DAMASCUS, (SANA)- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- General Command- on Wednesday said the armed terrorist groups’ targeting of the Palestinians at the Syrian camps affirm the Zionist Mossad’s involvement in the Syrian crisis and the conspirators’ failure to get the Palestinian camps involved in the Syrian events.
“Since the beginning of events, the conspirators against Syria have attempted at hurling the Palestinian camps into the heart of the crisis whether through media fabrications or tendentious rumors,” the Front said in a statement, which SANA got a copy of.
“Due to their failure,” the statement added, “the armed terrorist groups have embarked on provocative operations against our people at the camps, particularly those of Yarmouk, Daraa, Homs, Hama and Lattakia, in a bid to infiltrate external elements inside them to stir up unrest.”
The Front continued that this goal has also failed, “which pushed those groups to killing, abducting and blackmailing tens of Palestinians and even amounting to killing a number of the Palestine Liberation Army.”
“This is but a translation of connivance with the Zionist Mossad that comes in the context of displacing the Palestinians away from their sacred right to struggle for return and liberation,” the Front said in its statement.
It added that the effort of the conspiracy’s external parties “to use the Palestinian card against Syria through killing and abducting a number of Palestinians to give the impression that the Syria forces are behind such acts gives a clear sign of the bloody and criminal scheme being plotted,” warning of this scheme.
(www.sana.sy / 21.06.2012)
“We must learn lessons from past (military) interventions,” he said in an address at a university in Ankara.
He also questioned a proposal for establishing a no-fly zone or buffer-zones as a complicated and serious matter.
The German defense minister was on a visit to Turkey, a country which hosts Syrian opposition meetings while its leaders have openly supported regime change in Syria.
But a number of countries including Russia and China have called for a political solution in Syria.
The opposition blames the government for the bloodshed. But Damascus points the finger at armed groups supported by some Western and Arab countries.
The funeral of Ghaleb Armilat, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, takes place in Gaza.
Following clashes in which Hamas fired rockets into Israel for first time in over a year, military wing says it is ready for truce
Hamas has said it will commit to a ceasefire after more than 100 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in the past three days and eight Palestinians, including three teenagers, were killed in Israeli airstrikes.
In a statement on its website on Wednesday evening the Islamist organisation’s military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, said it and other militant groups in Gaza were responding “to Egyptian efforts … to stop this round of confrontation as long as the occupation stops this aggression”. Egypt has played a key role in brokering earlier ceasefires.
Hamas had earlier announced its militants had fired rockets into Israel for the first time for more than a year. It has largely adhered to previous ceasefires because it is unwilling to provoke Israel into a major military confrontation.
The statement from the military wing warned that “the current confrontation with the enemy was kept to a minimal exchange of fire … and it is best that the Israeli leaders understand that. The resistance has taught Israel a valuable lesson and it should think long and hard before this kind of aggression towards Gaza happens again.”
There were unconfirmed reports of five rockets landing in Israel early Thursday morning. Schools in southern towns close to Gaza will be closed again and residents remain on high alert. Four Israeli border policemen suffered light to moderate injuries on Tuesday when a rocket landed near them, but most of the missiles have landed on open ground.
A 14-year-old Palestinian boy, Momen al-Adam, was reported killed on Wednesday in an Israeli airstrike on a farm in Zeitoun, in the north of Gaza. His father was wounded.
Israel also targeted two men it said were members of a “global jihad” organisation, the Tawhid and Jihad, which had played a “central role” in a cross-border attack from Egypt on Monday. Ghaleb Armilat was killed and Mohamed Rashdan was injured when their motorcycle was struck. The pair were “actively involved in planning another attack”, according to statement from the Israeli Defence Forces.
An Israeli-Arab construction worker was killed in Monday’s attack, and two militants were shot dead by Israeli soldiers.
(apps.facebook.com/theguardian / 21.06.2012)
JERUSALEM – Israel’s government said Thursday that 30 Jewish families have consented to leave an unauthorized West Bank settler outpost, suggesting their court-ordered evacuation could proceed peacefully.
Also tensions on the Israel-Gaza border appeared to calm after three days of violence that killed nine people in Gaza.
The Israeli Supreme Court gave the government until July 1 to dismantle the Ulpana enclave, which was built on privately held Palestinian land. Israel considers such construction illegal, while authorizing construction elsewhere on West Bank lands the Palestinians claim for a future state.
The five apartment buildings where the settlers live are to be uprooted and moved to a site nearby. The government said in a statement that it would ask the court for three months to move the buildings.
The government has also vowed to build 300 more homes in a nearby settlement. Settler representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
The flare-up on the Gaza-Israel border was one of the most serious in the three years since the last major conflict there.
More than 100 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel this week, wounding several Israelis, according to Gaza’s Hamas rulers. The Israeli military hit back with airstrikes against Gaza militants.
Late Wednesday, Hamas released a statement offering to stop the rocket fire if Israel stops its attacks. It said Egypt urged implementation of a truce. A day earlier, the smaller Islamic Jihad released a similar statement, but the exchanges continued.
The flare-up was sparked by an infiltration of gunmen from Egypt’s Sinai desert who killed an Israeli worker. Two attackers were killed by Israeli forces.
Israeli officials have been concerned that the increasingly lawless Sinai will become a hinterland for Gaza militants, who can sneak across the Gaza-Egypt border through smuggling tunnels and stage attacks in Israel, which has a long desert border along the Sinai.
A Palestinian human rights group launched a campaign today [Thursday 21 June 2012] to get MSPs’ support to end a £200,000 Scottish Enterprise grant to the UK branch of a controversial Israeli water cooler company.
“The council of ministers has decided to grant the pilot, Colonel Hassan Merei al-Hamade, political asylum, on his request,” said Maaytah, who is also information minister.
Syria has branded the pilot a “traitor” and said it wanted to recover the warplane he used to flee into neighburing Jordan.
“The pilot is considered a deserter and a traitor to his country, and to his military honor, and he will be sanctioned under military rules,” state television quoted the defense ministry as saying.
The Syrian air force Russian-made MiG, which was reported missing by Syrian state TV earlier on Thursday afternoon, made an emergency landing at a military base in the neighboring country.
Syrian state television named the pilot as Colonel Hassan Hamada, saying communications were lost with his plane while he was on a training mission near the border with Jordan.
Hamada asked for political asylum in Jordan, Maaytah said earlier on Thursday.
“The Syrian air force Russian-made MiG made an emergency landing at the King Hussein air base in Mafraq,” in northern Jordan near the border with Syria.
“[The pilot] is being debriefed at the moment,” Maaytah had told Reuters.
Syrian state television said communication was lost with a plane of the same model at 10:34 a.m.
The Syrian National Council along with activists had claimed the pilot had defected prior to confirmation of the news.
Georges Sabra, spokesman for the SNC told AFP: “The plane took off at high speed and flew at low altitude from a military base situated between Daraa and Sweida in the south of the country. These planes usually fly in twos or threes, not alone.
“It is certain that the pilot has defected,” he added. “It is not normal that a jet should take off at such speed. It is to avoid detection by the radars.”
He added that the pilot is from Deir Ezzor (in eastern Syria) “and his family is known for its opposition” to Assad’s regime.
Activists said this was the first defection involving an aircraft since the start of the 15-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
More than 120,000 Syrians fleeing the violence in their homeland have taken refuge in Jordan, according to the Amman government. The United Nations has registered 20,000 of them.
More than 15,000 people have been killed in the Syrian uprising, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Thursday.
The United States swiftly welcomed the defection of the Syrian fighter pilot.
“We welcome this pilot’s decision to do the right thing,” U.S. National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told AFP.
“We have long called for the military and members of the Syrian regime to defect and abandon their positions rather than be complicit in the regime’s atrocities.
“This is just one of countless instances where Syrians, including members of the security forces, have rejected the horrific actions of the Assad regime, and certainly it will not be the last.”
Opposition sources said pilot Hamada is a 44-year-old Sunni Muslim from Idlib province and he had smuggled his family to Turkey before his dramatic defection.
His hometown Kfar Takharim has been repeatedly shelled in the past several months and suffered intense artillery and helicopter bombardments in the last few days, opposition campaigners who spoke to his family said.
Many air force personnel and well as army soldiers are from Syria’s Sunni majority, although intelligence and senior officers are largely Alawite, the minority sect to which Assad and his family belong and which forms their power base.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies says the air force has 365 combat capable aircraft, including 50 MiG-23 Flogger and MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters and 40,000 personnel – a reflection of the overwhelming military advantage Assad has over his poorly-equipped foes.
The most prominent defection so far in the conflict was that of Colonel Riad al-Asaad last July, who helped set up the rebel Free Syria Army after taking refuge in Turkey.
Last week Brigadier General Ahmad Berro, head of a tank unit in Aleppo province, fled with his family to Turkey.
Though a boost to Assad’s foes, the pilot’s defection could complicate the international scenarios of a conflict that many governments fear could spill over Syria’s border and spread though the already volatile Middle East.
Ties between Jordan and Syria were already strained – Jordan has criticized Assad over his crackdown on the uprising but has been restrained in its rhetoric.
Amman is nervous over a possible Syrian military reaction after months of border tension as thousands of Syrians flee the violence to Jordan.
A Jordanian official, who asked not to be named, said the incident with the pilot was “difficult to handle.”
(english.alarabiya.net / 21.06.2012)
According to a New York Times report published on Thursday, some US and Arab intelligence officials say a group of “CIA officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey” and that the agents are helping the anti-Syria governments decide which gangs inside the Arab country will “receive arms to fight the Syrian government.”
Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohsen Saleh, a professor at the Lebanese University in Beirut, to further shed light on the issue. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: There are reports of CIA involvement in the unrest in Syria. Just how evident is this involvement?
Saleh: It has been said by some officials in the American administration; [they] said it clearly and obviously that they will help the Syrian opposition and the gangs with some military simple, or let’s say, soft arms, will help them in their operations against the regime and the Syrian army.
And I guess there is a kind of alliance between Saudi Arabia, Qatar. Saudi Arabia and Qatar pay and the Americans really give the arms and the Turks facilitate the way for their intervention inside Syria, inside the Syrian territories.
We see this kind of satanic alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and of course Qatar in order to create this instability inside Syria and of course the Saudis and the Qataris always call for foreign intervention, direct intervention and these latest statements from CIA are not something new.
Press TV: How do you assess the role of Syria’s neighbors, especially Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia which, according to these reports, they are buying the weapons and paying for it?
Saleh: They said it clearly; also [King] Hamad [of Bahrain] and the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Faisal said that we are going to help the Syrian gangs in order to topple the regime and I guess by that they are trying to press not only the regime, [but] the whole region into a kind of what the Americans call ‘destructive instability’ to create this kind… either to pressure the regime politically, to come to the table with the Israelis, especially with the Israelis, and to create a kind of new Camp David [Accord] or to surrender to the other dictations regarding Iraq, regarding Lebanon and all these. That is what they want from the regime.
The other thing is to create this kind of fuss and instability and massacre and all these divisions and strife inside Syria. That is what the Saudis, the Wahabis actually, are doing because they think that they are avenging from Syria regarding Lebanon and regarding Iraq and I guess they are wrong.
The regime is still strong; the army is united around the regime and they are really losing the battle on the ground and that is why the Americans are going to talk with the Russians.
[Hillary] Clinton will meet [Sergey] Lavrov next week in order to facilitate a political solution and this news, I guess, is to say to the international community that we are there. So we want more demands from the regime in order to negotiate. That is what they want.
The so-called National Council is really not reliable for them and now the so-called Syrian Free Army and the gangs are losing the battle on the ground. So, they are trying to say something overtly about these weapons or money from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others.
But I guess, at the end, they will come to the table because the Russians and of course Chinese and Iran will not accept any military solution.
Press TV: Indeed and of course, Mr. Saleh, many are asking this time that who benefits from the unrest in Syria?
Saleh: Of course the Israelis and the Americans are the two beneficiaries from this battle inside Syria and the Saudis are paying and the Qataris are paying the money for the sake and on behalf of the Israelis and the Americans.
And of course the Americans and the Israelis want to avenge from the Syrian regime because of its backing of the Islamic resistance and the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon and in Palestine.
That is what they want and they are foolish enough and stupid to go in this conspiracy against Syria and against the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine. They are really trying to sell Palestine to the Israelis and to the Americans.
And that is the most, probably, stupidest historical mistake for the Saudis and the Qataris. I do not know if they are not agents and I guess the last statement is the most sufficient for them or suffix for them.
(www.presstv.ir / 21.06.2012)
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The water crisis in the West Bank worsens especially in the southern provinces, each year with the beginning of summer, because of the increased water consumption. Many officials and experts said that this water crisis is due to the occupation control over water resources and the local mismanagement in distributing water.
Palestinian water Authority Chief Shaddad Attili held the Israeli occupation responsible for the water crisis because of its disregard to Oslo conventions and its refusal to provide the Palestinian territories with the quantities of water upon which the two sides agreed and to allow drilling wells and setting up projects for water supply.
Attili told Quds Press that the occupation is controlling about 90% of water resources in the West Bank while only the remaining 10% are given to the Palestinians. Yet, the occupation authorities have been refusing to establish transmission lines for water in areas classified as “C”, which are under full Israeli control according to Oslo agreement.
He criticized the local bodies in a number of Palestinian municipalities, holding them partly responsible for the water crisis because of the mismanagement of the distribution and the transport of water and the absence of tables that identify the arrival of water to certain areas, in addition to the lack of improvement and maintenance of the water transmission networks, which doubles the amount of lost water.
The Palestinian official stressed that “the water is available in larger quantities than last year and there will be no crisis this year, especially after planning a number of projects to control the water crisis based on drilling four new water wells in the south, in addition to a big project to reduce wastage of water,” noting that “the amount of water owned by the citizens in their private wells exceeds the amount of water owned by the government”
For his part; Abdul Hadi Hantash, an expert in settlement affairs, stated that the occupation controls 84% of the amount of water in the West Bank after seizing its three water basins and preventing Palestinians from exploiting them.
He told Quds Press that the occupation authorities transmit 52% of the amount of water in the West Bank to the 1948-occupied Palestine and one-third of the amount water is transferred to the settlements leaving the West Bank with only 16% of the amount of water.
The Palestinian expert revealed that the occupation prevented the Palestinians even from exploiting the bulk of the 532 springs of water of the West Bank after demolishing many of them, while it prevented the drilling of wells and building of dams for rainwater utilization.
(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 21.06.2012)