JUBA – South Sudan and Israel on Friday discussed bilateral cooperation and diplomatic relations.
South Sudan said it will establish an embassy in Jerusalem, the Holy city, rather than the political capital, Tel Aviv, following the recent visit of the South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir.
On Friday the visiting Israeli ambassador, Dan Shaham, met with the vice president of South Sudan, Riek Machar, and discussed issues pertaining to the bilateral cooperation between the two states.
The issues included the support the Israeli government will provide to the new state as well as the status of some 1,500 South Sudanese currently residing in Israel.
Shaham gave assurances that South Sudanese refugees in Israel will be trained in various skills so they can contribute to the young nation upon repatriation.
Machar stressed the importance of establishing a Hebrew language school in the South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
They also discussed the plans for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land by South Sudanese Christian leaders.
The Vice President and the Israeli diplomat also discussed the ongoing disarmament of civil populations in Jonglei state. They also touched on the situation in the Middle East, particularly with the current violent events in Syria.
With the independence of the South Sudan in July 2011, Israel announced on 31 January that South Sudanese are no longer considered refugees and have to leave the Jewish state before the first of April of face forced deportation.
The UN refugee agency, HCR, said only some 60 South Sudanese agreed to return voluntarily to their new nation before April 1. The Israeli Interior ministry recently said no South Sudanese have appealed the decision to deport them or applied for refugee status since January.
Following its decision to send South Sudanese to their country, the Israeli authorities agreed, upon the request of the HCR, to give them the possibility to petition to stay in Israel. The official statics estimate that there are some 3000 South Sudanese in Israel.
- Sudanese press: Netanyahu to visit South Sudan (altahrir.wordpress.com)
Israel forgets the fact that the United Nations declared Jerusalem to be an “International City” not owned by any one nation in 1947 due to its cultural importance to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. – Window Into Palestine
Israel issued a warning to the nearby Arab states if they allowed the global march to take place next Friday 30th March. Israel also stated that if anyone neared their borders, they would be accused of trespassing.
It claimed that the march is organized by “anti-Israeli parties” and said that this march won’t be allowed to reach Israel’s borders.
Political sources said that the Israeli government sent warning letters to governments including; Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Hamas’ in the West Bank and to the Palestinian authority, asking them to put a stop to the possible escalation of tension as a result of these marches.
Israeli military authorities put a “security plan” in place, to face the risk of the flow of protesters to the borders. The plan will be presented in a meeting of the Israeli government on Sunday, 25th March to implement it.
According to the Israeli correspondent of the Israeli official TV, this plan contains strategies to suppress the masses, which the Israeli military units in the Army and border guards have trained for.
Two months ago, the international committee of the Global March to Jerusalem began organizing the global march under the logo “Freedom for Jerusalem, No Occupation, No Ethnic Cleansing and Segregation, No for Judaising of Palestine, its land and holy sites.”
The committee chose 30th March to coincide with the anniversary of Palestinian “land day”; Palestine Land Day is a day celebrated by Palestinians on 30th March each year. The event marks the events of March, 1976, following the Israeli authority’s confiscation of thousands of dunums of private and public land in the majority of Palestinian areas, especially the Galilee. Following these events the Arab masses inside Palestine declared a general strike, confronting the Israeli authorities for the first time since the occupation of Palestine in 1948. The Israeli response was militant and violent, as the Israeli troops, backed up by tanks, entered Palestinian villages and re-occupied them, causing a number of martyrs and many wounded and detainees among the civilians.
The march will unite the efforts of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all citizens of conscience in the world to put an end to Israel’s disregard for international law through the continuing occupation of Jerusalem and Palestinian land.
Massive marches will be organized in Palestine, as well as from Asia, Africa and Europe to and in neighbouring countries to Palestine (Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon) and towards Jerusalem or to the nearest point possible according to the circumstances of each country and through the coordination between all groups and institutions of civil society taking part in the march, in coordination with the official and national bodies concerned.
Mass protests will also be organized in front of Israeli embassies in the capitals of different countries and in the main public squares in the big cities of the world, including the Arab and Muslim capitals and large cities.
- Palestine Land Day: Demonstration at the Israeli Embassy (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- A call from Palestinians in Palestine to join the Global March to Jerusalem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Solidarity Rally with Global March to Jerusalem (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Israel excitedly rejects cooperation with UN over settlements (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- World Civilian Coalition Gathers for Global March to Jerusalem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage (AFEH) has condemned the Jewish settlers’ desecration of Bab El-Rahma cemetery in occupied Jerusalem on Saturday and plans to turn part of it into Talmudic park.
It said in a statement on Sunday that Zionist fanatic groups in cooperation with the Israeli “higher court of justice” were launching steps on the ground toward that end.
AFEH also said that a group of 20 Jewish settlers offered Talmudic rituals inside the graveyard, which is adjacent to the Aqsa mosque, and danced over the graves leading to the destruction of two headstones.
AFEH quoted one of the guards of the cemetery as saying that he shouted at the settlers, telling them they should leave the cemetery but they refused and insulted him. They continued in their dancing that destroyed the headstones, he said.
The guard said that he summoned the police, adding that two border policemen and a female conscript came to the scene and were content with watching the settlers and did not even bother to talk to them.
Bab El-Rahma is a 1400-year-old cemetery and is near to Bab El-Rahma gate of the Aqsa mosque. AFEH said that any attack on the graveyard is an attack on the holy Aqsa mosque.
- Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surrounding area attacked 100 times during 2011 (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Jewish settlers break into Muslim shrines to perform Talmudic rituals (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Municipality creates garbage dump inside Bab Alsbat cemetery next to Lion Gate in the Old City (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli settlers defile Al Aqsa Mosque; attack Muslim worshipers (abujomaa.wordpress.com)
- Israeli settlers break into Al Aqsa Mosque (abujomaa.wordpress.com)
- Jerusalem; A Cry for Support, A Cry for Justice (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Jewish Settlers Plan Takeover of Palestinian Houses, says Peace Bloc (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Hamas calls for defending the Aqsa mosque (altahrir.wordpress.com)
Tbilisi – U.S. Ambassador-designate to Georgia, Richard Norland, outlined priority areas of U.S. cooperation with its “reliable partner”, Georgia, during a nomination hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 21, saying that upcoming elections would be “a very important litmus test” for Georgia’s NATO aspiration. [...]
He reiterated the U.S. support to Georgia’s NATO aspirations and said that the Alliance’s upcoming summit in Chicago would provide an opportunity “to highlight Georgia’s progress towards meeting membership criteria, as well as its significant partnership contributions.”
He stressed on importance of Georgia’s contribution to the Afghan operations, where “brave” Georgian soldiers operate without caveats in the Helmand province, noting that Georgia would become the largest non-NATO contributor to ISAF after it deploys an additional battalion in Afghanistan this fall.
Responding to Republican Senator Richard Lugar’s question about Georgia’s NATO integration, the Ambassador-designate said that the Alliance had already declared that Georgia would become a NATO member.
“So the issue really has to do [with] how and when,” Norland said. “There is no single path to NATO membership. As it stands now, I understand, the Annual National Program and the NATO-Georgia [Commission] are the primary mechanisms to which Georgia and the Allies are pursuing the issue of Georgia’s membership.”
He also said that “a lot of emphasis” was also placed on steps Georgia was already taking, including its contribution to the ISAF mission, defense reforms, as well as steps towards democratic and economic reforms.
“These are all part of the package that go[es] into meeting the criteria for NATO membership,” Norland said.
He said that “serious efforts” were being undertaken by the U.S. administration to use upcoming NATO summit in Chicago “to signal acknowledgment for Georgia’s progress in these areas and to work with the Allies to develop a consensus on the next steps forward.” … Full article
- A New NATO Ally? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- U.S. and NATO are on the march worldwide – Part II (alhittin.com)
- ‘US builds hospitals in Georgia, readies for war with Iran’ (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has rejected allegations made by right-wing Israeli and American activists accusing the movement of involvement in illegal activities, Press TV reports.
The US and Israeli activists have recently stepped up their propaganda campaign against the resistance movement and its finances, accusing Hezbollah of being involved in illegal activities, including drug trafficking and money laundering.
The Israeli daily Yediot Ahranot has recently claimed that Hezbollah is attempting to take control of Lebanon’s finance sector and banking system. This report was simultaneous with a high profile visit to Beirut by the US treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence David Cohen.
”The US Zionist lobby has a big role to play in whipping up the congress and the US government with the power that they have in the government to send these officials to rattle the cage of the central bank, to send a message to the Lebanese that you’re vulnerable,” said Franklin Lamb with the Americans concerned for ME Peace.
High ranking Republican congressmen have also accused Hezbollah of involvement in a full range of criminal activities in the US to raise money. US Congressman Peter King, who last year accused the American Muslim community of a growing radicalization, described the Hezbollah movement as a violent murder gang, saying that it represents a growing threat to US national security.
”All of a sudden there is focus on the criminal aspect of drug dealing, money laundering, without specific facts to terrorism. Remember it was terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. It still is but that’s shopworn, that doesn’t have the credibility,” Lamb pointed out.
Hezbollah has, however, strongly denied any involvement in criminal activities, saying it is being targeted because of its stiff resistance against Israel and also because Tel Aviv failed to defeat the movement militarily in 2006.
Since that time Hezbollah appears to have grown both militarily and politically and is still seen by many as a legitimate resistance and liberating force.
- Hezbollah: US Claims of Money Laundering Aim to Tarnish Resistance’s Image (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Who was Behind the Delhi Bombing? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Hezbollah calls for political solution to Syrian crisis (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Resistance will continue until liberation of al-Quds: Nasrallah (altahrir.wordpress.com)