• Turkey shoots down unidentified drone near Syrian border

    16/Oct/2015 // 149 Viewers

    Turkish warplanes shot down an unidentified drone in Turkish air space near Syria on Friday and a US official said Washington believed it was of Russian origin.

    The downing of the drone highlights the risks to NATO member Turkey as Syrian, Russian and U.S. coalition aircraft fly combat missions so close to its borders.

    The Turkish military said its jets had shot down the aircraft after it continued on its trajectory despite three warnings, in line with its rules of engagement. Broadcaster NTV said it had come 3 km into Turkish air space.

     http://jobrize.com/index.php?ref=373503

     

    “It’s a drone. We are trying to identify its nationality,” a senior Turkish government official told Reuters.

    A U.S. official told Reuters that Washington suspected it was a Russian drone, but said the information was still preliminary and declined to give any more details.

    Russian jets violated Turkish air space on two occasions earlier this month and Turkey has warned it will respond if the incursions are repeated.

    Russia’s air strikes in Syria mean that Russian and NATO planes are now flying combat missions in the same air space for the first time since World War Two, heightening concern that the Cold War enemies could fire on each other.

    The Russian air force officially informed the Turkish military on Thursday about the violations by Russian jets earlier this month, and about steps it would take to prevent a repetition.

    Turkey has also reported unidentified aircraft and Syria-based missile air defence systems harassing its warplanes several times in recent months.

    (REUTERS)


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  • 4,508 IS fighters so far killed in joint Russian & US-led coalition strikes

    17/Jan/2016 // 442 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 17, 2016: (DGW) -  No fewer than four thousand, five hundred and eight IS fighters have so far been killed in a joint Russian and US-led coalition air strikes in Syria  since September 2014 DailyGlobeWatch has reliably gathered.

    As the offensive continues hitting IS targets about  forty civilians including children were mistakenly killed on Sunday, a reliable source disclosed to our reporter in Damascus but it was unclear if they were hit by regime or Russian planes.

    On Saturday, 16 IS jihadists were reportedly killed in Aleppo province in a botched attempt to attack a government position but they suffered heavy defeat  resulting from their inability to withstand the superior firepower of loyalist troops and pro-regime fighters.

    The Syrian regime forces have been advancing towards the IS-held territory in Aleppo province.

    However, there has been a huge loss of human lives  since the conflict in Syria began in March 2011. More than 260,000 have been killed, DailyGlobeWatch understands.


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  • Kerry to meet Netanyahu in bid to calm West Bank unrest

    17/Oct/2015 // 241 Viewers

    US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Germany next week amid fears of a full-scale uprising in the West Bank as Saturday attacks leave two Palestinians dead.

    In the first attack in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron, a Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli civilian, the Israeli military said. The Israeli, who was carrying a gun, shot and killed the attacker.

    Shortly after, Israeli border police stopped to question a Palestinian man walking in "a suspicious manner" through a neighborhood of East Jerusalem, a police spokesman said. The man drew a knife and tried to stab the officers, who shot him dead, the spokesman said.

    No Israeli was hurt in the incidents.

    The latest attacks came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss "how best to end the recent wave of violence, and to offer US support for efforts to restore calm as soon as possible."

    Kerry had earlier spoken to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and "reiterated the importance of avoiding further violence and preventing inflammatory rhetoric, accusations and actions that will increase tensions," a State Department official said.

    Kerry, who was travelling to Europe yesterday, has said he planned to go to the Middle East soon to try to calm the violence.

    Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, told CNN on Friday that Netanyahu and Kerry would be meeting in Germany next week.

    Earlier, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Netanyahu would travel to Germany on Wednesday for talks with Merkel on the security situation in Israel and the wider Middle East.

    'Friday of revolution'

    The latest violence follows Thursday night’s arson attack on Joseph's Tomb, a shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus which many Jews believe to be the final resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph.

    The shrine is also claimed by Muslims as the final resting place for Islamic cleric Sheikh Yussef (Joseph) Dawiqat, who was buried two centuries ago.

    The arson attack came as Palestinians called for a "Friday of revolution" against Israel and as clashes along the border with the Gaza Strip saw Israeli fire kill two Palestinians and wound 98.

    Speaking at a news conference in Washington on Friday, Obama said "we are very concerned about the outbreak of violence."

    He called on Netanyahu and Abbas, in collaboration with other people in positions of power, to counter the rhetoric that "may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding".

    "Over time, the only way that Israel is going to be truly secure, and the only way the Palestinians will be able to meet the aspirations of their people, is if they are two states living side by side in peace and security," Obama said.

    But right now, "everybody needs to focus on making sure that innocent people aren't being killed."

    Fears of a third Intifada

    Netanyahu on Thursday reiterated his willingness to meet Abbas, while accusing him of inciting and encouraging violence.

    Abbas has called for peaceful protests, but had not explicitly condemned any attacks in the recent wave of unrest until the arson attack on Joseph's Tomb.

    He said the arson "offends our culture and our religion and our morals", and that the damage would be repaired.

    Netanyahu has come under immense pressure to halt the violence but the mostly young attackers seem to be acting on their own, with no mastermind for security forces to pursue.

    The violence has sparked fears that a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising against Israeli occupation, could break out.

    In the Palestinian uprisings of 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, thousands were killed and many more wounded in near daily violence.

    October’s deadly violence began when a suspected cell of the Islamist movement Hamas murdered a Jewish settler couple in the West Bank in front of their children.

    Those killings followed repeated clashes at East Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque in September between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths.


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  • IS claims killing of Egypt police general

    17/Sep/2015 // 136 Viewers

     EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY/AFP/File | Picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on July 4, 2015, shows President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) shaking hands with a member of the security forces during a visit to the Sinai Peninsula

     

    CAIRO (AFP) - 

    Gunmen have shot dead a police general in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the interior ministry said, in the latest attack claimed by Islamic State group jihadists.

    Assailants in a car gunned down General Khaled Kamal Osman during an inspection of a police unit in the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish late on Wednesday, the interior ministry said.

    The gunmen fled after the police retaliated, it said in a statement.

    Egypt's branch of the Islamic State group, which calls itself Sinai Province, said on Twitter that it had carried out the attack.

    Egyptian security forces have struggled to suppress an insurgency in the peninsula since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

    Cairo says militants have killed hundreds of Egyptian police and soldiers, many in attacks claimed by IS.

    The jihadists say their campaign is in response to a crackdown by the authorities since Morsi's ouster that has left at least 1,400 people dead and thousands jailed.

    The military last week launched a major campaign to root out militants in the Sinai and says it has killed more than 200 jihadists -- a toll that it was not possible to verify.


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  • Gulf states under fire for not accepting Syrian refugees

    17/Sep/2015 // 110 Viewers

    Gulf states are under fire from human rights groups for not doing more for Syrian refugees as Syria’s neighbours struggle to house those fleeing across their borders and the EU grapples with its worst refugee crisis since World War II.
     
    The UN estimates that more than 4 million Syrians have fled the country’s civil conflict so far, with 3.8 million of these having temporarily sought refuge in just five countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq (mainly Kurdistan) and Egypt.
     
    According to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Turkey has taken in almost 2 millionSyrian refugees while Lebanon has registered 1.1 million refugees within its borders – an influx that now accounts for 20 percent of the Lebanese population. Jordan, likewise, has received almost 630,000 asylum-seekers, Iraq close to 250,000 and Egypt another 132,000. Many other Syrians have crossed into these countries but have not been officially counted.
     
    But while Syria’s neighbours struggle to accommodate the influx, an Amnesty International report from December noted that the six Gulf states — Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar — “have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees”.
     
    The executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, underscored this point in a blunt tweet last week: “They're wealthy, Muslim and not taking ANY Syrian refugees: Saudi Arabia & other Gulf states,” he wrote on Twitter.
    Embedded image permalink

    Guess how many of these Syrian refugees Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states offered to take?

    The Gulf states do provide significant financial help to those affected by the conflict. The United Arab Emirates has donated more than $540 million in humanitarian assistance and funded a refugee camp in Jordan as well as another in northern Iraq, a UAE government official told Bloomberg.

    Saudi Arabia has donated $18.4 million to the Syria fund of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs so far this year while Kuwait has given almost $305 million, making it the third-largest international donor behind the United States (at $1 billion) and the United Kingdom ($475 million).

    “If it wasn’t for the Gulf states, you would expect these millions to be in a much more tragic state than they are,” Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political science professor in the United Arab Emirates, told The New York Times. “This finger-pointing at the Gulf that they are not doing anything, it is just not true.”

    But critics note that the Gulf states' aid does not involve opening up their borders to help deal with the crisis.

    “Burden sharing has no meaning in the Gulf, and the Saudi, Emirati and Qatari approach has been to sign a check and let everyone else deal with it,” Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch for its Middle East and North Africa division, told the Times. “Now everyone else is saying, ‘That’s not fair.’ ”

    'Shameful'

    Nabil Othman, acting regional representative to the Gulf region at the UNHCR, told Bloomberg last week that there are currently 500,000 Syrians in Saudi Arabia. But many of these may have entered the country before or in the early days of the Syrian conflict as migrant workers.

    The UN refugee agency’s own figures as of December 2014 put the number of international refugees welcomed by the kingdom at 561 along with another 100 asylum-seekers; it did not specify how many of these were Syrians.

    "The bottom line is that in terms of resettlement, the Gulf states have not stepped up in accepting refugees," said Geoffrey Mock, chairman of Middle East specialists at Amnesty International USA. "They have offered zero resettlement places ... and this is shameful," he told USA Today.

    A CARTOON BY SAUDI ARTIST ABDULLAH JABER FOR MAKKAH NEWSPAPER SATIRIZES THE GULF STATES' RESPONSE

     

    Some analysts point out that not only is Saudi Arabia wealthy enough to accommodate a significant number of refugees, but it also has the logistical capability to do so: Each year the kingdom receives an influx of millions for the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. And the construction companies that have built the mega malls and opulent skyscrapers of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh could be contracted to create temporary shelters, said one Quartz commentator, adding: “There’s no reason all this know-how can’t be put to humanitarian use.”

    More welcome in Europe?

    Syrians are required to obtain visas to enter all Arab countries except for Algeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen. The process for requesting a tourist or work visa is expensive, and Gulf states have cracked down on the number of foreign work permits they grant in recent years.

    Many have taken to social media to urge the Gulf states to do more for those who need asylum. The Arabic hashtag #Welcoming_Syria's_refugees_is_a_Gulf_duty has been tweeted more than 33,000 times in the past week, the BBC reports.

    Two other hashtags in Arabic – “Open your doors” and “Welcoming Syrian refugees is the people’s demand” – are also making the rounds on Twitter. These were created the same day that the image of a Syrian toddler who washed up on a beach in Turkey made headlines across Europe, bringing home to many the human tragedy of a conflict that once seemed far away.

    Domestic social and security considerations have underpinned some of the Gulf states' hesitation to allow large numbers of refugees to cross their borders. Concerns have been raised about newcomers taking jobs from locals or that jihadists might enter the country posing as asylum-seekers.

    "Saudi Arabia stopped issuing work permits to Syrian nationals at the beginning of the war in 2011," said Stéphane Lacroix, a researcher specialising in the Arab world at the Centre for International Research at SciencesPo university, in comments to FRANCE 24.

    Lacroix said the response – or lack thereof – by authorities in Riyadh has been largely motivated by concerns over its own political stability.

    As a Sunni monarchy, it cannot help but support the Sunni Syrian rebellion, he said. But Saudi Arabia also fears that "by welcoming outsiders it will, at the same time, import new ideas and new rhetoric that will contaminate Saudi society”.

    The unique demographics of some Gulf states also make the authorities hesitant to allow in vast new numbers of foreign nationals, wrote Michael Stephens, head of the Royal United Services Institute Qatar research centre, in a contribution to the BBC. UAE and Qatari citizens account for just over 10% of their respective populations; the vast majority of residents are temporary foreign workers.

    And many refugees themselves express a desire to make the journey to Europe instead of opting for resettling in Arab states.

    “In Europe, I can get treatment for my polio, educate my children, have shelter and live an honourable life,” said asylum-seeker Yassir Batal in comments to Bloomberg. “Gulf countries have closed their doors in the face of Syrians.”

    The EU is now struggling with its own migrant crisis, with an estimated 330,000 asylum seekers entering Europe so far this year. But as Amnesty International points out, the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey alone is more than 10 times the number of asylum applications received from Syrians by all 28 EU countries in the past three years combined.

    Amara Makhoul-Yatim contributed to this report.


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  • 10 Facts About Osama Bin Laden You Probably Didn't Know

    17/Sep/2015 // 315 Viewers

    It’s been four years since a Navy SEAL operation located and disposed of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The world’s most wanted terrorist began life as the privileged son of a wealthy Saudi construction magnate, but by the mid-nineties his radical jihadist activities earned him a spot on the watch list of major world powers. He became a household name in 2001, after orchestrating a devastating series of attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon building in Virginia. The September 11th attacks claimed over two thousand lives and launched the international War on Terror.
     
    That’s what most people know about him. But did you know he had a serious crush on Whitney Houston? Or that he used to ride around on horses, firing guns in the air and pretending he was a cowboy? The extensive efforts of U.S. intelligence officers and the work of brave journalists now help to provide insight into the life and habits of the man who became America’s number one enemy. The information paints a picture with some downright surreal qualities.
     
    He Grew Marijuana
     
    According to CNN’s Nic Robertson, bin Laden’s Abottabad compound included a series of gardens growing cabbages, potatoes, and interestingly: marijuana. The compound was home to an estimated one million dollars’ worth of the plants at the time of its discovery. Despite being located just miles from a Pakistani military base, the crop went unnoticed by officials.
     
    It seems likely that the plants were intended for use by someone inside the compound. While Al Qaeda does profit from the Middle Eastern drug trade, opium poppies are the preferred crop. Not to mention, sharing space with an active drug trafficking compound wouldn’t exactly be a prudent move for a man being hunted by half the Western world.
     
    He loved Whitney Houston
     
    Bin Laden hated music. In his younger years, he would occasionally visit the race track in Khartoum, home to wild crowds who would sing and dance between races. On days where bands were hired to perform, it all became too much for bin Laden to handle. An acquaintance of his, Issam Turabi, recalls him complaining: “Music is the flute of the devil.” That makes his love of singer/songwriter Whitney Houston all the more weird.
     
    A book by Kola Boof, who was held against her will as bin Laden’s sex slave, describes his love for the African-American pop star, going so far as to state he was willing to “break his color rule and make her one of his wives.” Boof claims bin Laden “had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston and although he claimed music was evil, he spoke of someday spending vast amounts of money to go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar.“
     
    He was less enthusiastic about her husband, Bobby Brown. Boof says he fantasized about killing him “as if it were normal to have women’s husbands killed.” She adds: “In his briefcase, I would come across photographs of the star, as well as copies of Playboy […] It would soon come to the point where I was sick of hearing Whitney Houston’s name.“
     
    He was a huge sports fan
    According to one of bin Laden’s former bodyguards, Osama was a talented volleyball player. His height gave him a distinct advantage – he towered over the net at six foot four inches. But his interest in sports didn’t stop there. He was reportedly a huge fan of the English football club Arsenal and attended many matches while he lived in London in the early nineties. After the 9/11 attacks, a spokesperson for Arsenal stated “Clearly he wouldn’t be welcome at Highbury in the future.
     
    He took the Pepsi challenge
    Despite projecting the image of a humble cave-dweller to the media, bin Laden apparently enjoyed access to “all the best brands” while residing in his Abbottabad compound. This included Pepsi and Coca-Cola brand sodas, as well as products like Vaseline and Nestle milk.
     
    “They [bin Laden’s people] always paid cash, never asked for credit.” Said Anjum Qaisar, the grocer at the shop where bin Laden’s men would buy food and supplies. He continued: “[They] never came by foot, they always drove a Pajero or a little Suzuki van, and they bought enough food for ten people.” The clerk recalls being curious as to why the men would purchase so much food, but didn’t want to be impolite.
     
    He loved the BBC
    According to his son Omar, bin Laden was a huge fan of UK news agency BBC, and used to listen to their radio programs constantly.
     
    He Downloaded A Lot Of Porn
    Those who knew bin Laden attest to his weakness for some of the very things he preached against. Case in point: the copious amount of pornography recovered from his hard drives.
     
    Kids Conned His Guards
     
    After the compound was revealed to be bin Laden’s hideout, neighbors recalled their experiences with the people living there. Tariq Khan, a fourteen year old boy who lived nearby, told the press that guards used to become angry when they hit cricket balls over the wall of the compound. “When we played cricket in the field near the house,” he said. “If the ball flew over their wall and we went to the gate to ask for it, the guards would be angry.” The guards would then pay the children 100 Rupees, or $1.20, to buy a new ball, rather than allow them to retrieve it. This gesture was appreciated by the boys, as a new ball would only cost them around 20 Rupees – a great return on an investment that could be made over and over again with new balls.
     
    He studied Economics
    As a youth, bin Laden attended the Management and Economics school at the prestigious King Abdulaziz University, where he studied Business Administration and Economics. He did well in school, but found himself rather uninspired. He eventually dropped out and successfully managed several small branches of his father’s construction business.
     
    Even after becoming involved with terrorism, bin Laden maintained his status as a business professional, overseeing billion-dollar construction projects in countries where terrorist cells were operating.
     
    He wanted to be a cowboy
    From an early age, bin Laden had a great interest in horses, keeping a stable of up to twenty on his family ranch in Jeddah. He used to shoot guns while he rode, emulating the cowboys from his favorite television programs.
     
    He had phone numbers and cash sewn into his robes.
    U.S. authorities discovered 500 Euros and two telephone numbers sewn into the pockets of bin Laden’s robes. This would allow him to abandon his Abottabad hideout and disappear into the Pakistani countryside at a moment’s notice. By constantly being prepared to flee, bin Laden had successfully evaded capture by U.S. forces for ten years. Luckily, Al Qaeda’s intelligence failed to foresee the oncoming operation that claimed his life

    Culled from LOLWOT
     


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  • Netanyahu Rejects Calls for Israel to Accept Syrian Refugees

    17/Sep/2015 // 198 Viewers

    JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rejected calls from opposition politicians for Israel to accept refugees from Syria, saying that Israel was “a very small country that lacks demographic and geographic depth.” He also said that plans to construct a fence along the eastern border with Jordan would go ahead.

    The Israeli news media has been dominated in recent days by the dramatic reports and images of the migrant crisis enveloping Europe, and particularly the plight of those fleeing the civil war in Syria.

    Israel has found itself in a somewhat paradoxical situation: Syria is an immediate neighbor, as are Lebanon and Jordan, countries that have taken in huge numbers of Syrians and share borders with Israel.

    Yet Israel has remained largely isolated and off the migrants’ path, since Syria and Israel are themselves technically in a state of war.

    A group of migrants walked toward a transit center for migrants after crossing the border from Greece to Macedonia on Monday.Q. And A.: An Escalating Migrant Crisis and an Intensifying Search for SolutionsAUG. 31, 2015
    Isaac Herzog, the leader of the center-left Labor Party and head of the opposition, stirred a heated national debate over the issue after he said on Saturday that “Jews cannot remain indifferent when hundreds of thousands of refugees are seeking safe harbor.” He added, “Our people experienced firsthand the silence of the world,” alluding to the Holocaust, “and cannot be indifferent in the face of the rampant murders and massacres taking place in Syria.”

    A Family, Once Separated, Arrives in Austria Together
    Israel, a state of about eight million people that was largely founded by refugees, has long been torn between the humanitarian demands of taking in non-Jews in need and its fears about maintaining its Jewish character and security in a hostile and increasingly chaotic region. It is still grappling with the presence of tens of thousands of African migrants and asylum seekers who surreptitiously crossed the border from Egypt in recent years.

    The issue of Arab asylum seekers is further complicated by the unresolved and politically loaded question of the fate of the Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the war over Israel’s creation in 1948 and their millions of descendants who demand the right of return to their former homes. The Palestinian refugee issue has become one of the most intractable of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on Saturday instructed the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations to act to bring Palestinian refugees now fleeing the war in Syria to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    The presidency has asked the United Nations, the European Union and other players to press Israel to allow Palestinian refugees in, according to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in some areas of the West Bank, but Israel controls the borders and entry points to the territory.

    In broadcast remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu said, “Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of the refugees from Syria and Africa. We have already devotedly cared for approximately 1,000 wounded people from the fighting in Syria, and we have helped them to rehabilitate their lives.”

    But he added, “We must control our borders, against both illegal migrants and terrorism.”

    Other members of the opposition had joined Mr. Herzog’s call to take in refugees, including Zehava Galon, the leader of the left-wing Meretz party, and Elazar Stern, a legislator from the centrist Yesh Atid party. Mr. Stern invoked a gesture made by Menachem Begin, the former Likud Party leader, who, as prime minister in the late 1970s, welcomed several hundred Vietnamese boat people to Israel and granted them Israeli citizenship.

    Ministers from Mr. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud Party and some coalition partners backed Mr. Netanyahu’s arguments against opening Israel’s gates to even a limited number of refugees, as did the leader of Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid.

    Yisrael Katz, a Likud minister, suggested that Mr. Herzog should “at least” offer to host the refugees in his own home, following the example of the prime minister of Finland. “But in principle I think this is a strange, mistaken proposal,” he said of Mr. Herzog’s call. “Israel must not get involved in what is happening is Syria. We are not a European country. We are too close.”

    Mr. Herzog replied to his critics with a post on Facebook on Sunday, writing, “You have forgotten what it is to be Jews. Refugees. Persecuted.” Calling again for Israel to take in a limited number of refugees who would be vetted, he added that Mr. Begin “must be turning in his grave.”

    The African migrants and asylum seekers already in Israel are in a kind of legal limbo. Most are from Sudan and Eritrea, and are afforded blanket protection from deportation in line with international conventions. But Israel has granted only a very few of those who have applied official status as refugees, and their future remains uncertain.

    Israel has mostly halted the influx of Africans across the border from Egypt over the last couple of years, in large part by completing construction of a 150-mile, 16-foot-tall steel border fence stretching from the southern resort town of Eilat to Gaza.

    Having also built security fences on its frontiers with Lebanon and Syria, through parts of the occupied West Bank and along the border with Gaza, Israel now says it is moving ahead with a previously announced plan to build a fence along the border with Jordan. Although Jordan and Israel have signed a peace treaty and that border has long been calm, Israel fears that it could become a vulnerable entry point for illegal migration and hostile infiltrations.

    Mr. Netanyahu said Israel would start by building the fence along a roughly 18-mile stretch from Eilat to Timna, where an airport is under construction.

    “We are not waiting,” he said. “To the extent that it is possible we will encompass Israel’s borders with a security fence and barriers.”

    Source: New York Times


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  • Breaking: Tears as suicide bomber blows up self, kills 42 soldiers on Sunday

    18/Dec/2016 // 5238 Viewers

     

    Tears, sorrow and blood tailed a suicide attack that targeted soldiers when a suicide bomber blew up himself killing no fewer than 42 soldiers with dozens of them sustaining mortal injuries thus raising doubts of army's capability to contain the years-old insurgency in Yemen.

    The officials at the al-Jumhuri Hospital, Aden Yemen added on condition of anonymity that dozens of soldiers injured in the attack are still in critical conditions.

    Ambulances continue to carry victims from the site of the attack, which took place outside the Solban Army Base in the north-eastern part of Aden, witnesses say.

    The bomber blew himself up amid a group of soldiers who had gathered to receive their salaries.

    There is no claim yet of responsibility for the bombing, the second of its kind in the same location this month. (NAN)


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  • : Aleppo battle: Hundreds leave Syria city as evacuations resume as ceasefire collapses

    18/Dec/2016 // 151 Viewers

     

    Evacuations have resumed from east Aleppo, with buses and ambulances leaving rebel areas of the Syrian city, a UN official says.

    At least 350 people have reportedly left rebel enclaves in convoys, heading west towards government territory.

    Earlier, buses sent to take people out of government-controlled areas, besieged by rebels, were set alight, halting the latest evacuation deal.
    Thousands are waiting to leave east Aleppo in desperate conditions.

    The UN Security Council is said to have agreed a compromise to allow UN monitoring of the operation. Russia earlier rejected a French-drafted plan to east Aleppo as "a disaster".

    "We expect to vote unanimously for this text tomorrow [Monday]," said US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.

    The initial efforts to evacuate the last rebel-held enclaves in the city collapsed on Friday, leaving civilians stranded at various points along the route out without access to food or shelter. Bombardment of east Aleppo has left it virtually without medical facilities.

    Despite further setbacks on Sunday, buses and ambulances began moving out of the area after nightfall.

    "Evacuations are on," the UN official said in an email message to Reuters news agency, adding that the first people left east Aleppo at around 23:00 local time (21:00 GMT).

    Five buses carrying evacuees arrived in rebel-held Khan al-Assal, AFP news agency quoted Ahmad al-Dbis, who heads a team of doctors coordinating evacuations to the town, as saying.

    From Khan al-Assal, the evacuees are expected to travel to government held parts of Aleppo and Idlib provinces.


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  • John Kerry is Telling the World ‘Let’s Gang Up on Israel’

    18/Mar/2016 // 215 Viewers

     

    John Kerry has a new strategy for achieving Mideast peace: mobilize the international community to gang up on Israel.

    That was the essence of the secretary of state’s disturbing remarks in Paris on March 13. Kerry declared that the Obama administration is “looking for a way forward” to bring about creation of a Palestinian state. He said that Palestinian statehood is “absolutely essential.”

    Not just “an idea worth exploring”; not just “something to be considered.” Rather, “absolutely essential.” Kerry and President Obama have made up their minds and will not consider any alternatives. They have decided that establishing an independent Palestinian state is the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It’s just a question of how to make it happen.

    The administration’s attempts to pressure Israel into creating a Palestinian state obviously have not been successful so far. So Kerry is looking for new ways to harangue the Israelis. Standing next to a group of European foreign ministers at the Paris press conference, Kerry said: “There’s not any one country or one person who can resolve this. This is going to require the global community, it will require international support.”

    Significantly, Kerry’s quest for an international alliance to pressure Israel comes on the heels of France’s recent announcement that it will try to convene an international conference to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The French said that if the conference failed to produce a Palestinian state, they will go ahead and unilaterally recognize such a state. That’s the French idea of “negotiations.”

    The French approach, which Secretary Kerry now seems to be moving towards, is reminiscent of similar proposals that were made back in 1985. Alarmed, then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin flew to Washington to try to head off the convening what was being called an “international umbrella” for Mideast negotiations.

    “Whenever anyone mentions umbrella, it reminds me of Chamberlain and Munich,” Rabin declared. For Rabin to invoke the memory of Chamberlain selling out to Hitler at Munich–and for Rabin to use those words at a press conference in Washington–vividly illustrates how dangerous he considered the ‘international’ proposal to be.

    It’s not hard to understand why Rabin in 1985 opposed such a proposal, and it’s not hard to see why Israel’s leaders today oppose it, too. If Kerry succeeds in his strategy, such an international conference or umbrella would consist of a dozen or more Arab and European countries ganging up on Israel and demanding that the Israelis make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians. Knowing the Obama administration’s pro-Palestinian slant, one must assume that the U.S. would side with the Arabs and Europeans.

    Oslo accords

    An event that polarized society: Then-PM Yitzhak Rabin (L) shakes hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in presence of US President Bill Clinton. (Wikipedia)

    The French–evidently with Kerry’s tacit approval, or perhaps even his encouragement–are pushing forward. French diplomat Pierre Vimont will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week to promote France’s initiative. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, appearing alongside Kerry at the press conference: “The conflict is getting worse and the status quo cannot continue.”

    The conflict is getting worse? No, it’s not.

    The status quo cannot continue? Yes, it can.

    I am the last person in the world to minimize the reality of Palestinian terrorism. But there’s no way anybody can say the current attacks are worse than the weekly bus bombings of the 1990s. Israel’s strong military response put an end to the suicide bombings–which shows that if Israel does not fight with one hand tied behind its back, it can beat the terrorists.

    And the status quo may not be the ideal solution, but show me a better one that’s feasible. Withdrawing to indefensible borders? Setting up an armed or soon-to-be-armed Palestinian state just a few miles from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? In 1976, people were saying “the status quo cannot continue.” They were saying it 1986 and 1996 and 2006, too. Yet here we are, nearly 50 years after the 1967 war–and it has continued, because the alternatives have been worse.

    Of course, what Kerry and French call the “status quo” is not at all the same as the status quo of the 1970s or 1980s. In 1995, Rabin withdrew from the areas where 98 percent of the Palestinians reside. For the past 21 years, the Palestinian Authority has functioned as a de-facto state in a large portion of Judea-Samaria. The only thing the PA lacks is a full-fledged army and the ability to import tanks and planes. And from Israel’s point of view, that’s not such a bad status quo.

    So maybe it’s time for Kerry and his gang of would-be interveners to step back, take a deep breath, and face the fact that the slogans and ideas of the 1980s—”status quo,” “international umbrella,” and the like—are just not suited to today’s reality.

    Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

    Credit: jns.org


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