SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Israeli warplanes have carried out three airstrikes on Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip, witnesses say.
Palestinian witnesses said that the Israeli aircraft bombarded areas in the southern town of Khan Younis and near the town of Rafah in southern Gaza during the early hours of Sunday.
There have been no reports of casualties.
The Israeli military confirmed the airstrikes.
In early April, Tel Aviv also conducted airstrikes on Gaza for the first time since a truce ended an eight-day Israeli war on the Palestinian territory in November 2012.
Over 160 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed and about 1,200 others were injured in the Israeli attacks from November 14 to 21.
Gaza has been blockaded by Israel since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as adequate healthcare and education.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –The rabbi said the idea of giving non-Jews equal rights in Israel goes against the principles of the Torah and government representatives have no authority to go against the Torah’s teachings.
This is while many researchers believe that the current Torah has been distorted and does not contain the original teachings of the Prophet Moses.
Peretz’s racist ruling has been published in a book titled “Laws of the Mezuzah” published by the Israeli military’s Rabbinate.
The book, which has been recently distributed in Israeli military bases, has been authored by rabbis, Capt. Alexander Rones, Capt. Dov Berkovich and Capt. Hananiah Shafran.
The book advocates installing mezuzahs, which are fixed to doorposts by Jews as a sign of faith, in army bases and says the presence of non-Jews in Israeli army bases cannot be used as a reason for not affixing mezuzahs there.
It also says even if government property is like a cooperative, since the public in general is Jewish, as long as non-Jews have not purchased a part of the assets, they have no right to government property.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –A senior member of Lebanon's Hezbollah, he was alternatively described as the head of its security section, a senior intelligence official and as one of the founders of the organization.
Imad Mughniyeh was killed on 12 February 2008 by a car bomb, planted inside the driver's headrest, around 11:00 pm local time in the Kfar Suseh neighborhood of Damascus, Syria. His assassination was blame on the Mossad - Israeli Secret Services -
As it happens, or at least as the documentary now claims, Qatar and other Arab nations would have assisted the Mossad in its inquest into Mughniyeh, sharing its intelligence data.
On 10 October 2001, Mughniyeh appeared on the initial list of the FBI's top 22 Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by President Bush, with a reward of up to $5 million offered for information leading to his arrest. Later the reward was increased to $25 million. This reward remained outstanding as of 2006. In addition, he was in 42 countries' wanted list.
It is important to note that Zanas, the Canadian production company is also working as a consultancy firm on media, advertising and political PR for a number of organizations which support the Palestinian cause.
Zanas also produce a documentary looking into the assassination of late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – A UN humanitarian official says a new round of Israeli sanctions on the besieged Gaza Strip is impacting food supplies and would have "serious" effects if continued.
"Israel has announced a series of heightened restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip, including closures of the Kerem Shalom crossing," AFP quoted UN Humanitarian Coordinator James W Rawley as saying in a statement on Wednesday.
"These measures are resulting in the depletion of stocks of essential supplies, including basic foodstuffs and cooking gas, and undermine the livelihoods and rights of many vulnerable Gazan families," he said.
"If these restrictions continue, the effect upon the Gaza population will be serious," Rawley warned.
The Israeli regime closed Kerem Shalom, the only goods crossing from Israel into the Gaza Strip on Monday.
Gaza has been blockaded by Israel since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Israel has released Palestinian prisoner Ibrahim Baroud after 27 years behind bars. Baroud a prominent figure in the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine surprised the families of prisoners who were holding their weekly sit-in in front of the Red Cross Office by showing up there before going to his house.
Prisoner’s advocacy groups demanded that all Palestinian prisoners should be set free.
Baroud received a hero’s welcome in the Jabalia refugee camp where he was born and raised.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV he accused the western powers of being behind the suffering of Palestinians.
For many years his family was prevented from seeing him.
His father died three years ago while Ibrahim was in Israeli custody.
Only last year his elderly mother has managed to visit him in jail.
Statistics show that Israel arrested close to eight hundred thousand Palestinians since 1967.
Despite the release of Ibrahim Baroud after nearly three decades of incarceration, thousands of Palestinians continue to endure inhumane conditions in Israeli prisons and detention centers.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Press TV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) A weekend cyberattack campaign has targeted Israeli government websites but failed to cause serious disruption, officials say.
Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, of the government's National Cyber Bureau, said on Sunday that hackers had mostly failed to shut down key sites.
"So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage," Ben Yisrael said. "Anonymous doesn't have the skills to damage the country's vital infrastructure. And if that was its intention, then it wouldn't have announced the attack of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart,'' he said.
The cyber attacks followed a warning from the hacker group Anonymous, which said it would launch a massive attack on Israeli sites in an "operation" called #OpIsrael.
"You have shown that you do not respect international law," said the group in a video released online addressing the Israeli government.
"This is why that on April 7, elite cyber-squadrons from around the world have decided to unite in solidarity with the Palestinian people against Israel as one entity to disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace," it added.
Israel's Bureau of Statistics was down early on Sunday but it was unclear if it had been hacked.
Media reports also said the sites of the Defence and Education Ministry as well as banks had come under attack the night before but were mostly repelled.
Haaretz newspaper said almost 19,000 Israeli Facebook accounts had been attacked by hackers affiliated with Anonymous.
Last November, hackers broke into Israeli websites during fighting in Gaza but failed to cause serious disruption, according to AP news agency.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Turkey and Israel to fully normalise ties, after Israel's US-brokered apology for a deadly 2010 raid on a Gaza aid flotilla organised by a Turkish charity..
Kerry made his comments in a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Sunday.
"We would like to see this relationship that is important to stability in Middle East, critical to the peace process itself, we would like to see it back on track in its full," Kerry said in a joint news conference with Davutoglu.
He said, however, that it was not for the United States "to be setting conditions or terms" for the reconciliation.
Israel apologised to Ankara on March 22 for the deaths of nine Turkish activists in a botched raid by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound aid ship, in a breakthrough engineered by US President Barack Obama during a visit to Jerusalem.
The apology ended a nearly three-year rift between Israel and Turkey - two key US allies in the region - and the two countries are due to begin talks on compensation on Friday.
But they have yet to exchange ambassadors and fully restore diplomatic ties.
"It is imperative that the compensation component be fulfilled, that the ambassadors be returned," Kerry said. "I'm confident there will be goodwill on both sides."
'Oases of stability'
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted the Israeli apology "in the name of the Turkish people" but said the country's future relationship with Israel including the return of ambassadors would depend on Israel.
Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Istanbul, said that Davutoglu had already spoken to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.
"We don't know what they discussed, but its an indication that Turkey is taking some sort of interest in the Middle East peace process," said Smith.
He added that Kerry "wants Turkey to normalise its relationship with Israel because it sees Israel, Turkey and Jordan as three oases of stability in a very turbulent region."
Istanbul was Kerry's first stop of a 10-day trip to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The US top diplomat also commended Turkey's efforts to provide for the tens of thousands of refugees who have entered the country during Syria's two-year conflict.
He called Turkey "incredibly generous" for keeping its border open and doing "everything possible" to respond to the increasing humanitarian crisis in the neighbouring country.
"The US and Turkey will continue cooperating to reach the shared goal of a peaceful transition in Syria," he said, repeating the US position that President Bashar al-Assad must leave power.
"Thousands of Syrians have lost their lives," Davutoglu said. "The international community needs to act on this. The failure to do so would be interpreted by Assad as a weakness.
"The US position is important so is Turkey’s."
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Israel launched an air strike on the Palestinian Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the first such attack since an eight-day war in November, Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the territory, and Israel's military said.
"Occupation planes bombarded an open area in northern Gaza, there were no wounded," a statement from the Hamas interior ministry said. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed there had been a strike in Gaza, but gave no further details.
Israel and Hamas agreed to an Egyptian-mediated truce in Novemberafter eight days of fighting in which 170 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed.
Israel launched the 2012 offensive with the declared aim of ending Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli military said Palestinians launched three rockets at Israel. Two landed in Gaza and one hit an open area in southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries.
No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rockets.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Students in the five-college Claremont system in southern California are organizing against an act of racial discrimination by an Israeli professor who called a Palestinian student a “cockroach.”
Since the incident became public, the student says he has faced violent threats written on his reserved seat in the campus library, and someone flattened one of the tires of his car with a sharpened key.
The first incident occurred on Monday, 4 March, when the Claremont group of Students for Justice in Palestine launched its series of events marking Israeli Apartheid Week with street theater actions simulating mock Israeli military checkpoints at three of the colleges throughout the day. Israeli Apartheid Week is marked at campuses nationwide and internationally to educate the wider public about Israel’s occupation and supremacist rule in Palestine.
At one point that evening, a man who was later identified as a faculty member at Claremont McKenna College aggressively approached the Students for Justice in Palestine members staffing a mock checkpoint which was set up outside an entrance of the Collins Dining Hall on the campus.
The professor, Yaron Raviv, who is an Israeli citizen and teaches economics at Claremont McKenna College, demanded that the dining hall staff, the dean of students and campus security remove the Students for Justice in Palestine members from the area.
But since Students for Justice in Palestine had acquired official permission for its event and had its paperwork in order, neither the school officials nor the dining staff agreed to remove the students. They did request, however, that the students not block the doorway.
The student activists complied with this request, according to a Claremont McKenna College Campus Safety and Security officer’s incident report obtained by The Electronic Intifada.
A Palestinian member of Students for Justice in Palestine, Najib Hamideh, then walked up to the professor and politely asked his reason for being there, requesting that the man identify himself. In an exchange verified and quoted in the officer’s report, the professor then responded, “Fuck off, you cockroach.”
According to Hamideh, Raviv next referred to all the Students for Justice in Palestine members as cockroaches, and then asked him which of the Claremont colleges Hamideh belonged to. When Hamideh replied that he attends Pitzer College, Raviv then responded that “all Pitzer kids are cockroaches,” Hamideh says.
The Electronic Intifada attempted to contact professor Raviv for a comment on 13 March, but he has still not replied to our request.
Violent, profane speech allegedly written on a card marking Nijab Hamideh’s reservation of a study carrel in the campus library.
The harangued student, as well as the Claremont chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine as a whole, are stressing to the student body and Claremont administrations that professor Raviv’s conduct amounts to racial discrimination and falls within the category of a “bias-related incident.”
In a Claremont Colleges’ document titled “Communication Protocol for Bias-Related Incidents,” it clearly states that “Bias-related incidents are expressions of hostility against another person (or group) because of that person’s (or group’s) race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation, or because the perpetrator perceives that the other person (or group) has one or more of those characteristics.”
“Use of the term ‘cockroach’ must be taken in its specific historical context as hateful, racist, enemy imagery,” Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine wrote on 7 March, both in an incident report filed with Pitzer administrators and in a public statement to the Pitzer student body’s discussion forum. The student group cited cases of the term applied to Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide and to Jews under Nazi Germany (“Students allege bias related exchange with professor,” The Student Life, 8 March).
The term has also been used by Israeli military and political leaders in reference to Palestinians throughout its history.
Reported in The New York Times in April 1983, for example, the Israeli army Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan proposed building 10 settlements for every stone-throwing incident in the West Bank and Gaza. “When we have settled the land,” Eitan said, “all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle.”
Daniel Segal, a longtime professor of anthropology and history at Pitzer College, told The Electronic Intifada that Raviv’s behavior was “clearly harmful” to the educational environment.
“Faculty should be modeling how, when we disagree with each other, we challenge each other with evidence and/or questions about the logic of the position that we’ve developed from the evidence,” he said. “Name-calling, particularly denigrating name-calling, is not conducive to dialogue across very strong political differences. And for a faculty member to do that is to corrode and degrade the educational context of the colleges; it’s an attack on the students, it’s also an attack on our community.”
An Israeli instructor called a Palestinian student a “cockroach” during a mock checkpoint action.
Raviv’s use of the term “cockroach,” Segal added, was particularly troubling. “A cockroach is something that ‘we humans’ have only one relationship to. We try to stomp on them, we try to wipe them out, we try to kill them, we try to eliminate them.”
Hamideh, having graduated from high school in the occupied West Bank where he lived for 10 years, remembers being “subject to this form of abuse many times before,” he said in a Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine public statement (“Statement regarding bias-related incident on Claremont McKenna Campus,” SJP Claremont Facebook page, 8 March 2013).
“It is a great irony that at a checkpoint simulation on campus that I helped to organize, I experienced an Israeli calling me a cockroach, just as has been done to me many times before at actual checkpoints in the West Bank. To me, this is a discriminatory incident and I personally do not feel comfortable as a student on a campus where a faculty member is allowed to demean me and curse at me.”
For fellow Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine member Zavi Kang Engles, the incident at the mock checkpoint strikes at the heart of Palestinian rights advocacy by students as a whole. The professor’s “cockroach” slur “also implicated other people doing this sort of work,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “In that way, the professor’s remarks were an attack on all of SJP.”
Sixteen persons — including reporters for Pomona College’s The Student Life and The Electronic Intifada, and nearly all the members of Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine, along with supporters such as the Pitzer College student body vice president — crowded into the Pitzer dean of students’ tiny office late afternoon on 8 March, to meet with Dean of Students Moya Carter and Vice President for Student Affairs Jim Marchant.
Hamideh was visibly disturbed during the meeting, at one point nearly breaking down, his voice shaking, as he cited further personal trauma. “When I go back to my country, the [Israeli army] makes me open up my Facebook, my Gmail, and if they see any conversations [on this topic] …” He said that he was afraid of what Israeli forces might do, including refuse him entry into the West Bank in the future.
Students under investigation
In a Pitzer campus-wide statement on 8 March, Marchant wrote that his Pitzer administration was investigating what he mildly described as “inappropriate and hostile verbal comments by a CMC [Claremont McKenna College] faculty member” directed at the student during the event (“Students accuse professor of hate speech following Palestine justice event,” Claremont Port Side, 11 March).
But in its initial statement on 7 March, Pitzer’s administration was quick to emphasize that it is working with Claremont McKenna College in a joint investigation of “whether the policy on demonstrations was followed” by Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine during their event. The colleges understood that “some form of verbal exchange occurred involving a Pitzer student and CMC faculty member.”
Such remarks did not sit well with members of Students for Justice in Palestine, which stated in their public response that “both the Pitzer and CMC administrations should be putting more effort into investigating the discriminatory and harmful actions of a faculty member rather than investigating the previously sanctioned, constitutionally protected event held by [Claremont SJP].”
In the following days, Pitzer administrators seemed to agree. “I apologize, the [7 March] statement was misleading,” Marchant said in the meeting on 8 March. He explained the effort as a “compromise” with Claremont McKenna College, whose administrators remain focused on whether the student group followed school policies, while Pitzer administrators are concerned with the “verbal exchange.”
Marchant’s clarifying regrets didn’t make it into his campus-wide statement made later that evening. He did, however, concede that the group informed Campus Safety and Security of its event, for which it obtained formal permission, and complied with all requests by school officials on the scene prior to the incident.
Claremont SJP has garnered the strong support of Pitzer College faculty during this ordeal. Along with news of the incident spreading rapidly throughout the student campus, on 10 March the Pitzer Faculty Executive Committee stated in a letter obtained by The Electronic Intifada that it was “extremely concerned” by the incident, urging Claremont McKenna College and Pitzer to finish investigating the matter “immediately and thoroughly.”
Admonishing the Pitzer administration, the faculty committee added: “We think it is unfortunate that the initial public communications about this issue were focused on potential demonstration policy violations — we reassert that the right to peaceful demonstrations is an integral piece of an open, intellectually vigorous college community.” The committee reaffirmed a “protection from verbal assault and harassment.”
In a follow-up letter to the entire five-college student body dated 15 March, the Pitzer Faculty Executive Committee stated that “the Pitzer investigation into the matter has shown that the five college students involved in the SJP event of 4 March did not violate any procedures in carrying out their event. It is [Claremont McKenna College], however, that has the responsibility for further investigation into Professor Raviv’s behavior, and conducting that investigation is not within Pitzer College’s purview.”
The committee added that it will work with faculty and students to “organize forums for discussion of the incident and related topics,” after this week’s spring break.
Asked to comment on the situation, Liz Jackson, cooperating attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support Initiative, wrote in an email to The Electronic Intifada: “This case epitomizes the repressive environment faced by students who stand up for Palestinian rights on campuses nationwide.” Jackson added that “from Brooklyn to Berkeley, from South Florida, to southern California, students are subjected to harassment, discriminatory treatment and legal threats.”
In particular, California has become a hotbed for legal and administrative measures aimed to discourage Palestinian rights-based activism.
In August 2012, the California state assembly passed a non-binding, bipartisan resolution, HR 35, which civil rights organizations say conflates on-campus Palestine solidarity activism and rights advocacy with anti-Semitism.
The range of activities that California legislators recommended banning includes merely stating that Israel has engaged in “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing,” or using language describing Israeli policies as racist or akin to apartheid; the sponsoring of boycott, divestment and sanctions actions; and other political activities regularly organized by student Palestine solidarity groups.
It was revealed that resolution HR 35 was drafted with help from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an ultra-right-wing Zionist organization which is building a “museum of tolerance” on top of an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem (“California legislator promise to affirm free speech rights on campus earns praise of Palestine solidarity activists,” Mondoweiss, 4 September 2012).
Back at the 8 March meeting at Pitzer College, Dean Moya Carter said she had met with Claremont students who were upset by the Students for Justice in Palestine mock checkpoint action, which they perceived as “hostile” and “aggressive.” According to one student she quoted, “[SJP members] weren’t being pro-Palestine, they were being anti-Israel.” However, no outside groups have contacted the college nor have any complaints about the mock checkpoint action been filed as of 8 March, according to both Carter and Marchant.
More significantly, no action has been taken against professor Yaron Raviv as of press time.
Professor Daniel Segal told The Electronic Intifada that even though Raviv is “clearly in violation of [the college’s] handbook” due to his bias-related targeting of Najib Hamideh and the other students, he was not surprised that the Claremont McKenna College administration has chosen to be protective of Raviv rather than take responsibility. “[CMC] has not cultivated a respect for and a commitment to foster dissent, particularly dissent from the left,” Segal added.
By choosing to scrutinize an approved protest action rather than pursue an investigation into one of their faculty members’ wrongful, racist conduct toward students, Segal explained that this is just the latest in a series of “chilling effects” that the Claremont McKenna administration has had on dissent and protests.
Meanwhile, aggressive attacks against Hamideh have taken place since the incident with Raviv became public. Hamideh told The Electronic Intifada that on 12 March, a sharpened metal key had been deliberately shoved deep into his car’s tire, flattening it. On the same day, a threatening note was found scrawled on a card marking his reservation for a carrel desk in the college’s library.
On the library carrels, each desk has a sign reading “This carrel has been reserved for” and then the student’s name. Hamideh explained that someone had written “me to fuck” under his name and scrawled under that, in different handwriting, “in the skull.” Hamideh said that although Student Affairs had been notified, and had acted “horrified,” administration officials haven’t yet taken any action.
Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine member Sonia Mehrmand said that since the incident with professor Raviv became known, students have expressed shock and outrage — but also support for SJP and its members. “It’s not slipping under the radar like it could have,” she said. “The angry voices are the loudest ones. It doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones.”
Hamideh said, “I really feel like it’s an act of desperation … When I was in Palestine, I remember first hearing about [the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement] and thinking that it was never going to happen. But like in South Africa, the BDS movement started, and then on college campuses, and it pushed through. It gained national attention. And that’s how oppression can be stopped.”-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –The Palestinian Popular Committee for Defending Syria in occupied Palestine has organized an event in protest against the role of the Israeli entity in the attack against Syria and in supporting the terrorism which targets its resistant Arab people backed by the US and financed by the Gulf states.
The participants in the event, which took place at Kalandia Crossing to the south of Ramallah city in the West Bank, expressed solidarity with the Syrian people and army in the face of the Zionist-Imperialistic conspiracies.
They asserted that Syria will get out of the crisis stronger thanks to the unity of its people, the bravery of its army and the wisdom of its leadership
They raised the Syrian and Palestinian flags, and they chanted slogans expressing the unity of the Arab struggle in the face of the Israeli occupation.
The Israeli soldiers tried to quell the participants as they fired tear gas and stun grenades at them injuring seven.
Palestinian Watan News Website quoted Coordinator of the Committee Sabrin Dyab as saying that what is taking place in Syria is an organized attack which aims at undermining the axis of resistance.
She affirmed that the terrorist groups backed by foreign parties are the ones who commit the crimes in Syria.-www.shafaqna.com/English
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