Palestinian farmer dies of his wounds after being shot by IOF

Mohammad Abu Jami died at wounds

A 59-year-old Gazan farmer, who was shot and injured by Israeli gunfire on Saturday afternoon east of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, died of his wounds in the evening hours.

According to the spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qudra, the Palestinian farmer Mohammad Abu Jami, who is 59 years old, has died of his wounds after being shot by a bullet in the back on Saturday afternoon at the hands of Israeli occupation soldiers who opened their machinegun fire at Gaza farmers east of Khan Younis.

Israeli navy forces and army troopers routinely open fire at Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-mile zone off the Gaza shores and farmers working in farmlands along the border with 1948 occupied Palestine, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal that was struck following 2014’s offensive on the coastal enclave.

(Source / 03.03.2018)

POSSIBLE CHLORINE AND NAPALM ATTACKS ON THE TOWN OF AL-SHAYFOUNIYA IN EASTERN GHOUTA

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SUMMARY:

Evidence provided to the Violations Documentation Center (VDC) indicates that Syrian warplanes launched several raids on the town of Al-Shayfouniya in Eastern Ghouta, using rocket-propelled grenades suspected to be loaded with chlorine gas on residential areas in the town. The attack was followed by a raid on the same town with what is highly suspected to be Russian fighter jets.  The fighter jets launched rocket-propelled grenades loaded with incendiary materials that directly targeted the building of the local council in the town and resulted in the death of six civilians who were seeking shelter from the continuous bombing in the basement of the building. 72 hours after the raid, town residents found charred bodies in the basement of the building. They could not carry the bodies outside and bury them because large parts of the bodies turned into crisp ashes.

The VDC recorded the death of three children as a result of suffocation from chlorine gas. The father of one of these children was unable to bury his son immediately after his death due to the intensity of the warplane raids and their targeting of moving objects. He carried the body of the son and took shelter in the basement of the local council building in the town of Al-Shayfouniya. He was also later killed by burning napalm rockets, and along with his son, turned into two charred bodies that were later found in the area.

METHODOLOGY:

Al-Shayfouniya is a small town with 2500-3000 inhabitants and is located southeast of the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.
The VDC has collected data and information, as well as conducted testimonies and interviews with local residents that include medical personnel, ambulance crews and rescuers. The VDC conducted a comprehensive analysis of the data collected directly or with the assistance of the “Committee for Monitoring Violations in Eastern Ghouta”. The witnesses who were interviewed separately were cross checked by the VDC’s staff in East Ghouta or by the monitoring body. The VDC also used maps provided by Google Earth and all relevant information to cross check the locations of the raids and events mentioned in the various testimonies. The names of witnesses cited in this report have been changed for their safety.

It is difficult to verify the suspected chemical use in the military attacks without laboratory tests. However, the marks, smells and symptoms cited by witnesses and doctors point to the use of chlorine gas by Syrian government forces in Al-Shayfouniya area. The marks left by some shells on the site and the bodies of the victims indicate a likely use of incendiary napalm.

This report uses only data that the VDC has been able to verify. All other data has been kept and may be used later if it is verified.

CONTEXT:

From February 18, 2018, Syrian government forces and allied armed militias, supported by the Russian Air Force, have carried out an unprecedented military offensive on the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus. The Syrian government gradually lost control of the area from January 2012 to November 2012, and has not had any official access to the area since then.

From the end of 2012, Eastern Ghouta has been subjected to a total siege by Syrian government forces.  No food or medical supplies entered the area with the exception of intermittent assistance through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Damascus.

Today, the area is under the control of two armed opposition factions, Jaysh Al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman, and there is a limited presence of gunmen from the Hay’at Tahrir al- Sham. Jaysh Al-Islam and Faylaq Al-Rahman joined a de-escalation agreement that came into effect in May 2017 for six months, and which could be extended with Turkish, Iranian and Russian guarantees.

On 24 February 2018, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2401 that demanded a ceasefire and the entry of humanitarian assistance to areas in need in Syria. The VDC noted through the daily monitoring of violations that Resolution 2401 was in no way reflected in the cessation or reduction of recent military escalation.

DELIBERATED COORDINATION OF THE ATTACKS:

The data and information collected and analysed by the VDC indicates the possibility that attacks were based on a deliberated scheme primarily intended to inflict as much damage as possible on the civilian population of the town of Al-Shayfouniya:

“Warplanes are suspected of using flaming napalm shells that burned all those present at the site.”
  • On 19 February 2018, Al-Marj Hospital was targeted with missiles directed from a Syrian warplane in two batches. The hospital was again targeted with two barrel bombs on February 24, 2018. The hospital went out of service completely after that. Barrel bombs are indiscriminate weapons that cause intense damage on the areas they fall upon.
  • On February 22, 2018, Syrian warplanes began intensive raids, during which barrel bombs were used.
  • The main roads were destroyed, preventing any rescue teams or ambulance crews from nearby areas and towns from reaching Al-Shayfouniya. The inhabitants were forced to take shelter in basements and shelters.
  • The missiles targeted moving objects, in addition to drinking water reservoirs and food warehouses.
  • On 25 February 2018, warplanes are suspected to have dropped several rounds of chlorine gas, causing suffocation of residents in basements and shelters. The residents were forced to flee under bombardment to the nearby towns of Misraba and Douma.
  • Warplanes are suspected of using flaming napalm shells that burned all those present at the site.

 

HELL ON EARTH:

Majid (pseudonym) is a 24-year-old university student. He described the beginning of the intensive military attack on the town of Al-Shayfouniya to the VDC:
“On February 18, 2018, a military campaign began and encompassed heavy raids on our town, but as of 22 February 2018, the campaign intensified even more and targeted the town on that day with five bursts of rocket launchers that fired tens of rockets on residential areas and buildings. A large number of barrel bombs exploded above everything in Al-Shayfouniya. And the reconnaissance planes did not leave the sky during the whole time. And every moving object was a target and not even stranded animals were spared.”

Abdelhamid (pseudonym) is a 49-year-old from Al-Shayfouniya and a member of the local council of the town. He testified to the VDC: “On February 22, 2018, we counted a total of 42 air strikes in just one hour. Since the Syrian government lost control of the town, Al-Shayfouniya had not been hit by barrel bombs with the exception of one time in 2014. While the aircraft in this recent campaign launched more than 50 barrel bombs in just three days. Residents are now refugees in basements, without drinking water and adequate food, with only the small quantities that were distributed by the local council of the town. They did not have access to a toilet and human waste spread everywhere.”

“On February 25, we were in a basement that was about 200 meters from the local council building. We were drinking contaminated water because the raids destroyed all the drinking water tanks in the town,” Majid said. “At 10pm, I decided to take the risk of moving towards the local council basement because no food had reached the families in our basement since 6pm the day before. When I arrived I saw more than 20 families in a basement area of ​​about 100 square meters.”

DEATH IS EVERYWHERE AND NO TIME FOR BURIAL:

“The constant bombardment did not allow us to bury him. His father remained holding his body and hiding with us inside the basement waiting for the violent waves of bombardment to stop to be able to bury his child.”

“Shortly after my arrival to the local council’s basement, a father arrived carrying his 5-years-old son who appeared to be a dead corpse,” says Majed, the former witness. “Someone there used what’s left of the water, nearly half-liter, to wash the child’s face, and then he poured what’s left in his mouth”.

Talal (pseudonym) from Al-Shayfouniya, who is a member of the local council, indicated to the Violations Documentation Center that he tried to perform CPR to save the child, Mohammed Shihab:

“We had only half a bottle of water. I poured water on his face and put some water in his mouth and then pressed on his chest. The child exhaled discharging the water that came out of his mouth loaded with the smell of chlorine. I immediately realized that the child had died”.

Abdul Hamid, a former witness, describes how he saw the child, Mohammed Shihab: “The constant bombardment did not allow us to bury him. His father remained holding his body and hiding with us inside the basement waiting for the violent waves of bombardment to stop to be able to bury his child.”

FROM ONE HELL TO ANOTHER

Majed remembering some close moments to death:

“Shortly after I arrived at the local council building, a shell fell nearby but did not explode. Yet, it produced a continuous sound like the sound of leaking air coming out of a narrow opening. Then the smell of chlorine spread out everywhere. We were lucky because the shell fell outside and the natural winds kept the gas density away from the families’ whereabouts.”

Talal (former witness), answering our question on about how he knew that the shells were loaded with chlorine gas, said: “Primarily, from the smell of gas. Secondly, from the way the shell fell; it did not explode and only a light continuous sound of leaking preceded the spread the strong chlorine smell”.

Majed continues recounting the story of his departure:

“. The body of Khalid Shihab had been turned into ashes, next to the ashes of the body of his young son, Mohammed Shihab, who had died before from chlorine gas.”

“We agreed after an urgent discussion that the situation is very bad and there is no possibility for the continuous presence of families in the basements. So, we decided to escape through the agricultural road towards the town of Misraba.

At 11:30am, just before the midnight of February 25, we began the difficult journey. We had a lot of children, wounded, and old people amongst us and we were targeted by five mortars till our arrival.

On our way out we were watching the continuous air raids over the Al-Shayfouniya and the local council building. Then, we saw the glow of a large fire followed by the sound of a huge explosion. Finally, we arrived to Misraba at four o’clock in the morning. Then, at six we have been informed that the basement of the local council in Al-Shayfouniya had been targeted by napalm bombs.”

“We contacted the civil defence, who said that they could not enter the town because of the bad roads and the targeting of any moving bodies on the ground, even animals. I went with several other people into the town at night through the agricultural roads. Outside, I saw drinking water tanks that were the size of a large room and had been reduced to small plastic blocks. When we entered the basement of the council, we saw six charred bodies and the fire was still burning some of their limbs. We could not lift the bodies out of place because they began to crumble and were no longer a single block. I used a shovel to try to put the bodies into sacks but I fell apart in front of the horror of the scene of the shattered corpses of my relatives and friends. We could not immediately identify the each body. We knew some of them from the metal section of their waist belt or from their keychain. The body of Khalid Shihab had been turned into ashes, next to the ashes of the body of his young son, Mohammed Shihab, who had died before from chlorine gas. Today, February 29, three days have passed, and the bodies remain in the same place. ”

Doctor A. T. told the VDC that the bodies found in Al-Shayfouniya after the night of February 26 were “completely charred and their bones crumpled. These people were burned and their bodies remained as though they were just hit by the napalm shell.”

THE DEATH OF A THIRD CHILD AFTER SEVERAL DAYS:

Dr. Mohammed Katoub of SAMS Medical Center, who resides in Turkey and receives daily urgent reports from SAMS hospitals in the Eastern Ghouta, has indicated to (VDC) that: “The child Ahmed Al-Ahmad from the town of Al-Shayfouniya was 10 months old and had arrived at one of the SAMS hospitals in Eastern Ghouta on Sunday, February 25, 2018. He was diagnosed with respiratory failure accompanied with other symptoms of chlorine inhalation. Then, he died on Thursday, March 1, 2018.”

The VDC had recorded earlier the death of another victim Adnan al-Samoudi, a 4- year- old from the town of Al-Shayfouniya, who suffocated after having inhaled the chlorine gas immediately after the first bombardment of the town at around 6 pm on February 25, 2018.

THE INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW IHL PROHIBITS; HOWEVER, SYRIA ALWAYS SEEMS TO HAVE ITS OWN INTERNATIONAL LAW!

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) signed by the Syrian government in September 2013 prohibits the use of toxic chemicals, such as chlorine, to kill or injure. Furthermore, international humanitarian law and the laws of war applied to Syria also prohibit the use of chemical weapons and consider the use of prohibited weapons with criminal intent, intentionally or recklessly, to be a war crime.

The Syrian government has ignored the calls to join to the Protocol III, which prohibits the use of incendiary weapons from the air on civilian populations. Russia, however, like all other permanent members of the Security Council, is a member state in the Protocol. Protocol III defines “civilian gatherings” as “any gathering of civilians, whether permanent or temporary, such as inhabited parts of cities, towns or populated villages, camps, queues of refugees or evacuees.”

The attacks described in this report have followed the adoption of the Security Council resolution number 2401, which clearly requires all parties to declare a 30-day humanitarian truce and to allow the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance to the besieged areas. However, the attacks mentioned in this report have all been launched after the issuance of the resolution which clearly indicates the Syrian and Russian governments’ lack of commitment to the UN truce.

The VDC calls on the United Nations, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the Office of Humanitarian Affairs to seriously consider these violations of UN resolutions, international law and the CWC. Furthermore, the VDC calls to open an independent international investigation to consider the recurrence of these violations and to take all necessary steps to protect civilians in Syria and to provide them with all needed assistance in their places of residence.

(Source / 03.03.2018)

Joint Israeli-US military drill to be launched Sunday

Zio US drill

Thousands of US troopers have been stationed in 1948 Occupied Palestine to participate in a joint military exercise with Israeli occupation forces at the pretext of confronting missile attacks by Iran and Hezbollah.

The biennial “Juniper Cobra” drill is set to start on March 4 and will continue until March 15, with participation of 2,500 forces from the US European Command and 2,000 IOF soldiers, according to Israeli Makan TV.

This year, the maneuver will include advanced computer simulations of a massive ballistic missile attack against Israel by Hezbollah and Iran.

During the 2018 Juniper Cobra drills, the US and Israeli forces will train on the long-range Arrow and Patriot air defense systems, the medium-range David’s Sling, and the short-range Iron Dome.

This will be the first time that the David’s Sling will be used in a Juniper Cobra exercise. The IOF has installed Patriot missile systems across the occupied Palestinian territories in the lead-up to the drills

(Source / 03.03.2018)

Arrests reported in overnight campaigns in West Bank

Large-scale arrests WB

A number of Palestinians were arrested in large-scale raids launched by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Saturday in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The IOF arrested the two brothers Suhaib and Anas Abu Turki from their family house in Khirbet Qilqis south of al-Khalil city.

The IOF soldiers stormed in large numbers several neighborhoods in al-Khalil, Halhul and Sa’ir, erected checkpoints and searched Palestinian vehicles.

Two Palestinian youths named Siraj and Ahmad al-Khatib were arrested in Hizma town east of Jerusalem, while a third Palestinian identified as Musheer Abu Baker was arrested at a checkpoint near Ya’bad town south of Jenin.

The IOF at daybreak broke into the house of the Palestinian youth Yousuf Abu Khashaba in Bethlehem and handed him an order to appear before the Israeli intelligence for interrogation.

Violent clashes broke out on Friday night in al-Isawiya northeast of Jerusalem after which all entrances to the village were closed by the Israeli forces.

A general closure has been imposed on the West Bank since Wednesday to facilitate Israeli settlers’ celebrations for Purim Holiday.

(Source / 03.03.2018)

Israeli forces fire grenade at couple holding baby

Video showed Palestinian couple carrying baby while Israeli soldiers fired a stun grenade at them

Footage released by an Israeli rights group showed Israeli soldiers firing a stun grenade at a Palestinian couple carrying a baby, Anadolu Agency reports.

The incident took place in the West Bank village of Burin near Nablus on Friday, according to Yesh Din organization on Saturday.

Yesh Din said several Israeli soldiers arrived at the outskirts of the village and fired teargas and stun grenades at Palestinian youth gathering in the area.

“At least one teargas grenade fell inside one of the houses, where residents began to suffer gas inhalation,” the organization said in a statement.

Report: Israel carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured children 

A video released by the organization showed a Palestinian couple running away with the father carrying an infant while Israeli soldiers fired a stun grenade at them.

Israeli police, for its part, said the soldiers were attempting to disperse rioters in the area.

“The Palestinian fled the scene with his back to the Israeli force and they therefore could not see he was carrying a baby,” it said.

The Palestinian territories have remained tense since U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in Dec. 6.

The move has triggered world outcry and protests in the Palestinian territories that left dozens of Palestinians dead.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — now occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as capital of an independent Palestinian state.

READ: Israel court delays return of Palestinian bodies to their families

(Source / 03.03.2018)

Afghanistan, 5th province of Pakistan

By Haseeb Asghar

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is in the west and northwest of Pakistan, to the west of China, and on the north side are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. 99% of the population of Afghanistan is Muslim, one percent composed of Sikh and Hindu, etc. The country has been occupied by the Iranians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, British, Russians and the United States. But its people have always been resisting against external occupation.

Afghanistan has been in a state of war for the past 35 years which has destroyed it and has made many generations displaced.

Today, Afghanistan is under the occupation of the Americans.  Afghanistan is apparently recognized as an independent country and government, but the destruction of Afghanistan has for the most part been at the hands of foreigners who exert much influence over the current government and often this situation creates civil war.

Although Afghanistan lacks oil or other resources it has a geographical position which makes this country always important in South Asia. That’s why the colonial powers have always tried to capture or influence it. Much of the area of Afghanistan is stony and mountainous and therefore it is difficult to capture by any external power. People are mostly tribal, therefore they never recognize external powers and resist. As a consequence this country has not been able to secure peace for a long time.

Russia suffered unprecedented loss for its occupation of Afghanistan, but it could not succeed, due to the role of the US and its goal of the failure of Russia. This was a key element which led to the end of the USSR with the help of Pakistan.

After dismantling a great state like Russia, the US had the understanding that he it is the father of this world and what he wants will happen. If it is seen that the US could invade wherever it wants, feeling its Omnipotence, it forgot the lessons of history and itself became bogged down in the swamp in Afghanistan.

According to the statements of American journalists, intellectuals and others, the United States carried out an inside job, the 9/11 attack, to create the reason of assault on Afghanistan.  The US has attempted to justify their actions to the world saying that the Taliban are doing the worst to the masses and are involved in terrorism while millions of troops have been sent to Afghanistan with their allies to occupy the golden strategically located country. As I have already stated, Afghanistan is geographically located in a place where almost all Central Asia can be controlled. That is why every country who has ruled India in the past has adopted Afghanistan as a pathway to enter the subcontinent.

Afghanistan’s geographical significance is not possible to deny; but without Pakistan’s cooperation, Afghanistan can never progress, there are many reasons which makes Pakistan very important for Afghanistan’s progress and development. One:  is there is no sea port in Afghanistan and its main and most important part of its border is with Pakistan.

Pakistan is directly affected if terrorist activities and uncertain situations erupt in Afghanistan.

As much as a safe and secure Pakistan is important for Afghanistan even more important a safe and secure Afghanistan for Pakistan. In other words Pakistan is as worried about Afghanistan as it is the fifth province of Pakistan.  This can tell the importance of Afghanistan for Pakistan. Pakistan utilizes all the world forms for stability in Afghanistan, which could open the path of peace and development in Afghanistan.

But there is a serious problem which is named US, which is not in favor of the creation of peace and prosperity in the Region and not in favor of favorable conditions for Pakistan. But it is taking a keen interest in its promotion of India in the region.

Despite the loss of trillions of dollars and the death of thousands of soldiers the US is not willing to leave Afghanistan. However the United States wants to get rid of Pakistan as such while the US is trying to give India more options in Afghanistan. The US accusation that Pakistan should be considered an ineffective country in the prevention of terrorism is a continuation of the US building pressure by its policies and statements against Pakistan. They do not acknowledge Pakistan’s success in the struggle against terrorism.s

On the 4th of January this year the US President cut the aid to Pakistan’s military while saying that Pakistan is not conducting sufficient action against terrorists in the country.

The United States’s announcement to stop aid, their unilateral military actions and drone strikes supposedly against terrorist in Pakistan increased the tensions in Pak-US relations which was not good already. Other US Senate members, including the US President, issued false statements against Pakistan, but while on the other hand America speaks wanting a stronger and improved relationship with Pakistan.  It seemed as if the US is playing a role of both sides of “good cop / bad cop” with Pakistan.

Generally this attitude is taken when the opposition is unaware of your decisions and your mentality. Usually if the opponent will back down in response to your threat, eye to eye contact in real negotiations do not happen equitably. If they are not afraid by your threats toward them then they play a role of good cop and manage the situation with more humble ways. The US did not expect that Pakistan would speak fearlessly, eye to eye,  against the policies and statements from US so that some softening of their approach to Pakistan is being adopted.

After the tough stand regarding the threats from the US  there is a slight decrease in the stance of the US.  The US President has proposed to keep $ 336 million for Pakistan in his annual budget, which seems to have been seen due to Pakistan’s stand and it seems the US President has been forced to revise his announcement.

The budget for 4 billion dollars sent by the White House to the Congress has included $256 million for civilian support of Pakistan and $ 80 million in military support. This aid will be helpful in creating economic stability of Pakistan and opportunities for US investment in Pakistan.

In addition, the US State Department’s Budget Tips 2019 include Pakistan’s economic and military assistance. These unconditional applications have been allocated to the US $ 20.2 million annually for 2018 and 2019 by the Economic Support Funds Development Fund.

This was the role of America in the region. Now I want to show other side of the project.  In the past two decades, India has received great support from the United States and Israel in the arms and technology sector. Israel has given more than 200 Caliber 155mm / 39 Ultra Light lightweight cannon.

These cannon are capable of aiming at long distance targets using satellite and radar and that can be easily installed in mountains and rocky area s. They have Laser guided Munitions.  India has also installed these cannon on working bonds, installation of guns on working bonds is a violation of international laws which are not permissible while there is not actual warfare between Pakistan and India.  That is why Pakistan is demanding that this issue requires diplomatic action in international platforms.

Now the balance of power is shifting. The US is facing defeat despite having become the premier super power.

The US has not yet succeeded in Afghanistan after the loss of trillion dollars and thousands of soldiers after 17 years. The US President has acknowledged that the Taliban control over 70% of Afghanistan’s territory.

Just consider the fact that Pakistan has successfully completed the world’s largest military operation against terrorism, thousands of civilians and soldiers have died in this war and millions of dollars have been expended. All its efforts are being ignored while India sows instability in the region.

This is the current attitude of the United States. International experts say that there was no tougher attitude towards Pakistan before.

In my opinion, CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) is a reason for American harsh behavior, which can play a key role in changing the affairs of the world, including South Asia. When CPEC is completed successfully Pakistan will become a very important country in the world. This is what is unacceptable for US, Israel and India.  CPEC is more beneficial for China then Pakistan, but Pakistan’s benefits, though hard to estimate, will be large.

Let me tell you a very important thing that China’s 94% population lives in South China, whereas 6 percent of its population lives in western China, which is about 55% of China. And western China borders Pakistan. After the completion of CPEC, China’s western part will be able become fully developed.  Moreover, after completion of CPEC, China will be able to much cheaper trade relations with Central Asia.

There are many countries which are upset by CPEC but India is most among all. Indian security affairs experts have declared CPEC’s to be the biggest threat to India’s survival.  India is not in a position to do anything against CPEC but it is using Afghanistan’s soil to destroy this comprehensive project. India is investing a heavy amount of money in Afghanistan to gain the trust of Afghan authorities.  India has inaugurated Salma Dan in Afghanistan while invested $ 300 million in Heart  for a Hydro Power Plant. This is India’s highest historical investment in any country.

Apart of this India is construction Chabahar Port in Iran which is just 70 kilometers away from Gwadar Port.

India has been building at the port at Chabahar in Iran since 2003, but due to economic sanctions on Iran last year, the construction work was slow. Now after the end of these restrictions, India has signed a $ 85 million agreement with Iran to build this port in May 2016.

It is also worth considering that, as soon as the port was needed to stop China’s way, the United States agreed to the nuclear weapons deal in weeks and Iran’s old position has been somewhat restored.

China will trade through CPEC and will take measures for its security. Thus, Gwadar’s port will also base ships of the Chinese Navy. While this is the place from which India deals with the Middle Eastern countries for its oil needs, India knows that if a CPEC is completed, China can control this route and cut India’s supply lines. While relations between China and India are tense, India can be placed under economic pressure and China can surround India from two different sides.

This is the short story of super-mastery of this region that has disturbed India and why it is taking steps to make CPEC fail.

For this, India means supporting insurgency in Balochistan , because the CPEC will pass through Balochistan Therefore India is providing everything to the rebels of Balochistan, to strengthen the insurgency.  Consequently to destroy CPEC.

CPEC will be the game changer for the Region where its security and success is also a great challenge for Pakistan. Because on one side, you have the security of the longest border with the country of India, which keeps its treasury open for the enemies of Pakistan While on the other border, TTP, ISIS and other terrorists threaten security in Pakistan by using Afghanistan’s side as a base.

As I said earlier, peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan are connected with each other. We can say that Afghanistan is as much important to Pakistan as its fifth province of Pakistan.

(Source / 03.03.2018)

Bil’in Marks Thirteenth Anniversary of Nonviolent Resistance Against the Wall, Colonies

02 MAR
11:53 PM

On Friday, dozens of Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli and international peace activists, marched in Bil’in village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, marking the fifteenth anniversary of ongoing popular nonviolent resistance against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and colonies, before the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force, injured five, dragged and abducted an international peace activist.

Many Palestinians from various areas of the occupied West Bank, including heads and members of local councils, senior political leaders, in addition to current and former ambassadors, also participated in the nonviolent procession.

They all marched chanting for liberty and independence, affirming the Palestinian internationally-guaranteed rights, and calling for establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, in addition to denouncing the illegal American stances and recognition of the occupied city as the unified capital of Israel.

The nonviolent protesters also carried Palestinian flags, and a large stereoscopic figure of the number 13, decorated with pictures representing thirteen years of ongoing struggle, and attached to it spent gas bombs.

Some protesters dressed like native Americans, representing the displacement and massacres against the indigenous population, and others dressed like Avatar characters, while many children carried balloons with pictures of Palestinians who were killed by the army during nonviolent processions, and those who were abducted and imprisoned, including ‘Ahed Tamimi and Monther Amira, before the balloons were released to fly freely in the air.

They also chanted for national unity, the liberation of Palestinian, including its occupied capital, Jerusalem, in addition to calling for the release of all political prisoners.

Upon reaching the gate of the annexation wall, some protesters wrote graffiti, while others started banging at the gate with stones and raised Palestinian flags.

The soldiers filmed the nonviolent protesters and resorted to the excessive use of force against them, before firing live round, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades, and attacked many of them.

The Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bil’in, said the soldiers shot five Palestinians, including cameraman Issam Rimawi, who was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his arm.

One Palestinian was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his shoulder, while resident Bassam Yassin, was shot with a gas bomb in his leg, in addition to Adeeb Abu Rahma, who was shot with a gas bomb in the head, and dozens of others suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

(Source / 03.03.2018)

Army Injures Fifteen Palestinians In Gaza

02 MAR
6:32 PM

Update: The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, fifteen young men protesting on Palestinian lands near the border fence in the northern and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip, and in central Gaza.

It said that the soldiers, stationed on military towers and tanks around Nahal Oz base, across the border fence east of Gaza city, fired dozens of live rounds at the protesters, wounding a young man in his leg, before he was rushed to the Shifa medical center, suffering moderate wounds.

Many Palestinians also suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation and received the needed treatment by local medics.

The soldiers also attacked protesters near the border fence east of Jabalia town, in northern Gaza, and moderately shot four with live fire, before they were rushed to the Indonesian hospital, in nearby Beit Lahia city, while many others suffered the effects if teargas inhalation.

In Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, the soldiers shot seven Palestinians with live fire, before they were rushed to Nasser and the European Hospitals, while many residents suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

In addition, the army shot a young man with a live fire in the leg, near Beit Hanoun (Erez) terminal in northern Gaza, causing a moderate injury.

Updated From:
Army Injures Eleven Palestinians In Gaza

Mar 2, 2018 @ 17:26

The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported, Friday, that Israeli soldiers shot at least eleven Palestinians after the army, stationed across the border fence, attacked dozens of protesters in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry, said the soldiers shot a Palestinian with a live round in the leg, and another in his shoulder, in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza.

He added that the soldiers also shot another Palestinian near Karni (Nahal Oz) crossing, east the Sheja’eyya neighborhood, in Gaza city.

Furthermore, the soldiers shot one Palestinian in both legs, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.

Three other Palestinians were also shot with live fire, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the coastal region.

The soldiers also fired a barrage of gas bombs at protesters in the al-Farahin area, and Abasan as-Sagheera, east of Khan Younis.

It is worth mentioning that protests were also held across the West Bank for the thirteenth consecutive week, since the American President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as a unified capital of Israel in direct violation of International Law and numerous United Nations resolutions.

(Source / 03.03.2018)

Verhuizing ambassade Jeruzalem bevroren

الرئيس جيمي موراليس (يسار) كان قرر نقل سفارة بلاده من تل أبيب إلى القدس فتصدت له قطاعات مجتمعية واسعة
Het Hooggerechtshof van de Republiek Guatemala heeft het besluit van president Jimmy Morales om de ambassade van Tel Aviv naar Jeruzalem over te brengen, bevroren.
De rechtbank zei in een verklaring op vrijdagavond dat de beslissing van de rechtbank was gebaseerd op een rechtszaak die was aangespannen door een groep Guatemalteekse advocaten onder leiding van Marco Venisio Mejia Davila, en die was gebaseerd op de grondwet als een seculiere staat: de president heeft geen recht op zuiver religieuze gronden om beslissingen te nemen die een vreedzame co-existentie tussen groepen van de samenleving treffen.

President Jimmy Morales wilde de ambassade van Tel Aviv naar Jeruzalem verhuizen op 24 december, om steun vanuit zijn land te verlenen aan de Verenigde Staten na de afwijzing van een ontwerp-besluit van de Algemene Vergadering van de Verenigde Naties. De VN had de eisen “niet de wettelijke status van Jeruzalem te veranderen”, goedgekeurd in de weken na het besluit van de Amerikaanse president Donald Trump om op 6 december de ambassade van de Verenigde Staten naar Jeruzalem over te brengen en te erkennen als de hoofdstad van de bezettende macht.

Er werd gerefereerd naar Tayseer Khaled, een lid van het uitvoerend comité van de PLO en het hoofd van de afdeling Expatriate Zaken – die na de rechtszaak tegen de president – een brief van dank en waardering aan de advocaat van de Palestijnse Federatie in Guatemala liet bezorgen, waarin de positie en het standpunt van principiële en nobele Guatemalteken van het maatschappelijk middenveld, met name in de economische, politieke en media-instellingen, die zich tegen het besluit van Marales hadden gekeerd, werd gewaardeerd.

Bron: Al Jazeera (vertaald op 03.03.2018)

#3rdMarch1924 – 93 years without the Caliphate

[For a detailed historical insight into the fall of the Caliphate watch the video above, 1914; The shaping of the Modern Muslim World by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi]

“We must put an end to anything which brings about any Islamic unity between the sons of the Muslims. The situation now is that Turkey is dead and will never rise again, because we have destroyed its moral strength, the Caliphate and Islām.”

“This bold statement, or rather stark warning, was allegedly made by the former British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, at the House of Commons after the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, when the Ottomans were defeated in World War One. The reason why Lord Curzon’s statement should be taken with so much weight (if it is true) is because it correlates with the following ḥadīth of Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):

“The knots of Islām will be undone one by one, each time a knot is undone the next one will be grasped, the first to be undone will be the ruling and the last will be the prayer.”[2]

Today marks 93 years since the destruction of the Ottoman Caliphate, heralding arguably the darkest chapter in Islamic history after the death of Rasūl’Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). The Ummah continues to suffer from the after-effects of this calamitous event, for the very reason, which Lord Curzon mentioned – the Muslims currently have no collective “moral strength”, which is embodied in the form of an inclusive Islamic polity. The Middle East and North Africa were subsequently carved up between Britain and France, as Mark Sykes and Francois Georges Picot planned the future of the former Ottoman territories with a pen and ruler. What followed since was an uninterrupted chain of secular dictatorships and petrol rich sheikhdoms. Many of these regimes came to power via military coups, dressed up as pseudo-liberators, whilst the Gulf monarchies unashamedly enjoyed the fruits of their forefathers’ betrayal during WW1.

The history lesson aside, the concept of the Caliphate, and the general Muslim populous’ desire for it, continues to be maligned by academics, journalists, Western policy makers and governments. Secular liberals and modernists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, from across the political spectrum, appear to have adopted the attitude of Lord Curzon, but with rehashed rhetoric that a Caliphate is simply incompatible with the modern world, rendering it barbaric and despotic. The irony is that they all seem to conveniently forget that for over a thousand years Islamic civilisation under successive Caliphates, from the Umayyads to the Ottomans, led humanity in science, philosophy, arts and technology. Furthermore, agenda-driven critics and muscular ideologues also overlook that not only did every Caliphate have the trappings of a modern state, but they were the beacon and example of modernity for their relevant period in history. Again, I cannot do justice in explaining Islām’s contribution to the world as we know it today, when libraries are filled with books and historical testimonies of non-Muslims who substantiate this undeniable fact.

Also read: The Caliphate Chicken & Egg

However, it must be stated from the onset that the Caliphate is not regarded as a utopian state, conceptually or in practice. This was never the case when Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) ruled over Madīna, or when the Khulafāh Rāshidūn (Rightly Guided Caliphs) expanded the Caliphate, or those that came after. In fact, when the Caliphate entered hereditary rule and kingship, there were cases of internal corruption, theological deviation and infighting. Rather, this polity is what followed the end of Prophethood, and the practical manifestation of Allāh’s (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) divine law on Earth. This is evident in the following ḥadīth of Rasūl’Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam):

“The Prophets used to manage the political affairs of Banī Isrāīl. Whenever a Prophet died another Prophet succeeded him, but there will be no Prophets after me; instead there will be Caliphs, and they will number many”. The Companions asked: what then do you order us? He (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “fulfil allegiance to them one after the other. Give them their dues. Verily Allāh will ask them about what He entrusted them with”.[3]

The virtues and societal conditions sought from the Caliphate, deduced from the classical scholars after scrutinising the Sharīʿah, is to establish social justice, to protect the honour and property of its citizens, and the preservation of the Islamic way of life. Now this may be a sour grape for the intolerant ‘tolerant’ who stubbornly comprehend the Islamic system through the lenses of a secular paradigm, assuming that liberal democracy is the default benchmark against which every governing system should be compared to. But there is also a political context to this ideological objection of the Caliphate, and that is the conflation of Europe’s systematic separation of the ‘Church and state’. This period of secularisation, which is symbolised in the era known as the ‘Enlightenment’, has never occurred in the Muslim world during the existence of a Caliphate, nor would it be befitting.

Those that attempt and conflate Islām and western Christianity under the arbitrary term “religion” invariably superimpose the pre-reformation Christian historical baggage onto Islām. The fact of the matter is that Islamic history is not plagued with the same repressive church-like institutions that stifled human advancement, and the classical Islamic governance already secured the rights that the Enlightenment sought to secure, and more. The notion of a Caliph is an employee that represents and is accountable to the people, and Islamic history shows a level of accountability that we still have not yet seen in Western politics. Despite this, there were attempts during the 19thcentury to minimise the legislative powers of the Caliph, and to modernise certain aspects of the declining Ottoman Caliphate, to make it more ‘palatable’ with its thriving European contemporaries; but the idea of a systematic separation of “religion and state” was unthinkable.

Additionally, Islām’s worldview that was represented by the Caliphate had always clashed with other empires it encountered; from the Persians, Byzantines, Mongols, Crusaders, right up to the imperial powers of Europe. Hence, after the destruction of the Caliphate on 3rd March 1924, Christian Europe had successfully eradicated the only superpower that it had been in a constant state of conflict with for nearly a millenium. Of course, Europe had suffered centuries of bloody internal wars, but the fight against the ‘Mohammedans’ was a unique one due to the cultural and religious dissimilarity.

After the downfall of the Soviet Union in 1989, Francis Fukuyama had arrogantly stated that humanity had reached the “end of history” – implying that liberal democracy was the only natural form of government to have survived the testing waves of global change.[4] Fukuyama was clearly naive in his assessment of the world, because he assumed that in the absence of the Caliphate, the Islamic mind would also be non-existent – he was grossly mistaken. The 9/11 attacks, and the subsequent US-led ‘war on terror’ that followed is a testimony to this. After the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the rise of armed groups in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, it became unavoidably clear that the desire for the return of the Caliphate was very much existent. The Arab Spring, or what remains of it, is another example of the Islamic sentiment of the general Muslim masses in wanting Islām to play a greater role in society. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and more evidently in Syria, are prime examples of this. The revolutions which spread like wildfire in 2011 initially began as a grassroots movement, in order to attain self-determination in a region, which had been ruled by Western-backed dictators for decades. Unfortunately, with the interference of Western powers and their regional proxies, the sincere efforts of those who lost their lives during the uprisings, had been sidelined and forgotten by political opportunists in search for power. Naturally, cosmetic changes were made to the ‘new’ post-Arab Spring countries, but in nearly every case, the oppressive regimes and state apparatus remained.

The emergence of the group known as ISIS, which claimed to have restored the Caliphate on 29 June 2014, was a dream come true for the West. The former chief of the British Armed forces, Sir General Richard Dannatt, justified the occupation of Afghanistan, and Britain’s involvement in the war on terror by stating that it was to prevent:

“…the historic Islamic caliphate, running through south Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and up through south and south-east Europe.”[5]

Lo and behold, the West had at last found its medieval Caliphate in the form of ISIS, which in reality was a doctor’s sick note to continue its destructive foreign policy in the Middle East. The criminality of ISIS has been used as a stick by Western politicians to beat the Muslims with, and a tool to demonise the noble concept of the Caliphate. The media continues to refer to ISIS as an “Islamic State”, knowing that the majority of Muslims, including likeminded groups who share the same goal, have unequivocally rejected their claim to the Caliphate.

The abhorrent actions of ISIS cannot be used to pressure Muslims into rejecting the concept of the Caliphate for two very simple reasons. Firstly, there is a unanimous consensus amongst classical and contemporary scholars within Sunni Islām, that the Caliphate is the ideal form of governance for Muslims, and to work for its re-establishment is an obligation. However, Muslims will inevitably differ in the methodology of how the Caliphate should be restored due to theological and political differences, but the scriptural evidences and scholarly works emphasising its importance is too overpowering. Secondly, the fact that Rasūl’Allāh’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) burial was delayed until a Caliph was appointed could not have been a more significant indication of how serious the Companions (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) took the matter of the Caliphate. “The aforementioned reasons, coupled with the dire situation the Muslim world is currently in, as a result of seeking liberation by adopting failed secular ideologies, the only real option remaining for the Ummah is to return to a system which, for all its previous mistakes, protected Islām and safeguarded its citizens from harm.

Those who are adamant that the Caliphate is incompatible with the modern world, and to anticipate its return is a romanticised idea, need to appreciate from an Islamic perspective, that the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) has prophesised its permanent return,[6] and Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) has promised the Muslims authority on Earth.[7]

Notes:

[1] Musnad Aḥmed, ḥadīth no.31

[2] Saḥīḥ Muslim

[3] https://ps321.community.uaf.edu/files/2012/10/Fukuyama-End-of-history-article.pdf

[4] http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/dec/20/faces-2009-richard-dannatt-tory

[5] Musnad Aḥmed, ḥadīth no 273[6] Al-Qur’ān, 24:55

This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2016

(Source / 03.03.2018)