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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Israel closes main Palestinian roads

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Saturday forced Palestinian vehicles to wait for hours in line at two key checkpoints in the southern and central West Bank, witnesses said.

Hundreds of vehicles were stuck waiting at the “container” checkpoint near Bethlehem and Qalandiya crossing near Ramallah, two inspection points that are usually half an hour's drive from one another.

Witnesses said hundreds of vehicles, mostly taxis, were stuck on both sides of the “container” checkpoint. Hundreds of employees arrived late to work, as “container” is the only point of access through the northern, central, and southern West Bank.

Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent confirmed that at Qalandiya checkpoint, Israeli forces used cement blocks to close the route from Ramallah to Jerusalem. Hundreds of vehicles were stuck in both directions, he added.

The closure seemed to come suddenly as there was security alert beforehand.

Israel has boosted its army presence in the West Bank ahead of a Palestinian recourse to the UN amid fears they may resort to the International Criminal Court over Jewish settlements, reports said Friday.

Public radio reported the build-up and the daily Yedioth Aharonoth said three battalions of reservists -- some 1,500 personnel -- have been mobilized and units already in the occupied territory have been reinforced.

The move comes ahead of expected Palestinian demonstrations as their statehood bid looms at the United Nations on Sept. 23, public radio said.

General Avi Mizrahi, the commander of central Israel which includes the West Bank, has issued strict orders to the military to act with restraint and avoid bloodshed if trouble erupts, Yedioth Aharonoth said.

It said troops in the Palestinian territory have been armed with anti-riot equipment including tear gas to enable them to control any protests without having to resort to live ammunition.

The military is also reported to have boosted its presence around Jewish settlements in the West Bank, both to protect them and to prevent attacks on Palestinians by extremist settlers.