Broader talks among Palestinian factions on forming government next week: Broader talks among all Palestinian factions on forming a national unity government would begin early next week, while rival mainstream movements of Hamas and Fatah are to finish their mutual talks on the coalition, a local source revealed Tuesday.
Report: Fatah, Hamas agree on portfolios of new Palestinian unity gov't: According to the report, the deal authorizes 10 portfolios for Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) and 6 for Fatah in the upcoming government of national unity. Four ministries would be shared between the other political groups while the remaining five portfolios would be commissioned for independent ministers.
Qaraqe': “420 residents taken prisoner since less that 14 days”: Palestinian Legislator, head of the detainees committee at the Legislative Council, Issa Qaraqe', said that the number of Palestinians being taken prisoner by Israeli forces has sharply increased as the army continued its invasions and military operations and took 420 residents prisoner since the beginning of November.
After 18 Months, Israeli Judge to Rule on Palestinian's Detention: The Alternative Information Center (AIC) has called for the immediate release of the Palestinian coordinator of its youth program, who has been detained by Israeli forces for over 18 months without being charged, tried or allowed to defend himself. Ahmad Abu-Haniyeh was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint on May 22, 2005, and placed under administrative detention for six months. The order has been renewed twice and an Israeli military judge will review it for the third time on Sunday...
Army invades Qalqilia and takes prisoner a photo journalist: Troops stormed the city and searched several houses including the house of Mohamed Al Shanti who was taken prisoner after soldiers confiscated his computers and cameras and 1000 NIS, Al Shanti family reported. Al Shanti works as a photo journalist for Reuters.
US urges Arab League to honor conditions on Palestinian aid: The United States called on its Arab allies Monday to respect Western conditions on aid to the Palestinians after ministers meeting in Cairo pledged to sidestep a freeze on assistance to institutions controlled by the radical Islamic group Hamas.
No clash of civilizations, says UN report: A UN-sponsored group called the Alliance of Civilizations, created last year to find ways to bridge the growing divide between Muslim and Western societies, released a first report Monday that says the conflict over Israel and the Palestinian territories is the central driver in global tensions.
30 tons of explosives smuggled into Gaza since disengagement: In a reference to the large-scale 2002 IDF campaign in the West Bank, Likud MK Yuval Steinitz, a former chairman of the committee, said that the only way to keep Gaza from turning into southern Lebanon was to launch an "Operation Defensive Shield II" and to recapture the Philadelphi route, the border between the Strip and Egypt.
Top Arab official: Quartet failing to advance Mideast peace: Ben Heli, the undersecretary-general of the Cairo-based league, said the "Quartet's failure to stand up to the Israeli attempts to abort all peace initiatives" was part of the reason it has failed to bring peace to the region.
Gaza: Still no hope after disengagement: “You stand for 20 years, looking at the land you had slowly disappearing while things are built upon it, but not for us. It's a sight I don't wish on anybody. So I understand that it is painful for the settlers that they are forced to leave. Particularly those that were born here. Not their parents who came and stole our land. But thanks to Allah, land always returns to its owners.”
EU extends mission on Gaza-Egypt border for six months: Some 70 European monitors have been overseeing the Rafah crossing under a 12-month agreement, which took effect at the end of November 2005 and was aimed at opening up Gaza after Israel's disengagement.
PLO official slams U.S., Israel for irresponsibility for Palestine issue: Olmert's visit to the U.S. came amid mounting outrage against Washington in the Palestinian territories and the Arab world following deadly Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip that killed 19 civilians on Wednesday and a U.S. veto that blocked an Arab bid at the UN Security Council to condemn the Israeli offensive.
Olmert and Bush / 45 minutes of smiles: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised there would be no big headlines or new political initiatives during his Washington visit, and he kept his word. His short meeting with President George Bush, a mere 45 minutes, did not provide a solution to the question, where is Olmert going and what is his agenda? It simply showed that the Israeli prime minister's indecisions are shared by his partner in the White House.
Diplomats meet Israelis, Palestinians over Rafah: US and European diplomats on Tuesday convened the first session of a security working group with Israelis and Palestinians meant to assure regular opening of the only land link between Gaza and the Arab world, a Western participant said.
EU ministers pound Israel over Beit Hanun: "The Council strongly deplores the Israeli military action in Gaza resulting in a growing number of civilian casualties, including women and children, and deplores the unacceptable military operation in Beit Hanun on November 8, 2006" The sharply worded statement "called on Israel to cease its military operations that endanger the Palestinian civilian population in the Palestinian Territory."
Blair urges White House to shift focus to Israel-Palestine conflict: Tony Blair made an open plea yesterday to George Bush to recognise that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies at the core of any hopes for wider peace in the Middle East, including Iraq. Mr Blair, famously cautious about pressing the Republican administration in public, is trying to seize the rare indecision in Washington.
Kuwait donates 500,000 U.S. dollars to Palestinians: The Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) announced Tuesday to donate 500,000 U.S. dollars to the Palestinian people in the wake of a bloody shelling by the Israel military on civilians.
Elections not good news for PA: It may cripple the Bush agenda and goals in occupied Iraq, but in reality the Bush agenda was already crippled and even derailed by the tough resistance put up by the Iraqi insurgents themselves against the American occupation. Where change is really needed is in the continually worsening situation between Palestinians and Israelis. But not even this week's political Tsunami in American politics driven by American public anger at Bush’s Iraqi policies can reverse that tragedy.
US confirms meeting of Mideast peace quartet: The sponsors of the Middle East peace process will meet in Cairo Wednesday to discuss efforts to revive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the State Department confirmed.
Elderly woman resists further land destruction: A 65 year old woman attracted international attention to the plight of Palestinian olive farmers when she grabbed hold of the trunk of an olive tree, refusing to allow Israeli forces to destroy it. The woman lived in the northern West Bank's Salem Village and the photographer who snapped her image won international acclaim. The story told by the image has occurred in Palestinian towns and villages for decades, with the olive tree having become a major victim the Israeli occupation.
Poll: 64% of Lebanese say opinion of U.S. worsened after war: Almost half those polled described their opinions as "much worse" after the war in which Israel's mainly U.S-equipped military did substantial damage to Lebanese villages, roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Israel opted for cheaper, unsafe cluster bombs in Lebanon war: During the second Lebanon war, Israel made use of American-made cluster bombs that left behind thousands of unexploded bomblets, even though Israel Military Industries produces cluster bombs that leave nearly no unexploded munitions. The main reason for the use of the U.S.-made weapons: Israel uses military aid funds to purchase cluster bombs from the U.S., and in order to buy IMI-made bombs, the Israel Defense Forces would have to dip into its own budget.
IDF to reopen guerrilla-warfare training center in wake of Lebanon war: IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz has himself called the results of the war "mediocre." The training at the facility will include navigation using GPS satellites, constructing hidden outposts and camouflage techniques, according to the report. The facility will also include a paintball course.
Olmert calls Halutz to dispel reports, express full support: Sources in the Prime Minister's entourage expressed great embarrassment at the reports on Tuesday that he declined to reply to questions on whether he backed the IDF Chief. Reporters who attended the press conference inferred from his response that he refuses to express his backing of Halutz.
Fury in U.S. over Olmert's comments on war in Iraq: Speaking after his talks with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House, Olmert said the American operation in Iraq brought stability to the Middle East. Politicians from the Democratic Party said they wanted to speak to Olmert about his comments on Iraq before responding publicly, but expressed disapproval over the remarks.
Minister: Schwarzenegger to promote business in Israel: Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai has invited Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to visit Israel in order to advance business investments and promote the economic cooperation between Israel and California. According to Yishai, the governor, who visited Israel in 2004, has accepted the invitation and promised to visit in spring of 2007.
Human rights organization claims Israeli army 'executed' 2 West Bank militants : The Israel Defense Forces on Monday denied claims by an Israeli human rights organization that the shooting death of two Palestinian militants near the West Bank town of Jenin last week was an "execution."
EU ministers pound Israel over Beit Hanun: Deploring the action as "unacceptable" and saying that while Israel has a right to self defense, it "should not be disproportionate or in contradiction to international humanitarian law."
Bush to Olmert: No international peace convention : The iSRAELI prime minister also claimed that President Bush did not pressure him to moderate the Israel Defense Forces' military activity in the Gaza Strip
I voted for a war criminal : They say that confession is good for the stricken soul. So here's mine: I voted for a war criminal. My intentions were sound. I wanted a better life for the Israelis who had it the worst. I wanted a better life for the Palestinians, who had it worse than anyone.
Hamas: No recognition of Israel : A future Palestinian national unity government will not agree to demands that it recognise Israel, the ruling Hamas faction has said.