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Myanmar Buddhists raid Muslim village, destroy mosque

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Myanmarese Rohingya Muslim women and children are seen at the Thel-Chaung displacement camp in Sittwe in Rakhine State. © AFP

Myanmarese Rohingya Muslim women and children are seen at the Thel-Chaung displacement camp in Sittwe in Rakhine State

A group of about 200 Buddhist extremists have raided a Muslim village in central Myanmar, destroying parts of a mosque and forcing residents to seek refuge overnight in a police station.

The Buddhists rampaged through the area of Thuye Tha Mein village in Bago Province on Thursday, following an argument between the residents over the building of a Muslim school.

The violence erupted after “a Muslim man and a Buddhist women started to argue and then people came to fight him,” said Hla Tint, the village administrator.

The assailants “also destroyed the fence of the Muslim cemetery,” he added.

They forced around 70 Muslims, including children, to seek shelter in a police station, said the administrator, adding that the violence caused no serious injuries, and that peace had been restored in the area.

However, one of the Muslim residents of the village said his community of around 150 people is now living in fear.

“We had to hide as some people were threatening to kill Muslims,” said Tin Shwe OO.

“The situation has never been like this before,” he said. “I do not dare to stay at my house. For the safety of my family, I want to stay somewhere else for about a week or so.”

In recent years, a large number of Rohingya Muslims have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists, especially in Rakhine State.

The violence against Muslims struck central Myanmar and western Rakhine State when the army began loosening its stranglehold on the country in 2011.

Western Rakhine State is home to the Rohingya Muslim minority, who are labeled “Bengali” by hardline Buddhists.

Many government officials brand the Rohingya Muslims as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh even though many can trace their ancestry back generations.

Some 140,000 people, mainly Rohingya, have been trapped in grim displacement camps since they were driven from their homes by waves of Buddhist violence in 2012.

The violence against Muslims triggered an influx of refugees into neighboring countries, namely Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

(Source / 24.06.2016)

Written by altahrir

June 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Israel starts building massive wall south of al-Khalil

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AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The Israeli war ministry started a few days ago to build a massive separation wall south of al-Khalil province at the pretext of protecting Israel’s security. The construction of the wall is taking place one and a half years after former war minister Moshe Yaalon pledged to build it to prevent infiltration from Palestinian areas, according to a Hebrew TV report on Thursday. The wall will separate the southern areas of al-Khalil from Kiryat Gat city and Lachish region, which is located to the south of Tel Aviv.
(Source / 24.06.2016)

 

Written by altahrir

June 24, 2016 at 3:40 pm

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Israeli shuts down PA-funded TV channel

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Thursday signed an order to shut down the Palestinian Authority-funded Musawa television channel for six months. Erdan decided to shut down the Israel-based channel, after learning it subsequently changed its name to the Musawa Channel on behalf of the banned Palestine 48 channel. In July 2015, the minister ordered the Palestine 48 channel to stop operating for six months, arguing the television station was not authorized for broadcasting in Israel. The station subsequently changed its name to the Musawa Channel, Erdan claimed. The Musawa Channel’s content is produced in Nazareth, in northern Israel, and sent to the West Bank city of Ramallah for editing, in an arrangement, according to Erdan, which has not been authorized. The Palestinian Authority sponsors the TV channel. “I will not allow any harm to come to Israel’s sovereignty or give a foothold to the PA within the country,” said Erdan. Last year, Riad Hassan, the head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, called the decision to close down Palestine 48 “illegal.”

(Source / 24.06.2016)

Written by altahrir

June 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Terrorism

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Israeli jailers isolate Abdullah Afif for his solidarity with another prisoner

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JENIN, (PIC)– The Israeli prison authority has sent 55-year-old prisoner Abdullah al-Afif, from Jenin city, to solitary confinement as a punitive measure against him. The family of the prisoner told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that Afif was transferred from Megiddo jail to Jalama jail and locked up in an isolation cell to punish him after he took a solidarity step in support of prisoner Bilal Kayed. The family added that the Israeli jailers also took other punitive measure against Afif, including depriving him of receiving family visits in prison. Prisoner Afif is the coordinator of the commission of prisoners in Jenin, and has spent several years in different Israeli jails.

(Source / 24.06.2016)

Written by altahrir

June 24, 2016 at 3:29 pm

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Residents confront settlers guarded by soldiers in Huwara town

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NABLUS, (PIC)– Violent clashes broke out on Thursday evening between Palestinian citizens and Jewish settlers escorted by soldiers in Huwara town, south of Nablus city. Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that dozens of settlers stormed and closed the main street of Huwara town under military protection at the pretext of protesting stone-throwing attacks on Israeli vehicles.   The presence of settlers and soldiers in the town provoked dozens of residents to rally on a road near the intersection of Einabous village, carrying Palestinian flags.   Soon later, the situation developed into clashes between the two sides. According the sources, the soldiers fired tear gas to disperse the Palestinian protesters and arrested a young man named Asem al-Hawwari during the events. In recent weeks, settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar have escalated their attacks and provocative acts against the Palestinians in Huwara town and nearby areas.

(Source / 24.06.2016)

Written by altahrir

June 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Politics

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Palestinian woman shot dead after her car hits vehicle, 2 Israelis lightly injured

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Hebron vrouw gedood

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian woman was shot and killed Friday afternoon after her carcrashed into a stationary vehicle, lightly injuring two Israelis in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank.

 An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that after a Palestinian woman allegedly carried out a car-ramming attack near the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba in the eastern outskirts of Hebron, Israeli forces responded by firing towards the “assailant,” killing her.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed her death, identifying her as Majd al-Khadour. Israeli sources said she was 18 years old.
The two Israelis, reportedly a man and woman in their 50s who had stopped outside the settlement to pick up hitchhikers, were immediately evacuated for treatment at Israel’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Witnesses told Ma’an they saw Israeli forces open heavy fire at a Palestinian female inside a red car at the entrance of Kiryat Arba.
Various Israeli news outlets initially reported that the suspected attacker had been “neutralized.” Israeli media often uses the term “neutralized” in initial reports to indicate that a suspected attack has been subdued, when it is later revealed they had been injured or killed on the scene.
Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post had reported that the Palestinian woman was in critical condition, though it was not immediately clear if she had been killed immediately or if she had received any treatment.
Photos published by Israeli media show a red car heavily damaged to its front in what appeared to be a collision, with several bullet holes through the windshield.
The circumstances of the incident are still unknown. Some Palestinian social media outlets reported that eyewitnesses told them the incident appeared to be car accident, not a premeditated attack.
Israeli forces have closed the Beit Einun conjunction and the northeastern entrances of Hebron, witnesses added.
Al-Khadour’s killing came days after Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens while they were driving in their car. The Israeli army said initially that Mahmoud Badran was a “terrorist,” involved in nearby stone-throwing, though they later admitted he was an “uninvolved bystander” to the incident.
Al-Khadour and Badran are among some 220 Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October, many of whom were killed while carrying out individual attacks on Israeli military and settlers. Just under 30 Israelis have been killed during the unrest.
Israeli authorities meanwhile have launched a crackdown in response to the escalation, promoting a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians, which has been accused by rights groups, international leaders, and Palestinian officials of enacting a policy of “extrajudicial executions.”
According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, “There have been many reports since October of a policy permitting shoot-to-kill in incidents in which Palestinians harmed, or attempted to harm, Israeli security personnel or civilians, even when there is no clear and immediate mortal danger or if the danger can be overcome without resorting to a lethal outcome,” B’Tselem wrote.
Hebron vrouw gedood1
(Source / 24.06.2016)

Written by altahrir

June 24, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Politics

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Israel prosecutes a Palestinian poet over Youtube poem

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Dareen Tatour is among dozens of Palestinians arrested by Israel for incitement allegations over social media posts.

Dareen Tatour, who remains under house arrest, reads from one of her notebooks of poems [Nigel Wilson/Al Jazeera]

Dareen Tatour, who remains under house arrest, reads from one of her notebooks of poems

Kiryat Ono, Israel – With a flick of her wrist, Dareen Tatour turned a page in her notebook, smoothed the paper and began reading aloud in a slow, steady cadence.

“The charges are like pieces of clothing. They brought me these clothes and forced me to wear them, from my toes to my head,” she said, before bursting into excited laughter at the novelty of her work being translated into English.

The lines are from A Poet Behind Bars, a piece that Tatour wrote in an Israeli prison in November 2015 after being charged with incitement to violence and supporting a “terrorist” organisation.

Tatour, a Palestinian poet, has since had ample time to work on new material – both during her three-month jail term and, more recently, while under house arrest in the Israeli city of Kiryat Ono, far from her hometown of Reine. “I have been writing a lot about my arrest and everything that happened to me,” Tatour told Al Jazeera.


READ MORE: Israel jails Palestinian beautician over Facebook post


Tatour’s ordeal began in the early hours of October 11, when she was alerted by the frightened shouts of her parents. She did not know why at the time, but Israeli police had come to her family home to arrest her.

Fifteen days and multiple interrogations later, Tatour says she was presented with the allegations against her, some of which were related to a Facebook post.

Interpreting an artistic work as a direct call to terrorism dangerously misconstrues an act of free expression by an Arab citizen of Israel as a serious security threat punishable by preventative detention and prosecution.

Karin Deutsch Karlekar, director at PEN America

She had posted a picture of Israa Abed – a Palestinian woman shot at a bus station in Afula while brandishing a knife – with the comment, “I am the next martyr.” Abed, who has a history of mental instability, survived the shooting and charges against her were later  dropped .

“What I meant with that post was that I, as a Palestinian, or any Palestinian, could be killed at any time,” Tatour told Al Jazeera.

On November 2, Tatour was initially charged with inciting violence and terrorism, as well as supporting a terrorist group, in relation to posts on her Facebook and Youtube pages.

Since then, the specifics of the charges against her have shifted, and now relate to a poem that was posted to her Youtube account.

The poem, whose title translates roughly as “Resist my people, resist,” is read aloud against background images of Palestinians clashing with Israeli security forces.

Under the conditions of her house arrest, Tatour is confined to the flat for all but six hours a week, when she can leave and walk around the neighbourhood if accompanied by her brother.

The trial is currently underway – evidence hearings have begun. The next hearing sessions are expected to take place in July and September. Tatour will remain under house arrest until the trial is over.

Tatour’s brother, who asked not to be named, left his job as a nurse to take on the task of watching his sister day and night. He rented the apartment in Kiryat Ono after the court ruled that his sister was too dangerous to be confined in her family home and must be held at least 40km away.

“We haven’t seen much of our family. Our father is not able to drive long distances, so they haven’t been able to visit much,” he said. “It’s not easy, but we adapt.”

http://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2016/palestinemaps/PalestineRemixVanishingMap.mp4

Before her arrest, Tatour said she felt free to write and publish poetry without any fear or restrictions. “I never imagined that I could be arrested for something that I wrote,” she said. “Back in the ’60s, all the poets, like Mahmoud Darwish, were arrested – but in this century, I never expected this. I didn’t know that democracy was not for everyone in Israel.”

Tatour began writing as a child and realised that she was talented. In 2010, she published her first collection of poems entitled “The Last Invasion”. “I wrote about everything to do with Palestinian life: Politics, social life, women children and emotions – whatever a human being feels,” she said.

“I was preparing to publish a second volume,”Stories of the Canary”, when they arrested me. This collection is mostly about women in general, not just Palestinian women, but sexual harassment, rape and social issues,” Tatour said.

PEN America, a human rights group that works to defend freedom of expression around the world, released a statement on June 17 condemning Tatour’s detention and prosecution. “Interpreting an artistic work as a direct call to terrorism dangerously misconstrues an act of free expression by an Arab citizen of Israel as a serious security threat punishable by preventative detention and prosecution,” said Karin Deutsch Karlekar, director of Free Expression Programs at PEN America.

“The connection between Tatour’s activities and the charges of incitement to violence and support for terrorism relies solely on suggestion in the form of a poem and video rather than actual evidence. Her detention, one in a string of recent arrests of writers and journalists, signals a worrying expansion in Israeli law enforcement policy to silence views the government deems unsavory.”

Tatour’s lawyer, Abdul-Majeed Fahoum, says Dareen could face five years in prison.


READ MORE: Israel jails Palestinians for Facebook comments


Tatour is among dozens of Palestinians who have arrested for incitement allegations in relation to social media posts in recent months. Anas Khateeb, 19, was charged with incitement to violence and “terrorism” relating to three Facebook posts he allegedly uploaded in October 2015. The posts garnered no more than a few dozen “likes”, said Khateeb’s lawyer, Aram Mohammed, who is with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

“He’s a political activist. But is he a politically influential figure? No,” Mohammed said. “None of his posts received more than 70 likes, indicating that he was unlikely to foment unrest on any scientific scale.

“There are no clear legal grounds for the charge,” Mohammed added. “Incitement should be clear, specific and not subject to interpretation.”

Israeli security services have increased their surveillance and monitoring of Arab social media activity since the 2014 Gaza war. But while Palestinians such as Tatour and Khateeb have been indicted in relation to social media posts since last autumn, Jewish Israelis have not been held to an equal standard, Mohammed said.

“We do not live in a state where everyone is equal before the law,” he said. “We know that.”

(Source / 23.06.2016)

Written by altahrir

June 23, 2016 at 9:22 pm

Posted in Terrorism

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