Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land Theft and Destruction
Bat Ayin settlers uproot trees from Palestinian land
Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli settlers uprooted more than 150 olive and grape trees from Palestinian-owned land in Wadi Abu Ar-Rish, near the settlement of Bat Ayin, south of Bethlehem, on Monday, witnesses said.

302 Palestinians face demolition, 20 displaced in June
Last month, Occupation forces distributed demolition orders to 32 families in the Jordan Valley. The demolitions, if carried out in total, are set to affect 304 people. Demolitions began in June, and on the 17th bulldozers leveled structures in Jiftlik and Wadi Malih, displacing 20 people. For years, the people of the Jordan Valley have faced these types of attacks, which aim to drive them from their lands and clear the land for settlement expansion.

Palestinian plots up for grabs, By Dan Nolan in Haifa
A Palestinian advocacy group is accusing Israel of removing by stealth, what Palestinians see as a one of the key elements of any future peace deal – the right of return for refugees.  Adalah, a legal centre for Arab rights in Israel, claims that the possibility of Palestinians returning to the homes they left in what is now Israel is slowly being eroded away by the sale of an increasing number of their properties to private individuals.

Israeli human rights group lawsuit exposes government complicity in settlement expansion
As the lawsuit filed by several Israeli human rights groups, including Yesh Din, continues its proceedings in the Israeli High court, the documents that continue to be exposed show a wide swath of support for Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank by the Israeli government, in violation of both international law and Israel law.

Settlements expand as Palestinians re-pitch tents

Israel said Sunday it has allocated $250 million to West Bank settlements in defiance of American pressure to freeze expansion even as Israeli bulldozers raze the homes and lands of Palestinian Bedoins. Israel plans to allocate the money over the next two years, with the vast majority of it.

Displacement of population, gradual takeover of and water resources and land, underway in Qalqilia 
Qalqilia / PNN – Farmers in the village of Azzun Al Atma are among thousands throughout the West Bank who have suffered land loss due to Israeli occupation.  The Qalqilia Governorate village is slated to lose barns, cattle sheds and water tanks. Israeli forces handed out demolition orders Sunday.

Demonstrators march in Al Ma’asara
Demonstrators gathered in Al Ma’sara today to protest the construction the wall and the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements.  100 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals marched through the streets carrying a 30-foot long Palestinian flag, chanting against the Wall and demanding an end to the occupation. As the march approached a main thoroughfare, soldiers blocked the road with razor wire and refused to let the demonstrators pass. Protesters gave speeches and shouted at the soldiers, demanding to know why they had blocked their peaceful march. Tensions mounted when a soldier began making menacing gestures at an elderly Palestinian woman, but the situation deescalated without confrontation. At one point the protesters sat down in the shade of the Palestinian flag and began having a picnic. The protest lasted for a little over an hour, and dispersed peacefully.

Ni’lin residents demonstrate against the Apartheid Wall
Following a relatively calm demonstration last week, and the unprovoked murder of Aqel Sror on 5 June, demonstrators marched towards the Apartheid fence with apprehension, unsure of what force would meet them. It was eerily quiet as demonstrators managed to reach the wall without the whistle of tear gas flying through the air.

Violence and Aggression Against Palestinians
Israeli navy seizes fishermen, boats off Gaza shore
Gaza – Ma’an – The Israeli navy seized four Gazan fishermen on Monday morning after stopping their boats off the Gaza City coast. They were taken to Israel’s Ashdod port, north of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli troops overrun coffee shop, workshops in Jenin
Jenin – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers overran a coffee shop and a number of stone workshops at the Ash-Shuhada area of southern Jenin on Monday.  Soldiers checked the identities of a number of workers and residents, but no one was detained, according to local sources.

Palestinian harvest in Hebron disrupted by settlers and Israeli forces
On a piece of land located between two Jewish settlements (Kiryat Arba and Givat Ha’Avot) in an area north-east of Hebron, Palestinian farmers attempted to harvest their land. Accompanied by international from ISM and Israeli activists from Tayyoush, Palestinians hoped to participate in an agricultural activity on the al Jabari family land. The group’s objective was to harvest barley and olive tree branches to feed the family livestock.

Israeli settler violence against Palestinians is routine, and unreported

Joseph Dana reports:  Just got an update from Amiel, a Ta'ayush member, who was in Safa this morning. He told me that settlers uprooted around 150 olive and grape leaf trees in Safa as a protest of our action last Saturday. Some of the grape leaf trees in the video were uprooted this morning.

Israeli forces raid Tulkarem, summon residents for interrogation
Tulkarem – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided Nur Shams Refugee Camp and other areas in and around the West Bank city of Tulkarem on Sunday morning.  Firing in the air, Israeli soldiers knocked down the doors of Palestinians’ houses, handing over written orders summoning residents for interrogation by the Israeli intelligence.

IOF troops round up 12 Palestinians
Israeli occupation forces at dawn Monday rounded up 12 Palestinians from the West bank districts of Al-Khalil, Bethlehem and Qalqilia, the IOF command announced.

Mousa Abu Maria, activist and co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Project in Beit Ommar, was released from prison
Mousa Abu Maria, activist and co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Project in Beit Ommar, was released from prison last night after spending just over 14 months in Administrative Detention. He wants to thank everyone who supported him throughout his detention.

Hamas MP denounces IOA refusal to release Fatah MP after completing his sentence
Hamas MP Dr. Salem Salama has condemned the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) for refusing to release Fatah MP Jamal Huwail after completing his sentence.

War Crimes
British researcher: Israel used dirty bombs during its war on Gaza
Peter Eyre, a British researcher in the usage of uranium during wars, revealed that the laboratory tests showed that Israel had used dirty bombs which have devastating results in the long run.

STUC supports Palestinian Human Rights Case against the UK Government
June 20, (Pal Telegraph) - The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) today  added its support to the challenge of the Palestinian Human Rights organisation Al-Haq against the UK Government in British Courts.  The state of Israel is in breach of international laws, having committed serious violations of Geneva Convention principles. Specifically Israel has breached laws outlawing indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilians after its attacks in Gaza earlier this year.

Humanitarian Issues

Transcript of former US President Jimmy Carter's Address to the United Nations Relief Works Agency's Human Rights Graduation in Gaza, June 16, 2009.

Israeli forces re-erect checkpoint evacuated earlier in June
Ramallah – Ma’an – Israeli forces on Monday morning re-erected the Atara checkpoint north of Ramallah in the central West Bank, which was removed earlier this month.

Red Cross: Israeli Settlements in Hebron Cause Huge Suffering for Palestinians
Hebron, SANA_ Chairman of the Red Cross International Committee Office Matthew Bennati asserted on Monday that the violence practiced by the Israeli settlers has a negative influence on the Palestinian people who live in the old city of Hebron, pointing out that the strict measures imposed on their movement have made their life very difficult.

Fatah Collaborators
Gazan officer, fearing for his life, asks to stay in Israeli detention
PA loyalist who escaped Hamas by infiltrating Israel, turning himself in asks court not to send him back.,7340,L-3734839,00.html

Political Developments
No meeting between Mishaal and Uraikat
A reliable source has denied media reports that Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of the Movement, had met with Saeb Uraikat, who is heading the PLO department of negotiations.

Fatah deadlock continues
Kadoumi and his allies, however, are convinced that no matter how much the PA and Fatah cheapen themselves before Israel, and how subserviently they behave vis-ŕ-vis the Israeli army, Israel will still treat them with contempt and refuse to give them any concession of substance in return. Indeed, the rejectionist speech by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday seemed to vindicate the views of Kadoumi and his allies while weakening the stature of Abbas.

Netanyahu: No Foreign Troops in PA Territory
22/06/2009 “The international guarantees Israel is seeking to ensure that a future Palestinian state remains demilitarized does not mean the introduction of foreign forces,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet at its Sunday meeting.
Expanding on his speech last week at Bar-Ilan University in which he said international guarantees were necessary to make sure a future Palestinian state would be demilitarized, Netanyahu said rather that occupied Jerusalem wanted international acceptance of the principle that Israel could take the actions it thought necessary to ensure the future state's demilitarization. "We need effective measures to ensure demilitarization," Netanyahu said. "The existing ones in Lebanon and Gaza are not effective."

Ben-Eliezer: Let Mubarak lead peace process
Prime Minister Netanyahu faces contrasting pressures ahead of Europe visit: While Labor ministers urge immediate progress in peace process, Likud's Yaalon stresses 'there is no partner' on Palestinian side.,7340,L-3734533,00.html

Other News
CIA Declassifies Report on Israel’s Nukes
The 1960 report defends Israel's nuclear ambitions, offers guidance on handling today's nuclear-hopefuls.  June 17, 2009 "Washington Post" -- “We do not believe that Israel will embark on the development of nuclear weapons with the aim of actually starting a nuclear war,” reads the declassified 48-year-old CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate.  The estimate, publicly released June 5 by George Washington University’s National Security Archives, continues, “Possession of a nuclear weapon capability, or even the prospect of achieving it, would clearly give Israel a greater sense of security, self-confidence and assertiveness.”

ADL incites against raising funds for Palestinians
ADL has urged the US Justice Department to investigate whether a U.S.-based campaign is raising funds for "the purpose of providing material support to Hamas."

Jewish groups blast 'anti-Zionist' conference at Toronto university
A controversial conference on peace in the Middle East is set to start Monday at Toronto's York University, despite sharp criticism from local and international Jewish groups, who have called the partly government-sponsored event a "blatant exercise in anti-Zionist propaganda."

Ministry seeks to strengthen Palestinian cultural scene by meeting with young writers

Gaza / PNN – Palestinian writers and poets are continuing to bring voice to the contemporary political situation. The Ministry of Culture honored both this week in Gaza City.  The Palestinian ministry met with young writers and thinkers to discuss ways to strengthen and develop the Palestinian cultural scene. The meeting was attended by other government representatives, professors from the Islamic University, and a number of Palestinian intellectuals, writers, and poets.

EU supports Palestinian cultural heritage as part of “Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture” events
Ramallah / PNN – A display of the unseen Umayyad mosaics from East Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock are being exhibited in Ramallah.   Few Palestinians have access to them given the restrictions on entering Jerusalem imposed by the occupying Israeli administration.

Media Bias

Washington Post on one suicide bombing
"In an act fraught with symbolic significance, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the mausoleum of the father of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, while unrest continued across Tehran in defiance of a ban on demonstrations."" I wonder if Palestinian bombings were ever described as "fraught with symbolic significance."

Bikini-clad activists crash Israeli beach party in Manhattan
Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - At least five young women crashed a so-called beach party organized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry in New York City's Central Park on Sunday.  Clad in bikinis and holding signs reading "Free Gaza" and "Sand won't cover your war crimes," the women were quickly removed by police and security from "the Tel Aviv beach" set up in Manhattan to celebrate the largest city in Israel's centennial.  According to US media reports the women, affiliated with the anti-war group CODEPINK, covered themselves in mud to protest the "dirty policies Israel holds towards Palestine," and chanted, "Tel Aviv, you can't hide, we can see your dirty side!"

US Presidential candidate from Green Party among those on board ships aimed to break siege on Gaza
Gaza / PNN – Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party in the US is among those participating in the voyage of “Free Gaza” ships.  Beginning a year ago the Palestinian and European movement sailed from the Cypriot port of Larnaca to the Gaza Strip in an effort to “break the siege.”

Israeli apartheid on trial in Canada
The village of Bil’in has taken its popular struggle into international courts, as preliminary hearings against two Canadian firms will begin today, June 22. The Quebec Superior Court will decide whether or not to hear the village’s case against Green Mount International and Green Park International, both of whom are involved in settlement construction on confiscated Bil’in land, and both of whom are registered corporations in Montreal.

Open Letter to Palestine solidarity activists and human rights defenders


Why aren't Jews outraged by Israeli occupation?
During this year's AIPAC conference in Washington, Executive Director Howard Kohr warned the 7,000-plus crowd that the global movement to "delegitimize Israel" was gathering steam.  "These voices are laying the predicate for an abandonment," he said. His sentiments were almost apocalyptic: "The stakes in that battle are nothing less than the survival of Israel, linked inexorably to the relationship between Israel and the United States. In this battle we are the firewall, the last rampart."

When will we Reconcile with Ourselves?, By Joharah Baker for MIFTAH  
Unfortunately, far too many articles have been written about this subject. Every time pen hits paper (or finger hits keyboard), a wave of remorse and unease surely washes over any Palestinian writer who undertakes this task. "Palestinian reconciliation" should not even be a phrase in our lexicon much less a goal to which we aspire and have yet to reach.

Obama's game is to defeat the lobby from inside it
Obama's game is to defeat the Israel lobby from within. He could not defeat the lobby from outside it; because Jews are simply too important in the American power structure. That is why he could not run against the lobby; he promised to try not to pander to it, and then he did pander. But now he is cracking it like a nut, and counting on Jews to do the cracking.

Lebanese Security Forces Arrest Israeli Spy in Ghazieh
22/06/2009 Another Israeli spy was uncovered on Monday in Lebanon…   The spy, named Mohamad Q.G., was arrested by Lebanese security forces in the southern town of Ghazieh.   Earlier, the General Security chief General Wafiq Jezzini told Al-Manar that the few coming days would witness the collapse of another set of Israeli Mossad-linked cells in Lebanon.   Four cells, formed of fourteen spies, were uncovered since the beginning of June.

Shiites in south fear government neglect, Israeli aggression after March 14 victory
A large highway cuts through the green hills connecting Lebanon's south to the Mediterranean Sea. Here, nestled amid banana trees and colorful bougainvillea bushes, lies the port city of Tyre, a bastion of Lebanon's Shiite community and a significant base of the Lebanese opposition.

Sheikh Qabalan Demands Explanation to “Imperiled Entity” Comments

22/06/2009 The deputy head of the Higher Muslim Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan questioned accusations against a “group of the Lebanese.”  In a statement, Sheikh Qabalan said he would have hoped to see the role of religious authorities as one that is above all sectarian and confessional divisions. He also warned against the danger of instigating against the beliefs and doctrines of some Lebanese.

Sentimental moments at the ballot box: Thomas Friedman warms his heart in Brummana, Lebanon
In a June 16 Op-Ed column in the New York Times entitled “The Virtual Mosque,” Thomas Friedman declares that events in Iran have raised “three intriguing questions” for him:  “Is Facebook to Iran’s Moderate Revolution what the mosque was to Iran’s Islamic Revolution? Is Twitter to Iranian moderates what muezzins were to Iranian mullahs? And, finally, is any of this good for the Jews — particularly Israel’s prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu?”

Spate of bombings target Baghdad
Blasts take place days before US troops are planned to pull out from Iraq main cities.

Truck bomb attack kills 65 people in Iraq
At least 65 people were killed when a truck packed with explosives detonated outside a mosque in northern Iraq Saturday, the police said.

Iraq insurgents kill nine police
AFP - Insurgents have shot dead nine police in Iraq's two most populous cities of Baghdad and Mosul, police and government officials said on Sunday.

Iraqis look forward to US pullout, but fear more attacks
Iraqi taxi driver Haitham Nief is looking forward to the partial pull out of US combat troops this month from the northern city of Mosul and elsewhere. Mosul remains one of the most violent places in Iraq, but Nief says he is sure the security situation will improve once the Americans leave town and withdraw to camps outside.

Confidential memo reveals US plan to provoke an invasion of Iraq
A confidential record of a meeting between President Bush and Tony Blair before the invasion of Iraq, outlining their intention to go to war without a second United Nations resolution, will be an explosive issue for the official inquiry into the UK's role in toppling Saddam Hussein.

Who Will Control Iraq's Oil?, By PATRICK COCKBURN
Furious protests are threatening to undermine the Iraqi government's plan to give international oil companies a stake in its giant oilfields in a desperate effort to increase its declining oil production and oil revenues.  In less than two weeks time, on June 29 and 30, the Iraqi Oil minister Hussain Shahristani will award service contracts to the world's largest oil companies to develop six of Iraq's largest oil producing fields over 20-25 years.

Iran's Guards to 'crush' protests
Elite military unit warns Western countries against supporting "rioters".

Transcript of Ayatollah Khamenei's Speech
If our young didn't have any hope, they wouldn't partake in the election , if they didn't feel freedom, they wouldn't vote. Faith in the system has been shown by the massive participation. The enemies target the belief and trust of people on that system. This trust is the biggest investment of the Islamic republic. They wanted to take it from us, They want it to shake our trust in this system.

TV: Four family members of Iran's Rafsanjani released

TEHRAN, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Four family members of Iran's influential former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have been released, but his daughter is still under custody, Iran's satellite channel Press TV reported Sunday.

One Killed As 'Suicide Blast' Hits Tehran Shrine
At least one person has been killed after a suspected suicide bomber reportedly blew himself up near the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Protests in Tehran 21 June
Protesters force Basij to flee.

Western media coverage
As I am still on the road (returning tomorrow night), I have not been able to comment on the developments as much as I have wanted. But I did manage to see some CNN coverage this morning at my hotel. What do you expect from a network that relies on Octavia Nasr as "the senior Middle East" expert for the network? But the hypocrisy is quite stunning.


I am aware that there are good people among the demonstrators and that there are people who don't like Moussavi. But it is important to dissociate any struggle agianst the Iranian regime from the lousy Moussavi who--like the regime of Ahmadinajad--has blood on his hands--more blood indeed. I also notice that the Shah stooges are jumping in the frey among the Iranians in exile and the largest rally in support of the Iranian protest movement in Paris was sponsored by none other than the pro-Saddam Mujahdin Khalq which sent car bombs into Iran. I am looking for an independent leftist movement that does not chant Islamist slogans (like Moussavi) to support, while identifying with the innocent victims who have been killed.

Iran And The Opportunist Left-Liberals
Readers of this blog probably don’t need a run down of the anti-Iran campaign being waged by the US/”western” media – so, instead, lets take a look at three examples of the left-liberals: there are still those who expect leftists to be more careful with their analyses, and to actually base their words on facts, and realities – instead of the opportunism that they are now displaying.

The gullible, useless, clueless and mindless Left
The situation in Iran is volatile and fluid and things could get much worse (there are already reports about Mousavi supporters being arrested with explosives!) and it is way too early to draw some deep conclusions about these events. One thing, however, is absolutely clear: the so-called "Left" showed no common sense, no critical thinking and no analytical capabilities whatsoever. Even the best Leftist websites and commentators (Pepe Escobar, Counterpunch, etc.) swallowed the propaganda of the Rafsanjani camp hook, line, and sinker. There is an amazing irony here: the events in Iran are just about the perfect example of a class struggle, and yet the Lefties missed that completely even though this story was not without precedent.

Iran, Gucci anti-imperialism and movement anti-intellectuals
We know what a movement intellectual is, but perhaps we need a new category for James Petras, a movement anti-intellectual.

U.S. and other world news

Padilla v. Yoo
The man once accused of being a 'dirty bomber' is cleared to sue a key player in George W. Bush's 'war on terror.'

U.S. admits Afghan airstrike may have killed 86 civilians
Report: And its issuance raises questions about whether the U.S. should use a B-1B bomber — an expensive Cold War-era supersonic bomber originally designed to penetrate the former Soviet Union's airspace and drop nuclear weapons — to rout out Taliban hiding among Afghan civilians.

Third US occupation force soldier killed in Afghanistan in single day
A third soldier of the US-led coalition soldier was killed in an attack in Afghanistan on Saturday.

British occupation force soldier killed in Afghanistan

A British soldier was killed by an explosion while on routine patrol in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said Saturday.

Helping Afghan Refugees as US Bombs Continue to Fall
Since 2001, the US Air Force has dropped nearly 31 million pounds (14,049 metric tons) of bombs on Afghanistan. The UN estimates that US airstrikes alone accounted for 64 percent of the 828 Afghan civilians killed last year.

Images reveal full horror of 'Amazon's Tiananmen'


Bahraini Shi'ites complain over settling Sunnis

DUBAI, June 21 (Reuters) - Majority Shi'ite Muslims in the Gulf Arab state of Bahrain, home to a U.S. navy base, are increasingly agitated over what they say are government efforts to give Sunni foreigners nationality to dilute Shi'ite numbers.

Yemeni who killed Jew gets death sentence
SANAA, June 21 (Reuters) - An appeals court in Yemen sentenced to death on Sunday a man who shot dead a Jewish compatriot.  In March a court ruled the man, Abdul-Aziz al-Abdi, was mentally unstable and sent him to an psychiatric institution, but the victim's father appealed the verdict.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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