||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land theft / Settlers|
Israel to adjust wall's route in Bil`in
Attorney of Bil'in local council, Michael Sfard, said on Saturday that
Israeli authorities informed him of the new route of the separation
wall, adjusted according to a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court of
Justice in 2007 ... Once the adjusted route is implemented, residents of Bil'in are
expected to restore almost half of their 2,300 donums confiscated
during the construction of the wall's original route. However,
as the portion of the wall already built will be removed, farmers will
expect significant damage to their olive groves located in the area.
3 injured in clashes following Hebron protest
Three Palestinians from the village of Safa, north of Beit Ummer in
Hebron, were injured when Israeli forces fired rubber-coated bullets as
clashes erupted between locals, protesters and soldiers in the village
on Saturday. Spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Project,
Mohammad Ayyad Awad said Israeli forces declared Safa a closed military
zone, preventing farmers and protesters from accessing land.
Palestinians still waiting to use Highway 443
By Rachel Shabi. JERUSALEM // They start just after the Israeli
checkpoint near the city of Modi’in, along this fast, scenic motorway
that connects Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. All along the hilly road, vast
concrete boulders, rubble heaps and piles of rubbish barricade access
from several Palestinian villages. At one such barrier at the village
of Beit Sira, cars with Israeli registration plates deposit groups of
dusty-looking workers, who squeeze between the concrete boulders to the
Palestinian cars and cabs that can take them back home.
PA security forces fire warning shots as settlers try to enter Nablus
Authority security forces fired warning shots in the air
after noticing a car of Israeli settlers travelling through a
Palestinian checkpoint over the speed limit near Joseph's Tomb inside
the West Bank city of Nablus, security sources told Ma`an ... The
driver was asked to stop the vehicle but did not respond, following
which security forces fired warning shots in the air. The car fled the
scene, the sources said.
Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
Proposed measure calls for state divestment in Israel
group calling itself the Israel Divestiture Forum has filed an
initiative with the attorney general that would require [California]
funds to sever ties with Israeli companies or the Israeli government
... "It is the intent of this act to employ the same divestiture and
approach used to help bring down the Apartheid Government in South
Africa,” the measure states.
Violence / Aggression
Israeli gunboats fire at Palestinian fishing boats
GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli navy gunboats attacked Palestinian fishing boats
off the coast of northern Gaza Strip on Saturday but no casualties were
reported. A security source and fishermen said that an Israeli gunboat
fired at three fishing boats off the Sudaniya area inflicting material
damage on them. They added that other fishing boats retreated from the
scene. Around 3,500 Palestinians in the Strip work in fishing and are
routinely harassed by Israeli gunboats.
Israel may charge cop over death of Palestinian boy
The central district attorney is set to serve an
indictment, pending a hearing, against Omri Abo, who was then in the
Border Police, on charges of negligent manslaughter in the fatal
shooting of 10-year-old Ahmad Musa in the village of Naalin 18 months
Extra-judicial killings / Assassinations
Israeli website publishes list of 13 top Hamas wanted activists
The Israel-based self-described intelligence and security news service
debkafile published a list of 13 Hamas leaders allegedly "Israel's next
targets for liquidation" on their website Friday. The service
said the list was distributed by de facto government security services
to members following the alleged assassination of Hamas military wing
founder Mohammad Al-Mabhouh in Dubai on 19 January, citing
"counter-terror sources." According to the service, the following 13
men and woman were notified of an imminent assassination threat:
Report: Al-Mabhouh killers used Irish passports
The police sources cited by the Herald say
the group of assassins, who are assumed to be Israeli, included at
least one woman and entered the United Arab Emirates under the guise of
Irish documents. A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman told the Herald, "We
are aware of the media reports and we are in contact with authorities
locally to try and determine the truth of the reports."
Gaza power plant shuts down one of its two generators amidst fuel crisis
Gaza Energy Authority announced on Saturday that the sole power
plant shut down one of its two generators as a result of the ongoing
fuel shortage in the coastal enclave, a statement said. "The remaining
amount of fuel is enough to operate one generator until Sunday
morning," the statement added. "The
power plant's capacity has dropped to 30 megawatts ... Gaza districts
will suffer as a result, leaving the plant unable to provide power for
around 50% of the residents. This will rise to 60% if bad weather
continues as it causes electrical malfunctioning."
Gaza: 16 hurt in gas canister explosion
Sixteen people were injured when a gas canister exploded inside a Gaza
City factory as cold weather, limited fuel and the imminent closure of
the Gaza Power Plant force residents to seek alternative energy
Egyptian security raids and detonates tunnel, foils ceramics smuggling
Al-Arish -- Egyptian authorities thwarted an attempt on Saturday
to smuggle large amounts of ceramics into the Gaza Strip under Rafah,
security sources said ... The smugglers fled the scene before security forces arrived, they said,
adding that "the goods were seized and the tunnel was placed under
security restrictions before detonating it." ... The sources added that smuggling attempts were significantly reduced as
a result of Egypt's construction of a subterranean metal wall, which is
being completed along the coast between Egypt and Gaza in Rafah, two
kilometers from Gaza's sea shore. Large rocks, they said, are being
placed in the sea.
70 Palestinian illegal aliens found in truck
Veteran police officers stunned after stopping suspicious truck at impromptu roadblock -- Seventy Palestinians who tried to get into
Israel illegally were caught in the cooling container of a truck near
Modiin on Saturday.
Friends of Humanity: 2009 the worst ever in history of Palestinian detainees
The organization said in a report that the
Israeli prisons authority used during the year new ways to increase the
psychological and physical pressure on those detainees so that they
could not live a normal life if they were released one day. It
explained that more than 1,000 prisoners suffering chronic diseases are
medically neglected and more than 1,500 others, 775 of them from Gaza,
are deprived of seeing their loved ones for long periods of time.
Assault on Gaza / War crimes / Goldstone report
Rights group outraged at Ban for dragging war crimes issue
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said "No determination can be made on
the implementation of the resolution by the parties concerned," during
the meeting of the General Assembly on Thursday, prompting an outcry
from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Ban made the statement,
PCHR said, "despite the fact that Resolution A/Res/61/10 explicitly
called for the Secretary-General to 'report on the implementation of
the present resolution'."
Hamas 'regrets' civilian deaths, Israel unmoved (Reuters)
GAZA, Feb 5 - Hamas, in an unusual move that seems unlikely
to herald a change in tactics by the Islamist group, has expressed
regret for the deaths of Israeli civilians in Palestinian rocket
attacks during fighting in Gaza a year ago. Israel, where Hamas
suicide bombers have killed hundreds of civilians over two decades [not since January 2005],
dismissed any apology for the three non-combatants hit by rockets from
Gaza in the war as insincere.
Rivals slam Hamas for 'apology' to Israel (Reuters)
GAZA, Feb 6 - * Hamas rivals Fatah condemn expression of regret to
Israel * Say Islamists should first apologise for dead Palestinians *
Hamas officials insist report did not contain "apology" -- Hamas, which
unlike Fatah has rejected peace negotiations with Israel,
said in the report obtained by Reuters on Friday that it did not target
civilians but that it simply lacked technology to aim more accurately
at Israeli military targets.
Continuing assault on leftists, human rights organizations in Israel
Amid row over contentious ad, Jerusalem Post fires Naomi Chazan of New Israel Fund
Chazan had provided the daily with one of its few
leftist voices in recent years ... Meanwhile, the storm provoked by the campaign has
reached the Knesset. The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice
Committee rushed to set up a subcommittee to look into how foreign
foundations sponsor Israeli organizations.
Political developments / Diplomacy
Abbas seeks clarification from US on peace talks offer
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday
that he had asked the United States to clarify its offer to mediate
indirect peace talks with Israel before he would announce any decision
to resume the negotiations.
Abbas: Reconciliation began in Egypt and will be finalized there
Following a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart on Saturday,
President Mahmoud Abbas asserted that reconciliation will not be
attained without Egypt playing a major role and that no other mediator
will be called on, and discussed proximity talks put forward by US
Middle East Envoy George Mitchell.
Sha'ath leaves Gaza via Erez after talks
Member of Fatah's Central Committee Nabil Sha'ath left Gaza via the
Erez crossing en route to Ramallah, following a series of meetings in
the besieged costal enclave with Palestinian factional leaders and
independent figures ... After meeting with Haniyeh, Sha'ath said he felt hopeful that
reconciliation would be achieved before the Arab Summit next convenes
in Libya in March.
Minister Braverman: Lieberman will increase Israel's isolation
"The foreign minister is busy with internal
politics rather than diplomacy," Minorities Minister Avishay Braverman
(Labor) told a cultural forum in Ramat Hasharon on Saturday two days
after Avigdor Lieberman threatened
Qaraqe calls on British Mandate prisoner file to be opened
Minister of Prisoners' Affairs and Ex-Detainees Issa Qaraqe demanded
that the files of Palestinian and Arab prisoners arrested during the
British Mandate and following the 1948 war be opened to facilitate
research and understanding into the era, he said on Saturday. The minister's statement follow a visit to the Hasan Al-Labadi
Association, named after one of the longest-serving Palestinian
prisoners arrested during the British Mandate.
US contributes $40 million to UNRWA
At an official signing ceremony in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp in
Bethlehem on Thursday US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein announced
that the US will contribute US$ 40 million to UNRWA to support
its budget and emergency programs in the West Bank and Gaza ... The US
is UNRWA's largest bilateral donor, having provided in 2009 over US$
Palestinian volleyball team excluded from Arab championship
Palestinian volleyball teams will demand answers for a series of
mistakes leading to the denial of registration for West Bank and Gaza
teams in the 28th Arab Volleyball Championship. The games, set
to start on 23 February, will go ahead with neither the Senjil Club
from the West Bank nor the As-Sadaqa Club team from Gaza...
Pilot who refused to bomb Palestinian targets gets 'golden wings'
Brig. Gen (res.) Iftach Spector, the highest-ranking
officer to sign the "pilots' letter," declaring the refusal to
participate in operations in the territories in 2003, was last week
awarded the golden wings given to Israel Air Force pilots to mark the
50th anniversary of their graduation from flight school.
The insignia was bestowed on Spector less than two
weeks after the Israel Defense Forces decided to dismiss from service a
Kfir Brigade soldier for waving a sign in support of refusing to
evacuate unauthorized settler outposts in the West Bank.
Katz in favor of 'voluntary' bus segregation
Ministry submits recommendation to High Court in support of 'mehadrin'
bus lines separating between men, women. Ultra-Orthodox sources praise
decision, while objectors ask how safety of women who refuse to sit in
back of buses will be ensured
Israeli firm to supply US Army with cameras
The Jerusalem-based BAE Systems Rokar
company has signed a $25 million contract with the US Army. The company
will supply the American military with thermal night vision cameras.
Analysis / Opinion
Ethan Bronner's conflict with impartiality / Alison Weir
NYT's Israel editor's sticky situation -- Ethan Bronner is the New
York Times Jerusalem bureau chief. As such, he is the editor
responsible for all the news coming out of Israel-Palestine. It is his
job to decide what gets reported and what doesn’t; what goes in a story
and what gets cut. To a considerable degree, he determines what readers
of arguably the nation’s most influential newspaper learn about Israel
and its adversaries, and, especially, what they don’t. His son just
joined the Israeli army. According to New York Times ethics guidelines,
such a situation would be expected to cause significant concern. In
these guidelines the Times repeatedly emphasizes the importance of
Blair: Gaza'a great betrayer
It's more than a year since Israel launched its immoral attack on Gaza
and Palestinians are still living on the verge of a humanitarian
disaster. So what has Tony Blair done to further peace in the region?
Virtually nothing, argues the historian Avi Shlaim
The presence of the Palestinian in the Israeli painter's eye / Robert Fisk
Many of the Tel Aviv paintings show an emergent Israel with fewer Arabs
-- ...And as the years pass, Arab villages are no longer inhabited by
Arabs. There's a magnificent landscape of Jerusalem in 1960 – Blum
again – in which, I suddenly realised, the Al-Aqsa mosque does not
exist. It should lie, from the painter's location in the west of the
city, on the horizon to the left of the King David Hotel, above and to
the right of the Jaffa Gate. But it is not there. It has disappeared.
In case you missed it:
Video: Israeli professor Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi speaking about the basic defects of Israeli democracy
...A word which most annoys defenders of Zionism, like Stanley
Hoffmann, is "colonialism." You can say anything about Zionism, as long
as you don't use the forbidden word, which, as it happens, describes
the situation pretty well ... In settler colonialism, the native population is removed, to make
room for settlers and their new society. The basic principle used to
justify it in both Israel and South Africa is the definition of some
natives as foreigners and some foreigners as the real natives. That is
how we came to have displaced Palestinian Arabs. This system has
nothing to do with the occupied territories. It exists in Israel in its
pre-1967 borders, in Tel Aviv, and in the Galilee.
A Palestinian woman enters politics / Asma Asfour
May 2005 I was elected to be the first woman to join the Sinjel
Municipality in the Ramallah district. At that time a new law had been
passed which set a minimum quota for women's representation in local
councils. The assumption underpinning the law was that women should
take part in decision-making processes. So, despite the fact that the
idea hadn't yet been widely accepted in many rural communities, women
from different economic and cultural backgrounds suddenly found
themselves taking part in political life.
No relief for the Palestinians while Israel enjoys impunity/ Andrew Phillips
To visit Gaza for a third time in five years still induces a gut
reaction of pity, depression and anger – pity at the hopeless, helpless
plight of the Palestinians; depression about their future and,
ironically, that of Israel too; and anger at the latter's cynical
policies – and impunity ... Following the Gaza blitz the UN raised a $4.5bn restoration fund. Not
one dollar has been spent, so vindictive is Israel's siege by land, sea
and air. Bare survival is thanks to the tunnels under the Egyptian
border, but they are now being blocked off.
Chilcot will change the way Muslims see the west / Karen Armstrong
If there is any hint of whitewash in the Iraq inquiry, it will only exacerbate an already inflamed situation
Friday: 46 Iraqis, 1 Syrian killed, 169 Iraqis wounded
Excerpt: The culmination of the Arbaeen pilgrimage today saw dozens more casualties among the ten million pilgrims who traveled to Karbala for the religious holiday. At least 46 Iraqis were killed and 169 more were wounded there and elsewhere. A Syrian
man was also killed. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reminded
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill not to exceed his authority in regards
to a controversial elections blacklist.
Saturday: 7 Iraqis kliled, 3 wounded
Excerpt: At least seven Iraqis were killed and three more were
wounded in light violence. Millions of Arbaeen pilgrims are on their way
home, but no attacks on the worshippers were reported today. Meanwhile, the
League of the Righteous released a video containing footage of a new hostage. Parliament will debate
the Accountability & Justice (De-Ba’athification) Committee’s
tomorrow, but also on the agenda is whether to include Iraqi Vice President
Tareq al-Hashimi in the blacklist.
MIDDLE EAST: Experts urge governments to revise water policies (IRIN)
4 February 2010 (IRIN) - Governments in the Middle East must put aside
political differences, rethink water management and revise strategy and
policy in using water otherwise the region will face a dire future,
scientists have warned at an international conference in Jordan.
Analysis: Yemen's rebellions fuelled by economic meltdown (IRIN)
4 February - From the Shiite rebellion in Saada in the
north to the surge of secessionist movement in the south and the
dangerous alliance forged between tribes and Al-Qaeda in the east, one
factor unites analyses of the forces pulling Yemen apart: the failure
of its economy.
Mizrahi: 'Our army can reach Damascus, Syria cannot stop us'
Head of the Central Command at the Israeli Army, Avi Mizrahi, stated
that Syria cannot defeat the Israeli Army, and that the army can reach
the Syrian capital, Damascus, “while Syria will not be able to stop
us”. Israeli online daily, Maariv, reported Friday that the statement
Mizrahi came during a visit to the Efrat settlement, and his meeting
with Efrat students last Wednesday.
Peace with Syria still in Israel's sights / Ian Black
...Lieberman's most damaging remark was not the suggestion of forced
regime change but the idea that Syria had better forget about ever
getting back the Golan – contradicting the official Israeli government
position that it will trade territory for peace.
US dismisses Iranian claims of nuclear agreement
Deal to reduce Iran's uranium stockpile in doubt as Tehran accused of stalling for time
Turkish girl, 16, buried alive for talking to boys
Death reopens debate over 'honour' killings -- Official figures have indicated that more than 200 such killings take
place each year, accounting for around half of all murders in Turkey.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda