||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land theft and
destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers
chief of Jerusalem affairs Ahmad Qrei`a denounced Israel's recent
decision to deport four Jerusalemite lawmakers because of their
affiliation to Hamas, a statement read Sunday. "Israel continues with
its policy of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians in Jerusalem by
expelling them from their city...
Israeli authorities pressed ahead with plans to build a courthouse
complex on a large historic Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, an area
already at the center of protest over plans to locate a Museum of
Tolerance at the same site.
Israeli forces detained five civilians who infiltrated Joseph's Tomb in
Nablus without authorization, Israeli media reported on
Sunday. According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, those detained were
removed from the site and transferred to police custody for
questioning. It is unclear if the Israeli civilians were residents of
one the numerous adjacent illegal West Bank settlements.
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment
instead of a game they got tear gas, soldiers storming, arresting a few
and setting a brush fire. By Haitham Katib. 11 June
army detained a disabled Palestinian and a Chilean peace activist
during anti-wall protests in the occupied West Bank on Saturday. Others
were hurt by tear gas. Protests are held each week in the Hebron-area
town of Beit Ummar and Tuwani, a village near the southern West Bank
city that is also home to hundreds of radical Israeli settlers.
Responding to calls by the Palestinian
Workers Union and other calls by different workers unions and
organizations around the world, the Norwegian Ports Union decided to
join its Swedish counterpart in boycotting all Israeli ships starting on
June 15 ... polls in Norway revealed
that nearly half of the Norwegians support this act. The Port Workers Union in Norway said that the boycott would
be for two weeks, while the Swedish boycott would continue until June
Dylanchords says block is a contribution to the cultural boycott of the
state of Israel, over its 'absurd inhumanity.'
Small French cinema chain protests Israeli raid
Sat Jun 12
- PARIS – A small French cinema chain has made waves by postponing this
month's showing of an Israeli comedy to protest the country's deadly
May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. The Utopia cinema chain replaced
"Five Hours from Paris" with the documentary "Rachel," about an American
student crushed to death by a bulldozer in 2003 while protesting
Israeli house demolitions in Gaza. The chain says it was the "only way
to express disapproval" about the flotilla raid, which killed nine
people. The French Jewish organization Crif said the decision shows that
"knee-jerk anti-Israel sentiment has no limits." Culture Minister
Frederic Mitterrand wrote to the chain to express "disapproval" of its
decision, Le Figaro
newspaper reported on its Web site.
Ministry reports that Barak will remain in Israel until team of experts
investigating flotilla raid announced. Over weekend, sail participants
declared intention to sue defense minister
Two ships to leave this week; 100,000 volunteered to travel to Strip
-- The Iranian Red Crescent has equipped and loaded two ships with aid,
and is waiting for permission from the Iranian Foreign Ministry to set
sail for Gaza, AFP reported on Sunday. A third ship is planned for next
The next Gaza aid flotilla may be much bigger than the first. Yasser
Qashlaq, director of the Free Palestine Movement, said Thursday that up
to 50 ships could join the Freedom Flotilla II, the International Middle
East Media Center reported. Meanwhile, the movement, in cooperation
with Reporters Without Borders, is organizing a new mission to send
educational supplies to the children of the besieged Palestinian
territory. Qashlaq told IMEMC that a ship would depart from Lebanon
within a week.
Blockade / Restrictions of movement /
Sunday 13 June - Israel's cabinet meets today under the heaviest
international pressure yet – in the aftermath of its lethal naval
commando assault on a pro-Palestinian flotilla a fortnight ago – to
relax the three-year economic embargo on Gaza. Western diplomats are
hoping that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, will give
the first indication this morning of a major rethink of Gaza policy
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a meeting of Likud
ministers on Sunday that he supports easing the three-year blockade
Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip, but that he would not approve the
lifting of the naval blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory. With this
declaration, Netanyahu rejected the proposal made by the foreign
ministers of France, Spain and Italy, who suggested that in the future,
Gaza-bound ships be searched by European inspectors in Cyprus.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz
to form a plan outlining the transfer of goods to the Gaza Strip, in
accordance with a new policy being devised by the government ... Katz
however has objected to the move and clarified that he would like all of
the Gaza crossings to remain closed, including Rafah, which borders
with Egypt. He has also called for the transfer of goods by air and sea
to be under Egypt's charge.
The minister has also expressed hope that within a year Israel will have
handed all responsibility over Gaza and its residents to Egypt, which
would supply the Strip with food and electricity.
Gazans pin hopes on Egypt border
Egypt opened the Rafah crossing, many people from Gaza have rushed
south, including some in need of urgent medical treatment. Harriet
Sherwood spoke to those waiting
is expected to open the southern Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza
Strip on Sunday morning to transfer limited deliveries of aid and fuel,
Palestinian liaison officials said.
NYT has a piece
called "Gaza, Through Fresh Eyes," featuring the photography of Katie
Orlinsky and an article by Ethan Bronner that then quotes Orlinsky.
Watch Bronner work:
Bronner: for nearly
everyone who visits Gaza, often with worry of danger and hostility,
what’s surprising is the fact that daily life, while troubled, often has
the staggering quality of the very ordinary. Funny, Orlinsky doesn't
quite seem to see it that way: "From the bullet hole in the wall above
the child playing on his outdated computer in a middle-class home, to
the couple having dinner sipping Coca-Cola smuggled in from Egypt, the
situation in Gaza — the war, the blockade, Hamas — touches everyone,”
case you missed it - this one has its own photos, somewhat less
encouraging than those in the preceding article
The desire for a permanent house is a most
conventional desire in our society. A house is usually conceived as a
structure of four walls, a floor below and a roof above, and the desire
for such a house is mostly fulfilled using the mortgage system. But what
seems to be such a conventional desire in many societies may prove
rather unconventional in a society living under the conditions of
prolonged Occupation. In fact, in the small Bedouin community of Umm
al-Kheir, among the families who live close to the settlement of Carmel,
such a basic desire for a four walls’ house is not only unconventional
but should also be regarded as quite unrealistic.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting the
naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas,
according to what he told United States President Barack Obama during
their meeting at the White House Wednesday. Egypt also supports this
spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh rebuffed an Israeli media report Sunday
alleging President Mahmoud Abbas called for the continuation of Gaza's
blockade during a recent meeting with his US counterpart. "President
Abbas had raised the issue of the necessity of lifting the blockade as a
matter on a par with the fate of the peace process," Abu Rudaineh told
the Palestinian Authority-run WAFA news agency.
RAFAH, Egypt (AFP) – Egypt banned hundreds of activists from Gaza,
igniting protests at the Rafah border that is the only non-Israeli entry
into the Palestinian enclave, a security official said on
Saturday. Hundreds of Egyptian activists headed to the Rafah border
crossing on Friday but were denied entry into the Gaza Strip,
the official told AFPon condition of anonymity. "They spent the night in
front of the crossing asking to be let in and continued protesting on
Saturday," the official said.
initial delays, Egyptian authorities have allowed an Algerian aid
convoy into the besieged Gaza Strip. Accompanying the convoy of medical
equipment and food aid was a delegation of three parliamentarians and
other senior figures ... Egyptian authorities had refused to allow the
delegation into Gaza through its Rafah crossing, despite that it was
declared open indefinitely. Egyptian sources said the delegation was
informed that only three parliamentarians would be allowed to enter, and
without the aid. The delegation rejected the offer, and three were
eventually permitted to enter with the aid, officials said.
Violence / Aggression
soldiers assaulted a 10-year-old boy Saturday in the occupied West
Bank, his father said. Ghandi Nedal Al-Ewaiwi was transferred to
Hebron's public hospital with bruises all over his body, medics
said. The boy's father, Nedal Al-Ewaiwi, said the boy was beaten while
in custody outside Hebron's Old City. He was held for several hours at a
military post near the Ibrahimi Mosque, Nedal said. An Israeli military
spokesman said that after an initial inquiry, the army was aware of no
A report conducted by a Jerusalem rights center following the shooting
death of a Palestinian man in East Jerusalem on Friday by Israeli border
guards suggests he was shot point blank. Ziad Al-Julani, 38, was shot
and killed after he allegedly failed to stop at a checkpoint in the Wadi
Joz neighborhood in the occupied part of the city ... On Friday, other
testimony has the man speeding toward the hospital with an injured man
in his truck. Two border guards were reportedly injured in the incident
... Two women, a man, a senior citizen, and a child in a nearby car were
said to have been injured in the shouting that erupted after the
shooting, with Israeli forces using rubber-coated bullets against the
Haaretz reports in their article "Palestinian killed in suspected East
Jerusalem terror attack": 'A Palestinian driver was shot and killed in
Jerusalem Friday after running over two Israeli border patrolmen, with
an apparent intent to kill...' Open and shut case, right? Not so fast.
One of the notable features of the media coverage of the flotilla attack
(at least online) has been an unwillingness to take the Israeli account
at their word. Will this positive trend continue with other examples of
Israeli violence towards Palestinians? This story presents an
Military Advocate General Avichai
Mandelblit on Sunday ordered a military police investigation into
Colonel Itai Virob, former Kfir Brigade commander, and Lieutenant
Colonel Shimon Harosh, former commander of the Shimshon regiment. The
order comes after they had testified in a military court a year ago,
saying it was permissible to use moderate violence against Palestinians
resident of the illegal settlement of Havat Ma’on in the occupied West
Bank was injured in the head Saturday by a rock thrown by Palestinians,
Israeli news reports said. Israeli forces arrived on the scene and
separated those involved in the fighting, The Jerusalem Post, an
English-language Israeli newspaper, reported Saturday.
Israeli Prison Service is barring Palestinian prisoners from sitting
the Palestinian and Jordanian high school matriculation exams, known as
the tawjihi, for the third consecutive year, a detainees' society said
Sunday. The Palestinian Committee for Prisoners' Defense said the move
by the IPS was to exert pressure on the captors of Israeli soldier Gilad
Shalit and "embitter prisoners," spokesman for the group Riyad
Flotilla raid aftermath
Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as his second in command, did not arrive at the
army's command center until after the takeover had taken a violent turn
... The absence of both Ashkenazi and his second in command, Major
General Benny Ganz, will be one of the issues to be reviewed by the
specialist panel named by the IDF chief to probe the raid, headed by
retired major general Giora Eiland.
Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said that Washington was not pressuring
Israel to cooperate with an investigation it doesn't want, referring to
the investigation of the lethal Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla.
During an interview with Fox news network, Rice said that the US
position is clear – Israel has the ability and will to manage a credible
and independent investigation itself.
Former Supreme Court Justice Yaakov Tirkel is to head the Israeli
investigative committee that will look into the events surrounding the
takeover of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla nearly two weeks ago, Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday ... The Americans have rejected -
a number of times - Israel's proposals and asked that a retired Supreme
Court justice head the probe. The issue was resolved when Justice
Yaakov Tirkel was proposed for the post.
(AFP) Minister Dan Meridor told the Turkish
newspaper Haber Turk that the committee established to investigate an
IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla will include foreigners as well as
Israelis. "There will be international officials on the committee
formed. Everything is not yet clear, but this committee will be made up
of five Israelis and two or three foreigners," he said.
Max Ajl, who blogs at
Jewbonics, responds to Matthew Taylor's post urging non-violence in the
wake of the flotilla raid: I thought the latest post by Matthew Taylor
was out of touch. I have news for him: violence works. Violence pushed
Israel out of southern Lebanon, and violence repelled the Israeli
incursion into Lebanon in 2006. Violence let the Bielski partisans save
our people during the Holocaust. Violence defined the Warsaw Ghetto
uprising, one of the prouder moments of Jewish history.
US publisher will make Israel’s recent raid on a flotilla of aid ships
bound for Gaza as its next subject, The New York Times reported
Saturday. OR Books recently published US academic Normal Finkelstein's
"This Time We Went Too Far," which examined the consequences of Israel's
assault on Gaza that began in December 2008. “Murder on the Mavi
Marmara” will contain a retelling of the attack by eyewitnesses, and
analysis of the blockade and the conflict in the region, according to
the newspaper. The new book is edited by Moustafa Bayoumi, a US
professor of English at Brooklyn College and the author of “How Does It
Feel to Be a Problem?,” and is expected to be available on 28 July.
Three fountains in Tel Aviv were colored bright red late Friday in what
activists called a reminder to the Israeli public that its Gaza siege is
causing bloodshed. The Committee Against the Siege, which organized the
action, raided three central fountains in Tel Aviv. Graffiti was made
in protest of the deadly siege on the Gaza Strip. In four years, "more
than 2,600 Palestinians were murdered by the Israeli army" ... "Last
week we witnessed how the Israeli army also stretches its hand toward
civilian ships in international waters," the group stated.
In response to letter of criticism calling for probe into Marmara ship
takeover, Navy reserve officers send letter to PM, defense minister, IDF
chief 'to express support, faith in Navy's operation'
"... Uzi Dayan, former
deputy Chief of General Staff, told Army Radio Monday morning. "If the
Turkish prime minister joins such a flotilla, we should make clear
beforehand this would be an act of war, and we would not try to take
over the ship he was on, but would sink it ... If Israel doesn't make
this clear beforehand, the Turks will grow increasingly self-assured,
and we may indeed find ourselves facing such a scenario, which could
have been averted.”
Political developments / Diplomacy
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, denied
yesterday that his country had practiced standing down its anti-aircraft
systems to allow Israeli warplanes passage on their way to attack
Iran's nuclear installations. He was speaking to the London-based
newspaper Alsharq Alawsat and was denying a report in the British
newspaper the Times.
Poland feels caught between Germany and Israel as it considers whether
to extradite an alleged Mossad spy arrested in Warsaw earlier this month
... Poland is considered one of Israel's greatest friends anywhere in
the world, let alone the European Union.
Uri Brodsky is suspected of helping to issue a fake German passport to a
member of the Mossad operation that allegedly killed Hamas man Mahmoud
al-Mabhouh in Dubai ... Dahi Khalfan Tamim told the U.A.E. website the
National that they would not seek Brodsky's extradition since "this
person has committed the crime in Germany and therefore it is only
normal that he will be prosecuted there."
president says flotilla raid 'crime' closer to act of terror group than
of sovereign state, adds Israel must offer compensation if it wants
Arab league chief Amr Moussa accused Israel on Thursday of continued
"atrocity and assault" in the Middle East in violation of human rights
and international law. Moussa, speaking at an economic forum between
Turkey and Arab nations, said "Israel is the main reason for the black
hole in the region." He also praised Turkey for challenging Israel
following the May 31 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left
eight Turks and a Turkish-American teenager dead.
Media bias /
The veteran journalist was pilloried for her remark about Israel, but
where's the uproar over such comments directed at Palestinians? -- If,
however, it is unacceptable to say that Israeli Jews don't belong in
Palestine, it is also unacceptable to say that the Palestinians don't
belong on their own land. Yet that is said all the time in the United
States, without sparking the kind of moral outrage generated by Thomas'
remark. And while the nation's editorialists worry about the offense she
may have caused to Jews, no one seems particularly bothered by the
offense felt every day by Palestinians when people — including those
with far more power than Thomas — dismiss their rights, degrade their
humanity and reject their claims to the most elementary forms of
media tirade against Helen Thomas is as illogical as it is hysterical.
The few sentences uttered by her were, as she quickly acknowledged,
wrong -- deeply so, I would add. But they cannot justify the road-rage
destruction of the dean of the Washington press corps. Suddenly this
heroic woman who broke so many gender barriers and dared to challenge
presidential arrogance was reduced to nothing more than the
stereotypical anti-Israel Arab that it is so fashionable to hate.
And you're worried about
New York Times correspondent Ethan Bronner's son joining the IDF? Well
the other New York Times correspondent, Isabel Kershner, is an Israeli
married to an Israeli, Hirsh Goodman, and below is Goodman's take on the
Mavi Marmara bloodbath.
is a journalist and author, now at Tel Aviv University. Note that he
seems to think that the Gaza onslaught of 08-09 was just fine. This is a
measure of the degradation of the lib-left in Israeli society.
At start of Hezbollah spy case, defendant Ameer Makhoul says,
'Everything an Arab does in this country considered security offense by
Shin Bet.' He says political figures' bones broken, like Sheikh Raed
Salah and MK Hanin Zoabi
Ramallah government Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attended the
inauguration of the Mahmoud Darwish Foundation for Creativity in the
Kafr Yasif village, northern Israel on Saturday, delivering an address
for the celebration.
More than a year after the death during a botched Israel Air Force
rescue operation, the Israel Defense Forces notified the late young
man's family that unprofessional activity by Unit 669 during led to
their son's death, as he fell off the stretcher being transported by a
helicopter into a mine field, where he was fatally wounded when a mine
detonated. Family members of Alaa Agabriya, 24 at his death, arrived at
the Air Force headquarters in order to receive the final report on the
investigation of the incident that lead to their son's death.
Mohammed A., a foreign worker who is in Israel legally as an asylum
seeker, came to Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak for an
operation. The surgery was successful, but his hospital stay resulted in
another danger: The hospital had refused to return his visa until he
paid his NIS 4,000 bill. The man could have been arrested and faced
deportation had he been he found without the document.
Opinion / Analysis
When it turns out that this country has managed to acquire so many
"enemies," there is a suspicion that maybe we're not talking about
paranoia or a successful public-relations spin, but actual strategy ...
This can be a successful strategy as long as it aims to rally and unite
the Israeli public around its government, because the more enemies we
have, the more the public is frightened, the tighter its ranks as it
seeks cover under the government's wings.
thought we can fool the world all the time, but we were wrong --
...Somehow we failed to notice that Arab armies learned the lessons of
every war and found solutions to counter the IDF’s great power:
Anti-tank cells against our armored corps, missiles to circumvent our
Air Force, and attacks on our civilian population. We also used to think
that the Arabs are dumb. Well, not all of them, yet to this day we seem
to think that something genetic prevents them from being as intelligent
as we are. They’re primitive, they dress bizarrely, and most of all,
Washington Post poll says
that 91 percent of people are opposed to Helen Thomas's removal. Talk
about the American street. And here is Ralph Nader on the Thomas
resignation. Calls it a 'professional execution'. More: "She's a
courageous journalist... blazed the way for women like no one did....
She set the standard for journalists, asking the tough questions... [to
Bush] 'Why did you invade Iraq?' She
also asked questions about the Israeli-Palestinian situation...
Last week we picked up Jacob Berkman's
report that the Jewish leadership's inflexible support of the flotilla
raid risks alienating the Jewish street, which is "conflicted" about the
raid. Yes, because the left now has profound misgivings. This is from a
conservative site, Human Events, smart reporting by Michelle Oddis,
saying that Jewish celebs are not showing up at the pro-Israel rallies:
Congratulations to all football lovers, the countdown has finally come
to end and now we can all watch the new edition of the World Cup.
Football was always one of the few things that brings the world
together. Well, everyone but Israel. It seems that Israel has an allergy
to sports, joy and good times, especially if those who are trying to
enjoy are Palestinians.
Iraq, other Mideast
Light violence left at least seven Iraqis dead and another eight
wounded as the two leading contender to be the next prime minister met
today. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at last spoke with rival Ayad
Allawi for their first post-election meeting. They may have agreed for a
need to form a national partnership between the two governments;
however, a cautious remark from State of law official Ali al-Dabbagh
could signal that no major breakthrough occurred.
At least 21 Iraqis were
killed and 54 more were wounded in new violence. The lion’s share of the
casualties came from a coordinated attack against a bank in Baghdad,
just a day before the new parliament is to meet. Meanwhile, a British
security contractor is appealing a determination that he is mentally
able to stand trial in Iraq in the fatal shooting of two colleagues in
Baghdad last summer. In Baghdad, militants perhaps seeking
cash set off six bombs within eight minutes of each other at a
marketplace near the Central Bank of Iraq.
June 12 - Dozens of Iraqi refugees currently living in the Netherlands,
Britain, Norway and Sweden are being forced to return to Iraq. On this
episode of Inside Story, we ask: Are those EU countries in breach of
guidelines set by the United Nation's High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR) and is there a possibility that Iraq's immediate neighbours
could follow suit
Iraq — The Shatt al Arab, the river that flows from the biblical site
of the Garden of Eden to the Persian Gulf, has turned into an
environmental and economic disaster that Iraq’s newly democratic
government is almost powerless to fix.
June 12 While world powers attempt to tighten the sanctions screw on
Iran, trade with neighbouring Iraq is booming. Both countries were once
mortal enemies but since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is now a major
consumer of Iranian manufactured goods partly because Iraq has
virtually no industry of its own.
just spent the last hour and a half watching a fascinating webcast of a
seminar on the Palestinian refugee situation in Lebanon. It was
organized by the Aspen Institute ... For those of you interested in both
the situation of the Palestinians in Lebanon as well as the refugee
issue and the right of return, I highly recommend that you watch the
UNIFIL chief says situation in Lebanon far more stable now.
Egypt will draft a law to govern marriage and divorce for non-Muslims, a
state newspaper reported, a move analysts see as an attempt to contain
anger after a court overruled the Coptic Orthodox Church last month.
AlJazeeraEnglish June 12 - The explorer and adventurer talks to Riz
Khan about becoming the first Arab woman to reach the North Pole.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda