Netanyahu urges greater scrutiny of PA

ICEJ News Briefs

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Posted on: 
30 Jan 2012
Netanyahu urges greater scrutiny of PA

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore on Sunday that incitement against Israel by the Palestinian Authority is poisoning the atmosphere and making it nearly impossible for progress to be made towards any kind of permanent settlement. The PA recently broke off the talks with Israel which were taking place in Amman, Jordan because of Israel’s refusal to freeze settlement construction and agree to the June 4, 1967, lines as the basis for negotiations, conditions Israeli officials say would leave Israel with nothing to negotiate about. Meanwhile, Netanyahu lamented that PA officials “refuse to even discuss Israel’s security needs.” An example of PA incitement was on display last week, as the official Palestinian Authority TV station sent greetings to Hakim Awad and his cousin Amjad, the murderers of the Fogel family, including the parents and three young children, in Ithamar nearly a year ago. In a program called ‘For You’ the host took a call from the Hakim Awad’s mother and Aunt, who praised the murderers as “heroes” and “the legend” to which the host added “we, for our part, also convey our greetings to them.”


Iranian-Canadian man sentenced to death
Iran’s Fars News Agency reported over the weekend that Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident of Iranian origin who was arrested during a trip he took to the Islamic Republic to visit his dying father, has been sentenced to death. Malekpour was arrested on charges of operating a pornographic website, despite his explanation that he only developed the software that allows pictures to be uploaded to the internet, and is not responsible for the misuse of the software by others. A lower court had earlier annulled the death sentence, but prosecutors appealed to the Supreme Court, which confirmed it. The Canadian government has condemned the sentence, and Malekpour’s sister Maryam has appealed to the international community to help save him, adding that the televised confession on which the prosecution’s case rested was obviously obtained under torture.

Palestinian forming ‘civil guard’ units
The IDF has expressed alarm over a trend in the West Bank Palestinian communities of forming “civil guard” units which have the ostensible purpose of protecting against so-called “price tag” attacks by settlers and right-wing extremists. The groups are unarmed, but the IDF worries that their presence raises the possibility of violence. “These are people who are simply trying to protect their homes,” a senior IDF officer said. “Our concern is what happens if a group of Jews enter the village and are caught by the units.”

Israel hosts medical conference
The Israeli Air Force hosted a conference on Aviation Medicine last week, bringing together experts and state of the art technology from around the world. "Medicine in the IAF is extremely unique," explained head of manpower, Brig. Gen. Ilan Boger. "This is a professional and important field with great influence on human life." Flight medicine is a crucial part of IDF military medicine because "its purpose is to save lives and maintain preparedness for battle," said Chief Medical Officer, Brig. Gen. Izik Kryce. "We must advance military medicine in the IDF, and specifically aviation medicine."

Israel acts to remove land mines
Israel’s Defense Ministry budgeted NIS 60 million on Sunday to clear landmines left over from decades old conflicts. The money will be used to hire a private company which will work in the regions south of the Dead Sea and along the border with Jordan. The land mines were placed there in the 70’s and 80’s by Israel and Syria, and represent a small fraction of the mines on 12,950 hectares (32,000 acres) of land in Israel known or suspected of being minefields.

Norway apologizes for Quisling government’s Nazi collaboration
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg recently took the opportunity provided by a ceremony commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day to apologize for Norway’s participation in the persecution and discrimination of Jews. "It is time for us to acknowledge that Norwegian policemen, civil servants and other Norwegians took part in the arrest and deportation of Jews,” he said. “Today I feel it is fitting to express our deepest apologies that this could happen on Norwegian soil." Norway’s infamous Nazi collaborator, Vidkun Quisling, in 1942 ordered the arrest of the country’s 2100 Jews, of whom a third were deported to the death camps. Scholars have documented other acts by Norwegian authorities in cooperation with the Nazi invaders, beyond what could be explained by duress.


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