and other news from Today in Palestine:
Jewish settlers assault two young men and the soldiers arrest themIsraeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested two Palestinian young men in Al-Khalil city after a group of Jewish settlers assaulted them on Friday.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Attacks on Palestinians defending their land / Land Theft / Destruction / Apartheid / Refugees
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) quelled the weekly anti-wall marches in a number of West Bank villages on Friday using rubber bullets, teargas, and waste water.
IOF incursion into Nabi Saleh, curfew imposed
IOF troops, at dawn Friday, went into the village of Nabi Saleh, to the north west of Ramallah, and raided and ransacked homes.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
A number of fundamentalist Israeli settlers cut on Friday more than 100 Palestinian Olive trees, including some ancient Roman trees that belong to residents of Yasouf and Jam’een towns, near the central Went Bank district of Salfit.
link to www.imemc.org
Israeli Forces delivered demolition notices to many houses in Silwan on Wednesday, 11 January 2012. The exact number of notices remains unknown, but according to eyewitnesses there were 6 at least. The family of the late Khadeejah Siyam received a demolition order for her simple house which was built seven years ago by her son.
The streets and alleys of Silwan expose the discriminatory policy of the Jerusalem Municipality
Residents of Silwan are committed tax payers. Those who don’t pay tax are punished according to Israeli law. However, Silwan is considered the most neglected village in East Jerusalem , suffering from bad odor and insects in the summer and from the continuous collapse of streets and walls due to the construction of tunnels and excavations claiming to search for ruins in the winter. Because of this, the streets and alleys turn into pools when it rains. Residents of Silwan know that when it rains, they will need to change their clothes when returning home because they will be soaked by the pools that have formed. Nearby Israeli neighborhoods such as Abu Tour, or other neighborhoods in Western Jerusalem , don’t suffer from the same problems. On the contrary, in these neighborhoods rain water drains easily, not forming pools as it does in Silwan or other Arab neighborhoods. This is because in Western Jerusalem the Municipality maintains the sewage infrastructure very well, while Silwan and other Arab neighborhoods, which are lower than Israeli neighborhoods, are neglected.
link to silwanic.net
A Palestinian man was killed and four were injured in an explosion that ripped through the house of Sheikh Zuhair Al-Qaisi, the secretary general of the popular resistance committees, in Rafah.
A large contingent of Israeli forces stormed Silwan and arrested four youth. The arrested youth were Abd Serhan Al Qaimary, 18, Fuad Al Qadi, 20 , Abd Qaqoor, 19, and Abd Ateyah, 20. The arrest operation took place by undercover units which were hiding in the street of Al Bustan. Consequently, Silwan is now experiencing increased tension due to the presence of dozens of Israeli troops.
On January 13, the Israeli Magistrate court extended the detention of three youth from Silwan to allow for further investigation. The three youth were sitting in agrocery shop in Beer Ayoob on a street adjacent to Silwan when Israeli forces and undercover units entered the neighbourhood causing confrontations with local residents. At that time, the three youth were abducted from inside the grocery shop.
This morning the district court issued a prison sentence of nine months to Muhammad Abd Oudeh, 34, from the neighborhood of al Bustan in Silwan. He spend 55 days in Israeli jails then under house arrest and exiled from Silwan. Muhammad was accused of incitement, organizing children to throw stones, helping masked demonstrators, and obstructing police work.
The eighth in a series of vehicle convoys from European and Arab countries to the Gaza Strip reached Gaza on Saturday, bringing medical equipment and vehicles for the disabled.
“We would stay up late at night talking with each other about what had happened over the day, we were brothers, if ever I needed anything I could go to them and they would help me out”
On January 2nd members of a Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF) delegation joined individuals from a nearby refugee camp, trade union representatives, youth activists, Stop the Wall campaigners and representatives of a spectrum of political parties to take part in a new project to re-plant trees in previously devastated areas of Palestine. The group planted 111 trees, representing the number of years that the JNF has been in existence, playing a key role in Israel’s policy of displacing and dispossessing Palestinians. The JNF controls land that the organisation openly decrees is solely for the benefit of Jewish people; non-Jewish people are not able to live or work on the land and it can only be sold or rented to Jewish people. Despite the JNF’s clearly discriminatory and racist raison d’etre, it remains a key instrument of Israeli land administration.
I've been thinking a lot, recently, about the upcoming 30th anniversary of the September 1982 massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut. As some of you may know, my company, Just World Books, will soon be publishing a reissued version of former WaPo journo Jon Randal's classic 1983 study of the Israeli-backed Maronite-extremist militias that, with the full backing and encouragement of Israeli defense minister Ariel Sharon, committed those massacres. More details on that, soon...
Call for Proms organisers to cancel concert by Israel Philharmonic Orchestra led to suspension of four musicians. One of four musicians suspended by the London Philharmonic Orchestra is taking a claim for discrimination on the grounds of belief to an employment tribunal. Sarah Streatfeild, who has played violin with the LPO for 25 years, was suspended for six months without pay last September after she signed a joint letter to the Independent calling on the Proms to cancel a concert by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Thousands of miles removed from the political tinderbox of the Middle East, a controversy has broken out between Palestinian and Israeli advocacy groups over dueling advertising campaigns on BART. Since 2010, a consortium of Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups has sponsored three BART train ad campaigns, each of which feature slogans asking for an end to United States military support for Israel.
Not only did Dr. Maayan and her husband have to sit separately, as men and women were segregated at the event, but she was instructed that a male colleague would have to accept the award for her because women were not permitted on stage.
After reconciliation talks in Gaza between two main Palestinian factions, Hamas agrees to give back Fatah leader's home.
A Palestinian parliamentary delegation of the Hamas-affiliated change and reform bloc arrived in Geneva on Saturday on a few days visit at the invitation of the international parliamentary union.
Today is Arbaeen, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning period observed by Shi'ite pilgrims in honor of Hussein bin Ali, the Prophet Mohammad's grandson. As expected, insurgents staged a major bombing against pilgrims. It alone left about 200 casualties. Overall, at least 71 people were killed and 145 more wounded. It is unknown if any foreigners were among the casualties.
Iraq's Shias brave attacks to visit Karbala
Millions of Shia Muslims are converging on the Iraqi city of Karbala for an annual pilgrimage, despite a spate of recent bombings that have targeted their community. Two years ago, more than 50 Shia pilgrims were killed on their journey, most of them women and children. Refusing to be deterred, just hours after the bombing, the pilgrimage continued, link to www.youtube.com
Tunisians are marking the first anniversary of the country's revolution. It was January 14 last year when Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country. But many people are angry that their lives have become worse. Nazanine Moshiri reports from Tunis.
Former atomic chief and Nobel laureate says he will not seek top office while there is no "real democracy" in country.
David Cameron vows to bolster Saudi Arabia ties
Prime minister and Saudi king agree to strengthen bilateral relationship despite fears over kingdom's human rights record. David Cameron has agreed to "strengthen co-operation" with Saudi Arabia despite concerns about its human rights record and criticism of British arms sales to the kingdom. The prime minister held talks with King Abdullah during a one-day flying visit to Riyadh designed to deepen ties with the country – Britain's chief trading and security partner in the Middle East. "They discussed the importance of the UK-Saudi bilateral relationship and agreed to strengthen co-operation in a range of areas," Downing Street said in a bland statement. Cameron is understood to have agreed with the Saudis that a tougher line was needed on Iran, requiring tougher action from the Russians at the UN security council.
Iranian parliamentary speaker says issues can be easily solved through negotiations as US supports more sanctions.
WASHINGTON — The latest round of American sanctions are aimed at shutting down Iran’s central bank, a senior US official said Thursday, spelling out that intention directly for the first time. “We do mean to close down the Central Bank of Iran (CBI),” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity, while adding that the United States is moving quickly to implement the sanctions, signed into law last month. The sanctions, broadly aimed at forcing Tehran to shift course on its nuclear program, targeted Iran’s crucial oil sector and required foreign firms to make a choice between doing business with Iran or the United States.
WASHINGTON — Pentagon chief Leon Panetta said Thursday that US officials had “some ideas” who was behind the assassination of a nuclear scientist in Tehran this week, but insisted the United States was not involved. During a meeting with soldiers at a Texas military base, Panetta said the United States was “not involved in any way, in any way with regards to the assassination that took place there.” “I’m not sure who was involved. We have some ideas as to who might be involved. But we don’t know exactly who was involved,” he added.
Magazine report claims Israeli spies used fake US spy identities to work with Pakistani fighters targeting Iran.
Omid Memarian writes an acute column in The Daily Beast based on direct interview with prominent Iranian reform figures who denounce the Mossad black ops program against Iran. I’m going to quote a long passage since I believe it conveys the full power of the author’s and his sources’ arguments better. Their views echo my own precisely. Though it’s great to know they’re in accord with those of native Iranian supporters of democratic change.
I’ll be giving a short talk on Sunday morning at 9AM at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle’s University District (43rd Street and 15th Avenue). I plan to talk about the latest developments regarding Iran, Israel’s specific role in them, and the potential for war in the region. There will also be Q&A after the presentation. The talk is hosted by the Church and the United Nations Association of Seattle. My thanks to Dick Blakney for organizing the event and inviting me.
NGO Monitor, the far-right Israeli group that fashions itself as a transparency watchdog, suffers from a mysterious lack of transparency itself. The legally-mandated public disclosures required of US nonprofits are nowhere to be found for NGO Monitor’s US-based fundraising arm known as REPORT. Indeed, The Electronic Intifada has obtained an Internal Revenue Service document that shows REPORT was warned of the consequences of failing to file its public disclosures.
Pro-Israel Twitter death threat, Richard Silverstein
Brian of London, who’s a good pal of David Lange (aka Aussie Dave of Israellycool) has offered the world a classic example of the pro-Israel hasbarocracy’s homicidal impulse in dealing with dissent and opposing views. I’m offering here a screenshot of a running Twitter thread between Brian and one of his other pro-Israel chums in which the former asks (evidently he’s a Jewish am haaretz who knows little or nothing about Jewish ritual and practice) whether it’s possible to excommunicate me because I’m likely to “get one of us [Jews] killed.” The other twerp replies “Yes.” To which Brian asks: “Does it involve firearms?” In order to protect himself from a police investigation he adds the wholly unconvincing #justjoking.