Syria will be the cemetery of those who will respond to Trump سورية مقبرة الذين سيلبّون نداء ترامب

Syria will be the cemetery of those who will respond to Trump

أبريل 30, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The additional details given by the US President about the project of the withdrawal from Syria through a Tweet which many people doubted of  its credibility,  his reassuring them in denying the speech of the French reckless President Emmanuel Macron who claimed that he persuaded Trump to abandon the decision, and then his explanation in details the alternatives that will take over the mission,  give the decision of withdrawal credibility and make it more accurate than the  aggression on Syria in drawing the future of the US role in Syria.

Trump asks the Arab countries to send their armies to replace the US troops in eastern Syria. The information published in the US Wall Street Journal revealed a surprise that is represented in the call of the administration of the US President Donald Trump from Egypt to send its forces to Syria ” it indicated that the National Security Adviser in the administration of the US President Donald Trump John Bolton has contacted the Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel to know the willingness of Cairo to participate in an initiative to form a joint Arab force that compensates the probable withdrawal of the US troops from Syria”. It is known that Egypt which differs from the Gulf countries in its preservation of its relations with the Syrian government links any military participation with a Syrian political settlement that requires sending observers under the acceptance of the government and the opposition in Syria. But most importantly is the fact that Egypt provokes Turkey’s outrage and maybe the presence of its forces on the Turkish borders and in the Kurdish areas will lead to a war that Washington does not want, just for that the newspaper published that the US officials said that” Trump’s administration asked Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE to pump billions of dollars and to send military forces to restore the northern of Syria”. It said that “Egypt’s intention to support this initiative is still unclear” It added that ” the Egyptian army which is one of the largest armies in the Middle East is already fighting a branch of ISIS in Sinai and securing the wide desert borders between Egypt and Libya which are under the control of mixed armed militias” . It added that” Egypt has rarely deployed armed forces outside its borders since the Gulf War 1991, in addition to the fact that the government ensures that it is not biased to any party in the Syrian crisis.

Turning to the Gulf countries in request for a military presence or to finance mercenaries seems the intended plan.  The British Guardian newspaper which warned of sending Arabs forces to Syria to replace the US troops there ensures that “such of this proposal faces substantial obstacles and could potentially exacerbate the conflict” describing it with ” inapplicable” It added that ” Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are bogged down in a brutal war in Yemen since 2015, and have little manpower and few military resources to spare” It indicated that they are also locked in a dispute with Qatar, another potential contributor to a force, while Egypt is much closer to the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria than its would-be Gulf partners”. It clarified that the US Department of Defense has already refused a similar request last year, to replace US troops with private contractors in Afghanistan”. “But Bolton has argued that the US has taken too much of the military burden in Syria and Arab states should supply troops and material assistance in the fight against Isis.”

The Gulf financial or military option seems serious. The message waiting for the two options as summarized by a source of the East Euphrates Front is that Syria will be the cemetery of the two options together; it prepared the decent reception with a quick return by coffins. Maybe testing these two options will be an opportunity for Syria to declare its victory over the tripartite international terrorist Gulf aggression at once.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

سورية مقبرة الذين سيلبّون نداء ترامب

أبريل 20, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– أن يقدّم الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب المزيد من التفاصيل لمشروع الانسحاب من سورية، بعدما أطلق الموقف بتغريدة شكّك الكثيرون في صدقيتها، وأعاد تأكيدها في تكذيب لكلام الرئيس الفرنسي المراهق إيمانويل ماكرون الذي ادّعى إقناع ترامب بالعدول عن القرار، ثم يشرح تفاصيل البدائل التي بشّر بها بكلامه عن حلفاء يتولّون المهمة، يمنح قرار الانسحاب صدقية ويجعله تعبيراً أدق من العدوان على سورية، في رسم مستقبل الدور الأميركي فيها.

– يتوجّه ترامب للدول العربية لإرسال جيوشها للحلول مكان القوات الأميركية شرق سورية، وتكشف معلومات نشرتها صحيفة «وول ستريت جورنال» الأميركية، عن «مفاجأة من العيار الثقيل، تتمثل في طلب إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب إرسال مصر لقواتها إلى سورية «، مشيرةً إلى أنّ «مستشار الأمن القومي في إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب، جون بولتون تواصَلَ مع رئيس المخابرات المصرية عباس كامل، لاستطلاع مدى استعداد القاهرة للمشاركة في مبادرة لتشكيل قوة عربية مشتركة تعوّض الانسحاب المحتمل للقوات الأميركية من سورية». ومعلوم أنّ مصر التي تختلف عن دول الخليج بالحفاظ على علاقتها بالحكومة السورية تربط أيّ مشاركة عسكرية بتسوية سياسية سورية تستدعي إرسال مراقبين بقبول الحكومة والمعارضة في سورية، كما أنّ الأهمّ هو أنّ مصر تثير حفيظة تركيا بقوة وربما يتسبّب وجود قواتها على الحدود التركية وفي مناطق الأكراد إلى فتيل حرب لا تريدها واشنطن، ولذلك نقلت الصحيفة، عن مسؤولين أميركيين قولهم إنّ «إدارة ترامب طالبت السعودية وقطر و الإمارات بضخّ مليارات الدولارات، وكذلك إرسال قوات عسكرية لاستعادة شمال سورية»، معتبرةً أنّ «نية مصر دعم هذه المبادرة ما زالت غير واضحة المعالم»، مضيفة أنّ «الجيش المصري ، أحد أكبر جيوش الشرق الأوسط ، يقاتل بالفعل فرع داعش في سيناء ويؤمّن الحدود الصحراوية الواسعة بين مصر و ليبيا الواقعة تحت سيطرة خليط من الميليشيات المسلحة». وقالت الصحيفة إنّ «مصر نادراً ما تنشر قوات مسلحة خارج حدود البلاد منذ حرب الخليج 1991، بالإضافة إلى أنّ الحكومة تؤكد أنها لا تنحاز إلى أيّ طرف في الأزمة السورية «.

– التوجّه إلى دول الخليج طلباً للحضور العسكري أو لتمويل جلب مرتزقة يبدو هو التوجّه المعتمد، كما فصّلت صحيفة الغادريان البريطانية، التي حذّرت من فكرة إرسال قوات عربية إلى سورية لتحلّ محل القوات الأميركية بعد انسحابها من هناك، مؤكدة أنّ «مثل هذه الخطوة دونها عقبات كثيرة، وقد تؤدّي إلى تفاقم الصراع»، واصفة تلك الفكرة بأنها «غير قابلة للتطبيق»، وأضافت: «بالنسبة للسعودية و الإمارات ، فقد دخلتا حرباً وحشية في اليمن منذ عام 2015، وهما بالأصل ليست لديهما قوة بشرية كافية، فضلاً عن قلة مواردهما العسكرية»، لافتة الى أنّ السعودية والإمارات تعيشان اليوم صراعاً مع قطر، التي كان يمكن أن تكون قوة مساهمة في مثل هذا التشكيل المفترض، بينما تبدو مصر أقرب إلى النظام السوري من بقية شركائها في الخليج». وأوضحت أنه «سبق لوزارة الدفاع الأميركية أن رفضت طلباً، العام الماضي، حول إرسال قوات من المرتزقة إلى أفغانستان ، لكن فكرة إرسال قوات إلى سورية بدت أكثر جاذبية مع وجود شخص مثل جون بولتون ، مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي ، الذي يرى أنّ الولايات المتحدة تحمّلت العبء العسكري في سورية، وأنّ الدول العربية يجب أن تقدّم الجنود والمساعدة المالية في الحرب ضد تنظيم الدولة».

– الخيار الخليجي المالي أو العسكري يبدو جدياً على الطاولة، والرسالة التي تنتظر الخيارين يلخّصها مصدر متابع لجبهة شرق الفرات، أنّ سورية ستكون مقبرة الخيارين معاً وقد أعدّت العدّة لاستقبال لائق بالقادمين لعودة سريعة بالتوابيت، وربما يكون اختبار هذين الخيارين فرصة لسورية لإعلان نصرها على العداون الدولي الخليجي الإرهابي المثلّث مرة واحدة.

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Emirati Foreign Ministry Tasks Embassy in Lebanon with Listing anti-Hezbollah Shia Candidates Who Need Funds: Leaks

April 30, 2018

1

أدّى صقر دوراً سلبياً بعد أزمة الحريري في الرياض ما دفع بالأخير إلى إبعاده من حلقته الضيقة (مروان طحطح)

The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar posted leaked cables sent by the Emirati embassy in Lebanon to the country’s (UAE) Foreign Ministry, reporting the conditions of the anti-Hezbollah Shia candidates.

One of the secret cables was sent by the consul Hamdan Sayyed Al-Hashemi at the request of UAE Assistant FM, informing him about those candidates whose electoral campaigns need funding.

It is worth noting that the parliamentary election is scheduled to be held on May 6.

The sent list includes the following names:

1-    Ghaleb Yaghi (Baalbek’s Former Mayor)
2-    Hareth Suleiman (Academic Researcher)
3-    Mona Fayyad (University Professor)
4-    Hoda Husseini (Journalist)
5-    Mostafa Fahs (Political writer)
6-    Ali Al-Amin (Journalist)
7-    Mohammad Barakat (Journalist)
8-    Imad Komaiha (Journalist)
9-    Hadi Al-Amin
10-    Hassan Al-Zein (Journalist)
11-    Thaer Ghandour (Journalist)
12-    Waddah Sharara (University Instructor)
13-    Omar Harkous (Woking currently at Alarabiya TV office in Dubai)
14-    Ahmad Ismail
15-    Monif Faraj
16-    Lokman Slim (Journalist)
17-    Malek Mroweh (Journalist)
18-    Nadim Quteish (Journalist & TV Presenter)
19-    Ziad Majed (University Instructor)
20-    Soud Al-Mawla (University Instructor)
21-    Farouq Yaaqoub (Activist)
22-    Abbas Al-Jawhari (Cleric)
23-    Sobhi Al-Tufaily (Former Hezbollah SG)
24-    Mohammad Abdol Hamid Baydoun (Fomer MP & Minister)
25-    Ibrahim Shamseddine (Former Minister)
26-    Salah Al-Harakeh (Former MP)
27-    Ahmad Al-Asaad (Son of Former House Speaker)
28-    MP Oqab Saqr

 

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper

 

الإمارات تدرس تمويل مرشحي «المعارضين الشيعة»

الثلاثاء 24 نيسان 2018

تستمر «الأخبار» بنشر البرقيات السرية الصادرة عن السفارة الإماراتية في بيروت. وفي حلقة اليوم، برقية أعدها الديبلوماسي حمدان سيد الهاشمي (يتولى منصب القنصل)، وبعث بها إلى بلاده، وتحديداً إلى «مكتب مساعد الوزير للشؤون الأمنية والعسكرية». موضوع البرقية، «قائمة بأسماء الشخصيات الشيعية المعارضة لثنائية حزب الله وحركة أمل»، والتي أعدها الهاشمي بناءً على طلب مساعد وزير الخارجية الإماراتي للشؤون الأمنية والعسكرية (الطلب ورد إلى السفارة بكتاب حمل الرقم 1814 بتاريخ 19/12/2017). والهدف، على ما هو مدرج في البرقية، إعداد قائمة بتلك الشخصيات، «بما فيها المرشحة للانتخابات النيابية في لبنان على لوائح معارضة لتلك الثنائية والتي تحتاج إلى تمويل في حملاتها الانتخابية». في ما يأتي، النص الحرفي للقائمة الواردة في البرقية، والتي تُظهر خفة الدبلوماسية الإماراتية في اختيار الأسماء وجمع المعلومات وعدم تدقيقها:

1 ـــ المحامي غالب ياغي
الرئيس الأسبق لبلدية مدينة بعلبك
كان يُعتبر أحد أبرز الكوادر اللبنانية الأساسية في حزب البعث سابقاً.
خاض الانتخابات البلدية الأخيرة في وجه «حزب الله» عبر لائحة «بعلبك مدينتي» التي ضمّت عائلات وكفاءات وشخصيات مستقلة وحزبية سابقة من بعلبك، ولكنه لم يستطِع حصد عدد كافٍ من الأصوات (حصل على 46% من الأصوات).
التوجّه السياسي
 يعتبر من أبرز الشخصيات المناهضة لحزب الله ويُصنّف ضمن «المعارضة الشيعية» التي ترفض هيمنة الحزب وإيران على لبنان.
 كان من ضمن الشخصيات التي اجتمعت خلال الأشهر الماضية لإطلاق حركة سياسية شيعية تتحرّر من ثنائية «حزب الله» ـــ «حركة أمل».
 يهمه الوصول إلى المجلس النيابي بأي طريقة، ومطالبه المالية كثيرة وعليه شبهات فساد مالي.
 يستفيد من أصوات السنة في بعلبك، لكنه يبقى حاجة لإزعاج حزب الله.

2 ـــ د. حارث سليمان
 باحث ومحلّل السياسي
 عضو اللجنة التنفيذية لـ«حركة التجدد الديمقراطي».
 حركة التجدد الديمقراطي، هي حركة سياسية لبنانية أُسِّست في 15 يوليو 2001، وما لبثت أن اعتُبرت ضمن قوى «14 آذار». تراجع وجودها ونشاطها بعد وفاة رئيس الحركة نسيب لحود. وتضم اليوم عدداً من القيادات منهم: انطوان الخوري طوق، انطوان حداد، أيمن مهنا، رامي شما، سرج يازجي، سمير لحود، شفيق مراد…
التوجّه السياسي
 من أبرز الشخصيات الفكرية والإعلامية الرافضة لسياسة الحزب في لبنان، وهو يعبر عن ذلك من خلال تحليلاته السياسية أو المقالات التي ينشرها في عدد من الوسائل الإعلامية المكتوبة.
 شارك في الاجتماع الأخير الذي عُقد من أجل خلق «حراك شيعي جديد» لا يدخل ضمن سياسة الأحزاب القائمة أي «حزب الله» و«حركة أمل».
 كان يُعتبر من الشخصيات الشيعية المنضوية ضمن التحالف العريض لقوى 14 آذار، ولم يكن له أيّ نشاط سياسي سابق.

3 ـــ د. منى فياض
 تحمل دكتوراه في علم النفس من جامعة باريس، وهي تدرّس علم النفس في الجامعة اللبنانية في بيروت.
 كانت عضواً مشاركاً في العديد من الجمعيات العلمية والفكرية، ومنذ عام 2001 كانت العضو المؤسس لـ«حركة التجديد الديمقراطي» وعضواً في اللجنة التنفيذية للحركة حتى عام 2010، عادت إلى اللجنة في الانتخابات الداخلية التي جرت في 19 تموز/يوليو وانتُخبت في أعقابها نائبة للرئيس.
 خلال حرب 2006 كتبت العديد من المقالات التي انتقدت فيها سياسات الابتزاز والضغط التي تعرض لها المثقفون الشيعة غير المنتمين إلى حزب الله.
 لها عدة مؤلفات تروي فيها معاناة الشيعة في ظل احتكار قرارها وهي القائلة إن «لبنان دولة مخطوفة تعيش تحت الوصاية الإيرانية».
التوجّه السياسي
 من الشخصيات الرافضة لهيمنة «حزب الله»، وهي واجهت انتقادات عديدة وصلت إلى حد التكفير والدعوة إلى الاقتصاص منها على خلفية تصريحاتها ومقالاتها.
 تتميز بالجرأة في الطرح وتقديم رؤية سياسية واضحة وتقدم المجتمع الشيعي كمكمّل لدور مجتمعه ولا يرتبط بأيّ محاور.
 لم تخُض يوماً أيّ عمل سياسي ولكنها تُعتبر من أهم الشخصيات المثقفة التي تخاطب البيئة الشيعية.

4 ـــ هدى الحسيني
 إعلامية متزوجة من عضو المكتب السياسي في «تيار المستقبل» الإعلامي والمحلل السياسي راشد فايد.
 سبق أن تولّت عدة مهام وأقسام في مؤسسات إعلامية تابعة لـ «المستقبل».
التوجّه السياسي
 شاركت مؤخراً في الاجتماعات التي عقدتها شخصيات رافضة لسياسات «حزب الله وحركة أمل».
 دورها ينحصر في المهام التحريرية الإخبارية، أما في ما يخص نشاطها السياسي فهو معدوم. ولكن تُعتبر من الشخصيات المقرّبة من الرئيس سعد الحريري، والأمين العام للتيار أحمد الحريري.

من المفيد دعم لقمان سليم لاستثماره في المجال التنظيري ضد حزب الله وولاية الفقيه

5 ـــ مصطفى فحص
 هو ابن رجل الدين الشيعي العلاّمة هاني فحص الذي تميّز بفكر انفتاحي داعٍ إلى وحدة الأديان.
 كاتب سياسي في جريدة «الشرق الأوسط» وعدد آخر من وسائل الإعلام.
 له عدة مقالات تتركز في الشأن الإيراني كما «حزب الله».
التوجّه السياسي
 من المصنّفين ضمن الشخصيات الشيعية المنضوية ضمن قوى 14 آذار وتجمعه علاقات مميزة بهذه القوى.
· لطالما عبّر عن رفضه وشجبه سياسة احتكار الشيعة بحزب أو حركة.

6ـــ علي الأمين
 كاتب ومحلّل سياسي
 مالك ورئيس تحرير موقع «جنوبية»
 له العديد من المقالات المناهضة للحزب والتي خلقت له الكثير من الخلافات ووصلت إلى حدّ المطالبة بهدر دمه وتعرّض لمضايقات جسيمة بسبب مواقفه. تمّ اقتحام بيته عدة مرات في الجنوب والعبث بمحتوياته.
التوجّه السياسي
 من أوائل الشخصيات التي شاركت في التحركات السياسية الرافضة لـ«حزب الله»، خاصة أنه من أبرز الداعين إلى وجود فئة ثالثة أو حراك فعلي مناهض.
 يملك علاقات، خاصّة أنه من عائلة شيعية معروفة ومرموقة، وهي تملك مكانة وحيثية داخل الشارع الشيعي، وهي عنصر قوة لاستغلالها ضد حزب الله لا سيما أن العائلة عريقة دينياً عند الشيعة.
 يحصل على دعم مالي مباشر من السفارة الأميركية لموقعه الإلكتروني ويتلقّى دورياً هبات سعودية.

7 ـــ محمد بركات
 يشغل حالياً منصب المسؤول الإعلامي لوزير الداخلية نهاد المشنوق.
 سبق أن عمل في تلفزيون المستقبل كمراسل وكمحرر وكمعدّ لبرنامج «DNA» الذي يقدمه الإعلامي نديم قطيش.
 كانت له مقالات عديدة تنتقد سياسات حزب الله الإلغائية.
التوجّه السياسي
 يشكل هو وعلي الأمين كما عماد قميحة ثلاثياً إعلامياً موحّداً يسعى لخلق وحدة إعلامية مناوئة للحزب.
 يُعرف عن الثلاثة رفضهم الدائم لسياسة «حزب الله» وهم من أطلق عليه لقب «شيعة السفارة» ولكن يمكن القول إن للثلاثي مطامح ومطامع فردية أكثر من حقيقية.

8 ـــ عماد قميحة
 إعلامي سبق أن شغل منصب رئيس تحرير موقع «لبنان الجديد».
التوجّه السياسي
 من الشخصيات كما سبق وذكرنا الرافضة للحزب، ويعبّر عن ذلك من خلال مقالاته أو صفحاته على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي.
 دورُه يُعتبر مقارنة بغيره من الشخصيات الشيعية معدوم، وهو يسعى لأن يكون له منبر إعلامي خاص به.
 يقدم نفسه على أنه شخصية مناكفة لحزب الله في بيئته الجنوبية للحصول على مزيد من الدعم المالي، لكنه يتمتع بجرأة في الكتابة تساعد على إمكانية تشغيله كصوت مرتفع في وجه حزب الله.

9 ـــ هادي الأمين
 ابن العلّامة الشيعي المعروف علي الأمين.
 يُعرف بأنه من المناصرين للثورة السورية وشديد الانتقاد لحزب الله وربطه مصير الشيعة بإيران.
 له عدة كتابات تؤكد على عروبة الشيعة وأهمية أن يكونوا ضمن النسيج الاجتماعي.
التوجّه السياسي
 لم يشارك في الاجتماعات الأخيرة التي عُقدت في إطار تشكيل حراك شيعي جديد.
يُعرف عنه بعدُه عن النشاطات السياسية، خاصة أنه يُعتبر من الشخصيات التي ترفض الدخول في معارك دم وقتال، بل الدعوة نحو عودة الشيعة إلى جذورهم وانتمائهم لمجتمعاتهم.

10 ـــ حسان الزين
 عمل فترة طويلة في صحيفة «السفير» ضمن عمود بعنوان «تغريدة». أعلن استقالته منها بعد محاولة طلال سلمان، مالك الصحيفة، منعه من التعبير عن رأيه بحريّة، خاصة في ما يتعلق بسوريا و«حزب الله».
 أطلق موقعاً اسمه «تغريدة» ويحاول فيه إعلاء أصوات الصحافيين غير المنتمين إلى جهة سياسية أو حزبية.
التوجّه السياسي
 ينحصر دوره في المجال الإعلامي، ومشاركاته السياسية محصورة وتكاد تكون معدومة.
 يُعتبر من أكثر المؤيدين حالياً للثورة السورية وأبرز المنتقدين لمشاركة حزب الله في الحرب هناك.
 موقعه الإعلامي الجديد يُعتبر «نافذة» يعبّر فيها عن مشاكل ومواضيع جمّة.

11 ـــ ثائر غندور
 عمل في جريدة «الأخبار» لفترة طويلة قبل أن يغادرها مع بداية الثورة السورية بسبب موقف الصحيفة المتوافق مع قتال حزب الله هناك.
 يُعتبر من الناشطين والرافضين لسياسات الحزب ويكتب حالياً في «العربي الجديد» (المموّلة من قطر).
 شيوعي سابق عمل في إذاعة «صوت الشعب»، وكان مناضلاً في الصفوف الأولى قبل أن ينسحب أيضاً منها.
التوجّه السياسي
 لم يشارك في تجمعات أو اجتماعات سياسية، خاصة أنه يرى في بعضها لا طائل منه دون رؤية حقيقية ودعم.
 كان وما زال ضدّ سياسات قوى 14 آذار و 8 آذار على حدّ سواء، يملك الكثير من الأفكار الشيوعية الرافضة للانتماء إلى الأحزاب أو التيارات. ولهذا يقتصر دوره على النقد الإعلامي.

12 ـــ وضاح شرارة
 سياسي وكاتب وأستاذ جامعي لبناني.
 رغم انتمائه إلى الطائفة الشيعية (بنت جبيل) يُعتبر من أبرز المنتقدين لسياسات «حزب الله».
 من أبرز مؤلفاته كتاب بعنوان «دولة حزب الله: لبنان مجتمعاً إسلامياً».
 يكتب حالياً في جريدة الحياة والمستقبل.
التوجّه السياسي
 لا نشاط سياسياً له وهو من أبرز الاعلاميين المخضرمين، حيث كان من أوائل الشخصيات التي عبرت عن رفضها لسياسة الثنائيات الحزبية.
 يتمتع برؤية سياسية واضحة وهو كان في أول حياته من قياديي حركة لبنان الاشتراكي.

13 ـــ عمر حرقوص
 يعمل حالياً في قناة «العربية» مكتب دبي.
 سبق أن عمل في تلفزيون وجريدة المستقبل، تعرض للضرب على يد «الحزب القومي السوري» في الحمرا.
 من الناشطين المعارضين بشدة لسياسات «حزب الله» ومقرب من «تيار المستقبل».
التوجّه السياسي
 منذ تعرضه للضرب ومغادرته لبنان، انحصر دوره السياسي ومشاركته بانتقاد مؤسسات الحزب ودوره ونشاطاته في لبنان والمنطقة.

14 ـــ أحمد اسماعيل
 أسير محّرر من السجون الإسرائيلية بعدما قضى 10 سنوات داخلها.
 تم استدعاؤه مؤخراً من قِبل الأمن العام اللبناني وخضع للتحقيق بعد نشره سلسلة مواقف انتقد فيها سياسة حزب الله وتدخله في الحرب السورية.
التوجّه السياسي
 شارك في التجمّع السياسي الأخير، خاصّة أنه يُعتبر مثالاً حيّاً على مواجهة إسرائيل، ولكنه منذ خروجه رفض ما يقوم به الحزب وزجّ لبنان في أتون صراع المحاور.
 يستفيد من ماضيه لإثبات دوره لكنه متطلّب باستمرار للدعم المالي.

15 ـــ منيف فرج
 الرئيس السابق لمنتدى صور الثقافي
 له نشاط سياسي محدود في إطار الدور الذي يلعبه في منطقة صور.
التوجّه السياسي
 من الشخصيات التي ترفض احتكار «حزب الله» و«حركة أمل» الانتخابات في صور ومع الحفاظ على التنوع الطائفي والمذهبي في المدينة.
 شارك في التجمع السياسي الأخير سعياً وراء رفض ما يسميه سياسة الهيمنة الحاصلة.

16 ـــ لقمان سليم
 كاتب ومحلل سياسي وناشر لبناني.
 يدير مركز «أمم للأبحاث والتوثيق» وجمعية «هيا بنا».
 لديه عدد من الكتب التي تمّ منع نشرها وحظرها من قبل الأمن العام اللبناني، ومنها كتاب تضمن ترجمة عربية لكتابات محمد خاتمي، الرئيس الإصلاحي الإيراني السابق، وأثار جدلاً داخل الطائفة الشيعية في لبنان.
التوجّه السياسي
 من الشخصيات التي انضوت تحت لواء قوى «14 آذار» وكان له دور إعلامي معروف.
 شارك في التحركات الأخيرة، خاصة أنّه من أوائل القيادات الرافضة لدور وسياسة حزب الله التهميشية.
 من المفيد دعمه لاستثماره في المجال التنظيري ضد حزب الله وولاية الفقيه.

17 ـــ مالك مروة
 نجل مؤسس جريدة «الحياة» و«ديلي ستار» و«بيروت ماتان» وأحد أبرز رواد الصحافة والفكر في لبنان كامل مروة.
 صحافي ومحلّل سياسي.
التوجّه السياسي
 يُعتبر من الكوادر الرافضة لسياسة الأحزاب الضيقة، خاصة أنه ينتمي إلى عائلة تاريخية عريقة صنعت الإعلام ومجده في لبنان.
 يرفض مروة ما آلت إليه الأوضاع في لبنان، خاصة لجهة تغييب صوت الشخصيات المستقلة التي انحصر دورها واضمحل نتيجة سطوة الأحزاب على القرارات وخاصة في البيئة الشيعية التي غاب عنها التنوع والاختلاف.

18 ـــ نديم قطيش
 إعلامي وكاتب ومقدّم برامج لبناني.
 تسلم منصب المدير التنفيذي للأخبار والبرامج السياسية في تلفزيون «المستقبل».
 هو من الإعلاميين المواجهين لمشروع الحزب وأكثر من يحرض عليه إعلام «المقاومة».
 يعتبر من الحلقة الضيقة المقربة من الرئيس سعد الحريري، ومتزوج من ابنة النائب السابق صلاح الحركة.
التوجّه السياسي
 يعرف بنقده اللاذع لحزب الله وذلك من خلال برنامجه اليومي على قناة «المستقبل».
 تعرض لتهديدات مباشرة من قبل «حزب الله» ما دفعه لبث برنامجه من منزله قبل أن يعود للواجهة منذة فترة.

19 ـــ زياد ماجد
 كاتب واستاذ جامعي لبناني.
 شارك مع عدد من الناشطين والطلاب والمثقفين في تأسيس حركة اليسار الديمقراطي، وكان لها دور هام في إطلاق «انتفاضة الاستقلال» في بيروت.
 نشر منذ عام 2009 افتتاحية أسبوعية في موقع «ناو ليبانون» تتناول قضايا مرتبطة بالربيع العربي، وهو من أبرز الداعمين للثورة الثورية.
التوجّه السياسي
 يعيش حالياً في فرنسا وهو من الشخصيات المثقفة والفكرية المهمة، ولكن لم تحظ بدور بسبب سطوة «حزب الله» على القرارين السياسي والإعلامي.

20 ـــ سعود المولى
 أستاذ جامعي وباحث مشارك في المركز العربي للأبحاث ودراسة السياسات.
 مدير وحدة ترجمة الكتب.
 كان قريب الصلة من الإمام مهدي شمس الدين ويعتبر من الأصدقاء المقربين من النائب وليد جنبلاط.
التوجه السياسي
 من أبرز الشخصيات التي رفضت منذ البدء سياسات الثنائي الشيعي.
 لا دور سياسياً له بل يقتصر على المنشورات والكتب والآراء التي يعبر عنها.

21 ـــ فاروق يعقوب
 ناشط مدني
 يملك صفحة اسمها «المكتب الإعلامي للدكتور فاروق يعقوب» وهو يسخر من كل الأحداث السياسية التي تمر على دول العالم عموماً، وعلى اليوميات اللبنانية خصوصاً.
التوجه السياسي
 يدعو يعقوب الى إنشاء مجلس وطني مدني، خارج كل الطوائف، ويحاسب المواطنين بمقضى القوانين، ويمنع أي مركز ديني أو حزبي من التدخل في القوانين العامة.
 طرح نفسه مرة في سبيل الدعاية للترشح لانتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية لكسر العرف المكرّس ضمن اتفاق الطائف.
 من الرافضين للأحزاب السياسية عامة ومنها حزب الله ولا يصنّف ضمن قوى أو جهة معيّنة بسبب أفكاره الساخرة والتي يعبر عنها عبر صفحته الرسمية التي تلقى رواجاً ومشاركة.

للثلاثي (الأمين قميحة بركات) مطامح ومطامع فردية أكثر من حقيقية

22 ـــ عباس الجوهري
 يشغل منصب رئيس اللقاء «العلمائي اللبناني» ورئيس المركز العربي.
 سبق وحاول عناصر من «حزب الله» التعرض له ولسائقه في الضاحية الجنوبية وفي بعلبك.
 وجه رسالة مفتوحة للأمين العام لحزب الله داعياً إياه إلى وقف قتال الشعب السوري.
 انضم إلى العلماء الشيعة في لبنان كالسيد محمد حسن الأمين، وهاني فحص، علي الأمين وصبحي الطفيلي في تجريم دعوة الجهاد في سورية، معتبراً أن «حزب الله» يؤسس لحرب طويلة الأمد بين السنة والشيعة.
التوجّه السياسي
 يشارك بفعالية في الاجتماعات السياسية الداعية إلى كسر هيمنة «حزب الله». يحاول أن يخلق حيثية ومكانة له على الساحة السياسية من خلال رفضه لما يقوم به الحزب وإيران وتقويته من الدول العربية، لكنه لم يستطيع إيجاد حيثية شعبية فهو منبوذ من بيئته ومتّهم بالخروج عن ثوابتها.
 لديه عدة كتب ومحاضرات تدعو إلى وحدة الصف الإسلامي ونظرة الشيعة للدولة والمؤسسات.
 نشاطه لا يزال محدوداً ومقتصراً على المشاركة في ندوات ونشاطات وهو من العلماء المسلمين حديثي العهد.
 وعد بأنه سينشط قبل الانتخابات عبر موقعه الإلكتروني، ملمّحاً إلى ضرورة دعمه مالياً لتحقيق نتيجة.

23 ـــ صبحي الطفيلي
 شغل منصب الأمين العام السابق لـ«حزب الله» من عام 1989 حتى عام 1991 ثم أجبر على الاستقالة.
 يعتبر من مؤسسي الحزب بالتعاون مع الحرس الثوري الإيراني.
 خاض معارك قاسية ضد «حركة أمل» (الشريك الشيعي) في منطقة إقليم التفاح في ما أصبح يعرف بـ«حرب الاشقاء». واعترض في العام 1992 على دخول الحزب إلى البرلمان وبدأ يناقض ويرفض سياسات الحزب المتبعة حتى اتخاذ قرار مركزي بفصله نهائياً في عام 1998.
 أسس حوزة عين بورضاي في منطقة البقاع اللبنانية وحصلت اشتباكات مسلحة بين مناصريه ومناصرين لـ«حزب الله» أكثر من مرة.
 لم ينضم إلى صفوف «14 اذار» لكن سياسته تتماهى مع المبادئ التي رفعتها، يرفض الشيخ الطفيلي سياسات إيران في المنطقة العربية واستخدامها لحزب الله أداة وكان له موقف داعم ومؤيد للثورة السورية، وأعلن أن من يُقتل من حزب الله في سوريا فهو في جهنم وليس شهيداً.
التوجّه السياسي
 يعتبر من أبرز الرافضين لسياسات الحزب ويتمتع بشعبية أفضل من غيره ضمن البيئة الشيعية نظراً إلى المكانة التي يشغلها في السابق.

24 ـــ (محمد) عبد الحميد بيضون
 سياسي لبناني يُعرف بخلافه الشديد مع «حزب الله» و«حركة أمل».
 شغل منصب عضو في مجلس النواب في الفترة الممتدة من 1992 حتى 2005، كما شغل منصب وزير الكهرباء والطاقة لفترة طويلة في عهد حكومتي، رشيد الصلح ورفيق الحريري.
 انتخب رئيساً للمكتب السياسي في «حركة أمل» في عام 1988، فصل من الحركة عام 2003 بعد عشرين عاماً من وجوده فيها وخرج من الوزارة ولم يعد بعدها إلى شغل أي منصب حكومي.
التوجه السياسي
 يعتبر من الأقطاب الشيعية المنضوية تحت قوى «14 آذار».
 من أبرز المننتقدين والرافضين لحزب الله ودوره كما لحركة أمل واحتكارها الساحة الشيعية.

25 ـــ ابراهيم شمس الدين
 عُين وزيراً للتنمية الإدارية في الحكومة التي أتت بعد اتفاق الدوحة في عام 2008 وانتخاب ميشال سليمان رئيساً للجمهورية وكان من حصة الرئيس سعد الحريري.
 هو ابن الراحل الإمام محمد مهدي شمس الدين.
 لديه مؤسسات اجتماعية وخدماتية في مناطق الجنوب ورثها عن أبيه، ولكن يعمل الثنائي الشيعي اي «حركة أمل» و«حزب الله» على محاربته بسبب مواقفه الرافضة لسياسة احتكار الطائفة الشيعية من قبلهما.
التوجّه السياسي
 تمت مصادرة جميع الأراضي والممتلكات التي تملكها العائلة بسبب مواقفه الرافضة لـ«حزب الله».
 يدرك جيداً صعوبة دور وموقع الشيعة الرافضين لحزب الله، خاصة في ظل عدم وجود قوى داعمة لهم وبسبب نفوذ وسطوة الحزب.
 كان يُعتبر من الشخصيات الشيعية المقربة من «تيار المستقبل»، ولكن حالياً يقف على الحياد منذ خروجه من العمل السياسي.

26 ـــ صلاح الحركة
 سياسي ونائب لبناني سابق.
 ورد اسمه أيضاً ضمن لوائح «الشيعة المتعاملون مع الإدارة الأميركية».
 مواقفه الرافضة جعلته يفشل في حصد مقعد نيابي في اعام 2009 لعدم توفير أي دعم له وبخاصة من قِبل حركة أمل.
التوجّه السياسي
 يُعرف عنه أنه من الداعين الى كسر هيمنة «حركة أمل» و«حزب الله» على المجتمع الشيعي.
 يبدو حضوره ضعيفاً في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت، ولا يُعثر له على تأثير لدى الشيعة هناك.
 مرشح دائم للانتخابات ودعمه مالياً أو العمل على ضمه إلى لائحة 14 آذار قد يفيد في استخدامه عنصر إقلاق لحزب الله.

27 ـــ أحمد الأسعد
 رئيس حزب «الانتماء اللبناني».
 ابن رئيس مجلس النواب اللبناني السابق كامل الأسعد وحفيد السياسي اللبناني ورئيس المجلس النيابي الأسبق أحمد الأسعد.
التوجّه السياسي
 يمثل صوتاً معارضاً أيضاً لدى الطائفة الشيعية اللبنانية وكان يُعتبر من المتحالفين مع قوى «14 آذار».
 برغم تلقّيه الدعم من أكثر من جهة، إلا أنه يبدو ظاهرة إعلامية صوتية أكثر منها فعلية.

28 ـــ عقاب صقر
 سياسي وإعلامي لبناني.
 انتُخب نائباً عن المقعد الشيعي في مدينة زحلة عام 2009 ضمن كتلة «زحلة في القلب» التي يدعمها الرئيس سعد الحريري.
 عمل كصحافي في جريدة «البلد» وموقع «ناو ليبانون». بعد تعرّضه للكثير من التهديدات غادر لبنان إلى فرنسا قبل أن يعود إثر أزمة الحريري.
 كان يُعتبر من المقربين من الحلقة الضيقة لدى الرئيس الحريري، ولكن بعد أزمة الحريري في الرياض أدى دوراً سلبياً دفع الحريري لإبعاده من تلك الحلقة، وهو يعّول على علاقته الخاصة بفريق ولي العهد السعودي لضمان عودته إلى بيت الحريري.
التوجّه السياسي
 يُعتبر من الشخصيات الشيعية الرافضة لسياسات الثنائي الشيعي وأكثر من يملك القدرة على تسليط الضوء على أخطاء الحزب وسياسته.

من ملف : الإمارات ليكس

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Trump’s return to the nuclear agreement عودة ترامب إلى الاتفاق النووي

Trump’s return to the nuclear agreement

أبريل 30, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

After his electoral campaign and his assuming power the US President Donald Trump returns to recognize the nuclear agreement with Iran after he set with the French President Emnanuel Macron a ceiling for it to prevent the breaking of the European-American unity. The European position sticks to the agreement in a way that became closer to be a response to the American demand to justify the returning to it. During a year of attempts Washington could not change the international and regional balances of powers. It knows that without it, it is impossible to abolish the agreement without alternatives, as it knows that the inability which was obliged the former US President Barack Obama to accept the agreement is the same inability which Trump denied and insisted on testing the opportunities of changing it.

Certainly, there is no American -European dispute that led Europe to rebel against the American decision, as there is not any challenge to America in Europe’s sticking to the nuclear agreement, because everything shows that Europe is saying what America demands in order to reduce the escalation under the slogan of the unity of the West’s position and granting more opportunities to improve the conditions of the agreement. It became clear that the first step has been expressed by Macron and became the new positioning plan for Trump. Its content is to separate between continuing the agreement in its current form and prevent its exposing to threat on one hand, and the endeavor to embrace the issues which are not included in the agreement after having a consensual negotiation with Iran preceded with Russia and China on the other hand.

Trump knows that the escalation with Iran is inappropriate now, since the criterion of the credibility of the commitment to agreements and treaties which will be on the negotiating table with Korea is shown in the Iranian experience, as he knows that his campaign to blow up the agreement was a negotiating attempt to change the balances of forces which will reflect into modifications that Trump wants in the agreement in case there was a negotiation, however the failure in changing brought him back to search for a moral exit that justifies the return to the agreement, so this must be offered by the European friend as an achievement in the European policy.

Until the date of deciding the fate of the agreement on the twelfth of next May, the American words will remain about the protest against the Iranian influence and the Iranian missile program, and the need for understandings that embrace them, while the Iranian words will remain foreshadowing of what is not expected through any attempt to tamper with the signed agreement and refusing any negotiation on it. The Europeans will emerge talking about their sticking to the agreement as it is without any modification and about the need to revive the formula of five plus one, which may become five plus two by adding Saudi Arabia under the slogan of searching in the regional files. The Americans and the Europeans will move toward Russia and China asking for help. Then Trump will emerge on time announcing his commitment to the agreement and the acceptance of the European exit by searching for a complementary agreement to the main agreement. It is certain that Iran which refuses that renegotiation on its nuclear program will refuse the negotiation on its missile program; therefore the available negotiation will be on the regional problems as an international framework that sponsors a Saudi- Iranian negotiation.

In Obama’s era the equation was: there is no alternative to the agreement but the agreement. Today the same equation is applied.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

عودة ترامب إلى الاتفاق النووي

أبريل 26, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بعد لفٍّ ودوران منذ انطلاق حملته الانتخابية وتسلّمه الحكم، يعود الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب للتسليم ببقاء الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، بعد أن وضع في مناقشاته مع الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون سقفاً هو عدم تشقق الوحدة الأوروبية الأميركية. وبالمقابل ثبات الموقف الأوروبي على التمسك بالاتفاق، بصورة صارت أقرب للاستجابة لطلب أميركي لتبرير العودة للاتفاق منها، لتحدّي موقف أميركي يريد الخروج من الاتفاق. فواشنطن لم تستطع خلال عام من المحاولات لتغيير موازين القوى الدولية والإقليمية، تعرف أنه بدونها لا يمكن السير بإلغاء الاتفاق بلا بدائل، والقفز في المجهول، وتعرف أن هذا العجز نفسه هو الذي فرض على الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما القبول بالاتفاق. وهو عجز أنكره ترامب وأصرّ على اختبار فرص تغييره بنفسه.

– بالتأكيد لا يمكن توهم خلاف أميركي أوروبي، يصل حد تمرّد أوروبا على القرار الأميركي، ولا توهّم أن التمسك الأوروبي بالاتفاق النووي هو تحدٍّ لأميركا واستقلال عنها. فكل شيئ يقول إن أوروبا تقول ما تحتاج أميركا منها قوله لاتخاذه سلّماً للنزول عن شجرة التصعيد، تحت شعار وحدة موقف الغرب، ومنح المزيد من الفرص لتحسين شروط الاتفاق. وقد صار واضحاً أن الخطوة الأولى في هذا الطريق هي ما نطق به ماكرون ويبدو أنه صار خطة التموضع الجديدة لترامب، ومضمونه الفصل بين السير بالاتفاق بصيغته الراهنة وعدم تعريضه للخطر من جهة، وبين السعي لاتفاق مكمّل له يطال القضايا التي لم يتضمّنها الاتفاق، ويكون حصيلة تفاوض رضائي مع إيران، وقبلها مع روسيا والصين.

– يعرف ترامب الذاهب للتفاوض مع كوريا الشمالية أن التصعيد مع إيران وصفة مؤذية، وأن معيار صدقية الالتزام بالاتفاقات والمعاهدات التي ستكون على طاولة التفاوض مع كوريا تقدّمه التجربة مع إيران. كما يعرف أن حملته لنسف الاتفاق كانت مواكبة تفاوضية لمحاولته تغيير موازين القوى، التي ستنعكس في حال حصول هذا التغيير تفاوضاً وليس حرباً للحصول على تعديلات يريدها في الاتفاق. وأن الفشل في هذا التغيير يعيده للبحث عن مخرج معنوي مناسب يبرر العودة للاتفاق. وهذا ما على الصديق الأوروبي تقديمه والتباهي به كإنجاز للسياسة الأوروبية.

– حتى موعد البت بمصير الاتفاق في الثاني عشر من أيار المقبل، سيبقى الكلام الأميركي تحت عنوان الاحتجاج على النفوذ الإيراني والبرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني، والحاجة لتفاهمات تطالهما وتطمئن تجاههما، وسيبقى الكلام الإيراني مبشراً بما لا تحمد عقباه من أي عبث بالاتفاق الموقع ورفض أي تفاوض حوله، وسيخرج الأوروبيون يتحدّثون عن التمسك بالاتفاق دون تعديل، وعن الحاجة لإحياء صيغة الخمسة زائداً واحداً، وربما تصير زائداً إثنين بإضافة السعودية تحت شعار البحث بالملفات الإقليمية، وسيتحرّك الأوربيون والأميركيون نحو روسيا والصين طلباً للمعونة، ليخرج ترامب في الموعد المقرّر ويعلن البقاء ضمن الاتفاق وقبول المخرج الأوروبي بالسعي لاتفاق مكمّل لا يكون بديلاً بل متمماً للاتفاق القائم. والأكيد أن إيران التي ترفض إعادة التفاوض على برنامجها النووي سترفض التفاوض على برنامجها الصاروخي، ليصير التفاوض المتاح على المشاكل الإقليمية كإطار دولي يرعى تفاوضاً سعودياً إيرانياً مخرجاً مناسباً.

– في عهد أوباما كانت المعادلة أن لا بديل للاتفاق إلا الاتفاق. واليوم تعود المعادلة ذاتها.

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THOUSANDS OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORTERS TO BE EVACUATED FROM AL-FU’AH AND KAFRIYA IN EASTERN IDLIB

South Front

30.04.2018

Thousands Of Government Supporters To Be Evacuated From al-Fu'ah and Kafriya In Eastern Idlib

Click to see a full-size map

Thousands of pro-government civilians will be evacuated from the besieged towns of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya in Syria’s eastern Idlib under a new agreement between the Damascus government and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on April 29.

The SANA said that HTS will also release 85 women and children who had been abducted by its fighters from the village of Eshtabraq in western Idlib three years ago during the battle for the town of Jisr al-Shughur.

From its side, the Damascus government will allow all the besieged militants south of Damascus, including the militants in the ISIS-held Yarmouk camp, to withdraw towards Idlib governorate, according to the SANA.

However, several Syrian pro-government activists doubted that ISIS is a part of the agreement, as HTS has never publicly allowed ISIS fighters to enter its areas in Idlib governorate. Due to this, observers suggested that SANA may have referred to hundreds of HTS fighters who control a few blocks in the northern part of the Yarmouk camp.

Earlier, Syrian pro-government and opposition sources reported that the Damascus government and the militants in the district of Aqraba, Beit Sahm, Yalda and Babbila south of Damascus reached an evacuation deal. The evacuation of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya may be a part of the same deal.

According to SANA, the evacuation process of pro-government fighters from al-Fu’ah and Kafriya and the militants from southern Damascus will begin on April 30 and last for weeks.

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انفراج مع كوريا أم انفجار مع إيران؟

أبريل 30, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– تبدو جولة وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو في المنطقة بالنسبة لحكام الخليج علامة التزام أميركي بالتصعيد مع إيران، لكنها تبدو في عيون الإسرائيليين التزاماً بتأدية المسؤولية الأميركية بحماية «إسرائيل» وتأكيد نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس، وعدم تحول إيران لامتلاك سلاح نووي، والتدقيق في كلمات بومبيو يبدو مدخلاً لفهم أكثر وضوحاً، بالالتزام بما هو دون المواجهة مع إيران عسكرياً، ودون السير بإلغاء الاتفاق النووي معها، والاكتفاء بالتزامين واضحين للحلفاء: واحد تعلن إيران سلفاً التزاماً طوعياً به، وهو عدم امتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً، والثاني لا يُعرض على الحلفاء بقوة إلا عندما يكون ثمة مشاريع لتفاهمات تشكل مصدر ريبة لهؤلاء الحلفاء، ومضمونه لن نتخلى عنكم ونتعهّد بتوفير أمنكم وحمايتكم.

– ما يمنح كلام بومبيو فرصة المزيد من الوضوح هو كونه المسؤول الأميركي الذي جيء به إلى الخارجية من مسؤولية المخابرات. وهذا يعني أنه يعرف الكثير مما لا يُقال في العلن عن الملفات السرية والحساسة، كما يعني كونه جيء به من المخابرات إلى الخارجية على خلفية الحاجة لقيامه بمتابعة ملف كوريا الشمالية وسلاحها النووي وتداخله استخبارياً مع كل من روسيا والصين. وهو العائد من كوريا الشمالية قبل أن تبدأ إشارات الانفراج تتالى في الملف النووي الكوري. فبومبيو يعلم الكثير عن التفاهمات التي تمت بين واشنطن وموسكو وبكين وأنتجت هذا الانفراج الكبير في ملف السلاح النووي لكوريا الشمالية.

– أن تحصل واشنطن على مخرج مشرّف لمأزقها مع السلاح النووي لكوريا الشمالية يستدعي أن تكون موسكو وبكين قد حصلتا على ما يوازي ذلك، إضافة للضمانات التي طلبتها كوريا الشمالية وحصلت عليها. وأولها كان ما أعلن من القمة التي جمعت قادة شطري كوريا، لجهة إخلائها من الأسلحة النووية، والمقصود طبعاً، السلاح الكوري الشمالي ومقابله السلاح الأميركي في كوريا الجنوبية. والسؤال الطبيعي هو هل يحتمل الوضع الدولي والعلاقات الأميركية بكل من روسيا والصين، تعايشاً بين انفراج في الملف الكوري وانفجار في الملف الإيراني؟

– الأكيد أن العجز الأميركي عن حل عسكري للملف الكوري الشمالي النووي خشية الدخول في مواجهة نووية مدمّرة، كان وراء تحريك هذا الملف بوجه واشنطن بدعم روسي وصيني، والأكيد أن المخرج التفاوضي المرتقب ليس ما ترغبه واشنطن، طالما يحقق لروسيا والصين المزيد من الأمان والنفوذ في منطقة شرق آسيا، ويرتب على أميركا المزيد من التنازلات العسكرية والاقتصادية، ويدخل كوريا الشمالية حليف روسيا والصين إلى المجتمع الدولي، محققاً مقولة أن من يصمد بوجه الضغوط الأميركية يمكنه بلوغ أهدافه من بوابة الصبر والصمود، لكن الأكيد أن مطلب روسيا والصين كان قبل ظهور مفاجئ للملف الكوري قبولاً أميركياً بتثبيت التفاهم النووي مع إيران.

– رغم الخطاب التصعيدي لواشنطن، وما يرافقه من مواقف وخطوات في الميدان في سورية، فإن الوجهة الرئيسية للحراك الدولي يحكمها ما يبدو أنه تفاهمات كبيرة قيد التبلور تأسيساً على الحاجة الأميركية للتفاهم حول الملف الكوري، والنجاح الروسي الصيني بإثبات عقم سياسة العقوبات، من بوابة هذا الملف. وهذا سياق يحتاج لزمن أطول حتى يتبلور في سائر الملفات، لكن صيغة العدوان الذي قادته واشنطن على سورية وما قاله فيه وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف من انضباط بالخطوط الحمراء الروسية يقول أشياء كثيرة.

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BREAKING: ISRAEL HITS THREE POSITIONS OF THE SYRIAN ARMY IN HAMA AND ALEPPO (VIDEO)

South Front

30.04.2018

On April 29, an unnamed source of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) told the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) that several military positions of the SAA in Hama and Aleppo governorates were targeted. However, the source didn’t identify the side responsible for attacks.

Syrian pro-government sources said that the military positions that were targeted are the 47th Brigade ammo depot east of Hama city, the Fire Fighters Center in the western Hama countryside and a military position around Aleppo airport.

All three positions are known to be bases of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and different Iranian-backed armed groups. According to Syrian opposition sources, several Iranian personals were killed in the strikes.

All of the available facts suggest that Israel was behind these strikes. The Israeli Air Force used a similar tactic to target a position of the IRGC in Syria’s T4 airbase on April 9. Since then, serval Israel officials threatened that they will continue to target the Iranian bases in Syria.

Possible missile strike causes massive explosion in Hama

The Syrian Sana news agency has reported earlier that explosions had been heard near the cities of Hama and Aleppo.

 “The arms depot of the 47th brigade of the Syrian army was attacked near Hama. Powerful explosions and major fire have occurred as a result,” a source in Syria’s law enforcement told Sputnik.

According to Surya TV Channel, the syrian army positions have been attacked by a missile strike. According to the channel, the missile strike was conducted at 19:30 GMT.

Earlier, state television said successive blasts were heard in rural Hama province and that authorities were investigating the cause.

This video shows explosion in the ammunition depot of #Syria Arab Army’s 47th Brigade in South of #Hama after the #Israel Air Force (#IAF) airstrike at the #IRGC forces in the base almost 40 minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/dh1svPynXN

Israel might be responsible for the attack, according to Haaretz.

Earlier Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel will maintain freedom of operation in Syria, the website reports.

“We have no intention to attack Russia or to interfere in domestic Syrian issues,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at the annual Jerusalem Post conference. “But if somebody thinks that it is possible to launch missiles or to attack Israel or even our aircraft, no doubt we will respond and we will respond very forcefully.”

Source: Sputnik

صحيفة سورية تكشف مصدر الهجوم الصاروخي على مواقع بحماة وحلب

نقلت صحيفة “تشرين” السورية الرسمية عن مصادر ميدانية أن الهجوم الأخير على مواقع في محافظتي حماة وحلب انطلق من قواعد أمريكية وبريطانية شمالي الأردن.
انطلقت من مملكة الأردن..

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israel’s seven decades of plunder

April 20, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Israel - Seven decades of plunder

Gilad Atzmon writes

 

 

“I am perhaps the luckiest Jew who ever lived,” bragged Shmuel Rosner in the New York Times. Recently Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary. We witnessed a disturbing display of tribal hubris. I would like to believe that those who are even vaguely familiar with Jewish history know that this level of self-love has been a recipe for disaster.

“I am the Jew who gets to see Jewish ingenuity unapologetically celebrated,” Rosner wrote. And he is certainly right. The sight of Israeli soldiers shooting Palestinian protesters is certainly a unique celebration of “ingenuity”. Rosner feels “lucky” to see “Jewish material success flourish”. I accept that material wealth is important but wouldn’t it be a bit more clever for Rosner to conceal his affinity for mammon?  

“I am the Jew who after 2,000 years gets to witness Jewish political independence.” I am sorry to remind Rosner that this sense of “independence” costs the American taxpayers $6 million dollars a day.

Rosner informs us that “in survey after survey, more Israelis choose “Jewish” over “Israeli” as their main identity. And by this they do not refer to a religion (Judaism) but to a nation (the Jewish people).” Rosner is correct in noting that Israel has become increasingly Jewish. Zionism promised to make the Jews a people like all other peoples. It promised to make Israel into a “home” for the Jews. But Israel is not a home. It is a Jewish ghetto surrounded by walls and its politics are driven by hatred, xenophobia and Pre-Traumatic Stress. Israel is a reincarnation of the European shtetle.

Israeli author David Grossman spoke recently at the joint alternative memorial ceremony for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs in Tel Aviv. This event, inspired by reconciliation and harmony, faced many obstacles from Israeli society and government.

Grossman didn’t feel as lucky as Rosner. “What is a home?” he asked, adding:

Home is a place whose walls – borders – are clear and accepted; whose existence is stable, solid and relaxed; whose inhabitants know its intimate codes; whose relations with its neighbours have been settled. It conveys a sense of the future.

And we Israelis, even after 70 years – no matter how many words dripping with patriotic honey will be uttered in the coming days – we are not yet there. We are not yet home. Israel was established so that the Jewish people, who have nearly never felt at-home-in-the-world, would finally have a home.

And now, 70 years later, strong Israel may be a fortress, but it is not yet a home.

The solution to the great complexity of Israeli-Palestinian relations can be summed up in one short formula: if the Palestinians don’t have a home, the Israelis won’t have a home either.

It is hard to argue with Grossman’s ethical insight.

Israel has in fact celebrated seven decades of plunder, oppression and impunity. The voices of peace in Israel, from people like David Grossman, Uri Avnery and Gideon Levi, are fading. Israel, as Rosner attests, is a Jewish State. Israelis choose to bond with their “Jewish identity”. Peace and reconciliation are not something we should expect to see any time soon.

In his New York Times article, Rosner expressed this as a materialistic precept. “The more we [Jews] have, the more obligated we are to guard it and the more afraid we are to lose it.” This is not exactly a call for sharing the land. Instead, it provides a window into the crudeness inherent in Israeli exceptionalism.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

israel: Arms embargo needed as military unlawfully kills and maims Gaza protesters

Arms Embargo Needed as Israel Kills and Maims Gaza Protesters  Amnesty International

Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them, Amnesty International revealed today, based on its latest research, as the “Great March of Return” protests continued in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5,500 others – some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries – during the weekly Friday protests that began on 30 March.

Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following the country’s disproportionate response to mass demonstrations along the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel.

“For four weeks the world has watched in horror as Israeli snipers and other soldiers, in full-protective gear and behind the fence, have attacked Palestinian protesters with live ammunition and tear gas. Despite wide international condemnation, the Israeli army has not reversed its illegal orders to shoot unarmed protesters,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“The time for symbolic statements of condemnation is now over. The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel. A failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza. These people are merely protesting their unbearable conditions and demanding the right to return to their homes and towns in what is now Israel.”

The USA is by far Israel’s main supplier of military equipment and technology, with a commitment to provide $38 billion in military aid over the next 10 years. But other countries, including EU member states such as France, Germany, the UK and Italy, have licensed large volumes of military equipment for Israel.

 

Protesters shot from behind

In most of the fatal cases analysed by Amnesty International victims were shot in the upper body, including the head and the chest, some from behind. Eyewitness testimonies, video and photographic evidence suggest that many were deliberately killed or injured while posing no immediate threat to the Israeli soldiers.

Among the victims are 23-year-old football player Mohammad Khalil Obeid, who was shot in both knees as he filmed himself with his back towards the border fence at a protest east of al-Breij Camp on 30 March.

The video, published on social media, shows the moment he was shot. In the footage, he appears to be standing in an isolated area, far from the fence, and not seeming to pose any threat to the lives of Israeli soldiers. He is currently in need of a knee replacement operation to be able to walk again.

“As a Palestinian player my life has been destroyed… I was dreaming of playing football abroad, and to raise the Palestinian flag abroad [to show] that we are not terrorists,” he told Amnesty International.

“We wanted to convey our message to all organizations, countries and heads of states so that they see what is happening to us, because no one would accept this anywhere in the world.”

Injuries not seen since the war

Doctors at the European and Shifa hospitals in Gaza City told Amnesty International that many of the serious injuries they have witnessed are to the lower limbs, including the knees, which are typical of war wounds that they have not observed since the 2014 Gaza conflict.

Many have suffered extreme bone and tissue damage, as well as large exit wounds measuring between 10 and 15mm, and will likely face further complications, infections and some form of physical disability, such as paralysis or amputation. Reports of the high number of injuries to the knees, which increase the probability of bullet fragmentation, are particularly disturbing. If true, they would suggest that the Israeli army is intentionally intending to inflict life-changing injuries.

Doctors also said that they have observed another type of devastating injury characterized by large internal cavities, plastic left inside the body but no exit wounds.

According to military experts as well as a forensic pathologist who reviewed photographs of injuries obtained by Amnesty International, many of the wounds observed by doctors in Gaza are consistent with those caused by high-velocity Israeli-manufactured Tavor rifles using 5.56mm military ammunition. Other wounds bear the hallmarks of US-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body.

According to a recent statement by Médecins Sans Frontières, half of the over 500 patients admitted to its clinics were treated for injuries “where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone”. This information has been confirmed by humanitarian NGOs as well as testimonies collected from doctors by Palestinian human rights groups in Gaza.

“The nature of these injuries shows that Israeli soldiers are using high-velocity military weapons designed to cause maximum harm to Palestinian protesters that do not pose imminent threat to them. These apparently deliberate attempts to kill and main are deeply disturbing, not to mention completely illegal. Some of these cases appear to amount to wilful killing, a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

“Unless Israel ensures effective and independent investigations resulting in criminal prosecutions of those responsible, the International Criminal Court must open a formal investigation into these killings and serious injuries as possible war crimes and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.”

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, as of 26 April, the total number of injured is estimated at 5,511 – 592 children, 192 women and 4,727 men – with 1,738 injuries from live ammunition. Approximately half of those admitted to hospitals suffered injuries to the legs and the knees, while 225 sustained injuries to the neck and head, 142 others were shot in the abdomen and pelvis, and 115 were injured in the chest and the back. So far, the injuries have resulted in 18 amputations.

Four children aged between 14 and 17 are among those killed due to injuries sustained during protests. Two journalists have also been shot dead, despite both wearing protective vests that clearly identified them as members of the press, while several others have been injured.

Gaza’s hospitals have struggled to cope with the large number of casualties due to shortages in medical supplies, electricity and fuel caused by the Israeli blockade and exacerbated by the intra-Palestinian divide. Meanwhile, Israel has been delaying or refusing the transfer of some patients in need of urgent specialized medical treatment available in other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories due to their participation in protests.

In one case documented by Amnesty International, 20-year-old journalist Yousef al-Kronz had his left leg amputated after the Israeli authorities denied him permission to travel to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank for urgent medical treatment. He was eventually allowed to leave for an operation to save his other leg following legal intervention by human rights groups.

Paramedics in Gaza have told Amnesty International of difficulties evacuating injured protesters due to the Israeli army firing tear gas canisters at them as well as near field hospitals.

Unlawful killings and life-changing injuries

The organizers of the “Great March of Return” have repeatedly stated that the protests are intended to be peaceful, and they have largely involved sit-ins, concerts, sports games, speeches and other peaceful activities.

Despite this, the Israeli army reinforced its forces – deploying tanks, military vehicles, soldiers and snipers along the Gaza fence – and gave orders to shoot anyone within several hundred metres of the fence.

While some protesters have attempted to approach the fence, threw stones in the direction of Israeli soldiers or burnt tyres, social media videos, as well as eyewitness testimonies gathered by Amnesty International, Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups, show that Israeli soldiers shot unarmed protesters, bystanders, journalists and medical staff approximately 150-400m from the fence, where they did not pose any threat.

In a petition requesting that the Israeli Supreme Court order the Israeli army to stop using live ammunition to disperse protests, human rights groups Adalah and Al Mezan provided evidence of 12 videos published on social media showing unarmed protesters, including women and children, being shot by the Israeli army. In some cases, people were shot while waving the Palestinian flag or running away from the fence.

Video footage widely circulated on social media shows Abd Al-Fattah Abd Al-Nabi, aged 19, being shot on 30 March as he was running away from the fence while holding a tyre, with his back turned to Israeli soldiers. He was shot in the back of the head and died. On Friday 20  April, 14-year-old Mohammad Ayyoub was also killed by a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

 

Background

Over the last 11 years, civilians in the Gaza Strip have suffered the devastating consequences of Israel’s illegal blockade in addition to three wars. As a result, Gaza’s economy has sharply declined, leaving its population almost entirely dependent on international aid. Gaza now has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world at 44%. Four years since the 2014 conflict, some 22,000 people remain displaced.

 

In January 2015, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary examination of situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, specifically looking into allegations of crimes committed since 13 June 2014.

 

Amnesty International has also been calling on all states to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, as well as on Palestinian armed groups, with the aim of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by all sides.

 

Since 30 March, in addition to the protesters, seven other Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes, artillery fire or live ammunition, including a farmer who was harvesting his land near the fence, and six members of Palestinian armed groups.

Cutting Through the War Propaganda. Listen to What Syrians are Saying

Global Research, April 29, 2018

The chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria, did not happen. Period.[1] Syria does not and never did use gas on its own people.[2] If Western audiences weren’t so ridiculously indoctrinated, it would be obvious. A child could figure it out. But Westerners have been infantilized by the totalitarian blanket of mind-numbing propaganda. The propagandists are monsters, just like the terrorists that they support.

The fake chemical weapon false flag and the military assault which followed it serve as yet another example (in an encyclopedia of examples), of how the West including Canada supports all of the terrorists in Syria.

Instead of talking about a chemical attack that did not occur, we should be talking about the Supreme International War Crimes that did occur on April 13, 2018 when France, the UK, and the US bombed Syria.

Instead of defending the terrorists who have been terrorizing and slaughtering civilians in Damascus for the last seven years,[3] we should be listening to Syrians whom the terrorists have been victimizing throughout this criminal Regime Change war.

Independent investigative journalist Eva Bartlett has been interviewing Syrian citizens for a number of days now.  Canadians need to listen to what Syrians are saying:

We should be listening to the voices of civilization, the voices of International Law, the voices of those who are combating international terrorism for the benefit of all of us.

We should not be listening to mainstream media which has proven itself to be an agency of criminal war propaganda, nor should we be listening to our own governments which have been perpetrating Supreme International war crimes against a sovereign state, one of the founding members of the United Nations — Syria.

*

Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017.

Notes

[1] Pearson Sharp and Mark Taliano, “BREAKING: The Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria Did Not Occur. It was a Hoax, a False Flag To Justify the US-led Air Strikes, Staged by The Rebels.” Global Research. 16 April, 2018. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/breaking-the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-did-not-occur-it-was-a-hoax-a-false-flag-to-justify-the-us-led-air-strikes-staged-by-the-rebels/5636423) Accessed 29 April, 2018.

[2] Mark Taliano, “Syria Chemical Weapons: Red Flags and False Flags.” Global Research.  24 April, 2018.  (https://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-chemical-weapons-red-flags-and-false-flags/5583616) Accessed 29 April, 2018.

[3] Mark Taliano, “Syria’s Children: ‘Condemned to Live’, Shackled by the Scars of US-NATO Terrorism.” Global Research, 22 April, 2018. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/syrias-children-condemned-to-live-shackled-by-the-scars-of-us-nato-terrorism/5637242) Accessed 29 April, 2018.


Order Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes  the mainstream media narratives on Syria. 

Voices from Syria 

ISBN: 978-0-9879389-1-6

Author: Mark Taliano

Year: 2017

Pages: 128 (Expanded edition: 1 new chapter)

List Price: $17.95

Special Price: $9.95 

Click to order

SYRIAN ARMY ATTACKS US-BACKED FORCES, ENTERS FOUR VILLAGES IN DEIR EZZOR

 29.04.2018

Syrian Army Attacks US-backed Forces, Enters Four Villages In Deir Ezzor

Source: sdf-press.com

On April 29, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and local tribal fighters launched a military operation against the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzor capturing the villages of Junaynah, Jiyah, Shaqrah and Hoyqat ma’esha, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The SDF acknowledged the attack in an official statement and said that its units backed by the US-led collation are now working to repel it. The US-backed forces also accused the SAA of hindering its war on ISIS.

Meanwhile, Syrian opposition sources claimed that the SDF was able to recapture the village of Jiyah following a series of US-led coalition airstrikes on the SAA troops in the village. According to the sources, 22 fighters of the SDF and the SAA have been killed in the clashes so far.

Syrian Army Attacks US-backed Forces, Enters Four Villages In Deir Ezzor

Kurdish and Syrian oppositions activists claim that the attack was led by the Iranian-backed Baqir Brigade, that had vowed to fight the US-led coalition on April 6. On the other side, Syrian pro-government activists said that the offensive had been planned by local Arab fighters who want to recapture their villages from the Kurdish-dominated SDF.

The SAA launched a similar attack on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River on February 7 in order to capture a key gas facility from the SDF. However, the attack failed when the US-led coalition responded with heavy bombardment killing dozens of pro-government fighters, including some Russian private military contractors.

Local observers believe that the new attack will end soon, especially that both the US and Russia are determined to avoid any direct military conformation in Syria.

Related News

كيف يتّخذ الغرب من النزوح سلاحاً ضدّ سورية والمنطقة؟

أبريل 28, 2018

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

تُعتبر مقاربة موضوع النزوح السوري من أشدّ المواضيع حساسية ودقة في المسألة السورية، حيث إنّها في طبيعتها ومظهرها الابتدائي مسألة إنسانية مضمونها معاناة أناس غادروا مساكنهم قسراً هرباً من مخاطر الحرب وويلاتها. كما والحال في كلّ الحروب التي تجبر السكان على النزوح طلباً للنجاة بعيداً عن الأخطار العسكرية. وكثير من الشعوب ومنها الشعب اللبناني عانت من التهجير القسري، ومنهم من انقلب الى مهجّر ولاجئ داخل الوطن، ومنهم من لم يجد ملاذاً آمناً في وطنه فاضطر للهجرة الى الخارج. وما شهدته شعوب الأرض من تهجير يعيشه بعض الشعب السوري حالياً حيث حصلت هجرته في وجهيها الداخلي والخارجي.

بيد أنّ الوجه الإنساني الأوّلي الذي يثيره التهجير القسري الذي عانى منه الشعب السوري طيلة السنوات السبع الماضية من عمر العدوان على سورية، هذا الوجه الإنساني يتراجع رويداً ليتقدم أمامه وجه سياسي يتصل بشكل أو بآخر بأهداف العدوان الأصلية التي من أجلها شنّت الحرب الكونية على سورية. وبدل أن يكون هم مَن يدّعي الاهتمام بالنازحين أو اللاجئين العمل على إخماد نار الحرب وإعادة النازحين الى منازلهم، نرى في المسألة السورية شيئاً عجباً معاكساً لهذا.

حيث نجد أن الغرب الذي يتظاهر بالاهتمام بالنازحين من جانب «إنساني ويتباكى عليهم وعلى أمنهم»، نراه يعتمد بعد هزيمة مشروعه في سورية استراتيجية إطالة امد الصراع، ويمنع بشتى الطرق إعادة النازحين الى وطنهم رغم أن الأمن استعيد على يد الجيش العربي السوري الى اكثر من 85 في المئة من المناطق المأهولة في سورية. وباتت المناطق الخاضعة لسيطرة الدولة والتي يسود فيها الامن والاستقرار بشكل تام قادرة على استيعاب أربعة ملايين نازح موجودين في الخارج جميعاً، كما وتظهر الحكومة السورية جهوزية أمنية ولوجستية عالية لاستعادة وإسكان هؤلاء، كما فعلت وبنجاح كلي مع آخرين يفوق عددهم الأربعة ملايين شخص تم إيواؤهم وتأمين فرص العمل لهم في الداخل السوري.

إن إقدام الغرب على هذا السلوك المعاكس للمنطق السليم ومعطوفاً على اصل التهجير والإيواء خارج سورية يجعلنا امام حقيقة يراد إخفاؤها بالتلفيق والتزوير، حقيقة مضمونها ان التهجير بذاته كان منذ البدء عنصراً من عناصر خطة العدوان وإلا كيف نفسر إقدام تركيا على نصب خيم لاستيعاب آلاف المهجرين من دون ان يكون هناك تهجير حصل او طلقة نار واحدة في الشمال السوري على حدودها؟ وكيف نفسر مسارعة الأمم المتحدة إلى إنشاء منظومة خاصة بالنازحين السوريين توحي بأن التهجير طويل وطويل جداً، لا بل وعلى حد قول بعض المسؤولين في تلك المنظومة «ان القسم الأكبر من النازحين لن يعود الى سورية وأنه سيوطّن خارجها»؟.

اما أوروبا التي تبدي اليوم اهتماماً خاصاً جداً بالنزوح السوري، فقد يقول قائل بأنها تعمل على تثبيت النازحين في أماكن وجودهم الآن في تركيا والأردن وسورية، خشية انتقال اللاجئين من مكان إيوائهم الحالي الى الداخل الأوروبي ما يؤدي الى المسّ بالأمن والاستقرار والانتظام العام فيها، ولكن هذا التبرير او التبسيط للمسألة انما هو تبرير غير مقنع، رغم ما فيه من بعض الوجاهة في الرأي من بعض الجوانب، اذ ماذا يضير الأوربيين أن يعود السوري الى منزله ويعود الى حياته الطبيعية، كما حصل من لاجئي بيت جن السورية الذين باختيارهم وبملء إرادتهم عادوا طواعية الى وطنهم معززين مكرمين آمنين؟

إننا لا نرى تفسيراً لسلوك الغرب هذا الا في نزعة لديه للإصرار على مواصلة العدوان على سورية، وإنه لا يقرّ بفشل المشروع العدواني الذي ينفذه على أراضيها، والغرب يرى في النازحين السوريين سلاحاً يشحذه في وجه سورية أساساً وفي وجه المنطقة عامة، من أجل أهداف يرمي إلى تحقيقها تحت ستار الوصف الإنساني للقضية، أهداف نرى أهمها كما يلي:

1. منع سورية من استثمار انتصاراتها التي تحققت في الميدان والتي استعادت فيها السيطرة على أكثر من 85 في المئة من المناطق المأهولة، لأن في ذلك دليلاً حسياً مادياً على هزيمة العدوان تتمثل بالعودة الى الحياة الطبيعية عبر إعادة المواطن الى منزله واستعادته لنشاطه في موقعه.

2. إبقاء قسم من السوريين في قبضة الغرب وتحت رحمته من أجل تجنيد بعضهم ضد دولتهم. فالغرب العاجز عن توفير وحدات عسكرية لتمارس عدوانها او احتلالها لسورية، والذي يخشى على وحداته الموجودة حالياً من الخسائر بسبب المقاومة التي تنتظرها بعد الفراغ من تطهير النطاقين المركزي والأوسط في سورية، يريد أن يشكل من السوريين في الخارج وحدات قتال بأمرته توفر عليه الأعباء والجهود والخسائر خاصة أن الخليج ملزم بالتمويل.

3. خدمة استراتيجية إطالة امد النزاع التي تعتمدها اميركا بعد خسارتها حربها على سورية، وهذا الأمر مؤكد عليه جهاراً من قبل اميركا وأعوانها الغربيين الذين يرون في وقف الحرب الآن هزيمة استراتيجية كبرى قد تؤدي بهم الى الخروج من الشرق الأوسط وتراجع النفوذ فيه بشكل دراماتيكي.

4. إحداث تغيير ديمغرافي في دول المنطقة يمهد لمراجعة رسم الحدود وإعادة التقسيم كما تبتغي «إسرائيل»، وهنا نذكر باستراتيجية «الفوضى البناءة» الأميركية التي اعتمدت لبناء شرق أوسط جديد قائم على دول طائفية ومذهبية وعنصرية وإثنية، تكون دويلات واهنة لا يمكن أن تنشأ الا بأحداث تغيير ديمغرافي يتم عبر التهجير القسري أولاً والتوطين المخطط ثانياً. وفي هذه النقطة بالذات يتطوّر الخطر في مسألة النازحين من خطر يحدق بسورية الى خطر يحدق بلبنان والأردن، أما تركيا فهي كما يبدو بوضوح جزء من المشروع الغربي الذي يمنحها فرصة مراجعة الحدود وضم ارض سورية اليها، كما تخطط الآن في عفرين وتطمح في ريف حلب من تل رفعت الى منبج فجرابلس، ولأجل ذلك ربط الغرب موضوع النازحين بالحل الشامل وعلى العاقل أن يفهم.

لكل هذا نرى أن حل قضية النازحين وفقاً للمنطق السليم هي مسألة تتعدى سورية ومصالحها وتشمل دول المنطقة عامة ولبنان خاصة. فموضوع النزوح والتوطين يشكل خطراً على وحدة سورية وأمن ووحدة الدول المجاورة، ولهذا نجد ان صرخة لبنان الرسمي ضد بيان بروكسل الذي أصدره الاتحاد الأوروبي مع الأمم المتحدة هي عمل دفاعي يجب أن يتابع ويجب ان يتوحّد اللبنانيون عليه ولا يقبل مطلقاً من أحد السكوت وإلا كان في سكوته موافقة ضمنية وعمل خياني للبنان.

كما نرى بأن التنسيق السوري اللبناني لحل أزمة النزوح بات واجباً وطنياً لبنانياً يتصل بالأمن القومي وباستقرار لبنان. ونرى أنه عدو للبنان كل فرد أو كيان او دولة ترفض التنسيق وتعرقل الحل وتمنع عودة النازحين السوريين الى وطنهم سورية. وأخيراً نؤكد أن حل مسألة النازحين في لبنان كما وفي كل بلدان اللجوء وإعادتهم الى وطنهم هي جزء رئيسي من المعركة الدفاعية التي يخوضها معسكر الدفاع عن سورية بوجه العدوان الصهيواميركي المخدوم عربياً وإقليمياً وأن أي تساهل في الموضوع إنما هو خدمة وتسهيل للأعمال العدوانية ضد المنطقة.

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GOVERNMENT FORCES LIBERATE THREE DISTRICTS IN SOUTHERN DAMASCUS AS ISIS DEFENSE COLLAPSES (PHOTOS)

29.04.2018

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

Click to see the full-size image

Late on April 28, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) and other pro-government factions continued their advance in the ISIS-held pocket south of the Syrian capital of Damascus capturing the districts of al-Asali, al-Qadam and al-Jourah, according to Syrian pro-government sources.

The ISIS defense in these three districts collapsed following a series of heavy airstrikes by the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Earlier, the SAA and its allies advanced in the ISIS-held al-Qadam district as well as captured al-Ma’dhaniyah neighborhood and the industrial complex area.

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

Click to see the full-size image

Meanwhile, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq claimed that ISIS snipers had killed 16 soldiers of the SAA during the clashes in al-Zain neighborhood of the Yarmouk refugee camp.

According to Syrian pro-government activists, the last positions of ISIS south of Damascus are located in the Yarmouk camp and the al-Hajar al-Aswad district. The SAA and its allies will likely eliminate all the remaining ISIS positions in the area in the near future, if the besieged ISIS fighters refused to surrender.

Photos show the government advance:

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

By Wassim Essa, click to see the full-size image

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

By Wassim Essa, click to see the full-size image

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

By Wassim Essa, click to see the full-size image

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

By Wassim Essa, click to see the full-size image

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

By Wassim Essa, click to see the full-size image

Government Forces Liberate Three Districts In Southern Damascus As ISIS Defense Collapses (Photos)

By Wassim Essa, click to see the full-size image

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Is the US Gearing Up for War with Iran?

Darko Lazar

28-04-2018 | 08:04

Emmanuel Macron’s three days in Washington this week were apparently more than enough to help him realize that Europe’s supposed goal of preserving the Iran nuclear deal was unattainable.

Macron & Trump

While the mainstream media talked about the ‘bromance’ between U.S. President Donald Trump and his French counterpart and aired videos of Trump brushing dandruff off of Macron’s suit, the real consequence of their get-together appeared to go relatively unnoticed.

After just a few hours with Trump, Macron recognized the need for a ‘new nuclear deal’ with Tehran. Translation: Trump is right in trying to torpedo the existing one.

During a White House press conference, Macron outlined the four pillars that would make up the new agreement, which would encompass what he described as Iranian “regional activities”.

“Syria is part of the fourth [pillar],” the French leader explained as Trump tapped him on the back.

“This is the only way to preserve sovereignty in the region and provide peace in the long run. Otherwise, we will have to come back into the region.”

Although some experts maintain that the French leader’s ‘flexibility’ persuaded Trump not to scrap the deal altogether, Macron’s true role was never really about lobbying anyone in Washington. Instead, he is tasked with helping the Europeans embrace the bitter American narrative on the nuclear deal.

Naturally, Iran’s leadership has already rebuked the idea of rewriting the 2015 international agreement. Now it is time for the U.S. and Europe to jump into their traditional roles of ‘good cop, bad cop’, in an effort to intensify the Western offensive against Tehran.

According to the ANSWER Coalition’s Richard Becker, the West’s pursuit of a new deal is laying the groundwork for a “very dangerous situation.”

“If we don’t see efforts going in the direction of an agreement, then they are going to go in another direction and that direction inevitably almost always leads to war,” Becker opined.

The aggressor’s reflex

Few can offer any kind of tangible argument to suggest that Iran is not a real geopolitical threat for Washington’s interests in the region. Through the fog of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the 2006 “Israeli” attack on Lebanon, and the subsequent Western-fuelled bloodbaths in Syria and Yemen, Iran emerged as a dominant regional powerhouse.

These developments have awakened the aggressor’s reflex in Washington. And nowhere is this more apparent than in Trump’s White House, where the newly assembled ‘war cabinet’ testifies to just how real the danger of an armed confrontation between Iran and the U.S. is.

Earlier this year, Trump fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who believed in preserving the nuclear accord. In his place, he installed Mike Pompeo, who in 2014 downplayed the costs of bombing Iran and claimed that it would take “under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity.”

Shortly after Tillerson’s ouster, Trump appointed John Bolton as his national security advisor, whose hobby appears to be promoting war with Iran.

And then there are Trump’s friends abroad. Chief among them are “Israel’s” Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman – both of whom share the White House’s hostility toward Tehran.

When it comes to the nuclear deal, London-based political commentator Adam Garrie believes that the U.S.

“is being pushed around by the one country in the world that is able to do so and that of course is the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.”

“When you listen to the speeches about the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] that Trump frankly stumbles through, they are a word-for-word Xerox duplicate of the things said by officials in Tel Aviv. It’s as though they are two sides of different mouths but speaking with the same exact tongue,” Garrie adds.

Equating the Iran nuclear deal with the appeasement of Nazi Germany in 1938, “Israel’s” Avigdor Lieberman told the Saudi newspaper Elaph earlier this week that Tel Aviv would not tolerate an Iranian presence in Syria, “whatever the cost.”

“Every military outpost in Syria in which Iran seems to be trying to dig in militarily, we will destroy,” he said.

Lieberman is echoing threats by numerous “Israeli” officials and media outlets in recent months that are also warning of another war with a key Iranian ally – Hezbollah.

But despite repeated “Israeli” attacks against targets in Syria, the perfectly legal Hezbollah and Iranian military presence in that country remains undeterred in its fight against Western, Saudi and “Israeli”-backed terror proxies.

 

Are Trump & Co. biting off more than they can chew?

Whatever the military capabilities of the West, “Israel” and the Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf, Iran is a far more formidable foe than any country Washington has dared to attack over the last few decades.

The Iranian military has at least four batteries of the Russian-made S-300 PMU-2 long-range surface-to-air missile system deployed across the country and placed on combat duty. It is also in possession of a self-developed version of the S-300, known as the Bavar 373.

Another impressive aspect of Iran’s armed forces is the country’s diverse arsenal of ballistic missiles – the most powerful of which includes the Shahab-3B that can easily hit targets as far away as “Israel” with its 2,000-kilometer range.

Meanwhile, Iran’s conventional forces number over half a million in active personnel, 350,000 in reserves, and include 1,500 tanks, as well as over 340 aircraft.

Whatever they lack in technological advances, they make up for with fiercely motivated troops. And with the help of the remainder of the resistance axis, Iran would be able to target American military installations anywhere in the Middle East.

Washington’s response to these daunting challenges came in the form of the recently unveiled hawkish Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that expanded scenarios in which smaller-yield nuclear warheads can be used.

Trump hinted at as much when he told reporters during his joint press conference with Macron this week that

Iran “will pay a price like few countries have ever paid.”

Author and political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi describes the U.S. president as being “foreign to the language of international diplomacy and persuasion.”

“Mr. Trump, with his empty threats against Iran, should know better than to try to bully a proud Iranian nation,” Afrasiabi warns.

Although Trump’s threats should not be ignored, for the time being at least, the Americans are more likely to stick to trying to soften their target through hybrid warfare – sanctions and subversion.

Recognizing the potential for further turmoil in the Middle East, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made an appeal on Tuesday for a ‘regional dialogue forum’ while speaking at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“We need to have a strong region, not to be the strongest in the region… time to break with [past conflicts],” Zarif said. “The era of hegemonic influence is long gone.”

It remains to be seen to what degree, if any, Iran’s neighbors will appreciate Zarif’s genuine attempt at reconciliation.

But one thing is certain; an armed confrontation between the U.S. and Iran is always likely. If Trump pulls out of the nuclear accord on May 12, that likelihood will only increase.

Source: Al-Ahed

Gaza Summer

April 28, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 By Enzo Apicella

The #jewish terror state continues their genocide in Gaza

Israeli snipers shoot another 178 Palestinian protesters, killing three

Gaza

Update: Israeli army kills 3 in Gaza, injures 995
[with photos of those killed] IMEMC 28 Apr — The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, three young Palestinian men, and injured more than 995, including at least 178 who were shot with live fire. It stated that the first Palestinian who was killed by Israeli army fire, Friday, has been identified as Mohammad Amin al-Moqyd, 21, from Gaza city. His body was moved to the Shifa Medical Center. The Ministry added that the soldiers also killed Abdul-Salam Bakr, 29, from Khuza‘a town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The third Palestinian who was killed by army fire has been identified as Khalil Na‘im Atallah, 22, from Gaza. In addition, the Health Ministry said the soldiers injured 995 Palestinians, including many who suffered serious wounds.  It added that 178 of the wounded were shot with live fire. 175 of the wounded Palestinians were injured in Northern Gaza, 251 in Gaza city area, 200 in Central Gaza, 146 in Khan Younis and 183 in Rafah … The ongoing ‘Great Return March’ protests which started on Palestinian Land Day (March 30th) are meant to bring attention to the fact that millions of Palestinians are imprisoned in the Gaza Strip, unable to return to their homes in what is now Israel. Palestinians make up the largest refugee population on earth. Israeli troops again opened fire on the unarmed protesters, as they have done each Friday since the protests began on March 30th. Since March 30th, Israeli forces have killed forty-three Palestinian protesters, and wounded more than five thousand….
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-forces-gun-down-palestinian-protesters-in-gaza-killing-3-and-wounding-611/

Child dies of wounds sustained during Gaza border protests
KHAN YOUNIS (WAFA) 28 Apr – A Palestinian child died on Saturday of wounds sustained during the Friday protests at the Gaza borders with Israel, according to the Ministry of Health. WAFA correspondent in Gaza said Israeli soldiers stationed at the border shot Azzam Hilal Oueida, 14, in the head while he was participating in the Great Return March protests near the fence near the town of Khazaa, east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. Oueida was rushed to the European Hospital with critical injuries where he was later declared dead. He is the fourth Palestinian to be shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during Friday border protests bringing the total killed so far since the start of the Great Return March protests on March 30 to 44. Thousands were wounded, many of them reported in critical condition.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=nTvLCCa97449989670anTvLCC

Second Palestinian journalist succumbs to wounds in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Apr — A Palestinian journalist succumbed overnight from wounds sustained by an Israeli army sniper, while covering the recent “Great March of Return” demonstrations in Gaza. Ahmed Abu Hussein was shot in the side of the abdomen on Friday the 13th of April, and later died on the 25th of April in Tel Hashomer hospital in central Israel, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. Abu Hussein came under Israeli sniper fire despite the fact he was at a distance of 350-meters from the border fence. Israel has previously declared its “right to defend the border” from demonstrators that come within 300-meters. The 24-year-old journalist from Jabaliya refugee camp worked as a journalist for the Gaza-based Al Shaab radio station, as well as a photographer for Bisan. According to eye-witnesses, he was wearing a helmet, as well as a protective vest marked “PRESS” at the time of his shooting. Unverified video evidence may act to support the claim that Abu Hussein was indeed wearing a blue protective vest as he was struck by an Israeli army sniper.
The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate has issued a statement holding the Israeli army “fully responsible for this crime”, calling for an investigation, and ultimately prosecutions.In an interview with Al Jazeera, Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists said: “Protective gear that clearly indicates individuals are members of the press should afford them extra protection- not make them targets.” “The death of Ahmed Abu Hussein underscores the need for Israeli authorities to urgently scrutinize its policies toward journalists covering protests and take immediate, effective action.” Mansour explained. Abu Hussein’s death marks the second death of a journalist whilst covering the march of our lives demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border, following the death of Yaser Murtaja, 30, who was shot on the 7th of April. Israel has since stated Murtaja was an active member of Hamas- a claim his family and work colleagues have vehemently denied. According to a report from the Committee to Protect Journalists, thirteen journalists in total have come under fire from the Israeli Army whilst covering the events on the border in recent weeks….
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780064

Ministry of health: Israel used unknown gas against protesters along Gaza borders
GAZA (WAFA) 27 Apr – The Ministry of Health Friday said that Israeli forces used an ‘”unknown”  gas against unarmed, peaceful Palestinians on the fifth consecutive Friday of the Great March of Return protests to the east of al-Buriej refugee camp, in central Gaza. The ministry said that Israeli forces randomly fired an unknown gas toward protesters in al-Awdeh refugee camp to the east of al-Buriej, causing suffocation, convulsion, and extreme vomiting to dozens of protesters. Many were transferred to hospital for medical treatment due to the severity of their condition.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=nTvLCCa97448086164anTvLCC

Body of assassinated Palestinian given emotional sendoff in Malaysia
[with video] KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) 25 Apr – The body of an assassinated Palestinian scientist was on Wednesday (April 25) driven through the Malaysian capital accompanied by a crowd shouting “God is greatest”, as mourners accused Israel of killing him. Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh‘s corpse was set to be flown to Egypt later in the day before being transported on to Gaza for burial … The remains were taken to a mosque, where prayers for the dead were performed before about 500 mourners. “Every Palestinian who has heard of this assassination is saddened and shocked,” Muslim Imran, chairman of the Palestinian Cultural Organisation of Malaysia, told the crowd. “This crime, I believe, is another reflection of the nature of the Israeli occupation. They carry out crimes, massacres, not only in Palestine but also in the rest of the world.” Malik Taibi, an Algerian student who was Batsh’s neighbour, added the victim was a “very kind man”. “We hope that the ones that killed him are caught by the Malaysian government.” Earlier on Wednesday police said they believed the two suspects accused of carrying out the hit were still in the country, and released a photograph of one of them. The men were believed to have entered Malaysia in January but their nationalities were still not known, police said.
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/body-of-assassinated-palestinian-given-emotional-send-off-in-malaysia

Family of murdered KL lecturer to move to Gaza, says widow
KUALA LUMPUR (Straits Times) 25 Apr by Nadirah H. Rodzi — The family of slain Palestinian lecturer Dr Fadi al-Batsh will move back home to the Palestinian territory of Gaza after the academic is laid to rest there. “God willing, we will start a new life in Gaza,” said Dr Fadi’s widow, Ms Enas Batsh. Speaking at the family’s house in Jalan Meranti, Setapak, on Tuesday night (April 24), Ms Enas, who had expected to continue postgraduate studies at the Universiti Malaya, said she would request to continue the programme online. “It was my husband’s wish to see me further my studies. He said I had been patient when he was pursuing his education so now, he wants me to pursue my passion,” she said. The couple have three children, aged one to six. Recalling the days leading up to Saturday’s brutal killing, the 31-year-old widow said there were no signs anything was amiss. “We didn’t get any feeling that he was threatened. We were planning a holiday. It’s unbelievable,” she said … Meanwhile, Dr Fadi’s brother, Ramy, 28, hopes those responsible for the death will be brought to justice. “It was a brutal attack… we want them to be taken to court and given the heaviest punishment,” he said. The family also denied claims that Dr Fadi was a rocket scientist as alleged by the Israeli government. “It’s inaccurate… My brother was only a positive person who loved his religion and knowledge … Israel’s Mossad spy agency has been accused of being behind the killing but the Israeli government dismissed the allegation on Sunday. The Palestine News Network, an Arabic language media network based in the Palestinian Territories, also said Israel had asked Egypt not to allow Dr Fadi’s body to be brought back to Gaza, but the network said this was not under Israel’s control as the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip falls within Egyptian sovereignty. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly said the request was in line with Israel’s policy on preventing the transfer of the bodies of martyrs from the Hamas movement for burial in the Gaza Strip.
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/family-of-murdered-kl-lecturer-to-move-to-gaza-says-widow

Palestinian lecturer killed in Malaysia is buried in Gaza
GAZA (Reuters) 26 Apr by Nidal al-Mughrabi — The body of Fadi al-Batsh, a Palestinian lecturer claimed as a member by Hamas who was gunned down in Malaysia at the weekend, was repatriated to Gaza and buried on Thursday … Batsh’s body was flown to Egypt, accompanied by his wife and son, and then taken by road to Gaza for a reception attended by members of all political factions and relatives, followed by burial in the northern Gaza Strip. “We hold the occupation (Israel) responsible for the killing and martyrdom of Fadi, the killers of scientists will not escape punishment,” senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya said as the body was received in Gaza. Policemen carried Batsh’s coffin, draped in the Palestinian flag, past an honor guard as family members wept. “The sinful hands that assassinated Batsh will be severed,” Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s political chief, said at the funeral rally. Hamas has confirmed Batsh was a member, but has not specified what role he had in the movement.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-hamas-malaysia/palestinian-lecturer-killed-in-malaysia-is-buried-in-gaza-idUSKBN1HX365

At Gaza’s largest hospital, the wounded keep coming
GAZA (Reuters) 25 Apr by Nidal al-Mughrabi — Doctors are on a particularly tight schedule at Gaza’s largest hospital when it comes to treating Palestinians wounded by Israeli army bullets at Friday protests along the border. Many of the injured rushed to Shifa hospital have to be discharged by Thursday, a day before the next mass demonstration, to make room for a new round of wounded. At the facility on Wednesday, two foreign surgeons, contracted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), joined their Palestinian colleagues in tending the injured in multiple operating rooms. “We have different teams operating on arterial problems in seven theaters at the same time. That meant it was much quicker, much more efficient, and it was very effective,” said British vascular surgeon John Wolfe. But the frequent power outages that have long plagued Gaza mean that, at times, doctors briefly have to operate by the light from cellphones before emergency generators kick in … Slobodan Mirosavljev, a visiting surgeon from Serbia, said Palestinian medical personnel had coped well with a situation that would have been “overwhelming for any health facility in any country”….
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-protests-surgeons/at-gazas-largest-hospital-the-wounded-keep-coming-idUSKBN1HW1YO

Due to large number of injuries, PA Health Ministry delays 4,000 scheduled surgeries
IMEMC 25 Apr — The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has announced delaying 4000 scheduled surgeries for patients in the coastal region due to the excessively high number of Palestinians who were shot by the Israeli army during the “Great March of Return Protests.” … The head of the General Administration of Gaza hospitals, Abdul-Latif al-Haj, said the wounded Palestinians, and due to the varying nature of their injuries, consume more medical supplies than ordinary patients, especially sterilized bandages, stitches, and surgery tools, in addition to various sorts of antibiotics, IV solutions, and anti-coagulants. He said that the number of external bone fixation devices used on patients who have suffered gunshot wounds since March 30th is more than the average amount for an entire year.
http://imemc.org/article/due-to-large-number-of-injuries-p-a-health-ministry-delays-4000-scheduled-surgeries/

Israeli government justifies killing child protester in Gaza: They’re not in school
Mondoweiss 24 Apr by Philip Weiss — The picture of Alaa Zamli, 15, is on top of this post because of his beautiful smile, which should have taken him very far in life. But he lived in Gaza, where he was killed by an Israeli sniper during the fence protests April 10. Today Ben White tweeted Zamli’s picture along with  those of three other children protesters Israeli snipers have killed in Gaza … Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett was asked on Sunday if Israel had not gone too far when it killed Ayoub, as Orly Noy reports at +972: Army Radio morning show host Razi Barkai asked Education Minister Naftali Bennett if “we had gone too far” in killing 15-year-old Mohammed Ayoub during the Gaza return march protests last Friday.  “If he had gone to school like every other kid,” Bennett responded, “there wouldn’t have been a problem.” That is what Israel’s education minister had to say about the murder of a child – killed by a sniper’s bullet – during a protest. This is now a theme of Israeli propaganda surrounding the killings in Gaza: the children are to blame for not being in school, or not reading books….
http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/government-justifies-protesters/

Israeli troops first shot a Gaza journalist’s left leg, then his right. And they didn’t stop there
Haaretz 27 Apr by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — The amputation of 19-year-old Gaza photographer Yousef Kronz’s left leg could have been prevented had Israel let him receive timely medical treatment in the West Bank –– His left leg was amputated in Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip, and now efforts are underway, in Istishari Arab Hospital in the West Bank, to ensure that his right leg doesn’t suffer the same fate. More than two weeks passed between the amputation of the first leg – which itself could have been prevented – and the action undertaken to save the other one. Precious time in which Israel refused to allow Yousef Kronz, the first Palestinian seriously wounded during the recent weekly protests in the Gaza Strip, to be moved to the hospital outside Ramallah. The High Court of Justice finally forced the Defense Ministry to bring this disgraceful conduct to an end and allow the transfer of the 19-year-old student and journalist from Bureij refugee camp, to that more sophisticated facility.
On Friday, March 30, Kronz was shot, first in the left leg, by an Israel Defense Forces sniper, and then, seconds later, when he tried to get up, in the right leg, by a second sniper. According to Kronz, the rounds that slammed into his legs and shattered his life came from two different directions. In other words, he was shot by two different marksmen, as he stood 750 meters away from the Gaza border fence, armed with no more than his camera, wearing a vest with “Press” emblazoned on it, trying to document the incessant firing by IDF snipers at unarmed Palestinian demonstrators. After he was hit, he tells us now, he saw more and more people falling to the sand, bleeding, “like birds.” The incident occurred on Land Day, the first day of the Marches of Return opposite the Gaza fence….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-idf-troops-shot-a-gaza-journalist-s-legs-and-they-didn-t-stop-there-1.6032559

Israeli army confirms airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza, Palestinians report four wounded
Haaretz 27 Apr by Jack Khoury — At least four people were wounded in Israeli airstrikes on Hamas outpost at a port in Gaza, Palestinian media reported Friday. Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson confirmed the attack, saying the IDF struck six naval targets belonging to the organization. The Gaza Health Ministry has not reported of any wounded thus far. Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson released a statement confirming the airstrike, saying it was in response to the “terrorist actions and extensive attempts to breach Israeli territory earlier today.” The statement adds that “for several weeks now, the terrorist organization Hamas has been leading violent riots that act as a guise for a string of terrorist attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians.” The statement refers to the incident reported by the IDF earlier Friday, in which hundreds of Palestinians allegedly rushed the border fence, “as they hurl charges, grenades and bottle bombs and even hit and set fire to the border fence.”….
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/palestinians-four-wounded-in-israeli-strike-on-hamas-target-in-gaza-1.6033350

Egypt to open Rafah crossing with Gaza for 3 days starting Saturday
CAIRO (WAFA) 27 Apr – Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt will be opened in both directions for three days starting Saturday to allow travel for humanitarian cases, the Palestinian embassy in Egypt announced on Friday….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=h1H8jPa97444279152ah1H8jP

UN says US has cut almost 5 times amount of Gaza aid it originally said
Thomson Reuters 24 Apr — Emergency food aid for around a million Palestinians in Gaza may run out from June if the UN agency for Palestinian refugees cannot raise another $200 million US following a cut-off in U.S. funding, the agency said Tuesday. Pierre Kraehenbuehl, who heads the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) providing aid for Palestinians across the Middle East, said U.S. President Donald Trump had withheld $305 million in funding, far more than the $65 million reported in January. “You already have a very, very fragile community [in Gaza],” Kraehenbuehl told Reuters in an interview during an international donor conference in Syria in Brussels. “So if you suddenly have no certainty about the amount of food aid coming from the UN for a million people … you can just imagine the kind of effects it could have,” he said, although he stressed he was not justifying any link to potential outbreaks of unrest. Gulf states, Norway and Canada have stepped in with a total of $200 million to help meet a planned $465 million budget for 2018. The U.S. is providing just $60 million of a promised $365 million, Kraehenbuehl said. That leaves a $200 million shortfall to fill for rice, flour, sugar and also to keep funding schools in Gaza and the West Bank. The U.S. has long been the biggest donor to the agency. In 2010, for example, the Barack Obama administration announced a plan to give $400 million through the UNRW for Gaza and West Bank aid …  Kraehenbuehl said the shortfall in funding for the agency could also mean there may not be enough money to reopen schools in August and September for the new academic year. “This is our largest funding crisis ever,” he said.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/un-us-palestinian-aid-shortfall-1.4632893

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia makes contribution of $50m to UNRWA
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 27 Apr — The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) expressed its deep recognition and gratitude for the extraordinary contribution of $50 million announced by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the recent Arab League Summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=h1H8jPa97446182658ah1H8jP

United Arab Emirates makes contribution of $50m to UNRWA
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 27 Apr – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) ‘warmly’ welcomed a $50 million contribution announced upon the directives of the President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=h1H8jPa97445230905ah1H8jP

UN humanitarian groups say Gaza needs critical intervention following large scale injuries
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 28 Apr – The large number of Palestinian deaths and injuries as a result of excessive Israeli force and use of gunfire against protesters at the Gaza border with Israel over the last month has prompted United Nations humanitarian organizations to appeal for urgent medical and health intervention in the Gaza Strip. According to the Ministry of Health, the Friday protests left four Palestinians dead, including a 14-year-old child, almost 1000 injured, including 76 children and 39 women, and 178 injured from live bullets, eight of them in critical condition. Overall, since March 30 when the Great Return March protests began, 44 Palestinians were killed and over 6000 injured, including over 600 children and more than 200 women, around 150 critically injured, and almost 2000 shot with live ammunition including more than 230 shot in the neck and head, 450 in the upper parts, more than 120 in the back and chest, 140 in the abdomen and pelvis, over 1700 in the lower extremities. In addition, the ministry reported 21 cases of limbs amputations (not including the last Friday injuries): …
In its flash update report following the Friday protests, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to the occupied Palestinian territory said humanitarian actors have identified three areas of intervention that are critical to respond to the urgent needs arising from the ongoing protests in Gaza: providing immediate life-saving healthcare; monitoring, verifying and documenting possible protection violations; and scaling up the provision of mental health and psychological support for people injured or otherwise affected by the events. According to OCHA, some $5.3 million is urgently required to scale up the immediate response until 31 May, the expected six-week duration of the Great Return March demonstrations, plus an additional two weeks to ensure immediate response to any affected on 15 May, the apex of the protests that coincides on the Palestinian Nakba anniversary marking 70 years of Palestinian dispersion and uprooting from their homeland….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=h1H8jPa97452844929ah1H8jP

11 years of visiting Gaza, seeing it deteriorate
AMERA 25 Apr by Liz Demarest — Since December 2007 I have visited Gaza nine times. It is April 2018 and I just got back from a trip there. Over the course of 11 years, I have seen this beautiful strip of land deteriorate to the point where it is hard to imagine how much worse it can be. On my first visit, the blockade was new. I saw poverty, but there was still some commerce and industry functioning that had existed before the blockade began … With every succeeding year I’ve seen things get more and more dire. The bombings in 2008 – 2009, 2012 and especially 2014 destroyed thousands of homes and entire industrial sectors. They also destroyed water and sewage networks. Schools were flattened … Most upsetting is how much I’ve seen people’s feelings of hope disappear. I have always thought of the Palestinians of Gaza as having an amazing spirit and resilience. But on this trip I’m hearing people say that things just get worse and there’s absolutely no end in sight to it. People have nothing to strive for. They want a better life for their children. But they don’t see that as a real possibility anymore in Gaza. Even people who have been the most committed to Gaza, who have said to me that they believe it’s important to stay and build up their communities and society — because they love it — no longer are saying such things. Many people tell me they would leave if they could, because they need to make sure their children have a brighter future and they don’t want to doom them by keeping them in Gaza. Gaza is full of educated, capable and motivated people who could rebuild their communities very quickly if they were allowed the freedom to interact with the outside world. Isolating them and strangling their livelihoods does not protect Israel. Instead, the level of control exerted over Palestinians in Gaza has created anger, frustration and hopelessness. Isn’t it obvious this is no path to peace?….
https://www.anera.org/11-years-of-visiting-gaza-seeing-it-deteriorate/

Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers shoot a teen near Nablus
IMEMC 28 Apr — Israeli soldiers shot, on Friday evening, a Palestinian teenage boy, and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, after the army invaded the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Media sources said the soldiers invaded the village after dozens of Palestinians held a protest against the ongoing occupation. They added that the soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, wounding a 17-year-old boy in his back. The soldiers also fired dozens of gas bombs and concussion grenades, causing scores of Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, especially since some gas bombs directly struck homes.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-shot-a-teen-near-nablus/

Israeli army invades Al-Jalazoun refugee camp
[with video] IMEMC 28 Apr — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Friday evening, the Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central west Bank city of Ramallah, reportedly after shots were fired at Beit El illegal colony. Many youngsters hurled stones at the soldiers while armed resistance fighters exchanged fire with the invading forces. Media sources in Ramallah said dozens of soldiers invaded the refugee camp after many live rounds were fired at Beit El nearby illegal colony and military base, which was built on Palestinian lands. Following the invasion, many local youngsters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at the army jeeps, while the soldiers fired more live founds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs. The army also invaded a gas station to confiscate surveillance recordings, while local youngsters hurled stones at them, before additional forces invaded the area and fired dozens of live rounds to secure the retreat of the soldiers. During the invasion into the gas station, the soldiers caused excessive damage, and confiscated several computers and surveillance equipment.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-army-invades-al-jalazoun-refugee-camp/

2 cars torched at Arab village in northern Israel
Ynet 25 Apr by Hassan Shaalan & Ahiya Raved — Two cars were torched overnight Tuesday in the northern region village of Iksal [in Israel] and a stone fence was sprayed with “Jews, let’s win” in a suspected hate crime. Police were called to the scene, collected evidence, searched for suspects and opened an investigation into the incident. Police noted the investigation will receive top priority, with several similar such incidents taking place around the West Bank recently, the last of which happened Wedesnday as well—the walls of residences in the village of Jalud in the Binyamin region were sprayed with “Let us handle them” and “Take our destiny in our own hands.” Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi said the attack was serious and racist and that it “necessitated determined police action to end hate crimes towards Arab citizens.”
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5240564,00.html

Yitzhar settlement viewed as epicenter of surge in ‘price tag’ attacks
Times of Israel 23 Apr by Jacob Magid — But officials in the northern West Bank community say it’s due to an influx of ‘hilltop youth’ evicted from a nearby hardcore outpost last year — The Israeli security establishment views the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar as responsible for the recent uptick in hate crimes against Palestinian villages, a defense official told The Times of Israel Monday. The town of roughly 1,500 residents has become a “refuge for hilltop youth” who have been involved in most of the so-called price tag attacks in the past year, the official said. Seven instances of extensive Palestinian property destruction have been documented in the past week alone.“Price tag” refers to vandalism and other hate crimes carried out by Jewish ultra-nationalists ostensibly in retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies perceived as hostile to the settler movement. Palestinian olive groves, mosques, churches have been targeted by far-right vandals in recent years, as have dovish Israeli rights groups and even IDF military bases … The defense establishment official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the violent instances that have taken place over the past month had been carried out by hilltop youth from Yitzhar. He added that in addition to the rogue settlers, students from Yitzhar’s Od Yosef Chai yeshiva have also been involved in carrying out the hate crimes. The religious institution led by US-born Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh has been long viewed by the Israeli defense establishment as a hotbed for extremism….
https://www.timesofisrael.com/yitzhar-settlement-viewed-as-epicenter-of-surge-in-price-tag-attacks/

Four Palestinians, including wounded teen, detained from West Bank
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 26 Apr – Israeli forces Thursday detained four Palestinians, including a wounded teen, from the West Bank districts of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Jenin, said security sources and WAFA correspondent. Israeli forces detained a wounded Palestinian teen during a raid in Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. Troops broke into and ransacked the family home of Hussein Shahin, 17, before detaining him, triggering clashes with youths who protested the raid and attempted to block troops’ passage. Local youths hurled stones at military jeeps, while troops fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas canisters.
Shahin reportedly was shot with three live rounds in his leg during a military raid into the camp in December.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces conducted a raid into Jaba‘ town, south of Jenin, where they detained a Palestinian young man after storming and thoroughly searching his family home.
This came several hours before Israeli police detained two Palestinians after savagely beating them in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Several women were reportedly shoved out of the way as they attempted to free the detainee from police.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=tZWkzua97429051104atZWkzu

Israeli soldiers abduct five Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC 27 Apr — Updated: The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Friday at dawn, five young Palestinian men, after invading and searching their homes in Bethlehem, and Qalqilia.
Several army jeeps invaded Far‘ata village, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, before the soldiers stormed and searched homes, and abducted two young men, in their twenties. The two abducted residents have been identified as Ehsan Saleh Tawil, a student of the Najah National University in Nablus, and his cousin Shehab Tawil.
The PPS added that the soldiers invaded Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, also searched homes and abducted Dia’ al-Afifi, Mohammad Waleed Thawabta, 17, and Mohammad Mansour Deeriyya, 22.
On Thursday at night, the soldiers closed the main entrance of ‘Azzoun town, east of Qalqilia, after the army attacked protesters, and fired live rounds and rubber-coated steel bullets, while several young men hurled stones at the invading army jeeps. The army said several youngsters also “hurled stones at settlers’ cars, causing damage.”
In addition, medical sources in Hebron, in southern West Bank, said the soldiers shot two Palestinians in Halhoul Bridge area, north of the city. They added that the two Palestinians suffered moderate-but-stable wounds and were rushed to a local hospital.
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-abduct-two-palestinians-near-qalqilia-injure-two-near-hebron/

Killer of Palestinian teen praised as ‘excellent’ by Israeli judge
EI 25 Apr by Ali Abunimah — A soldier who killed a Palestinian teen has been praised as “excellent” and “conscientious” by an Israeli judge, who sentenced him to a mere nine months in prison. This conclusion to the trial of Ben Dery for the cold-blooded killing of 17-year-old Nadim Siam Nuwara is another all too predictable episode of how Israel’s military investigation system whitewashes crimes against Palestinians. “Despite clear and overwhelming video, spatial and sound forensic analysis showing Ben Dery intentionally killed Nuwara, he was charged with a lesser crime and a wilful killing was whitewashed into an accident,” Brad Parker, international advocacy officer for Defense for Children International Palestine, told The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday. “The lenient sentence announced today is not surprising and illustrates how pervasive and entrenched denial perpetuates impunity even where video evidence shows Israeli forces intentionally killing children.” Dery, a combatant in Israel’s paramilitary Border Police, was initially charged with manslaughter – already a lesser charge – in the slaying of Nuwara on 15 May 2014 – Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate their 1948 expulsion from much of their homeland. But that charge was reduced even further under a plea agreement to “negligence and causing severe bodily harm.”
Israeli occupation authorities at first denied the use of live ammunition and tried to claim the video evidence was fabricated. Michael Oren, who had been Israel’s ambassador in Washington and is now a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, even went on CNN to claim that Nuwara and another boy shot dead that day might not really be dead. But Israeli authorities later indicted Dery with replacing the bullets in a magazine that was intended for rubber-coated bullets and blanks with live ammunition and then using his M-16 rifle to shoot Nuwara in the chest. In imposing a sentence at the lower end of the guidelines on Wednesday, the Israeli judge described Dery as “an excellent police officer who was conscientious about orders.” While the slaying of Palestinian children by Israeli occupation forces is a horrifyingly frequent occurrence – Israel has already killed 10 children this year – Nuwara’s case was notable for the amount of evidence available. This video shows his slaying as captured by security cameras in the occupied West Bank village of Beitunia….
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/killer-palestinian-teen-praised-excellent-israeli-judge

VIDEO: Israeli soldiers cheer after shooting a Palestinian protester in the village of Madama
B’Tselem 24 Apr — At around 2:00 P.M. on Friday afternoon, 13 April 2018, some thirty residents of the Palestinian village of Madama tried to remove a roadblock the Israeli military had placed at the eastern entrance to the village. About eleven soldiers then arrived on the scene. In the clashes that ensued, residents threw stones at the soldiers from a distance of 50-80 meters, and the soldiers fired stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets at the villagers. Seven residents sustained injuries from the rubber-coated metal bullets the soldiers fired: two were taken to a hospital in Nablus for medical treatment, and the other five were treated on the spot. Joyfully cheering about shooting a person trying to clear the access road to his home and calmly discussing other ways to hit him and the other people with him are part of the discordant soundtrack accompanying 51 years of occupation.  Filmed by B’Tselem volunteers Mu‘awiyah Nassar and Ahmad Ziyadah.
https://www.btselem.org/media/1077#full

Israeli soldiers use a Palestinian man, ‘Abd a-Rahim Gheith, as human shield during clashes in Jericho
B’Tselem 9 Apr — On Friday, 9 March 2018, at midday, clashes developed between dozens of Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers near the southern entrance to the city of Jericho, close to the settlement of Vered Jericho. The youths threw stones at the soldiers, who fired stun grenades, tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. At around 4:00 P.M., ‘Abd a-Rahim Gheith, a 34-year-old electrician and father of a month-and-a-half-old baby boy, finished his work for the day in Jericho and set out for his home in Dahiyat al-Bareed near the town of a-Ram. When he reached the southern entrance to Jericho, soldiers detained him, took his ID card, ordered him out of his car and handcuffed him. In video footage shot by freelance journalist ‘Adel Abu Ni’meh, soldiers are seen positioning Gheith’s car so it faces the demonstrating youths, then opening its doors and using the car as cover while they fire at the youths. They sat Gheith down on a traffic island about three meters away from them, handcuffed and defenseless. Some of the stones thrown at the soldiers hit Gheith, and he was injured in the legs, back and head. Stones also struck his car, damaging it. The soldiers kept Gheith in this position for about two hours, and only then did they transfer him to a military ambulance for first aid. At around that time, the clashes ended and the soldiers informed him that he was free to go and told him to make his own way to a hospital. While Gheith, injured and in shock, searched for his belongings and his car keys to drive to hospital, his cousin arrived and said the Red Crescent had contacted him. The cousin was carrying Gheith’s belongings, which the military had handed over to the Red Crescent while he was receiving first aid in the military ambulance. Gheith was taken to the Jericho state hospital. His discharge papers noted that he had sustained lacerations to the forehead, neck, back and both hands….
https://www.btselem.org/video/20180329_human_shield_in_jericho#full

Parents of Palestinian teen who was burned alive by Israeli settlers sue killers for damages
IMEMC/Agencies 27 Apr — The parents of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was brutally tortured and burned to death by Israeli settlers in July of 2014, have filed a civil lawsuit for 5.6 million Israeli shekels ($1.6 million) in damages. “The goal is not to make money but to add to their punishment, so that, even when they are released, they will know they need to pay the family they hurt so much,” Israeli Haaretz newspaper quoted family lawyer Muhannad Jabara as saying. In an interview with Quds Press, Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammed’s father said, “This is not compensation because we do not want to trade in our son’s case. We know that we will not get money and our cause is not finished with Mohammed’s death, but we will continue our legal fighting even if we reach international court.” Abu Khdeir added that the decision to sue his son’s killers for damages is because they are afraid that the killers’ sentence will be reduced by a government special pardon on “racist basis”. The Palestinian family expects the Israeli authorities to reject the lawsuit, according to the PNN. On July, 2 2014, a group of Jewish settlers kidnapped Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, from the town of Shu‘fat, north of Jerusalem and took him to west of Jerusalem. There they brutally tortured him before setting him on fire while he was still alive. On May, 3 2016, the Central District Court of Jerusalem sentenced the main perpetrator, Yosef Haim Ben David to life imprisonment, with an additional 20 years. The same court sentenced another defendant to life imprisonment and sentenced the third defendant to 21 years’ imprisonment.
http://imemc.org/article/parents-of-palestinian-teen-who-was-burned-alive-by-israeli-settlers-sue-killers-for-damages/

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Israeli forces uproot, steal 60 olive trees in Jerusalem
AICnews 26 Apr by Amalya Dubrovsky — Israeli authorities plan to build a new settlement in Sur Baher for Israeli police and military —  Using bulldozers, cranes and armed police, Israeli authorities uprooted at least 60 olive trees in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher on April 23, 2018. Signs reading, “no trespassing” were left in their place. According to settlement watch group Peace Now, Israeli authorities announced plans in 2012 to build a settlement consisting of 180 units in Sur Baher for members of the Israeli military and police. Israeli authorities had originally expropriated the land in 1970, but for “public use” – a designation that typically sets the stage for building Israeli national parks on stolen Palestinian land, rather than residential settlements. Ahmad Nimr, one of the affected landowners, told the Palestinian Information Center that the land and trees belong to the Nimr, Dweiyat, Awad and Amira families. He adds that many of the 500 olive trees on the land are over 100 years old. Until Monday, Israeli authorities had largely ignored the olive grove and the four families continued to cultivate it. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled against their objections to the settlement plan in 2014. Haaretz reports that the stolen trees will be replanted in an Israeli national park in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem municipality is well known for classifying Palestinian areas as so-called national parks to wrest control over more territory. The parks, like Israeli settlements, stand in violation of UN Security Council resolutions 194, 181, 252, 476 and 478.
http://aicnews.org/index.php/2018/04/26/israeli-forces-uproot-steal-60-olive-trees-in-jerusalem/

Jerusalem family demolishes own garage to avoid high fines
IMEMC 28 Apr — A Palestinian family from occupied Jerusalem had to demolish its own garage, in Wadi Hilweh neighborhood, in Silwan town, to avoid excessively high fees and fines by the City Council. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said the family of Eyad Ramadan, demolished its Karaj, which is attached to its home in Wadi Hilweh. Silwanic added that the family received a demolition order three months ago, and tried to obtain all needed permits, but its applications and appeals were all denied. The police and soldiers invaded the property several days ago and informed the family that if it does not demolish the garage by Sunday, April 29th, the City Council will demolish it, and will impose fines that could exceed 60.000 Shekels. Ramadan said he had to add the garage to his property because there are no parking lots, or any parking space, near his home.
http://imemc.org/article/jerusalem-family-demolishes-own-garage-to-avoid-high-fines/

Israel: Army demolishing West Bank schools
NEW YORK (HRW) 25 Apr — Could Amount to War Crimes — – Israel has repeatedly denied Palestinians permits to build schools in the West Bank and demolished schools built without permits, making it more difficult or impossible for thousands of children to get an education, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 25, 2018, Israel’s high court will hold what may be the final hearing on the military’s plans to demolish a school in Khan al-Ahmar Ab al-Hilu, a Palestinian community. It is one of the 44 Palestinian schools at risk of full or partial demolition because Israeli authorities say they were built illegally. The Israeli military refuses to permit most new Palestinian construction in the 60 percent of the West Bank where it has exclusive control over planning and building, even as the military facilitates settler construction. The military has enforced this discriminatory system by razing thousands of Palestinian properties, including schools, creating pressure on Palestinians to leave their communities. When Israeli authorities have demolished schools, they have not taken steps to ensure that children in the area have access to schools of at least the same quality. “Israeli authorities have been getting away for years with demolishing primary schools and preschools in Palestinian communities,” said Bill Van Esveld, senior children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Israeli military’s refusal to issue building permits and then knocking down schools without permits is discriminatory and violates children’s right to education.” … Over a third of Palestinian communities in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank where the Israeli military has exclusive control over building under the 1993 Oslo accords, currently do not have primary schools, and 10,000 children attend school in tents, shacks, or other structures without heating or air-conditioning, according to the UN. About 1,700 children had to walk five or more kilometers to school due to road closures, lack of passable roads or transportation, or other problems, according to 2015 UN estimates. The long distances and fear of harassment by settlers or the military lead some parents to take their children out of school, with a disproportionate impact on girls….
https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/04/25/israel-army-demolishing-west-bank-schools

Israeli forces destroy tent structure in Susiya
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 24 Apr– Israeli forces demolished a tent in the Palestinian village of Susiya, located in the South Hebron Hills area of the southern occupied West Bank. Khader al-Nawajaa, a resident of Susiya, told Ma‘an that Israeli forces raided the village and demolished a tent structure belonging to him. He added that the Israeli authorities confiscated the tent after the demolition. Earlier this year, in February, the Israeli High Court gave the government a green light to move forward with the demolition of seven structures housing 42 people, half of them children. The move came despite widespread condemnation from British MPs and international activists. The latter maintain an almost constant presence in the village to assist villagers in the event of attacks from Israeli settlers or forces. Susiya is considered “illegal” by the Israeli state and has been embroiled in legal battles with the Israeli state for years. The village is located in Area C — the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, where Israel refuses to permit Palestinian construction. Rights groups have pointed out that this policy lines up with Israel’s goals of expanding Israeli settlements throughout Area C while depopulating Palestinian villages there. In the case of Susiya, many of the village’s 200 residents have ties to the land that predate the creation of the state of Israel, and Ottoman-era land documents to prove it. However, the village lies between an Israeli settlement and Israel-controlled archaeological site, making them a target for Israeli demolitions.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780063

House prices boom in disputed West Bank settlements
FT 25 Apr by Mehul Srivastava in Efrat — When Dan Leubitz moved his family from the US to Israel, he settled on an unlikely location to call home — a villa in the occupied West Bank on the frontline of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Initially he was wary about the risks of putting all his savings into a property in Efrat, an Israeli settlement that much of the world considers illegal … He need not have worried – the property has made him a millionaire, at least on paper … It is a trend that reflects a growing belief among Israelis that most of the settlements that dot the West Bank, especially those closest to Jerusalem, such as Efrat, are de facto permanent….
https://www.ft.com/content/8572b232-46ca-11e8-8ee8-cae73aab7ccb

Occupation captured: Photos of Palestinian life and Israeli occupation in the West Bank city of Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 25 April
http://imemc.org/article/occupation-captured-photos-of-palestinian-life-and-israeli-occupation-in-the-west-bank-city-of-hebron-2/

Palestinian refugees – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria

‘I just want him to live like other Jordanians’
Human Right Watch report 24 Apr — Treatment of Non-Citizen Children of Jordanian Mothers —  In Jordan, a child born to a Jordanian mother and a non-Jordanian father is considered a non-citizen in the eyes of the state. In violation of international human rights law, which obliges Jordan not to discriminate against women, Jordanian law allows only fathers to pass citizenship to their children. It does not allow Jordanian women to even confer automatic long-term residency on their children. Despite government promises to grant these individuals key economic and social rights, non-citizen children of Jordanian women continue to face legal restrictions that trap many of them at the margins of Jordanian society … In 2014, the Jordanian Ministry of Interior stated that there were over 355,000 non-citizen children of Jordanian women. Popularly referred to in Jordan as “abna’ al-urduniyat,” or the “children of Jordanian women,” these non-citizens’ access to basic rights and services are severely limited. Authorities restrict their rights to work, own property, travel from and return to Jordan (where many were born and live), access public education and health care, and even their ability to acquire a driver’s license … Given that Jordan is home to one of the largest populations of Palestinian refugees and that the majority of Jordanian women married to foreign nationals are married to non-citizen Palestinian men who hold various legal statuses in Jordan, local politicians and officials’ chief argument against repealing this discriminatory policy is the claim that it would both undermine the effort to secure Palestinian statehood and alter Jordan’s demographic balance. These stated justifications are clearly discriminatory, as they are not applied to Jordanian men who choose to marry foreign nationals, the majority of whom are also married to Palestinians….
https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/04/24/i-just-want-him-live-other-jordanians/treatment-non-citizen-children-jordanian

Palestinian vies for imaginary seat in Lebanon parliament
BEIRUT (AFP) 28 Apr by Layal Abou Rahal — She has been criss-crossing her native Lebanon ahead of May 6 elections but the parliament seat she wants does not exist and she is not even eligible. Manal Kortam is a Palestinian refugee. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have lived in refugee camps across the small Middle Eastern country for decades, facing tough living conditions and barred from certain jobs. But in a country of just four million where each religious community is allocated seats in the legislative chamber, there are none for Palestinians. In the run-up to Lebanon’s first parliamentary polls in almost a decade, Kortam saw an opportunity to stand up for her Palestinian community by launching a symbolic campaign. “Somebody needed to say: ‘There are people who have been in this country for 70 years but who have no place at all in public politics’,” she told AFP during a visit this week to the Mar Elias camp in Beirut….
http://www.france24.com/en/20180428-palestinian-vies-imaginary-seat-lebanon-parliament

Estimated 60 percent of Yarmouk destroyed amid violence: Group
Al Jazeera 27 Apr — An estimated 60 percent of Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp for Palestinians has been destroyed as government forces and their allies escalate a military offensive against armed groups in the Damascus-area camp, according to a watchdog group. Citing an eyewitness, the UK-based Action Group for Palestinians of Syria said on Friday that the destruction has largely been caused by barrel bombs, missiles and shelling. The group said that “families were buried under the rubble of their homes” in Yarmouk, where an estimated 3,000 people still reside. On Wednesday, Palestinian refugee Salah al-Abayat was killed by Syrian government air strikes on the camp, bringing the total number of people killed to 31 since April 19, when the latest bout of fighting started. On April 19, the Syrian government and allied Palestinian armed groups launched a renewed military offensive against armed groups – including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) – in the besieged refugee camp. On Thursday, Palestinian political party Hamas issued an appeal to all sides involved in the fighting to reach a truce.
That same day, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), warned of “catastrophic consequences” of the intensified violence in Yarmouk and the surrounding areas, including al-Hajar al-Aswad and Yalda. “Yarmouk and its inhabitants have endured indescribable pain and suffering over years of conflict,” Pierre Krahenbuhl, UNRWA’s commissioner-general, said in a statement. “We are deeply concerned about the fate of thousands of civilians, including Palestine refugees, after more than a week of dramatically increased violence.” The UN group said that there are no hospitals currently operational in the camp, which has been blockaded by government forces on the one hand, and armed opposition groups on the other for several years.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/estimated-60-percent-yarmouk-destroyed-violence-group-180427102610652.html

Yarmuk, an epicentre of Syria’s bloody conflict
AFP 24 Apr — Poverty and exile, siege and starvation, jihadist rule and government shelling — few places have seen more suffering in Syria’s seven year, atrocity-filled war than the Palestinian camp of Yarmuk. A striking 2014 picture [see above] of tired, gaunt-looking residents massing among the ruins for a food distribution drew comparisons with a World War II ghetto and became a symbol of the Syrian conflict. The gutted neighbourhood in southern Damascus, which is now the Islamic State group’s last urban redoubt in Syria or Iraq, was once Syria’s biggest Palestinian refugee camp, home to around 160,000 people. Years of crippling siege and bombardment by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose presidential compound is visible from the camp, had already sent tens of thousands of them into a second exile … After months of sporadic shelling as it concentrated its efforts on retaking the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, the resurgent regime launched a final offensive last week to retake Yarmuk. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, around 1,000 IS fighters remain in Yarmuk and the adjacent neighbourhoods of Hajar al-Aswad, Tadamun and Qadam.  Most of them are former members of Al-Qaeda’s Syrian ex-affiliate Al-Nusra Front, but IS fighters also include Palestinian refugees who joined when the Islamists took over much of the camp in 2015. Facing them are regime and allied forces who have turned their attention to jihadist-held pockets in southern Damascus after completing their recapture of Ghouta, an area east of the capital….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-5651435/Yarmuk-epicentre-Syrias-bloody-conflict.html

Other news

Video: Palestinians: Stories of resistance
Al Jazeera 24 Apr — A mother protests, a teenager comes of age, and a cameraman records his final moments – life in occupied Palestine.
https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeera-selects/2018/04/palestinians-stories-resistance-180423062537385.html

PA takes pre-emptive measures to prevent Return March in West Bank
MEMO 24 Apr — A Palestinian MP has accused the Palestinian Authority security services of carrying out political detentions as a pre-emptive measure to undermine possible Great March of Return protests in the occupied West Bank, Arab48.com reported on Monday. Nayef Al-Rajoub MP is from the Hamas-linked parliamentary bloc. He said that the ongoing escalation of the detention of Palestinian politicians and activists by the PA reflects its fear that the demonstrations will spread to the West Bank. In a related statement issued on Monday, Hamas said that the PA security services had arrested nine Palestinians, including some who were previously freed from prison. It pointed out that many of its members and activists are already being held by the PA security services. Hamas made reference to the ongoing security cooperation between the PA and the Israeli occupation authorities, which have also arrested around 150 Palestinians over the past week. According to Al-Rajoub, the detentions are intended to create a quiet atmosphere during the Palestinian National Council meeting slated for 30 April in Ramallah. It is expected that the decisions taken at the meeting will conform to Israeli policies. The MP, who served as a minister in the ousted Hamas government and has spent several terms in an Israeli prison himself, described the political detentions by the PA as a “sickness”, the symptoms of which are represented in its security cooperation with the Israelis….
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180424-pa-takes-pre-emptive-measures-to-prevent-return-march-in-west-bank/

Haniyeh vows anti-occupation rallies in West Bank, abroad
AA 25 Apr — Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh has vowed to stage protests against the decades-long Israeli occupation in the West Bank and abroad. Since March 30, Palestinians have been staging rallies along border of the Gaza Strip demanding the return of refugees to their towns and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel. The rallies are part of a six-week protest that will culminate on May 15. That day will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”. “Rallies will move to the West Bank and will be joined by our people abroad,” Haniyeh told a meeting organized by the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. He said the Palestinians “will rise up against the Israeli occupation in a popular resistance that started from Gaza”….
https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/haniyeh-vows-anti-occupation-rallies-in-west-bank-abroad-3349815

Palestinian launches hunger strike in Palestinian Authority jail
ANABTA, West Bank (Al Jazeera) 26 Apr by Yumna Patel — A Palestinian Authority (PA) court in the West Bank city of Jericho has extended the detention of 25-year-old Ahmad al-Awartani, who was arrested over the weekend for a Facebook post criticising a government campaign. During the court hearing on Tuesday, al-Awartani refused to answer the judge’s questions. He declared that he had launched a hunger strike two days prior, and would continue protesting against his detention by refusing all food and drink. Al-Awartani has been detained under the government’s controversial Cyber Crimes Law. With his detention extended for 15 more days, and faced with the possibility of indefinite renewal, al-Awartani’s parents said they were worried that their son’s health would deteriorate in the Jericho prison, which rights groups say is notorious for torture and abuse … In recent weeks, posters and banners “pledging trust and allegiance” to President Mahmoud Abbas have appeared across the occupied territory. Upon seeing a banner in his hometown of Anabta, in the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem, al-Awartani, who is one of the youth council leaders in the town, took to Facebook to express his disapproval….
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/palestinian-launches-hunger-strike-palestinian-authority-jail-180426112237969.html

Palestinian novelist Ibrahim Nasrallah wins top Arab prize
AFP 25 Apr by Karim Sahib — Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah has landed the Arab world’s top fiction prize for his novel “The Second War of the Dog”, a dystopian tale of inhumanity. Nasrallah’s work won the International Prize for Arab Fiction, affiliated with the Man Booker Prize, at a ceremony Tuesday hosted by the United Arab Emirates. Set in a violence-wracked nameless country, “The Second War of the Dog” explores the moral and material avarice of humankind through the life of its main character, Rashid, who morphs from a diehard regime opponent into a corrupt extremist. “This novel aims to shake the reader, to shatter his understanding of the world, to shatter his complacency. Because no one can survive if the world around him is collapsing,” Nasrallah told AFP after the ceremony. “We are subject to a sort of oppression by arrogance by the great powers of this world,” he said. “Killing our children, driving us into poverty, plundering the wealth of the Arab world, this is also oppression. Oppression is not just the doing of this or that little [extremist] group.” Born to Palestinian parents in Jordan in 1954, Nasrallah is a former journalist who turned to full-time writing in 2006….
https://www.afp.com/en/news/828/palestinian-novelist-ibrahim-nasrallah-wins-top-arab-prize-doc-14b0ug1

Palestinians in Europe set to hold conference on right of return
Al Jazeera 28 Apr — Palestinians across Europe are slated to hold a conference to mark 70 years of exile, in Milan, Italy on Sunday. The conference, which is themed “70 years on … and we shall return”, is the 16th consecutive Palestinians in Europe Conference. The 16 speakers scheduled to address the conference include academics, journalists, filmmakers, actors, prominent Christian and Muslim leaders and legislators from countries including Italy, Tunisia, Jordan and elsewhere. Among the speakers are Nahela al-Waari, vice president of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad, Italian legislator Stefano Vasiane, Jordanian parliamentarian Dima Dahboub, Ramallah-based priest Julio Brunila and others. Billed as the largest gathering of Palestinians in Europe, the conference will include lectures, workshops, discussion panels, exhibits and cultural activities. The Palestinians in Europe Conference is being organised by the Europe Palestinians Conference Organisation, the Palestinian Return Centre and the Palestine Coalition in Italy. The conference will be held just two weeks before Nakba Day, which is commemorated each year on May 15 to mourn the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland during Israel’s 1948 establishment.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/palestinians-europe-set-hold-conference-return-180427091547221.html

Japanese Prime Minister Abe to visit Palestine on Tuesday
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 28 Apr – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit Palestine on Tuesday, according to a press release by the Japanese Representative Office in Ramallah. In the two-day visit that will also include Israel, “Abe will reconfirm Japan’s commitment to actively contribute to the Middle East Peace Process currently facing challenges, based on its excellent relations with both parties,” said the press release. A high level business delegation is going to accompany Abe on his visit, the second in a little over three years, with a view to enhancing economic ties with Palestine and a focus on the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” project and the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park. Abe’s first visit to Palestine was in January 2015.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=h1H8jPa97451893176ah1H8jP

2 die after freak storm whips Israel
Ynet 25 Apr — Heavy rain, golf ball-sized hail and flash floods assailed Israel Wednesday, catching many already used to summer weather by surprise and even claiming the lives of two. Kais Alwashla, a 16-year-old Bedouin resident of the south, was swept away by the Mamshit River and was later found in critical condition. He was evacuated to a hospital via helicopter but was later pronounced dead. A young woman around the age of 18 from the village of Arab al-Rashayida in the Bethlehem Governorate, central West Bank was also swept away by a flash flood when she apparently went to tend to her sheep near the village. She was carried off about 8.5 kilometers with her sheep in a stream near Amos, east of Gush Etzion. Palestinian search and rescue teams pulled her body out of the water, pronouncing her dead at the scene….
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5241033,00.html

Two Palestinian children drown as rains flood West Bank and Israel
Haaretz 27 Apr by Jack Khoury et al. — The lifeless bodies of two Palestinian children were found Friday as rain and flooding continued to take a devastating toll in the West Bank and Israel, where a group of ten young people died after being caught in a flash flood in the south. The two Palestinian children were found in a reservoir that flooded in the El Fuwar refugee camp south of Hebron. The two were identified as Yazen Mohammad Asrahana, 10, and Ahmed Samich Asrahana, 9. The two went missing on Thursday, but were found only today. The two were likely playing near the makeshift reservoir – which serves as a watering tank for local farms – when rain and flooding pushed them inside….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/two-palestinian-children-drown-as-rains-flood-west-bank-and-israel-1.6032989

Arab MK’s daughter: ‘I was humiliated at Ben-Gurion airport’
Ynet 26 Apr by Amihai Attali — Amna Freige, the daughter of Meretz MK Esawi Freige, says she had to go through a humiliating security check at Ben-Gurion Airport earlier this month because she is of Arab descent. Freige and her friend Lina Jaries had booked flight tickets to Berlin for a vacation. They say they were harassment began as soon as they arrived at the airport. Their personal belongings were checked and they were asked to go through a full body scanner, just like other passengers. But then security personnel asked them to remove their bras. According to Freige and her friend, the security team’s shift manager threatened that if they don’t comply with the security check, they would not be allowed to board their flight. At this point Amna called her father who recommended: “Just suck it up if you want to be on that flight.” And so the young women had to go through the security check naked. They are currently preparing a lawsuit against the Israel Airports Authority, claiming there was no justification for that particular security check and that the entire incident was an unnecessary humiliation. The Israel Airport Authority said, “When we get a specific warning, a security check is required.”
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5240790,00.html

Romania’s president wants PM out over Israel embassy move
Al Jazeera 27 Apr — Klaus Iohannis says PM didn’t consult him before endorsing secret plan to move Romania’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem … If Romania decides to move its embassy to Jerusalem, it will be the first European Union state to do so.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/romania-president-pm-israel-embassy-move-180427095228699.html

Czech Republic to move embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Ynet’s Itamar Eichner/AP 25 Apr — President Miloš Zeman says his country plans to transfer its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following a move being led by US President Donald Trump and emulated by Guatemala; Zeman says move to take place in 3 steps; no timetable provided, but Netanyahu expresses hope for completion by end of year….
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5241286,00.html

Top US court rules for Arab Bank in Israeli attack case
AFP 24 Apr — Victims of attacks in Israel cannot use an 18th century law to sue the Arab Bank, a multinational financial institution, the US Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday in a precedent-setting case for other foreign businesses. The decision rests on a legal provision almost 230 years old. Plaintiffs accused the Jordan-based bank of facilitating transfers to Hamas, the Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip and which Israel and the United States label a terrorist group. A majority of five conservative judges on the top US court outnumbered four others who dissented. The Arab Bank was founded in Jerusalem in 1930 when Palestine was under the British Mandate, and now has more than 600 branches worldwide. It plays a central role in the Palestinian territories where it works with major international development agencies. The roughly 6,000 foreign claimants in the case included victims of militant attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, primarily during the second Intifada from 2000 to 2005.
They said the Bank contravened international laws by allowing financial transfers aimed at funding the violence to be made to accounts held by Hamas leaders. The plaintiffs based their action on the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) of 1789, which was adopted following an altercation some five years earlier in which a French diplomat was assaulted by a French national in the US.  The statute was largely dormant for nearly 200 years before reemerging onto the legal scene. Various legal actions were begun against foreign dictators and multinational corporations implicated in cases outside US territory. But the judges on Tuesday, worried over the risk of diplomatic tensions, refused to extend application of the ATS to multinationals with no link to the United States….
https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/173131-180424-top-us-court-rules-for-arab-bank-in-israel-attack-case

Friedman said seeking to call West Bank ‘Judea and Samaria’ in statements
Times of Israel/AP 25 Apr — United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has been seeking to adopt the Israeli name for the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, in his official remarks and statements, but has so far been prevented from doing so by the Trump administration, officials told the Associated Press … The sources added that Friedman, who lobbied heavily for Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem and the embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem, has also championed the recent removal of the term “occupied territories,” which had been the standard for more than 20 years, from the title of sections covering Israel, the West Bank and Gaza in the State Department’s annual human rights reports released Friday. The 2017 report did not entirely eliminate the term from the report, but it significantly reduced its use. Compared with more than 40 references in the 2016 report, the words “occupation” or “occupied” appeared only six times….
https://www.timesofisrael.com/friedman-seeking-to-call-west-bank-judea-and-samaria-in-official-statements/

Military aid to Israel
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights — US taxpayers will give Israel a total of $38 billion of weapons over ten years ($3.8 billion each year from 2019 to 2028), according to a 2016 agreement between the two countries. Israel uses these weapons, in violation of US laws, to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians living under its brutal, more than half-century-long military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. These include injuring and killing civilians, detaining and abusing children, demolishing homes, uprooting agriculture, and denying freedom of movement and expression. How much of this annual $3.8 billion allocation do people in your state, Congressional district, county, and city provide and what could be funded instead with this money to benefit your community? Find out below on our interactive map. Click on a state to get started.
https://uscpr.org/campaign/government-affairs/resources/military-aid-to-israel/

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)

SAUDI AIR FORCE POUNDS YEMENI CAPITAL IN ATTEMPT TO ELIMINATE TOP HOUTHI MEMBERS

South Front

28.04.2018

Saudi Air Force Pounds Yemeni Capital In Attempt To Eliminate Top Houthi Members

F-15 fighter jets of the Royal Saudi Air Force

On April 27, warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition conducted a series of heavy airstrikes on several areas in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, according to local sources.

The collation reportedly targeted the HQ of the Yemeni Ministry of Interior, the al-Daylami airbase, the Presidential Palace, the al-Najdah military camp and several other positions where the Houthis are stationed.

According to the Yemeni al-Masirah TV, the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on Sanaa injured six civilians, including women and children.

The UAE-based al-Arabiya TV reported that the Saudi-led coalition is trying to target several leaders of the Houthis who have recently arrived to Sanaa to attend the funeral of Houthis top member Saleh al-Samad, who was assassinated by Saudi Arabia on April 19.

These new airstrikes confirm that the Saudi-led coalition is now working to damage the Houthis chain of command by targeting their political and military leaders.

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Good point, if the USA, UK & France really knew about Syrian chemical weapon production why didn’t they simply alert the OPCW instead of acting illegally?

Bashar al-Jaafari: “If they know (USA/France/UK) the locations of these chemical centers, why they have not shared their informations with OPCW?”

that is to say: “they have bombarded the places where it would be clear the evidence that chemical weapons were not existing…”

UN: BASHAR AL JAFAARI’S SPEECH AT THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL

Bashar al Jafaari’s speech at the United Nations Security Council… Launching an attack by the three aggressors without a UN’s mandate… Bashar Al-Jaafari: What we ask now of you, who are committed to international legitimacy and the Charter, is to invite the United States, Britain and France to read the provisions of the Charter and its provisions on respecting the sovereignty of States and refraining from the use of force in international relations…

About this video/community guidelines… This video is only for News War Documentary Historical and Educational purposes… No profit channel…

(a tip: save these videos before youtube suspends and close the channels where they are published)


SYRIA:SCENES OF THE “EVIL” SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH COMPLEX IN BARZEH AREA IN DAMASCUS

Institute of Scientific Research… Scenes of the Institute of Scientific Research specialized in pharmaceutical industries in the area of ​​Barzeh residential housing in Damascus, which was targeted by the triple aggression and destruction completely… مشاهد لمعهد البحوث العلمية المختص بالصناعات الدوائية في منطقة برزة السكنية بدمشق, والذي إستهدفه العدوان الثلاثي ودمره بالكامل….

Blood Money: UK Sells $445 Million of Arms to israel, Including Sniper Rifles

UK Sells $445 Million of Arms to Israel, Including Sniper Rifles

By Jamie Merrill,

Value of sales increase tenfold after 2014 Gaza war amid warnings UK weapons, including gear for snipers, could be used to kill Palestinians

Britain has approved the sale of arms to Israel worth $445m since the 2014 Gaza war, including components for drones, combat aircraft and helicopters along with spare parts for sniper rifles, according to figures seen by Middle East Eye.

The government data will raise fresh concerns that British-made weapons are being used by the Israeli military in the Occupied Territories, amid fears that components in sniper rifles used to kill scores of Palestinian civilians in recent weeks could have been made in the UK.

Arms export licences to Israel soared to £216m, or $300m at current exchange rates, last year from £20m in the wake of the Gaza war, new Department for International Trade figures show.

They include a major £183m licence covering “technology for military radars”, but ministers have also approved the sale for export of grenades, bombs, missiles, armoured vehicles, assault rifles, small arms ammunition, sniper rifles and components for sniper rifles.

The value of arms approvals to Israel more than doubled last year after £84m in sales in 2016, prompting campaigners to warn that there is “little doubt” that UK-made weapons have been used in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade, or CAAT, which compiled the figures, expressed concern that UK-made radar technology could be used by Israeli jets and helicopters over the Occupied Territories.

However, it is the scale of small arms sales that have prompted fears UK-made sniper rifle components and targeting scopes may have been used by the Israeli military on the Gaza border.

British weaponry, Israeli oppression

Labour MP Richard Burden, the chairman of the British-Palestine group in Parliament, told MEE that given the risk of weapons being used for “internal repression” in Gaza and the West Bank he was “alarmed by the scale of UK arms exports to Israel in recent years”.

He added that he will be “pressing” ministers to launch an investigation into whether UK arms have been used in “the current Israeli military operations on the Gaza border”.

Palestinian officials say at least 40 people have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of a six-week protest at the Israeli occupation, dubbed the Great March of Return, earlier this month.

The shootings prompted international outcry after it emerged Israeli snipers who shot Palestinians had positioned themselves alongside the Gaza security fence, with orders allowing them to shoot unarmed Palestinians who came within 100 yards.

The violence prompted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to call for a review of arms sales to Israel in a message condemning its “illegal and inhumane” killing and wounding of “yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters”.

Corbyn also called for the UK to support calls for a “independent and transparent” UN inquiry into the shootings and called for a review of the sale of UK-made arms that “could be used in violation of international law”.

Government ministers, as well as senior Labour figures including the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, have argued that Israel has a right to defend itself from military assault and “terrorist attacks”.

The Israeli military says it only fires in self-defence and that its forces on the Gaza border were “identifying attempts to carry out terror attacks under the camouflage of riots”, but campaign groups have labelled the shootings a “massacre”.

The Israeli military did not respond to a request for comment.

Andrew Smith, a spokesman for CAAT, told MEE:

“There is little doubt that UK equipment has been used against the people of Gaza time and again, but that hasn’t stopped successive governments from licensing even more arms to the Israeli military.

“The appalling scenes we have seen over recent weeks are yet another stark reminder of the repression and abuse that Palestinians are living under every day. The response to protests hasn’t just been heavy-handed, it has been a massacre.

“By continuing to arm Israeli forces the UK isn’t just making itself complicit in future attacks, it is sending a message of support for the collective punishment that has been inflicted.

“The situation is desperate, and the UK should be working for a peaceful and just solution, not pushing arms sales which can be used in abuses for years to come.”

Israel has historically breached assurances given to ministers that UK-made arms would not be used in the Occupied Territories.

Critics of the British arms trade say that the sale of weapons to Israel also stands in stark contrast to Foreign Office warnings in its most recent annual human rights report that Israel’s occupation policies continue to violate the “human rights of Palestinians”.

That report cited “punitive demolitions” of homes belonging to the families of Palestinians suspected of perpetrating attacks on Israelis.

Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, or CAABU, told MEE

it was an “outrage that Britain is still selling such weaponry to a state that treats human life and international law with such contempt”.

Campaigners have also expressed alarm that some of the weaponry approved for export, such as military radar, components for fast jets and helicopter parts, is of the sort previously used by Israeli forces in Gaza and the West Bank, including during the 2014 Gaza war – dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” by Israel – and during the 2009 assault.

After the 2009 conflict – “Operation Cast Lead” – the influential Commons committee on arms exports reported that British arms exports “almost certainly” were used in the attack, in direct contravention of the UK’s policy that arms exports should not be used in the Occupied Territories.

British restrictions lifted

The then foreign secretary, David Milibandsaid Israeli equipment used in the attack on Gaza “almost certainly” contained British-supplied components, including cockpit displays in US-made F-16 combat aircraft, and components for the fire control and radar systems, navigation equipment and engine assemblies for US-made Apache attack helicopters.

There were renewed calls for a halt to arms sales during the Gaza conflict in 2014, which resulted in the deaths of more than 2,200 Palestinian and 76 Israelis. The then-prime minister, David Cameron, said all export licences would be reviewed.

However, all restrictions on arms sales to Israel were dropped in 2015 following a 12-month review, in which the government admitted UK-made weapons may have been used in the 2014 bombardment of Gaza.

Since then, MEE understands the government has made no assessment of whether UK weapons have been used in the Occupied Territories, and arms licences have soared.

A spokesman for the Department for International Trade said the

UK “takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world”.

It added:

“We rigorously examine every application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, with risks around human rights abuses being a key part of that process.

“We will not grant a licence if doing so would be inconsistent with these criteria and will suspend or revoke licences when the level of risk changes.”

Why Are Palestinians Protesting in Gaza?

Why Are Palestinians Protesting in Gaza?

By Mike Merryman-Lotze | CounterPunch | April 27, 2018

Once again, the Israeli military has turned its guns on Gaza — this time on unarmed protestors, in a series of shootings over the last few weeks. Gaza’s already under-resourced hospitals are straining to care for the 1,600 protesters who have been injured, on top of 40 killed.

According to a group of United Nations experts, “there is no available evidence to suggest that the lives of heavily armed security forces were threatened” by the unarmed demonstrators they fired on.

The violence is getting some coverage in the news. But the conditions in Gaza that have pushed so many to protest remain largely invisible. So do their actual demands.

The Great Return March was organized by grassroots groups in Gaza as a peaceful action with three key demands: respect for refugees’ right to return to their homes, an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Seventy years ago, Palestinians were expelled from their homes en masse when their land was seized for the state of Israel. Many became refugees, with millions of people grouped into shrinking areas like Gaza. Fifty years ago, the rest of historic Palestine came under Israeli military occupation.

While these refugees’ right of return has been recognized by the international community, no action has been taken to uphold that right. Meanwhile, the occupation has become further and further entrenched.

For over a decade, the people of Gaza have lived under a military-imposed blockade that severely limits travel, trade, and everyday life for its 2 million residents. The blockade effectively bans nearly all exports, limits imports, and severely restricts passage in and out.

In over 20 visits to Gaza over the last 10 years, I’ve watched infrastructure degrade under both the blockade and a series of Israeli bombings.

Beautiful beaches are marred by raw sewage, which flows into the sea in amounts equivalent to 43 Olympic swimming pools every day. Access to water and electricity continually decreases, hospitals close, school hours are limited, and people are left thirsty and in the dark.

These problems can only be fixed by ending the blockade.

As Americans, we bear direct responsibility for the horrific reality in Gaza. Using our tax money, the U.S. continues to fund the Israeli military through $3.8 billion in aid annually.

A group of U.S.-based faith organizations has called out U.S. silence in a statement supporting protesters and condemning the killings: “The United States stood by and allowed Israel to carry out these attacks without any public criticism or challenge,” they said. “Such U.S. complicity is a continuation of the historical policy of active support for Israel’s occupation and U.S. disregard for Palestinian rights.”

The signatories include the American Friends Service Committee, where I work, an organization that started providing humanitarian aid to refugees in Gaza as far back as 1948.

While the U.S. does give money to the United Nations and international aid groups working in Gaza, it’s barely a drop in the bucket compared to our support of the military laying siege to the territory.

As my colleagues in Gaza have made clear, what they need isn’t more aid. That humanitarian aid is needed because of the blockade. What they need is freedom from the conditions that make life unlivable — like the blockade itself — and a long-term political solution.

Ignoring the reasons Gaza is in crisis only hurts our chances to address this manmade humanitarian horror.

Mike Merryman-Lotze has worked with the American Friends Service Committee as the Palestine-Israel Program Director since 2010.

Gaza death toll now 46: Israeli Snipers execute 14 yr old

Gazan Youth shot in the face with an internationally banned tear gas canister.
Shehab News Agency
Azzam Awaed (14yrs old), Murdered by Israeli Snipers.

Forteen year old Azzam Awaed was declared death this morning by the Palestinian Health Ministry. The 14 year old child was shot yesterday by an Israeli sniper, whilst participating one of several ongoing border demonstrations.

Gazan youth shot in the face with an internationally banned tear gas canister. 

Over 800 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces yesterday, 174 reportedly shot with live ammunition. Six journalists and four paramedics were also reportedly injured.

The total number of injured protestors, during the course of this – 5 week -ongoing peaceful demonstration, has superseded 6,400. More than 500 children have confirmed to have been injured during the demonstrations.

Yesterday Israel executed the following Palestinian demonstrators:
-Abdul al-Salam Baker, 29 yrs old.
-Khalil Naem Mustapha Atta, 22 yrs old.
-Mohammed Amin Al-Maqid, 21 yrs old.

The following is a list of all the demonstrators who have been killed by Israeli sniper and artillery fire, since the beginning of the ‘Great Return March’ on the 30th of March:

1) Wahid Nasrallah Abu Sammour, (27)
2) Mohammed Kamal Al-Najjar, (25)
3) Mohammed Naeem Abu Amr, (27)
4) Amin Mansour Abu Muammar, (22)
5) Ibrahim Salah Abu Shaar, (22)
6) Abdul Fattah Bahjat Abdul Nabi, (18)
7) Mahmoud Saadi Rahmi, (33)
8 ) Sari Walid Abu Odeh, (27)
9) Hamdan Ismail Abu Amsha, (29)
10) Jihad Ahmed Farina, (34)
11) Ahmed Ibrahim Ashour Odeh, (19)
12) Abdul Qader Murdi al-Hawajri, (42)
13) Jihad Zuhair Abu Jamous, (30)
14) Musab Zuhair Al – Saloul,(20) (Musab’s body is still held by the Israeli regime)
15) Bader Al – Sabbagh, (21)
16) Naji Abdullah Abu Hujayir, (25)
17) Mohammed al-Rabayi’a, (20)     (His body is still held by the Israel)
18) Fares Alreqb, (29)
19) Shadi Hamdan Al – Kashif , (34)
20) Ahmed Arafa, (25)
21) Mujahid Nabil al – Khudari, (24)
22) Majdi Ramadan Shabat,
23) Alaa Yahya Al Zamili, (16)
24) Thaer Mohammed Rabaa, (30)
25) Hussein Mohammed Madi, (16)
26) Osama Khamis Qudeeh, (38)
27) Ibrahim al-‘Er, (20)
28) Sidqi Abu Attiwi, (45)
29) Mohammed Saeed Saleh, (33)
30) Yasser Murtaja, (30) (journalist)
31) Hamza Abdel Aal, (20)
32) Marwan Qudeeh, (45)
33) Abdullah Al Shehri, (30)
34) Mohamed Hjaila, (31)
35) Islam Harazallah, (28)
36) Ahmed A. Aqel, (25)
37) Mohammed Ayyoub, (15)
38) Sa’ad A. Taha, (29)
39) Ahmed Athamna, (24)
40) Abdullah Shamly, (20)
41) Said Mahmoud Wahba, (18)
42) Ahmed Abu Hussain, (25) (Journalist)
43)cMohammed Amin Al-Maqid, (21)
44) Khalil Naem Mustapha Atta, (22)
45) Abdul al-Salam Baker, (29)
46) Azzam Awaed, (14)

ALSO READ  BREAKING: 7 killed, 550 injured in Gaza

Israel also launched strikes on Gaza, from the Sea, Air and Land. Six sites were struck, following an initial airstrike carried out against a boat docked in the Gaza port (Gaza City), Hamas have claimed that the boat was preparing to send the injured to break the siege and receive their essential medical help that has been denied to them by Israel.

Shehab News Agency
One of several Israeli night attacks. (27/04/2018)

Israel claim that the airstrikes “targeted Hamas militant positions”, although there are no reports to indicate that Hamas members inured or the any military equipment or sites were actually struck. It is alleged that Israel were tested their weapons technology on Gazan infrastructure.

Hamas did not respond to Israel’s provocations with violence, yet they did respond with verbal comdemnation.

The ‘Great Return March’ will continue until Nakba day, on the 15th of May.

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