Categorized | Nova Newsletter



Ethnic Cleansing / Land & Resource Theft / Apartheid

UN Report: Susiya Village Faces a High Risk of Forced Displacement
George Rishmawi – IMEMC – Susiya village`s 350 residents, 120 of the chilren, used to live in houses, but these had been already destroyed, reducing villagers to life in tents and tin shelters. Settlers living in the nearby settlement (which is called “Susya”) are not content, demanding that these too be destroyed and their namesake Palestinian village be completely razed. The military government is known to have given Susiya “a high priority for implementation of demolition orders”.
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Jerusalem Mayor aims to establish new settlement in East Jerusalem
About 200 new homes are being planned for the new neighborhood, known as Kidmat Zion, on a plot of land purchased by U.S. millionaire Irving Moskowitz.
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Israeli prime minister sides with settlers again
JERUSALEM (AP) — For the second time in weeks, Israel’s prime minister has sided with Jewish settlers trying to remain in West Bank homes they occupied illegally. Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government is dominated by hardline parties, was staunchly backed by political allies who want to cement Israel’s hold on land the Palestinians claim for a future state. His critics accused him of trampling the rule of law. On Monday, the military ordered settlers who occupied a house in the heart of the most volatile Palestinian city in the West Bank last week to leave the building by Tuesday afternoon because they had not received the required military approval to live there.
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Netanyahu asked Barak to delay evacuation of Hebron house
PM asked Barak to allow Jewish settlers who took over a house in Palestinian part of Hebron to exhaust their legal options; IDF previously gave settlers 24 hours to evacuate.
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Video: Israeli occupation forces violently evict Palestinians from Hebron house, Ali Abunimah
Video shows Israeli occupation forces violently evicting Palestinians from a house in Hebron last Saturday.
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IOF soldiers forcibly evict local, foreign activists from house in Al-Khalil
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a home in the Old City of Al-Khalil and evicted a number of Palestinians and foreign activists on Sunday evening.
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IOF soldiers raze Palestinian home, power network in Beit Jala
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) unleashed their huge bulldozers against a Palestinian house and electricity network to the west of Beit Jala town west of Bethlehem at dawn Tuesday.
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IOF soldiers bulldoze land, damage olive trees near Yatta
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) bulldozed Palestinian agricultural land and uprooted olive trees, some dating 30 years back, in Um Nir to the east of Yatta town south of Al-Khalil on Tuesday.
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In photos: Daily resistance in Jordan Valley
The school of Ein al-Hilweh is not an ordinary school: it is a way through which Jordan Valley communities struggle to remain on their land despite Israeli policy aimed at increasing control over this most threatened West Bank area.
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When Europe Develops, and Israel Destroys
RAMALLAH, Apr 3, 2012 (IPS) – The European Commission has released a document that lists projects it funded that were destroyed or damaged by the Israel Defence Forces between May 2001 and October 2011.
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Israeli authorities flout court order to provide Bedouins with water
Bedouin communities not recognized by the Israeli government not only face frequent home demolitions and land confiscation, but limited access to clean water.
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In the Shadow of Two States: Rural Electrification in the Occupied West Bank
Dan Rabinowitz – European Association of Social Anthropologists – Funded by international donations, Israeli peace activists so far helped provided solar panels or wind turbines to some 200 households in the semi-nomadic Palestinian communities of the arid South Hebron Hills – to whom the military government denies link to the regular power grid.
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“We are only guests in Lebanon” – Palestinians look homewards on Land Day
“We are closer to Palestine than ever before and our right to return feels within nearer grasp than at any other time,” said Abu Jamil, a 38-year-old from Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp. “In times of Arab revolts we know that our Arab brethren won’t forget about us and we are sure they will stand by us and join us in our struggle for Palestine and our right of return.” This reaching out by Palestinian refugees to their Arab brethren was a sentiment voiced and emphasized by almost every Palestinian with whom I spoke. Many called for support to resurrect the struggle for the right of return and reinvigorate of the Palestinian cause as a whole.
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The Exile of Hana Shalabi

Shalabi’s mother: Hana was subjected to harassment during her Strike
The freed detainee Hana Shalabi’s mother appealed on Monday to all international institutions and Egypt, as a mediator, to demand the return of her deported daughter from Gaza to her home in Burkin.
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On top of banishment to Gaza, Israel uses Twitter to further violate Hana al-Shalabi’s rights,  Ali Abunimah
In the course of illegally banishing hunger striker Hana al-Shalabi to the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces used Twitter to commit an additional breach of international law.
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Shalabi’s exile is extension of incarceration: rights groups
Hana Shalabi, held by Israel without charge was deported to the Gaza Strip on Sunday under a deal that ended her 44-day hunger strike.
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Hana Shalabi arrives in Gaza
Ma`an – While her release from administrative detention should be welcomed, the groups “are obligated to highlight their concerns with those aspects of the deal that are fundamentally at odds with international law.” The terms of such expulsions violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits forcible transfers and deportations.
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In pictures: Gaza welcomes Hana Shalabi, Joe Catron
Following a weekly sit-in by the families of Palestinian political prisons inside Gaza’s International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), hundreds rallied outside to welcome former administrative detainee and hunger striker Hana Shalabi to Gaza.

Gaza welcomes Hana Al Shalabi
The Israeli occupation authorities decided yesterday to expel Hana Al Shalabi to the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian administrative detainee, who has been on hunger strike for 43 days, will have to spend at least three years in Gaza before being allowed back to her home village in the occupied West Bank. Large crowds turned out in Gaza to welcome Ms Al Shalabi who, understandably, appeared weak and in poor health. She was handed over at the Bayt Hanun crossing between Israel and the besieged territory, and taken immediately to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for medical checks. Hana Al Shalabi was one of the prisoners freed in the exchange deal agreed between Hamas and Israel for the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Shortly thereafter, Israeli occupation forces re-detained Al Shalabi without any specific court ruling or charges against her. Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh visited Ms Al Shalabi in hospital and commended her heroic struggle against injustice.
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Haniyeh: Shalabi ‘broke the will of her warden’
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh said Monday that he would protest Israel’s decision to deport Palestinian prisoners in international and Arab courts.  Former hunger-striker Hana Shalabi, who arrived in Gaza on Sunday, was the latest prisoner to be deported by Israel under the terms of her release. Shalabi, who fasted for 43 days in protest at her detention without charge, is from Burqin village in the northern West Bank.
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Hana Shalabi: Not Quite Free at Last, Stephen Lendman
After ignoring her entire hunger striking ordeal, her lawless detention, and weeks of Israeli ruthlessness, The New York Times finally acknowledged she exists, but little more. On April 1, The Times headlined “Israel Frees Palestinian Detainee After Hunger Strike of Weeks,” saying: Hana “was released from an Israeli prison on Sunday and sent into temporary exile in Gaza under a deal reached with the Israeli authorities.”
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Gaza Siege

Gaza hospitals get fuel from ICRC
The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has begun distributing emergency fuel supplies to hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
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Mansy: We live an environmental crisis due to power outages
The Palestinian Minister of Local Government in Gaza Dr. Youssef Mansy affirmed that the power outage and the fuel crisis resulted in the suspension of many of the services provided by his ministry.
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Gaza authorities caution against ‘impending’ food disaster
Gaza City, Apr 3 (Petra) — Agriculture authorities in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday warned of an ‘impending food catastrophe’ as a severe energy crisis continued to hit hard the farming and livestock sectors in the Israeli-blockaded territory. The agriculture ministry in Hamas-administered Gaza said in a statement that a prolonged disruption of fuel supplies will cause losses estimated at one billion dollars as 140,000 dunums of produce plantations are at risk along with hundreds of thousands of poultry and dozens of fish farms. It said the crisis was obvious with the heavy damage sustained by agricultural projects and had also threatened the sector’s infrastructure, adding that total losses so far had amounted to $633,000.  The ministry said it was struggling to manage the situation and prevent further exacerbation, adding that it was in coordination with the energy and petroleum authorities to secure supplies and provide farmers and fish farmers with fuel to run their businesses. It also cautioned that fisheries would also sustain huge losses if the current crisis dragged on as the sardine fishing season drew closer. Tens of thousands of Gazans earn a living from fishing as hundreds of fishing boats are idly lying on the shores of the enclave.
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Israeli Terrorism & Aggression

Palestinian girl dies of wounds sustained last year
Four-year-old Aseel Ara’ara form the town of Anata near Jerusalem was pronounced dead on Tuesday of wounds sustained November 25, 2011, Palestinian medical sources reported.
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Video: Dozens of wounded and shooting at Erez border in Beit Hanoun
Today we joined the Global March to Jerusalem from Gaza.  Israeli soldiers shot continuosly, dozens of people injured, one killed. I made this small video during the march. Some young people show the blood on their hands. Some guys with two motorcycles carried continuously the injured people injured to ambulances. However the Israeli soldiers kept on shooting.
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Soldiers suspected of setting dog on Palestinian demonstrator at Kfar Qadum, 2012
On 16 March 2012, protestors at Kfar Qadum held their weekly demonstration against the closing of the Kfar Qadum–Nablus road. Clashes broke out between the security forces who used tear gas and “skunk” spray to try and disperse the crowd and demonstrators, some of whom threw stones at the soldiers. The soldiers then unleashed a dog. The dog attacked a demonstrator, Ahmad Shteiwi, and locked its jaws on his arm. After the soldiers freed Shteiwi from the dogs grip, they arrested him and his uncle, who had tried to help him.
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29 March 2012: IDF must stop unacceptable practice of unleashing dogs against civilians
During the last year, B’Tselem has documented eight cases in which IDF dogs attacked and injured civilians. In five cases that took place during April 2011, IDF dogs attacked and bit Palestinians attempting to enter Israel without permits via the separation barrier in the a-Ramadin area of the southwestern West Bank. B’Tselem petitioned the MAG Corps and OC Central Command to stop using attack dogs against Palestinians entering Israel without permits. Since the practice was publicized by the media, no similar incidents in the vicinity have come to B’Tselem’s attention. In response to B’Tslem’s complaint the MAG Corps said in January 2012 that the Military Police Investigation Unit is investigating the complaints.
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28 March 2012: Army dog attacked a mother and her 17 yr old son during an arrest operation inIdhna, 21 Dec. 2011
On Wednesday, 21 December 2011, just after 1:00 AM, soldiers came to the ‘Awad home in Idhna, a village west of Hebron, to arrest Samer ‘Awad, age 24. One soldier instructed Samer’s father ‘Issa ‘Awad, age 52, to bring the entire family outdoors and hand over his son’s ID card. The soldiers then handcuffed Samer and took him away.
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Swedish peace activist beaten up by Israeli Occupation Forces
A Swedish peace activist at the Land Day demonstration in Qalandia, outside of Ramallah, was arrested. During the arrest he was kicked and beaten by the Israeli soldiers. “It happened so fast, I never understood what was going on before I was sitting with my hands tied behind my back in a military jeep,” said Philip after his release on Friday evening. On Friday, demonstrations were held throughout Palestine and neighboring countries to mark Land Day, a day of remembrance of the fight against land theft in the Palestinian territories, an issue that is constantly present in the area.
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Qaryut: 8 year old injured by bomb planted by Israelis
Yemams father did not have time to respond to his son before the bomb exploded. Ripping through three layers of clothes and even more layers of skin, his father had to watch the tragedy unfold before his eyes. Yemam Mohammad Fatah Azam is just eight years old. He was enjoying a Friday afternoon with his father in the olive groves. Situated between the illegal Israeli settlements of Shilo, Eli, and Suvat Rachel, Qaryut is not new to military and settler violence. Yamam’s story however is the first incident of its kind and has shaken the community. As floods of school children come to visit Yamam in his home, it is clear that all the parents are aware that the bomb could have been in their loved one’s hands. The children show they are upset with a handshake and sit next to Yamam in silence.
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Video: Israelis violently attack Palestinians in Al Khalil home invasion
About 30 Palestinians and international ISM activists from Canada, Finland, United States and the Netherlands entered a Palestinian house that was taken over by Israeli army around eight years ago. The re-occupation of the house was an attempt to return the house to its rightful owner and was a response to the takeover of a Palestinian house on Shuhada street by settlers under the protection of the Israeli army and border police on April 1 2012.
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Relatives: Bethlehem worker assaulted in West Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A Palestinian worker from Al-Ubeidiya village near Bethlehem was assaulted by a group of Israelis in West Jerusalem on Monday, relatives told Ma’an. Ahmad Younis Slayyim Ubeidiya, 43, was on his way to work in the Beit Yisreal neighborhood when a group of ultra-Orthodox Israelis attacked him, his family said.  Ubeidiya was taken to Beit Jala public hospital with bruises and a fractured hand, they added.
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Jerusalem: Arab man assaulted on Light Rail
Two Jewish passengers arrested on suspicion they attacked Arab with wooden board over the weekend. Victim sustained light wounds, suspects deny allegations.
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Jewish settlers batter Palestinian citizens including two women
Jewish settlers attacked and battered four Palestinians from Salfit city in the road between Salfit and Ramallah provinces on Saturday, local sources said.
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More on the Barghouti attack at Qalandiya on Friday, Philip Weiss
On Friday we reported on an incident that has received a lot of attention, the injuries sustained by Palestinian leader Mustafa Barghouti during a Land Day protest at Qalandiya checkpoint. Barghouti told me from his Ramallah hospital bed that an Israeli teargas canister had struck him in the head. Others asserted that he was attacked when supporters of his group, the Palestinian National Initiative, clashed with other Palestinian groups.

IDF Creates New Artillery Unit to Shell Civilian Targets, Richard Silverstein
The IDF’s new artillery weapon, the Kidon Kasum (‘Magic Javelin’), designed for use in civilian areas. The title of this post is not exactly the title of the IDF press release that would’ve distributed to mark the launch of this new military unit.  But the upshot of the new unit and weapons it will use is correctly described in the title.
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Illegal Arrests by Israel and the PA / Administrative Detention / Prisoner Abuse

Israeli court extends detention of 30 Jerusalemite youths
The Magistrate Court in occupied Jerusalem has extended the detention of 30 Jerusalemite youths for different intervals during its late Saturday night hearing.
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Seventeen Palestinians Arrested From Beit Ommar in March 2012
Over the course of the past month, the Israeli army has arrested seventeen Palestinians from their homes in Beit Ommar, a village in the southern West Bank. Israeli Forces raid the village almost every night, often making arrests and ransacking homes. The raids have often targeted Palestinian minors, and activists and organizers involved in popular resistance initiatives against the Israeli occupation. Of the seventeen arrested, ten are under the age of 18.
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IOF soldiers arrest journalist, MP’s son
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the city of Nablus at dawn Tuesday and arrested Fadl Beitawi, the son of MP Hamed Beitawi, from his home, sources told the PIC.
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IOF soldiers arrest citizen during raids in Al-Khalil
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian citizen in Al-Khalil city at dawn Sunday, raided towns and villages near it, and searched a number of houses.
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Ramallah repression, As’ad AbuKhalil
“The Palestinian Authority imprisoned journalist Yousef al-Shayab Wednesday because of something he wrote, and because he insists on protecting his sources, say his colleagues. Al-Shayab hit back by announcing in court he would go on hunger strike.   Based on anonymous sources, al-Shayab’s January article alleged that the PA diplomatic mission to France was involved in spying on Muslim student groups for the benefit of “Palestinian and foreign security.” It also alleged that PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki helped cover up the scandal.  Al-Shayeb was first imprisoned in January, soon after the article was published in Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad. He was interrogated for eight hours, during which time they demanded to know his sources, said al-Shayeb’s colleague Fadi Arouri, a journalist who works for the Xinhua newsagency.”
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Hamas: PA security forces arrested 72 persons for their political affiliation
PA security forces in the West Bank continued, during the past month, their arrest campaigns against resistance movements’ activists and supporters especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad affiliates.
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Palestinian prisoners in four Israeli prisons on hunger strike
The ministry of prisoners said that Palestinian prisoners in four Israeli jails are going on a single day hunger strike on Tuesday as part of their protest steps against violation of rights.
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Khafsh on hunger strike for ten days
Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies, has been on hunger strike for ten days in solidarity with hunger striker MP Ahmed Al-Haj Ali.
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Khafsh: My cell is like a grave
Detainee Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies, described his isolation cell in the Israeli Megiddo jail as a grave.
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Solidarity / BDS / Popular Protests 

Palestine 5k aims to empower children, build community, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
Organizers of the Palestine 5k Run/Walk say that the third annual event will strengthen community ties and encourage Palestinian children to express themselves through writing and reading.
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Tibetan Refugees Support Palestinian Struggle
We, Tibetan refugees in Poland, stand in solidarity with Palestinian people in their non-violent aspirations to liberate the nation and end illegal occupation of West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip.
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Morocco: A popular march in solidarity with Jerusalem on Sunday
Morocco’s Justice and Development party called for a massive march in solidarity with Jerusalem on Sunday in Casablanca city.
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Four rabbis urge Christian churches to divest from occupation, Philip Weiss
Beautiful. A video of four rabbis, all members of the rabbinical council of Jewish Voice for Peace, urging Christian denominations to pass measures divesting from corporations serving the Israeli occupation. The United Methodist Church is set to take up a divestment resolution at its general conference in Tampa at the end of the month.
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Action: Support Church Divestment from Israel
Please consider this important and timely opportunity! See below for ways of supporting church divestment and consider attending the briefing on Wednesday, April 4th.
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BDS in the U.S.A.
“Starting Monday, March 26, the billboard financed by Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, IfAmericansKnew, and Deir Yassin Remembered will move to the western edge of the Detroit metropolitan area on Interstate 96 about a half-mile east of the Wixom Road exit, facing westbound traffic. This billboard continues to ask: “$8 Million/Day to Israel? 1-855-ITS-OUR-MONEY”. Tax deductible contributions to maintain this billboard are accepted at and Please note “Billboard Project” with your donations.”
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Activists post mock eviction notices in campus dorms to highlight Israeli home demolition policy, Noor Fawzy
Residential students at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida responded in shock, dismay, and intrigue last Friday evening as they learned that their dorms were scheduled for demolition.
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Land Day commemoration in Al Huda School, Khan Yunis
Al Huda School is a small, private primary school in Khan Yunis.  It serves about 400 students, a quarter of them orphans.  The school isn’t in the center of town, it is more out in the countryside. You look out the windows over fields of wheat and groves of olives.  The countryside is reflected in the building, nicely painted white and green with a large outdoor area for the children to play.  It has smaller classes than most schools in Gaza, only 20 to 25 students per class unlike the 40 to 50 that cram into UNWRA and government schools.  The classrooms are clean and stocked with books and supplies for the children.  Today, the school was showcasing their arts and culture program in honor of land day. They were doing art projects and put on a play.  We were honored guests.
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Land Day Picture Worth a Thousand Words, Richard Silverstein
Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words, at least.  In the case of this image by Reuters’ Ammar Awad, this one may be worth 10,000 or more.  It’s also instructive that the NY Times headline for the slideshow presentation of Land Day images that includes this one was: Protesters Scuffle With Forces.  I don’t see protesters scuffling with Israeli forces.  I see Israeli border police mauling unarmed Palestinian demonstrators.  I see them pepper-spraying one at point-blank range.  You might not notice that his head has already been bloodied as a result of the blows he received at the hands of these border police goons, known for their savagery against such protesters.
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Land Day in Lebanon: Within Reach of Palestine
On Land Day, hundreds in Lebanon answered the call for a symbolic Global March to Jerusalem by gathering at Beaufort Castle in Nabatieh, south Lebanon which overlooks Occupied Palestine.
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Harvard University makes aliyah
Peres to announce establishment of first academic campus in Bedouin city as prestigious US university staff vow to support project.
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SFO Jewish Library (you read that right– library) cancels panel on Jewish activism because participant supports boycott, Rae Abileah
I was scheduled to be a panelist on an event in May at the Jewish Library in San Francisco– “Reclaiming Jewish Activism.” After a library funder, the Bureau of Jewish Education, found out I was on the panel, the news traveled up to the Jewish Federation which put pressure on the Library to cancel the event because I was too controversial–apparently because of the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco guidelines re BDS.

Dear Red Hot Chili Peppers…
I’ve been a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers fan since I was 14 years old. The prospect of a live show in Israel has always been slim-to-non. I saved up some serious cash for their last slated show, way back when, needless to say I was heartbroken when they cancelled.
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Israeli youth today has no fear of saying what it really thinks about Arabs. The youth featured in the video below are not only are they happy when children die, but one girl said she has no problem with taking a weapon and killing innocent Arabs.

Hate speech: Stocking up fuel for murderous violence
Ami Kaufman has done the important work of translating a Channel 10 report on the vicious racism afflicting Israeli teens. The report was produced in the wake of the hideous commentsmade by some teens on the incineration of five Palestinian children in a bus crash in Jerusalem the other month. The first thing that comes to mind watching the video – in which some of the original teenage commentators are interviewed – is that they are no different from teens in any other area of sustained, protracted ethno-nationalist conflict. The other is that such discourse is nothing new in Israel, and is far from confined to teenagers.

High Court petition demands Culture Ministry halt government-funded performances in 110 towns.
Easter won’t be so happy for those who can’t worship in Jerusalem this year. The dwindling Christian community in the territories and East Jerusalem is considered a relatively moderate group. Few of its sons and daughters commit the sin of violence, and few occupy Israeli prison cells. Hence, the palm frond procession that marched from the Mount of Olives to the Old City on Sunday may provide a barometer for the Palestinian mood, in light of the current freeze in diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the leadership in Ramallah, and the reconciliation talks underway between the leadership in Ramallah and the leadership in Gaza.

Tough road to Jerusalem for Palestinian Christians
But in his way are Israel’s walls and bureaucracy that restrict him and other Christian Palestinians from entering Jerusalem. Unlike the 280,000 Palestinians who hold Jerusalem residency, he – like most Palestinians from the West Bank, Christian as well as Muslim – must get Israel’s permission to visit the city that is his cultural and spiritual home. But yesterday, the Khoury family was part of a group of Roman Catholics from Ramallah allowed in to celebrate Palm Sunday.
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Arab-Palestinian Citizens of Israel: Discrimination in Access to Health; Lower Health Indicators [This is from November 2011, but, I don’t believe it was posted at the time, which is why I am including it now.]
Since the founding of the State of Israel, the Arab-Palestinian minority in the country has suffered systematic discrimination as compared to Israel’s Jewish citizens in allocation of public funding and in access to services and conditions that are preconditions for a healthy life. This document outlines some basic disparities in allocation of specific resources relevant to health, and the resultant inequalities in basic health indicators, with special focus on the Bedouin-Arab community in the Negev desert in southern Israel, which has the lowest health indicators in the country. Factors such as poverty; discriminatory budget allocation; access to education, employment and safe housing; and access to basic services including clean water, sanitation and electricity, are known to be health-defining factors. Their restriction ultimately results in significant health inequality between Jews and Arabs.

Political “Developments” & Other News

ICC says has no jurisdiction in territories
International Criminal Court prosecutor rejects PA bid to file war crimes charges against Israel over 2008 Gaza conflict.
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Israeli, Palestinian officials hold secret meeting amid stall in peace talks
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is trying to convince Israel to set a meeting between a top PA delegation and PM Netanyahu, where Palestinian demands for continued talks will be presented.
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Christie in Israel on 1st official overseas trip
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kicked off his first official overseas trip Monday, meeting Israel’s leader in a visit that may boost the rising Republican star’s foreign policy credentials ahead of November’s presidential election.
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Palestinians honor columnist Helen Thomas
The top Palestinian envoy to the U.S. has awarded longtime American journalist Helen Thomas for taking a stand against the Israeli occupation, a senior official said Tuesday.

JERUSALEM – The only center for teaching Spanish in the Palestinian territories closes its doors next month for lack of financing. The Spanish-Palestinian Center in Ramallah, opened in 2009, has been financed up to now by Spain’s AECID development agency, but the money it has received will run out in the next two months and has not been renewed due to the lack of fund-raising drives for projects of this kind, the founder and coordinator of the center, Eduardo Ali, told Efe.

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Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest

Palestinian Women Take Charge Politically and Socially, Sophie Crowe
A conference took place on Saturday, 10 March, in Beit Omar in the Southern West Bank to mark the 101st International Women’s Day. The event, attended by about 400 people, was organised by the women’s committee of Beit Ummar’s Peace and Freedom Centre. Speakers included a number of Palestinian women active in empowering women politically, within the nation-wide anti-occupation resistance movement, and socially, encouraging and facilitating more independence for Palestinian women. A group of Israeli women working in civil disobedience within Israel also participated. One of the speakers representing Palestinian women was Ebtesam Zidan, the chair of the Palestinian Women’s Struggle Committee union, one of the popular organisations for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). She spoke to the Palestine Monitor about her work with women in Palestinian society.
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Former State Dep’t official says Obama calls for human rights and democracy are ‘undercut’ by position on Palestinians, Philip Weiss 
I spent a lot of time on twitter. I have about 27,000 followers around the world. Because it connects me to people of many different countries and many different beliefs certainly beyond my community in this town, but also the global academic communities. I spend a lot of time following articles and messages, and videos and personal testimonies about Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya. Whenever I send out a message about the suffering, the detention without trial, civilian deaths by armed force in all these countries, I now get messages back that say to me, What about the Palestinians? I am not for a minute going to say that there are no differences between what’s happening in Syria, in Libya, in Yemen, in Egypt. There are many differences between those circumstances and what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians. There are many differences. But there are some similarities. And when I hear back from voices that I can shut out here in Washington– I can shut them out in Princeton– but I can’t shut them out in an open forum where I reach out to the world, and the world answers me….

The Israel/Palestine conflict will be resolved when Arab countries kick the U.S. out of the region, Bruce Wolman
At the J Street Conference last week, Anne-Marie Slaughter participated in a panel discussion, “Can America Still Help to Resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict — and How?” Dr Slaughter, a former State Department official in the Obama administration, remarked that US “relations are strained with the old governments in the Middle East and with the new governments in the Middle East.” She went on to say “those governments desperately want us to engage in the peace process” and that increasing our involvement was the best way to improve our relations with these countries.
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Palestine Has Always Been Off the Agenda
It was recently noted, correctly, by Al Jazeera and the New York Times that the Palestinians and their situation have been “sidelined” and moved off the “world agenda.” On account of factors including US-Israeli tensions with Iran, unfolding Arab Spring developments, and the US election year, things have indeed been quiet, but more by a matter of degree. At the moment, the Palestinian national movement is simply further off the agenda, with the status quo firmly intact.
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Arab revolutions through Israeli eyes
Israeli researchers have been preoccupied from the very first days of the Arab revolutions to analyse the possible consequences for Israel; the Israeli establishment has not disguised its fear of the revolutions’ success. Perhaps the most important conference to discuss the revolutions was that organised by the Israeli National Security Research Institute in January; headed “Arab spring – a year has passed – a look at the future”, its importance was reflected by the wide participation of specialised and strategic researchers, as well as Israeli military leaders and decision-makers.
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Israel is a menace to US force protection
General Dempsey, according to my sources, reminded his Israeli counterpart that in 1991 and again in 2003, when the United States launched “coalition” warfare against Iraq, the US Administrations pressured Israel to sit on the sidelines, and pledged that the United States would guarantee Israel’s safety.  Apart from a few stray Scud missiles that hit Israel in 1991, the United States fully lived up to that pledge to protect Israel at all costs.  Israel, in contrast, has no capacity whatsoever to protect the 100,000 American soldiers who would find themselves immediately in harms way in Afghanistan if Iran chose to retaliate against the Israeli strikes.  The same is true for American soldiers and sailors in Bahrain, Qatar and other Persian Gulf locales.
‘Despite It All We Still Laugh’, Tamar Fleishman – The West Bank
This March marked the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria’s liberation from the French occupation that lasted one hundred sixty two years. Throughout the years of French rule, tens of thousands of immigrants from France and its neighboring countries settled on Algerian land and were granted a French citizenship, while the original residents of the land were granted no rights under the apartheid rule.
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They Shoot Youth, Don’t They?
On March 30, 1976, the Palestinian people declared a general strike and demonstrated against the Israeli confiscation of thousands of acres of land in the Galilee. The Israeli’s responded with violence, killing six unarmed Palestinian demonstrators and injuring hundreds. Every year Land Day is commemorated in Palestine in remembrance of those who would rise up to protect their land. On this Land Day, I was at Erez Crossing. Several hundred youth had managed to find their way around the Hamas policemen blocking the roads leading to Erez. At the crossing, they moved to within two hundred yards of the Israeli gate. There they found their path blocked by rows of concertina wire across the road. The shabob set fire to tires in the roadway and threw stones towards the Israeli wall, most falling into the roadway, well short of their target. Intermittently and without warning, the Israeli occupation forces open fire on the stone throwers. Each volley consists of one to three shots, and with each volley, young men fall. Others immediately retrieve them. Dozens of youth mob the wounded. Somehow they manage to carry them through the crowd and load them onto motorcycles where they are ferried to the Palestinian side of the crossing to waiting ambulances.
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Palestinian Hip Hop vs. Israeli Education System
Palestinian hip hop music vs. the Israeli education system. A startling review.
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Osama Abu Ayyash tells his story to Israelis who’ve never met a Palestinian
Osama Abu Ayyash visits Israeli classrooms, telling his story of loss and forbearance to humanize Palestinians to Israelis who may have never met one.
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Bahraini hunger striker on verge of coma
Jailed prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is in a critical condition and on the verge of lapsing into a coma after 55 days of a hunger strike, his daughter said in a statement on Tuesday. “He had two doctors accompanying him at all times last night, and today he is being moved to the fort prison due to lack of the necessary medical equipment in the central Jaw prison,” Maryam al-Khawaja said. “This is due to fears that he may go into a coma at any time, as his blood sugar and blood pressure have both further dropped.”
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Bahraini Hunger Striker’s Life in Peril as U.S.-Backed Forces Continue Anti-Democracy Crackdown
The U.S.-backed monarchy in Bahrain continues the crackdown on protesters, with reports of many injuries and at least one death over the weekend. We speak to Zainab Alkhawaja, the daughter of jailed human rights leader Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who is now on the 54th day of his hunger strike. Doctors say her father could go into a coma at any point, and she has called on President Obama to pressure the government Bahrain, its strategic ally in the region, to secure his release. “With one word from the American government, my father would be released. I am sure of that,” Alkhawaja says. “But right now, Americans are more — the American administration, not Americans, is more concerned with their interests than they are with human rights and the lives of Bahrainis and democracy in Bahrain.” Zainab herself is an activist and has been detained in the past for protesting, most recently in February on the anniversary of the country’s pro-democracy movement. She reads a poem she wrote about her father while she was in jail called, “The Sultan Digs My Father’s Grave.” We’re also joined by Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, who was just released from detention. A police statement said Rajab was detained on charges linked to “illegal” demonstrations. His lawyer says he may stand trial in the future.
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Bahraini forces attack, arrest protesters
Saudi-backed Bahraini regime forces have fired tear gas at protesters holding demonstrations against an upcoming Formula One car race scheduled to be held in the country.
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Bahraini police tear gas demo in Diraz
Bahraini regime forces have used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse anti-government demonstrators in the northwestern village of Diraz, Press TV reports.
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Bahrain lawyer: Leading activist could face trial
A lawyer for a leading Bahrain rights activist says his client could face possible trial on charges of taking part in anti-government protests in the Gulf kingdom.
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Bahraini villagers fear effects of tear gas
Many towns are blanketed nightly with the gas, raising fears of cancer and other long-term health problems.
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Bahrain youths protest against Formula One
Bahraini police fired tear gas and arrested demonstrators Sunday in two Shiite villages as protests were mounted against the Formula One race to be held in the Gulf kingdom, activists said.
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Protestor’s death and rioting rekindles Bahrain fears
While race organisers and Formula One officials have been upbeat about their decision to go ahead with the Bahrain Grand Prix in three weeks time, their fears that the event would lead to an escalation of protests within the kingdom appear to have been realised after a weekend of violence which left one person dead. Unrest on Saturday escalated after it emerged a 22-year-old had been killed after being hit by a shot from a civilian vehicle following closely behind the police. That triggered more widespread protests, some specifically against the staging of the race, on Sunday and police fought running battles to try to maintain control. They fired teargas into crowds and made a number of arrests.
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Bahrain Update
Angry Arab chief Bahrain correspondent:  “This is an update from a friend on the doctors case. If the government can’t even clear the doctors from charges, despite the international outcry, what do we expect is to happen to other less famous cases?: The doctors trial is still going on. The court requested the forensic records to evidence torture from the BICI but the BICI did not respond. The group of medics have suggested a list of internationally accredited medical professionals to hold the forensic tests for the torture victims as the court has ordered such test be administered. The verdicts are expected to come out after approximately three weeks and the doctors have not been able to practices medicine, some of which still cannot, for over a year now. The consequences are for those without private clinics is that they are not able to secure their license and being unable to practice for the past year along with however longer they are prohibited from it jeopardizes their medical licenses. Even those who might choose to leave the country and practice medicine elsewhere will have to re-pass some significant parts of the medical examination and accreditation process which also puts their career at a standing point. One of the doctors stated that the social, economic and legal effects of this are taking a toll on on their lives as their source of income is stalled, their families are severely affected, some are suffering from debts and fear the loss of their medical license after these trials. Moreover, Bahrain has such a limited number of professionals and this does not only limit the services provided for injured protesters but also for regular patients who need specific treatments that is provided by only a handfull of the country’s leading doctors, some of which are on trial since last year’s arrests. Apparently there is a 100% deficiency in the transplant department as well as 100% failure in the Neurology department since the Minister of HR & Minister of Health Fatema Albeloushi has attempted to make up for the missing professionals by promoting from grade 5 to 10 who are now failing to perform adequate procedures to their lack to experience on that level. Also, Mrs. Albeloushi attempted to hire medics from India which rejected so they requested people from Pakistan & Jordan.”
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Bahrain royal goons

From Angry Arab’s chief Bahrain correspondent:  “I’m really worried about AbdulHadi AlKhawaja. He’s been on a hunger strike for more than 50 days now. No one seems to care. I’m not really up to date with the news but as far as I know only AlJazeera English has written an article about him. It seems that he may slip into an irreversible coma. Here is an update about him: Also I think I told you last year about the armed gangs roaming around in Bahrain. Of course Bahraini civilians cannot own guns so these people are either in the security forces or military or were given arms by them. One of them has now killed a civilian.   Of course the Bassiouni report never investigated these armed baltajiya – I have a feeling that the government is gonna be using them more due to pressure on them to reform the security forces.”

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Bahrain: A Case Study in Despotism, Stephen Lendman
In summer 2010, sporadic protests began. By mid-February last year, major ones erupted. From then to now, they challenged repressive rule nonviolently. They continue daily. At issue is King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s regime. Bahrainis want democratic change, sectarian Shia discrimination ended, equitable distribution of state wealth, political prisoners released, and terrorizing stopped. They also want popularly elected leaders replacing Al-Khalifa rule. It’s despotic, ruthless and intolerable.
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Whitewashing the regime: Bahrain, press freedom paradise?
Inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, the people of Bahrain took to the streets on 14 February, 2011 demanding change. More than a year after protests began on Pearl Roundabout, the epicentre of the Bahraini revolution, many argue that little has changed for the better. For the press, this sentiment is echoed most acutely. A number of organisations have conducted missions and produced reports that investigate the state of freedom of expression in Bahrain, only to come up with one common result; things are getting worse. Journalists and human rights defenders have faced military trials, life imprisonment, torture, harassment, and in some cases even death whilst in the custody of the Bahraini authorities.
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Egypt Brotherhood under fire over president bid
The Muslim Brotherhood’s surprise decision to field a presidential candidate is stirring fears that the two biggest powers to emerge from the ouster of Hosni Mubarak — the Islamists and the military — are maneuvering to put in place a new rule in Egypt not much different from the old, authoritarian one.
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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood backs presidential candidate
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will field its Deputy Chairman Khairat al-Shater as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, despite earlier saying they would not seek the nomination, the group’s party and supreme guide has said. “The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) will nominate Khairat al-Shater as a candidate for the presidency,” the FJP said on its Facebook page. The 61-year-old professor of engineering and business tycoon will be standing in the country’s first presidential election since a popular uprising ousted veteran leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
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Israelis express fears about millionaire who may be Egypt’s next president
Will a 62-year-old engineer, businessman and father of 10 sons, who was removed from his university post by former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and was arrested by ousted President Hosni Mubarak five times, but is still considered to be a symbol of moderation in the Muslim Brotherhood, be the next president of Egypt? This is how Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper opened its report on Israeli and Western fears after the Muslim Brotherhood announcement that it will, after all, be putting forward a candidate, Khayrat El-Shater, for the presidency of Egypt.
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Egypt’s Copts latest to boycott constitution panel
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church has decided to boycott an Islamist-dominated panel charged with drafting the future constitution, the official MENA news agency reported on Monday. The agency reported that the decision was taken unanimously by the 20 members of the Holy Synod to remove the two church officials who sit on the committee. The church “considers it inappropriate to continue to be represented given the reservations of various political forces on how the constitutional commission was composed,” the report said.
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Inside Story – The Brotherhood’s quest for the presidency
What impact will the Muslims Botherhood’s decision to nominate Khairat el-Shater as a candidate in Egypt’s upcoming presidential election have? Guests: Yahya Hamed; Yehia Ghanem; and Khalil al-Anani.

Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution Episode2 | Sabah Ibrahim

The participation of women in the Egyptian revolution didn’t come as a surprise to us, nor do we view it as an extraordinary phenomenon. Women are part of every society and form a part of the social, political and economical spectrum. It is history that tends in most cases to ostracize the participation of women and keep them in the shadow while highlighting the participation of men and attributing leading roles exclusively to them. This is why we want to document and share Her-story. This project intends to shed the light on the participation of women and to document their experiences as part of the historical (herstorical) memory of the Egyptian revolution. We also view it as a tool for women empowerment everywhere and as a resource for researchers, students and everyone interested in the matter.


Rafsanjani urges better Iran-Saudi ties
Iran should forge better ties with regional rival Saudi Arabia and negotiate directly with the United States, a former president who now chairs an advisory body to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged on Tuesday. “If we had good relations with Saudi Arabia, would the West have been able to impose sanctions (on Iran’s oil)?”, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani asked in the latest issue of the International Studies Journal, a three-monthly Iranian publication.
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Iran attack would breach intl. law: Russia
Russia has warned that a military attack on Iran would violate international law and also lead to chaos throughout the entire Middle East and the South Caucasus.
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Turkey’s Erdogan: Israeli strike on Iran would devastate Mideast
Speaking on his return from a Tehran visit, Turkish Prime Minister criticizes world for keeping mum on reported Israeli nuclear warheads while sanctioning Iran for a peaceful program.
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Why Israel is even less likely to strike Iran now
Obama appears to be hemming in Israel at every turn. Case in point: A report in which unnamed US officials allege that Israel has obtained access to bases in Azerbaijan, on Iran’s border.
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Sign # 45623 that Israel will not Attack Iran
When someone discusses whether or not Obama or Netanyahu will attack Iran, two things always should be kept in mind: there is next to no chance that an Israeli leader will do anything without an implied American green light, and America is already attacking Iran, and the currently unmeetable challenge is to get it to stop doing so. .
Obama’s War on Iran, Steve Lendman
Washington’s war on Iran includes cyber attacks, other sabotage, targeted assassinations, deadly explosions, sophisticated satellite, drone, and other type spying, bogus accusations, a virtual blockade, hostile saber rattling, multiple rounds of sanctions, and attempts to cripple its central bank and oil industry. Targeting its nuclear industry is a red herring. At issue is replacing an independent regime with a pro-Western one. All options are considered, including war. If others fail, expect it, perhaps with nuclear weapons targeting its underground facilities. The potential consequences are unthinkable.
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Qatar rejects Iraq’s call to extradite VP

Doha refuses to send Tareq al-Hashemi, an Iraqi politician accused of running death squads, to Baghdad to stand trial.
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Qatar: Iraq’s fugitive VP arrives for visit
Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi traveled to Qatar on Sunday on what the Gulf nation’s state news agency called an “official visit.” The trip could intensify tensions between Baghdad’s Shiite-led government and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf.
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Iraq demands Qatar hand over VP
Iraq has demanded Qatar hand over fugitive Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi after he began what the emirate described as an “official visit”.
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“Curveball” confesses to lying about WMDs, Issandr El Amrani
Man whose WMD lies led to 100,000 deaths confesses all – The Independent
A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow. But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of it was true. When it is put to him “we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, he simply replies: “Yes.”
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Saudi Arabia

Saudis urge release of injured activist
Protesters have held demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province to demand the release of a detained human rights activist, shot and injured by security forces before being arrested in March.
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The Draft Anti-Terrorism Law in Saudi Arabia: Legalizing the Abrogation of Civil Liberties, Saleh Al Amer
In July 2011, Amnesty International published a leaked copy of the draft Saudi Arabian Penal Law for Terrorism Crimes and Financing of Terrorism. This Anti-Terror Law, which grants the Ministry of Interior unprecedented levels of authority and discretion in intelligence gathering, policing, and detention, has already been reviewed by the Security Committee of the Consultative Council (Majlis al-Shura) and the Committee of Experts in the Ministers’ Council, and awaits final approval for its enactment. Given the recent appointment of the Interior Minister Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz as the new Crown Prince, it seems likely that the law will soon be adopte
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UN team expected in Syria within 48 hours
Peacekeeping unit scheduled to arrive for ceasefire monitoring mission that would have 200 to 250 unarmed observers.
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Syria ‘agrees’ ceasefire deadline
Syria accepts a deadline of 10 April to begin implementing a six-point peace plan, UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan tells the UN Security Council.
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Syrian forces storm rebel areas, torch homes
The Syrian government sent troops backed by tanks into rebellious areas Monday, hunting down activists and torching their homes and bulldozing others, opposition groups said.
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Syria Dismisses Notions of Foreign Intervention
On Monday, Syrian authorities dismissed the weekend’s “Friends of Syria” conference as “another failure,” while activists reported continued fighting in several parts of the country.
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Russian destroyer heads for Syria port
A Russian navy destroyer will dock at the Syrian port of Tartus in the coming days after setting out on a planned mission to the region, agencies quoted military officials as saying on Monday., The Smetlivy guided-missile destroyer sailed for the Mediterranean from its Black Sea base of Sevastopol over the weekend and will shortly arrive at the Russian-leased port in Syria, state news agency and other reports said., The ship will take on new supplies of food and water before conducting planned exercises near Syria’s coast, navy officials said.
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The Lede Blog: Citizen Journalist in Syria Is Captured and Tortured, Activists Say
A citizen journalist in Syria who has been instrumental in assisting those covering the conflict in Homs has been seized and perhaps tortured by the Syrian government, an activist told CNN on Saturday.
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Syrian doctors speaks of horrors faced by civilians
Dr. Mousa al-Kurdi is a consultant physician from Syria and the Chairman of the Arab Institute for Clinical Excellence. He addressed the Friends of Syria summit on what he witnessed recently in Damascus and Homs.
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An Executioner for Syria’s Rebels Tells His Story
Hussein can barely remember the first time he executed someone. It was probably in a cemetery in the evening, or at night; he can’t recall exactly. It was definitely mid-October of last year, and the man was Shiite, for sure. He had confessed to killing women — decent women, whose husbands and sons had protested against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. So the rebels had decided that the man, a soldier in the Syrian army, deserved to die, too.Hussein didn’t care if the man had been beaten into a confession, or that he was terrified of death and had begun to stammer prayers. It was his tough luck that the rebels had caught him. Hussein took out his army knife and sliced the kneeling man’s neck. His comrades from the so-called “burial brigade” quickly interred the blood-stained corpse in the sand of the graveyard west of the Baba Amr area of the rebel stronghold of Homs. At the time, the neighborhood was in the hands of the insurgents.
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Syria rebel fighters ‘to be paid’
The opposition Syrian National Council says rebels fighting the government in Syria will receive salaries, reportedly paid for by wealthy Gulf states.
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Lebanese and the Conflict in Syria, Asad AbuKhalil
There should be a moratorium imposed on all Lebanese statements regarding Syria. Of course, some statements are more vulgar and more crude than others. Walid Jumblatt – as always – deserves the award for the most opportunistic shifts and transformations in a matter of months.
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Tunisia Islamist leader rules out normal ties with Israel
The head of Tunisia’s governing Islamist party has said the country cannot normalise ties with Israel, the official TAP news agency reported Sunday.
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Criminalizing normalization with Israel

You won’t read in the Western press about a demonstration in Tunisia (bigger than the Youtube demonstrations that are promoted in Western media) which called for criminalizing normalization with Israel.  It seems that Tunisian uprising–like Egyptian uprising–indeed have foreign policy goals.

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Al-Ghannouchi says a threat to Palestine is a threat to all Muslim countries
The head of Tunisia’s Al-Nahda (Renaissance) movement, Rashid Al-Ghannouchi, has said that his country’s January 14 revolution was not only against injustice, tyranny and corruption. It was also, he said, against what he called the “suspicious links” of the former regime, especially with Israel. This was a reference to Israel’s assassination of some Palestinian leaders on Tunisian territory.
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Other Mideast News

Survivors of Kandahar villages massacre speak to western journalist, Roqayah Chamseddine
Yalda Hakim of Australia’s SBS network is the first western journalist to visit the villages of Kandahar, Afghanistan, where 17 people were killed in a massacre this month. Survivors of the attack allege that there was not simply one “rogue soldier”, US Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the story the mainstream media is peddling; instead, the survivors, some of whom are children, claim there were more soldiers present that bloody morning “Do you know where your father is?” a voice off-screen asks. “He died”, replies the small Afghan child. “How did he die?” “The Americans.”

Polish PM Reveals that US Tortured at Black Sites in his Country, Juan Cole
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk is now more or less admitting what has long been suspected: The Bush administration established a secret CIA prison in Poland and had Polish security officials help torture al-Qaeda suspects there. These steps were unconstitutional in Poland on two grounds: first, high Polish officials surrendered sovereignty over Polish territory to the US Central Intelligence Agency. Second, torture is forbidden in Poland. In addition, it contravenes European Union conventions and treaties.
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