||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land and property theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing|
Settlers move furniture out of Jerusalem home
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 home is not in Israel and its
occupants are not Israeli citizens, but Israel considers East Jerusalem
part of its capital.
Settlers prevent land reclamation in Al-Khadr
of settlers obstructed Palestinian farmers and workers as they
attempted to reclaim agricultural land near the Israeli settlement of
Newe Daniyyel, illegally built on lands belonging to farmers from
Al-Khadr south of Bethlehem ... Israeli forces and civil administration
officials arrived on the scene and ordered the farmers to stop work and
go to the civil administration offices in Etzion
Israeli settlers start to establish new settlement south of Bethlehem
(PIC)-- Dozens of Israeli settlers on Sunday morning started to build a
new settlement outpost on Palestinian lands in Al-Khader village, south
of Bethlehem in the West Bank. Palestinian eyewitnesses said that
Israeli settlers came to the area with bulldozers and embarked on
digging the lands ... In a separate incident, a number of Palestinian
farmers in Qalqiliya and
Salfit cities reported that all olive fruits in their fields behind the
segregation wall were stolen at night by Israeli settlers.
Army demolishes Tulkarem playground
Far'un village supported by soldiers and carried out the demolition,
while Palestinian children threw stones at them, villagers said.
Residents said soldiers had ordered residents to demolish the area
themselves within seven days. Further, they were told that the village
would bear the cost of the demolition if Israeli forces carried it out.
The play area had cost $150,000 to build, locals added ... In an earlier
raid by Israeli forces, seven families were ordered to stop building on
the eastern side of the village, and told to demolish buildings under
Jerusalem: Closure of local NGOs threatens Palestinian identity
...The Nidal Center has been closed since July 2009. Last month, it
received its newest closure renewal from the Israeli authorities: the
green door must remain sealed for one more year, at least. "We used to
try to keep the children and youth away from the streets. Now they are
once again in the streets," said Mahmoud Jiddah, the Co-Founder of the
Nidal Center. "That’s the way [the Israeli authorities] like to see us:
without any education and in the streets, making bad things. They don’t
want to see Palestinians well educated," he said..
Israeli plan to build a new Jerusalem gate condemned by Palestinian government
Telegraph, 10 Oct) The Palestinian Authority has denounced a potentially
explosive Israeli plan to build a gate in the Ottoman walls of
Jerusalem's storied Old City as a provocative move that could undermine
Row over Jerusalem tourism meeting (AJ)
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has threatened to
cancel a conference in Jerusalem after the Israeli tourism
minister said the meeting proved the disputed city is recognised as
Israel's capital ... Israel proclaimed Jerusalem to be its capital in
1950, but that position is not recognised by most countries, and the
United Nations has proposed that the city should have "international
status", which would separate it from the direct control of just Israel.
Foreign governments have their embassies in Tel Aviv, the country's
Activism / Solidarity
Bil'in's Abdallah Abu Rahmah to be sentenced tomorrow
Tomorrow, Monday, October 11th, the sentencing of Bil’in
organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah will be pronounced at the Ofer Military
Court. Abu Rahmah has been convicted of incitement and organizing
illegal demonstrations, a conviction harshly criticized by the EU, the
Spanish Parliament and human rights organizations. At the previous
hearing the military prosecutor explained that the prosecution requests
an exceptionally harsh sentencing in order not only to deter Abu Rahmah
himself, but also to intimidate others.
Undercover soldiers violently arrest eight unarmed demonstrators in Beit Ummar
video] Weekly unarmed demonstration in Beit Ummar attacked by undercover
Israeli soldiers disguised as Palestinian demonstrators. Soldiers
arrested a total of eight non-violent demonstrators under a blanket of
tear gas and percussion grenades.
Nabi Saleh demonstration met with live ammunition; six demonstrators injured
video] Army invades Nabi Saleh with live fire and tear gas. Six demonstrators injured during clashes which last into the night.
Government in Gaza launches olive planting campaign
government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh launched a campaign
yesterday to plant a million olive trees in the Gaza Strip. He paid
tribute to the steadfastness of the farmers in the territory, despite
the lack of resources and the siege. Several deputies in the Legislative
Council and government ministers attended the ceremony which included
the picking of olives and dates.
In photos: Palestinian PMs harvest olives
Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Gaza visits an olive press on 9 October
2010, the start of the annual harvest. Near Nablus, meanwhile,
Ramallah-based premier Salam Fayyad harvests olives in the Iraq Burin
village. For Palestinians, olives are an important agricultural product,
and olive trees symbolize attachment to their land.
Israel releases teen who put army on alert
Israeli forces released on Sunday a Gaza Strip teenager they detained
the evening before. The
boy is believed to have unintentionally caused the Israeli army to fire
flares and send warplanes over Gaza on Saturday evening.
Isma’il Abu Jazar was detained after he was found hiding near a
greenhouse in northern Gaza. He told interrogators he planned to collect
crushed stones to earn some money in light of the poor financial
conditions under siege. Israeli forces were put on alert as they
thought he was an operative who infiltrated from Gaza to Israel near the
Erez crossing to carry out an operation against Israeli targets.
Hamas MPs in W. Bank slam PA for arresting ex-detainee Barghouti
WEST BANK, (PIC)-- Hamas lawmakers in the West Bank strongly denounced
the Palestinian Authority's security apparatuses for kidnapping
ex-detainee and noted national figure Omar Al-Barghouti and held them
fully responsible for his life and safety. In a statement on Saturday,
the lawmakers said that the kidnapping of Palestinians released from
Israeli jails is a mockery of the sacrifices and struggles they made for
Palestine and gives a free service to the Israeli occupation ... In a
separate incident, the PA security militias kidnapped nine Palestinian
citizens thought to be affiliated with Hamas in Al-Khalil city,
according to local sources on Saturday. They also summoned dozens of
other citizens after they participated in the funeral processions of the
two resistance fighters who were assassinated at an early hour Friday
by Israeli troops.
Palestinian resistance repels Israeli military infiltration North Gaza
(PIC)-- Salahuddin Brigades, the armed wing of the popular resistance
committees, claimed responsibility for firing two mortar shells last
night at an infiltrating Israeli force in northern Gaza Strip. In a
communiqué, the Brigades said that a group of its fighters fired two
mortar shells at a special force of Israeli troops as they were trying
to infiltrate into the north of Beit Lahia district and forced them to
Shell from Gaza lands in western Negev
Salah Ad-Din Brigades said its operatives fired at soldiers who entered
the town of Beit Lahiya. Israeli sources, for their part, reported that
a mortar shell landed in an open area in the western Negev.
Siege / Restriction on movement / Human rights / Humanitarian
Gaza teens brave IDF fire to collect salvaged building materials / Amira Hass
In the course of three months this summer Israeli soldiers shot and
wounded 10 Palestinian teenagers who collect building materials from
demolished structures in the former Israeli settlements and the Erez
industrial zone in the northern Gaza Strip, dozens or hundreds of meters
from the border.
Nablus checkpoint closed temporarily
forces shut down the Huwwara military checkpoint south of Nablus
in the northern West Bank temporarily in both directions on Sunday
morning and opened it again yet very slowly. Witnesses told Ma’an
that soldiers manning the checkpoint scrutinized ID cards very carefully
after the checkpoint was closed for a while.
More new cars headed to Gaza
Israel will allow on Sunday the entry of new cars into the blockaded
Gaza Strip for the fourth time as 30 more cars are scheduled to enter
via the Kerem Shalom crossing, a Palestinian liaison official said. Raed
Fattouh told Ma’an that the Kerem Shalom terminal in the southeast of
the coastal enclave would be open Sunday and about 210 to 220 truckloads
of goods and humanitarian aid would be allowed in. [let's see, a total
of 100 cars since they started letting them in Sept 20, for 1.5 million
How good news became bad for Gaza / Donald Macintyre in Beit Lahiya
Israel eased the trade embargo - but it's bringing some Palestinian
businesses to their knees. ...for companies like the Abu Dans' – whose
decades-old, $1.5m factory was the biggest clothing enterprise in Gaza –
the easing of the embargo had a
perverse effect. With the ban on exports still in force, the family was
now hard pressed even to sell to the local market, because of its
flooding by -- often Chinese made -- cheap clothing coming through
"They talk about easing the embargo but that means allowing in finished
goods which we cannot compete with. Believe me, things are worse for us
now than before it happened," says Mr Abu Dan.
Bereaved father transports ailing Palestinians to Israeli hospital
whose son was killed in Lebanon, helps transfer Gazans in
life-threatening condition to hospital just outside Tel Aviv. 'Leaders
from both sides don’t care about people,' he says, 'I feel I’m doing the
peace.' ... Until July, about 65 children and teens from Gaza occupied
the beds here, sharing the corridors with Israeli children. Now just 20
remain and there will be “much fewer” in the next several weeks,
predicts Raied Baloum, a social worker who coordinates Gaza patients’
stays at the hospital. More are being denied from entering Israel
at a time when hospitals in Gaza are buckling under a shortage of
medical equipment, drugs and trained doctors, according to the World
Health Organization. Many of those who do get through are now being sent
elsewhere by the Palestinian Authority.
Extrajudicial killings / War crimes
In global hunt for hit men, tantalizing trail goes cold (WSJ)
the January assassination of a top Palestinian official here, Dubai
police stumbled onto what looked like a big break in the case. They
linked a white-haired man with glasses to several suspects caught on
security cameras preparing for the murder. Most of the suspects in the
case had carried forged passports, but this man had a real British one.
It identified him as 62-year-old Christopher Lockwood ... U.K.
authorities found his London address. They also discovered that in 1994,
he had changed his name from Yehuda Lustig. Mr. Lustig, they determined,
was born in Scotland to a Jewish couple from what was then
British-controlled Palestine. The findings raised hopes of nabbing one
of the orchestrators of the hit, possibly providing proof for
accusations by Dubai police that Israel's intelligence agency Mossad was
behind it. But just as quickly, the trail went cold ... from the start,
some international investigators and officials were concerned that
politics might interfere. They wondered how much help would be
forthcoming from countries with strong ties to Israel.
Hamas warned against visiting targeted operative's Facebook page
early as Wednesday, two days before the targeted killing, a warning was
issued on Hamas' online forum, telling participants to stay away from a
Facebook page created for Karmi. The message expressed suspicion that
the creators of the page were in fact Fatah intelligence operatives, who
created it in the hopes of getting closer to Karmi's close circle, and
through them, to Karmi himself.
Al-Natshe family: Man killed in Hebron was innocent
An unnamed cousin of Mamoun Al-Natshe, shot dead yesterday by Israeli
soldiers, has denied his relative had any connection with Hamas or the
killing of four settlers in August. “My cousin was a shopkeeper, he was
not one of the militants”, he told us.
The US must answer: role in and knowledge of attack on Gaza flotilla / Nahal Zamani
9 Oct - Yesterday, thirteen U.S. passengers from the Gaza Freedom
Flotilla and Ahmet Doğan, whose son Furkhan was killed during the
Israeli attack, submitted an open letter to Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton expressing their anger "at the lack of any visible, active
effort on the
part of any agency in our government to conduct and release an
independent investigation of the killing of one and assaults on other
Americans by a foreign military force, the Israeli commandos." In their
letter, the U.S. passengers assert that "the State Department has allied
itself with Israel, ignoring its responsibilities to its own citizens."
1 injured as Israeli ordnance explodes in Gaza
resident of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza was injured Sunday
when an ordnance left by the Israeli army exploded, medics said. The
25-year-old was transferred to Kamal Adwan hospital in critical
condition. United Nations Mine Action Service works in Gaza to destroy
unexploded ordnance left behind by Israeli forces. In March, the agency
began a program to destroy white phosphorus left behind during Operation
Cast Lead, Israel's three-week offensive on the Strip launched in
Loyalty oath issue
Cabinet approves loyalty oath, but only for non-Jewish new citizens
ministers on Sunday approved by a majority vote a controversial proposal
which would require every non-Jew wishing to become a citizen of Israel
would have to vow loyalty to "the State of Israel as a Jewish and
democratic state." Twenty-two ministers voted in favor of the proposal,
including most of Likud, Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu.
Rally against loyalty oath: Israel becoming fascist
is deteriorating from the vision of a
democratic state to a fascist state. Our children will either leave this
terrible place, be put in jail or fight in the streets like in Iran,"
Professor Yaron Ezrachi told the rally, which was held outside the Eretz
MK Tibi: Israel is a democracy for Jews but not for Arabs
Arab MK Ahmed Tibi was quick Sunday to condemn the Cabinet's approval of
a controversial proposal requiring non-Jews seeking citizenship to
pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. "The
government of Israel has become subservient to Yisrael Beiteinu and its
fascist doctrine," said Tibi. "No other state in the world would force
its citizens or those seeking citizenship to pledge allegiance to an
AlJazeera video: Inside Story -- Israel's new citizenship law
Critics of bill expect new freeze on settlement building as a payoff
'Peace talks' / Political developments / Diplomacy
Arab League members at odds over role in Mideast peace process
Syrian President Bashar Assad in particular argued the Arab League's
monitoring committee does not have the authority to give the Palestinian
Authority license to continue negotiations ... He also said that Syria
would not ask the Arab League for permission to enter negotiations with
Israel, if and when the time comes. Abbas, on the other hand, argued
that the Palestinian issue was one that affected all Arabs. If the Arab
League refused to intervene, he said, it would mean that it was giving
up on the matter.
Arab summit fails to address issues (AJ)
wrap up two-day meeting in Libya without consensus on reforms
to the Arab League and ties with Iran -- ....some Arab leaders, like
Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian president, warned
against getting bogged down in details like settlement construction. "We
sometimes forget that the main issue is that Israel is occupying the
Palestinian land, now we're just talking about settlements," Al-Assad
said. "This is wrong. We should be talking about returning Palestinian
occupied land. When the land is returned the issue of settlements
becomes a moot point," he explained.
Abbas says dangerous challenges ahead
violations against Palestinians were escalating with an intensity that
had not been seen in decades, the president told leaders convened for an
emergency session in Sirte, Libya. A process of ethnic cleansing in
Jerusalem was being implemented, Abbas said, under which home
demolitions, evictions, land confiscation, and settlement building had
become daily occurrences.
Report: Obama wants delay for midterm elections
Israeli TV reported Saturday evening that US President Barack Obama
asked Arab leaders for a month's delay before he devotes his efforts to
negotiations between Israel and the PLO. The delay Obama requested,
according to Israeli TV, was meant to give him enough time to
work on midterm elections. The report said Arab leaders agreed to the
delay so the status quo would continue unchanged for one month.
PA's Erekat mulls international mandate option
threaten to turn to US for unilateral recognition of independent state
should talks fail to halt settlement construction, chief Palestinian
negotiator takes plan one step further: 'Should this fail, we'll
consider turning to UN to check possibility of imposing international
mandate on territories'
With talks at impasse, Palestinians seek other options (AFP)
Palestinians would be highly unlikely to surmount a US veto should they
demand drastic action from the UN Security Council, but a decision by
Abbas to resign or dissolve the Palestinian Authority could deal a major
blow to both the United States and Israel, who strongly support him.
"The only serious alternatives are the unilateral ones," said Yossi
Beilin, a former Labour party minister who was involved in peace
negotiations with the Palestinians throughout the 1990s. "A Palestinian
threat to dissolve the Palestinian Authority is something they can do.
They don't need anyone to confirm this. This has been a threat for years
now, and it's a threat today," he said. The dismantling of the Authority
would potentially force Israel to take over the cost of governing the
nearly 2.5 million residents of the West Bank and spell the end of the
peace process launched with the 1993 Oslo accords.
Council of Elders seeks meeting with Mishal
in Damascus have reported that international contact with the Islamic
Resistance Movement (Hamas) has widened recently and that the movement
is pressing for the issue of the siege on Gaza to be at the forefront of
discussions. Quds Press reported that the coordinators of the Council
of Elders, which includes former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, are
seeking a meeting with the Head of Hamas' Political Bureau Mr Khaled
Mishal in Damascus during a tour of the Middle East during the
second half of this month.
Report: France won't rule out UN creation of Palestinian state (Reuters)
FM Bernard Kouchner says that France prefers a two-state solution
negotiated with Israel but the option of UN Security Council action
remains on the table.
Jewish leaders to gather in Jerusalem on future of peace process
conference on October 20 will discuss whether a compromise on Jerusalem
will divide the Jewish people and bring about a national trauma
affecting communities in the Diaspora ... Another major question: Should
the Diaspora take some part, if any, in determining the final outcome of
PA cabinet meets in Jericho
the 10,000th anniversary of Jericho's founding will last several years
and include activities throughout the Jordan Valley area, Prime Minister
Salam Fayyad said Sunday ... The prime minister's comments came as he
opened the PA cabinet’s weekly session, which was held in Jericho
instead of Ramallah to mark the start of the city’s anniversary
Protests in Ramallah demanding local elections
erected a sit-in tent in the center of Ramallah on Saturday
to protest the postponement of local elections and appointment of
"municipal council members," which has begun in the West Bank.
Pope opens Mideast meeting; urges peace, harmony
to discuss problems including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and
radical Islam -- They come from local churches affiliated with the
Vatican, but the relentless exodus from the region of all Christians --
Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants -- has led them to take a broad
look at the challenges facing all followers of Jesus there.
French, Spanish FMs to visit region
of France and Spain will visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian
territories Sunday to support peace talks, Agence France-Presse said.
French minister Bernard Kouchner and his Spanish counterpart Miguel
Moratinos will make a two-day regional tour, concluding in Jordan, AFP
Israeli diplomacy: German development minister barred from entering Israel / Philip Weiss
Germany never criticizes Israel. It has no standing, evidently. That may be changing. Spiegel online,
commentator Christoph Schult: ... German-Israeli relations are in a
state of crisis. The arrogance of the
administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to blame
... Israel has not just denied a visit by a German minister. For months
it has also been blocking the entry of building materials necessary for
the construction of the German waste water treatment plant.
Settlers demand El Al CEO quit 'leftist group'
in the West Bank are calling on El Al CEO Elyezer Shkedy to resign from
the company or to give up his membership in the organization Blue White
Future. They say this group holds that the evacuation of settlements is
in the national interest.
West Bank birthday for 'world's oldest city' may disappoint (AFP)
JERICHO - Jericho's 10,000th anniversary was intended to showcase the
revival of the West Bank town: instead, it risks revealing how far they
still have to go, say residents. When the Palestinian Authority
announced the celebrations in 2007 it was to herald the completion of
new infrastructure projects and highlight the economic recovery of the
ancient town after years of unrest following the 2000 uprising. But the
resulting low-key celebrations, as they enter their 11th millennium,
have left even the town's mayor underwhelmed.
Jericho unveils massive ancient mosaic (AP)
ancient Jericho are getting a rare glimpse at what archaeologists say
is the largest carpet mosaic in the Middle East. The mosaic measures
nearly 9,700 square feet (900 square meters) and shows patterns and
flowers in blue, ochre and red. It covers the floor of the ruins of the
main bath house of an 8th-century Islamic palace outside Jericho.
Gaza allocates $1 million for infrastructure purposes
should start within two months. In a statement released by bureau of
the Gaza cabinet’s secretary-general, the cabinet said it allocated
$50,000 to improve post office services across the strip.
FPJ slams arrest of journalists in funeral of resistance fighters
(PIC)-- The forum of Palestinian journalists (FPJ) strongly denounced
the Palestinian Authority's security apparatuses for arresting on Friday
morning a number of journalists as they were covering the funeral
procession of two resistance fighters assassinated by the Israeli
occupation forces in Al-Khalil city. Reporters from Al-Quds satellite
channel and Pal Media were among the journalists who were arrested.
HRW tells Egypt to stop shooting migrants (AFP)
Rights Watch urged Egypt on Friday to stop shooting foreign migrants
who try to cross into Israel, as the Arab country began chairing the
United Nations’ refugee agency. The New York-based rights group said
Egyptian border police have killed at least 85 unarmed migrants trying
to cross into Israel since July 2007. "Egypt
today becomes chair of the UNHCR’s governing body, while back home it
shoots unarmed migrants and blocks UNHCR’s access to detainees seeking
the agency’s protection," it quoted deputy Middle East director Joe
Stork as saying.
IDF Gaza division boosts its commitment to nature
Defense Forces will begin coordinating its routine activity around the
Gaza Strip with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, as the
organization signed a nature-protection accord with the commanders of
the Gaza Division last week. It covers coordination of actions like
ambushes and lookouts, engineering activity and the breaking of new
routes ... If landscape or nature [but not Palestinians or their
property] have been damaged, the division will allocate forces for
IDF soldier charged with stealing classified documents on Iran
Southern Command military court last month charged the soldier, who had
served in the teleprocessing department, for endangering the security of
the state ... The soldier claimed that she had taken the disc in order
to prove security failures existed at the NSI.
Israeli author David Grossman wins German peace prize (Reuters)
awarded the peace prize of the German book trade for his efforts to
reconcile Israel with the Palestinians ... His son Uri was killed during
the Second Lebanon War in 2006 by a Hezbollah missile just days after
Grossman and other writers demanded a ceasefire between the two sides.
Analysis / Opinion / Human interest
The force is with them / Avi Issacharoff
season is upon the West Bank, and the IDF is deployed to protect
Palestinian pickers -- ...The Palestinians cannot get to the grove
alone. Soldiers escort them from the guard post to the olive grove. The
land belongs to Jaber, but it is situated deep inside the settlement.
"It has been our land for 80 years, 32.5 dunams" -- just over eight
acres -- he says. "But this year I
was able to get to the plot for only one day, on February 15. Since then
they have not let me enter. On Sunday I came to the trees in the morning
and found someone already had gotten to them. All the olives on the
lower branches had been picked − my harvest was partly stolen..." He
points to a well that was ruined − by settlers, he says − and to a tree
that has been cut down. "This is how we found the plot on Sunday
morning. We wanted to bring in two tractors, but the security officer of
the settlement said only one was allowed. Who is he to tell me what is
allowed and what is not? This is my land. They did not arrive here until
1982, and now they give me orders."
Twilight Zone: Straight to the heart / Gideon Levy
sneak into Israel to find jobs paying meager wages. Some are
beaten and imprisoned. This week a 37-year-old father of five was shot
to death -- In the afternoon, while everyone was waiting for the body to
the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine, I asked the bereaved
brother, Hasan Kawazba, to tell me about his last conversation with Izz
a-Din, during what were the final moments of his life, just before he
was shot to death by an Israeli Border Policeman.
Israel's persecution of Ameer Makhoul / Stephen Lendman
any time, from 7,000 – 12,000 or more Palestinians are politically
persecuted and imprisoned, including young children. The Addameer
Prisoners' Support and Human Rights Association explains that for over
43 years under military occupation, over 650,000 Palestinians have been
illegally detained for wanting freedom on their own land in their own
country ... Ameer Makoul is one of many victims, a previous article
about him accessed here.
Israeli citizen, human rights activist, and head of the internationally
recognized Ittijah NGO for Palestinian empowerment, he also chairs the
Public Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners within the Arab
Higher Monitoring Committee in Israel. Besides championing human rights,
he also supports the global BDS movement, what many believe is perhaps
the most effective nonviolent tactic against Israeli lawlessness, and
another reason for his targeting.
The Jewish Republic of Israel / Gideon Levy
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. Granted, the loyalty oath bill that Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu is seeking to have passed purportedly only deals with new
citizens who are not Jewish, but it affects the fate
of all of us.
From now on, we will be living in a new, officially approved,
ethnocratic, theocratic, nationalistic and racist country.
A national economy -- without the nation (TIME)
Ramallah -- This city's historic landscape of rolling hills and groves
of knotty olive trees is undergoing something of a transformation. ...
the West Bank, similar scenes are unfolding. Building cranes pierce the
sky. Outside Nablus, new car dealerships sell everything from BMWs to
Hyundais ... While
there are promising signs of growth, economic development is no
substitute for a political solution. The borders, airspace, water rights
and communications are still under Israeli control; so is 60% of the
West Bank. "We are not waiting for a political solution to move forward
with economic development," says one Palestinian banking specialist.
"But the impact of these efforts is diluted when there is no parallel
political movement. It is like a bird flying with one wing."
The reality of Israel / Khalid Amayreh
Sunday [3 Oct], five Jewish settlers from the Gush Itzion settlement
Bethlehem slipped into the nearby Palestinian village of Beit Fajjar
under cover of darkness in order to torch the Masjid Al-Anbiyaa (Mosque
of the Prophets) ... Before leaving the mosque, the attackers scrawled
the words "revenge"
and "price tag mosque", on the building in an act that was the fourth
time in as many months that Israeli settlers had set Muslim places of
worship on fire. The settlers' reasoning for carrying out these mindless
acts is mind-boggling. Settler leaders call these criminal attacks "a
price-tag policy", in which Palestinian targets, for example
mosques, are attacked every time the Israeli government decides to
dismantle a settlement outpost or prevent settlers from seizing
Palestinian property. In other words, the Palestinians are made to
pay for decisions and policies made by the Israeli government and deemed
unacceptable by the settlers.
One man's journey from Youngstown to life as a businessman on West Bank: Sam Bahour
still astonishes me how a U.S. citizen can be treated like trash the
minute he becomes associated with Palestinian residency, while an
American Jew who has no family ties to this place whatsoever can leave
Cleveland, land in Tel Aviv airport and freely go to one of the many
illegal Jewish-only settlements spread throughout the West Bank. Not
only will this newcomer be welcomed and encouraged by Israeli
authorities, but actually have a "right" under Israeli law to
automatically ascertain Israeli citizenship. All the while, my West Bank
(not refugee) father is being torn apart every time his three-month
visitor's visa is up and he is forced to head back to Youngstown and
wait another year before he can make another visit to his birthplace to
see his granddaughters.
Fanning the flames / Tamar Rotem
Many of the violent and disruptive protests in the Haredi community are
organized by a tiny group nicknamed the Sikarikim. Now members of more
mainstream ultra-Orthodox sects are beginning to stand up to them
Iraq, other Mideast
Court acquits Iraqis of killing six British soldiers (Reuters)
BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi court Sunday cleared two Iraqis accused of killing
six British soldiers who were attacked by a mob during a protest
in southern Iraq in 2003, saying there was not enough evidence to
convict the men.
Sunni-backed bloc bending on Iraqi premiership (AP)
The Sunni-backed political coalition that narrowly won the most votes
in Iraq's parliamentary election appeared Sunday to be giving up its
demand for the premiership, boosting the Shiite prime minister's drive
to keep his job. The stunning turnabout is sure to inflame Iraq's
minority Sunnis, whose crucial support helped the secular Iraqiya
movement edge ahead of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's political
coalition in the March 7 parliamentary election.
Iraq broadcasts confessions by Al Qaeda insurgents (Reuters)
-- Two men arrested in Iraq over suicide bomb attacks on embassies and a
foreign television office were shown on state TV Sunday confessing that
they worked for al Qaeda. The confessions, broadcast widely on several
local channels, were aired at a time when Iraqi forces are under
pressure to demonstrate their ability to fight insurgents as U.S. troops
prepare for a complete withdrawal from Iraq by end-2011.
Iraqi police still struggle with insecurity as US departs
-- At Joint Security Station Loyalty, there are two schools of thought
on the ability of Iraqi security forces to keep the peace when the U.S.
military leaves. "They are more than ready," said U.S. Army Capt. Rory
McGovern of Haverhill, Mass., a company commander with the 1st Brigade,
3rd Infantry Division, which has trained and advised Iraqi federal
police at this joint military outpost in eastern Baghdad since January.
"They're making great operational and tactical strides. It's great to
see." The Iraqi unit, however, wasn't so sure.
Lebanon prepares for Ahmadinejad (AFP)
patrols southern region, film festival censors Opposition film
in honor of official visit ... A security source told the paper that
Lebanese forces will secure the visit, however. The army is set to
deploy throughout his route and at sites Ahmadinejad plans to tour.
UNIFIL, the UN force in southern Lebanon, is not involved, the source
U.S. and other world news
Torture victim sues Obama administration over 'Kafkaesque nightmare' / Carol Rosenbeg'
In a first for a former Guantánamo captive freed by a federal judge, a
Syrian man now living in Europe is suing the U.S. government for damages
from what he calls a ``Kafkaesque nightmare.'' The 44-page lawsuit by
Abdul Razak al Janko, 32, described a decade-long
odyssey of detention -- first in Taliban-era Afghanistan, where he was
tortured as an alleged pro-American Israeli spy, and later in U.S.
military prisons that ignored or misdiagnosed his history as a torture
Sound the sharia alarm! Campbell's makes halal soups
Earlier this year, Campbell Canada introduced a line of halal-certified soups
... To some people, that's just more evidence that Sharia is coming to
North America -- this time, via the grocery store. "M-m-good for the
Islamists. Not so yummy for the rest of us," reads the blog of Scaramouche, which broke the news Tuesday, some eight months after Campbell's launched the line ... Park51 opponent Pamela Geller is now calling for a boycott of Campbell's.
Outraged, and outrageous (NY Times)
in this genteel setting that Ms. Geller, 52 and a single mother of
four, wakes each morning shortly after 7, switches on her laptop and
wages a form of holy war through Atlas Shrugs, a Web site that attacks
Islam with a rhetoric venomous enough that PayPal at one point branded
it a hate site. Working here — often in fuzzy slippers — she has called
for the removal of the Dome of the Rock from atop the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem; posted doctored pictures of Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court
justice, in a Nazi helmet; suggested the State Department was run by
“Islamic supremacists”; and referred to health care reform as an act of
Anti-Islam MP backs new Dutch government (AFP)
THE HAGUE: Dutch Prime Minister-elect Mark Rutte on Friday started work
to forge a new rightist, minority government that will rely heavily on
the support of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders. With Wilders’ support
expected to come at the cost of a burqa ban and a halving of
immigration, Rutte met his future vice-premier, Maxime Verhagen, leader
of the Christian Democratic CDA, in The Hague.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda