ISIS Kills Dozens of Civilians in Mabuja Hama

Spokesman for the Syrian Coalition Salem al-Meslet condemns “the horrible crime committed by ISIS against civilians in the village of Mabuja, northeast of Hama,” stressing that our only choice today is to determinedly face terrorism and its root causes through the forming of an international coalition against manufacturers of terrorism and those who direct the terrorist organizations.”

“We must take into account the key role played by the Assad regime in supporting terrorist organizations and in allowing them to grow and fester. The threat of terrorism will not subside unless the Assad regime, the sponsor of terrorism, is toppled,” Meslet added.

“ISIS continues to follow in the footsteps of the Assad regime in murder, crime, violating of human dignity and violation of international laws. We call on the international anti-ISIS coalition to take decisive steps to protect Syrian civilians, and to effectively cooperate with the FSA so as to build a force capable of fending off the terrorist acts of ISIS and the Assad regime alike.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 01.04.2015)

Dozens of settlers storm Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli police arrested Wednesday morning a Jerusalemite woman in al-Aqsa Mosque while a group of settlers stormed the holy shrine to celebrate Jewish holidays.

Local sources said that the Jerusalemite woman Rawan Abu Hadwan was forcibly taken to Beit Eliyahu police station in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City after being detained in al-Aqsa Mosque.

The sources pointed out that 30 Israeli settlers broke into the holy shrine since the early morning hours from al-Magaribeh gate amid Israeli police protection.

The Israeli police filmed Palestinian worshipers who protested the settlers’ break-in as a prelude to arrest them while leaving the Mosque.

In the same context, QPress media center revealed that 1,268 Israeli settlers and soldiers had stormed al-Aqsa Mosque during March, while 40 Palestinian worshipers including 27 women and five children were nabbed during the same period.

23 Israeli break-ins were carried out last month from al-Magaribeh gate under heavy police protection, the report said.

30 Palestinian worshipers, mostly women, were denied access to al-Aqsa Mosque for different periods of time in the same period, according to the source.

(Source / 01.04.2015)

Israeli Navy Opens Fire On Gaza Fishing Boats

Israeli navy ships opened fire, on Wednesday at dawn, on a number of small Palestinian fishing boats in Palestinian waters, near the Sudaniyya area, northwest of the Gaza Strip.

File - Al-Mezan Center

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers fired several live rounds targeting at least three fishing boats, less the two miles away from the Gaza shore, forcing all fishers back to shore.

The attack is part of ongoing Israeli violations to every ceasefire agreement, mediated by Egypt, and to the Oslo Accords.

There are more than 3800 Palestinian fishers in the Gaza Strip, providing food to dozens of thousands of family members.

Israeli attacks on Gaza fishers led to dozens of casualties, including several fatalities, in addition to dozens of arrests, while the soldiers also confiscated scores of fishing boats.

(Source / 01.04.2015)

Hamas demands permanent fuel tax exemption for Gaza’s power

File photo of Power outage in Rafah

Hamas movement said that exempting the Gaza power station’s fuel from taxes by the Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government for a period of three months is not a “sufficient decision,” claiming to gain a ‘permanently exemption’.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Tuesday evening in a statement, received by the Anadolu agency, that ’the PA unity government is demanded to cancel the taxes on Gaza power station’s fuel permanently’. He noted that the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had also promised to take a final decision on the power station fuel’s taxes.

On Wednesday, Hamdallah agreed with Hamas to form a joint committee to discuss Gaza’s problems and their proper solutions, particularly with regard to the crisis of the former government’s employees, the electricity cut off, the reconstruction file and handing over the sector’s crossings to the Palestinian Authority.

On its part, the Palestinian Energy Authority in Gaza Strip announced on Thursday evening that a “limited improvement” will be shown in providing the electricity to the Sector at the beginning of next week, as a result of the unity government’s decision to exempt the power station’s fuel of taxes.

Deputy chief of the Energy Authority Fathi El-Sheikh Khalil told Anadolu that “limited improvement will occur on the hours of providing electricity to the Gaza Strip provinces early next week, where the power will be connected for 8 hours followed by 8 hours cut (instead of 4 hours connected followed by 12 hours cut). ”

In a press statement, following its weekly meeting on Tuesday in Ramallah, the PA unity government announced exempting the Gaza power station’s fuel from so called ‘blue taxes’ for a period of three months. The government said that the exemption decision comes to alleviate the problem of power cut, as a prelude to resolve the electricity issue completely.

The Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of the Movement Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh has declared last Friday that Israel had agreed to extend a power plant in the midfield of the sector, to provide with gas through funding from Qatar.

On 5 March, the Gaza Power Station (GPS) stopped working completely after the running out of the fuel needed to operate it. The Energy Authority in the Gaza Strip said in a statement, that they were unable to buy fuel for the power station because of the taxes imposed by the unity government which increased the fuel prices up to 137% of the original price.

For 8 years, the Gaza Strip has been suffering from a large electricity crisis following Israel’s bombing of the only power station in the sector in mid-2006, thus pushing the population to live according to a daily distribution table including 6 hours of electricity connection and 12 hours of electricity cut. It currently requires about 360 megawatts of electricity to meet the needs of the 1.8 million people living in Gaza, but they are currently being forced to survive on only 200 megawatts instead.

The Gaza Strip currently gets the electricity current from three sources: the first is Israel, which supplies the sector with 120 megawatts; the second is Egypt, which provides the Sector with 28 megawatts, while the power station in Gaza produces between 40 to 60 megawatts.

(Source / 01.04.2015)

Yemen’s Houthis Are No Iran Proxy

This Shia militia group shares little more with Iran than it’s religious identity.

Mideast Yemen

A supporter of Houthi Shiites holds a Yemeni flag during a rally in support of the Houthis, at a sports stadium in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Declaring their war against the Houthis of Yemen last week, Saudi Arabia has presented the conflict as a sort of noble intervention, aiming to displace an Iranian proxy from power in favor of the internationally accepted, if not legitimately elected, President Hadi.

Yet the history of the Houthis shows that, far from an invention of Iran, their origins were entirely domestic in nature, a backlash against the political corruption that has defined the nation for decades. WikiLeaks documents from the US State Department underscore this history.

The Houthi movement has its origins in the 1993 parliamentary elections. Longtime dicator Ali Abdullah Saleh’s GPC party won a plurality, but in trying to ensure a weakened opposition Saleh negotiated a deal with Hussein al-Houthi, a powerful member of the opposition al-Haq Party. Houthi was to distance himself from Haq and back the GPC in return for support from the ruling party.

Houthi did as he was asked, and was stabbed in the back in the 1997 election, when Saleh’s office heavily campaigned against him, costing him his seat in parliament. Out of office, Hussein decided to travel abroad to complete his doctorate.

He returned in 2001, and quickly became an influential religious leader, aiming to unite the various independent clerics of Zaidi Shi’ism under a single banner. Successful in this, he began publicly condemning Saleh as a US puppet, while harshly condemning the US invasion of Iraq.

By 2004, the Yemeni military was moving against Houthi and his followers, and Hussein was killed on September 10, 2004, putting a temporary end to hostilities.

Hussein’s father, Badr al-Din Houthi started an uprising in 2005, and his brother Abdul Malik Houthi started an even bigger one in 2007. Their demands centered around equal treatment for their homeland, around Sadaa, which always got the short end of infrastructure investment.

By 2009 the region was in full-scale war, with Saleh vowing to defund public schools and all other basic social spending to pay for weapons to wipe the Houthis out.

Saleh often accused the Houthis of being an Iran proxy, though the US State Department confirmed that this was not the case, and indeed that the Houthis were arming themselves almost entirely through the black market, and purchase of arms from the Yemeni military itself.

With interests largely domestic (and often not even nationwide) and religion never more than tangentially related to their ideology, the Houthis never made sense as allies to Iran. The Zaidi brand of Shi’a Islam isn’t even particularly close to Iran’s own version, and Hussein Houthi’s opposition to the Iraq War, which benefited Iran greatly, reflects how very different the two are.

The Houthis were largely defeated in 2009, though they began to reassert themselves in 2011 during the Arab Spring. This was temporarily calmed by the 2012 ouster of Saleh and his replacement, in a single candidate “vote,” by General Hadi.

Hadi followed through on attempts to weaken the Houthis by implanting Sunni Islamist factions into the Sadaa area, which led to another war in 2014. This time, the Houthis won outright, and marched on the capital city of Sanaa. Here too, they were victorious.

The takeover of the capital set the stage for on-again, off-again battles with Hadi, and the Houthis were pushing heavily for constitutional reforms and free elections, a point on which Hadi resigned in January of 2015.

His resignation lasted a few weeks, then Hadi declared himself unresigned, moving to Aden and vowing to take the country. When the Houthis routed him yet again, Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia, and courted their military intervention to ensure his rule.

Never has serious evidence of Iranian involvement been seen, and the new claims that loyalists to Saleh are fighting alongside the Houthis are strange indeed, given their history of acrimony.

If Iran gets involved in the Houthi-Saudi war at all, it is because of their regional rivalry with the Saudis, as both sides are keen to wound the other when the opportunity presents itself. To this day, however, the Houthis maintain they have no ties with Iran, and intend to defend the country by themselves.

(Source / 01.04.2015)

The Death of 1,697 individuals in March 2015

Death Toll of March 2015

The Death of 1,697

1- Government Forces:
SNHR documented the death of 1276 individuals by the government forces as follows:
a- Civilians:
Government forces killed 1029 civilians including 147 children (5 children killed each day) the victims also includes 136 women as for death under torture victims they are 134 individuals including 3 women and a child (5 victims of death under torture each day).
Children and women death toll ratio reached 28% of civilian victims, and this is a clear indication of premeditated targeting of civilians by government forces
b- Armed Individuals:
Government forces killed 247 armed men between conflicts and bombardment

2- Kurdish Forces:
Killed one civilian
3- Extremist Groups:
SNHR documented the death of 279 individuals by the extremist groups as follows:
a- Civilians:
Killed 241 civilians including 33 children, 22 women, and one death under torture victim
b- Armed Individuals:
ISIS killed no less than 10 armed men during conflicts with armed opposition factions or field executions of captives.
o An-Nussra Front:
a- Civilians:
Killed 16 including a child and 3 women, and one death under torture victim
b- Armed Individuals:
Killed 12 armed men during conflicts with armed opposition factions or through field executions of captives

4- Armed Opposition Factions:
SNHR documented the death of 91 individuals by the armed opposition as follows:
a- Civilians:
SNHR documented the death of 84 civilians including 15 children and 6 women
b- Armed Individuals:
Killed 7 armed men during conflicts between the factions itself
5- International Coalition Forces:
SNHR documented the death of 3 civilians; a woman and 2 children
6- Others:
SNHR documented 45 other murder cases including: 7 children, 3 women and 8 armed individuals

full pdf report

(Source / 01.04.2015)

Barghouthi: “Joining ICC A Significant Move To Strip Israel’s Illegal Immunity”

Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, stated that by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), Palestine would be able to file cases against Israel and its commanders for war crimes against the Palestinian people, and to strip Israel of its illegal immunity that allowed it to continue its war crimes.

Mustafa Barghouthi

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi

Dr. Barghouthi said the fact that Palestine became an official member of the ICC, Tuesday, is an important step towards stripping Israel of its illegal, and immoral, immunity that enabled it to continue to commit war crimes against the Palestinians, their lands, property and holy sites, in direct violation of International Law.

“For the first time since 67 years after the establishment of Israel in the historic land of Palestine, there will be a tool, and a means to hold it accountable,” he said, “Israel’s government, its generals and soldiers who continuously commit war crimes against the Palestinians, and Arab nations, must be brought to justice.”

The Palestinian official further stated the Israeli crimes were escalating, including Israel’s repeated aggression on the civilians on Gaza.

He added that Israel’s continued construction and expansion of colonies since 1967, is also a crime that has even been condemned by the International Court of Justice ten years ago, as settlements violate International Law.

He also stressed that it is essential to prepare and submit to the ICC all needed files and cases that document Israel’s ongoing crimes, especially settlements, and war crimes against the civilians in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 01.04.2015)

Looting in Iraq’s Tikrit after city retaken

Shiite fighters from the Popular Mobilisation units rest in Tikrit on April 1, 2015, a day after the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in the weeks-long battle to retake the northern Iraqi city from ISIS

Pro-government militiamen were seen looting shops in the centre of the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday after its recapture from the Islamic State jihadist group in a month-long battle.

The militiamen took items including clothing, shampoo and shaving cream from two shops in central Tikrit before driving away.

Two trucks were also seen leaving Tikrit loaded with new tyres, a generator and a mirror that fell out and shattered on the highway.

While localised, the incidents raise concerns over how the myriad militiamen now in the city will conduct themselves.

As they have in other areas, militiamen also spray painted the names of their groups on houses and shops in the city, including on unbroken windows that had survived the fighting.

Baghdad turned to Shiite militias to bolster its flagging forces after Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group (ISIS) jihadists led a sweeping offensive that overran large areas north and west of Baghdad last year.

They have played a major role in successful operations against IS, but have also been accused of abuses including summary executions, kidnappings.

Human Rights Watch said this month that both security forces and militias “engaged in deliberate destruction of civilian property” after breaking a months-long siege of the town of Amerli last year.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said during a visit to Baghdad this week that Iraq must “bring volunteer armed groups fighting in support of the government under government control”.

“Civilians freed from the brutality of Daesh should not have to then fear their liberators,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

(Source / 01.04.2015)

Palestinians protest continuous demolitions in Negev village

Part of the village seen following the 16th Israeli demolition in 2011.
BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — A march set off Saturday from the Negev city of Rahat for al-Araqib village to protest the continuous demolition of homes in the village.

The housing structures have reportedly been demolished more than 80 times.

The village sheikh, Sayyah Abu Mdeighim, as well as activists and lawyers from the Negev, took part in the march, carrying signs that read: “Stop Demolishing al-Araqib.”

Activist Aziz al-Turi told Ma’an that women, children and elderly people also participated in the protest.

He added that other Palestinians should organize similar marches to defend their land against Israeli incursions.

Activities marking the 39th Palestinian “Land Day” were also carried out in the al-Araqib, commemorating a general strike and marches that took place on Mar. 30, 1976 in protest over Israeli land seizures.

Six unarmed Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured by Israeli forces that day.

Demolitions, in addition to denial of basic services and access to infrastructure, are part of an ongoing campaign by Israeli planning committees against the Bedouin villages in the Negev desert, where roughly 70-90,000 people live.

In May 2013, an Israeli government committee approved a draft bill setting a framework to implement the evacuation of “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev, most of which existed before the state of Israel.

Al-Araqib is among some of the 40 Negev villages Israeli authorities have deemed unrecognized, arguing that the 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in them cannot prove land ownership.

They are the remnants of the Bedouin population that lived across the Negev Desert until 1948, when 90 percent of the local population were expelled by Israel and the remainder confined to a closed reservation.

(Source / 01.04.2015)

In a leaked audio (available in the article), Saudis ask Israel to bomb Yemen



YemenWhen the Saudis began the Yemen invasion, News 786 wrote about how Israeli planes might have, or are about to, take part in the war from Saudi Arabia’s side.

Saudi Arabia prides itself as world’s Number 1 Arab-Muslim nation. And no International-political cause is `officially’ as dear to Arab Muslims as the Palestine cause.

For Saudi Arabia, therefore, to seek help from Israel openly, is nothing short of political blasphemy.

But News 786 has proof that the `puritanically’ Islamic-Wahabi Saudi allegedly might have committed political blasphemy.

A leaked audio recording allegedly from a closed meeting at the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency (GIP) in Riyadh showshow Saudi high command is finding it difficult to destroy Yemeni anti-aircraft system amid the Saudi-led aerial campaign against the Yemeni army and Houthis.

The audio recording purportedly captures the sound of Abu-Omar al -Jabouri – the chief adviser of Saudi King Salman – during which he deplores the incompetence of Saudi pilots to effectively destroy even Yemen’s decrepit Soviet-era air defense system.

Later, in the audio recording al-Jabouri suggests asking the Israeli Air Force (IAF) to assist Saudis with its much-vaunted F-16 fighter jets in bombarding Yemeni army units!

The notorious Saudi general intelligence presidency is also known to be responsible to carry out Saudi agenda in the troubled Middle-East region. We hear in the audio recording:

“ … UAE sent 30 fighter jets, Kuwait and Bahrain both participated with 15 jets, while Qatar took part in the campaign with 10 airplanes and of course, Jordan sent few aircrafts but we do not have pilots … and here we have Yemeni air defense system…only F-16 jets are more capable to evade anti-aircraft system,” al-Jabouri allegedly says in the surreptitious meeting.

There are no F-16 jets in Royal Saudi Air Force, al-Jabouri added, and due to the grave problems “we and our other Gulf States are facing, it is better to use Israeli F-16 jests as they know how to deal with these Shiites, but the only problem we have is that there is no air ports in Saudi Arabia where Israeli jets can land, hence we must use Bahraini runways and U.S. fifth fleet in Bahrain and Americans promised us to help“, concludes al-Jabouri.

This is sensational–the nation-states created by the west under the Sykes-Picot agreement in the Middle-East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire–is all but dead.

The anti-Israel Arab-Muslim consensus is also dying a slow death. This is the truth; the reality.

Hopefully, a new polarization, a new Middle-East, emerges from this churning…

(Source / 01.04.2015)