Hezbollah Will Respond to Israel: But When? How? And at What Cost?

By Elijah Magnier

Source

 

Its Lebanon You Fools 0b60d

The “Axis of the Resistance” has been informed about Hezbollah’s intention to respond to Israel imminently, confirmed sources within the decision-making leadership. The main offices of militant leadership and all gathering of forces have been abandoned or forbidden, and a state of full alert has been declared in preparation for a possible Israeli decision to go to war. In Iran, Syria and Palestine, the finger is on the trigger. Is the Middle East going to war? Actually, it all depends on how far- and in which direction- the Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to go: and the degree to which he will accept, or not, the hit back from Hezbollah.

This all snowballed when, from al-Ayen in the Bekaa Valley, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah launched his threat against Israel. He swore to down drones violating Lebanese sovereignty and threatened to kill Israelis. This is would be carried out in retaliation for the Israeli killing of two Hezbollah members in Syria, and for sending suicide drones to hit Hezbollah high-value objectives and capabilities in the suburbs of Beirut. Netanyahu responded a few hours late by bombing a position of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC)- in the same Bekaa Valley, to send a clear message to Sayyed Nasrallah:  Hezbollah’s challenge is being acknowledged, and answered with another Israeli challenge. Now it is only a question of when, how, and at what cost the Hezbollah “bloody retaliation” will be, bloody because it is inevitable that Israeli soldiers will be killed.

Sayyed Nasrallah had no option but to respond to the Israeli violation of the Rule of Engagement (ROE) established since the 2006 third Israeli war on Lebanon. If he fails to hit Israel and accepts the ongoing international mediation and politico-financial temptations offered to the Lebanese government to persuade him to renounce his promised attack, he loses his credibility, which is substantial right now. Moreover, Israel would then be encouraged to hit more targets in Lebanon as it is doing in Iraq and in Syria for some years now, against hundreds of objectives. If Hezbollah refrains from responding as promised,  Netanyahu will “get away with it”: this boosts his chances in the forthcoming election.

Sayyed Nasrallah committed himself before the whole world to hit back at Israel. All eyes in the Arab world – in particular among the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Yemeni and his own Lebanese society that is embracing Hezbollah – are focussed on what the target will be and when the attack will take place. In Israel, Sayyed Nasrallah has high credibility, and people believe him, as indeed most Israeli newspapers write today. Hezbollah is expected to halt Israel’s violation of the Rules of Engagement and give an example to follow for all those within the “Axis of the Resistance” and put a stop to the Israeli attacks on their sovereignty.

It will not be possible to stop all Israeli drones from flying over Lebanon and prevent these from collecting intelligence information. That is considered vital to Israel to update its bank of objectives and analyse any potential threat. Sayyed Nasrallah is aware of that and for that very reason he would indeed attempt to down Israeli drones.

Since the attack against Beirut, Israeli drones continue over flying Beirut: “Israel is doing everything to provoke a reaction from Hezbollah so that it can identify our anti-air missile capability”, said a source within the “Axis of the Resistance”.

Israel is also waiting to see if it is possible to continue targeting Hezbollah warehouses or send suicide drones to target-kill specific individuals, depending on the price it needs to pay in exchange for its killing of Hezbollah operatives. Netanyahu has positioned himself at the bottleneck, unable to move in or out. He pushed his arrogance to the limit in Lebanon, knowing that he would corner Sayyed Nasrallah if Hezbollah were not to hit back (due to the critical financial situation in Lebanon) and the desire to stay away from a devastating war. Now, the Israeli Prime Minister is asking Hezbollah to “calm down”. But it looks like it is too late to turn back the hands of the clock.

Because Iraq did not reply to the Israeli targeting of its warehouses (five destroyed so far) and the assassination of an Iraqi commander (killed by a drone on the Iraqi-Syrian border), Israel obviously concludes that the Iraqi stage is open to its military activities. Hezbollah is aware of the Israeli modus operandi so it cannot permit replication in Lebanon, even at the cost of going to war.

Actually, in Israel, many leaders are blaming Netanyahu for gossiping and bragging about Israel’s responsibility in attacks outside Israel’s borders. Israel generally prefers to be quiet about this practice, one used by Israel for decades but now exploited by Netanyahu for electoral purposes.

So, what is the “cost” Hezbollah is looking for? According to sources within the “Axis of the Resistance”, Hezbollah is looking for a target- to kill two or three Israelis or send a suicide drone against an Israeli military gathering or other more deadly and spectacular options. “Israel is only a few meters from the Lebanese borders. Killing Israeli soldiers is so simple when a Rule of Engagement is violated. Netanyahu will have to justify for his people what advantage he gained in breaking the cessation of hostility since 2006 despite repeated warnings of the consequences. He is either looking for war – in which case both belligerents have to be ready – or he will have caused unnecessary killing on both sides. He will have to pay the price for this,” said the source.

Obviously, Hezbollah is not looking to push Israeli too far outside its comfort zone, with an “acceptable” number of casualties: a hit in exchange for another hit. It will depend on Netanyahu to take it further into war if he wishes to, or to nurse his wounds. Although the Israeli Prime Minister holds the initiative and was respecting to the “rules of the game” as long as he honored the undeclared agreement, it is time now for him to understand that Lebanon, despite its small size, is not Yemen or Syria or Iraq.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s disposition to attack Israel was boosted by the Lebanese President Michel Aoun who described the Israeli aggression as “an act of war”. Prime Minister Saad Hariri considered the aggression “a threat to regional stability”. Hezbollah has enough domestic support to stand against Israel and retaliate even if the situation goes out of control. Sayyed Nasrallah is no longer constrained by the Lebanese officials who asked him months ago to take into consideration the tourist season, and to share their positive view of the highly tense situation in the Middle East. Indeed, the Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese fronts are all on the verge of explosion, depending on how Israel and the US are willing to be “guided.”

During the last Israeli elections, Hezbollah decided to keep at a distance. This time it seems the situation is different. There is an opportunity for Hezbollah to damage Netanyahu who is facing elections during the third week of September. In this case, Hezbollah’s reply to Israel must be before the 19thof September. If Netanyahu decides to go to war regardless of the outcome, he will certainly lose his possibility of re-election. Most probably, if he does not respond to Hezbollah, he will look weak but will come out of it with less damage.

This takes us to the date of the attack. First, and indeed above all, it depends on the opportunity and on identifying a selective target. That depends on the military decision and findings on the Lebanese-Israeli borders and most probably in the next 72 hours. Second, there are possibilities for allowing the 31stof August to go by, the date the “Amal” movement is planning a large gathering in Beirut to start celebrating the first day of Muharram. This is the first night that marks the beginning of Ashura, a solemn day of mourning for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein Bin Ali Bin Abi Taleb, Mohammad’s grandson, at Karbalaa, Iraq.

The first 10 days of Ashura bring most of the Shia in Lebanon and in particular Hezbollah supporters, to the utmost level of sacrifice. Netanyahu could not have chosen a worse timing for his violation of the Rules of Engagement.

Sayyed Nasrallah is not obliged to provide a date of attack to Israel. It is common for an organisation to first exhaust a country’s resources by forcing it to mobilize its forces on all fronts and abroad to protect its embassies. Therefore, the exact date will be kept in the hands of Hezbollah to evaluate. It could be that allowing the Israeli soldiers to relax on the borders after several weeks of lack of action would create the best opportunity, but I doubt Hezbollah would wait that long. As we have said, Hezbollah as a matter of precaution has abandoned its offices and known gathering places: this is standard practice when war (an Israeli hit or attack) is expected. Netanyahu has really no alternative but to wait and decide if war is really going to be his next best option.

YEMEN’S HOUTHIS CARRY OUT DRONE STRIKE ON SAUDI CAPITAL

South Front

The Ansar Allah movement carried out a new series of strikes on Saudi Arabia in the framework of their operations to oppose the Kingdom-led intervention of Yemen.

On August 25, Yemeni forces fired 10 short-range ballistic missiles at military sites in the Jizan International Airport in their “biggest” attack with such missiles on targets inside Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s al-Masirah TV reported that the missiles targeted the hangars of Saudi warplanes and Apache choppers as well as some military sites in the area.

On the same day, Ansar Allah launched a new “ballistic missile,” dubbed Nakal, at a gathering of the Saudi military in the Kingdom’s province of Najran.  Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for Ansar Allah-led forces, said that the new missile stuck its target, killing and injuring “dozens” of coalition personnel.

On August 26, Ansar Allah, for the first time, used a squadron of its new Sammad-3 to strike an “important military target” in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.  Brig. Gen. Sari said that the drones struck the designated target with great precision emphasizing that the strikes were the answer to the Saudi aggression against Yemen.
Later, a Qassem medium-range ballistic missile hit positions of Saudi-backed forces in the Saqam area of Narjan Province.

On August 27, Qasef-2K loitering munitions targeted Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid Air Base in the province of Asir.

All these developments came amid continued border clashes between Ansar Allah fighters and Saudi-led forces. Ansar Allah regularly releases videos showing large equipment losses of coalition-backed troops in the area.

Taking into account a recent rift between Saudi-backed and UAE-backed forces in southern Yemen, it appears that the coalition is steadily losing more and more ground in the war-torn country and , that the war is moving to southern Saudi Arabia.

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Iranian oil tanker previously seized in Gibraltar to dock just north of Syria

The crew of the oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, has changed its registered destination in its Automatic Identification System to Iskenderun, Turkey, a shipping source stated.

Meanwhile, a source in the Turkish port of Mersin stated on 29 August that the tanker would enter Turkish territorial waters and head toward Mersin to be unloaded there.

Iran emphasised earlier this month that it was considering sending naval ships to escort the Adrian Darya 1 tanker, formerly known as Grace 1.

After it was held for a month, a Gibraltar court ordered the release of the ship on 15 August despite a last-minute request by the US to extend its detention.

However, the authorities of Gibraltar rejected the United States’ request to extend the detainment of the tanker, citing differences in US and European sanctions against Iran.

Source: Sputnik

Bibi in Banderastan, or the importance of words

Bibi in Banderastan, or the importance of words

[this column was written for the Unz Review]

Israeli Prime Minister made it to Kiev today, where he was greeted by the (pseudo) “traditional” Ukronazi slogan “Glory to the Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!”. For somebody like me who dislikes Zionism and Nazism just about the same, it was a sweet irony to see an Israeli Prime Minister officially traveling to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine to commemorate the massacre of Jews at Babii Iar greeted by the very same slogan which the Jews murdered at Babii Iar heard from their Banderite executioners while they were being shot.

STOP!

Do you already hear the choir of voices protesting: how can anyone expecting to be taken seriously write a paragraph about the civil war in the Ukraine with all the following words: Ukronazi, Zionism, Nazism, Nazi-occupied, Jews and Banderite?

That is a very good question.

But I have a better one!

How can anyone expecting to be taken seriously write a paragraph about the civil war in the Ukraine WITHOUT all the following words: Ukronazi, Zionism, Nazism, Nazi-occupied, Jews and Banderite?

Let’s begin with the first question. The obvious implied criticism behind the first question, is very simple and it assumes that there is a profound and inherent contradiction between everything Nazi and Jews/Zionism. Speaking about a “Nazi Jew” or a “Nazi Zionist” is just as nonsensical as speaking about dry water or and diamonds raining from the sky!

Except that both dry water and diamonds raining from the sky do exist in real nature, so let’s not jump to conclusions too fast and see which contradictions are real, and which ones are only apparent.

I won’t even go into the (deliciously controversial) topic of the historical fact of the collaboration of the German National Socialists with various Zionist organizations which, rather naively, thought that a nationalist like Hitler would understand their own nationalism and help them to emigrate to Palestine. But this goes even further than that as Hannah Arendt said, in her superb book “Eichmann in Jerusalem” (see excerpt here or, even better, read the full book (for free!): various Jewish organizations continued to work with/(for?) the Nazis well into the so-called “Holocaust”.

[Sidebar: to be honest, I don’t think that we, safely sitting in the comfort of our homes, should be too quick to condemn these Jewish organizations. Yes, of course, many of them were “naive” (and I am being polite here), but others must have realized that European Jews are in a great deal of danger and must be evacuated at any cost and if the only way to achieve such an evacuation was to deal with the Nazis, then so be it! This is no different than offering a bribe to a jail guard to obtain some kind of favor. Thus I think that Jewish organizations which today categorically deny having collaborated with the Nazis are mistaken on not one, but two grounds: first, the truth is coming out and it is impossible to suppress it and, second, there is nothing shameful in swallowing your disgust to save a person. Except that for the racially deluded minds of modern Zionists, such an admission would take the air out of their silly notion of racial superiority. Hence the categorically crimethink nature of speaking about this]

No, what I want to suggest here is very different: in our 21st century, most of the 20th century terminology has lost its meaning. What is a liberal (no, not Hillary!)? What is a Communist (no, not Obama!)? What is a Christian (no, not the Pope!)? What is a democrat (no, not Kamala Harris!)? What is a patriot (no, most definitely not Trump!)? What is a tyrannical dictator (nope, not Putin!)?

You think that I am being facetious here?

Then explain to me how a rabidly Takfiri regime like the one in Saudi Arabia can get help from Zionist Israel? Or how the “democratic West” gave its full support to Takfiris in Chechnia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya and Syria? How is it that during the so-called “Global War on Terror”, (which was supposed to be officially waged against al-Qaeda and its various local subsidiaries, in retaliation for 9/11) the various Takfiri groups only got stronger? Yet what we really see is that the US provides training, financing, coordination and even close air support for pretty much every al-Qaeda type out there?

There are two phenomena which explain this gradual dissolution of meanings into meaningless and insipid categories: first, the correct meaning of many terms has been covered by a thick layer of ideological imperatives and, second, most 21st century politicians couldn’t care less what any word really means. All they care about is framing the discussion in a way which makes it easy for them to obfuscate their numerous crimes.

The truth about the Ukraine is very simple: yes, there are bona-fide Nazis in the Ukraine and, yes, they have a lot of influence due to their quasi monopoly on violence and total collapse of the state. True, these hardcore Ukronazi freaks are a rather small minority, but one which is well organized, well funded and fully prepared to use violence.

Jewbanderite

There are also a lot of Zionists in the Ukraine. And while these folks silently hate each other, they hate (and fear!) Russia much, much more; just like mobsters can fight each other, but can unite against any common threat (such as, say, an honest police chief).

Oh, and yes, there are also plenty of very influential Jews in the Ukraine (Kolomoiskii and Zelenskii being the two best known ones right now) and they have the full backing of the AngloZionist Empire and all of the Zionists interests in the West. And I think that most folks fully understand that. The real reason behind all the protests about me using terms such as “Ukronazi” stems from a very different cause.

The problem is that you get a lot of ruffled feathers when you suggest that the USA, which is supposed to be some kind of “land of the free and the home of the brave” aka “the indispensable nation” is found in bed with the self same folks who the US propaganda machine paints as arch-villains: Nazis, of course, but also Takfiris. As for the Zionists, it would be wrong to say that the US of A is “in bed” with them. No, it’s even worse: the much-maligned and ridiculed term of ZOG (as in “Zionist Occupation Government”) is much more accurate, but it offends those who rather think of themselves as “rulers of the world” than the voiceless serfs of a regime of foreign occupation!

US Americans love to thump their chests while mantrically chanting some nonsense along the lines of “USA is number 1!” and they get really mad when they are told that “the party is over” which I did in this article in which I wrote:

Both US Americans and Europeans will, for the very first time in their history, have to behave like civilized people, which means that their traditional “model of development” (ransacking the entire planet and robbing everybody blind) will have to be replaced by one in which these US Americans and Europeans will have to work like everybody else to accumulate riches

And, just by coincidence, Paul Craig Roberts recently wrote an article entitled “American Capitalism Is Based On Plunder” in which he explained that US foreign policy is basically driven by a plunder imperative and that if that imperative cannot be realized abroad, it will be implemented at home (I wonder if he will be accused of being anti-American or even of “Communism”? It is quite striking to see a paleo-conservative like Paul Craig Roberts basically paraphrasing Lenin and his statement that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” (a historical truism which the western propaganda system is doing its best to bury, obfuscate, ridicule and the like).

Writing things like these typically result in a barrage of ad hominems which, by itself, is quite telling (usually the same 2-3 folks, some probably remunerated for their efforts) There is a Russian saying that “the hat of the head of the thief is burning” (see here for an explanation of this rather weird expression) and this is exactly what is happening here: the folks protesting the loudest are always the ones who are most unwilling to stop the planetary plunder, messianic arrogance and imperial hubris in which they were raised. It is not only their livelihoods which are threatened by such talk, but even their very identity. Hence the very real and very high level of rage they feel.

Finally, there are all the Nazi sympathizers who absolutely hate Jews and for whom any notion of Nazi and Zionist collaboration are just as much a case of crimethink as it is for Zionist Jews to admit that they have collaborated with bona fide Nazis many times in the past.

However, if we set aside silly ideological shackles, we can immediately observe that the kind of ideology of racial superiority which the Nazis are known for can also be found in the Judaic (religious) and Zionist (secular) ideologies. In fact, both National-Socialism and Zionism are just two amongst many more types of European nationalisms which have their root in 19th century ideological categories.

Let’s try a different approach: what do Ukie “dobrobats”, al-Qaeda forces in Syria, KLA units in Kosovo and Israeli settlers in Palestine have in common? Correct! They are all first and foremost *thugs* who all prey on the weak and defenseless. In other words, they are the perfect tool to force civilians to surrender and accept some kind of foreign rule. That foreign rule is, in each case, the one of the AngloZionist Empire, of course. This, in turn, means that their official ideologies are almost irrelevant, because in reality they are all servants of the Empire (whether they understand it or not).

Conclusion one: it’s all a big lie!

Yes, it is a big lie. All of it. And this is how we end up with an Israeli Prime Minister who, by any criteria, is not only a Fascist, but also a Nazi as long as we make it clear that his brand of Nazism is a Jewish one, not a Germanic one. And it’s not just Bibi Netanyahu who does not mind dealing with Ukronazis, so the the the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine (see here for details). As for the said Ukronazis, they are now trying hard to deny that Bandara and his gang massacred Jews during WWII. As for Zelenskii, he is most definitely not a Nazi, but he has already caved in to the Ukronazi ideology (i.e. a form of Nazism which substitutes myths about “ancient Ukrs” to the more traditional Germanic myths about the Aryan-Germanic “race”). Then there is Kolomoiskii who is simply a typical Jewish mobster who has no personal ideology whatsoever and who has no love for the bona fide Ukronazis, but who is being very careful about how to purge them from power lest they beat him yet again. And above them all, we have the leaders of the Empire who use ideological categories as slurs but who don’t give a damn who they back as long as it is against Russia.

Against this background it is worth asking a simple question: do these words even matter? Do they still have any kind of meaning?

Conclusion two: yes, words do still matter!

I believe that they do, very much so! This is precisely why the legacy corporate ziomedia and those brainwashed by it freak out when they see expressions such as “AngloZionist”,“Ukronazi” or even the rather demure “Israel Lobby”. When somebody comes up with a powerful and correct descriptor, say like “ZOG” – the propaganda machine immediately kicks into high gear to shoot down in flames whatever author and article dared to use it. In fact, there are at least two types of wannabe word censors which typically show up:

TYPE ONE: the real McCoy. These are the sincere folks (whether of the Nazi or Zionist persuasion) who are truly outraged and offended that such “hallowed” words as Nazi/Zionist (pick one) can be combined with “abominations” such as Nazi/Zionist (pick the other one). These are all the Third Reich nostalgics, the defenders of a “White Christian West” and all the rest of them neo-Nazis.

TYPE TWO: the paid trolls. These are the folks whose task it is to obfuscate the real issues, to bury them under tons of vapid ideological nonsense; the best way to do that is to misdirect any discussion away from the original topic and sidetrack it into either a barrage of ad hominems or ideological clichés.

Seriously, what we are witnessing today is a new age of censorship in which government and corporations work hand in hand to crush (ban, censor, demonetize, algorithmically purge and otherwise silence) all those who challenge the official ideology and its many narratives. It would be naïve to the extreme to assume that the so-called “alternative media” and blogosphere have been spared such an effort at silencing ideological heresies.

Next time these self-appointed enforcers of the politically correct doxa come out, try this experiment: when you read their comments, don’t just look at what they write, but also try to guess why they write what they write and then mentally place a T1 or T2 sign next to their comments and you will soon see that they follow a careful pattern 🙂

The Saker

Lebanon’s Defense Minister: We’re Not Concerned about Pressure, Will Respond to Any ’Israeli’ Aggression

Fatima Salami

When “Israel” invaded Lebanon in an attempt to occupy it and the resistance confronted it, it was often said at the time that “the eye does not resist the gimlet”. The weak believed this defeatist saying. But the resistance ignored it. A few have sought and struggled for the sake of Lebanon. It triumphed despite little material capabilities. And history recorded the enemy’s first ever unconditional withdrawal from an Arab country.

In 2006, the enemy waged a massive war against the homeland. The outcome was its surrender under Lebanese strikes. In 2017, the resistance and the military establishment fought a war hand in hand against the Takfiris. This war ended with the liberation of Lebanon from the terrorists. The so-called emirate was toppled thanks to the golden equation: the army, the people and the resistance.

A few days ago, “Israel” committed a new folly – a blatant and open attack on Beirut’s southern suburbs [Dahiyeh]. It did not go unnoticed. We saw the unanimous official positions as well as the popular support for the resistance and the military institutions, which seems ready to face any “Israeli” aggression against Lebanon.

While speaking to Lebanon’s Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab one gets the sense of how powerful and determined the military establishment is to defend the country. The minister seems confident more than ever about Lebanon’s ability to defend its territory from any attack.

In an exclusive with Al-Ahed News Website, Bou Saab confirms that the Lebanese army will take the initiative to confront any “Israeli” attack. In his opinion, Lebanon is stronger than before and it only gets more powerful with each passing crisis, especially with a strong president and a mindful leadership from all parties. The “Israelis” should take note of this.

Bou Saab also stresses that objections to Lebanon’s behavior are “anomalous” voices that have no value in politics and in influencing public opinion. Regarding external pressures, Bou Saab explains that the president is not concerned and neither are we. He says that their only concerns are Lebanon’s interest first and foremost. Thanks to this awareness, Lebanon continues to go from one victory to another.

Below is the transcript of the interview:

Q. Has Lebanon been subjected to pressure as a result of the positions it has formally adopted, especially with regard to the position of President Michel Aoun and the decisions taken by the Supreme Defense Council?

A. I do not want to say that Lebanon came under pressure. His Excellency the President is not concerned with these pressures and neither are we. When we make decisions at the Supreme Defense Council, we are concerned only with Lebanon’s interest first and foremost. President Aoun’s position is well known. In 2006, it was known, and today it is still known. Every attack on Lebanon is viewed by His Excellency the President through his articulated position. This was evident in his last stance following the attack on Dahiyeh. President Aoun is not concerned with any external pressures. He ignores any position from any party that contradicts his convictions. This is the approach of any President of the Republic who is keen on dignity and sovereignty. Lebanon makes its decisions in line with the positions we heard from the President of the Republic. He does not adopt positions that take into consideration how to please external parties. He does not adopt positions based on fears of exposing Lebanon to external pressures. We should know this about President Aoun. He is not concerned with any pressures. He is only concerned with the Lebanese national interest. And this is what we have seen the last time.

Q. There was talk of US pressure exerted on the Lebanese army, especially after confronting the Zionist drones. Was the army really pressured to be neutral? 

A. The decision made by the Lebanese army on Wednesday (August 28) to confront the Zionist drones in Adaisseh is not a spur of the moment decision. The order was not given on Wednesday. The army implemented the decision after seeing the drones with a naked eye. So, it fired directly at them. Earlier, I said that the Lebanese army will take the initiative to respond to any “Israeli” attack against Lebanese territory. Any attack that is clear and apparent and the army has a clear shot, the military will initiate, confront and shoot at it. Coincidentally, a few hours later, this incident took place. It turned out that drones flew at an altitude the army could see with a naked eye. So, it fired at them. This decision has not changed whether there is pressure or not. The position remains the same and will not change.

Q. If the incident reoccurs?

A. I assure you that the decision will remain the same. It will be in line with the defense of Lebanon and the Lebanese territories. We will respond to any “Israeli” aggression that the army sees clearly whether on land or in the air. In a previous incident along the border, a Lebanese army officer shot at “Israeli” drones. This means that the Lebanese army is following the same protocol and will not change courser under any pressure.

Q. Are you confident of the official Lebanese stance after seeing an honorable position from the three leaders? Or do you have fears of a split that may happen at any moment?

A. I do not think divisions can happen because the official positions in Lebanon and the political parties represented in both the parliament and the government are all united and clear. This is a blatant “Israeli” attack against Lebanon. Some Lebanese may agree with us that this is an “Israeli” attack, but they had a different position regarding the response, stating that the response should be decided by the government. They also argued that decisions regarding war and peace must be in the hands of the Lebanese state.

When this team said this in the Cabinet, the prime minister responded by stating that we do not make the decision for war and peace. “Israel” was the one that made that decision. It is the aggressor, and we will defend ourselves.

I think that these words demonstrate that there is certainly no fear of the unified positions among Lebanese officials being divided. I believe that the “Israelis” must learn a lesson from what happened. And each time they choose to attack Lebanon, they will be met with an unanimous position in the face of their threats.

Q. Do you think that Lebanon is stronger today?

A. We come out stronger than before following every crisis we go through and all the problems inside Lebanon or problems due to “Israeli” attacks. Many of the decisions made in Lebanon in the presence of the President of the Republic made us emerge from any crisis stronger than before. We have been through crises, both internal and external, and every time we came out stronger and stronger. Here, we are talking about the “Israeli” aggressions.

If you made a comparison between the present and what happened in the July war, in terms of the divisions and the political positions, I believe we have achieved a massive victory, even inside Lebanon, through political and unanimous positions. The “Israelis” should learn a lesson from this. Perhaps in the past, they were able to exert greater influence on Lebanon’s political decision-making process through international pressure. However, this is no longer an option for them, especially in the presence of a strong president and a mindful leadership of all parties. Therefore, the objections to Lebanon’s behavior are “anomalous” voices that have no value in politics and in influencing public opinion, which will be supporting the state in defending the Lebanese territory in the face of “Israeli” attacks.

Q. On the second anniversary of the liberation of the Joroud, the equation of the army, the people, and the resistance was embodied. Today we are beginning to see this trio is ever present in light of the recent Zionist aggression against Lebanon. Do you think this equation will peak?

A. In the ministerial statement we were clear: the Lebanese have the right to defend their land by all available means. They have the right to resist any aggression. Some get upset over the description of the trio: the army, the people and the resistance. But the ministerial statement translates this. The disagreement may occur in terms of talking about the resistance as an organization, whether it can make decisions on its own. I am not going to discuss this here. As a defense minister, I am not in a position to talk about this issue now. This should be discussed on the dialogue table in due course. But I emphasize that in any problem, crisis or aggression, we will not accept to burn time debating how to respond. We will all defend our homeland whether through the army, or the people. And whoever wants to resist, let him resist the way he wants. This is evident in the unity that is embodied during any assault. This issue is out of discussion. Any aggression will be faced with Lebanese consensus and defense by all means.

Q. With regard to the international and regional contacts that Lebanon has made officially, have you obtained what some call reassurances that “Israel” will not launch a large-scale war against Lebanon?

A. Diplomatic circles are saying that “Israel’s” message implies that they are not preparing for war and they do not intend to wage a war. What takes us to the other possibility is that “Israel” is preparing for elections and is trying to strengthen its internal situation by launching attacks of this kind. But these attacks are a double-edged sword that could turn against those who think about attacking. Because today we have a strong Lebanon capable of responding and creating equations. It can deter the enemy. If this was “Israel’s” intention, it does not necessarily mean it would have a positive outcome for the elections. It might turn out to be an issue with negative repercussions for them because as I said we are much stronger than before.

Q. Have you felt that the Americans are upset with what “Israel” did, or is there agreement with the “Israeli” position?

A. We found out that no one was expecting this to happen, after inquiries were made from more than one side.

Q. How do you explain what UNIFIL was quoted as saying that shots fired by the army violated Resolution 1701? Isn’t this a double standard, as we do not see this tone when “Israel” violates Lebanese airspace on a daily basis?

A. If an official position is issued by UNIFIL regarding this issue, we will respond in due course and give them the appropriate reply.

Final Words

On the anniversary of the Dawn of the Joroud Liberation, I pay tribute to the souls of all the martyrs who have fallen and without them we would not have been able to continue on this path. Without them, we would not have emerged stronger. We emerge from every battle, every war and every crisis stronger thanks to the blood of the honorable martyrs who fell while defending Lebanon, the Lebanese people as well as the homeland, its dignity and sovereignty.

Therefore, we can only salute their families, pray for mercy for the martyrs and say Lebanon will carry on from one victory to another until the logic of the state is achieved, attacks are prevented and any terrorist or enemy is deterred from thinking of violating Lebanon in the future or sees an opportunity to steal its land, oil or anything else.

US Bases in the Region: The Precious Catch

By Staff

The Saker interviews Max van der Werff about the MH-17 conspiracy

The Saker interviews Max van der Werff about the MH-17 conspiracy

August 28, 2019

Introduction: MH17 is to Novorussia, what the Markale (also see here) has been to Bosnia and Racak (also see here) has been to Kosovo: a typical false flag operation which pursued two goals: first, of course, to justify a military aggression and, second, to force everybody to chose one of two options: first, either pretend to believe the official narrative or, second, be vilified and discredited. From this perspective, the MH17 false flag has been a tremendous success, mostly due to the extremely successful lobotomy inflicted by the legacy Ziomedia on the western public opinion (I would argue that the Skripal fairy tale is even more self-evidently ridiculous than the MH17 fairy tale, and yet that was also swallowed hook line and sinker by most western “experts”). But then, we live in a post-9/11 world, in which neither facts nor logic matter much anymore, except for a rather small amount of people, including Max van der Werff who has proven to be one of the most tenacious and courageous investigative journalists. I am most grateful for his time and answers!

The Saker

——-

The Saker: First, a question about yourself: why and how did you get involved in this topic of MH17? What did were you doing before you got involved in this topic?

Max van der Werff : The very moment the news of the shoot down of the Malaysian Boeing broke on July 17th 2014, I immediately realized this tragedy would have long term geopolitical implications. What further struck me was the fact most passengers were citizens of my country, The Netherlands.

Since childhood I have an interest in geopolitics and history. The fact my father was an immigrant from Indonesia surely contributed and as a teenager I read a lot about Dutch colonial history.

After Japan surrendered and World War II ended 150,000 Dutch troops were sent to restore Pax Hollandia in the old colony and the main motive was to restore the exploitation of the ‘wingewest’ (area for profit) as soon as possible. The Dutch elite had the opinion that the Japanese rule over the Dutch Indies was merely a short interruption and that Dutch colonial rule would be reinstated for generations to come. This fatally wrong perception of reality led to the Indonesian war of independence lasting from 1945 to end 1949 causing hundreds of thousands casualties.

Prior to my MH17 investigations I spent a lot of time in archives and on the ground in Indonesia searching for evidence of Dutch war crimes. There’s a documentary about my work: https://vimeo.com/288088492

The Saker: Now, let’s immediately jump into the core question: after having researched and analyzed the topic of MH17, what personal conclusion did you come to?

What do you believe really happened that day?

Max van der Werff : Having spent thousands of hours researching the case and being interviewed by the official Joint Investigation Team more than once my answer to your core question might be disappointing for some: I don’t know what happened.

Let me elaborate. Depending on political preferences all kinds of ‘experts’ claim to know for sure what happened exactly. One camp is sure it was a false flag, executed by Ukraine. The opposing camp is sure Russia is responsible. There are many variants as to who is an accomplice. On social media you see claims Ukraine was just a proxy for the CIA or Mossad. On the other side Russia just supplied the weapon and rebels shot down the airliner.

Then there are more exotic claims flight MH17 was shot down by a drone, a modernized Georgian SU-25 or by Israeli Python-5 missile(s) fired from the air or from the ground.

I have not encountered any credible evidence supporting any of the theories. This specifically includes the official version. Too many things simply do not add up. I’ve written a lot about the questionable evidence the official investigators have presented to the public so far and was one of the producers of a documentary that already has more than 200,000 views on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkDWwYk4-Ho

The Saker: I outlined my personal guesstimate here where I wrote that in my opinion the Ukronazis used the radar of a Buk battery to guide a Su-25 withing 8 clicks of the MH-17 at which point the Su-25 fired a R-60 IR missile which hit one of the engines which caused the Boeing to go into a sharp turn and lose altitude – the Su-25 easily caught up and finished the Boeing with its 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-2 autocannon (I explain my reasons in details here: https://thesaker.is/mh-17-one-year-later/). Do you have any elements of proof which would undermine/negate my guesstimate? Specifically, do you consider it as admitted by all sides now that a Buk missile did strike MH-17?

Max van der Werff : President Putin recently said: “We have our own version, we presented it, unfortunately, no one wants to listen to us. And until there is a real dialogue, we will not find the right answer to those questions that are still open

Link: https://sputniknews.com/world/201906201075985579-russia-has-its-own-version-on-mh17-crash/

For five years I am asking: What exactly is the Russian official version of events?

To my knowlegde the Russian Federation has never claimed the Malaysian Boeing was shot down by a buk missile. You have to be very precise here. Over the years Russian media have presented all kinds of versions about what happened. One version even more exotic than the other.

As most of your readers will know Almaz Antey, the company producing the missile system, gave a press conference and conducted a life experiment detonating a buk missile https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r63cskl08o

During the press conference the Almaz Antey spokesman explained that the observed damage patterns in the hull of the Boeing could not have been caused by a buk missile fired from the location near Snizhne as claimed by the MH17 Joint Investigation Team. If a buk missile caused the damage, it must have been fired from an area southeast of the village Zaroshenskoye. Notice the little word “IF” in the sentence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsohFzbJ-vs

Concerning your assessment a Su-25 fired a R-60 IR missile. You do get some support for your theory from Zahar Omarov, chief researcher at the Central Research Institute of the Air Force of the Russian Ministry of Defense:

I can say that our results disprove the conclusion that the plane was shot down by a missile from a Buk-type anti-aircraft missile system. Most likely, it was an air-to-air missile with a mass of high-explosive fragmentation warheads not exceeding 33 kg (the mass of the warhead of the Buk missile is 70 kg).

Link https://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=2720372

Omarov repeatedly attended meetings of Russian delegations with members of the Dutch Safety Board. Here’s a very interesting segment of what he experienced during one of those meetings:

–QUOTE–

During the first meeting, in which I had to take part, and this was in February 2015, the Dutch reported that the plane, in their opinion, was shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile. Moreover, a definite modification of this missile was indicated, and, moreover, even the area from where it was launched was indicated.

I will not hide, we were very surprised. After all, before this, fragments of the aircraft with holes were examined, and there was not a single fragment with cut out sections that would indicate the conduct of any laboratory research.

I want to draw attention to such a dialogue that I had with a speaking expert.

–I asked a question: “Excuse me, did you investigate combat damage on fragments of an airplane?”

–Answer: “No. We are only planning to do this.”

–Question: “But how did you establish that the plane was shot down by Buk missile launcher?”

–Answer: “We found out from the Internet that the aircraft could have been hit either by a GSh-23 type air gun, or a R-60 type air missile, or a Buk anti-aircraft missile. One of the steel pieces found in the wreckage of the aircraft, in our opinion, is somewhat reminiscent of the shape of a “butterfly”. And we know that the warhead of one of the modifications of the Buk missile has damaging elements in the form of a “butterfly”. Therefore, of the three versions, the last was chosen.”

Logic, as they say, is iron. Something reminds me of our school exam. Dutch experts, apparently, have a good university education. However, for such work, education alone is not enough. Of course, experience is necessary, but even this is not the main thing. It is necessary to know, or, in extreme cases, at least conceptually understand the methodology for investigating such aviation events.

–UNQUOTE–

Now back to the type of air-to-air missile allegedly used. Omarov claims:

The warhead was equipped with compact striking elements in an amount of not more than 4000 pieces. The missile most likely had a matrix-type thermal imaging homing head or passive radar. I note that missiles with similar characteristics are not in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces and never have been.”

Source http://www.aviapanorama.ru/2016/02/rejs-mn-17-v-cnii-vvs-minoborony-rossii-oprovergnuty-vyvody-gollandskoj-komissii/

The Saker: Russia and Malaysia were denied the right to participate to the investigation. Can you outline what the legalities are to decide which countries do or do not get the chance to participate? Do Russia and Malaysia not have any legal instruments to invoke to challenge the absolutely ridiculous way the official inquiry was formed and, even more so, the way this commission of inquiry operated (such as using social media sites, but not official Russian data)? Russia is an IATA member, so is Malaysia. Can they not sue?

Max van der Werff : This is a question for legal experts, but I’m quite certain Malaysia would have a strong case. ICAO Annex 13 describes in detail how the composition of an air disaster investigation must be. For sure the country of the operator (in this case Malaysia Airlines) has to be part of the investigation from the very beginning, which we all know was not the case. Malaysia only was a llowed to become MH17 JIT member four months after the shoot down.

Russia could argue that Ukraine as a potential suspect of the crime is a member of the official investigation and to compensate this obvious anomaly the Russian Federation should be part of the investigative team too.

Connected to this issue Lawyer and expert international criminal law Geert-Jan Knoops argues:

In my view, the OM made a wrong choice by first setting up a trial model with the JIT team, with the Netherlands and The Hague District Court as the place of trial, then presenting the report with the suspects and then expecting Russia to cooperates. 

and

I think Russia might have been more cooperative if there had been trial in a neutral country, a non-JIT country.“

Source https://nos.nl/artikel/2289762-knoops-nederland-maakte-strategische-fout-bij-juridische-aanpak-mh17.html

The Saker: What is going on in Russia? First, they strongly hinted that some Ukie aircraft had shot MH17, then they declared that it was a Buk owned by the Ukronazis. So did they actually change their working hypothesis and ditched the Su-25 hypothesis to the (much less credible, at least in my opinion) Buk missile scenario?

Max van der Werff : Information management of the Russian Federation is of very low quality, to put it mildly. It took Russia four days to present its version of events and claimed a (most probably) Su-25 appeared on radar as it broke the 5,000 meter altitude. Russia also claimed it had deleted its radar data only to find a copy a few days before the official JIT press conference. And on those radar data a Russian expert explained there was no fighter jet visible. How credible is all this and how could it fail to explain why on one set of radar data a fighter jet is visible and on the other there is not?

Another criticism is Russia reacts when new accusations are disseminated by the official investigators, but fails to take the initiative and to communicate its own version of events in a simple, complete and credible narrative. More about this in two radio interviews with patrick Henningsen of 21st Century Wire en Chris Cook of Gorilla Radio.

https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/07/17/interview-max-van-der-werff-discusses-new-mh17-documentary-film/

http://www.gorilla-radio.com/2019/07/26/gorilla-radio-chris-cook-max-van-der-werff-july-25th-2019/

The Saker: If the quasi official hypothesis now is that a Buk was shot (by somebody, nevermind for the time being how did it)? In spite of the fact that a HUGE plume should have been seen and in spite of the fact that any such Buk launch was absolutely certain to be tracked and recorded by all sides? Does it not strike you that the Buk hypothesis is just not credible at all? To ask the question a little differently: do you think that challenging the Buk hypothesis is still a viable strategy or should I (and a few others) give up on our Su-25 hypothesis and accept the Buk theory as established beyond reasonable doubt (or even by a preponderance of evidence)?

Max van der Werff: The narrative of a buk missile fired from rebel held territory was the first narrative that circulated in western media and after five years it is unchanged and still the dominant narrative. It is now also the official version of the MH17 Joint Investigation Team.

To your question if challenging the Buk hypothesis is still a viable strategy the answer depends very much on who is questioning this hypothesis. For sure the Russian Federation knows a lot more than what it is sharing with the public.

The tragedy happened merely thirty kilometers from the Russian border. For me it is unthinkable Russia does not know exactly what happened on July 17th 2014. What facts and information does it hide after even five years and for what reasons? If a buk missile was not the murder weapon, why not explain this to the world with irrefutable evidence?

The Saker: Finally, do you believe that the full truth about MH17 will eventually come out and, if yes, roughly how and when?

Max van der Werff : For sure at some point in time the truth will come out. However, I am not sure we will be living long enough to witness this event.

The Saker: thank you so much for your time and replies!
——-
Afterword by The Saker:

During my years as an strategic intel analyst I had the chance to personally witness how the airspace over Europe is controlled in peacetime: not a single aircraft can take off without immediately being detected by numerous and redundant reconnaissance capabilities of many different actors including NATO, but also the various member states and even some neutral countries. I can only begin to image the degree, the concentration, of intelligence/reconnaissance means deployed by ALL SIDES of the conflict in the Donbass. There is absolutely NO doubt in my mind that both the Russians and the Empire have very detailed radar tracks, signal logs and God knows what else which gives them a 20/20 vision of everything which took place on that day (and before and after too, of course). This brings me to three different questions:

  1. Why are the Russians not releasing to the world the full and irrefutable evidence of what took place that day? I could understand why the Russians remained silent about 9/11, but in this case I really don’t get it!
  2. How are the various NATO states justifying that they are not simply showing the general public the full picture of what took place that day? Has nobody asked them point blank?
  3. How is it that journalists with a lot of contacts (say a Seymour Hersh or a Robert Fisk) not get at least ONE (even anonymous) source to give them the full picture? There must be HUNDREDS of people between all the US and EU intel agencies who know exactly what has taken place and most of those probably do not sympathize with the Ukronazi regime in Kiev). Why this deafening silence?

I think that MH-17 will go the way of the Kennedy assassination or the way of 9/11: everybody will know that the official version is a load of bull, everybody will have his/her version of what really might have taken place, and we will probably never know for sure.

Unless one of the hundreds of people of actually do know know the truth steps forward.

The Saker

More Eligible? ’Israel’ Places Dummies inside Military Vehicles on Lebanon Border!

By Staff

Beirut – Perhaps more qualified to accomplish the mission of guarding the border than real soldiers, the ‘Israeli’ occupation army placed dummies inside their military vehicles across the northern front on facing the Lebanese side.

The breakthrough was first spotted by al-Manar correspondent in South Lebanon, Ali Shoeib, which went viral on Twitter.

Soon after, the military correspondent of ‘Israeli’ channel 10 news, Or Heller, confessed the news, adding an extra close photo on the same incident.

 

 

The measure reaffirms reports of ‘Israeli’ fears of Hezbollah’s awaited response since the last speech of Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who vowed retaliation to the ‘Israeli’ attacks against Lebanon and Hezbollah members.

The ‘Israeli’ regime attacked a Hezbollah site in Syria, which killed two fighters, and sent two spy drones that crashed over Beirut’s southern suburb [Dahiyeh].

Sayyed Nasrallah on Sunday warned the ‘Israeli’ army to await Hezbollah response, adding that the Resistance will choose the suitable time to respond to the Zionist crimes and violations.

Since then, the ‘Israeli’ occupation army has taken strict measures in order to avoid Hezbollah operation as Zionist analysts maintained that Sayyed Nasrallah’s threats will inevitably come true, referring to His Eminence’s historical credibility in this regard.

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الاستنزاف والترقب نصف ردّ… والنصف الثاني مؤلم

 

أغسطس 30, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– يناقشون في مراكز القرار السياسي والعسكري للكيان طبيعة رد المقاومة وموعده، وهم واثقون من أن الكلام الذي قاله الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله يندرج تحت عنوان الوعد الصادق، وهو بالتالي سند مستحق السداد، ولا ينتظر توافر الإمكانية الموضعية لهدف المحدد ولا القدرات اللازمة لبلوغه، بل القرار التنفيذي المبنيّ على معطيات تتصل بالتوقيت الأمثل وطبيعة الهدف الأنسب، والتداعيات التي تضمن تصحيح قواعد الاشتباك وتضع الكيان أمام خيرات الابتعاد عن العبث برهانات الضربات المبرمجة.

– لضبط النفس والتهدئة مفهوم واحد الآن، ولا تجدي في تغييره الاتصالات الأميركية والغربية والعربية بالمسؤولين اللبنانيين، تحت شعار تفادي التصعيد بالضغط على المقاومة لتجنب الرد أو تأجيله، أو جعله رمزياً يمكن لكيان الاحتلال التغاضي عنه بعدم الرد عليه، ويمكن للمقاومة احتسابه تحقيقاً لوعد السيد نصرالله بالرد الحتمي، فقادة الكيان يعلمون أن مفهوم ضبط النفس لدى المقاومة هو واحد، أن يضغط العالم على قادة كيان الاحتلال كي يبتلعوا الرد ويعضّوا على الجرح والألم، والمقاومة التي لا تريد الحرب تريد إيصال رسالة مفادها أنها لا تخشاها، وعلى الكيان الذي يريد الحرب ولكنه يخشاها أن يترجم ذلك بامتصاص الغضب والجرح عندما يتلقى الضربة.

– في الكيان يناقشون الفرضيات والاحتمالات، فيتحدّثون عن متلازمات تحديد التوقيت ويضيعون بين رد يأتيهم قبل الانتخابات، ويقولون إن لذلك مبرراً يتصل بتدفيع رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو فاتورة تلاعبه بقواعد الاشتباك ومحاولة توظيفها انتخابياً، ثم يعودون فيقولون ربما يستغلها نتنياهو للرد بالتصعيد عله يتخطى الانتخابات ومخاطرها ويؤجلها بذريعة الأوضاع الأمنية، ثم ينتقلون لفرضية الضربة بعد الانتخابات فيقولون ربما يناسب المقاومة التعامل مع كنيست ممزق بلا حكومة على الأرجح، وإن فاز نتنياهو فالمرجح بقاء عجزه عن تشكيل حكومة، واسترهانه لمعادلات الردع وسيكون عاقلاً شديد الواقعية ويصمت، وإن فاز خصومه فسيجدونها فرصة لتحميله التبعات والانكفاء من مشهد التصعيد، لكنهم يستدركون، أن المقاومة ربما تعتبر ما بعد الانتخابات فرصة لترسيخ قواعد جديدة، وربط ما جرى قبلها بما كان قبلها وطي صفحته فيعودون إلى حيص بيص، قبل أم بعد؟

– في الكيان يناقشون الأهداف أيضاً، فيتوقعون خطفاً أو قنصاً للجنود والضباط، فيقررون التراجع عن الحدود سبعة كيلومترات، ويقولون ربما يكون القنص أو الخطف من البحر، فيتوقفون عن الدوريات على الشواطئ، ثم يقولون ربما يكون الردّ برميات صاروخية، فيبدلون مواقع عديدة ويغيّرون جغرافية معدات حساسة وشخصيات ذات قيمة علمية واستخبارية، ويتحدثون في نومهم عنها فيتخيّلون طائراتهم المسيرة التي سقطت بلا إسقاط، قد قامت بشيء مشابه يؤذي المقاومة، فينشرون في إعلامهم ما يعزي النفس كمن يحدث نفسه ويغني خلال سيره في المقابر تبديداً لوحشتها، ويصل بهم التحليل إلى فرضية استخدام المقاومة لطائرات مسيرة لرمزية الردّ وربطه بالموضوع، وبعدما يقومون بكل ذلك وهم مستنفرون تعبون مرهقون، ينفقون مالاً ووقتاً وجهوداً لتخفيف الخسائر، ينتبهون أن هذا التعب والانتظار والقلق والمال والجهد والوقت هو نصف الرد، وأن نصف الرد الباقي آتٍ لا محالة وسيكون مؤلماً وحسب.

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Aoun’s Adviser to Al-Ahed: ’Israel’ to Receive Strong Response

By Al-Ahed

Beirut – The Advisor of Political Affairs to the Lebanese President Pierre Raffoul told Al-Ahed News Website that President Michel Aoun’s decision to respond to “Israel” would be carried out despite those disapproving of it. He warned of a strong response to the latest “Israeli” aggression. The position of the president of the republic is clear in this regard.

“There are positions from those who claim to be sovereign and they do not even issue a statement of condemnation against ‘Israel’. On the contrary, they are attacking the sovereign decisions and protection of Lebanon,” Raffoul said. “We are preserving our dignity and our country. Anyone who opposes the decisions of the state that protect Lebanon and defends “Israel” in one form or another must be prosecuted. People who do not adopt a national position do not know the taste of freedom and sovereignty. Unfortunately, they only know how to be subordinate. ”

The president’s advisor for political affairs explains to Al-Ahed that “Israel has reached Dahiyeh [Beirut’s southern suburbs] and the Bekaa and attacked us, and we must preserve the sovereignty of Lebanon. There are some voices that must be tried because we are under ‘Israeli’ aggression and there are those who refuse to defend our homeland. This also happened during the July war when certain figures got involved and wanted the war to continue to eliminate the resistance.”

He stressed that today in Lebanon there is national unity. The three levels of leadership in the state want to defend Lebanon and protect its territory. He pointed out that “the position in the Council of Ministers is aligned with this direction.”

Raffoul praised the position of the Supreme Defense Council regarding the recent “Israeli” aggression against Lebanon, which he described as “a national and honorable position that can be relied on now and in the future to protect Lebanon.”

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Is Lisbon the New Jerusalem?

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 Introduction by GA:   In 2015, the governments of both Spain and Portugal passed laws to allow descendants of Sephardic Jews to apply for citizenship and a passport. Four years later, we learn that the Israeli press has proclaimed   that “millions” of Israeli Jews  are eligible for Portuguese citizenship. The following translation of an Israeli article provides a clear window into the Israeli psyche. According to the Hebrew article, 2200 Israelis apply for Portuguese citizenship every month, but not because they are enthusiastic about Portugal: its culture, its history, its language, it heritage, not because they plan to live there or, god forbid, mingle with the locals, but mainly because of the business opportunities in real estate. Apparently, all it takes for an Israeli to be eligible for Portuguese Citizenship is approval from the Portuguese Jewish community.   

The article exposes a disturbing picture of a deeply parasitic mindset. According to the Hebrew article “it is estimated that in Israel, millions are eligible for a Portuguese passport from the descendants of Spanish Jews.” It is peculiar that Israelis, who see themselves as entitled to ‘return’ to Portugal or Spain after a few centuries, can’t see that Palestinians who still hold the keys for their houses in Yaffo, Lod and Haifa, and who possess land deeds for those properties, can’t return to their land. 

On further thought, if those “millions of Israelis” are  sincere about their intention to acquire a Portuguese citizenship and return to Portugal the Israel/Palestine conflict  could be resolved in a matter of weeks. Sadly, it would quickly turn peaceful Portugal into a new Palestine. One may wonder where the new Gaza will be located for all the indigenous Portuguese refugees who might refuse to fit with the new Jewish promised land. 

 Portuguese Passport: Israeli Investors Discovered The Great Business Opportunity Of 2019

 https://real-invest.co.il/?p=23410

 

Demand for a Portuguese passport breaks records, but it isn’t just young (Israelis) seeking new experiences, but also businessmen and investors who take advantage of citizenship as leverage for business development across the entire (European) continent.

In recent years we have noticed an increase of hundreds of percent in (Israeli) demand for Portuguese passports. The passport, which provides European citizenship, opens the door to residential living on the continent, freedom of movement in the Union countries, free tuition, many job opportunities, and the right to free entry into many countries around the world, including the United States. Therefore, it is no wonder that demand is breaking records and soon tens of thousands of Israelis will hold a Portuguese passport.

The law that offers Israelis the opportunity to gain Portuguese citizenship does not have a complex bureaucracy or requirements such as knowledge of the language or residence in the country,it has  just one basic condition: recognition of the local Jewish community of the roots of the citizenship applicant as a descendant of Spanish and Portuguese expatriates.

Many Israelis understand the opportunity provided by the new law and seek to take advantage of it: In 2017, some 700 applications for citizenship were submitted monthly, by 2018, an average of 2,200 applications were submitted each month – three times as many businessmen, high-tech companies and real estate investors who understood the economic potential of European citizenship.

For business people operating in Europe and their investors, a Portuguese passport allows for the expansion of job opportunities and investment opportunities. They can also relocate to any of the EU countries, work without a work visa and enjoy tax benefits and easing conditions in banks like any European citizen.

Portugal has caught the attention of Israeli businessmen as a country that has recovered from some turbulent financial crises, and today offers plenty of investment and business opportunities – especially in the real estate industry.

For the last four years, Portugal has shown a significant economic recovery accompanied by growth, the basis for the recovery has been reforms by the government, and has led to a huge boom in the tourism industry and an increase in investor and industrial confidence. In 2018 alone, Portugal had 21 million tourists from around the world.

Housing prices have risen considerably in the country, but have not yet reached their prices and they embody opportunity. Portugal’s real estate market is a growth market,  demand is outstripping supply, and expectations are for a continued rise in prices – so investors are expected to make significant profits.

The country’s largest cities, Lisbon and Porto, are  the focus of investors’ attention – the demand is mostly for small apartments, which can also be rented out on a short term basis to the millions of tourists who visit the country every year, and investors will make nice monthly profits from the rental. And the country still has a wide range of other real estate opportunities that can generate significant increases in value in just a few years.

Investment in real estate in Portugal  is expected to yield almost twice the monthly return as investment in Israel, especially because  Portuguese passport holders also enjoy attractive terms on loans to finance the purchase from local banks, and tax benefits that are very much worth checking out before investing.

In Portugalis , the largest company in Israel that specializes in Portuguese citizenship applications, explains that there is indeed a dramatic increase in the number of investors and businessmen seeking to start the process. The eligibility check in their offices is free of charge and, if there is a citizenship entitlement, the  process to apply to the Jewish community in Portugal for official recognition of the applicant as a descendant of the Spanish and Portugal deportees can begin immediately. After recognition, the bureaucratic process continues with the Portuguese government and takes about two years – after which the applicant will receive Portuguese citizenship, which makes the applicant a citizen of one of the EU countries.

“We have five branches in Israel and another branch in Portugal,” says attorney Yossi Yitzhak, CEO of Portugalis and founder of the company. “We take care of the process from one stage to the next – all stages. The Portugal branch is committed to being in continuous contact with the Jewish community and relevant government officials, and we keep abreast of the professional changes and innovations that apply in our field and with our active accompaniment with Portugal,  all leading to perfect a success rate for those that use our company.”

Unlike other companies or lawyers in the field, Portugalis has a dedicated department at every stage, including a large branch in Lisbon that handles the  Portuguese bureaucracy and has many employees who have accumulated experience and expertise over the years in advancing the process and solving difficulties that emerge at critical junctions. “Our exclusive expertise in the company is only Portuguese passport applications – all our resources are directed at maximizing the efficiency of the process for the thousands of clients who choose to go through the process with us and this has proved itself within the field,” says Attorney Isaac.

It is estimated that in Israel, millions are eligible for a Portuguese passport from the descendants of Spanish Jews deported, concentrated mainly in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Libya and Egypt), the Balkans (Greece, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia), Turkey, and South America.

One of the reasons for the rising demand for a Portuguese passport at the present time is the understanding that this is a lenient legislation that may change if Portugal chooses to impose restrictions on the process and make the bureaucracy associated with it burdensome. “This is a rare opportunity that can expire at any time, and keep in mind that changing laws and we have already seen states that have imposed immigration policies on them. Today, in light of Portugal’s lenient policy toward Israelis, the descendants of Israelis should be eligible for such a passport and quickly obtain additional citizenship. His future descendants, “Adv. Yitzhaki concludes.

Will Bibi’s War Become America’s War?

Image result for Will Bibi’s War Become America’s War?
August 29, 2019

Patrick J. BUCHANAN

President Donald Trump, who canceled a missile strike on Iran, after the shoot-down of a U.S. Predator drone, to avoid killing Iranians, may not want a U.S. war with Iran. But the same cannot be said of Bibi Netanyahu.

Saturday, Israel launched a night attack on a village south of Damascus to abort what Israel claims was a plot by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force to fly “killer drones” into Israel, an act of war.

Sunday, two Israeli drones crashed outside the media offices of Hezbollah in Beirut. Israel then attacked a base camp of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command in north Lebanon.

Monday, Israel admitted to a strike on Iranian-backed militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq. And Israel does not deny responsibility for last month’s attacks on munitions dumps and bases of pro-Iran militias in Iraq.

Israel has also confirmed that, during Syria’s civil war, it conducted hundreds of strikes against pro-Iranian militias and ammunition depots to prevent the transfer of missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Understandably, Israel’s weekend actions have brought threats of retaliation. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has warned of vengeance for the death of his people in the Syria strike.

Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani reportedly tweeted from Tehran, “These insane operations will be the last struggles of the Zionist regime.” Lebanese President Michel Aoun called the alleged Israeli drone attack on Beirut a “declaration of war.”

Last Friday, in the 71st week of the “Great March of Return” protests on Gaza’s border, 50 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire. In 16 months, 200 have died from gunshots, with thousands wounded.

America’s reaction to Israel’s weekend attacks? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Netanyahu to assure him of U.S. support of Israel’s actions. Some Iraqi leaders are now calling for the expulsion of Americans.

Why is Netanyahu now admitting to Israel’s role in the strikes in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq? Why has he begun threatening Iran itself and even the Houthi rebels in Yemen?

Because this longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history, having surpassed David Ben-Gurion, is in the battle of his life, with elections just three weeks off. And if Netanyahu falls short — or fails to put together a coalition after winning, as he failed earlier this year — his career would be over, and he could be facing prosecution for corruption.

Netanyahu has a compelling motive for widening the war against Israel’s main enemy, its allies and its proxies and taking credit for military strikes.

But America has a stake in what Israel is doing as well.

We are not simply observers. For if Hezbollah retaliates against Israel or Iranian-backed militias in Syria retaliate against Israel — or against us for enabling Israel — a new war could erupt, and there would be a clamor for deeper American intervention.

Yet, Americans have no desire for a new war, which could cost Trump the presidency, as the war in Iraq cost the Republican Party the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.

The United States has taken pains to avoid a military clash with Iran for compelling reasons. With only 5,000 troops left in Iraq, U.S. forces are massively outmanned by an estimated 150,000 fighters of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces, which played a critical role in preventing ISIS from reaching Baghdad during the days of the caliphate.

And, for good reason, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, with its crew of 5,600, which Trump sent to deter Iran, has yet to enter the Strait of Hormuz or the Persian Gulf but remains in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman, and, at times, some 600 nautical miles away from Iran.

Why is this mighty warship keeping its distance?

We don’t want a confrontation in the Gulf, and, as ex-Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, says:

“Anytime a carrier moves close to shore, and especially into confined waters, the danger to the ship goes up significantly. … It becomes vulnerable to diesel submarines, shore-launched cruise missiles and swarming attacks by small boats armed with missiles.”

Which is a pretty good description of the coastal defenses and naval forces of Iran.

Netanyahu’s widening of Israel’s war with Iran and its proxies into Lebanon and Iraq — and perhaps beyond — and his acknowledgement of that wider war raise questions for both of us.

Israel today has on and near her borders hostile populations in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. Tens of millions of Muslims see her as an enemy to be expelled from the region.

While there is a cold peace with Egypt and Jordan, the Saudis and Gulf Arabs are temporary allies as long as the foe is Iran.

Is this pervasive enmity sustainable?

As for America, have we ceded to Netanyahu something no nation should ever cede to another, even an ally: the right to take our country into a war of their choosing but not of ours?

lewrockwell.com

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (22 August – 28 August 2019)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22– 28 August 2019)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22– 28 August 2019)

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory 

22 – 28 August 2019

 

  • Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 155 civilians injured, including 60 children, 2 women, and 7 paramedics. 
  • West Bank: 4 civilians injured. 
  • During 82 incursions into the West Bank: 79 civilians, including 9 children and a woman, arrested 
  • Notices to confiscate 1186 dunums in eastern Qalqiliyah for settlement expansion; a house and restaurant demolished in Bethlehem, and a Palestinian forced to self-demolish his house in occupied East Jerusalem. 
  • 4 shooting incidents reported against Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza shores in addition to a limited incursion into eastern Gaza Strip.                                                
  • 57 temporary checkpoints erected in the West Bank. 
  • Fuel supply into Gaza Strip reduced by half 

 

Summary 

During the reporting period, PCHR documented 159 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.

As part of the Israeli violations of the right to life and bodily integrity, Israeli forces injured 155 Palestinian civilians, including 60 children, 2 women, and 7 paramedics, were injured at the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.  Meanwhile, 4 were injured in the West Bank.

As part of the Israeli incursions and house raids, Israel carried out 79 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and raided civilian houses, attacking and enticing fear among residents in addition to shooting in many incidents. Moreover, 82 Palestinians were arrested, including 9 children and a woman.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces carried out one limited incursion into the eastern Gaza Strip.

Under the settlement expansion activities in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 8 violations, including forcing a civilian to self-demolish a house as well as notices to confiscate 1186 dunumns in favour of building 120 new settlement units and annexing them to “Karnei Shomron” settlement, east of Qalqiliyah in addition to demolishing a house and a restaurant in Bethlehem.  Further, the Israeli forces levelled an agricultural road in al-‘Ein area, west of Ramallah.  The settlers also carried out 4 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank.

During the reporting period, the Israeli naval forces continued their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen and their equipment at sea though sailing within the allowed fishing area.  This week witnessed 4 shooting and chasing incidents against the fishermen and their boats.

In terms of the Israeli closure policy, it should be highlighted that Israel continues its closure of the Gaza Strip for the 14th consecutive year, severely restricting the freedom of movement of persons and goods and isolating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation and with temporary and permanent checkpoints.  During this week, 57 temporary military checkpoints were erected.

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity 
  1. Excessive Use of Force against the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip

 

The 71th Great March of Return took off in eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, 23 August 2019, titled “Protests for al-Aqsa Mosque.” The Israeli attacks resulted in 155 injuries among civilians, including 60 children, 2 women and 7 paramedics.

 

The incidents were as follows: 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: At approximately 15:30 on Friday, 23 August 2019, hundreds of civilians marched towards the central tent of the Great March of Return in Abu Safiyah area, northeast of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. The protest, titled “Protests for al-Aqsa Mosque,” involved activities such as national songs of the Palestinian heritage, speeches by political leaders in addition to raising the Palestinian flag. At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces stationed behind sand berms and in military vehicles along the border fence, fired live and rubber bullets as well as teargas canisters at the protesters. As a result, 40 of them were injured, including 21 children, a woman and a paramedic: 27, including 16 children, were shot with live bullets and their shrapnel; 6 were hit with tear gas canisters, including 2 children; and 7, including 3 children and a woman, were hit with rubber bullets. The wounded paramedic, Na’im Bashir Mohammed Khader (32) was hit with a rubber bullet to the right arm. Those wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances of the Ministry of Health and Union of Health Work Committees to the Indonesian and al-‘Awdah Hospitals; and their wounds classified between minor and moderate. Ibrahim Farid Ibrahim Dawas (27) sustained serious injury after being hit with a live bullet that penetrated the right shoulder and settled in the chest. The clashes continued until 19:45. Many civilians, who suffered tear gas inhalation, received medical treatment on the spot
  • Gaza City: hundreds of civilians marched in eastern Malakah area, east of Gaza City. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. Dozens of protestors approached the fence at a 100 meters distance and raised the Palestinian flags, fired balloons, set tires on fire and threw stones with slingshots at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 17 were injured, including 3 children and a paramedic: 8 with live bullets, 8 with rubber bullets and 1 with a tear gas canister. The wounded paramedic, Mohammed Ismail Sa’ed Abu Qadous (32) was hit with a rubber bullet to his right foot.
  • Central Gaza Strip: at approximately 15:00, 600 participants took part in the eastern Bureij refugee camp protests, which were about 400 meters away from the border fence. Tens gathered adjacent to the border fence at a range varying between 2 – 70 meters. At approximately 17:10, some protestors fired balloons containing letters written in Hebrew in addition to Palestinian flags, others threw stones and sound bombs at Israeli soldiers with slingshots. The Israeli soldiers, reinforced with 9 military SUVs, responded with live and rubber bullets in addition to teargas canisters at the protesters, wounding 29 civilians, including 11 children, and a paramedic; one of whom were seriously injured. Among those injured, 16 were shot with live bullets, 4 were hit with shot with rubber bullets and 9 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedic, Mohammed Abdul Qader Abu ‘Abdah (23), sustained minor wounds after being hit with a rubber bullet to the hand. the civilian, who sustained serious wounds identified as: Mohsen Sa’ed Mo’awaqd al-Jarbah (23) was hit with a live bullet to the jaw.
  • Khan Younis:  thousands participated in Khuza’ah protests. Tens approached the border fence and attempted to throw stones, and fireworks and raised Palestinian flags in addition to chanting national songs; few numbers of them approached the border fence and raised the Palestinian flags there. Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protesters, wounding 45 civilians, including 20 children and 2 paramedics:10 with live bullet and their shrapnel; 25 with rubber bullets; and 10 with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics were identified as: Mustafa ‘Emad Yusuf al-Senwar (22), hit with a rubber bullet to the neck; and Sami Mousa Abu Mustafa (27) hit with a rubber bullet to the lower extremities.
  • Rafah: 2500 participated in the eastern Shokah protests, where folklore shows, and speeches were held. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones. The Israeli soldiers used live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the protestors. As a result, 24 civilians were injured, including 5 children and 2 paramedics including a female; 2 of the wounded civilians sustained serious wounds. It was documented that18 were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 2 were hit with rubber bullets and 2 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedics were identified as: Ibrahim Mazen Suleiman Abu Khatlah (19), was shot with a live bullet to the left leg, and Islam Sobhi Yusuf Abu Shawish (29) was hit with a rubber bullet to the head.

 

  1. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 22 August 2019, Palestinians from Betunia village, west of Ramallah made their way to the entrance of “Ofer” military camp established on lands in solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike in the Israeli prisons. When the protestors approached the entrance, Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. An Israeli soldier beat up and pushed Zaid Fawzi Sawaftah (25), from Tubas, and then arrested him. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 23 August 2019, Palestinians from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah launched their weekly peaceful protest and headed towards the village’s eastern entrance that has been closed by Israeli forces for the past 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement. The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of the occupation and protested the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms while the soldiers fired sponge-tipped bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 3 civilians were shot with sponge-tipped bullets: a 28-year-old in the foot; a 42-year-old in the chest; and a 50-year-old civilian in the abdomen. Israeli forces engaged in a fistfight with children brusing them. Two of the children were identified as ‘Ezz Mohammed Rajab Jom’ah (6) and Ayham Ra’ed Eshtiwi (7), who was arrested and released later. Furthermore, Israeli forces arrested Ihab ‘Awni Abdul Qader Eshtiwi (31), a person with disability, and Gassan Sami ‘Assaf (27), from Kufor Laqef village, east of Qalqiliyah. It should be noted that Israeli forces released Eshtiwi and kept ‘Assaf under arrest.

 

  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity

 

  • At approximately 06:30 on Thursday, 22 August 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia shore in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 – 3 nautical miles and chased them. This attack continued until 09:50 on the same day. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 06:50 on Monday, 26 August 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Tuesday, 27 August 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They stationed in ‘Obeid neighborhood in the village and patrolled the street. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the soldiers, who responded with rubber bullets and sound bombs. As a result, Mousa Yusuf ‘Obeid (65) was hit with a sound bomb to the back while present in front of his house. He was transferred to a medical center for treatment. The soldiers also raided and searched a number of houses; Majd Mohammed Darwish (29) and Mohammed Husein ‘Obeid (18) were arrested.
  • At approximately 16:30, Israeli gunboats stationed in western Rafah shore, northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; no arrests were reported.
  1. Incursions and Arrests

 

Thursday, 22 August 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Ma’sarah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hasan Mohammed Brijiyah (48), Head of the Popular Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, and then arrested him.

 

  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron, and stationed in al-Karmel area. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Hareni (46) and then handed summonses to his sons: Oseid (20) and Ma’alem (22), to refer to Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Zawiyah village, northwest of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to Lo’ai Abdul Karim Adam (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:10, an Israeli infantry unit raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Essa Mahdi Ja’bari (35) in southern Hebron area and then arrested him.

 

  • At the same time, large Israeli forces moved into Beit Led village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Lo’ai Rashed Mesleh (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:20, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Bilal Walid Hsais (24) and Islam Jamil Sa’ed al-Shalabi (25).

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Qaisar Ya’qoub Nafe’at (23) and Noor Mo’ayad ‘Amarnah (20).

 

  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Sangal village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Majed Fawalhah Sangalawi (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:20, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Husain al-Ghoul (18) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 09:30, Israeli forces reinforced with 5 SUVs moved about 100 meters into east of Gaza Valley (Johor al-Deek) in central Gaza Strip. The vehicles leveled lands adjacent to the border fence. Few hours later, Israeli vehicles redeployed along the border fence.

 

  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli police arrested 5 civilians, from al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Feras al-Debes, Public Relations and Information officer in the Islamic Waqf Department in Jerusalem, said in a statement published on social media that Israeli police officers arrested Bader al-Rajbi, al-Aqsa Mosque caretaker, while on duty. He added that the police arrested Madlin ‘Essa, Head of al-Aqsa Convoys’ project in al-Aqsa Association, along with 3 children and 2 of them were arrested: Shefa’a Abu Ghalia (17) and Habib Omer Abu Shushah (14) while present inside Bab al-Rahmah prayer hall. Al-Debes pointed out that the Israeli police called Ashraf Abu Ermilah, chief guard of the night shift, for investigation and then arrested him. It should be noted that Israeli forces carry out daily arrests and summonses to al-Aqsa Mosque caretakers and al-Awqaf staff as they either deny them access to al-Aqsa Mosque for various periods, bring them before Israeli courts and force them to pay financial bills on grounds of fake charges such as obstructing the police work or Israeli incursions.

 

  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched car spare shop belonging to Abdul Nasser al-Shafe’ei and then arrested ‘Azzam Omer Abu Laimoun (31) and Hasan Shehadah Mohammed al-Shafe’ei (22).

 

 

  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in Ethna, Beit Ummer, Sa’ir, al-Shuyoukh and al-Burj villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

 

Friday, 23 August 2019:

 

  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin; Nuba and Emrish villages in Hebron; Zeta village, north of Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

                                           

Saturday, 24 August 2019:

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Rebhi Abu al-Safa (22) and Mohammed Nayef Abu al-Safa (25).

 

  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ein Qenia village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Esrar Isamil Ma’rouf (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. they raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Jehad Ja’arah (19) and then arrested

 

  • Israeli forces carried out (6) incursions in Bani Na’im and al-Hadab villages in Hebron; Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus; Betunia and ‘Ein ‘Arik villages, west of Ramallah; Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. No arrests were reported.

 

Sunday, 25 August 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Haitham Mahmoud al-Shubaki (17) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed in Wadi Shaheen area in the center of the city. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mo’taz ‘Atiyah ‘Obayat (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:10, an Israeli force moved into al-Rama suburb in Hebron. They raided and searched al-Jebreni Dairy Factory and confiscated the DVR of the surveillance cameras; no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Khader Abu al-Humus (54), Member of the Follow-up Committee in the village, and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Deir Bzai’a village, west of Ramallah amidst shooting in the area. They raided and searched several houses. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men and children, gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers responded with sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of young men suffered tear gas inhalation and fainted; no casualties were reported. Before their withdrawal from the village, the Israeli forces arrested Omer (23) and Suleiman Ibrahim al-Deek (25), from Kufor Ne’mah village.

 

  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ein ‘Arik village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses. Before, their withdrawal, the soldiers confiscated a vehicle with an Israeli registration plate that was present at the village main entrance belonging to Rebhi Abu al-Safa, who was arrested on 24 August 2019.

 

  • Israeli forces carried out (6) incursions in Abu al-‘Asja and Raboud villages in Hebron; Howarah village, south of Nablus; Betunia and Ras Karkar villages, west of Ramallah and Kafer Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. No arrests were reported.

 

Monday, 26 August 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ammar Mohammed Jawabrah (16) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Qabatiyah village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hafiz Ibrahim Rasheed Zayoud (17) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:20, Israeli forces moved into Kuber village, north of Ramallah. A number of Palestinian young men and children gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces, who responded with rubber bullets and sound bombs at them. The soldiers also fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation while some of them fainted and they received medical treatment on the spot. Meanwhile, another Israeli force raided and searched several houses in the village from which they arrested (9) civilians namely: Mohammed Monir Saqer al-Barghouthi (26); Qassam Na’el al-Barghouthi (25); Marwan Adeeb al-Barghouthi (25); Mosa’ab Saher al-Barghouthi (26); Shadi Hadi al-Barghouthi (30); Na’el Jamal al-Barghouthi (22); Kana’an al-Jazmawi (21); Youssef Sarhan al-Barghouthi (25) and Dia’a Mesha’al al-Barghouthi (24).
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Hasan area in al-Nasariyeh village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ja’far Ahmed Shtaya (35) and then arrested him.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Azzam Zaghloul Hamid (22) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ain Qinyah village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Aysar (22) and his brother Tala’at Hatem Ma’rouf (19), and then arrested them. It should be noted that Israeli forces confiscated DVRs of the surveillance cameras from some commercial shops in the village.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Sowanah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Abdullah Sabri (80), Head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque Khatib, and then handed him a summons to refer to Israeli Intelligence Service in al-Maskobiya detention center. Lawyer Hamzah Qatinah, who accompanied Sheikh Sabri, stated that Sheikh Sabri was charged with advising women not to refer to the Israeli police in family problems. Sheikh Sabri gave this advice on Friday sermon (Khotbah) 2 weeks ago. Israeli forces investigated with the Head of the Jerusalem Waqf, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib al-Tamimi one day before investigating with Sheikh Sabri. It should be noted that the Islamic Awqaf Department of the Jordanian Awqaf Ministry is responsible for al-Aqsa Mosque affairs in addition to other mosques and Islamic Waqf property in Jerusalem. Lower Khaldoun Najem said that on 25 August 2019, Israeli Intelligence Services investigated with Sheikh al-Tamimi for 3 hours on charge of giving instructions to al-Aqsa Mosque caretakers to document the Israeli forces’ violations in al-Aqsa Mosque and its vicinity.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafer ‘Ain village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Haitham Youssef al-‘Ais (25) and Yahiya Mohammed al-Refa’e (27) and then arrested them.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Abu Qash village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khaled Ahmed Abdul Qader al-Qa’ad (20), a student at Birzeit University, and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:40, Israeli forces moved into Jericho. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Isma’el Nazeeh Isma’el ‘Amar (25); and Mahmoud Shehadah Mahmoud Shehada (23), and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Safa village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ribhi Hasan Karaja (19), a student at Birzeit University, and then arrested him.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Budrus village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Malik Na’eim Marar (28), and then arrested him.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Birah village, and stationed in al-Balou’a neighborhood. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians: Saqer Wahbi Hanatshah (20), Ahmed Wa’el al-Farouq (23) and Salem al-Badi (21).
  • Israeli forces carried out (8) incursions in in Beit Rima and Birzeit, and Deir Ghasana north and northwest of Ramallah; Hebron. Tarqumiya, northwest of the city; Kafer Roman, al-Nazlah al-Sharkeya and al-Nazlah al-Wosta villages in Tulkarm; ‘Azoun east of Qalqiliya. No arrests were reported.

 

Tuesday, 27 August 2019:

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Kafer Qadoum village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested (3) civilians namely: Mo’tasem Tayseer Shtaiwi (33), Nasfat Mahmoud ‘Aqel Shtaiwi (29), Yousif Mostafa Shtaiwi (26).
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Thaheriyah village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abdul Mahdi Badawi Zuhour (35) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 07:00, an Israeli special undercover unit “Mista’arvim” wearing like Palestinian civilians sneaked into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, using 2 civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plates. The vehicles stopped in al-Hawasheen neighborhood in the center of the camp and then raided a house belonging to Dawoud Mohammed ‘Abdul Rahman al-Zubeidi (38), taking to unknown destination.
  • At approximately 10:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Liqia village, southwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Najeh Anwar Mafarjah (32) and then arrested him. At approximately 15:00 on the same day, Mafarjah was released.
  • Israeli forces conducted (6) incursions in Salem and Deir al-Hatab villages, northeast of Nablus; Ra’s and Kherbet Jubara villages in Tulkarm, and Qalqiliyah; and al-Murouq and Karmah villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

 

Wednesday, 28 August 2019:

                                        

  • At approximately 00:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 6 civilians, including 3 children, namely: Mohammed Amjad ‘Elian (17), Yazan Hamzah al-Kurdi (17), Liath Fadi Abu ‘Akar (17), Mohammed Emad Radi (22), Mahdi Omer al-Badawnah (20) and Ramzi Omer Qowar (38).
  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amir Ibrahim Hanoun (20) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ourif village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amir Monir ‘Awni Sabah (23), a student at Birzeit University, and then arrested him.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Kahel village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 6 civilians namely: Mo’een Mohammed Badawi al-Zuhour (23), Mohammed ‘Aref al-‘Asafrah (30), ‘Ali ‘Aref al-‘Asafrah, Ahmed ‘Aref al-‘Asafrah, Mo’men Sa’ed al-Zuhour (27) and Ahmed ‘Essa Kan’an al-Zuhour.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Thaheriyah village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Osamah Mohammed Hannoun (29) and Amir Mahmoud Hasan Mara (32) and the arrested them.
  • At approiximately 4:00, Israeli forces moved into Badras village, west of Ramallah. The soldiers raided and searched the homes of: Usama Mohammed Hanoun (29) and Amir Mahmoud Hassan Marar (32).  Before withdrawing, both Hanoun and Marar were arrested.
  • Israeli forces conducted (8) incursions in ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah; Qarawet Bani Hassan, northwest of Salfit, ‘Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus; Betunia, ‘Ain ‘Arik and Deir Bzai’a villages in Ramallah and al-Birah; and Dura and Hebron. No arrests were reported.

 

Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem

 

  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities

 

  • On Saturday, 24 August 2019, Mohamed al-‘Abasi implemented the Israeli Municipality decision to self-demolish his house located in al-Bobariyia area in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Al-‘Abasi said that he was forced to self-demolish his house after receiving a demolition notice, otherwise the municipality would demolish it and bill him. Al-‘Abasi also clarified that his 60-sqaure-meter, 2 bedroom, house was built in 2014 and pointed out that he preferred to self-demolish his house to avoid paying the demolition costs.
  • On Sunday, 25 August 2019, Israeli forces handed Palestinian landlords construction notices of 120 new settlement housing units to be annexed to “Karni Shomron”“settlement, which is established in Qannah Valley, east of Qalqiliyia, and Sahlat Tu’imah area, northwest of Salfit. The notified lands belong to:
  1. The heirs of the late ‘Abed al-Qader Mahmoud Sahban: 96 dunums in Sahlat Tu’imah area.
  2. The heirs of the late Yousef Samhan Mahmoud: 159 dunums in Sahlat Tu’imah area.
  3. The heirs of the late Taher Mahmoud Zaghloul: 67 dunums in Sahlat Tu’imah area.
  4. The heirs of the late Yousef Mousa Zaghloul: 100 dunums in Sahlat Tu’imah area.
  5. The heirs of the late ‘Abed Mahmoud Zaghloul: 280 dunums in Sahlat Tu’imah area.
  6. The heirs of the late ‘Ali Saleem Hussain Abu Hajlah: 280 dunums in Sahlat Tu’imah area.
  7. The heirs of the late Mousa Abu Hajlah: 41 dunums in Sahlat Tu’imah area.
  8. ‘Abed al-Raheem Qaddoura ‘Ali: 96 dunums.
  9. ‘Abed Mas’oud Zaghloul: 67 dunums.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, Israeli forces levelled an agricultural road in al-‘Ain area near al-Tirah village, west of Ramallah, under the pretext of approximating the annexation wall. Eyewitnesses said that at approximately 13:00, Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into the village and levelled an 800 square meter agricultural road without a prior warning. It should be noted that the this road is vital for the village’s residents to access school and work, now forced to use a longer route.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 27 August 2019, Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance in Bethlehem, said that Israeli bulldozers demolished a 400-square-meter house and a 350-sqaure-meter restaurant belonging to Ramzi Qaysiyia in al-Makhrour area, northwest of Beit Jala in Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Barijiyah pointed out that this is the 3rd demolition targeting the restaurant for settlement expansion purposes. Qaysiyia’s daughter, Alice, said that the Israeli forces handed the family a notice to demolish the house and restaurant 2 years ago and since then, the family has been trying to cancel the demolition decision and appeal it. She added that the Israeli forces returned to the family house a week ago and notified the family of their intention to demolish the house and restaurant. The Israeli forces allowed them to vacate essential items from their house but they did not manage to vacate anything from the restaurant.

It should be noted that the total area of Makhrour area is 2000 dunums; most of which were seized by Israel to build the Bypass Road (60) and tunnel. Moreover, the Israeli authorities seek to annex the land and its environs to achieve territorial cohesion between “Har Gilo” and “Gush Etzion” settlements, which are located between Bethlehem and Hebron in the southern West Bank, as a prelude to implement the so-called “Greater Jerusalem Project.”

 

  1. Israeli Settler Violence 
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 23 August 2019, a group of Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles passing the main street between Ras Karkar and Kherbitha Bani Haritha, near “Modi’in“ settlement, west of Ramallah. No injuries among civilians or damage to their vehicles were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 24 Augsut 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Kiryat Arba“ settlement, east of Hebron, threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles passing through Bypass Road (60). No injuries among Palestinian civilians or damage to their vehicles were reported.
  • At approximately 18:00, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Modi’in “ settlement, which is established in the lands of Beit Sira and Beit ‘Ur Tahta, and Safa in western Ramallah, threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles the Bypass Road near ‘Ain Ayoub area inside Ras Karkar village, west of the city. No injuries among civilians or damage to their vehicles were reported.
  • At approximately 21:30 on Saturday, Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement on Nablus-Ramallah Street, south of Nablus, threw stones at a Palestinian vehicle belonging to Hanadi Husam Suliman Dowikat (37). Dowikat was going to her parents’ house in Bita village with her daughter Miryanah (18 months). As a result, the vehicle’s windshield window was broken.

 

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

                                  

The Gaza Strip

As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli naval forces imposed a blockade, chased fishermen, opened fire at them, and confiscated their fishing equipment. During the reporting period, 4 shooting incidents and chasing fishermen and their boats were documented.

 

  • Note: No updates occurred on the state of the crossing during the reporting, but on 26 August 2019 Israeli authorities decreased the fuel supply to the Gaza Power Plant by half. The decision made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu was in response to the firing of rockets towards Israel. As a result, the Power Plant shut down one of its generators which limited the number of hours of electric supply per housing unit.

 

  1. West Bank

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. Israeli forces established 57 temporary checkpoints.

 

The military checkpoint were as follows:

 

Hebron:

 

  • On Thursday, 22 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Taffouh village and at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 23 August 2019, 4 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Ethna and al-Dahiriyia villages, on ‘Ayoun Abu Saif Road, and at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Saturday, 24 August 2019, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron (al-Fahs), on al-Karnatinah, in Wad al-Shajinah, and at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 26 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Halhoul village.
  • On Tuesday, 27 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Ethna village and at the southern entrance to Halhoul village.
  • On Wednesday, 28 August 2019, 3 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Bani Na’iem and al-Jalajel villages; and at the southern entrance to Halhoul village.

 

Ramallah and al-Bireh:

 

  • On Friday, 23 August 2019, Israeli forces established 19 checkpoints across the governorate, after unknown persons threw an explosive device near “Dolive” settlement.
  • On Saturday, 24 August 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Taiba village, at the entrance to Dir Bazieq village, and in ‘Ain Sinah village square.
  • On Sunday, 25 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints on the road connecting between Bitouniyia and ‘Ain ‘Areek villages; and at the entrance to Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah.
  • On Monday, 26 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Sinjel village, north of Ramallah.
  • On Tuesday, 27 August 2019, 4 similar checkpoints were established at the entrances to Ras Karkar and ‘Atarah villages; in ‘Ain Sinah village square; and at the main intersection of al-Taiba village.
  • On Wednesday, 28 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh and Dir Bazieq villages.

Nablus:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 23 August 2019, Israeli forces closed Hawarah checkpoint, which is established at the southern entrance to Nablus, and prevented Palestinian civilians’ movement until mid-night due to settlers’ riots.
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces closed Beit Foreek checkpoint, which is established at the eastern entrance to the city.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Saturday, 24 August 2019, Israeli forces closed Beit Foreek checkpoint in front of civilians’ movement until the mid-night, due to settlers’ riots.
  • At approximately 07:45 on Tuesday, 27 August 2019, Israeli forces closed the Iron Gate and parked a military jeep at the southern entrance to Jama’een village, south of Nablus. They prevented Palestinian civilians from entering and exiting the village.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to ‘Asirah village.

Jenin:

 

  • At approximately 20:00 on Saturday, 24 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on Jenin-Hifa Riad, west of Jenin.

 

  • Qalqiliyia:

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 22 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.
  • At approximately 09:20 on Friday, 23 August 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the eastern entrance to the city.
  • At approximately 20:45 on Sunday, 25 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the western entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of Qalqiliyia.

 

Salfit:

 

  • On Friday, 23 August 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Salfit, at the eastern entrance to Yasouf village, and at the western entrance to Kafur al-Deek village.
  • On Saturday, 24 August 2019, 2 similar checkpoints were established at the southern entrance to Kaful Hares village, north of Salfit; and between Salfit and Askaka village, east of the city.
  • At approximately 20:45 on Sunday, 25 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Dir Ballout village, west of Salfit.
  • At approximately 23:25, a similar checkpoint was established between Kaful Hares and Hares villages, north of the city.
  • At approximately 16:15, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Hares village, north of the city.

SYRIAN ARMY SECURES AL-TAMANAH, CAPTURES THREE NEW HILLTOPS WEST OF IT (MAP, PHOTOS)

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have secured the key town of al-Tamanah in the southeastern countryside of Idlib.

In the early hours of August 30, the army was able to besiege the remaining militants inside the town after capturing the northeastern hill of Soukaiyate and the northwestern hill of Sidi Ali.

Syrian Army Secures Al-Tamanah, Captures Three New Hilltops West Of It (Map, Photos)

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Syrian Army Secures Al-Tamanah, Captures Three New Hilltops West Of It (Map, Photos)

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After securing the town, the SAA began a new push in the western direction, capturing the hilltops of Jabal Saghir, Turki and Sidi Jaffar.

Syrian Army Secures Al-Tamanah, Captures Three New Hilltops West Of It (Map, Photos)

Click to see fulls-size map

 

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the al-Qaeda-affiliated Wa Harid al-Muminin operations room and the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) attempted to hold onto their positions in al-Tamanah and its surroundings with their full strengths.

Pro-government sources are now claiming that the SAA will continue its operation and advance towards the city of Ma`arat al-Nu`man. However, this is yet to be confirmed.

Syrian Army Advances In Southeastern Idlib Amid Heavy Clashes With Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Map, Photos)

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Early on August 30, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) liberated Sakiyat and advanced on al-Tamanah in southeastern Idlib following heavy clashes with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.

The SAA began its attack by capturing the Soukaiyate hill northeast of al-Tamanah and the Sidi Ali hill northwest of the town. After besieging the town and cutting the militants’ supply routes, army units attacked militants inside the town itself.

Earlier, heavy clashes took place in al-Tamanah farms, with HTS attempting to hold onto its positions in the vicinity of the town. The terrorist group targeted a gathering of the SAA with a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED).

Syrian Army Advances In Southeastern Idlib Amid Heavy Clashes With Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Map, Photos)

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Syrian Army Advances In Southeastern Idlib Amid Heavy Clashes With Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Map, Photos)

Click to see full-size image

 

Syrian Army Advances In Southeastern Idlib Amid Heavy Clashes With Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Map, Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Advances In Southeastern Idlib Amid Heavy Clashes With Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Map, Photos)

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A day earlier, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resumed its advance in southeastern Idlib capturing the towns of Khuwayn al-Kabir and Ard al-Zurzur as well as the Aghir hilltop.

Related Videos

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RUSSIAN WARPLANES WIPE OUT MILITANTS CONVOY IN IDLIB CITY OUTSKIRT (VIDEOS)

South Front

Warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed on August 29 a militants convoy that was moving in the outskirt of Idlib’s city center.

Muraselon, a pro-government outlet, reported that the convoy, which consisted of 6 armored vehicles and battle tanks, was passing through the industrial area when it was detected by a drone of the Tiger Forces. A military source told the outlet that the information was shared with the Russian Aerospace Forces, which acted right away.

“The drone had been loitering over the skies of Idlib city on a deep reconnaissance mission when it spotted the jihadist armored column … Once the target was confirmed, on-station Russian warplanes pounced on the target,” the outlet’s report reads.

Opposition sources, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) own news network, Iba’a, confirmed that Russian warplanes conducted more than 15 airstrikes on the outskirt of Idlib’s city center. Some sources released videos showing some of the airstrikes.

A day earlier, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resumed its advance in southeastern Idlib capturing the town of Khuwayn al-Kabir as well as the Aghir hilltop.

MILITARY SITUATION IN SYRIA ON AUGUST 29, 2019 (MAP UPDATE)

Military Situation In Syria On August 29, 2019 (Map Update)

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A brief overview of the recent developments:

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سورية وإيران عجلتا في نهاية عصر الهيمنة الغربية!

أغسطس 30, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

اعتراف الرئيس الفرنسي ايمانويل ماكرون بأن العالم يشهد نهاية عصر الهيمنة الغربية جدير بالتحليل.

لأن الانهيارات التاريخية لا تحدث فجأة بل تجتاز مراحل وتطورات وتبدلات في السيطرة على المناطق الضعيفة والغنية بمواقفها وثرواتها.

هذا ما شهده العالم منذ انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي في 1989 والذي حاول الأميركيون بعده إعادة تشكيل الدول لتوطيد هيمنتهم الأحادية وسط تعاون أوروبي غربي لافت مع الإقرار بحدوث اعتراضات من بلدان أوروبية إنما ليس للتخفيف من نظام الهيمنة الغربي، بل لتوسيع المحاصصة بين دوله.

السيد ماكرون هنا كان واضحاً عندما اعترف بأن النظام الدولي يتغير كلياً بصورة غير مسبوقة وفي جميع المجالات، كاشفاً ان الهيمنة الفرنسية البريطانية واخيراً الأميركية في القرون 18 و19 و20 تدهورت على الرغم من التعاون التاريخي بين دولها، لكنها ارتكبت الكثير من الأخطاء منها إبعاد روسيا عن أوروبا والتدخل في الكثير من الازمات، بشكل غير محترف كاشفاً أن روسيا والصين والهند هم أجزاء اساسية من النظام العالمي الجديد، لما حققوه من انجازات اقتصادية وسياسية وعسكرية، معترفاً بأن روسيا موجودة في كل النزاعات العالمية وتزحف نحو أفريقيا داعياً الى علاقات واسعة تحرر أوروبا من تداعيات استمرار الصراع الأميركي الروسي على أراضيها.

ماكرون اذاً، ادرك مسبقاً التحولات التاريخية المرتقبة محاولاً رسم خريطة جديدة لتموضعات بلاده في محاولة لتأمين دور صاعد لها. وهذا ما يفعلهُ الانجليز والالمان ومعظم الأوروبيين و»إسرائيل» وتركيا وبلدان كثيرة.

بناء عليه يخوض الأوروبيون مجابهات هذا التموضع الجديد محاولين تسهيل نظام عالمي غير محتربٍ يستند الى تفاهمات بين روسيا والصين وأميركا والهند بالتعاون مع فرنسا والمانيا، اي ما يشبه القيادة الجماعية المتعاونة برؤوس ثلاثة هي أميركا والصين وروسيا مع مشاركة نسبية للهند الصاعدة بسرعة وأوروبا التي تسعى للعودة الى الازدهار على اكتاف هذا الحلف الجديد.

السؤال هنا هو عن الظروف التي عجلت بالاعتراف الأوروبي بانتهاء هيمنة غربية عمرها ثلاثة قرون استباحت فيها ثروات العالم وإمكاناته ولم تأت بطيب خاطر بل بتحولات مختلفة.

لا شك في البداية أن العودة الروسية التدريجية الى الميدان العالمي وتموضعها في معظم الأزمات من أوكرانيا وفنزويلا وسورية وإيران مع بداية تسلل الى معظم أزمات العالم أنهكت الهيمنة الغربية.

ورفدتها الصين بانتشار اقتصادي عالمي استفاد من العولمة من ناحية ورخص سلعها من ناحية ثانية لاكستاح أسواق العالم. الصين اليوم هي الثانية عالمياً لكنها تتهيأ في اقل من عقد واحد لاندفاعة تحتل فيها مكانة القطب الاول، بدورها الهند الثانية عالمياً بعديد السكان تتوثب اقتصادياً. ويكفي هنا انها اصبحت تنتج ما يستهلكه الهنود وتتحضّر لاحتلال جزء من السوق العالمية بسلع مقبولة وبأسعار أقل من اسعار السلع الصينية.

إنها اذاً حرب الاقتصاد تندلع على مساحة العالم للسيطرة على ثلاثة ارباع سكان الارض هم مجمل طبقاته الفقيرة والوسطى. وهذا ما يجعل السلع الصينية والهندية قابلة للتسويق.

من جهتهم فهم الأميركيون هذا السياق محاولين تعطيله باجتياح الشرق الاوسط منذ احتلالهم لافغانستان في 2001 وحروبهم في العراق منذ التسعينيات وحصار إيران منذ 1980 محاولين تدمير دولتها بدعم حروب شنّها عليها الرئيس العراقي السابق صدام حسين لمدة تسع سنوات متواصلة وبتمويل سعودي خليجي انتهت باحتلال أميركي متواصل للعراق منذ 2003.

يتبين ان المحاولات الأميركية الأوروبية لحماية نظام الهيمنة الغربي الكوني أدرك ان ضبط الشرق الاوسط في «السجن الغربي» تحمي سيطرتهم المطلقة، لأنه مصدر معظم ثروات الطاقة من نفط وغاز ومركز أساسي للاستهلاك فبلدانه متخلفة وغير منتجة وقرون اوسطية تستخدم الرشى الاقتصادية والدين والقمع لحجز الناس في أنظمة ملكية توتاليتارية تشكل جزءاً من نظام غربي يحميها مقابل الاقتصاد.

انها اذاً إيران التي تجابه حتى الآن محاولات الغرب لتدمير دولتها وإعادتها الى السجن الغربي، ان نجاحها في الصمود عرقل خطط انعاش الهيمنة الغربية لأنها لم تكتفِ بالدفاع عن إيران، بل أحدثت خرقاً كبيراً في نظام السيطرة الغربي على الشرق الأوسط ببناء تحالفات مع جزء من افغانستان الذي يحتله الأميركيون وقسم من باكستان والهند الى اليمن حليفها القوي، والعراق الوازن وسورية ولبنان وغزة في فلسطين.

هذا ما أدّى الى عرقلة واضحة لجهود الغرب في ترميم هيمنته، خصوصاً أن الدور الإيراني أتاح لكل من روسيا والصين فرصة التطور فيما الغرب وكل الغرب منهمك في محاربة الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران متسبباً بتقدم الهند وارتياب تركيا وذعر «إسرائيل» والسعودية من التغييرات الكبيرة في النظام العالمي الجديد.

فتحولت العرقلة اهتزازاً وبداية تصدع في المواقف بين الأميركيين والأوروبيين.

لقد اعتقد الأميركيون ان السيطرة على سورية بعد احتلالهم للعراق يحمي هيمنتهم في الشرق العربي من خلال إلغاء التأثير العراقي على الخليج. وضبط هذا البلد في السياسات الأميركية وتفتيت سورية على نحو يحمي «إسرائيل» والى الأبد فصالوا في سورية فاتحين ابواب الحدود التركية الأردنية والعراقية وحدود لبنان لمرحلة محدودة، لكل انواع الارهاب الدولي والتدخلات العسكرية الغربية بقيادة الجيش الأميركي والغارات الاسرائيلية والمخابرات الأردنية وبدعم مالي على مستوى التسليح والاستشارات والتحريض الإعلامي من السعودية والخليج.

لقد سقط ملايين الشهداء والقتلى في سورية في حروب كر وفر نجحت فيها الدولة السورية باكتساح مناطق الإرهاب حتى أصبحت تسيطر على ثلاثة أرباع البلاد.

فجاء هذا الدور السوري إجهاضاً مباشراً لمحاولات إنقاذ الهيمنة الغربية لأن تدمير سورية كان من شأنه الغاء القضية الفلسطينية والإمساك بلبنان والعراق واليمن وإضعاف إيران وفتح ابواب الشرق بكامله للسياسة الأميركية من خلال الخليج وتركيا.

هل سورية هي آخر المعارك لترميم الهيمنة الأميركية؟ إنها المعركة الأخيرة التي تؤرخ لسقوط الاستعمار الغربي. وهذا يمنح سورية والعراق ادواراً إقليمية متيحاً لإيران التموضع على مقربة من النظام العالمي وفي قلب الدور الإقليمي الأساسي.

وذلك، فالمعتقد أنه كان على ماكرون الفرنسي الاشارة بوضوح الى دوري سورية وإيران في زعزعة الجيوبوليتيك الأميركي، ويبدو أن الصين وروسيا هما اللتان تقدران هذين الدورين وذلك باستمرارهما بدعم إيران وسورية وعلى كل المستويات.

Lula tells world he’s back in the game from jail

Meanwhile, fires rage in the Amazon and Brazilian President Bolsonaro has become a target of global indignation.

By Pepe Escobar from Brazil – posted with permission

Former president Lula speaks with reporters from a prison room in Curitiba in southern Brazil. Photo: Editora Brasil 247

Brazil has always been a land of superlatives. Yet nothing beats the current, perverse configuration: a world statesman lingers in jail while a clownish thug is in power, his antics now considered a threat to the whole planet.

In a wide-ranging, two-hour, world exclusive interview out of a prison room at the Federal Police building in Curitiba, southern Brazil, former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva not only made the case to global public opinion for his innocence in the whole Car Wash corruption saga, confirmed by the bombshell leaks revealed by The Intercept, but also repositioned himself to resume his status as a global leader. Arguably sooner rather than later – depending on a fateful, upcoming decision by the Brazilian Supreme Court, for which Justice is not exactly blind.

The request for the interview was entered five months ago. Lula talked to journalists Mauro Lopes, Paulo Moreira Leite and myself, representing in all three cases the website Brasil247 and in my case Asia Times. A rough cut, with only one camera focusing on Lula, was released this past Thursday, the day of the interview. A full, edited version, with English subtitles, targeting global public opinion, should be released by the end of the week.

Asia Times writer Pepe Escobar, front left with scarf, meets Lula in prison. Photo: Editora Brazil 247

Lula is a visible embodiment of Nietzsche’s maxim: whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Fully fit (he hits the treadmill at least two hours a day), sharp, with plenty of time to read (his most recent was an essay on Alexander von Humboldt), he exhibited his trademark breadth, reach and command of multiple issues – sometimes rolled out as if part of a Garcia Marquez fantastic realism narrative.

The former president lives in a three-by-three-meter cell, with no bars, with the door open but always two Federal policemen outside, with no access to the internet or cable TV. One of his aides dutifully brings him a pen drive every day crammed with political news, and departs with myriad messages and letters.

The interview is even more astonishing when placed in the literally incendiary context of current Brazilian politics, actively flirting with a hybrid form of semi-dictatorship. While Lula talks essentials and is clearly recovering his voice, even in jail, President Jair Bolsonaro has framed himself as a target of global indignation, widely regarded as a threat to humanity that must be contained.

It’s all about the Day of Fire

Cut to the G7 in Biarritz: at best a sideshow, a talk-shop where the presumably liberal West basks in its lavish impotence to deal with serious global issues without the presence of leaders from the Global South.

And that brings us to the literally burning issue of Amazon forest fires. In our interview, Lula went straight to the point: by noting the absolute responsibility of Bolsonaro’s voter base.

The G7 did nothing but echo Lula’s words, with French President Emmanuel Macron stressing how NGOs and multiple judicial actors, for years, have been raising the question of defining an international statute for the Amazon – which Bolsonaro’s policies, single-handedly, have propelled to the top of the global agenda.

Yet the G7’s offer of an immediate $20 million aid package to help Amazon nations to fight wildfires and then launch a global initiative to protect the giant forest barely amounts to a raindrop.

[Brazil, after this article was written, rejected the proffered aid from G7 countries, with a top official telling France’s President Macron on Monday to take care of “his home and his colonies,” AFP reported. “Maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,” Onyx Lorenzoni, Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, told the G1 news website. “Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a World Heritage site. What does he intend to teach our country?” He was referring to the fire in April that devastated the Notre-Dame Cathedral. “Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron,” Lorenzoni said. -eds.]

A fire burns out of control after spreading onto a farm in Nova Santa Helena in northern Mato Grosso State, in the southern Amazon basin in Brazil, on August 23, 2019. Photo: Joao Laet / AFP

Significantly, US President Donald Trump did not even attend the G7 session that covered climate change, attacks on the biodiversity and oceans – and Amazon deforestation. No wonder Paris simply gave up issuing a joint statement at the end of the summit.

In our interview, Lula stressed his landmark role at the Conference of Parties (COP-15) climate change summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Not only that, he told the inside story of how the negotiations proceeded, and how he intervened to defend China from US accusations of being the world’s largest polluter.

At the time Lula said: “It’s not necessary to fell a single tree in the Amazon to grow soybeans or for cattle grazing. If anyone is doing it, that is a crime – and a crime against the Brazilian economy.”

COP-15 was supposed to advance the targets established by the Kyoto Protocol, which were expiring in 2010. But the summit failed after the US – and the EU – refused to raise their projections of CO2 reduction while blaming Global South actors.

In a sharp contrast with Lula, Bolsonaro’s project actually amounts to a non-creative destruction of Brazilian assets such as the Amazon for the interests he represents.

Now the Bolsonaro clan is blaming the government’s own Cabinet of Institutional Security (GSI, in Portuguese) – the equivalent of the National Security Council – led by General Augusto Heleno, for failing to evaluate the scope and gravity of the current Amazon forest fires.

Heleno, incidentally, is on record defending a life sentence for Lula.

A Brazilian protests in Curitiba on August 23, 2019, against the spate of forest fires in the Amazon, with images of the people he blames: US President Trump and Brazilian President Bolsonaro. Photo: Henry Milleo / dpa

Still, that does not tell the whole story – even as Bolsonaro himself also kept blaming “NGOs” for the fires.

The real story confirms what Lula said in the interview. On August 10, a group of 70 wealthy farmers, all Bolsonaro voters, organized on WhatsApp a “Day of Fire” in the Altamira region in the vast state of Pará.

This happens to be the region with the highest number of wildfires in Brazil – infested with aggressive rural developers who are devoted to massive, hardcore deforestation; they’re invested in land occupation and a no-quarter war against landless peasants and small agricultural producers. “Day of Fire” was supposed to support Bolsonaro’s drive to finish off with official monitoring and erase fines over one of the “Bs” of the BBB lobby that elected him (Beef, Bullet, Bible).

Lula was evidently well informed: “You just need to look at the satellite photos, know who’s the landowner and go after him to know who’s burning. If the landowner did not complain, did not go to the police to tell them his land was burning, that’s because he’s responsible.”

On the road with the Pope

A vicious, post-truth, hybrid-war strategy may be at play in Brazil. Two days after the Lula interview, a fateful paella took place in Brasilia at the vice-presidential palace, with Bolsonaro meeting all the top generals including Vice President Hamilton Mourao. Independent analysts are seriously considering a working hypothesis of the sell-out of Brazil using global concern about the Amazon, the whole process veiled by fake nationalist rhetoric.

That would fit the recent pattern of selling the national aviation champion Embraer, privatizing large blocks of pre-salt reserves and leasing the Alcantara satellite-launching base to the United States. Brazilian sovereignty over the Amazon is definitely hanging in the balance.

Considering the wealth of information in Lula’s interview, not to mention his storytelling of how the corridors of power really work, Asia Times will publish further specific stories featuring Pope Francis, the BRICS, Bush and Obama, Iran, the UN and global governance. This was Lula’s first interview in jail where he has felt relaxed enough to relish telling stories about international relations.

What was clear is that Lula is Brazil’s only possible factor of stability. He’s ready, has an agenda not only for the nation but the world. He said that as soon as he leaves, he’ll hit the streets – and cash in frequent flyer miles: he wants to embark alongside Pope Francis on a global campaign against hunger, neoliberal destruction and the rise of neo-fascism.

Now compare a true statesman in jail with an incendiary thug roaming his own labyrinth.

Donald Trump has no measure

Donald Trump has no measure

August 27, 2019

by Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

Some weeks ago, I was convinced that Trump would be quietly re-elected in 2020. His position was very confortable. His political program “Make America great again” has made its way. He has finally taken the reins in his government. And in the relations of the USA with the other countries, he has established the style “as long as you dance to my tune and give me enough money, you can do and think what you want”. Hence, he has created a quite clear, new image of the USA, which is easily to sell in an election campaign. (Be aware, please, that all this is a description, not a judgement of quality.)

On the other side, the political leaders of the opposition are weak. They keep their program of a “moral” imperialism. The world should not only accept the USA as the unique leader, but also think like the USA. Consequently, they more strongly back open interference in other countries; China/Hong Kong is a typical example. Their message to the population in the USA seems to be restricted to “give us the power, we then know what to do”.

So, the stage for the elections in 2020 seemed to be set. Regarding from outside, Trump had just to continue as before and calmly attend the elections. However, apparently, he has not this capacity. I understand now that he never will be satisfied with his achievements. This is an unhealthy attitude.

Trump has no measure. May-be, many knew this since quite some time, but for me, it became evident in the last weeks. Here are some examples. On 22 July, Trump declared that, in order to win the war in Afghanistan, he could kill 10 millions Afghans (but he does not intend to do so). Later, he repeated his claim, “specifying” that this can be done without nuclear arms. On 27 July began some tweets on Baltimore, describing this city as a rat hole in which, as Trump wrote, “no human being would want to live”. On 31 July, sanctions against the Iranian foreign minister Zarif were announced by the US-government; one immediately asked for the logic of this action, given the fact that Trump repeatedly demanded negotiations with Iran. Later on, it was revealed that Zarif was probably “punished” since he – in accordance with Tehran – did not accept to meet Trump in the White House. (By the way, the expression “maximal” pressure against Iran also illustrates the lack of measure.) On 15 August, Trump’s wish to buy Greenland from Denmark became public; he even cancelled a state visit to Denmark – scheduled for September – with the justification that Denmark was not ready to consider selling Greenland. Of course, Greenland has a big strategic value in the Arctic so Trump’s idea is not silly, abstractly speaking. But it was completely silly to think that a country in Western Europe, even a small one, would consider selling some part of its territory; politically speaking, the latter is just unthinkable. Finally, and this happened on 23 August, Trump tweeted that “American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China”. The crucial word here is of course the word “ordered”. In a subsequent tweet, Trump insisted that he, as the president, has the right to order such kind of things.

Each of these acts, looked at separately, may follow a logical plan. But on the whole, Trump’s behaviour is excessive and looks far too extreme; the result is certainly counterproductive (judged from his point of view).

Having no measure is a grave weakness for a leader. He or she lacks sovereignty and makes a driven impression. In the Christian tradition, having no measure is considered as a severe sin, very near to the so-called deadly sins.

One should distinguish the lack of measure on the one hand and being unconventional on the other hand. During the campaign for the election in 2016, Trump made an unconventional impression and frequently attacked the political establishment. This made him quite popular. After his election, he continued in this manner from time to time. However, no one of the examples mentioned above is of this type. Also, Trump regularly used the tactics to bluff first and withdraw later. Again, no one of the examples mentioned above is of this category. Nor can they be interpreted as a manifestation of a sound self-confidence.

It is of course useful for the world to figure out the weaknesses of the US president. This supports the fight against his aggressive politics. It will be the same for the successor of Trump; it will be better to quickly grasp his or her weak points.

I now feel that the outcome of the 2020 elections in the USA is far from clear. Trump has this capital defect of having no measure. Moreover, actually, the international situation is changing fast. Major events are expected to occur in the next months. Quite probably, they will have a substantial influence on these elections.

PS: I do not at all intend to say that Trump is (mentally) sick. In politics, labeling a person as sick is just a simple – indeed rather primitive – method in order to disqualify this person. It does not help to understand whatsoever.

* * *

I, Paul, am a retired, trained mathematician from Switzerland. Since nearly 50 years, I am an active anticolonialist. More recently, I came to the conclusion that Western societies have lost the capacity to positively contribute to the development in the world. Generally speaking, I support China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and similar forces. My values are autonomy, humility, perseverance, and positivity.

Jeffrey Zwi Epstein Migdal

zwi migdal.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

The story of Jeffrey Epstein has lost its mystery as more and more commentators allow themselves to express the thought that it is a strong possibility that Epstein was connected to a crime syndicate affiliated with a Zionist political organisation or Israel and/or at least a few compromised intelligence agencies. Whitney Web and others have produced superb studies of possible scenarios, I would instead like to attack the topic from a cultural perspective. Epstein wasn’t the first Jewish sex trafficker. This seems like a good time to look back at Zwi Migdal, a Jewish global crime syndicate that operated a century ago and trafficked tens of thousands of Jewish women and under age girls as sex slaves. According to contemporary Jewish writer Giulia Morpurgo the Zwi Migdal had turned Argentina, “into a nightmare of prostitution and exploitation.”

During the first three decades of the 20th century Argentina was a rich country. It outgrew Canada and Australia in population, total income, and per capita income. Just before the first world war Argentina was the world’s 10th wealthiest state per capita. When Argentina was a rich country, large parts of its economy, culture and politics were controlled by crime syndicates and particularly a Jewish organised crime apparatus named ‘Zwi Migdal.’

In 2009 The International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCACA) published a comprehensive article about the Zwi Migdal titled Understanding the Zwi Migdal Society which I am about to quote from extensively.

The Zwi Migdal, was an association of Jewish mobsters who were involved in the “sexual exploitation of Jewish women and children, which operated globally.” Apparently the Zwi Migdal originally picked a pretty innocent sounding name: “Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society.” It does indeed sound almost as innocent, humane and charitable as ‘Anti Defamation League,’ ‘Jews against Breast Cancer,’ or even ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’  but the Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society wasn’t innocent at all. It forced thousands of women and girls to become sex slaves and destroyed their lives.

On May 7, 1906, the Jewish syndicate had to change its title after the Polish ambassador to Argentina filed an official complaint to the Argentine authorities regarding the use of the name ‘Warsaw.’ Clearly, the Polish government did not want to be associated with a Jewish crime syndicate. In that line, it would be appropriate to ask how long is it going to take before the American government  and its politicians insist that AIPAC drop its first ‘A’ or before The Neocon Project of the New American Century are ordered to drop American from their title.

“Zwi Migdal means ‘strong power’ in Yiddish and it also honoured Zvi Migdal, known as Luis Migdal, one of the founders of the crime organization.”

The Zwi Migdal organization operated from the 1860s to 1939. In its heyday, after the First World War, it had four hundred members in Argentina alone. Its annual turnover was fifty million dollars in the early 1900s.

Unlike Epstein and Maxwell who allegedly recruited non-Jewish underage women, the Zwi Migdal specialised in trafficking Jewish women. “Most of the Jewish women and children who were kidnapped were taken from impoverished shtetls (Jewish small towns) and brought to Buenos Aires.”

The recently released documents related to the Jeffrey Epstein affair suggest that Epstein and Maxwell were to be charged with child sex trafficking, and as the alleged procurer of underage girls. It seems none of that is really novel in the Jewish world: “The Zwi Migdal Society lured decent girls and young women from Europe in many inventive and deceitful ways.  A very well-mannered and elegant-looking man would appear in a poor Jewish village in places such as Poland or Russia.  He would advertise his search for young women to work in the homes of wealthy Jews in Argentina by posting an ad in the local synagogue.  Fearful of pogroms and often in desperate economic circumstances, the trusting parents would send their naïve daughters away with these men, hoping to give them a fresh start.”

The last line recalls Virginia Giuffre’s account of her encounter with the elegant British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell  who allegedly lured her victims to ‘escape’ their misery.

The JCACA continues “The girls, aged mostly 13 to 16, packed a small bag, bade their families farewell and boarded ships to Argentina, believing that they were on their way toward a better future. However, they soon learned the bitter truth. Their period of training as sex slaves, which began on the ship, was cruel and brutal. The young virgins were “broken in” ~ raped, beaten, starved and locked in cages.”

The Zwi Migdal Organization reached its peak in the 1920s when some 430 rufianos, or pimps, controlled 2,000 brothels trafficking around 30.000 Jewish women and girls in Argentina alone. “The largest brothels of Buenos Aires housed 60 to 80 female sex slaves. There were brothels all over Argentina, but most of them were in the big city, in the Jewish quarter, on Junin Street.”

Apparently “Prostitutes who failed to satisfy their clients were beaten, fined, or taken to work in provincial houses. Every business transaction was logged. The rufianos ‘held a meat market’ where newly arrived girls were paraded naked in front of traders in places such as Hotel Palestina or Cafe Parisienne.”

One may wonder how all of that fit with Judaic tradition and Talmudic law. “In one brothel,” the ACACA reports,  “the Madam, an observant Jewish woman, would not let her women work on Fridays but instructed them herself in the art of lovemaking.”

Many commentators on the Epstein affair are amazed by the incapacity of America’s law enforcement, legal system and federal agencies to bring justice to Epstein’s victims and its failure to lock him away. Once again, that is not new.   The JCACA writes of the Zwi Migdal criminality: “These activities went on undisturbed because they were frequented by government officials, judges, and reporters. City officials, politicians, and police officers were paid off. The pimps had powerful connections everywhere.”

The Jewish community didn’t rush to save their abused daughters. “The prostitutes, who were mostly illiterate, destitute and despised by the mainstream Jewish community, banded together to form their own mutual-aid societies.” However, rarely, some Jewish ethnic activists stood for the abused women and girls. “One night Nahum Sorkin, a well-known Zionist activist, stood outside the theatre and physically stopped the rufianos (Jewish pimps) from entering. Next, they were banned from the synagogues, and to top it all, they were refused burial in the Jewish cemetery.”


From Rachel  (Raquel) Lieberman to Virginia Roberts Giuffre 

 We learn that the rufianos’ audacity eventually led to their demise. “It happened when they refused to forgo their income from the work of one woman, Rachel Lieberman from Lódž, Poland. She, like so many others, was tempted to travel to Buenos Aires answering a matrimonial ad, but was taken to Jonin Street where she was forced to prostitute.”

“After five years she had enough money to go into the antique furniture business to support herself and her sons but the rufianos made it impossible for her. They did not want her to set an example for their other slaves. But this woman had not been broken.”

As was the case for Virginia Giuffre, it needed brave Rachel to come forward.

 https://vimeo.com/124652938

In desperation, Rachel Lieberman “contacted Superintendent Julio Elsogray. She had heard his name mentioned on the street as one who would not take Zwi Migdal’s money and was actually looking for ways to destroy the organization. She slipped into his office one day and gave a detailed account of the connections among the various pimps in the organization management.

 Her testimony led to an extensive investigation. The findings reached Dr. Rodriguez Ocampo, a judge who would not take Zwi Migdal bribes either.

The lengthy trial ended in September 1930, with 108 detainees. “The very existence of the Zwi Migdal Organization directly threatens our society,” the judge wrote in his verdict, handing down long prison terms.”

As with Epstein and his mobsters friends, things changed quickly and not in favour of justice let alone guided by ethical principles. The Zwi Migdal mobsters were at least as well connected as Epstein to politicians, judges and prosecutors. “While in prison, the pimps pulled some old strings, appealed their sentences in January 1931, and senior Justice Ministry officials left only three of the convicts in jail, discharging the rest.”

As was the case with The Miami Herald’s Julie Brown and many of us in the alternative media who didn’t allow the rottenEpstein  and his pedophile ring’s crimes to be shoved under the carpet, the 1930s Argentinian media didn’t agree to turn a blind eye to the Jewish syndicate’s impunity.

When the media reported the release of the Zwi Migdal’s mobsters from jail, “the public was very upset and pressured the authorities to reverse the discharge decision. Thereafter, hundreds of pimps were deported to Uruguay. “Over the years, they slowly returned one by one, but the era of the huge brothels ended.”

The JCACA sums up the Zwi Migdal saga by stating that the Jewish crime syndicate was “an organization that traded in women while its members wore tefillin (a Jewish religious garment)  and built themselves a synagogue.” I guess the same can be said about Epstein’s ring. They may not be religious, they may not wear Tefillin but they are self identified Jewish Zionists who donate to Israel and vocally support Israel’s criminal  politics.

The JCACA proclaims that the Zwi Migdal’s “history is an embarrassment to all decent Jews. It involved loads of money, corrupt politicians, violent sex, international women trade, hard brutality, rape, and cheating, all lightly spiced with yiddishkeit and God-fearing traditions. Among those traditions, according to Jewish beliefs as expressed in the Torah, is that it is perfectly fine to keep slaves so long as they are not Jewish. Yet these Zwi Migdal also enslaved Jewish girls and a great many who ran the bordellos were Jewish women.” 

I find myself admitting that except for Benjamin Netanyahu who denounced Ehud Barak for his ties with Epstein for political opportunist reasons, I have yet to see a single Jewish organisation express any embarrassment in regard to Epstein and his sex trafficking operation. On the contrary, Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, announced that he is actually a victim of the #metoo movement. He  also occasionally insists that Jews should never apologise for using their strength. Maxwell has kept quiet. Wexner has yet to apologise. Like Dershowitz, he adopted the victim path announcing that Epstein ‘misappropriated’ a few shekels from his family and he regret being associated with the sex trafficker. JVP that cares so much for Palestinians must be slightly less bothered by Guiffre’s plight.  I am left wondering, is it the fact that Zwi Migdal abused Jewish women and girls that provoked Jewish discomfiture? I guess that, at least for the time being, it seems as if Jews do not posses the cultural or psychological means to look refectively into Epstein and his ring. The only question left open is whether the FBI has the cojones to do its job.


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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مَن هم أعداء الوطن؟

أغسطس 29, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– عندما يقول رئيس الجمهورية إن العدوان الإسرائيلي إعلان حرب، فهذا يعني أننا في حالة حرب. وعندما يقول رئيس الحكومة على طاولة مجلس الوزراء إننا في مواجهة عدوان وليس الأوان لسجالات مؤذية، فهذا يعني أن الوضع على درجة عالية من الوضوح وعلى درجة عالية من الخطورة، كي يلتقي رئيسا الجمهورية والحكومة بما يمثلان دستورياً وما يرمزان إليه من اختلاف في اللون السياسي، على تشخيص واحد دقيق هو درجة الخطورة ووضوح العدوان وإعلان الحرب. ولمثل هذه الحالات تمّ سن القوانين التي تتحدث عن تهوين الروح الوطنية وتوهينها، ببث الشائعات أو إطلاق المواقف المشككة التي تزعزع التماسك الداخلي وتفتح نقاشات وسجالات تعرف أن العدو يحتاجها للتعامل مع جبهة داخلية مفككة.

– لا يجوز الخضوع في مواجهة الذين يبيعون الوطن لأعدائه بداعي العمالة أو الأحقاد أو النفوس الصغيرة المناكفة، لابتزاز عنوانه التخوين، على قاعدة أنه لا يجوز تخوين أحد ويجب أخذ كل ما يُقال بصفته وجهة نظر وحق مشروع في التعبير عن الرأي، لأن الخضوع للابتزاز هنا يتم على حساب الوطن باسم الديمقراطية. ونحن لا ندعو إلى إجراء قانوني بحق هؤلاء، بل على الأقل إلى عدم منحهم شرف كونهم أصحاب رأي. فهم الطابور الخامس الذي تتحدّث عنه أدبيات الحروب، وهم حالة الإشغال الداخلي التي تتولى العمل خلف خطوطنا لحساب العدو. أدركوا ذلك بسبب عمالة بعضهم أم لم يدركوا بعدما أعماهم الحقد والكيد. فالواجب الوطني يقتضي فضح دورهم ورفض تسميته وجهة نظر وحق بإبداء الرأي.

– نحن لا نعلن حرباً كي يسألوا عن الممسك بقرار الحرب، بل نحن نمارس حق الدفاع بوجه عدوان، وأقلّ الخسائر في المواجهة التي أرادها العدو، هي أن لا يتولى الجيش الردّ، وهم لا يطالبون بأن يفعل الجيش ذلك بل يطلبون أن نمسح العدوان بجلدنا ونصمت بداعي العجز والخوف. والبديهي رفض مطلبهم بداعي الوطنية، كما البديهي طالما أن المقاومة كركن من أركان قوة لبنان هي المستهدفة فأقل الواجب الوطني أن يصطف اللبنانيون وراءها بتفويض وطني شامل يربك العدو، لتتولى الردّ الذي يعيد الأمور إلى نصابها ويمنع تغيير قواعد الاشتباك الذي يريده العدو، كما قال رئيس الحكومة.

– المشوّشون والمشككون اليوم، والمتبرّعون بالنق وقسمة الصفوف وزرع الوهن في النفوس، وتوهين الشعور الوطني والقومي، هم طابور خامس يجب عزله. والإشارة بالإصبع إليه، والقول له بواضح الكلام صفته الخبيثة بين عينيه، فذلك واجب وطني، وأن يعرف الناس اليوم وغداً وقبل الرد وبعده وما قد يترتب عليه، وما يستعدّ المتربّصون من هؤلاء للمتاجرة بالبكاء على الخسائر واستغلالها، لمواصلة المهمة المشبوهة. هؤلاء يجب أن يصنفوا اليوم كأعداء للوطن يراقب الناس كلماتهم وتصرفاتهم ويحسبونها ليحاسبوهم عليها، بعد النصر، ومنعهم من تصدّر الصفوف بين المهنئين مرة أخرى كما فعلوا عام 2000 بعد التحرير. وقد كانوا يشتمون المقاومة صبحاً ومساء ويشككون بوطنية شهدائها وتضحيات دمائها.. وفجأة قفزوا إلى مقدمة صفوف المهنئين يحاضرون في العفة.

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