Power crisis hits Gaza hospitals as Israel tightens siege on sick

Source

8 May 2017

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is growing more dire against the dimming possibility of a reconciliation between the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority controlled by Mahmoud Abbas, and the Islamist movement Hamas, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, has warned.

UNSCO says the friction between the competing Palestinian regimes that operate under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip “have aggravated an already difficult situation in the Gaza Strip.”

One consequence is that for the last three weeks, Gaza’s electricity crisis has become even more severe, forcing hospitals to curtail services in an attempt to preserve limited fuel supplies.

The World Health Organization warned that all of Gaza’s public hospitals may be forced to suspend critical services, putting thousands of lives at risk.

These growing tensions culminated on 27 April, when the Palestinian Authority decided that it would no longer pay for the electricity Gaza receives from Israel.

Hamas called the move “a grave escalation and an act of madness.”

“Gaza will not kneel for collaborators with the occupation,” Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson, posted on Twitter.

PA pressure on Hamas

The step is likely part of the PA’s decade-long effort to force Hamas to cede control in Gaza. Hamas won parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2006, but was never allowed to fully assume power over the Palestinian Authority.

A partially successful US-backed putsch led to the split, with Abbas remaining in control of the PA in the West Bank, and Hamas controlling the interior of Gaza.

The Abbas-controlled PA works closely with Israeli occupation forces, while Hamas has continued to engage in armed resistance.

In early April, Abbas said he would take “unprecedented steps in the coming days to end the division” between the West Bank and Gaza.

The PA imposed sharp salary cuts on civil servants there, leading to mass protests. But Rami Hamdallah, the PA prime minister in Ramallah, said, as the BBC reported, that “the salary cuts would stay in place until Hamas moved towards reconciliation.”

Last week, Hamas announced a new charter ditching anti-Jewish language and formally accepting, as Abbas does, a two-state solution with Israel.

It also announced on Saturday that Ismail Haniyeh, its former prime minister in Gaza, has been elected as the movement’s overall leader.

One Israeli analyst suggested in the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz that Abbas’ crackdown on Gaza was part of an attempt to keep Hamas isolated and to curry favor with the new US president. Abbas met Donald Trump at the White House last week.

Hospitals at “minimal capacity”

Meanwhile, Gaza’s economy has been devastated by a 10-year Israeli blockade and repeated military assaults.

In mid-April, Gaza’s only power plant ran out of fuel after a three-month supply funded by Turkey and Qatar was depleted.

The PA has refused Hamas’ requests to reduce or eliminate the heavy taxes on diesel that fuels Gaza’s power plant, a provision UNSCO supports.

Gaza receives just over half of its electricity from Israel which has until now been paid for by the Palestinian Authority.

“Palestinians in Gaza, who live in a protracted humanitarian crisis, can no longer be held hostage by disagreements, divisions and closures,” Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said.

Gaza is already operating on a severe energy deficit. Its daily supply of electricity from Israel, Egypt and its sole, partially functioning power plant totals only 210 megawatts, while the population of two million requires 450 megawatts per day.

The shortfall means that people in Gaza without backup generators must function with no electricity for 12 to 18 hours a day.

While international assistance has managed to barely keep hospitals open by ensuring they have enough fuel for generators, Gaza’s precarious situation is clear.

Hospitals are currently working “at minimal capacity,” the UN humanitarian coordination agency OCHA reported last month.

Another dire health and environmental consequence is that faced with a lack of energy for water treatment, waste plants are discharging more raw sewage into the sea.

No exit for many

Emergency fuel supplies are only guaranteed through May, forcing hospitals to postpone surgeries and refer more patients outside Gaza, potentially exposing them to life-threatening delays or Israeli attempts at blackmail.

According to UNSCO, since 15 September 2016, Israel has significantly reduced approvals for Palestinians to leave Gaza, including patients.

Last December, Israel approved fewer than 42 percent of applications to leave Gaza for medical care, the lowest rate since 2009, according to UNSCO.

Meanwhile, Egypt kept the Rafah crossing, the only outlet for most of Gaza’s residents, completely closed for the entire month of April.

Letting Israel off the hook

UNSCO acknowledges that Israel’s blockade is responsible for severe impairment in every sector in Gaza, including education, health and agriculture, and urges the “international community” to support the lifting of Israel’s siege.

Yet it still presents the closure as a security measure for Israel.

UNSCO notes that this year marks 10 years of Israel’s closure on Gaza, which UNSCO describes as a response to Hamas’ “violent” takeover in 2007.

As well as ignoring the context of the intra-Palestinian fighting, this timeline ignores that the cut in exit permits began in the mid-1990s, sharply falling after Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza in 2005.

In the face of the evidence that its prospects have all but vanished, UNSCO continues to insist that the “international community” commit to a two-state solution.

It notes that in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s construction of illegal settlements has surged since last September while the land where Palestinians live is shrinking.

The report confirms that it is “virtually impossible” for Palestinians to obtain building permits in Area C of the West Bank – the 60 percent of the occupied West Bank over which Israel exercises full control. More than 90 percent of applications for building permits are rejected by Israeli occupation forces.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to develop settlements in Area C.

UNSCO acknowledges that Israel’s settlements violate international law, but pointedly fails to call for any sanctions or consequences.

“It is critical that recent international initiatives to advance the prospects for peace translate into a legitimate process to end the occupation and achieve a final settlement to the conflict,” UNSCO implores.

What UNSCO does not explain is how such a “process” would occur in the complete absence of measures to hold the occupying power accountable.

 

US Adopts Negative Approach to United Nations, in other words “International Law”

US Adopts Negative Approach to United Nations

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/02/us-adopts-negative-approach-united-nations.html

There are many warning signs to indicate that the US is poised to adopt a more negative approach toward the United Nations than it has in recent years. For instance, the Trump administration is considering canceling US participation on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in protest of the body’s actions in general, and specifically its treatment of Israel.

On February 16, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, called out the HRC for «breathtaking double standards» and «outrageously biased resolutions» against Israel, during a press conference after her meeting with the UN Security Council. She lashed out at the council for failing to discuss the buildup of illegal Hezbollah weapons, provided by Iran; strategies for defeating the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group; or holding Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for the alleged crimes against civilians.

According to Politico, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson is questioning the value of the US belonging to the Human Rights Council.

The US believes that the countries which violate human rights are members of the council. In 2012, the body was slammed for allowing a representative of the Palestinian Hamas group to speak.

 

Indeed, the council has been many times criticized for being biased and incompetent. Russia has blasted the body for confrontational approaches. Speaking at the UN General Assembly session in November, 2016, Grigori Lukyantsev, Russian Foreign Ministry’s deputy director of Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights, accused the UNHRC of becoming a platform for lambasting certain countries and settling political scores. «We have to note that the Council’s agenda has become an instrument for promoting conjunctural interests of several countries and groups. Discussions more and more often turn to settling political scores, mentorship, defamation of states. Moreover, the ungrounded geographical imbalance in the matter of human rights situations in one or another country does not reflect real tendencies, but rather represents a result of political orders», he noted. The deputy director also noted that Russia decries «attempts to use the HRC for including different politically charged issues on the agenda for the UN General Assembly».

In October, 2016, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi criticized the re-election of Saudi Arabia to the UNHRC, saying that the election is, «the best indication that human rights is merely in direction of political interests». Human rights groups had called on countries to reject the candidacy of Saudi Arabia, which has been accused of indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Yemen. The kingdom was elected for its calls to protect women’s rights, which are widely believed to be violated by Riyadh.

No doubt the US is serious about pulling out from the council. The calls for leaving have been heard there since a long time ago. Actually, Republicans have always been prone to minimize the role of the UN. In 2003, many US officials and lawmakers were stunned by the fact that the UN Human Rights Commission elected the Libyan ambassador Najat al-Hajjaji its president yesterday, overriding a US objection that her country’s «horrible» record disqualified it for the post. Many Americans hold the opinion that the withdrawal from the UNHRC will not hurt the United States in any way.

They may be right; the decision to withdraw will not have grave consequences. It’s not the membership in the council that matters but rather the US disparaging attitude towards the United Nations in general. The views of President Trump and his advisers – combined with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress – indicate that Washington is poised to change its policy towards the UN. In the 1980s, President Ronald Regan was antagonistic to the international body. The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation acted as the leading anti-UN lobby at that time. It campaigned for defunding the organization. George W. Bush Jr. openly derided the UN and renounced many multilateral treaties.

President Trump has made making derogatory comments about the United Nations. The UN has «such great potential,» but it has become «a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!» he tweeted in December, 2016. A couple of days later he tweeted again: «As to the UN, things will be different after Jan 20th».

The new US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had argued for a review of US expenditure on the UN to ensure America «gets what it pays for» though she cautioned in her confirmation hearing against «slash and burn» cuts.

The administration is preparing to order sweeping cuts in funding to the UN and other international organizations, while potentially walking away from some treaties. A president’s draft executive order would reduce voluntary contributions to international bodies by 40% and complains of ‘burdensome’ commitment to UN. The draft order could reverse or roll back funding for priorities championed by former President Barack Obama, including international peacekeeping missions and US support for development work under the UN umbrella. A second order calls for a review and possible withdrawal from certain forms of multilateral treaties that do not involve «national security, extradition or international trade». Potential targets include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to the Washington Post, the proposed funding review is envisaged to take a year and be overseen by a panel including the departments of defence, state, justice, the office of the director of national security, the office of management and budget and the national security adviser. It is likely to attract only limited opposition in Congress. «The United States is in fact the United Nations’ largest supporter, providing nearly a quarter of its total revenues, and the American contribution continues to grow annually», the Guardian cites the text of the order on international funding cuts, titled Auditing and Reducing US Funding of International Organizations.

Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said «I think that heavy cuts to US funding to the UN are likely, and Trump will keep on kicking the institution to score cheap political points».

Alabama representative and senior Republican Mike Rogers drafted a bill to terminate the US membership in the UN. In early January, a bill known as the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 was introduced to US Congress. The bill aims to repeal the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other related laws. It requires the president to terminate US membership in the UN and to close the America’s Mission to the United Nations. The legislation prohibits the authorization of funds for the US assessed or voluntary contribution to the UN, the authorization of funds for any US contribution to any UN military or peacekeeping operation, the expenditure of funds to support the participation of US armed forces as part of any UN military or peacekeeping operation, US Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command, and diplomatic immunity for UN officers or employees.

Also in January, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill to defund the United Nations. Many Republicans see the Trump presidency as the best opportunity to pull out from the UN.

True, the organization is certainly overdue for serious internal changes but the world needs it as the only universal body able to take on the challenges to humanity and maintain global security, including the fight against terror. The UN is a communication platform bringing states together to talk instead of plunging into endless conflicts.

After the Cold War, the UN saw a radical expansion in its peacekeeping duties, taking on more missions in ten years than it had in the previous four decades. Between 1988 and 2000, the number of adopted Security Council resolutions more than doubled, and the peacekeeping budget increased more than tenfold. Today, the organization maintains 16 UN peacekeeping operations with 117,000 troops, police, military observers, civilian personnel and volunteers from 125 countries.

In the current UN budget, these operations cost $7.87bn a year. The US defense budget in FY 2016 was approximately $600bn. The Guardian emphasizes that «for a truly tiny cost, close to 1% of the American defense budget, America receives a huge dividend from the UN – peace in many remote parts of the world, making them safe for American trade, investment and tourism. If the US tried to do all this alone (which it would be unable to), it would cost first, American lives, and second, billions more in US tax dollars». The UN’s role in tackling the problem of refugees around the world is immense.

The UN isn’t perfect but it’s the best international body to address international problems. To reject the organization will rob the US of a vital institution to communicate with the world. To disregard the UN means to disregard international law. Hopefully, this is only a temporary trend and reason will prevail. By leaving, the US will shoot itself in the foot. 

Israeli rabbis: Trump is the Jewish Messiah

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In a recent Op-Ed at Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz – former Israeli cabinet minister Uzi Baram (born to Arab Jewish mother from Syria) said that extremist Jew members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government are rallying on US president Donald Trump to help destroy Islam’s sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of Rock at Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem). These fanatic religious Jews believe that the Muslim structures are hindering the fulfillment of Jewish salvation represented by the construction of the so-called Third Temple.

Several leading Israel rabbis at the Sanhedrin organization have claimed that two powerful pro-Israel world leaders, Vladimir and Donald Trump, not only support Israel’s right to exist – Trump even accepts Jewish right to Jerusalem as their spiritual inheritance. It is historically unprecedented (reported by Israel Today, November 15, 2016).

Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the top gun at the Sanhedrin sent letters to both Trump and Putin urging them to work together to fulfill a project that will benefit all mankind – the rebuilding of the Holy Temple atop Jerusalem’s hotly contested Temple Mount.

Torah (Old Testament) was written by rabbis in 1312 BCE. It doesn’t mention that Temple Mount would be destroyed first by Babylonian in 586 BCE and later by Roman in 70 AD. Furthermore, neither Torah nor the Christian Bible calls for the reconstruction of Third Temple.

According to the Jerusalem-based Temple Institute, it got the three things needed to rebuild the Third Temple; 1) a plan  (see the model above), 2) one million stones for the building, and 3) Red Heifer.

Ironically, in October 2016, UNESCO declared that Old City of Jerusalem (occupied East Jerusalem) had nothing to do with Judaism.

Jerry Rabow in his 2002 book, 50 Jewish Messiahs, claims that since the disappearance of Jesus (as), more than 50 men and women have claimed to be Jewish promised Messiah.

In my life time, I have read two Jewish Messiahs – multi-billionaire George Soro and former US president Barack Obama.

UN idiot: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Jewish

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Antonio Guterres, the newly installed United Nations secretary general and a Friend of Israel told Israel Radio on Friday that “it was completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.”

This is no news to people who have studied the history of Temple Mount and Jewishness from some objective sources. The Zionist narrative of Temple Mount, just like Holy Holocaust is all based on fakes, frauds, and forgeries (watch video below).

The so-called Temple Mount (Solomon Palace or Haikale Sulemani) and part of Old City of Jerusalem were destroyed by Romans in 70 AD to crush the anti-Rome armed rebellion by the people of Judea, who were not Jewish. Majority of them belonged to Hebrew tribes also known as Bani Israel who were descendants of 12 sons of prophet Israel (Jacob). These people who lived in Arabian peninsula converted to Christianity and Islam with the passage of time. Over 90% of current world Jewry is not Israelites but Khazarian Turks.

Israeli historian Dr. Shlomo Sand, author of books The Invention of Jewish People’, ‘The Invention of the Land of Israel’, and ‘How I ceased to be a Jew’ has claimed that the word JEW was invented in late 18th century – most probably by Christian Zionists.

The photo above clearly shows that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of Rock are not built on top of the Temple Mount. And the so-called Wailing Wall under the Al-Aqsa Mosque is not the foundation wall of the Temple Mount – but of a Roman fortress.

In October 2016, UNESCO declared that Old City of Jerusalem (occupied East Jerusalem) had nothing to do with Judaism.

But don’t expect Netanyahu stop speaking through Antonio Guterres’ mouth in the future.

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US Public Discourse Slipping Further from Reality

Posted on January 23, 2017

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Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) is the latest example of a member of Congress who seems to be slipping further and further from reality. Rogers has introduced a bill entitled “The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017”–which sounds good until you get to the fine print.

The bill is aimed at eliminating US membership in the United Nations, which Rogers sees as a threat to US sovereignty. It also would end US support for UN agencies such as UNESCO and the World Health Organization, and would even have the UN headquarters kicked out of New York.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the UN. It has been used often as a political tool to support US foreign policy objectives, for instance in 2011 when it authorized a no-fly zone over Libya–and so for this reason I have some doubts as to whether Rogers’ bill will pass. But this is neither here nor there. Where things get really crazy is when you look at the congressman’s reasoning behind the bill.

According to RT, Rogers’ bill, officially HR 193, was motivated by the UN Security Council resolution adopted last month criticizing Israeli settlements. I have already discussed HR 11, a bill introduced specifically in response to that Security Council resolution and which was approved by a vote 342-80, and HR 193 seems to have been similarly motivated. Or at least partly, at any rate–for the RT report makes note of the fact that the Alabama congressman introduced an earlier version of the bill back in 2015.

“Why should the American taxpayer bankroll an international organization that works against America’s interests around the world?” Rogers is said to have asked at that time. “The time is now to restore and protect American sovereignty and get out of the United Nations.”

A little more from the RT report:

Later, in June 2015, Rogers had introduced his document – then named HR 1205, but essentially the same USExit idea he’s proposing now.

“The UN continues to prove it’s an inefficient bureaucracy and a complete waste of American tax dollars.” Rogers went on to name treaties and actions he believes “attack our rights as US citizens.” These included gun provisions, the imposition of international regulations on American fossil fuels – but more importantly, the UN attack on Israel, by voting to grant Palestine the non-member state ‘permanent observer’ status.

“Anyone who is not a friend to our ally Israel is not a friend to the United States.”

So in Rogers’ delusional thinking, it is the UN, and not Israel or its US Lobby, which threatens the sovereignty of the United States.

American funding to the UN comes to approximately $8 billion per year, that’s in mandatory payments as well as voluntary contributions. This makes up about 22 percent of the UN’s overall budget.

By contrast, US funding of Israel presently comes to about $3.8 billion per year (in direct aid). Presumably, if Rogers’ bill passes, the $4.2 billion difference will then be available to pass along to Israel. I’m not saying that’s what will happen, but worth keeping in mind is that in September of last year, Obama signed a $38 billion aid package to the Jewish state, and Obama wasn’t even on good terms with the Israeli leadership. Imagine what largess may flow under a Trump administration.

As I said before, the US is often able to pressure other nations and thereby use the UN as a political tool to advance its own foreign policy objectives, so from that standpoint one might argue that the $8 billion per year was an investment which brought back a return.

By contrast, if the money goes to Israel, the opposite will be the case: for it is Israel which uses the US as a political tool, not the other way around.

If we continue to be ruled by people like Rogers, our national sovereignty will eventually disappear. We will become a nation governed in total by a foreign power.

israel busy destroying Jerusalem’s history and replacing it with fake artifacts

Will UN bless Israel’s destruction of Jerusalem’s heritage?

A historic photograph shows Jerusalem’s Moroccan Quarter, below the al-Aqsa mosque compound and the Dome of the Rock. Israel demolished the 700-year-old neighborhood, including a 12th century mosque, to create the Western Wall Plaza, after it occupied East Jerusalem in 1967. (via Library of Congress)

Israel is once again trying to remove Jerusalem’s ancient sites from a UN list of endangered world heritage.

The effort to strip the protection comes as groups that call for the destruction of the al-Aqsa mosque and its replacement with a Jewish temple are intensifying their activities, often with Israeli government funding and support. It also follows decades of Israeli destruction of ancient sites in the city.

Less than two weeks after UNESCO adopted a resolution sharply criticizing Israel’s violations at the al-Aqsa mosque/Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem, the UN educational and scientific body’s World Heritage Committee Executive Board will vote on whether to keep the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls on the list of endangered sites, a status they have held since 1982.

Fifty-five other UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe are considered to be in danger.

Jerusalem’s Old City was placed on the list after delegates found the site’s “historical authenticity” and “cultural significance” were threatened by negligence, rapid urbanization and the destruction of religious properties.

Israel has controlled Jerusalem’s Old City since its army occupied East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to ask the 21 member nations on the World Heritage Committee Executive Board not to support keeping the area on the endangered list.

Israel has opposed the inclusion of the site on the list since it was first proposed by Jordan.

“There is a will to stop this chaos [of such resolutions] which harms everyone,” Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen told The Jerusalem Post.

But Shama-Hacohen said winning favor for Israel’s position from from the World Heritage Committee will be tough.

The committee will meet in Paris next week.

Extremist settlers

In April, Jordan submitted its report to the World Heritage Committee outlining why the site should remain on the endangered list.

Israel also submitted a report claiming it has undertaken several projects to protect the Old City “while improving the lives of its inhabitants and its use by tourists.”

The Israeli report claims that the Israel Antiquities Authority conducts or supervises all projects in and around the Old City.

But the report fails to mention that the authority has handed over control of several archaeological projects to the extreme settler organization Elad.

Elad currently manages a tunnel project that connects the Western Wall to the Davidson Center, an Israeli-built exhibition facility, in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan.

Jordan’s report details many of the concerns over the al-Aqsa mosque and the Haram al-Sharif outlined in the UNESCO resolution adopted on 13 October, but also discusses how the surrounding Muslim neighborhoods within the walls of the Old City are threatened.

In recent years, Israeli-government supported private settler groups such as Elad and Ateret Cohanim have forcibly displaced scores of Muslim and Christian families in the Old City to make way for Jewish settlers.

Jordan’s report states that Israel has carried out 20 excavations in the area surrounding the al-Aqsa compound during 2015. It presents evidence that the excavations are discarding historic remains from the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. Jordan asserts that the excavations threaten to breach the walls of the al-Aqsa mosque.

The archaeological projects Israel undertakes in Jerusalem have the narrow agenda of unearthing artifacts that demonstrate an ancient Jewish presence in the land while ignoring or destroying artifacts from other eras.

History of destruction

Immediately following the 1967 war, Israel destroyed the 700-year-old Mughrabi Quarter, also known as the Moroccan Quarter, in the Old City in order to create the Western Wall Plaza adjacent to the al-Aqsa compound.

Today the plaza serves primarily as an open gathering space for tourists and Jewish worshippers.

When Israel occupied the area on 7 June 1967, the entire neighborhood was put under strict curfew and Palestinians were shut in their homes.

On the evening of 10 June 1967, the day the war ended, the 650 residents of the Mughrabi Quarter were given two hours to vacate their homes, according to scholar Tom Abowd.

Those who did not leave voluntarily, were removed by force before the area was flattened by bulldozers. By the next night, more than 130 homes had been destroyed.

One woman was buried beneath the rubble, her body found the next morning in the ruins of her home.

Among the scores of homes and structures reduced to rubble, was one of Jerusalem’s oldest Islamic schools, al-Afdaliya, which later came to be known as Sheikh Eid mosque.

The structure has been dated to Saladin’s reign in the 12th century.

Benjamin Kedar, a retired professor of history at Hebrew University and a former vice president of Israel’s National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, called the destruction an “archaeological crime.”

In the last five years, Israel has allowed the Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a so-called “Museum of Tolerance” on top of the ancient Muslim Mamilla Cemetery. Though in West Jerusalem, and therefore not the subject of the UNESCO resolutions, it is a stark example of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s disregard for Jerusalem’s people and heritage.

Hundreds of skeletons were dug up in the middle of the night. Yehoshua Dorfman, the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority at the time, later admitted, “I should have stopped the excavation and not allowed the destruction of that part of the cemetery.”

Dorfman also admitted to mistreatment of Muslim and Christian graves at excavation sites elsewhere, including the Elad-run “City of David” in occupied East Jerusalem. “The bones were just left lying around outside for months until they were taken away,” Dorfman wrote in a book published after his death in 2014, according to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz.

Vilifying UNESCO

Since UNESCO passed the resolution condemning the myriad ways Israel violates the rights of Palestinian and Muslim worshippers at al-Aqsa mosque and threatens the architectural integrity of the compound, Israel has gone on the offensive.

This week, Yisrael Hasson, the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority, stepped up the vilification of UNESCO, comparing the UN body to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, that has destroyed ancient sites in Syria.

Claiming falsely that the resolution denies Jewish reverence for the site it calls Temple Mount, Israel has effectively convinced UN leaders to distance themselves from the resolution.

These include Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova and UNESCO executive board chair Michael Worbs.

Mexico and Brazil, two of the 24 countries that voted in favor of the resolution, have since repudiated their support.

Though there will not be a re-vote, the countries say they would not support a similar resolution in the future.

If Israel should now succeed in convincing the World Heritage Committee to remove Jerusalem from the list of endangered sites, the UN would in effect give a blessing to Israel’s ongoing assault on the city’s ancient heritage.

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Syria Condemns Massacres Committed by Turkish Regime during Its Invasion of Syrian Territories

Monday, 29 August 2016 17:02

Syria Times

DAMASCUS, (ST)- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has stressed that  the massacres and aggressive acts committed by the Turkish regime during its invasion of Syrian territories are a crime of aggression and an evident crime against humanity. The ministry has also stressed that fighting terrorism on the Syrian lands by whatever party should have been done in coordination with the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army, urging the Security Council to pressure the Turkish regime to withdraw its forces from the Syrian territories.

 Addressing the UN Chief and President of the Security Council in two identical letters about the horrible massacres committed by the Turkish army and its allies against civilians in two Syrian villages northern Syria, the ministry said “the Turkish army’s air force and artillery in coordination with its-affiliated armed terrorist groups randomly bombarded the villages of Jeb al-Koussa and al-Amarneh in the south of Jarablus city in Aleppo. 35 civilians were martyred in the shelling, tens others were wounded and huge damage was caused to public and private properties as well as to the infrastructure of the two villages.”

Evident Crime against humanity

According to the ministry, the Turkish regime’s crimes and attacks are condemned by all moral and legal standards and they constitute a war crime and a crime against humanity whether these crimes were committed directly by the Turkish army or indirectly by Turkish regime’s tools and terrorist agents like the so-called “Free Army” and terror groups like “Deash”, “Jabhat al-Nusra”,” Ahrar al-Sham”,  “Nour Eddin Zinki”, “Liwa al-Tauheed”, “Liwa Shuhada Badr”, “Liwa al-Muhajereen”, “the Islamic Front” and “Western Turkistan organization”.

The ministry added that Turkey also keeps providing the terrorists with all kinds of weapons and ammunitions in addition to mercenaries of more than 100 different nationalities, pointing out that the Turkish media said on August 28, 2016 that the Turkish regime allowed more than 3000 terrorists to have access into Syria across the Syrian-Turkish borders in order to join the terrorist organizations in the country.

“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the repeated violations, attacks and massacres which have been committed by the Turkish regime against the Syrian people and against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Syrian state for more than five years,” the ministry said.

It added that “Syria urges the Security Council member states to condemn these coward crimes and to adopt effective measures that force Erdogan to stop supporting terrorism and using it as a means to interfere in  Syria’s internal affairs.”

Not a single Bullet Fired against “Daesh”  

It pointed out that in its alleged anti-Deash military operation in Syria, the Turkish forces didn’t fire a single bullet on Daesh terrorists, rather Deash joined the Turkish army and its terrorist allies and helped the army enter Jarablus, thereby providing a clear proof about Erdogan’s regime’s cooperation with Daesh and other terrorist groups.

It noted that the Turkish regime’s talk about Deash expulsion from Jarablus was actually a process to replace Deash with Turkish-backed terrorist groups.

The ministry stressed that “the French, US, British, Saudi and Qatari continuous support for the Turkish regime is but a blatant support for terrorism not only in Syria but in all countries of the world. It is also a clear-cut evidence that these countries are colluding with the Turkish regime in killing innocent people in Aleppo, Damascus, Jarablus, Lyon, Brussels and Berlin,” the ministry stressed.

Fighting terrorism should be done in coordination with Syrian government and army

  “Syria reiterates that fighting terrorism on the Syrian lands by any party should have been done in coordination with the Syrian government and the Syrian army which has been bravely battling terrorism for more than five years,” the ministry said, stressing that the Syrian government will spare no effort as to combat terrorism and achieve political solution to the crisis in Syria through Syrian-Syrian dialogue led by the Syrians themselves away from foreign interference and without preconditions.

Security Council Urged to Pressure Turkey to withdraw its forces from Syria

The ministry concluded the letter by saying that “the Syrian government urges the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility in keeping international peace and security and to call on Turkey to immediately withdraw from the Syrian lands, to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to stop supporting the terrorist groups by completely closing its borders with Syria in implementation of international legitimacy and Security Council resolutions relating to fighting terrorism, particularly resolutions Nos. 2170 and 2178 for 2014 and resolutions Nos. 2199 and 2253 for 2015.

Hamda Mustafa

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ISIL Demolishes Ancient Temple in Iraq, Hints at Destroying Pyramids

 

Takfiri ISIL group vowed to destroy ancient sites built by infidels” after showing video footage of the group blowing up a 2,500-year-old temple in Iraq.

The video showed ISIL militants detonating bombs at the ancient temple of Nabu in Iraq which proceeded to reduce to rubble.

Following the destruction of the ancient temple, the group vowed to destroy other ancient sites that were created by “infidels.”ISIL Demolishes Ancient Temple in Iraq, Vows to Destroy Pyramids

When noting their intention to destroy other ancient monuments, the video showed pictures of the Great Pyramid of Giza indicating the group hopes to destroy the impressive Egyptian structures.

Earlier this year, shocking pictures showed how ISIL militants had destroyed ancient monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra.

The militants sparked a global outcry when they started destroying Palmyra’s treasured monuments, which they consider idolatrous, after taking the city in May 2015.

They ransacked UNESCO World Heritage sites before finally being ousted after three weeks of fighting earlier this year.

Source: Agencies

08-06-2016 – 14:35 Last updated 08-06-2016 – 16:01

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Risky Move: #AskNetanyahu Quickly Backfires on Israeli PM

 photo asknetanyahu_zpshl8yvu1y.jpg

Netanyahu’s Twitter Nakba

RT

In what could at best be described as a risky PR move, and at worst just asking for trouble, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened himself up to the world of Twitter with an “Ask Netanyahu” social media campaign, yielding predictably funny results.

Within minutes of the announcement, people made use of the hashtag to question the Israeli leader about pressing issues.

The Q&A session was set to take place Thursday morning to honor Israeli Independence Day.

Continued here

Did you use Nano thermite or regular cutting charges to bring down Building 7? pic.twitter.com/k6ojYBg3an

Why was it okay to EXECUTE 73-years-old Tharwat Sharawi for driving her car too slow.. She was 73!!

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Whilst spending precious time with your family on the beach did u order the bombing of Gaza Children

Does it bother you that history will remember you as a racist, war criminal and mass murderer?

Dear Bibi,
Please can you abide by international law and allow the refugees to return?
Thank-you,
Joss

Why any Jew in the world has the right to live in Israel while the Palestinians are denied the Right of Return to their land?

How many knives have your IOF planted knives on Palestinian children? How many have they killed?

Can you watch This ?

This is the Most Moral Army in the World

Why did you order IDF to shoot these children who were playing football on the beach ?

Civilization Returns to Palmyra–While the West Scoffs

Posted on May 7, 2016

[Ed. note – Western media have been taking some cheap pot shots at the glorious concert given Thursday in Palmyra by the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra. It’s sad in a way. The concert was so uplifting, so very wonderfully meaningful and symbolic. The propaganda war waged by these people is relentless. ]

Even those with a limited knowledge of Russia may be credited with having heard of St Petersburg being called the Venice of the North. This is a title it must share with a variety of other claimants famed for their canals, such as Bruges in Belgium, although St Petersburg has more justification than competing cities given its common architectural roots with the Venice of the South, namely the leading 18th century Italian architects who contributed greatly to forming its appearance.

To cognoscenti there is also another twin city association of St Petersburg, that of the Northern Palmyra. That notion goes back to the age of Catherine the Great, who was likened to the 3rd century queen Zenobia, the powerful ruler of the Palmyran Empire who conquered Egypt and a large swathe of Anatolia. In the time of Pushkin, Russian writers further developed the allusion, drawing more generally upon the reputed beauty and cultural richness of Roman Palmyra.

The links of consciousness did not end there.  Later in the 19th century, St Petersburg based archeologists were among the Europeans taking part in digs in Palmyra and writing about their adventures.

With this twin city awareness borne by the Russian Intelligentsia to this day, it is not so surprising that precisely a St Petersburg conductor, Valeri Gergiev, thought up the grand gesture, an act of great imagination that was realized on Thursday, 5 May. He brought the Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater to Palmyra to perform a concert of Bach, Shchedrin and Prokofiev in the Roman Amphitheater and to celebrate the return of culture to a UNESCO site desecrated by its Islamic State occupiers who over the preceding year held their brutal public executions here. The concert audience consisted of Russian and Syrian troops, Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, noted Arabist and Director of the Hermitage Museum Mikhail Piotrovsky, local dignitaries, and a contingent of UNESCO representatives.

The event opened with a short speech by Vladimir Putin carried over a live satellite link from his residence in Sochi. Putin underscored the courage of those participating in the concert and the will of civilized society to triumph over terror. The entire event was broadcast live on Russian state television and has been made available on the web by RT.

As the recording makes clear, this was a world-class performance that featured eminent soloists. The unaccompanied Bach piece for violin was played by a laureate of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Pavel Miliukov.  Quadrille, a work by the Mariinsky’s house composer Rodion Shchedrin, widower of ballet prima donna Maya Plisetskaya, was performed by cellist Sergei Roldugin.  And the choice of a Prokofiev symphony was in line with Gergiev’s long-standing efforts to make that great Soviet composer widely known and appreciated at home and abroad.

It is little more than a month since Palmyra was liberated from its ISIS occupiers by the Syrian Army with the assistance of Russian air strikes.  It is just days since the archeological sites were cleared of mines by Russian military specialists, many of whom were in the audience.  Meanwhile, the forces of the Islamic State continue to send missions against Palmyra and its surrounding countryside in attempts to recapture lost ground.

In these circumstances, the action of maestro Gergiev, his orchestra and soloists, the logistics team that moved the orchestra and some 100 tons of telecommunications gear into the war zone, and the broadcasting team who set up the live coverage must be characterized as brave, even daring.

It was also in character for Gergiev. He performed at the front before, as he famously did in 2008 when he brought the orchestra to the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, just after its liberation from Georgian attackers. But he and his orchestra also perform at home in ways that show similar disregard for their own comfort and incur heightened risks: they regularly bring their music to hard to reach parts of the Russian Federation on grueling tours of the far north and the far east, often taking with them internationally known soloists. Those concerts do not receive the admiring attention of the outside world.

It bears mention that the concert by maestro Gergiev and the Mariinsky orchestra was not a one-off event. It was meant to be the first step in the return of culture and decency to Palmyra. Already on the next day a follow-on concert featuring a Syrian orchestra and chorus was held in the Roman amphitheater. Moreover, the Russians did not rush to evacuate their broadcasters and gear, because state television carried a live transmission of this evening concert to Russian viewers late last night.

With all due respect to maestro Gergiev’s intention to present a gift of culture to the residents of Syria’s UNESCO listed city of Palmyra and to convey the promise of return to normal civilian life in a country devastated by civil war and the intervention of foreign fighters, it would be disingenuous to ignore the way the Kremlin and its state television framed the event for consumption in Russia and the wider world. Call it an exercise in Soft Power, of which it was surely Russia’s most successful in many, many years; call it what you will, the concert in Palmyra had a clearly stated political dimension.

This ‘Pray for Palmyra’ concert was dedicated to the memory of two heroes, one Syrian, the other Russian.  Large photos of both were on either side of the stage.

The Syrian being honored was Dr. Khaled Asaad, director of the Palmyra museum complex, who in August 2015, at age 81, was brutally executed, beheaded by the Islamic State militants. The presence at the concert of Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky was a direct counterpoint to the missing Syrian scholar and administrator. Piotrovsky symbolized the ongoing and future participation of Russian art restorers in bringing Palmyra back to its pre-war status as a center of research for orientalists and a  major tourist attraction.

The Russian being honored was Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko, Russia’s national hero of the Syrian campaign, the special forces officer working behind enemy lines on the Palmyra front who, when surrounded by jihadists, called in Russian jet strikes on his own position and knowingly paid with his life while taking out an enemy detachment. Prokhorenko’s body was eventually recovered and returned to Russia this week where it was given the highest state honors. His funeral in his native Orenburg region was held yesterday, on 6 May.  Russian television news coverage of the Palmyra concert was back-to-back with video reportage of the honor guard receiving Prokhorenko’s coffin.  Moreover, attention was given to Western resonance of his valor.

Though some British newspapers had described Prokhorenko as a Russian “Rambo” and some Western military experts saluted the selfless heroism of this fellow professional, Russian state television chose to feature a more personal response. We were shown an elderly French couple who had sent their family medals for World War II resistance heroism to the parents of Prokhorenko via the Russian diplomatic service as their expression of solidarity. The couple was invited to Russia by President Putin and met with the grieving parents of Russia’s hero, as we saw on television.

More broadly, the date for the Mariinsky concert in Palmyra was surely chosen with an eye to the forthcoming 9 May Victory in Europe celebrations across Russia.  The concert was a gift to the Russian nation for its popular if skeptical support of the military intervention in Syria. They saw on their screens the fruits of Russian-Syrian military cooperation, and in particular images of the secular and friendly Syria that Russian diplomacy has backed with blood and national wealth.

They saw the first step in what will be a long process of reconstruction, preparing the way for the return of refugees and displaced persons. All of this is a direct reproach to the European Union’s handling of the migrant crisis, namely ransacking the first aid station for band-aids rather than identifying and addressing the root causes of the problem.  Europe, like the United States, has at best stood by and at worst aided and abetted interventions in the Syrian civil war by the Gulf States and Turkey that greatly strengthened the terrorist forces and prolonged the fighting awaiting the collapse of the Assad regime, notwithstanding all the havoc that resulted for the Syrian population.

Western mainstream media coverage of the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra’s concert in Palmyra runs the full range from merely tendentious and sour grapes to overtly hostile and malicious commentary.

U.S. media coverage was meager.  The online edition of Time magazine was short, concentrated on the facts and avoided politically colored adjectives.  To its credit, we are told that the concert was led “by renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev.” The presence in the audience of UNESCO dignitaries was noted.

The New York Times was less cautious, more inflammatory. Its editors chose a headline that make clear the intention to deprive the event of any serious merit:  “Russian Orchestra Plays in Palmyra Ruins as Strikes Kill 28.” This linkage of two separate news items may be described as the “Washington narrative” because it shows up in many other derogatory press accounts of the concert.  Just how far that could be pushed we will see in a minute when we consider the BBC’s coverage.

What shred of journalistic integrity the NYT managed to produce appears at the very end of the article, when the author admits that: “it was not immediately clear who carried out the attack on the camp in Idlib province where some 2,000 internally displaced people had taken shelter from the fighting in nearby Aleppo and Hama provinces over the past year.” And the closing words are that it is ‘too early to say if Assad’s forces carried out the attack.”  But the intended damage to the credibility of the Russian cultural mission to Palmyra was already done up front.

Probably the most toxic U.S. reporting on the concert was from Radio Svoboda, the old Cold War bullhorn directed against Russia with U.S. government funding.  Here at the outset we are told about the cellist Roldugin, the “close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin” who was caught out in the Panama Papers scandal as the owner of an offshore company engaged in ‘’shady transactions.” But then the article switches over entirely to a story broadcast by Sky News two days earlier alleging that Palmyra was handed over to Syrian government troops by the Islamic State in accordance with agreements reached between IS and the Assad regime. Assad was supposedly in cahoots with the jihadists. The notion of Russian participation in the city’s liberation is off the radar screen of the Radio Svoboda propagandists.

British media were more attentive to the concert in Palmyra but, with one or two exceptions, no more friendly than their American confrèresThe Guardian, which is sometimes independent-minded on Russian affairs, this time was entirely aligned with the Washington narrative.   Valery Gergiev is presented as the “Kremlin favourite.” Moreover, we read that “Gergiev, the former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, is a controversial and outspoken supporter of Putin.” In this light, we are reminded about Gergiev’s 2008 concert in Ossetia.  I note parenthetically what The Guardian omitted in their rush to marginalize the maestro: that Gergiev is now the principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic as well as artistic director of the Mariinsky.

The Guardian also reminds us that featured cellist Sergei Roldugin is “Vladimir Putin’s best friend” and that “the Panama Papers revealed that Roldugin was the beneficiary of hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore deals.”

Finally, The Guardian tells its readers that among the foreigners present at the concert were representatives from Zimbabwe, China and Serbia.  They pointedly omit to say that they were present in a UNESCO delegation which also included Europeans.

The BBC online coverage carries many of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian tendentious adjectives, reminders and omissions that we have seen above.  But it goes the extra mile by quoting UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s extraordinary comment that the concert was “a tasteless attempt to distract attention from the continued suffering of millions of Syrians. It shows that there are no depths to which the regime will not sink.”  From the BBC quote, it is not clear whether the Minister had in mind the Putin or the Assad regime’s plumbing the depths. But, in any case, his intention to slander the Russians is obvious.

To their credit, the BBC also carried a more balanced separate report from their bureau chief in Moscow, Steve Rosenberg. He saw that the message from Moscow was that Russia is a force for good, whereas Western officials “remain suspicious of Russia’s intentions.” Otherwise, Rosenberg just repeats the same hurtful innuendos that we have seen above: the connection between Rodulgin and the Panama Papers, the Gergiev concert in Tskhinvali in 2008.

To every generalization there is always an exception, and as happens from time to time it is the British tabloids that show more common sense and decency than the high style outlets of the political class. The heading given to the article on the concert of 5 May in the online edition of The Daily Mail says it all:  “Culture and civilization return to Palmyra: Russian orchestra performs concert in the ancient Roman amphitheatre for the first time since ISIS used it to carry out public executions in Syria. The editors wisely included a click-on video recording of the concert, allowing their readers to judge for themselves.

In summary, the Information War that the West has been waging against Russia is going full tilt. It is an unpardonable error of judgment to speak of a new Cold War as something that lies ahead, just around the corner. We are in the midst of it, and it will take enormous luck or a change of leaders for the better if we are to avoid a hot war.


Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His latest book ,  Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

Media corruption is no joke, everyone needs to help if we are to have any hope of real change. This free article was served to you by donations and volunteers, please do your part with a contribution to our Spring crowdfund NOW LIVE on Indiegogo.

Mission accomplished: Russian military engineers have completely demined the historical Palmyra ~ [Full Report]

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Russian Combat Engineers Completely Demine Historical Part of Palmyra

(Moscow-SANA) ~ The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that the Combat Engineers have fully demined Historical Part of the Syrian city of Palmyra.

The mines were planted by ISIS terrorist organization in Palmyra archeological city before establishing control over it by the Syrian army units on March 27th.



“Russian combat engineers have fully cleared of explosive devices the historical part of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra”, Commander of Russian Engineering Troops Lt. Gen. Yuri Stavitsky said.

“At this point, the tasks on the demining of the historical part of Palmyra have been accomplished in full,” Stavitsky said in a report to President Vladimir Putin during a video conference call.

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He added that the Russian forces demined and dismantled mines and explosive devices from 234 hectares of land and 23 kilometers of roads in addition to 10 facilities of Cultural Heritage.

The Russian military official revealed that the Russian engineers found during the last period 2991 explosive devices which were all dismantled.



Upon the request of the Syrian leadership after establishing control over Palmyra city, Russia sent specialist experts to dismantle the mines to help clear Palmyra from the explosive devices and mines planted by ISIS terrorist organization.


Russian engineers

Russian military removes all mines & bombs in historic Palmyra

(RT) ~ Russian engineers have successfully completed clearing the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra of explosives left behind by Islamic State. Nearly 3,000 explosive devices on around 230 hectares (2.3 sq km) of the World Heritage site have been defused.

“The task of clearing the architectural and historical part of Palmyra of explosives has been fully completed,” the head of the Russian Army’s engineering unit, Yury Stavitsky, reported from Syria to President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

Starting from April 2, Russian engineers with the help of Uran-6 robots and specially trained dogs have cleared 234 hectares of land, 23 kilometers (14 miles) of roads and 10 architectural objects, Stavitsky said, speaking to Russia’s Commander-in-Chief via a TV link-up.

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In total, 2991 explosive devices, including 432 makeshift bombs, have been defused, the military official reported. Ninety-eight Russian servicemen have been involved in the effort, he added.



Engineers from the Russian Army’s International Anti-mine Center were deployed to Palmyra following the Syrian government’s request to help de-mine the city. The City of Palms was recaptured by the Syrian Army backed by Russian forces on March 27.

Russian sappers have been working not only at the historic site of Palmyra, but also helped to de-mine the modern city nearby. Nearly 370 buildings have been checked, the military official reported, adding that more than 1,400 explosives have been destroyed. The engineers will continue working in residential areas of Palmyra, Stavitsky said, adding that some 560 hectares (5.6 sq km) of urban areas and an airport still need to be combed for terrorists’ explosives.

Prior to its capture by Islamic State (Daesh, IS, ISIS/ISIL) in May of last year, the city in western Syria was home to about 70,000 people. Hundreds of residents have already returned to the city, local authorities said.

While the UNESCO World Heritage site and the residential area nearby were in the hands of IS, they had infested it with thousands of mines, which could potentially level the city in a matter of seconds. Approaches to the city and its residential quarters were rigged with explosives, which turned Palmyra into a huge “delayed action mine,” RT has learned.

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Sadly, during their 10 months long occupation of the city, the jihadists put many of their explosives into action, destroying a number of unique historical monuments. Despite earlier hopes that the damage was quite repairable, Palmyra’s current appearance is incomparable to how it looked before the IS occupation.

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While the Russian engineers along with the Syrian Army have been working in the city, efforts were made by restoration experts and organizations to decide on what can be done to bring Palmyra back to its former cultural glory. Earlier this month, a Russia-drafted resolution on the role of UNESCO in restoring the devastated ancient city was unanimously approved by the organization.

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HERO TO THE END
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Palmyra Mass Grave:
Syrian Army unearthed the tortured bodies of dozens of women & children among the victims
caused by the cruel barbarity of Daesh

palmyra-mass-grave

The Syrian Army is unearthing a mass grave consisting of at least 40 corpses, many of them women and children. They were butchered by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the recently liberated ancient city of Palmyra.

The grave was discovered by engineers and “popular defense forces” in the Masakin al-Jahizia neighborhood of the city, which lies only 500 meters from the ancient ruins.So far the army has recovered 25 corpses. Among those killed by IS were three children and five females. As the excavation proceeded, 15 more corpses were unearthed – all of them women and children.Initial examination of the bodies revealed that some of the victims had been beheaded while other had been brutally tortured before their deaths.The army continues to excavate the mass grave, fearing that more bodies may be found.


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ISIS kills 400 women & children in Palmyra
(Syrian state TV, 24 May 2015)

Islamic State militants have killed at least 400 people in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, mostly women and children, Syrian state television said Sunday, citing residents.

According to Reuters, opposition activists on social media claimed that hundreds of bodies were in the streets of the city.“The terrorists have killed more than 400 people.. and mutilated their bodies, under the pretext that they cooperated with the government and did not follow orders,” a Palmyra resident told Syria’s state news agency.State employees were among hundreds killed in the massacre. Among them was the head of nursing department at the hospital and all her family.


SOURCES:
SANA, Qabas/ Mazen
RT News
~
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/demined-palmyra/
~

UNESCO: ‘No Jewish history in Jerusalem’

Apr 20, 2016

UNESCO also decided that Al-Khalil and Bethlehem are integral parts of Palestine

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Association (UNESCO) announced on Friday a number of resolutions regarding Israeli occupation of historical Palestinian cities.
In addition, the resolution affirms that Al-Khalil, the birthplace for Abraham, and Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, “are an integral part of Palestine.”

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Association (UNESCO) announced on Friday a number of resolutions regarding Israeli occupation of historical Palestinian cities.

One of the resolutions was entitled “Occupied Palestine” and addressed Jerusalem Old City’s mosque, which is an Islamic site and Muslims call it Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) or Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.

In the context of Jerusalem’s Old City, the document referred to Israel as “the occupying power” and referred to the site as Al-Aqsa Mosque.

UNESCO decided that the name of this holy place is Al-Aqsa Mosque and said that Jews have no connection to it. It did not recognise the Jewish name for the place as Temple Mount.

The resolution also condemned Israel for “planting fake Jewish graves in other spaces of the Muslim cemeteries” and for “the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places.”

Among the states supporting the decision were Argentina, France, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, India and Russia, several of which enjoys ostensibly warm relations Israel.

In addition, the resolution affirms that Al-Khalil, the birthplace for Abraham, and Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, “are an integral part of Palestine.”

Referencing “ongoing Israeli illegal excavations, works, construction of private roads for illegal settlers and a separation wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil, that harmfully affect the integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship,” UNESCO also urged “Israel, the occupying power, to end these violations in compliance with provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions.”

Palestine news

 

 

Syrian Front: Over 1000 IDPs Return Home Daily

Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 30, 2016)

General information on the application of measures for the reconciliation of opposing sides

Specialists of the Russian Centre for reconciliation held consultations with authorities of the Hama and Aleppo provinces. The sides discussed issues of ceasefire regime and humanitarian aid providing. Preliminary agreements with representatives of two inhabited locations of the Hama and Homs provinces have been achieved.

The total number of settlements, the leaders of which have signed reconciliation agreements, has remained 51.

The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings has remained 43.

Within last 24 hours, the Russian Centre has received 897 appeals from militants, who had decided to lay down their weapon and return to peaceful life.

Results of ceasefire monitoring

All sides involved in the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic confirm significant reduce of warfare intensity. Thus, on the average, 12-15 violations were registered daily in the early March. However, the number of daily violations has reached 5-7 ones a day.

In general, the ceasefire regime in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic has been observed.

In the course of last 24 hours, 6 ceasefire violations have been registered (Aleppo – 5, Latakia – 1).

In Aleppo, armed formations of Ahrar al-Sham grouping, which had claimed to belong to the opposition, performed shelling with multiple launch rocket systems against Sheikh Maqsood from Sakan al-Shababi.

In the Aleppo province, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki detachments took efforts to conduct offensive against positions of the government troops in Basufan after performing preliminary bombardment.

Ahrar al-Sham militants carried out shelling with a tank and mortars of positions of the government troops near Hara, Maraanaz and al-Malikia (Aleppo province).

In the Latakia province, Ahrar al-Sham militants opened fire with small arms and mortars against positions of the government troops near Qaramanli.

Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Forces did not make strikes on armed formations, which follow ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides has held working session with representatives of the Ministry of the National Reconciliation of the Syrian Arab Republic. The parties discussed issues of humanitarian aid providing.

In course of last 24 hours, the Russian Centre has transported 4.4 tons of humanitarian cargos to the Aleppo province for further delivering aid to citizens of most damaged towns and villages.

Additional information

Leadership of the Russian Centre for reconciliation (Hmeymim airbase) and the American Coordination Centre (Amman) held another teleconference session. The sides discussed situation in different regions of the Republic, ceasefire observing, facts of ceasefire violation, and issues of interaction in providing humanitarian aid to the Syrian population.

According to information received from citizens of the Aleppo province, officers of the Turkish Armed Forces are recruiting militants for Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist grouping in Mareaa and Azaz.

Jabhat al-Nusra continues performing provocative acts in Aleppo. Within last 24 hours, terrorists opened mortar fire against Sheikh Maqsood from Ashrafiyah for three times. Kurdish militia detachments fired in respond.

The Russian Aerospace Forces aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic carried out strikes against ISIS terrorist formations near Al-Qaryatayn and in regions of close vicinity to Tadmor (Palmyra, Homs province).

The Russian aviation group has performed 23 sorties at nighttime engaging 54 terrorist objects of ISIS. The aircraft have eliminated 4 control centers, 6 artillery guns and mortars, 3 ammunition depots, 2 POL depots, 18 off-roaders with armament, an air defence system and more than 60 militants.

Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation ordered to send specialists of the International Mine Action Centre to Syria for mine clearance in Palmyra

According to the decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation has ordered to send specialists of the International Mine Action Centre to Syria for humanitarian mine clearance in the city Palmyra, which had been liberated from ISIS terrorists by the Syrian Army.

After practical training and a briefing on particularities of humanitarian mine clearance in the historical part of Palmyra conducted in the Nakhabino town (Moscow Region), the servicemen of a compounded detachment of the International Mine Action Centre have embarked on an aircraft of the Military transport aviation at the Chkalovsky airfield and departed to the Hmeymim airbase.

The mine clearance detachment of the International Mine Action Centre of the Russian Armed Forces is completely autonomous and equipped with the most advanced demining sets and protection suits (selective portable inductive mine detectors IMP-2S, portable explosive device control wire searchers PIPL, portable searchers of proximity explosive devices INVU-3M, combined arms demining suits) as well as life support means (autonomous electric supply systems, field kitchens, tents and containers for accommodation of servicemen).

Along with sapper units the detachment also includes a team with mine-detecting dogs.  During the mine clearance robotic complexes Uran-6 will be used.

Earlier the first group of specialists with engineer equipment and sappers’ mobile camp equipment had embarked on an An-124 Ruslan aircraft and departed to the Hmeymim airbase.


1,000 people displaced inside Syria daily return home


GENEVA, March 30. /TASS/. Moscow welcomes the return of people internally displaced inside Syria to their homes, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the high-level meeting on global responsibility sharing through pathways for admission of Syrian refugees on Wednesday.

“The situation with people internally displaced inside Syria remains in the focus of our attention,” the top-ranking diplomat said. “We see a positive tendency in a stable decline in their numbers over the recent time,” he said, noting that “according to available data, up to 1,000 people return to their homes every day”.

Moscow assumes that “humanitarian assistance and prospects of peaceful life for the Syrians will be a guarantee that internally displaced persons won’t join the army of refugees outside their country,” Gatilov added.

UNESCO missions should not be sent to Palmyra until demining complete

Russia has addressed international organizations, in particular UNESCO, with a proposal to assist in restoring cultural heritage in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra that was recently liberated from terrorists, Gennady Gatilov said.

“Very large territories remain mined both in Palmyra and around it,” Gatilov said. “The issue is on the agenda on taking urgent measures to demine these territories. Without this, measures to restore destroyed monuments should not be taken,” he added.

Opposition’s disunity, absence of Kurds hinder intra-Syrian negotiations

The disunity of the Syrian opposition and the absence of Kurdish representatives in the delegations have a negative impact on the course of the intra-Syrian negotiations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister went on to say.

“This, of course, would be preferable,” he said, answering a question about the need to unite the opposition groups into a single delegation.

“In order to achieve results, ideally it is necessary to have two sides: the government delegation and the opposition delegation,” Gatilov said. “But the real situation is such that it (the opposition) cannot unite due to the existing contradictions between different groups.”

According to the Russian deputy foreign minister, the UN leadership and the UN special envoy for Syria realize this. “They call upon all countries that have the corresponding influence on individual groups, to exert efforts to bring them to a common platform,” he said. “It is no easy task, because there are contradictions not only between the groups, but also within them, between their individual members. This has a negative impact on the course of the intra-Syrian negotiations.”

According to the high-ranking diplomat, “The same applies to the absence of Kurds at the negotiations.” “The Kurdish opposition has still not been presented [in the negotiations],” he said. “This situation needs to be corrected.”

On March 24, the first round of indirect intra-Syrian talks ended in Geneva. Their participants — a delegation of the Syrian government and a delegation of the opposition – did not meet each other but communicated through special envoy of the UN secretary general on Syria Staffan de Mistura. Discussions are due to resume in the first half of April.

On Saturday, Russia’s envoy to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin told TASS that overall, “the delegations have demonstrated a serious approach and an intention to discuss practical ways of getting out of the Syrian crisis. No one, and this has been noted by the special envoy [Staffan de Mistura], tried to blame the other side for illegitimacy,” Borodavkin said.

According to the diplomatic official, “it is important to ensure presence of a wide spectrum of Syrian opposition groups in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution and the documents of the International Syria Support Group in this round [of talks].” Meanwhile, Borodavkin said, “as de Mistura pointed out the delegations from the local patriotic opposition proved themselves as professionals, having prepared position papers, and demonstrated a serious approach to the discussion of all aspects of the Syrian settlement.” “The result of the round [of talks] inspires cautious optimism,” Borodavkin added.

Parties supporting Syria peace should break away from terrorist groups

To see a truce achieved in Syria it is necessary that the parties supporting the peace process break away from terrorist groups, Gatilov noted.

“The main task as concerns the ceasefire is to determine the parties to which the truce applies, and those that continue hostile activity and reject a political settlement, against which military operations will continue,” the diplomat said.

He said this was the subject matter of a dialog with American partners. “Of course, everybody voted for the UN Security Council resolution on those groups that must be recognized as terrorists, but there are certain nuances – some terrorist groups have turned out to be intermingled with each other,” he went on.

“Those who recognize the political process and are ready to participate in the ceasefire must simply break away from terrorists adhering to other positions,” Gatilov said.

“Then, strikes won’t target them. If they are really in favor of a peace dialogue, they should behave respectfully,” the top diplomat added.


The army establishes control over a hill in eastern Hama, destroyed 5 vehicles for terrorists in Daraa and Sweida
30 March، 2016
Provinces, SANA

The army continues its operations against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations all over the country, taking control of more areas and destroying vehicles and weapons for the terrorists.

Hama

An army unit, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, carried out operation against ISIS fortified sites and gatherings in which established control over Tabaret al-Dibe hill in Salmiya area the eastern countryside of Hama province.

During the operation, many of ISIS terrorists were killed and their vehicles and fortified sites were destroyed.

Sweida

An army unit targeted a gathering of ISIS terrorists in Bir al-Tanmiyeh area in the eastern countryside of the southern Sweida province, destroying 4 vehicles transporting terrorists, arms and ammunition, a military source told SANA on Wednesday.

Daraa

In the eastern countryside of the neighboring Daraa province, an army unit hit movements of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in the northern side of Tuloul Khleif near Um Walad village, located on border with Sweida, destroying a car equipped with a heavy machinegun.

Deir Ezzor

Army continued its operations against ISIS gatherings and fortified sites in Deir Ezzor province.

Field sources told SANA reporter that an army unit conducted an operation in al-Mattar al-Qadim neighborhood in the southern parts of Deir Ezzor city.

A 20-meter long tunnel was detonated by the army during the operation, killing many terrorists and injuring many others.

US Responsibility for Widespread Palmyra Destruction

 

By Stephen Lendman
3-29-16

Washington bears full responsibility for ISIS capturing UNESCO World Heritage site Palmyra last May, causing widespread destruction and looting of precious artifacts, plundered from other sites in the country.

Russian air power helped Syrian ground forces liberate the city after weeks of heavy fighting, the most important strategic victory since Obama launched naked aggression in March 2011, using ISIS and other imported death squads as imperial foot soldiers, a major turning point in the war achieved.

Syrian presidential advisor Bouthiana Shaaban said throughout months of America’s air campaign, begun illegally in September 2014, together with coalition partners Britain, France and others, it “didn’t lift a finger” to prevent Palmyra’s fall.

It “pretended to fight terrorism” while helping ISIS fighters take the ancient city, knowing  widespread destruction and looting would follow, priceless artifacts lost forever, ending up in private collections.

Washington and its rogue allies could have prevented what happened. Instead of conducting airstrikes against advancing ISIS fighters, it supported them, its war on terrorism an utter hoax.

Its war on Iraq destroyed the cradle of civilization. It was complicit in the looting of precious artifacts from its National Museum in Baghdad.

Its head, Dony George, said looters knew what they wanted, including the priceless 5,000-year-old vase of Warka.

British Museum’s John Curtis called its theft “like stealing the Mona Lisa.” Occupying US authorities did nothing to stop it.

They let ISIS plunder and destroy ancient sites in the country, including Hatra.

UNESCO called its destruction “a turning point in (its) appalling strategy of cultural cleansing…a direct attack against the history of Islamic Arab cities.”

Stealing Iraqi antiquities from museums and archeological sites began after America’s 1991 Gulf War. Iraq’s National Library was looted, centuries old Korans and irreplaceable historical documents stolen.

Wealthy collectors profited hugely, aided and abetted by Washington. The cradle of civilization and many of its treasures no longer exist.

During and after Obama’s naked aggression on Libya, it was looted and destroyed the same way, its historical artifacts stolen, ancient Roman Empire era city Leptis Magna and Phoenician trading post Sabratha terror-bombed.

America bears full responsibility for the looting and destruction of Syria, many of its priceless artifacts now in private collections, its historical heritage systematically plundered.

Wherever America shows up, mass slaughter, destruction, as well as looting national resources and priceless artifacts follow – a longstanding despicable legacy, continuing with no end in sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. – See more

Palmyra liberated: the day after, video collection

 

SAAF-Palmyra-28-3-2016

The Syrian Arab Army troops were out in force on the streets of Palmyra after recapturing the ancient city and its encompassing UNESCO World Heritage site from the so called Islamic State (Daesh, IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Soldiers on the ground thanked Russia for their contribution, explaining that they had taken Palmyra’s hills with the help of Russian aerial assistance.

Syrian army soldiers are currently in the process of securing the ancient city, rooting out unexploded devices at various locations across the city.

Numerous bombs and booby traps have been scattered across the region by IS who were repelled from the region on Sunday.

On Monday, news came from the head of the Russian General Staff Valeri Gerasimov that Russia will be sending in bomb disposal experts and technology to assist in the mission.

Palmyra-battle-map-20160328-2

(click here or on map to enlarge)










SOURCES:
VIDEO COLLECTION
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/palmyra-day-after/
~

Syrian army retakes Palmyra from Daesh

Mr. Kirby’s Hallucination!

Saturday, 26 March 2016 09:50

 Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

The achievements and victories against the foreign-backed terrorism on the Syria ground do restore territories, heritage and citizens to their peaceful and secure life conditions, which characterized the Syrian Society, for decades! These achievements are made and drawn  by the blood of the Syrian Arab Army heroes and by their brothers in blood, destiny and future. Actually, the ongoing fight by the forces of humanity, goodness and courage, especially the recent accomplishments in Tadmur, Palmyra,  against Al-Qaeda Wahabbi and ISIS affiliates is but a reward for all humanity.

The recent advances and operations, backed by Russian warplanes, are about to restore Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been occupied by terrorists since last May. Surprisingly, the US State Department reaction to the restoration of such a world heritage site is a further  mark of shame. Such a reaction by the State Department spokesperson, John Kirby, towards the restoration of Palmyra to its humanitarian and civilization world heritage  position is indeed a farce, disillusionment and affiliations to the role played for long , be it in  Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, by the US consequent administrations in creating, financing, arming and of turning blind eyes to the Frankenstein of  all terrorism!

Unfortunately, the United States and many of its EU allies, and Ewes, a term to describe anti-Syrians, used by the forgotten Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad Bin Jassem on November 18, 2012,  have been advocating a policy of no policy, mainly for selfish and temporary purposes! Thus, they considered every daring stance in defense of sovereignty, independence and of humanity as against their past colonial history as well as against their yes-sir ewes! Here comes the bankruptcy of Mr. Kirby’s hallucination! They want all but to demonize what they have to demonize! For Kirby, Isis role should not be demonized, but the Army and those heroes who fight terrorism and sacrifice on behalf of all humanity.

 It is a matter of principle, and has nothing to do with language! Mr.  Kirby’s language is good for some! But does it have any sense ! or any human principle! Lies, fabrications and demonization of every human value, principle and ethics! Is imitating Kirby-like hallucinations, or is turning lips long, right, left, round, and meaninglessly, the right way to transparency, objectivity! Those who backed ISIS, Wahabbism, mainly the ewes and their masters, and every terrorism are to pay back for their  Faust’s contract with Mephistopheles! The hour is striking! Syria’s looming definite victory against terrorism is but another reward for all humanity. Syria does export civilization, agriculture, music, amity, and peace to the entire globe.

 This is the result of hero defense of President Bashar Al-Assad, Syrian Army, People, Brothers and true friends. It is the result of the legends and epics made by our great Saint-of-all Saints Mothers, wounded and Martyred heroes, of whom God the Almighty say “Think not of those killed in the way of Allah dead, but alive and well in the Lord.” Allah is love, amity, fraternity and goodness; and this is what unite all those heroes in Syria against hatred, treason, dismemberment and evil.

 

Rest in Peace, Queen Zenobia!

Created on Thursday, 21 May 2015 21:14 | Published Date | | | Hits: 1762

 Seven years back in Tivoli, about 30 kilometers distance from Rome, my eyes were filled in tears once a friend of mine took me to the ruins of what historians say was Zenobia ‘s place after being defeated by the Roman Emperor Aurelian in the year  271 and taken prisoner to Rome and then to Tivoli. The smell, color, taste and grandeur of the Syrian history overwhelmed me; the Syrian 3-rd century Queen was reincarnated in every Syrian as a legend of steadfastness, struggle, Resistance, pride and honor.

Our Queen of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, cannot rest in peace and the Syrians are saddened and bereaved for hundreds of years for the Queen, who even dared to challenge the unchallenged when all ways did lead indeed to Rome! The Romans did bow in respect for Palmyra, its civilization and even did, according to different history references put the Queen in a cage made of pure gold!

Now, it is ISIS, daesh, the black death of the US, Neo-colonialism, ewes and their proxy satellites! Unfortunately, the civilized world of today has once more turned blind eyes and deaf ears to the people and states appeals for civilization and world heritage preservation. Unfortunately, those who have no history have tarnished destroyed and exploited the history of the founders of civilization! However, a history written in sacrifices, blood and martyrdom can never be cancelled by destruction of stones or statues!

Personally, it was indeed a lifetime press experience for me when I accompanied, as a journalist, H.E. President Bashar Assad and the First Lady in an official visit to Italy in 2002. The Presidential couple was given hero’s welcome as coming from the oldest continuously inhabited capital; the cradle of civilization and of Christianity, the land of history which gave the Roman Empire emperors, popes, artists, architects, and renowned intellectuals. Rome was excited to receive the man who went as a messenger of peace, fraternity and amity in reminiscent of Saint Paul and of all Syria’s great historic figures throughout ages.

During that historic visit President Al-Assad presented to His Holiness, the late Pope John Paul the Second, a unique copy of Quraa’n, the Holy book of Islam, the religion of ‘’justice, equality and of forgiveness’’, and surely not of the non-Islam of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Wahabbism. According to President Assad’s then statements both ”civilizations were mingled together,” and where each, with its own features, gave birth to a “unique example of civilization integration” and joint interaction. President Assad spoke admiringly of the great Italian Civilization; among its pioneers were the Damascene Appolodore, emperors, popes, architects, engineers, writers and many others. I now- 13 years later- repeat what I wrote then to the Syria Times: ”
Had Zanobya, the Queen of Palmyra, spoken, she would have said that some of the past glory had been indeed restored through such a remarkable visit.”

Rest in Peace my Syrian Queen, Wahabbisim, darkness and ignorance can in way overrun morality, light, civilization, given the established reality of the Resistance Axis, and the wise worldwide including Irina Bokova, the UNESCO director-general, who said that any destruction to Palmyra would be “not just a war crime, but an enormous loss to humanity”, and EU Foreign Policy Chief,  Federica Mogherini, who underscored that  Islamic State “mass killings and deliberate destruction of archaeological and cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq amount to a war crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” asserting that Palmyra is ”a symbol of Syria’s rich cultural heritage and has been a crossroad of civilization throughout history.”

UNESCO fails to declare Western Wall in al-Quds integral part of al-Aqsa Mosque

The final version of the draft resolution was changed in the last minute and the clause was removed. The UNESCO has approved a resolution which criticizes Israel for failing to protect heritage sites and rebuild regions destroyed by war. The resolution also calls on Israel to stop taking provocative measures which violates the sanctity and integrity of the al-Aqsa Mosque. The draft resolution was submitted by Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Tel Aviv has condemned the resolution and called it a clear endeavor to distort history and appropriate the site.

Gilad Atzmon
Musician, Author & Political Commentator

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

UNESCO Slams ’Israeli’ Continuous Aggressions against Al-Aqsa

Local Editor

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] adopted a resolution on Wednesday condemning “Israeli” violations in the handling of al-Aqsa mosque.

Al-Aqsa Holy mosque


The resolution adopted “strongly condemns “Israeli” aggression and illegal measures restricting freedom of worship and access to the holy Muslim site of the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

It also “strongly deplores” among other things “persistent outbreaks of “Israeli” right-wing extremists on the site” and “urges “Israel”” to “take the necessary steps to prevent provocative actions that violate the site’s sanctity.”

After last-minute changes, however, the resolution approved by UNESCO’s executive board dropped a more firm clause.
That clause, which was proposed by several Muslim countries would have stated that the Western Wall was an integral part of the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The resolution was adopted with 26 votes in favor and six against. The countries that voted against it were The United States, Germany, The United Kingdom, Holland, the Czech Republic and Estonia. There were 25 abstentions including France, diplomats said.

The UNESCO text also stated that the “Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi and the Bilal Ibn Rabah mosque” were an integral part of Palestine.

The Palestinians won full membership of UNESCO in October 2011 in what was seen a major step forward for their efforts to achieve recognition as an independent state.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

22-10-2015 | 09:55

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian 

  

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There’s more reason to boot the USA off the UNSC than remove Russia

Understanding the UN Security Council Veto Power. America Threatens Russia

onu_security_council

Article 27 of the UN Charter states:

1. Each member of the SecurityCouncil shall have one vote.2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.

3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.

Five countries were granted special status: America, Britain, China, France and the former Soviet Union – now the Russian Federation. They’re permanent Security Council members with special voting power known as the “right to veto” SC measures.

During the post-Soviet era, Washington used its veto power scores of times, Russia only eight “no” votes. Ahead of the UN’s 70th anniversary next month, US-installed Ukrainian fascists want Moscow stripped of its right to dissent during this month’s General Assembly session. It’ll take more than a GA vote to alter the UN Charter. It requires a two-thirds majority of member states – including all P5 countries with veto power. It’s unlikely any will choose to limit their own authority.

Washington nonsensically claims Russian vetoes threaten the Security Council’s legitimacy. It  challenges its hegemonic agenda, blocking efforts to authorize war on Syria among  other important actions.

US UN envoy Samantha Power is one of numerous neocons infesting the Obama administration, an advocate of endless wars dressed up as humanitarian intervention.

She criticized Russian vetoes, saying they force America to “forum-shop” to further its agenda. “If a particular body reveals itself to be dysfunctional, then people are going to go elsewhere,” she claimed.

And if that happened for more than Syria and Ukraine and you started to see across the board paralysis…it would certainly jeopardize the security council’s status and credibility and its function as a go-to international security arbiter. It would definitely jeopardize that over time.

Russia’s veto power is an important tool able to prevent Washington from getting legitimacy for its imperial wars. “The Security Council will lose its relevance” without it, Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained.

It would “simply…rubber-stamp decisions…made in Washington, Paris, London, (and) Brussels…(It would prevent SC members from) do(ing) the important work of bringing about consensus decisions.”

Putin is expected to meet with Obama when both leaders address the General Assembly later this month. Churkin expects no major breakthroughs. If agreement is reached on anything, it’ll be an achievement, he explained.

He dismissed the hype about alleged Russian military buildup in Syria as baseless Western propaganda. Russia fully observes international law. “There’s no secret about” its legitimate activities.

Putin’s initiative for world unity to confront Islamic State terrorists is the most effective way to defeat it, Churkin explained – impossible as long as Washington wants war.

US administrations under Republicans and Democrats are the greatest threat to world peace. It’ll take more than Security Council actions to reign in their madness.

Stephen Lendman

Syria’s Antiquities Chief: ’ISIL’ Blows Up Palmyra’s Ancient Tower Tombs

Local Editor

“ISIL” had blown up three ancient tower tombs in the city of Palmyra, Syria’s antiquities chief said Friday, continuing the destruction of a World Heritage site that UNESCO had condemned as a war crime.

Palmyra's Ancient Tower Tombs

The militants, who had already destroyed two Roman-era temples in the city, blew up the tombs from between the years 44 and 103 AD, Maamoun Abdulkarim stated.

He cited sources in Palmyra who confirmed the destruction of the tombs including that of Elahbel, built in 103 AD, which was one of the best preserved and stood four stories high and had an underground floor.

“ISIL” had occupied Palmyra from Syrian government control in May and has carried out several mass killings in places it has taken over and destroyed monuments it considers sacrilegious, publishing photographs or videos of its actions.

It beheaded the 82-year-old guardian of Palmyra’s ancient ruins last month.

UN cultural agency UNESCO said “ISIL’s” actions were war crimes aimed at wiping out evidence of Syria’s diverse cultural history.

Activists said the group was keeping tight control on communications inside the city, making tracking events difficult.

In the past two weeks the group blew part of the Temple of Bel and Baal Shamin temple as well as a row of columns, a UN analysis of satellite images confirmed.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

04-09-2015 | 13:39

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