Violence between Israelis and Palestinians threatened to spiral out of control Saturday after unrest spread to Gaza, the Palestinian death toll rose and a new stabbing by a 16-year-old hit Jerusalem.
While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas have sought to avoid an escalation, frustrated Palestinian youths have defied efforts to restore calm and a wave of stabbings has spread fear in Israel.
A rocket fired by Gaza militants hit southern Israel on Saturday hours after clashes along the border saw Israeli forces open fire and kill seven Palestinians.
Rioting has shaken annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, with Palestinians throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli security forces, who have responded with live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades.
A 22-year-old Palestinian shot by Israeli police during clashes in east Jerusalem late Friday died of his wounds Saturday. According to police, he had opened fire at security forces at the Shuafat refugee camp.
Friday's clashes further heightened fears that a wider Palestinian uprising, or intifada, could erupt.
Clashes broke out on Friday east of Gaza City and Khan Yunis along the border with the Jewish state.
The Israeli army said there had been "multiple violent attempts to storm the border fence" and "1,000 rioters infiltrated the buffer zone," throwing a "grenade, rocks and rolled burning tyres" at the soldiers.
"After firing warning shots, forces on site responded with fire towards main instigators in order to prevent their advance and disperse the riot," a statement said.
It was the worst day of violence in the Palestinian enclave since last summer's war with Israel, which killed more than 2,200 and left 100,000 homeless.
The clashes came as Hamas's chief in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called the violence an intifada and urged further unrest.
- 'Popular uprising' -
Hamas, which rules Gaza, remains deeply divided from Abbas's Fatah, based in the West Bank.
Some have called for coordination in order to build a resistance movement, but it is unclear whether the various Palestinian factions would be able to do so.
Obama Is Using The Threat Of A UN Resolution That Would Divide The Land Of Israel To Blackmail Netanyahu
Barack Obama has sunk to a new low. He is using the threat of a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel and give full UN recognition to a Palestinian state to blackmail Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Many had expected France to submit this resolution to the Security Council for a vote in September, but the French made it very clear that they were not going to go ahead unless they had U.S. approval.
So that means that all of the power is in Obama’s hands, and apparently he is not shy about using it as leverage in order to get what he wants. And apparently one thing that Obama wants is for the Israeli government to keep any new settlement construction from happening in “Palestinian areas” of east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
I have not seen anything about this in the U.S. media, but this is major news over in Israel. The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in a major Israeli news source…
Channel 2 reported on Tuesday night that Netanyahu folded to pressure from Obama, who threatened that if Israel approved new construction following the wave of Arab terror attacks, the US would not veto a looming UN Security Council resolution that would establish “Palestine” and declare “settlements” in Judea-Samaria illegal.
This potential UN Security Council resolution is still very much alive. At the end of September I wrote an article that quoted a Jerusalem Post piece about it, and just yesterday I quoted a Politico article that discussed how Obama has been weighing his options regarding this resolution.
Ultimately, I believe that Obama will throw his support behind this resolution and it will be submitted to the UN Security Council for a vote, but for the moment he seems to be using the threat of it to push Netanyahu around.
And the media over in Israel is not really buying what the U.S. State Department is selling. Here is another excerpt from the article that I quoted above…
Despite Toner’s claims, Judea and Samaria regional heads who met with Netanyahu on Tuesday night say he refused their demands to renew building, directly referencing international pressure.
The report of Obama’s threat comes just a week after a report in Politico that revealed Obama twice refused to veto a UN resolution establishing a Palestinian state.
According to the report, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid asked White House chief of staff Denis McDonough twice this year to have Obama publicly announce he would veto a UN Security Council call establishing “Palestine.” On both occasions, Obama flatly ignored the request.
In this case, Obama truly is playing with fire. As author William R. Koenig has pointed out, there are very serious consequences for trying to divide the land of Israel. An article published by the Examiner summarized just some of the things that we have seen in that regard in recent years…
Nine of the ten costliest insurance events in U.S. history, six of the seven costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, nine of the top ten natural disasters in U.S. history ranked by FEMA relief costs, and the two largest terrorism events in U.S. history all transpired on the same day or within 24-hours of U.S. presidents applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for promises of peace and security, sponsoring major land for peace meetings, or making major public statements calling for a Palestinian state.
For example, October 1991, President George H. Bush promoted and proudly signed the infamous Oslo Accord at the Madrid Peace Conference. The Oslo Accord was labeled a land for peace accord that demanded Israel award their land to the Palestinian terrorists in exchange for peace. This perverse proposition was if you give us your land and we’ll stop killing you.
The next day the Perfect Storm hit Kennebunkport, Maine. Waves over 30 feet demolished the home of President George H. Bush, the instigator of the Oslo Accord. This very rare storm started in the north Atlantic, moving east to west, the wrong direction for storms to move.
I know that this must sound very strange to many of my readers. If you are skeptical, just take note of the date when this UN Security Council resolution finally gets approved and watch what happens to this country afterwards.
Russian warplanes in Syria have bombed 29 terrorist field camps and other facilities of the militant group Islamic State in the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
“Our aviation group over the past day has destroyed two militant command centers, 29 field camps, 23 fortified facilities and several troop positions with military hardware,” ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Saturday.
The Russian Air Force conducted 64 sorties and hit a total of 55 targets, he said.
He added that the Russian effort has “considerably degraded” the strength of the terrorist forces in Syria.
“During the initial phase of the operation, our warplanes have destroyed the biggest and most important supply hubs of ISIL,” Konashenkov said, calling Islamic State by its former name. This resulted in the “mobility and offensive capability” of the jihadists being reduced, he said.
The general said signal intelligence reports indicate that the militants are suffering from a shortage of fuel and ammunition after the Russian bombings. “Some of them are demoralized and are actively leaving the battle zone, moving in eastern and northeastern directions,” he said.
Konashenkov said that the increasing number of combat missions conducted by Russia in Syria is explained by the large number of potential targets identified and confirmed as viable by space and aerial reconnaissance.
Russia started its bombing campaign in Syria last week with a goal to provide air support to the government troops fighting against various terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State. This allowed Damascus to go on the offensive in Hama province on Friday.
The Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted 64 sorties in Syria hitting 55 ISIL targets, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.
"The increased intensity of the combat missions of our aircraft is related to a significant rise of the number of ground targets identified by means of air and space reconnaissance throughout the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said adding that the strikes are conducted by Su-34, Su-24M and Su-25SM aircraft.
"This has led to a significant reduction of the armed gangs' combat potential, [their] mobility and ability to conduct offensive operations."
Destruction of main #ISIS logistic centres caused reduction of combat potential and offensive capability of the illegal armed groups
"According to radio intercepts, [ISIL] militants are experiencing an acute shortage of weapons, ammunition, fuel and lubrication materials. Some fighters are demoralized and leave combat areas, moving to the east and north-east."
Russia's Su-24M bombers have destroyed a large Islamic State stronghold in the Aleppo province.
"Su-24M bombers hit a large stronghold of the militants east of Tel Alam, Aleppo province, where pillboxes, mortar artillery positions, as well as underground ammunition depots and food storages were located," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said. "As a result of a BETAB-500 direct hit an explosion occurred and all engineering constructions of the militants were destroyed."
It should be no surprise that, with egg on its face, the U.S. was not going to stand by as Putin commenced bombing ISIS out of existence.
With U.S. leaders up in arms over the targeting of their "CIA-backed moderate rebels," everyone is stunned at Putin's reported 40% destruction of ISIS' entire infrastructure in Syria in one simple week.
No, there had to be a reason to blame Putin, and reclaim the narrative.
Now, just in time, figures from the Pentagon, including Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and former U.S. Army vice chief of staff General Jack Keane, have raised the level of rhetoric about the activities of Russia in bombing Syria.
A rationale for opposing Russia's bombing of ISIS has been manufactured, and is now escalating – with a chorus of criticism citing the reported errors of Putin's "unprofessional" campaign, as Secretary Carter termed it.
General Keane went much further, dramatically testifying in Congress that 'Putin has launched a proxy war' and should be engaged as an enemy:
General Keane is, by the way, the chairman of the Institute for the Study of War, and a lobbyist for war who sits on the board of directors for General Dynamics, and extensive ties to neocon foreign policy wonks such as Frederick Kagan, a member of the notorious Project for a New American Century (PNAC) think tank which shaped the imperial strategies of the George W. Bush Administration.
CNS News reported on Keane's inflammatory comments:
Why hasn’t it worked? State Dept. dodges RT’s questions on failed ‘moderate’ rebel training in Syria
The US State Department did not have a straight answer for RT’s correspondent when asked about why the program to train and equip ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels had failed, or why it believes the new version that is said to solely equip the rebels would work.
The State Department said the US has dropped the training program and decided to focus on just the equipping part of the plan.
“There is a pause being put in place, while we focus more on the equipping side of those groups that are in Syria now and have proven competent against ISIL [Islamic State, ISIS/ISIL],” State Department spokesperson John Kirby told RT’s Gayane Chichakyan at a Friday briefing.
The decision to stop the training came after senior US officials admitted that, despite the programs’ $500 million budget, the US had only trained a handful of fighters. Even more disastrous was the fact that a stockpile of weapons given to the US-trained rebels ended up in the hands of terrorists, after the so-called ‘moderates’ willingly handed it over soon after crossing into Syria.
When it comes to the reason why the original program failed, US officials remain reluctant to open up.
A few months ago Defense Secretary Ashton Carter testified before of Congress, stating that it is difficult to identify rebels with the right mentality, who would not then turn over their weapons and themselves to Islamic State.
RT’s Gayane Chichakyan reminded Kirby about Carter’s statement during the briefing in the hopes of getting a response from the State Department.
However, Kirby chose to dodge the question and refer the reporter to the Defense Department.
The State Department now says it will provide equipment to those rebels in whom the US has a “measure of confidence.”But it cannot say how the US will measure that confidence.
AP’s Matt Lee didn’t meet with much success either, when grilling Kirby about the issue.
“This measure of confidence – what unit of measurement are we talking about here?” Lee asked.
“I don’t think we can enumerate it,” Kirby responded, adding that “the measure of confidence” will be based on knowledge and previous experience.
Some critics strongly believe that the whole concept of “moderate” Syrian rebels is a myth.
“The whole business about funding moderate rebels has always been a bit of a fantasy. There is nothing moderate about what they are being trained to do. There is nothing moderate about forming a militia and then going and killing as many police and soldiers of a sovereign state as you can,” political analyst Dan Glazebrook told RT.
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