Thursday, September 28, 2006

Meanwhile in Palestine

Palestine: A beach in Gaza: Today is the anniversary of the start of The Second Intifada. -We hope that there will be an ever greater awareness of the tremendous suffering of the Palestinians and of their extraordinary courage and strength. The 2nd Intifada was inevitable. There will be a 3rd and a 4th if the Zionists do not come to their senses. There will be no peace without justice and dignity.

Uniting with themselves: This is not an exercise in logic. "Self family unification" has become a common term in East Jerusalem's Population Bureau over the last two years. In the past, when Israel deprived Arab residents of Jerusalem of their status as residents after a few years' absence, they could ask to reinstate it via a simple process. Today, they are required to apply for something called "self family unification" and start a process similar to family unification, which could take up to a year or two.

Fatah chairman: Topple PA: In an interview to the London-based Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper, Qaddumi claimed that the lead negotiators between the movements "are not interested in reaching an agreement." He called on the Palestinians to overthrow their government "so that Israel will bear the responsibility for the lives of the Palestinians who still are under the fire of occupation."

The regional context: The Madrid Conference did not lead to a solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, and the Oslo Accords did not develop into a permanent agreement or even a long-lasting cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians. But this is only half the picture. If we look beyond the stormy borders of Israel, past the settlements and the refugee camps, we will see that Israel has used the peace process as a springboard for upgrading its regional and international standing. Even beforehand, Zionism and the Hashemite Kingdom had common interests and secret meetings, but the peace treaty has brought them into the light and has broadened them.

Israel's visa changes force people out of West Bank and Gaza: Palestinians in the occupied territories are being hit by what they say is a new threat to their survival, but this time it's not economic sanctions or military attacks. At the stroke of a pen, Israeli authorities have changed the visa status of thousands of foreign passport holders in the West Bank and Gaza. As a result, many who came to build businesses and provide jobs will be forced to leave.

Why recognize Israel?: But how can one explain the doubling of the number of settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem since the Madrid conference and Oslo agreement? Since the 1996 elections in Israel, and almost through the end of Ehud Barak's government, there was quite a long period of quiet on the security front. There were almost no terror attacks. During that period, as before, the great momentum of settlement continued. The population of settlers grew from 100,000 to over 200,000 during the 1990s.

Before independent Palestine state, recognition of Israel not possible: Musharraf :Gen Pervez Musharraf while answering a question about recognizing Israel, said that before the creation of an independent Palestine state and Israel`s evacuation of all the occupied areas, there is no possibility to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Unpaid PA policemen burn tires, block roads across Gaza City: Most police were from security services loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has been locked in an increasingly bitter confrontation with the Hamas-led government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh over stalled efforts to form a unity government.

Abbas in Qatar for possible talks on Gilad Shalit release: Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is also in Qatar and it is possible, although no reports have confirmed it, that Abbas and Meshal would meet there to discuss the option of having Qatar act as a mediator in the deal to free Corporal Gilad Shalit, due to the country's connection to Hamas and Israel.

Egypt-Hamas talks over Shalit hit a crisis: Egypt's powerful intelligence chief Omar Suleiman reportedly demanded that Shalit be freed by the end of Ramadan (October 23), warning that otherwise, Hamas would bear responsibility for a large Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip. He also demanded that Meshal cooperate fully in forming a Palestinian unity government. Egypt has not denied this report.

Hamas makes the best of things: Instead, Beita, under its Hamas mayor, provides an example of how Palestinians might start to wean themselves off donor-dependence. Its success comes partly because, while at the national level Fatah and Hamas are at loggerheads (talks on a national unity government, which seemed a done deal two weeks ago, are now stalled again), in Beita, as in many other mixed local councils, they co-operate.

DFLP says Hamas has to recognize Arab peace initiative: "Hamas should make its mind and show a clear position concerning the national coalition that should base on a political platform," Abdel-Karim said, adding it should be committed to the international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative.

Finnish PM says US will remain passive player in Palestine due to Iraq: "It seems natural, perhaps even obvious, to conclude that, because of the unresolved conflict in Iraq, the United States will unfortunately, for the time being, be a passive player in efforts to settle the future of Palestine. Europe must step in," he stressed.

Complaint: East Jerusalem traffic blocked on Yom Kippur: Police claimed, however, that barricades to block traffic are placed only on the border between the eastern and western parts of the city, and not within East Jerusalem itself. The organization claimed that barricades are placed on major arteries in east Jerusalem neighborhoods and brings traffic to a complete stop. The letter, which was addressed to the commander of the Jerusalem police Maj. General Ilan Franco, says that the closures in east Jerusalem make life very difficult including not being able to get to work, school, hospitals, mosques, and other places.

At a London Conference, Peres says settlement construction cannot be prevented: Settlers children cannot be prohibited from building their homes, he added. While in Palestine, children and their families lost their lands for settlement construction and expansion, in addition to losing more lands for the construction of the Israeli Annexation Wall that snakes deep into the occupied West Bank to enable settlement expansion.

UN human rights chief to visit Occupied Palestinian territories, Israel: Turning to the Palestinian Territories, she stressed that only a political solution �will bring an end to the loss of life, immense suffering and hardship.

Israeli group calls power plant attack a 'war crime': A 34-page report says the cuts in power are: harming health care; drastically limiting water supplies to three hours a day; plunging sew-age treatment to near crisis levels; limiting the mobility of high-rise dwellers by halting lifts; and threatening residents with food poisoning because of interruptions to refrigeration.

For the sin of false oaths: The Six-Day War, the war with the greatest accomplishments in the field of all Israel's wars, was not given an official name, even post factum. Despite the lengthy preparation before the war, when it would have been possible to formulate objectives (as was proposed, for example, by Yigal Allon), the government did not define an objective, or a name derived from such an objective. One result is that to this day, the divisive debate over what its objectives were continues retroactively.

To the international border. No further.: First, the declaration of Public Security Minister Avi Dichter must be officially adopted. Dichter said that in return for peace, Israel will agree to return the Golan Heights in its entirety to Syria, all the way to the international border. If the government adopts this, it can also continue saying what Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says about the Syrian issue: Negotiations are conditional on an end to Syrian assistance to terrorist and guerrilla groups that conduct operations against Israel.

Letter from Israel: When reality confronts the voices of diplomacy: But Haniya has proven unable to circumvent the Israeli and American policy - reluctantly followed by the European Union - to create popular pressure on Hamas to change by denying it recognition and money. Even a unity government would not automatically mean a restoration of funding.

Five-star hotels offer window on West Bank's woes: "We're not making any profit, put it that way," said Munzer Izhiman, the financial manager of the 181-room resort that stands alongside the Oasis, a stucco and mirrored-glass casino that used to attract 2,000 gamblers a night but is now closed.

Gaza Strip to remain without full electrical power for a year : Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has accused the Israel Occupation Forces of war crimes for bombing the plant, which has left many areas of the occupied Gaza Strip without full electricitical power the last three months.

Palestinian agricultural losses top US $1 billion: An ongoing economic boycott and intermittent border closures have created humanitarian problems for Gaza's residents, including a deteriorating agricultural sector, the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority (PA) said.

The Human Catastrophe of Gaza Is a Time Bomb : Gaza constitutes a time bomb. Some 1.4 million people, mostly children, are piled up in one of the most densely populated regions of the world, with no freedom of movement, no place to run, and no space to hide. Virtually without external access since June, Gaza is experiencing a rise in poverty, unemployment, penury, and despair.

UN envoy: Israel turned Gaza into prison : Special UN envoy on human rights in PA says in special report Israel's actions in territories can be described as 'ethnic cleansing,' adds three-quarters of Gaza population depend on food aid for survival.

Uri Avnery: Political Corruption in Israel: HAD HAMLET been a reserve soldier in the Israeli army, he might now declare: "Something is rotten in the State of Israel!"

James Petras: Challenging the Power of the Israel Lobby: What Should Be Done?: The image of a near-omniscient and omnipotent Jewish lobby overlooks its vulnerability and significant issues around which an opposition or counter-hegemonic movement can be organized in the United States.

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