Wednesday, September 28, 2011


An Israeli settler and his 18-month-old son were killed when the man lost control of his car after being hit by stones hurled by Palestinians. "Preliminary results of the investigation lead us to conclude that the father was hit in the head by a stone, which made him lose control of the vehicle," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Sunday. The crash occurred on Friday. The settler, 25-year-old Israeli-American Asher Palmer, and his son, Yonathan, lived in the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron in the southern West Bank. Police had initially ruled out an attack against the car. On the day of the crash, Palestinians had hurled stones at settlers' vehicles, particularly in the region where the settler and the child were killed. It is believed that the stone was thrown from a car going in the opposite direction and smashed thru the windshield hitting the driver. Although the death of a Palestinian rioter was given headline coverage during the UN presentations last week, the death of Palmer and his son have not received any coverage in the international press this week.

Former Al Jazeera Afghanistan bureau chief Samer Allawi, a Palestinian, has admitted to being a Hamas operative. Allawi was arrested by Shin Bet Israeli security in August in the West Bank after entering from Jordan. After his confession Allawi was given a three year suspended sentence. He admitted he was recruited by Hamas in 1993 and on several occasions had visited Syria to receive training and instructions, including meetings with Mousa abu Marzook, Deputy Head of Hamas in Syria. He also met with other Al Jazeera journalists at a meeting in Saudi Arabia where they discussed how they could aid Hamas by criticizing the US military in Afghanistan.

A decision by the Israeli Government to build a further 1,100 apartments in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, that is over the 1967 ceasefire line, was widely criticized Wednesday by the UN, the US and the Quartet. The US State Department issued a statement by Secty. Hillary Clinton saying that this move was "counterproductive" and was a unilateral step, while the Palestinian spokesman said that this decision was a deliberate move to undermine the Palestinian efforts for statehood. Most Israelis regard this development as part of a natural increase in areas that are an integral part of Jewish Jerusalem. The Quartet does not support any preconditions to peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, so the longer the Palestinians wait until negotiations begin the more building there will have been. Both sides are currently preparing their formal responses to the request by the Quartet for a renewal of negotiations.

Following the speech by Pres. Obama in the UN GA last week, his popularity rating in Israel has increased, while in the US, his rating among Jews and all segments of the population has decreased. But, such fluctuations are not a serious measure of the result of actual voting in elections. What will happen in the Middle East depends a lot on whether or not Obama can retain the Presidency in the next election, or whether a strong opponent appears on the Republican side in the primaries.
PS. There will be a gap for a few days due to Rosh Hashana. Shana Tovah u'metukah to all my readers!


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