Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land Theft/Destruction/Apartheid

Israeli soldiers fire on Al Jazeera correspondent - 04 Sep 09
The soldiers also fired tear gas at Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera's correspondent who was covering the event live from near the village of Bilin.

Israeli forces shoot two demonstrators with live ammunition in the West Bank village of Ni’lin
Around 4pm, eyewitnesses reported that the Army began to shoot live ammunition towards demonstrators. David Reeb, an Israeli citizen and prominent film-maker, was shot in his thigh with live ammunition from around 20 meters. Reeb frequently films Ni’lin demonstrations. Hamoudeh Saeed Amirah, a Ni’lin resident, was shot in his leg with live ammunition, though the bullet did not enter. Amirah films the Ni’lin demonstrations for Press TV.

Palestinians protest land seizure
Hundreds of Palestinian villagers have made a short but symbolic march to the separation wall that Israel has built on their land, a non-violent protests that they regularly undertake. "Later today the villagers of Bilin will protest the fact that not only they, but also five neighbouring villages, have lost their land which has been seized to build an Israeli settlement.

Hundreds of Palestinian olive trees destroyed in Ramallah area
Hundreds of Palestinian olive trees in the Ramallah area were destroyed Friday in an attack police say was carried out by settlers in protest of reported plans to freeze settlement construction. No arrests have been made.

Aides: Israel to build new houses in settlements
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will approve hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements before slowing settlement construction, two of his aides said Friday, in an apparent snub of Washington's public demand for a total settlement freeze.

Archaeologists in Jerusalem uncover section of Canaanite wall
The site, one of the richest in a country full of ancient remains, is in the midst of a neighborhood in Israeli-occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem. The “City of David” digs are funded by Elad, a Jewish settler organization that also buys Palestinian homes and brings Jewish families into the neighborhood.


PPS: "Army kidnapped 63 Palestinians in August"
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped in August 63 Palestinians, including 14 students, 11 children and 8 patients.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment

Nordic doctor revives Gaza casualty debate
Ninety percent of casualties brought to Gaza's main hospital during Israel's winter offensive were civilians, according to a new book by a well-known yet controversial physician from Norway. "Among the patients killed and injured at Shifa, 80 to 90 percent we saw were civilians," said Gilbert, who frequently visits Gaza and the West Bank. He arrived at Shifa last winter with his colleague, Dr. Erik Fosse, on the fourth day of fighting through the Rafah Crossing.

ISESCO calls world to stop Jerusalem Judaization
The Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) called here Friday the international community to exert immediate effort to stop the "Zionist settlement plans in Jerusalem" that aim to Judaize the holy city and kick out its Palestinian residents. ISESCO pointed out that Israeli forces were also expanding settlements in the West Bank, especially around Jerusalem and in Palestinian neighborhoods in Old Jerusalem.

World church grouping urges freeze on Israeli settlements
The World Council of Churches has called upon the Israeli government to "implement an open-ended freeze" on all settlement construction and expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem "in preparation for negotiating peace in good faith" in the region. "Even as Israel's own right to exist evokes sympathy and solidarity around the world, its policies of expansion and annexation generate dismay or hostility," the WCC public statement asserts.

Places touched by hope in Palestine thanks to Catholic charity
Although Bethlehem is partitioned from East Jerusalem by a 25-foot high Israeli wall, behind the massive concrete barrier there are places where charity heals the lives of the poor and disabled. On a recent trip to the area, I discovered that the Pontifical Mission-Jerusalem, is at work in these hardscrabble confines. The generosity of these boys and their teachers was confirmed as they announced to the class that they would like to give me a gift. "Take anything you want," they said.

Outgoing World Council of Churches Leader Slams Israel's 'Sin Against God'
"Occupation along with the concomitant humiliation of a whole people for over six decades constitutes not just economic and political crimes but, like anti-Semitism, it is a sin against God," declared Kenyan Methodist minister Samuel Kobia, during his farewell to the WCC's governing central committee.

Norway FM to Barak: Israel is our friend despite Elbit divestment
The decision followed a recommendation issued by the Ethics Committee, whose role is to ensure that the government's investments abroad are in line with its ethical guidelines. The finance minister said Norway is not interested in funding a company so "blatantly involved in violating international humanitarian law." Investments Norway divested from the Israeli arms firm Elbit were part of a private fund and did not represent the country's policy, the country's minister of foreign affairs told

Toronto Film Fest deflects criticism of Tel Aviv spotlight
Several Canadian filmmakers plan to withdraw their movies from the festival, claiming that the screenings of 10 Tel Aviv films will show Israel in a positive light instead of creating a critical forum in which to discuss the occupation.

Violence and Aggression

Palestinian stabbed to death in northern Israel
A Palestinian young man was stabbed to death in the town of Afula, in northern Israel. Israeli sources reported that Muhammad Shalabi, 21, from the village of Solom in the Marj Bin Amer area, killed by an unidentified attacker. His cousin was also wounded in the assault but survived.

Settlers accused of assaulting Palestinian
His account tells of seven assailants. "He said that there were seven of them, all masked and that they beat him and kicked him and hit him with a mace and a belt. You can still see the bruises," said one of his sons. Bashar, another one of Tawil's sons, added that once the beating was over, "They stripped him and made him come back to the village in his underwear. The humiliation is worse than the beating."
The IDF said the allegations were being explored, but Itay Zar of Gilad Farm denied the report altogether.,7340,L-3772002,00.html

ANALYSIS / Israel-PA relations have never been so good
Tuesday morning, a senior PA official called Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank, and said "there are rumors in Jalazun that the boy was not even throwing firebombs." Mordechai denied this, adding that if his Palestinian interlocutor were not convinced, he would send over photos from the scene. "There's no need," the Palestinian said. "If you say so, I believe you."

Humanitarian Issues

Call for an immediate opening of Gaza's crossings
“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” stated Mr Gaylard. “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,” added Mr Gaylard. OpenDocument

Israel closes all three commercial crossings with Gaza
Israeli authorities decided to close all three crossing points used to ship goods into the Gaza Strip on Friday.

The right to walk
Gaza's troubles have somehow been relegated, if not completely dropped, from the mainstream media's radar, and by extension from public consciousness. This conveys a false impression that things are improving and people are starting to rebuild their lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since the conclusion of Israel's war last year the Palestinian Ministry of Health has declared that 344 Gaza patients must now be added to the growing number of casualties.

Report: UAE to deport hundreds of Palestinians by month's end
The UAE government gave no official reason for its decision, but said that senior state officials have approved the expulsion. None of those deported were given an explanation, according to the report, other than being told the decision was security related.

West Bank vs Gaza

Still stuck in neutral
Despite his attempts to hold back the tears, Gomaa Abu Sarar, 37 years old, began weeping while sitting in the tent set up to mourn his mother's death from cancer. What most upsets Gomaa, who lives in the Maghazi Refugee Camp in Gaza, is that his mother's life could have been saved if she'd been allowed to leave Gaza for treatment. His mother was unable to travel not just because the Rafah border was closed, but also because she could not get a passport. Salam Fayyad's government has refused to send passports to Gaza, as a way of undermining Ismail Haniyeh's government.

Political Developments

Abbas relieves Qaddumi of his post as head of the PLO's political department
RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Former PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also the chairman of both of Fatah and the PLO, has issued a decree sacking Farouk al-Qaddumi from his post as the head of the PLO's political department, according to a Palestinian source.

Embassy source: Doubtful US singed off on Israeli decision
Kurt Hoyer, spokesman for the US embassy in Tel Aviv, said Friday Washington would be unlikely to accept anything "contrary to the spirit of negotiations they've been undertaking" and added it was "doubtful" the US had signed off on the Israeli decision. Nonetheless, the White House and the State Department were yet to offer an official response to the report.,7340,L-3772133,00.html

White House Rebukes Israel Over Reports of Renewed Settlement Expansion in West Bank
"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. "We are working to create a climate in which negotiations can take place, and such actions make it harder to create such a climate," the White House statement said. "We do appreciate Israel's stated intent to place limits on settlement activity and will continue to discuss this with the Israelis as these limitations are defined."

Abbas: Netanyahu's new West Bank build 'unacceptable'
"What the Israeli government said [about the planned construction] is not useful. It is unacceptable for us. We want a freeze on all settlement construction," Abbas said after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Moussa: no to settlement freeze without Jerusalem
CERNOBBIO, Italy – The Arab League chief says any Israeli offer for a settlement freeze that doesn't include east Jerusalem is unacceptable and "will suspend the peace process."

Peres: Palestinian state first, full peace later
Israeli President Shimon Peres, a longtime advocate of peace with the Palestinians, said Friday that a comprehensive settlement resolving the century-old dispute was not currently achievable. He called instead for a Palestinian state under a provisional arrangement even without a formal peace deal.

Hamas said ready to sign Shalit deal this weekend
Besides the return of the Israeli soldier, whom Hamas abducted in 2006, the parties will also discuss talks for reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. However, this track is seen as having few chances to succeed, making it likelier that the parties will focus on the prisoner deal.

PA considering asking EU for sanctions against Israel
The official said the PA had previously considered the diplomatic move. "There is not a country in the world that doesn't believe the danger to peace is Israeli policy, and especially its settlement policy, so we must actualize this concept and translate it into sanctions.",7340,L-3772168,00.html

U.S. Congressmembers to EU: Condemn IDF organ harvesting article
Members of the U.S. Congress on Friday urged European foreign ministers to denounce an article published in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet alleging that Israel Defense Forces soldiers kill Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.

Druze officers want Gabbai dismissed
Prime Minister's Office Director Eyal Gabbai's comments that "the word 'Druze' instills terror on government ministries" have angered many, and caused the organization of former Druze officers sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday calling for Gabbai's dismissal.,7340,L-3772048,00.html

Davutoglu: Turkey's interest in regional problems is a necessity
"Turkey wants to continue relations with its neighbors with zero problems and maximum security." Stating that Turkey has roots in Europe, the Balkans, the East, the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Black Sea regions, he added that it could also help solve problems in these regions. Afterwards, Davutoglu also met with Egyptian Intelligence Service head Omar Suleiman. The two discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

Other News

Arab Americans complain to Clinton about Israeli 'discrimination'
These include, it said, "Arab Americans trapped in Gaza and prohibited from exiting into Israel; American-born Palestinians forced to surrender their US passports on entry and receive, against their will, a Palestinian ID document." It also referred to "numerous reports from American-born US citizens of Palestinian descent or Arab heritage being singled out for prolonged questioning on entry and departure, and burdensome and discriminatory visa requirements imposed upon Palestinian Americans severely impacting their families and businesses."

A West Bank Family, Making A Home In 'Amreeka'
It's a comfortable middle-class existence — how often do we see that side of Palestinian life? — but when a U.S. Green Card unexpectedly comes through for Muna (Nisreen Faour) and her 16-year-old son Fadi (Melkar Muallem), they end up making their uncertain way through U.S. Customs, where an agent's casual query of "Occupation?" elicits an unexpectedly funny response.

Obama blesses Muslim month of Ramadan as Israel envoy looks on
"Ramadan Kareem," was the blessing given by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, where members of Congress and diplomats gathered for the Iftar meal to break the fast during the holy month in the Islamic calendar. Among those in attendance was Israel's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren.


Palestine in relativity
This theory of relativity is rather interesting. The Bethlehem district lost more than 85 per cent of its land to Israeli colonial settlements and the apartheid wall that snakes around us and captures most of our good natural resources, agricultural lands, water and more. More than half of all residents in this shrinking ghetto of Bethlehem are refugees or displaced people. Nearly 35,000 are refugees from the original frenzy of ethnic cleansing that happened between 1947-1949 and their descendants. Another 30,000 represent displaced people who moved in to the remaining shrinking enclave when their lands were stolen by colonial settlements since 1967...

Suddenly, Netanyahu is popular and Obama is not
That will be a major diplomatic achievement for Netanyahu. In his visit to the White House in May, the prime minister's main aim was to persuade Obama of "Iran first and the Palestinians afterward." It was convenient at the time for Obama to present a disagreement with Netanyahu in order to strengthen U.S. credibility in the Arab world. One hundred days later, it turns out that on the crucial issue - setting the foreign affairs agenda - Netanyahu's view prevailed.

If you build it, the state will come
The plan is a call to action for Palestinians to establish "strong state institutions capable of providing, equitably and effectively, for the needs of our citizens, despite the occupation ", and "to establish a de facto state apparatus within the next two years". The 38-page document lays out the generalised blueprint for the Palestinian Authority to begin to transform itself into a functioning, responsive and responsible government as if the Palestinians had independence, and in preparation for independence.


UN agency hails Belgium’s decision to accept Iraqi refugees
This first group of Iraqi refugees to settle in Belgium included some single mothers and their children, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva. Mr. Mahecic noted that later this month some 11 Palestinian refugees from the no-man’s land refugee camp located on the border between Syria and Iraq are also slated to be housed in Belgium.

Injured Iraqis arrive in Kuwait for medical treatment
The report said some 25 Iraqis were airlifted Thursday by a Kuwaiti military aircraft to the emirate, while the official KUNA news agency put the figure at 17.

Turkey, Syria, Iraq sign MoU for use of water resource
"There is shortage of water due to drought. We are aware of this situation. We will take into consideration the demand of Syria and Iraq. If we have the water, we will not be in a position to not share this water with our neighbors," he added.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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