Occupation Forces Fire at Palestinians

Israeli occupation forces  opened fire at Palestinians protesting the torture and death of a Palestinian detainee, official sources reported today.

At least 20 people were  injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers on Tuesday , with four of the seriously injured being teenagers, according to preliminary reports.

Riots began during the burial of Arafat Jaradat, who died in Megido prison and whose autopsy revealed that ribs and bones in his neck had been broken, in addition to showing signs of having been hanged from his legs for extended periods of time,according to Prensa Latina.

The most turbulent protests were seen in Hebron, the native city of Jaradat, 30, who had been on a hunger strike for being detained without charge, based on an occupation forces regulation which authorizes arrest and detention for anyone suspected of nationalist ideas.

The Palestine National Authority's (PNA) Minister for Prisoner Matters, Issa Qaraque, challenged Israeli occupation to disprove the results from the autopsy carried out by Palestinian coroners in the presence of doctors from the Red Crescent.

Clashes between protesters and occupation forces were also seen at a march at Bir Zeit University in Bethlehem, where a 13-year-old boy was shot in the back and leg and remains in serious health condition.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Gaza in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners.


Cardinal al-Raei Calls On All Parties To Come To Dialogue Table

DAMASCUS,(ST)- Cardinal Mar Beshara Boutros al-Raei, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East of the Maronites called for an end to bloodshed and killings, destruction and displacement which Syria is exposed to.

The Cardinal denounced States for fomenting violence in Syria and participating in the war.

He also appealed in Sunday mass at the Lady Church to all parties to come to the dialogue table to have mercy on people, nation and determination.

Al-Raei wondered ... Where the conscience of nations which are fomenting violence and are participating in war is? asking whether these countries realize that this fire will reach them one day.

The Cardinal warned against the consequences of the crisis in Syria on Lebanon.

He also warned against illegal arms proliferation in Lebanon saying:  The power of State in Lebanon is shrinking where innocent and safe young and old are abducted because of extortion of money as a ransom.

The Cardinal called for an end to what he described as continued bleeding whether physical, spiritual or even immoral in Lebanon.



Maliki's Advisor Blasts Qatar for Interference in Iraq's Political Process

A senior advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki rapped the Qatari government for meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, cautioning that Doha seeks to spark sectarian strife to damage the political process in his country.

"Qatar's interferences are aimed at bringing Iraq's political trend to an end and sparking sectarian strife," Maliki's Advisor in National Reconciliation Affairs Amer al-Khazayee told FNA on Sunday.

Noting that foreign interference in Iraq is obvious to everyone nowadays, he said, "Some of these governments even have no justification for their interference in Iraq's affairs as they have no common interests with Iraq in economic, social and geographical areas."

Iraq said last month that several regional states, including Qatar, have paid $100 to each participant in protest rallies in al-Anbar province in support of Iraqi Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi, whose bodyguards have been arrested on terrorism charges last month.

Ouraq al-Khalij newspaper also informed that Doha is staunchly supporting Issawi for taking the leadership of protestors in Iraq.

The paper said Qatari officials had contacted a large number of their agents and hirelings in Iraq in recent days to coordinate the protests, adding that even the mottoes chanted against al-Maliki government have been dictated by Doha.

Also last month, an Iraqi legislator said that a number of foreign states are funding and supporting the recent protests and unrests in Iraq.

"The goal of the recent protests in Iraq is drowning the country and this plot is orchestrated by the foreign states," Jamal al-Batikh told FNA.

He also cautioned that certain opposition lawmakers joined the plot and entered a regional and international game against Iraq.


Erdogan policy on Syria grave mistake, Kilicdaroglu says

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party Kemal Kilicdaroglu has described as “grave mistake” the policy of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan toward Syria.

“Ankara’s government has committed a grave mistake in its positions on Syria,” Kilicdaroglu has told Turkey’s Sky TV .

Kilicdaroglu, who heads the Republican People's Party (CHP), said more Syrians are being killed as a result of Ankara’s financial and military support for the Syrian opposition.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government has said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals.

Several international human rights organizations have accused foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.

 Kilicdaroglu expressed regret over Turkey’s current approach and called on the government to help resolve the crisis in Syria through inviting all sides to negotiations, rather than supporting the armed opposition.

He rejected any foreign intervention in Syria’s internal affairs and said any decision on ending the crisis in Syria should be made by Syrians themselves.

On February 15, the Syrian government sent a letter to the United Nations, blasting Turkey's "destructive" role in the conflict that has ravaged the country for the past 23 months.

In the letter, the Syrian Foreign Ministry accused Ankara of publicly supporting and financing militants fighting against the Syrian government and allowing Turkey’s soil to be used for training and housing anti-Damascus terrorist groups.

It also accused Turkey of taking "increasingly hostile stances towards Syria, by blocking measures taken by Damascus for a political solution to end the crisis"


Two Palestinians shot by settlers in West Bank village

Israeli  settlers shot two Palestinian on Saturday  in the northern village of Kusra, Palestinian residents said.

The event  reflected mounting tensions in the West Bank, where Palestinians have faced off against Israeli troops in recent weeks in a series of large demonstrations protesting Israel's control of the territory.

Helmi Abdul-Aziz, 24, was shot in the stomach bu the  settlers, Palestinian demonstrators said. They said settlers also shot 14-year-old Mustafa Hilal in the foot,according to the Vancouver Sun.

An Israeli occupation forces  confirmed that two Palestinians were shot.

A Palestinian hospital official said Abdul-Aziz was in serious condition. The medic requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Villagers said the clashes began when a group of settlers encroached on their village lands and fired guns. They said settlers chased a Palestinian farmer and his family off land, prompting the farmer to call on residents to confront the settlers.

Two Palestinian residents watching the clashes, Basem Nazal and Abdul-Azim Wadi, said Israeli occupation forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets on demonstrators, and that a rubber bullet hit a 15-year-old Palestinian demonstrator in the eye.

Nazal, a resident of Kusra, said groups of settlers were also uprooting their olive trees and vandalizing Palestinian homes ..

There are some 300,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank, which the international community condemns. Palestinians seek the West Bank, a hilly territory which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war, for part of their future state. A hardline minority of settlers frequently attack nearby Palestinian villagers and their property.

The incident  come a day after widespread demonstrations took place throughout the West Bank in support of four Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strikes in Israeli detention.