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.
link to www.ynetnews.com
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."
link to www.haaretz.com
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.
link to www.imemc.org
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.
link to www.imemc.org
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.
Dozens of Jewish settlers under military protection savagely attacked Saturday morning Salem village east of Nablus city and assaulted its Palestinian farmers.
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…
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.
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 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.
Human rights body says those seeking damages for actions of Israeli military are refused entry to the country to appear in court
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 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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 – [...]