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Operation Brother’s Keeper? Noura Erakat responds

Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Responds to Israeli General Consul Regarding Operation Brother’s Keeper On Al Jazeera America

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On June 12, 2014, three Israeli settler boys were kidnapped on a hike near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc(First settlement after the preemptive war of 1967)

Although a police recording indicated that one of the boys had been immediately killed, Israel set off a national search for the boys, entitled “Operation Brother’s Keeper,” in which it killed 6 Palestinians, arrested 545 others, and violently invaded 1,300 Palestinian sites.

On 30 June 2014, the bodies of the three boys were found in Halhul, just north of Hebron.

The discovery catalyzed a nation-wide hysteria for revenge among Israeli society as well as a military campaign of collective punishment against Palestinian society including a bombing campaign against the Gaza Strip and demolition of the home of the accused kidnapper.

Israel insists that Hamas  is responsible for the kidnapping notwithstanding repeated denial of responsibility by the Palestinian political party.

In addition to the military campaign, vigilantes have also violently attacked Palestinian children resulting in the death of a twelve-year old girl in Hebron crushed by a car  and the death of a fifteen-year old boy whose body was found in West Jerusalem.

In this interview on Al Jazeera America, Jadaliyya co-editor Noura Erakat responds to the Israeli General-Consul on these recent events. Noura emphasizes the immorality of the collective punishment campaign, the lack of evidence incriminating Hamas, and on the root causes of the conflict.

[Noura’s apperance starts at 7:20.] 

 

Kidnapping, torturing and swift execution: Is that the law of the land in Syria on both sides?

So what’s the score in Syria?

The regime has recaptured Baba Amro (a suburb of Homs), entered Edlib, Deir El Zour (close to Turkey’s border)…and practically, major military operations are at an end…

The “Opposition Forces” have detonated two vehicles in front of government building in the Mazeh district (Damascus), detonated cars in Aleppo, destroyed a bridge linking the city of Dar3a to the various southern provinces…

Apparently, various factions not related to “Free Syria Army” or the other military branch led by General Mustafa Sheikh are involved in these terror tactics…

Syria’s armed opposition is highly fragmented and many militias do not appear to belong to an organised command structure or to be following SNC orders.

The Iraqi terror style is being applied to Syria, and the US and Israel are very familiar with these operations that they fined-tuned for several years in Iraq…

In the meanwhile, the people in Syria are made to suffer from famine and indignities: Prices of basic foodstuff have increased 60%, and the gas canisters for cooking and heating have more than doubled… Apparently, Greece is dispatching gas canister from a ship off-shore, in order to circumvent the “sanctions” as a gesture of humanitarian aids…

And you wonder: “Whom the US and the Western States want to save and liberate with their economic and financial sanctions? and from what?”

To make things worse, the US sends to Lebanon a Zionist in the name of David Cohen to threaten the Lebanese banks from transacting with Syrian financial institutions, just to keep rubbing it in our face…

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported about 8,000 casualties in the year-long uprising, 10% of the casualties are of kids and women…This is a far better performance than the “collateral damage” statistics of US and Israeli operations that exceeded 60% in children and women…And they keep boasting of their “surgical operations” and “laser targeted  my ass” objectives…

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported from the Syrian activist Mazen that an armed group led by Abu Issa in Taftanaz (by Edlib) had kidnapped Syrian civil servants and tortured them to death.

The New York-based advocacy group condemned the tactics by opposition fighters, who have long accused government troops and loyalists of carrying out similar abuses.

Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW Middle East director, said in an open letter to dissident groups including the official opposition body the Syrian National Council (SNC):

“The Syrian government’s brutal tactics cannot justify abuses by armed opposition groups…The Syrian Opposition need to make it clear that they envision a Syria that turns the page on Assad-era violations and welcomes all – regardless of their religious group or background – without discrimination.”

“Opposition leaders should make it clear to their followers that they must not torture, kidnap or execute under any circumstances,”

HRW cited dozens of YouTube videos in which Syrian security forces or their alleged supporters confessed to crimes, apparently under duress. At least 18 of the videos showed detainees who were bruised, bleeding, or suffering from other signs of physical abuse, the group said.

One video showed a man hanging by his neck from a tree in front of armed fighters, with commentary indicating he was a member of the Shabbiha, feared irregular forces loyal to Assad.

Washington said it would “absolutely denounce” human rights violations by the rebels, but said most of the abuse was being carried out by pro-Assad forces…

White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “Within the context of what’s happening in Syria, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the great preponderance of violence against civilians and innocent people is being perpetrated by forces under the control of the Assad regime…” (Nothing new here emanating from Washington)

Nada Darwish urged the various media, used by the opposition (inside Syria), to circumvent State monopoly on news and the dissemination of information. For example, more than 10 electronic dailies have been circulating. One of them, “Oxygen” was closed as the army entered the city of Zabadani; “News of an infiltrators” stopped as its initiators were caught…

The remaining electronic dailies are “We want to speak and say our opinions”, “In all freedom, non adulterated expressions”, “What we say is our opinion, as Syrians first of all”, “Liberty”, “Syria wants freedom”, “The alternative”, “Our Syria”, “Country grapes“… A few hard copies of these daily news are distributed in different provinces.

The Syrian daily “Our Syria” (Suriatuna), with editor-in -chief Fouad Kobeissi, published a special issue of 44 pages under the major title “The revolution of dignity on its first anniversary: “We won’t be but Free”” contained op-ed of many authors such as Fares Ba7rat, Khoulud Zaghir, Muhammad Dibo, Mahmoud Mahmoud, Ninar Hassan…

Moussa Abd Hak, editor of the daily “Country Grapes” (3enab Baladi) has resumed publishing this daily from the city of Daria in January 19, 2011.

Note: On other eye-witness accounts https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/eye-witness-accounts-from-syria-who-is-lina-mansour-who-is-khaled-sid-mohand/


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