ROJAVA UPDATE 150: YPG GENERAL COMMANDER REFUTES AMNESTY “ABUSE” REPORT AND SAYS YPG HAVE LIBERATED 1500 ARAB VILLAGES

By Peter Clifford                      ©            (www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-iraq-news-5/)

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

SYRIA NEWS  IRAQ NEWS

In an interview, Sipan Hemo, General Commander of the YPG has responded to the Amnesty International report released last Monday (scroll down – see below) in which the Kurds were once again accused of “ethnic cleansing” and “destroying villages”.

SYRIA NEWS

YPG Fighter Observes the Islamic State From Fortified Position

Hemo pointed out that so far the YPG/YPJ have liberated 1500 Arab villages and perhaps 4 or 5 were damaged.

The vast majority of the Sunni Arabs, some of whom had been resettled in Rojava by the Assad regime, were living in peace and no attempt had been made to remove them.

Hemo also said that around 30% of the YPG was made up of men of Arab origins and he was quite sure they would not tolerate their Arab compatriots being abused. He invited an independent enquiry into the allegations.

Hemo also thought the timing of the release of the report was “suspicious”, coming at a time when the YPG and its Arab and Christian allies were about to launch another big campaign against the Islamic State and they had just received significant supplies of arms from the Coalition.

The YPG Commander confirmed that they had military plans for Raqqah and Jarablous, but for obvious reasons would not disclose detail.

He also reiterated that the newly formed Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) included most of Syria’s major communities, the Kurds, the Arabs, the Assyrians and the Turkmen people’s.

“We hope this becomes a new start, a new step,” he said. “At the same time we call upon everyone who believes in democracy for Syria, who believes in the Syrian nation, to join SDF for the sake of democracy and to stand against and fight extremist forces like ISIS and give a calm country back to Syrians.” You can read the full interview,HERE:

The Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîre Canton has also issued a denial of the Amnesty allegations today, indicating that if people have been moved by the YPG, it is for their own protection against IS attacks.  You can read more, HERE:

Interestingly, in Washington, the US was busy backtracking on whom the 50 tons of weapons and ammunition dropped on October 11th were delivered to after complaints from the Turkish Government to the US Ambassador in Ankara.

Further suspicion about the timing of the Amnesty report arises when you realise that the US is legally prohibited from “supplying arms to groups that have committed human rights abuses” (EDITOR: Though that probably includes most of the world’s armies, including the US and the UK, and almost all armed groups)

One senior US military official said yesterday, Thursday, that the Pentagon “could not rule out the possibility some air-dropped arms may have gone to Kurdish forces”. YPG sources confirmed that they had received the weapons and indicated that they had been safely air-dropped onto territory firmly under their control.

The Syrian Democratic Force also held their first meeting in Hasakah on Thursday, apparently to decide how the air-dropped weapons were to be distributed.

East of Hasakah in the countryside, heavy clashes also broke out yesterday between the Islamic State (IS) and the Assad regime, over the Government controlled base at Mount Kawkab.

5 of Assad’s troops were killed in an IS mortar attack on Thursday afternoon and fighting continued until midnight when the IS Jihadists retreated to their base at Shaddadi.

Kawkab is the largest military base still held by the regime in Hasakah province. Coincidentally, there are also reports of Coalition airstrikes on IS positions at Shaddadi.

Latest reports from US Central Command (Centcom) say that they made 13 airstrikes in Syria on October 14th, 15th and 16th, hitting IS tactical units and destroying IS vehicles and weapons near Raqqah, Al-Hawl, Manbij, Tal Jibben, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Mar’a and Washiyah.

The YPG have released this video of an operation to detain some possible IS activists and also a truck which appears to have explosives hidden behind a newly welded and hidden panel, HERE:

Meanwhile, a senior Russian General Staff official, Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, claimed today, Friday, that Russian aircraft carrying out 600 sorties since the start of their campaign in Syria had “bombed more than 380 ISIS targets”.

As almost 90% of the attacks appear to be outside areas where IS are known to operate, the Colonel clearly doesn’t know his IS Jihadist from his elbow – and looks rather foolish.

Similarly, President Putin, speaking in Kazakhstan today said Russian airstrikes had “destroyed dozens of command posts, munitions depots, hundreds of terrorists and a large amount of military hardware”.

SYRIA NEWS

The Drone That “Refused to Respond to 3 Warnings From Turkey”

Turkey is also reported to have shot down an unidentified drone flying over its territory, possibly as it was trying to monitor Syria Opposition fighters in Idlib province this morning.

The drone was shot out of the sky after it refused to respond to “3 warnings to turn away” from a Turkish F-16 on patrol along the border, and came down 3 kilometres inside Turkish territory.

However, by all accounts we are not talking anything very sophisticated here like an armed Predator, more a glorified large scale model aircraft like a Russian Orlan 10 UAV surveillance drone or another type used in Ukraine. Russia says “all its aircraft have returned safely”.

Over in Iraq, 15 Coalition airstrikes completely destroyed an IS convoy travelling from the Nasser neighbourhood into Sinjar city yesterday, Thursday, and the Yezidi network managed to release another Yezidi women held prison by IS, bringing to around 2,000 the number now rescued.

The Coalition have carried out 54 airstrikes against IS in Iraq in the last 3 days.

Reports from the Iraqi Army say that they have also recaptured Baiji Oil Refinery, which has now been fought over and out of commission since June 2014.

The key refinery is west of Mosul and 250 kilometres north of Baghdad.

The Iraqi Army, backed by Shiite militia, took both the refinery and the nearby town of Siniya, though there is currently no word on the town of Baiji itself.

There are also reports that a large Kurdish PKK unit arrived on Mount Sinjar yesterday, Thursday, to strengthen their forces fighting IS to the south-west of the mountain and inside Sinjar city itself.

SYRIA NEWS IRAQ NEWS

Baiji Oil Refinery on Fire Again 14.10.15

REGIME LAUNCHES 3 NEW FRONTS AT HOMS, ALEPPO AND QUNEITRA, BUT RUSSIANS MANAGE TO DISASTROUSLY BOMB ASSAD’S TROOPS:

This morning, Friday, the Assad regime backed by its allies, including Russian air fire power, opened 3 more major fronts, one south-east of Aleppo city, another north of Homs city and a third south of Damascus in Quneitra province.

The fighting near Aleppo is 35 kilometres from the Turkish border and 12 kilometres from Aleppo city in the Jebbel Azzan region. The attack began with Russian jets targeting Opposition positions near the main highway that leads south to Damascus.

The Syrian Army is said to have re-captured the village of Abtin and a tank battalion base near Sabiqiya but Opposition fighters have hit back destroying 3 Army tanks, a technical with a mounted 23mm gun and a rocket launcher. Other Opposition units have said they have sent more TOW anti-tank missiles to the area to stem the Government advance.

US sources have suggested that as many as 2,000 Iranian supported forces are taking part in the Aleppo operation, consisting of Iranian troops, Iranian funded Shia militia and Hezbollah.

Interesting article on how water, which comes from the Euphrates controlled by IS, passes through Opposition held areas to a pumping station run by the Assad regime, is used as a weapon of war in Aleppo, HERE:

The attacks by the regime north of Homs began with Russian air attacks on Teir Maale, Tabilseh, Ghantu and other villages, with 60 killed including 30 women and children and 17 Opposition fighters.

SYRIA NEWS

Russian Suhkoi Jet Takes Off From Lakakia

There are also strong reports that Russian jets struck the wrong targets killing a number of Syrian troops including Brigade General Ibrahim Kaddour and Lieutenant Alaa Issa Canaan.

Opposition activist reports said the Russian jets mistakenly attacked regime troops at the “Aatoun checkpoint, the Mulouk base, the Military College in Al-Waer, a gathering of [militiamen] near the Al-Kamm junction and the area around the Division 26 [base] to the south of Teir Maalah, as well as a regime column near the [town’s] grain silos.” You can read more, HERE:

The death was also announced of regime General Maan Dib who was killed near Homs and was possibly heading the Homs offensive which seems to be designed to open the road between Homs and Hama.

Opposition fighters hit a regime Shilka tank, HERE:  and another tank near Talbiseh, HERE:

Al Jazeera has a video report.

Yet another offensive has also been launched in Qunietra province by the Assad regime with heavy Hezbollah backing.  Despite recent Opposition gains, the large Government force has recaptured the Amal Farms area, Mount Tel Ahmar and the UN Hill at Tel al-Qaba’a.

An opposition spokesman said they had lost ground because they had failed to shore up their positions with sufficient defences after their recent advances.

In Latakia, there was a report that 38 members of Assad’s forces were killed at Beit Yashout near Jableh city when a bus carrying them overturned.

There is also reported tension in the Assad family home town at Al-Qerdaha, where not for the first time fighting broke out between local Shabiha warlords and the Police. In a shoot-out, the Shabiha leader Ali Ismail and his bodyguards died and 2 policeman were also killed.

A former US State Department employee and a Syrian foreign exchange student reflects on the mess that is Syria,HERE:

And even in the better parts of Damascus, the pro-regime middle classes are getting tired of the war and want out, says Foreign Policy magazine.

Intifada or not, something powerful is going on

Palestinians are coming together, regardless of age, gender and political affiliation, in a show of solidarity.

Palestinian protesters take position during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Bet El

As the student cafeteria at Birzeit University empties after the lunchtime rush, Ehab Iwidat leans back on his chair and sips from a bottle of mineral water. The wiry, 20-year-old business and French student is suffering from a cold, but that has not stopped him from attending some of the recent demonstrations in the West Bank.

“It’s the first time in a long time that we’ve seen this,” he says. “I’ve seen young people, old people, females, males, protesting in the streets together. You can see rich people alongside poor people too.”

Like many in the so-called Oslo generation of Palestinians, who have little or no memory of previous Intifadas in Palestine, Iwidat only knows life under occupation as a second-class citizen.

He believes that Israeli restrictions on Palestinian freedom and rights in the West Bank, harassment from Israeli settlers, and the bleak prospects for a peace deal between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders have pushed Palestinians into the streets in recent weeks.

“It’s coming from the actions of settlers, who represent Israeli government policy. From burning people alive, humiliating people on a daily basis and restricting Palestinians’ freedom movement, to the disrespectful actions at al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The protests that have swept Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank this month have seen tens of thousands of Palestinians take to the streets. Men and women of all ages have joined the movement. In some cases, these massive demonstrations have passed peacefully, as protesters massed to chant slogans in unity, demanding solidarity to fight the Israeli military occupation.

Other gatherings have turned violent, as the Israeli military used tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire against Palestinian demonstrators throwing rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers.

The movement has even given traction to the idea that Palestinians could be on the verge of a new Intifada, or that one may have already begun.

‘Day of rage’

Tuesday was declared a “Day of Rage” in Gaza and the West Bank, as thousands of Palestinians protested in refugee camps and at military checkpoints, singing anti-occupation songs and waving Palestinian flags.

Palestinian citizens of Israel simultaneously took to the streets for a general strike, closing businesses and schools across the country, while tens of thousands gathered for a peaceful rally in Sakhnin, chanting slogans against the Israeli government.

On Wednesday, thousands more attended the funeral of Mutaz Zawahreh, a 27-year-old from the Duheisha refugee camp close to Bethlehem, who was killed in the previous day’s clashes with the Israeli military. The protesters again chanted for solidarity and unity to battle Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

An Israeli policeman prevents a Palestinian man from entering the compound which houses al-Aqsa Mosque

Tension has been simmering in Jerusalem over what Palestinians say is Israel’s plan to  Judaise the city. This summer, however, it centred on the religious site which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Only Muslims are allowed to pray at the site under the existing status quo, but a broader campaign among religious right-wing Israelis, calling for Jewish prayer to be allowed there followed by storming of al-Aqsa compound for several days by Jewish extremist groups under the protection of the Israeli security forces, has raised concerns among Palestinians that the Israeli government is preparing to alter the access rules in the long term.

However, the idea that the recent protests are motivated by religion is inaccurate, according to the demonstrators themselves.

“I don’t look at al-Aqsa as just a religious symbol,” said Hala Marshood, a political activist who lives in Jerusalem. “It’s a cultural symbol. It’s a symbol of our heritage and our Palestinian identity. It’s a symbol of our social life. It’s a really important place for the Palestinians in Jerusalem and outside of Jerusalem.”

At 24, Marshood already has years of experience as an activist behind her. She keeps in touch with other activists in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza via social media networks and helped to organise a recent protest in the city of Nazareth, which was attended by thousands.

“Social media is a really important method to get in touch with youth everywhere,” she said. “Facebook is the big one, even though it has its risks. And posters, flyers that we hand out in the neighbourhoods … Besides that, we use connections that we have with activists in the West Bank, Jerusalem and every area, and we contact to make something united together.”

Palestinian protesters throw stones during clashes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

The unrest escalated after two Israeli settlers were killed on October 1. The Israeli military launched a manhunt for the perpetrators. Those incursions into West Bank towns and villages, marked by night raids on Palestinian homes and widespread arrests, further fuelled the anger and helplessness that many Palestinians feel under military occupation.

So far, the protests have been notable for the lack of obvious political party involvement. Mainstream Palestinian parties – Fatah, Hamas and the PFLP – have remained relatively quiet, while the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has urged protesters to remain peaceful.

“The unique thing about this movement is that the youth are protesting and no one is leading them, no politicians,” said Saif al-Islam Duglas, the president of the Birzeit University student council.

“We’ve organised protests as the student union, but not along political party lines, everyone is coming together.”

Within the often highly factional arena of Palestinian student politics, this kind of unity is often lacking. But political protest is nothing new for Palestinians. Many of these young people have attended the weekly demonstrations against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank, which are not organised along party lines.

“Most such waves of protests, whether the short ones or the long ones, are spontaneous and are done by young people without being organised in most of the cases. So it’s not exceptional or strange that there are no political organisations that are masterminding this,” said Ghassan Khatib, a political analyst at Birzeit University.

Currently the protests show little sign of abating, fuelled in part by fresh incidents of tit-for-tat violence as well as by Israel’s excessive use of force and its policy of extrajudicial killings . The UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Israel to “seriously review” its use of force, finding “the apparent excessive use of force by Israeli security services” to be “troubling”.

As of Saturday evening, 42 Palestinians have been killed in October, the majority at the hands of Israeli forces, while seven Israelis have been killed. If the death toll continues to rise, and the demonstrations grow in numbers, Palestinian political parties will likely come under pressure to increase their involvement.

“This movement needs political leadership,” said Issa Amro, a political activist based in the West Bank city of Hebron. “Until now, there has been no political leadership. But it needs political leadership to go on, to organise it … to represent the Palestinian demands.”

While political leadership may be required to guide and crystallise the aims of the current movement, it is unclear whether the established Palestinian parties want to lead the movement. While this could create a space for a new generation of leaders to emerge from outside the traditional parties, the movement has been defined to date by an absence of leadership.

A third Intifada?

While Amro believes that the current generation of political leaders is unlikely to take up the cause, he sees an opportunity for junior figures in established parties to take it on.

“I think the first line of leadership is exhausted. But sooner or later, if it continues like this, I believe the second and third line of leadership in the political parties will lead and go on with it.”

A Palestinian man prays as Israeli policemen stand nearby during Friday prayers outside Jerusalem’s Old City near the Arab East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi al-Joz

Some of the Palestinian demonstrators have called for an Intifada, while the term has also been used by political and regional analysts. However, it is probably too early to compare the movement with the sustained and widespread Palestinian uprisings that took place in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, according to Khatib.

“If the definition of Intifada includes sustained activities, widespread and popular, then I don’t expect that this wave will become an Intifada,” he explained. “It’s happening mostly in Jerusalem and it’s a reaction mainly to Israeli attempts to change the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque. And it’s not spreading all over.”

As for the activists, talk of Intifada does not concern them for now. “I don’t like labelling it,” said Marshood. “[During] the second Intifada, I was really young, and in the first Intifada I wasn’t born. What I can say is that we are escalating our protest and there is something very powerful going on.”

(Source / 17.10.2015)

Parliamentary Elections in Egypt

Egyptians walk under campaign banners ahead of the parliamentary elections on September 29, 2015 in the city of Qena, some 650 km (400 miles) south of Cairo

Egyptians will head to the polls for the first time in two years to elect 596 lawmakers to parliament on Sunday.

CAIRO (Sputnik) – The two-day first phase of the vote across 14 of Egypt’s 27 governorates will be followed by the second phase in the other 13 governorates next month.

Voting distribution allocates 448 seats to single-member constituencies and 120 seats to party lists with quotas for religious minorities and women. The remaining 28 lawmakers will be selected by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi.

In a televised address on Saturday, Sisi called on all citizens to take part in the vote.

Polling stations for nearly 600,000 Egyptians living abroad opened across 139 diplomatic missions on Saturday and will continue into Sunday.

Egypt’s January 2014 constitution – adopted under a transitional roadmap following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Mohamed Morsi a year earlier – envisions the upcoming elections as the last phase of the country’s transitional period.

(Source / 17.10.2015)

Key witnesses to Hebron shooting arrested, cameras confiscated

hebron 2

AT least three witnesses to the fatal shooting of a Palestinian teenager this morning (Saturday) have been arrested by Israeli forces.

Ma’an news agency have reported that Mufeed Sharbati, an eyewitness and an Arab resident of Hebron where the incident took place, has been detained.

Israeli forces raided his home and confiscated a laptop, a video camera, and a stills camera.

Sources on Facebook also revealed that Ahmad Amr, media coordinator of campaign group Youth Against Settlements, was also arrested.

hebron

The group had posted online video footage of soldiers and a settler surrounding 18-year old Fadil al-Qawasm, who was killed after the settler shot him.

And Christian Peacemaker Teams, a charity that escorts Palestinian children to school to ensure their safety, also said that a female member of their team was arrested by IOF troops and her camera was confiscated after she posted a photograph on Instagram.

An Israeli spokesman claimed that Fadil had tried to stab the settler, but social media is teeming with speculation that he was unarmed, with many claiming video footage shows a knife was “planted” on him after his death by Israeli troops.

PNN has inspected the footage, which is blurry and taken from some distance. One soldier is seen being handed an object by another soldier who then turns back towards the body. A third soldier then walks near to them, which blocks the view from the video camera. We have concluded it is impossible to tell what the object is from the footage alone.

Both groups often document incidents on Shuhada Street, where the Hebron attack took place.

The street is a hotbed of tension in the Old City.

Most of the residents are Jewish settlers, numbering around 600. They are allowed to walk freely on the street, whereas Palestinians must pass through an Israeli military checkpoint with a metal detector.

(Source / 17.10.2015)

Israel rejects plea for UN police at Al-Aqsa compound

Palestinian plan for UN police force at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound would “change the status quo”, Israeli UN official says.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said a UN police force at Al-Aqsa compound would ‘not contribute to stability’

Israel has rejected a Palestinian plea to the United Nations for an international force to police the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Israeli rejection of the plan was followed by two more incidents early on Saturday in which Palestinians were killed after allegedly trying to stab Israeli citizens.

“An international presence on the Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque compound] would violate the status quo of the last several decades,” the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said on Friday.

“Israel does not think international intervention [in] the Temple Mount would be helpful or contribute to stability,” Danon added.

Tensions boiled over into violence earlier this month as Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – the third holiest site in Islam – gave way to protests and clashes that have consumed much of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

In East Jerusalem on Saturday, one Palestinian was shot and killed after attempting to stab an Israeli citizen, according to Israeli police.

In a separate incident in Hebron, the army said an Israeli settler opened fire on a Palestinian man after an alleged stabbing attempt.

Video footage captured the moment after a settler shot dead a Palestinian in Hebron following
an alleged stabbing attempt

Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Jerusalem, said the circumstances of the killings were unclear.

“The Palestinian man in Hebron allegedly attempted to attack a settler before being shot and killed by police.

“We spoke to someone who lives next to where this incident took place; he makes clear he didn’t see the event actually happen. But people who did told him there was no attack. A knife was found at the scene afterwards, but it was more of an attack by the settler,” our correspondent said.

“In occupied East Jerusalem, a Palestinian was walking in the neighbourhood. He was stopped by one of the many police patrols that are operating there. They demanded to see his identity papers.

“He allegedly took out a knife and attacked the police officer. He was then shot and killed.”


RELATED: Intifada or not, something powerful is going on


Amid tit-for-tat attacks between Israelis and Palestinians, the ongoing streak of violence has left dead at least 41 Palestinians – including suspected attackers, as well as unarmed protesters and bystanders – and seven Israelis.

On Friday, thousands of Palestinians protested across the occupied Palestinian territory in a “Day of Rage”, as clashes with Israeli forces.

In Gaza, thousands assembled in areas along the Israeli border, as Israeli forces responded with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. Two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces.

‘Catastrophic consequence’

The United Nations on Friday warned of a possible religious fight that could have “catastrophic consequence” for both Israelis and Palestinians.

At a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Taye Brook Zerihoun briefed the Security Council on the recent violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

“As with the many deadly incidents over the past weeks, the secretary-general strongly condemns this reprehensible act, an act that calls on all responsible to be swiftly brought to justice,” said Zerihoun.

Meanwhile, Palestine and Israel blamed each other for the escalation of tensions at the meeting.

Riyad Mansour, the permanent observer of the State of Palestine, and David Roet, deputy permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, both said the other side should be held responsible for the escalation of tensions.

“Israel should receive severe punishment for the atrocity it committed on the Palestinians in Palestine’s occupied territories including East Jerusalem,” said Mansour.

“I have no doubt that if on a daily basis your citizens are being stabbed in the streets with butcher knives or shot on buses, your security forces would have reacted in the same way,” said Roet.

(Source / 17.10.2015)

PA calls on UN Security Council to disarm Israeli settlers

Riyad Mansour

Riyad Mansour called upon the UN Security Council to guarantee the disarming of Israeli Jewish settlers

On Friday, Palestinian Authority (PA) Permanent Representative Riyad Mansour called upon the UN Security Council to guarantee the disarming of Israeli Jewish settlers in occupied Palestinian territories, Quds Press reported.

Speaking to the UNSC, he called for an “immediate interference to stop the Israeli military occupation and the extremist settlers against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Mansour also said: “UNSC issued resolution number 904 in the wake of the Hebron massacre committed at the hand of a terrorist settler [in the early 1990s]. The decision called for granting protection for Palestinians in their lands and disarming settlers. We call on implementing this.”

Is this the Third Intifada?

Rising tensions in the Occupied Territories have led to dozens of deaths and hundreds of clashes.
Are we witnessing the Third Intifada?

He added: “We have witnessed the field sections committed by the Israeli occupation committed against Palestinian civilians for their participation in demonstrations against the violence of Israeli occupation.”

The PA representative declared Israel should be held responsible for “dragging” Palestinians to this “dangerous Square”, stressing that it must be questioned over violations of international law.

UNSC resolution number 904 was issued on March 18, 1994, calling for Israel to disarm settlers in order to stop the illegal violence that was being directed against Palestinians. It also called for taking measures that guarantee the protection and safety of Palestinian civilians in occupied territories.

Meanwhile, Israeli Representative to the UN Danny Danon expressed on Friday the Israeli refusal to any international presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque, while an Israeli settler shot and killed 18-year-old Fadil Qawasmi in Hebron. Eye witness reported seeing settlers “distributing candies” following the death.

(Source / 17.10.2015)

Mapping the dead in latest Israeli-Palestinian violence

Since the beginning of October, 42 Palestinians have been killed in shootings and clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, while seven Israelis have been killed in knife and gun attacks.

Rights groups have warned that Israel is using excessive force against Palestinians and that some of the incidents amounted to extrajudicial killings.

The violence has been triggered in part by recent visits by Jewish groups to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, coupled with Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to the mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites.

Frustration is also mounting as Israel continues to build Jewish-only settlements throughout the West Bank, taking over Palestinian lands, in defiance of international law.

Below is an interactive of those killed on both sides since the beginning of October:

Doden Palestina

Doden Palestina1
(Source / 17.10.2015)

Israeli Government Lies about a boy video in Hospital

As soon as the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas concluded his speech, in which he spoke about the 13-year old boy Ahmad Manasra, Israeli media was flooded with images of the boy that the Israeli police shot and left to bleed for a long time.

Ahmed Mansra or not

Lawyer Barghout Feeding Manasra, (Screenshot from GPO Facebook Page)

Abbas said the boy was left to bleed to death, however, Israeli media published photos of the boy in Hadassa University Medical Center in Ein Karem in Jerusalem, claiming that the boy is receiving good treatment at the hospital. On Thursday the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) published a video showing a man wearing a white shirt and a tie feeding the boy, who was on the hospital bed. The GPO focused on falsifying Abbas’ claim that the boy was not “executed’ The footage did not show clearly that Manasra’s right hand was chained to his bed and did not have any voice on the video. On Friday, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee published a statement in which it clarified that its lawyer Tareq Barghout was the one who was feeding Manasra and they pointed out that his tie has the logo of Lawyers syndicate. Barghout actually stated that Manasra told him that he was suffering serious pain in his jaws due to expected punching on the face, and could not chew his food. He added that the Israeli security guarding his room were treating him badly and threatening to kill him and were always shouting at him. Barghout also said that while he was feeding Manasra, someone entered the room and identified himself to be from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and said that he is here to check on Manasra and make sure he is OK. Barghout believes that this man had a hidden camera as the angle of the camera indicates that people in the room were not aware of the presence of this camera. He accused Netanyahu’s Office of taking footage of the boy without his knowledge, which violates the patients rights. In their turn, the Israeli Physicians for Human Rights issued a statement in which it blasted the publication of the photo of the boy on his hospital bed. The statement said, “The fact that it is a photo of a minor in custody who was photographed without his parents’ permission” is a violation of juvenile law and privacy laws. In addition, the picture was taken at a medical facility “apparently with the approval of its management,” the organization claimed, adding that this would be a violation of medical ethics requiring maintenance of the confidentiality of medical information and respect for the patient.

(Source / 17.10.2015)

Adalah demands investigation into Israeli shooting of Palestinians

Clashes between Plaestinians and Israeli forces

Clashes between Plaestinians and Israeli forces. [File photo]

Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent an urgent letter yesterday to the Israeli Attorney General demanding an immediate investigation into police officers who killed and injured Palestinians in violation of their rules of engagement.

The letter was sent in the wake of a series of incidents during which police officers were filmed opening fire on Palestinians, pursuing “shoot-to-kill” policies or actions violating the rules of engagement.

The letter send by Adalah Attorney Muna Haddad cited three cases in which the police unjustifiably shot at Palestinians in violation of the rules of engagement: “On 4 October 2015, 19-year-old Fadi Alloun, suspected of stabbing an individual, was shot dead by police in Jerusalem. From the video, it appears that Mr Alloun posed no life-threatening danger to bystanders or to the police when he was fatally shot.”

“On 9 October 2015, the police shot at 30-year-old Israa Abad at the central bus station in Afula. The video indicates that the police, soldiers and security guards surrounded her upon suspicion that she was carrying a knife and shot at her, causing extensive injuries, as she stood motionless in front of them.”

“On 12 October 2015, the police shot and seriously injured 15-year-old boy in Pisgat Zeev after he attacked two people with a knife. After the shooting, police and medical personnel left him bleeding on the road without providing any medical treatment, while many people stood around and cursed the boy and called on the police to shoot him.”

Haddad also demanded the Attorney General open an investigation into the incidents, arguing that “the video evidence in these cases indicate that the police acted in a manner contrary to the order that fatal fire should be used only ‘as a last resort’, and only in circumstances where there is a sensible relationship between the degree of danger arising from the use of weapons, and the outcome they are trying to prevent.”

She also stressed that opening fire is a violation of the fourth clause of rules of engagement, which stipulates that lethal force will only be used by the police if “there is a real fear of immediate harm to life or physical integrity of a police officer or to others, and there is no other way to prevent the harm.”

(Source / 17.10.2015)

Syrian Coalition Calls for International Action to Stop Russian Aggression On Homs

The Syrian Coalition’s political committee calls for taking urgent international action to stop the Russian aggression on Syria in general and on northern rural Homs in particular during a meeting with the ambassadors of the Friends of the Syrian people countries.

Political committee members highlighted the massacres committed by the Russian air force in Syria, stressing that the Russian invaders are targeting the moderate armed opposition and civilians, not ISIS. They added the Russian air strikes will directly and indirectly give a boost to the Assad regime and ISIS and undermine the political process in Syria.

They also stress the need to step up humanitarian and military aid in order to protect civilians, calling for taking urgent action to stop the Russian attacks on civilians which are being carried out in full coordination with the Assad regime and the Iranian invaders.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 17.10.2015)