting a 'pardoned'
activist from Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades. Palestinian security sources said that
invading Israeli forces besieged a four-storey building while they searched for
Mahmoud Amarna. Amarna is an Al-Aqsa Brigades activist who was pardoned by
Israeli authorities as part of a deal between Israel and the PA. The soldiers spoke to residents of the
building via loudspeakers, and demanded that they evacuate the building. After
six hours of searching the soldiers were unable to find Amarna.
calls for interim Palestinian government to prepare for elections
(12 July) The London-based Al-Hayat daily newspaper said, "The
Palestinian Prime Minister [Salam Fayyad] behaved more like an Intifada man
than an academic or an economist." The paper was responding to the recent
actions of the prime minister, as he ventured out of his offices and into the
lives of Palestinians. Fayyad left his office in Ramallah Friday and went to
the town of Ni'lin west of Ramallah, where he observed the
confrontations that erupted between peacefully protesting residents and Israeli
soldiers under the heat of July. Before leaving the area, he announced that his
government would provide every possible support to the residents who
demonstrated against the separation wall.
president hopeful Paris summit will aid peace process
(11 July), AFP) "This
summit can give positive momentum to the peace process and could lead to more
economic support for the Palestinian Authority," Abbas said at a joint
news conference with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi for
his part said the conclusion of peace negotiations "had never been
closer" and that U.S. President George W. Bush, who he met at the recent
G8 summit in Japan, was optimistic about the chance of reaching an
agreement before 2009. Olmert and Abbas will meet face to face in Paris on Sunday at the launch of the Mediterranean Union, a
flagship project of French President Sarkozy.
municipality gets new water pump
(11 July) The deputy of head
of Jenin municipality, Ali As-Shati, said on Friday that the water crisis in
the city is about to end. Government officials in Ramallah have recently
decided to buy a new 200 million NIS pump for the Jenin municipality with the help of a
French donation provided through CARE (100,000 US dollars). The new equipment,
he said, is a step towards permanently solving the region's water crisis.
claims of safety, Ramallah maternity ward closed for Klebsiella tests
(10 July) Moghli also said in
a press statement that he has ordered the formation of a committee of bacteria
and infection specialists to investigate the presence of klebsiella bacteria in
the maternity ward. The statement came in response to an earlier announcement
by Palestinian medical sources which said that klebsiella bacteria were
responsible for the deaths of 9 premature babies in the Ramallah government
hospital this month.
Two videos on the
Occupation in the West Bank
(1) Israeli army shuts
Palestinian shops and schools - 09 Jul 08 David Chater, AlJazeeraEnglish ; (2)
Water-rich West Bank suffering from shortage of water Shirin Yassin, Press TV,
July 2, 2008
agrees to Carter Center proposal that they monitor truce
(11 July) Gaza –The Prime Minister of the de facto Hamas-led
government in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh approved a proposal Friday from theCarter Center which has volunteered to monitor the commitment of
the Palestinians and Israelis to the 19 June truce conditions. The announcement
of the agreement came at a press conference held by de facto government
spokesman Taher An-Nunu.
rejects Palestinian premier's call for unity
(12 July, DPA) "Fayyad's
call is far away from any national proposal," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi
Barhoom in Gaza. Barhoom criticised Fayyad, saying "he is the
most dangerous person on the Palestinian cause and he is not a part of the
Palestinian equation, he is part of the Israeli and American equation." In
an interview with a pan-Arab newspaper, Fayyad had said that "the home
must be reunited because this is the way to respond to the Israeli
actions." Israel recently launched a crackdown against Hamas' charities in the West Bank. Hamas wants the dialogue to start first and it demands that the issue
of the Gaza takeover be dealt with through the talks, but Fayyad
concurs with Abbas' vision that Hamas must give up its control over Gaza to pave the way for dialogue.
Hamas delegation ends talks in Cairo, heads for Yemen
(12 July) GAZA, (PIC)-- Ayman Taha, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, on Saturday said that his Movement's delegation had
ended talks in Cairo and was heading for Yemen where it would be joined and led by Khaled Mishaal,
the supreme leader of Hamas.
al-Jalil Brigades claim responsibility for Friday night Jerusalem shooting
(12 July) The attack took
place Friday night, when an unknown shooter opened fire and injured two
soldiers. The Brigades said in a statement that a gunman affiliated to the
group opened fire at a group of 'settlers' near the Lion's Gate of the old city
of Jerusalem. According to the statement, the shooting took place at 11:15 pm on Friday and the shooter escaped unharmed. The
incident left two Israelis injured, one of the victims was seriously injured
and the other moderately so. One of the injured men fired at the shooter, as
did two policemen who were in the area.
Dichter: Recent attacks
on Jerusalem aren't start of new intifada
(12 July) Public Security
Minister Avi Dichter on Saturday said that a spate of recent terror attacks in Jerusalem does not constitute the start of a new intifada,
speaking in response to a shooting attack late Friday that wounded two
policemen in the capital. "It is hard to find a link between the three
last attacks in the capital, but the matter will be investigated," Dichter
passes stiffer anti-terror bills
(9 July) Three bills seeking
to enforce additional punishments on Israeli residents involved in terror
attacks passed their preliminary readings on the Knesset floor Wednesday, a
week after the deadly tractor attack carried out by an east Jerusalem resident on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road. The wave of legislation began when a bill sponsored
by Likud faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar to enable the state to seize property
owned by terrorists passed by a sweeping majority of 50 to 13. Such seizures
are currently legal in Israel and other countries as punishment for economic
crimes. In the United States, the 2001 Patriot Act legalized the seizure of
property of a foreign citizen, foreign organization or foreign state which
according to the president were involved in any manner in hostile or aggressive
activities against the United States. . .
with a new flavor': Gazans disappointed with truce
(12 July) Life in Gaza has improved marginally – the constant shelling has
stopped and a few more goods have been allowed into the besieged territory –
but Israel's continuing total closure of the borders to civilian
travel has rendered the ceasefire a letdown. Only the purported reason for the
closure has changed. Whereas before Israel blockaded Gaza in response to homemade rockets fired by Palestinian
fighters, it now justifies the closure in terms of 'violations of the truce'.
Some Gazans call their new predicament a 'truce-struggle'. It is a struggle
over their own fate, in which ordinary Palestinians see themselves as
'stalling Gaza rebuilding'
(11 July, BBC) Vital
reconstruction in Gaza is being stalled because Israel is not allowing in enough supplies, UN Middle East
special envoy Robert Serry has warned. He said it was still difficult to import
items like cement or piping. Among the projects the UN is waiting to restart
are a new housing scheme for the homeless and a project to stop sewage being
pumped onto Gazan beaches.
truckloads of food and construction materials allowed into Gaza on Thursday
(11 July) 'Adwan told Ma'an
that 113 truckloads of food supplies and other goods were allowed into Gaza
Strip through the Sufa crossing east of Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip.
33 truckloads, containing 3,000 tons of construction materials, crossed into
the Strip through the Karni crossing east of Gaza City. He affirmed that no fuel was
allowed through the Nahal 'Oz crossing on Thursday. Construction materials are
allowed into the Gaza Strip three days per week but in such small quantities
that they are insufficient to meet the needs of the residents, he added.
Hamas arrest of al-Aqsa projectile launchers disrupts national unity
(11 July) Abu Salim, the
official spokesman for the National Resistance Brigades, the military wing of
the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), called on the de
facto government to release the two resistance fighters, and recent projectile
launchers, affiliated to the Al-Aqsa Brigades, stressing that their arrest
interrupts the national dialogue.
states al-Aqsa Brigades not responsible for projectiles fired at Zekim Thursday
(11 July) Rather, said Fatah
spokesman Ahmad Abd Ar-Rahman, a letter claiming the attack was sent out using
the logo of the Brigades. The Brigades, according to Ar-Rahman, are fully
integrated into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip security departments, which
support the current truce agreement and will not thus fire projectiles.
Qassam hits western
Negev in new Gaza truce violation
(12 July) Gaza militants on Saturday fired a rocket into Israel in new violation of a fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the coastal Strip. The rocket struck an
open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council, in the western Negev,
according to Israel Radio. There were no reports of casualties. There also was
no claim of responsibility. The truce between Gaza's Hamas rulers and Israel took effect June 19. Hamas officials say they're
trying to enforce the truce, and it appears smaller opposition groups are
mainly involved in truce violations.
Brigades record all Israeli truce violations
(10 July) The Al-Quds
Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, said on Thursday that Israel has continued to violate the June 19th truce. The
Brigades established a department of "War Media" in order to keep track of
Israeli violations of the truce, and has thus far recorded nine violations in
the three weeks of truce. The information collected by the department revealed
a systematic targeting of Palestinian fishermen working in the sea off the Gaza
Strip. According to the Brigades, Israeli soldiers opened fire on fishermen
three times in the third week of the truce and seven times in the first two
weeks. The violations recorded during 3-9 July 2008 (the third week of truce)
were as follows: . . .
accuses Hamas of gruesome torture of party member in Gaza
Official sources within Fatah
accused Hamas members on Saturday of killing Bassam Al-'Anani, the secretary
general of the party. According to the Fatah spokesman, Hamas members kidnapped
the 40-year-old Al-'Anani a month and half ago. During his detainment, the
man's health deteriorated. Fatah claims that he was beaten and tortured then
admitted to local hospital of Ash-Shifa' in Gaza in critical condition.
Marzouk: We declined the Israeli offer to release only 71 prisoners
(12 July) CAIRO, (PIC)-- Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of
the Hamas political bureau, stated Saturday that the Movement rejected the
Israeli approval of releasing only 71 names on the list submitted to the
Egyptian mediators which includes 450 names, stressing the Movement's adherence
to all names on the list of the first stage. In a press statement to the
London-based Hayat newspaper, Dr. Abu
Marzouk underlined in another context that the exclusion of the West Bank from the truce agreement from the beginning is one of its failure
factors, warning that the provocative acts in the West Bank will have reflections in Gaza.
man dies of injuries from Thursday's tunnel collapse in Gaza
(11 July) The man had been
brought to hospital with serious injuries, said Dr Mu'awiyah Hassanein,
director general of ambulance and emergency services in the Gaza Strip. This
brings the death toll from the collapse of this latest tunnel in the As-Salam
neighborhood near Rafah, to two. Three others are being treated for their
injuries, and another three are missing. This is the second collapse of a
Gaza-Egypt tunnel in as many weeks, and the third death.
Israel is seeking to revive negotiations to buy Palestinian gas
(10 July) The managing
director of the Investment Fund, Mohammaed Mostafa, has revealed yesterday thatIsrael is seeking to revive negotiations to buy Palestinian
gas, while the Palestinian side and the British Gas company, the main developer
of gas from Gaza's beaches, are being cautious in making a decision
over this issue until they are certain of Israel's seriousness. Mostafa estimates the size of the
coast of Gaza's gas at around one trillion cubic feet, and needs an
investment of around 800 million dollars in order for the gas to be extracted
and marketed. The expected profit exceeds 4 billion dollars spread over 10
family left to hope that prisoner swap will see son's body returned home
(12 July) Israel has been
withholding Khalid al Khateeb's body from his family since April 1995, when he
booby-trapped a car in the middle of a number of Israeli military vehicles near
the illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Darum in the central of the Gaza Strip. Islamic
Jihad claimed responsibility for this attack that killed 7 Israelis and injured
40 others. The Al- Khateeb family accused Israeli authorities of intentionally
withholding the body of their son, with full knowledge that they wish to bury
him according to the laws of Islam. Israeli authorities are slated to release
an unknown number of the approximately 200 Palestinian and Lebanese killed
during various battles with Israeli forces.
condemns arson attack on charitable organization in Gaza
(11 July) Unknown assailants
blew up the headquarters of the Yabous Charitable Association in Rafah in the
Gaza Strip in the early hours of Thursday morning. Eyewitnesses said they heard
a huge explosion at 2 am.
The huge explosion destroyed the entire building, but no one was injured. The
reasons behind the attack remain unknown and the de facto government's police
force have begun an investigation.
tried to sneak crocs, kangaroos into Gaza
(11 July) EL-ARISH (Egypt): The Egyptian authorities caught a Palestinian man
trying to smuggle crocodiles, kangaroos and squirrels into the Gaza Strip on
Friday, a security official said.
religion, and nationalism was the message at this wedding
(12 July) Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh – Political analyst and Professor
at An Najah University, Abdel Sattar Al Qassim watched his daughter marry in Nablus. But it was not just a traditional ceremony during
this high wedding season. 24-year-old Mays Abdel Sattar Al Qassim carried a
diorama rendition of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock complex in her
hand. The words written on this East Jerusalem Palestinian monument and Islamic
holy place were: The Homeland Above All. A Palestinian flag flew in the breeze
behind the bride, groom and the bride's father. The groom, Walid Ghassan Al
Shami, also carried one. . .
expresses concern over dance festival in Ramallah
(11 July) Dr Yunis Al-Astal,
a parliamentary leader in the de facto Hamas government in Gaza and former adviser to the committee for the Islamic
University Gaza, has spoken out against the shows, and worries particularly
about the dance costume sported by some of the troupes. In his view, hosting
the "half naked performers and dancers" in Ramallah is a "great
treason to God and our religion and all people in Palestine." Al-Astal said in a statement received by Ma'an
that "it is very shocking that these celebrations are taking place very
late at night on a Wednesday in Ramallah." He could not understand why
such a festival was taking place "at the same time as the Israeli forces
continue with their policy of ethnic cleansing," referring particularly to
the ongoing raids in Nablus.
(11 July) Jaweed al-Ghussein,
who has died aged 77, was a Palestinian philanthropist, educationist and former
chairman of the Palestinian National Fund. In that role, he drew attention to
the extensive corruption of his colleague Yasser Arafat. His whistleblowing was
met with a sustained campaign of persecution by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
. . He personally funded the education
of many young Palestinians and then made sure they got the jobs to match their
qualifications, either at Cordoba
or elsewhere. He was a passionate believer in peaceful co-existence with Israel and determined to ensure the rights of all
Arab workers' rights in Israel
(11 July) (The following is
an extract from an article in Sawt el-Amel/The Laborer's Voice, an independent
grassroots organization founded by Palestinian Arab workers in Nazareth in 2000 to defend and promote the rights of Arab
citizens in Israel.) The Palestinian working class in Israel is among the poorest sections of society and the one
whose rights are most abused by employers. It should be emphasised that this
group of workers is part of the Arab Palestinian minority holding Israeli
citizenship, which has been faced with racial discrimination for sixty years,
as manifested in land confiscations, home demolitions and the denial of work
Four Israelis arrested
for allegedly selling weapons to Palestinians
(12 July) Security forces
last month arrested four [apparently 'Israeli Arab'] Israeli citizens suspected
of selling weapons to Palestinians, a gag order lifted on Friday revealed. The
Shin Bet security service and the Galilee District Police arrested three
residents of the northern village of Kafr Makr and a resident of Acre for allegedly carrying out the crime.
grows with the Wall – by Jason Koutsoukis
(12 July) Few legacies of the
former prime minister Ariel Sharon remain so popular among Israeli voters as
the 723-kilometre security barrier that separates Israel from the Palestinian West Bank. "I look at that
and I feel protected," Yossi Boker says, echoing the views of most
Israelis. "It has stopped the bombs, hasn't it? [No, Hamas stopped the suicide
bombers, before the wall was anywhere near done; and it isn't finished even
yet. And let's not forget that settler Baruch Goldstein's attack on the Hebron mosque in 1994 started the suicide attacks on
civilians.] You must first live here to understand this, why we like it." A
report issued this week by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of
Human Affairs says the barrier has had a devastating affect on Palestinian
villages, towns and cities, isolating communities and separating tens of thousands
of people from services, lands and livelihoods.
Galilee gaffee -- by David Parsons
(9 July) Israel has reached the long, dry summer season and, as
predicted, the Sea of Galilee [or Lake Kinneret] has dropped to dangerous levels that could cause
irreversible damage to this delicate and invaluable water source. Most Israelis
probably don't realize it, but part of that "damage" could be yet
another public relations disaster abroad - a "Galilee Gaffe" - since
Christians worldwide consider the Sea itself to be one of the historic sites
connected with the life and ministry of Jesus.
review: Cresting the waves – by Barry Davis
(10 July) British-born
Jerusalemite Alan Rosenthal's Waves of Freedom casts some welcome light
on the contribution of (mostly Jewish) American volunteers in helping thousands
of 'illegal' Jewish immigrants come to Palestine between the end of 1946 and early
1948. Waves of Freedom, which screens today as part of the Jerusalem
Film Festival, focuses on just one of the overcrowded, largely dilapidated and
barely seaworthy craft that sought to smuggle Jews into the Holy Land.
technology at Ben Gurion Airport allows customs officers to view passengers
(11 July) The Israeli
newspaper Ma'ariv reported on Friday
that the new technology will be in use one month from now. It is the first such
machine to be used in Israel's ports and airports. When a passenger steps into the
rays of the machine, they can be viewed totally naked. Officials say that the
machine will be used to uncover hidden drugs, jewelry and or weapons. Many
orthodox Jews have complained that the machine will show them naked in front of
strangers, which is forbidden.
Two years on, IDF starting to look like an army that can fight a war – by Amos
(12 July) The Israel Defense
Forces is once again starting to look like an army that knows how to deal with
a conventional war, a challenge that - due to more pressing troubles [i.e., the
Occupation] - it downplayed during the years between the outbreak of the second
intifada in 2000 and the Second Lebanon War, whose opening shots were fired two
years ago tomorrow.
Hezbollah hands over
report on Ron Arad to Israel Saturday
(12 July) Missing Israel Air
Force navigator Ron Arad was captured in Lebanon in 1986. Security sources said that the report, which
was brought to Israel by the German mediator Gerhard Konrad, does not address two major
issues: the fate of Arad, whom Hezbollah believe is dead, and why his body has
not been found. Later Saturday or on Sunday Hezbollah is expected to provide
supplementary information, including clarifications and answers to questions
submitted by Israel.
Israel denies reports
of IAF training in US-controlled Iraq
(11 July, Reuters) An Israel Defense Forces spokesman described
as "utterly baseless" media reports on Friday about Israel Air Force
warplanes secretly training in U.S.-controlled Iraq for possible attacks on neighbouring Iran. The Baghdad government and the Pentagon similarly played down a
report quoting an Iraqi news network, that Israeli jets were practicing in
Iraqi airspace and landing on U.S. airbases in the country.
Iran 'to target Israel,
(12 July) Iran will target "the heart of Israel" and 32 US bases in the Gulf if they launch an attack on Iran, an Iranian official has warned.
test showed no new capabilities'
(12 July, AP) Iran's missile test this week demonstrated no new
capabilities, according to a US official familiar with the intelligence, and the test
may not have included one of the longer-range missiles that Iran said was among those launched.
(10 July) Washington Dispatch: Mother Jones has learned that a
parade of high-level Israeli officials are on their way to the White House over
the next two weeks to discuss Iran policy. Here's where the two countries differ on what
to do next.
hoped for virtually unlimited freedom of action in Iraq
(13 June) Drafting of US-Iraq
security agreement began nearly five years ago.
Mubarek hires the mosque
[to protect against Iraqi Shi'ites] -- by Rannie Amiri
(12-13 July) Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak is co-opting the scholars of Al-Azhar—its seminary
considered to be the highest religious authority in Sunni Islam—to do his
sectarian bidding. More disturbingly, Al-Azhar seems willing to comply. Egypt is now home to approximately 150,000 of the more than
one million Iraqis who fled or were driven out of their neighborhoods in the
unending aftermath of the 2003 war. A significant number of those in Egypt, if not the majority, are Shiite Muslims. What
apparently attracted the state's attention to these new arrivals were
applications submitted to the Ministry of Endowments asking permission to build
mosques and other religious gathering places.