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URUK Net 1 August, 2009

Last updated: Monday, August 3, 2009 15:26

Urgent appeal on the pending execution of nine Iraqi women
U.N. OBSERVER
On July 29 and 30, a delegation organized by the group “Woman Solidarity for an Independent and Unified Iraq” delivered an urgent appeal to a number of Arab League countries through their embassies in London. They were received by diplomats in Syrian and Qatari embassies and by officials in the Egyptian, and Saudi Arabian embassies. Copies of the appeal were sent to members of the British and European parliaments and to American human rights organisations. The appeal is for an urgent intervention to stop the imminent execution of nine Iraqi women. The letter, in Arabic, is translated below in English..

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Disarm Israel
A Utopia or a Vision for Peace
By Ilan Pappe
Whenever the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state is mentioned by Israeli politicians, they take for granted that their interlocutors understand that the future state would have to be demilitarized and disarmed, if an Israeli consent for its existence is to be gained. Recently, this precondition was mentioned by the current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to President Barrack Obama’s two states vision, presented to the world at large in his Cairo Speech this June. Netanyahu made this precondition first and foremost for domestic consumption: whoever has referred in the past to the creation of an independent state alongside Israel, and whoever does so today in Israel envisages a fully armed Israel next to a totally disarmed Palestine. But there was another reason why Netanyahu stressed the demilitarization of Palestine as a sine qua non: he knew perfectly well that there was no danger that even the most moderate Palestinian leader would accept such a caveat from the strongest military power in the Middle East…

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Thoughts on Fatah Convention and thoughts on Palestine
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Bethlehem is a buzz with security preparations for the Fatah conference on Tuesday. The local people I talked to either were indifferent or were worried about inability to reach school or work or do shopping during the days of the conference. The Fatah people I talked to are unsure of how this will go and what will happen. A big segment of the Fatah cadres who are real resistance fighters from abroad or underground will not be able to attend. It is suspicious that Israel is allowing so many others to enter and even facilitated a few to come from Gaza across the green lines to the consternation of Hamas which wanted Fatah to release its political prisoners from West Bank jails before allowing Fatah officials from Gaza to travel to Bethlehem. Fatah, the biggest and most well financed of the Palestinian factions, is certainly at a crossroads. In the time of Arafat, he managed by his sheer personality and charisma to keep the various political factions and trends together under one umbrella (even those supportive of violent resistance and those against it). When Arafat was president and Abu Mazen was prime minister, they did not get along. Farouk Kaddoumi recently dropped a bombshell by releasing a transcript he claimed showed Abu Mazen at a meeting in which Dahlan and Israeli leaders discussed assassinating Arafat. But rumers and stories of the past aside, the future is far harder to shape…

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MOH: Gaza warehouses out of supplies, “medical disaster” at hand
Ma’an News
Ministry of Health warehouses are running out of 80 different kinds of cancer, psychiatric and post-operative medications and 125 different kinds of medical supplies relating to thalassemia and dialysis treatments. Already limited supplies have meant mediations get reserved for the most severe cases, which is “putting the lives of at least 349 patients at risk,” head of the planning department in the Ministry of Health Ashraf Abu Mahadi said.

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I’m Live Blogging from Tehran General Office of Justice’s hall !
Revolutionary Road…
* Accused of turbulence and riot & accused of failed velvet coup project court was started at Tehran General Office of Justice’s hall (Imam Khomeini complex)! Among the accused people present at trial who are more than 100 ,famous and well known activists such as Behzad Nabavi member of the Central Council of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization , Mirdamadi Mosharekat party general secretary , Aminzadeh member of the Central Council of Mosharekat party , Atrianfar member of the central council of Kargozaran party ,Mohammad Ali Abtahi member of the central council of fighter clergies ,Safaiee Farahani member of the Central Council of Mosharekat party and Ramezanzadeh member of the Central Council of Mosharekat party can be seen…

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Photos: Trial Begins for Iran Election Protesters
Photos by Amir Kholoosi, ISNA; Report by VOA News
About 100 Iranian activists and political moderates went on trial Saturday to face charges related to massive protests following the controversial presidential election.The semi-official Fars news agency published images of defendants sitting in a packed Tehran courtroom, some handcuffed in pairs…

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What’s new?
Is Washington retreating in the face of Israel’s refusal to halt settlement building?
Khaled Amayreh from occupied Jerusalem
US officials visiting Israel this week have once again failed to convince the government of Binyamin Netanyahu to freeze Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell held several rounds of talks with Israeli leaders, centring on efforts to revive the peace process with the Palestinians as well as on Iran’s nuclear programme. As is customary, the two officials assured Israeli leaders of Washington’s “iron- clad commitment to Israel’s security” and of the two countries’ “enduring special relations”…

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Report: Israel kidnapped 312 Palestinians last month
Palestinian Information Center
A Palestinian report said that the IOF troops kidnapped 312 Palestinian citizens during last July at a rate of 11 Palestinians everyday. The report, which was prepared by specialist in prisoners’ affairs Abdelnasser Farwana, stated that the total of Palestinians who had been kidnapped since the beginning of the year rose to 3,372 citizens, dozens of them were children and women. Farwana affirmed that Israel pursues the policy of kidnapping as a daily and temperamental tradition or as a means to take revenge, pressure or blackmail, adding that most of the kidnappings were arbitrary and not carried out for security reasons as Israel alleged…

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Afghan war troop deaths surged in July
By Laura King
The month began with a fatal roadside bombing and ended with word that an American had died of wounds suffered in a firefight. After nearly eight years of warfare in Afghanistan, July proved by far the deadliest month yet for U.S. troops and their foreign allies. Bombs and rocket attacks, ambushes and aviation accidents killed many of the 72 foreign troops, including 43 Americans, according to data at the website icasualties.org. Previously, the highest monthly U.S. toll was 28 in June 2008, according to the independent website…

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As blockade bites deep, more Gaza children must work
Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip,
Zaher and Jihad are two boys living in Gaza. Every day they get up early and rush to Gaza City’s streets so that they might find something to sell to those walking or driving by. Their fathers have been unemployed since the the intifada — the uprising against Israeli occupation — began in 2000 and they, along with thousands of others, were no longer allowed to work inside Israel. Conditions worsened after Israel imposed a siege on the territory in June 2007. The boys work in order to help their families…

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Israeli soldiers burn agricultural lands in northern Gaza
IMEMC News
The Ramattan news agency reported Saturday that Israeli soldiers burnt Palestinian agricultural lands belonging to two Palestinian residents, near the Eretz crossing, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. Two Israeli military bulldozers uprooted the farmlands before the soldiers set the uprooted trees and lands of fire…

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Mash’al: Hamas willing to cooperate with US, others
Ma’an News
The Hamas movement is willing to cooperate with the United States in achieving a comprehensive peace deal with Israel, its leader in exile Khaled Mash’al said in an interview. The American newspaper The Wall Street Journal in its Friday edition quoted Mash’al saying that Hamas would not stand in the way of an immediate, reciprocal ceasefire with Israel. Mash’al also said Hamas would commit to both a ceasefire and prisoner swap for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit if the US made good on its rejection of illegal settlements and the Gaza siege…

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Eye for an eye
Khaled Amayreh
Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas has decided to hold the conference in the occupied Palestinian territories 4 August despite stiff objections from some key Fatah leaders such as the group’s Secretary-General Farouk Qaddumi. However, while logistical and other obstacles hindering the convening of the conference have been largely overcome, conditions for its success remain in doubt. The conference will be the largest in Fatah’s history and is expected to be a watershed event that will determine the shape and political discourse of the largest Palestinian political movement for many years to come. Moreover, the outcome of the conference will have a direct impact on the deadlocked political process with Israel…

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MRZine sinks to new lows
Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist
Apparently forced to deal with the almost unanimous opposition to Ahmadinejad by Iranian leftist intellectuals in the West as well as the obstreperous native Iranian commentators on its website, MRZine has printed a breathtakingly demagogic and stupid article by one Bizhan Pouya that links its ideological adversaries to: * CIA-sponsored television stations beaming out of Los Angeles * George Soros’s Open Society Institute * the National Endowment for Democracy * the Iranian monarchy in exile * Cuban gusanos. Given enough time, I suppose that MRZine will begin accusing the “left” (their scare quotes, not mine) of digging a tunnel into Iran from Iraq so that CIA agents led by Hamid Dabashi can sneak through…

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Video: Iraq admits deadly clashes in Iranian settlement
AlJazeeraEnglish
The Iraqi government has for the first time acknowledged casualties at Camp Ashraf, a settlement of Iranian exiles north of Baghdad, during violent clashes between riot police and protesters. Video images released by the exiled People’s Mujahideen of Iran, who were given sanctuary by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, allegedly showed Iraqi forces driving Humvees into protesters and beating up residents. Dorsa Jabbari reports…

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1 French, 3 American troops killed in Afghanistan
By FISNIK ABRASHI (AP)
Three U.S. troops were killed Saturday when roadside bombs ripped through their patrol in southern Afghanistan, while a French soldier died in a gunbattle north of the capital, officials said. The Americans were killed in the southern Kandahar province, said Navy Chief Petty Officer Brian Naranjo. He gave no further details on the blasts, pending notification of the victims’ families…

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Analysis: Memo raises questions about Iraq pullout
By ROBERT BURNS, AP
An Army colonel’s colorfully worded memo arguing for the U.S. to declare victory in Iraq and leave next summer suggests the possibility of an important shift in the debate about U.S. withdrawal plans. Until now the question has been whether thousands of U.S. troops might need to stay beyond a December 2011 deadline for a complete U.S. pullout, in order to continue training and advising Iraqi forces…

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Activists Arrested, Beaten When Soldiers Get Surrounded by Wedding in Ma’asara
International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
Some 100 Palestinians, 50 internationals and ten Israelis gathered this Friday in the village of Ma’asara for a wedding march, which was combined with the weekly anti-wall demonstration in order to highlight the severe personal and social implications of the occupation, the oppression and the wall. Demonstrators accompanied a couple that got married just the night before and two other couples disguised as newlyweds all the way across the village, with marriage songs and protest slogans interchanging and completing each other. Coming close to the end of the built area of the village the couples left to prepare themselves for the next part of the wedding-protest…

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A night in Bilin
Jody McIntyre writing from Bilin, occupied West Bank
Over the last few weeks, the residents of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military, in retaliation to their weekly nonviolent demonstrations, now in their fifth year, against the Apartheid Wall, which has stolen over half of their land. So far, 17 youths have been arrested, some as young as 16 years of age, usually for their participation in the demonstrations. Many of the boys will not see their family again for months. With the situation getting critical, local activists of the Bilin Popular Committee called for a night demonstration to protest against the raids…

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GI Special 7G21: My God Has Horns [ 29 July 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
The Taliban in Afghanistan has issued a book laying down a code of conduct for its fighters. Al Jazeera has obtained a copy of the book, which further indicates that Mullah Omar, the movement’s leader, wants to centralise its operations. The book, with 13 chapters and 67 articles, lays out what one of the most secretive organisations in the world today, can and cannot do. It talks of limiting suicide attacks, avoiding civilian casualties and winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the local civilian population.

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Iran state TV confirms arrest of 3 Americans
By YAHYA BARZANJI (AP)
Iran state TV confirmed Saturday that it has detained three Americans who crossed the border from northern Iraq, saying they failed to heed warnings from Iranian guards. Kurdish officials from northern Iraq said the three — two men and a woman — were tourists who had mistakenly crossed into Iranian territory Friday while hiking in a mountainous area near the resort town of Ahmed Awaa…

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