Protesters break through separation wall

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians on Friday tore a hole through part of Israel’s separation wall in the outskirts of east of Jerusalem, witnesses and a security official said.

Protesters were marking the Nakba anniversary and upon reaching the wall they ripped a 4-meter hole in it, onlookers said.

Clashes broke out after the incident and Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. Several injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed damage to the wall in the town of Abu Dis, which is outside East Jerusalem. A spokesman for the border police did not immediately return calls.

Activists uploaded footage of the damage on YouTube and Facebook.

(Source / 17.05.2013)

Israeli forces clash with anti-settlement Palestinian protesters

Israeli troops fire tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators in the occupied West Bank. (File photo)

Israeli troops fire tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators in the occupied West Bank.

“The Israeli regime intends to expand illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories despite strong opposition from Palestinians and the international community.”

Israeli forces have clashed with Palestinian demonstrators protesting against Tel Aviv plans to expand an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Scores of Palestinians marched toward the Efrat settlement in Bethlehem on Friday to express their anger over Tel Aviv’s expansion project which would see more land taken away from the Palestinians in the village of al Masaara.

Israeli troops fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Israeli forces also fired tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators protesting against the confiscation of their land by Israel in the West Bank village of Deir Jarir, east of Ramallah.

The Israeli regime intends to expand illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories despite strong opposition from Palestinians and the international community.

Tel Aviv regime has also taken steps to legalize four West Bank settlement outposts which were previously ordered to be demolished for having been illegally built.

The four outposts, which will be given legal approval, include Givat Assaf, east of the Palestinian city of Ramallah; Haroeh, north of Ramallah; Maale Rehavam, east of Bethlehem and Mitzpe Lachish, south of al-Khalil (Hebron).

Under international law, all of the settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) are illegal.

(Source / 17.05.2013)

Tunisia definitively bans Salafist congress

Saif Eddine Erais, the spokesman for Tunisia’s hardline Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia, speaks during a news conference at the Errahma mosque in Tunis, May 16, 2013.

The Tunisian government has definitively banned Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia from holding its annual congress at the weekend, the interior ministry said on Friday.

“We have decided to prohibit this gathering, which would be in violation of the law and because of the threat it represents to public order,” a statement said.

Tens of thousands of Salafists were expected to attend the annual congress of Ansar al-Sharia, a radical Tunisian group whose leader is on the run.

“On Sunday, we will God willing hold our congress and there will be more than 40,000 of us in Kairouan,” Sami Essid told AFP.

He said the annual gathering, just the third to be held by the radical Islamist group, will take place after afternoon prayers at the Great Mosque in Kairouan, in central Tunisia, considered Islam’s fourth-holiest city.

Registered as a non-governmental organization in April 2011, Ansar al-Sharia is the most radical of the Islamist movements that emerged in Tunisia after the revolution earlier that year that overthrew secular dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Abu Iyadh, whose real name is Seif Allah Ibn Hussein, is accused of orchestrating numerous acts of violence and has been on the run since September after Islamist protesters attacked the US embassy in Tunis.

A veteran jihadist who fought with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, he threatened last weekend to wage war against the government led by moderate Islamist party Ennahda, saying that by targeting his followers it was attacking Islam.

“To the tyrants who think they are Islamists… know that the stupid things you are doing are dragging you to war,” he said in a message posted online, adding that young Salafists “won’t hesitate to sacrifice themselves for their religion in Kairouan.”

The authorities have hardened their position towards extremists in recent months, notably by stepping up military operations against jihadists with suspected links to Al-Qaeda who are hiding in the western region of Kasserine that borders Algeria.

Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said last week that he would bring to justice “anyone inciting to murder or hatred… or who pitches tents for preaching in,” in a clear reference to the Salafists.

(Source / 17.05.2013)

UFree Network raises the prisoners’ issue at the European Parliament

 

BRUSSELES, (PIC)– UFree Network to defend the rights of Palestinian prisoners raised the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on the sidelines of a meeting held at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 65th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

UFree praised, in its statement issued on Thursday, the European Parliament meeting to mark the anniversary of Palestinian Nakba for the first time since its founding.

The Oslo based network stated that the meeting discussed at first the European Parliament delegation’s visit to the Palestinian occupied territories.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, chair of Palestine Land Foundation, detailed during the meeting the Israeli massacres and ethnic cleaning against the Palestinian people since the Nakba. He also stressed that the Palestinian Right of Return will never be compromised, calling to stop arming Israel.

For his part, Dr. Arafat Madi, the Director of the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR), stressed the need to end the Palestinian refugees’ suffering by reinforcing the right of return of millions of Palestinians who were forcibly deported from their homeland.

Mr. Mohammed Hamdan, head of UFree Network, presented the Palestinian prisoners’ suffering in Israeli jails and detailed the Israeli violations and discrimination policies against the detainees particularly the prisoners carrying the blue ID cards.

In a related context, Dr. Tareq Tahboub, vice president of the Assembly of Palestinian Doctors in Europe, highlighted the Israeli deliberate medical neglect policy against the Palestinian prisoners, calling for the formation of a European committee to check on the prisoners’ detention conditions in Israeli jails.

(Source / 17.05.2013)

Settlers attack West Bank farmer twice a week

Man stands with Israeli outpost on hill in background

Ibrahim Makhoulf’s home is attacked by Israeli settlers at least two times per week and has been vandalized over 100 times.

ASIRA AL-QIBLIYA, West Bank (IPS) – Ibrahim Makhlouf reached for two wooden planks lying in the hallway and placed them expertly in an L-shape along the seams of his front door.

“Open [the door],” he beckoned, knowing that doing so was nearly impossible. “Every night, we put this here,” he said. “For the settlers.”

Makhlouf’s home sits on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Asira al-Qibliya, only 500 meters from the illegal Israeli settlement outpost of Shalhevet Farm, an offshoot of the equally illegal settlement of Yitzhar.

Makhlouf said that his house was attacked by Israeli settlers at least two times per week and has been vandalized more than 100 times. The windows on Makhlouf’s two-story home all have bars on the outside to prevent them from shattering when settlers throw stones.

“No safety”

“When we see the settlers, we send the children to another house. What can we do?” Makhlouf, who lives with his wife and six children, said. “We’re afraid. There is no safety.”

Since the Shalhevet Farm outpost was established in 1999, Makhlouf said he has been barred from accessing some 16 dunums of his family’s land (a dunum is 1,000 square meters) which was traditionally used to plant figs, grapes, olives and other trees, and from using a freshwater spring.

“It is my father and grandfather’s land, but now settlers are planting, and I can’t even enter it. They want to confiscate the land and houses and control the whole area to extend their settlements,” Makhlouf said.

“The [Israeli] government encourages them, with money and protection from the soldiers,” he added. “The government and the settlers are one.”

In recent weeks, the United States has asked Israel to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank in order to restart long-stalled talks with the Palestinian Authority. On 30 April, the Arab League said it would support potential land swaps along the 1967 Green Line — the internationally-recognized armistice line between present-day Israel and the occupied West Bank — in negotiations of final borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

Illegal

But the growth of Israeli settlement outposts in the West Bank, like Shalhevet Farm, has been almost entirely omitted from the conversation. Such outposts are often precursors to full-fledged settlements.

Both the outposts and the settlements themselves are illegal under international law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention also forbids an occupying power from transferring its civilian population to the territory it occupies.

For Palestinians, settlements and outposts have the same negative impact on their lives. But the Israeli government views only outposts, not the entire settlements, as illegal, sometimes dismantling them for being built without the required permits and then relocating residents to nearby settlements.

Settlements are generally much larger than outposts and receive full services and infrastructure, although the Israeli government does also provide outposts, which generally begin as a few caravans on a hilltop, with basic services such as water and electricity. The Israeli army also protects outpost residents, as it does all other Israeli settlers.

Land grab

Israeli settlement outposts were first built in the mid-1990s, during a freeze on settlement construction imposed by then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. A few years later, Israeli leader Ariel Sharon famously urged Israeli settlers to seize every hilltop. “Whatever you grab will be ours. What you don’t grab will not be ours,” he said.

In 2005, at the behest of the Israeli government, lawyer Talia Sasson reported that the outposts were illegal under Israeli law. To be considered legal, a settlement must be established by a government decision, be built on “state land,” possess a building plan and have clear, territorial boundaries.

Outposts fail to meet these criteria, although earlier this week, the Israeli government announced plans to examine whether it could retroactively “legalize” four outposts.

Today approximately 100 Israeli settlement outposts dot the West Bank. While most begin small, they develop quickly, and many have cement houses, paved roads, playgrounds and day-care centers.

In the case of Shalhevet Farm, Peace Now, an Israeli organization that works against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, found that the Israeli ministry of housing spent 1.1 million shekels (more than $300,000) to connect the outpost to basic infrastructure. The Israeli water company Mekorot provides it with water.

Controlling the land

Many outposts also serve an important geopolitical aim.

According to a report by the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, some outposts aim “to create Jewish continuity and connect isolated settlements with settlement blocs, in order to prevent future evacuation. Even though each of these outposts is home to only a few dozens of families, the outposts can completely control the land or the road around it” (“The road to dispossession,” February 2013 [PDF]).

Violence against Palestinians and their property emanating from settlement outposts has also been well documented. After a Palestinian man killed an Israeli settler earlier this month near Nablus, the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq documented 13 settler attacks against Palestinians in one week in the area (“In one week: 13 attacks by settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank,” 9 May 2013).

Viciously attacked

Munir Jibreel Qaddous, a 38-year-old farmer from the West Bank village of Burin, was viciously attacked by Israeli settlers in 2011, while the Israeli army and police looked on and did nothing.

White caravans of the settlement outpost of Bracha B, an extension of the Bracha settlement, overlook much of Burin’s farmland, and settlers regularly vandalize Palestinian property and attack their homes in the village, Qaddous explained.

Data collected by Yesh Din shows that between 2005-2012, more than 91 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians against acts of Israeli settler violence were closed without an indictment. Of this, 84 percent were closed due to the Israeli police’s failure to properly investigate the crimes (“Law enforcement upon Israeli civilians in the West Bank,” March 2012 [PDF]).

“All of them are the same,” said Qaddous, referring to Israeli settlers living in settlements and unauthorized outposts. He witnessed the Bracha B outpost’s construction and gradual expansion.

“In 1999, a watch-tower was put up, then trailers were erected. Then, there were 15 cement houses. Before the settlers came, they put [in] a road, electricity and water,” he said.

“This area is a very strategic area of the West Bank. After five or ten years, maybe you will see settlers on every hill.”

(Source / 17.05.2013)

Is vrijheid alles?

By Marianna Laarif

Het was weer vakantie geen school, geen huiswerk NIKS nu kon ik uitgaan tot ‘s avonds laat en niemand die wat kan zeggen ik was zo blij ik sta op neem een douche en doe mijn stoere kleren aan ik moet er natuurlijk flitsend uitzien voor de dames.

Ik deed mijn haar in model en een lekkere geur. En klaar was ik voor de VRIJHEID!! Ik pakte de sleutels van mijn vaders auto ik keek in de woonkamer mijn zusje van 14 en mijn moeder verrichtten het maghreb gebed. Ik schudde mijn hoofd en deed de deur achter me dicht. Ik stapte in de auto en ging mijn vriend ophalen.

Hij kwam als de bliksem naar beneden We gaven elkaar de hand “op naar de meiden” schreeuwde mijn vriend ik deed de muziek op zijn hardst en het raam deed ik helemaal open, iedereen mocht meegenieten natuurlijk. Elk meisje die we zagen gaven we een fluitje, ja wie zou dat niet doen in strakke broeken, topjes en rokjes.

Ze vragen er om en wij geven ze wat ze willen. Even later waren we aangekomen bij een discotheek. Mijn vriend stapte uit en ik ging verderop mijn auto parkeren, mijn vriend ging alvast de discotheek binnen.
Ik parkeerde mijn auto en hoorde iemand zachtjes Ahmed roepen. Iik keek om en het was mijn buurjongen, mijn vader en zijn vader zijn goede vrienden elkaar.

Ik zei “hee Mustafa, hoe gaat het”. “El7amdulilah” zei Mustafa. Ik vroeg hem: “kom je mee, ik ga naar de discotheek” “Stagfurallah” zei hij “ik moet het ishaa gebed halen”
“Hoe kan ik de oproep van Allah swt weigeren en jouw oproep accepteren. Sorry, je laat me tussen twee dingen kiezen waarvan eentje mij niet kan helpen in het hiernamaals. Kom jij dan met mij mee naar de oproep van Allah swt???”

“Nee man” zei ik “ik ga nooit naar de moskee en bid niet ik ben nog jong en wil leven, ik ga wel naar de moskee als ik oud en getrouwd ben!” Opeens keek Mustafa buigend naar de grond en zei: “o mijn broeder, wie zegt dat je morgen nog leeft, wie zegt dat je de kans krijgt om vergiffenis te vragen voor je zonden???” Mustafa zei toen: “moge Allah swt jou leiden Ahmed!”

En hij liep naar de moskee. Ik keek een tijdje naar Ahmed die richting de moskee liep en keerde me om, om naar de discotheek te gaan.
Voordat ik aankwam zag ik mensen rennen naar de ingang ik ging wat sneller lopen om te kijken wat er aan de hand was ik zag binnen veel drukte. Ik begreep niet wat er aan de hand was ik vroeg aan iemand die naast me stond wat er was gebeurd, hij zei tegen mij er is iemand doodgegaan. Ik schrok en begon naar voren te lopen. Tussen die drukte wilde ik kijken wie het was die daar lag.

Ik keek Ik keek SUBHANALLAH!!! Ik zag mijn beste vriend daar op de grond liggen.
Ik schreeuwde “MOHAMMED!!!” Ik knielde over hem heen en sloeg op zijn wangen maar ik hoorde niks hij deed zijn ogen niet open, hij ademde niet. Ik stond helemaal te trillen, hoe dit kon gebeuren hoe? hoe? Een paar mensen probeerden mij te helpen, ze zeiden dat de ambulance zou komen. Ze vertelden mij dat hij niet meer leefde. Ik schreeuwde: “nee, NEE, het kan niet, net was hij nog aan het lachen, net hadden we nog plannen gemaakt voor morgen.

Het kan niet hij is nog zo jong O ALLAH!!” De ambulance kwam hem ophalen. En opeens was mijn vriend weg voor altijd opeens verdween hij uit mijn leven. Geshockeerd ging ik daar zitten, hoe dit kon gebeuren.

Opeens kwam een jongen naast me zitten en hij zei: “was dat jouw vriend??” Ik antwoordde op een zachte toon: “ja”. Hij zei: “ik zag je vriend drinken hij was zo blij. Hij schreeuwde door heel de discotheek heen van: ‘Dit is het leven, drinken en feesten! Laten we uit ons dak gaan, niemand kan ons tegenhouden!’

En opeens viel zijn glas uit zijn hand hij hield zijn hart vast en viel op de grond toen we naar hem renden ademde hij al niet meer, hij is gelijk doodgegaan aan een hartstilstand.”

Ik keek die jongen met grote ogen aan, en dacht gelijk aan de woorden die ik paar uur eerder had gehoord van Mustafa: “O mijn broeder wie zegt dat je morgen nog leeft wie zegt dat je de kans krijgt om vergiffenis te vragen voor je zonden??? Moge Allah swt je leiden Ahmed.”

Ik stond als de bliksem op en rende naar de brug. Een pijnlijke nacht met heel veel sterren en helemaal stil, niemand was nog te zien. Ik keek naar de hemel en een traan rolde over mijn wang. Opeens had ik alles door.

Wie kon hem tegenhouden?? ALLAH
Wat zou jou niet redden?? DRINKEN EN FEESTEN
Wie gaat er allemaal dood? JONG EN OUD
Kon ik ook elk moment gaan?? JA
Ik schreeuwde: “ALLAHU AKBAR! SUBHANALLAH! Hoe kon ik Uw oproepen weigeren, hoe kon ik U vergeten, hoe kon ik aan dit wereldse leven denken, hoe kon ik naar het slechte rennen en het goede verlaten, HOE KON IK DAT?” Ik viel op mijn knieën, keek met ogen vol tranen naar de Hemel.

Met mijn handen in de lucht schreeuwde ik: “O ALLAH VERGEEF ME VERGEEF ME” Uren lang bleef ik huilen op mijn knieën ik schaamde me voor mezelf. Ik walgde van mezelf en aan alles wat ik heb gedaan. Wat moet ik nu doen hoe moet ik nu leven “O ALLAH VERGEEF ME”

Zou hij me vergeven na alles wat ik heb gedaan?? Ik begon harder en harder te huilen. Niemand die mijn tranen kon tegenhouden, zelfs ik zelf niet. Ik stond op en keek naar de hemel en schreeuwde: “YA RABBIE UW WEG IS MIJN LEVEN NU” Ik rende naar de moskee toe waar Mustafa heen ging. Ik kwam daar met betraande ogen aan. Ik bleef maar huilen ik bleef maar smeken om een vergiffenis.

Aangekomen in de moskee was iedereen al weg, het was helemaal leeg. Ik keek naar de klok en over een half uur zou het fadjr gebed beginnen. Ik ging mijn woedhoe verrichten en maakte me klaar voor het gebed. Langzamerhand kwamen de moslims voor het gebed, ik zat helemaal in het hoekje ik bleef maar huilen en wachten op het gebed iedereen keek me aan omdat ze me nooit eerder hadden gezien.

Opeens kwam een zachte stem en zei: “Ahmed” Ik draaide mijn hoofd om en zag Mustafa, hij kwam naast me zitten en keek me verbaasd aan. Ik barste in tranen uit en omhelsde Mustafa. Ik zei: “O mustafa, jouw woorden, jouw woorden, SUBHAANALLAH!!!” Mustafa zei: “O Ahmed, Mashallah, ik ben zo blij jou hier te zien, mashallah!!!” Het gebed begon en we stonden op om te bidden.

Na het gebed verliet iedereen de moskee. Ik bleef nog zitten. Ik bleef maar smeken, ik bleef maar bidden: “O ALLAH VERGEEF ME!!!” Van het huilen kon ik mijn ogen niet eens open houden. Opeens zag ik iets schijnen en deed mijn ogen langzaam open een oude man die naast me stond hij zei tegen mij: “O mijn kindje. Wat ben ik blij jou te zien op Allah’s weg. Mijn kindje niks in dit wereldse leven is beter dan Allah’s weg te volgen.”

En ik begon meer te huilen zonder te stoppen. Hij zei tegen mij: “Mijn kindje, blijf hoe je nu bent en Allah swt zal jou met het mooiste prijzen in het hiernamaals.” Buigend keek ik naar beneden en toen ik weer opkeek zag ik de oude man niet meer.

De imam kwam binnen ik vroeg hem: “Wie was die man die net hier binnen kwam??” De imam zei: “Ik ben al een tijd bij de ingang en niemand is binnen gekomen. De rest is al 2 uur geleden vertrokken.” De tranen kwamen als een waterval naar beneden.

Ik stond op en rende naar huis. Thuis aangekomen zag ik mijn moeder en mijn zusje Koran lezen. Ik keek hen aan en ze keken mij aan en zagen mij met rode ogen huilend binnenkomen. Ik knielde voor mijn moeder en pakte haar handen vast en kuste haar waardevolle handen ik zei: “o moeder vergeef mij, vergeef mij, ik was zo dom dat ik niet naar jou luisterde maar naar de shaytaan. O MAM VERGEEF ME!!”

Ze aaide over mijn hoofd en zei: “o mijn zoon” en ze begon te huilen. Ik keek mijn zusje aan en omhelsde haar en gaf haar een kus op haar voorhoofd. Ik vroeg hen, mag ik meelezen, mag ik ook voelen hoe mooi dat voelt?? En we zaten alle drie voor de Koran en reciteerden uit de edele Koran. Nu ik dit gevoel heb gevoeld is mijn ziel geruster en voel me opnieuw geboren. Nooit meer zal ik deze weg verlaten NOOIT MEER!!!

Nu kan ik met rust doodgaan. Nu kan ik vertrekken naar mijn rasoel. Nu zullen mijn tranen vallen voor ALLAH swt de barmhartige. En na een tijdje was ik zo praktiserend geworden dat iedereen keek is dit Ahmed?? Ik gaf zelfs islam lessen aan de jongeren, niks maar dan ook niks kon mooier zijn dan dit!!
LA * ILAHE * ILALLAH * MOEHAMEDEN * RASOEL * ALLAH

No peace deal without Palestinian unity: Turkey

 

US Vice President Joseph Biden (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a luncheon at the State Department on May 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. It will be impossible to reach a Middle East peace deal without a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas militants, Erdogan warned Friday.

US Vice President Joseph Biden (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a luncheon at the State Department on May 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. It will be impossible to reach a Middle East peace deal without a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas militants, Erdogan warned Friday.

AFP – It will be impossible to reach a Middle East peace deal without a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas militants, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Friday.

“The process of unity between Fatah and Hamas, this has to be achieved. If this reconciliation is not achieved, then I don’t believe that a solution or result will come out of the Israeli-Palestinian discussions,” Erdogan told a Washington think-tank during a visit to the United States.

He was speaking after confirming following talks Thursday with US President Barack Obama that he planned to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank some time next month despite US opposition.

The dual stops mean Erdogan would meet with the Hamas rulers of Gaza as well as with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, likely in Ramallah.

“I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East. I’m hoping that that visit will contribute to unity in Palestine,” the Turkish leader said Thursday at a joint press conference with Obama.

Washington had urged Erdogan to postpone any visit to the impoverished Gaza Strip, saying it would be a “distraction” from its efforts to revive the moribund Middle East peace process.

“As we’ve said consistently, we oppose engagement with Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization which remains a destabilizing force in Gaza and the region,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters later.

“We urge all parties who share our interest in the creation of a Palestinian state to take steps that promote the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.”

Erdogan’s announcement that he would also visit the West Bank appeared aimed at soothing US anger that he would meet with militant Hamas leaders in Gaza.

There has been a renewed effort by Washington since Secretary of State John Kerry took office in February to galvanize international efforts to kick-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled since late 2010.

Kerry is returning to the Middle East region next week and is expected to make his fourth visit to Israel in three months.

(Source / 17.05.2013)

Israel justice minister slams Russia arms to Syria

Tzipi Livni (left) and Guido Westerwelle listen to journalists’ questions in Tel Aviv, on May 17, 2013

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday slammed Russian arms deals with Syria, after US media reported further weapons shipments to the Damascus regime.

Livni’s comments also come in the wake of a surprise visit by CIA chief John Brennan to Israel to discuss the situation in Israel’s war-torn neighbor.

“The transfer of arms to Syria is clearly not positive and does not contribute to the stability of the region,” Livni said after meeting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who is on a visit to Israel, in Tel Aviv.

“Israel has the right to defend itself,” Livni added.

The justice minister was answering a question on news reports published by US papers on Thursday saying Russia had sent cruise missiles to Damascus.

The New York Times reported senior US officials as saying that Moscow dispatched an advanced version of the Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles Russia has previously provided to Syria.

The missiles provide “the Syrian military a formidable weapon to counter any effort by international forces to reinforce Syrian opposition fighters by imposing a naval embargo, establishing a no-fly zone or carrying out limited airstrikes,” the New York Times said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Russia had sent a dozen warships to patrol around its naval base in Syria.

CIA director Brennan on Thursday met Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who reaffirmed that Israel “will not permit the transfer of weapons” from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to television reports.

And on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Russian President Vladimir Putin, who warned against any moves that would further destabilize the situation in Syria, just days after Israeli forces launched air strikes against regime targets there.

Netanyahu had been expected to warn Putin against delivering advanced S-300 missiles to Syria, which would severely complicate any future air attacks against Assad’s regime.

In his public comments, the Israeli premier did not indicate whether he had succeeded in convincing Putin to halt arms supplies to Syria or whether the two leaders reached any firm agreements.

(Source / 17.05.2013)

Israel demolishes 16 buildings in Area C

The Israeli authorities demolished 16 Palestinian-owned residential and livelihood structures in Area C last week, on the grounds that they lacked Israeli-issued building permits. 14 people, of whom six are children, were displaced and 85 others were affected. The demolitions occured between 7-13 May.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA-oPt) reports that the demolished structures included four residential structures and a kitchen in Al Auja village in Jericho and Fasayil el Wusta in the Jordan Valley, displacing 14 people, including six children. Additionally, two agricultural water cisterns belonging to Khirbet Jamrura community (Hebron) were demolished. Israeli forces also uprooted 650 almond and olive trees during those demolitions on the grounds that the area is designated as “state land”. The remaining structures included five commercial structures in Barta’a ash Sharqiya village (Jenin), a greenhouse, an agricultural shed and a shop in Qalqiliya city and Jinsafut village (Qalqiliya), and an animal shed in Deir Samit (Hebron).
Also this week, the Israeli authorities issued stopwork and demolition orders to around 30 residences in Silwan (East Jerusalem) and Al Auja (Jericho) and the Khashem al Karm area (Hebron).

(Source / 17.05.2013)

Laborers hurt after Israel police dog attack near Hebron

An official said the laborers suffered multiple bite injuries.

BETHLEHM (Ma’an) — Three Palestinian laborers were wounded on Friday in Beit Ula northwest of Hebron after Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and unleashed police dogs at them, a local official said.

Issa al-Amla, coordinator for the popular struggle committee, said that Omar Al-Amla, 31, and Abdulkadir Al-Amla, 28, suffered multiple dog bites in the neck and hands.

The third laborer, Jihad Saleem, was shot in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

They were taken to a nearby hospital.

(Source / 17.05.2013)