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Friday, December 31, 2004

December 31, 2004

Best Wishes for Year 2005 to all the readers, and especially to those inside Palestine

Now you can access these daily headlines on www.TheHeadlines.org

TA-Jerusalem railway to pass through tunnels in W. Bank
Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit decided last week to approve plans for an express railway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, two sections of which will pass through the West Bank. With the approval, the plan will move into the operational phase. ( With US+EU+UN+Russia silence, and two-state-solution vanishing )

Hundreds Join Anti-Wall Protest in Jayyous
The protestors came from both sides of the wall and met at one of the gates in Jayyous. "The Israeli protestors handed a small olive tree to the Palestinians as a sign of rejection to the wall and an oath of cooperation to dismantle the wall" Sameh, one of the organizers said.

Threnody for Jerusalem

At the last government meeting, Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed the addition of the common mantra about united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty for all eternity to the decision concerning the arrangements for the elections of a new Palestinian Authority leader. His proposal was accepted.

Film review: "Edward Said: The Last Interview"
This no-frills documentary does not include archival footage to contextualize the speaker and his life; it simply records the casual conversation between Said and British journalist Charles Glass that weaves in and out of Said's childhood, writing, life as an academic, involvement with Yasser Arafat, and his strong opinions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Palestinians Worry About Cost of Peace
"I have not one inch of land inside the village." He has five sons and two daughters. "How can my sons think of peace when they've paid such a heavy price?" When his checkpoint permit expired on Nov. 28, he said, he applied at a nearby Israeli settlement for a renewal. It was denied, he said, so now he cannot visit his land.

Israel, Palestinians in talks over Abbas visit to Temple Mount
Senior Fatah sources in the Jerusalem area told Haaretz about the talks and confirmed that the two sides discussed a possible Abbas visit to the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif.

Israel Steps Up Military Raids as Palestinian Candidates Campaign for Upcoming Election
Israel has been stepping up its military raids in the Gaza Strip with its troops killing 12 Palestinians in the past two days. The action comes as Palestinian presidential contenders campaign for the January 9 elections.

Via Cells, Palestinian Detainees Find a Way
Many detainees use camera mobile phones to have a virtual contact with their families and create a network to maintain internal solidarity among them.

Panel to examine IDF policy of home demolitions
The army has destroyed about 270 houses, mostly in the West Bank, between the summer of 2002 - when the government decided to renew home demolitions in the territories - and the summer of 2004, according to the IDF.

Army Officer Denies 'Confirming the Kill' Charges
Iman Al-Hamas was killed in early October near the Girit army outpost in Rafah. According to testimonies of a soldier eyewitness, Al-Hamas was shot wounded and then the charged army officer approached her and fired rounds of machine gun bullets to confirm the killing.

Two killed in Gaza missile strike
That takes to 12 the number of Palestinians killed since the Israeli army entered the camp on Wednesday. Also on Friday a 16-year-old Palestinian boy died after being shot in Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

PCHR: “Palestinian Civilians Pay the Price as the International Community fails to stop the continuous Israeli attacks”
The center stated that the Israeli army leveled and occupied dozens of homes in Khan Younis refugee camp, and Al-Amal neighborhood, west of Khan Younis. At least 16 homes were completely damaged; dozens were partially damaged by military bulldozers or shells.

Small town in southeastern Brazil to honor Yasser Arafat
The 5-foot, 7-inch bronze statue will be part of an open-air memorial that includes a marble map of Palestine and a replica of the Palestinian flag, also in marble, Paraiba do Sul Mayor Rogerio Onofre said. "It is the first time a memorial in Arafat's honor has been built in the Western world," Onofre said.

'My nomination was just a tactic'
Barghouti said he wanted to highlight the plight of the some 7,000 Palestinians currently in Israeli jails... Also, Barghouti said he knew that if he were elected it would block chances for peace talks. "I didn't wish to be used as an excuse by the United States and Israel to topple the peace process in the area," he said.

EU official: Poll shows Palestinians eager to vote
The head of a European Union delegation of observers to Palestinian elections said Friday that voter registration ahead of a scheduled Jan. 9 Palestinian elections poll shows that Palestinians are eager for democracy.

Abbas Courts the Gunmen
His appearances, including an encounter with a prominent West Bank gunman on Thursday, prompted questions about whether Abbas is playing campaign politics or identifying with violent groups.

Less than 50% of immigrants were from FSU in 2004
The number of newcomers from the former Soviet Union represented less than 50 percent of all immigrants in 2004, for the first time since the enormous influx of immigration from the former Soviet Union began in 1989, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics

IDF Chief of Staff signals support for chief rabbi
The IDF rabbi, Brigadier General Israel Weiss, had said in a television interview with Channel 1 that if Rabbi Avraham Shapira told him to resign, he would.

Defense official: Cease support of radical right-wing colleges
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has received a recommendation from a senior ministry official to cease the sponsorship of two pre-military colleges, due to radical right-wing political messages delivered to their students.

Jordanian, Chinese officials hold talks on bilateral relations, Middle East peace process
During a meeting with Lu Guozeng, China's Assistant Foreign Minister, Mulki said he values China's sustained stand of supporting for permanent peace in the region. He said the Palestinian issue is the core of Mideast conflicts,stressing that it should be solved as soon as possible.

Jordanian team to monitor Palestinian election
A Jordanian team, led by Senator Abdul Salam Majali, will travel to the Palestinian territories to monitor the Jan. 9 presidential elections, the state-run television reported Friday.

Election elation
While many candidates talk about continuing the legacy of Yasser Arafat, Abu Mazen is the only one with photos with the late president and the subheadline talking about their lifetime comradeship.

Forty years after its creation, Fatah faces challenge in run-up to election
An attempt in the mid-1990s by Marwan Barghuti, Fatah's general secretary in the West Bank who is currently in Israeli detention, to inject new blood into Fatah by holding elections failed amid pressure from the old guard.

Citigroup managed funds linked to Arafat
PCSC is owned by the Palestinian Authority, of which Arafat was president before he died in November. The investment funds were valued at $6.8 million on Jan. 1, 2003, according to a valuation of the account by Standard & Poor's, which the Palestinian Authority hired to value the investments.

Disabled Palestinian-American comic builds bridges with laughter
One of her favorite bits involves her fear of racial profiling at the Newark, N.J., airport, and ends with a wisecrack about being shipped to the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "Which is not a bad thing," Zayid says, "because I hear there's a lot of single Arab men."

Arab free trade zone to kick off in New Year
The objective of the zone is to increase inter-Arab trade as well as Arab and foreign investment in the region, which will increase growth rates and "the standard of living of Arab citizens, "Mussa said.

Radical Iraqi groups threaten elections as US detains rebel suspects
Radical Islamist groups in Iraq warned they would strike against the country's landmark elections next month as US soldiers detained 49 suspects in a pre-dawn raid on an insurgent stronghold.

The Duplicity of the Media: Iraq vs. Tsunami
Where was this "free press" in Iraq when the death toll was skyrocketing towards 100,000? So far, we we,ve seen nothing of the devastation in Falluja where more than 6,000 were killed and where corpses were lined along the city's streets for weeks on end. Is death less photogenic in Iraq? Or, are there political motives behind the coverage?

Rage of Fallujah residents boils over
"We take our direction from the Iraqi interim government of Iyad Allawi, we were instructed to let residents in even though some neighbourhoods are unsafe and we continue to combat insurgents," said Major Naomi Hawkins, a civil affairs officer with the Marines. She said troops find weapons caches and defuse roadside bombs daily.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

December 30, 2004

Cabinet to see new fence route after PA vote
The route's approval could spark conflict between Israel and the new Palestinian leadership, as the fence will penetrate deeply into the West Bank in order to encompass the Gush Etzion settlements. The revised route will encompass 10 Israeli settlements with some 50,000 residents, and four Palestinian villages with some 18,000 residents.

Friday - planting trees in Jayyous
On december 10, bulldozers of the "Ge'ulat Ha'aretz" firm uprooted some 300 olive trees on the property of Toufik Hassan Salim of Jayyous. Last Sunday (19.12), Jayyous villagers courageously blocked the bulldozers that entered their lands. Once the construction is complete, the people of Jayyous will have lost the remainder of their lands outside the Fence...

Revised fence route to encompass 18,000 Palestinians
The revised route of the West Bank separation fence in the Gush Etzion region will penetrate deeply into the West Bank in order to encompass 10 Israeli settlements with some 50,000 residents, and four Palestinian villages with some 18,000 residents. A sizable amount of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area will also end up on the Israeli side of the fence.

Palestinian wounded in anti-fence rally near Jenin
One Palestinian suffered a gunshot to the legs and three others were arrested on Wednesday during clashes between soldiers and Palestinians demonstrating against the construction of the West Bank "security" barrier.

Israel stops Palestinians voting in Jerusalem
Ariel Sharon, has admitted that the arrangements are designed to show that Israel has sole sovereignty in East Jerusalem. The government has told the Palestinian Election Commission that it will not allow privacy screens in the voting booths in East Jerusalem post offices, nor will election officials be allowed to mark voters with indelible ink to prevent fraud

Two homes leveled, 13 residents arrested near Ramallah
Israeli soldiers arrested thirteen residents, mainly family members, after invading three villages, north of Ramallah during military searches of homes conducted in the villages. Also on Thursday, Israeli soldiers leveled two homes which belong to Fahed Arar and Majed Rabbi, after breaking into them and forcing the families out.

Ramat Gan forbids posters denouncing deputy chief of staff
Large posters calling for the dismissal of Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Dan Halutz were displayed in Jerusalem on Thursday in the kick-off to a campaign headed by the Yesh Gvul organization and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.

Seven killed in military raid in Khan Younis
Four Palestinians were killed in the southern Gaza strip as Israeli army raided the area raising the death toll to seven overnight, Palestinian medical sources reported. Israeli aircraft fired two missiles into the camp, while troops and tanks raided the area.

Israeli Troops Kill Nine Palestinians in Gaza Raid
Israeli troops killed nine Palestinians on Thursday, including two teenagers, as tanks pushed into the southern Gaza Strip in what the army called a raid to stop mortar and rocket attacks on Jewish settlements.

IDF arrests brother of Al-Aqsa leader; 4 dead in Khan Yunis
Israel Defense Forces troops operating in Jenin on Thursday arrested the brother of Zakariya Zubeidi, the commander of Fatah's military wing in the West Bank city. Jibril Zubeidi was responsible for shooting attacks on Israelis in the Jenin area and has long been wanted by security forces.

Number of Muslim, Christian Arab volunteers in IDF growing
Nevertheless, partial figures given to Haaretz by the IDF indicate a renewed increase in the enlistment of Muslim and Christian youth over the past two years. The number of Muslim volunteers in 2003 was 64.5 percent higher than in 2000, while the enlistment of Christians increased by 16 percent over the same period.

?Palestinian attack Israeli settlers in Gaza
The Martyr Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, military arm þof the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed on Thursday responsibility for shelling two Israeli settlements with Al-Mustapha model rockets.

B'Tselem: “Army killed 182 minors in 2004”
The B’Tselem report also revealed that during 2004, Israeli soldiers demolished 1,538 homes, among them 181 homes demolished as a means of collective punishment, and 1,357 for security reasons, according to the military claims. The demolitions left some 11,500 Palestinian residents homeless in 2004.

Israel Only Accepts Jews Who Support Illegal Settlements
The December 28 court decision came on Raphael Bender's 15th day of incarceration. She was detained during a non-violent protest against Israel's Apartheid Wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Raphael Bender, a San Francisco-based activist, has spent twelve of the last sixteen months in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Palestinian militants embrace candidate Abbas
Palestinian gunmen carried Mahmoud Abbas on their shoulders on Thursday in a West Bank refugee camp where the front-running presidential candidate was welcomed by a leading militant on Israel's most-wanted list. "This is a strong show of support for Abu Mazen," Zakaria Zubeidi, commander of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the camp, said

PFLP Declares Support for Presidential Candidate Dr. Barghouthi
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called Wednesday its members and supporters to vote for presidential Candidate Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi in the slated January 9 elections.

Where's our $6.5 billion, asks candidate Mustafa Barghouti
"The Palestinian people have the right to ask what happened to the $6.5 billion that we received in foreign aid over the past 10 years," Barghouti told the crowd. "I'm not saying that no schools were built, but there has been a lot of mismanagement and wrongdoing. The choice on January 9 is between those who committed all these mistakes and a new approach."

Most MKs reject 'second disengagement'
However, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Yuval Steintiz (Likud) said more unilateral disengagement could not be carried out because of the geo-strategic difference between Gaza and the West Bank.

Peres waives demand to serve as deputy prime minister
The compromise solves one of the main problems that had threatened to delay the establishment of the new government next week. It appears that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will present his new coalition for Knesset approval on Monday.

PM's office rejects Olmert remarks on wider West Bank pullout
The Prime Minister's Office Thursday rejected published remarks by Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who said in a newspaper interview that Israel would withdraw from the West Bank beyond the areas outlined in the disengagement plan.

China raises Mideast peace proposal
Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan has presented a four-point proposal aimed at achieving peace in the Middle East, to Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. He commented that the roadmap peace plan, which envisions a full Palestinian state by 2005, is a practical and feasible solution to the problems

Palestinian leader calls on Israel to remove wall
Interim Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas made a campaign run Wednesday through West Bank towns living in the shadow of Israel's separation barrier, urging Israel to tear down the huge structure that he said would never help peace.

PCHR Calls upon the Central Election Commission to Amend Procedures of Counting Votes to Conform to the Law
On Thursday, 30 December 2004, PCHR sent a letter to Dr. Hanna Nasser, Head of the Palestinian Central Election Commission (CEC), calling for reconsidering procedures of counting the votes accredited by the CEC to conform to Law 13 of 1995 Relating to Elections, according to which the presidential election will be held.

Israeli Nasser set to coach Palestine national team
The Palestinian Football Association is set to appoint Israeli Arab Azmi Nasser as their new national team coach next week after he was allowed free access to the Gaza Strip by the army.

Abbas Statements on Militants Monitored
Abbas won Zubeidi's ringing endorsement. After Abbas left the stage, Zubeidi, with gunmen firing in the air, warned that he would deal with anyone who tried to challenge the elected Palestinian leadership. Then Zubeidi escorted Abbas' car out of the camp.

How the covenants collapsed
Over the last few years, various forums have been established in an effort to close the widening rift between right and left. One of the leading ones was the Forum for National Responsibility, which succeeded, with great effort, in drafting the Kinneret Covenant.

Moussa calls for "strong" Arab-US relations
Secretary General of the Arab League(AL) Amr Moussa on Wednesday asked both the Americans and the Arabs to undertake measures to achieve "strong" bilateral relations, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.

Palestinian attacks killed 118 in 2004, down 445 from 2003
One hundred and eighteen Israelis were killed in the war with the Palestinians in 2004, 445 fewer than in the previous year, according to figures released Wednesday by the Israel Defense Forces.

A Mire of Death, Lies and Atrocities - By Robert Fisk
We were lied to about weapons of mass destruction. We were lied to about the links between Saddam Hussein and September 11, 2001. We were lied to about the insurgents--remember how they were just "dead-enders" and "remnants"?--and we were lied to about the improvements in Iraq when the entire country was steadily falling outside the hands of the occupying powers...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

December 29, 2004

In Jordan: Unions and Political Groups Stage a Campaign against the Apartheid Wall and Denounce Normalization with the Occupation
In early December, a group of Jordanian political parties, unions, and civil groups joined together in a campaign to pressure the government to scrap its 10-year-old peace treaty with Apartheid Israel. The demand is part of the group's campaign against the Apartheid Wall.

Apartheid Wall Kills Far'on Villages' Hopes
According to citizens from Far'on village, Israeli occupation has been building an industrial zone on their stolen land. They also affirmed that Israeli troops have been digging a tunnel in their land, linking Tulkarem to al-Kafriat villages.

Palestinians Worry About Cost of Peace
The barrier, in the form of an electrified fence here, cuts off Jayyous from 74 percent of its farmland and much of its well water, he said. The people of Jayyous can only reach their land through two Israeli checkpoints that are open for about an hour twice a day. Each requires different permits...

The Writing on the Wall: Hania Batar
Suddenly this wall of concrete cement became very scary. I try to be and present myself as a courageous woman, but to tell you the truth: sometimes when I am driving and it is evening, this Wall really looks cold, long and winding, like a snake. When I am driving alongside it, it is an endless road.

Release of children should be a priority
Children remain the most vulnerable group affected by the policies of occupation and nowhere is this more so that within the Israeli military judicial system. We demand the unconditional and immediate release of all Palestinian child prisoners from Israeli detention.

Elections without Democracy
During the 1970's, the apartheid government of South Africa sought to bolster its claims to legitimacy by allowing elections in the Bantustans - the equivalent to today's walled in Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Three children wounded by an explosive left by Israeli army
A medical source at Khaleel Suleiman hospital in Jenin said that Mahmoud Abu Al-Rob, 15 years old, sustained critical injuries, while Hasan Hatim Irshiyyed, 11, and Hosney Hashim Irshiyyed, 11, were moderately injured.

Five Palestinians Wounded In Nablus
Five Palestinians were reportedly wounded today noon at Sufian street and Al Dewar area in Nablus city of the West Bank during an incursion by the Israeli occupation forces under a volley of heavy firing

?Israeli troops arrest 3 Palestinians including a female in Ramallah, Dora
The troops broke into the house and arrested its owner and another young þman named, Mohammad Al-Hindi, added the eyewitnesses. Meanwhile, Israeli troops also arrested a Palestinian female named, Safa þAmro, spouse of the prisoner at the Israeli jails Abdulaziz Amro in Dora town þnear Al-Khalil.

Jihad develops new homemade rocket
"The engineering unit developed a new rocket called Quds 2, with a length of 2.2 meters and a capacity of carrying 6 kilograms of explosives, and it can hit targets 18 kilometers away," said the leaflet.

Foreign worker lightly hurt in Gaza mortar attack
A foreign worker sustained light wounds Wednesday afternoon when three mortar shells landed in the central Gaza Strip settlement of Kfar Darom. The woman, 25, suffered shrapnel wounds...

Two Israeli soldiers wounded in militant attack
Israel Radio reported that the two Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in the West Bank village of Baka al-Sharkiya when a gunman opened fire on their convoy.

Palestinian couple rescue Israeli honeymooners
A pair of Israeli newlyweds described on Wednesday how a Palestinian couple came to their rescue during Thailand's tidal wave disaster, paying for them to fly back home after they had lost all their cash.

PFLP endorses independent candidate Mustafa Barghuti in Palestinian election
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called on supporters Wednesday to vote for the independent candidate Mustafa Barghuti in next month's Palestinian presidential election.

Dahlan in Egypt in efforts to release Bargouthi
Dahlan arrived in Cairo Wednesday to meet with Egyptian officials to debrief them on his latest meeting with Bargouthi in Beer Sheva prison. Egypt is going to mediate with Israel to release Bargouthi. Bargouthi is jailed in Israel serving five life terms sentence.

Abbas continues election campaigns
He also insisted that Israel must respect Palestinian refugees' right of return in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 194 and free all Palestinian prisoners. He stressed the rule of the law and everyone is equal before the law. Abbas also called for national unity and an end to internal fighting over political differences.

Palestinian election observer chief arrives in Gaza
Rocard's visit to Gaza focused on inspecting the situation inthe Gaza Strip, especially Israeli troops' continuous incursionsinto the region and checkpoints that block the Palestinians' freemovement.

Tunisia to ease travel restrictions on Israelis
There are at present no diplomatic relations between Israel and Tunisia, and no direct air links between the two countries. Therefore, Israelis interested in travel to Tunisia must apply for a visa in an embassy in a third country.

Sharon rejects European role in Mideast peace
But he told Israeli ambassadors posted to EU capitals that Europe could play a "positive role" in pressing the Palestinians for political reform and an end to armed resistance. Sharon's comments followed the announcement here last week by British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he intended to host a Middle East conference in London in the new year.

Sharon to visit China
An Israeli military official said last week that the United States has demanded that Israel confiscate the drones, fearing that they could upset the military balance between China and Taiwan.

China reiterates support for roadmap plan
During meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Tang Jiaxuan said the Israelis and Palestinians should seize the opportunity to resume peace talks and resolve bilateral disputes according to relative UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace."

Pullout compensation bill stalled at Israeli Knesset committee
The bill can not be put for vote in the Knesset before it isapproved by the committee, while Israeli Prime Minister ArielSharon hopes to bring the bill to final readings in the Knesset byearly 2005, the report said.

Sharon gives army carte blanche to stop Gaza attacks, warns refuseniks
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave the army free rein to respond to repeated attacks by Palestinian militants in Gaza and warned he would not tolerate dissent in the ranks during the pullout from the territory.

Knesset panel debate on 'Peres bill' continues
The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice is to continue debate Wednesday over the "Peres Law" - the proposed amendment to the Basic Law on The Government aimed at allowing Shimon Peres to be appointed a second vice premier alongside Ehud Olmert...

REPORTER: Israeli army may not go back after Palestinian elections
The Israeli defense establishment is considering using the run-up to the Palestinian presidential elections on January 9 to help put a new security regime in place in the Palestinian areas, The Jerusalem Report has learned. The idea is to reduce the Israeli military presence in those areas to a minimum

Arabic literature finds an audience in Europe
Iraqi novelist Alia Mamdouh has a message for the West: "How can you expect me, an Iraqi, whose country is being subjected to destruction, to trust Westerners - Americans - and to accept that they're the only ones on Earth and in the universe to possess the truth, when they don't take a step toward my culture, my existence, my language?"

A parade of charlatans
But if this has occurred, others, far beyond the region have also found the conflict a useful tool for their own selfish purposes. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is the latest leader to brazenly exploit this tragedy.

Palestinian Democracy and the forty thieves
Always asking the Palestinians to carry out their promises and their tasks, to make concessions and further concessions, but not to speak about their rights like any other people, not to mention Israeli promises or what steps Israel must take to give peace a chance.

Israel's Culture of Martyrdom
the remembrance of martyrs--Jews who, in Zionist ideology, had to die so that the state might be born. The central chapter in the construction of Israeli martyrology was, of course, the Holocaust, but it began well before, according to Zertal, who traces it to the cult surrounding Joseph Trumpeldor, the first hero of the Jews who settled in Palestine."

Majority of East Jerusalem residents to vote outside city in election
Only 5,376 East Jerusalem residents will be allowed to vote in the polling stations set up at the post offices inside the city while the rest 200,000 will have to go to stations outside the city, Barco said.

Financial expert: Poverty rate in Israel higher than NII says
The poverty rate in Israel is at least 30 percent higher than the measurement by the National Insurance Institute, according to Dr. Daniel Gotlieb, a senior adviser to Bank of Israel Governor David Klein.

Attacks target Iraqi police
It brought the total number of Iraqis killed yesterday to 54, more than half of whom were policemen. The US military said in a statement that between 770kg and 820kg of explosives were used in the ambush. Soldiers and policemen "worked throughout the night" pulling the dead and injured from the rubble.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

December 28, 2004

Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals to Replant Bulldozed Olive Trees in Jayyous Friday
Israeli contractors have bulldozed 600 olive trees on Jayyous'farmland which is isolated between the Apartheid Wall and the Green Line. Though Palestinian farmers from Jayyous say they retain ownership of this land, the land is being prepared for the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlement of Zufim.

Israel accused of obstructing Palestinian election in east Jerusalem
Palestinian election workers say they are being obstructed and harassed in east Jerusalem by the Israeli security forces. East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in 1967. It has said it will allow east Jerusalemites to vote in the January 9 election, but is disturbed by anything that it sees as manifestations of Palestinian sovereignty.

The total area involved in this expansion is about 808,000 square meters, a 60 percent increase from a June survey, and includes new and continuing land development for settlement, new infrastructure, new and continuing construction, internal road works, and the placement of new caravans.

Gush Shalom: “New settlements in the West Bank”
Gush Shalom reported that “settlement activities are ongoing while the Israeli governments in distracting the world with the disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip; construction of settlements resumed in the West Bank, especially in the areas near the 1967 borders”.

Bring End to Suffering of Palestinian Child Prisoners
"Some 350 Palestinian children currently remain in Israeli jails, detention and interrogation centers. Under international law, their release should be a priority. As it is, not one child has been named on the list of prisoners to be released as part of this initiative

Two firebombs thrown at Tel Aviv mosque
"If this had happened at a synagogue, half of Jaffa would be under arrest," city councilman Rifaat Tourk said. He warned the residents of Jaffa against taking the law into their own hands.

Detainees in critical health conditions, still deprived of medication
Fawwaz Al-Shalloudy, lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners Society reported after visiting Be'er Shiva – Ohaly Qidar section that the detainees are suffering of bad health conditions and deprived from medical treatment and medication.

Why Marwan Did Not Run
Mahmoud Abbas's home in Ramallah is a palatial villa spread on a hillside. Marwan Barghouti's is a second-floor flat in a six-story apartment block overhanging a gorge. It is not the only contrast between the two men, who until Barghouti's recent withdrawal from the race for the Palestinian presidential elections on January 9 were seen by Palestinians as the only real heirs to Yasir Arafat.

Israeli Police Arrest Palestinian Presidential Candidate
Israeli police detained Palestinian presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti as he campaigned Monday in east Jerusalem. The arrest came a day after the Israeli cabinet approved measures allowing Palestinian candidates to campaign in east Jerusalem

Israeli missile hits car in south Gaza--witnesses
An Israeli drone aircraft fired a missile into a car in Gaza on Tuesday but several Palestinian militants who were inside escaped without serious injury, witnesses said.

Israel shells Palestinian refugee camp
Israeli occupation forces have fired tank shells into the heavily populated Khan Yunus refugee camp in southern Gaza, wounding at least 10 Palestinians. A 13-year-old boy and a girl aged about 10 were among those injured by the shelling on Tuesday, which the Israeli military said was aimed at the source of mortar fire on the illegal Gush Khatif settlement.

Arafat's Death Spurs Militant Rocket Race
Islamic Jihad has the Al-Quds 3, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine fires off al-Mustafas and the Popular Resistance Committees has its Nasser-3 rocket. The Arafat is designed to be the most powerful of all, with a range of 11 miles and a 33-pound warhead.

Palestinian Minister Calls for US Election Observers
A senior Palestinian minister is calling for American monitors to observe the January 9 presidential election. The appeal comes as one of the candidates ran into trouble with Israeli authorities as he tried to get his message out.

Palestinian legislative elections to be held in May
He told a commemorative meeting in Gaza in honour of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that Palestinians need a powerful lawmaking body to ensure the success of reforms and anti-corruption efforts.

Arab League: No Palestine soon
Arab League chief Amr Musa has played down talk of the creation of a Palestinian state, dismissing the idea that the peace process is on the verge of recovery. Heading the 22-nation body, Musa said on Tuesday there was not a "glimmer of hope" because political positions in Israel and the US had not changed.

Turkish FM Gul's First Official Visit to Israel
Gul will go to Israel and Palestine just prior to the presidential elections following the death of Yasser Arafat. Gul is expected to visit Arafat's grave and then meet with Israel Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on January 4th. He will be received by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Moshe Katzav.

Abstention by Arab MK helps stall disengagement bill
Right-wing Knesset members and an Arab MK on Tuesday thwarted the approval of the Evacuation Compensation Bill, which details the financial recompense to be offered to settlers who evacuate their homes in the Gaza Strip and part of the northern West Bank under the disengagement plan.

Gaza police chief bars gunmen from wearing police uniforms
"This is one of many steps the Palestinian police is taking to enforce the rule of law and bring security and organization to the streets," police chief Saeb al-Ajez said in a statement. With Palestinian police increasingly weakened by the fighting, gunmen often fill the void, settling personal scores by force or dispensing vigilante justice. (NOT by IOF Destroying it)

Abbas vows peace push at post-Arafat election rally
Emergent Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas drew cheers at his first election rally on Tuesday by vowing to follow in Yasser Arafat's footsteps while stressing he would seek a state via peace talks with Israel.

PCHR Condemns Intervention by Israeli Occupation Forces into the Election Process
On Monday, 27 December 2004, IOF arrested Dr. Mustafa al-Barghouthi, a candidate for the Palestinian election, while he was campaigning in occupied Jerusalem. These measures by IOF constitute a flagrant intervention into the Palestinian elections.

Knesset committee considers alternatives to 'Peres bill'
The Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee decided Tuesday to weigh several alternatives to a proposed bill that would enable the appointment of Labor leader Shimon Peres to the post of deputy prime minister, without amending the Basic Law on Government.

Students protest plan to appoint IDF officers to high schools
"We are declaring our opposition to the placing of military figures inside schools, a factor which would contribute to the dissolution of civil society and its total militarization," the students said.

U.S. immigration hits 20-year high, but overall aliyah down 13%
The number of immigrants from the U.S. to Israel is due to rise to a 20-year hight of 2,850 by the end of the year, even as the latest immigration figures for 2004 show that aliyah has dropped by 13 percent since last year.

Israeli cabinet to vote on pullout
However, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz advised him to speed up ratification on the reason that the government should give settlers at least six months' notice before evacuating them.

US hands over 20 million dollars in vote of confidence to Palestinians
The decision to make the transfer was announced back in December by US Assistant Secretary of State William Burns who said it reflected "our confidence in the direction of the PA's reform program, and our expectation that reform will continue to be implemented energetically."

Palestinian Women Win Big In Elections
Palestinian women won 51 seats in Thursday's elections, 32 of them winning their place outright without having to claim a seat reserved for women by Palestinian law. Maisoun Badarneh, a 44-year-old teacher elected as an independent candidate to the council in the town of Yabed, said she faced intense opposition from relatives and neighbors...

Violence is unavoidable for as long as the occupation continues
On the one hand, Palestinians were thirsty for some peace and calm and for getting the occupation off their backs. On the other hand, people witnessed that even during times of negotiations, settlement building continued, indeed skyrocketed; Palestinian land continued to be confiscated; checkpoints, meant to hamper Palestinian lives and livelihoods, were erected;

Syrian FM blames Israel for peace impasse
"At a time when Syria is clinging fast to the requirements of a just peace and does not put forth any conditions to achieve peace, the Israeli side is putting conditions on Syria that have nothing to do with peace," al-Sharaa said.

Israeli intelligence: Hamas won't halt attacks
Intelligence officials believe Hamas is making its utmost to increase the range of its homemade Qassam rockets, which can currently strike at targets some 10 kilometers away, and their accuracy.

IMI wins tender for 5 chemical plants in India
The plants, which will go up in the north Indian state of Bihar, will develop explosive materials and are due to be fully equipped within two years. The factories will resemble the ones that exist in Ramat Hasharon, near Tel Aviv.

43 killed as Iraq insurgents deal pre-election blow to security forces
At least 43 people were killed as insurgents launched a string of attacks on the Iraqi security forces raising questions about their readiness to secure landmark elections next month.

Disappearing Act - Fallujah and the Media
If anything, the siege has only emboldened the resistance and broadened its sphere of influence. Violence has now spread throughout the Sunni triangle; ending last week with a devastating mortar attack that killed 22 in a mess tent outside Mosul. Now, the occupation forces are in a defensive mode; having to spend much of their energy simply trying to protect supply lines and oil facilities.

Monday, December 27, 2004

December 27, 2004

Israel arrests Palestinian candidate in E. Jerusalem
"The police told him, 'We have an arrest warrant for you', and dragged him away," Ihad al-Jariri, campaign manager for the independent candidate, told Reuters. Earlier this month, Barghouti said Israeli troops beat and briefly detained him at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Jenin.

Israeli Police Arrest Palestinian Presidential Candidate

The arrest came a day after the Israeli Cabinet approved a series of measures meant to facilitate the January 9 election, including allowing candidates to campaign in disputed east Jerusalem.

Universal jurisdiction: Reflections on the 'Case of Ariel Sharon'
The 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut, most of whose victims were stateless Palestinians, was slowly entering the deep sleep that characterizes losers in this competition when, on June 18, 2001, a criminal complaint on behalf of 28 witnesses and survivors was brought before a court in Belgium.

Case of Israeli soldier charged with killing girl seen as complex
So egregious was the Oct. 5 killing that Capt. R is the first Israeli soldier to face such charges, says the military prosecutor. The case prompted Israeli soul-searching unparalleled since a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was filmed dying in the arms of his anguished father during a firefight between soldiers and demonstrators four years ago.

Israeli army invades Abu Haddaf area
Monday evening, Israeli soldiers invaded Abu Haddaf area, east of Al-Qarara in the north of Kahn Younis and called the residents out of their homes using load speakers. Residents of Al-Qarara, an area repeatedly invaded and lost most of its homes, fear additional escalation and further demolishing of homes.

Aged Woman Wounded, 6 Arrested, Including Girl in GS and WB
An aged woman was wounded early Monday by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in Khanyounis city, southern Gaza Strip (GS), witnesses and medics said. In Nablus city of the West Bank (WB), Israeli soldiers arrested five citizens, including a girl as they stormed several areas in the city

Citizen Murdered, another Kidnapped in Nablus
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers assaulted today three children from Jayyous village of Qalqilya City, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers, guarding the Apartheid Wall being built in the village, beat up three children and held them up at an Israeli military jeep for several hours, before releasing them.

Students used as human shields
Israeli soldiers forced dozens of students to lineup in front of military jeeps and bulldozers as human shields while the army invaded Betunia, near Ramallah, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Release of children should be a priority
Some 350 Palestinian children currently remain in Israeli jails, detention centers, and interrogation centers. Under international law, their release should be a priority. As it is, not one child has been named on the list of prisoners to be released as part of this initiative.

Zobeidi: “Our response will be painful”
In an Interview with the Israeli news Website ArabYnet, leader of Al-Aqsa Brigades, the military wing of Fatah said that the brigades' response to the assassination of his assistant Taher Abu Kamel will be painful, and within the Israeli areas.

PLO Chairman Meets Chinese Deputy PM: We Can Achieve Peace when Israel Believes in it
"I am sure, in the time the Israeli side believes in peace, it is possible to achieve it," Abu Mazen said in a joint press conference, held in Ramallah, with the Chinese State Councilor, deputy Prime Minister Tang Jiaxuan.

Palestinians: Inmate release a PR ploy
"These liberations can be seen as a public relations operation," Abd al-Razzaq said. "It is the fruit of an understanding between Egypt and Israel which has no effect on our relations with Israel or the peace process."

Israel starts Palestinian prisoner release
"I respect every prisoner that is released but we need a serious release process," Abbas told reporters. A list provided by the Israel Prisons Authority showed that most of the prisoners going free on Monday were nearing the end of their terms.

Israel takes hand in Palestinian poll
The Israeli government was to approve Sunday a range of measures meant to ensure a smooth Palestinian presidential election, including granting Palestinians freedom of movement and allowing candidates to campaign in predominantly Arab east Jerusalem, officials said.

Sharon Moves Up Gaza Withdrawl Date
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday he will seek final Cabinet approval for a Gaza withdrawal in February, four months earlier than planned, and he threatened harsh retaliation if Palestinian militants try to disrupt the pullback

Knesset approves opposition's no-confidence motion
Labor MKs abstained in protest over the fact that a special amendment to the Basic Law on the Government to enable party chairman Shimon Peres to be appointed deputy premier has still not been approved, thus delaying the signing of a coalition agreement.

Arab MKs demand National Union's Eldad resigns
Knesset members from the Arab factions are demanding the resignation of MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) as chairman of the Knesset Ethics Committee, due to his lack of objectivity in handling complaints filed with the committee against Arab MKs.

PM: Cabinet to vote on start date for pullout next month
MK Yossi Sarid (Yahad) said during the meeting that instead of staging a drama before and during the evacuation, the government should announce a final date for evacuation. Following that date any person remaining will not enjoy the provision of water and electricity, education, health services and supply of goods.

Egyptian observers head for Palestinian territories
Fourteen Egyptian diplomats on Sundayheaded for the Palestinians territories as observers in thepresidential elections slated for Jan. 9, the official MENA newsagency reported.

Hamas scores at the ballot box in challenge to Fatah
Both Hamas and the late Yasser Arafat's Fatah party claimed victory. Hanan Yousef, a West Bank Hamas leader, said: "This election has proved that we have a strong presence here. This means the Hamas programme of resistance has many supporters."

Gazan students' fugitive lives
In 2000, 370 Gaza students enrolled at Birzeit University. Enrollment of Gaza students in 2005 is down to 39. Those who began their degrees in 2000 have been left with two stark choices: They can either drop out or stay and risk all that this entails.

1st Gaza settlers OK move
Residents of an Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip have agreed to move to a community inside Israel and will begin the evacuation in March, an official in charge of the relocation said Sunday.

Israeli settlers and Law makers to discuss protest legalities
Israeli members of Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee will meet with the Yesha Council of Settlements representatives to discuss the boundaries of the legitimate protests by the settlers against the unilateral disengagement plan.

Figures show new low in immigration to Israel
By the end of 2004, 21,744 immigrants are expected to arrive, 13 percent down from last year's 25,009 immigrants. There was a dramatic 70 percent drop in immigration from Argentina.

No Jordan observers to Palestine poll
Government spokeswoman Asma Khoder told journalists her country "insists any Arab participation in the Palestinian elections should take place through the Arab League."

One-sided pressure from Bush
The message of most of the world to President Bush about Middle East peacemaking does not appear to be getting through: It's the occupation. It's the occupation. It's the occupation. Somehow, Bush still is laboring under the misguided belief that the major issue is Palestinian democracy.

Background/ The Gaza exit as Holocaust, the settler as victim
The activists reluctantly suspended the campaign after survivors of the Nazi annihilation campaign, some of them residents of the Gaza Strip, voiced outrage and profound pain over the use of the Holocaust in opposing the disengagement.

Too safe
On the face of it, Abu Mazen didn't have to make much of an effort. His election is assured. His main opponent in the election, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, trails far behind him in the polls. So are the other candidates, including Bassam Al-Salhi, the representative of the People's party

Palestinian factions slam Blair conference as interference
Reports say Blair had wanted to host a wide-ranging peace conference but was forced to scale back the meeting's remit in the face of Israeli pressure. The conference is now to focus on Palestinian political and economic reforms, and Israel has made clear it will stay away.

World watch
Yasser Arafat's death and replacement by the pragmatic Mahmoud Abbas is one reason things could improve - not because Abbas will bend on the tough issues of borders, settlements and Jerusalem, but because he is likely to curb violence, embrace reform and win international backing to force Israel to accept a fair deal.

Israel army chief says professional failures behind Egyptians' deaths
"These failures relate on the one hand to professional failure of the IDF force regarding the method of operating tanks in that area, and failure in the control and command of the forces."

Iraqi Official: Vote May Be Delayed in Some Areas
IRAQI Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in an interview with Chinese state media today that landmark elections planned for next month could be delayed in some parts of Iraq due to fragile security.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

December 26, 2004

Israel Plans Turning Separation Wall into De Facto Borders
The Israeli security establishment revealed plans to hand crossings between Palestinian Territories and Israel, as marked by the separation wall, to civil authorities; a strategic move that creates de facto borders along the separation wall. the guarded gates of the separation wall are planned to serve as crossing passages between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Yesterday was the deadline for the state to respond to Kate Raphael Bender's appeal of deportation, but she has heard nothing. In the coming days she expects to find out if and when there will be a hearing.

The Changing Face of Bethlehem
Michael runs a car repair garage in the Rachel’s Tomb area. Already, the constructed parts of the Barrier pass by Michael’s home and garage. He had hoped that when the intifada ends, he would resume operations from his garage. He does not know whether he will follow his customers to Bethlehem or stay in his property with his garage behind the Barrier.

Where the homeland ends
In discussions that took place last week in the chambers of Minister Tzipi Livni, the acting justice minister, it became apparent that the state views the establishment of each settlement in the territories as an ad-hoc act that got carried out with the permission of the military commander in charge of the area.

WAFA: Palestinians Stuck at Rafah Terminal Crossing Fear Catastrophe
Under harsh humanitarian conditions, especially in such winter cold days, scores of patient, elderly, women and children, have found no room for proper sleeping, food and medication, thus they are going through possible serious health complications, it pointed out.

IDF kills two Hamas men crawling near Gaza border
A statement issued by Hamas said the two men were killed while approaching an IDF outpost in order to plant a bomb. Later Sunday morning, Palestinians fired a Qassam rocket at a town next to Sderot in the western Negev. There were no reported casualties.

Child Dies of Wounds, 18 Arrested in OPT
Tasahil al-Hassant 7, died today of wounds she sustained in last October in Gaza City when a tank shell targeted her house in al-Mughraka area, south of Gaza City.

?Three Palestinians wounded in Rafah
?Israeli occupation troops stationed near the border with Egypt opened ?artillery fire at houses in the town of Rafah.? Palestinian medical sources said Bashir Qadhi, 14, was hit in the abdomen when artillery fire targeted Hay Al-Salam area, east of Rafah.?

US Female Preacher Victim of Hate Crime: Family
An autopsy showed Iman, who was six months pregnant with a girl, was stabbed 33 times in the upper body, and that some of those wounds were defensive. Iman graduated from the faculty of Islamic studies in the Islamic University in Gaza and was noted for her academic excellence.

Israeli woman Tali Fahima charged with assisting enemy
According to the indictment, Fahima, an Israeli Jewish woman, entered the West Bank city of Jenin roughly seven months ago and joined company with Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade activists. The maximum possible sentence that Fahima may receive if she is convicted is life imprisonment.

Abbas' rival strikes confident note
Al-Barghuthi added: "We don't need a leader who will control us, because we are all languishing under the Israeli occupation. We need a leader who will lead us to freedom and liberation." He said he was not running against Fatah per se, saying the movement had in its ranks "many good and patriotic people".

7 Palestinian candidates begin race to succeed Arafat
Barghouti, 50, a physician and human rights activist, suggested that he and his Palestinian National Initiative party offered voters an alternative to Abbas and Fatah, calling for "new leadership that is capable of understanding the people's needs." Palestinians have not voted for president of their ruling authority since 1996.

Hamas makes gains in Palestinian poll
The tally, announced by the Palestinian Authority's supreme council for local elections on Sunday, showed Hamas scored victories in nine councils against 16 for Fatah, with the two factions tied for control of one municipality. The election, the first contested by Hamas, was held in 26 districts with scores more to follow next year.

Vote leaves women flushed with success
"I haven't slept for two days. I'm happy but we need to think about our responsibilities to other women," said the 26-year-old mother of two, after clinching electoral victory in the West Bank town of Dahiriyeh.

'Peace is key to independence'
Presidential election frontrunner Mahmud Abbas urged Palestinians to abandon the armed intifada on Sunday, saying that independence could only be achieved through peaceful means.

Israeli and Palestinian officials to cooperate on elections
They say the Israeli army would gradually withdraw from some areas of the occupied territories, with the aim of aiding a smooth election. The two sides have also agreed to set up three liaison offices at checkpoints to solve any problems that emerge.

Israel to allow East Jerusalem Palestinians to vote in election
The Israeli government will soonissue a statement to allow Palestinian residents in East Jerusalemto vote in the Jan. 9 presidential election, chief Palestiniannegotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.

Egyptian observers head for Palestinian territories
Three former ambassadors are expected to join the team on Jan.2. All the Egyptian observers are divided into two groups to observe the elections in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, during which seven candidates are running for the Palestinian presidency.

Sharon vows to help free and fair Palestinian election
"It is very important that it is clear to the whole world that Israel permits free, honest and efficient elections," Sharon said at the start of a cabinet meeting where ministers were expected to approve arrangements for the January 9 ballot in the occupied territories. (Not stating if massacres are to stop)

Gaza Settlement Breaks Ranks, Accepts Israel Move
The announcement that residents of small, secular Pe'at Sadeh would go voluntarily came days after the top settler council raised the specter of civil strife by vowing to resist Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate Gaza next year.

Likud, UTJ to renew coalition talks
Labor, meanwhile, has completed all preparations for joining the government. Members of the Labor negotiating team say the government can be presented in the next few days if Olmert is forced to give up his deputy premiership for a week. Sharon's bureau said this was not an option.

A UN Resolution on Permanent Sovereignty of Palestinians in OPT over their Natural Resources
The resolution, adopted by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 5 against, with 11 abstentions, called on Israel not to exploit, damage, cause loss, deplete or endanger natural resources in those territories.

Analysis / Lessons from the local elections
The first and foremost conclusion that can be drawn from these elections is the fact that they were orderly, with hardly any untoward incidents reported. The Palestinian leadership was very pleased with the orderly process in which the elections were held and is hoping that this will be repeated in the coming days...

Arafat ally backs 'negotiations'
Abbas, the interim Palestinian leader, also pledged to fulfil Palestinian dreams of statehood, calling on Israel to withdraw from all territories occupied after the 1967 war and to release political prisoners. He told cheering crowds of supporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah that 'we must end the occupation. We cannot compromise on Jerusalem'.

Abbas calls for end to violence
"He will not be judged on what he says now, but on what he does after the election, especially with the war against terrorism and how he handles the armed groups," he said. While Mr Sharon boycotted Mr Arafat completely, he met Mr Abbas on a number of occasions during the Palestinian's brief tenure as prime minister last year.

Christians made up 2.1% of Israel's population in 2003
A total of 144,000 Christians live in Israel, of whom 117,000 are Arab and 27,000 are new immigrants... The birth rate among Christians has been in continuous decline over the years, along with their proportion in the general population. Their proportion in the Arab population has declined precipitously from 20 percent in 1949 to 15 percent in 1972 to 9 percent at present.

Assad's about-turn?
Jumblatt could not have been clearer on this point when he said last week in an interview with the American-Iraqi television channel Al-Hura: "Lebanon's relations with Syria suffer from an illness that should be cured ... and I say to Syrian intellectuals and workers that the time has come to reexamine the relations with Syria."

U.S. forces kill Sunni scholar in Iraq, clerics say
The Muslim Clerics' Association said the killing on Friday of Sheikh Mowaffak al-Douri, preacher of Baghdad's Abi Bakr al-Siddiq Mosque and a member of the group, was the latest in a series of attacks on Iraqi mosques and clerics.

US may strike at Ba'athists in Syria
The official said that fresh sanctions are likely to be implemented, but added that the US needs to be more "aggressive" after Tuesday's deadly attack on a US base in Mosul. The comment suggested that the US believes the attack on the mess tent, in which 22 people were killed, may have been coordinated from inside Syrian territory.

1,400 Fallujah refugees return home
Much of Fallujah remains uninhabitable. Homes are destroyed, unexploded ordinance lies about in the streets, and there's a lack of water and basic supplies. Repatriating the tens of thousands of people who fled the city before the US-led assault is seen as an important step in the attempt to restore stability in the city ahead of January 30 elections.

Analysis: Iraq's new war
The rebels' new hit-and-run strategy "could pose new problems for U.S.-led forces," a Pentagon official said. "By not standing their ground and fighting, but retreating only to return to attack select targets, the rebels have put us on the defensive." "We now lack the initiative at a time when we need it very badly," he added, saying the aim of U.S. operations was to bring stability to the Sunni triangle.