Archive for December 10th, 2011

Israeli minister: Cut ties with Palestinians

August 07, 2011 — JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s foreign minister on Sunday accused the Palestinian Authority of planning “unprecedented bloodshed” next month after an expected symbolic U.N. endorsement of Palestinian independence.

Accenting his warning, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for Israel to sever ties with the West Bank-based government. Lieberman’s allegation runs counter to other Israeli assessments and stands in stark contrast to public and private statements by the Palestinians.

“They say they don’t want violence, but the Palestinian Authority is planning unprecedented bloodshed,” his spokesman Tzachi Moshe quoted Lieberman as saying. “They are going to send waves of people to storm roadblocks,” Lieberman said, according to his spokesman. “Israel should cut all ties with them.”

Palestinian spokesman Ghassan Khatib denied the Palestinians were preparing for violence. “These Israeli predictions of violence aren’t true. Israel is trying to fuel a fake picture of what will happen in September.”

“In September, we will request the international community’s help — legally and according to law — from the U.N. to help us end the illegal occupation. What is illegal here is the occupation, not the attempts to end it,” Khatib said.

Lieberman did not provide evidence for his claim that Palestinians were getting ready for violent demonstrations. Moshe said Lieberman drew his conclusions from intelligence reports and public statements by Palestinian officials.

He said the foreign minister would ask the government to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority when the Cabinet convenes again next Sunday. With peace talks stalled since 2008, the Palestinians have said they will instead ask the U.N. to recognize their state in September. Israel and the United States strongly oppose the move, saying Palestinian statehood should be achieved through negotiations.

One Israeli fear is that Palestinians will re-enact scenes from June, when some 20 protesters were killed after thousands rushed Israel’s border from Syria. On Sunday, Lieberman said the Palestinians were planning to have tens of thousands of protesters storm Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, an act that would likely end with violence.

An internal Israeli parliamentary report released last week predicted a low likelihood of violence erupting, because the Palestinians believe it would be counterproductive to their cause. The report, which was based on intelligence reports, said mass peaceful demonstrations were likely instead.

However, defense officials fear a lone violent event could touch off more widespread clashes. In anticipation, the report recommended calling up some military reserve units. West Bank Hamas leader Hassan Youssef told Israel’s Channel 2 TV Sunday that Palestinians are planning marches and demonstrations in September. Asked if they could turn violent, he warned of increasing frustrations.

“If their backs are to the wall, the Palestinian people can erupt at any moment,” he said. Youssef was released from an Israeli prison last week after serving six years. Hamas is a rival to the Palestinian Authority.

Syrian Eyewitness Says 300 Killed in Hama

By Jack Phillips
August 5, 2011

A near-week-long tank attack in the restive Syrian city of Hama has left hundreds dead, according to locals on Friday.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC) quoted an eyewitness named Mohammad as saying the number of those killed has “surpassed 300“ but have likely “reached 400 already.”

The Syrian regime has deployed a large number of tank battalions to Hama, a city known has a hub for opposition activists, which have launched attacks on civilians.

To make matters worse, the eyewitness said locals “have no bread, no medicine, no blood,” according to the LCC website.

“I carried more than 27 bodies for soldiers, but I cannot even count the wounded,” the witness said, adding that many of the hundreds killed were buried in Alqusoor park.

Mohammad said that numerous people who were injured due to tank shelling bled to death as there is no blood transfusions available at the hospitals in Hama. Some people even died after a “shot in the leg,” as there is no blood available.

He added that the government cut electricity throughout the city, forcing hospitals to operate under duress. The second floor of the al-Rayyes Maternity Hospital, which was used to treat wounded, was burned due to tank fire and several doctors were arrested.

People in Hama “are trying to get medicines from pharmacies outside the city because those inside have been sabotaged,” he said.

In Syria, the government has cut telephone and Internet lines, making it difficult to relay information to the outside. A number of foreign journalists have also been detained and deported out of the country.

“We are now desperately looking for the basic supplies like fever medicines for children,” he added.

Mohammad said he could spot at least 15 tanks occupying Al-Asi square and another six tanks in areas nearby. Meanwhile, army snipers are positioned on the roofs of buildings including the police station.

“Those snipers are professionals and definitely not Syrian,” he said, citing video footage and photos taken of them.

“Tanks and snipers are ordered to shoot anyone that moves in front of them. Even animals have been shot for fun,” he added.

A number of government buildings, like the financial administration center, a justice office, and homes have been invaded or burnt, he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said that more than 2,000 people have been killed during the Syrian government’s five-month-long crackdown in response to mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.

Source: The Epoch Times.
Link: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/syrian-eyewitness-says-300-killed-in-hama-60020.html.

West Bank Hamas leader, 200 Palestinian security prisoners released from Israeli jail

JERUSALEM (BNO NEWS) — Israel on Thursday released some 200 Palestinian security prisoners, including a prominent West Bank Hamas leader.

Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of Hamas’ founders, was released a month and half early after spending over five years in prison for his involvement in “terror activities,” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported. The Israel Prison Service said it released the security prisoners as a gesture in honor of the holiday of Ramadan.

Palestinian sources, however, said that the prisoners had already served their sentences. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) described the act “as an Israeli media ploy”, according to Palestine News & Information Agency.

The head of the PPC in Ramallah, Qaddura Fares, said that the Israeli government is trying to deceive the world by releasing prisoners who have already served their sentences. He added that the prisons’ administration has allegedly started to impose a series of collective punishment against the prisoners since the beginning of Ramadan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on June 23 that the country will revoke “benefits and privileges” from Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Netanyahu was responding to Hamas’ refusal to let the International Red Cross visit soldier Gilad Schalit.

On June 25, 2006, Shalit, a Staff Sergeant with the Israeli Defense Forces, was abducted by Hamas militants and has been held in captivity since.

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.
Link: http://wireupdate.com/wires/19273/west-bank-hamas-leader-200-palestinian-security-prisoners-released-from-israeli-jail/.