Video: Heavily-armed Israeli soldiers seize three children in West Bank night raid, Ali Abunimah
A video shows heavily-armed Israeli soldiers seizing three children from their home in the middle of the night in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar, a horrible routine that is part of a systematic campaign against the village’s children.
Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Refugees
Occupation razes Araqib village in Negev for 37th time
The Israeli authorities, on Monday morning, destroyed, for the 37th time, the unrecognized Palestinian village of Araqib in the Negev in southern 1948-occupied Palestine.
Israel authorises three outposts
Israel decides to make legal under Israeli law three settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, drawing Palestinian condemnation.
Erekat: PLO to ask Security Council for settlement censure
JERICHO (Ma’an) — PLO official Saeb Erekat said Tuesday that Palestinian leaders are examining ways to secure a resolution from the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlement building, after Israel gave legal sanction to three settler outposts. In an interview with official PA radio Voice of Palestine, Erekat called on the Israeli government to choose between peace and settlement expansion, warning that sanctioning more settlements on Palestinian land will kill the two-state solution.
Jordan condemns Israeli settlement decision
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Tuesday denounced Israel’s decision to legalize three settler outposts in the West Bank, during talks with US envoy David Hale. Jordan, which has a 1994 peace deal with the Jewish state, “condemns Israeli settlement activities as well as its unilateral measures,” Judeh said at the meeting with Hale, state-run Petra news agency reported. The three outposts will now join the 120 settlements sanctioned by Israel dotted across the occupied West Bank that are home to more than 342,000 people.
State to ask court to delay Ulpana evacuation
Ministerial committee instructs Prosecutor’s Office to ask court to postpone razing of neighborhood in Beit El settlement; same panel legalizes three West Bank outposts.
Knesset members celebrate latest E. Jerusalem settlement by posing on evicted Palestinian family’s sofa, Allison Deger
Following last week’s eviction of the Palestinian Natcheh family from their Beit Hanina home, Israeli Knesset members Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad visited the house now inhabited by some eight settlers. To mark the occasion they posted a picture of themselves lounging on the Natcheh’s sofa on Facebook.
Jewish settlers destroy Palestinian olive trees and fence off their lands
On Monday (23/4), Zionist settlers cut down Palestinian-owned olive trees in the area located between Izbet Shufa and Kafa hamlet, south of Tulkarem and fenced off citizens’ lands in Tekoa town.
Israeli authorities demolish Bethlehem shed
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities demolished an agricultural shed near Bethlehem early Tuesday, a local committee said. Bulldozers tore down the 150-meter-squared shed in Um Al-Rokba at the entrance of Al-Khader town, local committee against the wall coordinator Ahmad Salah said. Israel says the shed’s owner Mahmoud Mustafa Omran Salah did not receive an Israeli permit for the structure, he added. Israel frequently demolishes homes and infrastructure built without permission in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank. Residents, rights groups and the UN point out that it nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits are denied.
Israel to close Allenby Bridge for holiday
JERICHO (Ma’an) — Israel will close the border between the West Bank and Jordan on Wednesday for an Israeli holiday, crossing officials said Tuesday. The Allenby Bridge terminal will be closed from 5 p.m. Wednesday until Sunday, the crossings administration said in a statement. Ambulances will be allowed to cross until 6 p.m. Wednesday, the statement said. Israel is celebrating the 64th anniversary of its establishment on Thursday. On Sunday, Jews mark Shavuot, the day commemorating God giving the Torah on Mount Sinai. The Allenby Bridge crossing is the only exit point for most Palestinians in the West Bank. There is no airport in the West Bank and most Palestinians are not allowed to use Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, so residents of the West Bank must cross the Allenby Bridge and fly from Amman’s airport.
East Jerusalem man, denied residency by Israel, effectively prisoner in own home
Interior Ministry refuses to recognize 21-year-old Amir Salima as resident of the city, despite the fact that his parents and siblings are all considered residents.
Several large families–among them, Ihrizat, Ihraini, and Abu Samra–belong to Um al-’Amad, perched on a high hill west of the desert and directly across from the drab and violent settlement of Otniel. In fact, Otniel sits on the Abu Samra family’s lands. Like all other settlements, Otniel has also drawn a wide perimeter fence around itself, effectively annexing another large chunk of Palestinian land; still worse, for the last thirteen years the settlers and soldiers have denied the Palestinians access to the relatively fertile grazing and agricultural land in the wadis just under the settlement. Israeli courts have confirmed Palestinian title to these lands in the wadis, but in itself this is by no means a promise of access. Quite the contrary: like in most places in south Hebron, we are faced with a hard micro-struggle for every inch.
Witness – Sheikh Jarrah, My Neighbourhood
The story of a Palestinian boy coming of age amid profound upheaval in one of the world’s most contested cities.
Islamic-Christian commission: IOA blocking political solutions
The Islamic-Christian commission for the support of Jerusalem has lashed out at the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) for endorsing the construction of hundreds of new housing units in the holy city.
Erasing Palestinian identity: The tale of al Ghasibiyya’s mosque
Historical memory is a touchy subject for much of Israel’s highly nationalistic population. Many critics, such as Dr. Yousef Natsheh, believe the government “uses history for political ends.” Dr. Natsheh, who works in the Islamic archaeology department at al Aqsa Mosque, contends that the state is “trying to marginalise any other history [than their own],” which he describes as “exclusive… focusing on certain areas and neglecting others.” “There is a general attempt in Israel to erase Palestinian history,” agrees Oren Yiftachel, a scholar of Israeli ethnocentrism at Ben Gurion University. The state’s founding myth of conquest and independence has been meticulously trimmed of incriminating narratives, to be inculcated in the population from an early age. The memory of those who were on the wrong end of 1948’s campaign of dispossession, however, has been – to a certain extent – silenced by the still unfinished project of cultural and historical denial. When Israel was created atop the ruins of Palestinian society in 1948, one of the main tasks the new leaders set out to accomplish was erasing ties to and evidence of the place’s culture and history. This was done at the outset by getting rid of physical reminders of both the present and the past – 600 villages were destroyed to ensure that refugees (including internal refugees) could not return.
Dr. Munir al-Barsh, General Director of Pharmacy in the Ministry of Health, said that Gaza health authorities announced that a record number of medicines and medical supplies ran out completely.
Abadla: Shortage of fuel in Gaza due to lack of Egyptian supplies
The shortage of petrol fuel in Gaza is due to the lack of Egyptian fuel supplies through the tunnels, Mohammed Al-Abadla, the spokesman for the fuel distribution society in Gaza, said on Tuesday.
Have you heard much lately about the 1.5 million Palestinians illegally imprisoned by the Israeli government in the world’s largest open-air Gulag? Their dire living conditions, worsened by a selective Israeli siege limiting the importation of necessities of life – medical items, food, water, building materials, and fuel to list a few – has resulted in an 80 percent unemployment rate and widespread suffering from unlawful punishment, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment in Israeli jails.
Violence / Aggression / Threats
Israeli occupation forces stormed an elementary school in Yatta village on Monday and threatened the headmaster that it would be closed if students continued to throw stones at Israeli vehicles.
Eight Children Injured By Israeli Settlers
Palestinian medical sources reported Monday that eight school children were injured when a group of extremist Israeli settlers of the illegal Yitzhar settlement, attacked them in Orif village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
IOF soldiers using Palestinian children as human shields
The international movement for the defense of children has accused the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) of using Palestinian children as human shields.
Jewish settlers storm Yousuf’s tomb
Dozens of Jewish settlers stormed Yousuf’s tomb to the east of Nablus city at dawn Tuesday under heavy Israeli military protection, local sources said.
Soldiers in civilian clothing shot at Palestinians who, thinking they were being robbed, sought to defend their property; one Palestinian killed
On 27 March 2012 in the middle of the night, security forces in civilian clothing as well as uniformed soldiers entered Kafr Ramun, northeast of Ramallah, and shot three brothers from the Shukhah family: Akram, age 36, Anwar, age 38, and Rashad, age 28. All three were wounded, each shot multiple times, and were taken by the soldiers to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem where they were admitted to Intensive Care. On 2 April 2012, Rashad Shukhah died of his wounds in the hospital.
New documentation of the assault on protesters in the Jordan Valley refutes the officer and soldiers’ claims
A new film that was obtained by B’Tselem shows the minutes that preceded the violent incident in which the Former Jordan Valley Brigade deputy commander assaulted international and Palestinian protesters.
Israeli soldiers continue firing tear gas canisters directly at human targets, despite the army’s denials
On Friday, 9 March 2012, B’Tselem documented two serious incidents in which tear gas canisters were fired directly at demonstrators in two West Bank locations. The Israeli army continues to deny that this happens.
Israeli forces are carrying out more special operations beyond the country’s borders and will be ready to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, Gaza and Lebanon if ordered, the chief-of-staff said in an interview on Sunday. In an extract from an interview with the top-selling Yediot Aharanot daily, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that 2012 would be a critical year in efforts to halt what Israel and much of the international community believe is an Iranian nuclear arms program. “We think that a nuclear Iran is a very bad thing, which the world needs to stop and which Israel needs to stop – and we are planning accordingly,” Gantz said.
A video shows heavily-armed Israeli soldiers seizing three children from their home in the middle of the night in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar, a horrible routine that is part of a systematic campaign against the village’s children.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 13 Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Monday including three children and five university students in Al-Khalil.
Beit Ommar Resident Arrested On His Way To University
On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, Israeli soldiers arrested 21-year-old Nabil Mahmoud Salem Al-Alamy at about 9am at the entrance of Beit Ommar. Nabil is a student at Ahlia Univerisity in Bethlehem, and was on his way to the university when he was arrested. Beit Ommar residents face daily harassment and arrests from the soldiers at the entrance of the town, disrupting their daily life and interfering with their ability to go to school, work, and other places.
IPS isolates female prisoner after refusal to end strike
The Israeli prison service (IPS) isolated the Palestinian prisoner Lina Al-Jarboni after she refused to end her hunger strike that started last Tuesday.
Number Of Hunger-Striking Detainees Could Reach 3000
The number of Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel in various prisons, detention camps and interrogation facilities around the country, will likely reach 3000 as waves of detainees intend to join the strike, demanding their internationally-guaranteed rights.
140 Detainees Moved From Majeddo Prison
The International Tadamun (Solidarity) Foundation for Human Rights reported that the Israeli Prison Administration moved approximately 140 Palestinian hunger-striking detainees from the Majeddo prison to an undisclosed location; most of the detainees are members of Hamas and the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
National Demonstration: March for the Hunger Strikers – March for Palestine
Assemble at Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, *Please invite friends and share*ASSEMBLE 12 Noon at Charlotte Square to March to the Scottish Parliament.*Click here ( http://tinyurl.com/c8cmaus ) for Transport from Glasgow* Solidarity with the Palestinian Hunger Strikers! Free Palestine! Boycott Israel!Last week on Palestinian prisoners day, over 1350 Palestinians prisoners embarked on a mass indefinite hunger strike to protest the horrific conditions they face in Israeli jails. They have followed the lead of 10 other Palestinians detainees who are currently on indefinite hunger strike against their internment without charge. Two of them, Bilal Diab, 27, and Thaer Halahla, 34, have now been refusing food for over 55 days, and are in imminent danger of death with prisoner rights group Adameer describing their condition as “rapidly deteriorating”In Glasgow, hundreds of people have demonstrated at the BBC Scotland HQ protesting the media blackout on the continuing situation with the prisoners. The building was also occupied by protesters as mainstream media institutions are highlighting their complicity in Israel’s crimes through their silence on the issue.
Nabi Saleh picnic: Victory over the occupation
Photos by Lazar Simeonov. Sunday, April 22- A group of Palestinian women, laden with bags of food and a tabla, left together from Ramallah to the village of Nabi Saleh bubbling with anticipation. “I’m preparing myself to get arrested,” one of the women laughed.
Israeli gov’t advises bringing a gun on West Bank picnics, Allison Deger
When sojourning in the West Bank, the Israeli government recommends traveling armed “because the site[s are] adjacent to an Arab village,” said a travel guide produced by the Ministry of Defense and mailed to families of soldiers who have died. The publication was this year’s annual gift to the bereaved, and highlighted 40 travel destinations in occupied Palestine, including sites taken over by vigilante settlers.
10th Palestinians In Europe Conference To Kick Off Next Week
The 10th Palestinians in Europe Conference is due to begin next week as preparations completed. The event is organized by the General Secretariat of the Palestinians in Europe Conference, The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) and the Palestinian Forum in Denmark. It will take place on Saturday, 28th, April 2012 in Denmark, Copenhagen. The conference is titled “Our Spring blossoms our Return”
University of New Mexico mock wall highlights human rights issues in Israel/Palestine and the US-Mexico border, Danya Mustafa
Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of New Mexico had the honor to work with twenty other social justice organizations on our campus for our first ever Mock Wall Week. The coalition formed almost a year ago after seeing what the University of Arizona did with collaborating human rights issues with the US-Mexico Border and the Israeli Apartheid wall.
White Washing Apartheid
As a response to the highly successful One State Conference at Harvard held last month, a number of Harvard undergraduate and graduate students recently organized the Israel Conference. According to its website and an op-ed by the conference’s organizers, the conference is meant to showcase Israel’s innovation – in a way that is palatable to all parties involved in activism around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Speakers at the conference included Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson, Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer, the author of the book “Start-Up Nation” Dan Senor, Dennis Ross and a number of other panelists and entrepreneurs.Unfortunately, the Israel Conference brought to campus individuals whose disregard for international law raises questions regarding the conference’s dubious educational quality.
Bernard-Henri Lévy, a friend to Israel
The following is an excerpt from the brilliant new take-down of famed French “philosopher” Bernard Henri-Lévy by Jade Lindgaard and Xavier de la Porte. Titled The Impostor: BHL in Wonderland, the book is part of the recently inaugurated Verso Counterblasts series.
An Israeli court sentenced, Tuesday, an Israeli police officer who killed, in September 14 2010, a cuffed Palestinian, in Tel Aviv, to only eight months imprisonment.
Israel’s Education Ministry approved the textbook, ‘Taking the Civil Road,’ just last year but now says it has factual errors. Critics see the ban as part of a broader nationalistic push.
Israeli school curriculum in Arabic
This is from an Arabic textbook in the Zionist entity. It reads: “Dina: The state has built our Arab cities and towns and improved it a great deal. Ahmad: And that is why it decorated schools, shops, and schools with electricity. Khalid: And old people and children benefited from national insurance. All: Then let us all sing the national anthem”. I really never ever thought I would find worse crude propaganda than in Albania under Enver Hoxa until I read this.
Other Political Developments and News
Obama: U.S. is steadfast in its commitment to Israel’s security
In missive sent to President Peres on the occasion of Israel’s 64th Independence Day, American President wishes Israel ‘continued prosperity and a peaceful future.’
Israel can reach a peace deal with “worthy partner” Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli President Shimon Peres said in remarks published Monday, after the Palestinian leader expressed his grievances over the failed peace process.
An alliance of non-governmental Swiss organizations asked Bern not to receive Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman who is scheduled to arrive in the Swiss capital on Tuesday.
Jordanian public security director visits Jerusalem
Lt-Gen Hussein Hazza Majali visits Al-Aqsa mosque; diplomatic source says visit may be prelude for one by top Jordanian official.
In run-up to May 15, the Zionist occupation army is seeking to avoid repercussions of “Nakba Day” protests expected next month and has sent snipers for special training to sharpen their skills ahead of planned demonstrations.
Brother of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin to be released after serving 16.5 years in solitary confinement.
Report: Haniyeh to lead Hamas politburo in Gaza
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh won elections to lead the party’s political office in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday. Hamas officials told the newspaper the party elected its 77-member advisory council in Gaza and 15-member politburo in recent weeks. The paper said Hamas moderates Razi Hamed, Ahmed Yousef, and Salah al-Bardawil were not elected, while other leaders Yehia Sanwar, Khalil al-Hayeh, Nizar Awdallah, and Mahmoud Zahhar made the list. Imad al-Alami, formerly Damascus-based and recently returned to Cairo, was elected as Haniyeh’s deputy, Haaretz reported. Meanwhile a Hamas official denied the report, saying occasional leaks intend to push the party to release the names of the leaders.
When discrimination hits home (IHOP fired my dad for being Arab and Muslim), Roqayah Chamseddine
I have long written of discrimination, abuse and xenophobia as suffered by others; from Blacks in Libya to Muslims in the United States of America. But nothing could prepare me for this piece, one which will attempt to humbly relay what little information I am permitted to discuss, covering a lawsuit against the restaurant chain known as the International House of Pancakes (IHOP).
Condemning Nazi Comparisons and the Instant Israelification of Elie Wiesel, Nima Shirazi
In an interview with the Israeli daily Globes, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel rejected the constant comparisons and conflations of Nazi Germany with Iran, calling such efforts to drawn analogies to the Holocaust “unacceptable and impossible,” and also noted, “For example, there are the haredim (ultra-orthodox), who put yellow stars on their children in protests – and in Israel of all places. What have we come to?” Wiesel is of the opinion that “Iran is a danger, but to claim that it is creating a second Auschwitz? I compare nothing to the Holocaust.”
In a recent op-ed, the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman smugly offers the Palestinians how to settle their “conflict” with Israel: accept the settlements and the violent settlers, give up a large part of East Jerusalem, and forget about the refugees’ right of return.
It is impossible to understand the present Palestinian/Israeli conflict without understanding the past, in particular, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe, who are not Semitic people, but indigenous to Eastern Europe.
Crackdowns at funeral of Bahraini activist
Protesters taking part in the funeral in Bahrain of a man shot dead by security forces clashed with police on Monday in the village of Bilad al-Qadim, witnesses said. Hundreds took part in the funeral of 36-year-old Salah Abbas Habib who was found dead in a village on Saturday, after the opposition said police “brutally” dispersed a protest there and shot him, witnesses said. Security forces on Monday fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters who hurled petrol bombs and stones at policemen. No casualties were reported.
Bahraini Martyr’s Family Prevented from Examining Body, Faced with Bullets
It was until Monday when Bahraini martyr Salah Al-Balladi’s family was allowed to receive the body of its son who was killed by the Bahraini security forces on the eve of Formula One race.
Zainab Al Khawajah, leading Bahrain activist detained
A prominent pro-democracy activist in Bahrain has been detained for seven days after being arrested for allegedly insulting police, rights groups say.
Bahrain court delays ‘toying with hunger striker’s life’
The postponement of the appeals trial for 14 jailed opposition activists is toying with the life of prominent activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for 75 days in prison, Amnesty International said. In a hearing on Monday lasting just a few minutes, the Court of Cassation in Manama, Bahrain postponed the appeal until 30 April, apparently without giving any reason for the decision. This is the second postponement since the court started considering the case on 2 April. The postponement comes after a protester died over the weekend during mass street demonstrations as the island kingdom hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix – an investigation into his death has been opened.
Profile: Abdulhadi al-Khawaja
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Bahraini human rights and political activist.
Bahrain activist appeal postponed
Bahraini court postpones final verdict in the case of a hunger striker and 20 other democracy activists convicted of plotting to overthrow the kingdom’s rulers.
The daughter of a Bahraini hunger striker has condemned the decision to delay her father’s court ruling by a week, likening it to a “death sentence.” Jailed human rights leader Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja has been on hunger strike for 74 days and doctors have said he is in serious danger of organ failure. On Monday a court postponed for a week the final verdict in his appeal, along with 21 other pro-democracy activists convicted of plotting to overthrow the kingdom’s rulers. The activists helped organize mass rallies in 2011 calling for democratic reform.
Bahrain delays final verdict for 21 activists
Bahrain’s highest appeals court on Monday postponed for a week the final verdict in the case of 21 democracy activists convicted of plotting to overthrow the kingdom’s rulers, a decision criticised by Amnesty International.
Bahrain probes assault of British TV crew’s driver
Bahrain said Monday it is probing a deported British TV crew’s allegations their driver was assaulted as the journalists covered protests surrounding the kingdom’s Formula One race at the weekend.
Bahrain deports Channel 4 News team
Bahraini authorities have deported a team of Britain’s Channel 4 News for covering an anti-government protest after the completion of the Formula One race.
Unrest continues in Bahrain
A day after the Formula One Grand Prix race in Bahrain, our undercover correspondent in the Gulf state describes the events after the death of a protester.
Far from the well-protected Grand Prix race course in Manama, antigovernment protesters are met by tear gas rounds. CAIRO — Cars raced and protests echoed across the island kingdom of Bahrain on Sunday as the embattled royal family gambled on the Formula One Grand Prix to portray stability after more than a year of rebellion, mass arrests and hunger strikes.
Bahrain’s controversial Formula One Grand Prix went ahead despite protests on Sunday after a week in which opposition activists had urged F1 chiefs to abandon the desert race. King Hamad was among 10,500 spectators on the main grandstand and a smaller audience watched from other platforms as double world champion 24-year-old Sebastian Vettel of Germany led from start to finish.
Night of Bahrain Grand Prix shaping up to be ‘tense’
Al Jazeera’s special correspondent in Bahrain, who cannot be named for security reasons, reports that the situation in the villages outside Manama, the evening following the Bahrain Grand Prix “is already shaping up to be a tense night”. Our correspondent also reports on a press conference organised by the al Wefaq party with the family of Salah Abbas Habib, the protester whose body had been found on a rooftop on the eve of the race.
Al Jazeera speaks to Mansoor al Jamri about significance of Bahrain Grand Prix
Mansoor al Jamri, editor of the independent Al Wasat newspaper in Bahrain tells Al Jazeera that the Formula One will be a “milestone in the history of the events that we have been going through since last year”.
The Bahrain Grand Prix was an opportunity for the kingdom to demonstrate all is well after last year’s uprising, but the weekend race instead highlighted deep divisions between the ruling Sunni dynasty and the Shiite majority.
Bahrain F1 race: How a Sunni backlash kept an uprising at bay
The Formula One race in Bahrain today has put the spotlight back on an uprising here that has faltered due to sectarian distrust.
At last Bahrain has found the friends it deserves
It’s not quite a Conrad novel, but in John Yates and Bernie Ecclestone the charming al-Khalifas have met their match. For all the fact that it’s taking place in Abroad, what an uncomfortably British production the Bahrain Grand Prix has turned out to be. The whole thing echoes tales of forgotten outposts of the British empire, where a rogue commandant runs amok, assisted by conspiratorial officials banished there after various disgraces back in Blighty. Were the story in the hands of a novelistic genius like Joseph Conrad, our despotic rogue and his factotum might be some renegade captain from the East India Company and his amoral manager. But modern life has a way of failing to live up to fiction, which is why we’ve got Bernie Ecclestone and John Yates.
Bernie Ecclestone has followed the money and turned Formula One into a pariah sport
‘The world can see through the smokescreen put up by motor racing’s master of sophistry and self-interest’. News of the death of a protester in Bahrain, reported just before 24 Formula One cars set off for their qualifying session for grand prix, drowned the noise of engines everywhere except inside the paddock at the Sakhir circuit, where the drivers and engineers maintained their concentration on settling the order of the starting grid. In the view of Sebastian Vettel, the reigning world champion, they were getting back to what really mattered. Much of the outside world, however, had long since lost interest in listening to commentators discussing tyre temperatures and drag-reduction.
“The Obama administration has been subdued regarding the repression of protesters in Bahrain, home to the Navy’s Fifth Fleet that patrols the Persian Gulf. The administration’s approach has not gone unnoticed by rights activists or the authorities in Iran, which has portrayed the gentle American treatment of the Khalifa monarchy as part of a broader effort to align with other Sunni Arab governments, particularly Saudi Arabia.”
Egypt offers to sell Israel gas at new price
A senior Egyptian minister said on Monday her country was ready to resume gas exports to Israel at a new price, only hours after it was announced the country had scrapped a long-term contract. International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abul Naga said the “Egyptian side had no objections to reaching a new contract with new conditions and a new price,” the official MENA news agency reported. Egypt annulled the contract last Thursday, saying Israel had not met the conditions of a gas export accord signed in 2005.
Egypt terminates gas deal with Israel
Top official insists decision was not political as Israel says it overshadows peace agreement between the two countries.
Zionist self-delusions: Zionist Titanic
“Israel on Monday rushed to downplay the significance of Egypt cancelling its gas export deal with the Jewish state, casting it as a “commercial dispute” with no impact on their diplomatic ties. “The deal to supply gas is not part of the peace deal, but it is an important commercial deal that was an expression of the stable ties between the states,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli public radio in an interview from Baku. ”The unilateral cancellation of the deal is not a good sign, and we hope that this dispute will be resolved like any other commercial dispute, without taking it to the political realm,” he said.” The Zionist Titanic would be sinking and Zionist leaders would be saying: 1) no, we are not sinking. It is just wet on board (and underboard). 2) no, we are not sinking. There is an earthquake on board and we will be fun. 3) No, we are not sinking, we are diving and we will float back to the surface in no time. 4) no, we are not sinking but someone is throwing water on us as a prank. 5) No, we are not sinking but I can’t breath. 6) No, we are not sinking but we seem to be dancing and jittering.
Jordan says Egypt gas cuts cost Amman US$2 billion
Energy-poor Jordan warned on Monday that cut-offs in unstable Egyptian gas supplies could cost the kingdom more than US$2 billion this year. “We are worried about the energy situation. Egypt’s gas supplies have become an unstable source,” Minister of Trade and Industry Sami Gammoh told a news conference. “We are doing our best and in all directions. We have received promises from Iraq and Gulf states to help cover our needs.”
Resheq welcomes Egypt decision to terminate gas deal with Israel
Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq has welcomed the Egyptian decision to stop supplying Israel with natural gas.
Egypt’s cancellation of gas sales to Israel was inevitable
The gas pipeline had long drawn complaints of Mubarak-era corruption, popular anger at Israel, and the failure of commercial dealings to improve Egypt-Israel ties.
During a press conference held in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, 22 April, the head of Al-Nour, Egypt’s Islamist-Salafist party, asserted that his party rejects the blockade imposed on Gaza. “No human should be kept under siege and deprived of a decent life or opportunities in life”, said Emad El-Din Abdel Ghafour, whose party holds the second largest majority in the Egyptian parliament. Abdel Ghafour arrived in Gaza on Saturday, April 21 via the Rafah border crossing. During the press conference, he spoke of the Egyptian people’s enduring support for the Palestine Cause. “I left behind me all of Egypt longing to visit the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Egypt demands clarifications over Israeli foreign minister’s remarks
Egypt said on Monday it formally requested that Israel look into a statement attributed to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in which he described Egypt as more “worrying” than Israel’s arch-nemesis Iran.
Presidential candidate Moussa says Egypt in crisis
Egypt is facing daunting challenges, a leading candidate for president said Sunday, presenting his decades as a senior government official as a prime reason to vote for him and not an Islamist.
Ex-PM banned from Egypt presidential poll
Egypt’s ruling military junta ratified a law on Tuesday that will prevent former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq from running for president, state media reported. The law declares that senior political figures under the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak are unable to take up the role, disqualifying Shafiq from the contest. It was originally also expected to affect former spy chief Omar Suleiman, but he was disqualified earlier this month after failing to gather enough signatures to be a candidate.
Eight requests for licences to operate rejected because “the groups’ activities violated state sovereignty”.
Interpol, the international police organisation, Monday said it had rejected a call by Cairo for the arrest of 15 foreigners linked to non-governmental organisations operating in Egypt.
Egyptian lawyer sentenced to 20 lashes in Saudi Arabia for ‘defaming the king’
Egyptian lawyer, Ahmed El-Gizawy has been sentenced in absentia to one year in jail and 20 lashes, Monday, for “defaming” KIng Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during his visit to the gulf country to undertake the Islamic ritual “Umrah.” El-Gizawy is to receive the 20 lashes on Friday. The Egyptian lawyer was traveling with his family to Jeddah where he was detained on Tuesday, 17 April. El-Gizawy had filled legal cases calling for the release of Egyptians who are currently being held in Saudi Arabia’s prisons without court sentences. So far no official Egyptian government statement has been released commenting on the case.
Israel forces ‘ready to hit Iran if ordered’
Israeli forces are carrying out more special operations beyond the country’s borders and will be ready to attack Iran’s nuclear sites if ordered, the chief-of-staff said in an interview on Sunday.
Iran ‘building copy of US drone’
Iran begins building a copy of the US surveillance drone it captured last year, after breaking its encryption codes, Iranian officials say.
Iranian Spy Drone Mass-Production Would Cause Worst-Case Scenario
COMMENTARY | Iran claims it has successfully reverse-engineered the American spy drone captured last year within the country’s borders, according to the Associated Press. As someone who studies politics, I am not very worried about Iran using this technology as much as I am concerned by the door this opens for the nation. The thought of Iran sharing this technology with other countries and terrorist organizations scares me the most.
Carter warns against war with Iran
Former US President Jimmy Carter warned against a possible war with Iran Monday as he decried his nation’s involvement in unjust conflicts at a summit of Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Chicago.
Sajjad Jafari, “What Iran Will Do With US RQ-170 Sentinel Drone”
Sajjad Jafari is an Iranian cartoonist. Cf. “The number of [scientific] publications from Iran has grown from just 736 in 1996 to 13,238 in 2008 — making it the fastest growing country in terms of numbers of scientific publications in the world. In August 2009, Iran announced a ‘comprehensive plan for science’ focused on higher education and stronger links between industry and academia. The establishment of a US$2.5 million centre for nanotechnology research is one of the products of this plan.
Kurds And Turks Uneasy About Maliki; 12 Iraqis Killed in Attacks
At a news conference yesterday, Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani revealed his opposition to the sale of F-16 jets to Iraq by the United States. Neighboring Turkey has been openly apprehensive over Maliki’s “self-centered” behavior as well, causing Maliki to call Turkey a “hostile state.” Meanwhile, at least 12 Iraqis were killed and 10 more were wounded in the latest attacks.
Iraq PM must not obtain F-16s: Kurdistan chief
Massud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan, said he opposes the sale of F-16 warplanes to Iraq while Nuri al-Maliki is premier, as he fears they would be used against the region.
Iran-Iraq unique, unbreakable: Rahimi
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi says relations between the Iranian and the Iraqi nations and governments are unique and unbreakable, adding that the two countries can become major powers.
Maliki in Tehran: A Desperate Search for Support
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s current visit to Iran, his first since he began his second term in office, is officially being billed as an opportunity to consult with his hosts about regional developments and to sign a number of bilateral cooperation agreements.
DUBAI 23 April 2012 (IRIN) – It was 21 February 2006. The date is etched in Samia’s* mind. She was in her kitchen making tea for her brother’s family, who was visiting her at her home in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, when gunfire broke out in the sitting room.
DUBAI 23 April 2012 (IRIN) – Syria is home to the largest Iraqi refugee population in the world – an estimated one million people, of whom 102,000 are registered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
“Al-Qa’ida killed two of our men here two days ago,” the cop said. “Then they called us up to tell us the name of their operation – on a police radio!” We were standing in rebuilt Fallujah, where the police request all foreigners to call by for an escort. We got six, one wearing a ski mask. You get the idea. As a police colonel said later: “Al-Qa’ida [is] still here, they are a nuisance, to me personally when I have to move around the city. But they are not what they were.”
Violence in Syria ongoing despite UN monitors
A car bomb exploded in central Damascus on Tuesday, Syrian state television reported, as the tentative ceasefire in the country was further tested. Three people were injured in the attack in the center of the city, the report added. “An armed terrorist group detonated the car bomb near the Yelbugha complex in the Marjeh district of Damascus, wounding three people and causing damage to nearby buildings,” the television said. The Syrian capital has been the scene of several car bombs in recent months that have mainly targeted security officials. The blast came as the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said violence across the country killed nearly 60 people on Monday, despite a fragile ceasefire that went into effect April 12.
Syria army ‘kills dozens in Hama’
Shells and gunfire from Syrian security forces have killed 33 people in the city of Hama, activists say, as the EU imposes a new round of sanctions.
Syria car bomb wounds three amid ceasefire
A car bomb on Tuesday rocked central Damascus, a day after nearly 60 were killed across Syria despite a hard-won ceasefire and the upcoming deployment of 300 UN peace monitors.
Syrian rebels target security officials in capital
Rebels seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime launched three separate attacks on his security forces around Damascus on Tuesday, killing two ranking officers and rocking the capital with a booby-trapped car, activists and state media said.
UN team tours Syria amid reports of violence
Damascus suburb reportedly stormed by government forces, as envoy Kofi Annan urges both sides to “put down weapons”.
The UN Security Council voted Saturday to expand the number of observers in Syria from 30 to 300, but fighting continues.
UN observers to stay in Homs as Annan urges peace
Two UN observers set up base in Homs on Sunday, their spokesman said, as peace envoy Kofi Annan urged both sides to respect the fragile truce in the country. The spokesman, Neeraj Singh, said other members of the eight-member advance UN team of observers mandated to monitor the April 12 ceasefire were pursuing field visits elsewhere in the strife-torn country. “Yesterday (Saturday), the UN advance team visited Homs where they met with the local authorities and all the parties,” Singh told AFP.
500 Syrians flee to Jordan after ambushes: charity
A prominent Jordanian charity said on Monday that some 500 Syrian refugees have fled to the neighbouring kingdom in the past two days after escaping from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Jordan needs help for hosting Syrian refugees: U.N.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Sunday cash-strapped Jordan needs help to cope with housing tens of thousands of Syrians who have fled the unrest in their country to the neighboring Kingdom. “Jordan has always been generous to refugees.
The lousy repressive Syrian regime has arrested Syrian-Palestinian Marxist leftist writer, Salamah Kilah (who writes in Al-Akhbar). I got word (based on his wife’s account) that his house was searched by security thugs of the regime and that computers were confiscated and they said that he would be returned in the morning.
U.S. puts sanctions on telecom firms in Syria, Iran
The Obama administration announces sanctions for recording cellphone calls, monitoring Internet traffic and employing other technological tools to ‘facilitate grave human rights abuses.’
Syrian ‘revolutionaries’ blame Gulf states of corrupting their revolution
“…And there you have it. As Khouri notes, there’s now a new group called the “Security Cooperation Forum” linking the US with the Gulf Cooperation Council. La Clinton turned up to assure the oil states of Washington’s “rock solid and unwavering commitment” to the GCC. Now where have we heard that before? Why, isn’t that what Obama is always saying to the Israelis? And weren’t Bibi Netanyahu of Israel and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia the two guys who called Obama to ask him to save Mubarak? And in Syria – where the Qataris and the Saudis are all too keen to send weapons for the rebels – things are not going very well for the revolution. After claiming for weeks a year ago that “armed bands” were attacking government forces, the bands now exist and are well and truly attacking Assad’s legions. For many tens of thousands who were prepared to demonstrate peacefully – albeit at the cost of their lives – this has become a disaster. Syrian friends of mine call it a “tragedy”. They blame the Gulf states for encouraging the armed uprising. “Our revolution was pure and clean and now it’s a war,” one of them said to me last week. I believe them…”
Inside Syria – Syria’s friends in high places
As Russia and China veto a draft resolution backing an Arab call for Syria’s President al-Assad to step down, we talk to former US ambassador to Syria Richard Murphy, veteran foreign correspondent Robert Fisk and political analyst Ivan Safranchuck.
Sabra Market: Short of Syrian Goods
The name of the Sabra area in Beirut will always be associated with the horrific massacre that took place there during the Israeli invasion in 1982. Sabra’s popular market makes this struggling neighborhood one of the most crowded and liveliest in the Lebanese capital. Stepping into the market, you will be surprised by the varied scenes, most of which feature deprivation, neglect, and chaos. Various goods are displayed on the pavement or in stalls and shops. They are everywhere and fill every corner so that no space is left unused.
Media Scoundrels Promote War on Syria, Stephen Lendman
Syria’s a battle zone. Western generated violence is to blame, not Assad. America’s media scoundrels claim otherwise. They want him ousted by any means, including war. An April 9 Wall Street Journal commentary said “Syrian government forces (keep) bombing and killing….” Assad “reneged on (his) promises to end the bloodshed.” Washington “and its allies (are) doing little or nothing to depose (his) regime. (The) illusion of diplomatic progress serves as cover for the Assads of the world to do more killing. Your move, President Obama.”
Other Mideast and World News
A Jordanian news website editor was charged with anti-regime incitement on Monday, a prosecutor said, after he published allegations over a graft probe into a US$7 billion project. “Jamal Muhtaseb, chief editor of Gerasa News, was charged with incitement against the regime today,” the military state security court prosecutor told AFP without elaborating, speaking on condition of anonymity. The news report published the same day quoted an unnamed MP as claiming that “lower house deputies had received ‘royal directives’ not to indict a former minister for alleged graft.”
Arrest warrant for Lebanese man who contacted Israel
BEIRUT: Military Investigative Judge Imad al-Zein issued an arrest warrant for a Lebanese man accused of contacting Israel and providing it with information on missing Israeli military airman Ron Arad.
Libya: Central government must protect Kufra residents from militia clashes
The Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) must take steps to ensure that residents in the south-eastern city of Kufra are protected from reckless fire and receive immediate access to medical care, Amnesty International said amid renewed clashes between armed militias. Fighting broke out in Kufra on Friday between armed militias after a Tabu man was killed by unidentified assailants. There have been 10 fatalities and more than 30 people injured, say local residents and medical professionals.
The Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) must act immediately to investigate and prosecute abuses against the Tawargha community of black Libyans, said Amnesty International today, after another Tawargha man was tortured to death in a Misratah detention centre. The body of 44-year-old father of two Barnous Bous’a was delivered to his family on 16 April. It was covered with bruises and cuts, including an open wound to the back of the head. Barnous Bous’a was a civilian who fled his home in Kararim in western Libya during the armed conflict, settling in Sirte.
Jailed Saudi activist will not appeal due to legal ‘bias’
The lawyer for a Saudi activist sentenced to four years in prison for supporting pro-democracy groups said on Tuesday there were no plans to appeal the sentence, stating the country’s legal system was biased. A secret court in Riyadh last week sentenced prominent Saudi rights campaigner Mohamad al-Bajadi to four years in prison, sparking international condemnation. Bajadi was detained in March 2011 after voicing support for families demonstrating outside the Interior Ministry in Riyadh to demand the release of jailed relatives.
Muslims discriminated against for demonstrating their faith
European governments must do more to challenge the negative stereotypes and prejudices against Muslims fuelling discrimination especially in education and employment, a new report by Amnesty International reveals today. “Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf. Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination.
“Our steadfast pursuit of a freer Saudi Arabia”
A must-read, and courageous, letter from Saudi Arabia by Waleed Abu Alkhair in WaPo: Every week, I am host to several dozen people at my home, most of them politically engaged Saudi youth. I started the salon after government and religious authorities clamped down on gatherings of liberal youth in cafes and bookstores in the wake of Hamza’s arrest, severely constricting the space for free expression in this city. The oppressive trend has accelerated as religious hard-liners have mounted a vicious campaign to cleanse society of what they deem “unbelief” and “deviant thought”: in reality, any ideology different from their own
Norway mass killer calls rampage ‘necessary’
Breivik apologises to one victim and explains action as “minor barbarity to prevent larger one” of multiculturalism.