Yemeni Army, Allies Target, Kill Saudi-led Forces in Marib

Yemeni Army, Allies Target, Kill Saudi-led Forces in Marib

By Staff, Agencies

Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees launched a missile strike against a position of Saudi-led militants in Yemen’s strategic central province of Marib, killing and wounding scores of them.

Yemeni military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Lebanon-based and Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network that the missile struck with precision a gathering of Saudi-led military commanders and officers in the so-called Third Military Region of Marib on Thursday.

The sources added that a number of senior Saudi-led mercenaries were killed and wounded as a result.

Earlier in the day, an unnamed source said the Yemeni military forces and Popular Committees fighters had repelled an attack by Saudi-backed militants loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur against al-Zour area in the Sirwah district.

The source noted that a number of military vehicles belonging to Hadi loyalists and Saudi-led militants were destroyed, adding that several pro-Hadi militants and Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured as well.

The source said the Yemeni armed forces and their allies have purged the desert area of al-Jadafir, which lies between Marib and the northeastern Yemeni province of al-Jawf, of pro-Hadi and Saudi-led coalition forces following fierce clashes.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the attempt to bring Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the Ansarullah revolutionary movement.

According to the United Nations, 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people need some form of aid or protection. About 13.5 million Yemenis currently face acute food insecurity, UN data shows.

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Israeli Enemy Fortifies Dimona Nuclear Facility for Fear of Hezbollah, Iran Precision-guided Missiles: Zionist Media

February 26, 2021

manar-02168940016143350723

Zionist media outlets revealed on Friday that the new construction project at Dimona nuclear facility in Negev desert aims at fortifying it from the precision-guided missiles of Hezbollah and Iran, clarifying that the project includes moving the plants to underground floor to protect them from the rocketry fire.

A secretive Israeli nuclear facility at the center of the Zionist entity’s undeclared atomic weapons program is undergoing what appears to be its biggest construction project in decades, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show.

A dig about the size of a soccer field and likely several stories deep now sits just meters (yards) from the aging reactor at the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona. The facility is already home to decades-old underground laboratories that reprocess the reactor’s spent rods to obtain weapons-grade plutonium for Israel’s nuclear bomb program.

Source: Al-Manar Eglish Website

Secretive Israeli Nuclear Facility Undergoes Major Project: AP

February 25, 2021

A secretive Israeli nuclear facility at the center of the Zionist entity’s undeclared atomic weapons program is undergoing what appears to be its biggest construction project in decades, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show.

A dig about the size of a soccer field and likely several stories deep now sits just meters (yards) from the aging reactor at the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona. The facility is already home to decades-old underground laboratories that reprocess the reactor’s spent rods to obtain weapons-grade plutonium for Israel’s nuclear bomb program.

What the construction is for, however, remains unclear. The Israeli government did not respond to detailed questions from the AP about the work. Under its policy of nuclear ambiguity, ‘Israel’ neither confirms nor denies having atomic weapons. It is among countries that have never joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a landmark international accord meant to stop the spread of nuclear arms.

The construction comes as ‘Israel’ — under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — maintains its scathing criticism of Iran’s nuclear program, which remains under the watch of United Nations inspectors unlike its own. That has renewed calls among experts for ‘Israel’ to publicly declare details of its program.

What “the Israeli government is doing at this secret nuclear weapons plant is something for the Israeli government to come clean about,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association.

For decades, the Dimona facility’s layout has remained the same. However, last week, the International Panel on Fissile Materials at Princeton University noted it had seen “significant new construction” at the site via commercially available satellite photos, though few details could be made out.

Satellite images captured Monday by Planet Labs Inc. after a request from the AP provide the clearest view yet of the activity. Just southwest of the reactor, workers have dug a hole some 150 meters (165 yards) long and 60 meters (65 yards) wide. Tailings from the dig can be seen next to the site. A trench some 330 meters (360 yards) runs near the dig.

Some 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) west of the reactor, boxes are stacked in two rectangular holes that appear to have concrete bases. Tailings from the dig can be seen nearby. Similar concrete pads are often used to entomb nuclear waste.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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‘Don’t give murderers a free pass’: Outrage as Biden refuses to sanction MBS

Activists and lawmakers say Saudi crown prince must face consequences after US intelligence report confirmed he was responsible for Khashoggi murder

US intelligence assessment revealed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman authorised the assassination (AFP/File photo)

By Ali HarbUmar A Farooq in Washington

Published date: 27 February 2021 00:06 UTC |

The virtual ink on a US intelligence report blaming Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi had not dried when the Biden administration ruled out imposing sanctions on the crown prince – a move that rights groups say would be fundamental for ensuring justice for the slain journalist.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Friday that Washington will not take action against the crown prince himself. 

The US State and Treasury departments had announced sanctions against dozens of Saudi individuals over their involvement in the Khashoggi murder and other rights violations without identifying them.

“What we’ve done by the actions that we’ve taken is really not to rupture the relationship but to recalibrate it to be more in line with our interests and our values,” Blinken told reporters.

Earlier on Friday, the State Department unveiled new visa restrictions dubbed the “Khashoggi Ban” that would allow Washington to target “individuals who, acting on behalf of a foreign government, are believed to have been directly engaged in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities”.

For its part, the Treasury said it imposed sanctions on several Saudi officials, including Ahmed al-Asiri, former deputy head of military intelligence at the time of Khashoggi’s assassination, and members of the hit team that carried out the murder, known as the “Tiger Squad” or Rapid Intervention Force.

However, without sanctions against MBS, who the US government now publicly acknowledges was responsible for the killing, some advocates and lawmakers are saying the mastermind of the assassination is getting away with murder.

‘Unconscionable’

Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, called failure to impose sanctions on MBS over the killing “unconscionable”.

“The fact that the US has sanctioned so many of MBS’s associates but not him sends a terrible message that the higher up in a government you are, the more likely it is you can commit crimes with impunity,” Prasow told MEE. 

“It also undermines US credibility. It’s hard to see what incentive MBS has to alter his conduct, whether inside Saudi Arabia, in his conduct in the war in Yemen, or in other extraterritorial attacks on dissidents, when he knows he can literally get away with murder.”

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government insider and journalist who wrote for the Washington Post and Middle East Eye, resided in the United States before his death.Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved Khashoggi murder, US report says

Saudi government agents murdered him and dismembered his body at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, while he was trying to retrieve personal paperwork, in October 2018. 

After initially insisting that Khashoggi left the building alive, Saudi officials acknowledged that the journalist was killed more than two weeks after the murder. But Riyadh insists that the assassination was a rogue operation that happened without the approval of top officials.

The murder sent shockwaves throughout Washington, amplifying criticism against the kingdom in Congress, but former President Donald Trump moved to shield Riyadh and particularly the crown prince from the fallout.

The Trump administration had refused a legally binding congressional request to release a report on the US intelligence community’s findings about the involvement of Saudi officials in the murder.

The administration of President Biden, who had called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” as a presidential candidate in 2019, made the report public on Friday, documenting what experts had been saying for years – that the murder, which involved the crown prince’s aides, could not have happened without his blessing.

Saudi Arabia was quick to reject the findings, calling the US assessment “negative, false and unacceptable”.

‘Free pass’

While rights groups hailed the release of the report as a step towards ensuring accountability for the murder, the administration’s failure to impose sanctions on the lead perpetrator left many disappointed.

“The Biden administration is trying to thread the needle. They want to continue to work with a partner that has committed a heinous act against a US resident, while taking some steps toward accountability,” Seth Binder, advocacy officer at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), told MEE.

“But if human rights is really going to be at the center of US foreign policy, as the administration has repeatedly stated, then it can’t give murderers a free pass.”

Before taking office, Biden vowed to “reassess” US-Saudi relations. Since his inauguration, he has paused some arms sales to Riyadh and announced an end to Washington’s support for the kingdom’s “offensive operations” in Yemen.

Still, many rights advocates and lawmakers are demanding a more forceful approach to Riyadh and MBS from Washington.

‘We’re calling on the Biden administration to move ahead with accountability measures to sanction MBS personally’

– Raed Jarrar, DAWN

“We’re calling on the Biden administration to move ahead with accountability measures to sanction MBS personally, along with everyone else who is implicated in that killing,” said Raed Jarrar, advocacy director at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).

Established last year in Washington, DAWN, a rights group, was envisioned by Khashoggi before his murder.

Speaking at a news conference after the release of the report, Jarrar urged ending US weapons sales to the kingdom. “Transparency is meaningless without accountability,” he said.

Philippe Nassif, advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA, said many rights advocates are “disappointed” in Washington’s decision against sanctioning MBS. 

He added that Congress and the Biden administration should halt offensive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, not only over the murder of Khashoggi, but also for the mistreatment of dissidents at home and war crimes in Yemen.

“And this goes for France. And this

Congress members call for sanctions

Leading Congress members from Biden’s own Democratic Party said on Friday that the president should impose sanctions on MBS.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced on Friday that she will be introducing a bill to penalise the crown prince. She called the release of the report a “turning point” in US-Saudi relations.

“To this day, we continue to supply Saudi Arabia with US arms that are used to commit human rights abuses around the world,” the congresswoman said in a statement. 

“To this day, we still cooperate with the Saudi regime on defensive war efforts – including intelligence sharing. These must end. And there must be direct consequences for Mohamed bin Salman and his functionaries.”Will the CIA report cost Mohammed bin Salman his throne?

Congressman Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee who has been pushing for making the report public, hailed releasing the assessment but said the administration should do more to hold MBS accountable.

He decried going after those who carried out the assassination, but not the leader who ordered it.

“The report itself is pretty remarkable in saying in no uncertain terms that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the capture or killing of an American resident and journalist, that essentially the crown prince has blood on his hands,” Schiff told CNN. 

“I would like to see the administration go beyond what it is announced in terms of repercussions to make sure there are repercussions directly to the crown prince.”

Ron Wyden, a key Senate Democrat, also underscored the need to ensure that MBS is punished for the murder.

“By naming Mohammed bin Salman as the amoral murderer responsible for this heinous crime, the Biden-Harris administration is beginning to finally reassess America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and make clear that oil won’t wash away blood,” he said in a statement.

“There is still far more to do to ensure that the Saudi government follows international laws. There should be personal consequences for MBS – he should suffer sanctions, including financial, travel and legal – and the Saudi government should suffer grave consequences as long as he remains in the government.”

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Is the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) a ‘dead letter’?

Biden’s Journey: Change Is Imperceptible

Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Philip Giraldi

February 25, 2021

Biden has been a major disappointment for those who hoped that he’d change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts.

The new White House Team has been in place for more than a month and it is perhaps time to consider where it is going with America’s fractured foreign policy. To be sure, when a new administration brings in a bunch of “old hands” who made their bones by attacking Syria and Libya while also assassinating American citizens by drone one might hope that those mistakes might have served as valuable “lessons learned.” Or maybe not, since no one in the Democratic Party ever mentions the Libya fiasco and President Joe Biden has already made it clear that Syria will continue to be targeted with sanctions as well as with American soldiers based on its soil. And no one will be leaving Afghanistan any time soon. The Biden team will only let up when Afghanistan is “secure” and there is regime change in Damascus.

A big part of the problem is that the personnel moves mean that the poison from the Barack Obama years has now been reintroduced into the tottering edifice that Donald Trump left behind. Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice once made the case for attacking the Libyans by explaining how Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi provided his soldiers with Viagra so they could more readily engage in mass rapes of presumably innocent civilians. Unfortunately, Sue is back with the new administration as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council where she will no doubt again wreak havoc in her own inimitable fashion. She is joined at the top level of the administration by Tony Blinken as Secretary of State, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, Samantha Power as head of USAID and retired General Lloyd J. Austin as Secretary of Defense. All of the appointees are regarded as “hawks” and have personal history working with Biden when he was in Congress and as Vice President, while most of them also served in the Obama administration.

Be that as it may, Joe Biden and whoever is pulling his strings have assembled a group of establishment warmongers and aspirant social justice engineers that is second to none. Those who expected something different than the usual Democratic Party template have definitely been disappointed. Hostility towards China continues with warships being sent to the South China Sea and the president is seeking to create a new Trans-Atlantic alliance directed against both Beijing and Moscow. The Europeans are reportedly not enthusiastic about remaining under Washington’s thumb and would like some breathing room.

In a phone conversation where it would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall, Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States would no longer ignore his bad behavior. The official White House account of the call included the following pithy summary: “President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. He also raised other matters of concern, including the SolarWinds hack, reports of Russia placing bounties on United States soldiers in Afghanistan, interference in the 2020 United States election, and the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny.”

And to be sure, there have already been a number of issues that Biden might have dealt with by executive order, like lifting the illegal and unjustified blockade of Cuba, that could have inspired some hope that the new administration would not be just another bit of old wine in new bottles. Alas, that has not taken place but for a series of moves to unleash another wave of illegal immigration and to “protect LGBTQ rights globally.” Biden has also retained a heavy military presence in Washington itself, possibly as part of a Constitution-wrecking plan to tackle what he is referring to as “domestic terrorism.” The domestic terrorists being targeted appear to largely consist of people who are white working and middle class and voted for Trump.

In some ways, foreign policy might have been the easiest fix if the new administration were really seeking to correct the misadventures of the past twenty years. Quite the contrary, Biden and his associates have actually reversed the sensible and long overdue policies initiated by Donald Trump to reduce troop strength in Germany and bring the soldiers home from Syria and Afghanistan. Biden has already committed to an indefinite stay in Afghanistan, America’s longest “lost” war, and has covertly sent more soldiers into Syria as well as Iraq.

As regards Latin America, the U.S. clearly is prepared to double down on regime change in Venezuela, continuing its Quixotic support of Juan Guaido as president. Meanwhile, the new Secretary of State Tony Blinken has clearly indicated that there will be no end to deference to Israeli interests in the Middle East. Under questioning by Congress, he has insisted that Israel will be “consulted” on U.S. policy to include arms sales in the region, which has been interpreted to mean that Jerusalem will have a veto, and has confirmed that his view on Iran is identical to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are apparently promoting the view that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to construct a weapon within a few weeks, though they have not addressed other technical aspects of what would actually be required to build one. Netanyahu has been making the claim about the Iranian threat since the 1980s and now it is also an element of U.S. policy.

Biden and Blinken have also moved forward slowly on a campaign commitment to attempt renegotiation of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran that President Trump withdrew from in 2017. As a condition to re-start discussions, the Iranian leadership has demanded a return to the status quo ante, meaning that the punitive sanctions initiated by Trump would have to be canceled and Iran would in return cease all enrichment activities. Biden and Blinken, which admittedly sounds a bit like a vaudeville comedy duo, have reportedly agreed to withdraw the Trump sanctions but have also suggested that Iran will have to make other concessions, to include ending its ballistic missile development program and ceasing its “meddling” in the Middle East. Iran will refuse to agree to that, which means that the bid to renegotiate could turn out to be nothing more than a bit of theater involving multilateral “discussions” hosted by the European Union and the pointless hostility between Washington and Tehran will continue.

And speaking again of Israel, there have been concerns expressed by the usual suspects because Biden had not called telephoned Netanyahu immediately after the inauguration. It may be true that the president was sending a somewhat less than subtle message signaling that he was in charge, but the call has now taken place and everything is hunky-dory. As a separate issue, the Jewish state has, of course, the world’s only secret nuclear arsenal, estimated to consist of at least 200 bombs, and it also has several systems available to deliver them on target. For no reasons that make any sense, the United States since the time of President Richard Nixon has never publicly confirmed the existence of the weapons, preferring to maintain “nuclear ambiguity” that allows Israel to have the weapons without any demands for inspections or constraints on their use. The most recent four presidents have, in fact, signed secret agreements with Israel not to expose the nuclear arsenal. Biden has apparently not done so yet, but appeals by international figures, including most recently South African Desmond Tutu, had produced some expectations that the new administration might break with precedent.

Giving aid to Israel is, in fact, illegal due to the Symington Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, which bans U.S. economic and military assistance to nuclear proliferators and countries that seek to acquire nuclear weapons. But Biden has already indicated that he would not under any circumstances cut aid to Israel, so the matter would appear to be closed. In any event the Symington Amendment includes an exemption clause that would allow the funding to continue as long as the president certifies to Congress that continued aid to the proliferator would be a vital U.S. interest. Given Israel’s power in both Congress and the White House it is not imaginable that its aid would be affected no matter what Netanyahu and his band of criminals choose to do.

So, it would seem that Biden is unprepared to either pressure or pursue any distancing from Israel and its policies, not a good sign for those of us who have encouraged some disengagement from the Middle East quagmire. And one final issue where some of us have hoped to see some movement from Biden has also been a disappointment. That is Julian Assange, who is fighting against efforts to have him extradited from England to face trial and imprisonment in the U.S. under the Espionage Act. Many observers believe that Assange is a legitimate journalist who is being set up for a show trial with only one possible outcome. The entire process is to a large extent being driven by a desire for revenge coming largely from the Democratic Party since Assange was responsible for publishing the Hillary Clinton emails as well as other party documents. Biden has already indicated that the process of extraditing Assange will continue.

So, Biden has been a major disappointment for those who expected that he might change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts while also having the good sense and courage to make relations with countries like Iran and Israel responsive to actual U.S. interests. Finally, it would be a good sign if Assange were to be released from the threat of trial and prison, if only to recognize that free speech and a free press benefit everyone, but that is perhaps a bridge too far as the United States moves inexorably towards a totalitarian state intolerant of dissent.

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: U.S. PATRIOT MISSILES LEAVE SAUDI ARABIA FOR SYRIA?

South Front

The United States has deployed a Patriot defense battery to Syria’s northeast, at least according to the fairy tales told by Kurdish media. This deployment reportedly took place on February 24th in an entirely different reality, since the reports claiming so are entirely fake. Several Kurdish and opposition outlets claimed that the deployment of Patriot batteries is taking place in Alomar and Al-Shaddadi. There could even be more batteries. Reports also claim that the US is improving its capabilities in al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor as well.

The claims of Patriot batteries in northeastern Syria are currently merely fake news, as any review of the photographs, even to casual observers on Twitter, reveals that they show an entirely different location. What is fact is that Washington is truly attempting to increase its presence and capability in Syria.

In another and more realistic report from state outlet SANA, the US sent “shoulder-launched missiles” to northeastern Syria. Two American military helicopters allegedly landed in al-Shaddadi and unloaded artillery shells and shoulder-launched missiles. Prior to this, the coalition built a new airstrip in the al-Omar oil fields in southeastern Deir Ezzor. And the base in al-Hasakah is really being built. These developments, however, aren’t as major as reports make them out to be.

Saudi Arabia, a staunch US ally, one which Washington has vowed to defend and assist, is losing two of its Patriot defense batteries.

The two units in Saudi Arabia were helping to protect the Kingdom’s oil fields, but will likely be replaced by Saudi Patriot batteries. Their effectiveness – or lack thereof – was proven back in 2019, when they failed to protect Aramco’s facilities. As such, even if they were to be relocated in Syria, their usefulness remains in doubt.

Still, the Kurds as US allies are hopeful that the patriot battery remains mighty and capable of protecting its positions as they are likely hoping that it would help protect them against the Turkish Armed Forces.

Washington, though, is focused on Iran, which, especially so far in 2021, it has largely failed to contain. Iran continues expanding its influence in key areas such as Syria, Iraq and Yemen. In Syria, after being subject to ISIS attacks, Tehran’s forces are building new positions in the southern Homs countryside to protect phosphate mines in the region from the ISIS cells responsible.

Empty claims may go around the world quickly, their effectiveness, however, is dubious at this point. The United States is attempting to increase its presence and capabilities in Syria, but so far it appears to be too little too late. Iran’s presence in Syria and influence in the entire region continue to grow despite containment efforts by Washington and its allies.

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Hezbollah Obtained Technology to Develop Precision-guided Missiles, Israeli Attacks to Block Rocket Flow into Lebanon ‘Useless’: Zionist Report

February 25, 2021

The Israeli occupation army threatened to move against Hezbollah if it obtains between 500 and 1000 precision-guided missiles, according to a report published by the Zionist newspaper, ‘Israel Hayom‘.

The paper quoted an Israeli military officer as describing Hezbollah rocketry power as second to Iranian nuclear program in endangering the Zionist security and highlighting that the enemy’s army is taking the necessary steps to prevent the Lebanese Resistance from gaining such missile capabilities.

The report mentioned that most of the Israeli air raids on Syria aimed at blocking the flow of the precision-guided missiles into Lebanon, adding that Hezbollah overcame this challenge by obtaining the technology used to develop such rockets.

For his part the Former Israeli military intelligence chief, Amos Yadlin, considered that the Zionist army should deal blows to Hezbollah rocketry power without engaging in all-out wars.

Source: Al-Manar Eglish Website

The strategic importance of Ma’rib: Saudi-backed Hadi’s ‘last stronghold’

Middle East Observer

The strategic importance of Ma’rib: Saudi-backed Hadi’s ‘last stronghold’

February 25, 2021

Description:

TV report on the strategic importance of Ma’rib province for the fate of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, particularly following reports that Sana’a-led forces were on the verge of taking control over the entire Ma’rib governate.

Source: Al Maydeen TV

Date: Feb 20, 2021

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here )

Transcript:

Television presenter:

Welcome. The Yemeni army and armed forces are advancing in Ma’rib. We are witnessing a decisive battle because we are talking about the last northern city in Yemen that remains under the control of the government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Establishing control over this city would deal a heavy blow to this government and would be a major advantage to the (Sana’a-led) armed forces and the tribes of Ma’rib. So why Ma’rib?

The strategic, oil-rich governorate of Ma’rib lies to the east of the capital, Sana’a, about 120 km away from it. Al-Mayadeen sources confirm that Sana’a-led forces have taken control of Tala’at al-Hamra and surrounding sites in the Sarwah district, west of the (Ma’rib) governorate. This is taking place after a series of concentrated military operations on multiple fronts over the past year. (Following these operations, Sana’a-led forces) have gained control over multiple regions in Ma’rib, including Mahliya and Rahba in the south, Serwah about 30 km west of Ma’rib, and have seized control over the Coufal camp (i.e. the largest Hadi government military camp). In the meantime, hit-and-run raids continue in the north and northeastern districts of Ma’rib, such as Raghwan, Hailan, Al-Kassara, Jabal Murad, and others.

For the forces of Sana’a, gaining control over Ma’rib represents the fall of the last stronghold of the Hadi administration, and a further step towards controlling northern Yemen as a whole. It also provides an open road to the southern governorates such as Shabwa and Hadramout, leading to “the liberation of every inch of Yemen”, as a military commander in Ansarullah says.

According to the Carnegie Middle East Center, for the Hadi administration, Ma’rib is the last resort in the north for its political team, especially for the Islah party. AFP says the city was seen as a Saudi protectorate in which Riyadh invested heavily. Perhaps this is what explains the information gained by Al Mayadeen sources indicating that Hadi’s forces and the Saudi coalition are trying to use refugee camps in Ma’rib as human shields to prevent the (Sana’a-led) army and (popular) forces from advancing.

——

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California Collapsing

Martin Sieff

February 24, 2021©

California now fulfills Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nightmare vision in his prophetic masterpiece “The Possessed” as to what unlimited liberalism must inevitably create – if not stopped in its tracks and rolled back.

Where California goes today, the rest of the United States and much of the Western world goes tomorrow. But what we are now seeing in America’s most populous state is the complete internal collapse of the entire liberal progressive civilization and the society that has most frantically tried to fulfill it

For well over a hundred years, California, the self-styled “Golden State” has trail-blazed  the future of America especially through the two famously American industries of aerospace and motion pictures. Telecommunications, computers and Artificial Intelligence are now led from Silicon Valley and the state has dominated the national politics of the United States too.

California rapidly grew into the wealthiest and largest population US state. It has produced two two-term presidents (Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan), one of the most important Chief Justices of the Supreme Court (Earl Warren) and the likely next president – current Vice President Kamala Harris if 78-year-old Joe Biden cannot complete his term.

From 1928 to 2004, 14 out of 19 winning presidential election tickets included someone from either California or Texas and Biden’s choice of Harris put California back at the heart of national electoral politics last year.

Politically, California remains rock solid liberal. It has not elected a single Republican to national or statewide office since reelecting incumbent Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006. In 2016, then-Governor Jerry Brown notoriously notoriously handed out state accreditation and driving licenses to untold hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, secure in the knowledge that they would all vote Democrat and so it proved. Registered Democrats now hold a 46 percent to 24 percent advantage over registered Republicans statewide.

California also holds a cast-iron grip on the national Democratic leadership in Congress through House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her key allies such as Congressman Adam Schiff, whose farcical bungles in the two impeachments of President Donald Trump did not dent his immutable position as one of Pelosi’s most youthful favored sons (he is merely 60) at all.

Yet now, California is in terminal collapse and crisis. Governor Gavin Newsom, farcically promoted by the national Mainstream Media (MSM) as a heroic White Knight in Shining Armor in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring has been exposed even in his own state as a catastrophic bungler and hypocrite who has never had a clue what he was – or more usually was not – doing. As I write, California’s sick and tired citizens are close to providing the 1.5 million signatures necessary to pull Newsom into what would certainly be a chaotic recall election.

California was also ravaged last year by the worst wild fires in its history. The slavish media – told what to think by the mindless Los Angeles Times (once a great newspaper) and even more infantile San Francisco Chronicle – bent over backwards to avoid acknowledging the real causes but they have been exhaustively documented.

Witless romantic Green environmental policies scrapped the centuries old, wise practices of creating firebreaks in forests between clumps of trees that would limit fire outbreaks in hot weather. Far from “protecting the trees” and wildlife, as the kneejerk Greens demanded, the ending of windbreak spaces instead allowed forest fires to blaze on an unprecedented scale and at record speed.

At the same time, multiple millions of people sweated in even luxury suburbs through the rolling heat waves without any air conditioning relief because the state electric grid -another victim of ignorant Green prejudice falsely masquerading as “science” – repeatedly collapsed, unable to generate the necessary reliable requisite power levels at vital times.

Los Angeles, the state’s largest city and arguably the most populous now in the United States, has become a byword for violent crime and especially the stronghold of the enormous, ultraviolent and rapidly growing MS 13 organization, routinely mislabeled as a mere “gang” in media reports. MS 13 has up to 50,000 members worldwide of whom at least 10,000, officially, and probably twice as many according to the private assessments of many police officers are in LA.

The Trump administration had remarkable success – again unacknowledged in the liberal media – in deporting many thousands of MS 13 members. However, President Joe Biden has already ensured with his initial Executive Orders that the old open border policies of both Democratic presidents (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) and Republican ones (Ronald Reagan and both George Bush’s) is being restored so they can flood back in again.

San Francisco – America’s “anything goes” city – is in even worse shape. Its most famous, historically popular and beautiful stylish locations are now swamped with aggressive, unsanitary street people who openly urinate and defecate in the streets. Public services, long superb, are now appalling.

Even the mindless liberal suburban classes who have relentlessly voted for and imposed these catastrophic polices over the past 40 and more years are now fleeing California as property values crash and taxes become too crushing even for them.

If California continues to trail-blaze the future for the rest of the United States, that future is now clear: It is a high taxation society with a huge, impoverished, unemployed and unemployable destitute class where the middle class is annihilated, organized gangs and general chaotic street crime including muggings, rapes and murders metastasize in all major urban areas and gangs more numerous and heavily armed than the police operate openly with impunity.

It is a society where unlimited abortion on demand to and even beyond the point of birth is acclaimed as a “moral” imperative supposedly superior to all the Ten Commandments.

For California now fulfills Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nightmare vision in his prophetic masterpiece “The Possessed” or “The Devils ” as to what unlimited liberalism must inevitably create – if not stopped in its tracks and rolled back.

As goes California, so goes the rest of the United States: For a hundred years, since the infant silent movie industry entranced the entire world before and during World War I, that simple mantra has held true.

But if America’s future now has no future – what future can the rest of America look forward to?

“Israel” is worried about the Palestinian elections. It believes Abbas is too

The Israeli security services have no wish to rock the boat, but they have few measures to influence the upcoming polls

An electoral worker leaves the Palestinian Central Elections Commission’s office in Gaza City (Reuters)

By Yossi Melman in Tel Aviv, Israel

Published date: 24 February 2021 15:34 UTC 

From the perspective of the Israeli security establishment, it would have been better if the scheduled Palestinian elections would not take place at all.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered general elections to be held on 22 May, a presidential one on 31 July and Palestinian National Council polls on 31 August.

Hamas, the main opposition to Abbas’ Fatah movement currently running a parallel administration in Gaza, welcomed the announcement.

About two million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and besieged Gaza Strip are eligible to vote. Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community, most likely will not allow Jerusalemites to vote.

‘The elections pose for Israel more risks than opportunities’

– Colonel Michael Milshtein, ex-Israeli Military Intelligence

But Israel also remembers how it was shocked to realise that Hamas had won the last elections for the Palestinian legislature in 2006. Judged to be free and fair by international observers, Hamas defeated Fatah, which had been established by its founding father Yasser Arafat and led since his death by Abbas.

“The elections pose for Israel more risks than opportunities,” says Colonel Michael Milshtein, who headed the Palestinian branch in the research department of Israeli Military Intelligence, known by its Hebrew acronym as Aman.

A year after the elections, Hamas took power in Gaza in a coup following violent clashes with Fatah – and has controlled the coastal enclave ever since.

The general elections are a promising development to enhance the democratic process, increase public trust, create international support for the Palestinian predicament and refresh the stagnated Palestinian politics and its ageing politicians.

Fatah suffers from internal tensions, factional rifts and a deteriorating public image. Meanwhile, Hamas shows determination, a high degree of unity and organisational skills.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hands the election decree to Chairman of the Palestinian Central Election Committee Hana Naser in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank (Reuters)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) hands the election decree to Chairman of the Palestinian Central Election Committee Hana Naser in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank (Reuters)

These traits were already present in the turbulent years of 2006-2007, which resulted in Hamas’s election victory and domination of Gaza.

Thus, Israeli security officials from Military Intelligence and the Shin Bet, who monitor and analyse developments in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, are worried.

Fatah fears

According to Israeli security officials, Abbas and his top lieutenants are no less concerned than Israel. They say that Abbas was very reluctant to agree to call the elections.

Abbas’s weakening leadership is challenged by Marwan Barghouti, who is considered the most popular leader among Fatah and Palestinian Authority supporters. So far, all attempts by Abbas to persuade Barghouti to drop his candidacy have failed.

To facilitate Abbas’s aim, Israeli security officials went out of their way to allow the president’s advisers to visit Barghouti in his prison cell, where he is serving multiple life sentences after being convicted of murder by an Israeli court during the Second Intifada.Palestine elections: Gaza voters sceptical about upcoming polls.

But, eventually, Abbas succumbed to the pressure, which was mounted on him by the younger generation of Palestinians that hope to see a change of guard, and by Egypt.

Egypt has over the years played a major role in the attempts to bring about a genuine national Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, which has so far failed. Calling the elections is another effort to unify the Palestinian people.

Abbas now faces a dilemma. Without the elections, his attempts to bring national unity and to reinstate Fatah as a significant force in Gaza are doomed to fail. But if the elections take place, Fatah may be defeated again and Hamas would increase its power, not only in its solid base of Gaza but also in the West Bank.

The Israeli security perception is that the elections are a threat.

If Hamas wins the elections, it will increase its self-confidence to challenge Israel more drastically.

Military Intelligence and Shin Bet analysts have already drawn up scenarios arguing that if Hamas emerges as the winner, or only increases its power in the elections, it will employ the same military tactics used in Gaza – launching rockets, planting bombs and using hit and run tactics – against Israeli troops and Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Israel’s approach is: why rock the boat?

However, there is truly little that Israel can do. It cannot openly oppose the elections, and it knows that it has no real measures to influence them.

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جبلٌ هوى… لكنّ صاحبنا ارتقى لك يا أنيس قلوبنا كلّ العُلا

محمد صادق الحسيني

تتزاحم الشجون والمشاعر والذكريات والمحطات في ذهني كما تتزاحم الأقلام اليوم في رثائك يا أنيس هذا اليوم، ولا أدري من أين أبدأ وأين انتهي معك وأنت اليوم صرت كلّ الحكاية… ولا تقل «انتهيت وماتت الرواية»… فنحن لا ننتهي بل ننتقل من هذه الدنيا الفانية الى تلك الآخرة الباقية…

حاولت يا أنيس أن أرثيك بقلمي المكسور وظهري المنحني حزناً وقلبي المفجوع برحيلك الفجائي، كما ينبغي، فما وفقت ولكنني أكتب إليك بضع كلمات لعلها تشفي وجعي…

لقد رحلت عنّا من دون وداع ولا استئذان، إلا من عمّتنا العقيلة زينب عليها السلام والتي زرتها مودّعاً ومستئذناً قبل أيام من إصابتك بهذا الوباء اللعين، كما هي عادتك وولعك الهندسيّ في رسم المثلثات والمكعّبات وتشفير الرسائل والكلمات فبحت للعقيلة الحوراء ما لم تبحه للآخرين ورحلت.

آه يا أنيس كم مرةٍ كنت قد قرّرتَ الرحيل وما أذن الله لك…

دعني أبدأ معك من حيث البداية الهندسية للرواية…

هل تتذكر أول مرة تعرّفتُ فيها عليك في مكتبك لهندسة الديكور في كورنيش المزرعة في سبعينيات القرن الماضي، يوم كنت تخطط مع رهط عظيم من أصحابك مثل هاني فاخوري وعلي يوسف ونزار الزين ومحمد بركات ومحمود هلال رسلان ونذير الأوبري وخالد الشحيمي ومروان الكيالي وعبد الحسن الأمين وعصمت مراد وسمير الشيخ وربيع الجبل ومحمد عرندس وعشرات آخرين من الرموز والقامات الأخرى «للاستيلاء» على لبنان كلّ لبنان وتسليمه كله لفلسطين، هدية من بيروت كليمة البحر والبحّارين العاشقين للسفر الى المحيط الأرحب، بيروت العصية على الدخلاء والغرباء إلا من آمن بالله ورسله وأنبيائه، ونحت في صخورها ورسم على جدرانها وهندس ديكورها بلوحات فلسطين؟

هل تذكر كيف اخترقتَ يومها كلّ حواجز و»سيطرات» القرار الدولي والاقليمي والمحلي المتكلس بنمطيات «لبنان قوي بضعفه» و»لبنان مرآة عاكسة لتناقضات المحيط» و»العين ما فيها تقاوم المخرز»، لتتمكن من إيصال منشوراتك الى قرى جبل عامل تدعوها للقيام.. وزدت على ذلك طموحاً بتجنيد بعض ضباط الأمم المتحدة على الطرف الآخر من الأسلاك الشائكة ليوصلوا صوتك الجهوريّ وصوت حركتك لبنان الأرض بتتكلم عربي الى أهلنا في فلسطين؟

كيف أرثيك اليوم وأنت أنت، أنت الذي هويت اليوم من علياء جبل قاسيون بقوّة فرط صوتية لم نألفها فيك ولا منك، وفي عينيك اللتين كانتا دوماً مسدّدتين الى جبل الشيخ والجليل الأعلى فإذا بهما تغفوان على سفوح جبل عامل ودماوند فاستحضرت مع رحيلك المدوّي هذا أبا جهاد خليل الوزير ومحمد صالح الحسيني وعماد مغنية وآخرين كثراً من رجال المشروع الأممي المقاوم المبدعين.. وإصراري على ذكر هؤلاء الثلاثة تحديداً لأنهم كانوا المواكبين والملهمين لك في لحظات التحوّل والتغيير الأساسية في عمرك السياسيّ، وإنْ أصبحتَ «ملهماً فاق ملهميه» في بعض فصول عطائه بأشواط.

رثاؤك يا أنيس ليس بالأمر السهل وأنت كنت عنوان التحوّل والإبداع والهندسة الديناميكيّة في ثلاث محطات أساسية:

1

ـ أنيس لبنان العربي

يوم اجتمع الكون كله ليخطفه من عروبته وفلسطينه فكنت سيد المرحلة في الدفاع عن عروبة لبنان الرديفة لفلسطين بكلّ تقاسيم العروبة والإسلام مانعاً المرجفين من سلخ لبنان عن بحره ومحيطه والمتحجّرين الظلاميين عن التفريط بإسلام محمد الأصيل.

2

ـ أنيس إسلام الخميني

يوم اجتمع الكون كله ليمنع ولادة إيران الإسلام معلنين الحرب عليها لأنها نادت بإيران اليوم وغداً فلسطين.

فكانت نخوتك العربية وصفاء روحك ومن عشقت من السهرودي وملا صدرا وعرفان إمام العصر لتتجلى وحدة العقيدة لديك في نظريتك التي أحببت وآمنت بأنّ مهندس هذا الكون واحد ونوره واحد، ما عنى لك أن تترجمه بانتقالك الى المرحلة الأرقى وهي الجمع بين جناحي الأمة الإسلامية عنيت به مرحلة الإسلام المحمدي الأصيل على سنة محمد وفي تشيّع علي والتي تمثلت لديك وتبلورت بالانتماء.. نعم الانتماء لمدرسة ونهج محقق حلم الأنبياء ووارث آدم والحسين عليهما السلام، عنيت به الإمام روح الله الموسوي الخميني.

3

ـ أنيس حضارة المشرق

يوم اجتمع الكون كله لينتقم من كلّ حواضر الأمة العربية والإسلامية ممثلة بشام المسيح ومحمد، وبعثوا جيوشهم الناطقة بعربية زائفة كاذبة والحاملة راية ظلامية سوداء تحمل في جوفها عدة وعديد بقايا عصابات الهاغانا وشتيرن وسواهما من جيوش الشجرة الملعونة في القرآن، فكنت أيضاً سيد المرحلة وعنوانها منذ اليوم الأول، ولم تختلط عليك الأمور ولم تشتبه، فأطلقت نداءك الشهير بأن هيا لننتقل من الاشتباك «المنفرد» الى التشبيك «المتحد» لتصبح الساحات والدماء واحدة متّحدة كما هو هدفنا الواحد الموحّد…

ويوم صرعت الإمبريالية والصهيونية على بوابات الشام وصعد من صعد الى بارئه من القادة والأحباب وأخيرهم وارث كلّ علم الحروب والمقاومات وابن الخميني البار ومالك علي الخامنئي الى السماء، عنيت به أسطورة الشرق الحاج قاسم سليماني، قرّرت أن تذهب أنت بكليتك الى دمشق لتخوض ما كنت تعتقد وأنت محقّ بأنها المعركة الأخيرة ما قبل الصعود إلى الجليل الأعلى، أيّ معركة منع تكرار سيناريو العراق الذي يحضر لسورية الأسد ولبنان، ولكن هيهات لهم ذلك. وقد نجحت في أداء واجبك وقسطك في المعركة، مبدعاً وملهماً.

وبينما جيش سورية الأسد وحلفاؤه الأوفياء يستعدون لتطهير ما تبقى من أرض الأنبياء وأرض المعراج الى السماء، والكلّ يعدّ العدّة ممن تعرفهم وآخرين جدد يأتون الينا من كلّ حدب وصوب ومأرب… فإذا بك تفاجئنا بالترجّل عن صهوة فرسك والرحيل…

لماذا يا أنيس…!؟

سؤال يُمعن في إيلامنا، لكن الله يقول لنا بلسان الوحي :

«ولكلّ أمة أجَل فإذا جاء أجلهم لا يستأخرون ساعة ولا يستقدمون».

آمنا بالله وهو الحق والموت حق …

رثاؤك صعب يا أنيس بعد أن قلّ الأنيس لولا أبي هادي الأمين وبعض رهطه وحوارييه…

وبعد أن صار لنا في السماء أكثر مما لنا في الأرض، وبعد أن اشتعل الشيب فينا لهباً…!؟

ولكن لا يا أنيس، فعهدنا وإياك ألّا نستسلم، لا للجنرال كلل ولا للجنرال ملل، ولا للجنرالات الآخرين إحباط ويأس وقنوط، فرحمة الله واسعة…

وعهدُنا الأول نحن «جمعية المصدقين» هل تذكر.. هكذا كانوا يسمّوننا.. بأننا مصدقون أنّ الأمور بخير وانّ كلّ شيء على ما يُرام وانّ التحرير آتٍ وانّ أمر محمد وآل محمد قائم…

نعم يا أنيس قسماً بمن أحببت وبمن آمنت وبمن التحقت أننا على العهد باقون والى الجليل وجبل الشيخ صاعدون ونحن نردّد …»نحن اللي خلينا الدنيا تحكي بلهجة فلسطين» و»أنا ابن فتح ما هتفت لغيرها» طبعاً فتح التي كانت تعني فلسطين كلّ فلسطين وكلّ من حمل البندقية بعدها وقرّر الاشتباك خيراً دائماً لأجل فلسطين حرة عربية مستقلة تسبح في محيطها العربي والاسلامي، ومدعومة من كلّ أحرار العالم الذين أحببتهم وأحبّوك يا أنيس الإنسان ..

نم قرير العين يا أنيس واطمئن، وعندما تستفيق غداً أخبر حواريي عيسى المسيح وجند محمد عندك من ضيوف الرفيق الأعلى بأننا قادمون وكلّ واحد من أهل الاختصاص فينا، قد أخذ موقعه الخاص به في المستوطنة او المستعمرة التي سيحرّر… وسنصلي في القدس…

ولكن مع ذلك يا أنيس…

ثمة وجع وألم وحنين في قلبي لعودتك وعودة مَن معك هناك في الفردوس الأعلى وأنتم حول محمد وعلي وفاطمة والحسن والحسين متحلقون…

ولكن الحزن عليك يا أنيس جاء أضعافاً مضاعفة

كما أخبرتك أعلاه فأنت برحيلك استحضرت كلّ القامات والهامات التي سبقتك…

ولم يبق في جعبتي إلا هذه الأبيات التي رثا فيها الشريف الرضي صديقه أبا اسحق الصابي :

اعلمت من حملوا على الأعواد

أرأيت كيف خبا ضياء النادي

جبل هوى لو خرّ في البحر اغتدى

من وقعه متزاحم الإزباد

ما كنت أعرف قبل حطك في الثرى

أن الثرى يعلو على الأطواد

اقبلها مني أوتاراً في غمد سيفً ملئ بالشجن

لا أقول لك وداعاً يا أنيس حتى النفوس المستوحشة من بعدك، فأنت من جنس الشهداء… حيّ بيننا وان كانت كورونا قد فتكت بك على حين غرة بالوكالة عن العدو الأصيل الذي هزمته في أكثر من ميدان…

قادمون يا أنيس من هرمز التي جهّزت راداراتها البحرية بيديك، الى باب المندب التي كنتَ تعمل على تحضير سفينة كارين لها، حتى مع غياب عماد …

ومن البصرة التي لطالما نصحت بحسم أمرها قبل فوات الأوان الى بنت جبيل التي لطالما حرست تلالها أنت والقامات الكبرى التي كبرت وكبرت حتى حققت الانتصارين وصار عدوّك وعدوّنا أوهن من بيت العنكبوت…

أنت رحلت بدمك يا أنيس مرفوع الهامة منتصراً

ونحن بقينا هنا ننتظر إشارة حبيبك وحبيبنا معركة يوم القيامة التي نكاد نلامسها بين يوم وآخر في معادلة قوة جديدة لجغرافيا آخر الزمان.

ستبعث فيها أنت ورفاقك الذين سبقوك لتقاتلوا معنا من جديد بهندسة هذه المرة من نسج رب الكون.

الله وياك الله وياك الله وياك.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

الرئيس الأسد يعزي بوفاة المفكر والمناضل العروبي أنيس النقاش

بعث السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد اليوم برقية تعزية إلى أسرة المفكر والمناضل العروبي أنيس النقاش الذي وافته المنية في دمشق أمس.
وقال الرئيس الأسد في برقيته…

ببالغ الحزن والأسى تلقينا نبأ وفاة المفكر والمناضل العروبي أنيس النقاش.. ونتقدم اليكم وإلى جميع المناضلين والمقاومين الأحرار بأحر التعازي القلبية سائلين الله العلي القدير أن يتغمده بواسع رحمته ويسكنه فسيح جنانه وأن يلهمكم الصبر والسلوان.

وأضاف الرئيس الأسد.. لقد أمضى الفقيد حياته مقاوماً ضد الاحتلال واتباعه في منطقتنا ومدافعاً عن القضايا العربية بجسده وبفكره فكان وسيبقى دائماً أحد الرموز المشرفة التي ستخلد في الذاكرة العربية لتستلهم منها الأجيال معنى التمسك بالأرض والدفاع عنها والنضال من أجل القضايا المحقة.. وكما احتضنته دمشق في أيامه الأخيرة فإن الشعب السوري سيحتضن في وجدانه على الدوام ذكراه العطرة.

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Iran Rejects US Claim for Self-defense in Soleimani Case

Iran Rejects US Claim for Self-defense in Soleimani Case

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations [UN] said the US claim for legitimate self-defense in case of the January 2020 assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani is overwhelmingly rejected.

At the UN Security Council Open Arria Formula Meeting which was held in New York on February 24, Majid Takht Ravanchi called on the world to strongly stand against some countries which misuse “legitimate self-defense” to excuse their illegitimate measures.

The Feb 24 UN meeting focused on ” Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defense.”

“First, the prohibition of the threat or use of force, save the two exceptional cases authorized by the Charter, is one of the greatest accomplishments of our Organization. This is a cardinal principle of international law, the preservation and full observance of which is our collective responsibility that must be fulfilled responsibly,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

“Second, states have intrinsically an obligation to protect their citizens and territories and accordingly, enjoy an inherent right to self-defense. The term “inherent”, clearly and adequately reflects the natural foundations and essential importance of this right, which of course, must be exercised only “if an armed attack occurs”. These are the well-drafted and well-crafted terms of the Charter. Obviously, it must also meet the criteria of necessity, proportionality, and immediacy,” he added.

There is a growing tendency by some states to resort to the threat or use of force through abusing the inherent right to self-defense, the ambassador noted, explaining that when the US forces, at the direct order of their President, brutally assassinated martyr Soleimani in Iraq, in gross violation of the basic norms and principles of international law, the US Government, through its communication to the Security Council President, desperately attempted to justify such an obvious act of terrorism through a series of fabrications and an extremely arbitrary interpretation of the Charter’s Article 51.

“Many international law scholars and practitioners have categorically rejected such an interpretation of the right to self-defense,” Takht -Ravanchi underscored.

Fourth, this alarming trend must be a source of serious concern to all States, and every effort must be made to reverse this extremely dangerous process. If unchecked, the right to self-defense will not only be abused more frequently by such States but also, will institute further exceptions to the principle of the prohibition of the threat or use of force, he added.

Fifth, measures taken in self-defense shall be reported to the Council “immediately”, Iran’s envoy emphasized.

Source

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (11-17 February 2021)

 February 18, 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (11-17 January 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

11 – 17 February 2021

  • Palestinian woman dies of heart attack during violent IOF raid into her house in Nablus
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 19 Palestinians wounded
  • Two IOF incursions into eastern Gaza, and two shootings reported at fishing boats western Gaza Strip
  • In 106 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 71 civilians arrested, including 13 children and a woman
  • IOF delivers 20 demolition notices to houses in Nablus and Bethlehem; 5 buildings were self-demolished in occupied East Jerusalem and evacuation notices served to several buildings in the city
  • Settler-attacks: settlers kidnap a Palestinian man in Tulkarm, and attack civilian homes and vehicles in Nablus and Ramallah
  • IOF hinder the entry of Covid-19 vaccines into the Gaza Strip for two days
  • IOF established 69 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 13 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary           

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. Additionally, IOF conducted widescale demolition operations; and served demolition and cease-construction notices, mostly in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern West Bank. Settler attacks continued this week, particularly attacks on civilian houses and vehicles in Nablus.

Also, the Israeli occupation authorities stalled the entry of 2,000 Covid-19 vaccines into the Gaza Strip for two days. The vaccines were sent by the Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

This week, PCHR documented 199 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

On 17 February 2021, 67-year-old Rahma Khalil Abu-Ahour, from Abu Nujaym village in eastern Bethlehem, died of a heart attack she suffered during an IOF raid into her nephew’s house where she was visiting. Additionally, IOF shot and injured 19 civilians in its attacks on peaceful protests in the West Bank: 4 at a protest in Beit Dajan – Nablus; 9 others at two protests in Kafr Qaddum – Qalqilya; and 6 by Salfit’s northern entrance.

In the Gaza Strip, two IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza Strip, and twice at fishing boats off Gaza’s northern shore.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 106 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 71 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 children and a woman.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis and Northern Gaza.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 12 incidents:

  • Nablus: 11 demolition notices served (4 houses, 6 barracks and water tank) in central Jordan valleys; and 13 demolition notices (houses) in Yatma.
  • Hebron: barracks served demolition notice in Halhul.
  • Bethlehem: 3 houses served demolition notices in al-Khader.
  • East Jerusalem:
  • 5 self-demolitions: an external room overlooking the al-Aqsa Mosque; an apartment in Sur Baher; 2 barracks in Silwan; an apartment building in Shu’afat.
  • IOF served an apartment building an evacuation order in Silwan.
  • An Israeli court rejected the appeal of 4 families to annul the evacuation order issued against their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.
  • A house was demolished in Ras al-Amud.
  • Metal fence surrounding a plot of land in Jabel Mukaber removed.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 8 settler-violence incidents:

  • Hebron: shepherds and a Palestinian family assaulted in eastern Yatta
  • Nablus: assault on civilians and worshippers in Khan al-Laban; a farmer was also assaulted in the area. A bus and civilian houses were assaulted in Asira al-Qibliya and Qusra. Also, a car was set on fire.
  • Tulkarm: civilian was kidnapped while at his land; IOF later released him.
  • Ramallah: assaults on the vehicles of Palestinian workers parked near “Shilo” settlement, which is established on the lands of Turmus Ayya in northeastern Ramallah.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 01:30 on Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF moved into Ramallah in the center of the West Bank. Meanwhile, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who responded with teargas canisters to disperse them. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 12 February 2021, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 4 protestors were shot with live bullets and taken to Rafidia hospital for treatment. Also, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired live and sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 8 protestors were wounded; one was wounded in his face while the rest wounded in their lower limbs.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Salfit, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men against lands under the threat of confiscation in favor of settlement projects. IOF chased Palestinians gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 6 civilians were directly hit with teargas canisters.
  • At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired live and sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old male was wounded with a sponge grenade in his thigh.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and stationed in al-Khelwa neighborhood. IOF established military checkpoints at the neighborhood entrances, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF, who chased the protestors in the neighborhood and fired heavy rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of Palestinians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF arrested Mohammed Hatem Abu al-Hawa (19) and withdrew later.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them until 21:30, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Sunday, 13 February 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Ras Karkar village, northwest of Ramallah, stationed in several areas and checked civilians’ IDs. IOF deployed between residential houses and patrolled the area, causing fear among the villagers and forcing the shop owners to close at gunpoint. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who chased the stone-throwers and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. At 22:00, IOF withdrew towards the village’s main entrance and established a military checkpoint there.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 15 February 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 11 February 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Jalqamus village, southeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Abdul Baset Abed al-Hajj (48) and Abdul Rahim Sami Suleiman al-Hajj (40) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (8) civilians; Mohammed Hamdi Abu Maria (50), Saqer Mahmoud Abu Maria (46), Ayesh Naser Ikhlaiel (26), Lo’ay Shehda ‘Alqam (35), Mohammed Sameer Abu Maria (20), Abdullah Mohammed Ikhlaiel (20), Mohammed Bassam al-‘Allama (20), and Issa Hashem Bahr (22).
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Jalamah village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mahmoud Anis Sha’ban (35) and Mohammed Ali Yehya (22) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yasine Taha’s (27) house and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Islam Emad Hashash (17).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched Mohammed As’ad Abu Khalifa’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Bireh, and stationed at al-Jinan neighborhood. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nadeem Saleem Ghaith (22).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Naser Saqer al-Soufi (18), and Musallam Dawoud Yehya (19).
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF arrested Ra’fat Na’eem Abu Akr (53), from al-Doha, west of Bethlehem, while present in one of the Khader village’s streets, south of the city.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Waheed Eid Shabana (52), from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, while present in Salah al-Dein street in the city center. IOF claimed that his presence in that area was not legal due to holding the West Bank ID card, and he was taken to al-Bareed police center until they returned him to the West Bank on the morning of the next day.

Shabana’s wife, an Israeli ID holder, said that her husband grew up, educated, and lived in Jerusalem, but his father moved to live in Ramallah in the 80s due to arresting Waheed when he was only 14. She added that her husband returned to Jerusalem after spending 4-years in the Israeli prisons, despite losing his right to obtain the Jerusalem ID card. After they got married he applied to the competent authorities to obtain unification four times, but his requests were rejected for security reasons. Shabana’s wife stated that she and her husband were arrested in June 2020, and they were mistreated and insulted at “Oz” police center in Jerusalem, as they stayed outside waiting their turns in the cold weather, then she was released without being investigated but Waheed was taken to al-Zaytouna military checkpoint. However, she mentioned that her husband was prevented to live between his sons, ages between 23-13, and from living in the city that he grew in, in addition to preventing him from his work and livelihood under the pretext of the illegal residence.

  • At approximately 23:30, IOF moved into Ein al-Beida village in the northern valleys, east of Tubas. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Maram Hikmat Abu Mutarea’ (28).
  • IOF carried out (15) incursions in Zeita, Attil, Nur Shams refugee camp, Tulkarm refugee camp, Tulkarm, and Kafr al-Dik villages, east of Salfit; Zababdeh, Arranah, and Umm al-Tut villages, southeast of Jenin; Tell, Badhan, and Sebastia in Nablus governorate; Dura, Samu, and Arrub refugee camp, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 12 February 2021:

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Monthir Atiya (20) and Mohammed Ahmed Atiya (19), from al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in Damascus Gate area in the occupied city, after finishing the Friday prayers in the Aqsa Mosque. IOF took them to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed at al-Jib military checkpoint, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Laith Eid Barakat (29) and his brother Ahmed (27), from al-Nabi Samwil village, while passing through the checkpoint. It should be noted that the village is surrounded by the annexation wall, and its residents can pass to Jerusalem and the West Bank only through al-Jib checkpoint, and no one is allowed to pass through it despite being registered on the checkpoint passers’ list.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into al-Shuhada village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Rabea Fadel Wishahi‘s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Abdul Hafiz Atiya (17), while heading to a medical center in the Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, to receive treatment. IOF took him to al-Bareed police center in Salah al-Dein street.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Sufian Ahmed Abu Nab (20), causing wounds and bruises that required taking him to hospital while he was under arrest.
  • IOF carried out (11) incursions in Azzun and Kafr Thulth villages, east of Qalqilya; Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin; Arraba and Kafr Ra’i, southwest of Jenin; Sanur, Bir al-Basha, and al-Jalamah, southeast of Jenin; Nablus, Tall, and Huwwarah in Nablus governorate. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin; Azmut, northeast of Nablus; Sa’ir, Dura, and Nuba villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 14 February 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Ashraf Sbeitan (16) and Mohammed Samer Abu al-Hawa (16) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Shu’afat neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses belonging to Abu Khudair’s family and arrested (4) children; Saif Waleed Abu Khudair (16), his brother Mohammed (17), and their cousins, Abdul Rahman Abu Khudair (16) and Mohammed Emad Abu Khudair (17).
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF moved into Bab Huta neighborhood, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Majd Khaled Sharifa’s (20) house and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services at Moscovia Detention Centre. It should be noted that Sharifa was accused of throwing stones at the settlers’ cars and arrested on 18 June 2017, when he was 16, and spent 11-months in the Israeli prisons.
  • IOF carried out (8) incursions in Zububa and Jalamah, southeast of Jenin; Deir Sharaf, west of Nablus; Izbat Shufa, southeast of Tulkarm; Fawwar refugee camp, Dhahiriya, Beit Ummar, and Sa’ir villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 15 February 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Balata al-Balad village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched Hatem Mawhoob Dweikat’s (22) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; the photojournalist Saif al-Dein al-Qawasmi (19), Zuhair Ahmed al-Hinnawi (22), and Wissam Ra’ed al-Hinnawi (19), and released them after several hours. It should be noted that Wissam is a former prisoner, and he was injured with a rubber bullet in his left eye during clashes with the Israeli soldiers several years ago.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into a village north of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Abu Danhash’s house and arrested Oday Issam Abu Danhash (22), and his brother Qusai (25).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, and stationed in the center of the camp. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Mohammed Jameel Nassar (19) and Assem Wael Awadallah (18).
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched Mazen Seitan Abu al-Rab’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surda, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Qusai Alaa’ Bazzar’s (18) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Araqah village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) children; Mahdi Saleh Yehya (15), Oday Tamim Yehya (15), and Shukry Hasan Lotfi (15).
  • At approximately 02:50, IOF moved into Azzun, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched Saleem Mohammed Badwan’s (48) farm and arrested him along with his son (22).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Tareq Mahmoud Abu Srour’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ibrahim Ahmed al-Tamimi (21), Obay Saleh al-Tamimi (20), and Abdul Rahman Mohammed al-Tamimi (18).
  • At approximately 08:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 50-squaremeters to the west of the border fence, east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst Israeli sporadic shooting. At approximately 10:00, IOF withdrew, and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Subhi al-Sous (22), from Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of the camp.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Ras Karkar village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided Sufian Abdullah Abu Fukhaida’s house in the eastern side of the village, evicted its residents and seized the house, and got on the top of the house and prevented anyone from entering it. Meanwhile, people of the village gathered, and quarrels occurred between them and the Israeli soldiers to withdraw from the house. At approximately 02:15, they withdrew and headed to a three-stories house which is under destruction belonging to Hamdi Fadel Samhan, as they stuck the Israeli flag on the top of the house and turned it into a military barrack.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rami Ahmed Abu Zneid (37) and Wael Abdul Aziz Abu Zneid (46). No arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron, and stationed in al-Karmel area. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Sami Issa Shatat (44) and Hatem Mahmoud Makhamra (49). No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yaser Dawoud Mansour (54), a member of Hamas Movement in the dissolved legislative council, and Adnan Ahed Asfour (58), a leader in Hamas Movement.
  • Around the same time, IOF infantry units reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Silwad, northeast of Ramallah. They deployed and stormed dozens of houses and arrested (19) civilians, including 2 children, and underwent to field investigation for three consecutive hours and half, before releasing 14 of them. IOF kept three young men and two children under arrest and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Mohammed Abdul Hameed Awwad (16), Ahmed Yousef Ayyad (17), Mahdi Abdul Qader Hammad (19), Tareq Ziyad Hamed (28), and Mohannad Sameer al-Tawil (20), who is a former prisoner.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Ramallah, and stationed in Kadoura refugee camp adjacent to the city. They raided and searched Ra’fat Shihda Abu Shaqra’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Salem village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Shadi Ghassan Jabara (30).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Eyad Ahmed Rawajba (32).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched al-Ja’bari’s houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mos’ab Omar al-Ja’bari (19), Ammar Mahmoud al-Ja’bari (52), and his son Emad (22).
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF stationed at Checkpoint 300, north of Bethlehem, arrested Akram Emran al-Atrash (25), while passing through the checkpoint back from his work in Israel to his home in al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Rujeib, Urif, southeast of Nablus; Beit Kahil and Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Mostafa Abu Romouz (21) and Mohammed Maher Mutair (23) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles and bulldozers 50-meters to the east of al-Fukhkhari village, east of Khan Yunis. They leveled and combed lands along the border fence amidst Israeli sporadic shooting which continued for hours before deploying again inside the abovementioned fence.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 09:00 on 11 February 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into ‘Ein Shebli in the Central Jordan Valleys, northeast of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer notified 4 houses, 6 barracks and a water tank with demolition under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.
No.NameNotified Facility
1-Shehdah ‘Abed Rabboh Abu al-Kabbash5 barracks; each is 200 sqms
2-Nabil Mohammed ShtayyahAn under-construction house (80 sqms)
3-Aisha Mohammad ShtayyahAn under-construction house (100 sqms)
4-Nizam Khader ShtayyahA 60-sqm barrack
5-Shukri ShtayyahAn under-construction house (100 sqms)
6-Moussa Ka’abnahAn under-construction house (100 sqms) and 5 barracks; each is 120 sqms
7-Ministry of AgricultureA 500-cbm water tank established 10 years ago
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into northern Halhoul, north of Hebron. The Civil Administration officer handed Khairy ‘Abdel Qader al-Herbawi military order no. (1797) relevant to the demolition of a tinplate and steel barrack built on an area of 20 sqms.  The demolition notice was issued allegedly for building in Area C and gives al-Herbawi only 96 hours from the date he received the notice.  Al-Herbawi was supposed to graze sheep in that barrack as he owns 8 dunums in the area.
  • On Thursday afternoon, IOF handed 3 Palestinians 3 demolition notices in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, allegedly for having no license. The Coordinator of al-Khader Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, Ahmed Salah, said that Isma’il Mohammed Mousa, ‘Ali Salim Mousa and his son Ahmed were handed demolition notices for their houses in Abu Soud area, west of the village, allegedly for unlicensed construction, after Beit El Court rejected their appeal against the demolition decision.  Salah added that Mousa Family has suffered a lot due to the ongoing IOF campaign for years against them.  He said that Ismail’s Mousa’s house (70 sqms) shelters 7 persons, was demolished in 2014. The houses of ‘Ali Salim Mousa and his son, Khaled, are 80 sqms each.  Salah added that ‘Ali Mousa’s house was demolished four times within the last ten years under the pretext of unlicensed construction and for its location approximate to the annexation wall.  Salah also said that the houses of ‘Ali Mousa’s other sons, Mohammed and Ahmed, are threatened of demolition, which renders 20 persons  under the threat of losing their houses and becoming displaced.  It should be noted that Abu Soud area is adjacent to the bypass road around the village and is considered the only outlet for urbanization in the western side of al-Khader village.
  • On Friday morning, 12 February 2021, Abu Hedwan Family self-demolished an outside room built of steel and shed cloth and overlooking al-Aqsa Mosque, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Mohammed Abu Hedwan, one of the family members, said that the room was built few years ago in the Dung Gate (Magharba) neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  He said that it was not covered in the beginning but later roofed with shed cloth to protect it from rain.  Abu Hedwan explained that the family built the room so that all its members gather inside as their houses are very narrow and small.  He added that the Israeli Municipality sent them a notice to demolish the room and threatened them last week either to demolish it themselves or the Israeli Municipality crews will do and fine them with the demolition fees.  Abu Wahdan also said that the room is 90 sqms near al-Aqsa Mosque, 70 members of Abu Hedwan family benefited from it by using it as a family council to receive guests.
  • On Saturday afternoon, 13 February 2021, Nemer Khalil Nemer self-demolished his residential apartment in Sur Baher neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction. The house’s owner, Nemer Khalil Nemer, said that the apartment was built in 2015 on an area of 85 sqms, and he recently started repairing it so that his son, Jihad, and wife live in it.  However, the Israeli Municipality issued a decision to demolish it and gave him until Monday morning to implement the decision.  Nemer said that he was forced to implement the demolition decision and collect the rubble to spare himself the demolition fees imposed by the Israeli Municipality.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration SUV moved into Yatma village, southeast of Nablus. The Civil Administration officer notified 13 houses of the demolition in Hazouret As-Sha’b, Khelet Qudeiri and Zaytoun Jabarin area, west of the village, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

Those affected were as follows:

No.NameNotified FacilityNumber of Family MembersNotes
1-Anwar Yousif Moti’a NajjarUnder construction house (120 sqms) 
2-Mo’in ‘Abdel Qader Najjar2-storey house and a roof (each floor is 150 sqms while the roof is 70 sqms)Ready
3-Mohammed Mahmoud Muti’a ‘Najjar2-storey house; each floor is 130 sqmsReady
4-Ahmed Nabih Tawfiq NajjarA 160-sqm houseReady
5-Mohammed Amjad Najjar2-sotey house (150 sqms)Under construction
6-Yahiya Wajih Najjar2-stoey house; each floor is 170 sqms7, including 4 childrenInhabited
7-Ahmed ‘Adnan Ahmed Sanobar2-storey houseUnder construction
8-Iyad ‘Ata Abu Baker2-storey house; each floor is 170 sqms6, including 3 childrenInhabited
9-Mus’ab ‘Ata Abu Baker2-storey house; each floor is 150 sqms3, including 1 childInhabited
10-Anas Mohammed Farah Najjar2-storey house; each floor is 150 sqms6, including 4 childreninhabited
11-Nidal Ahmed ‘Abdel Fattah Sanobar2-storey house; each floor is 140 sqms6, including 2 childrenInhabited
12-Mohammed Mahmoud farah Najjar2-storey house; each floor is 130 sqmsUnder construction
13-Yazid Mohammed Khudeir2-storey house; each floor is 130 sqms8, including 4 childreninhabited
  • On Sunday morning, 14 February 2021, ‘Awadallah family continued the demolition of their 2-storey residential building in Sho’afat neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision allegedly for unlicensed construction.

Jihad ‘Awadallah stated that his family’s residential building was built 20 years ago, and its construction cost nearly half a million shekels. He added that the building comprised two apartments, each with an area of ​​120 sqms; one of them was uninhabited while the other was for his brother Mohammad and his family after he prepared it and paid more than 100,000 shekels to live in it.  However, he had to leave it a while ago, after the Israeli municipality had haunted the family via courts and imposing fines of more than 120,000 shekels. ‘Awadallah added that at the end of last year, the Israeli court issued its final decision to demolish the building and gave them until 05 January 2021, to implement the decision.  As a result, the family had to demolish part of the building at the time, and today it resumes the demolition with the help of workers and vehicles, which cost them around 70,000 Shekels.

  • On Sunday afternoon, 14 February 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities handed Batn al-Hawa Families’ lawyer in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, a decision by the Israeli Magistrate Court to vacate a residential building belonging to Younis Shehadah and his sons in favor of Ateret Cohanim Jewish organization.

Ibrahim Shehadah, Younis Shehadah’s son, said that he was surprised with the Magistrate Court’s decision to vacate his family’s building comprised of 5 residential apartments and give them till next July to implement it.  Shehadah said that his father presented all the papers to the court that prove he has lived in the building since before 1967.  He added that “all the allegations are void and fake, and we will resort to the courts to refute them although we know that the Israeli judiciary will not bring us justice,” emphasizing they would stay at their home and stick to it.  Ibrahim also said that his father has not received the eviction decision yet, but their lawyer, Yazid Qe’awar, has it.  He added that his father and siblings live in the residential building comprised of 5 apartments in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood.  It should be noted that Younis Shehadah (83), his wife and children, Yousif, Mohammed, ‘Ali and ‘Alaa and their families of 22 members live in the building.

Head of Batn al-Hawa Neighborhood Committee, Zuhair al-Rajabi, said that 9 families out of 87 families have so far received eviction decisions from the Israeli courts from, indicating that most of them have filed appeals to the decisions, and others are waiting for the responses to their appeals. It is noteworthy that the families that received eviction decisions in Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood are: Dweik, Shweiki, ‘Awad Jaber al-Rajabi, ‘Odah, Jawad Abu Nab, ‘Abd Jaber al-Rajabi, Selm Ghaith, Rushdi Abu Ramouz and Shehadeh. The eviction decisions issued by the Israeli courts against the Palestinian families in favor of “Ateret Cohanim” settlement association came under the pretext of the land on which the houses are built belonged to the Yemeni Jews in 1892. Al-Rajabi indicated that the Israeli courts stated issuing eviction decisions against the residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in 2015. The number of residents at risk of eviction ranges from 850 to 1000. He added that the Neighborhood Committee, in cooperation with human rights organizations, filed a case before the Israeli court against the “Ateret Cohanim” settlement association. The committee also filed a request to the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to stop the political evacuation decisions supported by the Israeli government, which aims to displace about 1,000 Palestinians.

  • On Monday afternoon, 15 February 2021, the Israeli District Court rejected the appeal filed by 4 Palestinian families from Karam al-Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, demanding the court to stop evacuation of their houses in favor of Israeli settlers, who claim their ownership of the land, where the houses are built.

The families’ lawyer, Sami Irshayed, said that the Israeli District Court rejected the appeal filed against the decision of the Magistrate Court to evict the families of Iskafi, Kurd, Ja’ouni and Al-Qasem from their houses in favor of settlers, and the families were given until 02 May to implement the eviction decisions.  The families’ lawyer, Sami Irshayed, added that Israeli bodies claimed ownership of the land where the families’ properties are built in the “Karam al-Ja’ouni” neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah, and it was registered in 1972.  Thus, the Magistrate Court issued an eviction decision against the aforementioned families last October, and the families filed an appeal to the District Court which was rejected on Monday. The families intend to go to the Supreme Court to file another appeal. Lawyer Irshayed explained that the residents of the “Karam al-Ja’ouni neighborhood” in Sheikh Jarrah have lived in their houses since 1956, upon an agreement between the Jordanian government represented by the “Ministry of Construction and Development” and UNRWA, to provide residences for 28 refugee families in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in exchange for giving up their UNRWA relief cards, and one of the conditions was to pay a symbolic rent, provided that the property will be authorized for housing after 3 years, but this has not been done.  Several years following the occupation of Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities began to pursue the residents of Sheikh Jarrah and demand that they vacate their houses under the pretext of “ownership of the land.”

  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 16 February 2021, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a house built of bricks and fortified tinplate in Ras Kabsah area in Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of building without a license.

The houseowner, Jihad Hasan Abu Romouz (40), said that he was surprised with IOF surrounding his house on Tuesday morning, ordering him and his children to leave and vacate the house contents.  He added that IOF did not allow him to take all his house contents and demolished it on the furniture, rendering him and his family homeless, without any prior warning in light of this cold rainy weather.  Abu Romouz said that he built the house last November with 2 rooms of bricks and a barrack of steel and fortified tinplate that included a living room, kitchen and toilet on an area of 90 sqms.  Jihad Abu Romouz lived in the house with his wife and 2 sons, Mohammed (12) and Qosay (10).  Abu Romouz added that the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished last August a 90-sqm house and re-demolished it on Tuesday morning under the pretext of building without a license although the Israeli Municipality refused to give him a license to build the area.

  • At approximately 11:00, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers removed an iron fence surrounding a 55-sqm land in Deir As-Sanah in Jabal Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and damaged construction materials belonging to Amjad Talab.

Amjad Talab said that he set cement foundations on an area of 25 sqms to build a house, but the Israeli Municipality handed him a demolition decision and forced him to destroy it a month and a half ago.  Talab also said that the Municipality bulldozers raided his land in the morning and removed the fence and steel angles surrounding it in addition destroying bricks, cement and sand that were in the place.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 12 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Karmiel” settlement established on Palestinian lands confiscated from eastern Yatta, south of Hebron, moved into Sedet al-Tha’lah area near the settlement. The settlers attempted to attack shepherds with their sheep in their lands.  IOF intervened after the shepherds refused to leave.  The settlers attempted to attack the family of Mahmoud Mohamad Shonaran who lives in one of the caves in the area.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities declared the area state lands under the jurisdiction of the State of Israel; the Palestinian landowners filed a complaint before the Israeli Supreme Court to restore their ownership.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Friday, settlers under IOF’s protection attacked worshippers while performing Friday Prayer in the Ottoman Khan threatened to be confiscated in eastern al-Laban village, southeast of Nablus. IOF fired teargas canisters at the worshippers; as a result, many suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and were treated on the spot.
  • At approximately 16:20, a group of settlers chased Mohammed Nabil Kattanah, from An-Nazla al-Gharbiya village, north of Tulkarm, while being in his land namely al-Mughraqah in the eastern side of the village and kidnapped him to “Hermesh” settlement. IOF released him at 18:30 following the Israeli Military Liaison’s intervention.
  • At approximately 16:55 on Saturday, 13 February 2021, settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement in eastern ‘Asiret al-Qabaliyah, southeast of Nablus, under IOF’s protection threw stones at Palestinian houses. The local residents confronted the settlers and IOF, who fired teargas canisters at them.  As a result, a number of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • Around the same time, settlers from “Esh Kodesh” settlement established in eastern Qusra village, southeast of Nablus, under IOF’s protection, threw stones at Palestinian houses. The local residents confronted the settlers and IOF, who fired teargas canisters at them.  As a result, a number of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation and were treated on the spot.  The settlers burnt tires of a car belonging to ‘Awad Mahmoud Ahmed ‘Odah.
  • At approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 14 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Yitzahar” settlement established on southeastern lands of Nablus threw stones at a public transport bus belonging to Bisan Busses Company at ‘Asira al-Qibliya village in al-Hawouz area. As a result, the bus sustained damage, but no injuries were reported among its passengers, noting that the bus was driven by Naser Mousa ‘Abdel ‘Aziz ‘As’ous (51) from Burin village and carries 15 passengers.
  • At approximately 23:30 on Moday, 15 February 2021, settlers from “Levona” settlement established on Al-Laban As-Sharqiya village lands, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at Salah Majed Samih Daraghmah (27) while he was planting olive seedlings in his land, south of the village, and beat him up. As a result, he sustained bruises all over his body and was taken to Rafida Governmental Hospital in Nablus for treatment.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 16 February 2021, a group of settlers from “Shilo” settlement established on Turmus Ayya village, northeast of Ramallah, attacked the buses carrying Palestinian workers parked near the settlement and punctured their tires.

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

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

On Monday, 15 February 2021, Israeli authorities denied the entry of 2000 doses of Coronavirus vaccine into the Gaza Strip. These doses were sent from the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) in Ramallah, but Israeli authorities refused its entry as the political leadership in Israel had not yet approved the Palestinian Authority’s request to transfer the vaccine to Gaza. The Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. May Al-Kailah emphasized in a press statement that the Israeli authorities prevented the entry of 2000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine into the Gaza Strip. IOF allowed the entry of the vaccines on Wednesday.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals 62 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 2 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Nabi Salih village and near “Halamish” settlement, northeast of the city.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints on a road connecting between Ni’lin and Shuqba villages, at Ras Karkar village’s intersection, at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, and at the entrance to Deir Nidham village.
  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Silwad villages.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Atara village, north of the city.

Jericho:

  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near “Ma’aleh Ephraim” settlement, north of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 02 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, at the entrance to Za’atara village and near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.
  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near Al-Khader village entrance, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Jala village, at the western entrance to Tuqu village and near Dar Salah Bridge, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 17 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near al-Nashnash intersection, south of Bethlehem.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Beita village intersection and on Madama village’s bridge, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at al-Moraba’a intersection, which connects between Nablus’ eastern and southern villages.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to An-Nassariya village, northeast of Nablus.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 11 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Yatta city, Idhna village, at the southern entrance to Hebron, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp
  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna village, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, at the western entrance to Hebron, and at the entrance to Jalael village.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Al-Arroub refugee camp, and at the entrances to Surif, Beit Awwa and Tarrama villages.
  • On Sunday, 14 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Monday, 15 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna villages, and at the eastern entrance to Dura City. Beit Ummar village, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, at the southern entrance to Yatta, and at the eastern entrance to Dura village.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Ash-Shuyukh villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun, Izbat al-Tabib and Jit villages, and at the eastern and southern entrances to the city.

Salfit:

  • On Friday, 12 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • On Saturday, 13 February 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Kifl Haris and Kafr ad-Dik villages, at the entrance to Salfit.
  • On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.

Lebanon Bids Farewell to Struggler and Thinker Anis Al-Naqqash

 February 25, 2021

Lebanon bade farewell on Wednesday to the struggler and political thinker Anis Al-Naqqash, who died of the coronavirus in Damascus on Monday.

A number of the resistance supporters, Al-Naqqash friends, and the representatives of resistance movements attended the burial ceremony during which Sheikh Maher Hammoud led the prayers for the body of Al-Naqqash.

It is worth noting that Al-Naqqash died on Monday after battling COVID-19 for several days, Lebanese media reported.

Born on 1951, Al-Naqqash joined the ranks of Fatah movement in 1968. He was tasked with several missions in Lebanon, occupied territories and Europe as well. He played vital role in coordination between Palestinian revolution and revolution in Iran.

Al-Naqqash was among the first operatives who formed the Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation in 1978. He witnessed the Lebanese civil war and documented its behind-the-scenes events.

In 1980, he was accused for being involved in a failed assassination attempt on the last Prime Minister of Iran under Pahlavi monarchy, Shapour Bakhtiar, in a court in Paris and was sentenced to life in prison. Al-Naqqash was freed on 27 July 1990, after being pardoned by President François Mitterrand.

He is well known for being a pro-resistance political analyst who opposes Western-backed Arab regimes. In the last years, he had run Beirut-based Al-Aman Network for Studies and Researches.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

The Ukraine’s many ticking time bombs

THE SAKER • FEBRUARY 23, 2021

While the Ukraine has mostly been out of the news, there were bigger stories out there, things have gone disastrously wrong under “Ze” (Zelenskii) and the Ukraine is now looking at several time bombs which could explode at any minute. Here is a partial list of problems which the Ze administration will have to deal with in 2021: (in no particular order)

  1. The strengthening of the internal opposition to Ze’s rule
  2. The COVID pandemic, the vaccine scandal and the crumbling Ukrainian infrastructure
  3. The crackdown on free speech
  4. The persecution of opponents inside and even outside the Ukraine
  5. The (limited) rise of (putatively pro-Russian) OPZZh party
  6. The sharp rise in European rhetoric against Russia which the Ze admin will want to match and cater to
  7. The hardening of the positions of the LDNR
  8. A further increase in US/NATO saber rattling and provocations
  9. The regime in Kiev openly planning for a war against Russia

Still, before looking at each one of these threats, I think that we need to first look at what the Zelenskii presidency has meant to the Ukraine. To make a long story short, many (most?) Ukrainians are now realizing two things: first Zelenskii made many promises and kept none of them and, second, Zelenskii is even worse than Poroshenko (which is hard to believe or even imagine, but such is the sad truth). Early on, it did appear that Zelenskii might bring some real “change we can believe in”, the main one being that he would take action against the various Nazi death squads and open real negotiations with the Donbass. Neither of those actually happened. Zelenskii is clearly terrified of the political and military power of the nationalists and far from forcing the Ukronazis to abide by the rule of law, Ze comprehensively caved in to their agenda.

It is not my purpose today to analyse in detail what Zelenskii did or did not do, I will simply summarize it all by saying that Zelenskii was all talk and no action. Literally, he has completely neglected the many crises which have plagued the Ukraine since the so-called “revolution of dignity”. What he did do is preside over a sharp increase in the scope and magnitude of suppression of free speech (more about that below). He also tightened laws against the Russian language. And, of course, Ukrainian Su-27s escorted US B-1Bs along the border between Russia and the Ukraine (makes me wonder if these Ukrainian pilots have any honor or dignity left! But no, they are just servants, that’s all, meek servants of their overseas masters). These are just a few examples of purely political actions which are “for show only” but which do absolutely nothing to actually address any real problem.

A perfect example of this “all talk no action” approach was how Ze dealt with the COVID pandemic in the Ukraine. First, opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk and Vladimir Putin met in Moscow and came up with a plan to help the Ukraine deal with the COVID pandemic: Russia would hand over her vaccine-development technologies to the Ukraine’s only advanced pharmaceutical company which could then produce Sputnik-V for the needs of the Ukrainian population first, and then for export. Considering that neither the EU nor the US has any inclination to offer vaccines to the Ukraine, and considering that the Ukraine has zero chances of developing its own vaccine, this solution would seem a no-brainer. But not in the ugly Banderastan the Ukronazis created on the ashes of the real Ukraine. Instead, the Ukrainian authorities announced that they would be getting their vaccines from China. There were only two problems with this “solution”: 1) the Chinese vaccine is only about 50%+ effective and 2) the money allocated to this purchase was immediately stolen and has now disappeared (it is being investigated, of course, but we all know how such “investigations” end). However, with all the hysterical anti-Russian propaganda of the Ukrainian Nazis, it was quite unthinkable for them to accept anything Russian publicly, including a vaccine (away from the public eye, the Ukraine still purchases a lot of things from Russia, including energy). Russia is, after all, a fake “Rus” populated by Ugro-Mongols (not “pure Slavs” like the Ukrainians imagine themselves to be), it is “Putin’s Mordor” and, last but not least, Russia is the official “aggressor-country”, how can a proud Ukie nationalist accept *anything* from this demonic country, even if this saves his life?

Besides, Ze personally explained that Sputnik-V has not been properly tested and that he did now want to turn the Ukrainian people into “guinea pigs” (apparently, he and his advisors are too dumb to read The Lancet; either that, or they don’t mind their own people dying as long as the priorities of political discourse are upheld). As a result, while normal Ukrainians are denied any possibility of vaccination, wealthy Ukrainians are already organizing special trips to Russia to get vaccinated (US diplomats in Moscow are also getting the Russian vaccine).

As a result of this kind of ideology-driven “policies”, the Ukraine is now begging the West for any vaccine (even the clearly dangerous ones!). In response, the US gave the Ukraine a refrigerator (presumably to keep any future vaccines properly refrigerated). As for the Ukrainian medical infrastructure it is, just like the rest of the Ukraine’s infrastructure, in shambles. In fact, it was in shambles long before the COVID pandemic. All the pandemic did was to make things worse and reveal the truth to the rest of the world.

Furthermore, the COVID pandemic is hardly the only medical crisis facing the Ukraine: with a crumbling infrastructure, demoralized, demotivated and underpaid Ukrainian MDs who work in terrible conditions (many have emigrated, many to Russia, by the way), and no funds to deal with anything (the Ukraine is broke and is barely keeping one nostril above water by means of western loans). This situation is similar to the one Russia faced in the 90s during the “blessed times of democracy and freedom”, as seen by the West, and the “nightmare of the 90s”, as seen by most Russians.

It would not be honest to say that Ze did not try to deal with these problems at all. He did something: he ordered a massive crackdown against the opposition. These measures included banning, by executive order, the last three (rather moderate) opposition TV channels, by charging a Ukrainian blogger who lives in Spain with, I kid you not, “high treason” and by imposing sanctions on several opposition figures, beginning by Medvedchuk. And just to clarify – none of this was done legally or even in a vaguely lawful manner (how can a country impose sanctions on its own citizens? And without any judicial review!) . As expected, the US Embassy in Kiev gave these repressive measures their full and enthusiastic support. After all, according to Uncle Shmuel, this is all about “countering Russian disinformation”. In sharp contrast, the Ukranian public immediately understood what this meant (the Russian language Internet has also been blocked in the Ukronazi Banderastan, as are Russian social networks, books, art, music, etc.).

Like the typical imperial satrap that he is, Ze now rules almost exclusively by executive orders, always backed by the “muscle” of the Ukrainian “security services” (which, in reality, are the typical kind of absolutely corrupt third world “secret police” which the regular citizens are fearful of, but which those connected to the regime can always use as their personal terror squads; the Ukie “SBU” really reminds me of the kind of death squads I remember from Latin America in the 70s and 80s, say like this one).

Of course, the main reason for this crackdown on free speech can be found in the dramatic loss of popularity of Ze himself, but also because the arguments of the opposition are now becoming more popular, giving the opposition a sense of confidence. Alas, this confidence might not be warranted.

Let’s take the most famous Ukrainian opposition party, the “Opposition Platform for Life” abbreviated (in Russian) “OPZZh”. In the 2019 elections the OPZZh did very well, it came in as the 2nd party in the Rada after the “People’s Servant” party of Ze. That is true. But what is often forgotten is that OPZZh came in 2nd with only 13.05% of the vote and, even more importantly, the OPZZh has already “maxed out” its electoral potential. Why? Because this party is perceived by most Ukrainians as being pro-Russian and most Ukrainians are not pro-Russian at all. Many decades of anti-Russian and nationalist propaganda, from the Krushchev years up to today, combined with a massive and sustained Ukronazi propaganda aired by western radio stations and media, all have left their devastating impact on the self-perception and ethos of the Ukrainian people. This is especially true since the Ukraine lost both Crimea and the Donbass, which were strongholds of anti-Nazi political opposition to the Ukronazi regime. I just don’t see regions like Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk or Zhitomir ever giving a majority vote to the OPZZh, even if southern and eastern regions might. So while the OPZZh might get some more votes (say, in the southern regions of the Ukraine), it will probably never be enough to turn this self-described opposition party into a ruling one.

There used to be an alliance of opposition parties called “Opposition Block” which brought together various opposition movements and parties. Now its members have gone either to the OPZZh or founded their own sub-groups (like the 2019 version of the Opposition Block). The former Party of Regions has dissolved in abject shame, its clueless leaders mostly in exile, but a few strong and outspoken opposition figures did come from it, including Elena Bondarenko and Elena Lukash. I should also mention the name of Vadim Rabinovich, a very outspoken and articulate politician (whose main political liability is his Israeli passport).

All-in-all, there are definitely some interesting political figures in the opposition, but they do not, in my opinion, represent a viable option for the Kremlin and, frankly, they aren’t much of an option for the Ukraine either.

Still, for the Kremlin to put all its political eggs into the OPZZh basket does, to some degree, make sense. Why? Well, for one thing, OPZZh is the only major political force in the Ukraine willing to openly talk with the Kremlin. So you can say that the only option is by definition also the best one. But while Putin and the Russians are going through all the right motions with the Ukrainian opposition figures, I strongly suspect that the Kremlin knows what the real score is, and that this score looks very grim indeed. Simply put: there is no personality in the Ukraine capable of rallying enough people to finally kick Ze and his gang out of power. Why? Mostly because the Ukraine is ideologically and morally bankrupt. Well, financially, too, of course. But the main problem is that the only people with a vision for the future of the Ukraine are the Nazis. Nobody else is offering any halfway credible vision for the future of the Ukraine. Of course, this makes sense because the tragic truth is that the Ukraine has no future. None whatsoever. After all, it is an artificial country, created by Lenin and Khrushchev, whose national identity is solely based on hatred (see here and here) and whose constituent parts have mutually exclusive ideologies, beliefs and views.

It is quite remarkable that while under Poroshenko’s rule the opposition was persecuted both legally and illegally (unpunished murders of political dissidents happened in large numbers, nobody in the “democratic West” had anything to say about them!), Ze has actually gone one step further: he is clearly determined to declare that the entire opposition is composed not of Ukrainian opponents, but of traitors to the Ukraine, “Putin agents” and secret supporters of the “Russian world”. Hence, the latest series of crackdowns, lawsuits and administrative persecutions.

As always, the West only makes things worse. How? Well, since Biden won stole the US presidential election, the US-run comprador ruling classes in Europe are scrambling to show that they are just as anti-Russian as the new administration. That, in turn, encourages the regime in Kiev to show more anti-Russian aggression (in whatever form, does not really matter). This “change of tone” is immediately noticed in the Donbass and results in an escalation of the political rhetoric (and military “incidents”) in the LDNR. That, in turn, impacts the Russian political scene and resulted in things like the trip of Margarita Simonian, the editor-in-chief of the television news network RT and of the state-owned international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, to Donetsk were she publicly declared “Russia, mother, take the Donbass back home!” (“Россия, матушка, забери Донбасс домой!”). Of course, she insisted that this was her private opinion and that she was not speaking in any official capacity, which is true. But what is also true is that Simonian is a popular figure in Russia, and her words were immediately discussed on all the talkshows, VK, blogs and all the major TV channels. Everybody understands that while she was speaking in her own name, she was acutely aware of, shall we say, the “mood” in the Kremlin (and of the Russian street!) and that her saying that now will have a noticeable impact on the Russian political discourse, both the official onе and on the Russian Internet (Runet). This is a potentially very dangerous sequence:

  1. The US ups its anti-Russian rhetoric.
  2. The Europeans immediately follow suit and also escalate.
  3. The Ukronazis also immediately follow suit and also escalate.
  4. The LDNR republics warn of escalation and increase pressure on Russia.
  5. The Russians react to all of the above and harden both their rhetoric and actions.
  6. The West feels like it has to show its military power, but can only do so symbolically.
  7. Russia uses actual military capabilities to oppose western symbolic actions.
  8. The West accuses Russia of military escalation.
  9. The Russians officially declare that the West is 1) non-agreement capable (old argument) and 2) hypocritical beyond words.
  10. The West then uses its “soft” (political) power to harass Russia, only further making things worse (see #1 above)

This is exactly the kind of open-ended escalation which can result in a major cataclysm. As for Ukronazis politicians, they flood the air with triumphant declarations about their “new” missile “Neptune” which they could use to destroy the Crimean Bridge (see here or here for a good laugh!). Of course, the Russians know that the “new” Neptune missile is just a modernization of the old, 1980s era, Soviet Kh-35 missile, a subsonic missile with a 145kg (320lbs) warhead. The original Kh-35 had a 130km (70nmi) range, which was bumped up to 300km (160nmi) in Russia in 2015. The “new” Neptune also has a 300km range. In plain English this means three things: 1) the Russian air defenses can easily shoot down this slow flying missile 2) a 145kg warhead can’t do any meaningful damage to a huge structure like the Crimea Bridge and 3) Kiev is still up to no good and dreams of a reconquista.

But that is not all! Kiev is also promising to 1) build a new naval base not only on the Black Sea coast, but also on the Sea of Azov and 2) they are now working with the UK to build up these capabilities. Best of all, the western and Ukrainian propaganda outlets are open declaring that this is a strategy to defeat Russia (for a good laugh, read this). The truth is this: nevermind the Sea of Azov, the entire Black Sea is now a de facto “Russian lake” and Russia has the means to destroy any ship sailing the Black Sea within minutes, everybody knows that, at least anybody with any military background. In case of conflict, the survival time of these two Ukrainian bases would be counted not even in minutes, but in seconds. Deploying any force so near to the Russian border is basically suicidal.

One more example of the kind of insanity which has taken over the Ukraine with Ze in power: believe it or not, but the Ze administration has explained that the Ukraine gave NATO the “authorization” to overfly Crimea. Again, this is such a self-evidently stupid idea that I won’t discuss it on its merits. All I want you to do is imagine hearing all that crazy stuff if you were a Russian decision maker: would you simply ignore these nutcases or would you take the needed measures to make sure that none of that ever happens. Even Lavrov recently quoted the famous Roman wisdom “si vis pacem, para bellum” which, considering that Lavrov is most definitely a “moderate” tells you all you need to know about Russian responses to all this insanity.

The sad truth is that Ze’s Ukraine is no more viable than Poroshenko’s was. In fact, I would argue that the Ukraine is cracking at all its seams and that the only solution left just to delay, but not prevent, a Somalia-like style collapse is to import everything from abroad: from the EU, of course, but also from Russia (especially energy) which continues to provide the Ukraine with energy, even if this is rarely advertised (especially in the Ukraine). The Ukrainian energy sector is in ruins, as is the Ukrainian agricultural sector (the “agrarian superpower” promise also failed to deliver; it reminds me of Krushchev’s “corn crusade”…). None of that is ever reported in the West (for a good laugh, see herehere or here) except buried deeply in some reports like this rare admission “The informal sector in Ukraine is estimated to account for a third of the country’s GDP, and GDP per capita (at purchasing power parity) is only 20% of the EU average”.

The reality of the collapse of the Ukraine is so serious that the international community has decided to provide COVID vaccines to the Ukraine through the COVAX program which Wikipedia defines as “the financing instrument that will support the participation of 92 low- and middle-income economies to access to COVID-19 vaccine funded by donors”. In fact, the decision has been made that the Ukraine will be amongst the first countries to benefit from this international aid program. Okay, in plain English this means this: since the Ukraine cannot produce a vaccine, and since the Ukraine has no money to purchase vaccines abroad, and since the epidemiological situation in the Ukraine (and in all the other poor countries) represents a real danger for developed and wealthy countries too, it only makes sense for the rich to inoculate the poor, if only to avoid being contaminated by them (yet another case of self-interest masquerading as charity).

The richer countries will have no option but to pay for the costs to inoculate those people who live in failed states and other indigent countries. Yet, even Ze himself had to admit that even this will not be enough. It sure looks to me like the US will peddle its worst vaccines (Pfizer) to the Ukrainians and still make a profit. Some opponents of the regime, like Anatolii Sharii (the blogger living in Spain and accused of “high treason”) suggested to do with the Russian vaccines what the Ukraine has already done with Russian energy: don’t buy it from Russia but, instead, let Russia sell her vaccines (Russia is the only country in the world with 3 tested and fully approved vaccines) to the EU which then can re-sell it to the Ukraine, thereby obfuscating the “aggressor-nation” origin of the vaccine from the public eye. This technique, called a “reverse”, is what the EU and the regime in Kiev came up with to avoid admitting the absolutely inadmissible fact that the Ukraine still only exists because Russia allows it to (if Russia was to cut off all ties with the Ukraine the latter would quickly collapse, if only because of a lack of energy).

But no country can live by “reversing” everything. Not only are “reversed” goods more expensive than the original ones (transportation costs money), but it’s not like the EU has enough energy or vaccines for itself. And while the Europeans have lied to the Ukrainians about pretty much everything and made innumerable promises about how the Ukraine will become “the next Germany” in the EU, the sad reality is that nobody in the EU gives a damn about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. EU politicians don’t even care about their own people, why should they care about anybody except themselves anyway? Remember, this is the “new EU” where the only truly “European values” left are greed, power and psychopathic hypocrisy. From now on when you think Europe, don’t think Henry Dunant (the founder of the Red Cross movement, long before Clara Barton who only founded the American Red Cross 18 years later) or J.S. Bach, but think Conchita Wurst: that is the new, Woke, face of Europe.

In fact, I would even argue that the *only* country in the world where people still *truly* care about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people remains Russia. This idea is, of course, 100% pure crimethink which nobody in the West will ever admit to it. Sadly, there are plenty of signs indicating that the traditional love the Russian people had for the Ukraine is quickly being replaced by a strong sense of disgust.

In this highly unfavorable backdrop it is now also becoming increasingly impossible for the Ukrainian propaganda machine to conceal the scope and magnitude of the deep crisis affecting the country: the quickening pace of the collapse of the Ukrainian infrastructure is simply impossible to conceal. And does one conceal stuff like the severe shortages in goods and services? Or how do you conceal an electricity outage?

Conclusion:

The Ukraine is facing a range of major problems which are unlikely to remain contained to the territory of the Ukraine. Things like crime, or a pandemic, or the rule of the mob are very hard to contain. Sooner or later these inevitably bleed over the border to the neighboring country which then, in turn, has to face the same threats. In theory, Russia, the US and the EU could get together and agree on an international rescue plan, but since the US and EU consider that they are playing a zero sum game against Russia, no western politician will ever openly advocate for a real collaboration with Putin’s Mordor. Putin recently declared that “why does everything revolve around the Nord Stream — 2? They want to make Russia pay for their geopolitical project “Ukraine”, that’s all. In fact, everything is quite primitive, everything is simple, we have long understood this, but this is the world in which we live”. Needless to say, Russia won’t agree to foot the bill for this disastrous experiment russophobic ethnogenesis, if only because she simply does not have the kind of reserves to pay for such a huge program. At most, Russia will continue to help the Donbass, and even in this case Russia (or the LDNR republics) could consider demanding reparations from Kiev and its western sponsors. Again, knowing how western arbitration courts work, that won’t happen either.

I don’t think that anybody seriously believes that the Donbass or Crimea will ever agree to return under Kiev’s rule, not de facto and not de jure. That is a given. Neither do I believe that the rump Ukraine is a viable entity. The only conclusion I can come to is this: a breakup of the Ukraine might be inevitable. In fact, such a breakup might even be desirable for all parties (except the russophobic warmongering ruling classes of the AngloZionist Empire who want to destroy Russia at any and all cost).

Bibi, Pfizer and the Election

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Bibi Pfizer election.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Israel’s biggest news outlet Ynet reported a few hours ago  that in the country voluntarily making itself Pfizer’s testing ground,  “75.4% of those diagnosed yesterday were under 39.  Only 5.5% were over 60. “The number of critical patients dropped to 858 – the lowest since January 4. However, this number is more than double that in mid-December, just before Israel started its ‘pioneering’ experiment in mass vaccination.  Ynet reports today that “In Israel 59.9% of critical patients are over 60 years old. 18.2% are aged 50 to 59. In addition, 10.8% are aged 40 to 49 and 7.5% are in their 30s. As of today, more than a third of critical patients are between 30 to 59 years old.” 

The meaning of the above can hardly be denied or at least demands immediate attention. The country that leads the mass vaccination contest reports a radical shift in the nature of the pandemic. It doesn’t take a genius to suspect that there may be a correlation between the mass vaccination campaign and the growing vulnerability of younger age groups including new-born and pregnant women. The biology here is also far from being too complicated. The virus that initially preyed on the elderly and vulnerable has morphed by means of mutation and is now fit enough to attack other segments of society and particularly younger age groups. 

Up to the 20th of December, the day Israel launched its mass vaccination campaign the country had logged 3,074 deaths. In less than two months of ‘successful’ mass vaccination that number almost doubled. As of writing this article, it stands on 5,526. This spectacular rise in deaths (80% in less than two months) occurred when the country was in lockdown, hence it wasn’t exactly ‘social gathering’ that helped the virus spread. The only thing that was spreading in Israel in these two months was the Pfizer vaccines and the so-called British mutant that is apparently more popular in Bnei Brak than in Kent. The inevitable question here is whether there is a connection between vaccination and mutants, but this is the one question no one is allowed to ask in Israel.

In November 2020 Israeli Health Ministry data revealed that Israel detected 400 cases coronavirus under the age of two. By February 2021, that number grew to 5,800.  We are dealing with a clear rise of about 1300%, impressive indeed. Israeli Ynet reports that this kind of rise in numbers of new-born Covid-19 morbidity are reported around the world, I investigated it but didn’t manage to find any confirmation that this is indeed the case.  In Britain, for instance, all I find is reports on a ‘Covid-19 baby boom’ and some concerns regarding a rise in child obesity. In fact, nobody reports on a rise of 1300% in new-born Covid-19 except Israel. 

I am not in a position to determine what led Israelis to make themselves into guinea pigs for a pharma giant with a dubious safety and ethical record. The possibility must be considered that in Israel the success of a mass vaccination campaign could be Netanyahu and his party’s primary ploy ahead of the coming election. Netanyahu faces a serious legal battle, and winning the election extends far beyond politics for him. It is an existential survival battle. I believe Bibi had to choose between war with Iran and a Pfizer vaccine. He had good reason to assume that Pfizer is by far a better and more peaceful option.

Netanyahu probably gathered that a successful mass vaccination campaign would secure his victory. This was indeed a reasonable consideration on his part, and it may prove to be correct. It is worth mentioning that not one of Netanyahu’s political opponents on the evaporating Israeli Left or centre dare challenge Netanyahu’s vaccine policy. More so, not one Left-wing institution in Israel has stood up for the many Israelis reluctant to be vaccinated (currently more than 50%).  Not one politician took their side and stood for their elementary rights.

Meanwhile, the government is desperate to make sure that the entire nation is vaccinated. The government won’t hesitate to introduce totalitarian measures.   The Jerusalem post reported today that “a green passport will be required to enter certain places and to participate in certain activities. Only people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus will be eligible for one. As part of the program, registered gyms, theatres, hotels, concerts and synagogues will be able to operate starting next week.” Israel already signed agreements with countries that will open their gates solely to the Israelis who carry green passport.

One may wonder why the Israeli Government is so obsessed with vaccinating the entire population, including the youth, army and other segments that aren’t necessarily high-risk. One possibility is that the Israeli government knows by now the real implications of the vaccine. Israel can’t turn a blind eye to the 1300% rise of Covid-19 cases in new-borns. They also can’t ignore that the number of Covid-19 deaths since the vaccination campaign started equals that of IDF fatalities in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a war the country is still traumatized by.

It is possible that Israeli leadership now acknowledge the fatal mistake it has made distributing the vaccine widely. It may be plausible that the only solution they could come up with is vaccinating the entire population, hoping that this may provide at least temporary protection, which may last until the March election date.

If there is any validity in my dark depiction of the Israeli reality, it is reasonable to conclude that with Bibi at the helm and Pfizer with a needle, Israelis do not really need enemies. 

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Battle for Marib: Yemeni Army Close to Retaking City from Saudi-led Forces

Battle for Marib: Yemeni Army Close to Retaking City from Saudi-led Forces

By Staff, Agencies

Victory appears to be on the horizon in the heated battle for Yemen’s strategic central province of Marib as army troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have reportedly taken control of most areas there and dislodged Saudi-led coalition forces and Riyadh-backed militants from those regions.

A Yemeni military source told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that Yemeni soldiers and their allies had encircled Marib city, following weeks of fierce clashes with Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries.

The source added that Yemeni forces had cut off the main supply route into the eastern flank of Marib, which leads to the Arab country’s largest province of Hadhramaut.

“After gaining complete control over all the heights overlooking the city of Marib from all directions, mopping up operations to clear the last remaining pockets of al-Qaeda elements and mercenaries of the aggressors [Saudi-led coalition] are only a matter of time,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the governor of Yemen’s southern province of Aden has warned that the al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafist Islah Party is transferring Takfiri militants from southern areas to Marib to join the ranks of Saudi-led coalition forces and Hadi loyalists in battles against Yemeni soldiers and their allies.

“The Islah Party, which is on the verge of collapse in Marib, is brining Takfiri militants from several regions, mostly from southern provinces under the occupation of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE], into Marib,” Tariq Salem told Yemen’s official Saba news agency.

He stressed the need to confront the deployment of such terrorists, who are seeking to carry out target killings and criminal schemes in Marib in the face of the anticipated triumph of Yemeni armed forces and their allies.

“What people in the southern [Yemeni] provinces are enduring is the result of continued [Saudi-UAE] occupation and the influx of Takfiri militants. It is highly worth taking into consideration that no Yemeni citizen, either in Marib or elsewhere in the country, must subject their families, their properties as well as public interests to danger,” Salem pointed out.

Separately, an unnamed source in Yemen’s Liaison and Coordination Officers Operations Room said that during the past 24 hours, forces of the Saudi-led military coalition and their mercenaries have breached 148 times an agreement reached between the warring sides during a round of UN-sponsored peace negotiations in Sweden in December 2018.

The source at the monitor added that the violations in the western coastal province of Hudaydah included formation of fortification lines near 50th Street, al-Jabaliya and al-Mandhar neighborhoods, a dozen reconnaissance flights over Hays, al-Durayhimi and al-Tuhayat districts, 35 counts of artillery and mortar shelling, as well as 95 shooting incidents in various regions.

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Marib: Tribal coup against Saudi Arabia مأرب: انقلاب قبلي على السعودية

انقلاب شامل على الرياض: قبائل مأرب تجنح للسلام
Sanaa is expected to succeed in turning the tables on the “coalition” and the Hadi government from within (AFP)

Marib: Tribal coup against Saudi Arabia

Marib province is witnessing a real coup against Saudi Arabia, whose old tools for creating loyalties are no longer effective, after six years of control by militias loyal to it. One by one, tribes join the Peace Agreements with Sana’a, in order to spare their areas from fighting. Riyadh does not want to do everything in its power to nullify it, without succeeding in doing so, which is a great shock to it given the roots of its tools and obsolescence in Marib, and the historical relations that bring it together with its faces.

A full-scale coup against Riyadh: Marib tribes drift for peace

Yemen Rachid Al-Haddad Monday, February 22, 2021

Marib province is witnessing a real coup against Saudi Arabia, whose old tools for creating loyalties are no longer effective, after six years of control by militias loyal to it. One by one, tribes join the Peace Agreements with Sana’a, in order to spare their areas from fighting. Riyadh does not want to do everything in its power to nullify it, without succeeding in doing so, which is a great shock to it given the roots of its tools and obsolescence in Marib, and the historical relations that bring it together with its faces.

Sana’a | Far from any financial inducements, the rescue government in Sana’a has opened all channels of communication – official and otherwise – with the Marib tribes, and renewed its call for the people of the province, who are engaged in fighting alongside the Saudi-Emirati alliance, to spare the city, which is home to more than two million people, hundreds of thousands of whom are displaced, the consequences of the conflict, opening the door to return to Sana’a to officials loyal to the outgoing president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, military or civilian. This negotiating approach, which coincides with the progress of its forces towards the vicinity of Marib from more than one direction, comes after the success of Ansar Allah in concluding understandings with the Tribes of Al-Ja’an, which extends control over the directorates of Maserati, Medgul and Rajwan to the west of the city, and with the Tribe of Bani Abd, which controls the Abdiya district in the south of the province, and has avoided large areas of these fighting directorates. Despite Saudi Arabia’s bet on the position of the Murad tribe, which is a major force in the province and controls the directorates of Rahba, Al-Gobba, Jabal Murad, Al-Mahla and Hareeb, to repel the advance of the army and “popular committees” in the fronts of the south of the province, The Leadership of Sana’a was able, in early September, to conclude a number of agreements with the Murad tribes, including large areas of the directorates mentioned recently, which fell under the control of the army and the “popular committees”, except for some areas, while the fighting with Hadi’s forces intensified, supporting fighters from “Murad” loyal to Saudi Arabia, in parts of the Directorate of Jabal Murad.

Sana’a’s experience in removing barriers between them and the Marib tribes and reaching binding agreements with them is not new. Over the past years, I have been able to make several agreements with the Tribes of Jahm and Bani Jabr, which are spread in the directorates of Badda and Hareeb al-Qaramish, which are in contact with the directorates east of Sana’a, as well as bani Jabr’s control of the Saroah district. As the clashes reached the territory of the Obeida tribe, whose influence extends from the vicinity of Marib to Wadi Obeida, Safar and Ruwaik, near the Saudi-Yemeni depositary port, Sana’a finally opened all channels of communication with Obeida, whose leader, Sheikh Mohsen bin Ali bin Ma’ili, called before his death in 2018, the leader of Ansar Allah Abdul Malik al-Huthi, with a poem in which he expressed his tribe’s readiness to receive the army and committees and fight with them to liberate Marib. According to a tribal source who spoke to Al-Akhbar, the Sanaa government has been able to reach agreements with a number of sheikhs of the Obeida tribe in recent days, to spare a number of areas of the tribe confrontations. The source pointed out that «the recent agreements have been reserved and not officially announced for the sake of the safety of their parties, and they will be implemented as soon as the army and committees arrive in the areas concerned, adding that «communication and negotiation are still continuing between Sana’a and a number of tribes of Marib, through the sheikhs guaranteethem a great tribal weight.”

Sana’a’s experience in removing barriers between them and the new Marib tribes is not


Sana’a is expected to turn the tables on the Coalition and Hadi’s government from within, especially since the Marib tribes’ response to the “rescue” calls came not from a vacuum, but rather as a result of cumulative mistakes made by the Al-Islah (Brotherhood) party against the tribes over six years, where it forcibly controlled the province’s revenues and wealth, and attempted to subjugate an area that had not been subject to any central or local authorities over the past decades. Hence, it is unlikely that the Saudi threats and inducements of tribes cooperating with Ansar Allah will work, because the islah militias committed the most heinous crimes against the tribes during the past three years, raided the houses of the “Shafar” in early 2019 with tanks, bombed farms, burned houses, destroyed houses, and last year annicity, and fought al-Haq, Al-Shabwan, Jalal, Al-Muthanna and other tribes descending from Obeida, which controls the entire eastern province.

The coalition had finally raised its level of threats to tribes cooperating with Sanaa’s forces, and stressed pressure on others whose leaders were loyal to him to force them to break agreements with the army and the “committees.” Days after it deliberately foiled a new agreement with the Sheikh of al-Zawr, Mohammed Ali Ta’iman, east of the Saruh front, the enemy aircraft launched dozens of raids on the area, turning it into a battlefield that lasted for several days after Hadi’s forces stormed its borders, before the clashes ended with the army and “committees” on it. Under Saudi pressure, Hadi’s forces also reversed a tribal agreement that has been in place for years between Sana’a and the Bani Dabian and Kholan tribes, neutralizing large areas extending from Kholan, west of the capital Sana’a, to areas east of Sarawah.  The clashes that continued for hours and ended with the fall of the area under the control of Sanaa forces.

Saudi Arabia and Hadi’s forces are trying to thwart any agreements concluded in Marib, their fears of a sudden tribal coup against them, the failure of the policy of seduction and containment that they have used among Obeida and Murad during the past period, and the division of tribes that fought within hadi’s forces with direct Saudi support, as a result of the confiscation of 120 million Saudi Arabia handed over to a number of pro-government sheikhs in Marib to move Murad’s front, and did not act to tribal fighters late last year, in addition to accusing the tribes, Al-Islah and Saudi Arabia, of deliberately filtering their sons with friendly raids, after repeated in the past months against positions that were under the control of tribal gunmen.

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مأرب: انقلاب قبلي على السعودية

انقلاب شامل على الرياض: قبائل مأرب تجنح للسلام
يُتوقّع نجاح صنعاء في قلب الطاولة على «التحالف» وحكومة هادي من الداخل (أ ف ب )
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 202122213731618637495546516185698.jpg

تشهد محافظة مأرب انقلاباً حقيقياً على السعودية، التي لم تَعُد أدواتها القديمة في ابتياع الولاءات فاعلة، بعد ستّ سنوات من سيطرة الميليشيات الموالية لها على المحافظة. واحدةً تلو أخرى، تنضمّ القبائل إلى «اتفاقيات السلام» المعقودة مع صنعاء، من أجل تجنيب مناطقها القتال. اتفاقيات لا تني الرياض تفعل كلّ ما في وسعها من أجل إبطالها، من دون أن تفلح في ذلك، وهو ما يُمثّل صدمة كبيرة لها بالنظر إلى تجذّر أدواتها وتقادمها في مأرب، والعلاقات التاريخية التي تجمعها بوجوهها

انقلاب شامل على الرياض: قبائل مأرب تجنح للسلام

اليمن  رشيد الحداد  الإثنين 22 شباط 2021

تشهد محافظة مأرب انقلاباً حقيقياً على السعودية، التي لم تَعُد أدواتها القديمة في ابتياع الولاءات فاعلة، بعد ستّ سنوات من سيطرة الميليشيات الموالية لها على المحافظة. واحدةً تلو أخرى، تنضمّ القبائل إلى «اتفاقيات السلام» المعقودة مع صنعاء، من أجل تجنيب مناطقها القتال. اتفاقيات لا تني الرياض تفعل كلّ ما في وسعها من أجل إبطالها، من دون أن تفلح في ذلك، وهو ما يُمثّل صدمة كبيرة لها بالنظر إلى تجذّر أدواتها وتقادمها في مأرب، والعلاقات التاريخية التي تجمعها بوجوهها

صنعاء | بعيداً عن أيّ إغراءات مالية، فتَحت حكومة الإنقاذ في صنعاء، خلال الأيام الفائتة، جميع قنوات التواصل – الرسمية وغيرها – مع قبائل مأرب، وجدّدت دعوتها أبناء المحافظة، المنخرطين في القتال إلى جانب التحالف السعودي – الإماراتي، إلى تجنيب المدينة التي يسكنها أكثر من مليونَي نسمة، مئاتُ الآلاف منهم من النازحين، تبعات الصراع، فاتحةً باب العودة إلى صنعاء أمام المسؤولين الموالين للرئيس المنتهية ولايته، عبد ربه منصور هادي، عسكريين كانوا أو مدنيين. تَوجُّه صنعاء التفاوضي هذا، والمتزامن مع تقدُّم قواتها نحو محيط مدينة مأرب من أكثر من اتجاه، يأتي بعد نجاح حركة «أنصار الله» في إبرام تفاهمات مع قبائل الجدعان التي تمتدّ سيطرتها على مديريات مجزر ومدغل ورغوان غرب المدينة، وأخرى مع قبيلة بني عبد التي تسيطر على مديرية العبدية جنوبي المحافظة، جنّبت مناطق واسعة من تلك المديريات القتال. وعلى رغم رهان السعودية على موقف قبيلة مراد، التي تُعدّ قوة كبيرة في المحافظة وتسيطر على مديريات رحبة والجوبة وجبل مراد والمأهلية وحريب، لصدّ تقدُّم الجيش و»اللجان الشعبية» في جبهات جنوب المحافظة، إلا أن قيادة صنعاء تمكّنت، مطلع أيلول/ سبتمبر الماضي، من إبرام عدد من الاتفاقيات مع قبائل مراد، بما حيّد مناطق واسعة من المديريات المذكورة أخيراً، والتي سقطت تحت سيطرة الجيش و»اللجان الشعبية»، ما عدا بعض المناطق، فيما احتدم القتال مع قوات هادي، بإسناد مقاتلين من «مراد» موالين للسعودية، في أجزاء من مديرية جبل مراد.

وليست تجربة صنعاء في إزالة الحواجز بينها وبين قبائل مأرب والتوصُّل معها إلى اتفاقيات ملزمة، جديدة. فخلال السنوات الماضية، تمكّنت من عقد عدّة اتفاقيات مع قبائل جهم وبني جبر، والتي تنتشر في مديريتَي بدبدة وحريب القراميش الواقعتَين على التماس مع مديريات شرقي صنعاء، فضلاً عن سيطرة «بني جبر» على مديرية صرواح. ومع وصول المواجهات إلى أراضي قبيلة عبيدة التي يمتدّ نفوذها من محيط مدينة مأرب وصولاً إلى وادي عبيدة وصافر والرويك القريب من منفذ الوديعة الرابط بين السعودية واليمن، فَتَحت صنعاء، أخيراً، جميع قنوات التواصل مع «عبيدة» التي نادى زعيمها، الشيخ محسن بن علي بن معيلي، قبل وفاته عام 2018، زعيم حركة «أنصار الله» عبد الملك الحوثي، بقصيدة شعرية أبدى فيها استعداد قبيلته لاستقبال الجيش و»اللجان» والقتال معهما لتحرير مأرب. وبحسب مصدر قبلي تحدّث إلى «الأخبار»، فقد تَمكّنت حكومة صنعاء من التوصُّل إلى اتفاقيات مع عدد من مشائخ قبيلة عبيدة خلال الأيام الماضية، لتجنيب عدد من مناطق القبيلة المواجهات. وأشار المصدر إلى أن «الاتفاقيات الأخيرة تمّ التحفُّظ عليها ولم تُعلَن رسمياً حرصاً على سلامة أطرافها، وهي ستُنفّذ حال وصول الجيش واللجان إلى المناطق المعنيّة بها»، مضيفاً أن «التواصل والتفاوض لا يزالان مستمرّين بين صنعاء وعدد من قبائل مأرب، عبر مشائخ ضمان لهم ثقل قبلي كبير».

ليست تجربة صنعاء في إزالة الحواجز بينها وبين قبائل مأرب جديدة

إزاء ذلك، يُتوقّع نجاح صنعاء في قلب الطاولة على «التحالف» وحكومة هادي من الداخل، خصوصاً أن استجابة قبائل مأرب لنداءات «الإنقاذ» لم تأتِ من فراغ، بل نتيجة لأخطاء تراكمية ارتكبها حزب «الإصلاح» (الإخوان) ضدّ القبائل على مدى ستّ سنوات، حيث سيطر بالقوة على إيرادات المحافظة وثرواتها، وحاول إخضاع منطقة لم يسبق لها أن خضعت لأيّ سلطات مركزية أو محلية على مدى العقود الماضية. ومن هنا، يُستبعد أن تُجدي التهديدات والإغراءات السعودية للقبائل المتعاونة مع «أنصار الله» نفعاً، لكون ميليشيات «الإصلاح» ارتكبت أبشع الجرائم بحق القبائل خلال السنوات الثلاث الماضية، فداهمت منازل «الأشراف» مطلع العام 2019 بالدبابات، وقصفت المزارع، وأحرقت المنازل، وأبادت العام الماضي أسرة آل سبيعيان، وقاتلت آل حتيك وآل شبوان وآل جلال وآل مثنى وقبائل أخرى تنحدر من «عبيدة» التي تسيطر على النصف الشرقي بأكمله من المحافظة.

وكان «التحالف» رفع، أخيراً، مستوى تهديداته للقبائل المتعاونة مع قوات صنعاء، وشدّد ضغوطه على أخرى يُعدّ زعماؤها موالين له لإجبارهم على نقض الاتفاقيات المبرَمة مع الجيش و»اللجان». كذلك، وجّهت قيادة قوات هادي، عناصرها، بعدم الالتزام بأيّ اتفاقيات من هذا النوع. وبعد أيام من تعمُّدها إفشال اتفاق جديد أُبرم مع شيخ منطقة الزور، محمد علي طعيمان، شرق جبهة صرواح، شنّت طائرات العدوان عشرات الغارات على المنطقة، وحَوّلها إلى ساحة حرب استمرّت لعدّة أيام إثر اقتحام قوات هادي أطرافها، قبل أن تنتهي المواجهات بسيطرة الجيش و»اللجان» عليها. وتحت ضغوط سعودية أيضاً، نقضت قوات هادي اتفاقاً قبلياً ساري التنفيذ منذ سنوات بين صنعاء وقبائل بني ضبيان وخولان، لتحييد مناطق واسعة ممتدّة من خولان غرب العاصمة صنعاء، وصولاً إلى مناطق شرق صرواح. ووفقاً لمصدر قبلي، فإن قوات هادي اخترقت، مساء السبت، بإسناد جوي سعودي، اتفاق السلام في منطقة الراك شرق صرواح، مُحاوِلةً فتح جبهة جديدة ممتدّة من شرق صرواح إلى غرب صنعاء، وساعيةً في السيطرة على آخر منطقتين في وادي ذنة وحصن مطول والراك التي توجد فيها المئات من الأسر النازحة، ما أدّى إلى اندلاع مواجهات عنيفة استمرّت لساعات، وانتهت بسقوط المنطقة تحت سيطرة قوات صنعاء.

وتعكس محاولات السعودية وقوات هادي إفشال أيّ اتفاقيات تُبرَم في مأرب، مخاوفها من انقلاب القبائل المفاجئ ضدّها، وفشل سياسة الإغراء والاحتواء التي استخدمتها في أوساط «عبيدة» و»مراد» خلال الفترة الماضية، وانقسام القبائل التي قاتلت في صفوف قوات هادي بدعم سعودي مباشر، من جرّاء مصادرة 120 مليون ريال سعودي سَلّمتها الرياض لعدد من المشائخ الموالين لها في مأرب لتحريك جبهة مراد، ولم تُصرَف للمقاتلين القبليين أواخر العام الماضي، إضافة إلى اتهام القبائل، «الإصلاح» والسعودية، بتصفية أبنائها بغارات صديقة بشكل متعمّد، بعد تكرارها خلال الأشهر الماضية ضدّ مواقع كانت تحت سيطرة مسلّحين قبليين.

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TURKEY’S ETERNAL CRUSADE ON PKK CONTINUES

South Front

Turkey is unrelenting in its crusade against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party and the People’s Protection Units, as two parts of a whole.

Ankara’s forces carry out frequent operations within and without the country, targeting both the Kurdistan Worker’s Party s (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG)’s interests and members. The Turkish government dubs both groups as terrorists, and does not shy away from invading the sovereign territory of other countries to pursue and “eliminate” their members and positions.

As a result, Turkey frequently encroaches on Syrian and Iraqi territory, and even has observation posts set up to target its Kurdish enemy.

It strongly opposes the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group whose core is comprised of the YPG, and receives heavy US support.

Most recently, between February 10th and the 14th, Turkey began its most recent operation in northern Iraq. In particular, it took place on the Gara Mountain in the Duhok Governorate of the Kurdistan Region. The result was such that both the PKK and the Turkish Armed Forces claimed victory, following the operation. The accounts of what transpired vary.

Turkey said it killed 53 PKK members, and captured 2. It admitted to losing 3 soldiers, while 4 of its troops were wounded in battle. According to the PKK, Turkey lost at least 30 soldiers, and dozens more were injured. A sort of collateral damage involved 13 Turkish hostages whose corpses were discovered in a cave network in the mountain area. Turkey and the US claimed that these were largely civilians, and some intelligence officers. The PKK claimed these were 13 Turkish military hostages. Turkey’s Defense Minister claimed many weapons and ammunition, as well as other equipment were seized.

In the aftermath, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to expand military operations which showed progress to other regions where threats are still significant.

Ankara’s aggressive and assertive actions are making many of the involved parties dissatisfied. Regardless it keeps carrying them out and shows no intention of stopping.

In Iraq, the Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement issued a warning to the Turkish Army against invading the country any longer. It said that it would suffer the same fate as the American Army whose convoys and positions continue to be targeted. Iraq maintains the posture that Turkey must withdraw fully from its sovereign territory. It should simply pack up its bases in the north of the country and vacate the premises.

In response, Turkey maintains that the West, and Iraq’s government aren’t doing enough to counter the alleged terrorist threat. Ankara claims it has its right of self-defense, even if it requires invading other countries.

Operation Claw Eagle 2 was of questionable success, if the numbers by the PKK are to be considered, against those provided by Turkey. These operations, however, are unlikely to stop, both in Iraq and Syria.

Erdogan seems hell-bent on solving all “security issues” and expanding Turkish activities in regions that are deemed threatening to Ankara’s interests.

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أنيس فلسطين… لم ينته النقاش!

ناصر قنديل

لن ينتهي النقاش حول أنيس الذي طوى مرحلة من المسيرة، وسيبقى حاضراً أبعد من الذكريات الكثيرة، والأسرار الدفينة، فالروح التي تقاتل تحضر ولا تغادر وروح أنيس النقاش واحدة من هذه الأرواح النادرة في الصفاء والنقاء والتوثب والشجاعة والمبادرة واللطف والحضور. في مطلع السبعينيات ونحن نتلمّس مكانتنا في ساحات النضال كان أنيس القدوة والمثال الذي نتبع ظله ونبحث عن حضوره، من دون أن نعرفه عن قرب. ونحن هنا جيل شبابي كامل كان يتأهب لحمل السلاح نحو فلسطين، وعندما شاهدناه في عمليّة وزراء أوبك صفّقنا لهذه البصمة التي شرّفت لبنان واللبنانيين بحضور عرس كبير لفلسطين، وكان أنيس العريس، وعندما التقينا في بنت جبيل ورشاف عام 1977 ولاحقاً في مقاومة احتلال 1978 والصواريخ إلى خلف الحدود، لم نستطع جمع الرموز بين محطات محورها أنيس النقاش، وكأن الذي عرفناه في كل حلقة هو شخص مختلف، لكنّه كان أنيس، الذي تيقنا من جمعه لهذه الحلقات في سلسلة حريته وهو سجين في باريس بعد محاولته إعلان بصمته في عقاب شعوب المنطقة لنظام الشاه ورموزه، وإشهار الموقف الى صف الثورة الإسلاميّة التي رفعت علم فلسطين في طهران، لنعرف لاحقاً أن أنيس كان من المجموعة الصغيرة التي خططت لذلك مع رفاقه الذين صاروا لاحقاً قادة الحرس الثوريّ، الذي ألقيتهم في طهران عام 1980، وهم يتحدثون عن أنيس وحريته كالتزام لا حياد عنه في مستقبل أي علاقات فرنسية إيرانية.

من تلك اللحظة كان الشهيد القائد عماد مغنية حاضراً، حتى لحظة حريّة أنيس بمفاوضات أدارها العماد، وهو يدير ما سيغدو أعظم تجارب المقاومة في المنطقة، والتي سيغدو أنيس العائد أحد أبرز مفكّريها، بعقله الحر وفكره اللامع وثقافته الموسوعيّة وتهذيبه ورفعة أخلاقه، وتصدّيه لكل صعب لا يُنال، وتحدّيه ليقدم القدوة والمثال، فهو حتى لو لم يكن منذ هذه اللحظة بين من يحملون السلاح، لا يترك للنضال الساح. ومنذ هذه اللحظة بدأت صداقتنا القريبة، وصار التواصل بلا انقطاع، وكرم الأنيس في اللقاء عندما يكون في طهران انشغال واهتمام بكل قادم من رفاق الدرب من بيروت، مرّة يكون العماد مضيفاً ومرة يكون الأنيس، حتى رحل العماد، فحاول ما استطاع ألا يشعر أحد أن شيئاً قد تغيّر، وهو في كل المعارك في أول الصفوف، وفي كل الاحتفالات في آخرها، تخجله الأضواء ويكره المناصب والمكاسب ولا يهزّ عضده الإغواء، يبحث عن المقاتلين ويأنس جلساتهم وسماعهم في قلب كل معركة، وينصت لتقييماتهم بعدها، حتى حضر القاسم فصار رفيقاً وأنيساً، وربما كان للحرب على سورية فضل اتخاذها مسكناً ومقراً لأنيس، ليتاح لهما تواتر اللقاء وبساطته، يعزّي أحدهما الآخر بغياب العماد ويحاولان ملأ الفراغ، حتى جاء رحيل القاسم جرحه البليغ وهو يبتسم بانتظار اللحاق.

كل مَن يفكر ويبحث عمّا هو أبعد من سطح الأحداث، ولا يهدأ بحثاً عن حل لقضية في قلب الحرب، كان لا بد أن يهرع الى انيس عارضاً ما التمع في عقله، ويقدح معه زناد الفكر ليستكشفا معاً تحليقاً لا يتوقف في فضاءات الفلسفة والوجود والاستراتيجيات والتكتيكات حتى تتبلور الفكرة مشروعاً، وحين تصير صديقاً لأنيس لن يفوتك منه سعي لنقاش حول فكرة جديدة تشغل باله ويسعى لإنضاجها، فقد أصبحت محظوظاً بأنيس فكر ورفيق درب، قد يتصل آخر الليل أو في الصباح الباكر ليقول بأدب ولطف، ألديك وقت للتحدّث قليلاً، وتجيب بالطبع فيبدأ تحليقه وتدفقه بلا توقف، وتلتقيان وتقرّران كتابة التصورات والسعي لإيصالها، وأنيس صاحب مشروع التشبيك بين لبنان وسورية والعراق وإيران وصولاً إلى تركيا بعد انضباطها بمعايير الخروج من العدوان على سورية، لبناء سوق مشتركة، وحلّ الأزمة الكردية، وتشكيل محور اقتدار إقليمي لا يمكن كسره، يشكل ظهيراً للمقاومة التي لم يشكّ يوماً بأنها ذاهبة بكل فخر وعز وقوة الى فلسطين.

قبل حرب تموز 2006 بأيام وفي ظل توقعات بحرب مقبلة، تشكلت مجموعة عمل استراتيجية وإعلامية لدعم المقاومة في أي حرب، وكان أنيس في الطليعة، وكل صباح من صباحات أيام الحرب كان دفتره مليئاً بالملاحظات، وصوته متدفقاً في الحضور، وكان أستاذاً في التواضع والأخلاق، ومصنعاً للأفكار، ومتطوعاً لأبسط المهام، مثبتاً أنه لا يتعب ولا يستصغر عملاً، وهمّه الأول والأخير أن مسيرة شكلت هاجسه وقضية حياته تتقدّم، وخلال الحرب على سورية كنا نتقاسم الحضور والمواقع والأدوار ونتبادل الآراء والتحليلات، ونشغل محرّكات عقولنا بعيداً عن العلب التقليدية بحثاً عن جديد، ويفرح أحدنا لكل التماعة فكر جديدة، وكل استنتاج يخرج عن المألوف، ونضحك كثيراً عندما نسمع أوصاف من يقفون في المعسكر الآخر لنا، يقول، اللي بيعرف بيعرف واللي ما بيعرف بيقول كف عدس، دعهم يا صديقي يتلهّون في تحليلنا ولننصرف نحن لتحليل الحرب وكيف يُصنع النصر.

في عام 2013 وفي احتفال لتكريم المتسابقين في إحدى دورات شبكة توب نيوز التي أطلقتها في الحرب، دعوت أنيس مكرّماً ومتحدثاً، فكان حضوره المتواضع والمتدفق آسراً، لا يزال الذين حضروا يستذكرونه وسيتذكرونه أكثر اليوم وهم يعلمون أنهم صافحوا يد قائد، لم تلوّثها عمولة ولا عمالة، ويد مفكر تعرف رائحة الحبر في جيناتها ورائحة البارود بين جنباتها، رحم الله القائد المفكر أنيس النقاش.

ستبقى الأنيس، أنيس فلسطين وسورية واليمن والعراق وإيران والبحرين ولبنان، وأنيس بيروت التي أحببت، وأنيس الشهداء، ولم ينته ولن ينتهي النقاش!

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