Rural Damascus Provincial Council Condemns Int’l Silence on Onslaught on Eastern Ghouta

Rural Damascus Provincial Council condemned the silence of the international community over the Assad regime and Russia’s brutal bombardment of residential neighborhoods and civilian areas in eastern Ghouta.

In a statement released on Friday, the Council said that the Russian and Assad regime jets were ruthlessly bombing civilian neighborhoods though they were void of any military presence and areas located away from battlefronts in eastern Ghouta.

Amnesty International on Thursday said that the Assad regime had used internationally banned cluster munitions in attacks on eastern Ghouta, accusing it of committing war crimes on “an epic scale.”

Based on interviews with activists in eastern Ghouta and verification of open source videos and photographs, Amnesty said at least 10 civilians were killed in November because of the Assad regime‘s use of the banned Soviet-made cluster munitions.

The Council called on international and human rights organizations to exert maximum pressure to force the Assad regime and Russia to respect international law and relevant UN resolutions calling for sparing civilians and vital civilian facilities the barbaric war machine.

The Syrian Coalition on Thursday said that the Assad regime “exploits the continued failure of the international community to adopt a position that corresponds with the responsibilities entrusted to it.”

The Coalition warned of the consequences of the “continued negative attitude of the international community towards these crimes and its failure to take action to stop the crimes being carried out by the regime and its allies against the Syrian people, including the use of barrel bombs, cluster bombs and chemical weapons such as chlorine gas.”

Daily bombardment by Assad forces and their allies has further aggravated the suffering of nearly 350,000 civilians trapped in eastern Ghouta. The siege was tightened in August 2014 when Assad forces took control of the town of Mleiah, about five kilometers from the capital Damascus.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 06.01.2018)

Palestinian man injured by IOF east of Gaza

Injured east of Gaza

A Palestinian man on Friday afternoon was shot and injured by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in clashes that erupted at Gaza eastern border.

Ashraf al-Qudra, the spokesman of Palestinian Health Ministry, said in a statement that the man was wounded in his foot. His injury was reported during the ongoing clashes with IOF in protest at the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israeli which was announced five weeks ago.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Gaza employees protest uncoordinated return of old employees

Gaza employees

Gaza’s Agriculture Ministry staff have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Palestinian Authority (PA) government’s decision to return 40 of the Ministry’s suspended employees to their former workplaces without prior arrangement.

Head of the employees syndicate in the Ministry, Mohammed al-Najjar, said in an interview with the PIC that the undersecretary of Gaza’s Agriculture Ministry and his counterpart in the Ramallah-based PA government agreed a month ago to return 20 employees whose names were clearly identified.

Najjar affirmed that the Gaza employees were surprised by this unilateral step especially in view of the marginalization and injustice they are exposed to, stressing that a state of chaos will prevail in the Ministry if the decision is not reversed.

Undersecretary of the PA Ministry of Agriculture, Abdullah Lahlouh, said in press statements on Thursday that the PA Minister of Agriculture had issued a decision to return 40 employees who were hired before the 2007 division to their former positions.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Ahed Tamimi Stood Up to Israel While the Rest of the World Bows

It is one thing to salute Ahed Tamimi’s bravery and turn her into a heroine du jour, but real respect for her courage would be to make sure that neither she nor other oppressed and abused Palestinian children have to continue to face Israeli oppression alone and unaided.
by Miko Peled

NABI SALEH, PALESTINE (Op-ed) — One can barely go for half a day on social media without seeing new iconic images of Ahed Tamimi. Everyone who ever posed with her for a photo is posting, and some very creative art is being made of her almost by the minute.

But the truth is that we all failed her. Even those of us who regularly visit the village of Nabi Saleh and march with the people of the village to protest the Israeli oppression, though we cough and gag from the tear gas and we stink from the skunk water, and though some of us are arrested from time to time — we have all failed her.

We failed Ahed, just as we failed her young uncles Mostafa and Roshdy who were killed; and her cousin Mohammad who was shot in the head a week before her arrest, and miraculously survived; and just like we failed countless other Palestinian children who have been shot, arrested and tortured by Israeli forces for over seven decades.

Israeli soldiers illegally enter Ahed Tamimi’s home (courtesy of Tamimi family)

If we had been vigilant, if we stood and cried louder, and if the world did not allow Israel to abuse Palestine and its children for seven decades, Ahed would not have had to kick the soldiers out of her house. No child should be alone and have to defend her home from armed, violent men as the rest of the world idly watches.

Many will recall the video from August of 2015, where Ahed’s brother, who had a broken arm at the time, is being chased down a rocky hillside by an Israeli soldier carrying a semi-automatic rifle and wearing a ski mask. When the soldier catches up with the boy he picks him up then violently throws him on the ground and visibly tries to break the boy’s healthy arm. The boy was terrified and in terrible pain and even then, none of us were there to defend him. His sister Ahed, his mother, his aunt and other women from the village — all unarmed, all risking their lives — fought off the soldier and saved the boy.

On December 7, 2017 images and a video were published of a young Palestinian boy in Hebron being led, handcuffed and blindfolded, by some 20 armed infantry soldiers. The boy is 17-year-old Fawzi Aljunaid. His shoulder fractured, Fawzi was eventually released after paying $2,800 bail. Where were we and where was the world when he was thus abused, and why do we allow the Israeli authorities to profit from such abuse?

According to a report published by Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, approximately 700 Palestinian children under the age of 18 from the occupied West Bank are prosecuted every year through Israeli military courts. Since 2000, more than 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained, the most common charge against them being throwing stones, a charge that now carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison — or 20 years if the state can show proof of intent.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Rainwater floods homes in Jenin, damages reported

Rainwater Jenin

Heavy rainwater on Friday flooded Palestinian homes and agricultural greenhouses in Jenin governorate resulting in great damages including falling down of trees due to severe rainy and windy weather.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that a car was damaged as a big tree fell down on it in a school in Deir Abu Deif town in Jenin.

Rainwater flooded a number of greenhouses in Marj Ibn Amer and Sanour plains leading to various damages to some farmers,  he added.
Rainwater Jenin1

Rainwater Jenin2

(Source / 06.01.2018)

PA security forces commit 4071 violations in West Bank during 2017

4071 violations PA

The committee of Palestinian political prisoners families in the West Bank said that Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces committed 4071 violations against Palestinians during the year of 2017. The arrests were carried out against activists for their political backgrounds and involving in anti-occupation activities either in the field or on social media.

The committee documented, in a report, 1255 political arrests including 680 ex-prisoners, 738 political ex-detainees in PA jails, 242 university students, 45 journalists, 27 teachers, 12 school students, 7 physicians, 5 lawyers, 5 tradesmen, 5 engineers, 11 imams, and 1 university lecturer.

The violations also included 1608 summonses against 975 ex-detainees in PA jails, 749 ex-prisoners in Israeli jails, 183 students, 67 journalists, 34 teachers, 14 school students, 8 physicians, 3 lawyers, 2 tradesmen and 1 engineer.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

US freezes $125 million grant to UNRWA

Grant UNRWA frozen

The United States has frozen $125 million of its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

Quoting three US officials, Reuters news agency reported that the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, informed the United Nations that it had frozen a $125 million grant that was due to be paid on 1st January.

According to the three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, Trump’s administration is considering cutting $180 million from its aid payments to the UNRWA in an effort to pressure the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations with Israel.

For its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the fierce US-Israeli campaign waged against the UNRWA and slammed the recent statement by Israel’s minister of public security, Gilad Erdan, in which he called for dismantling the Agency.

The Palestinian Ministry said in a statement on Friday evening that the right-wing party in Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is taking advantage of the US biased support of Israel, which involved recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, to launch more expansionist settlement projects in the Palestinian territories.

The Ministry continued that this US-Israeli alliance aims to settle the core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including Jerusalem, refugees and borders, unilaterally in a dramatic transition to a stage of imposing non-negotiable solutions on the Palestinian side.

It called on the international community and the UN organizations to carry out their duty to maintain international peace and stability and to put an end to the US-Israeli arrogance targeting the peace process.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

‘Fire and Fury’ reveals Trump’s plans in Palestinian territories

Fire and Fury

Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” book published on Friday reveals that the US president Donald Trump is planning to bring a major and unprecedented change to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Quoting statements by the White House former chief strategist Steve Bannon, the book underlines that Trump fully supports the so-called “deal of the century” under which the West Bank will be annexed to Jordan while the Gaza Strip will be annexed to Egypt.

Time magazine website said that all copies of the newly-printed book were sold out in just 20 minutes after being distributed to some famous bookstores, adding that the book has immediately hovered at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.

In a related development, Wolff dismissed Trump’s claim on Twitter that he had never spoken to the writer. In an interview with NBC TV channel, Wolff affirmed that he had spoken to Trump before and after he took office, saying it is strange for a US president to try to stop the publication of a book.

(Source / 06.01.2018)

Trump, Palestine and Cold War II; Middle East under Tension

By Muhammad Imadudin Nasution

Political Analyst and Strategist in Khamakar Press Agency and Candidate Center 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor trump recognise jerusalem

I am not surprised when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017. But I am surprised that the Trump’s designation just rejected by 128 members of the United Nations in a special meeting. As we know, Trump is an unpopular President of the United States. He has been inaugurated on January 20, 2017 and people were protesting at the day of his inauguration.

The Trump political view is a supranationalist almost fascist political ideology. I am surprised when a newspaper in Indonesia told me that Trump’s father never rent his apartments to a black or colored person. I do not belief that Trump was grew up as a racist and also a white supremacist. He looks like a normal American as we see his cabinet today. Carson, his sparring partner at the 2016 Republican Primary, is there as a secretary. Also he has chosen an Asian woman for a department in his cabinet. So it is difficult to say that Trump is a fascist, racist or a white supremacist.

But his rhetorical campaign during his candidacy in 2016, has shown that he is not a pluralist person. His promises to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and war on illegal immigrants show that Trump is an anti-Islam politician. He even does not care that his current wife, Melania Trump (born Melanija Knavs or Melania Knauss) is an immigrant and also naturalized US citizen. So is Trump really a supranationalist, racist or even fascist? I repeat that I do not believe it yet. At least I do not believe it yet today.

Anti-Islam Rhetoric, Republican and White Supremacists

As some researches on the growth of Islam and other religious beliefs, Islam is the most growing religion on earth. The growth is caused by conversion and birth. Also the waves of immigration to Europe, Americas and Australia (and New Zealand), change the demography of the West today. But we can read that Islam is getting rejected by some nativists in Europe and the Americas, also in Australia and New Zealand. The waves of rejection against Islam are growing up as the growth of Islam in the contemporary west.

Today we can see that the US already had a black president for the first time in history. The US is getting pluralistic and multicultural and also tolerant during the Obama Administration in 2009-2017. In some reports, we can read that the United State had welcomed many immigrants in the last 150 years. Even Obama told us that the United States is a nation of immigrants, as his father was also an immigrant in the country. We can remember when a naturalized citizen of the United States, Abdul Karim Hassan claimed that he can to be a US President by the principle of human rights and equality. Of course his claim was rejected by the Supreme Court of Justice of the United States.

The United States reported has close history with the Islamic nations since the 18th century. But the nativists and white supremacists do not agree with the facts of historical relations between America and Islam. We can see that some Americans do not agree with Jefferson’s ownership of a copy of the Holy Quran.

The historical relations between the US and Islam are fluctuated year by year. As we know the US people are proud of some Muslims but they also hate some other Muslims too. Republican Party as an American leading party is switched to be conservative white after 1960s civil rights movement era. And Democrats also switched to be liberal and pro-choice political party. The switching of the political platforms make America divided again.

White supremacists are allowed in the name of American democracy. As the legalization of the Nation of Islam which is a black supremacist, Ku Klux Klan also get freedom in the US public spaces. Of course both organizations are being illegal if we ask the Americans on them. But actually Trump is getting supported by the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.

The anti-Islam rhetoric used by the Republican Presidential Candidates such as Trump and Carson. Carson accuses Islam as an anti-toleration faith. In Carson’s opinion, Islam banned other religions and commands the Muslims to kill people with other religions except Islam. Carson did not read the Quran as in the Verse of al-Baqarah: 256 and al-Kafiroon: 6  we can read that Islam respects the freedom of faith. As in many Muslim countries such in Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Egypt, and also in Turkey, the Muslim majorities are live peaceful with non-Muslim minorities and there is no persecution against the non-Muslim minorities there.

Even the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party terrorizing the African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American and other colored persons living in the United States, the US government actually does not mention them as terrorist organizations. But we do not know why the Muslim organizations are mentioned as terrorist organizations. The unfair prejudice made by the radical-fundamentalist, far-right, supranationalist groups in the American government.

As the Nazi Germany enforce the Jewish ban, the radical Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi enforcing the Muslim and immigrant ban. Videos show American white girls speaking hate on non-white people and non-English speakers uploaded to YouTube and also other social media such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Messenger. The videos also spreading worldwide and the hate on America increase as love on America.

Also the Republican Party becoming a pro-life and also pro-war political party after Vietnam War or maybe after the Civil Rights Act signed in 1968. Beside of Democrats which is becoming pro-choice and pluralistic political party. I cannot explain the switch perfectly but at least we can know that Democratic Party is pro-choice and anti-war right now, also the Republican Party is very pro-life and pro-war.

The Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi are illegal by the law in the United States, but there are no sanctions for people who joining the groups. Joining the illegal groups is about freedom in America. It is about political will so freedom and democracy are the common values at the case.

Trump and the Cold War II

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the petro super power today. The Kingdom making close relations with the United States even the US Foreign Policies are harming the Muslim World. The United States is the largest Christian community on Earth, and Saudi Arabia is the only Islamic country without non-Muslim citizen. Beside of it, Indonesia is the largest Muslim community with India which both country making the majority of the Muslim community in the World.

So the closed relation between the KSA and the USA is nothing but political for the Muslim World. Iran as an enemy of the United States gives its critiques toward the relationship between US and Saudi Arabia. But the issues used by the countries in the Middle East are about Sunni-Shia relation and the deviation of Shia in the Sunni Theology. The issue made by Saudi Arabia that Shia is anti-Islam and also an enemy of all Muslim in the World.

The Sunni-Shia relations flipped up in the Middle East and the Sunni Muslims making war against the Shia Muslims. The radical American Christians are laughing on the fresh bodies of the Muslims in the Middle East today. The hoaxes on Shia strikes on Sunni mosques make the people from all over the World are angry and condemning the Shia Muslims in the entire World. Actually the strikes are from person without identity who is hating  the peace between Muslims.

The Middle East tension is moving up and down day by day to years and centuries. The history states that the Andalusian Umayyad Dynasty is the biggest enemy of the Abbasid Dynasty. Also the French Empire under Charlemagne is an enemy of the Andalusian Umayyad State. Factually the Abbasid Caliphs had made close relations with Charlemagne’s French Empire. Wars between Abbasid Caliphate and Andalusian Umayyad Caliphate were intervened by the French Empire under Charlemagne and also by the Mongolian Genghis Khan Empire. As we can understand the enemy of my enemy in politics is my best friend. So there is no theological and ideological matters, also there is no brotherhood between Muslims, Christians and other religions but there is only about national interests.

The Caliphate of Islam was fallen after internal wars between families of the caliphs and the wars are repeated in the families of the Arabian kingdoms and emirates today. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seen the Islamic Republic of Iran as an enemy because of its influences toward the Muslim World. And the influences of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East are never growing better after the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was fallen and the People Republic of China becoming the only communist superpower which is not as communist as Soviet at the time. And the results of the post-cold war are the awakening of democracy in Asia and Africa, including in the Middle East and also the tension of Sunni-Shia relations in the World.

And there is the next cold war. I called it the Second Cold War. It is the cold war between BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and their axis in one side, versus the United States, the United Kingdom and European Union on the other side. The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League are on the side of the United States, because of the leadership of Saudi Arabia in both organizations.

Arab-Israeli conflict also developed and some Arab countries take the side the Palestinian people, but the KSA and its allies are not on the side of Palestine. Iran as the eternal enemy of the United States and the United Kingdom is on the side of the Palestinians. And we will be surprised when we see that the Shia Muslims are protecting the Palestinian people. Also Turkey a secular Muslim country is at the side with the Palestinian people today. As we also surprised because of the embassies of the Middle East countries (such as KSA, UAE, Jordan and Egypt) are existed in Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel. So there are many Muslim countries making diplomatic relations with the State of Israel as they are making relationship with Palestine.

And today, Trump and King Salman bin Abdul Aziz make close relations with Israel which politically opposite to Iranian and Syrian politics. So today axis and allies are created and the Second Cold War begins. The questions are about where are we now at the Cold War? And alignment is the key of peace and war at this time.

But I am still surprised that 128 countries are opposing the allies and take the side of the axis in the Middle East or the Second Cold War today. I think it is about political communication of Trump’s presidency and also communication style of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today. I see that the people of the World are fed up with the US domination in the United Nations today. Also the movements against the US domination are awake and spreading in the Middle East, Europe and other places in the World.

As we read that Trump has been born in a racist family, we can understand that this will be the end of the American domination. Why did I say that? Because we know that the racist governments are weak politically. US Cabinet today is neither pluralist nor tolerant cabinet filled by most conservative people on Earth. Trump is a nativist who does not understand where he came from. Even he knows that his ancestors are Germans he never realizes that they have been come to America in the previous centuries.

People are protesting everywhere in the entire World against Trump Administration. And today we have seen that Trump was failed in a fighting against the UN members. A majority of the UN members are standing against him at a special meeting. Also we know that this is the Second Cold War which can to be the next (the third) World War between South and North. But as we see the UN meetings and the UN Secretariat jobs today, we can hope that the Third World War will not happening in this decade.

God knows better.

Gaza is dying and, for some, war is no longer the worst option

Gaza is currently ‘unlivable’ due to 11-year-old Israeli siege, Geneva-based rights group said

Israeli news website has warned that unprecedented deterioration of living conditions in Gaza Strip may lead to the outbreak of another war.

This, the website said, may in turn hinder Palestinian reconciliation, despite the fact that neither Hamas nor Israel want this escalation.

Meanwhile, the Israeli website known as Wallah, has reported that at a time when Israel is looking for the party which fired mortar shells on Wednesday, the residents of the Gaza Strip are living in a state of desperation and frustration due to the difficult economic conditions.

These have intensified since the supposed reconciliation deal put together in Cairo, in part because the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has refused to lift the sanctions that it has imposed on Gaza for more than eight months.

“Three mortar missiles were fired on Wednesday in open spaces in Gaza,” said Wallah report. “You don’t need to be an intelligence officer to understand that there are parties in Gaza that want a military escalation and war against Israel,” it added.

It continued: “It is not important who they are; what is important is why? The answer is very simple: the humanitarian situation is increasingly deteriorating and war does not seem to be a bad option in their opinion.”

(Source / 06.02.2018)