‘A stack of lies’ about refugees, and other news from

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Today in Palestine:

Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Israel intends to deport 20,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem: JCSER head
Israel intends to deport over 20,000 Palestinians out of Jerusalem whom it said don’t have legal residency to stay in the city, a leading Palestinian human rights defender said on Sunday.  "Israeli Interior Ministry has already begun deporting Palestinians under the pretext that they stay in Jerusalem illegally," Ziad Hammouri, head of the Jerusalem center for social and economic rights (JCSER), told Xinhua.

Bulldozer injures sheikh at Jerusalem cemetery
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Sheikh Ali Abu Sheikha was injured Tuesday when an Israeli bulldozer struck him while when he attempted to block a construction crew from bulldozing a section of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem.  Abu Sheikha suffered moderate injuries but refused to leave the Mamilla (Ma’man Allah) cemetery, Ma’an’s correspondent said.  An Israeli police spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Israel bulldozes Muslim graves in Jerusalem (AFP)
AFP – Israeli bulldozers backed by police destroyed dozens of gravestones in a Muslim cemetery in central Jerusalem on Tuesday, according to an AFP photographer.

Israel’s Destruction of the Bedouin Village Al-Arakib

The "banality of evil" and Israel’s destruction of al-Araqib
In the early hours of 10 August, Israeli forces destroyed — for the third time — the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the northern Negev desert. Israel had first destroyed the village on 27 July, and again each time the villagers have attempted to rebuild. Joseph Dana witnessed the latest destruction.

Destruction, Destruction, Destruction
2 Palestinians and 1 Israeli have been arrested during a protest which took place on Monday afternoon against the repeated demolitions of the village of Al Arakib in the Nakab-Negev. During the night Israeli authorities demolished the village of Al-Arakib for the third time in two weeks. Nicky Elliott witnessed the demolition.

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
BDS court victory in London: ‘Ahava four’ found not guilty of trespass in Israeli store
Four campaigners against Israeli apartheid were acquitted yesterday (August 10th) of all charges related to two direct action protests against the Israeli cosmetics retailer Ahava in Covent Garden, London. The campaigners locked themselves onto concrete-filled oil drums inside the shop, closing it down for two days in September and December of 2009.

New Reut Institute ‘case study’ tacit admission that BDS is working, Alex Kane
When the well-connected Israeli policy group, the Reut Institute, released a February 2010 report on what it labeled the "delegitimization challenge" from the global Palestine solidarity movement, Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada pointed out that the report "never considers for a moment that the mounting criticism of Israel’s actions might be justified."

Quoting Thoreau on the need of the honest to rebel against military occupation, Israeli women take 16 more Palestinians to the beach, Philip Weiss
Ali Abunimah stunned me earlier this year when he told me that he was upset when the Oslo accords were signed back in ’93. I thought, I would have been for the Oslo accords! OK, fine. But consider one way that the Oslo accords worked out: West Bank Palestinians used to be able to go to the beach on the Mediterranean, through Israel. After Oslo and all the I.D. systems, no go.

Palestinian women smuggled into Tel Aviv for day of fun
Israeli women bring 12 Palestinian women, 4 children out to eat in Jaffa restaurant, swimming in the Mediterranean, and home via Jerusalem.

Students urge PLO envoy not to attend Jewish lecture
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian student union has called on PLO ambassador to South Africa Ali Ahmed Halimeh not to attend a conference organized by a Jewish student group scheduled for Thursday.  The Palestinian Student Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel in Gaza said in an open letter that Halimeh’s participation in a South African Union of Jewish Students lecture entitled Towards Peace in the Middle East – The Status of Current Democracy "as antagonistic to the values of our people, and it cannot be subsumed under the framework of diplomatic duties as SAUJS is neither a governmental nor parliamentary organization."

Letter to Dave Douglas on his upcoming concert in Israel

Zein El-Amine, "Politics and Poetics: Palestinian Art and Culture as a Form of Resistance"
For people who are oppressed, why is being whimsy in our actions — meaning, creating that wiggle room, when we are in a headlock, to sing our song — so important?

The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian and Human Rights/Restriction of Movement
Israel’s Arab Helpers: Egypt seizes 17 tunnels along Gaza border
AL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian forces took control of 17 tunnels along the Gaza border, a security source told Ma’an on Wednesday.  Eight tunnels were seized overnight in the Salah Ad-Din border area, in which iron and cement prepared for smuggling into the Strip were found and confiscated.  Two other tunnels were seized in Al-Sarsouriyeh, north of Rafah, and another seven in a nearby area, the security source added.

Israel’s Gaza blockade: Millions of dollars worth of aid piles up in warehouses (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor – In a half-dozen warehouses in this southern Israeli port, refrigerators and roofing materials for Israeli homes share space with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of PVC pipes, generators, and other equipment intended for 37 wells and water treatment facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli army close down shops opposite Shuhada street in Hebron
Yesterday, August 10th, between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon, in response to peaceful Palestinian resistance to the military occupation of Hebron – and ongoing settler violence – the Israeli army decided to collectively punish Palestinian shopkeepers in the Old City. They had been threatening for weeks to close certain shops because they are located by the yellow gate that closes off Shuhada street, where a weekly peaceful demo has started each Saturday for the past few months.

CPT: Keeping the quiet (when there’s no peace to be kept) on Shuhada Street
“Excuse me!” the Israeli soldier called to us. “You can’t walk down that street.”  Elizabeth and I turned toward him, questioning. “We can’t? But the German tourists here earlier walked this way,” Elizabeth recalled.  “I walked down the street three days ago,” I added. “No one stopped me then.”  The soldier shrugged. “We can’t let CPTers walk on this street. That’s the order we’ve been given.”

PA to send more fuel to Gaza hospitals
NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health announced Tuesday that it would double the quantity of diesel being sent to hospitals and clinics in the Gaza Strip.  The ministry said in a statement that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad ordered the increase following concerns in Gaza that patients were being put at risk by the Strip’s rolling blackouts.  The ministry, however, disputes that patients were ever placed in harm’s way and further accuses the Hamas movement, which controls Gaza, of stealing fuel from the deliveries.


Group: Israeli forces close stores in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers injured four Palestinians and five foreign nationals Tuesday during a demonstration against the closure of three shops in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, onlookers said.  Witnesses said Israeli forces informed businessman Azzam Abu Khalaf that he had half an hour to empty his shop in the Old City before it was shut down. Two others were given the same instructions, a local activist group said.

Israeli ambassador oversteps mandate, says Gaza aid group
Kia Ora Gaza, whose six-person Kiwi Team will join September’s international aid convoy to Gaza, believes Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand is exceeding his diplomatic mandate.  Speaking to TV1 on 9th August the Israeli ambassador, Shemi Dzur, claimed Kia Ora Gaza was being “provocative” and stated: “This is not a natural Kiwi operation – this is really a hatred kind of operation to undermine Israel.” (Source: TVNZ website.

Statistical report: one-third of Palestinian youth unemployed
RAMALLAH, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — One-third of the Palestinian young people are unemployed, while two-thirds of people killed by Israel since the start of violence in 2000 are youth, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Wednesday in a report.  The PCBS’s report, which was published on the eve of International Youth Day, showed that 32.2 percent of the Palestinian youth (15-29 years) in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are unemployed.

Canada Post: Mail Destined for Gaza Strip
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Aug. 10, 2010) – Canada Post is advising customers that it is unable to accept outgoing mail to the Gaza Strip at this time.  Israel Post has informed us that, due to circumstances beyond their control, mail service to the Gaza Strip is currently unavailable. Canada Post has not been able to find alternate routes to move mail in the area. Our efforts to get mail through to the Gaza Strip will continue, and we will keep customers updated on developments through our website (www.canadapost.ca). Please check the website for more information.  All Gaza-bound mail accepted by Canada Post that is undeliverable will be returned to the sender as we do not know when mail service to the area will resume. Once mail service to the Gaza Strip resumes, customers will be able to re-mail their items at no additional charge.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

IOF beats 3 Palestinians in Hebron
Hebron, August 11, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli occupation soldiers beat on Wednesday three Palestinian citizens in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank during the closure of three shops in the area of Bab Al-Bladeya.  Security sources said that Israeli occupation soldiers beat Azzam Al- Fakhouri (50 years), owner of one of the closed shops.  Also, they attacked two brothers Adham Sider (22 years) and Fadi (28 years).  The three injured were transferred to Al-Mizan Hospital in Hebron to receive medication.  It is noteworthy that the Israeli forces came to the area and closed the three shops without giving any reasons.

Report: Israeli settlers to rally against Ar-Rawabi
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Right-wing Israelis will soon march in protest of the first planned Palestinian city in Ramallah, according to an appeal which was distributed to residents of nearby illegal Israeli settlements.  The rally is expected to take place Thursday on the opposite side of the Ar-Rawabi construction site, which organizers described as a "danger to Israel," a statement quoted in Israeli media read.

Report: Israeli settlers insult prophet Muhammad
Ma`an – "Under heavy guard of Israeli soldiers, about 1,000 Israeli settlers entered a village in the northern West Bank in order to pray on Monday night."

Rightist march reaches Jericho
After three days march, youth attempt to enter city, 17 detained. MK Ben-Ari: Border Guard use of violence becoming norm.

Israeli media: Palestinian detained near Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a 24-year-old Palestinian man at the Atarot checkpoint into occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, Israeli media reported.  The Israeli news site Ynet reported that the man was held for questioning after being found in possession of a large kitchen knife, which he said he carried for self-defense.

Israeli troops arrest 30 Palestanians in N. West Bank
RAMALLAH, Aug 5 (Saba) — Israeli occupation forces arrested 30 Palestinians after conducting a search operation through their homes on Thursday in Jalbun village, east of Jenin city in northern West Bank, according to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).  The detainees were transfered to interrogation centers, said Palestanian military sources today.  The Israeli occupation troops also detained a Palestanian college student in Deir Estia city after he was released from Israeli prison about a year ago.

3 Palestinians detained by Israeli military and 5 by Palestinian security
Palestinian security forces have detained five Hamas supporters in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian media sources reported on Tuesday.

Hamas frees 100 Gaza prisoners for Ramadan (AFP)
AFP – The Islamist Hamas movement on Wednesday released 100 prisoners in its Gaza enclave, including members of the rival Fatah, in honour of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, authorities said.

PA, Gaza govt release prisoners
NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority and the Gaza government released prisoners on Wednesday, after the former unity government’s deputy premier called for their release on the occasion of Ramadan.  As the Gaza government announced the release of 100 prisoners under premier Ismail Haniyeh’s order, eight Hamas-affiliated An-Najah University professors were released by PA security forces in Nablus, said Tayseer Fattouh, the general inspector of PA reform and rehabilitation centers.

Political/Flotila Developments
Abbas to meet Egypt president in Cairo
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Thursday, the official PA news agency WAFA reported Wednesday.  Abbas will discuss his recent meeting in Ramallah with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who was charged with mediating proximity talks between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.  Mitchell departed on Tuesday without convincing Abbas to resume direct talks. Saeb Erekat, the chief PLO negotiator, said the meeting at the president’s Ramallah residence did not yield results.

Israel hopes for direct talks ‘as early as possible’ (AFP)
AFP – Israel hopes to start direct peace talks with the Palestinians "as early as possible", Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Wednesday.

Fatah official: Abbas under pressure to enter talks
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Fatah lawmaker and Revolutionary Council member said Tuesday that party leader and President Mahmoud Abbas was under pressure to return to direct talks with Israel.  Faisal Abu Shahla, speaking at a political symposium organized by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Gaza City, said his party would not endorse direct talks until Israel and the international community agreed to establish a Palestinian state on 1967 borders.

Palestinians cite progress in US talks (AFP)
AFP – Palestinian officials on Tuesday said they had made progress towards the launch of direct talks with Israel during the latest visit by US envoy George Mitchell.

Abbas inching closer to direct talks
The Middle East Quartet is preparing to announce movement toward direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders as early as next week, as U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell scrambles to get buy-in from both sides.  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has all but signed on to the move to direct talks, which would begin in early September, a U.S. official tells The Cable. The Quartet’s announcement will come in the form of an invitation to both parties to join direct talks. The invitation will mention that all final-status issues will be on the table but is not expected to include Abbas’s demands for progress on these issues before direct talks begin.

Abbas-Mitchell meeting ends without deal
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Obama administration’s Middle East envoy left Ramallah on Tuesday without convincing President Mahmoud Abbas to resume direct negotiations with Israel, a top PLO official said.  Saeb Erekat, the chief PLO negotiator, said Sen. George Mitchell’s meeting at the president’s Ramallah residence did not yield results.

U.N. panel on Gaza flotilla incident begins work (Reuters)
Reuters – The United Nations sought to head off any potential clash with Israel over a U.N. inquiry into a deadly Israeli assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, as a panel began work on the task on Tuesday.

As UN probe begins, Netanyahu insists force necessary in Gaza flotilla raid (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor – Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave lengthy testimony Monday defending Israel’s fatal raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, saying it had exhausted all diplomatic options and faced an imminent threat from Hamas, the Gaza-based Islamist movement that Israel says is backed by Iran.

Israeli army chief defends live fire on flotilla (AFP)
AFP – Israeli armed forces chief Gabi Ashkenazi on Wednesday defended his troops’ use of lethal fire when they stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May, killing nine pro-Palestinian activists.

UN Chief May Be Heading for Showdown with Israel
When the Israeli government gave its blessings to a U.N. panel of inquiry probing the military attack on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza last May, there was widespread speculation that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon may have struck a backdoor deal over its mandate.

Other News
UNRWA calls Israeli TV portrayal of Palestinian refugees a ‘stack of lies’
UN relief agency lashes out at Israel Broadcasting Authority for airing on national TV what it branded a dishonest portrayal of the organization.

Justice Ministry wants clearer separation of powers
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The justice sector under the Palestinian Authority needs a clear separation of powers and a clarified jurisdictional scheme to make it more effective, officials from the Ministry of Justice say.  The minister and several key portfolio holders from the ministry gathered in Bethlehem on Saturday to conduct a three-day self-evaluation on the performance of the ministry and its branches.  Following the close of meetings Monday, ministerial undersecretary Khalil Karaja spoke with Ma’an.

Libya denies swapping Hadad for Gaza aid
Officials say no link between Israeli photographer’s release, deal for transfer of $50 million to Strip.

Hamas creates volunteer program for Gaza’s idle youth
Israel’s siege has had a disproportionate effect on Gaza’s youth. Over half of the Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million residents are under the age of 18, and thousands of young Gazans are unemployed. Hamas authorities in Gaza recently announced a voluntary employment program for Palestinian youth to get involved in their communities. Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip.

Court releases suspected Jewish terrorist to house arrest
Chaim Pearlman was arrested last month for allegedly murdering 4 Palestinians, wounding several more; released due to lack of evidence.

High Court: Kam to stay in house arrest
Justice Elyakim Rubinstein rejects Anat Kam’s appeal to ease her house arrest conditions, be allowed out for ‘fresh air.’ ‘House arrest may not be what a man’s soul longs for, but is not end of the world either,’ he rules.

Future Internet Trolls:  Foreign bloggers get crash course on all things Israel
StandWithUs hosts Web communicators to provide them with dose of local reality.

US revises Israel travel warning after complaint
U.S. State Department eliminates references to Eilat in travel warning it issued last week in wake of rocket attack that killed a Jordanian man in Aqaba; Israel said that the original travel warning unfairly singled out Eilat.

‘Possible grandiose collaboration between Israel, NASA’
Science, technology minister meets with US space agency chief, discusses technological collaborations, possibility of sending second Israeli astronaut into space.

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
The Charade Begins: Netanyahu’s Flotilla Massacre Probe Testimony, Stephen Lendman
On August 9, Israel’s self-appointed Turkel Commission, its planned whitewash, began hearings into the Freedom Flotilla massacre, a humanitarian mission delivering essential aid to besieged Gazans, Israeli officials blaming the victims, not themselves.  After the incident, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said organizers incited the attack. His deputy, Danny Ayalon, connected them to international terrorists, trying to smuggle in arms, bogusly claiming weapons were found on board the mother ship, the Mavi Marmara.

It’s getting deep in here…
Last month a post appeared on the Jewish Daily Forward’s blog “the sisterhood: where jewish women converse” entitled “Code Pink: Slinging Mud and Hate at Ahava,” which got the target of CODEPINK’s boycott campaign correct, but not much more. Debra Nussbaum Cohen’s blog presented a falsely black-and-white portrayal of the campaign, declaring it “anti-Israel”. Cohen singled me out as a Jewish woman in support of the boycott, which was “most distressing” to her because ” It’s one thing to be anti-war. It’s quite another to be anti-Israel.” Hold on, since when did I say I’m anti-Israel? And since when is following Jewish values “distressing”?

Hani Almadhoun: Hamas In Gaza: Short on Cash, Not Chicken
Residents and visitors will tell you that there is plenty of food in Gaza now. As the month of Ramadan is upon us, the options available in the local market are much better than they were last year. While the prices have also gone down due to increased food supplies, many Gazan families continue to find it hard to afford basic food supplies for the holy month where families observe fasting from sunrise to sundown. Hamas, the party in control of Gaza, has found ways to thrive despite Israel’s embargo. However, the burden on the worst off is still great. Israel would be wise to end the siege this Ramadan.

Hamas in the Eyes of Ibish
Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), landed another one of his controversial articles in NowLebanon, this time on "Hamas’s many splendored contradictions." I take this opportunity to shed light on some of his misconceived ideas regarding Palestinian internal affairs. The main contradiction espoused by Ibish is that Hamas has both a religious and a nationalist agenda, intertwined and at odds with one another.

A soldier’s word, Amira Hass
Nighttime raids, pointed guns, arrests often accompanied by beatings, kicks, curses and painful and extended handcuffing. The ordinary behavior of Israeli children in uniform.

IDF is an army obsessed with its image
IDF leaders are once again revealing a lack of sophistication, dismissiveness toward the enemy and obsession with image and spin, which so often have resulted in inquiries and humiliation.

Yossi Sarid / Dear citizens: you have been abandoned
It is a matter of life and death to get rid of this government. Don’t ask who the alternative is. If these bunglers have no replacement, the situation is very grave indeed.

Palestinian Man Served In The Othman Army Lives In Jerusalem
Mayssa Abu Ghazala-PNN –Shuhada Suliman, is a 118 year old Palestinian man from Jerusalem, spends most of his days in his room.  Suliman was born in Nablus city, in the northern west Bank, in 1892. He then moved to the Beit Safafa town with his family were he is living till today.  This old man served in the Othman army and then decided to run away and kept avoiding his service for three years. He have lived during the British mandate, under Jordanian rule and now lives under the Israeli occupation.  For many years he was an energetic young man very much in love with his wife; his daughter Suzie, and a mother to five, he explains.

Stars and Bucks: Palestinian cafe spoofs Starbucks
Stars and Bucks Cafe, located in the Palestinian West Bank, isn’t part of the Starbucks chain.   But it looks like it is. That’s kind of the point.  Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but Starbucks probably shouldn’t consider itself too flattered – not this time, anyway.  The Seattle-based coffee company has thousands of cafes worldwide, almost all of which are branded with the iconic mermaid logo.

Palestinians are Not Just About the Occupation, Joharah Baker for MIFTAH
The lights have been strung up and the lanterns have come out of storage. Ramadan has arrived and the Muslim world has begun its month of fasting. There is something special about the season, an undeniable sense of togetherness that I marvel at each year. Like the months of Ramadan before, people will break their fast together, cook together and enjoy sugary desserts after the sun goes down. Restaurants will be packed with special Ramadan buffets and families will finally get the chance to spend quality time at iftar (the breaking of the fast) unlike the rest of the year when hectic schedules get in the way of family downtime. In the evenings, music groups and plays will be performed for fasting children and people will spend hours in the streets at night eating boiled corn, cotton candy and the much needed coffee after a caffeine deprived day.

Israeli jets violate Lebanese airspace
The Lebanese Army says Israeli aircraft have violated the country’s southern airspace for the second time in less than a week.  An Israeli reconnaissance plane conducted overflights over the southern city of Naqoura and the capital, Beirut, on Tuesday the Lebanese Army said in a statement. The statement added that a second Israeli aircraft reportedly flew over southern Lebanon late Monday.  Earlier this week, the Lebanese Armed Forces said two Israeli aircraft violated Lebanese airspace, breaking the sound barrier over several villages in the eastern part of the country.

Lebanon to file UN complaint against Israeli spying
BEIRUT, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — Lebanese Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Shami said on Tuesday that the ministry is to file a complaint against the Israeli spying network in Lebanon before the UN Security Council.  "The Foreign Ministry received from Interior, Justice, Defense and Telecommunication Ministries all available information related to the Israeli spying network in Lebanon," Shami told reporters.  "Collaborators’ dossier has been finalized and the Ministry is willing to file a complaint before the Security Council in cooperation with all concerned ministries," he added.

Lebanese military court charges Karam with spying for Mossad
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s military court on Tuesday charged a former army general and high-profile member of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) allied with Hizbullah with spying for Israel, a judicial source said.  “Military prosecutor Sakr Sakr charged retired general Fayez Karam with collaborating with enemy [Israeli] intelligence … and providing it with information on Hizbullah and the FPM,” the source told AFP.  Karam is charged with meeting Israeli officials outside of Lebanon and passing on information secured through meetings between his FPM party and Hizbullah in exchange for money, the source added.

UN court calls for Hariri murder ‘evidence’ (AFP)
AFP – A UN tribunal probing the murder of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri on Wednesday called for the submission of all "relevant evidence," days after Hezbollah unveiled data allegedly implicating Israel.

UN Prosecutor seeks video in Lebanon assassination (AP)

AP – The U.N.-appointed prosecutor investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has asked Hezbollah militants for any evidence they have that could help solve the case.

‘Barak wanted to avenge border incident, attack Lebanon’
Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reports Sarkozy, Clinton pressured Israel to withdraw its plan to launch large-scale military operation in response to death of Ltc. Dov Harari killed in border skirmish.

Iran offers to support Lebanese army if U.S. withholds military aid
U.S. lawmakers hold up $100 million in military aid to Lebanon in wake of deadly border skirmish between Israel’s and Lebanon’s army.

U.S.: Iran’s actions compromise Lebanon’s sovereignty
State Department spokesman responds to Iran announcement it will support Lebanon’s army if U.S. halts its military funding.

Lebanon rejects US concerns over military help (AP)
AP – Lebanon’s defense minister says he would reject any American military assistance to the Lebanese army if it comes with conditions that the weapons not be used against Israel.

Lebanon defence minister says US can keep aid (AFP)
AFP – Lebanon’s defence minister on Wednesday lashed out at a US decision to halt aid to his country’s army in the wake of a deadly border clash with Israel, protesting that aid was being made conditional.

Murr to US: You Can Keep Your ‘Conditional’ Aid!
11/08/2010 Lebanon’s defense minister Elias Murr on Wednesday lashed out at a US decision to halt aid to his country’s army in the wake of a deadly border clash with Israel, protesting that aid was being made conditional.  "Whoever sets as a condition that the aid should not be used to protect Lebanon’s land, people and borders from the Israeli enemy can keep his money," Murr told a press conference.  "We welcome any unconditional offer of aid to the Lebanese army, and if anyone announces they have decided to halt that aid, they are free to make that choice," he said.  Murr’s comments were in reaction to a US decision to freeze military aid to Lebanon following last week’s clash between Israeli and Lebanese troops that left four dead.  An advisor to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman has also criticized the US decision but said that support for the army was central to upholding Lebanon’s sovereignty.  "It is time the Lebanese army be adequately armed, and we are counting on the friends of Lebanon to help the army," Nazem Khoury told AFP.  US Congressman Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Monday he had placed on hold 100 million dollars in aid to Lebanon’s military.

The Myth of the US Military Aid to Lebanon
On August 4, US State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said that the firing by Lebanese armed forces on Israeli troops near the Israel-Lebanon border the previous day, which killed two Lebanese soldiers and one Lebanese journalist as well as one Israeli officer and seriously wounded another, was “totally unjustified and unwarranted.” Shortly before, Israeli Ambassador in Washington, Michel Oren, held talks with US senior officials to demand them a harsh US response.

Lebanon free of sectarian sedition: religious leader
BEIRUT, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — Lebanese Mufti Muhammad Rashid Kabbani said Tuesday Lebanon will have no sectarian sedition, state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported.  In a message on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan, Kabbani said that Lebanon constitutes an exceptional national case " dazzling the world" with its social formula that was capable of " overcoming seditions and wars."  "We finally got rid of the sectarian cause of sedition in Lebanon, so there will be no Sunni-Shiite sedition or Islamic- Christian sedition in Lebanon," said the Mufti. Kabbani added that the Lebanese must be aware of the conspiracies "of the Israeli enemy."

The US sacrifices interests for Israel
The US House Foreign Affairs Committee’s decision to cut off the substantial military aid it had earmarked for Lebanon – a total of $100 million – is obviously bad news for the country’s state-building agenda, which requires a military capable of protecting its citizens if it hopes to gain their full and lasting confidence.

Nasrallah appears to be offering the prime minister a way out of potential crisis
Nasrallah suggested that if his evidence was not taken seriously, the next press conference would be more politically damaging to Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his allies, including naming politicians close to the younger Hariri whom he alleges have tampered with tribunal evidence. A Lebanese military prosecutor today charged Fayez Karam of the Free Patriotic Movement, a Christian political party allied with Hizbollah, with spying for Israel. Karam was formerly the head of a counter-terrorism and espionage unit in the army. A series of arrests of suspected spies in recent weeks had added to domestic tension and to Hizbollah’s accusations. Nasrallah appears to be offering the prime minister a way out of potential crisis, if he and others agree to lay the blame for the assassination on Israel. If they do not, the likelihood of government collapse and the return to violence will increase unless a regional agreement can be reached which moderates Hizbollah’s response…"

Al-Jidd in Saint George and Al-Alam on Ghanem’s Crime Scene
Al-Manar.com.lb is not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author’s alone.  What is the security apparatus which Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said the Resistance security handed it information pertaining to suspicions that Ghassan Al-Jidd was collaborating with the Israeli intelligence? Why didn’t this security apparatus arrest him? Who is the Israeli spy who was at the Antoine Ghanem crime scene two hours before it was committed?  In the world of counter-espionage, Ghassan Al-Jidd is not an unknown figure. The Resistance security body had since the end of 2005 monitored his movement in different locations. In 2006, Hezbollah handed the “Information Branch” of the Internal Security Forces, data about Al-Jidd to verify and then arrest him.  The Resistance security then collected advanced Information about Al-Jidd. At the same time, the Military Intelligence gathered information related to telephone calls that indicated to Al-Jidd’s involvement in spying for Israel. That was in May 2009.

Nasrallah achieved his aim: to sow doubt
Solving a murder is always a riveting experience for any audience, as is following the intricacies of Lebanese politics with its many regional and international links. When you combine the two, as Hizbullah’s secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, did on Monday night in his televised news conference, the result is gripping political theater.

Is Hezbollah right that Israel assassinated Lebanon’s Rafik Hariri?
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah of Lebanon presented intercepted Israeli reconnaissance footage in a news conference aimed at bolstering his case. While skeptics abound, some of the footage included previously unreleased details.

Inside Story – Evidence or speculation?
Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, reveals footage to support his claim that Israel was involved in the killing of Rafiq al-Hariri. But has Nasrallah convinced anyone at all?

‘This time we went too far’, Charles Glass
Norman finkelstein’s new book examines likelihood of an Israeli attack on Lebanon.  “Not Another War on Lebanon.” My old friend Norman Finkelstein has just written a foreword to a new edition of his first-rate book on the Gaza Strip, “This Time We Went Too Far,” in which he shares his fears of another Israeli war in Lebanon. Norman is usually right, but he is also usually a lonely prophet in the wilderness, ignored and scorned by kings and courtiers.

Bomb Kills 8 Iraqi Soldiers North Of Baghdad
At least eight Iraqi army soldiers died early Wednesday when a house they were preparing to raid blew up, army and police officials said. The incident in the volatile Diyala province underlines the unrelenting dangers that members of Iraq’s security forces still face as American forces prepare to reduce their numbers by the end of the month and end all combat operations.

Tuesday: 9 Iraqis Killed, 40 Wounded
At least nine Iraqis were killed 40 more were wounded in new attacks. The attacks focused mostly in and near southern Baghdad. Meanwhile, Sunni Muslims are awaiting the sighting of the moon this evening, which will mark the start of Ramadan.

Deadly blasts hit Baghdad
Series of explosions in al-Bayaa district of Iraqi capital leaves several people dead.

Iraq spending 300 million dollars on hotels for summit: FM (AFP)
AFP – Iraq will spend 300 million dollars to upgrade six major hotels in Baghdad for an Arab summit next year, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told AFP on Tuesday.

IRAQ: Wheat rust infection fears
BAGHDAD Tuesday, August 10, 2010 (IRIN) – More than a tenth of Iraq’s 2009-2010 wheat crop has been infected by a killer fungus, according to authorities.

New Iran envoy says sanctions won’t affect Iraq trade (AFP)
AFP – Iran’s new envoy to Baghdad said on Tuesday that the latest round of sanctions imposed on his country would not affect growing trade with Iraq which is now worth billions of dollars.

IAEA: Iran activates enrichment equipment
The Vienna-based nuclear watchdog said Iran has started using a second set of 164 centrifuges linked in a cascade, or string of machines, to enrich uranium to up to 20 percent at its Natanz pilot fuel enrichment plant. Another cascade there has been producing uranium enriched to near 20 percent since February.

U.S. and EU fail to isolate Iran
China, Russia, India and Turkey move into the lucrative void left by U.S. and EU sanctions that aim to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

Focus U.S.A. / Will Israel really attack Iran within a year?
After interviewing dozens of Israeli, American and Arab officials, Atlantic Magazine correspondent concludes Israel may not even ask for American ‘green light’ to attack Iran nuclear sites.

U.S. and Other World News
Muslims begin Ramadan observance
Islam’s holiest month begins amid sweltering temperatures in Middle East and elsewhere.

Video: ‘Child soldier’ Gitmo trial draws criticism

Caught in America’s legal black hole
Guantanamo still holds 176 detainees, and one of them is about to stand trial – in a test of Barack Obama’s resolve to embrace the rule of law.

Extremism at Ground Zero (Again)
There is a distinct creepiness to the controversy now raging around a proposed Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan.  The angry "debate" over whether the building should exist has a kind of glitch-in-the-Matrix feel to it, leaving in its wake an aura of something-very-bad-about-to-happen.

White House: Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Spurred By Mosque Debate Not Yet ‘Dangerous’
The White House has steadfastly refused to weigh in heavily on the debate surrounding the construction of an Islamic cultural center blocks away from the site of the 9/11 attacks, deeming it a local issue that local politicians can and should deal with.  But as the vast swath of national lawmakers — including a host of likely Republican presidential candidates — have begun offering their viewpoints, and as the discussion has morphed into a wider debate over the place of Islam in U.S. society, the pressure for more administration input has mounted.  On Tuesday, Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton again declined to detail President Obama’s personal opinions on the "Ground Zero" mosque. But he did say that the White House didn’t view the anti-Muslim rhetoric that appears to have emerged in the debate’s wake to be "dangerous" or beyond the bounds of reasonable discourse.

Big rise in Afghan civilian deaths
Attacks against Afghan civilians have jumped in frequency and intensity in the first half of 2010, according to a report released on Tuesday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The 3,268 casualties mark a 31 per cent increase over the same period in 2009, the report said. The UN said that the Taliban was responsible for around 76 per cent of those casualties. Nato pointed out that the UN report showed a 64 per cent drop in the number of Afghans killed or wounded in coalition airstrikes. Clayton Swisher reports from Kabul.

Hamid Karzai to dissolve all private security
"Dissolving the private security companies is a serious program that the government of Afghanistan will execute," Mr Karzai’s spokesman Waheed Omer told reporters, adding that "very soon the president of Afghanistan will set a deadline".

With Arab opinion like this, Obama needs media advice
The rhetoric of his Cairo speech has soured: the president can only move the debate on with a sea-change in US attitudes.

Gagged for 6 Years, Nick Merrill Speaks Out on Landmark Court Struggle Against FBI’s National Security Letters
For six years the FBI has barred a New York man from revealing that the agency had ordered him to hand over personal information about clients of his Internet start-up. Finally allowed to speak, Nick Merril joins us in his first broadcast interview to talk about how he challenged the FBI’s use of national security letters. We also speak with Connecticut librarian George Christian. He and three other librarians also sued the US government after receiving a National Security Letter demanding information about library patrons.

Serial Denial on Iraq and Afghanistan, GARETH PORTER
Two months ago, I wrote that the Obama administration and the U.S. command in Afghanistan faced an “Iraq 2006 moment” in the second half of 2010 – a collapse of domestic political support for a failed war paralleling the political crisis in Bush’s Iraq War in 2006.  Now comes Republican Congressman Frank Wolf to make that parallel with 2006 eerily precise. 

Study: Age that girls hit puberty keeps dropping
Researchers led by Frank Biro, director of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s, found that the number of 7- and 8-year-old girls with breast development was higher than found in studies conducted 10 to 30 years earlier.


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