Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Home demolitions resisted in Al Funduq: Five buildings were destroyed and three Palestinians were hospitalized by the Israeli military in Al Funduq, east of Qalqilya today. The Israeli army arrived at 5.30 this morning, allowing the occupants of homes just minutes to collect valuables and evacuate before their homes were demolished. The Israeli army claimed that the three homes and two agricultural structures were constructed without permits despite ongoing court cases.

Harassment of non-violent activists in Bil’in continues: Last night the IOF invaded Bil’in village at around 2am and arrested 4 villagers, who were taken to Ofer military base. Head of the Popular Committee against the Wall Iyad Burnat, committee member Basel Mansour, Loi Burnat and Khamis Abu Rahme were held at Ofer until 9am when they were taken to the police station at Mod’in. They were then interrogated first by the police and then by Shabak, the Israeli intelligence service.

Blow to settlement movement: For many months now, the state prosecution has been clashing in the High Court of Justice with Peace Now over its duty under the Freedom of Information Law to publish data about ownership of land on which settlements were built. The state requested to refrain from revealing the data on the grounds that "the subject of the petition is a complex and sensitive one, and questions of the country's security and foreign relations are tied up with it." Its representatives asked for more time. Now it seems that time is up.

Olmert: I did not use classified information: Wednesday morning, Yedioth Aharonoth reported that the prime minister used top secret intelligence information in order to censure Peretz for and, by doing so, exposed a number of Israeli intelligence capabilities, including the capability to listen to Abbas' conversations.

Israel's West Bank Theft: The Israeli colonizing movement in the occupied West Bank is practically thievery, wrapped in false "security" arguments. The report published this week, by the Israeli left wing organization "Peace Now" provides the statistical and legal infrastructure and the basic database for what we -- journalists, human rights organizations, liberal minded Israelis, and every Israeli with a grain of moral and ethical values -- have known for many years.

Several homes destroyed in northwestern West Bank citing building without Israeli permission: The Israeli administration continues to target the houses of Qalqilia District citizens where early this morning Israeli forces demolished several homes 18 kilometers east of the city, and just days ago destroyed others in the south. In addition to breaking in to other houses under the pretext of searching for the “wanted,” Israeli forces uprooted groves of olive trees.

Seven detainees confined to solitary at the Negev detention facility: Israeli Prison Administration (IPA) at the Negev detention facility confined seven Palestinian detainees to solitary without any apparent reason. The detainees were informed that they will be moved to another prison, but after they packed their belongings and were ready to go, they were instead confined to solitary.

Israel sends troops into two Gaza towns: In the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli snipers positioned themselves on more than a dozen rooftops in the towns of Beit Hanoun and Jebaliya as ground troops fanned out, Palestinian security officials said. Three teenage Palestinian girls were wounded by Israeli gunfire outside a school in Beit Hanoun, hospital and security officials said.

Jenin: IDF kills Al-Aqsa member: Palestinian sources said the activist, Shadi el-Amor, was shot dead during a gun battle between members of various Palestinian groups and IDF troops who arrived to detain Ashraf al-Saadi, commander of Islamic Jihad’s armed wing in Jenin. During the attempted arrest Saadi sustained moderate to serious injuries.

Naval boats injure a fisherman near Rafah: The fishermen reported that the naval boats opened heavy fire on them while they were fishing and injured one, who was moved to Abu Yousif Al Najar Hospital in Rafah after receiving medium range wounds.

Army invades Nablus, takes prisoner five residents: Troops entered the city of Nablus from several directions, opened fire randomly at residents' homes using live rounds and sound bombs. Soldiers searched scores of houses and took five prisoners to unknown locations.

Qassam kills Sderot man as ten rockets slam South: A man was killed yesterday when a Qassam rocket landed in the poultry-processing plant in Sderot where he worked. A total of approximately 10 rockets were fired at Israel yesterday.

Gaza gunmen release kidnapped Canadian: A few hours after they were kidnapped by masked gunmen in a Palestinian town known as a hotbed for militants, a Canadian aid worker and his Italian counterpart were freed unharmed in the southern Gaza Strip late Tuesday.

Security cabinet decides to step up response to Qassam fire: The ministers approved a series of measures, including attacks on Hamas institutions, and called for the IDF to aim for a "significant halt" to the Qassam rocket fire, to increase "pinpoint preventions" - a euphemism for targeted killings - and to prepare for a ground operation in Gaza, evacuated by Israel last year.

No more hitching in the W. Bank: The OC Central Command, Yair Naveh, dropped a cluster bomb early this week. He signed an order barring Israeli citizens from taking Palestinian passengers in their Israeli vehicles within the West Bank. The order will take effect on January 19, 2007 and it exempts those who take Palestinians with permits to enter Israel and the settlements, or those who take their first-degree relatives with them.

Flemish Palestine Committee marks Israeli fruit: According to the committee, it's impossible to determine whether Israeli fruit originates from occupied Palestine areas. If the area is cultivated by Israeli growers, they often use Palestine water to irrigate the land. Therefore Palestinians are missing income. The action is part of a bigger campaign against Israeli politics.

Families of Oct. 2000 riot victims nix payout over wording of deal: In a statement released Monday, the eight families said they rejected any settlement or agreement with the state, insisting that "the Israeli establishment is primarily responsible for the murder of our sons, and therefore we will act to bring to justice those who killed our sons, be it within local or international jurisdiction."

Hebrew Univ. to review application process deemed discriminatory: Tamir decided to act against the discrimination in the university's medical school following a report in Haaretz that exposed the declining number of Arab students accepted by the institution. This year, the report revealed, only sixteen Arab applicants were accepted, compared to 55 in 2005 - a 71 percent drop.

Peretz considers retaking parts of Gaza: Peretz held a security briefing yesterday, and requested an examination of options for reoccupying areas from which rockets are fired in order to distance the fire from Israeli communities. Peretz would like to avoid a long-term presence in Gaza, and therefore instructed the IDF to come up with "creative solutions."

Defense budget approval suspended over reinforcing Sderot buildings: The Knesset Finance Committee is delaying approval for expanding the defense budget to cover costs of the Lebanon war until sufficient funds are earmarked for reinforcing schools in Sderot against Qassam rocket strikes.

Olmert considers dismissing Peretz: He is expected to take a look at the political ramifications of firing Peretz, particularly at whether it would cause the rest of the Labor Party ministers to resign as well - something Olmert prefers to avoid.

Exodus threatens Israel-India ties
Israel's immigration policy is riddled with internal contradictions, and the Bnei Menashe aliyah embodies them all. Otherwise it would be impossible to comprehend how one man's vision has brought Israel to the brink of a severe crisis in relations with India or how the Chief Rabbinate, reluctant to convert hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish citizens from the former Soviet Union, would send a special delegation of religious judges to eastern India to convert a mysterious ethnic group.

A settlements mafia: The figures published yesterday by Peace Now's Settlement Watch team on the ownership of land on which the settlements sit presents a scary picture of the State of Israel's behavior in the territories. Put simply, for dozens of years, Israel continued to expand and entrench the settlement enterprise by dispossessing Palestinian residents of their lands, whose private ownership even the State of Israel does not dispute.

Israel is in need of mediators: The world, and in particular Europe, is assumed to be hostile to Israel, and every international conference is conceived of as an ambush in which Israel's enemies will try to force it into an arrangement that is contradictory to its existential interests. This aversion is particularly difficult to understand in view of the fact that Israel is sunk in a bloody conflict that has no solution, neither diplomatic nor military.

No Peace, No Place For Palestine:Everybody is angry, including Palestine, and everybody has a right to be angry -- except Palestine. Everybody has a right to exist on their own land -- except Palestine.

Israeli attacks kills 4 Palestinians in occupied Gaza: Israeli forces killed four -- two resistance fighters and two civilians. A cabinet statement said the military had been told to prepare and present a plan for a broader sweep.

2 Palestinians die from wounds: A man and woman from the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya who were wounded from Israeli occupation forces fire on Wednesday have died of their wounds in the Gaza hospital

Amira Hass: No more hitching in the W. Bank: The OC Central Command, Yair Naveh, dropped a cluster bomb early this week. He signed an order barring Israeli citizens from taking Palestinian passengers in their Israeli vehicles within the West Bank.

Israel's nuclear arsenal 'not a secret,' says Straw: Former Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, has become the first member of the British cabinet to go on public record and formally admit that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

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