Dienstag, 1. April 2008

Updates part II - Three killed incl. one terrorist

An Israeli hitchhiker shot dead a knife-wielding Palestinian in the West Bank on Monday afternoon after the man tried to stab him and a companion as they waited for a ride near the settlement of Shiloh. An investigation into the incident ascertained that the two hitchers spotted a man running toward them, carrying a knife with a 20-cm blade. One of the two hitchhikers pulled out his personal weapon and shot the man. + Two Palestinian militants were killed on Tuesday by Israeli special forces during a predawn raid in the central Gaza Strip, Hamas and medical officials said. Hamas said the two militants were the first from the Islamist group to be killed by Israel in nearly a month. Das Qassam-Aufkommen muß als sporadisch bezeichnet werden. Zwei drei Projektile pro Tag. Im Gazastreifen wird die Al-Azar-Universität von Hamas und Loyalisten gestürmt und besetzt. Konsequenzen und Ziel unklar. Palestinians in Gaza demanded Sunday that Egypt release the rest of the Hamas militants they are holding in prison. About 200 Hamas supporters demonstrated peacefully Sunday at the Gaza-Egypt border. They threatened that if necessary, they would take further action to free the men. Westbankverhaftungen: 9 Palästinenser durch die IDF und 7 Hamasniks durch die Fatah.

Fayyad erleidet ein erstaunliches Urteil: The Palestinian Higher Judicial Council has decided to suspend a rule by Prime Minister Fayyad requiring Palestinians to pay back utility bills before receiving government services, the head of the Palestinian public employees union, Bassam Zakarna, said on Monday. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA), under Prime Minister Fayyad, instated a rule in January that required Palestinians to pay old electricity, water and other utility bills by 25 January. Those who did not comply would not be issued any PA document, including driver's licenses and birth certificates. Labor unions are angered over the rule, arguing that it is impossible for the majority of Palestinians, who live in poverty, to pay their bills all at once. [...] Hundreds of young men are trying to elbow their way onto the line in the courtyard of the Muqata, shouting, pushing closer to the window where they get the forms to sign up for the Palestinian police. For a moment it seems like a brawl would break out. It is not every day that the average young man in Jenin finishes high school and has a chance to win a job with a steady salary from the Palestinian Authority as a member of the National Security force. Ahmed Agbariyeh, from Taibeh in the Jenin area, says he has come to join up, together with six of his friends from the same village. "I'm unemployed and here I can eat and get about NIS 1,200 to NIS 1,400 a month." That is a considerable sum, in Palestinian terms. His family, he says, encouraged him. He is not worried about leaving home, nor do the demands of basic training under the broiling Jericho sun phase him. [...] A Mideast conference in Moscow this summer would energize efforts to achieve a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of the year, Russia's UN ambassador said Monday. Vitaly Churkin told reporters that the Moscow meeting was part of a strategy agreed to by the Quartet of key Mideast players - the U.S., the UN, the European Union and Russia - at last November's meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, where the Israeli and Palestinian leaders reached an agreement to achieve a peace deal in 2008.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak softened his opposition Monday to a proposal to transfer control of the border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel to representatives of the Palestinian Authority government headed by Salam Fayyad. The change, made at the request of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is considered a major shift in Israel's policy on this matter. ... A senior Israeli government source said that the change in Barak's position is probably also related to the discussions that Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's political-security bureau, is holding in Egypt on a "package deal" that would include a halt to rocket attacks from Gaza, containment of the arms smuggling into Gaza and reopening the border crossings. ... Meanwhile, Abbas announced Monday that he intends to meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on April 7, thereby ending the hiatus in their regular biweekly meetings that followed the intense fighting in the Gaza Strip nearly six weeks ago. [Deutliche Entspannungssignale.] The Palestinian government approved on Monday the $3.337 billion draft budget for 2008 with financing needs of more than $1.6 billion, Palestinian Information Minister Riyadh Malki said. Malki said the proposal would be submitted to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for approval in the absence of the Palestinian Legislative Council, whose work has been paralyzed since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Ich glaubs immer noch nicht, aber es ist wahr: Tim Marshall mit einem "Exclusive Interview" mit Meshal... The leader of the radical Palestinian Hamas movement has told Sky News he is offering Israel a deal to attack only military targets and that an abducted Israeli soldier is alive. In an exclusive interview in Damascus, Khalid Meshaal said he was renewing an offer first made to the Israelis 10 years ago.

Ich kenne mich überhaupt nicht aus mit Japanern, also weiß ich auch nicht wie DAS hier einzuschätzen ist: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has admitted that an Israeli strike in Syria last September targeted a nuclear facility built with North Korea's help, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported Monday on its website. The report quoted sources in the Japanese government, who have said that Olmert briefed Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on the attack during a meeting in Tokyo on February 27. The Japanese paper noted that this was apparently the first time that the intended target had been disclosed to the head of a foreign government. Hier das Orginal.

Enorm viele Artikel bekümmern sich um die Minderheitenproblematik Israels. Larry Derfner über "Third Class Israelis", afrikanische Einwanderer. [...] Human Rights Watch on Monday called on the government to stop demolishing Bedouin homes and appoint a commission to look into charges its land and housing policies discriminate against the minority Arab group. The group's 130-page report examines the impact of Israel's land policies in the Negev desert region on tens of thousands of Bedouin, once desert nomads, who now live in informal shanty towns that are not recognized as legal villages. Orginaldokumente HRW. Der Minderheit der Biker gehts bald besser: The government will allocate some NIS 145 million by 2013 for developing bicycle lanes in urban as well as undeveloped areas across the country, and for building or upgrading 32 overnight parking lots so drivers can park their cars and go out into nature, the cabinet decided yesterday. [...] Die Armen sind zwar keine Minderheit, aber irgendwie doch zwei: Some 60 percent of Israelis living below the poverty line come from the ultra-Orthodox or Israeli-Arab sectors, according to a report to be released by the Bank of Israel on Wednesday. These sectors have seen a steady rate of worsening poverty, despite recent improvements in the Israeli economy, the report says. The report also examines the effects of reductions in National Insurance Institute stipends in recent years, as well as the subsequent entry of higher numbers of ultra-Orthodox into the workplace. According to the report, the rising emploment rates has in fact led some within the community to benefit from growth in the Israeli economy. As opposed to the ultra-Orthodox community, the Israeli Arab sector has not experienced any significant economic improvement over the past decade. This, despite the fact that cuts to welfare stipends have resulted in a higher percentage of Israeli Arab women entering the workforce, according to the report. Spezialbericht: Educated Arab Israelis unlikely to find jobs

Zum Schluß, die Siedlungsfrage: The municipality of Jerusalem on Monday approved the construction of 600 new homes in Pisgat Zeev, east of the Green Line. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski approved the expansion in Pisgat Zeev - a Jewish settlement surrounded by Arab towns in the West Bank - as part of a plan to construct 40,000 more homes in the area as foreign interest drives property prices up. Also Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised the spiritual leader of the Shas Party, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, that he would authorize construction on "Jerusalem envelope" lands which have been thus far frozen, sources from the ultra-Orthodox Party said. +++ The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party joined hands for the first time Sunday with the Yesha Council of settlements, to promote a cause that both hold dear: expanding the population of the Haredi settlement of Beitar Ilit, located between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.

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