Archive | May 11th, 2011

Saudi royals really like child sex slaves

NOVANEWS

 

This is a report from Wikileaks.

أطفال موريتانيا واليمن ضحايا عبوديّة جنسيّة سعوديّة

20 ألف دولار «ثمن» الطفلة الموريتانيّة التي تُرمى في الشارع بعد دورتها الشهرية الأولى

يستغل «تجّار» الفتيات الفقر المدقع للأسر الموريتانيّة (أرشيف ــ أ ب)

تعيش دول عربية، أبرزها موريتانيا واليمن خصوصاً، فضيحة عبودية جنسية ضحاياها أطفال إناث يُتاجَر بهنّ على أيدي أشخاص سعوديين لتحويلهنّ إلى مستعبَدات جنسياً. مأساة يومية تجري فصولها على مرأى ومسمع الحكومات العربية والسفارات الأميركية في العواصم العربية

كشفت إحدى برقيات السفارة الأميركية في العاصمة الموريتانية، نواكشوط، التي نشرها موقع «ويكيليكس»، النقاب عن فضيحة أخلاقية وقانونية كبيرة، تجري خطوطها بين موريتانيا والسعودية. تاريخ البرقية يعود إلى شهر نيسان 2009، وتشير فيها السفارة الأميركية إلى أنّ موريتانيا تعرف ظاهرة من العبوديّة الجنسية، تُحوَّل بموجبها الفتيات الموريتانيات إلى عبدات جنسيات في قصور رجال سعوديين أثرياء. وتنقل الوثيقة عن رئيسة إحدى منظمات المجتمع المدني التي تعنى بحقوق المرأة، أمينة بنت المختار، تفاصيل سير عملية العبودية هذه من منازل فقراء موريتانيا إلى قصور أثرياء السعودية.

وبحسب بنت المختار، تبدأ القصة بتولي «تجّار بشر» مهمة زيارة منازل أسر موريتانية تعيش في فقر شديد، شرط أن يكون لدى هؤلاء أطفال إناث تراوح أعمارهنّ بين سنّ الخامسة والثانية عشرة.
يقدّم هؤلاء «التجار» عرضاً لذوي الطفلة بتزويجها لرجل سعودي ثري في مقابل مبلغ مالي كبير نسبياً بالنسبة إلى الموريتانيين، وهو بين 5 و6 ملايين «أقيّة» (العملة الموريتانية)، أي ما يعادل نحو 20 ألف دولار، مع وعد ذوي الطفلة بتوفير فرص لطفلتهم في السعودية بهدف إغرائهم للموافقة على العرض.
وبحسب بنت المختار، يكون هؤلاء الوسطاء مرتبطين بوكالات سفريات محلية لا تعدو مهمتها أن تكون غطاءً لعملها الحقيقي، وهو الاتجار بالبشر. وبعد موافقة الأهل، تُصطحَب الطفلة إلى السعودية برفقة أحد أفراد عائلتها، أو أحد موظفي وكالة السفريات بصفته «مربّياً». وبحسب المعلومات، يُعطى هذا «الوسيط» عمولة مالية مكافأةً على جهوده في عقد «الصفقة»، علماً بأن العمولة تختلف نسبتها بحسب جمال الطفلة المستعبدة وسنّها. ووفق بنت المختار، فور وصول الطفلة إلى المملكة، تُحوَّل إلى مستعبدة جنسيّاً لزوجها السعودي. ويقدّر هؤلاء السعوديون الطفلة قبل بلوغها جنسياً، لكن فور أوان دورتها الشهرية، أو عندما تصبح حاملاً، تصبح مادة تجاهل كامل من زوجها. وبحسب الناشطة الموريتانية، فإنّه حينها، تُرمى الطفلة ـــــ المستعبدة في الشارع حيث لا خيار أمامها سوى أن تصبح مومساً. وهنا، تورد البرقية الأميركية معلومات مشابهة عن العبودية الجنسية لموريتانيات في السعودية، وفّرتها للسفارة سي لالا عائشة، وهي ناشطة في منظمة حقوق الإنسان الموريتانية. وقد قابلت عائشة فتاة موريتانية أمضت 3 سنوات من عمرها مسجونة في غرفة بمنزل رجل سعودي لم تتعرف إلى سواه في فترة سجنها، إضافة إلى خادمة كانت تهتم بها. كذلك، تحيل برقية السفارة الأميركية إلى 4 تقارير لـ«راديو فرانس إنترناسيونال» عن هذا الموضوع، تضمّنت شهادة طفلة تبلغ 7 سنوات وتُدعى ملهري «اشتراها» شخص في السعودية، إضافة إلى قصة فتاة أخرى هي أمينة التي اضطرت إلى ترك أطفالها في السعودية بعدما طلقها زوجها.
وفي السياق، تحدّثت أمينة بنت المختار عن نوع آخر من العبودية الجنسية، تقوم على استقدام نساء موريتانيات بالغات إلى السعودية لتشغيلهنّ مومسات. وقالت بنت المختار إن وكالات السفريات تعرض على هؤلاء النساء توفير ثمن تذكرة السفر وتكاليف تأشيرة الدخول إلى السعودية، علّهنّ يجدن فرص عمل في المملكة. لكن على تلك الفتيات التعهد بأن يسدّدن هذا المال لوكالة السفريات فور عثورهن على فرصة عمل، وبالتالي يُرغمن على العمل في الدعارة ليسدّدن الدين. وللدلالة على ذلك، حكم على 30 امرأة موريتانية بتهمة ممارسة الدعارة في السعودية. ووفق أرقام «منظمة ربات المنازل» الموريتانية، فقد وفّرت الدعم في عام 2008 لـ15 طفلة موريتانية كنَّ ضحية للعبودية الجنسية في السعودية، إضافة إلى تسجيل 11 حالة عبودية جنسية جديدة بين شهري كانون الثاني وآذار 2009.
والقاصرات الموريتانيات لسنَ الضحايا الوحيدات للاستغلال الجنسي وتجارة الرقيق؛ إذ تشير برقية أخرى صادرة عن السفارة الأميركية في العاصمة اليمنية صنعاء عام 2009، إلى ظاهرة السياحة الجنسية التي يقوم بها رجال خليجيون إلى اليمن لممارسة الجنس مع قاصرات في فنادق يمنية تنتشر في كل المدن. وقال أحمد القريشي، وهو عضو في إحدى المنظمات غير الحكومية التي تدافع عن حقوق الأطفال، إنّ «رجالاً سعوديين يسافرون إلى اليمن لإقامة علاقات جنسية مع مومسات قاصرات، أحياناً على شكل زيجات مؤقتة». وأبلغ السفارة بمعرفته الأكيدة على الأقل بثلاث قاصرات يمنيات مرتبطات بزواج مؤقت برجال سعوديين، يهدف حصراً إلى جعلهنّ يعملنَ مومسات في السعودية. وفي السياق، تشير البرقية نفسها إلى أن السلطات السعودية غير جدية في تعاطيها مع مكافحة الاتجار بالبشر من اليمن إلى السعودية؛ إذ إن أشخاصاً سعوديين يستقدمون يومياً المئات من المهاجرين غير الشرعيين اليمنيين، وبينهم عدد غير محدد من الأطفال.
(الأخبار)


اعترفت الناشطة الحقوقية الموريتانية أمينة بنت المختار بأنها تلقت تهديدات بالقتل بسبب إطلاقها الحملة للقضاء على العبودية الجنسية التي تلاحق الأطفال الموريتانيات في السعودية. واتُّهمت بنت المختار من مهدِّديها بأنها «كاذبة ومجنونة وخائنة تسبب الضرر بحق سمعة موريتانيا». وطالبت بنت المختار الأمم المتحدة برفع هذه القضية إلى صدارة اهتماماتها بعدما يئست من احتمال أن تتجاوب سلطات الرئيس ولد عبد العزيز معها.

نسخة للطباعةأرسل لصديق

 

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Iran MP warns of US-Israel ‘plots’ in ME

NOVANEWS

Iranian lawmaker Zohreh Elahian

An Iranian lawmaker warns of plots to create rifts between Muslims, saying a reconciliation deal between Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah has worried the US and Israel.

“The recent unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas caused grave concerns in the United States and the Zionist regime [of Israel] as they … used to achieve their objectives in the region by creating division and sowing discord,” Zohreh Elahian, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis), told Mehr News Agency on Thursday. Her remarks come on the heels of a recent pact between Hamas and Fatah, which lays the groundwork for creating an interim unity government and ending years of rift. Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief, Khaled Meshaal and acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah signed the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement in Cairo on Wednesday.

The Iranian legislator added that the US has threatened to cut its aid to Fatah after the deal, and noted that Washington’s reaction is indicative of the US anger over unity between Palestinian factions. Elahian pointed out that Muslim nations in the region are resolute and seek to achieve victory and strengthen their unity to foil “enemies’ plots.” She expressed the Islamic Republic’s support for the Hamas-Fatah unity deal and expressed hope that such agreements would lead to the victory of the Palestinian people. “Iran’s Majlis proposes active Palestinian groups to use all their potential to fight the Zionist regime [of Israel] and avoid differences,” Elahian concluded. On April 28, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi welcomed the accord between Hamas and Fatah factions, describing it as an “auspicious and positive” step toward the achievement of historic objectives of the oppressed Palestinian people. Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.

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Salma Yakov: Stop Uganda’s anti-gay bill

12 hours to stop Uganda’s anti-gay bill

 

The Uganidan Parliament could pass a law that imposes the death penalty for homosexuality.  An international outcry shelved this bill last year — if we can ramp up the pressure again and keep the gay death penalty law from reaching a vote this week, it will die when Parliament closes. Click here to sign the petition.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

‘Ugandan parliament drops bill that would jail gay people for life’

Fantastic news! Lets keep the pressure on though by ensuring the online petition gets over 2 million signatures. Full story here.

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Low airfares or the piecemeal Lebanese revolution

NOVANEWS 

 

Charbel Gereige

It is such an exciting time to watch the news in the Arab world. When the news of the toppling of Ben Ali and his regime in Tunisia came through, my first reaction was: Bringing down a bad politician is the easy part, replacing him with a good politician is the hard part. Initially, the news failed to excite me. I couldn’t feel the wind of freedom and was too sceptical it could spread. I only started getting excited when the Egyptian people rose to topple their president, and with the signs that movements in Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen were following their example.

Yet my excitement was still tinged with a slight sense of envy. I wished something could be done in my own country, Lebanon. Around that time, a shy movement appeared in Lebanon consisting of youth that wanted to argued for a change of the confessional political system. A few vocal demonstrations took place, and still continue at a slower pace. Although I doubt they will be able to change anything in that direction. The number of those who oppose such reform is overwhelming.

Of course Lebanon is different. Compared to the thousands of secularists who took to the streets, the million citizen marches took place in a different context, the notorious year 2005 and the so called Beirut Spring. Over a million came to commemorate the assassination of Hariri and another million came to support his opponents.

There is a Lebanese exception in that we do not have a dictator at the top of the political system. For all their sins, our presidents are elected and leave at the end of their term. Despite the backdoor deals, our prime ministers still need to seek the approval of the majority of parliament members.We do have a democratic system, but our system is far from perfect. So when it comes to reform, we cannot revolt against one person that would embody the anger of the nation. It was relatively easy to get a vast majority of Egyptians to agree that they want Mubarak to go away. It’s not easy to get a majority of Lebanese to agree that any political side needs to be made accountable. The Lebanese are so divided, and this means change is at first look impossible. All the Lebanese agree that there is something wrong, but cannot agree on a solution or a direction. You can bet that any suggestion will automatically be opposed by the other half under one excuse or the other. It is our dilemma: we want democracy, but so far it has proven on balance to be bad for us
.

Faced with this, a possible strategy would be to find common ground between the overwhelming majority of Lebanese on single issues, and get them to rally for it. Something that touches the day-to-day life of people, a simple issue, not abstract values.

For example: A group of concerned citizen is now working to try open up the Lebanese airspace to fair competition, which could benefit us all. This is one amongst many more issues that can be improved, like cheaper mobile phone fares, and better internet connection.

I think the originality of the idea, consists in normal citizens, who do not have political aspirations, lobby for cheaper airfare to and from Beirut. If we can’t have our Arab revolution in one go, why not go for it piecemeal. An issue like this does have political ramification, but in the right direction. It is not a secret that many politicians have direct or indirect interests in MEA. So it is not unconceivable that they are keeping the monopoly in their own interest. In a more competitive market, the margins are smaller, and MEA would have to bring down their tickets price, and improve their service quality. And to survive, they might in the process get rid of the huge bulge of politically backed employees, who are poor value for money.

Why would this unite all the Lebanese, because even those who do not personally travel will have a relative abroad. So this would save them a nice sum yearly. I see no reason why a ticket from London to Beirut is £600 while it can be as low as £100 to Cyprus. This is an issue that would unite all the Lebanese no matter what is their social class, or political affiliation, or religious affiliation. Besides, for people living not far from Lebanon, this means it becomes affordable to go back home for the weekend and contribute further to the local economy.

On the other hand, this is an issue that might unite most of the politicians from all camps…against it. You can see now how this is edging nearer to the Arab Revolution? We manage to unite all the people against all the politicians on a single issue. But once this issue is resolved, others can follow with an established mechanism in place. Think mobile phone fares (highest in the world) or slow internet (slowest in the world) etc. As a consequence our life as Lebanese is improved.

And by fighting a corrupt system, we would be encouraging our politicians to change or perish.

Going back to the practical aspect…

As a first step, a meeting is taking place in London with a few young professional Lebanese people to discuss a suitable. Hopefully we will be able to announce the launch of a campaign and get the ball rolling.

We will have our own revolution, without having to answer questions on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon or on Hezbollah’s arms. We don’t have to debate the things that divide us to bring the changes that unite us.

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Is Pakistan Being Cast as the Next Plausible Evil Doer?

NOVANEWS

 

 

by: Jeff Gates

 

Conspiracy theorists assure us that Osama bin Laden was killed in December 2001 and his body put on ice in—of course—an undisclosed location. If the recent killing of bin Laden was a lie, who were the liars? All 79 members of SEAL Team 6, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. State Department, the White House and 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. All conspired to have us believe that he was killed in Pakistan.

“Who you gonna believe,” the theorists ask, “me or your lyin’ eyes?”

The killing or capture of Osama bin Laden was a strategic imperative of the Obama presidency. His death on Pakistani soil now presents a challenge to the strategic depth required for security and stability in the region. How, under these circumstances, does the U.S. collaborate with a nation given $20 billion since 911?

To date, the clash between the U.S. and Pakistan has been the focus of mainstream news. Little has been said about the loss of 30,000 Pakistani lives to the war on terrorism. That human toll includes a sharp upswing in deadly attacks since the November 2008 assault in India where Islamic extremists, trained in Pakistan, left 174 dead in Mumbai. Pakistan was portrayed as guilty—by association.

Savvy national security analysts are monitoring who uses bin Laden’s death to tout The Clash of Civilizations. The continued plausibility of this narrative requires a series of plausible Evil Doers, a role that bin Laden played to perfection.

With his death in Abbottobad, home to Pakistan’s elite military academy, Islamabad looks guilty—by association. Mainstream media immediately proposed a no-win proposition for Pakistan: it was either complicit or incompetent. No other option was offered.

When deploying agenda-advancing narratives to induce wars, the power of association is critical. Should a nuclear device be used in the U.S., the U.K. or the E.U., here is the plausible storyline: “How could Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal be secure if their military could not locate bin Laden’s lair in a military town in Pakistan?”

Is Pakistan Next for Regime Change?

Is the power of association again being deployed to start a war by inducing an internalized narrative that displaces facts with false beliefs? Is Islamabad a new cast in a new movie featuring the same old plot?

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Americans know they were induced to invade Iraq on false intelligence. That deceit could not have succeeded absent pre-staging that changed our perception of Iraq from ally to Evil Doer. Is a similar shift in perspective being promoted to rebrand Pakistan?

Plausibility is key. Yet Tom Donilon, Obama’s National Security Adviser, was quick to concede there is no evidence of foreknowledge by Pakistan of bin Laden’s whereabouts.

He also concedes that Pakistan suffered greatly at the hands of those who used its remote lawless regions to train fanatics and launch attacks that killed Pakistanis while Islamabad provided intelligence that enabled Washington to kill or capture extremists.

Obama chose not to share operational intelligence with anyone, including Pakistanis and senior White House staff. Silence is the essence of operational security.

Despite sovereignty issues, the U.S. and Pakistan must make this six-decade relationship work. Progress is best sustained when cooperation is based on mutual interests.

Why Not Try a Prescription That Matches the Malady?

Women in the Pashtun region bordering Afghanistan report that their lives would be vastly improved if they had the electricity to run four light bulbs, charge their cell phones and power their TVs. This is 2011 after all.

Equipping an off-the-grid home with just two high efficiency thin film solar panels would do the job. Another four panels would allow them to refrigerate their food. Imagine raising and educating your children without access to affordable electricity.

Approximately 70% of Pakistani tax revenues are used to service external debt. Much of the balance funds their 1.5 million-strong military, leaving few resources for education or other services for Pakistan’s 185 million citizens.

It’s no wonder that Pakistani children educated in 40,000 Islamic seminaries (madrassas) fail to learn useful job skills. Or that the average Pakistani is skeptical of Islamabad.

The missing component is not trust but a shared vision of what both nations require to restore and sustain their national security. As the largest contributor of personnel to U.N. peacekeeping missions, Pakistan is well positioned to become a global force for positive change.

At this key juncture in an essential relationship, should Americans kill more Muslims, further advancingThe Clash storyline? Or should Pakistan and the U.S. join forces to create a new narrative founded on peace through human dignity and solar-powered prosperity?

The tools are known, available and affordable. The missing ingredients are leadership, imagination and the confidence that success is possible.

______________

Jeff Gates is author of Guilt By Association—How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War. Seewww.criminalstate.com

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Obama’s half brother visits IsraHell

NOVANEWS

 

Zionist Mark Ndesandjo meets with chief rabbi, agrees to press Obama to release Jonathan Pollard

ynet

While US President Barack Obama was busy orchestrating the assassination of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, his half brother Mark Ndesandjo reconnected with his Jewish roots on his first trip to Israel.

Ndesandjo, 45, was born to Barack Obama Senior’s third wife, a Jewish American kindergarten teacher and the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants.

Ndesandjo’s trip to the Holy Land was kept a secret for fear that he would fall victim to hostile attempts to avenge the US-perpetrated assassination of bin Laden.

One of the main purposes of Ndesandjo’s visit was to meet with the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, to receive a blessing and a letter for his mother, Ruth Nidesand.

During Ndesandjo’s stay he visited the Wailing Wall and other Jewish heritage sites in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. According to the Chief Rabbinate personnel, Ndesandjo said that he was very impressed with the people, the restaurants and the entertainment, but refused to specify which sites he visited for security reasons.

Noble favor: Releasing Pollard

Metzger’s office employees were surprised to receive the unexpected guest, who stepped out of the elevator wearing a bandana topped with a skull cap.

“He looked so similar to his brother that even if he didn’t say anything I would have recognized him,” Metzger said.

“He said that his mother often reminds him to be proud of his Judaism,” the rabbi added. “He seemed like a very sensitive Jew whose heart is invested in helping his fellow man.”

According to Metzger, Ndesandjo has met with Obama a few times since the latter took office, and they are in regular telephone contact.

Before concluding their meeting, Metzger said that he asked Ndesandjo to do “a noble favor for the Jewish people” – to try to convince Obama to release Jonathan Pollard, who has been serving a life sentence in the US since he was convicted of spying for Israel in 1986.

Ndesandjo agreed, and asked Metzger to write a letter of encouragement to his mother, who lives in Kenya and works as a kindergarten teacher.

Ndesandjo studied Physics at Brown and Stanford, and has an MBA from Emory University. In 2002 he relocated from the US to China, where he married Liu Xuehua. In 2009 he published an autobiography titled “Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love,” where he describes, among other things, growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father. Ndesandjo currently runs an internet company, World Nexus, which advises Chinese companies on international markets.

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‘Paper dollar destroying world economy’

NOVANEWS

 

 

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad strongly criticizes US economic policies, saying that the paper currency created by the American government is taking a heavy toll on the global economy.

In an address to the fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, Ahmadinejad said that the cash injected into the global economy in the form valueless US dollars amount to over USD 32 trillion, IRNA reported.

“This is while the US budget deficit for the 2011 fiscal year is expected to reach a figure above USD 1.6 trillion,” he added.

The Iranian president also pointed that the US foreign debt now approaching over USD 14.6 trillion, while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States stands at around USD 14 trillion.

President Ahmadinejad stated that such figures clearly explain the plunder of national wealth in many countries, and the upsurge in poverty and underdevelopment across the globe.

He noted the certain countries rob less developed states to pay their international debts.

“Most of international economic organizations either defend the existing situation or serve the interests of certain states,” he said.

President Ahmadinejad further said the era of colonialism is coming to an end and the management of world issues should be reformed.

He also proposed the formation of an independent commission to assess the extent of damage inflicted on oppressed nations during the era of colonialism, and to oblige former colonialist powers to pay indemnities.

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Osama bin Laden raid team was prepared to fight Pakistani forces

NOVANEWS

 

 

A Pakistani soldier on the roof of Osama bin Laden's hideout

Barack Obama ordered assault team be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if necessary, newspaper reveals

The strained US-Pakistan relationship has come under further pressure after it emerged that the assault team which killedOsama bin Laden was prepared to fight its way out of Pakistan if necessary.

President Barack Obama ordered two helicopter-borne backup squads to shadow the main US attack force in case it came under fire from Pakistani security forces as it stormed Bin Laden’s house.

The Americans had orders to avoid a firefight but to use their weapons if unavoidable, a senior White House official told the New York Times.

The revelations come amid continuing furore in Pakistan over the perceived breach of sovereignty by US forces.

On Monday the Guardian reported that Pakistan and the US struck a secret deal permitting US military action to capture or kill Bin Laden almost a decade ago, during the rule of President Pervez Musharraf.

Responding through a spokesman and his Facebook page, Musharraf denied that any deal, written or verbal, had been struck.

“The accusation of my having allowed intrusion into Pakistan by US forces chasing Osama bin Laden is absolutely baseless,” he said.

“Never has this subject even been discussed between myself and President Bush leave aside allowing such freedom of action that would violate our sovereignty (sic).”

In January 2002, General Tommy Franks, who headed the US Central Command at the time, told the Associated Press the US had a deal allowing US troops to cross the border in pursuit of bin Laden. Pakistan denied it.

Already fragile relations between Pakistan and the US have dipped to new depths following Bin Laden’s death. The US wants to speak to the al-Qaida leader’s three widows – two from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen, who are currently in Pakistani custody.

US officials said Pakistan had agreed to grant access to the women, but in Islamabad officials insisted no decision had been taken. “It’s too early to even think about it,” one official told Reuters.

At least nine children are also being held. It is not clear how many were fathered by bin Laden.

Controversy also rumbled on over the naming of the CIA station chief in Islamabad in some Pakistani media last weekend, six months after a similar “outing” caused the US spy chief to leave the country.

The US said the official was incorrectly named and will not be leaving Pakistan, suggesting the leak was a deliberate attempt by Pakistani officials to divert attention from international criticism.

Meanwhile, in South Waziristan in the tribal belt, a US drone fired missiles that killed three alleged Arab militants close to the Afghan border – the second such strike since bin Laden’s death.

As further details of the raid emerged, it emerged that Obama had readied a specialist team of lawyers, interrogators and translators aboard a US navy ship in case the al-Qaida leader was taken alive.

Obama is said to have revised the original assault plan after learning that two backup helicopters would be 90 minutes away in Afghanistan if called on to aid the commandos.

Overhead, US surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft monitored Pakistani police and military channels to determine how long the commandos had to gather evidence.

Asked about their rules of engagement, one official said: “Their instructions were to avoid any confrontation if at all possible. But if they had to return fire to get out, they were authorised to do it.”

Pakistan’s government is struggling to unite its civilian and military leadership while simultaneously explaining how Bin Laden managed to live in a large house near a major military centre two hours’ drive north of Islamabad.

Addressing parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani rejected suggestions of complicity or incompetence as “absurd”, saying it was disingenuous to access Pakistan of being “in cahoots” with al-Qaida.

In Washington, US legislators are demanding Obama slash Pakistan’s $3 billion annual aid package.

But senior US officials admit privately that a strong relationship with Pakistan is crucial to continuing anti-militant operations and success in Afghanistan.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Osama bin Laden raid team was prepared to fight Pakistani forces

Hamas accepts 1967 borders, but will never recognize Israel, top official says

NOVANEWS

 

Speaking to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, Mahmoud Zahar says recognition of Israel would deprive future Palestinian generations of the possibility to ‘liberate’ their lands.

Haaretz

Hamas would be willing to accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, a leader of the militant group, Mahmoud Zahar, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an on Wednesday, adding, however, that Hamas would never recognize Israel since such a move would counter the group’s aim to “liberate” all of Palestine.

Zahar’s comments come amid Palestinian efforts to form a unity government that would include former rivals Fatah and Hamas, following a reconciliation agreement the two factions signed last week in Cairo.

Speaking to Ma’an on Wednesday, Zahar, hinting at the possible political line of a future Palestinian unity cabinet, said that recognizing Israel would “preclude the right of the next generations to liberate the lands,” wondering: “What will be the fate of the five million Palestinians in the diaspora?”

The Gaza strongman went on to tell Ma’an that Hamas would be willing to recognize a Palestinian state “on any part of Palestine,” as opposed to the group’s proclaimed aim to form a state from “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.”

Zahar also referred to the future of Hamas’ military truce with Israel, confirming that the movement would continue to honor the cessation of fighting, following a joint decision made with its new Fatah partners. The Hamas leader, however, reiterated that the truce was “part of the resistance not its rejection,” adding that a “truce is not peace.”

A top Palestinian official said on Tuesday that a new unity government between recently reconciled Hamas and Fatah will be formed in 10 days.

In an interview with Ma’an news agency, Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said that although the prime minister of a future interim unity government has yet to be announced, current PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is still in the running for the position.

Fayyad has taken unprecedented steps in recent months toward Palestinian statehood, recently presenting proposal in Brussels delineating a three-year aid plan that would allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future.

Palestinian leaders plan to ask the United Nations General Assembly in September to recognize a Palestinian state in all the lands Israel occupied in 1967.

Fayyad has made it clear that in the event that Israel and the Palestinians do not reach a negotiated settlement, a Palestinian state will be declared unilaterally.

Posted in Gaza1 Comment

Erekat: Israel’s cancelation of Palestinian residency is a ‘war crime’

NOVANEWS

 

Comment by top Palestinian official comes in response to official document quoted by Haaretz, according to which Zionist covertly canceled the residency status of 140,000 West Bank Palestinians between 1967 and 1994.

Haartez

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Wednesday that Israel’s cancelling of the residency status of 140,000 West Bank Palestinians, as reported by Haaretz, constitutes a war crime and represents an Israeli attempt to affect the demographic composition of the West Bank.

Erekat’s comments were in response to a Haaretz report earlier Wednesday that quoted an official Israeli document according to which Israel has used a covert procedure to cancel the residency status of West Bank Palestinians between 1967 and 1994.

The document was written after the Center for the Defense of the Individual filed a request under the Freedom of Information Law.

The document states that the procedure was used on Palestinian residents of the West Bank who traveled abroad between 1967 and 1994.

From the occupation of the West Bank until the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians who wished to travel abroad via Jordan were ordered to leave their ID cards at the Allenby Bridge border crossing.

In a statement sent to Haaretz later Wednesday, the chief Palestinian negotiator said the report confirms Palestinian claims that Israel is engaging in a systematic policy of displacement in order to gain land for the expansion of more settlement-colonies and to change the demographic composition of the occupied Palestinian territories.”

“This policy should not only be seen as a war crime as it is under international law; it also has a humanitarian dimension: we are talking about people who left Palestine to study or work temporarily but who could not return to resume their lives in their country with their families,” Erekat added.

The top PA official also pointed out that the document revealed by Haaretz was evidence that “Israel’s actions violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that ‘everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country’.”

In light of the Haaretz report, the statement said, Erekat “called on those states in the international community that have yet to recognize the Palestinian state on the 1967 border to join those who have already done so.”

“Our right to self determination must not be subject to negotiations, including the right of our families to live in their homeland. It is time to put an end to the pain and humiliation caused by the continuation of the Israeli occupation,” Erekat said.

Posted in Human RightsComments Off on Erekat: Israel’s cancelation of Palestinian residency is a ‘war crime’

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