Friday, November 24, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Bil'in peaceful protest marks agriculture season, demands free accesses to isolated orchards: This Friday in Bil'in, some 250 Palestinians and 50 Israeli and international peace activists carried the weekly protest against the Israeli annexation Wall in Bil'in village, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Eight residents, one Israeli reporter and one international peace activists were injured after the soldiers attacked the protesters and one resident was taken prisoner.

Four day military detention for non-violent Bil’in activist: Non-violent activist from Bil'in, Ayad Burnat, was seized and badly beaten by soldiers when he reached the other side of the gate. He was then arrested and is currently in detention in Ofer where he will be held for four days. Villagers have been told Ayad has been charged with throwing stones, a clearly trumped-up charge as Ayad was with the peaceful demonstrators the whole time.

Land deals from beyond the grave: The "burning ground" file reveals a small portion of the methods that put thousands of dunams of private Palestinian lands into the hands of Israeli construction firms. The ideological fervor of the Israeli government and the settlers to "redeem" the lands of Israel attracts criminals, Arab collaborators and Jewish con men. Paz says he has no doubt that if the police continue burrowing through Civil Administration files, they will discover the Amram brothers are not the only members of the large "family" that lives off the theft of Palestinian lands.

December 2: International ‘End the Gaza Siege’ Day: So far, the campaign project is reporting that 38 cities where actions are being planned on or about December 2 , when the big demonstration will take place in Israel... One last note: Not a single Arab city is participating in the campaign. Weird? Not at all. Arab street demonstrated for ages and nothing changed.

Amnesty International: “Israel: Fear for Safety”: The attack against Tove Johannsson, a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a solidarity group of peace activists, was witnessed and documented by several other international human rights defenders. They reported that the group was surrounded by up to 100 Israeli settlers who spat at them, kicked and shoved them, while Israeli soldiers standing at the checkpoint nearby took no action to prevent the attack.

Behind the Wall: Palestinian Teens Speak Out: BW was initiated by English language students last school year because they felt Palestinian youth were underrepresented on the world stage. They were also convinced that their homeland needed at least one publication giving Palestinian teens a voice. Thus, Behind the Wall was created to share their attitudes, ideas, and experiences to the world.

P.A Ministry of Health: “15 killed, 47 injured in the Gaza Strip since Wednesday”: Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on Thursday afternoon that fifteen residents were killed and forty-seven were injured in the period between Wednesday until Friday afternoon, after Israeli decided to escalate its offensive in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli troops kill boy (10) in Gaza: Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians including a young boy in clashes in Gaza today and the government said its assault would end only if gunmen stopped attacking the Jewish state from the strip.

3 soldiers injured in Beit Hanoun: Three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were moderately and lightly injured on Friday when their armored vehicle drove over an explosive device south of Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip.

5 Qassams fired at western Negev: No injuries were reported but residents said windows were broken. Another rocket landed in open fields. Two Qassam rockets were fired at Sderot overnight Friday. One of the rockets landed in the city center, damaging a shop but causing no injuries.

Hamas supremo in Egypt talks on prisoner swap: Exiled Hamas supremo Khaled Meshaal reportedly held talks with Egyptian officials on the problems facing the formation of a Palestinian national unity government and securing a prisoner swap deal with Israel.

Palestinian factions pledge to halt rocket fire if Israel stops Gaza assault: The Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Fatah agreed last night to stop launching Qassam rockets against Israel, if the Israel Defense Forces cease its operations in the Gaza Strip, Islamic Jihad source Hader Habib said last night.

Israel: No end to Gaza offensive until Palestinians halt rocket fire: In addition, Israel Defense Forces sources told Israel Radio on Friday that military activity in the Gaza Strip will continue, and even intensify, in an effort to move the Qassam cells to areas that are less convenient for firing rockets at Israel.

Israel rejects Palestinian offer to halt rocket fire: "Our people are victim of a barbaric Israeli offensive that has left more than 400 dead and 1,500 wounded while thousands of homes have been destroyed," Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas declared in Gaza City late Thursday.

State paid illegal settlers millions in compensation: The government's Disengagement Administration (Sela) has paid millions of shekels in compensation to dozens of families evacuated from illegal outposts in the Gaza Strip in the context of the August 2005 disengagement, Haaretz has learned. By law, only residents of legal settlements were entitled to compensation.

U.S. general says building up Abbas's guard: In his first interview since taking up the post in March, Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that Iran is helping arm and fund Hamas, and the United States wants to prevent "moderate forces" in the Palestinian territories from being eliminated.

Israel sending Hamas cease-fire signals: Recognizing that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is incapable of halting the Kassam rocket fire from Gaza, Israel reportedly is conveying messages indirectly to Hamas to try and secure a cease-fire. While insisting that Israel was not maintaining a continuous, indirect dialogue with Hamas, a government official on Thursday night acknowledged that messages were "getting through."

Noted religious Zionist rabbi calls for anti-Qassam militias: "Had the reins of the state been in 'Jewish' hands, not necessarily religious, we should have allowed the youth of Sderot, Ashkelon, the western Negev and anyone fit to bear arms ... to fight back in the framework of ungoverned militias," he wrote in remarks that will be published Friday in the weekly Zomet Institute bulletin Shabbat Beshabato.

A selective memory - By Azmi Bishara: Everyone calling for the dissolution of the Iraqi state, as though it were some philanthropic society or political party or joint-stock company, dredges up this study on Iraqi history. Needless to say, Israeli scholars hit upon it well before American journalists. Asher Susser referred to it in substantiation of his prediction that the Iraqi state would disintegrate after the war and that its people would revert to pre-state allegiances. He also expects the same of other Arab states.

Rice drops plan for Jordan peace summit due to PA turmoil: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had wanted to use her trip to Jordan next week to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian talks, but the idea was shelved due to the Palestinians' ongoing failure to establish a unity government, Israeli government sources said.

Will Israel join the nuclear club?: In February, Bush visited India and signed a declaration of strategic partnership with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the agreement, the United States will legitimize India's atomic bomb in retrospect and in return India will submit the civilian part of its nuclear industry to international inspection and will commit itself to refraining from proliferating atomic weapons.

UN rights chief says Palestinians, Israelis feel abandoned by world: Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said her talks with both Palestinians and Israelis during a five-day visit to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip made apparent "their profound sense of frustration and abandonment, including a perception that the international community is not doing enough to protect them."

Syrian Jews: Talk to Syria now: The head of New York's Jewish-Syrian community, Jack Avital, has blasted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for failing to "check the sincerity" of Syrian President Bashar Assad's peace overtures, the New York Jewish Week reported.

Former MI officer: Israel must sit down for talks with Syria: Ben Ari argues that Syrian president Bashar Assad and the Syrian military exploited the war in Lebanon to draw the conclusion that rocket and missile arsenals are the most important component in a conflict with Israel.

U.S. Groups To Host Rightist Minister With Anti-Arab Plan: The leader of the secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, Lieberman is best known for his proposal to transfer part of Israel's Arab population by turning over territory within the 1967 border to the Palestinians. But he is slated to speak about Iran on December 12, when he addresses the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in his capacity as deputy prime minister in charge of strategic threats.

Palestinian man shot dead in occupied Gaza : Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Hamas member who was filming the group's operations in northern Gaza.

Israel rejects rocket truce offer : Israel has dismissed an offer from Palestinian armed groups to stop firing rockets in exchange for a halt to Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Gideon Levy : A prayer in paradise : The kindergarten teacher is lying on a stretcher, covered with blood. The minibus is parked alongside. From somewhere to the left, the army cannon is firing shells.

France okays firing at Israeli jets over Lebanon: French soldiers in Lebanon who feel threatened by aggressive Israeli overflights are permitted to shoot at IAF fighter jets, a high-ranking French military officer told The Jerusalem Post.

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