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Palestinian girl badly injured by Israeli settler attack

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Photo by Operation Dove

On Thursday April 24 at around 12 pm, two Israeli settlers coming with a quad-bike from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on attacked with stones four

Palestinian children and the mother of three of them, as they were returning from school to their homes in the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed. A seven year old girl child was hit by a stone and fell while attempting to run away, badly injuring her head. 

Her father, who witnessed the attack as he was harvesting his land situated on top of the Old Havat Ma’on hill, immediately brought her to the nearby village of At Tuwani, where an ambulance came to rescue her and bring her to the hospital.

The girl required five stitches and is now resting at home with her family. 

The five Palestinians were coming from the village of At Tuwani, where the children attend school, through the only path they can use without the military escort that everyday accompanies the children from Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed on their way to and from school since 2004. On this path Palestinians cross the hill where the outpost of Havat Ma’on was situated before it was dismantled in 2000 and moved to Hill 833. Through this hill passes a paved road used by Israeli settlers as a hiking trail. The five Palestinians were attacked by two Israeli settlers who were riding with their quad-bike on this trail.

Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.

[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts, including Havat Ma'on (Hill 833), are considered illegal also under Israeli law.]

(Source / 24.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Posted in Terrorism

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Belgium, allies to tackle young Syria fighter concerns

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The fear is fighters will return home from Syria radicalized and well versed in the use of weapons. 
Several European countries plus the United States, Turkey, Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia are to discuss measures to stop young fighters joining rebels in Syria, Belgium said Thursday.

Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said Belgium, which took steps last year to address the problem, wants to step up cooperation with European partners and others.

“Coping with the return [of fighters], that is our main concern,” Milquet said, pointing to the presence of al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria.

The European Union warned earlier this year that the number of young Europeans going to fight alongside extremist groups in Syria and countries such as Somalia and Sudan, was growing fast.

The fear is they will return home radicalized and well versed in the use of weapons and guerrilla tactics, posing a security risk.

Milquet set up an informal ministerial group with France last year, bringing together officials from Britain, the Netherlands and Spain. The group later met U.S., Canadian and Australian officials.

Milquet said the next meeting, bringing together nine European countries, would be held in Brussels May 8, with Syrian neighbor Turkey invited, together with Morocco, Jordan and Tunisia.

(Source / 24.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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Jordan PM arrives in West Bank

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The Jordanian premier is expected to discuss means of enhancing cooperation between his government and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour arrived in Ramallah in the West Bank on Wednesday for a brief visit during which he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian counterpart, Rami Hamdallah.

The Jordanian premier is expected to discuss means of enhancing cooperation between his government and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

During the visit, members of Ensour’s accompanying delegation – including several government ministers – are expected to sign a number of agriculture and industry agreements with their Palestinian counterparts.

He would hold a press conference at the end of the visit.

(Source / 24.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Politics

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PLO condemns Israeli decision to end talks, UN envoy supports unity

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Palestinians gather to celebrate the agreement to form a unity government in Gaza City, on April 23, 2014.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestine Liberation Organization on Thursday condemned Israel’s decision to withdraw from peace negotiations earlier in the day as “blatantly disingenuous,” saying that the decision shows a “lack of commitment” toward peace.

The statement comes as the UN special envoy for negotiations “welcomed” word of the Palestinian unity deal, which Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas assured him would entail the honoring of previous PLO commitments including the recognition of Israel.

The executive committee of the PLO said in a statement that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “announcement to end negotiations only reaffirms his lack of commitment towards a just settlement and the two-state solution.”

The PLO also accused the Israeli government of “persistently trying to sabotage international and Palestinian efforts to achieve an agreement” by breaking its commitments, particularly through the “killing of Palestinians, settlement construction, home demolitions, and the siege over Gaza and over occupied East Jerusalem.”

“Trying to blame President Abbas for Israel’s decision to end negotiations is simply an absurd excuse for a government that places settlements and colonial expansion as priorities over peace,” the PLO said.

The PLO added that despite being “legitimate and legal,” Palestinian unity was considered a “threat” by Netanyahu and his “extremist government coalition” because it is “a step that takes us closer to inclusiveness, freedom and independence.”

Executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in the statement that the “national reconciliation and negotiations are not mutually exclusive but are rather mandatory steps in order to achieve a just and lasting peace based on international law.”

She added that the “terms of the national reconciliation agreement are clear: Palestine honors its commitments, respects international law and continues its popular nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation.”

The statement comes hours after Israel announced that it would be suspending its participation in peace talks with the Palestinians which have been ongoing since July in protest against a national reconciliation agreement between the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas that was announced on Wednesday.

The agreement brought to end seven years of Palestinian political division, but Israeli authorities said they would refuse to negotiate with Hamas, which they say refuses to recognize Israel.

‘Only way to reunite West Bank and Gaza’ 

The United Nations special coordinator for the peace process Robert Serry said in a statement on Thursday, however, that Abbas had promised the unity agreement would be implemented “on the basis of the PLO commitments,” including “recognition of Israel, non-violence, and adherence to previous agreements.”

Serry said that he “welcomed” the national reconciliation agreement, stressing that it was the “only way to reunite the West Bank and Gaza under one legitimate Palestinian Authority.”

The statement followed a meeting with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas in which the UN “confirmed support for unity” on the basis of the Palestinians’ “continued commitment to peace negotiations and to non-violent popular protests,” which Abbas assured him would be a part of the unity deal.

Although Hamas has historically taken a strong stance against negotiations with Israel under present circumstances, it has previously said that it would be willing to accept a two-state solution on the 1967 borders.

Israel, however, considers the Palestinian political party — which has controlled the Gaza Strip since clashes with Fatah a year after Hamas won elections over the entire Palestinian territories — of being a “terrorist” organization.

(Source / 24.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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Plus de 100 jihadistes néerlandais sont allés combattre en Syrie en 2013

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Plus de 100 Néerlandais se sont rendus en Syrie en 2013 pour combattre en tant que jihadistes, ont annoncé mercredi les services secrets néerlandais (AIVD), précisant qu’au moins 10 d’entre eux étaient morts sur le sol syrien.

« Plus de 100 personnes ont voyagé vers la Syrie depuis les Pays-Bas en 2013 avec l’intention de participer à des activités jihadistes », a indiqué l’AIVD dans son rapport annuel.
« Le nombre de jihadistes qui quittent les Pays-Bas pour la Syrie augmente constamment », a ajouté la même source, selon laquelle « le fait de mourir en martyr » est de plus en plus glorifié sur internet et attire de plus en plus de jeunes musulmans néerlandais.

Vingt jihadistes néerlandais seulement sont revenus aux Pays-Bas en 2013: « Non seulement ils peuvent avoir été chargés de commettre des attaques en Occident, mais ils peuvent aussi contribuer à la radicalisation des Néerlandais musulmans ».
Selon l’AIVD, deux attaques suicide, une en Syrie, une en Irak, ont été commises par des jihadistes néerlandais.

La publication du rapport de l’AIVD intervient alors que la France a annoncé mercredi une série de mesures pour tenter de résoudre ce problème auquel doivent faire face de nombreux pays européens.

La France a notamment annoncé la mise en place d’un numéro vert, d’une plateforme de signalement à destination des familles qui « constatent des risques de rupture » chez l’un de leurs membres, et le renforcement de cyberpatrouilles.
Près de 300 jihadistes français sont actuellement en Syrie, selon un compte-rendu du Conseil des ministres.

(Source / 24.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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Muslim women to help UK stop Syria jihadists

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British counter-terrorism officials have started a national campaign targeting women. 

With an ever-increasing stream of British Muslim men trickling into Syria for jihad, British police have begun a new campaign to stem the flow of Islamic extremism – to reach would-be jihadists through their loved ones.

British counter-terrorism officials have started a national campaign targeting women, which is aimed at raising awareness of the risks of visiting Syria, even for those who just wish to assist with humanitarian projects.

The initiative – an unprecedented move by British authorities – was prompted by a surge in the number of Britons caught travelling or returning from war-wracked Syria.

Last year, 25 arrests were made, while the number has now climbed to 40 for the first three months of 2014, Agence France-Presse reported.

Several of those arrested were subsequently charged with terrorism-related offences.

The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London estimates that between 200 and 366 British nationals have gone to Syria to participate in the conflict.

For their campaign, police will hold meetings across Britain on Thursday with women from different community groups, charity workers and government officials involved in preventing extremism.

Anti-terror hotline

A leaflet has been prepared outlining the risks of travelling to Syria, which will be handed out at airports and ports.

Printed on the leaflets is the UK’s anti-terrorist hotline number, which relatives can call if they believe family members plan on travelling to Syria.

“We are increasingly concerned about the numbers of young people who have or are intending to travel to Syria to join the conflict,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said.

“We want to ensure that people, particularly women, who are concerned about their loved ones are given enough information about what they can do to prevent this from happening,” she added.

She added: “This is not about criminalizing people, it is about preventing tragedies.”

However, not all support the initiative.

Criminalizing campaign

Amina Deghayes, the aunt of British teenager Abdullah Degahyes, who died earlier this month after leaving Britain in January, said that the campaign would “criminalize” people.

“If the steps are to speak to the guys before they leave, I think people already have – they do not need the Government to tell them that,” Ms Deghayes added, according to The Independent.

Others have also expressed misgivings.

Mussurut Zia, from the Muslim Women’s Network UK, told theBBC that there was a “real mistrust” of the police in some communities which could lead to a lack of engagement with the campaign.

“There’s a real fear of people become marked, also there is mistrust where the police are concerned,” she said.

Women have a “unique position” in being able to influence loved ones, but should know how to argue their cases against jihadist conflict in Syria, Sara Khan, director of the Islamic women’s group Inspire, said in an interview with the UK’sChannel 4.

“They need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge including theological counter-narratives to counter the arguments extremists use in order to lure vulnerable individuals to their cause,” she said.

(Source / 24.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Politics

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Israel tightens grip around al-Aqsa mosque

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ALRAY photo archive

Jerusalem – A right-wing Israeli settlement group has been put in charge of two controversial new projects to develop the area around al-Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, the compound of holy sites that includes al-Aqsa mosque and the golden-topped Dome of the Rock.

Elad received planning approval this month to develop a huge visitors’ centre, called the Kedem complex, in a former car park just outside the Old City walls in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan. While the visitors’ centre will give Elad a base less than 20 metres from the Old City, a second project could extend its reach to the retaining wall of al-Aqsa mosque itself.

Al-Haram al-Sharif compound has been the most contested piece of territory in the Holy Land since Israel occupied Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Tensions have been heightened recently, as extremist Jews have begun entering the compound in larger numbers, with quiet backing from Israeli officials. The groups have sought to overturn a long-standing rabbinical prohibition on praying on the Temple Mount.

Israeli housing minister Uri Ariel, a hardline settler himself, chose Elad to manage an area known as the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, immediately south of the Western Wall. Renovations there will extend the prayer area for Jews. Last week, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court put Elad’s management of the park on hold until it ruled on the deal.

Yehudit Oppenheimer, director of Ir Amim, an Israeli group advocating fair treatment for Palestinians in Jerusalem, said the Kedem complex was the final piece Israel needed to secure its complete control over the area around al-Haram al-Sharif: “Now tourists will enter from Jaffa Gate [an entrance from West Jerusalem into the Old City], walk through the Jewish quarter, see the Western Wall, visit the City of David and get their information from the Kedem complex,” she told Al Jazeera.

She said the experience would reinforce both the idea of Israel’s physical control of the area and a hardline nationalist narrative associated with Israel’s far right. “The sites and signs will look Israeli; all the information and tours will consolidate an exclusively Jewish narrative,” Oppenheimer said. “Most Israeli and foreign tourists will have no idea that they are in Palestinian territory. It will feel to them like they are still in Israel.”

Israeli authorities have already given Elad large areas of Silwan, even though it is located in occupied East Jerusalem, to excavate an archaeological park called the City of David, disrupting the lives of 35,000 Palestinians. Elad had helped some 300 settlers take over Palestinian homes in the area, creating armed encampments around the park, according to Ahmed Qaraeen, a Silwan community leader.

The City of David is the only example of a private organisation gaining control of a national park in Israel, giving it effectively governmental powers. Normally, an archaeological park would be jointly run by the Antiquities Authority and the Nature and Parks Authority. Israel’s High Court backed the special arrangement with Elad in 2012 after receiving assurances that its work would be closely supervised by the Parks Authority. An internal report from the authority in January, however, revealed the promise was ignored and Elad had unchecked control over the City of David and provided almost all of the information and tours to visitors.

According to Kais Nasser, a Palestinian lawyer who represents “The Islamic Council within the Green Line”, a coalition of Islamic groups inside Israel, allowing Elad to develop the two sites is “outrageous”.

“It is an organisation with a clear agenda to bring settlers into Palestinian parts of East Jerusalem. Now its control will reach right up to the limits of the mosques,” Nasser told Al Jazeera.

Last month, European Union diplomats in Jerusalem warned in an internal report leaked to the Israeli media: “There remains a significant risk that incidents at this highly sensitive site, or perceived threats to the status quo, may spark extreme reactions locally as well as across the Arab and Muslim world.” They were especially concerned that changes by Israel might serve as a prelude to dividing control of the al-Haram al-Sharif compound, or to offering separate prayer times for Muslims and Jews.

That would echo what happened in Hebron, where extremist settlers were given rights over part of the Ibrahimi mosque – or what Israelis call the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The site quickly turned into a flashpoint that is remembered for the massacre of Muslim worshippers by a Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, in 1994.

Daniel Seideman, a lawyer who is an expert on Israeli policies in Jerusalem, said the Israeli government was increasing its efforts to create “settlement enclaves” in Palestinian neighbourhoods and thereby “Hebronise Jerusalem”.

Elad’s visitor centre is expected to substantially increase the number of Israeli and foreign visitors to the City of David. The Jerusalem municipality, which backed the project, has said the Kedem complex was the cornerstone of its efforts to increase the number of tourists to the City of David to “some 20 million annually”. Tourism to the site has grown quickly over the past decade, with the number of visitors rocketing from 25,000 in 2001 to some 500,000 today.

Uniquely, the new visitor centre, which will reportedly be more than 16,000sqr m, is to be built over important archaeological remains that have been excavated over the past decade.

“Elad says the building will protect these remains, but the reality is that they will inevitably be damaged. Nowhere else in the world would you find a site of this importance being treated this way,” said Yonathan Mizrachi, head of Emek Shaveh, an organisation of Israeli archaeologists opposed to using archaeology for political ends.

The Jerusalem municipality was unavailable for comment.

Zeev Orenstein, a spokesman for Elad, denied suggestions that the Kedem complex would promote an exclusively Jewish narrative of Jerusalem. He said it would exhibit the “antiquities of the many civilisations that once inhabited ancient Jerusalem… in a way in which all people will be able to appreciate their significance”.

Community activists in Silwan, meanwhile, warned that their homes were being physically damaged by the excavations, some of which extend under their houses. Qaraeen, who lives a few metres from the intended site of the Kedem complex, said his home – like many in Silwan – was subject to a demolition order.

“The municipality says we cannot have planning permits because Silwan lacks a master plan. And yet this massive visitor centre can get planning approval from the municipality and the planning authorities, even though it is supposed to be in a national park. Elad is like a state within a state – different rules apply.”

He added that Israel was trying to force Palestinians into “ghettos”.

“None of us can get permits to create businesses, such as a restaurant or guest house, to benefit from the tourism. Israel wants to make sure visitors don’t interact with us or hear our stories.”

(Source / 24.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Posted in Terrorism

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