Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

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

Film trailer: Roadmap to Apartheid
There are many lessons to draw from the South African experience of Apartheid relevant to conflicts all over the world. Roadmap to Apartheid explores in detail the apartheid comparison as it is used in the enduring Israel-Palestine conflict. As much an historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid, the film shows us why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today, and why an increasing number of people around the world agree with them. Featuring interviews with South Africans, Israelis and Palestinians, Roadmap to Apartheid winds its way through the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and inside Israel moving from town to town and issue to issue to show why the apartheid analogy is being used with increasing potency.
http://roadmaptoapartheid.org/

Academics support Israel's 'Civil Disobedience Women' willing to break Israel's entry laws
AIC 23 June -- About 300 lecturers and teachers from institutes of higher education throughout Israel have signed a public advertisement in support of civil disobedience actions of a women’s group which openly infringes the law of entry to Israel ... The women, who have all been investigated by Jerusalem police and who now have official criminal records, called for the Israeli public to join them in their protest activity which consists of driving Palestinian women and children for a day at Israeli recreational sites and the beach ... "We recognize neither the legality, nor the morality, nor the wisdom of the walls between us and our neighbors which have been erected with brute force," stated the group in its advertisement.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php

Palestinian arrested after being hit by jeep in Silwan
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Israeli forces detained a young Palestinian from Silwan after hitting him with a military Jeep. Local witnesses said the Israeli military detained Ali Sabri Abu Diab, 15, from Silwan, for unknown reasons. Israeli forces also raided a solidarity sit-in tent in Silwan after Friday afternoon prayers which lead to confrontations between the police and citizens, locals said. No Israeli spokesperson was available for comment. The tent is part of the popular struggle against house demolitions and forced displacement in East Jerusalem.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399532

'Now it's all gone': Women cope with siege in Jordan Valley / Nora Barrows-Friedman
EI 24 June -- ...The demolitions in al-Hadidya and Khirbet Yerza come on the heels of a massive demolition inside the village of Fasayil on 14 June. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) states in a report that more than 100 persons — including 64 children — were left homeless after Israeli forces destroyed 21 structures, including 18 homes (Jordan Valley homes demolished, 103 left homeless 15 June 2011). ICAHD co-director Itay Epshtain says in the report that the latest demolition of Fasayil "is part of an ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley … It is Israel’s overt policy to demolish Palestinians’ homes in the Jordan Valley to allow for land expropriation and for neighboring settlements to encroach on Palestinian land."
http://electronicintifada.net/content/now-its-all-gone-women-cope-siege-jordan-valley/10105


ICAHD launches Jordan Valley tours
19 June -- ICAHD is launching new tours to the Jordan Valley, and welcome your participation. Our tours are based on engagement with local activists and the Palestinian community in the area, as well as on research conducted by ICAHD Co- Director, Itay Epshtain. Having provided thousands of people from around the world with top-quality tours for over twelve years, ICAHD is known for its knowledgeable tour guides and multi-faceted approach to examining the complexities of life in East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. From meeting with Palestinian families suffering under Israeli policies of separation and home demolitions, to seeing the Israeli settlement project’s implementation on the ground, ICAHD prioritizes first-hand learning and encourages questions and debate.
http://www.icahd.org/?p=7455

Amnesty International call for urgent action against demolitions in Hadidiya
JVS 23 June -- URGENT ACTION: FAMILIES WITHOUT HOMES FOLLOWING DEMOLITION The Israeli army have destroyed 29 homes and other properties in the Bedouin hamlet of Hadidiya in the Jordan Valley, leaving 11 children and 16 adults without homes. The families are planning to rebuild structures to live in, but these will also be at immediate risk of demolition by the authorities ... PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Hebrew or your own language: *Condemning the demolition of the homes and other structures in Hadidiya and urging all demolition and eviction orders against Palestinians in Hadidiya and the Jordan Valley to be cancelled immediately; ...
http://www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=294

Amidror to oversee Beduins' settlement
JPost 22 June -- Following controversy surrounding Public Policy Department head Ehud Prower’s program for resettling the Beduin in the Negev, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has transferred responsibility for solving the Beduin issue to National Security Council chief Ya’acov Amidror. Beduin groups expressed skepticism over the appointment, fearing Amidror’s purported right-wing views, Israel Radio reported.
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=226083&R=R2

Settlers

Settlers intensify their tours of West Bank mountains
RAMALLAH (PIC) 24 June -- Acquainted sources said that Zionist usurpers have lately intensified exploratory tours to the mountains of the West Bank. A number of farmers from different areas in the West Bank said that groups of settlers, ranging in number between ten and forty settlers were seen on group tours of the mountains and valleys of the West Bank.  The farmers added that the settlers are focusing in their tours on the springs and archaeological sites, and they are in possession of maps of the places they visit sometimes leaving marks in those places. Palestinians fear that these tours are a prelude to theft and control of those places by the settlers in the absence of any resistance in the West Bank.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2b

Teenage girls indicted for Price Tag acts
Ynet 24 June -- Two underage teenage girls from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh have been indicted for torching a Palestinian car in Hebron a few weeks ago, as part of Price Tag retaliation acts. The two were brought before the court on Friday and indicted for arson and conspiracy to commit a crime ... after their arrest, the two used cigarette ashes to write abusive slogans on the walls of their holding cell, including 'We will be back for vengeance', 'Death to Arabs', and 'Prisoners of Zion'.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086634,00.html

IDF soldiers punished for wearing shirts declaring 'Golani fights  enemies and does not evict Jews'
Haaretz 24 June -- Four Golani Brigade soldiers were sentenced on Friday to 20 days in military prison for provocative behavior at a beret ceremony held a day earlier ... An initial investigation has found that the incident was planned in advance by the family of a soldier from the Alon Shvut settlement in the West Bank as well as an activist from the movement to reestablish the evacuated Homesh settlement.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/idf-soldiers-
punished-for-wearing-shirts-declaring-golani-fights-enemies-and-does-not-evict-jews-1.369394


Settlers launch anti-withdrawal computer game
JPost 21 June -- You can help two masked terrorists launch a virtual missile against the city of Kfar Saba, located in the center of the country, with the click of a computer mouse.
Or if that feels like too tame a target, you can set your sights on Ben-Gurion Airport.
Welcome to a new kind of political advertisement in the form of a mini-computer game, "Evacuation, Explosion," which the Samaria Citizens Committee posted on its website in advance the Home Front Command’s missile drill on Wednesday.
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=225992&R=R2

Activism / Solidarity

Seven injured by troops' gunfire as Bil‘in celebrates the removal of the old Wall
Ghassan Bannoura/PNN Exclusive 24 June -- Seven people were injured on Friday as Bil‘in villagers in central West Bank celebrated the removal of the old Israeli wall built on their lands. The six locals and one French activist sustained moderate wounds as they were  hit in the arms and legs by gas bombs fired by Israeli soldiers. Villages all over the West Bank followed Bil‘in's steps in conducting weekly protests against the Israeli built wall on their lands. Today protests were reported in Ni‘lin and Nabi Saleh in central west Bank and al Ma‘ssara village in the south. In Nabi Saleh troops injured a nine year old girl and arrested one international activist.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10321&Itemid=56

Video: Palestinian PM attends Bil‘in protest
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad participated Friday at an anti-security fence protest staged in the village of Bil‘in, west of the city of Ramallah. Hadash Chairman Mohammad Barakeh was also present. Palestinian sources said that the protesters brought a bulldozer to the site in order to dismantle the fence, and were actually successful in removing part of it. Live ammunition was reportedly fired toward the bulldozer's wheels and teargas grenades were hurled at the protesters. The driver of the bulldozer fled the area and escaped arrest.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086672,00.html

Colorful day in Nabi Saleh
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 June -- The children of An-Nabi Saleh set off with kites and painted faces to the village's hill shortly after noon on Friday. An hour later, they were sheltering in a village house, while five Israeli military jeeps surrounded the location and fired tear gas towards them, according to eyewitness accounts. Activists made sure the children were distracted by switching on cartoons, and while they recovered from tear gas inhalation, they reflected on an afternoon in which Israel's military faced down clowns and a boy painted as Spiderman, arresting one Israeli activist. Activists had planned a day of colorful dress, balloons, face masks, face paints and kite-flying. A Facebook group urged volunteers to "Bring Your colourful smile and join us in our struggle for freedom!!" "Let’s make our freedom colourful," the page said. After a morning painting faces and making kites, between 20 and 30 children and 40 volunteers headed to a village mountain to fly paper kites.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399506

Witnesses: Israeli fire torches Nabi Saleh olive trees
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Israeli troops fired tear gas in An-Nabi Saleh village on Thursday, setting fire to olive trees, witnesses said. Locals told Ma'an that troops entered the village and fired on houses, breaking into some of the homes and deploying on their rooftops. Teargas canisters set the trees alight, the witnesses said, adding that villagers threw stones at the Israeli troops' vehicles. An Israeli military spokeswoman said "violent and illegal riots took place near Nabi Saleh. Rioters hurled rocks towards security forces, who responded with riot dispersal means. "The gathering was dispersed without injuries or damage. Reported claims of live fire being used and the burning of olive trees, are baseless and have no merit."
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399421

Ni‘lin demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
ISM 24 June -- A weekly Ni‘ilin demonstration was met with the intense tear gas attack, leaving dozens suffering from the consequence of inhaling the gas. Demonstration, organized by the Ni‘ilin Popular Committee and joined by Israeli and international peace activists was held in solidarity with the political prisoners from the village held in Israeli prisons. The prisoners from the village, detained 17 months ago and sentenced on false charges, were moved from Ofer to Negev military prison. Once the demonstration reached a gate in the apartheid wall, protesters started to knock on the door and demand that they are allowed to access their stolen land, which they have not seen for last three years. The soldiers reacted by attacking the peaceful demonstration with tear gas grenades, rubber coated steel bullets and sound grenades. One of the protesters was shot and dozens suffered from suffocation after inhaling tear gas.
http://palsolidarity.org/2011/06/19068/


Video: Coalition member organization works permanently in occupied Palestinian territory, steps in the way of violence
23 June -- Christian Peacemaker Teams, a coalition member of the US Campaign, is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By “getting in the way” of violence and educating in our home communities, we help create a space for justice and peace. We maintain two project sites in Palestine, one in the Palestinian city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) in the southern West Bank and the other is located 25 kilometers (15 miles) further south in the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani. Follow our work on Facebook and Twitter.
http://endtheoccupationblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/
coalition-member-organization-works.html?spref=tw


Weekly human rights report

PCHR weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the oPt, 16-22 June
IMEMC 24 June -- ...a Palestinian was wounded and abducted by Israeli forces in Qalqilia, and 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded in non-violent anti-Wall demonstrations, and 12 Palestinian civilians. In addition, Israeli warplanes bombarded a chicken farm in the central Gaza Strip, killing 3,500 chicks. In the West Bank, Israeli forces abducted 6 international human rights defenders from non-violent demonstrations. Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Strip. Two fishing boats were damaged ... Israeli forces conducted 38 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week, during which they abducted 14 Palestinian civilians, including two children -- twelve in nighttime raids of their homes, and two at checkpoints ... Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians ... Israeli forces have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. Full PCHR report here
http://www.imemc.org/article/61538

Detention / Summonses / Court actions

Hamas: Israel's decision to toughen prison conditions violates international law
Haaretz 24 June -- Hamas spokesman says PM Netanyahu is attempting to cover up his government's failure to secure the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/
hamas-israel-s-decision-to-toughen-prison-conditions-violates-international-law-1.369424


Israeli troops hand interrogation orders to Jenin villagers
JENIN (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Israeli forces raided Raba village, southeast of Jenin, on Friday breaking into several houses and handing out orders for villagers to report for questioning, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli troops handed warnings to six residents from the village, ordering them to attend questioning with Israeli police. An Israeli spokeswoman said the villagers were to be questioned for security reasons. No detentions were reported.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399484

Israel releases village council leader
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Israel on Monday released Qibya village council leader Abdul Hafeth Gheithan after detaining him for almost two years without a trial, a detainees' center reported. Israel's Ofer military court had refused to release the local official since his detention in 2010. He was never charged with any offense, the center added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399495

Israeli High Court of Justice vacates verdict in Cast Lead case
PCHR 23 June -- On Wednesday, 15 June 2011, the Israeli High Court of Justice vacated (cancelled) a previous judgment dismissing a case brought by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, and litigated by Advocates Michael Sfard and Carmel Pomerantz, on behalf of 1,046 victims of Operation ‘Cast Lead’. The case had been illegitimately dismissed in April 2011 when the Court issued its decision solely on the basis of the State’s submission, effectively denying PCHR’s ‘right of reply’. This procedural irregularity was challenged, resulting in the successful decision of 15 June 2011. A new panel of judges will now be appointed, and the case can proceed.
http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7516

Gaza

Medicines for Gaza stuck at Israeli crossing
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Gaza's medicine shortage has reached "alarming proportions," international aid group Oxfam said Friday, quoting medical officials saying that drugs were held up at Israel's crossing into Gaza. Shifa Hospital in Gaza City has only five vials left to dissolve blood clots, the director of Gaza's Central Drug Store told Oxfam, and kidney transplant patients are at risk of rejected organs due to drug shortages, a release from the international organization said. "Can you imagine after going through all the hardships to find a compatible kidney, having it rejected because drugs did not enter Gaza?" Dr Mohammed Zamili said, noting that deliveries from the Ministry of Health in Ramallah were not meeting the huge shortage of medicines.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399470

New Rafah travel mechanisms from next week
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 June -- New travel mechanisms will be implemented at the Rafah crossing at the start of the week, Gaza Cabinet head Mohammad A‘zqul said Thursday. The Ministerial Council secretary did not elaborate on the new procedures approved by the government in Gaza, but said that they would give priority to patients seeking treatment abroad, students enrolled at universities abroad, residents with passports of residency status in foreign countries and emergency travelers. The official announced the establishment of an internal monitoring committee to regulate the operations of the terminal on Gaza's southern border,
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399319

Blogging Gaza: border opening fails to soften siege / Eva Bartlett
23 June ...A year on, in this enclosed 40-something km strip of land flanked by the Mediterranean sea, I notice some things have changed, but the big picture hasn’t. The water is still contaminated from untreated sewage pumped into the sea for want of treatment facilities. By World Health Organization standards, roughly 95 per cent of Gaza’s water is not safe to drink. Diesel-fueled generators sputter into action, polluting the air and silence, when the power cuts out, day or night. Unemployment has reached 45 per cent, one of the highest rates in the world. Fishermen are still shot at, shelled and arrested by the Israeli navy inside Palestine’s waters -- even as close as three miles from the coast. And farmers continue to be pushed off their land near the border by Israeli shootings and shelling. The few changes I see are superficial.
http://www.newint.org/blog/2011/06/23/gaza-a-year-later/

Israel closes Gaza crossing over weekend
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Israel closed the sole goods crossing into Gaza on Friday for two days, Palestinian officials said.  Liaison official Raed Fattouh said Israel would reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399424

European Campaign: Israeli excuses for besieging Gaza null and void
GAZA (PIC) 24 June -- The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) has utterly rejected the Israeli excuses for besieging the Gaza Strip, stressing that life of Israelis couldn’t be built or protected at the expense of the lives of 1.7 million Palestinians cordoned there. The Israeli occupation ambassador to Washington, Michel Oren, had defended the siege on Gaza over the past five years saying that it was "a matter of life and death" to the Israelis ... "It is simply wrong to deny 1.7 million individuals the simplest human rights, including food and fuel that are considered as basic needs for people. There are no articles in international law that allow the blockade as the IOA alleges," the organization said in a statement it issued in this concern on Thursday.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bc

Flotillas

White House: Gaza flotilla activists may be breaking US law
AP/Haaretz 24 June -- U.S. State Department says Gaza is run by U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization Hamas and Americans providing support to it are subject to fines and jail.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/
white-house-gaza-flotilla-activists-may-be-breaking-u-s-law-1.369486


Israeli assault on the Flotilla is well underway / Joseph Dana
24 June -- ...Early this morning, I discovered that a ‘private complaint’ had been filed against the US boat to Gaza. The complaint, it is still unclear who filed it, stated that the US boat to Gaza is not ’seaworthy’ and requires a detailed inspection.The harbor master where the boat is in port has declared that until the complaint is resolved the boat is not permitted to leave. Currently, lawyers representing the US boat are looking into the origins of the complaint and whether it was filed as a result of Israeli economic or diplomatic pressure on the Greek government. The boat is US-flagged and registered in the United States.
http://972mag.com/flotilla2/

Israel escalated pressure, threats against flotilla / Bego Astigarraga
BILBAO, Spain (IPS) 23 June -- As the second Gaza Freedom Flotilla, made up of some 10 ships carrying 1,000 activists from 20 countries, gets ready to sail for the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities are stepping up their threats ... Spanish government under pressure The boat that will carry fifty persons from Spain -- including this reporter -- was named Gernika and will carry to Gaza a loose interpretation by Basque Country artists of the famous painting that Pablo Picasso painted in 1937 after German and Italian forces bombed the Basque village of Gernika (or Guernica) in northern Spain. The Spanish government has avoided making statements on the issue. But Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said the best way to help Gaza is by means of diplomatic pressure, not flotillas.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-escalates-pressure-threats-against-flotilla/10101

Clinton: Flotilla a bid to provoke Israel
AP 24 June -- ...A day after the State Department warned Americans against participating in the planned flotilla, Clinton said the flotilla, which Israel has said it will thwart, is not helpful and will only increase tensions. She noted that Israeli authorities had this week approved new shipments of housing construction material to enter Gaza legally and that the aim of the organizers appeared to be to merely provoke Israel into using its right to defend itself.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086580,00.html

Flotilla organizers say Israel pressuring Greek govt / Mya Guarnieri
ATHENS, Greece (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Organizers of the US Boat to Gaza say that the Greek government has come under intense pressure from Israel. The Israeli government is allegedly using trade agreements with the Greeks as leverage.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399477

A moment before boarding the next flotilla / Gabriel Matthew Schivone
Haaretz 24 June -- You might wonder what would motivate a Jewish American college student to participate in what may be the most celebrated - and controversial - sea voyage of the 21st century, one that aims to nonviolently challenge U.S.-supported Israeli military power in the occupied territories. I simply cannot sit idle while my country aids and abets Israel's siege, occupation and repression of the Palestinians. I would rather use my personal influence and power, in concert with other members of American civil society, to actively and nonviolently resist policies that I consider abominable.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/a-moment-before-boarding-the-next-flotilla-1.369336

Mini Gaza freedom flotilla to set sail on Sunday
Utrecht (PNN) 24 June -- A Number of Dutch human rights and solidarity groups are organizing a mini flotilla in the canals of Utrecht, in the center of the country, to show support for the humanitarian aid Freedom Flotilla to set sail to Gaza later this month.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10316&Itemid=56

Ya'alon: Israel won't apologize for flotilla raid
Ynet 24 June -- Minister Ya'alon met Turkish foreign ministry officials last week as part of attempts to solve crisis with Ankara; stressed Israel won't apologize for [May 2010] actions but will compensate victims' families
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086558,00.html

Hasbara

Pinkwashing: 'Mother Teresa with a keffiyeh' by marc3pax / Benjamin Doherty
EI blog 23 June --  'Marc', a previously unknown 'gay activist', has released his first ever video on YouTube. It’s a perfectly edited, slickly produced, funny but also very sincere inquiry into the Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2. This personal video blog is badly executed and counterfeit. There is no reason to indicate that anything this actor says is true. He has no history on the internet, no other videos, and no real story. Where did he attend college? What is his last name? Which group did he write to? What exactly did they say? ... This is pinkwashing. This is a transparent effort to justify the oppressive and criminal siege of Gaza -- and possible violent Israeli attack on the upcoming Flotilla -- by describing Palestinians as dangerous, violent homophobes and misogynists. Pinkwashing is a tactic that pro-Israel groups and the Israeli government have been consciously using to try to divide and co-opt the Palestine solidarity movement and its connection to other movements around the world.
http://electronicintifada.net/blog/benjamin-doherty/pinkwashing-mother-teresa-keffiyeh-marc3pax


Political / Diplomatic / International news

PA to pursue UN bid regardless of talks
Ynet 24 June -- Palestinian delegate to UN says PA will not drop September bid even if negotiations with Israel are successfully reignited ... Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, said the Palestinians were working on three independent tracks: restarting negotiations, building institutions for an independent state and gaining recognition for statehood.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086583,00.html

Erekat: Turkey to aid statehood bid
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 24 June -- PLO official Saeb Erekat said Friday that Turkey had pledged to enlist more nations to recognize Palestine as an independent state at the UN in September. Speaking with Ma‘an from Turkey, where he is with President Mahmoud Abbas for meetings with the Turkish leadership, Erekat said they had a made a number of requests of Turkey which were all agreed, without giving further details.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399429

Haniyeh: Government will be through consensus
GAZA (Ma‘an) 24 June -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that the coming unity government will be made through consensus, saying that the "reconciliation ship has left the port and will reach a safe shore with God’s will."
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399538

Abbas: No turning back from Palestinian unity efforts
ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) 24 June -- President Mahmoud Abbas vowed Friday to press ahead with efforts for a unity government, as disagreements with Hamas continue to delay the process. "We are continuing on the path of reconciliation and there will be no turning back," Abbas said after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that marked the end of his four day visit to Ankara.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399534

PA sacks six teachers for their political affiliation
JENIN (PIC) 24 June -- The Palestinian Authority security agencies sacked six teachers in the northern West Bank city of Jenin because they are affiliated with Hamas, despite the reconciliation agreement which was signed between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo recently. A Hamas source said that the Education department local office in Jenin received the decision from Ramallah to sack four male teachers and two female teachers ... The salaries of a number of other teachers were stopped in preparation for their sacking, the PIC will not publish their names as they have not been officially informed of being sacked.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2b

Fayyad to Israel: Give Palestinians freedom or right to vote
Ramallah (Ma‘an) 24 June -- ...Attending the weekly anti-wall rally in the village [Bil‘in], Fayyad demanded either freedom or civil rights and said Israel was no longer able to defend its illegal occupation of Palestinian land, which had become an "ethical burden."
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399544

French Mideast conference plan sows confusion
BRUSSELS (AFP) 24 June -- Europe's leaders Friday backed a French plan for a Palestinian donor conference as President Nicolas Sarkozy insisted it had a wider goal of gathering Palestinians and Israelis together for peace talks. Confusion surfaced when EU leaders issued a summit statement backing "a conference in Paris to provide economic support for the construction of the Palestinian state in the framework of a re-launched peace process."
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399566

Israel names new military attaché to Turkey
Ynet 24 June -- IDF hopes appointment of Colonel Moshe Levy would further aid to thaw relations between Jerusalem, Ankara ... The tensions between Jerusalem and Ankara have rendered the once-desirable post less so, and according to the newspaper, it took considerable persuasion, including by Major-General Eitan Dangot, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, to convince Levy to agree to the post.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086636,00.html

Ayalon to Turkey: I never intended to humiliate your ambassador
Ynet 24 June -- Nearly two years after Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon publicly humiliated Turkey's ambassador to Israel by seating him in a lower chair than his during a televised meeting, Ayalon on Thursday sat with a group of seven Turkish journalists in an attempt to explain the incident, which marked a climax in the diplomatic tear between the two countries.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/
ayalon-to-turkey-i-never-intended-to-humiliate-your-ambassador-1.369484


Other news

Palestinian theatre stages first play without director Juliano Mer Khamis
Guardian 22 June -- A pioneering community theatre that aimed to replace violence with drama in one of the most battle-scarred Palestinian towns has hosted its first performance since the murder of its director. Israeli and Palestinian police have not identified the gunman who shot and killed Juliano Mer Khamis in April, but on Tuesday students from Jenin's Freedom Theatre performed Shu Kamam, or What Else, as a defiant message that they will continue his work.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/22/palestinian-theatre-juliano-mer-khamis

Palestine fight bravely but fall foul to away goals
Ramallah (PNN) 24 June – The Palestinian Olympic Football Team were defeated 2:1 by Bahrain in Ramallah last night, losing 2:2 on aggregate, thus missing out on progressing to the third round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics on the away goals rule. [note to US readers: in British English, a country name used with a plural verb refers to that country's team.]
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10317&Itemid=

Econ C'tee recommends mining freeze at Samar sand dunes
JPost 24 June -- Green groups pleased with committee’s decision to seek alternatives, preserve region’s wildlife ...  The Samar sands, viewed as the last dunes in the Arava Desert, are thought to be a continuation of the Sahara. The desert is home to animals whose genetic makeups are closer to their counterparts in Mali and Mauritania than to animals in nearby areas in Israel, according to Dr. Uri Shanes.
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=226392&R=R2


International Refugee Day event canceled
Ynet 24 June -- Organizers say police intentionally altered security regulations at last moment to sabotage mass Tel Aviv event scheduled for Friday
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086560,00.html

Foreign Ministry doesn't want Left donations limited
Ynet 24 June -- Ministry review of pending Likud MK bill says it would only increase Israel's delegitimization -- In what has been described as a rare move, the Foreign Ministry submitted a brief to the government opposing a bill presented by MK Ofir Akunis (Likud), which calls for the State to limit donor funds to leftist organizations.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4086610,00.html

Israel praises Apple for removing 'intifada' application
JPost 24 June -- The computer giant Apple’s decision to remove an application from its online store called “3rd intifada” is an additional step in "preventing hostile elements -- which are frequently tainted by anti-Semitism -- from spreading incitement via the new media," Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said Thursday.
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=226379&R=R2

Hamas official: Army Radio gives me free speech
JPost 21 June -- MKs and journalists received a call on Tuesday purportedly from Hamas spokesman Ribhi Rantisi, telling them that Army Radio should not be closed, out of concern for free speech. The call was actually pre-recorded by My Israel, an organization that, among other things, advocates closing the IDF’s radio station, because its hosts interview Hamas members. A member of the NGO telephoned Rantisi, claiming he was a representative of Army Radio, and asked him to pledge his support for the station.
http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=225958&R=R2

Analysis / Opinion

Video: Selling Israeli militarism like toothpaste
From children's shows to national war drills, a discussion on militarism in Israeli society and gender equality in the army... "50% of Israel's land within the Green Line is controlled and used by security organizations" - Rela Masali, founder, New Profile; conscientious objectors; others
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6942

The diamond industry's double standard on Israel / Seán Clinton
EI 23 June -- All too aware of how bad association with war crimes is for business, the diamond industry has taken pains to evade questions about its connections with Israel’s human rights abuses -- and so far has escaped scrutiny from watchdog organizations ... Diamonds are Israel’s number one export commodity, accounting for between one quarter and one third of Israeli exports. In 2008, diamond exports were valued at $19.4 billion with a net value of approximately $10 billion — far exceeding even the gross value of electronic or pharmaceutical exports. The diamond industry in Israel adds 5 percent to the GDP and is a significant source of the revenue needed to sustain Israel’s occupations, siege on Gaza and illegal settlements.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/diamond-industrys-double-standard-israel/10102


Christians will not apply for permits anymore / Yusuf Daher
23 June -- Elderly women seeking treatment, teachers trying to access an under-staffed school system, worshipers trying to get to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, why must they all humiliate themselves by asking an occupying force for permission to travel into Jerusalem? Even with a permit, these people require a military check through metal detectors, turnstiles and magnetic cards registering their fingerprints. During Easter, parish priests in Bethlehem applied for thousands of permits for their congregations, and secured only a fraction of those requested ... This system is totally unlawful and discriminating. We, as a community and Churches, should not abide by it.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=399139

Are Begin and Shamir also considered terrorists? / Yossi Sarid
Haaretz 24 June -- From the end of 1937 until the middle of 1939, in less than two years, the terrorist activities of the Irgun and Lehi claimed 232 victims with another 370 wounded - men, women and children ... Many people who headed movements of national liberation adopted violent and indiscriminate methods of resistance that brought death and injury to the innocent and the wicked alike, to civilians as well as soldiers, and which deliberately sowed panic among the public. We have to be sorry but not to deny this, and those who do the rewriting should not be hopeful. Later on, the terrorists became legitimate leaders, presidents and prime ministers; and Begin and Shamir are among these.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/are-begin-and-shamir-also-considered-terrorists-1.369342

Israel is tearing apart the Jewish people / Carlo Strenger
Haaretz 24 June -- After all that has happened to us, we Jews must never, ever allow violation of universal human rights -- In June last year, Peter Beinart published an article in the New York Review of Books that created quite a storm by pointing out the deep estrangement between the young generation of American Jews and Israel. A year later, it is time to take stock. Unfortunately, the situation has only grown a lot worse. In my travels to Europe I speak to predominantly Jewish audiences, but also to non-Jews who care deeply about Israel. They voice their pain and anguish openly: They want to understand what has happened to Israel. They desperately want to stand by it, but they are, increasingly, at a loss of knowing how to do so ... Israel has never had a government that so blatantly violates the core values of liberal democracy. Never has a Knesset passed laws that are as manifestly racist as the current one.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-is-tearing-apart-the-jewish-people-1.369341

Netanyahu is the one 'delegitimizing' Israel / MJ Rosenberg
HuffPost 23 June -- The "pro-Israel" lobby's latest hobbyhorse is "delegitimization." Those who criticize Israeli policies are accused of trying to "delegitimize" Israel, which supposedly means denying Israel's right to exist. Even President Obama has gotten into the act, stating in his May 19 speech that "for the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure." ... So what is the lobby talking about?  Israel achieved its "legitimacy" when the United Nations recognized it 63 years ago. It has one of the strongest economies in the world. Its military is the most powerful in the region. It has a nuclear arsenal of some 200 bombs, with the ability to launch them from land, sea, and air. In that context, the whole idea of "delegitimizing" Israel sounds silly. Israel can't be delegitimized ... The answer is simple: It is talking about the intensifying opposition to the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza which, by almost any standard, is illegitimate. It is talking about opposition to the settlements, which are not only illegitimate but illegal under international law. It is talking about calls for Israel to grant Palestinians equal rights. The lobby's determination to change the subject from the existence of the occupation to the existence of Israel makes sense strategically.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/netanyahu-is-the-one-dele_b_882872.html
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

 
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