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Sunday, October 31, 2004

October 31 2004

Residents of Budrus March to Resist the Wall
In spite of a court order to build on 56 dunums of land that belongs to the families of Budrus, construction is on-going on 150 dunums of their land. The farmers and their families will voice their opposition to the construction of the Wall as well as the violation of a court order by the military. Monday, November 1 at 1:00PM

The International Court and the Wall: An Alternative Road Map
Turning to the obligations of other states, the ICJ recommended that they should neither recognize the wall nor provide aid or assistance to maintain the circumstances created by its construction; prevent any impediment, created by the wall's construction, to the exercise of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; and, ensure Israel's compliance with international humanitarian law.

Olive Picking season threatened by settlers and soldiers attacks
Mayadma described the attacks carried out by the settlers as direct violations and provocative assaults. Moreover, Eyad Abu Omar, head of Borqa Village Council, said that settlers burnt several days ago more than 150 Olive trees near the main road which links Homish and Shafeh Shomrom settlements.

Revisited: Interview with Marwan Barghouti
The Oslo agreement was supposed to lead to an end of the Israeli occupation, and implementation of the accords was supposed to begin in 1994. By 1997, the Palestinians were supposed to control more than 80 to 90 percent of the Occupied Territories, and the remaining 10 percent was supposed to be negotiated during the final status talks.  What happened was that the Israelis never implemented their part of the agreements...

Palestinian children in Israeli crosshairs
The Palestinian Authority has accused Israel of making the killing of Palestinian school children by the occupation army a daily occurrence while calling on the world to put an end to the practice. "It is becoming a gruesome daily routine and Israel, as you see, is interested more in concocting and inventing lies to justify the murder than in stopping it."

Israel kills two resistance fighters
Earlier on Sunday, a Palestinian resistance fighter was killed and another injured in an exchange of fire with Israel occupation troops in the northern West Bank town of Jenin. Up to 15 others, including activists, were detained during the invasion by Israeli troops into the city and refugee camp which began at midnight on Saturday.

Palestinian powers call for unity
The factions said in a joint leaflet that all the national institutions and organizations should assume their responsibilities and make all efforts to strengthen the Palestinian unity against any attack from Israel.

Palestinian factions vow to strengthen national unity
Palestinian factions also urged the international society to push Israel to implement the international resolutions over the Middle East peace process, including the full withdrawal from allthe Palestinian territories.

Officials: Arafat Condition Is Improving
Doctors have not said what might be causing the deficiency, although Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said all types of cancer had been ruled out. However, no doctors or other specialists have publicly confirmed that conclusion.

Peres says Labor won't back 2005 budget
The Labor Party will, however, back the Pullout and Compensation Bill and Labor members of the Knesset Finance Committee will back plans for early compensation payments for those settlers being evacuation.

66 MKs oppose a referendum on the disengagement
A majority of 66 Knesset members is against a referendum on the disengagement, therefore there is no chance of holding one, Prime Minister's Bureau sources said Saturday

80,000 attend Rabin memorial rally in Tel Aviv
Tens of thousands of people attended a memorial rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to mark nine years since the murder of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. (Remember that the murder had no ifluence in Peace Process "history says")

Palestinian firm says Israel working to damage reputation of UNRWA?
The "Dameer" firm said in a statement that it supports the UNRWA and Hansen against what it called pressures to replace the official with Israel-backing personality.þ It hailed Hansen's standings based on respecting international laws, which þare being violated by the government of Israel, the statement said.þ

Military Intelligence chief: Arafat's death may end intifada
Speaking at Sunday's cabinet meeting, Ze'evi stressed that the chairman's death would only lead to the end of the violence that began in September 2000, and not the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sharon ready for talks with post-Arafat Palestinian leadership
"If a new Palestinian leadership which is both serious and responsible emerges, it is possible that there can be a resumption of negotiations on the roadmap" peace plan, Sharon was quoted as telling the weekly cabinet meeting. "A new leadership must prove by its actions that it is fighting against terrorism," he added, according to public radio.

Israeli PM rules out Arafat burial in Jerusalem, amid spectre of violence
"As long as I am in power, and I have no intention of leaving, he (Arafat) will not be buried in Jerusalem," public radio quoted him as telling the weekly meeting, in response to a question by Justice Minister Joseph Lapid.

Old Age Counts Against Arafat's Successors
Since Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whose name is synonymous with the Palestinian struggle, didn't allow any other names to come forward for opposition, the whole world is now wondering who will be the next leader to carry on the Intifada. The most charismatic potential leader of Palestine after Arafat, "young" Marvan Barghuti, is serving jailtime in Israel.

The Importance of being “Irrelevant” - By Uri Avnery
The man who years ago was officially declared by the Israeli government to be “irrelevant”, was headline news all over the world this week. There are very few leaders around whose state of health would command similar attention. If one does not want peace and prefers a Greater Israel, one does not need Arafat.

His death will not bequeath life - By Gideon Levy
During the past four years when Israel humiliated him (Arafat) into the dust by imprisoning him, during the years when he was proclaimed politically dead, and now physically, the country has come not even one step closer to peace and security. Is our situation better today than before he was ostracized?

Anti-war movement: The centrality of the Palestinian question
Why Palestine is so important in the eyes of millions of activists in civil and political society. Why, in every demonstration against neoliberalism or against the war, is the Palestinian flag omnipresent, much more than the Iraqi or any other flag? Is it because the Israeli occupation is the most barbarous or murderous?

Nostalgia for the disengagement
If until three days ago unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip was considered by the left a default option, ever since the possibility of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's departure started threatening it the plan's implementation, disengagement has become the left's greatest desire.

Michael Collins: Lesson for Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians
Palestinian campaigner Edward Said, compared Arafat and Collins and the compromise over partition that led to the latter's assassination and accused Arafat of coming "away from the negotiating table with a lot less than Collins". But Arafat survived anyhow.

The darling of the left
The evacuation is not a goal in itself, and if the withdrawal from Gaza is not followed immediately by negotiations with the Palestinians, based on the Clinton formula, the evacuation that the Knesset approved last Tuesday will have no real effect on the situation.

Iraq's Allawi says showdown imminent in Fallujah
Seven people, including women and children, were killed and 11 wounded in clashes between U.S. forces and insurgents in Ramadi, according to hospital director Abdul-Muneim Othman. Residents said U.S. artillery had shelled eastern districts and said there had been air strikes on Saturday and Sunday.

Al-Jazeera airs plea of Polish hostage in Iraq for troop pullout
"My life is in great danger, and the only thing that will save me is a response to the Iraqis' demand for, first, the withdrawal of Polish military forces from Iraqi territory, and secondly, offering any possible help to release Iraqi women prisoners from various US prisons in Iraq,"...

Japan Confirms Japanese Hostage in Iraq Beheaded
Japan's government on Sunday said it is now certain that a 24-year-old Japanese backpacker taken hostage in Iraq has been killed. Japanese officials say the identity of the body was confirmed through fingerprint matches.

Iftar Banquets Vanishing in Occupied Iraq
Iraqi mosques used to host collective iftar banquets in a show of solidarity among fellow Muslims during the holy fasting month of Ramadan but under the US-led occupation of the oil-rich Arab country this is no more possible.

Israeli secret agents liquidate 310 Iraqi scientists
The experts said they had detected an organized campaign aimed at “liquidating Iraqi scientists” in the past 18 months and most of them pointed the finger at the Israeli secret police service, the Mossad. He said more than 310 Iraqi scientists have been killed so far and most of them at the hands of Mossad agents working in Iraq.

British Soldier Found Dead at Basra Base
"The body of a dead British soldier was found at a British military base in Basra this morning. Investigations are ongoing. It's not believed that this was the result of any hostile act," a spokesman for the MoD said.

'Black Watch' Wives Told To Keep Silent
Jeff Duncan, spokesman for the Save the Regiments Campaign, said a number of wives had complained to him about the edict. “I have taken a number of calls from wives of soldiers in the Black Watch who say their husbands have been told to tell them not to speak to the media. Orders have come from the top,” he said.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

October 30 2004

In Qaffin: The Apartheid Gates and the Policy of “Permits”
Only 650 people from Qaffin have “permits”, while the number of people that have requested to access their lands which the Occupation Forces have now made inaccessible due to the building of the Apartheid Wall, is some 1600 people. At present, it is the olive harvest season, with people unable to access their groves.

High Court freezes fence construction near Budrus
The court, however, allowed the security forces to continue the infrastructure work on the fence's planned route near five villages in the southern West Bank area. The state has promised to restore the condition of the area where the fence is being built should the petition be accepted, Israel Radio reported.

The Wall, Israeli Apartheid and the Right of Return in Focus at the Norwegian Social Forum
The humanitarian and political consequences of the Apartheid Wall were discussed in a seminar organised by the Norwegian Tear Down the Wall Campaign in which the Norwegian Association of NGOs for Palestine is a driving force.

Israel: 'Disengagement' Will Not End Gaza Occupation
“The removal of settlers and most military forces will not end Israel's control over Gaza,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division. “Israel plans to reconfigure its occupation of the territory, but it will remain an occupying power with responsibility for the welfare of the civilian population.”

Underage Female detainee deprived of their basic rights
Lawyer of the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs reported that female detainees under the age of 18, in Al-Ramlah prison are suffering from inhumane conditions and treatment, in violation of international law and the basic rights of children.

Two Children Killed in Less than 24 Hours in Jenin
IPC correspondent in Jenin said Israeli forces shot dead 12-year-old schoolboy, Ibrahim Kmail, in front of his school in the city. During the third day of the invasion of Jenin City, medical sources told our correspondent that at least seven civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire, including three children whose injuries were described as moderate.

13 homes razed north of Rafah
WAFA news Agency said on Saturday, that soldiers razed 13 homes and destroyed an agricultural barracks in Al-Arabeyya area, in Rafah, near the Egyptian borders, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

PCHR: “26 Palestinians killed last week”
Moreover, the report said that soldiers conducted vast military raids in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip killing 17 residents including three P.A security men, and shot wounded 76 residents, including 26 children, and eight residents who were killed by missiles fired by military apaches

Young girl demands compensation for being shot inside her classroom
A 13 years old girl from Khan Younis, who was shot wounded while sitting inside the classroom, filed charges against the army, seeking compensations. It is worth mentioning that the girl is now blinded, paralyzed and continuously suffers from pain in her head in addition to physiological problems.

Israeli Troops Rampage Throughout Palestinian Territories
In the meantime, the Israeli bulldozers razed earlier on Saturday vast areas of arable Palestinian-owned lands in the Farta neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip City of Beit Hanoun. Also, the bulldozers knocked down several green houses in the area, witnesses confirmed.

Rally in Tel Aviv to mark nine years since Rabin assassination
Organizers of the rally decided not to invite politicians to speak this year in order to make the rally more stately and to appeal to an audience that may have stayed away due to the political nature of past memorials.

PLO gathers for crucial meeting as Arafat undergoes urgent medical care
Although a weekly event, analysts have predicted that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) executive meeting will be an attempt to reassure the world and the Palestinians that there will be a smooth transition of power during Arafat's absence.

Abbas urges Palestinians to unite
Abbas spoke after chairing the first Palestine Liberation Organisation executive meeting without Arafat, amid speculation that the Palestinian leadership could fall into chaos should the veteran leader not return. "We call on all our people and factions to unite and work together in responsible fashion to protect our destiny and homeland,"

French Tend to Ill Arafat, Aides Dismiss Leukemia
"The tests already carried out exclude any possibility of leukemia, and I say it again, any possibility of leukemia," she said, speaking in French. "There are other possibilities and the doctors are still examining."

Russian foreign ministercalled on both Israel and Palestine authorities
Lavrov also said he believed Israel would follow through with its promise to allow Arafat to return to Palestine after treatment. Arafat agreed to go to France after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said he would let him return to the West Bank

Israeli Arabs Send Ramadan Packages to Palestinians
Palestinians living inside what is now Israel (Israeli Arabs) are increasingly contributing to a campaign championed by several charities to help needy Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Palestinians consider life after Arafat
"We have no strategic plan for this," says a senior Palestinian security official. "He didn't want any discussion of creating an alternative in case of emergency." The official says security chiefs were only Thursday forming a plan to define responsibility for the head of each security branch if Arafat dies.

Who's afraid of a war of inheritance?
Until Thursday, no formal meetings were held by the cabinet or any Palestine Liberation Organization or Fatah institution. But even before it was decided to send him to Paris, there were spontaneous consultations about the next steps and how to fill the leadership vacuum, temporarily.

Arafat's departure would alter PLO's UN mission
According to one version of events discussed by diplomats Thursday, the death of the Palestinian leader would mean a moderation in the position of the PLO's New York mission toward Israel. Sources in New York said Thursday that the PLO mission is already considering a memorial ceremony to be held for Yasser Arafat in the General Assembly.

Reactions from the Arab press
Whether Arafat is cured and returns to his prison, or whether he is overpowered by a disease, which has worsened because of imprisonment, the Palestinians will always remember that the Israelis and the Americans are responsible... What is more important however, more than ever, is that the Palestinians thwart attempts by Israel to ignite a civil war in the territories.

On This Day 1991: Bush opens historic Mid East peace conference
"Territorial compromise is essential for peace," said President Bush. "We seek peace, real peace. And by real peace I mean treaties. If we cannot summon the courage to lay down the past for ourselves then let us do it for the children."

China, Iran sign biggest oil & gas deal
Under a memorandum of understanding signed Thursday, Sinopec Group will buy 250 million tons of liquefied natural gas over 30 years from Iran and develop the giant Yadavaran field. Iran is also committed to export 150,000 barrels per day of crude oil to China for 25 years at market prices after commissioning of the field.

Eight U.S. Marines killed in Iraq; car bomb in Baghdad kills seven people
The U.S. military said nine Marines were also wounded in the fighting in Anbar province west of the capital, which includes the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. The statement gave no further details on how or where they were killed.

Black Watch soldier killed on road to secure new base
The Scots Guards are on stand-by to become the second British regiment to be deployed to areas of Iraq formerly occupied by the Americans. The Guards are expected to be ordered at around Christmas or the new year to replace the Black Watch battalion, which arrived at a new base near Baghdad known as Camp Dogwood yesterday.

Iraqi armed group claims responsibility for Al-Arabiya attack
Al-Arabiya had been temporarily banned by the Iraqi authority from covering news in Iraq. However, the Saudi-funded channel has been more cooperative with the interim government led by Iyad Allawi, especially since he visited Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

Group Warned U.S. of Unsecured Weapons
Human Rights Watch said Saturday it alerted the U.S. military to a cache of hundreds of warheads containing high explosives in Iraq in May 2003, but that officials seemed uninterested and still hadn't secured the site 10 days later.

Iraq Hostage's Father Hopes Son Is Alive
The father of a Japanese traveler held hostage in Iraq expressed hope Saturday that his son was alive and would be freed after a body found in northern Iraq and said to resemble him turned out to be someone else.

Pope to meet with Iraqi PM at Vatican
The Vatican sources said Allawi would meet with the 84-year-old pope at around 11 am (1000 GMT) on Thursday. John Paul has been a fervent opponent of the war in Iraq, and prior to the US-led invasion last year he made a determined campaign to try and prevent it.

Italians stage demo against Iraq war
"It's not enough to sign unitary motions on the withdrawal. We must also mobilise, as thousands of pacifists have done today. This large turnout shows that peace is an issue in Italian public opinion that can mobilise people."

Friday, October 29, 2004

October 29 2004

Lessons from South Africa
Indeed, the South African apartheid system does exhibit a number of similarities to the system installed by the Israeli government to rule Palestinians under occupation. To give but one, perhaps the most obvious example, Palestinians in the occupied territories live under one law, military law, while Israeli settlers in the same occupied territories live under another, civil Israeli law.

UN human rights expert: 'Israel has killed the road map'
"The road map is dead. Israel has killed it," South African law professor John Dugard told a General Assembly committee. "The world is looking to the United States for leadership in this region, and the world is simply not getting it," said Dugard, who monitors the Palestinian territories for the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Commission.

The Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza
You've heard us say for months that The Rebuilding Alliance is working to build the home that Rachel Corrie stood to safeguard. In the spirit of Ramadan and its call to empathy, we want to let you inside our strategy to build the Nasrallah family home and help end home demolitions in Gaza.

Two detainees severely tortured and abused
Zaghari said that since he was arrested on June 2004, he was interrogated and tortured while soldiers used several illegal methods against him such as shooting near his head, using dogs, in addition to clubbing him and hitting his face against the wall or against metal.

Refugee Camp, a Vilage Raided, Two youths arrested near Bethlehem
a huge military force broke into and searched few homes, and arrested Raed Mohammad Salah, who suffers from paralysis in his right leg as a result of a gunshot injury. It is worth mentioning that soldiers raided the village of Al-Khader two days ago, and broke into tens of homes before arresting the brothers of Raed, Suleiman, 16, and Mahmoud, 13 years old

Three youths shot wounded in Jenin refugee camp
A medical source in Jenin said that soldiers shot wounded three residents in Jenin refugee camp, in Jenin, in the north of the West Bank, on Friday afternoon. Tens of homes were used as military posts and monitoring towers, especially in the southern side of the camp.

Occupation forces demolish 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah, bulldoze farmlands
Eyewitnesses confirmed that the Zionist forces fired randomly towards Palestinian homes, assaulted the residents and prevented them from taking their belongings out before demolishing their homes. Furthermore, the occupation forces bulldozed large areas of farmland, destroyed two water wells and a number of greenhouses.

Hamas urges for casting differences aside
A Hamas statement was quoted as saying that the movement urged the formation of a unified national leadership to be the highest political echelon for the Palestinian people while wishing a speedy recovery for Arafat.

UN eyeing developments as Arafat reported ill - spokesman
Fred Eckhard told a press briefing in New York that the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, spent the day in Ramallah meeting with top Palestinian officials.

How could it have been different?
Sixty-eight years ago, however, claimed an Israeli newspaper article two days later, Ghoul's grandfather had saved a neighboring Jewish village from any harm during the Palestinian revolt of 1936. The fates of the two Ghouls is an interesting illustration of the understandings of the two peoples about their histories.

EU Takes Initiative to Guarantee Arafat's Return Home
In a news articles printed in the Al Hayat newspaper, it is noted that EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana briefed Palestinian delegate in Brussels, Sevki Al-Armali, about the content of his talks with Israeli officials regarding the guarantee of Arafat's return.

Committee to succeed Arafat denied
Farouk Kaddoumi was quoted by Tunisia's daily al-Sabah as saying reports about the formation of a three-man committee to take over rule from Arafat are simply rumors aimed at distressing and confusing the Palestinian people.

Jerusalem Municipality exempts a Kach affiliated organization from Taxes
The Kach movement thus ran for election in 1984, winning 26,000 votes, and Kahane became a member of Knesset. He announced that Kach would not support any government that did not advocate the expulsion of the Palestinians.

Current and Former PMs Stand in for Arafat
Ailing Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's powers have been temporarily passed to two men -- both who have served under him as prime minister -- until he recovers or dies, officials said on Friday.

Palestinians gripped by fear and uncertainty as prospect of power vacuum increases
So who, if the worst happened, would Mr Naswari like to see as the new president? "Anyone clean," came the reply. Was there such a person? "No", shot back Mr Naswari, before correcting himself to mention the name of a popular Fatah leader on many lips. "Marwan Barghouti is the only one I can use the word about, but he is in [an Israeli] prison and I can't help him."

Palestinian stocks weighed down by Arafat's health
Only six of the bourse's 26-listed companies traded yesterday, with Palestine Telecommunications leading the market's decline with a 4.9 percent drop in the day's largest turnover of 65,000 dinars. Palestine Development & Investment shed 4.65 percent while Palestine Electric Co. ended down 4.6 percent.

Powell calls again for Palestinian leader to cede authority over security
Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to speculate on Yasser Arafat's health Friday but urged the Palestinian leader to yield control of security in Palestinian-run areas to a prime minister as a way of furthering peace.

Real battle of succession to be fought among younger, homegrown generation
Marwan Barghouti: The 45-year-old is the best known of the new generation of homegrown Palestinian leaders. he was brought up and spent most of his life in the West Bank. He demonstrated his leadership qualities during the first Palestinian uprising of 1987-1993 and is one of the main leaders of the second intifada... The Israeli government will determine his fate.

Few prepared to write off the resilient Arafat just yet
As a Jordanian helicopter lifted him out of his Ramallah compound on Friday on the first stage of a journey to Paris for medical treatment, Palestinians faced the prospect that this time nature might overcome their president's legendary capacity for survival.

End of an era? End of an aura?
Yasser Arafat stole the show again. This was supposed to be Ariel Sharon's week, after the disengagement plan was passed in the Knesset on Tuesday. But on Wednesday evening, the prime minister discovered that his veteran adversary, a man whom he occasionally considered assassinating for more than 20 years, was one step ahead of him again.

Analysis: Good and bad scenarios
Sharon has gone through a series of extreme turnarounds in relation to Arafat. First, as defense minister during the Lebanon war, he tried in every possible way to hurt Arafat while the siege of Beirut was on, including a plan to down a plane carrying Arafat. As prime minister, he supported former then chief of staff Shaul Mofaz' plan to expel Arafat from the territories.

Beilin: Gaza pullout should be coordinated with Palestinians
Beilin's Yahad party supported the disengagement plan in the Knesset vote on Tuesday, in spite of the fact that as an initiator of the Geneva Accord, Beilin found it difficult to support a unilateral move.

EDITORIAL: Palestine needs international attention more than Iraq does
It took the Bush administration more than two years to get round to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Even as the US was preparing to go to war with Iraq, most discerning experts were trying to tell the Bush administration that it would do much better if it invested in a viable peace process.

Israel's Settlers Cut Down to Size
Since 1967, Israel, under both Labor (the first settlements in the Gaza strip were established by Labor in 1971) and Likud governments, has gone to great pains to populate the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with illegal settlements, investing roughly $100 billion dollars in this illegal enterprise over the course of 38 years

Abbas, Arafat's Ticket to International Diplomacy
Together with Farouq Qaddomi, the PLO foreign minister, Abbas is a different caliper of a leader than all public figures surrounding Arafat, including current Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei. His integrity together with his pressure to act as a real partner frightened the besieged Palestinian President, who is surrounded with powerful enemies eager to remove him physically and politically.

On This Day 1998: Apartheid report accuses SA leaders
Accepting the report, President Nelson Mandela declared: "The wounds of the period of repression and resistance are too deep to have been healed by the TRC alone." "We are extricating ourselves from a system that insulted our common humanity by dividing us from one another by race".

Report puts Falluja civilian toll at 600
"There are clear reports of 600 people killed in total up until April 12th, most of them killed before US forces began to permit women and children to be evacuated from the town," it added. The IBC went on to say that its report, which is based on multiply cited accounts from doctors and eyewitnesses, confirms that no less than 308 of those killed were women and children.

War costs 100,000 Iraqi lives
Around 100,000 Iraqis have been killed in violence since the US-led coalition forces invaded the country in March 2003, said a report published Friday in British medicine journal The Lancet. More than half of those who died were women and children killedin air strikes, American public health experts said in the latest issue of the magazine.

US troops refused requests to protect explosives store
Al-Qaqa'a, the Iraqi military complex from which 350 tons of explosives disappeared, was looted after US troops left the area refusing requests to protect the site, Iraqi witnesses say. They say unguarded buildings were stripped of their contents after the arrival and departure of American troops in the last few days of the war.

British troops arrive at new operational base in Iraq
A battalion of around 500 soldiers from the BlackWatch regiment, along with 300 support troops, began the move earlier this week from their previous base around the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Sadr-backed cleric tells Iraqi Shia to vote
"I call on you all to participate in the elections," Sheikh Abdul Zahra al- Suweidi, a Sadr representative, told a crowd of about 50,000 yesterday. The Friday sermon in Sadr City is a political statement carefully vetted by Mr Sadr's group.

Japan says body resembling hostage found in Iraq
"The American military in Iraq told the Japanese embassy on Friday afternoon there and early Saturday Japan time that a body that looks like a Japanese had been found," spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima said.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

October 28 2004

Christian Peace Group Supports Divestment from Israel
The 10th anniversary assembly of Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand, held in Auckland on 1-2 October, endorsed the Anglican Peace and Justice Networks and Presbyterian Church of the United States in their recent call for divestment in Israel modelled on the popular boycott of apartheid South Africa.

Sound and vision - By Daniel Barenbolm
Edward Said was many things for many people, but in reality, his was a musician's soul, in the deepest sense of the word. He wrote about important universal issues such as exile, politics, integration. However, the most surprising thing for me, as his friend and great admirer, was the realisation that, on many occasions, he formulated ideas and reached conclusions through music; and he saw music as a reflection of the ideas that he had regarding other issues.

22 Per Cent of Palestinian Children Permanently Malnourished
In an annual report issued Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly, Ziegler underlined the humanitarian tragedy affecting the 3.8 million Palestinians saying that 85 per cent of water in Palestinian aquifers had been diverted to illegal Israeli colonies in contravention of the Geneva Convention.

A Released Female Prisoner: Israeli Prisons Sign of Humiliation
"In July2004, I fell down to the ground, and my head was hit severely, then the prison's administration evacuated me to a hospital just for one hour", Samar accounted on. She emphasized to the IPC's that the Israeli prisons are merely 'sign of humiliation of human dignity'

Palestinian girl killed by Israeli troops, witnesses say
An eight-year-old Palestinian girl who was on her way to school in a Gaza Strip refugee camp was shot and killed by Israeli troops on Thursday, Palestinian witnesses say. Rania Iyad Aram was killed by random machine gun fire from an army outpost near the neighbouring Jewish settlement of Ganei Tal

Civilian Dies of Wounds as Israeli Forces Invade Jenin
IPC correspondent said yesterday that Esam Abu Tueima, 30, died of wounds he sustained on October 2, during the Israeli onslaught on northern Gaza Strip. Abu Tueima was critically wounded when an Israeli unmanned drone fired a missile at a group of civilians in Jabalia refugee camp.

3 Palestinians injured in Jenin
The sources said that Israeli troops, backed by about 50 tanks and armored vehicles, stormed the city and the refugee camp of Jenin, adding that the army imposed curfew on residents at predawn. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers seized several houses and searched inside, and turned them into army outposts

Palestinian fire wounds 7 soldiers in Gaza
In a gun battle near the southern Gaza settlenent of Morag, Palestinian gunmen hit an IDF position with mortars and sniper fire, wounding seven soldiers, one of them listed in extremely critical condition. The injuries of three other wounded troops were described as serious.

Jordan sends choppers for Arafat
JORDAN sent two helicopters to the West Bank this evening to transport ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to the kingdom en route for medical treatment in France, government spokeswoman Asma Khader said.

France Sending Plane to Airlift Ailing Palestinian Leader
Thursday evening, a spokesman for French President Jacques Chirac called the airlift "imminent." Arafat aides in the West Bank say he will depart the region early Friday morning.

Annan gives full backing to head of UN agency helping Palestinians
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today gave his complete backing to the head of the United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees after Israel's allegation that a rocket had been loaded into a UN ambulance was disproved. (The text does not dare to criticize Israeli fabrication)

Charity night to back Palestine
"These families are so poor that they don't even have a morsel of food to eat while we're here enjoying ourselves." Donations and charity will be collected at the event that also includes a bazaar featuring well-known Palestinian embroidery such as clothes and shawls.

Qorei speaks with Sharon over Arafat health crisis
Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei spoke by phone with his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon who agreed to his request that Israel ensure that all the needs of ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat be met, an Israeli official said.

Aide denies Arafat named three-man team to run affairs
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's senior aide, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, denied Thursday that Arafat had formed a special three-man committee to run affairs in his absence.

Palestinian foreign minister cancels visit to Russia
"Shaath was planning to visit Moscow, but now the visit will not take place," the Interfax news agency cited the unnamed sourceas saying, without specifying the reasons.

IDF has 'A New Leaf' plan, for day after Arafat's death
For the past year, the Israel Defense Forces Central Command has been working on a plan entitled "A New Leaf," which explores military options for "the day after" Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's death.

Chirac sends get-well wishes to stricken Arafat
French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday addressed his "warmest wishes" for the recovery of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who has fallen badly ill and who, according to his doctors, requires foreign medical treatment.

Israeli peace camp hails Sharon the hawk
Governments of all hues have withstood domestic and international pressure to pull out of any part of the West Bank or Gaza Strip since their occupation began after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Sharon, who was regarded as the Israel's most right-wing ever leader, is now poised to carry out an evacuation process which was beyond all imagination when he came to power in 2001.

A clearer picture of the territories
The overall number of residents of the West Bank and Gaza is now about 3.5 million (based on data of the Palestinian population registry from 1997, which include East Jerusalem). And if it is true that about 5 percent have emigrated in recent years, this is most certainly a high number...

Analysis: Without Arafat, it grows harder to justify pullout
The claim that "there is no partner," which has formed the basis of Israeli foreign policy over the past four years and justified the refusal to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, would depart together with him.

Analysis: Few Palestinians show support for Arafat
Despite the fact that during his public appearances on television Arafat is surrounded by cheering supporters in his headquarters, it appears that large segments of the Palestinian public felt remote from their leader, despite the fact they did not blame him directly for the deteriorated state of affairs.

Jordan braces for stormy demonstrations
When reports of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's dwindling health were publicized Wednesday night, Jordan raised the state of alert in its capital and in Palestinian refugee camps in the country.

Jewishness versus democracy - By Azmi Bishara
These same words were imposed on them under Article 7A of the Knesset Law, which the Arabs would oppose if it were put to a vote again, just as they opposed it when the law was first enacted. According to this provision any party that does not recognise Israel as a Jewish and democratic state cannot participate in parliamentary elections.

Anti-Sharon forces swell within his own Likud party
Benjamin Netanyahu and Limor Livnat, who worked against him openly and at the end of the day gave him an ultimatum: a referendum within 14 days or resignation from the government. That move could weaken Sharon's government even further, increase opposition to Sharon within his party, and make life difficult for him in continuing to promote the disengagement plan.

100,000 civilians have died from Iraq War and aftermath: Lancet
Around 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, more than half of them from violence, according to an estimate to be published on Friday by the British medical weekly The Lancet.

Falluja emptied of women and children
"Three-quarters of the people have fled to other towns to avoid the American air strikes, especially the women and children," said Abdel Aziz Ibrahim, a teacher. "I stayed but my family is in Baghdad so the kids can go to school. No schools are open in Falluja now because of the security situation."

160 Arabs Face Death Penalty in Iraq
Noting Iraq is still suffering under the yoke of the US occupation and its daily attacks against Iraqi cities, the reporter added that Arabs who cross into the country to resist the foreign troops must be subjected to a fair trial.

Iraq says 'impossible' explosives taken before regime fall
But as the issue of the missing explosives took centre stage in the final days of the US presidential campaign, some US officials have suggested they had gone before the US-led forces moved on Baghdad.

Iraqi police placed in the firing line without weapons
These are the men, the Iraqi police and army, that the US and British government insist will take over security in Iraq, combating the ferocious rebellion, allowing their troops to be pulled out. They are already doing the bulk of the dying for the occupation forces, as last weekend's massacre of 49 recruits highlighted.

US gave date of war to Britain in advance, court papers reveal
Secret plans for the war in Iraq were passed to British Army chiefs by US defence planners five months before the invasion was launched, a court martial heard yesterday. The revelation strengthened suspicions that Tony Blair gave his agreement to President George Bush to go to war...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

October 27 2004

Settlers delay ambulance after Palestinian shot at outpost
Settlers at an illegal West Bank outpost on Tuesday prevented an ambulance from reaching a Palestinian teenager shot by the outpost's security officer, Israel Defense Forces sources said Wednesday. Salman Yussuf Safadi, an 18-year-old from the nearby village of Orif, died before the ambulance arrived.

Two Jewish families move to create Bethlehem settlement
Right-wing activists and people involved with the yeshiva were preparing to ultimately bring 10 families to live there and transform it into a settlement near the holy site, on the northern outskirts of Bethlehem, to provide a basis for a Jewish hold in that region.

Female detainee tortured, abused and subjected to Physiological pressures
The society said that Ahlam Taiseer Salah, 22 years old, from Bethlehem, was arrested on October, 20, 2004, and that she is being subjected to daily harassments and physiological pressures while soldiers barred her from sleeping for three days.

Iman al-Hams
“Don't shoot. It's a little girl.” The company commander, the soldiers testified, “approached her, shot two bullets into her [head], walked back towards the force, turned back to her, switched his weapon to automatic and emptied his entire magazine into her.”(1) After a bullet hit her leg, Iman, who was wearing her school uniform, fell. Then, they said, the officer went over to her...

MOH: “19 killed, 122 Wounded in Khan Younis”
The Palestinian Ministry of Health accused the Israeli Government increased it military operations against the Palestinian in Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip killing 19 residents and wounding more than 122 others.

Bad conditions in Galboa detention
Badran appealed that Red Cross and Humanitarian Organizations to pressure the administration in order to cancel the barring imposing on visitations, and to treat the detainees in accordance to the international law.

Israel reinforces military presence in Gaza
Palestinian security sources said Israeli army shelled at predawn Wednesday a Palestinian security outpost in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah. The Israeli troops opened fire haphazardly and the outpost was completely destroyed, added the sources.

IPC Exclusive: Israel Kills 193 Palestinians and Wounds 700 Others Within a Month
As the Israeli government has been over the past few weeks marketing its purported unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, it has given its army the upper hand to further carry out military actions against the Palestinian people, killing 193 men, women and children and wounding 700 others.

Zelter was detained and interrogated by Israeli authorities for over 12 hours, before being denied entry to the country. She was detained as a ‘security risk,' placed in a holding cell at the airport police station, and told that she could be held 7 days before being put on a flight back to Britain.

Israeli Settlers Occupy Two Houses as Civilians Arrested in West Bank
Local sources added that a group of armed settlers raided the house and moved furniture and other household objects into the uninhabited house, which the Bakri family was forced to abandon under the heavy and continuous Israeli attacks.

Palestinian sources: Arafat has lost consciousness
Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo denied earlier reports that Arafat had lost consciousness. Senior Palestinian officials, including current Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and the heads of various Palestinian security forces, are currently in his headquarters.

Sharon Rejects Calls for National Referendum, Despite Resignation Threat from Cabinet Members
The four cabinet rebels, led by Finance Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, said they would resign if no referendum is called. They gave the prime minister a two-week deadline to agree to their demand.

Annan congratulates Israel's Sharon on vote in favour of Gaza pullout
"The Secretary-General remains supportive of a full and complete Israeli withdrawal, leading to the end of the occupation of the Gaza Strip," a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement. (Ignoring Israeli study proving Gaza's remaining under occupation despite removal of illegal settlements)

Larsen Deplores Continuing Deaths in Gaza
Terje Roed-Larsen, in a press release, voiced out his concern over the continuing Israeli violence in Gaza which began on Saturday, leaving 17 Palestinians dead, including an 11-year-old child, while more than 65 others have been reported injured, several critically. In addition, 25 homes have been demolished and 30-40 dunums (1000 M2) of land leveled.

EU: Israeli Withdrawal should be Part of Peace Plan
The European Union (EU) expressed approval that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza has been passed by the Knesset; but made clear that any kind of withdrawal should be part of a broader peace plan, which will pave the way for the establishment of a Palestine state.

Clinton wows Florida Jews, says Kerry 'loyal friend of Israel'
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton continued his support for the Democratic presidential hopeful Tuesday, telling an election meeting at a synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida that John Kerry is "a loyal friend of Israel."

Jihad slams Israeli parliament's approval of disengagement plan
A senior Jihad leader Khaled al Batesh told the press that "the voting on the disengagement plan doesn't mean any change to the Palestinians," asserting that Israel should pull out from all the "occupied areas"

PM at Rabin memorial: Our disputes were never personal
"The disputes were never personal," said Sharon from Rabin's graveside at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. "If in the heat of the moment things were said that shouldn't have been, I am so sorry."

AL chief calls for unconditional Israeli withdrawal from Gaza
Moussa said Israel's pullout should not be something that provided security for Israel at the expenses of the Palestinians. The planned withdrawal should be based on related United Nations Security Council resolutions and the land-for-peace principle, he added.

Jordan says Gaza pullout must lead to end of occupation, Palestinian state
"Our position is clear. Any withdrawal should be part of the Middle East roadmap and herald the start of a withdrawal from all Palestinian territories," foreign ministry spokesman Ali Ayed told AFP. "The withdrawal should put an end to the occupation and lead to a Palestinian state," he said.

Arafat's Health Crisis Prompts Questions
Yasser Arafat's latest health crisis - a severe flu, gallstones, a battery of cancer tests - has exposed how unprepared the Palestinians are for their leader's death, making a chaotic transition period all but inevitable.

UN invasion and liberation required
Isn't it strange how we don't see the same urgency of the UN rushing in with their allied military forces into Israel despite their being proof of weapons and Israelis of mass destruction. The same urgency that backed the invasion of Iraq where NO proof of weapons of mass destruction existed!

Implementation next
That vote was the significant step toward an actual disengagement of Israel from the Gaza Strip. It grants Sharon and his plan legislative, democratic and public legitimacy to continue the process. There is no need for a referendum, despite the efforts of ministers to impose one on the prime minister.

Chicago film crew explores Palestine through the lens of soccer
"Because of the reach of the game of soccer, the team has been able to make Palestine part of the community of nations in a positive way," Producer Nelson Soza added, "different from the violence with which Palestine is associated every time the name is brought up, particularly in Western sources."

Analysis / Now run, Arik, run
So, for now it can be said that the main change is that Sharon has been transformed from a tactician to a strategist. As a strategist, he understood the limits of power, the damage caused to us in the world, the demographic risks, and most important of all to him, the danger of a rupture in relations with the U.S.

Has Sharon moved from villain to visionary?
Shimon Peres, the leader of the Labour opposition, believes that the prime minister's "unilateral disengagement plan" has set in chain a process that it will be difficult to reverse. "Once it starts, it will continue. It's the beginning of a journey to a permanent solution with the Palestinians," he said. "Sharon cannot stop it even if he wanted to."

Britain's Prince Charles views reconstruction of Al-Aqsa pulpit in Jordan
Britain's Prince Charles got a first-hand glimpse of the recreation of a pulpit for Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque on the second day of a visit to Jordan. The original minbar (pulpit) was destroyed in a 1969 arson attack on Al-Aqsa, Islam's third holiest site in Jerusalem, and a copy is being made by a team of international craftsmen and experts.

Tape: Hassan Urges British to Leave Iraq
The tape, broadcast on Al-Jazeera television, showed a distraught and frightened Margaret Hassan, the 59-year-old head of CARE International in Iraq, blinking back tears as she spoke into the camera. No gunmen were visible in the footage. "Please don't bring the soldiers to Baghdad... Please, on top of that, please release the women prisoners from prisons," she said.

British troops start perilous Iraq mission, Japan defiant after kidnapping
Hundreds of British soldiers left southern Iraq on a risky mission closer to Baghdad to free up US forces for a possible assault on rebel-held Fallujah, as Tokyo stood firm after militants threatened to behead a Japanese hostage.

Bush campaign downplays Allawi accusation
Iraq weighed heavily on the Bush administration on Tuesday as Iyad Allawi, Iraq's interim prime minister, said the weekend massacre of 50 Iraqi National Guard soldiers “was the outcome of major neglect by some parts of the coalition forces”.

U.S. Is Said to Urge Its Iraqi Allies to Unite for Election
U.S. authorities in Washington and Iraqi politicians confirmed that top White House officials have told leaders of the six major parties that were on the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council that it would be in the groups' common interest to present a unified electoral slate.

Rumsfeld implicitly admits lack of planning for Iraqi insurgency
The remarks, made on Tuesday in an interview with Cincinnati, Ohio, radio station, came amid a barrage of charges by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and his aides that the White House had failed to adequately plan for the possibility of a guerrilla war in Iraq.