Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

US activists visit exile-threatened Jerusalem officials
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 21 June -- U.S. academics from various universities and rights activists paid a visit Monday to Palestinian public officials at their sit-in tent inside the Red Cross compound in Jerusalem. The group includes anti-racism activists who have been arrested seeking freedom and equality and supporting the oppressed ... The Palestinian officials, who are threatened to be banished from their native Jerusalem by Israeli occupation authorities, include two legislators, Mohammed Toutah and Ahmed Attoun and former minister Khalid Abu Arafeh. They recently received another foreign delegation including activists from Norway, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.

Patriarch prohibited from conducting Hebron visit
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 21 June -- The Governor of Hebron Kamel Hmeid and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal were prevented from carrying out a tour of the city Monday, delegation members said. The officials visited areas affected by the presence of an estimated 700 Israeli settlers and 1,500 soldiers in the city center, but were prevented from walking down the former market hub Ash-Shuhada Street ... Part of the tour involved visiting the city's university, meeting with the Hebron University President Awni Al-Khatib and inspecting its facilities. Hmeid called the visit a show of national unity and Palestinian strength, while Twal expressed regret at the "lack of respect from the occupation forces to religious officials," but said he was glad to meet the "sons and daughters of Hebron," and said he would continue to support their struggle for rights and freedoms.

Israel demolishes homes in Tubas district, displacing 27 Palestinian children, adults
[MAP] AIC 21 June -- On Tuesday morning (21 June) the Israeli army demolished 29 structures in al-Hadidiya, Tubas Governorate, displacing 27 people from six households, including 11 children. A further 15 people were affected, including 10 children ... Al-Hadidiya is a Bedouin community relying on herding. Some community members report having born in this location in the 1950s, but community members have been displaced multiple times. The community estimates that about 40 families have been permanently displaced from Al-Hadidiya since 1997 due to a combination of factors, primarily demolitions (1997, 2005-2007, 2008, and 2011), confiscations (2000) and access restrictions (increasing since 2000). In May 2009, the IDF placed large cement slabs throughout the Jordan Valley, including Al-Hadidiya, that have “Danger Firing Zone Entrance Forbidden” written on them in Arabic, English and Hebrew. The IDF distributed these signs throughout the area. However, the community has reported not noticing military activity in their immediate vicinity. All households displaced this morning live outside the closed military zone.

Big wave of demolitions in the northern Jordan Valley
JVS 21 June -- Today, June the 21st, Israeli military demolished Palestinian homes in two communities in the Jordan Valley. At six am five military Jeeps, two Israeli Civil administration cars and two bulldozers entered the Bedouin community of Al Hadidya. They proceeded to demolish four homes and 12 animal shelters, leaving 32 people homeless. After the demolition of Al Hadidya, the bulldozers drove on to nearby Khirbet Yerza, where they demolished two homes and two animal shelters. As a result ten people were left homeless.

Israeli army begins dismantling the Wall in Bil‘in
Pop Struggle 21 June -- This morning army bulldozers began work to dismantle the fence in Bil‘in. As early as 2007, after two years of weekly protests in the village and following a petition filed by the residents, Israeli high court declared the path of the Barrier illegal. The court ruled that the route was not devised according to security standards, but rather for the purpose of settlement expansion. Despite the high court's ruling four more years of struggle had to elapse for the army to begin dismantlement. During these years two people were killed in the course of the weekly protests and many others injured. Yet even according to the new path, sanctioned by the high court, 435 acres of village land will remain on the "Israeli" side of the Barrier. [and presumably the land taken for the 'old' fence is already ruined, trees destroyed, etc., while more land will be ruined for the new one]

5 settlers released after 'price tag' allegations
Ynet 21 June -- Two Jerusalem courts ordered the release Tuesday of five settlers police had arrested on suspicion of carrying out revenge acts against Palestinians, commonly dubbed 'Price tag' acts. Yaska Weiss, 20, was released along with a 17-year old girl. Both were suspected of torching Palestinian vehicles in Hebron. During the hearing police appealed for a remand of their arrest, though their representative had already admitted there may not be enough evidence to charge the two.Earlier three residents of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar – suspected of torching the car of a police commander during the razing of Ali Ayin outpost – were also released. Yitzhar settlers were furious at police conduct in the case, and a source in the settlement accused officers of performing unnecessary arrests instead of properly investigating the vandalism. "It has become the norm to perform stupid and baseless arrests in the small hours of the night, frightening children and infants," the source said.,7340,L-4085439,00.html

Jewish settlers in West Bank nurture land to consolidate Palestinian territories
Bethlehem (PNN) 21 June -- Victoria Delacroix -- Jewish settlers that are living in the West Bank are opening their guarded gates to the world and to other Israelis, in an attempt to show the international community what is going in the West Bank, through their eyes. One day tours that are booked through a regional settler council attempt to illustrate how settlers are nurturing and cultivating the land that Palestinians want back in order to gain sovereignty and declare a Palestinian State ... One should also not expect to meet with any of the local Palestinian farmers -- or ‘local Arabs’ as the tour calls them -- that own this land and more than likely were the ones cultivating it before the occupation. Most of the tour group members see themselves as ‘former Christians’ who firmly believe that Jesus Christ is the messiah and saviour, but many of them partake in Jewish traditions and abide by some of the Jewish law.

Living and dying in the Golan Heights
Majdal Shams -- PNN Exclusive -- Victoria Delacroix -- 21 June -- Ameer Jabal was born and grew up in the town of Majdal Shams, in the Golan Heights.  He was born under occupation and died under it. When he was only four Ameer stepped on a mine, a mine that had been placed by the Israeli army in the town.  As one field ends, another one begins, except that this orchard is not full of cherries, olives or wild flowers. A small yellow signs hangs on the barbed wire fence, “Danger Mines.” This is the reality of the Golan under Israeli occupation. This is the reality that the people of Majdal Shams live in.

IOF troops arrest five citizens in Majda Shams
RAMALLAH (PIC) 21 June-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested five citizens in the Majdal Shams town in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights at dawn Tuesday, the Israeli radio said. It said that the IOF soldiers stormed the town after obtaining new information during interrogation of previously held youths from the town and detained the five young men at the pretext they participated in the Naksa Day protests.\

Israeli forces

Two fishing boats shot off Gaza coast
ISM 21 June -- At around 9am on June 21, two fishing boats were attacked by the Israeli Navy, with bullets piercing both engines, rendering them unusable. The first boat was shot at in the motor, at the rear end and, when the 4-man crew took cover at the front of the boat, away from the shots directed at the motor, the front of the boat was fired upon. Yaser Baker is one of the four fishermen who were aboard the first boat which was shot. "We were at around two and a half miles out to sea when they shot at our engine and it broke. We stopped the boat and all moved to the front, away from the engine so that we wouldn’t get hit. Then they shot at the front, right at us, the bullets just missing our bodies and one landed right by my leg." A second boat, manned by Mohammed Bakri Sabir came to assist the first, but was also attacked, both in the engine and the front of the boat, where the crew was taking cover. Aboard the second boat were three fishermen and two of their children, aged nine and ten years old.

Video: Officer indicted for vandalizing Palestinian vehicles
B'Tselem 21 June -- On 12 and 13 October, B'Tselem documented eight vehicles owned by Palestinians that had been vandalized, apparently by soldiers, near Jenbah in the southern Hebron hills ... On 19 June 2011, the media reported that the military prosecutor had filed an indictment against a former infantry company commander. The officer, who has been discharged from the army in the meantime, was charged, inter alia, with intentionally damaging property, in that he and soldiers under his command vandalized a number of Palestinian vehicles, burning some of them, in the southern Hebron hills.


UN: Israel approves Gaza housing projects
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June -- Israel has approved construction of two housing projects in the southern Gaza Strip, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday. UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman in Gaza Adnan Abu Hasnah said two major projects would be constructed to house families from Rafah and Khan Younis whose homes were demolished by Israel in 2001. The new buildings will also provide housing for families made homeless during Israel's 2002 Operation Defensive Shield, Abu Hasnah said. Major Guy Inbar, spokesman for the defense ministry department responsible for liaison with the Palestinian territories, told AFP Israel had approved materials to build 1,200 homes and 18 schools. He said the materials would be consigned to UNRWA. The UN welcomed the decision. Abu Hasneh said UNRWA was waiting for authorities to take practical steps to allow thousands of truckloads of construction materials into the coastal enclave. He said the building would start with projects funded by Saudi Arabia and Japan, as well as the construction of eight schools. UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the agency had learned of Israel's decision "informally." "We welcome this reported approval which follows lengthy negotiations with the Israeli authorities," he said.

In Gaza, border opening brings little relief
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) 21 June -- The reopening of the Gaza Strip's main border crossing with Egypt brought widespread relief to Palestinians suffering from a four-year blockade. But one month later, some 20,000 people are on a wait list and despair is growing in this crowded territory. Residents still must apply for travel permits, and the first available dates to cross are in late August. Frustrated travelers gather at the crossing each day, clutching medical reports, foreign residency permits and university registration documents in hopes of persuading the authorities to let them through. And after a brief period of goodwill, many are openly asking whether Egypt's new government is truly committed to improving relations with the Palestinians.

Haniyeh applauds Miles of Smiles aid convoy
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June – Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said Monday that he was proud and thankful for the support of international activists, who arrived in Gaza Sunday with the European aid convoy Miles of Smiles ... For his part, the convoy’s coordinator, Isam Yousif, promised to continue organizing other aid convoys to support the Palestinian people.  "Miles of Smiles came to draw a smile on the faces of Gaza’s children," he said. He highlighted that the convoy brought medicines worth half a million dollars in addition to milk and other food products.

300 truckloads of goods to enter Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June -- Palestinian officials were notified Tuesday morning that 300-310 truckloads of goods would be allowed into the Gaza Strip.

Goods - Needs vs. supply May 15 - June 11

Introducing the 'Palestinian Gandhi Project' / Yousef Munayyer
[with video] There is a consistent effort to portray Palestinians as violent individuals, and this effort is tied directly to attempts to justify any Israeli action against Palestinians in the name of “security” or “defense.” In reality, Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation and colonization of their land is diverse and overwhelmingly non-violent. Just because Palestinian non-violence doesn’t get the media attention violent conflict does, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. But how would anyone outside of Palestine know? (Image right: A Palestinian woman defies Israeli declared "buffer zone" in Gaza to harvest wheat.)
Pam Bailey, an American “corporate refugee” as she calls herself, traveled to Gaza to see for herself what was happening in the region. The product of her trips became “The Palestinian Gandhi Project” which Permission to Narrate is proud to feature here.

Videos: Palestinian Gandhis Part II: Blogging to resist / Yousef Munayyer
...This first video profile features two of many bloggers who have begun writing about the reality of life in the Gaza Strip. Although Gaza-based blogs date back to 2004, there has been a virtual boom since Israel launched its massive attack on the densely populated Strip in the winter of 2008/9. In a classic example of “blowback” (unintended consequences), Israel’s aggression served as a motivator for many young Palestinians in Gaza to find new, creative ways of speaking out. The first young blogger featured, Sameeha Elwan, speaks eloquently of being “shocked” into activism.


Letter from Athens: A city in chaos / Joseph Dana
I flew into this disorderly city this morning to cover the flotilla for the The Nation magazine along with journalist par excellence Mya Guarnieri. Over the next week, we will be observing the preparations and training of the American boat to Gaza, dubbed "The Audacity of Hope." In the coming days, I will be observing the preparation of the ship, the nonviolence training of the passengers as well as the general climate in Athens, which is seeing historic riots about the Greek financial crisis. Stay tuned to +972 and my twitter feed over the next week for on-the ground coverage of what is certainly going to be one of the biggest stories of the summer in Israel/Palestine.

American flotilla passengers set to challenge US support for Gaza blockade / Alex Kane
Mondo 21 June -- The pressure is mounting on the second "Freedom Flotilla" to Gaza.  Anti-flotilla lawsuits in New York and Toronto have been filed, the Israeli government is ramping up its propaganda efforts and the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship is no longer sailing following U.S. pressure. But the American passengers are still determined to sail on The Audacity of Hope later this month, and they are now on their way to Greece to complete the initial leg of their journey before setting off to the Mediterranean from an undisclosed port. And if there was one important and unifying message the American flotilla passengers conveyed yesterday at a press conference where they took questions from reporters, it was this:  the U.S. Boat to Gaza effort is a direct challenge to American support for Israel and its crippling blockade of Gaza.

IDF relieved by Turkish group's pullout from Gaza flotilla but still goes ahead with preparations
Haaretz 20 June -- Israel's navy is going ahead with preparations to stymie a planned flotilla slated to attempt to break the blockade on Gaza in two weeks, despite the fact that the Turkish group IHH has pulled out of the effort. Israeli security experts believe that flotilla participants could violently oppose the navy's effort to stop the ships and plan to bring photographers with them to document any resistance they face ... Top navy officers were relieved yesterday by the announcement that the Marmara, the largest vessel slated for the flotilla, would not sail. "That saves a lot of work for us," said one navy officer. "The Marmara would have carried 500 passengers; its exclusion scales down the operation." Despite the IHH pullout, a coalition of 23 pro-Palestinian organizations have announced their intention to take part in this new flotilla.

Parliamentary honour for Gaza activists sparks outrage
21 June -- THE decision by Greens MP David Shoebridge to host a farewell function at Parliament House this week for activists preparing to set sail to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza has sparked outrage among Jewish leaders ... NSW Jewish Board of Deputies acting president Jeremy Spinak questioned why a state MP would encourage people to break the law of a legitimate government. "It’s a sad state of affairs that the Greens are using Parliament House, with its proud history, to promote an event that will be in violation of international law," Spinak said."The organisers of the event know that the flotilla seeks to break a blockade, which is in place because of Hamas’ ongoing war on Israel."

Refugees, World Refugee Day

Report: '30% of Palestinians in the W. Bank, 67% in Gaza, are refugees
IMEMC 21 June -- The Palestinian Census Bureau reported that nearly half of the Palestinians in the occupied territories are internally displaced refugees, and that, since its creation in Palestine in 1948, Israel forcibly removed two-thirds of the Arab population ... In 1948, nearly 957,000 Palestinians were removed and fled from their cities and villages due to the creation of Israel in the historic land of Palestine. This figure resembles nearly 66% of the total population back then, according to United Nations estimates in 1950 ...  By mid-2010, the number of refugees registered by the UNRWA arrived to 4.8 million. 41.6% of the total population in Jordan are Palestinian refugees, 8.9% in Lebanon and 9.9% in Syria. Refugee camps in the Palestinian territories are the poorest among the total population as at least 32.1% of the refugees are below poverty levels.

UNRWA: "You can't leave Palestine refugees behind"
972mag 21 June -- There is no doubt in my mind that you cannot have a just and durable peace unless 4.8 million refugees are brought out of their 63-year exile, statelessness and dispossession -- Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman, 20 June 2011 -- Roee Ruttenberg: There are critics who say the UN treats the Palestinians with some favoritism, that the Palestinians refugees have their own UN agency -- your agency, UNRWA -- dedicated specifically to their cause, something no other group has. And just this week, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the international community treats the Palestinians like “spoiled children.” How do you respond to such criticisms? Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman: It’s very vindictive and it's political wishful thinking because if UNRWA went away and UNHCR took over the refugees, their inalienable rights would not disappear. So the right of return, which is enshrined in the "Universal Declaration (of Human Rights)" wouldn’t suddenly go away because UNRWA went away.

Jordanian PM: Continue funding for UN refugee agency
Jordan warns of instability if UN Palestine Refugee Agency’s funds cut UNRWA Commissioner General appeals for Arab funds -- Jordan, 21 June 2011: The Prime Minister of Jordan, Marouf al-Bakheet, has warned of instability if the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, is not properly funded and the Agency’s essential services to millions of Palestine refugees in the Middle East are cut. In a speech to UNRWA’s Advisory Commission delivered by the Deputy Prime Minister, Saed Hayel el-Sror, Mr. al-Bakheet said that in light of the transformations in the Middle East, Palestinian rights had to be maintained.

Video: Gazans mark World Refugee Day
PressTV 20 June


Ministry asks UN to see release of Gazans held under 'unlawful combatant law'
GAZA (PIC) 21 June -- The Gaza prisoner affairs ministry has called on the UN to intervene as Israel has refused to release six Gazans whose prison terms have ended using an unlawful combatant law.  The Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, and the Israeli courts passed the law against Gaza prisoners after Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005. The ministry considers the law an attempt to circumvent the Geneva Convention, which protects civilians.  Under the law, Israel has enabled itself to continue holding detainees from the Gaza Strip indefinitely without an indictment, evidence, or a fair trial.
In a separate development, the Israeli Prison Service has moved several leading prisoners into isolation, in a move considered to be "a declaration of open war" against Palestinian prison leadership.

IOF storm home of liberated Hamas leader, question him
JENIN (PIC) 21 June -- The Israeli military commander of Jenin area accompanied Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in storming the home of recently released Hamas leader Ali Abul Rub in Qabatiya village, south of Jenin city, at dawn Tuesday and questioned him. Sources close to the leader told the PIC that the pre dawn raid took place at 0200 am and that the commander asked for exchanging views with Abul Rub on a number of personal issues such as his plans for the near future and activities within Hamas in addition to his expectations on national reconciliation. Abul Rub was released on 6th March this year after 18 years imprisonment. He is a chemical engineer, married with a son and a daughter, and is well known for his Islamic propagation in Qabatiya mosque.

1500 sick Palestinian detainees refused to take medicine in protest step
RAMALLAH (PIC) 21 June -- Palestinian human rights sources said that 1500 Palestinian sick detainees in Israeli occupation jails would not take their medication or go to clinics on Tuesday in solidarity with a comrade on hunger strike. The sources said that Atef Wreidat has been on hunger strike for two weeks in protest at moving him to Askalan jail where there is no appropriate medical care for his condition. He suffers from heart problems and breathing difficulty. They said that the Israeli prison services deliberately place sick prisoners under bad incarceration conditions and delay their treatment, and it is responsible for the life of Wrediat and all other sick internees.

Poll: Majority of Israelis support release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Shalit
Haaretz 21 June -- Sixty-three percent of Jewish Israelis support swapping captive soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including 450 specifically requested by Hamas, some of whom are mass murderers, according to a survey carried out by the Rafi Smith polling company on behalf of the campaign for Shalit's release.

Racism / Discrimination

Yishai reinstates nationality on ID cards
Ynet 21 June -- Interior Ministry Eli Yishai has signed a regulation that reinstates the nationality notation in the identification cards of all citizens who were eligible for the document before 2002. Yishai decision's calls for the nationality section in ID cards issued to people who converted to Judaism through the Reform or Conservative movements to remain blank -- a measure that defies a High Court of Justice ruling that officially recognizes the converts as Jews.,7340,L-4084936,00.html

Israeli bus company advocates segregated seats despite court ruling
Haaretz 12 June -- The Egged bus company has allegedly violated a Supreme Court ruling which forbids segregation on public transportation buses on the basis of gender. In an announcement with the company logo, published in early June in a local Haredi magazine, the arrangements for gender segregation on Egged buses in the city were detailed.

Schools to bridge racial divide
Ynet 20 June --  The Education Ministry has decided to bridge the divide between Jews and Arabs with a new plan, entitled 'Education for coexistence'. According to the new initiative, teachers of grades 1-12 will study about the culture, language and heritage of the other race[?!]. In addition, the ministry will encourage Arab teachers to teach at Jewish schools, and vice-versa.,7340,L-4084934,00.html

International abduction

Ukraine exchanged Abu Sisi in return for Israeli trade pact and US lobbying aid / Richard Silverstein
A former high ranking Israeli minister has confirmed a line of thought I’ve developed regarding collusion between the Israeli and Ukrainian governments over the extraordinary rendition of Dirar Abusisi.  I’ve been reporting consistently the sneaking suspicion that the kidnapping involved various quid pro quos between the two countries.  Now, a former government official has confirmed that Israel said to Ukraine: "Give us Abu Sisi, and we’ll give you any trade agreement you ask for, plus lobbying services in Washington." Over the past few months, I’ve noted visits by the Ukrainian prime minister to Israel (just after Abu Sisi’s kidnapping) at which major new trade deals were announced.  Yesterday, I pointed to a major new aviation agreement that would dramatically increase the number of Ukrainian and Israeli pilgrims visiting each others’ countries.

Political / Diplomatic / International news

Abbas: UN in place of no other options
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 21 June -- The Palestinian leadership will continue its pursuit of support for an appeal to the UN for membership and the recognition of statehood, and Salam Fayyad will head the new unity government, President Mahmoud Abbas told the Lebanese satellite channel LBC on Monday night. In the absence of negotiations with Israel, Abbas said, a move at the UN would be the chosen course of action. If the United States, Israel and Europe have objections to a UN appeal, he continued "they must come up with an alternative."

Abbas: Given options, we won't go to UN
Ynet 21 June -- Palestinian president says negotiations deadlocked due to two problems -- borders and security -- leading to planned September statehood declaration backed by 116 states. "But if US has another option, we won't go to UN," he says ... "We have so far not discussed the core issues with Netanyahu. I only spoke with Netanyahu for altogether 15 hours and met with him three times over two years. We spoke only of security issues...",7340,L-4084937,00.html

Opinion poll shows Fayyad favored for PM
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 21 June -- A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found the majority of Palestinians would prefer Salam Fayyad as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as president. The results of the poll, released Monday, also showed that reconciliation talks had improved the public perception of Hamas more than Fatah. The poll was conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by PCPSR between June 16-18 ... A majority of 59 percent of Palestinians believe Fatah and Hamas will succeed in implementing the reconciliation agreement and unifying the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the survey revealed.

Fayyad to stay in place as Palestinian Authority premier
Bloomberg 21 June -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said he will resist pressure to resign and aims to continue in office while the rival Hamas and Fatah factions try to form a joint government. Fayyad, speaking to reporters today in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said he wants to at least complete his two-year plan to build the institutions for Palestinian statehood that are supposed to be ready in August. "There’s an action plan that needs to be implemented," Fayyad said. At the same time, he said that he doesn’t want to be an "obstacle to unity."

Hamas: Abbas does not have the power to appoint Fayyad
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 June -- An admission by President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday that Salam Fayyad would be appointed Prime Minister of a unity government was slammed by Hamas as an "unjustified media escalation." Abbas made the comments on Lebanese television

Obama: Israel, US stalwart allies
Ynet 21 June -- "One inviolable principle will be that the United States and Israel will always be stalwart allies and friends, that that bond isn’t breakable and that Israel's security will always be at the top tier of considerations in terms of how America manages its foreign policy – because it's the right thing to do, because Israel is our closest ally and friend, it is a robust democracy, it shares our values and it shares our principles," Obama said to roaring applause.,7340,L-4084958,00.html

Netanyahu: Israel needs to separate from the Palestinians
Haaretz 21 June -- The prime minister tells cabinet that it's more important to 'preserve a solid Jewish majority inside the State of Israel' than holding land home to a Palestinian majority.

Senior US official: Israeli-Palestinian impasse is unsustainable
Haaretz 21 June -- Official tells reporters Israel should not be expected to negotiate with Hamas, and that administration awaiting results of Palestinian negotiations.

Two months before UN vote on Palestinian state, Israel lacks ambassadors in key cities
Haaretz 21 June -- As September nears, Israel still hasn't filled important diplomatic postings in Berlin, Rome, Madrid, and Brussels ... The source said the turnover of ambassadors at such a critical and sensitive time would make the battle against unilateral Palestinian moves at the UN more difficult.

Israeli Migdal Oz plan outlines response to Palestinian reactions to declarations of statehood
IMEMC 20 June -- Israel is drawing up plans for a series of eventualities come September and a Palestinian declaration of statehood. The Migdal Oz plan, seen by YNet, is the Israeli document on how the army plans on maintaining order in the aftermath of the September state bid ... The most likely scenario according to the commanders is a period of reflection by Palestinians where they compare reality with their expectations. However other scenarios include immediate protests and rioting or, according to some, all out war. The plan outlines a series of measures for dealing with these scenarios including the acquisition of extra crowd dispersion tools such as tear gas as well as newer methods such as the “Scream” acoustic system which emits a load noise that aids in crowd dispersion. The Israeli army has recently doubled its annual purchases of crowd dispersion weapons in preparation for September, according to YNet.  Military officials have stated that they would deal with any attempts to cross the Israeli separation barriers by the same means dealt with Palestinian refugees seeking to cross the border during Nakba and Naksa day protests.

Netanyahu woos Erdoğan with letter
Ynet 21 June -- Ahead of second Gaza flotilla, PM sends letter to Turkish counterpart congratulating him on third term, describing wish to 'renew cooperation, friendship that characterized relations between two peoples for so long',7340,L-4085364,00.html

Palestinian leader in Turkey for talks
ANKARA (AFP) 21 June -- Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas arrived here Tuesday for talks with Turkish leaders amid disagreements over the formation of a Palestinian unity government, officials said.

Israel and weaponry

US: Israeli missile defense system can protect our Mideast bases
Haaretz 20 June -- The Israeli missile defense system will be integrated into a regional defense array planned by the U.S., General Patrick O'reilly, head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, said Monday.

Paris Air Show: Israeli companies unveil defense systems
Ynet 21 June -- The Israeli mission to the 2011 International Paris Air Show held in Le Bourget comprised of 15 companies representing Israel's top defense systems manufactures, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday ... In 2010, Israel's defense exports amounted to $7.2 billion.,7340,L-4085060,00.html

Israel reveals it has returned dozens of kilograms of nuclear waste to the US
Haaretz 20 June -- Israel's Nuclear Energy Commission head tells IAEA commission that Sorek reactor's nuclear waste was returned to U.S. as part of agreement, while Dimona still stores nuclear waste.

Israel to stress safety of its nuclear reactors at IAEA special session
VIENNA (Haaretz) 20 June - The Israeli Atomic Energy Commission will announce today that it is stepping up its supervision of two nuclear reactors in Israel and the handling of nuclear waste. The new measures will be mentioned in the speech which Dr. Shaul Horev, head of the commission, will make before a special session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA ).

Other news

NATO strike kills Palestinian family in Tripoli
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 21 June --The ministry explained in a statement published Tuesday on the government news agency Wafa, that the International Red Crescent Association had relayed the news. The family, according to Wafa’s report, had lived in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, before moving to Tripoli. Palestinian ambassador to Libya Atif Udah told Ma'an radio the family was in a three-story building targeted by a NATO air attack. He identified the victims as Abdullah Muhammad Ash-Shihab, his wife Karima and his 6-month-old twins Khalid and Jumanah.

Israel urges Apple to remove pro-Palestinian app
21 June -- (CBS/AP) 21 June -- The Israeli government on Tuesday appealed to Apple Inc. to remove an application called "ThirdIntifada" from its App Store, saying the program glorifies violence against the Jewish state.  Israel's information minister, Yuli Edelstein, sent the request in an email to Steve Jobs, the chief executive of the American iPhone maker.

Analysis / Opinion

Analysis: Why Christians leave Bethlehem / Greg Wilkerson
Ma‘an 21 June - I spent a month last Autumn working with the Christian organization, Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem, carrying out research and interviews, through which I spoke with dozens of Palestinian Christians, in part, about the temptations of leaving for a more comfortable and peaceful life abroad. As opposed to comments by the the Archbishop of Canterbury last week, who said Palestinian Christians were being marginalized and pushed out of Bethlehem by the Muslim majority, all of the reasons I was cited stemmed directly from the Israeli occupation. Chief among them were the day-to-day difficulties and humiliation of checkpoints, restrictions on access to Jerusalem, and the impact of Israeli occupation and border controls on business, travel and tourism.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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