Palestinian Islamic Jihad condemns Western ‘tripartite aggression’ against Syria

Damascus skies erupt with surface-to-air missile fire as the United States launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus early April 14, 2018. (Photo by AP)

Damascus skies erupt with surface-to-air missile fire as the United States launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus early April 14, 2018

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement has strongly censured the recent joint airstrikes against Syria by the United States, Britain and France, criticizing some regional countries for opening up their airspace for the act of aggression.

The Gaza-based movement, in a statement released on Saturday, described the US as the root cause of all evils in the world, stressing that Washington was seeking to perpetuate chaos in the Middle East and undermine unity and coherence in the region.

The Islamic Jihad further noted that the recent missile attack on Syria was meant to provide more support to the Israeli regime and give it the green light to go ahead with its brutal terrorist policies against the Palestinian nation and other nations of the region.

The statement also reaffirmed the resistance movement’s solidarity with the Syrian government and nation, stressing that the Islamic Jihad stood by all Arab and Muslim nations in countering threats to their security, stability and unity.

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire as the United States launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus early April 14, 2018 

The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement also condemned US-led strikes in Syria as “a blatant aggression [meant] to preserve the existence of the Zionist regime” of Israel.

Hezbollah: US-led attack, flagrant violation of Syria sovereignty   

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement slammed the aerial attacks on Syria as “a flagrant violation of the country’s sovereignty.”

“The war that America is waging against Syria, against the people of the region and resistance and liberation movements, will not realize its goals,” it said in a statement.

Hezbollah also lauded Syria’s air defense for confronting the missile attack launched earlier in the day.

Additionally, Lebanon’s Amal Movement, which is a political party associated with the country’s Shia Muslim community, has condemned the joint Western attack on Syria, and describing it as a “flagrant violation of international law, and a blatant attack on the Syrian state – the founding member of the United Nations.”

A Royal Air Force tornado jet takes off in the early hours from RAF Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus to conduct airstrikes in Syria on April 14, 2018 

“The tripartite aggression maximizes the likelihood for the region to turn into a war zone. This could have serious consequences on international peace and security.

“The Amal Movement and all honorable people cannot dissociate themselves from the airstrikes on Syria, mainly because such an aggression affects the Middle East and surprisingly comes at the time when large areas of Syria’s soil have been liberated from the scourge of terrorism,” the Lebanese political party highlighted in a statement.

The airstrikes on Syria come as “Lebanon and Iraq are trying to restore their legislative entitlements, and Palestinians are pressing on their right to return and establish an independent state with al-Quds as its capital,” the statement added.

َAnsarullah: US targeting those opposing colonial schemes in ME

Moreover, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement condemned the US-led airstrikes against Syria, stating that the aggression was in line with targeting all those who oppose US and Israeli colonial schemes in the Middle East.

“The aggression on Syria attests to the generous and solid support for the Zionist regime’s occupation and criminal organizations. It testifies that Syria’s stands are against those of Americans and Zionists,” Ansarullah said in a statement.

The statement added that some regional leaders were vying with each other in submission to the US and selling out the Palestinian cause.

Ansarullah further noted that it stood by Syria and considered the missile attack on the crisis-stricken Arab country as an act of aggression against the entire Muslim world.

The Yemeni movement then called on Arab and Muslim nations to close ranks, and fulfill aspirations for a dignified and independent future.Early on Saturday, the US, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over an alleged chemical weapons attack last week against the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus. Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the Douma attack, an allegation rejected by the Syrian government.

Pentagon said in a statement that at least 58 missiles had struck Shayrat airbase in the western Syrian city of Homs. An unnamed US official said Tomahawk missiles were used in the strikes.

This picture released by the French Defense Audiovisual Communication and Production Unit (ECPAD) shows the launching of a cruise missile from a French military vessel in the Mediterranean Sea towards targets in Syria overnight on April 13-14, 2018 

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force said four Tornado GR4s fighters jets joined in the operation, while France said it had deployed Mirage and Rafale fighter jets.

Russian General Staff spokesman General Sergei Rudskoy, however, said Syrian air defense systems had intercepted at least 71 cruise missiles fired during the US-led aggression.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow on Saturday, Rudskoy said at least 103 cruise missiles, including Tomahawks, had been fired into a number of targets in Syria.

“Russia has fully restored the air defense system of Syria, and it continues to improve it over the last six months,” he said.

(Source / 14.04.2018)

Four Palestinians were killed in Israeli artillery shelling east of Rafah

Rafah killings

Four people were killed and others injured on Saturday in an Israeli artillery attack targeting a group of citizens who were riding a three-wheeled tuk tuk motorcycle east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses and a medical source in Rafah said that Israeli artillery shelled  the eastern border of Rafah targeting a group of young men who  were moving rubber tires near the eastern border of the city.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qadra the spokesman for the Ministry of Healt in Gaza said that 4 Palestinians were  killed & several others wounded  in different Israeli shelling, pointing out that the martyrs and injuries arrived to  Abu Yousef al-Najjar hospitals.

(Source / 14.04.2018)

Palestinian Press Photographer Committee : Israel targets journalists in Gaza

Target journalists

The Palestinian Press Photographers Committee calls on photojournalist committees around the world to support Palestinian photographers against as Israeli Occupation solders targeting them in the last weekes.

Palestinian Press Photographer Committee said two journalists, Ahmad Abu Hussein and Mohammad Hajjar, were shot and injured by live bullets in the abdomen and shoulder respectively as they were covering the protests at Gaza-Israel border. Abu Hussein’s injury was described as critical.

In a letter addressed to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and press photographers committees around the world, the Palestinian photojournalist’s Committee of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PCJ) called for supporting their colleagues in Palestine by organizing activities and activities that reject crimes targeting photographers in Palestine.

Palestinian Press Photographer Committee at the Journalists Syndicate denounces the deliberate targeting of Palestinian photographers working in the Gaza Strip.

The photographer has been targeted in the last two weeks began when IOF  targeting photographer Yaser Murtaja, photographer work at Ayoun media agency last Friday.

Palestinian Press Photographer Committee calls for a serious attitude by human rights organizations that sponsor freedom of the press and protect journalists.

Palestinian Press Photographer Committee sees that there is an Israeli targeting intended to journalist & Photographer  in recent days with Israeli government’s clear decision that came from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Minister of occupation army Avigdor Lieberman.

Palestinian Press Photographer Committee called on the International Federation of Journalists and Human Rights Organizations to send fact-finding and investigation committees to hold the occupation criminals accountable for their violations of human rights and journalists’ freedom by killing them.

(Source / 14.04.2018)

Thousands of Palestinians protest at Gaza-Israel border, one dead

Israeli troops have shot dead 31 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing international criticism of the lethal tactics used against them

Palestinian was killed and more than 200 others wounded during clashes with Israeli troops as thousands gathered in protest along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, Gaza officials said.

Palestinians hurled stones and burning tyres near the frontier fence, where Israeli army sharpshooters are deployed. Some in the crowd threw firebombs and an explosive device and tried cross into Israel, according to the Israeli military.

Palestinian medical officials said Israeli troops opened fire on the demonstrators, killing one and wounding 220.

An Israeli military spokesman said troops were being confronted by rioters and responded “with riot dispersal means while also firing in accordance with the rules of engagement”.

Palestinians had arrived en masse at tented camps near the frontier as a protest dubbed “The Great March of Return” – evoking a longtime call for refugees to regain ancestral homes in what is now Israel – moved into its third week.

Israeli troops have shot dead 31 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing international criticism of the lethal tactics used against them.

On Friday, groups of youths waved Palestinian flags and burnt hundreds of tyres and Israeli flags near the fenced-off border after Friday prayers. Israel has declared a no-go zone close to the Gaza border fence.

No Israelis have been killed during the demonstrations, and human rights groups say the Israeli military has used live fire against demonstrators who pose no immediate threat to life.

Israel says it is doing what it must to defend its border, and to stop any of the protesters getting across the fence.

The planned six-week protest has revived a longstanding demand for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to towns and villages from which their families fled, or were driven out, when the state of Israel was created 70 years ago.

The protest began on March 30, and is expected to culminate on May 15.

(Source / 14.04.2018)

4 Palestinians dead in Gaza explosion – health ministry

Palestinians attend the funeral ceremony of Marwan Kadeh, who was murdered by Israeli soldiers during "Great March of Return" near Gaza-Israel border, at Al-Taqwa Mosque in Khoza'a town of Khan Yunis, Gaza on 9 April, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians attend the funeral ceremony of Marwan Kadeh, who was murdered by Israeli soldiers during “Great March of Return” near Gaza-Israel border, at Al-Taqwa Mosque in Khoza’a town of Khan Yunis, Gaza on 9 April, 2018

An explosion in the southern Gaza Strip killed four Palestinians on Saturday, the local health ministry said.

Medics at the scene in the Rafah area said it was caused by an Israeli tank shell.

But an Israeli military spokesman said the army was not involved. “We have no knowledge of any Israeli strike in the area,” he said.

Local residents at the hospital morgue identified the four dead men as members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group. Islamic Jihad did not immediately confirm the men were members.

Violence has flared in the Gaza Strip since March 30, when Palestinians began protests along the border area with Israel.

Israeli troops have shot dead 31 Gaza Palestinians and wounded hundreds since the protests began, drawing international criticism of their lethal tactics.

Protesters have set up tented camps near the frontier as a protest dubbed “The Great March of Return” – evoking a longtime call for refugees to regain ancestral homes in what is now Israel – moved into its third week.

Israel has declared a no-go zone close to the Gaza border fence.

Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005. The Palestinian enclave is ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement, designated by Israel and the West as a terrorist group.

Citing security concerns, Israel maintains a naval blockade of the coastal territory, keeping tight restrictions on the movement of Palestinians and goods across the frontier.

Egypt, battling an Islamist insurgency in neighbouring Sinai, keeps its border with Gaza largely closed.

(Source / 14.04.2018)

Israel minister calls for assassination of Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad

Israel’s Housing Minister, Yoav Galant

Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant has called for Syrian regime President Bashar Al-Assad to be assassinated, Sky News reported.

Israeli media reported that Al-Assad has left his presidential palace yesterday morning accompanied by a Russian military convoy for fear of an American strike, reports Russia has denied.

In preparation for a possible US-led strike on Syria, Russia Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) yesterday recommended all Russia flights exercise caution while travelling through the eastern Mediterranean region.

“Rosaviatsiya has sent telegrams to air transport companies notifying them to give special attention to planning flights in the Eastern Mediterranean region and to the importance of notifications provided by the aviation authority to alert pilots to hazards on the flight course,” a source at the Russian organisation told TASS news agency.

The international air traffic control agency Eurocontrol has also warned flights travelling over the Eastern Mediterranean to exercise extra caution, due to possible strikes over the next 72 hours that could interrupt radio navigation systems. Most flights have avoided the area since the start of the conflict, although Syrian Air and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines continue to use Syrian airspace.

READ: Israel warns Iran not to test its determination 

(Source / 14.04.2018)



By Darius Shahtahmasebi

(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed)  The United States, France, and Britain have agreed to respond to an alleged Syrian gas attack that took place in Douma, reportedly killing dozens of people. This is despite the fact that Reuters already reported that U.S. government sources told the news outlet that the U.S. government had “not yet conclusively determined whether the attack was carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government forces.”

The media has already jumped at this opportunity to plunge western powers into yet another conflict in the Middle East, one that has no legal basis (especially if there is no evidence of Assad’s culpability). The Guardian is asking for Trump to destroy Syria’s air force. This is the same U.K.-based newspaper that deemed Trump’s election in 2016 to be a “dark day for the world.” His desire to strike Syrian territory would actually be a dark day for the Syrian people, but let’s not allow the facts get in the way of a great narrative.

Whether or not we should brace ourselves for an extensive response from these three major world powers, there is at least one thing recent reports on Syria have successfully done to the current geopolitical narrative.

Prior to the media hype over Syria the past few days, Israel was beginning to make headlines across the world for its criminal activities in Gaza. The U.N. even called for an inquiry into the violence in Gaza that saw IDF snipers kill at least 17 unarmed protesters and injure over 1,400 more. Even prominent pro-establishment outlets such as the Washington Post and Haaretz featured articles critical of what Israel was doing. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said Israel’s actions may amount to war crimes.

While this was going on, IDF snipers and their fellow troops were caught cheering – an allegation they publicly admitted was true. Soviet-born Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters he also celebrated the shootings, stating that “[t]he Gaza sniper deserves a decoration, and the photographer a demerit.”

The IDF also shot down a journalist in cold blood, even as he donned a big vest marked “PRESS.”

The thing is, however, that Israel doesn’t just simply need a distraction to stop people from talking about what it has already done the past few weeks (a complete deal-breaker for Israel) — it wants to keep on doing it.

“What’s all the fuss about?” asked Oren Hazan, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. “Anyone who approaches the fence, armed or not, is gonna get it. As it should be!”

It is no surprise, therefore, that immediately in response to this alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, it wasn’t the U.S. that struck Syrian government forces straight away – it was Israel.

Israel doesn’t want the media to talk negatively or critically about what it is doing to the Palestinian people. It should be noted that this current conflict has been going on for quite some time. Israel has deprived two million residents in the Gaza Strip of access to basic clean water (97 percent is contaminated by sewage and salt). Israel reduced Gaza’s electricity intake to that of roughly 2-4 hours per day over the course of the past year. Since then, it has openly stepped up lethal air strikes on Palestinian territory,  including multiple strikes over the course of this year, and the mainstream media has asked close to zero basic questions about these practices.

Gaza has no air force and no air defenses. The people are protesting for the right to return to their land, and they are being shot down even on their side of the boundary. It is important to remember this because the U.S. and Israel want us to believe they are concerned about the human rights situation in Syria. What better place to start than Gaza if the goal is actually to promote human rights and democratic institutions?

Further, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia has been quietly raiding a Shiite area known as al-Awamiyah, which they all but turned into a war zone like Aleppo or Mosul last year. A Saudi soldier was even killed in its latest raid, though this has not been deemed newsworthy.

As long as Syria dominates headlines, expect these issues to remain on the sidelines of acceptable discussion and for life for Palestinians and political dissidents in Saudi Arabia to continue as hellishly unabated as before. Perhaps this is why the U.S. is taking its time to respond — to maximize the potential of this distraction.

Of course, knowing our luck, the current trajectory we are on may be used to kill two birds with one stone by not only putting the media focus back on Syria but also lethally ramping up the pressure on Syria, Russia, and Iran to disallow them from claiming what was quickly becoming a widespread victory for the Syrian government.

(Source / 14.04.2018)