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Dagelijks archief 12 januari 2012

No new offers from Israel, Abbas says

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Israel has made no new proposals in meetings with Palestinians about the possibility of resuming formal peace talks, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday.

The sides met twice so far in Jordan, and two more meetings are set for Saturday and for Jan. 25, Abbas told members of his Fatah movement.

Abbas has said he will not resume negotiations unless Israel freezes settlement construction and accepts the pre-1967 Mideast War frontier as the baseline for a future border. Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in that war, and the Palestinians seek those territories for their state, but are ready for minor land swaps.

Israel has rejected both demands, arguing that everything must be discussed in negotiations. However, the Palestinians say settlement expansion pre-empts the outcome of negotiations and that after two decades of failed discussions, only a clear framework can lead to an agreement.

The Palestinians agreed to the low-level exploratory talks in the Jordanian capital of Amman in order not to be seen as the side torpedoing peace efforts. However, Abbas said nothing has been achieved so far.

“Until now, there is nothing new in the dialogue that is going on in Amman,” Abbas told Fatah leaders, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa. “We are not authorized to speak about what is going on in Amman, but our demands are known, and the Israelis didn’t present something we can accept.”

Abbas reiterated that despite U.S. and Israeli pressure, he has not abandoned his bid to seek U.N. membership for a state of Palestine, denounced by Israel as an attempt to bypass negotiations.

He also suggested that his Palestinian Authority will review its relationship with Israel if the deadlock continues, though he has said he would not dissolve the Palestinian Authority.

Earlier this week an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said disagreements emerged in the Amman talks but that his government remains committed to a year-end target for reaching a final peace deal. He said documents submitted by the Palestinians were “recycling” long-standing positions that Israel opposes.

The talks are taking place under the auspices of the international “Quartet” of Mideast peace mediators — the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

In October, the Quartet asked the two sides to produce proposals on territory and security within three months. The Palestinians believe the deadline is Jan. 26. The Israeli official said Israel considers that three-month period to have begun last week, when the talks resumed.

(mideastnews-danmike.blogspot.com / 12.01.2012)

World Civilian Coalition Gathers for Global March to Jerusalem

Beirut -The International Executive Committee of the Global March to Jerusalem announces the completion of the preparations for the Second International Conference where the representatives of the International Committees involved in the organization of the Global March to Jerusalem will meet. The conference will be held in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon on Tuesday and Wednesday 17th-18th January, 2012.

This meeting will be held to implement the decisions of the previous meeting, held in Amman last month, in which there was a consensus to form an International Central Committee representing all regions of the world and an International Advisory Board of eminent international figures for the march. The date for the onset of the March was agreed to be on the 30th of March, 2012, which marks the 36th anniversary of Palestinian Land Day, when peaceful protest against massive expropriation of Palestinian land was brutally met with deadly force by Zionist troops. About 40 delegates representing the International Committees throughout the seven continents of the world will be attending the meeting in Beirut.

The conference will adopt a structural process for the March, and its committee structure will be filled with appointees. The general policies for the international actions will be mandated in Beirut to ensure their success. The conference will also discuss the national events and actions that will be launched in all countries starting from mid January, 2012 and until the date of the march towards Jerusalem or the nearest possible point to it, from inside Palestine and the neighbouring Arab countries, as well as the convoys from Asia, Africa and Europe that will converge on the march date. In addition to that it will coordinate international activities that will coincide with the March in different countries.

The committee would like to confirm that the Global March to Jerusalem and all the accompanying local events and actions aim to shed light on the issue of Jerusalem (the City of Peace) as the key to peace and war in the region and the world. The racist Judaisation policies of the occupation and its ethnic cleansing practices against Jerusalem, its people and holy sites threaten this peace. Such practices are internationally recognized not only as crimes against Palestinians but as crimes against the whole of humanity.

The International Executive Committee also emphasized that through this peaceful march they envisage to mobilize Arab and Muslim nations alongside all freedom loving peoples of the world to put an end to Israeli violations of international law through its continuous occupation of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestinian Land. Israel’s persistence in continuing its racist and ethnic cleansing practices through the construction of the Apartheid wall, the expansion of settlements and the escalation of killing, destruction, displacement and Judaisation reveals the extent of its crime. This kind of behaviour demands an international rally to support the right of Palestinians to freedom, independence, self-determination and the right of return. This peaceful march is inspired by our belief and the belief of those who support our cause throughout the world that the massive participation of the people of the world is a practical, nonviolent way to achieve justice and preserve peace by ending the Israeli occupation in Palestine and its capital Jerusalem.

The International Executive Committee of the Global March to Jerusalem GMJ-ICC
Jan. 10th 2012

Why is it open season on Palestinians in US presidential race?

Hasan Abu Nimah

12 January 2012

Rick Santorum has declared that all of the people living in the West Bank are Israelis.

Palestinians, like everyone else in the world, are not angels. Some among them have undoubtedly committed mistakes — for which collectively Palestinians have suffered and paid a price. Still, it is hard to think of an example of a people today who has been singled out as fair game for demonization and abuse for political gain like the Palestinians.

Nowhere is this more the case than in the United States, where the race for the Republican nomination for the November 2012 presidential election is in full swing. The US has big problems and there is no shortage of issues for the candidates to debate, from dealing with the economic crisis to extricating the country from the expanding wars that have drained its assets and potential. Yet, it seems that the Palestinians, or more precisely bashing and demonizing them, preoccupy a disproportionate amount of the candidates’ attention. Even more extraordinary is the fact that the Palestinians never sought to make Americans or the US their enemy nor did they do anything to harm the US.

It started with former speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, who told The Jewish Channel, a cable TV station, last December that the Palestinians were an “invented people.” He then blamed them for not leaving their homeland to make way for the creation of Israel. The Palestinians, Gingrich said, “had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it’s tragic.”

He also said that Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, had “an enormous desire to destroy Israel.” This, despite the fact that the Republican-controlled US Congress funds the Palestinian Authority’s security forces.

Clearly undeterred by the criticism his abrasive and hostile declarations generated, Gingrich went on to reiterate in harsher terms what he had asserted earlier.

“Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes,” Gingrich said during a GOPdebate a few days later, adding: “We are in a situation where every day rockets are fired into Israel while the United States — the current administration — tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process.”

Gingrich described the Palestinians as “terrorists” who “teach terrorism in their schools.”

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — currently the front-runner — said he agreed with Gingrich’s comments about Palestinian “terrorism,” but that the former House speaker went too far in publicly questioning Palestinian peoplehood.

The trend of bashing the Palestinians as a campaign strategy seems to be gaining currency despite the shocking impact similar comments had caused earlier. Last week,Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania who came a close second to Romney in last week’s Iowa caucus, went even further than Gingrich by insisting that “there are no Palestinians” and there is no such thing as Palestine. He also said that not only is the West Bank “Israeli,” but everyone living there is an Israeli too.

“All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis. There are no Palestinians. This is Israeli land,” Santorum said while defending Israel’s right to colonize and build illegalsettlements on the land that official US policy claims must be the site of a future Palestinian state.

“The West Bank is part of Israel,” which won it as “part of an aggressive attack by Jordan and others” in 1967, he said, adding that Israel does not have to give it back any more than the United States has to give New Mexico and Texas to Mexico, which were acquired “through a war.”

Alarming incitement

This Palestinophobia exists within a general trend in the US political debate where it is commonly accepted that the Palestinians are terrorists and unreasonable people who stand in the way of peace and stability in the Middle East. These hateful comments come within a broader atmosphere where hostility to Muslims is increasingly widespread and acceptable and few voices of objection are heard against this growing and alarming incitement.

Republicans make these extreme comments, but rarely does one hear President Barack Obama or any other senior official repudiate them.

Is it that the president is afraid that by objecting to this rhetoric he will revive the accusations that he is Muslim or that he is “anti-Israel,” despite all the unconditional support his administration has given it?

Of course, it is no mystery why Palestinians are victimised by candidates desperate for support from powerful pro-Israeli constituencies. As Philip Weiss, editor of the website Mondoweiss pointed out, Gingrich received a $5 million campaign contribution from billionaire Sheldon Adelson soon after his comments about the Palestinians. As Weiss wrote on 8 January, Adelson’s “central cause is Israel.”

And recall that more than a decade ago, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ran for the Senate in New York, she adopted similar tactics. She did not go as far as declaring the Palestinians non-existent, but she did repeat fabricated stories from pro-Israel groups about Palestinian school textbooks “inciting” hatred and violence against Israel.

Clinton ignored the fact that Palestinian children were at that time being killed and injured by the hundreds — sometimes in their classrooms — as Israel violently suppressed the second intifada using weapons provided by the US.

And though some might think it “understandable” that US political leaders choose to support Israel for any of their reasons, what really is shocking is the extent to which they go and the immoral and shameless manner with which they show their support.

It is interesting that Representative Ron Paul, considered a longshot candidate, came a close third behind Romney and Santorum in Iowa. Paul has called for ending aid to Israel. The fact that Paul got so many votes suggests that candidates could take more courageous positions if they wanted to.

Escalating calls for expulsion of Palestinians

Denying Palestinians’ existence comes as an escalation in a frenzied race in which each candidate tries to show more scorn for the Palestinians, or more hostility and warmongering towards Iran, to appease Israel.

Of course, both Israelis and their US lobby welcome declarations that the West Bank is Israeli, but certainly not with the 2.5 million Palestinian Arabs who live there, as Santorum said. The next step we can therefore expect is for US politicians and candidates to start adopting the calls of Israeli leaders who demand the expulsion of Palestinians altogether.

Even Americans who care nothing for Palestinians should be concerned about what these disturbing trends reveal about their politics. Do they really want to be ruled by people who are so ignorant, arrogant and unprincipled? Do they want to continue to ignore the large cost that unconditional support for Israel and its aggressive policies is imposing on the US?

It is remarkable, and depressing, to think back to 2008, when rightly or wrongly, the election of Obama inspired hope in peoples all around the world, especially in this region.

Yet months from the 2012 election, it is clear that Obama not only failed to arrest the decline in the American position but allowed the policies that caused so much antagonism towards the United States to continue and flourish.

Those on the Republican side who are vying to replace Obama are now promising policies and uttering words so extreme that they make president George W. Bush — who symbolized for many American arrogance — seem reasonable.

Gingrich, Romney and Santorum, and indeed many others, may say as much as they please against the Palestinians. But no matter how hard they wish it, they cannot make over 10 million Palestinians, nor their struggle for legitimate rights, disappear. There is what we know as historical imperative.

Hasan Abu Nimah is the former permanent representative of Jordan at the United Nations. This essay first appeared in The Jordan Times and is republished with the author’s permission.

(electronicintifada.net / 12.01.2012)

Why doesn’t the European Union pull the plug on Israeli trade?

By Stuart Littlewood

13 January 2012

Stuart Littlewood argues that given Israel’s reliance on exports to Europe and its contempt for the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which calls for “respect for human rights and democratic principles”, the EU should impose sanctions on the Jewish apartheid state but won’t because of the power of the Zionist lobby, the obedience of Israel’s stooges and the cowardice of the political élite.

The imprisonment and collective punishment inflicted on the civilian population in the overcrowded enclave of Gaza continues without let-up.

For example, those whose children were killed or maimed by Israel’s murderous blitzkrieg three years ago (Operation Cast Lead), and whose homes were destroyed, have received no response to the criminal complaints submitted on their behalf by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. Not only that. They are still subjected to air-strikes, shelling or sniper fire on an almost daily basis, and live in constant fear.

Murder, stonewalling and strangulation

A total of 1,419 Palestinians were killed during Operation Cast Lead, 82 per cent of whom were civilians. A further 5,300 were injured. Israeli forces directly targeted and attacked private homes and civilian institutions, including hospitals and schools. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rightssays it has submitted 490 criminal complaints to the Israeli authorities on behalf of 1,046 victims. “To date, only two substantive replies have been received. The overwhelming majority of complaints have been simply ignored.”

How would that sit with you if the same thing were to happen in the leafy suburbs of London, Paris, Berlin or New York?

“Israel’s separation policy includes not only a block on travel for work, for trade, for family reunion, for medical attention and for worship in Jerusalem, but also targets higher education by making it virtually impossible for Gaza students to reach the eight Palestinian universities in the West Bank.”

The strangulation also continues. In theory there are four crossings through which vital supplies can be brought in from Israel and beyond (including the occupied West Bank) – Sufa, Nahal Oz, Kerem Abu Salem and Karni. Only Kerem Abu Salem, a small crossing in the south of Gaza, has been allowed by Israel to operate on anything like a normal basis, say reports.

Since the closure of Karni last March, the Israelis have made sure that all goods brought into the Gaza Strip have to go through the Kerem Abu Salem crossing. The capacity of this crossing, as you might have guessed, is insufficient for needs and its location means longer distances, longer journey times, higher fees and higher costs for Gaza’s merchants. And of course those extra charges have to be passed on. Now I read that the Karem Abu Salem crossing is to be demolished.

As for the movement of Gaza’s people, the charity Oxfam’s latest Gaza blockade fact sheet (December 2011) reports [[http://tinyurl.com/6o4vk69]] there are only two crossings, one between Gaza and Israel, and one between Gaza and Egypt. Israeli security clearance is still required to use either crossing.

The Erez crossing (to Israel) remains open but most traffic has been moved to the Rafah crossing (to Egypt), reducing natural movement between Gaza and the West Bank. The overall ban on exit and entry is still in place.

For UN local humanitarian staff Israel is approving fewer permits than before the promised “easing”, while permit policy for aid workers and medical patients remains arbitrary, unpredictable and time consuming.

The report also says the near-total ban on exports continues, with 2011 exports running at less than 1 per cent of pre-blockade levels. It says:

In 2011 to date, only 196 trucks of exports have left Gaza. This is only 14 more trucks than in 2010 and far below the 25,480 truckloads of goods needed annually to meet pre-blockade export levels. It is also significantly less than the 400 trucks of exports promised each day under the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. Four truckloads of strawberries recently left Gaza between 27 and 29 November 2011. Before that, there have been no exports since May 2011 when 1 truckload of flowers was allowed to be exported to the Netherlands.

For a long time Israel’s intention has been to impose a final separation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, even though the two are internationally recognized as one integral territory. Under international law everyone has the right to freely choose their place of residence within a single territory.

Israel’s separation policy includes not only a block on travel for work, for trade, for family reunion, for medical attention and for worship in Jerusalem, but also targets higher education by making it virtually impossible for Gaza students to reach the eight Palestinian universities in the West Bank. I’m reminded of Berlanty, a Christian girl from Gaza who was living in the West Bank and studying for her degree at Bethlehem University. She was about to sit her finals when she was detained at the Israeli checkpoint between Bethlehem and Ramallah after attending a job interview.

The self-styled “most moral army in the world” blindfolded and handcuffed Berlanty, loaded her into a military jeep and drove her from Bethlehem to Gaza, where she was dumped in the darkness late at night and told: “You are in Gaza.”

The West Bank remains cruelly occupied with dead-of-night raids and arrests, even of children. The Israel government continues to instal armed squatter-thugs in hundreds of illegal “settlements”, from where they swoop down to terrorize local Palestinian communities and destroy their crops and other property.

Israel as usual acts in defiance of all law and standards of decency. And as usual the international community does nothing except wring their hands and turn their backs in a funk.

It’s simple to understand: play dirty and you get sent off

If Western governments weren’t so corrupt the answer would be obvious. Suspend Israel from the 1995 European Union-Israel Association Agreement. The purpose of the Agreement is to promote (1) peace and security, (2) shared prosperity through, for example, economic cooperation, free trade and free movement of capital, and (3) cross-cultural rapprochement. It governs not only EU-Israel relations but Israel’s relations with the EU’s other Mediterranean partners – including the Palestinian National Authority.

“… the EU could, at a stroke, end the evil occupation, the murder and the land theft, and perhaps resolve the whole problem in the Holy Land, by pulling the plug – as provided for under Article 2 of the [EU-Israel Association] Agreement – instead of continuing to reward Israel for its crimes.”

To enjoy these privileges Israel undertook to show “respect for human rights and democratic principles” set out as a general condition in Article 2, which says:

Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.

This clause allows steps to be taken to enforce the contractual requirement regarding human rights and to dissuade partners from policies and practices that disrespect those rights. The agreement also requires respect for self-determination of peoples and fundamental freedoms for all.

Even the Israelis must know that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948, Article 13, states: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

But Israel, with its racist and territorial ambitions, shows the same contempt for the rules of association as it does for international law.

From the outset it had no intention of playing the game. It relies on the power of the lobby, the obedience of its stooges and the cowardice of the political élite to deflect criticism, overcome objections and lean on the referee.

In 2002 the EU Parliament did actually vote to suspend the agreement on the grounds of Israel’s violations of human rights. The resolution called for an arms embargo against Israel and Palestine, and condemned the “military escalation pursued by the Sharon government” and the “oppression of the Palestinian civilian population by the Israeli army”. The fat slugs in the EU Commission ignored the will of the parliament, and consequently there has been no improvement in Israel’s behaviour.

It’s time to try again, and to stomp on the unelected EU Commission if need be. Israel relies heavily on exports to Europe where it enjoys “favoured nation” trading terms. So the EU could, at a stroke, end the evil occupation, the murder and the land theft, and perhaps resolve the whole problem in the Holy Land, by pulling the plug – as provided for under Article 2 of the Agreement – instead of continuing to reward Israel for its crimes.

(www.redress.cc / 12.01.2012)

India-Israel relations come out of Arab world shadow

India-Israel relations come out of Arab world shadow
Foreign minister SM Krishna shakes hands with Israeli President Shimon Peres during their meeting at thePresident’s residence in Jerusalem on January 9, 2011.
NEW DELHI: The India-Israel relationship is finally out of the closet. In three days in Israeland Palestine, foreign minister S M Krishna showed that Indian foreign policy may have finally matured enough to be able to conduct perfectly normal, successful relations with Israel and the Arab world simultaneously, without worrying about hurting feelings or stepping on toes.

For years, India has conducted its relations with Israel almost covertly, as if trying to hide from the Arab world, where its traditional friends lay. But an official who was part of Krishna’s meetings in Israel observed, “This visit proved that at the highest levels, India and Israel can openly discuss issues of interest and concern with each other like other normal partners, without inhibitions.”

That, in essence was the greatest strategic takeaway from Krishna’s visit to Israel, the first in over a decade, with a country that has rapidly become one of India’s most important partners, particularly in critical areas of security, defence and what matters to Indians most, agriculture. Already, hundreds of Israeli and Indian companies work together in security, agriculture, technology and alternative energy, real estate, pharmaceutics, telecom etc.

While the tangible deliverables were about agriculture and research and development — Israel now has 27 agriculture projects in over seven Indian states and will sponsor 100 post-doctoral scholarships for Indians — the discussions were much more substantive. In his public interactions, Krishna unhesitatingly detailed counter-terrorism, security and defence as the big areas of connect with Israel.

Israeli minister for internal security Yitzhak Aharonovitch had visited India recently where the primary discussions were about tackling terrorism.

Interestingly, while Krishna was being presented with a specially signed tennis racquet as an acknowledgment of his sporting love, premier Israeli business media Globes reported that Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was signing its largest-ever defence deal with India, over $1.1 billion worth of missiles, anti-missile systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), intelligence and other systems.

IAI informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange of the deal on Wednesday but withheld the name of the customer. While speculation had South Korea as one of the possible customers, Globes reported from its sources that the recipient country was India and the negotiations had been personally led by the CEO Yitzhak Nissan. According to estimates, defence trade between India and Israel amounted to almost $9 billiion.

The new element in bilateral relations is energy. As first reported by TOI, Israel has evinced interest in exporting gas to India, having made massive gas discoveries offshore in fields named Tamar and Leviathan.

Indian and Israeli officials reportedly discussed ways of getting the gas to India, because India remains one of the biggest gas customers and currently relies on Qatar for most of its gas imports.

None of this closeness though, will change India’s voting record in the UN substantially. India has consistently voted against Israel. But despite their evident disappointment, Israel has refrained from haranguing India on the issue.

“There are several sectors in which India and Israel will be working together, are working together and which are critical for both the economies,” Indian ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna was quoted as saying.

(timesofindia.indiatimes.com / 12.01.2012)

La reine Beatrix des Pays-Bas estime que la polémique sur le voile n’a “aucun sens”

La reine Beatrix des Pays-Bas a déclaré jeudi que la polémique dans son pays sur le port d’un voile lors d’une récente visite dans une mosquée n’avait “vraiment aucun sens”, ont rapporté les médias locaux.

Sa visite à la Grande Mosquée à Abou Dhabi plus tôt dans la semaine a soulevé à l’Assemblée des questions du Parti de la liberté (PVV), parti antimusulman.

Le dirigeant du PVV, Geert Wilders, s’est demandé si “ce triste événement aurait pu être évité” et si le gouvernement “réalise que la chef d’État a ainsi légitimé l’oppression des femmes”.

“Cela n’a aucun sens”, a déclaré la reine Beatrix aux journalistes qui couvraient sa visite officielle cette semaine aux Émirats arabes unis et à Oman.

Il n’était jamais auparavant arrivé que la reine Beatrix, chef d’État sans pouvoir politique, soit en confrontation si frontale avec un parti politique des Pays-Bas.

Le Premier ministre Mark Rutte a déjà répondu aux questions des parlementaires du PVV jeudi matin.

“Lors d’une visite de la reine dans une maison de Dieu, celle-ci en respecte le code vestimentaire”, a-t-il dit.

La reine portait également un châle par-dessus son chapeau, comme à Abou Dhabi, lors de sa visite jeudi de la mosquée du Sultan Qaboos à Mascate, capitale d’Oman. Ses mains étaient également couvertes de gants noirs.

Le député du parti Travailliste PvdA, Jeroen Recourt, a qualifié la réaction de la reine Beatrix de lapsus révélateur.

“Dans certain cas, cela a bien un sens de considérer le voile comme un symbole d’oppression de la femme”, a-t-il dit.

(www.casafree.com / 12.01.2012)

News of Syria 12.01.2012

32 dead in Syria today including 2 army defectors. 8 unidentified bodies in Maret Noman Hospital. 9 in Idlib. Ten in Homs.

Massive defection in Herak in Deraa. The FSA secured the road for a large convoy of defectors. Total power outage in the area

#Homs Palmyra Shooting from all Militarian Secuity night-watch guards and Takbeer (God is the Greatest) is heard all over the city

Clashes are continuing all over Homs. Gunfire and explosions can still be heard

#Daraa Heavy gunfire from Tal Shab police station for unknown reason

Aleppo Azaz Heavy gunfire following the start of a night demo in the city

#Daraa Herak Intensive gunfire in many area in the city and shooting from heavy weapons was heard

#Homs Heavy shooting and a large explosion shakes Waeer area

#Daraa Harra A massive demo demanding the toppling of the regime and calling for the world to interfere to protect the civilians

Sign this petition to refer Assad to the ICC to be tried for crimes against humanity

Sign this petition to call on @ArabLeagueSec & #UNSC to refer Assad to the ICC to be tried for crimes against humanity

#Hama Mharde Intensive gunfire near the entrance of the town

Minister: World Bank pledges $76 million to PA

World Bank officials discuss cooperation at the Ministry of Planning in Ramallah.

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) –The World Bank on Thursday pledged to grant $76 million to the Palestinian Authority in 2012, the PA Minister of Planning said.

Ali Jerbawi announced the grant after an annual meeting with World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza Mariam Sherman.

The officials discussed the World Bank’s development projects and proposals for the coming years, Jerbawi said.

The minister thanked the international agency for its positive contributions to the PA.

He stressed the importance of communication with international donors to ensure the compatibility of aid programs with national goals and priorities.

The World Bank funds a number of health, education, social protection and local governance projects in Gaza and the West Bank.

(www.maannews.net / 12.01.2012)

Israel drops unknown object on Lebanon

Israeli aircraft (file photo)
Israeli warplanes have dropped an “unidentified object” in a valley between the towns of Houla and Tallouse in southern Lebanon.

Lebanese officials said the army had difficulties to search for the object because unexploded cluster bombs dropped by Israel during its war against the resistance movement of Hezbollah in 2006 still remain in the area.

Israel also fired 75 shells during a Tuesday military exercise into the occupied Lebanese territory of Sheba’a Farms.

This is not the first time Israel violates Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In December 2011, Hezbollah members discovered an Israeli espionage device planted in south Lebanon.

An Israeli surveillance plane remotely detonated the device in the Bint Jbeil district of southern Lebanon after it was discovered.

In 2009, Lebanon filed a complaint with the United Nations, presenting over 7,000 documents pertaining to Israeli violation of Lebanese territory.

(www.presstv.ir / 12.01.2012)

Army To Demolish A Mosque Near Hebron

Israeli soldiers handed, on Thursday afternoon, a military order aimed at the destruction of a mosque in Al-Mafqara area, south east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.File Photo - Palestine-Info

 

Local sources reported that the order states that the mosque will be demolished within three days.

The sources added that an argument took place with the officer who handed the order, and the soldiers hurled a gas bomb at the residents to force them away from the mosque.

The mosque was demolished approximately two months ago, and the residents rebuilt it, now Israel wants to demolish it again under the pretext of being built without a permit.

(www.imemc.org /12.01.2012)