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  1. #281
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    Palestinian ambassador demands NSW Police Force apology headscarf mock training



    Palestine's ambassador to Australia demanded an apology after using the Palestinian 'symbol of struggle' as a terrorist's headscarf in mock attack on Sydney's trains


    Palestine's ambassador to Australia demanded an apology from NSW Police after a fake terrorist apparently wore a symbolic Palestinian headscarf in a training exercise.

    Cops simulated a major attack involving two masked 'gunmen' dressed in headscarfs at Sydney's Central Station on Tuesday night - sparking a furious diplomatic row.

    Ambassador Izzat Saslah Abdulhadi slammed police because one of the headscarfs resembled the black and white symbol of Palestine's resistance, the keffiyeh.

    Mr Abdulhadi claimed it was an 'egregious... display of prejudice' by police.

    'The keffiyeh is a symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian people for their right to self-determination and freedom,' he fumed.

    But a police spokesman insisted: 'In no way were we trying to stereotype members of the community, and any offence caused is unintended'.

    Police bought the clothes from an Army disposal store as 'jungle and desert coloured camouflage' years ago.

    The spokesman said there was 'significant operational need' for officers to conceal their identities during the operation.

    The police response followed an angry written statement from Ambassador Abdulhadi on Thursday morning and a prominent Palestinian-Australian branding it as 'offensive, racist and disgusting'.

    The keffiyeh headdress is a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. It is often associated with the iconic political leader Yassar Arafat.

    Mr Abdulhadi claimed the use of the clothing was 'all the more egregious in a country where 73% of the public support the self-determination of the Palestinian people in their own state'.

    'Displays of prejudice such as this serve to reinforce harmful stereotypes about the Palestinian people and Arabs more broadly.

    'Terrorism does not have an ethnocultural identity. We are seeking a public apology from the NSW Police Force for this display of prejudice.

    The simulation held at Sydney's Central Station was aimed at educating authorities on how to respond to a terror attack or armed offender in public spaces.

    More than 160 police, firefighters, paramedics and transport officers participated in the scenario.


    Outspoken psychologist Hanan Dover also slammed the headscarf inclusion on Facebook.

    'We wear it culturally but it's also evolved into a symbolic form of resistance,' she wrote, alongside a picture at a pro-Palestine rally.

    'So for law enforcement to have used our cultural heritage symbol for a terrorism drill is offensive, racist, and disgusting.'

    Islamic Friendship Association spokesman Keysar Trad said he was sure police did not intend to offend Palestinians but urged them to avoid stereotypes.

    'I hope the drill will help commuters to feel safer and remind us all to be vigilant,' Mr Trad said.
    ''It's such an iconic Palestinian headdress, but I'm sure it wasn't intended.''

    A police spokesman said the exercises was conducted to enhance its officers' skills and help the community and commuters feel safe.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz4wCDzL0am

  2. #282
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    Israeli-funded app “destroys” Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

    A smartphone app promoted by a Zionist organization allows visitors to Jerusalem to virtually destroy the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque and replace them with a Jewish temple.


    The app is offered as part of an Israeli government-funded exhibit that advances the agenda of destroying the Muslim holy sites at the al-Aqsa compound.


    The site in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem is revered by Muslims all over the world and known to Jews as Temple Mount.
    Last month, Rabbi Steven Burg tweeted an image of how the app visually transforms the site, erasing the existing buildings altogether. “One day soon …” he added, indicating he wants the image to become reality.


    Burg is the director of Aish HaTorah, the Zionist religious group sponsoring the “Western Wall Experience” exhibit.


    He is also a former director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles-based Israel lobby group notorious for building a “Museum of Tolerance” on top of one of Jerusalem’s oldest Muslim cemeteries.


    As part of the Western Wall Experience exhibit, people can download an “augmented reality” smartphone app. When pointed towards the al-Aqsa mosque compound, it makes the Dome of the Rock disappear and replaces it with an image of a Jewish temple standing in its place.


    This allows visitors to “to pose for a souvenir photograph” in an imagined landscape where the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.
    Wiping out churches and mosques

    This fits into the broader agenda promoted by many senior Israeli politicians and clerics who advocate the construction of a Jewish temple in the place where the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock have stood for more than 1,000 years.


    The chief rabbi of this so-called Temple movement is Yisrael Ariel, a religious extremist who has called for the wholesale destruction of churches and mosques unless Muslims and Christians “raise the flag of [surrender] and say, ‘From now on, there is no more Christianity and no more Islam,’ and the mosques and Christian spires come down.”


    But it also includes government ministers and lawmakers from Israel’s ruling Likud and other parties.


    Prominent among these is Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick, who has forged a political alliance with neo-Nazi parties that have gained seats in recent elections in Germany and Austria.
    Funded by Israel

    Israeli government-funded extremist groups have already made detailed blueprints – complete with 3D computer animations – of what the new temple will look like once the Muslim holy sites have been destroyed.


    Similarly, the ultimate aim of the designers of the Western Wall Experience is barely concealed: its website calls for “Laying the foundation” – presumably for the temple.


    And Aish HaTorah also makes it clear that its indoctrination is not its initiative alone.


    “The ministry of tourism and the State of Israel are significant funding partners for the construction of the Western Wall Experience,” the group states. “They will be making the Western Wall Experience a mandatory must-see for all visiting dignitaries to Israel, and will play an active role in raising awareness of the Experience.”


    The al-Aqsa mosque compound is one of the most sensitive political and religious sites in Palestine. Israel has advanced false claims about the site at the UN cultural body UNESCO in an effort to secure international recognition for its occupation of Jerusalem.


    Over the summer, Palestinians staged weeks of nonviolent civil disobedience against an Israeli effort to impose tighter controls on entry to the compound.


    Despite Israel’s violent reaction to the peaceful protests, Palestinians prevailed, forcing the military occupier into a humiliating retreat.

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs...al-aqsa-mosque

  3. #283
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    Jerusalem is Israel's capital, says Donald Trump

    video: https://www.facebook.com/ajplusengli...7903417017831/

    President Donald Trump has announced that the US now recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, overturning decades of official US policy.

    Mr Trump described the move as "a long overdue step" to advance the Middle East peace process.

    The fate of the ancient city is one of the thorniest issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Israel called Mr Trump's move "historic" but there has been sharp international criticism.

    Mr Trump said the US still supported a two-state solution to the longstanding conflict, if approved by both sides, which would essentially see the creation of an independent Palestinian state living alongside Israel.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Mr Trump's announcement "deplorable", saying the US could no longer be a peace broker.

    Eight of the 15 nations who are currently members of the United Nations Security Council have called for the body to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision by the end of the week.

    Why is this significant?

    The decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital puts the US at odds with the rest of the international community's view on Jerusalem's status.

    The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.

    Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and until now all countries have maintained their embassies in Tel Aviv.

    Jerusalem contains sites sacred to the three major monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

    East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was annexed by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, but is not internationally recognised as part of Israel.

    What did Trump say?

    Speaking at the White House, the US president said he had "judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians".

    He said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    Despite warnings of regional unrest over any such move, the decision fulfils a campaign promise and appeals to Mr Trump's right-wing base.

    "Today, I am delivering," the US leader said, referencing the campaign pledge.

    Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "nothing more or less than a recognition of reality", he added. "It is also the right thing to do."

    The Republican Jewish Coalition have already thanked the president in a New York Times ad. The group is backed by Republican and Trump campaign mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

    What do Israel and the Palestinians say?

    In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a historic day, and Israel was profoundly grateful to President Trump.

    "Jerusalem has been the focus of our hopes, our dreams, our prayers for three millennia," he tweeted.

    Mr Abbas, the Palestinian leader, said in a pre-recorded TV speech that the city was the "eternal capital of the state of Palestine".

    He earlier warned of "dangerous consequences" through a spokesman, a sentiment echoed by other Arab leaders, who said there could be unrest.

    There were demonstrations in Gaza against the decision before it was announced in response to a call from the Islamist Hamas movement that runs the Gaza strip, local pro-Hamas media reported.

    Hamas said that Mr Trump's decision would "open the doors of hell" on US interests in the region.

    What does the rest of the world say?

    The US decision comes despite vocal opposition in the Muslim world, even among US allies.

    On Tuesday Saudi Arabia's King Salman had said that the move "would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world".

    Demonstrations have already taken place in Gaza and outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it was "a moment of great anxiety".

    "There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B," he said.

    In other reaction:

    Prime Minister Theresa May said she disagreed with the US decision, which was "unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region"

    French President Emmanuel Macron said France did not support the move and called for calm
    EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini voiced "serious concern"

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42259443


    World leaders warned Trump against recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But he did it anyway.

    https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEastE...69562933109089



    Israeli historian Ilan Pappé says Israel's presence in Palestinian territories is not occupation - it's colonisation.

    https://www.facebook.com/MiddleEastE...69251139806935




    Jerusalem protests latest: Two Palestinians 'killed by Israeli fire' in clashes on 'Day of Rage'

    Palestinians report two deaths in 'day of rage' protests triggered by US decision to recognise divided city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

    Two Palestinians have been killed in clashes over US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after Hamas called for a “Day of Rage” in protest against Donald Trump’s decision.

    Israeli soldiers shot the two men dead on Friday near the Gaza border, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement, while the Red Cross said scores were wounded in clashes across the West Bank.

    The Israeli military said hundreds of Palestinians had rolled burning tyres and thrown rocks at soldiers across the Gaza border.

    “During the riots Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers fired selectively towards two main instigators and hits were confirmed,” an army statement said.

    The Trump administration’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has angered Palestinians, sparking protests that stretched across the Muslim world on Friday, from Turkey to Indonesia.

    Speaking at the UN Security Council in New York, the UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned there was a risk of violent escalation after Mr Trump’s speech on Wednesday.

    “There is a serious risk today that we may see a chain of unilateral actions, which can only push us further away from achieving our shared goal of peace,” he said.

    Various Palestinian groups, including militant organisation Hamas, had called for the protests to take place against the US and in opposition to the Israeli occupation.

    An estimated 3,000 people marched, burned Israeli flags and stamped on posters of Mr Trump in around 30 protests across the Palestinian territories.

    In Jerusalem itself, midday prayers ended with marches through the Old City. While there was some pushing and shoving as police broke up the crowds, the protests remained largely peaceful.

    Protesters chanted “Jerusalem is ours”, “We don’t need empty words, we need stones and Kalashnikovs” and “America is the head of the snake”, as Friday prayers ended and worshippers made their way from the al-Aqsa mosque to the walled Old City gates.

    In Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus, dozens of Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers who fired back with tear gas.

    At least 13 people were injured by live fire and 47 by rubber bullets across the West Bank and Gaza throughout the day. Dozens more suffered from tear gas inhalation, Red Crescent paramedics said.

    Six arrests were made, the IDF said.

    In Gaza, protests were accompanied by loudspeakers blaring messages from Hamas’s leaders.

    “Whoever moves his embassy to occupied Jerusalem will become an enemy of the Palestinians and a target of Palestinian factions,” said leader Fathi Hammad.

    “We declare an intifada until the liberation of Jerusalem and all of Palestine.”

    On Thursday, the militant organisation had called on the Palestinian people to rise up in a new intifada, a separate rallying cry than those for three days of Palestinian rage.

    An intifada cannot be called or commanded by Palestinian leaders. While both Fatah and Hamas encouraged the two previous uprisings, the movements grew out of grassroots mass Palestinian support.

    It is too early yet to tell whether protesters will take up Hamas’s call. Observers remain hopeful the relatively low levels of violence seen so far means the situation will remain calm.

    Israel annexed east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day war, a move that was regarded as illegal by the international community. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim the holy city as their undivided capital.

    Mr Trump’s announcement on Wednesday upended decades of existing US policy, which is currently that the status of Jerusalem will be decided at an advanced level of peace talks.

    While welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, many other world leaders have expressed concern that the controversial move could spark renewed violence in the region and wider Muslim world.

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday it would still be up to the Israelis and Palestinians to hammer out all other issues surrounding the city in future talks.

    “With respect to the rest of Jerusalem, the President... did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem,” he said from Paris.

    “[Mr Trump] was very clear that the final status, including the borders, would be left to the two parties to negotiate and decide.”

    And in New York, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, insisted the US could maintain its status as a mediator in the crisis, despite this week’s violent backlash.

    “The United States has credibility with both sides. Israel will never be, and should never be, bullied into an agreement by the United Nations, or by any collection of countries that have proven their disregard for Israel’s security,” Ms Haley said. She said it was the UN, rather than the US, that had damaged the prospects of Middle East peace.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a8099381.html


 

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