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Now Isreal

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Guest on Thu 22 Nov - 11:10

AnnaEsse wrote:
malena stool wrote:In my opinion the cease fire will happen simply because Hamas have shot off most of their rockets....

Totally agree malena.

It's only a matter of time. A senior Hamas leader has just gone on TV thanking Iran for funding the rockets in the first place.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 22 Nov - 11:20

Iris wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
malena stool wrote:In my opinion the cease fire will happen simply because Hamas have shot off most of their rockets....

Totally agree malena.

It's only a matter of time. A senior Hamas leader has just gone on TV thanking Iran for funding the rockets in the first place.

Brilliant, eh? Hamas has rockets, funded by Iran, but the citizens have no shelters. So much for caring about the ordinary people of Gaza.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Thu 22 Nov - 11:35


  1. Israel-Gaza ceasefire holds as skies fall silent

A truce between Gaza and Israel was being observed by both sides this morning, after a week of aerial warfare that ended with more than 160 people dead and both sides claiming victory.








Hamas police officers embrace after their return to their destroyed Al-Saraya headquarters in Gaza City Photo: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images





10:21AM GMT 22 Nov 2012




Streets in Gaza city, empty and quiet during relentless Israeli air strikes, were once again flooded with cars and people as life returned to something like normal.


The contrast between the deserted roads of the previous eight days and the scenes of joyful chaos on Gaza City's thoroughfares was marked, and followed a night of celebrations that began as the truce came into effect at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.


Mohammed Kamel Amr, the foreign minister of Egypt, which sponsored the marathon talks which resulted in the ceasefire, announced the cessation of hostilities at a joint news conference in Cairo with Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State.


The UN Security Council urged Israel and Hamas to respect the ceasefire while joining with US President Barack Obama in praising Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi for mediating an end to the bloodshed.


As calm returned to the skies, jubilant Gazans flooded into the streets to celebrate.



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  • Gunfire and fireworks streaked into the dark night sky, where Israeli drones could still be heard buzzing overhead, as mosques broadcast the chants: "God is greatest" and "The resistance is victorious."

    Some residents waved the green flags of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement and others the Egyptian flag, in tribute to the role Cairo played in the negotiations.

    "I'm very happy about the end of the war and the truce. I haven't left the house since the beginning of the escalation. I feel free now," 26-year-old Mai Abu Watfa told AFP.

    "We were in prison. I'm overjoyed at the end of the bombing and the war," Nasim Hamduna said, walking with his child.

    "I left my house during the violence and here I am today going back to it," he said gleefully.

    In parts of the city, the celebrations were distinctly triumphal, with members of Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, given a hero's welcome.

    As the truce came into effect, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said that Israel had "failed in all its goals".

    "After eight days, God stayed their hand from the people of Gaza, and they were compelled to submit to the conditions of the resistance," Meshaal said.

    "Israel has failed in all its goals," he told reporters at a Cairo hotel, while warning Israel against violating the agreement.

    "If you commit, we will commit. If you do not commit, the rifles are in our hands," he said, vowing: "We will continue to arm ourselves."

    Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, issued a similar warning.

    The ceasefire "could last nine days or nine weeks or more but if it doesn't hold, we know what to do and of course, we will consider the possibility of resuming our activity if there is any firing or provocations," Barak told Israeli public radio.

    "Such an operation could have created a situation in which we would have had to stay in Gaza for years," he said.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Jewish state had been as good as its word in carrying out Operation Pillar of Defence.

    "I said we'd extract high price from terror organisations. The terror organisations thought we'd refrain from strong action. They were wrong," he said, saying the campaign had taken out militant commanders, destroyed thousands of rockets and had wrecked Hamas command centres.

    The army says that during the eight-day operation it hit more than 1,500 targets and destroyed thousands of rockets, while Gaza militants fired more than 1,500 rockets back at Israel, whose vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted more than 420 of them.

    In total, 155 Palestinians died in Israel's bombing campaign, and five Israelis, including a soldier, were killed by rocket fire.

    The accord calls on Israel to "stop all hostilities... in the land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals" and urges the Palestinian factions to end "rocket attacks and all attacks along the border".

    Israel would be obliged to ease restrictions on Gaza residents under the deal which specified that "procedures of implementation" would be put in place 24 hours after the ceasefire comes into effect on opening Gaza's border crossings and allowing the free movement of people and goods.

    Israeli troops arrested 55 Palestinian "terror operatives" across the West Bank overnight, hours after a truce came into effect in the Gaza Strip, the army said on Thursday.

    "A total of 55 terror operatives, who are affiliated with different terror groups have been detained. Among those arrested were a number of senior level operatives," a statement said, with public radio saying it included members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

    It said the swoop was related to "recent terrorist and violent activity" in the West Bank, which has seen days of widespread protests and clashes over Israel's relentless bombing campaign targeting militants in the Gaza Strip.

    The violence in and around Gaza ended at 1900 GMT on Wednesday when an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement came into force.

    Source: Agencies


Last edited by Panda on Thu 22 Nov - 17:53; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  malena stool on Thu 22 Nov - 11:43

AnnaEsse wrote:
Iris wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:
malena stool wrote:In my opinion the cease fire will happen simply because Hamas have shot off most of their rockets....

Totally agree malena.

It's only a matter of time. A senior Hamas leader has just gone on TV thanking Iran for funding the rockets in the first place.

Brilliant, eh? Hamas has rockets, funded by Iran, but the citizens have no shelters. So much for caring about the ordinary people of Gaza.
And Iran get a free pass on testing their latest rocket science... Very reminiscent of the Spanish civil war and Hitler's Luftwaffe.......

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Thu 22 Nov - 17:46

Gaza: Rockets Fired Hours After Ceasefire


Israeli police have said that 12 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, hours after a ceasefire had been agreed.


3:50pm UK, Thursday 22 November 2012



Video: Soldiers celebrate the truce
Enlarge





  • Hamas police officers embrace after their return to their destroyed Al-Saraya headquarters in Gaza City.

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  • Israeli soldiers wake up on top of their tank at an army deployment area.

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  • Members of a Palestinian family ride on a four-wheeled cart drawn by a donkey in Gaza City as displaced Gazans returned to their homes.

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  • Members of a Palestinian family gather their belongings.

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  • Israeli soldiers stand next to their tanks at an army deployment area near the Israel-Gaza Strip border.

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  • Hassidic Jewish men from the Breslov sect dance near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai.

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  • Palestinians celebrate the beginning of the truce with Israel in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip.

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  • More scenes of jubilation in Rafah.

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  • A general view shows the destroyed compound of the internal security ministry in Gaza City after it was targeted by an Israeli airstrike.

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  • Smoke and explosion are seen during Israeli air strikes in Gaza city.

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  • The rubble of destroyed government offices.

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  • A destroyed bridge.

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  • An Israeli 155mm artillery gun fires a shell from an emplacement on Israel's border into the Gaza Strip.

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  • Smoke is seen after what witnesses said was an Israeli airstrike on tunnels in the border of southern Gaza Strip.

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  • A Palestinian shouts in front of what witnesses said are destroyed tunnels after an Israeli airstrike in the border of southern Gaza Strip.

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  • A Palestinian man pushes his bicycle past burning debris.

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  • A Palestinian man pushes his bicycle amidst debris near the destroyed compound of the internal security ministry in Gaza City.

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  • Israeli soldiers wearing "Tallit" (prayer shawls) and "Tefilin" (phylacteries) perform morning prayers next to a tank at an artillery battery deployment near the Israel-Gaza Strip border.

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  • Israeli soldiers wearing "Tallit" (prayer shawls) and "Tefilin" (phylacteries) perform morning prayers at an artillery battery deployment near the Israel-Gaza Strip border on November 21, 2012.

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  • Armoured personnel carriers wait in a staging area.

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  • Israeli tanks are stationed at an Israeli army deployment area.

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Gallery: Gaza: Celebrations End Day Eight Of Conflict
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  • Twelve rockets were fired into Israel hours after a ceasefire was brokered, it has been claimed.

    An Israeli Police spokesman said the attacks caused no injuries or damage, with the rockets mostly landing in open fields in the south of the Jewish state.

    A truce brokered between Israel and Hamas came into effect on Wednesday evening, bringing eight days of fighting to an end.

    Both sides quickly claimed victory, with Hamas insisting it had defeated Israel.

    The Israelis, meanwhile, said they have severely impaired the military capability of Hamas, which governs Gaza.

    The ceasefire deal calls on Israel to "stop all hostilities ... in the land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals" and urges the Palestinian factions to end "rocket attacks and all attacks along the border".

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he was prepared to give peace a chance.
    Hillary Clinton called it a "critical moment" for the region
    "Netanyahu spoke with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give a chance to an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and thereby give an opportunity for the stabilisation of the situation and a calming of it," said a statement.

    Meanwhile, police are still investigating a bus bombing in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv that left at least 21 people wounded.

    The explosion took place near the military headquarters hours before a ceasefire was announced and threatened to derail negotiations.

    And a Palestinian woman in her late 30s has been arrested after trying to stab an Israeli border guard at the entrance of an east Jerusalem police station, police said.

    It was not immediately clear what prompted the woman to attack the border guard, who suffered only scratches, according to a statement.

    But the incident drew the attention of Palestinian youths in the neighbourhood, with about 100 people gathering around the station after the incident to show their support for the woman.
    Benjamin Netanyahu says he is prepared to give the ceasefire a chance
    Police arrested three of them before dispersing the crowd.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was a "critical moment" for the region.

    Gaza City's streets were dark and deserted in the minutes after the truce took effect at 7pm UK time.

    Soon afterwards people poured out of their homes to hail the "victory".

    Celebratory gunfire could be heard throughout the Gaza Strip and fireworks were released into the sky, where Israeli drones still buzzed overhead.

    "The resistance has triumphed," some shouted.

    After urging the two sides to uphold the accord, the 15-member UN Security Council also called in a statement for an international effort to get "emergency aid" into Gaza.

    There had to be "expeditious and unimpeded delivery of such humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment," said the statement

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Israel-Gaza : Voices from across the Divide.

Post  Panda on Sat 24 Nov - 21:58

Israel-Gaza: Voices From Across The Divide


A week of bloodshed has ended with a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Two people from across the divide tell their stories.


10:31am UK, Friday 23 November 2012

The southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip









  • Hostilities have ceased in the Gaza conflict following the deaths of more than 160 people in eight days. Israeli Motti Colman and Palestinian Hatem Shurrab have witnessed the violence from opposite sides.

    Below, in alphabetical order according to their surnames, they offer their first-hand accounts - and hopes for the future.
    Israeli Motti Colman, left, and Palestinian Hatem Surrab tell their stories
    :: Motti Colman, in Tel Aviv

    I grew up in a typical middle-class home in London. The concept of anti-Semitism didn't manifest itself in anything worse than the occasional snarling of local children. In comparison to generations prior, I figured I was lucky.

    As I grew older and I started to explore my own identity, I discovered I had a strong connection to Israel.

    While I never partook in political activism in university, I was always astonished by the intense hatred directed at the country that I felt so close to. Anti-Israel demonstrations on campus took place frequently, and the Jewish community always rallied in defence of the country.

    I remember once playing in a football tournament arranged by the university - a society world cup. I represented the Jewish society and played as Team Israel. We were drawn against the Islamic society, playing as Palestine. The game attracted a large gathering of spectators. As we were about to kick off, the chairman of the Islamic society announced that he was boycotting the game to protest Israeli aggression. The tournament's purpose was to bring societies at university together.

    My most vivid memory of the day is the look on the Palestinian team players' faces. They wanted to play the game and felt as if they were being used as pawns to make a point.

    In 2008, Israel went to war with Hamas in Gaza, who had been firing on Israel's southern population. Israel dropped leaflets into Gaza to warn the civilians. There were daily ceasefires, during which Israel would deliver aid to the very people they were fighting. To my knowledge this was unprecedented, yet the world screamed genocide.

    I tried to understand the logic of the situation. Clearly the IDF had a simple goal - preventing rocket attacks on Israel's civilian population. However, trying to work out the motives of Hamas, it became clear. Hamas was firing at civilians, from within civilian territory. They knew that the strikes from the IDF would harm their own civilians and seemingly went out their way to ensure this.

    As the world's outrage grew, it became clear that Hamas' plan was working. The world's leaders managed to stop the Israeli "assault".

    Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, would later speak out asserting that the IDF "did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare". This is a man with no affiliation to Israel and here he was standing up against the world view.

    A couple of years later, I attended a speech given by the colonel. He explained how he had come to this conclusion. As a military expert who supports the IDF, how could he explain the constant negative press that Israel receives?

    He answered me simply - (1) anti-Semitism, (2) favouring of the underdog and (3) the West's fear of radical Islam coming for them next. The latter two answers I can understand - there is some rationality. However, a non-Jew with his extraordinary military experience claiming that institutional anti-Semitism exists broke my heart.

    I am not claiming that all non-Jews hate Jews - far from it. However, for as long as there have been Jews on the Earth, there has been anti-Semitism. In every generation people have risen up to destroy our nation. They have given every excuse that matches the current trend. We were hated for being introverted and refusing to integrate and yet by the twentieth century in Germany, never in history before then had Jews been such an integral part of a secular society. The Jews of Germany called themselves Germans before they called themselves Jews. They were such an integral part of the society they refused to believe that they could be targeted.

    Modern anti-Semitism comes in anti-Israel sentiments. Discriminating against a person based on his/her race is of course contemptible. However, discriminating against a country because of its policies is perfectly legitimate. Being anti-Israel today is a legitimate way of hating Jews.

    Now, in 2012, I am writing this piece from my home in Tel Aviv, having moved here eight months ago.

    Those who know me have heard me say that a war is imminent - one that could potentially see the destruction of this little country that Jews have called home for thousands of years. Yet, I moved here willingly, knowing that my neighbours are intent on seeing me dead.

    That feeling became a reality on November 15, 2012. As air raid sirens went off, I ran for cover.

    I have had a constant sick feeling in my stomach since Thursday night. Hamas released a video detailing how they plan on killing Israeli citizens using suicide bombers. These same suicide bombers killed a once close friend of mine ten years ago, not far from where I currently sit. I do not understand how there is any debate as to Hamas’s intentions, or for that matter any other terrorist organisations that openly talk about their plans.

    There has never been an Israeli leader that has called for the death of Palestinians, yet on a daily basis the whole world hears how terrorists want to kill Jews.

    I don't want anyone dead. I certainly want the people who are trying to kill me to stop. And if it comes to a point of me or them, I would prefer that it was them. But honestly, I would rather they just stop and allow life to continue. They must know that this can only end badly for them. They seem to believe that the more of their own people who die only serves to strengthen their cause.

    They know they can't beat our army, but they use death as their weapon, and I can't understand why.

    That's why I wish the world would stop trying to find common ground. They are completely different from us. They don't value life - they value death. They don't want to be like us. Why do we keep insisting that they be like us?

    I am not saying that every single person living in Gaza thinks this way. If I, protected in a bomb shelter, feel sick from three bombs, then I cannot even fathom what it must be like for innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

    At the time of writing this, the Syrian government has killed 35,000 of its own people, yet they have called for Israel to stop its aggressions. The Turks only a month ago fired at Syria after two mortars landed in Turkey. There have been over one thousand rockets fired at Israel in the last month. The Turks are currently engaged in a fight against the Kurdish people, and I have no idea how many people they have killed. The Turks are apparently outraged at Israel's behaviour.

    The double standards that exist in the world's view of Israel, the feeling that lots of people want me dead, the feeling that at some point this is going to escalate into a huge war, and finally the feeling that I cannot see how this will ever get better are the reasons why I have felt sick since Thursday.

    It all became a reality.

    Motti is on Twitter: @MottiColman



    :: Hatem Shurrab, in Gaza

    Gaza witnessed the worst eight days in history as my 70-year-old father told me while we were sitting in darkness due to cut off electricity and explosions happening around.

    Every single Palestinian in Gaza was subject to danger and could be killed at any moment especially because Gaza Strip is a densely populated area and any bomb affects civilians' lives if not physically, psychologically. As I work in an aid agency, I had the chance to see the situation closely in the hospitals when we were delivering medical aid there. I saw tens of children and women being injured. I saw a screaming mother after hearing the news that her daughter had been killed in one of the attacks.

    The capacity of the central hospital I visited was very low in regard to equipment and disposables. A doctor told me that they use a disposable that should be used once for many surgeries. Such examples of shortages expose the lives of injured people to risk. In ICU unit, I saw many children with serious injuries. If they survive, they will have disabilities in the future. I also saw a girl called Hanin. She was the age of my son. She was severely injured and an hour after leaving the hospital, I heard the news that she had died.

    The fear of the children was also another major problem as we hardly managed to calm them down, but the huge sound of bombs made them really scared. My two-year-old child screamed almost every night because of the frightening airstrikes that were targeting everywhere. My nephews are older than my son, so they are more aware than him so I expect it will leave a dangerous impact on their psychology affecting their learning and concentration.

    During the attacks my movement was limited. I just did the very urgent and important issues for my work and also shopping to buy food for the family.

    A ceasefire was announced and it was like a nightmare ended.

    I was sad and happy at the same time. Sad because of the so many people who were killed, injured and those who lost dear ones or had a home destroyed. And happy because the violence will stop finally. After the ceasefire was announced, I went out to explore what was happening. I saw collapsed buildings and homes. I saw a collapsed bridge that links Gaza with the southern area of Gaza Strip. I saw a school being severely damaged and a public library as well. I saw devastation spread all over the city.

    Like the previous war on Gaza about three years ago, the same scenes are repeated. It is like the same catastrophe happening for the people of Gaza. Then, a lot of devastation happened as well. That war was longer but this war had more intensive Israeli airstrikes reaching almost all parts of the Gaza Strip.

    Since that war we have been recovering from the devastation and agony that happened to the people. And just when we started to take our breath after renovating damaged areas and improving the psychology of the children, there is now another war. Such a horrible circle of violence seems to be endless.

    Many of the projects, which were implemented by Islamic Relief, are affected by these recent attacks. For example, a primary school in Gaza was destroyed and Islamic Relief renovated it. The same school this time was destroyed because of the Israeli attacks in Tal El-Hawa area. How sad is the feeling of the school's students who will see the classes they used to sit in are damaged. Many trees were uprooted during the previous war in farmlands in the north of the Gaza Strip. Farmers planted new trees. The trees are uprooted again by heavy bombardment.

    As an Islamic Relief member, I think of how much work needs to be done to revive Gaza. How much time we need to let the children forget the difficult days of scary bombings. So much support is needed to help my people here who witnessed such harsh days that they will never forget. The health sector that was already suffering needs so much support now. The economy that was down for many years needs to rise. If the ceasefire is long-term, it should be used to develop the deprived Gaza Strip that suffered a lot for many decades.

    As a father, I hope the fear my son had will not happen again in his entire life. I want no harm to any civilian forced to be in this conflict. As a Palestinian, I hope the hard times I had during my 28 years of life become history and I have a peaceful future with everyone else on this land.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  malena stool on Sat 24 Nov - 22:47

Quote
As a father, I hope the fear my son had will not happen again in his entire life. I want no harm to any civilian forced to be in this conflict. As a Palestinian, I hope the hard times I had during my 28 years of life become history and I have a peaceful future with everyone else on this land.
Unquote.

Can't fault his thoughts and wishes, but while the Palestinians vote in Hamas and permit their kind of politics, his hopes of a peaceful future will never reach fruition.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Sat 1 Dec - 7:32

Israel hits back after Palestinian UN vote with 3,000 new settler homes


Israel on Friday retaliated against the United Nations' de facto recognition of Palestinian by approving the construction of 3,000 new settler homes, dealing a heavy blow to the prospects of resumed peace talks.







By Robert Tait in Jerusalem

5:25PM GMT 30 Nov 2012




The units will be built in the West Bank and east Jerusalem on land Palestinians hope will form part of a future state. Israel is also accelerating the processing of 1,000 extra planning permissions.


The move appeared to be a punishment to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, for applying to become a “non-member observer state”, which was resoundingly accepted by the UN general assembly on Thursday night.


Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official, denounced the decision as “an act of Israeli aggression against a state”.


“The world needs to take up its responsibilities,” she said.


Israel had vehemently opposed the bid but appeared to have backed away from previous threats of retribution, under pressure from the US.



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The change of mind followed a furious response from the Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to Mr Abbas’s address at the UN before the vote.

Mr Netanyahu called it “a defamatory and venomous speech that was full of mendacious propaganda”, delivered by “someone who wants peace does not talk in such a manner”.

Continued settlement expansion is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, and has brought Mr Netanyahu into conflict with the Obama administration and drawn criticism from European governments.

Mr Abbas has said he will not return to talks, which were broken off in 2010, without a freeze in settlement building, ignoring Israeli calls for a resumption of negotiations without preconditions.

Reports said some of the new homes would be built in a disputed area known as E1, between the Maale Adumim settlement and east Jerusalem, dividing the northern and southern part of the West Bank.

More than half-a-million Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as their future capital.

Israel announced earlier this month that it would press ahead with 1,200 new homes in east Jerusalem and the settlement of Pisgat Zeeev, in response to Mr Abbas’ refusal to abandon the UN bid.

The latest project represents a drastic increase compared with previous recent schemes. Last June, Mr Netanyahu unveiled plans to build 300 homes in Beit El.

In Washington, four Republican and Democratic congressmen announced legislation that would close the Palestinian office in Washington unless the Palestinians enter “meaningful negotiations” with Israel.

The legislation would also withdraw US funding from the Palestinian Authority if it tried to take Israel to the International Criminal Court.

“I fear the Palestinian Authority will now be able to use the United Nations as a political club against Israel,” said Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, one of the legislation’s sponsors.

The Palestinians’ enhanced UN status, on a par with the Vatican, was approved by 138 countries, with just nine – including the US – voting against.

Britain was one of 41 countries to abstain in the vote, drawing angry criticism from some Palestinians. The Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, called the decision a “historic misjudgement” that would be “interpreted as a sign not of influence but of irrelevance”.



























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"Continued settlement expansion is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, and has brought Mr Netanyahu into conflict with the Obama administration and drawn criticism from European governments


















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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Mon 3 Dec - 5:37


  1. Home»
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  1. Israel exacts retaliation for Palestinian statehood vote as it confiscates £75m in revenue

Israel exacted a price for the UN's de facto recognition of Palestine on Sunday by confiscating £75 million in revenues even as the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, triumphantly told thousands of followers: "Now we have a state."








Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor (left) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Photo: Reuters





By Robert Tait In Jerusalem

5:26PM GMT 02 Dec 2012




The Israeli move, coinciding with Mr Abbas's arrival to a hero's welcome in the West Bank, came as the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu baldly rejected last Thursday's resounding vote granting the Palestinians full UN observer status.


It left the Palestinian Authority (PA) facing a financial black hole that could prevent it from paying the salaries of thousands of workers, just as Mr Abbas in Ramallah exhorted his countrymen to celebrate "a decisive landmark on the path of our national struggle".


The decision was the latest sign of Israel's mounting fury over last week's vote and came two days after Mr Netanyahu's government announced it would build 3,000 new settlers' home in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, effectively annexing land the Palestinians have earmarked as part of a future state.


Israel's finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, said this month's PA tax revenues would be withheld to pay off its debts to the Israel Electric Corporation, which supplies the Palestinians with power. Israel transfers money to the PA as part of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, which is designed to pave the way towards a two-state solution.


"We said from the beginning that the raising of the status of Palestine at the UN would not produce no reaction from Israel," Mr Steinitz said.



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The decision was immediately condemned by a senior Palestinian official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, as "piracy and theft".

Speaking before yesterday's weekly cabinet meeting, Mr Netanyahu called the Palestinians' bid for enhanced UN recognition a "gross violation" of their agreements with Israel and insisted he would push ahead with further settlement building.

"Today we are building and we will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all areas that are on the map of the strategic interests of the State of Israel," he said.

In further comments quoted by the Channel 10 television station, he appeared to justify settlement expansion as necessary to stop the West Bank becoming a launching pad for the kind of rocket attacks that Israel has encountered from Palestinian militants in Gaza, where Jewish settlements were dismantled in 2005.

"Israel will not allow Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) to become a terror base from which rockets will be launched into Israeli towns," he said.

Last Friday's announcement of new settlers' homes, including some in a highly-contentious area known as E1, was denounced by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who said it would damage the chances of achieving a two-state solution.

Mr Abbas has refused to return to peace talks without a freeze on settlement building.

Speaking in Ramallah following his triumphal return from New York, he said Israel's moves were a reaction to the world saying "yes to a Palestinian state [and] no to aggression, to these settlements and this occupation".

"Your victory has provoked the forces of occupation and settlement. It has deepened the enemy's isolation in the world," he told a flag-waving crowd of around 5,000 outside the Muqatta, the PA's headquarters. "We have been threatened with sanctions from so many quarters. [But] we ignored the threats and went and achieved what we wanted to achieve."

He said Palestinians now had to bring about reconciliation between his Fatah movement, which is in charge of the West Bank, and Islamist organisations like Hamas, which runs Gaza. "In the next few days, we will start the first steps towards achieving reconciliation," he added

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Guest on Mon 3 Dec - 11:39

Israel are now being asked why they deliberatly targetted journalists in Gaza, covering the conflict. It's not an unreasonable question IMHO.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hfm8vqc7-rU_Sme4jgn4GRXt00-Q?docId=CNG.d23836ceb4f582573aa995abec20b9dc.871

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Mon 3 Dec - 17:00

[quote="Iris"]Israel are now being asked why they deliberatly targetted journalists in Gaza, covering the conflict. It's not an unreasonable question IMHO.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hfm8vqc7-rU_Sme4jgn4GRXt00-Q?docId=CNG.d23836ceb4f582573aa995abec20b9dc.871[/quote]

I saw Netinyahou brushing aside journalists , he really is an arrogant man and this is all designed to win the Election in January, to show how tough he is.....if he could not rely on the US , would he be so cocksure.

I really don't understand why, when the State of Israel was born specific borders were not erected. There was a studio discussion the other day and apparently Israel stopped the Palestinians crossing through to trade 6 years ago, also accused of take more and more land from Palestine over the years. Surely there MUST have been boundaries made in 1948 that can be referred to.?????


Last edited by Panda on Mon 3 Dec - 18:00; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Guest on Mon 3 Dec - 17:17

I think myself it was a huge mistake to not let the Palestinians trade. The country is full of disillusioned young men with no jobs, and no hope, and nothing to do all day but fester and plot terrorism on their neighbours. Far better to have them actually working at something productive and give them some sort of future, and then they wouldn't have the time or inclination to dig tunnels and fire rockets. You see the same sort of thing every morning on Jeremy Kyle, chavs on the dole for years with nothing to do but drink and take drugs and so the misery perpetuates down through the generations. Give people jobs, it keeps them out of trouble but you also give them a stake in their environment, and some pride and self respect.

Israel also have to start treating Hamas like a real Government, which is what they are, like it or not. Remove their "martyr" status and they will have to behave like any other Government, or suffer the consequences. You don't see the Swiss firing rockets at the French. The rest of the world wouldn't stand for it, and quite rightly so. If you keep referring to Hamas as a "terrorist organisation" then that is how they will continue to behave, and how they will continue to attract support. Start treating them as an elected Government of an independent nation, and the whole situation changes, their rocket firing becomes an act of war and the UN is obliged to act against them.


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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Mon 3 Dec - 17:59







  1. Israel exacts retaliation for Palestinian statehood vote as it confiscates £75m in revenue

Israel exacted a price for the UN's de facto recognition of Palestine on Sunday by confiscating £75 million in revenues even as the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, triumphantly told thousands of followers: "Now we have a state."








Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor (left) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Photo: Reuters





By Robert Tait In Jerusalem

5:26PM GMT 02 Dec 2012




The Israeli move, coinciding with Mr Abbas's arrival to a hero's welcome in the West Bank, came as the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu baldly rejected last Thursday's resounding vote granting the Palestinians full UN observer status.


It left the Palestinian Authority (PA) facing a financial black hole that could prevent it from paying the salaries of thousands of workers, just as Mr Abbas in Ramallah exhorted his countrymen to celebrate "a decisive landmark on the path of our national struggle".


The decision was the latest sign of Israel's mounting fury over last week's vote and came two days after Mr Netanyahu's government announced it would build 3,000 new settlers' home in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, effectively annexing land the Palestinians have earmarked as part of a future state.


Israel's finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, said this month's PA tax revenues would be withheld to pay off its debts to the Israel Electric Corporation, which supplies the Palestinians with power. Israel transfers money to the PA as part of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, which is designed to pave the way towards a two-state solution.


"We said from the beginning that the raising of the status of Palestine at the UN would not produce no reaction from Israel," Mr Steinitz said.



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The decision was immediately condemned by a senior Palestinian official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, as "piracy and theft".

Speaking before yesterday's weekly cabinet meeting, Mr Netanyahu called the Palestinians' bid for enhanced UN recognition a "gross violation" of their agreements with Israel and insisted he would push ahead with further settlement building.

"Today we are building and we will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all areas that are on the map of the strategic interests of the State of Israel," he said.

In further comments quoted by the Channel 10 television station, he appeared to justify settlement expansion as necessary to stop the West Bank becoming a launching pad for the kind of rocket attacks that Israel has encountered from Palestinian militants in Gaza, where Jewish settlements were dismantled in 2005.

"Israel will not allow Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) to become a terror base from which rockets will be launched into Israeli towns," he said.

Last Friday's announcement of new settlers' homes, including some in a highly-contentious area known as E1, was denounced by the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who said it would damage the chances of achieving a two-state solution.

Mr Abbas has refused to return to peace talks without a freeze on settlement building.

Speaking in Ramallah following his triumphal return from New York, he said Israel's moves were a reaction to the world saying "yes to a Palestinian state [and] no to aggression, to these settlements and this occupation".

"Your victory has provoked the forces of occupation and settlement. It has deepened the enemy's isolation in the world," he told a flag-waving crowd of around 5,000 outside the Muqatta, the PA's headquarters. "We have been threatened with sanctions from so many quarters. [But] we ignored the threats and went and achieved what we wanted to achieve."

He said Palestinians now had to bring about reconciliation between his Fatah movement, which is in charge of the West Bank, and Islamist organisations like Hamas, which runs Gaza. "In the next few days, we will start the first steps towards achieving reconciliation," he added.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Tue 4 Dec - 16:02

Israeli Settlement Plan A Gamble On US Inaction


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is banking on the West's lack of appetite for confrontation with Israel.


11:19pm UK, Monday 03 December 2012

The West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem












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Dominic Waghorn

US Correspondent

More from Dominic | Follow Dominic on Twitter


The United States and European governments have sharply criticised the Israeli government for unlocking plans for a so-called Doomsday settlement outside Jerusalem.

Israel's response has been more emphatic, defiantly refusing to back down.

Both the White House and US State Department condemned Israel for reviving plans that would effectively kill off chances of a two state solution to the Middle East conflict.

"We urge Israeli leaders to reconsider these unilateral decisions," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, "and exercise restraint as these actions are counterproductive".

Mark Toner in the State Department condemned the plans as "especially damaging" to prospects for a resumption in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Israeli ambassadors in five European capitals were called in for a dressing down over the plans.

The French and Italians called the Israeli decisions "serious and illegal" and a "serious obstacle" to Middle East peace. Britain's Foreign Office expressed deep concerns about the move.

The E1 plans are fundamentally different to other settlements because they would build on the last remaining land corridor between the West Bank, where Palestinians want a new Palestine and East Jerusalem where they want their capital.

Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to revive E1 breaks a promise he is thought to have made to Barack Obama at the beginning of his term in office. Previous Israeli leaders, Ehud Olmert and hardliner Ariel Sharon made the same promises to US leaders in the past.
A map showing the largely undeveloped E1 area where new homes are planned
Israel's announcement on Friday clearly took the US by surprise. It was a kick in the teeth for its strongest ally despite America's strong support during Israel's recent offensive in Gaza and US backing for Israel's campaign against Palestinian recognition in the UN.

It incurs further wrath among European allies already incensed by Israel's unrestricted settlement building against international law on occupied land in the West Bank.

So why do it?

Partly because the Israelis calculate they can get away with it. The Obama administration humiliatingly lost the last battle it picked with Israel over settlements.

It is currently reserving its energy for an exhausting struggle with republicans in the US Congress over America's debt crisis and has little to spare for another struggle with Israel.

Despite all his frustrations with the Mr Netanyahu government this president has increased aid to Israel and its access to sophisticated US military hardware. It was his Republican predecessor George W Bush who considered cutting off loan guarantees to Israel and Bush's father before him who actually did so, albeit briefly.

Israel suspects Europeans have little appetite for further sanctions. Israelis play diplomatic hardball. Calling in ambassadors for chats without coffee is unlikely to be effective on its own. France has said as much. British Prime Minister David Cameron says no further action is planned.

In fact the Europeans are arguably playing into the hands of the Israeli prime minister. It makes him stronger among right wing supporters ahead of looming Israeli elections.

It is one of the perversities of Israeli politics that a leader who further isolates his country and reduces its international support can be rewarded for it in the polls. Many Israelis rally round leaders in the face of international criticism.

But Mr Netanyahu's actions are a gamble. Barack Obama may not have an appetite for confrontation with Israel at the moment. But that could change.

Should he choose one in his second and final term in office he will have few of the restraints of his first four years in the White House. If he does, he will be dealing with an Israeli leader who has spent much of his time in office alienating potential allies in the West and in the region.

Where is the UN in all this? If Israel said they wouldn't build why Isn't the UN or Nato getting involved, it was the UN who gave Palestine Statehood only days ago.




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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Guest on Tue 4 Dec - 17:49

It won't happen. I wish I had a pound (or even a shequel) for every time that E1 has been started, then stopped again. Netanyahu's blustering, although goodness knows why. Not that there's an election coming up or anything....

It's also important to keep some perspective. E1 is in the middle of a God-forsaken patch of barren desert and certainly wouldn't "cut off" access from one part of the West Bank to the other.

Porkies getting told on both sides here, methinks.


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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Tue 4 Dec - 18:45

Iris wrote:It won't happen. I wish I had a pound (or even a shequel) for every time that E1 has been started, then stopped again. Netanyahu's blustering, although goodness knows why. Not that there's an election coming up or anything....

It's also important to keep some perspective. E1 is in the middle of a God-forsaken patch of barren desert and certainly wouldn't "cut off" access from one part of the West Bank to the other.

Porkies getting told on both sides here, methinks.


I really hope so Iris ...there is an election coming up in January which is why Netanyahu is flexing his muscles , I hope he loses and a new PM is chosen with a more moderate approach .

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Wed 12 Dec - 22:01

The cowardice at the heart of our relationship with Israel


The Tories’ shameful reluctance to criticise Tel Aviv is putting any hope of peace at risk








Close friends and allies: Prime Minister David Cameron shaking hands with Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub Photo: EPA






By Peter Oborne

8:39PM GMT 12 Dec 2012

14 Comments




It is impossible to understand the modern Conservative Party without a grasp of the scale and profundity of its links to the state of Israel. The connection dates back at least as far the historic meeting between the great Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann and the Conservative prime minister A J Balfour in 1905, during which Weizmann convinced Balfour of the case for a Jewish national state.


The warmth forged 107 years ago is today sustained by the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI). Some 80 per cent of all Tory MPs are members, including most Cabinet ministers. No other lobbying organisation – and certainly not one that acts in the interests of a foreign country – carries as much weight at Westminster. Every year, it takes a significant number of parliamentarians to Israel. Meanwhile, its sponsors play an important role in financing both the Tories nationally, and MPs at the local level.


There is no doubt that the CFI has exercised a powerful influence over policy. The Conservative politician and historian Robert Rhodes James, writing in the Jerusalem Post in 1995, called it “the largest organisation in Western Europe dedicated to the cause of the people of Israel”. Its power has not waned since. On Tuesday, it hosted approximately 100 Tory MPs, including six Cabinet ministers, and a further 40 peers, at a lunch in central London. The speaker was David Cameron, who pronounced himself a “passionate friend” of Israel, making clear (as he has done in the past) that nothing could break that friendship.


This speech can be seen as part of a pattern. The CFI can call almost at will upon the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer or Foreign Secretary. The Palestinians enjoy no such access. They would be lucky to get a single Conservative MP in the audience for their events, and perhaps some moribund peer to make an address. There is no such organisation as the Conservative Friends of Palestinians.


This lack of even-handedness reflects itself in policy. When William Hague denounced Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon as “disproportionate”, the CFI (as I revealed in a film on the pro-Israeli lobby for Channel 4’s Dispatches) complained in person to David Cameron. It obtained a promise that the word would never be used again – one that was kept when Israel bombarded Gaza last month, even though the number of Palestinian deaths vastly exceeded those on the Israeli side.



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As Foreign Secretary, Hague repeated without demur controversial Israeli claims that Hamas started the conflict (there was provocation on both sides, but the critical moment of escalation strikes me as Israel’s extra-judicial killing of the Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari). Britain has since bowed to Israeli pressure and refused to back the Palestinian bid for enhanced recognition at the United Nations. Recently, we summoned the Israeli ambassador for a richly deserved rollicking about the settlement programme, but this was part of a joint effort with a large number of other European countries, and has not been followed up.

To be fair to the Government, Tony Blair was worse, appearing at times to regard the interests of Britain and Israel as identical, and refusing even to call for a ceasefire for some time after the start of the appalling Lebanon war. William Hague and David Cameron have tried to be more robust. Unfortunately, they have largely failed. It is hard to be certain to what extent this reluctance to criticise Tel Aviv is due to the influence of the Israeli lobby in Britain, or fear of offending Israel’s international patron, the United States.

The formal position of the Government is excellent. Britain supports the two-state solution, which has been the basis of all serious peace discussions since the Oslo Accords 20 years ago. The trouble is that ministers refuse to take any concrete steps to bring it about. For example, they condemn the settlements, but only in a half-hearted way (the Prime Minister devoted 64 words to the issue on Tuesday, and almost 300 to the Iranian threat).

This is cowardice. There are times in personal as well as political life when friendship involves a great deal more than the kind of genial back-slapping with which the Prime Minister treated the Israel lobby on Tuesday. The brutal truth is that Benjamin Netanyahu is leading his country down the path to self-destruction. If he is allowed to go ahead with the latest plans for settlement construction, all hopes of Middle East peace will vanish and die.

Mark Simmonds, a junior Foreign Office minister, formally acknowledged this in a revealing but unreported Commons debate just a few hours after Tuesday CFI lunch, saying: “I think that the door is beginning to close on the realistic possibility of a two-state solution.” William Hague now believes that settlement construction will render it completely impossible within two years at most.

We will then be left with a greater Israel stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan river. Of course, this is a tidier geographical unit than the complicated mess which an attempt to return Israel to its 1967 boundaries would produce. But the Palestinians would suddenly find themselves in a majority. Israel would then face a choice between retaining its democracy, but ceasing to be a Jewish state, or embracing a form of apartheid in which Palestinians were refused basic rights. Judging from the rhetoric emanating from Mr Netanyahu and his unpleasant coalition allies, this is probably the choice today’s Israeli leadership would make.

On Monday night, one former British ambassador to Israel, the Hebrew-speaking Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, made an eloquent speech from which it is important to quote at some length: “I believe passionately that Israel on its present course is embarked on a pathway to assisted suicide. Suicide assisted by the Congress of the United States. The idea that the problem can be solved by walling up the Palestinians in the Middle Eastern equivalent of the Bantustans, which the South African government embarked on in the 1940s, is not only offensive morally, it is deeply out of keeping with everything we know of human history. It will not work, it cannot work, it should not work. And anyone who has a real affection for the Jewish people will want to help them to avoid this looming disaster.”

All leaders of the Conservative Party stand in the line of succession of A J Balfour, who (as foreign secretary in 1917) signed the declaration which recognised the Jews’ right to their own homeland. I believe this inheritance gives Mr Cameron a special link to Israel – and a distinct responsibility. It means he is within his rights to spell out to the present Israeli leadership that it is embarking on a dark, ugly and futile course. Given the cowed inertia of President Obama, it is all the more important that the British Prime Minister steps forward.

I cannot speak for Britain’s Jewish community, but I have a strong impression that many of them would be delighted if Mr Cameron spoke out far more strongly than he has done so far. Indeed, it is essential that he should do so. Mr Cameron does not want to go down in history as the man upon whose watch all hope of a two-state solution died, and with it all hope of a secure and peaceful future for the country a Conservative prime minister helped to bring into existence.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Sat 15 Dec - 12:34

Israel's foreign minister resigns amid charges



By Sara Sidner, CNN
December 14, 2012 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)



STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • NEW: Avigdor Liberman hints that if charges are settled he may return to political arena
  • Liberman is to be charged with breach of trust and fraud; he denies wrongdoing
  • His party, Yisrael Beiteinu, is the second biggest in the governing coalition in Israel
  • Israel is due to hold elections on January 22

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman announced Friday he would resign, a day after the country's Ministry of Justice said he would be charged with breach of trust and fraud.

He said in a statement that he must resign from his government position "in light of the circumstances of the case and details of the indictment."

Liberman maintains he has "not violated any laws."

His resignation comes five weeks ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for January 22.

Immediately following the announcement of the charges, Liberman said he would fight to stay in office.

However, less than 24 hours later he had changed his mind after looking over the charges with his attorneys and advisers on campaign law.

Liberman is a big player in the current political makeup of Israel and had just formed a coalition with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his party, Likud.

But Liberman's statement gave a hint that he may try to settle the case before the snap election is held.

"I am doing this also because I believe that the citizens of Israel are entitled to go to the polls after the matter has been decided on, that is to say, that a legal ruling will be decided on before the elections and this way I will be able to continue to serve the state of Israel and its citizens as part of a strong, united leadership that would tackle the security, diplomatic, and economic challenges facing Israel," the statement said.

Liberman's party, Yisrael Beiteinu, said he will remain on the ticket and still run in the upcoming elections.

The charges of breach of trust and fraud relate to a case dating to 2009.

Prosecutors said Liberman pushed to get the Israeli Ambassador to Belarus posted to another country after the diplomat allegedly handed over confidential information that included details of a secret police inquiry pertaining to Liberman.

However, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said Thursday that Liberman would not face more serious corruption charges including money laundering and witness tampering, because of insufficient evidence.

That decision closed a case that has spanned more than a decade and allegedly involved hundreds of millions of dollars transferred through foreign businessmen to companies Liberman owned while he was serving as a Knesset member and minister.

He has long denied all the allegations. "I have always operated according to the law and I have no reason to worry," Liberman said last year.

Liberman has faced international criticism for his hard-line stance on Israel's Arab minorities.

His ultra-nationalist party, the second-largest in the governing coalition, is especially popular with immigrants from the former Soviet Union, where Liberman was born and raised

===============================================

Say's much for the ethics of the Judiciary and Politics that the case could be dropped without a proper investigation....these are serious charges.!!!

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Tue 1 Jan - 9:44

31 December 2012 Last updated at 16:03

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Israel lifts ban on gravel imports into Gaza
Imports of gravel from Israel had been largely banned since 2007
Continue reading the main story

Middle East crisis



  • Q&A: UN bid
  • New Palestinian powers?
  • Conflict's legality
  • Palestinian territories

Israel has eased restrictions on allowing building materials into the Gaza Strip, imposed when Hamas came to power there in 2007.

Shipments of gravel for private use are now being let in because a truce with militants in Gaza which ended last month's conflict has held, Israel says.

Israel previously banned most construction materials, fearing they could be used against it by militants.

Israel still largely bars imports and exports from the territory.

It also maintains a naval blockade and controls Gaza's air space, which it says is necessary for Israel's security.

Human rights groups have said Israel's measures are tantamount to collective punishment against Palestinians in Gaza.

A Palestinian official in charge of the crossing point for the goods between Gaza and Israel, Raed Ghalban, said the latest measure was insufficient.

"What Israel is letting in is not enough to rebuild the Gaza Strip," he told the BBC.

"It's not even enough for the needs of the private sector. This is a very small amount and it is not enough. Some kinds of building materials are also still banned, such as iron and cement."
'Permanent easing'
Israel lifted restrictions on imports of consumer goods in 2010, following international pressure after eight pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed in clashes with Israeli commandos on board a ship trying to break the naval blockade.

Discussions on facilitating the transfer of goods into Gaza was one of the terms agreed upon under the truce which ended the eight-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza in November.

Prior to the latest easing of restrictions, Israel had allowed in construction materials for aid agency projects.

"Now we're talking about a permanent easing," Israeli military spokesman Maj Guy Inbar told the Associated Press news agency. "The longer the calm persists, the more we'll weigh additional easing of restrictions that will benefit the private sector."

Israel had banned most construction materials to prevent them being used by militants to make fortifications and weapons.

The relaxation came a day after Egypt also eased its own restrictions, allowing in 1,400 tonnes of gravel. Egypt had blocked the transfer of goods into Gaza since Hamas came to power after winning elections in 2006 and ousting the rival Fatah faction from Gaza the following year.

The Israeli-Egyptian blockade has left Gazans largely dependent on external aid and a black market fuelled by smuggling through tunnels from Egypt.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Tue 22 Jan - 14:22

Israel's politics of fear


As Israel goes to the polls for its general election, hardline Zionism is back with a vengeance








Tough guy: Naftali Bennett (above), leader of Jewish Home, appeals to the buoyant settler movement Photo: EPA





By Matt Hill

11:26AM GMT 22 Jan 2013

59 Comments




It feels like ancient history now, but in 1993 – the year of the Oslo Accords – Israel’s prime minister Yitzakh Rabin judged that his country was ready to make a momentous choice. Israelis, he confided to the author and politician Shlomo Ben-Ami, were tired of war. Secular and pragmatic, the young generation dreamed of a life of prosperity and normalcy their parents had never known. Israel, he reasoned, was emerging as a place of individualism, hedonism, even – to use a phrase then in vogue – "post-Zionism".


Cut to the Israeli election of 2013, and nobody is talking about post-Zionism anymore. Predicting the exact shape of Israeli governments can be tricky: the country’s electoral system results in political parties pairing off and breaking up more often than a set of suburban swingers in a John Updike novel. But all the indications are that the current coalition of hard right and far right will be replaced – by an even more fanatical collection of Jewish nationalists, who are committed to accelerating the settlement and annexation of occupied Palestinian land.


How did this happen? How did Rabin’s Israel of beachside cocktails and hi-tech startups morph into today’s land of yeshivas and yarmulkes? How did it become a country whose rising political stars are people like Moshe Feiglin of Likud (“For two thousand years, Jews dreamed of a Jewish state, not a democratic state. Democracy should serve the values of the state … You can't teach a monkey to speak and you can't teach an Arab to be democratic") and Naftali Bennett of Jewish Home (“When [the Arabs] were still climbing trees, we had a Jewish state here”)?


Part of the answer has to do with demographics: Israel’s population has grown by two thirds since 1990, and most of the increase has come from three groups: religious nationalists, the ultra-Orthodox, and immigrants from the former Soviet Union. These groups have little in common, except a tendency towards anti-Arab chauvinism and a disdain for the idea of territorial compromise.


Another reason for the country’s Rightward shift is that Israelis of all stripes have grown more cynical and pessimistic since the Oslo process ran aground at Camp David in 2000. According to the dangerously simplified narrative touted by the failed negotiators of those years, Israel’s strenuous peacemaking efforts were stonewalled by their Palestinian counterparts, who preferred to launch a violent Intifada than come to an agreement. Unwilling to raise their hopes again, even formerly dovish Israelis are resigned to the need to ‘manage’ rather than solve the conflict. Since, in their view, peace isn’t on offer, they’ll settle for the next best thing: peace-and-quiet.



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    20 Jan 2013


As a result of these changes, Zionism is in the ascendancy again – but in a new, coarsened form. Whereas it was once informed by the collectivist ethos handed down from the first, pioneering generation of Israeli state-builders, the Zionism of Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett is rooted in something much more primal: fear. Like all demagogues, Netanyahu (who is sure to remain prime minister after the vote) knows the value of fear, and has spent the last four years frightening his people with the spectre of Iranian nukes, Palestinian terror and international anti-semitism.

Even the squandering of his country’s most valuable strategic asset – its close relationship with the White House – has strengthened the Right, convincing voters that Israel is alone in a hostile world and must look inward for strength and safety.

But this nationalist mood belies the fact that Israel is, in many ways, splitting at the seams. Trust – between Israelis and in their elected leaders – is at an all-time low. Two-and-a-half decades of privatisation and deregulation have turned it from among the most egalitarian of countries to the most unequal in the Western world, alongside the United States. Meanwhile outgoing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, currently facing charges of fraud, is just the latest Israeli leader who seems to spend as much time fighting lawsuits as making laws. As society becomes less equitable and the political class grows more squalid and corrupt, fewer Israelis than ever say they value the good of society above their personal interests: 28 per cent today, down from 64 per cent at the beginning of the 80s.

The paradox of Israel today is that the more fractured and atomised it becomes, the more it glues itself together by resorting to a belligerent form of nationalism. It is a country that projects its insecurity outwards, finding a comforting unity only in the face of external perils, real or imagined. The irony is that, with the West Bank pacified and the Gaza front quiet, the threat from Palestinian terror is at an all-time low. When Israelis glance up at the lengthening shadows on the iron wall they have erected around themselves, the shapes that increasingly menace them are their own.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Wed 30 Jan - 16:25

Israel Strikes Convoy On Syria-Lebanon Border


Sky's Sam Kiley says 12 Israeli jets carried out three sorties on a convoy inside Syrian territory in case it carried missiles.


3:31pm UK, Wednesday 30 January 2013

Israeli jets are said to have attacked a convoy on the Syria-Lebanon border

The strike was inside Syria, close to Lebanon










  • Israel has struck a suspected weapons convoy on the border of Syria and Lebanon, according to multiple sources.

    Israeli jets carried out the strike overnight on the convoy which was said to be on its way into Syria, in the area of the Lebanon-Syria border.

    Three squadrons of four jets carried out three separate sorties against the convoy, hitting it near the Lebanese village of Nabi Chit, about half way up the border with Syria in central Lebanon.

    Early reports said the strike happened inside Lebanon, but Sky sources said the attack took place just inside Syria.

    Sky News Middle East Correspondent Sam Kiley said: "We know from Sky sources that the Israelis have conducted an air strike involving three sorties by 12 planes - a very heavy airstrike, a high level of intent - on the village of Nabi Chit, near the bigger Syrian town of Zabadani. It's inside Syrian territory, therefore representing a possible strategic escalation.

    "I'm told by security sources that were not directly involved that the most likely target were either shore to ship missles - very sophisticated missiles of the kind used by Hizbollah against an Israeli ship a few years ago off the coast of Lebanon - or sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, both of which the Damascus regime have access to from Russia.

    "They are recently understood to have taken substantial imports of these from Russia.

    "Why are they such a worry to the Israelis? If Hizbollah were to get access to such anti shipping missiles and particularly to very sophisticated anti aircraft missiles, it would prevent the Israelis carrying out just the sort of airstrike that they've just done - it would shift the balance towards Hizbollah.

    "Israel has always enjoyed air superiority in the region and it would lose it if these missiles were able to find the way into Hizbollah's hands.

    "There is less of a suggestion that it was targeting chemical weapons."

    Israel has in the last few months boosted isecurity and put a lot of tanks on its northern border with Syria, around the disputed Golan Heights. It has also installed its Iron Dome anti-missile missile system which has been used successfully to stop rockets coming out of Gaza.

    An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

    Hizbollah also failed to comment.

    In the run-up to the raid, Israeli officials had been warning very publicly of the threat posed to their country should high-tech anti-aircraft or anti-tank missiles reach Israel's enemies.

    Lebanese militant group Hizbollah is a known enemy of Israel and has connections with Syria.

    Israel fears sophisticated weaponery stockpiled by Bashar al-Assad's regime could fall into the hands of Hizbollah and could then be used to launch an attack against its citizens.

    It was originally thought that Israel had waited until the convoy had crossed the border into Lebanon. A strike just inside Lebanon would had caused fewer diplomatic problems for Israel as it would avoid provoking Syria's ally Iran.

    ========================================

    Where will all this end.!!!!! The United Nations and Security Council are powerless it seems.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Thu 31 Jan - 10:21

Russia 'deeply concerned' over Israeli attack on Syria


Russia warned on Thursday that any Israeli air strike against Syria would be "unacceptable" after the Damascus regime said a military research centre had come under Israeli fighter jet attack.








Free Syrian Army fighters run for cover as a tank shell explodes on a wall during heavy fighting in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus Photo: REUTERS





By Foreign Staff

9:02AM GMT 31 Jan 2013




Russia's foreign ministry said it was "deeply concerned" by the Syrian claims and that it was taking "urgent measures" to clarify the situation.


"If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked strikes against targets located on the territory of a sovereign state, which brazenly infringes on the UN Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motive used for its justification," said a ministry statement.


The strident Russian statement came after the Syrian army accused Israel of launching a strike at dawn on Wednesday targeting its military research centre in Jamraya, near Damascus.


"Israeli fighter jets violated our airspace at dawn today and carried out a direct strike on a scientific research centre in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defence," the general command said.


The warplanes entered Syria's airspace at low altitude and under the radar, the army said, adding that two site workers were killed.



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"They ... carried out an act of aggression, bombarding the site, causing large-scale material damage and destroying the building," state television quoted the military as saying.

Residents told AFP that six rockets hit the complex, leaving it partially destroyed, causing a fire and killing two people.

The army, meanwhile, denied reports that an Israeli air strike had targeted a weapons convoy from Syria near the border with Lebanon.

The attack came after Israel expressed concerns that Damascus's stockpile of chemical weapons could fall into the hands of Lebanon's Shiite Hizbollah group, an ally of Assad's regime, or other militant organisations.

Israel, whose officials have said such that a transfer would be a casus belli and likely spark an attack, has refused to comment on the attack.

The United States, which is currently hosting Israeli military intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi, also declined to comment.

As well as concerns about Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, Israel has accused Syria of supplying long-range Scud missiles to Hizbollah.

It has also warned about the dangers of other advanced weaponry falling into the Lebanese militia's hands, such as anti-aircraft systems and surface-to-surface missiles.

The attack took place just days after Israel moved two batteries of its vaunted Iron Dome missile defence system to the north and at a time of rising fears that the Syria conflict could see chemical weapons leaking into Lebanon.

A former intelligence chief with Israel's Mossad spy service said the Jewish state "should make any effort to prevent any weapons systems of that kind going out to terror organisations".

In comments before reports of the attack emerged, Amnon Sofrin said Israel was unlikely to hit chemical weapons stocks from the air because of the environmental risks.

"When you go and attack a ... chemical weapons depot, you're going to do unwarranted damage because every part will leak out and can cause damage to many residents.

"But if you know of a convoy leading these kind of weapon systems from Syria to Lebanon, you can send a unit to the proper place and try to halt it" on the ground, he said.

Russia has outraged Western and Arab nations by refusing to join international calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and continues to supply its Soviet-era ally with weapons.

It has vetoed three Security Council resolutions sanctioning Assad for violence that the United Nations estimates has killed more than 60,000 people since it broke out in mid-March 2011.

A top Russian official on Thursday rejected the idea of the Security Council taking action because "the Council has already made a number of important decision" on Syria.

"I do not think that in current conditions, the UN Security Council will start work on a new resolution," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Russia's Interfax news agency.

Source: AFP













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Re: Now Isreal

Post  malena stool on Thu 31 Jan - 11:03

The Russians are among the least qualified to criticise anyone over border incidents.. They are however very close trading partners with Israel I believe, (http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/06/25/russia-israel-rapprochement/) as well as a supporter of Syria so any words are probably only that.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Thu 31 Jan - 13:45

malena stool wrote:The Russians are among the least qualified to criticise anyone over border incidents.. They are however very close trading partners with Israel I believe, (http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/06/25/russia-israel-rapprochement/) as well as a supporter of Syria so any words are probably only that.

malena, it is always Russia and China who oppose any military action by the U.N. or G 20.....only because they have a vested interest in the Country concerned or don't want to supply Soldiers to get killed at the rate they have been in every Country the U.S. and British soldiers have invaded.

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Re: Now Isreal

Post  Panda on Sun 3 Feb - 12:43

2 February 2013 Last updated at 21:48









Benjamin Netanyahu asked to form Israeli government


Mr Netanyahu (left) met Shimon Peres at the presidential palace
Continue reading the main story

Israeli elections



  • Political kingmaker
  • Netanyahu's tough task
  • Economy back on agenda
  • Press mulls Netanyahu 'failure'

Israeli President Shimon Peres has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government following last month's parliamentary election.

Mr Netanyahu, whose Likud-Beitenu alliance does not have a majority, has said he wants a broad coalition.

He also called on the Palestinians to return to peace talks.

Correspondents says Mr Netanyahu's likeliest allies are other right-wing and religious groups, although he may also need the support of centrists.

In the 22 January elections, Likud-Beitenu won 31 of the 120 seats in the Knesset.

The nationalist group Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) got 12, but the new centrist party Yesh Atid (There is a Future) came second with 19 seats.

Mr Netanyahu on Saturday reaffirmed that he was seeking the "largest government possible" and that his priority would be to "prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear arms".

He also called on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas "to come back to the negotiating table". Peace talks have been stalled over construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Formal coalition talks are due to begin on Sunday.

Mr Netanyahu has six weeks to form a coalition government, with an extra two weeks if needed.

The 63-year-old prime minister has been in office since the 2009 election. He also served one term as PM between 1996 and 1999.

====================

I was away when the Election took place, I'm glad Netanyahu does not have a majority, he might not be so much of a Warmonger now.

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Re: Now Isreal

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