||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land theft / Apartheid |
Israel okays 28 new settlement buildings, despite freeze
Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday ordered the
IDF to issue a temporary freeze order, but at the same time allowed the
construction of 28 new public buildings in settlements. Meanwhile,
Haaretz has learned that the state is expected to ask the Supreme Court
for more time to evacuate illegal outposts ... efforts were underway Thursday to maximize the impact
of the freeze on the international arena. So far, the Israeli
announcement had not had a warm reception in the international
Civil Administration distributes freeze orders
Officers of the Civil Administration
began Friday to hand out orders to Judea and Samaria council heads
commanding them to stop issuing construction permits in settlements,
just two days after the cabinet decision
on a 10-month settlement construction freeze. In addition, Defense
Minister Ehud Barak confirmed reports that his ministry sent an
aircraft to photograph West Bank settlements, in order to document the
construction taking place there.
Analysis / Settlers have been working for months to undermine construction freeze
By Amos Harel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu owes much gratitude
to the Yesha Council and the members of the rightist flank in Likud.
Were it not for their public opposition over the past two days, someone
might have suspected that the decision to freeze settlement
construction permits for 10 months was an even smaller Israeli
concession than it originally appeared to be.
Anti-wall protests mark UN partition anniversary
Israeli forces opened fire on anti-wall protesters in two West Bank villages on Friday, according to news reports. Commemorating
the UN's annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian
People, residents of Bil'in and Nil'in, two villages near Ramallah,
rallied against Israel's separation barrier on Friday afternoon. Dozens
reportedly suffered tear-gas inhalation in both areas, although there
were no reports of more serious injuries. Activists said Israeli forces
fired stun grenades in addition to the tear-gas.
Arabs, leftists protest in Beit Jarrah
Activists protest eviction of Arabs from east J'lem homes by Jewish owners bearing court orders -- Police
and rescue forces were alerted to the scene, but no violent incidents
were reported. The protestors beat on drums and called, "Thieves,
thieves, get out of the homes", and "Release Beit Jarrah".
Help save the Palestinian village of Lifta from total destruction
Lifta, a most picturesque Palestinian village, lies on the slopes of
West Jerusalem below the highway linking it to Tel-Aviv. It has been
abandoned since the invading Hagana underground forces backed by the
Stern Gang drove the last of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948 during
the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
It was the one single event which changed the nature of the place and
the whole region ... Now the Jerusalem Municipality has produced plans
to turn Lifta into a
luxurious and exclusive Jewish development – reinventing its history in
IRIN: Travel restrictions eased
26 Nov (IRIN) - The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has
announced that restrictions on the West Bank's population in the
occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) will be eased during the Muslim
holiday of Eid al-Adha between 26 November and 2 December. According to
the IDF, the following policies will be implemented for the period: * Palestinians will be allowed to enter Israel to visit immediate family members * Israeli citizens will be able to enter the city of Tulkarem by car via checkpoint 407; ...
Palestinian woman suffers stroke after settlers invade her family's house in Sheikh Jarrah
On Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 1:00am, five settlers and settler
security, who are currently occupying the Gawi family house in Sheikh
Jarrah, attempted to take over a section of a house belonging to the
Palestinian al-Kurd family. The Israeli police were alerted
immediately, however, before they
managed to arrive, the settlers started attacking the Palestinians
living in the house. One settler violently pushed a member of the
al-Kurd family, Maysa, against a wall and thereafter grabbed her son,
Munjad, by the lapel. After their arrival and a long discussion with
the al-Kurd family concerning the legal status of the house, the
Israeli police reluctantly escorted the settlers out.
As a result of the tumult, Refka Kurd, 85, suffered a stroke. She was
taken to a hospital and is in stable condition. This is the third
settler incursion into the al-Kurd family house in the last three weeks.
Settlers take over 10 acres of farm land owned by Palestinian farmer
Israeli settlers took over on Thursday 10 acres of lands owned by
Palestinian farmers from Yannon village, northern West Bank. Villagers
said that settlers invaded the village then took over the
land and started to work one it using machinery they brought with them.
The farmers clashed with the Israeli settlers. No injuries were
reported in both sides. The villagers said the settlers are from the
nearby illegal settlement of Gado'nim.
Israeli forces close Huwwara as settlers demand access to Nablus
Israeli forces closed the Huwwara checkpoint and the main road near the
village for two hours Thursday night in an effort to contain several
dozen settlers trying to access Joseph's Tomb in Nablus ... Israeli law
requires settlers wishing to enter Palestinian cities in the West Bank
to arrange military escorts ... Locals speculated that the sudden
demand to enter Nablus may have been
a move by settlers to test the limits of their government's latest move
to partially curb construction in West Bank settlements.
Violence / Aggression
Palestinian killed as IAF strikes Gaza rocket launchers
The Israel Air Force bombed a rocket-launching squad
in the Gaza Strip Friday morning, killing one person and seriously
wounding three others. A military source said the dead gunman belonged to a radical,
previously unknown Palestinian armed faction inspired by al-Qaida,
calling itself "Jaljalat."
Gaza mortar shells land in Palestinian territory
Two mortar shells fired from Gaza landed inside Palestinian territory
on Thursday, according to Israel’s military. A spokesperson said the
military was able to confirm the two shells, both of which landed
inside Gaza. There
were no reports of casualties or damage. Palestinian paramilitary
groups did not immediately claim responsibility for any shelling.
Report: Soldiers beat Hebron man on way to mosque Thursday
The reports, according to the observers, corroborated the vendors' story
that the "young man was stopped and asked for his identity card. A
soldier pushed him against the wall. When the youth asked, 'Why do you
push me?' the soldier beat him. He was struck on the head, stomach with
a rifle butt and kicked in the groin. His mother intervened as did an
older shopkeeper." ... The mother hung on to her son and refused to have him taken through the gate to the army barracks. "The
soldiers kept pushing back the crowd of about 100 Palestinians during a
loud and animated exchange between the soldiers, the mother and several
Palestinian to testify against regiment commander
Ashraf Abu Rahma, a resident of the West Bank village of Naalin, who was shot
in the leg by an Israel Defense Forces soldier while handcuffed and
blindfolded in July 2008, was summoned Thursday by the Military Court
in the Tel Aviv's Kirya base, Ynet has learned. Early next week, the incident's victim will face the two
defendants in the affair, Lieutenant-Colonel Omri Burberg, who served
as commander of the 71st regiment at the time, and the shooting
soldier, Staff Sergeant Leonardo Corea.
Palestinian shot in Hebron over alleged knife attack
A Palestinian was shot and wounded after reportedly stabbing and
injuring two Israelis outside the settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron
on Thursday. The incident reportedly took place near a gas station at the entrance to the settlement.
AFP: Israel says it foiled suspected bomb attack
— Israeli troops foiled a suspected attempt to bomb the southern resort
city of Eilat by a militant who attempted to infiltrate the desert
border with Egypt, an army spokesman said on Friday. On Wednesday
evening, a patrol spotted a "silhouette on the Egyptian border and
fired warning shots," the spokesman said. On Thursday morning, soldiers
"found a bag containing 15 kilos (33 pounds) of explosives abandoned at
the site where the suspect fled," he added.
Updated list: Israel pardons 90 former Fatah fighters
Israel has agreed to remove 90 former Palestinian fighters from its
list of “wanted” men on the eve of the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday,
Palestinian sources said on Thursday. Not all the men were fully pardoned.
US asked Israel to release 1,000 Fatah prisoners: Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister, head of the Yisrael
Beiteinu fundamentalist party, stated that the United States asked
Israel to release 1000 detainees of the Fateh movement, headed by
PA minister: No peace deal without prisoner release
Issa Qaraqe, the minister of detainees and detainees affairs, said on
Thursday he would not sign a peace agreement with Israel until all
Palestinian prisoners had been released from its jails. Speaking
at an international conference in Jericho on the plight of Palestinian
prisoners, Qaraqe said children and women in Israel's jails deserved
the attention of the international community, which he urged to
Prisoner release hot topic among Eid visitors this year
The families of 10,000 Palestinian detainees greeted their relatives
this Eid Al-Adha with wishes that their sons or daughters be among
those released in a swap deal between Israel and Hamas. The
detainees issue was the hot topic this year as family members went from
home to home greeting each other and wishing blessings on friends and
kin. Pondering the authenticity of media reports, many questioned
whether or not there would be a deal this time around.
Israel denies entry to Americans attending Jericho prisoners conference
Israeli border guards denied Americans Dhoruba Bin Wahad and Naji
Mujahid entry into Palestine on Monday as they attempted to travel to
Jericho for a conference on Palestinian prisoners illegally
incarcerated in Israeli jails.
Gaza families upset at jilt from Jericho prisoners conference
The Gaza Committee of Parents of Detainees called the conference on
Palestinian prisoners in Jericho a "great national step" in efforts to
gain international recognition for the abuse of prisoners by Israeli
officials, but expressed disappointment over their exclusion from the
proceedings. Members of the Gaza delegation said they had been
promised invitations by conference organizers, but said they never
received any sort of request for their attendance.
One Gaza crossing opened
Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom border crossing in Gaza, as
the Karni and Nahal Oz crossings were closed on Thursday. Palestinian
crossings official, Raed Fattuh, said that between 110-120 trucks of
commercial produce and humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza
through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
French humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza
Egyptian authorities permitted the entry of humanitarian aid and
stationery donated by French charities into the Gaza Strip via the
Rafah border crossing on Wednesday evening, according to an official
for the Arab Doctors’ Union, Mustafa Tayeh ... The French charities'
donation included nine tons of medical equipment, which arrived along
with the delivery of stationery ... Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have
refused to permit the transfer of a
consignment of toys donated to Palestinian children in Gaza, which
remains at the Al-Oja commercial border between Egypt and Israel,
despite Egypt’s consent to the delivery of the toys.
Gaza gov't warns of medicine shortage
The de facto Gaza government’s Ministry of Health warned of a severe
shortage of medicine, resulting from the Israeli blockade of the Gaza
Strip, it was announced on Wednesday. Munir Al-Barsh, the
general director of pharmacology for the Gaza Ministry of Health,
stated that “among the medicines that have run out include the ones
used for the artificial kidney unit, surgeries and other needed
In Gaza - `Eid: beautiful, impossible
I wake in the early hours of the morning, as the rush of `Eid begins:
prayers call out from mosques around Gaza, Palestine. In the living
room of my friends’ home, the prayers surround me, like the carols and
church bells did at Christmas as a child. In fact, there are other
parallels: the sound of children rising
early, excited. Their squeals and the sounds of their play continues
through the day, as it did with Christmases past. The same sense of
reverence, anticipation, and for the children, glee.
In Gaza - One year later, young fisherman still trying to heal
...Musleh was initially wounded early in the morning of 5 October 2008
when Israeli soldiers shot at him from a distance of 100 metres.
“Doctors told me there was an entry wound of two square centimetres
and an exit wound of 10-15 square centimetres. They said the shot
fractured my shinbone and severed arteries in my leg,” Musleh testified to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group. At the time of his shooting, Musleh and Ahmad al-Bardawil were
fishing 2 km off the coast of Rafah, 3 km from the Egyptian border,
according to their GPS device.
Syrian official: Arabs discuss football while Gaza is besieged
senior advisor slams Arab world for being preoccupied with
Egypt-Algeria 'soccer war' while so much blood is being spilt in Strip
Report: Shalit deal on verge of completion
Fox News reported Friday that a deal aimed at
securing the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad
Shalit was close to completion, and that it will likely be carried out
next week ... Sources said Friday that talks aimed at advancing the
deal would resume on Monday, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
returns from his trip to Germany and the Muslim holiday of `Id al-Adha
Egypt: Israel must freeze construction in East Jerusalem as well
reports Prime Minister Netanyahu telephoned President Mubarak to
personally brief him on 10-month settlement freeze, but was criticized
by Cairo for missing part in plan
PA was informed in advance of settlement construction freeze
Israel, Palestinians conducting talks in secret so as not to draw
criticism against Abbas, Fayyad; officials in Jerusalem estimate PA
will announce return to negotiation table within a few weeks. Jordan
says West Bank construction freeze 'insufficient'
Reflections on the BDS conference at Hampshire
Philip Weiss. The spirit of the Hampshire College conference on Boycott
Divestment and Sanctions that I attended last weekend is captured by Adam Horowitz’s post of Sunday.
There was a stirring sense of youthful leadership, and a sense that the
left in America can no longer seek to divorce itself from the cause of
Palestinian self-determination. No, that divorce, which has existed for
40 years and that allowed the likes of Alan Dershowitz to say that he’s
a "liberal," is at an end for the young.
By Amira Hass. Not surprisingly, the public debate over the law for
a biometric database has ignored the fact that the Israeli authorities
are goading the Palestinians to surrender biometric data of their own -
handprints, fingerprints and facial images indicating the distance
between an individual's nose and eyes. Since 2005, such data has been
contained in the magnetic cards introduced in 1989 as additional
identification cards for Palestinians.
Statistics bureau: Muslim growth rate on the decline in Israel
The birthrate of the Muslim community in Israel is
declining, according to data released by the Central Bureau of
Statistics ahead of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice.
According to the bureau's report, the Muslim community's growth
rate dropped one percent in 2009 to 2.8 percent, down from 3.8 percent
in 2008. However, the Muslim growth rate is still the highest among all
groups in Israel, with the Druze population growing at 1.8 percent a
year, Christian Arabs at 1.3 percent and Jews at 1.6 percent a year.
Mouths filled with hatred
By Larry Derfner. News stories about young Jewish bigots in the Old
City spitting on Christian clergy - who make conspicuous targets in
their long dark robes and crucifix symbols around their necks - surface
in the media every few years or so. It's natural, then, to conclude
that such incidents are rare, but in fact they are habitual.
Anti-Christian Orthodox Jews, overwhelmingly boys and young men, have
been spitting with regularity on priests and nuns in the Old City for
about 20 years, and the problem is only getting worse.
Mob chases film crew out of Mea Shearim
Dozens of ultra-Orthodox youths in the Mea Shearim
neighborhood drove out a film crew on Thursday, reportedly throwing
stones and hurling curses at the student filmmakers.
Opinion / Unsafe on the street
Recent violence against women frightening because it’s so public -- By Elana Sztokman. There is no fear – no fear of the law, no
fear of retribution, and clearly no fear of women fighting back. A man
can throw acid on a woman or push her down on a bus and know fully in
his heart that nothing will happen to him. On the contrary, he will be
embraced by his entire community, lauded by his leaders who may wear
religious garb but are far from the Divine. No fear of God either, as
it were. This is a threat to all of us. If men take ownership of women’s body on the street, that affects all of us.
Western Wall countering haredi violence?
discourse on ultra-Orthodox take-over of holy site manifested in active
action? Sign instructing separation between men, women in upper square
removed, Israeli flags re-placed at site. Western Wall rabbi says sign
mistakenly left after holidays, flags temporarily removed due to
Poll: 39% blame IDF for troops' insubordination
A poll performed by Ynet together with the
Yesodot Center for Torah and Democracy reveals that the Israel Defense
Forces are regarded as mainly responsible for disobedience during
outpost evacuation, followed by right-wing rabbis and the refuseniks
themselves ... Asked which constituted an unlawful order,
49% replied that eating un-kosher food was unlawful, 31% cited Shabbat
desecration, 28% noted uprooting settlers from homes, 16% said
deporting children of foreign workers and 15% said that evacuating
Arab-Israelis from their homes amounted to an unlawful order. Some 16%
noted that all of the above orders were unlawful while 20% claimed none
PA acquitted in terrorism case on lack of evidence
A resident of Afula who was injured in a
terrorist attack in the city eight years ago will not receive
compensation from the Palestinian Authority. On Thursday, Nazareth
District Court rejected Shula Gaon's claim that the PA, and its leader
at the time, Yasser Arafat, is legally responsible for the attack. The
case continued despite Arafat's death in November 2004.
Lest we forget that Israel was founded by violence:
Old Jewish weapons cache found in Sharon region
resident finds rusty case with rifle, five loaded guns hidden in ground
during British Mandate era, takes weapons home. Daughter discovers arms
in warehouse, calls police
Jerusalem gazelles get guaranteed home after a 10-year battle
Three does are all that remain of the famed herd of
25 native gazelles that once lived in Emek Ha'tzvaim ("Gazelle
Valley"), in the heart of Jerusalem. But yesterday, after a public
struggle lasting nearly almost a decade, the Jerusalem District
Planning and Building Council gave final approval to a plan aimed at
ensuring the does' future and enabling the repopulation of the herd.
Frayed cloak, rusty dagger
someone on the Mossad’s hit-list just won a reprieve. A botched
assassination exercise by Israel’s overseas intelligence service on
Monday has thrown a rare spotlight on its secret tactics, as well as
raising questions about professionalism.
Analysis / Opinion
I (don't) believe
By Yossi Sarid. ... It may be true that official Israel is the cleverest
in the world, but the world is not completely dumb. It is still able to
recognize the ball made of rags Israel is now trying to roll onto the
Palestinian field ... I suddenly remembered that seven years ago the
Israeli government committed itself to "freezing all settlement
activity, including natural growth," as was stated in the road map. It
also committed itself to "immediately dismantling outposts set up since
March 2001." Another commitment was to present the Americans at an
early date with the markings of the outer borders ("the blue line") of
Pugnacious Netanyahu pushes US to call for 1967 borders
This is a guest note by Daniel Levy, who served as the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and directs the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force. ...The new language came in Secretary Clinton's description of what
American expects the outcome of negotiations to be - for an
"independent and viable [Palestinian] state based on the 1967 lines".
Senator Mitchell quoted Clinton in repeating the call for a Palestinian
state "based on the 67 lines." Every conflict and every situation has its own lingua franca.
In the Israeli-Palestinian context, a state based on the 67 lines is
the dog-whistle for what constitutes a real, no-B.S. two-state outcome.
It is also language that the US has conspicuously avoided using -
avoided that is until today.
Analysis / Is Netanyahu positioning himself to be the next Ariel Sharon?
By Yossi Verter. These days are especially tough for Benjamin
Netanyahu - perhaps his roughest since returning to the prime
minister's office eight months ago. Ministers and confidants describe
him as a man who hardly recognizes himself in the mirror anymore.
Bring on the transparency
By Didi Remez. The government of Israel is waging an aggressive
campaign to suppress internal dissent. Most of its targets have been
organizations operating in the occupied territories, and the
campaigners would have us believe that they are acting in the interest
of "national security." However, a closer look indicates that they are
motivated by a general disrespect for the role of civil society in a
democracy. Any NGO in the government's way seems to have become fair
game; indeed, officials have even started calling refugee-aid groups a
Review of that Sand book by someone who has actually read it
Here's Deborah Maccoby's review of the book, The Invention of the Jewish People, by Shlomo Sand: "Shlomo Sand’s controversial book, written to debunk popular
mythology about the Jewish people and its relation to its Holy Land,
has itself created its own mythology among people who don’t appear to
have read it. Thus Sand is said to deny the right of Israel to
exist, on the grounds that the Jewish people of modern times has no
genetic connection with the ancient Jewish inhabitants of the land. As
a corollary to this, Sand’s claim that the Palestinians are (allowing
for historical admixtures) the genetic descendants of the ancient Jews
of the Holy Land ( who were, Sand writes, mostly converted to Islam at
the time of the Arab conquest of the Holy Land in the 7th century CE -
is taken to mean that he is saying that the Palestinians, not modern
people identifying as Jewish, are the real Jews..."
Thursday: 9 Iraqis killed, 54 wounded
Excerpt: On the eve of Eid al-Adha, at least nine Iraqis were killed and 54 more wounded.
The holiday, which commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his
son, is set to begin Friday for Sunnis and Saturday for Shi’ites ... At
a British inquiry, former British Ambassador Christopher
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried to find a connection
between the Sept. 11 attacks and Saddam Hussein just hours after attacks took
place ...Three people were killed and at leat 39 others were wounded when two homemade bombs exploded at a Mussayab vegetable market. A car bomb in Yusufiya left two
dead and nine wounded at
a bus station....
UK diplomat questions post of Jews on Iraq panel
A British diplomat has criticized the appointment of
two leading Jewish academics to the UK's Iraq Inquiry panel, stating it
may upset the balance of the inquiry ... Miles said the two academics were Jewish and that
Gilbert was an active Zionist. He also said they were both strong
supporters of former prime minister Tony Blair and the Iraq war.
The heartbreak of Golan Heights weddings
(with video) For Syrians who choose to
marry a resident of the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967, their wedding is
a happy occasion as much it is a sad one. Once married, they can never return
to their homeland, meaning that their wedding day might be the last time they
see their family and friends ... We make
ourselves heard on what's known as ‘the screaming hill'. Golanaise families gather on the hill and shout out to their
families on the other side through loudspeaker. Between us there is a valley of 200 or
300 metres, scattered with mines. We can hear the echo of each other's voices,
shouts and cries of joy."
The Golan Heights' long wait
city of Quneitra is preserved in devastation as attempts to improve
Syria's relations with its neighbours and the US stall - By Simon
Tisdall. The Syrian authorities have made no attempt to rebuild here.
Israel vacates the two-thirds of the Golan Heights it first seized in
1967 and annexed in 1981, as Syria insists it must, they prefer
symbolism to salvage. "This is a human tragedy," said Mohammad Ali, a
senior official in Syria's Golan governorate of which Quneitra forms a
part. "There are over 400,000 Syrians from the Golan who live as
The Golan is moving closer to Israel, geologists say
The northern city of Kiryat Shmona and the Golan
Heights are just a few kilometers apart geographically. But from a
geological perspective, they are worlds apart. The Golan is part of the
Arabian geological plate, which also includes Jordan, Syria and the
Arabian peninsula. Kiryat Shmona, however, is part of the Galilee,
which is in turn part of the Sinai plate, connected to Africa. Some 20
million years ago, the two plates began to move opposite one another.
This movement, which continues today, created the Syrian-African Rift,
along which the Dead Sea and Lake Kinneret are located.
Yemen - Nasser Ridhwan: "I had nothing in my life besides my wife, who I've now lost"
Nasser Ridhwan, 78, is a recent arrival in the al-Mazraq Camp for
internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Haradh District, Hajjah
Governorate, some 130km southwest of his home village of Mashnaq, near
Dukhan Mountain, which has become a battleground in fighting between
the Saudi army and Houthi-led Shia rebels ... "I
don't know where she is now; missing, dead, gone with other people. She
was alone when I left her. We had been married for more than 65 years,
but had no children - this was our destiny. "I had
nothing in life but my wife, who I’ve now lost. I don't know how she
will survive because it is the first time in 50 years for me to
disappear from her..."
Saudi troops 'captured' by Houthi rebels in Yemen
27 Nov - Nine Saudi soldiers have been captured by Houthi rebels during
fighting in northern Yemen, a rebel spokesman says ... The Saudi
defence ministry has confirmed nine soldiers are missing and may have
been taken prisoner. The Houthis accuse Riyadh of supporting the Yemeni
armed forces by letting them launch attacks from its territory. Later,
the rebels said on their website that Saudi planes had carried out
bombing raids about 30km (19 miles) inside Yemen.
Report: Lebanese man charged with spying for Israel
By Jack Khoury. Lebanon has indicted one of its citizens for spying for Israel since 1990, the pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat
reported Thursday. Osama Berri, 54, is accused of having had contact
with the enemy during wartime. Berri was arrested on November 18 in
southern Lebanon, where he resides.
Injustices in Lebanon
"Khaled is not a unique case. Hundreds of young women and men live in a
similar ordeal. Their main crime is being born to Lebanese women who
had the misfortune of having children from non-Lebanese men. By the
time you read this story, Khaled might have been deported. He has now
reached an impasse. No employer will hire him and declare him. He
cannot afford or navigate through the confusing and expensive
administrative paperwork and red tape."
Lebanon 'accepts' Hezbollah's weapons; Congress prepares reply
By Franklin Lamb, Beirut. "It is the right of the Lebanese people, Army and the (Hezbollah
led-) resistance to liberate the Shebaa Farms, the Kfar Shuba Hills and
the northern part of the village of Ghajar as well as to defend Lebanon
and its territorial waters in the face of any enemy by all available
and legal means." So reads the Policy Declaration of the new
Government of the Republic of Lebanon, issued on 11/26/09, four days
after the celebration of Lebanon’s 66 years of independence from the
French colonial power, achieved in 1943.
Report: Israel prepared to leave Ghajar within hours
al-Akhbar newspaper says Jewish state has informed UNIFIL it will
evacuate northern part of Lebanese village shortly. UN official
estimates move aimed at reducing international criticism against Israel
Why Afghans dig empire graveyards
By Nicolas J S Davies. Afghanistan is known as the
"graveyard of empires." But just why do empires keep sending thousands
of their young people to die in Afghanistan? American
blood-letting in Afghanistan is generally explained in terms of the
Taliban and al-Qaeda, but it was the earlier U.S. involvement in
Afghanistan (in the 1980s) that led to the emergence of these movements
in the first place, not the other way around ... Conventional military
powers consistently underestimate the Afghans until they are
over-committed and faced with humiliation. The
first modern empire brought down by the Afghans was the 200-year-old
Safavid Empire of Persia...
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