JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian youths on Wednesday pulled down a barbed wire fence that Israeli authorities set upearlierin the dayaround part of an Islamic cemetery outside Jerusalem’s Old City, a local monitoring group said.The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan said that the youths, from the nearby Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, refused to allow Israel’s Nature Authority to confiscate the land in Bab al-Rahma cemetery.They also reportedly pulled out poles and barbed wire that in mid-August Israeli authorities put in place around land next to the cemetery belonging to the Palestinian al-Hussein and al-Ansari families.The monitoring group said that Israel plans to turn the area along the Old City’s eastern walls into a public park.Earlier Wednesday, a local Palestinian official told Ma’an that officials from Israel’s Nature Authority, under military escort, set up the barbed wire fence around a large area of Bab al-Rahma cemetery.Mustafa Abu Zahra, who heads a committee maintaining Islamic cemeteries in occupied East Jerusalem, said that the land belongs to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment, which also oversees the adjoining Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam.Bab al-Rahma, meaning Door of Compassion, runs along the eastern wall of Jerusalem’s Old City and has been in use for more than 1,000 years.Abu Zahra said: “Today, the (Israeli) occupation wants to designate new borders for the Islamic cemetery, but its borders and walls were made hundreds of years ago.”
(Source / 02.09.2015)
A Palestinian protester returns a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah
Netanyahu called an emergency high-level security meeting on Wednesday to discuss the recent spike of “terror incidents” taking place within Jerusalem and on Road 443 connecting the capital Tel Aviv with the city of Modi’in, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The meeting was attended by top security officials, such as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, General Security Services head Yoram Cohen, and others.
PM Netanyahu told the gathering he is not going to tolerate rock and petrol-bomb attacks on a central road, or inside the city of Jerusalem.
“The policy is zero tolerance for rock throwers and zero tolerance for terror,” Netanyahu said. “Since the legal system is having difficulty dealing with juveniles” engaged in those activities, the Israeli government is going to legislate a minimum punishment for those underage offenders.
This could include allowing servicemen to use live ammunition against stone-throwing protesters. At the moment, the use of live rounds is restricted to life-threatening situations. Despite that there have been a number of incidents where Palestinian protesters were shot dead while unarmed or fleeing.
Security officials agreed to increase the number of police along Road 443 and also in the cities of Judea and Samaria, as well as enhance intelligence gathering means and observation posts in the area. Two additional border patrol squadrons and 400 law enforcers will also be sent to Jerusalem.
The meeting has become this week’s second consultation on the worsening security situation held by Netanyahu’s cabinet, as they look for ways to reverse the momentum and reduce the level of violence.
(Source / 02.09.2015)
NABLUS, (PIC)– The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacked Wednesday a Palestinian woman while trying to prevent the arrest of a group of shepherds in Salem village eat of Nablus.
Head of the village council Adli Shtayyeh told PIC reporter that nearly ten Israeli jeeps attacked eight shepherds while grazing their flocks and forced them at gunpoint to go back to their homes.
The shepherds were brutally attacked and beaten after refusing to leave the area. They were then violently pushed into a military vehicle and taken to an Israeli detention center, he added.
A Palestinian elderly woman was also beaten and hit over the head with a rifle butt as she struggled with the Israeli soldiers in an attempt to prevent the shepherds’ arrest.
The elderly woman was then taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment as she suffered moderate injuries and bruises all over her body.
(Source / 02.09.2015)
The White Helmets were hit by a strike in Syria’s Douma when they were out responding to an airstrike by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces
A Syrian man and two children wait to receive treatment at a make-shift hospital in Douma
A video was posted to Facebook on Tuesday that claimed to show Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces targeting voluntary rescue workers in a suburb of the capital Damascus.
A 90-second video showed members of the Syrian Civil Defence running through the streets of Douma searching for survivors after an airstrike by government warplanes hit the rebel-held city.
As the volunteers scoured the area for the wounded, a second strike hit the same location, and was caught on camera causing devastation.
The tactic of bombing a site, then targeting it again once people arrive to respond, is known as “double tapping,” according to the civil defence group.
More than 2,700 people volunteer with the Syrian Civil Defence, which was formed in 2013 and is also known as the White Helmets due to the headgear worn by its members when they are out responding to attacks across Syria.
On 16 August Douma was targeted in a series of strikes by the Syrian air force. At least 112 people were killed, in attacks the United Nations said could constitute a war crime.
According to the UN at least 230,000 people have been killed in Syria’s brutal civil war, although the actual death toll is believed to closer to 300,000. More than 6.5 million people out of a population of 22 million have also been displaced by the conflict.
(Source / 02.09.2015)
Palestinians wave the national flag
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — As rumors spread that Mahmoud Abbas could soon step down as Palestinian president, a recent poll reveals that the leader holds support among just 16 percent of the Palestinian public.Despite the low support rate, a continued decline in trust for the government and political leaders fails to surface any viable contenders for a potential successor, according to a poll carried out by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) in August.Imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti was the strongest contender for presidential elections, holding 10.5 percent of the vote.Ismail Haniyeh, PM of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip, trailed close behind Barghouti gaining 9.8 percent support.Deposed Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan was supported by 5.1 percent, and an additional 3.3 percent said they would elect head peace process negotiator Saeb Erekat, the JMCC poll reported.The apparent absence of a popular successor is underlined by the largest proportion of the poll — the 33.6 percent of Palestinians who said they did not know who they would vote for if new elections were to take place.The JMCC poll results also revealed that there is “no sympathy for or any noteworthy presence of ISIS or Salafist movements in the Palestinian territories,” with 3.8 percent of participants saying they were sympathetic to the movements.When asked the question: “How would you define yourself- only in one word- in terms of particular affiliation?”, the majority — 32.4 percent — answered Palestinian, 16.8 percent said Muslim, 6.8 percent said Fatah, and 2.7 percent answered Hamas.Ineffective but necessaryAlthough Palestinians show increasing distrust for their current leadership, JMCC reported that over 70 percent of those polled said that the Palestinian Authority should not be dismantled despite the perceived decrease in the body’s effectiveness.Almost 60 percent support legislative and presidential elections, which have not been held since 2006 and 2005 respectively.The results come amid a government reshuffle carried out in June and July– that 44.3 percent of those polled say will make no difference — as well as recent upheaval within the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s executive body.Last month Abbas resigned as head of the PLO Executive Committee in what critics say is an attempt to empower his allies and marginalize opponents ahead of his eventual retirement.Several others also stepped down at the time, one of whom being Saeb Erekat who recently took office as secretary-general of the PLO, prompting speculation that he is being lined up to succeed Abbas as president of the PA.A Palestinian National Council (PNC) meeting is set to be held this month — the first in nearly 20 years — to reelect the Executive Committee, stirring up the latest divisions between political rivals Hamas and Fatah.The parties failed to implement a national unity deal agreed upon in June 2014, which was signed in effort to pave the way for elections and overcome divisive issues that have separated the two since 2007.Since the reshuffle — carried out by the Fatah-dominated PLO Executive Committee — and the collective resignations of committee members last month, Hamas has accused Fatah of unilaterally reforming the government.On Wednesday, Hamas said that the upcoming PNC session was “tearing apart” national unity and amounted to an annulment of all national consensus agreements.
(Source / 02.09.2015)
The FBI issued a warning in August that “militia extremists” are monitoring mosques and other Muslim communities in multiple states.
Jon Ritzheimer, organizer of the anti-Muslim Draw Muhammad cartoon ralley in Arizona in 2015
WASHINGTON — While the mainstream media showers attention on any crime with even the slightest hint of a connection to ISIS or other Muslim extremists, less attention is being paid to a growing number of threats against everyday Muslims in the United States despite the FBI raising the alarm.
The FBI issued an intelligence bulletin in May, warning that “militia extremists” are increasing their violent rhetoric against Muslims and even potentially making concrete plans to target them for violence. “The FBI makes these assessments with high confidence on the basis of a large body of source reporting generated mainly since 2013,” noted the bulletin. This marks a change from the militia’s usual targets, the agency notes, which typically include the government and any group perceived as a threat to Second Amendment rights.
Few mainstream media journalists seem to have reported on this bulletin or the concrete threats that it outlines, but some members of the independent media have analyzed its contents. Writing for the Electronic Intifada, Rania Khalek, a journalist whose work focuses on the underclass and oppressed populations,highlighted one incident:
“Among the disturbing examples the FBI cites, the most shocking occurred in Mississippi last September, where extremists ‘discussed kidnapping and beheading a Muslim and posting video of the attack to the Internet.’
The group disbanded before acting on their plans.”
On Aug. 23, Imraan Siddiqi, the chairman of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, appeared on the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, along with Khalek and journalist Kevin Gosztola, to discuss the bulletin and some of the threats. Siddiqi said that while some of the actions of anti-Muslim groups seem laughable, such as throwing bacon at mosques, other threats have been frighteningly specific:
“There started to be violent death threats toward a few different mosques in Phoenix. There were letters sent to the Tempe mosque and there was also a letter to this mosque that we’re talking about here. It said we’re going to target your worshipers while they are worshiping. We know who the Board of Directors are. We’re going to target your families inside your houses and we’re going to burn your mosque down.”
Along with the reported threats, there are a growing number of court cases and even convictions against people for plotting terrorist attacks on American Muslims.
In May, Robert Doggart, a Christian extremist and former Republican congressional candidate, was charged with plotting a deadly rampage in Islamberg, a majority-Muslim village in upstate New York. Doggart had detailed plans that included the use of “an M-4 military assault rifle, armor-piercing ammunition, explosives, pistols, and a machete” according to a report from Dean Obeidallah, a reporter for The Daily Beast.
In early August, a California man pled guilty to threatening to carry out a “Charlie-Hebdo”-style attack on CAIR. John David Weissinger made the threats through phone messages left at the nonprofit group’s San Diego and Washington offices.
Later that month, a New York man became the first American to be convicted of planning a radiation-based terror attack. Glendon Scott Crawford, an admitted member of the Ku Klux Klan, and an accomplice obtained an X-ray device in 2013 with the intention of turning it into a “death X-ray” weapon to be used against area Muslims.
Crawford, who faces life in prison and $2 million in fines, came to the attention of the FBI after he approached both the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York and the Israeli Embassy in Washington for assistance with his terror plot. Last year, his accomplice, Eric J. Feight, pleaded guilty to lesser charges of providing material support for terrorism.
According to a report from M. Alex Johnson, an NBC News reporter, the plot was in its initial stages but still a credible threat. A 2014 press release posted to the FBI website makes it clear that undercover agents kept the device inoperable at all times.
According to an August report from the New America Foundation, almost twice as many people were killed by right-wing extremist violence than those killed by “jihadist extremists” since 9/11.
(Source / 02.09.2015)
“In another sign of the deteriorating conditions on the ground,” UNCTAD report said “that in the year 2000, 72,000 people depended on food aid, but now that number has risen to almost a million”
Days of Palestine, West Bank –UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report expected that Gaza Strip “could be uninhabitable by 2020.”
The reason for this potential disaster, according to the report which was announced on Tuesday in a press conference in Ramallah, the Israeli military operations and a nearly decade-long blockade that have crippled Gaza’s economy and infrastructure.
“The social, health and security-related ramifications of the high population density and overcrowding are among the factors that may render Gaza unliveable by 2020, if present trends continue,” the report said.
It added: “Reconstruction efforts are extremely slow relative to the magnitude of devastation, and Gaza’s local economy did not have a chance to recover.”
The report compared the reconstruction of the Strip with the number of the people living in it, which is more than 1.8 million, as saying: There is no time for meaningful reconstruction or economic recovery after eight years of a devastating Israeli economic blockade.”
Commenting on the report, UNCTAD’s Mahmoud Elkhafif said: “The fact that electricity is not enough, that a number of hospitals have been destroyed, the fact that there is no drinking water enough, it is just what any rational human would (not) doubt what’s going to happen.”
He added: “I mean, we had had a study before the destruction of 2014 indicating that Gaza will not be liveable in 2020, it’s not that things stayed as they were in 2020 but they got much, much worse in 2014.”
In 2014, the Israeli occupation carried out a massive offensive on Gaza that resulted in about 2,260 Palestinians and wounded more than 11,000 others.
It destroyed more than 18,000 homes, hospitals and other facilities, including 6,000 were completely damaged.
“In another sign of the deteriorating conditions on the ground,” UNCTAD report said “that in the year 2000, 72,000 people depended on food aid, but now that number has risen to almost a million.”
It added: “In Gaza, unemployment is as high as 80 per cent.”
(Source / 02.09.2015)