Supporting Palestinian Rights Verboten in the West

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Some disturbing facts about Israel virtually unreported in the West:

Occupation and settlements are flagrantly illegal. There’s nothing “disputed” about the cold hard truth.

Under Israeli regimes from inception, state terror, institutionalized racism and apartheid rule, slow-motion genocide, and naked aggression have been and remain official state policy.

Palestinians are persecuted and brutalized viciously for not being Jewish – for praying to the wrong God.

Zionism is tyranny by another name – extremist, undemocratic, hateful, ruthless, racist, destructive, and hostile to peace, equity and justice.

It’s contemptuous of fundamental legal, moral and ethical principles – a monster threatening anyone and anything it opposes, a cancer infesting Israel, America, other Western societies and elsewhere.

It considers Jews and others unequal, Muslims especially demeaned, Palestinians considered virtual enemies of the state, Gazans most of all – besieged, virtually imprisoned, and held hostage for political reasons, no others.

The Territories overall are a virtual isolated prison, an entire population being suffocated into submission or out of existence – Zionism’s final solution.

Ethnic cleansing, land theft, mass gulag imprisonment for political reasons, torture, targeted assassinations, and other crimes without punishment reflect what Edward Said called Israeli state-sponsored “refined viciousness,” adding:

It’s “a disheartening bloody impasse,” the world community indifferent about Palestinian suffering, one-sidedly supporting Israel, ignoring its high crimes.

Francis Boyle explained that Israel willfully and maliciously “inflicts on the Palestinian people conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in substantial part in violation of Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention.”

Ilan Pappe stressed that “(t)he inhuman living conditions in (Gaza is) the most dense area in the world, and one of the poorest human spaces in the northern hemisphere, disabl(ing) the people who live it to reconcile with the imprisonment Israel had imposed on them ever since 1967.”

The rest of Occupied Palestine fares little better, subjected to dozens of brutalizing community raids weekly, numerous arrests and detentions, an entire population held hostage to an occupying power, treating them like subhumans.

For Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens, Israel is a ruthless fascist police state, treating them as viciously as Nazis mistreated Jews.

For Jews, the Jewish state enforces neoliberal harshness, serving its privileged class exclusively at the expense of most others.

For the region and beyond, Israel is a warrior state, armed and dangerous with nuclear, chemical, biological, and other banned weapons, willing to use them against adversaries.

Criticizing Israel publicly is verboten in the West, notably in the US, especially through print and electronic media to expose its longstanding high crimes.

Temple University Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education Marc Lamont Hill is the latest casualty for stating hard truths about Israel on CNN.

The most distrusted name in television news sacked him as a commentator, the cable channel saying he’s “no longer under contract,” according to its spokesman, with no further elaboration.

At a Wednesday UN meeting on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with them, Hill justifiably accused Israel of “normalizing settler colonization…state violence and “ethnic cleaning.” 

He said “(w)e have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea.”

Commenting on his remarks, Hill forthrightly said he “supports Palestinian freedom,” adding via Twitter: 

“My reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.” 

“The speech very clearly and specifically said those things. No amount of debate will change what I actually said or what I meant.”

Palestinians deserve universal support for their liberating struggle – Israel universal condemnation for high crimes too egregious to ignore.

Hill supports the global BDS movement. So do I as a cultural member, an unapologetic Israeli critic, a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights – not a self-hating Jew. The movement is the single most effective campaign against Israeli ruthlessness.

It’s why efforts in the Jewish state and West aim to criminalize and delegitimize what deserves universal support.

Israel bans BDS supporters from entering the country. Congressional efforts to restrict or ban boycotting Israel so far failed to be enacted into law.

Speech, media, and academic freedoms are fundamental, including the right to publicly criticize Israel or any other nations.

Anti-Zionism and public criticism of Israeli viciousness aren’t anti-Semitic. Claiming otherwise is a long ago discredited canard.

I’m a longstanding harsh Israeli critic. As a Jew, I’m neither self-hating or anti-Semitic.

I’m anti-high crimes no one should tolerate. I’m pro-what democracy is supposed to be all about, pro-peace, equity, and justice for everyone everywhere.

I’m against anyone harming the fundamental rights of others under international, constitutional, and US statute laws.

I’m for rule of law principles and holding violators fully accountable for breaching them. I’m for a world fit and safe to live in.

I’m against the horrors committed by my country, NATO, Israel, and their accomplices against anyone unwilling to bow to their will.

I’m for saving planet earth and all its life forms by radically changing the way things are – dooming us if not stopped.

A Final Comment

Temple University where Hill teaches issued the following statement in response to his sacking by CNN, saying:

“Marc Lamont Hill has been quoted extensively over the last 24 hours. (He) does not represent Temple University and his views are his own. However, we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”

So does everyone else, protected by law – free from unjustifiable recrimination. That’s the way it’s supposed to be but most often otherwise.

CNN’s action is another reason to avoid its broadcasts. Tune it out and other major media. 

Choose reliable independent sources for news, information and opinion, largely online – the only way to get informed and stay that way.

To Rid the World of Antisemitism

November 29, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 CNN: “42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

CNN: “42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

On Tuesday, CNN published a survey of anti-Semitism in Europe. The poll revealed that  “more than a quarter of Europeans surveyed believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. One in five say they have too much influence in media and politics. In some countries the numbers are often higher: 42% of Hungarians think Jews have too much influence in finance and business across the world.”

In my recent book, Being in Time, I argue that Jewish power is the power to silence opposition to Jewish Power.  CNN’s poll supports my thesis.  That some Jews enjoy significant influence in politics, culture and finance is not a matter of ‘opinion,’ it is an established fact as reports in the Jewish and mainstream media reveal on a daily basis. Jewish prominence in certain areas is a frequent boast of renowned Jews such as Alan Dershowitz. Yet only one of five Europeans is brave enough to admit that in the open.

CNN’s poll suggests that 80% of those who dwell in Europe are either lying, blind or, most likely, terrified of the truth. They have good reason to be scared. They have seen the onslaught of revenge from Jewish institutions against artists, writers, comedians, politicians, activists and academics including: Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, Richard Falk, Alison Weir, Norman Finkelstein, David Icke, Jeremy Corbyn and yours truly. Telling the truth about Israel, Zionism or expressing any form of criticism of Jewish politics subjects the teller to an immediate and colossal smear campaign. The CNN poll suggests that 80% of Europeans seem to have accepted the present tyrannical and authoritarian conditions. But this isn’t exactly a stable situation. It is only a question of time before the genie pops out of the bottle as has happened far too many times in the past.

By now it has become clear that the more Jewish institutions  ‘fight’ anti-Semitism, the more the opposition is directed against Jewish politics and Israeli brutality.  The same applies to the holocaust; the caravans of Jewish youngsters visiting Poland didn’t kill anti-Semitism nor did it revive the memory of the holocaust. In Poland, according to the CNN poll, “50% of people think that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their position.”

 What can Jews do about anti-Semitism? Simple– look in the mirror– introspect.

If Jews want to be loved or simply just ignored, then :(1) maybe The European Jewish Congress  should seriously consider the possible consequences of  its ‘demand’ that “the Bible and the Koran use ‘trigger warnings’ to highlight anti-Semitic passages,”  (2) The French Jewish organisations might want to reconsider their  relentless campaign to decimate the artistic career of France’s most popular comedian, or (3) It might not be a great idea for Britain’s Jewish institutions to interfere with British national politics by smearing  Britain’s  number one anti racist.

If Jews want to rid the world of antisemitism, Jewish bodies should carefully self reflect and take responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming the Goyim…

Who Boosted Qassem Soleimani’s Image and Spread Iran’s Influence Throughout the Middle East?

Israel’s Often Overlooked Strategic Battlefield Losses

By Asad Abu-Khalil
Source

In South Lebanon, the Museum for Resistance, also known as the Mlita Museum, for the town in which it is located, is a wildly popular tourist attraction and a place where you can run into Arabs visiting from around the region.

In it, Hezbollah—the political party with an armed wing that, with Iranian assistance, emerged in response to the Israeli invasion of 1982—celebrates its military successes, displaying weapons captured from the occupation army and replicas of some of its military tunnels.

The museum enshrines an important realization for the country: that while conventional Arab armies failed to deter Israeli invasions, Lebanese and Palestinian volunteers succeeded in holding the mighty Israeli army at bay and have become the real defenders against Israeli attacks and occupation.  As such, the museum offers testimony to the current nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The U.S. and other Western powers want to disarm Hezbollah while denying the Lebanese Army the weapons to deter Israel.  In other words, they want to return Lebanon to its former state of weakness.

The problems this situation poses for Israel are often overlooked given its apparently clear strategic advantage.

Israel’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is still being protected by Western countries from scrutiny or even criticism. The Obama administration guaranteed Israel a most generous financial assistance program for the next decade. Israeli’s 100-percent occupation of Palestine remains immune from U.N. or other international condemnation. Israeli citizens’settlement building in Palestine territories—despite violating international law—has not caused a rift between Israel and either the European Union or the U.S.

Egypt, meanwhile, remains committed to the peace treaty with Israel and to security coordination with the occupation state, as does Jordan.   And Israel does not fear an assault from any Arab state or a combination of Arab states. (Arab threats—largely rhetorical—have only been intended to pacify popular anger.)

But things are not as secure for Israel as they might seem.

The Resistance Persists 

A century after the Balfour Declaration, the Arab-Israeli conflict has not ended.  Early Zionist thinkers and leaders—influenced by racist European attitudes about the natives—never considered that the Palestinians would continue to resist Zionism for so long. This in itself is a big failure for Zionism as it defies the long-held belief that force is the only language that Arabs understand. At the same time, economic offers and political ploys have not deceived the Palestinians—or Arabs—into accepting the Israeli occupation project either.

The resistance is not only tenacious, but its effectiveness reached a new level in 2000. That year, after an escalating pattern of resistance operations that began in 1982—first by secular (communist and Syrian nationalist) groups and later by Hezbollah — the Israeli occupation army was forced to withdraw from South Lebanon.

Israel’s biggest strategic loss came in 2006 during the Lebanese-Israeli War, when armed groups (not part of an Arab conventional army) resisted Israeli assaults and deterred a ground offensive against Arab territory. Unless you have studied the performance of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon between 1970 and 1982, it’s difficult to fathom how seriously this changed the power calculus of Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups vis-à-vis Israel.

AP_110721060280_edited.jpgA Lebanese woman, left, poses on a destroyed Israeli armored vehicle with a Lebanese and yellow Hezbollah flags attached to it in Khiam, Lebanon, July 21, 2011. Mohammed Zaatari | AP

But the significance of that war—and most importantly on Arab perceptions of it—was obscured by Saudi regime propaganda intent on undermining the standing of any resistance, leftist or Islamist, Sunni or Shi`ite.  The House of Saud began to promote sectarian hatred and agitation and emphasize the losses for the Arab side to downplay the precedent set by the war.  (Examples of this are so pervasive it would be unfair to single out any one broadcaster or publication.)

During the invasions of Gaza, Israel failed again to advance or even to prevent primitive Hamas rockets from firing; all claims to the (fake) successes of the Iron Dome air defense system notwithstanding.

This is a marked contrast to previous confrontations. In 1978, Israel invaded Lebanon and the PLO’s resistance was disorganized and largely spontaneous.  Four years later, in the face of the 1982 massive Israel invasion, the PLO failed again to formulate a joint resistance plan. Fighting was stiff in some cases, such as at the refugee camp`Ayn Al-Hilwi and the medieval-era Beuafort castle.And later at Khaldah, on the outskirts of Beirut, the PLO did implement a defense plan for Beirut (designed by West Point graduate Abu Al-Walid), which explains why Israel never dared to invade West Beirut until after the evacuation of PLO forces from Lebanon. Overall, however, the PLO resistance record pales in comparison to that of Hamas and Hezbollah, in Gaza and South Lebanon, respectively.

Former Psychological Advantage

Israeli strategy in dealing with the Arabs was based on massive, indiscriminate use of force and the promotion of the Israeli soldier as invincible and terrifying. This produced a psychological advantage that, from 1948 to 1967, sowed fear and resignation.

More recently, however, the image of the mighty Israeli soldier and a fearful Arab resistance has been reversed.  In the 2006 war, Israeli soldiers in South Lebanon were terrified by Hezbollah fighters who prevented the enemy army from advancing one inch into Lebanese territory.  I grew up in Lebanon in the 1960s and 1970s, when Israel used to bomb and invade at will. This no longer happens because Israel has come to fear Hezbollah.

Another problem for Israel is its once-vaunted intelligence, which has developed a reputation for clumsiness. The failed raid in Gaza (by an elite unit of the Israeli occupation army) is the most recent example. In 2010, Dubai police plastered the faces of top agents of Mossad, the intelligence agency, around the world in the wake of the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a co-founder of the military wing of Hamas. Before that, in 1997, there was the botched assassination attempt on Khalid Misha`l’, the Doha-based former leader of Hamas, by Mossad agents.

In the 2006 war with Lebanon, Israel’s intelligence failures included the famous and (almost) comical kidnapping of a poor man whose only crime was that his name was Hasan Nasrallah, the same as that of the Hezbollah leader. Presumably, Mossad experts on the Arab world assumed there was only one Hasan Nasrallah in all of Lebanon.

Hezbollah and Hamas, meanwhile, have run intelligence operations that the PLO has rarely ever matched. Hezbollah 2012 kidnapping of Israeli soldiers is an example of careful preparations and reliable intelligence.  Hezbollah and Hamas have special operatives monitoring the communications of the Israeli military.  Hezbollah has its own Hebrew language school. PLO organizations, by contrast, had so few Hebrew speakers they often had to rely on Hebrew teachers from the Institute of Palestine Studies in Beirut to translate important documents.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about to end anytime soon.  Trump’s “Deal of the Century” hinges on the belief that Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman can convince the Palestinians to give up their cause.  This is a conflict that is unlikely to end in compromise, and the Israeli occupation state has made it clear that historical Palestine belongs to the Jewish people and that the Palestinians represent a mere nuisance on the land.

israel’s (apartheid state) espionage crimes in Gaza and abroad

Israel’s espionage crimes in Gaza and abroad

Maureen Clare Murphy

Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, displays a pistol with a silencer recovered from a vehicle used by Israeli commandos in Gaza during a memorial service for seven members of the resistance group’s armed wing who were killed during a shoot-out with the military unit, Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, 16 November.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Amnesty International is demanding that Israel’s defense ministry revoke the export license from a company whose spyware has been used in “a series of egregious human rights violations.”

Amnesty said that it intends to pursue legal action over NSO Group Technologies, an Israeli firm whose technology was revealed earlier this year to have been used to hack a phone belonging to one of the rights group’s staffers.

The staff member received a WhatsApp message “with Saudi Arabia-related bait content and carrying links Amnesty International believes are used to distribute and deploy sophisticated mobile spyware,” the rights group stated in August.

More recently, the exiled US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden said that NSO Group’s software was used to track Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi writer who was killed and dismembered by a hit team at the country’s consulate in Istanbul last month.

The company’s spyware was also installed on the phone of a Saudi dissident living in Canada.

The NSO Group spyware, called Pegasus, has previously been sold to Mexico and the United Arab Emirates, and has been used in attempts to spy on political leaders, activists and journalists in several countries.

The spyware can reportedly give those deploying it full access to a target’s mobile phone, turning it into a weapon against them and those close to them.

The Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz revealed this month that NSO Group had “offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks mobile devices, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.”

According to the paper, the Israeli government views the sale of these spy technologies to Gulf countries as part of its “strategic battle against Iran.”

As the Israeli government approves the export of spyware used by governments to hack the phones of journalists and crack down on dissent, its military forces have reportedly posed as humanitarian workers while operating clandestinely in Gaza.

Hebrew-language media reported last week that an Israeli commando squad discovered by Hamas in Gaza earlier this month were operating under the cover of a relief group.

The commando unit was discovered when the vehicle they were traveling in was stopped by a member of Hamas’ armed group. A gun battle erupted, leaving an Israeli lieutenant colonel and seven Hamas fighters, including a battalion commander, dead and prompted a short but intense round of hostilities over the Gaza boundary.

Israeli military censorship

Israeli media are subject to military censorship of details related to the 11 November incident and the specifics of the commando unit’s cover story, such as the name of the organization they were said to be working for, have not been published.

The name of the Israeli officer who was killed during the battle has been censored and Israeli outlets have referred to him as “Colonel M.” However, his name was revealed by publications out of censors’ reach as Mahmoud Kheireddine of the Sayeret Matkal elite reconnaissance unit.

Israel’s military censor has banned media from publishing the photos of the Israeli commandos after they were released by the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

Palestinian media released images of the Israeli commando unit discovered in Gaza. Israel’s military censor has banned Israeli media from showing these images.

Israeli media have reported that Hamas’ websites have been blocked in the country and users who try to access them are directed to an Israeli government webpage.

Aid workers have expressed fear that Israeli military intelligence activity under the cover of humanitarian aid will undermine the delivery of critically needed assistance by international organizations.

The use of civilian or humanitarian disguises by Israel to conduct military activities in the Gaza Strip may amount to a war crime under international law.

Israel already controls what humanitarian aid gets into Gaza, which has been under land, sea and air blockade for more than a decade.

That blockade has severely eroded Gaza’s economy, plunging its population of two million into poverty and leaving them dependent on humanitarian aid.

On Wednesday, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper published further details on the failed commando raid.

Relying on a security source in Gaza, Al-Akhbar reported that Hamas’ investigation into the movements of the commando unit in Gaza was nearing completion.

Hamas believes that the unit had previously entered Gaza multiple times to install surveillance devices, some of which had been discovered and dismantled by the resistance group months earlier.

Before its discovery on 11 November, the commando personnel entered Gaza at differing times through Erez checkpoint in the north of Gaza using forged Palestinian Authority IDs.

Their spy equipment was smuggled in through Gaza’s commercial crossing by a Palestinian collaborator who is said to have provided the commando unit with vehicles.

Aid cuts

Meanwhile the US State Department aid agency said that more than half of its employees in the West Bank and Gaza will be dismissed by early next year.

USAID provided more than $319 million in funding to projects in the West Bank and Gaza in 2016.

Dozens of USAID projects were suspended after the Trump administration froze more than $200 million in bilateral aid to Palestinians earlier this year as a means of punishing the Palestinian Authority leadership for protesting the US declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In August, the US announced that it would stop funding UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, after freezing $300 million in aid in January, throwing the body into unprecedented financial crisis.

The punitive cuts by the US, formerly UNRWA’s largest donor, have caused Israeli military leaders to worry that they would soon find themselves having to deliver essential services to stave off humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza in the agency’s stead.

UNRWA has since nearly closed a $446 million funding gap, its commissioner-general announced last week.

 

Rogue regimes like israel (apartheid state) with illegal nukes present real danger to peace

Rogue regimes like Israel with illegal nukes present real danger to peace: Analyst

Rogue regimes like Israel with their illegal stockpiles of nuclear weapons present the real danger to global peace, according to independent political analyst and writer,Adam Garrie.

A senior Russian official has cautioned the United States against a plan to withdraw from a landmark Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, saying such a move would have grave consequence for the world.

US President Donald Trump announced last month that Washington would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which was signed toward the end of the Cold War in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The treaty — seen as a milestone in ending the Cold War arms race between the two superpowers — banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers and led to the elimination of nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told a news briefing on Monday that leaving the treaty would provoke “a new round of arms races.”

In an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, Garrie said, “Intermediate range nuclear weapons and tactical nuclear weapons are going to be the things in the 21st century.”

“Many may not want to hear that and many may not have anticipated that in the late 1980s when the denuclearization among the superpowers was something of a rule rather than the exception.  Today, the world is going towards the opposition direction as the technology to deploy small nuclear weapons or smaller becomes ever more sophisticated,” he added.

“So does the proliferation of any weapon make the world more dangerous? Generally yes depending on whose they are in.  But I think this whole tit-for-tat business with the US and Russia is really more of a side show especially when what we’ve got the rogue states like the Zionist regime which illegally has nuclear weapons and no one is saying a thing about it. Koreans are deescalating their nuclear program and cooperating with South Korea, US, Russia, China and with others. That’s really a positive development. While on the other end of this spectrum is Israel,” he stated.

“And then of course you have nuclear weapons in south Asia, where the next war between India and Pakistan could turn into a nuclear war a lot more easily than people think,” he added.

“I think those are the real issues to consider in respect of the problems of nuclear proliferation. I am not particularly worried about the US and Russia dropping nukes on each other. It did not happen in the last century and I don’t think it is going to happen in this one,” the analyst concluded.

Syrian Air Defences Down ‘Hostile Targets’ Over Country’s South – Reports

Syrian Air Defences Down ‘Hostile Targets’ Over Country’s South – Reports

Syrian air defences have downed several “hostile targets” over the country’s southern region, Syrian news agency SANA reported. A Syrian security source reported that the air defences downed an Israeli combat plane, but later corrected the report denying downing of the plane. Israeli military has refuted the claims about the downing.

A high-ranked Syrian security source in a comment to Sputnik on Friday denied statements about an Israeli combat plane shot down by the Syrian air defense, confirming that Damascus’ forces had indeed downed several aerial targets that had attacked the Syrian territory.

The same source told Sputnik late on Thursday that the Syrian forces had downed an Israeli combat aircraft and four missiles over Al Kiswah city located to the south of Damascus. The statement followed Syrian media reports saying that the country’s air defense forces downed several targets in the south of Syria.

“In the nighttime, radars can fail to properly identify hard bodies. That was what provoked a confusion which made us think that the target downed near the Kanaker settlement to the south of Damascus was an Israeli combat plane,” the source said.

The Israeli military has, in its turn, refuted reports that its plane had been downed by the Syrian air defence.

​Earlier, Syrian Arab News Agency reported citing a military source that Syria’s air defence forces have intercepted several “hostile targets” over al-Kiswah and downed them.

“Our air defence systems repelled an attack by several enemy targets over the Al-Kiswah area in the south of the country and shot them down,” the Ikhbariya television said, citing a Syrian military source.

Earlier this year, Syrian Arab News Agency’s reporter said that air defences countered another “hostile target” which had breached Syrian air space west of the capital Damascus.The target back then was reportedly destroyed over Deir al-Ashair area. There were no immediate reports as to what it was.

READ MORE: Russia’s S-300 Will be Able to Close Parts of Syrian Airspace — Moscow

Previously, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that he did not exclude another US strike anytime as long as the United States continued to violate international laws, adding that Syria will continue beefing up its air defences.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the Palestinians (22 – 28 November 2018)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations 

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 22 – 28 November, 2018.

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 4 others, including a child, in the West Bank. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 86 civilians, including 31 children, 7 women, 3 journalists, and 5 paramedics were wounded; the injury of one of them was reported serious.

Shooting:

 

In the West Bank, on 27 November 2018, the Israeli forces killed Ramzi Abu Yabes (32) from al-Duheishah refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, after shooting his vehicle he was traveling in the northern Hebron.  The Israeli forces claimed that Ramzi ran over Israeli soldiers who were stationed near the main road and 3 of them were wounded.  Meanwhile, Ramzi’s family confirmed that their son suffers weakness in eyesight.  Moreover, there was no local eyewitness in the area to conform or refute the Israeli claims, but PCHR’s previous investigations into similar killings proved that they were normal car accidents and not deliberate.  Further, the residents of the West Bank have become worried that they would get shot for trivial reasons.

 

In the same context, the Israeli forces during the reporting wounded 4 civilians, including a child, in Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqiliyah.

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders.  During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 86 civilians, including 31 children, 7 women, 3 journalists and 5 paramedics.  The injury of one of those was reported serious.

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 42 21 4 3 5 1
Gaza City 22 0 0 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 19 9 3 0 0 0
Khan Younis 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rafah 3 1 0 0 0 0
Total 86 31 7 3 5 1

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 8 incidents against fishermen, including 5 off al-Wahah resort, northwest of Beit Lahia; and 3 off al-Soudaniyah area, west of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, 3 Palestinian fishermen were arrested in the northern Gaza Strip and their boat was confiscated.

 

As part of targeting the border areas on 23 November 2018, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah village, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at the agricultural lands near the fence.

 

On 24 November 2018, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at the shepherds and bird hunters.

 

On 25 November 2018, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at a border control point belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, east of al-Maghazi.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 117 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 67 Palestinians, including 9 children and a woman, in the West Bank.  Moreover, 42 others, including Jerusalem’s Governor and a number of political and community activists, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

 

Israeli Forces continued to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 28 November 2018, the Israeli forces levelled demolished a hopuse belonging to Mahran al-Mughrabi in al-Mughrabhi neighbourhood in al-Mukaber Mount village, south of East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a license.  The house is a 200-square-meter roof where the abovmenetioned wife and 2 children had lived for one year and a half. al-Mughrabi said that the house was destroyed on the house contents, but neither he nor the family could takem the contents out.  They demolished a 50-square-meter commercial facility (an office) belonging to Majed Abu ‘Eishah in Sho’afat neighbourhood, north of East occupied Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, in al-Tour neighbourhood, the bulldozers demolished a fence surrounding a plot of land belonging to Khader al-Sa’idi.

 

 

As part of taking over property belonging to Palestinian civilians for the interest of settlement associations, on Wednesday afternoon, 21 November 2018, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the petition filed by the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem, and allowed “Ateret Cohanim” settlement association to continue its procedures relevant to expelling 700 Palestinians and forcing them to pay hundred thousands of shekels, claiming to compensate settlers for the costs of the legal proceedings and house rents for all the years.  It should be noted that the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood had submitted a petition against the decision of the Administrator General (Custodian of Absentee Property) to hand a plot of land in the abovementioned neighborhood that had been owned by Jews until 1948, but which is today home to 700 Palestinians, over to three members of Ateret Cohanim.  The latter association, which is very active in creating a Jewish Majority in occupied Jerusalem, filed a request to expel the Palestinian families with the help of the Israeli Justice Ministry’s administrator general to take over the area and buildings established there, claiming they belong to Jews, and to hand 70 Palestinian families judicial notices in this regard.

 

As part of imposing further restrictions on the Palestinian associations” work in the occupied city, the Israeli authorities prevented the Minister of Jerusalem’s affairs in the Palestinian government, ‘Adnan al-Husseini (71) from traveling abroad for 3 months and imposed on him a bail of 10,000 NIS.

 

In the same context, the Israeli forces arrested the governor of Jerusalem, ‘Adnan Ghaith (46), from his house in the Central neighborhood in Silwan village, and extended his detention until Thursday, 29 November 2018, under the pretext of interrogating with him.  It should be noted that the Israeli forces have prosecuted Ghaith since the first day of appointing him as the Governor of Jerusalem either by arresting or summoning him.  Moreover, this is the third time within 40 days ‘Adnan has been arrested.

 

As part of the settlers’ attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property, On Friday dawn, 23 November 2018, settlers from “Price Tag” groups slashed tires of 3 vehicles and wrote racist slogans and Star of David on the vehicles and walls of houses in al-Burj area in Beit Eksa village, northwest of East occupied Jerusalem.

 

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and demolition notices, on 22 November 2018, Israeli forces demolished a carwash in al-Nabi Younis area, north of Hebron.  The carwash was established on the roadside and was built of tin plates and iron on an area of 50 square meters belonging to Mohammed Hasan Mor’eb.

 

On 26 November 2018, Israeli forces demolished an uninhabited house in al-Murihah village, west of Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin.  The 50-square-meter house was ready for habitation and belonged to Bahaa’ Hamadouni.

 

On 27 November 2018, the Israeli forces demolished an agricultural room built of bricks and tin plates on an area of 40 square meters in Kherbet Souba, south of Ethna village, west of Hebron, belonging to Nabil al-Hilah (58).

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, during the reporting period, PCHR’s fieldworkers in the West Bank documented 5 incidents carried out by settlers.  As a result of those attacks, 30 olive trees were uprooted and tires of 30 vehicles were punctured.

 

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 the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

In the Thirty-fourth week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 86 civilians, including 31 children, 7 women, 3 journalists and 56 paramedics. Doctors classified a civilians’ injury as serious. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • The Northern Gaza Strip: 8 civilians, including 4 children and a journalist, were wounded. Seven of them were hit tear gas canisters and one was hit with a rubber bullet. Doctors classified a civilian’s injury as serious. The wounded journalist identified as Ismail Khalil Ismail Hamadah (31), a photojournalist at Palestine Today TV Channel from Sheikh Redwan neighborhood in Gaza City, was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: 18 civilians, including 8 children and 3 women, were wounded. Fourteen of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 3 were hit with tear gas canisters and one was hit with a rubber bullet.

 

  • Rafah: 3 civilians, including a child, were hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • At approximately 14:15 on Monday, 26 November 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, and Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire and fired sound bombs at dozens of Palestinian civilians who were at the Return camp along the border coastal, adjacent to adjacent to “Zikim” military base , northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It should be noted that this is the 16thtime for Palestinian boats to sail for Breaking the Siege. As a result, 34 civilians, including 17 children, a woman, 5 paramedics and 2 journalists, were wounded. Four of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 15 were hit with rubber bullets and 15 were hit with tear gas canisters. The 5 paramedics were identified as:
  1. Sharif Mo’een Fayez al-Buzum (32), a paramedic at Military Medical Services, was hit with a rubber bullet to the head
  2. Amirah Khalil Abdullah al-Safadi (21), a paramedic at the Youth Volunteer Team, was hit with 2 rubber bullets, one to the left thigh and the other to the left hand.
  3. Reem Mansour Abdul Jawad Shatat (20), a paramedic at the Youth Volunteer Team, was hit with a rubber bullet to the head.
  4. Abdullah Farid Mohammed Abu ‘Oudah (27), a paramedic at the Youth Volunteer Team, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right shoulder.
  5. Sa’ed ‘Oudah Khamis al-Tarabin (33), a paramedic at PRCS, was hit with a tear gas canister.

The wounded journalists were identified as:

  1. Mohammed Hazem Sami al-Masri (20), a photojournalist at Gaza News Agency, was hit with a rubber bullet to the face.
  2. Safenaz Baker Mahmoud al-Louh (29), a photojournalist at Amad News Agency, was hit with a tear gas canister to the left hand.

 

  • At approximately 16:30, on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at a 17-year-old child from al-Buraij when he attempted to approach the border fence. As a result, he was hit with a live bullet to the lower limbs.

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 23 November 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from the center of Kufor Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim” settlement established on the village lands. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding end of 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 forces stationed behind sand barriers. The Israeli forces fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were hit with rubber bullets, including Mohammed Hekmat Eshtiwi (7), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the waist.

Efforts to Create a Jewish majority

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 18:00, on Thursday 22 November 2018, Israeli forces raided the Palestinian directorate of education and Dar al-Aytam Islamic school in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and confiscated computers and control cameras. Sawsan al-Safadi, head of Public and International Relations at the Ministry of Education in Jerusalem, said that Israeli forces raided the office and the school and searched in the school’s files. They also confiscated a computer belonging to the school’s director and the control cameras.
  • On Thursday’s evening, Israeli forces prevented ‘Adnan Ghaleb al-Husayni (71) , the Palestinian mayor of Jerusalem, from traveling abroad for 3 months. They also forced him to pay 10 thousand NIS as a bail after calling him for investigation. Israeli intelligence service have called al-Husayni for investigation in the previous day in al-Maskobya Detention Facility, west of Jerusalem, and confiscated his passport. It was scheduled that al-Husayni will deliver a speech on behalf of the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, during the conference in which the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Gutteres, will attend.
  • At approximately 01:00, on Sunday 25 November 2018, Israeli forces moved into Jabal al-Mukkaber neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khaled Ibrahim ‘Owysat and confiscated his two sons’, Ahmed (19) and Mohammed (18), mobile phones.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Hara al-Wosta in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the mayor of Jerusalem , ‘Adnan ‘Adel Ghaith (46). They also arrested Ghaith and took him to al-Maskobya detention center, west of Jerusalem, for investigation. After some hours of arrest, they extended his arrest until Thursday 29 November 2018 under the pretext of completing the investigation. It should be noted that the Israeli forces have been pursuing Ghaith either by arresting him or calling him for investigation since he became a mayor. On 20 October 2018, they arrested him in an ambush after intercepting his car in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of Jerusalem. He was released after two days of arrest on condition of staying away from his home in Silwan village for 7 days, which made him stay in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood. During the 7 days, the Israeli forces raided his house arrest many times to make sure that he stays there. On 1 November 2018, Ghaith was arrested from al-Silwan club in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood during his participation in an interactive meeting called by Jerusalem institutions. On 8 November 2018, Ghaith was called to al-Maskobya Police Station and handed him a decision preventing him from entering the West Bank for 6 months by order of “central region commander “. on 11 November 2018, Ghaith was called one more time to al-Maskobya Police Station and was informed about a decision that prevents him from communicating with some Palestinian people regarding selling Jerusalemite properties to settlers. On 19 November 2018, He was subjected to the last procedure before his arrest, in which “the commander of the interior and the military commander” issued a decision prevents Ghaith from communicating with 7 Palestinian people for 6 months. Those Palestinian people are : Jihad Mohammed Mahmoud Faqeeh, ‘Adnan Ghaleb Mo’ath al-Husayni, Majed ‘Ali Mohammed Faraj, Shady Sa’d Mator, ‘Adel Hassan Mohammed abu Znaid, ‘Awad Sadiq Sarhan Salayma, and Mo’tasem Kamal Mohammed Taym.
  • At approximately 17:00, on Sunday 25 November 2018, Israeli forces repressed a protest in Salah al-Deen street, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem. The protest was organized by youth groups protesting against arresting the Israeli forces for ‘Adnan ‘Adel Ghaith and chasing him continuously since he became the mayor of Jerusalem. The protesters carried slogans saying that ” targeting the governor of Jerusalem, ‘Adnan Ghaith, is a war crime … there is no legitimacy to the occupation in our capital Jerusalem”. They also raised Palestinian flags in the area, chanted slogans supporting Jerusalem, and asked for releasing the mayor and stop chasing him. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers besieged the protesters and photographed them, attacked some of them, and suddenly threw sound bombs to enforce the protesters to leave the area. They also arrested Jawad syam, Director of Wadi Hilweh Information Center, and confiscated the Palestinian flags. It should be noted that the Israeli forces released Syam after detaining him for many hours accusing him for organizing a protest in Salah al-Deen street. His release was on condition of deporting him from Salah al-Deen street, Sultan Sulaiman and Bab al-‘Amoud , preventing him from participation in any protest in the city for 2 weeks, and signing a personal guarantee and a third party guarantee worth 3000 NIS.
  • On Monday early morning, 26 November 2018, Israeli forces moved into many neighborhoods and towns in the occupied East Jerusalem and surrounded their entrances and streets along with intensive flies of Israeli warplanes. They carried out a wide-scale arrest campaign against 36 civilians from Fateh movement in Jerusalem after raiding and searching their houses asserting their association with the Palestinian Security Services. (PCHR keeps the names of these detainees). On the above mentioned day afternoon, The Israeli Magistrate’s Court extended the detention of the detainees until Thursday, 29 November 2018, to continue investigation on suspicion of working in the security services of the Palestinian Authority, “which constitutes a threat to Israeli security” according to Israeli authorities.
  • At approximately 16:00, on Tuesday 27 November 2018, Israeli forces arrested Mahmoud Ahmed al-‘Abassi (40), from ‘Ein al-Lawza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, during his presence in Bab al-‘Amoud area. Israeli soldiers took him to al-Maskobya Detention Facility for investigation.
  • At approximately 18:00, on the same day mentioned above, Israeli forces prevented a protest in Salah al-Deen Street, in the center of occupied East Jerusalem, which was organized against the arrest of Jerusalem’s mayor and some of Fateh Movement cadors in the city. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces forcibly prevented a protest in Salah al-Deen Street after the protesters chanted slogans against the policy of arrest in the city. The Israeli forces chased the protesters in the streets and checked their ID cards. They also arrested Mohammed abu al-Hams (50), a member of Follow-Up Committee in al-‘Issawya village, Yassir Darwish (37), secretary of Fateh Movment in Jerusalem, and activist ‘Ahed al-Rashq and referred them to investigation in Salah al-Deen street’s police station. The Israeli forces released the activists after some hours of their arrest on condition of deporting them from Salah al-Deen Street, Bab al-‘Amoud and al-Sultan Sulaiman street for two weeks.

 

House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • At approximately 07:00, on Wednesday 28 November 2018, Israeli Municipality’s bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Mahran al-Mughrabi in al Mughrabi neighborhood in Jabal al-Mukaber village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Mughrabi said that Israeli forces accompanied with bulldozers and Israeli Municipality staff raided and demolished his houses, which occurs in al-Mughrabi neighborhood near al-Sal’a area intersection in al-Mukaber neighborhood. He added that his house is a 200-square-meter rove in which he has been living with his wife and 2 daughters for a year and a half. He also mentioned that he had submitted papers to the Israeli Municipality for licensing but the Municipality claimed that they prevent construction in this area, knowing that the rove is an additional floor for the original building. The demolition took place without allowing them to empty the house contents and plantings, making the furniture unusable and causing damage to the downstairs. It should be noted that the demolition was in a densely-populated area which contains primary and secondly schools, which lead to prevent students from going to schools due to closing the vicinity of the house, which occurs in the middle of a main street. The neighborhood’s residents said that many students were unable to go to schools and buses were unable to reach the houses to transfer the students. So, many students took bypass roads to reach schools.

 

  • In a related context, Israeli Municipality’s bulldozers moved into Shu’fat neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, on early hours of the day mentioned above. They demolished a 50-square-meter commercial facility belonging to Majed abu ‘Eisha under the pretext of non-licensing. In al-Tour neighborhood, Israeli bulldozers destroyed a fence surrounds a land belonging to Khader ‘Owda al-s’aidy for the same reason.

 

Seizing Lands in Favor of Settlement Associations

 

On Wednesday afternoon, 21 November 2018, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the petition filed by the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem, and allowed “Ateret Cohanim” settlement association to continue its procedures relevant to expelling 700 Palestinians and forcing them to pay hundred thousands of shekels, claiming to compensate settlers for the costs of the legal proceedings and house rents for all the years.  It should be noted that the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood had submitted a petition against the decision of the Administrator General (Custodian of Absentee Property) to hand a plot of land in the abovementioned neighborhood that had been owned by Jews until 1948, but which is today home to 700 Palestinians,over to three members of Ateret Cohanim.  The latter association, which is very active in creating a Jewish Majority in occupied Jerusalem, filed a request to expel the Palestinian families with the help of the Israeli Justice Ministry’s administrator general to take over the area and buildings established there, claiming they belong to Jews, and to hand 70 Palestinian families judicial notices in this regard.

On Wednesday afternoon, The Supreme Court’s Judges (Daphne Barak-Erez and Barron Valron) rejected a petition filed by 104 Palestinian civilians from Batn al-Hawa neighborhood against the 2009 decision by the General Custodian of Absentee Property to “free the land on which they have lived for decades.”  After Judge Erez first rejected the request by the settlers to dismiss the petition, she later detailed a series of flaws in the administrator general’s conduct of transferring the land to Ateret Cohanim without even bothering to inform the residents who had lived there for decades.  The judge emphasized that the general administrator never investigated whether the land’s legal classification under the laws of the Ottoman Empire and even allowed the land to be turned over. Only in the final stages of the legal process did the State start looking into this complex question that is still with no definitive answer to it.  Yet despite all these problems, she decided that the High Court is the wrong place to investigate these factual arguments, and that the problems didn’t stem from the way the administrator acted, but rather “lie in the statutory arrangement.” Therefore, she rejected the petition. As a result, the dozens of suits Ateret Cohanim has filed to evict 70 Palestinian families will be resumed in the coming weeks.

The Israeli media has referred to a number of decisions issued recently by the Israeli Supreme Court in which they indicate, “there is a radical change in its policies,” under the auspices of the Israeli Justice Minister, “Ayelet Shaked”, which was described by the media as “Lady of the Coup in the Supreme Court, particularly when it comes to Palestinians’ rights”. Among these latest decisions was the rejection of the Supreme Court’s Judges of an appeal filed by Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against their expulsion from their homes. It should be noted that on Monday, 19 November 2018, the Israeli Knesset approved in the second and third readings the construction of residential units and houses in the national and public parks, which means the expansion of settlement of “Ir David” settlement in Silwan village that is considered one of the areas most targeted by the Israeli settlers and Government.

Settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:

 

  • On Friday, 23 November 2018, Israeli settlers from “Price Tag” Groups punctured the tires of 3 vehicles and wrote racist slogans and Star of David on the vehicles and walls of houses in al-Burj area in Beit Eksa village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The residents of the village said that the settlers punctured a number of vehicles and wrote racist slogans threatening to kill the Palestinians and attempting to burn the Mosque in al-Burj area in the village, which was taken over by the Israelis and where they built “Ramout” settlement.  It should be mentioned that “Beit Eksa” village is isolated behind the annexation wall, and Israel does not allow anyone to enter except for the village residents who undergo tightened search measures.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 22 November 2018, Israeli forces backed by 2 military vehciles and accompanied with a vehicles belonging to the construction and organization department in the Civil Administration and a JCB Excavator moved into al-Nabi Younis area in northern Hebron. They stationed at the intersection of the road connected with Bypass Road 60.  The soldiers deployed in the area while the excavator destroyed a carwash established on the roadside that is built of tin plates and construction steel on an area of 50 square meters and belonging to Mohammed Hasan Mor’eb.  The demolition came under the pretext of unlicensed building in Area C.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 26 November 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle and a bulldozer belonging to the construction and organization department in the Civil Administration moved into al-Murihah village, west of Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. The bulldozer started demolishing a house belonging to Bahaa’ Amin Hasan Mousa Hamadouni that was built on an area of 130 square meters.  The house is ready for inhabitation and the demolition came under the pretext of unlicensed building in Area C.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 27 November 2018, Israeli forces backed by a military vehicle and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the construction and organization department in the Civil Administration moved into Sousi village, south of Yata, south of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer handed the heirs of ‘Abdel Muhsen Mohammed Nawaj’ah a demolition notice relevant to 2 tents of 30 square meters under the pretext of unlicensed building.
  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces backed by a military vehciles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the construction and organization department in the Civil Administration moved into al-Dirat village, east of Yata, south of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer handed Fawar Mohammed Rab’ie (40) a notice to stop the construction works in his house of 160 square meters under the pretext of unlicensed building.
  • At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the construction and organization department in the Civil Administration and a JCB Excavator moved into Kherbet Souba, south of Ethna village, west of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area while the excavator started demolishing an agricultural room built of bricks and tin plates on an area of 40 square meters.  The construction costs were provided by ACTED organization.  This room and a 2-dunum land in the vicinity of it belong to Nabil Mohammed Mahmoud al-Heilah (58).  The demolition came under the pretext of unlicensed construction in area C.

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Friday, 23 November 2018, a group of settlers from “Yitsihar” settlement attacked the southern neighborhood of ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyah village, south of Nablus. The settlers attacked the Palestinian vehciles parked in front of the owners’ houses and their yards as well as on the streets.  They also wrote racist slogans against Arabs and Muslims on the houses’ walls and cars in addition to puncturing with sharp tools the tires of 16 cars before leaving the village.  PCHR keeps the names of the owners of those cars damaged.

 

  • Around the same time, a group of settlers attacked the eastern neighborhood of Howarah village, south of Nablus. They attacked the Palestinian vehicles parked in front of the owners’ houses and their yards as well as on the streets.  They also wrote racist slogans against Arabs and Muslims on the houses’ walls and cars in addition to puncturing with sharp tools the tires of 6 cars and 3 trucks belonging to al-Hawari Contracting Company before leaving the village. PCHR keeps the names of the affected owners.
  • At approximately 15:00 on Saturday, 24 November 2018, a group of settlers from “‘Aadi ‘Aad” settlement destroyed and cut 35 olive trees in lands in al-Seder area in Termes’aya village, northeast of Ramallah. ‘Abdullah Ratib Na’san (45) said to a PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I was in our land in Qalsoun area, which is 500 meters away from al-Seder area, north of the village and is 3 kilometers away from “‘Aadi ‘Aad” settlement, to plant and cultivate the land along with my cousins.  At approximately 15:00, we saw a group of settlers; around 15, approaching the barbed-wire fence surrounding the trees in al-Seder area and destroyed it so they could enter the land.  They started cutting the olive trees and breaking their branches randomly and left the area.  After that, 2 settlers came to cut and damage other trees in the same way and left quickly towards the abovementioned settlement.  The number of those trees cut down was 35 olive trees planted 5 years ago and belonging to ‘Abdullah Hasan Abu ‘Awwad and Hasan Kheir Abu ‘Alia.”

 

  • At approximately 02:55 on Sunday, 25 November 2018, Israeli settlers from”‘Aadi ‘Aad” settlement attacked 4 vehciles in al-Naqqar area, north of al-Mugheir village, northeast of Ramallah. They wrote hostile slogans on the vehicles and punctured their tires.  Those vehciels belong to AMhmoud Saleh Soliman Abu ‘Alya (37); Akram Kamal Na’asan (45); ‘Amer Hussein Abu ‘Aalia (38); and Mojahed ‘Eid Na’asan (38).  The latter civilian said to a PCHR’s fieldworker after watching a video captured by the surveillance cameras in his house that shows what 2 settlers did to his vehicle.

“At approximately 02:55, 2 settlers dressed in civilian clothes punctured the tires of my vehicle and removed the tires, writing racist slogans on the vehicle and the houses’ walls.  That happed two hours after the Israeli forces’ incursion into the village and patrolling in al-Naqqar neighborhood, where I live. The vehicle was parked in front of my house with an Israeli registration plate as I use it to work inside and outside the village”

 

 

Recommendations to the International Community:

 

  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 to continue to investigate the Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and grave violations in 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 States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

Murder of 12-year-old girl shows human rights in israel (apartheid state) are only for Jews

Murder of 12-Year-Old Girl Shows Human Rights in Israel Are Only for Jews

The asylum-seeker community in Israel is in a state of crisis and its women and teenage girls are paying an increasingly heavy price

Vered Lee

The murder of 12-year-old Silvana Tsegai in south Tel Aviv has shaken up the Eritrean asylum-seeker community in Israel, but it is far from the first case of a woman being murdered in that community. In November 2010, a 30-year-old pregnant woman was murdered by her partner. In July 2012, 18-year-old Natznet Michael was murdered by her Eritrean partner and in September 2015, a 29-year-old woman was murdered by her 33-year-old partner, Dasbella Havos.

The asylum-seeker community in Israel is in a state of crisis and its women and teenage girls are paying an increasingly heavy price. Women are a minority among the refugees – there are only 7,000 female asylum seekers in Israel. Thirty percent of these were victims of abuse and torture in the Sinai desert, and many of them have suffered sexual harassment at work but don’t report it. Without access to the police and out of fear of how the authorities will relate to them, these women and girls don’t report the domestic violence they suffer. The handful who do report it do not get protection from the police and say that their partners ignore restraining orders fearlessly. Battered women’s shelters are not set up to accept asylum seekers, even as the demand increases.

>> Analysis: Why the murder of a 12-year old in south Tel Aviv comes as no surprise

In December 2012 I interviewed Sanait Kidana, the founder of the Eritrean Women’s Community Center. Kidana has since emigrated to a Western country. We met following the murder of six Eritrean women by partners or family members between 2010 and 2012.

“I couldn’t listen to any more stories about murdered women, domestic violence, threats and harassment,” Kidana said, explaining why she had set up the center, which provides women with vocational training, family counseling and enrichment programs. “No official Israeli institution keeps records but we are overwhelmed by women coming to us for help. I estimate that 70 percent of the women in the Eritrean community suffer from violence – from being locked up at home to economic, sexual, verbal and physical violence.” Her successor at the center confirms that these problems persist today.

The controversial law requiring asylum seekers working in Israel to deposit 20 percent of their salaries into a closed account they can only access when they leave the country forced many asylum seekers into poverty and pushed many women into prostitution. Only a month ago it was decided to exclude women from this law, but the damage had already been done.

The scope of the prostitution was documented in a recent government report commissioned by the Social Affairs Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the interministerial anti-trafficking coordinator. An investigative report by Haaretz on the increasing number of asylum seekers forced into prostitution is now part of the government documentation. In 2014, aid organizations found that some 40 asylum seekers were caught up in the cycle of prostitution, while today there are 400 documented cases. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Despite the understanding of their situation, there is no rehabilitation available to these asylum-seeker women. Human rights in Israel are for Jewish women only.

Asylum seekers in Israel are subjected to systematic institutional abuse aimed at breaking their spirit. Israel could have absorbed the members of the community with dignity, enabled them to integrate, provided basic social benefits and respectful access to welfare, education and health institutions. The government’s decision to play with the feelings of an entire population is leaving its signs on the most vulnerable among them – the women.

“The murder of the girl [Tsegai] by the mother’s partner is a sad and shocking case; we condemn all violence in our community and hope that the murderer will be caught today,” says Eden Tesfamariam, the new director of the Eritrean Women’s Community Center. “That sweet girl was magic, she was always friendly and was always happy and optimistic. This is a great loss for all of us.”

“Life in Israel is not easy for us,” says Tesfamariam. “We suffered a great deal during the journey and here in Israel. Because we were not accepted as refugees, we were left to cope alone. Many of the men who came to Israel experienced many traumas and never underwent any rehabilitation process, and if that weren’t enough, the government has exerted heavy pressure on us from the moment we arrived and did everything in its power to make us feel undesirable, with laws that restrict our freedom, that sink us into poverty with the deposit law. There is a great deal of frustration at the lack of an orderly policy regarding our asylum requests.”

“Unfortunately, more than a few men turn to alcohol, which in many cases leads to violence, and the first ones hurt are us women, who must cope with all this at home. Many times we are left with nowhere to turn and are forced to again cope alone. Please stop exerting this pressure on us and instead institute an orderly policy so that we can make use of our rights as women, so that we can get proper solutions in the realms of welfare and health, to prevent other painful cases like this one,” she said.

Syria urges illegal foreign forces to leave Arab country

Syria urges illegal foreign forces to leave Arab country

Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja'afari attends a session of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, November 29, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari attends a session of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, November 29, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari has called on all foreign forces, who are operating on Syrian soil without Damascus’ consent, to leave the Arab country.

Ja’afari made the request during a press conference at the end of the 11th round of talks on the Syria crisis in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on Thursday.

He accused the US, Britain, France and Turkey of dispatching troops to Syria illegally and occupying some areas in the war-torn state.

“There is a clear discrepancy in the stances taken by the US, France and Britain who have already agreed on the UN Security Council resolutions on commitment to Syria’s sovereignty; meanwhile these countries have been deploying their troops illegally in Syria,” he said.

He also expressed concerns about the illegal Turkish military presence in Syria in violation of Ankara’s commitments in the Astana and Sochi agreements.

So far, 11 rounds of Syria peace talks, mediated by Iran, Russia and Turkey, have been held in Astana. The 10th round of the discussions took place in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi back in July 30-31.

The talks have brought representatives from Syria’s warring parties to the negotiating table and resulted in the establishment of safe zones across the country.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ja’afari raised alarm at the complicity of certain countries in delivering chemical weapons to terrorists in Syria’s Idlib Province.

“The use of shells containing chemical substances by terrorist organizations indicate an escalation by the sponsors of terrorism,” he said.

Separately on Thursday, the 11 round of the Astana talks published a closing statement, condemning any use of chemical arms in Syria and demanding a transparent probe into reports concerning the issue.

In the statement, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara, which are acting as the guarantors of an all-Syria ceasefire, reaffirmed their determination to fight terrorism in Syria and eliminate Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups there.

The guarantor countries further “reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”

Russia: Daesh planning gas attack in Syria

On Wednesday, Russia warned that Daesh Takfiri terrorists had been planning a chemical weapons attack on the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants, in order to provoke an airstrike by the US-led coalition against the Syrian army.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that 11 terrorists trained abroad had arrived in Syria and are currently filling mines with chemical substances.

“The chemical munitions are planned to be used in an attack on the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces … in the Hajin area of the Dayr al-Zawr Province,” the statement read.

On April 7, an alleged chemical weapons attack hit the Damascus suburb town of Douma,  just as the Syrian army was about to win the battle against the militants there.

Western states blamed the Syrian government for the incident, but Damascus firmly rejected the accusation.

One week after the suspected gas attack, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile strike against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

This is while Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the OPCW and the UN

Pushback Against israel (apartheid state) Is Beginning

Pushback Against Israel Is Beginning

Pushback Against Israel Is Beginning

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 29.11.2018

The Anglophone Israel Lobby benefits from its ability to mold the media narrative while at the same time using financial incentives to corrupt the political class. For those who do not succumb to the corruption, there is always the option of direct pressure, which in the United States and Britain consists of targeted interference in the political system to remove critics either through promotion of scandal or by supporting well-funded alternative candidates in the following election. In the United States, this has led to the removal of a number of congressmen who had dared to criticize the Jewish state, terrifying the remainder into silence. All of this goes on with little or no debate in the media or in congress itself.

There are signs, however, that the general tolerance of Israeli misbehavior might be ending. The election of at least three Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who might be willing to discuss Israel in something less than worshipful ways is a minuscule shift in the alignment of the Democratic party, where Jewish money dominates, but it reflects the views of the party’s grass roots where a recent poll demonstrates that surveyed Democrats favor Israel over Palestine by a margin of only 2%, twenty-seven per cent versus twenty-five per cent with the remainder of responders favoring neither side.

Much more significant is last week’s announcement by Senator Rand Paul that he intends to place a “hold” on the current package of $38 billion in military aid to Israel, which means he can filibuster the issue in the Senate to delay its passage. Paul, who, like his father, is a skeptic regarding foreign aid in general, did not cite any specific issues connected to the aid package, but critics have long noted that Israel is in fact ineligible for any foreign aid from the United States because it has an undeclared nuclear arsenal consisting of at least 200 weapons. For that reason, providing aid to Israel is illegal under the Symington Amendment of 1961 as well as due to the fact that Tel Aviv has rejected signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT.

Paul’s action is extremely courageous as he is the first Senator since William Fulbright to dare to say anything negative about the Jewish state. Fulbright was, of course, punished by the Israel Lobby, which committed major resources to defeating him when he next came up for reelection. Another U.S. Senator Charles Percy was so bold as to maintain that Palestinian Arabs might actually have “rights” also found himself confronted by an extremely well-funded opponent who defeated him for reelection, so Paul’s action is far from risk free. In fact, the Israel Lobby is already reacting hysterically to the “hold,” as is the Israeli government, and one can be sure that all their massive resources will be used to punish the senator.

Another area where one might have expected more pushback from Americans is the lack of any serious resistance from Christian groups to the process whereby the conservative Likud dominated Netanyahu government is seeking to turn Israel into a purely Jewish state. That too is changing due to Israeli behavior. Even though Israel boasts that it provides a safe haven for Christians to practice their religion, reports occasionally surface suggesting something quite different. Jewish Zealots spit on Christian clergy and curse them out in the streets without any fear of repercussions. Some clergy have been harassed and even assaulted by Jewish extremists. Churches and religious foundations are frequently vandalized or defaced with obscene graffiti and the Israeli government has also confiscated or destroyed church property.

America’s Presbyterian Church has led the charge in criticizing Israeli brutality. At its June General Assembly it passed a resolution condemning Israeli apartheid. Its Office of Public Witness has been in the forefront in calling on Israel to cease and desist. An Action Alert issued this summer entitled “Tell Congress: 70 years of suffering is enough! Stop the killing, hold Israel accountable, and support human rights for all” denounced the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza by the Israeli Army.

Now it is the turn of the Quakers in Britain, who have banned any investment by the church in companies that exploit the “military occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli government.”, prompting a furious response from Jewish leaders. It is the first British Church to do so and leaders of the group have compared their action to taking steps against apartheid and the slave trade.

It is certainly a turnabout to see anyone taking on Israel and its all too often invincible lobby. What is significant is that Christian churches and even some congressmen have begun to speak out in spite of the knowledge that immense Jewish power in the United States and Britain will make them pay a price for doing so. May the realization that Israel’s interference in friendly countries damages their democracy finally reach a point where some people in Congress, the media and even in the White House will begin to listen.

The Two-State Chimera Is a Cover for Israel’s One-State Reality

Anti-Assad UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria (COI)

By Stephen Lendman
Source

There’s nothing independent about the COI. Established in August 2011, it’s headed by pro-Western Paulo Sergio Pinheiro.

Mandated to investigate human rights abuses in Syria, it operates largely as an imperial tool. Time and again, it falsely accused Assad of crimes Syrian forces had nothing to do with.

It consistently ignores Pentagon-led terror-bombing, responsible for vast destruction and tens of thousands of Syrian civilian deaths, the horrific toll increasing daily.

Its reports are hugely biased, disregarding or ignoring core issues, blaming government forces for CW use and other atrocities committed by US-supported ISIS and other jihadists.

Earlier the COI lied claiming “(g)overnment forces continued to deliberately target civilians, including through the use of chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas.”

It lied saying Syrian warplanes “used sarin in Khan Shaykhun, killing over 80 people, most of whom were women and children.”

The incident happened days after Syrian forces were falsely accused of using “toxic substances” in Hama province.

Accusations about government use of CWs are fabricated, the COI going along with countless Big Lies during nearly eight years of endless war. 

No evidence indicates Syrian, Russian, Hezbollah, or Iranian responsibility for CW attacks or other atrocities. Clear evidence proves the culpability of US-supported terrorists, as well as Pentagon and partnered forces in the country.

The COI earlier lied claiming Syrian warplanes bombed “medical facilities” – a US, NATO, Israeli, Saudi, UAE speciality, no evidence ever indicating Syrian responsibility for targeting hospitals or other non-military sites.

The COI falsely calls US aggression in Syria “civil war.” There’s nothing remotely “civil” about it.

On November 28, COI’s latest report called for “the Syrian State to account for the fate and whereabouts of detained and missing individuals countrywide,” adding:

The commission further calls for Damascus “to take a number of essential steps to address the most pressing concerns of both the victims and their families on this matter, including acknowledging the truth about how victims perished, revealing the whereabouts of their remains, and promptly, thoroughly, transparently, and independently investigating all custodial deaths, as well as deaths resulting from summary or extrajudicial executions.”

An earlier COI report falsely accused Assad of “extermination,” calling it “a crime against humanity.”

The commission, in cahoots with the US and NATO, blames Assad for Nuremberg-level high crimes committed by Washington, its imperial accomplices, and terrorist foot soldiers.

It failed to address near-daily US-led terror-bombing, notably the rape and destruction of Raqqa, massacring tens of thousands of defenseless Syrian civilians – on the phony pretext of combating ISIS Washington created and supports.

Since the Obama regime launched naked aggression on Syria in March 2011, high crimes committed by its forces and allies have been consistently ignored – by the COI, world community, and supportive media.

Throughout years of war, Assad has been responsibly involved in defending his country and people against what he justifiably called “invaders.” 

It’s a vital campaign warranting high praise, not condemnation or blame for US-led high crimes committed against the country and its people.

A Final Comment

On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry warned about (US-supported jihadists) planning a CW attack against Kurdish forces in northern Syria – a pretext for more US, UK, French terror-bombing of Syrian sites, Damascus to be falsely blamed again for use of banned weapons.

The US-staged false flag is planned for Deir Ezzor province, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, saying ISIS terrorists (trained in Jordan by Pentagon contractors) are filling mortar shells with toxic agents “to carry out a strike” to be falsely blamed on government forces.

Russia is monitoring the situation closely. Its S-400 and S-300 air defense systems can down hostile aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles.

The only language Washington and its imperial partners understand is force. It’s long past time for Russia to act against US, NATO, and Israeli air attacks on Syrian targets – high crimes of war never to be tolerated.

Would taking this action risk East/West confrontation, possible nuclear war? Failure to act against US-led aggression assures more of it, including along Russia’s borders, risking they’ll be aggressively crossed.

Years of Kremlin diplomatic outreach to Washington and its allies over Syria and other conflicts failed to stop US-led aggression.

Challenging it forcefully is the only way to get Washington’s attention. Failure to act will let things fester and worsen. Appeasing bullies is wrongheaded. It never works. 

Perhaps the best way to prevent global war with nukes is by confronting Washington forcefully enough to show its bullying no longer will be tolerated.

The West Stays Mum About Aleppo Chemical Attack

By Alex Gorka
Source

or-41822.jpg

More than 100 people were injured as a result of a chemical attack in Aleppo on Nov. 24. The Syrian government asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send a fact-finding mission to the city. Evidently the rebels were responsible. The West’s reaction has been surprising. Unlike in previous instances, the West has stayed mum instead of creating an uproar after the attacks and blaming Syria without any sort of thorough investigation to prove its guilt.

When rebel-controlled areas came under chemical attacks, Western leaders raised a hue and cry, but they more or less shrugged it off when civilians living in Aleppo’s government-controlled areas became the targets — shot by 120-mm mortars firing chlorine-filled rounds. The shelling came from Idlib — the province where the remaining rebels are based. There is no way the Syrian government troops could have been the perpetrators. Nobody would believe a story claiming that they attacked their own forces so deep behind their own lines. Russia and Syria are proud of the fact they have established peace in Aleppo, and they have no interest in disturbing it.

Neither the US nor its comrades-in-arms — the UK and France — is launching missile and air attacks to strike rebel-held positions in Idlib. And no one is rushing toward international podiums to do any finger-pointing. No statements have been issued from either Washington or Brussels as of Nov. 27. The silence is deafening.

Only French President Macron has announced that his country is condemning the use of chemical weapons in general and in the Syrian city of Aleppo in particular. Some time ago, Paris was vigorously advocating for the West’s intervention in Syria. It joined the US military actions against Syrian government forces. French special forces operate side-by-side with their American counterparts there. The French president has always expressed his indignation and condemnation of the Syrian government for the things it has not done. This time he failed to castigate the radicals in Idlib for the crime they really did commit.

It was Russian forces who attacked the terrorist positions from where mortars were firing chemical rounds, according to intelligence sources. The Russian Air Force prevented another chemical attack in order to protect civilians. Russian and Syrian medical personnel saved human lives by rapidly coming to their aid. Syria and Russia joined efforts in an investigation to produce proof that it was Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militants (the former Jabhat al-Nusra) who perpetrated this war crime.

Russia had warned that the White Helmets were preparing to stage such an attack while freely operating in the terrorist-controlled areas. They had been painted in the West as human-rights defenders until their group was exposed as terrorist collaborators. Interestingly, the group had always operated in areas controlled by the extremists, never in zones held by the so-called “moderate opposition.”

But the question is — why were the Russian warnings  ignored? Another question — what will the OPCW do after it has acquired new powers to hand down verdicts about who is to blame? Russian experts are already there investigating and producing tangible results, while that global watchdog is not sure if it is safe enough for a team to be sent to Aleppo! Even if it goes in, it’ll have lost too much time to be able to conduct an effective investigation. The way to do it is to arrive on the scene quickly and gather evidence. It has not done this. Will it cooperate with the Russian military as it should? After all, Russia has hard evidence it can produce, otherwise it would not have attacked Idlib and breached the ceasefire accord. It protected the civilians in Aleppo knowing perfectly it would have to justify its actions.

In any event, the chemical attack in Aleppo is an acid test that will demonstrate the OPCW’s ability to beef up its credibility as an international body empowered with the authority to assign blame. The inspectors did not travel to Syria’s Shayrat air base to conduct an inspection after the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack last year, nor did they go to see with their own eyes what really happened in Douma, where a chemical attack took place in April. It’ll have to behave more responsibly this time, even if its own safety is not guaranteed.

The idea behind the attack was to provoke a clash between Turkey, which is responsible for the situation in Idlib, and the Russian-backed Syrian government that is defending Aleppo. But those plans fell apart when they were exposed by Russian intelligence. The attack was not unexpected. And there was one other thing that was exposed as a result — the duplicity of the West.

Push-back Against Israel Is Beginning

By Philip M. Giraldi
Source

or-41824.jpg

The Anglophone Israel Lobby benefits from its ability to mold the media narrative while at the same time using financial incentives to corrupt the political class. For those who do not succumb to the corruption, there is always the option of direct pressure, which in the United States and Britain consists of targeted interference in the political system to remove critics either through promotion of scandal or by supporting well-funded alternative candidates in the following election. In the United States, this has led to the removal of a number of congressmen who had dared to criticize the Jewish state, terrifying the remainder into silence. All of this goes on with little or no debate in the media or in congress itself.

There are signs, however, that the general tolerance of Israeli misbehavior might be ending. The election of at least three Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who might be willing to discuss Israel in something less than worshipful ways is a miniscule shift in the alignment of the Democratic party, where Jewish money dominates, but it reflects the views of the party’s grass roots where a recent poll demonstrates that surveyed Democrats favor Israel over Palestine by a margin of only 2%, twenty-seven per cent versus twenty-five per cent with the remainder of responders favoring neither side.

Much more significant is last week’s announcement by Senator Rand Paul that he intends to place a “hold” on the current package of $38 billion in military aid to Israel, which means he can filibuster the issue in the Senate to delay its passage. Paul, who, like his father, is a skeptic regarding foreign aid in general, did not cite any specific issues connected to the aid package, but critics have long noted that Israel is in fact ineligible for any foreign aid from the United States because it has an undeclared nuclear arsenal consisting of at least 200 weapons. For that reason, providing aid to Israel is illegal under the Symington Amendment of 1961 as well as due to the fact that Tel Aviv has rejected signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT.

Paul’s action is extremely courageous as he is the first Senator since William Fulbright to dare to say anything negative about the Jewish state. Fulbright was, of course, punished by the Israel Lobby, which committed major resources to defeating him when he next came up for reelection. Another U.S. Senator Charles Percy was so bold as to maintain that Palestinian Arabs might actually have “rights” also found himself confronted by an extremely well-funded opponent who defeated him for reelection, so Paul’s action is far from risk free. In fact, the Israel Lobby is already reacting hysterically to the “hold,” as is the Israeli government, and one can be sure that all their massive resources will be used to punish the senator.

Another area where one might have expected more pushback from Americans is the lack of any serious resistance from Christian groups to the process whereby the conservative Likud dominated Netanyahu government is seeking to turn Israel into a purely Jewish state. That too is changing due to Israeli behavior. Even though Israel boasts that it provides a safe haven for Christians to practice their religion, reports occasionally surface suggesting something quite different. Jewish Zealots spit on Christian clergy and curse them out in the streets without any fear of repercussions. Some clergy have been harassed and even assaulted by Jewish extremists. Churches and religious foundations are frequently vandalized or defaced with obscene graffiti and the Israeli government has also confiscated or destroyed church property.

America’s Presbyterian Church has led the charge in criticizing Israeli brutality. At its June General Assembly it passed a resolution condemning Israeli apartheid. Its Office of Public Witness has been in the forefront in calling on Israel to cease and desist. An Action Alert issued this summer entitled “Tell Congress: 70 years of suffering is enough! Stop the killing, hold Israel accountable, and support human rights for all” denounced the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza by the Israeli Army.”

Now it is the turn of the Quakers in Britain, who have banned any investment by the church in companies that exploit the “military occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli government.”, prompting a furious response from Jewish leaders. It is the first British Church to do so and leaders of the group have compared their action to taking steps against apartheid and the slave trade.

It is certainly a turnabout to see anyone taking on Israel and its all too often invincible lobby. What is significant is that Christian churches and even some congressmen have begun to speak out in spite of the knowledge that immense Jewish power in the United States and Britain will make them pay a price for doing so. May the realization that Israel’s interference in friendly countries damages their democracy finally reach a point where some people in Congress, the media and even in the White House will begin to listen.

Under Pressure: Trump Cancels Upcoming Putin Meeting But Refuses To Blame Russia For Kerch Strait

Image result for Under Pressure: Trump Cancels Upcoming Putin Meeting But Refuses To Blame Russia For Kerch Strait

MOSCOW, Russian Federation –  U.S President Donald Trump announced that he was canceling a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina.

US President Donald Trump
He made this decision after reading the report on the incident in the Kerch Strait. According to him, the main reason for the incident was the fact that ships and sailors did not return to Ukraine. Trump was criticized by both Neocon Republicans and Clinton Democrats alike, for failing to ‘condemn’ Russia.

“I look forward to a meaningful summit again as soon as the situation is resolved!” – Trump wrote on Twitter .

The Russians, for their part, have also made an official statement. RIA reports that the spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, said that the Kremlin has no official information about canceling the meeting.

At the same time, he noted that if the United States confirms the refusal, then Putin will have a couple extra hours to meet on the sidelines of the summit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump
The last time world leaders could briefly talk in early November in Paris on the “margins” of events in honor of the centenary of the end of the First World War.

In mid-July, the first full-format meeting between Putin and Trump was held in Helsinki. The conversation between the leaders of Russia and the United States began in a one-on-one format, then negotiations continued with the participation of members of delegations. The heads of state discussed ways of normalizing and developing bilateral relations, and pressing issues on the international agenda.

Provocation in the Kerch Strait

On the morning of November 25, the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yana Kapu, violated the state border of Russia and maneuvered dangerously for several hours without reacting to the legal demands of Russian boats and ships.

Shipping in the Kerch Strait resumed
The vessels were detained, 24 Ukrainian military men were on board, including the SBU officers, who, according to the Center for Public Relations of the FSB, coordinated the provocations.

A criminal case: violation of the state border

Vladimir Putin called the situation in the Kerch Strait pre-prepared provocation, which Petro Poroshenko used as a pretext to impose a state of emergency in Ukraine on the eve of presidential elections.

At the same time, the head of state stressed that Russian border guards were fulfilling their duty to protect the state border.

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Pentagon says Riyadh is too important to whip, rolls out $15bn THAAD arms deal instead

RT

Pentagon says Riyadh is too important to whip, rolls out $15bn THAAD arms deal instead
The US rarely has ‘unblemished’ partners so it will pour more defensive weapons into Saudi Arabia despite outrage over Khashoggi and Yemen, Pentagon chief James Mattis admitted as the nation handed the kingdom a big new deal.

The most-recent major US-Saudi arms deal was rolled out on Wednesday. Riyadh is seeking to get THAAD air defense missile systems, and the terms of the purchase were quietly formalized this week, the State Department announced. Under the $15 billion contract, Riyadh will receive 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment.

The news of a yet another lucrative contract came the very same day Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rushed to defend the kingdom against the mounting anger in the Senate over the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the bloody war in Yemen. Speaking at a closed-door briefing, they explained that Saudi Arabia is simply too important to scrap existing bonds.

The Pentagon’s chief called Riyadh “fundamental” to regional and Israeli security, as well as crucial for the US’ own interests.

“We are seldom free to work with unblemished partners,” Mattis bluntly admitted. He went on to argue that the ties with the kingdom “cannot be dismissed” even as Washington condemned Khashoggi’s death.

The officials also came out of their way to shield Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MBS, against the allegations that he might have been in on the plan to kill Khashoggi all along.

“We have no smoking gun the Crown Prince was involved, not the intelligence community or anyone else. There is no smoking gun,”Mattis told reporters. Pompeo agreed with him, claiming there is “no direct reporting” connecting MBS with the order to kill the journalist.

Their statements seemed to run contrary to the CIA. According to media reports, intelligence officials, in fact, have believed “for weeks”that there is no way that Jamal Khashoggi’s murder could have happened without the Crown Prince’s approval.

Earlier, President Donald Trump went even further, suggesting that “maybe” MBS “had knowledge” of Khashoggi’s killing. But that still doesn’t change much. As Trump poignantly explained, it would we “foolish” to ditch the $450 billion of investments the Saudis promised the US. He singled out the $110 billion of existing arms contacts Washington can’t afford to lose, especially to rivals Russia and China. The president also praised the Arab kingdom as the centerpiece in the fight against arch-nemesis, Iran.

Washington’s steadfast defense and loyalty to Saudi Arabia is nothing new. Over the years, numerous rights groups have been begging the White House to stop aiding Riyadh, citing its abysmal track record on human rights. Before the Khashoggi case shocked the world and launched the Saudis in a PR nightmare, there was the dissident Raif Badawi. The creator of the blog ‘Free Saudi Liberals’ was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticizing the government. Human rights campaigners called on the kingdom’s Western allies, including the US, to pressure it into releasing Badawi. Washington’s efforts to have the dissident freed went little beyond the generic statements of “concern.”

In the case of Khashoggi, the US sanctioned 17 Saudi officials but fell short of targeting the country’s leadership. The criticism of the nation’s ruling royal family is largely absent from the rhetoric coming from the White House. And when it does, it gets sandbagged with praise of the kingdom’s strategic role in the region. The US, nevertheless, stays true to the long-standing tradition of backing its principal ally in the Middle East. It does so despite multiple allegations and reports of human rights abuses by Riyadh.

Similarly, little to no action was taken to address the harrowing reports on the kingdom’s role in the bloody conflict in Yemen. The US-made weapons and military gear is frequently used during the Saudi-led bombing campaign which regularly claims lives of civilians, the rights groups warm. Yet, Riyadh’s status as a close and valuable ally effectively deterred politicians in Washington from attacking the Gulf nation.

Only on Wednesday did the US senators vote to launch debates whether the state should stop supporting the Saudi war in Yemen. Several lawmakers earlier penned a letter urging Trump to investigate the role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s death.

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BREAKING: Israel ATTACKS Syria, Results In TOTAL BLUNDER

Breaking: Syrian Air Defense Forces Shoot Down “Enemy Objects” Over Damascus

Breaking: Syrian Air Defense Forces Shoot Down "Enemy Objects" Over Damascus

Illustrative image

At the late hours of November 29, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF) have shoot down several unidentified flying objects over the district of al-Kiswah south of the Syrian capital of Damascus.

“Initial reports say that all enemy objects were destroyed and didn’t reach any of their targets,” the SANA said in a short press release.

Local sources told SouthFront that the SyAAD is still launching surface-to-air missiles at flying objects over Damascus and al-Quneitra. Several loud explosions were also heard between the two governorates.

The available information indicate that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) attempt to strike positions of Iranian forces south of Damascus. However, the Syrian and Israeli media are yet to provide more details.

If confirmed, this would be the first Israeli airstrike on Syria since the downing of the Russian Il-20 intelligence plane on September 17. Following the incident, Russia supplied Syria with the S-300 air defense system and an advanced command and control system.

BREAKING: Israel ATTACKS Syria, Results In TOTAL BLUNDER

Image result for BREAKING: Israel ATTACKS Syria, Results In TOTAL BLUNDER

DAMASCUS, Syria – The Syrian Air Defense Systems have thwarted off a weak Israeli attack meant to target pro-government forces.

The Syrian Air Defense Systems took down hostile targets over Al-Kiswah in southern Syria.

“Our air defenses repelled the aggression and foiled it. Despite the intensity of the aggression, it has not been able to reach its objectives,” a Syrian military source told Kevork Almassian of Syriana Analysis.

“All hostile targets were dealt with and destroyed,” the source added.

To thwart off the attack, the Syrian military relied on the air defense systems located in Al-Dimas. Effectively, this means that the famous Russian S-300 air defense systems in Masyaf were not utilized by the Syrian military. The S-300 was delivered to Syria by Russia after Israel was blamed for the downing of a Russian jet some months earlier in which 15 soldiers had died.

This also marks the first Israeli attack on Syria since the September 18th tragedy, demonstrating that the S-300 was a strong deterrent, and on the first occasion of conducting aggression on Syria since the incident, the air defense system was not even needed to thwart off the foiled attack .

It is thought that the reason Israel decided to attack on this occasion was because Hezbollah and Iranian military advisers have newly established observation points in Quneitra and Dara’a countryside near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. This effectively broke an agreement in which Hezbollah and Iran were meant to be some tens of kilometers from the border.

Meanwhile, other reports of projectiles falling on the Israeli-occupied areas of the Golan Heights.

UPDATE: Sputnik Arabic is claiming that the Syrian air defense systems downed an Israeli jet and four cruise missiles. However, Fort Russ News is not able to verify these reports at this moment, and will do so as soon as there is clarity.

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ترامب ونتنياهو وحقيقة القرن: قلق الوجود على «إسرائيل»

ترامب ونتنياهو وحقيقة القرن: قلق الوجود على «إسرائيل»

نوفمبر 24, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– في الطريق إلى صفقة القرن وقع الثلاثة، الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ورئيس حكومة كيان الإحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو وولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان. والثلاثة آخر من تبقى من حلف المئة وثلاثين دولة الذين قادتهم واشنطن في إعلان الحرب على سورية بعد الفشل الذريع في هذه الحرب، والثلاثة تعاقدوا على صفقة شرعنة احتلال القدس وإعلانها عاصمة لكيان الاحتلال مقابل حلف خليجي إسرائيلي أميركي بوجه إيران عنوانه إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية، وبدون هذه الصفقة لا فوائد ترتجى من العقوبات على إيران ولا قيمة للانسحاب من التفاهم النووي معها. وبدون شريك فلسطيني لا قيمة لهذه الصفقة، وقد فشلت مساعي توليف هذا الشريك وانتهى الأمر. فالشعب الفلسطيني قال كلمته، مَن بوقع على بيع القدس مقتول مقتول مقتول.

– يواجه الرئيس ترامب بعد الانتخابات النصفية للكونغرس موجة صاعدة عنوانها، نهوض شبابي منح الحزب الديمقراطي أغلبية مجلس النواب بمشاركة زادت المقترعين بنسبة 40 محور مشاركتها أنها ضاقت ذرعاً بكل ما جلبه ترامب على أميركا، بلغته وخطابه وعنصريته وسياساته وسلوكه الفظ وعنجهيته، والأهم فشله في صناعة نصر خارجي أو إنجاز داخلي. ويعرف ترامب أن الموجة إلى تصاعد وسوف تكون بانتظاره بقوة أكبر مع الانتخابات الرئاسية. وطريق ترامب الوحيد للرهان على تغيير الموازين هو الانقلاب على شريكيه نتنياهو وإبن سلمان لولا أن السياسة العليا تمنعه من ذلك، فالتخلي عن السعودية تخلٍّ عن «إسرائيل»، وربما تسريع بسقوطها، كما قال ترامب.

– يواجه نتنياهو بعد فشل صفقة القرن المأزق الاستراتيجي الذي صنعته انتصارات المقاومة وثبته صمود سورية، حيث «إسرائيل» الكبرى ماتت مع زوال الاحتلال من جنوب لبنان، ودفنت مع زواله عن قطاع غزة، فما عادت أحلام التوسع العسكري ذات مكان، و»إسرائيل» العظمى القائمة على قوة الردع وفرض الإرادة ومقايضة الأمن بالاقتصاد، سقطت مع تآكل قدرة الردع منذ فشل جيش الاحتلال في حرب تموز 2006 وفشله اللاحق في حروب غزة، وفشله الأعظم في إعادة إنتاج قدرة الردع من بوابة الحرب على سورية، وجاءت تجربة غزة الأخيرة لتقول إن استعادة هذه القدرة أضغاث أحلام، وإن إسرائيل الصغرى التي بنيت على صفقة القرن كدولة يهودية عاصمتها القدس تواجه مأزق الوجود بعد فقدان الدور.

– شكّل سقوط صفقة القرن إيذاناً بسقوط الحلقة المحورية فيها وهو ولي العهد السعودي صاحب التعهد بتأمين التوقيع الفلسطيني، وهو الحلقة الأضعف بين حليفيه ترامب ونتنياهو، فجاءت قضية قتل جمال الخاشقجي تصنيعاً أو توظيفاً المدخل المناسب لبدء العملية التدريجية للتموضع الجديد للسياسات الأميركية. فالدور السعودي يفقد الوظيفة وهو كما قال ترامب الركن الذي تعتمد عليه السياسة الأميركية في حصار إيران وحماية «إسرائيل». وترابط الهدفين معلوم. فالحصار على إيران له قضية كبرى اسمها حماية «إسرائيل»، والسعودية ما عادت تنفع في كليهما.

– للمرة الأولى يتحدث بنيامين نتنياهو عن أن الكيان في وضع يشبه عشية حرب العام 1947 وهو يعلم أن لا جيوش تستعد للحرب على الحدود، لكنه يقصد بوضوح عودة القلق الوجودي ذاته الذي عاد للظهور، وللمرة الأولى يضطر الرئيس الأميركي، للإعلان أن دور السعودية في السياسات الأميركية هو حماية «إسرائيل»، لكنه يقول كلاماً خطيراً بإيجاز، رحيل «إسرائيل» بسقوط السعودية، محاولاً استنفار آخر نقاط مفاهيم الأمن لدى الأميركيين وعلاقتها بحماية «إسرائيل» لمنح الوقت لترتيب البيت السعودي بهدوء، لأن القلق على «إسرائيل» بات وجودياً بعد التسليم بنهاية الدور.

– «إسرائيل» الصغرى وقلق الوجود متلازمة القرن، بعدما كانت متلازمة القرن الماضي «إسرائيل» الكبرى و»إسرائيل» العظمى وتعاظم الدور، والفضل لشلال تضحيات وتراكم انتصارات من لبنان إلى سورية والعراق واليمن والأهم فلسطين، وفي الخلفية عمق استراتيجي اسمه إيران، وحليف صادق ونزيه اسمه روسيا.

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Gaza hospitals ‘overwhelmed’ by patients with long-term injuries from israeli (apartheid state) live fire

Gaza hospitals ‘overwhelmed’ by patients with long-term injuries from Israeli live fire

Besieged strip coping with ‘slow-motion emergency’ with hundreds facing amputations or even death, Doctors Without Borders says

MSF says it has treated over 3,000 patients since Great March of Return protests began in March (AFP)

Gaza’s medical system is creaking under the weight of thousands of Palestinians suffering from long-term injuries caused by the Israeli army’s use of live fire during months of protests, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned.

The organisation said on Thursday that it has treated more than 3,000 patients since the Great March of Return protests began along Gaza’s barrier with Israel at the end of March.

The vast majority of those Palestinian patients were shot in the legs, MSF said in a statement.

“A slow-motion healthcare emergency is unfolding in Gaza as the cumulative needs of patients shot by the Israeli army and seriously injured during protests mount,” the group said.

‘This many patients would overstretch the best healthcare systems in the world’

– Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF Head of Mission in Palestine 

MSF said the majority of its patients would need further medical treatment to properly heal from their wounds, or receive necessary rehabilitation.

“This burden is too much to bear for the health system in Gaza in its current form, weakened as it is by more than a decade of blockade,” the group said.

It said patients could develop infections if their wounds are left untreated, potentially forcing them to undergo amputations.

MSF also noted that the high number of Palestinians wounded during the protests was having an impact on the provision of other healthcare services in the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Few allowed to leave Gaza for treatment

The high number of people injured during the protests has also affected which patients can leave Gaza to seek treatment elsewhere, an official working for an international agency told MEE.

The official said the authorities in Gaza have prioritised Palestinians who were wounded during the protests, when it comes to issuing permits to leave the territory through the Egyptian border crossing.

Only around 300 people are allowed to leave Gaza per day through that crossing.

“Today we have 8,000 people suffering [from] different conditions and requiring surgery, but they are classified as ‘cold cases’,” the official said. “The priority is to take care of the people injured during the protests.”



Raed Jadallah says he was not protesting when he was shot by an Israeli sniper (MEE/Mohammed A Alhajjar)

Gaza resident Raed Jadallah, 26, told MEE in September that his passion for surfing was dealt a blow when a bullet hit his thigh during one of the Friday protests.

“I did not participate in the protests. I was just watching the protesters burn tyres and throw rocks when I was suddenly shot in my thigh,” said Jadallah, who is from the al-Shati refugee camp in western Gaza City.

“My life has completely stopped. I have been waiting for the past five months to travel for treatment, but there is an overwhelming number of urgent cases that need exit permits,” he said at the time.

The ongoing Great March of Return protests are calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza and have been met by Israeli soldiers shooting live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators.

At least 235 Palestinians have been killed since the protests began more than seven months ago – from both Israeli fire and air strikes on the territory – while two Israeli soldiers have been killed in the same period.

Nearly 6,000 Palestinians have been injured by the Israeli army’s use of live ammunition, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

“This many patients would overstretch the best healthcare systems in the world,” said Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, the head of MSF’s mission in Palestine. “In Gaza, it is a crushing blow.”

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