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Entries in Palestine (248)


Israel Video, Transcript, & Snap Analysis: Netanyahu's Speech to AIPAC

Last night Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington.

The take-away subject and line are predictable: when it comes to Iran, "We are determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We leave all options on the table. And containment is definitely not an option. The Jewish state will not allow those seeking our destruction to possess the means to achieve that goal."

Put another way: "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That’s right, it’s a duck –but this duck is a nuclear duck. And it’s time the world started calling a duck a duck.

At the same time, it is important --- though I suspect almost all the media coverage will miss the significance --- to know the subjects that Netanyahu did not address. Because he kept everyone's eyes and ears on Tehran, he did not have to refer to the changes in the Middle East because of the "Arab Spring" and Turkey's shifting position. He did not mention Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the status of Gaza, or the 1967 borders with Paletine --- indeed, he did not have to refer at all to negotiations with the Palestinians.

And that, rather than the headlines on Iran, is probably Netanyahu's greatest accomplishment last night.


Thank you for the warm reception. It could be heard as far away as Jerusalem – the eternal and united capital of Israel. More than two thirds of the Congress is in attendance here tonight. I deeply appreciate your being here.

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Palestine Breaking: Israel Frees Hunger Striker Khader Adnan (Al Jazeera English)

UPDATE 1850 GMT: Ran Cohen, the Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights (Israel), has confirmed that Khader Adnan has ended his hunger strike.

UPDATE 1705 GMT: The text of the Israeli Supreme Court statement:

We have been delivered a joint notice by the representative of the Appellant and the representative of the Respondents, according to which there is no intention to extend the administrative detention beyond 17 April 2012, and (after offsetting the days of detention during which the Appellant was subjected to a criminal investigation), subject to the absence of new and significant material being added in the matter of the Appellant. In light of the above, the Appellant has ended his hunger strike and declared his retraction of the appeal.This being the case, the appeal is stricken, and the hearing schedule for today is thereby cancelled.

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Watching the Protests

Security forces, using hot water, scatter protesters in Aldaih in Bahrain after dispersing a funeral procession (see 1347 GMT)

See also Bahrain Opinion: No Reform, So Why is the Grand Prix Going Ahead?
Syria Audio Feature: Iranian Rappers Sing for the People of Homs
Sunday's Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Violence Escalates
Syria Live Coverage: Defiance in Damascus

2225 GMT: Apologies for limited service tonight, as EA staff have been travelling and giving presentations. We will be back from 0600 GMT with latest news.

1805 GMT: A Bahraini court has acquitted former MP Matar Matar, a leading member of the opposition society Al Wefaq, of taking part in "unlawful" protests.

The last of three charges, "undermining public security by assembling with a group of more than five people", was dropped on Monday by a court in Manama.

Authorities had released Matar and another Al-Wefaq member, Jawad Fayruz, in August after three months of detention.

1730 GMT: Protesters makes another dash for Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain as security forces fire sound bombs:

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Palestine Letter: Khader Adnan "Why I Am on Hunger Strike"

Palestinian Boys Protest for Khader AdnanTwitter is filled tonight with messages with the hashtag #KhaderExists for Khader Adnan, now in the 64th day of his hunger strike.

Adnan is in "administrative detention" in an Israeli jail, under which he can be held without charge indefinitely. Last week he explained in a letter, delivered by his lawyer, why he was persisting with his fast:

I started my battle offering my soul to God almighty and adamant to go ahead until righteousness triumphs over falsehood. I am defending my dignity and my people’s dignity and not doing this in vain. 

The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially prisoners. I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey.

Here I am in a hospital bed surrounded with prison wardens, handcuffed, and my foot tied to the bed. The only thing I can do is offer my soul to God as I believe righteousness and justice will eventually triumph over tyranny and oppression.

I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on.
"It is time the international community and the UN support prisoners and force the State of Israel to respect international human rights and stop treating prisoners as if they were not humans.


Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Violence Escalates

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at security forces in Aldair in Bahrain on Saturday

See also Palestine Letter: Khader Adnan "Why I Am on Hunger Strike"
Bahrain Feature: Updated List of 68 Killed Since February 2011
Sunday's Syria Live Coverage: Defiance in Damascus
Saturday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Story Gets Out

1244 GMT: At least 15 people have been killed and 21 wounded when a bomber wearing a suicide vest blew himself up near the entrance to the Iraqi Police Academy in the east of Baghdad.


Deadly attacks have also been reported in and around the city of Baquba, to the north of Baghdad. Four police informants were killed by suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen.

Gunmen also attacked a checkpoint in Abu Khamis, north of Baquba, killing one policeman and two members of the Sahwa (Awakening) militia.

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Palestine Feature: The Hunger Strike of Khader Adnan (Macintyre)

It was only after talking with lucidity and animation for an hour about her husband's 61-day hunger strike that Randa Jihad Adnan's eyes, visible though the opening of her nekab, filled with tears. Until then, this articulate 31-year-old graduate in sharia law from Al Najar University in Nablus, the pregnant mother of two young daughters aged four and one and half, had described with almost disconcerting poise the two months following the arrest of her husband, Khader Adnan, on 17 December.

He was seized at 3.30am by some of the scores of Israeli military and security personnel who surrounded the family home in a West Bank village south of Jenin, and is now being held in the Israeli Rebecca Ziv hospital in Safed. Yesterday she was allowed to visit him with the children and her father-in-law.

There they found him, weak and extremely thin, his beard unkempt, and his fingernails long. He was shackled by two legs and one arm to his bed, and was connected to a heart monitor. Though mentally alert, he could speak only with difficulty. "I was shocked," she said yesterday. "I couldn't speak for about three minutes, and it was the same for my daughters."

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Palestine Music Feature: The CD Highlighting Israel’s Imprisonment of Children

Long Live Palestine - Lowkey

A new benefit album has been released to highlight the plight of Palestinian children jailed by the Israeli regime.

The CD was spurred by the case of Mohammad Sameh Hashash. In 2005, Mohammed was en route to tour Scotland, Ireland, and England with Aidoun, a Palestinian youth theatre company from the Balata Refugee Camp in the West Bank. Detained at the crossing to Jordan, Mohammed was interrogated for two months before being charged with "conspiracy against Israel and associating with 'wanted' persons". He is scheduled for release next year.

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Israel-Palestine Feature: Another Flotilla Tries to Reach Gaza

UPDATE 1650 GMT: Israel Defense Forces use water cannon and then board the mini-flotilla:

UPDATE 1435 GMT: Israel Defense Forces have put out a statement:

A short while ago, Israel Navy soldiers boarded the vessels which were en-route to the Gaza Strip, attempting to break the maritime security blockade that is in accordance with international law.

The boarding was carried out following numerous calls to the activists onboard and during different points at sea. Following their unwillingness to cooperate, and after ignoring calls to divert to the port of Ashdod, the decision was made to board the vessels and lead them there.

The Israel Navy soldiers operated as planned, and took every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the activists onboard the vessels as well as themselves.

Upon arrival of the vessels at the Ashdod port, the activists will be transferred to the custody of the Israel Police and immigration authorities in the Ministry of Interior.

The IDF said there were no injuries during the operation.

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Israel-Palestine Feature: Why a UNESCO Vote Is Key To Palestinian Statehood

UPDATE 1745 GMT: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has told journalists, "We were to have made a $60 million payment to UNESCO in November and we will not be making that payment."

UPDATE 1245 GMT: The New York Times has produced an overview --- a slanted overview, in my opinion, sniping at UNESCO while putting the unsupported assertion that "the Obama administration and Unesco had tried to avert the approval" of Palestine's bid. This paragraph, however, is notable:

Legislation dating back more than 15 years mandates a complete cutoff of American financing to any United Nations agency that accepts the Palestinians as a full member. Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — depends on the United States for 22 percent of its budget, about $70 million a year.

Lara Friedman has more on the US legislation mandating withdrawal of funding.

UPDATE 1230 GMT: Palestine has been accepted by UNESCO by a vote of 107-14, with the US objecting. There were 52 abstentions.

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Israel-Palestine: Swap of 1027 Palestinians for Gilad Shalit Under Way (Al Jazeera English)

Israel Special: How Gilad Shalit Saved Prime Minister Netanyahu

UPDATE 1445 GMT: Al Jazeera English has updated on developments, including details of the 477 Palestinians --- the first of two sets of detainees to be released --- who were freed today:

In Israel, 96 Palestinian prisoners left the Ketziot prison, bound for the Ofer military camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah, public radio reported early on Tuesday morning.

Another 334 were transferred to the Kerem Shalom crossing, at the southern-most point of the Israel-Gaza border. The first prisoners were dressed in civilian clothes, with their hands and feet manacled, the radio report said.

A convoy of vehicles left the Israeli Katsiout prison in Naqab, near the Egyptian border, before dawn on Tuesday. Vehicles carrying female prisoners also left HaSharon Prison in central Israel.

At the Beituniya border crossing, a "great sense of excitement" quickly evaporated after a last-minute change of plans meant that prisoners would not be brought in through the checkpoint to meet their families, Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reported.

After the announcement, the assembled crowd threw stones at the Israeli border post, prompting them to retaliate with tear gas and water cannon.

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