Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Jaffa to be focus of Israeli Arab protest on 32nd Land Day
For the first time in the event's 32-year history, Jaffa is to be one of the main centers of Land Day, which will be marked on Friday.  According to leaders of Jaffa's Popular Committee, in the past two years the Israel Lands Administration and the Amidar Public Housing Authority have issued eviction requests to 500 Arab families in Jaffa, mainly in the Ajami neighborhood, on the grounds that they invaded the properties and engaged in illegal construction. The first Land Day took place on March 30, 1976, when the Arab public held a protest strike against the expropriation of lands in the Galilee "for purposes of security and settlement." /pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo =967037

Defense minister likely to approve 80 housing units in settlement
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is expected to approve construction of 80 housing units in the settlement of Elazar in the northern Etzion Bloc. The Derech Ha'avot outpost, which has approximately 10 permanent houses and a few dozen mobile homes, is located near Elazar, west of the Jerusalem-Hebron highway (road 60). Derech Ha'avot was established in 2001 on private Palestinian land. The new neighborhood, which has already received the approval of the Civil Administration in the West Bank, is slated to be built between Elazar and the outpost, and will serve as a link between the two. /spages/967035.html

With friends like these by Gideon Levy
To judge by the declarations of our foreign guests and our hosts abroad, no other state in the world is more loved than we. A state that imposes a siege that is almost unprecedented in the world today in terms of its cruelty, that adopts an official policy of assassination, is embraced by the family of nations, if we are to judge by the words of the many statesmen who cross our doorstep. This blind friendship enables Israel to do whatever it wants. The days have passed in which every mobile home erected in the territories and every targeted assassination were carefully considered out of fear of international criticism. That time no longer exists. Israel has a carte blanche to kill, destroy and settle. /spages/967055.html

40 years on, Israel maintaining unequal distribution of water
While more spectacular forms of violence grab the headlines, water has emerged as a paradigmatic example of those effects of occupation that take place over the slow course of bureaucratic time, denying, each day, the human rights of Palestinians living under occupation. On the occasion of United Nations World Water Day, Ma'an compiled this report about the water situation in the occupied territories. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28430

Hamas marks four years since Sheikh Yassin's assassination
Hamas supporters marched through the streets of Gaza City Saturday to mark four years since the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the wheelchair-bound spiritual leader of the Islamist movement who was killed during an Israeli air strike on March 22, 2004. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh paid a visit to Yassin's family home to meet with the slain sheikh's relatives. Israel confirmed at the time that its helicopters fired several rockets at Yassin and his bodyguards as they were heading to a local mosque at 5:30 am. The sheikh was killed on the spot. /articles/0,7340,L-3522191,00 .html

Hamas and Fatah agree to resume dialogue
Hamas and Fatah have signed a Yemeni proposal to resume dialogue aimed at restoring Palestinian national unity. "Hamas and the PLO's delegations signed the following: We agree on the Yemeni initiative as a framework for resuming dialogue between the two movements in order to restore the Palestinian situation as it was before the events in Gaza," said Hamas' spokesperson Isma'il Radwan. He explained that the signed agreement meant resuming talks rather than accepting any demands by either side. According to Radwan, talks will begin in April. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28435

Islamic Jihad leader: Israel rejected comprehensive ceasefire proposal
"The meeting with the Egyptians tackled the issues of the Rafah crossing, comprehensive ceasefire and the crippling siege on the Gaza Strip, and the Egyptians gave their own comments as well as the Israeli stance," leader Khalid Al-Batsh told Ma'an. He affirmed that the Israelis rejected a ceasefire in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip only. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad insist that any ceasefire must be comprehensive, involving both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Al-Batsh thanked the Egyptian government for their efforts towards lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip and reaching a comprehensive ceasefire. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28433

Jerusalem official denies reported truce offer to Hamas, Jihad
An official in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's bureau on Sunday denied a report that Israel has offered Hamas and Islamic Jihad a year-long cease-fire in return for an end to Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on its southern communities. "There are no direct or indirect contacts with Hamas. Our position is that if they don't shoot at us from Gaza, we won't shoot back," the source said. Earlier Sunday, the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat reported that Egyptian intermediaries on Saturday told representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad thatIsrael would agree to a year-long truce if they would halt the rocket attacks from Gaza. /spages/966975.html

US VP Cheney faces criticism ahead of West Bank visit
Cheney met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah on Sunday. Abbas reportedly asked Cheney to pressure Israel to stop illegal settlement activity and military attacks in Palestinian territory. After the meeting, Cheney said, "The US remains strongly committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Achieving that will require tremendous effort at the negotiating table and painful concessions on both sides . . ."  The vice president had on Saturday called Israel "one of history's great miracles." /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28429

HR group: Palestinians died awaiting treatment
Five Palestinians, including a one-year-old baby, have died in
Gaza over the past two months after Israel rejected on security grounds or delayed their requests to cross the border for treatment in Israel or elsewhere, Physicians for Human Rights announced Thursday. /Satellite?cid=1205420751214 &pagename=JPost%2F
JPArticle %2FShowFull

Palestinians 'tortured' in Egypt by Mohamed el-Sawwaf in Gaza
Palestinians who were detained in Egypt after crossing from the Gaza Strip accused Egyptian security forces of torturing and abusing them to get tips on the resistance movement Hamas and its armed wing. "We were beaten, kicked and electrified, to mention but a few examples," Saber Al-Dremli told Only 10 years of age, Jamil Obeid was the youngest Palestinian to be detained by Egyptian security forces after crossing into Egypt with his father. The Gazan child was thrown into a dingy cell with eight people for ten days in freezing temperature. Jamil himself was neither tortured nor interrogated but he says he used to hear the deafening cries and screams of fellow Palestinians being tortured next door. Photos of Jamil prostrating himself when he returned to Gaza to thank God have become widely circulated on blogs and the Web.
http://www.palestinechronicle .com/view_article_details.php ?id=13614

Egypt frees 34 Palestinians who entered Egypt through breached border
"Freeing those detainees was a result of ongoing contacts between the Egyptian and Hamas officials. The Egyptian side pledged to release them two days ago during a meeting between Egyptian officials and delegations from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad," said Hamas leader Ayman Taha. Only two Palestinian detainees remain in Egyptian custody. In a different regard, Taha denied news reports that Egypt has refused to meet with former Palestinian Interior Minister Sa'id Siyam. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28434

Italian footballers denied entry to Gaza
Israeli troops have blocked 101 Italian amateur footballers and sports fans from passing to the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning. The annual visit is part of a campaign of 'sport solidarity' with the Gaza Strip. Three previous delegations have been allowed into the Strip in recent years. The delegation represents several Italian organizations, and it was scheduled to be visit Al-Aqsa University, Jabalia club and the Al-Karama sports centre in Khan Younis. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28431

Palestinian fighters fire two projectiles from Gaza Saturday evening
The military wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed to have launched a projectile towards the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Three other groups said they fired a projectile at the Israeli town of Sderot, in the western Negev. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28425

Christians mark Easter in Jerusalem
The outgoing Roman Catholic leader in the Holy Land, Patriarch Michel Sabbah, criticized both Israelis and Palestinians responsible for the recent bloodshed, including Israeli military operations in Gaza, rocket fire from Palestinian militants and a deadly shooting attack on a Jewish religious seminary. "Despite this, there are hundreds of thousands in both the Palestinian and Israeli societies who send an outcry: peace, peace," Sabbah, a Palestinian, said in a sermon. "We need leaders who are ready to offer their lives for the sake of peace, not leaders who issue orders to kill and assassinate and send others to kill or to get killed." /20080323/ap_on_re_mi_ea /israel_easter_1

Israelisettlers abduct two Palestinian teenagers near Nablus
Settlers from Eli colony, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, abducted on Sunday two Palestinian teenagers from the village of Al-Lubban, located between Nablus and Ramallah, Palestinian security sources said. The sources explained that Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinian shepherds who were tending their sheep and abducted two of them, 17-year-old Bilal Al-Hunaidi and 16-year-old Iyad Al-Hunaidi. They were taken to an unknown destination /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28437

Six Hamas members detained in the West Bank, Hamas says
Hamas released a statement saying that security forces stormed Beit Awwa near Hebron amidst heavy gunfire before arresting four members of Hamas. Hamas also claimed that one of the movement's members was arrested in the city of Hebron, and one in Bethlehem. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28424

The curse of the Nablus dream house
Six years ago, Abdul-Latif Nasif and his two brothers built their family home on one of the hills over-looking the West Bank city of Nablus. It has spectacular views over the city and surrounding area - but that has been its curse. "This just isn't my home any more," says the 47-year-old Palestinian bank manager, "it might as well belong to the Israeli army." /middle_east/7309082.stm

Palestinian teenager shot by invading troops in Azzun Saturday evening
Eighteen-year-old Zakariyya Swaidan was shot in the torso and hospitalized in Qalqilia. Medical sources called his injury serious. At the time of writing, Israeli troops continue to sweep the town, raiding Palestinian houses on the pretext of searching for "wanted" Palestinian activists. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28426

Israeli soldiers ransack house of PA security officer
More than fifty Israeli soldiers ransacked the home of 44-year-old Palestinian security officer Badran Hamayil on Sunday morning, breaking doors, windows, and furniture, Hamayil said. The raid, in the town of Beita, south of the city of Nablus, came just two days after Israeli soldiers broke into the same house and arrested Hamayil's 16-year-old son Assaf, Hamayil said. They brought police dogs which wandered inside the house scaring my children for more than an hour and a half, while the soldiers were laughing at my scared children," he added. After the soldiers left, Hamayil claimed that 550 Jordanian Dinars were missing from his wife's handbag. His own briefcase was stolen along with some of his documents including his ATM card. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28428

Israeli Defense Forces to teach personal responsibility to high school students
Thousands of IDF soldiers and officers plan to sweep through some 450 Israeli schools on Wednesday, toting manuals and maps as part of a new IDF initiative aimed at strengthening the students' pride in Israel's achievements, and to enforce a sense of personal responsibility for change and growth in the country. IDF officials hope the initiative will also tighten the bond between it and the school system. The 11th grade students are scheduled to hear about values and personal responsibility straight from the mouths of the officers. [No comment] /articles/0,7340,L-3522250,00 .html

More expired medicines seized near Nablus
The Palestinian Preventive Security Service seized large quantities of expired medicines near the village of Asira Ash-Shamaliya on Sunday. A source within the Preventive Security Service added, "A Hamas affiliate was apprehended for involvement in the issue." The source refused to give more details before an investigation is completed. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28436

Israeli minister again calls for releasing Fatah minister Marwan Barghouthi
Israeli National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer reiterated his call on Sunday to release charismatic Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi from prison. Ben-Eliezer told Voice of Israel radio that he believes that Barghouthi, who has been held in an Israeli prison since 2002, is strong enough to push forward with the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28421

Israeli court extends detention of six Palestinian prisoners
Jenin's office for prisoners' affairs listed the names of the detainees: Muhammad Nur Ismael Abu Ar-Rab from Qabatiya, Raed Sa'id As'ad from Tulkarem, Hussam Yahya Abu Ar-Rab from Qabatiya and Naji Wahsh Barjis from Jenin refugee camp. Israel currently holds more than 11,000 Palestinians in prisons and detention centers. /index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID =28419

Conspirators of foiled 2004 railway attack given lengthy jail terms
Tel Aviv District Court sentences three residents of Tayibe to seven, nine, 15 years in prison for planning attacks on Tel Aviv, Netanya in 2004 The three were convicted of planning the attacks some two-and-a-half years ago and were convicted, by their own admission, as part of a plea agreement. /articles/0,7340,L-3522519,00 .html

Palestine: The Right to Self-Determination - A Fake Exercise in Universalism
In this picture, maps show a visual explanation of Jewish Self-Determination Palestinian loss of land 1946-2000.  
http://peacepalestine.blogspot .com/2008/03/gilad-atzmon -right-to-self.html

Peres warns against returning Golan
Israel will not agree to a deal with Syria involving the return of the Golan Heights, President Shimon Peres said Sunday. "If the Golan is given back, it will boost Iran's influence in Lebanon and the territory will effectively be under Iranian-Syrian control," said Peres. /Satellite?cid=1205420753728 &pagename=JPost%2FJP
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Clashes end at Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon
SIDON, Lebanon (AFP) - Quiet returned to Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp on Saturday after a ceasefire between Islamic militants and fighters of the mainstream Fatah faction ended heavy clashes. The hundreds of civilians who had fled the fighting in the densely populated Ain al-Helweh camp outside the southern port city of Sidon began returning to their homes after the truce took hold, an AFP correspondent witnessed. The army had blocked entry to the camp, which is home to some 45,000 people, but allowed civilians to leave. /20080322/wl_mideast_afp /lebanonunrestpalestinian _080322091551

Hezbollah deputy chief says he has proof Israel killed Mughniyah
Naim Qassem said there is no basis for the claim that others were behind the assassination. "Know that Israel is responsible and it must bear the whole responsibility." According to Arab media reports, Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah is to give an address Monday to mark to 40th day since Mughniyah's death. Last week, security forces were on high alert as Israel's intelligence community has gained possession of fragments of information hinting at plans for a Hezbollah revenge attack in coordination with Iran and Syria. /spages/967027.html

BOOK REVIEW and interview: Shattering a 'national mythology'
If the [Jewish] people was not exiled, are you saying that in fact the real descendants of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah are the Palestinians? Professor Shlomo Sand: "No population remains pure over a period of thousands of years. But the chances that the Palestinians are descendants of the ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that you or I are its descendants. The first Zionists, up until the Arab Revolt [1936-9], knew that there had been no exiling, and that the Palestinians were descended from the inhabitants of the land. They knew that farmers don't leave until they are expelled. Even Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president of the State of Israel, wrote in 1929 that, 'the vast majority of the peasant farmers do not have their origins in the Arab conquerors, but rather, before then, in the Jewish farmers who were numerous and a majority in the building of the land.'"  [his book is written in Hebrew, and not translated] /spages/966952.html

FILM REVIEWS: Faceless fighters by Ian Black
Israelis and Lebanese are invisible enemies in two acclaimed new films [Under the Bombs and Beaufort] about the wars they have fought It is late July 2006, towards the end of the last Lebanon war, and Israeli aircraft - invisible to naked eye or camera - are pounding targets in an unidentified hilltop town, sending children screaming for cover and great clouds of smoke and dust billowing into the summer skies. The terrifying opening scene of Under the Bombs contains the only overt violence in this powerful film - what follows shows the destruction, human misery and loss caused by the most unusual conflict the Middle East has yet seen. In 33 days, Lebanon counted 1190 dead, less than half of them Hizbullah fighters. /world/2008/mar/21/israelandthe palestinians.lebanon

Two Americas by Uri Avnery
The American presidential elections are much too serious to be left to the Americans. Unfortunately, the citizens of the world have no part in these elections. But they may, at least, voice an opinion. Availing myself of this right I say: I am for Barack Obama. The great message of Obama is Obama himself. A person who has roots in three continents (and another half: Hawaii). A person whose education spans the wide world. A person who can see reality from the viewpoints of America, Africa and Asia. A person who is both black and white. A new kind of American, an American of the 21st Century. /home/en/channels/avnery /1206223410/ 

Iraq - The Betrayal: Must-Watch Video Report From UK: Channel 4
Peter Oborne accompanies the UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, as he travels across Iraq, meeting the main players who will determine the future of the country; from the US Commanding General David Petraeus, to militiamen fighting to protect their homes, to parliamentarians holed up in Baghdad's Green Zone, Oborne discovers that Iraq seems to have reverted to a violent feudalism.

The Woman Who Nearly Stopped The War
Of all the stories told on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, there is one important episode that took place during the build-up to the conflict that has gone largely unreported. /200803190011

Bearing Witness
Must Watch 4-Minute Video: 100 Reuters correspondents, photographers, cameramen and support staff, bearing witness through half a decade of conflict which has taken the lives of 127 journalists, including seven Reuters staff. - Warning- Video contains disturbing images.
Iraq has been the most dangerous war in history for journalists.

80,000 Angry Men. Is the US Surge collapsing?
Video report: We uncover how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the
US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike because they say they have been used by the 'Americans to do their dirty work' and haven't been paid. /world/video/2008/mar/20 /surgecollapse

Iraqi VP slams US-led invasion of Iraq
He added that the Iraqi nation is paying for damages which have been created by
America. .asp?news_id=252150&n=34

Robbing the cradle of civilization, five years later
Five years after the sacking of Iraq, we decided to ask the experts how bad it really was, how many priceless antiquities have come back to their homeland, and what, if anything, has changed about the Bush administration's approach to protecting Iraq's history. /feature/2008/03/20/iraq _roundtable/ 

Baghdad's Green Zone hit by barrage of blasts
(Reuters) Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the Iraqi parliament and U.S. embassy, was hit by a sustained barrage of rocket or mortar bomb fire early on Sunday, witnesses and officials said. It was not immediately clear where most of the missiles landed or if there were any casualties after an apparent attack lasting about 15 minutes, Reuters witnesses said. /thenews/newsdesk/L23697768.htm

For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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