Monday, November 20, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Confiscation of the Jordan Valley: The northeastern West Bank district is under the same siege as the northwest and the south. Mayor Daraghma continued to tell PNN Monday, “Farmers have their land ownership documents, but the occupation forces are preventing them from reaching their lands under the pretext that those lands have become closed military zones.”

What's the problem with the UN Register of Damage caused by Israel's Wall in the occupied Palestinian territories?: The Court also ruled that all states should abstain from recognizing and rendering assistance to the maintenance of Israel's Wall regime, and consider what further action is required to bring and end to the illegal situation. On 2 August 2004, the UN General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to establish a 'Register of Damage' caused by the Wall to all natural or legal persons. The Register has remained the only practical response of UN members states to Israel's illegal Wall and it has not yet materialized.

Chris Hedges: Bring Down That Wall: The last hope of halting Israel's steady ghettoization of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and calculated destruction of the Palestinian economy is the imposition of sanctions against Israel, especially the revoking of the $9 billion in U.S. loan guarantees. If we allow Israel to complete its massive $2-billion project to ring Palestinians in militarized, pod-like encampments in Gaza and the West Bank with security barriers, walls and electric fences, we will condemn Israel and the Palestinians to endless cycles of violence... doom the Jewish state.

Human Shields Stop Israeli Air Attack: Israel phoned Mohammad al-Barud, a commander of the People's Resistance Committee, a militant group affiliated with Hamas, to warn him and another Hamas militant that an air raid was imminent. In immediate response to a call made by Hamas leaders, hundreds of Palestinians including women and children gathered around the homes to prevent the Israeli attack.

Human shields prevent Israeli air strikes in Gaza: Speaking after the two incidents in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya at the weekend, an Israeli army spokesman said: "We warn people in advance because we don't want to harm innocent civilians, but after they took advantage of it we will have to think again."

PA unity gov't talks suspended as Abbas walks out on Haniyeh: "President Abbas ended the meeting in anger when Haniyeh told him Hamas insisted on the interior and finance ministries and wanted Abbas to approve the employment of Hamas members in senior PA positions," an Abbas aide involved in the talks said.

UN Human Rights Chief arrives in Gaza' Beit Hanoun: During her Beit Hanoun visit, Arbour stated that she came there to “express her concern, bring some comfort, and to show the victims that the world has not abandoned them”. “We cannot continue seeing civilians suffering while they are not the authors of their misfortune”, Arbour added. As Arbour was visiting Beit Hanoun, the Israeli military bulldozers were uprooting nearby fields.

After several hours of military offensive in Bethlehem, troop take Islamic Jihad activist prisoner: Monday evening, Israeli soldiers took resident Shareef Abu Hadeed prisoner after surrounding his house in the West Bank city of Bethlehem for several hours, and after detaining and interrogating several members of his family. Several residents, including a reporter, were injured during the offensive.

Eight families of October 2000 riot victims reject payout deal: The settlement, which was approved by the Nazareth District Court on Thursday, orders a one-time payout by the state to 11 families of victims on the condition that the state not be required to take any responsibility for the riots and/or the loss of life caused in their wake.

Israel ups the stakes in the propaganda war: Gissin said the words of his English-speaking spokespeople could not compete with the power of the pictures of civilians killed in the Israeli attack on Lebanese towns like Qana. And the Israeli parliament will not spend the money on an Israeli counterpart to al-Jazeera. But Gissin was not down-hearted. He declared there to be a "war on the web" in which Israel had a new weapon, a piece of computer software called the "internet megaphone"

Gaza suffering "massive" rights violations - U.N.: "The call for protection has to be answered. We cannot continue to see civilians, who are not the authors of their own misfortune, suffer to the extent of what I see." "We need to collectively call on leaders, political, military and militia leaders, to have the courage to break the cycle of violence to ensure the well-being of civilians."

Study: 71% of Palestinian Refugees living below poverty line: Jamil Rabah, head of the Institution, said in a press conference in Ramallah that poverty levels among the refugees had increased by 18% within the last seven months. Poverty percentage among the refugees was 53% last March.

New rule limits Palestinians from traveling in Israeli cars: The Israel Defense Forces this week introduced new regulations limiting Palestinians without valid permits from traveling in Israeli vehicles in the West Bank and Jordan Valley.

Bedouin petition High Court requesting access to water supply: The petition was submitted by the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel after the Haifa District Court, presiding as a tribunal on water issues, backed a decision by the Water Commissioner to block the water supply from several hundred families living in unrecognized communities in the Negev.

Vatican: Israeli-Palestinian conflict center of Mideast instability, action needed now: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the center of Middle East instability that the international community can no longer ignore, the Vatican told a United Nations emergency session.

Olmert repeatedly banned Peretz from meeting Abbas: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has on a number of occasions rejected requests Defense Minister Amir Peretz to hold talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on the grounds that "no one will meet Abbas before me."

Israel rejects UN condemnation of Beit Hanun deaths: "I have no doubt that it is not the State of Israel that should be answering questions about the harming of civilians, especially after we voiced deep regret at the harm done," Olmert told his cabinet in broadcast remarks.

State agrees to build reinforced student dormitories in Sderot: A ministerial committee on Monday approved the construction of dormitories reinforced for protection against rocket fire in the Qassam-battered western Negev town of Sderot.

Israelis Support Large Scale War in Gaza Strip: Many adults in Israel believe their country should increase its military operations in the Palestinian territories, according to a poll by Maagar Mochot released by Israel Radio. 51 per cent of respondents support a large scale military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas announces missile 'upgrade': The website, which refers to the IDF as the "Israeli occupation forces (IOF)" added: "After revealing the news in press statements he made Sunday, Abu Obaida warned IOF generals and Israel's war minister Amir Peretz against carrying out any military operations in Gaza Strip."

German globe maker 'establishes' Palestine: Ravensburger said it was taking these concerns very seriously. While Bruns said there were no plans to recall the globes already on the market, the next version would be designed by a different globe manufacturer, and that it would not show a Palestinian state.

The return of the Zionist entity: On the ideological plane they don't see any possibility of recognizing the legitimacy of the existence of the Jewish state in any part of Palestine. One could have expected that in the West Bank and Gaza there would be a public campaign to pressure Hamas to change its stance. That is not happening. In several public opinion surveys it even seems that the opposite is true: Hamas continues to enjoy serious support among the public, even on the issue of non-recognition of Israel.

Olmert unmoved by pressure for Israel-Palestinian initiative: The prime minister rejected the international summit idea of the Arab states, but says he is willing to participate in a more limited conference, with a defined mandate. This will allow him a photo-op with the Arab leaders without having to commit to anything of substance.

Time for diplomacy: Since the shelling of Beit Hanun that ended in 19 civilian deaths, including those of women and children, Israel's political and diplomatic establishments have been busy deflecting condemnation and thwarting diplomatic initiatives.

Free Barghouti: "Informed sources" made sure to publicize the fact that there is no chance of releasing him in the context of the deal for exchanging prisoners and kidnapped soldiers - the deal that will free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The Israeli government does not agree to release Barghouti, and that's final. And that is another of its mistakes.

Mideast's chicken and egg: Blair's Guildhall Speech, this week, calling for peace in the Middle East, instead of cheering me up amidst the seemingly endless exchange of fire between Israel and the Palestinians along the Gaza Strip, caused me to ponder whether this was yet another ploy to gain the sympathy of the Arabs and Iranians at Israel's expense.

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