PLO ‘likes’ Israel: Palestinian Liberation Organization launches Facebook page in Hebrew!

PLO is using a Hebrew-language Facebook page to connect with Israelis. (Shutterstock)

PLO is using a Hebrew-language Facebook page to connect with Israelis

The Palestinian national movement has launched a Hebrew-language Facebook page whose purpose is to make the Palestinians’ case to Israeli Jews.

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s “Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society” published its first post on the social network last week.

Titled “Palestine in Hebrew,” the page’s messages are geared toward Israelis and their concerns, telling them, “The occupation is the enemy, oppressing our lives and corrupting yours.”
It employs hashtags, a kind of tagging that sorts posts by searchable subjects, that urge Israelis to act politically, such as “#be_responsible_end_the_occupation.”
And it includes high-production-value videos that counter Israeli perceptions of international moves taken by the Palestinian Authority in recent years, such as explaining in Hebrew that “the appeal to the UN” for recognition of a state of Palestine “was never meant to isolate Israel or hurt its legitimacy, but to emphasize the illegitimacy of the occupation that began in 1967 in order to end it.”
It also carries a speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The page had a scant 179 “likes” by Sunday morning, though millions of Israelis are on Facebook, by far the most popular social network among Hebrew speakers.
But it has already drawn Israeli Jewish responses and counter-arguments to the claims made in its posts, and its establishment was reported in mainstream Israeli media Sunday, including Israel Radio’s morning news broadcast.
One Israeli posted to the page a 1910 newspaper clipping of an Arab attack on a Jew in Jaffa, with the sarcastic comment, “Because of the occupation,” suggesting that Arab violence against Jews preceded the 1967 conquest of the West Bank and Gaza.
In one post, the PLO page complained of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s proposal to require political advocacy groups to wear tags in the Knesset similar to those worn by lobbyists, saying, “We will be identified by the tags Shaked is requiring us to wear.”
That first-person reference led one commenter on the page to say, “It appears that this page is actually run by Israeli left-wingers in the PLO’s name.”
There was no immediate word on the identity of the page’s administrators, though the Hebrew is fluent and largely error-free, including when translating linguistically difficult passages from the poems of the Palestinian national poet, Mohammed Darwish.
(Source / 21.11.2015)

Paris attackers ‘did not follow Islam’

A French gendarme enforcing the Vigipirate plan, France's national security alert system, patrols in a railway station the capital, Paris, November 19, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

A French gendarme enforcing the Vigipirate plan, France’s national security alert system, patrols in a railway station the capital, Paris, November 19, 2015

New details about two of the suspects in the attacks on the French capital last week indicate that despite the generalized characterization of the duo as Muslims, they not only did not follow Islam but also grossly strayed from Islamic teachings.

New reports showed Thursday that the Abdeslam brothers, Brahim and Salah, ran a bar in the Belgian capital, Brussels, and used a lot of drugs and drank alcohol, which are forbidden in Islam.

Police had reportedly shut their Les Beguines bar, where people consumed “banned hallucinogenic substances.”

Local residents said the two brothers did not comply with the Islamic principles and had never been seen at a mosque.

“On Fridays (when Muslims hold their main weekly prayers), they would stay smoking on the terrace. I never saw them at the mosque,” said Karim, a young man who lived above the bar.

Another friend of the brothers also said the men weren’t practicing Muslims and that they used to drink.

The new details corroborate the earlier description of Ibrahim Abdeslam by his ex-wife as a non-believer who smoked drugs every day and never went to the mosque. Speaking to Belgian media, Ibrahim’s 36-year-old wife, Naima, said she was unaware Brahim had become a Daesh member.

“I only knew that at the time he was not religious. His parents had to force him to take part in Ramadan,” she said in reference to the Muslim fasting month.

People light candles to pay tribute to victims near the site of the last Friday attack at Le Carillon cafe in Paris, November 19, 2015

At least 129 people were killed and 352 others injured when assailants, including Brahim and Salah, struck at least six different venues in and around Paris on November 13.

In a statement the day after, the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The Abdeslam brothers apparently attacked people in Paris’ 10th and 11th districts. Brahim later blew himself up outside a cafe on Boulevard Voltaire before police could apprehend him, while Salah still remains at large.

French officials say the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdel Hamid Abaaoud, was killed during a police operation early Wednesday.

It was initially thought that Abaaoud was in Syria, but further investigations revealed that he was based in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, where the Wednesday police raid.

(Source / 21.11.2015)

Jordanian King: Jerusalem will remain under Jordan’s guardianship

Palestinian Muslims praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Jordan was granted special rights to supervise the religious affairs of the city under the Jordanian-Israeli peace agreement of 1994, known as the Wadi Araba Treaty

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has stressed that Jerusalem will remain under Hashemite guardianship in terms of Jordan’s religious and historical responsibility towards the Holy City.

In his speech during the opening of the third session of the Jordanian parliament on Sunday, the King said that “The Palestinian cause has been on top of the Jordanian diplomatic agenda because it is a supreme national interest.”

“Jerusalem will remain a holy cause that was our looked after by our ancestors, and will continue to be taken care of by our sons and our daughters who continue to play this supervisor role and who will defend it against any assault and any attempt to change the reality,” he added.

The Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Holy Sites Affairs is affiliated to Jerusalem’s Waqf charity, which is the official supervisor of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem endowments. Under international law, Jordan is considered the latest local authority to supervise those holy sites prior to Jerusalem’s occupation by Israel in 1967. Additionally, Jordan was granted special rights to supervise the religious affairs of the city under the Jordanian-Israeli peace agreement of 1994, known as the Wadi Araba Treaty.

In March 2013, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed an agreement granting Jordan guardianship rights over Jerusalem, as well as the right “to defend Jerusalem and the holy places” in Palestine.

(Source / 21.11.2015)

Meet the young volunteer medics on the frontlines of West Bank protests

From a rooftop in Azza refugee camp near Bethlehem, Hashem al Massaid can see trails of tear gas cascade from the sky into the alleyways below. The gas seeps into homes and through narrow streets until it merges with the thick fog already carpeting the ground.

Massaid, 16, has arrived to clashes at Azza refugee camp straight from school. He has to study for a physics exam later, but for the next few hours he is a volunteer paramedic with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS).

For Massaid and his PMRS colleagues, providing medical assistance to protesters injured during violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis is intertwined with daily life.

Since the beginning of October, PMRS volunteers have been working overtime. More than 83 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have died in a wave of unrest across the West Bank Gaza and East Jerusalem.

“Since October, the fight is getting stronger. It’s the strongest we have seen. More people are injured. We usually treat 50 to 70 people affected by tear gas, but if the clashes are stronger, it can be up to 150,” Massaid told the Palestine Monitor.

PMRS volunteers treat tear gas victims using first aid kits and oxygen tanks. Often, tear gas is not only directed at protesters, but also the nearby refugee camps, engulfing the neighborhood.

PMRS volunteers from Bethlehem

“As volunteers, we do not just work in the streets where the clashes are. We also have to go into the houses and help evacuate people near the clashes who are affected by the tear gas,” explained Abed Ghareep, a 21 year old PMRS paramedic working alongside Massaid.

In one family home, a mother looks on as her son lies on the floor, chest heaving, as he struggles to breathe from the tear gas that has infiltrated their living room. The atmosphere is frantic, but Ghareep remains calm. He places an oxygen mask over the man’s face, massaging his chest, reciting the words, “breathe, breathe, breathe.”

As quickly as Massaid’s team arrives, they rush back to the frontlines of the clash or the next family whose home has been consumed by gas.

Many of PMRS’ patients are children, for whom tear gas can be fatal. Oct 30. an eight-month-old Palestinian baby died after inhaling teargas inside his family home in Beit Fajjar, a village south of Bethlehem.

In one home that that paramedic team arrives to with oxygen tanks, a two-year-old girl is asleep on the sofa in her house, unshaken by the sounds of her 7-month-old sister wailing next to her. The family tries to comfort her, the remnants of tear gas still lingering in the air and making it hard to breathe.

“If she hadn’t been treated she would be dead otherwise, absolutely,” said Ghareep, after he had left the home.

Massaid and his colleauges face a range of risks in the field. Most say they have been shot at, either by live or rubber bullets. One young medic laughs as he holds up his finger, half the nail ripped off from when he was shot with a rubber bullet just days previous.

“All of us have been hit with bullets. One of my friends was shot in the leg with a live bullet last month. We were carrying him, to help him, and the Israeli soldiers fired at us as we were carrying him,” said Massaid.

The group of young Palestinian paramedics share the experiences of the people they assist, providing a sense of trust between them and those in need of medical support. Having grown up in Bethlehem, the PMRS volunteers are familiar with the frequent clashes and the local communities they affect.

“The success we have here is that people start to trust us and open up their houses to us. If anything happens to them, they come to us. We are young but the community here trust us to help them,” said Ghareep.

Massaid’s phone rings. It’s his mother, calling to tell him to be careful and make sure he is safe.

“When I first started I didn’t tell her,” he said.

“But now she knows this is part of me and I am going to do it,” he said. “These guys [at the protests] and the paramedics, we are one. We are in this together and I want to help any way I can.”

(Source / 21.11.2015)


By Peter Clifford               ©                (


The Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) have continued their advance and are currently involved in heavy fighting to take the IS-held former Assad Base 121 south of Hasakah.

IS Truck Bomb Contained 20 Barrels of Explosive

IS Truck Bomb Contained 20 Barrels of Explosive

Dozens of bodies are reported across the battlefield and experienced Kurdish YPG snipers are hunting down the remaining IS Jihadists. Plans are already in hand to take the next IS stronghold at Shaddadi, which will clear the road towards Raqqah.

Pictures have emerged of an IS armour plated truck to be used as a massive suicide bomb against SDF forces near Al-Hawl. The truck was captured before it could be detonated but estimates of the explosives on board put them at the equivalent of 10 tons of TNT.

Hussein Kocher, a leading Kurdish commander SDF, has been quoted as saying their forces are determined to “liberate the whole Syrian soil from Deash (ISIS) terrorists” and that Opposition groups should link together to carry this out.

Macer Gifford, the English City Finance worker who gave up his job to fight with the YPG has recently been interviewed by CBS in the US. He says that there are now more men from the USA and Europe who are keen to fight IS in Syria and Iraq, especially since the attacks in Paris.

You can watch a video interview and read more at CBS.

In the western part of Kobane Canton, IS once again fired mortars from their positions across the other side of the Euphrates River, hitting the Kurdish village of Bouraz. A father and his daughter were reported killed and the mother seriously injured.

35 kilometres east of Kobane city, the Turkish Army, for reasons best known to themselves, again attacked YPG positions near the village of Sibiqran with heavy weapons from across the Turkish border. No casualties were immediately reported.

South-east of Rojava at Raqqah, the outskirts of the city were hit by 3 Russian cruise missiles.

US Central Command (Centcom) reports 13 airstrikes on Syria on Wednesday, 4 of them hitting Raqqah where they struck 3 x IS HQ buildings and a bivouac. 3 strikes hit IS positions near Al-Hawl, 4 near Hasakah and 2 more struck oil and gas separation plants at Abu Kamal.

Coalition airstrikes in both Syria and Iraq are co-ordinated in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Careful checks are made to avoid hitting their own forces and civilians. You can read more, HERE:

In Sinjar in Iraq, recently recaptured by Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga have found an elaborate system of underground tunnels which IS used to try and avoid being hit by Coalition airstrikes. The Wall Street Journal has a series of pictures.

Sinjar is essentially a Yezidi city but many Yezidi are reluctant as yet to return, especially as IS is only a few kilometres away and the city is still within mortar range. Those that have come back have found there houses destroyed and belongings looted. You can read more in Al Jazeera.


Kurdish Troops Enter Destroyed Sinjar, Iraq


A proposed initial 15 day ceasefire between Assad’s forces and Opposition fighters in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, organised by the Russians appears to have come to nothing after the regime pounded the district of Douma with 12 airstrikes on Thursday, killing the city’s only remaining coroner. The 15 day ceasefire was meant to lead to a possible truce.

In IS-held Manbij in Aleppo province, where locals have been demonstrating against the presence of the Islamic State, more trouble brewed when a young man killed an IS Sharia “judge” of Tunisian origin and 2 of his guards, before killing himself.

The “judge” had had 3 members of the young man’s family beheaded, including a brother. Since then IS has increased security, setting up checkpoints throughout the town and imposing a curfew. Several residents taking part in anti-IS demonstrations have been shot and others arrested.

Interesting article in The Daily Beast with the confessions of an IS spy who has now defected.

According to Opposition sources a Russian cruise missile hit the Hayyan industrial area north-west of Aleppo city this morning, casualties unknown.

There are also reports today of a clash between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and IS in Aleppo province near the Turkish border, due north of Aleppo city and north-east of Azaz. Perhaps the start of a new campaign to oust IS from this northern part of Aleppo province against the Turkish frontier.

Turkey has once again been talking to the US about some sort of protected zone along this part of the Syrian/Turkey border. You can read more, HERE:


A 1917 Case of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the Middle East

From Homs near IS-held Palmyra come reports that there is a severe outbreak of leishmaniasis among dozens of Assad’s troops facing up to IS in the desert area. Leishmaniasis is spread by a parasite carried by sand fleas who distribute it with their bite.

Around 2 million people a year worldwide are infected. It has several forms, initially causing skin sores but can also infect the intestines and internal organs. Between 20,000 – 50,000 people die from it each year.

Assad’s soldiers have been pleading for appropriate medical treatment or to be transferred to somewhere where they can receive treatment. At the moment, according to reports, they are corralled together in the desert so as not to infect other military units.

As seen in the photograph from World War l, the disease was known as “Jericho Buttons” by soldiers affected by it around the city of Jericho.  You can read more, HERE:

In Daraa province on Thursday the Assad regime bombed an olive oil plant in Sheikh Miskin where local people were processing their harvest. At least 25 people were killed, including children and many others injured.

In Latakia province there are reports that Assad is targeting Turkman villages near the border city of Kasab with the help of Russian airstrikes. Turkey has summoned the Russian ambassador to Ankara to protest against attacks on what it sees as its fellow countrymen.

According to Israeli Intelligence around 55 Iranian military personnel have been killed in recent fighting in Syria, while Hezbollah has lost between 1,000 and 2,000 men over the last two years.

Syria NEWS

Iranian F-14 Tomcats

Interestingly, The Aviationistmagazine, after analysing video released by the Russian Ministry of Defence, has spotted that ancient Iranian F-14 Tomcat jets were seen escorting a Russian TU-95 bomber over Syria while it was making a strike.

This is the first time the Iranian Air Force (apart from cargo planes) has been seen in action over Syria.

Russia fired a whole new series of cruise missiles yesterday, Thursday, and this morning, Friday, both from long range bombers and ships.

Some landed randomly but others were targeted at Syrian Opposition groups and the Islamic State.

One cruise missile even managed to hit the regime-held village of Khattab in northern Hama.

Others fell on Ariha, Abu Al-Dhuhur, Hish, Basanqul, Mount Zawiya and Joseph in Idlib province, 200 kilometres away from IS-held territory.

One missile hitting Mir’ian village in the province killed 2 children and their mother.

Deir Ez-Zour has also been hit by 50 airstrikes in the last 24 hours, though it is not clear if they are from the Assad regime, the Russians or a combination of both.


Zionist controlled US media spreading Islamophobia: Activist


The Zionist controlled media in the United States has created an environment of Islamophobia and shortsightedness for over a decade in the country, a Muslim African American activist and speaker says.

There has been a collaboration between the US and Israel to create terrorist and extremist groups in the Middle East to serve Zionist and Western interests, said Abdul Alim Musa, director of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, DC and member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought.

The rise of groups like al-Qaeda, Taliban and Daesh (ISIL) are part of an “evil plot” to justify the invasion and domination of Muslim lands, Musa said Saturday during an interview with Press TV.

Musa said the recent Islamophobic comments by US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are the visible part of this evil plot; a war against Muslims that has been going on for decades.

On Thursday, Trump said he would be open to having a “Muslim database” in America for security reasons, two days after he said that the US would have “absolutely no choice” but to close down some mosques.

Hours later, the Republican frontrunner doubled down on his previous remarks when asked by NBC News if he would create a national database to register all Muslims living in the US to protect the country against terrorism. “I would certainly implement that, absolutely.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has voiced concerns over a spike in Islamophobia in the US, following the recent attacks in Paris.

The Muslim advocacy organization has called for additional safety measures in the Islamic places of worship in the wake of the attacks, which the Daesh Takfiri group has claimed responsibility for.

Since last week’s Paris attacks, there have been a series of anti-Muslim incidents reported, including terror threats to Florida mosques, vandalism at a Nebraska mosque, shots fired at a Florida Muslim family’s home, hate graffiti targeting a Connecticut Muslim student, a tweet threatening Michigan Muslims, and innumerable hate messages sent online and by phone.

(Source / 21.11.2015)

Hamas to ‘distribute land’ among Gaza’s unpaid civil servants

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s de facto leaders Hamas on Saturday announced plans to distribute land among civil servants hired after 2007 whose salaries the Palestinian Authority has refused to pay.Hamas’ finance minister Ziad al-Thatha made the announcement during a symposium in Gaza City, where he also said the employees would be exempted from unpaid electricity and municipal bills.He said that memorandums and protocols had already been signed between his ministry, municipal councils, and Gaza’s land authority, electricity company, and banks.Al-Thatha said around 1,000 dunams (250 acres) of public property had been allocated for the purpose across Gaza, although he did not specify where. He said the land “badly needs to be inhabited for political, security, social, and economic reasons.”The decision is likely to fuel tensions between Hamas and the Fatah-dominated PA. The question of Gaza’s government employees has been a major point of dispute between the two rival factions.Since the factions agreed to form a national unity government — consisting of independent technocrats — in June last year, Hamas has demanded that the government regulate the salaries of its 50,000 civil servants.They were hired after the movement took power in Gaza in 2007. They took over from 70,000 PA employees who were forced out of their positions but have still been receiving their salaries.The unity government pledged to return the 70,000 former employees to their positions, saying that the Hamas workers would only be hired “according to need.”A high-profile delegation of government ministers headed to the coastal enclave to solve the dispute in June, but the visit quickly ended in disarray, with each side blaming the other for its failure.The unity government has not been able to function in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas’ ministries have continued to hold power.Al-Thatha on Saturday accused Abbas of failing to recognize Gaza’s civil servants, and said that all the PA’s decisions regarding the employee dispute had been “unreasonable, illogical, and at odds with all signed agreements.”He also criticized the PA for continuing to pay the salaries of the PA’s former civil servants in Gaza, estimating that it was costing the PA $80-90 million every year.The employee dispute has played a critical role in Fatah and Hamas’ deteriorating relations, but has been compounded by a range of other issues.Earlier this week, Hamas accused the PA of excluding it in talks with Egypt on reopening the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza. Fatah also expressed dismay earlier this year at reports that Hamas has been holding indirect talks with Israel aimed at establishing a long-term truce.

(Source / 21.11.2015)

Israel closes Palestinian al-Khalil radio station

The photo shows damage done to the office of al-Khalil radio station by Israeli forces, November 20, 2015.

The photo shows damage done to the office of al-Khalil radio station by Israeli forces, November 20, 2015

The Israeli regime has issued an order to close down a Palestinian radio station in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

The director of al-Khalil Radio, Amjad Shawar, said Israeli soldiers stormed the radio station overnight, making it the second Palestinian news outlet to be closed this month by Tel Aviv.

Israeli forces also confiscated equipment and caused property damage.

According to reports, Israeli intelligence officers then delivered a military warrant, ordering the station’s closure for six months over accusations of causing “incitement” against Tel Aviv.

Earlier this month, Tel Aviv closed down and imposed a ban on broadcasts by Palestinian Manbar al-Hurriyya radio station.

A Palestinian journalist working for the local radio station Al-Hurriyya inspects damage caused by the Israeli army to the radio’s offices in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, November 3, 2015

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) released a statement saying that more than 450 violations of media freedoms had taken place by the Israeli regime since the start of the year.

The watchdog said in its statement that it “condemns the ongoing violence against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli Occupying Forces.” According to MADA, press freedom violations have witnessed “an enormous escalation” this year.

Tensions have been on the rise between Israelis and Palestinians in recent months after Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

(Source / 21.11.2015)

Israeli forces close roads in southern West Bank

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Saturday closed a number of roads near the southern West Bank village of Beit Ummar, a day after Israeli officials agreed upon strict security measures in the nearby Gush Etzion settlement bloc.Muhammad Awad, a spokesperson for Beit Ummar’s popular committee, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers had sealed a number of roads leading from the village to Route 60, which is the West Bank’s central road.Awad said the closures would delay the movement of residents entering and leaving the village. It was not clear how long the roads would remain sealed.On Friday, Israeli officials reportedly agreed on strict security measures in Gush Etzion, which lies just north of Beit Ummar, after a deadly shooting inside the illegal settlement bloc killed two Israelis and one Palestinian dead the day before.Israeli news site Ynet reported that the measures could include the temporary restriction of movement of Palestinians in the area, the deployment of extra Israeli forces, and the construction of a “fence” along certain roads.The freedom of movement for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank is already severely restricted by at least 100 permanent military checkpoints, hundreds of physical barriers, and the separation wall.Rights groups have said that the latest restrictions amount to “collective punishment.”

(Source / 21.11.2015)

3 Palestinians shot, injured in West Bank clashes

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Saturday evening shot and wounded at least three Palestinians with live rounds during clashes in the northern West Bank, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.Palestinian security sources said that two Palestinians, identified as Ayham Deriyya and Yunis Munir Bani Faddel, were shot near Aqraba village junction south of Nablus.The road junction was closed by Israeli forces on Thursday, amid Israeli attempts to intensify security measures near the village after Palestinians threw stones at Israeli vehicles.Both Palestinians were taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus in moderate condition.An Israeli army spokesperson had no immediate information on the report, but said that Israeli forces had shot and wounded another Palestinian near Silwad northwest of Ramallah.She said that Israeli forces fired warning shots at “a group of Palestinians hurling rocks,” before opening fire “toward the assailants.” She said that she was aware of at least one injury.Friday saw widespread clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory, during which Israeli forces shot at least 69 Palestinians with live rounds in the West Bank and 33 in the Gaza Strip.More than 9,000 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces since the beginning of October, according to documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

(Source / 21.11.2015)