Categorized | Middle East

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear All,  

This evening you receive an overview of what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza, first the Today in Palestine compilation (from yesterday), and following the OCHA Protection of Citizens weekly report.  Just glancing through both gives you an overview of what is happening.  A few of the items I’ve distributed previously. 

My apologies for duplications.  

All the best,

Dorothy

December 10, 2010

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Israel to Destroy Electric Infrastructure Near Hebron
Israeli officials ordered destruction of electricity infrastructure, on Thursday, in two Palestinian villages in the southern area of Hebron, local sources said.
http://www.imemc.org/article/60137

Barak: When I was PM we built much more in West Bank
During New York meeting, UN’s Ban expresses disappointment in Israel’s decision not to extend settlement moratorium, but Barak says construction not cause of stalemate in peace talks.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3997114,00.html 

Photostory: Construction of the Wall in Bil’in
Construction of the « concrete » wall in Bil’in, October—November 2010.  Photos by Hamde Abu Rahme and Oren Ziv (ActiveStills.org).  See also : Two sides of the Wall in Bil’in by Hamde Abu Rahme 
http://www.bilin-village.org/english/articles/testimonies/Photostory-Construction-of-the-Wall-in-Bilin

Suspicious real estate company distributes flyers in Silwan
Flyers have been distributed throughout Silwan encouraging residents to contact a previously unheard of real estate company, should they wish to sell their home. Residents state that the group, simply named “The Real Estate Company” is not known of in Silwan. Abu Radi, a Silwan native, expressed suspicion regarding the flyer and warned residents to be cautious in any dealings with The Real Estate Company. Abu Radi cited the long history of underhanded methods settler organizations operating in Silwan have employed to expropriate Palestinian property and expand the settlement enterprise in the region.
http://silwanic.net/?p=8994 

Defiant Jerusalem Palestinians say “we will remain here”
A huge Palestinian flag was carried up a steep hill in Issawiya on 3 December, passed hand-to-hand between the at least 200 Palestinians, Israelis and international activists taking part in the first-ever solidarity march and demonstration in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11667.shtml

Adnan Gaith, Secretary General of Fatah in Silwan
Israeli authorities have issued an injunction to Adnan Gaith, Secretary General of Fatah in Silwan, in an attempt to ban him from Jerusalem for a period of four months. The injunction was delivered by a high commander in the Israeli army, marking the first time that a military commander has issued such a decree to a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem. The order was issued on 28 November and, if successful, will allow Israeli forces to remove Gaith from Jerusalem and prevent him from re-entering the city of his work and residence for a four-month period. Gaith, known locally as Abu Odai, is a prominent figure in both Fatah and the Jerusalem community as a member of the Committee to Defend Silwan Lands. He champions the non-violent approach to resolving conflict and frequently acts as a mediator in community and societal disputes. While his work has earnt him much respect amongst Palestinians, it has made him a regular target of Israeli investigation. Israeli forces have carried out numerous raids on his family home in Silwan, severely impacting on the psychological wellbeing of his children. Gaith has served several lengthy sentences both in Israeli prisons and under house arrest.
http://silwanic.net/?p=8996 

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Two year old child among those injured during the weekly anti wall protests in W.B. villages
Bethlehem – PNN – On Friday  anti-wall protests took place in the southern West Bank village of al-Ma’ssara in addition to the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and al Nabi Saleh, in the central West Bank.  Israeli and international supporters joined villagers at all four locations, this week protests marked the international day for human rights.  In the village of Nabi Saleh, in central West Bank, protesters headed towered lands taken from the village to built an illegal Israeli settlement, soldiers fired tear gas and forced people back to the village. Troops then stormed the village and fired tear gas at homes casing damage.  Two-year-old Lara Ramimi and her mother Zinab were injured by tear gas, in addition to Khitam al Tamimi who was hit with a tear gas bomb in the back. Witnesses said that the Israeli officer in charge gave the orders to his troops to fire tear gas at villagers’ homes. The protest ended after clashes between local youth and soldiers erupted.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9261&Itemid=59

A Message from Israeli Military Prison on Internaitonal Human Rights Day
My imprisoned husband Abdullah Abu Rahmah passed the fallowing message through his lawyer
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/majda-abu-rahmah/a-message-from-israeli-mi_b_794627.html 

Disobedient:  The leader of nonviolent protests in the West Bank—a potential Palestinian Gandhi—is in an Israeli jail
Abu Rahmah’s crime was organizing illegal demonstrations in a West Bank village where all demonstrations are by definition illegal. Abu Rahmah, 39, had long been involved in peaceful, multiethnic protests in the village of Bil’in, where Israel’s separation wall has cut Palestinians off from hundreds of acres of their land. Though barely covered in the American press, his conviction was protested by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, among others. “Israel’s attempt to crack down on this effective resistance movement by criminalizing peaceful protest is unacceptable and unjust,” saidDesmond Tutu, one of Abu Rahmah’s supporters.  American Jews often ask where the Palestinian Gandhi is. What few realize is that if such a man exists, he’s probably sitting in an Israeli military prison.
http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/52645/disobedient/

Bil’in Resident Urgently Needs Your Help, Joseph Dana
A tireless non-violent activist and resident of Bil’in, Rani Burnet, needs your help repairing his wheelchair. Rani was shot in the neck by IDF soldiers in 2000 and has since been in a wheelchair. I am posting a letter about his situation and hoping to raise money to fix his wheelchair problem. The non-violent joint struggle needs your help and this is a perfect place to start.
http://josephdana.com/2010/12/bilin-resident-urgently-needs-your-help/

#BDS: An Open letter from Besieged Gaza to Brothers for Brotherhood: No Brotherhood with Apartheid
We are writing to you from the Besieged Gaza Strip to express what your decision to perform in Israel means to us Palestinians, the victims of Israel’s racist segregation and war on our civilian population across the Middle East.  To begin with, two weeks from now marks the second anniversary of the 22-day Israeli genocidal war against the Palestinians in Gaza. These 22-days of intensive, indiscriminate land, sea and air bombardment by Apache helicopters, F16s, F15s, F35s, Merkava tanks, naval gunboats, and illegal White Phosphorous, resulted in the killing of 1434 civilians including 434 children and left around 5,300 injured, some permanently.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/12/bds-open-letter-from-besieged-gaza-to.html 

Let the government know what you think about the criminalization of peace activism, Daniel Kaplan
Over the course of this fall, being on the side of peace and justice has gradually meant living in a state of fear. Since September, the FBI has subpoenaed and raided the homes of 19 activists seeking and end to violence in Palestine and Columbia This rash of raids stems from a court ruling this summer that redefines the charge of “material witness to terrorism”. Before, material witness meant supplying support in the form of finances, weaponry, intelligence, or combat training to political bodies defined by the state department as “terrorist organizations”. Now “material witness to terrorism” includes vocal support for such organizations or even advocating open communication with them. For activists in my community, this means that anyone who advocates negotiations with the government in Gaza could be charged with “material witness to terrorism”, because Gaza is currently governed by Hamas. Essentially, it is now a crime to promote direct reconciliation between Palestinian/Gaza organizations and Israel/the United States. The government has criminalized opinions that are not in line with our government’s foreign policy, and it is for this reason that peace activists in Chicago, Minneapolis, and across the US have become targets of the FBI.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/
let-the-government-know-what-you-think-about-the-criminalization-of-peace-activism.html

Anti

Abu Sha’ar slams General Electric for supporting settlement expansion
Palestinian minister of religious affairs Dr. Taleb Abu Sha’ar strongly denounced the American company General Electric for supporting and participating in a settlement project in Abu Ghunaim Mount.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7 

Pro-Israel activists launch all-out war against Helen Thomas and American Arabs
It is all out war between Jews and Arabs. Make no mistake about it. American Jewish organizations have launched a vicious campaign to silence Helen Thomas, the 91 year old, 80 pound champion of Palestinian and Arab rights who fearlessly has chosen to take on one of the most powerful organizations in America. 
http://palestinenote.com/blogs/blogs/archive/2010/12/09/
pro-israel-activists-launch-all-out-war-against-helen-thomas-and-american-arabs.aspx

Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

PCHR Weekly Report: Two resistance fighters killed; 6 civilians wounded this week
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the week of 02 – 08 December 2010, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that two Palestinian resistance were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. Another resistance fighter was wounded by Israeli forces in the central Gaza Strip.
http://www.imemc.org/article/60130

Gaza blockade over? Not according to the UN
The UN’s top representative in Gaza says building projects are being delayed because Israel is not allowing the free flow of construction materials into the territory.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/m8P8-CswEPE/
Gaza-blockade-over-Not-according-to-the-UN
 

Gaza facing ‘new electricity crisis’
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Energy Authority in Gaza blamed the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah for a reduction in fuel supplied to the Gaza power plant.  The authority said only 5,950 cubic meters of industrial grade fuel were delivered to the plant in November. Only one week this month did the plant operate with two generators.  In its statement, the authority held PA government in Ramallah “fully responsible for the suffering of Gaza residents for their falling short behind meeting residents electricity needs.”  “We are approaching a new crisis that began to appear with dropping temperatures and the increasingly cold weather which will the coming increase the demand for energy.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340653 

Gaza crossings closed for weekend
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s crossing points used for delivering products and raw materials will be closed on Friday and Saturday.  Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattuh said Israeli authorities informed him that the crossing will reopen Sunday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340689

Hebron child drowns in wastewater pool
HEBRON (Ma’an) — A one-year-old girl named Bara Sami Makhamreh drowned in a pool of wastewater in the town of Yatta, south of Hebron Thursday, according to police.  Police told Ma’an the girl was dead when she arrived at a medical center in Yatta. She drowned while playing in the yard of her grandfather’s home, police also said.  The body was handed over to girl’s family for burial.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340607 

They call them martyrs
They call them martyrs, their fallen soldiers, their sons, brothers and fathers. Engraved on the walls of the refugee camp are their names and messages from their loved ones. Their faces painted on the alleyways, their eyes dark and alive.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11665.shtml

And what will Santa bring the kiddies of Gaza?, Stuart Littlewood
So what sort of Christmas is in store for their little ones this year while the criminals who inflicted such savagery and torment, and continue to deny them their human rights, have their snouts in the Yuletide trough and enjoy a warm bed? The UN says that imports are only at 36 per cent of pre-siege levels, thanks to Cameron’s friends, and exports are still not allowed (except a few strawberries), so the hardship must still be unimaginable.
http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2010/12/09/and-what-will-santa-bring-the-kiddies-of-gaza/

Racism and Discrimination

Jaffa: Neighborly noise dispute turns nasty
Hundreds of Jaffa Muslims, Christians to protest against complaints from neighbors over noisy churches and mosques. ‘It’s an integral part of city, these complaints reek of racism,’ protesters say.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3997077,00.html 

Arabs on rabbis’ letter: We are losing our humanity
Arab local council members in towns where Jews and Arab live side by side refuse to remain silent over ‘racist letter’ signed by dozens of municipal rabbis, demand criminal inquiry. ‘Rabbis receive salary from state’ they said and called for apology or dismissal.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3996965,00.html 

Amid uproar, two rabbis pull their names from letter forbidding rental of homes to Arabs
Rabbis remove their signatures after ultra-Orthodox leader denounces the religious ruling.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/amid-uproar-
two-rabbis-pull-their-names-from-letter-forbidding-rental-of-homes-to-arabs-1.329751

Israel’s legal establishment to examine rabbis’ letter forbidding rental of homes to Arabs
In response to a petition against the signatories of the rabbis’ letter, attorney general’s office says rabbis’ statements were ‘inappropriate for public officials.’
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-s-legal-
establishment-to-examine-rabbis-letter-forbidding-rental-of-homes-to-arabs-1.329734

Violence/Aggression

Report: Two Gaza teens killed playing with leftover IDF artillery
The two 16-year-olds were playing with the artillery east of Gaza City when it exploded. 
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-two-gaza-teens-killed-playing-with-leftover-idf-artillery-1.329913?localLinksEnabled=false

Two Palestinians wounded by IOF bullets in northern Gaza
Two Palestinians were wounded Friday morning to the north of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip when IOF troops opened fire towards cultivated lands in the area.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87

Israel Expects Next ‘Big’ War on Gaza
Israeli army chief has proclaimed that the next Israel’s offensive on Gaza will be ‘extensive’, a Press TV report said.
http://www.imemc.org/article/60139

Detainees (held by Israelis and the PA)

IOF kidnap 9 Palestinians in W. Bank
The Hebrew radio said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Thursday nine Palestinian citizens from different West Bank areas at the pretext they were wanted.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87 

Police: Israeli army detains 5 in Dura
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers seized five Palestinians from their homes during a raid in the West Bank town of Dura Friday, Palestinian Authority police said.  Police said soldiers entered dura firing tear gas and stun grenades. The soldiers burst into the homes of several residents, including the houses of Mariam Rajoub, Mahmoud Roub, and Ahmad Amer Jad Allah. Soldiers detained Majdi and Mohammad Rajoub, Nasser Al-Awawdah, Raefet Rajoub, and Amir Rajoub after searching their homes, police said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340760

Witnesses: Israeli troops raid Kifl Hares, detain 1
SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the village of Kifl Hares, east of Salfit and detained a Palestinian man, witnesses said.  During house-to-house searches in the village, soldiers seized Jalal Abu Yacoub and took him to an unknown location, witnesses added.  Residents also said Israeli soldiers secured the village for a visit by a group of settlers, who went to a local religious site.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340739

Abbas’s militia kidnaps 28 Hamas supporters
PA security militia loyal to de facto president Mahmoud Abbas rounded up 28 Hamas supporters in the past 24 hours in the districts of Al-Khalil, Nablus, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, Salfit, and Jenin.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%

Hamas: PA detains 12 supporters
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces arrested 12 Hamas affiliates in the West Bank Hamas movement said in a statement Friday.  The statement said the arrests took place in Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, Qalqilia and Jenin.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340700

Israeli occupation releases prisoner four months after end of his sentence
Israeli occupation released on Thursday a Palestinian prisoner from the Gaza Strip four months after the end of his seven-year sentence.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k 

Sheikh Raed Salah to be released Sunday
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Sheikh Leader, a leader of the Palestinian community inside Israel, will be released from prison on Sunday after serving five months for allegedly assaulting a police officer, a charge he denies.  Salah’s attorney Zahi Nijiadat said a celebration will be held in the city of Umm Al-Fahm in honor of the release of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340696

Officials: No change to prisoner swap list
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Sources in the Palestinian armed factions holding an Israeli soldier captive denied rumors Friday that the factions had drawn up a new list of Hamas members to be freed in a potential prisoner exchange.  Officials in the factions said there was no change to the list of prisoners the captors are demanding released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.  Rumors of a change to the list were spreading among Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, Ma’an learned. Seeking confirmation of the reports, prisoners have been attempting to contact officials from Hamas and other factions on the phone, or through their lawyers and family members in recent days.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340781

Political Developments

“PA to Cancel all Security Commitments to Israel”
10/12/2010 “The Palestinian Authority will stop coordinating its security with Israel, in response to the US’s official announcement that peace talks have failed,” Al Quds al-Arabi reported on Friday.  Khana Amira, a PLO official, told the UK newspaper that the PA is also considering canceling its other commitments to Israel, including the Oslo Accords and the Road Map, which demand that resistance organizations will stop.  Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior PLO official and an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly plans to convene a meeting with the PLO and Fatah central committees on Friday afternoon, in order to make a new plan for the Palestinians.  Palestinian officials told Al Quds al-Arabi that they expect US President Barack Obama to attempt to restart “peace talks” between Israel and the Palestinians. “Maybe the meeting will give the American government another chance,” an official told the paper.  The Palestinians are also considering seeking the UN Security Council’s recognition of a Palestinian state on all the Palestinian territories that were occupied by Israel in 1967.
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=165291&language=en

PLO, Fatah meet on Israel talks
RAMALLAH (AFP) — Top Palestinian officials in the West Bank met on Friday about ways to revive stalled peace negotiations with Israel, officials said.  The meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Executive Committee and senior leaders of the Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas comes after Washington failed to get Israel to stop building settlements.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340800

No clear successor should Abbas leave the stage (AP)
AP – Washington’s Mideast peace efforts are in trouble as it is, but an additional complication is often overlooked: Should 76-year-old Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a heavy smoker prone to threats of resignation, leave office, there’s no designated successor and no agreement on how to choose one.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101209/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_palestinians_after_abbas 

Is Israeli Decision to Have PA Supervise Exports Out of Gaza First Step in Plan Revealed by WikiLeaks?, Alex Kane
Israel yesterday announced an expansion of exports out of the blockaded Gaza Strip, a small but welcome stepin the ongoing efforts to break the crippling blockade.  But perhaps that’s not the most important news to come out of the announcement.  What could have more significance is that Palestinian Authority (PA) “inspectors will begin to work in the Kerem Shalom crossing, and oversee the collection of import taxes and the export of goods from Gaza to the West Bank,” according to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz.  “This would mark the first return of Palestinian Authority officials to the Gaza Strip since the Hamas takeover in June 2007.”
http://alexbkane.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/is-israeli-decision-to-have-pa-supervise-exports-out-of-gaza-first-step-in-plan-revealed-by-wikileaks/

U.S. to push indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks following Mideast peace stalemate
Direct talks failed in late September after Netanyahu refused to discuss core final-status issues, particularly borders of future Palestinian state. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/
u-s-to-push-indirect-israeli-palestinian-talks-following-mideast-peace-stalemate-1.329771

State Department spokesman struggles to explain US settlement policy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPC3RuUx9j0&feature=player_embedded 

Democratic congressman slams Obama’s ME policy
Ackerman: Shift away from settlements creates an opportunity to focus on Iran’s proliferation threat.
http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?ID=198844&R=R1

US lawmaker hits move to recognize Palestinian state (AFP)
AFP – A senior US lawmaker on Thursday sharply condemned moves by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay to recognize an independent Palestinian state as “horrible” but ruled out diplomatic retaliation.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101209/pl_afp/palestinianmideastdiplomacyargentinauruguaybrazilus

Former European leaders call to confront Israel over settlement building
26 former top EU officials, including ex EU chief Solana and former German President Richard von Weizsacker, urge world powers to sanction Jerusalem for its refusal to obey international law.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/
former-european-leaders-call-to-confront-israel-over-settlement-building-1.329767

Assad blames ‘Israeli intransigence’ for failed peace talks
In Paris, Syrian leader says American initiative ‘has not worked,’ but adds, ‘Before we blame the sponsor, we should blame the sides themselves’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3997026,00.html 

Barak: Palestinians didn’t mind settlement construction during past peace talks
Speaking after meeting with UN chief Ban, Defense Minister claims settlement activity was 4 time what it is today during negotiations with former PA President Arafat. 
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/barak-
palestinians-didn-t-mind-settlement-construction-during-past-peace-talks-1.329834

Israel says it’s urgent to resume Mideast talks (AP)
AP – Israel’s defense minister says “it’s an urgent necessity” for his country and the Palestinians to find a way to resume negotiations on core issues leading to a peace deal.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101209/ap_on_re_us/un_un_israel_palestinians

Turkey lauds ‘new page’ in ties with Israel, but still demands apology for Gaza flotilla raid
Deputy FM Ayalon says Israel must not apologize for killing 9 citizens during Gaza flotilla raid, as this would invite international lawsuits.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkey-lauds-
new-page-in-ties-with-israel-but-still-demands-apology-for-gaza-flotilla-raid-1.329877

Other News

Poll: Majority of Americans favor U.S. role in resolving Mideast dispute
Politico – A poll to be released Thursday at the Brookings Institution shows that two-thirds of Americans polled believe that the Arab-Israeli issue is among the top five American interests in the world, while one quarter believe it is one of top three American interests.   The findings “are really striking,” the poll’s coordinator, Shibley Telhami told POLITICO on Wednesday. “The American public thinks this is a big-time issue.”
http://palestinenote.com/blogs/news/archive/2010/12/09/
poll-majority-of-americans-favor-u-s-role-in-resolving-mideast-dispute.aspx
 

New Poll Underlines Gloom Shrouding ‘Peace Process’
Hope among both Jewish and Palestinian Israelis that a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians can ever be achieved appears to be fading, according to two major new polls released here Thursday. A solid majority of 63 percent of Palestinian Israelis and a plurality of 47 percent of Jewish Israelis say they don’t believe that peace between the two peoples “will ever happen”, according to the surveys, which were conducted separately in October and November. 
http://original.antiwar.com/lobe/2010/12/09/new-poll-underlines-gloom-shrouding-peace-process/ 

Poll: Half of Israeli Jews hold negative views of Obama
German Chancellor Angela Merkel the world leader most admired by Israeli Jews, according to a poll released by Saban Center for Middle East Policy.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/
poll-half-of-israeli-jews-hold-negative-views-of-obama-1.329740

Israel’s unwanted citizens
Palestinian citizens of Israel are complaining about a string of policies, which they say are designed to drive them out of Israel. First, a bill requiring them to pledge allegiance to a Jewish state was passed by the Israeli cabinet. Now the Knesset is debating whether to stop Arab Israelis living in cities where there’s a Jewish majority. So who are Palestinian-Israelis and how did they become citizens of a State that doesn’t want them? Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpW409WOgwE&feature=youtube_gdata 

Poll: Israel’s Arabs don’t want to be part of Palestinian state
Saban Center survey shows 58% of Israeli-Arabs against annexation of Arab cities to future Palestinian state as part of territorial exchanges; 47% of Israel’s Jews believe peace will never be achieved.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3997051,00.html 

Over 10,000 march for human rights in Tel Aviv
TEL AVIV, December 10, 2010 (AFP) – Around 10,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Friday to protest against the rising tide of extremist sentiment in Israel that they warn is posing a growing threat to Israeli democracy.  The march, which organisers said included almost 1,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from Sudan, Somalia and other parts of Africa, was timed to coincide with International Human Rights Day.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340798

Speed guns replace AK-47s on the pacified streets of Jenin
Blue-shirted Palestinian police officers with a German-supplied radar gun were busy last week on a road in the northern city of Jenin. Until three years ago, when a law and order campaign was launched, Jenin was the most lawless city in the West Bank and no one then imagined it could become a venue for speed traps.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/
speed-guns-replace-ak47s-on-the-pacified-streets-of-jenin-2155855.html
 

Analysis/Op-ed

Obama’s Middle East Policy ‘Marked by Ridiculous Zigzagging’
The Middle East peace process has been left floundering after Washington admitted its efforts to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table have failed. German editorialists take a dim view of President Obama’s approach.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,733808,00.html 

The Netanyahu government got Obama to buckle on the settlements freeze. And now, Israel can look forward to a future of mounting isolation with no prospect for peace
Yasher Koach, Bibi, it looks like the White House has finally given up. For close to two years now, they’ve been hectoring you about a Palestinian state. First, they tried sticks: They worked to undermine you politically by letting Israelis know you didn’t have the president’s trust. Then they tried carrots: offering to double Israel’s stock of advanced jet fighters, veto any critical resolutions at the U.N. and give you carte blanche to build in the West Bank if only you’d freeze settlements for another three months and use that time to talk seriously about the borders of a Palestinian state. But you held your ground. You made it clear that you’d pocket the planes and conduct a three-month filibuster. No way were you going to be bullied into the kind of final-status negotiations undertaken by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert. And so the Americans caved. They’ve dropped their demands for a settlement freeze. They’ve stopped trying to orchestrate direct talks. They’ve gone into a fetal position. Am Yisrael Chai!
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-08/
obama-buckles-on-settlements-freeze-but-israel-heading-for-greater-isolation/

Remembering to Forget Israel’s Nonexistent Settlement Freeze, Peter Hart
The big news in the U.S.-guided Israel/Palestine talks is that a renewal of a so-called “settlement freeze” in the West Bank is basically dead. Ethan Bronner has a post-mortem of sorts in the New York Times (12/9/10), where he describes the backdrop for the previous round of negotiations:
http://www.fair.org/blog/2010/12/09/remembering-to-forget-israels-nonexistent-settlement-freeze/ 

Jim Crow journalism, now in the LA Times, Philip Weiss
This is my new hobby horse, Jim Crow journalism. Journalists never call American Palestinians or Arabs, they call Jews. Paul Richter in the LA Times does a piece on the collapse of the Obama initiative in the Middle East and quotes:  Jeremy Ben-Ami,  David Makovsky.  No Palestinians or Arab-Americans or maybe even non-Zionist Jews.  [end]
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/jim-crow-journalism-now-in-the-la-times.html

U of Miami to host conference on Walt and Mearsheimer to which the authors are not invited, Philip Weiss
Proving once again that the Walt-Mearsheimer LRB paper/book was one of the most important ideas of the last ten years in the United States. But it couldn’t be published in the United States. Only $250 to register! Only Afrikaners allowed! 
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/u-of-miami-to-host-
conference-on-walt-and-mearsheimer-to-which-the-authors-are-not-invited.html

CWP Report: “All out War: Israel against democracy”
CWP published a new report today, titled “All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy.” This comprehensive report documents the increasing political persecution of peace and human rights organizations and activists, and describes the connections between the assaults led by Israeli government officials, security forces, courts, journalists, and extreme-right organizations in this well-orchestrated offensive on democracy.
http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/12/cwp-report-all-out-war-israel-against-democracy/

The Mythical Power of the “Arab Lobby”, Stephen M. Walt
Keeping up with Jeffrey Goldberg’s errors is like trying to dam the Gulf Stream, and responding to his repeated smears is a mug’s game. I suppose I could quote a bunch of snarky comments about him too, and we could have a nasty blogosopheric food fight for the entertainment of our readers. But I prefer to focus on the issues, instead of the name-calling that is J.G.’s stock-in-trade.
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/12/09/goldbergs_latest_silly_sally 

The returning issue of Palestine’s refugees | Saeb Erekat
It’s 62 years since the UN passed a resolution on the rights of Palestinian refugees – rights Israel must recognise for peace.  Before his murder in 1948, Lord Folke Bernadotte, the first UN mediator to the Arab-Israeli conflict,stated: “It would be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent [Palestinian] victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine.” Lord Bernadotte paid for his candour with his life as Jewish militants assassinated him under the direction of Yitzhak Shamir, the man who would later become prime minister of Israel.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/10/israel-palestine-refugee-rights

Fearing end of ‘Zionist dream,’ Cohen says donors shut down debate inside Jewish community, Philip Weiss
Things are changing in the Jewish community. At Rabbis for Human Rights conference the other day, Rabbi Brian Walt spoke to me about what an amazing moment was the heckling of Netanyahu by young Jews at the Jewish Federation meeting in New Orleans. “Electrifying,” he said– and the message had gone out to Jews across the country. Roger Cohen in the New York Times has gotten the news, and says the young people were starting an “important” conversation. Here’s his careful piece on the politics of Jewish identity and the end of the Zionist dream. He mentions the New Orleans hecklers, also a young man Ira Stup, 24, who has visited the occupation and come home disillusioned. You will see that Cohen understands the Jewish identity role in the Israel lobby, and talks about “donors.” 
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/fearing-end-of-zionist-dream-
cohen-says-donors-shut-down-debate-inside-jewish-community.html

What Is The Peres Center Up To?,  Palestine Monitor
Last month the winners of the Danish “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” quiz show donated their winnings to the The Peres Center For Peace in Israel. On the surface they appear a worthy beneficiary, but is the Peres Centre as innocent as it seems? Clive Granger thinks not.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1645 

Daoud Kuttab: Now That the Carrot Has Not Worked Against Israel
If America joins the rest of the world in politically isolating Israel because of its refusal to adhere to international law, this will have a snowball effect that will most certainly lead to change in the Israeli political scene.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daoud-kuttab/now-that-the-carrot-has-n_b_794123.html 

Hussein Ibish And The Good Old Days, Ikhras
Hussein Ibish took a moment and less than 140 characters to reminisce about his past.  He didn’t want to concede he was thinking about a previous time when he was defending Palestinian rights so he mentioned it in reference to an article where his name appeared along with Ali Abunimah, writer, and founder of Electronic Intifada, and a pro-Palestine activist. 

That must have reminded Ibish of an earlier time and a different person than the one he now sees when he looks in the mirror.  In an obvious attempt to redefine the earlier version of Ibish and the basis of his previous collaboration with Abunimah he tweeted those were the “good old, long-lost, days when Ali Abunimah and I used to call out anti-Semites.”  Ibish has been reaching out to the pro-Israel lobby for a while and he now appears to have adopted the tactic of calling all anti-Zionist activists anti-Semites, which he clearly seems to be suggesting here.  Ibish’ newest associates and partners haven’t told him the anti-Semitic card lost its currency long before they became friends.Hussein Ibish took a moment and less than 140 characters to reminisce about his past. 

He didn’t want to concede he was thinking about a previous time when he was defending Palestinian rights so he mentioned it in reference to an article where his name appeared along with Ali Abunimah, writer, and founder of Electronic Intifada, and a pro-Palestine activist.  That must have reminded Ibish of an earlier time and a different person than the one he now sees when he looks in the mirror. 

In an obvious attempt to redefine the earlier version of Ibish and the basis of his previous collaboration with Abunimah he tweeted those were the “good old, long-lost, days when Ali Abunimah and I used to call out anti-Semites.”  Ibish has been reaching out to the pro-Israel lobby for a while and he now appears to have adopted the tactic of calling all anti-Zionist activists anti-Semites, which he clearly seems to be suggesting here.  Ibish’ newest associates and partners haven’t told him the anti-Semitic card lost its currency long before they became friends.

Hussein Ibish took a moment and less than 140 characters to reminisce about his past.  He didn’t want to concede he was thinking about a previous time when he was defending Palestinian rights so he mentioned it in reference to an article where his name appeared along with Ali Abunimah, writer, and founder of Electronic Intifada, and a pro-Palestine activist. 

That must have reminded Ibish of an earlier time and a different person than the one he now sees when he looks in the mirror.  In an obvious attempt to redefine the earlier version of Ibish and the basis of his previous collaboration with Abunimah he tweeted those were the “good old, long-lost, days when Ali Abunimah and I used to call out anti-Semites.”  Ibish has been reaching out to the pro-Israel lobby for a while and he now appears to have adopted the tactic of calling all anti-Zionist activists anti-Semites, which he clearly seems to be suggesting here.  Ibish’ newest associates and partners haven’t told him the anti-Semitic card lost its currency long before they became friends.

Hussein Ibish took a moment and less than 140 characters to reminisce about his past.  He didn’t want to concede he was thinking about a previous time when he was defending Palestinian rights so he mentioned it in reference to an article where his name appeared along with Ali Abunimah, writer, and founder of Electronic Intifada, and a pro-Palestine activist.  That must have reminded Ibish of an earlier time and a different person than the one he now sees when he looks in the mirror. 

In an obvious attempt to redefine the earlier version of Ibish and the basis of his previous collaboration with Abunimah he tweeted those were the “good old, long-lost, days when Ali Abunimah and I used to call out anti-Semites.”  Ibish has been reaching out to the pro-Israel lobby for a while and he now appears to have adopted the tactic of calling all anti-Zionist activists anti-Semites, which he clearly seems to be suggesting here.  Ibish’ newest associates and partners haven’t told him the anti-Semitic card lost its currency long before they became friends. Hussein Ibish took a moment and less than 140 characters to reminisce about his past. 

He didn’t want to concede he was thinking about a previous time when he was defending Palestinian rights so he mentioned it in reference to an article where his name appeared along with Ali Abunimah, writer, and founder of Electronic Intifada, and a pro-Palestine activist. 

That must have reminded Ibish of an earlier time and a different person than the one he now sees when he looks in the mirror.  In an obvious attempt to redefine the earlier version of Ibish and the basis of his previous collaboration with Abunimah he tweeted those were the “good old, long-lost, days when Ali Abunimah and I used to call out anti-Semites.”  Ibish has been reaching out to the pro-Israel lobby for a while and he now appears to have adopted the tactic of calling all anti-Zionist activists anti-Semites, which he clearly seems to be suggesting here.  Ibish’ newest associates and partners haven’t told him the anti-Semitic card lost its currency long before they became friends.http://ikhras.com/2010/12/hussein-ibish-and-the-good-old-days/

Fmr Israel ambassador Lubrani says using force against Iran would be giant mistake, Scott McConnell

I’m a sucker for the wisdom of old diplomats –  an establishment orientation I can never entirely  shake. So from one of the  Washington  centers of the neocon power yesterday morning—the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies conference on tightening the screws on Iran– it was a pleasure to hear a discordant voice. It  came from the former Israeli ambassador to Iran during the Shah’s reign, Uri Lubrani.  He is old now, white hair, nearly translucent skin.  In Israel, he is known as a sort of Mr. Iran. Later ambassador to Ethiopia, he helped to engineer the exodus airlift of Ethiopian Jews. 
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/fmr-israel-ambassador-lubrani-says-using-force-against-iran-would-be-giant-mistake.html

How many leaks does it take to become a threat to humanity? – By Stephen M. Walt
While the demonization of Julian Assange continues apace, the following thought occurred to me (it probably occurred to you already). Suppose a reporter like David Sanger of the New York Times or Helene Cooper of theWashington Post had been given a confidential diplomatic cable by a disgruntled government employee (or “unnamed senior official”). Suppose it was one of the juicier cables recently released by Wikileaks.  Suppose further that Sanger or Cooper had written a story based on that leaked information, and then put the text of the cable up on the Times or WaPo website so that readers could see for themselves that the story was based on accurate information. Would anyone be condemning them? I doubt it. Whoever actually leaked the cable might be prosecuted or condemned, but the journalists who published the material would probably be praised, and their colleagues would just be jealous that somebody else got a juicy scoop. 
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/12/09/more_on_wikileaks

John Pilger: Why are wars not being reported honestly?
The public needs to know the truth about wars. So why have journalists colluded with governments to hoodwink us?  In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a “war of perception . . . conducted continuously using the news media”. What really matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the adventure is sold in America where “the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences”. Reading this, I was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. “We had a secret weapon,” he boasted. “We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/10/war-media-propaganda-iraq-lies

FBI Spying on Muslims, WAJAHAT ALI
The recent arrest of the potential Christmas tree bomber is reflective of the FBI’s myopic strategy of using glitzy, expensive sting operations and dubious confidential informants to further erode Muslim American relations instead of concentrating on effective partnerships to combat radicalization. The FBI is promoting the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old Somali-born teenager accused of attempting to detonate a car bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, as a triumph of effective law enforcement. Instead, the operation reeks of gratuitous self-adulation, requiring 6 months of time and precious expenditures to “uncover” a dummy terrorist plot wholly scripted and concocted by the FBI in the first place.
http://www.counterpunch.com/waj12092010.html

Lebanon

Al-Akhbar update
Al-Akkhbar is now in control of the website.  But the website will not be available until Saturday.  An investigation is under way. You may read Al-Akhbar here
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/12/al-akhbar-update.html

U.S. Defense Secretary: Gulf Arab states back Iran nuclear sanctions
Robert Gates says Iran’s neighbors are concerned about Teheran’s ‘aggressive behavior’ with respect to Hezbollah and Lebanon.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/
u-s-defense-secretary-gulf-arab-states-back-iran-nuclear-sanctions-1.329922

US diplomat accused France of succumbing to March 8 – cables
BEIRUT: The US blamed Paris for succumbing to “shameless fear-mongering” and empowering minority MPs during Lebanon’s 2007 presidential impasse, according to leaked diplomatic documents seen by The Daily Star.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=122385 

Murr: Try those who called me a traitor
BEIRUT: Defense Minister Elias Murr called Thursday for the trial of anyone who labeled him a traitor after he was implicated in WikiLeaks revelations. “Who will try those who are accusing other Lebanese of treason only because they hold a different opinion?”
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=122384 

The Story of Elias Murr, Saboteur,  RANNIE AMIRI
When Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers crossed into southern Lebanon and were caught snooping around the village of Ayta al-Shab on July 12, 2006, it was the pretext needed for Israel to launch a vicious 34-day land, sea and aerial assault on the country. The offensive’s principal objective—the destruction of Hezbollah—was not achieved. Two years after the war’s end we now learn, thanks to WikiLeaks, that Lebanese Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Elias Murr gave Israel strategic military advice on how to finish the job.
http://www.counterpunch.org/amiri12102010.html

He is fed up: An Arab fixer leaves his job and writes about his own experiences
This Arab fixer,  Moe Ali Nayel, is mad as hell. He wrote to me about his experiences and allowed me to cite from his letter and to even use his name:  “Last month I had a terrifying experience as journalism betrayed me for the first time in my four years of working as a fixer. When I first met freelance journalist Ruthie Ackerman in a cafe in Beirut in early September, I realized that she did not know anything about Lebanon. Ms. Ackerman had arrived in Beirut to do a story on social networking, but it quickly became apparent that this reporter had not done her homework. Ms. Ackerman did not know who Hassan Nassrallah was. Ms. Ackerman did not know that Saad Hariri was the name of the prime minister of the country who’s coffee she was then sipping.  When, later, I took her to see a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut she asked, “Where are the tents?” Ruthie Ackerman’s ignorance of even the current status of a country she planned to write about was, in short, shameful.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/12/he-is-fed-up-arab-fixer-leaves-his-job.html 

Iraq

Unknown gunmen kill 2 Iraqi policemen
Unknown gunmen opened fire on Friday morning on a police checkpoint in Al Zohour District, central Tikrit, killing two policemen and wounding two others. A bombing in Al Ialam District in Baghdad wounded a police recruit. Police found the body of an unknown gunman in Al Mahmudiya District.
http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-57424-Unknown-gunmen-kill-2-Iraqi-policemen.html

Thursday: 6 Iraqis Killed, 6 Wounded
At least six Iraqis were killed and six more were wounded in light violence. Also, about 40 Christian families have reportedly left Basra for northern Iraq or Europe in the wake of anti-Christian attacks in Baghdad.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/12/09/thursday-6-iraqis-killed-6-wounded/ 

Iraq Christians mark 40 days since church carnage (AFP)
AFP – Dozens of Iraqi Christians overcame their fears and attended Baghdad’s Sayidat al-Nejat church on Thursday to begin prayers marking 40 days since Al-Qaeda militants carried out a deadly siege.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101209/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrestreligionchristian

UN asks Iraq to abolish death penalty (AP)
AP – The top U.N. envoy in Iraq is calling on the country’s government to abolish the death penalty amid demands by Iraq’s interior minister for the swift execution of terror suspects.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101210/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq

U.S. and other world news

Senate hawks push Obama on Iran
Prominent American senators have warned President Barack Obama he must demand that Iran halt all uranium-enrichment activities as a pre-condition to a deal on its nuclear program, something Tehran will never accept. By drawing new lines in the sand, the senators reflect the diplomatic missteps that have dogged US-Iran relations for years.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LL11Ak01.html

Dems outraged as GOP blocks 9/11 responders’ health bill
May be end of the road for $7-billion aid package to heroes of 9/11 Senate Republicans on Thursday derailed a bill to aid people who got sick after exposure to dust from the World Trade Center’s collapse in the Sept. 11 attack.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/gop-blocks-911-responders-bill/ 

Julian Assange Extradition Faces Hurdles
LONDON — Some of the WikiLeaks critics who cheered founder Julian Assange’s arrest may want to think again. The prospect of Assange being sent to Sweden in a sex-crimes inquiry may make it less likely that he’ll wind up before an American judge, something politicians and pundits including Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut have called for.  That’s because Britain has one of the most U.S.-friendly extradition regimes in Europe. Sweden, with its tough media-protection laws, may not be so quick to hand the 39-year-old Australian over.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/julian-assange-extradition-hurdles_n_794754.html 

Fresh attacks in Wikileaks cyberwar
The cyber war between WikiLeaks supporters and companies refusing to do business with the whistle-blowing site intensified tonight, with fresh attacks threatened against Amazon and PayPal.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/fresh-attacks-in-wikileaks-cyberwar-2155367.html 

Letters: Support for Assange
We protest at the attacks on WikiLeaks and, in particular, on Julian Assange (Report, 9 December) The leaks have assisted democracy in revealing the real views of our governments over a range of issues which have been kept secret and are now irreversibly in the public domain. All we knew about the mass killing, torture and corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan has been confirmed. The world’s leaders can no longer hide the truth by simply lying to the public. The lies have been exposed. The actions of major corporations such as Amazon, the Swiss banks and the credit card companies in hindering WikiLeaks are shameful, bowing to US government pressure. The US government and its allies, and their friends in the media, have built up a campaign against Assange which now sees him in prison facing extradition on dubious charges, with the presumed eventual aim of ensuring his extradition to the US. We demand his immediate release, the dropping of all charges, and an end to the censorship of WikiLeaks.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/10/support-for-julian-assange-wikileaks 

Report: Assange accuser flees to Middle East, may not be cooperating with police
Sweden withholding documentation on Assange probe: lawyer One of the two Swedish women who have filed sex complaints against the founder of WikiLeaks has reportedly left Sweden and may no longer be cooperating with the criminal investigation.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/assange-accuser-stops-cooperating-police/ 

Assange accuser ‘postponed’ Palestine trip
YANOUN, West Bank (Ma’an) — One of two women whose sexual assault allegations led to the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange recently cancelled a trip to the occupied West Bank where she planned to volunteer for a Christian organization, members of the group said Friday.  The woman was part of a group of five new volunteers slated to join the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in the West Bank village of Yanoun, but instead postponed her plans, said Sue Beardon, who works with the group in the village.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340759

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Julian Assange is Not a Terrorist
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will remain in a London prison until a British court takes up a Swedish request for extradition for questioning on sexual crime allegations. An international group of former intelligence officers and ex-government officials have released a statement in support of Assange. We speak to one of the signatories, Daniel Ellsberg, the famous whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in 1971. “If I released the Pentagon Papers today, I would be called a terrorist,” Ellsberg says. “Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are no more terrorists than I am, and I am not.”
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/10/whistleblower_daniel_ellsberg_julian_assange_is

Hackers rally to support WikiLeaks: Top 5 recent attacks
In an effort nicknamed “Operation Payback,” a loose association of hackers called “Anonymous” has been targeting the websites of companies and organizations that have cut ties with WikiLeaks by overwhelming their sites with traffic, prompting them to shut down. Twitter and Facebook have blocked accounts for Anonymous, citing the illegality of their attacks as a terms-of-service violation. WikiLeaks’ Facebook and Twitter accounts remain up and running.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/PK1WaCdG6JQ/
Hackers-rally-to-support-WikiLeaks-Top-5-recent-attacks
 

UN human rights chief voices concern at reported ‘cyber war’ against WikiLeaks
The United Nations human rights chief voiced concern today over reported ‘cyber war’ pressure on private companies to sever links with the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, saying this could amount to attempted censorship in breach of international covenants.  “If WikiLeaks has committed any recognizable illegal act, then this should be handled through the legal system, and not through pressure and intimidation, including on third parties,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said of the reported pressure on banks, credit card companies and internet service providers to stop hosting and close down donation credit lines to the website that has released thousands of secret United States documents. 
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MUMA-8BZ4D2?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P 

Russia’s Putin raps U.S. over leaked cables
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attacked the United States on Thursday over secret U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, saying the West had no right to preach to Russia about democracy.  When asked about cables which cast him as Russia’s “alpha-dog” ruler, Putin asked: “Do you think the American diplomatic service is a crystal clean source of information? Do you think so?”  He then criticized the West over the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who turned himself in to authorities in Britain this week after a warrant by a Swedish prosecutor who wants to question him about sexual misconduct accusations.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/russias-putin-raps-leaked-cables/ 

US embassy cables: Mubarak: Egypt’s president-for-life
1. (S/NF) Introduction: President Mubarak last visited Washington in April 2004, breaking a twenty year tradition of annual visits to the White House. Egyptians view President Mubarak’s upcoming meeting with the President as a new beginning to the U.S.-Egyptian relationship that will restore a sense of mutual respect that they believe diminished in recent years. President Mubarak has been encouraged by his initial interactions with the President, the Secretary, and Special Envoy Mitchell, and understands that the Administration wants to restore the sense of warmth that has traditionally characterized the U.S.-Egyptian partnership. The Egyptians want the visit to demonstrate that Egypt remains America’s “indispensible Arab ally,” and that bilateral tensions have abated. President Mubarak is the proud leader of a proud nation. He draws heavily from his own long experience in regional politics and governance as he assesses new proposals and recommendations for change.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/207723 

Saudi businessman and media mogul, Saleh Kamil on his links with Bin Laden
Pro-House of Saud, Saudi businessman Salih Kamil (who owns ART networks among other things) explicitlysaid on Al-Arabiyya TV (the station of King Fahd brother-in-law which is now run by Prince `Azzuz) that he has had “social and practical” relationship with Usamah Bin Ladin.  Those are the House of Saud and their friends.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/12/saudi-businessman-and-media-mogul-saleh.html

WikiLeaks Exposes US Attempt To Trade Sunken Gold for Nazi Loot
(Source: ARTINFO) MADRID– An underwater treasure. A looted Impressionist masterpiece. Diplomatic intrigue. Nazis. It all sounds like the plot of a Clive Cussler novel. But no, these are the components of the latest real-life revelation from the WikiLeaks cables. All these things collided in 2008, when diplomats were hunting for solutions to two very different cultural restitution cases and sought a clandestine compromise, according to thelatest of the leaked dispatches highlighted by the Guardian.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/wikileaks-exposes-us-atte_n_794750.html

Spanish town becomes first to ban face-covering veils
Lleida approves municipal ban on burqas, niqabs because they ‘attack equality between men and women and are against women’s dignity’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3997081,00.html

Iran denies freeing condemned woman
Press TV denies reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death by stoning, has been freed by regime.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2010/12/201012106412230968.html


www.TheHeadlines.org
=========================

P. O. Box 38712 East Jerusalem 91386 l tel +972 (0)2 582 9962 l fax +972 (0)2 582 5841 l ochaopt@un.org l 

www.ochaopt.org

 

UNITED NATIONS

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

occupied Palestinian territory

PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS

1-7 December 2010

West Bank

http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_protection_of_civilians_weekly_report_2010_12_7_English.pdf

 

http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_protection_of_civilians_weekly_report_2010_12_7_Hebrew.pdf

 

[The graphs and other elements are better via the link, but the copy below also gives you an idea of conditions in Gaza. Dorothy]

 

Four Palestinians injured by Israeli forces

During the week, Israeli forces injured four Palestinians, compared to eleven last week. Since the beginning of 2010, Israeli forces have injured 1,089 Palestinians, the majority of whom were wounded in East Jerusalem clashes (over 50 percent) and during weekly demonstrations in other areas of the West Bank (30 percent). In comparison, a total of 775 Palestinians were injured during the equivalent period in 2009.

In two separate incidents, four Palestinians were injured in An Nabi Saleh village in the Ramallah area. One was injured when Israeli forces clashed with villagers attempting to prevent dozens of settlers from entering the village. The other three Palestinians were injured in a weekly demonstration that took place against the expansion of the Hallamish settlement in the area. A number of houses also sustained damage during the protest. Other weekly protests continued this week, with no injuries reported.

These included demonstrations against the construction of the Barrier (Bil’in and Ni’lin villages) in the Ramallah area, and against restrictions on access to land (Beit Ummar village) in the Hebron area.

Also this week, an Israeli security guard was injured near the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in the Jerusalem area when Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israel‐plated vehicle driving on a nearby road.

Israeli forces conducted 83 search and arrest operations in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), compared to a weekly average of 90 such operations in 2010.

Since 8 December :

  • The Israeli Air force launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip early Thursday morning after a mortar shell

fired by an armed group wounded an Israeli man near the fence. No Palestinian casualties were

reported, but two schools and part of the Gaza Power Plant sustained damage. The schools are now temporarily closed and one turbine at the plant was damaged and forced to shut down.

  • The Government of Israel announced that it will allow the export of agricultural products, furniture and textiles from Gaza to the West Bank and foreign destinations, subject to security and logistical capacity.

  • The Israeli authorities demolished ten residential structures, 17 animal shelters and a school in Khirbet Tana village (Nablus governorate) due to the lack of building permits. Around 15 families, comprising 101 people, and 2000 sheep were affected. This is the third time since 2005 that this community suffers extensive demolitions.

  • Following five months of detention, the Israeli authorities forcibly transferred Palestinian Legislative Council member Mohammad Abu Tir from East Jerusalem, after an Israeli court ruled that he was not permitted to continue living in Jerusalem.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT

2 Protection of Civilians:

01 – 07 December 2010

UN OCHA oPt

Settler violence continues; some 150 olive trees burnt During the reporting period, OCHA documented three settler‐related incidents that resulted in damage to Palestinian property. Since the beginning of the year, OCHA has recorded a weekly average of six incidents resulting in injuries or damage to property, including the uprooting and burning of thousands of trees.

In two separate incidents, the village councils of Madama and Burqa villages in the Nablus area

reported that Israeli settlers from the settlements of Yitzhar and Homesh burnt 150 olive trees

belonging to the two villages. Since the beginning of the olive harvest in mid‐September, some 5,900 olive trees have been damaged or destroyed, and over 800 dunums of land have been torched, allegedly by settlers. In another incident, settlers from Asfar settlement in the Hebron area levelled land belonging to Sa’ir village over a period of two days. The work was halted due to a dispute over ownership of the land between the settlers and villagers in the area.

Also this week, a Palestinian boy, aged 11, was injured when a settler vehicle ran over him near the settlement of Kiryat ‘Arba’ in the Hebron area. A total of 19 Palestinians have been injured in similar incidents in 2010. Since the beginning of the year, one child was killed and 104 Palestinians injured during settler‐related incidents.

Demolitions and demolition and eviction orders in Area C of the West Bank

The Israeli authorities demolished a water‐well in the area of Ar Rashayida (Bethlehem governorate) in Area C of the West Bank, due to the lack of a permit. The well, recently rehabilitated by an international NGO, is used by five families (comprising 50 people) as a source of water for their livestock. 292 Palestinian‐owned structures have been demolished in Area C in 2010 (including ten structures demolished by their owners following demolition orders), 393 people have been displaced, and 1,200 individuals have been otherwise affected.

Also in Area C, the Israeli authorities issued stop work and demolition orders against five

Palestinian‐owned structures, including four houses (one under construction) and an animal shelter, in Nahhalin village (Bethlehem governorate). During the previous reporting period, stop work orders were issued against 26 structures, including 25 houses (three under construction) and an animal pen, in Qibiya village (Ramallah governorate). These are in addition to those reported last week. The orders affected 26 families comprising 134 persons, 83 of whom are children. In addition, the Israeli authorities issued an eviction order against 70 dunums of agricultural land planted with grape vines and almond trees, west of Dura town (Hebron governorate), belonging to three families of 21 persons. The order was issued on the grounds that it is ‘state land’..

Also this week, Israeli forces disassembled a tent and a fence, used to fence livestock, from the

Bedouin community of Um al ‘Obar (Jordan Valley). These items were confiscated, along with some fifteen feeding troughs. Most of the items had been provided by an international NGO after

structures were demolished in the same community in September 2010, on the grounds that they are located in an Israeli‐declared nature reserve. A total of 11 families comprising 60 persons, including 34 children, were affected.

Protection of Civilians:

01 – 07 December 2010 3

UN OCHA oPt

Gaza Strip

Two killed and six injured near the fence.This week, Israeli forces killed two alleged members of an armed group and injured six other Palestinians near the fence dividing Israel and the Gaza Strip. In 2010, 60 Palestinians (including 22 civilians) have been killed and 251 Palestinians (including 225 civilians) have been injured in the context of the Palestinian‐Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip.

On 2 December, Israeli forces fired mortar shells and launched an air strike targeting and killing two allegedly armed Palestinians near the fence east of Jabaliya. The Palestinians were reportedly spotted approaching the fence. In a separate incident, Israeli forces positioned on the fence opened fire at a group of armed Palestinians, injuring one of them.

Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to areas located up to 1,500 metres (an area comprising 17 percent of the Gaza Strip’s territory) from the fence remain in place and continue to result in injuries. In four separate incidents, Israeli forces injured five Palestinian workers, including one child (aged 17), collecting scrap metal near the fence. So far this year, 74 Palestinian workers have been injured in similar incidents. On five occasions, Israeli forces launched incursions with their bulldozers and tanks a few hundred meters into the Gaza Strip and withdrew after conducting land leveling. In two of these incidents, Israeli forces fired mortar shells into open areas; no injuries were reported.

This week, Palestinian armed factions launched a number of rockets and mortar shells targeting

southern Israel, including military bases located along the border. Some of these rocket attacks

reportedly took place in response to the killing of the two armed Palestinians; no Israeli injuries or damage to property were reported.

Gaza court sentences four men to death. On 6 December, a military court in Gaza sentenced four Palestinian men to death, three for convictions of kidnapping and killing a man in 2007 and the other for collaborating with Israel. Only one of the men is held in prison in Gaza. According to the Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR), in 2010, 12 Palestinians have been sentenced to death in the Gaza Strip. PCHR reports that a total of 89 death sentences have been issued in the Gaza Strip since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

Tunnels continue to claim lives. On 2 December, a Palestinian died when he was electrocuted while working inside a tunnel under the Gaza‐Egypt border in the Rafah area. In 2010, 46 Palestinians have been killed and 87 others have been injured in tunnel‐related incidents, including air strikes, tunnel collapses and other incidents of electrocution and the explosion of gas cylinders. Of these casualties, 17 deaths and 37 injuries occurred following the 20 June 2010 “easing” of the Israeli blockade. Tunnel activity has reportedly been on the decline since then

Gaza authorities suspend operations of youth forum.This week, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Maxwell Gaylard, voiced his concern about the forced closure on 30 November by the Gaza

4 Protection of Civilians:

01 – 07 December 2010

UN OCHA oPt

authorities of all Gaza‐based offices of the non‐governmental organization Sharek Youth Forum. Mr. Gaylard noted that “Sharek’s work forms part of the many important activities carried out by civil society organizations in the occupied Palestinian Territory promoting development and the protection of human rights.“ According to the organization, it serves 65,000 Palestinian children and youth in Gaza on a monthly basis.

Limited exports continue; wheat reserves continue to decline During the reporting period (28 November‐4 December), a total of 1,056.5 truckloads entered the Gaza Strip compared to a weekly average of 933 truckloads entering since the Israeli announcement to ease the blockade on 20 June 2010. However, this week’s figure represents only 38 percent of the weekly average of imports recorded before the imposition of the blockade in June 2007. Food items made up 45 percent of imports, compared to less than 20 percent of total imports prior to the blockade.

This week, Gaza exports were allowed out for the second consecutive week. Since the beginning of the export season for strawberries and cut flowers on 28 November, 19 truckloads carrying

strawberries (32 tonnes) and cut flowers (142,000 stems) have left Gaza. These truckloads are the first to leave Gaza since 18 April 2010. According to the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), an estimated 700 tonnes of strawberries and 30 million cut flower stems are due to leave Gaza during this year’s season. While Gaza is capable of exporting 2,300 tonnes of strawberries and 55 million flowers each season, during the 2009‐2010 season, only around 50 tonnes of strawberries and only one‐third of the 40 million cut flowers intended for export were allowed out, due to the ongoing restrictions on exports and the lack of necessary agricultural inputs. (see Latest Developments box for recent export‐related announcement).

Since the increased blockade restrictions on Gaza commenced in June 2007, only 690 truckloads of exports have left Gaza, all of which were strawberries and cut flowers. A monthly average of 1,086 exported truckloads left Gaza in the first five months of 2007 before the blockade.

Wheat reserves inside Gaza have continued to decline as low quantities of wheat are entering

through the conveyor belt at Karni Crossing. This week, the crossing was closed for a couple of hours on 6 December, following a shooting incident, where Israeli forces fired warning shots at a Palestinian near the crossing. This crossing operates only two days a week: one day is allocated for the transfer of wheat and animal feed; and the other for gravel for approved international projects. Prior to the 20 June “easing”, wheat and animal feed entered on both days. As a result, there has been a sharp decline in the volume of wheat grain allowed into Gaza. As of 5 December, there were some 1,630 tonnes of grain available at the six mills in the Gaza Strip and 106 tonnes of wheat flour at the local market, quantities that cover the population’s needs for less than three days. According to local sources, there are over 500 truckloads (19,540 tonnes) of wheat delayed and waiting to enter Gaza.

2,807

552

933 1,056.5

0

500

1,000

1,500

2,000

2,500

3,000

Jan-May 2007

(weekly average)

1 Jan-19 June 2010

(weekly average)

20 June-27 Nov 2010

(weekly average)

28 Nov-4 Dec 2010

Number of imported truckloads

Protection of Civilians:

01 – 07 December 2010 5

UN OCHA oPt

Power cuts remain close to 12 hours per day Imports of industrial fuel to operate the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) slightly increased this week compared to last week (1.23 vs. 1.16 million litres). The total provision of electricity throughout the Gaza Strip stands at about 40 percent below the estimated daily demand of 280 MW. Approximately 30 MW of power is produced by the GPP, as it continues to run one turbine only. 120 MW and 17 MW are purchased from Israel and Egypt respectively, providing Gaza with a total of less than 170 MW. This shortfall results in a daily average of power cuts of up to 12 hours throughout the Gaza Strip. On 7 December, three lines feeding electricity from Israel to northern Gaza and parts of Gaza

City malfunctioned. As a result, the affected areas experienced an almost complete blackout, which lasted for more than seven hours in northern Gaza until two of the lines were repaired. The third line, which supplies electricity to parts of Gaza City, could not be fixed due to access restrictions. The GPP compensated for the shortfall by using previously saved fuel, producing more electricity to supply the affected areas.

The ongoing power cuts affect daily life throughout the Gaza Strip, as well as the provision of

essential services, including water supply, sewage treatment and removal, and the functioning of health services. Access to running water also remains a daily challenge for the population due to power cuts. Ten percent of Gazans living in areas including Gaza City, Rafah and Jabaliya, have access to running water only once every four days (6 to 8 hours); 80 percent have access once every 2‐3 days (6‐8 hours); and ten percent receive running water once a day (6 to 8 hours).

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