A weekend of violence in Gaza

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Israeli airstrikes kill nine Palestinians
Deaths have prompted a massive barrage of retaliatory rocket fire, officials say.
2 Fighters Killed In Gaza; 9 in Less Than 24 hours, One Israeli Killed In Asqalan
The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, reported on Sunday at dawn, that two of its fighters were killed in an Israeli Air Strike targeting an area west of Gaza City. On Saturday afternoon, seven fighters were killed in Tal Al Sultan, in southern Gaza. Several Palestinians were injured. One Israeli was killed by a Palestinian shell in Asqalan (Ashkelon)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Fatah movement in Gaza strongly condemned an Israeli airstrike which killed five Islamic Jihad fighters in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, a statement said. The movement described the airstrike as an “assassination crime committed by Israeli occupation forces.” The Israeli government is attempting “to throw the region into a cycle of violence and systematic state terrorism against the Palestinian people,” the statement added.

Despite Declared Ceasefire; Israel Bombards Several Areas In Gaza
Despite a mediated ceasefire mediated by Egypt between the resistance in the Gaza Strip, and Israel, the Israeli army bombarded, on Sunday at dawn, several areas in different parts of the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian efforts at Gaza cease-fire fail (AP)
AP – Egyptian officials say efforts to persuade Palestinian militants in Gaza to hold their rocket fire on Israel have failed, after a day of deadly, escalated violence.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A medical official said a Palestinian man sustained injuries Thursday east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, while Israel’s army denied involvement.  Medical spokesman in Gaza Adham Abu Salmiya said a 32-year-old identified only as MA suffered an injury to his left hand after Israeli forces opened fire.  He was taken to Abu Yousef An-Najjar hospital and then to the European hospital.
And more news from Today in Palestine:


Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement

Israel finds new “home” for Bedouins: a garbage dump
The Israeli government plans to forcibly displace 27,000 Bedouins in the occupied West Bank within three to six 
link to Electronic Intifada

Parents: Remove mobile towers near Bethlehem school

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Parents and students at a school in the town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, plan to hold a sit-in strike Saturday against the presence of cell phone towers near their classrooms. The close proximity of a Wataniya and Jawwal mobile towers to the Talitha Kumi School “may have in the short and long term negative effects on our children’s health,” a committee of concerned parents said. ”The World Health Organization and the Ministry of Environment prevent the existence of the towers near schools because the children are at the stage of development and growth,” a statement said.  The sit-in strike, scheduled for one hour on Saturday at 8 a.m., is the first step in a campaign to remove the towers. There will be other activities in the days following the sit-in, the statement said.

A UK immigration court ruled yesterday that popular Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah could be deported from the country, after being banned by Home Secretary Theresa May in June. The Electronic Intifada can now also exclusively reveal new details of an Israeli government role in the UK plot to exclude Salah.
The Israeli Army shot at me and 3 Palestinian kids in Gaza today

After a lovely day of drinking excessive amounts of tea with a few families in South Gaza (Faraheen and Khuza’a, to be exact), an Italian colleague, Silvia, who used to live in Khuza’a, suggested walking down the road towards the local school.  It was late afternoon, about 4:30 p.m. and dozens of children played in the area.  We walked past  slices of a giant concrete wall placed in the middle of the road.  The slivers reminded me of Israel’s Apartheid Wall in the West Bank — 25 feet of reinforced concrete.   The local villagers had apparently retrieved these sections from a former settlement and placed them there so that children could play outside while being (somewhat) protected from Israeli army gunfire

Israeli army shoots at children and two ISM activists
Witnesses in Gaza today reported an escalation of Israeli aggression in the Khuza’a – Abasan, governate of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip.  The Israeli army also shot at two ISM activists and local children. Israeli tanks entered Gaza this morning, from approximately 7.30 to 8.30, moving from the village of Faraheen to Khuza’a.  Residents reported hearing numerous gun shots. Suzanne, who lives in the north of Khuza’a, confirmed that in recent days, Israeli tanks have entered Gaza on a daily basis. Another women, Taragi, who lives in the south of Khuza, also confirmed that Israeli gunfire has become more frequent.

Other Israeli / Settler Terrorism Against Palestinians

Soldiers Attack A Nonviolent Protest Near Hebron, Injuries Reported
Israeli soldiers attacked on Saturday a nonviolent protest against Israeli settlements, in Beit Ummar town, near the central West Bank city of Hebron, five reporters and one resident were injured.

The Israeli military violently obstructed a peaceful demonstration against the Israeli separation wall in Al-Ma’sara, near Bethlehem, today. Around 25 Palestinians and a similar number of international observers marched from the village at 12:20 PM today and attempted to reach olive groves on Palestinian land just outside of Al-Ma’asara in time for this year’s olive harvest.  A line of thirteen soldiers, backed by reinforcements in three armoured vehicles, pushed and shoved protesters, including a small Palestinian boy, in order to prevent them from leaving the village.
The Israeli military is continuing to harass and intimidate Palestinians and international volunteers at checkpoints throughout Tel Rumeida, Hebron. On 25 October 2011, around 7.15pm, a Palestinian woman was held at checkpoint56 inTel Rumeida for around an hour after refusing to pass through the metal detector.  The woman claimed that she was unwell and had been instructed by her doctor that it was not safe to pass through metal detectors.  Although she produced papers from the doctor showing that she was ill, the soldiers refused to let her pass.  She was eventually allowed to continue her journey, without passing through the metal detector, after the Israeli police were called and allowed her to return home.
NABLUS (Ma’an) — A family in Nablus says Israeli settlers blew up a room in their home and firebombed their jeep early Thursday. Shaheer Hanini, 40, told Ma’an the family was woken by two blasts at their home in Beit Furik at around 2 a.m. They found a room at the back of the house burnt out and their jeep, parked in front of the home, on fire. Hanini says he used a water tank to put out the blaze.

Injuries in IOF, settlers attack on peaceful march
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired teargas and stun grenades at a peaceful march in Beit Ummar village, north of Al-Khalil, afternoon Saturday, local sources said.

Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian farmers in Azmut village to the east of Nablus on Saturday morning and prevented from collecting their olive crops.

On Tuesday, illegal settlers from the Susiya settlement harvested the olive trees belonging to the Abu Sabha family from Susiya and Yatta, South Hebron Hills.

Refusing to die in silence: Palestinians resist settler violence during the olive harvest, BEN LORBER
As this year’s olive harvest sends Palestinian families across all of historic Palestine out to their olive trees, a new nonviolent resistance group called Refusing to Die In Silence is patrolling the West Bank, protecting harvesters from increased settler violence.

Palestinian Reprisal

Rockets pound south as barrages fired at Ashdod, Beersheba
Senior Egyptian official claims cease-fire agreed upon as of 6 am but at least 11 rockets and mortar shells fired at South overnight and early Sunday morning. Iron Dome intercepts two Grad rockets fired at Ashdod.

Ashkelon rocket victim dies
Man who sustained serious shrapnel wounds in rocket attack on Ashkelon dies in hospital. At least 24 rockets, mortar shells fired at Israel Saturday.

Political Prisoners

Eight arrested in Tsur Baher raid
Israeli police, border guards and intelligence agents raided a home in Tsur Baher early Thursday morning, 27 October. Eight men were arrested in the raid on the home of the Attoon and Bkeerat families in the village just south of Jerusalem. They are currently being held at the Russian Compound. Family head Abu Ahmad Attoon told Silwanic that a huge number of Israeli forces stormed the house and arrested 7 members of his family: Ahmad Attoon Eyad (38), Ra’ed (36), Wa’el Mousa Attoon (43), Mousa Ahmad Attoon (21), his brother Luqman (19), Suhaib Ali Attoon (38) and Ezz al-Dien Mahmoud Attoon (17). Essam Bkeerat was also arrested. The 8 were taken to the Russian Compound in west Jerusalem.   Attoon commented that the raid had been conducted only a few short days after celebrations had swept the village, in honour of those prisoners returned home as part of the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap agreement. A long shadow has been cast over such bonhomie, in light of this new sweep of arrests.   The Jerusalem Prisoners Committee and the families of the returned prisoners have condemned the arrests as a disgraceful attempt to sour a rare moment of celebration for the Palestinian people. The Attoon family’s experience has been particularly bitter-sweet, as Ahmad Attoon’s brother, Legislative Parliament member Mahmoud Ahmad Attoon, was amongst those free as part of the swap deal. Mahmoud had served 19 years in jail under his life sentence.  

The proof is all there: photos, videos, witnesses. All of them showed that Ashraf Abu Rahmah, one of the main activists of popular non violent struggle in the village of Bil’in, Palestine, walked peacefully on the road which goes from Bil’in’s recent liberated land to the center of the village, when an Israeli jeep passed besides him. Then it stopped. The soldiers stepped down, took the flag Ashraf carried and arrested him, forcing him to enter in the back of the vehicle under arrest, on October 23rd.

Zionist court refuses to release Muna Qaadan
The Zionist military court in Salem refused to release Muna Qaadan (39), from Arraba in Jenin district, on bail despite the fact that she was brought before court previously on the same charges.

Released Detainees

Humilation Against The Detainees Continues
Palestinian detainees held by Israel at the Majiddo detention center, managed to leak a memo revealing that the violations against them have never stopped, adding that the Israeli Prisons Administration (IPA) is not abiding by vows it made to the detainees in order to end their hunger strike, the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) reported Saturday.


Russian aid convoy arrives in Gaza
A Russian aid convoy carrying medicines and medical equipment arrived to the Gaza Strip, which has been under siege for five years, through the Rafah crossing.

Solidarity / Activism / Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
DUBLIN (Reuters) — A former culture minister was on course to be elected Ireland’s president on Friday, beating an ex-IRA commander and a reality TV star, informal tallies showed as a rival conceded defeat., Michael D. Higgins, 70, a champion of Palestinian rights and a member of junior coalition party Labour, was ahead in most voting tallies across the country, state broadcaster RTE said., “It’s very clear that we will have a President Michael D. Higgins,” said David Norris, a gay-rights campaigner who said he expected to come third or fourth.
Islamic council in J’lem hails Saudi Arabia for eliminating Alstom
The higher Islamic council in occupied Jerusalem welcomed the decision taken by Saudi Arabia to exclude the French transport company Alstom from the construction of the Haramain train project.


Ezra Nawi: ‘I just feel sorry that my name caused David problems’
“Firstly, I think that being gay makes me more sensitive to other people’s problems,” he says. “Secondly, I used to have a Palestinian boyfriend in Ramallah, and when you go through the checkpoints and experience daily life for the Palestinians, it became real for me rather than something I’d just read and heard about. And the gay-rights movement here isn’t really concerned with the problems facing other groups like the Palestinians and the Bedouins.”

‘A historic forum:’ Sylvia Schwarz tells Minneapolis gathering that privileging Jews is racism, Sylvia Schwarz
Editor’s note: Yesterday we posted Sylvia Schwarz’s account of an October 16 forum she participated in in Minneapolis, titled “Seeking Israeli/Palestinian Peace: Varied Voices from the Jewish Community.” The post got a lot of comment and we asked Schwarz, a member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, for the text of her prepared remarks. That follows. And below her text is a short response from Schwarz to the many comments.

Boston Zionists fail to excommunicate Vilkomerson and her call for ‘equality, respect’ and boycott, Philip Weiss
The Jewish Advocate in Boston has a surprisingly fair piece on a boycott debate at a synagogue in the city earlier this week, featuring Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace. Vilkomerson is quoted at length in the article and comes off as sincere, completely engaged with the Jewish community (and its fears, which I find self-absorbed– but there they are), and unapologetic about liberal values.
As long as the Israeli government uses art and culture to cover up Israeli war crimes, culture and politics are clearly intertwined.
I wanted my readers to know that in addition to the blog posts I publish here, there is much short-form activism which I find more appropriate to post on Twitter or Facebook.  I encourage you to subscribe to my Twitter &/orFacebook feeds, where you’ll find material and research which doesn’t make it to this blog.
Racism / Discrimination
I’ve written here before about the extremist pro-settler views of Israeli police officer, Meir Rotter, who has often been known to provoke fights with Sheikh Jarrah protesters.  He is the son of Rabbi Rotter, who runs one of Israel’s most popular internet news portals, somewhat akin to the Drudge Report, if you can imagine Matt Drudge wearing a talit katan and knitted settler-style yarmulke.
After Facebook groups boasting of hundreds of Israeli members have sprouted urging the hanging of Israeli Palestinian MKs and real settler brutes have killed Palestinian farmers and maimed Israeli Jewish activists helping them, all of which ended in not just no criminal charges but not even an investigation, the State prosecutor willopen a criminal investigation (and in English) against Eyal Nir, a Ben Gurion University chemistry lecturer.
Political Developments / Diplomatic News
Occupation supplies Abbas’s forces with tear gas and rubber bullets
The Israeli occupation authorities provided Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and its security agencies with military supplies used in the suppression of masses and dispersing demonstrators.

European and Israeli diplomats say Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was presented with a compromise proposal, but that he had yet to respond.

Israel Sends Note To UN, Claims Abbas Responsible For Escalation
As part of its international campaign to isolate the Palestinian Authority and its statehood application, the Israeli government sent a letter to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, accusing Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, of granting the Hamas movement a green light to fire shells into Israel. 


Bedouin Israeli in Egypt prison for 11 years to be freed next month in exchange for ‘political prisoners,’ Kuwaiti paper says.

Professor Julio Pino asks Ishmael Khaldi, the first Bedouin to serve in Israel’s foreign service, ‘how can the Israeli government justify providing aid with blood money from deaths of Palestinian children?’
Other News

Israeli professor suspected of distributing child pornography wanted in US
Professor Tzvi Tzfira charged in a federal criminal complaint and was declared a fugitive after leaving the US.


US: Haredi man sold Israeli organs
Levy Yitzhak Rosenbaum, an Israeli-American from Brooklyn pleads guilty to brokering illegal organ sales to wealthy buyers after being caught in FBI sting two years ago.

A group of Hasidim brutally attacked Avraham Hirschman, 36, a father of six, Thursday, resulting in his hospitalization with fractures and other serious injuries.
Other Mideast / U.S. News

Arab Spring activists win human rights award
Activists, including Tunisian fruit seller whose death sparked uprisings, awarded European parliament’s Sakharov Prize.

Egypt prison guards accused of torture death
Man’s death after allegedly being filled with water from hoses raises comparison to case that helped spark revolution.

US-Israeli national freed in Jerusalem-Cairo deal thanks Israeli, US officials who helped secure his release US-Israeli national Ilan Grapel held a press conference in Jerusalem on Thursday after returning to Israel from Egypt where he was held for four months on espionage charges. Grapel thanked the Israeli and American officials who helped secure his release as part of a prisoner exchange deal which saw 25 Egyptian prisoners freed. He thanked Egyptian authorities, who he said treated him well and with respect from day one. He related details from his time in the Egyptian prison: “It was a tough ordeal as I was isolated, but the guards were OK. What I wanted to eat, they gave me, including fresh fish. They paid for my meals, more than the average Egyptian would get.”

VIDEO: Cairo taxi drivers’ role in uprising
Mishal Husain has travelled across the Middle East for a BBC series, exploring how activists used social media to get their message out.

US congratulates Saudi Arabia on “hardline” crown prince despite fears about counter-reform stance: United States congratulates Saudi Arabia on selection of Crown Prince
New Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz, who is in his late 70s, has a reputation as being more conservative than either the former crown prince or king.

Saudi prince offers $900,000 to soldier abductors

Khaled bin Talal adds $900,000 to Saudi cleric’s $100,000 reward for whoever abducts Israeli soldier.


Syrian army operations continue in Homs
Activists say several people killed a day after fierce fighting breaks out between troops and army defectors.


Syrian Americans in Syria feel unfairly targeted by sanctions
Under the order signed by President Obama, an American working in Syria is deemed an exported service and in violation of the sanctions. The livelihoods of some have been devastated. Ahmad is not one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s cronies.

NTC at odds with ICC over Gaddafi’s son
New leaders want Saif al-Islam to be tried for war crimes in Libya, rather than at the International Criminal Court.
Insurgents attacked a convoy of Afghan and international occupation troops on Friday in eastern Afghanistan, sparking a gunbattle that left about 30 militants dead, NATO said.
The attack killed more than 20 people, including three Australian NATO soldiers, who were killed by an Afghan soldier they had been training with — when he turned his gun on them, officials said. The military bus was blown onto its side and completely charred.
The Switchblade is a one kilogram (2.2 pound) expendable (used only once) UAV that can be equipped with explosives. The armed version can be flown to a target and detonated, having about the same explosive effect as a hand grenade.
A U.S. pilotless aircraft fired four missiles on a house in Mir Ali area in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region Thursday night, killing at least six people, Dawn TV reported.
Around 2,000 Pakistanis demonstrated outside the country’s parliament yesterday to demand an end to US drone strikes, claiming they kill more innocent civilians than Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders.

Congress Hears Recommendations for Escalating Covert and Military Action on Iran

“This was an act of war,” said Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee at a hearing on how the U.S. should respond to the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

Google Refused U.S. Government Request To Pull Police Brutality Video
A U.S. law enforcement agency petitioned Google to take down a YouTube video showing police brutality, the web giant revealed in a new report. Google said it refused the request, placed sometime between June and January of this year, though it did not specify why. ”We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove YouTube videos of police brutality, which we did not remove,” Google wrote in its Transparency Report. ”Separately, we received requests from a different local law enforcement agency for removal of videos allegedly defaming law enforcement officials. We did not comply with those requests, which we have categorized in this Report as defamation requests.”

Occupy Wall Street
Supporters of the Occupy movement held rallies and marches throughout California on Saturday, signs that the seven-week-old national movement continues to strike a local chord.

Amy Goodman reports on Democracy Now! ”thousands of people reclaimed the Occupy Oakland encampment in front of City Hall”  last night calling for a general strike on the city of Oakland. Violence inflicted on protestors by police Tuesday night resulted in Iraq War Veteran Scott Olsen being hospitalized with a fractured skull after being shot by police. The footage in this broadcast shows a projectile shot directly into the crowd of people running to the rescue of Olsen, already fallen and wounded. Goodman interviews Olsen’s close friend Aaron Hinde and Jesse Palmer, the man who carried Olsen to safety.

Occupy Oakland protesters regroup – Iraq vet hurt
Seeking to cool the violent tone set by Tuesday night’s street clashes with Occupy Oakland protesters, police pulled down barricades Wednesday near City Hall, dramatically reduced their presence and said they would…


Update on San Francisco Bay Area Occupations
Occupy Oakland won a resounding October 26 victory by mobilizing 3000 people to respond to a police riot. They took down the police fence that exiled them from the plaza in front of city hall, set up tents again, and returned to dancing and receiving massage and acupuncture treatments. Some 1500 people later attended a daily General Assembly and voted for a general strike on November 2. It would be the first one in the United States since l946, which was also in Oakland. Such a strike calls on workers and students to stay home from work and school and try to shut down the city. Downtown banks were also encouraged to close and demonstrators vowed to enter them if they did not.


Oakland mayor now claims to ‘support’ the occupation

After playing a key role in sparking a night of violence and bloodshed, Jean Quan, the mayor of Oakland, issued a statement late Wednesday saying that the city is in “support” of the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations taking place around the nation. The position is stunningly different than what Mayor Quan published to her personal Facebook account on Tuesday morning, shortly after police forcibly evicted the peaceful demonstrators from their camp.


This footage is proof that Scott Olsen was shot in the face by police without provocation during the Occupy Oakland march on Tuesday October 25. The moment leading up to the shooting, Olsen was standing completely still. He was then hit in the head with a tear gas canister, which is potentially fatal. Also, no rocks or bottles were thrown before Olsen was shot, contrary to Police statements. Two angles of footage confirm this.


Injured vet’s uncle appalled by police action (AP)
AP – An uncle of an Iraq War veteran injured when anti-Wall Street protesters clashed with police in Oakland, Calif., said he was appalled by officers’ action.


Occupy Oakland: Egyptian Protesters To Hold Pro-Occupy Rally Friday
Egyptian protesters who have camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square are set to march to the U.S. Embassy Friday, in a rally of support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.


Vigils for injured vet, police clear Tenn. protest (AP)
AP – Anti-Wall Street demonstrators held vigils for an Iraq War veteran seriously injured during a protest clash with police in California as some Occupy encampments came under growing pressure from authorities to abandon sites in parks and plazas.

In a “get well” video directed at Scott Olsen, the Marine whose skull was fractured by a police projectile in Oakland on Tuesday night, the faceless hacktivst group “Anonymous” pledges to honor the soldier’s sacrifice and stand in solidarity with him. “Scott Olson, it has come to our attention that you have been critically injured by the Oakland Police Department for standing up for the American peoples’ First Amendment Rights,” a digitized voice says in the video. “The honor and courage you have displayed on the battlefield is only overshadowed by the cowardice and dishonor displayed by those who have committed these inhumane crimes against you.
Occupy San Fernando Valley Targets Major Banks – Studio City, CA Patch
The Occupy San Fernando Valley, with about 20 people in the group,began its protest by targeting major banks in Van Nuys. After forming up outside Van Nuys City Hall about about 12:30 p.m., the protesters marched north on Van Nuys boulevard, and stopped in front of the Wells Fargo Bank branch on the corner of an Vanowen Street.


Twenty-nine protesters arrested in Nashville, Tennessee at 3 AM on Friday for refusing to comply with a newly-enacted city rule banning “overnight occupation” have been released after a judge refused to sign criminal trespassing warrants against them. According to The Tennessean, Night Court Magistrate Tom Nelson explained in an email to Davidson County’s General Sessions judges that “he ordered all of the protesters released from custody because the state had not given the protesters adequate notice that it was changing the rules.”

DENVER (Reuters) – Police in riot gear fired pepper balls and mace into a crowd of economic protesters in Denver on Saturday and arrested 20 after some people entered the grounds of the State Capitol, police said. Denver Police Spokesman Lt. Matt Murray said about 2,000 demonstrators from “Occupy Wall Street” protests against economic inequality marched peacefully through downtown Denver, as they have done for the past several Saturdays.

Police confront occupations in NYC, San Diego, Nashville, Raleigh
Protesters in the Occupy movement around the country faced arrests and evictions Thursday as thousands held vigils for injured Marine veteran Scott Olsen. At least 1,000 gathered in Oakland at the site where Olsen had his skull fractured just two days earlier. Olsen’s family said he was awake, lucid and awaiting surgery. “He’s able to understand what’s going on,” Highland General Hospital spokesman Warren Lyons explained at a news conference. “He’s able to write and hear but has a little difficulty with his speech.”

SAO PAULO — More than 400 activists on Thursday occupied the site of Brazil’s $11 billion Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, demanding that construction be halted on the controversial project in the heart of the Amazon. “Everything was peaceful — there were no guards or workers,” a spokesman for the Indigenous Missionary Council, a group linked to the Catholic Church, told AFP.


Occupy Wall Street: Many Cities Leaving Protesters Alone [LATEST UPDATES]
NEW YORK (AP) — While more U.S. cities are resorting to force to break up the Wall Street protests, many others – Philadelphia, New York, Minneapolis and Portland, Ore., among them – are content to let the demonstrations go on for now.


NY ‘Occupy’ demonstrators battle cold as storm moves in 
An early snowstorm has made its way up the northeast coast of the US, and is now proving to be a challenge for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who have set up camp in New York’s financial district. The snow is predicted to be between five to 10 cm over the next 24 hours. Tents started to spring up earlier this week but many people are still sleeping under makeshift tarpaulins, exposed to the weather. Volunteer medics say hypothermia is already a problem. Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reports from New York.

Occupy Wall Street Has Raised $450,000, Spent Just Over $50,000
ALBANY, N.Y. — A person close to the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City says the demonstrators’ first financial report will show they have raised $454,000 and have spent just more than $50,000 in the movement’s first five weeks. The person provided the financial report to The Associated Press. The report was being released Friday evening in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, where the protesters have an encampment. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the spreadsheet analysis hadn’t been released.


Sgt. Shamar Thomas, the U.S. Marine who confronted New York City police in a now-famous video from the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, appeared on Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” to discuss acts of police brutality against “Occupy” protesters, including Marine Scott Olsen, whose skull was fractured by police in Oakland. Thomas rallied veterans to march together Thursday in a show of solidarity with Olsen and to protect protesters from acts of violence by the New York Police Department. Keith asks Thomas about right wing allegations that the veterans at rallies are fakes, civilians dressed up in gear they got at surplus stores. “My whole family has served,” says Thomas, “I have served. I don’t lie about my service.”

Egyptian Youth Activists: We are Happy to See Occupy Wall Street Movement Stand Up for Justice
A pair of Egyptian police officers were sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for the beating death of 28-year-old man. The 2010 killing of Khaled Said helped to spark the Egyptian revolution that ultimately toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak. The officers were both charged with manslaughter. Members of Said’s family and pro-democracy protesters argued the sentence was too light. Two Egyptian youth leaders, Ahmed Maher and Basem Fathy, join us in studio to talk about Egypt after the fall of Mubarak, as well as the growing protests they have witnessed in the United States. “Regarding the Occupy movement, … we are, in April 6 movement, and the activists in Egypt, standing for very clear values: social justice and democracy and justice in general,” says Fathy. “So we’re going to support this everywhere. And let’s say, frankly, that we’re happy for finding the people trying to correct the pathway of democracy even in the United States.”

‘Occupy’ protestors find allies in app makers
OAKLAND, California — US street protestors have won allies in software makers who have crafted programs that let smartphones fire off word of imminent arrest or let rallying cries be heard by crowds. A free “I’m Being Arrested” application was available on Thursday at the online Android Market stocked with programs for smartphones powered by the Google-backed software. “Alert your lawyer, loved ones, etc. that you are being arrested with a click,” said a description of the mini-program for activists taking part in the Occupy Wall Street protests which have spread to other US cities.
A flier and web-page making its way around Facebook and other social media recommends a solution of Maalox or other liquid antacids as an antidote to the eye pain, blindness, and respiratory distress related to tear gas attacks. The flier, which we found via “OccupyMARINES” states that it is distributed by “United We Rise”, an organization that supports, but is not directly affiliated with “Occupy Wall Street”.

Pat Robertson: Christians should not join ‘Occupy Wall Street’
Televangelist Pat Robertson said Thursday on The 700 Club that Christians should not be involved in the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations in cities around the nation. His comment was picked up by the liberal watchdog website “I think this is a rebellion,” he said. “I think it is atavistic. Nobody knows exactly what it is, they don’t know what they’re doing, why are they there? Well they’re just mad. Well, is it right for a Christian to get involved in a protest of anger?”


Occupy Wall Street Protesters Prepare For Winter Weather
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Wall Street protesters around the country who are vowing to stand their ground against the police and politicians are also digging in against a different kind of adversary: cold weather. With the temperature dropping, they are stockpiling donated coats, blankets and scarves, trying to secure cots and military-grade tents, and getting survival tips from the homeless people who have joined their encampments.

Analysis / Op-ed
Mai and Amane, Arab Israeli teenagers living in Nazareth, are happy to leave talk about boys and make-up to their peers. They have a political message and they’re telling it through rap music. The girls, only 15 and 16, make up the duo “Damar” — Arabic for “destruction” — whose mission is to expose what they say is the routine discrimination they experience growing up as part of Israel’s Arab minority. Mai Zarqawi and Amane Tattur formed Damar after meeting at school in the Jewish-Arab city of Nazareth in 2009, and discovering a shared interest in fighting for Palestinian rights. “We don’t hate Jews,” says Zarqawi. “We hate the idea of how Zionism came and took over our land and our culture and left us nothing.” They refuse to identify themselves as Arab Israeli, but rather as Palestinians living in Nazareth, home to some 72,000 people.

The Olive and the F-16: Autumn in Gaza
Today completes another week of olive picking in Gaza.  Another week of pausing, breaths held, as Israeli tanks the color of sand moved nearby along the buffer zone, another week of children frightened at the sound of roaring F-16s, another week below the watchful eye of the drone.

As I pass, my Palestinian scarf is hidden in my bag – I do not want to get any spit on me tonight. Around the tomb of Shimon HaTzadik, the festival is going on. The settlers have built a stage, erected a huge party tent and assembled a long line of portable toilets. Danceable klezmer music is booming from the loudspeakers and the Israeli police are present with horses and cordons. Children are playing around amidst guns and dancing men with beards and luminous bracelets.
For those of you seeking a comparison in the U.S. media that does justice to the role Nahum Barnea plays as Israel’s leading political columnist, you might go back to Walter Cronkite or Walter Lippman.  In terms of today’s media, you could compare him to Tom Friedman, though Barnea is far more read, known and popular in Israel than Friedman is here.

With the advent of the 99 Percent movement, some comparisons have been made between the occupations of various U.S. locations and the tent city that sprung up in Israel’s capital this summer. But journalist Max Blumenthal found another comparison, this one to events just across the so-called “Green Line” that divides Israel proper and the Occupied — no pun intended — Palestinian Territories. The company that supplied the police with“less-lethal” weapons used to break up the Occupy Oakland protest also supplies the Israel Defense Forces with the same sorts of weapons used to break up the un-armed West Bank Palestinian (and increasingly joint-) Popular Struggle for human rights and ending land-grabs by settlements.

Occupy Oakland protesters got a whiff of the weekly Palestinian experience  two nights ago when a crackdown complete with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades tore through their protest encampment. (See Adam Horowitz’s post here). The injury of Iraq War veteran and activist Scott Olsen, who is in the hospital with a fractured skull, adds to the obvious similarities seen in protest crackdowns in the U.S. and Palestine.

Occupy the Winter of Our Discontent
Can occupations survive a winter of global weirding, escalated police brutality, and the corporate media’s venom? Should they? In some parts of the country there will be no cold weather. In others, police abuses will result in larger occupations, not smaller. And it’s certainly possible that for the first time in recent years an independent progressive populist campaign will survive the enmity of the corporate media. In other cases, the cold, the communications assaults, fatigue, and the difficulties encountered by activist camps that also become homes for the homeless and the mentally ill may begin to erode the usefulness of encampments.

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9? israel wants war

The Islamic Jihad has responded [positively] to the truce effort,

Of course they did. They shoot at civilians and then shed crocodile tears when their militants gets killed.

These attacks on Gaza correspond with the renewal of the mass demonstrations in Tel Aviv. Participants in the demonstrations are accusing Bibbi of inciting violence in Gaza to try and distract attention away from these rallies.

While the Zionist brains here attempt to decipher the developments of the last 48 hours, one basic fact needs to be made clear; no Palestinian organization stands to benefit from breaking a ceasefire agreement when more than 500 additional Palestinian political prisoners are due to be released soon.

The only party that benefits is Israel as it can then quietly renege on its prisoner-exchange agreement and keep the Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas were duped by Israel.

“Israeli airstrikes” is far more sexy than “indiscriminate Israeli bombing of densely populated urban areas”