||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Israel escalates settlement construction in the occupied West Bank
sources reported Friday that Israel recently escalated its settlement
activities in Palestinian areas east of the Annexation Wall in the
occupied West Bank. These activities included new outposts, and new
structures in existing settlements.
Weekly nonviolent resistance denounces decision by Israeli Interior Minister to confiscate more land
to the Prime Minister on Jerusalem Affairs, Hatem Abdel Qader reported
that Salam Fayyad will be joining Friday prayers today. Demonstrations
are held weekly throughout the West Bank and in East Jerusalem as part
of noon prayers. Prime Minister Fayyad will participate on land
threatened with confiscation in the Sawahreh area of East Jerusalem’s
Al-Ma’asara village continues demonstrations despite increased army repression
the 8th of May, 2009, residents of the southern West Bank village of
Al-Ma’asara conducted their weekly demonstration against Israel’s
annexation barrier, despite increased repression from Israeli forces.
At last week’s demonstration, five nonviolent Palestinian organizers
were arrested, and they continue to be held in an Israeli prison. This
Friday, Israeli soldiers created at least three flying checkpoints on
the roads leading to the village in an attempt to stop participants
from reaching the demonstration. Soldiers turned back all Palestinian
cars and only allowed settler vehicles to pass. Five military jeeps
and two police cars were also stationed at the entrance to Al-Ma’asara,
much further into the village than during past Friday demonstrations.
Israeli and international solidarity activists who were able to reach
the village by going around the checkpoints were showed papers that
declared the entire village a closed military zone.
Salah exposes new Zionist plans to Judaize Jerusalem
prominent Muslim leader in the 1948-occupied Palestinian lands Shiekh
Raed Salah has exposed on Thursday an Israeli scheme which targets the
Muslim identity of Jerusalem.
Netanyahu: Israel will never withdraw from Golan
on the Golan will ensure Israel has a strategic advantage in cases of
military conflict with Syria," Netanyahu said during a briefing he gave
to the reporters. ...Netanyahu said that he intends to emphasize to
Obama the need to deal with Iran and its "nuclear program, which is a
major obstacle to peace in the Middle East.
Israeli military uses excessive force to disperse protesters in Palestinian villages near Wall
/ Amin Abu Wardeh - Three Palestinians died last week, two in the Gaza
Strip and one in the West Bank, and ten others were wounded, including
four children and one woman, according to the weekly report by the
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. In the southern Gaza Strip, two
Palestinians were killed on 1 May when Israeli warplanes dropped three
missiles into Rafah. The stated Israeli “target” was a tunnel along the
border with Egypt near the Salah Addin Gate District next to Ibn
Taymiyah Mosque. The tunnel collapsed from the bombing, killing two
Israeli soldiers injure dozens at West Bank anti-wall protest
- Ma'an - Israeli soldiers injured dozens of Palestinian protesters on
Friday in the West Bank village of Ni'lin, which hosts weekly marches
against the separation wall. At least five Palestinian demonstrators
were treated for non-tear-gas-related wounds, while dozens suffered
light injuries from gas inhalation during the protest that began
shortly after noon prayers on Friday.
Israeli forces declare closed military zone near Beit Umar
- Ma’an - Israeli forces declared the area around the Bat Ayn
settlement near Safa village a closed military zone and prevented a
dozen farmers from Beit Umar from accessing their lands. International
Solidarity Activists accompanying the farmers reported the closure,
which was announced only ten minutes after the group arrived in the
area to harvest their crops. According to the activists four jeeps of
Israeli border police entered the area and forced the farmers to leave.
As they left the area settler children were heard yelling “death to
Arabs” from the nearby colony.
Palestinian journalists now under house arrest as Israeli administration practices grave censorship
/ Maisa Abu Ghazaleh - The Office of the Adviser to the Prime Minister
for Jerusalem Affairs on Friday evening announced the launch of an
international campaign of solidarity with the journalist Khader
Shaheen. The host of "Good Morning" on the Voice of Palestine and an
Al Ahlam correspondent, along with his colleague Mohamed Sarhan, is
being subjected to home confinement for three months.
Protests for the Ma’sara prisoners
20 people were injured in protests against the Wall this Friday,
several of which were held in solidarity for the five activists who
were arrested in al-Ma’sara last week. In addition to a large
demonstration in the Bethlehem area, the demonstrations in Ni’lin and
Bil’in also called for their release. The people of Bi’lin themed the
weekly action around “Occupation Flu”, and a demonstration was also
held in Jayyus.
Arab Foreign Ministers to file a lawsuit to the ICJ against Israeli violations
Foreign Ministers decided on Friday to start preparations to file a
lawsuit against Israel for its violations against the Palestinians and
their homes in East Jerusalem.
Martin says Israel must be held to account over Gaza
FOR Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has told United Nations secretary
general Ban Ki-moon that Israel must be held to account for its actions
during the recent conflict in Gaza. During a meeting in New York
yesterday morning, the two men discussed a United Nations board of
inquiry report that accused Israel of "reckless disregard" for human
life in using white phosphorus munitions that killed and injured
Palestinians sheltering in a UN school in Gaza.
UN Experts to visit Gaza to probe war crimes
experts are planning to visit Gaza in the coming period to probe claims
of Israeli military war crimes committed during the offensive against
the Gaza Strip in which more than 14000 Palestinians, mainly civilians,
were killed and thousands were wounded.
Hassanein: kidney patients in Gaza suffer due to the siege
sources in the besieged Gaza Strip have warned that the number of
kidney patients in Gaza was increasing rapidly as a result of the
Israeli closure of the Strip's crossing points.
Sarah Holewinski: Will Israel Help Gaza's Victims?
any civilian who has lost a loved one, a limb, or a home in war and
they're likely to tell you they never received anything for their
suffering. I've always found it shocking that international law doesn't
generally require warring parties to help the people they've harmed.
Dayton program aims at reducing army ‘footprint’
(JTA) -- The U.S. general directing training for Palestinian security
forces said U.S. funds for the program would help reduce the IDF
presence in the West Bank.
Keith Dayton, addressing the annual Washington Institute for Near East
Policy conference on Thursday, said the funds he is seeking for 2009
would be used “to explore options to reduce the IDF footprint,”
referring to the Israel Defense Forces.
Israel says FM invited to Egypt
AFP - Israel's
ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has been invited
to visit Egypt, a senior ministry official said on Saturday drawing a
stiff denial from Cairo.
Mustapha Barghouti: We are Heading For A Third Intifada
Barghouti, an eminent personality and exponent of Palestinian civil
society, a former candidate at the presidential elections of the
Palestinian National Authority in 2005, then Information Minister in
the national unity government headed by Ismail Haniye, is also a member
of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Barghouthi on Netanyahu: Israelis looking to procrastinate for another twenty years
Netanyahu says that the principle of two states for two peoples is
“non-viable in the foreseeable future.” This is a significant risk,
comments Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi of the Palestinian National Initiative
and Legislative Council.
Mr. Lieberman, in General, You Are not Welcome
Throughout his political
career, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman has rattled sabers in the Middle East.
On Thursday, Germany's foreign minister is
meeting with the ultranationalist. Here's the
dressing down Frank-Walter Steinmeier should give
him when the press isn't listening.
'Lieberman sees us Europeans as a bunch of cowards'
expert on German foreign policy accused Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman of "seeing Europeans as a bunch of cowards" Thursday, despite
Lieberman's efforts to avoid media exposure of his visit.
Europe unconvinced as Israeli FM ends maiden trip
- Israel's outspoken Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman failed to
convince Europe of his peacemaking credentials as he returned home
Friday from his first foreign tour.
Lieberman gets frank talk from Germans
(JTA) -- German officials told Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman they hoped Israel would adhere to past agreements with the
Palestinians. Germany's Foreign Ministry described the talks with
Lieberman this week as "very frank," according to Reuters. Lieberman
went to Europe this week as part of his first official overseas trip as
foreign minister. In Germany, he met with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and members of
After nine years in exile, Nativity Church deportees call for return
– Ma’an – One of the 2002 Nativity Church deportees is calling on
Palestinian and international officials to intervene and allow him to
return to the West Bank, according to statements made on Saturday. The
Palestinian, Hatem Ihmud, told Ma'an that his father died while he was
away, "and I could not see him or receive people in my family home" in
the West Bank.
South Africa issues statement of regret at Israeli ban on travel for Palestinian official
official and special envoy to President Abbas, Abdul Rahim Mallouh was
refused exit from the West Bank. He had a visa to attend the
inauguration of the new South African president, but the occupying
Israeli administration held him at the border crossing with Jordan and
will not let him out.
Gaza forces prevent Fatah official from traveling to Jordan
– Ma’an – Senior Fatah official Ibrahim Abu An-Naja told Ma’an that de
facto security forces had prevented him from leaving Gaza on Friday.
He was supposed to leave to travel to Jordan to attend the meetings of
the preliminary committee for Fatah's sixth conference, expected to be
held on Saturday. Abu An-Naja added that "a post affiliated with the
de facto security forces present at Beit Hanoun stopped me for 20
minutes" and searched his luggage, as well as asked him to answer
questions from the department of Internal Security.
Survey: Almost half of Israeli Jews believe Israel expelled Palestinians in 1948
The JTA reports
on an interesting new study measuring "the Israeli-Jewish Collective
Memory of the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian Conflict," and it has some
surprising results. Perhaps the most important is that 47% of Israeli Jews believe that the Palestinian refugees were expelled by Israel in 1948. The study was conducted by two Israeli researchers last summer, Rafi Nets-Zehngut, a fellow at the International Center for
Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College of Columbia
University, and Daniel Bar-Tal, a faculty member at the School of
Education at Tel Aviv University. You can find all the survey results here. Although some of the results are still pretty disturbing (56% still believe
that Arafat rejected the "generous offer" because he did not want peace
with Israel), the report shows a positive trend where younger Israeli
Jews are less likely to believe the Zionist narrative.
Islamic bloc boycotts student council elections at Jenin University
– Ma’an – The student council party representing the Islamic bloc
announced that it would be boycotting student council elections at the
Arab American University in the West Bank city of Jenin, set to take
Despairing Gaza youths become fans of motorcycle
Friday afternoon, Mohamed el-Abadla, a 23-year-old young man, drives
his Chinese-made motorcycle to join his friends to have fun on the
hills of sands in southern Gaza Strip. "We usually come here to get
out of boredom. The political situation in Gaza is so boring and
frustrating, so we come here to have fun and change our moods," said
Sadat's widow: Israel would be attacking Egypt if not for peace treaty
Sadat, the widow of assassinated Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat,
said that were it not for the peace treaty signed 30 years ago, Israel
would be attacking Egypt just as it is attacking the Gaza Strip.
Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
They shoot children, don't they?
Just in from Just Peace. According to Monthly Review there has been a fly poster campaign in and around University College Berkeley campus.
Palestinian Children’s Day celebrations come a month late: clowns, dancing, sack races and relay
Friday 8 May 2009 Holy Land Trust’s Nonviolence Department organized
and participated in Palestinian Children’s Day. Although this was
originally scheduled to take place on 5 April, it was postponed because
of funding issues. The event was held in coordination with the
Palestinian Ministry of Sport and Youth, along with sixteen different
sports clubs and organizations working with children.
Tel Aviv U protects a Palestinian student who has called for boycott of the school
The following letter speaks for itself. It is from the President of Tel Aviv University and is posted on a new site that monitors "anti-Israel" expression on campuses within Israel.
There is a campaign, evidently, to expel a Palestinian student at Tel
Aviv who has supported the BDS campaign. The president's calm response
should serve as a model to the rest of Israeli society, and to American
schools plagued by outside harassment. Imagine if UC Santa Barbara had
told Abe Foxman just to go away?
Beyond "Violent Extremism"
remarks contrasted sharply with the vision outlined by General Michael
Herzog (Ehud Barak's chief of staff at the Israeli Ministry of Defense)
in the plenary session. Herzog offered this graphic, if familiar,
imagery: Iran is the head, Syria the body, and Hamas and Hezbollah the
two arms reaching out to strangle Israel. I countered that this
conflation of different challenges was misleading, dangerous, and
unhelpful. Hamas and Hezbollah are two of the most popular forces in
the Arab world -- why "give" them to Iran? Treat Hezbollah as a
Lebanese issue, Hamas as a Palestinian issue, and resolve them on their
own terms. Address Syria's national interests in a direct dialogue.
And engage with Iran seriously, not just as a show before getting on to
sanctions or military confrontation.
Will Israelis ever accept the Arab Peace Initiative?
Baskin - Open Democracy - After 16 years of Israeli-Palestinian
bilateral negotiations for peace there is a growing realisation that
there is very little likelihood of a bilateral Israeli-Palestinian
negotiated agreement. This realisation seems equally evident in
Jerusalem, Ramallah, Brussels, Moscow and now in Washington.
Some Palestinians in Ni'lin experienced ethnic cleansing before
I figure there will be the weekly demonstration in Ni'lin against the
separation wall that is confiscating Palestinian land east of the old
green line. Israel has opened an investigation into the army's lethal firing of teargas shells during these demonstrations. One of the victims, Tristan Anderson of California, was savagely injured in March when he joined a demonstration in Ni'lin.
Living Next to Settlers
week the Hebron team (Simphiwe, Elaine and I) made it a priority to
visit the Da’ana family in Wadi al-Hussein. We soon discovered what it
was like for an isolated Palestinian family to be located beside a
settlement. The Da’ana family (17) live on an isolated farm land with
no Palestinian neighbors. Their land and house is located very close to
the Harsina settlement in the Wadi al-Hussein valley. The gravity of
the situation is marked by the presence of a huge Russian winter tent
in their garden, where ISM, other internationals and Israeli peace
activists often sleep over to support the family and provide a
ANALYSIS / Netanyahu is beginning to look worried
week, for the first time since he took office, Prime Minister Benjamin
(Bibi) Netanyahu has been looking worried. People who have spoken with
him found him short-tempered, almost testy. The problems piling up on
his desk are burying the sweet victory of his return to the Prime
Minister's Bureau: His approaching visit with U.S. President Barack
Obama is looking less and less like cause for rejoicing amid the ill
winds emanating from Washington. Before that he has Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak to deal with, and in between, a budget that skimps on
education, welfare and health, and is cruel to children at risk, the
unemployed, demobilized soldiers, widows and new mothers.
Who Will Stop AIPAC Before It Is Too Late?
I was being tackled by security guards at Washington's Convention
Center during the AIPAC conference Monday for unfurling a banner that
asked "What about Gaza?" my heart was aching. I wasn't bothered so much
by the burly guards who were yanking my arms behind by back and
dragging me -- along with five other CODEPINK members -- out of the
hall. They were doing their job.
Obama and Israel's nukes, by Helena Cobban
IPS news analysis piece yesterday was on the Obama administration's
intriguing injection of Israel's nuclear weapons into the global and
regional diplomacy. It's here.
Peace in our time for the Middle East?, by Ben White
There is growing speculation about a revamped peace plan for the Middle East. But what will it contain – or achieve?
The Pope inspires no hope
ready to pay homage to shrines of Jewish suffering, Pontiff Benedict
XVI consigns to despair millions in refusing to visit Gaza or speak out
about the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, writes Nicola
Gen. Rifi: More Spy Cells to Be Uncovered Soon
Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi told Assafir daily that the
ISF had arrested an agent with the Israeli Mossad a few months ago, but
kept his identity disclosed. He added that this move have paved the way
for the dismantling of many spying cells in Lebanon. On Friday,
security forces dismantled another two Israeli spying networks in south
Lebanon comprising five Lebanese nationals.
Hezbollah: UN envoy biased in favor of Israel
Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has condemned recent comments by a
senior UN envoy in which he criticized the organization for providing
support to Palestinian fighters in Gaza from Egypt.
Hezbollah condemns UN envoy comments over supporting Gaza
Gaza, May 9, 2009 (RAMATTAN) – Hezbollah condemned on Saturday recent
comments by a senior UN envoy in which he criticized the group for
providing support to Palestinians in Gaza from Egypt.
killed by bombing in Baghdad
Thursday: A car bomb exploded at the entrance to
a fruit and vegetable market in south Baghdad,
killing at least 25 people and wounding about 40,
police and hospital officials said, in the latest
sign of rising attacks.
Iraq Police General Shot Dead in Basra
An Iraqi police general was assassinated on the street near the oil hub
of Basra on Saturday, police said, in a rare instance of violence in
the country's third largest city. A gunman shot dead Hakeem Jassim as
he stood in front of his son's shop in the district of Zubair, south of
the city centre, a police official said. No further details were
Iraq says Turkey and Iran threatening flow of shared waters
accused both Iran and Turkey of reneging on promises to allow the flow
of sufficient water to secure this year’s agricultural needs. The
flow of rivers originating in both Turkey and Iran has been so low
prompting the authorities to advise farmers in central and southern
Iraq to leave their land fallow. “There are fears that there will not
be enough water this year to cultivate land according to plans,” a
statement by the Ministry of Water Resources warned.
Q&A with Iraqi PM Nuri al Maliki
Asharq Al-Awsat - On his recent state visit to Britain, Iraqi Prime
Minister Nuri al Maliki spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat about his aspirations
for Iraq, its domestic affairs and foreign relations.
US on track to exit Iraqi cities by end June: commander
- US forces are on track to pull out of all Iraqi cities by the end of
June in line with a deal struck with Iraq, Washington's top commander
in the country said on Friday.
The Return of the Suicide Bombers
bombings are back in Iraq, signaling that the Iraq War is far from
over. After a significant downturn, with only six suicide attacks
between December 2008 and March 2009, there have been 25 suicide
bombings in Iraq in the last two months, contributing to the worst
spate of violence in Iraq in nearly a year. The bombers have revealed a
new audacity and sophistication, striking in all parts of the country
and against many seemingly highly secured targets.
THE FAREWELL KISS ...a look behind the headlines at the Iraqi Shoe Thrower
been about five months since George Bush went to Iraq to dodge a pair
of flying shoes. It was a funny scene. Every one laughed. Well, not
everyone. Muntadher al Zaidi, the guy who threw the shoe was pulled
from the room and beaten, so chances are he wasn't laughing.
U.S. and Other world news
US renews sanctions on Syria
State Department says Obama has 'serious concerns about Syrian behavior, activities in world'.
US interrogators may have killed dozens, human rights researcher and rights group say
States interrogators killed nearly four dozen detainees during or after
their interrogations, according a report published by a human rights
researcher based on a Human Rights First report and followup
Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted
Baltimore Sun, Monday 27 January 1997, Final Edition. WASHINGTON -- A
newly declassified CIA training manual details torture methods used
against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s,
refuting claims by the agency that no such methods were taught there.
"Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual -- 1983" was released
Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed
by The Sun on May 26, 1994.
In case you missed it: School
of the Americas CIA Torture Manual
Manuals used by the U.S. Army's School of the
Americas between 1982 and 1991 appeared to
condone executions, beatings and other human
rights abuses, the Pentagon said in a disclosure
that prompted renewed calls for the school's
Upholds Searches Of Muslim Groups in Va
An appeals court yesterday upheld the legality of
federal raids on a Herndon-based network of
Muslim charities, businesses and think tanks, a
case that caused a firestorm in the Muslim
Obama to make major address to Muslims in Egypt
- President Barack Obama will make his long-awaited direct address to
Muslims in a major speech in Egypt on June 4, accelerating his effort
to rebuild the tattered US image in the Islamic world.
protests follow deadly US air strikes
Furious protesters vented their frustration in
the western Afghan city of Farah after the
reported killing of up to 100 civilians during
US-led air strikes earlier this week. US military
and Afghan officials have stepped up an inquiry
into the raids.
Robert Fisk: Civilians pay price of war from above
course there will be an inquiry. And in the meantime, we shall be told
that all the dead Afghan civilians were being used as "human shields"
by the Taliban and we shall say that we "deeply regret" innocent lives
that were lost. But we shall say that it's all the fault of the
terrorists, not our heroic pilots and the US Marine special forces who
were target spotting around Bala Baluk and Ganjabad.
UAE: Detention in Torture Case
York) - The reported detention of a member of the United Arab Emirates
royal family, Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, in connection with the
videotaped torture of an Afghan grain dealer is a significant
development, but much more needs to be done to restore faith in the
country's police and justice system.
Pope to visit mosque in Jordan, address Muslims
- Pope Benedict makes his second visit to a mosque on Saturday in
another bid to wipe away the residual bitterness in the Muslim world
over a speech in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor who linked Islam
Robert Fisk’s World: If every picture tells a story, what do they say to each other?
maketh the man. But do they? I look around my Beirut apartment and am
frightened at the choice of paintings and lithographs and photographs
on my walls. There are American soldiers leading Iraqis into captivity
in 1991. There is a startling poster of Iraqi refugees in 2003, drawn
for a lecture I gave in Galway by a young Irishman who had never been
to Iraq. The fear in a little girl's eyes stares back at me from this
blood-red poster. There is even a painting of an Irish ghost train by
Ted Turton, puffing contentedly – carriages all lit up – over a moonlit
railway bridge of which only the piers still exist.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda