Israeli settlers and rabbis, on Wednesday, broke into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, fueling tension at the site, according to WAFA correspondence.
Jewish hard-liners and rabbis stormed and toured the mosque compound in the morning, provoking tension with Palestinian worshipers who chanted religious slogans in defiance of the unwelcome entry.
Meanwhile, Israeli police continue to impose restrictions on Palestinian entry to the site, especially women and youth, holding their identity cards prior to admittance.
The site has continually witnessed violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police, most frequently due to provocative visits by Jewish extremists who believe the mosque should be destroyed and replaced with a Jewish temple.
Reports that Israel was planning to enforce a temporal division of the mosque between Muslims and Jews also helped fuel the current round of unrest in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.
The site is the third holiest place for Muslims, and has, since 1967, been the center of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. While it is widely known as Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jews refer to the site as the “Temple Mount” and believe it was the site of two Jewish temples destroyed in ancient times.
Palestinians worry that if Jewish visitors were allowed to pray in the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, it would eventually lead to a permanent change which will result in full Israeli control and ban on Muslim prayer.
Despite the fact that the site is the location of al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, two of the most holy destinations for Muslims, hundreds of Jewish extremists regularly attempt to legalize prayer at the compound, a move that will “inevitably” trigger Palestinians, said Israeli police.
Christians outside of the Levant remain divided on the issue, as biblical end times prophecy states: “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” ~Revelation 21:22
(Source / 26.11.2015)
Thousands of Palestinians will be displaced as part of a new Israeli plan to build several Jewish-only communities in the Negev region, in south of the Israeli territory, which will be built on top of Bedouin Palestinian villages, civil rights groups said Wednesday.
“This is part of an ongoing policy of pushing Palestinian Bedouins off their land in the Negev,” Sana Ibn Bari, a lawyer for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), told Al-Jazeera.
The plan was approved by the Israeli government on Sunday, and allows the construction of five Jewish settlements in the Negev region, according to Telesur/Al Ray. Israeli Minister of Housing Yoav Galant hailed the government’s decision and said the region should be turned “into a desired and flourishing area, in accordance with the Zionist vision”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called, on Sunday, for more Jewish communities “to be built quickly while bypassing bureaucratic processes”.
The Israeli government classifies Palestinian villages in the region as “unrecognized”, and says that people there do not have proper permits for constructing houses. (The overwhelming majority of Palestinians are rarely, if ever, granted such permits.)
At least two villages will be affected by the plan, according to a press release by several rights groups in Israel who have denounced the plan. “The settlement of Daya would be built on the unrecognized village of Katamat, which is home to 1,500 people and the Neve Gurion settlement is supposed to be built on part of the land of Beer Hadaj, a recognized village with approximately 6,000 residents,” Bimkom and ACRI said in the statement.
Palestinians living in the Negev are part of the over 1.7 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, who, according to rights groups, are facing systematic discrimination by Israeli policies and laws.
In May, Israeli-based Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights issued a database documenting more than 50 discriminatory laws which directly or indirectly target Palestinian citizens of Israel by quelling their political expression and limiting their access to state resources, notably land.
Last month, a Bedouin village was demolished by Israeli forces for the 90th time in five years for being “unrecognized”. While Israel claims that these people do not have permits for the villages, residents say those villages existed before the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948.
(Source / 25.11.2015)
A Palestinian ambulance waits to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 20, 2015
Palestinian officials have warned about the deteriorating health conditions of thousands of patients in the besieged Gaza Strip following Egypt’s closure of the Rafah crossing.
The spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, said that some 3,500 Palestinian patients are in dire need of medical treatment in the coastal sliver which is under Israeli siege.
Qidra warned that Palestinians were eagerly waiting for the Rafah crossing, along the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt, to open as they must travel to the neighboring country in order to receive much-needed treatment.
He called on the International Red Cross and human rights organizations to pressure Egypt to open the Rafah crossing and to allow patients to travel to receive medical treatment.
The crossing was last opened for four days in August. Following its closure, Palestinian border official Maher Abu Sabha expressed hope that the crossing would soon “reopen in both directions permanently.”
The Rafah crossing serves as the only gateway out of the blockaded Palestinian territory bypassing Israel, which closed all other crossings several years ago.
It has only been open for a total of two weeks since the start of the year.
Cairo tightened the restrictions on the border crossing after the Egyptian military ousted former President Mohammed Morsi in a 2013 coup.
Dozens of Palestinian patients have lost their lives due to a lack of medicine and medical supplies since Israel imposed a blockade against the impoverished Gaza Strip, which is home to some 1.8 million people, in 2007.
In August, the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, warned that some 17,000 Palestinians were in urgent need to leave the strip for medical assistance.
(Source / 25.11.2015)
The Russian Air Force should continue its efforts to close the Jarabulus-Afrin corridor in northern Syria, despite the latest Turkish provocation, Bangkok-based geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci stresses.
Geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci draws attention to the fact that over the recent weeks Russian and Syrian forces have been steadily gaining ground in Syria, retaking territory from ISIL and al-Qaeda.
“The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has even begun approaching the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off ISIS [ISIL] from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory,” Cartalucci narrates in his latest article for New Eastern Outlook.
He explains that from there, Syrian troops with Russian air support would move north, into the very “safe zone” which Washington and Ankara have planned to carve out of Syria. Cartalucci points out that the “safe zone” includes a northern Syria area stretching from Jarabulus to Afrin and Al-Dana.
If Syrian troops establish their control over this zone, the Western plan of taking and holding the territory (with the prospect of further Balkanization of the region) would fall apart at the seams. In light of this, the regime change project, harbored by the West since the very beginning of the Syrian unrest, would be “indefinitely suspended,” Cartalucci underscores.
“The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria’s borders. Turkey’s provocation is just such a measure,” he emphasizes.
“As in the game of chess, a player often seeks to provoke their opponent into a series of moves,” Cartalucci notes.
According to the geopolitical analyst, Russia’s best choice now is to continue winning this war, eventually taking the Jarabulus-Afrin corridor. By fortifying this area Russian and Syrian forces would prevent NATO from invading Syria, at the same time cutting off the ISIL and al-Nusra Front supply route from Turkey.
Russo-Syrian victory would have far-reaching consequences for the region as a whole.
“With Syria secured, an alternative arc of influence will exist within the Middle East, one that will inevitably work against Saudi and other Persian Gulf regimes’ efforts in Yemen, and in a wider sense, begin the irreversible eviction of Western hegemony from the region,” Cartalucci underscores.
He believes that it is the beginning of the end of the US-led unipolar global order.
The geopolitical analyst stresses that in a war emotions should be channeled by “superior strategic thinking” into a good plan which serves both short-term and long-term objectives. According to Cartalucci, the Russian leadership has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to take balanced strategic decisions.
(Source / 25.11.2015)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated this morning that the Muslim world is going through a very difficult time, noting that “our brethren in Palestine are confronting the Israeli violations and attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and are fighting a noble and honourable battle.”
In his speech before the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), Erdogan highlighted the fact that the blockade imposed on Gaza continues and has turned Gaza into an open-air prison.
He also stressed the need to not let this situation continue, and mentioned the situation in Syria and the incident with the Russian fighter jet earlier this week.
The Turkish premier claimed that two unknown fighter jets penetrated Turkey’s air space before Turkish air controllers requested the jets to retreat. One jet left while the other remained, so the Turkish fighter jets shot it down.
He added that parts of the fighter jet fell on Turkish territory, resulting in the death and injury of Turkish citizens.
(Source / 25.11.2015)
Internal political pressure in mounting to rethink the UK’s relationship with the it’s gulf allies.
Prime Minister David Cameron pictured in 2012 meeting former Saudi King Abdullah.
Prime Minister David Cameron must examine financial links between UK-allied Gulf regimes and terror groups, or risk facing awkward questions about Conservative Party links to “rich Arab Gulf individuals,” says former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine program on Tuesday, Ashdown – who is also a former soldier and has served as an ambassador to Afghanistan and Bosnia – said he is deeply concerned about how terrorism and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) are being funded, and the UK government’s response to this.
“Who is arming ISIS, who is providing safe havens for ISIS? To get there you have to ask questions about the arms everyone’s sold in the region, the role of Saudi Arabia in this. I think there are some very big questions and we have to be careful,” Ashdown said.
He said there had been a “failure to put pressure on the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to stop funding the Salafists and Wahhabists,” and said he is worried “about the closeness of the Conservative Party and rich Arab Gulf individuals.”
He hinted the strategic priorities of the UK in Syria are the wrong way around. “I think we should be impatient about the removal of ISIL and I think we should be more patient about the removal of Assad.”
Ashdown’s calls for a proper investigation into terror funding by the West’s Arab allies echo, to some extent, those of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking to the House of Commons last Wednesday, the Labour leader urged Parliament to take more action to clamp down on institutions which provide “vital infrastructure” to the terror group in Syria and Iraq.
Corbyn said one of the main ways to stop IS from functioning is to cut off its resources, suggesting the EU would also need to play a part in suffocating the organization.
“Surely a crucial way to help defeat ISIL is to cut off its funding, its supply of arms, and its trade,” Corbyn said during prime minister’s questions (PMQs).
“Can I press the prime minister to ensure that our allies in the region, indeed all countries in the region, are doing all they can to clamp down on individuals and institutions in their countries who are providing ISIL with vital infrastructure?”
In the night of the 21st of november the village of Osarin was raided by Israeli forces. Approximately 60 Israeli soldiers entered the small village of only 2000 inhabitants at 1 AM and gathered in the central part of the village where they immediately confiscated one of the homes.
The soldiers split up in 5 groups of 12 soldiers. Each group went to a separate home to arrest a boy. The young boys (ages ranging 15 to 20) were handcuffed and taken with their fathers to the confiscated house in the center of the village for interrogation.
The boys were informed by the soldier they were arrested for throwing stones at the Israeli forces a few days earlier and for shining with laser lights. The boys were than interrogated by the soldiers. One boy explained how he was forced to strip naked in front of the soldiers so they could make sure he didn’t carry any weapon on him. All the boys were told to stand on one leg with their heads against the wall for over a hour.
All of the boys were released after 2 hours of interrogation. One of the boys’ fathers who works in Israel was told by the soldiers that he would loose his job if his son ‘made trouble’ again. The next day one of the village officials went to meet with the Israeli forces. They told him straight forward that no boys in the village could ‘make trouble’ again. In his response he explained that he could only speak for his own child, not the others.
The night raid on Osarin came after the army set up 2 road blocks around Osarin (both alongside the route 505 highway) which were ment to prohibit the movement of local Palestinians and close off the small village from surrounding areas.
This wasn’t the first time soldiers raided Osarin, local residents explained that the village was raided 2 times before the road blocks. Each time a group of 20 soldiers would enter the village in the middle of night when everyone was asleep. They would set off sound bombs and shoot in the air just to deprive people of their sleep. The local residents of Osarin said that these raids had no purpose and were just pure intimidation of the village and its inhabitants.
(Source / 25.11.2015)