OCHA: Israel displaced more than 60 Palestinians last week
The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said Israel displaced more than 60 Palestinians during one week after demolishing their homes in West Bank areas.
A deteriorating situation in the Jordan Valley: a family evicted without official orders
On 20 April 2012, the Zamel family living in the village of Ein El-Hilweh in the Jordan Valley were forcibly removed from their home. The family were forced to dismantle their own tents, despite no official demolishing order presented to them by the Israeli army. Ein El-Hilweh, as is over 90 percent of the Jordan Valley, is located in Area C which means that the area is under full military and civil control by the Israeli occupation authority. To enter or leave this area from and to the West Bank one has to pass through one of the four Israeli checkpoints in the Jordan Valley. The Zamel family have lived in the Ein El-Hilweh village for hundreds of years. They travel twice a year within the same area, and have currently has set up their tents at their summer location, a place very close to the water spring that is forbidden for Palestinians to use. In the winter they move 400 meters further away to Be’our, a place on a hilltop.
Israel approved more than 4,300 new illegal settlement units last month
MEMO 4 June — The monthly report issued by the PLO’s Department of International Relations has revealed that Israel approved the construction of more than 4,300 new illegal settlement units in May. “A people under occupation” also gives details of Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and their property, which are ongoing.
Settlers ‘expanding illegal outpost’ near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Tuesday annexed privately-owned Palestinian land to expand an illegal outpost south of Hebron, a local official said. Coordinator of the committee against settlements Ratib al-Jubour said in a statement that settlers from Avigayil outpost were digging up land belonging to the Jabarin and Muhammad families in Masafer Yatta, an area at the southern tip of the West Bank.
Protesting the right to live on stolen land: Israeli settlers begin protest march to Jerusalem
Hundreds of young settlers began marching from a West Bank outpost to Jerusalem on Monday to protest against plans to raze five homes built on private Palestinian land.
Minister warns that legitimising settlements will lead to international isolation of Israel
Israel’s Minister of Public Works, Michael Eitan, has warned his government that the consequence of legitimising settlements on private Palestinian land will be the “isolation of Israel internationally”. Eitan’s comments came after the Chairman of the Board of Settlements in the occupied West Bank, Danny Dayan, said that it has become necessary to enact a special law which legitimises such currently illegal settlement “outposts”.
“What Israel destroys, we rebuild”: villagers determined to remain in South Hebron Hills, Lydia James
Residents of the isolated village al-Mufaqarah struggle to remain on their land and expose their plight despite Israel’s attempts to isolate them.
Stop the bulldozers, Act now: end JCB’s complicity in Israel’s destruction of Palestinian communities, Adri Nieuwhof
British charity War on Want has launched the Stop the Bulldozers-campaign aiming to end British firm JCB’s complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.
Israeli airstrikes destroy dairy factory for the fourth time in three years, Alex Kane
Four times. That’s how many occasions Abu Haroun Dalloul has witnessed his dairy factory in the Gaza Strip pulverized by Israeli bombs. The latest attack came last night as part of a wave of Israeli air raids on Gaza over the weekend that injured 13 Palestinians and killed two.
Israeli maneuvers in Jordan Valley cut water supplies to nearby village
Villagers in Ein Shibli village in central Jordan Valley have complained that maneuvers conducted by the IOF at the slopes of nearby mountains had cut off water supplies to their homes.
Occupation continues to close Nabi Saleh village for the fourth day
Occupation forces continued to impose a tight security cordon on the village of Nabi Saleh northwest of Ramallah for the fourth consecutive day, since last Friday morning.
Committee of refugees demands Arab position against US congress scheme
The higher committee for the Palestinian refugee’s right to return called for developing a unified Arab position against the US congress’s attempt to liquidate the cause of Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinian residents of Baddawi refugee camp in northern Lebanon are increasingly being caught in the crossfire, sparking fears that the camp could be drawn into the sectarian fighting taking place in Tripoli.
Palestinian town on Green Line bears scars of history
BARTAA, Palestinian Territories, June 5, 2012 (AFP) – “The Green Line? Here it is!” jokes Yussef Kabha, drawing an imaginary line through the main street in Bartaa’s souk, between a shop selling sequined dresses and a dried fruit stall. The fabled Green Line is the de facto boundary laid down in the 1949 armistice agreement which ended the war that broke out when Israel declared its independence a year earlier. A constant point of reference within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Green Line — which gets its name from the green pen used to trace its route — is mentioned in every international peace plan since 1993, and is considered by the Palestinians as the starting point for peace talks, with negotiators referring to it as “the pre-1967 lines.”
Palestinians mark Naksa Day
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hundreds of Palestinians on Tuesday rallied in Gaza City to mark the anniversary of a 1967 Mideast war in which Israel defeated five Arab armies and seized the occupied territories. Palestinians mark the Naksa, or 1967 setback, each year on June 5 with large rallies across the occupied territories. Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the war.
Medics: 9 hurt at Naksa day rally
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Nine Palestinians were injured Tuesday as Palestinians rallied near the Ofer prison to mark the 45th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, medics said. In East Jerusalem, protesters marched down Nablus street while hundreds rallied in the Gaza Strip as the Naksa day events got underway. The Naksa, meaning “setback,” is marked every year on June 6.
Hebron: gathering to commemorate Naksa Day
On June 5, 2012, Palestinians will gather in the streets of Al Khalil (Hebron) to memorialize Naksa Day. Naksa Day marks the 45th year of the illegal occupation of Palestinian land by the Israeli forces, as a result of the 1967 war, leading to the displacement of thousands of Palestinians. The demonstration is planned to commence in H1 territory (Palestinian Authority controlled area) of Al Khalil near the municipality buildings. After gathering, the procession will march towards H2 territory of Al Khalil (Israeli military control). Upon reaching the territories they will attempt to enter and carry out a peaceful demonstration. It is predictable that that the protesters will not step foot into H2 territory without being confronted by the Israeli military. It is also predictable that they will not be deterred by the soldiers and their M-16s. As is the case for peaceful protesters in the occupied West Bank, they will continue to march despite the grave risk of military violence, to demonstrate the injustice Palestinians have faced since the illegal annexation of their land by Israel.
Naksa: When the Tanks Came Rolling in, Mazin Qumsiyeh
It seems like yesterday that we watched Israeli tanks rolling down the hills towards our sleepy town of Beit Sahour 45 years ago today. As a child it was the most frightening sight. The second stage of the Zionist expansion on the land of Palestine unleashed terror that our generation had not experienced but my parents’ generation had during eth Nakba when between January 1948 and the end of 1949, some 530 villages and towns were ethnically cleansed.
Siege on Gaza / Flotillas
On World Environment Day: Al Mezan Warns of Critical Environmental Situation in Gaza Strip
Tuesday 5 June 2012 marks World Environment Day. It is an important occasion on which to assert the importance of respect for all peoples’ environmental rights. International human rights conventions emphasize the close relationship between the environment and the individual’s enjoyment of basic rights. Realization of environmental rights is a key factor in people’s lives and welfare. This year, World Environment Day is being observed with the slogan “green economy,” emphasize the vital role of the environment in achieving development and preserving natural resources against exhaustion and pollution.
Gaza energy authority slams Egypt for not allowing in Qatar fuel aid
The Palestinian authority of energy and natural resources in Gaza deplored the Egyptian authorities for persistently delaying the delivery of the Qatari fuel aid to the Gaza Strip.
Gaza’s natural gas, the unreachable treasure
Under Gaza’s glittering waters of the Mediterranean, a strategic gas reservoir that is capable of ending the crippling power crisis in this Palestinian enclave has been lying out of commission since it was discovered 12 years ago. Now, electricity outage in Gaza is suffered up to 12 hours per day, as the only power plant lacks enough diesel to run its turbines. Cars stop in long queues for hours at petrol stations, hospitals warning that fuel for generators is running up and cooking gas suffers sporadic shortages.
A Long Forgotten Memory, Gaza
Last month, Gaza exported the first truckload of clothes in 5 years to the United Kingdom (UK) as part of a pilot project funded with British aid to rebuild a clothing factory that was forced to shut down in 2007 after the beginning of the blockade. Sadi Mustafa Abu Shaqfa, a tailor by profession living in Al Shaati Camp, remembers a time when he provided work for others at his sewing workshop while making good profits.
Turkey Presses Case Against Israeli Officers in Raid on Ship
An Istanbul court ordered that Israel be formally notified of the charges against four former Israeli military commanders over a 2010 raid on a Turkish ship headed for Gaza.
Court postpones Zoabi flotilla petition decision
Decision on Zoabi’s petition, decrying Knesset sanctions imposed for her participation in Gaza flotilla, postponed.
Father of son killed by Israelis on Gaza flotilla calls for justice
Ahmet Dogan (fourth from right) visited the Islamic University of Gaza, where a memorial and scholarships in Furkan’s name are among the tributes to his son The father of the young man killed in the attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla two years ago, recently visited Gaza with Al Fakhoora officials describing his experience as “intensely emotional” and expressing his gratitude for the support shown by the people there. Ahmet Togan, whose son Furkan was killed by Israeli forces aboard the flotilla, spoke to Gulf Times following his visit, explaining that he is still campaigning for justice for his son and arguing that the US government has not done enough to support Furkan’s case, despite his US citizenship.
Gaza remembers the ‘Mavi Marmara’, Talgha Bendie
The 31st of May 2012 marked the second anniversary of the Mavi Marmara attack in which nine Turkish activists were killed and many more injured when they attempted to sail to Gaza in order to break the illegal Israeli siege. The Mavi Marmara, which was part of an international freedom flotilla, was raided by Israeli military force commandos in international waters when they came under attack. The result was: nine martyrs, many injured and one person who is still in a coma due to traumatic brain damage.
Israeli Violence & Aggression
Series of Israeli raids injure seven in Gaza including 5-month-old infant
A series of Israeli aerial raids on various areas of the Gaza Strip at dawn Sunday inflicted seven casualties in one building in Nuseirat refugee camp, medical sources said.
Israeli soldiers fire at Jerusalemite demo
Israeli occupation troops fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters at a group of Jerusalemites near Abu Dis town in a bid to disperse their demonstration on Monday night.
Palestinians treated for gas inhalation in Ofer
A number of Palestinian young men were treated for gas inhalation in front of the Israeli prison Ofer near Ramallah on Tuesday, local sources said.
Palestinians’ cars vandalised in mass settler attack
Saturdays are frequently punctuated by violence in Silwan, with Israeli settlers invoking an ugly interpretation of the holy Jewish shabbat to wage violence on local Palestinians and their property. On Saturday 2 June, a band of religious settlers numbering in their dozens on their way to Ein Silwan vandalised several vehicles belonging to Palestinian residents, causing serious damage such as destroyed tires and wrecked paint jobs. Kamel al-Banna, one of the owners of the attacked vehicles, stated that despite pressing charges against the offenders, whose attack was caught both caught on tape and witnessed by settler security guards, police closed the file. Many Palestinians of Silwan have come to dread Saturdays as large numbers of settlers and right-wing Israelis enter the neighborhood, verbally and physically harassing locals. Police turn a blind eye to such disruptions, whilst Palestinian youth are frequently targeted for minor demeanors and false charges. Some two weeks prior, Israeli Police tried to arrest a Palestinian after Israeli settlers attacked the Ein Silwan mosque.
Wounded Youth Moved To Jordan For Treatment
Consultant to the legal unit established by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to follow up Israeli violations of Palestinians rights, Naela Attiyeh, reported that resident Najeh as-Safadi has been transferred to Jordan to continue his treatment after forty centimeters of his intestine was removed due a gunshot wound, in addition to several health complications.
On 21 May 2012, settlers attacked a group of Palestinian farmers harvesting on their land near the Mitzpe Yair outpost. One settler lifted a sickle from the ground and brandished it threateningly at B’Tselem field researcher Nasser Nawaj’ah, who was present, then grabbed Nawaj’ah’s camera and smashed it. The soldiers standing nearby did nothing to prevent the attack. B’Tselem submitted a complaint to the Judea and Samaria district police.
Prisoner society: The IOF kidnapped 15 patients from Al-Khalil last month
The Palestinian prisoner society said the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped last May more than 100 Palestinian citizens, including 15 patients, from Al-Khalil city.
The occupation deprives 18 detained students from completing their studies
Eighteen students, from Beit Ommar town in Al-Khalil, were deprived from sitting for their final examinations, after being arrested by the IOF.
IOF kidnap five Palestinians in Al-Khalil and Tubas
Israeli occupation forces kidnapped at dawn Tuesday four Palestinian citizens from Al-Khalil city and one from Tubas city, while one citizen was wounded during violent raids in Halhoul town.
The Israeli courts have extended the detention of three young residents of Silwan by a further 5 days, following their arrest one week ago on secret charges. Muhannad al-Kawasmi (18), Ahmad Basboos (20) and Alaa al-Kaimari (20) will appear before the court next Thursday, 7 June. It is expected that state prosecution will request another extension of their detention.
IOF soldiers arrest journalist few days before his wedding
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested Palestinian journalist Sharif Al-Rejoub from his home in Dura town, south of Al-Khalil, only few days before his wedding.
Abbas’ security apparatus continues its political arrests campaign
PA security apparatus arrested two brothers from Hamas supporters, from Tubas town in the West Bank, one of them suffering from a serious health condition.
Report: PA authority arrest 40 Hamas supporters during May
PIC 3 May — Hamas’s information office issued its monthly report documenting the breaches of the PA in Ramallah. The report confirmed that the PA security services carried out an arrest campaign against the supporters and cadres of Hamas, where they arrested 40 citizens during May, most of them are liberated detainees, academics, university students, and activists in solidarity with striking prisoners.
Hunger striker in PA jail taken to hospital
Abdullah Al-Aker was transferred to hospital on Saturday night after his health deteriorated following nine days of hunger strike in Palestinian Authority jails in Nablus.
Barhoum: Political detention does not serve the national reconciliation
The official spokesman for Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum, held the PA responsible for the life of Abdullah Aker, a political prisoner in PA’s aljunied prison, regarding his deteriorating health.
Mahmoud a-Sarsak, imprisoned in Israel for about 3 years, has been on a hunger strike for some 80 days and in danger of death
Mahmoud a-Sarsak, age 25, a resident of the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza, has been imprisoned by Israel for the last three years under the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law of 2002. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel report that a-Sarsak, who has been on a hunger strike for some 80 days, has lost a great deal of weight and that his life is in imminent danger. The Israel Security Agency (ISA) did not permit a-Sarsak to be checked by independent physicians, and so PHR-Israel petitioned the court to allow one of its physicians to examine him. The petition was heard on 30 May 2012 in the Central District Court in Petakh Tikvah, and Judge Abraham Tal ruled that the ISA must set a date for the examination. Yesterday, the ISA notified the organization that the examination would take place tomorrow, 6 June 2012.
Video: Palestine footballer Mahmoud Sarsak’s mother speaks out as jailed son’s condition grows desperate, Ali Abunimah
As his condition grows ever more desperate, the mother of jailed, hunger-striking Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak has appealed for his release and safe return home.
‘Don’t wait until we’re in body bags’: Two Palestinian hunger strikers’ “final distress call”, Ali Abunimah
“There is still enough time and the support that comes late is better than that which does not come at all. It is better that you receive us alive and victorious rather than as lifeless bodies in black bags.”
Israel detention ends Gaza footballer’s dream, Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA: Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Al-Sarsak left the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2009 to play football in the West Bank. But he never reached his goal. He was arrested by Israeli security and, after three years of detention without trial, Sarsak is on hunger strike. His current term of detention term ends on August 22 but there is no guarantee that it will not be renewed for a further six months, as it has been before, his family and lawyer said. ”The entire family and friends are afraid for Mahmoud’s life and the worry is killing us,” said Sarsak’s older brother, Emad. The 25-year-old is in an Israeli jail on secret charges that he is an “unlawful combatant” linked to the militant group Islamic Jihad, an allegation he denies.
The Palestinian female prisoners’ dean Lena Jerboni has been recently transferred to Meir hospital following the deterioration of her health, the Palestinian prisoners’ center revealed.
Detainee Suffering Serious Illness, Requires Urgent Care
Political Prisoner Amer Bahar, from Abu Dis near occupied East Jerusalem, is reportedly suffering from a serious illness that requires care beyond the provisions of a prison clinic. Bahr was visited by the head of the legal unit of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), lawyer Jawad Boulos, who confirmed that the PPS will be appealing for an early release.
Prisoner Held in Administraive Detentin for Two Years Continues Strike
RAMALLAH, June 5, 2012 (WAFA) – A Palestinian prisoner arrested in Israel in 2010 has been on hunger strike for 15 days to protest his administrative detention since his arrest, Jawad Boulus, an attorney for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC), said on Tuesday. He said Samer al-Baraq, from the village of Jayyous, near Qalqilia, has been on hunger strike since May 22, less than 10 days after more than 2000 prisoners have called off their month-long hunger strike, to protest his detention for around two years without charge or trail. Baraq, who lived in Pakistan until 2003, returned to Jordan and was arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for five years. After his release in 2008, he worked in Jordan as a teacher until he was rearrested in 2010 for 77 days. He was turned over to Israel where he was detained for no clear charges. Baraq was assured by leaders of the striking prisoners that he will be released soon, however his administrative detention order was renewed for another three months forcing Baraq to resume his strike.
Occupation returns the detainee Salatna to administrative detention
Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights stated that the Israeli occupation authorities has turned, on Monday, a detainee, from Jaba village, to administrative detention after the end of his sentence.
Israel renews administrative detention of deal-broker
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court on Sunday renewed the administrative detention of a prisoners representative who helped broker last month’s deal to improve detainees’ conditions. Ofer court extended the detention without charge of Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi, an Islamic Jihad leader from West Bank city Jenin, for a further six months, Prisoners Society lawyer Jawad Boulos said. Al-Saadi played an important role in reaching the deal with Israeli prison authorities to end a mass hunger strike in exchange for detainees’ demands, society chief Qadura Fares said. He attended the signing of the agreement in Ramle prison hospital on May 14.
The Jordanian Authorities prevent ex-prisoner Nizar Tamimi from entering Jordan
The Jordanian authorities prevented ex-prisoner Nizar al-Tamimi, liberated under “Wafa-Ahrar” deal, from entering the Kingdom, to celebrate his wedding.
An appeal to release administrative detainee Husam Harb
Ahrar Center for Prisoners’ Studies of and Human Rights appealed to international institutions and human rights organizations to intervene for the immediate release of Husam Harb.
Israeli prison service disclaims any agreement on administrative detainees
The administrative detainees of Hamas, in Negev prison, said that the Israeli prison service leadership has denied any agreement on the administrative prisoners in the last agreement.
Samer Abu Seir’s mother passed away this morning. Samer was to get engaged this evening to make his mother happy before she died but destiny stood against his intentions.
Detainee Halahla Released
Israel released Palestinian detainee Thaer Halahla, 32, ending his illegal Administrative Detention, without charges or trial, starting when he was kidnapped by the army on June 26, 2010.
BDS / Solidarity / Activism
The student body of an American university has become the latest Western institution to back divestment from companies involved with the Israeli army. Arizona State University’s student union unanimously passed a bill demanding the university divest from and blacklist companies that continue to provide the Israeli army with weapons and militarized equipment. Among the companies that work with the Israeli army are Boeing, Motorola, United Technologies, Petrochina, Sinopec, and Alstom.
Arab writers withdraw from U.S. book over publisher’s refusal to remove Israeli contributions
But, according to Inside Higher Ed, one of the anthology’s 29 authors said that she would withdraw her work from the anthology unless it excluded the work of two Israeli writers who were also asked to contribute to the anthology. When the publishers refused to exclude the Israelis, a total of 13 authors withdrew their work from the book — which would have left the book without any Arab contributors. This led the center to cancel the book’s publication.
In an interview on Democracy Now, Norman Finkelstein renewed his attack on Palestinians and the BDS movement in strident terms. A response.
Solidarity march with footballer on 82nd day of hunger strike
Dozens of people took part in a march in Gaza on Monday in solidarity with Mahmoud Sarsak, who has been on hunger strike in Israeli occupation jails for 82 days.
LGBT activists protest NYC ‘Celebrate Israel’ parade, Adam Horowitz
LGBT activists protested at New York City’s “Celebrate Israel” parade today, objecting to Israel’s apartheid laws denying Palestinian human rights and its use of gay rights messaging to portray Israel as open and democratic. Signs reading “Support Palestinian Queers” and “Israel: Stop Pinkwashing Apartheid” dotted the sidelines of the Fifth Avenue parade. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) organized the protest.
New report: JCB complicit in Israel’s crimes against Palestinian people
War on Want – AIC – “War on Want is calling for people to contact JCB to raise concerns over its activities in Palestine, and to demand that the company ends its arms sales to Israel and takes steps to ensure its equipment is not used by Israel to commit war crimes against the Palestinian people”
Below is an excerpt from the fifth trip report of the Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) delegation to Palestine/Israel. It was written by Lissie Perkal.
A Failing Boycott Campaign?
The claim that BDS efforts are failing is a favorite of pro-Israel opponents of BDS. Just this past weekend, in reaction to Madonna performing her “peace concert” Israel, the Board of Deputies of British Jews claimed that comparisons with apartheid-era South Africa were “a specious and desperate effort by a failing boycott campaign.”
Racism / Discrimination
Israel asks Arab visitors to open emails to search
When Sandra Tamari arrived at Israel’s international airport, she received an unusual request: A security agent pushed a computer screen in front of her, connected to Gmail and told her to “log in.”
Discrimination Against Arab Communities in Israel and Palestine, Stephen Lendman
An April joint Bimkom Planners for Planning Rights/Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP) report titled “Outline Planning for Arab Localities in Israel” explains state-sponsored discriminatory injustice. Bimkom’s Cesar Yeudki called study findings “a recipe for further widening the gaps between population groups in Israeli society.” The report discussed Arab community planning for the first time. It reviewed 119 areas with about 950,000 residents. It compared variations in planning solutions for Arab and Jewish locations.
Four hurt as Africans’ home torched in Jerusalem
Four African migrants were taken to an Israeli hospital with burns and smoke inhalation on Monday after a potentially deadly arson attempt on the Jerusalem building in which they were living, police said.
Shas to Sudanese: You’re ruining our dream
The Shas journal has officially joined the struggle against infiltrators led by party chairman Eli Yishai. The party’s journal, Yom LeYom recently published a public letter to the infiltrators containing “serious talk with the serious Sudanese, out of love and decency.” The bottom line: “You’re ruining our dream; it’s best if we go our separate ways.”
Israeli Interior Minister on African immigrants: ‘Most of those people arriving here are Muslims who think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man’, Adam Horowitz
[Interior Minister Eli] Yishai, of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, told the newspaper Maariv on Friday he saw the African arrivals, many of whom are Muslims or Christians, as a demographic threat. ”The infiltrators along with the Palestinians will quickly bring us to the end of the Zionist dream,” Yishai said, adding that Israel had its own health and welfare issues. “We don’t need to import more problems from Africa.” ”Most of those people arriving here are Muslims who think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man,” Yishai said in the interview with Maariv.
Egyptians foil infiltration attempt
Infiltration of 36 African migrants to Israel prevented due to coordination between IDF, Sinai security forces.
Israel’s five-year war on African migrants
From building a new border fence to setting up the world’s largest detention facility for asylum seekers, Israel’s government has tried a number of different strategies designed to keep African migrants out.
Ethiopian-Israeli Jews, mistaken for African migrant workers, feel racism’s pain
JERUSALEM (JTA) — When violent riots against African migrant workers erupted in south Tel Aviv recently, a mob attacked Hanania Wanda, a Jew of Ethiopian origin, mistaking him for a Sudanese migrant worker. ”Wanda is my friend,” says Elias Inbram, a social activist in the Ethiopian community and a former member of the Israeli diplomatic corps who served as spokesman for the embassy in South Africa. “I knew I had to react somehow.” He suddenly realized, says Inbram, 38, “that since to white people, all blacks look the same — I, an Israeli Jew who is black, or anyone in my family, or anyone in my community, could be attacked, too.” That moved him to stencil “CAUTION: I am not an infiltrator from Africa” onto a bright yellow T-shirt. He then drew in by hand, in the upper left corner, the unmistakable yellow “Jude” patch from the Nazi era.
Israel: Milk & Honey – Not for Black Africans, Iqbal Jassat
The author of an important piece of critique ‘Jewishness of Israel fuels xenophobia’, Heidi-Jane Esakov, published in the Mail & Guardian (June 1 to 7, 2012) can expect to be blasted by an intolerant pro-Israeli lobby for daring to profile the Jewish state in a negative light. That Esakov is a Jewish South African who in her own words “grew up under apartheid” and is “shamed” by racism against black Africans in Israel is admirable and extremely courageous. This though will not be of any consequence for SA Zionists bent on spitting venom upon anyone crossing the line according to their narrow self-serving interest in defending Israel’s false image as a “democracy” with “full rights for all its citizens”. In fact as Esakov correctly argues, the links between the treatment of Israel’s own Palestinian citizens and the xenophobic attacks are stark! ”Israeli Palestinians, despite being heralded as proof of Israel being a democracy, contend with about 40 discriminatory laws” asserts Esakov in highlighting the naked reality of a colonial enclave far-removed from democracy!
Developments and Other News
GENEVA, June 5, 2012 (WAFA) – The International Labor Organization (ILO) Monday blamed the Israeli occupation and absence of a peace process for the deteriorating situation of Palestinian workers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It said in its annual report submitted to the 101st Session of the International Labor Conference that the Israeli occupation and expansion of settlements lead to “a shrinking space for Palestinian development.” “The situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories is extremely worrying and remains precarious,” it said. “The peace process is at a standstill more than at any time since the Oslo Accords” of 1993, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia in his preface to the report. He said evolving facts on the ground seriously diminish the scope for a negotiated two-state solution.
Can Iran have some too? Israeli PM defends use of German-supplied subs
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that German-supplied submarines were “very important” for his country’s defence, after a media report that Israel was fitting the vessels with nuclear warheads.
Advanced Homeland Security Training in Israel by Security Solutions International (SSI)
This new program is designed for seasoned Homeland Security professionals interested in advanced topics in Homeland Security while at the same time having the opportunity to visit Haifa, the Northern Border, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Dead Sea.
‘Netanyahu should be put on trial’
Hanin Zoabi says prime minister, senior IDF officials should be tried for oppressing Palestinians as court hears petition over partial revocation of Knesset privileges.
Hamas and Fatah to Choose a New Prime Minister
Hamas and Fatah leaders are due to meet on Tuesday in order to discuss the selection of the prime minister of a united government stated a Fatah official on Monday.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A senior Fatah leader said Monday that comments by the Israeli defense minister, posing “unilateral action” if peace talks remain at a standstill, would have been welcomed if they formed part of a broader proposal to the Palestinian leadership. Ehud Barak told a security conference last week that Israel should “consider a provisional arrangement or even unilateral action” if negotiations remain deadlocked, understood as referencing Israeli withdrawal from parts of the West Bank.
Israeli humanitarians care more about animals than for Palestinians: 490 apartments approved near Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Opponents fear for animals’ health, mental well-being.
NYC alleged child molester ‘got away with it’ after fleeing to Israel
JERUSALEM — A bogus rabbi and self-proclaimed psychologist who fled New York as he was about to be arrested for abusing children was spotted walking near his Jerusalem home — and is now free from prosecution. Called the “Bin Laden of pedophiles” by one victim, Avrohom Mondrowitz fled his Brooklyn home just before cops broke in with a search warrant in 1984. Officers found a stash of child porn and lists of hundreds of names of local boys, most referred to Mondrowitz by Jewish families and child-service agencies for counseling and his yeshiva-style program. Victim Mark Weiss, who was sent to Mondrowitz at the age of 13, said, “He was known in the insular community as the go-to therapist, child mentor. He had a certain knack with kids.”
Analysis / Op-ed
A monthly roundup of photographs documenting Palestine, Palestinian life, politics and culture, and international solidarity with Palestine.
“There will be no Palestinian state” – Q&A with Palestine Papers whistleblower Ziyad Clot, Max Blumenthal
Last month, thousands of Jewish Israelis celebrated Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day. It was the 45th anniversary of what many Israelis consider the “reunification” of Jerusalem, an occasion for right-wing revelers to sing nationalistic songs, chant anti-Muslim slogans, and cheer for the mass murdering Jewish extremist Baruch Goldstein while marching triumphantly through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Today, Palestinians will observe Naksa Day, marking “the Setback” of 1967. It is the 45th anniversary of Israel’s ongoing military occupation, an ignominious date that inspires angry demonstrations across the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian refugee camps, and in cities around the world.
Can rights be won in Israel’s courts?, Mazen Masri
Litigation on the part of the Palestinian minority in Israel and their rights requires the consideration of an especially complex situation.
New Yorkers celebrate Israel as Gaza bombing continues
Thousands of Israel supporters waved blue and white flags as they marched up Fifth Avenue on Sunday for the annual Celebrate Israel parade, as the country’s military carried out a series of devastating bombings in Gaza. At least one person was injured as Israeli airplanes bombarded the besieged region, but in the US supporters backed the country.
Netanyahu bats away Dershowitz’s suggestion of settlement freeze, Philip Weiss
Even Alan Dershowitz must be worried about Israel destroying itself. He calls for a partial settlement freeze to advance the peace process, in the Wall Street Journal, and says he discussed the idea with a high-ranking Israeli.
Handala Will Age Again Soon, Jamil Sbitan
As a person who grew up in a diasporic Palestinian family, there have always been symbols around me that reminded me of Palestine. My grandparents’ homes are adorned with them; from framed pictures of gateways in Jerusalem’s Old City, to mini sculptures of the Dome of the Rock mosque, they are all remnants of their memory of an occupied homeland. Such symbols were all intelligible to me except for one relic that I could not comprehend at the time, as a teenager still educating myself on a long and convoluted history. This relic was an image of a boy with short spikes for hair, his hands crossed, with only his back visible; it was not necessarily a beautiful illustration, but his picture sprung up often.
Salama Kayla: Ideology is Awareness
Last April Salama Kayla was detained and then deported by Syrian security forces. Al-Akhbar sat with the Palestinian Marxist and talked about the state of the Arab uprisings.
Al Mayadeen Tv: New Kid on the Block
The new satellite news channel, launching June 11, is promising to be an independent and unbiased commentator.
Bahrain activists recount abuse claims in retrial
A Bahraini defense lawyer says jailed activists challenging verdicts issued against them by a military-led tribunal recounted in court that they had been subjected to torture and beatings after their arrest.
Bahrain says group follows violent Shi’ite cleric
DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain justified moves to ban a small Islamist group on Monday by saying a radical Shi’ite cleric based abroad was its spiritual leader, while the move was seen by some as a renewed warning to leading Shi’ite opposition party Wefaq. The U.S. ally has been in turmoil as democracy protesters from among the Arab state’s Shi’ite Muslim majority continue with protests and civil disobedience while the Sunni ruling Al Khalifa family rejects demands for an elected government.
Bahrain: The Dragonfly’s Eye, Ahmed Kanna
Bahrain is a small country, and though the story of its own trials and troubles during the past year and a half is intrinsically valuable, it also tells a bigger story, about bigger countries. Small countries, distant provinces, and overlooked corners of empire—places on which metropolitan elites look with condescension, if they ever even bother to—often better reveal the truths of geopolitical power than is possible in the sheltered metropole. Take the example of the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia—part of the Chagos Archipelago—and its indigenous inhabitants, the Chagossians. Diego Garcia is like Bahrain a place most Americans have never heard of. Labeled a “Strategic Island” by British and US Cold War planners, its population was expelled and transferred hundreds of miles away to Mauritius in the 1960s, their home appropriated for an American military base. As the anthropologists David Vine and Laura Jeffery have shown, this was, and continues to be, justified in US national security discourses by representing these islands as conveniently “sparsely populated.” Expulsion of Chagossians was not of great concern both because of the fact that their island was “strategic” and their population “measured only in the hundreds. The expulsions, which resulted in “abject poverty” and marginalization on Mauritius, were further legitimized by constructing Chagossians as “transient contract workers with no connection to the islands.”
Revolutionary groups call for mass protests Tuesday, Brotherhood to join
The Muslim Brotherhood plans to join protests called for by political and revolutionary groups Tuesday to demand the retrial of officers accused of involvement in the killing of protesters during the January 2011 uprising, the organization said Monday. Many Egyptian activists and revolutionary groups since Sunday have called for mass demonstrations Tuesday to protest the verdicts handed down in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, six security officers and Mubarak’s two sons. A Cairo court on Saturday sentenced Mubarak and Adly to 25 years in prison on charges of failing to stop the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising, in which about 850 people were killed.
April 6 Youth Movement and revolutionary figures agree to continue demonstrations
The April 6 Youth Movement met Monday with certain former presidential candidates and revolutionary figures and agreed to continue with mass demonstrations on Tuesday in order to complete the demands of the revolution. In a statement made Monday, the group said all parties present at the meeting agreed to work on lobbying for the political isolation law that would ban candidate Ahmed Shafiq from the presidential race. Other demands include a retrial for Mubarak and his men, cleansing the judicial system and dismissing the attorney general.
Egypt candidate attacks Islamist rival
Presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, a former prime minister under Hosni Mubarak’s regime, has attacked his Islamist rival by saying he would terrorize Christians and lead Egypt to “the dark ages.”
ElBaradei ready for presidential coalition, Morsy to meet with former candidates
Constitution Party founder Mohamed ElBaradei is willing to form “a presidential council that will be responsible for ruling the country during the current period, as long as all civilian forces agree,” said Shokry Fouad of the party. Several revolutionary forces and politicians have suggested forming a presidential council that would include Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsy and former candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, to face former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. Many activists see Shafiq’s success in the first round as a return of the ousted Mubarak regime.
Morsy, Sabbahi, Abouel Fotouh agree to continue popular struggle to ban Shafiq from race
The Freedom and Justice Party’s presidential candidate Mohamed Morsy and former candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh have agreed to mount pressure to enforce a law that would disqualify former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq from the presidential race. On Monday, Morsy convened with the two ex-candidates, who were voted out of the race after the first round, in a Cairo hotel to discuss the elections, which go into runoffs on 16-17 June. The runoffs will take place amid fears that Shafiq, the last prime minister under Mubarak, would replicate the former regime if elected. They also discussed the Cairo Criminal Court’s verdict on Saturday against former President Mubarak, his sons Gamal and Alaa, former Prime Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his deputies. Mubarak and Adly were sentenced to 25 years in prison, while the others were acquitted.
Former Arab League chief Amr Moussa has once again rejected the idea of forming an unelected presidential council. “It threatens the democratic process and the stability of the country,” the unsuccessful presidential candidate said of the idea on his Facebook page Sunday, stressing that the presidential runoff scheduled for 16 and 17 June should be held on time. Calls have recently surfaced for the formation of a presidential council with Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy as its head and losing candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh as deputies who cannot be dismissed and have their duties stated in the constitution.
Losing candidates cast fresh doubt on Egypt vote
Three candidates knocked out of Egypt’s presidential election in the first round said on Monday that violations had rendered the result invalid, further challenging the legitimacy of the vote less than two weeks before the run-off. In a joint statement, the campaigns of third-placed Hamdeen Sabahy, fourth-placed Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh and seventh-placed Khaled Ali listed irregularities which included an allegation that the ballots of 1.5 million voters had been systematically rendered void.
Morsy meets Sabbahi and Abouel Fotouh over demands of ongoing protests
Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsy met Sunday with former election opponents Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Hamdeen Sabbahi to discuss the demands of protesters in Tahrir Square following the verdict in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak. On Saturday, Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly were given life sentences for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the 18-day uprising early last year.
Anti-graft authority to refer Mubarak family to criminal court
The Illicit Gains Authority will refer former President Hosni Mubarak and his immediate family back to criminal court once it receives reports being prepared by Justice Ministry experts on their wealth, the authority head said Sunday. Assem al-Gohary, the assistant justice minister and head of the authority, said he expected to receive the reports next week, which detail the amount of money gained by the former president, his wife Suzanne, and his two sons Gamal and Alaa while he was president. The case should then be transferred to the criminal court system, at which charges are expected to be brought against the four for illegal accumulation of wealth.
In disappointing transition, analysts say Mubarak’s verdict mocks justice
The only trial that has taken place against one of the fallen dictators of the Arab revolutions ended today. The verdicts in former President Hosni Mubarak’s trial may have symbolic importance for the region, but many feel they have mocked the hundreds of martyrs who died fighting against a 30-year-old repressive and corrupt regime, analysts said.
Egypt protests called against Mubarak verdict
Egyptian activists who spearheaded the revolt that toppled US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak have called for mass demonstrations on Tuesday to protest against verdicts handed down in the tyrant’s murder trial. Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced to life in prison on Saturday, but six security commanders were acquitted over the killings of demonstrators during last year’s uprising that left around 850 people dead.
Protesters remain in Tahrir Square
Calm prevailed on Monday in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the Egyptian revolution, following two days of mass protests against the verdict in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak. Traffic at the square remained blocked for the third consecutive day. Barriers are still set up at the square entrances, and popular committees supervising the entrances are allowing few cars to pass. A security source told state TV that the closure of the square led to traffic congestion in all downtown streets and those leading to Giza.
Shafiq says Brotherhood will focus on Palestinians, not domestic issues
Egyptian presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq warned the country that the Muslim Brotherhood intends to portray the Palestinian issue as Egypt’s biggest problem, Israel Radio reported Sunday. Shafiq, a secular former prime minister, is facing off against the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi in a run-off election to determine Hosni Mubarak’s successor.
Egyptian status quo ends for Israelis, Palestinians
Far apart on so many issues, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas almost certainly see eye to eye on the Egyptian presidential election.
Official: Mubarak’s health deteriorating in prison
An Egyptian security official says ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s health has deteriorated in the three days since a court sentenced him to life imprisonment in connection to the killing of protesters.
Mubaraks have 40 villas and LE1 bln in Egyptian banks, Illicit Gains Authority reveals
Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained details of the investigations conducted by theIllicit Gains Authority (IGA) into the wealth of Mubarak, his wife Suzanne, his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and their wives Heidi Rasekh and Khadiga al-Gammal, which confirmed that they have 40 villas, more than US$147 million in an account that Mubarak can deposit into or withdraw from, LE140 million in an account belonging to Alaa, and LE100 million in an account for Gamal.
Wife of Egyptian detained in Saudi says she lost contact with him
The wife of Ahmed al-Gizawy, an Egyptian lawyer detained in Saudi Arabia over charges of drug smuggling, said she has lost contact with her husband since he wrote a letter saing he did not confess to the charges brought against him by Saudi authorities.
Inside Story – Have Egyptians been denied full justice?
Egyptians have returned to Tahrir Square a day after Hosni Mubarak, the former president, was sentenced to life in prison for not doing enough to stop the killing of almost 1,000 protesters during last year’s revolution. Many protesters feel those who died and their families have been denied justice. What does this mean for Egyptians? Guests: Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, Abdallah Al-Ashaal, Shadi Hamid.
Mubarak verdict may have political fallout
Hundreds of Egyptian protesters have gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir square, to demonstrate against the verdicts handed down in the Mubarak trial on Saturday. The protests come just a couple of weeks before a crucial run off vote that will determine Egypt’s next president. Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Cairo on how this may affect that vote.
Report from Cairo: Egyptians fought hard for the revolution and refuse to relinquish their gains, Ahmed Moor
There are also many things that few people know now. Like, what role did the ruling generals have in the outcome of the Mubarak trial? Did they engineer the acquittal on corruption charges because of the implications for themselves? How much power are they willing to cede? Will they continue to exist beyond the law? Yesterday demonstrated one thing clearly to me. The Egyptians fought hard for their revolution and they refuse to relinquish the gains they have made. When there’s a need, the people still show up in numbers. The Generals must know that. But will they know it in two weeks?
Hosni Mubarak is in jail – but little has changed for Egypt, Magdi Abdelhadi
As long as powerful players remain in their positions the birth pangs of the revolution are set to be painful and protracted. For the first time in Egypt’s history the pharaoh is behind bars. But the joy was not unalloyed. Some of his most powerful henchmen, the backbone of his police state, were acquitted of killing the protesters and are now free. That’s why Tahrir Square in Cairo and other cities have erupted in anger. What also infuriated the public was that Mubarak was found guilty not of what he did, but rather of what he did not do. That’s how seemingly preposterous (but apparently technically correct) the verdict is. The former president was proven guilty of something like “serious dereliction of duty”: he failed to stop the killing of protesters.
The Egyptian State: Both Deep and Shallow
A few months ago analysts started talking about “the deep state” of Egypt. They were referring to the forces that have resisted the sweep or revolution and made the path to change and transformation both difficult and unclear. The deep state is comprised of the security and administrative apparatuses and the interests and values that they represent and support that had begun to consistently endanger the future of a new Egypt. It is truly astonishing that anyone was astonished to note that a counter-revolution was on the horizon! The new political elites of Egypt, whether those installed in parliament or others adored by the media and respected by the public, have been naively complacent about this deep state. For example, parliament did not get round to passing a law that curtails the political rights of the old guard until the nominations for presidential candidates had actually happened and the elections committee was about to terminate its deliberations on the eligibility of presidential candidates.
What’s Changed in Egypt?
The Day of Judgment for Hosni Mubarak arrived on June 2. The 84-year-old deposed president was given a life sentence with his interior minister Habib al-Adly for the killing of hundreds of protesters during last year’s uprising. Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, were acquitted of corruption charges. The court also acquitted a number of key interior ministry officials and security chiefs. Some Egyptians celebrated immediately after the verdicts were announced. Soon, however, the mood turned angry, because many thought that the verdicts were too lenient. Both Mubarak and Adly will have the right to appeal. Other factors, too, continue to foment anxiety in the country.
Saeeds of Revolution: De-Mythologizing Khaled Saeed, Amro Ali
On 6 June 2012, I will join countless others in commemorating the second anniversary of the death of Khaled Saeed, the twenty-eight-year-old Alexandrian who was beaten to death by plain-clothed policemen. The screams of Khaled echoed through Egypt and sparked the rapid countdown to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.Khaled was the neighbor down the street whom I, admittedly, paid little attention to. Yet his posthumous transformation from another face in the neighborhood to revolutionary poster child has become a source of both inspiration and concern. Inspiring in that he has given a focus and impetus to Egypt’s revolution, and concern in that his mythologization considerably conceals the real problems that the many “Khaled Saeeds” of Egypt face.
An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader has urged world powers to formally recognize its nuclear rights to bring about a “favorable result” at talks on its atomic program later this month, state media reported on Tuesday. Deflecting Iranian pressure in talks last month, Western countries declined to accord any such recognition, saying Tehran had no automatic right to enrich uranium because of its previous violations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Turkey “reduces reliance on Iranian oil”
Turkey has slightly cut oil imports from Iran in May and June to avoid US sanctions after official trade data showed stubbornly high imports in April, a source at the country’s sole refiner told Reuters. Lower imports from Ankara will add pressure on Tehran which is struggling to sell oil as the West expands sanctions to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear program. The EU will join the United States in imposing a total ban on imports of Iranian oil from July.
US discussing new Iran sanctions with Israel
The United States is conferring with Israel about new sanctions planned against Iran should international negotiations this month fail to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, a US official said on Monday. The comment offered a strong hint that Washington is continuing to apply the brakes on any plan by Israel to attack Iranian nuclear facilities preemptively.
Khamenei: Israeli attack will bring “lightning” Iranian response
Iran’s Supreme Leader warned on Sunday that any Israeli attack would be answered with a “lightning” response by the Islamic Republic and suggested Iran’s nuclear program cannot be curtailed by Western sanctions. “Should they take any wrong step, any inappropriate move, it will fall on their heads like lightning,” Ayatollah Khamenei warned in a speech marking the 23rd anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Suicide car bomb kills 23 in central Baghdad
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-rigged car outside Iraq’s main religious affairs office for Shiite Muslims on Monday, shearing off the facade of the three-story building and killing at least 23 people in the deadliest single attack in the country in three months, officials said.
Blast at Baghdad Shi’ite Office Kills, Wounds over 200
A massive bombing against a Shi’ite target in Baghdad left over 200 people dead and injured. Overall, at least 34 people were killed and 200 more were wounded across Iraq today.
Iraqi police put down prison riot in Baghdad
Iraqi officials say police have fired in the air and beaten inmates with clubs to put down riots at two prisons in Baghdad.
Sadr and secular bloc push for Iraq PM to quit
A powerful Shiite cleric and Iraq’s main secular bloc have made new calls to unseat Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as a long-running political crisis appeared set to drag on.
US Supreme open to prosecutions over Blackwater Iraq massacre
The US Supreme Court will not stop prosecutors from going after four Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in a 2007 shooting that killed 17 Iraqis. The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Evan Liberty, Donald Ball, Dustin Heard and Paul Slough. A federal judge threw out the case, saying the Justice Department mishandled evidence and violated the guards’ rights. But the US Court of Appeals reinstated the charges. The high court refused to reconsider that decision without comment.
Report: CIA to Significantly Cut Its Presences in Iraq
The CIA is planning to cut its presence in Iraq to 40 percent of its wartime levels largely as a result of issues the agency faces in working in a country where a large American presence is no longer welcomed, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Israel suspected of seeking to ‘steal’ ancient Iraqi manuscripts transferred to U.S.
The Iraqi minister of culture has said that the United States is delaying the return of original copies of ancient manuscripts that were illegally smuggled out of Iraq and reportedly sold to Israel.
Lebanon judge issues arrest warrant for gunman with Al-Qaeda ties
BEIRUT: The gunman with ties to Al-Qaeda who shot at Lebanese troops during a standoff two weeks ago was served with an arrest warrant Tuesday for attempted murder.
Syrian refugee crisis threatens Lebanon’s stability: report
Syria’s refugee crisis could adversely affect stability in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan, and the international community must increase humanitarian aid to prevent this from happening.
Lebanon’s army deployed in the country’s second city Tripoli on Sunday, after fierce clashes between rival militias left at least 14 people dead and dozens injured. Despite the deployment there were reports of fresh clashes between between pro and anti-Syrian regime gunmen. “There was fierce fighting throughout the night, which killed two people and left 12 injured, bringing the death toll since Saturday to 14 dead and 48 wounded,” a security official said, adding there was great material damage.
Lebanon army restores calm after Syria-linked clashes
Lebanese soldiers and security forces entered areas of the northern city of Tripoli on Sunday to restore calm after deadly clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian regime gunmen, a security official said.
Tense calm returns to Tripoli
A state of cautious calm prevailed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Monday after fierce clashes over the weekend claimed the lives of 15 people and wounded over 60. Banks and major markets in the Tripoli closed their doors in mourning of the victims, in compliance with the request of civil society organizations, the municipality of Tripoli and the commerce and industry chamber in the north, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported.
Hariri: attacks on Alawis only serve Assad
Future Movement leader Saad Hariri on Monday condemned attacks on the minority Alawi community in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, saying it only served the sectarian plot of the Syrian regime. Hariri, who has not been in Lebanon for over a year, took to Twitter to condemn reports of attacks on Alawi shops in the city. He blamed the clashes on Damascus, which enjoys wide support among Alawis, but said violence against the minority community would only lead to further violence.
In Lebanon, a worrying sectarian spillover from Syria
Tripoli, Lebanon witnessed some of the worst sectarian fighting in the country since its civil war ended two decades ago, with Alawite and Sunni communities inflamed by the deepening war across the border in Syria.
Saudi “using Lebanon as springboard for Syria rebels:” report
Saudi authorities are “plotting” against Syria and are turning Lebanon into a springboard for attacking the country, the pro-regime Syrian newspaper Al-Watan said on Monday. The newspaper accused Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal of “sending arms to fighters and mercenaries they are financing in north Lebanon,” where weekend clashes between pro- and anti-Damascus factions left 14 dead. “Saud al-Faisal is taking part in plans to transform (north Lebanon) into a buffer zone, to expel the Lebanese army, to stage attacks and kill Syrians,” Al-Watan added.
Inside Story – Is Syria’s conflict being fought in Lebanon?
Around 15 people have been killed and more than 40 others injured in recent fighting in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli – a large city that sits on a very porous border just 130km from the Syrian capital Damascus. A ceasefire is now in place and although there is no armed presence in the streets but the guns and the fighters have not gone away.
UAE expelling Lebanese citizens for “supporting” Hezbollah
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman is due to visit the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday following reports of Abu Dhabi expelling Lebanese citizens. The deportation of Lebanese expats from the UAE is said to have increased in recent weeks, with reports of an expulsion list of roughly 1,000 Lebanese citizens set to be expelled gradually. The issue has been ongoing since 2009, with the UAE allegedly deporting Lebanese that are mostly Shia Muslims, accusing them of supporting Hezbollah, without producing evidence to support the claim.
Media denies Saudi Prince’s condition deteriorating
Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, who has been undergoing medical tests abroad, is in “good health” and will “soon” return to the kingdom, local media reported on Sunday. Prince Nayef is “well and in good health…and he will soon return” to Saudi Arabia, his brother and one of the deputy interior ministers, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, was quoted as saying by local daily, Al-Watan. It was unclear where Prince Nayef, who is also the interior minister, is staying.
Saudi accuses activist of ‘disrespecting’ judiciary
DUBAI — Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor on Monday accused prominent activist Waleed Abu Alkhair of “disrespecting” the judiciary and contacting foreign organisations, his wife told AFP by telephone. Alkhair was summoned by the prosecutor in the Red Sea city of Jeddah who accused him of “disrespecting the judiciary system… contacting foreign organisations and signing a petition demanding the release of detainees,” some of whom are being held over terror links, Samar Badawi said. If charged, Alkhair, a well-known activist and lawyer, could be jailed for between six months and a year. He will appear again to “respond to the accusations” late in August, she said.
Saudi religious police chief apologizes for mall row
The head of the Saudi religious police has come out strongly against one of his men who ordered a woman to leave a mall because she was wearing nail polish, a local daily reported on Monday. “The world is manufacturing airplanes and we are still telling a woman ‘leave the mall because you’ve got nail polish on your fingers’,” local daily Al-Watan quoted Sheikh Abdullatiff Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh as saying.
Syria (Syria related news under Lebanon too)
10 dead as Syria army presses assault on rebel bastions
Syrian troops kept up their offensive against rebel strongholds on Tuesday, seizing a town in the central province of Hama, as at least 10 people were killed nationwide, a human rights watchdog said.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal urged Gulf states on Tuesday to mobilize their resources to help Syrians “defend themselves” against the President Bashar Assad’s regime. Speaking at a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, Faisal called on GCC countries to “to use their resources to…enable the Syrian people to defend themselves against the murderous and destructive machine of the government.” He did not elaborate but both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have previously called for the arming of the Syrian rebels.
Jordan arrests alleged 2 militants going to Syria
Jordanian police have arrested two alleged militants on their way to Syria to fight against President Bashar Assad, security and Islamist officials said Tuesday.http://news.yahoo.com/jordan-arrests-alleged-2-militants-going-syria-112541772.html
Syria: US, European diplomats no longer welcome
Syria barred a string of U.S. and European diplomats Tuesday, saying they were “no longer welcome” as the country plunged into its most profound international isolation in decades.
Russia and China united on Syria
China and Russia reinforce their opposition to foreign intervention in Syria, as Russian President Vladimr Putin arrives in Beijing.
Arab League chief to head to UN for Syria talks
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi is to head to New York later this week for talks on Syria with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, a League official said on Monday.
Syria agrees to let in UN humanitarian aid
Teams to be stationed in four hard-hit cities, including Homs, for first time since anti-government uprising began.
New wave of Syrian refugees to Turkey
The flow of refugees from strife-torn Syria to neighbouring Turkey has resumed in earnest after the failure of an April peace plan, with more than 2,000 arrivals in the past three days, officials said Tuesday.
Syrian Refugees in Turkey – Opportunities and Pitfalls
As violence escalates in Syria, the plight of displaced persons inside and outside the country continues to worsen. Estimates place the number of internally displaced persons at up to half a million. According to the UNHCR, the total number of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey rose to 78,137 at the end of May. Turkey has received the largest share of displaced persons. The Turkish government and Turkish Red Crescent Society has settled some 25,000 refugees fleeing Syria into camps set up primarily in the province of Hatay, but also in Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, and Killis.
Call for help for Syrian refugees
A Washington-based refugee advocacy group called on the world Monday to help Syrians who have fled their country’s turmoil, saying they are stretching the meager resources of Jordan and Lebanon.
Syrian boy recounts losing leg in shelling
Ahmed Sadek was one of many who traveled to a hospital in Tripoli on Monday, reportedly after Syrian army forces shelled his hometown of al-Qusair which borders with Lebanon. The 13-year-old, along with four other wounded Syrians, arrived in Lebanon to seek treatment said the medical staff at Tripoli’s main hospital. Activists say the shelling happened on Friday a day after 12 workers were killed near al-Qusair by gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad who are to believed to have ordered them off a bus and shot them. Ahmed said he can’t remember how he got to the hospital in Tripoli.
Syria’s Assad says he’s surgeon saving patient
Syrian President Bashar Assad defended his government’s crackdown on opponents Sunday, saying a doctor performing messy emergency surgery does not have blood on his hands if he is trying to save a patient.
Syria condemns Arab League satellite ban
The Syrian government on Tuesday condemned an Arab League decision to ban the country’s satellite channels, state media reported. The state run SANA quoted cabinet members as saying the decision was a “violation of the freedom of information and satellite broadcasting laws.” It said that the decision “does not relate to the media codes of ethics as well.” The Arab League demanded on Saturday that the two major satellite operators Arabsat and Nilesat remove the Syrian channels they offered from their packages.
Syria rebels ‘kill 80 soldiers’
At least 80 Syrian soldiers were killed by rebels in clashes and attacks on security forces checkpoints over the weekend, an activist group says.
Syrian rebels seek to coordinate
Syrian opposition activists have announced a new military coalition that aims to better coordinate the fight against the forces of President Bashar Assad.
Syrian rebels abandon ceasefire
Syrian rebels say they are no longer committed to the nominal truce in Syria, in a blow to the peace plan brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.
SNC to meet to choose new leader
The opposition Syrian National Council will meet at the weekend to replace Burhan Ghalioun who resigned as leader of the bloc late last month, SNC officials said on Monday. The meeting will take place Saturday and Sunday in Istanbul, where a vote might be waived since there is a “consensus” candidate, the sources said on condition of anonymity. “So far the consensus candidate is Abdel Basset Sayda,” a Kurd, and member of the SNC’s executive office, one source said, while another confirmed that Sayda could be appointed as the new SNC leader.
Syria releases abducted Lebanese farmers
Syrian authorities have released two Lebanese farmers kidnapped last Wednesday by unidentified gunmen in Lebanon’s north and taken across the border into Syria, the Lebanese army said. A statement from the army said Mohammed Yassin Merei and Mahdi Hamdan had been released on Sunday afternoon and handed to the Lebanese intelligence at the Masnaa border crossing. It gave no details on who abducted the two men. Last week, the farmers’ relatives protested the kidnappings by blocking roads in the border town of Abboudiyyeh in Akkar province, where Merei and Hamdan had been seized by five armed Syrians while they were gathering crops.
Hollow Responses to Houla Massacre, Karl Sharro
The responses to the tragic Houla massacre exposed the disorientation of all parties involved in the Syrian uprising, both within the country and outside. It is becoming clear by now how little control any of those actors can exercise over the course of events, highlighting the self-consuming and open-ended nature of the conflict in Syria. While there are several common interpretations in circulation, ranging from serious analysis to crackpot theories, it is time to confront the possibility that improvisation is the order of the day. Tragically, this signifies a protracted bloody struggle that will claim even more innocent lives.
Five Sobering Questions About the Situation in Syria
The scale of the violence on the ground is amplifying calls for Western intervention. But it also points to the complexity of stopping the bloodshed.
Patrick Cockburn: Why war is marching on the road to Damascus
A special dispatch from the Syrian capital reveals why the city’s residents expect the worst
Are You Ready for War With Syria?, Rep. Ron Paul
War drums are beating again in Washington. This time Syria is in the crosshairs after a massacre there last week left more than 100 dead. As might be expected from an administration with an announced policy of “regime change” in Syria, the reaction was to blame only the Syrian government for the tragedy, expel Syrian diplomats from Washington, and announce that the U.S. may attack Syria even without U.N. approval. Of course, the idea that the administration should follow the Constitution and seek a declaration of war from Congress is considered even more anachronistic now than under the previous administration.
Other World News
As U.S. Escalates Pakistan Drone Strikes, Expansive “Kill List” Stirs Fears of Worse Civilian Toll
At least 27 people have been killed in three consecutive days of U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan, part of a new wave of attacks over the past two weeks. The surge in drone strikes comes just a week after the New York Times revealed that President Obama personally oversees a “secret kill list” containing the names and photos of individuals targeted for assassination in the U.S. drone war. We go to London to speak with Chris Woods, award-winning reporter with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, who heads the Bureau’s drones investigation team. Under the Obama administration’s rules, “any adult male killed effectively in a defined ‘kill zone’ is a terrorist, unless posthumously proven otherwise,” Woods says. “We think this goes along with to explaining the gulf between our reporting of civilian casualties in Pakistan and Yemen and the reporting of credible international news organizations — and the CIA’s repeated claims that it isn’t killing [civilians], or rather killing small numbers. … If you keep assuring yourself you’re not killing civilians, by redrafting of the term ‘civilian,’ than that starts to influence the policy and encourage you to carry out more drone strikes.” Woods adds that the latest attacks “indicate not just a significant rise in the number of CIA strikes in Pakistan, but an aggression for those strikes that we really haven’t seen for over a year.” http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/5/as_us_escalates_pakistan_drone_strikes
U.S. again bombs mourners, Glenn Greenwald
The Obama policy of attacking rescuers and grieving rituals continues this weekend in Pakistan. In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that after the U.S. kills people with drones in Pakistan, it then targets for death those who show up at the scene to rescue the survivors and retrieve the bodies, as well as those who gather to mourn the dead at funerals: “the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.” As The New York Times summarized those findings: “at least 50 civilians had been killed in follow-up strikes after they rushed to help those hit by a drone-fired missile” while “the bureau counted more than 20 other civilians killed in strikes on funerals.” This repellent practice continues. Over the last three days, the U.S. has launched three separate drone strikes in Pakistan: one on each day. As The Guardian reports, the U.S. has killed between 20 and 30 people in these strikes, the last of which, early this morning, killed between 8 and 15. It was the second strike, on Sunday, that targeted mourners gathered to grieve those killed in the first strike.
Jeremy Scahill Says Obama Strikes In Yemen Constitute ‘Murder’
“If you go to the village of Al-Majalah in Yemen, where I was, and you see the unexploded clusterbombs and you have the list and photographic evidence, as I do–the women and children that represented the vast majority of the deaths in this first strike that Obama authorized on Yemen–those people were murdered by President Obama, on his orders, because there was believed to be someone from Al Qaeda in that area. There’s only one person that’s been identified that had any connection to Al Qaeda there. And 21 women and 14 children were killed in that strike and the U.S. tried to cover it up, and say it was a Yemeni strike, and we know from the Wikileaks cables that David Petraeus conspired with the president of Yemen to lie to the world about who did that bombing. It’s murder–it’s mass murder–when you say, ‘We are going to bomb this area’ because we believe a terrorist is there, and you know that women and children are in the area. The United States has an obligation to not bomb that area if they believe that women and children are there. I’m sorry, that’s murder.”
‘Napalm Girl’ Photo From Vietnam War Turns 40
In the picture, the girl will always be 9 years old and wailing “Too hot! Too hot!” as she runs down the road away from her burning Vietnamese village. She will always be naked after blobs of sticky napalm melted through her clothes and layers of skin like jellied lava. She will always be a victim without a name. It only took a second for Associated Press photographer Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut to snap the iconic black-and-white image 40 years ago. It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of America’s darkest eras. But beneath the photo lies a lesser-known story. It’s the tale of a dying child brought together by chance with a young photographer. A moment captured in the chaos of war that would serve as both her savior and her curse on a journey to understand life’s plan for her. ”I really wanted to escape from that little girl,” says Kim Phuc, now 49. “But it seems to me that the picture didn’t let me go.”
Libyan authorities take back Tripoli airport from militia
TRIPOLI: Libyan authorities wrested back control of Tripoli International Airport from ex-rebels who seized the runway on Monday, surrounding planes and grounding all flights after their leader’s apparent arrest, officials said. It took until evening for the authorities to regain control of the airport when loyalist forces stormed it after negotiations with the militiamen broke down, deputy interior minister Omar al-Khadrawi told journalists. Flights were not expected to resume for at least 24 hours because of the damage caused to the airport’s infrastructure. The assault by the militiamen on the Libyan capital’s main gateway to the outside world underlined the massive task facing the authorities in reintegrating the disparate armed groups that took part in the overthrow of now slain dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime last year.
First trial of senior official in Qaddafi regime opens
The first trial of a senior official accused of killing demonstrators in the 2011 uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi opened on Tuesday.
Kuwaiti sentenced to 10 years for insulting Prophet
A lower court in Kuwait sentenced a man to 10 years in jail on Monday on charges of insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, his wife Aisha and companions on Twitter, his lawyer Khaled al-Shatti said. “We plan to challenge the ruling against my client Hamad al-Naqi in the appeals court and we are very optimistic that the higher court will cancel the sentence,” Shatti said. Naqi, 22, was also charged with insulting the Gulf regimes of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and for spreading false news that undermined Kuwait’s image abroad.
Moroccan activists push to end abortion ban
Hundreds of Moroccan women a day are resorting to backstreet abortions, a leading doctor has estimated, prompting calls for reform in a country where the termination of pregnancies remains illegal. Campaigners say some of those resorting to illegal abortion are the victims of rape, driven at least in part by the social stigma attached not just to having a child out of wedlock but even having suffered rape. The victims include girls forced to work as maids and women trapped in forced marriages, they say. And the voices calling for a repeal of the ban on abortion are growing louder. A national congress will be held on June 12 in Rabat, under the auspices of the Moroccan Association for the Fight against Clandestine Abortion, headed by Professor Chafik Chraibi. Deputies and Health Minister El Hossein el Ouardi are expected to attend. “What is happening in Morocco is dramatic,” said Chraibi, a renowned gynaecologist.