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URUK Net 27 October, 2009

Last updated: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 7:42

Taliban’s Strategic Revision: Towards a Pragmatic Policy
Setting up a Realist Regional Agenda
By Suhail Shaheen, Former Chief Editor of the Kabul Times
October 27, 2009 – Mullah Muhammad Omar’s last Eid Message, was quite different from his previous messages in content and tone. It indicated a shift in Taliban’s general policy and approach towards neighboring countries, the US and Europe. The Taliban’s leader, in his message, assured Afghanistan’s neighboring countries that the Taliban will not harm them if they gain political power but rather will develop relations based on mutual cooperation. He said: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants to maintain good and positive relations with all neighbors based on mutual respect and open a new chapter of good neighborliness of mutual cooperation and development.” In the same tone, he assured China, India and Russia that the Taliban is going to play positive role in establishing peace and stability in the region…In a time where the response of the regional countries to the Taliban’s new policy approach was yet to be known, the Taliban sent an open letter to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on 15 September. 2009…This is a proactive thrust in otherwise Taliban stagnant diplomacy, in the past eight years, the Taliban were not active in this field. They were strictly occupied by military operations…The other aspect of the Taliban’s new policy is focusing on winning the hearts and minds of common Afghans. The Taliban expedited their contacts with the common people in rural areas.! .

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59440

Palestinian Election; Weapon Against the People
By Dr. Elias Akleh
October 27, 2009 – Election is a political tool that helps people to democratically elect their political representatives. Like any tool the benefits of election are determined by its use. Lately election has been employed to oppress people rather than serving them. Palestinian election is such a clear example. We have seen elections being manipulated to install and impose in a government a certain group of people, who would enslave rather than serve the people. This happens even in the so-called most democratic country such as the U.S., where at least the last three elections had been manipulated for such a purpose. Part of the American “War on Global Terror” has been the toppling, in one way or the other, of present political regimes in the Greater Middle East, as referred to by the administration, and the installation of new pro-American puppet regimes through manipulation of election…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59431

Ehud Olmert could face war crimes arrest if he visits UK
Ian Black
October 27, 2009 – Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister during the Gaza war, would probably face arrest on war crimes charges if he visited Britain, according to a UK lawyer who is working to expand the application of “universal jurisdiction” for offences involving serious human rights abuses committed anywhere in the world. Neither Olmert nor Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister during the Cast Lead offensive, and a member of Israel’s war cabinet, would enjoy immunity from prosecution for alleged breaches of the Geneva conventions, predicted Daniel Machover, who is involved in intensifying legal work after the controversial Goldstone report on the three-week conflict. Neither are ministers any longer…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59441

Sixty children ‘missing’ after Baghdad bombing
DPA
October 27, 2009 – The governor of Baghdad, Salah Abdel-Raziq, on Tuesday said that as many as 60 young children may still be buried under rubble from devastating twin bombings three days ago. “Three days after the deadly blasts, there is no information about 60 children who were in a nursery affiliated with the Ministry of Justice,” Abdel-Raziq told reporters in Baghdad. Twin truck bombs outside the ministry killed at least 155 people and injured at least 500 more on Sunday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59445

Largest Iraq bombing in two years may have been inside job
By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
October 27, 2009 – Sunday’s twin suicide bombings in Baghdad that killed at least 155 people and wounded 500 others may have had help from within Iraq’s security apparatus, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported Monday. “This was a really well coordinated attack on an area in Baghdad that’s supposed to be well protected,” Maddow told viewers. “In order to reach their targets, the bombers driving these truck bombs had to pass through several checkpoints that were guarded by security forces and those security forces were supposed to be using hand-held devices designed to detect explosives.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59434

Israeli banks entrenched in settlement building
Adri Nieuwhof
October 27, 2009 – Several Western pension funds and financial managers hold shares in two Israeli banks: Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. Both banks operate in and offer loans to finance illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories. Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, was established in 1921 by the Israeli trade union Histadrut and the World Zionist Organization. It was nationalized in 1983 but privatized again in 1996. Founded in 1902 and originally named the Anglo-Palestine Bank, Bank Leumi is Israel’s second-largest bank. Both banks have branches in the settlements of Gilo and Pisgat Ze’ev, located in the occupied West Bank. Bank Hapoalim also has branches in the Ramot settlement in occupied East Jerusalem as well as the occupied Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Bank Leumi maintains branches in the settlements of Ma’ale Adumim, Oranit, Kiryat Arba, and Katzrin, all in the occupied West Bank…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59444

Emergency! Congress Debates Burying the Goldstone Report!
by Max Ajl – Coalition to organize The Gaza Freedom March
October 27, 2009 – The US Congress is a considering a bipartisan resolution which would officially reject the findings of Judge Goldstone’s report on the Gaza war and call on President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to use the US veto to prevent a vote on the report in the United Nations Security Council. A vote on the bill, House Resolution 867, is expected by this coming weekend. It is urgent that you call both your Senators and your Congressperson today and tell them to vote against this outrageous bill…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59439

October Deadliest Month for US in Afghan War
TODD PITMAN, Associated Press
October 27, 2009 – Eight American troops were killed in multiple bomb attacks Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, making October the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces since it began in 2001. The eight deaths occurred during “multiple, complex” bomb strikes that also killed one Afghan civilian, the U.S. military said in a statement. Several troops were wounded and evacuated to a nearby medical facility, the military said. No other details were immediately available. The deaths bring to 55 the total number of American troops killed in October in Afghanistan. The previous high occurred in August, when 51 U.S. soldiers died…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59432

Nine Palestinians injured as settlers rampage through olive harvest
Ma’an News
October 27, 2009 – Nine Palestinians were injured and one was detained on Tuesday when dozens of Israeli settlers attacked farmers were harvesting olives in the West Bank village of Qaryout, south of Nablus, according to witnesses, local officials, and medics. According to sources in the village, the incident began when dozens of Israeli settlers assaulted farmers working near the Israeli settlement of Shavout Rachel. After the initial attack, both soldiers and settlers stormed the village, clashing with Palestinian residents who defended the area by throwing stones at the marauding groups. Soldiers fired bullets and tear gas, residents said…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59430

Video: Israel rations Palestinians to trickle of water
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
October 27, 2009 – …In a new extensive report, Amnesty International revealed the extent to which Israel’s discriminatory water policies and practices are denying Palestinians their right to access to water. Israel uses more than 80 per cent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the OPT, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 per cent. The Mountain Aquifer is the only source for water for Palestinians in the West Bank, but only one of several for Israel, which also takes for itself all the water available from the Jordan River…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59435

Lawyers in EU draw up list of alleged IDF war criminals
By Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondent
October 27, 2009 – Human rights lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists in a number of European countries hold lists with names of Israel Defense Forces soldiers allegedly linked to war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Existing legislation enables arrest warrants to be issued against these officers if they enter those countries. Lawyers in Britain and other European countries have been collecting testimonies of Palestinians and other data from Gaza since January, which they maintain proves that war crimes were committed by the IDF during the offensive. The evidence is linked to IDF officers holding ranks of battalion commander and higher, who were in command during various stages of Cast Lead…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59437

Save the Children: Israeli policies displacing children in rural areas
Ma’an News
October 27, 2009 – Intolerable living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza are driving families to abandon their land and homes, displacing children and resulting in low-quality living situations, a Save the Children UK report warned Tuesday. The report warned of the danger of children being driven from their homes, over and above their usual warning of the detrimental effects of home demolitions on children and families. The report found families in areas including most of the rural West Bank and the Gaza border area suffer from daily shortages of food and water, high unemployment, financial insecurity, family separation with relatives working and living in cities where they can find work, and children unable to go to school because of travel difficulties or the necessity that they work agricultural land or herd animals as heads of households are away…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59436

Israel ‘cutting Palestinian water’
Aljazeera.net
October 27, 2009 – Israel is denying Palestinians adequate access to clean, safe water while allowing almost unlimited supplies to Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, human rights group Amnesty International has said. “Swimming pools, well-watered lawns and large irrigated farms in Israeli settlements… stand in stark contrast next to Palestinian villages whose inhabitants struggle even to meet their domestic water needs,” the group said in a report released on Tuesday…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59429

US diplomat quits over Afghan war
BBC News
October 27, 2009 – A senior US diplomat in Afghanistan has become the first such person to resign in protest at the war against the Taliban, the Washington Post reported. State department employee Matthew Hoh, posted to Zabul province, said he quit because he had doubts about why the US was fighting, the paper reported. His resignation letter, written last month, prompted officials to offer him alternative jobs, but he declined…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59428

8 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan
CNN
October 27, 2009 — The U.S. military suffered another day of heavy losses in Afghanistan on Tuesday as roadside bombs killed eight U.S. service members, the U.S. military said. An Afghan civilian working with NATO troops also was killed in the attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said. The military gave no further details about the bombings, which it said also wounded several other service members…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59426

Gazans turn to painkillers to ease crippling Israeli blockade
Besieged Gazans seek escape through painkillers
AFP
October 27, 2009 – Abu Abdullah got hooked on painkillers after his house was destroyed and his 12-year-old daughter was killed by Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the turn of the year. “I’m not an addict,” said the 39-year-old father of five, who now lives in a cramped rented apartment in Gaza City, his home still in ruins. “The problem is that I cannot sleep unless I take one or two pills to calm me down.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59425

A Rare Victory for Lebanon’s Palestinians
Franklin Lamb
October 26, 2009 – …Sure enough, on 10/23/09 caretaker Prime Minister Fuad Siniora gave the good news to Palestinian representatives that he had instructed UNRWA to immediately restart the reconstruction of Nahr al Bared, despite the possibility that theoretically the Shura Council might still decide for a permanent halt to the rebuilding. Hezbollah sources advised this observer that there will not me any similar delays by Aoun or others regarding Nahr al Bared. A collective sigh of relief could be heard by this observer all the way deep inside the Yamouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus from Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee community. For their friends know well the paucity of breaks they receive these days…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59424

Israelis Targeting Grassroots Activists
By Mel Frykberg
October 27, 2009 – Israeli authorities are increasingly targeting and intimidating non-violent Palestinian grassroots activists involved in anti-occupation activities who are drawing increased support from the international community. Several weeks ago masked Israeli soldiers stormed the home of Ehab Jallad from The Jerusalem Popular Committee for the Celebration of Jerusalem as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2009. “Around 3am the soldiers started kicking and banging on the door and threatened to break it down if I didn’t open immediately. My young daughters were terrified as they didn’t know what was happening,” recalls Jallad, a young Palestinian architect from Jerusalem…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59442

Gaza thirsts as sewage crisis mounts
By Heather Sharp
October 27, 2009 – Gaza’s aquifer and only natural freshwater source is “in danger of collapse,” the UN is warning. Engineers have long been battling to keep the densely populated strip’s water and sewage system limping along. But in September the UN Environment Programme warned that damage to the underground aquifer – due to the Israeli and Egyptian blockade, conflict, and years of overuse and underinvestment – could take centuries to reverse if it is not halted now…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59443

PCHR Condemns IOF’s Raid of al-Aqsa Mosque
PCHR – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
October 26, 2009 – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) raid of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday morning, 25 October 2009, and their use of excessive force against Palestinian civilians who attempted to stop the raid. The raid and related incidents followed a call by extremist Jewish groups, particularly the “Organization for Human Rights on the Temple Mount,” urging extremist Jews to break into the al-Aqsa Mosque and its yards to conduct Talmudic rituals to mark Rambam’s ascension. Since Saturday night, 24 October 2009, IOF have been intensively deployed throughout the Old City of Jerusalem. The al-Aqsa Mosque and worshippers had previously been subjected to a similar assault on 27 September 2009, when a number of Israeli settlers attempted to break into the yards of the Mosque…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59422

Military Resistance 7J19: Genocide
Thomas F. Barton
… IVAW Fundraiser:New York City, Friday, October 30th 6:00-10:00PM: […] Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a national organization made up of veterans and active duty GIs who are building a resistance movement from within the military. Come hear about our work to end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, fight for Iraqi and Afghan reparations, and win full veterans benefits. Enjoy stunning works by contemporary Iraqi artists at the Pomegranate Gallery in Soho and support our GI resistance movement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=59423

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