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Iraq News Summary (4 September 2014) (Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - AMSI) - 02-oct-2014

September 5, 2014 - 18 civilians, including eight children and a woman, have benn killed and seven othersinjured as a result of a mortar attack launched by government troops deployed outside the city on Thursday, which targeted a number of residential areas in Fallujah, Al Anbar province. A child was killed and his mother and brother were injured in the government's aerial bombing targeted their home Thursday morning in the area (Zab) west of the city of Kirkuk, the center of the province of Ta'mim....

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Israelis, stop swimming in our shit (By Sam Bahour) - 02-oct-2014

September 5, 2014 - ...In a new policy brief titled, "Drying Palestine: Israel’s Systemic Water War," issued by Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, Muna Dajani writes from Jerusalem of the damage that consecutive Israeli military aggressions have caused to Gaza’s water systems: Ninety-five percent of the water that Palestinians in Gaza have been consuming for decades has been proven unfit for human consumption. Electricity shortages that have lasted for almost a decade have limited water treatment capacity and thus the availability of water to households, as well as increased the discharge of untreated wastewater into the sea. Even before the summer assault on Gaza, 90 million liters of untreated or partially treated wastewater were being dumped and continue to be dumped into the [Mediterranean] sea each day due to insufficient treatment facilities. While the Israeli government continues to maintain a total closure on the Gaza Strip, there is no chance the electricity needed to run the water and wastewater networks will be operational anytime soon.....

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Revealed: Europe’s "discreet" cooperation with Israel’s nuclear industry (David Cronin) - 01-oct-2014

September 5, 2014- The European Union has been cooperating furtively with Israel’s nuclear industry for at least six years. An internal document that I recently obtained states that an accord on "joint and cooperative initiatives relevant for the peaceful use of nuclear energy" was signed between the EU and Israel in 2008. "This is a discreet agreement that has not been given publicity," the paper adds. The document (published below) was drawn up ahead of an October 2013 visit to Israel by Antonio Tajani, then Italy’s member of the European Commission...

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Palestinian Bedouin homes demolished by Israel (Patrick Strickland) - 01-oct-2014

September 5, 2014 - During the early hours of the morning, Israeli bulldozers razed three buildings in Um Beten and additional structures on the outskirts of Hura, villages located in the northern part of the Naqab region, the Arabs48 website reported later that day. The southern Naqab region is home to approximately 160,000 Palestinian Bedouins, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel’s estimates. As part of the estimated 1.7 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, they face more than fifty discriminatory laws that limit their access to state resources and stifle political expression, the Haifa-based Adalah Legal Center reports...

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A call from Gaza: Make Israel Accountable for its Crimes in Gaza (Various undersigned) - 01-oct-2014

September 5, 2014 - From the ruins of our towns and cities in Gaza, we send our heartfelt appreciation to all those who stood with us and mobilized during the latest Israeli massacre. In the occupied West Bank, Israel has embarked on one of its largest illegal land grabs in decades by confiscating another 1000 acres of Palestinian land to expand its illegal colonies. Now, our battle to hold Israel accountable for its fresh war crimes and crimes against humanity has begun. The outcome of this battle to end Israeli impunity will determine whether Israel’s latest assault will be yet another stage in Israel’s "incremental genocide" of Palestinians or the turning point that will bring an end to Israel’s status as an entity above the law—the world’s dangerous pariah. The outcome of this battle depends on you...

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The fragile structure of the Palestinian national movement (Dr Basheer M. Nafi) - 01-oct-2014

September 5, 2014- Throughout the weeks of war and negotiations, various Palestinian leaders from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Fatah, all sought to stress the unity of the Palestinian position: their position against the Israeli aggression, the management of the war, and the position on negotiations. However, on 30 August, Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader and president of the PNA, made a statement holding Hamas responsible for the destruction of the Gaza Strip, pointing out that the Islamic movement could have avoided such destruction if it had agreed to the Egyptian initiative early on. No one is surprised by Abbas's remarks, despite the fact that they were made after the signing of the agreement for the end of the war that was reached by the unified Palestinian delegation. Rather, it was how quickly that Abbas moved to dispel the delusion of a "united Palestinian position" which was surprising...

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Gaza hospitals have run out of 27 per cent of essential medicines (Middle East Monitor) - 01-oct-2014

September 5, 2014 -The Ministry of Health in Gaza has warned that more than 27 per cent of essential medicines and 48 per cent of all medicines have now run out, Anadolu news agency reported.Palestinian Deputy Health Minister Youssef Abul Rish said the hospitals in the Gaza Strip are suffering from a severe shortage of essential medicines and medical supplies. Speaking at a press conference held in Gaza on Thursday, Anadolu quoted Abul Rish as saying that the ministry has now completely run out of 27 per cent of its stock of essential medicines and 48 per cent of its basic medicines...

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Syria News - September 4, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014- By the end of Thursday , LCC was able to document 65 martyrs including 6 women, 13 children and 5 martyrs under torture : 16 martyrs were reported in Homs; 13 in Daraa; 12 in Deir Ezzor; 11 in Hama; 6 in Idlib; 4 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 2 in Raqqa; and 1 in Aleppo...

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Mysterious Phony Cell Towers: Who is Spying on You Now? (By: Peter Van Buren) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014A security researcher identified multiple "fake" cell phone towers around the United States, many near military bases, designed to intercept calls and texts without your knowledge, and to potentially inject spyware into your phone by defeating built-in encryption. The researcher has located a number of towers; what he can’t figure out is who built them and who controls them.
The basics of the technology are pretty clear: your cell phone is always trying to electronically latch-on to three cell towers. Three means the network can triangulate your phone’s location, and pass you off from one set of towers to the next tower in line as you move around...

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Up to 2,100 Photos of US Soldiers Abusing Prisoners May Soon Be Released (By Jason Leopold) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - Would the release of 10-year-old detainee abuse photographs, such as one depicting US soldiers pointing a broom handle at a hooded detainee's rectum, incite terrorist organizations and threaten national security? That's a question government attorneys will have to answer next week when they explain to a federal court judge why as many as 2,100 unclassified photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqi and Afghan captives should continue to be concealed from the public. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case, which resurfaced last week, is part of the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) long-running lawsuit against the US government to obtain documents about the treatment of detainees in custody of the CIA and military....

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Mass Grave, Mass Kidnapping; 164 Killed in Iraq (by Margaret Griffis) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - At least 164 people were killed or found dead today. A newly discovered mass grave in northern Iraq yielded two dozen bodies. Another 89 were wounded.Also, the Kurds seem willing to try to give a unified Iraq once last chance before they opt for full independence.Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako blamed U.S. policies for the chaos in Iraq. According to Sako, half the Christians in Iraq have been forced to flee since the U.S. invasion failed to deliver the promises of safety and democracy. Fifty residents were kidnapped in Tal Ali, perhaps in retaliation for burning an ISIS/DAASH flag, along with other possessions the militants left behind, after militants fled the town yesterday. The village is part of Hawija...

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After Gaza, Hamas and Fatah back to bickering (Daoud Kuttab) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - It seems as simple as pushing a button. Palestinian-Israeli politics have shifted from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, as if the 51-day war against Gaza never happened. One week after the announcement of the permanent cease-fire by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel is back to confiscating Palestinian lands for settlements, Jewish religious zealots are infiltrating Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and Palestinian internal bickering is back to its prewar level.How did the situation change so fast? What happened to all the rhetoric about the need to double down and find a political solution to the Palestinian conflict?..

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Syrian regime , West explore cooperation to fight Islamic State (Antoun Issa) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - The Syrian government is seeking to present itself as the West’s only option to confront the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. After the terror group’s gains in Iraq and eastern Syria — edging out both its jihadist rival Jabhat al-Nusra from Deir ez-Zor and the last regime bastion in Raqqa — IS is making its move in Aleppo’s countryside, pushing closer to the country’s second largest city as it strikes rebel-held territory.But despite the shocking loss of the Tabaqa military air base in Raqqa and IS' execution of dozens of captured Syrian soldiers, the Syrian regime is still prioritizing its fight with Jabhat al-Nusra and rebel factions....

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After ‘Operation Protective Edge': Self-healing in Gaza (Sarah Algherbawi) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - This is the third war I have witnessed in the last five years of my life. I wish I had never had to experience this, but it just happened, and all I can do now is to deal with the pain…once again.My first experience with war was in my last year of high school, the year that is critical to anyone’s future. It wasn’t easy to go back to school and study again, it wasn’t easy to throw all the pains and bad memories behind my back and continue life normally. It took so long…but I did it, and I passed that year with satisfactory results.The second war, I was a university student; I faced the same dilemma of not being able to get back to university and study. It needs an awakened brain to do so, and mine was not! It was full of dark thoughts and the constant question, 'how could I survive again?’...

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‘Provocative political symbol’ — UEFA fines clubs when fans fly Palestinian flags (Annie Robbins) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - A body of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has slapped harsh fines on three of its member clubs, Celtic FC , St Johnstone (Saints) and Dundalk FC because some fans flew Palestinian flags during their games. Last month the Irish club Dundalk FC was socked with an €18,000 fine ($23,639) because fans flew Palestine’s flag at their home stadium in July. And Scotland Now reported this week that both Celtic FC and St Johnstone 'Saints’ have been fined. The Saints have confirmed they were fined £18k ($29,616) ...

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The CIA’s Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication (By Ken Silverstein) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times...

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Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din: Israel is unwilling to investigate harm caused to Palestinians (B'Tselem) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - B’Tselem has decided to break with its previous practice concerning military operations in Gaza and reject a request made by the Military Advocate for Operational Matters Lt. Col. Ronen Hirsch to provide the military with information regarding "irregular" incidents that occurred during Operation Protective Edge. B’Tselem has changed its approach due to the poor track record of MAG Corps investigations so far. B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad said: "B’Tselem believes it is crucial to investigate the directives and orders given to the forces by top political officials and military commanders. This is especially true of suspicions regarding unlawful policies concerning attacks, which received prior approval from the MAG Corps. Common sense has it that a body cannot investigate itself. Yet, again, the military will be investigating its own conduct in Operation Protective Edge; again, these investigations will not be supervised by anyone outside the military....

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UK records undermine Government’s claims over damaged CIA rendition documents (Reprieve) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - Claims by ministers that documents relating to the UK role in CIA 'rendition’ flights were accidentally damaged have been cast into doubt by new Foreign Office (FCO) records obtained by legal charity Reprieve. Last month, FCO Minister Mark Simmonds told MPs that records of flights passing through Diego Garcia had suffered "water damage" as a result of "extremely heavy weather in June 2014." However, weather records for Diego Garcia obtained from the FCO under Freedom of Information have cast doubt on this explanation: official logs for the island show that the total rainfall for June 2014 was just 3.25 inches (83mm). This is a low figure, considering the average annual rainfall is 102 inches (2591mm) – or 8.5 inches (216mm) per month...

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Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (28 Aug. – 03 Sep. 2014) (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (28 August – 03 September 2014). Shooting: In the Gaza Strip, although 9 days have passed following the Egyptian-brokered truce agreement between the Palestinian resistance groups and Israel, the catastrophic consequences of the 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip have been present. During the reporting period, a number of wounded persons died of wounds they sustained during the offensive. During the reporting period, a Palestinian baby died because of tear gas inhalation in occupied Jerusalem, as Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters to disperse the Palestinian protesters in al-Tour Mountain, east of the city. Moreover, 2 civilians, including a woman and a child, died of wounds they sustained during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, while hundreds of wounded Palestinians have been receiving medical treatment in hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and other hospitals abroad for the seriousness of their wounds. In the meanwhile, Israeli forces violated the truce several times by opening fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area and arresting a number of fishermen....

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Mossad-Affiliated Israeli NGO: Khaled Meshal to the Hague (Richard Silverstein) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 - File this under the Ultimate Chutzpah Department: the Israeli lawfare NGO, Shurat HaDin, which was founded under the auspices of the Mossad, has requested that the International Criminal Court bring Hamas’ Khaled Meshal to justice because he allegedly ordered the execution of Palestinian collaborators. There are so many ironies and absurdities here that it’s almost impossible to plumb them all. First, consider that Shurat HaDin’s founder admitted to a U.S. diplomat that her group was founded with extensive help from the Mossad....

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The Jewish State’s Inhumanity to Palestinians (by William Hanna) - 01-oct-2014

September 4, 2014 -According to a senior Israeli expert, Professor Hila Knobler at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot — stress, glucose and blood pressure levels rose significantly amongst Israelis during the 50-day Operation Protective Edge. This obviously concerned and very humane professor, however, failed to diagnose the ills that might have befallen the Palestinian people in Gaza during that same period of Israeli genocidal barbarity. The professor also appears to have overlooked the possibility that the rise of blood sugar and pressure levels amongst Israelis might have been due to their over-excitement as was witnessed on video recordings of ecstatic Right-wing Israelis — during a Tel Aviv demonstration — wildly celebrating with fascist chants of "there’s no school in Gaza, there are no more kids left," and "Gaza is a cemetery...

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Abduction then murder, this is what government-backed militias do across Iraq (Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - AMSI) - 30-sep-2014

September 4, 2014 -In the name of alleged democracy sponsored by the U.S.; abduction then torture and eventually murder on sectarian basis, this is what the government-backed militias are wreaking havoc openly in Baghdad and other parts of the country with blessing by the Iran-friendly clerics who issued a fatwa earlier to authorize formation of a militia of the so-called the "Sectarian Build-up" and other Shiite death squads that work under the religious cover, which are consist of guided terrorist groups, who were trained, armed and overrun by the Iranian Regime in Tehran. A recent evidence about what is happening in Iraq when those militias have kidnapped and tortured then killed a Sunni scholar south of Baghdad, in another sign of the ugly role assumed by those bloody militias with the participation of the current government....

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Despite ceasefire, the number of displaced in Gaza is rising again (Ali Abunimah) - 30-sep-2014

September 4, 2014- The number of displaced Palestinians in Gaza is rising again despite the fact that the 26 August ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian resistance is holding. Meanwhile, the scale of the destruction to Gaza’s infrastructure and economy caused by 51 days of Israeli bombing is becoming starker. The death toll stands at 2,168 people, of whom 521 are children, according to Al Mezan Center for Human Rights which carefully verifies deaths.And despite the ceasefire, Palestinians continue to die. Mariam Abu Amra, 23, was the latest to succumb in a Jerusalem hospital today from wounds she sustained during the Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah in Gaza, Ma’an News Agency reported....

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Illinois chancellor says she should have “consulted with more people” before firing Palestinian scholar (Ali Abunimah) - 30-sep-2014

September 4, 2014 - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Chancellor Phyllis Wise has said she regrets she did not consult with more people before taking her decision to fire Palestinian American scholar Steven Salaita. "I, in hindsight, wish I had been a little bit more deliberate and had consulted with more people before I made that decision," she said.Wise made the comments in an appearance before the student senate on Wednesday, indicating that she and other administrators are feeling the pressure of the outpouring of protests, boycotts and faculty votes of no confidence over the decision (video above and transcript below)....

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On Israel’s Insanity Defense and the World’s Shared Delusion (Samah Jabr) - 30-sep-2014

September 4, 2014 - Once the surveillance cameras of Palestinian shopkeepers in East Jerusalem's Shuafat neighborhood revealed the images of the Israeli abductors of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, the fabricated Israeli propaganda that the 16-year-old Palestinian boy had been gay and the victim of an honor killing perpetrated by his own people became completely unsustainable. Soon after, hoping to contain the resulting clashes that erupted in Shuafat and extended to many nearby neighborhoods, Israeli police announced that they had captured six suspects involved in the crime. Just days later, however, it was announced that three of them already had been freed. The others were described as two minors and a mentally unstable adult with a dominating personality who is on psychiatric medication, according to Yediot Ahronot...

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'Victory' in Gaza is illusory (Ibrahim Hewitt) - 30-sep-2014

September 4, 2014 -How much longer is the farce of the Palestinian Authority going to continue? I ask because it has been obvious over the past few months that the PA, under President Mahmoud Abbas, is there more for Israel's benefit than that of the people it is meant to serve, the Palestinians. In such circumstances, any claim of "victory" by the resistance groups in Gaza is illusory. So-called "security cooperation" with the Israeli occupation forces makes the PA's own 70,000-strong security agencies collaborators in the eyes of many Palestinians. Has anyone ever seen any PA security forces coming to the aid of Palestinian protesters against Israel's Apartheid Wall at the weekly demonstrations across the occupied West Bank? ...

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