Palestine/Israel News and Information Links January 4-6 2003
Major portions of this document are sourced from from Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel - Other sources include Information Clearing House.

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January 6 2004 Soldiers may again shoot protesters
Palestine Monitor/Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
A senior Israel Defense Forces source said on Tuesday that “the military may again use live fire against Israelis demonstrating along the separation fence.” According to the source, the military would not be able to supply all soldiers on duty in the region with crowd dispersal means, and therefore there a situation in which demonstrators may be shot at could be repeated. Urgent Alert: Nablus in Agony
Palestine Monitor /Palestinian Medical Relief Society 1/6/2004
It is now the twelfth day since the Israeli armed forces launched a massive military operation against the Palestinian town of Nablus, home to more than 200,000 people. So far, Israeli troops have killed fourteen civilians and injured approximately 100. Residents are being prohibited from leaving or entering Nablus, thus imprisoning 200,000 people. Medical rescue teams are being denied access to provide basic emergency and humanitarian care, causing a shortage of food and medical supplies.,2763,1116900,00.html Israeli ‘water for arms’ deal with Turkey
The Guardian 1/6/2004
Israel and Turkey have agreed an extraordinary “water for arms” deal which will see millions of gallons of fresh water shipped in giant tankers across the eastern Mediterranean and into Israeli ports. In a series of linked agreements expected to have long-term strategic implications throughout the Middle East, the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and Turkey’s former energy minister Zeki Cakan reached the water deal at a meeting in Jerusalem yesterday. An official in Mr Sharon’s office, said Turkey tied the arms deal to the water agreement. Odd couples in space: Israel, Russia
By Stephen Blank, Asia Times 1/6/2004
On December 28 last year, a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying an Israeli telecommunications satellite blasted into space. This event received scant global media coverage because on the face of it there is nothing particularly startling about such launches. Satellites are hardly big news now, and since 1991 Russia has been using former missile launchers that were of very high quality to launch its own and other states’
rockets into space, thereby making a lot of money. Unilateral Delusion
By Roni Ben Efrat, Dissident Voice 1/6/2004
Beside the government and the Knesset, a parallel institution has developed in Israel. It is known as the Herzlia Conference. All the “who’s who”
of Israeli politics, the rich and the powerful, assemble there. Generals and politicians announce their plans in Olympian serenity ö without the catcalls, backbiting and endless maneuvers that color our elected institutions. Who Needs an Imitation?
By Uri Avnery, Arabic Media Internet Network 1/3/2004
Would you believe it? The Israeli Labor Party has a political program. Like a top hat for a bum.
Seems this program has been around for two months already. I just didn’t hear a thing about it until somebody took pity on me and faxed me a copy the other day.
This is the Labor Party that is now considering whether to extend Shimon Peres’ term as party chairman for another year or two. Shimon Peres, who served as Ariel Sharon’s foreign minister and who is now longing to return to Sharon ‘s government.
So what has this party to offer? Only good things.
Israeli Soldiers Kill Teenager in Ongoing Attack on Nablus
Palestine Media Center 1/6/2004
Occupation Forces Invade Tulkarem, Tamoun, Tubas in North — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) shot dead a Palestinian teenager and critically injured a 14 year-old boy in Ein Beit al-Maâ refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, while occupation forces invaded the city and refugee camp of Tulkarem. Taj-eddein Abdel Kareem Saif, 17, was shot in the chest by an Israeli sniper in Ein beit Al-Maâ refugee camp while Imad Fidda, 14, was critically injured when he was shot in the mouth, medics said….Also in the north, IOF soldiers, manning armored personnel carriers, and backed by a helicopter gunship, raided the West Bank city of Tulkarem and its refugee camp on Monday, Palestinian security sources said. IOF also raided the villages of Tamoun and Tubas, near Jenin in the north of the West Bank.
IOF Tears down Three Houses and Arrests Three Brothers in Gaza Strip
International Press Center 1/6/2004
PALESTINE, January 6, 2004 (IPC+ Agencies)— The Israeli occupying forces (IOF) demolished completely two houses, east of Rafah crossing, just south ofRafah city, south of Gaza Strip along with a third one in the central Gaza Strip city ofDeir Al Balahafter arresting three youths dwelled it. Palestinian security sources told IPC correspondent that two IOF D-9 bulldozers supported by four military convoys advanced deep into east of Rafah crossing from the border line with Egypt amid a barrage of random gunfire….Furthermore, the IOF bulldozers razed 70 dunums of the Palestinian-owned lands in Al-hiker area, south of Deir Al Balah, WAFA reported….In the meantime, Mahmoud al Aloul, governor of Nablus said that the Israeli occupying forces pulled back today morning its troops and heavy artillery from the Nablus city and its outskirts to be deployed around the city, leaving behind grand havoc.
Israeli occupation army storms towns, terrorize inhabitants
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Israeli occupation troops, backed by some 25 tanks and armored personnel carriers, on Monday stormed the northern West Bank town of Tulkarm, terrorizing inhabitants and vandalizing streets and infrastructure. Palestinian citizens reached by telephone described the rampage as ãresembling what the Gestapo was doing.ä ãThe tanks crushed everything, street embankments, telephone poles, lampposts, everything,ä said Muhammed Jalad.
Five Palestinians arrested in various West Bank areas
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Ramallah – Zionist army forces arrested five Palestinians in various West Bank areas on Sunday evening on suspicion of affiliating with Palestinian resistance factions and launching numerous armed raids against Zionist targets. Army sources said that units of the so-called border guards arrested a PFLP activist in Qalqilia and another in Abu Dees to the east of occupied Jerusalem.
Zionist soldiers beat up women in Badors
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Ramallah – Zionist occupation troops last night broke into a number of houses in the Badors village to the west of Ramallah city and beat up women at the pretext of assisting youths throwing stones at those soldiers. One of the villagers said that the soldiers stormed two houses in the town and used batons in assaulting women. Meanwhile, inhabitants charged the occupation forces of robbing more than 60 olive trees that were uprooted by those forces in the village.
No Israeli soldiers jailed in intifada
Middle East Online 1/6/2004
Report reveals not one Israeli soldier has been jailed over Palestinian deaths since start of intifada. JERUSALEM – The Israeli army has launched dozens of investigations into the killing of Palestinians by its troops since the start of the intifada in September 2000 but not one has ever been jailed, according to a report published Tuesday. No less than 72 investigations were opened but only 13 soldiers were indicted, said a report by the military prosecution quoted in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.
Soldiers demolish 2 tunnels near Rafah
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
The IDF yesterday demolished two Palestinian tunnels that were discovered this week southeast of Rafah, near the Kerem Shalom checkpoint. One tunnel was nine meters deep and was uncovered by a Border Patrol unit working with engineering and Bedouin reconnaissance forces near a road used by IDF armored vehicles. Southern Command sources said that the tunnel was meant to conceal a large explosive device that would be set off remotely when a tank went by, as in the case of the effort to blow up the Hardon outpost two weeks ago.
Roadblocks are slightly eased, but IDF is still firmly in control of West Bank
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
….The IDF’s announced easing of conditions in recent days – lifting closures and sieges around some of the cities of the territory – mostly serves the Arab towns in the seam area of the Green Line. But for towns deeper inside the West Bank, such as Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, the army’s moves barely make a difference in the problems resulting from the intifada.
Roadside bombs change game on border
Daily Star 1/6/2004
Tensions raised in South after Israelis breach Blue Line — The planting of roadside bombs along the Lebanon-Israel border appears to be the latest attempt by Hizbullah to maintain pressure on the Israelis as part of its unrelenting psychological war against its foe. Israeli troops have discovered at least four separate clusters of roadside bombs in the past two months planted beside or near the border security fence. In the latest incident, the Israeli Army and UNIFIL were locked in debate Monday to pinpoint the exact location of the Blue Line just north of the Israeli settlement of Zarit after several bombs were spotted there.
Police raise alert level on infiltration warning
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Police declared a security alert in the Sharon region Tuesday afternoon and erected roadblocks near Kfar Sava and Taibeh after receiving information of a possible terrorist infiltration. Earlier in the day, Palestinians said Israel Defense Forces troops Israeli forces had withdrawn from the West Bank city of Nablus after a three-week operation. The army said, however, that the operation, aimed at militants, was ongoing.
One Palestinian killed and eight wounded
Jerusalemites 1/6/2004
One Palestinian teenager has been shot dead and eight other Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli occupation troops in separate incidents on the West Bank. Eight Israeli border guards were also injured in the second incident. The shooting of the 17-year old came two days after Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians in Nablus during some of the bloodiest confrontations there for at least two weeks. On Saturday, Israeli forces opened fire on a group of mourners in Nablus at the funeral of three Palestinians killed earlier in the day also by Israeli gunfire.

Jihad uses accounts of activists’ wives to funnel money
Jordan Times 1/6/2004
Islamic Jihad has been using the bank accounts of senior activists’ wives as a means of funneling money from Damascus headquarters to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Shin Bet security service has discovered. Senior Islamic Jihad activist Sheikh Bassam Sa’adi, 43, who was indicted Sunday for transferring money to militants in Jenin, told the Shin Bet during his 90-day interrogation that the money was used to help the needy.
Occupation forces arm female conscripts with advanced machineguns
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Gaza – The armament unit in the Zionist occupation army has declared intention to supply the army’s female conscripts with advanced, small M-16 machineguns. The new plan was taken in view of the Palestinian commando’s armed raid in the Jewish settlement of Netsarim two months ago that left two of those conscripts killed.
72 Zionist assassination attempts in the past year
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Ramallah – The Zionist entity launched the biggest number of assassination attempts in the course of the past year of 2003 launching 72 such crimes equally divided between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Quds Press issued a special report including statistics on those operations in 2003 indicating that 196 Palestinians were martyred as a result of those attempts out of a total of 698 martyrs murdered at the hands of Zionist occupation forces last year.
News Briefs: Houses destroyed in Gaza, teenager shot dead in Nablus
International Middle East Media Center 1/6/2004
The military explodes a house in Gaza and bulldozes another one: Earlier this dawn, the army exploded a house southeast the district of Rafah. Locals mentioned that a military bulldozer supported by more than seven military Jeeps entered that area and invaded some neighborhoods while shooting heavily towards the houses. / Troops kill a Palestinian child in Nablus: Yesterday evening,Taj Ezz Ed-deen Saif in his early teens, was shot dead after a soldier shot him in the neck in Ein- Elma’ refugee camp in Nablus.
Daily Situation Report in the OPT
Palestine Media Center 1/6/2004
Daily Situation Report by Palestinian Monitoring Group – 08:00 04 January 2004 – 08:00 05 January 2004 – detailed accounting of closures, curfews, demolitions and other daily operations conducted by the IDF in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Human Rights
Israeli soldiers won’t be punished
Al-Jazeera 1/6/2004
No action will be taken against Israeli occupation soldiers who shot and wounded a Jewish-Israeli protester during a demonstration over the West Bank apartheid wall, the army said on Tuesday. The shooting caused an outcry in Israel and sparked calls for the military to re-evaluate its rules of engagement and the way it deals with unarmed protesters. During a demonstration 10 days ago, troops fired at a group of peace protesters who tried to cut through a fenced portion of the barrier, moderately wounding an Israeli demonstrator in his legs and lightly injuring an American protestor.
Sarra Checkpoint – A Week of Severe Abuse
B’tselem 1/6/2004
Today B’Tselem released a report describing a series of cases of severe abuse by IDF soldiers over the past week at the Sarra checkpoint, next to Nablus. B’Tselem’s checkpoint monitors took testimonies from ten Palestinians who were assaulted between December 27-31 by soldiers serving at the checkpoint. The abuse included a mock execution, severe beatings and tying up the victims. The abuse occurred on a regular basis. After documenting the first case on December 28, BâTselem sent urgent appeals to various IDF officials to stop the abuse, remove the soldiers from the checkpoint and initiate investigations. In spite of these appeals, the abuse continued all week… Download full report
PNA Condemns Transfer of 7 Palestinian Prisoners from Negev Prison
International Press Center 1/6/2004
GAZA, Palestine, January 06, 2004 (IPC+Agencies)— The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) strongly decried the Israeli occupation authoritiesdecision to transfer seven Palestinian administrative detainees from the Negev jail to unknown destination. Ghassan Al Khatib, Palestinian Labor Minister, indicated that the Palestinian Authority denounced the transfer pursuit Israel is practicing against the Palestinian people.ãSuch transaction is a grave breach of the terms of the international law , which prohibits the occupyingforce to forcibly transfer the civilians under occupation,ä he signaled out.
Occupation authorities renew detention of 77 prisoners in five days
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Ramallah – Zionist occupation authorities have renewed the administrative detention of 77 Palestinian prisoners since the start of this month in an unprecedented campaign against those captives. Prisoners said that the renewal of the detention was for periods ranging from three to six months. Those authorities renewed the detention of more than 86 administrative detainees in the past month of December without giving reasons for such a measure, which in most cases took place on the date the prisoner was scheduled to be released.
Health care committees appeal for humanitarian assistance to besieged Nablus
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Nablus – The health care committees in the West Bank city of Nablus have called on the international medical and humanitarian institutions to provide medicine and necessary foodstuffs to the besieged inhabitants of the city. They issued a statement describing the conditions in the city and refugee camps as ãdisastrousä after almost two weeks of ongoing Zionist devastation and siege. The statement pointed out that 15 martyrs fell over the past fortnight in the city along with a big number of wounded as a result of the Zionist occupation soldiersâ extensive use of firearms and teargas canisters.
Shabak offers deal to administrative detainees
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Ramallah – Prisoners in the Negev desert prison have said that the Zionist security apparatus the Shabak was offering administrative detainees a deal to switch their imprisonment status into convicted prisoners. The sources said that the prison administration last Thursday met with Sheikh Tayseer Al-Aruri, the prisonersâ representative along with others representing various Palestinian factions.
Children of illegal workers ask court for residency rights
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
The Tel Aviv District Court was yesterday asked to grant permanent resident status to four children of illegal foreign workers, who were born and raised in Israel. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel petitioned the court for a precedent-setting ruling, which would solve the problem of other children of foreign workers in Israel. The petitioners were born in Israel and educated here, Hebrew is their mother tongue and Israel is their homeland. Yet for the state, they have no personal status, because their parents are illegal aliens.
Army defends shooting of Israeli
BBC 1/6/2004
The Israeli army says troops who wounded an unarmed Israeli protesting against the West Bank security barrier did not break rules about opening fire. Human rights groups complain that few soldiers are charged in cases where civilians are killed or injured. In a statement, the army says that although the incident had serious consequences, the soldiers acted according to regulations. The case caused great controversy because an Israeli was wounded. It has also raised new questions about army investigations into incidents where Palestinian civilians are casualties.
IDF won’t act against soldiers who shot protester
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon is going to wait for a Military Police report on the incident at the Maskha gate in the separation fence, where Israeli protester Gil Na’amati was shot by IDF forces, before deciding on whether to take action against the soldiers involved in the shooting. Yesterday evening, a few hours after a press conference by Anarchists Against the Wall and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel presented videotape and eyewitness reports on what happened at the fence leading up to the shooting and following it, Ya’alon received an army report on the incident….There is some concern in the army about “problematic operational norms” that were exposed by the incident…
B’Tselem reports more abuse
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Despite recent easing of restrictions at roadblocks in the territories, a report by the human rights group B’Tselem details additional cases of abuse of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers. According to the report, released on Sunday, B’Tselem researchers noted 10 cases of abuse by soldiers of Palestinians who tried to circumvent or pass through a roadblock near Nablus, between December 27 and December 31.;$sessionid$3KCJNPUQTRRPPQFIQMGCFF

We won’t scrap WMD stockpile unless Israel does, says Assad
The Telegraph 1/6/2004
The Syrian president talks exclusively to Benedict Brogan in Damascus — Syria is entitled to defend itself by acquiring its own chemical and biological deterrent, President Bashar Assad said last night as he rejected American and British demands for concessions on weapons of mass destruction. In his first major statement since Libya’s decision last month to scrap its nuclear and chemical programmes, he came closer than ever before to admitting that his country possessed stockpiles of WMD.
Report: Israeli delegation to visit Libya later this month
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Following the announcement by President Muammar Gaddafi last month that Libya is willing to forego its weapons of mass destruction, Israel has initiated diplomatic contacts with Tripoli. The head of the Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic team, Ron Prosor, met some two weeks in Paris with an Arab diplomatic, in order to establish a channel of communications with Tripoli. The meeting was coordinated with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mossad chief Meir Dagan.
Syria complains to UN over Israel Golan plan
Al-Jazeera 1/6/2004
Syria has lodged a complaint at the UN Security Council over Israel’s possible drive to double Jewish settlers in the occupied Golan Heights. “This provocative Israeli decision comes a few weeks after the Syrian initiative for the resumption of peace talks…it unveils the true intentions of Israeli leaders that contradict the goal of establishing peace,” the official Syrian news agency quoted a letter to the Council and the world body as saying.
Arafat slams Israeli Prime Minister’s ‘’vision of peace’’
Al-Bawaba 1/6/2004
Palestinian president Yasser Arafat said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “does not want peace,” speaking after the Israeli leader again threatened unilateral measures to separate Israel from the Palestinians. “[Israeli Prime Minister] Sharon does not want peace; he wants to continue to build the (West Bank) wall and to conduct military operations,” Arafat told journalists at his office in Ramallah.
Palestinian NGO's refuse USAID grants in protest to ãterrorismä pledge
Al-Bawaba 1/6/2004
Palestinian aid groups are refusing US government financial support in protest to the pre-requisite of signing a document stating that funds will not be channeled to ãterroristsä. Last year, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) imposed a condition on receiving parties worldwide, obliging them to pledge that grants would not “provide material support or resources to any individual or entity that advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in or has engaged in terrorist activity.” Palestinian activist groups have refused to sign the document fearing that the United Stateâs definition of terrorist-supporting activities would cover the majority of projects underway in the West Bank and Gaza.
Qorei calls off efforts to meet Sharon
Daily Star 1/6/2004
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei said Monday he has called off efforts to schedule a summit with his Israeli counterpart, aimed at restarting talks amid ongoing violence in the 39-month long conflict….Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faced the sound and fury of his Likud partyâs most die-hard right-wingers on Monday at a convention set to challenge his policies toward the Palestinians….Central Committee members submitted a long list of items for discussion, including proposals to expel from the Likud any legislators who vote for a Palestinian state on occupied land, ãtransferä of Palestinians to a state that they believe could be established in northern Jordan and forcing Sharon to share the premiership with Netanyahu.
Nabil Sha'ath: European Union Has to Open a Dual Peace Initiative
International Press Center 1/6/2004
LISBON, January 6, 2004 (IPC+ Agencies)— Palestinian Foreign Minister, Nabil Sha'ath, said that the European Union have to open a new Îdual peace initiativeâ, for the Middle East, given the U.S engagement in the due 2004 elections. Sha'ath was quoted as saying: "we need for two parallel initiatives so as to resume the stalled peace process and to protect the Palestinian people from the long-run consequences of the Israeli practices against the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), particularly the construction of the Apartheid Wall".
Ex-Mossad chief: Road map cannot be implemented
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Israel, the United States and the Palestinians all know the road map peace plan cannot be implemented, but they hope it will be a catalyst to renew negotiations, former Mossad head Efraim Halevy said Tuesday. Halevy said the Palestinians cannot confront, dismantle and disarm militant groups as the road map demands. In addition, the plan’s timeline – which calls for a preliminary Palestinian state by 2003 and a permanent entity by 2005 – is irrelevant, he added.
Report: Israeli delegation with Mossad officials to visit Libya as Kadhafi agrees to compensate Libyan Jews
Al-Bawaba 1/6/2004
An Israeli delegation is expected to visit Libya with the aim of reaching a mutual understanding on the signing of a peace agreement, according to the Kuwaiti A-Siyasa newspaper Tuesday. European diplomatic sources said Monday that senior Libyan and Israeli officials met in Vienna last Friday in the presence of an American diplomat from the Vienna embassy, and agreed that a joint Israeli delegation consisting of officials from the foreign ministry, defense department and Mossad will pay a visit to Tripoli in the second half of this month, with the goal of discussing the end of relations of hostility between the Libyans and Israelis and building normal ties between both countries.
Abbas and Dahlan meet former intelligence official
Palestinian Information Center 1/6/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Zionist businessmen Yossi Ginosar has met in his house near Kfar Sava last Friday with former Palestinian Authority premier Mahmoud Abbas and his security affairs minister Mohammed Dahlan. The Zionist TV tenth channel revealed last night that Zionist premier Ariel Sharon had prior knowledge of the meeting and gave his approval.
Shalom leaves for visit to Addis Ababa
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom leaves today for Ethiopia on the first visit there of an Israeli foreign minister since 1991. He will hold talks with government leaders in Addis Ababa – including Ethiopia’s president, prime minister and foreign minister – as part of a renewed effort to strengthen Israel’s ties with African countries.
Sharon vows again to break from Palestinians
The Independent 1/6/2004
In the face of international opposition and amid jeers from his own party, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, vowed yesterday to press ahead with his plans for unilateral separation from the Palestinians unless the Palestinian Authority (PA) dismantles militant groups as part of a negotiated peace within months. As Mr Sharon spoke in Tel Aviv, Ahmad Qureia, the Palestinian Prime Minister, announced in Ramallah that he had abandoned efforts to arrange a summit with Mr Sharon to restart peace talks. Nine Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops in a week.
Change Sadat Assassin Street Name, Tehran Council Told
Arab News 1/6/2004
TEHRAN, 6 January 2004 ÷ Iranâs government has formally asked Tehran City Council to remove a major barrier to restoring ties with Egypt by renaming a street dedicated to the assassin of late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, a top council source told AFP yesterday.
Israeli Aggression Ruining Peace: Qorei
Arab News 1/6/2004
GAZA CITY, 6 January 2004 ÷ Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei said yesterday that Israelâs continued ãaggressionä in the occupied territories was blowing the chance of his holding a long-awaited meeting with Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon. ãThe raids, the aggression and the incursions continue and I do not think that in such a context the meeting (with Sharon) will bring the results that we hope for,ä Qorei told reporters in Gaza City after a Cabinet meeting.
PM’s associate warns: ‘It’s how the Nazis came to power’
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
A source close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon complained Monday night that several of the proposals made by Likud convention activists for changes to the party constitution were reminiscent “of how the Nazis came to power in Germany.” According to the source, the proposals made by representatives of the far right in the party – calling for the government and Knesset to be subject to the decisions of the Likud Central Committee and preventing Likud MKs and ministers that vote against central committee decisions from running again for Likud positions – are “blatantly unconstitutional” and would never get through the High Court of Justice.

Defense panel said to have listed 28 outposts for removal
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
The defense establishment has drawn up a list of 28 unauthorized West Bank outposts it plans to remove as part of Israel’s commitment to a U.S.-backed peace plan, security officials said Tuesday. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, under pressure from the United States to remove outposts as part of an initial phase of the road map peace plan, has signed orders in recent days to evacuate six of the outposts. The 28 outposts on the list include 18 occupied outposts housing some 400 settlers. The 10 remaining outposts consist of unoccupied structures. The largest of the outposts is Migron, home to 43 families.

Right, left dismiss Sharon Likud speech as mere talk
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Leaders of leftist and rightist parties Tuesday dismissed as mere talk Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Monday night speech to the Likud party convention, in which Sharon, speaking over booing from the party’s far-right flank, said Israel “will have to relinquish some Jewish settlements” as part of any final peace agreement with the Palestinians….According to [Transportation Minister Avigdor] Lieberman, if the rightist flank of the Likud joined forces effectively cooperated with right-wing parties, “we can completely neutralize all the blabbermouths and the collaborators within the Likud.”
Court refuses to move trial of Kern leak prosecutor out of Tel Aviv
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Supreme Court President Justice Aharon Barak yesterday rejected a request by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to move the trial of a city prosecutor charged with leaking details of the investigation of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to a different district.
Israel posts budget deficit of 5.6% of GDP
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Israel posted a budget deficit of 5.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2003, well above its official target of 3.0 percent of GDP, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday. December’s deficit, which does not include credits granted, was 6.5 billion shekels, bringing 2003 to a total budget gap of 27.7 billion shekels, the ministry said in a statement.
Can a family of three live in dignity on NIS 2,240 a month?
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
The High Court of Justice has given the state 10 days to explain how it has decided that a cut in guaranteed income allowances to almost 100,000 families does not violate their basic right to live in dignity. The court order has put the state in a difficult dilemma. Apparently the state attorney’s office and the treasury believed that the justices would accept their claim that the cut does not affect the right to live in dignity and that the decisions about the amount of the allowances stem from socioeconomic policy, which is the purview of the government and the Knesset and therefore not subject to court intervention.
Analysis / The road to annulment
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
The order nisi issued yesterday by the Supreme Court, which compels the state to set the standards to define what is considered a “dignified human existence,” is the first step toward the possibility that the court will rule that a law cutting guaranteed income payments is illegal….The Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom (1992) recognizes the right to “dignity.” This is a phrase that can be interpreted in more than one manner. One broad definition could include social rights, such as the right to earn a living wage and the right to basic health care.
Average monthly job-seekers up 3.1% to over 202,000 in 2003
Globes 1/6/2004
The figure is low due to the labor sanctions at the eployment service during the past three months. — 202,470 job-seekers a month on average applied to the Israel National Employment Service (INES) in 2003, 3.1% more than the average of 196,383 job-seekers a month in 2002, according to a Bank of Israel analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics figures.
Clerks union likely to declare labor dispute at local authorities
Globes 1/6/2004
The National Union of Clerical, Administrative and Public Service Employees: The Ministry of the Interior is pressuring local authorities to cut staff. — The National Union of Clerical, Administrative and Public Service Employees, headed by chairman Leon Morozovsky, will hold an urgent meeting tomorrow to decide on measures in its battle with the local authorities. The union will probably declare a labor dispute at local authorities throughout Israel in a few days.
BDO customers to invest $500m in Israel
Globes 1/6/2004
BDO Ziv Haft managing partner Shlomo Ziv: The investments will be in real estate, infrastructures, and industry. — Customers of accounting firm BDO International BV will invest $500 million in Israel’s private sector in the coming months, BDO senior partner Chris Swinson told Minister of Industry Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert yesterday. Swinson did not disclose the customers’ names. Swinson arrived on Sunday on his first visit to Israel.

Israel hi-tech seen raising another $1 billion in 2004
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Israeli high-tech companies raised $1 billion from Israeli venture capital funds and other investors in 2003 and are projected to win the same amount this year, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center said on Tuesday. The high-tech sector drove Israel’s economy in the 1990s and in 2000 but then suffered during the global economic downturn. After raising a record $3.3 billion in 2000, Israeli tech companies raised only $1.3 billion in 2001 and saw an outflow of $128 million in 2002 as the returning of capital to investors outstripped new fund raising.
Jerusalem calling
Globes 1/6/2004
400 Israeli workers provide call center services in perfectly accented English to dozens of US and European companies. — ….The customer calling the service center from Newark, New Jersey would certainly be very surprised to hear that the warm and nice place to which the agent is referring is a communications building on Har Hahotzvim in Jerusalem a 10-hour flight from the eye of the storm.
Beirut, on film and wartorn once again, depicts coldness of a future society
Daily Star 1/6/2004
O.U.T. is second short offering of self-taught filmmaker — Laya Rahman smiled gloriously, tossing her brown feathered locks against flashing cameras as she sat above the bar stool at Yosha Bar on Monnot Street Sunday night where the premiere screening of her second short film O.U.T. was about to be presented. New TV and Prestige magazine were a few of the media there to catch the event….A fast-forward effect takes us to an aerial view of Beirut, and then closer into war-torn streets with frantic sirens, gunfire and burning buildings. Only this is not the familiar Lebanon of a war gone by, but that of the future.
Somewhere, Home: an evocative look at our need to belong
Daily Star 1/6/2004
Book offers string of dreamy meditations on the various meanings of home — Who better than a Lebanese to convey the melancholic drama of exile, both physical and emotional, and the insistent pang of homelessness that gnaws at so many of modernityâs abandoned and confused progeny?….A string of dreamy meditations on the various meanings of home, Nada Awar Jarrarâs first novel assumes the formidable task of imparting a sense of Lebanese history through the individual experiences of a select group of characters.
Iran, Egypt agree to renew diplomatic ties after 25 years
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Arabic television Al Jazeera said on Tuesday that Iran and Egypt have agreed to resume full diplomatic ties which were broken 25 years ago. Within minutes, Iran’s Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi confirmed the report. “The two countries have decided to restore ties. It’s a definite move and right now they are making the preparations,” Abtahi said.The television, quoting its correspondent, in Tehran said both countries will make an official announcement within the next two days.
Turkey welcomes Syrian president
BBC 1/6/2004
Bashar al-Assad has begun a state visit to Turkey – the first by a Syrian head of state, marking much-improved ties. Israel and Iraq were expected to be the focus of talks in snow-covered Ankara. Turkey, with its strong ties to Israel, is reported to be offering to help Syria make progress with its recent overtures towards the Jewish state.
Warm welcome for Assad’s Turkey trip
BBC 1/6/2004
As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad begins his visit to Turkey – the first by a Syrian president since the country’s independence in the 1940s – the press in Ankara is hoping for a thaw in the hitherto chilly relations. The new order in Iraq, fears of a resurgent Kurdish nationalism and regional instability are forcing the two regional powers to put old rivalries behind, Turkish papers say.
Bush Renews U.S. Sanctions On Libya
Islam Online 1/6/2004
ST. LOUIS, United States, January 6 ( & News Agencies) ö Despite positive Libyan overtures on unconventional arms, President George W. Bush renewed Monday, January 5, long-running U.S. sanctions on Libya, demanding more “concrete steps”. “The crisis with respect to Libya has not been fully resolved, and I have therefore determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared [in 1986] with respect to Libya and maintain in force the comprehensive sanctions against Libya,” Bush said in a statement during his visit to Saint Louis, Missouri.

EU suspends anti-Semitism seminar
Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Union’s head office said it was suspending preparations for a seminar on anti-Semitism in Europe after Jewish leaders accused it of “intellectual dishonesty and moral treachery” in handling the issue. European Commission President Romano Prodi said in a letter to the World Jewish Congress and its European branch that the seminar, called amid a backdrop of rising vandalism against Jewish targets in Europe and strains with Israel, could not be held next month as planned. “The attitude you have shown in your letter… forces me to suspend the preparations,” he said. Review of “Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land: US Media & the Israeli Palestinian Conflict”
By Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, Media Monitors Network 1/6/2004
The eminent British journalist Robert Fisk said that the last taboo subject in American mainstream media is the US government support of the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine. Nothing makes the media filters and obfuscation more visible to a general audience than this professional documentary.[1] The documentary interviews a number of leading experts in the field including Seth Ackerman (FAIR), Robert Fisk (the Independent), Noam Chomsky (MIT), Hanan Ashrawi (Miftah), Neve Gordon, Taufic Haddad, Sam Husseini, Robert Jensen, Gila Svirsky and others. The genius of this documentary is in its methodical behind the scenes work that had led to a highly organized brilliant and factual presentation of the key issues. These are the issues that led some to describe the US mainstream media (as opposed to European media) as Israeli occupied territory.
China, The United Nations And Palestine
By Helena Cobban, Al-Hayat 1/6/2004
China is the home of one in every five of the people alive in the world today. What role will this massive, rapidly industrializing country play in the conduct of world affairs in the century ahead?
This was the big question on my mind when I set out for my first visit ever to this country. I was coming in order to take part in one of the UN’s regular “Meetings on the Question of Palestine.” I was interested to see how the Palestinian-Israeli issue would look from this far eastern end of the Asian landmass-but also, to see how world affairs in general would look from the viewpoint of the world’s biggest potential challenger to the arbitrariness of U.S. power. People and Politics / Widening the Jordan Valley
By Akiva Eldar, Ha’aretz 1/6/2004
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon just barely satisfied those in the audience at the Herzliya Conference who wanted to understand what exactly he means when he talks of a disengagement map. He made do with a declaration that the settlements to be moved will only be those “that in any possible future and final arrangement will not be included in the territory of the state of Israel.” On the other hand, Sharon promised “to strengthen control over those parts of the Land of Israel that will remain an inseparable part of the State of Israel in any future arrangement.” Sharon finished his speech with what he considered a witticism: “I know you want to hear names, but it’s best to leave something for later.” But there’s no need to wait for the second half of the riddle – which “parts of the Land of Israel” he regards as “inseparable from the State of Israel.

January 5 2004 Budrus Resident Arrested for Giving a Speech
Arabic Media Internet Network/International Solidarity Movement 1/5/2004
On Thursday, January 1, 2004, Nasir Ahmed Hussein Murar gave a speech at a protest against the Israeli bulldozing of Budrus farmlands for the separation wall. He spoke of the iron will of resistance in the face of unstoppable Israeli destruction. He spoke of the love his people have for their land, for their agricultural connection to the trees. Nasir told those present that “you must be strong in order to destroy a wall! If they cut one tree we shall plant ten more!” He told those present to struggle against the wall until it falls.
Ranteesi denies presence of hudna with Zionist entity
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Gaza – Dr. Abdul Aziz Ranteesi, one of the Hamas Movement’s prominent political leaders in the Gaza Strip, has denied the presence of any undeclared hudna or ceasefire with the Zionist enemy. He said that the absence of majored attacks in the past few months did mean the presence of a hudna.
Yasser Arafat: the King Lear of Palestine
By Tamim al-Barghouti, Daily Star 1/5/2004
Veteran leader faces contradictory tasks – When there is colonial encounter, there are natives who believe in the colonial promise; this is an attempt to remind every contemporary King Lear of his predecessors. — Ten years have passed since the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization were signed in Washington. The dramatic and historic handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin in the White House Garden has since become a frequent clip shown among other dramatic scenes before television news bulletins.
Member of Sharon party proposes to establish Palestinian state in northern Jordan
Al-Bawaba 1/5/2004
Uzi Cohen, a member of Ariel Sharonâs right-wing party, the Likud, has proposed the creation of a Palestinian state in northern Jordan in preparation for the expulsion of all non-Jews from Palestine. Cohen told the Israeli-state run Radio Sunday that there is widespread support in Israel for ãthe idea of transfer.ä ãMany people support the idea (of transferring Arabs out of Palestine), but few are willing to speak about it publicly.ä

Sharon to push ahead with Palestinian plan
Financial Times 1/5/2004
Ariel Sharon, Israel’s prime minister, pledged on Monday to pursue his plan of unilateral separation from the Palestinians, including giving up some Jewish settlements, in the face of strident opposition from his Likud party. Rightists were angry with him last month when he first outlined his proposal to withdraw from parts of the occupied territories within months, if there was no progress in negotiations with the Palestinians under the US-backed “road map”.
Palestinian women protest against French headscarf ban
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Some 300 female supporters of Islamic Jihad marched Monday through the streets of Gaza City protesting a French proposal to bar Muslim women from wearing headscarves in state schools. Chanting, “Islamic women against the French orders,” the women marched to the French cultural center here in a show of solidarity with their Muslim sisters in France.
Research on Arab/Islamic science opens doors to new fields of knowledge
Daily Star 1/5/2004
Work of award-winning historian George Saliba outlined at USJ lecture — In the 16th century, a French delegation sent by King Francois I headed to the Turkish court in Constantinople to negotiate a treaty, which was to become the French-Ottoman alliance treaty of 1536. One of the travelers on this delegation was a man by the name of Guillaume Postel, who was commissioned to bring back oriental manuscripts for the kingâs library. He had been appointed to this task because he knew Hebrew and Arabic. Among the documents he brought back was a manuscript on theoretical astronomy….the famous astronomer and polymath, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d. 1274)…developed a theorem known today as the Tusi Couple, which was described in this text.As it now appears, Nicolas Copernicus, said to be the founder of modern astronomy and a contemporary of Postel, wouldnât have been able to develop his work without this theorem.
Syrian FM welcomes new US ambassador, calls for dialogue
Al-Bawaba 1/5/2004
Syria’s Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara received separately on Monday new ambassadors to Damascus and accepted their credentials. Within this framework, al-Shara received the new American ambassador to Syria Margaret Scobey and accepted her credentials. The Syrian minister, welcomed Ms. Scobey and wished her success in her mission in away that will “improve the bilateral relations between Syria and the USA,” SANA reported.

Israeli Security official: Fence to annex 6 percent of W. Bank :

Six percent of West Bank territory will effectively be annexed into the Green Line with the completion of the separation fence planned for the end of 2005, a security official said on Sunday.

Israel to reject the Hague court’s authority on fence :

Israel will inform the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that it rejects its authority to deliberate on the building of the separation fence, senior political sources in Jerusalem said Sunday.

The Geneva Bubble:

What catches the eye, not only in this preface but in the document as a whole, is that while the refugees’ right of return is an obstacle that has to be removed if peace and reconciliation are to be achieved, the Jewishness of Israel – i.e. the Jewishness of the original state with the annexed blocks of settlements in the Occupied Territories and greater Jerusalem – is not an obstacle at all.

In case you missed it:

Israelis and Indians:

Palestinian tactics are often attacked or defended on dubious grounds. Whether these tactics are terrorist is irrelevant; some terrorism is defensible, some not. The same applies to whether the acts are murders.

In case you missed it:

Robert Fisk: Massacre in Sanctuary; Eyewitness:

Qana-South Lebanon: the place where the Israeli shells killed 102 people, mostly women and children, taking refuge in a United Nations headquarters on April 18, 1996.

Video: People And The Land:

“If you only see one movie about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, see People and the Land”.

In case you missed it:

The Armageddon Network:

Mr. Saba’s book is replete with examples of how programs Messrs. Perle and Bryen created or administered provided a Measure of economic renaissance for Israel, but at great cost to the U. S.

Edgar Bronfman accuses EU of encouraging anti-Semitism :

A charge that the European Union is encouraging anti-Semitism for political reasons was one of the statements made in an article by Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), that appears today in the Financial Times.

5 IDF conscripts sentenced to year in jail for refusing to serve :

Five teenaged conscientious objectors who refused to join the Israel Defense Forces were sentenced to one year imprisonment each on Sunday.

Retired officer returns badge of rank to protest IDF policies:

A retired Israel Defense Forces officer said Sunday he has turned in his badge of rank to the country’s military chief to protest Israel’s policies in the territories.
Palestinian teenager killed, eight wounded
Al-Jazeera 1/5/2004
One Palestinian teenager has been shot dead and eight other Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli occupation troops in separate incidents on the West Bank. Eight Israeli border guards were also injured in the second incident. The shooting of the 17-year old came two days after Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians in Nablus during some of the bloodiest confrontations there for at least two weeks.
Jewish Settlers Kill a Palestinian, Wound Two as IOF Continues Rampaging Through West Bank
International Press Center 1/5/2004
RAMALLAH, Palestine, January 5, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— A Jewish settler Îs car ran over three Palestinian citizens today near a checkpoint in Ramallah, killing one and wounding the other two, as IOF invaded the city of Tulkarem and wounded 13 Palestinian citizens in Hebron and Budrus Village….Eyewitnesses said that despite being close to a military checkpoint, manned by Israeli soldiers, who saw the whole attack, the Jewish settler passed through the checkpoint unstopped by the Israeli soldiers, a thing that would make them associates in this crime. Meanwhile, IOF invaded today morning the city of Tulkarem, backed by dozens of tanks and armored vehicles, and that they have started blowing up the doors of several Palestinian homes in the city after surrounding them.
IOF Kills Palestinian Boy, Wounds and Arrests Several Others in West Bank
International Press Center 1/5/2004
NABLUS, Palestine, January 5, 2004 (IPC + WAFA) – – The Israeli occupying forces, as part of its major military offensive on the West Bank cities, particularly the city of Nablus, shot and killed a Palestinian child and wounded several other citizens, in addition to wounding and arresting others in separate incidents, as well as demolishing a house and bulldozing lands in Gaza Strip….Meanwhile in Hebron governorate, the Israeli occupying forces opened fire at Palestinian citizens in the town of Beit Ommar, as well as arresting several citizens, including a female citizen in the town of Doura.

IDF said to be operating and carrying out raids in Jenin camp
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Israel Defense Forces troops early Monday morning were operating in the refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin, Israel Radio reported. Palestinian security sources said that soldiers surrounded and stormed several homes in the camp. Last Thursday, the IDF decided to lift the blockade of Jenin for the first time since the hudna (cease-fire) collapsed in August 2003.
Occupation authorities to confiscate vast lands in Jerusalem villages
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Ramallah – Zionist occupation authorities have started marking areas to be confiscated to the northwest of occupied Jerusalem for the sake of constructing the separation fence. Villagers in Beit Sorik said that an army unit handed citizens notifications on the lands that would be seized to establish the racist fence.
Israeli army to become ‘less lethal’
The Scotsman 1/5/2004
THE Israeli army is to introduce a string of “less lethal” crowd control techniques for use against protestors in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, after renewed controversy over the number of deaths at the hands of soldiers. The changes are to include a move to rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas, and the army is also weighing up the introduction of a new technology that disperses demonstrators by producing “noise waves” of such intensity protesters cannot remain in place. A state comptrollerâs report recently found there was a “distinct shortage” of tear gas, stun grenades and other what it termed “less lethal” weaponry.
Security official: Fence to annex 6 percent of W. Bank
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Six percent of West Bank territory will effectively be annexed into the Green Line with the completion of the separation fence planned for the end of 2005, a security official said on Sunday. The official, speaking to a forum in support of the West Bank fence, said that the first and second phases of construction have already transferred 1.7 percent of West Bank territory to the west side of the fence. In addition, Ministry of Defense data revealed that the fence’s deviation eastward from the Green Line in the area between Salem and the settlement of Elkana has resulted in 15,000 Palestinians being located west of the fence.
Father of protester wounded by IDF fire says troops lied
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The father of Israeli protester Gil Na’amati, who was wounded recently by IDF gunfire at a demonstration against the West Bank separation fence, accused the Israel Defense Forces on Monday of lying. “One must be drunk to believe the IDF’s version” on the circumstances of the shooting, said Uri Na’amati. Members of Anarchists Against the Fence, the group that organized the protest, presented testimonies and evidence at a press conference Monday that appear to contradict some of the IDF findings released in recent days.
Media Blackout Over Israeli Atrocities in Nablus
Palestine Media Center 1/4/2004
IOF Kill Palestinian Teen Near Khan Younis — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have tightened the total siege and curfew imposed on Nablus, the adjacent Balata refugee camp and the nearby village of Beit Foreek for the tenth consecutive day, amidst complete media blackout over the atrocities they are perpetrating, while the death toll rose in the northern West Bank city. IOF shot dead four Palestinians and bulldozed historical sites in the Kasbah (Old City) of Nablus on Friday….ãWe have a catastrophic situation in Nablus,ä Mahmoud el-Aloul, the governor of the city, told Reuters.
Palestinians: IDF soldiers shoot dead 17-year-old in Nablus
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
IDF troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager who was throwing stones at them in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus on Monday, Palestinian medics said. An army spokesman later released the following statment: “A terrorist threw a petrol bomb at soldiers, who responded with gunfire and saw that he was hit.” Witnesses said troops opened fire on a group of Palestinians throwing stones at them in the El Ayn refugee camp. A 17-year-old teenager was shot dead and a 14-year-old was wounded and taken to a local hospital.
Ramle residents blast mayor for blaming attack on clans
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Shortly after two fragmentation grenades were thrown at his house on Saturday night, Ramle mayor Yoel Lavie was quick to place blame and to point out the motive for the attack. While the police investigation of the incident – which caused some damage to the house but did not injure any members of the family – is shrouded in secrecy, Lavie was far less coy. Speaking to Haaretz, he said, “We only have suspicions at the moment, but they are well-grounded suspicions. I blame the clan whose illegal houses we have demolished, and who have demolition orders against them.”
Lavie: Demolitions of illegal buildings to go ahead as scheduled
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
“I believe that someone whose illegally-built home was been demolished is behind the attack, or someone whose home is due to be demolished in the future….”I don’t scare easily, and I have already told police that the demolitions scheduled for this week will go ahead as planned, so prove that I remain resolute.”
Eyewitness in Gaza: IOF shelling, demolishing houses, attacking from the air
Rafah Today 1/2/2004
Again shelling houses and people in the streets by Israeli Apaches and F16s, while the media says that they are targeting people from the resistance. They killed and injured bystanders and ordinary citizens. This is the daily life for all people here in Palestine. Over the past week, many people were killed, and another large number were injured by F16s and Apaches in Gaza City. In the Khan Younes refugee Camp, the Israeli Army with two bulldozers and three tanks demolished 5 houses.
Palestinians can barely move inside Gaza 1/5/2004
GAZA, Israel, Jan. 5 (UPI) — Conflicts with Israeli settlers and troops is making travel within the Gaza Strip nearly impossible for Palestinians, residents say. While Palestinians have long considered traveling outside Gaza nearly impossible, just moving around inside the densely populated area has recently become nearly as tedious. The reason is a nearly air-tight security policy that slows traffic to an almost glacial pace, residents tell United Press International.
Eyewitness in Rafah: More killings and home demolitions
Rafah Today 1/1/2004
Evening: the Rafah people are appealing to the media just two hours after the attacks on Khan Younes when the tanks and bulldozers moved from Khan Younes into Rafah. They had a map that they were showing to the people in Rafah, near the Jewish settlement of Morag. Israeli soldiers began a step of appropriation of thousands of homes because they want to build a new iron wall which will divide Rafah into two parts. Morning: They demolished the houses and killed a massive number of people; demolished the trees, blocked the roads, shelled the houses while people were sleeping in them, made a news watching towers and checkpoints, targeted journalists, medical and relief workers.
Zionist shelling burns two houses in Nablus old city
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Nablus – Zionist shelling at two residential houses in the old quarters of the West Bank city of Nablus yesterday led to starting huge fires that destroyed both buildings. Eyewitnesses said that fire started after Zionist troops shelled and opened heavy machinegun fire at houses in the Qaryon suburb.
News Briefs: Teenager killed in Nablus, IOF invades Tul karm, Al-Khader under curfew, tear gas injuries, Nablus siege deepens
International Middle East Media Center 1/5/2004
The Military kills a Palestinian in Nablus: The army killed this evening a Palestinian teenager in a refugee camp near Nablus, military sources claims that he was killed during clashes with the troops. / The army resumes the daily assaults: Earlier this morning, the army invaded Tul karm supported by tens of tanks and attacked several houses after exploding their doors. Locals mentioned that the resistance clashed with the invading forces and exchanged gunfire. / Troops Impose curfew over a village near Bethlehem: While shooting intensively towards the people and their homes, earlier this morning the army imposed curfew over Al-Khader village near Bethlehem . Several Palestinians suffocated after the military fired Gas bombs towards the people. / Jan 4 – The military continues its attacks against Nablus for the twentieth day: Today, severe clashes erupted in Nablus between the locals and the invading troops in Nablus, two Palestinian Journalists were injured when the army fired towards the demonstrators in Sheikh Muslim neighborhood in Nablus…
Five conscientious objectors get one-year jail sentences
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The Jaffa Military Court yesterday imposed prison sentences of one year each on five conscientious objectors who refused to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces. The three military judges differed in their opinions, with one wishing to sentence the five to 22 months in prison, another calling for a 12-month sentence, and the third advising a six-month jail term for each. In handing down their sentence, the judges said that the country was undergoing a period of fighting and terror in which many people had lost their lives. This period, the judges said, called for social unity, which was being undermined by draft-dodgers who were giving the country a bad name around the world.
Nablus report / Budrus update
International Solidarity Movement 1/5/2004
1. Nablus: Contrary to how the media is reporting it: January 4, 2004 – Kelly B. – Yesterday 4 boys were killed in nablus, and one more in critical condition in the hospital. All within an hour, Rawhi Shuman (19) Amer Arafat (26) and Amjed al-Masri (15) were shot and killed in the downtown Nablus area./ 2. Update on activists arrested in Budrus: Frederick Batzler (Swedish activist with the ISM) and Katheryn (Kate) Raphael (American activist with the IWPS) are still awaiting a deportation hearing. Frederick is being held in the Ariel Police Station and Kate in the Khadera Police Station. / 3. Update from Budrus: The nonviolent resistance will continue against the Israeli Apartheid Wall. Since January 1, the Israeli army has continued to send jeeps into and out of the village in order to alert Budrus to its presence and try to frighten the villagers into ending their peaceful demonstrations.
Israeli colonel resigns over army’s ‘immoral’ actions
The Independent 1/5/2004
A reservist colonel in the Israeli army has resigned his commission in protest at his army’s “immoral conduct” in the occupied territories. In a searing open letter to the army’s chief of staff, Lt-Col Eitan Ronel, a veteran of 1973's Yom Kippur War, the invasion of Lebanon, and the first Palestinian Intifada, returned his officer’s commission….In his letter to the chief of staff, Lt-Col Ronel, who was released from active reserve duty two years ago, wrote that for him, the final straw had been when Israeli soldiers opened fire last week on unarmed protestors demonstrating against the “separation fence” Israel is building in the West Bank.
Palestinian families threatening hunger strike
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Bethlehem – A number of Palestinian families in the West Bank town of Beit Jala has threatened to turn their sit-in at the village’s municipality into an open hunger strike. The families were protesting the Palestinian Authority’s negligence of their question after the Zionist occupation forces demolished their houses in the course of the Aqsa intifada and the PA did not move to compensate them.
Al-Salam hospital: Palestinian people facing war of annihilation
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Gaza – Al-Salam hospital in the Gaza Strip has warned in a message to the assistant secretary general of the Jeddah-based World Association of Muslim Youths (WAMY) that the unarmed Palestinian people were facing a Zionist ferocious annihilation war. The hospital management underlined in the letter that the Zionist war did not spare children, youths, women or old men and not even trees and stones….The message asked for medicine, medical equipment and financial assistance to allow that charitable hospital continue in shouldering its responsibilities.
7,254 Palestinian prisoners in 15 Zionist jails
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Nablus – A special report prepared by Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails has revealed that 7,254 Palestinians were currently incarcerated in 15 Zionist jails including five run by the Zionist army. The report noted that the prisoners before the Aqsa intifada numbered 1,381 out of whom 1,000 were still retained behind bars. A big number of them were released then arrested anew during the intifada.,2763,1116048,00.html
Jewish women fight holy war
The Guardian 1/5/2004
Feminists demand the right to pray aloud at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, despite the threat of jail and attacks by Orthodox men — Peggy Cidor concedes that she is not a radical feminist’s idea of a radical feminist. All she seeks, for now at least, is to pray aloud at Judaism’s holiest site for a few hours a year. But a campaign by Ms Cidor and dozens of other Jewish women for sexual equality at the Wailing Wall threatens to change the face of the Orthodox religious establishment in Israel.
Brigade faulted in protester shooting
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The inquiry into the shooting of a protester at the separation fence last week finds faults in the brigade’s actions, training and supervision, but is not expected to recommend demoting any officers involved. Unarmed peace activist Gil Na’amati was badly wounded when soldiers shot him during a demonstration at the fence.
Palestinian Victim Sues Israeli Government for Mistakenly Bombing His Car While Inside
International Press Center 1/5/2004
GAZA, Palestine, January 5, 2004 (IPC) – – Aymen Shamia, a civil engineer, filed a suit against the Israeli government, due to injuries his wife sustained during the botched assassination attempt on the life of a commander of the military wing of Hamas last Tuesday where a missile strayed the targeted car and hit his car instead. In an appeal the IPC has received a copy from, Shamia made clear that his car was pounded as he and his wife were inside.
Rafah Lives: A Journal of Resistance in Daily Life – Acrobat format
Electronic Intifada /ISM December 2003
After the Invasion — It has been two months since the October invasion and still tents line one side of the street. Water tanks provided by the United Nations are now in place but other than that little has changed. Many of the families affected have moved away, some to live with neighbours and relatives; some have rented new and completely unaffordable places to live. They must live somewhere. Where the rubble once filled the streets it has now been pushed to the side, clearing the way for cars and people trying to go on with their daily lives. Everywhere twisted remnants belie their attempts to continue living normally.
Ethiopian activists discuss protesting Falashmura policy
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Activists in the Ethiopian community in Israel working to speed up the immigration of the Falashmura from Ethiopia met yesterday in Tel Aviv to discuss means of protest against what they deemed as a racist attitude on the part of Absorption Minister Tzipi Livni. The activists have charged Livni with an attempt “not to carry out a government decision to bring the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel.”
Five “Refuseniks” Sentenced to One Year by Israeli Court-Martial
International Press Center 1/5/2004
GAZA, Palestine, January 5, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— The Israeli martial court in Jaffa has sentenced on Sunday five soldiers who refused to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories, to one year in jail, after having been indicted of insurgence and refusing the service orders in the Israeli occupying forces. The Jaffa court was a quad for political rally of Israelis, chanting anti-occupation phrases. Nearly 100 Israelis of the relatives and proponents of the five soldiers gathered before the doorstep of the court, holding up banners reading ãthe Israeli army is a terrorist organization · no to the occupation · yes for peace.ä
Israel to reject the Hague court’s authority on fence
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Israel will inform the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that it rejects its authority to deliberate on the building of the separation fence, senior political sources in Jerusalem said yesterday. Nevertheless, the sources said, Israel’s statement to the ICJ will also present substantial arguments to justify the security need for the fence. These will also help Israel in a future campaign against any negative ruling made by the court….The political leadership thinks the court will rule against Israel and the government’s legal advisers have been divided on how to act.
PM: Israel will have to give up settlements in final peace deal
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday told the Likud Party convention in Tel Aviv that Israel “will have to relinquish some Jewish settlements” as part of any final peace agreement with the Palestinians. But Sharon said that in the absence of negotiations with the Palestinans, he would move “without hesitation” to implement his plan for disengagement from parts of the territories. Sharon also said that his plan to disengage from the Palestinians was the best plan for Israel from a security standpoint, and was booed when he said the government would help establish an “independent Palestinian state” if terror is uprooted.

Qorei Laments International Silence over Nablus Killings
An Nahar 1/5/2004
RAMALLAH, West Bank, – Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei has condemned the international community’s “silence” following the killing of four residents of the West Bank town of Nablus during a major Israeli army operation. “Whenever the Palestinians carry out any attacks or operations against Israel they are condemned by the whole world but when Israel carries out attacks against our people, the international community stays silent,” Qorei told Voice of Palestine radio.
Critics: Sharon's disengagement plan full of familiar doublespeak
Daily Star 1/5/2004
Premier still intent on building separation barrier – Expert: Construction of fence is nonnegotiable to prime minister — GAZA CITY: In a much-anticipated policy speech delivered at the annual Herzliya Conference on security a few weeks ago, Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon presented his New Yearâs resolution of sorts for dealing with the Palestinians. Through what he dubbed the ãdisengagement plan,ä Sharon vowed to take matters into his own hands if the Palestinian Authority did not fulfil its obligations under the ãroad mapä peace plan. In a few months, Israel would begin to implement a series of unilateral ãsecurity stepsä to ãdisengageä from the Palestinians, he said.

Jordan says will not be ‘substitute homeland’ for Palestinians
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
AMMAN, Jordan – Jordan on Monday rejected calls by some hard-line Israeli politicians to make the kingdom a homeland for West Bank Palestinians. Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayez told two visiting Members of Knesset that Jordan “rejects any Israeli schemes which seek to expel Palestinians (from the West Bank) or to return to statements that Jordan is a substitute homeland (for Palestinians),” the official Petra news agency said.
Nazzal denies Qatari mediation between Hamas and Washington
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Cairo – Mohammed Nazzal, member of Hamas Movement’s political bureau, has denied press reports that Qatar was mediating between the USA and his Movement. Nazzal, in an interview published by a number of Arab papers and news agencies, said that Hamas had no specific demands for such a dialogue except that it should discuss the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights. The press reports claiming that an understanding was reached on ending Hamas armed attacks in the 1948 areas in return for lifting the Movement from the list of terrorist organizations and unfreezing its assets were not true, Nazzal asserted.
In Riyadh, Obeid stresses Palestiniansâ right of return
Daily Star 1/5/2004
[Lebanon’s] Foreign Minister Jean Obeid met Sunday with Saudi King Fahd bin Abdel-Aziz, after meeting with other high-ranking Saudi officials to discuss relations between the countries and various facets of the Palestinian issue. Obeid relayed a message to the Saudi monarch from President Emile Lahoud, but the contents were not revealed to the public. During meetings with the monarch, Obeid emphasized Lebanonâs commitment to the Palestinian refugeesâ right of return.
Yitzhaki: Egyptian foreign minister said gas deal irrevocable
Globes 1/5/2004
Prime Minister’s Office director-general Avigdor Yitzhaki: The gas pipeline company would begin receiving Egyptian gas in June 2006. — “The first words Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during his visit to Israel last week was that the natural gas deal with Egypt would be carried out, no matter what. The gas agreement between the countries is irrevocable,” said Prime Minister’s Office director-general Avigdor Yitzhaki said today.
Sharon stamps authority on Likud members
Jerusalem Post 1/5/2004
FIghts break out as Sharon sets out his political plan — Israel would give up some settlements in a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday. Repeating his Herzliya conference message however, Sharon added that in the absence of a peace agreement, he would take unilateral steps that his predecessors “were too afraid to take.” The central committee of the governing Likud Party is considering whether to force Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to clear every major policy decision with the hard-line body, potentially tying his hands in peace efforts. The proposal would give the central committee a veto over government decisions.

NSC: Socio-economic crisis is true existential threat
Jerusalem Post 1/5/2004
“The socio-economic crisis, and not Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, is the country’s true existential threat,” according to the National Security Council. In its annual assessment, delivered Monday morning to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the council proposed strengthening the police and directing their efforts to law enforcement and combatting violence, rather than terrorism, Army Radio reported. The council also recommended that all segments of society, including Arabs and haredim, participate in national service, and that additional resources be allocated to the Israeli Arab population….The report said the conflict with the Palestinians will not end soon and, therefore, the route of the security fence should not be determined according to a future border, but according to demographic lines.
Likud to discuss transfer of Palestinians into Jordan
Palestinian Information Center 1/5/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – A Hebrew paper published a report on preparations for the Likud bloc’s general conference to open later today including a plan to discuss “voluntary” transfer of Palestinians to Jordan. ‘Yediot Ahronot’ said that the plan was prepared by the terrorist municipality mayor Uzi Cohen stipulating facilitating the transfer of Palestinian masses into Jordan.
Knesset panel okays ‘04 budget; shortfall is NIS 725m.
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The Knesset Finance Committee yesterday approved the 2004 state budget legislation as well as the Economic Arrangements Bill (supplementary legislation to the budget) for second and third readings at the Knesset plenum. The vote will be taken on Wednesday. The 2004 state budget totals NIS 255.36 billion. However, Knesset members already caused a shortfall of NIS 725, when the Finance Committee took out clauses intended to increase tax income by NIS 415 million, and approved the allocation of NIS 10 million to the Galilee and Negev development authorities. The treasury had asked to scrap these authorities and not to allocate them any funds.
Settlers to be notified 15 days before outpost removal
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Settlers will be notified 15 days before the scheduled removal of illegal outposts so they can petition the authorities against the evacuations, according to an agreement reached at a High Court of Justice hearing on Monday. The removal of four West Bank outposts – Ginot Aryeh, Havat Shaked, Bat Ayin Ma’arav and Hazon David – has been postponed by five days as a result of the agreement. The High Court justices recommended extending the six days’ warning that the IDF Central Command originally allotted, saying it was not enough time to appeal the orders.
IDF offers foreign armies: pay per training
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The IDF is offering foreign armed forces training sessions in the training center for field units in the Ze’elim base. The move is intended to improve the relations with friendly states’ armies as well as bring income into the IDF’s empty coffers. The IDF has been operating the Tactical Training Center (TTC), an advanced base for training brigade and company headquarters, in Ze’elim for more than five years. The TCC enables simulating battles between various units, under electronic supervision and documentation enabling a thorough scrutiny of the troops’ activity.
Labor approves unilateral withdrawal from Gaza Strip
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Labor’s central committee yesterday approved a plan including a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. The committee also decided to bring the extension of Peres’s position as party chairman to the approval of Labor’s convention at the end of the month. The committee, which convened in Tel Aviv’s Beit Ha’hayal, approved the political plan by a majority of some 60 percent. The plan was supported by all the Knesset members except Matan Vilnai and Ephraim Sneh, whose counter proposal to retreat from Gaza only after the terrorism stops was rejected.
Israeli Justice Minister Warns of International Boycott As Israel Continues Construction of Apartheid Wall
International Press Center 1/5/2004
GAZA, January 5, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— the Israeli Justice Minister, Joseph (Tommy) Lapid, said in an Israeli cabinet meeting Sunday that Israel would face the danger of being boycotted by world countries as was the case before the fall of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Minister Lapid, who is also deputy Prime Minister and leader of the centrist”Shinui” party, said the Israeli government should ãhave another lookä at the route of the Apartheid wall, which has aroused worldwide condemnation.
Likud party vents fury on Sharon
BBC 1/5/2004
Members of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s right-wing Likud party booed him at a key meeting on Monday. Mr Sharon was addressing the party’s central committee for the first time since outlining plans envisaging the removal of some Jewish settlements. He insisted the scheme was “the best plan for (Israeli) security. This is my plan and I will see it carried out.” Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, meanwhile, has dropped plans to meet Mr Sharon in the near future.,2763,1116123,00.html
Sharon tells army to move settlers
The Guardian 1/5/2004
The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, yesterday ordered the army to remove two inhabited Jewish outposts in the West Bank, drawing criticism from the religious right for threatening Israel’s security, and from the left for a meaningless gesture. The order to dismantle the Tal Binyamin and Havat Maon outposts followed the government’s decision to remove four other unauthorised settlements, only one of which is inhabited.
Israel’s guaranteed income lowest in West
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The guaranteed income allocated to poor families in Israel is the lowest among the Western welfare states that pay similar allowances, according to researchers from the Social Work School in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The researchers conducted an international comparison of allowances for basic existence….Israel plunged to the penultimate place in the list, above Spain but below the United States, which is not considered a welfare state at all.
100 days war
Globes 1/5/2004
The Histadrut won on the small issues, but the Ministry of Finance won the big ones. — This was a battle of egoism, machisimo, and personal political interests. Benjamin Netanyahu versus Amir Perez. Netanyahu, who has internalized the American tendency to vote according to economic circumstances, is building a middle class bloc to support him in his bid for the Likud party leadership and for the prime ministership. Perez, is trying to ensure a spot for members One Nation in the Labor Party, and for a personal bid for the Labor Party leadership and for prime minister, using the support of lower population deciles and the civil servants.
Gush Dan cities to stop dumping sewage into sea
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The dumping of sewage into the Mediterranean Sea near the Tel Aviv area, which has become one of the most polluted sea waters along Israel’s coast, is to end by 2006, it was announced Monday. According to the joint announcement made by the Association of Gush Dan cities, which is responsible for the flow of waste into the sea, and the environmental group “Tzlul,” the waste will be treated on land.
Labor Court issues injunction against Bezeq work slowdown
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The order came after two weeks of sanctions. Bezeq management: Employees were back to work as usual by this evening. — The Tel Aviv district labor court this evening issued a back-to-work injunction to Bezeq (TASE:BZEQ) workers, ordering them to cease sanctions immediately.
Gov’t approves Turkish water
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The government yesterday approved the purchase of one billion cubic meters of water from Turkey. Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and minister in the Finance Ministry Meir Sheetrit voted against the proposal, while 13 cabinet members voted in favor of the transaction.
Photo Essay: Trapped in Someone Else’s Dream
By Asim Rafiqui,
A photo exhibit about Rafah – There is a brutal military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza and it is being used to systematically expropriate land from the Palestinians and lock them into ghettos. This is a lived reality for the millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. However, these facts are carefully avoided in the official language of peace. The
Environmental concerns in Palestine
Al-Jazeera 1/5/2004
ãIsrael is using the environment as a weapon against the Palestinians,ä said Jamal Jumah, director of PENGON, the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network….According to Jumah, about one million trees have been uprooted since the start of the Intifada. — Visitors to Wadi Gaza, if they are familiar with the natural wetlandâs reputation, will notice some amazing changes. The Wadi, once notorious for its noxious sewage fumes, is virtually unrecognisable now. Varieties of rare birds nestle over the Wadiâs serene waters, in the shade of indigenous grass and ferns. Nearby, cleared out hiking trails provide ample room for visitors to take in the scenery under the newly planted palm trees. All this is the result of a recent UNDP project that is converting the Wadi and its vicinity from a sewage dump into a model national park.
Support for Sharon falls
Globes 1/5/2004
Still, the financial scandals aren’t harming him. A Globes-Smith survey. — Public support for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is falling. Polls have asked about Sharon’s performance as prime minister several times since he took up office. In December 2001, 65% of the respondents said he was doing well or very well, while 34% said he was not doing well or doing badly.
Building and re-building a country
Daily Star 1/5/2004
New tome illuminates century of architecture in Lebanon — The first automobile to be imported into Lebanon arrived in 1907. It was a Pahard-Levasseur owned by Alfred Sursock, and its appearance caused a commotion in the streets of Beirut. This is one of the many anecdotes that spice up Gebran Yacoubâs ãDictionnaire de lâarchitecture au Liban au XXe siecleä by giving us glimpses of life here in the past century. The large dictionary aims to shed light on local architecture and builders by increasing public awareness.
Lebanese history by way of Greek tragedy
Daily Star 1/5/2004
Adapted from Euripidesâ Medea, Jad al-Hageâs play Bint Asl fails to deliver on its initial promise — Thereâs nothing subtle about Bint Asl (Girl from a good family) currently playing at the Monnot Theater. For fifty-odd minutes Darina al-Jundy trembles, cries, stomps, crawls and barks orders as memory after memory consumes her on stage. When itâs all over, and every morbid detail exposed, the spot light shines not on Jundyâs crouched figure, but on the bomb she has wrapped as a wedding present for her ex-husband. The message, then, is painfully obvious: the violence will continue.
Maher to Iran: Camp David issue Îin the pastâ
Middle East Online 1/5/2004
TEHRAN – Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher has asserted that his country’s Camp David peace accord with Israel was “is merely a thing of the past” and Cairo and Tehran should boost their ties, the official Iranian news agency reported Monday. “I don’t think using the issue of Camp David will be useful, because it does not exist anymore and is merely a thing of the past,” Maher said of the 1979 peace deal – one of the reasons why Iran broke off ties with Egypt.
US begins fingerprinting foreigners
Al-Jazeera 1/5/2004
The US government has begun fingerprinting and photographing foreign visitors arriving at 115 airports as part of a widely-criticised effort to track down alleged terrorists. Photos and fingerprints are required of those visitors who must obtain visas to enter the United States – an expected 23 million arrivals in 2004. Citizens from 28 countries, mostly in Europe, are exempt, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which runs the US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, or US-VISIT.

Syria Opposed to Kurdish State, Wants Iraq United
An Nahar 1/5/2004
ANKARA – Syria is opposed to any attempt to carve up its neighbor and fellow Arab state Iraq, and in particular to the creation of an independent Kurdish state, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a television interview. “We are opposed, not only to a Kurdish state but also to any action against the territorial integrity of Iraq,” he told the Turkish-language station of CNN television on the eve of a historic visit to Turkey, the first by a Syrian leader for 58 years.
El Al pilots to be fingerprinted in U.S.
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
El Al pilots flying the route to the United States will henceforth be required to leave their fingerprints there, as the U.S. steps up security at their airports in the face of a heightened terror alert. American authorities have also informed El Al that it will have to provide them in advance with the names of non-commercial passengers entering American territory, such as family members of the crew and El Al workers who fly across in Boeing 747-200 cargo planes.
Al-Assad meets with Kharazi
Arabic News 1/5/2004
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad received on Saturday Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi and an accompanying delegation. Talks during the meeting dealt with the latest developments in the region particularly the situation in Iraq and in the occupied Palestinian territories, and touched upon the Syrian initiative submitted to UN Security Council to make the Middle East an area free of mass destruction weapons.
Arab Charter of Human Rights – extraordinary meeting
Arabic News 1/5/2004
The Arab Standing Committee of Human Rights (ASCHR) began its 3rd extraordinary meeting at the Cairo-based Arab League ( AL ) Sunday with the participation of delegations from all Arab states and a representative of the UN Higher Commission of Human Rights along with envoys from 18 Arab relevant organizations. The AL Secretary General Amr Moussa said in an opening speech that Arabs and Moslems are under misleading propaganda that relies on baseless allegations, and claims that they do not respect human rights.
Arab fixation on Îterrorâ hinders flow of capital
Daily Star 1/5/2004
Leaders give low priority to developing financial markets — BEIRUT: Arab governmentsâ preoccupation with fighting ãterrorä is impeding the development of the financial markets and could scare away Arab capital that fled Western markets after the Sept. 11 attack on the United States, a leading financial market analyst has said. ãThe stock markets are taking a back seat to the political turmoil in the region,ä said Beshr Bakheet, managing partner in Riyadh-based Bakheet Financial Advisors….He said the US ãwar on terrorä is unlikely to stop in Iraq and could enflame other Arab countries, increasing investor jitters over pooling cash into the underdeveloped Arab stock exchanges.
Tight Security as Pilgrims Start Pouring In
Arab News 1/5/2004
JEDDAH, 6 January 2004 ÷ Saudi Arabia has stepped up security for the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who have started arriving in the country for Haj from all over the world and warned anyone trying to undermine Haj security and its peaceful atmosphere.
Prodi invites Qathafi to Brussels; Libya: our measure are unappreciated by the USA
Arabic News 1/5/2004
Libya yesterday renewed its confirmation that there is no justification for the continued American sanctions against it, and considered that it had taken numerous measures that are worthy of appreciation conducive to improve its relations with the USA. It added that lifting the sanctions “will be in the interest of the American companies.”
Libya denies opening its lands for American and British forces
Arabic News 1/5/2004
Son of the Libyan leader disclosed a Libyan, British and American agreement to training Libyan military personnel, but denied that this agreement means the establishment of military bases on the Libyan territories.

Missteps Seen in Muslim Chaplain’s Spy Case
New York Times 1/5/2004
WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 ÷ ….”It certainly seems like they couldn’t get him on what they first thought they had,” General Fugh said, “so they said, `Let’s get the son of a gun on something.’“
Bravo To Those Who Refuse!!
Editorial, Montreal Muslim News 1/5/2004
Montreal- January 5, 2003 (MMN Editorial): On Sunday the Central District Military Court of the Israeli Defence Forces sentenced five young Israeli men to a one year prison term for their refusal to serve in the Israeli occupation army.
The five refuseniks include Noam Bahat, Hagai Matar, Adam Maor, Shimri Tsameret and Matan Kaminer.
Breeding grounds for hatred
By Shlomo Lahat, Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Two weeks ago, together with my friend Brigadier General (res.) Yitzhak Elron, I visited 13 Israel Defense Forces checkpoints in Judea and Samaria, near the cities of Nablus, Tul Karm and Qalqilyah. The visit was conducted at the initiative of B’Tselem, and I must point out that the two people from B’Tselem who accompanied us throughout the visit did not try to influence us in any way. We saw and we formed impressions. And the impressions were very harsh.
The fear of civil war
By Akiva Eldar, Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
The pictures of rusting shipping containers that the settlers call “outposts” show that all the people can be fooled all the time. Even though their own sit in the cabinet and hold key positions in the Knesset, the settlers have failed to establish “our right to the whole land of Israel.” Even though trifles like the rule of law and the rights of the Palestinians do not stand in their way, it is only a small, vociferous minority that hides behind all the uproar. The citizens of Israel, among them Likud voters and ministers, are among the large majority of those who refuse civilian service in the territories. In spite of generous benefits designed to tempt Israelis seeking a house with a garden, 36 years of settlement have brought the ratio of Jews to Palestinians in the West Bank to only 1:10 (in the Gaza Strip it’s 1:200). The areas most attractive to about half of all the 220,000 Israelis living in the West Bank are the blocs of settlement nearest the Green Line, which are those with the greatest chance to be annexed in case of an exchange of lands.
Jibril Rajoub is back
By Danny Rubinstein, Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
A placard across the road at the entrance to Ramallah and Al-Bireh says: “Smile, you’ve entered the city of Al-Bireh.” Indeed, were it not for the hardships at the Qalandiyah roadblock, and were it not for the headlines and photographs in the newspapers about the incessant bloodshed and destruction, one could well smile there. The streets in the new neighborhoods of these cities are wide, clean, and lined with hundreds of modern buildings, some of them large office buildings, hotels and apartment buildings surrounded by gardens. The office of Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian Authority’s national security advisor, is situated in his former private home, which was hit by an Israeli tank shell. After a long absence, in which Rajoub underwent two operations to remove tumors, he returned to assume a central role beside Arafat. He sits in on all the important meetings, and judging by the way he was treated at the Fatah rally in A-Ram on Saturday, the senior Palestinian officials respect him deeply, and probably fear him as well. As head of the preventive security forces and as the West Bank strong man, Rajoub is known for keeping his men away from terrorist activity. Despite that, during Operation Defensive Shield about two years ago, the IDF demolished his headquarters in Bitouniya in West Ramallah and captured the Hamas activists who were detained there. Hamas, who regarded Rajoub as a bitter rival, accused him of turning the activists in to Israel.
At Herzliya, Sharon offered no strategy for peace
By Yossi Alpher, Daily Star 1/5/2004
There are a number of ways to look at Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharonâs Herzliya speech of Dec. 18, which appears to offer little good news and a lot more of the bad news we have become so used to in the past three years. The following ãtakesä on the speech are not mutually exclusive.
Dean Staff Addresses Comments on Israel, Both Real and Distorted
By Matthew E. Berger, Miftah 1/5/2004
An e-mail smear campaign distorting Howard Deanâs positions on Israel, coupled with the candidateâs genuine gaffes, has his staff working overtime to persuade Jewish voters that he is committed to Israel. ãEven-handed is not a way anyone fairly describes Howard Dean,ä said Stu Brody, chairman of the Democratic Rural Conference in New York and a former liaison between the Vermont governor and Jewish leaders. ãHis commitment to Israel is as strong as anyoneâs.ä The former Vermont governorâs now famous comment that he would support an ãeven-handedä approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict led more than a few Jewish community leaders to fret that Dean would push Israel to make risky concessions for peace.
Geneva Accord: Analysis of the Bankruptcy
By Paul Burrows, Miftah 1/5/2004
It’s hard to talk about the provisions of the recent Geneva Accord, and offer some kind of analysis without reference to the facts on the ground — right now — inside Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It’s hard to talk about the accord without also talking about the 120 Palestinians, including over twenty children, who have been killed since October 4th, when the last suicide attack inside Israel occurred.

[See also: Assessing the Geneva Accord: Last gasp of the two-state solution? Or the latest smoke & mirrors to sell apartheid? Part I by Paul Burrows, ZNet, 12/21/03]
Israeli invasion of Nablus continues
Editorial, Palestine Monitor 1/5/2004
The West bank city of Nablus has now been under constant attack for 20 days. On Saturday, four Palestinians were killed and a fifth left brain-dead after being shot in the head with live ammunition. This brings the number of Palestinians killed in Nablus during this offensive to 14 and counting. Israeli soldiers have attacked peaceful demonstrations and even a funeral.
The old city in Nablus has repeatedly been subjected to a total curfew. Many families have forced to leave their homes by occupying forces, while those that remain are frequently confined to their houses for days at a time by a military closure that is enforced with reckless violence and a casual disregard for human life.
Influential advisers at the Pentagon
By William Fisher, Daily Star 1/5/2004
One of the principal engines of neoconservative influence in the Bush administration is a collection of unpaid outside experts formed ãto provide the secretary of defense with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning major matters of defense policy.ä

January 4 2004 America’s Christian Zionists take Israel by storm
Austin American-Statesman 1/4/2004
U.S. evangelical Christians have become influential supporters of the Jewish state — HERZLIYA, Israel — Christian evangelist Pat Robertson had them in the palm of his hand. No matter that his audience wasn’t predominantly Christian. When the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network culminated his give-no-ground speech to the elite of Israel’s political and military establishment with the ringing declaration, “Be strong! Be strong!” many of his listeners jumped to their feet to give him a boisterous round of applause.

Treatment Frustrates Palestinian Refugees
Los Angeles Times 1/4/2004
CAIRO ÷ As the foreign minister of Egypt ÷ the largest Arab country ÷ Ahmed Maher might have expected a warmer welcome from Palestinians when he joined their worships in Jerusalem. But the scuffles that erupted at Al Aqsa mosque last month, with Islamic extremists yelling, “You are collaborating with the killers of Muslims,” underscored a strong current of discontent among many Palestinians toward Arab states. The anger is focused chiefly on Egypt and Jordan for having signed peace treaties with Israel, but it goes further ÷ to the frustration of having lived as second-class citizens in neighboring Middle Eastern states for 55 years since fleeing their homes when Israel.
Israeli official proposes ‘ethnic cleansing’
Al-Jazeera 1/4/2004
A member of the Likud party has proposed ãmassive ethnic cleansingä of non-Jews in Palestine-Israel as a ãfinal solutionä of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Uzi Cohen, a member of Ariel Sharonâs right-wing party and a deputy mayor of the town of Raanana, told Israeli public radio on Sunday there was widespread support in Israel for ãthe idea of ethnic cleansingä. ãMany people support the idea but few are willing to speak about it publicly.ä…Cohen, an influential figure in Likud,…said Palestinians should be given 20 years to ãleave voluntarilyä. ãIn case they donât leave, plans would have to be drawn up to expel them by force.ä

Israel faces SA-style boycott :

“There is a danger that we will be exposed to an international boycott as was the case before the fall of the regime in South Africa,” Justice Minister Tommy Lapid,,2-10-1462_1465421,00.html

Babies who threaten to topple Israel :

A looming birthrate crisis could make Jews a minority in their homeland within 20 years . Now figures released last week show that immigration – to a country beset by violence and a faltering economy – has collapsed to its lowest level in 15 years, dramatically cutting the population growth.,6903,1115643,00.html
We are all soldiers at checkpoints
By Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
The terminology used to be routine and clear: Whenever a unit of the Israel Defense Forces completed a mission – be it the aerial bombing of refugee camps in Lebanon, shelling terrorist headquarters in Syria or attacking missile sites in Egypt – the media would report that “our forces returned safely to their bases.” The missions were part of a universal consensus and their success – they were always considered successful – was our collective success. The term “our forces” encapsulated the spirit of the time – the broad consensus, the concept of the IDF as “the people’s army,” the shared national pride and concern.
Palestinians Feel Isolated and Abandoned
By Linda S. Heard, Palestine Chronicle 1/4/2004
The anguish on the face of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, who was recently heckled and assaulted by Palestinians inside one of Islam’s holiest sites, the Al Aqsa mosque, serves as a symbol of a growing division between the Palestinians and the Arab world.
‘As long as we’re caged, why not make us part of the zoo?’
By Danny Rubinstein, Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
The residents of the village of Al-Walajah want to sound out the Israeli government on the possibility of being granted prisoners rights, says Adnan al-Atrache, the deputy head of the village council and the chairman of Al-Walajah’s Committee to Prevent House Demolitions. According to the plan of the separation fence now under construction, the village is set to be completely surrounded and will effectively become a prison compound. One of al-Atrache’s neighbors doesn’t think it’s very funny, but al-Atrache retorts: “In prison you get food, cigarettes, electricity and water, and all for free, in addition to permission to walk in the yard – and that’s exactly what we’re asking for.” Al-Atrache’s wife points to the big park across the railway tracks in which lies Jerusalem’s large Biblical Zoo. “As long as we’re in a cage,” she says, “maybe you’ll annex us to the zoo?”
Saudi Crown Prince urges moderation
Middle East Online 1/4/2004
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia intends to push ahead with reforms, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz said, calling for patience as he was handed a list of recommendations drawn up by a “national dialogue” forum. “We should be patient and do things in an unhurried way,” he told a gathering of Muslim clerics and intellectuals on Saturday night, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
Indian PM visits Pakistan for first time in five years
Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
ISLAMABAD – Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee began a historic visit to nuclear rival Pakistan on yesterday, saying he was willing to discuss their bitter dispute over Kashmir but not necessarily right away. Vajpayee, in Pakistan for the first time in nearly five years, ruled out formal bilateral talks with Pakistani leaders at a South Asian summit in Islamabad starting today.
PA finance minister threatens to resign
Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad is threatening to resign in protest at delays in implementing Palestinian Authority reforms, sources close to the minister said. The sources said Fayyad is frustrated that associates of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat have taken a number of steps to derail his economic program. Fayyad was appointed finance minister in June 2002 and his reforms are being closely monitored by the international community, which regards them as a condition for continued economic assistance.
Israel faces ‘barrier boycott’
BBC 1/4/2004
The Israeli Justice Minister has warned the government should re-examine the route of its controversial West Bank barrier to avoid international boycott. Tommy Lapid said Israel risked being treated like apartheid-era South Africa over the barrier aimed to separate Israelis from Palestinians. The barrier has been condemned by a number of countries around the world. Meanwhile, an Israeli officer returned his insignia in protest at the army’s actions on the occupied territories.
Two More West Bank Outposts Ordered Shut
Washington Post 1/4/2004
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued an order Sunday to dismantle two West Bank settlement outposts – one of them populated – in an initial step toward fulfilling Israel’s commitment under the “road map” peace plan. Under the U.S.-backed plan, Israel must dismantle scores of the unauthorized outposts, but Sharon, a longtime settler ally, has been slow to comply.
Lapid: Fence could lead to SA-style boycott of Israel
Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
“The debate on the issue of the construction of the separation fence at the International Court of Justice in The Hague is the first step toward turning Israel into the South Africa of today, and there is a danger that we will be exposed to international boycotts as was the case prior to the fall of the regime in South Africa,” Justice Minister Yosef Lapid warned the cabinet yesterday. Lapid, who was commenting on an initiative on the part of the Arab states and the Palestinians to take the issue of the separation fence to the ICJ, added that the flak Israel was coming under because of the fence stemmed from the fact that “we didn’t suffice with the original fence, but changed its route, which has become a matter of international dispute.”
CKUT Radio: Palestinian Refugees – Fighting for Dignity in Lebanon
Islamic Association for Palestine 1/4/2004
Listen to an interview with Raida Hatoum a Lebanese activist who works with Najdeh, a women’s NGO network throughout the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon. Najdeh was established by a group of Palestinian refugee women near the beginning of the Lebanese civil-war. Currently Najdeh organizes various social programs throughout many of the Palestinian refugee camps, focusing on the immediate needs of women and children within the camps….To listen to the interview with Raida Hatoum visit: – For more information on Najdeh visit:
PPS Report: Israel Continues to Place Palestinians Under “Administrative Detention”
International Press Center 1/4/2004
RAMALLAH, Palestine, January 4, 2004 (IPC) – – Israeli occupying authorities placed in 2003 nearly 950 Palestinians under “administrative detention” (detention without charges or trial), compared with 850 in 2002, as detention of 180 others was extended for the third time consecutively, as revealed by a report released yesterday by a local Palestinian organization concerned with prisoners affairs. The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) made clear that the Israeli occupying authorities increased the number of those Palestinian “administrative detainees” to 950 in 2003, compared with 850 in 2002.
Anti-fence protesters detained in W. Bank
Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
A number of Israeli left-wing activists were detained yesterday by police when security forces prevented them from reaching the West Bank village of Dir Balut to protest construction of the separation fence near the community. Yesterday, five buses with some 300 protesters were making their way to Dir Balut, south of the settlement of Elkana, when they were stopped at a road block on the Trans-Samaria highway, near Elkana, that had been set up by police to intercept them.

PRCS responds to emergency situation in Nablus
ReliefWeb/PRCS 1/4/2004
Since 18 December 2003, Nablus City, Balata Refugee Camp and Al-Qaryon area are under total Israeli Army imposed siege and curfew. In Al-Qaryon area, the Israeli Army continues to deny access to medical teams and ambulances. To date, PRCS has documented 12 deaths and 97 injuries due to Israeli Army gunfire. In response to this humanitarian emergency, the Palestine Red Crescent Society has initiated several relief activities.
IDF troops kill five Palestinians
Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
Five Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israel Defense Forces troops over the weekend. Four were killed in the West Bank city of Nablus while in Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, a young Palestinian man was shot dead by troops, apparently while working on an explosive….Downtown Nablus has been under curfew for at least six days while IDF soldiers search for suspects. Yesterday was the most violent day in Nablus since four militants were killed in clashes on December 18.
IDF to deploy more crowd dispersal equipment
Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
The Israel Defense Forces will soon be issued with new crowd dispersal equipment. The decision was made before the incident nine days ago when IDF gunfire seriously injured a left-wing demonstrator at the separation fence. A senior IDF General Staff source told Haaretz: “It’s clear to us there’s a need to develop less lethal means. We intend to use various crowd control measures in field operations.” The two main types of crowd dispersal measures the army intends to deploy are rubber coated bullets and tear gas, and will get equipment that allows tear gas canisters to be fired over greater distances.
IOF Wounds Nine Palestinians, One Critically, Arrests Five and Bulldozes Lands in OPT
International Press Center 1/4/2004
NABLUS, Palestine, January 4, 2004 (IPC + WAFA) – – The ongoing Israeli military campaign on the battered city of Nablus continued, as the Israeli occupying forces shot and wounded four Palestinian citizens during a funeral procession, one clinically died, as well as five others in the Hebron, concurrent with large land-bulldozing operations in Gaza Strip….Earlier in Hebron governorate, WAFA news agency reported that the Israeli occupying forces shot and wounded five Palestinians, in addition to arresting three in the town of Beit Ommar, north of Hebron City….Concurrently, IOF also invaded yesterday evening the area of Al Qarara, north of Khan Younis City, and bulldozed another 15 dunums of arable Palestinian lands, cultivated with olives, and uprooted the olive trees there, according to eyewitness accounts.
IOF attacks Palestinian antiquities in Nablus
International Press Center 1/4/2004
Ramallah, Palestine, January4,2004. (IPC+Wafa)--- The department of antiquities and cultural heritage of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities fiercely decriedtoday the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) attacks on the Palestinian historical places specially those in Ramallah Palestinian city which has been under Israeli attacks for days….the department of antiquities and cultural heritage called upon the international community, the UNSCO, the World Heritage Committee and the international organizations to condemn Israel for violating the international law and for targeting the historical places in the old town in Nablus Palestinian city.
US prepared to seize Gulf oilfields in 1973
Middle East Online 1/4/2004
LONDON – British spy chiefs secretly warned that the United States would be prepared to invade Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to seize their oilfields following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, it was disclosed Thursday. Files released to the British National Archives under the 30-year rule for classified documents show the intelligence agencies believed the US was ready to take military action to prevent further disruption to oil supplies. It followed the decision in October 1973 by the Arab nations to slash oil production, and send prices rocketing, while imposing a complete embargo on the Americans over their support for Israel.,2763,1115691,00.html
Babies who threaten to topple Israel
The Guardian 1/4/2004
Avraham Burg, former Speaker of the Israeli parliament, has been stirring up trouble. In August, he charged Israel with having failed in its historic mission to be a ‘light unto nations’ through its belligerence. He was promptly accused of encouraging ‘the Jew hatred sweeping all of Europe’. A few weeks ago, Burg was at it again, articulating the nightmare all Israelis fear: ‘Between the Jordan [River] and the Mediterranean, somewhere between next year and two years’ time, there will be born the first Palestinian … of the Palestinian majority,’ – the generation of Arabs who will outnumber Israelis.
Peretz, Netanyahu sign deal to end sanctions
Ha’aretz 1/5/2004
Political combatants Histadrut labor federation chairman Amir Peretz and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shook hands Monday as they announced they had reached an agreement that will end the public-sector labor sanctions that lasted more than three months. Government offices were preparing for large numbers of people expected to visit the offices, which will be reopening Tuesday.

Palestinians banking on Saudi aid to victims of Israeli demolitions
ReliefWeb 1/5/2004
GAZA CITY, Jan 5 (AFP) – The Palestinian Authority is banking on financial aid from Saudi Arabia to build new housing for Gaza Strip residents whose homes were destroyed by the Israeli army, Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei said Monday. Qorei, who recently returned from his first official visit to Saudi Arabia, said he had presented Saudi officials with building projects aimed at providing new homes to scores of Palestinians whose houses were demolished in military raids.
Israel OKs Work Permits to Palestinians
Washington Post 1/4/2004
JERUSALEM – Israel on Sunday reauthorized work permits for 29,000 Palestinian laborers from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, weeks after revoking the permits following a suicide bombing in Israel, the army said. Israel has frequently clamped suffocating restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel-Palestinian fighting broke out three years ago. These restrictions have dealt a heavy blow to the Palestinian economy, which is heavily dependent on jobs in Israel.
IDF: Budget cuts will cripple many vital operations
Ha’aretz 1/4/2004
Cuts in the 2004 defense budget will constrain the war on terror in the territories, and will include the dismantling of reservists battalions that serve in the territories and guard detention centers where Palestinian prisoners are held. Also, the number of days slotted for the defense of settlements will be reduced, and training flights for Israel Air Force pilots will be canceled.

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