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  • 40 mercenaires israéliens dans l’usine Azov (Kiev) – Site de la chaîne AlManar-Liban
    https://french.almanar.com.lb/2326997

    Le conseiller du président ukrainien, David Arakhamia, a admis la présence de plusieurs dizaines de mercenaires israéliens dans l’usine métallurgique et sidérurgique d’Azovstal dans la ville de Marioupol, a rapporté le journal israélien The Times of Israel.

    Selon Arakhamia, qui est également membre de la délégation ukrainienne aux négociations entre Kiev et Moscou, ce sont une quarantaine de mercenaires qui se trouvent aux côtés des forces ukrainiennes et du régiment néonazi d’Azov, retranchés dans cette usine, seul bastion échappant au contrôle des forces russes et de leurs alliés de Donetsk dans la ville du sud de l’Ukraine.

    La porte-parole du ministère russe des Affaires étrangères, Maria Zakharova, a fait état que « des mercenaires israéliens combattent aux côtés de la brigade extrémiste Azov », ajoutant qu’ »Israël ne peut ignorer l’affaire, en particulier avec la présence de vidéos et de documents qui le certifient ».

    #israël #ukraine même combat ?

    • La source primaire : Senior Zelensky adviser : 40 ’Jewish heroes’ fighting in Mariupol steel plant | The Times of Israel
      https://www.timesofisrael.com/senior-zelensky-adviser-40-jewish-heroes-fighting-in-mariupol-steel-p

      A senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that there are dozens of Jewish soldiers fighting in the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

      “There are about 40 Jewish heroes protecting Azovstal now,” David Arakhamia, the adviser in charge of Ukraine’s negotiating delegation, told The Times of Israel on Friday.

      Arakhamia also heads Zelensky’s ruling Servant of the People party in parliament.

      One of the Ukrainian units still holding out in the steel plant is the Azov Regiment, a formation that has been accused since its formation in 2014 of associations with neo-Nazi ideology.

      Et il y a 3 jours : Un soldat juif ukrainien appelle Israël au secours de l’usine assiégée de Marioupol - The Times of Israël
      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/un-soldat-ukrainien-juif-appelle-israel-au-secours-de-lusine-assie

      Un soldat juif ukrainien de l’usine Azovstal de Marioupol assiégée a appelé, mercredi soir, Israël à intervenir pour sauver sa garnison.

      Dans une vidéo publiée sur Facebook par Ilgam Gasanov, entrepreneur et militant basé à Kiev, Vitaliy Barabash a déclaré en ukrainien : « Il m’est difficile de parler, raison pour laquelle mon discours sera prononcé par mon frère [d’armes], au nom de tous les Juifs ukrainiens qui se trouvent ici avec moi. »

      Barabash, également connu sous le nom de Benya, a tenu un drapeau ukrainien face à la caméra pendant que son ami lisait sa déclaration, un tatouage d’étoile de David étant clairement visible sur la main de Barabash.

      Dans les deux articles de Times of Israël, il n’est pas fait mention de mercenaires israéliens, mais d’ukrainiens juifs.

      À ma connaissance, l’accusation de la présence de mercenaires israéliens vient de la diplomatie russe : Ukraine : des Israéliens combattent avec le régiment Azov, affirme Moscou
      https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/ukraine-des-israeliens-combattent-avec-le-regiment-azov-affirme-moscou-2022

      « Je vais dire quelque chose que les politiciens israéliens ne veulent sans doute pas entendre, mais peut-être que cela les intéressera. En Ukraine, des mercenaires israéliens sont aux côtés des militants d’Azov », a déclaré la porte-parole de la diplomatie russe Maria Zakharova dans une interview à la radio Spoutnik.

    • Après, que les Occidentaux financent des mercenaires en Ukraine, c’est une évidence puisque c’est le mode de fonctionnement des guerres modernes (même si on fait semblant de considérer que ça ne concernerait que les russes). Cela vient d’être rappelé par Cori Bush par exemple :

      Bush Statement on Ukraine Supplemental Funding Vote
      https://bush.house.gov/media/press-releases/bush-statement-on-ukraine-supplemental-funding-vote

      “Additionally, at $40 billion, this is an extraordinary amount of military assistance, a large percentage of which will go directly to private defense contractors. In the last year alone, the United States will have provided Ukraine with more military aid than any country in the last two decades, and twice as much military assistance as the yearly cost of war in Afghanistan, even when American troops were on the ground. The sheer size of the package given an already inflated Pentagon budget should not go without critique. I remain concerned about the increased risks of direct war and the potential for direct military confrontation.

      Par contre, je n’ai pas vu de confirmation officielle du fait qu’il y aurait des mercenaires israéliens à Azovstal, contrairement au raccourci de l’article d’Al Manar.

    • Les sources russes sont un vrai bonheur.
      Référence permanente aux nazis (ukrainiens), alors qu’on sait bien maintenant que la source nazie de Azov ne correspond plus aujourd’hui aux nazis d’hier, même s’ils y font référence en ayant gardé des logos.
      C’est assez drôle que pour Israël on donne bien la nationalité des mercenaires (s’ils existent) et que pour toutes les autres nationalités non.

  • Boris Johnson annonce avoir signé un accord avec Kigali pour envoyer des demandeurs d’asile au #Rwanda

    Ce projet, susceptible de s’appliquer à toutes les personnes entrées illégalement sur le territoire, a suscité des réactions scandalisées des organisations de défense des droits humains.

    Le premier ministre britannique, Boris Johnson, a décidé de durcir la politique migratoire du Royaume-Uni, en prenant une décision pour le moins controversée. Le Royaume-Uni a annoncé, jeudi 14 avril, avoir pour projet d’envoyer au Rwanda des demandeurs d’asile arrivés illégalement, espérant ainsi dissuader les traversées clandestines de la Manche, qui sont en pleine augmentation.

    Ce projet, susceptible de s’appliquer à toutes les personnes entrées illégalement sur le territoire, d’où qu’elles viennent (Iran, Syrie, Erythrée…), a suscité des réactions scandalisées. Des organisations de défense des droits humains ont dénoncé son « inhumanité ». L’opposition a jugé que le premier ministre tentait de détourner l’attention après l’amende qu’il a reçue pour une fête d’anniversaire en plein confinement. Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) a, de son côté, fait part de « sa forte opposition » :

    « Les personnes fuyant la guerre, les conflits et les persécutions méritent compassion et empathie. Elles ne devraient pas être échangées comme des marchandises et transférées à l’étranger pour être traitées. »
    Un projet chiffré à 144 millions d’euros

    Alors que M. Johnson avait promis de contrôler l’immigration, un des sujets-clés dans la campagne du Brexit, le nombre de traversées illégales de la Manche a triplé en 2021, année marquée notamment par la mort de vingt-sept personnes dans un naufrage à la fin de novembre. Londres reproche régulièrement à Paris de ne pas en faire assez pour empêcher les traversées.

    « A partir d’aujourd’hui (…), toute personne entrant illégalement au Royaume-Uni ainsi que celles qui sont arrivées illégalement depuis le 1er janvier pourront désormais être transférées au Rwanda », a annoncé le dirigeant conservateur dans un discours dans le Kent (sud-est de l’Angleterre). Le Rwanda pourra accueillir « des dizaines de milliers de personnes dans les années à venir », a-t-il ajouté, décrivant ce pays d’Afrique de l’Est comme l’un des « plus sûrs du monde, mondialement reconnu pour son bilan d’accueil et d’intégration des migrants ».

    En vertu de l’accord annoncé jeudi, Londres financera dans un premier temps le dispositif à hauteur de 144 millions d’euros. Le gouvernement rwandais a précisé qu’il proposerait la possibilité « de s’installer de manière permanente au Rwanda [à ces personnes si elles] le souhaitent ».

    Désireux de regagner en popularité avant des élections locales le mois prochain, M. Johnson et son gouvernement cherchent depuis des mois à conclure des accords avec des pays tiers où envoyer les clandestins en attendant de traiter leur dossier.
    Le contrôle de la Manche confié à la marine

    « Notre compassion est peut-être infinie, mais notre capacité à aider des gens ne l’est pas », a déclaré M. Johnson, qui anticipe des recours en justice contre le dispositif. « Ceux qui essaient de couper la file d’attente ou d’abuser de notre système n’auront pas de voie automatique pour s’installer dans notre pays mais seront renvoyés de manière rapide et humaine dans un pays tiers sûr ou leur pays d’origine », a-t-il ajouté.

    Les migrants arrivant au Royaume-Uni ne seront plus hébergés dans des hôtels, mais dans des centres d’accueil, à l’image de ceux qui existent en Grèce, avec un premier centre « ouvrant bientôt », a annoncé M. Johnson.

    Dans le cadre de ce plan, qui vient compléter une vaste loi sur l’immigration actuellement au Parlement et déjà critiqué par l’Organisation des Nations unies (ONU), le gouvernement confie dès jeudi le contrôle des traversées illégales de la Manche à la marine, équipée de matériel supplémentaire. En revanche, il a renoncé à son projet de repousser les embarcations entrant dans les eaux britanniques, mesure décriée côté français.
    Les ONG scandalisées

    En envoyant des demandeurs d’asile à plus de 6 000 kilomètres du Royaume-Uni, Londres veut décourager les candidats à l’immigration, toujours plus nombreux : 28 500 personnes ont effectué ces périlleuses traversées en 2021, contre 8 466 en 2020, selon des chiffres du ministère de l’intérieur.

    Amnesty International a critiqué « une idée scandaleusement mal conçue » qui « fera souffrir tout en gaspillant d’énormes sommes d’argent public », soulignant aussi le « bilan lamentable en matière de droits humains » du Rwanda.

    Daniel Sohege, directeur de l’organisation de défense des droits humains Stand For All, a déclaré à l’Agence France-Presse que l’initiative du gouvernement était « inhumaine, irréalisable et très coûteuse », recommandant plutôt d’ouvrir des voies d’entrée au Royaume-Uni « plus sûres » car celles qui existent sont « très limitées ».

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/04/14/londres-a-signe-un-accord-avec-kigali-pour-envoyer-des-demandeurs-d-asile-au

    #Angleterre #UK #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    #offshore_asylum_processing

    –-

    ajouté à la métaliste sur les différentes tentatives de différentes pays européens d’#externalisation non seulement des contrôles frontaliers, mais aussi de la #procédure_d'asile dans des #pays_tiers
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900122

    et ajouté à la métaliste sur la mise en place de l’#externalisation des #procédures_d'asile au #Rwanda par l’#Angleterre (2022) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900122

    • UN Refugee Agency opposes UK plan to export asylum

      Following public announcements made today, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, expressed strong opposition and concerns about the United Kingdom’s plan to export its asylum obligations and urged the UK to refrain from transferring asylum seekers and refugees to Rwanda for asylum processing.

      “UNHCR remains firmly opposed to arrangements that seek to transfer refugees and asylum seekers to third countries in the absence of sufficient safeguards and standards. Such arrangements simply shift asylum responsibilities, evade international obligations, and are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

      “People fleeing war, conflict and persecution deserve compassion and empathy. They should not be traded like commodities and transferred abroad for processing.”

      UNHCR urged both countries to re-think the plans. It also warned that instead of deterring refugees from resorting to perilous journeys, these externalization arrangements will only magnify risks, causing refugees to seek alternative routes, and exacerbating pressures on frontline states.

      While Rwanda has generously provided a safe haven to refugees fleeing conflict and persecution for decades, the majority live in camps with limited access to economic opportunities. UNHCR believes that wealthier nations must show solidarity in supporting Rwanda and the refugees it already hosts, and not the other way around.

      The UK has an obligation to ensure access to asylum for those seeking protection. Those who are determined to be refugees can be integrated, while those who are not and have no other legal basis to stay, can be returned in safety and dignity to their country of origin.

      Instead, the UK is adopting arrangements that abdicate responsibility to others and thus threaten the international refugee protection regime, which has stood the test of time, and saved millions of lives over the decades.

      The UK has supported UNHCR’s work many times in the past and is providing important contributions that help protect refugees and support countries in conflicts such as Ukraine. However, financial support abroad for certain refugee crises cannot replace the responsibility of States and the obligation to receive asylum seekers and protect refugees on their own territory – irrespective of race, nationality and mode of arrival.

      While UNHCR recognizes the challenges posed by forced displacement, developed countries are host to only a fraction of the world’s refugees and are well resourced to manage claims for asylum in a humane, fair and efficient manner.

      https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/4/62585e814/un-refugee-agency-opposes-uk-plan-export-asylum.html

    • The Border is a Colonial Wound: The Rwanda Deal and State Trafficking in People

      The border is a “colonial wound” that is designed for #bordering and #ordering#b/ordering – of the racialised and illegalised people by any means. The UK’s Nationality and Borders Bill and its subsequent offshore detention deal to deport people desperately seeking refugee to Rwanda is enactment of this exclusive b/ordering regime. One does not need to read between the lines to understand the objectives of the UK’s so-called “#Arrangement” with Rwanda as set out in article 2.1 and 2.2 of the #Memorandum_of_Understanding:

      2.1 The objective of this Arrangement is to create a mechanism for the relocation of asylum seekers whose claims are not being considered by the United Kingdom, to Rwanda, which will process their claims and settle or remove (as appropriate) individuals after their claim is decided…

      2.2 For the avoidance of doubt, the commitments set out… do not create or confer any right on any individual, nor shall compliance with this Arrangement be justiciable in any court of law by third-parties or individuals.

      These b/ordering arrangements pushes refugees and people seeking asylum into spaces of exception and extra-legality through a discriminatory policing at national (e.g., the Nationality and Borders Bill) and bilateral (e.g., the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Rwanda) levels. It does so in newly designated detention spaces like Manston, like the mandatory dispersal to Local Authorities announced at the same time as the Rwanda deal, and expansion of the securitised detention estate. Without doubt, these b/ordering arrangements have already become sources of ambivalence, anxiety and uncertainty. They are a source of terror to those who wish to seek asylum and are already arrayed in a precarious state. And if you had seen our direct messages as the announcement was leaked to the press and the fear expressed you can be in no doubt that the aim of terrorising people already placed in highly vulnerable immigration statuses is having a chilling effect.

      John Vine, the UK’s First Independent Chief Inspector of Borders cand Immigration, speaking on Sky News after the Prime Minister’s announcement of the Migration and Economic Partnership Deal with Rwanda, underscored the costs, not only economically, which have been calculated as far exceeding the cost of placing people in the Ritz, but the costs to the human body and the body politic. Deportation can only be affected by using often violent restraint and against the will of the individual. Jimmy Mbenga is the name every activist in the anti-deportation sector holds close when thinking of the ways restrains are effected on the deportees body, with the danger of asphyxiation. Nicolas Proctor’s as inspector of the Australian detention estate, where such off shoring mechanisms have been long in use, writes of the exponential rise in suicide and self harm under such conditions of deportation and detention. The deal is the official instigation of necropolitics, long written of by Achille Mbembe, but now instituted in ‘deals’ and ‘schemes’ and very likely indeed, unless prevented by the House of Lords, to be enacted into law.

      Indeed, the goal of the new national and bilateral arrangements is to create “discounted bodies” or ‘bodies at the limits of life, trapped in uninhabitable worlds and inhospitable places’. In this case, uninhabitability and inhospitality are designed and deliberate. The intention is simply to hold life in a permanent ‘state of injury’ outside any realms of protection and political intelligibility. Whether it be rendering people inadmissible through the legislation or “processing” them in offshore containment spaces, they all amount to necropolitical experimentation.

      Behrouz Boochani’s multi award winning book No Friend But The Mountains documents the destituting of human beings in such centres as the UK has now chosen to replicate. Even more so, his extraordinary film, Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time,

      ‘After a year or two years I found out that the journalism language is not powerful enough to tell the suffering and to tell the history of this prison, and what Australian government is doing in this island’, said Boochani.

      A chauka is a small bird native to Manus Island and is also the name of the high-security prison within the camp. The chauka is a symbol of the island and allows locals to tell the time from the chauka’s regular singing.In a sinister twist, it is pronounced the same as the English word “choker.”

      On April 15, the U.K. joined Australia in becoming a state that traffics people, destituting the bodies and lives of those who claim their right of asylum, and instituting a reign of necropolitics.

      This decision is against the spirit and letter of the Refugee Convention and the legal opinion of UNHCR UK has already expressed grave concerns about the U.K’s obligations as a state as a signatory of the 1951 Convention. In fact, the UNHCR has condemned the deal; ‘People seeking safety and protection, who have few alternatives, should not be penalized’.

      That this is likely to be contested in law and through the courts and will be the site of a great deal of opposition is not in doubt; or that it will eventually be overturned, as with Israel’s failed Rwanda deal and Australia’s failed Manus and Nauru project. But until then, we all have hard work to do.

      https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2022/04/border-colonial
      #discriminations #extra-légalité #coût #violence #santé_mentale #suicides #nécropolitique #inhospitalité #inhabitabilité

    • Rwanda genocide orphans to be booted out of home to make way for UK asylum seekers

      Orphans of Rwanda’s civil war say they have nowhere to go after being turfed out of a hostel under Priti Patel’s cruel Rwanda refugee scheme

      Orphans of the Rwandan genocide will lose their home to make way for refugees being booted out of Britain by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

      Some 22 residents are being turfed out of Hope House hostel to make room for asylum seekers sent to the African country under the proposed scheme.

      As more migrants landed in Dover yesterday, Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael said the evictions were “cruel and heartless”.

      Orphans of Rwanda’s civil war say they have nowhere to go after being turfed out of a hostel under Patel’s cruel Rwanda refugee scheme.

      A shelter for traumatised victims of the 1994 conflict is being emptied to make way for asylum seekers being sent from the UK under the controversial Tory plan.

      Although now in their late 20s, the 22 survivors have no money or family and some face lifelong mental health battles. They were given a fortnight’s notice to ship out of the hostel – ironically named Hope House – in capital city Kigali.

      Tonight one vulnerable woman who has lived at the shelter for eight years said: “I barely know any other home. I was only told about moving out a few days ago. I have not figured out where I will go.”

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/rwanda-genocide-orphans-booted-out-26728311

    • Le Royaume-Uni signe un accord avec Kigali pour envoyer des demandeurs d’asile au Rwanda

      Le Rwanda a signé un accord controversé avec Londres pour accueillir sur son sol des migrants et demandeurs d’asile de diverses nationalités acheminés du Royaume-Uni, a annoncé jeudi Kigali à l’occasion d’une visite de la ministre anglaise de l’Intérieur, Priti Patel. Le Haut Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR) a fait part de « sa forte opposition » au projet britannique.

      Le Royaume-Uni a annoncé, jeudi 14 avril, un projet controversé d’envoyer au Rwanda les demandeurs d’asiles arrivés illégalement sur son territoire et confié la surveillance de la Manche à la Royal Navy, espérant dissuader les traversées de clandestins qui ne cessent d’augmenter.

      Alors que le Premier ministre Boris Johnson avait promis de contrôler l’immigration, un des sujets clés de la campagne du Brexit, le nombre de traversées illégales, très dangereuses, a triplé en 2021 et continue d’augmenter. Londres reproche régulièrement à Paris de ne pas en faire assez pour les empêcher.

      « À partir d’aujourd’hui (...), toute personne entrant illégalement au Royaume-Uni ainsi que ceux qui sont arrivés illégalement depuis le 1er janvier pourront désormais être relocalisés au Rwanda », a annoncé le dirigeant conservateur lors d’un discours dans un aéroport du Kent (sud-est de l’Angleterre).

      Le Rwanda pourra accueillir « des dizaines de milliers de personnes dans les années à venir », a-t-il ajouté, affirmant que ce pays d’Afrique de l’Est est « l’un des pays les plus sûrs au monde, mondialement reconnu pour son bilan d’accueil et d’intégration des migrants ».

      Ce projet, susceptible donc de s’appliquer à tous les clandestins d’où qu’ils viennent (Iran, Syrie, Érythrée...), a suscité des réactions scandalisées des organisations de défense des droits humains, qui dénoncent son « inhumanité ». L’opposition a jugé que le Premier ministre tentait de détourner l’attention après avoir reçu une amende pour une fête d’anniversaire en plein confinement.
      Un accord à 144 millions d’euros

      Désireux de regagner en popularité avant des élections locales en mai, Boris Johnson et son gouvernement cherchent depuis des mois à conclure des accords avec des pays tiers où envoyer les migrants en attendant de traiter leur dossier.

      Une telle mesure est déjà appliquée par l’Australie avec des îles éloignées du Pacifique, une politique très critiquée. Par ailleurs, le Danemark avait également envisagé d’envoyer ses demandeurs d’asile vers des pays africains.

      En vertu de l’accord annoncé jeudi, Londres financera dans un premier temps le dispositif à hauteur de 120 millions de livres sterling (144 millions d’euros). Le gouvernement rwandais a précisé qu’il proposerait aux personnes accueillies la possibilité « de s’installer de manière permanente au Rwanda » si elles « le souhaitent ».

      « Notre compassion est peut-être infinie mais notre capacité à aider des gens ne l’est pas », a déclaré Boris Johnson. Le chef du gouvernement britannique a ajouté que « ceux qui essayent de couper la file d’attente ou abuser de notre système n’auront pas de voie automatique pour s’installer dans notre pays mais seront renvoyés de manière rapide, humaine, dans un pays tiers sûr ou leur pays d’origine ».

      Les migrants arrivant au Royaume-Uni ne seront plus hébergés dans des hôtels mais dans des centres d’accueil à l’image de ceux existant en Grèce, avec un premier centre « ouvrant bientôt », a annoncé Boris Johnson.
      Migrants échangés « comme des marchandises »

      Dans le cadre de ce plan, qui vient compléter une vaste loi sur l’immigration actuellement au Parlement et déjà critiqué par l’ONU, le gouvernement confie dès jeudi le contrôle des traversées illégales de la Manche à la Marine, équipée de matériel supplémentaire. Il a renoncé en revanche à son projet de repousser les embarcations entrant dans les eaux britanniques, mesure décriée côté français.

      En envoyant des demandeurs d’asile à plus de 6 000 kilomètres du Royaume-Uni, le gouvernement veut décourager les candidats au départ vers le Royaume-Uni, toujours plus nombreux : 28 500 personnes ont effectué ces périlleuses traversées en 2021, contre 8 466 en 2020... et seulement 299 en 2018, selon des chiffres du ministère de l’Intérieur.

      Amnesty International a critiqué une « idée scandaleusement mal conçue » qui « fera souffrir tout en gaspillant d’énormes sommes d’argent public », soulignant aussi le « bilan lamentable en matière de droits humains » de la nation africaine.

      Pour le directeur général de Refugee Action, Tim Naor Hilton, c’est une « manière lâche, barbare et inhumaine de traiter les personnes fuyant la persécution et la guerre ».

      Le Haut Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR) a fait également part de « sa forte opposition » au projet britannique. « Les personnes fuyant la guerre, les conflits et les persécutions méritent compassion et empathie. Elles ne devraient pas être échangées comme des marchandises et transférées à l’étranger pour voir leur dossiers traités », a déclaré le HCR dans un communiqué.

      Même dans les rangs conservateurs, les critiques ont fusé, le député Tobias Ellwood estimant sur la BBC qu’il s’agit d’une « énorme tentative de détourner l’attention » des déboires de Boris Johnson dans le « Partygate », ces fêtes organisées dans les cercles du pouvoir pendant les confinements.

      https://www.france24.com/fr/europe/20220414-le-royaume-uni-signe-un-accord-avec-kigali-pour-envoyer-des-deman

    • Le Rwanda déjà engagé dans des projets d’accueil de migrants avec d’autres pays

      Le Rwanda serait-il en train de devenir un sous-traitant de la prise en charge des demandeurs d’asile pour les pays européens ? Le pays vient de signer jeudi 15 avril un accord très controversé avec le Royaume-Uni, qui souhaite y déporter ses migrants clandestins. Pour Kigali, ce n’est pas exactement une première, puisque le Rwanda est déjà engagé depuis plusieurs années dans divers projets d’accueil et de réinstallation de migrants.

      Dès 2014, un accord très opaque avec #Israël crée la polémique. Il prévoit déjà l’envoi de demandeurs d’asiles vers l’#Ouganda et le Rwanda. Mais une fois arrivés en Afrique centrale, beaucoup de ces migrants sont vite repartis. Kigali parle aujourd’hui d’un projet pilote rapidement abandonné, explique notre correspondante à Kigali, Laure Broulard.

      En 2019, Rwanda accepte d’accueillir des réfugiés évacués de #Libye par le HCR, le temps que leur demande d’asile soit examiné par des pays occidentaux. Quelques centaines d’entre eux sont actuellement logés dans un centre d’accueil dans l’Est du pays.

      Plus récemment, Kigali a également reçu des Afghans fuyant les talibans, notamment les élèves et le personnel d’un internat pour jeunes filles. Enfin, le pays est en discussions avec le #Danemark, qui souhaite y externaliser ses demandes d’asile. « Nous sommes disposés à explorer des décisions difficiles avec des partenaires de bonne foi pour pouvoir trouver une solution durable à ces questions de migration illégale », explique le ministre des Affaires étrangères rwandais, Vincent Biruta.

      Autant d’initiatives qui permettent au Rwanda de Paul Kagame, critiqué pour sa répression de la liberté d’expression et de l’opposition, de se faire connaître comme un pays « sûr », accueillant et comme un partenaire intéressant. Dans le cas de l’accord avec le Royaume-Uni, c’est aussi une #opportunité_économique, puisque Londres a déjà promis un investissement de près de 145 millions d’euros pour soutenir le #développement du pays.

      Londres s’attend à des recours en justice

      Mais les réactions d’indignation se multiplient. L’ONU parle d’un projet « irréaliste, immoral et discriminatoire ». Le gouvernement de Boris Johnson pense que son partenariat avec le Rwanda, pour y envoyer les demandeurs d’asile arrivés illégalement au Royaume-Uni, pourra débuter dans les prochaines semaines. Londres s’attend à des recours en justice, mais l’opposition pourrait même venir du sein même du ministère de l’Intérieur, explique notre correspondante à Londres, Emeline Vin.

      Pour faire approuver le partenariat migratoire entre le Royaume-Uni et le Rwanda, Priti Patel a utilisé une #directive_ministérielle, un mécanisme qui lui permet de passer outre l’opposition de son directeur de cabinet. C’est seulement le deuxième recours par le ministère de l’Intérieur depuis 30 ans.

      Officiellement, il s’agit de contourner les réserves des fonctionnaires, non affiliés politiquement, sur le financement. Le ministère n’a pas de chiffrage précis et certains officiels pensent que « relocaliser », vers le Rwanda, des migrants arrivés illégalement en Grande-Bretagne pour y demander l’asile, risque de coûter plus cher à long terme.

      Mais pour les syndicats, cela montre surtout le caractère ultra-polémique du projet, un élu le qualifiant de « purement inhumain ». Selon un autre, Priti Patel est passée en force, car elle savait qu’elle n’avait pas le soutien de ses équipes. Or, un #fonctionnaire n’a que le choix d’appliquer les politiques de son ministère ou de quitter son poste. Le gouvernement a présenté le programme à la veille du weekend pascal, qui dure du vendredi au lundi ici, mais s’attend à des recours en justice. 160 ONG l’ont déjà appelé à renoncer.

      https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20220416-le-rwanda-d%C3%A9j%C3%A0-engag%C3%A9-dans-des-projets-d-accueil-de-migr
      #sous-traitance #réfugiés_afghans #Afghanistan #passage_en_force

    • Arrangement Royaume-Uni/Rwanda : externaliser l’asile en Afrique, arme de dissuasion massive en Europe

      Par une mesure urgente de suspension du 14 juin 2022, la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme vient rappeler au Royaume-Uni qu’il est toujours soumis au respect du droit international de l’asile. Que ce soit au Royaume-Uni ou dans les Etats membres de l’Union européenne, l’heure n’est plus à l’accueil et la course au renvoi des personnes exilées bat son plein.

      L’externalisation de l’asile au Rwanda était l’une des principales mesures du « plan immigration » du Royaume-Uni, présentée le 14 avril 2022, et censée dissuader les traversées « irrégulières » de la Manche. Mais les recours des plaignant.e.s – majoritairement originaires de Syrie, Irak et Iran – et de leurs soutiens, auront finalement payé : le 14 juin, par des mesures provisoires, la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme a empêché in extremis le départ du premier vol de demandeur.se.s d’asile « transféré.e.s » du Royaume-Uni au Rwanda [1], sauvant ce qu’il reste du principe de non-refoulement. Mais au vu de la détermination britannique, ce n’est sans doute que partie remise…

      Car les velléités « d’accueillir » les exilé.e.s au plus loin du territoire européen sont profondes et anciennes [2]. Dès 1986, le Danemark proposait un système de gestion des demandes d’asile dans des centres de traitement régionaux, administrés par les Nations Unies, dans lesquels auraient été systématiquement placé.e.s les demandeur.se.s d’asile ayant franchi la frontière « irrégulièrement ». En 2003, s’inspirant de la décriée « Solution pacifique » australienne [3], Blair évoquait des « centres de transit » hors Europe pour y envoyer les demandeurs et demandeuses d’asile avant qu’ils et elles n’atteignent le sol européen.
      En 2022, c’est devenu une réalité pour le Royaume-Uni de Johnson : les exilé.e.s pourront voir leur demande de protection jugée irrecevable s’ils ou elles sont arrivé.e.s sur le sol britannique en dehors des postes frontières habilités, après un voyage "dangereux", ou en provenance d’un pays tiers sûr, et pourront être envoyé.e.s au Rwanda, où ils et elles pourront déposer une demande d’asile. Si la décision est positive, le Rwanda deviendrait alors pays d’accueil et de protection pendant cinq ans, dans le cadre du protocole d’accord entre les deux pays, en échange de 120 millions de livres versées par le Royaume-Uni [4]
      Avec cet arrangement, le Royaume-Uni fait un pas de plus dans la violation du principe de non-refoulement, pierre angulaire du droit d’asile.
      Il n’est pas, loin s’en faut, le seul État à avancer dans cette direction. Depuis plusieurs années, les États européens ont choisi leur « accueil », normalisant les refoulements aux frontières de l’Europe et multipliant les accords formels ou non avec les pays du Sud global, sous le regard placide des institutions européennes et/ou avec leur participation.

      Un cap a été franchi en la matière en 2016 avec la Déclaration UE/Turquie, permettant le renvoi vers la Turquie des exilé.e.s arrivé.e.s sur les îles grecques, y compris celles et ceux pour qui la Turquie était considérée comme un pays tiers sûr. En 2018, la Commission européenne propose d’instaurer dans les pays d’Afrique du Nord des « plateformes de débarquement régionales » pour « sauver des vies » et trier les exilé.e.s en amont des eaux et du territoire européens [5], mais doit abandonner le projet face au refus de la Tunisie, du Maroc et de l’Algérie de jouer le jeu.
      Mais en février 2020, dans une décision favorable aux autorités espagnoles – qui avaient procédé en 2017 à des refoulements à la frontière terrestre avec le Maroc –, la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme entérine – au mépris de la Convention de Genève (art. 31) – l’impossibilité de déposer une demande d’asile en cas de « franchissement illégal d’une frontière » [6] . En octobre 2021, la Pologne légalise à sa frontière les refoulements de celles et ceux qui l’auraient traversée « illégalement », n’hésitant pas à cette occasion à remettre en cause la primauté du droit européen sur le droit national [7].

      Ici, de nouveau sous le prétexte fallacieux de « sauver des vies » en leur évitant les risques d’une traversée périlleuse, le Royaume-Uni valide la « relocalisation » vers le Rwanda d’exilé.e.s déjà présent.e.s sur le sol européen, et dont les demandes de protection ont été jugées irrecevables sans examen au fond. Ce faisant, le Royaume-Uni part du principe que le Rwanda – qui accueille depuis 2019 le programme d’urgence du HCR visant à évacuer les personnes les plus vulnérables des centres de détention libyens pour les placer dans des centres de transit d’urgence (dans le cadre du mécanisme de transit d’urgence - ETM) – est un pays tiers « sûr », tant pour ses ressortissant.e.s que pour les personnes étrangères qui y sont renvoyées. Ce, malgré les vives critiques de l’opposition politique sur les atteintes aux droits in situ, notamment à la liberté d’expression et des personnes LGBTI+ [8].

      Le Brexit aura sans doute permis au Royaume-Uni de s’affranchir en partie du socle européen de la protection internationale et de se défausser de ses responsabilités en matière d’accueil.
      Mais l’asile est attaqué de toutes parts, y compris par les États membres de l’Union. Ainsi, le Danemark a-t-il également conclu en avril 2021 un Protocole d’entente avec le Rwanda, et adopté en juin 2021 une loi lui permettant d’externaliser l’examen de la demande d’asile, en transférant les demandeur⋅euse⋅s qui seraient déjà arrivé⋅e⋅s sur son territoire vers des centres situés hors UE, moyennant finances [9]

      En pratique, l’externalisation de l’asile revient, pour les États, à piétiner leurs obligations en matière d’accueil et de protection internationale, et à vider de son sens les principaux instruments de protection internationaux (Convention de Genève et Convention européenne des droits de l’Homme) – auxquels le Royaume-Uni est toujours soumis, comme vient de lui rappeler la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme.
      Cette logique de marchandage propre à l’externalisation permet aussi à des régimes autoritaires non-européens de se renflouer économiquement et d’être réhabilités au niveau diplomatique en tant que partenaires légitimes auprès de l’UE, ici le Rwanda vivement critiqué sur la restriction des libertés de ses ressortissant.e.s.

      L’externalisation de l’asile est contraire à la lettre et à l’esprit de la Convention de Genève, et sape le régime mondial d’accueil des réfugié.e.s. Elle est contraire à la liberté de chacun.e de choisir librement le pays d’accueil dans lequel il ou elle souhaite demander une protection et s’établir, et est en outre aux antipodes de la solidarité : le Royaume-Uni et le Danemark comptent parmi les pays les plus riches du monde et accueillent beaucoup moins d’exilé.e.s que de nombreux autres États bien plus pauvres, notamment en Afrique. Selon le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, [10].

      La politique cruelle et éhontée consistant à renvoyer depuis le Nord les demandeurs et demandeuses d’asile vers un pays du Sud situé à des milliers de kilomètres doit être condamnée et combattue avec détermination, au nom de l’accueil de tou.te.s, et pour que vive le droit d’asile.

      https://migreurop.org/article3108

  • Thread by tparsi on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App
    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1501307981585076227.html
    https://twitter.com/tparsi/status/1501307981585076227


    Important to understand how Pence’s statement undermines the US bargaining position in Vienna.

    Iran is told by both parties that the US can’t be relied on.

    GOP says they will rip up the JCPOA.
    DEMs say they can’t tie the hand of the next President.

    So what does this do?>>

    2. It means that any carrots the US puts forward in the talks are devalued precisely because we are explicit about their lack of durability.

    So the US has to offer more to achieve the same because of this lack of trustworthiness.
    >>
    3. As I have written elsewhere, this has been a major challenge in the nuclear talks. Being unreliable does not put you in a good position to ask for a “longer and stronger” deal... >>

    4. At the same time, Pence is not lying. If the GOP wins in 2024, I see only two scenarios.

    Either the US walks out of the deal a la Trump.

    Or it adopts an ambiguous position in which it doesn’t commit to staying and flirts with leaving.

    In both cases, the JCPOA dies >>
    5. In the latter case, the US injects so much uncertainty into the situation that international businesses will begin exiting the Iranian market. As such, UNCERTAINTY IS A DE FACTO SANCTION.

    With Iran not getting what it has been promised, Tehran will likely quit the deal or >>
    6... it will reduce its obligations, as it did from 2019 and onward. But this time around, the JCPOA would likely not be able to take that pressure without collapsing.

    >>
    7. Many in DC still think of how to “strengthen” the deal once it is revived.

    But I fear very few have internalized how weak the Western bargaining position is: One can’t ask for more when one simultaneously admits that no American promise can be kept longer than 4 years... //

    #JCPOA.
    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““"

    In Israel, Mike Pence says future GOP administration will rip up any new Iran deal

    Former US vice president and rumored 2024 contender says he believes Republicans will retake control of the White House and ‘end the JCPOA’ if it is revived

    By Amy Spiro Today, 10:32 pm
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-pence-says-future-gop-administration-will-rip-up-any-new-ir

  • Partout les mêmes politiques eugénistes : alors qu’Israël bat son record du nombre de patients en soins intensifs, son gouvernement décide d’alléger les mesures de protection sanitaire.

    Israel’s serious COVID-19 cases hit all-time high of 1,229
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-serious-covid-19-cases-hit-all-time-high-of-1213

    The number of patients hospitalized in Israel in serious condition as a result of COVID-19 rose to 1,229 on Saturday, the highest number since the onset of the pandemic, according to new Health Ministry data.

    The last time the number of serious patients was close to that figure was in late January 2021, with 1,193 serious COVID-19 cases.

    […]

    On Friday, the cabinet voted to approve a rollback in requirements for the Green Pass, further easing COVID restrictions alongside a slowdown in the Omicron-led wave.

  • Pfizer CEO to Israeli TV: World should be back to near-normal in ‘a few months’ Time of Israel

    Albert Bourla says US-based pharma firm is aiming to produce annual shot to cover all COVID variants; accuses anti-vaxxers of causing millions of deaths by spreading misinformation.


    Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla attends a ceremony in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos, file)

    In interviews with Israeli television aired Saturday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla predicted the world will return to near-normal conditions within a few months and said the US-based pharmaceutical firm is aiming to produce a once-a-year vaccine covering all coronavirus variants.

    “Once a year it is easier to convince people to do it. It is easier for people to remember. From a public health situation, it is an ideal solution. We are looking to see if we can create a vaccine that covers Omicron and doesn’t forget the other variants. And that could be a solution unless something completely different comes out,” he told Channel 12 news.

    La suite : https://www.timesofisrael.com/pfizer-ceo-to-israeli-tv-we-should-be-back-to-near-normal-in-a-few-mo

    #vaccination #vaccins #vaccin #Pfizer #EnMarche #crise_sanitaire #sante #santé #coronavirus #sars-cov-2 #variant #covid #pandémie #vaccins #santé_publique #néo-libéralisme #ordo-libéralisme #Pasteur #cobayes

    • Des textos de von der Leyen au PDG de Pfizer intriguent
      La Commission européenne a refusé de donner des informations à la presse sur des SMS échangés par sa présidente avec le PDG de Pfizer à propos de l’achat de vaccins.

      La médiatrice de l’UE a reproché vendredi à la Commission européenne d’avoir refusé de donner des informations à la presse sur des textos échangés par sa présidente avec le PDG du laboratoire Pfizer à propos de l’achat de vaccins contre le Covid-19. La médiatrice, Emily O’Reilly, a demandé que le cabinet d’Ursula von der Leyen procède à « une recherche plus approfondie » afin de retrouver ces messages et d’en révéler le contenu conformément aux règles de transparence applicables aux documents de l’UE.

      Après un article du New York Times en avril 2021 rapportant qu’elle avait échangé des SMS avec le patron de Pfizer, Albert Bourla, dans le cadre des négociations sur un contrat d’achat de vaccins contre le Covid-19, un journaliste a demandé à la Commission l’accès aux textos et autres documents sur ces discussions. L’exécutif européen, qui était en charge de négocier les achats de vaccins pour le compte des États membres, a accepté de lui transmettre trois documents (un email, une lettre et un communiqué de presse) mais aucun SMS.

      « Le public peut y avoir accès »
      La Commission a indiqué n’avoir aucune trace de ces messages, affirmant que les textos n’ont pas vocation à être conservés et ne sont pas soumis aux règles sur la transparence des institutions européennes, datant de 2001. Dans une réponse à l’enquête déclenchée par la médiatrice, la Commission juge que ces messages sont « par nature des documents d’une courte durée de vie, qui ne contiennent en principe pas d’informations importantes relatives aux politiques, activités et décisions de la Commission ».

      Pour la médiatrice au contraire, « il est clair » que les textos « entrent dans le cadre de la législation européenne sur l’accès du public aux documents » et « le public peut y avoir accès s’ils concernent le travail de l’institution ». Elle a appelé l’administration européenne à faire évoluer ses pratiques en matière de conservation des documents pour prendre en compte les « moyens modernes de communication ».

      Les aspects clés des contrats sont confidentiels
      « Aucune tentative n’a été faite pour identifier si les textos en question existaient. Cette façon d’agir ne répond pas aux attentes en matière de transparence », a critiqué Emily O’Reilly. Si ces messages sont identifiés, la Commission devra « évaluer s’ils remplissent les critères, en vertu de la législation de l’UE sur l’accès aux documents, pour être divulgués », conclut-elle dans ses recommandations qui ne sont toutefois pas contraignantes.

      Plus de la moitié des 4,2 milliards de doses contre le Covid-19 achetées ou réservées par l’UE sont fournies par le duo américano-allemand Pfizer-BioNTech. Les aspects clés des contrats passés avec les laboratoires, notamment les prix, sont confidentiels, ce qui a été critiqué par des eurodéputés et des ONG. « Cette affaire est plus importante qu’un simple échange de SMS », a dénoncé l’eurodéputée néerlandaise Sophie in’t Veld (Renew Europe), estimant que « la Commission européenne est devenue moins transparente (...) ».

      #ue #union_européenne #corruption (une habitude chez pfizer) #ursula_von_der_leyen #commission_européenne

    • Dans les hôpitaux, en France, on en est à trimballer les vieux d’un service à l’autre pour ne pas faire exploser la DMS (durée moyenne de séjour) pour que le service ne perde pas d’argent.

      Les règles financières de gestion imposées par l’union européenne sont formidables ! Des sigles et des chiffres.

    • Curieux, ces faux pass ne font pas baisser les statistiques officielles
      Covid-19 : trois hommes soupçonnés d’avoir établi plus de 60.000 faux passes sanitaires mis en examen
      https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/faux-passes-sanitaires-trois-mises-en-examen-a-paris-20220128

      Trois hommes soupçonnés d’avoir usurpé l’identité numérique de médecins et établi plus de 60.000 passes sanitaires falsifiés ont été mis en examen vendredi 28 janvier à Paris, a appris l’AFP de source judiciaire.
      . . . . .
      Les trois mis en examen sont soupçonnés d’être des pirates informatiques, avait indiqué dans un communiqué la gendarmerie, estimant à plus de 62.000 le nombre total de faux passes sanitaires créés. L’enquête, notamment confiée aux gendarmes de l’Office central de lutte contre les atteintes à l’environnement et à la santé publique (OCLAESP), a établi que les trois suspects, âgés de 22 à 29 ans, auraient usurpé l’identité numérique de 35 médecins répartis dans toute la France.


      Ils auraient ensuite généré les certificats de vaccination frauduleux puis les auraient revendus directement à leurs bénéficiaires ou au profit de complices faisant office de revendeurs, expliquait-elle. Par ailleurs, huit suspects ont aussi été interpellés mardi et mercredi dans la région lyonnaise, dans le cadre d’une autre enquête.

      Cette dernière est partie du signalement de l’Ordre des infirmiers de la Loire et d’un médecin de la Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie, portant sur des milliers de passe sanitaires établis au nom d’un infirmier de la région d’Angers (Maine-et-Loire), lequel n’avait jamais effectué de vaccinations anti-Covid, avait indiqué mercredi une source judiciaire, confirmant une information du Monde. En réalisant que son compte professionnel avait été piraté, un infirmier avait déposé plainte à Angers. Mais les investigations se sont orientées vers la région lyonnaise, entraînant la saisine de la juridiction inter-régionale spécialisée (JIRS) de Lyon.

      #pass #pass_sanitaire

  • Biden officials privately pushed Abbas to shelve ICC probe against Israel | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/biden-officials-privately-pushed-abbas-to-shelve-icc-probe-against-is

    La diplomatie US multiplie les pressions sur l’ « Autorité » palestinienne pour qu’elle renonce à collaborer aux procédures de la Cour international de Justice contre #Israël.

    Nonetheless, Biden officials have several times urged Abbas and other senior figures in the PA to renounce the ICC investigation, arguing that it exacerbates efforts to keep dimming prospects for a two-state solution alive and antagonizes Israel, the Middle Eastern diplomat said.

    Abbas, for his part, has bucked the requests, maintaining that he has every right to pursue the probe and that it is one of the few avenues he has to peacefully confront Israel, the diplomat explained. Distancing himself from the ICC probe would also be a highly unpopular move among Palestinians for the PA president, who is already facing a severe legitimacy crisis.

    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said last week that he would not meet with Abbas, given the latter’s decision to bring Israel before the Hague, adding that he also opposes entering negotiations with the PA leader over a potential Palestinian state.

    #palestine #ICC

  • Support for Israel among young US evangelical Christians drops sharply — survey | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/support-for-israel-among-young-us-evangelicals-drops-sharply-survey

    Since 2018, backing for Israel dropped from 75% to 33%; nearly half of evangelicals aged 18-29 say they favor establishment of Palestinian state, voted for Biden over Trump

  • Mount Meron Disaster: Troops say female soldiers were assaulted by Haredim while searching for bodies — radio | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog-may-1-2021

    Some IDF Home Front Command soldiers report being attacked and spat on by Haredim as they assisted in searching for dead and wounded in the stampede during Lag B’Omer celebrations at Mount Meron, according to Army Radio.

    We entered the gravesite to search for injured people and suddenly a commotion began that there are female soldiers in uniforms who are touching the wounded. They started to kick and spit on us. The female soldiers were kicked, spit on and punched from every direction,” the radio station quotes a soldier saying.

  • Après >1 an de pandémie, j’ai appris qu’alerter ne sert à rien. Que ce soit par déni induit par la peur, ou par malfaisance, le rassurisme l’emporte toujours même face aux données épidémiologiques..., par Claude-Alexandre GUSTAVE

    Données épidémiologiques désormais reléguées au rang « d’opinion » par le gouvernement qui préfère s’en tenir à des données « objectives » !?... c-à-d faire de la com !

    La séquence actuelle navigue entre « rigueur d’affichage » et « optimisme de rigueur » !😅

    La « rigueur d’affichage » fait suite à l’agitation récente autour du variant P.1 🇧🇷...

    C’est pourtant un variant décrit depuis fin 2020 dans l’état d’Amazonas et notamment associé à une 2ème vague tragique dans la région de Manaus.
    Les alertes étaient pourtant déjà lancées fin 2020... Il a fallu attendre >4 mois pour réagir !
    Alerter ne sert à rien...

    Et quelle est cette réaction ?
    Arrêter les vols Brésil - France !!!
    Cette mesure est insuffisante pour 3 raisons :
    A) Les voyageurs peuvent passer par des correspondances et donc facilement contourner l’interruption des vols directs...

    B) La Guyane possède >700 km de frontière avec le Brésil, particulièrement difficile à garder, et donc propice aux passages sans contrôle entre le Brésil et la France... où le variant est déjà présent à >84% pour la Guyane et 0,3% à 1% en métropole

    C) Le variant P.1 🇧🇷 est déjà présent dans 52 pays. Un cluster associé à ce variant peut donc être généré par des voyageurs provenant de quasiment n’importe où !

    Limiter les mesures de restriction au seul Brésil était donc absurde.
    Ce dimanche, de nouvelles mesures sont étendues notamment à la Guyane, au Chili, à l’Argentine...

    Mais sont-elles plus pertinentes ?

    Dans un sens oui puisqu’elles incluent une quarantaine obligatoire de 10 jours.
    Mais, comme toujours, on fait encore les choses à moitié : sans parler du délai de 10 jours, insuffisant face aux nouveaux variants plus transmissibles...

    « Quarantaine obligatoire »... est-ce une adaptation des mesures appliquées en Asie, en Océanie, au Royaume-Uni... ou du simple affichage ?

    Comment garantissons-nous l’application de cette quarantaine ? Où ? Combien de temps ?

    On parle de « contrôles policiers stricts »... Sont-ils systématiques ou aléatoires ?
    L’isolé est-il dans un hôtel dédié ? Ou bien simplement chez lui avec d’autres personnes qu’il peut contaminer et qui ne sont pas soumises à la quarantaine ?

    Ces mesures sont limitées à quelques pays d’Amérique du Sud et à l’Afrique du Sud (pour le variant B.1.351 🇿🇦).
    Le reste du monde est exempt de variants ?😅

    Prenons l’exemple du variant B.1.617 🇮🇳.
    Il a émergé en Inde, simultanément avec la plus forte vague locale...

    Les génomes associés à ce variant ne sont pourtant issus d’Inde qu’à 70% !
    23% des cas de variant B.1.617 🇮🇳 ont été identifiés au Royaume-Uni !

    https://twitter.com/Le___Doc/status/1381287555375763465?s=20

    On se rappelle de la rapidité de diffusion des variants entre 🇫🇷 et 🇬🇧 !
    Alerter ne sert à rien...

    On a également une forte présence de variant B.1.351 🇿🇦 en France, à >59% à la Réunion, et entre 1,8% et 13,6% en métropole.
    Or ce variant est associé à un fort échappement immunitaire (avec↘️de neutralisation x7 à x9 par anticorps)... 

    Des signaux d’alertes émergent déjà i) en 🇮🇱 avec l’observation d’un taux d’incidence 8x plus élevé de ce variant chez les vaccinés que chez les non-vaccinés (tendant à confirmer l’échappement immunitaire observé in vitro)

    Israeli data shows South African variant able to ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine Strain is more effective than original COVID and the British variant at bypassing the shot, Israeli scientists find, in first-of-its-kind, real-world study https://www.timesofisrael.com/real-world-israeli-data-shows-south-african-variant-better-at-bypassi

    ii) Du 🇬🇧, avec une forte % de pop immunisée, et où le variant B.1.351 est celui qui progresse le plus rapidement :

    https://twitter.com/Dr_D_Robertson/status/1382713512452104195?s=20

    Ce qui nous amène aux 2ème axe de la séquence actuelle : « l’optimisme de rigueur »... Le fameux horizon des « 4 semaines » après lequel le gouvernement semble courir depuis plusieurs mois 😅

    Ça commence par les écoles, dont la réouverture est actée pour le 26 avril, indépendamment de la situation sanitaire...
    L’absurde commence : on a « fermé » les écoles pour raison sanitaire, alors qu’elles semblaient être un foyer épidémie hors de contrôle...

    Et nous allons donc les rouvrir alors que la situation sanitaire s’est encore dégradée ! Normal...
    Avons-nous au moins instauré un protocole sanitaire strict pour les établissements scolaires ?
    Avons-nous généralisé les tests de dépistage ?...

    Evidemment non ! Ce que nous n’avons pas fait depuis un an, nous ne le ferons pas après plus d’un an de pandémie !
    On nous promettait 300k tests salivaires dans les écoles... Quel % a effectivement été réalisé ?...

    Même à 100%, cela ne représenterait que 2,5% d’effectif scolaire testé chaque mois, alors que de nombreux pays testent 100% de l’effectif plusieurs fois par semaine ! 😅...

    Et les autotests me direz-vous... Oh ben zut alors, la HAS les a recommandé uniquement pour les >15 ans, donc inapplicables pour les maternelles, écoles, collèges ! C’est trop bête 🤡

    On parle alors de réouvertures, d’un retour à la « normale » à partir de mi-mai.
    L’absurde continue : on a mis en place des mesures sanitaires en avril, à cause d’une épidémie trop active, conduisant à la saturation des hôpitaux...

    Nous avons rempli les réanimations avec un « plateau » d’incidence évoluant entre 100 et 250 cas dépistés/100k/7j...
    Désormais nous sommes à un plateau autour de 350 à 400 cas dépistés/100k/7j !😅
    C’est ce qu’on appelle une amélioration ??? 🤡 

    Et encore... ce pseudo-plateau à 350/400 est induit par un fort recul de l’activité de dépistage, qui se traduit par une forte augmentation du taux de positivité frôlant désormais les 10% !!!

    

    Nous allons donc « rouvrir » alors que l’épidémie est presque 2x plus active que lorsqu’elle a conduit à la saturation des réanimations, aux déprogrammations de soins...
    La logique est trop subtile pour moi 😅

    Alors vous me direz « il faut vivre avec le virus », « nous aurons des protocoles sanitaires »...
    Ce que nous n’avons donc pas réussi depuis plus d’un an, nous allons miraculeusement y parvenir avec une épidémie encore plus active, avec des variants +transmissibles...

    De quels protocoles parlons-nous ?
    De protocoles qui ne tiennent toujours pas compte de la transmission par aérosols ?
    Des protocoles virtuels qui « sautent » aussitôt l’euphorie retrouvée ?...

    Nous avons donc une simple stabilisation relative de l’incidence, à un niveau très élevé, avec des mesures dites « de confinement » 🤡 et nous allons donc lever ces mesures, et grâce à la pensée magique, la situation va s’arranger ! 😅

    On parle de réouvertures par palier de 2/3 semaines, comme si la progressivité avait un quelconque effet protecteur contre la transmission virale 😂

    Avec une incidence massive comme celle qu’on observe actuellement, tout relâchement, même progressif, s’associera inexorablement à une dégradation épidémiologique rapide.
    Sans oublier que les hôpitaux sont tjs saturés et en forte déprogrammation...

    La progressivité de la réouverture peut, au mieux, retarder la 4ème vague (dénommée ainsi uniquement par souci de lisibilité puisque nous ne sommes jamais sortis de la 2ème vague)...

    Ce qui nous amène à l’impasse actuelle : rouvrir le pays pour préparer la saison touristique estivale.
    On croît alors revivre l’été « calme » de 2020 !😅
    On oublie juste quelques petits détails :...

    A) L’Europe sortait d’un confinement massif qui avait écraser la circulation virale sur tout le continent (et idem dans bcp d’autres régions du globe) ;
    B) L’incidence était au plus bas avec <800 cas dépistés par jour en France lors du déconfinement...

    A l’époque, il avait fallu moins d’un mois pour voir le virus réapparaître dans les eaux usées via les analyses du réseau OBEPINE.
    L’incidence clinique avait commencé à ↗️ dès début juillet... tout comme le discours rassuriste/dénialiste...

    Et nous avions alors à faire à des lignées virales peu transmissibles, proche de la souche D614 apparue à Wuhan.
    Désormais, le variant B.1.1.7 🇬🇧 est dominant, 70% plus transmissible, et d’autres du même « calibre » circulent...

    Et nous croyons donc que l’été va avoir un goût de vacances !?🤡
    Pensons déjà aux soignants ! Qui va leur dire qu’ils ne pourront pas prendre de congés cet été pour assurer la continuité des réas saturées ???...

    Ou alors, qui va dire aux Français qu’ils ne pourront pas avoir accès aux soins, car les soignants sont épuisés, et ne peuvent plus assurer la prise en charge de ce surplus massif et durable d’activité ???...

    Alors les rassuristes évoquent la « saisonnalité » du virus.
    Pour rappel, les fluctuations épidémiques observées ne sont que la résultante des « stop & go » appliqués depuis 1 an. Cette « saisonnalité » est donc totalement artificielle...

    L’OMM le rappelait il y a moins d’un mois : les observations mondiales ne supportent pas l’hypothèse d’une saisonnalité de la COVID !
    https://www.francetvinfo.fr/sante/maladie/coronavirus/covid-19-lorganisation-meteorologique-mondiale-appelle-a-ne-pas-se-fond

    D’ailleurs, allez dire aux Brésiliens, au Africains du Sud, aux Indiens... que le virus ne circule pas l’été...


    Covid-19 : l’Organisation météorologique mondiale appelle à « ne pas se fonder sur les conditions climatiques pour assouplir les mesures contre la pandémie » "À ce stade, les données disponibles ne corroborent pas l’utilisation des facteurs météorologiques et de qualité de l’air pour permettre aux gouvernements d’assouplir les mesures qu’ils prennent", aff… https://www.francetvinfo.fr/sante/maladie/coronavirus/covid-19-lorganisation-meteorologique-mondiale-appelle-a-ne-pas-se-fond

    On va alors me dire que nous avons désormais la vaccination, et que tel le Graal, elle va arrêter la pandémie sans rien avoir à faire de plus ! 🤡
    Alors pour rappel, le Chili a vacciné >2x plus que nous et subi sa plus forte vague, lui imposant un confinement total 

    On va alors me dire que c’est parce qu’ils ont utilisé un vaccin Chinois peu efficace.
    Ils ont également utilisé le vaccin de Pfizer/BioNTech, et la situation des plus âgés montrent pourtant que leurs vaccins sont efficaces :
    https://twitter.com/JorgeGalindo/status/1381246058915897345?s=20

    Alors on va me citer les exemples britanniques et israéliens.
    Oui, mais ces 2 pays n’ont pas limité leur réponse à la seule vaccination !
    Ils appliquent une stratégie de suppression virale !

    Ils ont d’abord écraser leur épidémie avec un confinement national.
    Même Boris Johnson le rappelle, c’est bien le confinement et pas la vaccination qui a sorti son pays de la 3ème vague, et il craint désormais la 4ème vague :
    https://twitter.com/BBCPolitics/status/1381919420101066752?s=20

    Le confinement britannique a permis d’atteindre une incidence d’environ 25 cas dépistés / 100k / 7j, ce qui est un seuil quasi parfait pour appliquer la suppression virale via le triptyque tester/tracer/isoler... Vous savez ? La stratégie que la 🇫🇷 a abandonné 🤡 

    Depuis, le Royaume-Uni teste massivement (bien plus que nous), contrôle ses frontières avec des quarantaines obligatoires, en hôtels désignés et contrôlés, avec des amendes plus que dissuasives.

    En Israël, la situation est similaire avec un confinement qui a écrasé l’incidence au même niveau qu’au Royaume-Uni 

    Et depuis, Israël applique une stratégie de suppression virale stricte, avec un testing massif, un contrôle strict de ses frontières, l’usage d’un Green Pass pour l’accès aux espaces publiques, et un contact tracing très intensif via la téléphonie

    https://twitter.com/jaimylepaquet/status/1361800083398938630?s=20

    La comparaison avec la situation française, où l’heure est à l’optimisme ferait presque rire si ce n’était pas tragique !
    Vous remarquerez qu’alors qu’Israël affiche une incidence très <<< à la nôtre, ils testent quasiment autant que 🇫🇷 où l’épidémie fait rage !😅 

    Alors oui, alerter ne sert à rien...
    Nous sommes probablement dans une phase de la pandémie où la discours sanitaire, la prudence, n’est plus audible pour une population usée par un an de « vivre avec », qui s’est accoutumée à une mortalité massive...

    Cette phase est peut-être nécessaire... même si elle ne sera pas facile, mais elle amènera peut-être à la prise de conscience !?
    Donc continuons de croire que l’été va bien se passer, continuons de croire que la ligne d’arrivée est proche...

    Continuons de voir la médecine comme la simple pratique se résumant à trouver un « cachet » pour chaque maladie... Nous avons eu l’HCQ pour 2020, l’IVM pour 2021...
    Continuons de rejeter les mesures de prévention via la suppression virale

    Continuons de croire qu’il suffit de vacciner quelques personnes dites « fragiles » pour régler le problème.
    Continuons de croire que le retour à la vie normale est pour bientôt...

    Et continuons donc à prendre du retard pour appliquer les seules stratégies qui se sont montrer efficaces contre la COVID et qui finiront par s’imposer mais dans la douleur face à l’échec vaccinal, à l’afflux incessant de variants, à la saturation durable des hôpitaux...

    Encore une fois, alerter ne sert à rien.
    Après plus d’un an passé à hurler dans le désert, cela me paraît désormais ridicule.
    Mieux vaut me taire.
    L’espoir fait vivre, advienne que pourra.

  • L’Iran peut-être responsable de l’explosion sur un navire israélien, selon Israël
    Par Le Figaro avec AFP | 27 février 2021
    https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/l-iran-peut-etre-responsable-de-l-explosion-sur-un-navire-israelien-selon-i

    Le ministre israélien de la Défense Benny Gantz a estimé ce samedi que l’Iran pourrait être responsable de l’explosion qui a touché un navire israélien dans le golfe d’Oman.

    À lire aussi :Avec l’Iran en ligne de mire, Joe Biden imprime déjà sa marque au Moyen-Orient

    Le MV Helios Ray, un bateau israélien transportant des véhicules, effectuait le trajet entre Dammam, ville portuaire de l’est de l’Arabie saoudite, et Singapour, au moment de l’explosion jeudi au nord-ouest d’Oman, selon Dryad Global, une société spécialisée dans la sécurité maritime.

    « L’emplacement du bateau, relativement proche de l’Iran à ce moment, peut laisser penser qu’il s’agit des Iraniens mais c’est quelque chose qu’il faut continuer de vérifier », a déclaré Benny Gantz, interrogé sur la chaîne publique israélienne Kan. « C’est une première estimation qui prend en compte la proximité (avec le territoire iranien, ndlr) et le contexte, c’est ce que je pense ». (...)

    #IsraelIran

    • la dépêche Reuters

      Explosion Reported on Car Carrier in Gulf of Oman – gCaptain
      https://gcaptain.com/helios-ray-explosion-reported-car-carrier-gulf-of-oman


      M/V Helios Ray.
      Photo : MarineTraffic.com/Graham Flett

      A Bahamas-flagged ship, the MV HELIOS RAY, was hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) and a maritime security firm said on Friday.

      The cause of the explosion is not clear.

      Investigations are ongoing. Vessel and crew are safe,” the UKMTO’s advisory notice said, advising vessels in the area to exercise caution.

      The incident occurred at 2040 GMT, it said, but gave no details about a possible cause.

      Maritime security firm Dryad Global said the MV HELIOS RAY was a vehicle carrier owned by Helios Ray Ltd, an Israeli firm registered in the Isle of Man. The ship was en route to Singapore from Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

      A spokesman for Israel’s Transportation Ministry said it had no information about an Israeli vessel having been struck in the Gulf.

      A company with the name Helios Ray Ltd is incorporated in the Isle of Man. The ship was managed by Stamco Ship Management, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed. Stamco Ship Management declined to comment when contacted by phone by Reuters.

      Whilst details regarding the incident remain unclear it remains a realistic possibility that the event was the result of asymmetric activity by Iranian military,” Dryad said in a report on the incident.

      Refinitiv data shows the ship has set Dubai as its current destination.

      The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said it was aware of the incident and monitoring the situation.

    • compagnie israélienne, domiciliée dans l’Île de Man, probablement armateur d’un seul navire, pratique usuelle de séparation des risques
      navire sous pavillon des Bahamas
      exploitant maritime : société grecque

      reste à savoir quel types de véhicule se trouvent à bord… peut-être exportation d’armes (véhicules blindés ou autres) ?

    • Israeli-owned vessel docked in Dubai after mysterious explosion | Conflict News | Al Jazeera
      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/28/israeli-owned-cargo-docked-in-dubai-after-mysterious-explosion


      Israeli-owned cargo ship Helios Ray, partially damaged by an explosion, is seen after it anchored in Dubai, UAE
      Ali Haider/EPA

      The hulking Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray sat at dry dock facilities at Dubai’s Port Rashid on Sunday. Although the crew was unharmed in the blast, the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline, according to American defence officials.
      […]
      The Helios Ray discharged cars at various ports in the Gulf before making its way out of the Middle East towards Singapore. The blast hit as the ship was sailing from the Saudi port Dammam out of the Gulf of Oman, forcing it to turn to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, for inspection.

      Iranian authorities have not publicly commented on the ship. The country’s hardline Kayhan daily, whose editor-in-chief was appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, alleged the Helios Ray was “possibly” on an “espionag_e” mission in the region, without offering any evidence to support the claim. The _Sunday report speculated the ship may have been “trapped in an ambush by a branch of resistance axis”, referring to Iranian proxies in the region.


      The cargo vessel was hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman while bound for Singapore
      Ali Haider/EPA

    • Israeli-owned ship in Dubai for assessment after explosion | Reuters
      https://www.reuters.com/article/gulf-security-int-idUSKCN2AS053


      An Israeli-owned ship hit by an explosion in the strategic Gulf of Oman waterway is seen after arrival at a port in Dubai, United Arab Emirates February 28, 2021.
      REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi

      An Israeli-owned ship hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman strategic waterway has arrived at a port in Dubai, where is it is due to be assessed in dry dock.

      The MV Helios Ray, a vehicle-carrier ship, was hit overnight between Thursday and Friday by a blast above the water line that a U.S. defence official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull.

      Israel’s defence minister on Saturday said that an initial assessment had found that Iran was responsible for the explosion. There was no immediate comment from Iranian officials.

      The blue and white ship is now berthed in Dubai’s Port Rashid, having sailed from its position off the coast of Omani capital Muscat, where the explosion occurred.

    • Examination of Israeli-owned ship indicates Gulf blast was caused by mines — TV | The Times of Israel
      https://www.timesofisrael.com/examination-of-israeli-owned-ship-indicates-gulf-blast-caused-by-mine


      The Israeli-owned cargo ship, Helios Ray, sits docked in port in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 28, 2021.
      AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

      Israeli officials increasingly believe explosion on vessel was operation by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, unsourced report says

      An examination of damage to an Israeli-owned cargo ship currently docked in Dubai indicates an explosion that hit it in the Gulf of Oman was caused by mines covertly attached to the ship, according to a Sunday TV report.

      Channel 13 news did not cite sources for the report, which contradicted earlier reported assessments in Israel that that blast was caused by missiles. An Israeli team is believed to be in Dubai to examine the ship following the suspected attack. The ship is undergoing repairs in Dubai.

      Limpet mines are a type of naval explosive that attach to targets using magnets. The report speculated that the mines could have been attached to the ship’s hull during a stop at a port and later set off.

      The network said that Israel increasingly believes a naval force from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was behind the attack. Channel 12 news raised the possibility that the explosion was the work of a commando team in a fast boat that attached explosives to the ship.

    • Nétanyahou menace l’Iran après l’attaque d’un navire de transport israélien en mer d’Oman
      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/03/01/benyamin-netanyahou-menace-l-iran-apres-l-attaque-d-un-navire-de-transport-i

      Le premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, a averti lundi 1er mars que son pays « frappera[it] » l’Iran « partout dans la région », après avoir accusé Téhéran d’être à l’origine d’une explosion à bord du cargo Helios-Ray, navire israélien qui bat pavillon des Bahamas.

      « Il est clair que c’est un acte iranien. Et pour ce qui est de ma riposte, vous connaissez ma politique. L’Iran est le plus grand ennemi d’Israël et je suis déterminé à l’arrêter et nous allons le frapper partout dans la région », a déclaré M. Nétanyahou lors d’une interview à la radio, après des frappes nocturnes attribuées à Israël contre des éléments pro-iraniens en Syrie voisine.

      « Plus important encore, l’Iran n’aura pas l’arme nucléaire, que ce soit dans le cadre d’un accord ou sans accord. C’est ce que j’ai dit à mon ami, le président [américain Joe] Biden », a ajouté le chef du gouvernement israélien, actuellement en campagne pour les législatives du 23 mars.

      « Nous rejetons fermement cette accusation », car « la source de cette accusation est elle-même la moins crédible qui soit, ce qui en montre l’invalidité », a déclaré le porte-parole du ministère des affaires étrangères iranen, Saïd Khatibzadeh, dans une conférence de presse à Téhéran.

  • Israel holds up shipment of Palestinian coronavirus vaccines to Gaza
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-holds-up-shipment-of-palestinian-coronavirus-vaccines-to-gaza

    Israeli authorities continued to delay transferring vaccines to Gaza on Tuesday, despite a formal request by the Palestinian Authority to send a shipment of Russian vaccines from Ramallah to the coastal enclave.

    Israel’s National Security Council, an advisory body inside the Prime Minister’s Office, is “examining the request,” an official in the Defense Ministry said.

  • Extraterrestres : les révélations stupéfiantes d’un général israélien
    https://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Insolite/Extraterrestres-les-revelations-choc-d-un-general-israelien-1715779

    Haim Eshed, 87 ans, n’est pas n’importe qui : général, professeur d’université, il a été à la tête du programme spatial de l’Etat hébreux pendant plus de 30 ans et a reçu à trois reprises le Prix israélien de la sécurité rappelle le « Jerusalem Post ».

    Pourtant, l’entretien qu’il a accordé à l’édition dominicale de Yediot Aharonot, le journal au plus fort tirage du pays, a tout d’un scénario de « Star Trek » : selon lui, non seulement des civilisations extraterrestres nous visitent depuis des lustres mais elles ont conclu avec les Etats-Unis une alliance au sein de ce que Haim Eshed appelle une « fédération galactique » dont le but serait essentiellement scientifique.

    On se frotte déjà les yeux mais le général ne s’arrête pas là : « Cette coopération se traduit par l’existence d’une base secrète sur Mars où des Américains et des représentants extraterrestres travaillent de concert. »

    Et Haim Eshed enchaîne les « scoops » : selon lui, Donald Trump est parfaitement au courant de cette association et il était même sur le point de la révéler au grand public. Il en aurait été dissuadé par la fédération galactique elle-même estimant que cette divulgation déclencherait une panique mondiale. « La Fédération estime que l’humanité doit encore évoluer avant d’être en mesure de comprendre ce que sont vraiment le cosmos et les vaisseaux spatiaux » précise-t-il,

    Visiblement, Haim Eshed ne partage pas ce diagnostic réservé sur la solidité mentale de l’humanité puisqu’il publie un livre, « The Universe Beyond the Horizon – conversations with Professor Haim Eshed » (L’univers au delà de l’horizon — Conversations avec le professeur Haim Eshed) où il développe ses thèses et où l’on apprend entre autres que les extraterrestres vigilants ont empêché à plusieurs reprises une apocalypse nucléaire.

    Convaincu que les mentalités ont changé, en particulier chez les scientifiques, il estime n’avoir plus rien à prouver : « Si j’avais dit tout cela il y a cinq ans, j’aurais été interné. Aujourd’hui, ces questions sont traitées différemment. Et je n’ai rien à perdre. J’ai eu mes diplômes et mes prix. Je suis respecté dans les milieux universitaires, ici et à l’étranger où les choses ont aussi évolué. »

    Les assertions d’Haim Eshed méritent bien sûr d’être prises avec des pincettes de taille galactique. Bien que spectaculaires aussi bien par leur nature que par le CV de celui qui les énonce, elles ne brillent pas par leur originalité. Les révélations du professeur Eshed ressemblent comme deux gouttes d’eau à des théories déjà évoquées par des « lanceurs d’alerte » et des ufologues plus ou moins sérieux qui n’ont jamais été en mesure de fournir des preuves tangibles.

    Toutefois, certaines personnalités d’envergure avaient déjà tenu des propos similaires. C’est le cas de Paul Hellyer, ancien ministre canadien de la Défense entre 1963 et 1967, qui à plusieurs reprises a exhorté les gouvernements à révéler leurs liens avec des civilisations extraterrestres. Citons aussi le fameux Bob Lazar, un ingénieur qui assure avoir travaillé, dans la zone 51, sur des engins extraterrestres afin de reproduire leur technologie.

    Quant au célèbre pirate informatique écossais, Gary McKinnon, il prétend avoir découvert en 2001 sur les ordinateurs du Pentagone des photos satellites montrant des ovnis en attente d’être effacés avant que les images ne soient publiées. Il aurait aussi déniché une liste d’une vingtaine d’« agents non-terrestres » (Non Terrestrial Officers), avec leur nom et leur grade, preuve selon lui, que les Etats-Unis disposent d’un flotte de vaisseaux spatiaux.

    Ces précédents et bien d’autres sont à double tranchant pour Haim Eshed : ils peuvent aussi bien être interprétés comme des confirmations de ses propos que comme des sources d’inspiration. Une carrière prestigieuse n’a jamais été la garantie absolue d’une fiabilité à toute épreuve et ses affirmations peuvent relever aussi bien de l’affabulation sincère que du coup de pub pour booster les ventes de son livre. Ancien militaire, il est aussi impossible d’écarter l’hypothèse que cette prétendue alliance des Etats-Unis avec des civilisations extraterrestres soit une forme d’intoxication destinée à semer le trouble chez des puissances étrangères. Sans preuve solide, rien n’est impossible. Y compris qu’il dise la vérité.

    • Cette histoire est stupéfiante, je ne sais qu’en penser alors j’essaie de me renseigner sur Haim Eshed et il est clair que le CV donné par les médias est véridique...

      JERUSALEM, June 11 (Reuters) - Israel launched a new spy satellite on Monday in a move that defence officials said would boost surveillance over states like Syria and Iran.

      Ofek 7, which was launched from an air base on Israel’s coast, will join its predecessor Ofek 5, in space since 2002. The new satellite will orbit 200 to 500 km (125 to 315 miles) above the earth and is expected to begin relaying photographs by week’s end.

      “The successful launch adds an important layer to Israel’s defence capabilities and it is a testament to Israel’s technological strength,” Defence Minister Amir Peretz said in a statement.

      Haim Eshed, head of the Defence Ministry’s space directorate , told Army Radio that Ofek 7 would help Israel “deal with the Iranian issue”. Iran’s nuclear programme has raised fears in the West, though Tehran denies it has hostile designs.

      Eshed declined to discuss Ofek 7’s capabilities. But he said that its civilian counterpart, Israeli satellite Eros, was able to photograph objects as small as 70 cm (28 inches) across.

    • Me revient en tête l’Exoconférence d’#Alexandre_Astier

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZnUlVnERBg

      De mémoire, il disait qu’il faudrait pas mal de conditions pour des extraterrestres soient arrivés sur terre :
      – qu’ils aient la technologie nécessaire pour parcourir de telles distances (beaucoup plus évoluée que la notre)
      – qu’ils aient suffisamment d’énergie pour la faire fonctionner
      – qu’ils aient eu le temps d’avoir fait ce voyage
      – qu’ils soient « tombés » sur nous dans tout l’univers
      – qu’ils aient une forme/apparence qu’on puisse appréhender

      Et si ces conditions (j’en oublie peut-être) étaient réunies, ça serait un peu comme s’ils regardaient des batraciens patauger dans une marre : c’est instructif d’un point de vu scientifique, mais est-ce ça justifierait une telle débauche de moyens (temps, technologie, énergie...) ?

      En tout cas, je suis curieux des suites de cet article...

      #Extraterrestres

    • @jeanmarie oui, je suis très dubitatif sur la véracité de tout ça. Je m’interroge sur les motivations du bonhomme, plus que de sa sincérité. Je n’imagine pas qu’après avoir travaillé autant d’années dans un milieu ou le secret défense est un culte, il puisse se lâcher à de telles révélations (crédibles ou non, elles impliquent des gouvernements). Alors je me demande si ce n’est pas un coup de buzz pour un roman de fiction.

    • Dubitatif...pour le moins.
      Quant aux motivations : à l’évidence ça oriente le regards vers « ailleurs » ce qui est toujours bien pratique en politique.
      Quand en plus l’ailleurs en question est si éloigné que toute vérification est impossible, c’est le gros lot !
      Et les gros tirages...

    • “I know Haim Eshed well, and have enormous respect for him,’ said Blumberg, head of the Earth and Planetary Image Facility at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. “It’s a viable and legitimate discussion, but it has been taken to a completely bizarre place by the article.”

      While jokes have been made questioning the state of octogenarian Eshed’s mind, Ben-Israel said he has been talking about aliens for decades, and it never compromised his academic integrity. “I’ve known Haim Eshed for 40 to 50 years, and he was always a visionary and very creative.

      “Without his capacity for long-term vision you couldn’t have dreamed Israel would be one of very few countries with independent space capability,” he said. “But sometimes creativity comes with ideas that are not accepted by others. One of these relates to UFOs and intelligent extraterrestrial creatures.”

      He thinks that Eshed arrived at his theory invoking real information, including records of non-coherent signals from space, but interpreted it wrongly.

      https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-space-chief-says-aliens-may-well-exist-but-they-havent-met-hu

  • L’Assemblée générale plaide pour une action globale et coordonnée face à la #pandémie de #Covid-19 | ONU Info
    https://news.un.org/fr/story/2020/09/1077072

    Le texte de la résolution soumis par le Président de l’Assemblée générale a été adopté par 169 voix pour, 2 voix contre (#Etats-Unis et Israël) et 2 abstentions (Ukraine et Hongrie).

    L’ONU n’explique pas que l’opposition est due au fait que le non-respect du droit international par les #Etats-Unis a été clairement énoncé. Et par qui !
    https://news-24.fr/lassemblee-des-nations-unies-approuve-la-resolution-sur-la-gestion-de-la-pandemie-2/amp

    #Cuba a réussi à modifier un paragraphe de la résolution qui appelait à l’origine à [“ lever tous les obstacles qui empêchent les nations d’accéder aux technologies et produits médicaux. »]

    Par un vote de 132 voix contre 3, l’Assemblée a amendé la résolution pour exhorter l’Assemblée à exhorter tous les pays « à s’abstenir de promulguer et d’appliquer des mesures économiques, financières ou commerciales unilatérales incompatibles avec le droit international et la Charte des Nations Unies et qui empêchent la pleine réalisation du développement économique et social, en particulier dans les pays en développement .”

    Tandis que les propres amendements des Etats-Unis ont été rejetés avec la même quasi-unanimité,
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-assembly-approves-pandemic-resolution-despite-objections-from-us-israel/#gs.flin9n

    • EU: Frontex splashes out: millions of euros for new technology and equipment (19.06.2020)

      The approval of the new #Frontex_Regulation in November 2019 implied an increase of competences, budget and capabilities for the EU’s border agency, which is now equipping itself with increased means to monitor events and developments at the borders and beyond, as well as renewing its IT systems to improve the management of the reams of data to which it will have access.

      In 2020 Frontex’s #budget grew to €420.6 million, an increase of over 34% compared to 2019. The European Commission has proposed that in the next EU budget (formally known as the Multiannual Financial Framework or MFF, covering 2021-27) €11 billion will be made available to the agency, although legal negotiations are ongoing and have hit significant stumbling blocks due to Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and political disagreements.

      Nevertheless, the increase for this year has clearly provided a number of opportunities for Frontex. For instance, it has already agreed contracts worth €28 million for the acquisition of dozens of vehicles equipped with thermal and day cameras, surveillance radar and sensors.

      According to the contract for the provision of Mobile Surveillance Systems, these new tools will be used “for detection, identification and recognising of objects of interest e.g. human beings and/or groups of people, vehicles moving across the border (land and sea), as well as vessels sailing within the coastal areas, and other objects identified as objects of interest”. [1]

      Frontex has also published a call for tenders for Maritime Analysis Tools, worth a total of up to €2.6 million. With this, Frontex seeks to improve access to “big data” for maritime analysis. [2] The objective of deploying these tools is to enhance Frontex’s operational support to EU border, coast guard and law enforcement authorities in “suppressing and preventing, among others, illegal migration and cross-border crime in the maritime domain”.

      Moreover, the system should be capable of delivering analysis and identification of high-risk threats following the collection and storage of “big data”. It is not clear how much human input and monitoring there will be of the identification of risks. The call for tenders says the winning bidder should have been announced in May, but there is no public information on the chosen company so far.

      As part of a 12-month pilot project to examine how maritime analysis tools could “support multipurpose operational response,” Frontex previously engaged the services of the Tel Aviv-based company Windward Ltd, which claims to fuse “maritime data and artificial intelligence… to provide the right insights, with the right context, at the right time.” [3] Windward, whose current chairman is John Browne, the former CEO of the multinational oil company BP, received €783,000 for its work. [4]

      As the agency’s gathering and processing of data increases, it also aims to improve and develop its own internal IT systems, through a two-year project worth €34 million. This will establish a set of “framework contracts”. Through these, each time the agency seeks a new IT service or system, companies selected to participate in the framework contracts will submit bids for the work. [5]

      The agency is also seeking a ’Software Solution for EBCG [European Border and Coast Guard] Team Members to Access to Schengen Information System’, through a contract worth up to €5 million. [6] The Schengen Information System (SIS) is the EU’s largest database, enabling cooperation between authorities working in the fields of police, border control and customs of all the Schengen states (26 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and its legal bases were recently reformed to include new types of alert and categories of data. [7]

      This software will give Frontex officials direct access to certain data within the SIS. Currently, they have to request access via national border guards in the country in which they are operating. This would give complete autonomy to Frontex officials to consult the SIS whilst undertaking operations, shortening the length of the procedure. [8]

      With the legal basis for increasing Frontex’s powers in place, the process to build up its personnel, material and surveillance capacities continues, with significant financial implications.

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/june/eu-frontex-splashes-out-millions-of-euros-for-new-technology-and-equipme

      #technologie #équipement #Multiannual_Financial_Framework #MFF #surveillance #Mobile_Surveillance_Systems #Maritime_Analysis_Tools #données #big_data #mer #Windward_Ltd #Israël #John_Browne #BP #complexe_militaro-industriel #Software_Solution_for_EBCG_Team_Members_to_Access_to_Schengen_Information_System #SIS #Schengen_Information_System

    • EU : Guns, guards and guidelines : reinforcement of Frontex runs into problems (26.05.2020)

      An internal report circulated by Frontex to EU government delegations highlights a series of issues in implementing the agency’s new legislation. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency is urging swift action to implement the mandate and is pressing ahead with the recruitment of its new ‘standing corps’. However, there are legal problems with the acquisition, registration, storage and transport of weapons. The agency is also calling for derogations from EU rules on staff disciplinary measures in relation to the use of force; and wants an extended set of privileges and immunities. Furthermore, it is assisting with “voluntary return” despite this activity appearing to fall outside of its legal mandate.

      State-of-play report

      At the end of April 2020, Frontex circulated a report to EU government delegations in the Council outlining the state of play of the implementation of its new Regulation (“EBCG 2.0 Regulation”, in the agency and Commission’s words), especially relating to “current challenges”.[1] Presumably, this refers to the outbreak of a pandemic, though the report also acknowledges challenges created by the legal ambiguities contained in the Regulation itself, in particular with regard to the acquisition of weapons, supervisory and disciplinary mechanisms, legal privileges and immunities and involvement in “voluntary return” operations.

      The path set out in the report is that the “operational autonomy of the agency will gradually increase towards 2027” until it is a “fully-fledged and reliable partner” to EU and Schengen states. It acknowledges the impacts of unforeseen world events on the EU’s forthcoming budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework, MFF) for 2021-27, and hints at the impact this will have on Frontex’s own budget and objectives. Nevertheless, the agency is still determined to “continue increasing the capabilities” of the agency, including its acquisition of new equipment and employment of new staff for its standing corps.

      The main issues covered by the report are: Frontex’s new standing corps of staff, executive powers and the use of force, fundamental rights and data protection, and the integration into Frontex of EUROSUR, the European Border Surveillance System.

      The new standing corps

      Recruitment

      A new standing corps of 10,000 Frontex staff by 2024 is to be, in the words of the agency, its “biggest game changer”.[2] The report notes that the establishment of the standing corps has been heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. According to the report, 7,238 individuals had applied to join the standing corps before the outbreak of the pandemic. 5,482 of these – over 75% – were assessed by the agency as eligible, with a final 304 passing the entire selection process to be on the “reserve lists”.[3]

      Despite interruptions to the recruitment procedure following worldwide lockdown measures, interviews for Category 1 staff – permanent Frontex staff members to be deployed on operations – were resumed via video by the end of April. 80 candidates were shortlisted for the first week, and Frontex aims to interview 1,000 people in total. Despite this adaptation, successful candidates will have to wait for Frontex’s contractor to re-open in order to carry out medical tests, an obligatory requirement for the standing corps.[4]

      In 2020, Frontex joined the European Defence Agency’s Satellite Communications (SatCom) and Communications and Information System (CIS) services in order to ensure ICT support for the standing corps in operation as of 2021.[5] The EDA describes SatCom and CIS as “fundamental for Communication, Command and Control in military operations… [enabling] EU Commanders to connect forces in remote areas with HQs and capitals and to manage the forces missions and tasks”.[6]

      Training

      The basic training programme, endorsed by the management board in October 2019, is designed for Category 1 staff. It includes specific training in interoperability and “harmonisation with member states”. The actual syllabus, content and materials for this basic training were developed by March 2020; Statewatch has made a request for access to these documents, which is currently pending with the Frontex Transparency Office. This process has also been affected by the novel coronavirus, though the report insists that “no delay is foreseen in the availability of the specialised profile related training of the standing corps”.

      Use of force

      The state-of-play-report acknowledges a number of legal ambiguities surrounding some of the more controversial powers outlined in Frontex’s 2019 Regulation, highlighting perhaps that political ambition, rather than serious consideration and assessment, propelled the legislation, overtaking adequate procedure and oversight. The incentive to enact the legislation within a short timeframe is cited as a reason that no impact assessment was carried out on the proposed recast to the agency’s mandate. This draft was rushed through negotiations and approved in an unprecedented six-month period, and the details lost in its wake are now coming to light.

      Article 82 of the 2019 Regulation refers to the use of force and carriage of weapons by Frontex staff, while a supervisory mechanism for the use of force by statutory staff is established by Article 55. This says:

      “On the basis of a proposal from the executive director, the management board shall: (a) establish an appropriate supervisory mechanism to monitor the application of the provisions on use of force by statutory staff, including rules on reporting and specific measures, such as those of a disciplinary nature, with regard to the use of force during deployments”[7]

      The agency’s management board is expected to make a decision about this supervisory mechanism, including specific measures and reporting, by the end of June 2020.

      The state-of-play report posits that the legal terms of Article 55 are inconsistent with the standard rules on administrative enquiries and disciplinary measures concerning EU staff.[8] These outline, inter alia, that a dedicated disciplinary board will be established in each institution including at least one member from outside the institution, that this board must be independent and its proceedings secret. Frontex insists that its staff will be a special case as the “first uniformed service of the EU”, and will therefore require “special arrangements or derogations to the Staff Regulations” to comply with the “totally different nature of tasks and risks associated with their deployments”.[9]

      What is particularly astounding about Frontex demanding special treatment for oversight, particularly on use of force and weapons is that, as the report acknowledges, the agency cannot yet legally store or transport any weapons it acquires.

      Regarding service weapons and “non-lethal equipment”,[10] legal analysis by “external experts and a regulatory law firm” concluded that the 2019 Regulation does not provide a legal basis for acquiring, registering, storing or transporting weapons in Poland, where the agency’s headquarters is located. Frontex has applied to the Commission for clarity on how to proceed, says the report. Frontex declined to comment on the status of this consultation and any indications of the next steps the agency will take. A Commission spokesperson stated only that it had recently received the agency’s enquiry and “is analysing the request and the applicable legal framework in the view of replying to the EBCGA”, without expanding further.

      Until Frontex has the legal basis to do so, it cannot launch a tender for firearms and “non-lethal equipment” (which includes batons, pepper spray and handcuffs). However, the report implies the agency is ready to do so as soon as it receives the green light. Technical specifications are currently being finalised for “non-lethal equipment” and Frontex still plans to complete acquisition by the end of the year.

      Privileges and immunities

      The agency is also seeking special treatment with regard to the legal privileges and immunities it and its officials enjoy. Article 96 of the 2019 Regulation outlines the privileges and immunities of Frontex officers, stating:

      “Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union annexed to the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to the TFEU shall apply to the Agency and its statutory staff.” [11]

      However, Frontex notes that the Protocol does not apply to non-EU states, nor does it “offer a full protection, or take into account a need for the inviolability of assets owned by Frontex (service vehicles, vessels, aircraft)”.[12] Frontex is increasingly involved in operations taking place on non-EU territory. For instance, the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states, primarily in the Western Balkans, concerning Frontex activities in those countries. To launch operations under these agreements, Frontex will (or, in the case of Albania, already has) agree on operational plans with each state, under which Frontex staff can use executive powers.[13] The agency therefore seeks an “EU-level status of forces agreement… to account for the partial absence of rules”.

      Law enforcement

      To implement its enhanced functions regarding cross-border crime, Frontex will continue to participate in Europol’s four-year policy cycle addressing “serious international and organised crime”.[14] The agency is also developing a pilot project, “Investigation Support Activities- Cross Border Crime” (ISA-CBC), addressing drug trafficking and terrorism.

      Fundamental rights and data protection

      The ‘EBCG 2.0 Regulation’ requires several changes to fundamental rights measures by the agency, which, aside from some vague “legal analyses” seem to be undergoing development with only internal oversight.

      Firstly, to facilitate adequate independence of the Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), special rules have to be established. The FRO was introduced under Frontex’s 2016 Regulation, but has since then been understaffed and underfunded by the agency.[15] The 2019 Regulation obliges the agency to ensure “sufficient and adequate human and financial resources” for the office, as well as 40 fundamental rights monitors.[16] These standing corps staff members will be responsible for monitoring compliance with fundamental rights standards, providing advice and assistance on the agency’s plans and activities, and will visit and evaluate operations, including acting as forced return monitors.[17]

      During negotiations over the proposed Regulation 2.0, MEPs introduced extended powers for the Fundamental Rights Officer themselves. The FRO was previously responsible for contributing to Frontex’s fundamental rights strategy and monitoring its compliance with and promotion of fundamental rights. Now, they will be able to monitor compliance by conducting investigations; offering advice where deemed necessary or upon request of the agency; providing opinions on operational plans, pilot projects and technical assistance; and carrying out on-the-spot visits. The executive director is now obliged to respond “as to how concerns regarding possible violations of fundamental rights… have been addressed,” and the management board “shall ensure that action is taken with regard to recommendations of the fundamental rights officer.” [18] The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation.

      The state-of-play report says that “legal analyses and exchanges” are ongoing, and will inform an eventual management board decision, but no timeline for this is offered. [19] The agency will also need to adapt its much criticised individual complaints mechanism to fit the requirements of the 2019 Regulation; executive director Fabrice Leggeri’s first-draft decision on this process is currently undergoing internal consultations. Even the explicit requirement set out in the 2019 Regulation for an “independent and effective” complaints mechanism,[20] does not meet minimum standards to qualify as an effective remedy, which include institutional independence, accessibility in practice, and capacity to carry out thorough and prompt investigations.[21]

      Frontex has entered into a service level agreement (SLA) with the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) for support in establishing and training the team of fundamental rights monitors introduced by the 2019 Regulation. These monitors are to be statutory staff of the agency and will assess fundamental rights compliance of operational activities, advising, assisting and contributing to “the promotion of fundamental rights”.[22] The scope and objectives for this team were finalised at the end of March this year, and the agency will establish the team by the end of the year. Statewatch has requested clarification as to what is to be included in the team’s scope and objectives, pending with the Frontex Transparency Office.

      Regarding data protection, the agency plans a package of implementing rules (covering issues ranging from the position of data protection officer to the restriction of rights for returnees and restrictions under administrative data processing) to be implemented throughout 2020.[23] The management board will review a first draft of the implementing rules on the data protection officer in the second quarter of 2020.

      Returns

      The European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN) – a network of 15 European states and the Commission facilitating cooperation over return operations “as part of the EU efforts to manage migration” – is to be handed over to Frontex. [24] A handover plan is currently under the final stage of review; it reportedly outlines the scoping of activities and details of “which groups of returnees will be eligible for Frontex assistance in the future”.[25] A request from Statewatch to Frontex for comment on what assistance will be provided by the agency to such returnees was unanswered at the time of publication.

      Since the entry into force of its new mandate, Frontex has also been providing technical assistance for so-called voluntary returns, with the first two such operations carried out on scheduled flights (as opposed to charter flights) in February 2020. A total of 28 people were returned by mid-April, despite the fact that there is no legal clarity over what the definition “voluntary return” actually refers to, as the state-of-play report also explains:

      “The terminology of voluntary return was introduced in the Regulation without providing any definition thereof. This terminology (voluntary departure vs voluntary return) is moreover not in line with the terminology used in the Return Directive (EBCG 2.0 refers to the definition of returns provided for in the Return Directive. The Return Directive, however, does not cover voluntary returns; a voluntary return is not a return within the meaning of the Return Directive). Further elaboration is needed.”[26]

      On top of requiring “further clarification”, if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate. Statewatch has launched an investigation into the agency’s activities relating to voluntary returns, to outline the number of such operations to date, their country of return and country of destination.

      Frontex is currently developing a module dedicated to voluntary returns by charter flight for its FAR (Frontex Application for Returns) platform (part of its return case management system). On top of the technical support delivered by the agency, Frontex also foresees the provision of on-the-ground support from Frontex representatives or a “return counsellor”, who will form part of the dedicated return teams planned for the standing corps from 2021.[27]

      Frontex has updated its return case management system (RECAMAS), an online platform for member state authorities and Frontex to communicate and plan return operations, to manage an increased scope. The state-of-play report implies that this includes detail on post-return activities in a new “post-return module”, indicating that Frontex is acting on commitments to expand its activity in this area. According to the agency’s roadmap on implementing the 2019 Regulation, an action plan on how the agency will provide post-return support to people (Article 48(1), 2019 Regulation) will be written by the third quarter of 2020.[28]

      In its closing paragraph, related to the budgetary impact of COVID-19 regarding return operations, the agency notes that although activities will resume once aerial transportation restrictions are eased, “the agency will not be able to provide what has been initially intended, undermining the concept of the EBCG as a whole”.[29]

      EUROSUR

      The Commission is leading progress on adopting the implementing act for the integration of EUROSUR into Frontex, which will define the implementation of new aerial surveillance,[30] expected by the end of the year.[31] Frontex is discussing new working arrangements with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). The development by Frontex of the surveillance project’s communications network will require significant budgetary investment, as the agency plans to maintain the current system ahead of its planned replacement in 2025.[32] This investment is projected despite the agency’s recognition of the economic impact of Covid-19 on member states, and the consequent adjustments to the MFF 2021-27.

      Summary

      Drafted and published as the world responds to an unprecedented pandemic, the “current challenges” referred to in the report appear, on first read, to refer to the budgetary and staffing implications of global shut down. However, the report maintains throughout that the agency’s determination to expand, in terms of powers as well as staffing, will not be stalled despite delays and budgeting adjustments. Indeed, it is implied more than once that the “current challenges” necessitate more than ever that these powers be assumed. The true challenges, from the agency’s point of view, stem from the fact that its current mandate was rushed through negotiations in six months, leading to legal ambiguities that leave it unable to acquire or transport weapons and in a tricky relationship with the EU protocol on privileges and immunities when operating in third countries. Given the violence that so frequently accompanies border control operations in the EU, it will come as a relief to many that Frontex is having difficulties acquiring its own weaponry. However, it is far from reassuring that the introduction of new measures on fundamental rights and accountability are being carried out internally and remain unavailable for public scrutiny.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Note: this article was updated on 26 May 2020 to include the European Commission’s response to Statewatch’s enquiries.

      It was updated on 1 July with some minor corrections:

      “the Council of the EU has signed or initialled a number of Status Agreements with non-EU states... under which” replaces “the agency has entered into working agreements with Balkan states, under which”
      “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in any detail in the Regulation beyond monitoring the agency’s ’compliance with fundamental rights, including by conducting investigations’” replaces “The investigatory powers of the FRO are not, however, set out in the Regulation”
      “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it further exposes the haste with which legislation written to deny entry into the EU and facilitate expulsions was drafted” replaces “if Frontex is assisting with “voluntary returns” that are not governed by the Returns Directive, it is acting outside of its legal mandate”

      Endnotes

      [1] Frontex, ‘State of play of the implementation of the EBCG 2.0 Regulation in view of current challenges’, 27 April 2020, contained in Council document 7607/20, LIMITE, 20 April 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/may/eu-council-frontex-ECBG-state-of-play-7607-20.pdf

      [2] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [3] Section 1.1, state of play report

      [4] Jane Kilpatrick, ‘Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards’, Statewatch Analysis, March 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-355-frontex-recruitment-standing-corps.pdf

      [5] Section 7.1, state of play report

      [6] EDA, ‘EU SatCom Market’, https://www.eda.europa.eu/what-we-do/activities/activities-search/eu-satcom-market

      [7] Article 55(5)(a), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex 2019 Regulation), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [8] Pursuant to Annex IX of the EU Staff Regulations, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:01962R0031-20140501

      [9] Chapter III, state of play report

      [10] Section 2.5, state of play report

      [11] Protocol (No 7), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2016.202.01.0001.01.ENG#d1e3363-201-1

      [12] Chapter III, state of play report

      [13] ‘Border externalisation: Agreements on Frontex operations in Serbia and Montenegro heading for parliamentary approval’, Statewatch News, 11 March 2020, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/frontex-status-agreements.htm

      [14] Europol, ‘EU policy cycle – EMPACT’, https://www.europol.europa.eu/empact

      [15] ‘NGOs, EU and international agencies sound the alarm over Frontex’s respect for fundamental rights’, Statewatch News, 5 March 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/mar/fx-consultative-forum-rep.htm; ‘Frontex condemned by its own fundamental rights body for failing to live up to obligations’, Statewatch News, 21 May 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/may/eu-frontex-fr-rep.htm

      [16] Article 110(6), Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [17] Article 110, 2019 Regulation

      [18] Article 109, 2019 Regulation

      [19] Section 8, state of play report

      [20] Article 111(1), 2019 Regulation

      [21] Sergio Carrera and Marco Stefan, ‘Complaint Mechanisms in Border Management and Expulsion Operations in Europe: Effective Remedies for Victims of Human Rights Violations?’, CEPS, 2018, https://www.ceps.eu/system/files/Complaint%20Mechanisms_A4.pdf

      [22] Article 110(1), 2019 Regulation

      [23] Section 9, state of play report

      [24] ERRIN, https://returnnetwork.eu

      [25] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [26] Chapter III, state of play report

      [27] Section 3.2, state of play report

      [28] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [29] State of play report, p. 19

      [30] Matthias Monroy, ‘Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders’, Statewatch Analysis, February 2020, http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-354-frontex-drones.pdf

      [31] Section 4, state of play report

      [32] Section 7.2, state of play report
      Next article >

      Mediterranean: As the fiction of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble, EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/eu-guns-guards-and-guidelines-reinforcement-of-frontex-runs-into-problem

      #EBCG_2.0_Regulation #European_Defence_Agency’s_Satellite_Communications (#SatCom) #Communications_and_Information_System (#CIS) #immunité #droits_fondamentaux #droits_humains #Fundamental_Rights_Officer (#FRO) #European_Return_and_Reintegration_Network (#ERRIN) #renvois #expulsions #réintégration #Directive_Retour #FAR (#Frontex_Application_for_Returns) #RECAMAS #EUROSUR #European_Aviation_Safety_Agency (#EASA) #European_Organisation_for_the_Safety_of_Air_Navigation (#EUROCONTROL)

    • Frontex launches “game-changing” recruitment drive for standing corps of border guards

      On 4 January 2020 the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) adopted a decision on the profiles of the staff required for the new “standing corps”, which is ultimately supposed to be staffed by 10,000 officials. [1] The decision ushers in a new wave of recruitment for the agency. Applicants will be put through six months of training before deployment, after rigorous medical testing.

      What is the standing corps?

      The European Border and Coast Guard standing corps is the new, and according to Frontex, first ever, EU uniformed service, available “at any time…to support Member States facing challenges at their external borders”.[2] Frontex’s Programming Document for the 2018-2020 period describes the standing corps as the agency’s “biggest game changer”, requiring “an unprecedented scale of staff recruitment”.[3]

      The standing corps will be made up of four categories of Frontex operational staff:

      Frontex statutory staff deployed in operational areas and staff responsible for the functioning of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) Central Unit[4];
      Long-term staff seconded from member states;
      Staff from member states who can be immediately deployed on short-term secondment to Frontex; and

      A reserve of staff from member states for rapid border interventions.

      These border guards will be “trained by the best and equipped with the latest technology has to offer”.[5] As well as wearing EU uniforms, they will be authorised to carry weapons and will have executive powers: they will be able to verify individuals’ identity and nationality and permit or refuse entry into the EU.

      The decision made this January is limited to the definition of profiles and requirements for the operational staff that are to be recruited. The Management Board (MB) will have to adopt a new decision by March this year to set out the numbers of staff needed per profile, the requirements for individuals holding those positions, and the number of staff needed for the following year based on expected operational needs. This process will be repeated annually.[6] The MB can then further specify how many staff each member state should contribute to these profiles, and establish multi-annual plans for member state contributions and recruitment for Frontex statutory staff. Projections for these contributions are made in Annexes II – IV of the 2019 Regulation, though a September Mission Statement by new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urges the recruitment of 10,000 border guards by 2024, indicating that member states might be meeting their contribution commitments much sooner than 2027.[7]

      The standing corps of Frontex staff will have an array of executive powers and responsibilities. As well as being able to verify identity and nationality and refuse or permit entry into the EU, they will be able to consult various EU databases to fulfil operational aims, and may also be authorised by host states to consult national databases. According to the MB Decision, “all members of the Standing Corps are to be able to identify persons in need of international protection and persons in a vulnerable situation, including unaccompanied minors, and refer them to the competent authorities”. Training on international and EU law on fundamental rights and international protection, as well as guidelines on the identification and referral of persons in need of international protection, will be mandatory for all standing corps staff members.

      The size of the standing corps

      The following table, taken from the 2019 Regulation, outlines the ambitions for growth of Frontex’s standing corps. However, as noted, the political ambition is to reach the 10,000 total by 2024.

      –-> voir le tableau sur le site de statewatch!

      Category 2 staff – those on long term secondment from member states – will join Frontex from 2021, according to the 2019 Regulation.[8] It is foreseen that Germany will contribute the most staff, with 61 expected in 2021, increasing year-by-year to 225 by 2027. Other high contributors are France and Italy (170 and 125 by 2027, respectively).

      The lowest contributors will be Iceland (expected to contribute between one and two people a year from 2021 to 2027), Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg. Liechtenstein is not contributing personnel but will contribute “through proportional financial support”.

      For short-term secondments from member states, projections follow a very similar pattern. Germany will contribute 540 staff in 2021, increasing to 827 in 2027; Italy’s contribution will increase from 300 in 2021 to 458 in 2027; and France’s from 408 in 2021 to 624 in 2027. Most states will be making less than 100 staff available for short-term secondment in 2021.

      What are the profiles?

      The MB Decision outlines 12 profiles to be made available to Frontex, ranging from Border Guard Officer and Crew Member, to Cross Border Crime Detection Officer and Return Specialist. A full list is contained in the Decision.[9] All profiles will be fulfilled by an official of the competent authority of a member state (MS) or Schengen Associated Country (SAC), or by a member of Frontex’s own statutory staff.

      Tasks to be carried out by these officials include:

      border checks and surveillance;
      interviewing, debriefing* and screening arrivals and registering fingerprints;
      supporting the collection, assessment, analysis and distribution of information with EU member and non-member states;
      verifying travel documents;
      escorting individuals being deported on Frontex return operations;
      operating data systems and platforms; and
      offering cultural mediation

      *Debriefing consists of informal interviews with migrants to collect information for risk analyses on irregular migration and other cross-border crime and the profiling of irregular migrants to identify “modus operandi and migration trends used by irregular migrants and facilitators/criminal networks”. Guidelines written by Frontex in 2012 instructed border guards to target vulnerable individuals for “debriefing”, not in order to streamline safeguarding or protection measures, but for intelligence-gathering - “such people are often more willing to talk about their experiences,” said an internal document.[10] It is unknown whether those instructions are still in place.

      Recruitment for the profiles

      Certain profiles are expected to “apply self-safety and security practice”, and to have “the capacity to work under pressure and face emotional events with composure”. Relevant profiles (e.g. crew member) are required to be able to perform search and rescue activities in distress situations at sea borders.

      Frontex published a call for tender on 27 December for the provision of medical services for pre-recruitment examinations, in line with the plan to start recruiting operational staff in early 2020. The documents accompanying the tender reveal additional criteria for officials that will be granted executive powers (Frontex category “A2”) compared to those staff stationed primarily at the agency’s Warsaw headquarters (“A1”). Those criteria come in the form of more stringent medical testing.

      The differences in medical screening for category A1 and A2 staff lie primarily in additional toxicology screening and psychiatric and psychological consultations. [11] The additional psychiatric attention allotted for operational staff “is performed to check the predisposition for people to work in arduous, hazardous conditions, exposed to stress, conflict situations, changing rapidly environment, coping with people being in dramatic, injure or death exposed situations”.[12]

      Both A1 and A2 category provisional recruits will be asked to disclose if they have ever suffered from a sexually transmitted disease or “genital organ disease”, as well as depression, nervous or mental disorders, among a long list of other ailments. As well as disclosing any medication they take, recruits must also state if they are taking oral contraceptives (though there is no question about hormonal contraceptives that are not taken orally). Women are also asked to give the date of their last period on the pre-appointment questionnaire.

      “Never touch yourself with gloves”

      Frontex training materials on forced return operations obtained by Statewatch in 2019 acknowledge the likelihood of psychological stress among staff, among other health risks. (One recommendation contained in the documents is to “never touch yourself with gloves”). Citing “dissonance within the team, long hours with no rest, group dynamic, improvisation and different languages” among factors behind psychological stress, the training materials on medical precautionary measures for deportation escort officers also refer to post-traumatic stress disorder, the lack of an area to retreat to and body clock disruption as exacerbating risks. The document suggests a high likelihood that Frontex return escorts will witness poverty, “agony”, “chaos”, violence, boredom, and will have to deal with vulnerable persons.[13]

      For fundamental rights monitors (officials deployed to monitor fundamental rights compliance during deportations, who can be either Frontex staff or national officials), the training materials obtained by Statewatch focus on the self-control of emotions, rather than emotional care. Strategies recommended include talking to somebody, seeking professional help, and “informing yourself of any other option offered”. The documents suggest that it is an individual’s responsibility to prevent emotional responses to stressful situations having an impact on operations, and to organise their own supervision and professional help. There is no obvious focus on how traumatic responses of Frontex staff could affect those coming into contact with them at an external border or during a deportation. [14]

      The materials obtained by Statewatch also give some indication of the fundamental rights training imparted to those acting as deportation ‘escorts’ and fundamental rights monitors. The intended outcomes for a training session in Athens that took place in March 2019 included “adapt FR [fundamental rights] in a readmission operation (explain it with examples)” and “should be able to describe Non Refoulement principle” (in the document, ‘Session Fundamental rights’ is followed by ‘Session Velcro handcuffs’).[15] The content of the fundamental rights training that will be offered to Frontex’s new recruits is currently unknown.

      Fit for service?

      The agency anticipates that most staff will be recruited from March to June 2020, involving the medical examination of up to 700 applicants in this period. According to Frontex’s website, the agency has already received over 7,000 applications for the 700 new European Border Guard Officer positions.[16] Successful candidates will undergo six months of training before deployment in 2021. Apparently then, the posts are a popular career option, despite the seemingly invasive medical tests (especially for sexually active women). Why, for instance, is it important to Frontex to know about oral hormonal contraception, or about sexually transmitted infections?

      When asked by Statewatch if Frontex provides in-house psychological and emotional support, an agency press officer stated: “When it comes to psychological and emotional support, Frontex is increasing awareness and personal resilience of the officers taking part in our operations through education and training activities.” A ‘Frontex Mental Health Strategy’ from 2018 proposed the establishment of “a network of experts-psychologists” to act as an advisory body, as well as creating “online self-care tools”, a “psychological hot-line”, and a space for peer support with participation of psychologists (according to risk assessment) during operations.[17]

      One year later, Frontex, EASO and Europol jointly produced a brochure for staff deployed on operations, entitled ‘Occupational Health and Safety – Deployment Information’, which offers a series of recommendations to staff, placing the responsibility to “come to the deployment in good mental shape” and “learn how to manage stress and how to deal with anger” more firmly on the individual than the agency.[18] According to this document, officers who need additional support must disclose this by requesting it from their supervisor, while “a helpline or psychologist on-site may be available, depending on location”.

      Frontex anticipates this recruitment drive to be “game changing”. Indeed, the Commission is relying upon it to reach its ambitions for the agency’s independence and efficiency. The inclusion of mandatory training in fundamental rights in the six-month introductory education is obviously a welcome step. Whether lessons learned in a classroom will be the first thing that comes to the minds of officials deployed on border control or deportation operations remains to be seen.

      Unmanaged responses to emotional stress can include burnout, compassion-fatigue and indirect trauma, which can in turn decrease a person’s ability to cope with adverse circumstance, and increase the risk of violence.[19] Therefore, aside from the agency’s responsibility as an employer to safeguard the health of its staff, its approach to internal psychological care will affect not only the border guards themselves, but the people that they routinely come into contact with at borders and during return operations, many of whom themselves will have experienced trauma.

      Jane Kilpatrick

      Endnotes

      [1] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [2] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [3] Frontex, ‘Programming Document 2018-20’, 10 December 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf

      [4] The ETIAS Central Unit will be responsible for processing the majority of applications for ‘travel authorisations’ received when the European Travel Information and Authorisation System comes into use, in theory in late 2022. Citizens who do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen area will have to apply for authorisation to travel to the Schengen area.

      [5] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [6] Article 54(4), Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [7] ‘European Commission 2020 Work Programme: An ambitious roadmap for a Union that strives for more’, 29 January 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_124; “Mission letter” from Ursula von der Leyen to Ylva Johnsson, 10 September 2019, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/mission-letter-ylva-johansson_en.pdf

      [8] Annex II, 2019 Regulation

      [9] Management Board Decision 1/2020 of 4 January 2020 on adopting the profiles to be made available to the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps, https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/MB_Decision/2020/MB_Decision_1_2020_adopting_the_profiles_to_be_made_available_to_the_

      [10] ‘Press release: EU border agency targeted “isolated or mistreated” individuals for questioning’, Statewatch News, 16 February 2017, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2017/feb/eu-frontex-op-hera-debriefing-pr.htm

      [11] ‘Provision of Medical Services – Pre-Recruitment Examination’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-documents.html?cftId=5841

      [12] ‘Provision of medical services – pre-recruitment examination, Terms of Reference - Annex II to invitation to tender no Frontex/OP/1491/2019/KM’, https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-document.html?docId=65398

      [13] Frontex training presentation, ‘Medical precautionary measures for escort officers’, undated, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-presentation-medical-precautionary-measures-deportation-escor

      [14] Ibid.

      [15] Frontex, document listing course learning outcomes from deportation escorts’ training, http://statewatch.org/news/2020/mar/eu-frontex-deportation-escorts-training-course-learning-outcomes.pdf

      [16] Frontex, ‘Careers’, https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/careers/frontex-border-guard-recruitment

      [17] Frontex, ‘Frontex mental health strategy’, 20 February 2018, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/89c168fe-e14b-11e7-9749-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

      [18] EASO, Europol and Frontex, ‘Occupational health and safety’, 12 August 2019, https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/17cc07e0-bd88-11e9-9d01-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-103142015

      [19] Trauma Treatment International, ‘A different approach for victims of trauma’, https://www.tt-intl.org/#our-work-section

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/frontex-launches-game-changing-recruitment-drive-for-standing-corps-of-b
      #gardes_frontières #staff #corps_des_gardes-frontières

    • Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe’s borders (27.02.2020)

      Instead of providing sea rescue capabilities in the Mediterranean, the EU is expanding air surveillance. Refugees are observed with drones developed for the military. In addition to numerous EU states, countries such as Libya could also use the information obtained.

      It is not easy to obtain majorities for legislation in the European Union in the area of migration - unless it is a matter of upgrading the EU’s external borders. While the reform of a common EU asylum system has been on hold for years, the European Commission, Parliament and Council agreed to reshape the border agency Frontex with unusual haste shortly before last year’s parliamentary elections. A new Regulation has been in force since December 2019,[1] under which Frontex intends to build up a “standing corps” of 10,000 uniformed officials by 2027. They can be deployed not just at the EU’s external borders, but in ‘third countries’ as well.

      In this way, Frontex will become a “European border police force” with powers that were previously reserved for the member states alone. The core of the new Regulation includes the procurement of the agency’s own equipment. The Multiannual Financial Framework, in which the EU determines the distribution of its financial resources from 2021 until 2027, has not yet been decided. According to current plans, however, at least €6 billion are reserved for Frontex in the seven-year budget. The intention is for Frontex to spend a large part of the money, over €2 billion, on aircraft, ships and vehicles.[2]

      Frontex seeks company for drone flights

      The upgrade plans include the stationing of large drones in the central and eastern Mediterranean. For this purpose, Frontex is looking for a private partner to operate flights off Malta, Italy or Greece. A corresponding tender ended in December[3] and the selection process is currently underway. The unmanned missions could then begin already in spring. Frontex estimates the total cost of these missions at €50 million. The contract has a term of two years and can be extended twice for one year at a time.

      Frontex wants drones of the so-called MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class. Their flight duration should be at least 20 hours. The requirements include the ability to fly in all weather conditions and at day and night. It is also planned to operate in airspace where civil aircraft are in service. For surveillance missions, the drones should carry electro-optical cameras, thermal imaging cameras and so-called “daylight spotter” systems that independently detect moving targets and keep them in focus. Other equipment includes systems for locating mobile and satellite telephones. The drones will also be able to receive signals from emergency call transmitters sewn into modern life jackets.

      However, the Frontex drones will not be used primarily for sea rescue operations, but to improve capacities against unwanted migration. This assumption is also confirmed by the German non-governmental organisation Sea-Watch, which has been providing assistance in the central Mediterranean with various ships since 2015. “Frontex is not concerned with saving lives,” says Ruben Neugebauer of Sea-Watch. “While air surveillance is being expanded with aircraft and drones, ships urgently needed for rescue operations have been withdrawn”. Sea-Watch demands that situation pictures of EU drones are also made available to private organisations for sea rescue.

      Aircraft from arms companies

      Frontex has very specific ideas for its own drones, which is why there are only a few suppliers worldwide that can be called into question. The Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1, which Frontex tested for several months on the Greek island of Crete[4] and which is also flown by the German Bundeswehr, is one of them. As set out by Frontex in its invitation to tender, the Heron 1, with a payload of around 250 kilograms, can carry all the surveillance equipment that the agency intends to deploy over the Mediterranean. Also amongst those likely to be interested in the Frontex contract is the US company General Atomics, which has been building drones of the Predator series for 20 years. Recently, it presented a new Predator model in Greece under the name SeaGuardian, for maritime observation.[5] It is equipped with a maritime surveillance radar and a system for receiving position data from larger ships, thus fulfilling one of Frontex’s essential requirements.

      General Atomics may have a competitive advantage, as its Predator drones have several years’ operational experience in the Mediterranean. In addition to Frontex, the European Union has been active in the central Mediterranean with EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia. In March 2019, Italy’s then-interior minister Matteo Salvini pushed through the decision to operate the EU mission from the air alone. Since then, two unarmed Predator drones operated by the Italian military have been flying for EUNAVFOR MED for 60 hours per month. Officially, the drones are to observe from the air whether the training of the Libyan coast guard has been successful and whether these navy personnel use their knowledge accordingly. Presumably, however, the Predators are primarily pursuing the mission’s goal to “combat human smuggling” by spying on the Libyan coast. It is likely that the new Operation EU Active Surveillance, which will use military assets from EU member states to try to enforce the UN arms embargo placed on Libya,[6] will continue to patrol with Italian drones off the coast in North Africa.

      Three EU maritime surveillance agencies

      In addition to Frontex, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) are also investing in maritime surveillance using drones. Together, the three agencies coordinate some 300 civil and military authorities in EU member states.[7] Their tasks include border, fisheries and customs control, law enforcement and environmental protection.

      In 2017, Frontex and EMSA signed an agreement to benefit from joint reconnaissance capabilities, with EFCA also involved.[8] At the time, EMSA conducted tests with drones of various sizes, but now the drones’ flights are part of its regular services. The offer is not only open to EU Member States, as Iceland was the first to take advantage of it. Since summer 2019, a long-range Hermes 900 drone built by the Israeli company Elbit Systems has been flying from Iceland’s Egilsstaðir airport. The flights are intended to cover more than half of the island state’s exclusive economic zone and to detect “suspicious activities and potential hazards”.[9]

      The Hermes 900 was also developed for the military; the Israeli army first deployed it in the Gaza Strip in 2014. The Times of Israel puts the cost of the operating contract with EMSA at €59 million,[10] with a term of two years, which can be extended for another two years. The agency did not conclude the contract directly with the Israeli arms company, but through the Portuguese firm CeiiA. The contract covers the stationing, control and mission control of the drones.

      New interested parties for drone flights

      At the request of the German MEP Özlem Demirel (from the party Die Linke), the European Commission has published a list of countries that also want to use EMSA drones.[11] According to this list, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal and also Greece have requested unmanned flights for pollution monitoring this year, while Bulgaria and Spain want to use them for general maritime surveillance. Until Frontex has its own drones, EMSA is flying its drones for the border agency on Crete. As in Iceland, this is the long-range drone Hermes 900, but according to Greek media reports it crashed on 8 January during take-off.[12] Possible causes are a malfunction of the propulsion system or human error. The aircraft is said to have been considerably damaged.

      Authorities from France and Great Britain have also ordered unmanned maritime surveillance from EMSA. Nothing is yet known about the exact intended location, but it is presumably the English Channel. There, the British coast guard is already observing border traffic with larger drones built by the Tekever arms company from Portugal.[13] The government in London wants to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel. The drones take off from the airport in the small town of Lydd and monitor the approximately 50-kilometre-long and 30-kilometre-wide Strait of Dover. Great Britain has also delivered several quadcopters to France to try to detect potential migrants in French territorial waters. According to the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais, eight gendarmes have been trained to control the small drones[14].

      Information to non-EU countries

      The images taken by EMSA drones are evaluated by the competent national coastguards. A livestream also sends them to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw.[15] There they are fed into the EUROSUR border surveillance system. This is operated by Frontex and networks the surveillance installations of all EU member states that have an external border. The data from EUROSUR and the national border control centres form the ‘Common Pre-frontier Intelligence Picture’,[16] referring to the area of interest of Frontex, which extends far into the African continent. Surveillance data is used to detect and prevent migration movements at an early stage.

      Once the providing company has been selected, the new Frontex drones are also to fly for EUROSUR. According to the invitation to tender, they are to operate in the eastern and central Mediterranean within a radius of up to 250 nautical miles (463 kilometres). This would enable them to carry out reconnaissance in the “pre-frontier” area off Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Within the framework of EUROSUR, Frontex shares the recorded data with other European users via a ‘Remote Information Portal’, as the call for tender explains. The border agency has long been able to cooperate with third countries and the information collected can therefore also be made available to authorities in North Africa. However, in order to share general information on surveillance of the Mediterranean Sea with a non-EU state, Frontex must first conclude a working agreement with the corresponding government.[17]

      It is already possible, however, to provide countries such as Libya with the coordinates of refugee boats. For example, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that the nearest Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) must be informed of actual or suspected emergencies. With EU funding, Italy has been building such a centre in Tripoli for the last two years.[18] It is operated by the military coast guard, but so far has no significant equipment of its own.

      The EU military mission “EUNAVFOR MED” was cooperating more extensively with the Libyan coast guard. For communication with European naval authorities, Libya is the first third country to be connected to European surveillance systems via the “Seahorse Mediterranean” network[19]. Information handed over to the Libyan authorities might also include information that was collected with the Italian military ‘Predator’ drones.

      Reconnaissance generated with unmanned aerial surveillance is also given to the MRCC in Turkey. This was seen in a pilot project last summer, when the border agency tested an unmanned aerostat with the Greek coast guard off the island of Samos.[20] Attached to a 1,000 metre-long cable, the airship was used in the Frontex operation ‘Poseidon’ in the eastern Mediterranean. The 35-meter-long zeppelin comes from the French manufacturer A-NSE.[21] The company specializes in civil and military aerial observation. According to the Greek Marine Ministry, the equipment included a radar, a thermal imaging camera and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for the tracking of larger ships. The recorded videos were received and evaluated by a situation centre supplied by the Portuguese National Guard. If a detected refugee boat was still in Turkish territorial waters, the Greek coast guard informed the Turkish authorities. This pilot project in the Aegean Sea was the first use of an airship by Frontex. The participants deployed comparatively large numbers of personnel for the short mission. Pictures taken by the Greek coastguard show more than 40 people.

      Drones enable ‘pull-backs’

      Human rights organisations accuse EUNAVFOR MED and Frontex of passing on information to neighbouring countries leading to rejections (so-called ‘push-backs’) in violation of international law. People must not be returned to states where they are at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Frontex does not itself return refugees in distress who were discovered at sea via aerial surveillance, but leaves the task to the Libyan or Turkish authorities. Regarding Libya, the Agency since 2017 provided notice of at least 42 vessels in distress to Libyan authorities.[22]

      Private rescue organisations therefore speak of so-called ‘pull-backs’, but these are also prohibited, as the Israeli human rights lawyer Omer Shatz argues: “Communicating the location of civilians fleeing war to a consortium of militias and instructing them to intercept and forcibly transfer them back to the place they fled from, trigger both state responsibility of all EU members and individual criminal liability of hundreds involved.” Together with his colleague Juan Branco, Shatz is suing those responsible for the European Union and its agencies before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Soon they intend to publish individual cases and the names of the people accused.

      Matthias Monroy

      An earlier version of this article first appeared in the German edition of Le Monde Diplomatique: ‘Drohnen für Frontex Statt sich auf die Rettung von Bootsflüchtlingen im Mittelmeer zu konzentrieren, baut die EU die Luftüberwachung’.

      Note: this article was corrected on 6 March to clarify a point regarding cooperation between Frontex and non-EU states.

      Endnotes

      [1] Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard, https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/PE-33-2019-INIT/en/pdf

      [2] European Commission, ‘A strengthened and fully equipped European Border and Coast Guard’, 12 September 2018, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-factsheet-coast-guard_en.pdf

      [3] ‘Poland-Warsaw: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Medium Altitude Long Endurance Maritime Aerial Surveillance’, https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:490010-2019:TEXT:EN:HTML&tabId=1

      [4] IAI, ‘IAI AND AIRBUS MARITIME HERON UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM (UAS) SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED 200 FLIGHT HOURS IN CIVILIAN EUROPEAN AIRSPACE FOR FRONTEX’, 24 October 2018, https://www.iai.co.il/iai-and-airbus-maritime-heron-unmanned-aerial-system-uas-successfully-complet

      [5] ‘ European Maritime Flight Demonstrations’, General Atomics, http://www.ga-asi.com/european-maritime-demo

      [6] ‘EU agrees to deploy warships to enforce Libya arms embargo’, The Guardian, 17 February 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/17/eu-agrees-deploy-warships-enforce-libya-arms-embargo

      [7] EMSA, ‘Heads of EMSA and Frontex meet to discuss cooperation on European coast guard functions’, 3 April 2019, http://www.emsa.europa.eu/news-a-press-centre/external-news/item/3499-heads-of-emsa-and-frontex-meet-to-discuss-cooperation-on-european-c

      [8] Frontex, ‘Frontex, EMSA and EFCA strengthen cooperation on coast guard functions’, 23 March 2017, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-emsa-and-efca-strengthen-cooperation-on-coast-guard-functions

      [9] Elbit Systems, ‘Elbit Systems Commenced the Operation of the Maritime UAS Patrol Service to European Union Countries’, 18 June 2019, https://elbitsystems.com/pr-new/elbit-systems-commenced-the-operation-of-the-maritime-uas-patrol-servi

      [10] ‘Elbit wins drone contract for up to $68m to help monitor Europe coast’, The Times of Israel, 1 November 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/elbit-wins-drone-contract-for-up-to-68m-to-help-monitor-europe-coast

      [11] ‘Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission’, https://netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/2019/12/E-2946_191_Finalised_reply_Annex1_EN_V1.pdf

      [12] ‘Το drone της FRONTEX έπεσε, οι μετανάστες έρχονται’, Proto Thema, 27 January 2020, https://www.protothema.gr/greece/article/968869/to-drone-tis-frontex-epese-oi-metanastes-erhodai

      [13] Morgan Meaker, ‘Here’s proof the UK is using drones to patrol the English Channel’, Wired, 10 January 2020, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/uk-drones-migrants-english-channel

      [14] ‘Littoral: Les drones pour lutter contre les traversées de migrants sont opérationnels’, La Voix du Nord, 26 March 2019, https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/557951/article/2019-03-26/les-drones-pour-lutter-contre-les-traversees-de-migrants-sont-operation

      [15] ‘Frontex report on the functioning of Eurosur – Part I’, Council document 6215/18, 15 February 2018, http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6215-2018-INIT/en/pdf

      [16] European Commission, ‘Eurosur’, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/eurosur_en

      [17] Legal reforms have also given Frontex the power to operate on the territory of non-EU states, subject to the conclusion of a status agreement between the EU and the country in question. The 2016 Frontex Regulation allowed such cooperation with states that share a border with the EU; the 2019 Frontex Regulation extends this to any non-EU state.

      [18] ‘Helping the Libyan Coast Guard to establish a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre’, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-000547_EN.html

      [19] Matthias Monroy, ‘EU funds the sacking of rescue ships in the Mediterranean’, 7 July 2018, https://digit.site36.net/2018/07/03/eu-funds-the-sacking-of-rescue-ships-in-the-mediterranean

      [20] Frontex, ‘Frontex begins testing use of aerostat for border surveillance’, 31 July 2019, https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/frontex-begins-testing-use-of-aerostat-for-border-surveillance-ur33N8

      [21] ‘Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission’, 7 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002529-ASW_EN.html

      [22] ‘Answer given by Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission’, 8 January 2020, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2019-002654-ASW_EN.html

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2020/drones-for-frontex-unmanned-migration-control-at-europe-s-borders

      #drones

    • Monitoring “secondary movements” and “hotspots”: Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency (16.12.2019)

      The EU’s border agency, Frontex, now has powers to gather data on “secondary movements” and the “hotspots” within the EU. The intention is to ensure “situational awareness” and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens.

      The establishment of a new ’standing corps’ of 10,000 border guards to be commanded by EU border agency Frontex has generated significant public and press attention in recent months. However, the new rules governing Frontex[1] include a number of other significant developments - including a mandate for the surveillance of migratory movements and migration “hotspots” within the EU.

      Previously, the agency’s surveillance role has been restricted to the external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or “selected third-country ports.”[2] New legal provisions mean it will now be able to gather data on the movement of people within the EU. While this is only supposed to deal with “trends, volumes and routes,” rather than personal data, it is intended to inform operational activity within the EU.

      This may mean an increase in operations against ‘unauthorised’ migrants, bringing with it risks for fundamental rights such as the possibility of racial profiling, detention, violence and the denial of access to asylum procedures. At the same time, in a context where internal borders have been reintroduced by numerous Schengen states over the last five years due to increased migration, it may be that he agency’s new role contributes to a further prolongation of internal border controls.

      From external to internal surveillance

      Frontex was initially established with the primary goals of assisting in the surveillance and control of the external borders of the EU. Over the years it has obtained increasing powers to conduct surveillance of those borders in order to identify potential ’threats’.

      The European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) has a key role in this task, taking data from a variety of sources, including satellites, sensors, drones, ships, vehicles and other means operated both by national authorities and the agency itself. EUROSUR was formally established by legislation approved in 2013, although the system was developed and in use long before it was subject to a legal framework.[3]

      The new Frontex Regulation incorporates and updates the provisions of the 2013 EUROSUR Regulation. It maintains existing requirements for the agency to establish a “situational picture” of the EU’s external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or the ports of non-EU states – which is then distributed to the EU’s member states in order to inform operational activities.[4]

      The new rules also provide a mandate for reporting on “unauthorised secondary movements” and goings-on in the “hotspots”. The Commission’s proposal for the new Frontex Regulation was not accompanied by an impact assessment, which would have set out the reasoning and justifications for these new powers. The proposal merely pointed out that the new rules would “evolve” the scope of EUROSUR, to make it possible to “prevent secondary movements”.[5] As the European Data Protection Supervisor remarked, the lack of an impact assessment made it impossible: “to fully assess and verify its attended benefits and impact, notably on fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to privacy and to the protection of personal data.”[6]

      The term “secondary movements” is not defined in the Regulation, but is generally used to refer to journeys between EU member states undertaken without permission, in particular by undocumented migrants and applicants for internal protection. Regarding the “hotspots” – established and operated by EU and national authorities in Italy and Greece – the Regulation provides a definition,[7] but little clarity on precisely what information will be gathered.

      Legal provisions

      A quick glance at Section 3 of the new Regulation, dealing with EUROSUR, gives little indication that the system will now be used for internal surveillance. The formal scope of EUROSUR is concerned with the external borders and border crossing points:

      “EUROSUR shall be used for border checks at authorised border crossing points and for external land, sea and air border surveillance, including the monitoring, detection, identification, tracking, prevention and interception of unauthorised border crossings for the purpose of detecting, preventing and combating illegal immigration and cross-border crime and contributing to ensuring the protection and saving the lives of migrants.”

      However, the subsequent section of the Regulation (on ‘situational awareness’) makes clear the agency’s new internal role. Article 24 sets out the components of the “situational pictures” that will be visible in EUROSUR. There are three types – national situational pictures, the European situational picture and specific situational pictures. All of these should consist of an events layer, an operational layer and an analysis layer. The first of these layers should contain (emphasis added in all quotes):

      “…events and incidents related to unauthorised border crossings and cross-border crime and, where available, information on unauthorised secondary movements, for the purpose of understanding migratory trends, volume and routes.”

      Article 26, dealing with the European situational picture, states:

      “The Agency shall establish and maintain a European situational picture in order to provide the national coordination centres and the Commission with effective, accurate and timely information and analysis, covering the external borders, the pre-frontier area and unauthorised secondary movements.”

      The events layer of that picture should include “information relating to… incidents in the operational area of a joint operation or rapid intervention coordinated by the Agency, or in a hotspot.”[8] In a similar vein:

      “The operational layer of the European situational picture shall contain information on the joint operations and rapid interventions coordinated by the Agency and on hotspots, and shall include the mission statements, locations, status, duration, information on the Member States and other actors involved, daily and weekly situational reports, statistical data and information packages for the media.”[9]

      Article 28, dealing with ‘EUROSUR Fusion Services’, says that Frontex will provide national authorities with information on the external borders and pre-frontier area that may be derived from, amongst other things, the monitoring of “migratory flows towards and within the Union in terms of trends, volume and routes.”

      Sources of data

      The “situational pictures” compiled by Frontex and distributed via EUROSUR are made up of data gathered from a host of different sources. For the national situational picture, these are:

      national border surveillance systems;
      stationary and mobile sensors operated by national border agencies;
      border surveillance patrols and “other monitoring missions”;
      local, regional and other coordination centres;
      other national authorities and systems, such as immigration liaison officers, operational centres and contact points;
      border checks;
      Frontex;
      other member states’ national coordination centres;
      third countries’ authorities;
      ship reporting systems;
      other relevant European and international organisations; and
      other sources.[10]

      For the European situational picture, the sources of data are:

      national coordination centres;
      national situational pictures;
      immigration liaison officers;
      Frontex, including reports form its liaison officers;
      Union delegations and EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions;
      other relevant Union bodies, offices and agencies and international organisations; and
      third countries’ authorities.[11]

      The EUROSUR handbook – which will presumably be redrafted to take into account the new legislation – provides more detail about what each of these categories may include.[12]

      Exactly how this melange of different data will be used to report on secondary movements is currently unknown. However, in accordance with Article 24 of the new Regulation:

      “The Commission shall adopt an implementing act laying down the details of the information layers of the situational pictures and the rules for the establishment of specific situational pictures. The implementing act shall specify the type of information to be provided, the entities responsible for collecting, processing, archiving and transmitting specific information, the maximum time limits for reporting, the data security and data protection rules and related quality control mechanisms.” [13]

      This implementing act will specify precisely how EUROSUR will report on “secondary movements”.[14] According to a ‘roadmap’ setting out plans for the implementation of the new Regulation, this implementing act should have been drawn up in the last quarter of 2020 by a newly-established European Border and Coast Guard Committee sitting within the Commission. However, that Committee does not yet appear to have held any meetings.[15]

      Operational activities at the internal borders

      Boosting Frontex’s operational role is one of the major purposes of the new Regulation, although it makes clear that the internal surveillance role “should not lead to operational activities of the Agency at the internal borders of the Member States.” Rather, internal surveillance should “contribute to the monitoring by the Agency of migratory flows towards and within the Union for the purpose of risk analysis and situational awareness.” The purpose is to inform operational activity by national authorities.

      In recent years Schengen member states have reintroduced border controls for significant periods in the name of ensuring internal security and combating irregular migration. An article in Deutsche Welle recently highlighted:

      “When increasing numbers of refugees started arriving in the European Union in 2015, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Hungary quickly reintroduced controls, citing a “continuous big influx of persons seeking international protection.” This was the first time that migration had been mentioned as a reason for reintroducing border controls.

      Soon after, six Schengen members reintroduced controls for extended periods. Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway cited migration as a reason. France, as the sixth country, first introduced border checks after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, citing terrorist threats. Now, four years later, all six countries still have controls in place. On November 12, they are scheduled to extend them for another six months.”[16]

      These long-term extensions of internal border controls are illegal (the upper limit is supposed to be two years; discussions on changes to the rules governing the reintroduction of internal border controls in the Schengen area are ongoing).[17] A European Parliament resolution from May 2018 stated that “many of the prolongations are not in line with the existing rules as to their extensions, necessity or proportionality and are therefore unlawful.”[18] Yves Pascou, a researcher for the European Policy Centre, told Deutsche Welle that: “"We are in an entirely political situation now, not a legal one, and not one grounded in facts.”

      A European Parliament study published in 2016 highlighted that:

      “there has been a noticeable lack of detail and evidence given by the concerned EU Member States [those which reintroduced internal border controls]. For example, there have been no statistics on the numbers of people crossing borders and seeking asylum, or assessment of the extent to which reintroducing border checks complies with the principles of proportionality and necessity.”[19]

      One purpose of Frontex’s new internal surveillance powers is to provide such evidence (albeit in the ideologically-skewed form of ‘risk analysis’) on the situation within the EU. Whether the information provided will be of interest to national authorities is another question. Nevertheless, it would be a significant irony if the provision of that information were to contribute to the further maintenance of internal borders in the Schengen area.

      At the same time, there is a more pressing concern related to these new powers. Many discussions on the reintroduction of internal borders revolve around the fact that it is contrary to the idea, spirit (and in these cases, the law) of the Schengen area. What appears to have been totally overlooked is the effect the reintroduction of internal borders may have on non-EU nationals or ethnic minority citizens of the EU. One does not have to cross an internal Schengen frontier too many times to notice patterns in the appearance of the people who are hauled off trains and buses by border guards, but personal anecdotes are not the same thing as empirical investigation. If Frontex’s new powers are intended to inform operational activity by the member states at the internal borders of the EU, then the potential effects on fundamental rights must be taken into consideration and should be the subject of investigation by journalists, officials, politicians and researchers.

      Chris Jones

      Endnotes

      [1] The new Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU in mid-November: Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1896

      [2] Article 12, ‘Common application of surveillance tools’, Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 establishing the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32013R1052

      [3] According to Frontex, the Eurosur Network first came into use in December 2011 and in March 2012 was first used to “exchange operational information”. The Regulation governing the system came into force in October 2013 (see footnote 2). See: Charles Heller and Chris Jones, ‘Eurosur: saving lives or reinforcing deadly borders?’, Statewatch Journal, vol. 23 no. 3/4, February 2014, http://database.statewatch.org/article.asp?aid=33156

      [4] Recital 34, 2019 Regulation: “EUROSUR should provide an exhaustive situational picture not only at the external borders but also within the Schengen area and in the pre-frontier area. It should cover land, sea and air border surveillance and border checks.”

      [5] European Commission, ‘Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Council Joint Action no 98/700/JHA, Regulation (EU) no 1052/2013 and Regulation (EU) no 2016/1624’, COM(2018) 631 final, 12 September 2018, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/sep/eu-com-frontex-proposal-regulation-com-18-631.pdf

      [6] EDPS, ‘Formal comments on the Proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard’, 30 November 2018, p. p.2, https://edps.europa.eu/sites/edp/files/publication/18-11-30_comments_proposal_regulation_european_border_coast_guard_en.pdf

      [7] Article 2(23): “‘hotspot area’ means an area created at the request of the host Member State in which the host Member State, the Commission, relevant Union agencies and participating Member States cooperate, with the aim of managing an existing or potential disproportionate migratory challenge characterised by a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving at the external borders”

      [8] Article 26(3)(c), 2019 Regulation

      [9] Article 26(4), 2019 Regulation

      [10] Article 25, 2019 Regulation

      [11] Article 26, 2019 Regulation

      [12] European Commission, ‘Commission Recommendation adopting the Practical Handbook for implementing and managing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR)’, C(2015) 9206 final, 15 December 2015, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/securing-eu-borders/legal-documents/docs/eurosur_handbook_annex_en.pdf

      [13] Article 24(3), 2019 Regulation

      [14] ‘’Roadmap’ for implementing new Frontex Regulation: full steam ahead’, Statewatch News, 25 November 2019, http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/nov/eu-frontex-roadmap.htm

      [15] Documents related to meetings of committees operating under the auspices of the European Commission can be found in the Comitology Register: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regcomitology/index.cfm?do=Search.Search&NewSearch=1

      [16] Kira Schacht, ‘Border checks in EU countries challenge Schengen Agreement’, DW, 12 November 2019, https://www.dw.com/en/border-checks-in-eu-countries-challenge-schengen-agreement/a-51033603

      [17] European Parliament, ‘Temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders’, https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2017/0245(COD)&l=en

      [18] ‘Report on the annual report on the functioning of the Schengen area’, 3 May 2018, para.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-8-2018-0160_EN.html

      [19] Elpseth Guild et al, ‘Internal border controls in the Schengen area: is Schengen crisis-proof?’, European Parliament, June 2016, p.9, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/571356/IPOL_STU(2016)571356_EN.pdf

      https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2019/monitoring-secondary-movements-and-hotspots-frontex-is-now-an-internal-s

      #mouvements_secondaires #hotspot #hotspots

  • Israel tells Hezbollah it didn’t intend to kill militant in airstrike, report says
    Jack Khoury | Jul. 25, 2020 | 7:41 PM - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-tells-hezbollah-it-didn-t-intend-to-kill-one-of-their-fight

    Israel sent a message to Hezbollah saying that it did not intend to kill one of the organization’s fighters in an airstrike in Syria last week, the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen channel reported Saturday night.

    In the message, reportedly sent to the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group through the United Nations, Israel told Hezbollah that it was unaware that its fighters were in the area.

    The report also said that Israel sent a warning against any military response from Hezbollah over the strike. The organization confirmed that it had received the messages but denied any Israeli threats, the report said.

    Israel’s military has taken a number of steps to increase preparedness after Hezbollah said in a statement this week that one of its fighters was killed in a Monday night strike blamed on Israel near Damascus International Airport, south of the Syrian capital.

    In several towns in Israel’s north, roads that pass through exposed areas will be closed and alternate routes will be made available. The military has also decided to reduce the number of troops and equipment at the front lines and erect more effective defenses in case of an attack.

    Israeli airstrikes that hit military posts south of Damascus on Monday killed five foreign fighters and wounded several others, a Syrian war monitor reported. The airstrikes came in response to an earlier attack on the Golan Heights which it attributed to Syrian forces.

    Hezbollah said the fighter’s family, who is from Aaitit in southern Lebanon, will not be receiving condolences due to the coronavirus, adding that a date will be set later for the funeral.

    #IsraelLiban

    • As tensions soar in north, Netanyahu warns Syria and Lebanon against attacks
      Amid friction with Hezbollah, PM says neighboring countries will bear responsibility for any assault; ministers instructed to make no comments on situation
      By TOI staff 26 juillet 2020 , 5:44 pm
      https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-tensions-soar-in-north-netanyahu-warns-syria-and-lebanon-against-a

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that Syria and Lebanon would bear responsibility for any attack against Israel emanating from their territories, amid heightened tensions between the Jewish state and the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group along the northern border.

      Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel had a “consistent policy to not allow Iran to entrench militarily on our northern border.

      “Lebanon and Syria bear responsibility for any attack from their territory against Israel,” he said. “We will not allow anyone to upend our security or threaten our citizens; we won’t tolerate an attack on our forces… The IDF is prepared to respond to any threat.” (...)

  • Redacted FBI document hints at Israeli efforts to help Trump in 2016 campaign | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/redacted-fbi-document-hints-at-israeli-efforts-to-help-trump-in-2016-

    Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump who was convicted last year in Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, was in contact with one or more apparently well-connected Israelis at the height of the 2016 US presidential campaign, one of whom warned Stone that Trump was “going to be defeated unless we intervene” and promised “we have critical intell[sic].”

    The exchange between Stone and this Jerusalem-based contact appears in FBI documents made public on Tuesday. The documents — FBI affidavits submitted to obtain search warrants in the criminal investigation into Stone — were released following a court case brought by The Associated Press and other media organizations.

  • After Corbyn, UK Labour elects Keir Starmer, Zionist with Jewish wife, as leader | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/keir-starmer-elected-uk-labour-chief-apologizes-to-jews-for-party-ant

    After Corbyn, UK Labour elects Keir Starmer, Zionist with Jewish wife, as leader
    New opposition chief immediately apologizes to Jews for anti-Semitism in ranks, vows to ‘tear out this poison’; his wife comes from a Jewish family, has relatives in Tel Aviv

    The 57-year-old Starmer apologized to the Jewish community for anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks, calling it a “stain” and pledging to stamp it out.

    “We have to face the future with honesty,” he said. “On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry… I have seen the grief that [anti-Semitism] brought to so many Jewish communities.

    “I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.”

    Et bien voilà, c’est beaucoup mieux ainsi !

    #palestine #antisémitisme #travaillistes #corbin

  • Likud, Blue and White said closing in on deal for emergency government | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/likud-blue-and-white-said-closing-in-on-emergency-government-agreemen

    Le Corona, et puis tout ça : bref, Gantz et Netanyahu se mettent d’accord pour que chacun d’eux puisse gouverner trois ans, et surtout pas d’accord de Gantz avec les 13+1 (juif non sioniste) élus qui auraient pu donner la majorité à Gantz.

    #israël la démocratie comme on l’aime

    Likud and the Blue and White party are closing in on an agreement to form an emergency unity government, with a rotation as prime minister between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, Channel 13 reported Friday.

    The report, which cited senior leaders from both parties, said they were working on a compromise agreement for a three-year term, with safeguards to ensure that the prime minister role would be handed over by Netanyahu to Gantz at the half way point.

    However, it noted that the talks were still in a delicate stage and could well yet fall apart.

    • Rappel de cet article de septembre 2019 qui détaillait ce qui se passerait si Gantz et Netanyahou faisaient alliance :

      Les Palestiniens, désormais troisième force politique d’Israël ?
      Marie Niggli, Middle East Eye, le 24 septembre 2019
      https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/les-palestiniens-desormais-troisieme-force-politique-disrael

      Malgré le soutien surprise de dimanche soir à Benny Gantz, beaucoup en Israël – le président israélien en premier lieu – préféreraient voir se mettre en place un gouvernement d’union nationale. Depuis lundi, les discussions entre le Likoud et la coalition Bleu Blanc laissent penser qu’un accord est possible. Et dans cette configuration, les députés arabes deviendraient la première force d’opposition.

      Serait-il alors possible qu’Ayman Odeh, le dirigeant de la Liste unifiée, prenne la tête de l’opposition ?

      Fadi n’ose pas en rêver : « Quand un président ou un Premier ministre étranger viendrait en Israël, il serait obligé de rencontrer Ayman Odeh, s’il était le président de l’opposition. Ayman Odeh recevrait aussi chaque mois un briefing de la part des services de sécurité », du jamais vu dans l’État d’Israël, qui continue à percevoir les Palestiniens de l’intérieur comme des ennemis infiltrés.

      « Cela permettrait de faire monter les voix de notre minorité, qu’elles soient entendues dans le monde entier », se réjouit-il.

      Pas si vite, rétorque Alif Sabbagh. Ayman Odeh « est le président de la plus grosse faction de l’opposition. Mais ça ne veut pas dire qu’il va devenir le président de l’opposition. L’opposition peut voter pour quelqu’un d’autre qu’Ayman Odeh pour en prendre la tête, le droit le leur permet ».

      « Et quand bien même il serait président de l’opposition, que pourrait-il faire ? », poursuit l’analyste. « Le Premier ministre peut tout à faire dire : ‘’Je ne peux pas donner de briefings sécuritaires au chef de l’opposition parce qu’il est arabe.’’ Il peut invoquer des raisons sécuritaires pour ne pas l’informer. »

      #Palestine #Élections #Liste_unifiée