||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers|
Officials lay cornerstone for new Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood
Preliminary plans for the Beit Orot neighborhood
on Mount Scopus call for the construction of 24 homes; former Republican
presidential candidate Mike Huckabee attends ceremony ... Speaking at
the ceremony, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said
that not only does construction in Jerusalem "not an impediment
to peace, it brings it closer," adding that the more Israel builds "the
more peace there will be.""That is why this neighborhood is only the
cornerstone. It will serve as a model for the resurgence of Jerusalem's
construction swing," Hershkowitz said.
Republican star, US actor back E. Jerusalem settlers
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Influential US Republican Mike Huckabee and
Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight on Monday lent their backing to Jewish
settlers in East Jerusalem, by laying the cornerstone for a new
neighbourhood ... "The essence of freedom, the very heart of it, is self
self direction," said Huckabee, who has been touted as a possible
Republican candidate in 2012 ... Voight, the estranged father of Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, spoke of his "very deep connection to the Jewish people"
Religious group aims for yet another Jewish settlement, in Jaffa / Gili Cohen
According to people in Jaffa,
dozens of youngsters gathered in front of the Nuzha Mosque on Jerusalem
Boulevard shouting 'death to the Arabs' and throwing stones at the mosque.
180 new settlement houses set for construction south of Jerusalem
Jan (Silwanic) The Israeli Planning and Construction Committee has
granted the construction of 180 new settlement housing units in the
villages of Sur Baher and Umm Leeson, south of Jerusalem.
The proposed construction plans will cover almost 53 dunums and
constitute a vast extension of the
settlement outposts already existing in these areas. The units are set
for construction on confiscated Palestinian land in
Sur Baher. The project, submitted to the Israeli District Committee 5
years ago, encountered several setbacks before being approved this week.
Israel passes plan confiscating part of Haifa mosque
HAIFA, (PIC)-- Israel has sights set on confiscating part of a mosque in Haifa
and using the land for the interest of Jewish settlers. The Israeli
municipality in the 1948-occupied Palestinian city of Haifa approved a
plan confiscating two dunums of the Istiqlal Mosque without notifying
the mosque's administration. The mosque's board has met with political
forces to discuss how to address the decision. They considered the step
part of a plot to seize control of the remaining Islamic endowments in
the occupied city of Haifa.
Israeli forces raid Silwan, attempt arrest of Adnan Ghaith's son
31 Jan (Silwanic) Israeli special forces police raided Silwan
today at dawn, storming several homes, including that of banished
al-Bustan Popular Committee member Adnan Ghaith. Special forces raided
Ghaith’s family home, attempting to arrest his 11 year old son Oudai
Ghaith. The family refused to hand over the child and police left the
home on the condition that Oudai present himself at the police station
at 10am this morning. Ghaith, Silwan secretary-general of Fatah and
al-Bustan Popular Committee member, is currently serving his 4-month
exile sentence in Ramallah, banned from entering the Jerusalem region
during this time. Israeli authorities invoked a military law dating from
the British mandate period to enable the banishment.
Baten al-Hawa activist Zuhair Rajabi summoned for investigation
30 Jan (Silwanic) Baten al-Hawa activist Zuhair Rajabi was
summoned by Israeli police today for investigation. Rajabi, 39, was
arrested on 8 January on suspicion of assault a police officer during
clashes that erupted day in
Baten al-Hawa when an Israeli soldier harassed a Palestinian woman.
Rajabi’s investigation is regarded by many in Silwan as a continuation
of the crackdown on local activists that have characterized the last
Urgent action needed [NegevBedouin] 11th total demolition of El-Araqib about to be executed
Dear Friends, I only saw this message now which was sent at 8:15 AM, it
being 11:15 now. I just learned that not only is the village [Araqib]
being demolished, but also, the ground is being leveled for planting.
Not a shred of the Bedouins' property will remain. Please act as
requested below. -- Dorothy Naor
Israel levels Negev village for 11th time
THE NEGEV, (PIC)-- Hundreds of Palestinians were left homeless after Israel leveled the Negev village of Araqib
for the eleventh consecutive time on Monday morning. Israel does not
recognize the village, which residents have rebuilt time and time again
making it a symbol of resistance. Despite cold and rainy weather, a
large force of police and special units forced women and children out of
their makeshift homes at gunpoint after the men had gone off to work and
bulldozed the structures including contents and a sit-in tent pitched
by the supreme follow-up committee for Arab citizens. Villagers found
their only resort in the local cemetery.
almost everyone but Palestinians, it seems
Columbus of hidden Jews
wanders Amazon jungles, travels to Chinese villages, searches Spain for
Marranos, and sees India’s Bnei Menashe as his life's mission. Michael Freund has an obsession: Discovering remote Jews ... Later
that evening, Freund met with a number of young Chinese Jewish
descendants, including Zhao’s granddaughter. “I was deeply impressed by
their determination to move to Israel,” said Freund ... Now they all live in Jerusalem and some of them study at the Hebrew University," he said.
Violence / Detention
Medics: Israeli forces 'open fire at Gaza workers'
forces on Sunday opened fire on Palestinians working in northern Gaza
near the border with Israel, medics said. Gaza
medical services spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya said a 20-year-old
identified as MH sustained a gunshot wound and was transferred to
hospital. He was collecting gravel near the border, the official said.
Harsh interrogations of children escalate in Nabi Saleh
old Islam Tamimi was arrested in a night raid on Sunday 23 January
2011 and subjected to psychological torture in order to extract dictated
false testimony that will be used to incriminate and prosecute
villagers in Nabi Saleh ... Since Sunday 23 January 2011, three 15 year
old children have been arrested in night raids in Nabi Saleh ... The
repression of Nabi Saleh in the form of arresting children and
subjecting them to psychological torture in order to get false
information has been used by the army in other villages such as Bil’in
Israel rearrests Hamas lawmaker in West Bank
Territories (AFP) – The Israeli army on Monday rearrested Hamas
lawmaker Mohammed Jamal al-Natsh, five months after he was released from
prison, Palestinian security officials said. Natsh, 53, was arrested in
the West Bank town of Hebron. He spent eight years in detention,
Palestinian officials said, during which time he ran elected for office.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said Natsh was rearrested "because he's a Hamas activist," but did not elaborate.
5 Palestinians detained overnight
-- Israeli forces detained at least five young men overnight from Jenin
after raiding their houses, officials said. Israeli patrols stationed
themselves at the entrance of Zububa village until early morning,
witnesses said ... An Israeli military spokeswoman said 11 Palestinians
were detained from the village.
2 Gaza crossings partially open
authorities decided to partially open the Kerem Shalom and Karni
crossings to allow aid into Gaza on Monday. Raed
Fattouh, Palestinian liaison official, said approximately 140 to 150
truckloads of goods for the agricultural and commercial sectors will be
allowed through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Five truckloads of flowers
and strawberries and one truckload of pepper will be exported to
Europe while limited quantities of domestic gas and industrial diesel
will also be allowed through the same crossing.
Egyptian uprising and Palestine
Palestinians transfixed by Egypt uprising
Territories (AFP) – Clustered around TVs in cafes across the West Bank,
Palestinians are transfixed by events in Egypt, wondering
when the regime might fall and which Arab leader could be next. Revolt
in the biggest nation in the Arab world has especially caught the
attention of younger Palestinians, who are also keenly following
developments online through blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
Doesn't the West Bank have Facebook? / Akiva Eldar
Al Jazeera on-the-scene reports about the riots in Egypt spark thoughts
of uprising among unemployed Palestinians in the West Bank? ...
Just last week, who among us anticipated the earthquake that has since
rocked Egypt? Are the residents of Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and Shuhada
Street, who are living under foreign occupation, in a better situation
than the Egyptians suffering under a cruel regime? Don't the students at
Birzeit University have Facebook accounts?
Egypt or not, Palestinians have lost their faith in rising up / Amira Hass
to see the residents of Gaza and Ramallah rise up in a show of
solidarity with the Egyptians and Tunisians? Don't count on it ... Both
in Gaza and the West Bank, the Palestinian authorities have already
proven their excellent ability to suppress demonstrations. Is this what
is preventing Palestinians from expressing solidarity with their Arab
brethren, who for years were inspired by the scenes of the Palestinian
intifada? The fear that the protests will be suppressed is not the
central reason, said a friend who is older than the young people who
sought to demonstrate in Ramallah and Gaza.
"We instigated two intifadas and look what came of them - the situation
only got worse," he told me. "The first brought us the Palestinian
Authority and then the expansion of the settlements; the second -
destruction, Israeli repression that is worse than before, and the Hamas
regime. People are depressed..."
More Palestinians escape Egyptian prisons
Palestinians who were held in an Egyptian prison returned to the Gaza
Strip on Sunday. Mu’tasem Al-Quka, jailed than seven years in Abu Za’bal
prison, said, "I was detained while I was on my way to Egypt, on the
accusations that I am an affiliate in Hamas movement." ... Al-Quka
stressed that he was ill-treated in Egyptian prisons especially in Abu
Za’bal prison. He said that the prisoners were able to flee the prison
as the Egyptians demolished its walls. He said many Palestinians were
with him in the prison
PA: Palestinian patients in Egypt are safe
spokesman Omar An-Naser said 30 Palestinian patients had completed their
treatment but were unable to return due to the closure of the Rafah
crossing. The ministry had provided them with apartments, he said.
An-Naser added that two patients remained in intensive care in Egyptian
hospitals. Medical advisor at the Palestinian embassy in Cairo Hussam
Touqan said the Palestinian community in Egypt was safe. He said
could contact the embassy at +20-2-333 8476.
Egypt unrest good for Palestine?
...While some Palestinian political analysts believe change in Arab
countries will not have any negative impact on the question of
Palestine, others think Israel might take advantage of the collapse.
They believe Israel will show more inflexibility under the pretext that
instability in the Arab world is a threat to Israel. Palestinian
lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi says unrest in Egypt will not harm the question
of Palestine even if it ends in toppling the current regime. "The
relationship between Egypt and Palestine is basically between peoples of
both countries rather than one of mutual interests between regimes,"
As Egypt drama unfolds, Gaza Hamas backers hope for change, easing of blockade
(AP) Residents of Hamas-ruled Gaza are closely watching the drama
unfolding in Egypt, believing any change in the government there would
because of restrictions imposed by President Hosni Mubarak on their
Police ban Egypt solidarity rally in Ramallah
forces shut down a demonstration Sunday in front of the Egyptian
embassy in Ramallah, after calling in one of the organizers for
questioning multiple times a day earlier, organizers of the rally said.
pushed demonstrators and a man who identified himself as a police
commander said the demonstrators were in a "security area" and would
have to disperse, they said. Twenty armed police, who quickly tried to
confiscate cameras, ordered a journalist to turn off her microphone and
recorder, Human Rights Watch said. An Agence France-Presse reporter
confirmed the report.
Is the Palestinian Authority cracking down on Egypt solidarity demonstrations? (updated, and yes they are) / Max Blumenthal
Update: Human Rights Watch was there and has confirmed that the PA crushed the demo. I
received this message from a friend in Ramallah yesterday. For obvious
reasons, he can’t be identified (I hope I’ll have time to follow
up; right now I’m working on a number of fronts. The Angry Arab has another report from the suppressed demo:
US rights group slams PA for busting pro-Egypt demo
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – Human Rights Watch
on Monday criticised the Palestinian Authority for breaking up a rally
in support of the Egyptian protests and said those who organised it were
Egyptian uprising and Israel
Israel allows Egyptian troops in Sinai for first time since 1979 peace treaty
Due to street protests threatening Mubarak's regime, Israel agrees to
let about 800 Egyptian soldiers into Sharm el-Sheikh area in Sinai ...
Under the 1979 peace treaty, Israel returned the captured Sinai to
Egypt. In return, Egypt agreed to leave the area demilitarized ... The
officials spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu has banned the government from discussing the
situation in Egypt.
Israel urges world to curb criticism of Egypt's Mubarak
Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West's interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime.
Report: Israeli officials phone Mubarak's new VP
-- Israeli officials have telephoned Hosni Mubarak's newly appointed
vice president Omar Suleiman several times urging Egypt to maintain
previous security coordination, Israeli media said. The discussions were
over Egypt's role on the Israeli border and Gaza smuggling tunnels, the
Israeli daily Maariv reported.
'IDF not ready for surge of infiltrators from Egypt'
Despite concerns that riots in Egypt will raise number of illegal
immigrants crossing border into Israel, IDF appears unprepared to handle
surge. 'We haven't started to deal with it,' one officer says
'Intelligence failure? Mubarak couldn't predict uprising either'
IDF officials say Israeli intelligence agencies could not have foreseen
extreme developments in Egypt. Lipkin-Shahak: Peace treaty important to
Egypt as well. no major change along southern border expected
Tel Aviv stocks slump after weekend of Egypt riots
investors pull out of their investments in the Mideast and are selling
stocks and shekels fast, resulting in climbing dollar rates and oil
Palestine Papers / Politics / Diplomacy
Qurei: "Occupy the crossing"
(DP-News – Aljazeera) The
Authority (PA) had pleaded with the Israeli government to re-occupy the
Philadelphi corridor on the Gaza-Egypt border, in order to
tighten the siege on Hamas-run Gaza, The Palestine Papers show.
African Union declares support for Palestine
ABABA, Ethiopia (Ma'an) -- The African Union on Monday called on all
countries to recognize a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, at its 16th
annual summit in Addis Ababa. A delegation representing the Palestinian
Liberation Organization attended the two-day summit,
Al-Ahmad: Abbas considering holding elections
-- Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad said Sunday that President
Mahmoud Abbas was looking into holding presidential and legislative
elections despite the national division ... The PA called off elections
in June 2010, just weeks ahead of a planned vote ... In December 2010,
the Palestinian High Court found the postponement of elections illegal,
and said all efforts must be made to ensure that they
were held as soon as possible.
Merkel: Israel-Palestinian talks must move forward in light of Egypt riots
Chancellor said Israel must freeze settlement building in order to move
peace process forward, which is even more important now after unrest in
Palestinian negotiators must not take key decisions on our behalf / Haneen Zoabi
in Israel will not stand for our rights being given away by so-called
representatives ... Third, we reject the proposed exchange of
populations between Israel and
the West Bank, championed, among others, by Israel's foreign minister,
Avigdor Lieberman. This proposal has increasingly pervaded Israel's
political culture. According to a recent poll, 53% of the Jewish Israeli public believes that the state is entitled to encourage Palestinian citizens to emigrate.
Other Israel news
Israel to hire European PR firms
Lieberman makes unprecedented move due to Israel's 'catastrophic' status in public opinion
Rightists launch battle to block Facebook pages of left-wing groups
linked to far-right leader Baruch Marzel have successfully blocked
profile pages of leftist groups including Machsom Watch, Yesh Gvul, and
Anarchists against the Wall.
Gas price hike leads to no-confidence vote
Netanyahu's government under attack as Knesset plenum reviews no confidence votes from Left, Right
How to promote stability
growing religious fundamentalism in Israel is actually Jewish, not
Muslim. While the Arab population here becomes more secular, the
religious Jewish public is getting stronger. Instead of fearing Muslims
in power in Egypt and Israel, it is worth setting our sights on Jewish
fundamentalism and the latest law that it is promoting.
New start-up Kosher clothing stores
An extreme ultra-Orthodox body has established a kashrut
department supervising clothing stores in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim and
Geula neighborhoods. Haredi women have begun supervising businesses in
the neighborhoods on behalf of the new department, checking whether the
clothes sold in the stores meet the requirements of Jewish Law. The
department's findings will be published across the neighborhoods.
Why work migrants can't tell the truth / Gal Lusky
'Does the State of Israel know the different between hostile Sudan and
Eritrea – its only friend in important strategic area, which insists on
treating Israel favorably?' Gal Lusky, who received honorary award from
Clinton for saving human life, warns solution must be found for problem
of Eritrean infiltrators ... Some 150 Eritreans infiltrate Israel every night, and we continue to avoid making a decision about them.
Israel's apartheid image / Gadi Taub
Op-ed: As long as occupation persists, democracy within Green Line won’t make a difference
Analysis / Opinion
How long before American media takes these 4 Egyptian lessons to Israel? / Philip Weiss
1. Tear gas. The crawl on CNN screen last night said that the teargas
used in Egypt was manufactured in the United States. CNN also published an article to that effect. But look: Israel has been using the same teargas
to suppress and kill nonviolent demonstrators for a long time. Not a
peep. So far... 2. Sanctions. In his bumbling press briefing two days
ago, Robert Gibbs put the U.S. "assistance posture" toward the Egyptians
on the table, warning the gov't not to crack down on the protesters or
there goes our money. People are listening.
Can the Palestinian Authority survive? / Jonathan Cook
18-year-long Middle East peace process finally pronounced dead, is the
Palestinian Authority finished too? That is the question being asked
by Palestinians in the wake of a week of damaging revelations that
Palestinian negotiators secretly made major concessions to Israel in
talks on Jerusalem, refugees and borders.
Israel's human rights abuses in the name of security / Janan Abdu
[Ameer Makhoul] and other Palestinian prisoners are being denied basic
rights and subjected to harsh treatment in detention ... "Israeli
security" is the sacred cow of the Israeli street and ruling
establishment. Practically all the manifestations of Israeli racism
directed at the state's Palestinian citizens, as well as those living
under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, fall within this elastic
slogan. In the name of this slogan, too, Israeli human rights
organisations working to expose the practices of the state and army have
recently had restrictions placed upon them.
An Arab revolution fueled by methods of the West / Zvi Bar'el
street suddenly uses 'our' methods: Facebook and Twitter - the tools of
democracy we have invented - to present us with a situation of disorder
... This is supposedly the new Middle East the West always wanted, but
something still isn't working out. This isn't the Middle East they
dreamed of in the Bush administration, and not what nourished Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wildest dreams. A new, unexpected player
has appeared: the public.
Tracking down the Ben Ali and Trabelsi fortune
say exactly how much Mr Ben Ali, his second wife Leila Trabelsi, and a
sprawling network of relatives, had to their names. But it was a
financial empire that reached far and wide, and is now the subject of a
multi-pronged international investigation. "Our Tunisian lawyer friends
tell us that the Ben Ali and Trabelsi families controlled between 30%
and 40% of the Tunisian economy," said Daniel Lebegue, head of the
French branch of Transparency
International. "So a simple calculation allows us to say we're looking
at about $10bn (£6bn)."
Canada in bid to expel Tunisian Belhassan Trabelsi
government is working to arrest and expel Belhassen Trabelsi, the
former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Canada has revoked Mr
Trabelsi's residency permit and has moved to seize the billionaire's
Sunday: 5 Iraqis killed, 1 wounded
Since Friday only five Iraqi deaths have been
reported. Another person was wounded as well ... Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said
a controversial ruling that his critics say consolidates
his power is "impossible to reverse" as it would call to question
all Supreme Court rulings ... Suspected Islamic State of Iraq leader captured
Maliki vows Iraqi bank and election body independence
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pledged on Monday that a supreme court ruling to bring autonomous bodies such as the central bank under cabinet authority would not damage their independence.
Baghdad attacks kill engineer, politician
(AP) – A pair of attacks killed an Iraqi electricity employee and a
Shiite politician in Baghdad on Monday, authorities said. Nine others
were wounded in a string of strikes across the Iraqi capital that
appeared to take aim at government and security officials — a frequent
target of militants seeking to undermine
U.S.-backed efforts to stabilize the country.
Islamists, state open dialogue in Jordan
Jordan (AFP) -- Jordan's powerful Islamists said Monday they have
started a dialogue with the state, saying that unlike the situation in
Egypt, the opposition in the kingdom does not seek regime change. "A
group of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) met on Sunday with Prime
Minister Samir Rifai and gave him our demands in writing," Zaki Bani
Rsheid, member of the IAF's executive council, told AFP. "These demands
include the resignation of the government, the amendment of electoral
law and the formation of a national salvation government headed by an
elected prime minister."
Syria Strongman: Time for 'reform'
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who inherited a regime that has held
power for four decades, said he will push for more political reforms in
his country, in a sign of how Egypt's violent revolt is forcing leaders
across the region to rethink their approaches ... Mr. Assad said he will
have more time to make changes than Mr. Mubarak did, because his
anti-American positions and confrontation with Israel have left him in
better shape with the grassroots in his nation.
Oman says busts UAE spy ring, Abu Dhabi denies
Oman (AFP) - Oman has dismantled an Emirati spy ring that was targeting
the government and the military in the Gulf sultanate, a security
official said Sunday in a report quickly denied by the United Arab
Emirates ... The cell "was interested in the issue of the succession of
Sultan Qaboos, in the absence of an heir to the throne," a security
Iran: Mossad enlists through Arad website
Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi claims that the
Born to Freedom Foundation, which offers a cash reward for information
on Ron Arad, is actually a branch of Mossad working to enlist spies from
Iran and other Arab countries. Moslehi adds
that his ministry discovered
the identities of Iranian citizens who gave the foundation information
on the missing navigator and used them to reveal inner workings of the
Israeli intelligence agency.
Iran: We arrested Israeli spies linked to Ron Arad foundation
Intelligence Minister says Born to Freedom website used to monitor
intelligence operations in the guise of seeking for the missing IAF
UK: Iranian nuclear weapon by 2012
British defense secretary disagrees with Israeli retired spy chief, says West should be wary of Iran and act 'in accordance'
Nobel Peace Prize nomination for WikiLeaks founder? Pierre-Henry Deshayes
-- The vibrant protest movements across the Arab world, Russian human
rights activists and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will all likely be
in the running for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, observers say as the
deadline for nominating candidates approaches.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda