The Syrian regime has a long history of starving Palestinians, perhaps longer than any other Arab regime. Three of the four countries surrounding Palestine have been involved in the death of Palestinians once: September, Sabra and Shatila and the siege on Gaza, but only one country of the four were involved in the shedding of Palestinian blood three times: Tel Zaatar, the War of the Camps and Yarmouk today.
On the three occasions, the scene is the same; the Syrian regime uses allied militias and orders them to surround the camp. In the case of Tel Al-Zaatar refugee camp in 1976, they used Maronite Lebanese Christian militias, consisting of the main Christian militia, the Phalangists, but also the Kataeb Forces, the Guardians of the Cedars and the Marada movement.
In the War of the Camps, between 1985 and 1988, the regime recruited the Shia Lebanese Amal Movement, which, at the time, was in armed conflict with Hezbollah over influence in Beirut and the south. Hezbollah did not participate in the War of the Camps, but the Amal movement opened fired on the Palestinians and Hezbollah at the same time.
As for today, the Syrian regime relies on the army directly, as well as some loyal Palestinian militias such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command and Fatah Al-Intifada.
On all three occasions, the water and electricity supplies were cut off from the camp, they were deprived of supplies and ran out of them, and people began to starve to death. On all three occasions, hunger drove the people to eat leaves and ask for fatwas to eat cats, dogs and dead animals; the women who walked to the working wells and water pumps on the outskirts of the camp were killed by snipers surrounding the camps.
According to the testimonies of Hussain Ayyad and Maysa Khatib, residents of Tel Al-Zaatar, the women who were shot by snipers fell into the wells and people were forced to use the wells while the martyrs’ bodies remained in them. They were unable to remove the bodies because snipers continued to shoot at them.
On all three occasions, the media was told that the level of hunger in the camps was a lie, that eyewitness accounts were delusions and that the hunger victims were hungry for fame. In all of these instances, the forces imposing the siege on the camps would eat and drink in front of the cameras of the news agencies on the outskirts of the camp, in order to further humiliate and insult the people.
One of the Lebanese television stations supporting the Syrian regime broadcasted a report on the Yarmouk refugee camp, showing the soldiers imposing the siege eating with one of the station’s correspondents and denying the fact that the people were hungry, while repeating scenes of spilt children’s milk during the sieges of the Sabra and Shatila and Burj El-Barajneh camps in the eighties, the former sieges imposed by Lebanon and backed by Israel and lasted three months, from June to September 1982. The latter siege was imposed by Lebanon and supported by Syria, lasting four years, from 1985 to 1988.
On all three occasions, the Syrian regime claimed it killed the Palestinians because they are radical and resistant, but they never clash with Israel, not even when they bombed the capital. In all three cases, humiliating the Palestinians in the media was an essential part of the war against them. This was not only to demoralise the people in the camps and those defending them under the siege, but also to distort the image of Palestine and the Palestinian political and cultural symbols and confuse the Syrian and Lebanese public opinion and reactions to such actions, or, at the very least, delay them from taking action to oppose the siege on the camps.
On January 9, 2014, UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness said, “The profound civilian suffering in Yarmouk deepens, with reports of widespread malnutrition and the absence of medical care, including for those who have severe conflict-related injuries and women in childbirth, with fatal consequences for some women.”
Britain’s The Guardian reported the same UNRWA spokesperson saying, on February 9, 2014, a month after his first statement, that Dr Ibrahim Mohammed, who works with UNRWA, saved the life of a 14-month-old baby boy named Khaled, who was suffering from severe malnutrition. The baby was living almost exclusively on water for two months. His mother, Noor, who is 29 years old, said that they would boil water and spices and eat it, and when they ran out, they starting eating grass, but they even ran out of that.
In a documented message from the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), an organisation based in Geneva working in coordination with UNRWA to bring food into the camp, the EMHRRN reported that a 15-year-old girl named Heba, along with her five-month old child, told the UN food distributors that they hadn’t eaten for three days and she has not been able to breastfeed her child. When the paramedics gave the baby water to drink, he became so bloated because he hadn’t had anything in his stomach for days that the paramedics were concerned for him and one of the Red Cross International doctors was summoned to treat the baby.
These instances of hunger were followed in the past by killings of anyone trying to leave the camp. In the case of Tel Al-Zaatar camp, for example, after starving the camp for months, the Phalangist militias, backed by the Syrian regime, announced that it would allow the Palestinians to leave in order for the Red Cross to transport them to their shelters. When the Palestinians started to leave the camp, the militiamen began killing the Palestinians, according to Maysa Al-Khatib, one of the survivors of the massacre whose testimony, along with Hussain Ayyad’s, was published in the Palestinian appendix to Lebanon’s Al-Safir newspaper on August 12, 2013 and September 15, 2012.
"A massacre was committed against every young man and boy over the age of 10 who tried to leave the camp, as well as dozens of girls, women, and the elderly. A woman carrying her two-day-old baby was approached by one of the murders, who grabbed her baby and threw him far away; he fell onto some trees and she was unable to see where his body landed.
"A young woman with wounded legs was crawling through the crowds and one of the killers told another, ‘Take her under the fig tree and make her happy’. She said: ‘Death is a thousand times better’, so he said, ‘Then die,’ and shot her.
"Ghazi, my cousin, was carrying my grandmother on his shoulders, thinking that carrying her would save her from death and they killed her before they killed him. An old woman slipped and fell into a ditch and while she tried to climb out of it, one of the killers said, ‘Where are you going? Stay where you are’ and he shot her in the head several times.
"Abu Yaseen Freijah, an UNRWA nurse, was dressed in his white uniform and was holding his wife, who was shot in the shoulder and the killers snatched his wife away from him, tied his legs to two cars, and they drove off in opposite directions.
"My 17-year-old cousin Ali, who was meek and harmless, was tied to the back of a car that set off at full speed onto the asphalt. Abu Akram, the well-known textiles seller, tried to stop the killers from taking his son by giving them all the money in his possession, but they killed his son in front of him before shooting him and they picked up the money he threw."
Those who committed the Tel Al-Zaatar massacre and starved the people during the War of the Camps have not been punished to this day and some have even gone on to become ministers and heads of representative councils in Lebanon and leaders in Syria. These tragedies are being repeated in Yarmouk refugee camp. Although the beginning of the tragedies in Yarmouk is similar to the ones in Tel Al-Zaatar, we must all take action in order for them not to end in the same manner.
CD Palestino, a football club in Chile founded by Palestinian immigrants, recently changed their jersey to have the number one shaped as the map of historic Palestine.
Zionist groups complained to the Chilean Football Federation and the club was subsequently fined $1,300 and told to design a new shirt. The numbers were not to be replaced with any symbols or maps.
Their response? Move the map to the front of the shirt. Even better.
They said: ”For us, free Palestine will always be historical Palestine, nothing less.”
We lived in Syria for the first few years of my life and we kept going back to its beauty except for, obviously, the past few years. It’s heart breaking and I hate the rhetoric I’m hearing on the news. Sending more weapons to the mercenary rebels is no one’s answer.
Are you fucking kidding me??
I never reblogged anything to do with Syria, but this is spooky.
Who the fuck named the Sahara Desert anyway
Sahara is just the Arabic word for “deserts”
You fucking named it the Desert Desert
way to fucking go
Probably the same dude who named ‘chai tea’
And ‘jugo juice’
"To artivists throughout the world, write - because you can’t not write; paint - because you can’t not paint; film - because you can’t not film; and create because you can’t accept what not creating means. Let us unfold our arms out of the fragile stance of spectators. Let us use our tools, sometimes like a scalpel and other times like a sledgehammer, in the service of the oppressed - liberation through imagination."-M.K. Asante Jr., It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop
The Most Beautiful Trees in the World
- Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon. Photo by unknown.
- Red maples trees path. Photo by Ildiko Neer.
- Most beautiful wisteria tree in the world. Photo by Brian Young.
- Yellow autumn in Central Park, New York. Photo by Christopher Schoenbohm.
- Amazing Angel Oak Tree, Charlston, Photo by Mark Requidan.
- Cherry blossom tree path, Germany. Photo by Shoeven.
- California in autumn. Photo by Mizzy Pacheco.
- Jacaranda trees in bloom, South Africa. Photo by Falke.
- Ponthus beech tree in Brocéliande forest, France. Photo by Christophe Kiciak.
- Beautiful cherry blossom road. Photo by unknown.
Mohamed Mahjoub, a father of three, has been in prison or under house arrest in Toronto since he was first slapped with a national security certificate in 2000.
The government’s branding of an Egyptian man as a terrorist threat to Canada’s national security is based on flimsy evidence tainted by torture, Federal Court heard Friday.
In closing submissions, lawyer Johanne Doyon accused Canada’s spy service of unethical tunnel vision in its 12-year quest to have Mohamed Mahjoub deported.
“We know now that there is a large part of the file that was based on (torture),” Doyon told Judge Edmond Blanchard.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, she said, did not have “sufficient morality” to exclude evidence against Mahjoub they knew was obtained from torture.
Mahjoub, a father of three, has been in prison or under house arrest in Toronto since he was first slapped with a national security certificate in 2000.
His lawyers are trying to have the case against him thrown out as an abuse of process.
Doyon said evidence obtained from torture “cannot be established as viable” and accused the government of willingly violating the Charter and subverting the judicial system for its own ends.
“This is not decent at all,” she said. “The only conclusion is to quash the certificate.”
Based in large part on secret evidence, the government insists Mahjoub was a ranking member of the Vanguards of Conquest, an Egyptian group linked to Al Qaeda.
Mahjoub, 52, also worked on an agricultural project in Sudan run by Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s.
Doyon noted a series of problems with the government’s case, including the fact that the spy agency destroyed the original recordings of interviews it did with Mahjoub, who came to Canada in 1995 and was granted refugee status.
All that’s left of those interviews are summaries, which amount to “residual evidence of the evidence that was destroyed,” she said. “This should not be admitted by the court.”
The government has not produced any independent evidence that Mahjoub ever committed, or would commit, terrorist acts, she said.
CSIS also made no attempts to investigate or verify information it was given by foreign intelligence services, and its case against Mahjoub, she insisted, was not based on anything credible.
She noted there was no evidence to show the bin Laden farm was anything other than a legitimate business, and accused the government of trying to convict Mahjoub based on people he might once have had contact with.
“This is guilty by association, which is something you should not allow or should prevent,” she told the judge.
She also noted there was no definitive proof Mahjoub even belonged to the Vanguards of Conquest and accused the spy service of having “paranoid vision.”
Over the years, CSIS has admitted listening in on calls between Mahjoub and his lawyers, and last year, government lawyers mistakenly took files belonging to his defence.
“I’m very frustrated with the Canadian government,” Mahjoub said outside court.
His lawyers’ closing submissions are expected to wrap up on Monday.
Mahjoub has staved off deportation to Egypt on the basis he would likely be tortured there.
Two other Muslim men are also fighting their national security certificates: Egyptian Mahmoud Jaballah and Algerian Mohamed Harkat, whose case is pending before the Supreme Court of Canada.
[ Allah ] said, “Fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see. 20:46
And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein. 50:16
A rap artist was forced off the stage at an inaugural event in Washington, D.C. Sunday night after he performed an anti-Obama diatribe.
The scene unfolded at The Hamilton one block from the White House as Lupe Fiasco, a Grammy-nominated rapper from Chicago, began performing ‘Words I Never Said,’ a single he recorded in February of 2011.
‘I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bull***t, just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets,’ he rapped. ‘… Rush Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist, Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say s**t. That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either, I’m a part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful and I believe in the people.’
Fiasco’s microphone was cut and a handful of security personnel surrounded him on stage. He was reportedly asked to move on to the next song and refused, so he was asked to leave.
As he moved off the stage, Fiasco turned to the audience and waved his hand, then took a bow. The crowd was shouting his name.
The statement continued: ‘We are staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech. This was not about his opinions. Instead, after a bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance that left the crowd vocally dissatisfied, organizers decided to move on to the next act.’
Fiasco, 30, was born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco in Chicago and his father was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party, an African-American revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982.
His music tends to include political messages and he has criticized Obama in the past.
Most recently, he targeted Obama’s use of drones and accused him of killing children.
‘You have someone who is a great speaker, but kills little children - our President,’ he said during an interview with Philadelphia radio station Power 99FM. ‘I’m talking about ordering a drone attack. Ordering drone attacks that go and kill mothers, innocent bystanders, children. Militants too, but the collateral damage. You’re responsible for that, too.’
Palestinian director of Oscar-nominated film ‘5 Broken Cameras’ Emad Burnat reportedly held by immigration authorities at LAX and threatened with deportation.