Archive for August 30, 2012

Ethnic Cleansing / Destruction of Property / Apartheid / Refugees
Israel’s Prime Minister is intending to enact the Levy Report to legalise settlements in the occupied West Bank under Israeli law, Likud member of Knesset Danny Danon said on Thursday morning. “Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed the report when it was issued early this month fearing that it would have created international controversy,” said Knesset member Danny Danon. The report was prepared by a committee chaired by the retired head of the Israeli Supreme Court, Edmond Levy. “Because the Likud [Party] government was elected in order to sponsor Israeli settlements, the PM is going to adopt the report now,” the Chairman of the World Likud Organisation added.
“Firing Zone 918″ is the Israeli military’s term for a portion of land in the West Bank home to hundreds of Palestinians who have been there since the 19th century. Why are they under threat of eviction and how is it being done? A primer.

Palestinian farmers ordered to leave lands
Israel sends written message to West Bank farmers giving them 45 days to leave lands and uproot palm trees.

Army To Demolish Homes In Silwan
Palestinian field researcher, member of the Committee for Defending Lands of Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, Fakhri Abu Diab, stated that the Jerusalem Municipality handed notices for the demolition of five homes in Al-Bustan neighborhood in the city.
link to www.imemc.org

QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities handed out demolition orders for a building in a Qalqiliya village on Wednesday, local officials told Ma’an. “The Israeli civil administration officials handed out a demolition order. The officials gave the village residents three days to evacuate the building,” head of Izbat at-Tabib village council told Ma’an.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have ordered the confiscation of agricultural land in a village near Bethlehem, residents said. Land-owners from Nahalin village headed to the fields on Thursday, and found confiscation orders for 12 dunams, saying the land is considered Israeli state property. The land is near Israeli settlement Beitar Illit. Village council chief Osama Shakarneh told Ma’an the land is planted with grapes, almonds and olives, and villagers have land ownership documents for the area. The council has appealed to the Palestinian Authority to halt the confiscation, he added.

Israel razes Palestinian homes in Negev and Jerusalem
Israeli bulldozers demolished on Wednesday three Palestinian homes in the Negev, southern 1948-occupied Palestine, and delivered demolition notices in Jerusalem.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a home in a village near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, witnesses said. Forces tore down Abdul Majid Abu Zamit’s home in Juma neighborhood of al-Ubeidiya village, witnesses told Ma’an. Israeli troops notified Abu Zamit they would demolish his home last week, citing its proximity to a bypass road leading to Jewish settlements in Jerusalem.

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) confiscated at dawn Wednesday 17 vehicles after raiding the industrial zone in the village of Barta’a isolated behind the Apartheid Wall.

About a month ago, the Israeli Civil Administration distributed demolition orders for 52 temporary structures in the Palestinian village of Susiya in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank. These orders renew a series of previous demolition orders issued from 1994 through 2001. If they are carried out, in spite of an appeal submitted last week, most of Susiya will be destroyed and the 400-strong community, which according to Israeli anthropologist Yaakov Havacook, dates back to the first third of the 19th century, will be expelled from its land. In fact, this will be the third expulsion. The first time was in 1986, when Israel declared the site of Susiya village to be a national park. Residents relocated nearby, on land registered in their names since Ottoman times. In the second expulsion in 2001 they were forcefully removed from that land, a few days after the murder of settler Yair Har Sinai; their property and water holes were destroyed. This expulsion was frozen by a High Court injunction.
Video: Last Shepherds of the Valley
46:21 Al Jazeera World 28 Aug — Palestinian Bedouins in the Israeli-occupied Jordan Valley struggle to cling on to an age-old way of life — Stretching from Mozambique in southeast Africa to Syria in the Middle East, the Great Rift Valley is home to the world’s lowest city, Jericho, which was established over 10,000 years ago. Farmers and shepherds have tended flocks and lived off the land in the Jordan Valley for thousands of years. But Israel’s continued occupation of the region since 1967 is threatening the traditional way of life, restricting Palestinian development on the land, and Bedouin homes in the area have repeatedly been razed.

link to www.aljazeera.com

A Palestinian educational institution in Israel has called for a demonstration on Thursday in front of Sheikh Mo’nes Cemetery in Tel-Aviv to protest at what it says is “the violation” of those buried there. Israeli construction company Solel Bonei has started to bulldoze the cemetery to prepare the ground to build student halls of residence for Tel-Aviv University. Iqraa Educational Institution has criticised the university’s project an act that violates human rights and academic principles. “How can students, Muslims or Jews, trust the university’s academic credentials when it is prepared to violate the sanctity of the dead?” it said in a press statement.
In Um Elkhair, a village in the South Hebron Hills, the people face a daily existential struggle caused by the Israeli occupation. What strikes you the most when entering this area is the coexistence, separated by few meters, of two totally different worlds. The chain-link fence holds back leafy green trees and bushes, which give way to a rocky, dry and barren landscape. The discrepancy between water supplies for Palestinians and colonists is a nationwide problem but in few places is it as stark as Um Elkhair.

Israel group wants Jerusalem crossing to stay open
An Israeli human rights group on Wednesday protested against reported plans to close a key checkpoint that allows Palestinians from an east Jerusalem neighbourhood access to the city centre.
link to news.yahoo.com

Palestinians live on the edge in new Libya
TRIPOLI, Aug 23 2012 (IPS) – Just before the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime one year ago, Huda and her Palestinian family were forcefully evicted from their Tripoli home. “This was last August and there was a lot of violence. There was no government. My husband had suffered a heart attack and we were scared,” says Huda, an anxious middle-aged woman clad head to toe in black. She breaks into tears. “We begged for more time to look for another place, but the owner’s children came and yelled bad words. We left our home with all its furniture. We were kicked out violently.” … Originally from Acca in Palestine, Huda’s parents fled the violence in 1948 to south Lebanon. Three decades later, Huda and her husband escaped from another brutal war. They went to Libya on Lebanese travel documents, finally finding a job, house and stability.
link to www.ipsnews.net
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian was killed in Syria on Wednesday when a shell landed in Yarmouk refugee camp, the man’s family said. Samir Ibrahim Dagher, 51, died from his injuries after being hit by shrapnel from an explosion, his cousin told Ma’an. No other injuries were reported. Dagher was married with seven children and was originally from a village near Ramallah.

Analysis: Palestinian refugees from Syria feel abandoned
RAMTHA/BEIRUT/DUBAI 29 August 2012 (IRIN) – In Jordan and Lebanon, the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has registered nearly 5,000 Palestinian refugees from the 17-month conflict in Syria. As both countries are already home to large Palestinian refugee populations, the newly arrived have become a political issue – with Palestinians feeling they are treated unfairly.
Palestinians find refuge across the Atlantic
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 28 2012 (IPS) – Issam Ali Hassan spent more than four years in an isolated desert camp in Jordan before he was taken in by Brazil. The son of Palestinians had been living as a refugee in Baghdad when he had to escape after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. He was given a new lease on life by Brazil’s Solidarity Resettlement Programme run by the government of Dilma Rousseff with the support of the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR. Today, at the age of 30, Hassan has still not forgotten the anguish, loneliness and desperation of the desert camp of Ruweished in Jordan, located 70 km from the border with Iraq, where he shared the harsh conditions in improvised tents with other Palestinians, as well as Somalis, Iranians, Kurds, Sudanese and Algerians. He agreed to tell his story to IPS, but he did not want any photos taken.
link to www.ipsnews.net
Gaza
Polluted water in the Gaza Strip is seriously affecting people’s health and the situation looks set to get worse, the UN warns in a new report.
CAIRO (Ma’an) — The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation has received instructions from President Mursi to provide Gaza with fuel for its sole power station, Al-Watan newspaper reported Wednesday. Amro Mustafa, vice president of EGPC, made the comments to Al-Watan during an interview with the Egyptian newspaper. The Egyptian company will provide 30,000 tonnes of fuel to Gaza’s sole power station, as well as petroleum donated by Qatar. The fuel will arrive through the Al-Ouja crossing in Egypt’s northern Sinai and will then be transported to Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing within the next few days.

PCHR Condemns Continued Israeli Violations against Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns Israel’s continued violations against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and expresses concern about the escalation of these violations. On Tuesday morning, 28 August 2012, 2 Palestinian fishermen were arrested and a Palestinian fishing boat was heavily damaged in 2 separate incidents in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
link to www.imemc.org

There’s bride at the end of the tunnel
GAZA CITY, Aug 27 2012 (IPS) – Mai Ahmed, a 26–year-old from the West Bank fell in love over the Internet with Mohammed Warda from Nussirat refugee camp in Gaza after they ‘met’ on the Internet. The Israeli government refused permission for her to travel to Gaza. Mai travelled to Jordan, flew from there to Egypt, drove across the Sinai, and then crossed through a tunnel into Gaza, where she now lives. “It’s a story I will tell my grandchildren,” she says …Abu Saleem, a 29-year-old digger at the Gaza tunnels under the border with Egypt says he is seeing an increasing number of brides coming in from Egypt, and grooms being smuggled through the other way. Only last week he received a phone call from his boss asking him to assist a young Egyptian bride on way to her groom in Gaza.
link to www.ipsnews.net

Paralympic Games: For Gaza’s athletes, just getting to the practice track is a challenge
Paralympic Games competitors from Gaza have to clear hurdles just to train – like getting to their non-wheelchair-accessible gym.
link to rss.csmonitor.com

Crab fishing on the coast of the Gaza Strip flourishes at this time of year as the crustaceans proliferate and their huge numbers attract the territory’s otherwise beleaguered fishermen. It is no exaggeration to say that the crabs are the main source of the fishing crews’ income during the summer months.

GAZA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Women driving cars are no longer a rare sight in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, nowadays they are seen in every corner of the Israeli-besieged enclave. Until a few years ago, the number of female drivers could be counted the fingers of one hand. But now the number of women applying for driving licenses is in its thousands. University student Heba Sleem, 22, is one of those who used the college holiday to get a driving license.

Israeli Terrorism

PCHR Weekly Report: 14 civilians wounded, 33 abducted by Israeli troops
In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 16 – 29 Aug. 2012, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian woman was seriously wounded by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. 33 Palestinians were abducted, including 10 children.
link to www.imemc.org

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli aircraft fired at an open area in the south of Gaza City on Wednesday, locals said. Warplanes opened fire on the neighborhood of Tal al-Hawa, leaving a large crater in an empty area of land, witnesses told Ma’an. No injuries were reported. An Israeli military spokeswoman had no record of the incident and said that there was no Israeli military activity in the area.

A 42-year-old Gazan woman was in a critical condition on Wednesday after being shot by Israeli troops near the border in central Gaza, Palestinian medical sources said. The incident occurred in an area east of the central town of Deir al-Balah. “She was shot by several bullets, one of which hit her in the chest,” said Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Hamas-run ministry of health. “She is in critical condition.” The attack comes a day after Israeli forces shelled several Hamas buildings in northern Gaza, wounding two Palestinian women. Israel regularly assaults the Gaza Strip, referred to by as activists as the largest open-air prison in the world.

A Palestinian cameraman from the Gaza Strip managed to capture on tape, an attack carried out by Israeli Navi boats, on Wednesday, against small Palestinian fishing boats. The video shows the Israeli Navy boats encircling the boats flooding them with water, and even blocking their way as they tried to sail back to the shore.

A Palestinian woman was seriously wounded when Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at her while tending to her land in central Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, medical sources said.

Palestinian Killed By Police Fire In Tel Aviv
Israeli daily, Maariv, reported that an Israeli policeman shot and killed, on Wednesday at night, a 33-year-old Palestinian man in Tel Aviv. The off-duty policeman claimed that the Palestinian was attempting to steal a car, and that he threatened him with a knife after officer tried to arrest him.

Dozens Wounded After Inhaling Gas Fired By the Army In Al-Biereh
The Palestine News Network (PNN) reported that dozens of residents were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation, after Israeli soldiers invaded Al-Biereh, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah and fired gas bombs.
link to www.imemc.org


Palestinian family members attacked, then arrested in khan Al Luban

On the morning of August 28, around 30 settlers armed with guns and sticks descended upon a Palestinian home located in Khan al-Liban, and attacked the Daraghmah family. The mother, Taghrid, and the two youngest sons, Mu’min, 13, and Nour al-Deen, 9, were injured during the attacks which lasted at least one hour until soldiers and police arrived. Mu’min and Nour were taken by ambulance to the hospital. The father of the family, Khalid, 45, and his second eldest son, Jalaal, 16, were arrested and are still being held in police custody.
link to palsolidarity.org

Clashes erupted in the early morning hours of Wednesday between Palestinian youths on the one hand and the Israeli occupation troops on the other in the town of Beit Ummar, north of al-Khalil.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian woman whose husband and two young children were severely injured in an Israeli settler attack says the roadside firebombing had “turned our lives upside down.” On Aug. 16, Israeli settlers firebombed a Palestinian taxi south of Bethlehem, injuring Jamila Hassan, her husband Ayman and their children Iman, 4, and Muhammad, 6, as well as the driver. “We are lost, our life has turned upside down, the father, son and daughter are each in different worlds, our life is difficult and we’re miserable,” Jamila told Ma’an at Haddassah Hospital, where Mohammad and Ayman are being treated.

Palestinian medical sources reported Tuesday that several extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian home in Al-Lubban village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and violently attacked the family wounding two children. The army went on to kidnap the father and brother of the two children.

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A group of settlers set fire to a car and sprayed racist graffiti in a Ramallah village early Wednesday, locals said. Hatem Abdul Latif told Ma’an that a number of settlers attempted to set fire to his brothers car, with the vehicle only partially igniting. Settlers then sprayed racist graffiti on other vehicles and the walls of homes in al-Zira village, located by al-Jalazun refugee camp opposite the settlement of Beit El settlement. “Death to Arabs” and other slogans were written in the neighborhood. Israeli police and army forces arrived at the scene to investigate the crime, Latif said.

Illegal Arrests / Prisoner News
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Thursday at dawn, several Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, broke into several homes and kidnapped 13 residents, including children, the Palestine News & Information Agency (WAFA), reported.

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up six Palestinian citizens in the West Bank at dawn Wednesday, radio Israel said.

Further arrests took place in Beit Ommar last night, following on from nighttime raids which saw two youths taken early on Tuesday morning. Four IDF jeeps and two vans, with a large force of occupation soldiers, entered Beit Ommar from the Gush Etzion colony at approximately 04:00AM on Wednesday, 29th August 2012. Four houses were raided, with four arrests being made. Yousif Mohamed Awad, who, despite being only seventeen years old, has previously served three-and-a-half years in an Israeli prison was again arrested, as was Shadi Ahmad Akhalil, who is eighteen years old. The home of Abdul Qader Mohammed Akhalil was also raided, and his two sons Khuwaylid and Mohammed were arrested.

Two brothers from Tobas were arrested in an ambush at the outskirts of Zababde village to the south east of Jenin on Wednesday night, local sources said.

Special Israeli army forces stormed a mall in occupied Jerusalem at a late hour on Tuesday night and arrested a citizen from his shop.

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian teenager has been cleared of attempting to rape an Israeli settler, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Thursday. Qaddura Fares said an Israeli court ordered the immediate release of Ali Odeh, 16, after he was found innocent of the charge. Fares said the teenager had been beaten and interrogated by Israeli police at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem for over a month. He said settlers employed a strategy of attacking Palestinians with the complicity of Israeli forces.

The Israeli occupation forces stormed on Wednesday the house of liberated captive Thaer Halahla, in Kharas village west of al-Khalil, accompanied by elements of the Israeli intelligence service.

Israeli Injustice System
Amnesty International condemns an Israeli court’s verdict that the government of Israel bears no responsibility in the death of Rachel Corrie, saying the verdict continues the pattern of impunity for Israeli military violations against civilians and human rights defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The verdict shields Israeli military personnel from accountability and ignores deep flaws in the Israeli military’s internal investigation of Corrie’s death. “Rachel Corrie was a peaceful American protester who was killed while attempting to protect a Palestinian home from the crushing force of an Israeli military bulldozer,” said Sanjeev Bery, Middle East and North Africa advocacy director for Amnesty International USA.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A retired 6-term congressman who represented slain activist Rachel Corrie’s district said Thursday he was unsurprised by an Israeli court verdict to dismiss a civil suit filed by the family. Democrat Brian Baird of Washington said the trial was undermined by Israel’s failure to conduct a transparent investigation into the 2003 killing of his constituent in Gaza. “The verdict was not a great surprise” because the outcome resulted from “a process that seemed designed to obfuscate the facts rather than clarify,” the ex-lawmaker said in a telephone interview from Seattle.

An Israeli judge claims activists who oppose house demolitions – and not those who demolish them – are the perpetrators of violence. The Israeli court system was, for a long time, the most successful fig leaf of the only Jewish state in the Middle East. Now it has gone diving into the Hasbara morass. After “diplomatic terrorism” (opposing Israel in the world, a phrase favored by our foreign minister) and “economic terrorism” (boycotting settlements) we now have the District Court of Haifa blaming (Hebrew) the ISM organization of being ”practically violent,” even though the court admits it had nothing to do with violence.

Inside Story – Justice evades Rachel Corrie
Who will take responsibility for activist’s death after Israeli court rules its army was not at fault? Hazem Sika speaks to Jafar Farah, Rami Khouri & Efraim Inbar.

In a small courtroom on the sixth floor of Haifa’s District Court, a colonel in the Israeli engineering corps who wrote a manual for the bulldozer units that razed the Rafah Refugee Camp in 2003 offered his opinion on the killing of the American activist Rachel Corrie. “There are no civilians during wartime,” Yossi declared under oath.

Palestinian Activism / International Solidarity / BDS

Settler leaders are aggrieved at a new global boycott “trend” among international multinational firms to pull factories out of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank.

Scottish artists call to boycott Israeli dance group performance at Edinburgh
After the Edinburgh Festival refused to call off the show, pro-Palestinian activists plan to disrupt the opening performance of the Israeli dance group Batsheva, attended by the Israeli culture minister and by Israel’s envoy to London.
link to www.haaretz.com

Editor’s note: On Wednesday August 29, 2012 the Rachel Corrie Children and Youth Cultural Center protested the Haifa District Court’s decision to reject the Corrie family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the state of Israel. Judge Oded Gershon said nearly 10 years ago Corrie did not act as a “reasonable person” when the 23 year-old was crushed to death by an Israeli Defense Forces Caterpillar D9 bulldozer while protecting a Palestinian house from demolition, in Rafah, Gaza. The children’s demonstration, located where Corrie was killed, both condemns the court’s verdict and honors Corrie’s commitment to justice and human rights.

Palestinian activists and journalists organized a sit-in in Ramallah on Thursday to call for the immediate release of a Palestinian reporter held being held by the Syrian government. The group gathered outside the Red Cross headquarters in Ramallah and waved banners demanding the release of Bashar Qaddoumi who has been detained in Syria for about two weeks. Abdel Nasser al Najjar, the head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, said that Qaddoumi was arrested by Syrian government forces while he was in Aleppo with a group of other journalists earlier this month.

Taking back Palestine’s streets: exclusive interview with underground Jerusalem graffiti artist, Maath Musleh
“Laila,” a pseudonymous underground artist, speaks to The Electronic Intifada about young Palestinians carrying on the revolutionary tradition of political graffiti.
From November 28 to December 1 2012 the World Social Forum “Free Palestine” will be held in Porto Alegre (Brazil). This is a historic event that brings together solidarity, human rights and social justice movements and organizations from across the globe to develop and debate ideas, share experiences, network and plan strategies and campaigns to advance solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian liberation.

Racism / Discrimination

Israel to detain Sudanese illegals: minister
Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai warned on Wednesday that illegal immigrants from Sudan who do not leave the country by October 15 will be detained.
link to news.yahoo.com

Rights groups slam ‘cruel’ plan to detain Sudanese
Yishai says incarceration of Sudanese, Eritrean migrants to begin October 15. Rights group: Minister ‘lost his humanity’.
link to www.ynetnews.com
Political Developments / Other News
Merkel told Netanyahu during a telephone conversation 10 days ago that she thinks Netanyahu should give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to work before any such attack is made.
Speaking with visiting German official, PM denounces Non-Aligned Movement conference in Tehran, calling it a ‘disgrace and a stain on humanity.’
Hamas delegation visits Brotherhood headquarters
A Hamas delegation paid a visit to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau on Tuesday to meet with leaders of the group, including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie. The delegation included Moussa Abu Marzouq, deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau, and Palestinian Health Minister Bassem Naim. A Brotherhood source speaking on condition of anonymity said the delegation came to assure that Hamas had nothing to do with the attack on the border checkpoint in Rafah, and that the Palestinian government supports Egypt. Militants attacked and killed 16 border guards in Sinai on 5 August. Egypt responded harshly by launching an operation using the army and police to raid militant hideouts.

link to www.egyptindependent.com

Morsi calls on non-aligned states to support Palestinian rights
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi on Thursday morning called on the non-aligned movement countries and the international community to advocate the Palestinian people’s rights and just cause.
Beirut’s Military Court sentenced in absentia a Lebanese man to 15 years in prison on charges of “dealing with Israel” on Thursday., The verdict ruled that Antoun Joseph was guilty on charges of “dealing with the Israeli enemy by entering occupied Palestine and marrying there.”, He was sentenced to 15 years with hard labor. The ruling is eligible for repeal and re-trial in the case of the case of his arrest or were he to hand himself in to military judicial authorities., The governor of Lebanon’s military judiciary tried dozens of others on charges of spying for Israel and the military court issued sentences including the death penalty for some.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas’ politburo in Damascus is still open and has not moved to Cairo, the party’s representative in Yemen said Wednesday. “The movement’s office in Syria did not move to Cairo, it was not closed and Hamas leaders are still in it but because of the current circumstances in Syria, we left and we’ll be back when the situation becomes stable,” Abdul Muti Zaqqut told Ma’an. Senior Hamas leaders are reported to have left Damascus, while the head of Hamas’ politburo Khalid Meshaal relocated to Qatar amid the country’s bloody crackdown against an 18-month uprising.

Egypt’s military said on Wednesday it would broaden its offensive against militants in the Sinai Peninsula, a campaign that has raised concerns in Israel about the movement of heavy armor into the area near its border. After militants attacked and killed 16 border guards on August 5, Egypt launched an operation using the army and police to raid militant hideouts, arrest suspects and seize weapons, including rockets and other arms, that are rife in the area.

TEHRAN (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday held his first meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad since taking office. The presidents discussed bilateral issues and items on the agenda of the Non-Aligned Movement summit, which is being held in Tehran. Abbas’ delegation at the summit of 120 nations includes his Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki and intelligence chief Majed Faraj, as well as advisers, ambassadors and his spokesman.

French probe deepens confusion over Arafat death
A French murder probe into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat prompted an Israeli denial of responsibility on Wednesday and renewed doubts that Palestinians would stick to a halfhearted pledge to exhume Arafat’s body.

Palestinian street backs probe of Arafat death riddle
News that France had opened an inquiry into the death of the late Yasser Arafat was welcomed by many Palestinians on Wednesday, but for others it was too little, too late.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Mohammad al-Azzeh, 70, a founding member of the Fatah movement, died Tuesday. Al-Azzeh, known as Abu Tareq, had been fighting an undisclosed illness.

FM fires back after Riyad Al-Maliki dubbed him ‘extremist settler’ inciting to kill Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas received in Ramallah a group of rabbis including the eldest daughter of the extremist Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who had wished death for all Palestinians.

Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman for Hamas movement, stated that the remarks made by PA President Mahmoud Abbas about the Hebrew state’s right in the Palestinian land ran contrary to national consensus.

Someone tell the brainiacs that a start would be to boycott the Israeli government that he represents: Fatah calls on international community to boycott Lieberman

Fatah movement has called for an international boycott of Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. The Palestinian Fatah movement has called for an international boycott of Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. His presence in such a role, claims Fatah, is a threat to international peace and security. A spokesman for the movement, Fayez Abu Eita, said in a press statement on Tuesday that the organisation considers the Israeli government’s selection of a person like Lieberman for one of the most important roles in the coalition to be an example of its “extremism, racism and terrorism”. The Israeli government, alleged Abu Eita, “favours such things over peaceful solutions to the conflict”. Lieberman called for the removal of the Palestinian Authority’s chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, because he is a “barrier to peace” who practices “political terrorism”. The right-wing extremist made his comments in a letter sent last week to the Middle East Quartet.
The latest travel advisory warns tourists that Israel periodically conducts military operations in the West Bank and Gaza with no prior notice, and advises travelers to avoid demonstrations.

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to fill a sensitive Cabinet post recently, he turned to an old army buddy from his days in an elite commando unit.

Over the next week mainstream Jewish institutions and partisan lobby groups will host pro-Israel events during both the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, FL and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, NC, including a special “salute to pro-Israel candidates,” hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition. But one pro-Israel group, Shalom International, says both candidates are not strong enough on Israel and is planning to protest the conventions.
A congressional candidate’s remarks warning against the deadly tides of “Middle Easterners” plotting against Americans is causing a national stir.
California State Assembly passes resolution equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, Annie Robbins and Matthew Taylor
Schools out, but that didn’t stop California’s state assembly from passing Resolution HR35 buttressing acontroversial report commissioned by the University of California that accuses students and faculty of contributing to an environment fostering anti-Semitism on campus. The report’s recommendations, which seek to limit criticism of Israeli state policies as a form of “hate speech”, have been criticized as an assault on academic freedom and an attempt to limit student and faculty’s first amendment rights to free speech.
Palestinian-American chef Sameh Wadi recently experienced the sort of Zionist indignation that can unfold from proudly displaying Palestine’s place on a pre-1948 globe-map of the world.

Analysis / Op-ed

BBC Squandered 330k to Conceal Israel Report
Questions are to be raised in Parliament after the BBC admitted to spending more than £300,000 blocking an internal report into its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The figure was released following a freedom of information request by the website thecommentator.com. It revealed the corporation has so far spent £332,000 on legal fees to conceal the Balen Report, commissioned in 2004 by former BBC director of news, Richard Sambrook, following allegations of anti-Israel bias. The actual cost to the BBC is likely to be far higher, as in-house legal time and VAT are not factored in. Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow told the Jewish News: “It is outrageous that the BBC has spent license fee payers’ money on trying to suppress information about their attitude to Israel that should have been public. I will raise the matter in the Commons.” Halfon will also write to Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust.

Asked why The Electronic Intifada made him so angry, Martin stated: “The problem with the Internet is that even an organization such as yourself — which is a propaganda organization — has an Internet presence. It then gets picked up … very soon some people might even start to believe the rubbish that you write.” But back at the rough-cut screening, Martin said of the The Electronic Intifada: “By the way I think it’s an excellent website.” What changed?

Final Session in NYC: Russell Tribunal on Palestine,Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Dennis Banks, Russell Means and Stephane Hessel
We are writing to you on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP), an international people’s tribunal that was created to expose human rights abuses and stir people to action in opposition to Israel’s recognized violations of international law. We hope that you will help promote, attend, and participate in our final hearings in New York City on October 6–7, 2012.

It is not new that “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI) demands U.S. support for Israeli policies. Today, an email was sent out to supporters from John Hagee and David Brog asking those supporters to advocate keeping the focus on Israel during the 2012 Presidential election season. Not only a focus on Israel, but the “candidate whom we believe will most strongly support our ally Israel.”
Rachel Corrie’s parents speak to The Electronic Intifada about their reaction to the recent court verdict which exonerated Israel for any responsibility for the 2003 killing of their daughter.
Akka – The dream began when Palestinian poet and journalist Bashir Shalash (b. 1978) was living in Berlin during his studies. He had nowhere to sleep after he had to leave his apartment. The young Shalash found himself spending his days reading in a bookstore in central Berlin. At night he would wait around for daylight to break to return to the books. This experience drove him some years later to establish a publishing house. After months of logistic preparations, Raya (meaning “banner”) Publishing House opened on 13 March 2011 – the day marking Palestinian National Culture Day and Mahmoud Darwish’s birthday. It launched with the publishing of the complete works of the late Taha Muhammad Ali, the novel She, I, and Autumn by Salman Natour, and River Apple by Muhammad Naffaa.