Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land theft

Archbishop Hanna: 'Palestinians in Jerusalem are natives, not strangers'
Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in Palestine and Jerusalem, Atallah Hanna, stated on Thursday that the Palestinian people in Jerusalem are the natives of the land and not strangers or intruders. Hanna slammed the illegal Israeli policies in East Jerusalem and said that Israel wants to demolish Palestinian homes and annex Palestinian lands. “This is a racist policy, this policy is unjust and illegal”, he stated, “We reject these policies, the Palestinians in Jerusalem are natives, not intruders or strangers, but Israel wants to terrify and intimidate the Palestinians in order to leave the city”.

Israeli group strives to commemorate Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948
SIMSIM RUINS, Israel (AFP): "Every time I come back here I cry," says Ramadan Farajallah as he contemplates the scattered ruins of the village he once called home. The 77-year-old fled to Gaza with his family 60 years ago. Today he holds Israeli citizenship, from his marriage to an Arab-Israeli woman, making him one of only a handful of former residents who can visit the village. Farajallah is accompanying a group of some three dozen Israelis and foreigners led by the Israeli body Zochrot. With the old man are his grandchildren, who chase each other through waist-high wildflowers. The organization works to commemorate the more than 400 villages destroyed - and around 750,000 Palestinians exiled - during the birth of the Jewish state, an event referred to by Palestinians as the "Nakba," or catastrophe. [See also ]

Deir Yassin massacre, 55 years on
Dozens of Jews and Arabs yesterday marched around the fence surrounding Jerusalem's Kfar Shaul psychiatric hospital, the site of the Deir Yassin massacre, to commemorate its 55th anniversary. On April 9, 1948, the Lehi and Etzel attacked the village of Deir Yassin as part of the Nahshon Operation, killing an unknown number of residents, including women and children. Yesterday's ceremony included the reading of 93 names of victims. Residents of the nearby Jerusalem religious neighborhood of Har Nof watched the ceremony, cursing at participants. Among those attending the ceremony was Abdel Aziz Barakat, 81, who lost 17 members of his family in the massacre and told participants about Arab and Israeli coexistence in Jerusalem until 1939.

Anniversary of Dayr Yasin (Apr 9-11, 1948)
By As'ad AbuKhalil -- From the poem I Call On You by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (my translation): “I call on you/I press your hands/I kiss the ground under your feet/and I say: I sacrifice myself for you/I give you as a gift/the light of my eyes/and the warmth of heart, I give you/My tragedy that I live/Is my share of your tragedies....

Britain worried about Jerusalem demolitions
AMMAN (AFP) – British Foreign Secretary David Miliband expressed concern on Thursday at Israel's plans to demolish scores of Palestinian houses in mainly Arab east Jerusalem. "We view with real concern the proposed demolitions in east Jerusalem," Miliband told a joint news conference in Amman with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh. "Jerusalem should be the capital of both the Palestinians and Israel," Miliband said.

Siege / blockade

Gaza crossings remain closed for Passover: No food, no fuel
As announced earlier this week Gaza crossings remain closed Friday as Israel celebrates Passover. No food, fuel or humanitarian supplies will enter the Strip until Sunday, when officials announced the holiday closure would end. There is no word on whether an increased amount of goods will be allowed through the crossings to compensate for the closure. [End]

Israeli gunships fire on Gaza fishermen; no injuries
Israeli gunships opened fire at fishing boats near the Gaza City and Rafah beaches on Friday morning. Head of Ambulance and Emergency Services Muawiyya Hassanein confirmed that no injuries were caused by the attack. Israeli gunships attack boats on daily basis all along the Gaza coast. [End]

Two more US congressmen visit Gaza, decry humanitarian situation
US Congressmen Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Bob Inglis (R-SC) were the latest American representatives to enter Gaza Wednesday; there have been five visits by US officials since newly elected President Barack Obama took office. The visits are sparking rumors of tension between the liberal Obama administration and the new right-wing Israeli government. Inglis and Lynch visited as guests of the Catholic Relief group and said they had no intention of visiting any Hamas affiliates. According to AP, Lynch commented during his visit that the world must find a way to address a "legitimate humanitarian crisis" in Gaza.

Gaza is still an open prison, says Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams
The West Belfast MP called for an end to the Israeli blockade on building materials and urged the state to enter into negotiations with Hamas, which rules Gaza. Adams held talks in the region with Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister, and is due to travel to the West Bank to meet the Palestinian Authority ..."There should be a complete cessation of hostilities by all sides and I stressed our opinion that dialogue is central to what's required and that is the only way forward," he added. "The refusal to recognise the outcome of the ballot box in the Palestinian territories is also bizarre, that they challenge people to go into elections and then when they go into elections they don't recognise it."

Blair intervenes to get Adams into Gaza

Quartet envoy Tony Blair intervened directly with Defense Minister Ehud Barak to enable Northern Ireland politician Gerry Adams through the Erez Crossing and into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, where he met Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The decision to let Adams into the Gaza Strip came against recommendations by the Foreign Ministry

Gerry Adams visits Nativity Church, Ramallah following Gaza  tour
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams visited Bethlehem’s Nativity Church Friday where he was received by West Bank leaders and dignitaries. Adams, who entered the Gaza Strip earlier this week, is touring the Palestinian areas in order to promote peace through negotiations among all the parties to the conflict. He has met with Hamas and left-wing factional leaders during his visit

American and European aid convoys Gaza bound next month
British Legislator, George Galloway, is preparing along with American peace activist Ron Jovic to launch a new aid convoy to break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. In a meeting with supporters of the Palestinian cause in southern California, USA, Galloway stated that the convoy will comprise 500 trucks filled with aid and humanitarian supplies. He added that the organizers plan to collect aid and donations amounting to ten million US dollars. Galloway added that there is a new atmosphere in the United States and across the world that is starting to realize the real core of the Palestinian issue.

Viva Palestina US: We aim for $10 million in aid and 500 vehicles
California, - Fresh from the success of the Viva Palestina aid convoy which took over 100 vehicles to Gaza from Britain , George Galloway MP has linked up on his US tour with the Vietnam veteran and peace campaigner Ron Kovic to launch a similar, but bigger venture from the States. Galloway announced the initiative at a 1000-strong meeting in Anaheim , South California , rounding off a packed-out, coast to coast speaking tour highlighting the Palestinian cause. (You can watch the YouTube video at )

Little hope in Gaza aftermath

By Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East Editor, Gaza City. I can't imagine what Gaza would be like if it didn't have the sea. The other morning its tiny piece of the Mediterranean was coming in lazy and calm, and a light breeze was blowing down the beach. f you are Gazan and your soul is troubled, or if you just want some space, the beach must be one of the better places to go.

The moon behind the fence
By Natalie Abu Shakra, Gaza. "Look, look! It's him! It's him!" screamed Shaymaa from the bus, as a group of 18 family members descended from it to walk closer to the border between Rafah and Al Areish in Egypt. Just around 20 meters away from the fenced border, on a building ahead, barely showing, were four figures of what seemed like a man, a woman, and two young children; a teen-aged boy, and a little girl that he carried on his shoulder. It was Iyad and Asma Bilbesy, with their youngsters. Iyad and Asma have not seen their family in Gaza for around 15 years. "It is as if he is a prisoner and we are not allowed to see him," said Umm Wael Bilbesy, Iyad's mother as she choked on her tears when I was still at her home before leaving altogether with a group of family members to Rafah earlier at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

Closures / incursions / attacks

PCHR weekly report 2-8 April: 3 Palestinians killed, 8 injured, 27 abducted this week; 1 Israeli killed
Israeli forces conducted 26 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces abducted 52 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, in the West Bank and 10 fishers in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces occupied 8 Palestinian houses, and reclassified them as military sites. [long and comprehensive report]

Journalist and Israeli among four injured by soldiers in Bil`in
Four were injured including one Israeli peace activist and an AP journalist as Israeli soldiers fired on protesters, including children, demonstrating in Bil’in on Friday. The demonstration commemorated Children’s Day, and was headed by more than a dozen Palestinian children holding signs and banners ... Two children from Bilin were arrested prior to the protest, 16-year-olds Wajdy Ali Shehada Abu Rahma and Hamouda Emad Hahmouda Yassin. They were taken Thursday and found after midnight Friday morning, beaten, near the village of Qatana.

Seven injured, one seriously, in Ni`lin weekly protest
Scores of villagers from Nil'in located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, along with their international supporters held their weekly protest on Friday midday against the illegal Israeli wall being built on village land. As soon as locals and international supporters arrived in the part of the village where Israel is building the wall, soldiers showered them with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. They also fired rounds of live ammunition. One sustained critical wounds after being hit with a live round while six people were injured with rubber-coated steel. Dozens were treated for gas inhalation. [End]

Israeli soldiers cut off Qalqiliya area, invade homes and search buildings
A half-dozen armed vehicles invaded southeastern areas of Qalqiliya known as the “At-Tabal” and “Khalet Noufal” neighborhoods overnight Thursday. The troops invaded homes and combed the area making no arrests. Locals said several homes were broken into and areas of land searched, one noted that “we were not told the reason behind the search.”

VIDEO - Farmers harvesting lentils fired upon in Al Faraheen, Gaza
8 April - This morning, the farmers from Al-Faraheen in the Gaza Strip persisted with their efforts to harvest the year’s crop of lentils. Volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement, and a camera crew from [Iranian] Press TV accompanied the farmers as they set out to work in a field about 300m from the border.

Settler rally in north sees Israel troops close Qalqiliya-Nablus road
Responding to rallying settlers Israeli forces closed the main road linking the northern West Bank cities of Qalqiliya and Nablus Friday afternoon, preventing residents from traveling as settlers gathered nearby. The road also links the illegal Israeli settlements of Qarne Shomoron and Qedumim. Human rights coordinator in the West Bank Zakarieyah As-Seda said the settlers had been gathering since the “the early hours of the morning” and noted that they had already tried to assault villagers in Kafr Qaddum while they were working on their lands. Several settlers also arrived at Far’ata village near Qalqiliya and attempted to attacks the villagers there.

As usual, Jewish holidays mean more Palestinian misery  Passover 'lock-down' of the West Bank
At 11:59 on April 6th, the IDF began the general closure of the West Bank for the Jewish holiday, Passover. ... The IDF also announced that there will be “free movement for Christians to Holy Sites during the Easter holiday period”. Muslim Palestinians will not be allowed free movement—even for work in Israel. This Israeli ‘lock-down’ affects thousands of Palestinians whose livelihoods depend on being able to enter Israel for work. However, because of the closure, they will not be able to go to work for at least 12 days. Their daily life will be interrupted by this unnecessary, arbitrary closure.

Israeli Passover restrictions prevent hundreds from reaching Jerusalem for prayer
Hundreds of Palestinian Muslims and Christians were prevented from reaching Jerusalem Friday as Israeli border guards continue to impose a strict "security closure" of the West Bank during Passover. Muslims heading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers and Christians wishing to worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is said to have been burried following his crucifiction, in Jerusalem were turned away from Israeli checkpoints.  Christians with valid permits to enter Israel for the Easter holidays are, for the most part, still being permitted to cross into Jerusalem.

Urgent action for Palestinian children from Tuba and Maghaer al-Abeed
By Luisa Morgentini.
In the past two weeks internationals working with Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have twice witnessed settlers grazing sheep directly in the path of the children at the time they walk home from school. Because the children have been physically attacked in the past, and threatened with death by settlers earlier this school year, they are terrified by the presence of these settlers.

Palestinians retaliate

Red Rag weekly column: Basma Awad al-Nabari's cry
By Gideon Spiro. In the press the 16-year-old young woman Basma from Hura in the Negev is described as a “terrorist”. I see in her a sensitive young woman who could not stand the slaughter of her people in Gaza. The words in her notebook: “the screams of Gaza ring in my ears, my heart is torn and pained, I am the prisoner of the Occupation” express solidarity with her people who are being murdered, struck and humiliated in the Gaza ghetto ... We Jews should exhibit understanding for acts of revenge against tyrants and oppressors. Very well do we remember the cells of Jews who at the end of the Second World War avenged themselves a way similar to that of the young Bedouin young woman, but with more skill.


Female detainee sentenced to six months
The Salim Israeli Military Court sentenced on Thursday detainee Nawal Al Sa’ady, from the Jenin refugee camp, to six months imprisonment and two thousands Israeli shekel fine. Ten of her family members, including her husband, Bassam, are already imprisoned by Israel. Her husband is one of the leaders of the Islamic Jihad; he is imprisoned without charges. Two of her children, Ibrahim and Abdul-Karim, have been killed by the army. Her father, and her brother are also imprisoned, and her sister-in-law, Qahera Al Sa’ady is serving a life term at an Israeli prison.

VIDEO: Palestinian prisoners' families protest at Red Cross
Every Monday for years the families of the Palestinian prisoners are protesting at the offices of the Red Cross in Gaza City.  These families  have not been allowed to visit their relatives imprisoned in Israeli jails for almost 2 years. According to human rights organizations (including Israeli organizations), Palestinian prisoners are submitted to torture and ill-treatment, permitted by the Israeli High Court of Justice. Israeli Prison Service admits that there are about 8,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, but according to Palestinian Authorities the number exceeds 11,600.

Father, uncle of Negev girl released
The Be’er Sheva District Court on Wednesday released the father and uncle of the Negev girl shot dead after she, according to the Israeli army, attempted to shoot Israeli soldiers at a military base in the Negev ... After the incident, Israeli police searched her home and arrested her father and uncle, claiming they knew of her intentions to attack the military base. Last Sunday, the court extended their remand period but the claim was not founded and the investigation cleared them.


Even American Jewish dual loyalty has its limits
Something is stirring at the New York Times. Make no mistake, friends: Four op-eds in four days (a couple of them on-line, appearing in the International Herald Tribune, but picked up by the Times) questioning the pro-Israel line. First George Bisharat, then Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of Knesset. Then Roger Cohen praising Trita Parsi's book Treacherous Alliance. And now Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street, throwing down the gauntlet to American Jews over where they stand vis a vis Avigdor Lieberman, in a piece that I gather was first in the International Herald Tribune.

Tough reception for Al Jazeera bid in Canada
Canada - It was once condemned as "propaganda" by former U.S secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld. It's been slammed by Jewish groups for airing anti-Semitic views. And now Al-Jazeera wants to air on a television near you. Tony Burman, the Canadian who is managing director of the Al-Jazeera Network, knows he is fighting history and stereotypes as he seeks regulatory approval to get the broadcaster's English service on Canadian airwaves.

Collaboration / anti-solidarity

Egypt detains 15 over building rockets to smuggle into Gaza
Egyptian security forces detained 15 people on Friday over accusations they helped make rockets destined to be smuggled into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip via border tunnels, security sources said. The sources said authorities had confiscated the outer shells of 60 rockets from a metal workshop in the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwayed, near the closed Rafah border crossing with Gaza.

Tesco criticised for Israeli goods boycott hotline
Tesco has come under fire from the pro-Israel lobby after setting up a customer helpline option for people to complain about it stocking Israeli products. A recorded message told callers ringing its general customer services number: "If you are ringing regarding Israeli goods, please press one." The supermarket said it set up the line, which is no longer available, in anticipation of a high level of calls after the Palestine Solidarity Campaign called for a boycott of Israeli goods and urged its supporters to phone Tesco and Waitrose on 30 March about their stance on selling Israeli and Israeli settlement produce. Tesco insisted it had not meant to cause offence and said it apologised if any had been taken.

Phoenix College withdraws its ads from the MYP
Phoenix, Arizona. Under the pressure of local zionists, Phoenix College has withdrawn its ads from the Multicultural yellow pages published by an Arab activist.

/ diplomacy

Egypt offers Palestinian rivals new unity ideas

GAZA (Reuters) – Egyptian mediators trying to break the deadlock in talks on a Palestinian government of national unity have told rival groups Fatah and Hamas to cooperate on reconstructing Gaza as a first step, officials said.

Arab leaders to meet on Saturday, take stance on Netanyahu, Arab Peace Initiative
The Qatar based Al Jazeera reported that Arab League Secretary-General, Amro Mousa, will attend the conference along with Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian officials refused to confirm or deny their participation. The statement comes while the 21st Arab Summit in Doha – Qatar, decided that having relations with Israel should be based on its commitment to the signed peace deals within a certain timeframe.

Abbas: Israel must commit to previous deals
(Reuters) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made peace talks with Israel's new government conditional on it committing to previous agreements and freezing Jewish settlement growth, aides said on Friday. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Abbas conveyed this message directly to the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations.

Unity talks to resume on April 26
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated on Thursday that the internal Palestinian talks would be resumed in Cairo on April 26. The statements of Abbas came in a press conference after a meeting with the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.

PFLP proposes a government with no political agenda
The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) presented its own version of the transitional government during a meeting with a Fateh leader. The PFLP said that the factions should form a transitional government that has no political agenda and is in charge of preparing for new legislative and presidential elections.

Israel: No objection to West's talks with Iran

Israel does not object to talks between the West and Iran intended to stop Iran's nuclearization, as long as Iran does not take advantage of these talks, a top source in Benjamin Netanyahu's government told Haaretz Thursday.

Other news

Christian pilgrims flock to Holy City
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world poured into the Holy City of Jerusalem under sunny skies on Friday to pray along the traditional route Jesus took to his crucifixion ... "I am happy because I am going to the church, but I also feel sad because I entered my own country with a permit," said Nizam, a 60-year-old Christian from Ramallah, referring to the permits that Palestinians must get from Israeli authorities in order to leave the occupied territory. "This is my country, my land. I can't move freely in my own country," he said. "We can't go to our churches."

Palestinian girls sit together as they read the Qur'an in a garden in Nablus
Part of diverse 'Mideast Conflict' slideshow, including photos of Bil`in, Samaritans, etc.

Fayyad honors Palestinian for winning 'Nobel Prize for Children'
In a celebration on Thursday at the Grand Park Hotel in the West Bank city of Ramallah, it was announced that Jumana Auda won the 2009 award for her efforts serving childhood and children in Palestine ... The Palestinian Happy Child Center was founded in 1994 in Jerusalem, aimed at helping children with special needs, and is staffed mostly by volunteers.

Hamas denies opening special jails for collaborators
The de facto Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip denied on Thursday that new special jails for detaining collaborators were being constructed in the Gaza Strip.  "We do not plan to open new prisons for collaborators. What is being prepared is a new central jail to replace the one which was part of the security compound [As-Saraya]...

Israel: Local NGOs struggle to cope with rising tide of needy families
TEL AVIV, 9 April 2009 (IRIN) - With the Jewish Passover under way, NGOs report an alarming growth in the number of Israelis turning to them for food aid. Some NGOs are reporting a rise of nearly 60 percent in the number seeking help compared to 2008.

The Muslim guardian of Israel's daily bread
(from 6 Apr) For more than a decade, an Arab hotel manager has helped Orthodox Jews to observe the Passover – by buying up forbidden foods. Ben Lynfield reports -- The agreement with Mr Hussein offers a way of complying with religious edicts without having to wastefully destroy massive quantities of food.Through legal acrobatics, the forbidden goods belonging to the Israeli state are simply sold to Mr Hussein for the duration of Passover and then revert back to the state once the holiday is over.

Op-Ed / Analysis

Pharaohs can't celebrate Passover

By Rabbi Michael Lerner. Observing Passover, the holiday celebrating the liberation of Jewish slaves from Egypt roughly 3200 years ago, has become a problem for many Jews this year. Whether religious or atheist, Jews would sit around the Seder table on the first night of this 8 day holiday (which begins this year Wednesday night, April 8 and goes through April 16th) and talk about the meaning of freedom and liberation ...This year I've been hearing a very different story from my rabbinic colleagues and from many Jews who are not part of any religious community. Millions of Jews have been watching Israel's role in Gaza and the West Bank with particular horror this year.

Israel's master plan for transfer

The Problem Isn't Avigdor Lieberman. By Ellen Cantarow. ...And so, amidst much celebration (hand-shakes on the White House lawn, etc.) the new “two-state” solution could well be realized in the not-so-distant future. A Palestinian ghetto would exist alongside a Jewish state, which would of course include the settlements. “The demographic problem” bedeviling Zionists ever since two rabbis returned in the 19th century with the report that the bride was “beautiful but married to another man,” would vanish. Now and then, on a distant hilltop, a lone goatherd might appear, nostalgically suggesting “simpler” and more “traditional” times. Palestinian embroidery would be sold at appointed places, to adorn the persons and furniture of pure Jews commuting back and forth to a now purely Jewish Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from, say, purely Jewish Maale Adumim. American readers wearing exquisite Navajo turquoise jewelry – this writer among them – will recognize these images.

In the settlers' sights
By Ben White. Palestinians opposing Jewish settlement in Ush Ghrab have shown courage but their efforts are futile without support -- The flat top of the small hill is deserted, as we walk among the gutted concrete buildings. The graffiti on the wall declares that "the Jews will keep this land". This is Ush Ghrab, a small piece of land in Beit Sahour, south of Jerusalem, and a target for religious settlers seeking yet another colony in the Bethlehem region.

All he did was kill an Arab
By Nehemia Shtrasler. Julian Soufir wants to be let out. He doesn't even understand why he's being kept at the Abarbanel Mental Hospital. He says he's recovered and feels fine. His doctors say he has made progress and should be released in a few months. But he already wants to be put in less restrictive conditions and immediately afterward be granted parole. After all, Passover is the holiday of freedom and all he did was kill an Arab ... He wanted to kill an Arab - any Arab. So he stopped a taxi in Jerusalem, hoping the driver would be an Arab. On his third try he stopped a taxi driven by an Arab, a man named Taysir Karaki.

ACRI: Lifting the veil of secrecy -- challenging classified evidence in court
[The Association for Civil Rights in Israel] continues persistently to address the widespread and growing use of secret evidence within the national security and counter-terrorism framework in the Israeli legal system. In many cases, these measures violate basic due process principles, allowing people to be detained, or their rights to be violated, on the basis of classified materials, challenging the administration of justice.

Israel investigated, but will it repent?
By Ramzy Baroud. Israel has denied almost every massacre it has committed. Those too obvious to deny, were “investigated” by Israel itself, which predictably, mostly found its soldiers “not guilty” or culpable of minor misconduct. Israeli “investigations” served the dual purpose of helping Israelis retain their sense of moral superiority, and sending a highly touted message to international media of Israeli democracy at work and the independence of the country’s judiciary. With the Gaza tragedy of December 2008-January 2009 being the latest in the ever growing list of Palestinian massacres, little seems to have changed the way Israel views its action, with the full approval of the US and the half hearted position of much of the international community.

Arab students marginalized by Israeli universities
By Jonathan Cook. Obstacles to Israel's Arab minority participating in higher education have resulted in a record number of Arab students taking up places at universities in neighboring Jordan, a new report reveals. Figures compiled by Dirasat, a Nazareth-based organization monitoring education issues, show 5,400 Arab students from Israel are at Jordanian universities -- half the number of Arabs studying in Israel itself. College-age Arabs, representing nearly one-quarter of their age group in Israel, are heavily underrepresented in Israeli higher education, at about eight per cent of the student intake, according to official statistics.

Israel cries wolf
By Roger Cohen. Istanbul — “Iran is the center of terrorism, fundamentalism and subversion and is in my view more dangerous than Nazism, because Hitler did not possess a nuclear bomb, whereas the Iranians are trying to perfect a nuclear option.” Benjamin Netanyahu 2009? Try again. These words were in fact uttered by another Israeli prime minister (and now Israeli president), Shimon Peres, in 1996. Four years earlier, in 1992, he’d predicted that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999. You can’t accuse the Israelis of not crying wolf. [this article did not appear in the print edition, only online]

From Deir Yasin to Beit Hanun
By Khaled Amayreh. Israel has well-established traditions of murder and lies. The so-called "Jewish state," one can safely argue, has been an ongoing crime against humanity ever since the forefathers of Zionism claimed that Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land.

We have become slaves
By Doron Rosenblum. Welcome to 28 more years of wandering through the desert. Unless a dramatic breakthrough occurs, we are destined to repeat the same mistakes, delays and errors with the Palestinians and our other neighbors.

The ten curses of Netanyahu's government
By Ma`an Chief Editor Nasser Al-Lahham. Israelis have forgotten the Ten Commandments of the Torah; what they live with, in these days of state terror and extremism, are the ten curses. These curses do not come without warning. Indeed there are signs around the West Bank and all over Israel hearkening the coming of the curses ... The ten curses expected to come are: First: The demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by excavations or by explosions. Second: The transformation of the Jordan Valley area into an Israeli neighborhood. Third: Judaizing the Old City of Jerusalem and the Arab neighborhoods Forth: The obliteration of the Bethlehem countryside and conversion of the Palestinian area to a tourist farm where foreigners are bussed into take pictures of a biblical landscape free of a Palestinian presence....

Netanyahu and threat of bombing Iran - the bluff that never stops giving?

By Trita Parsi. In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to have told President Barack Obama that either America stops Iran or Israel will ... Reality is, however, that talk of an Israeli military option is more of a bluff than a threat -- but it is a bluff that never seems to stop giving. Israel does not have the military capability to successfully eliminate Iran's nuclear program. Even the most successful bombing campaign would only set back the known program for a few years -- without affecting any potential clandestine program.


Kirkuk women catch up on lost school years
Having lost out on an education during turbulent “Arabisation” of Kirkuk, many Kurd and Tukoman women return to classroom in hope of landing decent jobs. By Samah Samad in Kirkuk

Thursday: 6 Iraqis killed, 19 wounded
At least six Iraqis were killed and 19 more were wounded on the sixth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. Tens of thousands of Iraqis marked the occasion in Baghdad. No coalition deaths were reported. Gunmen threw a thermal grenade at a U.S. patrol traveling along a highway between Baiji and Tikrit. One American soldier was wounded. About 30,000 demonstrators marked the sixth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad in a gathering at Firdous Square today. They protested the continued presence of U.S. troops

Friday: 5 US soldiers, 8 Iraqis killed; 83 Iraqis wounded
Five U.S. soldiers were killed in a suicide bomb blast in Mosul that left dozens of Iraqis casualties as well. At least eight Iraqis were killed and 83 more were wounded across the country, mostly in the Mosul blast.

Marine acquitted in Iraqi death
A US marine charged with killing an unarmed detainee during a house-clearing operation in the Iraqi town of Fallujah has been acquitted by a military jury in the state of California.

US and other world news

Iran opens nuclear fuel facility
Iran's president has inaugurated the country's first nuclear fuel production plant, making what correspondents say was a defiant speech. Iran denies Western claims that it aims to build a nuclear bomb.

American victims of Hezbollah rockets sue North Korea
Thirty American victims of Hezbollah terror attacks have filed civil action in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC against the government of North Korea. The plaintiffs, injured by Hezbollah rockets fired into northern Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, allege that North Korea aided the terrorist organization by training senior Hezbollah leaders and by providing networks of underground storage bunkers meant to house Katyusha rocket launchers.

US apologises over Afghan deaths
The US military has admitted that its troops killed five civilians in Afghanistan, including a child, not fighters as was earlier reported. The US has also offered an apology for the deaths on Wednesday night and indicated that the family will receive support. A 13-year-old boy who survived the night-time raid on his home told Al Jazeera that his mother, brother, uncle and another female family member were killed. A woman who was nine-months' pregnant was wounded and lost her baby.

Obama hosts first-ever Passover seder dinner at White House

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday had close friends and staff to a private White House meal to mark Passover, in what was seen as a gesture to his Jewish supporters.

US Muslims still under siege
By Amy Goodman. As President Barack Obama made his public appearance with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday as part of his first trip to a Muslim country, U.S. federal agents were preparing to arrest Youssef Megahed in Tampa, Fla. Just three days earlier, on Friday, a jury in a U.S. federal district court had acquitted him of charges of illegally transporting explosives and possession of an explosive device.Megahed, acquitted by a jury of his peers, thought he was secure, back with his family. He was enrolled in his final course needed to earn a degree at the University of South Florida. Then the nightmare he had just escaped returned.

The killing of Islamic secularism
By Brian Whitaker. In the Arab countries, as I pointed out in an article for Cif yesterday, linkage between state and religion is accepted almost everywhere. There are differences of opinion about the degree of linkage, but the principle itself is rarely questioned.Tne reason, Herman De Ley suggests, is that history has led Muslims to associate secularism not with liberation, as Europeans usually do, but with foreign domination:
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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8 9 10 11 12 13 14
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29 30 31        
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
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4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
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