||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing|
Jerusalem report documents wave of demolitions
– Ma’an – The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights released a
report on Thursday, documenting the demolition of several greenhouses, a
car wash and a grocery in the town of Hizma during the two previous
days. On Tuesday and Wednesday of the same week, the report said,
demolitions were carried out on homes and agricultural buildings, many
of which were paying fines for or were in the process of appeals around
charges of illegal construction in the area northeast of Jerusalem.
UN envoy says acts in Jerusalem 'provocative'
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Robert Serry, the UN special envoy to the Middle
East peace process, condemned the takeover by armed settlers of a
building in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday. Two Jewish families,
protected by Israeli police, entered the building, home to nine
Palestinian families, with documents claiming that they owned the
property. Israeli National Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said police
were examining the documents “to determine whether they are accurate or
Israeli police working with settlers to occupy Palestinian home in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, Amanda Klonsky
Yonatan Shapira has sent me the following account of events unfolding at
the Kirresh family home in the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem. Settlers
from the fanatical group Ateret Cohanim, have taken over the home of a
Palestinian family of more than 50 people. The settlers are being
protected by Israeli police, who guard the door while the Kirresh family
sits outside in the street with no protection.
More than 200 demonstrate against the buffer-zone near Gaza’s Nahal Oz crossing
Five International Solidarity Movement volunteers participated in a
demonstration against the bufferzone near Nahal Oz border crossing, east
of Gaza City on Wednesday (July 28th). The march had a big turn out of
over 200 people and was organised by the Popular Campaign for the
Security in the Buffer Zone, an umbrella group which includes
organisations representing farmers and local people living near the
border. Members of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF), a
grass-roots organisation heavily involved in the protests against the
buffer-zone, waved prominent large white flags.
Facing annexation, the West Bank village of al-Walaja looks to ‘Budrus’ for inspiration, Joseph Dana
the cool summer evening air of the Jerusalem hills last Tuesday evening,
hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis descended on the small village
of al-Walaja for a screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Budrus.
The screening was jointly organized by Israelis and Palestinians who are
working to non-violently resist the construction of Israel’s separation
barrier on the village’s land.The screening bore special significance
for the people of al-Walaja as the film follows the story of a West Bank
village’s unarmed struggle against the construction of Israel’s
separation barrier on its farmland and its subsequent success in having
the route of the wall changed.
‘a bad country’, Philip Weiss
this video last night. It's the most important thing on this site, and
it's only 2-1/2 minutes long. What else is there to say, besides, Please
watch it. And look at the soldiers' Centurionlike shields, and their
Interview with Khalil Alamour, organizer of protest at demolished village
The Silence of The Bedouins
The road to al-Hadidiya village in the northeastern West Bank
district of Tubas is dotted with boulders etched with a warning in
Hebrew, Arabic and English: “Danger - Open Fire Area”. The boulders
arrived about six months ago, and are positioned at the entrance to
Palestinian villages, indicating that chunks of the Jordan Valley have
become a closed military zone claimed by the Israeli army. They signal a
further squeeze on the Bedouin communities here. Shepherd Abdul Rahim
Bsharat, 59, and his family have lived and farmed in al-Hadidiya since
the 1960s. At that time, he said, there were 400-500 families there.
Now, there are 17, who stay on despite having no
access to water or electricity. Every building in the village has an
Israeli demolition order on it. On 21 June, the Israeli military gave
Bsharat notice that his house and animal shelters could be destroyed at
any time. When Bsharat's house was previously demolished in
2002, his water tank was confiscated too. “If they destroy my property
again, I'll come back and rebuild it again. This is my land,” he said.http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1498
Three Injured 2 Arrested As Troops Attack Wall Protests In The West Bank
Bannoura - PNN - Israeli troops attacked on Friday anti wall protests
that were organized at a number of locations in the West Bank. Israeli
and international supporters joined Palestinian villagers in Bil’in,
Nil’in an Nabi Saleh in the central West Bank in addition to Ertass and
Al Ma’ssra in the southern West Bank. Israeli troops used tear gas,
sound grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets to suppress the protests
at several locations. At all four locations protests kicked- off
shortly after the midday prayers on Friday and headed towards the
Israeli separation wall.
Hundreds to protest razing of Arab village
Ma'an - Residents and supporters of the Al-Araqib village, where 35
homes were demolished on Tuesday, were preparing for demonstrators on
Friday, following calls for a mass protest against the demolitions.
Residents say 250 men, women and children were left homeless by the
move, when Israeli tractors accompanied by an estimated 1,500 police
officers entered the Bedouin village and destroyed homes it said were
Groups urge Clinton to intervene in case of jailed rights defender
Secretary, we respectfully request that your office investigate the
arrest, unlawful treatment, and detention of Mr. Makhoul and use its
considerable diplomatic influence to bring an end to his arbitrary
detention and to ensure that Israel, a leading recipient of US military
and economic aid, comply with its commitment under US law and
international legal norms.
We can't turn a blind eye to Israeli human rights abuses
When we talk about the Israel/Palestine conflict, we cannot talk about
it in the third person. It is our conflict, as it is our taxpayer
dollars that supply Israel’s weapons of war and our diplomatic cover
that allows war crimes and human rights abuses to thrive.
Jubilation and a symbolic act of resistance to the siege: the Gaza boat race
“I call to the whole world to treat us like everybody else, to break the
blockade of the sea and of the whole Gaza Strip, so that people will be
able to make a living from the sea again”, states the happy winner of
the first Gaza boat race, Jamal Baker. On the 26th July 2010, the race
took place near the port of Gaza city, with ten boats participating. The
boats sped through three laps, always staying near the coastline from
where a cheering crowd followed the action.
Violence and Aggression
Israeli soldiers shoot at 2 Palestinians, injure 1, near checkpoint
Ma'an - Undercover Israeli soldiers shot at two Palestinians, injuring
one, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, witnesses said. According
to the witnesses, the undercover forces blocked a car near Atarah
checkpoint, shot at two young Palestinian men, and then arrested them.
Report: Settler violence continues in south Hebron hills
Ma'an - Israeli settlers destroyed a field of vegetables in a Bedouin
village in the southern West Bank on Wednesday night, international
peace groups reported. During the night, a report said, a Palestinian
farmer from Um Al-Kher village in the south Hebron hills heard noises
from his garden, and thought there were animals inside. On inspection,
he saw settlers walking through his field, but did not approach them for
fear they were armed, he told Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation
Dove, who maintain a presence in the area.
Shocked by the story behind the headline
– Ma'an – "It was not at all rational, the way it's written in the news;
it was chaos," a member of Ma'an's TV crew said after being caught
up in the middle of Tuesday's settler violence near Nablus. "With the
settlers, you just don't know what they're going to do, who they'll
target," she said. A Ma'an van was en route to Nablus to film an
episode of a quiz show and had just passed a checkpoint when those
inside were introduced firsthand to the unpredictable violence in the
northern West Bank.
Ashkelon Struck By Missile Fire
al-Jazeera network are reporting that a missile fired from the Gaza Strip has struck the south of the Israeli city of Ashkelon.
The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian and Human Rights/Restriction of Movement
Two Palestinians injured in a Gaza tunnel
Palestinian tunnel workers were injured on Friday during their work
inside the tunnel to smuggle essential goods for the besieged Gaza
U.N. rights body tells Israel to end Gaza blockade
- Israel must lift its military blockade of the Gaza Strip and invite
an independent, fact-finding mission to investigate its raid on a
Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a United Nations rights body said on Friday.
Israel's Barak, UN chief to discuss Gaza, settlements (AFP)
AFP - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will meet UN chief Ban Ki-moon
here Friday to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip and Israel's
settlement policy, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Thursday.
Palestinian refugee appeals to Abbas from Jordan
Ma’an – A Palestinian refugee in Jordan in need of heart surgery asked
Palestinian leaders to help. Manar Issa Eid wrote to Ma'an from the
Al-Hussein Hospital in Amman, where he is waiting for financial support
for surgery, appealing to President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad and the health minister to intervene to save his life.
Israel allows new cars into Gaza
Gaza under siege for more than three years, Israel has said it will
finally allow new cars and spare parts into the strip. Residents were
relieved, because they have had to buy damaged cars and parts from
tunnel smugglers. But a month after the announcement, nothing has
arrived because of a dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian
Authority. Some car dealers are also angry because they could be stuck
with over-priced inventory brought to Gaza through smuggling which they
will not be able to sell. Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports from
Qana…Where Jesus’s 1st Miracle Turns Bloody
have lived through hell,” Qana resident, Fawzeya Atwi cried. “The
people were chopped into pieces by the Israeli bombs. They bleed these
people. You should have seen the heads.” “Do you know what the dogs did
at night after the killings? They were hungry and I saw them in the
ruins eating fingers and pieces of our people,” Atwi said about the Qana
massacre during the July 2006 Israeli War on Lebanon. Head of the Red
Cross in Tyre Sami Yazbak, who was helping to pull bodies from the
ruins, told The Guardian that the first call about the bombing was
received at 7 a.m., 6 hours after the bombing took place. He said that
previous shelling on the road to Qana had delayed the arrival of Red
Cross personnel. Yazbak said that “many of the children who were
sleeping inside were handicapped.”
Israel's Arab Helpers and Friends
Egyptian police shoot Eritrean migrant at border
ISMAILIA Egypt, July 29 (Reuters) - Egyptian police shot dead an
Eritrean migrant as he tried to cross the Egyptian-Israeli border,
medical and security sources said on Thursday. In the second killing
this week, the 28-year-old migrant was shot twice in the chest after he
ignored orders to stop and fled towards Israel along the central Sinai
border, the sources said.
Egyptian security says arms store seized
Ma'an – Egyptian security forces said officers located a weapons
storehouse in the northern Sinai south of Al-Arish on Friday, and said
they believed the goods were destined for the Gaza Strip. Police
uncovered what a report described as a three-meter deep hole near a
small warehouse, and said the hole was filled with munitions and
weaponry. The store was found in the Beir Lahfan area in the northern
Sinai, which police said was being searched as a routine action, as the
area is known as a smuggling hotbed.
MESS Report / From lynch to escort - cooperating with the PA is bearing fruit
Radical change in level of security coordination between Israel and the
PA in the West Bank has allowed the government to make more
confidence-building gestures tot he Palestinians.
Jordan Trade Unions Slam Visit of “Criminal” Netanyahu
trade unions on Wednesday strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Jordan, describing him as a "criminal."
"At a time when the Zionist enemy is killing our people in Palestine and
destroying their homes, as well as planning schemes against Jordan's
security, officials receive Netanyahu the criminal in Amman," head of
the unions' council Ahmad Armuti said in a statement. "The trade unions
completely reject this visit and hold the government responsible for
its political and public responsibilities, in line with the
constitution." Netanyahu held a two-hour meeting with King Abdullah
II on a surprise visit to Jordan on Tuesday in a bid to convince
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to upgrade Middle East peace talks.
Hamas slams Arab backing for Israel talks (AFP)
Hamas supremo Khaled Meshaal slammed Arab leaders for endorsing the
resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, in comments
published by Al-Jazeera on Friday.
'Abbas to give negotiations green light by September'
estimate Palestinian president to reverse position, agree to direct
talks within month. 'What he says in public is not necessarily what he
says in private,' official source states.
Abbas resists US pressure for immediate talks with Israel
Arab nations yesterday backed the Palestinian President's refusal to
immediately restart direct talks with Israel despite heavy US pressure.
US 'encouraged' by Arab support for Mideast talks (AFP)
AFP - The United States said Thursday it was "encouraged" by signs of
Arab support for the resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli peace
Arab League wants US guarantees
League has declined to endorse an immediate resumption of direct
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, saying it needs further guarantees
from the United States before approving talks. Arab foreign ministers
said at a meeting in Cairo on Thursday that they agreed in principle to
the direct talks, but only subject to certain "measures and
conditions". "There is agreement, but [it is] agreement over the
principles of what will be discussed and the manner of the direct
negotiations," said Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, the Qatari foreign
minister. Amr Moussa, the Arab League secretary-general, said that
direct negotiations should be preceded by "written guarantees" from the
United States, particularly on the subject of Israeli settlements.
Clinton “burning up phone lines” to Middle East
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been “burning up the phone lines”
the past five days to try and lay the groundwork for a transition from
indirect to direct Israel-Palestinian peace talks, aides say. Clinton’s
phone calls with Arab and Israeli leaders come in advance of a meeting
Thursday of Arab foreign ministers to decide if they will give their
blessing to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for direct
talks with the Israelis, rather than U.S.-mediated proximity talks.
Mash'al: International parties against conciliation
Ma'an – Hamas prefers not to bow to international pressure, it will
remain steadfast and work to change the rules of the game, the party's
politburo chief in Damascus Khalid Mash'al told reporters in Qatar on
Thursday. Accusing "international parties" of being opposed to
Palestinian unity, Mash'al brushed off the Arab League's decision to
support direct peace talks between the Fatah-lead government in the West
Bank and Israel, saying it was a move to boost the standing of the
league in the west.
Blair's undisclosed business dealings conflict with Quartet role
Tony Blair's relationship with one of the world's richest men poses a
clear and significant conflict of interest with his duties as Quartet
envoy. Adri Nieuwhof reports.
East Jerusalem's perfect spot for secret spy meetings
Considered one of the best boutique hotels in the Middle East, the
American Colony has served for decades as a meeting place for
politicians, journalists, diplomats and spies.
Gaza children set new kite flying world record
7,202 children fly as many kites to enter Guinness Book of World Records as part of UN-run summer camp.
Hip-hop, breakdancing and parkour: Gaza's underground youth culture
Creativity is blooming, sometimes clashing with traditional Gaza social codes or Hamas' standards of acceptable behavior.
If they were Muslim, the New York Times would cover these items
Anti-gay protesters: Sick perverts - get out of Jerusalem
Eighth Jerusalem Gay Pride parade marches amid growing tensions with rightist protesters.
Sokolow's niece 'not Jewish enough' to marry here
told she needed to prove the Jewishness of her maternal lineage for
four generations, Hillary Rubin is questioning her decision to move to
Rabbi clashes with Israeli embassy in Washington over Western Wall arrest
Modern Orthodox rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld enraged by Israeli silence over arrest of woman whose crime was holding a Torah scroll.
Don't deny our rights: open letter to Mahmoud Abbas
No Palestinian institution or leader has ever accepted an exclusive
Jewish claim to Palestine, which is irreconcilable with the
internationally recognized rights of the Palestinian people. Our rights
inhere in us as a people; they are not yours to do with as you please.
Gaza -- only appeals
humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the failure of peace negotiations
topped the agenda in Cairo this week. Dina Ezzat assesses prospects for
movement on either track
What's in a name? In a racist society, everything
A young Jewish Israeli woman and a young Palestinian Jerusalemite had
consensual sex. Afterwards, the Jewish woman discovered that her partner
was in fact not Jewish at all, but horror of horror, a Palestinian. But
there was more, the Palestinian had called himself "Dudu," his nickname,
but one most often used by Israeli Jews, and from this the young woman
concluded she had been deliberately deceived and in fact raped. Richard
Irvine comments for The Electronic Intifada.
A barely tolerated minority
All Palestinian political activity more radical than a Cub Scout meeting is illegal in East Jerusalem.
Some Israelis celebrate what Bernadotte’s murder achieved, Philip Weiss
Larry Derfner has a great piece in the JPost laying
the hypocrisy of Israel's extolling terrorists while condemning
Palestinians when they do the same. It's a wonderful argument, but for
me what leaped out was the Bernadotte bit. Consider, that Count
Bernadotte, who saved Jews from the Nazis during the war, wanted to
internationalize Jerusalem, as Herzl had promised it would be, and get
the Palestinian refugees back to their homes, and more equitably divide
historical Palestine than the division created by the armistice. Well
Bernadotte was killed; and as you can see in this piece, some Israelis
love it that he was killed. And of course we are still dealing with the
injustice of the resulting arrangement.
The rich tapestry of Israeli apartheid, Jonathan Cook
announcement that Palestinian communities in Israel will be provided
with a bus service for the first time since Israel’s founding –
that is, in 62 years – surprised observers who had not realised
second-class citizenship also extends to being deprived of a bus line.
People often object to the comparison of Israel within the Green Line to
apartheid South Africa. After all, there are no segregated park benches
or buses (apart from those kosher lines that the Haredi vigilantes
patrol). True enough, but who needs to segregate buses on an ethnic
basis if they are simply not provided to Palestinian communities in the
first place? A couple of interesting elements to this story, however,
have been missed in the telling.
In ‘FT,’ Oxford chancellor calls on EU to step in before strangulation of Palestine leads to ‘further disaster’, Philip Weiss
Lord Chris Patten, chancellor of Oxford University, president of Medical Aid for Palestinians, has an important piece in the Financial Times
describing the cruel reality built by the peace process. Patten is
consummate British establishment: Britain's former EU commissioner, the
last governor-general of Hong Kong. And a Tory. A real indication of the
deep shift underway in global opinion. There's a firewall/registration
at the FT. I've excerpted a lot of the piece below.
Not a Palestinian to be seen in W. Post piece on Occupied West Bank, Philip Weiss
You want two states? You get a gold star! But it's one state right now, folks. A Washington Post piece
on a baptismal site for Christians in the Jordan River in the Occupied
West Bank quotes only Israelis, Gidon Bromberg, and Eli Dror of
"Israel's Nature and Parks Authority", who treat the site as part of
Fida Qishta’s film about Gaza, Philip Weiss
essential part of breaking the siege on Gaza, Gelman went on, is
allowing Palestinians to tell us the Gaza story, and then she introduced
a young Gazan named Fida Qishta, and her film about the attack on Gaza of 08-09 called "Where Should the Birds Fly."
Twilight Zone / Taybeh revisited, Gideon Levy
American Association holds its annual convention in the West Bank, with
hundreds of Palestinian-Americans exploring their roots in the
Christian village. Taybeh looks very small, they say, compared to Los
I’m going back to Gaza, Susan Johnson
before my group departed from Gaza in June 2009, I talked about not
being ready to leave. And I wasn't. It took me another two months after
I got back to pull out of my "Gaza Haze" and begin to function again. I
met with my Congressman's Director of Outreach, and he advised me to
talk, talk, talk about my experience in Gaza. A year ago I put together a
presentation and began speaking before groups. I thought about Gaza
numerous times throughout the day, and still do. The devastation in Gaza
was a shock. I wasn't prepared for how total the destruction was. I
continue to wonder how the people of Gaza manage with
so much loss: jobs, homes, farms, schools, hospitals, fire stations,
police stations, play grounds, stores...and most difficult loss of all,
people-- family, friends, neighbors.
We shall be as dreamers, Yossi Sarid
"The Palestinians` starting position is better than ours: They have
fulfilled most of their obligations under the road map peace plan, while
we have not removed even one of the illegal outposts we were supposed to
DAM: between bombs and beats
are living in Palestine. Our history, our culture, our everything is
Palestinian. — Mahmoud Jreri of DAM, “I see myself as a fisherman,”
says Suhell Nafar, a member of DAM, the leading Palestinian hip-hop
group. “Today, I fished a few fish who didn’t know anything and now know
a little thing. Maybe now when they see the TV news, they will think
differently about it. Maybe they will go on the Internet and learn about
it.” Suhell was speaking at last weekend’s WOMAD music festival,
minutes after DAM had given a passionate performance in front of a big
crowd. “There were thousands of people at the concert screaming ‘Free
Palestine’. Most of them have never heard about Palestine, and now they
The press baron who's making news in Israel
It is the brash upstart on the Israeli media scene with money to burn
and already with a reputation it's trying to shed. Israel Hayom, a free
newspaper that for the first time has stormed to the front of Israel's
circulation battle, is such a strong backer of the prime minister that
its critics call it "Bibiton" – a play on the nickname of Benjamin
Netanyahu. In addition to the editorial line, the impression is
compounded by the fact that founder and financier, the US Jewish
billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is one of the premier's close friends.
Thursday: 34 Iraqis Killed, 60 Wounded
President Joe Biden said he is wagering that sectarian violence will
not surge after a massive reduction of U.S. combat troops next month.
Ahead of that withdrawal, the violence continues. At least 34 Iraqis
were killed and 60 more were wounded across the country. Security
forces were targeted in several cities.
Vying for top government post delays formation of new Iraqi government
Disagreements on who should be the next prime minister are delaying the
formation of the new Iraqi government. The winners and losers of the
last general elections held four months ago want to have the post of the
prime minister, according to Addnan al-Shamkhani, a senior leader of the
State of Law Coalition. The State of Law which includes the party of
the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lost the elections with a
slight majority. But his rival, Ayad Allawi, leader of the Iraqi list
bloc, has failed to win the two thirds parliamentary majority necessary
for forming the new government.
Iraqi Insurgents Plant Their Flag in Baghdad
The group, which has claimed a series of attacks, raised its flag after attacks on police Thursday.
Ambition and Anxiety as Najaf Readies for Limelight
Iraqi city’s nomination as Islamic cultural capital provokes pride – and questions over preparations.
The Suffering of Fallujah, Robert Koehler
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fallujah . . . And so it turns out that there were
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though not until we arrived and
started using them. Along with whatever else we did to Fallujah –
exacted collective punishment on a defiant city (a war crime) in
November 2004, killed thousands of civilians, shattered the
infrastructure (nearly six years later, the sewage system hasn’t been
repaired and waste flows in the streets) — we also, apparently, nuked
the city, leaving a legacy of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and
genetic abnormality. Freedom isn’t free. Remember when that was the
go-to phrase of the citizen war zealots among us, their all-purpose
rebuttal when those of us appalled by this insane war cited civilian
casualty stats? Discussion over. Thought stops here.
Iraq's Garden of Eden, Restoring the Paradise that Saddam Destroyed
Hussein drained the unique wetlands of southern Iraq as a punishment to
the region's Marsh Arabs who had backed an uprising. Two decades later,
one courageous US Iraqi is leading efforts to restore the marshes. Not even exploding bombs can deter him from his dream.
Iraq's union crackdown is a return to days of Saddam | Dave Anderson
the ban on trade unions in the electricity sector, it is time to
mobilise support for Iraq's once-proud labour movement. The position of
trade unions has deteriorated significantly in Iraq. Unions in the
electricity sector have been banned in a move that echoes Saddam
Hussein's old ways. The Iraqi police raided and shut down trade union
offices following a draconian ministerial decree.
order, issued on 20 July, "prohibits all trade union activities at the
[electricity] ministry and its departments and sites". It orders the
police "to close all trade union offices and bases and to take control
of the union's assets, properties and documents, furniture and
computers". It also instructs the ministry to take legal action against
trade union officials under anti-terrorism laws.
Inside Iraq - The future of Iraq's football
is plagued by sectarian tension but one thing that is almost guaranteed
to unite all Iraqis is their passion for football. Iraq's Asian Cup
victory in 2007 spread jubilation across the nation, but Iraqis rarely
have an opportunity to celebrate events like those, because the politics
inside the Iraq football association bizarrely mimic the political
picture at national level.
Iraqis go wild over exotic pets
to the upheaval of recent years, Iraqis have not had many entertainment
options within their country. This left many desperate for a means of
escape from their boredom and depression. But with the security
situation slowly improving, many people now are venturing out to the
movies, parks and even exotic pet shops. Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh visits
one wild animal shop that attracts big crowds in capital Baghdad. [July
Israel violates Lebanese airspace again
Army says two Israeli surveillance aircraft have violated the country's
airspace, with one of them staying around for about 11 hours.
One reconnaissance plane entered the airspace at 6:30 a.m. (local time)
on Wednesday, Press TV's correspondent in the Lebanese capital, Beirut,
Ali Rizk reported on Thursday, citing an Army statement. It flew over
south Lebanon and the western Bekaa region before leaving at 5:20 p.m.
Another surveillance aircraft violated the Lebanese airspace on 6:25
p.m. and roamed over southern and eastern areas. Israel carries out
such violations on an almost daily basis, claiming it has to maintain
Lebanese, U.S. armies discuss cooperation
BEIRUT, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon and the United States discussed
Thursday cooperation between armies of the two countries, the state-run
National News Agency (NNA) reported. According to the report, Lebanese
army commander General Jean Kahwaji met with U.S. Undersecretary of
Defense Michael Vickers, the two sides discussed cooperation between the
two countries' armies. Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri
received on Monday the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for
International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow. During their
meeting, they discussed the recent developments and the resuming of the
U.S. aid program to the Lebanese army. According to a statement
released by the U.S. embassy in Lebanon, Vershbow visited Beirut to
reaffirm U.S. commitment to providing security assistance to Lebanon and
the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Washington also expressed its
willingness to train and equip the LAF, said the statement. The U.S.
embassy in Beirut had announced earlier that Washington will supply
Lebanon with 12 Raven unmanned aircraft.
Second Alpha employee charged with spying
BEIRUT: A Lebanese prosecutor on Wednesday charged an employee at
state-owned mobile phone firm Alfa with spying for Israel and referred
him to military court, judicial sources said. They added that if Tareq
Rabaa was convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Hezbollah Warns of Sedition Attempts through STL Verdict
29/07/2010 Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem warned
on Thursday that the expected verdict of the Special Tribunal for
Lebanon that accuses Hezbollah of being involved in the assassination of
former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was part of a scheme to create
sedition in Lebanon. Sheikh Qassem said that the expected findings of
STL were part of the attempts to weaken and target the Resistance in
Lebanon, wondering whether self-defense became forbidden. "Let everyone
knows: Hezbollah is not weak and it can't be a gateway for the Zionist
schemes, schemes that will be destroyed."
Hezbollah's Naim Qassem: "...a change of government might become an issue if Hezbollah members were the target of indictments
and Abdullah are alarmed by the political ferment set off by Hezbollah
leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah this month when he said Hariri had told
him the tribunal would indict "rogue" members of the Shi'ite guerrilla
group for his father's killing. Nasrallah insists the government, which
in principle supports the tribunal should reject any such indictments --
setting the scene for a paralyzing government crisis and revived
Sunni-Shi'ite tensions, if not bloodshed as in 2008. Lebanese media
quoted Hezbollah's deputy chief Naim Kassem as saying a change of
government might become an issue if Hezbollah members were the target of
indictments which he called "a project of strife, concocted by those who
accuse us." The Hague-based tribunal says talk of indictments is
speculation and the prosecutor will file them when he is ready.Hariri,
then leading a broad anti-Syrian coalition, at first accused Damascus of
killing his father. Syria denies this. Since he became prime minister
last year, Hariri has dropped his anti-Syrian rhetoric and has visited
Damascus several times to forge a rapprochement with Assad that matched a
prior Syrian-Saudi reconciliation..."
Saudi King and Syrian president on landmark visit to Lebanon
of Saudi Arabia and Bashir Al Assad, Syria's president, have arrived in
Lebanon in a bid to ease tensions in the country. A UN investigation
into the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri
is likely to implicate Hezbollah members for playing a role
in the 2005 murder. Hezbollah strongly opposes indictments against its
members, and Hassan Nasrallah, the group's leader, has warned that such a
move could plunge Lebanon back into chaos. Saudi Arabia and Syria have
traditionally supported opposing factions in Lebanon and the combined
visit by both leaders is meant as a show of support for stability in the
country. Al Jazeera's Rula Amin reports.
Lebanon hosts rare Arab leader summit (AFP)
AFP - Lebanon on Friday hosts a rare summit of regional leaders aimed at
defusing tensions over reports of an impending indictment against Hezbollah members for the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.
Israel Threatens Lebanon, The Existential Threat Facing Lebanon Today, Rannie Amiri
be abuzz with diplomatic activity this weekend as Saudi Arabia ’s King
Abdullah makes his first official visit to Lebanon since assuming the
throne. Reports are that President Bashar Assad of Syria will accompany
him as the two aim to diffuse mounting tension over the Special Tribunal
for Lebanon ’s (STL) anticipated indictment of “rogue” Hezbollah
elements allegedly involved in the 2005 assassination of Prime
Minister Rafiq Hariri. King Abdullah comes to Lebanon in support of the
ruling March 14 Coalition, led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his
Future Movement. Assad, on the other hand, represents the interests of
the opposition March 8 Coalition, led by (Shia) Hezbollah and the
(Christian) Free Patriotic Movement of General Michel Aoun. Together
they hope to preempt any sectarian discord that might ensue after the
STL issues its report in the coming months.
Judge seeks lifelong prison term over Sidon flyers [Yet, when people incite against the Shia, they get a political movement...]
BEIRUT: South Lebanon Investigative Magistrate Munif Barakat requested
life imprisonment with hard labor for Mahmoud al-Bizri, who was charged
with instigating sectarian strife, the the state-run National News
Agency reported on Thursday.
Phalange urges broad solution to Palestinian refugee issue
BEIRUT: The Phalange Party is calling for addressing the needs of
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon through a comprehensive approach,
guaranteeing their human rights and right of return along with
preventing their naturalization in Lebanon, An-Nahar reported Thursday.
The cedar retribution, Nicholas Noe
With the announcement
from Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah this week that Hizbullah members may be
indicted for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Raifk
Hariri, one thing is now (publicly) clear, no matter what one may think about
the integrity of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL): the militant Shiite party
is both angry and concerned. Of course, this isn't a wholly new development:
the party has apparently been preparing for just such an eventuality at least
since the summer of 2006 when the first media reports began circulating in this
regard (interestingly, in Hizbullah's analysis, these reports came just after
Israel found itself unable to smash its bitter enemy in open battle during the
Family feud could silence beloved Lebanese singer
— Across four decades, Fairouz's songs of freedom, justice and love
transfixed Arab audiences, moved millions to tears and gave hope to the
Lebanese during the darkest days of their 15-year civil war. At 75, the
Lebanese singer still performed, seemingly impervious to age — until
now, when a fight over royalties within the Arab world's most famous
musical family threatens to silence Lebanon's most beloved diva. The
fans are outraged.
Turkey: Tehran declaration still valid
May 17 deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey, Iran agreed to send 1,200 kg
of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel for the
medical research reactor in Tehran. The US and its European allies
snubbed the declaration and used their influence on the UN Security
Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran.
Robert Dreyfuss : United States, Iran to Restart Talks
Talks on Iran's nuclear program will resume in September, and despite
the war bluster from neocons and the far right, the Obama administration
seems prepared to try once again.
Iran Under Siege, ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Union is imposing more severe sanctions on Iran, while U.S. leaders
debate whether they should officially support an Israeli military
attack. The cavalier nature of “debates” concerning Iran’s alleged
nuclear weapons development assume that it is the right of the U.S. and
its allies to do whatever they want to Iran, whenever they want, however
they want. This is a recipe not only for criminal aggression, but
devastation and imperial terror on a massive scale.
Rising Tensions in the Persian Gulf, BRIAN M. DOWNING
again US political and military figures are hinting at military attacks
on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Few looking back on US ventures in the
Middle East will be struck by exceptional farsightedness or appropriate
gauging of likely consequences. Instead, many of those ventures were
based on naive understandings of forces in the region and equally naive
understandings of the utility of military force. Iran has numerous
options to counter any US strike – many of them quite sobering. Iran
has considerable influence in Iraq, far more than does the US. Important
political parties were set up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war and ties
have long endured. A sign of Iraqi leanings was offered after the recent
elections when parties sent emissaries not to Washington, but to
Neocon Nutballs Ramp Up Campaign, Bomb Iran? GARETH PORTER
Gerecht’s screed in the Weekly Standard seeking to justify an Israeli
bombing attack on Iran coincides with the opening of the new Israel
lobby campaign marked by the introduction of House resolution 1553
expressing full support for such an Israeli attack. What is important
to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the
right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by
Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale
war with Iran.
and other World
Soldier suspected in WikiLeaks case moved from Kuwait to Virginia military jail
Army intelligence specialist charged with leaking U.S. military secrets
to the WikiLeaks website has been moved from Kuwait to a military jail in Virginia.
WikiLeaks may have blood on its hands, U.S. says
* Leak may costs lives, damage trust with allies -Pentagon
* Army intelligence officer at center of leak probe
* Doubts growing over war, casualties rising
Graham: Prosecute WikiLeaks
Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday called for the criminal prosecution of
Wikileaks, the website that published classified military
documents this week. “I’m willing to prosecute anybody who led to
undermining the war effort,” Graham said during an appearance on Fox
FBI chief says agents assisting Pentagon on WikiLeaks investigation
FBI Director Robert Mueller says the bureau is assisting the Defense
Department in its criminal investigation into the release of some 91,000
secret U.S. military documents on Afghanistan.
Leaked Files Indicate U.S. Pays Afghan Media to run Friendly Stories, John Cook
the 92,000 classified documents released Sunday by WikiLeaks is some
intriguing evidence that the U.S. military in Afghanistan has adopted a
PR strategy that got it into trouble in Iraq: paying local media outlets
to run friendly stories.
Jon Stewart on WikiLeaks: 'One of the chief financial contributors to our enemy is us?'
Show host Jon Stewart and Newsweek international editor Fareed Zakaria
sparred off over the importance of WikiLeaks' release of classified US
documents. Stewart was outraged; Zakaria was unimpressed.
White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity
Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel
companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity
without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a
terrorism or intelligence investigation.
FBI defends guidelines for domestic surveillance
from civil liberties groups, the FBI is defending domestic surveillance
guidelines that critics fear could unfairly target innocent
Muslims in terrorism and other criminal investigations.
‘Worst Bush-era policies’ becoming the ‘new normal’: ACLU
From the point of view of civil libertarians, the Obama administration
has been an exercise in frustration, with every hopeful sign followed by
failures to live up to its own promises. The ACLU has just issued a
report (pdf), titled "Establishing a New Normal: National Security,
Civil Liberties, and Human Rights Under the Obama Administration," which
focuses on this pattern of inconsistency. "The administration has
displayed a decidedly mixed record," explains ACLU Executive Director
Anthony D. Romaro, "resulting, on a range of issues, in the very real
danger that the Obama administration will institutionalize some of the
most troublesome policies of the previous administration -- in essence,
creating a troubling 'new normal.'"
Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 Pakistanis view US as enemy
billions in aid from Washington and a shared threat from extremists,
Pakistanis have an overwhelmingly negative view of the United States,
according to results of a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday.
The survey also found that Pakistanis have grown less fearful of
extremists seizing control of their country, perhaps reflecting gains
that government troops have made against militants since early 2009.
US accused of raising Afghan militias
in the Shindand district of Afghanistan's Herat province say the
"Village Stability Program" run by the United States is creating private
militias, while the US says the scheme only provides limited training
to volunteers. For the Taliban it's simple, anyone "collaborating" with
the enemy will pay the price. (Jul 29, '10)
Obama seeks to expand arms exports by trimming approval process
WASHINGTON — The United States is currently the world biggest weapons
supplier — holding 30 per cent of the market — but the Obama
administration has begun modifying export control regulations in hopes
of enlarging the U.S. market share, according to U.S. officials.
President Barack Obama already has taken the first steps by tucking new
language into the Iran sanctions bill signed in early July. His aides
are now compiling the "munitions list," which regulates the sale of
Niqab debate unveils Syria's secular past
A possible ban on the niqab at Syrian universities has reawakened a
long-running tussle between conservatives and moderates that began
during the country's secular awakening early in the 20th century.
Proponents of the ban point proudly to a modern history of female
emancipation and say that the face veil is simply not Syrian, while
opponents say it is the perfect form of Islamic dress. - Sami Moubayed
(Jul 29, '10)
The US, Israel, and the Failure of the Western Way of War, Andrew Bacevich
If you ever needed convincing that the world of American “national
security” is well along the road to profligate lunacy, read the striking
three-part “Top Secret America” series by Dana Priest and William Arkin that the Washington Post published last week. When it comes to the expansion of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), which claims 17 major agencies and organizations, the figures are staggering. Here’s just a taste:
“Twenty-four [new intelligence] organizations were created by the end of
2001, including the Office of Homeland Security and the Foreign
Terrorist Asset Tracking Task Force. In 2002, 37 more were created to
track weapons of mass destruction, collect threat tips, and coordinate
the new focus on counterterrorism. That was followed the next year by 36
new organizations; and 26 after that; and 31 more; and 32 more; and 20
or more each in 2007, 2008, and 2009. In all, at least 263 organizations
have been created or reorganized as a response to 9/11.”
American Soldiers Brainwashed with "Positive Thinking", Bruce Levine
“As far as I can tell this is the largest, deliberate, psychological
intervention in human history. . . . We don’t know when the global war
on terrorism is going to end so we’re preparing to have to be engaged
for a long period of time.”
"The Real Terrorist Was Me", Speech By War Vetran
Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or
policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war
when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's
profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's
profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our
enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in
front of us.
The Story of Evo Morales, RON JACOBS
Although the rhetoric
against the left-leaning governments in Latin America in the US media
has calmed down since the Obama administration moved into the White
House, it is safe to assume that the continuing popularity of these
governments and their alliances with those Washington considers enemies
concerns the foreign policy establishment. As Argentine journalist
Martin Sivak's biography of Bolivian president Evo Morales makes clear,
that concern is justified. This book, titled Evo Morales: The Extraordinary Rise of the First Indigenous President of Bolivia,
makes it clear that this new generation of leaders is intent on altering
the historical relationship between Washington and its neighbors to the
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda