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Dagelijks archief 18 maart 2017

Syrian Coalition Condemns Int’l Anti-ISIS Coalition Airstrikes on Aljeena Village

The Syrian Coalition condemned the airstrikes launched by the international anti-ISIS coalition on the village of Aljeena in western rural Aleppo on Thursday. The airstrikes left at least 75 people killed and around 100 more wounded.

In a press release issued earlier on Saturday, the Syrian Coalition said the attack targeted people inside a mosque during prayers time. It stressed that perpetrators of the attack must be held accountable as available evidence suggested that the attack was not due to negligence, but was carried out with a view to killing the people gathered inside. The Coalition called for an immediate Investigation into this reprehensible crime.

“The incident has again showed the shortcomings in the strategy of the international anti-ISIS coalition in Syria. It has also given a serious cause for concern about the role of the United States in Syria which risks following in the footsteps of Russia in propping up the Assad regime and avoiding the targeting of the real source of terrorism,” the Coalition said.

“The world must be fully aware that counter-terrorism strategies ignoring the Assad regime and its allied foreign militias will only serve to further fuel terrorism and provide terror groups with a much-needed recruiting tool.”

The Coalition underscored that “unless a decisive action is taken to address the root cause of terrorism, namely the Assad regime, terrorism will continue to spread in the region and beyond.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 18.03.2017)

Israel guilty of ‘collective punishment in Gaza after 1967 war’

Image of Israeli soldiers interrogating Palestinians during the 1967 Gaza war [Miren Edurne/facebook]

Image of Israeli soldiers interrogating Palestinians during the 1967 Gaza war

A secret document has been published which reveals that Israel was guilty of collective punishment against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip a few days after the end of the 1967 war.

According to Haaretz, the document records that the Israeli military governor of Gaza ordered the expulsion of 110 Palestinians to Sinai and the demolition of eight homes as collective punishment in retaliation for an attempted attack against Israeli troops. The document, says the newspaper, was prepared by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on 15 June, 1967, days after the end of the war.

Jewish sources date the incident to June 12 or 13, when a landmine exploded in the Gaza area and tracks led from the scene to several houses in the Tarabsheh refugee camp. “At the time, 110 people said that they were soldiers in the Palestinian Liberation Army and claimed responsibility for the attack en masse,” explained Haaretz. “As punishment, it was decided to take them to Sinai and leave them there and to demolish eight houses in the camp.”

Read: Only 40% of Gaza’s destroyed homes during Israel 2014 war have been rebuilt

Fayez Abu Shamala is an expert on Israeli affairs. He insists that tens of thousands of Palestinians were deported after the 1967 war and not just a few, as the Israeli document claims. Speaking to Quds Press on Thursday, Abu Shamala said that the Israeli occupation authorities tried to empty the Gaza Strip of its Palestinian inhabitants after the 1967 war and force them to move to Jordan and Egypt.

“The occupation forces imposed a curfew on all areas of the Gaza Strip and summoned the population aged 15-60 years,” he said. “Later, they gathered young people from the age of 17-20 years, and threw them west of the Suez Canal.” Local families, he pointed out, did not know the fate of their children. “A month later, however, the International Committee of the Red Cross informed them that they are were in the Bilbes area, west of the Suez Canal, and that the Egyptians had provided them with tents to live in.”

Abu Shamala said that the Israelis opened the borders with Egypt and Jordan to empty the Gaza Strip of its inhabitants. The aim of the document published now, he alleged, is to “simplify what happened after the 1967 war by claiming that only 110 Palestinians were deported.” Although some of the Palestinians sent to Egypt were able to return to Gaza, many more remained in exile and died there.

An earlier, related, article published by Professor David Kretschmer and Gershom Gorenberg has given details of an incident in Rafah in 1972, in which thousands of Bedouins were expelled from the northern and eastern region of Sinai, which was occupied by Israel at the time.

(Source / 18.03.2017)

Israeli airstrikes renewd on the Gaza Strip

al-Meqousi

Israeli warplanes on Saturday afternoon carried out strikes on a resistance site in al-Meqousi area northwest of Gaza city.

The PIC reporter said that Israeli warplanes fired at least two missiles on al-Yarmouk site which is affiliated to al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement. No injuries were reported.

The PIC reporter also quoted local sources as affirming that Israeli artillery shelled on Saturday morning an observation post of al-Qassam Brigades as well as border areas in the northern Gaza Strip with no reported casualties.

Israeli 0404 website claimed that a missile fired from Gaza landed in the Ashkelon coast.

(Source / 18.03.2017)

Israeli army bombs north of Gaza

Zaterdag aanval Gaza

The Israeli occupation army on Saturday morning launched an artillery attack on cultivated fields located north of the Gaza Strip.

Local sources affirmed that the Israeli artillery fired several shells at an agricultural border area north of Gaza.

Luckily, no one was hurt in the Israeli attack.

The Israeli army claimed it responded to a rocket attack from Gaza.

Earlier, the Hebrew website 0404 said that a rocket fired from Gaza exploded in an open area near the southern Ashkelon coastline yesterday.

(Source / 18.03.2017)

IOA bans 41 Palestinians from travel for alleged security reasons

al-Karama grensovergang

The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) blocked 41 Palestinian citizens during the past week from travel outside the occupied West Bank through al-Karama crossing.

The Palestinian Authority police said in a statement in Ramallah on Saturday that the IOA banned 41 Palestinians from travel for “security reasons”.

According to the statement, 32,000 citizens passed through al-Karama crossing in both directions during the past week, and the police managed to detain 42 wanted criminals at the crossing.

Al-Karama crossing is the only crossing connecting the occupied West Bank with the outside world through Jordan.

(Source / 18.03.2017)

Coalition Presents Turkish Authorities with Legal Memorandum Asking for Prosecution of Assad Regime Pilot

The Syrian Coalition’s legal committee presented a legal memorandum to the Turkish Foreign Ministry asking for the prosecution of the Assad regime pilot Mohammed Sufhan currently held by the Turkish authorities. Sufhan’s fighter jet crashed on the Turkish side of the border and he parachuted into Turkish territory in early March.

The Coalition says the pilot is involved in carrying out massacres against Syrian civilians as he was on a bombing mission in Idlib province.

The committee presented the memorandum to the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, the minister of justice, and the judicial authorities in Turkey.

Head of the committee Haitham Maleh said that Syria and Turkey have already signed an agreement to extradite those accused of crimes. “We have submitted a lawsuit to the Turkish judicial authorities on the basis of Article 29, paragraph 3 of the agreement.”

Maleh pointed out that the Coalition requested that the wreckage of the warplane be kept as evidence against the pilot to build a case against him.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 18.03.2017)

UN official resigns after ‘Israel apartheid’ report

The UN official resigned after the UN secretary general asked her to withdraw the report

Senior UN official resigned on Friday after pressure from UN secretary-general to withdraw report accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians.

UN chief Antonio Guterres, who came under heavy American and Israeli pressure, immediately accepted the resignation, a UN spokesman said

Senior UN official resigned on Friday after pressure from UN secretary-general to withdraw report accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians.

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which comprises 18 Arab states, published the report on Wednesday and said it was the first time a UN body had clearly made the charge.

UN Under-Secretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf announced her resignation on air at a news conference in Beirut.

UN chief Antonio Guterres, who came under heavy American and Israeli pressure, immediately accepted the resignation, a UN spokesman said.

“This is not about content, this is about process,” claimed Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“The secretary-general cannot accept that an under-secretary-general or any other senior UN official that reports to him would authorize the publication under the UN name, under the UN logo, without consulting the competent departments and even himself,” he told reporters.

(Source / 18.03.2017)

Gaza suffers annual freshwater deficit

Groundwater wells decline due to the Israeli theft of deep underground water via hundreds of wells surrounding the Gaza Strip

Palestinian Water Authority has warned of dangerous situation of freshwater in Gaza Strip due to increasing salinity and decline of aquifer levels.

Groundwater wells decline due to the Israeli theft of deep underground water via hundreds of wells surrounding the Gaza Strip

Palestinian Water Authority has warned of dangerous situation of freshwater in Gaza Strip due to increasing salinity and decline of aquifer levels.

In a press conference, the head of the water authority in Gaza, Yasser Al-Shanti, stressed that the annual freshwater deficit in Gaza is 110 million cubic metres, noting that the 2 million people in Gaza need 200 million cubic metres of freshwater every year.

“Gaza suffers from a sharp decline in the quality and quantity of freshwater,” he said.

The groundwater wells have witnessed a sharp decline in the water level which in some areas reached up to 15 metres below sea level.

Al-Shanti stressed that Gaza’s population mainly depends on groundwater as a source of freshwater, noting that this natural reservoir was affected by the increasing urban sprawl.

Groundwater wells decline due to the Israeli theft of deep underground water via hundreds of wells surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Based on an earlier UN report, Quds Press said that the Gaza Strip is expected to have no freshwater valid for human use by 2020 due the increasing salinity, pollution and the continuing effects of the Israeli siege.

(Source / 18.03.2017)

After ‘fierce information war,’ Israeli court indicts Arab MK

All Israeli institutions and mass media took part in defamation campaign against the Arab MK

An Israeli district court in Beer Sheva indicted on Friday Arab MK Basel Ghattas after a “fierce information war” aimed to defame him and other Arab MKs.

While speaking in a press conference, he continued: “It was an incitement, racist and aggressive campaign that included spreading lies by different Israeli security branches”

An Israeli district court in Beer Sheva indicted on Friday Arab MK Basel Ghattas after a “fierce information war” aimed to defame him and other Arab MKs.

Quds Press cited Israeli radio sources and said that a bargain plea was reached in the case of Ghattas that included his recognition of smuggling mobile phones to “security” prisoners, as well as his resignation from the Knesset.

Israeli radio also said that the Israeli Public Prosecutor would demand a two-year prison sentence for Ghattas.

Meanwhile, Ghattas, a member of the Arab Joint List of the Knesset, said: “Since the first minute I was released from Nafha Prison on 18 December until this minute, I have been exposed to unprecedented measures taken against an MK [by the Israeli authorities].”

While speaking in a press conference, he continued: “It was an incitement, racist and aggressive campaign that included spreading lies by different Israeli security branches.”

He added: “The Israeli mass media cooperated with the Israeli security institution and the end was an unprecedented field trial and fierce information war.”

Ghattas said that the procedures he experienced during the recent months, including the stripping of his parliamentary immunity, imprisonment and investigations.

The Arab parliamentarian said that he is responsible for all what he did because that was based on his “humanitarian, conscious and moral duty towards the prisoners,” noting he is ready to bear the full responsibility of his actions.

By Ghattas’ resignation, the head of the public council of the National Democratic Association, Jumaa Zabarqeh, will replace him in the Knesset.

The Arab Joint List has 13 MKs out of 120.

(Source / 18.03.2017)

Israeli forces murder Palestinian boy in West Bank

The boy was in a visit to his grandmother in the refugee camp

Israeli occupation forces murdered on Friday 16-year-old Palestinian boy and seriously wounded another in West Bank city of Al-Khlil.

Abu-Ghazi was the 13th Palestinian civilian to be killed by the Israeli occupation forces since the beginning of 2017

Israeli occupation forces murdered on Friday 16-year-old Palestinian boy and seriously wounded another in West Bank city of Al-Khlil.

Palestinian sources said that the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian youth in Al-Arrub Refugee Camp in the south of Al-Khalil.

The Palestinian ministry of health confirmed at around 9:3pm that the 16-year-old Murad Yusif abu-Ghazi succumbed to a critical gunshot wound in his chest, after he was evacuated to the intensive care unit at Al-Khalil’s Al-Ahli Hospital.

Doctors at the hospital said that another Palestinian, identified as 17-year-old Saif Salim Rushdi, was brought to the ICU after he was also shot in the chest by Israeli forces in the refugee camp.

According to the Palestinian ministry of health, Rushdi’s wounds were described as moderate to serious.

An Israeli army spokesperson claimed recognised the shooting, but did acknowledge the death of Abu-Ghazi or the injury of Rushdi and said investigations were still underway.

Abu-Ghazi was the 13th Palestinian civilian to be killed by the Israeli occupation forces since the beginning of 2017.

(Source / 18.03.2017)