Syrian Coalition Delegation Arrives in Qatar

A Syrian Coalition delegation arrived on Tuesday morning in Doha in a visit to Qatar and met with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiyah. A meeting is scheduled tomorrow with the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The delegation included the president of the Syrian Coalition, his deputies, secretary-general, members of the political committee and the General Assembly and the interim prime minister.

They met with Attiyah to discuss developments in and international initiatives in Syria, and briefed him on the Storm of Resolve operation in Yemen and its impact on the Syrian situation.

They also talked about the meetings held lately by the Syrian Coalition with components of the Syrian opposition, and reviewed the bilateral relationships between Syrian Coalition and the Qatari government.

The delegation visited the Syrian Coalition’s Embassy in Qatar to learn about services provided to the Syrian community residing in the State of Qatar.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

Extremists Raise Israeli Flag over Ibrahimi Mosque

Extremist Israeli settlers raised the Israeli flag on the walls and over the rooftop of al-Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, today in Hebron.

ibrahimipnn.jpg

The reconstruction committee in Hebron condemned, in a press statement, this measure and considered it a continuation of ongoing Israeli attempts to alter the character of the mosque and annex it to the list of Jewish heritage sites.

According to the PNN, the committee slammed this Israeli measure as a provocative act and an assault against Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular.

It called on all relevant human rights and humanitarian organizations to take the necessary actions to protect the mosque.

Al-Ibrahimi Mosque is located in the old city of Hebron, few hundred meters away from the part of the city illegally occupied by around 400 extremist settlers, who are protected by about 1,500 Israeli soldiers.

Since 1967, al-Ibrahimi Mosque, like all other Muslim holy sites in Palestine, became a target for the Israeli occupying forces and Zionist settlers, reported the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.

In 1994, Israel divided al-Ibrahimi Mosque between Muslims and Jews, after an Israeli settler gunned down 30 Palestinians during dawn prayer.

Baruch Goldstein, an extremist settler from the illegal settlement of ‘Kiryat Arba’ settlement, who holds US and Israeli citizenship, opened machine-gun fire at Muslim worshippers during prayer. He killed 29 people and injured 135. On the same day outside the Mosque, the Israeli army opened fire towards fearful and panicky worshippers and killed at least ten civilians.

Following the incident, al-Ibrahimi Mosque was converted into a military post and later divided into two parts, one for Muslims and another for Jews. Thus the Mosque became a point of conflict and constant tension that has marred its sanctity.

Nowadays, Israel controls Palestinians’ access to the Mosque, prevents many from praying there on a regular basis and frequently bans the call for prayer under the pretext of disturbing the settlers.

The control is not only restricted to prayer at the Mosque, but also calls for prayers through speakers. In January 2015 alone, the call for prayer was banned 51 times.

The Hebron Awqaf Directorate said that the policy of banning Muslims’ call for prayer is aimed at tightening the noose on Palestinians and stopping them from praying in the Mosque, subsequently driven them away from their city.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

Palestinian ministers cut Gaza trip short

Sami Abu Zuhri

Sami Abu Zuhri

Ministers of the Palestinian unity government yesterday cut short a ten day visit to the Gaza Strip, Quds Press reported.

The 11 ministers from the occupied West Bank, who were accompanied by other officials, left the Strip just 24 hours after they arrived.

“The Palestinian ministers have left the Gaza Strip following heated disagreements with Hamas over the civil servants’ crisis,” Saleh Zidan, a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), told the Anadolu Agency.

He said the ministers were prevented from starting to process applications of thousands of civil servants ordered to start a civil disobedience since Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said in statement that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who should have accompanied the ministers in their visit, ordered then to leave.

Abu-Zuhri said that Hamdallah’s instructions came amid the failure to negotiate a deal to pay the salaries of around 40,000 civil servants hired by Hamas during the period if governed the Gaza Strip.

He said Hamas is expressing its deep concerns, mainly because the visit was dedicated only for processing the applications of civil servants who have taken part in civil disobedience, while it is ignoring the employees who served the people since 2007.

Hamas called for the unity government to bear the responsibility for all the Palestinian employees without discrimination.

The unity government has been refusing to pay the salaries of employees hired by Hamas in Gaza since 2007; however, the agreement by the unity government clearly included a solution for the employees.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

Israeli runs over four Palestinians in West Bank

The four wounded are two brothers and their wives

An Israeli Jewish settler ran over four Palestinian pedestrians on Tuesday evening in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Such incidents occur repeatedly and they are encouraged because the perpetrators go unpunished after each assault, even if the Palestinians die (Archive Picture)

Days of Palestine, West Bank –An Israeli Jewish settler ran over four Palestinian pedestrians on Tuesday evening in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Witnesses said that the Israeli settler had approached the Palestinians while they were walking by the side of the road near the entrance to the West Bank village of Nabi Elias, east of Qalqilya.

According to the witnesses, while the four Palestinians started bleeding, the Israeli Jewish settler continued traveling east on Road 55 toward the village of Azun,

The four Palestinians were evacuated by the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances to the Palestinian Hospital of Darwish Nazzal.

One of them is suffering severe wounds, another is suffering moderate conditions and the other two are suffering light injuries.

An Israeli police spokesman said that the settler handed himself over to the Israeli police and said that he intentionally ran over the four Palestinians.

Such incidents occur repeatedly and they are encouraged because the perpetrators go unpunished after each assault, even if the Palestinians die.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

‘Op Decisive Storm’ ends in Yemen

A Saudi soldier fires a mortar towards Houthi movement position, at the Saudi border with Yemen April 21, 2015

The Saudi Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday the end of Operation Decisive Storm, a military campaign led by the kingdom in Yemen to combat the Houthi advance in the embattled country, Al Arabiya reported.

The operation will continue to target Houthi militias as it enters a political phase, Saudi state television reported.

“The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen,” Gen. Ahmed Asiri told reporters in Riyadh.

The Riyadh-based central command also announced the beginning of a new campaign, named “Operation Restoring Hope,” after the earlier campaign launched on March 26 fulfilled its objectives, a statement said.

The Saudi defense ministry said in a statement that the air strikes had managed “to successfully remove threats to Saudi Arabia’s security and that of neighboring countries.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign ministry welcomed the announcement, reported Reuters citing an Iranian news agency.

“Before this, we said the crisis in Yemen had no military solution, and … a halt to killing innocent and defenseless people is absolutely a step forward,” ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

The new push will usher in diplomatic and political efforts along with military operations, Asiri said.

The campaign ended following a request from the ‘legitimate’ Yemeni government led by President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, Asiri explained.

Operation Restoring Hope, which starts on Wednesday, aims to protect civilians and to continue to fight terrorism in Yemen, a statement from the Ministry of Defense said with Asiri adding that it does not signal a ceasefire.

Speaking to Al Arabiya News Channel, Asiri said that “Operation Decisive Storm” destroyed the militia’s ability to use ballistic missiles.

“We are not talking about a ceasefire. Operation Restoring Hope has a military component,” said Asiri, emphasizing that evacuation and humanitarian relief missions are ongoing.

“Operation Restoring Hope” will include aerial and naval supervision, explained Asiri, adding that Houthi militia will be targeted if they tried to harm civilians.

“This is a military component; in addition to the political component.”

Earlier on Tuesday Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz ordered the kingdom’s National Guard take part in the military campaign in Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

Coalition carries out 22 strikes against ISIS in Iraq

Targets included a bomb factory, ISIS units and equipment and buildings used by the militants

The U.S.-led coalition said Tuesday its warplanes carried out 22 strikes in Iraq over 24 hours targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group north and west of Baghdad.

This was the second 24 hour period in a row of a larger-than-usual number of coalition strikes against ISIS, after it carried out 26 from Sunday to Monday.

Nine of the strikes were in Anbar province west of Baghdad, where security forces are battling to expand their control beyond the pockets of territory they currently hold.

North of the capital, there were seven more in Nineveh, the first province to fall to an ISIS offensive last June, four near the contested town of Baiji and two near ISIS-held Hawijah.

Targets included a bomb factory, ISIS units and equipment and buildings used by the militants.

Security forces performed dismally in the early days of the militant drive last June, which overran much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.

But they have since managed to regain significant territory from the militants, with support from pro-government paramilitaries, the U.S.-led coalition and Iran.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

Israeli Occupation Issues Administrative Detention Orders Against 41 Palestinians Held Captive

RAMALLAH, April 21, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Tuesday issued administrative detention orders against 41 Palestinian prisoners, including 26 Palestinians from Hebron district, Tuesday reported the Palestine Prisoners’ Club (PPC).

The detainees were sentenced for a period ranging between two months and six months in administrative detention. Twelve of the detainees received detention orders without charge or trial for the first time, whereas the remaining 29 detainees had their administrative detention sentence renewed for the second or third time.

Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six month periods, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts.

The use of administrative detention dates from the “emergency laws” of the British colonial era in Palestine, said the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

It stated, “Israel’s use of administrative detention violates international law; such detention is allowed only in individual circumstances that are exceptionally compelling for “imperative reasons of security.”

Israel uses administrative detention routinely as a form of collective punishment and mass detention of Palestinians, and frequently uses administrative detention when it fails to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees.

There are around 500 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails, including  Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar who has been recently sentenced to a six-month administrative detention.

Jarrar is not the only lawmaker to be imprisoned; 18 of the Palestinian Legislative Council members are currently held in Israeli detention without charge or trial.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy which violates international law.

Following are the names of the 41 detainees who received administrative detention orders:

Names of prisoners City Sentence length
Mahmoud Fasfous Hebron Four months
‘Abdullah Sha‘ban Jenin Four months
Amir Shammas Hebron Four months
Nour Dudin Hebron Four months
Bajes Swaiti Hebron Four months
Raed al-‘Amla Hebron Six months
Murad Shqaiqat Jenin Four months
Mustafa Braija Bethlehem Six months
Muhammad al-Habal Tubas Four months
Ahmad al-Qiq Hebron Three months
Hasan Shihada Abu Dis Four months
Tareq Hamed Ramallah Four months
Suhaib Jidan Ramallah Four months
Ayman Za‘aqiq Hebron Six months
Nour Jaffal Abu Dis Four months
Nedal al-Boum Nablus Six months
Muhammad Abu Ras Hebron Six months
Sa‘id al-‘Asafra Hebron Five months
Sufian al-Wahaddin Hebron Four months
Fawzi Talahma Hebron Six months
Four months Hebron ‘Issa ‘Awawda
Six months Hebron Bashar Da‘na
Six months Hebron Anas Dweik
Six months Hebron Isma‘il Slaibi
Six months Hebron ‘Ala’ Za‘aqiq
Four months Hebron ‘Abdul-Qader Sharawna
Six months Qalqilya Nedal Jaber
Four months Hebron Munther Abu ‘Atwan
Four months Hebron Firas Masalama
Four months Nablus ‘Abdullah Bani Odeh
Three months Hebron Arqam Ahmaro
Four months Hebron Muhammad al-Khatib
Four months Ramallah ‘Imad Isma‘il
Four months Hebron Shaher Abu Ghalyoun
Four months Bethlehem Ahmad Huraimi
Two months Hebron Mustafa Shawer
Four months Ramallah Mahmoud ‘Ayyash
Four months Hebron As‘ad Imam
Four months Hebron Raed Sharbati
Five months Jerusalem Muhammad Abu Ghalya
Six months Hebron Tamer Qawasmah

Hamas to Netanyahu: Check your soldiers well

GAZA, (PIC)– Hamas Movement called on Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu “to closely check his soldiers and to stop misleading the families of missing soldiers.”

Aqsa TV Channel on Monday evening quoted a responsible source in Hamas Movement as saying that Netanyahu should closely check his soldiers and stop misleading the families of missing soldiers.

In a preliminary analysis of Hamas’s letter to Netanyahu, Israeli media outlets said that the letter aims to influence the Israeli public opinion regarding the issue of the missing soldiers.

The letter is a part of Hamas’s psychological warfare against Israel, Israeli analysts said.

Hamas works at exerting more pressures on the Israeli government to meet the group’s demands related to the expected prisoner swap deal, according to the media reports.

During Israel’s summer aggression on Gaza, Hamas’ sarmed wing, the Qassam Brigades, announced that they had captured the Israeli soldier Oron Shaul on July 20, east of Gaza City.

Few days later, Israel accused Hamas of holding the body of Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in clashes east of Rafah on August 1, while some said he had been kidnapped. Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied the claim.

Israel had waged on early July a brutal offensive on Gaza Strip that lasted for 51 days and resulted in the murder of 2323 people and the injury of thousands others.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

20 killed in Saudi airstrikes on Yemen’s Ibb

Saudi fighter jets destroyed al-Kasareh bridge, linking Ibb to the capital Sana'a in the attacks on April 21, 2015.

Saudi fighter jets destroyed al-Kasareh bridge, linking Ibb to the capital Sana’a in the attacks on April 21, 2015

At least 20 people have been killed in Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes in al-Dalil district in the southwestern Yemeni city of Ibb.

According to the Yemeni al-Wasat newspaper on Tuesday, the Saudi airstrikes wounded a number of other people in the area.

The Saudi warplanes also targeted a gas station in the district, inflicting heavy damage on the facility.

The Yemeni newspaper added that the Saudi fighter jets destroyed al-Kasareh bridge, linking Ibb to the capital Sana’a in the attacks.

In the early hours of Tuesday, Saudi warplanes bombed a market and residential areas in Harad city in the northwestern Hajjah Province, killing 13 people and injuring 70 others.

At least 40 people were killed and 547 more injured as Saudi jets targeted a missile depot in Faj Attan district in the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a on Monday.

Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to restore power to fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.

According to reports, over 2,790 people have been killed during the aggression.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating. Many international aid organizations have sought to dispatch medical and other humanitarian supplies by air and sea to civilians in need.

(Source / 21.04.2015)

UNESCO resolution defines al-Aqsa Mosque as entire complex, calls on Israel to stop demolitions

Israeli soldiers walk in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, in Jerusalem's old city on Oct. 19, 2014. (AFP/File)

Israeli soldiers walk in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, in Jerusalem’s old city on Oct. 19, 2014

The foreign affairs committee at UNESCO’s executive board on Monday adopted a resolution submitted by Jordan and Palestine that reaffirms the definition of Al Aqsa Mosque as the entire sacred complex surrounding it.

The resolution, supported by the Arab and Muslim group, confirms that Bab Al Magharbeh, the largest entrance for non-Muslim visitors to Al Aqsa Mosque complex, is an indivisible part of Al Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest shrine, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sabah Al Rafie told Petra the resolution requires that Israel, as an occupation force, commit to international decisions and UNESCO resolutions related to the heritage of the Old City in Jerusalem and its walls, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1981 and on the World Heritage in Danger list since 1982.

The resolution also calls on Israel to cease all excavation work and demolitions within the Old City, and urges it to end all violations that exacerbate tension and conflict among the followers of various faiths.

The UNESCO committee also called for an immediate stop to all actions impeding 19 projects implemented under the Hashemite rehabilitation projects of Al Aqsa Mosque.

Israel is also required to reopen the Bab Al Rahma gate of the mosque, put a stop to actions disrupting reconstruction work at the site and take the necessary measures to ensure the implementation of the Jordanian design for the reconstruction of the road to Bab Al Magharbeh.

The UNESCO committee thanked Jordan for its cooperation, according to Rafie, who added that the Kingdom’s representative at UNESCO, Makram Qaisi, said at the meeting that Jerusalem is among Jordan’s priorities within the framework of the Hashemite custodianship.

The resolution also urged Israel to end the forced entry of Jewish extremists and armed military personnel to Al Aqsa courtyards and their assaults on Jordanian awqaf department personnel in Al Haram Al Sharif.

Moreover, it called for stopping the transformation of various buildings at the site into synagogues, and criticised decisions to change the historical names of dozens of streets and archaeological sites into Jewish names.

The committee demanded that Israel refrain from hindering Muslims’ and Christians’ access to their places of worship and urged Tel Aviv to stop working on over 100 excavation sites implemented by settler societies with the aim of imposing a Jewish identity on unearthed Islamic or Christian artefacts.

(Source / 21.04.2015)