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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Yemen’

Senate May Block $1.15 Billion Arms Sale to Saudis

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

The Senate on Wednesday will vote on a joint resolution blocking a $1.15 billion sale of as many as 153 tanks, hundreds of machine guns and additional military equipment to Saudi Arabia, over objections by Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee and Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Al Franken to the Kingdom’s handling of the Yemen situation. Senators Paul and Murphy said they think the US needs to rethink its “automatic support” for the Saudis, Reuters reported.

State Department Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said on Tuesday that she was “very concerned” about reports of Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombing a potato factory in Yemen’s capital Sana, killing 14 people, mostly women. Trudeau would not say, however, whether the US is concerned that its weapons are being used to target civilians.

“We regularly talk to our partners and our allies around the world. You know, civilian casualties are obviously of grave concern to us,” she said.

Backers of the joint resolution told Reuters they want to block the sale of Abrams tanks and other equipment, noting that even if their measure did not pass, a strong Senate vote would send a strong message about US continued support for Saudi Arabia. Senator Murphy even said supporting the Saudi war against Yemen would damage US security.

“If we are helping to radicalize Yemenis against us, we are participating in the slaughter of civilians, and we are allowing extremist groups that have plans and plots against the United States to grow stronger, how can that be in our security interest?” Murphy asked, according to Reuters.

JNi.Media

Putin to Arab League Summit: ‘Status Quo on Palestine Unacceptable’

Monday, July 25th, 2016

In a message of greeting to the heads of state of the Arab League assembling in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow considers the existing status quo on Palestine unacceptable and called for re-launching the negotiation process, TASS reported.

“We also intend to continue to provide all possible assistance in resolving the Palestinian problem acting through both the bilateral channels and within various multilateral formats,” Putin said, adding, “We believe the existing status quo is unacceptable and favor creating the conditions for the speedy re-launching of the negotiation process that will be aimed at creating an independent, viable and integral Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem peacefully coexisting with its neighbors.”

The annual Arab League summit’s agenda includes combating terrorism and the ongoing civil wars in Libya and Syria. Political analyst Youssef Cherif told Daily News Egypt that the Arab League is having one of its weakest meetings ever, since so many of its member nations are facing internal turmoil. The Moroccan delegation is boycotting the summit, saying the reason for its withdrawal is that “in an absence of decisions and concrete initiatives, this summit will be a mere gathering for speeches that imply fake unity among Arab countries.”

Only nine Arab heads of state are attending the summit—13 heads of states said they will not be able to come. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will not be at the summit and Egypt will be represented by Prime Minister Sherif Ismai.

Nevertheless, President Putin urged the Arab League states to fight against terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other tense areas. “Russia is ready to strengthen in every possible way its interaction with the Arab League in ensuring regional security, first and foremost, in the struggle against the threat of international terrorism,” Putin said in his address to the summit.

JNi.Media

Five MKs Reveal How the State Stole their Families’ Children

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

During Tuesday’s debate at the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice committee, five MKs shared their families’ stories about the disappearance or the kidnapping of their relatives, presumably at the hands of public officials. MKs Yoav Ben-Tzur (Shas), Yoseph Yonah (Zionist Camp), Nava Boker (Likud), Rachel Azaria (Kulanu), and Nurit Koren (Likud) and their families have been living with the pain of that cruel separation for more than half a century.

The committee on Tuesday debated public demands to reveal the sealed protocols of the state investigating commission on the kidnapping of Yemenite, Mid-Eastern and Balkan children by government officials in the early years of the State of Israel. The commission’s findings have been sealed until the year 2071 in keeping with the State Archives Law.

The investigation dealt with the disappearance of thousands of babies and children who arrived in Israel from Yemen and other third-world countries in the 1950s, whose families were told that they died even though their bodies or their graves were never presented. Family members of the disappeared and several NGOs have called in the past for the public exposure of the findings of the investigation, but the state has remained firm in its refusal. Now, in response to increased public pressure, Prime Minister Netanyahu assigned Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) to look into the matter and submit his recommendations.

Hanegbi, son of illustrious underground radio broadcaster and former MK Geula Cohen, is from Yemenite extraction himself.

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice committee / Courtesy the Knesset

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice committee / Courtesy the Knesset

Committee chair MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi) opened the debate, saying, “The question is where have we been until now? It’s crazy — everybody knows there are protocols and it’s all locked up. As if these are the nuclear secretes of the State of Israel. It looks completely hallucinatory to me.”

State Archives official Dr. Jacob Lazovic told the committee that the archives possess more than one million pages of the investigating commission’s proceedings. “I personally, and we as an organization would be only to happy to reveal everything, but we are operating within the law, which imposes two limits on exposure: one based on the State Archives Law and the other on the Privacy Law,” he explained.

Dr. Lazovic added that while the government has the authority to order the exposure of said material, it is not authorized to permit the publication of content which relates to private persons. In his expert view, this problem could be resolved in short order by the archives’ staff who could go over the documents and redact the private information with black ink. “There are 3,500 cases,” he said. “My estimate is we’ll need one thousand work days.”

MK Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) who initiated the debate, called the disappearance of the Yemenite children “a stain, a mark of Cain, a gross tumor on Israeli society. I’m trying to think what would have happened nowadays if a mother would have given birth and the next day was informed that her child had died. This phenomenon is rife with racism.”

MK Yonah told the committee, “I carry with me the story of the family of my uncles who passed away three years ago. They had a child named Tzipora who became sick with jaundice, which is why she was being treated in hospital, and was in progressive recovery. One day before she disappeared or kidnapped her mother still nursed her. When they called her to come get her daughter from the hospital, my aunt arrived, but was told, ‘Your child died.’ She asked, ‘How can it be? Only yesterday they told me about her quick recovery.’ My aunt described in chilling details how she ran through the different rooms looking for her girl. The child was gone.”

Yonah continued, “My uncle arrived at the hospital and was also told his daughter had died. He asked to see the death certificate and then, in complete reversal of the message of the state wishing to be modern, they told him, ‘You think you’re living in Iraq? At this age we don’t issue death certificates.'”

Tragically, according to Yonah, “when Tzipora turned 18, her enlistment order arrived in her family’s home, but she was not there, obviously. She is somewhere out there in the world and her brothers want to know where she is.”

Responding to the archives official’s comment regarding the limits posed by the privacy law, MK Yonah said, “My family members are those private people whose privacy is being damaged. Now, clearly, there is no demand on the part of families of the disappeared children for justice or revenge. But a society that wishes to advance to its future must heal its wounds and we need this for the sake of our own future. To face the inequities, not in order to sink but to face and overcome them.”

MK Boker, who co-sponsored the committee debate with MK Cohen, on Monday shared her own family’s story on her Facebook page, speculating that her older brothers and sisters had been among the kidnapped children. “I wasn’t fortunate enough to know my older brothers and sisters … According to what my mother told me when she was still alive, my older brother died at age one year and a half, but now we know he has two graves, rather than one. As to my sister, as soon as she was born, the doctors told my mother she was dead. My mother never saw the body, didn’t receive a death certificate, and that sister was never buried. The doctors and the medical staff probably took advantage of my mother’s naiveté and took away her daughter.”

“It’s time to expose the truth behind this shocking episode, an episode that is a black stain on the history of the State of Israel,” MK Boker said.

The committee meeting ended with a call on the government to open up the protocols; representatives of NGOs working to expose this episode called on the government to accept responsibility and recognize that this is a case of the mass kidnapping of children.

JNi.Media

Report: Al Qaeda in Yemen Starts Using Surface-to-Air Missiles

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen have reportedly acquired sophisticated Russian-made surface-to-air missiles and have used them to shoot down a fighter jet this month.

In an exclusive report (March 26) The Independent claims Al Qaeda used an SA-7 surface-to-air missile to down a French-made Mirage fighter jet in Yemen. The missile was allegedly a “Strela” shoulder-mounted heat-seeking projectile with a kill range altitude of 15 to 1,500 meters.

According to the report, the incident took place two weeks ago (March 14), just outside th southern Yemeni port city of Aden.

The jet crashed into a mountainside; officials at the time told media the crash was due to a “technical malfunction” but sources told The Independent the jet was shot down by Al Qaeda using a surface-to-air missile (SAM).

The fighter jet was flying in the United Arab Emirates air force as part of a Saudi-led coalition air campaign against the Shi’ite Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran. Both pilots were killed in the crash. Locals told media the jet was flying low and attacking AQAP forces entrenched in a district west of Aden.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is deeply involved in this conflict, as is the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, whose guerrilla fighters have been spotted among the Houthis.

If the report is true, this will mark the first time a SAM was used in the Yemen conflict – but not the first time Al Qaeda has ever used one.

In fact, Al Qaeda produced a detailed guide to help its operatives learn how to use a SAM to bring down commercial aircraft. One such guide was found in Mali as far back as three years ago, according to a 2013 report by The Associated Press.

The 26-page document, written in Arabic, was recovered by AP in a building that had been occupied by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghred (AQIM). This manual also was used for SA-7s, also called “man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS.

In that instance, the SA-7s in question were believed to have originated from the arsenal of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Not only were they found in Timbuktu, however. Atlantic Council analyst Peter Pham, a former adviser to U.S. military command in Africa and instructor to U.S. Special Forces told AP at the time he believed Al Qaeda had fighters who already knew how to use the SAMs effectively.

Moreover, the Libya-based Al Qaeda group was not the first to have MANPADS. It was also believed there were Al Qaeda groups in Iraq and Afghanistan who also had MANPADS, as well as a Somalian terror cell who boasted at the time about its SA-7 in a video message.

This Saturday, a second source told The Independent, “Al Qaeda has confiscated huge amounts of weapons from bases in Yemen.” The SA-7s in this case are believed to have been sold to Al Qaeda, or to Yemen by Bulgarian arms dealers who acquired them when the Soviet Union broke apart.

The source added, “Al Qaeda are smarter than Islamic State (ISIS); They speak with the tribal elders, they co-opt people, get them on their side. Islamic State uses fear and coercion. It’s flashy and seeks a lot of attention but Al Qaeda is laying low and playing the long game.”

The source claimed that fighters from both sides of the conflict in Yemen are selling arms to AQAP.

Hana Levi Julian

Yemen to Jews: Convert, Leave or Die

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

So much for Jews living peacefully under Islamic rule.

The government of Yemen ordered that all Jews either convert to Islam or be deported, a representative of the Jewish community in Yemen told Israeli Deputy Minister Kara, according to a report by Lahav Harkov, a reporter for the JPost.

Harkov adds that the Yemenite government said if the Jews don’t convert or leave, they will no longer be protected by the government and won’t punish anyone who kills them.

There’s an estimated 180 to 350 Jews left in Yemen.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Iran Claims 4,000 Muslims Killed in Hajj Stampede [video]

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

A Nigerian official told BBC that the death toll in last week’s stampede at the Hajj festival outside Mecca is 1,075 and not 769 as claimed by Saudi Arabia.

Iran claimed that 4,000 Muslims, including 200 Iranians, were killed in the disaster that has embarrassed the kingdom.

The Nigerian official based his report on the number of bodies taken to mortuaries, and officials from other countries also said the death toll was almost 1,100.

The kingdom responded that the higher counts include those who died from together reasons and not in the stampede, but none of the estimates come close to the amount claimed by Iran.

The Islamic Republic has used the stampede as a platform for propaganda against Saudi Arabia, which quietly opposed the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran and which has led a strike force to bomb Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday called on Islamic countries to form a fact-finding committee, and said:

Saudi government is not complying with its responsibilities to transfer the bodies of those who have been killed (in Mina stampede)….

The slightest disrespect for tens of thousands of Iranian Hajj pilgrims in Mecca and Medina and any lack of responsibility to transfer the bodies will result in Iran’s crushing and violent reaction.

The leader of one of the world’s grossest offenders of human rights added:

The Islamic Republic of Iran doesn’t practice cruelty but it also doesn’t accept anyone’s oppression and cruelty; therefore, it doesn’t trample on the rights of any human beings and nations, either Muslim or non-Muslim, but if anyone wants to trample Iran and its nation’s rights, he/she will receive a strong response.

Below is a video of the aftermath of the stampede. [Warning: graphic scenes not suited for children.]

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Iranian Arms Delivery to Yemen Rebels Intercepted

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

While European nations and others rush to renew their economic ties with Tehran, Iran’s military has also been busy making sure its arms export mechanism continues to roll out product to the masses.

An Iranian arms delivery to Shi’ite Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen was intercepted last week in the northern Arabian Sea.

It’s not clear whether the interception was carried out by a Saudi-led coalition of by a member of the 30-nation Combined Maritime Forces, (CMF) a U.S.-led multinational coalition.

It is believed the vessel, which was not formally registered to any country, was attempting to smuggle the weapons in to Shi’ite rebels in Yemen.

Crew members on the intercepted vessel said the ship was headed for Somalia, located near Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden.

The ship was a dhow, a large wooden vessel commonly used in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, according to a report by the Associated Press.

It was registered to Hogan Mohammed Hout, an Iranian national, and licensed as a fishing vessel, AP reported, quoting a Saudi coalition engaged in fighting Shi’ite Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The vessel was intercepted while carrying the weapons in international waters, the U.S. Navy said in a statement, contradicting a claim by the Saudi coalition which placed the interception a day later, and by Saudis. An American guided missile destroyer, the Forrest Sherman, reportedly went to provide backup once the arms were discovered.

The U.S. Navy also stated that based on statements by the crew, the port of origin and the arms were believed to be Iranian.

According to the Saudis, the ship was carrying papers indicating it was checked by port and customs officials in the southeastern Iranian ports in Sistan and Baluchistan.

Some of the anti-tank ordnance allegedly originated in Russia as well.

Most of the weapons were dumped into the sea, with the exception of a few retained for analysis, and the vessel was allowed to continue on its way.

The account differs from statements made earlier in the day by the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis. That coalition alleged it had foiled the same smuggling attempt – albeit on Saturday – saying Iran was using the ship to arm the Houthis.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iranian-arms-delivery-to-yemen-rebels-intercepted/2015/10/01/

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