Aletho News


Indigenous Guarani chief killed in Brazil

Press TV – November 19, 2011

Masked armed men have burst into a Guarani Indian camp in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul and killed the local chief.

According to the government agency for Indigenous people (FUNAI, 42 heavily armed men attacked the Kaiowa Guarani community in the village of Amambai, near the border with Paraguay, and shot the 59-year-old indigenous chief, Nisio Gomes, in the head, chest, arms, and legs early on Friday morning, AFP reported.

Gomes’ body was then driven away. He is believed to have been the main target of the attack.

FUNAI said other indigenous people from the tribe might also have been killed or kidnapped.

“They came to kill our chief,” said one Indian who witnessed the attack and requested anonymity for security reasons.

Most of the community’s 60 residents fled the camp and sought refuge in the forest during the attack.

Members of the community say this is not the first time they have been attacked since their return.

Gomes was the leader of a group of Guarani Indians, 60 of whom returned to part of their ancestral land in Mato Grosso do Sul in early November, after being evicted by cattle ranchers.

The tribe has seen virtually all its land stolen in recent decades by farmers and cattle ranchers.

One Guarani Indian said, “We’ll stay on the camp. We’ll all die here. We will not leave our ancestral land.”

The incident was the latest outbreak of violence linked to land disputes in Brazil, where one percent of the population controls 46 percent of the cultivated land.

The Guarani have been trying to recover a small portion of their original territories but face violent resistance from wealthy ranchers and soya and sugar cane plantation owners.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

Al Baqa’a: The struggle of a family in the shadow of illegal annexation

17 November 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

“The Israelis hope that that the young people leave, the old people die, and then they can confiscate the land and the houses” says Sami, an activist working in Al Baqa’a, a windswept valley situated a few kilometers east of Hebron.

Atta and Rodni Jaber at their house in Al-Baqa’a, near Hebron

The Jaber family’s experiences of living in Al Baqa’a are similar to many other Palestinians in the area, in that their ordinary family faces extraordinary pressure on a daily basis from the Israeli military and nearby settlers.

Rodni Jaber is the mother of three daughters and a son.  Dressed in a bright pink jumper and a floral headscarf, she is cheerfully voluble and keen to tell her family’s story.

“We have had our house demolished twice, this our third house on the land.  We lived in a tent for six months and after that we got a court decision to live in this area within 150sqm, so we started to build this home.”

Rodni and Atta Jaber work as farmers growing grapes, raspberries and tomatoes in the milder months and radishes and turnips in the winter.  Neat lines of cauliflower grow next to their stone house situated halfway up the hillside facing west towards Al Bwayre and the illegal Israeli settlements and outposts of Al Bwayre mountain.

The family owns 31 dunums of land (1 dunum = 1000 msq).  Despite having papers dating from the era of the Ottoman Empire proving that the family owns the land, their house still has a demolition order in place.

“We went to the court, and we have a postponement by the Israeli military to destroy this house”  says Rodni.  “We are not here legally – by Israeli law – but they let us live here for the moment.”

Around 900 Palestinians live in Al Baqa’a valley.  Many of the houses in the area are subject to demolition orders as the Israeli authorities and the settlers attempt to make life impossible for the Palestinians in the area to expand Israeli settlements.  Local residents and activists claim to have in their possession a map on which red lines outline areas in Al Bwayre and Al Baqa’a valley that have been designated by Israeli engineers as places for the construction of 500 new housing units for Israeli settlers.  Much of the land is currently inhabited by Palestinians and will need to be cleared to make way for the proposed development.

In addition to experiencing house demolitions and harassment from the military, the Jaber family has been subjected to repeated attacks by Israeli settlers from nearby Al Bwayre and Qiryat Arba settlements and various outposts.

The Jaber family’s house in Al-Baqa’a Valley

The family’s house and land was attacked by settlers around a month ago.  The Israeli military arrived in jeeps but declined to intervene as the settlers attempted to set fire to the house.  Rodni Jaber explains:

The soldiers were there just to protect the settlers.  The settlers told us to leave the house and said ‘this is our land’ .  They even began to complain to the soldiers asking them to kick us out of the house saying that ‘the land is for Abraham and not for them’, putting pressure on the soldiers…They [the settlers] tried to burn the house and I began to push them to stop, I even called the Israeli police to come and see what the settlers were doing.  All the family fled as we were afraid of being burned in the house.

They failed to set fire to the house.  This was just one incident in a long line of attacks on the family over the years; “I lost a baby [because I was attacked by settlers]. I was 4 months pregnant at that time and they attacked me and I lost it.  I have been attacked many times by the settlers and I have been in hospital many times.

Nine or ten years ago an ‘operation’ happened on the highway here by the Palestinian resistance against the settlers.  After that, the settlers gathered in Qiryat Arba and came here.  They broke the door, entered the house and burned it…I left without shoes and wearing my pajamas.  The settlers kicked my family out for three days….The soldiers then occupied the house for 40 days.  We got a high court decision to return – when we came back to the house everything was broken.    At that time settlers also went to my brother’s family [who lives near the house] and they shot him in the stomach – he survived but he has a plastic stomach now.

Al Baqa’a residents live under full Israeli civil and military control in Area C, so how do they protect themselves when the soldiers stand-by and facilitate settler attacks on the family?

Rodni stated that  ”The chief of police has been to the area and said ‘If something happens just call me’.  We got a paper from the DCO (District Coordination Offices) saying that the Israeli soldiers have to protect this house.  We got this when we were attacked in 2001.  But they don’t do anything – it’s just paper… Most of the Palestinian people in this area are from my family so we try to protect each other.  If they attack a house they try to go to the house to protect it.”

A cousin of the family was attacked last week as he rode a donkey in the valley; settlers hit him on the head with metal piping.  He was hospitalized and his wounds were stitched up, luckily he was not badly injured. […]

As Rodni talks, her husband Atta returns from work, wearing a woolen hat against the Autumn chill.  He talks eloquently about Palestinian history and recounts his memories of Al Baqa’a Valley during the Six Day War in 1967.

“I was five years old when they occupied the West Bank, I still remember that day.  The Israelis bombed the people and the Jordanian army here and they killed maybe 150 people in that time.  Everybody had put white keffiyehs out as white flags to show that this is a peaceful area.”

A ruined house destroyed by the Israeli military in Al-Baqa’a Valley

As well as talking about the area’s history and the threat from settlers and the Israeli military, Atta described the mundane challenges of daily life in Al Baqa’a valley.

”We have a lot of problems in this area; there are no schools to send our children, we don’t have any clinics or hospitals.  We don’t have water – the settlers have water 24 hours a day.  We connected pipes to the settlement after we had submitted a lot of applications with the Israeli administration and water companies.  In 1998 we applied to the company to have water but Israel prevented this.  Under the Geneva Conventions it says that you are responsible for those that you occupy, but they want to transfer us from this area even though we have been the owners of the land for hundreds of years.”

Atta and Rodni refuse to be daunted by the problems they face.  When asked about what the future holds for their family, Atta evades directly answering the question and replied in broader terms.

“It is not just my future, it is about all Palestinians’ future.  Their tragedy and suffering becomes greater everyday.”

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | 1 Comment

Israel shuts down Palestinian groups in Jerusalem

By Maureen Clare Murphy | The Electronic Intifada | 18 November 2011

The recent forced closures of Palestinian nonprofit organizations in Jerusalem are an example of the Israeli authorities’ continued attacks on the city’s Palestinian identity and their attempts to maintain control over occupied East Jerusalem, according to local human rights groups.

“The purpose is to control and undermine the role of Palestinian civil society and [its] efforts in Jerusalem,” Rashad Shtayyeh, the activities coordinator at the Civic Coalition to Defend Palestinians’ Rights in Jerusalem (CCDPRJ), told The Electronic Intifada by email.

“Also, [this Israeli policy] tries to restrict anything that might help in protecting the Palestinian identity in Jerusalem, as a part of the Israeli Judiazation project in occupied Jerusalem,” Shtayyeh explained.

On 25 October, Israeli police presented closure notices to four Jerusalem-based organizations — Shua’a Women’s Association, al-Quds Development Foundation, Saeed Education Center and Work Without Borders — for a one-month period.

Given thirty minutes to leave

Dr. Nufuz Maslamani is the director of the Shua’a Women’s Association, a group that was founded in 2008 with the goal of empowering women in Jerusalem to achieve their social, political and economic rights. She told The Electronic Intifada that Israeli police gave volunteers at the association thirty minutes to leave their office before they locked the door.

“I said, ‘Why do you want to close it?’ I said that we are a women’s association and that we are working with women, with gender issues. [The police officer] said, ‘No, you are doing activities for the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine, PFLP],” Maslamani explained.

“As always, they have a lot of reasons to close any association, to stop anyone who is working in Jerusalem. They continue their policy to make Jerusalem empty of the Palestinian people. This is their policy. That’s why they closed the association,” she said.

Maslamani said that the closure has already had a negative impact on the Palestinian women and children who take courses through the association.

“This is really a problem because we now have women who are taking computer courses, and other courses. These women feel that they have a purpose and that they can do anything,” she said, adding that she feared the one-month closure order would be arbitrarily extended.

“The most dangerous thing is that the Palestinian people can’t live or do what is right for them. This is our right, to continue our lives in Jerusalem, as all women and people in the world.”

History of closures in Jerusalem

According to the Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinians’ Rights in Jerusalem (CCDPRJ), since August 2001, the Israeli authorities have closed approximately 28 organizations serving the Palestinian community in Jerusalem, including the Orient House, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) former headquarters in the city, the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce and the Arab Studies Society.

In 2009, the Israeli authorities also banned numerous Palestinian cultural and educational events scheduled to celebrate the declaration of Jerusalem as the “Capital of Arab Culture” for that year.

“The closure of these and other Palestinian institutions are part of a broader policy through which the Israeli authorities seek to stifle Palestinian development in Jerusalem and increase the strength of Israel’s occupation over East Jerusalem,” explained Shtayyeh. “These closures relate to the overarching policy that includes violations of housing rights, revocation of residency, and ultimately results in the forced displacement of Palestinians from Jerusalem.”

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have residency rights, not full Israeli citizenship, since they refused to take Israeli passports on principle shortly after Israel began occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.

As such, Palestinian Jerusalemites have the right to live and work in Israel yet are denied other provisions that come with full Israeli citizenship. For instance, unlike citizenship, permanent residency is only passed on to a person’s children if certain conditions are met, including most notably proving that one’s “center of life” is in Jerusalem.

Since 1967, it is estimated that more than 14,000 identification cards have been revoked from Palestinian Jerusalemites, who have thereby lost their residency rights and the ability to live in the city.

Widespread attack on human rights groups

The Jerusalem-area closures come as the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, is expected to pass two new bills that would make it harder for human rights groups in the country to receive funding from foreign governments.

On 13 November, the Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted in favor of two new bills. The first, officially known as the Associations Law (Amendment — Banning Foreign Diplomatic Entities’ Support of Political Associations in Israel), would bar human rights groups from receiving donations of more than 20,000 NIS (roughly $5,400) from foreign state entities.

The second bill, an amendment to the Israeli Income Tax Order, would make funding from foreign state entities to Israeli nongovernmental organizations subject to a 45 percent taxation rate. This is more than three times more than the taxation rate incurred by private organizations.

On 10 November, 18 human rights groups in Israel, including Adalah — the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Arab Association for Human rights, released a statement condemning the bills.

“This is not the first time Knesset members target foreign funding as a way to silence civil society and human rights organizations. The bills are a part of a calculated policy to silence voices of dissent and criticism and go hand in hand with attempts to restrict Israel’s judicial system, media outlets and activists,” the statement reads (“NGOs in Israel: Urgent call regarding severely restrictive funding bills,” 10 November 2011).

“A vibrant civil society is an essential part of a healthy democracy,” the statement adds. “These organizations promote transparency, public debate and accountability regarding government policy, and ensure essential protection of more vulnerable communities.”

According to the Mossawa Center, a group representing Palestinians in Israel, the bills would have the biggest impact on organizations working for the rights of Israel’s Palestinian citizens.

“Many Israeli NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] do not receive funding from the Israeli government because of their work with the Palestinian Arab minority. They are forced to rely on foreign state entities, like the EU and European government-sponsored organizations, for a majority of their funding,” Mossawa explained in a statement (“The Mossawa Center calls on the international community to condemn bills that restrict funding for human rights organizations in Israel,” 16 November 2011 [PDF]).

“While the NGO bills directly hinder the ability of Arab and human rights NGOs to operate independently within Israel, right-wing organizations that violate international law by supporting settlements in the West Bank are not limited in the proposed legislation,” Mossawa adds. “Most right-wing organizations are funded by the state and/or foreign private donations, which the bills’ sponsors do not consider foreign interference. It is clear that the proposed legislation would conceal the state’s human rights violations and advance the government’s right-wing agenda without impediment.”

Protected under international law

In Jerusalem, CCDPRJ’s Rashad Shtayyeh explained that “East Jerusalem is incontrovertibly recognized under international law as an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory over which the Palestinian people are entitled to exercise their right to self-determination.”

Indeed, the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honor, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs.”

Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights also stipulates that “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

In his email to The Electronic Intifada, Shtayyeh explained that these protected rights — as well as freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly — are regularly denied to Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

“We call upon the international Community, the United Nations and the European Union to take responsibility to uphold their obligations towards the protected persons under occupation in Jerusalem,” he said. “We demand that the international community obliges the Israeli government to refrain from closing the Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem.”

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | Comments Off on Israel shuts down Palestinian groups in Jerusalem

Tested on Palestinians, Perfected on #OWS Protesters: Introducing the LRAD Sound Cannon

By Max Blumenthal | Al-Ahkbar | 2011-11-18

Yesterday, the New York Police Department deployed a strange new weapon against the tens of thousands of demonstrators who converged downtown for the largest protest in Occupy Wall Street’s two month history: the LRAD sound cannon. NYPD officers reportedly blasted Occupy protesters with rays from the LRAD cannon while they sang the American national anthem near Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park (photos here), establishing an atmosphere of fear and intimidation that lasted throughout the evening.

Designed and manufactured by the San Diego-based LRAD Corporation, which was formerly known as the American Technology Corporation, the Long Range Acoustic Device sound weapon is the latest innovation in crowd suppression technology. It is portable and powerful, capable of transmitting a focused ray of 140 decibels of sound at a crowd of people, generating painful cranial vibrations so profound ear plugs become useless. According to LRAD promotional material, the sonic weapon “provides military personnel with a powerful, penetrating warning tone that can be followed by clear voice broadcasts in host nation languages to warn and shape the behavior of potential threats.”

In June, LRAD sold $293,000 worth of its 100X and 500X sound canon systems to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The contract was part of Israeli Army Commander Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi’s investment in $35 million in suppression systems in anticipation of widespread unrest in the occupied West Bank that would supposedly be prompted by the Palestinian Authority’s statehood bid at the United Nations.

The Israeli Army has refined the use of LRAD systems on the civilian population of Palestinian villages engaged in the unarmed popular struggle against Israel’s illegal military occupation. Demonstrators in the village of Beit Ummar have been repeatedly assaulted by Israeli forces armed with LRAD systems, including on October 7, when the Israeli army used the LRAD to attack unarmed demonstrators protesting against the abuse and isolation of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

I first visited the Beit Ummar area in the spring of 2009, joining a group of international and Israeli activists as they protected the village’s farmers from fanatical Jewish settlers from the colony of Bat Ayn, who had repeatedly assaulted them as they attempted to work their fields. As soon as I arrived I witnessed a group of Jewish children from Bat Ayn charge down a hill while chanting, “Death to Arabs!” at the farmers.

In January 2011, settlers shot a Beit Ummar resident, 17-year-old Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl in the head, leaving him brain dead. The settlers could not carry out their deadly violence without the protection of the Israeli Army, which invariably defends them while crushing unarmed protests in Beit Ummar with disproportionate force.

Beit Ummar has carried on its unarmed popular resistance struggle against impossible odds. The village has been severed in half by a settler bypass road, Highway 60, which occupied Palestinians are forbidden from traveling on. Numerous graves in the village cemetery were desecrated in order to build the Israelis-only highway. Not only are village residents surrounded by army pillboxes and preyed on by extremist settlers, they have been transformed into experimental gerbils in the global pacification industry’s laboratory of doom.

Having been tested on a defenseless, occupied population in Palestine, the LRAD made its grand debut in New York City yesterday, where local police forces targeted American citizens peacefully protesting against economic exploitation. The peculiar weapon system symbolizes the creeping Israelification of America’s local police forces and the Palestinianization of all who challenge the predations of a zero tolerant 1 percent master class.

As the blogger Ayesha Kazmi recently wrote to Occupy movement participants, “So welcome to the War on Terror. Your first lesson, if your views happen to counter the established narrative, expect to be dehumanised, then treated like a terrorist.”

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | 2 Comments

Has Anyone Seen Those Syrian “Deserters”?

Moon of Alabama | November 17, 2011

“Western” media are pushing the tale of Syrian Army defectors attacking Syrian security forces. Note that the only sources for these tales are “activists” in London and elsewhere.

I do not doubt that there are attacks on Syrian forces. I sincerely doubt that these are done by army defectors. Notice that these attacks started as early as April, more than half a year ago, at a time when no “western” media, despite the public evidence, wrote of armed rebellion at all, just of “peaceful protesters”. Only now are media reporting attacks by armed groups, but these reports are either fake or come without backing from any independent source:

Deserters from the Syrian Army reportedlycarried out attacks against the offices of the Syrian ruling Baath party in northwestern Syria on Thursday, a day after they claimed an assault on an intelligence base that Russia, Syria’s closest ally, said was bringing the country closer to civil war.The Syrian government did not mention either attack, which were reported by activists, citing the accounts of local residents, and their scale and effectiveness was not clear.

There has not been one bit of evidence that those who attack the Syrian forces are really army defectors. Any real army defectors would likely leave with heavier weapons and would be able to bring up more organized challenges than isolated road ambushes and a few shots against official buildings.

I find it much more likely that the attacks, if they happened at all, were committed by Sunni Syrians loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood or to the exiled former Baath functionaries Abdul Halim Khaddam and Rifaat al-Assad and under the tutelage of Qatari or Jordanian special forces. This of course with U.S. and Israeli support.

It increases the chance for a successful rebellion but I still regard that chance as quite small.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | 1 Comment

Iran raps IAEA for divulging names

Press TV – November 18, 2011

The Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has denounced the nuclear supervisory body for publicizing the names of Iran’s nuclear scientists, Press TV reports.

“The release of the names of the Iranian nuclear scientists by the agency has made them targets for assassination by terrorist groups as well as the Israeli regime and the US intelligence services,” Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh said in a letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Soltaniyeh argued that disclosing the names of Iranian experts is a violation of the agency’s statute and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.

Iran’s IAEA ambassador also described the agency’s report as politically-motivated and noted that Tehran reserves the right to seek consequential damages for any possible harm inflicted upon persons or property.

On November 8, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano released a report claiming that Iran had engaged in activities related to developing nuclear weapons before 2003, adding that these activities “may still be ongoing.”

Iran has dismissed Amano’s latest report on its nuclear program as “unbalanced, unprofessional and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure by mostly the United States.”

Several Iranian scientists have been assassinated since 2007, including Massoud Ali-Mohammadi and Majid Shahriari.

Professor Ali-Mohammadi, a lecturer at Tehran University, was killed by a booby-trapped motorbike in the Iranian capital in January 2010. The bombing took place near the professor’s home in the Qeytariyeh neighborhood of northern Tehran.

On November 29, 2010, unidentified terrorists attached bombs to the vehicles of Iranian university professors Majid Shahriari and Fereydoun Abbasi and detonated them. Professor Shahriari was killed immediately, but Dr. Abbasi and his wife sustained minor injuries and were rushed to hospital.

On December 2, 2010, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that the Mossad, the CIA, and the MI6 all played a role in those attacks.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | 8 Comments

Non-Aligned Movement supports Iran’s nuclear rights

Press TV – November 18, 2011

Logo of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has stressed its support for Tehran’s nuclear rights following the release of the recent International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on Iran’s activities.

Iran has fully cooperated with the IAEA to dispel concerns over its nuclear activities, a NAM statement read on Friday.

The support comes on the heels of a November 8, IAEA report that claimed Iran had engaged in activities related to developing nuclear weapons before 2003 and that these activities “may still be ongoing.”

Iran has dismissed the report as “unbalanced, unprofessional and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure by mostly the United States.”

The 120 member states of NAM also urged against any pressure from third parties on the UN nuclear agency as it compromises the credibility of the IAEA, Press TV reported.

NAM further called for creating a nuclear-arms free zone in the Middle East, urging that an agreement must be signed by world nations under which any attack on nuclear facilities is banned.

The US, Israel and their allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have used this allegation as a pretext to convince the UN Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran.

This is while Israel, which is widely believed to possess over 300 atomic warheads, recently test-fired a new long-range missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The three-stage Jericho-3 missile, capable of delivering a 750-kilo warhead, is estimated to have a range of up to 10,000 kilometers.

Tehran has categorically refuted the Western allegations, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it has the right to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | Comments Off on Non-Aligned Movement supports Iran’s nuclear rights

Hunger threatens millions in Afghanistan

Press TV – November 18, 2011

Aid agencies have warned that starvation threatens the lives of millions of people in Afghanistan in the aftermath of a widespread drought ahead of harsh winter weather.

A group of nine charity organizations warned on Friday that up to three million Afghans are facing hunger, malnutrition and disease following a severe drought that ruined their crops, Reuters reported.

Poor rains earlier this year destroyed 80 percent of wheat crops in the north Afghanistan, northeast and west of the country, facing the impoverished farmers with food shortages, the charities stated.

The group, which included Oxfam and Save the Children, also expressed concern that extreme winter weather would add to the Afghans’ plight, cutting off their access to vital food aid.

“Villagers are telling us that this year the drought has destroyed everything. Their food stocks are already low, and they are worried about how they will get through the coming months,” Oxfam’s country director Manohar Shenoy said in a statement.

“Time is running out to be able to provide communities with the help they most desperately need before a harsh winter makes many areas inaccessible. Snow is already falling and many mountainous areas are likely to be cut off within weeks,” he warned.

The pinch of starvation, as a heavy winter looms, has forced Afghan families to cut down on meals, migrate to neighboring Pakistan and Iran or borrow money to buy food. Schools have closed as more children have to work.

In October, the United Nations made an appeal for $142 million to help Afghanistan fight the drought crisis that has hit 14 of the country’s 34 provinces, but international donors have so far failed to fund more than seven percent of the required sum.

“Families are facing being cut off for winter without enough food and clean water,” said David Skinner, Save the Children’s Afghanistan country director.

Skinner warned that if aid efforts were not increased, children could die of hunger and the already high malnutrition levels in Afghanistan.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Economics | Comments Off on Hunger threatens millions in Afghanistan

Israel Eyes Strong Ties with East African States

Al-Manar | November 18, 2011

Israel is looking at Africa’s east as an important strategic interest, and trying to step up ties with nations in the region under the name of “controlling the spread of Islamic extremists”.

The Associated Press reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted the leaders of Uganda and Kenya earlier this week.

The Kenyan leader has said that the Zionist entity has promised to provide ‘security assistance’ to his country to help protect its borders.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said Netanyahu promised to help build “a coalition against fundamentalism,” bringing together the countries Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania. The African country also has said Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, has told him Israel is ready to make “everything available to Kenya” for internal security.

For the Israeli part, Netanyahu’s office refuses to comment on Odinga’s claims, while Peres’ office suggests the Kenyan leader has gone too far.

An official in the Peres’ office says he has boasted that Israel is one of the most advanced countries in the world regarding homeland security and would be happy to share its expertise with any country fighting “global terror.” But the official, speaking on condition of anonymity says no specifics have been discussed.

Another Israeli official says an alliance with Kenya and other eastern African countries is natural.

An agency quotes Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev as saying: “We have joint interests and we believe that mutual cooperation can be beneficial to us all”.

Uganda and Kenya have been battling al-Shabab, a Somalia-based ‘al-Qaeda’ linked group.

According to AP, the Zionist entity also has intentions to build strong ties with the newly liberated South Sudan whose president has held a meeting with Netanyahu at the United Nations in September.

In Israel’s eyes, eastern Africa poses a potential hinterland where ‘al-Qaeda’ and other militants can potentially forge ties with similarly minded groups just to the north in Egypt and Gaza. Israeli officials already believe that Sudan is a pathway for smugglers providing weapons to militants in Gaza and the Sinai, and that ‘al-Qaeda’ linked groups in Egypt have been behind a deadly cross-border raid in August that killed eight Israelis.

The Zionist entity already has military ties with several African countries, including Nigeria, Tanzania and the Ivory Coast.

Relations with Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan have not yet reached that stage, though Israel’s “Defense” Ministry has given clearance for private Israeli security firms to operate in those nations, including some arms sales. Israeli defense officials say intelligence sharing is limited to a few close allies at this stage.

“The Ministry of Defense has excellent relations with a number of friendly nations in Africa, especially internal security and counterterrorism,” an official said, refusing to elaborate. He was not allowed to be identified under ministry regulations.

Israel has a long history of involvement in Africa, sending experts in agriculture and development, as well as military advisers and mercenaries, over the years.

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments