Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land Theft and Destruction
Israel planning a new settlement in East Jerusalem
The Israeli Human Rights Group, Ir Amin, reported Thursday that plans for the construction of a new settlement, called Maale David, in Ras Amud, were submitted to the Planning Department at the Jerusalem Municipality for approval.

Settlers break into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron
Approximately 150 Jewish settlers broke on Thursday into the Ishakiyya area in the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron under the protection of the Israeli army. 

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
Reuters photographer among injured in Nablus-area protest
Nablus – Ma’an – Five Palestinians including a journalist suffered tear gas inhalation during a non-violent rally against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in the Nablus area village of I’raq Burin on Friday.

Israelis arrested at Bil'in anti-wall rally
Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian photographer and two Israeli protesters were detained by Israeli forces seeking to stifle an anti-wall demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in on Friday, a local organization said.

Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil’in demonstration
25 September 2009: Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil’in demonstration.  Around 1pm, Israeli forces arrested 2 Israeli solidarity activists and a Palestinian cameraman, Haitham al-Khatib (33 years old) during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil’in.  Witnesses say that Israeli soldiers ran in and arrested the 3 demonstrators. Haitham al-Khatib was filming the demonstration near the Wall when he was taken.

Bedouins, JNF workers clash in south; 15 arrested
Jewish National Fund workers performing infrastructure maintenance at Negev site confronted by local resident who claim land is privately owned. Two Bedouins, one police officer lightly hurt as riot turns violent.,7340,L-3780797,00.html

European campaign leading movement to commemorate first memorial of major attacks on Gaza

Brussels / PNN – The Brussels-based European campaign to lift the siege on Gaza is launching a series of events throughout the European continent to commemorate the first memorial of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

Aggression and Violence
Al-Aqsa foundation says extremists planning break-in
Jerusalem – Ma'an – The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said on Thursday it had learned Israeli settler groups were planning to break into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday.


Hamas: PA police detain four party affiliates
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Thursday night raids on the West Bank by Palestinian Authority police forces saw the detention of four Hamas affiliates, the party said in a statement Friday.  The raids were in the areas of Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron, the party said.

More Palestinian Children Getting Jailed
BI’ILIN, West Bank – Eight children between the ages of 10 and 17 were arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers during military raids Monday night and Tuesday morning in the northern West Bank cities Nablus and Qalqilia.

Israeli soldiers detain two West Bank Palestinians
Hebron – Ma'an – Two Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces in the southern West Bank areas of Hebron and Surif on Thursday, according to Palestinian Authority security sources.

War Criminals

Israel relieved as Goldstone Report scantly mentioned at UN
Following the release last week of the Goldstone commission findings which accused Israel of committing war crimes during its offensive in the Gaza Strip, diplomatic officials feared that the report would weigh heavily on the agenda of this week's United Nations General Assembly meeting.

Susan Rice: We remember Rwanda

"In his speech, Mr. Churkin noted sardonically that just a few months ago, on the subject of Darfur in Sudan, he had been lectured about how war crimes charges should never be sacrificed for political reasons, according to two diplomats present, and now he was being told the opposite. Amnesty International called her position “deeply disappointing.” Ms. Rice denied a double standard. The report had a lopsided focus on Israel, which is capable of investigating possible war crimes, while Sudan is not, she said." Capable of investigating? Israel has committed at least one massacre/war crime per years since its usurping founding, and no serious investigation ever took place. In fact, if you read the Kahan commission report you realize that Israel, as far as accountability for state crimes, is no different or better than the Sudanese regime. But how could Susan Rice have any credibility on any foreign policy issue? She was the top Africa expert in the Clinton's White House when the Rwanda massacres too place. They took place on her watch. [end]

Humanitarian Issues
Tunnel collapse in Gaza claims life of youth, injures two
Gaza – Ma’an – A Palestinian youth died and two others were injured in a tunnel collapse on Friday morning beneath the Egypt-Gaza border, medical sources confirmed.

Palestinians mark 60th anniversary of aid body (AFP)
AFP - The international community Thursday paid tribute to the UN relief organization UNRWA marking 60 years since it was founded to help Palestinians caught up in the Middle East conflict.

Palestinian refugee agency appeals for more aid
UNRWA chief calls on international community to increase donations to agency dealing with humanitarian side of one of the world's longest running refugee situations.,7340,L-3781706,00.html

Political Developments
Palestinians want peace deal but don't reject Hamas (Reuters)
Reuters - Most Palestinians who want a state of their own would like to achieve it through a peace deal with Israel but there is still substantial support for the Islamist Hamas group which favors resistance, according to a new opinion poll.

Abu Zuhri: Abbas's behavior pushed the Palestinian issue down below zero
Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, the spokesman of Hamas Movement in Gaza Strip, strongly criticized Thursday the way the former PA chief and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is handling the Palestinian issue.

Mideast negotiators lauds Obama's initiative (AP)
AP - The Quartet of Mideast peacemakers says President Barack Obama's meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas represents an important step toward the resumption of peace talks.

Rahm Emanuel: Israel, PA must seize opportunity for peace
Israeli and Palestinian leaders must move quickly to take advantage of this "unique moment" for making peace, following their meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this week, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said in an interview Thursday with America's public television station, PBS.

Other news
Hamas says Meshaal to go to Cairo on Sunday (AFP)
AFP - Khaled Meshaal, exiled leader of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, will go to Cairo on Sunday for fresh talks with Egyptian officials, a Hamas spokesman said on Thursday in Gaza City.

Shimon Peres evaluates the puppets

"I talk with Abbas and Fayad a lot too. We've never had better leaders to deal with. Fayad is an economist; he understands the importance of producing real results for his people."

Will Akko riots resume on Yom Kippur?
Hundreds of police officers to be deployed in northern city's mixed neighborhoods during Jewish holiday to prevent last year's violence from repeating itself. Many Arab residents to spend holiday away. 'The residents have learned their lesson. They know the heavy price for their actions, and they've all paid it,' says mayor.,7340,L-3781389,00.html     

MK Tamir to settlers: You're going against consensus
Knesset's Defense Committee tours disputed Gush Etzion neighborhood. Residents say Palestinian ownership claims false; 'we were sent here by Israeli governments,' they declare.,7340,L-3780834,00.html

Netanyahu likens Hamas to Nazis attacking England
Netanyahu just told the UN General Assembly that the only example in history of rockets being rained down on civilians–prior to Hamas doing so to southern Israel–was the blitz of England by the Nazis. And the western powers responded justifiably by levelling German cities.

Netanyahu's speech / Cheapening the Holocaust
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cheapened the memory of the Holocaust in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. He did so twice. Once, when he brandished proof of the very existence of the Holocaust, as if it needed any, and again when he compared Hamas to the Nazis.

Zionism is racism AND sectarianism
"A pair of Nigerian-born converts to Judaism who were married two years ago in a ceremony conducted by a rabbi recognized by the Chief Rabbinate remain unable to register themselves as a couple with the Interior Ministry, even though the husband has been an Israeli citizen since 2005,The Jerusalem Post has learned." [end]

Embezzlers, crooks, and rapists...unto the nations

"A former finance minister and Olmert associate, Avraham Hirshson,recently began a five-year prison sentence for embezzling funds. A former health minister, Shlomo Benizri, is serving a four-year term after being convicted of bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice in the spring. The former president of Israel, Moshe Katsav, is on trial, accused of rape and indecent assault against women who worked for him when he was the tourism minister and president. Mr. Katsav resigned the presidency in mid-2007."  [end]

550 Druze cross border to visit Syria
Hundreds of Golan Heights residents leave for five-day visit to Syria as part of joint operation between IDF, Red Cross, Israeli and Syrian interior ministries.,7340,L-3781362,00.html

Elliott Abrams on Salam Fayyad
A source from Williams College in Massachusetts sent me this report (and does not want to be identified): "Elliot Abrams gave an "off the record" talk on Obama and Israel to a small group at my college today. No press or publicity; one plus is they know the man stinks like rotted meat. Interestingly, the talk turned into an hour of Neocon love for Salam Fayyad, including a substantial amount of praise for his decision to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state; his name came up more than any other person's in the the talk by a great factor. I'll admit that I was cautiously optimistic about Fayyad, but hell, there's no better way to judge a Palestinian's worth to the resistance than the love a man like Abrams has for him. Abrams' praise for Fayyad speaks for itself. He is still treating arafat as if he is alive; after Fayyad, arafat beat out even Abbas in mentions by Abrams, which I thought was odd. The best part was that he referred to Fayyad (no joke) as a Palestinian Herzl; he quoted Hertzl to summarize what Fayyad was doing and said that just as Hertzl laid the groundwork for a Zionist state, Fayyad was laying the ground for a Palestinian state. Odd to think that Palestinians, in order to have basic human rights and self determination, must go through the work that the Zionists did in order to justify taking away those rights. Either way in Abrams' mind Fayyad=Hertzl. He stated that he felt that a west bank under fayyad had the potential to be a 'shining beacon' in the middle east, whatever that means. Most of the talk was standard neocon talking points; said that Obama and Bush are making the same mistakes in the Palestine, meaning relying on talks and what they should be doing is allowing Palestinians to construct their own state apparatuses under occupation. In essence, he was pushing for normalizing the defacto apartheid. Praise for Dayton, praise for Palestinian police forces. He did say that settlements east of the apartheid wall would have to be dismantled. The Fayyad obsession is something that I've seen from people like Friedman but not from anyone like Abrams. This Fayyad as a Palestinian Hertzl thing, though, is quit a new one."  [end]

Rahm Emanuel's disturbing view of US role
Key Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel said this about Israeli-Palestinian peace and the US role in securing it, to Charlie Rose on Wednesday night: "You can’t want this more than they want it. They have a responsibility to their people if they want to make peace and have... a two-state solution that’s based on the principles of past Israeli governments and past American presidents regardless of party have endorsed, as have past Palestinian leaders."

Rahm: No place for Hamas

Rahm Emanuel on Charlie Rose, picked up in Haaretz by Akiva Eldar. Excerpt 1: But even more importantly, he believes that both parties, Israeli and Palestinian, need to "put aside the negotiations about the negotiations and begin their negotiations," Emanuel told interviewer Charlie Rose. "And you can’t start as if there hasn’t been a process."

Thursday: 3 Iraqis Killed
At least three Iraqis were killed in light violence. The most significant news items today were the escape of 11 detainees in Tikrit and the foiled assassination attempt on a major political leader. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Immigration has plans to help 30,000 displaced families return to Ninewa province. Also, Kuwait is considering re-investing any war reparations back into Iraq in hopes it will end any issues preventing payment.

15 Iraqi soldiers 'killed in accidental blasts' (AFP)
AFP - Fifteen Iraqi soldiers were killed accidentally during what were meant to be controlled explosions in a town outside the northern city of Mosul on Friday, a defence ministry official said.

Iraq launches manhunt after Al-Qaeda prisoners escape

Iraqi authorities launched a manhunt Thursday after an apparent inside job saw 16 Al-Qaeda members, including five who had been sentenced to death, escape from prison overnight.

Iraqi forces catch five Al-Qaeda jailbreakers (AFP)

AFP - The ringleader of a daring prison break and four other Al-Qaeda fugitives were recaptured on Friday, two days after they fled jail in what officials believe was an inside job.

Iraq: Living with the threat of unexploded ordnance and landmines
A key part of MAG's work is to help minimise the risks for people living, working and travelling through areas contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance, until clearance teams can remove the threat.

Echoes of Arabic Fade From Kurdistan
Young people in semi-autonomous region reject Arabic language, amid rising tensions with Baghdad. By Najeeba Mohammed in Erbil (ICR No. 306, 24-Sep-09)

Kurds and Israel

I saw a recent survey of Iraqi Kurdish attitudes to Israel. A majority favor a relationship between Kurdistan and Israel. My opinion is this: I have always favored self-determination for Kurds and fulfillment of their national aspiration. I reckon that Kurds suffered discrimination and oppression by the US, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. But the future of the Kurds of Iraq is in Iraq and with the larger Arab world. The association between some Kurdish leaders and Israel will hurt the future of Arab-Kurdish brotherhood/sisterhood. In the long future, Israel will not be there and Kurds have to have peaceful relations with the Arabs. End of my preachment.  [end]

Jamil al-Sayyed lashes out at UN chief in letter
General Jamil al-Sayyed published a letter on Thursday criticizing UN chief Ban Ki-moon, saying Ban should have acted on a Syrian request to open a probe into fraud and other violations committed by former Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission Detlev Mehlis. Syria alleged Mehlis and his assistant plotted to falsely accuse Syria.

Abu al-Aynayn insists Palestinian camps calm
Fatah commander in Lebanon Sultan Abu al-Aynayn said on Thursday there were no political disputes raging within Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps. Speaking to Voice of Lebanon radio station, Abu al-Aynayn said all the political parties present within the camps were aware of their "limits" and would not allow for another battle to take place in a Palestinian camp.

The Lebanese president at the UN
The Lebanese president is heading a delegation to attend the opening of the UN's session. The Lebanese media are covering his visit. It said that yesterday he met with the presidents of Albania, Cyprus, and Guinea. But it also added that he met President Obama "on the sidelines" of the UN meeting. You know what that means, don't you? Obama hosted a dinner for ALL presidents of delegations at the UN, and he greeted them all. So Obama shook hands with the smiling president of Lebanon. In Lebanese diplomatic mind, that counts as a meeting. Don't get me wrong: the trip by the president of Lebanon to the UN was worth it: I mean, Albania can really help Lebanon in solving its political and economic problems. In moments like this, you can only remember the words of the last Pope: Lebanon is more than a country; it is a joke. [end]

New York Times ad: Musa As-Sadr
A group of Lebanese from Detroit bought a half page in the New York Times yesterday to protest the visit of Qadhdhafi to New York City and to call for information on the plight of Imam Musa As-Sadr. This group of Lebanese (presumably Shi`ites from South Lebanon) could not buy a quarter page or less to protest the Israeli wars on Lebanon throughout the years? Don't get me wrong. I am in favor of protesting Qadhdhafi's rule daily (not so much for what he did to Musa As-Sadr but for what he did to the Libyan people and the civilian passengers on plane that he ordered bombed), but it would have made more sense if they spent their money against a state that killed and kidnapped more than one person. And the Amal supporters even demonstrated at the UN, calling on Qadhdhafi to "free Sayyid Musa." Yes, the entire world knows who "sayyid Musa" is, and you still think that "Sayyid Musa" is still alive? And why did you not demonstrate when Israeli was bombing your villages and towns in South Lebanon? Or is it because it is safe to demonstrate against Qadhdhafi because he is reviled here in the US? My father was a friend of Musa As-Sadr (and was even friends with the his two companions who were kidnapped) but I never liked the man: from the first time I met him when I was seven or so. And of course, he played a horrible role in the civil war in 1976 on the side of the Syrian regime, against the Lebanese National Movement. I do hold political grudges. You bet. [end]

Khalid `Alwan

Lebanese are commemorating the anniversary of "Wimpy Operation". When on one day in the summer of 1982, a Lebanese resistance fighter was walking on Hamra street and was so offended by the sight of Israeli terrorist soldiers arrogantly sitting in a street cafe. The man rushed to this house and brought a revolver, and shot all three Israeli terrorist soldiers. It was that attack that led the Israeli terrorist army to humiliatingly flee from West Beirut and yell through loudspeakers: "Don't shoot at us. We are leaving the city." I remember that I passed by the site only an hour or so after wards, and remember that people were ecstatic. Khalid `Alwan was later shot by militia men loyal to Walid Jumblat. By the way, it is a commemorative plaque for Khalid `Alwan that American-British showman/poseur, Christopher Hitchens, was trying to deface during his trip to Beirut when he was beaten up.[end]

U.S. and other world news

Report: Obama told Petraeus and McChrystal to "scrub" assessments
As the Obama administration wrestles with how to deal with the worsening military and political situation in Afghanistan and the worsening level of public support for the war at home, new details are emerging about how the president is thinking about his decision on whether to send more U.S. troops to the region.

White House concedes Gitmo prison won’t be closed by deadline

With four months left to meet its self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration is working to recover from missteps that have put officials behind schedule and left them struggling to win the cooperation of Congress.

Israel's dirty hands

By the way, you need to read Jane Hunter's book on Israeli Foreign Policy to know that Israel's dirty hands were involved in many right-wing dictatorships in Latin America and Africa. Here is one fresh reference: "It's been 89 days since Manuel Zelaya was booted from power. He's sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and ``Israeli mercenaries'' are torturing him with high-frequency radiation."  [end]

Provoking Muslims
"But foreshortening the historical context of the cartoons to merely the Enlightenment conceals the degree to which, far from being a bold and innovative defence of Western values, they are instead the latest manifestation of a long medieval European tradition of seeking out martyrdom by deliberately insulting Islam in general and the Prophet Muhammad in particular. Among possible precedents, I would point to the Christians in 9th-century Córdoba who cursed Muhammad and insulted Islam before the qadi, knowing that by doing this they would achieve martyrdom. There were also similar activities by 13th century Franciscans and Ramon Llull, who agonized about whether his destiny was to convert Muslims or to die a martyr. The title of the Jyllands-Posten piece, “Muhammeds ansigt [Muhammad’s Face]” shows that the publication of the cartoons had no point other than to provoke a reaction by breaking known taboos — indeed without the title, it would be hard to know that the cartoons were supposed to be representing Muhammad specifically." [end]

Saudi websites may be ordered to pray--five times daily

"While the debate on stopping all commercial activity during prayer times continues, one local online newspaper in Hail province has decided to advocate for this pause by taking down its site for 20 minutes, five times a day."

Ahmadinejad: Iran doesn't equate Judaism, Zionism
Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Iran does not equate Zionism with the Jewish religion, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted in an interview with The Associated Press in New York on Tuesday.

Excerpts from AP interview with Ahmadinejad

Honduras: Ousted Zelaya predicts attempts to assassinate him

Interim Honduran President Micheletti is downplaying Zelaya's return, though the Brazilian Embassy's utilities were cut off and police beatings have increased.

Amnesty International Reports Rise in Police Beatings, Mass Arbitrary Arrests
Amnesty International warned that fundamental rights and the rule of law in the Central American nation are in grave jeopardy.

Michael Moore is the best development for the American Left in decades
"But one of the biggest barriers I've found in my research around worker cooperatives is not just government and companies being resistant to it but actually unions as well. Obviously there are exceptions, like the union in your film, United Electrical Workers, which was really open to the idea of the Republic Windows & Doors factory being turned into a cooperative, if that's what the workers wanted. But in most cases, particularly with larger unions, they have their script, and when a factory is being closed down their job is to get a big payout--as big a payout as they can, as big a severance package as they can for the workers. And they have a dynamic that is in place, which is that the powerful ones, the decision-makers, are the owners."   The left in the US is really bad in terms of delivery and form: they come across as spineless, humorless, and tedious. Michael Moore (and Noami Klein) know how to deliver an uncompromising Leftist message to a mainstream audience.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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