||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Not the caves at Kiryat Shmona, not the dance bars of Tel Aviv—Israel’s
best kept secret just may be Dahmash. Sandwiched between Lidd and Ramle,
nestled alongside the train tracks and a scrap-metal junkyard, and just
five minutes from Ben-Gurion International Airport, Dahmash is one of
Israel’s hundreds of unrecognized villages.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) burnt ten
dunums of Palestinian cultivated land while quelling a peaceful anti
wall demonstration in Irak Burin village, Nablus district, on Saturday.
Activism / Boycotts, Divestment &
ISM: ...In the Gaza ‘buffer zone’, live ammunition is routinely
used against unarmed demonstrators and farmers. The ‘buffer zone’ is
illegal The Israeli military violently enforces a zone of 300
meters to 2 kilometers along Gaza’s lengthy border with Israel, in
direct violation of the Oslo Accords of the 1990’s. This zone claims 30%
of Gaza’s farmland, and some of its most fertile.
Leftists, Palestinians make noise in east Jerusalem using controversial
instrument that has become symbol of 2010 World Cup; Irish singer Tommy
sands dedicates song to 'Rachel Corrie' vessel
18 June - ... Resulted in injury to
three people who are the boy Mohammed Maher Yassin (14 years) gas bomb
in face, and his brother Jasser Maher Yassin (21 year) gas bomb to leg,
and Yassin Mohammad Yassin (21 years), and capture of Tal Shapira (25
in), Jal Lukasi ( 22 years) and a British girl was not known her name,
and dozens of cases of suffocation, and burning of vast agricultural
areas belonging to a large number of people of the village of Bil'in as a
result of firing tear gas against demonstrators
Dozens of residents from the village of Al-Ma'asara
protested the confiscation of their land and the construction of the
wall on it on Friday afternoon. Israeli forces did not intercept the
protestors who managed to reach their land. The marchers carried signs
demanding the release of Hasan Breijiyeh who was detained during last
weeks protest ... Meanwhile, in the nearby village of Wad Rahal, Israeli
troops intercepted the protesters and did not allow them to reach their
lands ... Boy Scout groups took part in the demonstration during which
marchers demanded the lift of the siege on Gaza. The protest ended
The villagers of N'ilin, together with International supporters marched
after the Friday prayer to their confiscated land where Israel is
building the wall. Abu Amira, member of the Popular Committee Against
the Wall and settlements in the village said some of the protestors wore
the national dresses of the United Arab Emirates and waved Emirati
flags, in a sign of gratitude to this Arab state for its support to the
Palestinian people ... Abu Amira added that Israeli troops fired a
number of tear gas canisters at the protesters causing dozens of them to
choke and few others to faint.
labor councils in the city of San Francisco announced plans to stage a
union and public sit-in rally on dock 57 of the port of Oakland on
Sunday, when an Israeli ship will dock.
The following letter to Tiesto -- a Dutch musician scheduled to perform
in Eilat, Israel next month -- was issued on 18 June by the Palestinian
Students' Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)
Israel told the United Nations on Friday it reserved its right to use
"all necessary means" to stop ships that it said planned to try to sail
from Lebanon to bring aid to Gaza, blockaded by the Jewish state. In a
letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and to the Security
Council, Israeli Ambassador Gabriela Shalev also called on the Lebanese
government to prevent the ships from leaving ... Earlier Friday the
Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah said that it would not take part in
Gaza-bound aid missions so as not to give a pretext for Israel to attack
Lebanese newspaper reports New York HQ of Interim Force in Lebanon has
warned Beirut it will prevent any violation of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL HQ in south Lebanon not aware of report -- It was further
reported that Israel had strongly urged Beirut not to allow the arrival
of the boats to the Gaza Strip.
Israeli naval forces are on alert as an all-female ship prepares an
attempt to break the blockade ofGaza. Organisers say the Mariam – named
after the Virgin Mary – is to sail from Beirut in the next few
days. However one woman who will not be on board is Haifa Wehbe, a
sultry and often scantily clad Lebanese singer.
Egypt rejected Israel's
request not to assist the Iranian ships slated to sail to the Gaza Strip
in the coming days, Kuwaiti paper al-Dar reported on Friday. The report
was not confirmed by any official Egyptian elements.
Violence / Incursions
Three Palestinian farmers were wounded on Saturday morning when Israeli
occupation forces (IOF) fired artillery shells at an agricultural area
east of Beit Hanun to the north of the Gaza Strip.
Two flying checkpoints were installed south of Jenin on Friday morning,
hours after soldiers entered the Al-Yamoun village northwest of the city
and deployed in the streets. Forces appeared to be searching for
someone, locals said, noting no arrests were made, but checkpoints were
installed for several hours on the roads between Arraba village and
Jenin as well as on the Qabatiya-Misliya road. Residents were stopped
and searched at both points, and no arrests were reported.
Siege / Human Rights / Humanitarian Issues /
Restriction of Movement
Despite Israel’s Thursday decision to “ease restrictions on Gaza”, the
Israeli Authorities closed all trade crossings leading to the coastal
region. The closure, unless extended, will last until Sunday. Fattouh of
the Border Crossings Authority in Gaza, said that Israel declared the
crossings open on Thursday and shut them down Friday,
Spare medical parts and replacements are, in practice, barred from entry
into Gaza, or only arrive "after great delays," a World Health
Organization spokesman told Ma'an on Friday. Following the release of a
report from the WHO on Gaza City's Ash-Shifa Hospital, the spokesman
emphasized that beyond the impeded access to parts, engineers are unable
to enter Gaza to service the equipment. "Life saving equipment worth
hundreds of thousands of dollars has been held up in Ramallah for over
six months," the statement said.
Spokesman for the UN Relief and
Works Agency Chris Gunness warned BBC TV audiences on Thursday, that
Israel's decision to ease the siege on Gaza should be measured in deeds,
not in words. "There have been many many false dawns," Gunnesss said
about Israeli promises to improve on violations of international law,
emphasizing that the "collective punishment of 1.5 million" people in
Gaza was illegal.
Since Egypt reopened Rafah crossing for limited purposes, over 13,000
Gazans, mainly students and those in need of medical help, have crossed
into Egypt-- A Palestinian was shot and injured by Egyptian forces while
trying to illegally cross into the country from the Gaza Strip, an
Egyptian security official said on Saturday. The man managed to escape
back into Gaza despite his injuries, the source, who declined to be
named, told the German Press Agency DPA
WEST BANK, PALESTINIAN
TERRITORIES-In response to severe water shortages in the southern West
Bank, global humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF
International has improved access to water and sanitation for over
12,500 people in some of the places hardest hit by the 2009 drought.
The Palestinian prime minister has laid the cornerstone for a $50
million sewage treatment plant. The German-funded plant is the West
Bank's second and will treat 3 million cubic meters of waste water a
year. Some of the treated water will be used by farmers to help ease a
growing water shortage in the West Bank. Israel also benefits from the
project as the untreated sewage currently flows toward its land.
The Popular Resistance Committees' Salah Din Brigades launched three
mortar shells toward Israel from the Rafah area of Gaza at 11:55am on
Friday, a statement from the group said. An Israeli military spokesman
said one shell landed in Israel around noon, with no injuries reported
A human rights report published by the Palestinian 'Prisoner's Forum'
... highlighted the fact that during the first half of this year, the
Israeli forces launched a widespread campaign of arrests in various
regions of Hebron. The campaign resulted in the detention of 468
individuals including 90 children, 110 students and 58 ill individuals.
It now seems clear that the Red Cross and, indeed, members of Israel's
parliament, are being stopped by Israeli intelligence services from
finding out the location of what has been called a "secret prison". The
MP for the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, Dr. Dov Hanin, has
filed an enquiry to the Israeli Internal Security Minister, Yitzhak
Aheronovic, regarding an unidentified prisoner at Ayalon Prison,
Department 15. The prisoner, whose details were referred to on the Ynet
website, and then quickly removed, has been held in total isolation and
prevented from having visits or giving any information about himself to
the officers who guard him.
The higher national committee on Palestinian prisoners held the Israeli
occupation authority (IOA) and the Israeli prisons authority (IPA) fully
responsible for the life of detainee Ahmed Asfour, 19.
The Hebron Detainees Center said a
resident was released from Israeli prison on Thursday, following a
45-month stint in Israeli detention. Yousef Ayed Al-Faqih from Dura
village returned home to the south-of-Hebron village, following his
release. His detention was said to have been for "security reasons."
Brother of senior Fatah
member Jibril Rajoub was arrested in aftermath of Shalit kidnapping;
less than 10 senior Hamas figures who were detained at the time still
Five Hamas members were detained
by Palestinian Authority police, a statement from the party said,
adding that the men were taken from their homes in the Nablus and
Qalqiliya governorates. [End]
Boarding party troops in deadly flotilla raid confiscated cards and
spent on them, claim campaigners who were on board ... Ebrahim Musaji,
23, of Gloucester, has a bank statement showing his debit card was used
in an Israeli vending machine for a purchase costing him 82p on 9 June.
It was then used on a Dutch website, www.thisipod.com,
twice on 10 June: once for amounts equivalent to £42.42 and then for
An Israeli hacker managed to break into the
website of TurkishIHH group, which organized the Gaza flotilla,
disabling the organization's fundraising mechanism for a few hours.
A government official says Turkey is
considering downgrading diplomatic relations with Israel and reviewing
economic and military cooperation unless Jerusalem takes steps to make
amends for the deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships.
Turkish PM says 'Turkey's problem is with Israel's government, not its
people,' says the country will continue to fight Israel's 'piracy,' seek
solutions to fight Gaza flotilla raid within international law. Tourism
Minister Stas Misezhnikov slammed Turkish Prime Minister Recap Tayyip
Erdoğan on Saturday, saying that while Turkey isn't Israel's
enemy, Erdoğan is.
and labor minister says serious errors made by decision makers in
respect to flotilla raid operation, claims matter should have been
brought before Security Cabinet
On 4 June, an agitated man with a bald head and a grey beard arrived at
the headquarters of the Muslim aid organisation IHH in the Turkish
capital. He identified himself as Kevin Neish, a 53-year-old peace
activist and amateur photographer from Canada, and said that four days
previously he had been on board the Mavi Marmara, the ship boarded by
Israeli soldiers while heading for Gaza... He then handed over a memory
card, and the pictures that appeared on the computer screen astonished
the IHH staff. One showed two pro-Palestinian activists armed with iron
bars standing in front of a door.
The [Israeli] Foreign Ministry released a new video on Friday in which
the leader of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and
Humanitarian Relief, Bulent Yildirim, is seen on board the Gaza
flotilla's ship the Mavi Marmara, telling dozens of activists to throw
Israeli commandos overboard if they attempt to board the ship
[it is to be hoped that people from other countries understand pep talks
and rhetoric better than the Israelis do]
The Ynet website reported today (16 June) that a soldier in the Givati
Brigade is to be summoned for a hearing before filing of an indictment
relating to the killing of Riyeh Abu Hajaj (64) and Majda Abu Hajaj
(37), a mother and daughter from the Juher a-Dik neighborhood in Gaza,
on 4 January 2009. The two women were carrying white flags at the time
they were killed. The event was first reported by B'Tselem. It is not
known to B'Tselem whether the military advocate general's office also
intends to take action against the commanders involved.
"Any additional budget is welcomed, but it's still very far from the
real needs," says Ramiz Jaraisy, mayor of the Israeli Arab city of
Nazareth -- In the year since he graduated from Israel's top technical
college, Samer Kablawi has sent out over 50 resumes to high-tech
companies — and had one interview. It's a predicament that may seem
typical for young graduates in a world still emerging from recession.
But Kablawi notes one discrepancy: While his fellow Arab classmates have
struggled to find work, most of his Jewish classmates landed high-tech
jobs months ago.
Yoav Laloum, the champion of
Sephardi schoolgirls' rights, has gone into hiding after receiving death
threats. Though he is not happy with how the case turned out, he says
he had no choice, and was guided by a higher ethic ... His social
conscience, he says, dates back to his childhood, when he heard his
father called "black" in an Ashkenazi school.
A migrant worker who arrived in Israel legally from the Philippines four
years ago to work as a nurse is currently facing deportation over her
marriage to another documented migrant worker in Israel.
developments / Diplomacy
Ministry ignores Israeli requests to block extradition from Poland of
Uri Brodsky, alleged Israeli spy suspected of procuring a passport for
the assassins of a top Hamas official, according to German press
Egyptian Foreign minister denies bowing to Hamas pressure to amend draft
agreement for Palestinian unity government.
President Mahmoud Abbas has
reiterated his demand that Israel lift its siege on the Gaza Strip,
speaking Friday with US envoy George Mitchell in the West Bank city of
Ramallah. As part of that initiative, Abbas proposed that Gaza and the
West Bank be permitted to trade goods, and called on the Obama
administration and international community to make every effort to
implement the plan.
Washington - The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is threatening to boycott
France for its decision to cease broadcasting Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa
TV, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday ... Brotherhood leader Hammam
Saeed released a statement on the movement's website Saturday saying he
had sent a letter to the French ambassador in Amman. Saeed in his letter
said he the movement considers France's decision to suspend broadcast
of Al-Aqsa TV on EUTELSAT (European satellite) is a indicative of
discrimination against Arabs and Muslims.
...The children saw how police officers monitor demonstrations and
watched as a robot disarmed a bomb. Parents reported that as well as
looking at weapons, children handled an M16 assault rifle, a machine gun
and a pistol. The children were instructed to wash their clothes
separately after getting sprayed with water mixed with noxious-smelling
liquids, used to disperse crowds.
ships among 70 vessels taking part in real peace flotilla organized by
Turk - Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaaknin welcomed the flotilla and said it
constituted a response to previous terror sails.
Its absence is noticeable in this newslist!
The servers are scheduled to shut down at approximately 9pm Friday local
time (2 hours later than UTC/GMT), after which users may notice error
messages online. Normal operations are expected to renew by 6am Sunday.
Analysis / Opinion
I bet you’ve never heard of anti-Palestinism. In Israel and the United
States, defaming and delegitimizing the Palestinians is a national
sport; but have you ever heard anybody complain about it? ... Why do
pundits and politicians in the West get away with denying that the
Palestinians are the indigenous people of the Holy Land? Why do we allow
Israelis and their supporters to denigrate the historic rights of the
Palestinians to live in the only homeland they’ve ever known?
Passengers exchanged satirical
remarks when they heard the news in the taxi they were riding Sunday
morning; that the Israeli government decided for the first time since
imposing a blockade on Gaza to allow the passage of new items. These
include mayonnaise, ketchup, shoelaces, buttons, needles, safety pins
and sewing thread. Israel's decision was the butt of many jokes made by
passengers heading from the town of Deir Al-Balah to Gaza City. Until
Sunday morning, these goods were considered a threat to Israel's
On June 17, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid and Reuters headlined, “Israel to
ease Gaza land blockade,” ... Israel’s official statement was vague,
saying implementation procedures will follow, emphasizing that “existing
security procedures” will continue, showing the announcement was a sham
PR gesture to diffuse worldwide anger and satisfy world leaders, short
of fully opening Gaza’s land and sea borders for free in and out
movement of people and goods. Nothing less can be accepted. Yet Israel’s
ruse may have worked.
Public opinion is the main driver in Turkish policy on Israel-Palestine.
Crises with Israel have always followed any Turkish perception that
injustice is being done to the Palestinians.
NIGHT. UTTER darkness. Heavy rain. Visibility
close to nil. And suddenly – a flash of lightning. For a fraction of a
second, the landscape is lit up. For this split second, the terrain
surrounding us can be seen. It is not the way it used to be. OUR
GOVERNMENT’ action against the Gaza aid flotilla was such a lightning
flash. Israelis normally live in darkness as far as seeing the world is
concerned. But for that instant, the real landscape around us could be
seen, and it looked frightening. Then the darkness settled down over us,
Israel returned to its bubble, the world disappeared from view.
A new organisation is actively recruiting scores of non-Israeli Jews,
many of them American, to serve in the Israeli army as it faces threats
on multiple fronts in a region largely hostile towards it. "We feel that
Israel is fighting for its life," said Jay Schultz, the executive
director of Aish Malach, a new Israeli body set up to help foreigners
month I reported here on a new Knesset bill which, if passes, will
enable the state to shut down any association or organization which
provides information that is used in prosecutions outside Israel against
IDF officers. In other words, all watchdog groups which deal with
Israel’s security forces – from Amnesty to The Public Committee Against
Torture in Israel - are in danger ... Here are the two changes that
will be put into the law concerning associations in Israel if the new
bill is passed, followed by the introduction to the bill, as it was
submitted to the Knesset not long ago.
When that’s the way your supporters look, you
need to ask yourself what has gone wrong. Here is nutcase Rep. Michele
Bachmann (1:06) winning applauses from a pro-Israel crowd in a
California rally, while Peace Now man (3:25) is booed so hard, the
organizers try to calm things down (with very limited success).
In the past three weeks I have had the slightly hectic but immense
pleasure of visiting Tehran, Damascus and New York – from the Axis of
Evil to the Great Satan, as they sometimes refer to each other. From
speaking to politically plugged-in people and ordinary citizens in these
three wonderful cities, I can confidently announce that we are all in
much greater trouble than appears to be the case on the surface. A
catastrophe awaits us all, if immoderation prevails in these three
lands, where American, Arab and Iranian politicians seem to be driven by
a potentially devastating combination of righteousness, resentment,
resistance and revenge.
The Christian Science Monitor and reporter Scott Peterson do what the
rest of our media ought to do, and examine the obsession with Iran in
Israel as an irrational and Holocaust-related phobia, which distracts
Israel from the true existential threat, governance over half its
population that does not get a vote. When will the Israel-philes in the
big press even lift the carpet on this stuff?
Hold your breath. This in not a joke, this is
not a satire. It is real almost as much as it is pathetic. Israeli Ynet
just reported that the images of captured Israeli commandos published
in Turkish papers opened "...old wounds among those Israeli commandos
involved in similar circumstances. Thus far, at least four combat
soldiers have reported worsening of their (mental) condition" While the
rest of the world is caught shocked and angry by the images of Israeli
navy seals executing peace activists in cold blood, the Israelis seem to
moan over their new emerging phantasmic trauma.
...this is the Ajami district of Jaffa, the eponymous setting for the
relentlessly gripping Jewish-Arab feature film of crime, poverty and
violent feuding in an ethnically-mixed community. It took less than a
month to shoot on a shoestring budget with local amateur actors, but has
won a string of awards and was nominated for an Oscar. It went on
release in Britain for the first time yesterday.
Excerpt: At least 46 Iraqis were killed and 114 were wounded in a series
of significant attacks across the country. Most casualties were from
two bombings north of Baghdad, but some smaller attacks were striking in
their savagery ... Senior Shi’ite cleric Abdul-Mahdi al-Kerbalai, who
is a spokesman for Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, expressed his
concerns that a new government has yet to be formed. Many believe
Al-Sistani could be the kingmaker in this disputed election. The process
could take several months even though the new parliament has already
Excerpt: Violence in Iraq tapered off
significantly today, but at least six Iraqis were killed and 14 more
wounded in new attacks. Meanwhile, tensions at the Turkish border revved
up after more PKK strikes. Also, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi said that
Iraqi and U.S. sources warned him of assassination attempts.
*Interpreter had been
warned before *One son escapes, nephew and other son arrested - SAMARRA,
Iraq, June 18 (Reuters) - An Iraqi interpreter for U.S. soldiers was
shot dead by his son and nephew on the orders of a Sunni Islamist
insurgent group that considered him a traitor, police said on Friday.
16 June - UNHCR claims Iraq's violence will endanger lives of 50
deportees due to be forcibly returned to Baghdad
19 June - BEIRUT: A heated
parliamentary debate over enhancing the civil rights of Palestinian
refugees in Lebanon continued to trigger reactions among Lebanese
BEIRUT: An Israeli drug-trafficking network is thriving in Lebanon’s
underworld, and is more than likely financed by the Israeli government
as a way of indirectly weakening Lebanese society the president of the
anti-drug NGO JAD said Friday.
The beating death of Alexandria businessmen Khalid Said has lit up
Egyptian social networking sites, with complaints that police brutality
and torture is widespread within the close US ally. Egypt's emergency
law gives security forces broad powers and demands little
Egypt opposition angered at government for allowing the fleet of
more than 12 ships to cross Egyptian manned waterway, Al-Quds Al-Arabi
Iranian web users recently received some good news: following the media
frenzy over last year's elections, the US has chosen to relax export
controls related to technology, giving users access to previously
unavailable communications tools. The changes will affect not only Iran,
but Sudan and Cuba as well, countries where free internet use has long
been stifled by US restrictions.
SANA, Yemen (AP) — Heavily armed militants thought to belong toAl
Qaeda stormed a jail used by the government intelligence services in the
southern port city of Aden on Saturday, killing at least 11 people,
security officials said.
Led by 'Gumus' ('Noor' in Arabic), a wave
of Turkish melodramas, police procedurals and conspiracy thrillers —
'Yaprak Dokumu', 'Kurtlar Vadisi', 'Asmali Konak', 'Ihlamurlar Altinda'
and now the steamy 'Ask-i Memnu', the top-rated series in Turkey (think
Madame Bovary on the Bosporus) — are making their way onto Arab
televisions, wielding a kind of soft power.
U.S., other world
An American Muslim stranded in Egypt can't board a plane home until he
commits the logical impossibility of proving a negative
The other day I was driving
around listening to public radio, Hanna Rosin, discussing her article
about changing gender roles in the latest Atlantic, with Andrea
Bernsteinon WNYC's Brian Lehrer show when a caller, clearly a hasbarist,
said that she was leaving out the “subjugation” of women in Muslim
societies. Rosin picked up the segue and described the treatment of
women in Saudi Arabia, and then host and author moved on quickly, to
men’s changing roles... Neither sought to contradict the man’s
Muted support for Palestine, funding cuts for Arab groups, now a ban on
the phrase 'Israeli apartheid': what's going on in Canada?
Washington - Pastor Bob Roberts proves Israel-centric evangelism isn't
the end of the story for conservative Christianity in America. A
powerhouse in evangelical America, Bob Roberts has made humanitarian
work and multi-faith outreach a serious part of his ministry, and it has
taken him all the way to the Gaza Strip. Roberts talked to Palestine
Note about Gaza, the turning tide of conservative Christianity, what
needs to change about our foreign policy, and the beauty of our
increasingly globalized world.
strange obsession with what women wear (or don't
wear) on their heads
GROZNY, Russia, June 18 (Reuters) - Women in Russia's volatile Muslim
Chechnya region said on Friday that police had targeted them with
paintball pellets for not wearing headscarves, outraging rights
PRISTINA, June 18 (Reuters) -
Around 5,000 people protested in Kosovo on Friday against a government
decision to ban pupils from wearing Muslim headscarves in public
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda