Coalition Condemns Iran Bombing, Says Iran Seeking to Reach Warm Waters & Extend Its Influence

Officials in the Syrian Coalition condemned the Iranian bombings on Deir Ezzor province, stressing that this act is intended to serve Tehran’s plans to extend its influence to the Mediterranean.

Iran bombing of Deir Ezzor province has spelled out “new developments” in the Syria, said Oqab Yahya, member of the Coalition’s political committee. He added that this act “raises questions about Iran’s role in the war on terror.” Yahya also said that Iran bears primary responsibility for the daily terrorist practices against the Syrian people.

Yahya pointed out “the responsibility to fight ISIS in Syria is supposed to rest with the international anti-ISIS coalition,” Yahya said, adding that there are questions to be answered by the international coalition forces about Iran’s bombing of Deir Ezzor.

Likewise, member of the Coalition’s political committee Muhammad Dandal said that Iran’s firing of ballistic missiles on Deir Ezzor province serves its goals to link Tehran to Damascus through Baghdad. He pointed out that Tehran’s mullah regime is seeking to silently take control of Deir Ezzor through the militias it funds in Iraq and Syria.

Dandal stressed the need for action by Arab countries, especially by the Gulf countries, to stand against Iran’s expansionist, sectarian project, warning of the dangers of Iranian plans to take control of new areas where it previously had no role, such as Mosul, Anbar and Deir Ezzor.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 19.06.2017)

PFLP calls Netanyahu war criminal over ongoing crackdown after Jerusalem attack

War criminal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sept. 20, 2015

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have continued to face harsh condemnation after enforcing severe security measures in the occupied Palestinian territory in the wake of a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, in which three Palestinians were shot dead after an Israeli border policewoman was fatally stabbed.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a war criminal on Sunday, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) also strongly condemned the measures, stressing that “they fall within the collective punishment policy, which is prohibited in the international human rights law.”
After it was revealed that the three Palestinians — Baraa Ibrahim Saleh, 18, Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, 18, and Usama Ahmad Ata, 19 — were from the occupied West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashaal, the town was subsequently placed under curfew and lockdown, and has been subjected to multiple military raids since.
The initial predawn military raid that followed the attack sparked clashes, during which at least two locals were shot and injured.
Meanwhile, main streets and business in around Jerusalem’s Old City, where the killings occurred, have been forced to close, as Palestinians with West Bank IDs have been rounded up and sent home on special Israeli police buses after Netanyahu revoked 250,000 family visitation permits that had been issued for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
According to PCHR, Israeli forces said that merchants in the Old City would be fined over 40,000 shekels ($11,345) if they opened for business, while Israeli police said 350 Palestinians were detained and deported to the West Bank over the course of Saturday alone.
PCHR highlighted the violent manner in which Israeli forces enforced the crackdown on Jerusalem — expected to remain in force until the end of Ramadan — with Israeli officers chasing civilians, firing sound bombs, and even assaulting some bystander and journalists.
PCHR also denounced measures in Deir Abu Mashaal, where the families of the slain Palestinians face imminent displacement as their homes are slated to be punitively demolished, while they have also had all of their Israeli-issued permits revoked — including long-term work permits.
According to PCHR, the six of Ata’s family members live in a 150-square-meter home, while 10 of Ankoush’s relatives live in a 110-square-meter home, and six of Saleh’s family members life in a 140-square-meter house — meaning that a total of 22 people would be left homeless by the punitive demolitions in spite of not having been charged with any wrongdoing.
The PFLP, the leftist PLO faction that claimed partial responsibility for the attack, released a statementSunday, denouncing Netanyahu as a war criminal for the crackdown.
Saleh and Ata were said to be PFLP members, while Adel Ankoush was said to be a member of Hamas. However, Netanyahu’s office claimed on Sunday that one of the slain men was in fact affiliated to the Fatah movement, without specifying which assailant it was referring to. Unconfirmed reports on social media quoted Ata’s family as saying that their son belonged to Fatah.
The PFLP denounced Israel’s widely condemned policy of punitive home demolitions, saying it “has never succeeded in smothering the spirit of resistance or breaking the popular support of the masses of our people. Instead, these attacks only fuel the flame of intifada and resistance.”
The statement said that punitive demolitions and the “unprecedented action” taken against Jerusalem and Deir Abu Mashaal were just empty threats made by the Israeli prime minister “in an attempt to again cover up the corruption charges that have arisen once more.”
The PFLP also condemned “the heavily armed forces of the Israeli police that stormed the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque, attacking worshipers and imposing closure on the Damascus Gate area,” referring to a violent raid of the holy site on Sunday.
The PLO faction called on the Palestinian masses to break the siege on Jerusalem and Deir Abu Mashaal, and called on “all to turn any home demolitions into a battle with the enemy to prevent and stop this policy and expose it before the world.”
The PFLP issued a warning to “the Zionist enemy,” saying that “for every demolished home in Deir Abu Mashaal, Palestinian fighters will emerge from the rubble of these homes to respond to the crime.”
The Israeli government has long faced criticism for its response to attacks, with rights groups saying severe security measures amount to collective punishment and a violation of international law.
In June 2016, in the wake of a shooting attack in Tel Aviv that left four Israelis dead, Israel imposed similarly severe punitive measures across the occupied Palestinian territory in what the UN said could have amounted to collective punishment.
(Source / 19.06.2017)

Tension soars as Israeli president tours Jerusalem’s Bab al-Amoud

Reuven Rivlin

The Israeli President Reuven Rivlin toured Bab al-Amoud area in Occupied Jerusalem on Monday under heavy police escort.

At the early morning hours, the Israeli occupation authorities uprooted trees from Suleiman Orchard, in Sultan Suleiman Street, between Bab al-Amoud and Bab al-Sahira.

Over the past four days, the Israeli occupation forces have cordoned off the area following the death of three Palestinian anti-occupation youths and a female Israeli soldier.

(Source / 19.06.2017)

Media Office: Reducing Gaza power supply crime against humanity

Without electricity

The governmental media office in Gaza condemned the Israeli reduction of electricity feed to the Gaza Strip by 8 megawatts out of the 120 megawatts Israel supplies to the Gaza Strip over power lines.

In a statement on Monday, the media office warned of the consequences of power supply reduction decision, deepening the current energy crisis, which was made upon request by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah.

The statement held both Israeli and Palestinian authorities responsible for the consequences of such a serious move. Reducing power supply to Gaza is a crime against humanity, the media office highlighted.

The statement slammed the PA in Ramallah for giving up its duties stipulated in the Palestinian Basic Law and for its refusal to end the Palestinian internal division.

(Source / 19.06.2017)

PCHR: 95% of Gazans are denied movement out of Gaza

95% Gazans cannot travel

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) warned on Monday of the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip as a result of the ongoing Israeli siege imposed on the freedom of movement in and out of Gaza, affirming that this deprives more than 95% of Gazans from moving between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank or abroad.

The Center said in a statement on Monday that Rafah crossing on the borders with Egypt has been closed for more than 3 months furthering the suffering of the Gazan citizens, particularly thousands of humanitarian cases whose health conditions have worsened.

It pointed out that more than 30,000 people are still waiting for the crossing to be opened again, the majority of whom are patients who do not receive the needed treatment in the poorly equipped Gaza hospitals, university students in Egypt or other countries, and other citizens who have visas or residence permits in other countries.

According to the PCHR, Rafah crossing was closed for 156 days and opened for 10 days in both directions only for those returning to the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2017. During that period, 6,209 people were able to travel while 9,052 returned to Gaza.

It stressed that Israel’s 11-year blockade constitutes an illegal collective punishment against two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and a flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law, adding that Israel, being the occupying power, must provide the basic needs of the people living in the territories it occupies, including Gaza.

The PCHR appealed to Egypt to respond to the humanitarian needs of the Gazan people and to provide the necessary facilities for their movement to and out of the Gaza Strip via Egypt.

(Source / 19.06.2017)

Deir Abu Meshal under IOF siege for the fourth day

Siege Deir Abu Meshal 4th day

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued its siege which has been imposed on Deir Abu Mashal village, west of Ramallah, for the fourth day in a row amid large-scale storming and demolition operations.

Head of Deir Abu Meshal council, Imad Zahran, said that IOF soldiers closed the entrances to the village by sand and rocks, isolating the village from the world. The Israeli troops assault Palestinians at the village entrances and subject them to field investigation, he added.

Zagran pointed out that the continuation of the siege affected the inhabitants especially in the holy fasting month of Ramadan and the upcoming occasion of Eid al-Fitr which starts next Sunday. He opined that the siege aims at enforcing collective punishment against the Palestinian civilians in Deir Abu Meshal village.

The village came under Israeli siege following the stabbing and shooting attack that was carried out by three teenagers from the village in Occupied Jerusalem on Friday that killed an Israeli female soldier. The three teens were all killed in the incident.

(Source / 19.06.2017)

Israeli forces crack down on Palestinian civilians in Jenin

Checkpoint Jenin

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at noontime Monday sealed off southern Jenin with makeshift checkpoints and cracked down on Palestinian civilians.

According to local sources, Israeli military troops cordoned off the main entrance to al-Tarm village, near Jenin’s southern town of Yabad, and subjected Palestinian civilians and vehicles to intensive inspection.

At the same time, Palestinian youth Adam Sharkawi was kidnapped by the occupation soldiers from al-Zababda, east of Jenin, as he passed through a military checkpoint pitched on the main access road to the town.

Overnight, the IOF kidnapped the Palestinian young man Rashad Jarar, a native of Jaba’ town, south of Jenin, from Hawara town, in Nablus.

Mohamed Jarar and Rami Jarar were also detained by the Israeli forces for hours and made to endure exhaustive interrogation at a nearby military camp.

(Source / 19.06.2017)

Pressure on Hamas will not turn people against it, insists Israeli academic

Image of the director of the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, Professor Eyal Zisser on 17 February 2014 [Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations/Facebook]

Image of the director of the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, Professor Eyal Zisser on 17 February 2014

A professor of Middle East Studies at the Moshe Dayan Centre in Tel Aviv has said that increasing the pressure on Hamas will not turn people against the movement, Al-Resalah reported on Sunday. Eyal Zisser gave his opinion in an article for Israel Today, a newspaper close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Nevertheless, he pointed out that previous experience should teach Israel that continuous pressure on Hamas will necessarily lead to ousting it or helping the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and Egypt to grab control of the Gaza Strip. “It is true that the Israeli policy towards Gaza is not ideal, but it has proved itself during the past few years,” he added.

Read: Former Israeli minister calls for dialogue with Hamas

“Israel accepts Hamas control of Gaza despite its disadvantages, but it continues putting pressure on it to the degree before the level of collapse,” Zisser explained, noting that this would continue as long as the borders with Gaza are secure and calm.


“The crisis in Gaza reminds the Israelis that there are tension indicators,” the academic suggested, “and the possibility of a new military confrontation on the border with the enclave during the summer.”

Zisser claimed that the international community blames the situation in Gaza on Israel because the Israeli “disengagement” — the unilateral withdrawal of illegal settlers — from Gaza in 2005 was not based on legal grounds. “This obliges Israel as the occupying power to deal with the problems caused by the reduction of services in the Gaza Strip,” he concluded. “The crisis for Israel is that it must find a solution in order not to be dragged into a new military confrontation that does not benefit it.”

(Source / 19.06.2017)

Israel begins reducing Gaza electricity supply

A Palestinian man has lit a gas lantern during a power shortage in Rafah, Gaza on 27 January 2012 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Apaimages]

A Palestinian man has lit a gas lantern during a power shortage in Rafah, Gaza on 27 January 2012

Israel began reducing its electricity feed to the Gaza Strip today adding further pressure on the enclave’s humanitarian situation.

The cutback, announced last week by the Israeli government, is expected to shorten by at least 45 minutes the daily average of four hours of power that Gaza’s two million residents receive from an electricity grid dependent on Israeli supplies, Palestinian officials said.

The Palestinian Energy Authority said the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) had cut by eight megawatts the 120 megawatts it supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Read: Timeline of Israel’s anti-Palestinian laws since 1948

An IEC spokeswoman confirmed a cutback had begun, in line with the West Bank-based Palestinian government’s decision to cover only 70 per cent of the monthly cost of Israeli electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet gave the state-owned IEC the green light to implement the reduction, saying that Israel would not cover the shortfall in PA payments.


The Palestinian Authority said it had acted because Hamas had failed to reimburse it for the electricity. But the PA’s move was widely seen as a bid to pressure Hamas to relinquish its hold on the enclave.

The power crisis in the Gaza Strip has already forced medical centres to reduce their hours and the treatments on offer.

(Source / 19.06.2017)

Algerian aid convoy heading for Gaza Strip

A convoy carrying medical and food in aid in Gaza on 18 July 2014 [Hatem Omar/Apaimages]

A convoy carrying medical and food in aid in Gaza on 18 July 2014

Algeria’s Muslim Scholars’ Association launched an aid convoy to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Anadolu has reported. The humanitarian aid will be unloaded in Egypt’s El-Arish before heading for the border crossing at Rafah.

According to association member Tihami Majory, this is the fourth such convoy that the largest independent organisation for Algerian scholars has sent to Gaza. He pointed out that preparations have been underway for two years, but the group “only received the green light from the Egyptian authorities two weeks ago.”

According to Majory, the ship contains medical aid, household appliances and school kits donated from the people of Algeria. A delegation will travel to Egypt in order to receive the ship in El-Arish and supervise its unloading and the transfer of the aid to the besieged territory.

Read: Algeria commits to paying its share of the Palestinian Authority funds

palestinian women trying to find water

(Source / 19.06.2017)