and other news from Today in Palestine:
Clinton concerned over Israeli democracy
US secretary of state voices deep concern over wave of anti-democratic legislation, particularly bill targeting leftist organizations; criticizes exclusion of women from public life in Israel.
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement / Refugees
The Israeli “Regional Construction and Planning Committee” at the Jerusalem Municipality approved a plan to construct 650 units in Pisgat Zeev settlement that was built in 1985 on lands that belongs to Palestinian residents of Beit Hanina and Hizma, north of occupied Jerusalem.
Israel paving road to link East Jerusalem neighborhoods to city center
Akiva Eldar – Haaretz – Peace Now representatives argue that the “road`s current route isn`t legal, since the plan designates occupied territory for permanent infrastructures for the occupying power, while completely disregarding the needs of the Palestinian residents in Beit Hanina and the area.”
Israel Prevents Thirty Farmers From Entering Their Lands
The Israeli Authorities prevented on Thursday thirty Palestinian farmers from Anin village, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, from entering their lands and orchards isolated behind the Annexation Wall in the area.
As part of the weekly nonviolent protests against the occupation, settlements, the Wall, and the illegal Israeli attempts to annex lands that belong to the Cremisan Christian Monastery In Beit Jala, Palestinian Christians held prayers on lands that belong to residents of the town, located near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Clashes between Palestinians and occupation forces at Sha’fat roadblock
Israeli occupation forces arrested on Thursday evening eight Palestinian youth from the Sha’fat refugee camp to the north of occupied Jerusalem during a demonstration.
Jewish settlers attack Salem village in Nablus
Dozens of Jewish settlers under military protection savagely attacked Saturday morning Salem village east of Nablus city and assaulted its Palestinian farmers.
Palestinian children imprisoned in violation of international law
In September 2009 Israel established the Military Youth Court. Two years later, in September 2011 Israel finally met its obligations under international law and raised the age of majority in the military courts from 16 to 18. However, none of these changes brought major improvements in practice and the abuse of Palestinian children arrested and detained by Israeli authorities continues…
IOF soldiers round up 9 PFLP activists including one with disability
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a large scale search operation in Jenin before dawn Thursday and rounded up nine activists of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Israeli soldiers arrested, on Friday at dawn, three Palestinians in the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus city in the northern part of the West Bank, the Palestine News Network reported.
PA security agencies arrested seven Hamas supporters in the districts of Tulkarem, Salfit and Qalqilya. The same agencies got a teacher sacked and summoned a university student for interrogation.
Soldiers Attack Detainees In Nafha Prison
Israeli soldiers attacked on Thursday several detainees held in the Nafha detention camp, in the Negev Desert. In a letter sent to Husam Society, the detainees said that they have been without electricity since more than three days.
Palestinian prisoners in Nafha jail on 2nd day of hunger strike
Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli desert prison of Nafha have gone on hunger strike since Wednesday in protest against Israeli penal measures, the Wa’ad for prisoners affairs said on Thursday.
Israel faces legal challenge over block on Palestinians exiting Gaza to sue state
Human rights body says those seeking damages for actions of Israeli military are refused entry to the country to appear in court
It’s 6.30am when Ahmad’s fishing boat leaves the Gaza City fishing port. Together with his three nephews and a friend, he will stay at sea for 48 hours, trying to catch as many fish as possible within the Israeli-imposed 3 nautical-mile limit. Ahmad (Abu Mahmoud) Sha’ban al-Hissi turned 60 a week ago and has been working as a fisherman since he was 18 years old. As we look back and see how Gaza City becomes smaller and smaller, Ahmad speaks about the hardship he has faced in his four decades as a fisherman: “The sea is like a prison. We can’t move here freely. Our entire lives have become like prisons.”
Turkish sources reported that Turkish Prime Minister, Receb Tayyip Erdogan, sent a confidential letter to Ismail Haniyya, Prime Minister of the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip, inviting him to visit Turkey, and informing him that he decided to grant the government $300 Million.
A delegation of Russian journalists, media figures and writers intends to visit the Gaza Strip in the coming days in the context of a solidarity program in support of the besieged Strip.
A civil suit filed by the family of Tristan Anderson, a US activist seriously injured by the Israeli army during a protest, has been delayed due to the revelation of new material evidence.
Row over UK lawmaker’s “Jewish” comments a reminder that Zionism is anti-Semitism, Ali Abunimah
Controversy has broken out in the UK over alleged anti-Semitic comments made by Labour MP Paul Flynn about the British Ambassador in Tel Aviv. According to The Jewish Chronicle (a publication whose record demonstrates that its accuracy can never been taken for granted) Flynn questioned whether Gould could be properly loyal to the UK because he is Jewish and has declared himself a Zionist…
Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, affirmed his movement’s rejection of the International Quartet’s conditions, pointing out that the government that will be formed as a result of the reconciliation.
Political science professor, Dr. Abdel-Sattar Qasem said that the PA proposal to the quartet “takes the Palestinian people toward destruction”.
Haaretz: Palestinian Authority accepts a demilitarized state
Hebrew press sources revealed that the Palestinian Authority presented a new proposal on the “final status” issues to be settled between the Palestinians and the Zionist entity.
Panetta: Israel must get to the “damn” peace table (Reuters)
Reuters – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israel on Friday to get back to the “damn” negotiating table with Palestinians and take steps to address what he described as the Jewish state’s growing isolation in the Middle East.
PLO subpoenas Palestinian who spied for Israel
Palestine Liberation Organization served Mosab Hassan Yousef, who says he is a former Shin Bet spy, with a subpoena in the U.S. last month; PLO wants his notes, details of his Israeli spy work.
After the atrocious massacre that began on the 19th of November, and following the aggressive charade staged by the MB and the SCAF since Monday, the revolution continues throughout the country. Please watch this video and circulate it as widely as possible throughout the day. Follow @mosireen(http://www.mosireen.org ) for more documentary footage, interviews and ongoing coverage of the continuing uprising in Tahrir and around the Cabinet, as well as testimonies from victims of CSF & military violence, torture, and military trials.
Regional bloc slaps sanctions on 19 Syrian officials and gives Damascus until Sunday to accept monitors.
Syrians Say They Are Feeling Grip of Economic Sanctions
Measures by Turkey, the Arab League and others are already unraveling the most significant change of President Bashar al-Assad’s tenure: linking Syria to the global economy.
Burhan Ghalyun presents his credentials to American Zionism, As’ad AbuKhalil
I read the interview with Burhan Ghalyun in the Wall Street Journal. It is quite revealing. It comes to vindicate my stance against the Syrian Military Council (I fiercely oppose the council to the same degree that I oppose the Syrian regime). The interview should be read as an attempt to present the credentials of the council to American Zionism. It was quite telling. On the Golan, this major body of the Syrian opposition, which for decades rightly mocked and ridiculed the Syrian regime stance on the Golan, now says–as Ghalyun told the WSJ–that it will get back the Golan through negotiations and not through armed struggle. THAT IS EXACTLY THE POSITION OF THE LOUSY BA`THIST REGIME, Mr. Ghalyun. So basically you promise to continue to the walk on the path of the Syrian regime. Ghalyun said all the “the right things” against Iran and Hizbullah (not clear why Hizbullah is brought into the picture even if Ghalyun rightly opposes its verbal support of the lousy regime), but noticeably did not say one word against Israel. Ghalyun now speaks like a typical Arab government official: he explained the absence of Kurdish and Christian representation on his council by saying that Kurds have too many parties and that Christians, well he never managed to explain that one. Ghalyun is being dishonest and he knows it.
The Ghalyun Interview: he offers more than normalization, As’ad AbuKhalil
This is a remarkable interview and should dispel any illusions some progressive supporters of the Syrian National Council may have had. So he said that he would reclaim the Golan through “negotiations” with Israel. That can mean one thing only: that Ghalyun is willing to offer Israel more than what the lousy Syrian regime has offered: full normalization. So Ghalyun’s new slogans in the Arab-Israeli conflict should be: more than normalization. That is a logical inference form the interview.
Why Russia is backing Syria
Russia isn’t just protecting its business interests – it fears Syrian civil war could have knock-on effects in Dagestan and beyond. While an international noose is tightening around the neck of Bashar-al Assad’s regime in Syria, with Turkey this week doing most of the pulling, one country, other than Iran, is intent on bucking the trend – Russia.
Amnesty says Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia have an “obligation” to bring former US president “to justice”.
White House refuses apology over Pakistan strike
WASHINGTON — The White House on Thursday dismissed the notion of offering an apology to Pakistan over the NATO air strikes that killed 24 soldiers, insisting an inquiry was still ongoing as to how the men died. “I, speaking for the White House and the president, offered condolences on behalf of him, the administration, the American people, for the tragic loss of life,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “It was a tragedy.”
Terror group says it exposed Israeli espionage device in south Lebanon, causing ‘Zionist enemy’ to bomb equipment with unmanned drone.
Hezbollah seeks to reassure Lebanon over probe (AP)
AP – The leader of Hezbollah sought to reassure Lebanon on Thursday that he has no interest in stirring up trouble over an international investigation that has targeted members of his Shiite militant group.
A report in Saudi Arabia warns that if Saudi women are given the right to drive, it would spell the end of virginity in the country.
Bahrain taps ex-Miami chief for police training (AP)
AP – Bahrain’s Interior Ministry says a former Miami police chief will lead training programs for the Gulf kingdom’s forces as part of reforms after an independent report detailed abuses against pro-reform protesters.
The Lede Blog: An Activist Stands Her Ground in Bahrain, ROBERT MACKEY
An interview with Zainab Alkhawaja, an activist whose Angry Arabiya Twitter feed documents the protest movement in Bahrain.
Yesterday we learned the EU was slapping new sanctions on Iran, today U.S. Senate Passes Iran Oil Sanctions. But perhaps the most astonishing info I’ve read lately about Iran is revealed in MJ Rosenberg’s articleAmerican Enterprise Institute Admits: Iran Threat Isn’t That It Will Launch Nuclear Attack. It.is.a.must.read!
Empire: Targeting Iran – Video: Iran war games
A preview of a dramatic war scenario: Will Israel be launching an attack against Iran? And how would Iran react? How would it impact the whole region?
A look at the CIA, Stuxnet and the assassination plot against Iran.
A look at the relationship and tension between Iran, Israel and the US.
Roger Cohen’s Appalling Endorsement of ‘Likudization’ of U.S. Foreign Policy, Richard Silverstein
There was a time just after the last Iranian election when Roger Cohen reported his brave, searing, and moving reports on the swelling of what many of us thought might be revolution, or at least democratic reform, when I thought the NY Times columnist was a true hero. I hung on every word he wrote from and about Iran. His vision seemed so true, so relentless.
Soon after Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romneysuggested in a debate that U.S. foreign aid–including to Israel–should start at zero, campaign statements were issued by the Democratic Party boasting about their commitment to Israel while the GOP candidates quickly clarified their positions. Next week, in a forum organized by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), the GOP candidates will seek to fight what they call Democratic “smears” by highlighting their devotion to Israel.
Hebron: Occupation and Sterilization, Markus Balázs Göransson
The center of Hebron is surreal and terrifying. It is strange and overwhelming to see this schizophrenic place with my own eyes. As I walk along the streets, my senses are heightened yet I cannot fully process what I see. It feels like I am walking in a dream or on an empty movie set. The legacy of violence is stark and in your face and I am reminded of the ruins and craters that I saw when visiting Srebrenica in Bosnia several years ago. Yet, unlike Srebrenica, there has been no attempt to move past the divisions in Hebron. Instead, the divisions have been frozen and institutionalized and today Hebron is relatively quiet only because people are kept physically apart.
Netanyahu Tries to Hide the Occupation, Jonathan Cook
As protests raged again across the Middle East, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, offered his assessment of the Arab Spring last week. It was, he said, an “Islamic, anti-western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, undemocratic wave,” adding that Israel’s Arab neighbors were “moving not forwards, but backwards.” It takes some chutzpah – or, at least, epic self-delusion – [...]
The popular internet magazine Slate recently published an excerpt from The Unmaking of Israel, a new book by the historian Gershom Gorenberg. The title of the excerpt asked “Did Israel actually plan to expel most of its Arabs in 1948? Or not?” (“The Mystery of 1948,” 7 November 2011).
In October, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department turned parts of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley into an urban battlefield. The occasion wasUrban Shield 2011, an annual SWAT team exposition organized to promote “mutual response,” collaboration and competition between heavily militarized police strike forces representing law enforcement departments across the United States and foreign nations.