West Bank Land Seized As Israel Looks to Build
West Bank, Feb. 16 -- Plans to expand a West Bank settlement by up to
2,500 homes drew Palestinian condemnation Monday and presented an early
test for President Obama, whose Middle East envoy is well known for
opposing such construction.
Confiscations and settlement expansion in Bethlehem
confiscations and settlement expansion are continuing in the Bethlehem
district. In Nahalin, Occupation forces have confiscated another 20
dunums from the village. Also, it has been announced that 1,700 dunums
have been declared state land to facilitate the expansion of the Efrat
Mine-clearing teams in Gaza waiting for Israeli okay
CITY - A team trained to remove and destroy unexploded ordnance has
been operating in the Gaza Strip for three weeks, but its work is being
held up because Israel has not approved the entry of its equipment nor
an area for storing and neutralizing ordnance. For now some of the
latter, located by the Palestinian police, is being stored in locations
that are dangerously close to population centers in Rafah, Khan Yunis
and Gaza City.
"Like a drum" - shelling of Gaza's beachfront continues
year-old Ali Abdl Salam Al Sa'ay walks like the living dead. Eyes
closed, he hobbles into the examination room at Gaza city's Nasser Eye
Hospital, holding his bandaged hands gingerly in front of him. A
relative walks alongside him, holding up his intravenous drip of
Israeli soldiers continue West Bank sweep, arresting at least 50 Palestinians
– Ma'an – Israeli forces arrested nearly 50 Palestinians from across
the West Bank Monday, at least 30 from the Ramallah area. All were
taken to undisclosed locations, after troops broke into several homes.
Soldiers also installed a checkpoint at the entrance of Ni'lin village,
west of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The Israeli military kidnaps 26 Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
Israeli military kidnapped 26 Palestinian civilians during pre dawn and
morning invasions targeting several West Bank cities and towns on
Tuesday, Palestinian sources reported.
Israeli forces arrest youths in Salim
Hussin Ali Shtayah (22) was arrested in the village of Salim near
Nablus on Saturday 14th February. Around 20 heavily armed soldiers
broke into his family's house at about 2 am in the morning. The army
confined the large family in a small room, denying them access to water
and the bathroom for two hours. Meanwhile soldiers interrogated Ali
privately in a separate room. He was forced to strip and then searched
before being arrested.
Israeli army arrests 18 Palestinians in West Bank
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested on Tuesday 18 Palestinian
citizens in different cities across the West Bank, Palestinian security
Israeli detention campaign continues as dozens more seized across West Bank
sweep of detentions across the West Bank continued overnight Monday as
Israeli Radio reported 26 detentions for "security reasons." The
forces detained seven civilians in Tulkarem, seven others in the
Qalqiliya governorate, eight from Husan village near Bethlehem, one
from Beit Ummar north of Hebron and three others from Hebron city.
Locals from Husan village said at least 50 military vehicles surrounded
the small village and troops dispersed throughout the town searching
the homes of the five men taken for questioning.
Targeting the leftists in western Bethlehem
forces mounted a campaign of widespread raids and arrests in the
southwestern Bethlehem town of Husan during the early morning hours of
Tuesday. A massive military force pushed into the town ripping
residents from sleep. Twelve vehicles closed the entrance to the
village. Military roadblocks were imposed throughout the streets.
VIDEO: In the rubble of Jabal al Rayas, Gaza families struggling to survive in homemade shelters
The closure of Al Ram
occupying Israeli administration closed the only remaining passage of
Dahiyat Barid between the Jerusalem suburb of Al Ram and the city. The
northern town was a part of the city until the Wall was imposed down
the center of main street effectively prohibiting the movement of
residents. There was one passage left and now that is closed.
Conditions deteriorate in Eshel Prison without accountable administration
Palestinian Prisoners Society said today that the conditions in the
Eshel Prison are continuing to deteriorate since the recent transfer of
the Department Director. Officers and guards are using arbitrary
actions and new restrictions which have exacerbated the suffering of
Israeli soldiers sentenced for extorting money from Palestinian workers
Israeli court in Beersheva sentenced two soldiers to four and six month
prison terms after they were found guilty of stealing 4,000 shekels
from four Palestinians. The money was taken in lieu of arrest as
soldiers discovered the men were attempting to work in Israel without
permits. The Palestinians were held at gunpoint until cash was
produced. The incidents took place three years ago.
The Israeli court ordered 1,700 shekels in compensation for each of the Palestinian men.
ISRAEL-OPT: Thousands of Gazans remain homeless
IRIN Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip remain homeless after
their houses were badly damaged or destroyed during Israel's recent
military offensive there.
Gaza vehicles released by police
vehicles seized as they travelled to join a Gaza aid convoy have been
released by counter-terrorism officers. The two vans and an ambulance
were travelling to London to join the convoy when they were stopped on
the M65 near Preston, Lancashire, on Friday.
PA office in Gaza accuses UNRWA staff of selling goods to private sector "behind our backs"
Palestinian Authority Ministry of National Economy accused the United
Nations relief Agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, on Tuesday of
importing private-sector goods under its name behind the back of the
ministry. The undersecretary of the ministry of the Ramallah-based
government, speaking from Gaza, Nasser As-Sarraj made these accusations
to Ma'an on Monday night.
De facto Health Ministry calls for urgent blood donations in Gaza
– Ma'an – O, A and B negative blood is in short supply in the Gaza
Strip and the de facto government sent an appeal out Tuesday for blood
drives all over the area. The situation is getting serious, a Ministry
of Health statement said, and urged citizens to get to local hospitals
and clinics to donate blood.
British MPs: Israel committed "war crimes" in Gaza
MPs said on Tuesday that Israel committed war crimes against
Palestinians in Gaza strip during the war which lasted 22 days.
Palestinian caretaker government releases basics of Gaza reconstruction plan
- Ma'an - The first draft of a two-year Palestinian National Plan for
Gaza Reconstruction was approved Monday by the cabinet of the
Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority. The plan will be submitted to
the 'Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the
Reconstruction of Gaza' in Egypt on 2 March. Drafts will also be sent
to UN and international bodies for comment before the document is
released to the public. The Plan was drawn up by the Ministry of
Planning after what they described as "wide consultation and a detailed
survey of the damage inflicted on Gaza and the work necessary for
Officials: Israel may authorize terms for Shalit deal Wednesday
Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday intends to bring before the cabinet
for its approval a demand that conditions a cease-fire deal on the
release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.
Noam Shalit not optimistic about deal for Gilad's release
Noam Shalit is not optimistic about a pending deal for the release of his son, Gilad, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
'Peace talks futile' unless settlement building stops
President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on Israel to halt
internationally condemned settlement expansion and said he would not
start from scratch in peace talks with the Jewish state's next
government. Israel meanwhile unilaterally declared a large patch of
land in the Occupied West Bank "state land," paving.
Israel Toughens Negotiating Stance With Hamas
is toughening its negotiating stance with Hamas as the two try to
hammer out a permanent ceasefire agreement. According to reports in
the Arab media a permanent ceasefire between the Jewish state and the
Islamic resistance organisation would have gone into effect as early as
Sunday had the Israeli government not suddenly upped the ante.
ANALYSIS / Time has muddled the Cairo-brokered Shalit deal
behavior in the past few days in the discussions for the Shalit deal
and the cease-fire agreement has put the Egyptians mediators off
Report: Ahmed Qureia dismissed as PA negotiator in Israel talks
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed Ahmed Qureia from his
position as the PA's senior negotiator in talks with Israel, the
pan-Arab paper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday.
Erekat remains senior negotiator
Qureia is out of the negotiating team to meet with Israeli and American
delegations, report sources in the Muqata. President Abbas is
including longtime official Dr. Sa'eb Erekat who holds the title head
of negotiations in the Palestine Liberation Organization. He is the
"senior negotiator" although Qureia held the reins during last year's
meetings with Livni.
Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Gaza sours Israel-Turkey relations - Feb 16
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISfP84rMPCc
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUahorNRiX0
Fatah, Hamas officials meet in Ramallah before Cairo talks
and ministers from Palestine's leading political movements met Monday
night in Ramallah to advance preparations for talks in Cairo scheduled
for 22 February. Representatives from both Fatah and Hamas met for two
hours on Monday night.
A new enemy for Gaza smugglers
from Rafah, Gaza Strip -- The tunnel owners sit around the fire,
passing cups of sweet tea and talking bitterly about the siege. But on
this early February morning they're not talking about the Israeli jets
and their occasional airstrikes on the hundreds of tunnels that worm
their way from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, slipping in supplies and,
some say, weapons. Instead, the Palestinians' fury is directed at the
Egyptian government, which in the wake of this winter's Israeli
offensive has cracked down on the Gaza tunnel trade, choking the flow
of goods. ..."
The Egyptian people are our brothers," Abu Baraa says. "The government is a collaborator."
In Morocco, anger at Arab collusion against Gaza
I have just returned from Morocco where I witnessed first-hand the
massive emotional reaction to Israel's brutal destruction of Gaza.
Wherever I went, I could not help but notice the pervasive sense of
popular anger and despair, powerlessness and humiliation, guilt and
shamefulness. The country was a pot of boiling emotions and ardent
indignation at both Israel's indiscriminate killing of innocent
children and women and the stunning collusion of a number of Arab
regimes in Israel's deadly assault on Gaza.
Beilin: Fatah strongman Dahlan once called Lieberman 'key to peace'
July 2000, while he was justice minister in Ehud Barak's cabinet, Yossi
Beilin agreed to a request by Mohammed Dahlan and Mohammed Rashid, who
were members of the Palestinian delegation at Camp David, that they
Blogging in Egypt: Rizky Business
are trying to silence the voices that criticize the [Egyptian]
government's performance and send a message by assaulting and
kidnapping, to say that criticism will not be tolerated." -- Gamal Eid,
executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
on the recent spate of blogger arrests in Egypt. Philip Rizk wasn't
"unlucky" or at "the wrong place at the wrong time." Instead, he found
himself quite the deliberate target of Egyptian President Hosni
Palestinian travelers face new restrictions at Arab borders
traveling abroad have recently been subjected to alarming scrutiny by
border officials in the Arab world. Several days ago, the Egyptian
government began asking Palestinians interested in visiting Egypt
through its Cairo airport to present evidence of a return flight home,
despite that Egypt had usually permitted Palestinians to enter without
attaining a visa.
Israel Launches Covert War Against Iran: Hitmen, Sabotage, Front Companies, Double Agents
is using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt
the regime's illicit weapons project, the experts say.
most dramatic element of the "decapitation" programme is the planned
assassination of top figures involved in Iran's atomic operations.
Is Israel assassinating Iran nuclear scientists?
is assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists as part of a covert war
against the Islamic Republic's illicit weapons program, the Daily
Telegraph on Tuesday quoted Western intelligence analysts as saying.
The British daily said Israel's Mossad espionage agency was rumored to
be behind the death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at
Iran's Isfahan uranium plant, who died in mysterious circumstances from
reported "gas poisoning" in 2007.
Israel: We Are Under Existential Threat
occupation Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi presented
defense minister Ehud Barak with a military's work plan for 2009,
saying that 'Tehran near-nuclear capabilities, existing ballistic
aptitude and terror contacts pose 'existential threat' to Israel.'
The defense establishment has recently declared, for the first time in
years, that the State of Israel is under an "existential threat."
'Resistance Has Right to Possess and Use Anti-Aircraft Weapons'
Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah declared on Monday that the
Islamic Resistance has the full right to possess all kinds of weaponry,
including anti-aircraft weapons, emphasizing that the Resistance has
the courage to use such weapons. His eminence renewed his pledge to
retaliate the assassination of Islamic Resistance top commander Imad
Moghniyyeh (Hajj Redwan), noting that the Resistance's great martyr has
scared the Israelis following his assassination more than ever.
Nasrallah on Mughniyya assassination anniversary: We will continue to resist
- Ma'an - The resistance has the right to use weapons and is not afraid
of any government, said Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in
a speech marking the anniversary of Israel's assassination of Imad
Mughniyya. Mughniyya, a senior Hizbullah leader, was killed in a car
bombing in Syria on 12 February 2008.
Nasrallah reaches out to rivals, warns Israelis to stay home
BEIRUT: Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah sent messages in two
directions on Monday as he called for calm locally and stressed that
the resistance had the right to possess an anti-air defense system to
confront Israeli threats. Speaking via video link during a mass
ceremony in the Beirut suburb of Rweiss on the first anniversary of the
assassination of Hizbullah military commander Imad Mughniyeh, Nasrallah
called for civil peace and urged restraint following violence which led
to the death of one person after Saturday's rally to commemorate the
fourth anniversary of the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
UN nuclear watchdog: Israel's 'perceived double-standard' hurts NPT
perception among Arab nations that Israel has undermined the
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a major obstacle to global nuclear
disarmament, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on
2 ex-Border Guard officers jailed for robbing Palestinians
Officers get prison sentence for demanding illegal Palestinian residents hand over NIS 4,000 in market.
have evidence of money laundering against
Police have amassed
sufficient evidence to link Israel Beiteinu
chairman Avigdor Lieberman with money laundering
charges, a former National Fraud Unit
investigator told The Jerusalem Post.
Israeli Arab MK: Livni is
90% Lieberman, 10% Netanyahu
"Livni is 90% Lieberman and 10% Netanyahu", Israeli-Arab MK Ahmed Tibi
said Monday, hours after Tzipi Livni's Kadima party released a
statement saying they accept the stipulations made by Avigdor
Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party for joining a coalition. Hadash party
head Mohammed Barakeh also issued a harsh attack on Livni, saying
"according to the document, Kadima's response to the requests made by
Yvet Lieberman (Lieberman's nickname) show that Livni intends to form a
government headed by Lieberman. " Barakeh added that Kadima's response
"validates the racist beliefs of this Yvet. Livni and [Kadima MK] Haim
Ramon announced today a list that is 100% Lieberman. " Barakeh said
that "Anyone who thought that the fate of the Palestinian population
weighs on such racist decisions is mistaken.
Media Censorship on Gaza?
reasons behind the cancelation of Germany's 'Anne Will' show on Gaza?
Germany's most prominent political debate TV program 'Anne Will'
had announced to run a show on Gaza on 11 January, but in what many
observers believe to be an unprecedented step canceled the topic only
three days earlier. The talk show is broadcast every Sunday night by
the country's foremost public-service broadcaster ARD while attracting
on average 3.6 million viewers.
Letter on Academic Freedom in Palestine
President Bollinger, On a number of occasions since becoming president
of Columbia University you have expressed your views in public on
questions of academic freedom in the Middle East. Yet you have remained
silent on the actions by Israel that deny that freedom to
Palestinians. These actions include Israel's continuing blockade of
Gaza, the imposing of barriers, checkpoints, and closures around and
within the West Bank that make academic life unworkable, the denial of
exit visas to Palestinian scholars offered fellowships abroad or
invited to international conferences, including scholars invited to
Columbia, and the recent three-week war against Gaza that included not
only the bombing of Palestinian schools and colleges, with great loss
of life, but the widespread destruction of the material and social
fabric on which academic life depends. We, as Columbia and Barnard
faculty, ask you now to make public your opposition to these actions
and your support for the academic freedom of Palestinians.
Student sit-ins in solidarity with Palestine spread from UK to US
a number of successful sit-ins at British universities calling for
divestment from Israeli apartheid, students in the US have taken up the
cause as well. The University of Rochester, in New York, is the first
to declare success after a sit-in at the University Administration
Murakami uses award speech to voice support for Palestinians
Haruki Murakami used an award acceptance speech here Sunday to make
veiled criticism of Israel's recent military strikes on the Gaza strip,
voicing support for the Palestinian civilian casualties of the
campaign. The 60-year-old writer was in the Israeli capital to receive
the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, the
country's top literary award.
Concert to show support for Palestinians
A humanitarian concert will be held to raise awareness among young
Malaysians of the plight of Palestinians and to collect funds for
victims of the Gaza attacks. The event, jointly organised by the
Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry and the Foundation of
National Patriot, will be held at the Telekom Museum in Kuala Lumpur on
Glasgow university occupation
February 9, students occupied the university of Glasgow, joining the
wave of university occupations that has been occurring in the UK. The
occupation ended several days later, after the university
administration agreed to several of the students' demands. After
several weeks of campaigning, students at Glasgow garnered more than
one thousand signatures of staff and students for petitions in support
of the people of Gaza. After an unsatisfactory response from the
administration, some 50 students went on to occupy a university
The settlers and their state: ideology in practice
the last olive harvest, the deep racial oppression that is present
across the entire land of Palestine rose to the surface in the form of
frequent attacks against Palestinians. In our report on the olive
harvest*, we have documented how Palestinian farmers in the West Bank
faced abuse from settlers and soldiers who physically assaulted them,
destroyed their property, and prevented them from reaching their lands.
However, this report shows only one area of settler aggression. During
the same period, in '48 Palestine, Akka and other Palestinian cities
served as arenas for violence and intimidation directed at Palestinians
living there. In its superficial coverage of this violence, the mass
media missed or ignored the underlying cause of the attacks: that this
ongoing violence and intimidation is a systemic characteristic of the
Israeli military and state institutions that is present in both the
West Bank and in '48 Palestine.
AP reports that Israeli expansion plans are a direct challenge to Obama & Mitchell
The AP's Karin Laub has picked up that expanded settlement news, first
published in Haaretz, and done wonderful reporting on it. Laub says the
land belongs to a Palestinian plumber. The plans--and here the AP
echoes this site--are a direct challenge to Obama and George Mitchell.
It's time for people to step forward. Where is Congressman Gary
Ackerman, who condemned the settlements last week? What does
ANALYSIS / A rightist coalition will be on collision course with U.S. from day one
one question that interests Benjamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni more
than which of them President Shimon Peres will pick first to form a
coalition, is what mandate President Barack Obama will give the new
Conditioning Part of U.S. Aid to Israel on Implementation of U.S. Policy
is well-known outside the United States that a key obstacle, if not the
key obstacle, to Israeli/Palestinian peace is the relationship between
Israel and the United States. To say that the U.S. "supports Israel"
severely misstates the problem: the key problem is the perception and
the reality that the U.S. almost unfailingly protects the Israeli
government from the negative consequences of anti-Palestinian policies,
such as the recent military assault on Gaza, so that while rhetorically
the U.S. is committed to peace, in practice the incentives that have
been created and maintained by U.S. policy have had the effect of
constantly pushing the Israeli government towards more confrontation
with the Palestinians, rather than towards accommodation. Just as a
Wall Street banker who expects a U.S. government bailout will take
dangerous risks since he is protected from the potential negative
consequences of those risks, so Israeli government leaders, faced with
choices between "risks for peace" and "risks for war" will tend to
choose "risks for war" since the U.S. government is perceived to
provide a blanket insurance policy against "risks for war" while no
such insurance is perceived to exist for "risks for peace."
Zakaria: Closeted Palestinian-Supporter?
Lieberman is upsetting the liberal internationalist stomach, namely
Fareed Zakaria's. His Newsweek piece on the electoral success of the
right-wing hawk and the popularity of the 'transfer' ideology is a
welcome contribution to the growing unease in the American foreign
policy establishment for the looniest of Israel's political spectrum.
sympathizes with Israeli athlete hurt by international politics, but
not the 100s of Palestinian athletes in a similar situation
Felson writes: Harvey Araton used his New York Times sports column
today to document the plight of Shahar Peer, an Israeli tennis player
who was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates that would have
allowed her to compete in this week's Barclay's Dubai Tennis
Championships – a $2 million tournament that is a part of the women's
pro tour. It's a good case. Peer's exclusion violates the spirit of
international competition, which holds the promise of bringing together
athletes from nations with severe political differences and setting a
better example for the world. Araton calls for the women's and men's
tours to end their affiliation with Dubai.
Shouldn't we be getting religious crazies, like Eric Yoffie, out of our politics?
of the signal events of the Gaza slaughter in the U.S. was the brave
statement by "J Street" against the disproportionate violence, and the
subsequent attack on J Street by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Union
for Reform Judaism, which for some reason the Forward saw fit to print.
Here Yoffie belittled the new Israel lobby group as "morally deficient,
profoundly out of touch with Jewish sentiment and also appallingly
naïve." The article was titled "On Gaza, Sense and Centrism." Jews are
"commonsensical," Yoffie said. And you will see that his teaching
lacked any religious mumbo-jumbo.
Four Solutions for Palestine, Israel
do not hate (Israelis) for being Jewish or Israeli but because of what
they have done to us. Because of the acts of occupation. It is
difficult to forget what was done to us. But if the reason for the hate
will not exist, everything is possible. But if the reason remains, it
is impossible to love. First we must convince in general and in
principle that we have been wronged, then we can talk about 67 or 48.
You still do not recognize that we have rights. The first condition for
change is recognition of the injustice we suffered.' -- Said Sayyam,
martyred in Gaza January 2009, to Ha'aretz, November 1995.
Between Resistance and Peace Process
really is time to be biased, and emphatically so. Biased against
racism, injustice and oppression. The assault on Gaza and its wake
leave the Palestinians on uncertain ground. On the one hand, there is
their legitimate right of resistance in order to achieve national
liberation. On the other hand, are internal, regional, and
international forces that seek to impose an externally imposed and
pre-determined hegemonic solution.
From the Ending We Shall Begin
green eyes divert in the opposite direction as I look into them. He
smiles at me shyly, sadly, forlornly. I stand against the magnitude of
a man, too great not to be noticed. His tall, dark figure directs me to
the car, and his friend drives us to the sea. It is almost noon, and I
peak towards his seat. The windows dark, the car white, the sun shining
and we stop at the hotel. "We shall come in a minute," he tells me,
"find us a seat."
ONE Minute, To See the Truth About Palestine- The Hidden Truth #3
are many sources of information from websites through newspapers to
books that carry significant referenced information about the history
and context of the Israel/Palestine problem that, with the support of
the U.S. government and the ambitions of the Israelis, has become a
global problem. There is much material that accounts for the misery
and suffering and imposition of a military regime on an occupied
territory, and it all supports the general idea of an occupied people
suffering under the power of an invading military.
Abe Foxman's 'Anti-Semitic Pandemic'
If there were a Nobel Prize for Hypocrisy, Abraham Foxman would have
been a great candidate. The director of the Anti-Defamation League, who
once interpreted even International Holocaust Remembrance Day as an
expression of the Gentiles' latent desire to see Jews dead, has
published a new survey on anti-Semitism in Europe.
Window closing for a two-state solution in the Middle East
– Two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and
security. When the "two-state solution" became the mantra of President
Bush early in his presidency, it seemed no other option was plausible,
despite the daunting obstacles. Yet in recent months and, particularly,
in the wake of Israel's electoral lurch to the right last Tuesday, a
number of Israelis and Palestinians are warning that the two-state
solution is in its death throes. Increasingly observers foresee a
"one-state solution" imposing itself – something many moderates on both
sides say would be disastrous and would mean instability in the region
for decades to come.
Daphna Baram: It's time to rethink Zionism
results of last week's parliamentary elections in Israel brought to the
surface some of the most rotten fruits of a debate that has been going
on throughout the state's existence: the idea that a mono-ethnic Jewish
state is feasible, legitimate and desirable. In other words, it
enhanced the predicament of the moral and practical consequences of the
Zionist state ideology.
Monday: 14 Iraqis Killed, 41 Wounded
Four Iraq teens killed as football blows up rocket
- Four teenagers were killed and 11 wounded when their football struck
and detonated an abandoned rocket in an empty lot of the southern Iraqi
city of Amara on Monday, police said.
Bombs Kill 8 in Baghdad as Shiite Pilgrims Return
— Eight Iraqis, all of them Shiite pilgrims returning from the holy
city of Karbala, were killed in two separate roadside bombings in
Baghdad on Monday, security officials and witnesses said.
A peace sign: Iraq's Sunnis joining Shiite pilgrims
- Sheikh Mohammad al-Ethawi, resplendent in his gold-trimmed robe and
white headdress, hands out oranges to Shiite pilgrims walking by a
striped tent on the main route to the holy city of Karbala. Sheikh
Ethawi is Sunni. The Doura highway, where more than a million pilgrims
– largely Shiite – are walking for the first time in three years,
passes through what had been one of Baghdad's most violent
neighborhoods. Their numbers and Ethawi's presence are a sign of the
easing of sectarian tensions that almost ripped this country apart.
Iraqi results void due to fraud
IRAQI officials have declared election results
void in more than 30 polling stations across the
country because of fraud.
Boys With Toys
is not the threat of violence that weighs on the people of Iraq. It is
the omnipresent occurrence of violence that has resulted in the
desperate nation wide chant, "We are tired. All we want is for normal
life to return." Recently, an eight-year-old Iraqi girl was shot by US
soldiers when their convoy ran into a crowd of Shiite pilgrims
traveling to the holy city of Karbala in southern Iraq. Sunday, a week
ago, three explosions echoed across Baghdad, leaving one person dead
and wounding another 20.
Iraq grills ex-Guantanamo detainees
- Four Iraqis who were sent back last month from the US detention
facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are being interrogated in their home
country, Baghdad's interim justice minister said on Tuesday.
Iraqi shoe-thrower goes on trial Thursday
- The Iraqi journalist who won global attention when he hurled his
shoes at former US president George W. Bush goes on trial on Thursday
charged with assaulting a foreign leader.
Bad News From America's Top Spy
have a remarkable ability to create our own monsters. A few decades of
meddling in the Middle East with our Israeli doppelgänger and we get
Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida, the Iraqi resistance movement and a
resurgent Taliban. Now we trash the world economy and destroy the
ecosystem and sit back to watch our handiwork. Hints of our brave new
world seeped out Thursday when Washington's new director of national
intelligence, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, testified before the Senate
Intelligence Committee. He warned that the deepening economic crisis
posed perhaps our gravest threat to stability and national security. It
could trigger, he said, a return to the "violent extremism" of the
1920s and 1930s.
A Torture Report Could Spell Big Trouble For Bush Lawyers
14, 2009 "NEWSWEEK" -- An internal Justice Department report on the
conduct of senior lawyers who approved waterboarding and other harsh
interrogation tactics is causing anxiety among former Bush
administration officials. H. Marshall Jarrett, chief of the
department's ethics watchdog unit, the Office of Professional
Responsibility (OPR), confirmed last year he was investigating whether
the legal advice in crucial interrogation memos "was consistent with
the professional standards that apply to Department of Justice
attorneys." According to two knowledgeable sources who asked not to be
identified discussing sensitive matters, a draft of the report was
submitted in the final weeks of the Bush administration. It sharply
criticized the legal work of two former top officials—Jay Bybee and
John Yoo—as well as that of Steven Bradbury, who was chief of the
Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the time the report was submitted, the
sources said. (Bybee, Yoo and Bradbury did not respond to multiple
requests for comment.)