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Source: PACUSA via El Taller International - Tunis


Samedi, 25 juillet 2009 - 11h23 AM

Saturday 25 July 2009


[] Today in Palestine! July 23, 2009 

Land Theft and Destruction

Activists say Israel gave key site to settlers (AFP)
AFP - Israel has handed control over much of a key Palestinian area in annexed east Jerusalem to hardline settler groups in a creeping takeover kept away from public scrutiny, a report by an activist group said on Thursday.

Illegal Israeli outposts expand in West Bank - 23 July 09
Israel is coming under increased international pressure to stop the building of settlements on Palestinian land. But settlements are not the only issue. Hundreds of Israelis are living in dozens of illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, though the Israeli government has promised to remove them. But as Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reports, the outposts are still expanding.

Israel plans to demolish Bustan area in O. Jerusalem
The Ir Amim organization said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is preparing a plan to demolish the whole Bustan neighborhood in Jerusalem and build in its place a Jewish historical park.

U.S. Pressure On Jewish Settlements Spurs Sales
Relations between the Obama administration and the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continue to worsen over Israel’s refusal to halt new construction in Jewish settlements. But as the Obama administration continues to press for a freeze to all new units, real estate agents are reporting a rush to buy apartments both in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Violence and Aggression

Palestinian resident wounded by military fire in khan Younis
Palestinian medical sources reported Wednesday that a resident was shot and wounded by Israeli military fire as the army, supported by several armored vehicles and bulldozers, invaded an area east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli warships open fire at Gazan fishermen
Gaza, July 23, 2009 (Ramattan) - Israeli gunboats shot at Palestinian fishermen in the northern coast of the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, Palestinian security sources said.

Palestinian: Border Guard officers beat me up
Abd al-Khaled Shalatef says he was on his way to friend’s house in Nablus when force attacked him. ’They told me to spread my legs,’ he tells Ynet. ’When I fell, they punched my head for 10 minutes, then left me for an hour and a half in sun.’ Board Guard says unfamiliar with incident.

Bil’in demonstrates against Israeli night raids
The Bil’in Popular Committee organized a night demonstration on Wednesday to protest ongoing nightly raids and arrests that have taken place for the past 3 weeks. On the course of the past weeks, over 17 people have been arrested and 13 of those are still being held in detention.

Detainees held by Israel
Israeli army kidnaps 14 Palestinians in the West Bank and raids several communities
Israeli troops captured 14 Palestinians during pre-dawn invasions of different areas of the West Bank, on Thursday. Raids were carried out in the village of Attil, close to Tulkarem in the northern West Bank and in several communities in the Jordan Valley.

Israel arrests soccer player of Palestinian national team
GAZA, July 23 (Xinhua) — Israel arrested a Palestinian soccer player en route from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to the West Bank, the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) said Thursday. "This is an Israeli piracy targeting sport in Palestine," the PFA said in a statement, adding that "We call on the FIFA to press the Israeli authorities to release al-Sarsak immediately."

Palestinian youth receives three year prison sentence for Al-Aqsa affiliation
A Palestinian youth was brought before Israel’s Ofer military court and sentenced to three year imprisonment for alleged affilation with Al Aqsa martyrs brigades, the armed wing of Fatah.

Detainee on Hunger Strike for six days
Palestinian detainee, Riyadh Al Amour, has been on hunger strike since six days in protest to the bad living conditions, and frequent attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers guarding the prison.

Female detainee in solitary confinement since 2005
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) stated that female detainee Mariam Tarabeen, from Jericho, is still in solitary confinement in an Israeli detention facility since more than four years without any cause or provocation.

Don’t forget the Jericho Six, Time to release these political prisoners!
Again and again, we are reminded that there is a strong network in force. What it does is uses and abuses "law" in order to falsely accuse people, lock them up, subject them to "kangaroo courts" without respect for any legal principles, and then hope the world will forget about them. They do it to do a favour to Israel, to look like they are "tough on terror", to simply resolve a stick situation by ending it quickly, lest the truth ever get out. This is the story of four men accused of the murder an Israeli minister, then tried by the Palestinian Authority, locked up in Jericho… only to be subjected to a kidnapping (along with two other political prisoners) in a raid that caused the death of three Palestinian prisoners, by Israeli armed forces and, how odd, they are being "supervised" by US and British military. We know that their prison conditions are inhumane and they are denied many rights such as that of seeing their families and filing appeals.

No charge for Srour; bail, "conditions" following UN testimony
Bethlehem - Ma’an - A Nil’in man who testified for the UN’s Gaza fact finding mission was released on “conditions” though he was not charged following his detention by Israeli border officials on his way home from Geneva. Srour was testifying at the UN’s fact finding mission on Gaza, lead by Richard Goldstone. The mission has a broad mandate that includes investigations over how the political situation in Israel in the lead-up and fall out of their war on Gaza affected the West Bank.

Detainees held by the PA

PA detained 5 Hamas affiliates from the West Bank
Hamas reported on Thursday morning that forces from the Palestinian Authority seized five of the party’s affiliates from their communities in the West Bank on Wednesday night.

Human Rights Violations/Humanitarian Issues
Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 16 - 22 Jul 2009

Gaza blockade: “We are captive and slowly suffocating”
JERUSALEM — When talking to people in Gaza about the difficult humanitarian, economic and infrastructure conditions under which they live, one quickly realizes that the 22-day assault that ended early this year was only the most recent, although especially brutal, chapter in a longer context of occupation and blockade.

Jenin: Israeli soldiers pull students from cars at flying checkpoint
Jenin – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained dozens of students for several hours at a military checkpoint erected near Seida village southwest of Jenin on Wednesday afternoon. Locals said troops were checking civilian’s identity papers and taking aside every student they came across, holding them at the flying checkpoint in the northern West Bank.

Gaza child paralysed from waist down

Paralysed girl’s story reflects Gaza’s plight
Four-year-old Samar Abed Rabbu lost her two sisters during Israel’s offensive in Gaza last December and January. The BBC’s Christian Fraser has been following the plight of Samar and her family - now divided across two continents, as Samar receives treatment in Belgium with her mother.

Growing poverty in Gaza pushing children to work
GAZA STRIP, Occupied Palestinian Territory, 22 July 2009 – The sound of a lathe screams in the background as Nael Hasan al-Lada’, 12, talks about his job in an auto body shop. He just started the job this summer, but already the young boy is helping to support his entire family of seven brothers and sisters. Despite long hours and the dangers of working around heavy machinery, Nael is considered lucky in the poverty-ridden Gaza Strip. If he does well at learning the trade, the seventh-grader will likely leave school to work full-time. "I want to help my father," he said, his few words drowned out by the noise in the shop.

Two Gaza brothers celebrate wedding on family’s debris
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip, July 22 (Xinhua) — In a bid to challenge the hard economic and social conditions, a Palestinian family on Wednesday night celebrated its two sons’ wedding on the debris of their destroyed home in northern Gaza Strip. The multi-storey construction of the al-Za’anin family in the town of Beit Hanoun was destroyed in an Israeli air raid during a 22-day Israeli military offensive that ended on Jan. 18. Thousands of houses were destroyed, and tens of thousands became homeless.

Israeli Racism and Discrimination

Arabs MKs slam minister’s ’racist worldview’
Arab Knesset members denounce Minister Uzi Landau’s refusal to meet with MK Talab El-Sana; in a letter sent to Knesset Speaker Rivlin, MKs urge him to speak out against what they characterize as ’dangerous precedent’.

Fatah Criminal Makes Unfounded Accusations
Exclusive: Dahlan accuses Hamas of organizing Gaza blast
Bethlehem - Ma’an Exclusive - Hamas was behind Wednesday’s blast in Khan Younis and Farouq Qaddoumi’s claims of assassination plots against Yasser Arafat are baseless, Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan said Wednesday.

Hamas Arrests Members of Salafist Group Responsible For Attack
Hamas surrounds hideout of suspects in wedding attack
Hamas attempts to arrest members of salafist group suspected of throwing grenade at Dahlen wedding.

Political Developments

Senior Fatah official: We won’t recognize Israel
Fatah official: Movement to display commitment to armed struggle in upcoming convention.

Fatah rejects to name al-Dweik parliament speaker unless re-elected
RAMALLAH, July 22 (Xinhua) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party on Wednesday rejected to name rival Hamas movement’s lawmaker Aziz al-Dweik as the Hamas-dominated Parliament’s speaker unless he is reelected during a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) term.

Israel doesn’t see U.S. limiting loan guarantees (Reuters)
Reuters - Israel does not expect the United States to limit use of loan guarantees despite a dispute with Washington over building in East Jerusalem or in West Bank settlements, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Thursday.

France summons Israeli ambassador over settlements (AP)
AP - France’s Foreign Ministry has questioned Israel’s ambassador and demanded an immediate end to Jewish settlement building.

Ban urges Israel to freeze east Jerusalem settlements (AFP)
AFP - United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged Israel to freeze its settlement activity in occupied east Jerusalem, adding his voice to mounting international pressure on Israel.

Assad, Erdogan urge ’political will’ from Israel (AFP)
AFP - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday urged Israel to show "real political will" and withdraw from Arab-occupied territories.

Brazil ruling party official reportedly calls Israel’s foreign minister a ‘fascist’
SAO PAULO — Israel’s foreign minister ran into controversy on the first day of a Latin American trip Tuesday when an official of Brazil’s ruling party reportedly called him a “fascist.” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that Valter Pomar, secretary of international relations for the Workers Party, said that Avigdor “Lieberman is a racist and a fascist” during an interview. Haaretz reported that Pomar also said that “the Brazilian left is organizing protests” against Lieberman “and against the policy he represents.”

Egyptian FM: Israel not willing to pay price for Shalit
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Wednesday that Cairo was working to convince Israel to ease some of its demands for a prisoner swap with Hamas that would see the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Other News

UN hosts meetings on "Palestine Question" in wake of Gaza war
Geneva – Ma’an – “If Israel continues settlement activity, it will not only be acting contrary to international law but also to a strong international consensus,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon warned Wednesday at the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine in Geneva.

Jordan Islamists chide Arab countries for lack of aid to Gaza
Amman - Some Arab countries are actively complicit in blocking rebuilding efforts in the Gaza Strip, alleged Jordan’s largest political party on Thursday. ’There are indications that some Arab governments are implementing with precision the rules of blockade on the people of the Gaza Strip,’ reported the Islamic Action Front (IAF), Jordan’s largest political party.

Italian delegation visits Hebron, briefed on settler violence
Hebron – Ma’an – Vice President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini lead a delegation of Italians to Hebron Wednesday where the group heard details about the latest settler attacks on Palestinian civilians. Hebron Mayor Dr Hussein Al-Araj received the delegation, made up of Italian civil society groups, journalists and politians.

Want to read Harry Potter in Arabic? Not in Israel
Books originating in Syria or Lebanon - the biggest publisher in the region of Arabic books - are illegal in Israel. The draft bill by MK Yuli Tamir (Labor), would change the embargo. But in the meantime, readers of Arabic in Israel will have to encounter roadblocks.

Arab educators: Forcing national anthem is like rape
’Anthem kit’ distributed to schools throughout country in new Education Ministry initiative to create identification and commitment to its values opposed by Arab education committee: ’Attempt at raping students’ identity’.

Israel says technical hitch halts US missile test (AFP)
AFP - Israel said on Thursday it has called off tests of its Arrow anti-missile system in the United States after the launch attempt was hit by last-minute technical problems.


The Assassination Plot
Who killed Yasser Arafat? When the Palestinian leader was declared dead in a French hospital, on November 11, 2004, there was no way of knowing how questions pertaining to his death should be phrased. Was he killed, or did he die from old age?

Arafat Assassination Allegations: The Plot Thickens
The scandal surrounding allegations made by Farouq al Qaddoumi against the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership continues to make waves across the Palestinian political landscape.

So what, and who, really killed Arafat?
Unlikely it was AIDS, as Israelis would have us believe. Old age is a distinct possibility. But poison?

Media Bias/Israeli Hasbara

Writer banned from ‘DailyKos’ after satirizing settlements
Is nothing Israeli not sacred? Writer Jane Stillwater was first warned by a DailyKos webmaster over alleged "anti-Semitism" and– after she sought to poll readers on the issue– was banned from blogging at DailyKos. Stillwater’s initial offense was posting a satirical piece on the program to get American Jews to move into illegal settlements in Israel.

The lobby parrots Netanyahu on the Jewish civil right to Palestinians’ homes
Well it’s happened. Netanyahu started selling ethnic cleansing of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem as equal opportunity for Jews, and lo, the lobby is parroting him. He has been joined by the Boston Globe, of all places, which prints a repulsive op-ed saying stopping Jews from taking over Palestinians’ houses is racist and, more predictably, by Morton Klein of the Zionist Org of America who says that it’s "racist" to keep Jews from buying houses there. Here’s Jeff Jacoby in the Globe.

Israeli thinktank: Interim solutions best bet for temporary Mideast stability
JERUSALEM, July 23 (Xinhua) — Israel is facing a number of challenges and threats ranging from Iran to Hamas that cannot be completely solved in the near future, and the Jewish state can only hope to reach interim solutions that will temporarily stabilize the Middle East, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Activism, Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
Ronaldo to star in film about tragic Palestinian fan: report (AFP)
AFP - Brazil’s three-time world player of the year Ronaldo has agreed in principle to star in a film about a Palestinian child fan of his who dies in a refugee camp, it was reported on Wednesday.

Internet gifts ‘helped boost’ Gaza relief campaign
Unusually high internet contributions from younger donors to assist the population of Gaza helped offset a drop in telephone gifts caused by the BBC boycott of the appeal triggered by Israel’s attack last year, according to figures released by the UK’s disasters coordination body on Wednesday.

Renowned Syrian, Egyptian actors to visit Gaza in solidarity
Gaza – Ma’an – Renowned Syrian actor and comedian Duraid Lahham and Egyptian actress Fardous Abdul Hamid are scheduled to arrive in the Gaza Strip Thursday in a show of solidarity to the besieged coastal region.

Smashing through the siege on Gaza
July 22, (Pal Telegraph) - Beating the odds stacked against them, Viva Palestina activists, deliver desperately needed aid to Palestinians.

22nd July 2009 Video Free Gaza News Hedy Epstein
This Free Gaza video is an interview with a great woman, Hedy Epstein, just turned 85. She has dedicated her life to working for peace and human rights. In June she was going to sail to Gaza with the other 21 volunteers on board the Spirit of Humanity. But she was attacked just days before she was to leave for Cyprus. She was walking home, when she was thrown on the ground, cutting both knees and gashing her chin. She talks to us from her home in St. Louis, Missouri.

Guidelines for Applying the International Cultural Boycott of Israel
Since April 2004, PACBI has called upon intellectuals and academics worldwide to “comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid.” [1]


Israeli officer promotes war crimes at Harvard
On 9 July Harvard University’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) invited Colonel Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, former Israeli military legal adviser, to their online Humanitarian Law and Policy Forum. The stated aim was to bring "objective" discussion to the principle of distinction in international humanitarian law, or what the forum organizers called "combat in civilian population centers and the failure of fighters to distinguish themselves from the civilian population."

Opinion and Analysis

America’s current stance on Israel-Palestine: Old wine in not even new bottles, by Noam Chomsky
Barack Obama is recognized to be a person of acute intelligence, a legal scholar, careful with his choice of words. He deserves to be taken seriously – both what he says, and what he omits. Particularly significant is his first substantive statement on foreign affairs, on January 22, at the State Department.


Cruel but Necessary: Israeli Opinions about the Settlements and Obama
Antony Loewenstein and Joseph Dana write: With all the current rhetoric out of Washington regarding an Israeli settlement freeze in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, we wanted to gauge public opinion on the streets of Jerusalem on a sunny, Sunday afternoon last weekend. What we found was shocking but unsurprising. The ease with which most Americans and Israelis, young and old, spouted racist and uncompromising comments about Arabs, settlements and Israeli conduct was a raw manifestation of the barriers to the peace process.

Israeli press uncertain over potential crisis in US relationship
Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - “There is no crisis in Israel-US relations [over settlements],” Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told Israel Radio Wednesday. The Hebrew and English daily Haaretz, however, did not seem to agree. Editors ran the story along with the statements of a “highly respected Tel Aviv think tank,” which predicted the “two countries could be on a ‘collision course’ unless Israel undertook practical measures to back up its statements that it wanted peace with the Palestinians.”

Israel wants economic peace with Palestinians
TEL AVIV - Israel wants to pursue an economic peace with the Palestinians in tandem with diplomatic negotiations, but this will not be at the expense of the peace process, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Cooperation said Thursday.

Israel’s Open Jerusalem?, By Jonathan Cook
Jerusalem. No one would have been more surprised than Fawziya Khurd by the recent pronouncement of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, that Israel operates an "open city" policy in Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem following the 1967 war — what he called the city’s "unification" — meant that all residents, Jews and Palestinians alike, could buy property wherever they chose. "Our policy is that Jerusalem residents can purchase apartments anywhere in the city," he said. "There is no ban on Arabs buying apartments in the west of the city, and there is no ban on Jews building or buying in the city’s east."

Hebron’s Trail of Tears, MIFTAH
Hebron, the southernmost city of the West Bank and settler stronghold, continually and for obvious reasons, falls into an abyss of neglect. In 1997, The Hebron Protocol divided the city into two fractions: H1 and H2. While H1 constituting nearly 80% of Hebron remained under PA control, Israeli military forces assumed responsibility for the internal security and public safety of H2 inhabitants, including that of both Palestinians and Israeli settlers—or at least this was their mandate. Instead, discriminate applications of the law and continuous whitewashing of settler violence is an almost daily occurrence. On a trip to the Abdel Karim Al Jabari home in H2, I became but another witness to the injustices inflicted on local Palestinians, wrongs often excluded from news headlines.

Exchanges over the Apartheid Wall—Real and Imagined
The Israeli cell phone company Cellcom recently released an ad showing Israeli soldiers playing a light-hearted game of soccer with invisible Palestinians over the Apartheid Wall. The ad, which takes a step beyond normalizing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land to actually portraying it as fun, has been the target of criticism from many groups and individuals who understand the destructive effects that the Wall and the entire infrastructure of the occupation has on Palestinian lives and livelihoods and on chances for a just peace in the region.

You can’t always judge a man by the content of his t-shirt
College interns working with a peace and justice organization in Chicago are conducting public opinion surveys about public views of Israeli/Palestinian equality, US military aid to Israel, and Israeli settlements. Results will be published at the end of the summer, but yesterday’s experience at a downtown farmers’ market is worth sharing with Mondo readers.

Z Street - The New Zionist Extremist Group
On July 6, co-founders Lori Lowenthal Marcus and Allyson Rowen Taylor announced: "Z Street is launched, Will end J Street Treason." Continuing they said: "welcome to Z street! No more appeasement, no more negotiating with terrorists, no more enabling cowards who fear offending more than they fear another Holocaust. Z STREET is for those who are willing not only to support - but to defend - Israel, the Jewish State."

East Jerusalem / West Jerusalem
Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now did a great post on their blog recently showing how wildly inaccurate PM Netanyahu was when he claimed that Palestinians can buy homes and live in West Jerusalem. Netanyahu made this mendacious claim to buttress his argument that "it should be quite okay" for Jewish Israelis to construct homes and live in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Heart of Gaza
It was just the beginning. The first day of the war launched by Israeli Occupation Forces against the Gaza Strip, was Saturday 27 December 2008. In Gaza City, many targets were bombarded; among them, the Arafat police compound (Al-Jawazat), Al-Mashtal interrogation and detention center, Al-Abbas main police station, the headquarters of the Security and Protection Force, the Saraya security compound - including Gaza Central Prison. The destruction of the Ministry of Interior, located in the compound of ministries, started at 1:30 three nights later, on Tuesday, 30 December.

Adel Samara - What if Palestinian Feminism was Class Oriented?
(In the picture, all woman march in Bil’in, poster says, "We will protest the wall till it falls!") While writing my coming book about women, I had the opportunity to read two books published in Arabic and dealt with Palestinian women in West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBG).

Review of A Child in Palestine: The Cartoons of Naji al-Ali

Most people familiar with Palestine are familiar with the work of Naji al-Ali, the creator of Hanthala. The cartoon of a ten-year-old refugee boy facing away from us, his hands behind his back, is the ubiquitous visual symbol of Palestinians expelled from their homeland and living in camps, silently witnessing the tragedies of Palestinian life since 1948. You can find al-Ali’s iconic drawing spraypainted on walls not just around the Arab world but in European and American cities, as a pendant worn around the neck, on tee-shirts, sewn into keffiyehs, animated and all over the internet, and, just for example, on a cut-out sheet of paper taped to the back of the laptop on which I write this essay. Within Palestine and the Palestine solidarity movement internationally, Naji al-Ali’s presence is equal perhaps to that only of Mahmoud Darwish as a cultural unifier and voice for the voiceless.


Memoirs of a Lost Arab World
"It was a trying time for dreamers," Wadad Makdisi Cortas wrote of the year 1935. She was 26 and "yearned to speak my language, to read Arabic books, and to foster Arab independence and solidarity." But she had just become the headmistress of a girls’ school in Lebanon that was a particular thorn in the side of the French colonial rulers.


No Strangers
I was in a terrible mood and hot, and neither was cooling down.Found myself in Gaza city’s eastern market area, not really sure where I wanted to go. Strolled through the market and began to calm, soothed by the pulse of life one finds in markets around the world. Didn’t have anything particular I wanted to buy, just wanted to feel something other than the frustration for so many shattered lives, …and other than the oppressive heat. People called out welcomes, hello what’s-your-names, inti falistiini ? (yarayt! I’d be honoured)…

Well-watered and soldier-free: the good old days on Palestinian farmland
The young farm worker wasn’t oblivious to the danger: working in the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” is no task for the faint-hearted. But, like so many, he either needed the paid labour, or his family depends on the land.