As part of Israeli-led siege, Egypt stops electricity on Gaza

An Egyptian source said that Israeli occupation is putting more pressure on Gaza through Egypt

Egyptian authorities to disconnect Egyptian electricity lines supplying parts of southern Gaza Strip, Egyptian sources confirmed on Saturday.

Egypt says: “Israel has been unable to undermine Hamas’ rule in Gaza, so that, it is trying through Egyptian to increase economic pressure on Gazans in order to explode in Hamas’ face.”

Days of Palestine, Gaza Strip –As part of Israeli-led siege, Egyptian authorities to disconnect Egyptian electricity lines supplying parts of southern Gaza Strip, Egyptian sources confirmed on Saturday.

A credible Egyptian source confirmed to Days of Palestine through a phone call that the Egyptians are aiming to cut Egyptian electricity on Gaza.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “This is part of the Egyptian policy to tighten the Israeli-led siege on the Gaza Strip.”

He continued: “Israel has been unable to undermine Hamas’ rule in Gaza, so that, it is trying through Egyptian to increase economic pressure on Gazans in order to explode in Hamas’ face.”

On Friday, Middle East Monitor reported a Palestinian official from the private sector Gaza electricity company saying that Egypt would disconnect two power transmission lines that provide electricity to the southern Gaza Strip.

The official warned that this would lead to a large deficit in the power supply, especially since the power supply line coming from the Israeli occupation had not been working for the past seven days.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

The emperor has no clothes: The West Bank, settlements and the two State Solution

By Miko Peled

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Sadly, over the last seventy years Israel has had many successes at the expense of the Palestinian people. But the one success that is the most remarkable is getting Palestinians and the world to buy into the notion that the occupation of Palestine began in 1967, and that therefore, the solution to the Palestinian question is what is known as the two State Solution. This is a manipulation of reality that would make any magician proud.

It has become completely acceptable to disregard the fact that the vast majority of Palestine has been occupied since 1948. Mentioning the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the eradication of Palestinian towns and villages, mosques and churches, schools and homes is now considered radical. Forty-nine years of occupation is the claim one hears over and over again, the fiftieth anniversary of the occupation is upon us, people say, and hard as I try, when I add forty-nine to the year 1948 I do not come up with 2016, but rather 1997.

There is almost complete disregard by the international community for the crimes committed by the Zionists between 1948 and 1967. The erasure of the fact that these were years marked by dispossession, massacres, and unspeakable abuse of human rights by Israel, is a truly impressive magic trick. Two small areas within Palestine that were drawn by Israel and left out of the boundaries of Israel in 1948, i.e. the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, have become recognized as Palestine. But that is not all. Not a single inch of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip is under Palestinian sovereignty. All of the Palestine, from the River to the Sea is controlled by Israel.

So when European countries recognize Palestine they too are behaving like fools in a magic show, happy to be part of the illusion of some great master of deceit. And indeed, as the world is led by the nose, fooled by the illusion of a Palestine that exists, Israel, the master of deceit, continues to shrink what little is left of Palestinian life and no one stands up to admit that the emperor has no clothes! There is no Palestinian state, there is no Two State Solution, there is no West Bank, and there is not a single inch of Palestinian sovereignty anywhere in Palestine.

“OPT” has become a rather well known acronym, used to describe the Occupied Palestinian Territories. But when we ask people to see those territories on a map, all we see is what used to be the West Bank, an area that Israel created in 1948 and then eliminated in 1967, and the Gaza Strip which exists only as a concentration camp in which Israel is allowed to commit genocide, as the world looks the other away and pretends not to see.

This begs the following questions: If the OPT are limited to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip then where are the Un-occupied Palestinian territories? Are there Palestinian territories that are not occupied? If such territories do exist, can someone please point them out on a map? Because every map I look at and every inch of Palestine that I visit is occupied.  Another term that is used a great deal in connection to Palestine is “settlements.” Sometimes they are called, “illegal settlements.” Both refer largely to the Israeli colonies built in the West Bank. There is talk of “settlement expansion,” “settlement blocks,” etc. Again, this begs a question: what is the difference between the Jewish settlements in those areas and the ones built in Al-Jaleel or the Naqqab? What about the settlements built around Jerusalem or the one near Yaffa known as Tel-Aviv?

Israelis who live on Palestinian land that was stolen in 1948 like to see themselves as authentic Israelis, good liberal minded people and God forbid they are not settlers. Settlers are those “other” Israelis who live on lands that were stolen from Palestinians in 1967. But what is the difference? All of Palestine was stolen by force, and with very few exceptions, all Israeli cities and towns, villages and farms were built on land that was stolen, which makes them all illegal settlements.  Once again the master of deceit is leading us all by the nose to see the world as Israel wants us to see it and there is no one to cry out: “the emperor has NO clothes!”

Between 1948-1967 Israel gained legitimacy by committing horrendous crimes and creating what they call “facts on the ground.” The 1967 conquest of the West Bank and Gaza, in which Israel completed the occupation of Palestine, shifted the focus from the territories Israel occupied in 1948 to the newly occupied territories. Now, for the past five decades Israel has been creating “facts on the ground” in those areas, which are now known as “Judea and Smaria.” But every magician, every thief and certainly a master of deceit of such proportions has to have accomplices.

Few people can actually claim not to know what Israel is doing. The international diplomatic corps is fully aware of what takes place in Palestine. The CIA and the US State Department are fully aware of every trick and every crime committed by Israel. Each and every US administration as well as the European governments has been complicit in the crimes committed by Israel. However, it is time for the rest of the world to wake up and end the illusion. The illusion that Israel has legitimacy, the illusion that Israel is somehow the answer to the holocaust and to anti-Semitism, and the illusion that some parts of Palestine are occupied while others are not. It’s time to call out loud and clear that all Israeli settlements everywhere are illegal and just as in the tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the emperor had no clothes, Israel too has no legitimacy.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

Wanneer komt de volgende aanval op Gaza?

By Engelbert Luitsz      ©             (www.alexandrina.nl/?p=4313)

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Een door Israël doelbewust gecreëerde situatie van uitzichtloosheid in de Gazastrook.

Bijna anderhalf jaar na het bloedbad in de Gazastrook is er nog niets veranderd. De Palestijnen hebben de schade van de aanvallen in 2008, in 2012 en in 2014 niet kunnen herstellen. Met doden valt nog wel te leven, wanneer die gezien kunnen worden als onderdeel van het verzet, als de helaas noodzakelijke slachtoffers van de strijd om het bestaan. Maar wanneer de levensomstandigheden dermate moeilijk zijn dat er geen enkel vooruitzicht is op een betere toekomst, lijken zelfs al die slachtoffers een zinloze dood te zijn gestorven.

De enorme werkloosheid, het gebrek aan schoon water en elektriciteit, de dagelijkse kwellingen van drones en vliegtuigen die overvliegen en angst zaaien, de meedogenloze Israëlische cipiers die de grenzen van deze openluchtgevangenis bewaken en op alles schieten wat in hun ogen te dicht bij het hek komt, de totaal vernietigde infrastructuur en de volledige controle door een vreemde overheerser over de privélevens van de gevangenen, dat alles maakt dat er geen ruimte is om het verleden als verleden te zien. Wanneer je zonder vorm van proces wordt opgesloten, zonder vooruitzicht dat je binnen een afgesproken termijn weer wordt vrijgelaten, is er geen verschil tussen verleden, heden en toekomst.

Toen de blokkade van kracht werd was Ahmad Ghazal slechts 13 jaar oud. Nu is hij 23 en werkt hij in een plaatselijke bibliotheek in Gaza Stad. “Het leven hier is niet prettig”, zegt hij, “Gedurende de afgelopen tien jaar had mijn familie gebrek aan voedsel, aan schoon water, aan adequate medische zorg en aan de meest basale menselijke behoeften. Maar wat mij nog het meest frustreert is het feit dat ik niet vrij kan bewegen. Het sluiten van de grensovergangen door Egypte en Israël heeft ons leven tot stilstand gebracht. Ik voel me opgesloten.

Dat schrijft Ramzy Baroud in een artikel dat ingaat op wat tien jaar van blokkade voor de Palestijnen in de Gazastrook betekent. En Ahmad is dan nog in Gaza Stad, niet in een van de vluchtelingenkampen waar generaties van Palestijnen aan hun lot werden overgelaten en die met grote regelmaat door Israël onder vuur worden genomen.

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Kinderen die het bloedbad van 2014 hebben overleefd ploeteren voort. Kunnen ze nog dromen van een beter leven?

De volgende aanval

Er wonen meer dan anderhalf miljoen Palestijnen in de Gazastrook en het is dan ook niet verwonderlijk dat er verschillend gereageerd wordt op de situatie. Sommigen blijven hoop houden, zij kunnen niet geloven dat de internationale gemeenschap maar blijft zwijgen. Ooit moet de wereld tot inkeer komen. Maar er is ook een steeds grotere groep die niet meer kan geloven in een geleidelijk proces. Zowel van Palestijnen zelf als van hulpverleners hoor je steeds vaker dat men liever heeft dat Israël er maar een einde aan maakt. Laten ze ons maar allemaal vermoorden met hun bommen en raketten, dat is te verkiezen boven nog meer jaren van ellende.

Het Israëlische YNet bracht een artikel met de dreigende kop IDF preparing for possible war on northern, Gaza borders. We hebben het dan over Gaza, Libanon en Syrië. De voorstelling van zaken als zouden Hamas of Hezbollah een reëel gevaar voor Israël kunnen vormen, wordt vooral gebruikt om Iran onder druk te blijven zetten. Wanneer een land met een van de sterkste legers ter wereld zelfs demonstraties van Palestijnse kinderen tegen hun onmenselijke behandeling voorstelt als een “existentieel gevaar”, weet je dat we niet te maken hebben met een militaire analyse, doch met propaganda. Om een weerloos volk te kunnen blijven onderdrukken moet je het wel blijven voorstellen als iets heel gevaarlijks, want alleen dan is er steun van de Israëlische bevolking voor het collectief straffen van miljoenen mensen. Ontmenselijking van de ander begint bij ontmenselijking van jezelf.

Een tweede reden is uiteraard dat met veel media-aandacht voor het arme Israël de eigen agressie buiten beeld blijft. In het artikel heeft men het bijvoorbeeld over de “terroristische infrastructuur” in de Golanhoogte. Dat gebied werd net als de Palestijnse gebieden in strijd met het internationaal recht bij Israël getrokken. Het verschil is dat de Golanhoogte officieel door Israël is geannexeerd en de reden daarvoor is duidelijk: olie en gas. Het bedrijf dat zich bezig mag gaan houden met deze illegale exploitatie is verbonden aan namen als Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch en Jacob Rothschild. In de bizarre wereld van het zionistisch kolonialisme is het kennelijk normaal om land en grondstoffen te stelen en vervolgens het volkomen legitieme verzet daartegen af te doen als een terroristische infrastructuur.

Verschuiving naar het oosten

Israël heeft uiteraard nog steeds de onvoorwaardelijke steun van de Verenigde Staten en aangezien presidenten daar te koop zijn als hamburgers zal dat na de komende verkiezingen ook niet veranderen. In Europa en de rest van de wereld is er meer verdeeldheid. Ook landen als China en India, waarmee Israël met behulp van hun geavanceerde wapenindustrie een sterke band probeert te krijgen, zijn niet onverdeeld gelukkig met het Israëlisch optreden. Er is wel een kentering te zien in India, dat traditioneel eerder aan de kant van de Palestijnen stond (Gandhi had felle kritiek op het zionisme). Vorig jaar bracht president Pranab Mukherjee als eerste Indiase staatshoofd een bezoek aan Israël. Het is niet moeilijk te begrijpen waarom Israël graag zaken doet met de rechtse nationalist Narendra Modi, de huidige premier. Modi is een hindoe en is een voorstander van een strikte scheiding tussen hindoes en moslims. Precies wat men in Israël wil met joden en niet-joden. Die mensen begrijpen elkaar dus. Net als Zuid-Afrika tijdens de Apartheid warme banden met de joodse staat onderhield. (Lees over de historische overeenkomsten tussen nationalistische hindoes en het fascisme bijvoorbeeld ook dit artikel in de International Business Times: Hindu Nationalist’s Historical Links to Nazism and Fascism.)

Natuurlijk is de steun uit Aziatische landen (nog) niet te vergelijken met die uit de Verenigde Staten, maar het geeft wel aan dat het zionisme nooit op één paard wedt. In het Westen wordt door steeds grimmiger wetgeving, talloze invloedrijke lobby’s en aanvallen op bijvoorbeeld de BDS-beweging (voor o.a. een boycot van Israël) geprobeerd kritiek op het gedrag van Israël de mond te snoeren. Grote landen als India en China hebben echter het westers kolonialisme aan den lijve ondervonden, vandaar dat er hard gewerkt wordt om ervoor te zorgen dat de miljarden mensen daar niet te veel invloed krijgen op de publieke opinie in het Westen.

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Een overschot aan vervuild water, maar geen gas of elektriciteit. Op enkele kilometers slechts wonen mensen comfortabel in huizen die eens van hen waren.

Oorzaken en symptomen

In dit ontzagwekkende geopolitieke spel lijken de Palestijnen er niet toe te doen. Ze staan machteloos tegenover een oppermachtige bezetter. Maar als we uitzoomen zien we dat de Palestijnen als geen ander laten zien waar het zionisme voor staat. De internationale wapenhandel speelt zich af op een niveau waar de meeste mensen geen weet van hebben. Precies een jaar geleden deed Yair Auron een oproep aan president Peres om excuses te maken voor Israëls steun aan de genocides in Rwanda en Servië. Samen met die andere “vredesduif” Yitzhak Rabin was Peres verantwoordelijk voor wapenleveranties. Auron schrijft:

Jij [Peres] keurde de levering van wapens goed door de staat Israël – en niet alleen via wapenhandelaars – aan Rwanda en het Servië van Slobodan Miloševic en het Servische leger, terwijl de genocide al plaatsvond.

En dat zijn slechts twee van zeer vele voorbeelden. Dit komt echter niet of nauwelijks aan bod in onze media. Wel heeft iedereen ingeprent gekregen dat de Palestijnen “de joden de zee in willen drijven”. Wat zich op het wereldtoneel vaak achter de schermen afspeelt, zien we in concreto in de Palestijnse gebieden. Daar gaat geen dag voorbij zonder het vermoorden, vernederen en opsluiten van Palestijnen en het vernietigen en stelen van hun eigendommen. Alles met het oog op verdere expansie van de joodse staat en zonder enig mededogen voor de miljoenen mensen die daar het slachtoffer van zijn. Hoe het Israël keer op keer lukt de realiteit om te draaien en zichzelf als slachtoffer te presenteren is iets waar onderzoekers van komende generaties op mogen studeren. Het proces is nu nog in volle gang en de druk van diverse zionistische lobby’s is zo groot dat slechts weinigen hun carrière zullen riskeren om de waarheid boven tafel te krijgen.

Iemand die dat wel aandurft is de Israëlische Jeff Halper, van huis uit antropoloog. In het begin van de jaren 70 kwam hij vanuit de Verenigde Staten naar Israël en al snel bemoeide hij zich met de manier waarop de Palestijnen werden onderdrukt. Hij richtte het Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) op, een organisatie die zich exclusief bezighoudt met de situatie rondom de vernietiging van Palestijnse huizen door Israël. In zijn onlangs verschenen boek War Against The People gaat hij op zoek naar de reden waarom Israël getolereerd wordt, ook al lapt het land wetten, verdragen en resoluties aan z’n laars en behandelt het een ander volk op een manier die in West-Europa nooit geaccepteerd zou worden. De bezetting zelf kan daar geen goed antwoord op geven, iets moet ervoor zorgen dat de zionistische visie en de omkering van de werkelijkheid zwaarder weegt in de media en de politiek dan het gedrag van het land. Halper schrijft:

Ik begon buiten de kaders van de bezetting zelf te kijken. Ik ontdekte dat Israël diplomatieke betrekkingen onderhoudt met 157 landen en praktisch alle overeenkomsten en protocollen die Israël met hen sloot bevatten componenten op het gebied van militaire en beveiligingszaken.

Het is die schier onontwarbare kluwen van economische en militaire belangen waar president Eisenhower voor waarschuwde tijdens zijn afscheidsrede in 1961.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Dat het militair-industriële complex rampzalige gevolgen kan hebben is in de meer dan vijftig jaar die sindsdien verstreken zijn wel duidelijk geworden. Hoe de Amerikaanse neocons Irak van de kaart konden vegen op basis van leugens en uit eigenbelang is slechts één voorbeeld.

De staat Israël en de ideologie van het zionisme buiten deze situatie uit. Ondertussen beschermd door een indrukwekkend arsenaal aan massavernietingswapens, geavanceerde Duitse duikboten waarmee overal in de wereld kernwapens ingezet kunnen worden en een enorme vloot van bewapende drones, weet Israël dat het niet aangepakt zal kunnen worden op de manier waarop bijvoorbeeld Irak en Libië machteloos werden gemaakt.

De Palestijnen fungeren als de kanarie in de kolenmijn. Zolang er nog verzet is, is er leven. Zij tonen – voor wie de moeite neemt te kijken naar wat er echt gebeurt in Palestina – een beeld van een verstikkende overheerser. Zij tonen vooral de mentaliteit, het sadisme en de schaamteloze propaganda op een concrete wijze. Zij tonen het menselijk lijden als direct gevolg van een bezetter die zelfs zijn plicht als bezetter niet nakomt, namelijk het garanderen van de veiligheid in de bezette gebieden.

De abstractie van de internationale politiek is te complex en te ver weg om anders dan met machteloos afgrijzen op te reageren. Hier hebben we te maken met een concrete situatie die moet kunnen veranderen indien politici eindelijk eens wat ruggengraat zouden tonen. Waar kunnen we het morele recht aan ontlenen om waar dan ook op te treden uit naam van “democratische waarden”, indien we blijven toekijken hoe hier een volk kapot wordt gemaakt? Het wordt tijd dat we de kanarie redden en de mijn sluiten, voordat er nog meer ongelukken gebeuren.

Female prisoners endure hard situation inside Israeli jails

Sexual harassment is form of the unethical Israeli violence practiced against the female prisoners

Fifty-eight Palestinian female prisoners including seven minors are being held in Israeli jails are enduring hard conditions, a Palestinian Authority (PA) lawyer said on Friday.

The lawyer said: “Some of the prisoners concede their right to stand before the court in order to avoid the miserable journeys to the Israeli courthouses.”

Days of Palestine, West Bank –Fifty-eight Palestinian female prisoners including seven minors are being held in Israeli jails are enduring hard conditions, a Palestinian Authority (PA) lawyer said on Friday.

Hanan al-Khatib, the lawyer working with the PA Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said that the youngest female prisoner is 14-year-old Kariman Swidan from the West Bank village of Azzun.

According to Al-Khatib, five of the female prisoners were wounded by the Israeli occupation forces before they were arrested and they are denied proper medical treatment.

In addition, Al-Khatib said: “The female prisoners are being held in miserable conditions”, noting that the Damon Prison, which was recently reopened, lacks electrical equipment.

“There is also a problem with overcrowding cells as each one has a total of 17 beds and just one toilet,” the lawyer said.

She noted that the prisoners are afraid of diseases and pollution, and there are already cases of infections among prisoners.

About the journey of the female prisoners to the courts, Al-Khatib said: “The prisoners are transported in cold cars, and the trip takes long hours, even days to the courthouse where the prisoners have to wait for long hours in the cold.”

She added: “Some of the prisoners concede their right to stand before the court in order to avoid the miserable journeys.”

Al-Khatib warned that the prisoners are suffering from great psychological pressure, a form of which is sexual harassment, and that many of them need medical assistance.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

Who’s to blame for recent kidnappings in Iraq?

Iraqi security forces stand in front of Turkey’s embassy upon the arrival of a vehicle carrying Turkish workers who had been kidnapped in Baghdad while working on a football stadium project, Sept. 30, 2015

BAGHDAD — Iraq is experiencing a resurgence in the abductions of foreigners, something that had tapered off in recent years. Three new incidents include the kidnappings of 18 Turkish workers in September, 26 Qatari hunters in December and three US citizens in January.

Following the US occupation of Iraq in April 2003, Iraq became a ripe environment for the kidnapping of Arab and foreign diplomats, as well as foreign laborers. In 2004, Egyptian and Iranian diplomats were kidnapped by unidentified militants and the Islamic Army in Iraq, respectively. Yet negotiations with the abducting groups led to their release. The same year saw the kidnapping of foreign workers whose companies were forced to leave Iraq because they received constant threats; one example is Turkish goods transfer company Atahan, which closed its doors after one of its workers was kidnapped.

Iraq was unable to protect its citizens and foreign laborers working on its territory.

Although abductions abated during the second term of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (2010-2014), suicide bombings continued as armed groups grew amid the Iraqi authorities’ failure to eliminate them. Kidnappings strongly re-emerged after the Islamic State (IS) took control of one-third of the country in June 2014.

In the recent kidnappings, the 18 Turkish workers in Baghdad were taken as they worked on building a sports facility east of the capital. A group known as the Death Squad claimed responsibility. The group had a clear political agenda: In a video released Sept. 11, the group called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lift the siege imposed on two Shiite villages in northern Syria. The Death Squad is a Shiite group whose supporters have yet to be revealed.

On Sept. 27, the Death Squad announced that its demands had been met and released the Turkish workers three days later. The Turkish government did not reveal any details about its negotiations with the kidnappers.

Two well-known Shiite clerics widely decried the abduction. The Supreme Shiite Authority Ali al-Sistani described it as “immoral,” while Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist movement, called it a “heinous crime.”

Many people believed those strong condemnations would put an end to the kidnappings, given that the perpetrators were Shiite gunmen. However, that has not been the case. On Dec. 16, about 100 gunmen abducted 26 Qatari hunters who had been camping in the Muthanna province desert in southern Iraq. The fate of the Qataris is unknown, and no group has claimed responsibility for the operation.

Shortly following the Qataris’ abduction, on Jan. 17 another armed group kidnapped three Americans from southern Baghdad. Since the Americans’ kidnapping, Baghdad has tightened security. Security forces set up checkpoints and worked day and night, while the Iraqi police carried out house inspections in an attempt to find the kidnappers, to no avail.

Mohammed Karbouli, a member of the National Security and Defense Commission in the Iraqi parliament, believes that the ongoing abduction of foreigners in Iraq “could turn into a disaster.”

“If such operations do not stop, another disaster will be added to the disasters [already] plaguing Iraq, namely the war on IS and the economic crisis, and this disaster will affect the country’s diplomatic ties with other countries,” he told Al-Monitor.

Karbouli voiced concerns that some countries might cut ties with Iraq or reduce their diplomatic representation there because of the kidnappings.

Neither the army nor the police have developed “effective solutions to ensure the security of citizens, let alone the diplomatic missions,” he said, adding, “Armed gangs threaten the structure of the state.”

“We need an authority that can control gangs,” he said.

Karbouli’s concerns over diplomatic representation seem justified. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir did not hesitate to reveal threats received by the Saudi Embassy in Baghdad after the Saudi diplomatic headquarters in Iran was attacked following Saudi authorities’ execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Jan. 2.

“We are seriously examining the Iranian threats against our diplomats in Baghdad,” Jubeir said Jan. 3.

However, Ahmed Jamal, spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied that there is any threat to the Saudi Embassy in Baghdad.

“We are committed to the protection of diplomatic missions in Iraq in accordance with the norms of international law. We are also keen to develop bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, among other countries,” Jamal told Al-Monitor.

“There is no doubt that the taking of hostages in Iraq is regretful and condemned, and we, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have announced our total rejection of the kidnapping of the Qatari tourists and three Americans,” he added.

Jamal said, “The abduction of foreigners in Iraq is growing and affecting relations with [those] countries.”

“We are trying hard not to let these incidents affect our relations with foreign countries such as the US and Qatar, among others,” he added.

Iraqi military strategist Hisham al-Hashimi told Al-Monitor that the increase in abductions is due “to the lack of security and military control imposed by security institutions to reduce the spread of arms and armed groups.”

Media reports have often accused the Popular Mobilization Units of being behind the kidnapping operations, which it denies.

“A committee within the Popular Mobilization Units ought to be established and granted the authority to supervise these Popular Mobilization Units factions and hold them accountable in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Law,” Hashimi said.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

Hamas hails Italian academics’ call to boycott Israeli universities

The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” has welcomed a petition by Italian academics and researchers to boycott the Israeli occupation’s research institutions and universities.

In a press statement on Saturday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri hailed the petition, noting that the boycott movement plays a crucial role in pressuring the occupation to stop its crimes against Palestinians.

“This petition illustrates the increasing state of isolation the occupation suffers as a result of its crimes.” He underlined.

168 academics and researchers, who belong to seven universities across Italy, have signed a petition that calls for suspending all academic agreements with the Technion Institute (Israel Institute of Technology) and all the Israeli universities.

The petitioners explained that their call comes as a result of the Israeli institutions’ intensive involvement with the Israeli occupation forces “IOF” and its colonization.

“We are academics, researchers and lawmakers in the Italian universities; we are deeply concerned by the continued cooperation with the Technion. The Zionist universities participate in military research and in the development of weapons the Israeli army use against the Palestinian people; in addition, they provide assistance to the Israeli army and its colonization of the Palestinians.” The petition stated.

“This collaboration makes the Technion an accomplice in violation of international laws; therefore, cooperating with it is cooperating with the Israeli occupation authorities.” It added.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

France to recognise Palestine if talks fail

Foreign minister says Israeli “colonisation continues” and if renewed efforts collapse, France will recognise Palestine.

France is planning a conference to bring together the major players of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

France intends to make another push at trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has warned that if its efforts failed, it would recognise a Palestinian State.

“France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the two-state solution,” French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday.

If this last attempt at finding a solution hits a wall, “well … in this case, we need to face our responsibilities by recognising the Palestinian state,” said the minister.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Fabius added that France had a responsibility to try to keep up efforts to find a solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We see that unfortunately colonisation continues and that recently, the Israeli Prime Minister went so far as to reproach the UN Secretary General for encouraging terrorism on the basis that he had reminded of colonisation’s illegality and asked that it cease,” Fabius said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday described Israel’s settlements as “provocative acts” that raised questions about its commitment to a two-state solution, nearly 50 years after occupying lands the Palestinians seek for a state.

In recent months, Israel has become increasingly isolated as the United States, European Union and the United Nations have issued unusually stern criticism of Israel, provoking sharp responses from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader described Ban’s comments as “encouraging terror”.

Protests against Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have become increasingly violent in recent months.

Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed at least 165 Palestinians, including bystanders, unarmed demonstrators and attackers.  At least 25 Israelis have also been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

Palestinian Vehicles and Equipment Seized in Jordan Valley

Israeli forces, late Friday, confiscated trucks and equipment being used to build a new agricultural road in the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Dir, in the northern Jordan Valley.

Tanks in Jordaan Vallei

The head of a local council in the occupied West Bank village, al-Maleh Arif Daraghmah, saidthat military forces had seized the equipment, without citing a reason for its removal.

Daraghmah added that, days before, Israeli forces had ruined dozens of acres of agricultural land and roads while carrying out military drills in the area.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told Ma’an News Agency: “Yesterday evening, two trucks, JCB and an excavator, were confiscated as they were used for illegal road building adjacent to Mehoula in Area C.”

The Jordan Valley — occupied with the rest of the West Bank in 1967 — is in Area C, under full Israeli military and administrative control, and residents of the area face a constant threat of destruction of structures and property.

Threats of displacement for the thousands of Bedouins living in the area have reportedly increased dramatically since 2012, notably the use of Israeli military training exercises as a means of forcible displacement.

Rights groups argue that Israel aims to fully annex the strategic area of land and is unlikely to return the occupied area to Palestinians.

Israeli media reported earlier this week that the Israeli government announced that it may revoke the closed military zone status of a number of land plots in the Jordan Valley, supposedly returning the land to their original Palestinian owners after decades of confiscation.

The news came several days after COGAT announced that plans to declare 1,500 dunams (370 acres) of land in the Jordan Valley as “state land” were in their “final stages.”

The move will be the largest declaration of “state land”, by Israel, since August 2014.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

Israel prevents Palestinian cancer patients from treatment

Muntzer is 8 years old and from the Gaza Strip. He suffers from Lymphoma, a blood cell tumour developing from lymphatic tissues.  (MEE/Eloise Bollack)

Muntzer is 8 years old and from the Gaza Strip. He suffers from Lymphoma, a blood cell tumour developing from lymphatic tissues

Israeli Major General and coordinator of Israeli government activities in the Occupied Palestinian territories, Yoav Mordechai, admitted that the government prevents cancer patients in Gaza from receiving treatment.

Earlier this week, Israel imposed a travel ban for patients through the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the north of the Strip. Israel has given no reason for the ban on the patients who were previously allowed to enter Israel on medical grounds.

Mordechai said in an interview with the Palestinian daily news paper Al-Quds that his government has its excuses to prevent the Gaza cancer patients from treatment. Reportedly, he claimed that the cancer patients from Gaza are commissioned by Hamas to “sabotage” the Israeli economy.

Soha Hussein, a wife of 53-year old cancer patient from Gaza, emphasizes in an interview with days of Palestine: “My husband is too sick to be able to serve himself. How can you imagine he would be able to leave the hospital and collect intelligence information?”

But Yoav Mordechai is of different opinion. “Hamas cynical exploitation of Israeli entry permits is forcing Israel to think twice before it issues permits to Gazans,” he said, warning that the Israeli authorities to “close the Strip and completely prevent travel of Gazans from the Strip.”

It seems that he ignored the fact that his apartheid state has been placing a strict siege on the Gaza Strip since 2006.

According to teleSUR, Palestinian female cancer patients participated in a sit-in in Gaza this week in order to protest Israel’s refusal to allow female cancer patients from Gaza to cross into Israel to seek medical help, which they have been receiving for years.

The sit-in was organized by the Aid and Hope Program in front of the Ministry of Civil Affairs in Gaza. The group provides aid and support for cancer patients in the Palestinian enclave.

“Our message is to demand a clear explanation over the travel ban imposed on women cancer patients in the Gaza Strip,” said Eman Shanan, the general director of the AHP program in Gaza, according to teleSUR.

“These women have been receiving treatment for years. Our second message is directed to the Ministry of Health that they must insure the required treatment for them in case this travel ban continues,” Shanan added.

As a cancer survivor herself, Eman Shanan added that the United Nations’ World Health Organization should take the necessary measures to save the lives of these women:

“This is clearly a premeditated death sentence by Israel,” she warned.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, there are more than 14,600 cancer patients in Gaza. The AHP also says that 30 percent of them have been able to receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.

Many of the hospitals in Gaza simply cannot provide the optimized treatment for cancer, as a result of Israeli attacks on the hospitals and that access to medical supplies is hardly available. At the same time, according to an interview with Dr. Hamdan in Al-Akhbar, “patients in Gaza have no access to the medication they desperately need for their treatment. Even under normal circumstances, there are 45 kinds of cancer treatments that are not available in Gaza. Not to mention that from time to time, the Ministry of Health in Gaza declares acute shortages of medecine.” And on top of that there are only four doctors available for the almost 15.000 cancer patients.

Israel has in the past used cancer-inducting bombs such as Dense Inter metal Explosive, known as DIME and Depleted uranium. According to nuclear news,  people living in the dispersal zone will acquire cancers, birth defects , still births, and other known, unknown or untraceable and undiagnosable diseases.

(Source / 30.01.2016)

Egypt disconnects power lines to Gaza Strip

GAZA (Ma’an) — The Egyptian power lines that provide electricity to parts of the southern Gaza Strip’s have been disconnected for maintenance for an unspecified amount of time, the electricity company for the besieged enclave said on Thursday.An official for Gaza’s electricity company told Ma’an its Egyptian counterpart had informed them that the lines that provide power to the city of Rafah would be disconnected starting at 7:00 a.m. on Friday.The official added that the lines’ disconnection, in addition to pre-existing shortages, would create a power deficit in RafahEven at full capacity, the Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the territory’s energy needs.Gaza’s power station has suffered from chronic shortages due to the crippling Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave and has not run at full capacity in years.The Gaza Strip also suffers from shortage of gas — used daily by Palestinians in Gaza for both cooking and heating — as the quantities allowed to be shipped in are not sufficient to resident’s needs.Israel’s 50-day offensive on Gaza in 2014 has also taken its toll on the local infrastructure, as Gaza’s power plant was targeted and put out of commission.In September, the United Nations warned that that the Gaza Strip could become uninhabitable for residents within just five years, pointing to the devastation of war and nearly a decade of Israel’s blockade.

(Source / 30.01.2016)