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Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles

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International Middle East Media Center

Detention Extended for 4 Jerusalemites, 2 Released
IMEMC - The Israeli Magistrate Court’s judge, in occupied Jerusalem, extended the detention of four Jerusalemite prisoners, releasing two with conditions. ...

3 Palestinians Kidnapped, 10 Others Detained Near Hebron
IMEMC - Army declares Howwara a closed area The Israeli army, on Friday, abducted three Palestinians and detained ten others during a raid campaign carried out in the village of Beit Awa, west of Hebron. ...

Vandals Torch Mosque in Umm al-Fahm
IMEMC - Suspected Jewish vandals, on Friday, set fire to a mosque and sprayed racist graffiti in the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm, on the border of the West Bank, according to an Israeli police spokesman. ...

Journalist Majd Kayyal Released
IMEMC - Journalist Majd Kayyal was released from detention Thursday, April 17, by Israel’s secret police, who held him incommunicado since his arrest on Saturday, upon his return from Lebanon. ...

UN Official Pledges to Lift the Siege on Gaza
IMEMC - The new Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krahenbuhl pledged, yesterday, to defend Gaza and to work hard to end the blockade. ...

Ministry of Education Holds Sit-in to Mark Prisoners Day
IMEMC - Large numbers of students from different schools, Thursday morning, participated in a sit-in organized by the Ministry of Education in Gaza, to mark the Prisoners’ Day, on April 17. ...

Statement by Erekat Marking the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner
IMEMC - A staggering 800,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces since 1967. 5224 remain incarcerated today, including administrative, sick, female and children detainees. These numbers reflect one of the worst experiences of imprisonment in contemporary history, designed to break the will of an entire nation seeking freedom. ...

Israeli Forces, Palestinians Clash South of Bethlehem
IMEMC - Several Palestinians were injured, on Thursday, during clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the Bethlehem village of Tuqu, locals said. ...

Administrative Detainees To Launch Hunger Strike April 24
IMEMC - [Thursday, April 17, 2014] Palestinian detainees, held by Israeli under arbitrary Administrative Detention order, without charges or trial, said they intend to launch an open-ended hunger strike, starting next Thursday, April 24. ...

Army Kidnaps Eight Palestinians In The West Bank
IMEMC - [Thursday, April 17, 2014] Israeli soldiers invaded various Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank, broke into homes and searched them, installed roadblocks and kidnapped at least eight young Palestinian men. The army also attacked and detained teachers and students in a Hebron school. ...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Dispute over Arak reactor virtually solved, Iran official says
Ha'aretz - Iran proposes to raise number of centrifuges to 20,000 for a period of five years in order to power Bushehr facility.

U.S. intelligence objects to visa waiver for Israelis
Ha'aretz - Allowing entry to Israelis without visa would make it easier for Israeli spies, the House Judiciary Committee was warned, according to a report in Roll Call.

Lieberman: EU's Ashton doesn't understand world's problems
Ha'aretz - Foreign minister blasts EU foreign policy chief for expressing concern over Israel's planned appropriation of land in the West Bank.

Hezbollah members arrested in Thailand admit to planning attack on Israeli tourists
Ha'aretz - Both men, Lebanese nationals, are thought to belong to a larger terror cell; Bangkok police make arrests after receiving information from Israeli intelligence.

Why training will be the IDF's next big battle
Ha'aretz - As the 2013 budgetary skirmish led to a sharp cut in army training, commanders warn that improvising short exercises is not a long-term solution.

Ten Palestinians wounded in Hebron Prisoners Day clashes
Ha'aretz - Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat: Israel has imprisoned over 800,000 Palestinians since 1967.

Israel's double standard on reporters visiting enemy states
Ha'aretz - I traveled to Tunis, reported from the heart of Baghdad, toured Lebanon and no Shin Bet agent ever questioned me; I'm no exception.

Kerry looks to ease restrictions for visa-seeking young Israelis
Ha'aretz - State Department seeking to 'make every effort to maximize the number of young Israelis able to travel to the United States.’

Israeli Arab journalist arrested upon return from Beirut visit
Ha'aretz - 'I don't see Lebanon as an enemy country,' says Majd Kaayal, activist who attended 40-year anniversary bash by Lebanese paper for which he writes.

Over 800,000 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel since 1967, says Erekat
Ha'aretz - Currently, 5,224 in jails as Prisoners Day marked in territories.

Abbas: Willing to extend talks, but first three months must focus on borders
Ha'aretz - Palestinian presidents tells Israeli MKs that he supports pushing negotiations on for another nine months, but says settlements must be halted as borders of Palestinian state drawn.

PA to fall by end of year, says Palestinian minister
Ha'aretz - Talk is of 'handing Israel back the keys,' says Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud al-Habash.

Ma'an News

Suspected Jewish extremists torch mosque in northern Israel
4/18/2014 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Suspected Jewish extremists set fire to a mosque and sprayed racist graffiti in the town of Umm al-Fahm on Friday, an Israeli police spokesman said. Mickey Rosenfeld told Ma'an that there was "damage to the front door of the mosque and graffiti found on nearby walls."Israeli police and border police arrived at the scene and are investigating the....

Israeli forces wound Palestinian in shooting near Jabaliya
4/18/2014 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man near Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday. Spokesman for the Gaza Strip Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said that a 24-year-old man was shot by Israeli forces east of Jabaliya and was subsequently transferred to Kamal Adwan Hospital. Al-Qidra described the injuries sustained by the man as "moderate."She....

Israeli forces raid Hebron village municipality, seize hard drive
4/18/2014 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Friday raided the municipality building of a Hebron village and seized a hard drive containing footage from security cameras, local officials said. Idhna village spokesman Abdul Rahman al-Tumeizi told Ma'an that five military jeeps carrying dozens of soldiers raided the building and seized municipality property. The soldiers threatened to blow up the gate leading to the....

9 injured, 3 detained after clashes in Jerusalem
4/18/2014 - JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Nine Palestinians were injured and three detained in clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem on Friday after Israeli police imposed tight restrictions on worshipers at the Al-Aqsa compound. Medics said that nine elderly Palestinians were wounded after Israeli forces sprayed them with pepper spray while they were trying to enter the Al-Aqsa compound from the Chain Gate. The injured were....

Fuel shortage in Gaza Strip due to Passover closures
4/18/2014 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Gaza Strip is suffering from a fuel shortage due to the repeated closures of the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel over the Passover holidays, officials said on Friday. Member of the administrative council of petroleum and gas company owners Mohammad al-Abadla told Ma'an that the Gaza Strip has been experiencing a diesel, petrol, and gas crisis for....

Ministry: Rafah crossing closed for 81 days in 2014
4/18/2014 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing with Gaza closed for a total of 81 days in 2014, Gaza's Ministry of Interior said Friday. The near constant closure of the crossing has exacerbated the crisis in Gaza and prevented thousands of passengers from traveling, the ministry said. Human rights groups must pressure Egypt to open the crossing, the....

'No breakthrough' in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
4/18/2014 - JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meeting US envoy Martin Indyk to try to find a way to extend faltering peace talks have failed to reach agreement, a Palestinian source told AFP. The meeting began in the late afternoon on Thursday in a Jerusalem hotel but ended after five hours of "very difficult discussions", the source said." The gap (between the parties) is still wide....

Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem
4/18/2014 - JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Christian Palestinians and pilgrims from around the world made their way down the cobbled Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Friday, where Jesus is believed to have walked to his crucifixion. Thousands of worshipers, some bearing wooden crosses, walked through the walled Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where they believe Jesus was crucified and buried before rising....

Gulf states agree deal to end Qatar tensions
4/18/2014 - JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) -- Gulf foreign ministers agreed a deal Thursday to end months of unprecedented tension between Qatar and other members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council over the Muslim Brotherhood. At an extraordinary meeting in Riyadh, the ministers agreed that the policies of GCC member states should not undermine the "interests, security and stability" of each other, a statement said. Such policies must....

Rival group accuses Qaeda of betraying jihadist cause
4/18/2014 - BAGHDAD (AFP) -- A powerful rival organisation has accused Al-Qaeda leaders of betraying the jihadist cause, in the latest widening of divisions rooted in Syria's civil war."Al-Qaeda today is no longer a base of jihad (holy war)," Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said in a statement posted on jihadist forums."Its leadership has become a hammer to....

Aljazeera

EU urges Israel to reverse West Bank moves
AlJazeera 18 Apr 2014 - Foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton calls on Israel to reverse recent actions, such as announcing new settlements.

Palestine News Network

IRIN

IRIN

Access to education an added challenge for refugees in Egypt
IRIN CAIRO 08 April 2014 (IRIN) - As the number of Syrians in Egypt rises, refugees say it has become increasingly difficult to find places for their children in already overstretched government schools. In addition, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Egypt complain of unaffordable school costs in private and public...

Inter Press Service

Split over Ukraine Could Undermine Peace in Syria
IPS Calm and composed, Omar heads a family of seven in his tent at a refugee camp in Jordan, including his elderly mother, Samah. He used to be an Arabic language teacher back in Syria. Credit: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS, Mar 13 2014 (IPS)...

Stop The Wall

São Paulo protests Israeli apartheid
Stop The Wall - Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign iaw2014 In São Paulo, Brazil, activists held their first protest in front of the chain of “Spicy” stores to protest the sale of Sodastream products. As part of the global BDS campaign and the rising number of actions against SodaStream in particular, activists hels a...

PCHR Latest

PCHR Weekly Report

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (03 - 09 April 2014)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

An area of land and an olive tree planted in Asira, in memory of Vittorio Arrigoni
4/17/2014 - International Solidarity Movement - International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Asira, Occupied Palestine - On the 16th of April, the children of the Retaj Centre for Women and Children in Asira planted an olive tree on a piece of land which has been named after Vittorio Arrigoni. This symbolic act was made to remember the Italian volunteer killed on the 15th of April 2011. Asira is located south of Nablus, and is....

Jewish holiday increases violence in Hebron
4/17/2014 - International Solidarity Movement - International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine - Pesach, or Passover, started Monday 14th April and is a seven day long holiday where many zionist tourists and settlers from illegal settlements travel to al-Khalil (Hebron). Increased violence and attacks towards Palestinians occurs during many Jewish holidays. During the holiday, entry into historic Palestine (the current state of Israeli) is completely closed to Palestinians, even those with the....

What will Gaza's Ark face from the Israeli navy as it challenges the blockade?
4/17/2014 - International Solidarity Movement - International Solidarity Movement, Charlie Andreasson | Gaza, Occupied Palestine - The heavy bang is heard clearly, and I have to resist the impulse to climb over the breakwater to try to get a view of the attack in the haze. And a new round of bangs is heard. It can't be far off the port of Gaza. Instead, I look up at the sky, squinting....

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Dispute over Arak reactor virtually solved, Iran official says
Ha'aretz 19 Apr 2014 - Iran proposes to raise number of centrifuges to 20,000 for a period of five years in order to power Bushehr facility.

U.S. intelligence objects to visa waiver for Israelis
Ha'aretz 19 Apr 2014 - Allowing entry to Israelis without visa would make it easier for Israeli spies, the House Judiciary Committee was warned, according to a report in Roll Call.

Lieberman: EU's Ashton doesn't understand world's problems
Ha'aretz 18 Apr 2014 - Foreign minister blasts EU foreign policy chief for expressing concern over Israel's planned appropriation of land in the West Bank.

Hezbollah members arrested in Thailand admit to planning attack on Israeli tourists
Ha'aretz 18 Apr 2014 - Both men, Lebanese nationals, are thought to belong to a larger terror cell; Bangkok police make arrests after receiving information from Israeli intelligence.

Why training will be the IDF's next big battle
Ha'aretz 18 Apr 2014 - As the 2013 budgetary skirmish led to a sharp cut in army training, commanders warn that improvising short exercises is not a long-term solution.

Ten Palestinians wounded in Hebron Prisoners Day clashes
Ha'aretz 17 Apr 2014 - Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat: Israel has imprisoned over 800,000 Palestinians since 1967.

Israel's double standard on reporters visiting enemy states
Ha'aretz 17 Apr 2014 - I traveled to Tunis, reported from the heart of Baghdad, toured Lebanon and no Shin Bet agent ever questioned me; I'm no exception.

Kerry looks to ease restrictions for visa-seeking young Israelis
Ha'aretz 17 Apr 2014 - State Department seeking to 'make every effort to maximize the number of young Israelis able to travel to the United States.’

The Guardian

Former Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee holds running clinic for Palestinian women video
The Guardian 17 Apr 2014 - The six-time Olympic medallist visits the West Bank to give running lessons to Palestinian mothers and daughters. The women jump over low-hurdles, compete in a race and take part in basic exercises. The initiative is a...

Jewish organisation opens religious school in Palestinian East Jerusalem
The Guardian 17 Apr 2014 - Ateret Cohanim, which buys property for settlement, completes work on yeshiva in heart of potential future capital of Palestine A Jewish religious organisation that buys properties for settlement has completed renovation work on its most significant...

Bob Carr was right to start a debate on the influence of the Zionist lobby | Antony Loewenstein
The Guardian 14 Apr 2014 - Carrs more eccentric quotes certainly makes it tempting to dismiss his book, but to do so would be missing the vital importance of his remarks on the Israel/Palestine conflict To have a prominent political figure challenging...

Israeli man killed and family members hurt as car fired on in West Bank
The Guardian 14 Apr 2014 - Man's wife and children injured in gun attack on family who were travelling to Hebron for Passover meal One Israeli was killed three others injured after their car was hit by gunfire as they travelled through...

Welcome to Shuafat, East Jerusalem: where water comes only after dark
The Guardian 14 Apr 2014 - Residents hit bureaucratic buffers trying to get Israeli water company to restore regular supply to largely Palestinian areas In a narrow alley in Shuafat refugee camp, in East Jerusalem, slender plastic water pipes snake down the...

The 20 photographs of the week
The Guardian 12 Apr 2014 - The best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week Continue reading...

Middle East: the peace bubble bursts | Editorial
The Guardian 11 Apr 2014 - John Kerry's determined concentration on peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians has ended not in a bang but a whimper John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has cause this week to reflect on...

An ordinary day in an extraordinary city: the filming of 24 Hours Jerusalem
The Guardian 11 Apr 2014 - 24 Hours Berlin director Volker Heise explains why he chose to shoot his latest documentary in Jerusalem, and explains why the city is like a puzzle with pieces that don't fit. Follow the 24 Hours Jerusalem...

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dead, but there is a solution | Yoaz Hendel
The Guardian 10 Apr 2014 - Sticking to an outdated plan which fails to reflect reality results in a deadlock each time, yet practical progress is still possible I'll start with the bottom line: despite the goodwill and idealism, a final status...

John Kerry faces dilemma after latest Middle East impasse
The Guardian 9 Apr 2014 - US secretary of state is facing demands in Washington to get tougher with Israel over key issue of settlements Israeli officials were reportedly astounded to hear John Kerry pin the blame on Binyamin Netanyahu for the...

Netanyahu brings stop to meetings with Palestinians
The Guardian 9 Apr 2014 - Israeli PM orders ministers to stop meeting Palestinian counterparts in response to 'provocative' UN move An Israeli government official says the prime minister, Binjamin Netanyahu, has told his ministers to stop holding meetings with their Palestinian...

It's simple: criminalize revenge porn, or let men punish women they don't like | Mary Anne Franks and Danielle Citron
The Guardian 17 Apr 2014 - No one should have to fear that the price of intimacy will be a ruined life. And the law can help Parting from someone you love is never easy. It often means watching the affection and...

Ha'aretz National page

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem
Ha'aretz - 19 Apr 2014

Shas party’s new spiritual leader: Deputy religious services minister is 'crazy’
Ha'aretz - 19 Apr 2014

Jerusalem police detain two marijuana legalization activists
Ha'aretz - 18 Apr 2014

Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem
Ha'aretz - 18 Apr 2014

Vandals spray anti-Arab graffiti, try to set mosque door alight
Ha'aretz - 18 Apr 2014

Why training will be the IDF's next big battle
Ha'aretz - 18 Apr 2014

The secret to high-tech success? This elite Israeli army unit
Ha'aretz - 18 Apr 2014

Im Tirtzu out to stop 'Arab Idol' from singing in Nazareth
Ha'aretz - 17 Apr 2014

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Better Employability in the Palestinian Territories
Relief Web 18 Apr 2014 - Source: World Bank Country: occupied Palestinian territory Making Higher Education More Relevant Drawing from the Gaza and West Bank Trust Fund (GWBTF) funding between 2005 and 2012, West Bank and Gaza improved the levels of employability of its population and...

occupied Palestinian territory: ACT Alert: A Forgotten Crisis: Gaza and the West Bank
Relief Web 18 Apr 2014 - Source: ACT Alliance Country: occupied Palestinian territory Geneva, 18 April 2014 1. Brief description of the emergency and impact Years of blockade and political conflict have strangled economic development and increased poverty in Gaza. Around 540,000 food-insecure people and 74 %...

occupied Palestinian territory: Gaza's Zayed City development provides solace to Palestinians
Relief Web 18 Apr 2014 - Source: Emirates News Agency Country: occupied Palestinian territory The Zayed City housing project of the UAE in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, has provided homes to hundreds of families in this besieged territory of 1.7 million people that suffers from a...

occupied Palestinian territory: Night raid alternative fails to end violence against children
Relief Web 18 Apr 2014 - Source: Defence for Children International/Palestine Section Country: occupied Palestinian territory Bashir D, 17, who was summoned for questioning by phone says he was beaten by an Israeli interrogation officer. Ramallah, April 17, 2014—Recent attempts by Israeli military and intelligence officers...

occupied Palestinian territory: Joint Statement on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day: Israel must heed international calls to respect human rights of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons
Relief Web 17 Apr 2014 - Source: Physicians for Human Rights, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights Country: occupied Palestinian territory Today, on 17 April 2014, Palestinians around the world commemorate Prisoners’ Day in solidarity with thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons....

occupied Palestinian territory: IOF Targets and Injures Five Rubble Collectors; Al Mezan Condemns Attacks against Civilians
Relief Web 17 Apr 2014 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights Country: occupied Palestinian territory Israeli occupation forces (IOF) are continuing attacks against Palestinian civilians who collect the rubble of destroyed buildings and roads near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel....

YNet News

OPCW: 80% of Syrian chemical weapons shipped out
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - ....

Warsaw marks 71st anniversary of ghetto uprising
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - Some 200 members of the Jewish community in the Polish capital gather to commemorate the ghetto's ill-fated uprising against Nazi forces. ....

New militant group claims responsibility for Friday blast in Cairo
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - ....

Egypt's 'Jon Stewart' off air until after elections
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - ....

4 French journalists held hostage in Syria freed
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - ....

Iran denounces US ruling to sell property
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - ....

Dutch student fights for Holocaust survivors
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - Charlotte van den Berg discovers Amsterdam municipality forced Jews to pay back taxes, fines on property seized by Nazis. ....

Jewish love story highlights growing trend of Brazilian aliyah
YNet News, 19 Apr 2014 - Brazilians move to Israel in record numbers seeking safety, opportunity and freedom. ....

Chametz is on fire
YNet News, 18 Apr 2014 - Smoke wafted through Jerusalem Monday morning as Jews burned scraps of bread in the ceremonial biur chametz – burning of the unleavened bread – meant to cleanse the country during Passover. But what happens to the rest the country's unholy crumbs? ....

A Haggadah for children by children
YNet News, 18 Apr 2014 - Created by students of Rav Elio Toaff nursery school in Rome, 'cheerful Haggadah' is specially made for other children, not only Jewish. ....

B'tselem

B'tselem

B’Tselem strongly condemns the shooting attack yesterday, in the southern West Bank
15 Apr 2014 - Media reports state that Palestinians firing live ammunition killed an Israeli civilian, and injured his wife. A nine year old boy riding in another car was injured. Since 2009, Palestinians have killed 17 Israeli civilians in...

Daily Star

Two expats die of MERS in Jeddah
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the Health Ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

Top Egypt censor quits after Wehbe film pulled
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 The head of Egypt's censorship board has resigned in protest at a decision to pull Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe's latest movie, which has been criticized for scenes deemed sexually provocative.

Sisi visits Coptic pope before Easter
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 Egypt's presidential front-runner has visited the Coptic pope ahead of Orthodox Easter, making his first public appearance since he formally made his bid for the presidency.

Arak heavy water reactor dispute virtually solved: Iran
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi says that a dispute with world powers over the Arak heavy water reactor has been "virtually solved."

Machnouk holds talk with Hezbollah to help border village
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk holds rare talks with Hezbollah’s top security official to devise a plan to secure an exit for Lebanese living in a border enclave inside Syria.

Two killed in Bahrain car explosion: Interior Ministry
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 An explosion in a car killed two people and wounded a third in Bahrain on Saturday, the Interior Ministry said.

Mercy for Iran woman on death row if she tells 'truth'
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 TEHRAN, April 19, 2014 (AFP) - An Iranian woman on death row for the murder of an ex-intelligence official could be forgiven if "she tells the truth", the son of her alleged victim said Saturday.

Zawahri blesses attacks on Egypt security
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri has given his blessing to attacks of Egyptian jihadists on the police and army but said they should avoid harming civilians.

Iran general urges Tehran to make new U.N. pick
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 A senior Iranian military official has urged the Foreign Ministry to name a new envoy to the U.N. after the U.S. blocked Hamid Aboutalebi from entering the country.

Chelsea Clinton, producer, debuts short at Tribeca
Daily Star 19 Apr 2014 First-time movie producer and mom-to-be Chelsea Clinton has premiered a short film at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Palestinian Information Center

Car blast near Aideen refugee camp claims lives of three Palestinians
PIC - Three Palestinians died on Friday evening when a booby-trapped vehicle exploded near Aideen refugee camp, the action group for the Palestinians of Syria said.

Raed Salah: We will not leave al-Aqsa alone
PIC - Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied territories, stated that Jerusalemites and 1948 Palestinians will not leave al-Aqsa Mosque alone.

Mishaal:Hamas will do the impossible for the liberation of Palestinian prisoners
PIC - Head of Hamas's political bureau, Khaled Mishaal, said that his movement will do the impossible for the liberation of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

Saadi: The PA security apparatuses only serve the occupation
PIC - Islamic Jihad official Mahmoud Al-Saadi deplored the PA security forces for raiding his house in Jenin refugee camp last night and described their act as "reprehensible and intolerable."

Israeli policemen arrest 7 Jerusalemites
PIC - Israeli policemen arrested seven Jerusalemite citizens at dawn Saturday, the Wadi Hilwe information center said in a statement.

IOF soldiers brutally attack Palestinian child
PIC - Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have brutally attacked and beaten a Palestinian child in al-Khalil southern occupied West Bank.

Israeli soldiers open fire at peaceful march east of Gaza
PIC - The Israeli occupation forces on Friday afternoon intensively fired tear gas grenades and live bullets at dozens of Gazan citizens participating in a peaceful march in solidarity with the Aqsa Mosque.

Zahhar: Implementing reconciliation does not mean abandoning resistance
PIC - Senior leader in Hamas Movement Dr. Mahmoud Zahhar stated that reconciliation does not mean abandoning resistance option or accepting security coordination policy with the Israeli occupation.

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to meet again this week to save peace talks
PIC - The Hebrew radio said on Friday that the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators would meet this week after the end of the Jewish holidays to discuss the faltering peace process and the ways to revive it.

IOF intensifies presence in occupied Jerusalem
PIC - Thousands of Israeli occupation soldiers and policemen have been deployed Saturday throughout occupied Jerusalem in preparation for Sabt El Nour or Holy Saturday.

Los Angeles Times

Egypt presidential candidate bows out, predicts Sisi victory
LA Times 19 Apr 2014 - CAIRO — An Egyptian lawyer and TV personality who declared days ago that he was running for president pulled out of the race Saturday, and state media quoted him as saying he had received a sign from God that victory belonged to former army chief...

In Syria's capital, residents recall a sectarian tolerance gone by
LA Times 18 Apr 2014 - Amid constrained Good Friday services, Damascus is full of dismay over the enmity that now governs Syrians' view of one another. DAMASCUS, Syria — The thud of mortar shelling alternated with tolling church bells Friday as the Christians of this capital's ancient Bab Touma district...

Obama blocks visa for Iran's U.N. ambassador
LA Times 18 Apr 2014 - WASHINGTON -- President Obama signed into law a bill Friday that will block Iran’s new ambassador to the United Nations from entering the United States.

Christians gather in Jerusalem to celebrate Good Friday
LA Times 18 Apr 2014 - JERUSALEM – Thousands of Christian pilgrims from all over the world filled the narrow streets of the Old City of Jerusalem on Good Friday to celebrate on the site they believe Jesus was crucified and buried over 2,000 years ago.

Syria presses offensive in Homs' Old City after talks break down
LA Times 17 Apr 2014 - Homs, long at the heart of the Syrian conflict, is seeing some of its most intense violence in months. HOMS, Syria — The crackle of gunfire and the sound of shelling resounded in this central Syrian city Thursday as army troops pressed an offensive in...

Ailing Algerian leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika expected to win reelection
LA Times 17 Apr 2014 - President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is expected to win a fourth term despite widespread discontent and his long illness. ALGIERS — Amid heavy security, Algerians went to the polls Thursday in a presidential election that the 77-year-old incumbent, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was considered likely to win despite his...

Israeli arrest of Arab citizen over Lebanon visit angers rights groups
LA Times 17 Apr 2014 - RAMALLAH, West Bank – An Arab Israeli citizen was arrested on charges of visiting an enemy state after the man returned from a trip to Lebanon, the Israeli government announced.

New York Times

Covert Inquiry by F.B.I. Rattles 9/11 Tribunals
New York Times 19 Apr 2014 - The F.B.I.’s inquiry became the focus of the pretrial hearings at Guantánamo this week, after the contractor who was visited by the F.B.I. disclosed it to the defense team.

Held in Syria, 4 Journalists Are Released
New York Times 19 Apr 2014 - After 10 months in captivity in Syria, the French journalists were released on the Turkish-Syrian border on Friday.

Paper Shows U.S.-Flagged Plane in Iran Has Ties to Ghana
New York Times 18 Apr 2014 - The ownership ties between a Utah bank and a Ghanaian company raise questions about the role of sanctions.

Ex-Marine Held in Iran Asks Official for Help
New York Times 18 Apr 2014 - Amir Hekmati, an American incarcerated in Iran since August 2011, recently wrote to its foreign minister seeking help in gaining his release.

World Briefing: Obama Signs Bill That Bars Iran’s Envoy
New York Times 18 Apr 2014 - President Obama signed a bill into law on Friday that would prohibit anyone who has engaged in espionage or terrorism against the United States from obtaining a visa to enter the country as a representative to the United Nations.

World Briefing: Program to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons Is 75% Complete, Group Says
New York Times 18 Apr 2014 - An official from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Syria might not finish the job by a revised deadline of April 27, but might do so soon after.

Jerusalem Journal: Stranded by the Fight Over a Border’s Future
New York Times 17 Apr 2014 - The influx of people into the Ras Khamis neighborhood of East Jerusalem is straining city services, and City Hall has shown little inclination to help.

Iran Gets an Unlikely Visitor, an American Plane, but No One Seems to Know Why
New York Times 17 Apr 2014 - The presence of a United States-flagged aircraft in Iran is highly unusual these days, especially when it’s owned by a small Utah bank.

Arab-Israeli Activist Is Moved to House Arrest
New York Times 17 Apr 2014 - The Israeli citizen, a Palestinian rights activist, was detained after a visit to Lebanon, on suspicion of an unauthorized visit to an enemy state.

World Briefing | Middle East: Gaza: Blasts Kill Hamas Militants
New York Times 16 Apr 2014 - Three militants were killed Wednesday and five people were wounded when several explosions ripped through a Hamas facility in the southern Gaza Strip.

Palmyra Journal: Syrian War Takes Heavy Toll at a Crossroad of Cultures
New York Times 16 Apr 2014 - Fighting has damaged Palmyra and other archaeological sites, and made it easier for thieves to smuggle hundreds of antiquities out of the country.

Jordanian Jets Strike Vehicles Trying to Enter From Syria
New York Times 16 Apr 2014 - Jordan’s armed forces said in a statement that warplanes fired on the three vehicles after they failed to heed security forces’ demands to stop.


Articles


The Oslo Criminals
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 4/18/2014
      A Mendacious Narrative
     The death of Ron Pundak, one of the original Israeli architects of the 1993 Oslo agreement, brought that historic event back into the public eye.
     Gideon Levy reminded us that the Rightist rabble-rousers, in their furious onslaught on the agreement, called the initiators “Oslo criminals” – a conscious echo of one of Adolf Hitler’s main slogans on his way to power. Nazi propaganda applied the term “November criminals” to the German statesmen who signed the 1918 armistice agreement that put an end to World War I – by the way, at the request of the army General Staff who had lost the war.
     In his book, Mein Kampf (which is about to lose its copyright, so that anyone can print it again) Hitler also revealed another insight: that a lie will be believed if it is big enough, and if it is repeated often enough.
     That, too, applies to the Oslo agreement. For more than 20 years now the Israel right-wing has relentlessly repeated the lie that the Oslo agreement was not only an act of treason, but also a total failure.
     Oslo is dead, we are told. It actually died at birth. And by extension, this will be the lot of every peace agreement in the future. A large part of the Israeli public has come to believe this.
     The main achievement of the Oslo agreement, an act of history-changing dimensions, bears the date of September 10, 1993 – which happened to be my 70th birthday.

A rolling stone of holiness, rage and revenge
Yizhar Be’er, Haokets, +972 Magazine 4/18/2014
      On Purim of 1994, Dr. Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Muslim worshipers in the Cave of the Patriarchs – a tragedy that sparked a chain of events that has, more than any other act, shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the last 20 years. But we could point to a much earlier start of this story: an Arab doctor who will never forget the Jewish physician who saved his life, and convict No. 397, serving a life sentence.
     The massacre at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Purim (February 25, 1994), 20 years ago, was a decisive moment in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which brought on a wave of suicide attacks inside Israel, and led eventually to the creation of the murderous impulse in Igal Amir, who then assassinated Yitzhak Rabin. Until then, there had been an internal discussion going on among the Shari’a Wise Men, about suicide attacks against civilians within Israel’s borders, and they had refrained from sending them into Israel. The way suicide in Islam is treated by individuals depends on the Shari’as adjudicators, who, in turn, rely on the Quran. On the one hand, the Quran negated suicide (“and you shall not throw yourself to destruction”), as opposed to the more positive approach to suicide reflected in the idea of the shahid (martyr), who dies fighting against Islam’s enemies.
     As we can see from history, the Muslim suicide terrorist was not born in the 20th century. Many myths are connected to the Hashashashins, the first Muslim suicide attackers of the 12th century. Some factions of modern Islam have taken on suicide attacks as an effective mode of combating enemies even before the Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre. (Suffice is to mention the horrible suicide attacks of Hezbollah against American, French and IDF troops in Lebanon, which led in effect to their expulsion from the land). Nevertheless, the use of suicide attacks targeted at civilians was debated among Palestinians, and for various reasons Hamas did not send them into the Israeli population until the massacre at the Cave of the Patriarchs. For them, the massacre was the crossing of a line because of the attack against civilians, especially in a sacred place during prayer.

What progressive Jews can do for Mideast peace
Thomas G. Mitchell, +972 Magazine 4/12/2014
      The Middle East peace process is very much a partisan issue in American politics. Until J Street figures out how to solve the problem of Likud penetration of the Republican Party, there is no American solution for the Middle East.
     It appears that Secretary of State John Kerry’s mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has come to an end as Israel refuses to release the last group of security prisoners that it previously promised to release. This is because Jerusalem has no confidence in the peace process, partly based on expectations of the Palestinians and partly based on the composition of the Israeli coalition.
     Last summer Secretary Kerry started out on a peace process with only weak backing from President Obama. This is similar to the situation that Secretary of State William Rogers was in during the Nixon administration in 1969. Nixon and Kissinger let Rogers busy himself with Middle East peace in order to keep him from interfering with the foreign policy issues that they were really concerned with like Vietnam, superpower relations, and China. Rogers attempted to negotiate a comprehensive peace settlement among Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Syria based on Israel giving up the territories captured in June 1967 and the Arabs making peace. Neither side was interested in doing what Rogers expected of it. The following year, thanks to escalation in the War of Attrition along the Suez Canal, Rogers was able to negotiate a bilateral ceasefire along the Canal in August 1970 (which Egypt promptly violated by moving its forces forward). Seven years later Jimmy Carter also attempted to negotiate a comprehensive solution and he again failed. He also switched and because of his extraordinary efforts from December 1977 to March 1979 he was able to broker a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
     Today an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is the equivalent of a comprehensive peace agreement in the 1970s: it is a mirage until the situation is ripe. The situation in the 1970s became ripe for peace twice because of military developments.....

Do Arab states really engage with human rights?
Henriette Johansen, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/18/2014
      The Arab states are very defensive of their sovereignty and the human rights paradigm has cut into that sovereignty, particularly since the start of the Arab Spring.With growing demands for "bread, freedom and social justice" across the Arab Spring countries, many have started to question the status of human rights in the region and, more specifically, whether Arab states actually have any engagement with them in any meaningful way. Brutal clamp-downs and massacres by state security services have been accompanied by international support for regime changes, from the likes of French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé and British Prime Minister David Cameron among others.
     Both have urged the international community to "shoulder" demands for rights and regime change in order to further democracy and the application of international human rights, although critics point to the sub-text that this is merely an excuse to cover their collective fear of Islamist groups coming to power in the Middle East. At the beginning of the Arab Spring revolutions, Cameron told the Daily Telegraph that if Western governments did not provide support to people defending their rights, prolonged chaos in the region would breed Islamic extremism and accelerate the pace of immigration by North Africans to European countries. Such support would thus be "good for us back at home". It is clear that the morality of human rights can fall short of genuine conviction when faced with political interests.
     There appears to be an inherent Western bias in UN human rights bodies and many accusations have been made about Arab states' "sloppy" engagement with human rights. In a talk this week by Fateh Azzam, former UN Regional Representative for the region, founder of Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship and Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, he scrutinised these allegations and dismantled misconceptions about Arab states' motivation to improve human rights.


Electronic Intifada
A tree-hugging "peace" film detached from Palestine's reality
Electronic Intifada: 17 Apr 2014 - Funded by the EU, Under the Same Sun portrays boycotters of Israel as bullies. more..

British war cemetery not immune to Gaza siege
Electronic Intifada: 17 Apr 2014 - Israel has bulldozed and bombed a century-old war cemetery. more..

In Gaza
morning conversation with a Sunni Damascene woman
In Gaza: 19 Apr 2014 - the lovely, but empty of tourists, hotel I’m staying in, in the old city of Damascus We’re sitting in the cafe of the ancient home-hotel I’m staying in for a ridiculously cheap price. I’m surround by arches, wooden beams, wrought iron decor, vast ceilings and windows, daylight and call-to-prayer and church bells filtering in.  Fairouz graces the space, her lilting voice a morning ritual. If it weren’t for the sordid reality of the various attacks on areas throughout Syria by so-called “rebels”…. pause, another round of mortar attacks just now…it would be paradise.  As it is, the people I’ve been meeting the last ten days have been as lovely and gracious as the Palestinians I’ve met over the years in occupied Palestine.  And similarly, they are living under a siege… sanctions on the state which are one of the reasons life has gotten so expensive here (other reasons being “rebels”...more

Palestine Chronicle
Why Israeli Officials are Chuckling: The ‘Stable’ West Bank Dilemma
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Apr 2014 - By Ramzy Baroud Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Ze’ev Elkin, is a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and his predominantly rightwing cabinet. In a recent interview with The Economist, Elkin used the familiar tone of being conceited and oblivious to such notions as international or human rights, and reaffirmed his rejection of a Palestinian state. Instead, Elkin wants Israel to annex a chunk of the West Bank. There is nothing new here, as such language is now official Israeli discourse. But one statement stood out, one that many Palestinians would find bewildering and exasperating. These days, said Elkin with a chuckle, the West Bank is “the most stable part of the Middle East”. The bewilderment would stem from the fact that the West Bank is an occupied Palestinian territory. Its population is held at gunpoint; they have no freedom, and enjoy no rights. Their land is seized by force to...more


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