Soldiers Kidnap Eight Palestinians, Including Six Children, In Jerusalem

Undercover Israeli soldiers have kidnapped, Thursday, four Palestinian children as they were leaving their schools in the town of at-Tour, in occupied East Jerusalem, and two children in the Old City, and hurled a number of gas bombs. The soldiers also kidnapped two children in Jerusalem’s Old City, and two young men al-‘Eesawiyya.

Photo By Silwanic

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported that the undercover soldiers ambushed and attacked several students, and hurled gas bombs, causing many to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The undercover soldiers then kidnapped four children identified as Amir Sami Abu al-Hawa, 15, Khader Wael Abu Ghannam, 15, Haitham Nassim Khweiss, 13, and Ali Taha, 15.

They repeatedly attacked and beat the kidnapped children, and took them to an unknown destination.

In addition, the soldiers kidnapped two brothers, identified as Mohammad, 12, and ‘Ala Riyad al-‘Ajlouni, 14, in Jerusalem’s Old City, and took them to an unknown destination.

In related news, the soldiers kidnapped two young men, identified as Daoud Yousef Mheisin and ‘Ala Mohammad Diab, from the al-‘Eesawiyya town, in Jerusalem.

(Source / 10.12.2015)

Syria Faces Alarming Escalation in Attacks on Hospitals

FILE - A man inspects damage at the entrance of the National Hospital of al-Tabqa, caused by what activists said was an airstrike by forces of Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad on the hospital, beside al-Tabqa military base, west of Raqqa, Aug. 23, 2014.

FILE – A man inspects damage at the entrance of the National Hospital of al-Tabqa, caused by what activists said was an airstrike by forces of Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad on the hospital, beside al-Tabqa military base, west of Raqqa, Aug. 23, 2014

A coalition of medical aid and relief organizations in Syria reports an alarming escalation in attacks on hospitals and medical personnel in the past two months.

The activists say hospitals, health workers and ambulances in non-government-controlled areas in Syria have been targeted as a tool of war since the beginning of the crisis in 2011. They say doctors have been detained, tortured, and killed; hospitals and ambulances have been systematically targeted by airstrikes and shelling; and medical supplies have been looted.

Since the start of the war, 687 medical personnel have been killed — including 254 doctors — and 329 medical facilities have been attacked, according to the activists. In addition, their statistics show 90 percent of doctors have left Syria, and those who remain fear for their lives.

‘High risk of malnutrition’

Tawfik Chamas, president of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, says the Syrian government is responsible for 95 percent of the attacks and killings. According to his numbers, a sharp increase in the scope and violence in Syria has caused more than 100,000 people to become displaced in the suburbs of Aleppo and Hama in October alone, with more than 11 million Syrians in need of medical care.

FILE - Residents inspect a damaged site from what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Nawa city, Deraa, Syria, Nov. 21, 2015.

FILE – Residents inspect a damaged site from what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Nawa city, Deraa, Syria, Nov. 21, 2015

“More than three million children, pregnant women and lactating women are at high risk of malnutrition,” he said. “We have more than half-a-million pregnant women who are displaced because of the war. … Children inside Syria are dying even from upper respiratory infections like bronchitis because of lack of resources, of lack of experts who can treat those conditions.”

Unprecedented numbers

Leonard Rubenstein, director of the Program on Human Rights, Health and Conflict at Johns Hopkins, has tracked health conditions in conflict situations for 20 years and has investigated regions such as Chechnya, Gaza, and the Balkans.

And yet, he says, he has never seen a level of destruction such as that in Syria.

“Nowhere else in memory, certainly not ever documented before, had there been 200 separate health facilities in a single country subjected to bombing or missile attacks,” he said. “Nowhere have we had to count the number of health professionals killed not in dozens, but in many hundreds.”

The situation has gotten worse since the Russian intervention in the war, Rubenstein says, citing numbers from the Carter Center in the United States. Those reports found that 85 percent of Russia’s air attacks are on areas controlled by Syrian opposition forces, not by the so-called Islamic State.

In addition, approximately 10 hospitals and health facilities have been hit by Russian strikes.

(Source / 10.12.2015)

Israeli vandals attack schoolgirls, instructors in al-Khalil

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli fanatic settlers on Thursday morning stormed the Qurtuba School in al-Khalil province and attacked teachers and schoolgirls.

A PIC news reporter said hordes of extremist Israelis attacked schoolgirls and instructors at the Qurtuba School, in the southern occupied West Bank, and prevented other pupils and teachers from reaching their classrooms after they hardly managed to pass through Checkpoint 56, near the Shuhadaa Street.

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation soldiers stormed, at the crack of dawn, the family homes of a number of slain Palestinians across the city.

A PIC news reporter identified the slain Palestinians, who got their homes ravaged, as Taher Funun, Mustafa Funun and Abdul Rahman Muswada, in a move aimed at paving the way for a projected demolition procedure.

The occupation soldiers further rolled into al-Khalil’s southern neighborhoods and wreaked havoc a number of civilian homes.

Earlier, on Wednesday evening, the Israeli army claimed responsibility for the abduction of three Palestinian youths from Jenin city, in the northern occupied West Bank, on allegations of attempts to carrying out a stabbing attack in Afoula city, in 1948 Occupied Palestine.

(Source / 10.12.2015)

ISIS’s propaganda success, and how to fight it

Maria Dubovikova

ISIS is the first terrorist organization to have successfully gained power through the use of modern media.

Its media system is working in two key dimensions. First of all, it targets the audience inside the ISIS ranks. Propaganda is used to maintain morale and to manipulate ISIS fighters.

Secondly it targets the “outside” audience. The propaganda is performed on both systemic level – through the so-called Al Hayat Media Center, the ISIS media arm – and on the network level, through social media, messengers, Skype and the direct work on the ground of so-called “ISIS emissaries”, or recruiters.

The Al Hayat Media Center produces videos shared via social media and mobile messengers, as well as publishing journals in several languages, with most issues weighing in at 60 to 70 pages.

The words of the Quran, and the true sense of Islam, should be the main weapon in this war on ISIS propaganda.

Maria Dubovikova

That’s 60 to 70 glossy pages of total evil, blood and terror – with the name of Allah and quotations from the Quran repeated on the each page, even though ISIS has nothing in common either with Allah or the Quran. The group just use both for the sake of its own devilish and bloody interests.

The core of the propaganda is the idea of “us and them”. We are righteous Muslims, ISIS declare. “They” are kafirs – infidels – and crusaders.

But ISIS is also putting Muslim communities under pressure, through threats and oppression. The group knows that even the calmest Muslims cannot bear sustained oppression and humiliation for a long time, and finally they will become radicalized.

So why is ISIS propaganda proving so successful? The reasons are simple.

1. Visual communication

The first reason is the high quality work produced by ISIS ideologists, with specialist design and promotion. The visual quality of their journals is very high. Across the world, societies value images over text, and so ISIS has chosen the right form of propaganda. By spreading images through the modern media, ISIS reaches millions of people.

2. Preying on ignorance

The second reason is the historically ill-conceived system of integration of Muslim immigrants in Western societies, and the lack of a coherent promotion of the true image of moderate Islam to the broader public. ISIS is successfully using religious texts, playing on the weak religious literacy of some Muslims, and an absolute ignorance of many non-Muslims about Islam.

3. West’s Mideast policy

The third reason is the Western countries’ policy in the Middle East leading to the chaos in the region. The dangerous play on the discords and the regional contradictions, and the imposition of Western models of behavior and politics inapplicable to the region, lead to the growth of anti-Western sentiments and tensions inside the societies. This is successfully used by the ISIS ideologists. ISIS constantly reminds people of what it sees as historical injustice, or a constant humiliation by the West – the ‘kafirs’, the ‘crusaders’ – on Muslim civilization. ISIS uses the actions of the international coalition and Russian ideologists to promote the idea that the West and Russia are waging a war against the Muslim world.

4. Social environment

The fourth reason for the propaganda success is the state of the social environment. The modern world is gradually losing its reference points for values. This is witnessed in the mutation of the institution of family, social isolation, and the paradox of wealthy societies, in which some are led to seek thrilling experiences. The social inequality and lack of justice also play to the hand of ISIS. And to the lonely, ISIS promotes the idea of a society where everyone is a brother or sister. They promise justice and equality. But they also propose a ‘thrilling’ experience – to those who are seeking it: to kill not only in PC games, but in real life.

How to fight the war

The moment to counter the propaganda battle is already lost. And while there is no guarantee we will win the wider war, there is still a chance to fight an idea with another. And the words of the Quran, and the true sense of Islam, should be the main weapon in this war on ISIS propaganda.

(Source / 10.12.2015)

PRC calls on Britain to end Palestinian tragedy

LONDON, (PIC)– The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) briefed on Thursday British MPs on the human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories and in the diaspora, pointing to Britain’s responsibility in the Palestinian tragedy.

On Human Rights Day, the London-based organization called on Britain to end the long-term Palestinian suffering.

The PRC submitted, during a session held in the British Parliament on Thursday, a report detailing the human rights violations suffered by the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and in the diaspora.

The report pointed to articles 9 and 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that stressed the sacredness of Palestinians’ Right of Return to their stolen territories.

Millions of Palestinians are deprived of their own nationality in total violation to article 15 of the UDHR that states everyone has the right to a nationality, the paper reads.

“Israel is clearly violating the article 17 of the UDHR which states no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.”

The report particularly mentioned the difficult humanitarian conditions suffered by the Palestinians in Gaza Strip and Syria.

(Source / 10.12.2015)

ANATOMY OF AN ISLAMIC STATE JIHADIST

By Peter Clifford               ©             (www.petercliffordonline.com/)

What is the anatomy of an Islamic State Jihadist?

I don’t mean physically – they come in all shapes and sizes just like the rest of us – male and female.

I mean, what emotional and psychological state turns people, often with a mild, quiet background, into fanatical, ruthless, cold-blooded killers?

After almost 35 years working as a counsellor and psychotherapist I guess I know a little about why people behave the way they do, though I have worked mainly with the victims of extreme behaviour, rather than the extremists themselves.http://www.petercliffordonline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I am certain of though is that no baby is born as an extremist, a torturer or a murderer with no regard for the value of their own life or anyone else’s.

All of that is learnt behaviour and the big questions are how, why and where?

It is not straightforward, there are at least 6 different types of Jihadists.

1. First there are the religious fanatics. These must be distinguished from the genuine religiously pious who can be found in all faiths, not just Islam.

It’s one thing to be believe deeply in your God, your faith and its religious practices and try to live a good and honest life even if others do not share or understand the depth of your commitment.

It’s very much another, when you start to believe that anyone who does not share your God, your beliefs and your commitment is an “infidel”, opposed to you and your faith and “God” or “your prophet” commands that they be converted to your faith or destroyed.

There are plenty of examples of cults in the West that have almost gone that far, regarding “outsiders”, non-believers as less worthy human beings and a threat to the core structure of the “faith” or organisation.

2. Secondly there is a large body of people who feel disregarded, rejected by their family and those around them and the society in which they live, and for whom feeling lost and of little value is a prospect that is likely to haunt them for the rest of their lives.

People like this can be found in all cultures, within all religions or with none and in all countries. It comes mainly from poor child rearing, the breakdown of family support and structures and a lack of love, attention genuine support and guidance.

Children who are loved, respected, nurtured and encouraged to be themselves and to find and explore their abilities, do not become mass murderers.

Mass murderers are made from people with a grudge, a giant flaw in their being left after years of unloving or neglect, humiliation or suppression and a feeling of powerlessness.

It has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, the more intelligent a mass murderer is, the more dangerous he is.

3. The third group in my view consists of the malleable, the unaware and the damaged.Syria-Iraq-News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of these may have similar backgrounds to Group 2, but they also may be have been emotionally and psychological damaged while growing up (or even physically damaged at birth), resulting in an immaturity, a lack of awareness and/or an inability to think for themselves, and difficulty in independently distinguishing right from wrong and make balanced value judgements.

Normally such people would be cared for, shielded and guarded by family members or by professionals who will look out for their needs.

However, in the hands of manipulative fanatics who quickly recognise their vulnerability and know how to use this and “befriend” them, they quickly become cannon fodder.

A recent example was seen in a video a few months back of an Islamic State suicide bomber, probably 17 or less, who was persuaded to drive his vehicle bomb into the opposition lines.

Despite “encouragement” and promises of some mysterious and unprovable heavenly reward to come, he was in tears and clearly afraid and unsure.

But there was no way out and he carried out the task anyway.

4. The fourth group is perhaps in many ways the most dangerous.

It consists of the disillusioned and the morally lost, who can both be well integrated into society seemingly leading useful lives or at the other end of the spectrum are jobless, hopeless and turning to drugs, alcohol and petty crime to get by.

Either way, they are deeply disappointed with the society/world they see around them and with their role in it. They do not see that they have the power to change it and are drawn to a religious philosophy that says they can live in a different world and raise their families and children in it.

For the jobless and those who have turned to crime, or alcohol or drugs as a way of coping and feeling a smattering of control and “power”, the Islamic State’s strict philosophy of living offers a path to redemption and forgiveness tied to their childhood religious roots.

The wealthy, more middle-class recruits perhaps are disappointed with extreme materialism and the corruption it often engenders. IS offers another solution.

“Follow the rules and we will give you authority, respect and rewards both in this life and the afterlife to come”.

Many foreigners and converts to Islam coming from outside Syria and Iraq will fall into this category. They are given free housing and money when they arrive in the Middle East and as we have seen in Paris, the UK, the USA and elsewhere they wreck murderous havoc on a large scale.

This group may well include intelligent foreign women who are attracted by the “glamour” of following a cause, marrying Jihadists and escaping perhaps the “restrictions” of their own family life back home. They are undoubtedly in for a rude awakening.

5. The fifth group are the politically and tribally motivated, especially Sunnis who see the Sunni aligned Islamic State (IS) as some sort of bulwark against the Shiite dominated government in Iraq and the Shiite associated Alawite sect of President Assad in Syria.Syria-Iraq-News

One of the reasons the Islamic State was able to spread across Syria and Iraq so quickly was because of these tribal alliances – IS knew how to tap into resentments and perceived injustices inflicted, as the locals saw it, by Iran sponsored Shia policies.

Indeed, the very core of the Islamic State when it started in Iraq was probably created by ex-Saddam Hussein military officers, Sunnis, who had lost their status, power and jobs after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Some tribes are now regretting their allegiance to the Islamic State – but backing out has turned out to be a bloody and vengeful business both for the tribes and individuals who have changed their minds.

6. And lastly, the sixth group is perhaps the most disturbing – the large number of children that the Islamic State is “educating” and indoctrinating in their awful world view.

Children who will grow up believing that executing people for having the “wrong” faith, world view or sexual preference, or who have transgressed IS rules in some way, is normal.

According to a recent video, IS children were engaged in a gruesome hide and seek game in a castle in Deir Ez-Zour province, hunting for shackled prisoners. Those children who did best were given, literally, “execution privileges”.

One of the young boys involved was a Yezidi, a “slave” taken prisoner when IS invaded northern Iraq, killing thousands of his Yezidi brethren and imprisoning thousands more women as sexual concubines. It shows how quickly young minds can be turned and warped. You can read more about the so-called “Caliphate Cubs”, HERE:

There may well be other groups of potential Islamic State Jihadists that we can describe, but what these individuals all have in common is that they are in need of “new family”.

When your own family, for whatever reason in your view, has “let you down” in childhood then psychologically and emotionally you are programmed to search for another one to which you can belong and become part of. (The only exception to this are those that successfully work through that hurt therapeutically.)

Syria-Iraq-News

IS Tramples on Islam

Cults – and IS is nothing more than a cult, if a deadly one – work on that basis. There is usually a charismatic paternal leader and provided you as an individual “follow the rules”, accept and promote the mantra or philosophy and wear the uniform where there is one, then you will be “loved” and accepted.

The Islamic State craftily justifies its actions with the authority of the Koran, Prophet Mohammed and the promise of entry into Paradise if you die fighting for the “cause”.

For many that will be a no-lose situation which makes the Islamic State, along with its stated ambition to conquer most of the developed and developing world, the largest threat to civilisation since World War ll.

That the Islamic State is medieval – as well as just plain evil – is without doubt. They would love to get thousands of US and other western troops to fight them on the ground to recreate another “Crusade” in which they can finally “defeat the infidel invaders” (which is why President Obama is wisely resisting that move).

But this is not 1098 when starving “Christian” Crusaders slaughtered 8,000 inhabitants in Ma’arat Al Numan(currently an Opposition-held town in Syria’s Idlib province) and ate them after pot-boiling the adults and spit-roasting the children – Islamic fighters would have some justification in wanting revenge for that.

This is the 21st Century, when the rights of all individuals and religions that reciprocally respect others must also be respected.

The Islamic State, and the individual Jihadists that choose to make it their home, ignorantly fail to do that, leaving us no choice but to fight them to destruction.

Syria-Iraq-news

Back to the Stone Age with Islamic State

 

Calls for Friday of Anger in support of Jerusalem Intifada

WEST BANK, (PIC)– Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, called on Palestinians in the West Bank to participate in massive marches after Friday prayers in support of Jerusalem Intifada.

Hamas called on the residents of al-Khalil governorate to participate in the massive march after Friday prayers in al-Haras mosque in support of Jerusalem Intifada and in celebration of the anniversary of the first Intifada and the inception of Hamas Movement.

Hamas also called on Palestinian factions and youth groups in Ramallah and al-Bireh governorate to take part in the massive march at Beir El checkpoint and to cover the event in the media.

In Nablus, the professional syndicates association declared a campaign to collect donations in support of the families whose homes were demolished by Israeli forces. The campaign for the reconstruction of demolished houses called for performing Friday prayers at al-Shuhada Roundabout in downtown Nablus as an expression of loyalty to martyrs.
(Source / 10.12.2015)

Israel releases Palestinian journalist held without trial or charge

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities released a well-known Palestinian rights activist and journalist on Thursday after being held for 18 months under administrative detention, locals told Ma’an.Nidal Abu Aker, who has served a total of 14 non-consecutive years in Israeli prison, was released to his family in Duheisha refugee camp south of Bethlehem.Most of Abu Aker’s total internment in Israeli prison had been under Israel’s policy of administrative detention, or imprisonment without trial or charge.

He was detained on June 28, 2014, after Israeli forces raided his home in the refugee camp and assaulted him and family members.
Abu Aker hosted a radio program called “In their cells” at the Sawt Al-Wehda radio station after establishing the media channel with several friends to promote the issue of Palestinian prisoners.
An administrative detention order was issued on Jan. 15, 2015 for being part of an illegal organization and taking part in illegal activities that constituted a threat to the security of the Israeli state, prisoner rights group Addameer said.
The military order was implemented despite the argument by his defense that he has the right to express his thoughts and opinions as a journalist.
Abu Aker, together with other prisoners, started a hunger strike on Aug. 20 to protest their detention without charge or trial. Around a month later the Israeli Prison Service promised to not renew his detention order.
On Monday, the PA’s Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said Israel is now holding some 520 Palestinian prisoners under administrative detention.The latest number is up from around 370 administrative detainees before a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October.
Administrative detention allows internment without trial for six-month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely.Israeli officials claim it is an essential tool in preventing attacks and protecting sensitive intelligence because it allows authorities to keep evidence secret.However, the practice has been strongly criticized by the international community as well as both Israeli and Palestinian rights activists.
They say that international law allows for such detention only under extreme circumstances, but that Israel uses it as a punitive measure on a routine basis to circumvent the justice system or as a crutch to avoid trial.
(Source / 10.12.2015)

Israeli army threatens to raze villagers’ shanties south of Jenin

JENIN, (PIC)– Five Palestinians in Zabda village near Ya’bad town, south of Jenin city, received Israeli military orders on Wednesday threatening to demolish their shanties at the pretext they were built near the segregation wall.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) the Israeli occupation army had demolished the tents and tin shacks of the same families about one year ago under the same pretext.

Despite what they have come through, these impoverished families refuse to leave their area and give in to Israeli threats, the sources affirmed.

The villagers earn their living through grazing cattle and live in tents and shanties.

(Source / 10.12.2015)

Fatah central committee member barred from leaving the West Bank

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Thursday barred a member of Fatah’s central committee, Sultan Abu al-Einen, from leaving the occupied West Bank into Jordan, Abu al-Einen told local Mawteni radio.After holding Abu al-Einen at the Allenby border crossing with Jordan for more than four hours, Israeli authorities reportedly told the committee member that he was barred from traveling for “security reasons.”Abu al-Einen said the travel ban “will not deter us from continuing our struggle to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state.”In 2013, Abu al-Einen came under fire after praising a Palestinian attack and killing of an Israeli settler, calling the attacker “a heroic fighter.”Five US congressmen condemned the comment, and wrote a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, calling for the firing of Abu Einen, who served as Abbas’ adviser on civil society organizations at the time.The PA refused, and Abu al-Einen has held his position on the central committee.Palestinian citizens of the occupied West Bank can only travel out of the country through the Allenby border crossing to Jordan, unless given explicit permission otherwise, which is rarely permitted.Israeli authorities control the crossing, with no Palestinian officials present.

(Source / 10.12.2015)