The last quarter of war …. And Al Sayyed Nasrallah الربع الأخير من ساعة الحرب… والسيد

The last quarter of war …. And Al Sayyed Nasrallah

أغسطس 31, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

As the War of July 2006 symbolizes the open confrontation between the resistance as a project of liberation and the occupation entity as a project of aggression, every subsequent round of this confrontation can be described as the new aspect of the War of July. This can be applied also on the rounds of the Lebanese internal exhaustion of the resistance between the War of July 2006 and the Doha Settlement in 2008 which ended the presidential vacancy and the abnormal governmental situation, after the last quarter of the internal decision of the government of the Prime Minister Fouad Al Siniora  about uprooting the communications network of the resistance, and which was ended on the seventh of May 2008,  when the resistance was obliged for the first time to deal with the internal differences  not from its additive value, rather from its surplus power in the field even for few hours.

In his pre-last speech the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah described the war launched on Syria for eight years as the Great War of July, after everything became very clear, and after it was clear the presence of the project of the alliance of the American-Israeli-Saudi War of July, that aims at achieving the same goals of the War of July but in new geography, trying to benefit from the lessons of the War of July, most importantly to be away from the direct confrontation, to tamper with the internal structure, to ignite the sectarian  strife, to spread chaos, and to make use of the takfiri terrorism as a reserve army, so this enables administrating the war without the involvement of waging it directly, and provides the negotiating opportunities to impose the conditions of this axis on the forces of the resistance as an only way to stop this destructive war on Syria and the region countries.

The resistance axis succeeded in embracing the Great War of July in its internal Syrian dimension due to the strength and solidity of the Syrian state, the political, cultural, and historical dimensions of the collective conscience of the Syrian people in their different segments, and the solid ideological composition of the Syrian Arab Army and the impossibility of dismantling it, according to the red lines of sects and doctrines.  Moreover the axis of the resistance succeeded due to the surplus power of Iran and Hezbollah to achieve the needed military balance against the surplus of power of the external intelligence military forces along with hundreds of thousands of the fighters of Al-Qaeda Organization and its branches, so the required deterrence balance for overthrowing Syria has been achieved. Later, the axis of the resistance succeeded due to the strategic decision taken by Russia and the Syrian state to purge Syria of the foreign presence and the terrorist groups through adopting the opposite attack to restore the unity and the sovereignty of Syria over its entire geography without giving any concessions at the expense of Syria’s constants and its geostrategic identity. Therefore the project of dividing Syria and the sharing of its parts as security belts for Israel and Turkey has fallen. The Great War of July has become in its last quarter after the failure of every negotiation for a settlement that achieves some of the goals of the war, as the last moments of negotiation which accompanied the last days of the War of July 2006.

It seemed that the events of the last year have been planned to meet this last quarter by the leadership of the war axis to undermine the additive value of the victory axis in Syria represented by Hezbollah. The US withdrawal from the nuclear understanding and the return to the severe sanctions on Iran became a project to weaken the sources of strength of Hezbollah, after the Americans conceded the impossibility of Iran’s siege of reducing the ceiling of its positions or to spread the chaos in it. Furthermore, the supportive American procedures to Israel regarding the fate of Jerusalem or the talking about the deal of the century seem without any goal except, igniting the hostile force of Israel in order to weaken Hezbollah for a decisive confrontation if its circumstances were provided, thus Yemen, Iraq, and Palestine become arenas for waiting till the Lebanese scene becomes clear, where the detention of the Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri in Riyadh to tame him and to make him ready for the next round is just a round of the last quarter of war.

Between Idlib and the east of Euphrates, the military and the political hours of resolving are passing very quickly, where America is seeking to disrupt them in order to pave the way for the round which must preceded it, where Lebanon is its arena. Therefore, the obstruction of the birth of a government with unattainable demands will not be mere an exaggeration of internal sizes, rather a needed waiting for the resolution of the international tribunal which the preparation for it have become an entry for the criminalization of Hezbollah and the call to exclude it from the government. The plan would not be complete in Washington, Tel Aviv, and Riyadh without the cooperation of those in Lebanon. Therefore, the governmental process has become related to the concept of the national security of the axis of the resistance, while the international tribunal has become a direct tool of war. This is the meaning of the words of Al Sayyed Nasrallah “Do not play with fire” “This is not negotiable. Period”  because this playing in the last quarter of the last round of the Great War of July is recalling what happened in 2008 in the last quarter of the small War of July and will ignite a regional fire as the seventh of May, where the tribunal and the government will fall as long as the wisdom has fallen before… This the meaning of the warning of Al Sayyed of playing with fire ‘to return to wisdom, before some Lebanese will turn into just fuel for an Israeli war which is not desired by the resistance but it does not fear it, because it is aware that it will change the face of the whole region in the twenty-first century if it occurs.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

الربع الأخير من ساعة الحرب… والسيد

أغسطس 28, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بمقدار ما ترمز حرب تموز 2006 إلى المواجهة المفتوحة بين المقاومة كمشروع للتحرير وكيان الاحتلال كمشروع للعدوان، يمكن وصف كل جولة لاحقة من هذه المواجهة بالفصل الجديد من حرب تموز. وهكذا كانت جولات الاستنزاف الداخلي اللبنانية للمقاومة بين حرب تموز 2006 وتسوية الدوحة عام 2008 التي أنهت الفراغ الرئاسي والوضع الحكومي الشاذ، بعد ربع أخير في الساعة الداخلية آنذاك تمثل بقرار حكومة الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة باقتلاع شبكة الاتصالات الخاصة بالمقاومة، أنهته عملية قيصرية في السابع من أيار 2008 شكلت المرة الأولى لاضطرار المقاومة للانتقال من معاملة الخلافات الداخلية بقيمتها المضافة إلى استحضار فائض قوتها في الميدان، ولو لساعات قليلة.

– وصف الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله في خطابه ما قبل الأخير، الحرب التي شنت على سورية لثمان سنوات بحرب تموز الكبرى، باعتبارها بعدما صار كل شيء فيها شديد الوضوح، قد تكشفت عن مشروع حلف حرب تموز الأميركي الإسرائيلي السعودي لتحقيق أهداف حرب تموز ذاتها في جغرافيا جديدة، محاولين الإفادة من دروس حرب تموز، وأولها الابتعاد عن المواجهة المباشرة والخاطفة، والذهاب للعبث بالنسيج الداخلي واللعب على الفتن الطائفية والمذهبية، وتعميم الفوضى واستثمار الإرهاب التكفيري كجيش رديف، ما يتيح إدارة الحرب لسنوات دون التورط في خوضها مباشرة، ويوفر الفرص التفاوضية لفرض شروط هذا المحور على قوى المقاومة كطريق وحيد لوقف هذه الحرب المدمرة لسورية ودول المنطقة.

– نجح محور المقاومة باحتواء حرب تموز الكبرى ببعدها الداخلي السوري بفضل قوة ومتانة ورسوخ مشروع الدولة السورية، والأبعاد السياسية والثقافية والتاريخية للوجدان الجمعي للشعب السوري بشرائحه المختلفة، والتركيب العقائدي الصلب للجيش العربي السوري واستحالة تفكيكه وفقاً لخطوط التماس المرسومة للطوائف والمذاهب. كما نجح محور المقاومة بفضل فائض القوة الذي زجّت به إيران وحزب الله بتحقيق التوازن العسكري المطلوب بوجه فائض القوة الخارجي العسكري والمخابراتي، ومعه مئات آلاف مقاتلي تنظيم القاعدة ومتفرعاته، فتحقق ميزان الردع اللازم لمشروع إسقاط سورية، وفي مرحلة لاحقة نجح محور المقاومة بفضل القرار الاستراتيجي الذي اتخذته روسيا وإيران والدولة السورية بتطهير سورية من الوجود الأجنبي والمجموعات الإرهابية، بإطلاق الهجوم المعاكس لاستعادة وحدة وسيادة سورية على كامل جغرافيتها، دون تقديم أي تنازلات على حساب ثوابت سورية وهويتها الجيوستراتيجية. فسقط مشروع تقسيم سورية أو تقاسم أطرافها كأحزمة أمنية لـ«إسرائيل» وتركيا، وصارت حرب تموز الكبرى في الربع الأخير من ساعة النهاية، بعدما فشل كل تفاوض لتسوية تحقق بعض أهداف مشروع الحرب، أسوة بلحظات التفاوض الأخيرة التي رافقت آخر أيام حرب تموز 2006.

– تبدو أحداث السنة الماضية وكأنها قد صممت لملاقاة هذا الربع الأخير من الساعة، من قبل قيادة محور الحرب للنيل من رأس الحربة والقيمة المضافة لمحور النصر في سورية، الذي يمثله حزب الله، فيكاد يختصر الانسحاب الأميركي من التفاهم النووي والعودة للعقوبات المشددة على إيران ليصير مشروعاً لتجفيف مصادر قوة حزب الله، بعدما سلّم الأميركيون باستحالة أن يؤدي حصار إيران لخفض سقف مواقفها أو لإطلاق مسار الفوضى فيها. وتكاد الخطوات الأميركية الداعمة لـ«إسرائيل» في مصير القدس أو الحديث عن صفقة القرن، أن تبدو بلا قضية سوى تحفيز القوة العدوانية لإسرائيل تمهيداً لملاقاة شروط إضعاف حزب الله بالجهوزية لجولة مواجهة حاسمة إذا توافرت ظروفها. وهنا لا يعود اليمن ولا العراق ولا فلسطين إلا ساحات انتظار، حتى تتبلور صورة المشهد اللبناني، حيث يظهر معنى احتجاز رئيس الحكومة سعد الحريري في الرياض لترويضه وتهيئته للجولة المقبلة، جولة الربع الأخير من ساعة الحرب.

– بين إدلب وشرق الفرات تسير عقارب ساعة الحسم السياسي والعسكري بسرعة، ويسعى الأميركي جاهداً لعرقلتها، لإفساح المجال للجولة التي يجب أن تسبقها ويكون لبنان مسرحها، فلا تبقى عرقلة ولادة الحكومة بمطالب تعجيزية مجرد تكبير أحجام داخلي، بل انتظار مطلوب لقرار المحكمة الدولية الذي بات التمهيد له كمدخل لتجريم حزب الله والدعوة لاستبعاده عن الحكومة، والخطة لا تستقيم لواضعيها في واشنطن وتل ابيب والرياض بلا استجابة المطلوب شراكتهم في بيروت. وبات الأمر الحكومي الآن، أمراً يرتبط بمفهوم الأمن القومي لمحور المقاومة، كما باتت المحكمة آلة حرب مباشرة. وهذا معنى كلام السيد نصرالله «لا تلعبوا بالنار» و»نقطة عالسطر»، لأن هذا اللعب في الربع الأخير من الساعة بجولة أخيرة من حرب تموز الكبرى، تستعيد بحجم أكبر ما جرى عام 2008 في ربع الساعة الأخير من حرب تموز الصغرى، سيجلب حريقاً بحجم 7 ايار كبرى إقليمية وليست لبنانية فقط، تسقط فيه المحكمة والحكومة طالما أن المحكمة تكون قد سقطت قبلهما، والمطلوب ألا تسقط الحكمة…

لا تلعبوا بالنار»!… لماذا قالها السيد نصرالله؟

«لا تلعبوا بالنار»!… لماذا قالها السيد نصرالله؟

هذا مغزى تحذير السيد من اللعب بالنار، العودة للحكمة، قبل أن يتحول البعض من اللبنانيين إلى مجرد وقود لحرب إسرائيلية، لا تريدها المقاومة لكنها لا تخشاها، لأنها تدرك أنها ستغير وجه المنطقة وتأخذ معها الكثير من أوثان وأصنام المنطقة في القرن الحادي والعشرين عندما تقع.

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Ibrahim’s Palestine…

Hussein Samawarchi

Traveling is a wonderful activity. It lets you see other parts of this beautiful Earth and the wonderful people living throughout. All, of course, given that your journey has not been a forceful one, just like that of Ibrahim.

Ibrahim, an elderly gentleman I had the pleasure and honor of meeting in Latin America, was an incredibly educated 84-year-old Palestinian with a memory so vivid, he could describe colors of clothes he had seen 75 years ago. He truly was a universal human that got along with everyone he met. Sometimes, we would be seated in a café enjoying coffee and he would start chatting with strangers across tables. It is actually how I met him; an elderly stranger who introduced himself as a refugee from Palestine asked me if I was from the Middle East on account of my facial features and a friendship followed.

An unforgettable hometown

You would think that a man who has lived his adult life in so many different countries would not remember the place where he was born; or, at least, would not be so attached to it.

This was not the case with Ibrahim. During the time that I knew him, Palestine always found a way to surface in our conversations. He spoke about the country where he was born and raised with so much pride. Actually, one of the first things he ever told me was “Ana min Beit Jala” (Arabic for: I am from Beit Jala), and he said it with a gleamy face and dreamy eyes. He remembered how, although they were a family of five at home, their house almost always had at least three more people sleeping there.

Ibrahim’s father belonged to an educated elite who held secret night meetings to organize a resistance against the British and the danger of the new population being injected into the country. According to Ibrahim, he would share a big bed with his two other siblings and his mother while his father and friends would stay up most of the evening writing leaflets against what had become an inescapable national tragedy.

Uncle Dawood’s oranges

Ibrahim always spoke of the oranges of Palestine. He liked to repeat the story of how his father had a best friend called Dawood who happened to be a Palestinian Jew. Dawood lived in what Ibrahim calls ‘the old Jerusalem’ and was a great supporter of the movement against the British occupation. Ibrahim refers to his father’s best friend as ‘Ammoo Dawood’ as a sign of respect (Ammoo in Arabic means Uncle.)

The story Ibrahim liked repeating was that Ammoo Dawood never came to visit without bringing something along with him – usually sweets or concentrated homemade juice. It’s an Arab custom to bring something along when visiting someone’s home. That evening, when Ibrahim and his siblings were about to sleep, Dawood had come to sleep over and had brought oranges with him. They could smell them in their bed; the scent remained in their house for two days. Ibrahim says that the scent of Palestinian oranges is still stuck in his nose after all these years. He always follows this short story with the statement ‘no wonder they wanted to steal our land.’

The death of a priest

Dawood informed his best friend that he was going to take his family to live in England because they were all in danger. Ibrahim remembers that day especially well because it was when Dawood had come to visit in a car loaded with gifts. He had brought them many things from home including a phonograph and all the provisions of the kitchen. His father was very sad that day.

Dawood told them a story of how a Zionist gang had attacked a priest the night before. How they ransacked his house and left him dead after piercing his hands, feet, and abdomen. He also told them that most 1948 Arabs were receiving death threats by those European immigrants and many are leaving.

Goodbye Deir Jala

After that day when Dawood had come to bid them farewell, nothing was the same again. Ibrahim recalls his father being distant most of the time. The evening meetings had come to an end and his mother would peek out of their window whenever the slightest sound of footsteps outside was heard. Palestine had become a dangerous place for Palestinians. He could hear his parents arguing frequently; his mother wanted to leave to Jordan or Egypt but his father wanted to stay – she was very scared for her husband’s life; a few of his friends had been assassinated. He remembered his father being furious and saying “They sold us.”

The day finally came when Ibrahim’s father did not return from work. Witnesses reported that he was abducted by three men with pistols in the old town. He was never heard of after that.

Shortly after, the mother took her three children to Chile.

Home

Ibrahim continued his few remaining teen-age years in Chile where his mother had found a job in a textile factory whose owner saw great potential in him. He had him trained as a machinery technician and then sent him to Italy and Germany for further specialization. From there on, life smiled at him – Ibrahim worked and lived all over Latin America and became a champion swimmer and mountain climber.

Chile was a country that gave him security and a new chance at living up to a full potential. He always called it “Mi Pais” which means “My Country.” But, he referred to Deir Jala as “Home.”

Ibrahim’s sparkly blue eyes shut for the last time earlier this year. A few days before passing away, I visited him at the hospital and he said to me: “Don’t worry my friend, I am not dying until I see the Galilee” in reference to Hezbollah’s Secretary-General’s historical statements regarding Palestine’s northern region. See, Ibrahim followed up on Sayyed (Hassan) Nasrallah’s news without fail.

Zionists have stolen the wrong country. Palestinians do not see Palestine as land, they see it as the one and only HOME. No amount of illegal settlements or “Israeli” terror can take that away. Looking into Ibrahim’s eyes whenever he mentioned Palestine was seeing an intense passion for the return to what was rightfully his. May you rest in peace Ibrahim, your grandchildren will be planting an orange tree for you in Palestine soon.

Source: Al-Ahed News

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – AUGUST 30, 2018: RUSSIA SAYS TERRORISTS IN IDLIB HAVE TO BE LIQUIDATED

On August 28, ISIS militants carried out several positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the al-Azraq oil field area in eastern Deir Ezzor. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the SDF repelled the attack with help from the US-led coalition airpower.

This was the second major ISIS attack on SDF positions in Deir Ezzor province in August. The previous one took place on August 20 and also targeted the SDF-controlled oil field – the al-Omar oil fields in southeastern Deir Ezzor.

These attacks show that despite claims by the SDF and the coalition that ISIS was fully defeated in most of northwestern Syria, cells of the terrorist group are still operating there.

Over the last few days, the Syrian military has deployed a large number of former Free Syrian Army (FSA) members, whom reconciled with the government in eastern Damascus, to a frontline with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) in northern Hama.

According to reports in Syrian media, more former FSA members from the Damascus countryside will be deployed in the area soon. The participation of these units in the upcoming operation against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham shows that all sections of the Syrian society see Hayat Tahrir al-Sham as a dangerous terrorist group, which has to be eliminated.

Idlib militants are trying to hold civilians hostage to be used as human shields and this festering “abscess” has to be eliminated, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on August 29 following talks with his Saudi counterpart Abdel Al-Jubeir.

“For understandable reasons, Idlib is the last major stronghold of terrorists who are trying to gamble on the status of the de-escalation zone and hold civilians as human shields and bring the armed formations ready for negotiations with the Syrian government to their knees. So, from all standpoints, this ‘abscess’ has to be liquidated,” the foreign minister said.

“It is necessary to urgently separate regular armed formations from Jabhat al-Nusra gunmen and simultaneously lay the groundwork for an operation against these terrorists and do everything to minimize risks to civilians,” Lavrov added.

Media reports on the alleged June meeting in Damascus between high-ranking representatives of US and Syrian special services are “fake news,” Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on August 29. Bogdanov’s remarks followed a report by Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar that representatives of US special services made a private visit to Damascus in June and held consultations with the Syrian government.

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روسيا وحلفاؤها يغلقون السماء السورية وتل أبيب تنكشف استراتيجياً!

أغسطس 31, 2018

محمد صادق الحسيني

المناورات الروسية الضخمة في المتوسط يوم غد السبت والتهديدات المشتركة الروسية السورية من موسكو لواشنطن والغرب وإغلاق السماء السورية روسياً وسورياً بوجه أيّ هجوم جوي أو صاروخي محتمل يدفع واشنطن إلى موقع الدفاع وتل أبيب إلى انكشاف استراتيجي كارثي هو الأوّل من نوعه في تاريخ الكيان الصهيوني الغاصب!

وعبثاً يحاول نتن ياهو الخروج من مأزق اللا قرار الذي يبدو أنه حشر فيه بعد زيارة وزير الدفاع الإيراني التاريخية لدمشق وما أفرزته من تداعيات كبيرة على مشهد التوازنات الإقليمية والدولية.

وفي هذا السياق يمكننا القول إنّ من أهمّ نتائج وتداعيات زيارة وزير الدفاع الإيراني إلى سورية وتوقيع الاتفاقية العسكرية بينهما هي إصابة رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بصدمة عميقة أفقدته توازنه وأدخلته في غيبوبة كاملة مدة يومين كاملين، أيّ منذ توقيعها يوم 26/8/2018 وحتى مساء 28/8/2018، حيث عاد إليه النطق بعد أن صعق بخبر توقيع الاتفاقية.

خاصة إذا علمنا أنّ الإيرانيين وفي إطار عرضهم للسوريين بإعادة بناء البنية الدفاعية السورية سيقدّمون فيما سيقدّمون لحكومة دمشق سرباً من طائرات الكوثر الإيرانية الحديثة والمتطوّرة جداً، والتي ستساهم بشكل كبير في إغلاق السماء السورية أمام أيّ عدوان «إسرائيلي»، كما تؤكد المصادر الإيرانية المرافقة للضيف الإيراني الزائر!

كما أنّ أيّ متابع لزيارة الوزير الإيراني في ظلّ التطورات الميدانية السورية المتسارعة يصل لقناعة بأن توقيع الاتفاقية قد أدّى عملياً إلى زلزلة الوضع الاستراتيجي للكيان الغاصب في المنطقة، كما أدّى إلى انكشافه استراتيجياً بشكل كامل. أيّ أنّ الوضع الاستراتيجي الذي تعيشه دويلة «إسرائيل» الآن لا يمكن وصفه بأقلّ من أنه كارثي وذلك لسبب بسيط جداً، وهو أنّ العمق الاستراتيجي «لدولة نتن ياهو» لا يزيد عن اثني عشر كيلو متراً. وهي المسافة بين مدينة طولكرم في الضفة الغربية وتل أبيب. بينما صار العمق الاستراتيجي لعدوّه السوري هو المسافة الفاصلة بين دمشق وطهران وهو ما يقارب ألفي كيلومتر .

وهذا يعني أنّ سفن الأسطول السادس الأميركي المحتشدة في المتوسط وغيرها من الأساطيل البحرية والجوية الموجودة في المشرق العربي لم تعد قادرة على حفظ «أمن إسرائيل» بسهولة.

ثم إنّ من يجيد القراءة الاستراتيجية لتوقيع الاتفاقية العسكرية الإيرانية السورية يصل إلى استنتاج مفاده أنّ هذه الاتفاقية تحظى بمباركة روسية إن لم نقل إنها تمّت بتنسيق وثيق بين كلّ من روسيا وإيران وسورية وحزب الله. وهو ما يعني:

إنّ الرئيس بوتين أظهر مزيداً من التلاحم، من خلال رعايته توقيع الاتفاقية، في العلاقات المميّزة بين روسيا وأطراف حلف المقاومة المذكورة آنفاً .

– ما يعني أنّ الموقف الروسي المؤيد من توقيع الاتفاقية بات يقدم غطاءً جوياً/ بحرياً/ لقوات كلّ من سورية وإيران وحزب الله العاملة في الميدان السوري في مواجهة أيّ عدوان جوي أو صاروخي ثلاثي أو رباعي، بمشاركة «إسرائيل» في حال حصوله .

هذا كما يمكن القول بأنّ موقف روسيا ورئيسها من توقيع الاتفاقية قد أدّى الى:

كشف أكاذيب نتن ياهو حول تفاهمات مزعومة عقدها مع الرئيس بوتين خلال زياراته المتكررة لروسيا، وبالتالي دحض أكاذيبه حول وجود ضمانات روسية بإبعاد المستشارين العسكريين الإيرانيين عن حدود الجولان المحتل.

إن ما أشاعته أوساط نتن ياهو، حول تفاهمات أميركية روسية حول التمركز الإيراني في جنوب سورية، لم يكن صحيحاً، لا بل إنه كان أضغاث أحلام تسربت الى رأس نتن ياهو .

إن توقيت توقيع الاتفاقية يؤشر الى أنه قد تمّ التفاهم عليه، وتحديده بين كلّ من روسيا وإيران وحزب الله بشكل يُؤمن ورقة استراتيجية إضافية لكلّ من الرئيس الروسي والإيراني، خلال القمة التي ستعقد في طهران يوم 7/9/2018، مما يقلّص هوامش لعب أردوغان على الحبال، وذلك لأنه سيكون في مواجهة ثلاث دول ترتبط باتفاقيات تعاون عسكري بالغة الأهمية وبالتالي مواجهة قوى ضغط موحدة لإنجاز تحرير إدلب من أنصار أردوغان الذين يضمّون بينهم حوالي أربعة عشر الف مواطن تركي او ممن يحملون الجنسية التركية او جوازات سفر تركية .

ما ذكر أعلاه يؤكد أيضاً انعدام أيّ احتمال لمواجهة مرتقبة بين الكبار في المنطقة، كما يُشاع لوجود ردع كافٍ يمنع وقوع مواجهة كهذه!

لا بل إننا نعتقد بأنّ مفعول الزيارة والمناورات سيزيد من حجم تقدّم محور المقاومة العالمي للأحادية الأميركية ويعزّز هجومه الاستراتيجي المنطلق منذ تحرير حلب، باعتباره المحور المنتصر على المحور الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» المهزوم انطلاقاً من البوابة السورية.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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Trump is willing to starve Palestinians into compliance with his Deal of the Century

Source / If Americans Knew Blog

The Trump administration has permanently cut $250 million in aid for the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, saying the appropriated funds will be “redirected” elsewhere.

Palestinians have always had just 3 wishes: a capital someday in Jerusalem, a return to the 1967 borders, and the Right of Return. Between Trump and Israel, there’s nothing left to even dream of: the barest minimum is disappearing – food, medicine, the title of “refugee.”

by Kathryn Shihadah, Palestine Home

President Trump seems to think he’s the perfect blend of Santa Claus and Scrooge. On Tuesday, he revealed that since Israel got its present last May – the embassy (what a glorious day) – the Palestinians will now “get something very good” because “it’s their turn next.”

What could it be? A pony? What could the Palestinians possibly wish for?

Ever since the 1948 Nakba, Palestinians have had only 3 modest longings.

  • Each generation has dreamed of worshiping unimpeded in Jerusalem, the city that PLO executive Hanan Ashrawi has called “the core of Palestinian existence, history and culture” and “beyond price,” the capital of their future state
  • Palestinians have imagined a return to the 1967 borders (no doubt many have fantasized about reclaiming the whole land, but 22% would be a windfall)
  • Palestinian refugees have visualized returning home to Palestine – the “Right of Return”

A capital? Nope.

Of course, Jerusalem is now just a memory to Palestinians: Trump essentially gave it as a Hanukkah gift to Israel last December.

(My Jewish acquaintances responded in the days following, “well, Jerusalem was ours all along, so this just makes it official. It’s no big deal. Nothing has changed.” Does this indicate ignorance or privilege, or perhaps a combination? Because for every Palestinian in the world, a part of their soul died that day.)

President Trump explained that his idea was brilliant (not stupid and reckless, like we thought): he had “taken Jerusalem off the table,” so now it’s no longer a point of contention. So simple, yet so elegant. This should streamline the peace process. Definitely.

African refugees in Israel face deportation.

1967 borders? Fat chance.

As for the 1967 borders, Palestinians recognize that’s a pipe dream. Settlements are growing, unimpeded – in spite of the United Nations’ frequent reminders that settlements are illegal. Israel is apparently the exception to every rule – breaking international laws, shooting unarmed people, imprisoning children, ethnically cleansing villages, dropping bombs on civilians.

Yep, that’s the country with which we share an “unbreakable bond based on common values.” These inspiring words have been uttered countless times by our Congress people, in spite of the above atrocities.

As of 21 August, 500 undocumented children in the US are still separated from their parents as they await deportation.

(Our legislators have a point: the United States and Israel have both treated indigenous peoples somewhat unreasonably; both have behaved rather shamefully toward minorities; each believes itself to be “a nation of immigrants” with total disregard for the natives of the land, and selectivity about which immigrants are desirable. We do have much in common.)

But to return to the issue of the settlements: there are now over 600,000 Israelis living on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Although there was plenty of available land within Israel, they took Palestinian land to build homes, schools, settler-only roads (does that sound like apartheid?); they created roadblocks so that Palestinians couldn’t drive or walk near settlements; they built a 25-foot-high concrete wall that blocks many Palestinians from their own families, farmland, schools, and businesses.

(Don’t bother with the argument that “the wall keeps the terrorists away,” because it doesn’t fly. It took 15 years to complete the wall – that means for 15 years, people could go around it. As recently as 2017, tens of thousands of Palestinians were illegally slipping into Israel every day – mostly through gaps where the wall had not yet been completed. Also, 1.5 million Palestinians live in Israel. One more thing: take a look at any detailed map of the wall, and you will see that – heavens to Betsy –  some settlements are on the same side of the wall as the Palestinians. So really, it is only the good will of Palestinians that will keep Israelis safe.)

So, in order for Palestinians to see their dream fulfilled, to return to the 1967 borders, 600,000 settlers would have to be relocated. Back in 2005, when only 8,000 settlers were evacuated from Gaza, they were given a generous compensation package and all kinds of incentives, totaling – in 2005 dollars, mind you, for just 8,000 settlers, mind you – about $2.5 billion. Israel “asked” the US to pay at least $2 billion of that, which is only fair since the US also paid for the building of the Gaza settlements to begin with. Someone (I’m guessing not Israel) would have to cough up a rather large sum today to relocate 600,000+ settlers.

An Israeli Jewish settler shoots in the air as Palestinians protest against the forced relocation of Israel’s Palestinian Bedouin minority from their villages in the Negev Desert.

But not to worry. According to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli settlers “aren’t going anywhere.” More and more settlers today – and the IDF soldiers who would enforce an evacuation – believe that the land in question was not snatched away from Palestinian farmers, but “given to them by God.” Resistance against any relocation program would be fierce, so it’s out of the question. Sorry, Palestinians. You’ll have to make do.

Golly, it’s a shame that the Israeli government actually encouraged ideological settlement, and that the Israeli Supreme Court approved settlement building time and time again (although the UN has declared settlements illegal), because now Palestinians are stuck with the burden of Israel’s failure to think ahead.

Right of Return? No can do.

A Jewish, Zionist acquaintance of mine explained why the Right of Return can never happen: Israel needs to have a Jewish majority. If a bunch of non-Jewish “Arabs” (um, they’re Palestinians) came swarming in, the Jewish State would no longer be Jewish.

Never mind that the United Nations guaranteed the Right of Return to the Palestinians in 1948. It’s just not really convenient.

Gee, maybe the founding fathers of the Jewish State should have thought about that 70 years ago. Their neglect to plan ahead is now the burden of several million Palestinian refugees.

But again, not to worry! President Trump will take care of it. When he’s not busy figuring out how not to get impeached, he’s working on a scheme to strip the refugee status from all but 20,000 Palestinians – rendering the Right of Return practically meaningless. (Not exactly the fix that Palestinians were hoping for.)

Which would also kill the last of the Palestinians’ dreams.

“For Hanukkah this year, Israel, Uncle Donald is giving you something you think is already yours: Jerusalem. Mazel tov!”

When Trump announced the embassy move, Palestinians suspended contact with him and his Dream Team. Clearly he is too partisan to be trusted. He went on to cut $65 million in funding to UNRWA; week after week he has ignored Gazan deaths during the Great March of Return; he wants to disappear millions of refugees.Thanks but no thanks

Now suddenly he says “it’s your turn,” and he expects Palestinians to come running back, ready to accept whatever crumbs he wants to drop on them? Is he surprised that they aren’t interested in his trinkets?

Spurned and insulted by this indifference, now Trump has also cut $251 million in economic aid to Palestinians. If there was any food or medicine left after the cuts to UNRWA, Palestinians can now count on starving until they get on the Trump Train.

What kind of “deal” is so bad that you have to be forced to take it?

And have you met Palestinians, Mr. Trump? They don’t cave.

Hanan Ashrawi

In the words of Hanan Ashrawi,

The US administration is demonstrating the use of cheap blackmail as a political tool. The Palestinian people and leadership will not be intimidated and will not succumb to coercion. The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale.

There is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation. The US administration has already demonstrated meanness of spirit in its collusion with the Israeli occupation and its theft of land and resources; now it is exercising economic meanness by punishing the Palestinian victims of this occupation.

No, President Ebenezer Scrooge, you won’t get Palestinians to sign on any dotted lines by persecuting them – they have mastered the fine art of survival in the face of oppression. They will settle for nothing less than justice.

Source / If Americans Knew Blog

Ariyana Love

Ariyana Love is Founder of Occupy Palestine TV, TLB Director of Middle East Rising and Goodwill Ambassador to Palestine (ICSPR, Gaza). Ariyana is Chairwoman of Meta Nutrients Trust, a Human Rights Defender and Activist.

israeli (apartheid state) weapons used in genocide against Rohingya Muslims

Source

Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh after being persecuted in Myanmar

Israeli weapons are used in the ethnic and religious cleansing carried out by the Myanmar army against the Rohingya minority, resulting in the persecution of 700,000 Muslims who were slaughtered and expelled from their country, ”said Israeli writer and journalist Tsur Shezaf in an article published by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

Shezaf asserted that “Israel contributed to the grievances of Rohingya Muslims through its refusal to abide by the UN international boycott resolutions to prevent supplying Myanmar with arms.”

He also noted that Israel continues, through its army, security services and military industries, sending various weapons to the Armed Forces of Myanmar, including military technology.

Shezaf added that “Israel and Myanmar have longstanding historical ties, and it is not reasonable that we repeat today the same mistakes that we made in South Africa, during the apartheid regime, with Myanmar which is committing ethnic cleansing crimes. Currently, Israel is contributing to a new tragedy.”

Read: Military intervention to protect the Rohingya still isn’t on the Western agenda

He confirmed that “Israel’s continued support for Myanmar’s actions, through sending arms and military supplies despite the mass killings, property destruction and rapes committed by the Army. This is an unjustifiable imbecility. This will result in the creation of new refugee camps around Myanmar, specifically in Bangladesh, and from there more armed groups will surface.

Shezaf also noted that “the Rohingyas are subjected to systematic deportation and ethnic cleansing by the Myanmarese and Buddhists in the western side of Myanmar. They are forced to stay in refugee camps set up by Bangladesh on small areas, sheltering one million women, toddlers, men, elders and infants.”

He pointed out that some Rohingya women are still having babies as a result of rapes committed by the Myanmar army, police and Buddhist monks.

Shezaf concluded: “Millions live amidst poor environmental circumstances, where they cannot have a minimum of decent living conditions.  Today, after Rohingyas’ lives became almost impossible, the UN woke up and officially declared that Myanmar, including the army, the police as well as the Buddhist establishment and even the Prime Minister and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, are all responsible for killing an entire population.”

Anti-Semitism Charges Against Jeremy #Corbyn are Diversion from israeli (apartheid state) Occupation of Palestine

Source

Jeremy Corbyn is a man who has dedicated his entire life to fighting racism and injustice — he is not a racist and therefore clearly he is not anti-Semitic. He has not once denied the Holocaust and therefore he is not a Holocaust-denier. It seems, however, that none of this matters to those who would bring him down.

By Miko Peled

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM — The U.K. Labour Party conference is more than three weeks away and Jeremy Corbyn, true to himself and his principles, has risen above the mud-slinging and continues to fight for the principles to which he has dedicated his entire life. He focuses on issues like social justice; caring for the many rather than the few, the millions not the millionaires; and, as Corbyn himself said in his speech at last year’s convention, “end[ing] the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Zionist groups within the Labour Party, which include LFI (Labour Friends of Israel) and the JLM (the Zionist ‘Jewish Labour Movement’), skillfully utilize the pro-Zionist media. They are trying — and failing — to paint Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite. However, the problem is not anti-Semitism but Corbyn’s stance on Palestine. These Zionist groups want to get rid of Corbyn because of his principled stance on Palestine, Israeli colonialism and occupation of Palestine, and they use anti-Semitism labels because they think it will work.

The 1972 Munich-attacks issue

The desperation of those seeking to oust Corbyn can be seen by the latest accusation against him: attending a memorial for terrorists.

It was given impetus by a remark by the Israeli prime minister, in what is a shocking intervention by Israel in British politics. Benjamin Netanyahu made remarks about the Labour leader, saying that he deserves “unequivocal condemnation.” In what can only be described as an escalation of the already heavy-handed intervention of Zionist groups to end Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Netanyahu said that Corbyn’s participation in a ceremony at a cemetery in Tunis in 2014 is deserving of condemnation, because — according to Netanyahu — terrorists are buried there.

Corbyn did not remain silent. True to himself once again, he struck back, reminding Netanyahu that what is deserving of condemnation is Israeli forces’ killing of hundreds of protesters in Gaza and the passing of the new, racist Israel Nation State Law.

Netanyahu — along with what may well be the loudest Zionist mouthpiece in Britain, The Daily Mail — claims that Corbyn was present at a ceremony and even laid a wreath on the graves of terrorists connected with the 1972 attack on the Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympic games.

The truth of the matter is that the event in which Corbyn participated had nothing to do with the Munich attack. In 2014 Jeremy Corbyn attended a service at a cemetery in Tunis commemorating the victims of the 1985 Israeli airstrike on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) offices in Tunis. This Israeli attack was a breach of international law, violated the sovereignty of another country, and received worldwide condemnation, including by the United States.

Furthermore, none of the eight men who participated in the Munich attack are buried in Tunis. The four men who are buried there — and whose tombstones are shown in The Daily Mail photo — are Salah Khalaf, who was Yasser Arafat’s deputy; his aide, Fakhri al-Omari; Hayel Abdel-Hamid, who was the PLO chief of security; and Atef Bseiso. Bseiso was assassinated in Paris in 1992 — 20 years after the Munich Olympics. He was heavily involved in talks with the CIA in an attempt to advance relations between the U.S. and the PLO. Israel claimed that all four were involved in the attack in Munich and had all of them assassinated either directly or by the proxy terror group, Abu-Nidal. There was never a shred of proof, not to mention a trial, to substantiate Israel’s allegations against these men.

 

Blatant intervention

The big question is why does the Israeli prime minister feel he needs to engage in such blatant intervention and and make such blatantly false accusations just as Britain’s largest political party is about to convene? Netanyahu and his henchmen must realize that U.K. Labour, having gained over half a million members since Jeremy Corbyn’s ascent as leader, is poised to win in the next elections, so that, if Israel fails to oust him, Jeremy Corbyn will end up in 10 Downing Street.

One of the ridiculous charges laid against Corbyn is the following: He was criticized for attending a passover Seder with a particular group of Jewish people who “dismissed concerns about anti-Semitism in the party.” So it is not good enough that he went to a Seder and that he opted to do so among people who live in his own constituency; he had to do so with Jewish people who think a particular way.

Corbyn was also criticized for participating in an event with the late Hajo Meyer, a Jewish holocaust survivor himself. This was in 2010, when Corbyn hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day event in London with Meyer as the main speaker. Hajo Meyer was, like many holocaust survivors, a fervent advocate for Palestinian rights and a severe critic of Israel — hence the criticism.

 

Anti-Semitism

Another sticking point is the self-appointed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which apparently adopted a new and, in their own words, “non-legally binding” working definition of anti-Semitism. Initially Labour’s national executive committee refused to accept this definition, but there are signs that a compromise might be on the horizon. This definition of anti-Semitism is one that entire Jewish communities do not accept because it seeks to silence criticism of Israel and conflates Zionism with Judaism. The anti-Semitism definition includes several clauses that have nothing to do with racism or anti-Semitism and have everything to do with protecting Israel from criticism. For example:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination; e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

 

War of attrition  

Another example, in which I was personally involved, has to do with a comment that I made at a fringe event during the 2017 Labour conference and that turned into a major news item. During a panel on free speech, I said that free speech means we should be able to discuss every issue, including Palestine and the Holocaust. The Daily Mail published this as though it was a scandalous thing to say and accused Labour and even Corbyn himself for allowing it to happen.

Every other newspaper in Britain followed suit and then papers in Palestine and even the Israeli papers picked it up as well. I added in my remarks that, while free speech should not be criminalized, we do not need to give a platform to proponents of any racist ideology, and that includes Zionists who regularly demand to be present and give their perspective at events and lectures.

My presence during the conference and my comments did not warrant such attention. However, this is a war of attrition in which Labour Friends of Israel, the so-called ‘Jewish Labour Movement, and the British Daily Mail are leading the charge and will jump at every opportunity to get attention. Once again, the problem was not denial of the Holocaust or anti-Semitism — because there was no expression of either one — but the fear of a discussion on Palestine and Zionism.

By trying to silence the discussion regarding Zionism and its legitimacy, Israel abuses the memory of the millions who died in the Holocaust, particularly the Jewish victims. There are entire communities of Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors who are quite ready to discuss and debate any issue, including the Holocaust, and who view the Zionists’ stance as absurd. These same Jewish communities also reject Zionism and support the Palestinian call for BDS, or Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. It is time that these voices be heard.

A woman walks past a Jeremy Corbyn mural in Camden, London on, June 1, 2017. (AP/Frank Augstein)

A woman walks past a Jeremy Corbyn mural in Camden, London on Thursday, June 1, 2017. After a career marked more by his appearance at peace marches and union rallies than speeches in Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, the bearded 68-year-old who promotes “the socialism of the 21st century’’, is trying to overcome skepticism about his leadership in a national election that will determine how the country exits the European Union. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Jeremy Corbyn is a man who has dedicated his entire life to fighting racism and injustice — he is not a racist and therefore clearly he is not anti-Semitic. He has not once denied the Holocaust and therefore he is not a Holocaust-denier. However, none of this matters. As was stated clearly in The Daily Mail, “The Board of Deputies of British Jews warned Mr. Corbyn to ‘come out of hiding’ and said the anti-Semitism crisis would not go away.” In other words, there is nothing he can say or do to “clear” himself. They are determined to oust him and they think the anti-Semitic card will do the trick.

Top Photo | Jeremy Corbyn addressing the Support for Gaza rally, 19th June 2014. (Photo: David Hardman/Flickr)

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

Syria Delivers Evidence to UN Showing Idlib Rebel Preparations to Stage “False Flag” Chemical Attack

Syria Delivers Evidence to UN Showing Peparations for False Flag Chemical Attack in Idlib

Source: Mint Press

Related:

NEW YORK — During a speech delivered on Tuesday to the United Nations Security Council, Syria’s Permanent UN Representative Bashir al-Jaafari claimed to have provided information to the council that was evidence that armed opposition groups, including Al Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, were gearing up to use chemical weapons against civilians in the Syrian province of Idlib in an effort to frame the Syrian government for the attack.

Jaafari’s warning comes as Syria and its allies are preparing for a major military offensive that would target the rebel-held Idlib province, which even mainstream Western outlets admit is dominated by terrorist groups and their affiliates.

Speaking to the council, Jaafari stated:

I put in your hands documented information on the preparations taken by Jabhat al-Nusra [al-Nusra Front] terrorist organization and the affiliated groups to use the chemical weapons against civilians in Idlib province to accuse the Syrian Arab Army and to justify any aggression that might be launched on Syria.”

He added that eight canisters of chlorine had been transported to Halouz village in Idlib. The evidence Jaafari provided to the Security Council regarding an imminent “false flag” attack has not been made public.

Jaafari’s mention of chlorine gas being transported into Idlib follows similar warnings from Russia’s Defense Ministry, which warned in a statement on Tuesday that “a large supply of poisonous [chemical] agents has been brought to the city of Saraqib on two trucks from the village of Afs” and that the deadly cargo has been “accompanied by eight members of the White Helmets organization” and received by two high-ranking Ahrar al-Sham commanders.

Ahrar al-Sham has long been a battlefield ally of al-Nusra Front and The New York Times wrote in 2015 that its membership included associates of Osama bin Laden. In addition, the White Helmets group, which receives millions in funding from Western governments, has repeatedly been linked to falsifying evidence of both bombings and chemical weapon attacks in order to facilitate Western military intervention in the Syrian conflict.

The Russian military added that a part of the load was later put into “unmarked plastic barrels and transported to another militant base in southern Idlib in order to stage the use of chemical weapons.” It is currently unclear if the area of southern Idlib cited in this statement coincided with Jaafari’s statements that chlorine gas canisters had been delivered to Halouz village in Idlib with this intent.

 

Ominous signs of a repeat of a familiar script

Warnings from Syria’s UN representative and the Russian military follow hawkish statements recently made by members of the Trump administration, particularly National Security Advisor John Bolton, who stated last Wednesday that the U.S. would respond “very strongly” if the Syrian government is accused of chemical weapons use in Idlib. Bolton, speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, also boasted of the U.S.’ past responses to alleged Syrian government involvement in chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians this April and in April of last year.

This past April, the U.S. decided to stage a retaliatory attack before an independent inquiry could be launched, relying on testimonies and video footage, provided by the White Helmets and Saudi-funded terror group Jaish al-Islam, from the Damascus suburb of Douma.

A year prior, in April 2017, the U.S. launched an attack against Syria for allegedly using sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib province. No independent investigation has ever been launched into the alleged attack — as UN-recognized investigators have been unable to reach the site, which is controlled by an Al Qaeda affiliate, for over a year. As with this past April’s “attack,” the U.S. had used “evidence” provided by Al Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the White Helmets to “prove” the Syrian government’s involvement.

Given recent warnings from both Syria and Russia, the events of the past two Aprils may soon repeat themselves in the coming weeks.

 

Top Photo | A Syrian soldier examines a chemical laboratory run by militants for the manufacture of poisonous substances and explosives in the basement of a home in a liberated suburb of Damascus. Mikhail Voskresenskiy | Sputnik

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestinians (16 – 29 August 2018)

PCHR Weekly Report  (16 – 29 August 2018)

 

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 16 – 29 August, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against Palestinian protestors in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian civilians were killed,
239 civilians, including 52 children, 6 women, and 5 paramedics, were wounded; 10 of those wounded sustained serious injuries. 14 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded and in the West Bank in addition to a foreign activist, who was wounded twice.

Shooting:

 

Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area since 30 March 2018. During the reporting period in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians.  Moreover, the Israeli forces wounded 241 others, including 52 children, 6 women, a fisherman and 6 paramedics. Ten of those wounded sustained serious wounds. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 14 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. Moreover, a Norwegian female activist was wounded twice.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 17 July 2018, Israeli forces killed Sa’adi Abu Mo’amer (27), in the east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, and Karim Abu Fatayer (28), in the vicinity of  Um Hassiniyah Hill, east of al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, during their participation in the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege activities. Both Sa’adi and Karim were hit with a live bullet to the head.

 

During the reporting period, while using the excessive force against the peaceful protesters along the Gaza Strip borders, the Israeli forces wounded 239 Palestinian civilians, including 52 children, 6 women and 5 paramedics. Ten of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip in the period between 16- 29 August 2018

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 71 21 2 0 5 6
Gaza City 75 10 0 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 30 8 0 0 0 1
Khan Younis 31 2 2 0 0 1
Rafah 32 11 2 0 0 2
Total 239 52 6 0 5 10

 

 

As part of targeting the border areas, the Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire 4 times at agricultural lands adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. As a result, the farmers, who were in their lands, were forced to leave them fearing for their lives, but no casualties were reported,

 

As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 4 shooting incidents against the fishermen, 2 of which were in the northern Gaza Strip, one in the central Gaza Strip and one in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result of these attacks, 6 fishermen were arrested, 2 of them sustained wounds and 3 fishing boats were confiscated.

 

In the West Bank, during the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 14 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. In addition a Norwegian female activist was wounded twice during her participation in the weekly demonstration, which is organized in Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 98 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 10 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 68 Palestinians, including 13 children and a journalist, in the West Bank.  Meanwhile, 24 other civilians, including a child and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 21 August 2018, the Israeli forces moved about 70 meters into the east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. They levelled lands adjacent to the fence and repaired the security fence before redeploying along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

 

Collective punishment:

 

As part of the collective punishment policy applied by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian families of those accused of carrying out attacks against the Israeli forces and/or settlers, Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Dar Yusuf (17) in Kuber village, north of Ramallah. The 100-square-meter house was comprised of one floor and sheltered 3 members, including a child. It should be noted that the Israeli forces killed the abovementioned child on 26 July 2018, when he carried out a stab attack in “Adam” settlement established on lands of Jaba’a village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. The attack resulted in the killing of an Israeli settler and the injury of 2 others. The Israeli forces are still detaining the child’s corpse.

 

Israeli Forces Continued their Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem

 

As part of demolishing houses and civilian facilities, on 29 August 2018, the Israeli municipality vehicles demolished a commercial shop in ‘Ein al-Lawz neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of the Old city in the occupied East Jerusalem. Samarin Family said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli police along with special forces raided and searched a printing house belonging to ‘Ezz Eden Samarin in ‘Ein al-Lawz neighbourhood and demolished it claiming that it was built without a license. The family added that the printing house was built on an area of 70 square meters and they rented it from Omer ‘Awni Siyam, who is its owner. The family also said that the municipality crews came 2 months later and took photos of the printing house and then  handed the family a demolition notice. The family confirmed that their lawyer stopped the demolition decision, but the municipality came and demolished the printing house.

 

As part of its Seizing Palestinian civilians property in favor of settlement associations, a group of settlers, under the Israeli forces protection, moved into al-Shiekh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem and seized a land belonging to Abdel Raziq al-Shiekh. Hashem Bader, Member of al-Shiekh Jarrah Families Committee, said that Israeli forces accompanied with representatives of the so-called Absentee Property Custodian Department  moved into al-Shiekh Jarrah neighborhood and seized a 50-square-meter land belonging to Abdel Raziq al-Shiekh, adjacent to his house and next to “Kabanyet Oum Haroun” area. He added that Israeli forces imposed a security cordon on the area and prevented Palestinian civilians from entering it. The Israeli forces then secured Israeli settlers and the bulldozer that levelled the land and uprooted the trees. It should be noted that the plot of land was seized without any judicial procedure, in which the “General Custodian “claims his ownership of the land. Bader added that ‘Abdel Raziq al-Shiekh owned the land for more than 50 years.

 

Israeli Forces Continued their Measures to Create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem

 

On 20 August 2018, Israeli forces levelled a residential tent belonging to Yusuf Ayoub Abu ‘Aram in Khirbat Kawakis, near the Street (317), southeast area of Yatta, south of Hebron, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

On 29 August 2018, Israeli forces demolished 4 barracks built of of tin plates and a concrete floor in Barta’a al-Sharqyia village in the annexation wall, southwest of Jenin. One of those barracks was used as a poultry slaughterhouse and the 3 other barracks were used for breeding livestock and poultry.  Moreover, 15 electricity poles feeding the area mentioned above were demolished.

 

As part of Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

In the reporting period, PCHR’s fieldworker in the West Bank documented 12 attacks by Israeli settlers, most of them were in the northern West Bank. As a result of these attacks, 3 civilians, including 2 children, were hit with stones and scattered glass. Moreover, 35 vehicles sustained material damage and 535 olive trees were uprooted, cut and broken.

Collective Punishment:

 

  • As part of the collective punishment policy adopted by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers or/and settlers, on Tuesday, 28 August 2018, the Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to Mohamed Dar Yousef (17) in Kobar village, north of Ramallah.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 03:30 on Tuesday, Israeli forces backed by dozens of military vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah.  They surrounded a house belonging to the family of Mohamed Dar Yousef (17) and then demolished it completely. The house was built on an area of 100 square meters, sheltering 3 members, including a child. Meanwhile, the Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters between the residential houses, but no injuries among civilians were reported.  At approximately 05:00, the Israeli forces withdrew from the village, and no more incidents were reported.

It should be noted that the Israeli forces killed the abovementioned child on 26 July 2018, when he carried out a stab attack in “Adam” settlement established on lands of Jaba’a village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. The attack resulted in the killing of an Israeli settler and the injury of 2 others. The Israeli forces are still detaining the child’s corpse. It should be noted that the Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to the family of the abovementioned child on 13 August 2018, and handed the family a written notice of the demolition decision after taking the house measurements.

 

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and they were named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” They were in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. The demonstrations during the last 2 Fridays were as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday 17 August 2018, thousands of Palestinian civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. A number of young men approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, flew kites, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00 on the same day. As a result, Sa’adi Akram Ahmed Abu Mo’amer (27) was killed after being hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 18:30. Sa’adi died as soon as he arrived at Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis at approximately 19:00. Moreover, 25 civilians, including 8 children and 2 women, were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel. The wounded civilians were taken to the medical points at the Return encampment, east of Rafah. They then were transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis. Doctors classified 2 civilians’ injuries as serious.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, 400 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. Dozens of them approached the border fence, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants. At approximately 17:00, the demonstrators moved into the vicinity of Um Hasaniyah Hill in and attempted to approach the barbed wire on the hill. However, the Israeli soldiers fired opened fire at them during their attempt to approach the hill. The clashes continued until approximately 20:30 on the same day. As a result, Karim Ahmed ‘Ali Abu Fatayer (28) from Deir al-Balah. Ahmed was hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 17:50 while he was among the demonstrators around 300 meters away from the border fence, adjacent to Um Hasaniyah Hill, east of al-Buraij refugee camp. Ahmed’s death was announced after half an hour of his arrival at al-Aqsa Hospital. Moreover, 20 civilians, including 6 children, were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel. The wounded civilians were transferred to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified their injuries between minor and moderate.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City in the 21st consecutive Friday titled “Revolutionaries for Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.” The activities included raising flags, chanting national slogans, setting fire to tires and flying kites. Though the demonstrations were fully peaceful, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 46 civilians, including 10 children, were wounded. Thirty one of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel, 15 were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of Palestinian swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. The protestors raised Palestinian flags, chanted national slogans and set fire to tires. Dozens of them approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The Israeli forces deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until approximately 20:30 on the same day. As a result, 34 civilians, including 8 children, and 2 paramedic, were wounded. Eighty of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel  and 16 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to PRCS, Medical Services, and the Ministry of Health to the Indonesian and al-‘Awda Hospitals. Doctors classified 4 civilians’ injuries as serious and they were identified as:

 

  1. Jamal Ibrahim Mohammed al-Sayed (30), a volunteer paramedic at PRCS from al-Buraij refugee camp, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the right knee.
  2. Mahmoud Yusri ‘Ayesh al-Masri (20), a volunteer paramedic at PRCS from Beit Hanoun, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right hand.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampment, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, to participate in the demonstrations established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege. They chanted national slogans and flew kites and balloons as dozens of them, including women and children, approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and set fire. A number of them attempted to throw stones at Israeli forces. The Israeli snipers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence deliberately and selectively targeted the participants, who were about 300 meters away from the border fence. Tear gas canisters were heavily fired by the Israeli soldiers stationed in military vehicles and by a drone hovering over the sky of the area. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, 18 civilians, including 2 children and 2 women, were wounded. Fourteen of them were hit with live bullets and 4 others were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 24 August 2018, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City in the 22nd consecutive Friday titled “Fulfillment to Efforts and Sacrifices of Medical Personnel.” The activities included raising flags, chanting national slogans, setting fire to tires and flying kites. Though the demonstrations were fully peaceful, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 29 civilians were wounded. Fifteen of them were hit with liv bullets and its shrapnel and 14 were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampment, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, to participate in the demonstrations established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege. They chanted national slogans and flew kites and balloons as dozens of them, including women and children, approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and set fire. A number of them attempted to throw stones at Israeli forces. The Israeli snipers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence deliberately and selectively targeted the participants, who were about 300 meters away from the border fence. Tear gas canisters were heavily fired by the Israeli soldiers stationed in military vehicles. The clashes continued until approximately 19:30 on the same day. As a result, 13 civilians were wounded. Six of them were hit with live bullets and 7 were hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified a civilian’s injury as serious.

 

  • Around the same time, hundreds of civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, 400 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. Dozens of them approached the border fence, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The Israeli forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, 10 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded. The wounded civilians were transferred via PRCS ambulances to al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified one of the children’s injury as serious and he was admitted to the operation room as soon as he arrived at the hospital. The other civilians’ injuries were classified between minor and moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:30, on the same Friday, hundreds of Palestinians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. The protestors raised Palestinian flags, chanted national slogans and set fire to tires. Dozens of them approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The Israeli forces deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until approximately 20:30 on the same day. As a result, 37 civilians, including 13 children, 2 women, and 3 paramedics, were wounded. Twenty eight of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel  and 9 were hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to PRCS, Medical Services, and the Ministry of Health to the Indonesian and al-‘Awda Hospitals. Doctors classified 3 civilians’ injuries as serious and they were identified as:

 

  1. Ahmed Abdul Bari al-‘Abed Abu Foul (35), a paramedic at PRCS was hit with a tear gas canister at the left shoulder.
  2. Abdul Rahim Mohammed Shehdah al-Madhoun (20), a paramedic at the Ministry of Health was hit with a tear gas canister to the left shoulder.
  3. Abdul Rahim Ashraf Abdul Rahim Abu Mahadi (20), a paramedic at the Ministry of Health was hit with a tear gas canister to the abdomen.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on the same Friday, thousands of Palestinian civilians swarmed at the Return encampment established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. A number of young men approached the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, flew kites, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The Israeli soldiers fired live bullet and tear gas canisters at them. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00 on the same day. As a result, 7 civilians, including 3 children, were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel. The wounded civilians were taken to the medical point in the Return encampment and then transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 18 August 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim” settlement. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding to end the occupation and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, Norwegian activist, Christine Folls (35), was hit with a rubber bullet to the abdomen.

 

  • At approximately 13:40 after performing Friday prayer on 24 August 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim” The protestors chanted national slogans demanding to end the occupation and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 8 civilians, including the Norwegian activist, Christine Folls (35), were wounded, who was hit with a rubber bullet to the right foot, and Mo’men Murad Eshtiwi (8), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the back. It should be noted that the Norwegian activist was hit with a rubber bullet to the abdomen on 18 August 2018, during her participation in a similar demonstration at the abovementioned entrance.
  • Seizing Palestinian Civilians Property in Favor of Settlement Associations

 

  • On Monday morning, 27 August 2018, a group of settlers, under the Israeli forces protection, moved into al-Shiekh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem and seized a land belonging to Abdel Raziq al-Shiekh. Hashem Bader, Member of al-Shiekh Jarrah Families Committee, said that Israeli forces accompanied with representatives of the so-called Absentee Property Custodian Department moved into al-Shiekh Jarrah neighborhood and seized a 50-square-meter land belonging to Abdel Raziq al-Shiekh, adjacent to his house and next to “Kabanyet Oum Haroun” area. He added that Israeli forces imposed a security cordon on the area and prevented Palestinian civilians from entering it. The Israeli forces then secured Israeli settlers and the bulldozer that levelled the land and uprooted the trees. It should be noted that the plot of land was seized without any judicial procedure, in which the “General Custodian “claims his ownership of the land. Bader added that ‘Abdel Raziq al-Shiekh owned the land for more than 50 years and the Israeli settlers seized it without a court decision. Lawyer Majed Ghanayem was able to issue an order to stop the seizing temporarily. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities target al-Shiekh Jarrah neighborhood through implementing settlement plans in cooperation with settlement associations to seize Palestinian lands and facilities. In the previous years, a number of houses and facilities were seized and transferred to settlement outposts.

 

  • House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • At approximately 9:00 on Wednesday, 29 August 2018, the Israeli Municipality vehicles demolished a commercial shop in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Samarin Family said that the Israeli police and Israeli Special forces raided a printing house belonging to ‘Izz al-Deen Samrin in ‘Ain al-Louza and then demolished it under the pretext of non-licensing. The family added that the 70-square-meter printing house was rented from ‘Omar ‘Awni Siyam. Samarin Family said that the Israeli Municipality staffs came 2 months ago and took photos of the printing house and then handed the family a demolition notice. Samarin Family confirmed that Siyam Family stopped the demolition decision by their lawyer, but the Israeli Municipality came and demolished the printing house.

Omar ‘Awni Siyam, the owner of commercial shop, said that the printing house was built 15 years ago after getting an approval from the Israeli Municipality and building a street in the neighborhood. Omar clarified that the Israeli Municipality’s claims that the printing house has no licenses are wrong. He said: “today, I tried to submit and show a paper, which includes the approval from the Israeli Municipality to build the printing house, but the Israeli forces and municipality refused and insisted to demolish it. He stated that the Israeli Municipality issued the demolition decision on 08 August 2018. He then headed along with the lawyer to the municipality to challenge the decision, clarifying that the printing house is licensed. It should be noted that the lawyer and the printing house owner don’t receive any response from the municipality until now. Siyam added that the 70-square-meter printing house was rented by Samarin family.

While demolishing the printing house, the Israeli forces barbarically attacked civilians in ‘Ain al-Louza neighborhood, beat them, heavily fired sound bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at them, and pepper-sprayed at them. The neighborhood’s residents stated that the Israeli forces intentionally beat all women, children, elderlies, youngsters, and paramedics. Furthermore, the Israeli forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at medical center and then attempted to raid it. As a result, 8 civilians sustained various wounds. Haitham Yaghmour, Director of the Medical Center in ‘Ain al-Louza village, said that 8 civilians arrived at the center after beating them by the Israeli forces; one of them was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the hand while other civilians were hit with batons to head and neck. Moreover, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation.

Haitham Yaghmour added that the Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at the medical center while a number of pregnant women were waiting the Obstetrics and Gynecology doctor. As a result, 3 of those women suffered tear gas inhalation and were then taken to al-Makassed Hospital. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that its staff took the pregnant woman, who suffered tear gas inhalation during the demolition incidents occurred in Silwan village, to the hospital.

Amjad Abu ‘Asab, Head of the Prisoners’ Families Committee in Silwan village, said that the Israeli police severely beat 4 Palestinian civilians and then arrested them during the demolition occurred in Silwan village. Among those arrested persons were Izz al-Deen Samrin (30), the printing house owner, Tarek al-Rowaidi (23) and Ahmed Samarin (46).

 

  • Settlers ‘attacks Against Palestinian Civilians’ Property

 

  • On Sunday morning, 19 August 2018, a group of Israeli settlers, from the so-called “Price Tag” groups, wrote racist slogans and damaged vehicles in a Palestinian neighborhood in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Mohammed Abu Humus, Member of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Issawiyia village, said that a group of Israeli settlers wrote bad slogans against Jerusalemites on the walls of Palestinians’ houses in Habayel al-‘Arab neighborhood. He added that the settlers punctured tires of 15 vehicles parked in the neighborhood, pointing out that the Israeli police came and opened an investigation. He also said that the area, where the incident took place, is full of Israeli surveillance cameras which means that the Israeli police can identify those settlers and immediately arrest them after watching the cameras records. The “Price Tag” gangs are groups of settlers, who carry out attacks against Palestinians, their property, their sanctities and places of Islamic and Christian worship. These gangs were officially appeared in 2008 and called themselves “Tag Mahir”, which means “Price Tag” in Arabic.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 27 August 2018, Israeli forces baked by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbit Zanotah, west of al-Dahiriyia village, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff took photos of a school built with bricks and fixed a notice on it to stop construction works under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C, to the 1993 Oslo Accords. It should be noted that on 09 April 2018, the Israeli forces demolished the school, which was comprised of tents and a concrete floor, and confiscated all students ‘desks. As a result, around 39 students were deprived of continuing their study. The students’ families were also forced to register their sons in nearby villages, which are 2 kilometers away from their village. Around 150 persons belong to 27 families are living in Kherbit Zanotah and breeding livestock. In 2007, the Israeli Civil Administration issued demolition orders against many houses under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that Kherbit Zanotah has no structural map to build on it or to obtain construction licenses. The Israeli Civil Administration claimed that the above-mentioned village is too mush small and does not need a structural map, clarifying that the distance between the village and other nearby villages is too far.

 

  • At approximately 06:00, on Wednesday, 29 August 2018, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with 3 bulldozers and 3 military jeeps of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Barta’a al-Sharqyia village, southwest of Jenin. The Israeli forces stationed in Shusha area, south of Barta’a al-Sharqyia village, and demolished 4 barracks built of tin plates and a concrete floor. One of those barracks was used as a poultry slaughterhouse and the 3 other barracks were used for breeding livestock and poultry. Moreover, 15 electricity poles feeding the area mentioned above were destroyed. Those barracks were owned by:

1- ‘Adnan Ahmed Moustafa Qabha: a 250-square-meter barrack was used for breeding livestock and poultry.

2- Yihya Ratib Mohammed Qabha: a 300-sqaure-meter barrack was used as poultry farm.

3- Mohammed ‘Ali Hassan: a 500-square-meter barrack for breeding livestock.

4- Jawwad Abed Hamdan Qabha: a 350-square-meter barrack used as a poultry slaughterhouse and a farm. This barrack was rented by ‘Anan al-Shaf’I, from Nablus, to work in it.

 

  • On Wednesday morning, the Israeli Civil Administration handed notices for a number of lands’ owners located in the vicinity of al-faridis square, east of Bethlehem, adjacent to the bypass street that connects settlements established on civilians’ lands, east of Bethlehem, in ” Har Homa” settlement, which became one of Jerusalem’s suburbs. A number of the land’s owners stated that Israeli soldiers threw the notices along with a map shows the lands location. The Israeli forces clarified in the notices that they intent to seize those lands, which are estimated at dozens of dunums, for security reasons. The abovementioned lands belong to many civilians. The notices included information stating that the Israeli forces intent to uproot hundreds fruitful trees planted on the lands. The notices include: “the trees should be removed from the area to be visible and to secure the vehicles’ movement, whether military or private vehicles”. The lands’ owners said that this decision is serious and aims at seizing the lands under security reasons and annexing them into nearby settlement outposts. The owners clarified that this is the Israeli authorities’ approach to seize lands, confirming that the decision will isolate more lands and prevent residents from living or planting there.

 

Israeli settlers’ attack:

 

  • At approximately 09:00, on Tuesday, 20 August 2018, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Mitzpe Yair” settlement, moved into an under-construction room in Khirbat Kawakis, near the Street (317), southeast area of Yatta, south of Hebron. The settlers attempted to steal construction materials from the room. Meanwhile, a group of civilians rushed and tried to confront the settlers. After that, Israeli police and forces arrived at the area, disperse civilians and then confiscated the construction materials from the room. Following that, the Israeli forces brought a bulldozer and levelled a residential tent belonging to Yousif Ayoub abu Aram, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • At approximately 23:20, on Thursday, 16 August 2018, following the killing of an Israeli settler in a traffic accident near “Havat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus, a group of settlers, from “Yitzhar” settlement, attacked al-Mahajer area, between ‘Urif and ‘Aseera al-Qeblyia villages, east of ‘Urif village, south of Nablus. The settlers set fire at a digger belonging to ‘Ali ‘Eissa Makhlouf, from ‘Aseera al-Qeblyia village, after pouring a flammable material at the digger.

 

  • At approximately 07:00, on Friday, 17 August 2018, Yousif Sliman Hassan headed to his work on a plot of land belonging to Na’el Ahmed Mohammed ‘Awaysa, from al-Laban al-Sharqiyah village, south of Nablus. When Yousif arrived at the land, which is located in Wad ‘Ali area, south of al-Laban al-Sharqiyah village, adjacent to the entrance of “Eli” settlement, he was surprised that around 85 trees planted in an area of 360 square meters were damaged. The trees planted 5 – 7 years ago.

 

  • At approximately 23:30, on Friday , a group of settlers, from “Meria” settlement, which is built on the lands of Ras Karkar village, northwest of Ramallah, moved into al-Mugtama mount, north of Ras Karkar village. The settlers cut and damaged about 70 olive trees belonging to Khaled Samhan (66). They also wrote Hebrew racist slogans on a surface of a water well built in the same place.

 

  • On Saturday morning, 18 August 2018, a group of settlers, from “Mavodotan” settlement, which is built west of ‘Araba village, southwest of Jenin, attacked a land belonging to Nazmi Mohammed Dehaidy and his brothers Mahmoud and Subhi ; and a land belonging to their neighbor Mustafa ‘Obaid and his brothers in al-Quraynat area near “Mavodotan” settlement. The settlers cut 350 olive trees using automatic saws. The trees planted 15 -to 25 years ago.

 

  • At approximately 23:40, on Sunday, a group of settlers, from “Yitzhar” settlement, south of Nablus, attacked a car belonging to Monther ‘Abdel Hafeez Taher Mousa (43), from Tulkarm, while entering the entrance of “Yitzihar” settlement. As a result, Monther and his two sons, Tarik and Mohammed, were injured by the shrapnel of glass and stones. Monther said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

At approximately 23:40, on Saturday, 18 August 2018, I was driving back from Ramallah to my house in Tulkarm, along with my children, Tarek (14) and Mohammed (6), and Mohammed Saleh Mahmoud Awwad (16). When I reached “Yitzihar” settlement’s intersection, south of Nablus, I was surprised with a group of settlers setting on top of a hell on the street and they threw stones at my car. They directly hit the car’s left window and hit my face too. Tarek, who was setting in the backseat, was hit with a stone at his right shoulder, and Mohammed was hit with glass shrapnel throughout his body and his legs. I tried to flee, but a black car belonging to Israeli settlers obstructed my way from the right side, meanwhile, I tried to flee from the left side of the street, but I could not due to  obstructing me again. When the settler drove back, I increased my speed and fled towards Madama village. I stopped to bandage my wounds with a help of a pharmacist from the village. The pharmacist called a Palestinian ambulance that transferred us to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus, where we received medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, on Tuesday, 21 August 2018, which was the first day of ‘Eid al-Adha, a group of settlers, from “Yitzahar” settlement, south of Nablus, attacked a house belonging to Nihad Najeh Abdelfattah Sabbah from ‘Urif village. The house is located between ‘Urif and ‘Ein’abous villages. The settlers punctured tires of Nihad’s car and drew Magen David Adom (MDA) and a smile face on the back of his car. After that, they withdrew towards ‘Urif village.

 

  • At approximately 15:00, on Wednesday, 22 August 2018, a group of settlers, from “Yitzahar” settlement, south of Nablus, attacked the south part of Madama village under the Israeli forces’ protection. The settlers threw stones at civilians’ houses , so a number of village residents gathered and threw stones on the settlers and the Israeli soldiers. ‘Emad Ibrahim Sa’ada Ziyada (46) moved forward to talk to the soldiers but he was immediately hit with 4 rubber coated-metal bullets at his left hand, chest and his waist. ‘Emad was transferred to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus for treatment.

 

  • At approximately 05:45, on Thursday, 23 August 2018, about 15 settlers, from “Yitzahar” settlement, south of Nablus, attacked al-Sarar area in the eastern outskirts of ‘Urif village. The settlers punctured tires of 3 cars and smashed their windows while parking in front of their owners’ houses. Those cars belong to:
  • Ziyad Abdel’aziz Shehada. The Israeli settlers smashed his car’s windows and punctured its front and back tires. It should be noted that, on 13 July 2018, settlers set fire to 2 cars belonging to Ziyad.

2-Mahmoud Mahfouz Jamil Shehada. The Israeli settlers fully smashed his car’s windows and punctured 3 of its tires.

3-Baker Nabil Mustafa Shehada. The Israeli settlers punctured its 4 tires and fully smashed its windows.

 

  • At approximately 06:30, on Friday, 24 August 2018, Mohammed Ghazi Hassan Suliman headed to his work on a land belonging to his uncle, Ahmed Hassan Mahmoud Sulieman, both of them from al-Sawya village, south of Nablus. The land is located in Wad al-Sawya village, near “Rahlim” settlement, south of Nablus. When Mohammed reached the land, he was surprised that 30 olive trees were cut with automatic saws.

 

  • At approximately 17:30 on Friday, a group of Israeli settlers gathered at the entrance to “Homesh” settlement, which was evicted, on Nablus-Jenin Road, northwest of Nablus. The settlers threw stones at vehicles belonging to Palestinian civilians and passing through the road mentioned above and carried out riots on the street.

 

  • At approximately 21:00, on Monday, 27 August 2018, a group of settlers, from “Yitzahar” settlement, south of Nablus, attacked and threw stones at a house belonging to Nihad Najeh Abdel Fattah Sabbah, at the entrance to ‘Einabous, south of Nablus. As a result, the house’s balcony was damaged and its windows were smashed. It should be noted that Sabbah family, which is consisting of the parents and 2 children, were out of the house when the attack happened.

 

  • On Monday evening, a group of settlers, from “Shilo” settlement, which was established on a part of Senjil village’s lands, north of Ramallah, attacked the outskirts of the village, near the main street of Ramallah-Nablus. The settlers set fire to tires of 15 Palestinian vehicles and wrote racist slogans in Hebrew on the houses’ walls, calling for revenge and killing Palestinian civilians.

 

 

Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

Before israel’s (apartheid state) character assassination of Corbyn, Netanyahu took the time to celebrate a terrorist attack that killed 28 Britons

By Whitney Webb | MintPress

Netanyahu’s criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s wreath-laying ceremony to honor those killed in an Israeli airstrike is entirely disingenuous, not just because the accusations made were inaccurate, but because Netanyahu himself has attended a ceremony celebrating a terror attack.

Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to the Cemetery of the Martyrs of Palestine in Tunisia, October 2014. Photo | Palestinian Embassy

After months of a concerted U.K. media campaign aimed at painting Jeremy Corbyn’s solidarity with Palestine as “anti-Semitism,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu jumped in the ring on Monday, accusing the leader of the Labour Party via Twitter of having laid a wreath on “the graves of the terrorist[s] who perpetrated the Munich massacre.”

Netanyahu’s tweet came after U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail published a story based around photos of a 2014 event honoring those killed in a 1985 Israeli airstrike on the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) offices in Tunis, Tunisia at which Corbyn was present.

According to a report from the Guardian, some of the people honored at that ceremony were “believed to be connected [emphasis added] to Black September, which carried out the terror attack on Israelis at the 1972 Olympics, in which 11 people died.” Subsequently, that suspicion has been used to paint Corbyn’s attendance at the event as proof of his having commemorated “terrorists” who attacked Israelis.

However, it must be noted that the 1985 airstrike on PLO offices in Tunis, which Corbyn claims he was commemorating at the event, killed an estimated 60 people and wounded at least 60 more. Many of the dead were “women and children, many of them Tunisians,” according to a New York Times report on the incident. At the time, the Tunisian Ambassador to France, Hedi Mabrouk, called the strike ”state terrorism” on Israel’s part.

Corbyn, speaking after the Daily Mail published its piece about the wreath-laying ceremony, confirmed that his appearance at the event was aimed at honoring all those killed in the airstrike, particularly the dead civilians. The Guardian quoted Corbyn as saying:
I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence; the only way you can pursue peace [is] by a cycle of dialogue.
Despite the explanation, those who have sought to cast Corbyn’s support for the Palestinian cause as “anti-Semitism” have continued to attack the Labour party leader on his position, as made clear by Netanyahu’s recent involvement in the dispute. However, Corbyn made it clear that such attacks will not deter him from speaking up on behalf of Palestinians.

A few hours after Netanyahu’s tweets, Corbyn responded, writing:
Netanyahu’s claims about my actions and words are false. What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.”
Corbyn went on to criticize the passage of Israel’s controversial “Nation State law,” stating that the measure “discriminates against Israel’s Palestinian minority.”

Do as I say, not as I do

Netanyahu’s criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s wreath-laying ceremony to honor those killed in an Israeli airstrike is entirely disingenuous, not just because the accusations made were inaccurate, but because Netanyahu himself has attended a ceremony in the past celebrating a terror attack that killed 91 people in 1946.

On the morning July 22, 1946, several members of the Irgun — a right-wing Zionist militia — snuck into the King David Hotel in Jerusalem disguised as Arab hotel employees, planting over 800 pounds of explosives in the hotel’s basement. The hotel had been chosen because it hosted the central offices of the British Mandate authorities of Palestine, including the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Armed Forces in Palestine. The resulting explosion, which caused a significant portion of the hotel to collapse, killed 91 people including 28 British nationals. Even parties sympathetic to those who planted the bombs admit that most of those killed were civilians.

Sixty years after the tragedy, which even mainstream Israeli scholars now recognize as an “act of terror” that “stained” Israel’s history, an event was hosted by former Irgun fighters and right-wing Israeli politicians, including Netanyahu.

During the event, the former terrorists and politicians — Netanyahu among them — placed a plaque at the site of the bombing that read:
The hotel housed the Mandate Secretariat as well as the Army Headquarters. On July 22, 1946, Irgun fighters at the order of the Hebrew Resistance Movement planted explosives in the basement. Warning phone calls had been made urging the hotel’s occupants to leave immediately. For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded, and to the Irgun’s regret and dismay, 91 persons were killed.”
The British government, however, asserted that no such warning from the Irgun group had ever been received by British authorities and pressured Israel’s government to remove the plaque. Though Israel never removed the plaque, it was amended to remove the reference to “warning phone calls” that seemed to imply that the British authorities had ignored the warnings.

Given that Netanyahu attended the event — not to commemorate the victims, but to celebrate the “resistance” fighters who planted the bomb that took 91 lives — his criticism of Corbyn for laying a wreath in memory of those killed by an Israeli airstrike rings utterly hollow.

Source URL

Crucifying Corbyn: Former Chief Rabbi Joins in The anti-Semitism smear-mongering gets more bizarre each day

Source

(Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks speaks at TED2017. Image credit: Bret Hartman/ TED Conference/ Flickr)
By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | August 30, 2018

The nasty slur campaign against Jeremy Corbyn has just plumbed new depths with a hark-back to 1968 and the “Rivers of Blood” speech by Enoch Powell. It seems to have been prompted by a remark Corbyn made in 2013 that British Zionists had two problems: “One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony.”

In anti-Semitism terms that’s a flogging offence, even when it might be true. The former Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, immediately took umbrage saying that Corbyn’s criticism of British Zionists was the most offensive statement made by a senior politician since Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech. Sacks told the New Statesman : “It was divisive, hateful and, like Powell’s speech, it undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.”

He said Corbyn had implied “Jews are not fully British” and that he was “using the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism”, adding that Corbyn was an anti-Semite who “defiles our politics and demeans the country we love”. He had “given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map”.

Sacks’ words could equally be taken to mean those who align themselves with Israeli hate and the wish to kill Palestinians and wipe Palestine from the map – which they have already done quite literally. And if Corbyn defiles our politics so does the Israel lobby. But the irony must have escaped him.

Just how righteous is the moralising Lord Sacks? In a House of Lords debate in 2014 on the Middle East in general and the question of formal recognition of Palestine by the UK in particular, the former Chief Rabbi got up and made a speech that was more like a pro-Israel rant. After a long winded spiel about the history of Israel and Jerusalem – from the Jewish angle of course – he went on to demonise Hamas and Hezbollah in the manner recommended by Israel’s ‘hasbara’ handbook and all the more absurd when Israel’s hands are so unclean. Everyone knows that Hamas has agreed to a long-term truce with Israel provided it ends the illegal occupation, gets back behind its 1967 borders and accepts the refugees’ right of return – all as per UN resolutions and subject to a Palestinian referendum. And Hezbollah, as Sacks knows perfectly well, was formed to resist the Israeli occupation of Lebanon after the 1982 war.

Israel, said Sacks, is the place where his people were born almost 4,000 years ago. As an ardent promoter of the Jewish religion, the Jewish state and the idea that God gave Jews exclusive title to Jerusalem, he seemed oblivious to the irony of his speech especially where he said: “When ancient theologies are used for modern political ends, they speak a very dangerous language indeed. So, for example, Hamas and Hezbollah, both self-defined as religious movements, refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the state of Israel within any boundaries whatever and seek only its complete destruction.”

Where does he get his information? Israel won’t define its boundaries, leaving them fluid for endless expansion, and does a first-class job of de-legitimising itself by its defiance of international law and utter contempt for norms of human decency and obligations under UN Charter and other agreements.

Zionists distort the scriptures to claim Jerusalem is theirs by Divine right, it was already 2000 years old and an established, fortified city when King David captured it. The Jews lost Jerusalem to the Babylonians, recaptured it, then lost it again to the Roman Empire in 63BC. When they rebelled Hadrian threw them out in 135. Until the present illegal occupation the Jews had only controlled Jerusalem for some 500 years, small beer compared to the 1,277 years it was subsequently ruled by Muslims and the 2000 years, or thereabouts, it originally belonged to the Canaanites.

Jerusalem was also a Christian city. The 4th century saw the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Persians came and went. Then, after the Islamic conquest in 690, two major shrines were constructed over the ruins of the earlier temples — the Dome of the Rock from which Muhammed is said to have ascended to Heaven, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Crusaders re-took Jerusalem in 1099 and The Temple Mount became the headquarters of the Knights Templar. In 1187 Saladin ended the Crusader Kingdom and restored the city to Islam while allowing Jews and Christians to remain if they wished.

As the saying goes, “None has claim. All have claim!”

Nowhere in his speech did Lord Sacks address the main question of British recognition of Palestinian statehood. Nowhere did he recommend the jackboot of oppression be immediately lifted and the Palestinians granted their human rights and their freedom. That would surely have been the Christian position and, I imagine [?], the true Jewish one.

It is what the Rabbi failed to say on this important occasion that makes me wonder whether he’s an instrument of God or just another preacher of Israeli ‘hasbara’. I read somewhere that Lord Sacks is of Polish/Lithuanian extraction. Most Palestinians can demonstrate ancestral ties to the ancient Holy Land. Can he?

“Jeremy Corbyn moved the rock and the antisemites crawled out”

Corbyn is also in trouble over a remark he made in 2010 at a meeting of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign suggesting that MPs who took part in a parliamentary debate on the Middle East had their comments prepared for them by the Israeli ambassador. I’d say that was fair comment although the scriptwriters were more likely to have been Mark Regev’s propaganda team in Tel Aviv. Regev, a propaganda expert from the dark side, is now Israel’s ambassador in London. Oh, the irony (again).

And a few days ago we heard that Jews are preparing to quit Britain because they fear Jeremy Corbyn taking power, according to the former chairman of the Conservative Party Lord Feldman. So says The Times.

Feldman wrote an open letter to Mr. Corbyn telling him that Jewish people were making contingency plans to emigrate because Labour had become a hotbed of anti-Jewish feeling. “Many Jewish people in the United Kingdom are seriously contemplating their future here in the event of you becoming prime minister. Quietly, discreetly and extremely reluctantly, they are making contingency plans.”

One of these is Mark Lewis, a prominent solicitor and a former director of lawfare firm UK Lawyers for Israel, who is emigrating to Israel with his partner, Mandy Blumenthal. It is believed she is the National Director of Likud-Herut UK, an affiliate of the Zionist Federation and whose website is full of preposterous ideas such as: “We believe that terms like ‘illegal occupation’ should never go unchallenged….” and “Such criticism as we may have [of Israel] should never be expressed publicly….”

Lewis, who describes himself as an ‘unapologetic Zionist’, said: “Jeremy Corbyn moved the rock and the antisemites crawled out from underneath.” And he told the Evening Standard: “I don’t feel welcome in this country anymore.” So he’s off to that hotbed of racism and apartheid, Israel.

Being unwelcome is not a happy feeling. I know this from my trips to Israel, what with their rudeness, threatening behavior, intrusive searches, hostile questioning and unforgivably vile treatment of our Palestinian friends. It’s not as if we want to be in Israel – we are forced to divert there on account of Israel’s illegal military occupation. And when we eventually reach Palestine we have to put up with the presence of arrogant Israeli gunslingers strutting the streets, setting up hundreds of roadblocks, using obstructive tactics with brutish behavior, creating endless queues and interfering with Palestinian life at every level.

And if we try traveling to Palestine direct, like the humanitarian aid boats Al-Awda, and Freedom last month, we get violently and unlawfully assaulted on the high seas, beaten up, thrown in a stinking Israeli jail and have our belongings and money stolen by the Israeli military desperate to maintain their illegal blockade of Gaza.

So, if Messrs Feldman, Lewis and Blumenthal feel more comfortable with those criminals they’d better join them.

In answer to the babble put out by Zio-propagandists, church leaders in the Holy Land issued their 2006 Jerusalem Declaration saying:

“We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.

“We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine… We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation.”

This still stands. And as the Declaration also points out, “discriminative actions [by the Occupation] are turning Palestine into impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements. The establishment of the illegal settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall on confiscated Palestinian land undermines the viability of a Palestinian state as well as peace and security in the entire region”.

That comes from genuine churchmen working in the front line against armed Zio-thugs whose vicious day-to-day persecution of the Christian and Muslim communities in the Holy Land makes a nonsense of accusations of anti-semitism in the UK.

I think we can deduce from all this that Zionism is a menace. Nothing has changed for the better; it has got steadily worse.

‘We want our Jerusalem back, and our state’

In 2010 Fr Manuel Musallam, a gritty Catholic priest with long experience of Israel’s cruel and illegal occupation, told members of the Irish Government: “Christianity in the region has been destroyed not by Muslims but by Israel. Israel destroyed the church of Palestine and the church of Jerusalem beginning in 1948. It, not Muslims, has sent Christians in the region into a diaspora…  We have spoken to Israel for more than 18 years and the result has been zero. We have signed agreements here and there at various times and then when there is a change in the Government of Israel we have to start again from the beginning. We ask for our life and to be given back our Jerusalem, to be given our state and for enough water to drink…  I have not seen Jerusalem since 1990.”

Archbishop Theodosius Hanna (Greek Orthodox Church) told them: “Palestine is the place from where Christianity comes…. Everything that has happened to the Palestinians between 1948 and today has happened to all Palestinians, including Christian Palestinians.

“What we are after is freedom and dignity just as freedom and dignity have been bestowed on so many nations in the world. We want that too. When we speak about peace, we also speak about justice because it is impossible to have peace without justice. Peace is part of justice. Unfortunately, in the Holy Land there is no such thing as justice.”

Corbyn should remind his tormentors of all this and take no lectures from those who support Zionism and adore the racist state it spawned.

israel (apartheid state) controls UK politicians’ speech: Corbyn

Israel controls UK politicians’ speech: Corbyn

Press TV – August 30, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn, Britain's Labour Party leader (Photo by AFP)Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s Labour Party leader (Photo by AFP)

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is battling allegations of anti-Semitism in his party, has come under fire for a 2010 speech where he said speeches British lawmakers make are controlled by the Tel Aviv regime.

The videotaped remarks were made during Corbyn’s meeting with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in London following Israel’s deadly raid on an aid flotilla that attempted to break the years-long blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

During the May 2010 attack, 10 Turkish activists onboard the Mavi Marmara were killed after Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship and opened fire.

Criticizing British lawmakers’ pro-Israeli reactions to the attack, Corbyn reportedly said during the meeting that the MPs “all turned up [to the debating chamber] with a pre-prepared script. I’m sure our friend Ron Prosor (the Israeli ambassador) wrote it. Because they all came up with the same key words. It was rather like reading a European document looking for buzz-words.”

“And the buzz-words were, ‘Israel’s need for security.’ And then ‘the extremism of the people on one ship.’ And ‘the existence of Turkish militants on the vessel.’ It came through in every single speech, this stuff came through,” he added.

The Israeli lobby has long complained about what it calls Corbyn’s tolerance for anti-Semitism in his party.

An open critic of Israel’s crimes against the people of Palestine, Corbyn has drawn fire from his opponents by allowing the members of his party to speak their mind about Israel and its occupation of Palestinian lands.

Earlier this week, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism launched an online campaign to pressure Labour lawmakers into issuing a vote of no-confidence in Corbyn and force him to resign.

The Labour leader most recently came under fire for video footage of a speech from 2013, where he says “Zionists” can’t understand British ways of thinking despite growing up in the country. Corbyn defended his remarks, saying by Zionists did not mean Jews.

Meanwhile, Corbyn’s allies in and outside of the UK have rushed to his support in the face of the Israeli media upsurge that try to portray him as an anti-Semite.

Israeli lawmaker Haneen Zoabi said Wednesday that the attacks against Corbyn were “unjust, offensive and absurd.”

“Corbyn’s criticism is justified. And the state, which deals with theft, murder and racist acts under the law of nationality, is rightly justified by this criticism,” the Israeli Knesset member said.

GLOBAL NETWORK FOR SYRIA: “STATEMENT ON IMPENDING US, UK AND FRENCH MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA”

Source: In Gaza

The following is from the Global Network for Syria [see bottom for names]:

[*Downloadable PDF here: Global Network for Syria_Statement_August 2018]

Statement on impending US, UK and French military intervention in Syria

We, members of the Global Network for Syria, are deeply alarmed by recent statements by Western governments and officials threatening the government of Syria with military intervention, and by media reports of actions taken by parties in Syria and by Western agencies in advance of such intervention.

In a joint statement issued on 21 August the governments of the US, the UK and France said that ‘we reaffirm our shared resolve to preventing [sic] the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and for [sic] holding them accountable for any such use… As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime’.

The three governments justify this threat with reference to ‘reports of a military offensive by the Syrian regime against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Idlib’.

On 22 August, Mr John Bolton, US National Security Adviser, was reported by Bloomberg to have said that the US was prepared to respond with greater force than it has used in Syria before.

These threats need to be seen in the context of the following reports and considerations.

Reports have appeared of activity by the White Helmets group, or militants posing as White Helmets, consistent with an intention to stage a ‘false flag’ chemical incident in order to provoke Western intervention. These activities have reportedly included the transfer of eight canisters of chlorine to a village near Jisr Al Shughur, an area under the control of Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham, an affiliate of the terrorist group Al Nusra. Some reports refer to the involvement of British individuals and the Olive security company. Other reports indicate a build-up of US naval forces in the Gulf and of land forces in areas of Iraq adjoining the Syrian border.

We therefore urge the US, UK and French governments to consider the following points before embarking on any military intervention:

  • In the cases of three of the previous incidents cited in the 21 August statement (Ltamenah, Khan Sheykhoun, Saraqib) OPCW inspectors were not able to secure from the militants who controlled these areas security guarantees to enable them to visit the sites, yet still based their findings on evidence provided by militants.
  • In the case of Douma, also cited, the interim report of OPCW inspectors dated 6 July based on a visit to the site concluded that no evidence was found of the use of chemical weapons and that evidence for the use of chlorine as a weapon was inconclusive.
  • Western governments themselves acknowledge that Idlib is controlled by radical Islamist extremists. The British government in its statement on 20 August justified its curtailment of aid programmes in Idlib on the grounds that conditions had become too difficult. Any action by the Syrian government would not be directed at harming civilians, but at removing these radical elements.
  • Any military intervention without a mandate from the United Nations would be illegal.
  • Any military intervention would risk confrontation with a nuclear armed comember of the Security Council, as well as with the Islamic Republic of Iran, with consequent ramifications for regional as well as global security.
  • There is no plan in place to contain chaos in the event of sudden government collapse in Syria, such as might occur in the contingency of command and control centres being targeted. Heavy military intervention could result in the recrudescence of terrorist groups, genocide against the Alawite, Christian, Druze, Ismaili, Shiite and Armenian communities, and a tsunami of refugees into neighbouring countries and Europe.

In the event of an incident involving the use of prohibited weapons – prior to taking any decision on military intervention – we urge the US, UK and French governments:

  • To provide detailed and substantive evidence to prove that any apparent incident could not have been staged by a party wishing to bring Western powers into the conflict on their side.
  • To conduct emergency consultations with their respective legislative institutions to request an urgent mission by the OPCW to the site of any apparent incident and give time for this mission to be carried out.
  • To call on the government of Turkey, which has military observation posts in Idlib, to facilitate, in the event of an incident, an urgent mission by the OPCW to the jihadi-controlled area, along with observers from Russia to ensure impartiality.

We further call on the tripartite powers to join Turkish and Russian efforts to head off confrontation between the Syrian government forces and the militants opposing them by separating the most radical organisations such as Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham and Hurras Ad Deen from the rest, eliminating them, and facilitating negotiations between the Syrian government and elements willing to negotiate.

Dr Tim Anderson, University of Sydney

Lord Carey of Clifton, Crossbench Member of the House of Lords and former Archbishop of Canterbury

The Baroness Cox, Crossbench Member of the House of Lords

Peter Ford, British Ambassador to Syria 2003-06

Dr Michael Langrish, former Bishop of Exeter

Lord Stoddart of Swindon, Independent Labour Member of the House of Lords

30 August 2018

For enquiries contact Peter Ford 07910727317; peterford14@yahoo.com

NEVERENDING SMEARS: RECYCLING TABLOID TACTICS TO SUPPORT IMPERIALIST WARS

pl

*Mentality of the author: whitewash a war criminal with the blood of untold numbers on his hands…

A new war propagandist on the scene, seeking to make a name for himself among the Charles Listers, Eliot Higgins, Atlantic Council (NATO) types. Some reactions to his attempted smear on many of us, including yours truly. Note:

*I won’t include the shameful quote from Greenwald, who it seems never ceases to pander to establishment mindsets.

*Vanessa Beeley is *heavily* featured (smeared) in the (inaccurate and libelous) article… She has hit many nerves with her detailed exposing of the fraud that is the White Helmets, among many other issues. 

From: “Chomsky, Hersh and… Boris Johnson? Twitter pundits ponder odd ‘Assadist’ blacklist,”August 27, 2018, RT.com

“…Featured on an unfrequented Medium blog, the “International Assadists References Directory” lists 151 people and organizations who have allegedly “expressed support and/or whitewashed the Assad regime.” The eclectic compilation of “Assadists” features individuals and groups of all political stripes and backgrounds, from the Greek nationalist political party Golden Dawn to Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters. Notable journalists such as Seymour Hersh, John Pilger, Peter Hitchens, Glenn Greenwald and Patrick Cockburn are also listed as reckless Assad apologists.

*

Independent journalist and RT contributor Eva Bartlett, who was accorded an extensive entry in the directory, was particularly amused by the inclusion of Boris Johnson. In an email to RT, Bartlett pointed out that the former UK foreign secretary “supported the ‘Assad must go’ theme.”

Likewise, she said it was strange that journalists Robert Fisk and Peter Hitchens were included on the list, since they “write openly about their contempt for the Syrian government, but have also written honestly on crucial issues like alleged chemical attacks and the White Helmets narrative.”

Bartlett also highlighted the fact that many of the individuals included in the list have extensive on-the-ground experience in Syria, conducting in-depth reporting that often contradicts with mainstream narratives about the seven-year conflict.

“In fact, instead of successfully smearing us, Kester has compiled a go-to list of people to follow for original and truthful content on important international issues today, particularly Syria, Palestine, and Yemen,” Bartlett said. “More importantly, readers should be aware that the author is advocating R2P [Right to Protect] on Syria, aka the humanitarian destruction of that country as per Libya. That alone shows his intent with the smear is to silence voices who starkly oppose such a genocidal position.”

*

Journalist Max Blumenthal believes the goal of the blacklist is to silence the critics of Western meddling in Syria.

“This McCarthyite blacklist is part of an effort to not only denigrate even soft opponents of Western intervention in Syria and beyond, but to literally criminalize dissent against the Washington consensus,” Blumenthal told RT. “It would be easy to dismiss this screed as the isolated irritable mental gesture of a random blogger if it hadn’t been shared by an array of pro-war pundits and regime change activists. In my view, the widespread sharing is the mark of a coordinated campaign.”

*
Evidence used to indict the late Robert Parry amounted to a single link to a blog post about Andrew Spannaus – a journalist who has contributed around 20 articles to Parry’s website, Consortium News, since 2016. Even more odd, the article doesn’t discuss Spannaus’ writings about Syria. In other words, an article used to prove Parry’s Assadist worldview is not about Parry and does not focus on his website’s coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Patrick Henningsen, editor of 21st Century Wire and alleged Assadist, underscored that the list’s inclusion of deceased journalists Alexander Cockburn, who passed away in 2012, and Parry, who died earlier this year, revealed its amateurish nature.

“I didn’t realise this ‘directory’ was posthumous as well. What this demonstrates is that the author has very little grasp of the subject he is attempting to frame. If it were a high school report, it would’ve been graded a failure,” Henningsen told RT. “What’s most shocking however, is that former media professionals have actually endorsed this misadventure, which shows that they don’t care much for facts and reality either. All that seems to matter is who and whom. This speaks volumes as to the deteriorating level of critical thinking in political discourse in certain mainstream echo chambers.”

Henningsen said that, personally, he was flattered to share the blacklist alongside Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, as well as Martha Gellhorn Prize-winners Patrick Cockburn and Gareth Porter…”

*

@NeilClark66  Neil Clark:

On the subject of the unintentionally hilarious ´List of International Assadists’ (Don’t tell him Pike!´-‘Your name too is going on ze list!’) I’m sure it’s news to Craig Murray @CraigMurrayOrg that he was once the British Ambassador to Syria.
https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/1033460421989216257

@BenjaminNorton

So shameful. This former editor at The Guardian is signal-boosting a ridiculous, poorly sourced, error/lie-filled blacklist from a pro-opposition regime change activist who has argued so-called “Assadist propagandists” should “be held criminally liable
https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1033101426166321152

Syria and Iran Sign Defense Agreement: Defying Outside Pressure

Syria and Iran Sign Defense Agreement: Defying Outside Pressure

PETER KORZUN | 29.08.2018 | WORLD / MIDDLE EAST

Syria and Iran Sign Defense Agreement: Defying Outside Pressure

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami visited Damascus Aug. 26-27 in order to have a new military cooperation agreement signed. The move is evidently a response to US and Israeli demands to withdraw Iranian forces from Syria. No details have been provided about the document’s content but it’s logical to surmise it contains a list of mutual obligations in the event that the Iranian military is attacked in Syria.

The deal mentions Iran’s role in the reconstruction of Syria’s defense industry, thus ending any hopes that its military presence in that country will end. According to the Iranian defense chief, the “defense and technical agreement” provides for the continued “presence and participation” of Iran in Syria. He added that an agreement had been reached with Syria that Iran would have “presence, participation, and assistance” in the reconstruction and that “no third party will be influential in this issue.”

The agreement was signed just as the Russia-Turkey-Iran summit was announced, which is scheduled for Sept. 7 in Tehran. Such events normally require thorough preparations. The parties are expected to reach an agreement on further joint steps to achieve progress in Syria. It’s important to align their positions before the UN talks in Geneva, which are slated for Sept. 11-12. UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura has invited the “big three” to participate. They can come up with joint initiatives while the US has nothing to offer but its demands for Iran’s withdrawal. It risks being left out in the cold, while diplomatic efforts initiated by other states bear fruit.

This turn of events will hardly be welcome news for those who would like to stymie the peace efforts and impose their own conditions for reaching any settlement of the problem.

The need to end Iranian assistance to Lebanon’s Hezbollah was emphasized during last week’s visit of US National Security Adviser John Bolton to Israel. The parties did not declare war on Iran, but there is no way to stop the supplies from reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon without cutting off the land routes going through Syria. The US official insisted before the visit to Israel that the withdrawal of Iran’s forces from Syria is a prerequisite to any resolution of the conflict.

The US and its allies in Syria find it important to scuttle Syria’s plans to liberate the province of Idlib from the rebels. A false-flag chemical attack is expected to be staged soon, to create a pretext for military action. Once Syria and Iran are in the same boat, it makes no difference which of them is attacked first or where. There have been media reports that a large-scale military operation is in the works and can be expected in August or September.

There is no way to know what exactly Mr. Bolton discussed with the Israeli authorities during his visit to Jerusalem on Aug. 19 but the reports about the military activities at the US al-Shaddadi base in the Syrian province of al-Hasakah emerged soon afterward. The facility has been reported to have been updated to enable the landing and takeoff of heavy cargo aircraft. Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) has also been expanded. In August, shipments of ammunition and military hardware were delivered to several US-controlled facilities in Syria and Iraq. Radars have been transported to the SDF-controlled areas east of the Euphrates River.

Meanwhile, several thousand militants with heavy weaponry and armored vehicles in Syria’s Idlib province are getting ready to launch an offensive against government-controlled regions of Hama and Aleppo. The attack will be targeted at Syrian as well as Iranian and pro-Iranian forces that have been invited in by the Syrian government.

It looks like plans are underway to force Syria to plunge into turmoil once again. In reality, the combat actions have already started. The US and Israel conducted their first joint operation against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and the Iraqi Shiite Khata’ib Hezbollah, their allies, on Aug. 23 near Abu Kamal, which is situated on the highway between Syria and Iraq. President Trump has said so many times and on so many occasions that he wants the Americans to leave Syria but US foreign policy is known for its flip-flops. Whatever is said today may be forgotten tomorrow.

This time, Lebanon may become a new front. It’s widely believed that a war between Israel and Hezbollah is inevitable. In February, US and Israeli troops held an exercise to practice for a potential war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, a country that holds a military agreement with Russia. The offshore drilling contracts Lebanon has signed with other countries, without solving its border dispute with Israel, are spurring the war preparations.

Syria and Iran have defied pressure and demonstrated their resolution not to bow but to protect their right to make independent decisions. They are offering a challenge. If the defense agreement just signed between those two allies provokes a military conflict, it will most certainly spill over to other countries, such as Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq. It would lead to a long, protracted, and costly war.

Syria: Bolton’s ‘Damascus Chemical Weapons Plot’ Lacks Motive, Credibility

 

August 29, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – US National Security Adviser John Bolton – a tireless proponent of US-led war around the globe – has recently claimed the Syrian government is preparing to use chemical weapons to retake territory held by militants in northern Syria. In response, the US has already threatened to carry out military strikes against Syria.

Bloomberg in its article titled, “U.S. Warns Russia It Will Hit Assad If He Uses Chemical Arms, Sources Say,” claims:

Tensions between the nuclear powers flared after National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, that the U.S. has information Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be preparing to use chemical weapons to recapture the northwestern province of Idlib from rebels.

The article also claimed:

In April 2017, and again a year later, the U.S. carried out limited airstrikes on Syrian targets as punishment for what it said was the use of chemical weapons. Bolton said any U.S. action will be stronger this time, the people familiar with the talks said.

However, not only has the US failed categorically to produce the evidence it claimed to possess regarding previous alleged chemical weapon attacks blamed on Damascus, it has also failed to provide any logical motive to explain why Damascus would carry out such attacks.

The Syrian military along with its Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies have retaken large swaths of occupied Syrian territory from Western-backed terrorists through the use of conventional weapons, including precision strike capabilities provided by Russian military aviation.

Alleged chemical weapon attacks have been on such small scales as to have no tactical or strategic value to Damascus, but demonstrable political value to the United States, its regional partners, and the militants it has been arming and backing since the 2011 conflict began.

Chemical Weapon Attacks: Cui Bono? 

The US media and its corporate sponsors have repeatedly attempted to explain the rationale behind Damascus’ alleged use of chemical weapons. This struggling narrative is best summed up by Atlantic Council “expert” Aaron Stein and US Army Reserve officer Luke O’Brien in their coauthored article titled,  “The Military Logic Behind Assad’s Use of Chemical Weapons.”

The article claims that chemical weapons are a cheap alternative for struggling regimes fighting wars “on the cheap.” The article proposes that chemical weapons are ideal for terrorizing the population and to target “buried facilities” that a lack of precision munitions have left otherwise invulnerable.

The article claims:

 Chemical weapons have proved to be more psychologically damaging to populations than conventional munitions, and are thus well-suited to the regime’s strategy of mass punishment.

Yet the article can only cite 4 instances in which the Syrian government allegedly even used chemical weapons in the past 5 years. There have literally been more total cities the Syrian military has had to retake from foreign-sponsored militants than even the most liberal number of alleged chemical weapon attacks blamed on Damascus.

Stretching the credibility of this narrative further, the article assigns another impetus to Damascus’ alleged use of chemical weapons, claiming:

For Assad, chemical weapons also compensate for the limitations of his army’s older, less sophisticated weapons. While the use of precision-guided munitions has grown in militaries around the world, they are still a comparatively small part of most countries’ arsenals, limited to anti-tank roles or against naval targets. As a result, most states are forced to use unguided munitions instead. Many targets, if sufficiently protected, can weather most unguided attacks by sheltering in structures, tunnels, or fighting positions.

The article claims that chemical weapons can seep into these heavily defended positions “with relative ease.” However – again – the article itself can only cite 4 instances where Damascus allegedly used chemical weapons in the past 5 years. Syrian forces have obviously encountered well-fortified militant positions more than 4 times in the past 5 years – having retaken buildings, blocks, districts, and even entire cities through the use of conventional weapons and military tactics.

The routine use of humanitarian corridors, cease-fire deals, and the government-sponsored relocation of militants lays to rest the West’s claims that Damascus aims to “collectively punish” its own population.

The Western narrative falls apart even further when considering the Syrian government most certainly does have access to precision munitions and the ability to deliver them to specific, well-fortified targets – through the aid of Russian military aviation.

As pointed out by even the Western media, Russian warplanes have carried out over 70 sorties per day at certain points during the Syrian conflict – a number in a single day dwarfing even the wildest accusations leveled against Damascus about chemical weapon use since the conflict began in 2011.

There is clearly no tactical, strategic, or political gain for Damascus to use chemical weapons. But there is every reason for the US and its partners to lie and claim it does.

Blatant False Flags 

The Western narrative – summarized by Stein and O’Brien – also attempts to account for the most obvious explanation for repeated instances of chemical weapon attacks carried out at critical junctures of the conflict, just before major breakthroughs are achieved by Syrian forces – that the attacks are staged to create a pretext for Western military intervention.

To this, the likes of Stein and O’Brien claim the US has no way of leveraging staged chemical weapon attacks to its benefit. The article claims:

The regime presumably weighs the expected cost of retaliatory strikes against the clear military benefit of chemical weapons use. The United States, for its part, has to balance the desire to punish the regime for violating its commitment not to use chemical weapons with other factors, like protecting American troops in northeast Syria and limiting the risk of unintended escalation with Russia. The United States and its allies have signaled that they do not want to risk such escalation over the war in Syria. Thus, Assad can count on the presence of Russian forces in Syria to act as a deterrent against strikes that could threaten regime stability.

Of course, there are no military benefits for Damascus in using chemical weapons – and of course, the US presence and its multiple strikes on Syrian forces have all been predicated at least in part to allegations of chemical weapon use by Damascus. The US State Department has also repeatedly cited “chemical weapons” as a pretext to maintain a US military presence in Syria.

As Syrian forces close in on Idlib, with Western-sponsored militants flushed out of virtually every other city, town, and governorate west of the Euphrates, little will stop Damascus from finally returning security and stability to Idlib as well.

Only staged provocations used as a pretext for US forces and their allies to strike at advancing troops or command and control elements of the Syrian armed forces can delay or stop an inevitable victory for Damascus and its allies. With the liberation of Idlib, America’s occupation of eastern Syria will become more tenuous still.

Bolton’s baseless accusations, built on equally baseless, irrational narratives signals a new level of political and diplomatic desperation in Washington, where blatantly staged provocations are done in the open in the hopes the threat of naked force is enough to coerce Syria and its allies to hesitate or withdraw from retaking Idlib.

It will be up to Damascus and its allies to ensure sufficient deterrence is put in place to ensure the consequences of America’s use of naked force are greater than any perceived benefits gained from exercising it – tactically, strategically, politically, and diplomatically.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 30.08.2018

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

Pepe ESCOBAR

Get ready for a major geopolitical chessboard rumble: from now on, every butterfly fluttering its wings and setting off a tornado directly connects to the battle between Eurasia integration and Western sanctions as foreign policy.

It is the paradigm shift of China’s New Silk Roads versus America’s Our Way or the Highway. We used to be under the illusion that history had ended. How did it come to this?

Hop in for some essential time travel. For centuries the Ancient Silk Road, run by mobile nomads, established the competitiveness standard for land-based trade connectivity; a web of trade routes linking Eurasia to the – dominant – Chinese market.

In the early 15th century, based on the tributary system, China had already established a Maritime Silk Road along the Indian Ocean all the way to the east coast of Africa, led by the legendary Admiral Zheng He. Yet it didn’t take much for imperial Beijing to conclude that China was self-sufficient enough – and that emphasis should be placed on land-based operations.

Deprived of a trade connection via a land corridor between Europe and China, Europeans went all-out for their own maritime silk roads. We are all familiar with the spectacular result: half a millennium of Western dominance.

Until quite recently the latest chapters of this Brave New World were conceptualized by the Mahan, Mackinder and Spykman trio.

The Heartland of the World

Mackinder

Halford Mackinder’s 1904 Heartland Theory – a product of the imperial Russia-Britain New Great Game – codified the supreme Anglo, and then Anglo-American, fear of a new emerging land power able to reconnect Eurasia to the detriment of maritime powers.

Nicholas Spykman’s 1942 Rimland Theory advocated that mobile maritime powers, such as the UK and the U.S., should aim for strategic offshore balancing. The key was to control the maritime edges of Eurasia—that is, Western Europe, the Middle East and East Asia—against any possible Eurasia unifier. When you don’t need to maintain a large Eurasia land-based army, you exercise control by dominating trade routes along the Eurasian periphery.

Even before Mackinder and Spykman, U.S. Navy Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan had come up in the 1890s with his Influence of Sea Power Upon History – whereby the “island” U.S. should establish itself as a seaworthy giant, modeled on the British empire, to maintain a balance of power in Europe and Asia.

It was all about containing the maritime edges of Eurasia.

In fact, we lived in a mix of Heartland and Rimland. In 1952, then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles adopted the concept of an “island chain” (then expanded to three chains) alongside Japan, Australia and the Philippines to encircle and contain both China and the USSR in the Pacific. (Note the Trump administration’s attempt at revival via the Quad–U.S., Japan, Australia and India).

George Kennan, the architect of containing the USSR, was drunk on Spykman, while, in a parallel track, as late as 1988, President Ronald Reagan’s speechwriters were still drunk on Mackinder. Referring to U.S. competitors as having a shot at dominating the Eurasian landmass, Reagan gave away the plot: “We fought two world wars to prevent this from occurring,” he said.

Eurasia integration and connectivity is taking on many forms. The China-driven New Silk Roads, also known as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU); the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), and myriad other mechanisms, are now leading us to a whole new game.

How delightful that the very concept of Eurasian “connectivity” actually comes from a 2007 World Bank report about competitiveness in global supply chains.

Also delightful is how the late Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski was “inspired” by Mackinder after the fall of the USSR – advocating the partition of a then weak Russia into three separate regions; European, Siberian and Far Eastern.

All Nodes Covered

At the height of the unipolar moment, history did seem to have “ended.” Both the western and eastern peripheries of Eurasia were under tight Western control – in Germany and Japan, the two critical nodes in Europe and East Asia. There was also that extra node in the southern periphery of Eurasia, namely the energy-wealthy Middle East.

Washington had encouraged the development of a multilateral European Union that might eventually rival the U.S. in some tech domains, but most of all would enable the U.S. to contain Russia by proxy.

China was only a delocalized, low-cost manufacture base for the expansion of Western capitalism. Japan was not only for all practical purposes still occupied, but also instrumentalized via the Asian Development Bank (ADB), whose message was:

We fund your projects only if you are politically correct.

The primary aim, once again, was to prevent any possible convergence of European and East Asian powers as rivals to the US.

The confluence between communism and the Cold War had been essential to prevent Eurasia integration. Washington configured a sort of benign tributary system – borrowing from imperial China – designed to ensure perpetual unipolarity. It was duly maintained by a formidable military, diplomatic, economic, and covert apparatus, with a star role for the Chalmers Johnson-defined Empire of Bases encircling, containing and dominating Eurasia.

Compare this recent idyllic past with Brzezinski’s – and Henry Kissinger’s – worst nightmare: what could be defined today as the “revenge of history”.

That features the Russia-China strategic partnership, from energy to trade:  interpolating Russia-China geo-economics; the concerted drive to bypass the U.S. dollar; the AIIB and the BRICS’s New Development Bank involved in infrastructure financing; the tech upgrade inbuilt in Made in China 2025; the push towards an alternative banking clearance mechanism (a new SWIFT); massive stockpiling of gold reserves; and the expanded politico-economic role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

As Glenn Diesen formulates in his brilliant book, Russia’s Geo-economic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia, “the foundations of an Eurasian core can create a gravitational pull to draw the rimland towards the centre.”

If the complex, long-term, multi-vector process of Eurasia integration could be resumed by just one formula, it would be something like this: the heartland progressively integrating; the rimlands mired in myriad battlefields and the power of the hegemon irretrievably dissolving. Mahan, Mackinder and Spykman to the rescue? It’s not enough.

Divide and Rule, Revisited

The Oracle still speaks

The same applies for the preeminent post-mod Delphic Oracle, also known as Henry Kissinger, simultaneously adorned by hagiography gold and despised as a war criminal.

Before the Trump inauguration, there was much debate in Washington about how Kissinger might engineer – for Trump – a “pivot to Russia” that he had envisioned 45 years ago. This is how I framed the shadow play at the time.

In the end, it’s always about variations of Divide and Rule – as in splitting Russia from China and vice-versa. In theory, Kissinger advised Trump to “rebalance” towards Russia to oppose the irresistible Chinese ascension. It won’t happen, not only because of the strength of the Russia-China strategic partnership, but because across the Beltway, neocons and humanitarian imperialists ganged up to veto it.

Brzezinski’s perpetual Cold War mindset still lords over a fuzzy mix of the Wolfowitz Doctrine and the Clash of Civilizations. The Russophobic Wolfowitz Doctrine – still fully classified – is code for Russia as the perennial top existential threat to the U.S. The Clash, for its part, codifies another variant of Cold War 2.0: East (as in China) vs. West.

Kissinger is trying some rebalancing/hedging himself, noting that the mistake the West (and NATO) is making “is to think that there is a sort of historic evolution that will march across Eurasia – and not to understand that somewhere on that march it will encounter something very different to a Westphalian entity.”

Both Eurasianist Russia and civilization-state China are already on post-Westphalian mode. The redesign goes deep. It includes a key treaty signed in 2001, only a few weeks before 9/11, stressing that both nations renounce any territorial designs on one another’s territory. This happens to concern, crucially, the Primorsky Territory in the Russian Far East along the Amur River, which was ruled by the Ming and Qing empires.

Moreover, Russia and China commit never to do deals with any third party, or allow a third country to use its territory to harm the other’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

So much for turning Russia against China. Instead, what will develop 24/7 are variations of U.S. military and economic containment against Russia, China and Iran – the key nodes of Eurasia integration – in a geo-strategic spectrum. It will include intersections of heartland and rimland across Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the South China Sea. That will proceed in parallel to the Fed weaponizing the U.S. dollar at will.

Heraclitus Defies Voltaire

Voltaire

Alastair Crooke took a great shot at deconstructing why Western global elites are terrified of the Russian conceptualization of Eurasia. It’s because “they ‘scent’…a stealth reversion to the old, pre-Socratic values: for the Ancients … the very notion of ‘man’, in that way, did not exist. There were only men: Greeks, Romans, barbarians, Syrians, and so on. This stands in obvious opposition to universal, cosmopolitan ‘man’.”

So it’s Heraclitus versus Voltaire – even as “humanism” as we inherited it from the Enlightenment, is de facto over. Whatever is left roaming our wilderness of mirrors depends on the irascible mood swings of the Goddess of the Market. No wonder one of the side effects of progressive Eurasia integration will be not only a death blow to Bretton Woods but also to “democratic” neoliberalism.

What we have now is also a remastered version of sea power versus land powers. Relentless Russophobia is paired with supreme fear of a Russia-Germany rapprochement – as Bismarck wanted, and as Putin and Merkel recently hinted at. The supreme nightmare for the U.S. is in fact a truly Eurasian Beijing-Berlin-Moscow partnership.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has not even begun; according to the official Beijing timetable, we’re still in the planning phase. Implementation starts next year. The horizon is 2039.

(Wellcome Library, London.) 

This is China playing a long-distance game of go on steroids, incrementally making the best strategic decisions (allowing for margins of error, of course) to render the opponent powerless as he does not even realize he is under attack.

The New Silk Roads were launched by Xi Jinping five years ago, in Astana (the Silk Road Economic Belt) and Jakarta (the Maritime Silk Road). It took Washington almost half a decade to come up with a response. And that amounts to an avalanche of sanctions and tariffs. Not good enough.

Russia for its part was forced to publicly announce a show of mesmerizing weaponry to dissuade the proverbial War Party adventurers probably for good – while heralding Moscow’s role as co-driver of a brand new game.

On sprawling, superimposed levels, the Russia-China partnership is on a roll; recent examples include summits in Singapore, Astana and St. Petersburg; the SCO summit in Qingdao; and the BRICS Plus summit.

Were the European peninsula of Asia to fully integrate before mid-century – via high-speed rail, fiber optics, pipelines – into the heart of massive, sprawling Eurasia, it’s game over. No wonder Exceptionalistan elites are starting to get the feeling of a silk rope drawn ever so softly, squeezing their gentle throats.

consortiumnews.com

US’ Haley Says Palestinians’ Right of Return Should Be Taken “Off Table”

 August 29, 2018

US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the Palestinians’ right of return to their occupied land should not be raised in any future Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Haley has questioned the right of return, claiming the world body’s count of those refugees is an exaggeration.

Asked whether the issue should be “off the table,” Haley replied, “I do agree with that, and I think we have to look at this in terms of what’s happening (with refugees) in Syria, what’s happening in Venezuela.”

“So I absolutely think we have to look at the right of return,” she added.

The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle based on which Palestinian refugees are entitled to go back to the territories now occupied by Zionists. They also have the right to the property they left behind or were forced to abandon when they were expelled from their homeland in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The Palestinians have for years insisted on their right to return as part of any solution to their decades-long conflict with the Israeli regime.

Haley was in fact suggesting that the highly pro-Israel administration of President Donald Trump would consider an official rejection of that Palestinian demand as it prepares to unveil its so-called “deal of the century” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The US envoy further questioned the UN’s count of Palestinian refugees, which stands at over five million according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

She stressed that the US funding for UNRWA would only continue if major reforms were implemented, saying “the Palestinians continue to bash America” and yet “they have their hand out wanting UNRWA money.”

“We will be a donor if it (UNRWA) reforms what it does … if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering them,” Haley said.

She further noted that the US cannot be faulted for slashing funding to UNRWA when countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait do not give more money to the agency.

Earlier this month, the American magazine Foreign Policy reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, had been pushing to remove the refugee status of millions of Palestinians as part of an apparent effort to shutter UNRWA.

Source: Press TV

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Saudi Arabia Banned from Promoting Reform on UK TV

Local Editor

The UK media regulator Ofcom has banned Saudi Arabia from paying to promote its so-called reform agenda on British television.

The move was prompted after revelations that Saudi Arabia had breached British broadcasting law by buying television adverts that promoted the reform policies of the country’s crown prince, such as the lifting of long-standing bans on women drivers and cinemas.

This is while Saudi reforms have been accompanied by heavy-handed crackdown on dissent against the kingdom’s critics, ranging from clerics to some of the very female activists who campaigned for years to end the bans.

In one case cited by Ofcom in the Guardian, Riyadh had paid to air a minute-long advert which included images of old and contemporary Saudi Arabia, women driving, cinemas being reopened, entertainment, cultural events and members of the Saudi royal family.

The advertisement was aired 56 times on Britain’s Sky One channel back in March, around the time Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made an official visit to the UK.

Ofcom said the ruling was made after it found that Riyadh had been attempting to “influence public opinion in the UK on matters of public controversy,” and had broken Britain’s strict ban on paid political advertising on television and radio stations.

Ofcom stressed that it did not consider the ads were of “a public service nature.”

The media regulator said it had taken into account the controversy around “freedom of speech, human rights and women’s rights” in the Arab country when making the ruling, in addition to issues concerning “the sale of UK weapons to the kingdom and the kingdom’s involvement in the Yemeni civil war.”

The Saudi crown prince has reportedly threatened to target women and children in Yemen irrespective of international criticism of strikes against civilians.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

Syrian Children Abducted to Be Used in New Chemical Scenario in Idlib: Report

Source

August 29, 2018

White Helmets

Members of the Western-backed White Helmets “aid group,” which stands accused of working with Takfiri militants and launching false-flag gas attacks in Syria, are preparing to launch a new chemical attack in Idlib countryside and accuse the Syrian government of staging it.

Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen Arabic news channel quoted local sources as saying that at least 20 children were abducted from Jisr Shoghour in the last 20 days, in a bid to use them in the expected chemical farce.

The site of the attack would be in Jisr Shoghour prison, the local sources said, adding that toxic materials where transferred to the prison’s depot a month ago via al-Hassaniyah border crossing which links Turkey to Jisr Shoghour in Idlib countryside.

The sources said that the crossing is controlled by the White Helmets, pointing out that another chemical attack would be staged in the neighboring Christian-majority town of Halouz.

Al-Mayadeen reported- citing local sources- that 250 White Helmets members and other foreign militants would take part in the attack, which would take place a week after Syrian government troops start Idlib offensive.

The activity of the White Helmets in Jisr Shoghour prison obviously increased, the report on Al-Mayadeen said, adding that a meeting between the Western-backed group and commanders from the Nusra Front terrorist group took place recently in the area.

The White Helmets was founded in Turkey in 2013 by former British MI5 officer, James Le Mesurier. Since its establishment, the group has received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office, $23 million or more from the US Office of Transition Initiatives and untold millions from Qatar.

Damascus stresses that the so-called volunteer group staged the suspected chemical attack in the town of Douma in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta region on April 7. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has also described the White Helmets as “a branch of the al-Qaeda and al-Nusra” militant groups and a “PR stunt” by the US, the UK and France.

 

Source: Al-Mayadeen

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