PA security forces working for the Zionist project, choking the resistance in Palestine

Security coordination between Israeli police and the police under the supervision of  ensured criminalisation of the intifada heroes.

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA-DEMO

A member of the Palestinian security forces fires tear gas towards Palestinian stone throwing  as they block them from heading towards an Israeli check point in the center of the  town of  on August 22, 2014, durung clashes following a protest to show support for Palestinian militants fighting against the Israeli army in the  Strip

No fair professional can deny the efforts made by Lieutenant General Keith Dayton in establishing a modern Palestinian police body by equipping the force with the latest gadgets to face crime, after the Palestinian National Authority received the new security portfolio consistent with the , — the set of agreements between  and the Liberation Organisation (PLO ).

This professional officer did not stop at making cosmetic reforms in rehabilitating buildings, equipment, labs, communication networks, police vehicles, and quality arming, in fact he changed the structure of the police, by referring elderly police officers to retirement and substituted them with younger officers. He trained them in neighbouring according to programmes and courses applied in the best police academies both in the US and the Zionist entity.

That was not enough according to the security articles of the  agreement, because the real change in the Palestinian security infrastructure was a necessary requirement, because the Palestinian police before Dayton were a national police force which grew up under the umbrella of the Fatah resistance organisation and in the general framework of resistance adopted by the PLO where the organisations consider the Zionist entity as hostile state, hence Dayton did not hide the importance of changing the doctrine of the Palestinian police.

This change in the security doctrine was not appreciated by police officers of the Palestinian national police such as the intelligence chief and other officers who did not like this systemic change, especially the parts related to the coordination with the Zionist entity’s intelligence, which was raised as a hostile intelligence. That is why these officers preferred to resign rather than to collude with the Palestinian leadership or with Dayton, whom they identified closely by virtue of their experience and refused to serve the security forces of the Zionist entity.Thereafter, the resistance and its members according to the new doctrine became criminals that must be handed over to the security authorities in the Zionist entity after being charged with .

This is what happened after the security coordination took place between the Zionist entity’s police and the Palestinian police under the supervision of Dayton.

As a result, many of the intifada heroes were captured; others were killed and murdered, while others that were taken in the PNA’s prisons were killed by Zionist forces in front of senior Palestinian officers, while others were murdered.

These Palestinian security measures would not have occurred without a significant change in the structures of the ruling authorities regulating the Palestinian society and controlling the behaviour of its members.

With the exception of the legislative authority represented by the Palestinian National Council, the other authorities, like other members of the West Bank community are divided.

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA-DEMO

Some adopted normalisation in various fields and accepted the terms of the Oslo Accords under the supervision of people such as Dayton that were placed in their positions by the US and Israeli intelligence services. Most of those are politicians who have their own targets and believe in the visions painted by the Oslo agreement, promoted the two-state project and believed in the normalisation project. They naturally reject armed resistance. Others reject the Oslo Accords completely and were not fooled by the US promises. Hence they simply left to other areas where they can continue resistance in its various forms, including armed resistance. Most of the people in this category left for Gaza while a very small number of them remained in the West Bank.Others succumbed to the PNA’s orders, where they complied but felt great despair. Those were not able to continue resistance nor were they able to leave.

Others still know no other way but to be Zionist intelligence agents. Prior to the Oslo Accords they were hypocrites, and eventually they became soldiers working for the Zionist project.

This bunch was smuggled by the Zionist intelligence from Gaza across the sea after their conspiracy against the resistance was revealed.

It seems these days that Dayton’s followers are in control of the West Bank community. Hence, the people there did not revolt during the aggression on Gaza.

This is not surprising, because the Palestinian security treads the normalisation route and is in complete accordance with the US and Zionist intelligence agencies. Moreover, this is the ultimate goal of the Americans and  and their followers in Palestine and abroad.

It is no secret on the Arab street that among the conditions contained in the various ceasefire initiatives the most important seems to be the disarming of the Gaza resistance. If that happens, Dayton would have achieved his most important projects in the service of the Israel’s security.

(Source / 22.08.2014)

In photos: Gaza families return home to horror and devastation

The Qarara family returns to their destroyed home in Shujaiya, east of Gaza City, to salvage their belongings on 26 July

After nearly twenty days of war, the southern Gaza neighborhood of Khuzaa, near Khan Younis, was still off limits on 26 July.

Israeli ground forces fired warning shots at neighborhood residents who had gathered one hundred meters from the entrance. They hoped in vain to look for missing relatives and check on the state of their houses.

Abasan al-Kabira, east of Khan Younis, was the easternmost area accessible on that day, or at least what remained of the neighborhood — which once boasted beautiful, large homes and palm trees.

The home of Ibrahim Abukther, 32, was at least three stories high. Now the external walls were missing for the most part.

On the top floor, lying on one of those soft blankets that are found in every Palestinian home, was a human hand. People gathered said Ibrahim was not able to flee in time. Israeli armed forces had begun shelling the road; his house was one of the closest to the fields leading all the way to Khuzaa and the so-called buffer zone.

Ibrahim’s left leg, burnt and still attached to the bottom part of his torso, was down in the garden. Emergency medic volunteers had lifted it gently and laid it on a stretcher. The stench of decomposing bodies was overpowering.

The same scenes played out in Shujaiya in northern Gaza that same day.

Abdallah Qarara had grabbed his children and fled his home on 20 July when his neighborhood came under intense bombardment by Israeli air and ground forces. Seventy were killed and two hundred were injured in the attack.

Abdullah looked tired. He had had enough of the war, he said. He just wanted to get on with his life. He showed a photo of his two small children on his phone. They were all now living outside al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

During a ceasefire they returned to find that all that remained standing of their home was the frame. The structure would have to be demolished and the home rebuilt.

Downstairs, the family tried to pile up as much as they could onto a horse-drawn cart. Mattresses, pots and pans, those familiar blankets and what looked like sentimental keepsakes: a tray, a plate.

Meanwhile in Gaza City’s Beach camp, the Bakr family had suffered the loss of four children playing on the beach in the early days of the war. Just a week later a home belonging to Hassan Bakr was targeted in the refugee camp. Hassan was killed and approximately twenty others were injured.

Children walked barefoot on collapsed cinderblock roofs and broken-up cement blocks. Exhausted, people had stopped asking why. They were picking up the pieces like they had done countless times before, starting their lives over once again. Not knowing what would come next.

Silvia Boarini is a photojournalist based in Beer Sheva and is currently working on a documentary on Naqab Bedouins.

 

The Qarara family inside their home on 26 July. They fled Shujaiya the day of the massacre on 20 July. They managed to return almost a week later during a ceasefire to assess the damage to their home.

A child’s room in the Qarara family home in Shujaiya, 26 July.

During Israel’s assault on Gaza, boundary areas like Shujaiya, photographed on 26 July, came under prolonged heavy air and artillery strikes.

The Bakr family home in Gaza City was bombed in the early hours of 22 July, the day this photograph was taken.

A boy from the Bakr family walks on the ruins of his home in Gaza City’s beach camp on 22 July. An Israeli missile hit the family’s building, leaving thirty homeless.

Families raised tents by the ruins of their homes in Shujaiya, photographed on 12 August, during a ceasefire. Residents had spent daylight hours looking for belongings and missing relatives in the rubble and returned to United Nations schools and other shelters at night.

Children from the al-Smary family wounded by shrapnel during Israel’s attack on Qarara village in Khan Younis are treated in al-Nasser hospital on 18 July. The family recounted having to leave behind the body of one of their sons as they fled. Qarara, located on the so-called buffer zone along the boundary with Israel, was hit heavily at the beginning of the ground operation and declared a closed military zone by Israel.

A man sits in shock outside al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on 28 July. He helped bring in the bodies of children who were killed in a missile strike near a park in the Beach refugee camp. Nine children were reported to have been killed along with one elderly man.

Children outside the morgue at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City look at the blood left by one of the victims brought in following a bombing in the city on 28 July.

A boy with shrapnel wounds is brought in to al-Shifa hospital on 19 July. Al-Shifa hospital is the largest in the Gaza and struggles to cope with the amount of injuries, especially as other hospitals closed after coming under fire from Israeli forces.

Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, was repeatedly shelled by Israeli armed forces earlier in the day on 21 July. Five were killed in the strikes and seventy injured before patients could be safely evacuated from the hospital, which was fully functional before the strikes.

Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, was repeatedly shelled by Israeli forces earlier in the day on 21 July.

A home in the village of Khuzaa on 3 August. The village came under heavy attack at the start of Israel’s ground operation and remained inaccessible to its residents until the end of July.

During a ceasefire on 26 July, Palestinians briefly return to their homes in Abasan al-Kabira to survey the damage and salvage their belongings. A woman from the Abukther family reacts to the death and destruction around her.

During a ceasefire on 26 July, civil defense volunteers recover the remains of 32-year-old Ibrahim Abukther from his home in Abasan al-Kabira east of Khan Younis and near the boundary with Israel.

During a ceasefire on 26 July, civil defense volunteers recover the remains of 32-year-old Ibrahim Abukther in Abasan al-Kabira.

During a pause in the fighting coordinated by the Red Cross, the last remaining Shujaiya residents flee their homes and salvage some of their belongings on 23 July.

During a brief pause in the fighting on 23 July, civil defense volunteers attempt to recover bodies from the ruins of bombed homes in Shujaiya.

During a ceasefire on 26 July, Palestinians returned to their homes in Shujaiya for a few hours to salvage their belongings.

During a ceasefire, Palestinians survey the destruction in Shujaiya neighborhood east of Gaza City on 12 August.

(Source / 22.08.2014)

Syrian Coalition: Assad Regime Repeats its Crime on the First Anniversary of the Ghouta Massacre

Khalid Saleh, head of the Media Office, said that “on the first anniversary of the chemical attacks on East Ghouta that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians, the Assad regime today repeated its crime targeting the Jobar district in Damascus with toxic gasses. Five people were killed in the attack and many more were injured. This attack serves only to demonstrates the criminal mentality of the Assad regime that is seeking to send a message to the international community on the first anniversary of the Ghouta attacks that it will not stop massacring the Syrian people in an uttermost defiance to the international community, and that it will continue to commit all kinds of atrocities and violations knowing no serious action will be taken to put an end to these crimes.” Hadi Al Bahra, president of the Syrian Coalition, said in a letter addressed to the Syrian people that “the Assad regime committed its most heinous crime amid the deafening silence of the international community which confiscated the he weapon but let the criminal loose. Apart from being a war crime, Assad’s handover of the weapon that the cost the Syrian people a lot is another crime.” Bahra also stresses that “we say to the whole world that we will calm down nor our conscience have rest till we see the perpetrator of this crime brought to justice. The Syrian Coalition has been making every effort to refer this crime to the International Criminal Court as the worst war crimes committed in our modern times. The pain of the dead and groans of the parents who watched their loved ones suffocate to death will guide us in our path and serve as an incentive for us to unite under one national banner of the homeland that we love and which we will rebuild whatever the odds.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 22.08.2014)

USA REVEALS FAILED FOLEY RESCUE ATTEMPT AND ISLAMIC STATE DEMAND FOR $132 MILLION RANSOM RELEASE FEE

By Peter Clifford                               ©             (www.petercliffordonline.com)

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-3

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

The United States has revealed that it attempted an operation earlier this summer to rescue James Foley and other hostages but although the US special forces fought their way into the designated location, no prisoners were found.

Two dozen soldiers from a mixed team from Delta Force and other specialist military agencies were dropped by helicopter on Syrian territory and engaged in fighting with members of the Islamic State, some of whom were killed.

IRAQ and SYRIA NEWS

 

James Foley Speaking About His Work in 2011

One soldier from the US team was injured and one of the aircraft that took them away afterwards was shot at. They were not sure if they the hostages had been moved hours before or days.

The location of the secret operation is variously given as “near an oil refinery” and the Ukayrishah district of Raqqah city, the Islamic State stronghold in Syria.

The Boston Global Post, who employed James Foley, have released, with the permission of his family, the text of an email they received a week before the American journalist was executed.

The email stated that it was “a message to the American government and their sheep like citizens”. It went on to say, “You were given many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted” or to exchange prisoners for “Muslims currently in your detention.”

“Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again”, the email continued, “This time resorting to Arial attacks and ‘proxy armies’, all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!”

The email ended with a statement that Foley “will be executed as a DIRECT result of your transgressions towards us!”

According to the Global Post, the Foley family “was not ‘given many chances to negotiate’ for Jim’s release”.

After hearing nothing for more than a year after Foley’s capture, they received a message on the 26th November 2013 asking for money – $132 million no less, or the release of unspecified prisoners held by the US. The FBI helped the Foleys craft a response calling for mercy in regard to their son but they heard nothing more.

President Obama commenting on the brutal killing of James Foley said, “No just god would stand for what they did yesterday and every single day …. ISIS has no place in the 21st century,” and called on America’s allies to help defeat a “cancer so it does not spread.” You can hear Obama’s full statement, HERE:

A spokesman for the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called Foley’s murder “barbaric” and Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Minister, said it exposed ISIS as the “caliphate of barbarism”.

John Kerry, Obama’s Secretary of State for Defence was more blunt saying that “ISIS must be destroyed”, a view echoed by General John R. Allen, a senior military officer who has led US forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

IRAQ and SYRIA NEWS

 

Another Destroyed Islamic State Vehicle Near Mosul Dam

Allen said in an article, “IS must be destroyed and we must move quickly to pressure its entire “nervous system,” break it up, and destroy its pieces”.

General Allen’s “bottom line” is“The president deserves great credit in attacking IS. It was the gravest of decisions for him.

But a comprehensive American and international response now — NOW — is vital to the destruction of this threat.

The execution of James Foley is an act we should not forgive nor should we forget, it embodies and brings home to us all what this group represents.

The Islamic State is an entity beyond the pale of humanity and it must be eradicated. If we delay now, we will pay later”.

You can read the whole article, HERE:

In a press conference yesterday, Thursday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the United States was “keeping its options open” and would not commit to attacking Islamic State bases in Syria.

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sitting beside Hagel said that while it is possible to “contain” the Islamic State in the short run, a broader international effort will be required to eventually defeat it.

“Can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria?”, he was asked.“The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border. And that will come when we have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time. ISIS will only truly be defeated when it’s rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus and Baghdad.”

General Dempsey however is well known for being opposed to US direct action in Syria because of the threat to American airmen by Syria’s air defences. There are now suggestions that the West will have to have direct (“over or under the counter”) talks with President Assad. Al Jazeera has a video report, HERE:

IN UK MUCH SPECULATION ON IDENTITY OF JAMES FOLEY’S KILLER, WHILE ANOTHER TOWN OF 20,000 UNDER THREAT OF ISLAMIC STATE ANNIHILATION:

In the UK there has been much speculation as to the identity of the masked Islamic State fighter speaking with a British accent in the Foley video. Voice analysts say he is either from London or the south-east of England.

MI5 and MI6, the British intelligence agencies, are trawling through their lists of suspects. A former French hostage in Syria, Didier François, who was held with Foley and others, plus other sources, have suggested that the British man in the video is known as “John”.

IRAQ and SYRIA NEWS

 

“John” the British Jihadist Murderer?

Apparently 3 British Jihadists were allocated by the Islamic State to look after foreign hostages and the were referred to as “The Beatles”, “John, Paul and Ringo”, a play perhaps on their British origins and the “beetle blackness” of their garb and manner.

Other analysts have suggested that as the actual killing of Foley is not shown in the video, it’s a compilation of various frames apparently, the Jihadist in the video is not the actual killer and the small knife he holds (scroll down – see earlier report) is not the one he uses.

(EDITOR: Either way it is difficult to understand why anyone with a shred of humanity can behave like or be involved in this in any way.)

The last word on the Islamic State’s murder of Foley goes to President Obama:

“People like this ultimately fail. They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.”

On the ground military action against the Islamic State continues, with 6 US airstrikes on Islamic State personnel and their vehicles in the region of the Mosul Dam, bringing to 90, the number of US airstrikes in Iraq in the last week, two-thirds of them near the Dam.

Al Jazeera has a good video report from the Dam earlier in the week, HERE:

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have since removed 250 explosive devices from the area near the Dam and are still combing the shoreline of the 40 mile lake along the route of the Tigris river. You can read more detail of the Mosul Dam operation, HERE:

Boosted by their success at the Dam, Kurdish and Iraqi forces, backed by the Iraqi Air Force, are advancing on 2 towns held by the Islamic State near the border with Iran and Kurdistan, Jalawla and Saadiya, both around 115 kilometres (70 miles) north-east of Baghdad.

Jalawla was taken by the Islamic State more than a week ago but the Kurdish Peshmerga are said to have now penetrated the eastern side with loss of life of both sides.

Grandmother in Amerli Defends against Islamic State

 

Grandmother in Amerli Defends against Islamic State

110 kilometres north of Badhdad is the Turkman majority town of Amerli, a settlement of 20,000 that has been fighting off the Islamic State for 70 days now.

No electricity, and running out of water and food, they are relying on irregular helicopter flights from the Iraqi Army to bring in supplies and fly out 30 or so people at a time when conditions allow.

All the towns and villages around have already fallen to the Islamic State, but Amerli by mobilising everyone, including grandmothers and children is desperately holding on.

Iraqi forces are trying to fight a way through to the town but it is by no means certain that they will make it in time. You can read more at the BBC’s Iraq news.

Latest reports emerging from Iraq this morning, Friday, say that Shia militia, perpetuating the sectarian violence that has torn Iraq apart since 2003, have opened fire inside a Sunni mosque in or near Baquba in Diyala province, killing between 30 and 73 at the latest count.

Fighter jets have are also being reported as hitting Islamic State targets in Salahaddin province. More details awaited.

WHILE ISLAMIC STATE KIDNAPS 4 MORE HOSTAGES INCLUDING 2 WOMEN, YEZIDI QUINTUPLETS BORN IN NORTH-EAST SYRIA:

Following on from the James Foley killing in Syria, the Islamic State are reported to have kidnapped 4 more hostages in Aleppo in the last week, taking the total number of Western hostages they hold to 20.

The last victims include 2 Italian women, a Dane and a Japanese man. All those held are believed to be journalists, photographers or aid workers and reports suggest they have all been transferred to Raqqah.

Apart from anything else, this has turned into a lucrative business for the Islamic State. In the last 6 months 10 hostages, including a Dane, 3 French nationals and 2 Spaniards, have been released after lengthy negotiations involving demands for ransom money. The US and the UK have however been resilient so far in not paying ransoms.

Lord Dannatt, Britain’s former military Chief of Staff, has suggested that Britain and the West may have to come to some arrangement with Syria’s President in order to deal effectively with the Islamic State, but the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has since said that working with Assad to fight Islamists “would poison what we are trying to achieve”.

“We may very well find that we are fighting, on some occasions, the same people that he is but that doesn’t make us his ally,” Hammond said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) yesterday, Thursday, published new figures claiming that the death toll in Syria was now more than 180,215, 58,805 (32.6%) of those being civilians, including 9,428 children and 6,036 women.

49,699 (27.6%) of the Assad armed Opposition have been killed, including the Islamic State and 66,365 (36.8%) from the pro regime forces – 40,438 from the military, and 25,927 members of a pro-regime militia.

561 members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement have been recorded killed and 1,854 from Shia and other non-Syrian militia. The total also included 2,931 unidentified people whose details could not be verified.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Navi Pillay Stands Down As UN Human Rights Commissioner

To more than confirm SOHR’s estimates, Navi Pillay, the UN’s outgoing Human Rights Commissioner today, Friday, said the UN records show 191,369 deaths in Syria since 2011, almost doubling their last published figure a year ago.

Pillay, a South African, wrapping up her 6 year stint as the UN’s Human Rights chief, lashed out at the UN Security Council saying it “lacked resolve in ending crises” and that the dwindling global interest in Syria was “scandalous”.

“It is scandalous that the predicament of the injured, displaced, the detained, and the relatives of all those who have been killed or are missing is no longer attracting much attention,” she said.

“I deeply regret that, given the onset of so many other armed conflicts in this period of global destabilisation, the fighting in Syria and its dreadful impact on millions of civilians has dropped off the international radar,”adding,“The killers, destroyers and torturers in Syria have been empowered and emboldened by the international paralysis.”

“There have been serious allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed time and time again with total impunity” but the deadlocked UN Security Council had failed to refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court “where it clearly belongs,” Pillay said in her concluding remarks.

On the ground in Syria, the battle by the Islamic State (IS) for control of the Tabqa airbase in Raqqah province has continued, but with reports of very heavy casualties on both sides. Unconfirmed reports give deaths on the IS side anywhere between 30 and 150, while the Jihadists are claiming that they have killed 300 pro-Assad troops and militia.

IS also claims that they have killed the Tabqa base commander, Brigadier General Ali Sarhan. The Assad regime apparently flew in reinforcements to the base last night, but the Islamists also pounded it with dozens of Grad missiles. More information awaited in what is a very volatile situation.

In Hama province, Opposition fighters have repelled an an attack by members of Assad’s National Defence Force at Tel Sharaya, killing 15 of them, and north-east of Hama city, members of the Al-Nusra Front have taken over the village of Al-Rahjan.

In Damascus province, it is reported that there is heavy fighting once again at the Tameco Pharmaceutical factory in Mlieha, including the Opposition claimed death of Major General Adnan Omran, Assad’s Chief of Staff for Air Defence.

In Hasakah province clashes continue between the Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdish militia, the YPG, with reports that IS has driven the Kurds out of Jazaa in the north-east, killing a large number of Kurdish fighters, including some of their female ones according to gruesome photos published on the Internet.

Lest we forget, yesterday, August 21st was the 1 Year anniversary of the hideous Assad sarin gas attack on Opposition areas near Damascus, killing as many as 1400, including 400 children. As Human Rights Watch (HRW) points out, despite Assad’s “declared” chemical weapons stock being destroyed, the victims of his attacks have yet to receive justice, HERE: 

Lastly, in a sign of hope for the persecuted Yezidi community and in stark contrast to their bloodthirsty killing by the Islamic State, a 27 year old Syrian Yezidi woman, having fled from the Islamic State Jihadists approaching her home in Iraq, has given birth last week to quintuplets by caesarian section at a hospital in Kurdish-controlled Qamishli – 2 boys and 3 girls.

Tamam, who hails from Qamishli, had married a Iraqi man last year and moved to be with him in Mosul. When the Islamic State fighters approached they first fled to safety in Sinjar and then fled again, spending 2 days walking to the Syrian border. The babies were born 2 months premature but they and the mother are all doing well and receiving practical support from the UNHCR.

Hoorah! Five New Born Yezidi Quintuplets

Hoorah! Five New Born Yezidi Quintuplets

EXCLUSIVE: New European Gaza ceasefire abandons demilitarisation demands

Sources reveal that a renewed Palestinian peace-push along 1967 lines is gathering momentum

Sources reveal the international community may be softening its stance on Gaza

European-led ceasefire plans could be shifting away from calls to demilitarise Gaza to “more realistic” proposals that would seek to prevent Hamas rearming, the Middle East Eye can reveal.

The development comes a day after details of a so-called European E3, UN Security Council ceasefire proposal were leaked to the media, seemingly indicating that the UN route had taken over from the Cairo talks that collapsed last week.

According to well-informed western sources, the Europeans and the Americans have been locking horns for over two weeks over whether to seek a UN Security Council solution to the conflict. While the Europeans have been angling for a UN Resolution, the Americans wanted to prioritise the Cairo talks fearing that a UN resolution, which failed to get the backing of both sides, would only undermine the UN Security Council’s authority.

However, the source explained to Middle East Eye that there was now a growing realisation among the Israelis, Palestinians and the international community that Egypt could no longer act as a broker as Cairo allegedly desired to extend hostilities (in order to weaken Hamas), while Israel was keen to bring the rocket fire to a halt.

The move from Cairo has now allowed the E3 – French, German and British – proposal, seemingly promoting a shift away toward demilitarisation to gain ground. This could be a sign that the western position may be softening.

Calls for demilitarisation – a key Israeli demand originally backed by the EU – were seen as a key stumbling block at the Cairo talks. Several other key issues reportedly stalled the talks, namely ending the Israeli siege on Gaza and the reopening the strip’s naval port.

Hamas has long made the lifting of the blockade a prerequisite for peace, while Israel insists such a move would endanger its security and allow Hamas to obtain ever-more sophisticated weapons.

The latest Palestinian demands – a version of which has been seen by MEE but not made public yet – continue to insist on a “complete” lifting of the Israeli siege and the opening of a sea port, but only ask for a “preliminary agreement” during which viability studies could be conducted ahead of a final deal.

Comprehensive peace?

MEE sources insist that the Europeans have been negotiating the draft with the Israelis for weeks, and that the two sides have moved closer to a set of demands that could yield a longer lasting deal.

According to Haaretz, the two-page draft named “Elements,” calls for Gaza to be returned to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and for a large international reconstruction effort to be backed by guarantees that would prevent Hamas from rearming.

The Palestinian demands seen by MEE are mute on the rearmament issue but agree that rebuilding efforts be supervised by a Palestinian Authority government headed by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

If approved by both sides, this foundation could see wider talks resume. The E3 document also calls for “renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to resume the negotiations in order to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of two democratic States, Palestine and Israel, living side by side on the basis of the pre-1967 borders in peace and security.”

Such an outline, which calls for a separate Israeli and Palestinian state living side-by-side, has long been embraced by the majority of the international community and has been a key Palestinian negotiating demand. However, the concept proved an obstacle in the latest rounds of the US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that began in July 2013 but collapsed in April this year after Israel refused to release a pre-agreed cache of Palestinian prisoners.

“The [leaked E3] proposal is broadly similar to what the US and Israel have been asking for,” Hugh Lovett, the ‎Israel/Palestine Project Coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations told Middle East Eye.

“The interesting thing is that they are allowing proposals to be passed around which call for the resumption of peace talks after this. This would be interesting because this line talks about the 1967 borders. It makes reference to the 1967 lines, and over nine months of negotiations Israel never allowed itself to be pinned down to 1967 line, not once.

“It will be interesting to see how the US reacts to this and whether it will allow the language to go to a vote,” Lovett added.

But MEE’s source seemed to suggest that the US was broadly sympathetic to the new ceasefire plan, deeming it sufficiently broad to be accepted by both Israel and Palestine, while also direct enough to avoid being brushed off as pure rhetoric, with no follow-through capacity.

“It seems that the gaps between the two are not that wide,” the source explained, while also suggesting that a fresh line of bilateral talks that cut out the Egyptians should not be ruled out.

“The ceasefire, to be effective, would have to ensure some kind of buy-in from Hamas, and looks toward not just renewing peace talks but can also deal with some of the issues that have proved contentions,” Lovett said.

“The UN plan would likely have to offer something that Israel could point to as a victory – like an EU or UN monitoring mission – but would not necessarily have to address the difficult issue of demilitarisation,” he explained.

“A good way to do this would be to look for what has worked in the past,” Lovett said. “The Israeli press – and even some Israeli ministers – have been talking about the situation in South Lebanon and UN Resolution 1701 which ended the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war […] and that has actually worked quite well.”

The resolution called for the disarmament of all non-governmental groups in Lebanon and established a UN peacekeeping and monitoring mission that would ensure that Hezbollah kept out of a key stretch of land near the border.

“The reason it has worked in south Lebanon is that both Israel and Hezbollah agreed to it,” said Lovett. “The provision about disarming groups in Lebanon has not been implemented, yet Israel can still point to a UN Security Council Resolution endorsing its position.

“This is the kind of thing that Israel would like to see in Gaza,” he added.

Since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 7 July, almost 2,100 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and more than 10,000 injured. 68 Israelis – including 64 soldiers – have also been killed. On Friday an Israeli child was killed, becoming the fourth civilian to be killed in Israel.

(Source / 22.08.2014)

UN: Death Toll From Syrian Civil War Tops 191,000

The high death toll is a reflection of the brutality of Syria’s conflict, which has transformed into a complex, multi-layered war where various factions fight against each other.

Mideast Syria

A hole allegedly made during an airstrike by government forces in Aleppo, Syria

GENEVA — The death toll from three years of Syria’s civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people, the United Nations reported Friday.

The figure, covering the period from March 2011 to April 2014, is the first issued by the U.N.’s human rights office since July 2013, when it documented more than 100,000 killed.

The high death toll is a reflection of the brutality of Syria’s conflict, which has transformed into a complex, multi-layered war where various factions fight against each other.

It also reflects the recent surge in deadly attacks by the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State group targeting rival militant groups, mainstream Western-backed Syrian rebels and Kurdish militiamen in northern Syria as it seeks to eliminate opponents and consolidate its hold on territory and resources.

Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s top human rights official who oversees the Geneva-based office, said the new figures are so much higher because they include additional killings from earlier periods, as well as deaths since the last report. The exact figure of confirmed deaths is 191,369, Pillay said.

“As the report explains, tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict,” she said.

Men comprised 85 percent of the victims, women more than 9 percent, while the sex was unknown in the remaining cases.

The records show at least 8,800 child victims, although the age of most victims is unknown.

The figures are based on information from the Syrian Center for Statistics and Research, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Violations Documentation Center, the Syrian government and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Pillay criticized the world’s “paralysis” over the fighting in Syria, which “has dropped off the international radar” in the face of so many other armed conflicts around the world. Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, told reporters she was referring mainly to the standoff on the U.N. Security Council.

Russia has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s main allies and has used its veto power four times at the 15-nation Security Council to prevent international sanctions on Syria.

In January, Pillay’s office said it had stopped updating the death toll, blaming the organization’s lack of access on the ground in Syria and its inability to verify source material. Colville said the new figures were released now because the United Nations improved its confidence in the way the analysis is conducted.

On Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the number of deaths has reached 180,000.

(Source / 22.08.2014)

#GazaUnderAttack | Haniyeh: Hamas will not accept less than end to blockade

 Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh  (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday said that the Palestinians would not accept anything less than an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, as Israeli forces continued to attack the besieged enclave.

Haniyeh accused Israel of using negotiations as a cover for their crimes and said it must accept the “fair demands” made by the Palestinian delegation, adding that Hamas would not accept anything less than an end to Israel’s assault and the seven-year blockade.

Palestinians have demanded in indirect negotiations in Cairo that Israel end its eight-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has crippled the tiny coastal enclave’s economy and led to widespread suffering, as well as re-open an airport and seaport, among other demands.

Haniyeh urged Egypt to hold Israel responsible for crimes committed against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, adding that Israel is responsible for the collapse of the indirect ceasefire talks in Cairo.

Haniyeh also paid condolences to the three Hamas military commanders killed by Israel on Thursday, adding: “History proves that Hamas only becomes stronger and tougher than Israel expects when they kill our leaders.”

Senior Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said Friday that a return to indirect ceasefire negotiations is conditional on Israel accepting Palestinians demands.

He said that Israel should accept what was discussed in indirect talks or prepare for a “long war.”

Israel has not responded to Palestinian truce offers, but has instead insisted that Palestinian militant groups in Gaza disarm.

Palestinian groups have refused this demand, pointing out that it was Palestinian military strength that repelled the Israeli assault and invasion that has so far left 2,090 Palestinians dead, more than 10,500 injured, and at least 100,000 homeless.

(Source / 22.08.2014)

Gaza counts cost of war as more than 360 factories destroyed or damaged

Thousands of acres of farmland and cattle also wiped out with damage estimated at three times that of 2008-9 conflict

Mohammed Al Tebani's in Gaza, which made ice cream among other sweets, and was dest

Mohammed Al Tebani inside his factory in Gaza, which made ice cream among other sweets, and was destroyed by targeted shelling

Gaza’s economy will take years to recover from the devastating impact of the war, in which more than 360 factories have been destroyed or badly damaged and thousands of acres of farmland ruined by tanks, shelling and air strikes, according to analysts.

Israeli air strikes on Gaza have resumed since a temporary ceasefire brokedown on Tuesday after rockets were fired from Gaza. The Israeli Defence Force said it launched air stikes on 20 sites on Friday morning and Gaza health officials said two Palestinians were killed in an attack on a farm.

Almost 10% of Gaza’s factories have been put out of action, said the Palestinian Federation of Industries. Most other industrial plants have halted production during the conflict, causing losses estimated at more than $70m (£42m), said the union of Palestinian industries. The UN’s food and agriculture organisation (FAO) said about 42,000 acres of croplands had sustained substantial direct damage and half of Gaza’s poultry stock has been lost due to direct hits or lack of care as access to farmlands along the border with Israel became impossible.

More than 9% of the annual fishing catch was lost between 9 July and 10 August, it added.

“The initial indications are that economic damage caused by the war is three times that of the 2008-9 conflict,” said Gaza-based economist Omar Shaban, referring to the Israeli military operation, codenamed Cast Lead. “It’s huge.”

Unemployment would increase from the prewar rate of 40%, a result of factory destruction, he said. “Recovery will depend on the terms of the ceasefire agreement – whether the siege is lifted, and how quickly. But it will take a minimum of two to three years even if it is lifted.”

Ruins of al-Awdah food factoryThe ruins of al-Awdah food factory, which was destroyed after days of air strikes and shelling

Gaza’s biggest factory, al Awda in Deir al-Balah, which made biscuits, juice and ice-cream, was destroyed after days of air strikes and shelling last month, which caused a massive fire. Its entire stock of raw ingredients was lost and valuable hi-tech machinery damaged beyond repair. The factory employed 450 people.

“This is a war on our economy,” said owner Mohammed al-Telbani. “I started at ground zero, spent 45 years building this business and now it’s gone.”

Manal Hassan, the factory’s manager, estimated the losses at $30m. “We kept a very large stock because of the difficulties of getting raw materials and spare parts into Gaza, so we had enough to keep production going for a year,” she said. “This was a factory for making biscuits and ice-cream, not guns. There were no rockets fired in this area.”

Dead cow and rotting vegetables at the roadside in GazaDead cow and rotting vegetables at the roadside. Livestock and vegetable farming has been decimated

At the Nadi family farm in Beit Hanoun, Mahmoud Nadi said almost half the stock of 370 dairy cows had been killed in shelling from tanks positioned inside the border and air strikes. The family, which has farmed in the area for 15 years, fled to UN shelters in Jabaliya when the Israeli ground invasion started.

“When we came back, there were dead cows everywhere. We could hardly reach them because of the smell,” he said. The milk yield from the remaining stock had plummeted due to the animals’ trauma, he added.

In Beit Lahiya, camel farmer Zaid Hamad Ermelat returned to his land last week to find 20 animals – worth $2,800 a head – had been shot by ground forces. Their decomposing carcasses remained on the ground amid spent bullet casings from M16 rifles.

“This is our only income, supporting 17 members of the family,” said the 71-year-old Bedouin, who came to Gaza as a refugee during the 1948 war. Asked what he would do to earn a living, he shrugged he would try to find work as a farm labourer.

Zaid Hamed  Ermelat 71 whose camels were killled and upon which his livelyhood depends. Photo Sean SZaid Hamed Ermelat 71 whose camels were killled, and upon which his livelihood depends

In a nearby field, peppers were shrivelled on plants as farmers have been unable to harvest crops during the war.

At a cluster of farms in Juha Deek, nearly a mile from the border, almost every house, store and animal pen was wrecked, fruit and olive trees snapped or uprooted and cattle, sheep and goats killed by shrapnel, bullets or starvation as families fled for safety.

“How do I feel? Look at this,” said Ahmed Abu Sayed, 22, gesturing at a view of destroyed buildings and tank-churned land. “This tells you how I feel.”

The FAO said it would distribute enough fodder to feed 55,000 sheep and goats for 45 days once a permanent ceasefire had been established.

(Source / 22.08.2014)

Fresh Israeli airstrikes kill more Gazans

Several Palestinians have been killed and dozens more injured in fresh Israeli aerial attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip over the past few hours.

The casualties come as Israeli warplanes bombed residential areas in the besieged Palestinian enclave on Friday.

Palestinian sources say the latest fatalities included two people in al-Nusairat and two others in Deir al-Balah. Two people, a man and a child, have also died of injuries.

A couple of other people had earlier been killed in Rafah, south of Gaza, while riding on a motorcycle.

Also, at least four people were killed when an Israeli airstrike targeted a cemetery. The victims were burying their relatives who had been killed in an overnight attack.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 37 people have been killed during the Israeli aggression since Thursday morning.

Friday marked the third day of continued fighting in the coastal enclave following the collapse of ceasefire talks in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have called for more retaliatory responses to the Israeli attacks following the killing of three senior commanders of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, in an airstrike in Rafah.

Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum, the commanders of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which is the military wing of Hamas, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Tel al-Sultan refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday.

The death toll from the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip stands at above 2,090. Some 10,300 others have been wounded since the Israeli aggression began on July 8.

(Source / 22.08.2014)

Hamas kills 21 suspected informers

Human rights bodies condemn ‘extra-judicial executions’ while death of four-year-old in Israel threatens escalation of conflict

Gaza air strike

Rescue workers search for victims under the rubble of a house destroyed in an Israeli air strike that killed three Hamas military commanders

Hamas has turned its anger over Israel’s assassination of three military commanders against alleged collaborators in Gaza, killing 21 people in a little over 24 hours and warning that the “same punishment will be imposed soon on others”.

The suspected informers – including two women – were killed in three batches in a campaign codenamed “Strangling Necks”. Three were killed on Thursday, 11 at a disused police station early on Friday, and another seven shot dead in public outside a mosque in Gaza City shortly after noon prayers.

The conflict seemed likely to escalate further on Friday afternoon after a four-year-old Israeli child was killed when a mortar hit a car close to the Gaza border. It was the first civilian death in Israel since fighting resumed after the collapse of the latest temporary ceasefire earlier this week, and was expected to trigger a strong response from the Israeli military.

The boy is the fourth civilian and the first child to be killed in Israel since the war began. Sixty-four soldiers have also died. More than 500 children have been killed in Gaza, out of a total of more than 2,000 deaths.

The summary executions in Gaza triggered swift condemnation from Palestinian and international human rights organisations. Raji al-Surani, the director of the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, said: “We demand the [Palestinian Authority] and the resistance [militant groups] to intervene to stop these extra-judicial executions, no matter what the reasons and the motives are.”

Pictures showed a group of men, with their heads covered and hands tied behind their backs, kneeling against a wall. Masked Hamas fighters dressed in black and armed with AK47s pushed to them to the ground before shooting them.

The mosque’s imam asked worshippers to inform Hamas security officials about anyone suspected of behaving strangely, or asking about fighters. “We have to protect our mujahideen [fighters] and back them, not let the Zionist occupation [Israel] easily target them as happened in Rafah with commanders,” he said.

A notice attached to a wall detailed the charges against one suspect. It said he or she had provided “information to the enemy on the places of mujahideen [fighters], standing positions, tunnels, the places of explosive devices, and their houses and rockets”, allowing Israel to target its air strikes. “And upon that the justice revolutionary verdict was implemented.”

The Hamas-run Al Rai website suggested a direct link between the executions and Israel’s targeting of Hamas commanders, saying “the current circumstances forced us to take such decisions”.

The suspects were believed to have been arrested before theassassination early on Thursday of three top Hamas military leaders in Rafah and the possible death of military chief Mohammed Deif in an air strike in Gaza City on Tuesday, which killed his wife and two children.

The killings were an unambiguous warning to informers. Hamas claimed that a verdict and sentence was handed down by a court, although it is unlikely that the suspects went through a fair and impartial judicial process.

A statement issued in the name of “the Palestinian resistance” said that the court’s sheikhs ordered the executions of “collaborators who betrayed their religion and sold their people and land for a cheap price, and achieved many missions for the enemy”.

It said it had not named the suspected informers “for keeping the reputation and honour of their families and children”. Anyone who “allows himself to be a tool of enemy crimes will definitely face the same destiny”, it added.

Some of those at the mosque expressed approval of the killings. “It was a late move – I wish it was from the beginning, and I hope it continues until we reach a community empty of traitors and collaborators,” said Mohammed Wasfi.

The suspected collaborators deserved to die, said Awni Switti. “Palestinians have to stop this cheap assistance to the enemy.” But he added: “I hope they have checked and investigated with them carefully before they made this decision.”

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, condemned the killings. “No justification for #Hamas summary execution of 11, informer or not. No due process. Executions always wrong,” he wrote on Twitter.

Collaboration with Israel is punishable by death under Palestinian law, though the death sentence requires presidential approval. Hamas has repeatedly carried out summary executions. In the last conflict in Gaza, in November 2012, several suspected informers were killed and the body of at least one was dragged through the streets of Gaza City by a motorcycle.

Israeli intelligence relies heavily on informers in Gaza and the West Bank. Sometimes people are coerced or blackmailed into becoming collaborators; sometimes the motive is financial. If exposed, they risk death and their families – whether they knew or not – are ostracised.

The killing of the three military commanders in Rafah was a significant blow to Hamas after weeks in which senior political and military figures had avoided being targeted by the Israel Defence Forces, largely by keeping underground in a network of bunkers and tunnels and refraining from using mobile phones.

Deif’s fate was still unclear. Israeli officials said they were confident that he had died in the blast but no conclusive evidence was produced.

Ismail Haniyeh, the most senior Hamas politician in Gaza, said in a statement that “despite the pain” of losing the military commanders, “the history of the Hamas movement has proven more than once that it is stronger after every targeted killing of one of its senior members. After a senior operative is killed, we immediately continue on our path without hesitating or stepping back.”

Diplomatic efforts to end the conflict shifted from Cairo to New York, with a United Nations security council resolution drafted by Britain, France and Germany with US support. According to reports in the Israeli media, it called for an immediate cessation of fighting, the opening of crossings in and out of Gaza, international supervision to prevent weapon smuggling and the construction of tunnels, and the Palestinian Authority to be the governing authority. No date had been set for debating and voting on the proposal.

The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was in Qatar meeting Hamas’s political leader, Khaled Meshaal, to push him to return to a ceasefire, and to encourage Qatar to support Egyptian efforts to mediate a truce, a Palestinian official said.

Abbas was due to travel to Cairo later on Friday to meet Egyptian intelligence officials to discuss ceasefire efforts.

(Source / 22.08.2014)