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, August 14, 2011

UN says Israel interferes with Palestinian right to worship; 39 Israeli raids in past week

WAFA – As the month of Ramadan begins, the majority of the Muslim population in the occupied Palestinian Territory remains unable to exercise its right to freedom of worship due to Israeli restrictions on access to East Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque, according to a United Nations report published Friday.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied territories (OCHA) said in its weekly Protection of Civilians report covering the period between August 3 and 9 that on the first Friday of Ramadan on August 5, the majority of the Muslim population in the occupied territories, including all of Gaza’s population and over 40% of the West Bank population, was prevented from accessing the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Men over 50 and women over 45 holding West Bank IDs and children below 12 years of age were allowed through the checkpoints into East Jerusalem without permits, while men between the ages of 40 and 50, and women between 35 and 45 were eligible for special permits.

OCHA said that while protests and related clashes continued in the West Bank, the reporting week has seen the lowest number of Palestinian injuries by Israeli forces since early April 2011.

Seven out of eight Palestinian injuries this week, including two children (14 and 16), occurred during clashes with Israeli forces at the entrance of Beit Ummar, a village in the Hebron, where Israeli forces maintain a permanent presence at an observation tower.

The weekly protests against construction of the barrier and access restriction in the Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem governorates involved some clashes but ended without injuries, although many cases of tear gas inhalation among protesters were reported.

Israeli forces conducted a total of 39 search-and-arrest operations throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, a significant decline compared to a weekly average of 90 operations since the beginning of the year, said the UN report.

Electricity shortages throughout the Gaza Strip have increased to eight hours a day during the reporting period, said OCHA.

“This is severely disrupting the functioning of households, including adequate refrigeration of food, as well as the provision of essential services, including water supply, sewage removal and treatment and medical services,” it said.

OCHA Report