Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two Israeli youths charged with shooting at Arab students during mob attack

Haaretz - Border Police officer allegedly handed his M-16 to a civilian friend, as some 30 Jewish youths demonstrated violently near Arab students' apartments.

... Some 30 youngsters from Safed attacked several Arab students who live in an apartment in the town's center on Friday night.

... The mass group of Jewish youths began shouting "death to Arabs", "stinking Muslims" and "a Jew has a soul and an Arab is a son-of-a-bitch" at the house. They began throwing bottles and stones at the student housing. Read more

Opinion: Israel is building apartheid state

Haaretz - The government is trying to build a protected autonomy for the Jewish majority and a stunted autonomy for the Arab minority.

Hundreds of thousands in Israel are pleased with the Citizenship Law, glad that the bill will, when it passes - and it will pass - allow discrimination against Arabs who will want to buy a home in a Jewish community, and the majority of the public considers MK Hanin Zuabi a traitor.

An individual can no longer purchase land, build a home or even rent an apartment in small communities in which the absorption committee opposes their presence. According to Adalah - the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the law will "protect" 68.3 percent of all communities in Israel from being "stained." Read more

Israeli security 'humiliates' visiting American professor

Haaretz - Heather Bradshaw, a neuroscience professor invited to a conference at Hebrew University, says she was asked to remove clothing, board the aircraft with no luggage. Read more

Israeli forces frequently shoot Palestinian workers, including children, near border

Ma'an - A string of shootings of Palestinian workers, many of them only teenagers, in the northern Gaza Strip has brought renewed attention to a live-fire exclusion zone imposed by Israel on the Gaza side of the Green Line.

… Many of those injured are desperately poor Palestinian workers who venture into the exclusion zone to gather gravel and other construction scrap from what remains of the former Israeli settlements in the north.

Defense for Children International documented 14 cases between March and October of this year of Palestinian youths under the age of 18 who were shot by Israeli forces while collecting gravel in the border zone.

While a few of these teens were shot as close as 50 meters from the border, others were 500, 600, even 800 meters from the border when the shooting occurred. The youngest of these children was 13, the oldest 17.

Twenty-five Palestinian civilians have been killed in the border area since the end of Israel's three-week offensive on Gaza in January 2009.

… These restrictions mean that 17 percent of the total land area of the already tiny Gaza Strip, and 35 percent of its agricultural land, is off-limits to Palestinian use. This in turn has contributed to a variety of humanitarian problems, further damaging the economy and directly affecting more than 113,000 people who live or work in or near the border.

Confusion about the boundaries of the exclusion zone persists. "Despite the potential for civilian casualties, the Israeli authorities have not informed the affected population about the precise boundaries of the restricted areas and the conditions under which access to these areas may be permitted or denied.” Read more

Palestinian 20-year-old loses vision after inhaling Israeli tear gas

Ma'an - A resident of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem is suffering severe vision problems after inhaling tear gas during recent clashes in the flashpoint neighborhood, a community center said.

The Wadi Hilwa Information Center said Ahmad Al-Juba, 20, gradually lost his vision since the clashes in late September, when Israeli forces used tear gas against protesters. Clashes broke out after a settler security guard shot dead resident Samer Sarhan. Read more

Report: Israel PM offers to trade freeze for US spy

Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested to US President Barack Obama to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in exchange for extending settlement freeze in the West Bank for 60 days, an Israeli news site reported Saturday. Read more

Turkey: Israel’s actions threaten Mideast

Haaretz - Turkey's already tense relations with Israel continued their apparent downward spiral on Saturday as Channel 10 reported that a central Ankara policy paper defined Israel as a central threat to Turkey's security, blaming Jerusalem's policies for destabilizing the entire region. Read more

Opinion: Israel is proud to present: The aggressor-victim

Haaretz - Israelis have always loved victimization, not only when we were real victims, as often was the case in our history, but also when we were the aggressors, occupiers and abusers. Read more

Israeli mob attacks Palestinian

Ma'an - A mob of Israelis attacked a Jerusalem man late Thursday, his family and a purported witness said.

Farid Tubasi, 28, was hospitalized at the intensive care unit of Hadassah Medical Center after he sustained serious wounds and bruises at the hands of a mob of "extremist" Israelis, Abed Tubasi, his brother, told the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights. Read more

Palestinian villagers mark anniversary of Israeli massacre

IMEMC - On the evening of October 29, 1956 Israeli troops shot and killed 49 unarmed Palestinian civilians in the village of Kafr Qasem, 20 km east of Tel Aviv near the green line.

Now the village has a population of 18,100 Palestinians, some of whom marched today alongside neighboring Arab villages to commemorate those killed [in] 1956. People marched from the village center to the memorial site and placed candles for those killed; village leaders made speeches in commemoration. Read more

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Israeli forces occupy Palestinian home

Ma'an - Israeli soldiers occupied a Palestinian home on Thursday in the Baqa’a Valley near Hebron for the third time in two months, a report from the Hebron-based Christian Peacemaker Teams said. Read more

Israel detains Israeli human rights worker

Ma'an - Israeli soldiers detained a field researcher with the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem in Hebron on Saturday, witnesses said. Read more

Jerusalem church officials suspect Israeli settlers in church fire

Ma'an - Israeli settlers were initially accused of carrying out the torching of a church building in Jerusalem on Friday evening, destroying the interior of what was until 1948 the Palestine Bible College.
… There appeared to be evidence, the official said, that pointed to arson, but he added that the church was awaiting the findings of fire investigators. Read more

Israel expands settlement in Occupied Territories

Ma'an - Settlers installed 12 caravans on Saturday beside an illegal settlement in the West Bank district of Nablus, witnesses said. Read more

Israeli army closes off Bethlehem

Ma'an - Israeli soldiers closed down all Bethlehem checkpoints on Saturday evening, prohibiting any movement in or out of the West Bank city. Read more

Dutch company charged for assisting in illegal Israeli settlement building

Al-Haq - Al-Haq is pleased to announce that it has lodged a criminal complaint against a Dutch private rental company, Riwal, for its involvement in the construction of the Annexation Wall, ‘the Wall,’ and illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank. Al-Haq instructed Liesbeth Zegveld of Bohler advocates to lodge the complaint in March 2010, on the basis of documentation collected by Al-Haq and partner organisations. Read more

Caterpillar Corporation stops shipping armored bulldozers to Israeli military

IMEMC - Peace activists around the world are celebrating Friday's announcement that the Illinois-based company, Caterpillar, has decided to hold off shipment of dozens of armored bulldozers to the Israeli military while a trial about the killing of Rachel Corrie is ongoing in Israel.

… Sydney Levy with Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the organizations that have been pushing for Caterpillar to divest from its contracts with the Israeli military, wrote on Friday, “We take this as an indirect admission by the company that these bulldozers are being used to violate human rights and to violate the law. The Corrie story is sadly just one of thousands of stories of loss and pain. A suspension of the sale of bulldozers is what we have been asking Caterpillar for over seven years now.“ Read more

Friday, October 29, 2010

Israeli forces attack non-violent demonstrators

Press TV- Israeli soldiers have injured several nonviolent protesters demonstrating simultaneously in some West Bank villages against the confiscation of their land and the construction of the apartheid wall.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers blocked the route of demonstrators in Ni'lin and Dir Nizam near Ramallah, and Umm Salamuna near Beth Lehm (Bethlehem), injured several Palestinians, and arrested at least one foreign national. Read more

Detained Israeli-Arab peace activist says charges are 'politically motivated'

IMEMC- Israeli-Arab peace activist, Ameer Makhoul, from Haifa in northern Israel, was arraigned on Wednesday in an Israeli court on a variety of charges ranging from 'contacting a foreign agent' to 'spying for Hezbollah. Makhoul, who says he was tortured while in an Israeli prison, believes the charges against him are politically motivated. Read more

Israeli incursions continue to intimidate Palestinians

IMEMC- Israeli soldiers invaded, on Friday morning, the towns of ‘Araba and Yamoun in Jenin, in the northern West Bank.

Security sources reported that the Israeli army invaded the town of ‘Araba, south of Jenin, broke into the house of ‘Adnan Khader and interrogated him before withdrawing from the town. Read more

Israeli Navy opens fire at Palestinian fishermen

IMEMC- Israeli Navy gunboats opened fire on Friday at dawn at several Palestinian fishing boats near the central district and Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. Read more

Israeli army orders closure of mosque

IMEMC- The Israeli army decided to close the Ibrahimi mosque, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, for Muslim worshipers for two days in order to allow Jewish worshipers to celebrate a Jewish feast. Read more

Israeli army denies Palestinians access to orchards

IMEMC- On Friday morning, the Israeli military prevented Palestinian farmers from working on their lands, adjacent to the separation wall, in the western part of the town of Beit Ula, northwest of Hebron.

...The residents were trying to reach their orchards in order to prepare the ground for planting olive trees. Read more

Palestinian detainee on hunger strike for third day

IMEMC- The Mandela Institute in the Occupied Territories reported, on Friday, that detainee Linan Abu Ghalama, imprisoned at the Israeli prison, Ha-Sharon, went on hunger strike three days ago demanding the prison administration to allow her to be joined with her detained sister.

… Linan was abducted by the army in April this year and was transferred to administrative detention without charges or trial. Read more

Israeli shelling kills Palestinian near border

Ma'an- Israeli tank shells killed a young Palestinian man in Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, according to medics.

...An Israeli military spokesman said that based on an initial investigation, soldiers spotted two "suspects" near the border and fired on them, hitting one of them. Read more

Opinion: Obama sells the peace process

Ma'an - Ramzy Baroud- ...The US president has, as expected, failed to persuade Israeli leaders to uphold such a basic prerequisite to ensuring a smooth-sailing peace process. Its resumption signaled the return of American diplomacy to the Middle East. Its current problems and expected failure, unlike previous rounds of talks, could very much usher the end of American political adventurism in the region. Read more

Palestinian member of Israeli Parliament shot in protest

Palestine Note- Jonathan Cook- Israeli police injured two Arab legislators yesterday in violent clashes provoked by Jewish rightwing extremists staging a march through the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

Haneen Zoubi, a parliament member who has become a national hate figure in Israel and received hundreds of death threats since her participation in an aid flotilla to Gaza in the summer, was among those hurt. Read more

Jewish officials hope to persuade lawmakers prior to election

JTA- Across the United States, Jewish community professionals are honing their skills of suasion, preparing to deal with a new crop of lawmakers who are unfamiliar with Jewish organizational priorities -- and who are likely to be unenthusiastic once they’re in the know.

...Backing the entire foreign assistance package has long been a sine qua non of pro-Israel support. Pro-Israel groups wince at conservative proposals to separate Israel funding because they say it smacks of a "special case" status they'd rather not have. Read more

Jewish groups ask Obama to grant clemency in espionage case

JTA- Orthodox and Reform Jewish groups are backing a letter circulating in the House of Representatives asking President Obama to extend clemency to Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, has been serving a life sentence since 1985 for passing classified information to Israel.

...The letter does not question Pollard's guilt or sentencing, but says that "There has been a great disparity from the standpoint of justice between the amount of time Mr. Pollard has served and the time that has been served -- or not served at all -- by many others who were found guilty of similar activity on behalf of nations adversarial to us, unlike Israel." Read more

Israel blocks Palestinian first, second graders from attending film festival in Israel

IMEMC- Israeli soldiers refused to allow children from the West Bank village of Umm al-Kheir entry into Israel while on their way to the Children's Film Festival in Tel Aviv, after being invited to watch the premiere of a movie featuring them. Read more

Thursday, October 28, 2010

$6 million initiative to combat rise of US civil action against Israeli policies

JTA- The Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are launching a multimillion-dollar joint initiative to combat anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns.

The JFNA and the rest of the Jewish federation system have agreed to invest $6 million over the next three years in the new initiative, which is being called the Israel Action Network.

...The network is expected to serve as a rapid-response team charged with countering the growing campaign to isolate Israel as a rogue state akin to apartheid-era South Africa – a campaign that the Israeli government and Jewish groups see as an existential threat to the Jewish state. Read more

Desmond Tutu Calls to boycott Israel

IMEMC- On Wednesday, the Anglican Archbishop called to cancel the opera "Porgy and Bess" that the Cape Town Opera Company was scheduled to perform in Israel next month.

...Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu said that it would be "unconscionable" for the Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel while millions of people living in the Palestinian territories are being denied access to culture and education. In his opinion, the opera "Porgy and Bess" has a "universal message of nondiscrimination," which is in complete contradiction to the behavior of Israel toward Palestinians. Read more

Congressional platforms prioritize Israeli policies

American Democracy: Pro-Israel Tweedledum and Tweedledee

by Maidhc Ó Cathail

Helen Keller’s pithy observation about American democracy being little more than a choice “between Tweedledum and Tweedledee” was never more true than in the upcoming midterm elections in the ninth congressional district of Illinois.

In a district which includes the affluent northern suburbs of Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan, the central issue is not the two wars—or is it now three?—the country is fighting, nor is it the tanking economy, in great part caused by those debt-inducing wars. No, the burning issue here is… who cares more about Israel?

Israeli cartoon brings extremist ideology to children

Ma'an- The life story of the late Israeli lawmaker Meir Kahane, an ultranationalist activist whose banned Kach party is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, is now available for children.

...Kahane advocated ethnically cleansing Israel and the Palestinian territories of Palestinians. Read more

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Israeli shelling kills Palestinian man, terrorizes families

Ma'an- Israeli tank shells killed a young Palestinian man in Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, according to medics.

...Israeli soldiers frequently shoot and injure Palestinians who enter or approach a 300 to 500 meter "buffer zone" along Gaza's border with Israel. In September, Israeli tank shells killed a 91-year-old shepherd, his 17-year-old grandson, and his 16-year-old friend. Read more

Israel razes Palestinian Bedouin camp

Ma'an- Israeli soldiers and Civil Administration personnel razed a Bedouin encampment, belonging to the Jahalin clan in Isawiya, northeast of Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, locals said. Read more

Palestinians sentenced for civil disobedience

The New York Times- ...The arrests and military trials of two of the Bilin organizers drew criticism from human rights groups, Britain, the European Union and Desmond Tutu.

Abdullah Abu Rahma, a teacher in the village, was arrested last December. Last week, he was sentenced to one year in prison by an Israeli military court that found him guilty of “organizing and participating in an illegal demonstration” and “incitement.” Read more

Israeli gunboats attack Palestinian fishermen

IMEMC- On Wednesday at dawn, Israeli gunboats opened fire at fishing boats off the shoreline in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

A WAFA correspondent reported that an Israeli gunboat opened fire randomly at Palestinian fishing boats, preventing them from fishing freely. Read more

UN Demands Israel to act against settler violence

IMEMC- UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process demanded Israel to act against the escalating attacks carried out by Jewish settlers against Palestinian farmers and their olive trees. Read more

International Justice Group coordinates legal-action, seeks Israeli accountability

International legal experts and lawyers representing victims of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla today announced the establishment of the “Flotilla Justice Group.” The announcement came at the conclusion of a two-day meeting held on 23 and 24 October, aimed at coordinating legal actions to hold Israel accountable for its 31 May 2010 attack on the Freedom Flotilla. The meeting, hosted by the Doha-based Al Fakhoora campaign, brought together 70 representatives from 20 countries, to follow up on work that began at the first lawyers’ meeting held in Istanbul on 15 July.

EU Parliament reviews prison conditions inside Israel

On 25 October 2010, the EU Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Human Rights will review prison conditions in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In advance of the hearing, DCI-Palestine has lodged a submission relating to conditions faced by Palestinian child detainees held in Israeli interrogation and detention facilities and prisons.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Israeli settlement runoff destroyes Palestinian olive grove

Maan- Israeli settlers denied allegations Tuesday that they flooded a Palestinian olive grove with sewage from an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Residents of Deir Al-Hatab, a Palestinian village in the Nablus district, said some 660 olive trees were destroyed by runoff from factories connected to the Elon Moreh settlement. Read more

Palestinian civilian dies in aftermath of Israeli air-strike

IMEMC- An Israeli airstrike in Gaza that killed one Palestinian and wounded five has claimed a second victim, as 22-year-old Muhammad Hisham Zaqout succumbed to his wounds in a Gaza City hospital on Sunday.

The October 7th airstrike was one of a series targeting alleged members of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. The Israeli use of airstrikes to assassinate targeted Palestinians has been widely condemned by the international community and the United Nations, but Israeli authorities continue to utilize the method to assassinate 'wanted' Palestinians, usually with civilian casualties as a result. Read more

Israeli army wounds mentally disabled Palestinian

IMEMC- Medical sources reported, on Tuesday morning,that a retarded Palestinian was shot by Israeli soldiers when they were stationed in the towers surrounding the military terminal,near Beit Hanoun,in the northern Gaza Strip. Read more

Israeli troops kidnap 6 Palestinians

IMEMC- The Israeli army abducted, on Tuesday morning, six Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem claiming they were hurling stones at Israeli police vehicles. The detainees were taken to al-Maskobeya detention and interrogation center in West Jerusalem. Read more

California rabbi under Tea Party banner, rallies with anti-Islam group outside Israeli Embassy

Haaretz- Rabbi Nachum Shifren is running for state senate under the Tea Party banner and is is considered a long shot to represent west Los Angeles in the California senate.

An Orthodox California rabbi running for state senate under the Tea Party banner marched yesterday with a far right-wing anti-Islam group in Britain outside the Israeli Embassy. Read more

Israel expands settlement in Occupied Territories

Ma’an- Israel is expanding a settlement in the northern West Bank district of Nablus, Ma'an has learned.

...Settlers have confiscated about 80 percent of the land to expand six settlements, residents say. About 65 dunums of the land is planted with olives, but farmers have been prevented from accessing it since the second intifada. Read more

Report: Israeli security service seeks to strip Palestinian citizenship

Ma'an- Israel's Shin Bet security service supports revoking the citizenship of anyone convicted of "terror" crimes, an Israeli newspaper reported Tuesday.

Haaretz said Interior Minister Eli Yishai's proposal emerged at a parliament debate on the proposal seen as targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel. Yishai suggests giving authorities the right to revoke citizenship from dual citizens convicted of "loyalty-related offenses."

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel denounced the proposal. Read more

PLO: Israel betrays the United Nations

Press TV- The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) says Israel has betrayed the United Nations principles, which had enable its occupation-propelled existence.

Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the umbrella group, which includes many Palestinian factions said on Monday that, through its numerous violations of UN resolutions, "Israel has undermined the efficacy of and derogated the UN System, the very authority through which it was created," the Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported.

In November 1947, the world body voted in favor of the partition of Palestine, proposing the creation of a "Jewish state."

Israel fabricated its existence a year later during the Six-Day War against the Arab world, forcing 711,000 Palestinians to leave their homeland. Estimates for 2008 put the number of Palestinian refugees at over 4.6 million. Read more

Monday, October 25, 2010

Israel hails commandoes killing activists

Press TV- Israeli leaders have praised soldiers who killed pro-Palestinian activists on board an international aid ship bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the commandos on Tuesday during a visit to the Atlit naval commando base.

"The action taken was vital, necessary, legal and of the utmost importance," Netanyahu said. Read more

Israeli extremists vandalize ancient Palestinian mosque

IMEMC- On Sunday, vandals attacked an ancient mosque in Ma'alul village near Nazareth, inside Israel. They removed the stones and spray-painted slogans of the Israeli settler movement on the walls. Read more

Israeli military raids Palestinian town, takes 4 prisoners and burns Quran

IMEMC- On monday morning, Israeli soldiers burned and tore up the holy Quran during the invasion of the town of Jayyus, east of Qalqilya. They, kidnapped three Palestinians, two of whom work in the institutions of the Palestinian Authority.

...Linda, 11, said she was terrified as she watched Israeli soldiers break into their home and blindfold her father. She added that Israeli troops stole the holy Qura'n from their house, then burned it and she started to collect its pages. Read more

Israeli forces order demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, clash with residents

IMEMC- Several Palestinians were wounded on Sunday during clashes that took place while the Israeli police was handing orders for the demolition of Palestinian homes in Silwan and Al Bustan neighborhoods, south of the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Undercover forces of the Israeli army also invaded East Jerusalem and clashed with local residents. Read more

Israeli military's continued abuse of Palestinian children

Stephen Lendman

On September 10, Israel's headlined, "IDF sexually abused Palestinian children," headlining:

"Damning (September 9) CNN report cites uncorroborated sexual abuse charges of Palestinian children detained by IDF." Military officials refused to "respond to abuse charges as no details (were) provided," a spokesman saying "We cannot address general claims on the subject in the absence of a specific complaint."

Congress defends killing of American peace activist

Truthout - Stephen Zunes- Despite revelations from a detailed investigation by a special commission of the United Nations Human Rights Council confirming that Israel committed war crimes, the overwhelming majority of both Republican and Democratic members of Congress remain on record defending the Israeli attack as legitimate self-defense. This is particularly striking given evidence presented in the report that five of the nine people killed, including a 19-year-old US citizen, were murdered - shot execution-style by Israeli commandos.

In a letter to President Barack Obama dated June 17, 329 out of 435 members of the US House of Representatives announced that they "strongly support" Israel's May 31 attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters, which resulted in the deaths of nine passengers and crew and injuries to scores of others. Similarly, a June 21 Senate letter - signed by 87 out of 100 senators - went on record "fully" supporting what it called "Israel's right to self-defense." Read more

Report: Israeli army under investigation for use of Palestinian girl as human shield

DCI - Palestine Section- On 19 October 2010, the Israeli Military Prosecutor for Operational Matters, Captain Maayan Yaacobi, wrote to Adalah to say that a Military Police investigation has been opened in the case of a 16-year-old girl from Nablus, who reported being used as a human shield by the Israeli army in February 2010. Read more

Report: Israel's National Forensic Institute using "spoils of war" for organ traffic on US soil

Counterpunch - Nancy Scheper-Hughes- ...Although the criminal justice system refused to believe the story I gave them, transplant surgeons working in hospitals in the U.S. who had been approached by Ilan Peri and his associates, including Isaac Rosenbaum, knew it to be true and knew that some of their colleagues were complicit in transplant crimes that ranged from violating the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) in the buying and selling organs, to fraud, deception, money laundering, taking bribes, participating in organized crime and human trafficking. The Rosenbaum case, still in preparation, will be the first U.S. federal prosecution of crimes related to organs trafficking.

...The information was based on Boström’s research in Israel and the Occupied Territories during the first Intifada, and his award-winning book, Inshallah,9 published in 2001, where Bostrom first introduced the allegations of body tampering and organ-and-tissue theft from Palestinian dead brought for autopsy to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. Boström’s article suggested that Palestinian bodies were being harvested as the “spoils of war.”

...When Dr. Zaki Shapira began putting out feelers for kidney sellers in the early 1990s to serve the needs of his transplant patients at Bellinson Hospital in Tel Aviv, he found them close at hand, Palestinian guest workers. Palestinians were, he told me in Bellagio in 1996 at a conference on organ trafficking, “pre-disposed” to sacrifice their organs. Or, perhaps, to be sacrificed. It works both ways. Read more

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vatican urges end to Israeli occupation

The National- Roman Catholic bishops for the Middle East urged the United Nations Saturday to end the Israeli occupation of Arab lands at the end of a meeting chaired by Pope Benedict XVI.

In a final statement of their two-week conference, the bishops' synod said the citizens of the Middle East "call upon the international community, particularly the United Nations, conscientiously to work to find a peaceful, just and definitive solution in the region, through the application of the Security Council's resolutions and taking the necessary legal steps to put an end to the occupation of the different Arab territories. Read more

Report: Israeli Military Police investigation of air strike targeting Palestinian family

Haaretz- The order to bomb the house has been explained as the brigade commander's legitimate interpretation of drone photos shown in the war room.

A Military Police investigation into an air strike that killed 21 Palestinian civilians during Operation Cast Lead, according to a recent Haaretz report, indicates senior air force officers had approved the attack. The report, published on Friday by Amos Harel and Anshel Pfeffer ("IDF probes top officers on Gaza war strike that killed 21 family members" ), alleges senior officers authorized the bombing despite being warned by more junior officers that civilians were likely located at or nearby the target site. Read more

Israeli settlers uproot 40 olive trees, a life source for Palestinian village

IMEMC- A group of fundamentalist Israeli settlers uprooted on Saturday at least 40 olive trees in Al Lubban Al Sharqiyya village, south the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Read more

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Extremist Israeli settlers assault Arab students

IMEMC- On Friday midnight, a group of extremist settlers hurled stones at students dorms, at the Academics College of Safad, in the Galilee.

The Arab students resisted the extremists until the arrival of the Israeli Police to the scene. The police made no arrests and no injuries were reported.

This is the tenth reported attack carried out by fundamentalist Jews who are trying to force the Arab student out of area. Read more

Friday, October 22, 2010

Report: 2 killed, 3 wounded, 13 abducted by Israeli forces this week

IMEMC - PCHR Weekly Report- According to its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 14– 20 October 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that two members of the Palestinian resistance were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip; three civilians were wounded, and 13 abducted, including two Israeli peace demonstrators and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Read more

Lack of fuel causes rolling blackouts in Palestinian territory

Ma'an- One of the generators in Gaza's sole power plant will stop running Friday as it has run out of fuel, a Gaza Electricity Company spokesman said.

Jamal Ad-Dardasawi said efforts to open Kerem Shalom crossing for the entry of fuel had failed. Israeli authorities informed Gaza crossings official Raed Fattouh that both Kerem Shalom and the Karni crossing would be closed on Friday and Saturday, and reopen Sunday.

Due to the closure, scheduled blackouts would resume in the Strip, Ad-Dardasawi said. Power would be provided for eight hours, followed by an eight-hour blackout. Read more

Elders: Israeli violations damaging chances for peace

Ma'an- The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders, said Thursday that settlement expansion, home demolitions and deportations were eroding chances for a two-state solution.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, former Irish President Mary Robinson and Indian women's rights campaigner Ela Bhatt, concluded a week-long visit to Israel and the occupied territories on Friday. Read more

Palestinian graveyard vandalized by extremist Jewish settlers

Haaretz- Witnesses report seeing three suspects at the graveyard in West Bank village of Kfar Kadum.

Extremist Jewish settlers spray-painted slogans on graves at a northern West Bank cemetery, Israeli media reported Friday.

The vandals also sprayed the name of the extremist late Rabbi Meir Kahane on one of the graves. Read more

Israeli commander questioned over Palestinian family's killing

Ma'an- An Israeli army commander was questioned Thursday over his involvement in the killing of 21 members of a Gaza family during Israel's last war on Gaza, Israeli press said.

Colonel Ilan Malka told Military Police that he was unaware of a civilian presence in the Samouni household when he approved an airstrike on the home on 5 January 2009, the Israeli news site Ynet said. The bombing killed 21 members of the same family and injured a further 19. Read more

Israeli soldiers kidnap five Palestinian citizens

IMEMC- On Friday morning, the Israeli military abducted five Palestinian citizens from the towns of Beit Umar and Beit 'Awa near Hebron.

Local sources in Hebron reported that the Israeli military invaded a number of citizen's houses in the town of Beit 'Awa, west of Hebron and kidnapped Abd Masalma, 45, who is handicapped. Also kidnapped were Sa'ed Masalma, 23, and Yosef Masalma, who were taken to an undisclosed destination. Read more

Report: Occupation, not Islam cause for suicide terrorism

Foreign Policy - Robert A. Pape- Extensive research into the causes of suicide terrorism proves Islam isn't to blame -- the root of the problem is foreign military occupations.

...One of the most important findings from our research is that empowering local groups can reduce suicide terrorism. Read more

Israeli army detained Palestinian university student one month before his graduation day

IMEMC- The Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Detainees in Nablus condemned on Thursday the Israeli army raid on the house of Palestinian Nawwaf al-Ammer, and detention of his son, Ibrahim Ammer, 22 years old, after a destructive search of the house. Read more

Opinion: Senator Boxer labeled as "progressive hero" despite support of Israeli policies

The Huffington Post - Stephen Zunes- ...The senator, Barbara Boxer of California, has for years angered progressives here by her strident position in support of some of the most militaristic tendencies in Israel.

There was a time -- such as during the Vietnam War or during U.S. military intervention in Central America in the 1980s and the Vietnam War earlier -- that such callous disregard for human rights and international law would have exempted a member of Congress from ever getting an endorsement from a major progressive organization, much less such an exemplary designation, however progressive their domestic agenda may have been. Read more

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Opinion: Is Israel an Apartheid State?

ICAHD-USA - Frances H. ReMillard- Do Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian territory, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, amount to the crimes of colonialism and apartheid under international law?

Summary of a legal study by Human Sciences Research Center of South Africa. Read more

Israeli Interior Ministry immigration police accused of beating U.S. immigrants

Haaretz- The Interior Ministry's controversial Oz immigration police unit has been accused of beating and verbally abusing members of an African-American family from Kansas City whose members converted to Judaism several years ago, and are living in Ashkelon pending a decision on their citizenship request.

...The morning after the incident, Trina Woodcox went to the Ashkelon police station to file a complaint against the police, but was rebuffed.

"They called her a liar, and said that they couldn't accept her complaint," said Maor. Read more

Opinion: Israel to host tourism summit in disputed territory legitimizes occupation

Ma'an- Last January, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development announced that Israel would host its next Tourism Committee Summit in Jerusalem.

...Most ironically given this summit's topic, Israel has calculatingly decimated the Palestinian tourism industry. It has looted, confiscated or destroyed countless Palestinian archeological artifacts and heritage sites that are integral to Palestinian patrimony. To this day, Israel controls who enters and exits Palestinian territory, as well as their movement within our territory. In this vein, Israel has restricted the issuance of travel guide permits to only 42 Palestinian tour guides who are able to work in occupied East Jerusalem. This stands in stark contrast to the over 7,000 such permits Israel issued to Israeli tour guides to ensure that the incomplete, if not patently false, Israeli narrative dominates what is conveyed to the vast majority of tourists.

All of the forgoing of course begs the larger question of why Israel, the largest recipient of American foreign aid, was admitted to the OECD in the first place.

For these reasons, Palestinians welcome the decisions taken by those governments that chose not to attend this Summit. However, through their attendance, many other countries remain complicit in Israel’s attempts to preempt the results of any negotiations process. Read more

EU 'concerned' after Israel jails activist

Ma'an- ..."The EU Representatives to the Palestinian Authority and the EU Consul Generals in Jerusalem are concerned by the 12 months sentence to prison of Abdallah Abu Rahma," they said in a statement. "The EU considers Abdallah Abu Rahma a human rights defender who has protested in a peaceful manner against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his village of Bil'in."

...Israeli military law in the West Bank uses a much stricter definition of illegal assembly than Israeli civilian law, in practice forbidding more than 10 people from assembling without receiving a permit from the military. Read more

US opposition to IAEA inspection of Israeli nukes

Press TV- ...Israel is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East with more than 200 of atomic warheads. The IAEA and the global community have frequently called on Israel to the NPT.

...The United States has slammed the debate about Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Last month, US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the IAEA is not the place where Israel's accession to the NPT can be discussed, and that Israel has fully cooperated with the IAEA.

The international community has frequently condemned the US for turning a blind eye to Tel Aviv's nuclear arsenal, while pressuring NPT members over their nuclear energy programs. Read more

Israeli forces injure more Palestinians

Press TV- On Thursday, two Palestinians came under Israeli fire while gathering scrap metals in the city of Beit Hanoun in the north of Gaza, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The three others, who suffered injures, were similarly collecting discarded materials.

Israeli forces carried out a self-proclaimed withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. The military, however, continues to carry out repeated attacks on the enclave.

The workers search former Israeli settlements for collectable materials as a coping strategy in the face of an all-out Tel Aviv-imposed siege. The blockade has been depriving 1.5 million Gazans of food, fuel and other necessities for more than three years. Read more

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Israeli tanks invade Gaza twice in one day

Press TV- The Israeli military has reportedly invaded Gaza twice in a single day, keeping up Tel Aviv's regular forays into the blockaded coastal sliver.

...Enlisting the support of tank reinforcements, the forces carried out a number of incursions into the south of the enclave later in the day, a Press TV correspondent reported.

...Israeli forces carried out a self-proclaimed withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. The military, however, continues to launch regular deadly attacks on the strip. Read more

Leading rabbi encourages Israeli soldiers to use Palestinian human shields

Haaretz- 'Your life is more important than that of the enemy', Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira tells students, adding that a soldier should never put himself in danger even for the sake of a civilian.

A leading rabbi in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar has encouraged Israel Defense Forces soldiers to make use of the outlawed "neighbor procedure" while operating in Palestinian areas.

"Anything you do to keep the war tough is permissible, and obligatory according to the torah," Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, headmaster of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva, wrote in fliers distributed to his students. Read more

Israeli troops degrade Palestinian female prisoner

Press TV- A recently released video shows a male Israeli soldier abusing and humiliating a female Palestinian detainee by dancing around her.

Israel's Channel 10 television aired the video, in which the soldier was dancing in front of the handcuffed and blindfolded woman, late Monday.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned the degrading act as well as the release of the video, saying it was "deeply offensive to the dignity of women." Read more

Israel seals unprecedented weapons deals with the US

Truth-out- Israel has recently sealed a deal to purchase 20 brand-new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets made by US defense and aerospace corporation Lockheed Martin in a contract that, at $2.75 billion, is one of the largest arms purchases ever made by the state. The entire contract is paid for by an ongoing US military aid package under the auspices of the US government's Foreign Military Sales program.

Israel had originally attempted to purchase 75 jets, a plan that was discussed in meetings between Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Shani, US Pentagon officials and Lockheed Martin representatives in September 2008. Read more

Trial in killing of American activist Rachel Corrie resumes in Israeli court

Rachel Corrie Foundation– The Haifa District Court will resume hearings on Thursday, October 7 in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza.

Rachel Corrie, an American student activist and human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer while nonviolently protesting Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Read more

Palestinian school set on fire and vandalized by nearby Israeli settlers

Haaretz- ..The incident appears to be the latest action in a campaign that extremist settlers, who live on hilly outposts nearby, call the "price tag." They say it is their response to moves by the Israeli government to remove unauthorized settlements or restrict settlement construction.

Two weeks ago, arsonists torched a West Bank mosque, scrawling "revenge" on a wall in Hebrew and charring copies of the Muslim holy book. Read more

Two Palestinian prisoners start their twenty-fifth year in Israeli jails

IMEMC- The Palestinian national committee for supporting detainees stated, on Wednesday, that two detainees, Ibraheeb A’layan, 45, detained on October 10th,1986 and Sameer Abu Ne’mehn, 50, detained on October 20th,1986, both from Jerusalem, have entered their twenty-fifth year in Israeli jails. Read more

Rabbis urge Jews to refrain from renting apartments to Arab students

Haaretz- A group of 18 prominent rabbis, including the chief rabbi of Safed, signed a call urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews.

According to a report which first appeared on Channel 1 television, most of the signatories are from Safed, a city that has seen an increase in its Arab student population that is enrolled at the town's local college. Read more

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Israeli settlers invade Palestinian town in middle of the night

IMEMC- On Monday after midnight, Israeli settlers invaded al-Makkam village near Nablus, in the northern West Bank.

Security sources reported that dozens of Israeli settlers invaded al-Makkam and withdrew early on Tuesday morning. Read more

Israeli soldiers kidnap Palestinian civilian and terrorize home

IMEMC- The Israeli military abducted, on Tuesday morning, Ayyad Bregheth, 20 years old, from the town of Beit Umar, located between Bethlehem and Hebron.

Security sources reported that the Israeli army conducted a search campaign in the detainee's house. After calling through loudspeakers to urge him to leave the house, the army fired stun grenades and threw stones at the door of his house. Read more

Israeli Settlers torch olive trees near Bethlehem

IMEMC- On Tuesday afternoon, Beitar Illit settlers torched a number of olive trees that belong to residents of the village of Husan.The settlement of Beitar Illit is located between the villages of Wadi Fukin, Nahalin and Husan, west of Bethlehem. Read more

Israeli forces detain journalists for harvesting olives

Ma'an- Israeli forces on Thursday detained a group of journalists and government employees who were helping to harvest olives in a Nablus village, a Palestinian Authority ministry said. Read more

Israeli settler suspected in hit-and-run of Palestinian youth

Ma'an- A Palestinian was injured Tuesday after he was struck down in the Bethlehem village of Tuqu' on the main road.

Locals said a settler is suspected of driving into Rafat Ibrahim Suleiman, 25, as he walked on the main road, then fleeing the scene. Read more

Report: Israeli company to begin new gas drill near Palestinian territory

Ma’an- An Israeli company has received license to drill for gas in two areas in the Gaza-Israel border on Tuesday, a day after drilling began at a controversial offshore site in the north, Israel Radio reported. Read more

Israeli Settlers torch crops in Palestinian village

Ma'an- Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian crops on farmland in the Husan village in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, burning vast areas of olive groves before firefighters were able to control the blaze, locals said.

Locals said Israeli residents of the nearby illegal Betar Illit settlement obstructed Palestinian firefighters from accessing the site of the blaze, causing the fire to spread extensively. Read more

Israeli Parliament seeks ban on Palestinian tour guides

Ma'an- A draft bill put forward by eight Israeli Knesset members seeks to ban Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem from working as tour guides in the city, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

The bill is sponsored by MK Gideon Ezra, who said he believed Palestinian residents of Jerusalem should not be certified guides because they did not represent Israel's national interest well enough "and in an appropriate manner," the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Read more

Israeli forces raze Palestinian village for fifth time since July


Aljazeera- You could easily miss the thin, gravel road that leads to Al Arakib, a Bedouin village in the north Negev. It is a bit ironic, given the enormity of the struggle there and its deep implications for the Jewish state.

Israeli forces have razed the village five times since late July, sparking cries of ethnic cleansing and leaving more than 300 Bedouin homeless. But the equally determined residents, along with a handful of Jewish activists, continue to rebuild. Read more

Monday, October 18, 2010

Israeli religious leader: 'Gentiles exist only to serve Jews'

Jerusalem Post -- The sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews, according to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the head of Shas’s Council of Torah Sages and a senior Sephardi adjudicator.

“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said in his weekly Saturday night sermon on the laws regarding the actions non-Jews are permitted to perform on Shabbat.

The UN says Israeli Settlement building contradicts Mideast peace


UN assistant secretary general tells council session that Israel's decision to build 238 new housing units violates international law.

...The Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, urged UN Security Council members to exercise their responsibility as keepers of world peace and security by working out a future of peace and security in the Middle East.

Mansour said the current situation in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, is "untenable, unsustainable and volatile as a result of Israel's ongoing illegal actions and provocations against the Palestinian people and their land." Read more

Opinion: Israel building to destroy the peace process

Haaretz- The only explanation for the government's approval of 240 new housing units in East Jerusalem is that it was an attempt to sabotage the efforts to renew direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

...The early notice is certainly consistent with the government's pledge that it would not surprise Washington - as it did during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region in March, resulting in a diplomatic crisis between the two countries. But giving early notice on an unacceptable decision does not legitimize it. Read more

Israel continues political detention campaign

Ma'an- Israeli forces detained a Hamas-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council on Monday from the southern West Bank district of Hebron.

Hatem Qafaish, elected to the Palestinian parliament in 2006 with Hamas' Change and Reform bloc, was detained after Israeli forces ransacked his home, a local source told Ma'an...

...One lawyer told Ma'an that under all legal precedents, lawmakers are immune while sitting in office. Israel, the lawyer said, has violated this legal norm both by jailing Palestinian PLC members in the West Bank and passing laws within the Israeli Knesset removing Palestinian-Israeli members' immunity under the pretense of spying for an enemy state. Read more

Opinion: Palestinians asked to recognize their exclusion under 'Jewish' state oath democratic?

Ma'an- The State of Bla-bla-bla-Uri Avnery

..For Lieberman, all this talk about an oath of allegiance to the Jewish Soviet is nothing but a means to gain the leadership of the Israeli Right, and from there to the leadership of all Israel. For this end he is ready to declare war on 20 percent of Israel's citizens – every fifth Israeli – something without precedent in a democratic country.

Will Germany enact a law that demands that every Turk aspiring to citizenship swear allegiance to the "German Federal Republic, the Nation-State of the German People?" Sounds like a ridiculous idea.
Read more

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Israel closes Bethlehem checkpoint

Ma'an- Israel's Civil Administration said the 300 checkpoint in Bethlehem would be closed to those entering the West Bank on Monday due to a Jewish holiday.

The administration said the closure was scheduled because celebrations would be held at Rachel's Tomb, adjacent to the checkpoint. The terminal would be open for entry into Israel, however. Read more

2 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike

Ma'an- A Palestinian succumbed to his wounds sustained Sunday morning during an Israeli airstrike northwest of Gaza City, bringing the death toll up to two.

...Shortly after peace talks were relaunched in Washington on 2 September, the Israeli air force launched a series of airstrikes on Gaza, killing several. Gaza politicians have said they believed the increase in military action aimed at derailing both peace talks and ongoing Fatah-Hamas unity talks. Read more

Palestinians faced with continued house demolitions

Ma'an- Israeli authorities delivered demolition orders to a community in the Hebron district on Saturday, a land research center said.

The An-Nawaj'ah family was ordered to remove tents in Wadi Ijheish south of Yatta. A family of 20, including 10 children, live in the tents. The family was also ordered to destroy troughs for livestock south of Susiya village, the center said, adding that 10 structures were slated for demolition in total, all of which were vital to the community's survival. Read more

Israeli settlers begin new settlement expansion outside Jenin

IMEMC- Despite a statement by US officials Friday that they were disappointed in Israel's decision to continue expanding settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, new and existing settlements have begun a massive building spree, including in several settlements near Jenin.

The Jenin-area settlements are particularly controversial due to their proximity to Palestinian cities and towns deep inside the West Bank, areas which were supposed to be under complete Palestinian control since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. Read More

Israel Military Policy Not to Investigate Killings of Palestinians by Soldiers


...This policy, which led to a significant drop in MPIU
investigations of homicide cases, ignored the varying character of the army’s actions in the Occupied Territories, and treated every act carried out by soldiers as a combat action, even in cases when these acts bear the clear hallmarks of a policing action.

...To explore the considerations, the report analyzes a number of instances in which the decision was made not to open an MPIU investigation and finds that MPIU investigations were not opened also in cases in which there was a serious suspicion of clear breach of international humanitarian law... Read More

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Israeli Army shuts down peaceful rally in Palestinian village Beit Ummar

Ma'an- Israeli forces used tear gas and sound grenades to shut down a peaceful rally in Beit Ummar near Hebron on Saturday, protest organizers said. Read More

Israeli settlers caught on camera torching Palestinian cars

Ma’an- Three Israeli settlers were caught on security cameras setting fire to two Palestinian cars in the village of Qusra in the northern Nablus district overnight Saturday. Read More

Defence for Children International/Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine) has issued an Urgent Appeal for Israeli Army to cease violence

DCI Palestine-

Defence for Children International/Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine) has issued an Urgent Appeal (UA 4/10) requesting that the Israeli army ceases the practice of targeting unarmed children adjacent to the border in Gaza.

Last Wednesday and Thursday (13/14 October), two more children from Gaza were shot whilst collecting building gravel close to the border with Israel. The children estimate that they were between 450-700 metres away from the border at the time of the shooting. Read more

Opinion: From Budrus to Bilin: Arresting Heroes

The Huffington Post- ...Yet as talks predictably falter once again, the very civic leaders who are willing to risk their lives to promote a dignified, free, secure and rights-respecting future for both peoples are being jailed, harassed and silenced. In recent months, Palestinian nonviolence leaders in particular are facing a severe crackdown, just as their unarmed movements to end the occupation in cooperation with Israeli and international allies are picking up steam. Read More

Israeli Civil Rights group asks Netanyahu to make 'no population transfer' pledge

Haaretz- ...The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has written to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking he make clear his government has not discussed the transfer of Israeli Arab citizens to the Palestinian Authority as part of a peace agreement, and that the government will not bring the subject up in the future. Read More

Israel stages mock air raids over Gaza

Press TV- Israeli warplanes have carried out a number of mock air raids over many areas across the Gaza Strip, causing sonic booms and panic among school children.

The violation of the skies over the Palestinian territory occurred on Wednesday which coincided with the visit of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to neighboring Lebanon. Read More

Barack Obama Loses the Battle for a Settlement Freeze

FMEP- ...Washington’s subsequent failure to establish meaningful constraints on settlement expansion was highlighted by the September 27, 2010 end of Israel’s ten month inconclusive settlement moratorium and the official resumption of new construction... Read More

Israeli settlers torch olive groves in northern West Bank

Ma'an- Firefighters were called to a Qalqiliya village on Friday after settlers torched Palestinian olive groves, a civil defense spokesman said. Read More

Former US army intelligence and CIA officers accuse 9-11 Commission Director Philip Zelikow of witholding information

Maidhc O Cathail

Zelikow’s tight control of the commission excluded evidence from national security experts, while featuring claims by a dubious scholar with close ties to neocon Paul Wolfowitz

In an interview on the Fox Business Network, a retired U.S. intelligence officer accused the official in charge of the 9/11 Commission of a cover-up of intelligence failures leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Appearing on the political talk show Freedom Watch, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and the author of Operation Dark Heart, a much-hyped new book on the war in Afghanistan, spoke about his mid-October 2003 encounter with Dr. Philip Zelikow, then executive director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Palestinian Protesters Suffer From Tear Gas During The Weekly Non-violent Protest In Nil'in

IMEMC- Residents of the village of Nil'in and peace activists marched towards the annexation wall that passes through the villager's lands, chanting slogans calling for the removal of the Israeli occupation and condemning Israeli soldiers who prevent Palestinian farmers from accessing their lands, located behind the wall, to harvest olive trees. Read More

Israel approves expanding settlements, throwing peace talks into a deadlock

Press TV- Despite global opposition to Israel's settlement projects, Tel Aviv has invited tenders to build 238 new settlement units in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved building of the new units in Pisgat Zeev and Ramot late on Thursday, Israeli media reported on Friday.

The move comes as the United States has failed to pressure Israel to extend its partial freeze on settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The expiry of 10-month halt, which ended last month, has thrown the US-sponsored direct talks between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel into a deadlock. Read More

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Palestinian prisoner marks 29th year in Israeli jail

Ma'an - A 58-year-old detainee from Salfit in the northern West Bank on Thursday entered his 29th year in Israeli prisons, the prisoners' society said. Read more

Demonstrators hold sit-in in front of Nativity Church in Bethlehem to protest Israeli torture of Palestinian prisoners

Ma'an -- Demonstrators held a sit-in Thursday in front of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem to protest the torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, organized by the local detainees' center.

Head of the center Abdul Fattah Khalil welcomed supporters who joined the sit-in, and called for the release of all political prisoners.

Israeli forces detain journalists, government employees helping harvest olives

Ma'an -- Israeli forces on Thursday detained a group of journalists and government employees who were helping to harvest olives in a Nablus village, a Palestinian Authority ministry said.

The PA Information Ministry organized a volunteering day for approximately 40 journalists and 20 ministry employees to help villagers in Kafr Qaddum pick olives. A ministry statement said Israeli forces surrounded the volunteers and threatened to shoot them if they moved.

.....olive-picking is "often disturbed by extremists among the settlers, who take the law to their hands and carry out crimes." The groups reminded officials of Israel's obligation under international law to protect residents of territories which it occupies.  Full story

Israel forces shoot Palestinian teenager in Gaza - 17th worker show since summer

Maan - Israeli forces on Thursday shot at a Gaza teenager collecting rubble near the Strip's border with Israel, medics said.

....the 17th worker injured by Israeli fire since the summer. Palestinian workers comb the area along the border fence collecting rubble and gravel to make cement. The Israeli army has declared the area a "security buffer zone." In effect, this zone extends up to a kilometer into Gaza.

Construction materials are mostly banned from the coastal enclave under Israel's siege policy, hampering the Strip's reconstruction following Israeli least 6,000 homes were either destroyed or severely damaged during Israel's last war on Gaza... Full story

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Opinion: Israeli government turning country into 'isolationist ethnocracy'

Haaretz - ... In the area of foreign relations, Avigdor Lieberman is playing the role of Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak's crazed watchdog. Under the cover of his seemingly fanatic statements, they can continue to pretend that they are interested in peace negotiations. In fact, both are convinced that only on the foundation of eternal conflict can Israel continue to survive, or at least that their own survival in positions of power depends on the continuation of the conflict (actually, they would be wise to be cautious, because given the current pace of events, Lieberman is liable to claim the fruits of their labors and snatch the premiership ).

... It's no accident that [Israeli leaders] are insisting on blowing up the "problem of Arab citizens of Israel" to monstrous proportions and depicting it as a critical matter in the talks. The ploy seems complex, but is actually quite simple: Israeli Arabs are described as a subversive group and turned into an obstacle impeding a peace agreement with the Palestinians, provoking ultra-nationalist panic. In this way, the government wins public support for toughening its demands and escalating the country's stance of isolationist self-involvement. The public has been persuaded that it lives under the threat of the Iranian bomb and Hezbollah attacks, along with Palestinian-Muslim encroachment and domination and the proliferation of foreign laborers. In light of the panic, the government has an easy time passing its series of so-called nationalist bills. Read more

Journalist: You cannot criticize Israel in the U.S. and survive

Haaretz - Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas has acknowledged she touched a nerve with remarks about Israel that led to her retirement. But she says the comments were "exactly what I thought," even though she realized soon afterward that it was the end of her job.

"I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive," Thomas told Ohio station WMRN-AM in a sometimes emotional 35-minute interview that aired Tuesday. Read more

Related article: As Israel kills and maims, outrage is directed at Helen Thomas

Bishops warn of flight of Christians from Middle East

IMEMC - Bishops meetings with a Vatican synod to discuss the immigration of Christians from the Middle East have blamed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for spurring the exodus. Read more

Israel razes Bedouin village for 6th time

Arab News - The Israeli Lands Administration (ILA) inspectors backed by large police forces on Wednesday demolished 40 structures that had been rebuilt in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib for the sixth time in recent months. Read more

Israel takes 5 prisoners in Occupied Territories, including 70-year-old

IMEMC - On Wednesday morning, the Israeli army arrested five Palestinian citizens in various locations after invading their houses. Read more

Photos: Israeli settlers harass Palestinian farmers

Ma'an - Israeli residents living on the illegal West Bank settlement of Yitzhar in the northern West Bank district of Nablus have been disrupting the olive harvest in the nearby Burin village since the season began in early October. View photos and read more

Israeli soldiers intensify presence in East Jerusalem

IMEMC - On Wednesday, the Israeli army made plans to deploy a large force of border guards and undercover units, in Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem, during the next few days. Read more

Israel arrests 2 journalists

Ma’an - Israeli forces detained two Palestinian journalists on Wednesday before noon in settlement in the Beit Ummar village in the southern Hebron district as they covered its expansion, the Palestine Solidarity Project said.

PSP spokesman Mohammad Ayyad Awad said Ma'mun Wazwaz, a Reuters photojournalist, and Hazem Bader, an Agence France-Presse photojournalist were detained whilst inside the Karmi Tsur settlement, which began expansion works a day earlier. Read more

UK concerned at Israeli imprisonment of Palestinian nonviolence leader

Ma'an - Britain's Foreign Office on Tuesday expressed concern over the sentencing of a Palestinian popular campaign leader by an Israeli military court to 12 years in prison, a statement read.

... The UK was among several European countries who sent representatives to attend Abu Rahmah's trial, who has been in Israeli detention since December 2009. Read more

Israeli lawmaker: “Jordan Is the Palestinian State”

IMEMC - Member of the Knesset of the National Union fundamentalist party in Israel, Aryeh Eldad, stated on Tuesday that the “solution” for the conflict is to consider the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as the future Palestinian State. Read more

Turkey joins boycott of OECD Jerusalem conference

JTA - Turkey reportedly will boycott a regional tourism conference next week in Israel.

The move to boycott the biannual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conference, which is set to begin Oct. 20 in Jerusalem, reportedly is Turkey's first official boycott of Israel on an international level since the deaths of nine Turkish passengers on a Gaza-bound flotilla that was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos on May 31.

... Spain and Britain reportedly have said that they also will not send delegations.

On Oct. 8, the OECD warned Israel that it would cancel the conference unless Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov retracted an assertion that the gathering signals recognition of the city as Israel's capital. Read more

Israel to keep 12-year-old Palestinian imprisoned, currently holds 350 children

Ma'an - An Israeli military court reversed Wednesday a ruling granting the release of a 12-year-old last week, keeping him in detention until legal procedures are complete, his lawyer said.

Sayel Rebhi Abu Quedair's bail was set at 5,000 shekels ($1,391.75) after he was detained from his school on 27 September on suspicion of throwing stones at Israeli forces, lawyer Nasser An-Nobani said, adding that the child, from Hebron, had been beaten during the arrest.

... The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information denounced the trial and arrest in a statement issued Monday, and called on Israel to release the 350 Palestinian children currently in Israeli custody. Read more

Israeli forces wound 17-year-old in Occupied Territories

Ma'an - A Palestinian teenager was injured by Israeli fire on Wednesday while he collected construction aggregate in the the Al-Qaraya Al-Badawiya area in northern Gaza near the Erez crossing. Read more

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

EU urges Israel to guarantee equality for non-Jews

AFP – The European Union on Tuesday urged Israel to guarantee the equality of all its citizens after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinians to recognise Israel's Jewish identity.

... Israel's mainly right-wing government voted overwhelmingly on Sunday in favour of controversial legislation requiring non-Jewish citizens to swear allegiance to the country as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu subsequently offered a freeze on settlement building in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel's Jewish identity.

But the offer was rejected out of hand by the Palestinians, who said it had "nothing to do with the peace process," and was also widely slammed by Israeli politicians and commentators as a political ploy to sabotage peace talks. Read more

Israel expands 2 settlements in the Occupied Territories

Ma’an - Israeli settlers on Tuesday bulldozed farmland in order to expand the illegal Eli settlement south of Nablus and in Beit Ummar expanded the Karmei Tzur settlement north of Hebron, officials in the West Bank said. Read more

Israeli troops raid East Jerusalem, take 4 children prisoner

IMEMC - Tuesday night Israeli troops launched large-scale raids of homes in several neighbourhoods and battled with children in the town of Silwan near the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Eyewitnesses said that Israili soldiers broke the doors and windows of many houses and intimidated women and children.

The children resisted Israeli soldiers by hurling stones and glass objects; and by burning tires and placing obstacles in front of military patrols. The troops retaliated with sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas. One of the injured was identified as Silman Syam, 10.

In Beir Ayoub, near Silwan, several undercover soldiers disguised as Palestinians arrested four children. The children were identified as Ihab al-shwaky,11; Mohammad Mansour,13; Baha' al-Rajbe,12; and Jehad al-Shwake,12 . The children were taken to the al-Maskobeya detention and interrogation center in West Jerusalem. Read more

Palestinians in Occupied Territories petition Israel for access to their farms

Ma'an - Residents of the Wadi Ar-Rasha village filed a petition Tuesday with the Israeli High Court of Justice to secure access to their land during the olive harvest, an Israeli rights group said.

Residents of the village, in the northern Qalqiliya district, had applied for 98 requests to access their olive groves which fall behind Israel's separation wall, but all requests were denied by Israel's Civil Administration, Yesh Din wrote.

... The village is one of five Palestinian villages near the illegal settlement of Alfe Menashe. After the separation wall was erected around the settlement, the village became an enclave.

... "This case shows that the authorities not only fail to protect the Palestinians from right-wing Jewish extremists, but also prevent them from exercising their legal right to harvest their olives", said Sfard. Read more

Combatants' group awarded peace prize

Ma'an - Two founders of the Combatants for Peace group will be presented with the 2010 Victor J Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East on Wednesday at a ceremony in the Bethlehem town of Beit Jala, a statement read.

The Institute of International Education will present the award, which includes a $10,000 prize, to Bassam Aramin and Avner Wishnitzer for their role in establishing CFP in 2005. Both had played active roles as combatants in the region and then committed themselves to non-violent activism, the statement read. Read more

Israeli vets group nominated for EU human rights award

IMEMC - Israeli human rights group, Breaking the Silence, best known for publishing testimonials by current and former Israeli soldiers has been nominated by two European Green parties for the European Union's Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

... Breaking the Silence is a group formed by Israeli veterans who were traumatized by their military service, and wanted to speak out about atrocities that they witnessed or participated in. Since its founding, hundreds of testimonies have been recorded and transcribed, in which soldiers describe beatings of bound and blindfolded Palestinian detainees, shooting of unarmed civilians, protection of settlers as they attack Palestinian people and property, and torture of prisoners. Read more

Israel razes Palestinian farm near Bethlehem

Ma'an - Israel's Civil Administration razed farmland and a barn owned by a resident of the Beit Fajjar village in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem on Monday.

Raed Taqatqa, the land owner, said Israeli forces sought to control the area near the village's main road and that of Al-Ma'sara, the site of demonstrations against Israel's separation wall.

Taqatqa said the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that he was the owner of the land in question and that he had a right to reclaim the area. He added that settlers often raided his land and have threatened him not to return. Read more

Source: Israeli forces beat 3 Palestinian youths, take one prisoner

Ma'an - A Palestinian security source said three Palestinians were beaten by Israeli forces overnight Monday in the At-Tuwani village in the southern Hebron district.

The source said 18-year-old Hijazi Al-Nawag'a was left with a broken hand as a result of the assault and was taken to the Abu Al-Hassan Hospital in Yatta for treatment.

Ra'fat Makharmeh, 20, and Muhammad Makharmeh, 20, were also beaten while Muhammad was later detained. Read more

Israel captures teen in Occupied Territories

Ma'an - Israeli troops raided the Bet Rima village overnight Monday in the central Ramallah and Al-Bireh district, detaining 18-year-old Sahib Ahmad Al-Alam after surrounding his home. Read more

Israeli soldiers take 8-year-old Palestinian prisoner in Jerusalem

IMEMC - On Tuesday at dawn, Israeli soldiers invaded Silwan town in occupied East Jerusalem, broke into the house of Mofeed Mansour and kidnapped his eight year old child. Read more

Monday, October 11, 2010

Israeli forces injure 12-year-old Palestinian in Jerusalem

Ma'an - A Palestinian child sustained a rubber bullet wound to the leg and another injury to his face after he was hit by a stun grenade during clashes in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Monday afternoon, locals said.

Locals identified the child as Suleiman Siyam, 12, who was injured when clashes broke out in Silwan after undercover Israeli forces raided the Beir Yacoub neighborhood.

During the raid, locals said four 12-year-olds were detained by forces for allegedly participating in clashes with Israeli forces in the area. Several residents suffered from tear gas inhalation. Read more

Israel captures mother of newborn in Occupied Territories

Ma'an - Israeli forces detained seven residents of the Hebron district on Monday, including a mother who gave birth 2 weeks ago, locals said.

Israeli soldiers detained Sajida Riziq Muhammad Al-Awawda, 20, at midday outside Hebron university, where she is a student of Islamic law. The Palestinian Prisoners' Society called for her immediate release as she gave birth by cesarean and still required medical attention. Her husband Mahmud Abu Hashem is in prison in Israel, the society said, and their new-born son has been left in the care of his grandmother. Read more

Israel sentences Palestinian nonviolent protest leader to 1 year imprisonment

Ma'an - An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced non-violent protest organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah to 12 months imprisonment, with a six-month suspended sentence.

... Israeli military law in the West Bank uses a much stricter definition of illegal assembly than Israeli civilian law, in practice forbidding more than 10 people from assembling without receiving a permit from the military.

According to his supporters, Abu Rahmah's conviction was based only on testimonies of minors who were arrested in the middle of the night and denied legal counsel despite significant concerns, acknowledged by the court, over their questioning.

The protest leader's detention was internationally condemned. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said "The EU considers Abdallah Abu Rahmah to be a Human Rights Defender committed to non violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bil'in." Read more

Israeli human rights groups call on their government to protect Palestinians

Ma'an - The Israeli rights group Yesh Din on Monday called on Israeli authorities to protect Palestinians during the olive harvest season.

... "For Palestinians, this is a significant time, in which they should be given the opportunity to reach their lands and harvest their property. This activity, which is their basic right, is often disturbed by extremists among the settlers, who take the law to their hands and carry out crimes," the letter said.

Yesh Din is one of several Israeli groups in an Olive Harvest Coalition. Rabbis for Human Rights, another group in the coalition, reported that the olives from 600 trees belonging to Palestinian families had been stolen. Read more

Ireland voids weapons deal with Israel

IMEMC - The Irish Ministry of Defense had voided a weapons deal with Israel in which Israel was to provide Ireland with 20 million rounds of live ammunition. The decision was attributed to the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai earlier this year. Read more

Israeli forces capture youths, others in raids on Occupied Territories

IMEMC - On Monday morning, the Israeli military kidnapped three Palestinian youths from the towns of Kafel Hares and Kera, east of Salfit in the West Bank. Read more

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Opinion: Israel becoming a theocracy

Haaretz - Swearing an oath to a Jewish state will decide its fate. It is liable to turn the country into a theocracy like Saudi Arabia.

Remember this day. It's the day Israel changes its character. As a result, it can also change its name to the Jewish Republic of Israel, like the Islamic Republic of Iran. Read more

Israeli intellectuals protesting loyalty oath: Israel becoming 'fascist'

Ynet - Artists and intellectuals rallied in Tel Aviv on Sunday, shortly after the government passed the loyalty oath bill, under which non-Jewish prospective citizens will be obligated to pledge allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state".

The protestors read from the Declaration of Independence and warned that Israel was becoming a fascist state. Read more

Israel requires loyalty oath of new non-Jewish citizens

Ma'an - Israel's government on Sunday approved a proposal to require every non-Jew wishing to become a citizen to swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state. Read more

Israeli settlers sabotage Palestinian olive harvest

Ynet - Mohai Nasser's olive harvest season ended before it began. Nasser, a carpenter from the village of Jit, took a day off on Sunday to pick olives from his 30 olive trees which provide him with oil for the entire season. He was shocked to discover a painful sight when he reached his plot. "I saw that all my trees had been shaved," he said. "There's not one fruit left on any of the trees."

Nasser has no doubts as to who is behind the act. "The Havat Gilat settlers emptied them (the trees) completely."

Nasser is not alone. Farmers of the neighboring villages also found there was nothing left of their crop of hundreds of thousands of olives. Hundreds of trees have been stripped of their fruit.

... In a separate event Sunday, a tractor owned by Palestinians was burned in the village of Burin near Nablus.

... Last year, security forces managed to significantly reduce the number of sabotage incidents. This is not the case this year. Read more

Israeli army demolishes playground in Occupied Palestinian Territories

Ma'an - Israeli bulldozers demolished a local playground in the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem on Saturday, locals said. Read more

Israeli settlers move furniture out of Palestinian home they want to occupy

Ma’an – Israeli settlers ransacked the home of a Palestinian family in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City early Sunday tossing furniture into the street.

Homeowner Mazin Qirrish said Israeli police provided protection to the settlers as his family and neighbors tried to the prevent the evacuation of their home.

The family's troubles began 14 September as settlers announced their plan to move in, claiming ownership. An Israeli court recently ruled in favor of the settlers.

The family's home is not in Israel and its occupants are not Israeli citizens, but Israel considers East Jerusalem part of its capital. Israel's claims to the city are not recognized abroad. Read more