Relatives of Muhammad Abu Khdeir detained for throwing stones, Molotov cocktails

Familie Khdeir

Father and mother of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir pray at his grave in Shuafat, in occupied East Jerusalem, in July 2015

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two young Palestinians related to Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager who was burned alive by Israeli settlers in 2014, have been indicted by a Jerusalem court over a number of charges in the wake of their cousin’s brutal murder, Israeli police said on Sunday.Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Nasser Abu Khdeir, 19, and Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 21 — who shares a name with his slain cousin — had been detained on June 26.The two youths have been accused of breaking the law following Abu Khdeir’s death, with al-Samri noting that they stood accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces in 2014, and of firing gunshots from a vineyard near one of their homes in 2015 with a weapon they had purchased. It remained unclear why the two Abu Khdeirs were detained two years after their alleged offenses.A 16-year-old from Shufat in occupied East Jerusalem, Muhammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and murdered by three Israeli extremists on July 2, 2014.All three confessed to beating the teenager unconscious before pouring flammable liquid on him and setting him alight. An autopsy later confirmed the teen had been burned alive.The grisly murder sparked shock, disgust and an outpouring of condemnation from both Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the time.The brutal revenge killing of Abu Khdeir led to widespread demonstrations and clashes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem which was followed by an uptick in rocket fire from Gaza, and the launch on July 8 of a full-scale Israeli military operation against the Mediterranean enclave, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children.In May this year, an Israeli court sentenced Yosef Ben-David — the ringleader in Abu Khdeir’s murder — to a total of 45 years in prison, also ordering him to pay 150,000 shekels ($39,756) to Abu Khdeir’s family.Two Israeli minors who assisted in killing Muhammad were convicted of murder in February, one receiving a life sentence and the other 21 years in prison. While Ben-David admitted to carrying out the crime, he repeatedly escaped conviction after seeking a last minute psychiatric evaluation.Abu Khdeir’s murder sparked international condemnation and placed pressure on Israel to bring Jewish extremists to justice. Many critics said that such attacks were the result of total impunity for Israelis who attacked Palestinians.In a court hearing in January, Hussein Abu Khdeir, Muhammad’s father said that his family had been completely overturned by the murder.“We are trying to live our lives like before,” he said at the time. “But our lives have turned dark. We are not thinking of our lives or our future. We only think of the heinous crime and why Muhammad was burned.”According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of May. Since 2015, Israel has instituted stringent penalties on stone-throwing, in a move which rights groups have said represents a crackdown on Palestinian youths.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

IOF arrests 4 Palestinians in Nablus after alleged knife possession

NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested Saturday evening four Palestinian young men at Huwarah military checkpoint in southern Nablus for alleged knife possession.  Local sources revealed that the IOF soldiers stopped a vehicle carrying the four young men while trying to pass through the Israeli barrier and searched them thoroughly. The IOF soldiers then claimed that they found knives inside the car and arrested the four of them after taking them to an unknown destination.  The arrested men, who are aged 19-27 years old, are from Aqraba and Ouserin towns in the West Bank, the sources pointed out.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Affidavits on arbitrary abduction of 4 brothers by PA forces

NABLUS, (PIC)– An ex-prisoner from southern Nablus province released affidavits on how he was arrested, along with his three brothers, by the Palestinian Authority (PA) forces last week. Ex-prisoner Fadi Amr said the PA forces stormed the family home a few days after a similar break-in was launched by the Israeli occupation forces and culminated in the abduction of the two brothers Fadi and Tamer. Both Fadi and Tamer were released from Israeli lock-ups a couple of days later. The PA forces stormed the family home on the same day and arrested the four brothers. “The PA forces assaulted our home at 2 a.m. and smashed the entrance gate while we were asleep,” said Fadi Amr in a Facebook post. “After they fired multiple gunshots and aggressively beat us, the PA forces arrested us.” Fadi added that his brothers and himself were released by the PA forces the following day after they claimed the abduction was carried out by mistake. 80 followers of Fadi’s Facebook account slammed the abrupt abduction carried out by the PA apparatuses and expressed their solidarity with the four brothers. Over recent days, the so-called Unit 101 of the PA security apparatuses carried out arbitrary abductions of Palestinian citizens and wreaked havoc on civilian homes in what observers dubbed a barefaced proof of underway security coordination with the Israeli occupation forces across the occupied Palestinian territories.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Syrian Islamist opposition group: Nusra breaking ties with al-Qaeda is not enough to gain trust

Syrian Islamist opposition group: Nusra breaking ties with al-Qaeda is not enough to gain trust

Syrian rebels of Jaish al-Islam. File photo

ALEPPO – Captain Islam Aloush, the official spokesman for the Syrian rebel faction of al-Islam Army, said Saturday that the decision of the Nusra Front to split from al-Qaeda “is not enough” for the group to get closer to the Syrian people.

“Our national revolution is to liberate people oppressed by the criminal sectarian regime in Syria. Therefore, any group’s link with any global organization would hinder achieving the goals of the Syrian people’s revolution,” Aloush said.

“Such links would make Syrians responsible for the faults and errors of these global organizations. However, this step from Jabhat al-Nusra is not enough to get closer to the Syrian people,” he said in a public statement.

The spokesman of Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) stressed the need to unite all Syrian rebel factions. “Unfortunately, many internal and external obstacles stand against this unification at all levels,” he added.

“I do not think that the disengagement of Jabhat al-Nusra from al-Qaeda will have an effect on the military ideology of the fighters of Fath al-Sham [new name for Nusra Front]. We will be waiting and watching the behavior of the new formation with its new name in order for us to pass a fair judgment,” Aloush concluded.

The leader of Syria’s Nusra Front Abu Muhammed al-Joulani announced on Thursday that they would break ties with al-Qaeda. “We declare the complete cancellation of all operations under the name of Jabhat Al Nusra [Syria’s branch of al-Qaeda], and the formation of a new group operating under the name “Jabhat Fath Al Sham,” noting that this new organization has no affiliation to any external entity,” Joulani said, while for the first time appearing with his face uncovered last Thursday.

The US-led coalition said they will continue to target the group, despite of the name-change.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Breaking: 7,000 troops deployed to ‘inspect’ NATO base in southern Turkey

Some 7,000 armed police with heavy vehicles have surrounded and blocked the Incirlik Air Base in Adana used by NATO forces, already restricted in the aftermath of a failed coup.

Pictures have emerged showing large trucks entering the airbase with the Turkish police subsequently closing the entrance and exit of the airbase.

Rumours suggest the police were deployed to halt a suspected 2nd coup although this is unconfirmed for now.

No further details have emerged yet.

Incirlik Air Base houses American soldiers, represents an important base for NATO and is utilized by the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition to carry out airstrikes on ISIS.

However, coup soldiers were said to have used the base as a coordination center, causing the Turkish Government to temporarily close the site and arrest its commander at the time.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

US helping Daesh expand its presence in West: Analyst

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The US is trying to spread the threat of Daesh as an excuse to justify its role as a “police state,” says Scott Bennett, a counter-terrorism analyst

The US is facilitating the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri group’s expansion to Western countries in a bid to justify its warmongering as the world’s “military police state,” says a former US Army officer in San Francisco.

Scott Bennett, a former US Army psychological warfare officer and counter-terrorism analyst, made the comments while discussing FBI Director James Comey’s recent warnings about the ongoing war against Daesh in Syria.

Comey said earlier this week that the eventual defeat of Daesh in the Arab country would send “a terrorist diaspora” to Europe and the US.

Bennett told Press TV on Sunday that such statements from Comey were not surprising as he is part of Washington’s plans to systematically support militancy in Middle Eastern countries.

“Even though he has no credentials, what is even more alarming is Mr. Comey’s prediction and if not plan bring ISIS (ISIL) terrorists people to this country, as they have to Europe, to intentionally create hostile environments,” Bennett said, using another acronym for the terror group.

“This is not an accident, this is a planned operation,” the counter-terrorism analyst said, hinting at a conspiracy by Washington to create a “police state” through creating artificial tension.

This way American and Western officials can make up a “global justification for further global operations.”

Bennett raised the possibility that America’s plans to resettle Syrian refugees may in fact serve as a means of fulfilling that objective.

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry “proudly” announced that his country would meet President Barack Obama’s goal of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees.

The plans has drawn criticism inside the US, with House Speaker Paul Ryan denouncing it for a lack of adequate screening that puts the country at risk of terrorism.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has also blasted the program, claiming that “a lot” of Syrians accepted for asylum in the US are members of Daesh.

Bennett said Comey has failed to take into consideration the fact that the US and any other country involved in a war always undertake extra security measures and keep their borders “airtight” in order to prevent any infiltration from their enemy, citing such measures by the US during the World War II as an example.

“I think we are going to see the eventual destruction of the organized military group ISIS with the coordination of Syria, Russia and Iran in that operation,” but the US would hope for more terrorist activities to justify its “military police state,” Bennett concluded.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Palestinian worker injured by Israeli bullet fire

BETHLEHEM, (PIC)– A Palestinian worker was shot and injured by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) overnight Saturday while on his way to Occupied Jerusalem. According to a PIC news correspondent, the IOF set up an ambush for a group of Palestinian workers in Wad Abu al-Hums area, in eastern Bethlehem, as they were heading to their workplace in Occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli soldiers fired random shots at the group of workers, wounding a 25-year-old youth with a rubber bullet in his back. The youngster was evacuated to a local hospital for urgent treatment. Meanwhile, the occupation troops rolled into Bethlehem city at the crack of dawn on Sunday and summoned the ex-prisoner Shadi Abu Akr for questioning after they stormed his family home in the Aida refugee camp. The IOF further wreaked havoc on civilian homes and shops in eastern Bethlehem and seized surveillance cameras.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Civilians kidnapped, homes ravaged as IOF launches predawn sweep

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at predawn time on Sunday kidnapped a number of Palestinian youths and summoned others to questioning during an assault on the occupied West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem.  Reporting from al-Khalil, a PIC journalist said the IOF kidnapped 60-year-old civilian Mas’oud al-Khateeb and his son Muhammad after they stormed Tel Rumeida area and ravaged the family home. A series of military checkpoints was pitched by the IOF across Beit Awa town at the same time as army patrols were deployed near the Fawar refugee camp, where Palestinian passengers and vehicles have been subjected to provocative inspection. The IOF assaulted the Aida refugee camp, in Bethlehem, and summoned the ex-prisoner Shadi Abu Akr for interrogation. Two more youngsters, from Silwad town, were summoned to questioning in the process. The occupation troops also wreaked havoc on civilian homes in Nablus’ villages of Deir al-Hatab and Burin and subjected Palestinian locals to exhaustive interrogation. Earlier, on Saturday evening, the IOF arrested four Palestinian youths at the Zaatara checkpoint, in southern Nablus, on allegation of carrying knives. The four arrestees were released at dawn on Sunday following exhaustive interrogation.  Popular singer Kasem al-Najar and youngster Ma’moun al-Najar were also released by the IOF after they were detained for long hours at the Burin crossroads, in Nablus. An Israeli army unit further stormed Ras al-Amoud area, in Occupied Jerusalem, and kidnapped the Palestinian youngster Muhammad Isma’il Al-Abassi.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Runs Training Camp to Play a Part in Mosul Liberation Campaign

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Yazidi Kurdish women chant slogans during a protest against ISIS in Dohuk, northern Iraq, Aug. 3, 2015

Dahuk(Iraqi Kurdistan)-Baghdad- Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) currently runs a training camp at Sulaymaniyah, which is located in Iraqi Kurdistan and controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is led by former Iraqi Kurdistan president Jalal Talabani.

Kurdish security sources revealed that the training is being conducted in preparation for the anticipated Iraqi Mosul-liberation offensive.

The security source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that IRGC forces will be partaking in the Mosul-liberation campaign, which stirred many concerns among political and military officials, not to mention tribal leaders.

Many fears of highly bigoted IRGC-backed militias, such as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), contributing to the next military campaign against ISIS in Mosul are also rising.

The Anbar Salvation Council had reported a whole series of violations and sectarian-fueled assaults, such as the deliberate arson of mosques and civilian homes and the break-in during the Fallujah-liberation offensive, most of which were staged by PMF militias.

PMF militias were accused of carrying out the crimes after the city was made ISIS-free.

Vice President to the Anbar Salvation Council and head of the governorate’s security committee Faleh al-Issawi had reported cases of eye witnesses informing the council of several crimes and violations PMF militants staged against a number of different Sunni civilian neighborhoods.

Residents reported that as army, tribal and police forces advance further leaving behind liberated territory, PMF militants roam free, committing crimes against Fallujah residents.

On the other hand, in a parliamentary session on Saturday, the Iraqi Parliament officially passed a bill banning the Baath party from any political activity across the country.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

Statement No. 11: Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat joins hunger strike for freedom in occupation prisons

As the imprisoned leader Bilal Kayed enters his 47th day of hunger strike, representing the meaning of steadfastness and pride despite his pain and deteriorating health, he is determined to defeat the oppressor, the killer, and achieve his date with freedom. At the same time, the prisoners of the Front who are engaged in the battle in support of their comrade Kayed, are being hit by Zionist repression. They emphasize that no matter what forms of terror and repression are used against them by the prison administration, the jailer will not be able to stop the march toward victory in this battle and the achievement of freedom for Bilal.

saadat-boy

To the steadfast Palestinian masses,

We have previously stated and we do once again, before the prisons and intelligence services of the occupation, that the continued imprisonment of Comrade Bilal Kayed and his transfer to administrative detention, including his suffering now in the hospital under harsh repression, will be met with the escalation of struggle by the prisoners of the Front. From the leaders of the Front to the youngest imprisoned children, the prisoners will not leave their comrade Kayed alone in isolation, transfer, or sanctions and repression. The prisoners confirm that they are in the struggle against time to achieve freedom for their comrade, and that in light of the ongoing struggle with the prison administration, they have succeeded in destabilizing the prison administration. We have seen this in its failure to confront or suppress this struggle despite its attempts to impose all forms of sanctions and punishment against the prisoners of the Front. Those who are marching toward the continuation and conclusion of this battle declare that we are entering a new era of the march toward victory, in which tyranny and terror are defeated by will and determination.

We in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization in Israeli jails emphasize the following amid the escalation of the battle for freedom of our Comrade Kayed:

1) With his position of high responsibility, the General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat is launching a hunger strike from Sunday, 31 July. This is a strategic deicision of a leader who is fighting this battle alongside his fellow strugglers. The commander does not leave his soldiers but joins in the battle, and emphasizes that his participation in the battle will continue until Comrade Bilal achieves his freedom.

2) A new group of leaders of the Front, including the prominent leader Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, and a new batch of prisoners in Ramon and Ofer prisons, are joining the open hunger strike.

3) The step being taken by the General Secretary to join the hunger strike alongside a group of PFLP leaders is a new escalation step that sends several messages to the occupation. The prisoners will not stand by as the health of Comrade Bilal Kayed deteriorates. They are all determined to fight this battle and continue to escalate the struggle toward an overall strategic strike of all prisoners in all prisons. And they carry another message to the masses of the Palestinian people and the people of the world to continue to keep up the pressure and escalate the struggle to release Bilal and expose the occupation practices against the prisoners, especially the policy of administrative detention against hundreds of prisoners.

To the masses of our people, we are fighting this battle beside you. We are determined not to back down or to weaken. The fascist procedures and policies of the prison will do nothing but increase our determination to achieve freedom for our comrade Bilal Kayed.

Freedom for the prisoners! Victory is inevitable!

The leadership of the PFLP in Israeli jails
July 31, 2016

(Source / 31.07.2016)