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Green Party, Libertarian presidential candidates on Israel-Palestine

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | October 29, 2020

Howie Hawkins and Jo Jorgensen are also on the ballot – and unlike Trump and Biden, they and their running mates appear to be remarkably independent of the Israel lobby…

Libertarian Party

Presidential candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen

Jorgensen is on the ballot in all 50 states.

In a Q&A on her website she stated:

Q: Should the U.S. continue to support Israel?
A: No, we should not give aid to any foreign nations

Q: Should it be illegal to join a boycott of Israel?
A: No

Q: Should Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel?
A: It’s none of our business

Related statements:

Q: Should the U.S. go to war with Iran?
A: No

Q: Do you support the killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani?
A: No

Q: Should the military be allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to gain information from suspected terrorists?
A: No

Q: Should the U.S. provide military aid to Saudi Arabia during its conflict with Yemen?
A: No

Q: Should the government increase or decrease military spending?
A: Decrease

Q: Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria?
A: Yes

Q: Should the U.S. send ground troops into Syria to fight ISIS?
A: No

Q: Should the military fly drones over foreign countries to gain intelligence and kill suspected terrorists?
A: No

Q: Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights?
A: Yes, give them a fair trial and shut down Guantanamo Bay

Q: Should the United States pull all military troops out of Afghanistan?
A: Yes

Q: Should the U.S. formally declare war on ISIS?
A: NO

Full article

October 29, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Biden vows to sanction ‘Lukashenko regime henchmen’ until Minsk turns ‘democratic’

RT | October 28, 2020

Democrat candidate for US president Joe Biden has called for regime change in Minsk, denouncing President Alexander Lukashenko’s “brutal dictatorship” and vowing to sanction his “henchmen” until there’s a “democratic Belarus.”

“I continue to stand with the people of Belarus and support their democratic aspirations,” Biden said, claiming that President Donald Trump “refuses to speak out on their behalf.”

Biden said that “No leader who tortures his own people can ever claim legitimacy” and demanded that “the international community should significantly expand its sanctions on Lukashenka’s henchmen and freeze the offshore accounts where they keep their stolen wealth.”

The Belarus statement was among a flurry of press releases by Biden’s campaign on Tuesday, and a rare foray into the subject of foreign policy. The Democrat has generally avoided the subject during the campaign, focusing his attacks on Trump on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lukashenko, who has been president since 1994, was awarded a convincing victory in the August 9 election, by election organisers. The opposition claims the results were rigged.

Official runner-up Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, whom Biden endorsed in the statement, supposedly received about 10 percent of the vote. She has since fled to the neighboring Lithuania and reached out to EU countries for support, calling for a general strike to pressure Lukashenko into annulling the election they claim was “rigged.”

Police in Belarus forcefully dispersed demonstrations on Sunday, prompting some Biden supporters to demand “a plan for Belarus.”

While the EU, UK and Canada have imposed sanctions on Belarussian officials and openly sided with Tikhanovskaya in denouncing the “rigged” election, the Trump administration has been more diplomatic.

Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Tikhanovskaya in Lithuania at the end of August, but said his job was “to listen, to hear what the thinking of the Belarusian people is and to see what they are doing to obtain the right to self-determination.”

“The United States cannot and will not decide the course of events in Belarus,” Biegun said at the time.

This stands in stark contrast with the Trump administration’s strategy for Venezuela, which Biden’s Belarus plan appears to mirror. Vowing to stand with the Venezuelan people in their pursuit of democracy, Washington endorsed opposition figure Juan Guaido as “interim president” of that Latin American country in January 2019, lining up the Organization of American States and even the EU in support.

However, Guaido has repeatedly failed to seize power in Caracas, leaving the government of President Nicolas Maduro more entrenched than ever. Meanwhile, the US-imposed sanctions – ostensibly targeting Maduro’s “regime” – have made lives miserable for the vast majority of Venezuelans, as even think tanks supporting the policy have noted.

October 28, 2020 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 3 Comments

Palestinian Teenager Dies after Being Beaten by Israeli Soldiers

Amer Abdul-Rahim Snobar, 18, was beaten to death by Israeli soldiers. (Photo: via Social Media)
Palestine Chronicle | October 25, 2020

A Palestinian teenager was killed early Sunday after he was severely beaten by Israeli occupation soldiers near the village of Turmus-Ayya, near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian security and medical sources.

Israeli occupation forces reportedly chased Amer Abdul-Rahim Snobar, 18, while he was driving near Turmus-Ayya, caught him, and beat him until he died.

Snobar comes from the village of Yatma, near the city of Nablus in the West Bank.

An Israeli military statement said a Palestinian fell while escaping and hit his head while being chased by army forces.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates demanded today the formation of an international commission of inquiry to investigate the incident.

“This crime reflects the extent of brutality and fascism that controls the political, security and military mentality of the ruling establishment in the occupying state, which allows the killing of Palestinians and the takeover of their land and property, in blatant disregard of all international laws, treaties and agreements, including the basic principles of human rights,” said the ministry in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry called on the International Criminal Court to practice its legal and moral responsibilities towards the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people, and “to expedite the opening of an official investigation into those crimes, leading to the prosecution of the Israeli war criminals and those behind them.”

October 25, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 11 Comments

Dying Alone: When We Stopped Caring for Palestinian Prisoners

By Ramzy Baroud | Dissident Voice | October 12, 2020

“No one cares about the prisoners.” Over the past few years, I have heard this phrase — or some variation of it —  uttered many times by freed Palestinian prisoners and their families. Whenever I conduct an interview regarding this crucial and highly sensitive topic, I am told, repeatedly, that ‘no one cares.’

But is this really the case? Are Palestinian prisoners so abandoned to the extent that their freedom, life and death are of no consequence?

The subject, and the claim, resurfaces every time a Palestinian prisoner launches a hunger strike or undergoes extreme hardship and torture, which is leaked outside Israeli prisons through lawyers or human rights organizations. This year, five Palestinian prisoners died in prison as a result of alleged medical negligence, or worse, torture.

Even international humanitarian aid workers, like Mohammed el-Halabi, are not immune to degrading treatment.  Arrested in August 2016, el-Halabi is yet to be charged for any wrongdoing. News of his plight, which originally received some media attention — due to his work with a US-based organization – is now merely confined to Facebook posts by his father, Khalil.

As of October 1, el-Halabi has been paraded before 151 military trials, yet unaware what the charges are. The cherished Palestinian man, who has played a major role in providing cancer medicine to dying children in Gaza, now holds the record of the longest military trial ever carried out by the Israeli occupation.

Desperate for some attention, and fed up with cliches about their ‘centrality in the Palestinian struggle’, many prisoners, whether individually or collectively, launch hunger strikes under the slogan: ‘freedom or death’. Those who are held under the draconian and illegal ‘administrative detention’ policy, demand their freedom, while ‘security prisoners’, who are held in degrading conditions, merely ask for family visitations or food that is suitable for human consumption.

Health complications resulting from hunger strikes often linger long after the physical ordeal is over. I have interviewed families of Palestinians who were freed from Israeli prisons, only to die in a matter of months, or live a life of endless pain and constant ailments for years following their release.

According to some estimates, over 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned in Israeli jails since the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in June 1967.

Maher al-Akhras is currently writing the latest chapter in this tragic narrative. At the time of writing this article, he has just concluded 77 days of uninterrupted hunger strike. No medical opinion is necessary to tell us that al-Akhras could die any moment. A recent video released of al-Akhras on his Israeli hospital bed conveyed a glimpse of the man’s unbearable suffering.

With a barely audible voice, the gaunt, exhausted-looking man said that he is left with only two options: either his immediate freedom or death within the confines of Israel’s “phony justice system.”

On October 7, his wife, Taghrid, launched her own hunger strike to protest the fact that “no one cares about” her husband.

Once again, the lack of concern for the plight of prisoners, even dying ones, imposes itself on the Palestinian political discourse. So, why is this the case?

The idea that Palestinian prisoners are all alone in the fight for freedom began in the early 1990s. It was during this period that the various Oslo Accords were signed, dividing the Occupied Territories into zones governed by some strange Kafkaesque military system, one that did not end the Israeli occupation, but, rather, cemented it.

Largely dropped from the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations agenda at the time, but permanently, eventually, were several pressing issues fundamental to Palestinian rights and freedom. One of these issues was Israel’s brutal system of incarceration and imprisonment without trial.

Certainly, some Palestinian prisoners were released in small batches occasionally, as ‘gestures of goodwill’; but the system, itself, which gave Israel the right to arrest, detain and sentence Palestinians, remained intact.

To date, the freedom of Palestinian prisoners — nearly 5,000 of them are still held in Israel, with new prisoners added daily — is not part of the Palestinian leadership political agenda, itself subsumed by self-interests, factional fights and other trivial matters.

Being removed from the realm of politics, the plight of prisoners has, over the years, been reduced to a mere humanitarian subject — as if these men and women are no longer political agents and a direct expression of Palestinian resistance, on the one hand, and Israel’s military occupation and violence, on the other.

There are ample references to Palestinian prisoners in everyday language. Not a single press release drafted by the Palestinian Authority, its main Fatah faction or any other Palestinian group fails to renew the pledge to free the prisoners, while constantly glorifying their sacrifices. Unsurprisingly, empty language never produces concrete results.

There are two exceptions to the above maxim. The first is prisoner exchanges, like the one that took place in October 2011, resulting in the freedom of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. And, second, the prisoners’ own hunger strikes, which are incremental in their achievements, but have, lately, become the main channel of resistance.

Sadly, even solidarity with hunger strikers is often factional, as each Palestinian political group often places disproportionate focus on their own striking prisoners and, largely ignores others. Not only has the issue of prisoners become depoliticized, it has also fallen victim to Palestine’s unfortunate disunity.

While it is untrue that ‘no one cares about Palestinian prisoners’, thousands of Palestinian families are justified to hold this opinion. For the freedom of prisoners to take center stage within the larger Palestinian struggle for freedom, the issue must be placed at the top of Palestine’s political agenda, by Palestinians themselves and by Palestinian solidarity networks everywhere.

Maher al-Akhras, and thousands like him, should not risk their lives to obtain basic human rights, which should, in theory, be guaranteed under international law. Equally important, Palestinian prisoners should not be left alone, paying a price for daring to stand up for justice, fairness and for their people’s freedom.


Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons (Clarity Press). Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs, Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). Read other articles by Ramzy, or visit Ramzy’s website.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Hundreds of Palestinian children ethnically cleansed by Israel as world remains silent

An Israeli soldier detains a Palestinian boy during an anti-Israel protest in al-khalil in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on November 29, 2019. (Via Reuters)
By Robert Inlakesh | Press TV | October 8, 2020

Israel has demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes, this year, leaving hundreds more without a place to live. Yet despite the fact that Israel is set for a record number of home demolitions in East Jerusalem al-Quds, the International Community not only refuses to act but also remains silent.

In East Jerusalem al-Quds alone, since 2004, Israeli home demolitions have left 3,459 Palestinians homeless (including 1,847 minors), which is concerning enough, without the added stress to local Jerusalemite Palestinians of this year being on track to break all previous records for the number of home demolitions since 1967.

What the refusal to confront this issue shows is the complete lack of care from the international community and also when it is properly investigated, that house demolitions in of themselves, reveal that inside of Israel itself, there is no democracy for Palestinians.

In order to understand the issue of house demolitions, we have to differentiate between the succinctly three different circumstances under which Palestinians experience this form of ethnic cleansing. The three key areas are inside of what is now Israel, inside of East Jerusalem al-Quds and inside of the West Bank. The Gaza Strip is not included due to the fact that these demolitions are not undertaken in the same way, but rather occur primarily due to airstrikes.

House demolitions in East Jerusalem al-Quds

So far this year, according to Israeli Human Rights Group B’Tselem, 89 housing units and 27 non-residential buildings were ordered to be demolished in East Jerusalem al-Quds by the Israeli regime. Israel is in fact on track for a record number of house demolitions in the occupied territory this year, according to Israeli paper Haaretz, which will inevitably cause a record number of homeless cases.

Something key to understanding cases of home demolitions in East Jerusalem al-Quds is the ongoing effort to Judaize the city. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem al-Quds do not have Israeli citizenship or Palestinian citizenship, but rather Jerusalem ID cards. If Palestinians choose to live outside of the territory for more than 7 years or claim citizenship of any country (normally Jordan), they can also be stripped of this right to their ID and be expelled. As a result of such policies, significant numbers of Palestinian Jerusalemites have been forced out of Jerusalem al-Quds. Also on top of this is the issue of illegal settlement expansion, with hundreds of thousands of settlers moving into the area.

Despite the oppressive policies, Palestinians make up 40% of the total population of Jerusalem al-Quds, yet are only granted roughly 7% of the total building permits for the city.

The issue of Israeli issued building permits is the main reason for the forced destruction of Palestinian properties in Jerusalem al-Quds. Palestinians have to pay, often unaffordable, prices to apply for permits, yet the approval is near impossible even when they do pay. The reason it is nearly impossible, is because of Israeli implemented building schemes, under which Israel has designed a system built to bolster Jewish construction and prohibit Palestinian construction.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, later formally annexing it in 1980, meaning that Israel imposes its own law of Palestinians living in the territory and has even built a wall through areas which constitute part of the East Jerusalem al-Quds territory. However, the Israeli application of its own laws over Palestinians is in violation of International Law as the territory is still considered as occupied territory, meaning that the laws of occupation apply to the area.

When Palestinians build and are not granted a permit, or start construction whilst the permit is processing – sometimes delayed until years later before a decision is made by Israel to destroy the home – or are told an old building has not got updated papers, the building is ordered to be demolished.

When Israel orders a home demolition, the pain does not end there, Palestinians are required to pay for the Israelis to forcibly evict their family and demolish their home. This has forced many to pay for bulldozers themselves in order to destroy their own home, so that they do not have to pay for Israel to do it, which often carries a fee double or triple the amount. For Palestinians who cannot afford demolition costs, they are forced to destroy their own homes by hand.

House demolitions in al-Naqab

According to a report released in June, by ‘The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality’, during the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, Israel ordered the demolition of 2,000 homes in the al-Naqab (Negev in Hebrew).

Key to this issue is the fact that Bedouin Palestinians living in the Naqab are Israeli citizenship holders, some of which serve in the occupation army, yet are still persecuted and pushed out of their home lands. At this point, Palestinian Bedouin’s can only inhabit 12% of their ancestral homelands and if they live in villages “unregistered” by the Israeli regime, they are “transferred” to overcrowded villages and camps, reminiscent of the way in which native Americans were crowded into reservations.

This year alone, hundreds of Bedouins have been made homeless, compounded by the fact that the pandemic is affecting these communities badly and they are still being crammed into overcrowded camps.

Some villages have even been demolished over 100 times. The 17th of September for instance was the last time an entire village was demolished for the 178th time in a row.

House demolitions inside West Bank

From the start of 2020 until the 31st of August, 78 housing units were demolished in the West Bank, leaving 320 people homeless, including 166 minors according to Human Rights Organization B’Tselem.

In the West Bank, according to the United Nations, roughly 1.5% of building permits are approved by Israel, making it nearly impossible to obtain one. This is despite the fact that Israeli settlements and outposts continue to rapidly expand into West Bank territory. If a Palestinian does wish to attempt to attain a permit, it will often cost roughly around $30,000 US just to file the application, a price most just cannot afford, or even for those who can afford the price, it’s too much of a gamble.

Often used propaganda, by Israel and its supporters, suggests that house demolitions are primarily done as a reaction to “Palestinian terrorism” and therefore they argue it’s justified. However, this is not the case. In fact, when Israel does blow up the homes of Palestinians in the West Bank, after the Palestinian in question has been alleged to have committed a violent attack against an Israeli occupation soldier or illegal settler, it is not him who suffers for it.

Palestinians that either attempt to attack an Israeli, or are wrongly accused of it, are almost always shot and killed by the occupation forces. Following this, the family is not able to even grieve in peace, as family homes, sometimes housing multiple families are blown up leaving the entire family homeless. This policy has been described by Israeli Human Rights Group B’Tselem as follows: “Demolishing the homes of relatives of Palestinians who harmed or attempted to harm Israeli civilians or security personnel is prohibited collective punishment, and is one of the most extreme measures used by Israel. Over the years Israel has demolished hundreds of homes, leaving homeless thousands of people who had done no wrong and were not suspected of any wrongdoing. It is an immoral and unlawful policy. The fact that the High Court of Justice has upheld it does not make it legal, rather, it makes the justices accomplices to the crime.”

Despite the fact that these Israeli policies of house demolitions, ultimately aimed at ethnically cleansing Palestinians, are ongoing and have grown more aggressive over the past year, the story is relatively untouched by West Media and largely ignored by the International Community.

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. He has written for publications such as Mint Press, Mondoweiss, MEMO, and various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European correspondent.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Arrest of Hamas co-founder by Israeli security forces denounced as attempt to undermine Palestinian reconciliation

RT | October 2, 2020

Israeli security forces have arrested senior Hamas leader Hassan Youssef. The two rival Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, have both condemned the move as being politically-charged and a bid to ruin their reconciliation talks.

Youssef was taken at his home in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Friday morning. While Israeli authorities have not provided any official information about the move, local media reported that the Hamas co-founder was detained over alleged “renewed” activity by the group.

After helping to found Hamas in the late 1980s, Youssef was repeatedly arrested by the Israeli authorities and spent years behind bars. Hamas has always maintained he was only involved in its political activities, and not associated with its military wing.His arrest was condemned by both Hamas and its rival, Fatah. Hamas claimed the arrest was a politically-motivated move, designed to destabilize the ongoing reconciliation process between the two groups.

“We hereby affirm that the arrest of Sheikh Hassan Youssef by the occupation will not stop the path of unity for which he worked for the past two months,” Hamas said in a statement.

Fatah has voiced a similar opinion on Youssef’s arrest, with the group’s Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub accusing Tel Aviv of “tampering” with the reconciliation talks and attempting to “influence the achievement of national unity.”

“This arrest is a continuation of the occupation’s approach to arresting dozens of our Palestinian people every day, and a continuation of the continuous aggression against our people for decades,” Rajoub stated.

October 2, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 3 Comments

Palestine professor narrates his suffering inside US jails

Abdul Halim Al-Ashqar [Twitter]

Palestinian professor Abdul-Halim Al-Ashqar, 7 June 2019 [Twitter]
MEMO | September 26, 2020

Palestinian professor Abdul-Halim Al-Ashqar, originally from the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, narrates his suffering inside US jails during his 15-year detention.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Al-Ashqar, who ran for Palestinian presidential elections in 2005, disclosed that he spent a total of about 15 years inside US prisons over “baseless” accusations related to supporting Hamas.

Al-Ashqar started his career at the Islamic University of Gaza in 1985 and became the head of the Public Relations Office, noting that Israel exerted much efforts to close it over allegations that it was run by Hamas.

Al-Ashqar obtained a Fulbright scholarship in 1989 to complete a PhD in the US. “In the beginning, Israel prevented me from travelling, claiming I was an activist in Palestine and I would go to America to bring them more troubles,” according to Al-Ashqar.

“In the end, they allowed me to travel, but did not stop making troubles for me,” he said, noting that the Israeli occupation authorities were in contact with his university in the US in order to put pressure on him. Due to Israeli pressure, the supervisor of his thesis and dean of the faculty where he was studying, issued him with several warnings.

The professor alleged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked him to give information about Palestinians he knew before arriving in the US, promising him a US passport and money.

“I refused because I knew no guilty people,” Al-Ashqar explained, “so they filed a complaint against me in 1998 accusing me of supporting Hamas. I refused to stand before a court and therefore they sent me to prison.”

“I went to hunger strike and after 11 days, I was admitted to hospital and force-fed. They promised to help me should I have changed my mind, but I continued my strike which lasted six months. I think it was the longest in US history. However, Hamas was branded by the US as a terrorist group in 1995, but they detained me over claims before that date. I am not Hamas, but an activist who believes in the Palestinian cause and I said this to Americans from the first day.”

In 2000, the professor had a three-year work contract with Howard University, which refused to renew the contract in 2003 over claims of having no valid visa or residence clearance.

Consequently, Al-Ashqar applied for political asylum because, according to him, Israel wanted to punish him, but he faced imprisonment in the US over the same claims. “I stayed in prison for two months and I spent them on hunger strike,” indicating that the US authorities asked him to withdraw his asylum application and leave the country within two months.

As he had no place to go, he remained and a US court sentenced him to 135 months in prison for claims related to perverting the course of justice. However, such charges usually carry between 24 to 40 months, according to US law. He spent around ten years in prison and was released in 2017. Following this, he began to look for a country that would not hand him over to Israel.

“After a short time on my release, the immigration office summoned me. However, I was sick. I was obliged to go. By my arrival, I was immediately sent to prison and spent 18 months there. That was a stark violation of their laws,” Al-Ashqar recounts.

Al-Ashqar claims that the FBI attempted to deport him directly to Israel after he was released in June 2019. “I applied for political asylum. The FBI did not wait, the court deported me in a plane to Israel, but when the plane was in the sky, a senior judge decided to grant me asylum and ordered my return immediately.”

He was then placed under house arrest and had a tracing tag put on his leg. He was obliged not to leave his town of residence without prior permission.

Concluding his interview with Anadolu Agency, he remarked that Turkey would be the best place for him because: “It is the only state where its people and its president still sympathise with the Palestinian people, and its leader is strong enough to defy Israel.”

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

2,000 Days Since It Began, the War in Yemen Is Poised To Turn Even More Deadly

By Ahmed Abdulkareem | MintPress News | September 18, 2020

Another grim milestone has just passed in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia’s war against the poorest country in the Middle East reached its two-thousandth day. Ostensibly, the war was launched to restore President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to power after he was ousted following Houthi-led popular protests amid the Arab Spring.

Realistically, the war has become little more than a pretext to control Yemen’s strategic sites and natural wealth. Saudi Arabia and the UAE now occupy entire southern provinces from al-Mahara to the Bab al-Mandab Strait. Somehow, though, they have not yet allowed Haddi and his old guard to return.

Grim statistics

The numbers are astonishing. Since 2015, Saudi-led coalition warplanes have pounded the country with over 250,000 airstrikes. Seventy percent of those have hit civilian targets, killing more than 100,000 people since January 2016, according to a report by the Armed Conflict and Location Event Data Project (ACLED). Those numbers do not include those who have died in the humanitarian disasters caused by the war, particularly starvation and thousands of tons of weapons, most often supplied by the United States, have been dropped on hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, farms, factories, bridges, and power and water treatment plants.

Unexploded ordnance has been left scattered across populated areas, particularly in the urban areas of Sana’a, Sadaa, Hodeida, Hajjah, Marib, and al-Jawf, and have left the country one of the most heavily contaminated in the world.

As the war officially passes its two-thousandth day, the Eye of Humanity Center for Rights and Development, a Yemeni advocacy group, issued a report on where some of the estimated 600,000 bombs have landed. According to the non-governmental organization, those attacks have destroyed more than 21 economically-vital facilities like factories, food storage facilities, fishing boats, markets, and food, and fuel tankers and have damaged 9,000 pieces of critical infrastructure, including 15 airports, 16 seaports, 304 electrical stations, 2,098 tanks and water pumps, and 4,200 roads and bridges. At least 576,528 public service facilities, including more than 1,000 schools, 6,732 agricultural fields, and 1,375 mosques have been destroyed or damaged.

The blockade and bombing of civilian infrastructure, particularly hospitals, have also crippled Yemen’s health system, leaving it unable to deal with even the basic public health needs. Eye of Humanity reports that the coalition has destroyed 389 hospitals and health centers while most of the country’s estimated 300 remaining facilities are either closed or barely functioning as COVID-19 spreads through the country like wildfire.

Household food insecurity now hovers at over 70 percent, with fifty percent of rural households and 20 percent of urban households now food insecure. Almost one-third of Yemenis do not have enough food to satisfy basic nutritional needs. Underweight and stunted children have become a regular sight, especially among holdouts in rural areas.

This is Yemen after 2,000 days of war. A dirty war and a brutal siege on a forgotten people subsisting in unlivable conditions. If one is able to dodge death from war, starvation, and COVID-19, they face unprecedented levels of disease. Yemen’s average life expectancy now hovers at around 66, one of the lowest in the world. The Saudi blockade has imposed tight control over all aspects of life, severely restricting not only the movement of aid and people but also of UN flights. Last week, both the Ministry of Transportation and the General Authority of Civil Aviation and Meteorology announced that Sana’a International Airport was no longer equipped to receive the official airplane of UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is still preventing fuel tankers from delivering much-needed fuel to Yemen’s hospitals, water pumps, bakeries, cleaning trucks, and gas stations, plunging it, particularly northern districts, into a fuel crisis. The blockade has not only forced thousands to wait for days in lines as far as the eye can see but has forced many facilities to shut down altogether. All while Saudi Arabia and its local militias plunder crude oil in Marib, Shabwah, and Hadramout.

After normalization, the UAE steps up attacks

For many Yemenis, there is little reason for optimism entering what feels like the third phase of the war against their country, as Israel ostensibly enters the fray. They believe that the situation will escalate as a result of normalization between the UAE and Israel, and indeed, Tel Aviv’s entrance into the already convoluted theater appears to have already opened the door for further escalation.

Since normalization, UAE warplanes have intensified airstrikes against populated areas throughout the country’s northern provinces. In Sana’a, approximately 20 aerial attacks hit densely populated neighborhoods and brazenly targeted the Sana’a Airport, a military engineering camp, and a poultry farm, among other targets.

UAE warplanes are believed by locals to be receiving logistical support by Israel, although no evidence has yet surfaced yet to substantiate those fears. In a stark departure from the UAE’s more conciliatory tone in Yemen over the past year, UAE aircraft have carried out more than 100 airstrikes since August 13, when Trump announced the normalization between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. They also pounded the oil-rich province of Marib, located east the country, where UAE jets dropped more than 300 bombs targeting transport trucks, fuel stations, homes, and farms. Advanced military sites belonging to the Ansar Allah-led were also targeted.

Reinforcing the hopelessness is that the United States continues to neglect Yemen’s suffering, despite its designation by the United Nations calling it the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Even with the 2020 election looming and President Donald Trump leaning heavily into his foreign policy accomplishments, the U.S. role in Yemen has been noticeably absent from the discussion. Biden has been no better, leaving little hope that the December elections could bring an end to the war.

Half-hearted attempts at peace

There are efforts underway to bring some semblance of peace to Yemen by parties in both Qatar and Oman. Secret negotiations have been held in Sana’a, but they seem aimed at stopping the Houthi advance in Marib and not the war in general.

In reality, international voices are loudest when the war begins to affect Saudi Arabia, as they were last September when Saudi oil facilities were attacked, or when a Houthi advance threatens the Saudi border as it did in August of 2019 when an operation captured 4,000 square kilometers of Saudi territory in Najran.

Qatari and Omani efforts are not the only ones on the ground. The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is leading other efforts aimed at stopping the Houthi advance in Marib. Griffiths said during a recent Security Council session that, “The situation in Marib is of concern. Military shifts in Marib have ripple effects on conflict dynamics. If Marib falls, it’d undermine prospects of convening an inclusive political process that brings about a transition based on partnership and plurality.”

Neither the efforts in Qatar nor those by the UN even purport to be focused on bringing an end to the war or mitigating the blockade, instead, they seem only concerned with assuring the Coalition retains its competitive advantage.

2,000 days of war, in fact, have proven an insufficient term to bring peace to the war-torn country. With the exception of a fragile ceasefire in Hodeida and a small number of prisoner releases, negotiations between the two sides, even on minor issues, often reach a dead end. Numerous negotiations between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia have failed, including UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland last year.

The Houthis grow stronger

When the war began over five years ago, Saudi leaders promised a decisive victory in a matter of weeks, one or two months at most. Yet the Houthis remain steadfast in their resistance and, in fact, have grown even more powerful leading to consternation in the Kingdom, with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz dismissing the leader of the Coalition forces Fahd bin Turki and a number of senior officers following a series of recent Saudi battlefield failures.

On Thursday, Houthi forces carried out drone strikes against the al-Abha Airport in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Asir. The operation was the fifth against the airport and a sign that half of a decade of war has done little to bring security to the Kingdom.

In fact, the Houthis now seem intent on moving the frontline into Saudi Arabia and UAE territory and have even promised retaliatory action against Israel should they continue to escalate their involvement in the war. According to Houthi spokesman Mohammed AbdulSalam, “the Saudi-led war on Yemen the price the Arab nation is paying for taking a firm stance against Israel,”  adding “Israelis are involved in most of the conflicts plaguing the region, including the Riyadh-led aggression against Yemen.”

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

September 18, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

UN: Israel Must Immediately Allow Entry of Fuel, Other Essential Items into Gaza

Palestine Chronicle | August 31, 2020

United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick today called on Israel to immediately allow entry of fuel and other essential goods into the besieged Gaza Strip to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

“The deterioration witnessed in recent weeks in the Gaza Strip is of grave concern,” he said in a statement, explaining that with an escalation of hostilities in the area, “Israel has limited the transfer of certain goods into the blockaded coastal enclave, reduced the permissible fishing area and prevented fuel deliveries, including the UN-facilitated fuel for Gaza’s sole Power Plant. As a result, the Gaza Power Plant ceased operations on 18 August, sharply reducing electricity provision to nearly 2 million Palestinians,” said the UN official.

“In addition, and marking a significant deterioration in the health situation, on 24 August, the first cases of COVID-19 outside the quarantine facilities were confirmed. Thus far, there are 280 known active cases, 243 of which are from community transmission.”

He added: “At present, people have access to rolling electricity supply for a maximum of four hours per day, a difficult situation at any point, but especially serious given efforts to contain the outbreak of COVID-19. The situation is hindering the provision of services in the quarantine facilities and the capacity of the health system to cope with the increased demands, such as the ability to detect new COVID-19 cases. Power outages in hospitals are having serious repercussions, with patients in intensive care, chronic and emergency cases particularly vulnerable.

“The reduction in electricity supply is also severely undermining other critical infrastructure, including the operations of all water wells, sewage pumping stations, wastewater treatment plants, and some desalination plants. The supply of clean water and wastewater treatment is impacted. There is now a high risk of sewage flooding populated areas, increased pollution into the Mediterranean Sea and along the coast, and further pollution to the aquifer.”

McGoldrick warned that following 13 years of the Israeli blockade and a dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, swift action is required to alleviate the humanitarian situation, prevent further deterioration and increase respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law, calling on Israel “to immediately allow the resumption of fuel into the Gaza Strip, in line with its obligations as an occupying power, to ensure that the basic needs of people are met and to prevent a collapse of basic services.”

In August, Israel has cut fuel imports into Gaza since last week as part of punitive measures over the alleged launch of incendiary balloons from the strip.

Israel has also closed the Karam Abu Salem crossing with Gaza and completely closed the Strip’s fishing zone due to the alleged breach of the security truce.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people.

August 31, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

UNRWA calls for unimpeded passage into Gaza for vital goods

MEMO | August 25, 2020

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) called on Tuesday for all vital goods to be granted unimpeded passage into the besieged Gaza Strip, including fuel for electricity. UNRWA made the appeal against the background of 14 years of an illegal blockade and the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The agency in Gaza is extremely concerned about the closure of the lone power plant since last Tuesday, 18 August,” UNRWA said. “The closure of the plant has caused the power feed to decline to two or three hours per day, followed by 20 hours of interruption.”

This, explained UNRWA, will have a negative impact on the wellbeing and safety of the people of Gaza and devastating effects on the Strip’s vital services, including hospitals. “Thus, this puts at risk the lives and health of nearly two million people, including 1.4 million registered Palestine refugees.”

The official statement from the UN agency pointed out that, “Under international humanitarian law, the passage of all relief consignments, in this case fuel for electricity, should not be prevented.”

Commenting on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in the Palestinian territory, Matthias Schmale, said that the call is being made to all concerned parties to maintain a supply of electricity that is sufficient to meet the basic needs of the civilian population. “UNRWA is, furthermore, concerned about other measures perceived as punitive to the civilian population, such as closing down the fishing zone, as well as the escalating tensions and military activities.”

Gaza, Schmale pointed out, has now been hit by air raids for more than ten nights in a row. “All parties must show utmost restraint and protect the civilian population with full respect for their dignity and human rights.”

August 25, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Gaza health official: Electricity cuts threaten lives of 120 newborn babies

MEMO | August 20, 2020

Consultant paediatrician and Chairman of the Gaza Neonatal Network (GNN) Dr Nabil Al-Baraqoun warned on Wednesday that the frequent electricity outages threaten the lives of 120 newborn babies currently being taken care of in intensive care incubators in Gazan hospitals.

Dr Al-Baraqoun explained that the 135 neonatal incubators are all powered by electricity, noting that the frequent power cuts and the use of alternative energy sources cause damage to medical devices such as incubators, resuscitation equipment and ventilators, which could cause complications for the infants, and even deaths.

He clarified that the alternation in using alternative energy sources like power generators and solar energy do not provide adequate energy to the incubators.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 3 Comments

Colombia: Army Kills Two Indigenous People in Cauca Valley

teleSUR | August 14, 2020

Colombia’s Army Thursday killed two Indigenous people and injured two community members during an eviction operation in El Berraco village in the Cauca department.

The victims are the Indigenous journalists Abelardo Liz and Johel Rivera, who were part of the “Liberation of Mother Earth” movement.

The Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (FLIP) regretted the death of both journalists, who were shot while covering the Army’s eviction in Corinto.

The Indigenous City Halls of Cauca Association (ACIN) reported that former Governor Julio Tumbo was seriously wounded. His bullet injuries represent a danger to life.

“Officers of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) and the Army shot at El Berraco community with firearms. The victims were hit in the chest, shoulder, abdomen, and knees,” ACIN explained.

Following a court order, Army troops evicted the people who were in the Quebrada Seca ranch.

“During the operation, members of the Public Force were injured, and the El Berraco’s Indigenous people also tried to kidnap them,” Colombia’s Army stated.

According to Cauca’s indigenous organizations, the officers prevented vehicles and health personnel from entering the ranch to assist and transfer the injured to hospitals.

“The ESMAD attacked the vehicles that were trying to help the wounded. They fired gases at the windows,” ACIN said.

The University of Cauca’s Human Rights Commission and the National Union of Students denounced the events.

“The indigenous communities cannot continue to be victims of Colombia’s systematic violence,” the organizations stated.

August 14, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment