Yemeni Parties Hold Closed Session


The first closed session between the Yemeni parties held Thursday evening in Kuwait in the presence of UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

The national delegation (Ansarullah and General People Congress (GPC)) underlined the need to totally cease fire before entering into any discussions.

The national delegation strongly criticized the UN envoy’s evasion of the implementation of the ceasefire and his adoption of the other party’s lies and allegations.

It also expressed its full reservation about the five terms raised by the other party, which also adopted by Ould Cheikh, until their mechanisms and priorities become clear.

The national delegation stressed that they did not come to “hand over our weapons and our destiny to our enemies. We are here for real peace and consensus among the Yemenis.”

The national delegation emphasized that ceasefire is not a procedural matter but a matter of will. “If they are serious and one phone call is enough to cease fire.

(Source / 22.04.2016)

International Pro-Palestine forum kicks off in Tunisia

TUNIS, (PIC)– The Second International Arab Forum for Justice for Palestine is expected to kick off on Friday afternoon in Tunisia. The forum makes part of an initiative launched by the Arab International Center for Communication and Solidarity in coordination with the General Union of Tunisian Workers and other national and international human rights bodies. The forum is expected to shed light on the Israeli apartheid, prosecution of Israeli war criminals, and ways to activate the prisoners’ cause. Representatives of Palestinian national resistance factions, including Hamas leaders Ali Baraka and Husam Badran, are expected to join the forum. The forum is set to be chaired by the  former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Bahrain’s former Minister of Education Dr. Ali Fakhro. A number of Hamas officials, including Khaled Mishaal and Ismail Haneyya, popped in Tunisia over support for the Palestinian cause over the past few years. An international conference sponsored by the former president Dr Moncef al-Marzouki was also held in September 2014

(Source / 22.04.2016)



Israeli ambulance crews adopt a policy of denying injured Palestinians treatment, say rights groups.


The Extrajudicial Execution of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, aged 21, who was first
medically tortured by Israeli paramedics and occupation soldiers before he was executed.

By Jonathan Cook

Jerusalem There is mounting evidence that Israeli ambulance crews are withholding treatment from Palestinians injured during a wave of attacks over the past six months, according to rights groups.

Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, a medical watchdog group, found that wounded Palestinians had been left untreated for as long as two hours.

In some cases, medical teams are suspected of failing to tend to the injuries of suspected attackers as revenge, in the expectation that they will die from their wounds.

In parallel, says the group, Israeli soldiers regularly deny Palestinian crews in the occupied territories access to injured Palestinians in violation of international agreements. Palestinian ambulances have been regularly fired on and paramedics attacked as they tried to reach the scene.

READ MORE: West Bank shooting: ‘Israel does whatever it wants’

Physicians for Human Rights accused Israel’s leading medical bodies – the Israeli Medical Association, which lays down ethical codes, and Magen David Adom, which supervises ambulance services – of ignoring the evidence it has collected of such abuses.

“We have seen no serious response to our complaints, no investigations, not even an attempt to meet us. They don’t appear to want to give answers,” Mor Efrat, a researcher for the rights group, told Al-Jazeera.

Concern that some ambulance crews are adopting a policy of denying Palestinians treatment has been heightened by the increasing role of medical teams located in illegal Jewish settlements.

These paramedics appear to be openly flouting internationally established principles of neutrality that all medical staff are supposed to observe.

united-hatzalah-arab-jews-ambucycleUnited Hatzalah, some of Israel’s illegal settler’s medical crew.

In December the leaders of United Hatzalah, a settler ambulance service implicated in several cases in which Palestinians have been refused treatment, visited a leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi, Chaim Kanievsky, to receive instructions on what to do with Palestinians injured during attacks.

According to a report on the settlers’ website Israel National News, Kanievsky told them that if the injured Palestinian “was in a life-threatening condition, they should leave him or her to die”. Other rabbis have made similar calls.

The issue of Israel’s treatment of injured Palestinians was thrust into the spotlight late last month when a soldier from the Israeli army’s medical corps was caught on video executing a badly injured Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, aged 21, had been shot and wounded during a suspected knife attack on a checkpoint. Before the medical corps soldier, identified as Sergeant Elor Azaria, executed him by firing a bullet into his head, al-Sharif was left bleeding on the ground for more than 10 minutes.

Both army medics and two civilian ambulance teams, one of them United Hatzalah, refused to treat him. After the video was publicised, Sgt Azaria was arrested.

On Monday, an Israeli military court charged the soldier with manslaughter and inappropriate military conduct. However, there has been an outpouring of support for him, from the Israeli public, politicians and rabbis. Efrat, of Physicians for Human Rights, said the failure by both the Israeli Medical Association and Magen David Adom to speak out against abuses committed by Israeli medical staff created the climate that made possible the events in Hebron.

13061991_1730875337126354_1798021097199492449_nAn illegal Israeli settler holds up a sign reading “kill them all” meaning Palestinians, at a demonstration this week in Tel Aviv, in support of Sergeant Elor Azaria who executed Al-Sharif in cold-blood.

Leonid Eidelman, head of the Israeli Medical Association, told Al-Jazeera the criticisms were “unfair” and that his organisation had “stated clearly that no political or personal preferences should influence treatment” of wounded Palestinians.

The criticisms of ambulance crews follow a heated debate among Israel’s medical authorities about whether staff should abide by the Geneva Conventions, which require them to remain neutral at all times and prioritise treatment based solely on the severity of injuries.

ZAKA, an Israeli organisation of community medical volunteers, has backed members who refuse to treat Palestinians before Israeli Jews. By contrast, Eli Bein, the head of the Magen David Adom, has said he expects ambulance staff to follow international humanitarian law.

Nonetheless, Magen David Adom has justified the failure of its paramedics to treat al-Sharif in Hebron last month, claiming they were waiting for authorisation from the Israeli army.

Army commanders told the Haaretz newspaper the claim was unfounded and was being used as a “pretext for delaying treatment”. The stance of the Israeli Medical Association has been equally ambivalent, according to critics.

In 2008 the Association adopted an ethical code – based on a Talmudic injunction that “Charity begins at home” – to treat Israelis before Palestinians. Under pressure from Physicians for Human Rights, the code was quietly revoked in December.

Doctors told the Times of Israel website that the Association was afraid of a political backlash if it publicised the change. “Whatever their official positions, these bodies are not speaking out clearly against violations of medical ethics. And they are certainly not taking any action,” Efrat said.

In addition to last month’s incident in Hebron, Physicians for Human Rights have highlighted several other clear cases of medical violations. One of the most disturbing relates to 19-year-old Muhannad Halabi, who was shot during an attack in the Old City of Jerusalem last October. Witnesses, including an Israeli medic, told the watchdog group that Halabi was left untreated for two hours before paramedics pronounced him dead.

Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades at a Palestinian crew that tried to reach him. A request from Physicians for Human Rights to Israel’s justice ministry to investigate the incident has gone unanswered.

In a second incident, a week later in the Old City, a video shows Palestinian paramedics being beaten and pushed away as they try to reach Basel Sidr, aged 19. Their medical equipment was also damaged. Witnesses said an Israeli ambulance crew looked on for 20 minutes before a medic approached Sidr to check his pulse and declare him dead.

In another video, paramedics are shown denying treatment to Sa’ad al-Atrash, who was shot at least six times last October by soldiers at a checkpoint in Hebron. Witnesses say he was left for half an hour lying in the street before being evacuated to hospital, where he died of his wounds. There are strong suspicions that al-Atrash was shot by a trigger-happy soldier, in what Amnesty International called an “especially egregious” example of unlawful killing.

In another case, last November, 21-year-old Mohammed al-Shawbaki was left untreated by three Israeli ambulance crews for 30 minutes, while a Palestinian crew was blocked from approaching.

Efrat said they had also filed complaints to the Israeli police and army about 18 incidents in the past six months where Palestinian medical teams had been prevented from caring for the wounded. Only one investigation had been opened.

65efaed382622575c96fad1ced1c7706 copy13-year-old Ahmad Manasrah was medically torture for 25 minutes in October, 2015.

Euro-Med Monitor, an international human rights group based in Geneva, has collected evidence of a further four cases where Israeli paramedicsviolated the Geneva Conventions by denying Palestinians treatment.

They include Ahmed Manasreh, a 13-year-old Palestinian accused of a stabbing attack in East Jerusalem last October. Videos show a Magen David Adom ambulance driving past Manasreh as he lies bleeding in the street, having earlier been run down by an Israeli vehicle.

PLEASE SEE: Breaking Report: Israeli Ministry Falsified Evidence to Whitewash Settler Crimes and Frame Child Ahmad Manasrah on False Charges

ALSO SEE: TLBTV Presents – From Stones to Knives & Settler Crimes: Innocence Denied(TV broadcast)

Evidence of denial of treatment is likely to add to the pressure on two global organisations – the World Medical Association, and the International Committee of the Red Cross – to investigate the actions of their Israeli partner organisations.

A group of UK doctors launched a campaign earlier this year demanding that the World Medical Association expel the Israeli Medical Association for failing to act against Israeli doctors involved in the torture of Palestinians.

israeli_doctorsBritish Doctors demanded World Medical Association remove Israeli Medical Association this year for regular medical torture   practices.

A number of reports by human rights groups suggest that, in violation of medical ethics, Israeli doctors are treating Palestinians who have been tortured in Israel’s prisons and interrogation centres. The documented abuses range from physical and sexual assaults.

A spokesman for the World Medical Association told Al-Jazeera it was not aware of the new allegations and would be discussing them with the Israeli Medical Association.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Magen David Adom was an “independent” emergency service and any issues would be “addressed internally” by the movement.

Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian politician and physician, said there was overwhelming evidence that Israeli ambulance crews were “consistently and systematically” denying treatment to wounded Palestinians.

“Israel should be removed from the [International Committee of the] Red Cross for these violations until it is prepared to follow internationally accepted codes of conduct,” said Barghouti.

(Source / 22.04.2016)

Saudi has its first ambassador to Israel

Last week, Israeli officials revealed Saudi pledged to protect Israel

Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal was welcomed warmly by Israeli officials as he signed memorandum of understanding to become first Saudi ambassador to Israel.

Meanwhile, Anadolu reported Bin Talal as saying: “I am indeed proud to be the first Saudi ambassador to this beautiful country. Israel is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.”

Agencies -Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal was welcomed warmly by Israeli officials as he signed memorandum of understanding to become first Saudi ambassador to Israel.

Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely said: “We are so delighted today to see that Arab mentality changes and the Arab states do not consider Israel as their enemy anymore.”

She continued speaking to AFP: “We must work diligently to expunge past’s bitter memories and help the Arab nations to develop and embrace democracy.”

Meanwhile, Anadolu reported Bin Talal as saying: “I am indeed proud to be the first Saudi ambassador to this beautiful country. Israel is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.”

He added: “I can express my appreciation of lofty ethics which Israel’s founding fathers built this country upon.”

The multi-billionaire and media tycoon went on: “Today, we laid the ground for a peaceful Middle-East, where the next generations can live in wonderful harmony and absolute religious tolerance.”

He referred to 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut and the Saudi peace initiative, saying the Saudi monarch will recognise the State of Israel as a Jewish nation according to the two-state solution, noting that the only obstacle to this bright future is Iran.

The Saudi Arabia has bought a luxurious three-story building in David Flusser Street 14, in the vicinity of US Consulate in Jerusalem and the Saudi prince shall begin his task after an official banquet, inviting Israel President Rivlin and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli MKs.

Last week, Israeli officials revealed that Saudi Arabia had pledged to commit to the terms of the peace accords signed between Israel and Egypt in 1978.

(Source / 22.04.2016)

Imprisoned Physicist Loses Kidney to Cancer, Must Be Released Permanently


Omid Kokabee’s Life Endangered by Years of Denied Medical Care in Iran Prison

April 21, 2016—Omid Kokabee, the young physicist who has been imprisoned in Iran for over 5 years for his refusal to work on military research, underwent surgery on April 20, 2016 to completely remove his right kidney, which was in an advanced stage of cancer.

Omid Kokabee should be immediately released permanently and unconditionally, so that he may receive full medical treatment, ending this long injustice that has directly endangered his life, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

“Kokabee’s cancer is a direct result of the years of denied medical care in prison,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Campaign.

“How many more political prisoners will be effectively given a death sentence because the authorities in Iran punish them further by withholding medical care?” asked Ghaemi.

An informed source told the Campaign that doctors treating Kokabee said because of the advanced stage of the cancer, he had to undergo immediate surgery. Kokabee’s right kidney was removed in Sina Hospital in Tehran yesterday.

The source said that the young scientist remained in pain after the surgery and that treatment of his multiple other illnesses, including serious digestive illness, had been put on hold while the cancer was being addressed.

Kokabee’s cancer was only recently diagnosed because prison authorities had refused to treat his repeated reports of pain, bleeding and other complications for years following multiple bouts of kidney stones. The family’s repeated requests over the past several months for medical furlough (temporary leave) for testing and treatment were denied. He was not transferred to specialists in hospital, but rather given painkillers in the prison infirmary, until his condition became critical and he was finally taken to hospital. As a result, a large malignant tumor in his kidney progressed.

In an April 2013 open letter from Evin Prison to Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, Kokabee wrote that he was imprisoned for refusing an offer from the Iranian intelligence establishment to collaborate on a military research project. Kokabee is currently serving a ten-year sentence for “contact with enemy states.”

“Kokabee has been eligible for parole for two years, yet judicial authorities have refused to release him,” said Ghaemi, “Rouhani must press the Judiciary to answer for this.”

Thirty-one Nobel Physics laureates called for his release in October 2014, the American Physical Society awarded their 2014 Andrei Sakharov Prize to Kokabee, and the Committee of Concerned Scientists published an open letter on January 30, 2016 to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling for Kokabee’s unconditional release.

(Source / 22.04.2016)

Netanyahu threatens to fire Bennett during row over West Bank policy

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to fire Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday after he objected to the Cabinet’s agenda, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported yesterday.

An informed source said a heated dispute erupted when Bennett demanded the meeting begin by addressing the ongoing contact between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority security apparatus to reduce the Israeli military forces in Areas A of the West Bank.

According to the paper, Netanyahu replied that there is an order to the discussions, and that the matter would be discussed at the end of the meeting.

Bennett said he had received a firm commitment from Netanyahu on Sunday that the issue would be raised at the meeting, and that he was shocked when the agenda was read out and the issue was not there.

The paper said Bennett raised his voice, and Netanyahu reacted angrily, stressing that he was the one running the meeting. “I recommend that you stop, or calm down and begin to act like a minister, or I will fire you,” he reportedly said.

Bennett responded: “Do what you want. I will continue to make my views on security issues heard.”

According to the paper, Netanyahu eventually backed down, discussing the issue at length.

The prime minister’s office issued a statement following the meeting saying: “The prime minister, defence minister and chief of staff made clear that the IDF reserves, and will reserve, the right to enter Area A and anywhere needed according to operational needs, and that there is no other agreement with the Palestinians.”

(Source / 22.04.2016)

Israeli court sentences journalist to seven months

JENIN, (PIC)– Israeli court on Thursday sentenced Mujahid al-Saadi, correspondent of “Palestine Today” satellite channel, to seven months in addition to a fine of 5000 shekels ($1300). Journalist Saadi was arrested on January 12 this year from his home in Jenin. He was an ex-detainee who spent over five years in Israeli jails.  Israeli Occupation Authorities are detaining 19 Palestinian journalists. Some of them are held under the illegal administration detention with no charges or trials and the others are sentenced to different periods.

(Source / 22.04.2016)

Syrian Coalition Condemns Targeting of Civilians in Qamishli

The Syrian Coalition strongly condemned the targeting of civilians and residential areas in the town of Qamishli, where casualties were reported as a result of the ongoing clashes between regime forces and militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the town.

The Coalition warned that the regime is attempting to sow discord and division among Syrians, a policy the regime has pursued since the start of the revolution against its rule.

The Coalition expressed its solidarity with the people of Qamishli, especially the families of the victims. It also wished the wounded speedy recovery. The Coalition called on the Syrian people to stand united against the Assad regime in the battle for freedom and dignity.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 22.04.2016)

Facebook removes Hamas’ West Bank pages

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Facebook administration has removed for the third time a number of news pages dedicated to supporters of Hamas Movement in the West Bank in a clear bias to Israel. The removed pages include the Islamic Bloc official page, and political prisoners in PA jails official page, in addition to several other fan pages that were dedicated to the group’s supporters in West Bank cities and towns. Facebook administration had earlier closed fan and news pages affiliated with Hamas Movement twice since the outbreak of Jerusalem Intifada in October 2015.

(Source / 22.04.2016)

20 Palestinians detained in Jerusalem amidst tightened Passover security

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces continued their detention campaign across occupied East Jerusalem in predawn raids Friday, detaining at least 20 Palestinians, as the Israeli authorities announced tightened security measures for the Jewish holiday of Passover.Local sources identified those detained in East Jerusalem early Friday as Mahmoud Dweik — whose wedding was scheduled to take place Friday, Omar al-Zaanin,Thaer Zghayyar, Ahmad al-Hashlamun, Muhammad Najib, Ahmad Rajabi, Mumen Hashim, Ahmad Badriyyeh, Mamun Ghaith, Muhammad al-Shalabi, Ahmad al-Bayyumi, Muhammad Ziyad, Muhammad Jaber, Ahmad al-Shawish, Mahmoud al-Shawish, Ibrahim al-Natsheh, Munir al-Ajliouni, Amjad Abu Snineh, Muhammad Bayyumi, and Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh.The raids come after Israeli forces injured 16 Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas during predawn raids in occupied East Jerusalem Thursday.Israeli police announced tightened security measures in a statement Friday morning for the Jewish Passover holiday, with extra police units deployed in public areas and an emphasis on East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli forces also implemented complete closures on crossings in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip for Palestinians on the holiday. The closure began midnight Thursday and is to be in effect until midnight Saturday.Only humanitarian, medical, and other exceptional cases would be allowed to cross after obtaining approval from Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the police statement added.
Israeli forces have intensified raids in East Jerusalem in the past several days since an explosive devicewent off in a Jerusalem bus on Monday, injuring 20 Israelis and killing a 19-year-old Palestinian responsible for for the attack.Separately, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron overnight Thursday for suspected illegal activities, an Israeli army spokesperson said.
An average of 96 search and detention operations have been carried out by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of 2016. According to prisoners’ right group Addameer, there are 7,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, and 700 Palestinians being held in administrative detention — internment without trial or charge.
(Source / 22.04.2016)