Medics pulled two bodies from a Rafah-area tunnel following overnight
airstrikes launched by Israeli fighter jets Friday. Officials said the
young men were inside the tunnels during the strike and were crushed by
falling rock and sand. One was identified by medics as Amer Abu Hadid,
23, while the second remains unnamed. A third was said to have been
injured ... No injuries were reported on the strikes in northern Gaza,
but severe damage to buildings was recorded.
The al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, reported that one
of its fighters was killed on Saturday morning during a mission in
central Gaza. The Brigades did not elaborate on the cause of death but
stated that the fighters "was killed while performing his duty." He was
identified as Majdi Hasan, 24, from Al Mughraqa village in central Gaza.
ISMAILIA, Egypt, (Reuters) - The Israeli army shot and killed an
Egyptian smuggler and injured another on Saturday after they crossed
into Israel carrying narcotics, the Israeli military and Egyptian
security sources said. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the
incident and said soldiers opened fire after four smugglers ignored
instructions to give themselves in. The Egyptian sources said the four
smugglers were bedouin. A number of bedouin in impoverished parts of
northern Sinai have turned to smuggling goods, weapons and migrants
across Sinai's border with Israel and the blockaded Palestinian enclave
young man is found badly beaten near a road in the Negev. He claims
Shin Bet tried to recruit him as an informer, but security officials
deny it - Five months after that terrible day, Ashraf Amr says he is in
pain, incontinent, unable to have sexual relations and cannot work. Amr
and an eyewitness say he was arrested by soldiers on his own land....
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have stormed the home of Palestinian
businessman Ali Al-Dadu in Tulkarem city and kidnapped his daughter
Yasmin after confiscating a number of personal computers in the
house. Local sources said that the IOF troops broke into the house
before dawn Friday and thoroughly searched it, wreaking havoc in the
process. The IOF soldiers had detained Dia, Yasmin's brother, a couple
of days ago at the Karame crossing on returning from Jordan into the
Israel's army arrested three young Palestinians including a school
teacher south of the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday. Fawzi Shehada,
head of the U’rif village, told Ma’an that “Israeli military jeeps
raided the village at 1:00 a.m. and arrested three young men after
breaking into their homes and carrying out wide-scale searches.”
... Meanwhile, Palestinian sources said that a number of Israeli
military jeeps raided the Beta village south of Nablus at dawn and broke
into a number of homes there. No arrests were reported.
Abducted IDF soldier's parents release video imploring the prime
minister to 'pay the price' to free their son, urging Israelis to join
protest march... U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy
Pelosi urged Friday for Gilad's release, saying that “today – and every
day – the Congress of the United States calls for the immediate and
unconditional release of Corporal Gilad Shalit and all of the missing
Israeli soldiers. [and the thousands of Palestinian prisoners? And John
Walker Lindh, who like Shalit is paying for the acts of so many others?]
Humanitarian issues / Restriction of movement
Tens of children hit the streets of Gaza at a late hour on Friday night
to protest the power outage after the sole electricity generation
station in the coastal enclave came to a halt due to lack of fuel.
60% shortage in power supplies is threatening the Gaza Strip with
blackouts, owing to severe fuel delivery shortfalls to the sole power
station, officials said Friday. Jamal Dardasawi, the station's
spokesman, said all operations would halt at midnight Friday if the
needed fuel was not shipped in, resulting from the gradual decrease in
fuel supplies since 2009.
SHEIKH SA’AD, East Jerusalem — A traffic light, yet no traffic at all.
In fact, a traffic light… for pedestrians only. And even they move
little. There are restrictions on walking out of this village (pop.
3,000). The 1,200 villagers who carry Palestinian identity papers have
no way of crossing the barrier to leave the village. That’s a privilege
reserved for the 1,800 who hold Israeli identity cards. They can cross
the fence by foot, in principle. But even that can be daunting.
has informed Palestinian officials that all Gaza's crossings will be
closed Friday and Saturday ... The UN office's weekly report found that
between 13 and 19 June, "Gaza imports increased by 14 percent compared
to the previous week [654 vs. 573 truckloads]," but noted that the total
number remained at some 23 percent of total need as measured by
Several of Gaza's tunnels have been shut down temporarily as traders
search the market for goods following Israel's decision to allow certain
previously banned products in, tunnel owners say.
the government of Israel decided to send a thousand trucks to the Gaza
Strip, all loaded with high quality caviar, and that it would be served
to the Gazans on plates of solid gold. And suppose that after making
such a magnificent gesture, Prime Minister Netahyahu would have asked
the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip: "And now, what more do you
want?" They might have answered: "Just one thing more, Mr. Netanyahu.
That from now on it would not be you who decides how many trucks enter
our territory, and what is loaded on them. "
Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
The Israeli army declared a northern West Bank village a closed military
zone Saturday, preventing entry to journalists and residents, witnesses
said. Onlookers told Ma`an the `Iraq Burin village south of Nablus was
the closed in anticipation of a rally and said a large deployment of
soldiers was seen in the area.
...This week’s protest carried the message of “Israeli Blood Diamonds”,
as consumers spend billions of dollars annually on diamonds crafted in
Israel, while the Palestinians call for boycott... The army responding
by firing tear gas at the residents, and even chased the residents and
the peace activists while heading back to the village, and fired more
gas at them. Dozens received treatment after inhaling gas fired by the
army; at least ten suffered heavily and could not breathe.
...The protesters placed a lowered Palestinian flag at the Wall to
express “mourning” after the army burnt at least 15 olive trees that
belong to resident Jamil Canaan Ameera, last week.
responded by firing dozens of gas bombs at the local and international
nonviolent protestors leading to a number of injuries.
Three protestors were injured in the weekly demonstration in Al-Mas'ara,
near Bethlehem, after clashes broke out between protesters and Israeli
forces at the entrance of the illegal settlement of Efrat on Friday.
Leading the demonstrations of solidarity with Palestinian residents of
Sheikh Jarrah are some young Israelis with a religious background. They
explain their activism and how it correlates to their conception of the
true meaning of the Torah
3 videos showing the 'eased' Gaza siege is still terrible;
demo videos from Ni`lin and Bet Jalla; exposing settlement ads at a NY
Aliyah convention; and more.
June - One of Britain’s largest trade unions passed a motion at its
annual conference in Bournemouth last week accusing Israel of lying over
the Gaza flotilla incident and has called for a complete boycott of
Israel and for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, it was confirmed
on Thursday. The emergency motion was introduced on the third day of
the annual conference of UNISON, the largest public sector union with
around 1.4 million members.
24 June - The working class movement in Turkey is starting to join the
Boycott Against Israel Campaign. While the working class movements
around the world has escalated the campaign against Israel by refusing
to unload Israeli cargo ships, the Dock Workers Union “Liman-Is” is the
latest union in Turkey joining the anti apartheid, anti racist campaign
against the state of Israel.
In a moment of supreme irony, Ben Gurion University President Rivka
Carmi, who only a few months ago was facing a revolt among donors and
Israelis aghast at Prof. Neve Gordon‘s support of the global BDS
movement, has now released a strong statement of support for him in the
face of a death threat.
upon a time, Ireland was a huge supporter of Jewish aspirations in the
Promised Land. What happened? -- The Palestinian issue has long occupied
a place in the Irish consciousness far greater than geographic,
economic, or political considerations appear to merit. Perceived
parallels with the Irish national experience, however, have inspired an
emotional connection with Palestine that has inspired Irish activism in
the region up to the present day.
---and you lose some:
...Hello Friends - I have just been informed that a concert and
presentation that was scheduled to be given this coming Tuesday night at
First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY, by jazz saxophonist and noted
Israeli Anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon, and myself, is being canceled due to
pressure from a local rabbi.
recent cancellations by other international artists, Mikhail
Baryshnikov, the famed Russian-American ballet dancer and actor, arrived
in Israel this week to honor his commitments to perform.
Iranian lawmakers protesting Israel's blockade of Gaza plan to travel on
an aid ship that plans to leave from Lebanon, an official said on
Saturday. Lebanon said last week it would allow a Gaza-bound ship called
to sail, via Cyprus, despite warnings from Israel that
it reserved the right to use all necessary means to stop ships that
tried to sail from Lebanon to Gaza.
their makeshift headquarters in one of Beirut's plush seaside hotels,
impeccably coiffed women are preparing for a showdown with the Israeli
armed forces. "Please note, we are not afraid," says Samar Al-Hajj, clad
in white and wearing black diamante-fringed flip-flops. "Horror is
afraid of us, he smells us, he goes away." Ms Hajj is organising a ship
to break through the Israeli blockade and reach the Gaza Strip carrying
some 50 women and essential humanitarian supplies from Lebanon's capital
... The Maryam
- named after the mother of Christ - is one of
two ships preparing to leave Beirut. Lebanon is technically at war with
its neighbour, and the Israeli press has quoted officials saying that
"all necessary means" would be used to stop the ships.
developments / Diplomacy
Fatah leader Nabil Sha`ath on Saturday said bringing an end to Israel's
blockade "is more important than unity, elections or any other
matter." "Gaza is being destroyed forever [by the siege] and so is the
Palestinian state," Sha`ath told the Saudi daily Al-Watan.
Conflict over natural gas reserves on the northern border heated up
Friday as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri responded to threats by
Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau to forcefully defend Israel's
offshore drilling, worth billions of dollars ... Meanwhile Lebanese
officials continued to accuse Israel of invading its territorial waters
with drilling at the Tamar and Leviathan sites.
Washington – A proposed Lebanese bill will accelerate off-shore oil
exploration and drilling in Lebanese waters, reported
Ynet news Friday. The bill manifests
accusations that Israeli rigs are stealing Lebanese oil. "Israel is
ignoring the fact that, according to the maps, this field is included
within Lebanon's territorial waters.” The accusation came from Lebanese
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who has been a strong voice behind both
the accusations and the new oil legislation.
denied on Saturday reports by an Arab newspaper saying officials were
holding secret talks with Hamas. Assistant White House Press Secretary
Tommy Vietor said the story was "inaccurate", and that it was
unfortunate the paper's editors neglected to request a comment by the US
PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli deputy premier Dan Meridor
entered a heated debate on Friday in New York, with the PLO official
warning of the need to reach a peace deal by the end of 2010.
WASHINGTON – US officials are looking for Israel to take risks in
pursuit of an aggressive peace process, according to Defense Minister
Ehud Barak. “They want to see an Israel that takes its security
seriously but is ready to take risks to advance an assertive peace
process,” he said of the message he received in meetings with top
Egypt's Foreign Ministry has expressed anger over comments reportedly
made by senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar over its role in Palestinian
reconciliation, an official told Arabic-language media on
Saturday. Zahhar's charge was allegedly leveled at Foreign Minister
Ahmad Aboul Gheit during an interview with an Egyptian newspaper, saying
the ministry was "not authorized" to be in charge of Palestinian unity
Hamas refuses to ratify a unity deal because Fatah declined direct talks
on comments to the Egyptian-backed proposal, a source close to the
party told Ma'an Friday. Hamas had urged Fatah to discuss the agreement
before signing the deal in Egypt
President Shimon Peres is planning to tour Europe in an effort to
improve Israel's image in the aftermath of the May 31 raid on a
Gaza-bound flotilla, which left nine Turkish nationals dead.
Dagan, who has been Mossad director since 2002, requested another year
but was refused, Channel 2 news reported ... Dagan faced international
criticism after the January assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud
al-Mabhouh in Dubai, which was widely believed to be carried out by
Mossad agents using forged foreign passports.
West Bank (AP) — Palestinian women are speeding into the record books
by competing in the first all-female car racing team — the
Speed Sisters. Along the way, they're crashing through another gender
barrier in this conservative Muslim society.
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a petition from both sides in a row
over segregation in Haredi schools, upholding jail sentences for
Ashkenazi parents who refused to let their daughters study alongside
Analysis / Opinion
It is wonderful to see an international effort to assist Palestinians in
their struggle, however, the question remains: how can internationals
help in the most effective way? Westerners have an incredible privilege
in this conflict with their access to foreign press, social media
networks and ability to travel throughout Israel and Palestine.
Documenting events seems to be the clearest path of using this privilege
in an effective way since the internet has opened a space of fast
communication from the front lines. Rather than getting arrested in a
small village, it may be that documenting and disseminating events from
that village will provide more positive results. An arrest in Beit Jala
or Bil’in is an event that often goes unnoticed by the Israeli and
International media and only serves to reinforce negative images of the
Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement in the West Bank. These
actions can increase the damaging mechanism against the Palestinian
population and the architecture of the occupation. Arrests of Israelis
tend to carry more influence in the Israeli press than those of
The estimated number of Palestinian Christians in the West Bank, the
Gaza Strip and Jerusalem is 51,710, making the percentage of the
Palestinian Christians in the Occupied Territories two percent of the
Palestinian population... Various Christian Zionist propaganda sources
claim that the main problem for Palestinian Christians is their Muslim
neighbours. The decline of Christian presence in Palestine is portrayed
as the fault of Muslims and not of the illegal Israeli occupation. Even
though the relationship between Palestinian Christians and Muslims is
not always a rosy one, the above claims are far from true.
...I worked on Capitol Hill for more than 15 years (House and Senate)
and I can say with certainty that these seeming "Israel firsters" do
not, with few exceptions, care all that much about Israel ... They
support bad Israeli policies, and sign those "Israel, right or wrong"
letters only because that is the path of least resistance. I doubt
there are 30 Democrats in both houses together who really think
attacking the flotilla was right, but hundreds signed the letters
anyway. So why do they do it? They do it because they don't care about
the issue enough to risk the lobby's wrath.
Shalit has become a living symbol - a symbol of Israeli reality, of the
inability of our leaders to make decisions, of their moral and political
cowardice, of their inability to analyze a situation and draw
conclusions. If there had been an opportunity to free Shalit through
military action, the Israeli government would have seized it eagerly. So
much is obvious, because the Israeli public always prefers solving a
problem by force than doing anything that might be interpreted as
to free captives, which used to be anathema in Israel, is now sometimes
seen as a diplomatic golden opportunity. But this dramatic reversal in
approach doesn't mean that the return of Gilad Shalit, abducted four
years ago today, is on the horizon.
Israel, BDS has already started to work. It is working where years of
other civil society strategies have achieved far too little. For the
first time in a very long while, many Israelis around me are sitting up
and taking notice: Notice that there is still an occupation in place 43
years down the line, an occupation "out there" beyond their "normal"
lives and beyond the self-perpetuated "existential threat." Notice that
millions the world over believe "ordinary" Israelis -- both personally
and collectively -- have something to do with this occupation. Notice
that it just may turn out to be too costly.
[translated from Hebrew version of
Haaretz] “Israel won’t change unless the status quo has a downside” –
these words were written by journalist Tony Karon, a Jew from South
Africa. This sentence reflects the rationale behind the broad BDS
campaign – which includes sanctions, institutional boycott, and
divestment – which has begun trickling down into public consciousness in
Israel. Instead of a defensive, self-righteous response along the
general lines of “the whole world is against us”, it would be best to
learn the facts about the campaign and peer into the collective mirror,
which reflects grievous and systematic violations of human rights and
...Then comes the fourth and most surprising stage: The prime minister's
zigzag makes no waves, not even a ripple, in the coalition. No one
attacks Netanyahu on the morning radio talk shows. Benny Begin, Moshe
Ya'alon, Eli Yishai and Avigdor Lieberman, who certainly oppose the
government's frequent policy shifts, cling to their seats in the
ministerial septet. Netanyahu treats them with respect, convenes them
for worthless discussions that go on for hours and in the end gets what
he wants: Everyone is committed to a decision that Obama dictated. This
scenario has occured four times already.
Your parents were among the
country’s founders. Livni
: They were the first couple to marry in
Israel, the very first. Both of them were in the Irgun. They were
freedom fighters, and they met while boarding a British train. When the
British Mandate was here, they robbed a train to get the money in order
to buy weapons." Remember that the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel,
killing 90-odd civilians, and ethnically-cleansed Deir Yassin and later
Jaffa, where Palestinians were literally forced into the sea.
When we hear someone call for the “right of return,” we tend to think
the speaker is a Palestinian solidarity activist or a radical who
doesn’t believe that Israel has a right to exist. How many of us
understand that for many years, American presidents of both parties also
called for the right of return, as essential to the American interest
in stability in the Middle East?
how we’ll entrench ourselves in our besieged ghetto without the outside
world -- As part of the preparations for the total isolation of the
country, a comprehensive contingency plan has been drawn up called
Operation Chicory. Its aim: to find a local substitute for almost
everything, under the slogan, “We are not the world.” A few items from
this ambitious, multidisciplinary project have been made available to
us. Examples follow.
Iraq, other Mideast
Excerpt: At least 17 Iraqis were wounded in the latest violence, but 11
decomposed bodies were found in a mass grave. Also, two people were
wounded in an attack on Iranian pilgrims. Acting Electricity Minister,
Hussain al-Shahristani, warned government officials to resist using
their influence to gain more power and asked all Iraqis to cut down
their usage altogether. "Emergency lines" reserved for officials and
other notables wereremoved from use. The Green Zone in particular will
be forced to reduce its massive power use.
Love them or hate them -- usually both -- but Baghdad residents are
obsessed with the thousands of generators around the city that they rely
on for electricity because the national power grid is so notoriously
thousand Egyptians, joined by top opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei,
protested on Friday what they call authorities' systematic use torture
in the largest demonstration yet sparked by the alleged beating death of
a young man by police this month.
This is where US tax dollars are spent: propping up a ruthlessly violent
Egyptian regime that doesn't respect human rights, civil society, and
democracy: at Foreign Policy
, Soha Abdelaty reports on the tyranny
of Egypt's emergency laws.
Washington – The Jeita grottoes, a system of underwater caves just
outside Beirut, is vying to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature
U.S. and other world
26 June - When plans were announced in February 2007 to open the Khalil
Gibran International Academy (KGIA), New York City's first dual-language
Arabic public school, ugly anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia reared its
head. Yesterday, the New York Times profiled a Brooklyn-based Hebrew
language charter school. There has been barely a peep about this
school--a stark reminder of the privilege Jewish-Americans hold in our
society and how racism against Arabs is an accepted part of our national
Two June 2010 decisions show the workings of a right wing High [Supreme]
Court, with five Federalist Society members ... Once confirmed, Elana
Kagan will solidify their control when the Court reconvenes in October —
her record exposing extremist positions, including outlandish
anti-terrorism practices, unconstitutional federal litigation, and “love
(for) the Federalist Society,” affirming her endorsement of an
organization supporting rolling back civil liberties; defiling human
rights; ending New Deal social policies; opposing reproductive choice,
government regulations, labor rights, and environmental protections;
subverting justice in defense of privilege; and as Solicitor General,
arguing against First Amendment rights without which all others are at
risk - an ideology the Court endorses, one protecting privilege against
the rule of law.
WASHINGTON, Jun 23 (IPS) - Despite the growing international
condemnation and isolation incurred by the government of Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu, the right-wing leadership of the so-called "Israel
Lobby" here is riding high in the U.S. Congress. So far this week, it
has chalked up a key victory on Capitol Hill in its longstanding effort
to impose "crippling sanctions" against Iran. It also succeeded in
getting a large majority of U.S. lawmakers to fire a shot across the bow
of the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
When The Washington Post's Dana Priest first revealed (in passing) back
in January that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of
American citizens targeted for assassination, she wrote that "as of
several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens." In
April, boththe Post and the NYT confirmed that the administration had
specifically authorized the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki.
Today, The Washington Times' Eli Lake has an interview with Obama's top
Terrorism adviser John Brennan in which Brennan strongly suggests that
the number of U.S. citizens targeted for assassination could actually be
Border Patrol agent shot and killed Hernandez on June 7 while trying to
arrest illegal immigrants crossing the muddy bed of the Rio Grande.
Some witnesses said a group of people on the Mexican side were throwing
rocks at the agents. Agents are generally permitted to use lethal force
against rock throwers.
department of out-of-control paranoia:
WASHINGTON – North Carolina Congresswoman Sue Myrick warned Friday that
Hezbollah may be colluding with drug cartels on the US-Mexican border,
and called on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to
investigate the matter.