Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land theft

Mayor says army obstructing annual harvest
The mayor of Az-Zaytoon, Sa’eed Shreteh, demanded that official, civil and human rights institutions support farmers who he said were being persecuted by Israel's army and the settlers during their annual harvest. Shreteh told Ma’an that the Israeli army had prevented a number of farmers from reaching their land west of the town and asked ordered them not to return to the Wad Abu Qare area ... Shreteh added that the purported practices were intended to confiscate 600-700 acres from the town’s lands via attacks on farmers and forbidding them from entering their privately owned land.

Religious use contested East Jerusalem site as mikveh
The neighborhood of Silwan, which is located in southeast Jerusalem and borders on the Old City, is one of the most politically loaded areas in the capital. In recent years, am intractable territorial and ideological battle is being waged between the neighborhood's Arab residents and a number of Jewish organizations buying up property there with the objective of Judaizing the area, which is next to the biblical City of David. The area is steeped in biblical history, and is considered critically important real estate for Arabs and Jews alike ... Nearly ever Friday afternoon, dozens of religious and haredi Jews, equipped with towels and soap, come to bath in the pool, essentially turning the site into a purification mikveh – or, Jewish ritual bath – for men. Because the bathing is done in total nudity, entry to women, tourists, and Arab residents of the neighborhood is thwarted by the bathers even though it is a public site.,7340,L-3785275,00.html

Attacks / Incursions / Fighting

Gaza boy shot by Israeli forces
A young boy was shot by Israeli forces on his family’s farm near the Israeli border in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, medical officials said. According to Muawiya Hassanein, the director of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Abu Suleiman was shot in the spine. Hassanein also said Israeli forces denied ambulances access to the area to take the child to hospital. Instead, the forces detained him for two hours, he said.

Israeli jets pound Gaza for fourth consecutive day
Israel's air force launched three strikes on the tunnel area in Rafah, between Egypt and southern Gaza, on Sunday morning. The attacks reportedly terrified residents, but no casualties were announced after the fourth consecutive series of airstrikes in as many days. Israeli warplanes have continued to pound the Gaza Strip all week, purportedly in response to homemade projectiles fired from Gaza.

Clashes break out in Jerusalem's Old City
Palestinians and Israeli forces were seen clashing near Lions' Gate in East Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday morning. No injuries were immediately reported, although at least 40 people were hurt when fierce confrontations erupted there last week. A standoff began around midnight on Sunday morning when Israeli forces attempted to evacuate and detain about 200 Muslim worshippers holed up in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Helicopters were spotted flying overhead the mosque, which was soon under lockdown as a large contingent of Israeli forces deployed in the Old City and police began demanding that Palestinians at the compound hand themselves over in exchange for opening the mosque's gates, which were sealed overnight. The Jerusalem Post reported that the area was closed "to Muslim visitors and worshipers" over what the English-language newspaper called security concerns related to Islamic leaders' prior calls for Palestinians to "come and protect" the mosque, including on printed flyers posted around town.

PFLP: Armed wing fired on Israeli bulldozer in Gaza
The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it fired on an Israeli military bulldozer reportedly operating in Gaza on Sunday. The purported attack occurred north of Kissufim, according to the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. In a statement, the group claimed that both the military bulldozer's driver and another soldier were seen falling to the ground after the leftist faction's fighters opened fire. Israel's military denied the report.

Islamic Jihad predicts 'imminent' Israeli attack
Islamic Jihad's armed wing expects Israel to renew attacks on Gaza soon, an official alleged on Saturday. Abu Ahmad, spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, said "developments" had led the militant wing to suspect Israel was planning an imminent but unspecified incursion in "the coming days or weeks." He did not elaborate.


Israel: Hamas to erect strategic mobile homes
...The Israeli daily newspaper Ma'ariv quoted official Israeli sources saying that Hamas was preparing to erect trailers near the border purportedly to house Gazans whose homes were destroyed during last winter's offensive. However, Israel believes the alleged plan to place structures only hundreds of meters from the border was actually designed to make digging smuggling tunnels easier, the Hebrew-language newspaper reported.

Gaza students: Egypt obstructing right to attend classes
Dozens of Gazan students on Saturday appealed to the Egyptian government to open the Rafah crossing so they could attend their universities in Egypt. Several students told Ma’an that the school year had already begun at Egyptian universities, and added that they appealed to the Egyptian government to open its crossing so they could join their classes already in progress. They said they all held valid Egyptian residency visas and were properly enrolled at universities.

Israel seals two of three crossings into Gaza
Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday to allow food and fuel into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a local Palestinian official. Raed Fattouh, a crossings representative, added that both the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings with Israel were expected to remain closed. Fattouh said that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be open for 73-83 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid.

Detention / Prisoner swaps

Senior Islamic Movement member arrested in Jerusalem
Kamal Khatib, a leader of the Islamic Movement in northern Israel, has been arrested in Jerusalem.  Khatib was seized in the Wadi Joz neighborhood on suspicion of incitement and attempting to organize an illegal parade in east Jerusalem. He was taken in for questioning,7340,L-3785244,00.html

Israel releases Hamas PLC member
Israel released Hamas-affiliated parliament member Riyad Al-Amlah from prison on Sunday when he finished a three year, five month sentence for membership in a “illegal organization.”
Al-Amlah was seized by Israeli forces in the summer of 2006, during a sweep of senior Hamas officials following the capture of soldier Gilad Shalit by militants from Gaza.

Hamas: Israel's refusal to release senior Hamas leader delays prisoner swap
GAZA, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic Hamas movement Sunday said Israel's refusal to release a senior Hamas commander was the reason that hinders a prisoner exchange deal.  Since the beginning of indirect talks to swap an Israeli soldier for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, Israel rejected talking about the release of Ibraheem Hamed, the jailed leader of al-Qassam brigades, Hamas' armed wing in the West Bank, according to the website of al-Qassam.

Report: Dispute over Israeli Arab prisoners stalling Shalit deal
A dispute over the release of Israeli Arab and East Jerusalem prisoners is delaying the conclusion of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas aimed at securing the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, the London-based pan Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday ... According to the report, Hamas is insisting that Israel release most of the prisoners from East Jerusalem as well as those who are Israeli citizens, since the vast majority of them have been jailed for a long time, and some of them even belong to Hamas. However, Israel has refused to release these prisoners, saying that releasing Israeli citizens would create a dangerous precedent ...
In a separate story, Asharq al-Awsat quoted a senior Israeli defense official as saying that Israel knows exactly where Shalit is being held captive, and that the location is under constant Israeli surveillance.  According to the report, the official said that if Israel so desired it could take the risk and storm the place, but the fear that Shalit might get hurt is preventing Israel from launching such an operation.

Last prisoner freed in 'videotape deal'
The "videotape deal" between Israel and Hamas was completed Sunday afternoon, as female Palestinian prisoner Roda Habib was transferred on a Red Cross vehicle from the Shikma Prison to the Erez crossing, where she crossed into the Gaza Strip ... Habib had not been included in the list of prisoners slated to be released, but after Israel had freed 15-year-old Bara'ah Malki, who was anyway scheduled to be released, Hamas demanded the release of an additional prisoner in exchange for the videotape showing kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit alive and well.,7340,L-3785270,00.html

Israel's captured youths: Gilad Shalit and a Palestinian girl with braces on her teeth
In an interview, Baraah Malki – one of the first of 20 female Palestinian prisoners to be released by Israel in exchange for a video of kidnapped soldier Shalit – talks about her time in prison ... "What I saw in jail, a woman who's 50 has not seen," Baraah says. "Suddenly, I became older. In the interrogation, I was threatened and pushed around to the point where I admitted to things I hadn't done."

Defense officials satisfied after watching Shalit video
Defense experts who analyzed the tape showing captive soldier Gilad Shalit came away with the impression that Hamas is highly interested in meeting the demands relayed to it by the German mediator. ... The manner in which Shalit spoke of the family Golan visit to an army base - the soldier can be heard changing his intonation - indicated this is the only segment of the video in which the words spoken are his alone. This also proved that despite what he was forced to endure these last three years in captivity, Shalit was not subjected to Hamas indoctrination.

Hamas leader expects swap deal within weeks
Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahar said on Saturday that a comprehensive prisoner swap would be arranged between Israel and Palestinian factions within a matter of weeks, or months at most ... Hamas has demanded hundreds of Israel's estimated 10,000 Palestinian prisoners be freed in exchange for the soldier. A major sticking point in the proposal is Israel's insistence that dozens of these detainees be exiled to other countries rather than return to their homes.

War crimes / Goldstone report

Abbas orders probe of deferral of Gaza report
President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered an investigation into why his own government delayed international action on a United Nations report on alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip ... According to the news agency AFP, Palestinian Authority Minister of National Economy Bassem Khoury tendered his resignation over the PA's involvement in the deferral of the Goldstone report. In an interview with Ma’an however, he refused to confirm or deny this report.

Hamas: Abbas cannot investigate himself

...Hamas spokesperson Ismail Radwan said that since Abbas is himself the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), he cannot investigate the PLO’s actions. “We do not need to form a national investigating committee but to form a committee to bring to account those responsible” for the decision, Radwan said.

PA move to thwart Goldstone Gaza report shocks Palestinian public
By Amira Hass. The decision by the UN Human Rights Council to delay the vote on the findings of its report into the Gaza conflict - in line with a request by Palestinian Authority - has shocked the Palestinian public.  Palestinian sources told Haaretz that Abbas made the decision to delay the vote immediately after meeting with the U.S. Consul General last Thursday, without the knowledge of the PLO leadership or the government of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and without any consultation ... The Palestinian sources said they believed that the consul general had passed on an unequivocal request from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ensure that the document remain on the table at the Human Rights Council.

Mishaal slams Abbas for not supporting UN report on Israeli war crimes in Gaza
“We are shocked today … this is a shame … the blood of children and women in Gaza will curse those who renounced the Palestinian blood,” Mishaal said in his speech during a ceremony held in the context of celebrating Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture in Damascus.

Goldstone: As a Jew, it's my duty to probe war crimes
United Nations investigator Richard Goldstone said Sunday that he was saddened by the fact that Jews felt he should not be investigating Israel because he is Jewish. As a Jew, he told CNN, I have an even bigger duty to investigate war crimes. I probed war crimes in other countries, he said, so why should Israel be different?,7340,L-3785344,00.html

Sderot mayor sends letter to Goldstone
Mayor of southern city accuses judge who led UN-appointed probe of Operation Cast Lead of ignoring Israeli side of equation. 'You and entire world stood silent when 8,000 rockets landed in our city,' he says in letter, to which he enclosed photos of three children killed in past Qassam attacks,7340,L-3784949,00.html

Goldstone to Sderot mayor: Report didn't ignore rocket fire
In response to accusations, head of UN inquiry into Gaza war says report stated that Qassam, mortar fire towards south Israel constituted war crimes. Mayor Buskila invites Goldstone to visit Sderot and 'see that we are not war mongers',7340,L-3785451,00.html

When the PA collaborators overplayed their hand: Abu Mazen investigates
By As`ad AbuKhalil. This could be one of those watersheds. This could become the point at which the Palestinian (and Arab) peoples revolted against the betrayals by the PA leadership. They are in trouble: there is no question about that ... The accusations and recriminations will begin: and Salam Fayyad will toss the ball to Abu Mazen, and the latter will do the same. It is not that this is the first betrayal by this PA collaborationist gang, but this extent of betrayal must have proven to be too much and has gone too far, even by moderate Palestinian and Arab standards.

Letter to Gaza from a West Bank Palestinian
By Seham. Dear Gazans, I am very sorry.  I am speechless.  I keep thinking that my people in the West Bank will come to their senses and turn against the collaborators in the government that supported the indiscriminate slaughter of your children last December, I did not think those barbarians could stoop any lower.  I was wrong – "Palestinians drop endorsement of Goldstone report on Gaza war."  I will never forget and never forgive.

Throwing Judge Goldstone (and the Gazans) under the bus - who won and who lost
It took about a week to finish off Richard Goldstone and his Gaza Report. You have to give a lot of credit to the Netanyahu government. They get better at killing the messenger each time they do it. This time a few days of Israeli phone calls to the European capitals, intensive public relations, and a lot of help from the US government, did the trick ... But an honorable mention and a big yashar koah goes to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, which buckled under "intense pressure" from the US, and agreed to delay deliberations on the report until March.

Israel vs. human rights
Comment by Adam Horowitz & Philip Weiss. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vigorously took up the country's latest strategy for responding to allegations of human rights abuses: kill the messenger ... The head of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, Judge Richard Goldstone, was "upset" by the speech ... "The idea that this is aimed at delegitimating the state of Israel--that is the last thing I would want to do."

Political developments

Mubarek urges Israel to open final status talks
Egyptian president tells al-Quwat al-Musallaha newspaper Israel should move straight to six 'final status' issues in talks with Palestinians, including border, status of Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security and water. 'What is required now is political will, particularly by leaders of Israel,' he says,7340,L-3784905,00.html

Jerusalem sources: Peace talks with PA to resume very soon
The U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, was expected to arrive in Israel on Wednesday in order to continue efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Jerusalem sources believe that the resumption of talks will be announced soon, possibly immediately following Mitchell's visit.

Report: Maldives to relay Abbas message to Netanyahu
Mahmoud Abbas recently asked the Maldive Islands president, Mohamed Nasheed, to pass along a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a Malé-based newswire reported on Saturday. According to the independent news agency Minivan, the purported message reiterated the Ramallah-based Palestinian government's interest in reviving dialogue with Israel ... Meanwhile in New York, while addressing members at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly last week, Nasheed said the Maldives would use its renewed ties with Israel to assert support for an "independent and sovereign" Palestinian homeland.


Palestinian women denied rights even in camps
BEIRUT: Palestinian women in one of Lebanon’s largest refugee camps say that with no rights in the country or even within their own community, they feel they are treated “worse than dogs.” Offering a unique insight into life in one of 12 refugee camps in the country, Medical Aid for Palestinians, a British charity working for the health of Palestinians in Lebanon, released a report Wednesday on the disenfranchisement of Burj al-Barajneh’s women.

Other news

70 Palestinians caught crammed into refrigerator truck
Seventy illegal Palestinian aliens were apprehended Sunday, during routine Border Guard operations. The man transporting them, a resident of the Jerusalem-adjacent Israeli-Arab town Abu Gosh, was also apprehended.  The men were caught after Border Guard officers performing routine vehicle inspection on Highway 6 ordered the driver, manning the wheel of a refrigeration truck, to pull over. When the officers opened the back of the truck, they found dozens of illegal aliens crammed into it ... The Palestinians were returned to Palestinian Authority territory.,7340,L-3785424,00.html

'All-star team of Israel-haters' at Norway school raises concern
In a move which Foreign Ministry sources defined as "unusual," Israel's embassy in Norway has officially protested the launch of a high profile academic seminar there delivered exclusively by lecturers known for their highly critical views of Israel ... The seminar, whose first session took place last month, includes lectures by Ilan Pappe, who accuses Israel of perpetrating an "ethnic cleansing of Palestine" and by Stephen Walt, the coauthor of a controversial study on the effect of the Israel-lobby on U.S. policy.

Israeli supermodels in catwalk spat over draft-dodging
She has already been criticised by the military for her decision to avoid the draft in her native Israel, but now a former girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio is under attack from a fellow supermodel ... It is thought that about a third of the eligible population in Israel now avoid being called up for national service and that figure is expected to pass 50 per cent by 2025.

Opinion / Analysis

It's all kosher for Kasher
By Gideon Levy. ...One day, when historians take the time to examine Israel's brutal offensive in Gaza, otherwise known as "Cast Lead," they will settle a score with political leaders and officers who were responsible for committing war crimes. They will delve deep and denounce the enablers of this nation, the whitewashers and apologists, those who let the Israel Defense Forces win at any cost, even if it was the heaviest moral cost possible. The main target on their list will be Mr. Ethics, Prof. Asa Kasher, the Israel Prize-winning philosopher and author of the IDF's Code of Conduct.

A story of betrayal
By Uri Avnery. A soldier captured by the enemy in a military action is a prisoner of war – in every language, in every country. Gilad Shalit was captured in a military action. He was an armed soldier in uniform. In this context, it does not matter whether the action itself was legal or illegal, and whether the captors were regular soldiers or guerrillas. Gilad Shalit is a prisoner of war. The denial started at the first moment. The Israeli government refused to call the capture by its proper name and insisted that it was an “abduction” or even “kidnapping” ... The words are important. All armies are familiar with exchanges of prisoners of war. Generally, this happens after the end of hostilities, sometimes while the war is still going on. The army releases the enemy fighters in return for the release of its own captured soldiers. This does not apply to abducted persons. When criminals abduct a person and hold them for ransom, the question arises whether the price should be paid.

Analysis: Hamas score rare victory in tape swap
JERUSALEM (AFP) – The release of 19 Palestinian women prisoners in exchange for a brief video clip of a captured Israeli soldier has handed a much-need victory to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, analysts said on Sunday. In the three years since Hamas captured the now 23-year-old Gilad Shalit the group has endured two massive military offensives, long periods of near-daily Israeli raids and a crippling economic blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt. But now Hamas can boast that for the first time since taking power of Gaza in June 2007 it has compelled Israel to release prisoners -- not as a gesture to encourage peace talks, but as the hard-won fruit of armed struggle.

Analysis: Palestinians simmer, but no Intifada for now
By Mohammerd Assadi. * Palestinian anger may take years to erupt * Dahlan wary that new uprising could hurt Palestinians * Demonstrations, clashes could become more common -- JERUSALEM, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Peace talks with Israel are in deadlock and tear gas and rocks are flying at Jerusalem's holy sites, but for all the mounting frustration in the West Bank talk of a Third Intifada seems premature to most Palestinians.

Among the Shministim - excommunication and self-hatred
By Philip Weiss. More on the Shministim’s tour: ...They did not dwell on their personal stories. They are using their visit to educate people about the conflict, and the dispossession of the Palestinians. On this score they were eloquent and ferocious, showing maps of partition and of checkpoints and settlements ... Netta said that she loves being an Israeli but does not want to be a patriot, and that her worst encounters were with American Jews with their Israel patriotism. "It is realy hard and really painful," she said, "and sometimes I even cry," when people criticize her for not caring about Israel, when their only connection to Israel is the Star of David on their neck. And meanwhile through the lobby–a word she didn’t use–they are exercising some kind of "control" of Israeli policy. Yes, Netta, it’s about dual loyalty, and the parallel mental/policy universe it creates.

Book review: Gannet Ankori's Palestinian Art
Divided into four parts, "Foundations," "Earth and Sky," "Body and Home" and "Being Arab in Israel," Palestinian Art largely focuses on artists working after 1948. With the exception of "Foundations," which provides a quick overview of the formation of Palestinian art before and immediately after the Nakba, or dispossession, Ankori narrows her investigation to a small number of artists, weaving together extensive analysis of their work within a larger framework of what she calls "Dis-Orientalism."

alternate universe department: End the Arab occupation of Israel
By Ron Breiman. ...Most of the Arabs in the Land of Israel immigrated here after our waves of aliyah. In other words, Zionism and the prosperity it engendered spawned "the Palestinian people." Since the Arab occupation of the Land of Israel in the seventh century, and throughout the centuries of Muslim occupation, not one of the occupiers viewed this land as anything more than a distant imperial outpost.

Israel's vile anti-miscegenation squads
By Seth Freedman. When the police lend support to vigilante groups hounding Jewish-Arab couples, what hope is there for coexistence? ... Were the shoe to be on the other foot, with Jews singled out for such base racial discrimination, the same people supporting such behaviour now against Arabs would rightly be up in arms and demanding justice in the name of the persecuted. But, of course, this is Israel, and therefore somehow "different" and "unique" – the standard retorts of those unable to defend Israeli crimes with any semblance of rational debate.


Saturday: 3 Iraqis killed, 8 wounded
Excerpt: At least three Iraqis were killed and eight Iraqis were wounded in light violence. Meanwhile, the sudden exit of U.S. troops from Anbar province has become a local scandal for chiefs who feel abandoned by the absence. Also, an International Monetary Fund official said the IMF would likely approve $7 billion loan to Iraq. In Mosul, a woman’s severed head was discovered. Gunmen killed a traffic policeman and a civilian in separate incidents. Security forces have arrested between 100-150 in the latest regional crackdown, but many are already presumed innocent. A munitions depot was found. An al-Qaeda suspect was arrested. In Baghdad, a bomb wounded an electricity official and his driver in Adhamiya; at least two others were wounded. The parliament building was evacuated during a bomb scare. A sticky bomb injured three people in Ramadi, including the mayor of Haditha.

Sunday: 4 Iraqis killed, 11 wounded
At least four Iraqis were killed 11 more were wounded across the country. One of the dead belonged to a group of escapees. In Baghdad, a bomb killed one person and wounded four more in the Mashtal neighborhood. Gunmen in Amin killed a policeman. A fuel truck exploded near the airport, where the blast wounded five guards; the cause is under investigation.  In Mosul, a bomb killed a trucker. Two bombs wounded two civilians near Nasariya. An Awakening Council in Samarra found two of the Tikrit jail escapees. They killed one and detained the other. The dead man was facing the death penalty. Twenty suspects were arrested across Basra province. Two I.E.D.s were defused in separate locations near Amara. [End]


IAEA to inspect Iran's Qom site October 25
UN nuclear watchdog director tells reporters in Tehran that Iran's relations with West moving from 'conspiracy' to 'cooperation', nuclear dispute could be solved through diplomacy,7340,L-3785204,00.html

Obama aide: Iran not closer to nuclear bomb
In interview with CBS's 'Face the Nation', National Security adviser Jones dismisses IAEA's conclusion that Tehran has 'sufficient information' to produce bomb, says dispute over nuclear program shifting to cooperation,7340,L-3785429,00.html

Audio: Scott Horton interviews Scott Ritter
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter discusses the overblown “gotcha” revelation of the “secret” Iranian nuclear facility, how the wonkish debate over IAEA Additional Protocol minutiae turned into accusations that Iran is building nukes, the secret Saudi, U.K. and U.S. funding of opposition candidates in the Iranian election and the likely disastrous results of a war with Iran.

Iran, Israel, and the muzzled US press
by Faramarz Farbod. "Iran must comply with United Nations resolutions," declared President Obama. Iran is "as defiant as ever" says a chorus of corporate employees otherwise known as mainstream journalists.  Really!  Is Iran defiant for testing missiles for its military?  What military in the world fails to test missiles?  Is Iran defiant for reporting the construction of a "secret underground" uranium enrichment plant at least a year in advance of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) obligations require it to?

'Israel hands Kremlin list of Russians helping Iran build nukes'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Moscow a list of Russian scientists Israel believes are helping Iran in its quest to build nuclear weapons, the Times reported on Saturday. According to the report, Netanyahu delivered the list when he paid a secret, undisclosed trip to Moscow last month. The Times report quotes a source as saying that Netanyahu presented "concrete evidence" Russians are helping Iran build the bomb, and that Israel kept the list private in order to spare Moscow political embarrassment.

Israel silent on Iranian nuclear talks
JERUSALEM, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Long strident in its calls for tougher international action over Iran's nuclear programme, Israel has fallen silent as world powers try to convert last week's talks with Tehran into a lasting deal. Israeli officials have declined comment on Thursday's meeting in Geneva, which yielded agreements to open a newly disclosed Iranian uranium enrichment site to inspection and follow-up negotiations.

Debunking of the Telegraph's story about Ahmadinejad's Jewish family roots

By Cyrus Safdari. ...First of all, Iranian Jews have been around longer than there have been Jews in most of Europe. There are really no such things as "Jewish-only" names --Sarah, David, Abraham are all pretty common names in Iran ... I have to wonder why the Telegraph decided that today was a good time to promote this claim about Ahmadinejad secretly being a Jew when the whole story goes back about a  year ago when one of his detractor's sons posted it onto his blog

Other Mideast

Hizbullah demonstrates against Al-Aqsa unrest
Hizbullah organized a demonstration on Friday to protest against the recent violence that erupted in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem. The protest took place during Friday prayers at the Al-Qaem Mosque amid tight security in Dahiyeh, or the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Yemen: Children in north suffer severe malnutrition
SANAA, 4 October 2009 (IRIN) - Many children in the impoverished northern governorates of Yemen, particularly Saada, are suffering severe malnutrition as a result of food price hikes and limited access to food because of escalating violence between the army and rebels, according to UN and Yemeni government officials.


Poll: US Jews Obama's biggest supporters
WASHINGTON- While support for US President Barack Obama in Israel is at an all-time low, American Jews continue to be the number one supporters of the President among the American public. According to a survey published by Gallup Poll during the weekend, 64% of US Jews support Obama, compared with only 52% of all Americans.,7340,L-3784974,00.html
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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