New York City protest demands end to G4S abuses against Palestinian prisoners

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For the second week in a row, on 30 October, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network activists in New York City organized a protest in New York City outside the offices of G4S, the Danish/British security corporation that is directly involved in the Israeli imprisonment, repression and violation of the rights of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

G4S is subject to a global boycott campaign because of its involvement in human rights abuses in Palestine – where it provides control rooms and security systems for Israeli “security prisons” and interrogation centers – as well as in the United States, UK, South Africa and elsewhere in the world. Palestinian prisoners and hundreds of Palestinian organizations – as well as the Black 4 Palestine letter – have urged action to boycott G4S.

Photos by Joe Catron

Israeli warplanes strike Hezbollah convoy in Syria: Arab media reports

http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/90965-151031-israeli-warplanes-strike-hezbollah-convoy-in-syria-arab-media

Conflicting reports suggest Israel Air Force attacked weapons convoy headed for Lebanon-based militant group

Israeli Air Force jets allegedly hit targets in Syria linked to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, according to Lebanese and Syrian media reports on Saturday.

According to the Lebanese Debate website, six IAF warplanes attacked targets in the Qalamun Mountain region of western Syria including a weapons convoy that was headed for Hezbollah. The attack reportedly took place about at 21:00 GMT Friday night.

However, this report contradicted Syrian media reports that said Israeli planes had hit several Hezbollah targets in southern Syria.

A Syrian opposition affiliated news site, Syria Mubasher, Israeli planes arrived from Lebanese airspace. Lebanese websites reported on Friday reported sightings of Israeli planes over Lebanon.

Since the beginning of the bloody civil war in 2011, Israel is reported to have attacked Syrian military bases on a number of occasions, including raids reportedly targeting Iranian rockets bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Back in April, it was reported that the Israeli Air Force struck targets, including Hezbollah’s missile launchers, in the Qalamun Mountain region near the border between Syria and Lebanon. Lebanese media outlets said that over 30 people were killed and dozens injured in the strike.

Sources quoted by Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera said that several explosions were also reported in the Syrian towns of Al-Qutayfah, Yabroud and Qarah near Damascus in the Arril strike.

Hezbollah Press Office/AFP
Hezbollah Press Office/AFP“A Hezbollah fighter patrols the Qalamun hills close to the Lebanese border with Syria”

On January 18, six Hezbollah fighters, the son of the group’s late military leader Imad Moughniyeh and an Iranian general were killed in an Israeli air strike in Quneitra.

The Israeli government has declined to confirm any of the reports.

Russian forces sent out a warning to the Israeli Air Force this month after Israeli jets were detected near Russian controlled airspace near the Syrian–Lebanese border.

The warning was issued after a Russian radar system spotted Israeli jets approaching Russian-controlled airspace two weeks ago, a Lebanese diplomatic official said, according to the report.

Russia and Israel have been working to find a way to avoid unintended collisions between their aircraft over Syria since President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to set up a “mechanism” at talks in Moscow last month.

Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria on September 30 at the request of its long-standing ally Bashar Assad that Moscow says is targeting Islamic State jihadists and other “terrorist” groups.

The United States and its allies involved in a coalition bombing IS have sharply criticized Russia’s air campaign and say that the majority of its strikes have hit more moderate rebel groups fighting Assad.

Moscow has blasted the accusations and says Washington has rebuffed calls to cooperate more closely.

(Source / 01.11.2015)

 

Yemeni troops blow up Saudi tank with rocket fire +Video

Saudi tank aan grens met Yemen

Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters and allied army forces have destroyed anAbrams tank during a retaliatory attack deep within the Saudi territory.

A Saudi soldier was also killed after Yemenis troops fired salvos of rockets at army positions in the southwestern region of Jizan, Yemen’s al-Masirahtelevision network reported Sunday.

The soldier’s death has been confirmed by the Saudi Interior Ministry.

Several Saudi military bases and camps also came under fire in the kingdom’s southwestern Najran region.

Yemenis conduct such raids in retaliation for Saudis’ relentless attacks on the impoverished nation, carried out on a daily bases since March without a UN mandate.

Five Yemenis were also injured after Saudi warplanes targeted areas in the Yemeni capital Sana’a. Raids were also carried out in the southwestern Ibb province as well as the northwestern Sa’ada and Hajjah provinces, where a number of civilian residences and mosques were destroyed.

Based on multiple reports by human rights activists, Saudi Arabia has been using internationally-banned weapons, such as phosphorous and cluster bombs, in the military aggression..

According to the latest tally, more than 7,000 people have lost their lives in the Saudi strikes, and a total of nearly 14,000 have been injured.

(Source / 01.11.2015)

Israeli Forces Increase Harassment of Palestinian School-children in Hebron

This morning at Qurtuba school in al-Khalil (Hebron), Israeli soldiers harassed school-children, teachers and adults trying to pass the nearby checkpoint.

School Hebron

Group pf teachers and school-children forced to wait on their way to school

The stairs leading to Qurtuba school, the scene of a heinous murder of a Palestinian youth by Israeli forces three days ago, are directly opposite a checkpoint dividing segregated Shuhada Street into a small strip where Palestinian residents are allowed to walk and the former main Palestinian market now completely closed for Palestinians and only allowed for settlers. The school has, due to its proximity to the illegal settlement of Beit Hadassah been a flashpoint of settler attacks and violence against Palestinians and internationals.

As teachers, school-children and parents are equally scared with violence rising and 19 Palestinian youth shot to death in the last two weeks, all the school-children are now gathering in one place in order to walk to school together. Parents living there were watching out for the children, telling them to move away from the street as soon as they could hear a car in the distance, afraid settlers would run them over if the children didn’t move fast enough. This has happened in the past and settlers continously try to hit children with their car.

Soldiers at the checkpoint denied one Palestinian adult around 30 years old to walk down the stairs. The soldiers stopped him and didn’t even ask for his ID, but ordered him to go back up the stairs and walk around. A group of female teachers and girls were ordered to stop in front of the stairs and made to wait for about 5 minutes. Again, soldiers did not demand any ID or to check bags, and finally allowed the group to pass and go to school after about five minutes.

All of this comes at a time, where the whole neighbourhood has been declared a ‘closed military zone’ by the Israeli forces, further infringing on the already restricted movement of Palestinians – while settlers from the illegal settlements are allowed to roam the streets freely.

This illustrates the daily harassment Palestinian children and teachers have to face on their way to and from school – a clear infringement on the basic right to education. But this does not only ring true for school-time, harassment and intimidation by soldiers and settlers are increasingly becoming an integral part of day to day life for Palestinians.

(Source / 01.11.2015)

Palestinian killed after alleged attack attempt north of Jenin

JENIN (Ma’an) — A Palestinian was shot dead Saturday after an alleged attack attempt on an Israeli security guard at the al-Jalama military checkpoint north of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army and media said.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that “the Palestinian attempted to stab security personnel at the crossing” when “forces responded to the imminent danger and shot the perpetrator.”Hebrew language news sites and the army confirmed there were no Israeli injuries.Local sources identified the Palestinian as Mahmoud Talal Mahmoud Nazzal, 18, from the town of Qabatiya south of Jenin.His body was delivered to the Palestinian Red Crescent before being transferred to Talal Suleiman Public Hospital.Israeli authorities subsequently closed the al-Jalama checkpoint in both directions, according to Israeli media reports.Nearly 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces this month during demonstrations and after attempted, alleged, and actual attacks on Israeli military or civilians.At least nine Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians during the same time period.On Friday, Qassem Mahmoud Sabaneh was shot dead after an alleged attack on an Israeli border policeman in Nablus, and Ahmad Hamada Qneibi, 23, died from his injuries hours after attacking and injuring an Israeli in occupied East Jerusalem.An eight-month-old Palestinian baby also died Friday after inhaling tear gas when clashes broke out in Beit Fajjar village south of Bethlehem.While Palestinian and Israeli leadership have made efforts to deter violence across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, near-daily attacks by both sides continue to take place.International leadership has pointed to the decades-long Israeli military occupation as the root cause of the violence with US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this week referring to the current situation as “unsustainable.”
(Source / 01.11.2015)

Israel weapons contaminate Gaza soil with toxic substances

Article of Sep 29, 2014

Gaza 10082014

The weapons used by Israel in its recent offensive on the Gaza Strip have contaminated the soil and water of the Palestinian enclave with toxic substances, making the farmlands useless, Press TV reports.

Many farmlands in the Palestinian territory were destroyed by Israeli bombers and bulldozers during the 50-day war.

The agriculture sector’s loss is estimated at around USD 500 millions.

“Almost 5,000 acres of finest and most productive green land and farms are destroyed. More than 300 roads are destroyed in addition to the ruined irrigation networks and water catchments. These all have contributed to the soil pollution, which threatens our lives now,” Gazan Agriculture Minister Nazir Wahidi told Press TV.

The weapons Israel used during its latest onslaught on the Gaza Strip has ruined the soil and killed any chances to grow crops for the farmers, whose sole income comes from the lands.

Israel also keeps grabbing Palestinian natural resources, which are making the situation worse for the Gazans.

Israel unleashed attacks on Gaza in early July and later expanded its military campaign with a ground invasion into the Palestinian territory. Over 2,130 Palestinians lost their lives and some 11,000 were injured. According to Israeli sources, more than 70 Israeli were also killed. Palestinian officials put this number at more than 150.

(Source / 01.11.2015)

British MP: Israel Fabricated Knife Attack Stories, Conservative Party Influenced By ‘Jewish Money’

“There is now a big group of Conservative members of Parliament who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does.”

 Gerald Kaufman MP on a visit to Israel in 2010 HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images

Gerald Kaufman MP on a visit to Israel in 2010

Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman has allegedly accused Israel of fabricating some recent stories about knife attacks against Jews in Israel, and claimed the Conservative party is influenced by “Jewish money,” in a speech at a pro-Palestine event at Parliament.

As reported by The Jewish Chronicle, Kaufman, MP for Manchester Gorton and Father of the House, told the audience at a Palestine Return Centre event that the Government has become more pro-Israel in recent years due to donations from Jewish groups.

“It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party – as in the general election in May – support from The Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives,” he said.

“There is now a big group of Conservative members of Parliament who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does.”

He added: “They’re not interested in the fact that Palestianians are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestianians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn’t care.”

Kaufman then went on to claim “more than half” of the stabbings that have recently happened in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the rest of Israel were fabricated, in comments that were recorded by blogger David Collier.

 Reading from an email from a friend who lives in East Jerusalem, Kaufman said: “More than half of the stabbing claims were definitely fabricated. The other half, some were true, the others there was no way to tell since they executed Palestianians and no one asked questions.”

“Not only that, they got to the point of executing Arab-looking people and in the past few days they killed two Jewish Israelis and an Eritrean just because they looked Arab.

“They fabricated a stabbing story to justify the killings before they found out they were not Palestinians.”

Kaufman was referring to an incident which took place earlier this month, in which an Eritrean man was killed by an angry crowd who incorrectly  believed he was the accomplice of an Arab attacker.

The Palestine Return Centre, who organised the roundtable event where Kaufman made the comments, is a consultancy which focuses on issues relating to dispersed Palestians and their return to Israel.

Kaufman has been an MP since June 1970, making him the longest-serving MP currently in the House of Commons. He is Jewish, and has long been an outspoken critic of Israel and the Israeli government.

(Source / 01.11.2015)

Israel’s encirclement of al-Aqsa ‘nearly complete’

US move to install cameras at Jerusalem mosque overlooks Israeli ‘obstacle course’ barring Palestinian worship, say archaeologists

A picture taken through a window frame shows Jerusalem’s Old City’s Dome of the Rock on 25 October 2015

JERUSALEM – Despite claims it is seeking to calm tensions in Jerusalem, Israel is intensifying activities to encircle the al-Aqsa mosque and strengthen its control over the holy site, a group of Israeli archaeologists warned last week.

The group sounded the alarm as the United States oversaw moves at the mosque compound, known as the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, intended to end weeks of Palestinian unrest focused on Jerusalem.

US Secretary of State John Kerry brokered an agreement last weekend between Israel and Jordan, the official guardian of the Haram, that will see cameras installed in the mosque compound.

But the archaeologists say the most pressing threats to the mosque, located on a raised plaza above the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, will be invisible to the cameras.

They accuse Israel of making rapid changes to the physical landscape around al-Aqsa to obscure the area’s Islamic character and create an ever-more arduous “obstacle course” for worshippers.

“The big picture is that Israel is weakening the Muslim and Palestinian presence there so that Israeli Jews can believe they are the true owners of the site,” said Yonathan Mizrachi, head of Emek Shaveh, an organisation of Israeli archaeologists opposed to the use of archaeology for political ends.

Various Israeli archaeological activities, he said, had almost completed Israel’s encirclement of the al-Aqsa compound, isolating it from Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem.

24-hour surveillance

Kerry has said he believes the cameras will persuade Palestinians that Israel is not violating a “status quo” agreement governing the site since Israel occupied East Jerusalem, along with the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, in 1967.

The unwritten understandings are supposed to ensure that the religious administration of the compound remains solely with an Islamic authority known as the Waqf, while Israel controls policing at the site. Although Jews may visit the mosque area, they are banned from praying there.

Jews refer to the Haram as Temple Mount, arguing that the ruins of two ancient temples lie under al-Aqsa. The Western Wall, revered by religious Jews, is believed to be a retaining wall of the second temple, destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago.

Footage from the cameras will be broadcast around the clock, providing “comprehensive visibility and transparency,” according to Kerry.

In particular, the move is supposed to reassure Palestinians that ultra-nationalist Jews, who have been visiting in ever-larger numbers escorted by armed Israeli police, are not using the site for prayer.

Critics like Mizrachi say Washington’s narrow focus on Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa will fail to ease tensions because it ignores the wider injustices of Israel’s occupation as well as limited access for Palestinians to the mosque and dramatic physical changes Israel is engineering immediately outside the compound.

“It is not just about what is happening on the plaza but what Israel is doing outside the compound to restrict access and prayer rights for Muslims, and to change the character and atmosphere of East Jerusalem and the Old City,” he told Middle East Eye.

“The government and the settlers are working hand in hand to create the impression that the Old City is at the core of Jewish history and identity and must be under Israeli sovereignty.”

Tighter entry restrictions

Palestinian leaders have long complained that Israeli barriers and checkpoints mean few Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza can still reach Jerusalem or its holy sites.

Increasingly even those living in Jerusalem or from Israel’s large minority of 1.6 million Palestinian citizens face entry restrictions.

Last year, according to official figures, the Israeli police imposed age restrictions 41 times, often preventing any Palestinians under 50 from entering.

For three weeks in late August and September, United Nations observers reported, Israel also denied entry to Palestinian women in the morning hours to allow Jewish groups access to the site. Some 500 Muslim children studying in the compound were refused entry too.

In addition, said Mizrachi, Israeli activities were cutting off the al-Aqsa compound from its Palestinian surroundings. Recent changes included:

* The extension of secretive excavations and tunnelling around the compound to create an “underground Jewish city” on the western and northern flanks of the Haram;

* The transfer of an archaeological park on the western and southern walls of al-Aqsa to an extremist Jewish settler organisation;

* The enforced closure of a historic but active Muslim cemetery, the length of the eastern side of the compound, denying Palestinian families access under the pretext that it falls within an Israeli national park.

Israel had also increased security restrictions for Palestinians on the main thoroughfare through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter to al-Aqsa, further limiting access, Mizrachi noted.

“The goal of all these changes is to emphasise the Jewish character of the environment around al-Aqsa, both above and below ground,” he said.

Pledge to stop Jewish prayer

Israeli officials have denied accusations that the Islamic control at the site is being undermined. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed last month: “Israel is not the problem on the Temple Mount; it’s the solution. We maintain the status quo.”

Under pressure from Washington, Netanyahu’s office quietly issued a statement a week ago, late at night and only in English: “Israel will continue to enforce its long-standing policy: Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount.”

Netanyahu has blamed the weeks of unrest in Jerusalem and in the West Bank on what he terms “incitement” by Palestinian leaders.

But there are indications of mounting concerns in Europe and the United States that Israeli measures are weakening the status quo.

One of Kerry’s officials, John Kirby, caused a diplomatic storm by telling reporters last month: “Certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of the violence.” Following Israeli complaints, he retracted the statement.

At the same time, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation approved a resolution condemning Israel for limiting freedom of worship for Muslims and for its management of holy sites under its control.

A French proposal to place international observers on the mosque plaza was blocked by Washington and Israel.

Many Palestinians fear that ultimately Israel wants either to physically divide the compound to create a prayer space for Jews or to insist on separate Jewish prayer times. Similar arrangements have been imposed by Israel on Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque since the 1990s.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, added to concerns last week, telling Israeli TV: “My dream is to see the Israeli flag flying over the Temple Mount. It’s the holiest place for the Jewish people.”

Other ministers have called for a third temple to be built in place of al-Aqsa. The Haaretz daily noted last week that extremists calling for the destruction of the mosque now had “power hubs” in Netanyahu’s Likud party and its major coalition partner, Jewish Home.

Secret tunnelling

Mizrachi said al-Aqsa was not just threatened by the activities of a few ultra-nationalists but the combined actions of Israel’s political mainstream, archAeologists and Jewish religious authorities.

He said the government, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Western Wall Heritage Fund were all working clandestinely on extensive excavations next to the mosque compound to create a network of underground spaces.

The purpose of the tunnelling was unclear, he said. “But it is inevitable that, when they are being conducted so secretively, they fuel concerns among Palestinians that the work could extend under the mosque or damage its foundations.”

He added that Israel was continuing with excavations on the western flank of the al-Aqsa compound that first came to public attention with the opening of the Western Wall tunnels in 1996, during Netanyahu’s first premiership. The opening of the tunnels led to clashes that resulted in dozens of Palestinian deaths and hundreds being injured.

In addition, an Israeli court ordered last month that control of an archaeological park, the Davidson Centre, on the western and southern flanks of the al-Aqsa compound, be handed over to Elad, a settler organisation.

Elad already controls large parts of the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan, south of the al-Aqsa compound, where it is developing a Jewish archaeological theme park called the City of David that is displacing Palestinian residents.

Mizrachi said Elad’s role at the Davidson Centre was “disturbing” because it brought the settler group to the foot of the Al-Aqsa compound. Elad, he added, was trying to connect its Silwan complex with the Davidson Centre, as a way to reinforce an exclusive Jewish narrative about ancient Jerusalem.

In September, Israel’s National Parks Authority sealed off with a barbed wire Bab al-Rahmeh, an ancient Islamic cemetery on the mosque’s eastern side, to prevent burials and access for Palestinians.

Emek Shaveh has warned that the move is the conclusion of “a long struggle between settlers and Palestinians over control of the eastern wall of the esplanade”.

During the recent weeks of unrest in Jerusalem, Israel has severely cracked down on Palestinian access to al-Wad Street in the Old City’s Muslim quarter. It is an area Jewish settlers have long targeted for a takeover as it also connects to the Western Wall.

“What is happening over time is that the Haram is getting ever more isolated from its Arab and Islamic surroundings,” Mizrachi said.

Palestinian leaders banned

The physical changes around al-Aqsa have been supplemented by ever-tighter Israeli restrictions on Palestinian political and religious leaders accessing the site, observers have noted.

The PA has been barred from any standing in Jerusalem since the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000. Last month, Netanyahu also ordered all members of the Israeli parliament, including representatives of Israel’s Palestinian minority, from entering the al-Aqsa compound.

Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament from the Joint List party who had to disguise himself last week to get past Israeli police and on to the plaza, told MEE: “I don’t take orders from Netanyahu about whether I can visit al-Aqsa.”

He added: “When Israeli police determine who gets into al-Aqsa and who doesn’t, it’s clear that they are the real masters, not the Waqf.”

Ghattas, like other Palestinian leaders, was concerned that Israel will use the new cameras to identify Palestinian activists and arrest them or ban them from the site. The cameras, he said, would give Israel control over al-Aqsa “24 hours a day”.

Israel has also repeatedly barred Muslim religious leaders from Jerusalem and al-Aqsa – most notably Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. Other religious figures in Jerusalem, including Hamas political leaders in the city, have been jailed or forcibly relocated to the West Bank.

Salah has made the status of al-Aqsa a key issue and has tried to bring thousands of Muslims from areas inside Israel to pray at the site as Palestinian worshippers from the occupied territories have dwindled.

Last month Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his intention to outlaw Salah’s Islamic Movement.

Zahi Njeidat, Salah’s spokesman, said the status quo at al-Aqsa was empty. “The reality is that Israel decides everything, both in the Haram and outside, because it is the occupier. That is the only status quo intended by Netanyahu and Kerry.”

Njeidat said there would be no calm at the site until the occupation of Jerusalem ended and Palestinians could freely visit and pray at al-Aqsa.

(Source / 01.11.2015)

Turkey’s ruling party wins big

Turks return to ballot box Sunday; outcome forecast to be inconclusive

Voters delivered a surprise win for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, in elections on Sunday.

In a major comeback from the previous general election, the AKP, led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, seems to have secured a large enough majority of seats in parliament for single-party rule, according to preliminary results released by the semiofficial Anadolu News Agency.

The preliminary results from Sunday’s vote show the AKP securing 316 seats in parliament, more than the 276 seats needed for single-party rule but shy of the 330 seats needed to take constitutional changes to referendum without reaching out to other parties.

Speaking from his hometown of Konya, Davutoglu hailed the outcome as a “day of victory” and said “our democracy has won.”

The center-left Republican People’s Party, or CHP, came in second place, receiving 134 seats. It was followed by the pro-Kurdish, leftist Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, with 56 seats. Next came the right wing Nationalist Movement Party with 41 seats, according to the preliminary results.

In June, the AKP failed to get enough votes to form a government and coalition attempts failed to seat a Cabinet. That vote struck a stunning blow to more than 12 years of dominance in parliament by the AKP, founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Analysts predict that the renewed mandate for the AKP could to revive efforts by Erdogan to transform the Turkish government into a presidential system.

Opinion polls and analysts ahead of the elections had predicted a repeat of June’s results and failed to forecast the nearly 9% increase in the AKP’s votes.

Suicide bombing worsened divisions

The most brutal blow to Turkey’s body politic during the period came three weeks ago when two ISIS suicide bombers killed more than 100 people at a peace rally in the heart of the capital, Ankara.

Rather than shocking people into a unified stance, the horrific bombings only seemed to exacerbate bitter divisions. Opposition members blamed the government for not securing the rally and renewed allegations of the AKP turning a blind eye to ISIS operating in Turkey.

The attack, the deadliest attack in modern Turkish history, targeted a demonstration by leftists and trade union members calling for an end to fighting between the government and Kurdish militants.

The fragile ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, crumbled in July. The PKK accused the Turkish government of colluding in a suicide bombing that killed more than 30 people who were organizing an aid delivery to Kobani, a town inside Syria that Kurdish fighters took from ISIS earlier this year. Authorities blamed ISIS militants for the attack.

The PKK, which has fought against the Turkish state for decades, killed two police officers in retaliation over the bombing, setting off a new spiral of violence. Turkey began bombing PKK positions in northern Iraq and inside its own borders. Street-to-street fighting has turned parts of the southeast into battle zones.

Turkey began trying to clamp down on different groups the government considers to be terrorist organizations.

Security sweeps take place regularly across Turkey, with large numbers of people detained. Opponents of the AKP have said the government has been using the fight against terror to stifle dissident voices in the news media and using the politics of fear to gain votes while ignoring the growing ISIS threat.

Though AKP has managed this strong showing at the polls, the country remains bitterly divided over the government’s handling of the PKK as well as foreign policy toward the war in Syria that has invariably spilled across its own borders.

“How can Turkey overcome this polarization? It’s difficult to say,” wrote Sinan Ekim and Kemal Kirisci in a recent analysis for the Brookings Institution. “What is certain is that distancing Turkey from the brink of a civil war will be one of the greatest challenges for the country’s next administration.”

(Source / 01.11.2015)

Injured Palestinian girl in Israeli jail launches cry for help

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)–Injured Palestinian detainee Shuruq Salah Dwiyat said the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) shot her twice in the chest and hand on allegations that she attempted to stab an Israeli settler.

Lawyer Hanan al-Khatib, from the prisoners’ committee, quoted 17-year-old Shuruq Dwiyat as stating that the occupation officers cordoned her off and left her bleeding on the ground for about half an hour before they transferred her to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, where she had been held for four days and underwent a medical surgery.

Prisoner Shuruq Dwiyat, a native of Occupied Jerusalem city, was shot and injured by the IOF on October 11, 2015. She was arrested shortly afterwards.

Shuruq is currently held in the Hasharon Women’s hospital, handcuffed and tied to the bed.

The detainee further spoke out against the mistreatment and harsh offenses she has been subjected to at the hands of the Israeli officers.

“On my last day at the hospital I was transferred on a wheelchair to al-Mascoubiya detention center, where I had been made to endure four hours of exhausting interrogation.”

“Right after the investigation the occupation officers took away the wheelchair. I was left on my own, struggling to stand on my feet and walk. I couldn’t endure the pains inflicted by the surgery I’d just undergone,” she added.

“Shortly after, I fell over. The Israeli soldiers sneered at me because of my inability to walk on my own,” she said.

The injured inmate spoke out against the tiring eight-hour-long inter-prison transfer she had been through right after the surgery, referring to the nauseating stinks, psycho-physical torture, and medical neglect she has been subjected to.

The Israeli occupation authorities further slapped visit bans on prisoner Shuruq Dwiyat, denying her the right to see her parents even for short whiles.

At least four female Palestinian detainees are being currently treated in Israeli hospitals after they were shot and injured by Israeli bullet fire.

They have been identified as: Israa Abed, Israa Ja’abis, Marah Bakeer, and Istabraq Nour.

(Source / 01.11.2015)