Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Abbas and Mashaal: Commitment hailed a new era of ‘partnership’

Nov 25, 2011


Khaled Meshal, left, the leader of Hamas, and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who leads the Fatah movement, met Thursday in Cairo to discuss a unity government.(Credit: Reuters)

While many of us were celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday Abbas and Mashaal met in Cairo, the first public follow up since their reconciliation in order to form a unity government.

Jerusalem Post:

“There are no differences between us at all, and we agreed to work as partners and share responsibilities,” Abbas told reporters after the meeting. “We share the same responsibility toward our people and cause.”

Ma’an News

Exiled Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal said Friday that Israeli threats after reconciliation talks with Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas “would not scare us but rather assure us that reconciliation is the right track for the Palestinian people.”


The reconciliation deal, which set out a path to a unity government of technocrats and elections within a year, had stalled over continuing disagreement, in particular over the candidate to head the new cabinet. Abbas supported the current premier in Ramallah Salam Fayyad, who was rejected by Hamas.

On Friday, Mashaal said it was still too early to discuss Hamas’ nomination of a prime minister, after the meeting with Abbas that both insisted ended remaining disagreements between them.


Abbas and Mashaal on Thursday approved a two-page document reiterating their commitment to the main elements of the original deal, and hailed a new era of “partnership.”

Meanwhile it’s mostly gloom and doom over @ NYT

“Rival Palestinian Leaders Meet but Fail to End Rift”

 Isabel Kershner and Fares Akram framed the disagreements, via anonymous officials, as  “rosy” public statements hiding a “deadlocked” albeit admitting the leaders didn’t address the “deadlock” over who would lead the interim government.

Neither of the leaders directly addressed the deadlock over the appointment of a unity government……….

[D]ifferences between the sides clearly prevailed, and since the signing of the accord disincentives for further cooperation have mounted……….

Sounds like neither side discussed candidates at this round of talks.

 Israel and the West say they will not deal with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the Islamic group recognizes Israel, renounces violence and accepts all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Hamas has shown no sign of agreeing to those conditions, and the prospect of a unity government threatens the Palestinian Authority’s relations with Israel, Europe and the United States.


Mr. Barhoum said that the two sides agreed to some confidence-building measures, like stopping politically motivated arrests, and that they had also reached understandings on a political program defining relations between Israel and the Palestinians and the shape of a future Palestinian state. He did not elaborate on the content of those understandings.

Reached understandings on a political program defining relations between Israel and the Palestinians and the shape of a future Palestinian state ? Really. That sounds promising. This is probably driving Netanyahu nuts. No wonder it sounds like someone’s got their knickers in a twist. Back to Jerusalem Post:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said following the meeting that “the closer Abbas gets to Hamas, the further away he gets from peace.”

To the extent that Abbas moves away from Hamas and to direct negotiations with Israel, he said, “peace will be advanced, and this will serve the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.”


Regarding the $100 million of Palestinian tax revenue that Israel has refused to release to the PA since the Palestinians were accepted as a member of UNESCO earlier this month, the officials said that no decision had been taken to free the money.

Over the past week, Israel has come under intense diplomatic pressure from around the world to release the funds. “One thing is clear,” the officials said. “Had Abbas signed a unity government agreement with Hamas, there would be no chance whatsoever that the money would continue to flow.”

I hear deadlock, but today, it’s not between Fatah and Hamas.

Israeli newspaper owner says Obama can’t stop settlers’ ‘apartheid regime’ because of ‘Jewish lobby’

Nov 25, 2011

Philip Weiss

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Amos Schocken in Haaretz’s offices. (Photo: Michal Chelbin/The New Yorker)

Amos Schocken, owner of Haaretz, writes in Israel (not here, no way) that the settler movement Gush Emunim is building an “apartheid regime” in Israel and Palestine and that it is supported by the “Jewish lobby” in the U.S. That lobby is “totally addicted” to settler policies; and this explains Obama’s collapse.

In trying to understand Obama’s reversal of his declaration in Cairo in 2009, Schocken does what Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations swears never to do; he ascribes political influence on the Democratic Party to American Jews. Mead would classify Schocken as an anti-semite for saying this.

As to Schocken’s question, Why they fell into line? He does not understand the minority Jewish experience. American Jewish leaders were instructed after ’67 and ’73 that they were the only thing preventing Israel’s destruction and that they must support Israeli leadership, no matter what. (Chuck Schumer: I am Israel’s guardian.) These are religiously-loaded instructions that young Jews are trying to reform. Thanks to Paul Mutter.

The term “apartheid” refers to the undemocratic system of discriminating between the rights of the whites and the blacks, which once existed in South Africa. Even though there is a difference between the apartheid that was practiced there and what is happening in the territories, there are also some points of resemblance. There are two population groups in one region, one of which possesses all the rights and protections, while the other is deprived of rights and is ruled by the first group. This is a flagrantly undemocratic situation.

Since the Six-Day War, there has been no other group in Israel with the ideological resilience of Gush Emunim, and it is not surprising that many politicians have viewed that ideology as a means for realizing personal political ambitions. Zevulun Hammer, who identified this ideology as the way to capture the leadership of the National Religious Party, and Ariel Sharon, who identified this ideology as the way to capture the leadership of Likud, were only two of many. Now Avigdor Lieberman, too, is following this path, but there were and are others, such as the late Hanan Porat, for whom the realization of this ideology was and remains the purpose of their political activity.

This ideology views the creation of an Israeli apartheid regime as a necessary tool for its realization. It has no difficulty with illegal actions and with outright criminality, because it rests on mega-laws that it has adopted and that have no connection with the laws of the state, and because it rests on a perverted interpretation of Judaism. It has scored crucial successes. Even when actions inspired by the Gush Emunim ideology conflict with the will of the government, they still quickly win the backing of the government. The fact that the government is effectively a tool of Gush Emunim and its successors is apparent to everyone who has dealings with the settlers, creating a situation of force multiplication.

This ideology has enjoyed immense success in the United States, of all places. President George H.W. Bush was able to block financial guarantees to Israel because of the settlements established by the government of Yitzhak Shamir (who said lying was permissible to realize the Gush Emunim ideology. Was Benjamin Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan University speech a lie of this kind? ). Now, though, candidates for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination are competing among themselves over which of them supports Israel and the occupation more forcefully. Any of them who adopt the approach of the first President Bush will likely put an end to their candidacy.

Whatever the reason for this state of affairs – the large number of evangelicals affiliated with the Republican party, the problematic nature of the West’s relations with Islam, or the power of the Jewish lobby, which is totally addicted to the Gush Emunim ideology – the result is clear: It is not easy, and may be impossible, for an American president to adopt an activist policy against Israeli apartheid.

Schocken asks why

Palestinian thinkers weigh in on the threats to attack Iran

Nov 25, 2011

Yousef M. Aljamal

In the last two weeks, reports from Israel revealed threats to carry out a strike against Iran’s nuclear sites. Iran, in return, vowed to retaliate immediately in the event of any of its sites being attacked. The issue of how to handle the Israeli threat to attack Iran has become vitally more important. Some analysts believe that Israel’s history shows, in no case if it seeks to attack a country will it inform the mass media first, as happened weeks ago. The Iraqi and Syrian nuclear sites are clear examples of how Israel’s military creed works. Others see these threats as coming under the context of a war of attrition, with the entire region in flux and Arabs taking to the streets calling for toppling down a bunch of dictators who have controlled them for decades and were loyal to Israel more than their own people.

“The financial crisis in the US and EU would make it impossible to attack Iran currently”, says one researcher. “Conditions are similar to those before World War II. It would be a reason to attack Iran to get out of this crisis” opposes another.

Palestinians worldwide are waiting to see what’s ahead in the coming months. The Centre for Political and Development Studies (CPDS) on Tuesday, Nov. 22 invited Palestinian thinkers of different factions to discuss the issue. It’s weirdly surprising that all of our guest speakers agreed that what is being discussed globally in mass media is a part of Israel’s manoeuvre to bring Iran down diplomatically.

Our guest speakers were Yousef Rizga political advisor to Gaza PM Ismail Hanniya, Dr. Ibrahim Abrash former Minister of Culture and political analyst, and Adnan Abu Amer Israeli affairs expert.

Dr. Ibrahim Abrash opened the discussion stressing the political-strategic use of Iran’s nuclear file emphasizing how regimes, factions, groups and organizations around the globe make use of ideologies to reach their own political ends. “In the Arab world, religion and nationalism have been used to serve political ends of political and religious factions. The problem is not that Iran owns nuclear weapons because other countries do, it’s Iran’s declared hostile polices against Israel and the West. What’s being addressed are future concerns, because Iran hasn’t aquired nuclear power yet. This policy is called ‘the edge of collapse’ ”.

“Israel will not attack Iran before gaining the green light from America including a resolution from the international community that accuses Iran of owning nuclear power, thus assuring any Israeli intervention would be justified,” added Abrash.

“Iran has made use of ideology to serve its nuclear end. Even if it owns a nuclear weapon, it won’t use it against Israel. It threatens Israel because Iran’s eyes are open on the Arab Gulf and has political interests which will not be endangered under any circumstances” he asserts.

Meanwhile, Washington made uses of the Iranian nuclear question to serve its ends in the Gulf. After the US occupied Iraq, questions were raised on justifications of its military presence there including armed sales which are directed to its client states like Saudi Arabia.

“It has used the nuclear weapons issue to occupy Iraq and serve its own goals. So-called ‘moderate’ Arab states have used this issue to terrify their opposition parties. Iran’s case will not serve our issues in the short and long terms as well.” Abrash concludes.

Political advisor Yousef Rizqa addressed how Israel’s stance on Iran affected Palestine. The Palestinian question has been used by many powers in the world for political ends. We were used as a card to pressure regimes and topple down others. Anyway you look at it Israel’s stance on Iran affects our cause in one way or another.

“What amazed me is that the expected strike on Iran has been intentionally raised by the occupation’s leaders after it had not been covered by media for months. Considering its attack against Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear sites, Israel will not attack Iran. Israel is attempting to blackmail the US as it heads to its presidential election season. It seeks to blackmail the EU on this same issue. It’s also worth mentioning that raising this issue now decrease the level of power Iran has in Syria and pushes it away”, claims Yousef Rizqa.

 “Accusations of Iran plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US are being used to increase pressure on Iran”, he states. “Iran is interested in presenting itself as a brave heroic country. It sends positive messages to the West through Russian and Chinese secret channels, threatens to stop oil supplies in the Gulf and makes use of time. With the Arab Spring, new powers will emerge and others will be set back. “The most powerful three countries will be Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia”, he concludes.

Israel and Iran: Strike or Deal?

Adnan Abu Amer, Israeli affairs expert reminds us history and politics have proved  there’s no room for impossibilities therefore a strike against Iran’s nuclear sites is a possible option also. With all its expected consequences no one can claim with absolute certainty Israel will not target Iran.

“Is it not strange that Ehud Barak (a leftist) and Bibi (a right-wing extremist) are in complete harmony?” Adnan Abu Amer asks. “Is it not a strange that Avigdor Lieberman told the New York Times that 99% of what is being talked about is false, keeping in mind the well known dispute between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mossad?”.

Israel believes that it should remain the only state in the Middle East that owns nuclear weapons and any states attempt at breaking this rule should be stopped by any means. “As Israel’s alliance with the West fades away, owning nuclear weapons and preventing other countries from doing so would be Israel’s last escape. If Iran owned nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries will be motivated to do so as well”, adds Abu Amer.

The Arab Spring has brought unexpected changes to the region. Israel is looking for a new ally since the US is getting weaker. Many Israelis say that the only way to get out of this circle is launching a new war but Abu Amer said historically Iranian Shia elders come and solve everything (unlike Sunnah). “An Iranian elder will come at the end and solve all the problems”, asserts Abu Amer.

There are many reasons that have stopped Israel from attacking Iran for the time being. Israelis are thinking seriously of what’s next and are not fully united behind attacking Iran. America has not blessed the move yet.

“America has given Israel the yellow light on attacking Iran. Iran’s nuclear sites are scattered upon a big distance of lands. Israel will use soft war against Iran using electronic attacks and assassinations”, says Abu Amer.

Speculation that Israel is preparing to attack Iranian nuclear sites surged in the media shortly before the IAEA report was released, as the allegations it contained had been leaked in advance. Officially, Israel has neither confirmed nor denied such plans, but claimed military action against Iran is on the table and is more likely in the wake of the report.

Israel plans forced transfer of 27,000 Bedouins in West Bank and Jerusalem

Nov 25, 2011


and other news from today in Palestine:

Land and property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Threats to Palestinian heritage

Video — Dkaika: Israel continues to expel Bedouins
[photos] ISM 23 Nov — The entire Bedouin village of Dkaika encounters demolitions, and all the villagers face expulsion. Every single construction of Dkaika has a demolition order totally over 75 demolition orders including a mosque, a school, a graveyard, water cisterns, housing tents, and folds for sheep. This Thursday, on the 24th  of November, the Israeli Supreme court will decide if it will accept the interim injunction submitted by villagers in collaboration with Rabbis for Human Rights.
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Israel plans forced transfer of 27,000 Bedouin from East Jerusalem, Jordan Valley
JVS 21 Nov — Israel plans to uproot Bedouin communities from 60% of the West Bank and forcibly transfer them into controlled enclosures. If this is allowed to happen, 27,000 people will be evicted from their homes and land – they will be forced to live in ghettos, with no land on which to make a living. This cruel and shocking new development represents the acceleration of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Bedouin communities from the West Bank, since it illegally colonised the area in 1967, and they aim to complete this plan within the next 3-6 years. The first phase of this racist, apartheid strategy is scheduled for January 2012, with the forced removal of Bedouin communities from the land around East Jerusalem into a camp/ghetto next to a landfill site by Abu Dis in East Jerusalem. Work on constructing the ghetto has already started.
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Medics: Farmers hospitalized after Israel rips up land
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 23 Nov – Three Palestinian farmers collapsed and required medical attention Wednesday when they saw Israeli bulldozers razing their olive fields in the northern West Bank, medics said. Mufeed Abdul-Halim Ash-Sheikh, 62, his wife Fahmiyya, 60, and his son Mahmoud, 26, were evacuated to the Darwish Nazzal Hospital after they collapsed at the scene in Azzun Itma, near Qalqilya. Israeli forces began digging in farmland last week to make way for a new section of the wall.
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Israeli forces raid school, hand its principal demolition notice
HEBRON (WAFA) 23 Nov – Israeli forces Wednesday raided Palestinian school in Khirbet Susiya, a locale south of Yatta in Hebron, and handed its principal a demolition notice of the school, said a local activist …A total of 36 students and seven teachers use the school, which was rebuilt from bricks and tin after Israeli forces demolished the school tents last year. The Israeli settlement Susiya was built on the ancient land of the Arab Khirbet Susiya, whereas Israeli forces completely demolished the nearby Khirbet Um Neir earlier this year
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Israeli bulldozers raze land, destroy irrigation networks in Jericho
JERICHO (WAFA) 22 Nov — Israeli bulldozers Tuesday razed agricultural land belonging to Palestinian farmer Hassan Erekat and destroyed the irrigation networks considered the main water source to the land in an area northeast of the West Bank city of Jericho. Erekat told WAFA that Israeli bulldozers, under the protection of Israeli soldiers, razed 18 dunums (1 dunum=1000 square meters) of land planted with corn crops and destroyed the infrastructure of the irrigation networks that irrigate about 120 dunums of the agricultural land. “I have been planting this land since the mid eighties and I never got any notice from the Israeli government as it claims,” he said.
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Galaxy of prominent figures slams Israel’s plan to raze Maghariba Gate
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 22 Nov – Noted Palestinian figures from occupied Jerusalem and the 1948 occupied lands on Monday warned the Israeli occupation state of its declared intent to demolish what remained of the historical Maghariba Gate and build a bridge in its place. This came during a news conference held Monday morning in the holy city by the authority of endowments and Islamic holy sites in occupied Jerusalem along with the follow-up committee in the 1948 occupied lands. Prominent figures including the grand mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, preacher of the Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Ikrima Sabri and head of the follow-up committee for the Arabs Mohamed Zeidan participated in the news conference.
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In the West Bank, a contested heritage
Jerusalem (WaPo) 21 Nov —  At a museum just off the desert road from Jerusalem to Jericho in the West Bank, the artifacts of a contested heritage are on display. Colorful mosaic floors from Byzantine-era churches and synagogues, inscriptions, Roman capitals and stone burial boxes — all dug up by Israeli archaeologists in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — are shown at the site, developed by Israel’s West Bank military administration with the Israeli antiquities authority. An Israeli flag flies over the museum and adjacent ruins of ancient pilgrim hostels, asserting Israel’s control of the site, which is traditionally identified as the location of the inn mentioned in the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. But now, after more than 40 years of Israeli occupation, Palestinians are making a bid for greater control of the West Bank’s historical and archaeological landmarks, which they are claiming as their own.
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Aerial and naval assaults and an incursion into the southern Gaza Strip
RAFAH (PIC) 22 Nov — Israeli occupation forces escalated their aggression against the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening with attacks from the air, the sea, the land reported. No casualties were reported. PIC correspondent reported that Israeli occupation gunboats opened machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats opposite Khan Younis and Rafah shores in the southern Gaza Strip, without any casualties reported at the time of preparing this report, apart from the state of fear this has created amongst fishermen who started to head back to shore.
Meanwhile, the southern Gaza Strip witnessed a limited incursion of IOF troops to the east of Rafah. Local sources told the PIC correspondent that 3 Israeli occupation tanks and two military bulldozers, crossed the border east of Rafah from the Nahdah gate in the southern Gaza Strip and penetrated the area for a limited distance where some fields were bulldozed while drones buzzed in the skies of southern Gaza.
This incursion was preceded by an Israeli occupation airstrike that targeted a position for the Naser Salahuddin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees. Local sources informed the PIC correspondent that occupation aircraft fired one rocket that the Abu Ataya site to the west of Rafah without causing any casualties.
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Blast at PRC site in southern Gaza; no injuries
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — An explosion was reported late Tuesday at a site operated by the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees in the southern Gaza Strip. The Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades reported no injuries following the blast near Rafah, which locals blamed on Israeli aircraft. An Israeli military spokeswoman denied the reports. Gaza has experienced relative calm over the past week. Israeli aircraft last targeted the coastal enclave on Wednesday [16 Nov], in what the army described as a response to rocket fire.
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Sowing wheat in Israel’s kill zone
ISM 22 Nov By Radhika Sainath — One need not be an agronomist to know that its been a long time since the farmers of Khuza‘a, Gaza have tended to their land near the border.  When we arrived on Friday, the densely packed soil formed small hills with alien, ridged, patterns: Israeli tanks had roamed here, dozens of them. It was hard to imagine how anything ever grew on this brown, barren soil, much less the hundreds of olive, orange and grapefruit trees the Qudaih family reminisced about … The donkey cart pulled us down the lone road heading towards the school. I had been down this road before, my second week in Gaza, when I and 3 local children had been shot at by the Israeli army without warning, reason, or explanation. I understood why those farmers feared the Israeli army, and had not tended to this land in four years.
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Haniyeh: No longer any justification for siege
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday called on Israel to end its siege of the Gaza Strip in light of the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Speaking at an event to welcome the Arab Spring convoy, which delivered medical aid to the coastal enclave, Haniyeh noted that Israel had claimed it tightened the blockade because Shalit was held captive in Gaza.
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The international community affirms unified opposition to Gaza blockade
MEMO 23 Nov — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES Dozens of academics and parliamentarians from over 40 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America, along with revolutionary representatives from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, have come together to affirm their opposition to and condemnation of the continuing siege of the Gaza Strip. The announcement came in the context of condemnation of siege tactics being used against any group of people, but with particular emphasis on the siege against Palestinian civilians. It was made at a conference in Gaza City on Tuesday; several members of the Palestinian Legislative Council were in attendance. During the proceedings, the European delegation called on governments and human rights organisations across the world to utilise all peaceful means at their disposal to force Israel to end its siege of Gaza.
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Tunisia medical convoy arrives in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — A Tunisian medical aid convoy arrived late Tuesday in Gaza. Jalal Ayyad, head of Amal organization for social development in Tunisia, said the visit was to show solidarity with Gaza. The medical aid is only symbolic; the main aim is to lift the siege, he said. Still, the Tunisian delegation is carrying 1.5 tons of medication and medical aid, officials said.
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Japan supports hearing a speech center in Gaza with equipment
RAMALLAH (WAFA)23 Nov — Naofumi Hashimoto, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority and Arslan Agha, Chairman of Society for the Care of the Handicapped in Gaza (SCGH) signed on Wednesday the grant contract of a project to install devices and tools for auditory and speech therapy in the ‘hearing and speech center’ of the SCGH.
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Activism / Solidarity

Video: Palestinian Freedom Riders
On the 15th of November, six Palestinian activists: Nadeem Al-Sharbate, Huwaida Arraf, Dr.Mazin Qumsieyeh, Fadi Qura’an, Basel Al-Araj, and Badee’ Dwaik, boarded a segregated Israeli bus used by Israeli settlers to Jerusalem in an attempt to highlight the regime of discrimination on freedom of movement in place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the fact that Palestinians cannot access Jerusalem freely. [Seeks to show that the two struggles for freedom, in the US and in Palestine, are essentially the same – pairs similar photos from the civil rights movement and the occupation of Palestine. Soundtrack includes the African American anthem “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’round” sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock and Joan Baez singing Oh Freedom. I dare anyone who remembers the civil rights struggle  – hey, anyone who loves justice – to watch this with dry eyes.]
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Fishermen hold sit-in in protest of Israeli measures against them
GAZA (WAFA) 23 Nov  – Hundreds of Palestinian fishermen participated Wednesday in a sit-in organized by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in front of the United Nations headquarters in Gaza, condemning Israeli policies against them and demanding the end of siege imposed on Gaza, said a statement by the union … The participants chanted slogans; “in spite of the weather, the siege, the killing and the destruction, fishing will not stop,” condemning the Israeli policies and affirming their right to exercise fishing, stressing that they will not leave the sea, despite the horrors and attacks they face on daily bases, to keep them from the sea and push them towards begging.
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VIDEO: Palestina Amore
Al Jazeera 23 Nov — Some Italians have made it their mission to mobilise support on behalf of the Palestinian cause. On May 31, 2010, an Israeli military raid on an aid flotilla sailing to the blockaded Gaza Strip resulted in the deaths of 19 unarmed peace activists, prompting international condemnation over what was perceived as a brutal and unjustified use of force. Five of those killed were Italian nationals who were part of the humanitarian mission attempting to break the blockade by delivering goods and construction materials to the occupied Palestinian territory. Israeli sanctions on Gaza since 2001 have led to widespread poverty and rampant unemployment there. But the deadly attack on the flotilla has only served to further motivate Italian supporters of the Palestinian cause. The Palestine Forum, a network of Italian committees and associations, is pushing for greater political support for the Palestinians, while the Rome Palestinian Solidarity Network is continuing to organise a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli products.
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Detention / Court actions

Israeli forces detain 17 in West Bank raids
JENIN (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — Israeli forces detained 17 people early Tuesday morning in raids across the West Bank. An Israeli military spokeswoman said 17 Palestinians were detained and taken for security questioning. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine officials told Ma‘an that eight of their members were among those detained, adding that soldiers broke into several homes to make the arrests.
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Israeli forces detain 9 across the West Bank
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Israeli forces detained nine people overnight Tuesday in raids across the West Bank, the army said. An Israeli military spokesman said three people were detained in Beit Ummar, two in Tulkarem, two in Tubas, one in Qalqiliya and one in Ramallah. Beit Ummar committee spokesman Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the Hebron village at around 2.30 a.m. and ransacked three homes.
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IOF soldiers detain 3 citizens in Al-Khalil, and a Jerusalemite
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 23 Nov — …Meanwhile, Israeli policemen in occupied Jerusalem arrested Ehab Al-Jallad, the coordinator of the popular Jerusalemite committee, from his home in Aisawiye town on Tuesday. The head of the committee of Jerusalemite prisoners said that the police thoroughly searched Jallad’s home and confiscated some of his belongings before taking him in. He said that Jallad was taken to Maskobeh detention center where he was told that he would be held for a week.
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Health Work Committee condemns arrest of its financial director
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 23 Nov – The Health Work Committee (HWC) Wednesday condemned the arrest of its financial and administrative director, Waleed Abu Ras, by the Israeli Authority’s after raiding his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to a statement issued by the committee. The HWC website said that, “Dozens of soldiers raided and cluttered Waleed’s house and terrorized his children before arresting him in a brutal manner.” … It added that several of HWC employees were previously subjected to the Israeli authority’s harassment through arrests, prevention of the health crews’ movement, as well as the closing of some of the committee’s centers, including the Nidal Center for Community Development in the old city of Jerusalem
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Aruri: Second batch of Palestinian prisoners to be freed by end of December
DAMASCUS (PIC) 23 Nov — The second batch of Palestinian prisoners to be released from Israeli occupation jails according to the prisoners exchange deal would be set free within three weeks, Sheikh Saleh Al-Aruri, political bureau member of Hamas, said on Wednesday. He told Al-Resalah net website that the Israelis had categorically turned down an Egyptian request to re-open negotiations over the second batch … Aruri noted that the second batch of 550 prisoners would be chosen by Israel but would not include anyone imprisoned on criminal charges.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Military court ‘charges Palestinians with murder’
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 22 Nov — An Israeli military court has charged two Palestinians from the southern West Bank with murder following the death of a settler whose car overturned near Hebron, Israeli media said. Israel’s Ynet news site reported Tuesday that the two Palestinians from Halhul, who were not otherwise identified, confessed to hurling stones at a passing vehicle near the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba. The stones caused the car to swerve off the road and resulted in the deaths of Asher Palmer and his young son Yonaton, according to the report and others at the time in the Israeli media.  The prosecutor also filed indictments against “other members of the terrorist cell,” according to the report. It says one of the men, who was not identified, is accused of stealing the settler’s gun after the incident.
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MADA: 20 journalists killed in Palestine since 2000
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 23 Nov – Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said in a press release Wednesday that 20 journalists were killed by the Israeli army in Palestine since 2000. MADA, in a statement marking the launch of its new campaign to prosecute and punish the Israeli army for killing reporters and journalists in Palestine, to coincide with the International Day to End Impunity today, said it will produce a video commemorating the 20 murdered reporters in Palestine.
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Hamas forces arrest two reporters in Gaza
IMEMC 23 Nov — The Palestinian Journalist Syndicate in Gaza reported Tuesday that members of the Hamas-led security forces in Gaza arrested two Palestinian reporters; one in central Gaza, and the other in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The two reporters were identified as Salah Abu Salah and Mohammad Awad. The Journalist Syndicate reported that Hamas security forces broke into the home of Awad in Al Maghazi refugee camp, in central Gaza, and kidnapped him after confiscating his personal computer, documents and a camera from the house. In Khan Younis, reporter Abu Salah was ordered to head to a security centre for questioning, and was detained upon arrival.
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Discrimination / Extremism in Israel

Prominent Israeli rabbi faces criminal charges over anti-Arab remarks
Haaretz 22 Nov — Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided Tuesday to open a criminal investigation against Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, for alleged incitement to racism … Eliyahu was one of 18 rabbis who signed a petition in October 2010, urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews – a move seen as being directed against Arab students enrolled in Safed’s college. Some 50 rabbis eventually endorsed the so-called “rabbis’ letter.” The criminal investigation opened by Weinstein will not focus on “rabbis’ letter,” however, but rather on personal remarks made by Eliyahu.
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Israeli public figures apologize to Greek patriarch for ultra-Orthodox spitting incidents
Haaretz 23 Nov — Last Friday, a group of Jewish public figures and intellectuals paid a visit to the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem with one simple goal in mind, asking for forgiveness. The group took the step following a report in Haaretz about two weeks ago describing the practice of some ultra-Orthodox Jewish young people of spitting when passing church clergy on the street.
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IDF must bar soldiers from leaving events over women’s singing, officer says
Haaretz 23 Nov –Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai, head of the Israel Defense Forces’ personnel directorate, is expected to recommend that the Chief of Staff continue obliging soldiers to take part in formal ceremonies in which women sing, despite the objections of many rabbis. The army “must make it possible for every female soldier and any woman to sing at any ceremony and on any stage. We must enable both religious soldiers and women to have a significant army service, and [we must] not exclude them from tasks,” said Barbivai
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Women’s groups outraged by all-male rabbinical c’tee
JPost 23 Nov — The Israel Bar Association angered a raft of liberal and women’s groups on Tuesday by failing to select a woman to serve on the Appointments Committee for Rabbinical Judges. The committee, which is headed by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and holds the power to elect judges to the country’s 12 regional rabbinical courts, voted instead to elect attorneys Asher Axelrod and Mordechai Eisenberg.
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Judges Selection Commission gets first Arab rep
Ynet 22 Nov —  The Israeli Bar Association elected Attorney Khaled Hosni-Zoabi as its representative to the Judges Selection Commission, alongside Attorney Rachel Ben-Ari, Ynet learned Tuesday. Hosni-Zoabi will be the first Arab lawyer to serve on the committee.
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Vast majority of Tel Aviv women report sexual harassment, survey finds
Haaretz 23 Nov — A resounding 83% of Tel Aviv women report being sexually harassed at least once in their lifetimes, according to a new survey sponsored by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality’s committee for advancing the status of women, in conjunction with assistance shelters for the victims of sexual assault, and the Shatil organization.
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Political / Diplomatic / International

UN committee approves draft resolution on Palestine
NEW YORK (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — A United Nations committee on Tuesday approved a draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The draft resolution, presented by Egypt, was approved by 166 states in a vote at the UN General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Committee. Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and the United States voted against the resolution. The resolution states that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and the right to an independent state. It urges all states, agencies and organizations to support and assist the Palestinian people to realize that right.
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Abbas, Mashaal to meet in Cairo despite Egyptian unrest
GAZA CITY (AFP) 23 Nov — President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal will meet in Cairo this week despite the unrest rocking Egypt, Hamas and Fatah officials said on Tuesday … The talks will go ahead “as scheduled on Thursday,” Hamas official Ismail Radwan told AFP in Gaza, in remarks which were confirmed by senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad. The two leaders are due to finalize details of a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas which was signed in May but has yet to be implemented.
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Deported fighters urge reconciliation success
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — Palestinian resistance fighters deported in 2002 after an Israeli siege on the Nativity church in Bethlehem have called on President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal to implement the reconciliation deal signed in May. Spokesman for deportees in Europe Jiha Jaara said that it was time to bury the division, which only benefited the Israeli occupation, a statement said Wednesday.
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Abbas meets Tantawi in Cairo
CAIRO (WAFA) 23 Nov — President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday met the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt, Mohammad Tantawi, accompanied by members of the Supreme Council, in Cairo. Abbas and Tantawi discussed the recent developments in the Palestinian arena under the Israeli occupation’s continuous settlement activities and escalations, as well as talks with the Quartet and US on the halted peace process.T he meeting also discussed efforts to implement the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which is sponsored by Egypt
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PFLP urges PA to reconsider economic ties with Israel
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 23 Nov — …In a statement, deputy PFLP secretary-general Abdul-Rahim Mallouh called on the PA to assign a specialized committee to analyze economic relations and protect the economy from subordination to Israel. Mallouh urged Palestinians to boycott Israeli products, in particular settlement produce.
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PLO: Withholding tax revenues ‘state piracy’
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 23 Nov – The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) considered the Israeli withholding of Palestinian tax revenues as “state piracy,?” an illegal action and a breach of the signed agreements between PLO and Israel, Wednesday said a statement by the PLO Department of International Relations.
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World pushes Israel to release funds to PA
JPost 23 Nov — Israel will not transfer a shekel of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority if it reaches a reconciliation agreement with a Hamas that refuses to forswear terrorism and recognize Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday. Lieberman’s comments were made even as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Quartet envoy Tony Blair, and the EU’s ambassador to Israel Andrew Standley called over the last two days for Israel to release the $100 million in tax revenue to the PA it has held up since UNESCO voted earlier this month in favor of admitting the Palestinians into the organization.
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Clinton presses Netanyahu to release frozen Palestinian tax funds
Haaretz 23 Nov — Israel holds $100 million in PA tax revenue collected in October as part of economic agreements; should the freeze continue through the end of November, the sum will reach $200 million — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday night and demanded that he release Palestinian tax revenue that Israel has frozen for more than a month after UNESCO accepted the Palestinians as a member.
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Report: Israel returns drones to Turkey
Ynet 23 Nov — Turkish newspaper Zaman reported Wednesday of an “important development” in the relations between Ankara and Jerusalem. According to the report, Israel has returned to Turkey a number of Heron drones after conducting maintenance work on them. About two months ago Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of failing to meet its obligations in defensedeals, adding to tensions with Israel which have escalated since an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla killed nine people last year.
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2 Egyptian policemen killed near border
Ynet 23 Nov — Bedouin smugglers shoot, kill two Egyptian border guards trying to stop them from infiltrating Israel. Second border incident sees Golani forces pursue armed smugglers near border. IDF chief orders to increases border patrols … The cooperation between the Israeli and Egyptian security forces proved efficient and professional throughout the night’s events. The IDF said that the Egyptians recognized immediately that their troops were killed by the smugglers.
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Egypt committed to Israel peace deal despite revived unrest, officials say
Haaretz 23 Nov — Top Egyptian figures have delivered conciliatory messages to Jerusalem in the past two days,

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