Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land Theft
Israeli police order two Palestinian families to leave their homes in East Jerusalem
The Israeli police today ordered two Palestinian families to leave their homes located in Shikh Jarah neighborhood near Jerusalem's old city.

New checkpoint another obstacle for isolated residents in ‘Azzun 'Atma
April 14th, 2009-- The siege on 75 isolated villagers of ‘Azzun 'Atma has tightened in the past weeks, and permit restrictions continue to make life difficult for children, business owners and workers. Occupation forces appear to be expanding the checkpoint that the isolated residents must pass through to reach their village, indicating that movement restrictions will tighten further.

IOF orders Palestinian families to evacuate their houses in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, April 14, 2009, (Ramattan)- The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) ordered two Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem to "evacuate" their houses in a bid to hand them to Jewish extremist groups.

This month in Jerusalem
In the month of March, the people of Jerusalem continued to stand against the Occupation municipality’s campaign to marginalize and expel the Palestinian population. A number of homes were demolished last month, while the efforts to force several families out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah intensified. These incidents, while alarming, are not surprising. Their systematic nature reflects official Occupation planning and development plans for the city, which aim to restrict the growth of Palestinian communities while simultaneously strengthening and expanding Jewish ones.

Israel works on kicking Palestinians out of Jerusalem
Gaza Strip, April 13th, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli attacks on Jerusalem and Palestinian civilians saw a horrific increase this month. Many Palestinians were injured, dozens jailed and others lost their houses.

Palestinian Resistance
Youth break through the Wall in Jayyus
Last night youth from the village of Jayyus broke through the Wall in the village. A small group then proceeded to the site where the new path is being constructed, destroying and setting fire to building materials. Occupation forces responded by raiding the village, where they remained into the early hours of the morning.

Israeli Aggression and Attacks/Siege

Gaza: Heavy shelling along northern coast
Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli warships fired heavily at Palestinian fishing boats in the As-Sudaniyah area of the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning.   Witnesses reported that the gunships launched intense barrages of shells and missiles off the As-Sudaniya shore, causing explosions that could be heard in nearby Gaza City.

The Israeli police hands over the body of a Palestinian youth they killed last week in Jerusalem
Israeli police released the body of a Palestinian youth to his family on Tuesday, allowing no more than immediate family to take part in his funeral.

Israel blocks fuel shipments to Gaza

Gaza – Ma’an – Israel barred deliveries fuel from the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning while opening two crossing points for deliveries of food and humanitarian supplies.  Chair of the Gaza Committee for the Entry of Goods Raed Fattuh said Israel closed the Nahal Oz fuel terminal on Tuesday, effectively shutting off fuel supply to the Strip.

IOF arrests 20 citizens in the West Bank
Ramallah, April 14, 2009 (Ramattan)- At least twenty Palestinian citizens were arrested on Tuesday by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the West Bank, Palestinian security sources said.

IOF troops kidnap ex-detainee who spent 15 years in Israeli jails

IOF troops kidnapped Monday ex-detainee Ra'ed Shaheen, 38, after raiding and ransacking his home in Dora city, south of Al-Khalil, at the pretext of being affiliated with Hamas.

Israeli forces raid four villages near Jenin, detaining one
Jenin – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized one Palestinian man from a village near Jenin and raided houses in at least three other villages in the northernmost regions of the West Bank Tuesday.  Palestinian security sources told Ma’an’s correspondent in Jenin that Israeli soldiers detained Muhammad Rajeh Bazzur, 27, during a raid on his house near the Israeli separation wall in the village of Al-Matalleh.

Israeli forces seize eight Palestinian youths in raid south of Nablus
Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized eight young Palestinians, including six who are studying for their college entrance exams, during a raid on the West Bank village of Madama, south of Nablus on Tuesday morning.

Israeli soldiers seize PA intelligence officer, two others in Nablus area
Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli troops seized a Palestinian Authority intelligence offer from the village of Qusin and two other locals at the At-Tur checkpoint south of Nablus on Tuesday morning.  According to Palestinian security sources, Israeli soldiers took 40-year-old intelligence officer Samer Abed Rabbo Al-Baz from his home.

Israeli soldiers seize four Palestinians from Safa, days after settler clashes
Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized four brothers from the West Bank village of Safa, where settler attacks sparked clashes with Israeli forces last week.  According to Ma’an’s correspondent in the nearby city of Hebron, 14 Israeli military vehicles invaded Safa. Soldiers conduced house-to-house searches before seizing Ahmad Ibrahim At-Teet, 35, and his brothers; Muhammad, 32, Moussa, 24, and Ma’moun, 22, and Hassan Ibrahim Qouqas, 32.

Undercover forces kidnap two residents near Hebron
Undercover forces of the Israeli army kidnapped on Monday evening two residents after ambushing their vehicle at the entrance of Ithna village, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Palestinian media worker detained for documenting settler visit to Al-Aqsa

Jerusalem – Ma'an – Israeli police detained a Palestinian media worker who was documenting an intrusion by right-wing Israeli settlers into the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday.  According to the Al-Aqsa Foundation, the organization’s media coordinator, Mahmoud Abu Atta, was arrested while covering the settlers’ incursion on Monday morning.

Testimonies of the fishermen abducted on 6/4/2009

These testimonies were given to ISM Gaza Strip volunteers on April 9th 2009

Israeli troops arrest Syrian in Golan - army
JERUSALEM, April 14 (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers arrested an unarmed Syrian who crossed into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday, a military spokesman said.  The suspect was being questioned and may be returned later to Syria, the spokesman said. He had no further details. Israel Radio said the man had infiltrated a border fence by tunneling beneath it. His motive was unclear but did not appear to be linked to any violent intentions, the radio said.

War Crimes

U.S. shipped 989 munitions containers to Israel week before Gaza invasion
According to Amnesty International in the UK, the shipment included white phosphorous.

Israel unveils the new EIDP bombs, first used in Gaza

In a high-ranking ceremony in Jerusalem on Sunday, Israeli officials revealed the existence of a new technology that was successfully deployed during the recent Israeli invasions of Gaza. The weapon was developed by Raphael, the famous high tech Israeli military company. EIDP stands for "Emotionally Intelligent Delivery Platform."

Humanitarian Issues
Gaza woman dead in fourth so-called 'honor killing' in last week

Bethlehem – Ma’an – A woman was killed on Monday morning in the Gaza Strip in the fourth killing related to so-called “family” honor in the last week.  According to information collected by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), 28-year-old Rihab Al-Hazin, from An-Nusseirat Refugee Camp was killed by her 21-year-old brother, who told police he killed his sister to ‘maintain family honor.’

So-Called 'Honor Killings' Must Stop!

It is not an easy life to be born a Palestinian.  You are most likely a refugee, probably a young one, and earthly wealth is a dream. If you reside in the Palestinian Territories, you live under a brutal military and civilian occupation and are subjected to an innumerable amount of difficulties and retardations socially, psychologically and, of course, economically.  If it is not easy being a Palestinian; it is even harder to be a Palestinian woman.

OPT: Israeli soldiers and settlers continued their attacks on PRCS medical teams during its humanitarian mission

New survey highlights urgent need to address pregnant women's health in the Gaza Strip
JERUSALEM— A new survey examining living conditions in Gaza during the recent Israeli military offensive reveals that the conflict has prevented four in ten pregnant women who needed pre- or post-natal care during the crisis from receiving such services. One third of these women could not reach health facilities due to life-threatening dangers. Others were unable to do so because these facilities were either destroyed by shelling, packed with war casualties or had stopped working.

Egyptian Collaboration with Israel against the Lebanese Resistance and Palestinians

Mossad, Foreign Intelligence Behind Egypt’s Incitement against Hezbollah
At a time Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were still suffering from a shortage of humanitarian aids due to the Israeli siege along with the closure of the Rafah crossing that connects Gaza to the outer world through Egypt, Cairo is engaged in a late campaign against Hezbollah and its Secretary General who had called on the Egyptian regime to open the Rafah crossing for the stricken Palestinians.

Mossad tip led to capture of Hezbollah cell in Sinai
The report also states that following the assassination of Hezbollah's terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyeh over a year ago in Damascus, the special branch has been led jointly by three senior operatives: Nawaf al-Mussawi, Wafic Safa and Sheikh Ali Dugmush. The three operate in coordination with General Faisal Bagherzadeh, head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard mission to Lebanon......The uncovering of the ring will result in greater understanding in Egypt of Israel's considerations, however no one should expect an immediate improvement in Egyptian efforts to counter arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

ANALYSIS / Egypt's rage at Hezbollah isn't on Israel's behalf
It is sometimes hard to believe the remarks coming out of Cairo over the past 48 hours are actually directed at Hezbollah. The Egyptian press has tagged its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, with denigrating epithets like the "monkey sheikh," and remarks from security officials in Cairo to the Israeli press sound reminiscent of how generals speak in times of war.

Cairo labels Hizbullah chief 'war criminal'

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was slammed by Egyptian government officials and press as a provocateur and "war criminal," days after the Hizbullah leader admitted that Sami Shihab, a Lebanese national in Egyptian custody, was a Hizbullah operative involved in arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip.

I was born Palestinian

"Its not very comfortable in there is it?" said the stony faced official, cigarette smoke forming a haze around his gleaming oval head.  "Its OK. We're fine" i replied wearily, delirious after being awake for a straight period of 30 hours.  You could be in there for days you know. For weeks. Indefinitely. "So, tell me, you are taking a plane tomorrow morning to the US?"

Palestinian Political Developments

PA: ‘Economic peace’ irrelevant to Palestinians
Jerusalem – Ma’an – Ahmad Qurei, the head of the Palestinian Authority’s negotiating team, called on the international community on Tuesday to intervene and restore the ‘political track’ of the peace process with Israel.  Qurei was responding to suggestions by Israel’s right-wing new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that Israel will only negotiate on economic and security arrangements, refusing to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

Islamic Jihad calls for dialogue; says no support for Fatah-based transitional government
Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - Islamic Jihad called on rival factions to re-affirm their commitments to national conciliation during a Monday meeting with Fatah delegates in the Gaza Strip.  Member of the Fatah Central Committee Abdullah Al-Ifranji and his colleague, President of the Gaza Development and Reconstruction Committee Marwan Abdel Hamid entered Gaza last week on orders of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The mission is said to be a complimentary one to the Cairo talks.

Hamas Comes Out of Hiding
JUST a year and a half ago, visiting Khalid Mishal, the supreme leader of Hamas, was a cloak-and-dagger affair. In September 2007, I climbed into the back of a curtained Mercedes to make the dash from central Damascus to the southern suburbs, where the Palestinian group operated from a high-security enclave reserved for senior officials of the Syrian government.  On reaching Mr. Mishal’s security-camera-covered bunker, I was ordered to remain in the car, alighting only after the house guards had drawn heavy curtains to envelop the vehicle entirely — ensuring an anonymous arrival at the headquarters of a movement that had good reason to fear prying eyes.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE: One-State Supporters Make a Comeback
The U.S. government continues to give very generous support to Israel - where successive governments have built Jewish-only colonies in the occupied West Bank and taken other actions that make a viable Palestinian state increasingly hard to achieve.

Mitchell visit to see if Netanyahu really against 2-states

'It's one thing to hear statements in the press, it's another to hear it in a one-on-one meeting,' Washington source tells Ynet ahead of visit from Obama's envoy.,7340,L-3701344,00.html

Other News

Ahmadinejad to attend Durban 2 anti-racism conference

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend the United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva in late April, Iran's state-run media reported Monday.

Sensitive Air Force documents found in garbage

Civilian comes across papers detailing squadron's operations during Gaza offensive, including pilots' names and launch times; military personnel in nearby base promise to clear papers from area, but man finds them in same spot a few days later.,7340,L-3701153,00.html

Propaganda/Media Bias
According to Tony Blair, Binyamin Netanyahu will build a Palestinian nation 'from the bottom up'
Against all the evidence, Tony Blair claims that Binyamin Netanyahu will build a Palestinian nation 'from the bottom up'.  Tony Blair, who now serves as the Middle East Quartet's envoy, has told Time magazine he has concluded that the return to power of the newly elected Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu – universally seen as a near-fatal setback to prospects for a two-state solution – may be a blessing.

Deranged Ynetnews Headline
Ynetnews is an English language Israel news and content website operated by Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s most-read newspaper. Like other Israeli media it loves bashing Germany. But this is even more deranged than the usual stuff.  See the first headline on this screenshot taken of Ynetnews half an hour ago.

Ethan Bronner on Oz
Here, Ethan Bronner summarizes the Israeli war on Gaza: "Israel’s military campaign in Gaza a few months ago, undertaken to stop Hamas rockets from being fired at Israeli towns not far from this one, only added to that mutual mistrust. Mr. Oz favored the attack as an appropriate response to the rockets but wanted it called off within a few days rather than the three weeks it lasted. Meanwhile, he says, he has been saddened by some of the behavior of Israeli soldiers in Gaza." So the humanity of Amos Oz can be summarized as follows: Instead of killing 400 Palestinian children, Oz believes that Israeli should kill only a 100 Palestinian children. This is the humanity of Israeli liberals. Then Oz said: "In 1967 Israelis fought in heavily populated urban areas and there were Jordanian snipers hiding behind civilian populations. Nonetheless no streets were bulldozed to the ground.” Here, Oz--the liberal poseur par exacellence, just look at the accompanying picture--is lying of course. The Israeli occupation army razed to the ground the entire Moroccan quarter in East Jerusalem to make room for the Jewish worshippers. PS Do you notice how the Western media now talk about "Hamas Rockets" like they are some ICBMs?

Unh-oh, Huffpo's gone PEP
Susie Kneedler says that Huffpo is going PEP -- Progressive Excet for Palestine. She points to two rightwing pieces. Here's Mort Zuckerman given space on the site to tell the untold story about Gaza, and say that Israel has no partner for peace, and Gaza is just like Jenin 2002, a media exaggeration. Here's Menachem Rosensaft arguing for Bibi Netanyahu's good faith for two states. I wonder where Arianna Huffington's getting her money...

Ten organizations launch int'l campaign in solidarity with Gaza fishermen
Ten civil and humanitarian institutions said that they embarked on preparing an international campaign of solidarity with the Palestinian fishermen aimed at stopping Israeli violations in Gaza waters.
Ma’an-produced documentary on occupied Jerusalem to be screened at Al-Jazeera festival
Doha, Qatar – Ma’an – A film produced by Ma’an Network about the plight of Palestinians in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem will be shown at the Al-Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival which opens on Monday, in Doha, Qatar.  Amani Al-Khayyat’s film “The Price of Waiting” documents abuses including house demolitions, land confiscation, and the cancellation of Palestinians’ ID cards and residence permits.

Man who says he is former AIPAC member puts up billboards decrying Gaza as monstrous inhumanity
I keep braying that Gaza is a watershed moment in American political life and American Jewish life. The billboard is one of ten being put up in New Mexico by an Albuquerque-based grassroots org (the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel). Here is their press release. The group looks to be multicultural, and led by two Jews, Lori Rudolph and Rich Forer. Forer says that he is a former member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who has been shaken from ideological slumbers in the last couple of years by the Israeli New Historians. He has learned that Jewish schoolchildren are "grossly misinformed" about the conflict and are taught to demonize Palestinians. Gaza was a "monstrous act of inhumanity," he continues, and Israel must act sincerely to restore the dignity to both peoples.

Syrian aid convoy heading to Gaza

Hamdi Shaath, head of the governmental committee in charge of welcoming delegates in Gaza, reported on Monday that an aid convoy, presented by the Syrian people in aid to Gaza, left Syria on Monday in an attempt to make it into Gaza.

Frontline Doctor Touring Chicago, New York, D.C., Baltimore

On Jan 3, 2009, Dr. Mads Gilbert sent a text message to the world:  They bombed the central fruit and vegetables market in Gaza town two hours ago. 80 wounded and 20 killed. All of them came here, to Shifa. Hades! We are up to our knees with death, blood and amputants. Lots of children. Pregnant women. I have never experienced anything this terrible. Tell people, pass it on, shout it from the rooftops. Everything. WE MUST DO MORE! We are living in the history books now, everyone!

Israel’s Racist in Chief, By Chris Hedges
Israel has changed. And the racist virus spread by Kahane, whose thugs were charged with the murders and beatings of dozens of unarmed Palestinians and whose members held rallies in Jerusalem where they chanted "Death to Arabs!" has returned to Israel in the figure of Israel's powerful new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman openly calls for an araberrein Israel-an Israel free of Arabs.

Should Palestinian citizens vote in Israel's parliamentary elections?

The moment in which boycott of Israeli elections could become a serious and viable option is fast approaching, if the necessary preparations are made. Nonetheless, the boycott is not an end in itself and must not be used in the context of a feeling of resignation towards politics and the possibility of having an impact. Otherwise, it will be no more than another means of depriving the people of hope. Nimer Sultany comments.

Portrait of an artist as a young Palestinian
MENASSAT has been featuring the work of the Palestinian cartoonist Nidal El-Khairy for a few months now. Bitter, humorous, dark, and unflinching El-Khairy talked to MENASSAT about his work.

Iraq war stories, 2003-09
The Iraq conflict has dominated the international and national agenda for six years. As British troops prepare for their final withdrawal, we present a Guardian and Observer archive in words and pictures documenting the human and political cost. Use the tabs below to focus on key aspects of the invasion and its aftermath.

Iraqi Islamists claim credit for deadly attack on U.S. soldiers (McClatchy Newspapers)

McClatchy Newspapers - BAGHDAD A radical Islamist group thought to be a front for al Qaida in Iraq has claimed responsibility for a Friday suicide bombing that killed five U.S. soldiers in the northern city of Mosul.

Iraqi Militia Fear Reprisals After US Exit, By PATRICK COCKBURN
The Sunni Arabs lost their dominant position in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was overthrown, but they began to regain their strength when the United States recruited them as foot soldiers to fight against al-Qa’ida. But now, as American troops prepare to go home, the Sunni who changed from insurgents to US allies over the last two years are once more fearful for their future.

Iraq, once a country of fervent readers, now starves for books (McClatchy Newspapers)
McClatchy Newspapers - BAGHDAD.  When Maysoon Kadhim began working on her master's thesis at Baghdad University two years ago, she braced for the challenge. After all, her paper's subject is Shakespeare, whose prose can perplex even native English speakers.

Lydia Khalil: Change the Tone Towards Iraq
During President Obama's whirlwind tour of Europe presented a new image of America, the president did what he did best - empathize and listen, all the while deliberately and patiently pursuing his interests. But the tone taken with European leaders did not carry over to his surprise stop over in Iraq. His chidings to Iraqi leaders "to take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty" was uncharacteristically tone deaf and ignores the trajectory of Iraqi politics for the past two years.  Iraqis are already committed to regaining their sovereignty... at times at the expense of U.S. interests and goals in the region. Iraq's commitment to sovereignty was amply demonstrated during the negotiations of the Status of Armed Forces Agreement, an agreement that is to govern the presence of U.S. troops during their remaining time in Iraq.

Cost of Iraq war will surpass Vietnam's by year's end
If Congress approves the latest funding request, as expected, the Iraq war will have cost about $694 billion, making it the second most expensive conflict in U.S. history behind World War II.,0,738307.story

Troops Stole Boxes of Iraq Reconsruction Cash
... Literally ... But There's a Lot More to the Story.

U.S. and other world news
Indictment of Bush Officials May Come in Days
The imminent indictment in Spanish courts of former officials of the Bush Administration is being applauded by civil and human rights organizations and legal scholars. The popular wave of support for indictment of Bush officials will inevitably lead to Bush himself.

The Red Cross Torture Report: What it Means
For many in the United States, torture still stands as a marker of political commitment—of a willingness to “do anything to protect the American people,” a manly readiness to know when to abstain from “coddling terrorists” and do what needs to be done. Torture’s powerful symbolic role, like many ugly, shameful facts, is left unacknowledged and undiscussed. But that doesn’t make it any less real. On the contrary.

Realpolitik for Iran, Roger Cohen
For Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, “a combination of ignorance and arrogance” under the Bush administration squandered countless diplomatic opportunities with Iran and so allowed it to forge ahead with its nuclear program.  Referring twice to Dick Cheney as “Darth Vader,” ElBaradei told me in an interview that “U.S. policy consisted of two mantras — Iran should not have the knowledge and should not spin one single centrifuge. They kept saying, wait, Iran is not North Korea, it will buckle. That was absolutely a mistake.”

Empire and agency: "A World of Trouble: America in the Middle East"
While nowhere in his invaluable diplomatic history of eight presidencies, A World of Trouble: America in the Middle East, does Patrick E. Tyler use the phrase "the Israel lobby," it nevertheless looms largest among the reasons why all US efforts to feign balance between the competing concerns of good relations with Arab-Muslim states and unwavering allegiance to Israel have foundered. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad reviews for The Electronic Intifada.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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