Mounting FSA Gains against ISIS in Aleppo & Dara’a, 25 Villages captured

Member of the Syrian Coalition Nasr al-Hariri welcomed the significant gains FSA groups have made against ISIS across Syria in the past few days. FSA and rebel groups have expelled ISIS militants from around 25 towns and villages in Aleppo and Dara’a provinces and in al-Qalmoun area.

Hariri stressed that these gains clearly show that FSA and other mainstream rebel groups are the most effective force against ISIS, adding that the elimination of terrorism in the region requires drying up its resources, namely the Assad regime, its allied sectarian militia and its regional allies.

FSA battalions on Friday regained control of the town of Tseil in western rural Dara’a after fierce clashes with the ISIS-affiliated Shuhadaa al-Yarmouk Brigade. They earlier recaptured the towns of Adwan and Sahem in the same area, thus tightening the noose on Shuhadaa al-Yarmouk Brigade and the Muthanna Movement, both linked to ISIS.

Moataz al-Ghalib, a FSA commander in the Southern Front, said that the FSA and other mainstream rebel groups, most notably Ahrar al-Sham Movement, seek to encircle the area stretching between the ISIS-held towns of Ainzikir and Nafaa in western rural Dara’a.

Ghalib pointed out that the FSA and rebel fighters also seek to advance on the towns of Shajara and Jamla, which are ISIS strongholds in the area bordering the occupied Golan Heights.

Militants of Shuhadaa al-Yarmouk Brigade on Thursday executed 19 FSA fighters after militants of the extremist group sneaked into the FSA positions near the town of Adwan. ISIS militants then hanged the bodies of the FSA fighters on electricity posts and in public squares in the towns of Adwan and Tseil.

The FSA gains against ISIS in the south coincides with FSA and rebel groups’ progress in the north, where they recaptured the strategic town of Al-Raei in northern rural Aleppo from ISIS. Thus far ISIS has been expelled from over 20 towns and villages in northern rural Aleppo during the past week.

The FSA and rebel groups are planning to advance on the border area located between the towns of Azaz and Jarablous in northern rural Aleppo and expel ISIS militants from its stronghold west of the Euphrates River.

Moreover, the FSA and rebel groups on Friday recaptured many positions from ISIS in eastern Qalamoun in Rural Damascus, killing many ISIS militants and capturing weapons.

(Source: Syrian Coalition + Anadolu Agency / 10.04.2016)

Deir Yassin massacre … unhealed pain and nonstop crime

On the ninth of April 1948, Zionist gangs treacherously attacked at midnight Deir Yassin village, west of the city of Jerusalem, from several directions, taking advantage of the absence of the village’s men who went out to participate in Battle of al-Qastal, while others went to Jerusalem to participate in the funeral of commander Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni. The two Zionist military groups which had committed the massacre are; Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister later, and Stern Lehi gang led by Yitzhak Shamir, who later became prime minister of the occupation state after Begin, with prior arrangements with the Zionist Haganah gangs. The heavily-armed gangs began that night to blow up the houses of the village one by one, and burned other houses while their residents were inside them. Women and children tried to get out of the village seeking safety, but the Zionist gangs shot them on sight then searched the village and collected the people alive and shot them dead. The massacre resulted in the martyrdom of 360 civilians, as stated in the testimony of the Red Cross delegate then Dr. Jacques de Rene. According to the narration of some survivors, the Zionist gangs mutilated the dead bodies, slit the bellies of pregnant women after betting on the sex of the unborn child, killed children and mutilated their bodies in front of the very eyes of their mothers, chopped hands, limbs and genitals, and burned some of the villagers alive, in addition to shameful practices committed against Palestinian girls before slashing their throats. The Zionist gangs threw fifty three children alive over the old city wall. Twenty-five men were transferred via buses to Jerusalem where they were paraded in the streets of the city to celebrate the gangs’ “victory”, imitating the victory parades of the ancient Roman armies, and then executed them by firing squad.  The bodies were thrown into the well of the village and its lid was tightly closed to hide the crime. The Haganah members, who occupied the village, collected other bodies and detonated them to mislead delegates from international bodies and to insinuate that the victims were killed during armed clashes. This massacre, and other acts of terrorism and torture, was of one the vicious means pursued by the Zionist armed gangs to empty Palestine of its population through genocide and expulsion. Israel, after 32 years of the carnage (in 1980), expressed its pride in the massacre of Deir Yassin, by giving the streets of the settlement, which was built on the ruins of the Palestinian village, the names of the Zionist gangs which carried out the massacre: Irgun, Atzl, the Palmach, the Haganah. The Deir Yassin massacre, which is marked on the ninth of April, was a cornerstone in the implementation of ethnic cleansing plan in Palestine, without which and the other massacres, the establishment of the Zionist entity could not have been made possible. In confirmation of this, Menachem Begin, former head of the Israeli government, sent a congratulatory cable to Raanan, local commander of the Irgun group, saying: “congratulations to you for this great victory, and tell your soldiers: They made the history of Israel.” In his book entitled the “Revolution”, Begin wrote: The Deir Yassin massacre contributed with other massacres in emptying the country of 650 thousand Arabs, he added: “Without Deir Yassin, there would be no Israel”.

(Source / 10.04.2016)

Al-Aqsa preacher: My detention by IOF dangerous move

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)–  Preacher of Muslims’ the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Salim, spoke out against his detention by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), saying it is rather a sign of provocation to the Muslim worshipers. Talking to a PIC journalist, Sheikh Salim said the IOF detained him for hours on allegations of incitement. “It is the right of al-Aqsa preacher to raise people’s awareness and try to alleviate their pains,” said the preacher. As he offered a copy of the sermon he delivered at al-Aqsa, Salim denied Israeli accusations that he incited to violence, saying: “Islam is the religion of peace, security, and stability. Islam illegitimates oppression, whatever its form and means.”   The Supreme Islamic Committee and Jerusalem’s Endowment Council also slammed, in a joint statement, Salim’s detention, saying the latter was rather targeted for his anti-occupation speeches. The groups dubbed the move “a dangerous and unprecedented attempt to suppress the freedom of speech and meddle in Muslims’ religious freedom.” “Religious speeches at al-Aqsa have their own sanctity. Persecution of Muslim worshipers will never discourage them from performing their prayers at al-Aqsa for it is part and parcel of who they are,” the statement added.

(Source / 10.04.2016)

Netanyahu: Our military presence in Area A “sacred”

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has said that his government will never end its military activities and campaigns in “Area A” of the West Bank, which is, according to Oslo accords, under the Palestinian Authority’s civil and security control. According to Haaretz newspaper, Netanyahu described Israel’s freedom to carry out operations in the Palestinian West Bank areas “sacrosanct,” stressing that Israel would not allow the situation that had existed before 2000 to repeat itself. For his part, Israeli minister of education Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, threatened to dismantle the coalition government if steps were taken to shrink the Israeli army’s operations in Area A. Haaretz newspaper said that Bennett made such threat after the Israeli security cabinet last Wednesday explored in a meeting attended by PA officials the avenues to reduce Israel’s military operations in Palestinian areas.

(Source / 10.04.2016)

Israeli demolition displaced 124 Pals in one day

UN: 293 other people, including 98 children were also affected

Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied Palestinian territories displaced hundreds of Palestinians, including 124 were displaced in one day.

UN: “Since the beginning of 2016, 36 structures were demolished in areas declared as firing zones, displacing 147 people, including 76 children.”

Days of Palestine, west Bank -Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied Palestinian territories displaced hundreds of Palestinians, including 124 were displaced in one day.

In a statement, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said: “In total, 54 structures were demolished in nine different communities in Area C, displacing 124 people, including 60 children.”

The statement, which was issued on Friday, added: “A further 293 people, including 98 children, were otherwise affected.”

Occupied Palestinian territories are classified as Area A, B and C. More than 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli military and administrative control –Area C.

According to the UNOCHA statement, the northern occupied West Bank village of Khirbet Tana saw its fourth demolition this year on Thursday. “Israeli authorities demolished 34 structures in the village displacing 69 Palestinians, 29 of them children,” the statement said.

“Many of the demolished structures in Khirbet Tana, which lies in an area declared by the Israeli occupation as a firing zone, had been provided by donors as relief after earlier demolitions,” the statement explained.

The statement added: “Some 18 per cent of the West Bank has been closed for military training since the 1970′s although recent research indicates that nearly 80 per cent of such areas are not used for training.”

It continued: “Since the beginning of 2016, 36 structures were demolished in areas declared as firing zones, displacing 147 people, including 76 children.”

UNOCHA said that the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory Robert Piper visited Khirbet Tana following to the last demolition in March. It said that Piper “warned of a risk of forcible transfer facing residents.”

Comparing Israeli demolitions in Area C between 2016 and 2015, the statement said that the Israeli occupation has demolished 539 structures since the start of 2016, compared to a total of 453 demolitions in 2015.

It also said that the 2016 demolitions displaced 804 Palestinians, compared to a total of 580 in 2015.

(Source / 10.04.2016)

American student harassed over pro-Palestine activism

Haneen’s friends have been escorting her to class because of her safety concerns

An American female student at Indian University (IUPUI) student has reported harassment and accusation of being a terrorist over her pro-Palestine activism.

Smith-Simmons said that the school leaders worked with police to successfully remove a video and one of the blog posts about Haneen

Indian -An American female student at Indian University (IUPUI) student has reported harassment and accusation of being a terrorist over her pro-Palestine activism.

The female student, who gave her first name –Haneen– to Wishtv.com, is a member of a Palestinian student group says she is being repeatedly harassed and falsely accused of supporting terrorism.

Haneen and other SJP members gathered on campus for a conference Sunday and found posters accusing Haneen of supporting terrorism.

Group members said they also found anonymous blog posts with similar accusations. Haneen said she has been receiving harassing phone calls this week.

“We are not terrorists. We stand against terrorism. We stand against oppressors,” SJP board member Hassan Jamal said.

Chancellor Nasser Paydar released a statement Thursday saying in part, “the University abhors all forms of racism, bigotry and discrimination.” He did not mention any specific incidents.

“When any one of our students are affected, we are all affected,” IUPUI spokesperson Maggie Smith-Simmons said Friday.

Smith-Simmons said school leaders worked with police to successfully remove a video and one of the blog posts about Haneen.

“We’re doing everything we can to help Haneen and it as a difficult situation for her,” Smith-Simmons said.

Jamal said he and Haneen’s other friends have been escorting her to class because of her safety concerns.

(Source / 10.04.2016)

Het zionisme heeft een monster gebaard

By Engelbert Luitsz                  ©                      (www.alexandrina.nl/?p=4415)

heksen

Heksenverbranding in Amsterdam in de 16e eeuw. Roermond maakte na 400 jaarexcuses voor dergelijke praktijken in de 17e eeuw. Het begint altijd met bijgeloof en vooroordelen, dan volgt ontmenselijking. Heksen kregen tenminste nog een proces.

In zijn column van vandaag voor Haaretz beschrijft de Israëlische journalist Gideon Levy hoe de situatie in Israël dermate is verslechterd dat er volgens hem geen weg terug meer is. Niet dat het ooit echt goed was, maar alles wijst op een “nieuwe nationale identiteit“, een situatie die “evident onomkeerbaar” is. Er is nauwelijks een tegengeluid te horen wanneer er oorlogsmisdaden worden gepleegd, kinderen worden doodgeschoten of hele families van hun land worden gejaagd. Elk “incident” is een symptoom van een dieper liggend probleem dat verbonden is met het zionistische project. De kiem van wat we nu zien gebeuren werd al in de 19e eeuw gelegd en na de Juni-oorlog van 1967 kreeg Israël ook nog eens de steun van religieus rechts dat had gewacht op een goddelijke vingerwijzing. Die vonden ze in het door de zionistische propaganda bedachte “mirakel” van de overwinning.

Doordat er geen internationale druk word uitgeoefend wordt de bevolking nauwelijks geconfronteerd met de eigen medeplichtigheid. Het culturele aspect van tribale loyaliteit zal zeker ook meespelen. Nog steeds is het zo dat je niet één individuele jood aan de schandpaal kunt nagelen wegens ontoelaatbaar gedrag, zonder dat er direct mensen opstaan die doen of daarmee alle joden worden geviseerd. Over de historische oorzaken van dat groepsdenken gaat dit stukje niet, maar het gevolg is een grote zwijgende meerderheid. Zoals een bekend citaat van Albert Einstein luidt is de wereld niet een gevaarlijke plek vanwege de slechte mensen, maar vanwege de mensen die daar niets aan doen. 

En zo ziet Levy de situatie in Israël ook:

Niet dat alle Israëliërs monsters zijn geworden. De ergsten onder hen, zij die de soldaat die een Palestijn executeerde zien als een nationale held, vormen nog geen meerderheid. Zij die “dood aan de Arabieren” denken, die ervan overtuigd zijn dat niet-joden hier niet zouden mogen wonen; zij die weten dat ze het Uitverkoren Volk zijn en zij die zeker weten dat hun heerschappij gegarandeerd is door een goddelijke belofte; zij die denken dat Palestijnen geen rechten bezitten en zij die zeker weten dat het Israëlische leger het meest morele leger ter wereld is – worden sterker en nemen met angstaanjagende snelheid in aantal toe. En niemand komt in opstand.

En wat doet de regering? Zoals gewoonlijk: alles ontkennen. Onlangs vroeg de Zweedse minister Wallström om een onafhankelijk onderzoek naar het grote aantal gedode jonge Palestijnen. Zoals te verwachten kreeg ze de wind van voren. Maar nu rommelt het zelfs bij Israëls grote steun en toeverlaat de Verenigde Staten. Senator Patrick Leahy doet een beroep op een wet die zijn naam draagt en waarin wordt bepaald dat Amerikaanse steun kan worden ingetrokken wanneer er sprake is van mensenrechtenschendingen. Het gaat dan om specifieke militaire onderdelen, niet om landen. Ook Leahy vraagt om een onderzoek om te bepalen of er misbruik gemaakt wordt van die steun.

De reactie van premier Netanyahu was weer voorspelbaar: hij belde met de Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken John Kerry en verlangde dat Kerry publiekelijk zou verklaren dat Israël zich niet schuldig maakt aan buitengerechtelijke executies. Volgens hem is het natuurlijk net andersom: de executies zijn “zelfverdediging” en een jong Palestijns meisje met een schaar in haar hand is een “bloeddorstige terroriste”.

Geen onderzoek. Al het bewijsmateriaal negeren en via de V.S. proberen je wil door te drijven. Je vraagt je af hoe lang dat ze nog blijven pikken daar, maar dat vraagt men zich al zeventig jaar af. Terwijl in Israël extremistische groepen worden geprezen om hun principiële houding en mensenrechtenorganisaties als verraders worden gezien, blijft de landroof doorgaan, blijft de Gazastrook een concentratiekamp en zijn Palestijnse vissers, boeren en kinderen hun leven niet zeker. De Palestijnen hebben nog maar de beschikking over zo’n 15% van hun land volgens een recent rapport. Ook een kwart van de Gazastrook is volledig onder controle van Israël.

Ook zonder deze gefilmde executie was er meer dan genoeg reden om de exorbitante Amerikaanse steun in te trekken. De V.S. financieren hoe dan ook de bezetting en de verdrijving van het Palestijnse volk, dus ook al zou er niet een dodelijk slachtoffer zijn, dan nog is het immoreel dit regime financieel, militair en politiek de hand boven het hoofd te houden. Het is de optelsom van talloze grote en kleine misdaden die vanaf 1948 door de vingers werden gezien die uiteindelijk geleid heeft tot de arrogantie van een steeds extremistischer regime dat overal mee weg denkt te kunnen komen. En daarom, denkt ook Gideon Levy, is het nu onomkeerbaar.

Er zijn giftige zaden waarvan, als ze eenmaal geplant zijn, de ontkieming niet meer tegengegaan kan worden. Er zijn plagen die niet in toom gehouden kunnen worden. Daar zijn wij aanbeland. Wanneer de executie van een gewonde Palestijn een deugd wordt, verdwijnen alle andere deugden en vervliegt alle hoop. Er is een nieuw volk ontstaan, tussen de ultranationalisten en het rechts-religieuze kamp aan de ene kant en de onverschillige meerderheid aan de andere.

Een andere waardevolle medewerker van Haaretz, B. Michael, schreef onlangs ook een stukje over het ontluikend fascisme in Israël (In het hoofd van de ontluikende fascist). Hij beschrijft de twee “kritische stadia” die een maatschappij moet doormaken om tot “volledig, officieel fascisme” te komen.

Ten eerste is het noodzakelijk de “Ander” volledig te ontmenselijken. In het geval van de Palestijnen zien we dat dat proces al heel lang aan de gang is. Woorden als “kakkerlakken“, “beesten op twee poten“, “krokodillen” of “wilde beesten” zijn al ingeburgerd om die “Ander” te beschrijven. Alleen dan kun je iemand die hulpeloos op de grond ligt afmaken zonder gewetenswroeging. Met de punt van je laars of met een kogel uit een geweer. “Dat is het lot van de kakkerlak.

De tweede fase moet ervoor zorgen dat de slachtoffers niet als slachtoffers worden gezien, maar als legitieme doelwitten die bijna achteloos bestolen, verdreven of vermoord kunnen worden. Met superieure ironie schrijft B. Michael: “Vervelend genoeg moet ik voor het tweede stadium mijn toevlucht nemen tot een oud Duits woord: vogelfrei.

De enorme steun die de moordenaar krijgt (niet alleen van de bevolking, ook uit de hoogste kringen: de aanklacht is al gereduceerd tot doodslag!) is onderdeel van deze tweede fase. Door een held van deze man te maken wordt de deur wagenwijd opengezet naar nog meer executies en lynchpartijen. Alle Palestijnen worden zo vogelvrij verklaard en iedereen kan zich straffeloos op hen uitleven. Palestijnen worden niet langer door de wet beschermd en de daders hoeven niet bang te zijn voor “lastige vragen van de een of andere verraderlijke minderheid, wier dagen ook geteld zijn“.

Is het toeval dat ook Gideon Levy een paar Duitse woorden in zijn stukje gebruikt? Hij heeft het over “zeitgeist” en “ortgeist“, de geest van de tijd en de plaats, die maakt dat zelfs mensen die de extreme daden van het leger of kolonisten afkeuren, toch niet in staat zijn de ernst van de situatie goed in te schatten. De wereld is niet een gevaarlijke plek vanwege de slechte mensen, maar vanwege de mensen die daar niets aan doen.

Israeli settlers ban Palestinians from entering their farms

Israeli Jewish settlers always damage crops of the Palestinian farmers

Israeli occupation settlers banned on Sunday morning tens of Palestinian farmers from entering their lands in West Bank city of Nablus.

Ishtey said that the farmers were heading to their farms exactly located in Al-Lahf and Yasid neighbourhoods near the illegal Israeli Jewish-only settlement

Days of Palestine, West Bank -Israeli occupation settlers banned on Sunday morning tens of Palestinian farmers from entering their lands in West Bank city of Nablus.

The Palestinians farmers headed to their farms in Salim Neighbourhood, east of Nablus, but they were surprised with heavy existence of armed Israeli settlers accompanied by the Israeli occupation forces.

At the beginning, the Israeli occupation forces stopped them for field investigations, but when more than 30 farmers gathered at the scene, the armed Israeli settlers interfered and obliged the farmers to return home.

Farmers, at this time of the year, prepare for harvesting cereals which comes after the end of winter every year. Israeli settlers always damage crops of the Palestinians.

The farms, where the Palestinian farmers were banned, are located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh, where about 220 families of illegal Israeli settlers live.

“Since the early morning, the armed illegal settlers have been preventing the Palestinians farmers from heading to their farms near the settlement of Elon Moreh,” Hossam Ishtey, one of the farmers told Days of Palestine.

Ishtey said that the farmers were heading to their farms exactly located in Al-Lahf and Yasid neighbourhoods near the illegal Israeli Jewish-only settlement.

(Source / 10.04.2016)

American election: The two death options…

By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj

Donald Trump could change American electoral history for the better. Before explaining how, let’s first explore the politics and predicament of the 2016 Republican primary election.

About six weeks ago, I projected that Trump would win the Republican nomination. That was before the traditional Republican leadership came out of hibernation to spoil Trump’s chances. It was however, a little too late. It’s almost certain now that Trump will end up with the most delegates at the summer convention – although it might not be enough to give him a simple majority to become the outright Republican nominee at the next November election.

The Republican leadership has no one else to blame for the Trumpmania frenzy. The party had cultivated the extreme right wing of the American electorate for more than 30 years. They had pandered to Jerry Farwell’s “Moral Majority,” Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America and Michelle Bachmann’s Tea Party. The Republican leadership was content with the secured right-wing vote for their candidates. They turned unsettled, however, when the extremists’ base posited their own to challenge the traditional leadership.

This is universally true in all cases of breeding self-righteous groups to serve a short-term interest of the more dominant party. Once they garner influence, the self-righteous proponents become attracted to power like sharks are drawn to the smell of blood. Ultimately, their illusionary perception of supremacy inspires them to impose their agenda on others.

In the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan administration nurtured Islamist ideologues to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. For as long as those fighters were the fuel to serve the US strategy, they were compared by Reagan to the “founding fathers.” But when Reagan’s adopted Islamists became powerful enough to implement their own agenda, conflict ensued. Israel encouraged the development of alternative Islamist Palestinian leadership in the hope of weakening the more secular PLO. Up until then, the Israeli public didn’t know the meaning of the walking rockets (suicide bombers) blowing themselves up in the middle of Tel Aviv.

In 1982, Israel dislodged the PLO from Lebanon. It weakened the secular Lebanese National Movement and created a vacuum that was soon filled by Hizbollah.

Today, Israel is repeating the same stratagem by collaborating with Al Qaeda affiliates in the hope to break up Syria. At one point, the Zionist movement foresaw the rise of Nazism in Europe (they do today) as an opportunity to induce Jewish immigration to Palestine. That is until the Nazi experiment went out of control.  It was the same result in all cases regardless of whether the self-righteousness groups were Jewish, Christians or Muslims.

To answer my earlier proposition on Trump, traditional Republicans had finally come face to face with the juvenile they reared; and they have come to dislike their creation. At next summer’s convention, party traditionalists are expected to abandon Trump and unite behind the second least hated alternative: Ted Cruz. Or to quote a Republican leader, to choose between “Death by being shot or poisoning”.

It is very plausible that Trump, with an ego larger than the Republican Party, will end up walking out of the convention. Trump has already hinted that he would recant his pledge to support the Republican candidate if he wasn’t on the November ticket.

If and when Trump decides to break away from the Republican Party, it should be an opportunity for Bernie Sanders to do the same at the Democratic side. Riding Trump’s ego is the best hope for Americans to end the 200-year-old Democratic and Republican monopoly over US presidential election. The traditionalist against the independent candidates to end the two-party reign.

Sanders has a better chance in the general election to halt his party’s retrograde and beat the Democratic traditionalist who was rejected by party voters eight years ago. Then continue the march to defeat the “shot or poisoning” death option of the Republican candidates.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

Easter’s mission of surgeon British MP to Palestine

This MP, Philippa Whitford, volunteered in Palestine during first intifada

During her Easter holidays, British MP Philippa Whitford worked to save the lives of Palestinians in Palestinian territories under aggressive Israeli occupation.

MP PHILLIPA Whitford swapped parliament for Palestine and used her skills as a breast cancer surgeon to help those who do not have access to basic treatment

During her Easter holidays, British MP Philippa Whitford worked to save the lives of Palestinians in Palestinian territories under aggressive Israeli occupation.

Breast cancer surgeon Whitford, the Scottish National Party (SNP) MP for Central Ayrshire, spent her parliamentary break working in Gaza City and Jerusalem.

She travelled to the occupied West Bank, with charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), to surgery on four women suffering from breast cancer, and visited the Gaza Strip to advise local hospitals on how to improve health care.

Her trip included a visit to Al-Ahli hospital in the Gaza City, where she volunteered in the 1990s during the first intifada.

Whitford said to Daily Record: “I met with the charity I work with through being in Parliament. “They arranged the visit and I spent four to five days in Jerusalem and four to five in Gaza.”

She continued speaking to Daily Record: “In Jerusalem, I did a clinic, I was operating and I was running lectures and workshops.

Philippa Whitford with Palestinian doctors in Gaza
Philippa Whitford with Palestinian doctors in Gaza

“Then in Gaza, we visited clinics and facilities looking at the difficulties breast cancer patients have in accessing what we would consider standard treatments due to the blockade.”

She added: “I was doing a lot of teaching in Gaza because the Palestinians do not get out to go to many doctors’ conferences.

“I am also producing a report for MAP to consider how they can help women with breast cancer access better treatment in the area.”

She added the trip would help inform her future decisions on international issues at Westminster.

(Source / 10.04.2016)