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23 juin 2017 5 23 /06 /juin /2017 07:17

Israeli forces detain 17 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids

 
 
 
June 20, 2017 4:09 P.M. (Updated: June 20, 2017 5:43 P.M.)
 
 
(AFP/File)
 
 
 
 
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained at least 17 Palestinians during overnight raids across the occupied West Bank between Monday and Tuesday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

In the northernmost West Bank district of Jenin, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) wrote that Israeli forces detained Mustafa Jamil Milhem, 20, Rashad Jarrar, Muhammad Zayoud, and Said Abu al-Rub, adding that Jarrar, Zayoud, and Abu al-Rub were detained at military checkpoints.

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that one Palestinian from the Jenin-area village of Silat al-Harithiya was detained at a checkpoint north of Nablus, without providing further information.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an of only one detention in the Jenin district, which they said took place in the village of Kafr Raai.

In the Tulkarem district, PPS reported the detentions of Muhammad Naji Sabha, 40, and Omar Jihad Milhem, 25, who locals said were both detained in the village of Anabta.

Locals added that Sabha had been detained by Israel for a total of 19 years, and had been released in May 2016.

The army said two “Hamas operatives” were detained in Anabta, and added that another Palestinian was detained in Khirbet al-Tayyah.

In the central occupied West Bank district of Jericho, PPS said that four Palestinians were detained in the village of al-Jiftlik, identifying them as Muhammad Hassan Jahalin, Ahmad Muhammad Jahalin, Usama Khalid Jahalin, and Noah Muhammad Nawfal.

In the Bethlehem district, Diyaa Muhammad Zaul, 25, was detained in the village of Husan, while Muhammad Moussa was detained in the village of al-Khader, PPS reported.

PPS highlighted that Israeli soldiers violently assaulted Zaul during the raid before detaining him.

The army confirmed the two detentions to Ma’an.

In the Hebron district, PPS said Israeli forces detained Hamza Nader Abu Hlayyil, Mahmoud Abu Shukr, and Bilal Naim Jaafra, without specifying the exact location of their detentions. Locals, however, told Ma’an that Abu Shukr was detained in Hebron city.

The army spokesperson confirmed one detention in Hebron city, adding that one Palestinian was detained in the village of Beit Ummar, one in Dura, and another in Tarqumiya.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities carried out an average of 95 army raids a week in Palestinian communities since the beginning of the year, according to United Nations documentation.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 6,200 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prison as of May.

 
 
 
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23 juin 2017 5 23 /06 /juin /2017 07:12

Israel continues leveling private Palestinian lands for illegal settlement expansion

 
 
 
June 21, 2017 7:50 P.M. (Updated: June 21, 2017 7:52 P.M.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli bulldozers continued on Wednesday, for the second day in a row, leveling Palestinian lands south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank in preparations for new settlement construction.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli military bulldozers continued leveling privately-owned Palestinian private lands in the village of Jalud south of Nablus, as part of plans for the construction of Shvut Rachel East -- another illegal Israeli settlement that was approved in February under the pretext of compensating residents of the Amona outpost.

A spokesperson from COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing the Israeli government’s policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, said they were looking into reports of the landworks.

Despite the fact that the Amona residents refused the plan to relocate to Shvut Rachel East -- which is located on Jalud’s lands -- the Israeli government continued with its settlement plans, along with plans for the Amichai settlement -- where the Amona settlers agreed to live -- Israel’s first new official settlement in more than two decades, which broke ground on Tuesday.

Israeli officials have continuously referred to Shvut Rachel East as a “neighborhood of Shilo settlement,” and not an entirely new settlement, “despite being located far from any built up area of Shilo, creating a new and distant expansion to the settlement,” according to settlement watchdog Peace Now.

The group condemned the settlement expansions earlier this month, saying that Amichai would be located near Shvut Rachel East on adjacent hilltops. “Under the disguise of ‘compensation’ to the Amona settlers, two new settlements, located one next to the other, are now in the making,” the group said.

The two new settlements are aimed at expanding the Shilo settlements to the east towards the Jordan Valley, according to Peace Now.

“The two new settlements are located in a region that serves as focal point of settler land takeover and settler violence, preventing Palestinians from reaching their lands,” the group added.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi has denounced Israel for the planned expansions. “Clearly, Israel’s creeping annexation of Palestine is escalating because of the international community’s inability to translate its verbal statements and condemnations into serious and concrete actions to bring Israel to account,” Ashrawi said.

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) released data on Monday showing a 70 percent rise in construction of settlements during the past year compared to previous year, with Peace Now warning of increasing numbers in the coming months.

Marking 50 years since Israel first annexed East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, NGO Amnesty International announced on Wednesday that it was launching a campaign to convince the international community to implement a full boycott of illegal Israeli settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory.

 
 
 
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22 juin 2017 4 22 /06 /juin /2017 01:07

5 East Jerusalem cultural institutions threatened with closure, PLO warns

 
 
 
June 21, 2017 5:26 P.M. (Updated: June 21, 2017 5:26 P.M.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- At least five social, cultural, and educational organizations operating in occupied East Jerusalem have been ordered by Israeli authorities to close their bank accounts, with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) saying the move was “part of the Israeli government’s racist ethnic cleansing policies” targeting Palestinians in the city.

The PLO’s Jerusalem Affairs Department said in a statement Tuesday that a number of organizations received the notices, and that the orders said that the institutions would be issued checks equivalent to the money deposited when closing the accounts.

The department condemned Israeli authorities, without specifying which government entity issued the orders, for the “strange measures” taken against the cultural, social, and educational institutions.

The statement said that the Israeli government’s “racist ethnic cleansing policies” were aimed at “increasing the suffering of Jerusalemites by exiling them from Jerusalem.”

The PLO department insisted that the organizations were all “working in accordance with law,” paid their annual fees to the relevant authorities, and employed both Israelis and Palestinians.

Head of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights Ziad al-Hamouri highlighted to Ma’an that, since having an Israeli bank account is a precondition to operate an organization in Jerusalem, the five affected institutions’ operating permits may be revoked and could be forced to shut down.

Al-Hamouri said that the organizations have filed a complaint to the “competent authorities” to appeal the decision.

Ma’an reached out to both the Israeli Finance Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality for comment.

The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the "Judaization" of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.

 
 
 
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22 juin 2017 4 22 /06 /juin /2017 01:03

B’Tselem field researchers detained by Israel Police while documenting movement restrictions in Hébron

 
 
 
Published:
18 Jun 2017

The Bakery Checkpoint in Hebron, late May 2017. Photo by Siham al-Fakhuri, B’Tselem volunteer

 

The Bakery Checkpoint in Hebron, late May 2017. Photo by Siham al-Fakhuri, B’Tselem volunteer

 

 

 

B’Tselem field researchers Manal al-Ja’bri and Musa Abu Hashhash were detained yesterday in Hebron while documenting the increase in movement restrictions imposed by the military at the Bakery Checkpoint. Al-Ja’bri was questioned and held in police custody in the settlement of Kiryat Arba until late last night. Abu Hashhash was held at the checkpoint for about 40 minutes and released.

On Sunday, 18 June 2017, B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bri set out to capture video footage of the Bakery Checkpoint in Hebron, after receiving reports of an increase in the severe restrictions on movement imposed on Palestinian residents of the area for years. The checkpoint is located at the entrance to the main road of the a-Salaimeh neighborhood, near the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Al-Ja’bri was detained by a Border Police officer and taken to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. B’Tselem field researcher Musa Abu Hashhash arrived at the checkpoint to continue filming and was also detained by a Border Police officer. The officers did not allow the two to contact B’Tselem. According to Adv. Neri Ramati from Gaby Lasky & Partners Law Offices, al-Ja’bri was taken to the police station in the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba at around 4:00 P.M., where she was questioned on suspicion of obstructing a police officer. The police required bail for her release. Abu Hashhash was released without questioning after being detained by Border Police officers at the checkpoint for about forty minutes.

Over the years, B’Tselem field researchers and volunteers have repeatedly reported instances in which security forces prevented them from documenting human rights abuses, detaining them for hours on end and confiscating cameras. These actions stand in stark contradiction to the law, as well as to assurances that B’Tselem has received from the military and the Border Police that there is no impediment to B’Tselem staff and volunteers filming incidents in the Occupied Territories, as long as their actions do not interfere with the security forces’ mission.

 

http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20170618_btselem_field_researchers_detained_in_hebron

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22 juin 2017 4 22 /06 /juin /2017 00:54
Publish Date: 2017/06/19
Israeli forces clash with Palestinians east of Jerusalem, injuries reported
 
 
 

JERUSALEM, June 19, 2017 (WAFA) – Two Palestinian minors were shot and injured on Monday, and at least 25 others suffocated during clashes with Israeli forces in Abu Dis town to the east of occupied Jerusalem, said medical sources.

 

The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a brief statement two Palestinians were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, whereas at least 25 others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.

T.R.

 

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=q5RWGEa91147481304aq5RWGE

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22 juin 2017 4 22 /06 /juin /2017 00:52

Colonisation : sans vergogne, Israël enfonce le clou

Cisjordanie occupée

L'annonce par Benjamin Netanyahu de la création d'Amichaï, première unité nouvelle en 25 ans, survient à l'heure où les États-Unis tentent de relancer le processus de paix.

21/06/2017
 
 

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Un véritable pied de nez à la communauté internationale, mais avant tout aux Palestiniens. Quelques jours à peine après le cinquantenaire de la guerre des Six-Jours, Israël a entamé hier la construction d'une nouvelle colonie en Cisjordanie, une première en 25 ans dans ce territoire palestinien occupé, et il y a peu de chances que Washington puisse s'y opposer de manière efficace.

« Après des décennies, j'ai le privilège d'être le Premier ministre qui construit une nouvelle colonie en Judée-Samarie », a annoncé Benjamin Netanyahu sur Twitter, en utilisant le nom biblique utilisé par certains dirigeants israéliens pour désigner la Cisjordanie, petit territoire palestinien occupé depuis 50 ans par l'armée israélienne et où vivent plus de 400 000 colons, de façon illégale selon le droit international. « Aujourd'hui, les travaux ont débuté sur le terrain ; comme je l'avais promis, pour créer une nouvelle colonie pour les colons d'Amona », a ajouté M. Netanyahu au-dessus d'une photo d'une pelleteuse et d'une foreuse s'activant sur une colline rocailleuse.

Depuis 25 ans, Israël se contentait d'agrandir des colonies déjà existantes en Cisjordanie. La nouvelle colonie d'Amichaï, annoncée officiellement en mars, doit accueillir une quarantaine de familles évacuées en février d'Amona, une colonie dite « sauvage », c'est-à-dire illégale même aux yeux de la loi israélienne. Les travaux consistent pour le moment à aplanir le terrain afin d'accueillir une dizaine de « mobile homes », a indiqué un porte-parole de la principale organisation des colons à l'AFP.

L'émissaire de l'ONU chargé du Proche-Orient a, de son côté, déploré hier la hausse importante des constructions de logements dans les colonies israéliennes dans les territoires palestiniens ces trois derniers mois, en dépit d'une résolution de l'ONU qui en réclame l'arrêt. « Aucune mesure n'a été prise » pour se conformer à la résolution adoptée en décembre, qui demande de mettre fin aux colonies, a déploré hier Nikolaï Mladenov devant le Conseil de sécurité, auquel il présentait un rapport sur la région.

Ces déclarations surviennent au lendemain de la publication de données du bureau central des statistiques en Israël, selon lequel la construction dans les colonies israéliennes en Cisjordanie occupée a bondi de 70 % en un an.

L'ONG israélienne anticolonisation La Paix maintenant a indiqué que le boom de construction dans les colonies en territoire occupé avait coïncidé avec une baisse de 2,5 % dans le secteur de la construction à l'intérieur d'Israël. « Au lieu d'œuvrer à régler la crise du logement en Israël, le gouvernement privilégie une minorité vivant au-delà des frontières de l'État », a déploré cette ONG.

Le porte-parole de la présidence palestinienne Nabil Abou Roudeina a dénoncé une « tentative de faire échouer les efforts américains », y voyant la preuve qu'« Israël ne croit pas aux efforts américains ».

 
 
Impuissance américaine
Le timing est tout sauf anodin. L'annonce du début des constructions à la colonie d'Amichaï intervient en effet au lendemain de l'arrivée de Jason Greenblatt, l'envoyé du président américain Donald Trump, qui doit rencontrer des responsables israéliens et palestiniens pour tenter de relancer des négociations suspendues depuis 2014. Il sera rejoint aujourd'hui par le gendre et conseiller de M. Trump, Jared Kushner.

L'annonce d'hier devrait toutefois avoir peu d'impact sur la mission que se sont fixée les émissaires américains. L'administration américaine est parfaitement consciente des velléités expansionnistes israéliennes qui, en se poursuivant, empêchent la création d'un État palestinien. « Cela contribue à faire perdre l'espoir encore plus à un peuple déjà au bord du gouffre.
 
On ne peut ignorer que sans le soutien américain, cette politique d'occupation aurait cessé depuis longtemps », dénonce Sam Bahour, activiste, conseiller en management et auteur palestinien.
 
Ce n'est probablement pas un hasard que dans la foulée de l'investiture de M. Trump, considéré comme plus favorable aux positions israéliennes que son prédécesseur Barack Obama, Israël a procédé à cinq annonces d'extension de colonies portant sur plus de 6 000 logements.
 
La Maison-Blanche a fini par appeler Israël à la retenue, mais sans convaincre grand monde.
 
Le gouvernement israélien, le plus à droite de l'histoire de l'État hébreu et faisant la part belle aux défenseurs de la colonisation, cherche à créer les conditions pour continuer à construire dans les territoires palestiniens sans braquer l'administration américaine. Cette dernière n'avait pas réagi, déjà en mars, lors de l'annonce de la création de la colonie d'Amichaï. Il y a donc peu de risques qu'elle prenne des mesures véritablement fermes pour raviver des négociations israélo-palestiniennes moribondes.
 
Donald Trump lui-même appelle, non pas à une solution politique, mais à un « deal », dans le sens commercial du terme, rappelle Sam Bahour, qui estime qu'une explosion de violence peut survenir à n'importe quel instant. « Les États-Unis pourraient agir, mais ils ne le feront pas, à moins que le coût de l'inaction ne s'avère plus élevé que celui de l'action », déplore l'activiste.
 
En attendant, la construction de colonies, qui s'est poursuivie sous tous les gouvernements israéliens depuis 1967, rogne chaque jour un peu plus les territoires sur lesquels les Palestiniens souhaitent créer leur État ou compromet la continuité territoriale, donc la viabilité d'un tel État.
 
 
 
 
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22 juin 2017 4 22 /06 /juin /2017 00:43

Blockading Qatar, targeting Iran

The Saudi-Israeli alliance is out of the closet.

| By

@HamidDabashi

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

The almost simultaneous blockade of Qatar spearheaded by Saudi Arabia and joined by a few of its sidekick states and two pernicious, violent attacks on two symbolic sites in Tehran may have taken the world by surprise but the mad logic and the mischievous rhetoric of them are anything but surprising.

The organic link between the regional, decidedly anti-Palestinian, ambitions of Israel and the sectarian designs of Saudi Arabia for the Arab and Muslim world at large have been known for quite some time now. The question is what has triggered that alliance between the Israeli settler colony and the Saudi garrison state suddenly to up the ante and come out with such ferocious intensity, throwing all pretences of "Arab brotherhood" or "Muslim unity" under the speeding Zionist bus.

 

As reported by Al Jazeera, there is now an active lobbying putsch in Washington, DC, coordinated among Israel, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates, simultaneously targeting Qatar and Iran, with the future of Palestine and the fate of millions of Palestinians in and out of their homeland as the focal points of this treacherous alliance to sabotage and destroy the cause of Palestinian self-determination.

Taking full advantage of this crisis, the timing of the US ambassador to the United Nations, the die-hard Zionist, Nikki Haley's visit to Israel marks Benjamin Netanyahu's long-standing design to push the Palestinian question completely off the global agenda. The ruling regimes in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt are willing and eager parties to this perfidious act.

Although there can never be any hard evidence of the Saudi instigation of the suicide attacks and bombing of two symbolic sites in Iran, the parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iranian officials are pointing fingers at the Saudis. But we need not necessarily accept the Iranian account to realise that Israel and Saudi Arabia are (and have been for a very long time) the main beneficiaries of such violent acts against Iran and Iranians.

OPINION: ISIL attack in Iran - Why now and what will happen next?

If we put the blockade of Qatar by its Arab neighbours and the unprecedented attack on Iran analytically together, a number of crucial consequences emerge to redefine the geostrategic map of the region.

Israel and Saudi Arabia as two garrison states

The current Saudi-Israeli alliance in trampling the Palestinians' fate, warmongering against Iran, and subjecting Qatar to a crippling blockade dominates and distorts the real picture of the region. The principle enemies of the Saudi and Israeli garrison states are not their counterpart states in the region but, in fact, the defiant nations that are falsely framed by these states.

The simultaneous targeting of Qatar and Iran should forever put an end to the false flag that this is a battle between Arabs and Persians or else between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

 

Three powerful nations in this area defy their respective states to map out their own democratic destinies: Egypt, Iran, and Turkey. These are the three nations that, in their thick historical memories and ensuing democratic aspirations, pose the greatest threat to the Saudi and Israeli colonial concoctions with no historical legitimacy on the ground. By virtue of US military and diplomatic support, this Saudi-Zionist alliance dominates the geopolitics of the region beyond its historical deserve.

Among these three historic nations, the Saudi Arabia and Israel falsely assume they have neutralised Egypt by recruiting the military junta that has aborted its revolutionary momentum. Egyptians as a people, as an historically self-conscious nation (remember Tahrir Square), are not to be confused with the corrupt junta that now rules it, tramples on Palestinian rights, and is even willing to sell its own territorial integrity to Saudi Arabia.

This Saudi-Zionist alliance thinks it can also disregard Turkey for it confuses the current coup-countercoup draconian dynamics of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government with the robust democratic urges of Turks as a people, as a deeply rooted and self-conscious nation (remember both the Gezi Park movement and the popular uprising against the military coup last year).

The alliance, therefore, laser beams on Iran for, contrary to its ridiculous claims, it is not the adventuresome disposition of its state that bothers it but, in fact, the volcanic democratic upsurge of Iranians as a nation frightens the living daylights out of these two colonially manufactured garrison states.

It is not accidental that the primary target of those demented mercenaries attacking Iran was the Iranian parliament, next to the office of the presidency and the city councils the most democratic institution in an otherwise theocratic state apparatus. It is the democratic effervescence of the people of Iran (and Turkey and Egypt), trapped as they are within the framing of a misrepresenting state, that poses an existential threat to Saudi-Israeli alliance.

 

Keep your eyes on these three nations: Turkey, Iran, and Egypt - do not be distracted by the antics of their respective state apparatuses being dragged into the geopolitics of the region - and you will have a far more accurate conception of every single development in the Arab and Muslim world. Keep also in mind that the Palestinian cause is at the heart of these three nation's democratic aspirations, and not a matter of systematic political abuse by their respective states.

Despite its tiny size and sparse population, though deeply informed by waves of Arab and non-Arab migrant skilled labourers, scholars, journalists, artists, and intellectuals from across the world populating its universities, museums, and research institutes, Qatar has dared dreaming itself integral to the larger Arab-Muslim desire to fulfill its historic sense of dignity, which it has in part invested in putting the Palestinian self-determination at the forefront of its sense of moral identity.

Qatar is not just for Qataris. Despite all its structural limitations as a minuscule rentier state with a massive US military base on its soil, Qatar has enabled an engine of social, intellectual, and artistic ambitions for the larger Arab and Muslim world. Donald Trump looks at Qatar and all he sees are dollar signs for his military contractor friends. Israel looks at Qatar and it is worried to see a thriving Arab capital with a sharp critical intelligence to the Palestinian politics it enables. Saudi Arabia looks at Qatar and sees dangerous ideas being bandied about its northern frontiers.

READ MORE: Tehran attack: Targeting Iran's national symbols

That Zionists see that dream as a nightmare is, of course, natural. That the Saudis and their sidekicks have now joined forces with these Zionists in crushing that dream is an obscenity beyond words. The marriage of convenience between Israel and Saudi Arabia as two garrison states, armed to their teeth by the US to spread menace and to pit one group of Muslims against another, overcomes all other disparities between the odd couples.

The simultaneous targeting of Qatar and Iran should forever put an end to the false flag that this is a battle between Arabs and Persians or else between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Qatar is both an Arab and a Sunni country, and is today the target of a most pernicious blockade and defamation by its own Arab and Sunni neighbours, while planeloads of food are being flown to Doha from Turkey and Iran.

For now, let it be remembered that Israel, with all its ridiculous claim to be "the only democracy in the Middle East" (built on stolen Palestinian lands), is today in active alliance with the most retrograde and backward-ruling regimes in the region against the democratic aspirations of their nations. Let it also be remembered that the ruling family in Saudi Arabia are now in active alliance with the European settler colony that has stolen Palestine from its rightful inhabitants. Everything else from this point forward must commence with these two sobering facts.

Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/06/blockading-qatar-targeting-iran-170618070407788.html

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22 juin 2017 4 22 /06 /juin /2017 00:40

Crise syrienne : La dangereuse escalade

 

le 21.06.17 | 12h00

Le président américain, Donald Trump, et le ministre des Affaires étrangères russe, Sergueï Lavrov

 
 
Les Nations unies ont exprimé hier leur «profonde inquiétude» quant à une possible escalade de la tension entre les Etats-Unis et la Syrie, après que Washington a abattu dimanche un avion de l’armée syrienne dans l’est du pays. Le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies évoquera le conflit syrien la semaine prochaine, avant un nouveau round de pourparlers de paix qui doit démarrer le 10 juillet à Genève;
 
Nouvel incident dans le ciel syrien, une tache supplémentaire dans un paysage déjà sombre avec une situation complexe. En effet, un appareil de l’armée de l’air syrienne a été abattu par un avion de chasse américain. C’est tout cela à la fois, pour un pays qui vit la plus grave crise de son histoire, qui risque de le marquer à tout jamais, avec des fractures, la destruction de son potentiel et l’exode massif de sa population.
 
Mais ce que l’ONU pourtant très proche du terrain n’arrive pas à évaluer, c’est bien l’impact de telles actions, lequel se mesure déjà aux premières réactions. A commencer par celle de la Syrie, théâtre de toutes ces opérations, et elle-même visée à travers son potentiel militaire. Damas a en effet accusé la coalition d’avoir abattu cet avion alors que l’appareil menait «une mission contre le groupe Etat islamique».
 
Ce qui est à relever également, c’est que peu après que l’avion syrien ait été abattu, des combats ont éclaté pour la première fois entre les troupes loyalistes et les FDS, une alliance arabo-kurde soutenue par les Etats-Unis, dans la province de Raqqa. Des combats que certains n’excluaient plus au fur et à mesure que les forces syriennes étendaient leur contrôle à des secteurs de plus en plus importants du territoire syrien. Là est le nouvel enjeu, devenu une évidence puisque les données sur le terrain ont été bouleversées depuis l’engagement militaire de la Russie aux côtés du régime syrien, ainsi que de l’Iran. En ce sens, la réaction russe ne s’est pas fait attendre, Moscou parlant d’«acte d’agression» des Etats-Unis.

Autre décision que les stratèges militaires sauront considérer pour ce qu’elle impliquerait, le ministère russe de la Défense a fait savoir hier que tous les avions de la coalition internationale menée par les Etats-Unis volant à l’ouest de l’Euphrate «seront suivis» et «considérés comme des cibles» par la défense antiaérienne et l’aviation russes en Syrie. Moscou a également annoncé la suspension du canal de communication établi avec le Pentagone pour empêcher les collisions aériennes.

Une telle décision est lourde de considérations que Moscou ne dévoile pas, mais qui excluent d’ores et déjà la notion d’accident, qui renvoie donc à celle de l’acte volontaire et délibéré. Le même jour

L’Australie a annoncé quant à elle hier la suspension de ses missions aériennes en Syrie, ce qui signifie que l’avertissement russe a été pris au sérieux. Après la destruction de l’avion syrien, Washington a bien accusé Damas d’avoir bombardé ses alliés. Quant aux Russes, ils accusent les Etats-Unis de n’avoir pas prévenu leur armée qu’ils allaient abattre cet avion, et exigent que le commandement américain mène «une enquête approfondie» sur les agissements de ses militaires au cours de cet incident. Moscou considère les actions de Washington comme un «non-respect délibéré» d’un accord signé en octobre 2015.

La Russie avait déjà annoncé en avril, après des frappes américaines contre une base des forces syriennes, son intention de suspendre ce protocole, qui contient des règles et restrictions visant à empêcher les incidents entre les avions des deux pays dans le ciel syrien. Quant à l’Iran, allié du régime syrien, il a tiré pour la première fois des missiles de moyenne portée contre des cibles du groupe EI dans l’Est syrien.

 

Pourtant, ne manque-t-on pas de rappeler dans les milieux spécialisés, toute provocation est risquée. Quant à l’enjeu, il semble évident que le régime syrien veut reconquérir ce qu’il a perdu, comme le contrôle de la province pétrolière de Deir Ezzor, plus à l’est.

Ce qui est à relever en ce sens, c’est que le 9 juin, l’armée syrienne a atteint la frontière irakienne pour la première fois depuis 2015, encerclant quasiment les rebelles. Une logique militaire qui ferait disparaître l’idée même de solution politique.

 

http://www.elwatan.com/international/crise-syrienne-la-dangereuse-escalade-21-06-2017-347667_112.php

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21 juin 2017 3 21 /06 /juin /2017 06:08

Israel vs. the United Nations: The Nikki Haley doctrine

 

 

June 19, 2017 9:54 P.M. (Updated: June 19, 2017 11:51 P.M.)
 
 
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (File)
 
 
 
By: Ramzy Baroud

 

Ramzy Baroud is an internationally syndicated columnist, author, and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story.

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, seems to be championing a single cause: Israel.

When Haley speaks about Israel, her language is not merely emotive nor tailored to fit the need of a specific occasion. Rather, her words are resolute, consistent and are matched by a clear plan of action.

Along with Haley, the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is moving fast to cultivate the unique opportunity of dismissing the United Nations, and thus any attempt at criticizing the Israeli occupation.

Unlike previous UN ambassadors who strongly backed Israel, Haley refrains from any coded language or any attempt, however poor, to appear balanced. Last March, she told a crowd of 18,000 supporters at the Israel lobby, AIPAC's annual policy conference, that this is a new era for US-Israel relations.

"I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement," she told the crowd that was thrilled by her speech. "It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick ’em every single time."

Trump's new sheriff/ambassador, condemned UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which strongly criticized Israel's illegal settlements. While still in its final days in office, the Obama administration did not vote for the resolution -- but did not veto it, either -- thus setting a precedent that has not been witnessed in many years.

The US abstention, according to Haley, was as if the “entire country felt a kick in the gut.”

What made Israel particularly angry over Obama's last act at the UN was the fact that it violated a tradition that has extended for many years, most notably during the term of US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte during George W. Bush's first term in office.

What became known as the Negroponte doctrine was a declared US policy that Washington would oppose any resolution that criticizes Israel and does not also condemn Palestinians.

But Israel, not the Palestinians, is the occupying power which refuses to honor dozens of UN resolutions and various international treaties and laws. By making that decision, and, indeed, following through to ensure its implementation, the US managed to sideline the UN as an “irrelevant” institution.

Sidelining the UN, then, also meant that the US would have complete control over managing the Middle East, but especially the situation in Palestine.

However, under Trump, even the US-led and self-tailored “peace process” has become obsolete.

This is the real moral, but also political, crisis of the Haley doctrine, for it goes beyond Negroponte silencing any criticism of Israel at the UN, into removing the UN entirely -- thus international law -- from being a factor in resolving the conflict.

In a talk at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council -- which is made up of 47 member countries -- Haley declared that her country was “reviewing its participation” in the council altogether. She claimed that Israel is the "only country permanently on the body's calendar," an inaccurate statement that is often uttered by Israel with little basis in truth.

If Haley read the report on the 35th session of the Human Rights Council, she would have realized that the rights body discussed many issues, pertaining to women rights and empowerment, forced marriages, and human rights violations in many countries.

But considering that Israel has recently “celebrated” 50 years of occupying Palestinians, Haley should not be surprised that Israel is also an item on the agenda. In fact, any country that has occupied and oppressed another for so long should also remain an item on the international agenda.

Following her speech, in which she derided and threatened UN member states in Geneva, she went to Israel to further emphasize her country's insistence on challenging the international community on behalf of Israel.

Along with notorious hasbara expert, Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Haley toured the Israeli border with Gaza, showing sympathy with supposedly besieged Israeli communities -- while on the other side, nearly two million Palestinians in Gaza have been trapped for over a decade in a very small region, behind sealed-shut borders.

 

Speaking in Jerusalem on June 7, Haley said: "I have never taken kindly to bullies and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time and we are not going to let that happen anymore,” adding that “it is a new day for Israel in the United Nations."

By agreeing to live in Israel's pseudo-reality, where bullies complain of being bullied, the US is moving further and further away from any international consensus on human rights and international law. This becomes more pronounced and dangerous when we consider Donald Trump administration’s decision to pull out from the Paris accords on global warming.

Trump argued that the decision was of benefit to American businesses. Even if one agrees with such an unsubstantiated assertion, Haley's new doctrine on Israel and the UN, by contrast, can hardly be of any benefit to the United States in the short or long run. It simply degrades US standing, leadership and even goes below the lowest standards of credibility practiced under previous administrations.

Worse still, inspired and empowered by Haley's blank check, Israeli leaders are now moving forward to physically remove the UN from Israel's occupation of Palestine. Two alarming developments have taken place on that front:

One took place early May when Culture and Sport Minister, Miri Regev, made a formal demand to the Israeli cabinet to shut down the UN headquarters in Jerusalem, to punish UNESCO for restating the international position on the status of Israel's illegal occupation of East Jerusalem.

The second was earlier this month, when Netanyahu called on Haley to shut down UNRWA, the UN body responsible for the welfare of five million Palestinian refugees.

According to Netanyahu, UNRWA “perpetuates” refugee problems. However, the refugees’ problem is not UNRWA per se, but the fact that Israel refuses to honor UN Resolution 194 pertaining to their return and compensation.

These developments, and more, are all outcomes of the Haley doctrine. Her arrival at the UN has ignited a US-Israeli hate fest, not only targeting UN member states, but international law, and everything that the United Nations has stood for over the decades.

The US has supported Israel quite blindly at the UN throughout the years. Haley seems to adopt an entirely Israeli position with no regard whatsoever for her country's allies, or the possible repercussions of dismissing the only international body that still serves as a platform for international engagement and conflict resolution.

Haley seems to truly think of herself as the new sheriff in town, who will "kick 'em every single time," before riddling the bullies with bullets and riding into the sunset, along with Netanyahu. However, with a huge leadership vacuum and no law to guide the international community in resolving a 70-year-old conflict, Haley's cowboy tactics are likely to do much harm to an already bleeding region.

Since the Negroponte doctrine of 2002, thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis were killed in an occupation that seems to know no ends. Further disengagement from international law will likely yield a greater toll and more suffering.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect Ma'an News Agency's editorial Policy.
 
 
 
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21 juin 2017 3 21 /06 /juin /2017 05:59
Publish Date: 2017/06/20
Abu Rudeineh: New settlement project aims to thwart Trump's efforts
 
 
 

RAMALLAH, June 20, 2017 (WAFA) – Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Tuesday the announcement by the Israeli government to build a new settlement in the occupied West Bank thwarts peace efforts of US President Donald Trump.

In a press statement, Abu Rudeineh said the announcement “constitutes a serious escalation and is an attempt to thwart the efforts of the US administration and US President Donald Trump.”

“This announcement is a message coinciding with the arrival of the US president's envoys to the region, which indicates that Israel is not interested in US efforts and is serious about thwarting these efforts as it did with previous US administrations,” he continued.

Abu Rudeineh called on the US administration to immediately intervene to preserve the atmosphere created by Trump during his meeting last month with President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington.

M.N./M.K.

 

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=tFm5P6a91156047081atFm5P6

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