Monday, November 13, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

U.S.-educated professor to lead emerging Palestinian government: The rival Fatah and Hamas movements on Monday agreed on a candidate for prime minister of their emerging coalition government, turning to a U.S.-educated professor to end months of infighting and help lift a painful international aid boycott.

Amira Hass : How a Beit Hanun family was destroyed : The light filtered in through the cloud of dust, and she saw his blanket was covered by fragments of broken glass. She pulled it off and found him shaking. "You weren't hit," she said, urging him to run and join her other children, May, Rami and Fadi, who fled with her downstairs.

Nobel winners petition Israel to outlaw targeted killing : Hundreds of Israeli peace activists, joined by three foreign Nobel laureates, asked the nation's high court to rule against targeted assassinations carried out by the army in the Palestinian territories, saying the attacks were killing civilians.

The Democrats Don't Care: Screw the Palestinians, Full Steam Ahead

Norman Finkelstein: Peace Not Apartheid - Jimmy Carter's Roadmap: Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens--and honors its own previous commitments--by accepting its legal borders.

South Africa seen as model for Palestine: The two-state solution remains attractive and comforting in its apparent simplicity and finality. But in reality, it has proved unattainable because neither Palestinians nor Israelis are willing to give up enough of the country that they love.

Army installs a barbed wire fence near Azone Village: Local residents said that the fence looks like it will surround the village, cutting it off completely from the nearby village and Qalqilia City. The village of Azon is already surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, which were built on lands stolen from the local farmers who are now forced to pass through two checkpoints to reach their lands.

Israel plans to annex lands north of Jerusalem for the Wall: Israeli Authorities plan to annex Palestinians lands in Anata town, north of Jerusalem, for the construction of the Annexation Wall and for “military purposes”. The decision (T -06/84) states that the lands will be annexed for the construction of a wall north of Maali Adumim settlement.

Jerusalem Post: “Rabbis for Human Rights volunteer held”: Theresa McDermont came to Israel to pick olives with Palestinian farmers for one month. Instead, she has been sitting in a detention cell for 12 days at Ben-Gurion airport. McDermont, a Scottish post office worker, said she hoped to be a volunteer for Rabbis for Human Rights, the organization that runs the olive harvest project designed to help Palestinian farmers cultivate land near the Green Line. According to McDermont’s lawyer, Gabi Lasky, there is no reason for her detention and she is being detained under no charges.

Palestinian hospital starts blood donation campaign to aid injured in Beit Hanoun: The campaign is aiming to collect blood to aid the scores of injured residents who are still in the hospitals due to the continuous Israeli invasion of Beit Hanoun. Most of the injuries have resulted from Israeli artillery shelling and gunfire, and many of the injured were inside their homes when they were hit.

Historians won't believe it: You can't just kill 20 innocent civilians in Beit Hanun and say: "Oops, we made a mistake. We're sorry." You can't. At the very least, the prime minister should appeal personally to the victims and the Palestinian people and express regret, offer compensation and request absolution. Anything less is unacceptable. Anything less is inhuman and un-Jewish and inconceivable. Inconceivable? In the land of hollow leadership, anything is possible, anything goes.

How a Beit Hanun family was destroyed: At first she did not notice she had been wounded, that she was bleeding and her leg was torn down to the bone. She sat down among the bodies and tried to bring Sa'ed back to life. Her second son, Fadi, was injured. She doesn't know which shell did it. Her third son, Rami, fled into the garden of his uncle and neighbor, Dr. Hussein Athamneh, but the sixth shell found him there. Rami then ran into the street, toward the house of his uncle and aunt. The seventh shell found him outside their house, where it exploded.

OPT: UN expert urges Israel to stop destruction in Gaza, calls for military sanctions: "Since 25 June 2006, the most recent Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip, I continue to receive alarming reports about deliberate attacks by Israeli forces resulting in the destruction of homes, civilian property and infrastructures in the Gaza Strip. Such acts have a devastating impact on civilians particularly, women and children, and create insecurity and psychological trauma. Thus, these forced evictions and unjustifiable destruction constitute breaches of international laws of human rights, war and humanitarian norms.

Arab League, Palestine Angry over UN Veto: The veto paves the way for Israel to continue military actions and shows support by the United States of Israel's actions, showing "a signal that the US had given legitimacy to the massacres and a green light to Israel to carry out more massacres," Palestinian spokesman Ghazi Hamad said.

Army invades Bethlehem city for the second time in less than 12 hours and takes six prisoners: Late Sunday night, less than 12 hours ago, troops invaded a nearby area of the city, surrounded a building and took a child prisoner after searching ad ransacking residents' homes.

Olmert: We'll talk to PA unity gov't if Hamas recognizes Israel: The European Union will also insist that any new Palestinian unity government respects international demands to recognize Israel, renounce violence and commit to new peace talks, a top EU official said Monday.

Support grows for new intifada: The two other main Palestinian militant groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, declared last week that they intend to respond with suicide attacks after 19 people, most of them members of a single family, were killed by Israeli shells that crashed into their homes while they slept Wednesday morning. Mr. Awar, 24, said the al-Aqsa Brigades, which are loosely affiliated with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, are plotting to do the same.

Claims: Troops executed Palestinians: One of the neighbors confirmed the claim: "One of the gunmen killed was seen shot in his legs. He was removed from the house and one soldier directed his weapon at him and shot the Palestinian in the head." According to the neighbor, the second wounded Palestinian was shot in his legs and stomach, and was also executed as troops fired at the upper part of his body.

Yesha settlement council head announces his intention to resign: Yesha council sources said they believe Lieberman will try to see through efforts to reach an agreement with the government on the fate of the unauthorized West Bank outposts prior to his resignation taking effect.

Arab MK presents injured child's picture at Knesset: The Knesset eventually decided to remove the issue from its agenda. The Knesset was scheduled to discuss two no-confidence motions on Monday, one of them submitted by the Arab factions under the title "The military operations and the massacre against civilians in Beith Hanoun."

In classrooms with 40 students, two-thirds of the lesson are spent keeping order: However, there are great differences among various sectors in the education system. For example, in the ultra-Orthodox sector, there are merely 10-14 pupils per class in about 11 percent of the classes, while in the state school system, only 1 percent of the classes claim so few pupils. And in the Arab educational sector, fewer than half a percent of classes have only 10-14 pupils.

Taibeh architect to design Palestinian culture museum: The Umm al-Fahm museum will be the first of its kind in Israel, and will be broader in scope than the contemporary art gallery, says Abu Shakra. It will be built on a lot allocated by the Umm al-Fahm municipality, adjacent to the city soccer stadium and the public pool. The museum will both display art, and document and preserve the Palestinian cultural heritage.

Arabs lift Palestinian financial blockade: Amr Moussa, the Arab League secretary-general, said at a meeting of the organisation in Cairo on Sunday: "There will be no compliance with any restriction imposed ... The Arab banks have to transfer money [to the Palestinians]. "Our message is loud and clear to those who take unfriendly positions against Arabs."

Russia calls for unblocking situation on Palestine-Israel track: Ten members of the U.N. Security Council (Russia included) voted in favour of the text and four abstained (Britain, Denmark, Slovakia and Japan). The United States vetoed the draft resolution.

Zapatero Asks for International Intervention in Palestine: The European Union has reacted to the Israeli massacre in Beit Hanoun Gaza where 19 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced that the EU would soon launch an initiative to tackle the problem.

How Israel put Gaza civilians in firing line: The warning, delivered in Israel's high court by six human rights groups, came after the Israeli Defence Force reduced the so-called 'safety range' in Gaza from a 300-metre separation from built-up areas to just 100 metres - within the kill radius of its 155mm high-explosive shells, generally regarded as being between 50 and 150 metres.

Elections not good news for PA: Tom Lantos, one of the most zealot pro-Israel cheerleaders in the House of Representatives, is set to become the chairman of the House International Relations Committee. The man who engineered the selection of congressional candidates who defeated enough Republicans to swing control to the Democratic Party is Congressman Rahm Emanuel, who is a pro-Israel congressman who served as a volunteer in the Israeli military.

International force for Gaza: Israel has been deterred in the past from "internationalizing the conflict." It traditionally opposed any international intervention on the assumption that deploying foreign soldiers would limit the Israel Defense Forces and make it difficult for the military to protect Israel. However, the recent war in Lebanon changed the approach.

Prisoners' deal is the next step: According to the agreement between Abu Mazen and Hamas, a government of technocrats and neutral leaders will be established, to be elected by representatives of the various factions, headed by Hamas and Fatah. The prime minister will be a candidate acceptable to Hamas. Those who imposed the siege - Israel and the United States, and most of the nations in the world, including Arab nations, can congratulate themselves on their success. The Hamas government is being forced to resign.

Palestinian Women Pay Health Toll at Checkpoints: Palestinian women have for decades faced a multitude of health risks shared by the overall population, including restricted access for patients and medical professionals due to the occupation, the deteriorating economic situation, traditional cultural beliefs, and lack of adequate services and facilities. Since the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, in September 2000, those hardships have been aggravated.

Nobel winners petition Israel to outlaw targeted killing: Hundreds of Israeli peace activists, joined by three foreign Nobel laureates, asked the nation's high court to rule against targeted assassinations carried out by the army in the Palestinian territories, saying the attacks were killing civilians.

Palestinians vow US attacks after UN Gaza veto: "Through its position completing the (Israeli) aggression, America has pushed us to take a serious decision to (consider it) a legitimate target for us, exactly like Israel," said the statement, whose authenticity could not be confirmed.

In meeting with Olmert, Bush calls for isolating Iran: The United States and Israel say they believe Iran is working on nuclear weapons, though Iran says its work on the technology is aimed only at producing energy. "Iran's nuclear ambitions are not in the world's interest," Bush said. "If Iran had nuclear weapons it would be terribly destabilizing."

France: IAF stops 'hostile' mock attacks on UN troops in Lebanon: "There is no more of that attitude - that is, an openly hostile attitude -like we had over a French vessel, a German vessel and the French ground forces, which caused a real danger of legitimate defense measures being taken," Alliot-Marie told reporters at an EU meeting.

For parents of fallen soldiers, resignation is 'about time': The parents and former reserve soldiers who led the protest movement called on Chief of Staff Dan Halutz to follow in Hirsch's footsteps, and those of GOC Northern Command Udi Adam, who also resigned from the military.

UK: Israel desecrated British graves in Gaza: According to the report, The British embassy in Tel Aviv wrote to the Israeli government four months ago after six headstones and a perimeter wall were destroyed by an Israeli army bulldozer but has not yet received an answer.

Palestinian killed by Israel fire, another dies of wounds : Israeli occupation troops on Sunday fired a land-to-land missile and killed a Palestinian young man north of Beit Lahia, in the Gaza Strip, while another Palestinian succumbed to serious wounds suffered in the Israeli shelling of Beit Hanun on 8/11.

Palestinian FM accepts proposal for Palestinian-Israeli peace conference : The Arab League called Sunday for an international peace conference with Israel, and diplomats said the Hamas-led Palestinian government accepted.

Nixed Signals: When Hamas hinted at peace, U.S. media wouldn’t take the message

Arab FMs lash out at the US veto against the Arab draft U.N. resolution: Arab foreign ministers on Sunday denounced on Sunday the U.S. veto against an Arab draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Gaza.

How Israel put Gaza civilians in firing line: Israeli military commanders drastically reduced the 'safety' margins that separate artillery targets from the built-up civilian areas of Gaza earlier this year, despite being warned that the new policy risked increasing Palestinian civilian deaths and injuries, The Observer can reveal.

Beit Hanoun: Massacre or Technical Error?: Video: Israel killed 19 civilians, including 7 children. And like in Cana, Lebanon, in August, where 28 civilians died, and after it killed 4 unarmed UN observers, it is claiming a "technical mistake"

Listen Carefully to Condi’s Silence on Beit Hanoun : Collective punishment is the law of the land in the occupied territories. Israel does it because Israel gets a license to do it from the great white father in Washington. Gaza has lived in darkness for an entire summer on account of the IDF’s malicious destruction of its power plants. The pitch-black nights are perfect cover for nightly raids by Israeli death squads.

In case you missed it: List of U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel - (1972-2006)

Arab Nations To Lift Financial Blockade On Palestine : Arab nations on Sunday decided to lift the financial blockade on Palestine following the US veto on a U.N. Security Council draft resolution on Saturday

A Dissenting Note on the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917: On the Anti-Semitism of the Present Government: As the one Jewish Minister in the Government I may be allowed by my colleagues an opportunity of expressing views which may be peculiar to myself, but which I hold very strongly and which I must ask permission to express when opportunity affords.

AIPAC Builds Ties With New Lawmakers: AIPAC reached nearly every lawmaker elected in Tuesday’s mid-term congressional elections as part of its effort to educate political candidates on the value of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

4 Minute Video: Scott Ritter describes Israel's role in shaping U.S. Foreign policy

In case you missed it: Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land: Video: How Israel manipulates and distorts American public perceptions

Poll: One-third of American voters believe in Christian Zionism: The Council for the National Interest has just conducted a Zogby International poll that reveals that nearly a third (31 percent) of likely American voters believe in Christian Zionism, as defined as "a belief that Israel must have all of the promised land, including Jerusalem, to facilitate the second coming of the messiah."

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