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Tag Archives: Zionism

Palestine: Policewoman attacks woman, snatches her veil & Israeli runs over a family

Israeli policewoman attacks Palestinian woman, snatches her veil

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Fistfights were reported between worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque and Israeli police forces on Thursday after a policewoman attacked a Palestinian woman and snatched her veil.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that Israeli police blocked entry of worshipers less than 50 years old into the holy site while allowing hoards of settlers free access at the pretext of Jewish feasts.

They said that friction occurred as a result at Bab El-Nadher, one of the Aqsa gates, and the policewoman assaulted the Palestinian woman leading to the fistfight.

Israeli occupation forces usually allow Muslim worshipers to enter the Aqsa only after handing over their IDs at the gates.

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IOF raze commercial structures in Barta’a town

JENIN, (PIC)– the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) demolished on Thursday morning a commercial complex and two garages in the industrial zone of Barta’a town after declaring it a closed military zone.

Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that a number of Israeli bulldozers and military vehicles stormed at about 05:30 in the morning the town, which is located behind the segregation wall to the southwest of Jenin.

They added that the invading troops declared the town a closed military zone and prevented all Palestinian cars from going in or out.

They also said that the bulldozers headed under military protection to the commercial zone north of the town and embarked on razing a commercial center of seven stores belonging to a Palestinian citizen.

The bulldozers also knocked down two auto repair garages owned by two Palestinian citizens from the town, according to them.

Consequently, the demolition campaign in the town triggered violent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian citizens.

During the events, the invading troops fired a hail of tear gas grenades at the angry citizens, which led to severe suffocation cases among them and caused one of the garages to catch fire.

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Israeli settler runs over a Palestinian family in Bethlehem

BETHLEHHEM, (PIC)– An Israeli settler has deliberately run over a Palestinian family, consisting of man and two ladies, in Bethlehem, where they were transferred immediately to hospital.

Spokesman for emergency services in Bethlehem said that three Palestinians have been injured after an Israeli settler run them over in Umm Salamuna village near Gush Etzion settlement.

Palestinian medical sources confirmed that the Israeli ambulance crews have transferred the wounded to hospital in occupied territories in 1948. Two of them were seriously injured while the third is in a stable condition.

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50 settlers storm al-Aqsa mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Dozens of extremist settlers broke into the sanctuary yards of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning, while the IOF prevented Palestinian worshipers under 50 years from entering the mosque.

Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that the Israeli soldiers have prevented Palestinians, under 50 years, from performing Fajr (dawn) prayers, forcing them to pray outside the mosque.

Meanwhile, 50 Jewish settlers stormed al-Aqsa mosque through al-Magharbeh Gate and wandered through its yards under military protection.

The Foundation pointed that the Palestinian worshipers protested the Israeli heavy security measures on the mosque’s gates, chanting Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest).

Jewish organizations gathering under the name of “the Coalition for the Temple” have called on settlers to storm the Mosque next Saturday. They called upon the police to allow them to celebrate the Yom Kippur holiday in al-Aqsa mosque.

Israeli police spokesman Yohanna Danino has announced that Israeli police have agreed to give permission for Jews to enter into the Mosque on Saturday, considering it a part of the so-called “Jewish Temple”. He said, “That is an undisputed right for Jews.”

NSA shares raw data about US citizens with ’Israel’

Al Ahed news

A top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed Thursday that the National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with “Israel” without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens.

Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its “Israeli” counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the “Israelis”.

The disclosure that the NSA agreed to provide raw intelligence data to a foreign country contrasts with assurances from the Obama administration that there are rigorous safeguards to protect the privacy of US citizens caught in the dragnet. The intelligence community calls this process “minimization”, but the memorandum makes clear that the information shared with the “Israelis” would be in its pre-minimized state.

The deal was reached in principle in March 2009, according to the undated memorandum, which lays out the ground rules for the intelligence sharing.

The five-page memorandum, termed an agreement between the US and “Israeli” intelligence agencies “pertaining to the protection of US persons”, repeatedly stresses the constitutional rights of Americans to privacy and the need for “Israeli” intelligence staff to respect these rights.

But this is undermined by the disclosure that “Israel” is allowed to receive “raw Sigint” – signal intelligence. The memorandum says: “Raw Sigint includes, but is not limited to, unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.”

According to the agreement, the intelligence being shared would not be filtered in advance by NSA analysts to remove US communications. “NSA routinely sends ISNU the so-called “Israeli” Sigint National Unit] minimized and unminimized raw collection”, it says.

“This agreement is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law,” the document says.

In a statement to the Guardian, an NSA spokesperson did not deny that personal data about Americans was included in raw intelligence data shared with the Israelis. But the agency insisted that the shared intelligence complied with all rules governing privacy.

“Any US person information that is acquired as a result of NSA’s surveillance activities is handled under procedures that are designed to protect privacy rights,” the spokesperson said.

The NSA declined to answer specific questions about the agreement, including whether permission had been sought from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court for handing over such material.

The memorandum of understanding, which the Guardian published in full, allows Tel Aviv to retain “any files containing the identities of US persons” for up to a year. The agreement requests only that the “Israelis” should consult the NSA’s special liaison adviser when such data is found.

Notably, a much stricter rule was set for US government communications found in the raw intelligence. The “Israelis” were required to “destroy upon recognition” any communication “that is either to or from an official of the US government”. Such communications included those of “officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the supreme court)”.

It is not clear whether any communications involving members of US Congress or the federal courts have been included in the raw data provided by the NSA, nor is it clear how or why the NSA would be in possession of such communications. In 2009, however, the New York Times reported on “the agency’s attempt to wiretap a member of Congress, without court approval, on an overseas trip”.

The NSA is required by law to target only non-US persons without an individual warrant, but it can collect the content and metadata of Americans’ emails and calls without a warrant when such communication is with a foreign target. US persons are defined in surveillance legislation as US citizens, permanent residents and anyone located on US soil at the time of the interception, unless it has been positively established that they are not a citizen or permanent resident.

Moreover, with much of the world’s internet traffic passing through US networks, large numbers of purely domestic communications also get scooped up incidentally by the agency’s surveillance programs.

The document mentions only one check carried out by the NSA on the raw intelligence, saying the agency will “regularly review a sample of files transferred to ISNU to validate the absence of US persons’ identities”. It also requests that the “Israelis” limit access only to personnel with a “strict need to know”.

“Israeli” intelligence is allowed “to disseminate foreign intelligence information concerning US persons derived from raw Sigint by NSA” on condition that it does so “in a manner that does not identify the US person”. The agreement also allows “Israel” to release US person identities to “outside parties, including all INSU customers” with the NSA’s written permission.

“Balancing the Sigint exchange equally between US and “Israeli” needs has been a constant challenge,” states the report, titled ‘History of the US – “Israel” Sigint Relationship, Post-1992′. “In the last decade, it arguably tilted heavily in favor of Israeli security concerns. 9/11 came, and went, with NSA’s only true Third Party [counter-terrorism] relationship being driven almost totally by the needs of the partner.”

In another top-secret document seen by the Guardian, dated 2008, a senior NSA official points out that “Israe”l aggressively spies on the US. “On the one hand, the “Israelis” are extraordinarily good Sigint partners for us, but on the other, they target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems,” the official says. “A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked them as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US.”

Later in the document, the official is quoted as saying: “One of NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like “Israel”. There are parameters on what NSA shares with them, but the exchange is so robust, we sometimes share more than we intended.”

The memorandum of understanding also contains hints that there had been tensions in the intelligence-sharing relationship with “Israel”. At a meeting in March 2009 between the two agencies, according to the document, it was agreed that the sharing of raw data required a new framework and further training for “Israeli” personnel to protect US person information.

However, an earlier US document obtained by Snowden, which discusses co-operating on a military intelligence program, bluntly lists under the cons: “Trust issues which revolve around previous ISR [“Israel”] operations.

The Guardian asked the Obama administration how many times US data had been found in the raw intelligence, either by the “Israelis” or when the NSA reviewed a sample of the files, but officials declined to provide this information. Nor would they disclose how many other countries the NSA shared raw data with, or whether the Fisa court, which is meant to oversee NSA surveillance programs and the procedures to handle US information, had signed off the agreement with “Israel”.

In its statement, the NSA said: “We are not going to comment on any specific information sharing arrangements, or the authority under which any such information is collected. The fact that intelligence services work together under specific and regulated conditions mutually strengthens the security of both nations.”

WMD double standards: CIA documents reveal Israeli stockpile of chemical weapons

by Saed Bannoura, source

A newly-discovered document of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency revealed Monday by Foreign Policy magazine shows that the U.S. agency had decisive evidence dating back to at least the 1980s that Israel had a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

The revelation comes in the midst of the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on August 21st.

The document revealed by Foreign Policy magazine on Monday shows that, in addition to building up a nuclear stockpile of an estimated three hundred nuclear weapons during the 1960s and 70s, the Israeli military also developed an extensive stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

The 1983 document stated that U.S. spy satellites had identified “a probable CW [chemical weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert. Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry.”

“While we cannot confirm whether the Israelis possess lethal chemical agents,” the document adds, “several indicators lead us to believe that they have available to them at least persistent and nonpersistent nerve agents, a mustard agent, and several riot-control agents, marched with suitable delivery systems.”

The single page of a larger CIA report was discovered at the Ronald Reagan Library in California in its unredacted form – the report had been released several years ago to the National Archives, but was heavily censored.

According to the Foreign Policy report, “Israeli historian Avner Cohen, in his 1988 book Israel and the Bomb, wrote that Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion secretly ordered that a stockpile of chemical weapons be built at about the time of the 1956 war between Israel and Egypt. The CIA, on the other hand, believed that Israel did not begin work on chemical weapons until either the late 1960s or the early 1970s.

The article included the following assessment from the 1983 CIA report: “Israel, finding itself surrounded by frontline Arab states with budding CW [chemical weapons] capabilities, became increasingly conscious of its vulnerability to chemical attack. Its sensitivities were galvanized by the capture of large quantities of Soviet CW-related equipment during both the 1967 Arab-Israeli and the 1973 Yom Kippur wars. As a result, Israel undertook a program of chemical warfare preparations in both offensive and protective areas.”

The Israeli government has harshly criticized the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons three weeks ago, and has encouraged President Obama’s pledge to respond militarily.

Israel did sign the Convention to Ban Chemical Weapons, but the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) never ratified the treaty. Israel has never opened its nuclear facility or its chemical weapons stockpile to international inspections.

Palestine: Usual Israeli rampage in several areas & ’Prisoner X’ family given $1M

Maan Images

Maan Images

Jewish extremists from price tag vandalize public buses in Silwan

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Members of the terrorist Jewish group known as the price tag gang punctured tires of three big public buses and spray-painted anti-Arab slurs on them in Thawri neighborhood of Silwan district, south of the Aqsa Mosque.

Local sources reported that the sabotaged buses are owned by a Palestinian company and used to transport passengers from the district to Bethlehem and vice versa.

They added that the Israeli police did not even come to the scene to investigate the incident, noting that the owners of the bus company would lodge a complaint in this regard with the Israeli complaint center Mahesh.

Since its emergence, the price tag gang had carried out many different attacks against Palestinian property and religious sites, including arson attacks on mosques and churches.

Their attacks take the form of not only graffiti and vandalism at religious sites, but also attempted murders, burning crops, killing livestock, terrorizing villagers, and poisoning water sources.

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Hundreds of trees in Nablus on fire after settlers’ attack

NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers started a huge fire in lands of Deir Hatab village, Nablus province, on Wednesday morning that destroyed hundreds of trees.

Abdulkarim Suleiman, the village’s municipality chairman, said that the settlers started fire in dozens of dunums, adding that the fire was still raging in the land to which Palestinians are banned from entering without prior coordination.

He charged the Israeli occupation forces with blocking arrival of Palestinian fire brigades to the scene to extinguish the blaze that destroyed hundreds of trees.

Suleiman said that the land is 1500 meters away from the village, adding that it was not the first time that settlers started fire in it.

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Aqsa foundation warns of new Israeli attempt to falsify Arab identity of J’lem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said that the latest Israeli claims about finding historical stone engravings near the Aqsa Mosque is another attempt to liquidate the Arab and Islamic civilization of the holy city of Jerusalem and promote the Jewish temple lie.

The foundation stated on Tuesday that the new Zionist allegations in this regard are aimed to change the reality on the ground and cement the Jewish lies about the alleged temple.

The foundation stressed that the fraud campaigns that are led by Israeli archeologists are politicized and aimed at proving the existence of Jewish heritage in Jerusalem, especially in the Umayyad Palaces area near the southern wall of the Aqsa Mosque.

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150 settlers storm al-Aqsa mosque this morning

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Nearly 150 Jewish settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday led by rabbis telling them about the alleged temple.

A state of tension has prevailed among the Muslim worshipers who protested the presence of the Jewish settlers in the Islamic holy site.

The Aqsa Association for Religious Endowments (Waqf) and Heritage called on the Arab and Islamic world to take firm positions to protect al-Aqsa mosque from the Israeli serious schemes. The foundation also stressed the need to intensify the Muslim presence in al-Aqsa mosque.

The settlers’ raid into al-Aqsa mosque came in light of the Israeli Coalition for the Temple’s calls to open the mosque for Jews on Saturday to perform their rituals as they mark Yom Kippur (Day of Repentance). An Israeli parliament committee has approved in an unprecedented move the opening of al-Aqsa Mosque yards for Jews to perform their rituals inside it during this month.

The foundation stated that such measure came in an attempt to impose a status quo on the mosque and to divide it.

For its part, Hamas movement strongly condemned the Israeli decision to allow Jewish settlers to perform their rituals in al-Aqsa mosque.

The Israeli decision came in total provocation to Muslims’ religious feelings, the spokesman of the movement said.

The movement called on the Arab and Islamic nation to bear its responsibility towards al-Aqsa mosque in light of the Israeli escalated schemes.

Hamas stated that PA decision to resume talks provides a cover to the Israeli crimes through the securing coordination and the prosecution of resistance leaders in West Bank.

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25 Jerusalemite students injured in clashes with IOF soldiers

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli border police assaulted students of Abu Dis university in occupied Jerusalem while on their way home on Monday night wounding 25 of them.

A Jerusalemite activist said in a press release on Tuesday that ten students were injured with rubber bullets while 15 others were treated for breathing problems.

He said that the students could only find stones to defend themselves, adding that the wounded students were taken to a medical emergency center in Abu Dis.

Young men of nearby villages joined the students in defending themselves and clashes spread to areas near the university. The varsity guards managed to evacuate the entire campus.

Israeli occupation forces (IOA) had launched a similar assault a couple of days earlier in which 78 students were injured. IOF soldiers twice attacked the university students over the past week.

Deputy executive manager of the university Emad Abu Kishek said that the Israeli attacks, which coincide with the start of the new academic year, aim at destabilizing the university and frustrating students wishing to join it in future years.

The same practice by the Israeli military was made last year at the start of the 2012-2013 academic year.

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Aqsa Brigades: Resistance Attacks against Israel to Begin Friday

Al Manar

Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades called on all units to consider next Friday as the “first day of popular resistance against the Israeli occupation in the well-known places of confrontation.”Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

A statement released by the Brigades, which is Fatah’s military wing, called on all units and sleeper cells to prepare for a confrontation with the Israeli occupation beginning on Friday. The statement further added there will be a “green light” to carry out attacks.

The statement also referred to the events that take place at the al-Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis by the occupation. “We are all witnessing the invasion by herds of settlers to the compound and (they) harm the worshippers without any intervention from the international community,” the statement read.

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“Israel” to Give ’Prisoner X’ family $1M Payout

Al Ahed news

“Israel” is to pay more than $1 million to the family of a Mossad spy who hanged himself in prison in 2010.

“After negotiations, the two parties [“Israel” and the family] have reached an agreement whereby the state will pay 4 million shekels [$1.1 million or 842,000 euros] to the deceased’s family,” the so-called “Israeli” “justice” ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The family of Ben Zygier, an Australian-“Israeli” known as “Prisoner X,” had accused the Zionist entity of negligence in dealing with his case, according to the statement.

Zygier was found hanged in his isolation cell in Ayalon prison near Tel Aviv in December 2010 – a case “Israel” went to extreme lengths to cover up.

A court document released on April 25 this year said “Israel’s” prison service had caused Zygier’s death by failing to prevent him from committing suicide.

The document revealed details about his background and imprisonment, indicating he was suicidal and had an emotionally-charged exchange with his wife the day he was found hanged.

It also said that his cell was not properly watched by prison guards.

The justice ministry statement stressed that the deal with Zygier’s family was not an “admission of alleged wrongdoing”.

It was instead “to avoid the affair going to court, which would lead to the publication of numerous details of the case which could cause serious harm to “Israeli” security.”

The reasons for Zygier’s detention were unclear, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said in a report in May that the 34-year-old, who was working for “Israel’s” foreign spy service Mossad, had unwittingly sabotaged a top secret spy operation in Lebanon.

Palestine: Warnings about storming AlAqsa & fishing boats seized

Mufti of Jerusalem warns of the seriousness of Jewish calls for storming Al-Aqsa

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohammad Hussein warned of the growing Israeli calls for storming Al-Aqsa Mosque and tightening the Jewish control over it.

The last of these calls was by the occupation Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino in which he falsely claimed the right of Jews to pray inside Al-Aqsa considering it one of the yards the alleged temple.

Sheikh Hussein said in a statement on Tuesday: “The remarks and practices by the occupation authorities against the holy sites, particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque, represent serious violations.”

He warned of the consequences of the attitude of silence regarding these calls that carry serious intentions against the holy sites, as he said.

Hussein pointed out that the calls for storming Al-Aqsa Mosque comes after similar calls by the Jewish rabbis to demolish the Aqsa and build the alleged temple on its ruins, which refers to the “imminent danger faced by the Islamic Mosque that must be protected by all Muslims.”

The preacher of Al-Aqsa mosque appealed to Palestinian citizens in the city of Jerusalem and the 1948 territories to flock to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and defend it against the Jewish attacks.

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Israeli navy seizes two Palestinian fishing boats

GAZA, (PIC)– Israeli navy forces seized two Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Rafah south of Gaza Strip at dawn Tuesday.

Security sources told the PIC reporter that the Israeli navy towed the two boats with their fishing nets after shooting at them.

Palestinian fishermen are constant targets for the Israeli navy in line with the daily harassment of Palestinians in the Strip and means of earning their living.

‘Israel’s’ lobbyists pushing hard for another war in the Middle East

by Jeremy Salt – Ankara, source

Two million refugees out of Syria, some of them Palestinian refugees from 1948 and 1967 and some Iraqi refugees from 2004.  They are the consequences of war and yet the raging beast that is devouring the Middle East is still not satiated. Another war looms. Another country already devastated is to be shattered by missile attacks. Who wants this war: who could want it?  Who could even think of avenging the dead by calling for more killing?

It is not the people of the world.  All polls show they are against it.  Not just the people of Latin America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia and China but the American people, the British people, the French people and the Turkish people. It is only the politicians who want this war: Obama, Kerry, Hagel, McCain and others in the US; Cameron and Hague in Britain; Hollande in France; and Erdogan in Turkey. None of them has any proof of their accusation that the Syrian army used chemical weapons around Damascus, but proof is beside the point. Their Muslim contras have failed to destroy the government in Damascus and now in the chemical weapons attack they have their pretext for doing the job themselves.

The US administration is now deciding how long this attack should last. Should it be a few days, or a few months? Should it be aimed at just punishing the ‘regime’ or should it be aimed at destroying it altogether, which seems to be the emerging consensus? They are talking this over confidently, almost nonchalantly, McCain playing poker on his mobile phone because he is so bored, as though  their  missile attacks on other countries have lulled them into thinking that their military power is so great  they could not possibly be hurt themselves.

Erdogan wants a ‘Kosovo-style’ aerial campaign.  In 1999, NATO aircraft flew more than 38,000 ‘sorties’ over Yugoslavia, of which number 10,484 were strike attacks. Operation Allied Force lasted for 78 days, not the 30 days claimed by Kerry when being questioned by the Senate committee which finally voted for war on Syria. In 2011 NATO launched Operation Unified Protector against Libya ‘to protect the people from attack or threat of attack.’ This particular  ‘operation’ lasted for seven months, during which 26,500 ‘sorties’ were flown, 9700 of them strike sorties.  Even the National Transitional Council, the incoming government after the destruction of the government in Tripoli, said 25,000 people had been killed. A similar operation over Syria, a country much better able to defend itself, and with powerful allies besides, would cause enormous further destruction and the death of many thousands of people. This is the meaning of ‘Kosovo-style’ aerial warfare.  In fact, what is shaping up is even worse, an air war that will have more in common with Iraq than the bombing of Yugoslavia. The targets and objectives are being expanded all the time.

Saudi Arabia has no politicians and no public opinion polls which would tell us what the Saudi people think of their government and its role in the destruction of Syria. The only country in which the government and the people are clearly united in their support for an attack on Syria is Israel. Polls show that nearly 70 per cent of  Jewish Israelis – Palestinians are fully against it – are in favor of the US striking Syria, while thinking that Israel should stay out unless Syria or Hezbollah retaliate with strikes against Israeli targets. The British vote against war and Obama’s hesitation forced Israel and its lobbyists in the US to break cover, ending the silly pretense that Israel is not involved in Syria and does not really care who wins. David Horowitz, the former editor of the Jerusalem Post, wrote an infuriated piece about  ‘how a perfect storm of British ineptitude and gutlessness sent the wrong message to the butcher of Damascus and left Israel more certain than ever that it can rely only on itself.’ The novelist Noah Beck accused Obama of being spineless. Others in the media called him weak and unreliable.  By ‘blinking’, he had sent a dangerous message to ‘cruel regimes’ and terrorists everywhere. Debkafile, an outlet for disinformation and other scrapings from the floor of Israeli intelligence, echoed this line. Obama’s   ‘about turn’ had let Iran, Syria and Hezbollah ‘off the hook ’, creating a ‘military nightmare’ for Israel, Jordan and Turkey.

The same lines of attack and support were duplicated by Israel’s formal and informal lobbyists in the US.  Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post sneered at Obama for hesitating: ‘Perhaps we should be publishing the exact time the bombs will fall lest we disrupt dinner in Damascus’. Wrote William Kristol in the Weekly Standard: ‘Is President Obama going wobbly on Syria? No. He’s always been wobbly on Syria – and on pretty much everything else … the worst outcome would be for Obama not to call Congress back or not to act at all but to falter and retreat. For his retreat would be America’s retreat and his humiliation America’s humiliation.’ Kristol’s stablemate, Thomas Donnelly, thought Obama content ‘‘to see Assad kill his own people – which he has done in the tens if not hundreds of thousands – as long as Assad doesn’t use chemical weapons’. Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times that the most likely option for Syria was partition, ‘with the pro-Assad, predominantly Alawite Syrians controlling one region and the Sunni and Kurdish Syrians controlling the rest.’ The fragmentation of Syria on ethno-religious lines, of course, has been a Zionist objective for decades. No mention by Friedman of the Druze,  but never mind that:  in the interim,  America’s best option is not the launching of Cruise missiles ‘but an increase in the training and arming of the Free Syrian Army – including the antitank and antiaircraft weapons it’s long sought.’ Friedman thought this might increase the influence on the ground of the ‘more moderate groups over the jihadist ones.’

At the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the entire stable was off and running. ‘Forget the red line and engage in Syria,’ wrote David Schenker, as if the US has not been intensely engaged in Syria for the past three years, fomenting the violence which has built up to the present catastrophic situation.  Wrote Robert Satloff: ‘Given the strategic stakes at play in Syria which touches [sic.] on every key American interest in the region, the wiser course of action is to take the opportunity of the Assad regime’s flagrant violation of global norms to take action that hastens the end of Assad’s regime … this will also enhance the credibility of the president’s commitment to prevent Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability.’ Michael Herzog thought the US could learn from Israeli air attacks on Syria: ‘In Israel’s experience Assad has proven to be a rational (if ruthless) actor. He was deterred from responding to recent and past strikes because he did not want to invite the consequences of Israeli military might. Therefore, the United States has a good chance of deterring him as well.’

In Commentary, Max Boot called on the US to use air power in cooperation with ground action by ‘vetted’ rebel forces to ‘cripple and ultimately bring down Assad’s regime, making impossible further atrocities such as the use of chemical weapons.’ How these forces are to be ‘vetted’ and how they, rather than the Islamist groups who are doing most of the fighting, could bring down the ‘regime’  Boot does not say, most probably because he doesn’t know. Daniel Pipes, the long-term advocate of Israeli violence in the Middle East, writing in National Review online, wanted not a ‘limited’ strike but something that would do real damage and brings the ‘regime’ down.

Outside these journals and the think tanks, former ‘government advisers’ and ‘foreign policy experts’  signed a petition calling for ‘direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime’.  Many of the names will be familiar from the Project for the New American Century and plans laid long ago for a series of wars in the Middle East: Elliott Abrams, Fouad Ajami, Gary Bauer, Max Boot, Ellen Bork, Eliot A. Cohen, Paula Dobriansky, Thomas Donnelly, Douglas Feith, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Bernard-Henri Levy, Michael Makovsky, Joshua Muravchik, Martin Peretz, Karl Rove, Randy Scheunemann, Leon Wieseltier and Radwan Ziadeh.

AIPAC and the Jewish organizations piled the pressure on Congress and the White House. AIPAC’s statement on Syria stressed the sending of a ‘forceful message of resolve to Iran and Hizbullah’ at a time ‘Iran is racing towards obtaining nuclear capability.’ The Politico website quoted unnamed AIPAC officials as saying that ‘some 250 Jewish leaders and AIPAC activists will storm the halls on Capitol Hill beginning next week to persuade lawmakers that Congress must adopt the resolution or risk emboldening Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon … they are expected to lobby virtually every member of Congress’. Their ‘stepped-up involvement’ comes at a welcome time for the White House, wrote the Politico correspondent, given its difficulty in securing support for the resolution. The two top Republican leaders in the Senate, minority leader Mitch McConnell and minority whip John Comyn, had already been urged ‘by top Jewish donors and AIPAC allies’ to back the war resolution.

The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations called for an attack that would demonstrate ‘accountability’ to ‘those who possess weapons of mass destruction, particularly Iran and Hezbollah.’ Morris Amitay of the pro-Israel Washington Political Action Committee thought that ‘for our [United States] credibility we have to do something.’ Bloomberg reported the Republican Jewish Coalition as sending an ‘action alert’ to its 45,000 members ‘directing them to tell Congress to authorize force.’ The same message of support for an attack was sent out by the National Jewish Democratic Council and   Abe Foxman of the so-called Anti-Defamation League, who stressed that while ‘he’s not doing this for Israel,’ the attack may have  serious consequences for Israel.

With the exception of the Foxman statement, these organizations carefully kept any mention of Israel out of their public statements. In off the record discussions, however, it was the central concern. On August 30 Obama had a conference call with 1000 rabbis, with Syria, ‘at the White House’s request,’ according to Bloomberg, being the first question asked. Iran was not mentioned either but, said a leading rabbi from New York, ‘we have a strong stake in the world taking seriously our insistence that weapons of mass destruction should not proliferate’. Bloomberg quoted Obama as ‘arguing’ that ‘a military response is necessary to uphold a longstanding international ban on the use of chemical weapons use and to deter Assad from using them again on his own people or such neighbors as Israel and Jordan.’ Of course, this was not an argument at all but Obama telling the rabbis what they wanted to hear. In a separate approach, 17 leading rabbis ‘covering the religious and political spectrum’, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, sent a letter to Congress calling on it to authorize force against Syria. The language could scarcely be more Orwellian: ‘Through this act, Congress has the capacity to save   thousands of lives.’

Another conference call was held between representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and White House deputy national security advisors Tony Blinken and Ben Rhodes. The representatives waited until Blinken and Rhodes were ‘off the call’ before advising constituent organizations ‘not to make their statements ‘Israel-centric’,’ according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. A powerful figure wheeled out by the lobby is Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who funds settlement in Jerusalem and on the West Bank and spent (along with his wife) $93 million trying to see Obama defeated in the presidential election last year. Adelson is a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition and supports the pressure it is putting on Congress to authorize a military attack on Syria.

The carefully crafted outlines of this deceitful campaign are very evident:

1. This is not about Israel
2. This is about America’s national interest.
3. This is about punishing a government which has used chemical weapons on its own people.
4. This is about saving lives
5. This is about a government that has no respect for international law and norms.
6. This is about sending a ‘forceful message of resolve to Hezbollah and Iran.’
7. This is about showing that Obama’s red lines are not empty threats.

Obama’s own ‘full court press strategy’ includes interviews with six television anchors ahead of the congressional vote. The moment Obama said everything AIPAC wanted to hear during the primaries was the moment he took the first step into the tight corner in which he now finds himself. This is now a global confrontation with a lot at stake besides Israel’s interests, but it is pushing as hard as it can to make sure this war goes ahead.  Like David Cameron, a congressional vote against war will allow Obama to back out of the corner by saying that the American people have spoken and he cannot take them into war against their wishes. Will he do that, or is really going to plunge his country into war irrespective of what Congress or the American people think? By the end of the coming week we should have the answer.

Palestine: Dozens of olive trees uprooted & demolition notifications

(Palestine, file photo)

Settlers uproot dozens of olive trees in Yatta

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– A number of settlers uprooted on Sunday evening more than forty olive trees in Yatta, south of al-Khalil in the southern West Bank.

Activist Rateb Jabour told PIC that the settlers stormed Khirbet Homra to the east of Yatta, and started uprooting more than 40 olive trees under the protection of the occupation forces.

Dozens of settlers carried out similar attacks in areas south of al-Khalil. They prevented farmers from entering their lands and threatened to open fire at them.

Meanwhile, the settlers broke the windows of a number of Palestinian vehicles in Nablus.

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IOA notifies the demolition of 2 buildings in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, (PIC)– The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) notified on Sunday the demolition of two buildings in Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.

The so-called Israeli Civil Administration stormed Khader town in Bethlehem and handed a notification for the demolition of a house and agricultural barn under the pretext of being built without a permit, local sources confirmed.

The sources said that elements of the Civil Administration handed over the Palestinian citizen Nader Salah notifications to demolish his house and an agricultural barn under the pretext of being built without a permit and next to the Apartheid Wall.

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Occupation notifies demolition of commercial structures in Silwan

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Jerusalem Municipality handed out on Sunday afternoon administrative demolition orders against a number of commercial structures, and a sports stadium in the town of Silwan in Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

The Information Center in Wadi Hilwa reported that the Israeli municipal teams and forces raided the town and notified the demolition of the Stadium of Wadi Hilweh.

It added the stadium is set up on an area of 850 square meters and includes 4 huts, 3 of which for horses and one for sports equipment.

Residents of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood transferred the land into a playground in late 2010, however after several months the occupation authorities demolished a hut set up in the stadium, in addition to bulldozing the land.

The Municipal teams also handed out demolition orders to the owners of 3 shops built 20 years ago in the neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the occupation Municipal teams also notified the demolition of 3 shops for selling birds, built since 2001.

Palestine: Soldiers burn down ancient olive trees, break gate of monastery & workers wounded

IOF soldiers burn down ancient olive trees, break gate of monastery

BETHLEHEM, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) burned down a number of olive trees, some of which are one thousand years old, and broke the gate of a monastery south of Bethlehem on Saturday evening.

Ahmed Salah, the coordinator of anti-wall and settlement committees in Al-Khader village, said that IOF soldiers fired teargas and stun grenades at areas belonging to the Mar Jeriess monastery in the Old City of Al-Khader.

The resultant fire burned down ancient olive trees, Salah said, adding that the soldiers attacked the monastery and destroyed its main gate. He said that the soldiers warned against rebuilding the gate.

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Jewish settlers attack, damage Palestinian vehicles

NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles passing along the Nablus-Ramallah road and damaged 25 cars.

Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of settlement activity north of the West Bank, said that Israeli occupation forces closed the Hawara roadblock, south of Nablus, after the attack. The settlers threw rocks and empty bottles on the passing cars.

In another incident, IOF patrols set up roadblocks in various areas of Salfit province and searched buses.

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IOF soldiers shoot, wound Palestinian workers

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) shot at and wounded two Palestinian workers for trying to cross the separation wall near Daheriya town in Al-Khalil province.

Quds Press quoted local sources as saying that an IOF patrol chased a vehicle carrying the workers on Saturday and shot at them wounding two of the workers in their feet.

The sources said that both workers are from Yatta town in Al-Khalil, describing the injuries of one of them as moderate.

They said that one of the workers was taken to a hospital in Al-Khalil while the other was taken to an Israeli hospital.

IOF soldiers have been increasing their chase of Palestinian workers trying to enter the Green Line over the past week especially on Friday and Saturday.

Palestine: More than 40 Palestinians kidnapped in Aroub refugee camp raids

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Saturday kidnapped more than 40 Palestinians from their homes in Aroub refugee camp, north of Al-Khalil city.

Local sources told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that scores of Israeli troops accompanied by intelligence officers stormed the camp and carried out violent raids on homes, which caused widespread panic among children and women.

They added that more than 40 Palestinian young men and children, mostly students, were taken prisoners under different pretexts during the campaign.

They noted that the IOF handcuffed and blindfolded the detainees and dealt with them together with their families violently and without any mercy.

In an earlier incident on Thursday afternoon, fierce clashes broke out between dozens of Palestinian young men and invading troops in Al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Al-Khalil.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC that the clashes happened after the IOF stormed the camp and embarked on firing tear gas grenades at a group of Palestinian young men.

They added that tear gas grenades fell onto some Palestinian homes causing children and women to suffer severe suffocation.

On the evening of the same day, the IOF established a checkpoint on the bypass road known as Route 60, north of Al-Khalil, and intercepted cars for search.

Eyewitnesses told the PIC that the IOF at this checkpoint detained a 20-year-old university student identified as Subhi Jawabra for one and a half hours before taking him in chain to Etzion detention center.

The IOF also set up a checkpoint near Tarama area, south of Al-Khalil, and embarked on searching Palestinian cars without any reported detentions.

Palestine: IOF stormed Aqsa & report-Gaza blockade, “slow death” and “collective punishment”

IOF storms Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers and fire tear gas grenades

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque after Friday prayers and fired tear gas and stun grenades.

Eyewitnesses said that large forces of Israeli police raided the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa mosque and started firing tear gas and stun grenades while the young men responded by throwing stones at the occupation forces.

Many worshipers suffered suffocation due to gas inhalation.

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Due to the Jewish holidays, Palestinian freedom of movement restricted

JENIN, (PIC)– Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have prevented residents, living in Barta’a, Um Rayhan, and Daher Maleh villages in Jenin isolated behind the Apartheid Wall, from leaving their villages.

The Israeli authority has informed the residents of its decision to restrict their movement out of these villages located behind the Apartheid Wall till next Sunday under the pretext of Yom Kippur Jewish holiday.

Following the Israeli decision, 13,000 Palestinians including students, workers, and farmers have been isolated in their villages.

Head of Barta’a village council urged the international human rights organizations to stand by the villagers who suffer from the continued and escalated Israeli violations.

In another context, the Israeli forces detained a Palestinian citizen for several hours at a military checkpoint under the pretext that he raised the Palestinian flag on his vehicle.

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International Report: Gaza Blockade, “Slow Death” and “Collective Punishment”

GENEVA, (PIC)– The EuroMid Observer for Human Rights has issued a field report documenting the social, economic, and humanitarian crisis that engulfed Gaza over the past few years since the imposition of the siege by Israeli authorities back in 2006 especially in light of the political “change” in Egypt which negatively affected Gaza.

According to International law, Israel bears great responsibility as well as Egypt for caging over 1.6 million people in an open air prison, where the basic food and fuel commodities have become scarce as Egypt closed great majority of the tunnels used in smuggling these needs, the report said.

The field report, issued in cooperation with the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London and Malaysian Organization (MAPIM), stated that over a third (35.5%) of those able and willing to work are unemployed (PCBS) – one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Economists expect that the continuous closure of the tunnels will lead to a sharp increase in the unemployment level (43% by the end of 2013 compared with 32% in June 2013).

Meanwhile, the construction sector is working with less than 15% of its previous capacity leading to more than 30,000 losses in job opportunities since July 2013, the report added.

The economy has endured severe losses worth of $460 million in all economic sectors within the past two months, while the incessant closure of the tunnels will lead to a 3% decline in the growth by the end of 2013 compared with 15% as of June 2013, the field report revealed.

Raw materials make up the majority of imports volumes from the Egyptian tunnels. Prior to the new measures, Gaza’s businesses received more than 45% of the needed row materials via the tunnels leading to noticeable increase in the operating businesses. Currently and due to Egyptian measures more than 60% of industrial businesses are shut down and the rest operate at partial capacity. The sector is currently employing 7,500 workers down from 27,000 prior to June 30, 2013 (35,000 prior to 2006).

A longstanding electricity deficit, compounded by shortages in fuel needed to run Gaza’s power plant, results in power outages of up to 12 hours a day.

Only a quarter of households receive running water every day, during several hours only, while over 90% of the water extracted from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption. Some 90 million liters of untreated and partially treated sewage are dumped in the sea off the Gaza coast each day, creating public health hazards.

The Egyptian authorities have lately tightened controls on the Rafah passenger crossing, Gaza’s main access to the outside world. The Gaza-Egypt relation has been strained over the blockade of Gaza and the Egyptian campaign in the past year to shut down the tunnels. By the end of July 2013, the Egyptian army had destroyed all the tunnels, leading to a stern crisis in fuel supplies that threatens to close almost 137 petrol stations in the besieged territory upon which most Palestinians rely.

In July 2013, 27% (128 types) of essential medicines were at zero stock in the Central Drug Store in Gaza and 16% (78 types) were at low stock (between 1-3 months’ supply), the report documented.

In the entire month of July, Egyptian Authorities allowed 6,236 Palestinians to cross into Egypt. This is 30% less than those who crossed monthly in June. During the entire month of August 2013, 3,340 Palestinians have crossed into Egypt, this is 25% of those who crossed before June 2013.

The EuroMid Observer for Human Rights therefore urgently demands the International Community to help alleviate immediately the blockade on the Gaza Strip. The report also called on the Israeli authorities to dismantle the blockade and to end the targeting of innocent people, which is in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention.

The Geneva based organization also called on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah Crossing for passengers and goods, without any restrictions.

It urged the International community, and the EU and the US in particular, to initiate and support the need for a seaport in Gaza that guarantees the free import and export of goods and private international travel. Commitments for the seaport in Gaza not only address a priority and need of the Palestinians, but also serve as political support for their desire to gain independence.

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Ofer sentences a Palestinian child to 14 years

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The Israeli Ofer Military Court sentenced Palestinian boy Mohammed Omar Rashid, 17 from the town of Yatta south of al-Khalil, to 14 years imprisonment, in addition to paying a fine of six thousand shekels.

Rashid was arrested on March 8, 2012 by the Israeli army during a raid on the town of Yatta. He was shot and wounded by several bullets in his back.

Human rights organizations condemned the trial of the Palestinian children. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in the Palestinian territories, issued a statement after the trial of Rashid denouncing the trial and considering it void and a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Israeli occupation authorities issued a law that allows trial of Palestinian children at the age of 12.

World powers deeply divided & other news about the situation in Syria

World Powers Deeply Divided on Syira, Fail to Heal Rift at G20 Dinner

Al Manar

World powers failed to bridge deep divisions on Syria at a G20 summit dinner in Russia as they squared off over the US push for military strikes against Syria.

As tensions over the Syrian crisis threatened to torpedo the working schedule of the G20 summit outside Saint Petersburg, host Vladimir Putin invited participants to air their views over dinner.

The leaders took turns over three hours to reiterate their positions on the issue in 10-minute speeches, a diplomatic source close to the talks said.

“The G20 has just now finished the dinner session at which the divisions about Syria were confirmed,” Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who attended the dinner, said on his official Twitter feed.

Russia has led opposition to any US-led military action against Syria over an August 21 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus, which Washington alleges was perpetrated by Damascus.

“Let us remember: every day that we lose is a day when scores of innocent civilians die,” the UN quoted Ban as telling the G20 leaders at the dinner.
“Providing more arms to either side is not the answer. There is no military solution.”

A French diplomatic source said the closed-door dinner, hosted by Putin at the luxurious imperial palace of Peterhof outside Saint Petersburg, was not meant to secure a deal.

“The objective was an exchange between the top world leaders and not to come to an agreement” on the crisis, said the source.

Putin and US President Barack Obama put on a show of smiles for the cameras as they shook hands just before the summit got under way on the shores of the Gulf of Finland.

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Click links to read full article:

Senators who backed Syria resolution got 83 per cent more defense lobby money than those who voted against it, campaign finance numbers show

Pope calls on world leaders to abandon military options in Syria

Russia gave UN 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for Aleppo sarin attack

Militants kill Syrian soldiers execution style: Video

Video: Syrian Rebel Admits Using Chemical Weapons

Saudi Arabia’s “Chemical Bandar” behind the Chemical Attacks in Syria?

Palestine: Rabbis in temple costume storm the Aqsa Mosque

(Al Quds, Palestine-file photo)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Rabbis in temple costume stormed the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Thursday morning in the company of Jewish settlers. Workers in the Aqsa Mosque said that the rabbis, who were wearing the special costume for the temple, gave lectures and training on future prayers inside their alleged temple. They said that heavy police presence was witnessed throughout the tour, describing the rabbis’ act as a very serious precedence as no rabbi in this costume had entered the Aqsa before. Worshipers and scholars present in the Mosque were irritated at the site and chanted Allahu Akbar. The rabbis and settlers toured its various plazas as police and special forces surrounded them.

US planned Syrian civilian catastrophe since 2007

by Martin Rowson

by Tony Cartalucci, source

NBC News’ report, “‘The great tragedy of this century': More than 2 million refugees forced out of Syria,” stated:

More than 2 million Syrians have poured into neighboring countries as refugees, the United Nations revealed on Tuesday.

Around 5,000 people per day are fleeing the three-year conflict, which the U.N. says has already claimed over 100,000 lives.

“Syria has become the great tragedy of this century — a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history,” said Antَnio Guterres, the U.N.’s high commissioner responsible for refugees.

But, while the UN and nations across the West feign shock over the growing humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in and around Syria, the goal of a violent sectarian conflict and its predictable, catastrophic results along with calls to literally “bleed” Syria have been the underlying strategy of special interests in the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and their regional partners since at least 2007.

A Timeline: How the Syrian Conflict Really Unfolded

Western media networks have ensured that a singular narrative of “pro-democracy” uprisings turning violent in the face of brutal oppression by the Syrian government after the so-called “Arab Spring” is disseminated across the public. In reality, “pro-democracy” protesters served as a tenuous smokescreen behind which armed foreign-backed extremists took to the streets and countrysides of Syria to execute a sectarian bloodbath years in the making. Here is a timeline that illuminates the true cause of Syria’s current conflict and the foreign interests, not the Syrian government, responsible for the tens of thousands dead and millions displaced during the conflict.

1991: Paul Wolfowitz, then Undersecretary of Defense, tells US Army General Wesley Clark that the US has 5-10 years to “clean up those old Soviet client regimes, Syria, Iran, Iraq, before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.” Fora.TV: Wesley Clark at the Commonwealth Club of California, October 3, 2007.

2001: A classified plot is revealed to US Army General Wesley Clark that the US plans to attack and destroy the governments of 7 nations: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Fora.TV: Wesley Clark at the Commonwealth Club of California, October 3, 2007.

2002: US Under Secretary of State John Bolton declares Syria a member of the “Axis of Evil” and warned that “the US would take action.” BBC: “US Expands ‘Axis of Evil'” May 6, 2002.

2005: US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy organizes and implements the “Cedar Revolution” in Lebanon directly aimed at undermining Syrian-Iranian influence in Lebanon in favor of Western-backed proxies, most notably Saad Hariri’s political faction. Counterpunch: “Faking the Case Against Syria,” by Trish Schuh November 19-20, 2005.

2005: Ziad Abdel Nour, an associate of Bush Administration advisers, policy makers, and media including Neo-Conservatives Paula Dobriansky, James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, Joseph Farah (World Net Daily), Clifford May, and Daniel Nassif of US State Department-funded Al Hurra and Radio Sawa, admits: “Both the Syrian and Lebanese regimes will be changed- whether they like it or not- whether it’s going to be a military coup or something else… and we are working on it. We know already exactly who’s going to be the replacements. We’re working on it with the Bush administration.” Counterpunch: “Faking the Case Against Syria,” by Trish Schuh November 19-20, 2005.

2006: Israel attempts, and fails, to destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon after a prolonged aerial bombard that resulted in thousands of civilian deaths. CNN: “UN: Hezbollah and Israel agree on Monday cease-fire,” August 13, 2006.
2007: Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker reveals that US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Hariri in Lebanon as well as the Syrian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood were assembling, arming, training, and heavily funding a sectarian extremists front, many of whom had direct ties to Al Qaeda, to unleash in both Lebanon and Syria. The goal was to create and exploit a sectarian divide between Sunni and Shi’ia Muslims. Hersh interviewed intelligence officers who expressed concerns over the “cataclysmic conflict” that would result, and the need to protect ethnic minorities from sectarian atrocities. The report indicated that extremists would be logistically staged in northern Lebanon where they would be able to cross back and forth into Syria. New Yorker: “The Redirection,” by Seymour Hersh, March 5, 2007.

2008: The US State Department begins training, funding, networking, and equipping “activists” through its “Alliance for Youth Movements” where the future protest leaders of the “Arab Spring,” including Egypt’s “April 6 Movement” were brought to New York, London, and Mexico, before being trained by US-funded CANVAS in Serbia, and then returning home to begin preparations for 2011. Land Destroyer: “2011 – Year of the Dupe,” December 24, 2011.

009: The Brookings Institution published a report titled, “Which Path to Persia?” which admits that the Bush Administration “evicted” Syria from Lebanon without building up a strong Lebanese government to replace it (p. 34), that Israel struck a “nascent” Syrian nuclear program, and states the importance of neutralizing Syrian influence before any attack on Iran can be carried out (p. 109). The report then goes on to describe in detail the use of listed terrorist organizations against the government of Iran, in particular the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) (p. 126) and Baluch insurgents in Pakistan (p.132). Brookings Institution: “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran,” June 2009.

2009-2010: In an April 2011 AFP report, Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, admitted that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.” The report went on to admit that the US (emphasis added) “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there.” Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.” AFP: “US Trains Activists to Evade Security Forces,” April 8, 2011.

2011: Posner’s US trained, funded, and equipped activists return to their respective countries across the Arab World to begin their “ripple effect.” Protests, vandalism , and arson sweep across Syria and “rooftop snipers” begin attacking both protesters and Syrian security forces, just as Western-backed movements were documented doing in Bangkok, Thailand one year earlier. With a similar gambit already unfolding in Libya, US senators begin threatening Syria with long planned and sought after military intervention. Land Destroyer: “Syria: Intervention Inevitable,” April 29, 2011.

2012: With NATO’s Libyan intervention resulting in a weak US-backed Tripoli client-regime, perpetual infighting, nationwide genocide, and the succession of Benghazi in the east, the NATO-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (listed #27) begins mobilizing weapons, cash, and fighters to begin destabilizing Syria. Headed by LIFG’s Abdul Hakim Belhaj, this would be the first confirmed presence of Al Qaeda in Syria, flush with NATO weapons and cash. The Washington Post would confirm, just as stated by Hersh in 2007, that the US and Saudi Arabia were arming the sectarian extremists, now labeled the “Free Syrian Army.” The Post also admits that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, as stated in Hersh’s 2007 report, was also involved in arming and backing extremist fighters. Land Destroyer: “US Officially Arming Extremists in Syria,” May 16, 2012.

2012: The US policy think-tank Brookings Institution in its Middle East Memo #21 “Assessing Options for Regime Change (.pdf),” admits that it does not seek any negotiated ceasefire under the UN’s “Kofi Annan peace plan” that leaves Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power and would rather arm militants, even with the knowledge they will never succeed, to “bleed” the government, “keeping a regional adversary weak, while avoiding the costs of direct intervention.” This reveals that US policy does not view US interference in Syria as a moral imperative predicated on defending human rights, but rather using this false predication to couch aspirations of regional hegemony. Land Destroyer: “US Brookings Wants to “Bleed” Syria to Death,” May 28, 2012.

And, just this year, it was revealed that despite the West’s feigned military and political paralysis regarding the Syrian conflict, the US and Great Britain have been covertly funding and arming sectarian extremists to the tune of billions of dollars and arming them with literally thousands of tons of weaponry. Despite claims of “carefully vetting” “moderate” militant factions, the prominence of Al Qaeda-linked extremist groups indicates that the majority of Western support, laundered through Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is being purposefully put into the hands of the very sectarian extremists identified in Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection.”

US Created and is Now Using Syrian Catastrophe to Justify Intervention

The non-debate taking place now to justify US military intervention in a conflict they themselves started and have intentionally perpetuated, is whether chemical weapons were used in Damascus on August 21, 2013 – not even “who” deployed them. The weakness of the US’ argument has seen an unprecedented backlash across both the world’s populations and the global diplomatic community. And despite only 9% of the American public supporting a military intervention in Syria, Congress appears poised to not only green-light “limited strikes,” but may approve of a wider military escalation.

In Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection,” Robert Baer, a former CIA agent in Lebanon, warned of the sectarian bloodbath the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia were planning to unleash. He stated:

“we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites”

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, also featured in Hersh’s report, would in turn also warn of an imminent and spreading sectarian war purposefully stoked by the West:

Nasrallah said he believed that President Bush’s goal was “the drawing of a new map for the region. They want the partition of Iraq. Iraq is not on the edge of a civil war-there is a civil war. There is ethnic and sectarian cleansing. The daily killing and displacement which is taking place in Iraq aims at achieving three Iraqi parts, which will be sectarian and ethnically pure as a prelude to the partition of Iraq. Within one or two years at the most, there will be total Sunni areas, total Shiite areas, and total Kurdish areas. Even in Baghdad, there is a fear that it might be divided into two areas, one Sunni and one Shiite.”

He went on, “I can say that President Bush is lying when he says he does not want Iraq to be partitioned. All the facts occurring now on the ground make you swear he is dragging Iraq to partition. And a day will come when he will say, ‘I cannot do anything, since the Iraqis want the partition of their country and I honor the wishes of the people of Iraq.’ ”

Nasrallah said he believed that America also wanted to bring about the partition of Lebanon and of Syria. In Syria, he said, the result would be to push the country “into chaos and internal battles like in Iraq.” In Lebanon, “There will be a Sunni state, an Alawi state, a Christian state, and a Druze state.” But, he said, “I do not know if there will be a Shiite state.”

It would be difficult for anyone to look across the scarred landscape of today’s Syria and not see that this horrific conspiracy was realized in full. The Western media is now acquainting the public with the possibility of a partitioned Syria, echoing the warnings of Nasrallah years ago. The goals of a US military strike would be to “degrade” the capabilities of the Syrian government, while bolstering the terrorist legions still operating within and along Syria’s borders.

What we are witnessing in Syria today is the direct result of a documented conspiracy, not by a “brutal Syrian regime” “oppressing” its own people, but of a US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia radicalizing, arming, and unleashing a sectarian tidal wave they knew well ahead of time would cause atrocities, genocide, mass displacements and even the geopolitical partitioning of Syria and beyond. The intentional destabilization of the region is meant to weaken Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Iraq – and even Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and others – to accomplish what the depleted, impotent US and Israeli forces could not achieve. Military intervention now seeks to tip the balance of an already teetering region.

The attacks on Syria are not humanitarian by any measure. They are simply the latest stage of a long-running plan to divide and destroy the region, leaving the West the sole regional hegemonic power.

Palestine: ’Israeli’ Minister: ‘Al-Aqsa ours’, 30 children are still in jail & fierce clashed at Al Aqsa

(Al Quds, Palestine-file photo)

’Israeli’ Minister: Al-Aqsa Ours, must be Opened for Jews At All Times

Al Ahed news

“Israeli” Settling Minister Uri Ariel viewed that “Israelis” “must be able to pray on the “Temple Mount” [AL-Quds Holy Mosque] whenever they want.”

As he led the Wednesday’s desecration to the Islamic Holy site, Ariel claimed that al-Aqsa “is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and must be open for prayer at every hour to every Jew.”

Ariel invaded into al-Quds Holy Mosque Wednesday, and hoped that the “Israelis” would be able to do the same.

Meanwhile, “Israeli” police closed all gates leading to the mosque and prevented worshipers under 50 from entering. They also stopped dozens of buses in Occupied al-Quds carrying Palestinian worshipers to the mosque and told them to turn around.

Five people were detained by “Israel”.

The “Israeli” minister further revealed that he “plans to continue to go up and strengthen “Israel’s” sovereignty in the site.”

“The “Temple Mount” is ours, and it cannot be argued about or negotiated,” Ariel emphasized.

Earlier this year, Ariel launched virtual, online tours to the Islamic site.
Al-Aqsa compound, containing the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam and “Israelis” claim that is the place of the ancient Second Temple stood.

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Report: 30 Palestinian children from Qalqiliya are still in Israeli jails

QALQILIYA, (PIC)– The Palestinian prisoner society said that the number of Palestinian children from Qalqiliya city who are detained in Israeli jails rose to 30 prisoners after the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped seven kids in last August.

In a report, the society outlined some of the violations that were committed by the IOF against the detained children, confirming that most of the children were kidnapped from their homes during violent night raids.

It added that these children and their families were exposed during the detention process to humiliation and physical abuse, noting that the children were taken handcuffed and blindfolded to interrogation centers without the presence of their parents.

The center appealed to human rights groups, especially the ones concerned with the rights of children, to necessarily move to have all Palestinian children released, affirming that they were detained extrajudicially and without evidence.

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27 Palestinian buildings demolished during August

NABLUS, (PIC)– The Israeli authorities have continued demolition policy against Palestinian houses during August under the pretext of being built without permits, Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights said.

The researcher at the Foundation, Ahmed Betawi, said that 27 Palestinian buildings were demolished mainly in Jerusalem during August by Israeli bulldozers.

Betawi stated that the Israeli forces demolished on August 17 a Palestinian house in Negev, while they forced another Palestinian citizen to demolish his house in Jerusalem.

On August 19, the Israeli bulldozers demolished 11 Palestinian residential buildings in Beit Hanina in occupied Jerusalem, in addition to three agricultural facilities in Nablus and another facility in the Jordan Valley.

On August 21, the center reported that a 60-square-neter room was demolished in Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem, and three other facilities were demolished in Abbaseya neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem.

On August 26, the Israeli bulldozers demolished 2 houses in Tur neighborhood and an agricultural facility in Issawiya village.

Betawi pointed out that the Israeli demolition orders were carried out against the Palestinian houses under the pretext that they were built without permits. The Israeli authorities deliberately refuse to grant building permits to Palestinians as part of Israeli policy to deport Palestinians and confiscate their houses.

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Fierce clashes at Aqsa Mosque after attempt to defile it by Jewish settlers

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Violent clashes broke out on Wednesday morning at the Aqsa Mosque after dozens of extremist Jewish settlers escorted by Israeli policemen and soldiers desecrated the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyard.

The Jewish settlers were not able to stay long at the Mosque after they were forced quickly to leave it under police protection by dozens of angry Palestinian young worshipers who were already there to protect it.

According to eyewitnesses, young men and women threw stones and shoes at the settlers and their police guards, as they were chanting “Allahu Akbar.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli army and police have turned east Jerusalem, especially its Old City, to a military base and established barriers and checkpoints throughout the holy city.

This led hundreds of Palestinians to perform their dawn prayers on the streets and roads that are adjacent to the walls of the Old Cty of Jerusalem after the Israeli occupation forces prevented those under the age of 50 from having access to the Old City and the Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli army and police started last night to impose strict measures on the movement of the Palestinians in preparation for the mass entry of Jews in the morning to the Aqsa Mosque at the pretext of the Hebrew new year.

The intended mass desecration of the Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning, which was called for by fanatic Jewish figures and groups, prompted more than 50 Jerusalemite young men and women to spend their night inside the buildings of the Aqsa Mosque to defend them against possible Jewish break-ins.

The Israeli police, for their part, asked the guards of the Mosque compound to get the youths out of the buildings, but the guards refused to comply and confirmed their right to stay inside an Islamic holy site because they are Muslims despite the police threat to use violence to expel them from the Mosque.

One of the Mosque’s servants reported the intensive presence of special police forces inside its courtyard and at its gates following the clashes in an attempt to prevent more Palestinians from coming to back up the young people.

As a result of the Israeli procedures against the Aqsa Mosque, there is possibility of more confrontations between the Palestinian natives and the Israeli occupation forces during the coming hours as more Palestinian worshipers keep flocking to the Mosque.

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Sewage of Ariel settlement flood houses of Bruqin in Salfit

SALFIT, (PIC)– The sewage of Ariel settlement flooded the Palestinian houses in the village of Bruqin near Salfit, which led to large numbers of rodents, mosquitoes and pigs inside the town.

Locals said on Tuesday that the sewage caused to citizens allergy and scars due to the spread of mosquitos.

The villagers expressed their deep concern regarding the health problems caused by the sewage of Ariel settlement and which have been exacerbated in recent days.

The settlers’ sewage polluted the environment, including the air and soil in addition to the three springs of water of Bruqin. It is also threatening the springs of the nearby town of Kafr al-Dik

Palestine: More homes, lands being confiscated & soldiers beat women resisting home demolition

(Palestine-file photo)

Press conference opens despite detention of Sheikh Salah

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The press conference on Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque opened in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday despite the Israeli detention of Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied Palestine.

The press conference, which was supposed to be addressed by Sheikh Salah, is held to deal with latest developments and threats against Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.

Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, the head of the higher Islamic authority in Jerusalem, said that the detention of Sheikh Salah was in violation of the freedom of opinion.

He said that freedom of movement and speech should be respected, opining that Sheikh Salah was arrested to block his call for massive marches to the Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday.

For his part, Zahi Nujaidat, the Islamic movement’s spokesman, expressed utter dismay at the detention of Sheikh Salah, charging that the step was an attempt to disrupt pro-Aqsa activities and to terrorize citizens against participation in such activities.

Fuad Al-Khuffash, the director of Ahrar center for human rights, denounced the Israeli act, adding that it was meant to silence any voice defending the Aqsa and exposing Israeli occupation’s practices against it.

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Israeli soldiers beat women resisting home demolition

Al Akhbar

Israeli soldiers used rifle butts to beat five Palestinian women who refused orders to leave their West Bank home ahead of a demolition on Monday, local media reported.

Occupation forces raided a home in the Jericho village of Fasayel early Monday and ordered the 12 residents to collect their things, and get out.

When five of the women refused to budge, troops attacked them with their rifle butts, homeowner Deifallah Rashaydeh told Ma’an news agency.

State news agency Wafa cited local activist Hamza Zbeidat as saying that the forces also fired tear gas and sound grenades at residents who had formed a human chain around the home.

Medics rushed the injured to a hospital for treatment, the reports said.

Bulldozers then demolished the family’s 10-year-old home and a shack that housed cattle.

Jericho governor Majid al-Fityani was quoted by Ma’an as calling the demolition a “slap in the face for those who advocate the resumption of peace negotiations,” during a visit to a hospital where the women were being treated.

Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes and other structures in the occupied West Bank occur almost daily under the pretext of building without a permit in a policy that has drawn widespread condemnation from rights groups.

Roughly 94 percent of Palestinian applications for building permits are rejected, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

The group estimates that Israeli authorities have demolished about 27,000 Palestinian structures in the West Bank since 1967.

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Israeli court rejects petition to cancel resolution to evacuate 8 villages

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– An Israeli court in Jerusalem rejected a petition submitted by residents of Msafer Yatta, south of al-Khalil in occupied West Bank, in which they appealed for cancelling the Israeli occupation army’s decision to confiscate, demolish and evacuate 8 villages for military purposes.

Haj Ziad Mkhamra, aged 59, told PIC’s correspondent that the court rejected the petition demanding cancelling the decision of the Defense Minister Ehud Barak to confiscate and evacuate 8 villages in Msafer Yatta.

Mkhamra said the President of the Israeli Supreme Court suggested that the residents choose a retired judge to mediate between them and the prosecutor in an attempt to reach a solution regarding the petition.

He added that the military prosecutor strongly rejected the suggestion of the chief judge and insisted on the implementation of the resolution, claiming that the cancellation of the eviction order means that the forces in the region will have to restart training in another far place which will cost money and time.

The residents stressed on their adherence to their land and their determination to defend it until the decision of the prosecution and the army is cancelled.

The area of Msafer Yatta is inhabited by more than 500 people living on agriculture and grazing sheep. The occupation former Defense Minister Ehud Barak had decided in 2012 to evacuate eight villages to be used for military purposes and training.

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IOA expands Bzjat Ze’ev settlement in Jerusalem

OCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli Occupation continued its confiscation policy against Palestinian territories where the Israeli bulldozers have begun recently expanding Bzjat Ze’ev settlement, built on Beit Hanina lands in occupied Jerusalem.

Nearly 620 housing units are planned to be added to the settlement.

Settlement expert researcher Ahmed Sab Laban stated that the Israeli authorities started the process of building infrastructure networks in the area including electricity transmission and distribution networks, water and sewage utilities as a prelude to establish 620 new housing units to Bzjat Ze’ev settlement.

The establishment of the new housing units would isolate 50 Palestinian families living in a Jerusalemite neighborhood from Beit Hanina town, he said.

Sab Laban said that the new housing units will be established in high rise residential towers ranging from 9 to 13 storeys, while the Jerusalemite residents are prevented to obtain building permits to establish high rise buildings.

The Israeli occupation authority has surveyed the area to expand Bzjat Ze’evin in order to finish with the building of street no. 20 that will connect the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev, Prophet Jacob, Anatot, Shuafat and Beit Hanina, Sab Laban stated.

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IOF soldiers raze house in JV

JORDAN VALLEY, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) razed a shed and a house in Fasayel Al-Fuqa village in the Jordan Valley on Monday.

Local sources said that IOF soldiers stormed the village and razed the shed then tried to destroy a house but were confronted by citizens.

The sources pointed out that the soldiers used teargas and stun grenades to disperse the protestors then demolished the house, adding that two women were injured in the scuffle.

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New Israeli plan to attract thousands of Jewish settlers to Negev and Galilee

NAZARETH, (PIC)– The Israeli government approved a plan at a cost of 10 million shekels to bring about 300,000 Jewish settlers from other occupied areas to live in settlement outposts in Negev and Galilee.

According to the Hebrew radio, the government intends to help Jewish young couples with this project to pay the rents of the apartments they would buy, and to build affordable public housing units.

The Israeli mini-cabinet led by minister of finance Yair Lapid also decided to repair abandoned public buildings in these areas and turn them into cheap houses.

The Israeli Knesset had approved last June the plan submitted in 2011 by Benjamin Netanyahu’s director of planning Ehud Prawer to forcibly evacuate the Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Negev region and gather its population in other areas.

The Palestinians consider this plan as a new chapter of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) because Israel intends to seize more than 800,000 dunums of their land in the Negev.

The Prawer plan would lead to the displacement of 40,000 Negev Bedouins and the destruction of 38 villages and hamlets.

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