Palestine/Israel News and Information Links January 26-29 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 29 2004

Rabbi Michael Lerner: Terror In Jerusalem

Following Killings In Gaza: Why does the Western media not notice that this took place immediately after Israel killed nine people in the Gaza Strip? Those killings by the Israeli army did not bring Israel one step closer to security.

Britain opposes international court review of security fence :

The British government will today infuriate Arab opinion by supporting Israel in a legal challenge to the construction of its controversial wall along the West Bank.,3604,1134708,00.html

Ten killed in Jerusalem suicide bombing :

At least ten people were killed today and another 50 wounded in a suicide attack on a bus outside Ariel Sharon’s official residence in Jerusalem.,2763,1134017,00.html

Flags colour truth behind civilian deaths:

Palestinians at the scene counted five civilians among the eight dead

January 28 2004

Five Jihad gunmen among 9 dead Palestinians in Gaza :

The others killed in the incident were an 11-year-old boy and three workers at the scene.

January 27 2004
IOF Wounds Two Palestinian School Children in Rafah, Invades Deir Alghesoun
International Press Center 1/27/2004
RAFAH, Palestine, January 27, 2004 (IPC+WAFA)— Two Palestinian school children were shot and wounded by Israeli occupying forces (IOF) Tuesday in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, while attending a class at a local school, as other Israel troops invaded the West Bank village of Deir Alghesoun…..In the central Gaza Strip city of Dier Albalah, a Palestinian-owned house was reportedly demolished by Israeli military bulldozers early Tuesday after a contingent of Israeli troops thrust into the eastern part of the city….In the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanoun, IOF arrested as well two Palestinian civilians after a contingent of Israeli soldiers, estimated at 50, backed with armored vehicles, thrust into the city and blockaded the house of a local resident.
IOF Escalates Aggression and Arrests 20 Palestinian Citizens
International Press Center 1/27/2004
GAZA, Palestine, January 27, 2004 (IPC) – – The Israeli occupying forces (IOF) escalated its military offensive against the Palestinian people, concurrent with worldwide efforts to revive the peace process in the Middle East. The Palestinian security directorate in northern Gaza Strip told IPC correspondent that an Israeli Special Forces unit of 50 soldiers infiltrated the area of Al Ghouta, east of the town of Beit Hanun, and surrounded the house of Abdullah Abu Oda and arrested two of his sons.
Occupation forces damage lands, arrest five in Gaza
Palestinian Information Center 1/27/2004
Gaza – Zionist terrorist forces last night advanced into south of the Gaza city and damaged farmlands before arresting five citizens this morning in central Gaza Strip. Two Zionist tanks escorted two bulldozers and a minesweeper to the south of the Gaza city and surveyed the lands in that area in addition to searching house of Abu Zaher family.
IOF Soldiers Blackmail Palestinians at a Checkpoint; Drugs in Exchange for Permit to Pass Through
International Press Center 1/27/2004
GAZA, January 27, 2007 (IPC + Agencies) – – The Israeli soldiers manning an IOF military checkpoint in the West Bank extorted the Palestinian citizens as trying to pass through, either back home from office, school, hospital and university or vise-versa. Last night, the IOF Military office had arrested six Israeli soldiers accused of accepting bribes (drugs, alcohol, mobile prepaid cards) in exchange for allowing the Palestinians to pass through Qalandia checkpoint, Yedioth Ahronoth online reported.
Two more boys arrested for throwing stones at settlers
Palestinian Information Center 1/27/2004
Ramallah – Zionist occupation forces arrested at dawn today two children in the Khirebta Al-Misbah village to the southwest of Ramallah city after ransacking their family houses. Local sources said that an army unit stormed the village at 1 am today and arrested the 14 years old boy Khaled Ibrahim Al-Hibl and his 13 years old cousin Ibrahim Yousef Al-Hibl. The sources said that arresting the two boys brought to 11 the number of children arrested in that village on charges of throwing stones at Jewish settlers vehicles along the bypass road near the village
Dozens protest bombings by ‘Jewish underground’ in Haifa
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
Dozens of Haifa residents demonstrated on Tuesday in front of the municipal building against a “Jewish underground” terror group operating in the city which, according to suspicions, planted five bombs in the city’s Halisa neighborhood during the past two-and-a-half years. Members of the terror group set the bombs under the cars and next to the homes of Arab residents in Haifa.
Israel reopens Gaza border crossing to Palestinian workers
HiPakistan 1/27/2004
JERUSALEM: The Israeli army reopened today the Erez border point to Palestinians who had been barred from crossing from the Gaza Strip into Israel since a suicide attack there nearly two weeks ago.
IDF general: troops at checkpoints face moral dilemmas
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
The commander of the Israel Defense Forces military colleges on Tuesday said that if soldiers serving at West Bank and Gaza checkpoints had better skills, they would probably have been stationed elsewhere, Army Radio reported. Major General Amos Yadlin, speaking at a Tel Aviv University conference, was referring to the difficult dilemmas faced by troops stationed at roadblocks. “You don’t want to be there even for a single minute, and the soldiers do not all have doctoral degrees,” Yadlin said.
Occupation forces demolish Palestinian house
Palestinian Information Center 1/27/2004
Gaza – Zionist terrorist forces demolished at dawn today the house of Ahmed Sa‚eed to the east of Deir Al-Balah and damaged other farmlands in the same area.
Two students wounded in Zionist shooting
Palestinian Information Center 1/27/2004
Rafah – Zionist indiscriminate shooting today wounded two Palestinian secondary school students in the Bir Saba‚ school to the west of the Rafah city. A Zionist armored vehicle positioned at the border strip between Egyptian and Palestinian territories opened heavy machinegun fire at the school wounding the two students inside their classroom.
Breaking News: Arrest in Tulkarem, Closure in Azzoun, Jenin, Demolition in Deir El Balah
International Press Center 1/27/2004
16:00 — A Palestinian civilian of the West Bank city of Tulkarem has been arrested by Israeli troops, WAFA reported. / 15:00 — Israeli occupying forces storm the West Bank village of Deir Alghesoun, north of Tulkarem, WAFA reported. / 13:20 — IOF arrests nine Palestinians during a fresh invasion into Al Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron city, IPC….
Daily Situation Report in the OPT – Acrobat format
Palestine Media Center 1/27/2004
Daily Situation Report by Palestinian Monitoring Group – 08:00 25 January 2004 ˆ 08:00 26 January 2004 – detailed accounting of closures, curfews, demolitions and other daily operations conducted by the IDF in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Human Rights
Militia chief accuses Israelis of sodomy
Independent Online 1/27/2004
Tel Aviv – A former Lebanese militia chief told a court on Tuesday he had been forcibly sodomised by Israeli secret service torturers who then left him shackled and soaking in excrement for almost two weeks. Mustafa Dirani said he was too ashamed to repeat the words of his tormentors and instead spelt them out to the court hearing his claim for six million shekels (about $1,34-million or R7-million) in compensation over his 1994 interrogation.
LAW: Israel‚s Apartheid Wall in Occupied Jerusalem Indicates a Human Catastrophe
International Press Center 1/27/2004
RAMALLAH, Palestine, January 27, 2004, (IPC+WAFA)˜ALQANOUN(LAW) local Palestinian Ramallah-based society revealed Tuesday that the Israeli Apartheid, being built around the occupied Arab east Jerusalem, along with other West Bank cities, is indicating a human catastrophe for the Palestinian population in Jerusalem.
Detainee Accuses Israeli Interrogators Of Sexual Assaults
Islam Online 1/27/2004
TEL AVIV, January 27 ( & News Agencies) – A Lebanese abductee, to be freed within hours, told a Tel Aviv court Tuesday, January 27, he had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by his Israeli interrogators. Too ashamed to repeat the order given by an intelligence major codenamed “George”, Mustafa Dirani, once a security chief of the Lebanese Amal Movement, told the court George threatened to “S-C-R-E-W me.” “In our community we don’t use such words,” he was quoted by Reuters as telling the court, which is examining his claim for 6 million shekels ($1.34 million) in compensation.
EU says Israel’s security fence adds to aid costs
Miftah 1/27/2004
Israel’s separation wall has worsened the plight of Palestinians and pushed up aid costs to needy Palestinians in 2004, a senior EU humanitarian aid official said. “We believe this wall creates many additional humanitarian problems and additional costs to our own operations,” said Cees Wittebrood, head of European Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) operations in the Middle East and Mediterranean. “We calculated that some 20 percent is needed additionally to face the humanitarian consequences of this fence,” Wittebrood told a news conference late on Saturday.
Islamic league extends urgent relief assistance to victims of Zionist atrocities
Palestinian Information Center 1/27/2004
Nablus – The Islamic league for Palestinian women in the Nablus district yesterday organized an urgent relief campaign to Palestinian families victims of Zionist demolition streak in the city. Salam Ghazal, chairwoman of the league, said that the campaign was dedicated to owners of the houses flattened in the recent Zionist incursion into the Abu Obeida Street in the city.

Press Conference for the release of the Health and Segregation report about the Wall in the West Bank
Palestine Monitor 1/28/2004
The Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIP) is pleased to invite you to attend the Press Conference for the release of its new publication Health and Segregation. The Press Conference will take place at 12:00 pm on Wednesday 28th January 2004, at the Chamber of Commerce in Ramallah.

FM Shalom postpones visit to Jordan due to swap deal
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on Tuesday cancelled a visit to Jordan planned for Wednesday. The visit was postponed due to Amman’s dissatisfaction with the prisoner exchange deal with Hezbollah, which highlights Jerusalem’s refusal to release Jordanian prisoners convicted of murder, while releasing similar Lebanese prisoners, Sources in Jerusalem said.
Egypt‚s FM Arrives in Ramallah to Meet President Arafat
International Press Center 1/27/2004
RAMALLAH, Palestine, January 27, 2004 (IPC + Agencies) – – Egypt‚s Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Maher is due to arrive in Ramallah today Tuesday accompanied by Omer Suleiman, the Egyptian chief of intelligence service, along with scores of assistants in a fresh endeavor to strike a deal of ceasefire (truce) between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

US envoys to hold talks with Israeli leaders in bid to kickstart roadmap
Yahoo! News 1/27/2004
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Two senior United States envoys were due to hold talks with top Israeli officials here in a bid to kickstart the stalled roadmap for peace plan, diplomatic sources said. John Wolf, tasked by US President George W. Bush (news – web sites) with overseeing implementation of the roadmap, and senior State Department official David Satterfield were expected to meet Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news – web sites)’s chief of staff Dov Weisglass.
Israelis Threaten Challenge to Prisoner Exchange
Wired News 1/27/2004
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Families of Israeli victims of Palestinian militant attacks threatened a legal challenge on Tuesday to the release of hundreds of Arab prisoners in an exchange with Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah. The Prisons Service has named 436 prisoners, most of them Palestinians, to be freed in return for an Israeli businessman held by Hizbollah and three Israeli troops presumed dead after they were abducted while on border patrol in 2000.
Israel rejects ‘insincere’ Hamas offer of 10-year truce
The Independent 1/27/2004
Hamas, the most powerful Palestinian militant faction, could agree to a 10-year truce if Israel withdraws from all the land it occupied in 1967, one of the organisation’s senior leaders has said. Israel immediately dismissed the comments, from Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a leader of Hamas’s political wing, as insincere. His words are seen by observers as an indication of how weakened Hamas has become following an onslaught of Israeli assassination attempts against its leaders.

Peace near dead end, Qureia says
The Star 1/27/2004
Palestinian PM denounces Israel’s separation barrier – Invites Canada to play ‘major role’ in reviving talks — JERUSALEM˜Calling Israel’s separation barrier an attempt to “kill the economic life of the Palestinian people,” Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia yesterday renewed a plea for international intervention to drive the two sides back to negotiation.
Egypt resumes truce efforts as Australian FM refuses to hold meeting with Arafat
Al-Bawaba 1/27/2004
Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Maher was expected to arrive in the West Bank city of Ramallah Tuesday accompanied by Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian chief of intelligence service, along with other officials in a new effort to reach a ceasefire between the Palestinians and Israelis. Palestinian sources said that the Egyptian delegation led by Maher was scheduled to meet with President Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei to discuss Egyptian moves for a mutual ceasefire with Israel…. Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Tuesday that he had been refused talks with Palestinian leaders during his current Middle East tour, due to his unwillingness to meet Arafat.
Arafat thanks Hizbollah for prisoner swap deal
Reuters 1/27/2004
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Palestinian President Yasser Arafat thanked Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah on Tuesday for including Palestinians in a prisoner swap with Israel but families of prisoners said not enough would go free. Israel’s Prisons Service named 436 prisoners, most of them Palestinians, to be freed on Thursday in return for an Israeli businessman held by Hizbollah and three Israeli troops presumed dead after they were abducted while on border patrol in 2000.
Sharon denies seven Israeli settlements slated to go
Reuters 1/27/2004
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon denied on Tuesday he was planning to evacuate seven Jewish settlements under a separation plan he has threatened to implement if peacemaking with Palestinians fails. Settler leaders said earlier that a senior official from Sharon’s office offered them a deal under which they would agree not to oppose the evacuation in return for a law banning removal of additional settlements until a peace deal accord was achieved.
Palestinian Prisoners Ministry Voices Resentment Over Israeli List of Would-be Released Prisoners in Israel-Hezbollah Deal
International Press Center 1/27/2004
GAZA, Palestine, January 27, 2004 (IPC + WAFA) – – The Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Ministry voiced Tuesday resentment over the list of Palestinian prisoners to be released under the Israel-Hezbollah deal, upon which some hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are due to be released along with other Lebanese and Arab prisoners. In a statement issued today, the Palestinian ministry declared that the would-be released list does not include females, children and detainees with long sentences.
Dirani testifies in damages claim against state
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
Mustafa Dirani, who testified Tuesday in the Tel Aviv District Court in a damages suit he has filed against the state, told reporters before the start of the trial that he did not kidnap missing Israeli airman Ron Arad. Dirani also denied having sold Arad to the Iranians.
Officials to consult Arad family before next phase of exchange
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
Should it turn out that Ron Arad was murdered by his captors and his family insist that it does not want living terrorists released in exchange for his remains, the government will consult with the missing Israel Air Force navigator’s family before taking further action. With such a commitment by Israeli security officials, should Arad’s relatives adopt an unyielding position, implementation of the second phase of the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hezbollah could be jeopardized.
Final prisoner swap list drawn up; Dirani, Obeid to be moved today
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
Preparations for Thursday’s prisoner exchange with Hezbollah moved into high gear yesterday. The defense establishment finalized the list of the 400 Palestinians due to be released as part of the swap, although as of press time last night, the list had not yet been posted on the Prisons Service’s web site. The list is slated to be up by this morning.
Maher Urges Israel To Show ‘Good Intentions’
Islam Online 1/27/2004
RAMALLAH, January 27 ( & News Agencies) – Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher urged Israel Tuesday, January 27, to show “good intentions” to breathe new life into the troubled peace process. “Egypt is working for a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations which requires the Israeli side to make clear its good intentions in order that we can approach peace,” Maher told a press conference after talks with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Germany Sets Hizbullah-Israel Prisoners Swap in Motion
An Nahar 1/27/2004
A German emissary is in Beirut making final preparations to airlift an Israeli reserve Colonel and three dead soldiers to Frankfurt and set the projected swap of prisoners between Hizbullah and Israel in motion, the Beirut media reported on Tuesday. The emissary, whose identity has not been revealed, was allowed by Hizbullah to meet 64-year-old Col. Elhanan Tanenbaum to make certain the captive is in good physical shape to endure the plane trip to Germany.

Likud MKs to discuss proposal to evacuate settlements
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
Fourteen hawkish Likud MKs will convene an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s proposal to strike a deal with the Yesha Council of West Bank and Gaza Settlements involving the evacuation of seven settlements. The MKs, including Ehud Yatom, Gila Gamliel, Gilad Erdan and Michael Gorlovsky, will meet to decide on their response to Sharon’s reported proposal.
Palestinian Police Deploy in Official Uniform, With Equipment
Palestine Media Center 1/27/2004
PNA Cabinet Reconfirm Reform, Reconstruction of Security Agencies — The Palestinian Cabinet decided on Monday to deploy Palestinian police in official uniform and with their equipment in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to immediately enforce the rule of law and public order and to stop all violations of the commitments of the PLO and the PNA.
Settler leaders charge: Sharon offered us an evacuation deal
Maariv 1/27/2004
Yesha Council says that the Prime Minister‚s Office offered to remove some settlements in exchange for legislation preventing further evacuations. — Leaders of the Judea, Samaria and Gaza Council (Yesha) claimed on Tuesday that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon offered them a deal under which some settlements would be evacuated in exchange for a law preventing others from being removed. “The Prime Minister‚s Office proposed that we support Sharon‚s disengagement plan in return for an amendment that would prevent settlements from being evacuated until a final-status agreement is reached‰, Council leaders said.
Sharon denies he offered settlers evacuation deal
Maariv 1/27/2004
Prime Minister Sharon has vehemently denied claims made by Judea and Samaria Counsel Leaders (Yesha) that he would initiate legislation preventing a major withdrawal if they agreed to evacuate seven settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “I would never make a deal that ties the government‚s hands‰, Sharon said Tuesday evening.
Criminals to be detained without trial
Maariv 1/27/2004
Knesset expected to approve government legislation enabling police to hold criminal suspects in administrative detention. — For 55 years, administrative detention has been used only against people suspected of security offences. Within a few weeks Minister of Internal Security Tzahi Hanegbi will submit revolutionary legislation that will also allow certain types of criminal suspects to be held without trial.
MK Steinitz calls on State Prosecutor Arbel to resign
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
The chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), on Tuesday called on State Prosecutor Edna Arbel to resign. Arbel is undermining the authority of new Attorney General Menachem (Meni) Mazuz, making it impossible for him to conduct an independent inquiry of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s involvement in the David Appel affair, Steinitz charged.
Mofaz slams IDF Refusniks
Maariv 1/27/2004
Says Israel needs “warriors not crybabies” — Defense minister Shaul Mofaz has taken the refusniks to task, calling them slackers and overindulgent sissies. “The State of Israel doesn‚t have room for crybabies‰, he said, adding that, “they are a negative but insignificant influence‰. He was addressing combat troops from the “Nahshon‰ unit stationed at Tulkarem in the West Bank.
Goverment finally approves Head of Orthodox Church
Come And See 1/25/2004
The government on Sunday approved the appointment of Patriarch Eireneos I as head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. Israel was locked in a dispute with the Greek Orthodox Church and has refused to recognize the church’s patriarch for the Holy Land who was elected two years ago.

Palestinians get economic roadmap
BBC 1/27/2004
Close economic co-operation between Israel and a future Palestinian state are key to peace, a new proposal says. The three-stage “economic roadmap” drawn up by a group of Israeli and Palestinian academics calls for a free trade area between the two. It is intended as an unofficial complement to the US-backed political roadmap, launched in June 2003.
Histadrut: Full local authorities strike from Thursday next week
Globes 1/27/2004
Sanctions will be intensified from Sunday, with a strike in the schools. — The Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) headquarters decided yesterday not to confine its actions to a school strike on Sunday. A series of sanctions and disruptions in all the local authorities is planned to start then, and escalate up to a full local authorities strike a week from Thursday.
Israeli firm awarded armored vehicle contract for Iraq
Al-Bawaba 1/27/2004
Arotech Corporation‚s Israeli subsidiary MDT Protective Industries was awarded a $1.1 million contract for armored vehicles for operations in Iraq, reported a press release. The Land Rover Defender SUVs are being armored for delivery to Iraq over the next six weeks. “These vehicles join the other armored vehicles that we have already delivered to Iraq,” said Arotech Chairman and CEO, Robert S. Ehrlich.
Wealthiest towns: Omer, Savyon; poorest: Arab, haredi
Globes 1/27/2004
The Central Bureau of Statistics gives low socio-economic ranking to Jerusalem and development towns. — Omer and Savyon are Israel’s wealthiest communities, with the highest socio-economic ranking – cluster 10, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported today…..Only ten of Israel’s 74 poorest communities, ranked in clusters 1-3, were Jewish….
Histadrut demands 49% of inactive insurance agency to manage pension arrangement
Globes 1/27/2004
The Histadrut also wants commissions, and is demanding half the management fees in the negotiations with the insurance companies to choose a pension fund that the Histadrut will then recommend to the unions. — The Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) is demanding that insurance companies allocate it 49% of an insurance agency with an inactive license to manage the pension arrangement for members of funds formerly under Histadrut management.

CBS survey finds Jerusalem is worst-off city
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
A survey carried out by the Central Bureau of Statistics, aimed at grading all of the country’s local and regional authorities according to the social and economic levels of the residents, has found that Jerusalem is in the lowest group of the large cities.The survey divided communities into 10 clusters, with cluster 10 representing the authorities with the highest socio-economic level. Of Israel’s four largest cities, Jerusalem, ranked in cluster 4, was the worst performer.
Increase in exports pushes upturn in economic growth
Maariv 1/27/2004
The export of goods and services contributed to a 2.2% increase in gross national product in 2003. The Industry and Trade Ministry reports that 80% of Israel‚s exports are from industrial sources including diamonds, programming and “mem vav pe‰. According to Moti Ish-Shalom, deputy director general of planning and finance at the ministry said that despite the continued increase in industrial exports, this will not be enough alone to create sufficient yearly growth.
Foreign investment in Israel up
Maariv 1/27/2004
A Bank of Israel report summarizing the economy‚s foreign currency transactions shows that foreign investments in Israel increased by 36 percent in 2003, reaching a total of 4.8 billion dollars, compared to the 3.6 billion dollars invested in 2002. Of that sum, about 350 million dollars were directly invested in bonds at the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange ˆ 7 times more than in the previous year.
Nochi Dankner quits gas exploration
Globes 1/27/2004
Clal Industries and Investments transfer its 7.8% rights in Med Ashdod and Med Yavne natural gas concessions to its partner Isramco. — IDB Holding Corp. (TASE:IDBH) subsidiary Clal Industries and Investments (TASE:CII) is quitting the gas exploration business, after several years….The Med Ashdod and Med Yavne drillings for natural gas have failed to find any commercially significant quantities of natural gas, despite millions of dollars invested in drilling by the partners.

Christian Arabs Said Leaving Jerusalem
Times Leader 1/27/2004
AMMAN, Jordan – Jordan’s king told the archbishop of Canterbury Monday that Israel’s presence in Jerusalem has prompted many Christian Arabs to leave the city. “Christian Arab existence in Jerusalem is being threatened because its Arab population is emigrating in view of the Israeli occupation of the holy city,” said Abdullah II, according to the official Petra news agency.
Hend Sabri: A rising star changes Arab stereotypes
Daily Star 1/27/2004
Enthusiastic about the film industry, actress continues her career trying to shift women‚s pattern in Middle Eastern show business— LONDON: Hend Sabri made her screen debut in 1994, at a mere 13 years of age, as Alia, the daughter of a beautiful servant Khedija in Moufida Tlatli‚s The Silences of the Palace. The film, set in the repressive atmosphere of the ruling monarch‚s compound on the eve of Tunisian independence, won rave reviews around the world for its frank and uncompromising depiction of the plight of women in the Arab world.
Tragedy strikes Palestinian family in Sidon
Daily Star 1/27/2004
A new-born Palestinian infant died over the weekend in a Sidon hospital, and his body was held in the hospital morgue for 24 hours when the grief-stricken father was unable to pay the hospital fees. Yasser Issam Merii, four days old, was one of a set of triplets born to Sanaa and Issam Ghotani at Hamsheri Hospital in Sidon, which is affiliated to the Palestinian Red Crescent….The hospital was unable to provide incubators for all three infants, named Yasser, Ayat and Heya.
Hate mail
Palestine Monitor/The Guardian 1/19/2004
Jewish activists opposing the Israeli government’s policies face intimidation and harassment via email and on the internet. Brian Whitaker reports — Deborah Fink is a singer and music teacher living in London. She is also Jewish. Last month, out of the blue, she received a deluge of hateful emails – more than 150 in the space of a week. One came from a rabbi in New York, informing her: “Your soul, my dear, is petrified and lost.” Another said, menacingly: “Hitler killed the wrong Jews.”
Happy snaps of a suicide bomber
The Star (South Africa) 1/27/2004
Jerusalem – These pictures are of Reem Raiyshi and her two children, taken just four days before she left them to blow up herself along with four Israelis. [No pictures accompany this publication of the story – Ed.] Hamas, which ordered the January 14 attack, has posted the pictures on its Internet site, in seeming defiance of Palestinian critics who say the Islamic militant group was wrong to send 22-year-old Reem Raiyshi on a mission that left her toddlers without a mother. The pictures, which appeared on the Hamas site over the weekend, show Raiyshi in camouflage dress holding an assault rifle in one hand while cradling her 3-year-old son, Obedia, in the other arm.
Former quisling says Israel only understands language of force
Palestinian Information Center 1/27/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Gen. Antoin Lahd, Commander of the disbanded South Lebanese Army (SLA), the ill-reputed Israeli-armed and financed militia, congratulated Hizbulla on Tuesday for “rubbing Israel‚s nose in the dust,‰ an allusion to the prisoner swap between the Zionist state and the Lebanese Islamic militia. “I salute Hizbullah. It is the only party that knows how to deal with Israel,‰ said Lahd who is residing in Israel, during an interview with the Israeli state-run radio, Cal Yisrael.
Rains cause flooding in north, Kinneret continues to rise
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
A number of places in the north of the country experienced flooding Tuesday as heavy rains caused river and streams to burst their banks. In Nahariya, the Ga’aton River burst its banks for the second time in a month, flooding the western part of the city’s main road, Ga’aton Boulevard. Two houses were also flooded and the residents had to be evacuated by police and firefighters, who then drained out the waters.

Tributes to popular priest
EveningNews24 (UK) 1/27/2004
A POPULAR Norwich priest who died suddenly in Bethlehem wrote home just hours before his death, talking of his hope for the future. Friends, family and colleagues of Norwich priest John Aves were today mourning their loss….He had been supporting non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation of Palestine as part of a programme backed by the World Council of Churches

Press Review: Hizbullah‚s deal provides lesson to Arab leaders
Daily Star 1/27/2004
A daily selection of views from the Middle East and North Africa, compiled and translated by The Daily Star.
Khamenei again steps in to end election crisis
Middle East Online 1/27/2004
Four ministers will probe reformist complaints barring of candidates will result in no competition in some constituencies. — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has again stepped in to end a worsening crisis over the mass barring of reformists from next month’s parliamentary elections, a top official announced Tuesday, with the promise of an imminent breakthrough.
71% of Europeans Say Israeli Withdrawal from Palestinian Territories Inevitable
International Press Center 1/27/2004
GAZA, January 27, 2004 (IPC + Reuters) – – A recent poll conducted in Europe yesterday found that some 71% of Europeans believe that Israel must withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories, while 35% of them think that the Jews must stop ‘playing the victim’ for the Holocaust. The poll, conducted by the Ipso research institute for Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, included respondents in Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and Britain.
Libyan nuclear parts sent to US
BBC 1/27/2004
Components of Libya’s nuclear weapons programme have been flown to the United States, the White House has announced.The move shows “real progress” towards Tripoli’s disarmament, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. He said materials including uranium hexafluoride and centrifuge parts had been flown to Knoxville, Tennessee, on a US transport plane on Monday.

Kerry: I believe Ariel Sharon willing to make peace
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
“I believe Ariel Sharon is willing to make peace, I really believe it,” leading Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry said to a crowd in Salem, New Hampshire on Monday, in his last public appearance ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic primary….Kerry delivered the remarks on Sharon only hours after being quoted as saying that the government in Israel currently lacks someone who can provide the goods when it comes to negotiations with the Palestinians….Israeli officials who analyzed Kerry’s comments on the Middle East said they were, at worst, a misunderstanding. They believe he meant that Israel does not have a partner for talks on the Palestinian side, since the Palestinians are unable to provide the goods.

Swedish PM bombarded with e-mails protesting art exhibit
Ha’aretz 1/27/2004
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Following a row between Sweden and Israel over a controversial art exhibit, Prime Minister Goeran Persson’s office has been bombarded with thousands of protest e-mails at the request of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a government official said Tuesday. “This morning we had received 13,603 online protest letters,” government registrar Ulla Hildert said in an telephone interview.
Russia‚s Lukoil wins Saudi gas exploration deal
Al-Bawaba 1/27/2004
Russia‚s Lukoil has signed a contract with Saudi Aramco for the exploration and development of natural gas and gas condensate deposits in the Kingdom‚s Rub’ Al-Khali Basin. Dubbed Contract Area A, the deal covers a 30,000 square-kilometer region.
Former Turk PM Ecevit: US covets Syria and Iran after it defeated Iraq
Turks.US 1/26/2004
ANKARA (AA) – The former Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit said today that after the US defeated Iraq, it coveted Syria and Iran now. Ecevit evaluated the reports saying that around 60,000 troops would be deployed in Turkey and stated that many lawyers were in consensus that the issue had to be submitted to Parliament.
S. Arabia reiterates support for Jordan
Jordan Times 1/27/2004
AMMAN (Petra) ˜ Saudi Ambassador to Jordan Abdul Rahman Ohali said on Monday that the Saudi leadership fully supports and highly appreciates His Majesty King Abdullah’s ongoing efforts towards establishing peace in the Middle East. Ohali said in an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that recent developments and King Abdullah’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia reflected positively on Jordanian-Saudi relations and paved the way for new scopes of joint and fruitful work in cultural, economic and social fields.

Lebanon Sustains $30 Billion Brain Drain Loss
An Nahar 1/27/2004
Professor Anis Aby Farah of the state-run Lebanese University says Lebanon suffered a $30 billion worth loss in brain drain resulting from the emigration of youths in the last 25 years. He said in a survey published by An Nahar on Tuesday that Lebanon’s resident population totaled 3,472,025 in 2001, compared to emigrants totaling 9,454,531 the same year, which means residents make up only 26,9 percent of the Lebanese worldwide.
Jordan, Microsoft sign deal on e-government
Middle East Online 1/27/2004
Zohbi says entreprise licencing accord serves Jordan’s overall strategy for modernisation of government services. — AMMAN – Jordan on Tuesday signed an “entreprise licencing agreement” with US software giant Microsoft as part of a drive to modernise government e-services, officials said.
NGO Spotlight: European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP)
Palestine Monitor January 2004
In September 2002, people from sixteen organisations in various European countries came together, as Jews, to discuss coordinating their activities in favour of peace in the Middle East. At his meeting a declaration was adopted which became the founding charter of EJJP. Six months later, meeting in Brussels, it was decided that EJJP should be a network of organisations with a permanent structure and an Executive Committee was elected.
E-mail error virus continues to spread
SFIndyMedia 1/27/2004
A new computer virus named Novarg continued to spread quickly around the Internet Tuesday, infecting thousands of computers worldwide. The virus caused so much excess e-mail traffic that it managed to degrade the Internet’s performance, according to Web traffic measurement firm Keynote Systems Inc. Virus-fighting firm Network Associates declared the worm a “high outbreak,” the first time the company has ever used that designation….It often claims to be from a colleague or friend and offers the believable explanation that the original message had to be translated into a plain-text file for delivery.

The Hour Before Dawn
By Nick Pretzlik, Dissident Voice 1/26/2004
Returning to Jerusalem yesterday, an Israeli soldier at the Bethlehem checkpoint glanced at my passport and mumbled “Did you enjoy the visit?”
“Yes” I replied.
“Well,” he said pointing towards the town “it stinks in there. I smell it every day.”
Taken aback, I asked “What do you mean?”
He repeated the comment and waved me through.
The previous day at the al Hamra checkpoint, south of Jenin, I had watched a soldier order people out of their cars. It was 7:00 in the morning and the slopes of the hills down one side of the valley were bathed in soft dawn light. Songbirds flitted from tree to tree and the valley floor was lush and green ˆ the sky pristine blue. An extensive queue of cars taking Palestinians to work had formed already and the soldier was strutting up and down in Chaplinesque fashion, his rifle comically large in proportion to his diminutive frame.
Criminal at birth: refugees in Lebanon
By Stefan Christoff, The Rabble 1/26/2004
The youths who play football on the small streets and narrow alleys of Bourj El Barajneh represent an entire generation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who live in a day-to-day low intensity war. This is a war waged against Palestinian refugees by the government of Lebanon. It is not waged through military campaigns and guerrilla battles as in the Lebanese civil war, but through policies and laws which are slowly choking the life from Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps.
Blood, Soil and Art
By Gilad Atzmon, CounterPunch 1/27/2004
Mazel’s Rampage — As an artist I would like to declare that I was delighted with the Israeli ambassador’s reaction last week in Sweden. I was thrilled with Sharon’s response and the Jewish outrage. Art is there to provoke. It isn’t there to please; nor is it there to support the common perception of what is right and what is wrong. Art is the most effective means of generating confrontation between different perspectives. In fact, if ever there was any doubt regarding the artistic value of the Feilers’ installation, Ambassador Mazel’s emotional reaction should have dispelled it: this is a piece of art of immense importance. It is a piece of art about the art of peace—terms that are lacking from Zionist discourse.
For some, a secular quick fix could never work
By Danny Rubinstein, Place4Peace/Ha’aretz 1/25/2004
Muslim leaders from the territories met in Cairo a few days ago, with guests Rabbi Menahem Fruman and Rabbi Michael Melchior. Unless religion is brought into the picture, says Melchior, no agreement can be forged. — Last week, January 12-15, an unusual conference featuring 35 religious leaders from the Gaza Strip and West Bank was held in Cairo. Participants were official guests invited by Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, who bears the title Sheikh Al-Azhar. Participants included Imad Al-Faluji from the Gaza Strip, a former Hamas operative who served as PA Communications Minister in Yasser Arafat’s government, Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi from Hebron, who heads the PA’s Islamic legal system (a few days before the Cairo meeting he was detained and questioned in Jerusalem for having allegedly violated security orders), and Sheikh Talal Sider, also from Hebron and a former PA Cabinet minister.
The Washington dilemma
By Nathan Guttman, Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
WASHINGTON – In the coming days the United States is expected to decide what to do about the suit against the Israeli separation fence at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The approaching deliberations are putting Washington in a delicate situation – the United States is not a big fan of expanding the authority of the International Court and the transfer of disputes between nations for adjudication there, but it is also far from liking the separation fence that Israel is erecting in the territories.
The United States is missing its best chance to Œde-Finlandize‚ Lebanon
By Parag Khanna, Daily Star 1/27/2004
When crossing the final checkpoint from Syria into Lebanon, I glanced in the rearview mirror to see portraits of the late Hafez al-Assad and son Bashar gazing down at me. With the October Israeli airstrikes against a suspected Islamic Jihad camp just 25 kilometers from Damascus, Lebanon is again threatened with being caught once again in the middle of a proxy war between its two powerful neighbors.
Why the BBC Ducks the Palestinian Story
By Tim Llewellyn, ZNet 1/26/2004
Watching a peculiarly crass, inaccurate and condescending programme about the endangered historical sites of “Israel‰ ˆ that is to say, the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories ˆ on BBC2 in early June 2003,(1) I determined to try to work out, as a former BBC Middle East correspondent, why the Corporation has in the past two and a half years been failing to report fairly the most central and lasting reason for the troubles of the region: the Palestinians‚ struggle for freedom.
Palestinian Children and the Second Intifada
By Catherine Cook, Media Monitors Network 1/27/2004
Overview: Palestinian children have been the subject of much debate during the second intifada. Israeli government officials have falsely portrayed them as unwitting pawns of Palestinian gunmen who use them as human shields, and as the offspring of calculating parents who value their children’s lives as an economic commodity that they are willing to sacrifice for money.

It turns out that the war for the dismantling of the outposts – such dismantling being a promise made by Israel in the days of the road map, and before them – is a lie.

January 26 2004
IOF mows down eighty Palestinian-owned agricultural acres in Deir Al-Balah and Khan Younis
International Press Center 1/26/2004
PALESTINE. 26January.2004 (IPC)--- Palestinian security resources reported today afternoon that the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) has bulldozed 65 Palestinian-ownedacres of agricultural lands in Deir Al-Balah Palestinian city, middle of Gaza Strip. Earlier, IOF bulldozed more than 15 Palestinian-owned acres of agricultural lands in Al-Qararah region, north of Khan Younis Palestinian city.”Palestinian security resources told IPC….Tens of Palestinian farmers complained that IOF suspended the permits which have been given to them to gain access to their lands located behind the Israeli-constructed Apartheid Wall….Moreover, IOF intensified today its military oppressive measures against the Palestinian citizens in Salfeet Palestinian city, West Bank.
IOF Tank Wounds Two Palestinians, One Critically
International Press Center 1/26/2004
GAZA, January 26, 2004, (IPC + Agencies) – -Two Palestinians were wounded Sunday evening, one critically, when an IOF tank fired a shell towards them in Qizan Al Najar area, south of Khan Younis City, Palestinian medical sources confirmed. Eyewitnesses said that an Israeli tank stationed in the perimeter of the illegitimate Israeli settlement of “Morag‰ fired its shell towards the two civilians, wounding them differently….In Khuza‚ Town, southeast of Khan Younis, the Israeli occupying forces razed Sunday overnight several green houses, Palestinian security sources said….
Zionist forces block travel of Palestinian women north of the Strip
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Gaza – Zionist terrorist forces manning the Seifa roadblock to the north of the Beit Lahia area in the Gaza Strip have been blocking the travel of women across that barrier for the fourth consecutive day. The occupation troops told women that they were banned for a number of unspecified days and allowed the passing of men after strict inspection measures.
Bethlehem mayor says Israel is stealing Palestinian land and lying about it
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Bethlehem mayor Hanna Nasser has accused Israel of carrying out “crimes against humanity‰ in the West Bank, saying the world ought to move fast to restrain this “fascist onslaught.‰ “They are confiscating our land in broad daylight. And they are lying about it,‰ he said during a telephone interview Monday. Nasser pointed out that Israeli occupation forces were reducing the traditional birthplace of Jesus to a “detention camp.‰
Suicide bomb found inside PC monitor
Washington Times 1/26/2004
JERUSALEM, Jan. 26 (UPI) — Israeli security agents found explosives hidden inside a computer monitor to be used in a suicide attack, the Jerusalem Post reported Monday. The authorities believe the explosives were to be used for an attack in Tel Aviv. Israeli security forces near Kafr A-Zawiya, where the Elkana settlement is, retrieved the explosives and computer Sunday acting on intelligence information received from a Palestinian captured last week in Nablus, the Post said.
IOF and Israeli Settlers Wound Four Palestinians, One Critically
International Press Center 1/25/2004
KHAN YOUNIS, Palestine, January 25, 2004 (IPC + WAFA) – – The Israeli occupying forces (IOF) shot and wounded two Palestinian citizens in the city of Khan Younis, south of Gaza Strip, one critically, while armed Israeli settlers wounded two others in a refugee camp in Hebron. Palestinian security and medical sources in the city of Khan Younis told IPC correspondent that the Israeli occupying forces stationed inside the illegitimate Israeli settlement of “Morag”, south of Khan Younis, opened heavy gunfire at Palestinian citizens and their homes in the area of Qizan Al Najjar, wounding two Palestinian citizens….Earlier, in the Hebron governorate, the Israeli occupying forces imposed curfew and raided Palestinian houses in the Al Arroub refugee camp, east of Hebron City.
News Briefs: Troops invade village near Ramallah
International Middle East Media Center 1/26/2004
Troops invade a village near Ramallah: Earlier this dawn, the army supported by armored vehicles invaded a village near Ramallah. Locals in the village mentioned that the army imposed curfew and attacked several houses, the assault was mainly concentrated in the main street in the village of Al-Mazra’a Al-sharqiyya… / 1/25/2004 — 2 Palestinians wounded south Khan Younis: This evening, a tank fired a shell towards some Palestinians near Morag Settlement south Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. / Five Palestinian workers wounded on Eretz crossing in Gaza: The army on Eretz crossing in the Gaza wounded five workers who sustained bruises and injuries after being assaulted by the military, other workers sustained breathing problems and suffocation after the military fired several Gas bombs towards them.
Qassam Brigades shell Zionist settlement, army outpost
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Gaza – The Qassam Brigades, military wing of the Hamas Movement, today declared responsibility for firing nine mortar shells at a Zionist settlement and an army position to the east of Rafah in south of the Gaza Strip.
Daily Situation Report in the OPT – Acrobat format
Palestine Media Center 1/26/2004
Daily Situation Report by Palestinian Monitoring Group – 08:00 24 January 2004 ˆ 08:00 25 January 2004 – detailed accounting of closures, curfews, demolitions and other daily operations conducted by the IDF in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Human Rights
UN warns over Israeli demolitions
BBC 1/26/2004
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees is warning that it may not be able to cope with the number of people made homeless by Israeli army demolitions. The head of the organisation, Peter Hansen – on a visit to the southern Gaza Strip – condemned Israel’s policy of demolishing houses as a hugely disproportionate military response.
A Palestinian Dies of his Wounds at an Iron Gate in the Apartheid Wall
International Press Center 1/25/2004
GAZA , January 25 , 2004 (IPC + Agencies)- A Palestinian citizen of Baqa Al Sharqia, adjacent to the West Bank city ofTulkarem died of his wounds Friday overnight when the Israeli soldiers, manning an iron gate of the “Apartheid Wall‰ in Nazelet Essa , north of Tulkarem, denied access ofa handful of wounded in a car accident in the area to a Tulkarem hospital for treatment.
Court extends solitary confinement of Barghouti
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
The Beer Sheva District Court on Monday ordered Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti held in isolation in prison for another six months. The court’s decision came in response to a petition by the Israel Prison Service which said isolation was necessary to limit Barghouti’s ability to direct attacks from behind bars.
IOF Takes Fingerprints of Naby Saleh Inhabitants, Collects Data on Beit Exa Property
International Press Center 1/25/2004
NABY SALEH, Palestine, January 25, 2004 (IPC+WAFA)— Israeli occupying forces (IOF) began early this morning collecting fingerprints of local inhabitants of the Alnaby Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah city after storming the village, using dozens armored vehicles….The sources added that the soldiers also took pictures of the village from different axis, in an unprecedented move. Eyewitnesses told WAFA News Agency that since the early hours of Sunday, the village has been under full Israeli troops control as these forces forced all inhabitants out in the open including women, children and elderly, despite heavy rains and cold weather.
Heavy fines on Arabs venturing into the West Bank
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Nablus – Palestinian sources in the West Bank have said that the Zionist occupation authorities had recently declared intention to impose heavy fines on all Palestinian inhabitants of the 1948 occupied areas venturing to visit the West Bank. Sources said that the occupation forces installed a large placard at the eastern and only entrance to the West Bank city of Qalqilya warning 1948 Arabs that they would be fined up to 800 dollars if they entered the city.
Palestinian kidney patient denied treatment
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Nablus – Zionist occupation troops stationed at the Beit Dajan roadblock to the east of Nablus city today barred the entry of a Palestinian kidney patient into the city to undergo dialysis at the Watani hospital. Nasr Abu Jaish, Beit Dajan municipality chief, said that the sick patient was detained for more than two hours at the roadblock in the heavy rain and cold weather.
Palestinian father of IDF soldier gets his expulsion delayed
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
A Palestinian who was married to a Jewish woman and has a son serving in the Israel Defense Forces will not be expelled to the territories for another month, pending a High Court of Justice hearing. This follows the state’s reply yesterday to a petition filed against the expulsion.

UN agency seeks $25 million to rebuild wrecked Gaza homes
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
The United Nations refugee works agency urged donors on Sunday to provide another $25 million to rebuild Palestinian homes wrecked in three years of Israeli-Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip. “We are appealing to the donors to allow us to do a little more,” Peter Hansen, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency serving Palestinian refugees, said at the opening of a housing project in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis.
Hansen: UN Unable to Cope with House Demolition Expenses in Gaza Strip
International Press Center 1/26/2004
KHAN YOUNIS, Palestine, January 26, 2004 (IPC + Agencies) – – The head of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA), Mr. Peter Hansen, warned that with the large scale house demolition by the Israeli forces in the Palestinian territories, his UN agency would suffer a serious lack of resources….”We can simply not keep up with this,” he said.
Video: More than 14,000 made homeless in Gaza
BBC 1/26/2004
The BBC’s Linden Kemkaran – “In the last three years more than 14,000 people in the Gaza Strip have been made homeless”,1280,-3671859,00.html
Annan Seeks U.N. Commission on Genocide
The Guardian 1/26/2004
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) – Warning massacres like those carried out in Rwanda and Bosnia could happen again, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday proposed an international committee to help prevent genocide. Annan made the proposal at the opening of a three-day conference in Stockholm on preventing genocide.

Court firm on Israel barrier case
BBC 1/26/2004
The International Court of Justice has rejected a call by Israel to move a 30 January deadline for written arguments on the security barrier case. The legality of the barrier is to be debated by the ICJ in February at the request of Arab states at the UN….The decision came as Palestinians called for a day of protest to mark the start of the hearing.
Hezbollah swap deal disappoints Palestinian prisoners
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Palestinians imprisoned in Israel expressed disappointment with the outcome of the prisoner-exchange deal after listening to a press conference that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave in Beirut yesterday. Though the deal calls for Israel to release 400 Palestinian prisoners, none are people convicted of serious offenses or people with more than three years left to serve.
PLC members oppose ‘refugee’ solution in latest Saudi plan
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Palestinian lawmakers expressed opposition Monday to a section of a new Saudi-led peace initiative that calls for more than 2 million Palestinian refugees to be absorbed by other Arab states…. According to the initiative, which is being prepared by Arab states, some 2 million Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to the Palestinian state that would be established. More than 2 million others would be absorbed by other Arab states, and compensated for the suffering they had endured. Israel will not be required to absorb any Palestinian refugees.
Saudi Arabia denies proposing relocation of Palestinians on its territory
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Riyadh – An official Saudi source has denied that his country was proposing a new initiative stipulating the relocation of Palestinian refugees on its territory. The Saudi Press Agency quoted the official as saying that the Kuwaiti newspaper “Aseyassah” report was absolutely baseless. The source further denied that Riyadh had tabled a new initiative to settle the Arab-”Israeli” conflict, affirming that that the only such initiative was tabled at the Beirut summit for Arab leaders in March 2002 that was approved by all Arab countries.
Hamas Proposes 10-Year Truce For Israeli Withdrawal
Islam Online 1/26/2004
RAMALLAH, West Bank, January 26 ( & News Agencies) ˆ Hamas top official Abdal Aziz Al-Rantisi said late Sunday, January 25, that the main Palestinian resistance group could declare a 10-year truce with Israel if the latter withdrew from territories occupied in 1967 and a Palestinian state was established. “We propose a 10-year truce in return for [Israeli] withdrawal and the establishment of a [Palestinian] state,” Rantisi told Reuters news agency in a telephone interview.
Israel scorns Hamas 10-year truce plan 1/26/2004
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has dismissed as ridiculous a proposal from the main Palestinian militant group, Hamas, to declare a 10-year truce if the Jewish state withdraws from territory occupied since 1967. Top Hamas official Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi told Reuters late on Sunday Hamas had come to the conclusion that it was “difficult to liberate all our land at this stage, so we accept a phased liberation”.
EU discusses joint submission to The Hague on fence
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
BRUSSELS – European Union foreign ministers Monday discussed a possible joint submission to the International Court of Justice on the West Bank separation fence. “The possibility of an agreed EU communication to the court remains under consideration,” Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, speaking for Ireland’s EU presidency, told reporters. Cowen said the EU was convinced that Israel’s construction of the West Bank barrier was a breach of international law.
Gadhafi says world is ‘deaf and blind’ to Israel’s WMDs
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi accused Israel in an interview Monday of flooding Arab countries with drugs and said he hoped the international community would no longer be “deaf and blind” to Israel’s weapons of mass destruction. In the interview, published Monday in the Italian daily La Repubblica a day after a delegation of U.S. lawmakers landed in Tripoli to talk about restoring ties and ending economic sanctions, Gadhafi also welcomed a thaw in ties with the United States and suggested their secret services were already working together against Islamic militants.
Germany: We’ll free prisoners for Arad
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
The German government has promised to free two Lebanese and an Iranian currently serving life sentences in Germany, and also to try to persuade France and Switzerland to release Lebanese prisoners they hold, in exchange for the return of missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad or his body. The German pledge is included in the prisoner exchange deal reached by Israel and Hezbollah through German mediation.
Syria welcomes Turkish mediation with Israel
MSNBC 1/26/2004
Both Tel Aviv and Damascus are cautious though hopeful for Turkish plans to try and get the two sides to sit down for peace talks. — January 26 – Damascus has welcomes Israel‚s acceptance of a Turkish offer to mediate in the stand off between the two countries, with Syria‚s Information Minister wishing Ankara every success in its peacemaking efforts.
Egyptian officials to arrive in Ramallah today
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher and Intelligence chief Omar suleiman will arrive in Ramallah Tuesday for talks with PA leader Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian officials. The purpose of the visit is ostensibly to pursue earlier efforts aimed at reaching a cease-fire between the Israeli occupation regime and Palestinian resistance groups.
France rebuts Israeli charge on anti-Semitism
Reuters 1/26/2004
PARIS, Jan 26 (Reuters) – France refuted Israeli charges of rising anti-Semitism on Monday, saying attacks on Jews and Jewish property had dropped by 36 percent last year rather than doubled as Israel’s minister for diaspora affairs has asserted. The Interior Ministry reacted after the minister, Natan Sharansky, criticised Paris on Sunday and said 47 percent of all anti-Semitic attacks in Europe last year occurred in France.
US Envoys to Arrive in Palestinian Territories Next Tuesday
International Press Center 1/26/2004
GAZA, January 26, 2004 (IPC + Agencies) – – The Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Nabil Sha‚th assured that the US envoys David Satterfield and John Wolf are due to arrive in the Palestinian territories on Tuesday to meet the Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei‚.
PLO Slams Attacks on Palestinian Leadership
Palestine Media Center 1/26/2004
FM Shaath Speaks with Powell, Seeks Iran‚s help — The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in a meeting chaired by President Yaser Arafat in Ramallah on Sunday, voiced its surprise for the statements that completely ignore the dangers of the Apartheid Wall Israel is building on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and concentrate instead on attacking the Palestinian Leadership, following US Vice President Dick Cheney‚s remarks in Davos on Saturday.
Sha‚th and Eriqat Criticize US Vice President Remarks Regarding PNA
International Press Center 1/25/2004
GAZA, January 25, 2004 (IPC+ Al-Jazeera) – – The Palestinian Foreign Minister, Dr. Nabil Sha‚th, who is taking part in Davos Economic Forum 2004, and the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Minister, Dr. Sa’eb Eriqat, criticized yesterday the American Vice President, Richard (Dick) Cheney’s remarks regarding the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
Sharon defends prisoner swap deal
BBC 1/25/2004
The Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has been defending a prisoner exchange between his government and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah. The deal has been criticised by some right-wing Israeli politicians who have argued that it could strengthen Lebanese and Palestinian militants. Palestinian officials have welcomed the swap.

Jordanian minister says it’s time for Arab states to oppose suicide bombings
San Francisco Chronicle 1/25/2004
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher said Sunday that Arab states need to explain their peace proposals to Israelis and take a strong stand against suicide bombings that have claimed hundreds of Israeli lives in the past three years of violence. “We have not publicly, clearly, unequivocally taken a stand against suicide bombs,” Muasher declared at a meeting of business and government leaders in the Swiss Alps.
Spanish FM: Israel‚s Apartheid Wall is an Obstacle to Peace and Stability
International Press Center 1/25/2004
DAVOS, Switzerland, January 25, 2004 (IPC+ Agencies)— Spanish Foreign Minister, Mrs. Ana Palathio, said Sunday that her country is opposed to the Israeli Apartheid Wall, which is cutting deep into West Bank cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, regarding the wall as Œ an obstacle to peace and stability‚.
PA lawmaker says Palestinians won‚t give up on refugee rights
Palestinian Information Center 1/26/2004
Occupied Jerusalem – Palestinian Lawmaker Hatem Abdul Qader has castigated an alleged Saudi peace initiative involving the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in Arab countries, calling it “stupid and suspicious.‰ Abdul Qader told reporters in Ramallah Monday the Palestinian people would under no circumstances give up their right of return.

ICJ won’t postpone fence deadline
Jerusalem Post 1/26/2004
The International Court of Justice at The Hague rejected a call by Israel to postpone the January 30 deadline for written arguments on the security-fence case, said Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker. The final draft of Israel’s statement to the court was presented Sunday to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s bureau chief, Dov Weisglass. The only part of its strategy which legal experts will divulge is the plan to focus on procedural arguments, especially the court’s lack of authority to hear the matter.
Israel Confused Over ICJ Hearing as Their Appeals for Delay Rejected
International Press Center 1/26/2004
GAZA, January 26, 2004 (IPC + Arab48) – – The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s legal advisor and head of the Israeli legal team concerned with tracking the issue of the Apartheid Wall in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Alan Baker, said that the court has rejected all the appeals they made to postpone or delay the deadline for the hearing, scheduled on February 23, 2004.
Israel, Hizbullah to look into more releases after prisoner exchanges on Thursday, Friday
Daily Star 1/26/2004
Nasrallah confirms planned talks to free Qantar, The longest-held lebanese detainee — Israel and Hizbullah will exchange prisoners Thursday and Friday, then later look into more releases and the case of a long-missing Israeli airman, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday. “After Thursday and Friday, there will be no Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails,‰ Nasrallah told reporters in Beirut. “But the door is still open and the second stage will be very important, especially for the Palestinians.‰

Prison Service begins releasing list of prisoners in swap
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
The Israel Prison Service on Monday night began publishing the list of prisoners to be released in the prisoner swap deal with Hezbollah. The list will be updated throughout the night Monday, as the names arrive from the Ministry of Justice…..Lebanese prisoner Mustafa Dirani, who is expected to be freed as part of the deal, will testify on Tuesday at the Tel Aviv District Court in the lawsuit he filed against the State of Israel in March 2002, claiming NIS 6 million in damages for alleged torture and rape by Israeli interrogators.
Swap is a significant coup for Hizbullah
Daily Star 1/26/2004
BEIRUT: The conclusion of a German-brokered deal to swap four Israelis kidnapped by Hizbullah for hundreds of Arab detainees held in Israel will be perceived as a significant propaganda coup for the Lebanese resistance group, analysts say. Israel has dithered over releasing 15 Jordanian prisoners, despite entreaties from the Jordanian government, and has all but abandoned constructive negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, its ostensible peace partner.
Israel exhumes bodies of Hezbollah fighters
Middle East Online 1/26/2004
Bodies of 59 Lebanese nationals are being readied for return to their Lebanon ahead of divisive exchange deal. — Israel was exhuming the corpses of scores of Hezbollah fighters Monday as it finalised a controversial prisoners exchange deal with the Lebanese-based militia which has split public opinion down the middle.
Prisoner swap elicits joy from families
Daily Star 1/26/2004
Resistance still wants qantar freed from israeli prison – Nongovernmental organizations stress that prisoners cannot be held as bargaining chips for future trades — News of the prisoner swap between Hizbullah and Israel under German auspices elicited joy from family members of the detained and appeals from non-governmental organizations to respect international law. The swap would result in the release of 23 Lebanese prisoners, in addition to more than 400 Palestinians and 12 Arabs, in exchange for Israeli Colonel Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was kidnapped in October 2000, and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers.
Lahoud: Israel needs to Œrecognize‚ Hizbullah
Daily Star 1/26/2004
President commends resistance for prisoner swap — President Emile Lahoud said on Sunday that the German-mediated prisoner swap which was announced on the weekend was “clear recognition‰ by Israel of Hizbullah as a legitimate power. The prisoner swap, which came after three years of intensive negotiations between Hizbullah and Israel with the help of German mediation will involve the exchange of more than 400 Lebanese and Arab prisoners for three Israeli soldiers ˆ presumed dead ˆ as well as Elhanan Tannenbaum who is known to be alive.
PM: `We made the correct, moral decision’
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
“The decision on the prisoner deal was not an easy one,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said at the start of yesterday’s cabinet meeting. “It is not often that the government has to deal with value and moral considerations such as these. I believe we made the correct, moral and responsible decision.”
Analysis / What Nasrallah knows
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
In four days time, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah will open his victory celebrations in Beirut, though they really began with yesterday’s press conference. Four Arab states – Syria, Morocco, Sudan and Lebanon, along with the Palestinians – will owe the Hezbollah leader thanks for freeing their prisoners. Nasrallah’s duties to the citizens of the Lebanon after the May 2000 withdrawal of IDF troops from the south of the country have now been completely fulfilled. The Lebanese prisoners, except for Samir Kuntar, will be released and the maps of mine fields laid by the IDF and South Lebanon Army will be handed over to Hezbollah, thus ending the “covert occupation,” as Nasrallah puts it. The Shaba Farms area will be the only duty left of Hezbollah’s list.
Amman source: Israel set to free 20 Jordanian prisoners
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
AMMAN – Jordan expects Israel to release up to 20 Jordanian prisoners by early next month, a foreign ministry source told Reuters on Monday. The release would be a success for the Jordanian government, which is pressing for the release of all 71 of its nationals held in Israel’s jails, some since before the 1994 peace accord between the two countries.
Israel press agonises over swap
BBC 1/25/2004
The agreement between the Israeli Government and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah to exchange a number of detainees has caused much soul-searching in the Israeli press. The deal is viewed as a victory for Hezbollah, and is also seen as having posed a moral dilemma for the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. “The pain and the price”, declares a headline in Maariv. Another headline in the daily notes the agreement was received “With mixed feelings”.
Hamas proposes 10-year truce for Israeli pullback
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
A top Hamas official has said his organization could declare a 10-year truce with Israel if Israel withdraws from territory captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. Abdel Aziz Rantisi told Reuters late Sunday that Hamas had come to the conclusion that it was “difficult to liberate all our land at this stage, so we accept a phased liberation. “We accept a state in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. We propose a 10-year truce in return for [Israeli] withdrawal and the establishment of a state,” he said in a telephone interview from hiding in the Gaza Strip.


Palestinians unify security bodies, tackle crime
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Palestinian leaders said on Sunday they would crack down on crime by unifying security bodies into one organization and deploying more police on city streets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Officials said the steps were designed as an anti-crime measure rather than addressing the demands of the United States-backed road map peace plan for Palestinians to rein in militants.
Legal sources: Hard to prove Olmert accepted bribe from Appel
Globes 1/26/2004
Prosecutors are divided over whether Prime Minister Ariel Sharon should be indicted. — “It is difficult to prove bribery in the case of Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert,‰ sources in the legal system said yesterday, referring to the possibility that Olmert might be indicted in the affair of the bribes allegedly given by contractor David Appel. The indictment against Appel alleges that, at the end of 1999, he promised Olmert that he would “support him fully‰ in his Likud party leadership campaign. Olmert stood in the Likud primaries against Ariel Sharon, who also received pledges of support from Appel.

Mossad dodges Knesset meeting on missing Iranian Jews
Jerusalem Post 1/26/2004
Mossad chief Meir Dagan canceled an appearance by his office Monday before the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee on the fate of 11 Jews missing in Iran, informing Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin that he was concerned that leaks could cause harm to the case. Committee chair Colette Avital (Labor) said she hoped that Dagan’s refusal to cooperate with the meeting means there is a “chance that the Jews are alive.”
Omri Sharon: We’re not interested in Kfar Malal rezoning
Globes 1/26/2004
Minister of Industry Ehud Olmert: I only asked for an examination of the general legal issues. — MK Omri Sharon (Likud), the son of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told “Globes‰ today that the Sharon family had no interest in the plan to rezone 1,500 dunam (375 acres) owned by Moshav Kfar Malal, since the family wished to preserve its farm in its current state.

Incoming A-G: Decision on PM to be made without delay
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Incoming attorney general Menachem (Meni) Mazuz said Sunday, after the cabinet approved his appointment, that all decisions pertaining to the affairs Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is allegedly involved, will be made “without any unnecessary delay, but with all required caution.”
Two Palestinians killed; Palestinian legislative council: the government did not attain security to citizens
Arabic News 1/26/2004
The Palestinian legislative council held the government of the Palestinian prime minister Ahmad Qurei’ responsible for the failure to attaining security to the Palestinian citizen. A matter which pushed the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to give his instructions to the minister of the Interior and to the security departments to form operations room “immediately” in order to control internal security in the Palestinian territories.

Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir submits request to marry
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Yigal Amir, who assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, on Sunday submitted a formal request to the Ayalon prison management that he be granted permission to marry and start a family. The Israel Prisons Authority said that Amir’s request would be handed over to the appropriate professional authorities.

“Sharon allegations making foreigners reconsider TASE investments”
Globes 1/26/2004
Excellence-Nessuah’s Shlomo Maoz: Foreign investors understand the political developments. — “I believe that foreign investors will review their investments [in Israel], due to the allegations against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Foreign investors are likely to reduce their investments in Israeli stocks, especially those not denominated in dollars,” Excellence-Nessuah chief economist Shlomo Maoz told “Globes”.
Hotel overnights up 3% in 2003
Globes 1/26/2004
Tourist hotel overnights rose by 25%, while hotel overnights by Israelis fell by 1%. — The number of hotel overnights was 3% higher in 2003 than in 2002. Tourist hotel overnights rose by 25%, while hotel overnights by Israelis fell by 1%. Tourist hotel overnights were 66% below the level before the outbreak of the intifada in 2000, while hotel overnights by Israelis were up 20%.
Security exports up 35% in 2003
Globes 1/26/2004
The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor will make a special allocation for promoting security exports to the US. — The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor will make a special $500,000 allocation for promoting security exports to the US over the next two years, in order to take advantage of the US Homeland Security procurement program established after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.
Poraz, local authorities union meeting in bid to prevent strike
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Interior Minister Avraham Poraz was meeting Monday evening with the director of the union of local authorities, Adi Eldar, in an attempt to prevent a partial strike the Histadrut on Sunday threatened to carry out, Army Radio reported. Local authorities workers decided Monday that several groups of workers would strike due to the government’s failure to pay the salaries of local authority workers for several months, said the Histadrut.
Klein cuts interest rate for February by 0.3% to 4.5%
Globes 1/26/2004
The Bank of Israel has cut its key rate by an unprecedented 4.6% since December 2002. — This afternoon, Governor of the Bank of Israel David Klein announced a cut of 0.3% in the central bank‚s key interest rate for February, to 4.5%. The cut was within the expected range.Today‚s announcement follows cuts of 0/4-0.5% in each of the past eight months.
U.S. to cut $15m in foreign aid to Israel
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
WASHINGTON – The foreign aid that Israel receives from the United States will be reduced by about $15 million this year, following Congress’s decision to make an across-the-board 0.59 percent cut to every budgetary line item. Last Thursday, the Senate belatedly approved the foreign aid bill, which includes the annual $2.68 billion grant to Israel. But because of the across-the-board cut, this is $15 million less than Israel had expected.

Palestinian fund-raising calendar becomes collectors‚ item
Daily Star 1/26/2004
This year‚s issue offers pre-1914 photos — LOS ANGELES: A fund-raising calendar created by a US-based Palestinian relief group is aimed at refuting the common Zionist slogan: “A land without a people for a people without land,‰ by featuring classic pictures of Palestinian villages prior to the creation of the state of Israel. The Los Angeles chapter of the Palestine Aid Society of America produces a calendar and proceeds are sent to aid educational and health needs of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and south Lebanon.
Despite Difficulties, 5,000 Russian Muslims Perform Hajj
Islam Online 1/26/2004
MOSCOW, January 26 ( ˆ Up to five thousand Russian Muslims undertake the holy journey to Makkah to perform hajj this year despite high costs. Many Russian Muslims complained about the highly-priced visa issuance, hajj costs and the hardships faced by pilgrims traveling by buses. Traveling by road costs about 36,000 Russian rubles ($1300), while by plane around 51,000 ($1800).
Attacks against Arab community
SFIndyMedia 1/26/2004
In Haifa.. Copyright-free artwork by Brazilian cartoonist Latuff, on behalf of brave Palestinian people and their struggle against U.S. backed Israeli terror. [accompanied by story]: Following the bomb placed in the car of an Arab resident of Halisa – the fifth such case in the recent period. -On Friday, January 16, Issa Ghanaim, who lives near the mosque in Halisa, went out to his work in the early morning hour. When he started driving he heard a strange noise from the bottom of the car and discovered a bomb which was attached to the car. When he detached the bomb and threw it on the roadside the bomb exploded without causing harm.
Abdul Rahman Munif, Giant of the Arab narrative dies at 71
Arabic News 1/26/2004
It seems that heavy losses at the Arab cultural scene have been greatly increased with the loss of one of its most prominent figures. Just recently the renowned Moroccan writer Muhammad Shukri died and on Saturday, January 24. Abdul Rahman Munif died but left behind a precious stone embodied in his five- part Mudun al- Milh ( Cities of the Salt ); his three part narrative Ard al-Sawad ( (the land of the black), in addition to his other famous narrative works including his first narrative work “the trees and the assassination of Marzouq,” issued in 1973.

Kerry: Israel can’t provide goods in talks with Palestinians
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Leading Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry on Monday said the government in Israel currently lacks someone who can provide the goods in everything connected to negotiations with the Palestinians. “It’s very difficult for Israel to negotiate because in Israel there is nobody to negotiate to actually deliver,” Kerry said at a political rally in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Kerry also criticized the settlement policy of the Israeli government and said that it was a mistake to increase building there at this time.
European poll: 46% say Jews are ‘different’
Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
A poll of nine European nations that was released Monday found that 46 percent of respondents said Jews in their nations were “different,” and 35 percent said Jews should stop “playing the victim” for the Holocaust. Some 9 percent of the respondents said they “don’t like or trust Jews,” and 15 percent said “it would be better if Israel didn’t exist.”
Syria denies receiving Iraq arms
BBC 1/25/2004
Syria has strongly denied allegations that it has been harbouring Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The charge that part of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programme went to Syria before the war came from the ex-head of the US weapons inspection team. David Kay said former Iraqi officials had given evidence that materials had been moved across the border.
Female migrant workers in the spotlight at AUB seminar
Daily Star 1/26/2004
Many foreign women working in region face abuse by their employers and are inadequately protected by the law — The situation of migrant domestic workers across the Arab world is generally harsh, particularly in Lebanon where many maids face additional fears and concerns, something which many professors and researchers discussed during a seminar held at the weekend.

Elections in doubt, MPs on verge of resigning as Iran crisis deepens
Yahoo! News 1/26/2004
TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran’s political crisis deepened as hardliners stuck by their power to bar thousands of candidates from next month’s parliamentary polls, prompting a government threat not to organise the vote. Officials said the Guardians Council, the conservative-run political watchdog behind the electoral blacklist, had vetoed an emergency move by the reformist parliament to curb their weeding out of candidates.
British invest US$ 200 million in Syrian coastal resort 1/26/2004
A group of Syrian and British investors are building the largest tourism resort on the Syrian coast. There will be 5,000 beds on completion of the project. — A new tourism and leisure resort will be built on the Syrian coast following the signing of an agreement in that respect between the municipality of Tartous and a number of Syrian and British private investors.
Syria High On U.S. Military Agenda: Paper
Islam Online 1/25/2004
WASHINGTON, January 25 ( ˆ The toppling of the Syrian regime and the disbanding of Hizbullah resistance movement come high on the military agenda of the current U.S. administration, a prominent Arab-language newspaper reported on Sunday, January 25. Washington is also planning to pressure Syria into stopping its support for Palestinian resistance groups and abandoning its alleged weapons programs, the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported citing a western intelligence periodical.
US releases Iraqi Al-Jazeera journo 1/26/2004
An Iraqi cameraman working for Al-Jazeera was released by the US-led coalition in Iraq on Sunday after being detained for more than two months, said a spokesperson for the Qatar-based Arabic satellite television station. Suhaib al-Samarrai was released from a detention camp at Baghdad’s notorious Abu Gharib prison after coalition officials “found nothing against him,” said spokesperson Jihad Balout.
US talks break ice with Gaddafi
BBC 1/26/2004
US congressmen have held talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on a landmark visit to Tripoli. The delegates said the meeting was “warm” and that they had discussed renewing ties between Libya and the US.

Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon sign agreements of second phase of Arab Gas Pipeline Projects
MENA Report 1/26/2004
Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon on Sunday signed agreements of the second phase of the Arab Gas Pipeline Projects, designed to convey natural gas from Egypt to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. According to Petra news agency, the agreements include a licensed agreement with Al Fajer Company to carry out the second phase, two agreements to sell and purchase gas and an agreement to transport natural gas.,2763,1130983,00.html
‘She has hurled oil on the flames’
The Guardian 1/26/2004
Reactions to the MP’s comment on suicide attacks — Independent Editorial, January 24: “Charles Kennedy should be ashamed of himself. The Liberal Democrat leader sought yesterday to distance himself and his party from the comments of Jenny Tonge, the Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park. Yet what Ms Tonge said on Wednesday was unexceptional. She said the violence and humiliation suffered by Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli state ‘made me understand how people can become suicide bombers’.
Prisoner deal delights Arab press
BBC 1/26/2004
The agreement on a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Lebanon-based Islamic group Hezbollah is warmly welcomed in Monday’s Arabic press. Some editorials stress that the German-brokered deal shows Israel has recognised Hezbollah as a movement engaged in a “legitimate struggle
Part of Patriot Act Ruled Unconstitutional
SFIndyMedia 1/26/2004
LOS ANGELES – A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a portion of the USA Patriot Act that bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated foreign terrorist organizations. The ruling marks the first court decision to declare a part of the post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism statute unconstitutional, said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who argued the case on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project.
American Muslims finding their way in the upcoming US elections
Daily Star 1/26/2004
Disappointment over Œwar on terror‚ causes shift in allegiances – Voters are turning to the Democratic Party and calling for greater political sophistication from their leaders — LOS ANGELES, United States: Nearly four years ago Ahmed Karram followed the first-ever Muslim bloc vote and cast his ballot for US President George W. Bush. This time around, he‚s listening seriously to what the Democratic candidates have to say, and he‚s more cautious. “His policy background was unknown, as was his religious affiliation to the Christian right,‰ said Karram, 52, a Los Angeles financial adviser.
Risky E-Vote System to Expand
Radio Free USA 1/26/2004
Researchers warned last week that an Internet voting system designed for Americans overseas to use in the November presidential election should be scrapped — because Internet insecurities could compromise the election. The government dismissed the researchers’ findings, saying the report offered false conclusions about the security of the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment, or SERVE, system.
McNamara: ‘It’s just wrong what we’re doing’
Radio Free USA/Globe and Mail 1/24/2004
In an exclusive interview, repentant Vietnam War architect Robert McNamara breaks his silence on Iraq: The United States, he says, is making the same mistakes all over again. — “We’re misusing our influence,” he said in a staccato voice that had lost none of its rapid-fire engagement. “It’s just wrong what we’re doing. It’s morally wrong, it’s politically wrong, it’s economically wrong.”

Violent invasions, extrajudicial killings, and suicide bombings
By Mika Minio-Paluello, Electronic Intifada 1/25/2004
The Israeli invasion and siege of Nablus city ended two weeks ago now (Wed Jan 7), with a return to the nightly machine gun fire from the mountains, daily mini-incursions, and deadly proddings by jeeps and the occasional tank.
Conniving Uni-Power
Editorial, Miftah 1/24/2004
According to Israeli sources, the United States, in spite of their “public‰ condemnation of the continued construction of the Œcolonization wall,‚ is lobbying against the International Court of Justice‚s (ICJ) decision to look into the legality of the “Apartheid Wall‰ scheduled to start on the February 27th, 2004, and is being constructed by Israel on occupied land against international community‚s will.
How Internationals Help Palestine Cause
By Richard H. Curtiss, Arab News 1/26/2004
WASHINGTON, 26 January 2004 ˜ Tom Hurndall, 22, died in a hospital in England on Jan. 18. He was mortally wounded in April 2003 while volunteering in the West Bank as a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the pro-Palestinian peace group that serves as buffers between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.
Two-State Solution Again Sells Palestinians Short
By George Bisharat, Common Dreams/Los Angeles Times 1/26/2004
It is a tragic irony that, more than 55 years ago, one desperate people seeking sanctuary from murderous racism decimated another ˜ and continue to oppress its scattered survivors to this day. In 1948, about 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland, their land and possessions taken by the new Jewish state of Israel. This included the Jerusalem home of my grandparents, Hanna and Mathilde Bisharat, which was expropriated through a process tantamount to state-sanctioned theft.
PA has no reason to celebrate
By Danny Rubinstein, Ha’aretz 1/26/2004
Some Palestinians were happy on Saturday, on hearing the news that Israel and Hezbollah had signed the prisoner-exchange agreement. “The release of 400 Palestinian prisoners is a day of celebration for 400 families in the West Bank and Gaza,” said, for example, Palestinian cabinet member Qadoura Fares, who has been dealing with the prisoner issue for years. Fares and his colleagues are well aware of the fact that there are no big names among the prisoners slated for release. Israel refused in principle to release detainees defined as having “blood on their hands,” despite the fact that, as far as the Palestinians are concerned, this is a definition lacking in legal or moral foundation – after all, in keeping with such a definition, those who did the planning and sent the murderers to their missions can be released.
Palestine and the Antiwar Movement
By Lee Sustar, Palestine Media Center/Socialist Worker 1/26/2004
SHOULD THE antiwar movement take up the question of Palestine? Or, to put the question another way, can the movement oppose one element of U.S. domination of the Middle East, the occupation of Iraq, while ignoring the other—the increasingly savage Israeli occupation of Palestine that‚s funded, armed and politically supported by Washington?
The New American Century
By Arundhati Roy, Miftah 1/26/2004
In January 2003 thousands of us from across the world gathered in Porto Alegre in Brazil and declared—reiterated—that “Another World Is Possible.” A few thousand miles north, in Washington, George W. Bush and his aides were thinking the same thing.
Our project was the World Social Forum. Theirs—to further what many call the Project for the New American Century.

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