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Occupation forces razes 10 properties in Jenin industrial zone

Occupation forces demolished on Thursday 10 commercial properties in the Bartaa industrial zone in Jenin, the local mayor said, according to FNA.

Mayor Ghassan Qabha said Israeli military bulldozers and vehicles began razing the properties at 6 am, under the pretext that  they are  not licensed. The installations demolished include a used car parts warehouse, a car servicing shop and an iron shop, Ma'an reported.

Eight demolition orders were also handed down, giving owners three days to remove their wares from the properties, Qabha said.

Qabha said Israel aimed to harm the economic sector in Bartaa, which is located near the wall. The mayor said the industrial zone used to be thriving, attracting traders from the West Bank and Palestinians.

Approximately 6,000 Palestinians in the Bartaa enclave have been severed by the wall from Jenin, the UN says.

Occupation forces  approves 296 west bank settler homes

Occupation forces has given the go-ahead to build nearly 300 homes in the settlement of Beit El near Ramallah, a spokesman said.

"The "Civil Administration"has given the green light for 296 housing units at Beit El, but this is only the first stage of a process before actual construction can begin," he said, speaking on behalf of a unit within the defense ministry which administers the West Bank, AFP reported.

He explained that the construction plans were part of a compensatory measure for settlers who were evicted last year from Ulpana, an unauthorized outpost on the outskirts of Beit El which was evacuated following a "High Cour"t ruling.

Direct peace talks broke down shortly after they were launched in September 2010 because of an intractable dispute over Israel's settlement building, which is widely accepted as a violation of international law.

The Palestinians say they will not return to negotiations unless Israel freezes construction on land they want for a future state.


Lebanon uncovers suspected terrorist group

The Lebanese army on Thursday said authorities have arrested members of a group that was planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the country, according to Voice of Russia, dpa.

"As a result of intensive investigations, the military intelligence service apprehended on May 6 members belonging to the suspicious cell, and seized a quantity of explosive devices and detonators in their possession," the army said.

"Other members of the group are being tracked down."

The army did not say how many suspects had been arrested or specify their identities.

A security official told dpa that main suspects were Lebanese and Syrian nationals who had planned to assassinate leading politicians and attack military installations.

The arrested are suspected of having links with al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group fighting the Syrian government, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The United States lists the group as a terrorist organization for its alleged ties to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Al-Nusra Front chief in Syria, Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani, last month pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.


Jordanian MPs Agree to Expel Zionist Ambassador

Amman- (ST)- The Jordanian parliament has agreed unanimously to expel the ambassador of the Zionist entity in Amman in retaliation for the Israeli violations in Al-Aqsa mosque.

The Jordanian News Agency reported that that the Jordanian parliament voted unanimously on Wednesday to ask the government to expel Israel's ambassador to Jordan and to call back Jordan's ambassador from occupied Palestine, Walid Abidat, in protest for the Israeli violations in al-Aqsa mosque.  

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinians from going into al-Aqsa mosque on the occasion of the "al-Quds Day" and wounded five in clashes. Palestinian Muslims, barred from entering the mosque, held a protest by performing noon prayer at entrance gates of the mosque.

According to the agency, Jordanian Premier Abdullah al-Nasour described Israel's measures in al-Aqsa as evil plans.      

"The cabinet is looking into what Israel has done in Masjid al-Aqsa," al-Nasour said."As a first step, we will ask our ambassador Walid Abidat to send a letter of protest to the Israeli government. If this issue is not resolved soon, we will appeal to the United Nations Security Council," he added.

The decision of the parliament is constitutionally non-binding until ratified by the King, the agency said.

During the parliament session, a number of MPs urged war against Israel, and earlier 26 MPs called for reconsidering the Jordanian-Israeli "peace" agreement.

In a statement to "al-Mayadeen" channel, Jordanian MP Hasan Abidat said that the Parliament's decisions provided for cancelling Wadi Araba (Araba valley) agreement between Jordan and Israel, halting normalization with the Zionist enemy, closing the Jordanian airspace before the Israeli flights and reconsidering Jordan's policy towards Israel.

The Parliament's decisions came hours after the Israeli occupation forces had arrested the General Mufti of al-Quds and the Palestinian lands.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in the Eastern part of occupied al-Quds which was annexed by Israel in 1967 in a blatant violation of international laws.

H. Mustafa

Opposition Figure: No compromise with al-khalifa

TEHRAN (ST)- A senior Bahraini opposition figure dismissed talks between the al-Khalifa regime and the country's dissidents as meaningless, and said the Bahraini people are determined to end the rule of the al-Khalifa dynasty.

"The Bahraini people's revolution is a revolution of major change to overthrow the al-Khalifa regime and it doesn't accept compromise," Secretary-General of Bahrain Freedom Movement Saeed al-Shahabi told FNA on Tuesday.

He described talks between the al-Khalifa regime and opposition forces as useless and meaningless due to the continued imprisonment of Bahraini activists in the al-Khalifa jails, and rejected the proposal for the Bahraini crown prince's succession to the thrown to replace his father.

"The Bahraini people will not accept the crown prince as the ruler of the country since he has collaborated with his father and uncle in the suppression of the people," Shahabi underlined.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa rule, end of discrimination, establishment of justice and a democratically-elected government as well as freedom of detained protesters.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar - were dispatched to the tiny Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of people have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.


Former Egyptian Envoy: Zionist entity's Attack to Increase Arabs' Political Support for Syria

TEHRAN (ST)- Former Egyptian Ambassador to Damascus Mahmoud Shokri said that the Israeli attack on Syria had a positive outcome as it has increased Arab support for the Syrian government.

"The Israeli attack on Syria will make the Arabs condemn the Zionist regime's behavior and support Syria's political system," Shokri told FNA in Cairo on Tuesday.

"Israel's military attack on Syria was a type of unintended service to the Syrian government and foiled all the efforts made by certain groups to come in control of the crisis. It was a negative move for Israel, but a positive one for the Syrian government," he added.

Shokri said that Syria and its politicians should use Israel's military attack to gain the possible political benefits before responding to it militarily.

On Sunday, Israeli rockets struck the Jamraya research center in the vicinity of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Syria said the Israeli regime had carried out an airstrike targeting a research center in a suburb of Damascus after heavy losses were inflicted on al-Qaeda-affiliated groups by the Syrian army.

Syria's Foreign Ministry sent letters to the United Nations and its Security Council stating that Israel's aggression shows the links between tel aviv and terrorist groups operating in Syria including the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi told reporters in Damascus on Sunday that Syria had the right and the duty to defend its people by all available means and it would not give in to Israeli acts of aggression.

The Israeli attacks on Syria have made the Middle-East more dangerous, the Syrian information minister said.

Also a senior Syrian military source told Russia Today on Monday that the Zionist entity used depleted uranium shells in the strike in Syria.

"When the explosion happened it felt like an earthquake, then a giant golden mushroom of fire appeared. This tells us that Israel used depleted uranium shells," the source said.

The Sunday Israeli aggression was tel aviv's second strike on Syria in three days and the third in the last five months.

The Jamraya facility was also targeted in an Israeli airstrike in January.