Dental students in Algeria continue hunger strike

Dental students go on hunger strike in Algeria [DR]

Dental students go on hunger strike in Algeria

Dozens of Algerian dental students are continuing their hunger strike, which they began on Tuesday, as part of a national coordinated effort to pressure the government to tackle the issue of shortages of residences, the absence of internships and calls for better quality training.

Dental students go on hunger strike in Algeria [DR]

Dental students go on hunger strike in Algeria

A dozen students in the northern city of Tizi Ouzou have volunteered to carry out the radical action with the hopes of seeing the government consider their demands more seriously.

The student hunger strikers gathered in tents set up in the courtyard of the Faculty of Medicine located opposite the Hasnaoua campus of the Mouloud Mammeri University.

Banners at the entrance of the university read: “Students on hunger strike” and “three months of strikes for legitimate demands, no response and no commitment but repression”.

The action comes a week after over a thousand dental students from around the region took part in a national march in the city. The demonstrators denounced the police repression of students at a similar gathering in Algiers last week where students were prevented from demonstrating and taken away on buses by authorities.

Dental students go on hunger strike in Algeria [DR]

Dental students go on hunger strike in Algeria

The students reaffirmed they would maintain their mobilisation until their demands, which have been ongoing since the beginning of the protest movement in December last year, are met.

Pharmacy and dental surgery students have been previously received by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal who has affirmed that the “main concerns of the majority of students are taken over by the high authorities”.

“We have only promises. We wanted something concrete. We have nothing at all,” one protesting pharmacy student explained.

(Source / 09.03.2017)

Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel closed for upcoming Jewish holiday

Erez crossing

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Erez crossing between the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel will be closed by Israeli authorities on Thursday until the completion of the Jewish holiday of Purim on Sunday, according to Palestinian sources.

Head of the media department of the Palestinian committee of civil affairs Muhammad al-Maqadma told Ma’an that Israeli authorities had informed the committee that the Erez crossing would be closed in preparations for the holiday, with the exception of urgent humanitarian cases.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that all crossings between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, including Gaza and the occupied West Bank, would be closed between midnight on Friday and midnight on Sunday.
Erez is the only land crossing between Gaza and Israel, although travel is heavily restricted by Israeli authorities as part of a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave in place since 2007.
While Palestinian business owners are occasionally allowed to enter Israel from Gaza, despite facing routine detentions at the border, most Palestinians from the blockaded territory are only permitted to enter Israel if they are in a serious humanitarian situation.
Meanwhile, Israel often implements massive closures on the Palestinian territory during Jewish holidays. Last year during Purim, Israel shut down all checkpoints between the occupied West Bank and Israel and occupied Jerusalem, and all checkpoint crossings with the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians were also restricted access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, in East Jerusalem with all Palestinian men younger than 50 denied entry to the site.
Restrictions at the mosque compound during a succession of Jewish holidays in September 2015 played a major role in triggering a wave of unrest that has since left some 250 Palestinians and 35 Israelis killed.
Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008, most recently in the summer of 2014.
The UN has said that the besieged Palestinian territory could become “uninhabitable” by 2020, as its 1.8 million residents remain in dire poverty due to the Israeli blockade that has crippled the economy, while continuing to experience slow-paced reconstruction efforts aimed at rebuilding homes for some 75,000 Palestinians who remain displaced since 2014.
(Source / 09.03.2017)

15 Palestinians detained for crossing ‘illegally’ into Israel from West Bank

Scheiding opgepakt

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police detained 15 Palestinians on Thursday for crossing from the occupied West Bank into Israel without proper documentation.

Israeli police said in a statement that the detentions were made during a raid in the village of Yirka in the western Galilee, and that the person hosting the West Bank residents in the village was also detained.
The police added that indictment lists against six of the detainees will be presented to an Israeli court on Sunday.
The identities of the detainees remained unknown.
(Source / 09.03.2017)

Myanmar: Major ethnic groups and where they live

There are 135 ethnic groups in the country but Rohingya Muslims are rendered stateless and stripped of citizenship.

Myanmar officially recognises 135 ethnic groups but Rohingya Muslims have been rendered stateless and stripped of their citizenship.

The Rohingya are often said to be the world’s most persecuted minority. They are an ethnic Muslim group in the majority Buddhist country and make up around one million of the total 50 million population.

They hail from the country’s northwest and speak a Bengali dialect. Almost all live in Rakhine, one of the poorest states, with a population of three million.

About 140,000 Rohingya in the Rakhine state live in ghetto-like camps that they cannot leave without government permission.

Below is a map of the country showing where each major ethnic group tends to live.

rohingya ethnic groups myanmar muslims infographic

(Source / 09.03.2017)

Israel to buy US warplanes, helicopters


The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) are preparing for two major deals with the US, including the procurement of aircraft designed to renew its stock of warplanes and transportation helicopters, Israeli media sources revealed Thursday.

Most of the money for the procurement will come from $3.33 billion US aid money allocated for the F-35 projects and missile inventory, the sources pointed out.

The exact budget for buying the planes will become clear only after the budget is divided in the framework of the Gideon multi-year plan and the beginning of implementation of the new aid agreement in 2018.

For a long time, the IOF had wanted to replace its F-15s, manufactured by Boeing, with a better version of the aircraft equipped with an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system. This aircraft does not have stealth capabilities, but it can carry larger payloads, has advanced attack capabilities, and is operated by a two-man crew, which is an advantage in complex missions. The twin-engine warplane can continue operating even when one of the engines is disabled.

The new F-15s cost $100 million a plane. They are more advanced than the F-15s purchased from the US by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in recent years.

Israel insisted that the US refrain from selling the new version to Qatar in order to maintain the Israeli air force’s superiority in the Middle East, but former President Barack Obama disagreed and approved the sale of 72 of the aircraft just before he left office.

Since it first flew 40 years ago, the F-15 has undergone upgrades and facelifts. It is classified as a “strategic bomber.”

(Source / 09.03.2017)

Israel recruits 1,500 workers to speed up construction of Gaza wall

Scheidingsmuur 1000 werkers

The Israeli government decided to recruit over 1,000 foreign workers in order to speed up the construction of a separation fence around the blockaded Gaza Strip.

According to the Hebrew-speaking Yedioth Aharonot newspaper, efforts have been in full swing to finalize the construction of a wall aiming to fence off resistance tunnels along the borders between Gaza and 1948 Occupied Palestine (Israel).

Between 1,500 and 2,000 foreign workers are expected to be employed by Israel to help build the underground part of the tunnel.

The information was made public by War Ministry Director-General Udi Adam following a meeting with senior Israeli officials from settlement communities near Gaza border.

Udi Adam said the wall, for which one billion US dollars will be allocated, is expected to be completed in a couple of years.

The decision to build the 60-kilometer wall on the borderland between Gaza and Israel was announced last year.

Advanced antennas will also be attached to the wall to detect newly-dug tunnels from a very close range.

(Source / 09.03.2017)

Syrian Coalition Discusses Geneva 4 & Political Transition with Friends of Syria Group Representatives

Members of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee met with representatives of countries of the Friends of Syria group in Istanbul on Thursday to discuss the outcome of the first round of the Geneva 4 talks and latest developments in the political process.

The meeting mainly discussed the briefing presented by the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to the UN Security Council on Wednesday on the latest round of talks in Geneva. Abdul-Ahad Steifo, Vice-president of the Coalition participated in the meeting.

Member of the political committee Nasr Hariri stressed that the HNC delegation has seriously engaged in the talks in Geneva out of its realization of the need to achieve a political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the UN Security Council resolutions. He also stressed that any solution must ensure that the aspirations of the Syrian people are met.

Hariri, who is also head of the delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) to Geneva talks, pointed out that the HNC’s delegation will discuss details of the political transition, the fight against cross-border and state terror, a new constitution, and free and fair elections after a political transition has been achieved and a transitional governing body put in place with full powers.

Hariri noted that the Assad regime is still seeking to evade seriously engaging in negotiations with the aim of clinging to power and continues to escalate attacks on the Syrian people. He also said that the Assad regime will always seek to sabotage efforts aimed at achieving a transition towards a free and democratic state.

Hariri warned of the regime’s attempts to undermine the political process through stonewalling and engaging in endless discussions. He called upon the United Nations to take concrete action to force the Assad regime to engage into serious negotiations and stop evading its obligations.

For their part, representatives of the Friends of Syria group praised the performance of the Syrian opposition in the latest round of negotiations and its positive cooperation with the United Nations to discuss the implementation of international resolutions, particularly UNSC resolutions 2118 and 2254.

The representatives reaffirmed continued support for the struggle of the Syrian people to gain freedom and dignity and to build a democratic state in which the rights of all citizens are guaranteed.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 09.03.2017)

Israeli army to close off access roads to occupied land to mark Purim


A tough cordon is expected to be enforced on Friday by the Israeli occupation army around the West Bank and Jerusalem, along with Gaza crossings.

The Israeli army spokesman said the closure coincides with the celebration of the Jewish Purim holiday.

The closure is reportedly slated to be lifted on Sunday.

Purim in Israel is one of the most popular holidays. Thousands of people take to the streets, showing off their costumes which they made for the occasion.

(Source / 09.03.2017)

Gaza: Families protest Israel’s violations against fishermen

Familie Gaza vissers

The families of Palestinian fishermen have expressed their constant fear over the lives of their breadwinners who are exposed to daily attacks by the Israeli navy in Gaza waters.

This came during a protest sit-in for the mothers and wives of Gazan fishermen organized on Thursday morning by the women sector of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

The participants in the sit-in carried banners and chanted slogans condemning Israel’s daily violations against the fishermen in Gaza and calling for national and international action to protect them.

In a speech, spokeswoman for the fishermen’s families Fatima Baker called on the Palestinian Authority, and the concerned Palestinian and Arab organizations to protect the fishermen and help those affected by Israeli attacks.

Baker also demanded the Israeli occupation authority to release all detained fishermen from its jails.

For her part, DFLP official Su’aad Baker urged the international community to pressure Israel to increase the fishing zone to 12 nautical miles in Gaza waters and hold Israel’s naval commanders accountable for their crimes against Palestinian fishermen.

Member of the DFLP political bureau Talal Abu Darifa, for his part, told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the sit-in was staged to mark the International Women’s Day and to express solidarity with the mothers, wives and daughters of the fishermen in Gaza.

(Source / 09.03.2017)

Expert warns of Israeli Judaization park near Muslims 3rd holiest site


Expert in Jerusalem’s affairs Fakhri Abu Diab revealed an Israeli plan to establish a Judaization park near holy al-Aqsa Mosque, in Occupied Jerusalem.

According to Abu Diab, the park stretches from al-Sultan Pool to Ayoub Well, southwest of Jerusalem’s Old City, near al-Aqsa Mosque, and covers an overall area of 37 dunums.

The plan for the 800-meter-long park dates back to 2006, Abu Diab added. The Israeli Nature Authority has increasingly held sway over Palestinian land in the area, paving the way for the project.

Abu Diab warned that construction works to establish the park in Wadi al-Rabab had already started.

The expert said Israel has often referred to the construction of national parks as a pretext to grab more Palestinian land and wipe out the Islamic identity of Occupied Jerusalem and the environs of holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

In Abu Diab’s terms, the real threat wrought by such so-called “demographic projects” lies in severing the ties between Palestinian neighborhoods and villages across Occupied Jerusalem, as Wadi al-Rabab area has long served as a joint linking Palestinian communities across Jerusalem’s western and eastern edges.

The targeted area is also home to the largest underground water tank in Occupied Jerusalem and prominent archaeological sites dating back to the Canaanite era.

Historical documents and chronicles prove that Muslim tribes have set up roots in the area hundreds of years ago. It was named Wadi al-Rabab, which literally means the valley of fog in Arabic, in reference to the steams emanating from the warm springs found in the area.

(Source / 09.03.2017)