3,443 Palestinian refugees killed in Syrian warfare


The London-based Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) kept record of the death of 3,443 Palestinian refugees in the raging Syrian warfare, according to a Saturday report.

According to AGPS data, 3,443 Palestinian refugees, including 455 women, died of war-related incidents in Syria since mid March 2011.

AGPS watchdog also kept account of the incarceration of 1,164 Palestinian refugees in Syrian government penitentiaries, among whom 83 female refugees whose fate has been shrouded in mystery.

Meanwhile, 301 Palestinian refugees have gone missing in war-torn Syria.

At the same time, nearly 79,000 Palestinian refugees reached Europe until mid 2016 while 31,000 refugees have sought shelter in Lebanon.

AGPS added that 17,000 Palestinians are taking refuge in Jordan, 6,000 in Egypt, 8,000 in Turkey, and 1,000 in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

(Source / 19.02.2017)

Massive military maneuvers in al-Khalil


Israeli occupation forces are carrying out massive maneuvers in al-Khalil since last Monday, according to Israeli channel 7 on Saturday.

These maneuvers are in preparation to foil any Palestinian attack such as vehicular-ramming, throwing Molotov Cocktails, and shooting, the channel added.

Platoon 890, responsible for al-Khalil and Kiryat Arba, is participating in the military training. Two other platoons and a tracking and intelligence unit are also involved in the maneuvers.

(Source / 19.02.2017)

Turkey: Send US Special Forces to northern Syria

Foreign Minister Cavusoglu says the proposed move would help moderate Syrian opposition forces fight against Daesh

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu addresses the delegates at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 19, 2017 [Ahmet Gumus - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a panel discussion within the “Munich Security Conference” in Munich, Germany on February 19, 2017

Turkey proposed that the US should send its own Special Forces to northern Syria to back moderate opposition forces fighting against Daesh, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday.

In his address to the Munich Security Conference, Cavusoglu called on the US and other allies to end their support for the terrorist PKK’s Syrian offshoot, PYD, and instead support the moderate opposition forces in a stronger way.

“Two days ago [US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] Gen. [Joseph] Dunford was in Ankara to discuss all these technical issues. Yes, we proposed to the US to put their Special Forces on the ground to support the local moderate forces,” he said.

Cavusoglu underlined that the right group to support in the fight against Daesh should be the Syrian moderate opposition forces instead of the PYD/YPG, which are affiliated with the terrorist group PKK seeking an independent state.

“Cooperating with a terrorist organisation in our fight against another terrorist organisation is very dangerous,” he said.

“That is the mistake the previous administration in the US made. They gave weapons to YPG and PKK got some of the weapons. And PKK used those weapons in their terrorist attacks in Turkey,” he said.

Cavusoglu highlighted the success of the Syrian moderate opposition forces in the Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield in which Free Syrian Army fighters liberated significant areas along the Turkish border from Daesh, including large parts of Al-Bab in Syria’s Aleppo province.

“We are about to take back Al-Bab. After Al-Bab, we can take back Raqqah together,” he said, referring to the stronghold of the terrorist group Daesh in northern Syria.

The Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield began in late August 2016 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.

Cavusoglu called on partners from the anti-Daesh international coalition to send their special forces for the planned ground offensive to retake Raqqah.

“Why are we relying on a terrorist organisation in our fight?” he asked, referring to the US military’s support for the PKK/PYD terror under ex-President Barack Obama’s administration, which saw the group as its ground ally against Daesh in Syria.

Read: Turkish PM, US vice president discuss improving ties

“We are 65 countries in the coalition against Daesh, and only Turkey has 600,000 troops. Are 65 countries not strong enough, or vigilant enough to defeat one terrorist organisation Daesh, and we rely on another terrorist organisation?” he asked.

Cavusoglu underlined that PKK/PYD’s main interest was not to defeat Daesh, but to gain more territory and to create its own cantons or an independent state.

(Source / 19.02.2017)

I.C.S.P.R: The Israeli Crime in Um al-Hiran village an attitude involve Forced Migration based on Racial Discrimination and Abuse of International Law.


International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (I.C.S.P.R) noted with concern committing the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in Wednesday dawn 18th January 2017, a new crime in Um al-Hiran village in Negev, by breaking and surrounding the village in order to demolish houses and evacuate residents, following the issuance of the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court  “evacuation of Palestinian residents of the village to start setting up an Israeli settlement on its ashes.”

And accompany it with security forces army surrounded the village to fire different types of shot at the protesters and demonstrators of the villagers, on the demolition plan and forced them to migrate, what led to the execution of a youth Jacob Moussa Hussein Abo Al-Qiaa’n , and several people wounded, including  the deputy in Joint List at the  Knesset Ayman Odeh.

A home to some 400 Palestinian families, Um al-Hiran has been increasingly subjected to demolish their homes and forcefully evicted from their land in order to uproot the village and deport its native Palestinian residents, setting the stage for building Jewish settlement on the ruins on this Palestinian village.

This new Israeli crime comes meanwhile continuing Military Israeli occupation practicing the settlement crime including operations of illegal annexation of the occupied territories, forced migration of the residents from their lands and ethnic cleansing, Israeli practices have created an apartheid system, which the settlers have privileges and the State support including the Israeli judiciary organs , depriving the Palestinians from their basic human rights.

International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (I.C.S.P.R) condemns the Israeli crime committed in Um Al-Hiran village in Negev, and recall the international community of  the Security Council resolution, which demand the Military Israeli occupation to stop settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, It demand the following:

  1. I.C.S.P.R demand the international community especially the Security Council to intervene to force Israel to stop all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, forced migration and racial discrimination crimes.
  2. I.C.S.P.R emphasizes that all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories and the racial discrimination crimes are considered a war crime under international humanitarian law.
  3. I.C.S.P.R considers that Israeli crime in Um Al- Hiran village, carrying clear Israeli contempt in international resolutions and international law.
  4. I.C.S.P.R consider the International community silence about the Israeli racist practices; give it the green light to continue its racism projects and its crimes against Palestinian human and his land.

(Source / 19.02.2017)

Israeli forces close main road leading to several villages near Ramallah


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday morning closed the gate to the main entrance of the village of Nabi Salih in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah that leads to several Palestinian villages and towns, forcing commuters to use take lengthy detours.Locals said Palestinian vehicles and pedestrian were prohibited from passing through the gate, which leads to the villages of Nabi Salih, Beit Rima, Deir Ghassana, and Kafr Ein. They added that Israeli troops deployed heavily near the gate.

Most commuters used a long route near the village of Abud to travel to the city of Ramallah for work or study.Israeli forces deployed at the gate did not give an explanation to locals regarding the motive for the closure. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they would look into the case.
Palestinian communities are routinely subjected to arbitrary road closures by Israeli military forces for purported “security reasons,” an act which rights groups have denounced as amounting to collective punishment.
(Source / 19.02.2017)

Egyptian lawyer files lawsuit against settling Palestinians in Sinai


Egyptian lawyer Khalid Ali

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A group of Egyptian human rights lawyers have filed a lawsuit to prevent the establishment of “foreign settlements” in the Sinai Peninsula, following reports that Israel was discussing the option of forcibly resettling Palestinians to the Egyptian territory in lieu of establishing a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank.

Prominent human rights lawyer and activist Khalid Ali announced on Facebook on Saturday that he, along with other human rights lawyers including Tariq al-Awadi and Malik Adli, had filed the case in an Egyptian administrative court.
The suit comes days after Israeli Minister Ayoub Kara said on Twitter that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would discuss with US President Donald Trump an alleged proposal by Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi to establish an independent Palestinian state in Gaza that extended into the Sinai Peninsula.
Netanyahu and Egyptian authorities denied such plans existed.
However, Ali argued that “The suggestion of settling Palestinians in Sinai is not a dream or illusion, but rather a serious plan adopted by the Zionist entity (Israel) to move all residents of the West Bank to Sinai.”
Ali said Israeli motivations behind such a move would be to ultimately make Jerusalem the state of Israel’s undivided capital — denying Palestinian claims to the occupied city — insisting that “this is why we need to take serious steps towards resisting this plan.”
The lawyer cited decrees issued by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2002 and 2004 that approved an agreement with the Union for the Mediterranean to resettle citizens from a “third nation” in Egyptian lands, as a potential legal precedent that could pave the way for the alleged Israeli-Egyptian plan.
Ali said that his lawsuit called for the cancellation of Mubarak’s decrees, and called on al-Sisi to issue a new decree prohibiting the settlement of any foreign nationals in Sinai.
Ali’s colleague Adli told Egyptian state-run media outlet Ahram Online that since there was “no transparency” in Egyptian government policy, as evidenced by the Tiran and Sanafir agreement, “we need to take precautionary actions using the tools at our disposal as lawyers.”
“We welcome any Palestinian refugees, but not in a border area of national security concern, and because this does not comply with Egypt’s historical position supporting the two-state solution and the preservation of the Palestinian identity,” Adli said, adding that such a plan “would be solving the Israeli problem, and not the Palestinian one.”
In a statement to privately owned Egyptian TV channel DMC late on Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Abu Zeid affirmed that Egypt’s stance on the two-state solution was “clear and known to all parties,” asserting that the two-state solution was the basis of the current international consensus in both the United Nations Security Council and the Quartet on the Middle East — the European Union, the UN, Russia, and the US.
“(Egypt’s position) goes in line with the aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state on their own land with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Abu Zeid reportedly said.
However, the stability of the international community’s commitment to the two-state solution took a major blow when the newly instated US president Donald Trump casually stated Wednesday that he could “live with either” a one- or two-state solution during his first press conference with Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, a growing number of Palestinian activists have also criticized the two-state solution as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace given the existing political context, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.
(Source / 19.02.2017)

Hunger striker Muhammad al-Qiq held in ‘grave-like’ prison cell, lawyer says


HEBRON (Ma’an) — Imprisoned Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike for two weeks, has been held by Israel in a “grave-like” prison cell, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Al-Qiq, who lives in Ramallah and is originally from Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was released from prison in May last year after having gone without food for a grueling 94 days — to protest his administrative detention at the time.
However, al-Qiq was redetained in mid-January after he participated in a protest in the West Bank city of Bethlehem demanding the release of bodies of slain Palestinians held in Israeli custody, and once again placed under administrative detention — internment without trial or charges.
Al-Qiq’s lawyer, Khalid Zabarqa, told Ma’an that he was finally allowed to visit al-Qiq on Sunday, after awaiting a response from Israeli intelligence for ten days to grant him access to the detainee at the Kishon detention center in northern Israel.
“Al-Qiq is held in a small cell measuring barely four square meters and lacking the minimum basic living requirements,” Zabarqa said, adding that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) had “refused to provide al-Qiq with winter clothes and sheets, leaving him unable to sleep due to low temperatures.”
He added that al-Qiq was also suffering from dizziness, loss of balance, and back pain.
Israel was deliberately imposing tough detention conditions on al-Qiq to coerce him into ending his hunger strike, Zabarqa claimed.
According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun, Israeli authorities had not garnered confessions or issued charges against al-Qiq as of late January, although they had earlier expressed that they were investigating him for alleged “incitement” on social media, amid a crackdown on freedom of expression among Palestinian activists and journalists.
Al-Qiq’s previous imprisonment by Israel — widely condemned by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and other rights groups — and subsequent hunger strike cast a spotlight on Israel’s use of administrative detention, its arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinians, and the concerted targeting of Palestinian journalists.
Al-Qiq was one of a number of prominent Palestinian hunger strikers in 2016, who included the Balboul brothers who went without food for 77 and 79 days, Malik al-Qadi for 68 days, Bilal Kayid for 71 days.
While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
According to Addameer, as of January, 6,500 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 536 of whom were being held under administrative detention.
(Source / 19.02.2017)

Algerian President: Algeria Will Overcome All Challenges and Difficulties

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika gestures during a swearing-in ceremony in Algiers April 28, 2014

Algiers – President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika said on Saturday that the country was able to achieve national unity and inclusive reconciliation. He called on the Algerian people to go massively to the polls in the legislative elections of May 4.

On the occasion of the National Day of the Martyr, Mohamed Ali Boughazi, Bouteflika’s advisor, read a message on behalf of the president in which he said that Algeria will overcome all challenges and difficulties, adding that the Algerian youths are aware and will not follow those who want to destabilize the country and spread strife.

“As we are celebrating our country’s glorious history on this National Martyr Day, our people are getting ready for the legislative elections to vote for their representatives at the People’s National Assembly, and I seize this opportunity to call on the children of our country to exert their right to choose their deputies by going massively to the polls,” Bouteflika added.

The president reiterated that the Algerian people’s free and sovereign choice will be respected within the framework of the Constitution and Law.

He added that the sovereignty, right to preside our country, and freedom of individuals]cdfr are the fruit of heavy sacrifices made by one and a half million martyrs who died in order for Algeria to live and its people enjoy the benefits of liberty and independence.

Former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, President of Talaïe El Hourriyet, also spoke on the occasion of Martyr Day during a ceremony organized by the Territorial Party Office in Oran.

Benlfis said that if the martyr returned today he would be overwhelmed with anguish at the sight of Algeria and he would be in despite to see that freedoms are not achieved.

“If the martyr came back to us today, he would be in despair, he who has never despaired, to see that rights, freedoms and citizenship of which he sacrificed his life to impose in our country, are not achieved,” Benlfis stated.

Benflis, who opposes Bouteflika, said that even in 21st century, Algeria is still an archaic country and hasn’t developed economically or socially.

He stressed that: “If the martyr came back to us, today he would have many reasons to regret and anguish the unfortunate fate of our country.”

(Source / 19.02.2017)

Energy Authority charges GPA with procrastination in fuel entry


Palestinian Energy Authority in Gaza charged the General Petroleum Authority (GPA) in Ramallah with procrastination as regards the entry of enough amounts of fuel into the blockaded enclave.

In a press statement on Saturday, the Gaza Authority held the GPA responsible for the irregular power supply in Gaza Strip due to its arbitrary procedures. It appealed to competent authorities to pressure the GPA in order to improve the power service.

The procrastination in entering fuel into Gaza coincided with the stormy weather which doubled electrical loads, which, coupled with the rupture of the Egyptian power lines, resulted in disorganization in the power distribution schedule, the statement pointed out.

(Source / 19.02.2017)

15-year-old child among 9 Palestinians kidnapped by IOF at daybreak


At least nine Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) from the West Bank and Jerusalem at daybreak Sunday.

The Israeli occupation army claimed, in a statement, responsibility for the abduction of three Palestinians from Ramallah’s northeastern town of Silwad at predawn time on allegations of involvement in anti-occupation activities.

A PIC news correspondent confirmed the piece of news, adding that the three Palestinians were kidnapped by the IOF from their own homes.

15-year-old child Amjad Hamed was reportedly among the three Silwad arrestees.

The Israeli occupation soldiers further stormed Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, and wreaked havoc on civilian homes, before they kidnapped four Palestinian youngsters.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers and policemen broke into Jerusalem’s northeastern town of Hizma and kidnapped the Palestinian youngster Ali Askar. Others were summoned to questioning in the assault.

Another Palestinian youth—Ihab Abu Dheim—was kidnapped by the Israeli forces from his family home in Jabal al-Mukabbir, in Occupied Jerusalem.

The occupation troops also stormed Nablus’s Old City and Ourata village and rummaged into civilian homes and commercial shops. Several Palestinians had been subjected to exhaustive questioning in the process.

According to eye-witnesses, the IOF broke into the Old City of Nablus in over 20 army jeeps via the western entrance to the city, triggering panic among civilians.

At the same time, a number of Palestinians choked on teargas shortly after the Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank province of Qalqilya and attacked the anti-occupation protesters with randomly-shot spates of teargas grenades.

The Palestinian protesters reportedly responded to the attack by hurling stones at the heavily-armed occupation patrols.

A round of home break-ins was carried out by the IOF all the way through the assault.

(Source / 19.02.2017)