Israeli Soldiers Kill Two Palestinians In Hebron

Israeli soldiers shot and killed, on Thursday morning, two young Palestinian men, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, allegedly after they attacked Israeli soldiers, mildly wounding one.

Ramzi aziz qasrawi

According to the army, the soldiers opened fire on the two Palestinians, and killed them, after they stabbed one soldier in Tal Romeida neighborhood.

They have been identified as Ramzi Aziz Qasrawi, 21, and Abdul-Fattah Yosri Sharif, 21.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers opened fire at random, wounding several Palestinians who were walking in the area during the reported attack.

Talking to Maan News, an eyewitness said he heard the gunshots, stepped out of his home and saw several soldiers surrounding the two wounded Palestinians as they were on the ground, bleeding, before a soldier walked close to one of them, who was still moving, and shot him in the head.

Israeli media sources said the incident took place near a military roadblock in Tal Romeida neighborhood, in Hebron city.

Israeli medics of the Magen David Adom said the soldier was attacked at the entrance of Tal Romeida, and suffered moderate stab wounds in his arm and shoulder, before he was moved to a hospital in a stable condition.

The army closed the Shuhada roadblock, completely sealed the Shuhada Street, and prevented Palestinian medics, who rushed to the scene, from reaching the two Palestinians.

It is worth mentioning that the army has killed 61 Palestinian, in Hebron, since October 1st, 2015.

Earlier on Thursday, the soldiers invaded Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, and kidnapped a former political prisoner, identified as Sufian Zaki Odah Bahar, 44, after breaking into his home and searching it. Bahar is a director of the Beit Ummar Society for Orphans.

The army also summoned Mohammad Mahmoud Awad, 26, Issam Mohammad Bahar, 19, and Mohammad Abdul-Jawad Ekhlayyel, 24, for interrogation in the Etzion military base.

It is worth mentioning that the army has kidnaped fifteen Palestinians, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, on Thursday at dawn; three were kidnapped in Ya’bad near Jenin, one in Nablus, two in Salfit, seven in Ramallah and two in Hebron.

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(Source / 24.03.2016)

MARCH 24, 2016: PLO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER DR. HANAN ASHRAWI ON AN ISRAELI COUNCIL’S APPROVAL OF AN ILLEGAL SETTLER PLAN IN THE OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM NEIGHBORHOOD OF SILWAN

settlements2

“We strongly denounce the Israeli National Council for Planning and Building’s approval of the “Kedem – City of David” project sponsored by the illegal settler organization Eldad which would be established at the main entrance of the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

With such a plan that aims to construct a five-story tourism building to be used by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, scientists and settlers, Israel is deliberately isolating Jerusalem from its Palestinian environs and indigenous people and transforming it into an exclusively Jewish city. Once again, the chances for peace and the two-state solution are being willfully destroyed and systematically dismantled by Israel and its illegal settlement enterprise to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on historic Palestine.

We call on the international community, including the United Nations, European Union and the United States, to take immediate action to curb Israel’s ongoing breach of international law and international humanitarian law and to support our multilateral efforts of resorting to all venues of international judicial accountability.”

(Source / 24.03.2016)

BREAKING: Cairo Court upholds release of ‘T-Shirt detainee’

BREAKING: Cairo Court upholds release of ‘T-Shirt detainee’

Mahmoud Mohamed, A 20-Yr Old Detained Student During A Court Session To Consider His Remand

CAIRO:  The Cairo Court has the upheld release of Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein, known  as the “T-shirt detainee,” who has spend more than 2 years in detention, Youm7 reported.

The East Cairo Prosecution appealed Wednesday  Hussein’s release despite his detention exceeding legal limits.

He faced what rights groups described as “unfounded” charges of protesting, possessing explosives and disrupting public peace among others.

Amnesty International Tuesday called for the expedited release of who was ordered released on 1,000 EGP ($112) bail after spending more than two years in remand, said the organization in a statement.

Mahmoud, 20, was arrested on his way home in January 2014 wearing a T-Shirt that read “Nation Without Torture,” and a scarf with “January 25” written on it; both were counted among seized evidences against him.

(Source / 24.03.2016)

Hanani suspends hunger strike; fellow hunger striker Janazrah transferred

strikeryazan

Sami Janazrah, Palestinian political prisoner on hunger strike for 21 days, was transferred on 23 March to the Negev desert prison from the Ofer prison, where he had earlier been transferred. Janazrah has been held without charge or trial under administrative detention under Israeli military orders since 15 November 2015; he is one of approximately 700 Palestinians under administrative detention.

He will have an appeal hearing on his detention – again, in Israeli military courts – on 7 April.

Reports indicated also that Yazan Hanani, on hunger strike for 35 days, suspended his hunger strike on Wednesday, 23 March; Hanani’s brother reported that Yazan had been permitted to phone his family from the Salem interrogation center, and said that he had suspended his strike under assurances that his administrative detention would be ended at a military court hearing this coming Sunday, 27 March. Hanani was transferred to Megiddo prison from the Naqab desert prison.

(Source / 24.03.2016)

What Russia won by withdrawing from Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an awarding ceremony for soldiers returning from Syria, at the Kremlin in Moscow, March 17, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin presented medals on March 17 to armed forces personnel who distinguished themselves in Syria, congratulating the gathering of 700 military men and women and members of the defense industry for contributing to what the Kremlin is hailing as a victorious campaign in Syria.

“The struggle against international terrorism is a fair and righteous cause. This is a struggle against enemies of civilization, against those who effect barbarity and violence,” he said at the Kremlin ceremony, according to his prepared remarks later made available. “Our country has demonstrated its unquestionable leadership, willpower and responsibility.”

Putin outlined Russia’s three major achievements. First, “We did not let this terrorist tumor grow; [we] destroyed the bandits’ hiding places and munitions depots and blocked oil-smuggling routes that brought the terrorists their main funding,” he said.

Second, “We strengthened [Syria’s] armed forces, which are now capable of not only holding back the terrorists, but also of conducting assault operations against them. The Syrian army has gained the strategic initiative and continues clearing its land of terrorists.” Third, Putin said, Russia created the conditions necessary for peace by establishing cooperation with the United States and other countries and forces seeking peace in Syria who realize that the only solution is a political one.

In actuality, determining whether Russia’s mission was a success depends on one’s initial expectations. Russia’s involvement clearly altered the trajectory of the Syrian civil war, but only as far as it served Russia’s own interests, not those of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Once Moscow felt it had achieved most (if not all) of its political goals, the Kremlin assessed that there wouldn’t be a better time to leave. The drawdown was probably coordinated. Moscow had invested too much in its image as a reliable patron to then make decisions that would affect its tentative allies without notifying them. In this case, however, “coordinated” means Assad was most likely informed of the decision, not consulted, before it was announced.

There are reasons to assume Assad wasn’t particularly happy with the withdrawal, but a combination of Russia’s guarantees and its growing irritation with his inflexibility left him virtually no choice but to take it or leave it. Putin said Russia will continue to provide “comprehensive support” for Syria, including financial aid, weapons, military training, planning and intelligence, as well as direct support, including airstrikes.

“If necessary, of course, Russia will be able to enhance its forces in the region in a matter of hours to a size required for a specific situation and to use all the options available,” Putin said. He made clear, however, that Russia would prefer not to have to escalate, apparently setting ground rules for Assad to maneuver within but not exceed.

The Russians are not withdrawing entirely, and that, too, is supposed to provide some degree of assurance for Assad. The S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system will remain, and both the air base in Khmeimim and the naval facility at Tartus will remain operable, with about 1,000 Russian military personnel in the country.

Putin’s decision, regardless of what one thinks of it, leaves the impression that other possible scenarios could have turned out ugly for the Russians. Many expected an Afghanistan-style quagmire or a protracted Sunni-Shiite standoff or a head-on collision with Turkey as a NATO member. Any of these events would have been politically, socially and economically expensive for Putin.

The disastrous experience the Soviets had in Afghanistan taught Moscow to leave the fight before it gets too messy. Putin’s favorite maxim seems to be, “If the fight is inevitable — strike first.” In the case of Syria, he might also have been considering another bit of political wisdom: The sooner you leave a fight as a competitor, the better your chances of later becoming a referee.

Putin now holds an important position for the shaping of a political transition in Syria. Russia acquired the air base in Khmeimim, which it did not have before. Its geopolitical standing is secured as a power broker in the Middle East, while its weapons are in great demand across the region. The global outreach is incredibly important as well. Some would even argue it was central to the idea of the operation from the very beginning. In addition, Russia showcased its military might, sending signals to those who might have been tempted to put it to the test.

Russia also excelled on the public relations side of the art of modern war. Detailed daily reports from the Defense Ministry, accompanied by high-definition maps and video footage, prevented opponents from manipulating its campaign results in the media.

Even if Moscow doesn’t save Assad’s presidency, his departure will be a negotiated event, not forced, an important element for Putin personally and for Russia’s vision of its role in contemporary international affairs.

In the short term, Russia’s partial withdrawal will hopefully have a positive effect on the conflicting parties, increasing what Putin called “trust of all participants in the Geneva process.” In the long run, it may also open up a new (hopefully final) chapter in Syria’s five-year civil war. It gives local players an opportunity they claimed to have longed for — to get serious about deciding the country’s political future and ultimately carry it out. It nudges the big regional players, Iran and Saudi Arabia, into suddenly having to revise their policies to retain influence.

For Moscow, the decision to drawdown forces bears some political risks as well, since its leadership is now pinning its hopes on the conflict shifting to the political arena. This first requires that Assad be more cooperative, and also that other groups — from the opposition to the Kurds and regional powers — be similarly willing to negotiate and make concessions if necessary.

There are ample arguments to support both optimistic and pessimistic outcomes. Although Russia’s presence might no longer be a deterrent to certain local forces that want to disturb the fragile balance, Russia will always be part of the equation. Taking into account the unconventional diplomatic moves and actions on the ground that have become characteristic of Russian policy in recent years, it will be harder for those who might act against Russian interests to forecast what Moscow’s response might be and how far it will take matters.

There is a lot for all the stakeholders in Syria, including Russia, to work on jointly down the road — i.e., achieving and preserving unity in Syria, forming a coalition government and reconstructing the country. The Russian military mission may be over, but the job is still far from finished.

(Source / 24.03.2016)

UN passes 4 Palestinian-backed resolutions in landmark victory

Special Rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territory Makarim Wibisono

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — In a landmark victory for Palestinian leadership, the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday passed four resolutions pertaining to the occupied Palestinian territory, one of which will draw up a “blacklist” of companies who do business in illegal Israeli settlements.The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department said in addition to the resolution regarding settlements — which passed 32 to 0 — a resolution was adopted for the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self determination.A resolution based on Palestinian human rights passed by the council addressed closures by the Israeli military in areas under occupation, as well as home demolitions, violations of religious sites, and extrajudicial killings carried out by Israeli forces.Another resolution drafted to enact proper investigative systems to ensure accountability for violations carried out by Israel in occupied Palestinian territory was also passed by the council.The resolution proposed by Palestinian leadership obliging the UN Human Rights Council to form a database of all actors conducting business in areas under Israeli military occupation received major push back from US and the EU prior to Thursday’s vote, according to reports by The Guardian.The Western leaders reportedly warned that pushing the resolution could come at the detriment to aid given to the Palestinian Authority.The resolution echoes a recent EU decision to label products made in illegal Israeli settlements, a victory for the BDS movement which attempts to use boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel to end the decades-long military occupation.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on social media following Thursday’s vote referred to the UN Human Rights Council an “anti-Israel circus.”The PM called on “responsible governments not to honor the decisions of the Council that discriminate against Israel.”Palestinian Envoy to the UN Human Rights Council Ibrahim Khreisheh called Thursday’s vote a “message of hope” for the Palestinian people.Khreisheh called on all countries to respect the resolutions, pointing to past failures of the international community to act on UN measures regarding Israel.“As the belligerent occupying power, Israel continues to systematically violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinians while enjoying impunity from the international community, despite numerous UN resolutions demanding an equitable and just end to the occupation,” Khreisheh said.He continued: “We ask countries opposed to the implementation of international law in the occupied State of Palestine to consider the impact their disregard for international law has within the international legal sphere and the Israeli violations they are perpetuating against the Palestinian people.”Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday Special Rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territory Makarim Wibisono gave a particularly scathing report of Israeli violations during his term.Wibisono said that since he took up his post in June 2014, Israel had not allowed him direct access to victims in parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, despite repeated requests.The human rights expert emphasized the “desperate need” for effective protection of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation, and castigated Israel for its many failures as an occupying power and the international community for offering no protection.”I have been struck by the abundance of information documenting violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and the seeming inability of the international community to match what is known of the situation with more effective protection of Palestinians.” Wibisono said.Palestinian leadership has in recent years made moves on the international level in effort to end harmful policies that result from the Israeli military occupation after decades of failed peace negotiations to bring about an independent Palestinian state.

(Source / 24.03.2016)

Ex-ambassador says Abbas helped Israel bring Jews to Palestine

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– A former Palestinian ambassador has accused Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas of helping Israel bring 19 Yemenite Jews to Palestine in a recent secret operation, and described his behavior as a “serious violation of the national norms.” “Your contribution to the immigration of more invaders to promote the usurpation of our homeland instead of adhering to the principles under which you have become a member of the Fatah Movement is deemed a serious violation against our people and an action that flouts the national, religious and moral taboos,” ambassador Khairuddin Abdul-Rahman said on his Facebook page, addressing president Abbas. Different Israeli news reports stated last Monday that Israel had brought over to Occupied Palestine, in cooperation with the US department of state and an undisclosed third party, 19 Jews from war-torn Yemen in a secret mission.

(Source / 24.03.2016)

Video: Israeli soldier executes wounded Palestinian

It is a clear war crimes, but the Israeli occupation soldier, who committed it, feels safe because non of the Israeli killers along Israeli history was punished

By: Motasem A Dalloul

Days of Palestine, West Bank -A clear video footage shows that an Israeli occupation soldier executed on Thursday morning a wounded Palestinian in West Bank city of Al-Khalil.

In the morning, Days of Palestine published a story about the execution and reported eyewitnesses recounting the “massacre” they saw with their bare eyes.

The eyewitnesses said that the Israeli occupation opened fire at the two Palestinians in the middle of Tel-Rumeida Neighbourhood in Al-Khalil’s Old City.

Describing what happened after the two Palestinians were wounded, the eyewitnesses said: “The two Palestinians were initially wounded and remained bleeding to death.”

One of them added: “Two Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances immediately arrive in the scene but the Israeli occupation forces prevented them from offering medical aid to the two youths.”

Palestinian ministry of health confirmed the death of the two Palestinians and identified them as Ramzi al-Qasrawi and Abdul-Fattah al-Sharifm both 21 years old.

Days of Palestine spoke about a video, which proved the execution, but for technical problems, it could not upload it. However, now it is here. It shows how an Israeli soldier, with premeditation, shot one of the two bleeding Palestinians while he poses no danger.

This proves previous accounts of eyewitnesses reported by Days of Palestine, who always say that the Israeli soldiers kill Palestinians without any reason and then plant knives in their hands to justify killing them.

Israeli sources claimed that the soldier was arrested, but this is nonsense because in many incidents like this, Israeli soldiers had been sent free.

(Source / 24.03.2016)

Redwan: Armed resistance only path to liberation of Palestine

GAZA, (PIC)–  Hamas will go along the footsteps of Sheikh Yassin until the liberation of the occupied Palestinian territories, senior Hamas leader Ismail Redwan said on Wednesday evening. Speaking at a rally held by the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Gaza to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin’s assassination, Redwan said: “We are gathering today outside of Sheikh Yassin’s home to prove that we are still tracking his footsteps, 12 years after his assassination.” Redwan said the al-Qassam Brigades have all the means and potentials to oust the Israeli occupation in case it does not cease its aggressions on the Palestinian people and its holy sites. The Hamas leader said Palestinians will forever cling to armed resistance as the only path to liberating the occupied Palestinian territories, restoring the prisoners’ freedom, and achieving the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their native soil.

(Source / 24.03.2016)

Syrian Opposition Lays out Comprehensive Vision for New Syria

The opposition’s negotiating delegation has laid out a comprehensive vision for the transitional period in Syria and the political transition process, Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Samira Masalmah said.

Masalmah, who is currently in Geneva as part of opposition’s negotiating delegation, pointed out that the opposition’s vision emphasizes forming a transitional governing body with full powers as a basis for any possible solution.

Masalmah added that the opposition’s vision for Syria’s future involves drafting a new constitution and holding free and democratic elections. She stressed that this vision lays the groundwork for building a new Syria in which equal rights for all components of the Syrian people are ensured.

The opposition’s negotiating delegation has proved it is keen on finding a political solution to the crisis during the negotiations in Geneva out of its sense of responsibility towards the Syrian people who aspire for building a free democratic state and ending tyranny and dictatorship, Masalmah added.

Masalmah went on to say that opposition’s negotiating position was further reinforced by the recent revival of the civil society movement that accompanied the second round of negotiations. The revival of the civil anti-regime movement clearly indicates that the revolution is alive, which lends weight to the negotiating process.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 24.03.2016)