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Issue No: 36

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

25th Mar, 2013

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36

Read in this report:

Israel PM apologizes to Turkey (P.4)

Haneyya: No political breakthrough during Obama visit (P.5)

Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for two days each week (P.6)

A more extreme and dangerous government (P.8)

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

Israel plans 16,000 more illegal settlement units in WB and Jerusalem (P.6)

Aman Palestin to send medical specialists to Gaza to train young doctors (P.10)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36

CONTENTS

NEWS OF PALESTINE Israel PM apologizes to Turkey ................................................................................................. 4 Haneyya: No political breakthrough during Obama visit .......................................................... 5 17 Palestinian killed in Syria in few days .................................................................................. 5 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for two days each week................................................. 6 Israel plans 16,000 more illegal settlement units in WB and Jerusalem ................................... 6 Fuel crisis in Gaza...................................................................................................................... 7

ISRAEL INSIDER A more extreme and dangerous government ............................................................................. 8

MALAYSIA & PALESTINIAN CAUSE Aman Palestin to send medical specialists to Gaza to train young doctors ............................. 10 Free Palestine Cycling with Minister of Youth ....................................................................... 11

ARTICLES & ANALYSIS Obama visit and Israeli penchant for conflict .......................................................................... 12

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36

NEWS OF PALESTINE

Erdogan to visit Gaza by mid-April

Israel PM apologizes to Turkey

22/03/2013 Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said he "expressed apology" to Turkey for any error that led to the death of nine Turkish nationals in 2010 in the Gaza flotilla incident. Netanyahu also said on Friday that Israel has also agreed to compensate the families of the victims. The deal included restoration of diplomatic ties and cancellation of legal measures against Israeli soldiers who took part in the deadly raid.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu offered an apology for the attack on the Turkish flotilla, and pledged to meet other Turkish demands such as compensations for the families of the dead and lifting the siege on the Palestinian people. The statement congratulated the Turkish people and leadership over such a victory and big accomplishment represented in forcing Israel to apologize and submit to demands, noting that it was a rare instance.

Netanyahu also told Erdogan that Israel had "substantially" lifted restrictions on the entry of civilian goods into the Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

Meanwhile, Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Hanneya announced in a statement at a Hamas-organized rally west of Gaza that Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to visit Gaza by mid-April.

In a related context, a statement by Hamas on Friday quoted Erdogan as telling Mishaal that

Source: Aljazeera+PIC

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36 Palestinian popular rejection of the visit

Haneyya: No political breakthrough during Obama visit 22/03/2013 Gaza premier Ismail Haneyya has said that no political breakthrough is expected during American president Barack Obama’s visit to occupied Palestine. He said in a press release on Thursday that Obama’s policy does not seek an end to occupation but rather endorses occupation, legitimizes settlement, and advocates capitulation under the guise of peace.

following day in Ramallah. Obama said on arrival that the land of Palestine is the historic land for Jews, adding that he was committed to the protection of Israel.

Haneyya advised the PA in Ramallah to realize that its future is hinged on its commitment to national constants and solid reconciliation.

A number of Palestinian activists and politicians expressed their rejection of the visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Palestinian territories.

Obama has arrived to the occupied land last Wednesday, met with the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and then met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the

Several popular marches were launched in a number of Palestinian towns and villages to denounce the visit, while popular groups stated that they do not believe the visit serves the interests the Palestinian people and their just cause. Source: Agencies

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17 Palestinian killed in Syria in few days Damascus, while another refugee died in shelling of the entrance to the camp on Wednesday morning. The Group added that another young man died from wounds he sustained few days ago and that seven Palestinians were killed by the bombing of the town of al-Dhobabiya and the Husseiniya camp on the fringes of Damascus. 23/03/2013 The Working group for Palestinians in Syria reported in a press release on Wednesday that two Palestinians were killed during the shelling of Orouba neighborhood in the Yarmouk refugee camp, in southern

The sources also reported that two Palestinian women died from wounds they sustained during attacks and that a Palestinian youth from the residents of Khan Eshieh refugee camp was killed during clashes in the vicinity of Khan Danon camp.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36 Besides, a Palestinian youth was killed in Yarmouk refugee camp last Thursday, and another two were killed in the explosion targeted a mosque in Damascus on Friday.

The new victims brought the death toll among Palestinians to over 1130 since the beginning of the Syrian revolution against Assad regime.

Source: Agencies _______________________________________________________________

Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for two days each week

signed following the hunger strike waged by the captive movement last April. They pointed out that the conditions inside the jails have become tense and unstable due to the abusive procedures against the detainees by the prison administration which still refuses to meet the prisoners' demands. The Israeli prison administration in Ramon and Nafha detention centers has deprived prisoners from their families visit for a whole month because of their support and solidarity with the hunger striking captives. In a related context, the lawyer Jawad Boulos revealed that prisoner “Samer Issawi� has stopped taking vitamins since few days ago as an escalatory step to shed light on the prisoners' suffering in coincidence with the U.S. President Obama's visit to the region, calling on the Palestinian people to pray for him especially in light of his serious health deterioration.

21/03/2013 Sources from inside the Israeli jails reported that Palestinian captives in Ramon, Nafha and Eshel prisons will start a hunger strike for two days each week, in solidarity with the hunger striking captives. The sources said in press statements on Thursday that the prisoners have taken this Source: PIC step "as a warning message to the prison administration" in protest against the nonimplementation of the terms of the agreement _______________________________________________________________

Israel plans 16,000 more illegal settlement units in WB and Jerusalem major settlement plan for the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Ministry staff are working on the scheme in cooperation with the so-called Israel Land Administration (ILA) to build an additional 16,000 illegal settlement housing units.

21/03/2013 The leader of Yesh Atid Party and new Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, has launched a

The plan includes extra public facilities to encourage settlers to buy homes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Under Lapid's proposal, four-room housing units will be available for sale at a price of $230,000 alongside homes for rent at "reasonable" rates

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36 for the average Israeli Jew to afford; they will not be available for Israel's Arab citizens. It is expected that Lapid will submit his plans for the government's approval once his staff have finished the preparation work. The first

phase will see 7,000 new homes in Kiryat Gat settlement, 1,600 in the Tel HaShomer area, as well as 1,000 in the settlement of Modi'in, west of Ramallah. Source: MEMO

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Fuel crisis in Gaza 19/03/2013 Fuel is in acute shortage in the Gaza Strip as fuel stations have almost completely ran out of fuel, Mohammed Al-Abadla, board member of the society for owners of fuel stations in Gaza, said on Tuesday. Abadla told Quds Press that the crisis surfaced over the past three days since fuel from Egypt (via tunnels) was almost nil while crossings with Israel were closed. Gaza needs 400,000 liters of fuel per day while the power station needs more than 500,000 liters of fuel daily. Abadla warned of possible negative ramifications if the crisis continued in the few

coming days. He said that the Egyptian security campaign in northern Sinai, the repeated closure of crossings for Jewish feasts, and restrictions on distribution in the enclave had greatly worsened the crisis. Source: PIC

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36

ISRAEL INSIDER

A more extreme and dangerous government By: Jamal Zahalka * After a month and a half of anxiety, the expected has happened; Netanyahu’s third government was formed with a fairly predictable coalition which excludes the religious parties Shas and Yahadut Hatorah. Within Netanyahu's own party, Likud, there is anger at the mistakes he has made. He has lost the popular minister Moshe Lahlon; made an alliance with the racist Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu Party - which is blamed for the drop in support at the polls - and pushed the leader of Habeyit Hayehudi, Naftali Bennett, into the arms of Yair Lapid, the leader of Yesh Atid. This has enabled both relative newcomers to impose coalition conditions on the Prime Minister. These include the exclusion of the religious parties and a reduction in the number of ministries controlled by Likud. The new government differs from its predecessor in one respect; it looks as if it is going to be unstable and, perhaps, short-lived. The potential for instability includes Lieberman’s trial, which prevents him from holding any ministerial positions. At the very least, this could see him reduce support for the government to the extent that he may actually end up working towards its downfall. The lack of political harmony on a number of issues within the coalition parties is another factor, as will be the jockeying for position in a postNetanyahu Likud Party; it is believed widely that this, his third government, will be his last. Party politics to one side, the new government has to tackle the economic crisis which could cause cracks to appear in the coalition. In turn, that could push the Prime Minister to resort to ever more aggressive policies against the Palestinians to forge political unity against the

perceived threat of the Other, along with increased public support. All the signs are, therefore, that the new Israeli government is just as extreme as its predecessor, with all of the parties demonstrating significant shifts to the right. Likud is more right-wing than ever before, and Habeyit Hayehudi is the settlers’ party. Lapid’s party "leaves politics to the adults" and is working alongside Netanyahu to marginalise the Palestinian cause both nationally and internationally. It also views the appointment of Tzipi Livni to lead negotiations with the Palestinians as nothing more than a "political joke". It is enough that the majority of the ministers and coalition members even oppose Netanyahu’s proposal of "a two-state solution", which everyone knows isn’t serious in any case. Netanyahu is boasting that his previous government’s biggest accomplishment is the marginalisation of the Palestinian issue without being subject to international pressures on illegal settlements, the Judaisation of Jerusalem or the siege on Gaza. He intends to continue this policy and believes that by pushing the Palestinian issue aside he will be better placed to stress the strategic significance of Iran not only for his party and the safety of his coalition, but also for Israel as a whole. As for the government’s policy towards Palestinians within historic Palestine, it will be

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36 more of the same with the addition of "civil service" imposed on young Israeli Arabs instead of military service in the Israel Defence Forces. On top of that, Palestinians can expect the implementation of the PraverBegin plan to relocate thousands of our people and seize hundreds of thousands of acres of our land in the Negev Desert. Netanyahu also plans to raise the election threshold percentage, which will affect the level of Arab representation in the Knesset. Moreover, the expected austerity economic policies will harm the poor, especially the Arabs, who mostly live below the poverty line at the moment.

There is no indication that the new government will be less discriminatory and extreme than the last. Instead, the opposite looks to be true, with more aggressive and extreme policies, and the intention to implement projects which will limit the presence of Palestinian Arabs in their own land. Thus will Palestinians be forced into an entirely artificially-created confrontation. This is why the need for Palestinian reconciliation is greater than ever before if we are to unite to defend ourselves, our rights, our identities, our land, our living, our Jerusalem and the historical rights of our people.

* Jamal Zahalka is an Arab-Muslim who serves as a member of the Knesset representing the democratic Balad party. He is the Balad party leader.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36

MALAYSIA & PALESTINIAN CAUSE

Aman Palestin to send medical specialists to Gaza to train young doctors

22/03/2013 Aman Palestin Berhad will send a team of six medical specialists to Gaza from March 26 to April 8 to provide training to young Gazan doctors and perform 21 critical surgeries that have been identified. Aman Palestin Berhad's consultant, Dr Zainurrashid Zainuddin, said the team, which would work together with the Palestinian Health Ministry and Palestinian hospitals in Gaza, would also conduct seminars and lectures for the medical faculty of the Islamic University of Gaza.

11 urology cases, and four neurology cases, with an overall estimated cost of RM500,000," he said. Dr Zainurrashid, who is a gynecologist at Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, said three hospitals in Gaza involved in this mission were Al-Quds Hospital, Asdeeqa Al-Marid Hospital, and Al-Awda Medical Centre. He also said that this would be Aman Palestin's first medical mission, although it had sent 14 humanitarian missions so far.

Announcing the mission at a press conference, Dr Zainurrashid, who will lead the medical mission, said the team would consist of six specialists from various fields, including a general surgeon, an urologist, a hand surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon and a gynaecologist.

Meanwhile, Aman Palestin Chief Executive Officer Awang Sufian Awang Piut said Aman Palestin decided to send the specialists after realising that doctors in Palestine had not been exposed to the latest developments in the medical field.

"The surgeries that will be performed during this mission will include six orthopaedic cases,

He said the mission would be funded by Aman Palestin, as well as from the contributions of the Malaysian people. Source: BERNAMA

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36

Free Palestine Cycling with Minister of Youth

24/03/2013 As a part of KARNIVAL ASTRO FIESTA MESRA BELIA 1MALAYSIA PANDAN 2013, Palestinian and Arab community in Malaysia joined Dato Seri Ahmad Shabry Cheek, Minister of Youth Malaysia in a 15 km cycling round in Pandan, Ampang. The Malaysian participants have expressed their happiness for the participation of their fellow Palestinian and Arab brothers and

considered it as an important and inspiring participation. For his part, the chairman of the Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM) revealed that his community's participation came to strengthen the ties of brotherhood between the Palestinians and Malaysians and that it is the first activity of its type. Source: PCOM

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36

ARTICLES & ANALYSIS

Obama visit and Israeli penchant for conflict By: Jamal Kanj* President Barack Obama's visit to the Middle East has coincided with the 10th anniversary of the killing of American peace activist Rachel Corrie. She was murdered by an American-made and financed Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003. It is unlikely the President or any in his entourage will remember the young American citizen, but according to the Israeli Ambassador, his government plans to broach the subject of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. As part of his "listening" tour, Obama must pay homage to the choreographed Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashemm honouring the victims of European Holocaust.

opportunity "to connect with the Israeli psyche". This may seem like a daunting task. According to a recent poll conducted by the Maagar Mohot Institute and Maarive newspaper, only 10 per cent of Israelis view the US President favourably. In fact, October 2012 opinion survey showed Israelis would have elected Mitt Romney over Obama by 57 to 22.

For contemporary suffering, from Yad Vashemm the President should peek across the prairie for traces of Deir Yassin's massacre or take a five-mile detour to a Palestinian refugee camp, a living museum and breathing testament of Israeli malevolence.

Leading to the trip, the President met separately representatives of American Arab and Jewish communities. While Arab American delegates urged the President to take this opportunity to advance peace negotiations, Jewish leaders counselled the President to hold off on any peace initiative.

While this deserving tribute is doubtful, in his helicopter ride to Bethlehem and Ramallah, Obama can't miss the Jewish-only colonies raping the virgin hills of the West Bank or the separation wall suffocating Palestinians.

They cautioned that Israelis would "bristle" if Obama challenged them to take "hard steps" for peace. Ironically, the same crowd wanted him to be firm and alacritous to do whatever needed to halt Iran's nuclear ambition.

Israeli firsters in Washington have marketed the trip as a must for the US President to win over sceptic Israeli public opinion. David Miller, an Israel-first ex-US official, faulted the Obama Administration for not showing adequate understanding of Israeli "fears".

In other words, Israeli firsters want conflict not peace to dominate the President's agenda.

Another Israeli firster Dennis Ross, who was Obama's point man on the Middle East for most of his first term, advised him to take this

This is an exact repeat of the strategy Israeli Prime Minister Isaac Shamir used 20 years ago, eventually dragging the US into war with Iraq. Israel was false on Iraq then and has been proven to be wrong on Iran for the last 20 years. As early as 1992 Netanyahu suggested

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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25th Mar, 2013

Issue No: 36 for the US to lead an "international front" to pre-empt Iran from becoming a nuclear power in "three to five years". In the same year, then Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres told French TV that Iran was destined to acquire nuclear warhead capabilities by 1999. In 1995 an Israeli leak in the New York Times predicted Iran would assemble a nuclear bomb by 2000. The most recent assertion was made last September at the UN General Assembly in a hilarious cartoon illustration presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claiming that Iran was six months away from producing enough material for a nuclear bomb.

commitment for an ethno centric racist state and vowing to protect the "Jewish state" from specious nuclear threat, he must not forget that a nuclear Middle East was born in Israel, not Iraq nor Iran. Mr President, if you want Israelis to like you, just ask your predecessor how he turned the biggest government surplus into the largest deficit. Sadly Obama was sold on what seemed to be a psychiatrist perverted notion that to promote peace he must first pledge US force for another Middle Eastern adventure. As such, the US President's retinue should consider replacing policy experts with psychoanalysts to treat the Israeli penchant for conflict and diagnose its collective Katharophobia or fear of peace.

When the President speaks at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem to declare his

* Mr Kanj writes weekly newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,� Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

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Issue No: 36

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia (PCOM)

25th Mar, 2013

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Issue no 36