Report: israel (apartheid state) Tried to Trick Syria Into Shooting Down Civilian Airliners In Christmas Day Attack

Report: Israel Tried to Trick Syria Into Shooting Down Civilian Airliners In Christmas Day Attack
Chris Menahan
Information Liberation

null

Israel may have tried to trick Syria into shooting down two civilian airplanes with their latest airstrike carried out on Christmas Day, according to report released Wednesday.

From South Front:

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out its recent airstrikes in Syria when two civilians planes were landing in Beirut and Damascus, putting passengers at risk, Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of Russia told reporters on December 26.

“Provocative acts by the Israeli Air Force endangered two passenger jets when six of their F-16s carried out airstrikes on Syria from Lebanese airspace,” RT quoted the spokesman as saying.

According to Konashenkov, the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF) delayed the deployment of surface-to-air missiles and electronic jamming “to prevent a tragedy.” Meanwhile, the Damascus air traffic control diverted one of the passenger jets to a reserve airport in Khmeimim in southern Lattakia.

Konashenkov said that 6 Israeli F-16 warplanes used 16 US-made GPS-guided GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) in the attack, which occurred at the late hours of December 25. Only 2 SDBs managed to hit their targets, while the rest were intercepted by the SyAADF.

Israeli media claimed that Israeli warplanes struck a shipment of Iranian-made Fajir-5 rockets, which was on its way to Hezbollah. However, the Ministry of Defense of Syria said that the “aggression” targeted an ammo depot of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) injuring three service members.

Last September, a Russian Il-20 plane was downed by Syrian air defense firewhen Israeli warplanes used it as a cover to strike targets on the Syrian coast. The recent airstrikes show that Israel is now using the same tactic with civilian planes, which endangers the flights not only over Syria, but also over Lebanon and Jordan.

If Syria had shot down two civilian planes on Christmas Day right after Trump announced he was pulling out of the country, the pressure to reverse his decision would have been tremendous.

Happy New Year and Long Live Palestine from River to See

 

 

إسرائيل تكشف سرّ الصاروخ الذي أربكها… والصفعة التي تلقتها

ديسمبر 29, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– خلال أربع وعشرين ساعة أعقبت العدوان الإسرائيلي الأخير على سورية ولبنان، بدأت التقارير الاستخبارية تنتشر على المواقع الإسرائيلية المتخصّصة بالشؤون الأمنية، وبات واضحاً أن الهدف من هذه التقارير هو العجز عن إدارة الظهر لحقيقة ما جرى داخل كيان الاحتلال في ليلة العدوان، الذي برّرته القيادة العسكرية والأمنية بمعلومات وصلتها عن هدف أمني ثمين يستحق استهدافه المخاطرة بالتصادم مع منظومة الدفاع الجوي السورية بما فيها صواريخ الـ أس 300، وكذلك المخاطرة بالاشتباك مع قرار سوري بالردّ قد يجلب الردّ الصاروخي الأرضي على المواقع الإسرائيلية، فبعد الترويج لاستهداف الجنرال قاسم سليماني أصرّت قيادة الاحتلال على وجود قيادات هامة من حزب الله كانت موضوع الاستهداف، واشارت إلى إصابة بعضها، قبل أن تعلن أن المستهدفين سواء كانوا الجنرال سليماني أو قيادات من حزب الله قد غادروا قبل العدوان بدقائق عبر طائرة إيرانية أقلعت من مطار دمشق.

– لم يكن ممكناً التعامل مع الأمور بهذه الطريقة والوقوف عند هذه النقطة في ضوء ثبوت فشل الاستهداف بغض النظر عن الأسباب ودرجة صحة التقارير عن وجود الجنرال سليماني أو قادة من حزب الله، لأن الذي جرى في عمق الكيان وخصوصاً في منطقة حيفا لم يعد قابلاً للإخفاء والتكتم، حيث بات موضع إجماع وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية أن صاروخاً سورياً قد سقط في محيط تتجمّع فيه عشرات البلدات أهمها الخضيرة وقيصرية وزخرون يعقوب وأور عقيفا وبنيامينا، وحيث يسكن قرابة ربع مليون من المستوطنين، شعروا جميعاً بهزة أرضية مع انفجار الصاروخ واندلاع الحرائق في منطقة سقوطه، ما اضطر القيادة العسكرية الإسرائيلية للاعتراف علناً بإرباك سببه لغز هذا الصاروخ وما إذا كان من صواريخ الدفاع الجوي التي لاحقت الطائرات أم هو صاروخ أرض أرض يحمل رسالة عسكرية شديدة اللهجة لـ»إسرائيل».

– بعد مرور الساعات الأربع والعشرين خرجت التقارير الإسرائيلية تتحدّث عن رسالة روسية وصلت للقيادة الإسرائيلية مفادها أن صاروخ أس أي 5 من فئة صواريخ أس 200 قد حمل قواعد اشتباك جديدة تريدها سورية أن تُقرأ جيداً، وأن كل محاولة إغارة مقبلة سيرافقها استعمال هذا النوع من الصواريخ، ليس لاستهداف الطائرات المغيرة بل لبلوغ العمق الإسرائيلي، وهي صواريخ تصلح لتكون صواريخ أرض أرض من الطراز البالستي ويمتاز الصاورخ الذي يبلغ مداه 300 كلم بقدرة تدميرية عالية، ويمكن اعتبار بلوغه العمق الإسرائيلي مضموناً بقدرته على اختراق الدفاعات الجوية الإسرائيلية وبلوغه أهدافه، دون القول بأن إطلاقه كان نحو الداخل بل بصفته صاروخ دفاع جوي استهدف طائرة مغيرة ولم ينل منها، فأكمل طريقه. وقالت التقارير إن الرسالة الروسية لم تجب عن سؤال إسرائيلي ما إذا كانت قواعد الاشتباك الجدية تشمل التحليق الإسرائيلي في الأجواء اللبنانية.

– اعترف الاسرائيليون بأن ما ظنّوه فرصة تحوّل تحدياً، وأن ما أرادوه تحدياً لمنظومة المواجهة السورية تحوّل فرصة، وأقروا بأنهم وقعوا ولا يزالون في الارتباك في كيفية التعامل مع هذا الوضع الجديد، وأنهم تلقوا صفعة استخبارية بالمعلومات المضللة التي أخذتهم لوهم اصطياد هدف بحجم الجنرال سليماني أو قادة كبار في حزب الله، ليجدوا أنفسهم في قلب المصيدة.

– يحدث هذا فيما الجيش السوري ذاته غير منشغل برصد ردود الأفعال الإسرائيلية، فالرسالة وصلت والجهوزية قائمة. وللجيش مهام لن يتوقف عن أدائها وها هو يدخل منبج التي أمضى الرئيسان الأميركي والتركي شهوراً يخططان لكيفية ترتيب أمنها، وزار رئيس أركان الجيوش الأميركية أنقرة مرتين لرسم خرائط الانتشار فيها.

– إسرائيل خسرت عامل المفاجأة الذي خبأته للـ «إف 35» ولصواريخ جي بي 39 الذكية وسورية لما تخسر عنصر المفاجأة في صواريخ الـ أس 300 بعد، والمبادرة الاستراتيجية صارت سورية، وسورية تنتقل من السعي للتوازن الاستراتيجي إلى التفوق الاستراتيجي.

Related Videos

Articles Articles

Palestine urges international probe into Jerusalem excavations

Palestine urges international probe into Jerusalem excavations

Israeli workers conduct an excavation work at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, on 28 February 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

MEMO | December 30, 2018

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for forming an international commission to investigate Israeli excavations in the occupied city of East Jerusalem and beneath the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry warned that the Israeli diggings pose a major threat to Palestinian houses in the occupied city.

“These excavations aim to cause cracks in Palestinian houses, with Israeli authorities ordering residents to leave these houses on the ground that they are not fit for living,” the ministry said.

The ministry went on to describe the Israeli eviction of Palestinians from their homes as a “large-scale, systematic ethnic cleansing”.

There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the ministry’s statement.

Israel refuses to allow access to UNESCO to examine the holy sites in East Jerusalem.

In July 2017, the UNESCO executive board adopted a resolution that slammed “the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law”.

The resolution further stated that “legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered – or purport to alter – the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem… are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith”.

In 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution describing Jerusalem as an “occupied” city and Israel as an “occupying power”, which, under international law, has no sovereignty over the historic city.

The same resolution stated that Jerusalem’s Old City was “entirely Palestinian”, going on to emphasise its historical “Muslim and Christian” identity and heritage.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In a move never recognised by the international community, it unilaterally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital.

Read also:

Israel to spend $16.6 million on excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque

Trump Ran Scared to Iraq, to Avert Coup Against Him

Trump Ran Scared to Iraq, to Avert Coup Against Him

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 30.12.2018 |

Trump Ran Scared to Iraq, to Avert Coup Against Him

Donald Trump’s visit this week to US forces in Iraq has to be seen as a highly peculiar move. Following his announcement to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, which caused a split with senior Pentagon figures, it seems that Trump was making a desperate bid to reassure the military establishment. Perhaps even to forestall a feared coup against his presidency.

For nearly two years since his election, President Trump had not visited US troops in any active combat zone, unlike all his predecessors in the White House. His apparent indifference to overseas forces had engendered much consternation from political opponents and the media. In a recent editorial, the New York Times admonished: “Put Down the Golf Clubs, Visit the Troops”.

Recall, too, the US media scorn heaped on Trump when, during his trip to France in November to mark the centennial end of World War One, he declined to pay his respects at an American war cemetery “because it was raining”.

Trump is therefore not the sort of person to put himself in discomfort for others. That’s why it seems all the stranger that on Christmas Night, December 25, the president and his wife Melania left the comfort of the White House, and boarded Air Force One for a 6,000-kilometer overnight flight to Iraq.

The journey to Iraq was variously described in US media as a surprise and “shrouded in secrecy”. So secret indeed that the Iraqi government was not even informed in advance of Trump’s arrival. A hastily proposed meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi did not take place because the Iraqis were only given a couple hours notice when the US president landed.

In total, Trump and his delegation spent only three hours in Iraq and a reported 15 minutes talking to troops at Al-Asad Air Base, near the capital Baghdad. The president then flew back to Washington, making a brief refueling stop in Germany. Talk about a whirlwind spin halfway around the globe – and for what?

What this all suggests is that Trump’s visit was a hasty, ad hoc event that appears to have been done on the spur of the moment, in reaction to the news cycle over the past week.

As the New York Times put it: “The trip, shrouded in secrecy, came… less than a week after Mr Trump disrupted the military status quo and infuriated even some of his political allies by announcing plans to withdraw all troops from Syria and about half from Afghanistan. The president’s decision on Syria led to the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.”

Mattis’ resignation, followed by that of another senior Pentagon official, Brett McGurk, showed that there was serious pushback from the military establishment to Trump’s pullout order from Syria and Afghanistan.

Not only that but Trump’s political opponents within his own Republican party and the Democrats were given extensive media coverage for their protests against his order.

As CNN reported: “James Mattis’ resignation triggered an outpouring of anxiety and anger”.

Senators were lining up to condemn Trump for losing “the adult in the room” and a “voice of stability”. Mattis was hailed as “a national treasure” and praised for his “moral compass”. The eulogizing hardly squares with Mattis’ record of war crimes committed while serving as a Marines Corp general during the siege of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004, nor his psychopathic humor extolling the “fun of shooting people”.

Not for the first time, Trump was being denounced as a “traitor” by political enemies in Washington and the media. It was reminiscent of the way he was vilified after holding a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki earlier this year. Trump was again accused of “giving a gift to Putin” with his plan to withdraw US troops from Syria.

This time around, however, the political atmosphere was even more seditious.

By ignoring national security advisors and “the generals” over his Syria and Afghanistan announcements, Trump had crossed swords with the military-intelligence establishment. There was also a strong sense that the usual anti-Trump media were seizing on the opportunity to whip up Pentagon dissent against the president by lionizing Mattis as a “great leader” and whose absence would sap morale in the ranks.

The brooding political and military climate in Washington over Trump’s singlehanded decision-making may be the explanation for why the notorious couch-potato president felt compelled to get off his backside and head to Iraq in the middle of the night – on Christmas Night too.

Donning a bomber jacket and sounding jingoistic, Trump seemed to be grandstanding for militarism while in Iraq. “We like winning against terrorists, right,” he crowed to the troops. “We’re no longer the suckers of the world.”

Significantly, Trump added a new dimension to his pullout plan for Syria and Afghanistan. He pledged that US troops were not leaving Iraq – despite nearly 16 years being there after GW Bush first invaded the country in 2003. He also said that American forces would launch strikes into Syria from Iraq in the future, if and when needed. Presumably, this rapid-reaction force applies to all other Middle Eastern countries.

In other words, Trump is not signaling a peaceful scaling back of US militarism in the region, as some of his critics and supporters have perceived. Trump is simply rationalizing American imperialist power, making it leaner and meaner, to be operated out of stronghold bases like Iraq. Notice how the Iraqi government was not consulted on this Neo-colonial plan, which speaks of Washington’s arrogant hegemony, regardless of who resides in the White House.

Trump’s rushed visit to Iraq seems to have been made in an urgent attempt to let the Pentagon and the military-intelligence establishment know that he is not “going soft” on pursuing America’s self-ordained right to wage wars anywhere it wants for the cause of US capitalism.

In the immediate confusion over Trump’s announcement on December 19 of a troop drawdown in Syria and Afghanistan – and the media deification of “Mad Dog” Mattis – a dangerous period fleetingly opened up for his presidency.

Running scared, Trump dashed to Iraq to let the generals know that this president is still a reliable tool for American imperialism.

Photo: Flickr

Occupied Palestine in 2018: Record Deaths and Injuries, Food Insecurity, Demolitions, Record Low Humanitarian Funding

Global Research, December 30, 2018
ReliefWeb 27 December 2018

Trends affecting humanitarian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory

Today, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) released a summary of data collected during 2018. Further breakdowns and statistics from previous years are available through the links below.

Record numbers of Palestinian deaths and injuries

A total of 295 Palestinians were killed and over 29,000 were injured in 2018 by Israeli forces. This is the highest death toll in a single year since the Gaza conflict of 2014 and the highest number of injuries recorded since OCHA began documenting casualties in the oPt in 2005.

About 61 per cent of the fatalities (180 people) and 79 per cent of the injuries (over 23,000) were in the context of Gaza’s ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations by the fence. Across the oPt, 57 of the Palestinian fatalities and about 7,000 of the injuries were under 18 years of age. At least 28 of the Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2018 were members of armed groups in Gaza and another 15 were perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.

A total of 14 Israelis were killed during the year by Palestinians and at least 137 others were injured. While the number of fatalities is nearly the same as in 2017 (15 people), the proportion of civilians among these fatalities (50 per cent) increased compared to the previous year (27 per cent).

Uptrend in attacks by settlers

In 2018, OCHA recorded 265 incidents where Israeli settlers killed or injured Palestinians or damaged Palestinian property, marking a 69 per cent increase compared with 2017; as a result, one Palestinian woman was killed, and another 115 Palestinians were injured (another two Palestinian suspected perpetrators of attacks were killed by Israeli settlers). Palestinian property vandalized by settlers includes some 7,900 trees and about 540 vehicles.

There were at least 181 incidents where Palestinians killed or injured settlers and other Israeli civilians in the West Bank or damaged Israeli property, a 28 per cent decline compared with the previous year. However, the number of Israelis killed in these incidents in 2018 (seven), increased compared to 2017 (four).

West Bank demolitions continue, but fewer Palestinians are displaced

In 2018, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 459 Palestinian structures across the West Bank, mostly in Area C and East Jerusalem, overwhelmingly on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain, slightly more than in 2017. Such incidents displaced 472 Palestinians, including 216 children and 127 women, the lowest such figure since OCHA began systematically recording demolitions in 2009. In Area C alone, there are over 13,000 pending demolition orders, including 40 issued against schools.

The blockade on Gaza still extremely restrictive

The land, sea and air blockade on the Gaza Strip, imposed by Israel citing security concerns, continued, with people being able to exit on an exceptional basis only. On a monthly average, in 2018 (Jan-Nov) there were some 9,200 exits from Gaza by permit holders through the Israeli-controlled Erezcrossing, a 33 per cent increase compared to 2017, but 35 per cent less than the 2015-2016 average. The Egyptian-controlled Rafah Crossing has opened on a regular basis since May, recording about 56,800 exits in all of 2018, up from a yearly average of less than 19,000 in 2015-2017.

The rate of approval of permit applications for UN national staff to leave Gaza stood at 59 per cent during 2018, up from 47 per cent in 2017. However, the total number of applications submitted in 2018 dropped by 24 per cent, primarily due to the larger number of staff that were denied for security reasons and banned for reapplying for 12 months, currently 131 compared to 41 staff by the end of 2017.

Kerem Shalom, controlled by Israel, remained the almost exclusive crossing for the movement of commodities to and from Gaza, with limited imports also allowed via the Salah Ad Din Gate on the border with Egypt. On a monthly average, about 8,300 truckloads of goods entered Gaza via both crossings in 2018, 17 per cent below the equivalent average in the previous two years, while 209 trucks exited Gaza on average, mostly to West Bank markets, nearly the same as in 2016-2017. Access to fishing areas and to farming lands near the fence inside Gaza remained restricted.

More people in Gaza food insecure

About 1.3 million people in Gaza, or 68 per cent of the population, were identified as food insecure in 2018, primarily due to poverty, up from 59 per cent in 2014, when a similar survey was conducted. The unemployment rate in Gaza reached an average of almost 53 per cent in the first three quarters of 2018, an all-time record, with youth unemployment at 69 per cent. By contrast, in the West Bank, 12 per cent of the Palestinians are food insecure, down from 15 per cent in 2014, while unemployment stood at an average of 18 per cent.

Record-low in humanitarian funding

While humanitarian needs across the oPt rose during 2018, funding levels for humanitarian interventions declined significantly: only US$221 million had been received, against the $540 million requested in the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan

Note: Data on casualties and demolitions is as of 26 December 2018 and is subject to caveats and definitions available in these links. Israeli fatalities exclude a baby delivered prematurely after the injury of his mother. Data on exits via Erez crossing is up to 30 November 2018, and data on imports and exports, as well as on the Rafah crossing are as of 15 December 2018.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Outlook of 2019: International Political Order Without Iran Is Just Impossible

 

Nour Rida

A heated debate has been going on about the outlook of Iran in the coming months. Foreign policy, the economy, and the domestic social and political state are the areas that can shape Iranian society and future. Looking at the political and geopolitical status of the world today, it is impossible to see the world order without Iran among the major players. Iran has been able to maintain stability in the region in face of terrorist groups (supported by the US, Saudi Arabia and their allies), as well as improve relations with allies, neighbors and EU countries in particular. Iran has been able to preserve its internal security despite the many attempts to cause unrest through foreign-backed terrorist attacks or planned violence.

Protests that did not last

With the beginning of 2018, Iran witnessed economic hardships that led to protests here and there across the country. The protests basically started only a few days before the beginning of 2018. However these soon turned into violent protests, which prompted the public to back down. People wanted economic reforms; let us be frank who does not want reforms on this planet? It is not unusual for people to protest in Iran or sound their opinion as long as no violence or breach of law is carried out. The Iranians did not want to start an Iranian spring or carry out a coup d’état. But when protests were infiltrated by hooligans who took to the streets and destroyed public property and harmed citizens, Iranians took a step backward and decided to unite and protect their home country. If you live among Iranians for a while, you will understand that it is not easy to cause division among them; their national identity and long history glues them together tightly whenever there is the slightest attempt to cause unrest in the country.

Now back to the protests that did not last long. American President Donald Trump along with US hardline officials blatantly expressed their support to the violent protests that were orchestrated by anti-Iranian groups abroad and inside Iran.  Persian-speaking mainstream media outlets such as VOA, BBC Farsi were putting fuel on the fire. Foreign attempts to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs is not surprising; Iran has long been subject to foreign interference, from the American- and British-led coup in the 1950s to more recent efforts by the United States and the “Israel” apartheid regime to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.

In January 2018, US State Department officials said in a statement that the United States was communicating with anti-government protesters through its Facebook and Twitter pages in Farsi, and was encouraging them to demonstrate. Social media pages, particularly Telegram which is widely used in Iran, were instigating people to attack certain places, burn centers, damage public property, and were teaching people how to make home-made Molotovs. The most notorious of these social media outlets was Sedaye Mardom (Farsi for the voice of the people), which is well-known to being orchestrated from outside Iran. The short-term chaos came to an end; people were tired of the economic situation that is caused mainly by US harsh sanctions in addition to incorrect economic policies to which Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admitted. The US sanctions prevent patients suffering from cancer, diabetes and other diseases from receiving treatment. The US administration, US officials, “Israeli” regime officials and Saudi Arabia from the Arab Peninsula kept their anti-Iranian campaigns ongoing. Other attempts to cause unrest or breach Iran’s security were carried out, such as the Ahvaz attacks South of Iran. The attacks came after the US-backed campaign to stir up unrest in Iranian cities fell flat.

 Sanctions not as effective as Trump said

On May 9, Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and promised he would crush Iran’s economy. The European Union, for the first time, explicitly expressed its uneasiness towards the US administration’s decisions and attitude towards Iran. In August 2018, the EU vowed to thwart Trump’s sanctions on Iran. On August 4, Senior European officials castigated US President Trump’s renewed sanctions on Tehran as “illegal” and in violation of a UN Security Council resolution and they vowed to intensify efforts to thwart the US measures and preserve the Iran nuclear accord. The US administration, with its multiple and successive attempts was trying to keep Iran outside the world order but all its attempts are to no avail. Days before US sanctions took effect on Iran’s oil sector on November 5, India decided it will continue Iranian oil imports post the US sanctions and said it may revert to paying Iran in rupees for the oil it buys. Also, China reported it was set to keep buying oil from the Islamic Republic. According to reports, Iran’s GDP growth in 2017/18 dropped to 3.8 percent as the effect of a large surge in oil revenues in the previous year dissipated. However, an overwhelming majority of growth came from the non-oil sectors out of which more than half can be attributed to services growing by 4.4 percent. Eventually, Iran’s economy is not doing great but there has been no crushing to the economy as Trump claimed.

Now as for Iran, despite all foreign attempts to meddle in its internal affairs and darken its domestic image, reports have said that Iran remains to be among the safest destinies for tourism across the world. Iran generally has a positive track record on internal security. Though Tehran’s very active role in defeating the so-called Islamic State (IS) has made the country a target for extremist attacks.

Iran: a major world player

Now aside from the protests and sanctions, we turn to the regional and international roles Iran has been playing. Since the JCPOA, Iran and EU relations have been moving towards better normalization. That has made three players unhappy; the United States, the “Israeli” apartheid regime, and Saudi Arabia. Even after Trump decided to rip up the deal, the three players seem worried about the gradual empowerment of Tehran and continue to use all instruments at their disposal to antagonize Iran.

Iran has proved its constructive role in preserving security in the region. It has been taking part in multiple talks with Russia, Turkey, and other players to help restore stability in Syria and bring the terrorist groups to an end. Iran has been in Syria on an advisory military capacity since the conflict erupted in the country in 2011. Russia joined the battle late in 2015. The two countries intervened in Syria at the official request of the Syrian government. In August 2018, Iran and Syria signed an agreement on defense and technical cooperation during a visit by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami who reiterated Tehran’s commitment to the Arab country’s security. Iran has been providing advisory on how to deal with the Western-backed terrorist groups in Syria. Of course, such strong presence makes the “Israeli” regime angry. Over the past few years, and during 2018 in particular, the “Israeli” regime has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces. Tel Aviv has also been providing weapons to anti-Syrian militants as well as medical treatment to the terrorist Wahhabi elements wounded in Syria. During the same period, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian parliament speaker’s special adviser on international affairs, said Tehran will keep up its “decisive support” for the resistance and will not give in to pressures as regards the Palestinian issue and “Israeli” regime’s threats against the security of the regional countries. December 2018 seems to witness the culmination of the US destructive war in Syria hopefully, as the US pulling out of Syria is actually big news.

Also, Tehran has been playing an important role in supporting the Yemeni people, while thousands in the gulf country including infants suffer severe famine due to Saudi siege and war imposed on the Yemenis. Iran has always welcomed intra-Yemeni negotiations for positive achievements toward peace, stability and security in this county. Iranian officials have also supported global awareness about the calamities of the Saudi-led war on Yemen, expressing hope that it would help end the war in the country. In addition, Iran has also improved its relations with its neighboring countries, has been managing to keep terrorists from infiltrating the country through Pakistani borders, ameliorated bilateral relations with many players across the globe and aimed at preserving stability in the region in face of ongoing “Israeli” threats to surrounding countries.

Trump and MBS; a slap in the face

Now with friends like Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), the US does not need enemies. MBS and the Saudi kingdom have succeeded in embarrassing and isolating the US on the international arena. Saudi Arabia is one of the United States’ most important allies in the Middle East. Of course, Trump’s support to MBS and his milking of the Saudis while neglecting every other aspect does not make things better for Trump. The duo makes things look and work out better for Iran.

This is how The National Interest has described MBS and his kingdom: “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is ruled by an immature authoritarian known mostly for his myopia, ruthlessness, brutality, recklessness, ambition and arrogance. His misadventures are legendary: the murder and dismemberment of a self-exiled (Jamal Khashoggi) in a Saudi consulate; the brazen kidnapping of Lebanon’s prime minister; a busted campaign to isolate and invade Qatar; and a promised speedy invasion of Yemen that transformed into nearly four years of war—so far. Riyadh underwrote radical jihadists in Syria and Yemen, after spending decades promoting fundamentalist Wahhabism around the world. The royal regime also backs tyranny in Bahrain and Egypt with money and troops.”

It is difficult to have an impact on public opinion. With the tremendous amounts of money pumped into the media business, it becomes easy to fabricate facts and realities. However, Trump, along with his Saudi allies, has succeeded to push the public opinion farther. This comes especially as Trump did not respond with appropriate outrage and inflict effective retaliatory measures on Riyadh after the vicious killing of Khashoggi, but rather explicitly said that Saudis give the US a lot of business. This Trump-MBS misadventure has also emphasized who the real terrorists are.

Iran united

Now for Iran, it is important to know that the free will of the people is a major element that affects almost every aspect of the Iranian big picture. Also, if Iran ever decides to change its policies, it will have nothing to do with Trump or anyone in the White House or elsewhere.

To some extent, developments in regional and international relations during the past year have compelled all Iranian political sides to show unity and to cooperate on regional issues. Since the implementation of the nuclear accord, also known as the JCPOA, Iran has been normalizing relations with the rest of the world, especially the European Union. Trump’s ripping up of the deal seems to contribute in proximity between international players including Iran while alienating the US. Also, it is true that the oil and gas sector remains to be the backbone of the Iranian economy; however the question to how things can develop with the EU and other countries remains open. The Iranian economy might not be in a growth cycle, but the sanctions have pushed Iran to focus more on the non-oil sector, tourism, health tourism and IT start-ups which can become a game changer in Iran’s economy by increasing job opportunities and decreasing inflation. Bottom-line: Trump can try to harm Iran’s economy but cannot crush it. And NO, there will be no world order without Iran.

Source: Al-Ahed News – Iran

Biggest Stories of 2018: israel Announced Apartheid, Shot Thousands of Civilians

Biggest Stories of 2018: Israel Announced Apartheid, Shot Thousands of Civilians

By Juan Cole,

2018 was in many ways a turning point for the position of Israel in the system of Western, liberal, capitalist democracies. It had long sat uneasily among France, Britain, and the United States, inasmuch as it was founded on a formal racial supremacist principle that Jews must rule the state. Racism is important in the other democracies, as well, but it is not typically enshrined in the constitution. The French Rights of Man mentioned nothing about race.

After 1967, Israel acquired substantial colonial possessions in the form of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, in which its leaders began implementing a classic settler colonial regime reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa. The Israeli leadership egregiously violated international law by flooding their own citizens into a militarily occupied territory, and by extensively altering the lifeways of the occupied population. I would argue that the occupation has now lasted so long and witnessed so many severe violations of the Geneva Convention of 1949 that the occupation itself is now illegal. Palestinians living under the Israeli jackboot do not have secure rights of property or control over their natural resources and, being kept stateless, lack even the right to have rights.

Somewhat astonishingly, the assemblage of far-right Israeli parties that rules Israel has managed to worsen its wretched human rights record in 2018 and to depart from liberal capitalist democracy almost entirely. Not only is Israel not the only democracy in the Middle East (that distinction now belongs to Tunisia), it isn’t a democracy at all in the sense of a state of equal citizens able to vote for the government that rules them.

Informed Comment reported that on July 19, the Likud-led government passed a new Nationality Law formally vesting “sovereignty” solely in the hands of the 75-80% of the population of Israel that is Jewish. (About 21% of Israelis are of Arab Palestinian heritage and another 300,000 or so persons are not recognized as Jews by the Grand Rabbi and so would not participate in sovereignty; these are mostly immigrants whose mothers were not Jewish).

I wrote at the time, “It would be as though the US passed a law designating America as a state for white Christians, excluding African-Americans and Latinos, and making English the only official language.” I also pointed out that Apartheid is considered a crime against humanity in the Rome Statute signed by most countries in the world, which governs the judgments of the International Criminal Court.

Having formally turned non-Jews into second-class citizens inside Israel, the Likud government accelerated its colonization program in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank. The pace of building squatter settlements on stolen Palestinian land has doubled under the Trump administration in 2018.

You may say it can’t get any worse. It got worse.

The Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have been cut off from their traditional markets and are being boycotted by the Israeli state, which denies them an airport or seaport. (The Likud is only against boycotts that it isn’t leading). Many key materials are not allowed into Gaza by the Israelis, and although food isn’t interdicted, in fact medical treatment is being denied to most of those patients who can’t be treated at Gaza’s own rundown and relatively primitive medical facilities.

Some 70% of the people in Gaza are refugees violently displaced there by militant Zionist militias from their homes in what is now Israel. Most of them are still living close enough to their old homes that they could walk to them if they were allowed to. Again, Israel is in violation of international law in having expelled people from Israel and made them refugees, and then refused to allow them ever to return. Now it has placed them under blockade in their place of exile on the grounds that they haven’t meekly accepted the loss of their property and lives at the hands of Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, French and Germans.

The horrible conditions of civilian siege under which people in Gaza labor (and half the residents of the strip are children) has become intolerable, and this year they began conducting marches demanding the right to return.

These marches could have been a public relations disaster for Israel if the Western press actually did its job when it comes to Israel and Palestine (it does not, viewing the situation through a racialized and colonial lens rather as it used to view South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s).

I do not believe any of the US news networks so much as mentioned the weekly protests in Gaza after the initial two or three.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his officer corps decided to deal with these marches by shooting the demonstrators down in cold blood on the Gaza side of the border. The American press, which despises the Palestinians with a passion for the crime of having been victimized by an American ally, invented entirely imaginary headlines claiming that the Palestinians had been killed or injured in “clashes.” But there were no clashes. They with perhaps one exception never reached the Israeli border or actually encountered Israeli soldiers. They were shot down well inside Gaza even though they posed no danger to any Israeli military personnel.

They were sniped at by professional snipers. They were murdered. It is a measure of how ineffective and pusillanimous the mechanisms of international law and order are that no Israelis have been indicted for these murders.

The US Senate passed a resolution naming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as the murderer of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

It did not pass a resolution about Netanyahu and his generals murdering unarmed, peaceful Palestinian demonstrators (not to mention journalists, medical personnel, and random children.

As of October, Amnesty International reported that 150 Palestinians had been killed, 10,000 had been injured, “including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition.” The death toll rose by early December to 175 and by the end of the year to an alleged 220, and those shot in the legs are by now at least 6,392.

One Israeli soldier has been killed and one injured.

The rallies are still being held every Friday and almost no one reports on them despite the creepy casualty tolls. The Israeli snipers appear to have deliberately aimed to cripple the Palestinians they shot in the lower limbs.

Source: The National

I haven’t even gone into the rising tide of violence and sabotage conducted by Israeli squatters on Palestinian land against the Palestinians from whom they stole. There is of course some Palestinian violence against the squatters, as well, but the Palestinians are so penetrated by Israeli intelligence and so regimented by the Israeli military and the armed settlers that there isn’t as much of that sort of violence as one might expect given what is being done to the Palestinians.

The Israeli police have recommended that Netanyahu be indicted for blackmailing and bribing the Israeli press to cover him positively. That is another way in which it is no longer possible to speak of Israeli democracy. American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson started a free newspaper to praise Netanyahu, which was hurting the business of the real newspapers, and Netanyahu offered them lower Adelson print runs if they would make nice with him in their stories on the prime minister. Press freedom under Netanyahu in Israel has been significantly eroded.

So to avoid being indicted, Netanyahu has announced early elections for April. He put the attorney general in a difficult position. If he indicts Netanyahu now, he could be accused of forestalling a decision that should belong to the voters. If Netanyahu wins the election, he will argue he should not be indicted because the people have spoken.

Israel rules over about 5 million stateless Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. They will not have the right to vote in this election, even though the next Prime Minister of Israel will decide their long term fate.

So there you have it. Israel at the end of 2018 is now unambiguously an Apartheid state, admired only in the US Deep South among those who are nostalgic for their own Jim Crow Apartheid. Its leaders deprived nearly a quarter of Israeli citizens of any share in national sovereignty. They sped up the colonization program in the Palestinian West Bank and coddled armed, violent squatters (who are often secretly subsidized by the Israeli state).

But worst of all, the Israeli elite decided just to shoot down unarmed protesters in the thousands, a clear war crime.

A systematic pattern of war crimes amounts to crimes against humanity, which Israel is certainly guilty of this year, even if the international institutions are too cowardly to indict the Netanyahus and the Liebermans, and even if the even more cowardly (or just frankly neocolonial) American press has been largely afraid to say these things out loud. (There are significant exceptions here, and the print press has been better than TV for the most part).

2018 was the year Israel finally went completely rogue and ensured that it can no longer be considered to be in the club of liberal capitalist democracies. It is now formally an Apartheid state even inside the Green Line. It is also the year when the Israeli elite consciously decided to shoot down with live ammunition unarmed, peaceful demonstrators in the thousands. These authoritarian policing methods most resemble those of fascist states of the interwar period.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment and Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires. Follow him at @jricole.

Featured image is from Informed Comment

The Return of Louis XVI: Emmanuel Macron, Roi de L’Ancien Regime

The Return of Louis XVI: Emmanuel Macron, Roi de L’Ancien Regime

MARTIN SIEFF | 29.12.2018 | WORLD / EUROPE

The Return of Louis XVI: Emmanuel Macron, Roi de L’Ancien Regime

It is easy to imagine ridiculous young President Emmanuel Macron of France as his fellow-free trading liberal King Louis XVI. Macron’s extraordinary pretensions to “dignity” and being a “king” far from elevating him have stripped him of all the bogus credibility that the corrupt, servile and stupid mainstream media of Europe and the United States tried to give him.

Far from raising the embattled Fifth Republic to new heights of achievement and success, it is already clear that Le Jeune Macron is destroying it. The contrast with the founder of the Republic, the great and truly regal Charles de Gaulle could not be greater.

The 1.96 meters tall De Gaulle towered over his nation in many ways. Twice he was his country’s literal savior: First as the leader of the Free French Resistance against the Nazis and as President of France from 1944 to 1946. And then returning to power in 1958, De Gaulle saved his nation from disintegration and civil war.

He ended the long ferocious conflict in Algeria, survived at least six assassination plots on his life and rebuilt his nation into the most powerful and prosperous state in Western Europe. He also defied the United States repeatedly, courageously criticized US conduct of the Vietnam War and built a lasting relationship of friendship and understanding with the Soviet Union.

Macron is physically not a small man, standing at 1.78 meters: He only acts and looks that way. Only a year into office, it is now irreversibly clear that young Macron is fated to make a mockery of every great achievement of De Gaulle, Le Vieux, including the Fifth Republic itself.

Ridiculous young Macron has inflicted ruinous new hardships on the long-suffering French people in the name of his global financial masters. He has loyally proved to be Washington’s poodle in petty-minded and destructive attempts to impose yet more economic sanctions on Russia.

Far from withdrawing France from needless ruinous wars in the Arab and Muslim worlds as Le Grand Charles did in Algeria, Macron continues to eagerly support and promote the disastrous Western interventions in Syria and Libya.

The true parallel to Macron is not De Gaulle, who restored the wealth, stability, dignity and pride of his nation but of the hapless, witless, very internationalist and liberal King Louis XVI, last monarch of L’Ancien Regime.

Like Macron Louis was an eager, arrogant and idiotic young technocrat. Like Macron, he was an internationalist revolutionary and a free trader. He supported the American colonies in their successful revolution against the British Empire.

It never occurred to Louis, just as it never occurred to Macron, or his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande that supporting revolutionary wars thousands of miles away could ever come back to haunt them at home. But that is exactly what happened. The collapse of ordered societies in Syria and Libya unleashed of millions of immigrants into France and other European nations with dire social consequences.

Louis suffered “blowback” too. American revolutionary Benjamin Franklin set up underground societies in France that within a decade toppled the most powerful kingdom in Europe.

Far from being the reactionary he has been caricatured as for more than 200 years, King Louis was one of the leading fashionable liberals and technocrats of his time. He especially revered English free-market economist Adam Smith, whose book “The Wealth of Nations” was published in 1776 (the same year as the American Revolution). So only a decade later, Louis fatefully signed his own 1786 Eden Free Trade Treaty with neighboring Britain.

As I noted in my own 2012 economic history “That Should Still Be Us”, the treaty proved to be a catastrophe: Cheap industrialized goods from the more advanced British economy flooded into France while the British cannily retained barriers of their own against French agricultural and other exports.

The French economy collapsed. Millions of people were thrown out of work. They and their families starved. Within three years the Great Revolution had exploded and the monarchy was toppled.

Louis, like Macron today, was convinced his advanced economic theories were more important than petty human suffering. It took the French Revolution and the loss, first of his crown and then of his own head to teach him otherwise.

Like Louis, Macron has shown no understanding or sympathy for the sufferings of ordinary people crushed beneath his absurd, unnecessary policies. Like Louis, his mask of liberalism and civilized compassion vanished as soon as his own people dared to disagree with him. Like Louis his only answer now is repression. Like Louis, he does not have a clue.

The Yellow Vest protestors are not going away. The French people are heartedly sick and tired of the 50- percent real unemployment, wide open immigration borders, slashed welfare programs and breakdown of law and order that Macron and the European Union elite has foisted on them., The Latest French Revolution is not over: it is only beginning.

Macron has ignored the ominous lessons of history. Now he is doomed to repeat them.

Photo: Flickr

The Enemy Threatening from behind the Wall for 20 Days… Remains behind It!

 

Ali Shoeib

On the morning of December 4, people woke up to news reports about the implementation of new measures by the Zionist enemy along the Lebanese border.

These measures were labeled using different descriptions and accompanied with the word “operation”- in the hope that they would have a greater impact on the readers and viewers.

In addition, a broad objective was announced, which included the exposure of “tunnels” that the “Israelis” claimed Hezbollah had dug into the occupied territories.

What was the scene at the border that morning?

At first glance, many believed that the enemy would escalate the situation as the noise from behind the wall of four “Israeli” diggers got louder. The excavators were positioned between two points: the first near Fatima Gate and the second near the water line on the Kafr Kila-Odaise road.

The entire Hebrew-language media, western outlets as well as the “Israeli” army’s Arabic and Hebrew speaking spokespersons positioned themselves at a point overlooking the excavations. The airwaves were opened for most channels to broadcast the event. Leading the “Israeli” army’s charge were soldiers carrying either handheld or cameras mounted on their heads. Two soldiers belonging to the war media department were deployed at each of the two points.

It only took the “Israeli” army two hours to announce that it discovered a tunnel and broadcast a photo. “Israeli” media reports were peppered with plenty of exaggerations and highlights of the supposed achievements.

An hour after the enemy broadcast a simulated image of the tunnel on Lebanese territory followed by a video, it was clear that “Israel” had prepared in advance because it was impossible to photograph so deep underground with such speed using a small camera.

Here lies a paradox. While it was able to achieve such rapid and gradual progress – media wise – with respect to the tunnels in Kafr Kila, it failed to do so in Ramyeh. The “Israelis” had dug 36 wells opposite to the village of Ramyeh. 18 days later, the enemy announced it blew up a tunnel. It, however, failed to present proof of its existence. There was also no media coverage. Similarly, “Israel” has been digging in the areas opposite to Aita al-Shaab and Blida. The work is still ongoing, but with no apparent results.

This raises a question. Is this not the same army that discovered a tunnel within two hours? How come it is unable to back its other alleged discoveries with evidence?

The enemy’s new measures have been accompanied by a campaign of intimidation against Hezbollah, the Lebanese state and civilians through the hacking of local communication networks and the sending of threats through voice messages.

How did the Lebanese face this challenge? The Lebanese media’s role should be commended in sending a counter message to the “Israelis”.  

The Lebanese state dealt calmly and wisely with this issue and rejected the dictates of the enemy. The Lebanese army, which was in contact with the “Israeli” soldiers, proved its ability to take the initiative and not to give up a single inch of land based on the trilateral equation. This was evident in the events that unfolded in Mays al-Jabal. The enemy was forced to move back its barbed wire along five points. At the last point the barbed wire was moved back by about five centimeters. The Lebanese army emerged victorious in the war of wills.

As far as the masses were concerned, there was an increase in the number of Lebanese cars driving along the border just a few meters from the “Israeli” diggers. The enemy threatened the Lebanese people and warned them to stay away from the vicinity of the excavation areas, but they did not seem to care what was happening behind the wall.

Elsewhere in Kroum al-Sharaqi, “Israeli” soldiers became the subject of jokes thanks to the media’s psychological warfare policy. Pictures and activities mocked “Israeli” soldiers. They exposed the weakness of the heavily armed “Israeli” troops. In one picture, a soldier is seen dozing off while on guard duty. In another, the soldier breaks the service rules by showing his face and smoking a cigarette in secret behind a rock. Another soldier is shown brandishing a rifle at a child carrying a toy bulldozer.

All of the above forced “Israeli” media to keep up with events at Mays al-Jabal at the expense of covering the news about the actual tunnels. Zionist analysts wondered: “how is it possible that the commando forces deployed along the border became the subject of ridicule and mockery!”

For its part, Hezbollah remained silent on the grounds that everything taking place across the border does not require any comment.

On the other hand, the “Israeli” operation cast a shadow of anxiety and tension over Zionist settlers who feared a response. This prompted “Israeli” Premiere Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the Misgav Am settlement, opposite to the border village of Odeise, and meet with the heads of the so-called local councils in Kiryat Shmona to calm them down. So did the chief of staff and some of the other top leaders.

The “Israeli” media’s task was redirected from broadcasting news about the tunnels to ensuring a state of calm among the settlers.

In addition, the enemy transformed the Metula hole into a ‘monument’ and invited all foreign diplomatic missions there. The objective here is to pressure Lebanon in international forums.

It is worth mentioning that all the incidents along the border involved the occupation forces and the Lebanese army, especially in Mays al-Jabal. However, the enemy’s media distorted the truth and included Hezbollah in every incident.

As the objectives of the “Israeli” project – which were based on intimidation and threats – fail, it is clear that the media’s efforts in this affair remained confined behind the wall. And the settlers alone hear them amid the silence of the “Israeli” bulldozers along the border.

Today, the “Israelis” are back to the same old “wall” symphony. The enemy resumed work on installing an iron fence after briefly halting construction to focus on the excavations earlier this month.

In the end, the enemy did not record any military, media or psychological achievements from its measures. On the contrary, it lost more of its people’s trust. It did not impose any new equation on the opposing side.

The developments exposed that “Israel’s” actions were fuelled by their Lebanese obsession, which is ever-present. This calls for more self-confinement by completing the construction of the wall at new points. This is what the commander of the “Israeli” army’s Galilee Division, Rafi Milo, recently promised during his meeting with the settlers along the Lebanese border.

Source: Al-Ahed News, South Lebanon

Related Posts

Yemeni Surprises That Exhausted the Forces of Aggression

Ismail Al-Maharqi

As 2018 draws to a close and Yemen is set to usher in a new year, the invaders’ dreams of seizing the capital Sana’a have not come true. The illusion of occupying the city of Hodeida and its main ports has faded. They have failed despite their preparations as well as the equipment and fighters funneled in by their international and regional backers in the hope of a battlefield resolution that would result in significant changes on the map of control and geopolitical influence in favor of the regional American project.

Defiance Along The West Coast And Desperation Along The Rest of the Battlefronts

Following the failure to topple the government in the capital Sana’a from within after the unsuccessful December sedition and the subsequent demise of the leader of treachery and treason, former President Ali Saleh, in late 2017, the UAE quickly rearranged its cards and opened camps in Aden to receive and regroup its mercenaries led by Tariq Saleh. The militias were unleashed to carry on with their military operations against Hodeida – this time with the participation of all of its armed formations.

With the exception of some incursions along the coastline, all military attacks against Hodeida and the outskirts of the city failed, inflicting unprecedented losses on the enemy’s ranks. Estimates put the number of armored vehicles and machineries destroyed or damaged in the hundreds while thousands of attackers were killed and wounded.

Even though the invaders showed resilience and achieved gains on the battlefield along the coast, the results were counterproductive. This prompted Washington to utilize the deteriorating humanitarian situation to its benefit. And so where they failed militarily, they turned to politics.

Along the other fronts, the winds did not blow as the Saudis had hoped. Along the Saudi border, thousands of mercenaries and Sudanese soldiers were overwhelmed with heavy losses, as was the case along Yemen’s frontlines.

The army and the popular committees reinforced their presence there by restoring strategic areas in Sirwah Marib, Jawf, Nehm, Taiz and Lahij. They also maintained their near-complete control over al-Bayda despite a series of military campaigns to capture it.

The Year of Ballistic Missiles

The first days of 2018 showed the extent of frustration within the aggression’s camp. It committed more war crimes, including genocide, in more than one Yemeni province. The alliance of aggression was not counting on the surprises the other side was planning.

By separating the rocketry force from the new locally-made ballistic missiles system, the list of targets inside Saudi Arabia expanded.

The number of attacks against the Kingdom’s southern border increased. Short-range ballistic missiles, including Badr-1 and Qaher 2M missiles as well as other systems were used. The missiles targeted economic and military zones such as oil refineries, airports and military bases.

This confirmed martyr Saleh Sammad’s equation that the fourth year of aggression will be a year of ballistic missiles par excellence, no matter how many defensive systems the enemy mobilizes to limit it.

Tactical Transformation in Launching the Ballistic Missiles

Through steady development of its capabilities, the missile force made a tactical transformation – whether in terms of doubling its momentum and revealing underground platforms for launching or in terms of announcing the possession of smart missile technology as well as the announcement that the Yemeni missiles reached the capital Riyadh and bombed King Khaled Airport again in February. Instead of launching individual missiles, it launched rockets in batches.

As the aggression entered its fourth year, the missile force also initiated a new phase by launching attacks against the Saudi Defense Ministry and other economic targets using Burkan-2H missiles. The attacks were repeated on more than one occasion throughout the year. They targeted military bases, vital installations as well as mercenaries’ camps and command and control centers inside Yemen and along its west coast. The strikes were also concentrated on Riyadh, Jeddah, Yanbu, Najran, Asir, and Jizan.

Yemen Has Its Own Military Capabilities That Broke the Siege

Defying the siege, which was imposed by the coalition to force the Yemeni people into submission and surrender, the military manufacturing unit at the Ministry of Defense intensified its efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to provide the fighters along the battlefronts with sufficient quantities of ammunition and cannons. The unit revealed the country’s capabilities in manufacturing missiles of various kinds, including a 120-caliber mortar called “Rojoum” as well as mortar and artillery shells, at the end of last April in the presence of President Saleh al-Sammad – days before his martyrdom.

This affirmed a declaration by the leader of the revolution Abdulmalik Badreddin al-Houthi about drawing strategic war equations. He stressed that Yemen is capable of military industrialization with purely Yemeni expertise. The Houthi leader vowed to produce large quantities of projectiles, enabling rocket attacks to cover wider areas in the Kingdom.

Air Force And Air Defense Are Actively Participating

The year 2018 also saw the Air Force and Air Defense announce the introduction of a surface-to-air missile system, which was locally developed using national expertise. The announcement came after a Tornado drone was shot down in Saada and an F15 fighter jet in Sana’a. The coalition considered the announcement a dangerous development since simultaneous strikes hit modern warplanes, a Chinese-made fighter jet with no pilot and a large number of different kinds of reconnaissance drones. Saudi and Emirati F16 planes were also forced to leave Yemeni airspace several times.

Drones Consolidate A Strategic Deterrence Formula

Parallel to the ballistic missiles and their achievements on the battlefield, the drone air force has also proved its effectiveness in 2018 with unparalleled success in striking targets and vital installations inside and outside Yemen. Drones revealed Yemen’s military production capabilities and strength factors despite the land, sea and areal siege.

More than one qualitative operation was carried out by UAVs across battlefields inside Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The Qassif-1 drone attacks from a distance of no more than 150 kilometers. During the first half of 2018, the Qassif-1 attacked the Emirates’ Patriot PAC-3 system in Mukha. In February, the drone along with the rocketry force targeted the invaders’ command and control center in Marib. A series of operations targeting Saudi airports and installations in Jizan and Asir and often the camps along the west coast and frontlines inside Yemen followed.

Sammad 3 Drone Penetrates Emirati Airspace and Changes the Balance of Power

The second and third generation drones – named after martyr al-Sammad – were first used on the frontline on July 18. They were more effective and were able to travel longer distances as promised by Sayyed Abdulmalik Badreddin al-Houthi, the leader of the revolution. The drone covered more than a thousand kilometers and penetrated the US monitoring and sensing systems. The Sammad 2 drone bombed the Aramco refinery in Riyadh.

In August, the drone air force had the UAE in its crosshairs. One of its first missions was targeting the Abu Dhabi airport using a Sammad 3 drone. The escalation was both sudden and shocking for the Emiratis due to the impact on their economic security.

The drone air force reinforced its presence in the strategic deterrence formula by bombing Dubai airport – one of the world’s largest airports – at the end of August. The Emirati regime was forced to deny the attack and release misleading information.

When the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi sought new defensive means to curb these attacks and their aftermath, the drone air force targeted Dubai airport once again at the end of September. All vital Saudi and UAE bases and facilities were thus placed on the target list of the drones and before that the ballistic missiles.

The Surprises of the Naval Force

In recent years, coordination between the army and the popular committees in reinforcing the factors of strength and limiting the enemy’s options and abilities as well as its air and sea superiority has been successful.

The naval forces and the coastal defense played a pivotal role in terminating military campaigns and landing attempts to capture Yemen’s west coast. They carried out qualitative operations that at times paralyzed the enemy and at other times forced it to change its plans and priorities.

A few days after the United Arab Emirates declared the start of the US/UK-backed military campaign that involved the French and was aimed at occupying the city of Hodeida as well as other Yemeni ports starting from Mukha, the naval force foiled a landing attempt. On June 3 and days before foiling a landing attempt using sophisticated boats along the west coast, the force targeted a warship with two missiles.

From the sea, the naval force launched an offensive on a concentration of invaders and occupiers in the port of Mukha in July. Their equipment was bombed at the dock. Also in July, Saudi Arabia’s Dammam battleship was targeted off the west coast by a missile. The attack shocked the Saudi regime. Saudi Arabia was surprised by a special naval operation near the port of Jizan that resulted in the striking of a military target and the killing and wounding of Saudi soldiers.

The operation was followed by the targeting of a Saudi warship off the coast of Jizan in early September.

The operations of the naval force and attempts by the Saudi regime to involve international forces in the coastal war by announcing the suspension of oil exports under the pretext of protecting maritime navigation, summarizes the coalition’s failure over nearly four years.

The Sweden Consultations End a Year of Surprises and Pave the Way for a New International Resolution

2018 did not end according to the calculations and plans of the Saudi-led coalition.  Following its failure to run southern Yemen and occupy its north, the coalition’s international backers were forced to search for practical solutions to rescue it from the Yemeni quagmire, especially after it has brought the country to the brink of famine and caused the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

In Sweden, under the auspices of the United Nations, the national delegation from Sana’a reached a humanitarian agreement with the Riyadh delegation to immediately cease-fire in Hodeida and its port, followed by a withdrawal of the invaders and mercenaries from the south of the city. In exchange, the army and the popular committees put away their arms inside Hodeida. Meanwhile, the current authorities will take over all the administrative and security responsibilities. The United Nations will supervise the port’s revenues, including those from oil and gas while revenues from ports under the control of the Hadi regime will also be supervised. The revenues will contribute to alleviating the suffering of the people and be used to for salaries.

Bypassing the Security Council resolution 2216, which secured political cover for the forces of aggression, the Council voted on a new draft resolution. The new draft supports the Sweden consultations and paves the way for a comprehensive political solution, provided there are sincere intentions and the UN observer team remains neutral in overseeing this agreement away from Saudi and Emirati pressures and dictations.

Member of the Sana’a negotiating delegation, Abd al-Malik al-Ajri, described the resolution 2451 as “progressive compared to previous positions”. He said it was “an implicit violation of the content of resolution 2216.”

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Ansarullah movement and the head of the national negotiating team, Mohamed Abdel Salam, views the resolution as a positive and important step towards stopping the aggression, lifting the siege and paving the way towards a comprehensive political solution.

Source: Al-Ahed News – Yemen

Related Videos

Related Articles

In Numbers: Palestinians Behind Bars in 2018

In Numbers: Palestinians Behind Bars in 2018

Related Videos

Related Articles

The “gilets jaunes” movement as seen by the French-language Saker Blog

December 28, 2018

by Le Saker Francophone for The Saker Blog

Gambar terkait

The genesis of the yellow vests

Back to French presidential election in 2002, second round, Chirac won against Le Pen (father) 82% vs 18%, same scenario in 2017, second round, Macron won against Le Pen (daughter) 55% versus 34%

Just after the presidential election comes the choice for the legislative assembly. In 2002, after Chirac’s victory, his political party, UMP, won 356 seats (62%), while Le Pen’s (father) party (Front National) got nothing, not a single representative. In 2017, after Macron’s success, his totally new party, out of thin air, LREM, who did not even exist in previous elections, won 308 seats (53%) and Le Pen’s (daughter) party won 8 seats (1,3%).

So in the first round of 2002, with 20% of voters in the presidential election, Chirac’s party obtained 62% of the parliament, while Le Pen, with 17% of the voters was not represented.

The same outcome occurred in 2017. Macron with 24% of voters in the first round obtained 53% of the parliament, while Le Pen, with 21% had only 1.3% representatives for his party in parliament.

Basically, in France, one citizen in three has no political existence.

These people are now in the street with a massive support of the rest of the population.

Why this brand “yellow vest” ?

This vest is worn by working class people acting in a dangerous environment. The yellow color makes the person more visible, you can interpret this fact in a symbolic way, meaning politically visible.

Formerly, that sort of vest was used by servants in the upper class.

On december 3, the french media Le Figaro published an article entitled

“The great comeback of servants in french society”

The Yellow vest movement is a reaction against such an historical regression

Who are these people

Just have a look to that video report

The chronology of the “acts” and the political evolution of the movement

Two hundred years ago the yellow vests’ ancestors went as far as beheading their own king. Since then, France is well known for being a country of strikes and demonstrations, often unfruitful.

Hasil gambar untuk les gilets jaunes

But this one seems to be « the right one », the one that will bring effective changes. This movement seems to have reached a level of maturity lacking in previous events. Today, every age is affected, from students to retired people, every class, from unemployed to small businessmen. We can observe much more women participating too. The movement started, as usual, with financial claims but soon turned to political claims, demanding more political decision-making power to be given to the population through the use of extensive referendums. Another characteristic of this movement is that it is genuinely popular, not partisan, and refuses to have any political party officially join it, showing its full distrust in all the traditional political apparatus. It does not want leaders and just allows some “porte paroles” to speak in its name.

Gambar terkait

Therefore, every Saturday to allow the employed to participate, the French wear their yellow vest – the one they are obliged to keep in their car and use in case of breakdowns – and gather in city streets, on highways tolls, on countryside “ronds-points” [crossroads]. They are not only gathering in Paris, as mainstream medias would like to make their readers believe, but in every major city or town, all around France and particularly in remote parts of the country where the government is closing schools, hospitals and public services because they are unable to make profit on it, as if they were built on tax payer’s money to make short term profit and not to educate and tend to the population in the long term.

The French are in the streets to show that they are fed up with the present system, whose dire results have been apparent since the 80’s. The short “Macron démission” slogan [Macron resign] has to be understood as a sign of a population fed up of politicians who make new promises every election that are not only broken, but instead the exact opposite is implemented, anti-social laws voted quietly at night, international accords signed without popular consultation, etc. One example among many others: during his election campaign Macron promised not to touch pensions but one of his first decisions has been to raise taxes for the retired. He must have thought that the elderly does not join protests, but actually…

Gambar terkait

Gambar terkait

Although the French government, and the mainstream medias, have done all it takes to lessen the movement, we are now at « act 5 » of the movement, meaning the 5th Saturday of the Yellow vests’ protests and the momentum is still strong. The first Saturday the government did not expect such a wide protest, especially its spread throughout the country where the local media genuinely reported about it. The government mistakenly ignored the success of the protest thinking that it will, as the previous ones have, quickly fade. The 2nd act brought more people to the streets – numbers ran from 106.301 following the government’s so precise estimate to 500.000 – but then the police and the media were more prepared and made a show by blocking the protesters on the Champs Elysées, in front of the cameras, pushing them to the brink of violence, displaying on TV how the so called “pacific protesters” are in fact just a bunch of thugs acting for themselves and not for the sake of the nation. But, in their strategy, they forgot that smartphones can record the police mischiefs, making them viral on social media, as it showed that the violence came from the police and the government, and not from the protesters. After the 2nd act, 70% of the population continued to support the movement.

Gambar terkait

For the 3rd and 4th acts, the government decided to change its strategy by trying to forbid the protesters to reach the gathering points. Over a thousand individuals arrested, multiple subway lines closed, protesters wanting to reach Paris forbidden to access the train or blocked on the roads, the protesters in the capital city split into small groups by the police and forbidden to reach their destination. The media took this opportunity to talk about a lack of dynamic in the movement, a decline in protestors due to the population starting to get tired about it. Then Macron gave a speech that could be compared to one of a drama student imitating compassion. He promises to raise the minimum wage by 100 euros. “This is for you, poor guys, poor single mothers, and now go back home”. Two days later, a “lone wolf terrorist” launched a mass shooting in the middle of a popular Christmas market killing 2 people and injuring several others. Immediately the media titled: “The yellow vests give great opportunities to terrorists”. Too bad for the movement’s popularity.

Hasil gambar untuk les gilets jaunes dans les medias

For the 5th act, it seems like the things are steadying. The government is still doing its best to downsize the number of participants. Medias are doing their best to demonize it but still prefer to avoid speaking about the matter. Even the social media seem to have quiet down about the subject (algorithmic censorship?). There was less violence. The prime minister publicly recognized the governments mistakes and promised to hold a national discussion about the political aspects of the claims, especially the “Référendum d’Initiative Citoyenne” [Referendum hold on request of the citizens], the central political claim that could give power back to the citizens. Christmas and the New Year are nearing and we can expect a kind of pause, or at least a decline during that period, in order to spend the holidays among family. As soon as January starts, the government will have to show its seriousness about political talks. If it is not the case, you can expect a stronger yellow vests insurgency.

Conclusion

IMO, the movement has already resulted in several benefits:

  • The government has understood that it cannot take the population for a fool anymore, a bad habit that was really visible with Macron’s attitude and even more with the way he managed the first three weeks of the movement.
  • The French have regained confidence in their power as a population and will not hesitate to use it again
  • The RIC, the Référendum d’Initiative Citoyenne. That long promised but never voted system that could give back big shares of sovereignty to the population thanks to referendums that can dismiss unpopular government or ministers, cancel laws that are considered not good for the nation, or change details of the constitution.

The ball is now in the government’s court. Let’s see how it will react in January.

Le Saker Francophone

 

The Baltics Are Responsible for Dragging the EU into a Conflict with Russia

December 28, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko


Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina The Baltics Are Responsible for Dragging the EU into a Conflict with Russia
cross posted with

https://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-the-baltics-are-responsible-for-dragging-the-eu-into-a-conflict-with-russia/

source: https://ee.sputniknews.ru/columnists/20181227/14343187/ishhenko-rusofobskaja-politika-baltic.html

The Baltic countries are the best example of how dependent countries can force strong partners to reckon with them. At the same time they are also an example of an inadequate foreign policy leading all three Baltic states towards a catastrophe, considers the political scientist Rostislav Ishchenko.

The coordinated policy of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in NATO and in the EU in many respects promoted the dragging of Europe and the US in to a conflict with Russia.

In the US some politicians anyway supported a policy of a strong confrontation in the Russian direction. But the EU joining this conflict is entirely on the conscience of the Balts, Poles, Romanians, Swedes, and partially the Hungarians and Czechs. Moreover, concerning this question, the Baltic countries played a role that was disproportionate to their territorial size and their real political weight.

But that’s ok. After all, it’s the collective efforts of the Eastern European limitrophes, the US, and Great Britain that forced the EU into a confrontation with Russia. The Balts participated in it only at the level of their ability, although actively. But they succeeded in lobbying for the deployment of a NATO contingent on their territory despite the resistance of the European Union and contrary to the frank unwillingness of the US to spent money on this senseless PR action.

Here the known principle “You become responsible for those that you have tamed” worked in the favour of the Balts.

In politics large states or even great powers are often obliged to dance on the tune of their younger partners and to make unplanned and unnecessary gestures, only so that it is impossible to call into question the efficiency of the structures created by them and their reliability as guarantors of security.

The Balts simply used the mechanism of consultations within NATO, having launched a campaign that accuses Russia of having plans to carry out an occupation. The US and the EU understood that Russia has no such plans. Moscow already deprived three countries of any transit value, and through the efforts of the European Union they lost their economy, became deserted, and this process continues.

But at that time Washington itself conducted a propaganda campaign against Russia, accusing it of aggressiveness, capturing Crimea, and blaming it for separating Donbass from Ukraine. The US couldn’t declare that their Baltic allies in NATO are mistaken and that Moscow is quite peaceful in relation to them. It would mean that they protect Ukraine (which is neither in NATO nor in the EU), but leave their allies to the mercy of fate.

The US was obliged to deploy a whole brigade (three battalions) on their territories. However, a brigade was mixed, the units arrived from the different countries of NATO. But the foundation was laid.

The price of military-political success

Now the Balts fight for the growing of this grouping. The logic is clear: the more troops of the Alliance (better if they are American) there will be at the “advanced” Baltic border, the higher the political weight of these states will be. The US, NATO, and the EU will have to attentively listen to all of their future militaristic hysterias.

If they will stage a provocation, it’s the military personnel of the US, Germany, Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden that can suffer (it will depend on who will be there at this moment).

This is how they can drag themselves into a war with Russia and not even understand how it happened.

As we see, the Balts solve their self-made problems at the expense of their senior partners. Except for the main problem, which is in the sphere of the economy. When they left the structure of the USSR they didn’t plan to preserve their own production of minibuses and radio receivers. Agriculture and seaports had to become the main engines of economic development.

The EU forced them to destroy their agriculture – it’s Holland or Germany that will deliver milk and butter to Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians with pleasure — the old members didn’t need competition. During the reception of new members they made such demands that made the competitive sector of their [Balts – ed] economy not viable.

Transit through Baltic ports was lost a bit later: against the background of a Russophobic campaign launched by local governments, Russia simply couldn’t afford to depend on Baltic transit. It could be blocked at any time, attempts could be made to play with tariffs, jeopardising the export contracts of Russian companies.

If the target is incorrectly set

As we can see, the military-political success and economic catastrophe were achieved at the expense of the same factor — pursuing a Russophobic policy.

And now we will ask ourselves a question: what would happen if the Baltic’s policy was more pragmatic?

On the territory of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania there would be no NATO troops, which in case of real big war wouldn’t be defenders, they would be targets – lawful military targets on the territory of the Baltics.

So, it was possible to renounce the Russophobic policy without losses. Moreover, in the condition of normal relations with Russia Baltic transit would work even today and would feed the population of these states. And if they still applied as much force in the fight against the EU for the preservation of their own agriculture as they spent on luring NATO troops, then today they would be quite prospering states and the population would be intact.

So even the correct and effective application of the principles of international relations yields only losses and losses if the target is incorrectly set from the beginning and the chosen instrument of implementation is unsuitable.

المقاومة الأقلّ تأثراً بالحسابات الإقليمية فلا تتعبوا بالتحليل

ديسمبر 28, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بالرغم من الإجماع عند كلّ عاقل على استحالة الفصل بين ما هو محلي وما هو إقليمي ودولي في بلد كلبنان يقع في قلب الحسابات الكبرى للاعبين الكبار، لمجرد أنّ فيه مقاومة قوية تتسبّب بالقلق والأرق لقادة كيان الاحتلال الذي يقع أمنه في منزلة الأولوية لجبهة تقودها واشنطن، ولها حلفاؤها وأتباعها في داخل لبنان وخارجه، فإنّ الجميع في لبنان يحاول الإيحاء وأحياناً الادّعاء بأنّ حساباته محض محلية ونابعة من قراءاته الخاصة لمصلحة لبنان غالباً ولمصلحته كفريق أحياناً، وعندما يشير بإيماءة من رأسه إلى حضور العامل الإقليمي يقصد بالتمليح وأحياناً كثيرة بالتصريح، أن يقول، إنّ المقاومة وحزبها الأكبر حزب الله وحليفته حركة أمل يتقاسمان أدواراً بحسابات لها صلة بالوضع الإقليمي، ويكون المقصود ضمناً حسابات إيرانية.

– التدقيق بتاريخ لبنان منذ ظهور المقاومة وتحوّلها لاعباً رئيسياً لا يمكن تجاهله، وخصوصاً منذ العام 1996 وولادة تفاهم نيسان بعد مفاوضات أميركية فرنسية مع سورية، وبشراكة كاملة من المقاومة، يقول إنه بالقدر ذاته الذي برزت فيه الاتهامات المعلنة والمبطنة للمقاومة وقواها بربط الوضع الداخلي بالحسابات الإقليمية، وتزايدت نبرة هذه الاتهامات من الغمز واللمز والتلميح إلى التصريح، ثبت أنّ كلّ ما قيل عن هذا الربط محض هذيان أو تشويه متعمّد، أو وهم باطل، ففي التسعينيات من القرن الماضي كان كلّ الكلام عن اتهام المقاومة بهذا الربط يدور حول تخديم المقاومة لمشروع التفاوض السوري مع «إسرائيل» وتعزيز وضعها التفاوضي. وفي ختام المرحلة عام 2000 تحرّرت أرض لبنان المحتلة وانفرط عقد التفاوض السوري ـ «الإسرائيلي». وفي مرحلة العقد الأول من القرن الحالي جرى ربط أداء المقاومة بالملف النووي الإيراني، حتى حرب تموز 2006 قال البعض إنها من ضمن استحقاقات التفاوض حول الملف النووي، وانتصرت المقاومة ولم يتغيّر شيء في ملف إيران، وعندما انتهى التفاوض إلى اتفاق من دون مقدّمات لبنانية لم يتوقف الاتهام بالربط، بل بدأ الحديث عكسياً عن فاتورة ستدفعها إيران من حساب المقاومة، وعندما انسحبت واشنطن من التفاهم النووي عاد الاتهام من بوابة جديدة عنوانها حماية الخاصرة الإيرانية الضعيفة بوجه العقوبات، وقبلها مع بدء الحرب على سورية كان الاتهام بالربط تخديماً لموقع سورية ورئيسها، وعندما ظهر الانتصار السوري جلياً عاد الكلام عن الربط من بوابة القول إنّ المقاومة تريد انتظار آخر الانتصارات لتصرفها في الداخل اللبناني.

– لم تغيّر المقاومة مرّة في سقوفها السياسية المحلية على إيقاع انتصاراتها أو انتصارات حلفائها، في المعارك الإقليمية، رغم كثرة الاتهامات لها بذلك، وبقي سقف تطلعاتها متواضعاً وموضع انتقاد من حلفائها المحليين، ومنهم التيار الوطني الحر في فترة ما قبل وصول العماد ميشال عون إلى رئاسة الجمهورية، وكانت المطالبة جامعة للمقاومة بضرورة رفع السقوف الداخلية بالتوازي مع الانتصارات الإقليمية، واليوم ينضمّ التيار أو بعض نوابه وكتابه إلى المتسائلين عما إذا كان لدى المقاومة حسابات إقليمية وراء مواقفها الداخلية، بينما يوصل كلّ تدقيق ببساطة إلى نتيجة مفادها أنّ سقف طلب المقاومة أقلّ من حجم نواب التحالف الذي يُعرَف بقوى الثامن من آذار، وقد حصل على خمسة وأربعين نائباً وينال حصة تعادل حصة التيار الوطني الحر الممثل بـ29 نائباً والذي ينال مثل قوى 8 آذار 7 وزراء، بينما ينال تجمع قوى 14 آذار مقابل 44 نائباً 12 وزيراً، والمقاومة هي المتهم بطلب المستحيل. والطرفان المتقابلان أيّ التيار الوطني الحر وفريق رئيس الجمهورية من جهة، وقوى 14 آذار وفريق رئيس الحكومة من جهة مقابلة ينعمان بالثلث المعطل في الحكومة، ويتمسّكان به، والمقاومة وحلفاؤها متهمون بالطمع ونية التعطيل.

– الآخرون في لبنان يقيمون حسابات للوضع الإقليمي أكثر مما تقيم المقاومة وحلفاؤها. فالتيار الوطني الحر وفريق رئيس الجمهورية اللذان يمثلان قوة وطنية لا يمكن اتهامها بالتموضع في محور إقليمي، يقيمون حسابات من نوع عدم إزعاج الرياض وواشنطن بمواقف تتصل بالعلاقة بسورية وإيران على سبيل المثال، وزيارة دمشق وطهران، أما فريق الرابع عشر من آذار فحدّث ولا حرج، عن انتظار تعليمات وأضواء خضراء، ومنها ما يجري تداوله أخيراً، مع تصاعد احتمالات عودة سورية إلى الجامعة العربية قبل القمة الاقتصادية في بيروت، عن وجود قرار عند رئيس الحكومة بعدم تشكيل الحكومة قبل قمة بيروت الاقتصادية، متخذ في الرياض كي تبقى ورقة المصالحة مع سورية في الجيب السعودي، بينما المقاومة لا تجد نفسها معنية بمراعاة أيّ حسابات إقليمية من حساب لبنان واللبنانيين، ولا صرف انتصاراتها وانتصارات حلفها الإقليمي في تغيير مطالبها الداخلية.

– الأكيد أن لا مشكلة لدى المقاومة بنيل رئيس الجمهورية وفريقه الثلث المعطل في الحكومة، والأكيد في المقابل أنّ أصل طلب المقاومة لتمثيل حلفائها كان من خارج حصة رئيس الجمهورية، وأنّ أصل الإشكال المرتبط بهذا التمثيل نشأ عن محاولة التيار الوطني الحر للتوفيق بين تقديم المقعد من حصة الرئيس والحفاظ على الثلث المعطل، وكيفية إخراج الأمرين معاً، والأكيد أيضاً أنّ أصل الخلل في كلّ التفاوض حول الحكومة هو في المراعاة المبالغ بها من الفريقين، المقاومة وحلفاؤها من جهة والتيار الوطني الحر ورئيس الجمهورية من جهة مقابلة، لدلع رئيس الحكومة وطلباته وممنوعاته، والتوهّم بأنه يشعر بالعرفان لموقفيهما خلال محنته مع السعودية، واعتباره مغلوباً على أمره في المواقف التي يبديها، بينما تظهر الوقائع أنّ رئيس الحكومة وحلفاءه قد نجحوا مرتين، مرة بالحصول على تمثيل وزاري يعادل تقريباً ضعف حجمهم بالمقارنة مع ما ناله فريق المقاومة وحلفاؤها، وبالتالي ضمان الثلث المعطل دون أن يذكر أحد ذلك، ويصير التركيز على نيل رئيس الجمهورية والتيار الوطني الحر هذا الثلث، كأنه من المثالب والنقائص، ومرة ثانية أن رئيس الحكومة وفريقه يتفرّجون اليوم على ما نجحوا بتحقيقه من تأزّم في العلاقات بين كلّ من الحليفين في التيار الوطني الحر وفريق الرئيس من جهة، والمقاومة وحلفاؤها من جهة مقابلة.

– أول التحرّر من التأثيرات الإقليمية على الداخل اللبناني يتمثل باسترداد الثقة بين فريقين هما الأقلّ تأثراً بالمعادلات الإقليمية، واحد لأنه ليس طرفاً فيها ولو كان يراعيها، والثاني يستخدمها لحساب لبنان وليس لحسابه في لبنان، ولا يقوم بتخديمها، وهما الحليفان اللذان صنعا معادلة جديدة مع تفاهم السادس من شباط وعليهما مسؤولية صيانته، بدلاً من تبرّع البعض لوضعه في التداول والتساؤل عن مدى صموده. القليل من العقل البارد بدلاً من الرؤوس الحامية مطلوب في هذه الأيام، والقليل من الآذان الصماء للنميمة، والآذان المصغية للحوار ربما يسكب الماء البارد على الرؤوس الحامية.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Banned: The Smear Campaign Against British-israeli Peace Activist Gilad Atzmon

Banned: The Smear Campaign Against British-Israeli Peace Activist Gilad Atzmon

Jazz saxophonist and writer Gilad Atzmon was recently banned from playing at an assembly hall in Islington, a borough of London, by order of the Islington Town Council. This came about as a result of an e-mail from one person – Martin Rankoff –

Jazz saxophonist and writer Gilad Atzmon was recently banned from playing at an assembly hall in Islington, a borough of London, by order of the Islington Town Council. This came about as a result of an e-mail from one person – Martin Rankoff – saying nothing more than that if Atzmon was going to be at the venue on December 21 he would give a ticket that was given to him to someone else.Rankoff wrote, “Mr Atzmon’s news and beliefs I personally find repulsive and do not wish to be in the same place as him, let alone listen to his music.” Rankoff included links to ADL and Israeli news outlets accusing Atzmon of antisemitism. Incredibly, on the basis of this letter alone, the Islington Council went way out of its way and contacted the show’s promoter to get Atzmon banned—something Rankoff didn’t even ask for.

Imagine the situation in reverse: Gilad Atzmon writes a letter to the Council saying he is uncomfortable with Martin Rankoff appearing in the audience at Islington assembly hall. He refers to Mr. Rankoff’s pro-Israel Twitter page where Rankoff calls Jeremy Corbyn “A F***ing Antisemite and Racist” and where Corbyn is pictured on a bike with a comment suggesting Corbyn should be rammed by a car. Atzmon says that he doesn’t feel safe with Rankoff in the audience. He finds Mr. Rankoff’s support for Israel repulsive because Israel was founded on genocide against the people of Palestine. As proof he provides links to news reports on the slaughter of unarmed protestors in Gaza since March 30, 2018, and a story on the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948.

This imaginary second complaint would have been scorned as an abridgement of Rankoff’s rights. Indeed, since the Islington Council has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, in which criticism of Israel is deemed antisemitic, the Council would probably feel obliged to forward the letter to the authorities as evidence of hate speech.

The Council provided a statement on the banning in which it says: “under the Equality Act 2010, the Council must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to foster good relations between different races and religions within the borough. The Council took account of the fact that Mr Atzmon’s presence at the Hall, and knowledge of his presence among residents of the borough, might harm such relationships, as well as the Council’s duty to tackle prejudice and promote understanding within the borough.”

Gilad Atzmon @GiladAtzmon

My latest video report: please share with friends and foes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=735SaKwez2A 
In Britain in 2018, you can be accused of a ‘hate crime’ (even by the mainstream press) without having committed or been charged with a single crime, let alone a hate crime.

 

This begs the question — in what way would either the “presence” of Gilad Atzmon or “knowledge of his presence among residents” harm the relationship between different races and religions in the borough? Atzmon was to appear at the venue as a saxophone player in a jazz group. It’s hard to imagine a more severe inversion of the concept of discrimination. On the basis of the feelings of one complainant, the right of a musician to work or even be present in Islington is taken away.

What lies behind this is a familiar tactic. Zionists have no argument to counter critics of Israel, so they try to shut them up by attacking their character and robbing them of their livelihood. Now AIPAC and other lobbies are working to make it illegal to criticize Israel, as we see in the recent case of a Texas speech therapist whose yearly contract was denied because she refused to sign a pledge not to support a boycott of Israel. One might ask, what does a teaching position in Pflugerville, Texas have to do with one’s opinions about a country seven thousand miles away? And why does that country have the right to compel anyone in the US to sign a loyalty oath?

If the BDS movement doesn’t do it, zealotry and fanaticism will be the undoing of the Zionist project. People don’t like being told what they are allowed to think and say. When our words and thoughts are policed, it makes us question all the more. What were once decent leftist positions against racism and discrimination have been twisted into a new kind of totalitarianism, one in which it is racist to question the racist, and discriminatory to question discrimination; one in which we are told to think something doesn’t exist when we can see with our own eyes that it does. The self-righteous members of the Islington Town Council have set a very dangerous precedent, and have been used as fools on top of it.

Top Photo | British-Israeli Jazz saxophonist, writer and peace activist Gilad Atzmon rocks the sax.  Photo | Gilad.co.uk

Source | Off Guardian

 

Turkey: Syrian Kurds ‘Have No Right’ to Seek Help from Damascus

Turkey flag

December 28, 2018

Turkey on Friday said Syrian Kurdish militants “does not have the right” to appeal to Damascus for help to counter a threatened Turkish offensive in the north.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) “controlling the area with arms does not have the right or power to make a statement or invite other elements on behalf of the local population,” the Turkish defense ministry said.

“We warn all sides to stay away from provocative actions and making statements that will bring further instability to the region,” the ministry said in a statement.

Syrian government forces on Friday entered the strategic northern city of Manbij, held by the YPG since recapturing the area from the ISIL Takfiri group in 2016.

The Kurdish militants had said they invited government troops “to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, particularly in Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion”.

Source: AFP

 

Related Videos

Germany To Trump: Don’t Even Think About Stationing Nuclear Missiles In Europe After INF Withdrawal

Germany To Trump: Don`t Even Think About Stationing Nuclear Missiles In Europe After INF Withdrawal

 

Gaza: The Palestinians Who Died During the Great March of Return

Gaza: The Palestinians Who Died During the Great March of Return

By Ahmad Nafi and Chloé Benoist,

Scores of protesting Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers during 2018. These are some of their stories

One of the most enduring popular movements of 2018 has been the ongoing Great March of Return in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Since 30 March, thousands of Palestinians in the small coastal territory have demonstrated along the boundary with Israel, demanding the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ right of return and an end to the crippling 11-year siege of Gaza.

But such high-scale mobilisation has come at a high cost: according to Middle East Eye’s calculations, 190 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces within the scope of the demonstrations between 30 March and 30 November – equivalent to one Palestinian killed every 31 hours in eight months.

The numbers exclude more than 50 victims of air strikes or other Israeli military actions when demonstrations were not taking place.

The death toll peaked on 14 May – the day the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem – when 68 people were killed.

During that same time frame, more than 25,000 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces in Gaza, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. One Israeli soldier was also killed within the context of the March.

The Gaza Ministry of Health has identified and released the names, ages, and towns of Palestinians killed: from these, MEE has narrowed the list down to those killed during the protests.

While Israel has claimed that the protests have been orchestrated by Hamas, the de facto ruling party in Gaza that is deemed a terrorist organisation by Israel and the US, the organisers of the March have rejected these claims. For its part Hamas has not formally recognised any of the slain Palestinians as belonging to its organisation.

Among the dead are members of other Palestinian resistance groups – such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – as well as journalists, paramedics, farmers, people with disabilities and children. The UN General Assembly denounced Israel’s use of force against the demonstrators as “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate”, while many rights groups slammed it as illegal, “horrifying” and “calculated”.

The extent of the fatalities may be daunting, but behind each number is an individual. Through the list below MEE has tried, as much as possible, to put a name, face and a story to the casualties of a protest movement that continues to this day.

March: The protest begins

The Great March of Return began on 30 March, when Palestinians commemorate Land Day, a day to denounce Israeli expropriation of Palestinian lands.

The demonstration drew thousands of people to tent encampments along the boundary between Gaza and Israel – but during that one day, Israeli forces fatally shot 19 Palestinians, five of whom succumbed to their wounds days later.

Ahmed al-Ayidi, 17, died four months and one week after being shot in the head, marking the longest gap between injury and death during the March.

1. Jihad Zuhair Abu Gamous, 30, from the Khan Younis governorate, was the first casualty of the Great March of Return. The father of four was shot in the head on 30 March and died in hospital shortly afterwards.

2. Mohammed Kamal al-Najjar, 25, from the North Gaza governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the abdomen east of Jabaliya.

3. Ibrahim Salah Abu Shaar, 25, from the Rafah governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the neck in Rafah.

4. Amin Mansour Abu Muammar, 22, from the Rafah governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the head in Rafah.

5. Naji Abdullah Abu Hjeir, 25, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was killed on 30 March during protests near al-Bureij.

6. Abd al-Qader Mardy al-Hawajri, 42, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was killed on 30 March near the border east of the village of Juhr al-Deek.

7. Mahmoud Saadi Rahmi, 33, from the Gaza City governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the chest east of Gaza City.

8. Mohammed Naim Abu Amro, 27, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot in the stomach and killed on 30 March near Jabaliya. At the time he was assisting an injured protester who had fallen to the ground. Abu Amro was a well-known artist in Gaza.

9. Ahmed Ibrahim Ashour Odeh, 19, from the Gaza City governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the head east of Gaza City.

10. Jihad Ahmed Farina, 35, from the Gaza City governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the head east of Gaza City.

11. Bader Fayeq al-Sabbagh, 22, from the North Gaza governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the head east of Jabaliya. He was 300 metres from the boundary fence as he and his brother observed protests from a distance.

12. Abd al-Fattah Bahjat Abd al-Nabi, 18, from the North Gaza governorate, died on 30 March after being shot in the back. He was running away from the Gaza-Israel boundary east of Jabaliya, northern Gaza.

13. Sari Walid Abu Odeh, 27, a farmer from the North Gaza governorate, was killed on 30 March by artillery shells northeast of Beit Hanoun. He had tried to rescue injured protesters running towards the fields where he was working, 300 metres from the boundary fence.

14. Hamdan Ismail Abu Amsha, 23, another farmer from the North Gaza governorate, died on 30 March. He was killed by Israeli shelling alongside his colleague Sari Abu Odeh (above).

15. Faris Mahmoud Mohammed al-Raqab, 26, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the stomach on 30 March east of Khan Younis. He succumbed to his injuries on 2 April.

16. Shadi Hamdan al-Kashef, 34, from the Rafah governorate, was shot in the head on 30 March and succumbed to his injuries six days later on 5 April.

17. Thaer Mohammed Rabaa, 30, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot on 30 March and succumbed to his wounds a week later on 6 April.

18. Marwan Awad Qudeih, 45, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot with expanding bullets in the legs on 30 March near Khuzaa east of Khan Younis, fracturing bones and severing arteries. The father of seven succumbed to his wounds nine days later on 8 April.

19. Ahmed Jihad al-Ayidi, 17, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot in the head on 30 March in central Gaza. The teen was eventually transferred to a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank on 24 April, but remained in critical condition until his death on 5 August, four months and a week later.

April: First full month of marches

Demonstrators tear away barbed wire along the fence separating Gaza from Israel (M Hajjar/MEE)

In the first full month of the March, demonstrators gathered at tent encampments on a daily basis.

Israeli forces fatally shot 25 Palestinians: among the dead were journalists Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein.

20. Ahmed Omar Arafa, 25, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died on 3 April after being shot in the back and arm east of al-Bureij.

21. Mujahid Nabil al-Khudari, 23, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 5 April by an Israeli drone during protests near the Erez border crossing.

22. Mohammed Sayid Moussa al-Hajj Saleh, 33, from the Rafah governorate, died on 6 April after being shot in the abdomen and chest east of Gaza City.

23. Alaa Yahya al-Zamili, 14, from the Rafah governorate, died on 6 April after being shot in the neck east of Rafah.

24. Sedqi Faraj Abu Etaiwi, 45, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died on 6 April after being shot in the neck east of al-Bureij.

25. Ibrahim Ziyad Salama al-Aur, 20, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died on 6 April after being shot in the head east of al-Bureij.

 

26. Hussein Mohammed Adnan Madi, 13, from the Gaza City governorate, died on 6 April after being shot in the stomach east of Gaza City. A day before his death, MEE photographer Mohammed al-Hajjar had taken a picture of the teenager.

27. Osama Khamis Qudeih, 39, from the Khan Younis governorate, died on 6 April after being shot in the head east of Khan Younis.

28. Majdi Ramadan Shabat, 38, from the North Gaza governorate, died on 6 April after being shot in the neck east of Gaza City.

29. Yasser Murtaja, 31, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot in the abdomen on 6 April. A photojournalist at Ain Media Production company, he was wearing a vest marked “Press” when he was shot. He succumbed to his wounds the following morning on 7 April in hospital, leaving behind a wife and a two-year-old son.

30. Hamza Abd al-Aal, 22, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot in the head on 6 April east of al-Bureij. He died the next day in hospital.

31. Abdullah Mohammed al-Shahri, 28, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot and killed by Israeli forces on 12 April.

32. Islam Mahmoud Haraz Allah, 28, from the North Gaza governorate, died on 13 April after being shot in the abdomen east of Gaza City.

33. Ahmed Mohammed Ashraf Abu Hussein, 26, a freelance photographer and journalist from the North Gaza governorate, was shot in the abdomen with an expanding bullet on 13 April east of Jabaliya while covering the protests. He was transferred to the West Bank then Israel for treatment but died on 24 May, 42 days after being shot.

34. Ahmed Rashad al-Athamna, 24, from the North Gaza governorate, died after being shot in the neck on 20 April east of Jabaliya.

35. Ahmed Nabil Abu Aql, 24, from the North Gaza governorate, was killed on 20 April with a bullet to the back of the head as he stood 150 metres from the boundary fence, according to witnesses. Abu Aql had been on crutches since December 2017, when he was shot in the leg during another demonstration.

 

36. Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub, 14, from the North Gaza governorate, was killed on 20 April after being shot in the head with an expanding bullet east of Jabaliya.

37. Saad Abd al-Majid Abu Taha, 23, from the Khan Younis governorate, died on 20 April after being shot in the neck during protests east of Khan Younis.

38. Abdullah Mohammed Jibril al-Shamali, 20, from the Rafah governorate, was shot on 20 April while standing some 700 metres away from the boundary fence, succumbing to his wounds two days later on 22 April.

39. Tahrir Mahmoud Wahbah, 18, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the head on 20 April east of Khan Younis. Wahbah, who was deaf, was reportedly caught on camerawhen he was shot with his back turned to Israeli soldiers. He died from his wounds three days later on 23 April.

40. Abd al-Salam Eid Zuhdi Bakr, 33, from the Khan Younis governorate, was killed on 27 April after being shot in the stomach east of Khuzaa.

41. Mohammed Amin al-Maqid, 21 from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 27 April during protests east of Khan Younis.

42. Khalil Naim Mustafa Atallah, 22, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 27 April east of Gaza City.

43. Azzam Hilal Uweida, 15, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the head on 27 April near Khuzaa. He succumbed to his injuries the following morning on 28 April.

44. Anas Shawqi Abu Assar, 19, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot on 27 April and succumbed to his wounds a week later on 3 May.

May: Scores killed in one day

The Great March of Return was initially intended to end on 15 May, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. But 14 May – the same day that the United States inaugurated its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem – turned out to be the be deadliest day of the March so far, accounting for more than one-third of casualties during the eight-month period.

In total, 73 Palestinians were fatally shot by Israeli forces during that month – 68 of them on 14 May. The bloodshed garnered international condemnation, and galvanised protesters to continue demonstrating for their rights.

45. Jabr Salem Abu Mustafa, 40, from the Khan Younis governorate, died on 11 May after being shot in the chest east of Khan Younis.

46. Jamal Abd al-Rahman Afana, 15, from the Rafah governorate, was shot by Israeli forces on 11 May and succumbed to his wounds a day later on 12 May.

47. Izz al-Din Moussa Mohammed al-Samak, 14, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was killed on 14 May by a bullet to the abdomen in central Gaza.

48. Wassal Fadel Izzat al-Sheikh Khalil, 15, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was killed on 14 May by a bullet to the head in central Gaza. She was the first of two Palestinian women to be killed by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return.

49. Ahmed Adel Moussa al-Shaer, 16, from the Khan Younis governorate, was killed on 14 May by a bullet to the chest east of Khan Younis. Islamic Jihad later announced that Shaer had been one of its members.

50. Sayid Mohammed Abu al-Kheir, 16, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 14 May.

51. Imad Ali Sadeq al-Sheikh, 19, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 14 May.

52. Zayed Mohammed Hassan Omar, 19, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot in the chest on 14 May east of Gaza City.

53. Mutasem Fawzi Mohammed Abu Luli, 20, from the Rafah governorate, was shot in the head on 14 May east of Rafah.

54. Anas Hamdan Salem Qudeih, 21, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the chest and killed on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

55. Mohammed Abd al-Salam Harraz, 21, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 14 May.

 

56. Yahya Ismail Rajab al-Dakour, 22, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 14 May.

57. Mustafa Mohammed Samir al-Masri, 22, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 14 May east of Gaza City.

58. Izz al-Din Nahed Salman al-Uweiti, 23, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the head and killed on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

59. Mahmoud Mustafa Ahmed Assaf, 23, from the North Gaza governorate, was killed on 14 May.

60. Ahmed Fayez Harb Shehada, 23, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 14 May.

61. Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansour, 25, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 14 May.

62. Mohammed Ashraf Abu Sitta, 26, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot in the chest and killed on 14 May in northern Gaza.

63. Bilal Ahmed Saleh Abu Daqqa, 26, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the head and killed on 14 May east Khan Younis.

64. Ahmed Majed Qassem Attallah, 27, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot in the thigh, severing a main artery, on 14 May east of Gaza City. He died later that day.

65. Mahmoud Rabah Elayyan Abu Muammar, 28, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the head and killed on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

66. Musab Yousef Ibrahim Abu Leila, 28, from the Gaza City governorate, was hit by shrapnel in the back that penetrated his body below the heart on 14 May in the northern Gaza Strip. He died from his wounds on the same day.

67. Ahmed Fawzi Kamel al-Tater, 28, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the shoulder and back on 14 May east of Rafah.

68. Ubeida Salem Abd Rabbo Farhan, 30, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot and killed on 14 May. Islamic Jihad later announced that Farhan had been a member of its al-Quds Brigades.

69. Jihad Mufid Abd al-Monim al-Farra, 30, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

70. Fadi Hassan Salman Abu Salmi, 30, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May east of Khan Younis. Fadi had been using a wheelchair after his legs were amputated following an Israeli air strike in 2008. Islamic Jihad later announced that Farhan had been one of its members.

71. Motaz Bassam Kamel al-Nuno, 31, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 14 May. He was reportedly a member of the Internal Security Department of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

72. Mohammed Riyad Abd al-Rahman al-Amoudi, 31, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 May.

73. Jihad Mohammed Osman Moussa, 31, from the North Gaza governorate, was killed on 14 May. He was reportedly a member of the Internal Security Department of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

74. Shaher Mahmoud Mohammed al-Madhoun, 32, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 14 May.

75. Moussa Jabr Abd al-Salam Abu Hassanin, 35, a paramedic from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 14 May while working for the Palestinian Authority Civil Defence Department treating wounded demonstrators.

76. Mohammed Mahmoud Abd al-Moti Abd al-Aal, 39, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May.

77. Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim Hamdan, 27, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

78. Ismail Khalil Ramadan al-Dahouk, 30, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 14 May.

79. Ahmed Mahmoud Mohammed Rantisi, 27, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 14 May.

80. Mahmoud Yahya Abd al-Wahab Hussein, 24, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the abdomen on 14 May in the central Gaza Strip.

81. Ahmed Abdullah Abdullah al-Adini, 30, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the abdomen on 14 May in central Gaza.

82. Saadi Sayid Fahmi Abu Salah, 16, from the North Gaza governorate, died after being shot in the abdomen on 14 May in northern Gaza.

83. Ahmed Zuheir Hamed al-Shawa, 24, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May east of Gaza City.

84. Mohammed Hani Husni al-Najjar, 33, from the North Gaza governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May in northern Gaza.

85. Fadel Mohammed Atta Habashi, 34, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the neck on 14 May east of Gaza City.

86. Mahmoud Suleiman Ibrahim Aql, 32, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the knee and thigh on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

87. Mohammed Hassan Mustafa al-Abbadleh, 25, from the Khan Younis governorate, was killed on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

88. Mokhtar Kamel Abu Khamash, 23, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May in central Gaza.

89. Abd al-Salam Yousef Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Wahab, 39, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

90. Ali Mohammed Ahmed Khafaja, 21, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 May east of Rafah.

91. Mahmoud Hamad Saber Abu Touaima, 23, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

92. Kamel Jihad Kamel Muhanna, 19, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

93. Ahmed Salem Elayyan al-Jurf, 24, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the pelvis on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

94. Abd al-Rahman Sami Abu Matar, 18, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 May east of Gaza City.

95. Mohammed Abd al-Rahman Ali Meqdad, 28, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 May east of Khan Younis.

96. Mahmoud Wael Mahmoud Jundiya, 21, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 May east of Gaza City.

97. Mohammed Samir Mohammed Idweidar, 27, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the abdomen on 14 May in central Gaza.

98. Samer Nael Awni al-Shawa, 21, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the abdomen on 14 May east of Gaza City.

99. Yazan Ibrahim Mohammed Tubasi, 24, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the eye on 14 May east of Gaza City.

100. Imad Mohammed Khalil al-Nafar, 24, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being hit by shrapnel in the shoulder, neck and back on 14 May east of Gaza City.

101. Amr Jumaa Abu Foul, 32, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot on 14 May east of Gaza City and succumbed to his wounds the following day on 15 May.

102. Ahmed Abed Abu Samra, 21, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot on 14 May east of Jabaliya and died five days later on 19 May.

103. Mouin Abd al-Hamid al-Saie, 58, from the Gaza City governorate, was injured on 14 May and succumbed to his wounds five days later on 19 May.

104. Mohammed Mazen Elayyan, 20, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot in the head on 14 May east of al-Bureij and died five days later on 19 May.

105. Mohannad Bakr Abu Tahoun, 20, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot in the head on 14 May, and died in a West Bank hospital 10 days later on 24 May.

106. Yasser Sami Saad al-Din Habib, 24, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot on 14 May and died in a Jerusalem hospital 11 days later on 25 May.

107. Hussein Salem Abu Uwaida, 41, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot in the spine on 14 May as he was selling ice cream and water to demonstrators east of Gaza City, reportedly hundreds of metres away from the boundary fence. He succumbed to his wounds 12 days later on 26 May.

108. Nasser Aref Abd al-Raouf al-Areini, 28, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot on 14 May east of Jabaliya. He died from his wounds two weeks later on 28 May.

109. Naji Maysara Abdullah Ghneim, 22, from the Rafah governorate, was injured on 14 May east of Rafah. He succumbed to his wounds in a Jerusalem hospital 16 days later on 30 May.

110. Mohammed Naim Hamada, 30, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot on 14 May east of Gaza City. He died three weeks later on 3 June.

111. Mohammed Ghassan Abu Daqqa, 22, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot on 14 May east of Khuzaa town, and succumbed to his wounds in a Jerusalem hospital one month and one week later on 20 June.

112. Sari Dahoud al-Shobaki, 22, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot in the neck on 14 May, damaging his spinal cord and leaving him quadriplegic. His father, a doctor, accompanied him to Jerusalem where he was transferred for treatment, but Shobaki eventually died two months and five days later on 18 July.

113. Majd Suheil Mohammed Uqail, 26, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot on 14 May in northern Gaza, and succumbed to his wounds two months and 11 days later on 24 July.

114. Wissam Yousef Hijazi, 30, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the head on 14 May east of Khan Younis. He was referred to an Egyptian hospital for treatment, but died from his wounds three months later while waiting to cross at the Rafah Border Terminal between Gaza and Egypt on 12 August.

115. Talal Adel Ibrahim Matar, 16, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the head on 15 May east of Gaza City.

116. Nasser Ahmed Mahmoud Ghurab, 52, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 15 May.

117. Bilal Bdeir Hussein al-Ashram, 18, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest and leg on 15 May.

June: Medic among the dead

Israeli forces killed 13 Palestinians during protests, three of whom succumbed to their wounds later. The killing in particular of volunteer paramedic Razan al-Najjar sparked condemnation.

Meanwhile, some Palestinian demonstrators began flying incendiary kites and balloons into Israel, sparking fires during the dry season and dominating Israeli media coverage throughout the summer.

118. Razan Ashraf al-Najjar, 21, from the Khan Younis governorate, a volunteer paramedic, was shot in the chest on 1 June east of Khan Younis while helping wounded demonstrators. She was the second woman and second paramedic to be killed by Israeli forces.

119. Imad Nabil Abu Darabeh, 20, from the North Gaza governorate, was killed on 8 June east of Jabaliya.

120. Ziyad Jadallah Abd al-Qader al-Brim, 28, from the Khan Younis governorate, was killed on 8 June east of Khan Younis.

121. Haitham Khalil Mohammed al-Jamal, 15, from the Rafah governorate, was killed on 8 June east of Khan Younis.

122. Yousef Salim al-Fasih, 29, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 8 June east of Gaza City.

123. Ahmed Ziyad Tawfiq al-Assi, 21, from the Khan Younis governorate was shot in the head on 8 June east of Khan Younis and succumbed to his wounds six days later, on 14 June.

124. Karam Ibrahim Arafat, 26, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the head on 8 June east of Khan Younis, dying from his wounds one month and 16 days later on 23 July.

125. Zakariya Hussein Bashbash, 13, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot on 15 June east of al-Bureij. He died from his wounds three days later on 18 June.

126. Sabri Ahmed Abu Khader, 24, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 18 June east of Gaza City, only five months after getting married.

127. Osama Khalil Abu Khater, 29, from the Khan Younis governorate died after being shot in the stomach on 24 June east of Khan Younis.

128. Abd al-Fattah Mustafa Abu Azoum, 17, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the head by Israeli tank fire while seeking to cross the boundary fence on 28 June near Rafah.

129. Mohammed Fawzi al-Hamayda, 24, from the Rafah governorate, was killed on 29 June east of al-Bureij.

130. Yasser Amjad Abu al-Naja, 12, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 29 June east of Khuzaa.

July: Israeli law further drives protests

The protests increasingly took place on Fridays, as the summer heat and exhaustion took their toll on daily demonstrations.

Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians during protests in July while Aviv Levy, a 21-year-old Israeli soldier from Petah Tikva, was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

In an alleged bid to fight incendiary kites, Israel temporarily halted fuel deliveries to Gaza. It also launched several air strikes, which kill at least 11 people (their names are not included here).

On 19 July, the Knesset passes the nation-state law, which cemented in Israel’s Basic Law the country’s status as a Jewish state. This is denounced as further enshrining discrimination against Palestinians into Israeli legislation.

131. Mohammed Jamal Abu Halima, 22, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being hit by shrapnel in the chest on 6 July east of Gaza City.

132. Othman Rami Heles, 14, from the Gaza City governorate was shot and killed on 13 July east of Gaza City.

133. Ahmed Yahya Atallah Yaghi, 26, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 13 July east of Gaza City.

134. Mohammed Nasser Shurrab, 20, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot on 13 July east of Khan Younis, succumbing to his wounds the next day, on 14 July.

135. Amjad Fayez Hamduna, 19, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot on 14 July east of Jabaliya, dying 25 days later, on 7 August

136. Mohammed Sharif Badwan, 24, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest east of Gaza City.

137. Majdi Ramzi al-Satari, 12, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the head on 27 July east of Rafah.

138. Ghazi Mohammed Abu Mustafa, 44, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 27 July east of Khan Younis. He had also been injured in protests the previous month.

139. Moamin Fathi al-Hams, 17, from the Rafah governorate, was shot in the chest on 27 July east of Rafah. He died from his wounds the following day on 28 July.

August: The truce that never was

Seven Palestinians died during August, including medic Abdullah al-Qutati, and Ali al-Aloul, who at 65 was the oldest fatal casualty of the March.

Meanwhile, the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas intensified, with deadly air strikesand rocket fire. Egypt attempted to mediate a long-lasting truce between the two parties – much to the Palestinian Authority’s displeasure. In the end the much-discussed ceasefire amounted to nothing.

140. Moath Zayid al-Suri, 15, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot in the stomach on 3 August east of al-Bureij, succumbing to his wounds the following day on 4 August.

141. Suheib Abd al-Salam al-Kashif, 16, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot on 3 August east of Khan Younis. He died one month and 13 days later on 15 September.

142. Abdullah Sabri al-Qutati, 22, a volunteer paramedic from the Rafah governorate, was shot and killed on 10 August while providing medical care to a demonstrator, Ali al-Aloul (below), who had just been hit by live ammunition and also died that same day.

143. Ali Sayid al-Aloul, 65, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot on 10 August east of Rafah. In addition to being the oldest Palestinian killed by Israeli forces during the March, paramedic Abdullah al-Qutati (above), was fatally shot while attempting to save Aloul’s life.

144. Ahmed Jamal Salim Abu Luli, 41, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the abdomen on 11 August east of Rafah.

145. Saadi Akram Muammar, 27, from the Rafah governorate, was shot and killed on 17 August near Rafah. His wife was seven months pregnant at the time with their third child.

146. Karim Abu Fatayer, 28, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head – with a bullet that went through his eye – on 25 August east of al-Bureij.

September: Casualties rise again

After a slow-down in deaths during the summer, fatalities related to the Great March rose again as Egyptian efforts for a Hamas-Israel deal seemingly collapsed.

Israeli forces fatally shot 20 Palestinians in September, including 11-year-old Shadi Abd al-Aal, the youngest fatality of the March.

Meanwhile, the United States announced that it was cutting all its funding to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, sparking employee strikes.

Palestinians in Gaza also marked with bitterness the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords.

147. Bilal Mustafa Khafaja, 17, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 7 September east of Rafah.

148. Ahmed Musbah Abu Tuyur, 16, from the Rafah governorate, was shot on 7 September east of Rafah city, succumbing to his wounds a day later on 8 September. A video shared on social media – whose authenticity could not be confirmed by MEE – purported to show the teen’s death.

149. Mohammed Bassam Mohammed Shakhsa, 25, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the head on 13 September east of Gaza City.

150. Shadi Abd al-Aziz Abd al-Aal, 11, from the North Gaza governorate, died after being shot in the head on 14 September east of Jabaliya as he was reportedly throwing stones some 70 metres from the boundary – too far to reach soldiers stationed behind the fence. He is the youngest Palestinian killed by Israeli forces during the March of Return so far.

151. Hani Ramzi Afana, 21, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 September east of Rafah.

152. Mohammed Khalil Ghazi Shaqura, 21, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 14 September east of al-Bureij.

153. Naji Jamil Abu Assi, 17, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being hit by an Israeli missile on 18 September east of Khan Younis, alongside his cousin Alaa Abu Assi (below).

154. Alaa Ziyad Abu Assi, 20, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being hit by an Israeli missile on 18 September east of Khan Younis, alongside his cousin Naji Abu Assi (above).

155. Mohammed Ahmed Abu Naji, 33, from the North Gaza governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 18 September near Beit Hanoun.

156. Ahmed Mohammed Muhsin Omar, 23, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 18 September near Beit Hanoun, only one day before his birthday.

157. Moamin Ibrahim Abu Eyada, 15, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the head on 19 September east of Rafah.

158. Karim Mohammed Ali Kollab, 25, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot on 21 September east of Gaza City.

159. Imad Woud Ishteiwi, 21, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the head on 23 September east of Gaza City.

160. Mohammed Fayez Salim Abu al-Sadaq, 21, from the Gaza City governorate, was killed on 24 September in northern Gaza.

161. Mohammed Nayef al-Houm, 14, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the lower back on 28 September east of al-Bureij.

162. Mohammed Ashraf al-Awawdeh, 23, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 28 September near al-Bureij.

163. Iyad Khalil Ahmed al-Shaer, 18, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 28 September east of Gaza City.

164. Mohammed Walid Mustafa Haniyeh, 32, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the face on 28 September east of Gaza City.

165. Nasser Azmi Mohammed Musbeh, 12, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 28 September east of Khan Yunis.

166. Mohammed Ali Mohammed al-Anshasi, 19, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the stomach on 28 September near al-Bureij.

October: Calls for Gaza crackdown

Gaza’s ministry of health recorded 22 Palestinian fatalities relating to the Great March in October, as far-right Israeli politicians called for a stronger crackdown on the protests and a “strong blow” against Hamas – up to and including the possibility of all-out war.

The Israeli army launched nearly 90 air strikes on 27 October alone in the highest-intensity offensive on Gaza since the summer, with Palestinian factions firing some 35 rockets.

Meanwhile Qatar stepped in financially to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza with Israel’s approval, paying for fuel imports and civil servant salaries.

167. Ahmed Samir Abu Habil, 15, from the north Gaza governorate, died after he was hit by a high-velocity tear gas canister that lodged itself in his head on 3 October near Beit Hanoun.

168. Mahmoud Akram Mohammed Abu Samaan, 24, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 5 October east of Gaza City.

169. Fares Hafez al-Sirsawi, 13, from the Gaza City governorate, died after being shot in the chest on 5 October east of Gaza City.

170. Hussein Fathi al-Raqab, 19, from the Khan Younis governorate, died after being shot in the head on 6 October near Khan Younis.

171. Abdullah Barham Suleiman al-Daghmeh, 24, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October.

172. Ahmed Abdullah Abu Naim, 17, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October.

173. Ahmed Ibrahim Zaki al-Tawil, 27, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October.

174. Mohammed Abd al-Hafez Yousef Ismail, 29, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October.

175. Tamer Iyad Abu Ermana, 21, from the Rafah governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October.

176. Mohammed Ashraf Mohammed al-Awada, 21, from the Rafah governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian (PFLP) announced after his death that he had been a member.

177. Afifi Mahmoud Atta Afifi, 18, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October.

178. Mohammed Issam Abbas, 21, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 12 October.

179. Saddam al-Abed Mohammed Abu Shalash, 27, from the North Gaza governorate, was shot on 15 October near Beit Lahiya, succumbing to his wounds a day later on 16 October.

180. Muntaser Mohammed Ismail al-Baz, 17, from the Deir al-Balah governorate, died after being shot in the head on 23 October near al-Bureij.

181. Mohammed Khaled Mahmoud Abd al-Nabi, 27, from the North Gaza governorate, was killed on 26 October east of Jabaliya.

182. Nassar Iyad Abu Tim, 19, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot and killed on 26 October east of Khan Younis.

183. Ahmed Sayid Abu Lubda, 22, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot and killed on 26 October east of Khan Younis.

184. Ayesh Ghassan Shaat, 23, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot and killed on 26 October east of Khan Younis.

185. Mujahid Ziyad Zaki Aql, 23, from the Deir al-Balah governorate was shot on 26 October and succumbed to his wounds a day later on 27 October.

186. Yahya Bader Mohammed al-Hassanat, 37, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot in the head on 26 October east of al-Bureij. He died from his wounds two days later on 28 October.

187. Ahmed Khaled al-Najjar, 21, from the Khan Younis governorate, was shot in the stomach with an expanding bullet on 26 October east of Khan Younis, succumbing to his wounds 13 days later in a hospital in the West Bank, on 7 November.

188. Mohammed Abd al-Hay Abu Ubada, 27, from the Gaza City governorate, was shot and killed on 30 October near Beit Lahiya. Abu Ubada had been injured three times since the beginning of the March of Return.

November: Israeli raid

The expectation might be that the situation in Gaza was relatively calm in November, given that there were only two fatalities related to the Great March.

Far from it. On 11 November, an undercover Israeli squad was discovered deep inside Gaza, sparking a deadly exchange of fire and the subsequent resignation of Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman in protest at a ceasefire agreement. Meanwhile, Hollywood stars collected $60m for the Israeli army in a highly criticised fundraising gala.

189. Mohammed Alaa Mahmoud Abu Shabin, 20, from the Rafah governorate, was shot and killed on 8 November east of al-Maghazi refugee camp.

190. Rami Wael Ishaq Qahman, 28, from the Rafah governorate, died after being shot in the neck on 9 November east of Rafah.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Photo sources

March: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 1-3, 5, 6, 10-15, 18, 19; International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC): 7-9, 16.

April: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 23, 25, 26, 28, 31, 34, 37, 42; IMEMC: 20, 21, 29, 32, 35, 38, 41, 43, 44; Middle East Eye: 33; Ma’an News Agency: 39; social media: 40.

May: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 45, 48- 50, 53-57, 60-62, 69, 70-76, 78-80, 83, 84, 90, 101, 108, 113; IMEMC: 46, 47, 103-107, 109-112, 114, 115.

June: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 122, 130; IMEMC: 119-121, 123, 124, 127, 128; Middle East Eye: 118; Defense for Children Palestine: 125.

July: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 131, 137, 138; IMEMC: 134, 135, 136, 139.

August: IMEMC: 140, 141, 143, 144, 146; Middle East Eye: 142.

September: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 151-156; IMEMC: 147, 149, 157-166.

October: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 168-175, 177, 183-186, 188; IMEMC: 167, 178, 180.

November: Israel-Palestine Timeline: 189, 190.

Featured image is from Maan News Agency

Elections Don’t Make israel (apartheid state) a Democracy

Elections Don’t Make Israel a Democracy

 by Ariel Gold

It’s official, Israel is racing towards early elections. But no one is talking about who can vote in them.

New elections were nearly called in November 2017 after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest of Israel not going to war with Gaza and right-wing leader Naftali Bennett threatened to pull his party from the coalition if he was not given the defense portfolio. However, Netanyahu outfoxed Bennett by claiming that it was too dangerous a time to go to elections and retained the defense portfolio for himself (Netanyahu is now Israel’s prime minister, defense minister, and foreign minister), utilizing a slim 51% ruling majority.

Until last week it looked like the coalition would hold together with its small majority. But following the Knesset’s inability to reach agreement on a bill dealing with military conscription of the ultra-orthodox, and, much more importantly, leaked information that the ministry of justice was recommending Netanyahu’s indictment on charges of bribery, on Monday Netanyahu announced “It’s too difficult [to pass laws], we need elections.” With that, the Israeli national election is scheduled to take place on April 9.

Much of the already up and running election coverage is focused on the coming indictment of Netanyahu. Will he be able to stave off the attorney general until April? If he is reelected, will he try to get his coalition partners to pass a measure forbidding the prosecution of a sitting prime minister?

Other election issues under discussion are the certain increase we will see in pandering to settlers. Netanyahu has already begun that.

Absent entirely from the election conversation is the Palestinian population living under Israeli control without voting rights.

20% of Israeli citizens are Palestinian. They can vote in all Israeli elections and have representation in Knesset. However, these Israeli Palestinians represent only about one third of the Palestinians living under Israeli rule and military occupation.

Though the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are the official governments of the West Bank and Gaza, respectively, Israel is really in charge. Israel controls the borders, the currency, and the central bank. It collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA), maintains the right to carry out military operations on Palestinian land, and controls the amount of freedom, or lack thereof, that Palestinians are granted.

Last year, Israel approved only 54% of the permits that residents of Gaza applied for to travel outside of Gaza for vital medical treatment. Reasons for denying people in Gaza necessary medical treatment are often absurd, such as denying travel because a relative at one time moved from Gaza to the West Bank without Israeli permission. Besides the right of travel, Israel regulates the fuel and building materials available to Gazans, and has at times even controlled the amount of food imports according to the number of calories Gazans should consume.

Israel controls not only the exterior borders of the West Bank but what goes on inside as well. While the Palestinian Authority manages such things as utilities and infrastructure, for much of the West Bank, Israel is the ultimate authority. Israeli settler regional councils control 40% of West Bank land. Even in areas like Ramallah, supposedly under complete Palestinian Authority control, Israel reserves the right to enter the city at any time, to close streets and shops, burst into homes, and make warrantless arrests.

While the PA does maintain a judicial and penal system, one that itself is incredibly repressive, Palestinians are also subject to Israel’s military court system and such laws as Military Order 101, which bans peaceful protest. Though they are prosecuted in Israeli military courts and serve time in Israeli military prisons, Palestinians have no say over who is appointed to run the Israeli military, let alone the military courts.

Jerusalem was captured by Israel in 1967 and formally, and illegally, annexed in 1980. Common sense might follow that Israel would have then absorbed the East Jerusalem Palestinians, now numbering around 370,000, and made them Israeli citizens.

Rather than holding citizenship, however, Jerusalem Palestinians hold the status of permanent residents, allowing them to vote in municipal, but not national, elections. While this may at first seem a move in the right direction, a closer look reveals careful manipulation of demographics to ensure an at least a 70% Jewish majority at all times. Through such policies as exorbitant taxation, requiring constant proof of residency, and denial of family unification, since 1967 Israel has managed to revoke the residency of 14,595 Palestinian Jerusalemites. Still nervous about the demographics Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset – a body East Jerusalem Palestinians have no representation in – are currently working on annexation of three large settlement blocks surrounding Jerusalem to bring 140,000 Jewish Israelis setters into the municipality, while displacing the current Palestinian population.

Israel has no intention of ending its military occupation. 2019 will mark 52 years of occupation, including 12 years of siege of Gaza, and 26 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords that were supposed to create a Palestinian state. 600,000 Israeli citizens now live in the approximately 200 illegal Israeli settlements that cover the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Even since the announcement of new elections, 2,200 more settlement units have been advanced. While the two-state solution continues to be debated, the one apartheid state without voting rights for all, is barreling ahead.

A look at who is and isn’t allowed to vote in Israel/Palestine reveals Israel’s motivations:

  • Number of Jewish Israelis living in Israel proper, and East Jerusalem, and West Bank settlements: 6.589 million (Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics)
  • Number of Palestinian citizens of Israel (Palestinians who can vote in national elections): 1.5 million (Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics and Jerusalem Municipality)
  • Number of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza who cannot vote in Israeli national elections: 4.88 million (Palestinian Authority Central Bureau of Statistics)

As we continue to watch the indictment and campaigning dramas of Israel’s 2019 elections and we continue to hear the absurd label of Israel as a democratic state, let’s not forget that the right to vote is only granted to 60% of the total population and only one third of Palestinians who live under Israeli rule.

Ariel Gold is the national co-director for CODEPINK. Follow her on Twitter at @arielelysegold.

 

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: