‘You protect us, we protect you’: Israel mulls legal immunity extension for IDF soldiers

‘You protect us, we protect you’: Israel mulls legal immunity extension for IDF soldiers

Israel is considering new “balanced” legislation which just about presents Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) with a license to kill without fear of being prosecuted.

Plans for the new legislation have been announced by Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan, and comes at a time of deep divisions in Israeli society over the manslaughter conviction of an IDF sergeant who shot and killed an already neutralized Palestinian attacker in March last year.

While Azaria was not convicted of murder, the new law seeks to shield IDF members and prevent such a ruling from ever being handed down again.

“The new law sends a clear message to our soldiers: When you protect us, we protect you,” the Deputy Defence Minister said.

The proposed new law seeks to extend the immunity to security forces before and after an operation. Current immunity is only granted while the operation is in progress.

The bill, according to Israeli press, says that “a member of the security forces will not bear criminal responsibility, nor be interrogated with a warning, and will be immune to every judicial action in connection with an operation he carried out or did not carry out, or an act he committed or did not commit, before, during and after an operation, depending on whether the operation was or was not carried out as part of his assignment, or in preparation to carry out his assignment, as member of the security forces.”

“This is a very balanced law which on the one hand will allow IDF soldiers to do their jobs and protect the State of Israel and its citizens without fearing a lawsuit, and on the other allows the government to remove a soldier’s immunity if he breaks the rules,” Ben Dahan said, as cited by the Times of Israel.

The proposed changes also envision a mechanism to strip the immunity if the soldier abuses the mandate. Any soldier caught looting, vandalizing property, taking bribes, engaging in sexual offenses will not be granted immunity.

Sgt. Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter on Wednesday after shooting a Palestinian man Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif in the head, nearly 15 minutes after the man had been shot and wounded during an attempt to stab another IDF soldier in Hebron in March 2016.

He faces up to 20 years in prison with sentencing expected in February. His conviction has deeply divided Israeli society. Israeli lawmakers, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have called for a pardon, and Azaria’s attorneys have said they will appeal the verdict.

According to Israeli media reports, the military prosecutors are reportedly planning to strike a sentencing deal with Azaria if his legal team will retract their appeal. If agreed, the IDF serviceman will do less time in prison.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

UNHRC to blacklist companies working in WB settlements

boycott-zwarte-lijst

Israel Hayom Hebrew newspaper revealed that the International Human Rights Council is about to blacklist of companies operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The newspaper, which is affiliated with Israeli government, expected on Tuesday that the blacklist, which BDS activists along with other bodies are working on, will probably be published in March or June. The blacklist includes security companies assigned to protect Jewish settlers, it highlighted.

The newspaper pointed out that the blacklist was suggested and prepared by the BDS activist Richard Falk about six months ago within his work in the UN. Arab countries as well are working on backing up the blacklist via Human Rights Council, it added.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

Iraqi Forces Retake 80% of East Mosul, Top Commander Says City Could be Liberated in 3 Months

A member of CTS patrols a street with an armored vehicle in Mosul's Al-Zahraa neighborhood on January 7, 2017. AFP PHOTO / Dimitar DILKOFF

A member of CTS patrols a street with an armored vehicle in Mosul’s Al-Zahraa neighborhood on January 7, 2017

Iraqi forces made new advances against ISIS in Mosul and fought the militants in areas near the Tigris river on Wednesday as the spokesman of the special forces spearheading the campaign said troops have retaken at least 80 percent of the city’s east.

The elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) pushed into east Mosul’s Sadeeq neighborhood, officers on the ground said.

A Reuters reporter said CTS forces were engaged in clashes in Sadeeq and were firing into neighboring Hadba, where their units had been fighting the day before.

Securing Hadba, Sadeeq and other nearby districts will allow the CTS to advance further towards the Tigris river that runs through the city, control of whose eastern bank will be crucial to launching attacks on western Mosul.

ISIS still holds all Mosul districts west of the river.

Forces also clashed with the militants further south, a military statement said, seeking to build on gains along the river bank, which they reached last week for the first time in the nearly 3-month campaign.

Tens of thousands of troops launched a huge offensive to retake Mosul, ISIS’ last major bastion in Iraq, and areas around it on October 17.

“I think you can say that we have retaken 80 to 85 percent” of the eastern side of Mosul, Sabah al-Noman, spokesman for CTS, told Agence France Presse in the city.

The initial phase of the offensive saw a variety of forces retake significant swathes of land in little time but the going has been tough inside the city itself.

After a lull in operations, the CTS and other forces stepped up their coordination and, with increased air and advisory support from a U.S.-led coalition, launched a fresh push just before the New Year.

A top Iraqi commander, Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati, told The Associated Press that the operation to retake Mosul from ISIS could be complete in three months or less.

“It’s possible” that Mosul will be liberated in that time frame, Shaghati said in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday evening.

However, he warned it is difficult to give an accurate estimate of how long the operation will take because it is not a conventional fight. “There are many variables,” he said, describing the combat as “guerrilla warfare.”

For the Mosul operation to continue, Shaghati said Iraqi forces need to continue to receive support and equipment from the U.S-led coalition.

Although Shaghati said he believes that the beginning of the Mosul operation marked the end of ISIS in Iraq, the country will likely struggle with terrorist threats long after the terrorist organization is defeated in Mosul.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

Israeli forces destroy European-funded water pipeline in Jordan Valley

tubas-waterleiding

The Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday morning destroyed a pipeline supplying water to Palestinian Bedouin communities to the east of Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley.

Speaking with a PIC news correspondent, Palestinian resident of Tubas Hassan Bani Awda said the occupation bulldozers destroyed an 11-kilometer pipeline supplying the villages of al-Ras al-Ahmar, al-Hadidiya, Makhul, and Humsa al-Fouka with much-needed water.

The pipeline has reportedly been funded by an international European NGO.

Head of al-Malih Village Council and the Bedouin Communities in the Jordan Valley, Aref Daraghma, said water pipelines, agricultural structures, and residential makeshift tents have been subjected to destruction by the Israeli occupation forces on a quasi-daily basis.

He added that such moves make part of an ethnic cleansing scheme aiming to force Palestinians out of the area in favor of illegal settlement expansion.

The Jordan Valley has long been a strategic area of land grab by the occupation authorities following Israel’s occupation of the territory in 1967.

Demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and residential tents occur frequently in the area, with Bedouin and herding communities being particularly vulnerable to such policies.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

Report: 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails

Journalists, scientists, human rights activists and even a clown are among the Palestinians currently sitting in Israeli jails.

The writer explain how the Israeli authorities deal with the Palestinians just as numbers and have illogical reasons to keep them in jails.

Since the occupation began in 1967, Israel’s military legal system has jailed anywhere between half a million and 800,000 Palestinians, according to estimates

By Yael Marom

The writer explain how the Israeli authorities deal with the Palestinians just as numbers and have illogical reasons to keep them in jails.

The vast majority of Israelis are not interested in Palestinian prisoner statistics. After all, for them, Palestinians are not human beings but “terrorists,” and as such it’s perhaps preferable that as many as possible sit behind bars.

But for the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails at any given moment, they are subject to a system of occupation and oppression that pursues, threatens and jails as a matter of daily routine.

Journalists, scientists, human rights activists and even a clown are among the prisoners.

Since the occupation began in 1967, Israel’s military legal system has jailed anywhere between half a million and 800,000 Palestinians, according to estimates.

This is an almost inconceivable number. The saying goes that there are practically no Palestinian homes without someone in jail.

The conviction rate of Palestinians who have been arrested and tried in this system stands at around 99 percent. This means that if you are a Palestinian who has been arrested, it is worthwhile agreeing to a plea bargain, because you have almost no chance of being found innocent.

Millions of people living in the occupied territories lack human rights and are subjected to daily violence, monitoring and financial control, restrictions on movement and building, and more.

Furthermore, every Palestinian knows that the threat of prison is permanently dangling over him, and that Israel can arrest and detain him without trial for an unlimited period, citing “confidential materials.”

These wholesale arrests are a central part of the mechanism that allows for Israel’s continued hold over the occupied territories.

Israel arrested 6,440 Palestinians in 2016, among them 1,332 children, including girls, and 164 women, according to a recent report published by the Palestinian Prisoners Club, Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem, many of whom are Israeli residents, were particularly targeted: 2,029 were arrested in 2016, 37 per cent of whom were minors.

The number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons at the end of 2016 numbered around 7,000, according to the report, of whom 42 were women. Some 300 of them are children, including 11 girls, the report states.

Among the arrestees are also those in administrative detention, an Israeli speciality: over the previous year, 1,742 orders for detention without trial were served against Palestinians.

As of the end of 2016, Israel was holding around 700 Palestinian administrative detainees, according to the report — around 10 percent of the total number of Palestinian prisoners. What was supposed to be a tool used exceptionally in “ticking bomb” scenarios has become almost routine.

It is important to note that there are people who have been sitting in jail under administrative detention for months, or even years, without knowing what they are suspected of or being given the opportunity to defend themselves.

They have been imprisoned after members of Israel’s security apparatus managed to persuade the court that they have evidence, that nonetheless remains confidential. And the courts are easily persuaded.

Each time, someone can be sent to jail for up to six months under administrative detention — but there’s no limit to the number of times the detention order can be extended, without the need to go to trial.

Of the 22 Palestinian journalists currently in detention, nine are under administrative detention. They include Omar Nazzal, a member of the Palestinian Journalists’ Guild, who was arrested at the Allenby Crossing at the end of April last year.

He had been on his way to a meeting of the European Federation of Journalists in Sarajevo. A few days after Nazzal’s arrest, the military prosecutor realized there was not enough evidence to put him on trial, and he was instead sent to administrative detention on the basis of confidential information.

In an interview with The Seventh Eye, Nazzal’s lawyer claimed that he had been arrested because of his journalism.

He also voiced his suspicion that the Israelis and the Palestinians were coordinating his detention, due to his writing “causing a headache” for both sides.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

The truck attack that killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem was not ‘terrorism’

aanslag-truck

“We in Jerusalem have just experienced an unprovoked terrorist attack, a murderous attack that claimed the lives of four young Israelis and wounded others”, said PM Netanyahu in a statement right after the car ramming attack in East Jerusalem two days ago.

He continued, loosely suggesting a link to ISIS terrorism: “This is part of the same pattern inspired by Islamic State, by ISIS, that we saw first in France, then in Germany and now in Jerusalem. This is part of the same ongoing battle against this global scourge of the new terrorism. We can only fight it together, but we have to fight it, and we will.”

We only have Netanyahu’s word for the ISIS connection, and whilst the case has been put under sweeping gag order, nothing seems to really point in that direction.

Netanyahu also has a worrying track record where such proclamations are concerned:

On the 13th of June 2014 three Jewish settlers were kidnapped. Israel officially announced them as ‘teens’, although more precisely one was 19 and two were 16. At the time, the authorities had recording of an emergency call that one of the kidnapped made, which ended with a spray of bullets and chants by the kidnappers. Thus, the Israeli authorities knew to a great certainty that the kidnapped were dead, but had put the case on a gag order and conveyed to the public they were working on the presumption that they are alive. The following action was a massive crackdown on Hamas, arresting almost all Hamas leaders in West Bank. Already on June 15th Netanyahu was blaming Hamas as well as holding the Palestinian Authority responsible. This was of course to play a part in his strategy of rejection against the April 2014 Palestinian unity government, where Netanyahu said Abbas should choose between ‘Peace or Hamas’. Hamas itself denied involvement, and it was already clear to the Israeli authorities at least by 26th of June that Hamas was not responsible. Nonetheless, when the bodies of the three were found on June 30th, Netanyahu ignored that, and said “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay”.

This was the lead-up to the 2014 Gaza onslaught.

With such a track record, one must therefore be extremely cautious about what Netanyahu says about who is responsible, especially when there’s a gag order on the case.

Netanyahu clearly has interest to link the recent case to ISIS and global terror events, because it would alleviate the international diplomatic pressure now facing Israel in the wake of recent UNSC Reesolution 2334 condemning all Israeli settlements as ‘flagrant violations’. If the Jerusalem ramming was an act related to the occupation, as everything so far suggests it is, it could be viewed as a strengthening of the point against the occupation. Netanyahu obviously wants the pretext thrown off as far as possible, and what is more convenient than to place this in the pretext of ‘global terror’ and to link it to France and Germany, thereby garnering western support. Germany has just responded sympathetically yesterday by lighting up of the Brandenburg Gate with the Israeli flag.

Another aspect in the rhetoric of ‘terror’, one that is hardly being questioned at all in mainstream media, is whether this does, at all, constitute terror.

After all, the driver of the truck was a Palestinian, resident of East Jerusalem which Israel considers an annexed part of the ‘complete and united capital’, a claim which no state in the world recognizes. For the whole world but Israel, East Jerusalem is occupied territory. In Netanyahu’s rendering, it is not even significant to mention that the four Israelis who died were soldiers (and not worth even mentioning that the attack also claimed a fifth life, that of the driver, but let’s not get over our heads here). He simply notes them as “four young Israelis”. This is a description that strips the context of its military aspect, and I think Netanyahu knows this very well, as I will elaborate later. By such rhetoric, Netanyahu blurs the distinction between military and civilian targets, a principle which is very important in the distinctions concerning terror. It does not matter whether the soldiers were combat soldiers, as the Israeli media stresses, in regards to this distinction. When we sum up the whole of the setting, what we actually have is a Palestinian under occupation, targeting a gathering which is rather exclusively manned by soldiers, military representatives of the army that is occupying him. All this falls, prima facie, within the distinctions regarding legitimate resistance to occupation. It does not matter how ugly it looks, we cannot without critical appraisal of the context just call it “terror”

But “terror” is precisely what Netanyahu wants the whole world to call this, and so far, it is working quite well. The ISIS claim is supposed to detach this from the local setting of occupation, but we only have Netanyahu’s word for it, and as mentioned, he is a notorious liar and manipulator. His claim about ISIS is loose, but much of the mainstream media seems to be complying uncritically with the ‘terror’ claim.

Netanyahu about ‘terror groups’ and ‘freedom fighters’

It can be interesting to reflect upon how Netanyahu views the question of terror, when it regards not Palestinians, but rather Zionist Jews. I’m not saying ‘Israelis’, because the case which I now will refer to is from 1946 – the bombing of the King David Hotel (which was housing, in part, British Mandate administrative headquarters) by Menahem Begin’s Irgun, an act actually approved by Haganah commander Itzhak Sadeh as part of the joint “rebel movement” of the time, which was a cooperation of ALL the Zionist underground militias, including Haganah, Irgun and Lehi. The bombing killed about 91 people, amongst them 28 British, 41 considered ‘Arabs’, 17 Jews, and 5 others.

In 2006, the Begin Heritage Center held a symposium at the 60th anniversary of the bombing, on the issue of who is a freedom fighter and who is a terrorist. Netanyahu was even recorded on CNN at the point saying that “It’s very important to make the distinction between terror groups and freedom fighters, and between terror action and legitimate military action”,

As Haaretz journalist Tom Segev reported, Netanyahu said that “the difference between a terrorist operation and a legitimate military action is expressed….in the fact that the terrorists intend to harm civilians whereas legitimate combatants try to avoid that.”

Now that is some statement. When mirroring this against the recent Jerusalem ramming attack, it would appear, that the attack may fall quite well within Netanyahu’s own definitions of ‘legitimate military action’.

Segev noted, that “according to that theory, the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by a Palestinian organization is a legitimate military operation”, and I would say that is exactly right – Gilad Shalit’s capture in 2006 by Hamas was no ‘kidnap’ either, as most all Israelis reflexively regard it. It was a military operation targeting a military subject. It was a mere military capture.

“Of course this is not what Netanyahu meant”, Segev hastened to add. “He learned only this from the bombing of the hotel: that the Arabs are bad and we are good.”

Indeed, the purpose of the Begin Heritage center symposium was hardly real soul-searching scrutiny about past actions of the Irgun. Its purpose was, naturally, to whitewash Jewish terror. The symposium ended with an unveiling of a plaque at the King David hotel, which noted the attack committed by “Irgun fighters at the order of the Hebrew Resistance Movement”. The plaque had initially contained the typical Irgun whitewash narrative: “For reasons known only to the British, the hotel was not evacuated and after 25 minutes the bombs exploded, and to the Irgun’s regret and dismay 91 persons were killed.” I shall not delve into the mass of details regarding the whitewash narrative, that is over 70 years old. But to summate shortly, whilst the Irgun had apparently gotten two of its women to make warning calls about one-quarter of an hour before the bomb went off (according to Thurston Clarke’s analysis contradicting Begin’s 25-minute claim), these calls were not made to the British authorities, but rather to the hotel switchboard (which did not share a direct line with the authorities), the French Consulate nearby and the Palestine Post – this is even the confirmed by one of the alleged callers, in a recent Hebrew interview (Haaretz) 70 years later  . It would appear that the whole telephone issue, if it ever happened, was construed to provide a moral whitewash for the bombing.

Back to the plaque unveiling in 2006, The British were rather enraged about this. Simon Macdonald, the British ambassador to Israel, and consul general John Jenkins, wrote to the mayor of Jerusalem protesting at the plaque. “We don’t think it’s right for an act of terrorism to be commemorated,” their letter read. The British embassy said that “There is no credible evidence that any warning reached the British authorities.” This was quite an embarrassment probably not least to centrist MK Tzipi Livni, whose father Eitan was an Irgun member.

The plaque has thus subsequently been amended, dropping the implication that Britain ignored any warnings.

Regardless of warning or no warning, whichever way you turn it, this was an attack that is widely considered to have been a terror attack, this is internationally quite uncontroversial. We do not need to get into the details of how rife such warnings were at the time, nor to address that a search squad had been at the hotel earlier that day apparently following bluff warning. The fact of the matter is that the Irgun and the Jewish Resistance Movement were putting many civilians in real danger. Segev summates in his coverage of 2006: “Her Majesty’s ambassador and the consul have written to the mayor of Jerusalem that such an act of terror cannot be honored, even if it was preceded by a warning. To this day, it is not clear what made the bombing’s planners believe the British would evacuate the building. Would Benjamin Netanyahu, as prime minister, have ordered his bureau evacuated on the basis of telephone threat from a Palestinian terror group?”

What ‘terror’ really means for Netanyahu

But the recent truck ramming attack in East Jerusalem, in the old ‘no-mans-land’ only a short distance from the King David hotel, appears to be a universe apart in Netanyahu’s perception. It doesn’t matter that only military personnel were targeted. It doesn’t matter if he’s Palestinian, it doesn’t matter where it happened – it’s all just “terror”.

We need to be careful that we do not all fall into Netanyahu’s and Israel’s very selective view on what constitutes terror, as well as why it is committed. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman takes that line and says that the truck-ramming attack was not fueled by the issue of Israeli settlements, rather by the mere fact that “we are Jews and we live here in Israel.” He doesn’t have to provide an evidential basis for the claim. There is apparently none. “There was no other reason and no need to look for an excuse – not Jewish settlements and negotiations but an attack inspired by ISIS” he said . Chief of Police Ronnie Alsheikh said he could not rule out the driver of the truck having been motivated by a similar attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people last month – “It is certainly possible to be influenced by watching TV, but it is difficult to get into the head of every individual to determine what prompted him, but there is no doubt that these things do have an effect,” he said.

Yes, why not, why be so pedantic? Let’s just say ISIS, let’s just say terror, what does it matter? Do we really need to get to the bottom of this?

Israel’s Security Cabinet has already decided to approve administrative detention for people identifying with Islamic State, and to destroy the home of the ‘terrorist’ as soon as possible, reject family-reunification requests his family had filed for relatives in Gaza and the West Bank, and not to hand over the terrorist’s body to his family for burial.

The word ‘terror’ for Israel means, that more repression and collective punishment of Palestinians is possible, with less international scrutiny.

It’s a button that makes it all happen.

That’s what ‘terror’ really means for Netanyahu.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

Report: Israel planning to build settlement on site of Jerusalem attacker’s house

familieleden-van-fadi-al-qunbar

Young relatives of Fadi al-Qunbar following a raid by Israeli forces in their home in the wake of a deadly truck attack (File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Jerusalem municipality has reportedly approved plans to establish a new settlement in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir, on the site of the home of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly truck attack on Saturday, according to Israel’s Channel 10.

Israel’s security cabinet has already ordered Fadi al-Qunbar’s home to be demolished, after he drove his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers in the illegal Israeli settlement of East Talpiyyot that neighbors Jabal al-Mukabbir, killing four, and was shot dead at the scene.
In spite of their insistence that they had no advanced knowledge of plans by al-Qunbar to carry out an attack, the family will be left homeless by Israel’s policy of punitive home demolition, which has been widely condemned as an act of collective punishment and illegal under international law.
Al-Qunbar’s mother and 12 other of his relatives relatives will also have their Jerusalem residency status revoked, as Israeli leaders have also called for the family to be exiled to the blockaded Gaza Strip or even war-torn Syria.
According to a Hebrew-language report on the website for Israel’s Channel 10, the Jerusalem municipality is preparing to build a new settlement on the remains of the soon-to-be destroyed house and a large surrounding area in the neighborhood.
The report claimed that plans for 2,500 settler units have been approved for construction in Jabal al-Mukabbir.
A spokesperson for the Jerusalem municipality did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the validity of the report.
The reports came as Israel’s government has continued to call for extreme punitive measures to be taken against the family, with attempts by Israel to connect the deadly attack to an alleged trend of global Islamist extremism, which the Palestinian Ministry of Information called a “venomous incitement campaign.”
In spite of comparisons with attacks elsewhere in the world, a number of alleged and actual car-ramming attacks have been carried out by Palestinians against Israelis since a wave of political unrest began in October 2015, as part of what has been referred to as the “Jerusalem Intifada.”
While Israeli officials have often claimed that attacks on Israelis are due mainly to anti-Semitic sentiment or part of a international rise in Islamist extremism, many Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territory, which was marked by an unrepresented surge in the demolition of Palestinian homes and the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements last year.
“The Ministry of Information has followed with much shock and little surprise the Israeli-orchestrated incitement against the Palestinians following yesterday’s truck incident in occupied Jerusalem,” a statement released by the ministry said.
“Israel wasted no time in drumming up venomous incitement campaign attempting to connect our people with terror and ISIS for obvious reasons related to political gains.”
The ministry said they considered efforts by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others in the Israeli government to forge a link between the attack and the Islamic State an attempt to distract the world from the “criminality of (Israeli) occupation as the root of all evils.”
According to the statement, Israel’s “incitement campaign” pointed to “the relentless Israeli racist mentality, built on demonizing our people,” in order to “whitewash the Israeli occupation that is facing a growing international isolation and condemnation.”
“One also wonders what argument anyone can have to justify being ranked the last colonial occupation that controls another nation, steals its land and resources, kills people, and then speaks about ISIS to distance themselves and whitewash the aforementioned crimes.”
The statement concluded by reiterating that “ISIS and similar groups have no place in Palestine and that the day the Israeli occupation ends shall be the day peace is born.”
(Source / 11.01.2017)

Al-Qaeda jihadists deny involvement in killing of Russian ambassador

By Wladimir van Wilgenburg

isis_militants-620x412.jpg

Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian jihadists in latest issue of the al-Risala magazine denied any link to the killing of the Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara, who was killed last month while giving a speech at an art gallery.

Mevlut Mert Altintas, an off-duty police officer, killed the Russian ambassador on 19 December. However, it remain unclear which group was behind the murder, or if the assassination was an individual act.

The al-Risala magazine published by jihadists closed to al-Qaeda in Syria suggest it was an individual act of revenge for the killing of Muslims by the Russians in Aleppo.

“Thus, contrary to the claims of the disbelievers, it is clear that Mevlüt (may Allãh have mercy on him and accept him) was responding to the cries of the oppressed Muslims of Syria. He did not belong to ISIS or Jabhatu An-Nusra or any other group operating in the region,” the magazine said.

“Rather, what is apparent from his speech and actions (as no one but Allãh has access to his heart) is that he had renounced his former profession and turned to his Lord in repentance. He stood up, not for any particular group or sect, but on behalf of the Ummah that has been suffering at the hands of its enemies for decades,” the jihadist al-Risala magazine added.

“As the tragedy in Aleppo unfolded, Russia remained as committed as ever to aiding the Syrian regime and her allies as they continued their massacre of the innocent Muslims of Aleppo, while arrogantly denying any wrongdoing on their part,” it suggested.

Turkish state media blamed the assassination of Karlov on the Fethullah Gulen sect that follows Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the United States. The Turkish authorities also blamed the Gulen movement for the failed military coup in July 2015.

Aymenn Jawad Al Tamimi, a research fellow at the Middle East Forum–a US think tank– told ARA News that it’s unlikely the killer had any links to militant groups. “He genuinely had no connection to them,” he said.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Abduct 33 Palestinians In The West Bank”

11 JAN
1:18 PM

The Palestinian Prisoners society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight, at least thirty-three Palestinians, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, during massive invasions and violent searches of homes.

The Bethlehem office of the PPS said the soldiers have abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Mohammad Hasan Rabay’a, 34, adding that the Palestinian was previously held by Israel for twelve consecutive years.

It added that the soldiers invaded Teqoua’ town, and conducted violent searches of dozens of homes before abducting twelve Palestinians.

The abducted residents have been identified as Luay Habes al-‘Amour, Abdullah Yousef al-Badan, Ma’moun Sabah al-‘Amour, Sami Sabah, Moayyad Hmeid, Ammar Yasser al-‘Amour, Sufian al-‘Amour, Qussai al-‘Amour, Bara’ Raed al-‘Amour, Mousa Mohammad al-‘Amour, Suleiman Khaled al-‘Amour and Khalil al-‘Amour.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the soldiers abducted five Palestinians, identified as Mohammad Riyad Jabarin, 16, and Shadi Ra’ed at-Till, from the ath-Thaheriyya town, south of Hebron city, in addition to three Palestinians, identified as Mohammad Ibrahim at-Talbeeshy, Mohammad Abdullah Abu Sondos and Mohammad Khaled Abu ‘Arqoub.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Nour Shams refugee camp, east of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, searched many homes and abducted Ibrahim Fayyad, Islam al-Fouda, Nayef Abu ar-Rob and Mo’ab Sabbagh.

In Ramallah, the soldiers abducted three Palestinians, identified as Ali Ata Rimawi, Salah Affana and Rami al-Atshan, after invading their homes and searching them.

In addition, the soldiers invaded the al-Jiftlik village, north of Jericho, and abducted two Palestinians, identified as Omar Shehda Ed’eis and Mohammad Adnan Ed’eis.

In Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, the soldiers abducted Lieutenant Talal Dweikat, and Mohammad Hmeidan.

In Salfit, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted one Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Najeh Moqada.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded many homes in Jabal al-Mokabber village, and abducted three children, identified as Karam Raed ‘Oweisat, 13, Radi Aziz ‘Oweisat, 14, and Adham Abed ‘Oweisat, 14.

(Source / 11.01.2017)

Foreign Ministry: “Salhi’s Execution, Sate-Sponsored Terrorism”

10 JAN
2:03 PM

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, Tuesday, strongly denouncing the Israeli army’s execution of a former political prisoner, in front of his family in his home, and described the attack as a “state-sponsored terrorism.”

The Ministry said dozens of soldiers invaded the al-Far’a refugee camp, in Tubas, and terrorized dozens of families after breaking into their homes and violently searched them.

One of the homes was that of Mohammad Salhi, 32, was killed in a cold-blooded attack by soldiers who executed him in his own home, in front of his mother, and left him to bleed to death without allowing Palestinian medics to approach him.

The ministry stated that the latest crime is a direct implementation of Israel’s political leadership’s decision to target the Palestinians, and sanctioning ongoing executions against them.

“This came shortly after the statements, and threats, by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the Palestinians,” it added.

It strongly denounced the Israeli crime against Salhi, and called on the international community “to end its idleness and silence, while Israel continues and escalates its crimes.”

In addition, the Ministry demanded all legal, and human rights groups around the world to act fast, and document these crimes to present them to the International Criminal Court.

“We are closely following the executions’ file with various countries, international courts and human rights groups,” it said, “We hold Benjamin Netanyahu and his government directly responsible for the escalation, and the ongoing executions.”

The Foreign Ministry also called on the Security Council to act and perform its legal and moral duties in protecting the Palestinian people, and to prosecute Israeli leaders for these crimes.

(Source / 11.1.2017)