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News Archives - February 2010
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Israeli forces continue their campaign of widespread arrests in the occupied Palestinian territories - International Press Center photo

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Sunday, February 7, 2010
Israeli Navy Ships Crossed The Suez Canal
IMEMC 6 Feb 2010 - Sunday February 07, 2010 - 04:11, Israeli Yedioth Aharonoth reported that two Israeli Navy Vessels crossed the Suez Egyptian Canal on Thursday morning while on their way to the Red Sea.

Israel detains 2 internationals in overnight raid
2/7/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers raided a Ramallah apartment early Sunday morning and detained a Spanish and Australian nationals over expired visas, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said in a statement. The Israeli army forcefully entered an apartment in the Area A city of Ramallah at 3am and arrested two activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) on suspicion of overstaying their visas. The two, Ariadna Jove Marti, a Spanish journalist, and Bridgette Chappell, an Australian student at Birzeit University, were then taken to the Ofer military prison located inside the occupied territories, where they were handed over to the Israeli immigration police unit "Oz," The PSCC said"The raid and detention of the two is in direct violation of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which clearly forbids any Israeli incursion into Area A for reasons not directly and urgently related to security. Related: Army raids Ramallah to arrest international activists in violation of Oslo Accords and Deported international activist appeals against her illegal arrest"

HRW: Gaza inquiry fails war victims
2/7/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel has failed to demonstrate that it will conduct thorough and impartial investigations into alleged laws-of-war violations by its forces during last year's Gaza conflict, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. An independent investigation is needed if perpetrators of abuse, including senior military and political officials who set policies that violated the laws of war, are to be held accountable, the New York-based group said. On Thursday, HRW met with military lawyers from the Israeli military to discuss the investigations. While the military is conducting ongoing investigations, officials did not provide information showing that these will be thorough and impartial or that they will address the broader policy and command decisions that led to unlawful civilian deaths, the rights group alleged. Israel claims it is conducting credible and impartial investigations, but it has so far failed to make that case. . . "Related: HRW: Israel: Military Investigations Fail Gaza War Victims"

Israel releases, deports Gazan prisoner to West Bank
2/7/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities released and deported on Sunday Nitham Muhammad Shneina, originally from Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, to the West Bank. According to Riyad Al-Ashqar, spokesman for the de facto government's Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs,Shneina was detained on 4 October 2006 in the West Bank where he was employed. He was sentenced to three and a half years, and was released on Sunday and deported to the West Bank, instead of being allowed into Gaza where his family lives, Al-Ashqar said. On Friday, Israeli authorities released Bakr Al-Hafi, who lived in Tulkarem with his family for the last ten years, and deported him to Gaza, where his family originates from. Nine other Palestinian prisoners are awaiting deportations abroad. . . . .

Sha’ath: Hamas vows fair treatment for Fatah members
2/7/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Hamas movement vowed to fairly treat members of Fatah in the Gaza Strip, Nabil Sha'ath, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, said on Saturday during an interview with Al-Arabiyya TV. "There are certain procedures, but I will not announce them; I will leave it to Hamas to do so," Sha'ath said. The Fatah member further said he had refused the establishing of joint reconciliation committees, but called on more visits to Gaza to intensify contact between Hamas and Fatah. "I oppose the idea of joint committees because they overstepped the Egyptian reconciliation document. " Sha'ath said he had remained in constant contact with Egypt before and during his visit to Gaza, and informed the mediating side of events following his departure. However, Sha'ath said he did not want to exaggerate the chances of ratifying the Egyptian document with Hamas, ending inter-Palestinian. . .

Palestinian seized near Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque
2/7/2010 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers and paramilitary police detained a young Palestinian man near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the center of Hebron on Sunday evening, onlookers said. Palestinian witnesses said Mohammad Jibril Taha, 22, was seized after Israeli forces accused him of stealing a mobile phone. Onlookers also said Israeli forces searched others, checked ID cards, and temporarily denied them access to the area surrounding the mosque. An Israeli military spokesman said that after an initial inquiry, he was unaware of any arrests in the area. [end]

PA security official: No coordination with Israel on Qaeda arrests
2/7/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Ibrahim Ramadan, a Palestinian AuthorityPreventative Security official, denied on Sunday that Israel and Palestinian security forces coordinated the arrest of an Al-Qaeda cell in the West Bank. His comments follow reports in Israeli media that both the PA and Israeli security forces recently arrested members of radical Islamist groups with links to Al-Qaida and global jihadists in various parts of the West Bank. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz the largest arrests were made in the town of Qabatiya near Jenin, where six people were detained. "Those detained were unarmed and were arrested before they could carry out any attacks," the daily reported, having quoted a PA security source. Ramadan said that a Preventative Security spokesman would imminently comment on the media reports. . . . .

Netanyahu: Israel open to resuming talks with Syria
2/7/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - "Israel aspires to complete peace agreements with all of its neighbors," and is open to resuming peace talks with Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. "We did this with Egypt and Jordan, and we aspire to achieve similar agreements with both the Palestinians and Syria. Two principles dictate our approach to peace negotiations with our neighbors," he told cabinet members. The two principles he spoke of were preconditions and Israel's security. Negotiations, however, would be conducted without precondition, with a view of maintaing Israel's national interests, particularly security. "We do not accept the idea that Israel must always make extraordinary concessions in advance while the other side is exempt. . . "Netanyahu added that while he deems negotiations "important," the absence of preconditions and Israel's security take priority.

One Gaza crossing open, limited fuel supplies allowed
2/7/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing into southern Gaza on Sunday to allow the transfer of limited humanitarian aid, commercial merchandise and fuel, while the Karni crossing to the north remained closed, Palestinian border crossing official Raed Fattouh said. Between 66 and 77 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods will enter via Kerem Shalom, as well as limited quantities of domestic gas and industrial fuel. Gaza's Energy Authority said the Strip's sole power plant is running on one generator as a result of the ongoing fuel shortage, which it said could affect up to 60 percent of residents as temperatures drop. Additionally, Fattouh said, two trucks of cut carnations will travel out of the southern crossing point for export. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (OCHA). . .

Israeli peace activist celebrates birthday in Bethlehem
2/7/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli activists travelled to Bethlehem to celebrate the birthday of Israeli peace activist Amit Lechem on Sunday, in spite of the separation wall. "I came to Bethlehem to tell the residents that this wall will not withstand, neither will it prevent peace activists from defending freedom. This is the least we can do to tell the leaders that walls won't foil our efforts to make peace," Lechem said as she celebrated her birthday in a Palestinian home in the city. Lechem and fellow Israeli activists were welcomed by local Palestinians, who said that the wall will not defeat peoples' will for freedom, she said. The visit was significant as Bethlehem is in Area A, which, following the Oslo Accords in 1993, is an area that Israeli citizens are forbidden to access under threat of arrest. . . . .

In photos: New UNRWA chief begins work
2/7/2010 - Ma'an Images - Photos, Haytham Othman, Wissam Nassar, Hatem Omar - 1-8: US Consul General in Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein meets newly-appointed UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi as Rubinstein arrives to sign an agreement at the UNRWA school in Deheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on 4 February 2010. A grant of four million US dollars was provided to the UN Relief and Works Agency through an agreement with the US government. 9-16: Grandi visits the only power plant in central Gaza on 2 February 2010, to inspect damage caused by floods. Heavy rain and flooding on 25 January badly hit tented communities in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza; Al-Mughraqa, a town six kilometers southwest of Gaza City; and Ezbet Abed Rabbo, east of Jabaliya town in northern Gaza. UNRWA described conditions in Al-Mughraqa as "shocking. " . . . .

Medics: Man shot dead in central Gaza
2/7/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - A Palestinian man was shot to death in central Gaza on Sunday, medics said. He was identified as Fadi Talal Ismail, 29, of Al-Mughazi refugee camp. Medics at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital said Ismail was pronounced dead on arrival. The circumstances behind his death were not immediately clear. [end]

Herziliya chairman: More Palestinians should participate
2/7/2010 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - General (res) Danny Rothschild, chairman of the annual Herziliya conference on Israel's national security, believes more Palestinians should participate in the series. "No doubt Palestinians can benefit from the conference. Direct talks are what we [Israelis] miss. I hope more Palestinians will participate in the future," he said in an interview with Ma'an on Sunday. Rothschild described caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's speech as a "highlight" of the conference. "He gave a very good speech, even if it contained nothing new, the fact that it was in front of an Israeli audience was significant. "The Ramallah-based prime minister had reiterated President Mahmoud Abbas' call for a settlement standstill across the West Bank and Jerusalem before peace talks could be resumed. Fayyad shared the stage on Wednesday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak - a. . .

Egyptian forces find tank of unknown origin in Sinai
2/7/2010 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian security services were surprised to discover a military tank in the center of the Sinai peninsula near the border with Israel, security sources in the country said. The tank may have been swept into Egypt by the recent floods in the region, originating from Israeli territories, Egyptian security sources said, adding that it may also be a ordnance remaining from previous military confrontations with Israel. Egyptian authorities are investigating the incident. In January, two Israeli military vehicles were swept into Egyptian territories as a result of flooding. [end]

Hamas: Israel manipulating evidence of war crimes
2/7/2010 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel's rebuttal to the UN's fact-finding mission is just the latest its its "constant efforts to escape responsibility for committing war crimes in Gaza," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said on Sunday. "Yet again, Israel seeks to mislead international human rights organizations by conducting investigations based on fabricated and forged evidence," Barhoum said in a statement. "Such obstruction, by either party,. . . affirms involvement in these crimes. "He said evidence of Israel's efforts in this regard were confirmed in a report issued on Sunday by Human Rights Watch, which alleged that Israel was failing to fully investigate accusations of war crimes. The group has also accused Hamas of violating the laws of war. Barhoum said Richard Goldstone's fact-finding mission on the Gaza assault had documented and condemned Israel's "war crimes and crimes against humanity,". . .

IDF detains two pro-Palestinian foreigners in West Bank raid
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Arrest operation marks third time Israeli forces have entered West Bank to arrest foreign activists.

Open Letter to Bono: Entertaining Apartheid Israel...U 2 Bono?
2/7/2010 - PACBI - Occupied Ramallah, 13 January 2010 - Dear Bono, The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was deeply disturbed to learn that that you are scheduled to perform in Israel this coming summer. Two years ago, you were invited by Israeli President Shimon Peres to attend a conference in Israel marking Israel‘s contributions to medicine, science, and conservation; we urged you then, as a prominent activist on issues of global inequality and a campaigner for basic human rights, to say no to Israel, especially since the invitation coincided with celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state. [1] You did not go to Israel then; we call on you now not to grant legitimacy to a state that practices the most pernicious form of colonialism and apartheid. Performing in Israel would violate the almost unanimously endorsed Palestinian civil society. . . .

VIDEO - Wadi Fuqeen Villagers Battle Israeli Wall
2/7/2010 - The Friends of Wadi Fuqeen - Al-Jazeera TV Video Report - Palestinians and Israeli dissenters are getting together to fight Israel's plan to build another section of the separation wall in the occupied West Bank. According to environmentalists, the wall will stop the flow of water to the natural springs and thus threatens to dry out much of the Palestinian land. They also see the wall - illegal under international law - as a part of long-term Israeli policy to grab more and more Palestinian land in the West Bank. But the Israeli government says the separation wall is for security reasons, in order to stop Palestinians carrying out attacks in Israel. [end]

Israel: Military Investigations Fail Gaza War Victims
2/7/2010 - Human Rights Watch - Independent Investigation Remains Essential - Israel has failed to demonstrate that it will conduct thorough and impartial investigations into alleged laws-of-war violations by its forces during last year's Gaza conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. An independent investigation is needed if perpetrators of abuse, including senior military and political officials who set policies that violated the laws of war, are to be held accountable, Human Rights Watch said. On February 4, 2010, Human Rights Watch met with military lawyers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to discuss the investigations. While the military is conducting ongoing investigations, officials did not provide information showing that these will be thorough and impartial or that they will address the broader policy and command decisions that led to unlawful civilian deaths, Human Rights Watch said.

VIDEO - Gaza villages Wiped off the map
1/21/2009 - YouTube/Channel 4 - January 21, 2009 - YouTube/Channel 4 UL - Gilad Atzmon: 'Another excellent report by Jonathan Miller. Telling the story of destruction and killing in Gaza. ' [end]

IOF Arrest Four Fishermen, Seize Boats on Beit Lahyia Coast: Al Mezan Condemns IOF Violations, Calls for International Protection
2/7/2010 - Al Mezan Center for Human Rights - The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued attacking Palestinian fishermen in Gaza sea. Today, Sunday 7 February 2010, IOF naval vessels opened fire at fishing boats, arrested four fishermen, and confiscated two fishing boats opposite Beit Lahyia coast. Al Mezan condemns IOF’s continuous violations against Palestinian fishermen and calls on international community to provide protection for them. According to investigations conducted by Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, at approximately 6am on Sunday 7 February 2010, IOF naval vessels that patrol Gaza sea opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats which was north Al-Waha resort, west of Beit Lahia town in the North-Gaza district. The fishermen were working inside the fishing zone that had been announced by the IOF, which is limited to 3 nautical miles. Eyewitnesses informed Al Mezan that IOF military boats moved towards two of the fishing boats and rounded them.

VIDEO - Anthony Lawson - More About Israeli Barbarism
2/7/2010 - Gilad Atzmon - Anthony Lawson did it again, a brilliant expose of Israeli brutality: the numbers, the intensity, the images and the carnage the Israel has left behind. [end]

U.S. Embassy in Ankara denies links to Ergenekon
2/7/2010 - PanARMENIAN.Net - The United States Embassy in Ankara said the U. S. has no involvement with a probe in Turkey over an alleged criminal network that came to be known as Ergenekon. A spokesperson for the Embassy described the allegation as "ridiculous" in a written statement on Monday, saying that the embassy could not comment on an ongoing case in a Turkish court. A national newspaper in Turkey has said part of an indictment in the Ergenekon probe alleged a car registered on the U. S. Consulate in Istanbul had entered a military zone to take photographs in Poyrazkoy district, the scene of an excavation which unearthed weapons and explosives last April. The spokesperson said they had no record of a Consulate vehicle being present at the site on April 7, 2009, Anatolian News Agency reported. The Ergenekon case in Turkey has been investigating a neo-nationalist gang believed to be the extension of a clandestine. . . .

Assad: We’ll stand by Lebanon in case of Israeli attack
2/7/2010 - YNetNews - Official news agency reports Syrian president, Lebanese parliament speaker discussed 'repeated Israeli threats against the region's countries and the Israeli extremism threatening to destroy the chances for peace by igniting the region' - Syrian President Bashar Assad addressed the voices of war and peace in the Middle East for the first time Sunday evening. Speaking in a meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berry, Assad stressed that his government and the Syrian people would stand by Lebanon "in any case of an Israeli attack which it may face. "Official Syrian news agency SANA reported that the two discussed "the repeated Israeli threats against the region's countries and Israeli extremism threatening to destroy the chances for peace by igniting the region with wars and taking it into the unknown. "The two also discussed the developing bilateral relations between the two. . . .

Iran nuclear issue the ’top global security threat’
2/7/2010 - Yahoo! News UK - AFP - Iran's defiance over its nuclear programme poses the greatest threat to international security, US National Security Advisor James Jones warned on Saturday. " Hanging in the balance is a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and greater proliferation world wide. I can think of no greater concern at the moment to our collective security," he said. " Tehran must meet its responsibilities or face stronger sanctions and perhaps even deeper isolation," he told security experts and senior officials at a conference in Munich, southern Germany. Jones said that the door for diplomacy with Iran remains open, but he underlined that "Tehran's puzzling defiance. . . now compels all of us to work together as allies and partners on a second track of increased pressure. "

U.S. doesn’t foresee nuclear deal with Iran in near future
2/6/2010 - Ha'aretz - U. S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Saturday he saw no sign a deal was close between Iran and Western powers on exchanging some of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) for higher-grade fuel, suggesting it was time to move forward with sanctions. " I don't have the sense that we're close to an agreement," Gates told reporters in Ankara where he met Turkish leaders. His comments stood in contrast to those by Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, who said on Friday he saw good prospects for clinching a deal with world powers on exchanging LEU for higher-grade fuel it can use in a reactor producing medical isotopes. " If they are prepared to take up the original proposal of the P-5 plus one of delivering 12,000 kilograms of their low enriched uranium, all at once to an agreed party, I think there would be a response to that," he added, referring to the five permanent U.

Personality of the Month: Ramzi Rihan
2/1/2010 - This Week in Palestine - 'Ustaz' Ramzi, as he is known to his students, has been in the teaching profession for many years. He retired recently from Birzeit University but continues to teach a course in physics. Good physics teachers who can make this dry subject appealing are not easily available, and Ramzi is one of those very few. Maybe his success as a teacher is due to the fact that he considers teaching to be human interaction, which is also why he enjoys teaching, and why his students enjoy his classes. It was by chance that he ended up in Birzeit. Maybe he was destined to do so after spending a year of his elementary education at Birzeit after 1948, but eventually he graduated from the Friends Boys’ School in 1954 where he also taught in 1955. Ramzi was born in Nazareth in 1939, and like many other Palestinians, he was affected by the Nakba.

On Why Zionism Dehumanizes Its Enemies
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - ...The real reason why Israel cannot treat Palestinians according to normal humanitarian standards is that its own Zionist ideology requires that the non-Jewish population under its rule be treated inhumanely. This is very difficult for Zionist Israelis - raised on a narrative of their own essential and eternal victimhood, and of an honorable Jewish ethical tradition...

Israel arrests two foreign tourists in West Bank
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - Two women have been dragged from a home in Ramallah by the Israeli army for overstaying their visas. The Israeli army swept into Ramallah in the West Bank Sunday in a pre-dawn raid to arrest two women who had overstayed their visas. The women were seized from a Ramallah home where they were staying, after soldiers...

Silent occupation
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - ...Travel down any street in Jerusalem, and a far more frightening site emerges. Street signs displaying names in Hebrew, Arabic, and English; but the Arabic is blotted out. The perpetrators, usually Jewish youth, use paint, or stickers with religious and nationalistic slogans that obscure the Arabic names. While both Arabic and Hebrew are official languages, and...

JERUSALEM POST LIES TO JUSTIFY ITS WITCH HUNT AGAINST THE LEFT
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - The Jerusalem Post has canceled Naomi Chazan’s biweekly column, after she and the New Israel Fund of which she is president threatened legal action against the paper over a recent advertisement. The decision was taken by Jerusalem Post management after a legal threat was received at the paper from the NIF and Chazan’s lawyers. Along with...

The apartheid will end when Israelis have to face its cost
Uruknet February 07, 2010 - The former US president Jimmy Carter set off a firestorm in 2006 when he said that Israel would have to choose between maintaining an apartheid occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians. That Mr Carter brokered Israel’s most important peace treaty with an Arab country was immaterial; he...

The Unbearable Loneliness of the Iranian People
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - ...All the difficult work to eliminate this regime will have to be done by the Iranian people or the outcome would be either a rampant and out of control capitalism of the peripheral flavor, or national disintegration fuelled by foreign interventions and schemes. The Iranian people have no strategic friends in this fight except themselves and...

Video: Palestinians battle Israeli wall
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - Palestinians and Israeli dissenters are getting together to fight Israel's plan to build another section of the separation wall in the occupied West Bank. According to environmentalists, the wall will stop the flow of water to the natural springs and thus threatens to dry out much of the Palestinian land. They also see the wall -...

Ahmadinejad orders nuclear work
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has instructed Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation to begin enriching uranium for use as nuclear fuel, casting doubt on the prospect of a deal with the West. Ahmadinejad's comments on Sunday, carried on state television, were directed at Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the atomic energy body and who was sitting in...

U.S Vows To Burry Goldstone Report At UN
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - Israeli sources reported Saturday that the United States vowed to Israeli leaders to bury the report of Judge Richard Goldstone on Israel’s war in Gaza last year. The sources added that the Israeli government vowed to respond to the report of Goldstone by forming an independent committee. The United Nations is set to convene soon to...

Hamas Says It Did Not Apologize For Civilian Israeli Casualties During Israel’s War On Gaza
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - The Hamas-led government in Gaza stated Saturday that it did not apologize for Israeli civilian deaths during the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip. The statements of Hamas came in its report responding to the report of Judge Richard Goldstone. Hamas said that resistance is an internationally guaranteed right, and that the Palestinians, living under Israeli...

Video: Gaza in Plain Language
Uruknet February 7, 2010 - The article "Gaza in Plain Language", by Joe Mowrey, first published by Dissident Voice, was brought to my attention by Robert H. Stiver, and I immediately agreed to do a video treatment of it. Joe and I shared the research effort, and we would like to thank all of those whose video and photographic work is...

Remaining fuel to light Gaza for 24 hours
Uruknet February 7, 2010 -- The Palestinian energy authority has announced that one of the generators in the Gaza electricity generation station had stopped functioning on Saturday for lack of fuel and that the remaining quantity of fuel would allow operating the station for 24 hours only. The authority, in a statement, said that the power generation in the station had...

Israeli navy kidnaps 4 fishermen of Gaza shores
7 Feb 2010 - Gaza, February 7, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli navy forces kidnapped Sunday morning 4 fishermen in Gaza shores, in north Gaza, and then they took them to unknown place. Nizar Ayash, the head of the Palestinian fishermen, said that the Israeli navy detained the four fishermen while they were fishing in the distance of one mile in Gaza shores....

US Pledges To Burry Goldstone Report At UN
7 Feb 2010 - Palsetine, February 7, 2010 ( Pal Telegraph) - Israeli sources reported Saturday that the United States vowed to Israeli leaders to bury the report of Judge Richard Goldstone on Israel's war in Gaza last year. The sources added that the Israeli government vowed to respond to the report of Goldstone by forming an independent committee. The United Nations is set to...

Israel kidnaps 70 Palestinian workers
7 Feb 2010 - West Bank, February 7, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli occupation forces kidnapped 70 Palestinian workers overnight in the west bank near Bait Aor Al-Tahta village, in west of Ramallah. The workers were hidden in a van as they were not given permissions to work inside 1948 occupied lands. The workers were hiding in a van launched from Jerusalem towards the1948...

Saudi prince's handshake with Israeli minister does not change policy'
The National 7 Feb 2010 - A senior Saudi Arabian prince says his public handshake with Israel's deputy foreign minister does not signal a change in Saudi government policy.

In Egypt, real men don't smoke
The National 7 Feb 2010 - A new health warning on cigarette packets is causing outrage – as well as a few giggles.

Iran cuts ties with British Museum
AlJazeera 7 Feb 2010 - Move follows museum's delay in lending Persian treasure to allow for public display in Iran.

Palestinians still waiting for right to use Highway 443
PNN 6 Feb 2010 - JERUSALEM // They start just after the Israeli checkpoint near the city of Modi’in, along this fast, scenic motorway that connects Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. All along the hilly road, vast concrete boulders, rubble heaps and piles of rubbish barricade access from several Palestinian villages. At one such barrier at the village of Beit Sira, cars with Israeli registration plates deposit groups of...

‘New York Times’ editor defends bureau chief’s continued posting in Jerusalem
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - Questions raised following report Ethan Bronner’s son is in the IDF.

Human Right Watch rejects Israeli report to UN on Operation Cast Lead
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - NGO rejects Israeli assertion Bader flour mill was hit by tank during fight with Hamas, not from the air.

Hamas sends mixed message on rocket apology
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - PA accuses group of double talk regarding stance on Goldstone report.

'Minefield wasn't marked off'
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - As injured kids recover in hospital, IDF claims signs warn of explosion hazard.

Abbas disappointed with US stance
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - PA president: Obama should use his power to pressure Israel on settlements.

J'lem counsel rejects Barkat’s Silwan demolition ultimatum
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - Letter calls mayor's plan to evacuate and seal Jewish-owned Beit Yehonatan in Silwan, demolish more than 200 Arab-owned homes into question.

Assad: Syria will stand by Lebanon
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - Syrian president, Lebanese official discuss "repeated Israeli threats."

IDF weighs jailing soldiers alongside Palestinians
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - Comes a month after state comptroller slammed army for deteriorating prison conditions.

Jordan urges US to push ME peace
Jeruslalem Post 7 Feb 2010 - King Abdullah: "Decades of instability" if 2-states solution becomes unviable.

OPT: Gaza schoolchildren struggling to learn
IRIN GAZA Friday, February 05, 2010 (IRIN) - Nearly half a million children in Gaza returned to overcrowded and dilapidated schools on 1 February, many attending in a shift system, with missing textbooks, stationery or uniforms.

Army raids Ramallah to arrest international activists in violation of Oslo Accords
2/7/2010 - International Solidarity Movement - Israeli soldiers raided a Ramallah apartment around 3AM to arrest a Spanish and an Australian activist over expired visas in direct violation of the Oslo Accords. At three in the morning, the Israeli army forcefully entered an apartment in the Area A city of Ramallah and arrested two activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) on suspicion of overstaying their visas. The two, Ariadna Jove Marti, a Spanish journalist, and Bridgette Chappell, an Australian student in the Beir Zeit university, were then taken to the Ofer military prison located inside the Occupied Territories, where they were handed over to the Israeli immigration police unit "Oz". The raid and detention of the two is in direct violation of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which clearly forbids any Israeli incursion into Area A for reasons not directly and urgently related to security. Even the conduct of "hot pursuit" is disallowed in non-security related matters, which overstayed visas are.

Israeli forces arrest two foreigners in West Bank
2/7/2010 - International Solidarity Movement - Reuters - Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan Khatib said the arrest of Spaniard Ariadna Jove Marti and Australian Bridgette Chappell in the city of Ramallah violated interim peace accords that gave Palestinians self-rule in parts of the West Bank. An Israeli army spokesman said the two women "were known to have been involved in illegal riots that interfered with Israeli security operations," apparently in reference to the protests against the barrier. Both in their 20s, the women were activists with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), established in 2001 to mobilize international support for Palestinian activism against Israeli occupation. "They were arrested in Ramallah on the grounds of staying in Israel illegally," the military spokesman said, in apparent reference to tourist visas they received on entering Israel, which controls access to the occupied West Bank.

Deported international activist appeals against her illegal arrest
2/7/2010 - International Solidarity Movement - The lawyer of Eva Nováková, the former International Solidarity Movement (ISM) media coordinator, who was taken from her apartment in Ramallah on 11 January 2010 and subsequently deported, filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice today to challenge the legality of her arrest. The official reason given by the Israeli authorities was that Eva Nováková overstayed her visa. However, her lawyer argues that by invading Ramallah the Oz unit, which is a part of the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, acted against the law as they do not have jurisdiction over areas with full Palestinian civilian control. "The ministry of the interior was acting outside of the sovereign territory of Israel" said Omer Schatz, the lawyer of Eva Nováková following her arrest. Today, he added that: “In the petition we filed today we argue that the unlawful kidnapping and deportation of Nováková is part. . . .

Syria signaling to Arab world readiness to fight Israel
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Netanyahu: Israel seeks peace with all neighbors; Saudi paper says Hezbollah has raised alert in Lebanon.

Palestinians give into U.S. pressure for indirect Mideast talks
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - U.S. envoy George Mitchell to mediate proximity talks; PM believes talks will begin in late February.

Abbas: Obama hurt Mideast talks by dropping settlement demands
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - In interview with German magazine, PA leader accuses Obama of backtracking on stance for full freeze.

Syria vows to respond to any Israeli 'aggression'
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Netanyahu: Israel seeks peace with all neighbors; Saudi paper says Hezbollah has raised alert in Lebanon.

Iran's Supreme Leader: West can't save Israel
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Khameini tells Palestinian militant leader that Israel will be obliterated at the will of God.

Iran production of higher enriched nuclear to start Tuesday
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - West hits back over Iran plan for higher enriched nuclear fuel, after Ahmadinejad apparently rejects compromise.

Rights group faults Israel's Gaza war crimes probe
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Israel failing to prove it is conducting impartial inquiry into UN claims, Human Rights Watch says.

Peace with Syria as vital as stopping Iran's bomb
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Though Syria is a key country in the new Mideast axis being formed, Netanyahu does not want peace.

The less rosy aspects of Shai Agassi's electric car
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Amid Sunday's fanfare as Better Place rolled out its electric car technology in north Tel Aviv, the company was also throwing up smokescreens to avoid dealing with the less rosy aspects of Shai Agassi's dream of clean, silent cars plying Israel's roads. ...

After family hurt, IDF admits Golan minefields not properly marked
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - The IDF acknowledged Sunday that there are problems with some of the fences surrounding minefields on the Golan Heights, and in some of the areas the fences are not visible. However, Israel Defense Forces sources reiterated on Sunday that the minefield the Yuval family entered on Saturday, with five members ending up injured by a mine, was fenced and had clearly visible warning signs. ...

Likud minister to Greater Israel: Give up your dream
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Proponents of the Greater Land of Israel - including the recently established Land of Israel caucus in the Knesset, hawkish Likud members and other MKs - are deceiving the public because their dream cannot be fulfilled, Minister Michael Eitan (Likud) said over the weekend. ...

Palestinian expert on settlements barred from foreign travel
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - Interior Minister Eli Yishai has banned Palestinian geographer Khalil Tufakji, a resident of Jerusalem, from traveling abroad for six months, citing unspecified security concerns. ...

Tel Aviv principal defends banning IDF program from his school
Ha'aretz 7 Feb 2010 - The principal of Tel Aviv's prestigious Gymnasia Herzliya High School attempted to explain on Sunday his decision not to take part in a joint army-Education Ministry program; which angered Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenzi. ...

Palestinians favor bin Laden, Ahmadinejad over Hamas
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - Pew Research Center survey reveals mediocre support ratings for Hamas, Hezbollah among Muslim world. Saudi King Abdullah, US President Obama most popular leaders

Beit Yehonatan residents to get evacuation orders Monday
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - Ynet learns municipality inspectors to arrive at building in east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, to give Jewish residents seven-day warning before actual evacuation

Eritrean refugee says raped by 8 Bedouins in Sinai
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - Twenty-five-year-old female refugee from Eritrea who infiltrated into Israel says she was sexually attacked by Bedouins who led her, other refugees through Sinai. Population and Immigration Border Authority officials say familiar with phenomenon

Jordan's king: US credibility under question
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - In CNN interview, King Abdullah says Obama's 'undivided attention desperately needed' in order to set right tone for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He warns against crossing 'invisible line', missing out on two-state option

Report: Iran to start producing 20% atom fuel Tuesday
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Agency says his country will inform UN nuclear watchdog of its plan to will start producing 20% enriched nuclear fuel

Khamenei: Israel's disappearance certain
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - Iranian supreme leader tells Islamic Jihad secretary-general that Jewish state is moving in downward spiral, urges him to continue armed struggle

High Court to discuss deportation of peace activists
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - Two Spanish, Australian women arrested early Sunday in Ramallah, handed over to Oz unit members. American national, who was with them in apartment, says '10 soldiers broke in, demanded our passports and then informed the two that they were arrested for not having a valid visa'

Jewish politician may become Costa Rica's VP
YNet News 7 Feb 2010 - If polls are accurate, elections in Central American country to result in first female president in country's history. In this case, vice president position to be filled by Luis Lieberman, son of Polish immigrants, who is to become most senior Jewish official in country's history

Netanyahu: Israel open to peace talks with Syria
Daily Star 7 Feb 2010 Israel's prime minister attempted to end a war of words with Syria on Sunday, saying his country is open to peace talks with its longtime enemy. Israeli and Syrian officials have traded threats over the past week, raising concerns of an escalation between two neighboring countries that have officially been at war for more than 60 years

Defiant Ahmadinejad ratchets up atom work despite threat of sanctions
Daily Star 7 Feb 2010 Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave instructions on Sunday for the production of higher-grade nuclear reactor fuel, prompting the United States and Germany to threaten carefully targeted new sanctions against Tehran. The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said it would start producing uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent from Tuesday, state television reported

Iraq moves to sew up loophole tailor-made for Al-Qaeda suicide bombings
Daily Star 7 Feb 2010 Iraq is clamping down on a booming Baghdad retail trade in police and military uniforms amid fears it may have provided Al-Qaeda with the disguises that made possible a spate of suicide bombings. Authorities have told tailors and vendors that in future only authorized security force personnel will be allowed to buy the uniforms which previously they could sell to anybody, both bespoke and off the peg

Saudi diplomat: No recognition for Israel despite handshake
Daily Star 7 Feb 2010 A senior Saudi diplomat said Sunday his handshake with Israel's deputy foreign minister at a Munich security conference was no step toward recognition of Israel. Prince Turki al-Faisal, the country's former intelligence chief and ex-ambassador to the United States, said his handshake Saturday with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon only came after Ayalon apologized for actions that Turki objected to

Mabhuh admits role in killing of Israeli soldiers
Daily Star 7 Feb 2010 A slain militant of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas confessed to his involvement in the 1989 killings of two Israeli soldiers, in a video aired on Sunday more than two weeks after his death. Mahmoud al-Mabhuh, whose body was found in a luxury Dubai hotel room on January 20, said in the tape broadcast by Al-Jazeera television that he had been at the center of the killings of Ilan Saadon and Avi Sasportas

Iran arrests seven protesters who were 'hired by CIA'
Daily Star 7 Feb 2010 Iran said on Sunday it had arrested seven people accused of stoking unrest after last year's disputed election, including some who were hired by the US Central Intelligence Agency, the official IRNA news agency reported. The arrests were reported before possible new anti-government protests on February 11, when Iran marks the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the US-backed shah

Egypt recalls Algeria ambassador over attacks on soccer fans
Daily Star 7 Feb 2010 Egypt recalled its ambassador in Algeria for consultations on Thursday after attacks against Egyptian soccer fans in Sudan and businesses in Algiers, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official confirmed that the ambassador was recalled for "consultations." Earlier in the day, Egypt summoned the Algerian ambassador in Cairo to protest against the disturbances

Hamas: We won't respond to heresies of Fatah spokesmen
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - Hamas Movement has confirmed Sunday that its response to the Goldstone report didn’t contain any apology, stressing the Palestinians' right to defend themselves and to resist the Israeli occupation.

Khudari warns of IOF escalation in targeting Palestinian fishermen
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular anti siege committee, has warned of the escalating Israeli targeting of Palestinian fishermen after circulating trivial allegations and security pretexts.

Barhoum: Abbas's priority is talks with Israel not with Hamas
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman of Hamas Movement in Gaza Strip, has asserted Sunday that Mahmoud Abbas's main concern was to talk to the Israelis and not to Hamas.

Commission to Arab leaders: Declare occupied Jerusalem disaster area
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - The Islamic Christian commission catering for Jerusalem and holy shrines in Palestine has warned that the Israeli judaization of occupied Jerusalem had entered a serious stage.

Remaining fuel to light Gaza for 24 hours
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - The Palestinian energy authority has announced that one of the generators in the Gaza electricity generation station had stopped functioning on Saturday for lack of fuel.

IOF soldiers detain four Palestinian fishermen at sea
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) aboard navy gunboats on Sunday arrested four Palestinian fishermen off the northern Gaza Strip coast and towed their boats to Israeli shore.

Tamimi: IOA plans to seal off Bab Al-Amod in Jerusalem
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - Palestinian Chief Justice Tayseer Al-Tamimi has accused the IOA of planning to seal off Bab Al-Amod, one of the biggest gates of the Aqsa Mosque, for two years in preparation to judaize the city.

6 Palestinians wounded in IOF shooting at civilians
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) barred farmers from heading to tend to their farms in Beit Ummar village, Al-Khalil district, on Saturday and fired at them sound and gas bombs.

Sources: Egyptian steel wall along Gaza borders almost completed
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - The Egyptian authority was about to complete the steel wall it was erecting along its borders with the besieged Gaza Strip despite the waves of condemnation to that wall, sources told the PIC.

Hamas: We are keen on achieving national dialogue and on easing obstacles
PIC 7 Feb 2010 - Hamas confirmed that it was and still is keen on achieving national reconciliation, but blamed Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah faction, for the continued political rift in the Palestinian arena.

Defying the West, Iran's president orders boost in nuclear enrichment
LA Times 7 Feb 2010 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells his atomic energy chief to increase uranium enrichment from 3.5% to 20% as talks over a nuclear-fuel exchange sputter. Iran's energy chief says it's simply an 'alert.' In a move possibly meant to deflect attention from his domestic political woes, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday ordered the nation's atomic energy agency to begin enriching uranium to a higher level of purity to serve as fuel for a Tehran medical reactor.

Israeli conservatives attack U.S.-based philanthropy as unpatriotic
LA Times 7 Feb 2010 - Nationalist groups accuse the New Israel Fund of seeking to undermine Israel, alleging that rights groups it has sponsored provided most of the testimony to a U.N. panel on the Gaza war. A U.S.-based philanthropy that funds human rights groups in Israel is under fire amid accusations that its recipients provided the bulk of evidence to a U.N. commission that issued a report highly critical of Israel's Gaza Strip offensive a year ago.

Iran lawyer haunted by young man's execution
LA Times 8 Feb 2010 - Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is filled with rage over the treatment of her client, 20-year-old Arash Rahmanipour, who was not defended in court and then was quietly put to death. The defendant met with his lawyer once for 15 minutes before he was sentenced to death and hanged.

Iran’s President Moves Ahead on Uranium Processing
New York Times 7 Feb 2010 - The announcement comes at a time of intense diplomatic maneuvering by the U.S. and Iran over possible sanctions.

Iran May Be Near Uranium Deal
New York Times 6 Feb 2010 - The West may balk at Tehran’s condition: that it set the amounts of uranium to be enriched.

How to run for President: whatever the ‘people of Israel decide is in their interest’
Mondoweiss - 7 Feb 2010 - Pretty amazing interview with Indiana congressman Mike Pence ( posted by Matt Duss ). This guy wants to run for president in ‘12 (the reason he decided not to run against Bayh this year — even though polls showed him ahead): I think President George W. Bush got...

Sri Lanka/Gaza
Mondoweiss - 7 Feb 2010 - I first picked up on Sri Lanka war crimes because Antony Loewenstein told me how they outweighed Israel’s actions in Gaza. Here’s his piece condeming the reports that Australia may grant asylum to the former head of the Sri Lankan army, Sarath Fonseka: I have spoken...

Touring Israeli ballet company has no Palestinian dancers
Mondoweiss - 7 Feb 2010 - Several BDS groups, including Adalah-NY here , have called for boycott of the Israel Ballet’s tour to Florida and the Northeast this month. The groups say that the ballet is part of the government’s rebranding campaign– The Israel Ballet, which receives around $1 million annually from the...

there I go, counting Jewish names again
Mondoweiss - 7 Feb 2010 - It is impossible to discuss the action of the Israel lobby in our foreign policy without acknowledging a sociological reality: Jews are big winners of the meritocracy, we are the richest group by religion in the U.S. I have to keep hitting this point because a,...

JPost publishes mendacious garbage about human-rights org’s finances
Mondoweiss - 7 Feb 2010 - Sarah Honig is the darling of Jerusalem Post readers, if the comments and ratings to her op-eds are any indication. Her latest, Another Tack: Nessie and why Obama can’t , says that "Israeli-Arab peace" is a Loch Ness monster, i.e., a fantasy. Quite a few readers at...

News Archives - February 2010

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