Palestine/Israel News and Information Links January 11-21 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 21 2004
The Future of American Muslims: A Human Rights Perspective
By Siraj Islam Mufti, Ph.D., Muslim American Society 1/21/2004
It is ironic that human rights should become an issue for American Muslims in a country dubbed “The Land of Free.‰ However, Japanese-Americans faced internment during World War II, and African-Americans have a history that clearly illustrates the lack of freedom. Media reports bear witness to Muslim rights being violated after 9/11. As a result, the Council of AmericanˆIslamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim rights advocacy group, has gained a degree of prominence during this period. This article highlights some of the major events of this sad saga and what American Muslims must do to restore their rightful place in American society.
A Legacy of Betrayal
By Admiral Thomas Moorer, Electronic Intifada 1/21/2004
While state department officials and historians assemble on Washington DC this week to discuss the 1967 war in the Middle East, I am compelled to speak out about one of U.S. history’s most shocking cover-ups.
On June 8th, 1967, Israel attacked our proud naval ship — the USS Liberty — killing 34 American servicemen and wounding 172. Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.
US says “a lot of work to do” on Saudi WTO bid
Reuters 1/21/2004
WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – U.S. trade officials downplayed chances on Wednesday of reaching a quick deal with Saudi Arabia on its bid to join the World Trade Organization, despite recent optimistic assessments. “We have a lot of work to do,” said Richard Mills, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office told Reuters. “But we’re making progress.” The world’s largest oil exporter is one of only a handful of major-league countries that are still outside the WTO.
Grand jury targets Salah
Daily Southtown 1/21/2004
Lawyer: Accused terrorist is subject of federal probe — A Bridgeview man already designated a terrorist by the federal government ˜ a charge he denies ˜ “is the target of a grand jury investigation,” according to his lawyer. Mohammed Salah received a federal grand jury subpoena for documents in November, according to a recently filed affidavit from his longtime attorney, Mary M. Rowland. The affidavit is part of a pending $300 million civil lawsuit filed in May of 2000 by the family of a Jewish teen killed in a terrorist attack on the West Bank in 1996.
Canadian Deported to Syria to File Suit
The Ledger 1/21/2004
A Canadian who was deported to Syria by American authorities in 2002 will file a lawsuit against U.S. officials, an attorney said Wednesday. Canadian police, meanwhile, searched the home and office of Ottawa Citizen reporter Juliet O’Neill Wednesday to find the source of a government information leak in the case. Maher Arar, a 33-year-old computer engineer who lives in Ottawa, will seek damages from Attorney General John Ashcroft in a suit to be filed Thursday, said Stephen Watt, a lawyer with the American Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.
State asks for more time to define ‘dignified human existence’
Ha’aretz 1/21/2004
State Prosecutor Edna Arbel asked the High Court of Justice on Wednesday evening for an extension to its demand that the state submit clearly defined standards for what is considers to be a “dignified human existence.” The state was supposed to submit its position paper to the court on Thursday.The High Court of Justice on January 5 ordered the government to explain, within 10 days, why it has not set clearly defined standards for what is considered to be a “dignified human existence,” as specified in the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom (1992).
The destruction of Rafah by Israel
SFIndyMedia 1/21/2004
Israel continues its destruction of Rafah, Palestine: in two days conducting 30 demolitions and injuring many. – 20 January 04, by Mohammed, in Rafah, Palestine — During the past few days, it was full of attacks, incursions and crimes, from western Rafah to Eastern Rafah there is no house that has not somehow been affected by the Israeli crimes, from the north of Rafah and the south of it would be hard for you to understand what is happening.. it was like an earthquake, damaged houses here and there. Three days ago the Israeli Army demolished a part of Al Tawhid mosque, and today they demolished the rest of it.
Bethlehem Hasn’t Escaped Misery of the Barrier
Zenit 1/21/2004
Security Wall Dividing Families and Lives, Says Religious at Hospital — BETHLEHEM, West Bank, JAN. 21, 2004 ( Women religious who run the Caritas Baby Hospital here have called attention to the daily ordeal to which the Israeli security barrier exposes the Palestinians. The Franciscan Elizabethan Sisters of Padua described their plight in a statement by Sister Gabriella Mian, published this week in VID, a religious communities Web page. “From the Baby Hospital, situated in a strategic place of Bethlehem, near Rachel’s Tomb, at the border between Israel and Palestine,” wrote Sister Mian, “from day to day we see the slow changes and the feeling of the strange atmosphere that the city is taking on. Some families are staying trapped on the inside of the wall, being totally isolated, deprived of regular access to normal services without the permission of Israel.”
Palestinian farmers appeal to Supreme Court as Israel begins construction of wall around Kiryat Arba settlement
Palestine Monitor 1/21/2004
26 Palestinian farmers have appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court against the proposed route of a new section of the Separation Wall, around the settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron. Israeli occupying forces began work this morning preparing the ground for the new section of Apartheid Wall. Bulldozers have carved out a 10-meter wide path around the settlement, currently home to some 6,500 settlers.

Israel kills Palestinian woman in Gaza :

Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian civilian woman during a massive invasion into the occupied Gaza Strip’s Rafah refugee camp.During Wednesday’s invasion, Israeli occupation soldiers also shot a teenager in the head, according to witnesses and medical sources.

Palestinians question US commitment to Middle East peace:

Palestinians are worried that US President George W Bush’s failure to mention their conflict with Israel in his State of the Union address means he intends to scale down US involvement in the matter.

Norwegian Ambassador’s home in Israel bugged:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was informed of a recent meeting between PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and opposition leader Shimon Peres at the home of the Norwegian ambassador via the use of electronic listening devices, Norwegian media reported Tuesday.

Israel: Likud kingpin indicted for bribing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:

His son Gilad and Labor Trade and Industry Minister Ehud Olmert in the first charge sheet filed in one of two political scandals involving the Sharon family.
US on alert over Middle East shuffles
Asia Times 1/22/2004
On January 6, Syrian President Bashar Assad began a landmark visit to Ankara. It was only six years ago that these countries were at the brink of a war when Ankara accused Damascus of sheltering Kurdish militants. This crisis was averted when Damascus expelled Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish guerrilla group known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, after having offered him sanctuary for nearly two decades. This was one year after Turkey and Israel had signed a military cooperation agreement, and Syria wanted to avoid having two enemies on its borders. Since then, the two countries have been pursuing better diplomatic relations.
Israeli soldiers and settlers injured in clash 1/21/2004
Jerusalem, Jan 21 (UNI) Six settlers and three Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers were injured during clashes that erupted when troops arrived to dismantle a Synagogue at the illegal West Tapuah outpost in the West Bank.Seventeen settlers were arrested yesterday in the scuffle, including a woman who pushed an IDF soldier off the roof of the structure. The troops cleared the structure of religious artifacts, and then demolished it, Army Radio reported.
Israeli Forces Demolish Gaza Houses
Miami Herald 1/21/2004
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces demolished houses in Gaza’s Rafah refugee camp early Wednesday for the second straight day in an anti-militant clampdown that has left 400 people homeless.A Palestinian woman standing near her home was fatally shot in the head during the operation, hospital officials said. An 11-year-old boy was critically wounded in the head when Israeli troops fired machine guns as cover for bulldozers demolishing houses, witnesses and doctors said.
Israeli removal of outpost called half-hearted
St Petersburg Times 1/21/2004
JERUSALEM – Israeli troops tore down part of a synagogue at a West Bank settlement outpost Tuesday but made no attempt to move adjacent trailer homes, prompting accusations the government isn’t serious about meeting U.S. demands to dismantle dozens of the outlawed sites. Demolition on a far greater scale took place in the Gaza Strip, where army bulldozers smashed 25 houses and flattened a mosque in a Palestinian refugee camp, leaving 400 people homeless, local officials said.
Israeli warplanes strike Hizbullah bases in Bekaa
Daily Star 1/21/2004
Army: destroyed bulldozer was 26 meters across border — Israeli warplanes attacked Hizbullah bases in the Bekaa Valley following Monday‚s rocket attack by Hizbullah on an Israeli military bulldozer that crossed into Lebanese territory, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday. President Emile Lahoud said on Tuesday that a UN investigation had found that an Israeli military bulldozer hit by a Hizbullah rocket attack was in Lebanese territory at the time of the strike.
Israel mulled striking Syria in response to Hezbollah attack
Ha’aretz 1/21/2004
Israel considered bombing Syrian targets in response to a deadly attack by Hezbollah on an Israel Defense Forces bulldozer the day before, officials said on Tuesday.— Military officials met for four hours on Tuesday to discuss Israel’s response to Monday’s attack, and though Israel holds Syria responsible for Hezbollah’s actions, the officials decided against attacking the targets, believing that Damascus would almost certainly respond to such a strike, thus leading to a further escalation in violence on the northern border.
Israeli occupation forces continue Rafah rampage, destroy more homes
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – For the second consecutive day, Israeli occupation forces went on the rampage in Rafah at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, wreaking terror on Palestinian civilians and destroying five more homes.Palestinian sources said thousands of Israeli troops, backed by tanks and bulldozers, demolished five more homes at the Brzil refugee camp in Rafah, brining the number of homes destroyed in the past 24 hours to 35.
Occupation forces cement house of Qassam captive
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Zionist policemen and special forces today cemented the house of Abdullah Adnan Al-Sharbati in the Wadi Al-Joz suburb in occupied Jerusalem.Family members said that large numbers of police, special units and border guards encircled the house at 8 am today then started to cement all entrances to the house‚s first floor, which is inhabited by six individuals.
Enemy police arrest 60 Palestinians
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Jenin – Zionist police have arrested about 40 West Bank Palestinian workers at the pretext of working in the 1948 occupied lands without prior permits.The arrests were largely made in the Galilee area in north of occupied Palestine, the police declared. The police statement said that 20 other Palestinians inhabitants of the 1948 areas were arrested on charges of assisting and/or employing those workers.
Occupation authorities bulldoze three Jerusalemite houses
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Zionist municipality of occupied Jerusalem yesterday demolished three Palestinian houses in the Tal Al-Fool and Wadi Qaddoum suburbs in occupied Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses said that occupation troops accompanied a number of municipal bulldozers that besieged and razed the houses of the brothers Na‚eem and Ismail Al-Rashaq in Tal Al-Fool area to the north of occupied Jerusalem.

IDF dismantles Tapuah West synagogue
Jerusalem Post 1/21/2004
In what settlers and soldiers called a “pilot” of future outpost evacuations, the IDF caught the settlers of West Tapuah off guard Tuesday, quickly dismantling an illegal synagogue dedicated to the banned radical rightist group, Kahane Chai. It was the first evacuation of an illegal outpost since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke of unilateral withdrawal from parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip a month ago.

Arab teen sentenced for bomb plot
Jerusalem Post 1/21/2004
“Only once a minor knows that he can expect a deterring punishment is there a chance to prevent cooperation with planners of terror attacks.”— The Haifa District Court on Tuesday sentenced a 16-year-old Arab citizen to eight years in prison for plotting to carry out a suicide attack. The Haifa boy was convicted, under a plea bargain, on charges of conspiring to aid an enemy. The youth told a Hamas activist he wanted to carry out a suicide attack….
Eyewitness in Gaza: New attack in Dier Al Balah
Rafah Today 1/21/2004
Two Palestinians were arrested, and Abu Holi checkpoint was blocked for many hours. They invaded and checked many houses in Deir al Balah, and many Palestinians were injured, and other agriculture plot demolished. New attack in Dier Al Balah by a group of Israeli tanks and bulldozers forcing three families to leave their houses under the treat of weapons force, that three families are: Mahgmoud Saed, Khaled Mhamoud, and Akram Saed, as in the same time they shoot fir against people leaving a 65 years old injured Ali Abu Al Qasem.. That attack was under very massive shelling in addition to using their police dogs in which make fear against children and women.
Outpost activists erect makeshift synagogue at demolition site
Ha’aretz 1/21/2004
Only hours after IDF troops demolished the Kahane College synagogue building Tuesday in an illegal outpost adjacent to the West Bank settlement of Tapuah, settlers overnight erected a makeshift synagogue at the hilltop site, settlers said Wednesday. “There hasn’t been one outpost evacuated by the army which has not been rebuilt,” West Tapuah activist David Ivri told Israel Radio Wednesday.
Hezbollah vows to defend Lebanon’s sovereignty
Middle East Online 1/21/2004
A day after Israeli raids on south Lebanon, the Shiite Muslim fundamentalist Hezbollah on Wednesday appeared to rule out a military escalation, but warned it would react to any new Israeli violation of Lebanese sovereignty. On the ground, Hezbollah guerrillas who are deployed along the volatile Lebanese-Israeli border kept a low profile as UN peacekeepers stepped up their patrols, correspondents in the region said.
IOF Go on Rampage: Demolish 31 Houses, Wound 38 Workers
Palestine Media Center 1/21/2004
Israeli Detention Spree Continues, Activist Detainee Deported to Gaza — Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday went on rampage to demolish a mosque and at least 30 Palestinian houses, wound 38 Palestinian workers and a “deaf‰ woman at a military roadblock, detain more anti-Israeli occupation Palestinians in the ongoing arrests spree and deport an activist detainee from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian woman killed in Israeli raid
Middle East Online 1/21/2004
GAZA CITY – A Palestinian woman was killed and at least three people wounded during a massive raid by Israeli troops into the sprawling Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, witnesses and medical sources said. Muna Ahmad Ismail, 31, was shot in the head by Israeli fire, the sources said as the army embarked on the second day of an operation which has seen dozens of homes destroyed or damaged and left hundreds of people homeless.
Israel attacks Southern Lebanon, admits bulldozer entered Lebanese territory
International Middle East Media Center 1/21/2004
Israel Air Force fighter planes struck at targets in southern Lebanon early Tuesday evening. The attack targeted two locations for Hezbollah. No casualties reported of the attack. This attack followed an attack launched Monday by Hezbollah fighters at an Israeli bulldozer in which the driver of the bulldozer was killed. The bulldozer entered the Lebanese territories when it was hit by a deadly missile. A second soldier in the bulldozer was seriously wounded.
Settlers erect illegal outpost less than 24 hours after being demolished by Israeli troops
International Middle East Media Center 1/21/2004
It just took some hours after the army demolished the illegal outpost of “Kahane College synagogue‰ Tuesday near the West Bank settlement of Tapuah, “There hasn’t been one outpost evacuated by the army which has not been rebuilt,” David Ivri, an extremist in the movement, told Israel Radio today. The outpost was demolished yesterday afternoon, but over night, more than 25 settlers gathered and erected the outpost which carries the name of the founder of the extremist division in Israel.
News Briefs: Army continues attacks in Rafah, Shoots woman dead, Uprooting trees in Hebron
International Middle East Media Center 1/21/2004
The army continues its attacks in Rafah: Palestinian sources mentioned today that a Palestinian woman was shot dead after sustaining a gunshot in her head fired by the military south Rafah. Sources in Abu Yousif Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah said that Mona Ismail, 31 years old died today as a result of a gunshot injury in the head. / The Army continues uprooting trees in Hebron: The military Bulldozers today uprooted more than 100 fruitful trees in order to establish the separation wall in that area, it is worth mentioning that the uprooting of the trees today is a continuation for previous uprooting in the same area. / Troops demolish 30 houses in Rafah in three days: In a wide military attack against Rafah in the Gaza Strip, the army demolished more than 30 houses in Rafah in three days. Yesterday the military demolished more than 24 houses claiming that they have been used as shooting posts towards the army.
Israel kills Palestinian woman in Gaza
Al-Jazeera 1/21/2004
Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian civilian woman during a massive invasion into the occupied Gaza Strip’s Rafah refugee camp. During Wednesday’s invasion, another five civilians, including teenagers, were injured, according to witnesses and medical sources. Bilal Shahadah, 14, was shot in the head as he walked along a street in the vast impoverished camp on the border between Gaza and Egypt after an Israeli-imposed curfew, said witnesses.
Israel orders land seizures in Gaza
Al-Jazeera 1/21/2004
Israeli occupation forces have issued land confiscation orders to 28 families in the town of Dair al-Balah. Located near the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in the Central Gaza strip, the total area subject to confiscation and eventual “fencing in‰ is approximately 1000 dunums ˆ the equivalent of one square kilometre – according to the Central Area Governorate.*.Immigration%20,SITE!.1
Palestinian Refugee Property: Unlocking the File Indy Media Center 1/21/2004
The issue of Palestinian refugee property lies close to “ground zero‰ in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It has proven to be, and will remain, the most contentious of all the nearly intractable final status issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. Michael R. Fischbach will explain the property question as it relates to the Road Map, the Geneva Plan, and even the U.S. occupation of Iraq….Fischbach’s new book, Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, is the result of four years of research into archival documents in six countries and on three continents, including into the hitherto-unseen records of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP) locked away in the U.N. archives in New York.
Palestinian detainees crammed in detention centers
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Bethlehem – Lawyers of the Palestinian prisoner‚s club, Karim Hamoude and Mohammed Al-Shadfan, have quoted detainees in the Zionist jails of Atsion and Benjamin as complaining from increasingly harsh imprisonment conditions.The lawyers, who managed to visit those detainees recently, said that 63 captives were crammed in the Benjamin detention center including 13 minors.
Occupation authorities block travel of more pilgrims
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Bethlehem – Jordanian authorities yesterday returned to the West Bank Dr. Ali Tayeh who crossed into Jordan en route to offer Haj (pilgrimage) in Saudi Arabia.There was no explanation given for the Jordanian measure, which coincided with the Zionist authorities continued blocking of Palestinians wishing to offer Haj, an Islamic ritual that occur only once a year.
Palestinian: Bush ignored us in speech
Washington Times 1/21/2004
DOHA, Qatar, Jan. 21 (UPI) — Palestinian representatives are angry U.S. President George Bush made no mention of the Arab-Israeli conflict in his state of the union address.”If he wants democracy in the Middle East, the most ready area for elections in all forms, both regional and local, is Palestine,” Saib Uraiqat, Palestinian minister of negotiations, told al-Jazeera.
Syria Accepts Square-One Talks With Israel : Source
Islam Online 1/21/2004
CAIRO, January 21 ( ˆ Syria’s President Bashar Assad was ready to re-start peace talks with Israel from scratch but Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon set several preconditions, a veteran Egyptian journalist close to President Hosni Mubarak told on Tuesday, January 20. Makram Mohammad Ahmad, the editor-in-chief of the semi-government Al-Muswar weekly, said Assad had told Mubarak during his latest visit to Cairo in December about his new position, provided that it would lead to a just peace.

Qorei shows West Bank barrier to British parliamentary delegation
ReliefWeb 1/21/2004
ABU DIS, West Bank, Jan 21 (AFP) – Palestinian prime minister Ahmad Qorei met with a British parliamentary delegation on Wednesday and showed them part of the vast separation barrier that Israel is building through the West Bank. Qorei hosted members of the British Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) at his office in Abu Dis, a neighbourhood in occupied and annexed east Jerusalem, where a new concrete section of the separation barrier has just been erected.
Abed Rabbo Slams Absence of ŒRoadmap‚ in Bush Address
Palestine Media Center 1/21/2004
‘Ignoring the Palestinian Issue Gives a Green Light to Sharon‚ — The Palestine National Authority (PNA) on Tuesday criticized the absence of any reference to the Middle East peace process and the “roadmap‰ plan in the US President George W. Bush‚s “State of the Union‰ address, saying it gives a “green light‰ to the Israeli government to carry on with building its Apartheid Wall on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.
Syria could negotiate with Israel from zero
Middle East Online 1/21/2004
CAIRO – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak he was ready to negotiate with Israel without conditions if the Jewish state did the same, a Mubarak confidant said Wednesday. The editor-in-chief of the Egyptian government magazine al-Mussawar, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, published an article reporting that Mubarak had sent such a message to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Bush chided for ignoring peace process
Al-Jazeera 1/21/2004
Palestinian representatives have criticised US President GeorgeBush’s push for democracy in the Middle-East in his state of the union address, while at the same time ignoring the Palestinian, Israeli conflict. “If he wants democracy in the Middle-East, the most ready area for elections in all forms, both regional and local, is Palestine”, Palestinian minister of negotiations, Saib Uraiqat told”Why can’t we begin with democracy in Palestine?”,Uraiqat asked.

Dudi Appel to be charged with bribing Sharon
The Marker 1/21/2004
Businessman and back-room Likud kingmaker David Appel bribed Ariel Sharon and possibly his deputy Ehud Olmert too, according to charges to be filed today at the Tel Aviv District Court. The charges amend an indictment filed last year for other bribery charges. The amended charge sheet implies that the recipients of the alleged bribes, Sharon, now the prime minister, and Olmert, were active participants in the corruption.
Sharon may face corruption charge
BBC 1/21/2004
Prosecutors in Israel are considering charging Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his deputy in connection with a bribery scandal.The Justice Ministry said a decision will be made within a few months. It comes after an Israeli businessman was charged with offering millions of dollars in bribes to Mr Sharon, his deputy and one of Mr Sharon’s sons.
Appel indictment says he transferred $580,000 to PM’s ranch
Ha’aretz 1/21/2004
Businessman and back-room Likud kingmaker David Appel was indicted at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for allegedly bribing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his deputy, Ehud Olmert, some five to six years ago.The amended indictment filed by the State Prosecutor’s Office claims that Appel told Ariel Sharon, then foreign minister, that his son Gilad stood to earn “good money” from Appel’s project to build a resort on a Greek island.
State: Appel told Sharon that his son, Gilad, would earn large sums
Globes 1/21/2004
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon knew that his son, Gilad Sharon, would receive an enormous payment from David Appel, according to the revised indictment against Appel presented yesterday to the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court.The indictment is based on the allegation that Appel used the promise of financial contributions to the reelection campaigns of Sharon and Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Ehud Olmert in order to obtain their support in business matters.,2763,1128015,00.html
Bribery scandal threatens to engulf Sharon
The Guardian 1/21/2004
Opposition politicians in Israel today called for the country’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, to step down after a businessman was indicted in a Tel Aviv court for allegedly bribing him. Prosecutors were considering whether to charge Mr Sharon along with his son, Gilad, and his deputy, Ehud Olmert, a close ally, a justice ministry official said.”The assessment is that it will take from a few weeks to a few months to decide whether or not charges will be brought against Sharon, Olmert and Gilad,” the source said.
Peres: PM must deliver to the public his version of Appel affair
Ha’aretz 1/21/2004
Labor Party chairman and the leader of the opposition, MK Shimon Peres, on Wednesday evening called on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to present to the public his version of events regarding the indictment of businessman David Appel, Israel Radio reported. Peres said that such a move would clear the fog surrounding the affair.
Sharon orders changes in security fence
World Tribune 1/21/2004
JERUSALEM ˆ Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ordered changes in the route of the security fence and barrier along and through the West Bank. Israeli officials said Sharon plans to appoint a panel to review the route of the fence and recommend changes that would avoid legal problems in the Israeli High Court and the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
Left wing opposition accuses Sharon of spying on them
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Leftwing parties in the Hebrew state have charged the government of premier Ariel Sharon of spying on politicians.Yossi Sarid, a left wing MP, and Labor leader, Shimon Peres, accused Sharon of exploiting the state‚s secret service to spy on them.Sharon had told members of a parliamentary committee that Palestinian Authority premier Ahmed Qrei had a secret meeting with leader of the opposition leader, Peres, in the Norwegian embassy in Tel Aviv on 13th January.

Shalom boosts settlers
Jerusalem Post 1/21/2004
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom provided a boost to settlers when he visited Ofra and Ariel on the same day that security forces dismantled an illegal synagogue in West Tapuah. The trip was organized in advance of the IDF’s decision to move against the synagogue, which caught Shalom’s staff by surprise. Still, the visit was seen by the settlers as a show of support and a reminder to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that a growing number of Likud politicians do not support his political stance toward the territories, according to Adi Mintz, director-general of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Sharon’s future clouded by corruption scandal
Middle East Online 1/21/2004
Ariel Sharon’s political future looked increasingly precarious Wednesday with the indictment of a businessman on charges of attempting to bribe the Israeli prime minister during the 1990s and talk of possible charges against the right-wing leader himself. The indictment of property developer David Appel was just the latest episode in a series of corruption allegations tied to the financing of Sharon’s 1999 campaign for the leadership of his Likud party that may force him to resign.
Appel the kingmaker
Globes 1/21/2004
David Appel’s political connections are alleged to have been good for business. — David Appel very much wanted to set up a huge complex on the island of Patroclus, near Athens, but he needed connections in the Greek government. He also wanted to buy land beside Moshav Ginaton, but here again he needed connections. Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert were the key. David Appel is a successful property developer. Like his parents before him, he has always been closely connected to the Likud party.
Haredi employment in Jerusalem industry triples in three years
Globes 1/21/2004
Over half of Jerusalem enterprises employ haredi (ultra-Orthodox) workers. — Jerusalem Manufacturers Association chairman Moti Teperberg said yesterday that haredi (ultra-Orthodox) employment in Jerusalem industry was on the rise. The majority of employees in 42 enterprises in Jerusalem are haredim. Haredi employment in Jerusalem has tripled over the past three years to 1,400.
2003 exports to US down 2%
Globes 1/21/2004
High-tech exports to the US fell 8% to $2.8 billion in 2003, while food exports to the US rose 25%. — The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute reported today that exports to the US fell in 2003 for the third consecutive year. Exports to the US, excluding diamonds, declined 2% to $5.9 billion in 2003.
Tourist exits by Israelis down 0.8% in 2003
Globes 1/21/2004
Tourist exits by Israelis by air fell by 4.9% to 2.689 million. — 3.299 million tourist exits were made by Israelis in 2003, a negligible 0.8% increase compared with 2002, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today. Tourist exits by Israelis fell by 8% in 2002. The stability in overseas trips by Israelis last year was mainly due to a 43% jump in trips by Israelis to Egypt and Jordan to 538,700.
Israel to amend Companies Law to meet OECD requirements
Globes 1/21/2004
The OECD published its draft of the revision of its Principles of Corporate Governance last week. — Sources inform “Globes‰ that a special inter-ministerial committee has begun studying the Companies Law and other laws and regulations relating to the management and control of private and public companies. The committee intends to ultimately adapt Israeli legislation and regulations to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) standards.
Unveiled women anger Saudi cleric
BBC 1/21/2004
Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority has issued a stern rebuke to women who appeared at a conference unveiled in the presence of men.Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh said the women’s behaviour was shameful and warned of “grave consequences”.
Erdogan Under Fire For Rejecting Common Islamic Market
Islam Online 1/21/2004
ISTANBUL, January 21 ( ˆ Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came under fire for his recent clear opposition to creating a common Islamic market, with press reports accusing him of backtracking on earlier positions. Addressing the Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia on January 17-18, Erdogan said “economy does not have a religion, and efforts to base money on ethnicity will lead to negative results”.
JORDAN: Rise In Garment Exports
BharatTextile News 1/21/2004
AMMAN: According to the latest figures provided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade the export of garment of the country has increased. Garment exports increased by 34.8 percent.Foreign trade rose during the first eleven months of 2003 by 8.6 per cent but the trade deficit widened by 14 per cent compared to that of the same period last year. Imports increased by 9.8 per cent, exports by 4.4 per cent and reexports by 14 per cent, the ministry’s figures indicated.
Mosque Places Imam on Leave
Ohio News Network 1/21/2004
A Cleveland-area Islamic clergyman accused of concealing alleged links to anti-Israel militant groups has been placed on leave by his mosque. The allegations against Fawaz Mohammed Damrah stem from his application for U.S. citizenship. Trustees of the Islamic Center of Cleveland voted ten-to-five this week to put the man on a paid leave of absence while he defends himself against a federal indictment.

Anti-Israel comments ‘mar’ King tribute
Montreal Gazette 1/21/2004
Two Jewish leaders walk out in protest over editor’s speech — Israel’s consul-general in Montreal walked out of an interfaith memorial service marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day to protest against a speech by the editor of an online Muslim news service.Marc Attali said yesterday he “deplored” the speech Monday night by Yahya Abdul Rahman, of the Montreal Muslim News Network.
Iranian Ministers, Vice Presidents Resign In Vote Crisis
Islam Online 1/21/2004
TEHRAN, January 21 ( & News Agencies) ˆ A number of Iranian ministers and vice-presidents submitted their resignations in protest at the mass disqualification of candidates from next month’s election, a top Iranian official confirmed on Wednesday, January 21.President Mohammad Khatami himself is ready to walk out unless the Guardian Council reviews the ban, Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Saudis ‘kidnap reformist prince’
BBC 1/21/2004
A Saudi prince has accused his government of kidnapping him in Switzerland after he spoke out in favour of reform in Saudi Arabia.Prince Sultan bin Turki bin Abdel-Aziz says he was lured to a meeting in Geneva, where he was drugged before being flown back to the desert kingdom. The prince says he is currently under house arrest in the capital, Riyadh.
5 million on terrorism list
RadioFree USA 1/21/2004
U.S. security agents have a master list of five million people worldwide thought to be potential terrorists or criminals, officials say. “The U.S. lookout index contains some five million names of known terrorists and other persons representing a potential problem,” Brian Davis, a senior Canadian immigration official in Paris, said in a confidential document obtained by the Sun. Names on the list are compared against those applying for visas or on flights travelling to the U.S. Anyone whose name is on the list is questioned or banned from entering the U.S. — as passengers were on two British Airways flights to Los Angeles two weeks ago.
Bush address makes no mention of Israel, Palestinians
Ha’aretz 1/21/2004
U.S. President George Bush’s State of the Union address Tuesday omitted any direct reference to Israel and the Palestinians, but Bush told the joint session of the House and Senate that movements threatening America would continue to exist as long as the Middle East remained “a place of tyranny, despair and anger.”
Two Zionists arrested on attempting to infiltrate Arab League
Palestinian Information Center 1/21/2004
Cairo – Security apparatuses in the Arab League headquarters in Cairo yesterday foiled an attempt by two Zionists to enter the premises within a Spanish TV team, according to Egyptian press sources. The sources said that the Spanish team was scheduled to interview Amre Mousa, the Arab League secretary general.
Mid-East regret at Bush address
BBC 1/21/2004
President Bush’s State of the Union address has elicited much comment in the Middle East, from politicians and media outlets.The Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said it was “regrettable” Mr Bush had not mentioned the Middle East peace process, or road map. Official commentators in the Iranian media highlight what they call the “contradictory” nature of the President’s remarks.

Sen. John Kerry’s on his way, Jewish backers say
Jerusalem Post 1/21/2004
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s surprising victory in Iowa Monday has led his Jewish supporters to predict that more members of the Jewish community will now back his campaign….While Solomont is heading up the fund-raising effort in Massachusetts, other Jews across the country are raising money for Kerry. Among them is Kerry’s national finance chairman, Lou Susman, a financial services executive based in Chicago. Mark Gorenberg, a San Francisco venture capitalist, is scouting out donors on the West Coast. And in Colorado, Norm Brownstein, a Denver-based lawyer active in AIPAC, is raising funds.
Iraq-based Palestinian pilgrims stranded at Saudi border
Yahoo! News 1/21/2004
DUBAI (AFP) – Some 280 Iraq (news – web sites)-based Palestinians traveling to Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage have been stranded at the border for three days, a member of the group told AFP. “We are 300 Arabs, including 280 Palestinians carrying Iraqi travel documents, and we have been refused entry into Saudi Arabia for three days,” Daoud Mahmoud Ziada said by telephone Wednesday from the Araar border post between the two countries.
Israel orders land seizures in Gaza
By Laila El-Haddad, Miftah/Al-Jazeera 1/21/2004
Israeli occupation forces have issued land confiscation orders to 28 families in the town of Dair al-Balah.
Located near the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in the Central Gaza strip, the total area subject to confiscation and eventual “fencing in‰ is approximately 1000 dunums ˆ the equivalent of one square kilometre –
according to the Central Area Governorate.
My Affidavit to The Hague
By Yossi Sarid, Miftah 1/21/2004
Lately, I’
ve been wondering what I would do if the International Court in The Hague, on its own initiative, asked for my opinion on the separation fence. I find these thoughts oppressive. On the one hand, every human being with a conscience has to do everything he can to topple this bad fence. On the other hand, even those who, like me, feel the Sharon government is an Israeli tragedy, are usually also infected with the patriotic germ, which dissuades them from collaborating with outside parties in the struggle against the evils committed by the government of Israel.
As Scandals Swirl Around Sharon, Pundits Predict He Won‚t Last a Year
By Leslie Susser, Miftah 1/21/2004
As with President Nixon in the Watergate affair, tapes and an attempted coverup could be the undoing of Israel‚s scandal-haunted leader. After audiotapes and videotapes that aired on prime-time television last week suggested Ariel Sharon knew more than he has admitted about illegal fund raising during his 1999 bid for Likud Party leader, pundits and politicians say the prime minister won‚
t see out the year in office.
Putting Israel above the law and ruling by exception
By Hasan Abu Nimah, Jordan Times 1/21/2004
TALK OF ridding the Middle East of “weapons of mass destruction‰
(WMD) has been heard for years, but no efforts have been made to bring this closer. Whenever Arab states raised the issue, for example at the United Nations, instantly doubt would be cast on their motives, and their efforts would be perceived as a veiled attempt to point fingers at Israel, which is known to have huge arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Finance Ministry still opposing grant for Coca Cola Israel move to Ashkelon
Globes 1/21/2004
The Ministry of Finance has appealed to acting Attorney General Edna Arbel to stop the grant — Sources inform “Globes‰ that the Ministry of Finance yesterday appealed to acting Attorney General Edna Arbel to stop the Investment Promotion Center of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor providing a grant to the Central Bottling Company (Coca Cola Israel) for moving its plant to Ashkelon.

January 20 2004
Palestinian struggle for freedom central at World Social Forum
Palestine Monitor 1/20/2004
The World Social Forum opened in Mumbai, India on Friday with the Palestinian issue at its center. Nearly 100,000 people from around the world descended on the suburb of Ghatkopar for the Forum that is one of the largest gatherings of social activists and nongovernmental organizations at which Palestinian speakers, including Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Ayman Rabi, Jihad Mushal and Hanna Rishmawi, had the chance to convey the plight of the Palestinians to an audience of thousands.
Israel Helps US In Iraq, Aides Say 1/20/2004
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A key U.S. ally behind-the-scenes in the war in Iraq, Israel has been contributing intelligence, tactics and technology mostly in secret to avert an Arab backlash, congressional aides and analysts said Thursday. The commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Golani Brigade briefed U.S. Marines in mid-June on the lessons the IDF has learned from its conflict with the Palestinians. The Israelis have supplied the American military with aerial surveillance equipment, decoy drones and D-9 armored bulldozers, sources close to the Israeli government said.
Frech Muslim Air Staff singled out by US 1/20/2004
In the latest bout of Franco-American squabbling, hundreds of Air France pilots and cabin crew who have French nationality but were born in Muslim countries are furious at being singled out for stringent security measures when they land in the US. Some of the 324 affected employees complain that they were treated like “terrorist suspects” after being separated from fellow cabin crew and grilled for up to four hours by security agents on arrival at American airports. The treatment, they say, was “discriminatory and insulting”.

Mosque, homes destroyed in Rafah raid :

Israeli bulldozers have demolished a mosque and 13 Palestinian homes in a raid on the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

Sharon slams Jordan moves against West Bank ‘’fence’’ :

Sharon said, “We are not pleased with Jordan joining the debate at the International Court”, and added, “We have made clear to the Jordanians that they have much to lose”.

Israeli Soldier Killed at Lebanon Border :

Hezbollah militants attacked an Israeli bulldozer at the Israeli-Lebanese border on Monday. Israel’s military said one soldier was killed and two were wounded, one seriously. The Islamic militant group said the bulldozer had crossed the border into Lebanon, but the Israeli army disputed that.,1280,-3643572,00.html

Peres: Sharon using secret services to follow me :

Opposition leader Shimon Peres on Monday claimed that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon using Israel’s secret services to track his movements.

Israeli planes bomb south Lebanon

Israeli army changes account of Hizbollah attack:

The Israeli army, changing its account of a Lebanese border incident, said on Tuesday that an Israeli soldier killed by Hizbollah guerrillas on Monday was several metres inside Lebanon at the time.
Israeli Military Plans to Extra-Judicially Execute Hamas Spiritual Leader
International Press Center 1/20/2004
GAZA, Palestine, January 20, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— The Israeli Chief of Staff, Moshe Ya’loun, said yesterday that Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), can be physically liquidated at any time.Ya’loun was speaking in an interview with the Israeli channel 2 TV, on Monday, confirming that Israel would not differentiate between the political or military leaders of Hamas.
Palestinians easily scale Israel’s ‘$1.9 billion security fence’
World Tribune 1/20/2004
TEL AVIV ˜ Palestinian infiltrators have succeeded in breaching Israel’s new security fence and barrier system. Israeli security sources said Palestinian infiltrators have scaled the four-meter high concrete fence by using a simple ladder. The Israeli project calls for the establishing of a 730-kilometer fence at a cost of $1.9 billion [Israeli govt estimates put the cost at at least $3.4 billion – Ed.]. Most of the project consists of a concrete wall or chain-link fence with sensors, cameras and military patrols.
Eyewitness in Rafah: ‘ was like an earthquake’
Rafah Today 1/20/2004
During the past few days, it was full of attacks, incursions and crimes, from western Rafah to Eastern Rafah there is no house that has not somehow been affected by the Israeli crimes, from the north of Rafah and the south of it would be hard for you to understand what is happening.. it was like an earthquake, damaged houses here and there. Three days ago the Israeli Army demolished a part of Al Tawhid mosque, and today they demolished the rest of it. Two days ago, the IDF demolished three houses near the Morage settlements, and another few houses were demolished, leaving the children of Al Jaria and Al Malahay families without homes in the cold weather. They also demolished many olive trees and two other gardens of chickens and sheep in the same area..

Israeli operation destroys 36 buildings in Gaza refugee camp – UN agency
ReliefWeb 1/20/2004
Israeli armoured vehicles and bulldozers destroyed 36 buildings in a Gaza refugee camp during an operation that began in the early hours of this morning, according to the main United Nations agency helping Palestine refugees.The buildings housed some 81 families, or approximately 400 people, the UN Refugee Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reported.,3604,1126633,00.html
Where day to day living has had its heart cut out
The Guardian 1/20/2004
Fatina Zen stayed until the end, peering down her street through the lashing rain as towering concrete slabs were slotted into place one by one across the middle of the road. She wondered if her son might suddenly appear on the other side to wave goodbye but he never came. The 52-year-old grandmother finally left once the latest section of Israel’s “security fence” – recently renamed the “terror prevention fence” to improve its image abroad – had bisected the street as it worms its way through the Jerusalem Arab neighbourhood of Abu Dis.
IndyMedia Athens 1/10/2004
Before the Nakba of 1948, the village owned 40 000 dunums of land (or about 100 000 acres). Some families still have papers proving that they own orange groves which are now situated in ‘Israel’. Salfit municipality has documents dating as far back as 1903 proving that the land belongs to Palestinians. In 1967, 20% more of Deir Ballut’s land was confiscated into Israel.
German MPs: Israel’s Apartheid Wall Can Never be Imagined in Today World
International Press Center 1/20/2004
QALQILIA, Palestine, January 20, 2004 (IPC+WAFA)— Several German MPs observing Israel’s Apartheid Wall in the West Bank city of Qaqlilia, expressed Tuesday astonishment at such a separation wall-off fence, being built by Israel around the West Bank including Qalqilia city.Dajmar Smedin, President of the German delegation, was quoted by WAFA News Agency as saying:” what we heard about the Apartheid Wall is different from what we have personally observed. Such a wall can never be imagined in any place in the universe in today world”.
Israeli forces demolish 25 homes in Rafah
Electronic Intifada/PCHR 1/20/2004
Early this morning, 400 Palestinian families were forced by the Israeli occupation forces to evacuate their homes in Rafah during an Israeli military incursion into the area. A total of 25 civilian homes located on the border area with Egypt were destroyed. According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, at around 2:30am on Tuesday 20 January 2004, Israeli occupation forces, including tanks and heavy military bulldozers, entered 400 meters inside the Al-sha‚er and Qishta quarters in Salah El-Din Gate area of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. After subjecting the Palestinian residences in the area to heavy machine gun-fire, Israeli military bulldozers began demolishing civilian homes in the area, without allowing the residents an opportunity to remove their belongings.
Israeli Occupying Forces at Erez Crossing Open Fire at Palestinian Workers
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights 1/20/2004
25 Palestinians were injured this morning at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza when Israeli troops opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at thousands of Palestinian workers waiting at the crossing.According to preliminary investigations conducted by PCHR, the incident at the Erez crossing began at 2am on Tuesday, 20 January 2004 when thousands of Palestinians were queuing to pass through the crossing to work in Israel.Without warning Israeli soldiers opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets and tear gas, over the heads of workers‚ as they were making their way towards the checking area. 25 workers sustained various injuries and were taken to Kamal Adwan and Al Awdah Hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.

UNRWA Commissioner General seeks support for Palestine refugees in China, Japan and South Korea
ReliefWeb 1/20/2004
Peter Hansen, Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has completed a three-nation visit to the Far East to raise financial and political support for the work of the Agency. All three countries expressed support for the work of UNRWA and acknowledged the difficult conditions in which the Agency operates. Mr. Hansen provided an update on the humanitarian situation of Palestinian refugees in the region which was appreciated by officials in the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Israeli minister not invited, says FO
Dawn Group 1/20/2004
ISLAMABAD, Jan 20: Pakistan on Tuesday dispelled an impression that it had invited Israeli Agriculture Minister Israel Katz to visit Pakistan as part of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) delegation. Foreign office spokesman Masood Khan told APP that there was a proposal by the FAO director-general to send a delegation to review Pakistan’s food security programme but Islamabad expressed its inability to host the visit in March due to certain reasons.

Israel spying on ambassador ˆ report
Jerusalem Post 1/20/2004
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was informed of a recent meeting between Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and opposition leader Shimon Peres at the home of the Norwegian ambassador via the use of electronic listening devices, Norwegian media reported Tuesday. “The Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon knew all the details of a secret meeting at the home of Mona Juul, the Norwegian ambassador in Israel,” Norway’s TV 2 reported on its Nettavisen web site Tuesday.
Quartet, Arab Summit Expected to Adopt Geneva Initiative: Abed Rabbo
Palestine Media Center 1/20/2004
The Geneva Initiative is expected to be adopted both by the Quartet of the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union, as well as the Arab League at its upcoming March summit in Tunis, the Palestinian co-author of the blueprint Yasser Abed Rabbo said in Paris following a meeting with French foreign minister on Monday. The UN Secretary-General “Kofi Annan has said that he will raise this question at the next meeting of the Quartet. This is very important. Other European leaders have taken a similar position,‰ said Abed Rabbo, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and former culture and information minister, AFP reported.

Poland to support Israel in EU
Jerusalem Post 1/20/2004
Israel will have a new friend and advocate in the European Union on May 1, when Poland becomes a full member of the expanded EU. Polish Ambassador Jan Piekarski, appearing Tuesday as guest lecturer at the final seminar for this semester of The Mayrock Center Department of Russian and Slavic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, indicated his country’s desire to play a constructive role in the EU’s Middle East policy.
Jordan disregards Sharon’s warning regarding its involvment against the Wall
International Middle East Media Center 1/20/2004
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon reprimanded Jordan for its active involvement in the upcoming hearing of the International Court of Justice in The Hague to discuss the legality of the Separation Wall in the West Bank.He told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Knesset, that Amman is leading the campaign against the Wall in the Arab World.He added, “Jordan’s involvement is a departure from the relationship between the two countries who have strategic cooperation between them”.

Peres calls for Labor primaries
Jerusalem Post 1/20/2004
Temporary Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres promised for the first time on Monday to hold primaries to elect the party’s permanent leader. Peres told reporters in the Knesset that even if the next general election is advanced, he will ensure that primaries will be held to elect the party’s candidate for prime minister
Remington Arms delegation to visit Israel for advanced security procurement
Globes 1/21/2004
Headed by Remington COO Ronald Bristol II, the delegation will meet with dozens of Israeli security and civil defense companies. — A delegation from US company Remington Arms will visit Israel next week to consider procurement of advanced security equipment.
Carly Fiorina cancels Israel trip
Globes 1/20/2004
Meetings with the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry were cancelled at the last minute. HP’s CEO was to appoint a new CEO for Hewlett-Packard Israel. — Sources inform “Globes‰ that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) chairperson and CEO Carly Fiorina cancelled her scheduled Thursday visit to Israel at the last moment.
Mahatma Gandhi‚s grandson preaches the message of non-violence to rapt AUB audience
Daily Star 1/20/2004
It has been well over 50 years since the death of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – better known as Mahatma Gandhi – but the lessons of his life are as important as they ever were.Perhaps more today in a world frequently characterized by increased polarization, military supremacy and widespread intolerance.That was the message that his grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi, delivered to an attentive audience at the American University of Beirut‚s Issam Fares Hall on Thursday, demonstrating the relevance of his revered ancestor‚s message in the modern Arab world.

PA daily raps terrorists for recruiting teens, mothers
Jerusalem Post 1/20/2004
A leading Palestinian columnist has launched a scathing attack on Hamas and Islamic Jihad for recruiting teenagers and mothers for suicide attacks against Israel, saying Palestinians are fed up with this “culture of death.” Writing in the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, Hasan al-Batal, a prominent columnist closely associated with the PA, praised families of suicide bombers who have spoken out against the phenomenon as courageous.

Arab sector calls for separate education system
Jerusalem Post 1/20/2004
The Follow-Up Committee on Arab Education said on Tuesday it intends to lobby for an separate Arab education system after a survey showed that 85 percent of those involved in education in the Arab sector are dissatisfied with the system. The year-long survey was conducted by Dr. Khaled Abu-Asbeh, director of Massar, an educational planning and policy consulting institute, and polled over 400 people across the country involved in Arab education, including teachers, parents, academics, education administrators, and representatives from local authorities.
Syria uses sarin on Scud warheads
Washington Times 1/20/2004
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) — U.S. officials in Washington said Syria has completed chemical warheads for its arsenal of Scud-based missiles with help from North Korea. Syria has succeeded in designing and installing CW warheads for the Scud B, Scud C and Scud D missiles, which can reach distances up to 420 miles.
New song blames U.S. for 9-11
WorldNetDaily 1/20/2004
A new song released by a popular Egyptian singer claims the U.S. deliberately caused the destruction of the World Trade Center towers to make Arabs look bad. — According to the published review, the song, which focuses on the Middle East road map peace plan, puts to music popular notions in Egypt about Israel, the Iraq war and September 11. The song describes how “America is the spitting image of Israel and it carries out its desires, making the world into a ‘jungle.’ But it does not stop at that point. Abd Al-Rahim goes on to boldly sing that the USA is the perpetrator of the September 11th attacks,” reports the Cairo paper.
In the Mideast, TV, Internet Spur Change but Losses Stalk Newsroom
By Peyman Pejman, 1/20/2004
Satellite television and the Internet have spurred Middle East media operations to become more critical and investigative but financial losses could catch up with some of the pioneers of this change, say regional media experts. “The Arab media have changed a lot in the past 10-15 years,” says Hala Ghanem, a former information ministry official from Kuwait. “You can say there has been a revolution.” While government-run newspapers and television stations remain largely unchanged, they are losing influence to the Internet and to competitors backed by private finance or funded but not directly controlled by governments.
Running out of steam: Israel‚s empty objections to the International Criminal Court
By Jeff Handmaker, Electronic Intifada 1/20/2004
The Ambassador of Israel in The Netherlands, Eitan Margalit spoke to an audience of mainly international lawyers on 20 November 2003 in The Hague, followed by an outpouring of criticism. Even a sympathetic observer present at the lecture would not fail to have noticed how thin the Israeli government‚s arguments have become in objecting to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Israeli government‚s insistence upon the “rule of law‰
yet refusal to submit to a supranational court is blatantly hypocritical.
Spring in Palestine
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, CounterPunch 1/20/2004
The Death of Tom Hurndall —
Tom Hurndall, the British peace activist shot by the Israeli army, died after 9 months in coma. Meanwhile here in New England, temperature hover around zero Fahrenheit and we are told to stay warm and go about our lives. Yet we work and pay taxes that fund the ongoing violence claiming thousands of lives and keeping hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in cold tents or shacks with no heating.
Studying Lebanese society and thinking beyond politics
By Daryl Champion, Daily Star 1/20/2004
They say the world changed on Sept. 11, 2001. Suddenly, the Middle East is a hot topic among people in the Western world who had not previously cared enough about the region to take the trouble to become familiar with its affairs and its people. Now, enrolment in Middle East studies courses at institutions of higher learning are booming.
Israel Tackles the World Court
Editorial, Miftah 1/20/2004
As the International Court of Justice in The Hague prepares to hear arguments regarding the legality of Israel‚
s Separation Wall, it is difficult to discern just how annoyed and concerned Israel is about having to defend its indefensible fence. While Israel has miraculously refrained from boycotting the International Court of Justice, it has already decided to submit arguments both in writing and orally that undermine the legitimacy of the World Court to hold hearings on the Separation Wall.
PM Qurei’ During Weekly Cabinet Meeting: No Peace with Apartheid Wall and Endangered Jerusalem
International Press Center 1/20/2004
RAMALLAH, Palestine, January 20, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— The Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei’ asserted during the Palestinian cabinet’s weekly session that no peace can be achieved while the Apartheid Wall remains in its present state and while Jerusalem remains threatened by the Israeli colonial plans.
Sharon Lashes Out Against Jordan for Active Role in ICJ Apartheid Wall Campaign
International Press Center 1/20/2004
GAZA, January 20, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, slammed Jordan yesterday for leading the Arab states in the campaign against the Israeli Apartheid Wall, being built by Israel around and through the West Bank. During a session with the Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee, Sharon warned that Jordan would damage the relations between both countries by leading or even joining the international campaign.

January 19 2004
Sliced in two by Israel’s barrier, Abu Dis fears a slow death
Palestine Monitor 1/19/2004
ABU DIS, West Bank, Jan 19— Residents of Abu Dis, once tipped to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, are struggling to cope with the imposing wall carving through their village, separating families and friends and making nearby Jerusalem an unattainable dream. “My house is 30 meters (yards) away but it’s on the other side of the wall. I have to drive 25 kilometers (15 miles) to go back and forth,” said Yakin al-Rajabi, who owns a carpentry workshop in the village on the edge of occupied east Jerusalem.
Palestinian Prisoners Crave More Attention
Islam Online 1/19/2004
GAZA CITY, January 19 ( – Families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails staged Monday, January 19, their “weekly” sit-in before the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters in Gaza City, crying that the prisoners crave for more care and attention.The weekly march included mothers and children of detainees as well as a number of representatives of national and Islamic powers, shouting slogans in support of releasing their loved ones.

January 18 2004

Israel: Where hatred and despair are fomented :

A state that defines itself as a democracy and law-abiding country does not imprison three-and-a-half million people in their villages and towns, slice up their country into strips, and declare roads for the use of Jews only.

The Case That Wouldn’t Close:

Tom Hurndall is dead. Nine months after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier which left him in a coma, two months after his 22nd birthday, and one day after his mother knelt at his bedside and whispered the good news that his assailant had finally been arrested, Tom Hurndall’s name was added to a growing, but mostly unmentioned, unheralded and unknown list of innocents slaughtered by Ariel Sharon’s brutal IDF (Israel Defense Forces).

Israeli Soldier ‘tried to cover up killing of British activist’:

The Israeli soldier accused of killing Tom Hurndall, the British peace activist who died last week, tried to cover up his crime by asking for his commander’s permission to shoot an “armed man” moments after he had already fired the fatal shot.

Sharon and Israeli cabinet lauds ambassador for art attack :

The expatriate Israeli artist who created “Snow White and the Madness of Truth” however called the envoy, Zvi Mazel, “an intellectual dwarf”.;:400a93d2:6c753ec27736
Pope reaches out to Israeli rabbis
Chicago Sun-Times 1/18/2004
VATICAN CITY — Pursuing his goal of reconciliation among religions, Pope John Paul II received Israel’s chief rabbis Friday and assured them of his commitment to Catholic-Jewish cooperation.The 35-minute Vatican audience, a first for Israel’s top rabbis, was arranged in connection with a concert to promote solidarity among Christians, Jews and Muslims and came just a few days before a major Catholic-Jewish meeting in New York.
Palestinian Refugees Fight Canadian Deportations
Palestine Chronicle 1/18/2004
This past September more than 1,000 people marched through Montreal chanting Palestinian slogans and singing traditional songs. They demonstrated to demand that the Canadian government stop all deportations of Palestinians. Since then, the demonstrations have grown. Montreal has become the center of a political campaign organized by more than 100 Palestinian refugees who are fighting their deportation from Canada. These refugees have fled to Canada, claiming asylum from both the refugee camps of Lebanon and Palestine.
Binational Solution as a Weapon Is Counterproductive
By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle 1/18/2004
A Reuters‚ commentator recently presented a bleak analysis, charging that the Palestinian leadership lacks a cohesive strategy “to foil Sharon‚s designs‰. Almost simultaneously, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei warned that Ariel Sharon‚s unilateral policies might oblige Palestinians “to come back to the option of a single, binational democratic state.‰
Unbound Spirit
By Adam Shapiro, Palestine Chronicle 1/18/2004
Ayed Morar, or Abu Ahmed as he is known to all, sits in jail tonight and I wonder if he is thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike Dr. King, Abu Ahmed will not be leaving jail anytime soon, and is he unable to protest his imprisonment by exemplifying the moral injustice done to him and his people, for the world‚s powers have maintained a deaf ear to the plight of the Palestinian people. Like Dr. King, however, Abu Ahmed is in jail for organizing and participating in nonviolent direct action against unjust, discriminatory and violent policies targeting his people on the basis of their ethnicity. Dr. King ultimately left his Birmingham jail cell, and went on to lead this country towards racial integration and healing. But Abu Ahmed, when he is released from prison ˆ likely after at least ten days of “administrative detention‰, or possibly as much as three months, without charge ˆ will still be locked up.

January 17 2004
Palestinian Prisoner – No Formal Charge but Sentenced to between 50 Months and Seven Years- Flexible
By Elana Wesley, Islamic Association for Palestine 1/17/2004
Jayyous, West Bank Palestine – Interview with Saleh Kardoomi and Isha Kardoomi — We conducted this interview in the home of Saleh Kardoomi, the younger brother of the prisoner, Salah Kardoomi.Present were his children and wife and the wife of the prisoner, Isha, and two of her children, Kifah and Maise, ages 10 and 5 respectively.
Death penalty resumes in Lebanon
BBC 1/17/2004
Lebanon has resumed capital punishment by executing three convicted murderers despite international protests.The three were executed in Beirut’s Roumieh prison early on Saturday – two by firing squad and one by hanging. They were the first prisoners to face the death penalty in Lebanon since President Emile Lahoud came to power in late 1998.

January 16 2004

Wailing wall :

With great speed, the original low, irrelevant wall is being replaced in East Jerusalem with a new structure that resembles some vast mythological dragon. All around are people who thought they’d already seen everything during the occupation, watching the scene in disbelief

Irish Foreign Minister Condemns Israel Security Barrier :

His remarks during a visit to the country yesterday were seen as serving notice that the new leadership of the European Union was likely to put more pressure on the Israeli government than its predecessor.

Crackdown on soldiers questioning occupation:

Despite public disapproval, the number of soldiers refusing to serve in Palestinian territories is growing

Hamas leader marked for death:

“Sheik Yassin is marked for death, and he should hide himself deep underground where he won’t know the difference between day and night,” Zeev Boim, Israel’s deputy defence minister

Rabbi Arthur Waskow: “A government that claims to be Jewish but is acting like Pharaoh”:

Why is the Israeli government cracking down on its own citizens who oppose its occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza and who are trying to prevent the human rights violations that go with the occupation?

300+ Rabbis Urge Israeli Govt: Free Rabbi Ascherman, Stop Home Demolitions :

Israel Considers Image Change for Fence :

Israel is considering a name change for its massive complex of walls, fences and watch towers in the West Bank to improve its international image – the ``Terror Prevention Fence.’’,1280,-3629422,00.html

January 15 2004
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories 08-14 January 2004
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights 1/15/2004
3 Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli occupying forces / 1 of the victims was killed in an extra-judicial assassination / British peace activist died from an injury he sustained by Israeli troops in Rafah nine months ago / Israeli forces conducted a series of incursions into Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip / Houses were raided and a number of Palestinians were arrested / Continued use of Palestinian civilians as human shields in Israeli military operations / 9 houses in Rafah refugee camp were destroyed / Construction of the “separation wall‰ in the West Bank has continued and more areas of Palestinian land were seized / Indiscriminate shelling of Palestinian residential areas continued; a Palestinian civilian was killed and a number of others were injured / A Palestinian house in Hebron was destroyed by Israeli forces as part of the continuing campaign of retaliation against the families of Palestinians accused of involvement in attacks against Israeli targets / In violation of the right to freedom of religion, Israeli occupying forces prevented 386 pilgrims from the Gaza Strip from traveling to Saudi Arabia to attend the Hajj / Israeli occupying forces have continued to impose a total siege on the OPTs; a number of Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints and border crossings and a curfew was imposed on a number of Palestinian communities in the West Bank

Report: US considering armed intervention in Syria:

The Defense Department is considering aerial attacks and Special Forces incursions.

Israel Presses White House To Reword Rights Report :

Israel is pressuring the Bush administration to omit references to the West Bank security fence from the State Department’s annual human rights report.

Rabbi Defends Blocking Israeli Bulldozers :

Arik Ascherman is no stranger to the Israeli police. The American-born rabbi reckons he has been arrested at least 10 times in his battle against what he says are injustices against Palestinians.,1280,-3626238,00.html

January 14 2004

Israel: Three Soldier’s, One Civilian Killed In Suicide Bombing:

Shot British peace activist dies:

A British peace volunteer who was shot by Israeli occupation forces has died in a London hospital.

Israeli soldier faces manslaughter charge over Briton’s death :

An Israeli soldier is expected to be charged with manslaughter following the death of British peace activist Tom Hurndall, who was shot in the head nine months ago in the Gaza strip, Israeli military sources said today.,2763,1122921,00.html

Tears Run as Israeli Barrier Rises Near Jerusalem :

Tearful Palestinians watched cranes lower huge concrete slabs into place at the edge of Arab East Jerusalem Tuesday as the latest sections of a disputed Israeli barrier cut them off from the city.

The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is dead.

Good riddance!

But someone has to issue an official death certificate before the rotting corpse is given a proper burial and we can all move on and explore the more just, moral and therefore enduring alternative for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine: the one-state solution.

Israeli held in U.S. over nuclear parts sales to Pakistan:

An Israeli citizen was arrested at Denver International Airport on January 2 on suspicions he illegally shipped high-tech equipment to Pakistan that could detonate nuclear weapons.

January 13 2004

Tempers flare over US spy-ship inquiry :

Survivors of one of the most hotly disputed incidents in American military history – the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty spy-ship in 1967 – on Monday accused the US authorities, past and present, of a cover-up in backing Israeli claims that it was a tragic mistake.

Israel blamed for USS Liberty attack:

“The conclusion we reached is that the attack constituted a flagrant act of gross negligence, for which the Israeli government should be solely responsible,” the official told reporters at the State Department.

Video: BBC Four Investigative Report: :

Dead in the Water: During the Six-Day War,

Israel attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty belonging to its closest ally, the USA. Thirty-four American servicemen were killed in the two-hour assault by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats.

Israel: PM lied to comptroller, was involved in illegal funding:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was directly and personally involved in illegal foreign contributions to his campaign to head the Likud in 1999, according to a tape recording of Sharon revealed last night on Channel 2 by private investigator David Spector, who served on the Sharon campaign as a “strategic consultant.”

In case you missed it:

Most Favored Democracy:

In early 2001, a tightly knit group of billionaire philanthropists conceived of a plan to win American sympathy for Israel‚s response to the Palestinian intifada.

Kach activist forms new party with goal of transferring out all Arabs:

Former Kach leader Baruch Marzel today established a new political party whose goals are to prevent the removal of Jewish settlements and to transfer 2 million Arabs “over the Jordan River.”

January 12 2004
Lawmaker Announces New Christian Caucus in Knesset
Come And See 1/12/2004
The unholy alliance between parts of the Evangelical Church in the USA from one side and Israel’s racist groups continues. Uri Stern, Chairman of the party that supports evacuation of Arabs from Israel and the West Bank announces together with few other lawmakers on what they are calling the “Christian Allies Caucus”. “Come and See” brings you the story from CNSNews…

Israeli president offers Syria peace talks:

Assad has said he is ready to resume negotiations with Israel. Israeli President Moshe Katsav has invited his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, to visit Jerusalem for talks on a peace accord for the Middle East.

Syrian official dismisses Israeli talks offer:

Still technically at war with Israel, Syria demands all of the Golan be returned as part of any deal. Israel annexed the 1,600-square-kilometre plateau in 1981, though its sovereignty is not internationally recognized. Israel long has said it welcomes talks but only without any preconditions.

Sharon Expected To Be Forced Out Within Months:

The ruling Likud Party has been involved in a power struggle for succession. So far, former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, currently the finance minister, is the favorite

Antiwar Group Exposes Undercover Activist:

An outspoken member of Harvard Students for Israel went undercover in what he says was a quest to gauge anti-Semitism in a campus anti-war group.

January 11 2004

Bush advisers debating what to do about Syria:
Civilians in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s office are pushing for military action against Syria short of an invasion and have drawn up plans for punitive airstrikes and cross-border incursions by U.S. forces, according to three officials.

Amman: Fence increases risk Palestinians will spill into Jordan :
The West Bank separation fence threatens Jordan because by diminishing the prospects for creating a Palestinian state it creates the possibility that Palestinians will be forced into Jordan, Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher said Saturday.

Palestinians Want Independent State Right :
Palestinian leaders on Saturday reasserted the right to unilaterally declare an independent state in the absence of a peace deal with Israel, responding to Israel’s own threats of one-sided action.,1280,-3609866,00.html

Powell defends Sharon’s barrier:
The Bush administration yesterday dismissed a Palestinian threat to pursue a shared state with Israel if Prime Minister Ariel Sharon goes ahead with a security barrier that would cut off parts of the West Bank.

Israel to Request Billions from the U.S. to Actualize Unilateral Separation Plan :
A “senior Jerusalem source‰ quoted by Israel Radio this morning stated Israel will be seeking billions of dollars in U.S. assistance to actualize Prime Minister Ariel Sharon‚s unilateral separation plan to cut ties with the PA.
IOF Invades Rafah, Wounds Four Palestinians and Uses Civilians as Human Shields in West Bank
International Press Center 1/10/2004
RAFAH, Palestine, January 10, 2004 (IPC + WAFA) – – The Israeli occupying forces (IOF) invaded today evening the city of Rafah, south of Gaza Strip, and demolished a house there, as four Palestinian citizens were wounded in Nablus and others were held as human shields during raids in Beit Reema. Palestinian security sources told IPC correspondent that the Israeli occupying forces invaded today evening the Al Salam neighborhood in Rafah City, and demolished a Palestinian home there….Meanwhile, the Bani Zaid Al Gharbiya town hall issued a press statement today, calling relevant international and local human rights bodies to intervene and stop the occupying forces from using the Palestinian citizens in the town as human shields.
IOF Thrusts into Jenin, Arrests Civilians, Attempts to Assassinate a Fatah Member
International Press Center 1/10/2004
JENIN, Palestine, January 10, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— Israeli occupying forces (IOF) lunched on Friday morning an onslaught on Jenin City and its camp,arresting 17 Palestinian citizens and attemptingto extra-judicially assasinate a Fatah member. Eyewitnesses said that a contingent of Israeli troops, backed by 20 tanks, swept deep intothe western parts of Jenin City, specifically,Al Hadaf neighborhood, Wadi Barqeen and the vicinity of the graveyard are and indiscriminately opened heavy gunfire towards civiliansâ houses….Elsewhere, west of Nablus, the residents of Raphedia area were confined into their houses under curfew for the third day in row and the soldiers held any vehicle trying to pass through Raphedia street, IPC correspondent reported.
Landmines: Palestine’s hidden danger
Al-Jazeera 1/10/2004
All over Gaza, large well-illustrated billboards sporting the UNICEF logo can be seen alongside major streets and busy intersections. They show photos of Israeli-made bombs and mines, and carry a single in-your-face message: ãLandmines and suspicious objects are a danger that threatens us all!Do not try to get near them!ä….UNICEF representatives say the occupied West Bank and Gaza are littered with landmines dating back to the 1967 invasion. Most of the declared minefields lie on the Jordanian-West Bank border, as well as in the Jordan Valley-areas that Israel considers strategic lines of defence….At least 23 children have been killed by landmines or UXO planted by the Israeli military in the occupied Palestinian territories since the start of the Intifada in September 2000.
Al-Aqsa Brigades commander injured in clash with IDF in Jenin
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
The Al-Aqsa Brigades commander in Jenin, Zakariya Zbeidi, sustained light-to-moderate injuries in an exchange of fire with Israel Defense Forces troops, Israel Radio reported Saturday. The radio quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Zbeidi was injured Friday, and was treated at a hospital in the West Bank city. The IDF swept into Jenin early Friday morning, arresting at least 15 Palestinians and trading gunfire with militants, witnesses said.
Head of Fatehâs Al-Aqsa Brigades walks away from Israeli assassination attempt
Palestine Monitor 1/10/2004
But undercover unit kill 23 year old Khaliliyeh — Zakeriya Azubadee the head of al-Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank yesterday survived an Israeli attempt on his life. Israeli occupation forces invaded the Jenin refugee camp with the intention of assassinating the prominent al ö Aqsa leader but Azubadee escaped when clashes broke out between the invading soldiers and his supporters. A statement issued by the al-Aqsa Brigades said Azubabdee suffered gun shot wounds to his back and right arm. 10 Palestinians were arrested in this invasion of the refugee camp.
US plan to hunt Hizbullah in Lebanon most likely to fail
Daily Star 1/10/2004
BEIRUT: A mooted Pentagon plan to deploy US Special Forces in the Bekaa Valley to hunt Hizbullah targets is bound to backfire, analysts warn, saying it would boost support for the party and encourage global attacks against US interests. Instead, they say Washington should encourage Israel to take up Syriaâs offer of a resumption of negotiations because a peace deal between the two countries is the surest way of neutralizing Hizbullahâs militant activities. The Washington Post reported this week that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld could send ãhunter-killerä teams of Special Mission Units into the Bekaa and Somalia to root out and destroy ãterroristä cells.
Tulkarem School Student Death Toll: 27 Killed and Tens Wounded
International Press Center 1/10/2004
TULKAREM, Palestine, January 10, 2004 (IPC)— Ever since the eruption of Al Aqsa Intifada, the Israeli occupying forces waged an unabated war with no day passing by without bloodletting and violence….IPC correspondent in Tulkarem reported that the student death toll went up to 27 including a girl below 18 years old. The deaths have been mostly caused during the frequent IOF incursions into the city, which took place at a time the school students were walking to their schools early morning….chief of the student educational activities in Tulkarem: ãthe Israeli occupying forces calculatingly entered into the schools on the purpose of wrecking the equipment and structures inside, a policy that premeditated to illiterate the Palestinian people.”
News Briefs: Troops invade Hebron, Nablus siege tightened, 60 prisoners stage hunger strike
International Middle East Media Center 1/10/2004
Troops invade several areas in Hebron: Earlier this morning, the army attacked several houses east Hebron in the West Bank. Locals mentioned that the army supported by many armored vehicles attacked several neighborhoods in Hebron and forced the people out of their homes, later on soldiers started to interrogate the people and treated them in provocative way. / Nablus , the same scene for more than 25 days: The military attacks against Nablus and the surrounding areas continued today against several parts of the city and the surrounding refugee camps. Today, military vehicles and tanks tightened their siege over the city and blocked its roads. / Sixty political detainees on Hunger Strike: More than sixty detainees in a detention camp in the west bank entered today their third day of hunger strike.

Human Rights
Three groups of conscientious objectors to work together
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
Three organizations of Israel Defense Forces reservists who refuse to serve in the territories are expected to join forces and work together. The announcement from the groups – signatories of “The Courage to Refuse” letter, which was signed by officers and soldiers refusing to serve in the territories, signatories of the pilots’ letter, who refuse to participate in attempts to assassinate senior wanted men in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and the 13 reservist soldiers and officers in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit also refusing to serve in the territories – is expected to take place at a joint demonstration the three movements are planning at the Kissufim junction on Friday.
Palestinian prisoners in Salem jail on hunger strike
Palestinian Information Center 1/10/2004
Bethlehem – Palestinian detainees in the Zionist military detention center ãSalemä have gone on hunger strike to protest their inhuman detention conditions and savage torture. Lawyer of the Palestinian prisonerâs club, Muhanad Al-Kharaz, said after visiting a number of captives in Salem that the prisoners were complaining of constant assaults and humiliations.
Israeli soldiers plan demonstration at Gaza
The Times of India 1/10/2004
JERUSALEM: Israeli soldiers, who are against serving in the Palestinian territories, have united in a new movement ‘The Courage to Refuse’ and plan to hold a big demonstration next weekend at the Gaza crossing. The movement is supported by dozens of soldiers, airforce reserve pilots who signed a letter of protest last month and five reservists of the elite Chief-of-Staff special forces commando unit who have recently declared their refusal to serve in the territories, a media report said on Friday.
PM Qurei’ Proposes Bi-National State Amidst Israeli Fury and US Opposition
International Press Center 1/10/2004
GAZA, January 10, 2004 (IPC + Agencies)— The Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmad Qurei’ declared that he would push for a bi-national state including all the lands of historical Palestine if his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon seizes more lands in the West Bank. PM Qurei’ was speaking in an interview with Reuters news agency on Thursday, where he said that the Israeli “Apartheid solution by putting Palestinians into cantons. Who would accept this?”
FM Shaâth Demands Ceasefire Declaration by the European Union
International Press Center 1/10/2004
GAZA, January 10, 2004, (IPC + Agencies)— Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Nabil Shaâth, called on the European Union to help reach a ceasefire declaration in the Middle East. Shaâth was speaking to reporters on Friday, following a meeting with the EUâs High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, in Brussels, within efforts to reactivate the “Road Map” peace plan and break the impasse facing the situation. FM Shaâth was quoted as saying that the EU help in containing the current situation is “necessary at the moment.”
PMO denies leaking Libya talks to scupper diplomatic efforts
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
The Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday denied a report that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sabotaged the attempts by Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom to renew ties with Libya, by having his aides leak details on meetings between Libyan and Israeli officials, Army Radio reported. “The Prime Minister was updated on all the details of the talks and the relations between him and the Foreign Minister are good,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Gov’t sources: Qureia can’t take steps needed to renew talks
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
Senior government sources in Jerusalem on Saturday said that Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) is incapable of creating the conditions required to renew peace negotiations, in particular in regard to security matters. “He isn’t capable of doing anything under any conditions,” they said. Contacts to coordinate a meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Abu Ala are currently completely frozen. Dov Weisglass, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, continues to hold phone conversations on occasion with his Palestinian counterpart, Hassan abu-Libda, but the talks contain little substantive material.
Syria seeks US help in reviving peace talks with Israel
Al-Bawaba 1/10/2004
Damascus urged Washington on Saturday to use its influence and help revive peace talks with Tel Aviv. “Syria wants the United States to work seriously for a resumption of the peace process with Israel at the point where it broke down,” the official Ath-Thawra newspaper said. “Syria wants the United States to play an honest, neutral, objective and credible role… and not allow Israel to miss this opportunity, as Sharon tried to do by saying the negotiations must start from scratch,” the paper said.
Report: PA leaders discuss unilateral establishment of state
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
The Palestinian leadership has discussed the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state unilaterally, Israel Radio reported on Saturday. According to the radio, the issue was discussed in a meeting Friday held in Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Ramallah headquarters and attended by members of the PLO executive committee and the Fatah leadership….Powell: “Mr. Sharon … is looking for reliable partners he can work with and his plans that he has spent some time presenting recently suggest what he feels he might have to do if he doesn’t have a reliable partner,” Powell said.
Sheikh Yassin: We refused American ceasefire offer
Palestinian Information Center 1/10/2004
Gaza – Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader and founder of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has said that his Movement had turned down an American proposal entailing a halt of resistance attacks within the Zionist entity for one year in return for Washington pressures on Tel Aviv to halt targeting Hamas leaders. The Sheikh, in an interview with the German news agency (DPA), said that the Egyptian delegation that recently visited Gaza had carried the American offer but ãwe refused this requestä.
PLO Reacts to Sharonâs Plan, Stresses Right to Declare State
Palestine Media Center 1/10/2004
Israel Slams, US Rejects, Iran Welcomes Qureiâs Bi-national Suggestion — Reacting to the Israeli unilateral action threat, the Palestinian Leadership asserted Friday that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has the right to move towards declaring the Democratic State of Palestine on all land occupied by Israel in 1967, including Al Quds Al Sharif (Holy Jerusalem) as its capital, as Israel lambasted, the US rejected and Iran welcomed Prime Minister Qureiâs suggestion of a bi-national state if negotiations fail.
PLO Stresses its Right to Declare State on All Territory Occupied in 1967
Palestine Media Center 1/10/2004
The Palestinian Leadership asserted Friday, following a meeting chaired by President Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah, that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has the right to move towards declaring the Democratic State of Palestine on all the land occupied by Israel in 1967, including Al Quds Al Sharif (Holy Jerusalem) as its capital. The Leadership also condemned Israeli unilateral actions. ãUnilateral actions are rejected by all the concluded accords, to which the government of Israel should adhere, and they are internationally-rejected as well,ä said a statement released by the official news agency WAFA on Friday.
ÎSecretâ contacts between Libya, Israel prompt debate
Daily Star 1/10/2004
Officials argue on validity of leaks — BEIRUT: Recent leaks to the press on secret contacts between Libya and Israel have generated a debate on the validity of this eventuality, with some attacking the Arab country for opening up to an old foe while others say such contacts could not be true. A US-based Libyan opposition group accused the Libyan government Friday of making secret contacts with Israel, saying the Libyan leader would do anything to remain in power.
Sharon calls on Syria to stop arming militants
Daily Star 1/10/2004
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responded to growing calls for resuming peace talks with Syria by insisting Damascus stop supporting armed militant groups, as Israeli security sources said Syrian planes that flew earthquake relief aid to Iran had returned with weapons for Hizbullah. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi dismissed the charge as a ãbaseless and a sheer lie.ä
Gaddafi Jnr.: Libya has ‘no confrontation’ with Israel
Jerusalem Post 1/10/2004
Even as Libyan-Israeli talks apparently ceased due to leaks of their existence, Saif al-Islam, son and presumed heir of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, told on Thursday that Libya no longer considers Israel a security threat nor is Libya in a confrontation with Israel. And although Libya has reportedly chastised Israel for leaking news of the Libyan-Israeli diplomatic initiative, al-Islam told the Arabic-language network that the leaks were spread not by Israel but by envious Arabs.
Palestinians may demand a ‘one-state solution’
The Independent 1/10/2004
In a move that could transform the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qureia has warned that he will demand a single state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians, if Ariel Sharon goes ahead with his threat to annex parts of the West Bank and unilaterally impose a border on a Palestinian state. Mr Qureia’s plan, if implemented, could mean the end of the “two-state solution”, the vision of a Palestinian state alongside Israel that formed the basis of the Oslo peace process and has been at the heart of all peace accords since.

Saudi, Jordanian monarchs meet on peace process, Iraq
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia and Jordan discussed on Saturday ways to help revive Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and avoid the break-up of neighboring Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, officials said. Crown Prince Abdullah, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, and King Abdullah of Jordan “talked about the need for Arabs to be pro-active in the peace process as the international community is not doing much,” Jordanian Foreign Minister al-Marwan Muasher said.

Political chaos in the Palestinian territories
International Middle East Media Center 1/10/2004
Palestinian PM Ahmad Qurie suggested in an interview with Reuters establishing a bi-national sate. Such a declaration made by a senior Palestinian official might indicate that the classical leadership of the PLO could give up its two state solution program….Qureiâs remarks were received with excessive media interest; many believed that Qurie did not mean what he said, considering his remarks as stemming out of bitterness as a result of the international silence concerning what is happening in the territories….Quite [a] few Fatah leaders, especially the ãyoung leadershipä said that Qureiâs remarks are representative of the new Fatah generation, saying that they would organize a massive public procession in support.
PLO Affirms Commitment To A Palestinian State
International Middle East Media Center 1/10/2004
Israel dismissed Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei remarks about a bi-national state as ãempty threatsä. Israeli official, Zalman Shoval said Friday ãMr. Abu Ala (Qurei) has threatened to call for a bi-national state, but he may just as well call for a Palestinian state on the moon.” At the same time, the PLO executive committee, in its Friday meeting in Ramallah, affirmed the Palestinian right, based on UN resolutions and signed agreements with Israel, to declare the establishment of an independent democratic state on all areas occupied by Israel in the 1967 war including East Jerusalem. Fatahâs central committee members criticized Qureiâs remarks and called for the PLO executive committee meeting.
Israel Wavers on Entry of Ethiopians
Las Vegas Sun 1/10/2004
The arrival of thousands more Ethiopians in Israel has run into increasing opposition amid suspicions that many of the would-be immigrants may not be the descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity as they claim. Cabinet ministers also have voiced doubts in recent days about the government’s decision to lift immigration restrictions on the community of 20,000 Ethiopians, known as the Falash Mura, saying it would cost too much in Israel’s weakened economy, battered by more than three years of fighting with the Palestinians.
Treasury plans boost for low-wage earners
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
Finance Minister Bejamin Netanyahu plans to raise the net income of salaried workers who earn between the minimum wage and the average wage – from about NIS 3,300 per month to NIS 7,000 – by NIS 170 a month. Netanyahu intends to bring his proposal to the Knesset Finance Committee for approval next week.
Anti-war play scorches Bush and the case for war
Daily Star 1/10/2004
Tim Robbinsâ Embedded takes aim at US troops, presidential strategists and military-controlled media — LOS ANGELES: Tim Robbinsâ black comedy, Embedded is a thinly disguised satire of the US invasion of Iraq. The play focuses on three elements: enlisted US troops, presidential strategists labeled ãthe Cabal,ä and journalists who accept military censorship of their dispatches.There are no revelations during the 82 minutes that Embedded unfolds; in fact, it is a rehash of stories emanating from Iraq since March 19. However, when observed through the prism of Robbinsâ sarcastic wit, the play makes for big time entertainment and hilarity.
Room for optimism
Al-Ahram Weekly on-line 8 – 14 January 2004
The idea of democratisation through theatre has an unmistakable whiff of sixties idealism. However, the Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed (CTO), which traces its beginnings to Brazilian founder Augusto Boal’s experiments with social theatre in the late 1960s, has thrived well beyond the lifespan of a youthful folly. It is steadily propagating its practices through five continents. Carrying its infectiously earnest mission to Egypt is Geo Britto, a member of Boal’s core group, who was invited to conduct workshops in Cairo and Alexandria by actor/director Nora Amin, a former intern at the centre in Rio de Janeiro.
The power of the picture: dangerous beauty in medieval manuscripts
Daily Star 1/10/2004
The problems of good renditions were equal to the dangers of poor ones — That the pursuit of beauty can be dangerous to human health has long been known, whether itâs caused by silicone or diet pills. But..George Saliba talked about…the relationship between illustrations and scientific texts, specifically medieval manuscripts….Saliba gained prominence in the academic world thanks to his decades-long research on the history of Arabic and Islamic science, and his thesis that this science came as a rejection and correction of Greek science, rather than just its translation and preservation through Europeâs Dark Ages, a topic he talked about in a lecture two weeks ago at the Bibliotheque Orientale.
Palestinian Swimmer Trains for Olympics
Miftah 1/10/2004
Teeth chattering and lips blue from the cold, 17-year-old Palestinian Raad Aweisat took a deep breath and dived back into the chilly three-lane swimming pool for a few more laps. Huge nylon sheets surround the pool on all sides, creating a makeshift natatorium and keeping in the minimal heat, but the room has no ventilation, and the smell of chlorine soaked the hall. “It’s not perfect, but it’s made an Olympian of my son,” said Aweisat’s mother, Amaal….Palestinians gained International Olympic Committee recognition in 1993 after the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords. A Palestinian team competed at their first Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

Jewish passenger complains Arab airline lacks kosher food
Ha’aretz 1/10/2004
Wellington – A former New Zealand Jewish community leader has complained that Dubai-based Emirates Airlines will not serve kosher food on its flights, a newspaper reported Saturday….The paper said that a spokeswoman for Israel’s El Al airline said it did not serve Moslem halal food on its flights.

Assad receives new US ambassador to Syria
Jerusalem Post 1/10/2004
Despite American threats of imposing sanctions against Syria if it does not cooperate further in the war on terrorism, President Bashar Assad on Saturday accepted the diplomatic credentials of a new U.S. ambassador, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported. The new ambassador, Margaret Scobey, succeeds Theodore Kattouf, whose tenure ended in August
Syrian-Lebanese relations in focus
Daily Star 1/10/2004
Head of Peopleâs Assembly leads 22-member delegation to Beirut — The head of Syriaâs Peopleâs Assembly (Parliament), Mahmoud al-Abrash, accompanied by a 22-member parliamentary delegation, arrived in Beirut on Friday for a four-day official visit designed to ãstrengthenä bilateral cooperation and establish a ãparliamentary understandingä between the two neighboring countries.
Egypt and Libya in visa row
Al-Jazeera 1/10/2004
A diplomatic tiff simmered between Egypt and Libya on Saturday, after Cairo accused Tripoli of turning away hundreds of its citizens at the border between the two north African states. In retaliation, Egypt slapped reciprocal visa requirements on Libyans – although officials in both capitals were quick to play down the incident which some observers speculated was linked to Egyptian media reports critical of Libya.
World Bank says Lebanon projects lagging
Daily Star 1/10/2004
Lebanon has only spent $184.7 million, equivalent to 34.5 percent, of the total amount of its World Bank loans even though nine of the 13 projects were planned over four years ago, said the World Bank in its Third Quarter 2003 report on Lebanon.The 13 World Bank-funded Lebanese projects encompass areas such as health, education and environmental necessities and are designed to close the gap between the poor and the rich, increasing knowledge, creating an efficient infrastructure and preserving Lebanonâs cultural heritage.
Palestinian refugees fight Canadian deportations
Daily Star 1/10/2004
Changes in immigration laws have led to there being no clear appeal process for claimants — This past September more than 1,000 people marched through Montreal chanting Palestinian slogans and singing traditional songs. They demonstrated to demand that the Canadian government stop all deportations of Palestinians. Since then, the demonstrations have grown. Montreal has become the center of a political campaign organized by more than 100 Palestinian refugees who are fighting their deportation from Canada. These refugees have fled to Canada, claiming asylum from both the refugee camps of Lebanon and Palestine.

A short history of apartheid
By Azmi Beshara, Al-Ahram Weekly on-line 8 – 14 January 2004
Land is at the heart of the drama unfolding in Palestine. But it is not the only thing — Rhetoric about demography so dominates Israel’s political discourse that one might be tempted to assume that Israel has abandoned its preferred designation as the Jewish democratic state in favour of the Jewish demographic state. The condition has reached the stage where it might be diagnosed as an advanced case of demographomania. The mania, of course, is rooted in Zionist principles, in the need to maintain a Jewish majority capable of implementing a democracy that will absorb the Diaspora, accommodate pioneer settlement and the assumption of a common history, and that allows for the fetishisation of military service. For without any of the above Israel would have to practice government by the minority, which inevitably leads to apartheid or racial segregation, to government by a national minority that sees the state as the embodiment of its legitimacy. Such practices demand dual sets of legality.
Buying Oneâs Pride
Editorial, Miftah 1/10/2004
The United States of America is now threatening Palestinian health and relief organizations to cut their funding if they continue to refuse to sign what the US calls: ÎCertification Regarding Terrorist Financing.â
The certificate reads: ãAs a condition of entering into the referenced agreement, [name of organization] hereby certifies that it has not provided and will not provide material support or resources to any individual or entity that it knows, or has reason to know, is an individual or entity that advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in terrorist activity, including but not limited to the individuals and entities listed in the Annex to Executive Order 13224 and other such individuals and entities that may be later designated by the United States under any of the following authorities: € 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. € 1189), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. € 1701 et seq.), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. € 1601 et seq.), or € 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the USA Patriot Act of 2001, Pub. L. 107-56 (October 26, 2001)(8 U.S.C. €1182).ä
Things to come
By Graham Usher, Al-Ahram Weekly on-line 8 – 14 January 2004
Sharon’s disengagement plan will dominate the new year and the Palestinian leadership is in no shape to meet the challenge — “The Palestinian dream of achieving an independent state will happen no matter how long it takes,” Yasser Arafat promised on 1 January, the 39th anniversary of his Fatah movement. Three days on — and closer to earth — the Palestinian leader admitted the dream is not imminent. 2004 “is going to be a difficult year” he told reporters outside his bullet-holed headquarters in Ramallah.
'Our Sacrifice·Our Struggle' – Interviews with Kata’ab al Qassam leader, Part 2
By Anne Gwynne, International Press Center 1/8/2004
This piece takes the form of an interview with B, the revered leader of the Kataâab al Qassam military wing of Hamas of whom Iâve recently written. It is the second of four article-interviews concerning B, his family, and the Resistance. I would like all readers of these pieces to see my pictures of the family, but I feel afraid that the Israelis will make some new horror from innocent pictures. This is why I have removed all names and any other reference that could cause collective punishment to be inflicted upon them. It is one of the many family stories of Nablus that cries out to be told.
Sharon’s deadly plan
By Khaled Amayreh, Al-Ahram Weekly on-line 8 – 14 January 2004
Israeli occupation forces continued their lethal operations throughout the West Bank and Gaza, leaving scores of Palestinians dead — Most of the violence this week took place in the northern West Bank town of Nablus where Israeli troops, backed by tanks and armored personnel carriers, have been operating for 21 consecutive days.
On 1 January, Israeli troops shot and killed 16- year-old Mohamed Jaber Said at the El-Ein refugee camp outside Nablus. Another boy, aged 13, was also badly wounded in the incident. The Israeli army claimed the two boys were shot “in clashes”
. Eyewitnesses say the confrontation took place between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and a few stone-throwing Palestinian children.
What They Don’t Want You to Know
By John Pilger, 1/10/2004
The disaster in Iraq is rotting the Blairite establishment. Blair himself appears ever more removed from reality; his latest tomfoolery about the “discovery” of “a huge system of clandestine weapons laboratories,” which even the American viceroy in Baghdad mocked, would be astonishing, were it not merely another of his vapid attempts to justify his crime against humanity. (His crime, and George Bush’s, is clearly defined as “supreme”
in the Nuremberg judgment.)

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