Trial of Palestinian mother seized at Gaza crossing continued until February

The trial of Nisreen Abdallah Hassan Abu Kamil, 40, was continued on Wednesday, 11 January until 22 February 2017. Abu Kamil is a Palestinian from occupied Haifa married to a Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip, and the mother of seven children. Her youngest child is 2 years old.

She was detained by Israeli occupation forces at the Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing from Gaza on 18 October 2015 and accused of taking photographs on her visits to Haifa and her family in 2013 and 2014 for the benefit of a Palestinian resistance organization. Abu Kamil’s husband spoke with Asra Voice radio in Palestine, urging his wife’s release from Damon prison. The couple have lived together in Gaza City since 1999.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

Can PA end arms proliferation in West Bank?

Masked Palestinian militants hold their weapons during the funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdeya in Hebron, the West Bank, April 4, 2013

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian parties are currently discussing the implemention of a draft law on firearms and ammunition licensing fees that the Palestinian Authority Cabinet ratified Dec. 13. A government statement declared that the law aims to “reorganize the weapons dossier, reduce the spread of illegal weapons, work to control illegal weapons and confront arms dealers and outlaws seeking to undermine the security of both the homeland and the citizen.”

The draft legislation is based on Law No. 2 of 1998 on firearms and ammunition, issued under President Yasser Arafat, approved by the Cabinet and approved and passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council. The law failed, however, to set out regulations for firearms and ammunition licensing fees, which this proposed law attempts to address.

The 1998 law was never, however, implemented because the PA remained weak and unable to regulate arms or move to control their proliferation. It has also sought to avoid sparking internal clashes by going after weapons, as many of those who have them are wanted by Israel.

Article 28 of Law No. 2 stipulates, “The license to possess or trade in firearms or ammunition is granted based on a system determined by the minister of interior and approved by the Council of Ministers.” Article 6 sets the conditions to get a license: “Proof that the arms are purchased from a licensed trader, a certificate of sale containing a description of the weapons sold and the date of sale as well as the name and address of the seller, proof of purchase of a firearm from a licensed person, proof of firearm import from abroad and an import permit.”

Most Palestinian gun owners do not meet those conditions, because their weapons were illegally smuggled by arms dealers from Israel and elsewhere. Some weapons, including the Carlo, are manufactured in weapon mills in the West Bank. The Carlo gained notoriety from its use in attacks in Israel. An official source in the Palestinian government told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The Interior Ministry, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, will prepare a procedural guide in a bid to regulate and clarify weapons licensing procedures and financial fees.”

Mohamed Mansour, the undersecretary of the Interior Ministry, told Al-Monitor that the government’s ratification of the firearms licensing regulation will help the security forces impose law and order and establish security in Area A, which is under full PA control, as they will be able to track the number and types of weapons and their owners. The security apparatus will then be able to enforce the law, confiscating unlicensed weapons and punishing those in possession of them.

Mansour also noted that the law will help the security forces investigate crimes committed with unlicensed weapons and minimize the use of firearms in disputes and social events. Once the guide is ready, Mansour said, any citizen of Area A in possession of a weapon can go to the police to license it and pay the appropriate fees. He added, “The government does not want to open the door to the arms trade and wants to control their proliferation to establish security.”

There are no licensed gun shops in the West Bank, but weapons can be sold and purchased legally. Traders register the weapons and can obtain a permit from the Palestinian police.

Israel occasionally undertakes campaigns against illegal weapon mills. The most recent such operation, on Dec. 19, uncovered the largest weapons factory in Hebron. The proliferation of arms is a major challenge to the PA security services. On Aug. 21, 2016, clashes broke out between the security forces and armed individuals in Nablus, resulting in the deaths of two security officers. The security services conducted a series of raids after the episode, arresting a number of individuals and seizing weapons and ammunition.

“The security crackdowns in the West Bank will continue in order to control arms, prosecute outlaws and enforce the law,” Adnan al-Damiri, a spokesman for the Palestinian security services, told Al-Monitor. “We do not have a formal market for licensed weapons. Such a market requires legal stores that sell weapons and ammunition and a PA-licensed source to import weapons. All the weapons found in the hands of citizens come from unknown sources and entered the Palestinian territories illegally.”

Damiri added, “We in the security forces have received a political order whereby the only weapons in Palestine are the PA’s, and any other weapons should be in line with the law.”

Although the government’s goal is to control and limit the spread of arms in the Palestinian territories, the new law is not expected to meet its goal due as smuggling operations continue. In addition, knowing that they might be prosecuted if denied a license, many Palestinians who already have weapons are unlike to apply for one.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

Israeli forces attack Gaza homes, farmers with machinegun fire


The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Friday morning opened heavy machinegun fire on Palestinian homes and fishermen in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

A state of panic swamped the southern area of the Gaza Strip as the Israeli occupation army attacked Palestinian homes and farmers in eastern Khan Younis province with randomly-shot spates of machinegun fire.

At the same time, the occupation navy unleashed barrages of machinegun fire on Palestinian fishermen sailing off northern Gaza seashore.

The fishermen fled the sea for fear of being killed in the assault.

Palestinian farmers and fishermen in the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza have been permanently targeted by the Israeli occupation army while fetching a living to feed their children.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

Hamas steps up anti-Israel cyber attacks


Hamas hackers continue to trick Israeli soldiers into revealing sensitive military information by penetrating data stored on their smart phones.

Israeli news outlets said the Israeli occupation army unraveled 15 fake Hamas accounts on social media networks used to entrap soldiers.

The Israeli occupation army and Shin Bet have conducted a so-called “Operation Hunter’s Network” campaign to chase down Hamas network after officials received reports about a new campaign from Gaza.

In the campaign, Hamas hackers posted seductive pictures of young Israeli women on social media to attract Israeli soldiers and retrieve data from their smart phones.

An Israeli official said Hamas hackers obtained access to data by penetrating soldiers’ accounts then chatting directly with the soldier. Shortly afterwards, the account holder asks the soldier to download applications infected with Trojan Horse viruses.

After the virus reaches its destination, the Hamas operative immediately obtains access to the data on the soldiers’ phones such as pictures, text messages, conversations.

The virus also enabled Hamas operatives to access the camera and microphone, through which they could capture images and record communications. As a precautionary measure, the Israeli occupation army slapped restrictions on the use of social media by Israeli soldiers, mainly high-ranked military staff.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

Iraqi journalists face threats, murder

Journalists and security forces take cover from a mortar shell during a battle with Islamic State militants, Mosul, Nov. 30, 2016

BAGHDAD — Abdul Qader al-Qaisi has become Iraq’s first slain journalist in 2017. He was kidnapped Jan. 1, and security forces found his body Jan. 5, dumped on the road between Kirkuk and Baghdad. Qaisi was a member of the Kurdistan Syndicate of Journalists and he was also the lawyer of former Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi.

Two days before Qaisi’s body was found, Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi was released after being kidnapped and held for nine days.

“I don’t know who kidnapped me, but it seems they were an unorganized armed group,” Shawqi told Al-Monitor on the sidelines of a press conference she held a day after her release. “I think I was taken out of the capital because it took hours on the road from where I was kidnapped until we reached the cell I was held in.”

She said the kidnappers interrogated her about a story she hadn’t written that appeared in a newspaper she no longer worked for when the story ran. Shawqi had, however, previously written about the pictures of dead fighters from armed Shiite factions that were posted in the streets of Baghdad, raising the ire of many supporters of those factions. A few days before she was kidnapped, she had criticized how weapons are chaotically spread among several armed groups and militias.

Shawqi’s kidnapping stirred quite a buzz in Iraq, as activists and journalists formed a civil movement and took to the streets every day to call for her release. They said their actions were useful, and they plan to continue defending freedom of the press.

“The civil force, formed by organizations defending freedom of the press, human rights organizations and prominent journalists in Iraq, played a major role in Shawqi’s release,” Ziad al-Ajili, the director of Iraq’s Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, told Al-Monitor. “Journalists are concerned about being kidnapped or killed. However, they insist on continuing to do their job and unite against any action that seeks to restrict their freedom.”

International organizations concerned with journalistic freedoms have always noted that Iraq is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, with more than 400 killed since 2003. That’s an average of 31 per year.

Walid Ibrahim, the director of Al Jazeera‘s office in Iraq, spoke with Al-Monitor about the problem.

“The recent incidents in which journalists were victims are proof that journalists are still threatened by many parties, most notably militias, which have today gained a political and government cover,” Ibrahim said, referring to a recently passed law granting official status to the controversial Popular Mobilization Units, a grouping of militias accused of human rights violations. He added, “These groups do not tolerate being criticized and do not like journalists who refuse to deal with them and [who] believe the existence of such groups contradicts the principles of a civilized society and is contrary to the foundations of true democracy.”

Journalists in Iraq face significant risks, especially those who work in the field and write articles that displease the armed groups trying to extend their influence in Iraq. However, the groups are rarely held accountable for their actions against journalists.

Iraq has a law on journalists’ rights, but many in the business oppose it because they believe it was passed for political purposes and does not actually serve journalism.

Saad Maan, a spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry, told Al-Monitor, “We support journalists and we call on them to continue to practice their profession normally. We promise to provide them with protection and to hold accountable all those who violate their rights.”

But despite the repeated promises made by Iraqi security officials, the people and parties who threaten or kill journalists are not brought to justice. On the contrary, there are many examples of impunity. Journalists have united to try to pressure political parties into helping, but reporters and editors still fear the possibility of falling victim to kidnapping and terrorist attacks.

Imad al-Abadi, a well-known show host in Iraq who survived a 2009 assassination attempt in Baghdad, told Al-Monitor, “Iraqi journalists still face many risks. Iraq is not a safe environment for journalists. We fear the [future] … in light of armed groups and gangs targeting freedom of expression.”

Since 2003, not a year has gone by without Iraqi journalists being killed, which reflects the absence of legal and field protection from government authorities.

Shawqi’s kidnapping was seen as a threat to journalism and to freedom of opinion and expression: Don’t criticize armed groups.

Iraq can be a dangerous place for anyone, but journalists face the added threat of being kidnapped or killed at any given moment simply for being journalists. Yet, they continue to tell the stories of other people’s lives, until it is time for someone to tell theirs.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

Expert: Palestinians suffer poor living conditions in east J’lem


Israeli professor Yitzhak Reiter has said that the living conditions in Palestinian neighborhoods of east Jerusalem are in constant decline while Israel’s discriminatory practices and police violence against the local residents are on the rise.

In a recent interview conducted with him by Maariv newspaper, Reiter, a noted professor of Middle East, Israel and Islamic Studies, said that the Jerusalemites feel that the Israeli government does not care about them and consider them not part of the city’s population, but it sees them as citizens who break the law all the time and thus there is a need to deploy security forces and barriers at the entrances to their areas in the city and restrict their movement.

He affirmed that the majority of Jerusalem’s Arab population lives in poverty and lack of hope, in light of the low levels of infrastructure and the services provided for them, adding that the Jerusalemites also feel legally insecure.

According to statistics he provided, most of the residents in east Jerusalem are Muslims, 64 percent of them under age 18, another 36 percent of them unemployed and 51 percent live below the poverty level.

Although they have Jordanian passports, the Jerusalemites have no rights, while the Israeli government enables Jewish groups with extremist ideology to take over east Jerusalem and gradually the Aqsa Mosque, the professor said.

He also opined that the Jerusalemites became deeply pessimistic about the political process after US president-elect Donald Trump declared his intent to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

Father of martyr expelled from Old City


The Israeli occupation authorities released on Friday Abdulsalam Abu Ghazaleh, father of the martyr Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, after he was accused of “incitement”, but ordered his expulsion from occupied Jerusalem.

According to Jumana, Abdulsalam’s sister, the Magistrate Court issued a release order on Friday providing that her brother Abu Ghazaleh gets expelled from the Old City for two weeks, and by this decision, he is also deprived of staying at his parents’ home there, according to al-Quds Press news agency.

She pointed out that the Israeli occupation police arrested her brother last Tuesday after he was summoned for investigation in al-Qishleh police station to the west of occupied Jerusalem, and extended his detention twice on charges of “incitement” on Facebook.

Israeli intelligence agents raided the house of Abu Ghazaleh’s family last Tuesday in the Old City of Jerusalem, tampered with its contents, confiscated electronic devices and mobile phones, and tore up pictures of martyr Abu Ghazaleh and pictures of other martyrs that were hung in the house.

Thaer Abu Ghazaleh was killed on 8th October 2015 after he carried out a stabbing attack against four Israelis in Tel Aviv. His body remained withheld in Israeli morgues until 30th August 2016.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

New Military Alliance and Role of Pakistan

From KhamakarPress Correspondent in Pakistan: Haseeb Asghar

FB_IMG_1473706128618.jpg wordt weergegeven

Gen ® Raheel Shareef who has recently retired as chief of Army staff of Pakistan Army now will lead the Army of Islamic military alliance which will work counterterrorism worldwide. This news was in circulation for few days but Minister of Defense of Pakistan Khawaja Mohammad Asif confirmed authenticity of this news. Related to this big news Lieutenant general r Amjad Shoaib disclosed in a news channel that Raheel Shareef set the terms, He assured to be the head of the multinational military alliance on the three conditions. The first and most important condition is to involve Iran in alliance۔ This must be the honor for the former Pakistani chief of Army staff as appointed the chief of Islamic military alliance in the other hand Political analyst declared this a critical and sensitive decision to be the chief of Islamic military alliance

Analysts are concerned that the Multinational Islamic Military alliance may even cause adverse effect on relationship with the several regional Islamic organizations who is working in region.

In a statement released through the official Arab News Agency has announced the formation of a military alliance. The alliance will work under the leadership of Saudi Arabia and its headquarters will be established in Riyadh. The alliance aims to fight against terrorism all over the world especially so called Muslims Militant organizations.

Now world badly suffering from Terrorist activities. Terrorist operation is being operated all over the world freely. In their case Saudi Arab announced the Military of Islamic alliance consisting of more than 30 Islamic countries. Initially, including 34 Islamic countries in the military alliance, but now this figure has risen to 39

in the military alliance Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Sudan, Malaysia, Egypt, Yemen and other countriesare include, Iran and Syria is not the part of that military alliance.

Evaluation of the announcement of new military alliance, that it had been declared by Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Mohammad bin Salman made at the press conference.

According to Saudi Defense minister this Islamic Military Alliance would act against all religious and belief groups without customizing who are targeting innocent people through terrorism. It would act against all religious and belief groups without customizing the Saudi defense minister, who are targeting innocent people through terrorism

But the Iran and the Syria they are not the part of that alliance this is the question mark of this new Islamic Military alliance`s statement issued by Saudi Prince. Inter-cooperation and unity is very import against growing terrorism in the name of faith and, But suddenly announced an alliance that will fight terrorism by Muslims, is of great importance with regard to the changes taking place in the world

The Middle East terrorism and extremism that is coming in to the situation, the main reasons include differences between Iran and Arab countries, Sunni and Shia beliefs

The conflict between Arab and non-Arab it is very ancient, the Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran has long story but after the execution of ayat Ullah sheikh Baqir al nimar by the Saudi government, the differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran openly exposed their differences to the whole world. Saudi Arabia executes 47 including religions cleric Ayat Ullah Sheikh Baqir al nimar, this mess execution become crisis to Muslim world, After this act Saudi Arab face strong reaction from the Islamic countries. According to the Saudi government reaction against Saudi Arabia amounted to interfering in the laws of the country although Saudi Arabia takes it as its right to intervention in Yemen, Bahrain Egypt and Libya, intervention of Saudi Arab is still continue in these countries it raises serious question about Saudi Arab double standard by brotherly countries

The purpose of the establishment of new Islamic militant coalition led by Saudi Arabia to strengthen the position of Saudi Arab in region and world

Regional Shiite majority country Iran has made it clear that keeping separate from this new alliance this is the message that Saudi Arab brings its importance and value in world

This strategy of Saudi Arab may divide Islamic communities into groups and it may cause of sectarian violence. Saudi Arabia is facing strong criticism from the Western world despite being in allay of United States of America

Many Western observers have said it must be changed to Saudi Arabia’s policies to eradicate terrorism of world

It is anticipated that the measures would be in place ahead of time that Saudi Arabia will be able to convince the world the extent of his displeasure against extremism through military alliance, or how this unity will be able to reduce anarchy and bloodshed situation in various Islamic countries.

If this new Islamic military alliance has emerged as a political tactic in the fight against terrorism, this would not get any assistance

If this new alliance can truly play a role in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to establish prosperity and good governance—then this military formation is useful for the world. Otherwise, this may be the puppets to play games in the region.

Pakistan has close brotherly relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia. These two countries have differences in their beliefs, although Pakistan`s population consists of 15% of Shiite Muslims. In addition, Iran is our immediate neighbor and shares our various regional and economic interests.

To join this new Military alliance what would be a new challenge for Pakistan`s defense capabilities and internal security needs? Iran’s non-participation in the multilateral coalition puts into question the great security and durable peace process in the region.

General Raheel Sharif’s appointment as Chief of the Islamic Army as commander to both groups of Sunnis and Shiites in this alliance will be a great test. Sharif must maintain a balanced and neutral performance towards both sides of the military alliance and remain impartial which will not be an easy task.

Stop glossing over the siege in Gaza and call it what it is: Genocide

Just as there has been a discursive shift to call the occupation of Palestine an apartheid, we must acknowledge what is really happening in Gaza

As accustomed as I am to the offensiveness of the mainstream media coverage of Palestine’s suffering, I still have to stop and do a double take every now and then.

An article in Haaretz this past weekend, with its headline “No Water, No Electricity, and Children Dying Unnecessarily”, was one such moment.

When is it ever necessary for children to die, I wondered? I could not help but be horrified at just how expendable people must be before someone can come up with a cavalier headline about the necessity, or lack thereof, of its children dying.

READ: 2017: A year to recall three bleak Palestinian anniversaries

But the article itself, an interview by Ayelet Shani with Salah Haj Yahya, a Palestinian doctor who leads a Physicians for Human Rights monthly delegation from Israel into the Gaza Strip, was problematic in other ways.

The journalist persisted in asking about Hamas, suggesting that the political party was to blame for Gaza’s misery, rather than actually naming Israel and its sub-contractor, Egypt, as the powers responsible for enforcing a siege that penalises the predominantly refugee population for its political choice.

What is missing, in what otherwise presented itself as “concerned” journalism – oh dear, children are dying “unnecessarily” – is worth review.

We can’t blame Hamas

Specifically, Shani so totally normalises Israel’s illegal siege that it is not presented as the primary cause of the critical situation in the Gaza Strip. Instead, she focuses on the crumbling infrastructure, the lack of equipment, while always, always pointing an accusing finger at Hamas.

Haj Yahya redirects her attention to Israel’s responsibility, but she is undeterred, as she persists in criticising the violence inflicted by Hamas on the population of Gaza.

Why would it be the responsibility of the Arab states to ensure that Gaza has electricity and clean water?

For example, in response to Yahya saying he does not coordinate with Hamas, Shani asks: “You have no contact with Hamas, not even an informal one? Don’t you need their permission? Don’t they supervise your work?”

Haj Yahya: “There’s no contact. We coordinate our entry with the Israeli side, we don’t work with Hamas or its representatives. We only work with hospital directors and the Palestinian health ministry, with the health minister in Ramallah and his deputy in Gaza. They are the ones who approach us.”

Can we just remember that it is indeed Israel that controls the borders, or should I say, that maintains the siege?

Palestinian children play at the rubble of buildings a year after the 2014 Gaza war on 6 July 2015 

Yet the focus on Hamas suggests that Hamas has the greater say. Or worse yet, that it may deny a Palestinian medical delegation permission to treat patients in Gaza.

Further, Haj Yahya says: “The water is unfit to drink, unfit for any use. There is hardly any electricity. Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. There’s hardly any international aid and the Arab states aren’t succeeding in providing any assistance.”

The Arab states? Why would it be the responsibility of the Arab states to ensure that Gaza has electricity and clean water?

Why couldn’t Shani, if she were a responsible journalist, have made it clear that it is Israel that controls Gaza’s infrastructure, its electricity and necessary equipment for its water treatment facilities, not “the Arab states”?

Perhaps most damning is this part, where Haj Yahya brings up an egregious matter he and others have documented before, namely that patients in need of life-saving treatment are blackmailed into collaborating with Israeli intelligence in order to obtain a permit to enter Israel, for treatment that is not available in the Strip:

Haj Yahya: There is also the issue of blackmail.

Shani: Meaning what?

The Palestinian narrative is as besieged as the people in Gaza

Haj Yahya: Their travel permit is granted only on condition that they collaborate – information in exchange for an entry permit.

Shani: You’re saying that the Shin Bet blackmails these patients? Can you prove that?

Haj Yahya: We have filmed documentation of patients being threatened or blackmailed in exchange for a permit. We’ve written a report on this. The questioning often deteriorates into unpleasant and humiliating situations. Violence is sometimes resorted to.

And Shani continues, blaming Hamas for urging Palestinians not to collaborate with Israeli intelligence, even as Haj Yahya persists in explaining that it is not Hamas that is denying his patients exit permits.

The Palestinian narrative is as besieged as the people in Gaza.

The crime of crimes

But I want to go back to the title of this article, to children dying “unnecessarily”.  As early as 2010, Nadia Hijab, a Palestinian political analyst and author who now heads Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, asked: “When does it become genocide?”

“Israel would not directly kill tens of thousands of Palestinians,” she wrote, “but it would create the conditions for tens of thousands to die. Any epidemic could finish the job.”

‘The fact that Operation Protective Edge was the third large-scale, sustained military assault on this unlawfully blockaded, impoverished and endangered population also formed part of the larger genocidal context’

– Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights

Four years later, in an article published in the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, Richard Falk asked: “Is Israel guilty of genocide?”

A professor emeritus of international law and former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, Falk is exceedingly cautious with terminology about what is considered the “crime of crimes,” and writes, cautiously, about a “genocidal” context.

“There was a genocidal atmosphere in Israel, in which high-level officials made statements supporting the destruction or elimination of the Gazans as a people. Furthermore, the sustained bombardment of Gaza, under circumstances where the population had no opportunity to leave or to seek sanctuary within the Gaza Strip, lent further credibility to the charge.

“The fact that Operation Protective Edge was the third large-scale, sustained military assault on this unlawfully blockaded, impoverished and endangered population, also formed part of the larger genocidal context.”

Israeli soldiers stand guard with their tank along the border between Israel and the Gaza strip on 4 May 2016

The circumstances that constituted a “genocidal context” in 2014 have not improved, and it is now commonplace knowledge that if the siege is not lifted, Gaza will no longer be livable by 2020.

Finally, last week, Mondoweiss courageously posted an opinion piece entitled “Mainstreaming Genocide.”

That crisis is not a natural disaster but politically manufactured, as Israel and Egypt enforce a “genocidal context” soon to enter its tenth year

Reporting on the light sentence given to an Israeli soldier who shot a young Palestinian lying injured in the street dead, writer and doctor of psychology and behavioural science Yoav Litvin wrote: “Israeli politicians have declared an open season on Palestinians. The precedent set by this case will further solidify the complete dehumanisation of Palestinians and pave the way for further ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The stakes are high. Cold-blooded murder is condoned in the West Bank while in the Gaza Strip, the situation is, literally, a matter of life and death for two million people.

That crisis is not a natural disaster, but politically manufactured, as Israel and Egypt enforce a “genocidal context” soon to enter its tenth year.

Racists everywhere are emboldened, proudly carrying banners that proclaim “Kill Them All.”

We, too, must be courageous. We have recently seen the once-taboo word “apartheid” gain wider circulation, and the discursive change has indeed changed many millions of people’s perspective on the question of Palestine.

Can we also name the “unnecessary” deaths of children for what they constitute, namely, unfettered, state-sanctioned genocidal intent?

And no, no matter how much Zionists attempt to manipulate our stories, we must not, cannot, let them blame Hamas for that.

(Source / 13.01.2017)

Tunisian official slams French presidential candidate’s comments about women’s status

Image of Anouar Gharbi, a senior Tunisian official

Image of Anouar Gharbi, a senior Tunisian official

A senior Tunisian official has strongly criticised French presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls for his remarks about the status of women in Tunisia. Anouar Gharbi warned of the “growing French intervention in Tunisia’s internal affairs” after Valls was reported as saying that women in the North African state “are forced to wear hijab, like in Iran”.

In an exclusive interview with Quds Press, Gharbi criticised Valls’ remarks as “insulting” to a large segment of Tunisian society by comparing the status of women in Tunisia to that in Iran. Such interference, added Gharbi, is not limited to politicians. A French lawyer, he explained, called recently for the release of some union leaders who were tried and convicted by a court in Tunisia. The lawyer is apparently very close to the French authorities. Such behaviour, insisted Gharbi, is not conducive to clearing the air between Tunisia and France.

The former foreign affairs adviser to the president of Tunisia called on his country’s diplomats to build balanced international relations and defend its economic and political interests. It is important, he concluded, to maintain Tunisia’s sovereignty and independent decision-making.

(Source / 13.01.2017)