Afghan army soldiers are seen during an operation in Afghanistan
Twelve Taliban and Daesh militants have been killed during separate military operations in parts of eastern Nangarhar province, a statement from 201st Selab Military Corp said on Saturday.
Security forces conducted airstrikes on the militants’ positions in Achin and Kot districts late on Friday leaving seven Daesh fighters dead, the statement said.
Separately, five Taliban were killed during security forces operation in Chaparhar district, Niamatullah Noorzai, the town’s administrative chief said.
He said civilians and security forces suffered no causalities during the operations. The militant groups did not comment about the incident.
(Source / 25.09.2016)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation police allowed several Jewish settlers on Sunday morning to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards under tight security protection. Local sources said that Palestinian worshipers chanted religious slogans as the settlers escorted by police forces entered the Mosque’s main courtyard through al-Maghariba Gate. Such settlers’ break-ins at the Islamic holy site happen on a daily basis, while many Muslim native residents in Jerusalem are banned from entering their Mosque.
(Source / 25.09.2016)
GAZA, (PIC)– Pro-Palestine activists have launched on Twitter a campaign calling for boycotting Facebook on Sunday, September 25, for two hours from 8 to 10 pm according to Jerusalem local time. The campaign is an initiative aimed at responding to Facebook’s removal of pages supporting Palestine and resistance activities against the occupation. The campaigners also created the hashtag page “#FBCensorsPalestine” on Twitter to condemn the Facebook blocking policy against pro-Palestinian pages. The Facebook administration recently deleted a large number of pages advocating the Palestinian people’s resistance against the occupation, including pages belonging to pro-Palestinian activists and the Hamas Movement.
(Source / 25.09.2016)
A man at a site recently hit by what activists said was a Scud missile in Aleppo’s Ard al-Hamra neighborhood, February 23, 2013
Beirut- The Russian military campaign on Aleppo, the capital of Northern Syria, continued for the fifth day in a row. The regime forces alongside supporting groups succeeded in taking control over Handarat Camp, tightening the siege on Aleppo western neighborhoods.
However, later on, the Syrian opposition announced regaining the camp. The military spokesman for the Fastaqim Kama Umirt group Ammar Saqqar told Asharq Al-Awsat that the regime forces and allied groups withdrew from the camp.
Twenty five civilians were killed and dozens were injured due to airstrikes on Aleppo and its surrounding areas.
While the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces denounced the performance of the international society, it called on friendly countries and civil authorities to act to save the civilians and children in Syria.
Seizing Handarat Camp, kilometers away from Aleppo, represents the first land advance of the regime in the attack announced on Thursday.
“The Russian jets carried out airstrikes on several regions in Eastern Aleppo,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. “The raids are intense and continuous,” said observatory director Rami Abdulrahman.
National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces denounced what it described as an insane crime, led by Assad regime and the Russian occupation of Aleppo. In a statement, it described the scene in Aleppo as a catastrophe and the world is taking no action.
The coalition called on friendly governments to take quick procedures in order to save the remaining souls left alive in Aleppo as well as other regions and to save the children and civilians from this insanity going on since around six years.
(Source / 25.09.2016)
GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian inmates held in Israeli prisons announced on Sunday a three-day hunger strike following the death of their fellow inmate at an Israeli jail earlier in the morning. The Palestinian detainees staged the strike after news emerged of the death of 40-year-old Yasser Dhiab Hamdouna, who died of a stroke after a failure by Israeli prison officials to provide him with necessary medical care. The 40-year-old Hamdouna, a resident of the occupied northern West Bank city of Jenein, suffered a stroke on Sunday morning and was pronounced dead upon arrival at an Israeli medical center. Hamdouna, serving life imprisonment in Ramon jail, had been suffering from recurrent shortness of breath, heart problems as well as agonizing pains in his left ear. The sources said Hamdouna’s condition further deteriorated in the wake of Israeli prison authorities’ delay in providing treatment for him. Head of the prisoners’ media office, Abdul Rahman Shedid, said the Israeli prison service had dragged its feet vis-à-vis al-Hamdouna’s cries for help and kept him for over 20 minutes in the prison clinic, where he was pronounced dead following a stroke. According to Shadid the prisoners returned their meals in protest at Israel’s preplanned medical neglect. Prisoners in the Ramon, Nafha, and Holikdar also decided to close prison sections. Shadid held the IPS responsible for al-Hamdouna’s death, urging all human rights institutions to speak up against Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian detainees. “Hamdouna is one of the victims of Israel’s preplanned executions,” said the head of the prisoners and ex-prisoners committee, Issa Qaraqe. Spokesperson for the Palestine Center for Studies, Reyad al-Ashqar, said Hamdouna has been suffering since 2014 from unbearable earaches and did not receive treatment despite his frequent cries for help. Hamdouna, was arrested on June 19, 2003, and sentenced to life on charges of anti-occupation resistance. Human rights groups say at least 208 Palestinians have lost their lives in Israeli prisons and detention centers, 55 of whom died as result of medical negligence.
(Source / 25.09.2016)
WEST BANK, (PIC)– At least eight Palestinian civilians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at the break of dawn on Sunday following assaults on the occupied Palestinian territories. Reporting from the southern occupied West Bank province of al-Khalil, a PIC news correspondent said the IOF rolled into the city’s northern refugee camp of al-Arroub at dawn time and kidnapped five Palestinian youths. The occupation troops reportedly wreaked havoc on civilian homes, including the family home of the slain Palestinian Khaled Jawabreh. The list of captives included, Seif, the nephew of slain Muhammad Aziz Rushdi. Clashes burst out in the area, where the Israeli army patrols attacked the Palestinian protesters with randomly-unleashed waves of teargas canisters. The IOF further stormed Nablus at predawn time and sealed off the main access roads to the Palestinian towns of Hawara, Beit, Ourata, and Odla. At the same time, the IOF soldiers broke into Jenin’s southern corners and subjected Palestinian locals to intensive interrogation, before they sealed off the area with military checkpoints. A PIC news reporter said seven Israeli military patrols deployed at the Jalama crossroads, to the north of Jenin, stormed Qabatiya and Merka, to the south, and raked through residential neighborhoods. Another sweep launched by the IOF in Occupied Jerusalem culminated in the abduction of three Palestinian youngsters from the Shua’fat refugee camp, to the northeast. Violent clashes burst out shortly after the assault, as Palestinian civilians expressed their protest at such arbitrary abductions. The IOF showered Palestinian civilian homes with teargas canisters all the way through the assault. A spy balloon kept, meanwhile, soaring over Occupied Jerusalem moments before the sweep.
(Source / 25.09.2016)
From Left to Right: Ann Wright, LisaGay Hamilton, Norsham Binti Abubakra,
Dr. Fauziah Hasan
By LisaGay Hamilton
Sunday night, September 18, 2016. As my “industry” colleagues attend Emmy parties and dress for the red carpet, I stand on the chilly docks of Ajaccio, Corsica, in the wee hours of the morning awaiting the arrival of a small sailboat called the Zaytouna-Oliva. The boat arrives just after 2AM, and the passengers and crew, all women, disembark. The trip from Barcelona was rough. Everyone had gotten sick and it showed on their faces. One woman had become so ill she had to be taken by ambulance to the local hospital. The boat is battered and reeks of vomit, but it does not smell of despair. The women walk quietly and defiantly off the gangplank and toward the pier, where they receive a hero’s welcome. In twenty-four hours, I will join the women on the third leg of the trip to Messina, Sicily, and from there the Zaytouna-Oliva will proceed to its final destination: Gaza.
What possessed me to travel 6,000 miles from L.A. and my family in order to brave the Mediterranean Sea in what is now beginning to look like the smallest vessel on the docks? Why join yet another effort to break the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza?
First, I am here for the women—the extraordinary women of Gaza as well as the amazing women I’m proud to call my shipmates. I’m here because I’m concerned about the effects of war and blockade on the women, as schools, hospitals, and homes have been periodically destroyed and sources of power and water compromised. I’m here because some 1.8 million Gazans are trapped in what is often described as a giant open-air prison. I’m here for the 299 women and 551 children who were killed in the 2014 assault, and for the over 40,000 pregnant women deprived of basic reproductive health services as a consequence of the blockade and the devastation caused by war. I’m here because the siege on Gaza, waged by both Egypt and Israel, violates the Geneva Conventions prohibition on collective punishment. I’m here because my president just increased U.S. military aid to Israel from $3.1 billion to $3.8 billion per year over the next ten years, with no limits and no mention of the situation in Gaza. I’m here because, despite some easing of the restrictions, the blockade is responsible for high unemployment, food insecurity, an infrastructure badly in need of repair, and an ongoing medical crisis. We are not here to bring “aid” to the people of Gaza, but to contribute to an international effort to break the siege. I take to heart the words of another formidable woman, the Egyptian novelist Adhaf Soueif: “The world treated Gaza as a humanitarian case, as if what the Palestinians needed was aid. What Gaza needs is freedom.”
I’m also here to stand with so many extraordinary women—women like Canadian social worker and activist Wendy Goldsmith, Israeli political activist Yehudit Barbara Llany, Tunisian legislator Latifa Habachi who helped draft their Constitution of 2014, Malaysian gynecologist Dr. Fauziah Hasan, our intrepid leader and flotilla veteran, retired U.S. Army colonel Ann Wright, and our “Skipper” Madeline Habib of Australia. I am proud to be the only Black woman participating on this journey, and while I disembark in Messina, for the first time in my life I feel like I am a part of something much bigger than myself. Watching the boat dock, I thought: how extraordinary that this one small boat holding thirteen women poses such a security threat that Israeli Defense Forces will intercept and board the vessel, arrest the women, and destroy the boat.
One woman who will join our crew for the final stretch to Gaza is my dear friend, playwright Naomi Wallace. Fierce as well as fearless, Naomi reminds me that we are also here in defense of free artistic expression. Tellingly, when I confided to some of my closest friends that I was about to take this trip, they were less concerned about my physical safety than the impact it might have on my ability to work. Criticizing Israel or expressing concern for Palestinians is apparently still taboo in film, television, and even theater. Recently the Public Theater in New York was forced to cancel a production of “The Siege,” a play about five International Solidarity Movement activists forced to take refuge in a church in Bethlehem during the Second Intifada in 2002. Naomi is no stranger to this kind of censorship. Her play “Twenty-One Positions,” co-authored with Abdelfattah Abusrour and Lisa Schlesinger, was commissioned by the Guthrie Theater and then rejected for being too sympathetic to the Palestinians. And when Tony-award winning actress Tonya Pinkins attempted to organize a benefit concert for the Movement for Black Lives, the venue owner abruptly canceled the event citing the movement’s criticisms of Israel. I hope our trip might contribute to breaking the tacit American blockade of Palestinian art and artists.
I won’t lie; I’m scared to death. I’m scared of getting sick, of capsizing, of being lost at sea. I’m afraid for myself and especially for the courageous women who will try to break through the blockade. But I’m more afraid of what might happen if we all stayed home, silent and complacent and posing for the paparazzi. Breaking the siege is not the same as freedom for Gaza, but it is a start. And we women will prevail. As my South African sisters often said in their freedom struggle, “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.”
LisaGay Hamilton in Naomi Wallace’s play, “The Liquid Plain”
LisaGay Hamilton is an award-winning actress and director. She appeared in over thirty films, including “Beloved,” “Go For Sisters,” and “The Soloist,” and she is currently Hulu’s new television series, “Chance.” Her prize-winning documentary, “Beah: A Black Woman Speaks,” is an intimate portrait of the radical actor, poet, activist Beah Richards. Hamilton recently starred in Naomi Wallace’s play, “The Liquid Plain” about the Atlantic Slave Trade.
(Source / 25.09.2016)