Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land Theft/Destruction/Apartheid

Norway fund expels Israel firm for barrier work
Norway's $400 billion-plus wealth fund has excluded Israeli company Elbit Systems (ESLT.TA) for supplying surveillance equipment for the separation barrier in the West Bank, the government said on Thursday. "We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law," Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said in a statement. "The freedom of movement of the people living in the occupied territory has been unacceptably restricted," she said.

Court: Why won't state combat illegal Palestinian construction?
The High Court asked state prosecutors why the state discriminates between illegal Jewish and Palestinian building in the West Bank, citing the lack of enforcement of demolition warrants against illegally-built Palestinian buildings in the area.

Egyptian Ambassador visits Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem
Egyptian Ambassador in Jerusalem, Yasser Othman, visited on Wednesday evening Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem and was received by the families of Al Ghawi and Hanoun, who were forcibly removed out of their homes by a court order replacing them with Jewish settlers.

Israel building in West Bank settlements has dropped, new study finds
The Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday that housing starts dropped 34 percent to 672 housing units compared to 1,015 for the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official hinted twice Wednesday that construction in West Bank settlements might be retroactively legalized, in an apparent major policy turnaround.

Israel hints it may retroactively legalize settlement construction
The second petition, submitted by Yesh Din, sought the demolition of 12 mobile homes in the settlement of Kokhav Yaakov, which was built on Palestinian land. Unusually, the state's response ignored the issue of the ownership of the land, which the settlers say belongs to the state, but rather said orders to stop work have been issued and that the settlers "have been summoned to a meeting of the oversight subcommittee to discuss the matter of demolition orders. It goes without saying that after these meetings and in keeping with the outcome, we will act according to priorities."

Education gap divides Jerusalem
In fact, while the number of public schools in the West is going up. 30,000 Palestinian students in East Jerusalem this year have been forced to attend private schools due to a shortage of at least 1,000 classrooms. Over 5,000 will not be going to school at all this year.


Israel moves detained female reporter to Petah Tikva interrogation center
The Israeli Prison Authorities transferred Ghofran Zamil, a young Palestinian reporter, to the Petah Tikva interrogation facility after extending her remand for eight more days. Zamil, 26, was never allowed to meet with her lawyer, and was continuously interrogated without any legal grounds or charges.

The Israeli military kidnaps five Palestinians from the West Bank
Local Palestinian sources said that Israeli troops searched and ransacked homes in Jenin city and nearby Burken village, northern west Bank as well as Jericho city, in the Jordan valley. The sources added that all five are civilians.

Why Israel is after my son
The Israeli media rushed to spin the story and it became even juicier with claims that the purpose of these activities is a plot to hurt the chief of staff. Yet, the inflated indictment itself does not go that far. The indictment does not accuse Rawi of being a Hizballah agent or operative but merely being in contact with one. Although the indictment does not show criminal intent ( mens rea ) on Rawi's part, the Israeli media assumed its existence. Rawi's national and political affiliation seems to be behind this assumption.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment

Palestinian teen accuses Israel in The Hague
Amira Alqerem, 15, of Gaza charges that Israel's military killed her father and teenage brother and sister in January, the French news agency AFP reported. She was seriously injured in the attack during Israel's 3 1/2-week military offensive in Gaza that began in late December. "I am doing this for all the children of Gaza," she said through an interpreter, according to AFP. "I want to do something to change the situation."

Lecturer to use music to help children in Palestine
A LECTURER is preparing to use music to help young Palestinian children with emotional and behavioural difficulties at an orphanage in Bethlehem. Liz Coombes, a lecturer in creative therapies in education at the University of Wales, Newport, will spend six weeks at the SOS Children’s Village in Palestine, teaching social workers, teachers and other carers how to use music creatively and therapeutically.

Economic retaliation against Tel Aviv
The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel ( 1 ) has gained momentum after four years of near silence. It was launched on 9 July 2005 by a group of Palestinian organisations, a year after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled, in an advisory opinion, that the wall built in the occupied Palestinian territories was illegal ( 2 ). It is a protest against Israel's failure to honour its international obligations.

The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation
As members of the Canadian and international film, culture and media arts communities, we are deeply disturbed by the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv. We protest that TIFF, whether intentionally or not, has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.

Violence and Aggression

Israeli gunships attack fishermen while tanks invade areas of the Gaza Strip
Palestinian sources said that some boats sustained damage but no injuries were reported. Last week such attack by the military left one Palestinian fisherman dead and another injured. Meanwhile Israeli tanks invaded on Thursday areas at the eastern border with Israel. Witnesses said that tanks and bulldozers stormed the area and destroyed farm lands.

Israel’s culture of impunity
In Madrid on 29 January this year, Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles decided, on the basis of universal jurisdiction ( 1 ), to open a criminal investigation against seven Israeli political and military officials for allegedly committing a war crime ( 2 ). The court claimed that the facts pointed even to crimes against humanity, and so lawyers said they would do their utmost to demonstrate that the bombing was part of a policy of systematic attacks against a civilian population.

Police refuse to fire cop who killed Israeli Arab
"How could it be that in a country ruled by law, where even a prime minister is made to resign over a police recommendation to indict him, the chief of police as well as other police high brass agree to the continued employment of a police officer already convicted of manslaughter," said Jafar Farah, director of the Mossawa Center Arab rights organization.

Jewish gunsmoke tourism
The report, titled "'Terrorist' targets popular at West Bank gun range", describes a Jewish owned and operated firing range, in the midst of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, where Jewish tourists practice shooting cardboard cutouts, which they've first shouted down as "terrorist[s]", using "everything from handguns to M-16 combat rifles". One such tourist group, for instance, included "15 clients from 10 to 50 years old". A participant interviewed by Solomon commented on the dubious moral content, saying, "'It was sad to hear young kids express such racism.' … In the group before his … excited children shouted to their parents about being able to 'shoot the Arabs.'"

Humanitarian Issues

Gaza Health Ministry: UNRWA holding up shipments of medical supplies
The statement continued, “A group of staff from the Ministry of Health went to receive the medicine which was in the UNRWA warehouses near the Karni crossing. There were large quantities of medicines and medical equipment with labels indicating they were designated for the Palestinian Ministry of Health and for Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.”

UN urges easing of Gaza blockade over water crisis
"The deterioration and breakdown of water and sanitation facilities in Gaza is compounding an already severe and protracted denial of human dignity in the Gaza Strip," UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories Maxwell Gaylard told reporters. "At the heart of this crisis is a steep decline in standards of living for the people of Gaza, characterised by erosion of livelihoods, destruction and degradation of basic infrastructure, and a marked downturn in the delivery and quality of vital services in health, water and sanitation," he said.

Gaza is floating - official clip for release
Preview clip of Gaza is floating, a short film about how the Israeli siege is leading to a sanitation disaster in Gaza, causing environmental catastrophe and human tragedy (unreleased).

UN says raw Gaza sewage poses danger for region
Some 13 to 21 million gallons (about 50 to 80 million liters) of raw or partially treated waste sewage are pumped from Gaza into the Mediterranean every day due to lack of treatment plants, and some of the waste is floating toward Israel, U.N. officials said. An aquifer shared by Gaza and Israel is running low and its water is increasingly unfit for consumption, they said.

West Bank vs Gaza

Agriculture Ministry workers in Gaza 'went without paychecks'
Al-Habbash noted that, “After following up the events in the ministry of finance in the West Bank it was found that Minister of Agriculture Ismail Id'eiq had demanded stopping the salaries of Gaza employees.”

Political Developments

PA to probe 'IDF organ harvesting'
Secretary-General of the Palestinian Cabinet Hassan Abu Libda said the commission will be made up of the interior, health and foreign ministers. The PA will decide whether or not to pursue action against Israel in the international legal arena once the investigation's findings are revealed, he said.,7340,L-3771887,00.html

Haniyeh's son joins Hamas leaders heading for Cairo
Palestinian security sources said the delegation will meet with Egyptian officials to prepare for another round of reconciliation talks with the rival Fatah movement. The delegation will also meet with Hamas leaders in Damascus to discuss important issues around national reconciliation.

Abbas, Mubarak to discuss Hamas-Fatah unity
Acting Palestinian ambassador to Egypt Barakat Al-Farra, "President Mahmoud Abbas is keen on consulting and coordinating with President Mubarak on Palestinian issues, particularly on those related to political matters and the Palestinian internal situation, in light of Egypt's enormous efforts to end division among the Palestinians."

Palestinian minister downplays meeting with Shalom
The Palestinian minister explained that "the meeting has no political significance and does not express a change in the authority's stance, by which there will be no negotiations until Israel fulfills its obligations derived from the Road Map, which include a complete halt in all settlement activity, especially in Jerusalem".,7340,L-3771450,00.html

Israel summons Norway envoy to protest divestment from arms firm
The director general of the Foreign Ministry, Yossi Gal, on Thursday summoned the Norwegian ambassador to Israel, Jakken Bjørn Lian, to protest Norway's decision to pull all of its investments from the Israeli arms firm Elbit. Following the meeting, the Foreign Ministry relayed that, "Israel will consider further steps of protest in the future."

Blair: Israel thinks its time for talks
He also urged Israel to grant the entry of urgently needed good into the Gaza Strip to repair electricity, water and sewage infrastructure damaged during Operation Cast Lead. Despite Wednesday's meeting between Israeli Deputy Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom and Palestinian National Economy Minister Bassem Khoury, Blair said there was "still a huge distance to go".,7340,L-3771535,00.html

Yahoo has to acknowledge Palestine should it want to flirt with our pockets
Yahoo never cared about Palestine before but I think it is about time that it does, for Yahoo has just acquired the Palestinian Maktoob portal founded by the Palestinian son of Nablus Samih Toukan. is considered the largest Arab online portal at a value of around $75M-$80M. This deal Yahoo is after to further its influence in the Arab World as a fast growing internet and mobile market will not be welcomed if it chooses to ignore the Palestinians who are still running the portal and will continue to do so according to the reported information.

U.S., Israel Grow More Confident of Talks with Palestinians
Such a move would help the U.S. in its effort to build international consensus on isolating Iran over its nuclear program. Mr. Obama set a late September deadline for Tehran to respond to U.S. offers for direct talks over the nuclear issue, and some Arab governments have expressed reluctance to cooperate with the West on that front without some movement toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Other News

WATCH: New campaign targets Jews 'abducted' by intermarriage
The ad then asks anyone who "knows a young Jew living abroad" to call MASA. "Together, we will strengthen his or her bond to Israel, so that we don't lose them," the announcer concludes.

Israel keeping watch on northern border
"Below the surface, there is extensive activity whose goal, quite clearly, is to prepare for the day of visitation," said Shahaf Commander Lt. Col. Motti of military actions in Lebanon. "We are likely to take a hit, but even if we don't manage to thwart every event, we will be able to inflict a price. This is why we are strenuously preparing a 'target bank'. When the need arises, we'll know how to take action against them.",7340,L-3771624,00.html

Report: Russia to supply Syria with powerful MiG fighter jets
In May, Reuters cited a Kommersant report that claimed Russia halted plans to sell MIG-31 fighter jets to Syria because of pressure from Israel. In 2007, Russia agreed to supply Syria with eight MiG-31 fighters, known in the West by NATO codename Foxhound, for about $400-$500 million, the paper said.


opinion: Israel’s war on Palestine —Brian Cloughley
Israel's war on the Palestinians will continue with the support of Washington. Obama is a good, decent man. But with enemies like AIPAC and its Congressional pawns, he hasn't a hope of achieving justice for Palestinians in the occupied territories of their own country. Sorry, sir: you're yet another victim of the Zionists.\09\03\story_3-9-2009_pg3_2

Israel/Palestine: the ‘Robin Hood’ of international law
In the criminal case against him, two policemen accuse Nawi of attacking them during a the demolition of a “tin shack” house in a Palestinian-Arab Bedouin community, but a video of the incident which took place on Feb 14, 2007, has made its way onto and is quickly disparaging the policemen’s claims as laughable.

Beware Palestinian plot
Finally, such party would aspire for unilateral partition even if the international community does not assume responsibility for security. The IDF can stay in the area even in the wake of the West Bank's evacuation, until Fatah “moderates” decide they are interested in genuine peace. Even after the IDF pulls out we'll be able to defend ourselves against missiles, if necessary – Operation Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War proved that an aggressive response puts an end to the rockets.,7340,L-3771474,00.html

Abu Mazen's vision of a freeze
Abbas has apparently come to the conclusion that as a result of the low point to which Israel's status has sunk in the world and the disintegration of Israeli solidarity, it is not worthwhile at this point to renew talks with Israel. It is preferable in his view that Israel be in a situation in which it is attacked from all directions and continues to lose status, societal cohesion and self-confidence.


Five killed, nearly 100 wounded in Iraq attacks
Three worshippers died and 51 others were injured when a bomb exploded at a Shiite tomb in Musayyib, 55 kilometres (34 miles) south of Baghdad in Babil province, said a police officer based in provincial capital Hilla. At Mahauil, 80 kilometres south of the capital, a booby trapped car near another Shiite tomb killed two people and wounded nine others, the officer said.

U.S. – Iraqi troops at the Syrian border
There are more evidence today on what I said yesterday that political blocs in Iraq are using the Syria – Iraq crisis to distance themselves and isolate Maliki. Jabir Habbib Jabir, member of the UIA Foreign Relations Committee in the parliament rejected Maliki’s attempts to pressure Syria with the International Court, pointing out to the difficulty of the choice which will be very costly and can take years to achieve anything.

Iraqi deputy minister arrested in corruption sting
The chairman of parliament’s integrity committee, Sabah al-Saedi, says police arrested the minister after he accepted $100,000 from a company doing work at Baghdad airport. _arrested

Iraq accuses Syria of harboring armed groups
Iraq's prime minister said Thursday that Syria was sheltering armed groups wanted for cross-border attacks, forcing him to appeal to the United Nations for help in stopping what he called a hostile act.

U.S. and other world news

Venezuelan president bashes Israel in Syria trip
"The entire world knows it. Why was the state of Israel created? ... To divide. To impede the unity of the Arab world. To assure the presence of the North American empire in all these lands," he said. Chavez is on an 11-day trip to Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Belarus and Russia in his bid to build a multi-polar world and decrease U.S. influence in the region.

Israel ombudsman: U.S. deprived Jonathan Pollard of due process
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said the subject of Pollard's release was always a priority for every one of the prime ministers examined, but that they nevertheless encountered staunch opposition from the different U.S. administrations.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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