The Day In Israel: Fri Nov 6th, 2009

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Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, was convicted of assaulting a police officer during a 2007 protest in Jerusalem. He is to be sentenced on December 24th.

Which means Salah might just be spotted with this expression on his face again, albeit for very different reasons than before.



Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

3:38PM: According to the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, the US informed Israel of the ship carrying tons of weapons en route from Iran to Hizbullah, but vetoed Israel’s plans to bomb it out of the water.

1:08PM: Thanks to One Jerusalem, here is footage of yesterday’s Dore Gold-Richard Goldstone debate.

7:32AM: The UN General Assembly approved an Arab-backed resolution endorsing the Goldstone Report by a vote of 114-18.

The draft resolution includes a demand for the Israeli government to carry out an “independent and credible” internal investigation of its own conduct during Israel’s 3-week offensive in Gaza, which left over 1,000 Palestinians dead.

Hamas isn’t mentioned in the draft resolution. Instead, it calls on the “Palestinian side” to carry out an investigation into the Goldstone report findings that relate to Palestinians.

The draft resolution also includes a recommendation to convene the signatories of the fourth Geneva Convention treaty for an emergency session to discuss Israel’s violations of the treaty.

Apart from Israel and the United States, a number of European countries including Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic voted against the resolution. But the European Union was split, with others including Britain and France abstaining. Most developing countries voted in favor.

7:25AM: IAEA (Potato) Head Mohamed ElBaradei thinks Iran’s previously secret uranium enrichment site at Qom is “nothing to be worried about.

UN inspectors found “nothing to be worried about” in a first look at a previously secret uranium enrichment site in Iran last month, the International Atomic Energy chief said in remarks published on Thursday.

Mohamed ElBaradei also told the New York Times that he was examining possible compromises to unblock a draft nuclear cooperation deal between Iran and three major powers that has foundered over Iranian objections.

The nuclear site, which Iran revealed in September three years after diplomats said Western spies first detected it, added to Western fears of covert Iranian efforts to develop atom bombs. Iran says it is enriching uranium only for electricity.

ElBaradei was quoted in a New York Times interview as saying his inspectors’ initial findings at the fortified site beneath a desert mountain near the Shi’ite holy city of Qom were “nothing to be worried about”.

“The idea was to use it as a bunker under the mountain to protect things,” ElBaradei, alluding to Tehran’s references to the site as a fallback for its nuclear program in case its larger Natanz enrichment plant were bombed by a foe like Israel.

“It’s a hole in a mountain,” he said.

Oh, except for that whole “evidence of having experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design” thing.

12:15AM: It’s the Dore Gold vs Richard Goldstone cage match debate live from Brandeis University.

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