Kareem and Haneen from Palestinian Sesame Street
and other news from Today in Palestine:
US to sell Israel 2,500 Hummers, trucks
IDF officials reach preliminary deal on equipment used by US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan.
Palestinian Sesame Street ails without US funds
RAMALLAH, West Bank – It’s quiet time on Palestinian Sesame Street. The iconic children’s program, known as “Sharaa Simsim” in Arabic, has been put on hold for the 2012 season because of a funding freeze by the U.S. Congress. Sharaa Simsim is one of many U.S.-funded Palestinian programs suffering after Congress froze the transfer of nearly $200 million to the U.S. Agency for International Development in October. The suspension aimed to punish the Palestinians for appealing to the United Nations for statehood.
Land, Property Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Attacks on Palestinians protecting their land
Israel destroys vast tracts of Palestinian land in Salfit and Bethlehem
The IOA has appropriated more Palestinian lands in the West Bank and bulldozed dozens of dunums owned by Palestinian natives in Salfit and Bethlehem cities.
Wadi Hilwa information center revealed that the IOA started to carry out new excavations south of the Aqsa Mosque at the pretext of looking for a historic wall under the ground.
National park to be built on Mount Scopus
For the past 44 years, since its annexation, the Jerusalem Municipality has remained silent on the future development of occupied East Jerusalem. No comprehensive master plan has been produced, allowing for deliberative planning and the accommodation of natural population…
Kufr ad-Dik resists by the hundreds
The residents of Kufr ad-Dik sent a clear and strong message of resistance to the Israeli authorities, in this, just the second of planned weekly demonstrations in the village. There were approximately 250 residents who attended the demonstration, with a number of Israeli and international activists also present, offering solidarity and support to the village of Kufr Ad-Dik in their struggle to resist the planned further expansion of the several illegal settlements besieging the village, which should it go ahead will reportedly take 80% of the land belonging to Kufr Ad-Dik. To add further insult to the injustice and illegality of this situation, the Israeli authorities have denied Kufr Ad-Dik permission to build any new homes on their own land as the village in Area C.
The IOF used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest at Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the apartheid wall in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli troops attacked on Friday the weekly nonviolent protest against the illegal Annexation Wall and illegal settlements, in the West Bank village of Bil’in, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, wounding at least four residents.
Palestinian Youth Injured After Being Rammed By Army Jeep
Palestinian medical sources in occupied East Jerusalem reported Friday that a Palestinian youth from Silwan town, was seriously wounded after being struck by an Israeli army jeep injured in Bab Al Amoud area in occupied East Jerusalem.
Jewish settlers attack Nablus villages
Tens of Jewish settlers attacked villages of Burin and Iraq Burin, south of Nablus, on Saturday night and were confronted by villagers, local sources said.
The Israeli army announced that its Home Front concluded a two-month preparation for a potential military offensive against the Gaza Strip, the Arabs48 news website reported.
‘Soldiers supplied intel to rightist rioters’
Five settlers charged with rioting in IDF base, tracking IDF activity in West Bank. Prosecution: Soldiers helped plot riots by providing confidential docs.
5 indicted in Israeli military base rampage (AP)
AP – Israel’s Justice Ministry has indicted five alleged Jewish extremists in connection with a rampage at an Israeli army base in the West Bank last month.
Israeli occupation forces detained two Palestinian university students after one of them managed to make a kite with an engine as part of an experiment in his engineering faculty in Tulkarem.
IOF soldiers round up 3 citizens in Al-Khalil after campaign on the province
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained three Palestinian citizens in Al-Khalil province at dawn Sunday amidst a rabid campaign that targeted various villages in the region.
Palestinian Authority’s security apparatuses rounded up eight Palestinian citizens in Al-Khalil on Friday at the request of their Israeli counterpart, the Hebrew radio said on Saturday.
IOA refuses to allow treatment of cancer-plagued detainee
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is refusing to allow treatment of Naim Natshe, who is plagued with cancer, ever since his detention more than seven months ago, his wife said.
The number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails suffering from chronic diseases has reached 160 out of 500 sick prisoners and the number is on the rise.
There was no war in Gaza, it was a massacre
Norman Finkelstein explains, what is obvious to those paying close attention, that there was no war in Gaza, what took place there was a massacre.
7 January 2009 – The Mattar family
At around 09:30 on 7 January 2009, Israeli forces targeted the al-Taqwa Mosque in the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City. The mosque was 150 metres from the home of Mahmoud Mattar, who was 14 at the time. Having run to the scene of the attack, Mahmoud was present when two further strikes hit the area, killing two 15 year old boys, including one of Mahmoud’s school friends. Mahmoud was thrown unconscious and suffered severe burns and shrapnel wounds. He has been left totally blind as a result.
Some Israeli officials are worried that a growing Palestinian population could undermine the country’s identity as a Jewish state. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, demographic figures project that Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, will outnumber Israelis within a decade. Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands reports from the West Bank.
Anti-Arab slur spray-painted on Muslim house of prayer in Gatineau, Quebec. Jewish organizations condemn incident.
Another haredi charged with harassment
Jerusalem resident Ze’ev Frank, 29, accused of spitting on woman in Mea Shearim, calling her ‘slut’. According to indictment, in previous incident he called policeman ‘Nazi’.
Rabbi accused of sexually assaulting teens
Northern District Prosecutor’s Office files indictment against 61-year-old Yaakov Deutsch for allegedly assaulting four minors who turned to him for spiritual guidance.
Israel’s “pretty face”: How National Union of Israeli Students does government’s propaganda dirty work, Ali Abunimah
Yesterday I wrote about a program run by the National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) to pay Israeli college students $2,000 to spread hasbara – propaganda favorable to Israel – on social networking sites. This raised a further question: who pays for this and what role do Israel’s government and other organizations play in this use of students to deliver propaganda?
Join Phyllis Bennis, US Campaign Steering Committee Member, and Omar Barghouti, Tuesday, January 10th in San Diego, CA! Phyllis Bennis and Omar Barghouti will be discussing the Palestinian Civil Society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.
As Mondoweiss’ Alex Kane reports, in upcoming assemblies of the national United Methodist and Presbyterian church bodies, leading the fight against resolutions of divestment from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation and settlements will be Sister Ruth Lautt, the national director of Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East (CFWME), and a member of the Dominican sisters order of nuns (Roman Catholic). Kane’s investigation of donation tax records to CFWME show that the organization’s funders are also linked to illegal West Bank settlements. The settlement-funders who contribute to CFWME stand in stark contrast to the Dominican order’s position on Israel/Palestine. The order’s “call to justice” which Lautt’s New York-based branch signed onto, calls for prayer and support for the Palestinian United Nations bid for statehood. It also expresses firm support for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has said that time has changed and Israel no longer has allies in Tunisia and Egypt after the popular revolutions that swept those two Arab countries.
The Arab League warned of dire consequences if the UN did not stop Israel from provoking the feelings of Muslims and Arabs by violating the sanctity of the Islamic and Christian holy places.
Envoy: Palestine continues pursuing UN membership (AP)
AP – The Palestinians will employ new creative ideas to gain membership at the world body despite a U.S. threat to veto such an action, Palestinian U.N. observer Riyad Mansour disclosed Friday.
US to sell Israel 2,500 Hummers, trucks
IDF officials reach preliminary deal on equipment used by US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan.
Israel says credit card hack is ‘terrorism’
Deputy FM vows revenge over theft of thousands of credit card details by a hacker who says he is based in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi hacker tells Ynet report revealing his identity is wrong, says: If a stupid student thinks he can find me in eight hours, what will Mossad do?
Israeli suspected of using info exposed in Saudi hack for credit card fraud
An 18-year-old from northern Israel used details of a number of credit cards to purchase smartphone, tablet computer and home cinema system.
Hamas urges Arab hackers to expand cyberwar on Israeli occupation
Sami Abu Zuhri hailed the anonymous Arab hackers who managed to penetrate credit cards of Israelis and expose their details as a creative work and a new means of resistance against the occupation.
Palestinian sources revealed that the Fayyad government in the West Bank plans to lay off thousands of West Bank government employees under the pretext of financial difficulties facing the PA in 2012.
At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 30 more were wounded. Some of the violence targeted Shi’ite pilgrims in and around Baghdad, but attacks farther north were heavy on security personnel. Meanwhile, the Iraqiya list could be seeing a breakthrough soon as talks with the National Coalition over the latest political impasses seem to be working.
Iraq asks Kurds to hand over Sunni vice president (Reuters)
Reuters – Iraq has formally asked authorities in the semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region to hand over Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and 12 of his entourage to face charges of running death squads, an Iraqi official said on Sunday.
Bahrain student alleges torture in detention
Fresh reports of the torture of an 18-year old student in detention are yet another blow to Bahrain’s promises of reform, Amnesty International said today. Police allegedly subjected Hassan ‘Oun to torture, including beatings and threats of rape after his arrest in Manama on 3 January. “As such horrendous cases of human rights abuse keep piling up, the Bahraini authorities’ promises of change ring ever more hollow,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Hassan’s family has told Amnesty International that he was interrogated about his contact with the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.
AP – Anti-government protesters converged on the headquarters of Bahrain’s main opposition party Saturday, defying a government ban on the gathering and pressing ahead with their campaign for greater political and civil rights for the nation’s Shiite Muslims.
Bahraini activist beaten by ‘riot police’
Nabeel Rajab, a rights activist, is beaten in Bahrain, although authorities deny any responsibility for the attack.
Reuters – The United States called on its ally Bahrain on Saturday to investigate the case of a prominent Bahraini human rights activist who the opposition says was beaten by security forces.
Syrian foreign ministry: Attack employed “Salafi method”
The Syrian government has been blaming Thursday’s bomb attack in Damascus – which killed 25 and injured nearly 50 – on “terrorists.” When pressed for a more specific answer, Jihad Makdissi, the spokesman for the Syrian foreign ministry, said that while there were no details yet on who was responsible for the explosion, authorities felt “the type of attack was from the Salafi method.” “You know suicide bombing is not done by people who rob banks,” said Makdissi. “This is very clear that that the trace is for the Salafi mentality.” He offered no further clarification on the subject but said the Syrian interior ministry will release more information later.
Thousands line the streets of Damascus for the procession, state TV shows. Meanwhile, an Arab League committee is to meet Sunday to review the preliminary findings of an observer mission. Thousands of government supporters turned out Saturday for the funeral service for victims of a bombing in Damascus, the Syrian capital, waving flags and holding up pictures of President Bashar Assad, state media reported.
Dozens of people are reported to be dead after a blast in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Syrian state TV said at least 25 people died and 46 more were wounded in Friday’s attack which it blamed on a suicide bomber. The explosion, which targeted the central district of al-Maidan, a hub for anti-government protests, was described by the opposition as a government plot. Hashem Ahelbarra reports.
MB Guidance Bureau member denies US spokesperson’s claims that the MB had assured the US concerning Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, says treaty’s fate will be decided upon by national referendum. Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau member Ibrahim Mounir denied on Friday his organisation had reassured Washington concerning Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Mounir told Iranian satellite channel El-Alam that the MB had previously explained that this issue would be proposed to the Egyptian nation in a referendum to decide upon its fate. Mounir’s explanation came as a response to the statements made by US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Thursday claiming that the MB has reassured the US it would maintain the peace treaty with Israel.
Contrary to statements made when he was in office, former IDF chief Dan Halutz now negates ‘doomsday scenarios’ vis-?-vis Iran.
Iranian leader seeks support in South America
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad begins regional tour in Venezuela amid rising tensions with West over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Ynet: Support for Israel on American campuses is kerplunking, Annie Robbins
Student hasbarists are exhausted whitewashing Israel’s apartheid on campuses all across America. That’s not the overall conclusion of a blunt Ynet Op-ed by Israeli journalist Steve Rubin, it’s what’s reflected in the exasperation expressed towards the end.
Spouse of ‘NYT’ correspondent calls on Israeli gov’t to wage ‘war’ on int’l threat to its image, Philip Weiss
Isabel Kershner, a British-Israeli correspondent for the New York Times in Israel, is married to Hirsh Goodman, a writer who moved from South Africa (where he opposed apartheid), to Israel. His most recent books is The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival, and he writes today in the Jerusalem Post about a “war” Israel must conduct for its image.
In 1917, Jews constituted 7 percent of the indigenous Palestinian population and owned 1 percent of the land. Britain, as a colonialist power and the victor of World War I forced the Palestine Mandate and gave itself the right to grant a homeland to the Jewish people in Palestine in “Balfour Declaration” that facilitated the colonization of the land by foreign Jews.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) was launched in Brussels on 4 March 2009. It’s a people’s tribunal in the spirit of the Tribunal on the Vietnam war that was set up by Lord Bertrand Russell in 1966 to protest the inconceivable war crimes and the crimes against humanity that were inflicted on the Vietnamese people by the United States. The first tribunal comprised people such as Jean-Paul Sartre, James Baldwin, Simone de Beauvoir, Isaac Deutscher to name a few. So far, there has been a second Russell Tribunal on Latin America from 1974 to 1976 dealing with crimes committed by Latin American military juntas.
Below, hear Lisa Hajjar, Professor of Sociology at UCSB, speak in Washington, DC, about her new paper that brings together the two concepts of “lawfare” — Israel’s litigation of warmaking practices — and targeted killing, which Israel interprets as supported within its international legal rights and duties as occupier of Palestinian territory. Hajjar’s presentation is followed by two other panelists named below.