NAZARETH, (PIC)– The Israeli army’s chief of staff Benny Gantz said a new large-scale war against the Gaza Strip to strike the infrastructure of the Palestinian resistance factions is a matter of time. Grantz made his remarks on Tuesday during a meeting of the Knesset committee on foreign affairs and security. He added that an all-out war on Gaza should be this time well-planned and sudden to avoid new rounds of escalation and preserve the lives of Israeli soldiers.’
We, Palestinian youth, refuse to use Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause as a tool to hit the great Egyptian revolution. Egypt is witnessing a new wave of revolution lead by the brave courageous Egyptian youth who rejects SCAF’s hijacking their revolution. As the youth are resisting the oppression by the security forces, the Muslim Brotherhood called for a million man march in solidarity with Jerusalem. We consider this invitation a detour on all Egyptian movements and sectors who announced tomorrow Friday a million man march to bring down Marshal Tantawi. The Muslim Brotherhood has the right to take their decision in internal Egyptian issues. But we refuse MB taking the lead of the Arab tyrants who systematically used the Palestinian cause as a tool to practice their oppression. The freedom of Al-Aqsa and Palestine does not come from stepping on the dignity of the Arab people.
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In an article published on Global Research website on November 20, Thailand-based geopolitical expert Tony Cartalucci cited a report released by the International Institute for Strategic Studies stating that Syria’s opposition is armed and prepared to drag the country into more violence.
“The report comes in sharp contrast to the propaganda fed via the corporate-media and the West’s foreign ministers on a daily basis, where the violence is portrayed as one-sided, with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad ‘gunning down’ throngs of peaceful, placard waving protesters,” Cartalucci wrote.
He said the group calling itself a pro-democracy movement is turning out to be a militant group of extremists trained by British and US intelligence agencies, “whose leadership is harbored in London and Washington and their foot soldiers supplied a steady stream of covert military support and overt rhetorical support throughout the compromised corporate media.”
The article described the unrest in Syria, which has killed thousands of people including hundreds of security personnel, as funded by Western corporate-financier interests and part of a long-planned agenda for regime change across the Middle East region.
Cartalucci said the regime change in Syria was planned to happen as early as 1991.
He said Washington’s threats against Syria, which it listed in 2002 under then President George W. Bush as an “Axis of Evil,” were later realized as secret backing for opposition groups inside Syria.
Cartalucci cited an admission made by US State Department officials in April to attempt to “build the kind of democratic institutions” in Syria, and that Damascus perceived the move “as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.”
Secret government cables published by US media had earlier revealed Washington has been funding Syrian opposition groups since at least 2005 and continued until today, the article concluded.
(www.presstv.ir/ / 24.11.2011)
Faced with the scenario of the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Transport Minister Israel Katz heads to the West Bank, with the Shabak in tow, to talk with local leaders about the possibility of setting up village councils rather than an autonomous state
Israel Katz, Israeli Transport Minister
The Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood, submitted to the United Nations in September, was a last-ditch attempt to break the stalemate in the US-brokered peace process which began with the failure of the Camp David II negotiations of July 2000. While Israel rejects the UN bid, as do the major powers involved in the conflict, no one seems to have an alternative to the PA’s move. And then there is what some consider the worst possible scenario, an outcome of a failed UN bid: the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, as proposed by several Fatah and PLO leaders.
In light of this possibility, Israeli Transport Minister, Israel Katz, is promoting the idea of establishing several autonomies in the West Bank under the rule of local family leaders. These enclaves would resemble the “village leagues” that existed in Occupied Palestinian Territories during the 1980s.
Ariel Kahane, of the right wing newspaper Makor Rishon (First Source), claims that Katz and Hebron’s Sheikh Abu Khader Al Jabari met in September at the home of former Knesset Member (MK) Rafi Eitan. The purpose of the meeting—which reportedly included members of the General Security Service (Shin Bet or Shabak)—was to discuss alternatives in the event that the Palestinian Authority pushes the UN bid or a joint Hamas-Fatah government is established.
Sheikh Jabari maintains close contacts with Hebron’s Jewish settlers and has hosted the settlers’ leadership in his home several times. The Sheikh, who opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, supports the creation of an autonomous Palestinian territory under Israeli rule. According to Makor Rishon, this scenario was discussed in the meeting and with Jabari insisting that Palestinians receive full Israeli citizenship if this possibility came to fruition. Katz, however, made it clear that the Palestinians in the occupied territories will not be entitled to Israeli citizenship but said that Israel will be ready to cooperate with Jabari and his men in the event that the PA pursues the UN bid or further reconciliation with Hamas. “If there is a change in the current situation and the PA will ‘break the dishes,’” Katz remarked, “I’ll lead an Israeli initiative to recognize autonomies of this kind. It seems to me a true and realistic response”.
In other words, this means returning to the idea of “village leagues,” which were established in the occupied territories with the encouragement of Ariel Sharon and Professor Menachem Milson. The military government adviser on Arab affairs in the West Bank, Milson, who later served as the chief of the Civil Administration, assumed that the leagues would replace the PLO. “Village leagues” or similar institutions are not part of the right wing strategic thinking among officials close to the Prime Minister. For example, a report published by the Beguin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University (BESA) on alternatives to a Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 proposed annexation of the territories west of the separation wall and either the establishment of Palestinian-Jordanian federation, to which Israel will transfer lands in areas not adjacent to the West Bank, or a Palestinian-Egyptian-Israeli land swap in the Negev and Sinai to the south of the Gaza Strip.
(www.alternativenews.org / 24.11.2011)
De Opperste Raad van de Strijdkrachten in Egypte heeft een nieuwe premier benoemd: Kamal al-Ganzouri. Hij moet voor maandag een kabinet samenstellen, zo meldden Egyptische media. Maandag beginnen de parlementsverkiezingen in het Noord-Afrikaanse land.
Een junta onder leiding van veldmaarschalk Mohamed Hussein heeft de macht in Egypte sinds de val van dictator Hosni Mubarak in februari.
Al-Ganzouri was tussen 1996 en 1999 al eens premier. Hij voerde toen enkele economische hervormingen door.
(www.parool.nl / 24.11.2011)
Tracking down and interviewing Colonel Riyad al-Asad close to Turkey’s border with Syria is not an easy business.
The colonel’s name sounds close to but not quite the same as that of the President he wants to overthrow, Bashar al-Assad.
He is based in a refugee camp at Apaydin, 9 miles (14km) from the town of Antakya and very close to the Syrian border. But he is not allowed to leave the camp, and cannot receive visitors.
To a considerable extent, this is for his own protection. The Turks seem to regard Colonel Asad as a potentially important figure for the future, and are determined that nothing untoward should happen to him.
Nor is this just a theoretical worry. Two months ago another Syrian colonel who had defected left a neighbouring camp where he was living and went shopping in a nearby town. He vanished there.
The strong assumption is that he was kidnapped by Syrian agents and smuggled back across the border. Most of the Syrian refugees I spoke to about it thought he would already be dead.
As a result, getting to see Colonel Asad is remarkably difficult. No Turkish official wanted to help us, or indeed even speak about him on the record.
The Syrian nation is determined to bring this dictator down”
As we were filming his camp from a distance a group of Turkish soldiers arrested us, and only the intervention of a local judge freed us.
Yet the colonel is predictably keen to talk, and in the end we interviewed him via the internet.
It was a distinctly bizarre affair: in the gathering darkness we had to set up our computer and a small satellite dish in a farmyard close to the camp, and spoke to him by means of Skype.
Colonel Asad, with his impressive military moustache, seemed self-possessed and articulate in his denunciation of his near-namesake’s regime.
He is in almost hourly contact with groups of disaffected soldiers inside Syria, and claims to have a clear awareness of the situation there.
// The BBC’s John Simpson talks to Colonel Riyad al-Asad via a laptop
“We assure everyone that the president of Syria is finished,” he said.
“The Syrian nation is determined to bring this dictator down.”
This is the kind of thing that rebels habitually say, of course, and it does not always happen – even during the Arab Spring.
Nevertheless people who know and have met President Assad often remark on his gentleness of character; he was, of course a practising ophthalmologist, and doctors rarely seem to make good dictators.
There has been a good deal of speculation in the West, as well as the Middle East, that President Assad is not happy with the butcher’s work he has felt obliged to do, and that at some stage he will look for a way out.
Colonel Asad certainly seems to believe this. I asked him when he thought the regime would fall.
“Inshallah, inshallah [God willing], very soon. The system is rotten to the core. It may look strong on the outside, but at the heart it’s weak.”
“Everyone in Syria knows this, so it will happen very soon, inshallah,” he says.
We shall see. It seems unlikely to happen without a good deal more fighting, and for that Colonel Asad’s force will have to be a good deal bigger and more effective than it is at present.
How many soldiers are in a state of mutiny inside Syria is unknown, but the colonel has no more than a hundred or so defectors with him in the camp at Apaydin; though groups of soldiers, in twos and threes, are coming across the border almost every day now.
Reluctance to join ‘civil war’
By no means all of them are keen to join a civil war against the Assad regime.
Indeed, many of them have only left Syria in order to avoid further violence, and as our experience in trying to contact Colonel Asad indicated, it is not always easy for Syrian defectors to get around as they choose, especially if they want to go back across the border.
Still, there is continuing violence inside Syria between the army and those soldiers who cannot stomach the orders to shoot down their fellow-citizens.
Has a civil war begun in Syria? Plenty of people have suggested that it has.
I had the impression that Colonel al-Asad does not necessarily agree – at the moment. But with more than 3,500 people killed, and growing numbers of soldiers angry with the repression they have been obliged to support, the time could soon come when it will turn into civil war.
And then Colonel Riyad al-Asad will want to play a big part in it.
(www.bbc.co.uk / 24.11.2011)
The liberal use of US-manufactured tear gas on unarmed protesters in recent days has raised questions about its public health effects – and who is actually ordering its use
The human cost of the violent crackdown in central Cairo is increasingly clear — among the 39 fatalities reported to date, several are said to have died of asphyxiation caused by tear gas.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Nabil Shaath said that Sweden will stand by Palestinians at the UN, after meetings with officials in the country on Thursday.
Shaath said the undersecretary to the Swedish foreign minister told him that Sweden’s vote against Palestinian membership of UNESCO in October would not be repeated in a UN General Assembly vote.
Sweden’s position on Palestinian UNESCO membership came as a shock to the Palestinian people as the nation is a historical ally of the Palestinians, Shaath said in a statement.
UNESCO admitted Palestine as a full member on Oct. 31 after 107 member states voted in favor, 14 states voted against, and 52 abstained.
The PLO — currently listed as an observer “entity” with no voting rights — applied for full membership of the UN on Sept. 23. An admissions committee said on Nov. 11 it had failed to reach an agreement on the bid.
It had been previously suggested that Palestine could instead seek upgraded observer status via the General Assembly to make it a non-member observer state, like the Vatican, although the move has been rejected by Palestinian leaders.
Shaath, a member of Fatah’s central committee, also gave a lecture in Stockholm University during his trip, the release said.
(www.maannews.net / 24.11.2011)