Occupation forces block aid convoy to Jordan Valley

The Israeli occupation forces  have s blocked a convoy from delivering humanitarian aid to the residents of the Jordan Valley in the northern West Bank.

The 300-member convoy was carrying winter outfits, mattresses, food and toys to the storm hit region on Saturday. About 30 families in the Jordan valley have lost their makeshift shelters recently due to the stormy weather.

The Palestinian Authority’s spokesperson Nour Oudeh described as "very dangerous measures,"according to Press T.V.

Jordan Valley covers around 28.5 percent of the West Bank and is rich in land and water resources.

Thousands of Palestinians in the valley live in dire situation as they are unable to cultivate their land, drill wells, build permanent structures including health centers and schools, do not have access to water or electricity and are under constant threat of being evicted from their land.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, out of the 60,000 Palestinians who live in the Jordan Valley, "some 3,400 people reside partially or fully in closed military zones and face a high risk of forced eviction."

The Palestinian residents in the area often face compulsory evacuation or destruction of their houses.

M.D

Syrian government is as strong as ever,says Safieddine

 Head of Hezbollah's Executive Council Sheikh Hashem Safieddine stressed that the Syrian government is as strong as ever, and said those waiting for the collapse of the Syrian government and its possible impact on Lebanon's next parliamentary elections are mistaken.

Sheikh Safieddine's remarks came while certain foreign countries, including the US, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are trying hard to "overthrow the Syrian government" in order to influence Lebanon's next parliamentary elections,according to FNA.

He noted that Lebanon's next parliamentary elections and formation of the new government in the country "will take place while Syria's incumbent government will still be in power", Al-Ahd news agency reported.

Sheikh Safieddine said those thinking about the collapse of the Syrian government should know that pressures cannot force it to fall, alluding that the Syrian  government will survive beyond Lebanon's upcoming parliamentary elections.

Lebanon's parliamentary elections are slated for 2013, but no exact date of the elections has been disclosed as yet.

M.D

Algeria crisis: 'Captors and hostages die in assault'

Algerian troops have ended a siege at a gas facility in the Sahara desert killing 11 militants after they killed seven hostages, Algerian state news agency APS has said.

The hostages were summarily killed as the troops tried to free them, it said.

Foreign workers were among the hostages, but the nationalities of the dead are not known.

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the crisis was over and that lives had been lost,according to BBC.

The militants had been involved in a stand-off since Thursday after trying to occupy the remote site.

APS has previously said 12 Algerian and foreign workers have been killed since rescue efforts began.

On Friday, 573 Algerians and about 100 of 132 foreigners working at the plant were freed, Algerian officials said.

About 30 foreigners remain unaccounted for, including fewer than 10 from the UK.

The militants themselves said before the raid that they had been holding seven hostages.

Algerian national oil and gas company Sonatrach said the army was now clearing mines planted by the militants.

The crisis at the remote In Amenas desert gas facility began on Wednesday when militants attacked two buses carrying foreign workers. A Briton and an Algerian reportedly died in the incident.

The militants then took Algerians and expatriates hostage at the complex. The leader of the hostage-takers is said to be a veteran fighter from Niger, named as Abdul Rahman al-Nigeri by the Mauritanian news agency ANI, which has been in contact with the militants.

The Algerian armed forces attacked on Thursday as militants tried to move some of their captives from the facility.

APS reported before Saturday's raid that a group of militants remained at the site, holed up in a workshop with the remaining hostages and armed with rocket-launchers and machine guns.

The Algerian newspaper El Watan quoted officials as saying that the militants tried to sabotage the gas installation on Friday evening by starting a fire, but that it was quickly extinguished.

"The terrorists were prepared to commit a collective suicide; the army's intervention led to their neutralisation. Unfortunately, the hostages were executed," the newspaper added.

The In Amenas gas field is situated at Tigantourine, about 40km (25 miles) south-west of the town of In Amenas and 1,300km (800 miles) south-east of Algiers.

M.D

Protesters Demand Expulsion of US Ambassador from Yemen

Thousands of protesters in Yemen's Northern province called for the expulsion of the US ambassador from their country for his interference in Yemen's affairs.

During the massive rallies, protesters also strongly condemned the interference in Yemen's affairs by US Envoy to Yemen Gerald Feierstein.

The protesting people once again called for the materialization of the real causes of Yemen's revolution, a report by the media office of the Leader of Yemen's Houthi Movement Seyed Abdelmalik al-Houthi said,according to FNA.

The protest came a few days after Feierstein tried to link Yemeni separatist moves to Iran. Yemen's state news agency (Saba) cited Feierstein as accusing Iran of supporting South Yemeni leaders trying to revive the formerly independent state of South Yemen.

In reply, Iranian officials cautioned that the western media and officials are endeavoring to darken the relations between Iran and Yemen through releasing fake reports and raising baseless accusations against Tehran.

Anti-regime demonstrators hold Saleh responsible for the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising. The Yemeni people urge that Saleh and his allies should stand trial for their massive crimes and massacre of the people.

Yemen's new president Mansour Hadi took the oath of office before the country's parliament earlier in 2012. He replaced Saleh, who ruled the country for 33 years before leaving office in a power transfer deal after over a year of political turmoil.

 

R.S

Iran not to stop proliferation: Soltanieh

Iranian representative to IAEA has said that Iran would never stop Uranium enrichment.

In interview to Al Alam news network Ali Asghar Soltanieh described Iran-IAEA talks to settle the disputes as successful, but he said that practical solutions would be signed into agreement after settling other disputes.

Iranian representative to IAEA also said that an Agency envoy visit to Parchin complex would be negotiated after practical plan, and added that Iran had reached agreements in some issues, but no agreement had been documented,according to MNA.

“Talks with the Agency on settling differences would be on, with agreements on future round of talks,” he asserted, saying that “talks with the Agency were in a forward direction, and we say that we are ready to eliminate any ambiguities.”

Next round of talks will be held before the IAEA Board of Governors meeting.

Herman Nackaerts, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards told reporters in Austria after visiting Iran that the Agency had reached an agreement on future round of talks in next 12 months in Tehran.

Iran-IAEA last talk was held in December 2012. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but US and EU have put sanctions on Iran to curb its nuclear program.

R.S