The al-Aqsa Metal Detectors Aren’t A Security Measure

 

Israel has been using the pretext of security to quietly continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land.

By Diana Buttu

July 23, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  Yesterday, thousands of Palestinians came to Jerusalem to perform the most simple, most peaceful act: prayer. Palestinians – Muslims and Christians, women and men, young and old – prayed in the streets after refusing to enter through the new metal detectors and barricades erected by Israel in front of the al-Aqsa compound. Israeli forces, armed with live ammunition, stun grenades, sound bombs, water cannon and tear gas, came prepared to kill.

And they did: by the day’s end Israeli forces and armed settlers had killed three young Palestinian men and injured more than 450 others, some of them very seriously. Israeli forces even raided a Palestinian hospital in an attempt to arrest those injured by their weaponry.

Israel claims that the metal detectors are necessary for Israel’s “security” following an incident last week in which two armed Israeli officers were killed. These metal detectors are not about security, but rather about deliberately attempting to bar Palestinians from their places of worship. Contrast, for example, Israel’s recent stance towards the Temple Mount Faithful – a group of Jewish extremists who have openly announced that they seek the destruction of the al-Aqsa compound in order to build a Jewish temple in its place.

Yet, while openly advocating for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the destruction of Muslim holy sites, the Israeli government continues to allow this group to enter the al-Aqsa compound (including with arms) under the guise of “freedom of religion”.

In 1990, this group attempted to lay a cornerstone for a Jewish temple at the compound triggering protests in which some 20 Palestinians died.

The demand for freedom of religion for Palestinians – the ability to worship without the interference of Israel’s armed forces – is conveniently ignored. The metal detectors must be viewed in their proper context: as another of Israel’s settler-colonial acts of erasing us, the indigenous population, erasing our homes, our culture and our religious sites and replacing us with settlers.

For his part, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is happy to see Jerusalem erupt in violence. Facing a corruption investigation for a submarine scandal, Netanyahu is refusing to remove the metal detectors so as to ensure that attention is deflected from this deal and instead focused on violence. You see, in Israel, “security” sells – it ensures votes and ensures that corruption charges are deflected.

To be clear, no Palestinian wants to see their holy sites turned into places of armed conflict. But using the guise of “security”, Israel has ensured that we, Palestinians, live as prisoners in our homeland.

In the name of “security,” Israel expropriates Palestinian land. In the name of “security”, Israel builds Israeli-only settlements on stolen Palestinian land. In the name of “security” Israel demolishes Palestinian homes and schools and in the name of “security” Palestinians are besieged in Gaza, forced to live without electricity, adequate medical supplies or water and even barred from accessing the sea.

And, when Palestinians are gunned down by mass murderers, as they were in the 1990s in Hebron by Baruch Goldstein, in the name of “security”, Palestinians – and not Israelis – are subject to increased security restrictions. In short, Israel seeks to turn Jerusalem into Hebron: blocked off from Palestinians, with convenience for Israeli Jews taking precedence over Palestinian rights. So as Israel continues to gun down Palestinians, who will provide security to Palestinians?

This security will not come from the current unelected Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who spent four days in China as Palestinians were barred from accessing al-Aqsa compound and as Gazans suffered under a siege that he has openly supported. Nor, of course, will it come from a silent international community that only knows how to wring its hands and meekly condemn Israel.

Rather, Palestinians will continue to bravely stand and defend themselves, bowing down only to the God they worship and never to Israeli diktats.

Diana Buttu is a Palestinian lawyer and analyst who served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team from 2000 to 2005.

This article was first published by Al Jazeera 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Main Violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque

Main Violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque


Source: Pulsetine, Translated by website team

22-07-2017 | 13:48

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While Attacks in Israel Make Headlines, Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza Ignored

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 Girl in Gaza (photo: UNICEF)

A Palestinian girl in Gaza looks out the window of her partially destroyed home. (photo: UNICEF)

The recent acute humanitarian crisis in Gaza—on top of the routine humanitarian crisis that defines everyday existence there—has gotten sparse coverage in US media over the past three weeks.

Israeli officials have cut off electricity to almost 2 million Gazans for all but three or four hours a day—in conjunction with nominal Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who has cut funding for Gaza’s electricity in an effort to punish his political rivals in Hamas. The Gaza Strip, which remains under effective Israeli control despite the 2005 withdrawal of Israeli troops, requires 450 megawatts daily, but since June has received only around 150 megawatts per day. The power cuts, according to UN humanitarian coordinator Robert Piper, severely undermine “critical functions in the health, water and sanitation sectors,” and have created a “looming humanitarian catastrophe.”

The vast majority of US media also ignored a devastating UN report published Tuesday, documenting the humanitarian conditions in Gaza over the past ten years.

Neither the electrical crisis nor the UN report has been covered by the New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC or Fox News—though the Times and ABC did run AP reports on the former.

The Washington Post  (6/22/17) reported on the electricity cuts just over three weeks ago, but made sure to note in their headline “it’s not all Israel’s fault.” The Post (7/12/17) also mentioned the Gaza electricity cuts in a broader piece, told from Israel’s perspective, about that country’s fears that “Hamas will go to war.”  NPR did not report on the electricity crisis, but unlike the Post, it did have a piece (7/11/17) on the UN report.

In stark contrast, an attack on two Israeli police officers in Jerusalem Thursday was reported by all the above outlets except MSNBC. The New York Times (7/14/17), ABC News (7/14/17), CBS News (7/14/17), NBC News (7/14/17), CNN (7/14/17), Fox News (7/14/17), all dedicated airtime and/or column inches to the shooting in the Old City.

Attacks on Israeli forces—even ones that occur, like this week’s strike, in illegally occupied territory—are framed as random acts of hate with no political context. None of the above reports on the Jerusalem attack made any mention of the increasingly dire situation in Gaza. Nor, even more conspicuously, was there any mention of Israel’s killing of two Palestinians in a West Bank refugee camp less than a day before.

The routine, “factored-in” suffering of Palestinians—even when ramped up to hellish levels—is barely worth a mention by US media. It just is. And when it is touched on, it’s generally framed as Hamas or the Palestinian Authority’s fault, with the broader role played by Israel’s devastating, 50-year-occupation downplayed or omitted

Why is Mahmoud Abbas letting children die in Gaza?

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Palestinians hold placards condemning PA leader Mahmoud Abbas for his complicity of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, at a rally in Gaza City, 9 July. Mohammed Asad APA images

The deeply unpopular Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is helping Israeli occupation authorities inflict horrendous suffering on people in the blockaded Gaza Strip, as part of a cruel and cynical political game.

It is a campaign that in recent weeks has led to the deaths of more than a dozen Palestinians denied medical treatment outside Gaza – the most recent, a little girl called Yara Ismail Bakhit.

Israel and Abbas are doing this with the complicity of a so-called international community that remains silent about the unfolding catastrophe.

Closely allied with Israel, Abbas has long defined collaboration with its occupation forces as a “sacred” duty.

This collaboration has included encouraging Israel, from the very start, to tighten its blockade of Gaza.

The decade-long siege has brought the 2 million residents caged into the territory to perhaps their most dire crisis in a period that has included successive military assaults that have killed thousands of people.

On Thursday, Gaza’s only power plant shut down after emergency fuel supplies ran out.

The territory is now dependent on just 70 megawatts of power supplied from Israel, a fraction of the 500 megawatts it needs each day.

A “power watch” feature in the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz shows that Gaza City received just three hours of electricity on Wednesday, while some areas received four hours.

But with the power supply now below the all-time low it reached earlier this week, most residents face long stretches without any power at all amid the sweltering summer heat.

On top of the darkness and the heat, many in Gaza face a cut off of any contact with the outside world: the PA telecom company Paltel said that internet and telephone services to thousands of customers in Gaza have been severed as generators fail.

Unheeded warnings

On Wednesday, UN human rights officials emphasized that the latest power cuts “have deepened the humanitarian crisis with hospitals in precarious conditions, water shortages growing and untreated sewage being dumped into the Mediterranean.”

Their warnings will likely go unheeded, just like so many in recent months, including from the International Committee of the Red Cross that said in May that Gaza was on the brink of “systemic collapse.”

For months, health facilities across the territory have been in crisis and Gaza City’s main hospital has slashed vital surgeries because there isn’t enough power to run life support systems.

As treatment plants fail, the territory is swimming in sewage.

Yet the European Union, which never rests from trumpeting its alleged commitment to “human rights,” has maintained a determined silence which can only be interpreted as full support for the measures inflicting such suffering on Gaza.

Instead, the EU’s embassy in Tel Aviv as well as a top UN official, touted Abbas’ authority for collaborating with Israel to increase the electricity supply to Jenin, a town in the northern occupied West Bank.

 The timing of the announcement, along with a grotesque ribbon-cutting ceremony in which PA officials appeared alongside Israeli military officers, looked calculated to rub salt into the wounds of people in Gaza.

Finally, on Thursday, after months of ignoring Gaza, the EU, as part of the so-called Quartet, issued a vague statement of “concern” that said nothing about Israel’s responsibilities.

Israel’s responsibility

The UN experts emphasized that while Israel’s power cuts were nominally implemented at the request of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, Israel remains legally responsible.

Previously, senior UN officials have attempted to play down Israel’s responsibility, shifting the blame to an internal dispute between the Abbas-run PA in Ramallah, and Hamas authorities that control the interior of Gaza.

In April, the PA told Israel it would no longer pay the full bill for electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, as part of Abbas’ campaign to oust Hamas by inflicting additional hardship on the population in Gaza.

Over the last month, Israel has sharply reduced the power it supplies to Gaza – the territory’s main source of electricity.

“Israel, as the occupier controlling the entry and exit of goods and people, bore the primary responsibility for the deterioration of the situation,” the UN human rights experts said on Wednesday, according to a UN press release.

Human rights groups previously affirmed that it is illegal for Israel, as the occupying power, to cut the electricity to Gaza no matter what Abbas says.

Despite the Israeli cabinet’s decision to accept the Palestinian Authority’s “cruel plan to further reduce the power supply to Gaza,” B’Tselem said last month, the situation in Gaza “is the result of Israel’s handiwork, achieved by its decade-long implementation of a brutal policy.”

Killing babies

Three-year-old Yara Ismail Bakhit, who suffered from a heart condition, died because she was denied a medical transfer out of Gaza.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza, said on Thursday that the toddler, from the southern town of Khan Younis, is the 16th person to die in recent weeks because they weren’t able to secure a medical transfer.

Yara’s death is another sacrifice to Abbas’ campaign against the population in Gaza; it came about due to the delays his health ministry is imposing on requests for medical transfers to Israeli or West Bank treatment facilities.

The Ramallah health ministry must approve such requests before Israel does because it pays for any treatment provided in Israeli or West Bank hospitals.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has documented a steady decline in medical referrals since April – when Abbas’ renewed onslaught against the population in Gaza began.

PCHR said on Monday that the PA health ministry had failed to approve or renew referrals for “hundreds of patients suffering from serious and chronic diseases without displaying the reasons behind this decision.”

According to PCHR, the number of referrals dropped from almost 2,200 in March to about 1,700 in April and fell below 1,500 in May. In June, the PA approved just 500.

As of early June, medical authorities in Gaza had approved some 2,500 patients “suffering from serious diseases that have no treatment in Gaza” for treatment outside the territory. But a month and a half later, the Ramallah authorities had only approved 400.

PCHR said it was “shocked” that West Bank hospitals have begun refusing to see patients from Gaza because there is no guarantor of payment.

Meanwhile, Abbas’ health ministry has also cut the budget for medicines for Gaza, leading to an acute crisis that is putting the lives of hundreds of people, including children with cystic fibrosis and cancer patients, in grave danger.

PCHR said: “Denying patients their right to receive medical treatment abroad, in view of the absence of a proper alternative in Gaza, is a clear violation of the right to health ensured in the Palestinian Basic Law” – in effect the Palestinian Authority’s constitution.

PCHR calls on world governments to put pressure on Israel “in its capacity as an occupying power” to guarantee the rights of people in Gaza under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It also “calls upon the international community to pressurize the Palestinian Authority not to undermine the basic rights of Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip” and to respect its obligations under international law to the Palestinian people it allegedly serves.

The problem is that the Palestinian Authority and its leader are tools in the hands of the so-called international community against the Palestinians and their cause.

Their role is to help Israel occupy and pacify the Palestinian population, even at the price of the lives of children in Gaza.

أوقفوا تصفية قضية فلسطين بأيدي أبنائها

د. عصام نعمان

يوليو 10, 2017

ماذا بقي من فلسطين وقضيتها بعد نحو 70 عاماً من زرع الكيان الصهيوني في قلب عالم العرب؟

لم يبقَ منها سوى شعب منكوب شُرّد تحت كلّ كوكب، يعاني شظف العيش وانعدام الأمن والأمان وضمور مركزية القضية وانسداد أفق الحرية والخلاص الوطني من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى احتدام الصراع بين سلطتين تدّعيان تمثيل الشعب والقضية، واحدة في الضفة الغربية أضحت بعد اتفاق أوسلو للعام 1993 ذراع «إسرائيل» الأمنية في ما تبقّى من أرضٍ وشعب، وأخرى في غزة تكافح لإبقاء مليوني فلسطيني على قيد الحياة ونحو 370 كيلومتراً مربعاً من ترابها بمأمن من قضمٍ صهيوني زاحف على مستوى فلسطين برمّتها من النهر إلى البحر.

في إطار هذا المشهد الفلسطيني البائس، لا يفتأ أبناء القضية، ولا سيما مَن أضحى منهم ذا وظيفة وإمرة في كِلتا السلطتين، عن متابعة الصراع على أنقاض سلطة شكلية محبوسة في سجن الاحتلال الصهيوني بلغت أدنى درجات التناحر والتنابذ وقطع الأرزاق الذي هو من قطع الأعناق. فمن خفض رواتب الموظفين العاملين في قطاع غزة، الى إحالة آلاف منهم على تقاعد مبكر، الى فرض الضرائب على الوقود المخصّص لتوليد الكهرباء، الى تقليص المبالغ التي تُدفع شهرياً لتزويد القطاع بـِ 120 ميغاواط من التيار الكهربائي المستمَدّ من «إسرائيل»، الى خفض التحويلات الطبية الخارجية.

كلّ هذه العقوبات من أجل الضغط على حركة «حماس» في قطاع غزة التي تتمسّك بالسلطة وترفض تسليمها الى حكومة السلطة الأخرى في رام الله. وفيما تتهم سلطة محمود عباس سلطة «حماس» برعاية الانقسام الفلسطيني واتخاذ خطوات تقود الى الانفصال، تردّ «حماس» بأن إجراءات السلطة في رام الله غير أخلاقية وغير إنسانية ولا علاقة لها بإنهاء الانقسام.

«إسرائيل» تراقب المشهد المأساوي الفلسطيني بارتياح وغبطة. لكنها تراقب أيضاً بارتياب، لدواعٍ أمنية، ما يمكن ان يرافق تداعياته من تطورات سياسية تتناول العلاقات بين مصر و«حماس» من جهة و«حماس» وإيران من جهة أخرى. تتساءل:

ما سرّ هذا التقارب المستجدّ بين مصر و«حماس»؟ ماذا بعد فتح معبر رفح بين القطاع ومصر وتسليم أمر مراقبته إلى جماعة خصم محمود عباس اللدود محمد دحلان؟ وما ثمن موافقة «حماس» على كلّ هذه التحركات؟

«اسرائيل» لا يهمّها تراجع «حماس» عن مواقفها السابقة برفض إقامة دولة فلسطينية على خطوط وقف النار للعام 1967 واستعدادها تالياً للقبول بها حاليّاً؟ فحكومة نتنياهو تخلّت عن مشروع الدولتين وهي جادّة في تعميم الاستيطان على كامل الضفة الغربية كي لا يبقى لسلطة محمود عباس إلاّ بضع مناطق من الكثافة الفلسطينية.

ما يهمّ «إسرائيل» هو ألاّ يؤدّي التعاون السياسي والاقتصادي بين مصر و«حماس» الى فكّ ضائقة هذه الأخيرة ما يفضي تالياً الى تصليب إرادتها السياسية وتشجيعها على معاودة عملياتها القتالية ضدّ المستعمرات الصهيونية المحيطة بالقطاع. ثم مَن يدري، فلعلّ القاهرة التي تتحسّب لتداعيات فتح قناة بن غوريون بين البحر الأحمر والبحر المتوسط عبر صحراء النقب، قد تتفاهم مع «حماس» على مضاعفة عملياتها ضدّ «إسرائيل» لحملها على صرف النظر عن مشروعها المنافس لقناة السويس او لتأخير إنجازه في الأقلّ.

ثمة أمر آخر يُقلق «إسرائيل»:

هل يكون ثمن تخلّي «حماس» عن علاقتها التاريخية مع الاخوان المسلمين، وبالتالي عن قطر، قبول مصر بالتغاضي عن تنمية العلاقات بين «حماس» وإيران؟

أياً ما تكون المضاعفات الناجمة عن تحسّن العلاقة بين «حماس» ومصر، وتفعيل العلاقة بين «حماس» وإيران، فإنّ ثمة تحدّياً ماثلاً يستوجب معالجة سريعة وفاعلة. إنها مخاطر أن يُسهم الفلسطينيون، مسؤولين ومواطنين، بوعي أو من دون وعي، في تصفية القضية من خلال هذا الصراع، بل التناحر، المرير والمأساوي على السلطة بين مجموعة محمود عباس وحركة «حماس». إنّ القوى الوطنية الحيّة في الشعب الفلسطيني، المستقلة عن السلطتين المتصارعتين، مدعوةٌ الى التفكير والتدبير: التفكير في مقتضيات مواجهة هذا التحدّي المعضلة، وإقرار منهجية فعالة للمباشرة في المواجهة الوطنية المطلوبة.

أرى، في هذا المجال، أن تتوافق القوى الحيّة ذات المعرفة والخبرة على هيئة نوعية من أهل التفكير والتدبير تتولى بلا إبطاء وضع دراسة وثيقة معمّقة ومتكاملة لقضية فلسطين في واقعها ومرتجاها، واقتراح برنامج عمل مرحلي وآخر استراتيجي وبالتالي تنظيم مؤتمر وطني جامع يضمّ ممثلين عن القوى الحيّة في الوطن والشتات لمناقشة الدراسة الوثيقة والخروج بقرارات ومناهج فاعلة للعمل وواعدة بالأمل.

آن أوان الارتقاء الى مستوى الأخطار والتحديات التي تواجه الامة، وفي مقدّمها قضية فلسطين، واجتراح منهجية نوعية للعمل والكفاح تعيد وضعها في قلب الصراع ومسار التاريخ وتؤسس لمرحلة جديدة فارقة في حاضر الأمة ومستقبلها.

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Israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies: IOF Fire On Palestinian Fishermen And Farmers In Gaza

Israeli Navy Opens Fire On Palestinian Fishermen And Farmers In Gaza

June 11, 2017 11:35 AM IMEMC News

Israeli navy ships attacked, Sunday, many Palestinian fishing boats, and farmers, in the northern and southern parts of the besieged Gaza Strip, causing damage.

Media sources in Gaza said the navy fired dozens of live rounds at the fishing boats, close to the shore in northern Gaza, forcing the fishermen back to the shore in fear of further Israeli assaults and escalation.

In addition, the soldiers, stationed in military towers across the border fence, east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, fired many live rounds at Palestinian farmers, working on their own lands, close to the border fence.

The attacks are part of constant Israeli violations against the Palestinians in the improvised coastal region.

On Monday, May 15 2017, the navy fired many live rounds at Palestinian fishing boats, less than four nautical miles from the Gaza shore, killing a fisherman, identified as Mohammad Majed Bakr, 25.

On Friday, June 9 2017, the soldiers killed one Palestinian, identified as Aa’ed Khamis Jom’a, 35, and injured at ten others, after the army attacked dozens of protesters, in Palestinian lands, near the border fence east of Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

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This Is The Real Story Behind The Crisis Unfolding In Qatar

Only Shakespeare’s plays could come close to describing such treachery – the comedies, that is

By Robert Fisk

June 11, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –

The Qatar crisis proves two things: the continued infantilisation of the Arab states, and the total collapse of the Sunni Muslim unity supposedly created by Donald Trump’s preposterous attendance at the Saudi summit two weeks ago.

After promising to fight to the death against Shia Iranian “terror,” Saudi Arabia and its closest chums have now ganged up on one of the wealthiest of their neighbours, Qatar, for being a fountainhead of “terror”. Only Shakespeare’s plays could come close to describing such treachery. Shakespeare’s comedies, of course.

For, truly, there is something vastly fantastical about this charade. Qatar’s citizens have certainly contributed to Isis. But so have Saudi Arabia’s citizens.

No Qataris flew the 9/11 planes into New York and Washington. All but four of the 19 killers were Saudi. Bin Laden was not a Qatari. He was a Saudi.

But Bin Laden favoured Qatar’s al-Jazeera channel with his personal broadcasts, and it was al-Jazeera who tried to give spurious morality to the al-Qaeda/Jabhat al-Nusrah desperadoes of Syria by allowing their leader hours of free airtime to explain what a moderate, peace-loving group they all were.

Saudi Arabia cuts ties with Qatar over terror links

First, let’s just get rid of the hysterically funny bits of this story. I see that Yemen is breaking air links with Qatar. Quite a shock for the poor Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, since Yemen – under constant bombardment by his former Saudi and Emirati chums – doesn’t have a single serviceable airliner left with which to create, let alone break, an air link.

The Maldives have also broken relations with Qatar. To be sure, this has nothing to do with the recent promise of a Saudi five-year loan facility of $300m to the Maldives, the proposal of a Saudi property company to invest $100m in a family resort in the Maldives and a promise by Saudi Islamic scholars to spend $100,000 on 10 “world class” mosques in the Maldives.

And let us not mention the rather large number of Isis and other Islamist cultists who arrived to fight for Isis in Iraq and Syria from – well, the Maldives.

Now the Qatari Emir hasn’t enough troops to defend his little country should the Saudis decide to request that he ask their army to enter Qatar to restore stability – as the Saudis persuaded the King of Bahrain to do back in 2011. But Sheikh Tamim no doubt hopes that the massive US military air base in Qatar will deter such Saudi generosity.

When I asked his father, Sheikh Hamad (later uncharitably deposed by Tamim) why he didn’t kick the Americans out of Qatar, he replied:

“Because if I did, my Arab brothers would invade me.”

Like father, like son, I suppose. God Bless America.

All this started – so we are supposed to believe – with an alleged hacking of the Qatar News Agency, which produced some uncomplimentary but distressingly truthful remarks by Qatar’s Emir about the need to maintain a relationship with Iran.

Qatar denied the veracity of the story. The Saudis decided it was true and broadcast the contents on their own normally staid (and immensely boring) state television network. The upstart Emir, so went the message, had gone too far this time. The Saudis decided policy in the Gulf, not miniscule Qatar. Wasn’t that what Donald Trump’s visit proved?

But the Saudis had other problems to worry about. Kuwait, far from cutting relations with Qatar, is now acting as a peacemaker between Qatar and the Saudis and Emiratis. The emirate of Dubai is quite close to Iran, has tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates, and is hardly following Abu Dhabi’s example of anti-Qatari wrath.

Oman was even staging joint naval manoeuvres with Iran a couple of months ago. Pakistan long ago declined to send its army to help the Saudis in Yemen, because the Saudis asked for only Sunni and no Shia soldiers; the Pakistani army was understandably outraged to realise that Saudi Arabia was trying to sectarianise its military personnel.

Pakistan’s former army commander, General Raheel Sharif, is rumoured to be on the brink of resigning as head of the Saudi-sponsored Muslim alliance to fight “terror”.

Five things to know about Qatar’s first 2022 World Cup stadium

President-Field Marshal al-Sissi of Egypt has been roaring against Qatar for its support of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood – and Qatar does indeed support the now-banned group which Sissi falsely claims is part of Isis – but significantly Egypt, though the recipient of Saudi millions, also does not intend to supply its own troops to bolster the Saudis in its catastrophic Yemen war.

Besides, Sissi needs his Egyptian soldiers at home to fight off Isis attacks and maintain, along with Israel, the siege of the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

But if we look a bit further down the road, it’s not difficult to see what really worries the Saudis. Qatar also maintains quiet links with the Assad regime. It helped secure the release of Syrian Christian nuns in Jabhat al-Nusrah hands and has helped release Lebanese soldiers from Isis hands in western Syria. When the nuns emerged from captivity, they thanked both Bashar al-Assad and Qatar.

And there are growing suspicions in the Gulf that Qatar has much larger ambitions: to fund the rebuilding of post-war Syria. Even if Assad remained as president, Syria’s debt to Qatar would place the nation under Qatari economic control.

And this would give tiny Qatar two golden rewards. It would give it a land empire to match its al-Jazeera media empire. And it would extend its largesse to the Syrian territories, which many oil companies would like to use as a pipeline route from the Gulf to Europe via Turkey, or via tankers from the Syrian port of Lattakia.

For Europeans, such a route would reduce the chances of Russian oil blackmail, and make sea-going oil routes less vulnerable if vessels did not have to move through the Gulf of Hormuz.

So rich pickings for Qatar – or for Saudi Arabia, of course, if the assumptions about US power of the two emirs, Hamad and Tamim, prove worthless. A Saudi military force in Qatar would allow Riyadh to gobble up all the liquid gas in the emirate.

But surely the peace-loving “anti-terror” Saudis – let’s forget the head-chopping for a moment – would never contemplate such a fate for an Arab brother.

So let’s hope that for the moment, the routes of Qatar Airways are the only parts of the Qatari body politics to get chopped off.

This article was first published by The Independent

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Israeli Official Calls for Syrian President Assad’s Assassination

[ Ed. note – It never ceases to amaze me–the bottomless depths of compassion the Israelis try to convince us they feel for the suffering people of Syria…while at the same time they display open hatred and contempt for Palestinians. The mainstream media are now pedaling a State Department claim about Syria operating a “crematorium,” ostensibly to dispose of the bodies of thousands of murdered prisoners, and a member of the Israeli cabinet, Housing Minister Yoav Galant, has used the opportunity to issue an open call for the assassination of Syrian President Bashar Assad (see article below).

All this comes just a week after revelations that Israeli police staged a mock execution of a “terrorist” in front of a group of school children. A video of the demonstration, showing the children looking on, can be found here, and in a commentary on the episode, Jonathan Cook notes that in the video the youngsters can be heard clapping:

As he [the “terrorist” in the demonstration] lies badly wounded, the officers empty their magazines into him from close range. In Israel it is known as “confirming the kill”. Everywhere else it is called an extrajudicial execution or murder. The children can be heard clapping…The purpose of exposing children at an impressionable age to so much gore and killing is not hard to divine. It creates traumatised children, distrustful and fearful of anyone outside their tribe. That way they become more pliant soldiers, trigger-happy as they rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories.

So it appears that in the Israeli scheme of things, it is okay to murder Palestinians but not Syrians, or at least not the terrorists that certain foreign backers paid good money to equip, finance, and send into Syria for the purpose of overthrowing the country’s democratically elected president. Of course, the “news” that the Syrian government incinerated massive numbers of people in a crematorium is in all probability about as fake as last month’s chemical attack, but no matter. The Zionists will likely milk it for all it’s worth. ]

RT
An Israeli minister has bluntly called for Syrian leader Bashar Assad to be assassinated after unsourced media reports claimed Damascus was using a “crematorium” to cover-up mass killings. He said the “serpent’s head” in Tehran should be dealt with next.

“The reality whereby Syria executes people, intentionally uses chemical weapons to hurt them and, now, in the most recent move of extremism, is burning their bodies – this has not been seen in the world in 70 years,” said Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant, as cited by Haaretz.

“We are crossing a red line and, in my view, the time has come to assassinate Assad,” he continued.

“And when we finish with the tail of the serpent, we will reach the head of the serpent, which can be found in Tehran, and we will deal with it, too,” he said.

What appears to be the first recorded Israeli threat to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad came after the US Department of State alleged, without presenting any hard evidence, that the Syrian government is using “a crematorium” outside Damascus to burn the bodies of people killed by the government.

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Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant

Earlier on Tuesday, Galant told Israeli Army radio that Assad’s rule has been the worst since Nazi Germany. “What is happening in Syria is defined as genocide, under all its classifications,” he said on Army radio, according to Jerusalem Post.

Galant, a retired IDF general, added that Israel wants to see Assad and his Alawite government ousted from power and replaced by a moderate Sunni ruler.”

Some previous attempts to compare Assad’s government to the Nazi regime have been met with public outcry. White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who claimed that Hitler’s death squads hadn’t used chemical agents during the Holocaust “in the way that Assad used them” sparked outrage in the US and beyond.

Certain journalists have used the Assad-Hitler comparison when covering claims that Syrian forces have used chemical weapons, but those remarks were dismissed by the public.

Assad, a UK-educated doctor, has been in power since the 1999 passing of his father, Syria’s long-time president, Hafez Assad. Syria is one of the few Arab countries where the president is elected through a nationwide vote.

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