Uitslagen Islamitische Politieke Partijen

De bureau’s die de peilingen doen voor de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen hebben dagen voor 19 maart elkaar nagepapegaaid dat de opkomst historisch laag zou zijn en de media deed hier nog een flinke duit in het zakje door dit elke keer te herhalen. Zo krijgt de stemmer wel vertrouwen in de politiek. Daaraan gekoppeld de landelijke kopstukken die op de nationale tv zaken plachten te zeggen die wat te maken hebben met lokale politiek en geen hond snapt er nog wat van.

Deze verkiezingen hebben een record aantal lokale partijen meegedaan, waar onder enkele islamitische partijen of partijen die de islamitische normen en waarden hoog in het vaandel hebben staan.

Voor meer informatie over dit artikel,  stuur een mail naar khamakarpress@gmail.com


U.N. aid convoy to enter Syria for first time

A general view shows tents at the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in the countryside of Aleppo near the Syria-Turkey border on March 12, 2014 where 420 tents were reportedly flooded due to bad weather.  (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-KHATIEB)
A general view shows tents at the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in the countryside of Aleppo near the Syria-Turkey border on March 12, 2014 where 420 tents were reportedly flooded due to bad weather.
GAZIANTEP, Turkey: A U.N. convoy of about 80 trucks is ready to cross the Turkish border into Syria for the first time, aid officials said Wednesday, in a step they hope will pave the way for humanitarian access to the country’s most desperate areas.

The convoy became possible after the U.N. Security Council last month unanimously called on Syrian authorities and rebels to allow prompt access for humanitarian supplies across front lines and borders by the most direct routes.

Last week, Syria granted its approval to the opening of the border crossing and sources said Turkey had also now given the delivery the go-ahead.

However, one Western official said the convoy would not reach some of the areas worst affected by the conflict, which has killed more than 140,000 people, driven 2.5 million to seek refuge abroad and displaced a total of 9 million.

“This is a significant step because it is the first U.N. convoy going across from Turkey into Syria since the conflict started,” a senior aid official told Reuters.

The official added that non-governmental organizations had already been using Turkey’s Nusaybin border post close to the Kurdish city of Qamishli inside Syria “for years” to convey smaller consignments of aid.

“Obviously we need more access,” the official added.

Officials said the U.N. aid delivery was expected to take place soon but declined to give a precise time frame.

“There will be U.N. organizations like UNHCR, UNICEF and maybe one or two others within that,” a Turkish official said, referring to the U.N.’s refugee and children’s agencies.

Syria’s offer to allow aid into Qamishli has posed a dilemma for Turkey as it would open the border into an area of Syria largely controlled by fighters linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who have waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey.

The offer also fails to give direct access to rebel-held areas of northwest Syria most badly devastated by the civil war, which are further to the west in Aleppo and Idlib provinces.

The Western aid official said there were concerns that the aid would only reach the Kurdish areas of northeast Syria.

“If you go through that border crossing, you will not be able to reach the people that need this aid most – this is not a solution,” he said.

He said Damascus had stipulated that the aid should be distributed by Syrian government partners, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and that it was unlikely to cross front lines into the rebel-held areas.

“The U.N. will probably celebrate this as a great breakthrough. The question is what happens after,” the Western official said.

Charities such as Save the Children have complained that the Feb. 22 U.N. Security Council resolution has not curbed Syria’s suffering and say many sides in the conflict are failing to meet their obligations set out in the U.N. text.

(Source / 19.03.2014)

UNRWA appeals for more efforts to help Palestinian refugees

Despite worldwide political support for the Palestinian cause, more efforts are needed to address the difficulties faced by Palestinian refugees living in vulnerable situations, the UN refugee’s chief has said.

The commissioner general of The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the near east (UNRWA) Filippo Grandi said that Palestinian refugees needed continuous international attention.

“The problem started in 1948. It has been going on for a long time. For 65 years, there has been no solution to the question of the Palestinian refugees,” Grandi said.

A solution is needed urgently that respects of the rights and wishes of the refugees, carried out with the consultation of their leaders. “Unfortunately that has eluded the international community,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.

Beside of the duration of Israel-Palestinian conflict, the other big problem is the 5 million Palestinians scattered in areas that have always been very volatile.

“Besides the fact that their problem of being in exile has not been resolved, they also find themselves constantly trapped in other people’s wars: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon,” Grandi said.

The Palestinian refugees are living in a worsening situation, such as in Yarmouk, the suburb of Damascus, which used to host one of the largest Palestinian communities in exile, and which has been engulfed by Syrian war for the past 15 months.

Grandi recalled his visit to Yarmouk.   “I have observed many conflicts in my career, but I have seldom encountered as much destruction, hunger, fear and despair as I saw in Yarmouk.

We were left shocked and speechless. I witnessed this myself during my visit — emerged from the narrow streets looking more like ghosts than living people,” he said.

Many Palestinians have left Yarmouk, but almost 20,000 remain trapped inside.

Another tough challenge for the Palestinian refugees, particularly those living in Gaza and West Bank is the Israeli occupation, which take on many forms from the expansion of settlements, check points and demolition of houses.

UNRWA continues to support refugees through a network of schools, clinics and social protection measures. “However, UNRWA is facing increasing financial problems: Its core budget [which supports education and health] has a shortage of almost US$70 million this year,” Grandi said.

In Gaza, where half of the population depends on food handouts and emergency employment, these humanitarian programs face a shortfall of $20 to 25 million; and the emergency needs of Palestinians affected by the war in Syria continue to grow “We estimate them at $420 million for 2014.”

On the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the expansion of Israeli settlements and other measures are constantly reducing space, resources, rights and dignity of all Palestinians, including refugees; in Gaza, where the Israeli blockade continues to affect infrastructure, livelihoods and morale, the situation has become worse in the course of 2013, after closure — on the Egyptian side — of the tunnels through which goods were smuggled into the Strip and which offered the people of Gaza some relief.

(Source / 19.03.2014)

Palestinian Authority: Israel’s Doppelgänger

In popular idiom, doppelgänger hails from the German, meaning “look-alike” in behaviour or physical appearance.

The frontline of Palestinian non-violent resistance in the West Bank of the State of Palestine, is not in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO and the Palestinian National Council (PNC), but in the many villages, like Bill’in, Nil’ilin, Nabi Saleh, Kufr Kaddum, Al Maasara, Hizma, Al Walaja, Bab Al Shams, Burin, Budrus, that the PA supposedly is meant to represent and protect.

Village heroes and heroines courageously and willingly battle, in the name of justice and freedom, toxic fumes from high velocity Israeli teargas projectiles, Israeli live ammunition, Israeli rubber-coated steel bullets, Israeli tenacious skunk water, Israeli stun grenades, arrests, torture in Israeli detention, all of which tragically ends for many in death or maiming.

Given every week Palestinian villagers put their lives directly on the front line, face to face with the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and extremist militia colonists, what is causing the inertia of progress towards full Palestinian sovereignty?

Excluding the obvious superior Israeli might buttressed by the clout of US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia and a spineless UN, close by, there is a corrupted internal counterforce to Palestinian national aspirations on planet Ramallah.

Circled by 4 impoverished refugee camps, Ramallah, replete with mansions, luxury apartments, a new government compound and foreign diplomatic missions, seems to be groomed to replace East Jerusalem as a future capital. Former PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Hatem Abdel Khader stated, “I have to be honest with you and tell you that we have lost the battle for Jerusalem… One of the reasons is because the Palestinian government doesn’t really care about Jerusalem.”

In Ramallah, members of the PA, PNC and PLO enjoy 5 star hotels, gourmet restaurants, nightclubs…and, as demonstrated in the documentaries, Five Broken Cameras and Budrus, from time to time, compelled solely by a camera opportunity, pop by village demonstrations for a few safe minutes.

The PA counterforce to Palestinian political rights, was the Machiavellian conception of Israel and was birthed in the 1993 Oslo Accords by the Palestinian midwife, Arafat who had treacherously accepted Resolutions 242 and 338,

“When the PLO accepted Resolution 242 after fighting against it since it was issued in 1967, in reality, it abandoned  everything to do with the Palestinian cause.” Anis Fawzi Qasim

and who had been meticulously warned, well in advance, by renowned international lawyer, Francis Boyle and Palestinian head of delegation, Dr. Haider Abdul Shaffi, of the inextricable sabotage of Palestinian independence embedded in the Accords that blatantly omitted the key issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem.

Even blind Freddy’s dog would have understood the Bantustan implications of the partitioning of the West Bank and Gaza into Areas A, B, and C that would drive a 21 year stake into the heart of Palestinian unity – Israel’s nemesis.

Oslo was proof that Israel had learned the lessons of the mass grassroots unity of the First Intifada, thus the establishment of the PA,and its then 50,000 strong security forces (PASF) armed, trained, and funded by the US, Israel, guaranteed a compliant partner, a proxy police force, tasked to undermine Palestinian unity and police Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation. A sure win-win for Israel.

Since Oslo, Palestinians were doomed to face, not only Israeli violence, but PA security forces attacking them in the name of protecting Israel and its occupation, and doomed to suffer PA live ammunition, PA rubber-coated steel bullets, arbitrary arrests, torture in PA detention, and a tragic end  for some in senseless death, such as Amjad Falah Odeh, 38 or maiming as with Ibrahim Abdul-Razaq Shkukani, 22 at Askar refugee camp in 2013.

Like Israel, the PA presents a hasbara face to the world that normalises its own state violence and the impunity thereof. The 2013 report to the AHLC donors by the PA, is a self-congratulatory jolly paean to a fictitious rule of law;

“The efforts of the 13th Government [PA] have resulted in a significant improvement in public order, promoting the rule of law, safeguarding rights and freedoms, safety, and high-quality police and security services. Administrative and financial transparency and accountability have been considerably improved, and closer relations now exist between the security sector and civil society.”

Yet, the Amnesty International, Palestinian Authority Annual Report, 2013 intones a dirge of human rights abuses;

“In the West Bank, PA security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained hundreds of people, including members of Fatah; most were denied due legal process. Hundreds of Hamas supporters were detained, mostly for up to two days, when President Abbas visited the UN in September… Both the PA and Hamas arbitrarily restricted the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, and their security forces used excessive force against demonstrators.”

The PASF is an assemblage of mainly the National and Preventive Security Forces, civil (Mukhabarat) and military (Istikhbarat) intelligence, police, and the elite Presidential Guard. Not to mention the former death squads in Gaza set up in 1994 by Fatah thug, Mohammad Dahlan who was later promoted to a Ministership (resembling Israel’s promotion of IOF killers). Since 2007 Fatah-only recruits to the Presidential Guard and NSF are vetted by the US, Shin Bet and Jordanian and PA intelligence and are trained in Jericho and Jordan respectively. The PASF commander-in-chief is the President; previously Arafat, now the unelected Mahmoud Abbas heading the illegitimate exclusively Fatah government.

Suffocating Palestinian citizens in a ‘culture of fear ‘ by stifling dissent and dreams of freedom, the PASF total 65,000 (including inactive paid personnel in Gaza)  with approximately 1 per 50 civilians in the West Bank over an area of 5640 km2 whereas  over 7.6 million km2, in Australia it is 1 per 187 civilians.

Outwardly, the PA appears to have large support, however a 2012 poll revealed 71% of Palestinians are afraid to criticise their government because of intimidation, fear of arrest and losing their jobs in the PA nepotistic employment system. The International Crisis Group(ICG) reported, “A secular Ramallah resident said, “few respect the Palestinian security forces, but we do fear them” and “The security forces contribute directly to the fragmentation of the Palestinian social fabric and undermine democracy … They generally behave like they’re beyond the law. In the last three years, we have regressed as a society. This isn’t progress”.

Even in PA controlled areas, the PASF is restricted to operating between 6am and midnight, leaving the Israeli military free to terrorise Palestinians with its night raids on homes. It takes operational orders from the Israeli Military coordinator in the governorates. On the morning of 27th February, 2014, 200 Israeli troops mounted a raid in  Birzeit shelling the home of Muataz Washaha, 24, and killed him. It was reported that the normally visible PASF had conveniently vanished suggesting the PASF knew beforehand of the operation against Muataz and were ordered to keep out of the way. Furthermore the PASF would most likely have provided  Israeli intelligence with information about Muataz. A security force that protects its people would have warned Muataz so, it begs the question if they didn’t warn Muataz to save his life, are they accessories to his murder?

So, it makes good sense for Palestinians to fear the PASF for its violations of local Palestinian law and international law, and fear its far more sinister collusion and full coordination with Israeli intelligence agencies and military,

“From Israel’s standpoint, coordination has reached virtually unprecedented levels as a result of the fight against common enemy, namely Hamas. With certain exceptions […], the General Intelligence Service (Shin Bet) provides its Palestinian counterparts with lists of wanted militants, whom Palestinians subsequently arrest. IDF and Israeli intelligence officials take the view that, in this regard, ‘coordination has never been as extensive’, with ‘coordination better in all respects’ (ICG)

A sample study in the damning report, ‘Detention Policy’ produced by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in UK (AOHR) in 2012 revealed, “In response to the question, “Have you been detained before by the occupation?” 98 per cent answered yes; 59.7 per cent of the sample clarified that Israeli courts charged them based on information provided by PA security agencies, while 99.7 per cent believed that their detention was carried out in coordination with the occupation authorities.”

Hana Shalabi the 43 day hunger-striking heroine from Jenin who was forcefully exiled to Gaza  for protesting  Israeli illegal administrative detention was, according to an article by Lina Alsaafin, betrayed by the PA, “In the case of Shalabi, an interview in al-Akhbar English conducted by this author with her family revealed that Hana’s security file was built by the PA and handed to the Israeli army, which told her family, who demanded to know the reason for her arrest, to refer to the PA for answers. This follows a pattern of coordination between PA security forces and the Israeli army.”

When Palestinians in the West Bank demonstrated against the horrific war crimes perpetrated against their Gazan brothers and sisters in the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead,  PA coordination with Israel plunged to the nadir of treachery as Nathan Thrall’s piece, Our Man in Palestine, elucidates,

“The most damage to the reputation of the Palestinian security forces occurred during the Israeli war in Gaza, which began in December 2008. In plainclothes and uniform, PA officers in the West Bank surrounded mosques, kept young men from approaching Israeli checkpoints, arrested protesters chanting Hamas slogans, and dispersed demonstrators with batons, pepper spray, and tear gas. The trust between Israeli and Palestinian forces was so great, Dayton said, that “a good portion of the Israeli army went off to Gaza.” …

Barak Ben-Zur, a former head of counterterrorism in Israeli military intelligence and later special assistant to the director of the Shin Bet, told me that  “in Israeli Arab cities there were more protests against the war than in the West Bank,” thanks to the “total quiet kept by the Palestinian security services.” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman later said, “Mahmoud Abbas himself called and asked us, pressured us to continue the military campaign and overthrow Hamas.”

The evidence mounts that in PA-speak, ‘rule of law’ means severe restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of the press, assembly and association through arbitrary arrests and detention, intimidation of journalists and the use of excessive force. The AOHR UK report states,

“It’s worth noting that detentions and summons executed by the PA security agencies surpassed those by the Israelis.”

Of further concern, is the PA’s boasting to the UN of its rule of law infrastructural reinforcement of the ‘rule of law’,

“To scale up security-related infrastructure, the Government has finalised construction of the correction and rehabilitation centre in Jericho and allocated land for the construction of an additional three centres in Dura, Jenin, and Qalqiliya. An Nawei’ma, Jericho, Palestinian National Security Training Complex in An Nawei’ma, Jericho, was completed”

yet it regularly refuses the International Red Cross access to its detention centres about which human rights NGO’s consistently report political prisoners are held without charge or in defiance of Palestinian High Court release orders, suffer torture, threats, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment, are beaten, blindfolded, shackled, held in solitary confinement, lack adequate medical and hygiene care, denied access to lawyers and family visits.

Recourse to these methods that follow, to the letter, the Israeli model is not by chance. PASF personnel are trained and supervised by Israel, the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) team and the CIA. Hundreds of millions of US dollars have poured into equipment, infrastructure and capacity building in the strategies and methods of oppressing Palestinian civilians particularly those with affiliation to Hamas. Nathan Thrall writes,

“that the head of the Palestinian National Security Forces told the Israelis, “We have a common enemy,” and the chief of Palestinian military intelligence said, “We are taking care of every Hamas institution in accordance with your instructions”

By targeting Hamas, the PA, power hungry and fattened on US dollars, has been and is, at its paymaster’s bidding, the willing instrument to aid the Zionist strategy of divide and rule – the kiss of death to Palestinian unity,

…The Peruvian diplomat Alvaro de Soto, former UN envoy to the Quartet, wrote in a confidential “End of Mission Report” that the violence between Hamas and Fatah could have been avoided had the US not strongly opposed Palestinian reconciliation. “The US,” he wrote, “clearly pushed for a confrontation between Fateh and Hamas.” (Nathan Thrall)

The PA not only targets Hamas officials and fighters, it apes the collective punishment imposed on Gazans by Israel. In November 2013, the Palestinian Human Rights Center (PCHR) called on the PA to urgently provide  medication for leukaemia patients who were ‘in grave danger of complications and death’ because they had been ‘without medicine since Dec.2011’ which can only be obtained through the Ministry of Health Ramallah.

Hamas, too, has to take responsibility for its contribution to the malignancy of political disunity. Amnesty International makes it clear that “Arbitrary arrests and detentions by both the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip continued, particularly of their respective political opponents. In both areas, security forces tortured and otherwise ill-treated detainees with impunity…. Both the PA and Hamas arbitrarily restricted the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, and their security forces used excessive force against demonstrators.”

To understand the mark of Cain stamped on the PA, read George Orwell’s satiric analysis of revolutionary corruption, ‘Animal Farm’. The farm animals, led by the pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, and inspired by the commandment “All Animals are Equal” overthrow the farmer.. A new oppressive ‘All animals re equal but some are more equal than others’ regime  emerges under Napoleon who exiles Smowball and the pigs now strut about on hind legs, carry whips, police the farm with bloodthirsty attack dogs and make alliances with neighbouring farmers. The animals can no longer distinguish between the pigs and the humans.

In effect, Israel has a phalange of 65,000 (plus PA bureaucrats, officials and diplomats) Palestinian collaborators who have Palestinian blood on their hands – and it costs Israel nothing to annihilate Palestinian resistance and rights thanks to Western donors. Meanwhile the settlements relentlessly devour precious Palestinian land and the PA is indirectly constructing the expansion brick by brick.

Ultimately, The Question arises; what if there had been no Oslo Accords and no PA that has cheated Palestinians of 20 years of potential freedom and collaborated in the sham of peace talks and in the martyrdom of thousands of sacred lives?

It is conceivable that a sovereign Palestine may have existed for the last 15 years and baby Ahmad Abu Nahl would, at this moment, be undergoing treatment for his enlarged heart in a first class Gaza hospital, toddlers Hala Abu Shbeikha and  Omar Jihad Mashharawi would still be delighting their parents, Itemad Ismail Abu Mo’ammar’s children would still see their mother’s smile, Shadi Mohammad Shahin would never have  been tortured to death in PA police custody, Ziad Awad Salayma would have enjoyed this 17th birthday party, Mustafa Tamimi  would have harvested his family’s olives last November, and grandfather, Saher Milat would tomorrow be puffing on an aromatic argilla with his friends.

“In the case of the State of Palestine, the law has at best been sidelined and, at worst, it has been transgressed in the most egregious manner.The human rights of the Palestinian people have been systematically violated.  The humanitarian rights of the Palestinian people as protected persons continue to be trampled.   The rights under the Charter are perpetually denied, particularly the right to self-determination.”  The Palestinian Statement to, UNSC, 19-2-2014, speaking about Israel (?).

(Source / 19.03.2014)

Israel approves 184 new settlement homes

(Reuters) – Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approved building plans on Wednesday for 184 new homes in two Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, drawing anger from Palestinians engaged in faltering statehood talks.

A municipality spokeswoman said the local planning committee had approved requests by private contractors who purchased the land years ago for the construction of 144 homes in Har Homa and 40 dwellings in Pisgat Zeev.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), accused Israel of trying to derail U.S.-sponsored peace talks in which the future of settlements on

land that Palestinians want for a state is a major issue.

“It is has become evident that Israel has done everything possible to destroy the ongoing negotiations and to provoke violence and extremism throughout the region,” Ashrawi said in a statement.

Israel says Palestinian refusal to recognize it as a Jewish state is the main stumbling block. Palestinian leaders say they recognized Israel in interim peace deals and there is no need for them to recognize its Jewishness.

Har Homa and Pisgat Zeev settlements are in a part of the West Bank that Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing the territory in the 1967 Middle East war. The annexation was not recognized internationally.

Palestinians are seeking a state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They say Israeli settlements, regarded as illegal by most countries, could deny them a viable, contiguous country.

Israel regards Pisgat Zeev and Har Homa as neighborhoods of Jerusalem that it would keep under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The two sides resumed U.S.-brokered peace talks in July, but the negotiations appear to be going nowhere. Washington is struggling to formulate agreed principles that would extend the talks beyond an original April target date for a final deal.

More than 500,000 Israelis have settled in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas that are home to about 2.8 million Palestinians.

(Source / 19.03.2014)


By Peter Clifford                 ©               (http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-3)



Despite setbacks in the Qalamoun region last weekend, Opposition fighters in the south of the country at Deraa powered ahead yesterday breaking into the Central Prison there and releasing 294 prisoners.

The battle to take the prison has been fierce with clashes still ongoing this morning, Wednesday, around the nearby Silo Barrier.


Man Carries Child Injured by Assad Barrel-Bomb Away from Rubble

The fight to take the prison began by first eliminating the regime’s snipers on top of the building, HERE:

Under pressure most of the prison guards are reported to have fled on Monday night towards the Naseeb crossing into Jordan, the only remaining regime stronghold in the area.  In the battle that followed for control of the prison, activists say that 9 of Assad’s officers, a General, a Colonel, 4 lieutenants and 3 Captains as well footsoldiers were killed.

After the Opposition captured the prison, you can see their flag on top of the building, HERE:  followed by footage of warm hugs all round with the released prisoners, HERE:

The Opposition also captured a quantity of weapons and ammunition, HERE:

18 Syrian Army soldiers from Brigade 52 at Al-Harak in Deraa province are also reported to have defected to the Opposition this week.


There was also good news from Aleppo yesterday where another brigade of Opposition fighters captured the Palace of Justice, immediately to the south-east of the regime-held Aleppo Citadel and later blew it to pieces.

The Opposition fighters used their own captured tank in the battle as well as other heavy weapons and small arms,HERE: and HERE:

Later after gaining control and to prevent it falling back into regime hands, they blew the building up, HERE:

You can see how close the Palace of Justice is to the Aleppo Citadel from this alternative view of the explosion (citadel on hill just to the left), HERE:

As well as taking this important landmark, the Islamic Front claim to have destroyed a tank in the area, killing several Syrian Army soldiers, and fierce fighting in central Aleppo continues this morning, HERE:


Advanced US Weapons Reach Syrian Opposition At Last!

In the north-western sector of Aleppo city, gains are additionally being reported by the Opposition in the Al-Layramoun district, where fierce fighting is taking place for the Association of Journalists building and Air Force Intelligence, HERE:

Activists say that there are losses on both sides and that the regime has deployed snipers on the top of buildings in the nearby Al-Zahraa district in order to stop the advance.

Heavy regime losses are being reported in the north-east of the city where the Syrian Army has so far failed to recapture the Sheikh Najjar Industrial City (Caution, dead bodies), HERE:

Elsewhere in Aleppo province, the fight between moderate Opposition fighters and the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) continues and unconfirmed reports say that up to 40 members of ISIL were killed 3 days ago in clashes at Sirin.

Al Jazeera has a video report on efforts by new local councils in Opposition areas to clean up Aleppo and to stop the spread of disease, HERE:

In Hama province, Opposition forces also scored this “bull’s-eye” with a guided anti-tank missile on an assembly of Assad’s troops near Mork, HERE: 


More Opposition success is also being recorded in Damascus province where heavy fighting is taking place around Adra to the north-east of the capital.
In this footage the Opposition use a captured tank, HERE:  and take control of a police station, HERE:

Meeting in Damascus yesterday, Assad’s Cabinet approved the creation of a “space agency” to conduct scientific research despite the ongoing war and the country’s devastated economy.

SANA, the Syrian state media, said that the “space agency” would have “the goal of using space technology for exploration and observing the earth” and employing such technology “in the service of development”.  (EDITOR: I think they mean building drones to observe the Opposition).

However, SANA could not even get this news report right, correctly headlining the piece “Cabinet approves establishment of ‘Syrian Space Agency’” but then burbling on about “The cabinet approved on Tuesday the establishment of a general commission with a scientific aspect dubbed as ‘The Syrian News Agency’”.

The fantasy nature of the this announcement can be judged from an earlier statement to the Ba’ath Party newspaper by Assad’s Prime Minister, Wael al-Halqi, in which he said that the country had suffered $31.3 billion (4.7 trillion Syrian pounds) in damage from the war, a figure nearly equivalent to its estimated current gross domestic product (GDP) of $34 billion.

In the Yarmouk Refugee Camp, aid distribution was resumed yesterday, Tuesday, after a 2 week halt, with 465 food parcels in addition to bread and jam, as well as 2,000 doses of polio vaccines and 800 small cartons of baby formula being allowed into the camp.

However the UN refugee agency, UNRWA, pointing out that there were around 18,000 people still trapped in Yarmouk said this was nowhere near enough. “Set against the substantial civilian needs and the protracted closure of Yarmuk, the modest supplies we have taken in are not enough,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness.


Sunni Protesters React to Hezbollah Isolation of Arsal

An estimated 200 people have now died in the camp from starvation or malnutrition related illnesses.

As expected though the Assad regime backed by Hezbollah has continued its assault on Opposition towns and villages in the Qalamoun region between Damascus and Lebanon, firing as many as 100 shells yesterday on Rankus and cutting off the electricity supply. Latest reports say that the Sunni village of Ras Al-Ayn has also fallen to regime forces.

While many Opposition fighters continue to fight a rearguard action in the mountains of the Qalamoun, some of them, especially those with injuries, have fled across the border to the Sunni town of Arsal.

This has led to Hezbollah in Lebanon blockading the only road out of Arsal to the rest of the country with a checkpoint on Monday, trapping both its citizens and tens of thousands of Syrian refugees and shooting at any vehicles that approached.

Following Hezbollah’s action, Sunni rioters blocked routes into Hezbollah areas of Beirut, burning tires on the main highways yesterday, forcing the Lebanese Army to dismantle the blockade at Arsal.  The danger of civil war once again in Lebanon is now looking dangerously close.


An explosive device went off underneath an Israeli jeep patrolling the Golan Heights border with Syria yesterday, Tuesday, injuring 3 soldiers, one of them seriously and the third such attack in 3 weeks.

As a result, Israeli Air Force jets targeted a Syrian army training facility, an Syrian Army headquarters and Assad’s artillery batteries early this morning, killing 1 Syrian and wounding 7 more.

Hezbollah are suspected of being behind the attacks on Israel’s troops but Israel’s Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, put the blame squarely on the Assad warning him that if he continues “to cooperate with terrorists seeking to harm Israel, we will exact a heavy price from him, in a way that will cause him to regret his actions”.


Opposition Flag Flies at Syria’s US Embassy in Washington

Internationally, the United States also moved to close the Syrian embassy in Washington yesterday, plus the honorary Syrian consulates at Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas, telling the diplomats with non-US passports or without permanent citizenship to leave the country.

The announcement was made by Daniel Rubinstein, who was appointed as the United States special envoy on Syria on Monday, replacing the former US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford. The US closed its own embassy in Damascus in February 2012.

Meanwhile, UN investigators in a report to the UN Human Rights Council said they had expanded their list of suspected war criminals from both sides in Syria’s civil war. The evidence, they said, was solid enough to prepare indictments, though they cannot proceed with this without a unanimous vote from the UN Security Council, something that Russia is likely to veto.

Palestijnse toekomst vermoord

Woensdagochtend 19 maart is een  15-jarige Palestijnse jongen, een jongen met dromen, met een toekomst, in koelen bloede door Israëlische bezettingstroepen vermoord.  De jongen, Yousef Abu Akar Shawamrah uit Al Khalil ten zuiden van Hebron, werd gedood bij het verzamelen van de plant Gundelia tournefortii in de buurt van de apartheidmuur, die illegaal gebouwd is op het terrein van zijn dorp.

Voor meer informatie over dit artikel,  stuur een mail naar khamakarpress@gmail.com

Israel troops kill Palestinian youth in West Bank

Palestinian women walk past Israeli security forces during clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank on March 17, 2014.

Palestinian women walk past Israeli security forces during clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank on March 17, 2014.

“Yussef Sami Shawamreh, 15, was killed by the Israeli army near the separation barrier, close to al-Ramadin village,” a Palestinian security source said on Wednesday, indicating that the body was still with the army.

He had no further details on the circumstances surrounding the shooting which he said took place close to the barrier on the south-western edge of the West Bank.

The Israeli army confirmed the shooting but said the incident occurred in a separate location, some 10 kilometers (six miles) to the north.

“He was evacuated to an Israeli hospital where he died of his wounds,” a spokeswoman told AFP.

Palestinian sources said the teenager was from the village of Deir al-Asal al-Tahta but insisted the incident had occurred near Al-Ramadin, with the reason for conflicting reports over the location not immediately clear.

(Source / 19.03.2014)

A new world disorder

By Jamal Kanj             Jamal Kanj

FOLLOWING serious cajoling by the US, the European Union and arm twisting by Arab governments, the Palestinians entered what was to be nine months of negotiations with Israel. The Palestinians, who had forgone demands for Israel’s compliance with previous signed agreements before starting new negotiations, were promised that this time Israel would enter into serious discussions to reach a final agreement by April 29.

After stalling for four months, Israel refused to discuss any issues but security arrangements. Negotiations were effectively over late last November when US Secretary of State John Kerry mobilised a large team, led by a former American Israel public affairs committee employee, to resuscitate it.

The looming deadline is around the corner and there is no indication that the two sides are any closer than when they started. In fact, the Israeli prime minister added two fresh conditions this week: No final deal with Palestinians unless they relinquish the rights of refugees, and an additional recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

For Israel, which has perfected the temporising game, these nine months were just a prelude to seek another extension in the talks and to deflate the propensity of the international boycott movement while undermining the peace process by building new “Jewish only homes” – over 7,000 units since July.

This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also declared in an interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper that “It will take us at least a year to exhaust these negotiations.”

Soon after the 1991 Madrid peace talks, the then departing Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir revealed in June 1992 to an Israeli newspaper that he would have kept negotiating “for 10 years and in the meantime we would have reached half a million,” in the West Bank.

He lamented “in the next four years I will not be able to complete the (Jewish) demographic revolution,” explaining that “without this demographic revolution, there is no reason to hold autonomy talks as there now is a risk of a Palestinian state.”

True to Shamir’s vision, consecutive Israeli governments (from left and right) dragged the negotiations over almost a quarter of a century, surpassing Shamir’s goal of more than half a million, thus making it geographically unfeasible to establish a liveable Palestinian state.

The ostrichised US and its subservient European Union suffer delusional denial syndrome. They refuse to read palpable writings on the wall: Israel perceives the Palestinian state a risk for which they use peace talk to realise the Jewish “demographic revolution.”

The Israeli-centric overextended use of US’ privileged veto power at the UN Security Council has become the main obstacle to reaching peace in the Middle East. It can even be argued that it is contributing to many of the world’s conflicts today.

Incidentally, it was Israel’s US firsters who fabricated the evidence to justify occupation of Iraq, and are now advocating war with Iran and Syria.

Other world powers have got a grip on it too. As we speak, Russia is employing the same tired “privileged” UN Security Council authority to probably annex Crimea. But only with one difference, unlike the population in Crimea who ostensibly sought Russian support, residents of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights overwhelmingly rejected Israeli annexation.

China is employing the same “privileged” veto power in its islands dispute with Japan and to maintain its influence over Korea.

Acting on behalf of Israel, the US has turned the UN Security Council from a guardian of world peace to a club of hubris kingpins violating international law and creating a New World Disorder.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites.  He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

Israeli bulldozers demolish Palestinian home in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers demolished a house in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem early Wednesday, the homeowner’s family said.

Without prior warning, Israeli military forces surrounded the Beit Hanina property, blockaded the home of Badwan Salaymah while he and his family were absent, and proceeded to tear the house down, Salaymah’s brother said.

Israeli municipality officials then issued Salaymah a demolishing bill of 110,000 shekels ($32,000), which he will be unable to pay, Marwan Salaymah said.

He said the house was built of tin and iron on a plot of 70 square meters.

The Jerusalem municipality also demolished two houses owned by Salaymah in May 2013, he added.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

(Source / 19.03.2014)