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26 juin 2017 1 26 /06 /juin /2017 06:51
Publish Date: 2017/06/24
Israeli forces storm Jenin camp, clash with residents, suffocation cases reported

JENIN, June 24, 2017 (WAFA) – A number of Palestinians suffocated and a youth was detained on Saturday during clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin’s refugee camp, said local sources.


Sources told WAFA Israeli forces stormed the camp, amid heavy firing of rubber-coated steel bullets, live ammunition, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades against the camp’s residents, leading to several suffocation cases among them.


A Palestinian youth were detained during the military incursion.





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26 juin 2017 1 26 /06 /juin /2017 06:46

How Israel gains from Egypt-Saudi Red Sea islands deal

Tel Aviv could use diplomatic capital gained in its approval of Tiran and Sanafir deal for support on Palestinian issue.


    Analysts believe outlines of a US-Israeli-Saudi-Egyptian plan for the Palestinians are starting to emerge [File: Reuters]




    Two small, uninhabited islands, Tiran and Sanafir, stand guard between Egypt and Saudia Arabia at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is Israel’s only gateway to its southern port of Eilat and its vital trade connections to south-east Asia.

    Exactly 50 years ago, Egyptian restrictions on Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran contributed to the outbreak of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

    In a highly controversial move, the Egyptian parliament earlier this month approved the handover of the two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. In return, Riyadh is to provide billions of dollars in loans and investments to help Egypt’s ailing economy.

    But while the transfer has provoked widespread protests in Egypt, with opponents claiming it amounts to “selling off” Egypt’s sovereign territory, Israel has quietly given the deal its blessing.

    That has surprised some observers, especially since the movement of vessels to Eilat hangs on a peace treaty signed by Israel and Egypt in 1979. Effectively, Riyadh will now become responsible for upholding the treaty’s clauses relating to Israeli shipping through the Straits.

    Riyadh, unlike Egypt, has never signed a peace agreement with Israel and, at least ostensibly, has no diplomatic relations with it. The two have traditionally been seen as regional arch-enemies.

    READ MORE - Saudi and the Brotherhood: From friends to foes

    But Israeli and Palestinian analysts say that picture of historic hostility between the two states is obsolete, and that Israel has potentially much to gain from the handover.

    The benefits include increasingly normalised relations with Saudi Arabia and the chance to bring into the daylight an emerging Israeli-Arab military and diplomatic front against a common enemy: Iran.

    But perhaps most importantly, say analysts, improved relations will help Israel further isolate the Palestinian leaderships in Gaza and the West Bank. That will add to the pressure on them to accept final-status arrangements on the best terms possible for Israel.

    According to Menachem Klein, a politics professor at Bar Ilan University, near Tel Aviv, and an expert on Israeli-Egyptian relations, Israel regards Egypt and Saudi Arabia as the region’s two key Arab power brokers.

    “Israel wants to deepen security and diplomatic cooperation with both of them,” he told Al Jazeera. “It hopes eventually to use its leverage with them to gain their support for imposing a regional solution on the Palestinians.”

    Improved relations with Saudi Arabia will help Israel further isolate the Palestinian leaderships in Gaza and the West Bank. That will add to the pressure on them to accept final-status arrangements on the best terms possible for Tel Aviv.


    Israel’s increasingly tight ties with both Cairo and Riyadh, said Klein, have made possible an increasingly relaxed attitude towards the 1979 peace treaty, which required Israel to pull its occupying forces out of Sinai.

    In particular, noted Klein, since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in Cairo in 2013, Israel had turned a blind eye to Sinai’s status as a demilitarised zone. Instead, it has allowed ever-larger numbers of Egyptian troops into the peninsula, on its southern border, to deal with militant Islamic groups there and enforce Egypt’s blockade of Gaza, alongside Israel’s own siege.

    “The two are definitely coordinating in Sinai,” Klein said. “Israeli drones fly over the area with Egyptian permission, and they share intelligence.”

    Meanwhile, said Klein, there had been widespread reports of the Saudis and Israelis normalising relations on trade, security and intelligence matters. Israel is even reported to be training Saudi army officers.

    Israel raised no objections over Donald Trump’s recent announcement of a $110 billion weapons deal with Riyadh, even though Israel usually objects to any moves that threaten what it terms its “qualitative military edge”.

    In addition, the Times of London cited US and Arab sources last week saying that Israel and Saudi Arabia are forging economic ties that would allow Israeli businesses to open in the Gulf and permit Israeli aircraft to fly through Saudi airspace. The report echoed claims made in the Wall Street Journal last month.

    The Israeli media has assumed these are incentives hammered out as part of Donald Trump’s visit to the region last month to help the new US president realise his “ultimate deal” to create a Middle East peace.

    READ MORE - Gaza power cuts: 'This is the worst it\'s ever been'

    His son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, arrived in Israel last week. According to the Israeli media, the US administration intends to up the pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to renew peace talks.

    And in a further sign of tightening relations between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel, there are reports that Cairo and Riyadh have revived a scheme to build a 10km-long bridge connecting their two peninsulas, at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.

    That would create a rail and road link, making it easier to transport goods to Egypt and providing thousands of jobs for Egyptian workers.

    The plan was first raised in 1988, but dropped in the face of strong Israeli objections. It now appears that Israel has given the project its backing. Other reports suggest there may be plans to extend a rail line between Saudi Arabia and Jordan to Israel.

    Bonds between Israel and Saudi Arabia are likely to strengthen under 31-year-old Mohammed Bin Salman, who was named as Crown Prince this week by his father, the Saudi king.

    Inside Story: Are two small islands owned by Egypt or Saudi Arabia?


    Writing in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, observed that Bin Salman’s elevation was “nearly a dream come true” for Israel. The newly crowned prince is expected to make targeting Iran and its regional Shia allies his top priority.

    “We are seeing a regional realignment,” said Samir Awad, a politics professor at Bir Zeit university, near Ramallah. “If Iran is now the biggest enemy, then the Saudis believe they need Israel’s military might and its intelligence to help in that fight.”

    He told Al Jazeera: “Israel is not denying the Saudis anything at the moment.”

    Shawqi Issa, a Palestinian analyst and former government minister in the Palestinian Authority, said Israel may, in fact, have been the one pushing for the handover of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Riyadh.

    One theory is that Israel prefers Saudi involvement over the islands because it will effectively tie Riyadh to the commitments made by Egypt in the 1979 peace treaty.

    An unnamed source close to the Saudi royal family told Al-Monitor last month that the islands’ transfer would require closer regional security arrangements in the Gulf of Aqaba between Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

    That, in turn, would allow Israel to become more closely involved in surveillance of the activities of Islamic militants in Sinai.

    The Palestinians are at the weakest point ever in their history. They are territorially split between the West Bank and Gaza, the economy is in deep trouble, and Palestinian society is breaking apart. This is Israel’s opportunity to impose any solution it wants.

    Shawqi Issa, Palestinian analyst

    Issa told Al Jazeera: “What’s new is that Saudi Arabia is now happy to go public with its alliance with Israel against Iran and anyone else it opposes in the region.”

    But, according to the analysts, Israel will seek to parlay the diplomatic capital it has gained in approving the handover of the islands into Egyptian and Saudi help on the Palestinian issue.

    Israel would try to persuade Cairo and Riyadh to assist in its plans to impose on the Palestinians a potentially disastrous final-status arrangement, said Issa.

    The strategy already has a name among Israeli and American officials, who call it the “outside-in” approach.

    The US would sponsor regional peace agreements between Israel and Arab states, fostering the necessary favourable conditions for a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

    A regional agreement normalising relations with Israel has long been on the table. Saudi Arabia, with Arab League backing, offered a comprehensive peace initiative back in 2002.

    Israel has studiously ignored it, however, because in return Israel was expected to recognise a Palestinian state.

    But in the current circumstances Israel may stand a better chance to realise a deal more to its liking.

    “The Palestinians are at the weakest point ever in their history,” said Issa. “They are territorially split between the West Bank and Gaza, the economy is in deep trouble, and Palestinian society is breaking apart. This is Israel’s opportunity to impose any solution it wants.”

    Awad said most Arab countries now preferred to focus on Iran over the Palestinian issue. “The Palestinians are mostly seen as a hurdle to their regional strategy.

    “If the Americans cannot force the Palestinians to accept a ‘peace deal’ that is good for Israel, they will turn to Saudi Arabia and Egypt to make them do it for them.”

    Issa believes the outlines of a US-Israeli-Saudi-Egyptian plan for the Palestinians are starting to emerge.

    It would offer Hamas a mini-state in Gaza, under Egyptian oversight, cementing the enclave’s separation from the West Bank, he said. Egypt and Saudi Arabia would use former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan, a rival to PA president Mahmoud Abbas, as their intermediary.

    OPINION: Watching 'Wonder Woman' in Gaza

    Earlier this month Hamas leaders met Dahlan in Cairo. Egypt reportedly wants Dahlan to oversee Gaza in return for alleviating the mounting humanitarian crisis there.

    In return Arab states would pump millions into the economy, while Egypt would open its Rafah crossing to Gaza and increase the electricity supply to the enclave, relieving its current power blackouts.

    Ben Caspit, an Israeli analyst, referred to a “secret program” last week that would involve the US, Europe, Egypt and the Gulf states.

    He cited an Israeli military source stating that they would seek to pressure Hamas into agreeing to a long-term ceasefire and moves towards demilitarisation in return for aid.

    Issad said: “The crisis in Gaza gives Hamas an excuse for signing on to a bad deal, saying its people can’t live like this forever. And Israel will be able to tell the world the Palestinians have a state.”

    As for the West Bank, Issa suggested the slivers of territory there currently under nominal Palestinian control would, on the Israeli-US plan, become Jordan’s responsibility.

    “The danger is Amman won’t be able to resist the pressure when it comes from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and the US,” he said.

    Source: Al Jazeera


    Les seules publications de notre blog qui engagent notre association sont notre charte et nos communiqués. Les autres articles publiés sur ce blog, sans nécessairement refléter exactement nos positions, nous ont paru intéressants à verser aux débats ou à porter à votre connaissance.

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    26 juin 2017 1 26 /06 /juin /2017 06:43

    Quel rapprochement possible entre Israël, l’Arabie saoudite et Abou Dhabi ?


    A lors que la crise qui déchire les monarchies pétrolières depuis fin mai 2017 risque d'affaiblir durablement le Conseil de coopération du Golfe (CCG), la mise à genoux du Qatar est considérée par Israël comme une opportunité historique de se rapprocher de Riyad et d'Abou Dhabi et d'intégrer ainsi l'axe anti-iranien et anti-Frères musulmans soutenu par le président américain.
    Les relations entre Israël et certains pays du Golfe ont connu un essor sans précédent ces dix dernières années, au point qu'au cours de sa première visite officielle à Washington en février dernier, Benjamin Netanyahu déclarait : « Les pays arabes de la région ne voient plus Israël comme un ennemi mais, de plus en plus, comme un allié. »
    Derrière cette déclaration d'intention, la route vers la normalisation des relations israélo-arabes reste pourtant encore longue. Elle devrait dépendre d'un subtil et encore improbable alignement des intérêts d'Israël, des pays du Golfe et des États-Unis.


    Une crise au sein du Golfe a priori bénéfique pour Israël
    La rupture des relations diplomatiques entre le Qatar et l'Arabie saoudite, les Émirats arabes unis (EAU), Bahreïn et l'Égypte, le 5 juin, a été saluée par le ministre israélien de la Défense, Avigdor Lieberman, qui a estimé que cela ouvrait « des possibilités pour une coopération dans la lutte contre le terrorisme ».

    Les obsessions anti-Frères musulmans d'Abou Dhabi (et du Caire) et anti-iranienne de Riyad (et de Manama), à l'origine de la politique d'asphyxie de Doha, sont notoirement et publiquement partagées par Tel-Aviv.

    Les déclarations du président américain, au cours de sa tournée à Riyad et Jérusalem au mois de mai, ont également confirmé que sa politique moyen-orientale entendait s'appuyer exclusivement sur ses alliés arabes sunnites et sur Israël pour contrer, pêle-mêle, l'Iran, l'islam politique et le jihadisme.

    Beaucoup ont donc voulu voir dans la crise du CCG une aubaine pour une nouvelle « alliance régionale », tandis que d'autres se sont indignés d'un alignement saoudien sur Washington, voire Tel-Aviv.

    Il serait pourtant erroné de penser que les Israéliens sont à l'origine de ces tensions, tant elles reposent sur de vieux contentieux qui ne demandaient qu'à être attisés.

    En dépit des déclarations incendiaires de Donald Trump à l'égard de l'Iran et du conseil adressé aux pays du Golfe pour chasser « les terroristes » de chez eux, Washington n'en est pas davantage l'instigateur.

    Le tandem saoudo-émirien semble s'être servi du revirement de la diplomatie américaine post-Obama pour violemment régler ses comptes au sein du CCG.


    L'accélération du rapprochement entre Tel-Aviv, Abou Dhabi et Riyad
    Parce que les perceptions jouent un rôle central au Moyen-Orient, Tel-Aviv capitalise déjà sur une crise qui intervient après plusieurs années de rapprochement israélo-golfien.

    Plus ou moins discrètes à dessein, ces relations sont d'ordre économique et géostratégique. Cela concerne, entre autres, les entreprises israéliennes de haute technologie et de cybersécurité, des échanges d'analyses et de renseignements (particulièrement sur l'Iran, mais aujourd'hui plus largement sur la région) ou des rencontres discrètes dans les cercles de diplomatie informelle, comme en témoignent les courriels piratés de l'ambassadeur émirien à Washington).

    Les EAU ont autorisé une représentation israélienne à Abou Dhabi en 2015 (via l'Agence internationale de l'énergie renouvelable) et participent à des exercices militaires communs, comme en Grèce en mars dernier.

    Du côté saoudien, plusieurs signes de rapprochement ont été consentis comme autant de ballons d'essai pour tester l'opinion publique ou donner des gages d'ouverture : échanges entre Dore Gold (ancien directeur général du ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères et artisan d'un rapprochement israélo-golfien) et l'ancien général saoudien Anwar Eshki (directeur d'un centre d'études à Djeddah) en juin 2015 au Council on Foreign Relations à Washington et lors d'une visite médiatisée de ce dernier à Jérusalem en juillet 2016 ; discussions entre le prince Turki al-Faysal (ancien chef des services de renseignements saoudiens) et Yaacov Amidror (ancien général conseiller à la Sécurité nationale de Benjamin Netanyahu) au Washington Institute, en mai 2016.


    La normalisation, un saut que Riyad n'est pas prêt à faire
    Rêvant d'intégrer un axe stratégique allant du Caire à Riyad, en passant par Tel-Aviv, Amman et Abou Dhabi, certains dirigeants israéliens se mettent à rêver d'une normalisation de leurs relations avec ceux qu'ils appellent « les pays sunnites modérés ».

    En réalité, seuls les partenaires historiques mais affaiblis (Jordanie et Égypte) et les EAU et Bahreïn, qui ne sont pas étrangers à l'infléchissement de la position saoudienne sur le sujet, soutiennent cette « alliance improbable ».

    Israël a, en revanche, réussi à faire du président américain son meilleur porte-parole. Ce que Barack Obama avait refusé de faire, Donald Trump est en train de le leur offrir : contrer la menace iranienne en négociant avec le CCG le soutien américain à la création « d'un OTAN arabe » en échange d'un rapprochement significatif avec Tel-Aviv (qui ferait partie de cette coalition). Sauf que cette proposition séduisante est plus compliquée qu'il n'y paraît.

    Dans la relation triangulaire Tel-Aviv/Riyad/Washington, qui a le plus besoin de qui ? Qui est à la manœuvre ?

    La réponse est sans conteste Israël, dont le chef du gouvernement n'a d'autre objectif, depuis plusieurs années, que de normaliser ses relations avec les pays arabes sunnites et, faisant d'une pierre deux coups, de contrer l'Iran, en hypothéquant le règlement de la question palestinienne. Quoi de plus efficace qu'une paix israélo-arabe, sans paix israélo-palestinienne ?
    C'est là que le dossier palestinien refait surface en devenant une monnaie d'échange pour Riyad.

    Comme le révèle la fuite habilement orchestrée au Wall Street Journal, Riyad et Abou Dhabi exigent d'Israël des gestes sur la colonisation et sur le blocus de Gaza.

    Ces demandes sont bien en deçà de l'indépendance d'un État palestinien tel que requis par l'initiative arabe de paix de 2002.

    Mais Abou Dhabi et Riyad ne risquent rien de la divulgation d'un projet qui est impossible à réaliser en l'état, tant Benjamin Netanyahu risquerait d'être débordé par l'extrême droite qu'il a lui-même portée à ses côtés au pouvoir. Ils le savent.

    La coopération d'intérêt entre Israël et certains pays du Golfe va donc sûrement se développer (des analystes parlent d'« un régime tacite de sécurité »), mais la route vers la normalisation est, elle, encore longue.

    Au fond, l'Arabie saoudite n'a aucun intérêt à officialiser cette relation qui présente des avantages sans les inconvénients (critiques de son opinion publique, trahison de la cause palestinienne, ternissement de son image de leader du monde sunnite). Mais elle souhaite obtenir un soutien militaire renforcé des États-Unis.

    Elle prend donc au mot le président américain en tendant la main à Israël et en entreprenant un grand « ménage » dans le CCG. Les risques sont considérables (notamment pour le Hamas, Gaza et donc Israël), cependant Riyad confirme que c'est lui qui dicte ses conditions à Washington et à Tel-Aviv, et non l'inverse.

    Chercheuse sur le Moyen-Orient, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) et enseignante à Sciences Po Paris, Sciences Po – USPC



    Les seules publications de notre blog qui engagent notre association sont notre charte et nos communiqués. Les autres articles publiés sur ce blog, sans nécessairement refléter exactement nos positions, nous ont paru intéressants à verser aux débats ou à porter à votre connaissance.
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    26 juin 2017 1 26 /06 /juin /2017 06:34
    Syrie : Combats et efforts diplomatiques
    Parallèlement à l'offensive lancée sur le terrain pour libérer Raqqa, la diplomatie tente de reprendre la main : un nouveau round de négociations est prévu début juillet à Genève.
    Maha Salem avec agences
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    Alors que sur le terrain, les choses semblent bouger, notamment depuis le lancement de la bataille de Raqqa, les efforts diplomatiques eux aussi sont sur le point d’être relancés. Le 7e round des négociations de paix en Syrie commencera le 10 juillet à Genève. C’est ce qu’a déclaré l’envoyé spécial de l’Onu pour la Syrie, Staffan de Mistura, dans un communiqué, tout en ajoutant qu’il y aura deux autres rounds en août et en septembre prochains.
    De même, pour la première fois, les réunions d’experts chargés des questions constitutionnelles et légales, mises en place lors du 6e round, auront lieu parallèlement aux sessions intra-syriennes.
    Ces réunions sont considérées comme un pas en avant et un point positif, puisque le 6e round de négociations de paix sur la Syrie s’est terminé le 19 mai dernier, après 4 jours de discussions, sans réel progrès et sur fond de tension. Seule avancée enregistrée lors de ce round : des entretiens de fonctionnaires de l’Onu avec des experts du gouvernement et de l’opposition pour aborder « des questions juridiques et constitutionnelles ».


    A la fin du 6e round, M. de Mistura avait expliqué que, faute de temps, les parties en présence n’avaient pas pu discuter des quatre sujets à l’ordre du jour : lutte contre le terrorisme, gouvernance (terme flou pour évoquer une transition politique), nouvelle Constitution et organisation d’élections.

    Autant de questions hautement sensibles qui ne risquent pas, cette fois non plus, d’être réglées en quelques séances de discussion. « Il ne faut pas attendre grand-chose, car rien n’a changé. Chaque camp campe toujours sur sa position. L’opposition est dans l’embarras, car elle ne peut pas accepter un règlement qui prévoit le maintien de Bachar Al-Assad au pouvoir. En même temps, le départ de Bachar n’est plus dans l’intérêt de la communauté internationale. Ce qui favorise le régime qui s’accroche toujours bec et ongles au pouvoir. La seule issue est que la communauté internationale impose une solution et exerce une forte pression sur les deux côtés pour l’accepter. C’est pour cela que l’envoyé spécial de l’Onu veut pousser les deux camps rivaux à trouver des compromis », explique Dr Ahmad Youssef, politologue et directeur du Centre des recherches et des études arabes et africaines au Caire.



    Prochaine rencontre Trump-Poutine

    Selon l’analyste, l’émissaire onusien souhaite réaliser une avancée avant la tenue du sommet du G20 de Hambourg les 7 et 8 du même mois.

    Pour l’émissaire de l’Onu, ce G20 pourrait permettre des avancées grâce à une possible première rencontre entre les présidents américain, Donald Trump, et russe, Vladimir Poutine, dans des camps opposés sur la question syrienne. Or, la tenue même de ce 7e round peut tout à fait être corrompue par la situation sur le terrain, au cas où la désescalade ne fonctionnerait réellement.

    La Russie et l’Iran, alliés du régime de Bachar Al-Assad, et la Turquie, soutien de la rébellion, sont convenus, le 4 mai, de mettre en place 14 « zones de désescalade » en Syrie au terme des pourparlers dits d’Astana. Un autre round de pourparlers est également prévu prochainement à Astana.

    Reste à savoir si toutes ces rencontres pourront aboutir à quelque chose.

    Pour l’opposition syrienne, un règlement politique est loin d’être réalisé, et seul le « terrain dicte sa loi ». « La Syrie est dans une impasse totale. Il n’y a ni solution militaire, ni solution politique », a déclaré dans un entretien à l’AFP, Monzer Makhous, un porte-parole du Haut Comité des Négociations (HCN), principale plateforme de l’opposition pour les négociations intersyriennes engagées depuis 2016 à l’Onu à Genève.

    Mais, conscient de la réalité des choses, il a ajouté : « Nous sommes déterminés à aller au bout de ce processus. Nous n’attendons pas grand-chose de Genève, mais nous n’avons rien d’autre pour le moment ». « On tourne toujours dans la même spirale : l’opposition qui veut parler d’une vraie transition, et le régime fixé sur le terrorisme et prêt à n’envisager que des retouches politiques pitoyables et inacceptables pour le peuple syrien », a expliqué Makhous. Et ce dernier de conclure : « Nous sommes les otages des intérêts régionaux et internationaux, il n’y a plus de volonté syrienne propre. Les priorités ont changé en Syrie, où la coalition internationale antidjihadiste est engagée dans la bataille pour reprendre Raqqa, fief du groupe Etat islamique dans le nord du pays. La problématique Assad n’est plus une priorité pour nombre d’acteurs régionaux et internationaux ».




    Les seules publications de notre blog qui engagent notre association sont notre charte et nos communiqués. Les autres articles publiés sur ce blog, sans nécessairement refléter exactement nos positions, nous ont paru intéressants à verser aux débats ou à porter à votre connaissance.
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    25 juin 2017 7 25 /06 /juin /2017 06:13

    Israel’s CA uproots hundreds of fruit trees and ruins crops on privately owned Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley

    20 Jun 2017

    Over the past two months, Israeli forces have raided two Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley, uprooting and confiscating olive and date palm trees, and ruining fields of melon and fakus [Armenian cucumber], all on privately owned Palestinian land.

    The uprooting and confiscation of some 70 olive trees belonging to Ahmad Embaslet in Ibziq

    At around 9:00 A.M on the morning of Tuesday, 16 May 2017, officials from Israel’s Nature Reserve Authority and the Civil Administration arrived at Ibziq accompanied by the military. Without presenting any orders, they uprooted and confiscated about seventy olive trees planted there by the landowner some three years ago.

    In testimony he gave to B’Tselem field researcher ‘Aref Daraghmeh the same day (16 May 2017), Ahmad Embaslet spoke about the destruction of his olive grove:

    Ahmad Embaslet. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 23 May 2017

    I live in Tubas and I work as a shuttle-taxi driver. My family and I have 30 hectares of land in Ibziq. It’s registered in the Tabu [the land registry] under my father’s name. He’s no longer alive. I inherited 0.5 hectares of this land. Until recently, we had planted wheat there and had no problems. About three years ago, I plowed the plot over and planted seventy olive saplings, which I’d received as a donation from the agricultural aid office.

    I put a lot of money into my grove. I even hired a farmhand to tend it. Today, one of the shepherds, a resident of Ibziq, who was in the area, called me and told me people with bulldozers had come to the plot and uprooted the trees. By the time I got there, it was over, and I discovered they had uprooted and confiscated the saplings I’d planted.

    I received no notice or order from the Israelis to clear the area. If I had, I would have contacted them right away and showed them the deeds [kushan] that prove ownership of the land. I contacted the Palestinian DCO right after the incident and informed them of the uprooting and confiscation. I said I didn’t know why the saplings had been uprooted. I haven’t received an answer yet.

    I planted the olive trees so I could live in dignity and provide for my family and my children’s families, who worked with me in the grove. I’ll ask the agricultural aid office for saplings again, because I want to replant trees in my land.

    The uprooting and confiscation of 370 date palm trees and the destruction of crops on 0.4 hectares of land owned by Saleh Daraghmeh and his brother in Um al-‘Ubor

    At around 9:00 A.M. on the morning of 5 April 2017, Civil Administration officials with a military escort arrived at the community of Um al-‘Ubor, located east of the town of Tammun. The community is the permanent home of four families and is surrounded by farmland owned by Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley and leased to local farmers.

    The forces uprooted and ruined crops on land owned by Saleh Daraghmeh, a resident of Tubas, which he had leased to local farmers: 370 date palms planted in May 2016 by Muhammad Zubeidat, from Um al-‘Ubor, on land he was leasing from Daraghmeh; 17 date palms and a melon and fakus field covering 0.4 hectares, planted by Jum’ah Darwish, a resident of Marj Na'jah, who has been leasing land from Daraghmeh for the past ten years.

    Video: Melon field ruined by the Civil Administration

    In testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher ‘Aref Daraghmeh on 17 May 2017, 70-year-old Saleh Daraghmeh spoke about the damage he had sustained:

    My family is originally from Tubas, and is part of the a-Daraghmeh clan which lives in the area. I’ve been a farmer my whole life. My family owns 300 hectares of land in different parts of the Jordan Valley, mostly around al-Khazuq, Um al-‘Ubor and a-Deir.

    We had arranged with the family of Muhammad ‘Abed Zubeidat, a farmer who lives north of our land in Um al-‘Ubor, that they would plant date palms on our plot. We signed a contract with one of his sons, Fuad, that they would plant 370 saplings on a 3.5-hectare plot. It’s a partnership. We provide the land and the water, and the farmer covers the other cultivations costs, like fertilizer and tilling the soil. The date palms were planted in May 2016. In October 2016, we suddenly got an evacuation order from the Civil Administration and the military, telling us we had to prove ownership or remove the trees – even though we had planted them long before and no one had said anything to us during in all that time. We went to the Palestinian authorities with the order and our ownership documents and asked for help. They referred us to the al-Quds Center, but we have yet to receive any answers.

    On the morning of 5 April 2017, while I was farming in my land in the al-Khazuq area, about 2 kilometers away from Um al-‘Ubor, the farmers called me and told me bulldozers were wrecking the date palms. I hurried over, and saw two bulldozers and lots of Civil Administration personnel and soldiers destroying the saplings, uprooting them and loading them onto a truck. I went up to the officer in charge and told him it was our land and that we had the deeds, but he ignored it. They uprooted and confiscated all the trees. They even bulldozed and wrecked the water pipes.

    Two days ago, Civil Administration officials came to me and said they wanted to show me the boundaries of our land. They gave us maps, which showed that the area where they had uprooted and confiscated the saplings belongs to us. They saw it too and said nothing.

    We’ve lost more than NIS 300,000 [approx. USD 85,000], in what we paid for cultivation costs, saplings, farmhand pay, not to mention water.

    What can we do? That’s the occupation. If we hadn’t kept up a presence in the land and planted trees there, they would have taken it over long ago. It’s our land. My brothers and I have official ownership documents which we inherited from our father, may he rest in peace.

    Saleh Daraghmeh. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 17 May 2017


    Saleh Daraghmeh. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 17 May 2017

    In a phone call with B’Tselem on 13 June 2017, Daraghmeh added:

    For the past ten years we’ve been leasing another plot to Jum’ah Darwish from Marj Na'jah. It’s a 0.4-hectare plot, where he grows melons, fakus and date palms. The troops uprooted all of these crops, even the melons, which had been planted in January and were nearly ripe enough to be harvested.

    Muhammad ‘Abed Muhammad Zubeidat, 59, whose family was leasing the land from Daraghmeh and had planted the date palms, spoke with B’Tselem field researcher ‘Aref Daraghmeh on 4 May 2017 and recounted the following:

    Ahmad Zubeidat. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 5 April 2017

    I’ve lived here, in the a-Zubeidat area with my family – my children and brothers, for decades. We do all kinds of farming.

    North of a-Zubeidat, there’s land in an area called Um al-‘Ubor, which is owned by the Daraghmeh family. There’s a water well there too. We leased about 4 hectares of land, west of Route 90, from the landowner, Saleh Daraghmeh, and we agreed that he’d supply the land and the water, and we would supply the date palms, the labor and everything else. My sons and I started planting date palms there in May 2016.

    First, we prepared the land. We laid down the water lines and then planted the trees. We managed to plant 370 trees. We constantly tended them, and hired some farmhands to guard them. We put a lot of money and effort into planting these trees, but on 5 April 2017, the occupation forces came and destroyed the saplings.

    They destroyed our hopes. The shock and helplessness made our wives cry. We had put everything we had into those date palms. My married sons even took out loans to cover the costs. We had pinned a lot of hope on those trees, and we watched them grow. These trees were supposed to provide for more than 30 people and we were all waiting for them to grow and start bearing fruit.

    There was no reason to uproot the trees and destroy our hopes, and our partners’ hopes. I don’t understand why they did it. The settlers plant thousands of trees in the settlements near where we live and along Route 90.

    A bulldozer hauling date palms uprooted by the Civil Administration. Photo: 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 5 April 2017


    A bulldozer hauling date palms uprooted by the Civil Administration. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 5 April 2017

    Over the years, Israel has seized control of more than 75% of the land in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea, by declaring vast areas as closed military zones or nature reserves and thousands more hectares as “state land”. Israel did this by cynically exploiting the law that applies in the West Bank and issuing new military orders. Israel prohibits Palestinian use of any of these areas, and has placed the vast majority of them, some 150,000 hectares, under the jurisdictions of settlement regional councils. Israeli action against the local population has been stepped up in recent years, with measures intended to expel Palestinian communities, many of which have been living for decades in areas Israel had taken over. Only a minute portion of the land in the Jordan Valley now remains in Palestinian hands, yet the uprooting of groves and destruction of crops demonstrate that Israeli harassment extends even to those landowners.



    Les seules publications de notre blog qui engagent notre association sont notre charte et nos communiqués. Les autres articles publiés sur ce blog, sans nécessairement refléter exactement nos positions, nous ont paru intéressants à verser aux débats ou à porter à votre connaissance.
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    25 juin 2017 7 25 /06 /juin /2017 06:08

    Palestinian officials outraged at US demands to cut prisoner compensation program

    June 23, 2017 10:59 P.M. (Updated: June 24, 2017 10:53 A.M.)
    Palestinian prisoners walk in the yard of Israel's Megiddo prison in November 2005. (AFP/Menahem Kahana, File)
    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Following a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and senior advisor to US President Donald Trump on Thursday in Ramallah, Palestinian officials have expressed their indignation over repeated demands from American officials that the Palestinian Authority (PA) cut its prisoners compensation program as a prerequisite to resuming peace talks with Israel.

    The Times of Israel reported Friday that Abbas was left “enraged” following his meeting with Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, real estate developer Jared Kushner, who he has tasked with bringing peace to the decades long Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    According to the Times of Israel, US officials “watered down” their demands about payments to prisoners, which originally called for all payments to be halted altogether.

    The new demands reportedly requested that the PA stop paying compensation to the families of some 600 Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences and who are responsible for the deaths of Israelis.

    Abbas reportedly defended the payments as a “social responsibility,” and said Israel was using the issue as a pretext to avoid peace talks, while Israeli news website Ynet reported that American officials described the payments “as a means of inciting terror.”

    The payment program, managed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), provides financial allowances to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel and their families, those injured by Israeli forces, and families of Palestinian "martyrs" -- those killed by Israeli forces, whether during attacks against Israelis or in situations in which they were void of wrongdoing.

    Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in taxes each year on behalf of the PA, according to a 2015 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), representing three quarters of the PA’s revenue.

    Israel has regularly withheld transferring taxes to apply pressure on the Palestinian government, despite rights groups saying such punitive measure amounts to “collective punishment.”

    PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat released a statement following the meeting between Abbas and Kushner, saying “we totally reject the Israeli allegations about Palestinian official incitement.”

    Erekat accused Israel of “inventing new excuses,” and trying to “deviate attention” with claims like incitement, “every time there is a chance for peace.”

    “Unlike the Israeli government, we are a leadership committed to the two-state solution and the full implementation of international law,” Erekat said, highlighting that “Israel has constantly refused to activate the trilateral committee on incitement (Palestine-Israel-United States) given that incitement and glorification of terror have been a longstanding policy by this (Israeli) extremist government.”

    “We call upon the Israeli government to stop trying to find excuses to perpetuate its illegal colonial settlement occupation and systematic denial of Palestinian rights. Instead, it should work to fully end its 50-year military occupation towards achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine,” the statement concluded.

    Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe published an op-ed in Arabic media Friday condemning the demands to cut the program, citing the Israeli parliament, Knesset, decision earlier this month to advance a bill which would see the Israeli government cease to transfer an estimated 1 billion shekels ($280 million) per year to the PA over the compensation program.

    Qaraqe called the bill “more horrifying and immoral than war itself,” saying “Israel is attempting to skin and punish the Palestinian people alive and cloak penal legislations designed to crush the Palestinian people under the veil of law.”

    Qaraqe accused Israeli, American and European leaders of trying to “blackmail” the PA, saying the aim of cutting the program is not financial, but rather “an attempt to classify the entire Palestinian national cause as terrorism and crime.”

    “Israel is committing a crime against the families of the detainees, the martyrs, and the wounded. It still wants to appear pure, innocent, clean and clean of our blood, suffering, and constant catastrophes caused by the Israeli occupation,” Qaraqe said, adding that it is the responsibility of the PA to provide social security to the affected families, which Qaraqe said was a right enshrined in international law.

    Qaraqe said the true goal of the Knesset bill was to ”create a compliant Palestinian society,” and that “it aims to deform the values and principles of the Palestinian and his or her national concerns to ensure their full and permanent adherence to the occupation.”

    “Israel can hold our money under power and piracy, but it cannot hold back our human and national dignity, nor can it change our identity from freedom fighters to despicable undignified subordinates.”

    Les seules publications de notre blog qui engagent notre association sont notre charte et nos communiqués. Les autres articles publiés sur ce blog, sans nécessairement refléter exactement nos positions, nous ont paru intéressants à verser aux débats ou à porter à votre connaissance.
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    25 juin 2017 7 25 /06 /juin /2017 06:00

    Lieberman: Not a single Palestinian refugee will return to their lands in Israel

    June 23, 2017 11:08 A.M. (Updated: June 23, 2017 11:12 A.M.)
    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- During a speech at Israel’s Herzliya conference, aimed at discussing the country’s national policies, ultraright Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected the possibility of Palestinian refugees from historic Palestine, land which Israel was built on, being able to return to their lands within the 1967 borders, a right that is upheld by United Nations Resolution 194.

    “We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to within the ‘67 borders,” Lieberman reportedly said. “There will never be another Prime Minister who makes propositions to Palestinians like Ehud Olmert did,” he added, referring to a 2008 peace proposal introduced by the former prime minister.

    The right of return for Palestinian refugees is a central demand among Palestinians and their leadership. The demand also represents a powerful symbolic connection to their lands and homes they were displaced from, as many Palestinians still possess original keys to their homes that were consumed by the state of Israel 69 years ago.

    According to Israeli media, Lieberman also said that an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict would “not solve the problems - it will make them worse,” and noted that Israel should first “reach a regional agreement with moderate Sunni states, and only then an agreement with the Palestinians.”

    He also went on to question the legitimacy of Palestinian citizens of Israel being part of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, noting that the Joint List political bloc -- representing parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Knesset -- refused to acquiesce to Zionist ideologies.

    “The only place they don’t want to leave is Israel. Why? Because it’s good for them here,” he said, referring to Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up approximately 20 percent of the population, whose families lived on the lands of historic Palestine before the creation of the state of Israel.

    According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced from their homes and lands during the creation of Israel, referred to as the Nakba, or catastrophe, among Palestinians.

    On the topic of Gaza, Lieberman reportedly said “I don’t think we need to get into it. It won’t end soon,” before calling the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged Palestinian territory an “intra-Palestinian crisis,” echoing statements made by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who placed full blame of the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip on Hamas, and absolved Israel of any responsibility for the ongoing crisis.

    Lieberman also accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of attempting to influence Hamas to go to war with Israel by exacerbating the crisis in Gaza by cutting Palestinian Authority (PA) payments for electricity supplied to Gaza from Israel.

    "Abbas is going to increase cuts and soon stop the payment of salaries in Gaza and the transfer of fuel to the strip as a two-pronged strategy: Hurt Hamas and drag it to war with Israel,” he reportedly said.

    Lieberman’s statements came amid an attempted renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by right-wing US President Donald Trump.

    Most recently, on Wednesday evening, a meeting was held between Abbas and Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss reviving peace talks with Israel.

    Executive Committee Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Wasel Abu Yousif said in statement at the time that reviving a political process requires certain determinants based on international law: a time limit for ending the 50-year Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory must be set to establish a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestinian refugees must be granted the right of return to the homes and villages from which they were expelled.

    However, Israeli leaders have been public on their rejection of the Palestinian Authority (PA) taking over East Jerusalem, which was officially annexed by Israel in 1980, and have regularly voiced their opposition to the return of Palestinian refugees or even the halting of illegal Israeli settlement expansions in the occupied Palestinian territory.

    Naftali Bennett, Israel’s right-wing education minister, has also introduced a bill in the Israeli parliament that would prevent any future divisions of Jerusalem, by mending Israel’s Basic Law on Jerusalem to necessitate the approval of 80 of the 120 Knesset members to make any changes to the law, instead of the regular majority vote.

    “The purpose of this law is to unify Jerusalem forever,” Bennett reportedly said, adding that his legislation would make it “impossible” to divide Jerusalem.

    While the PA and the international community do not recognize the legality of the occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank since 1967, many Palestinians consider that all historic Palestine has been occupied since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

    A growing number of activists have criticized a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace given the existing political context, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Les seules publications de notre blog qui engagent notre association sont notre charte et nos communiqués. Les autres articles publiés sur ce blog, sans nécessairement refléter exactement nos positions, nous ont paru intéressants à verser aux débats ou à porter à votre connaissance.
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    25 juin 2017 7 25 /06 /juin /2017 05:41
    L'ONU rejette les accusations d'Israël sur le Hezbollah maquillé en ONG

    La FINUL "n'a observé aucune personne armée non autorisée sur les sites ni trouvé aucun fondement pour rapporter une violation de la résolution 1701".

    Les Nations unies ont balayé vendredi les accusations israéliennes selon lesquelles le Hezbollah a multiplié les postes d'observation à proximité de la frontière entre les deux pays, sous couvert d'activité d'une organisation environnementale.

    L'armée israélienne a publié jeudi des photos d'un bâtiment près de la frontière censé être contrôlé par l'organisation "Green Without Borders" ("Verts sans frontières").

    La mission onusienne locale de maintien de la paix, la FINUL, a affirmé que "Green Without Borders" a bien planté des arbres dans cette zone, mais "n'a observé aucune personne armée non autorisée sur les sites ni trouvé aucun fondement pour rapporter une violation de la résolution 1701", a affirmé une porte-parole de l'ONU, Eri Kaneko.

    L'ambassadeur d'Israël auprès de l'ONU, Danny Danon, avait fait parvenir une lettre de protestation adressée au Conseil de sécurité assortie de photos de ces postes d'observation et de cartes sur leur localisation. Il avait notamment qualifié de "provocation dangereuse" ces activités "le long de la ligne bleue".

    La ligne bleue est une ligne tracée en 2000 par l'ONU dans le sud du Liban pour permettre de confirmer sur le terrain le retrait israélien de cette région. C'est au respect de ce tracé que doit veiller la résolution 1701.

    Israël a mené une guerre contre le Hezbollah pendant un mois à l'été 2006, tuant plus de 1.200 Libanais dont la plupart étaient des civils. Côté Israélien, 160 personnes, dont une grande majorité de soldats, avaient trouvé la mort.

    Depuis le début du conflit syrien en 2011, Israël a par ailleurs effectué plusieurs bombardements en Syrie, notamment contre des convois d'armes destinées au Hezbollah.



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    25 juin 2017 7 25 /06 /juin /2017 05:38

    Israeli navy vessel fires at Gaza fishermen, killing one as his boat fled

    22 Jun 2017

    Muhammad Baker. photo courtesy of the familyAt about 8:30 A.M. on Monday, 15 May 2017, soldiers from an Israeli navy vessel shot and killed Muhammad Baker, 25, a married father of two froma-Shati Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. The soldiers opened fire while their vessel was pursuing Baker’s fishing boat. B'Tselem’s investigation found that at the time of the shooting, Baker and his relatives were fishing three nautical miles off the coast, within the zone in which the military permits Gazans to fish. They began to flee after the navy vessel opened fire at them.

    That morning, at about 6:00 A.M., two flatboard fishing boats sailed out of Gaza port, each carrying four fishermen. The boats sailed northwest toward the area opposite Beit Lahiya and stopped about three nautical miles off the coast, approximately one kilometer from the northern border of the zone in which Israel permits fishing. The fishermen cast their rods. At about 8:20 A.M., they saw two Israeli navy boats approaching them from the north. One vessel stopped at the border of the zone and the other continued at high-speed toward the fishermen. The soldiers on board opened fire at the fishing boat, shooting rubber-coated and live bullets. The fishing boats fled south and the navy vessel pursued them. When the fishing boats reached the coast of Jabalya, the navy vessel came up to 10-20 meters from one of them. The soldiers shouted at the fishermen to stop and fired at them.

    Fadi Baker, 32, a married father of three from a-Shati R.C., recounted what happened next in a testimony he gave to B'Tselem field researcher Muhammad Sabah on 22 May 2017:

    Suddenly I heard my brother Muhammad, who was next to the motor, saying he’d been hit. I thought he’d been hit by a rubber bullet, but he said that his chest really hurt. Our boat stopped because a bullet hit the motor.

    I held my brother and saw that he’d been shot in the chest, close to the heart. The soldiers shouted out to us to stand at the front of the boat. We told them that Muhammad had been hit and lifted him up for them to see. When the soldiers saw him, they sailed over and we lifted Muhammad up and handed him over to them. Then the navy boat headed off toward Ashdod port. It was obvious that Muhammad was badly injured.

    We stayed put because the motor wasn’t working. We signaled with a shirt to ‘Omar, who was nearby. He sailed over, tied our boat to his and towed us to Gaza port. We came home without my brother Muhammad, who had set out with us in the morning to work and make a living for himself and his family.

    Edited footage of the incident published by the Al-Quds News Agency

    At the time of the shooting, ‘Omar Baker, 48, a fisherman and married father of six from a-Shati R.C., was on the second fishing boat, about a kilometer away from the first.

    n a testimony he gave to B'Tselem field researcher Muhammad Sabah on 23 May 2017, he recalled:

    I saw the navy vessel and the soldiers shooting at the other fishing boat, which was alongside them. A few minutes later, the fishing boat stopped and then the navy vessel sailed away. I saw one of the fishermen waving a shirt. I immediately sailed up to them. I was less than a kilometer away.

    When I got close, I saw ‘Umran Baker shouting and hitting his face. He told me that the soldiers had shot his brother and had taken him with them. I saw that the boat’s motor had been damaged. I immediately towed the boat toward the port.

    After they disembarked, Muhammad’s two brothers and cousin, who had been on the boat with him, were interrogated for several hours by the Hamas Marine Police. After their release, they learned that Muhammad had been taken to Barzilai Hospital in Israel. The father received a permit to enter Israel to see his injured son, but by the time he reached the hospital, Muhammad had passed away.

    In his testimony, ‘Omar Baker described the feelings of fishermen in Gaza:

    As fishermen, we pay for working at sea with our lives. When we set out we feel as if we’re entering a firing zone, because the Israeli navy chases us and shoots at us. They try to stop us from fishing by firing live bullets at us, arresting us and damaging our boats. Fishing has become a very difficult job, because the Israeli navy chases us even within the zone in which we are allowed to fish.

    B'Tselem’s investigation indicates that the soldiers who fired at the fishing boat and killed Muhammad Baker acted without justification. The boat was within the zone where the military permits fishing and, in any case, did not pose a threat to the force. Shooting at Palestinians sailing at sea to make a living is unjustified and unlawful, yet the Israeli military does so as a matter of routine off the coast of Gaza. This is compounded by the numerous restrictions that Israel imposes on the fishing sector in Gaza – limiting the permitted fishing zone, prohibiting the import of vital materials, arrests, and restricting the export and marketing of fish. The result is that fishing has been virtually eliminated as a sector in the Gazan economy. According to statistics forwarded to B'Tselem by the Fishing Department in the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza, in 2016 the Israeli navy military arrested 113 fishermen, shot and injured 10 fishermen, and confiscated 38 motorized flatboard boats and eight boats without motors. That year, direct damage caused by confiscating or shooting at fishing boats and equipment amounted to approximately half a million dollars.

    As long as Israel maintains this policy, innocent fishermen will sadly continue to risk their lives in an attempt to make a living for their families. Some will return safely. Others will be arrested, injured or killed. No one in Israel will be held accountable for the attacks, and the usual whitewashing formalities will be applied to these ongoing acts of violence.



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    25 juin 2017 7 25 /06 /juin /2017 05:28


    Analysis Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Is Good News for Israel and U.S.

    Saudi crown prince Bin Salman agrees with U.S. on Russia, Assad, Iran and ISIS and according to some reports, he's also met with top Israeli officials

    Zvi Bar'el Jun 21, 2017 3:29 PM


    New Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s appointment as Saudi Arabia’s heir...
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