naturalfeature:golan

  • UNGA adopts five resolutions in favor of Palestine
    Dec. 1, 2018 1:05 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 1, 2018 4:55 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781954

    NEW YORK (Ma’an) — The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favor of five resolutions regarding Palestine and a sixth resolution on the Golan Heights, on Friday evening.

    One of the most important resolutions adopted called upon member states not to recognize any measures taken by Israel in Jerusalem and to maintain the current status-quo in the holy city.

    Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that “by voting in favor of the five resolutions, the international community affirms its support of our national cause, despite the efforts made by the US administration in international forums to resist this.”

    UNGA also adopted a sixth resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan, demanding the withdrawal of Israel from all of the territory and affirming Syria’s sovereignty over it, in line with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.

    On November 17, the UNGA voted in favor of eight resolutions on Palestine and a ninth on the Syrian Golan Heights.

    #ONU


  • Ex-defense minister says IS ’apologized’ to Israel for November clash | The Times of Israel
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-defense-minister-says-is-apologized-to-israel-for-november-clash

    Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon on Saturday said the Islamic State terrorist group in the Syrian Golan Heights “apologized” for attacking an Israeli unit.

    “There was one case recently where Daesh opened fire and apologized,” Ya’alon said, using the terror group’s Arabic nickname.

    Comme l’écrit Angry Arab qui passe l’info, difficile après cela de ne pas donner crédit aux thèses conspirationnistes : (كيف لا نركن لنظريّة المؤامرة عندما نتذكّر أن وزير حرب العدوّ الاسرائيلي اعترف بتواصل بين دولة الاحتلال وبين « داعش » وكيف أن الأخيرة اعتذرت للأولى في عام ٢٠١٧ عن اشتباك طفيف بينهما؟)

    #israel #isis #daech #syrie


  • Airbnb to remove listings in Jewish West Bank settlements
    Noa Landau, Yotam Berger, Jack Khoury and Reuters Nov 19, 2018 6:11 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/airbnb-to-remove-listings-in-jewish-west-bank-settlements-1.6662443

    Home-renting company Airbnb Inc said on Monday that it had decided to remove its listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, enclaves that most world powers consider illegal for taking up land where Palestinians seek statehood. In response, Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin instructed the ministry to restrict the company’s operations across the country.

    A statement on Airbnb’s website said: “We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

    It did not say when the decision, which according to Airbnb affects some 200 listings, would take effect. (...)

    #BDS

    • Airbnb se retire des colonies de Cisjordanie, menaces de sanctions israéliennes
      Par AFP — 19 novembre 2018 à 19:09 (mis à jour à 21:05)
      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/11/19/airbnb-se-retire-des-colonies-de-cisjordanie-menaces-de-sanctions-israeli

      La plateforme de réservation de logements en ligne Airbnb a annoncé lundi qu’elle renonçait à faire des offres dans les colonies israéliennes de Cisjordanie occupée, provoquant des menaces de sanctions de la part d’Israël.

      La Cisjordanie est un territoire palestinien occupé par l’armée israélienne depuis plus de 50 ans. Les colonies qui y sont construites par Israël sont considérées comme illégales par la communauté internationale qui les voient comme l’un des principaux obstacles à la paix. Le gouvernement israélien conteste cette vision.

      « Nous avons conclu que nous devrions retirer de nos listes les logements dans les colonies israéliennes en Cisjordanie occupée qui sont au cœur de la dispute entre Israéliens et Palestiniens », a indiqué dans un communiqué Airbnb.

      « Nous savons que des gens vont être en désaccord avec cette décision et nous respectons leur perspective. C’est une question controversée », a ajouté le texte.

      La plateforme indique que 200 logements sont répertoriés dans les colonies, mais ne précise pas quand cette mesure entrera en vigueur.

      Le ministre israélien du Tourisme Yariv Levin a immédiatement dénoncé dans un communiqué la décision « honteuse et malheureuse » d’Airbnb. « Notre ministère a commencé à préparer des mesures immédiates pour limiter les activités d’Airbnb » en Israël.

      Il a ajouté qu’il comptait lancer un programme pour encourager la location de courte durée de logements dans les colonies de Cisjordanie.

    • Airbnb n’offrira plus de locations dans les colonies juives de Cisjordanie
      Par Piotr Smolar Publié le 19 novembre à 22h03, mis à jour le 20 novembre 2018 à 08h59
      https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/11/19/airbnb-supprime-les-locations-dans-les-colonies-juives-de-cisjordanie-israel

      La chambre est vraiment peu séduisante mais le prix attractif – 36 euros la nuit – et les collines environnantes offrent un cadre naturel magnifique. Il était encore possible de la louer, mardi 20 novembre, sur le site d’Airbnb.

      Située dans la colonie juive d’Itamar au nord de la Cisjordanie, à proximité de Naplouse, cette offre doit pourtant être retirée, à une date inconnue. La célèbre plate-forme de location a choisi d’anticiper la publication d’un rapport de l’ONG Human Rights Watch (HRW) et s’est engagée dans un communiqué, publié le 19 novembre, à ne plus proposer de logements sis dans les colonies, soit environ 200 annonces.

      « Il existe des opinions opposées pour savoir si les entreprises devraient conduire des activités dans les territoires occupés qui sont soumis à des disputes historiques entre Israéliens et Palestiniens », commence prudemment le texte. Après une longue réflexion, l’entreprise a décidé de ne pas se réfugier uniquement derrière la loi américaine, qui l’autorise à mener ses activités en Cisjordanie.

      Elle évoque, parmi les motifs de son choix, les « souffrances humaines » que ces annonces peuvent susciter et leur lien avec le conflit. En revanche, Airbnb ne précise pas si Jérusalem-Est et le plateau du Golan, annexés par Israël sans reconnaissance internationale, étaient concernés par sa mesure.(...)

    • Airbnb efface de son site les propositions de location dans les colonies israéliennes
      19 novembre 2019 – Al Jazeera – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine
      http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/airbnb-efface-de-son-site-les-propositions-de-location-dans-les-

      Al Jazeera – Le service mondial de location en ligne, Airbnb, a annoncé qu’il supprimerait ses annonces dans les colonies israéliennes illégales en Cisjordanie occupée.

      La décision de lundi entraînera la suppression d’environ 200 annonces du site Web populaire d’hébergement, qui permet aux propriétaires de louer des chambres, des appartements et des maisons à des individus.

      « Nous avons conclu que nous devrions supprimer les inscriptions dans les colonies de peuplement israéliennes situées en Cisjordanie occupée qui sont au cœur du différend entre Israéliens et Palestiniens », indique un communiqué publié sur le site Internet d’Airbnb.

      La suppression des inscriptions aura lieu dans les prochains jours, a déclaré un porte-parole d’Airbnb à l’agence de presse Reuters.

      La société a déclaré être parvenue à cette conclusion sur la base d’un rapport interne servant à évaluer la manière dont elle gère les propositions dans les territoires occupés du monde entier.

      « La législation américaine autorise des sociétés telles qu’Airbnb à exercer des activités sur ces territoires. Parallèlement, de nombreux membres de la communauté internationale ont déclaré que les sociétés ne devraient pas y exercer leurs activités, estimant qu’elles ne devraient pas tirer profit de terres accaparées », dit la déclaration.

      « D’autres pensent que les entreprises ne devraient pas retirer leurs activités de ces zones », a ajouté le responsable.

      « Nous savons que des gens ne seront pas d’accord avec cette décision et tiendront à leur point de vue. C’est une question controversée. »

      Toutes les colonies israéliennes sont illégales au regard du droit international.

      Les listes d’hébergement de Airbnb en Cisjordanie occupée ont longtemps été critiquées par la communauté palestinienne et les défenseurs des droits de l’homme.


  • Putin’s interests in Syria and Lebanon are limiting Israel’s military options
    Playing chess with Hezbollah is one thing. Trying to figure out what Putin wants, in Syria and perhaps also in Lebanon, even as Hezbollah is trying to manufacture weapons there, is a completely different challenge
    Amos Harel - Nov 18, 2018 9:39 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-putin-s-interests-in-syria-and-lebanon-is-limiting-israel-s-milita

    One reason for Israel’s exceptional caution in dealing with Hamas in the Gaza Strip is its growing concern over the northern front. Though it may sound like a threadbare excuse, this seems to be one of the considerations driving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decide, time after time, to try to reach a cease-fire in Gaza.

    The problem Israel faces in the north, in a nutshell, is the real danger that its operational window of opportunity is closing. In recent years, Israel has exploited the upheaval in the Arab world to expand its offensive activity, most of which is secret.

    Via hundreds of airstrikes and special operations, the army and the intelligence agencies have worked to distance the danger of another war and reduce the enemy’s operational capabilities in the event that war does break out.

    In Syria and Lebanon, the campaign initially focused on preventing Iran from smuggling advanced weaponry to Hezbollah. But over the last year or so, a new mission has been added – preventing Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. This peaked with a flurry of incidents between the Israel Defense Forces and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards last winter and spring.

    A problem may also be developing in Lebanon. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September, Netanyahu warned of efforts by Iran and Hezbollah to set up missile production facilities in the Beirut area. Given the problems its smuggling operations had encountered, the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force apparently decided it had to shorten the distance between the manufacturer and the customer by moving its efforts to improve the accuracy of Hezbollah’s rockets to Lebanon.

    Netanyahu’s speech did its job. In the three days between that speech and the tour of Beirut the Lebanese government conducted for diplomats to rebut it, someone worked hard to get rid of the evidence. But over the long run, Iran seems unlikely to abandon this effort.

    What’s even more worrying is that Putin has recently displayed increased interest in events in Lebanon. In the worst-case scenario, the defensive umbrella — both real and symbolic — that Russia has spread over northwest Syria would be expanded to Lebanon, further complicating Israel’s calculus.

    Even now, at least according to Arab media reports, Israel hasn’t conducted an airstrike in Lebanon since February 2014, when the IAF, apparently pursuing an arms convoy that had crossed the border from Syria, bombed a target in Janta, a few hundred meters to the Lebanese side of the Lebanon-Syria border.

    Hezbollah, which was willing to pretend the spit was rain as long as its convoys were being bombed on the Syrian side, immediately responded with a series of attacks by Druze residents of the Syrian Golan Heights.

    The cell’s commander, Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar, and his successor, Hezbollah’s Jihad Mughniyeh, were both subsequently killed in attacks attributed to Israel. Since then, Israel has confined its attacks to Syria.

    But playing chess with Hezbollah is one thing. Trying to figure out what Putin wants, in Syria and perhaps also in Lebanon, even as Hezbollah is trying to manufacture weapons there, is a challenge of a completely different order of magnitude.

    Netanyahu was presumably hinting at this problem, among others, when he spoke about security considerations that he can’t share with the public, at the memorial for Paula Ben-Gurion earlier this week.

    #IsraelRussie


  • Inside Israel’s Secret Program to Back Syrian Rebels
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/06/in-secret-program-israel-armed-and-funded-rebel-groups-in-southern-sy

    Israel secretly armed and funded at least 12 rebel groups in southern Syria that helped prevent Iran-backed fighters and militants of the Islamic State from taking up positions near the Israeli border in recent years, according to more than two dozen commanders and rank-and-file members of these groups.

    The military transfers, which ended in July of this year, included assault rifles, machine guns, mortar launchers and transport vehicles. Israeli security agencies delivered the weapons through three gates connecting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to Syria—the same crossings Israel used to deliver humanitarian aid to residents of southern Syria suffering from years of civil war.


  • i24NEWS - Israël aurait secrètement armé et financé des groupes rebelles syriens (médias)
    06/09/2018
    https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/moyen-orient/183627-180906-israel-aurait-secretement-arme-et-finance-des-groupes-rebelles

    Israël aurait secrètement armé et financé près d’une douzaine de groupes rebelles dans le sud de la Syrie afin d’éloigner les troupes iraniennes du plateau du Golan, a rapporté jeudi le magazine Foreign Policy.

    Les groupes ont ainsi empêché l’implantation de forces affiliées à l’Iran le long de la frontière israélo-syrienne.

    Selon le journal, des fusils d’assaut, des mitrailleuses, des mortiers et des véhicules ont été transférés ces dernières années jusqu’à la fin du mois dernier, par trois points de passage utilisés pour l’aide humanitaire acheminée en Syrie.

    D’après cette source, Israël a versé à chaque membres des groupes rebelles la somme de 75 dollars par mois, et des transferts d’argent supplémentaires ont également été effectués pour l’achat d’armes sur le marché noir syrien.

    Mardi, l’armée israélienne a affirmé lors d’une conférence de presse, avoir bombardé 200 fois le territoire syrien au cours des derniers 18 mois.

    #vousm'endireztant


  • SyrianObserver.com : Syria Will Take Back the Golan and the Sanjak of Alexandretta

    Un étonnant article publié dans un journal officiel syrien

    http://syrianobserver.com/EN/Commentary/34632/Syria_Will_Take_Back_Golan_the_Sanjak_Alexandretta

    When the war against Syria began in 2011, the Zionist enemy was still occupying the Golan Heights and the Turkish enemy was still occupying the Sanjak of Alexandretta.

    Over the years, the Syrian Arab Army has managed to dismantle the conspiracies led by the United States and other colonial powers, in which the Zionist enemy and the Turkish enemy participated. According to the new balance of powers in the region, when the war in Syria comes to an end, the Zionist enemy will be forced to withdraw fully from the Golan without alleged peace deals that follow the Camp David, Oslo and Arabah models. The withdrawal will be without conditions and similar to the Zionist withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000. The Zionist enemy has a crippling fear about entering into a direct war with the Syrian Arab Army, whose military and fighting capabilities have developed greatly and has stunned the Zionist enemy. The enemy has tried and failed more than once to test the Syrian air defenses. Syria is fully prepared to enter into a war and liberate the occupied Arab territory in the Golan.

    Of course, the same new equations apply to the Turkish enemy, which will be forced to withdraw from Syrian territory which it occupies, because the Syrian Arab Army and its allies will not accept anything but the full liberation of Syrian Arab territory, which has been occupied by aggressor nations which are either directly engaged in this war or which have been occupied by terrorist takfiri groups who work as proxies for them. After that, Turkey will have to withdraw from the Sanjak of Alexandretta which has been historically occupied and which the Syrian state will not allow to remain occupied. The Syrian Arab Army is ready to enter into a war to liberate it — with God as our witness.


  • Syrie : Israël va-t-il intervenir directement pour protéger l’État islamique et al-Qaeda ?
    23 juillet 2018 – Raï al-Yaoum – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine
    http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/syrie-israel-intervenir-directement-pour-proteger-etat-islamique

    La destruction mardi [17 juillet ], par des missiles israéliens, d’un avion de combat syrien SU-22 alors qu’il survolait le sud de la Syrie et la mort de son commandant, le major Omran Marei, marque une sérieuse évolution au dans la crise syrienne et constitue une provocation sans précédent.

    Les autorités israéliennes d’occupation affirment que l’avion a été visé après avoir franchi l’espace aérien au-dessus des hauteurs du Golan. Mais le compte-rendu officiel syrien est qu’il a été abattu alors qu’il bombardait des positions tenues par des combattants de l’État islamique (EI) dans le district de Yarmouk près de la frontière jordanienne.

    Il est frappant de constater que cette escalade survient deux jours après que l’armée israélienne ait « secouru » 400 membres et leurs proches de l’organisation des Casques blancs et les ait transférés dans le territoire qu’elle occupe à la suite d’un appel du président américain Donald Trump au Premier ministre israélien Binyamin Netanyahu.

    Il semble clair que cette escalade du harcèlement militaire israélien sur le front syrien vise à entraîner la Syrie et ses alliés iraniens et autres dans une vaste confrontation militaire. Deux jours auparavant, des missiles israéliens avaient visé une base militaire près de Hama, et les médias ont indiqué que Netanyahu avait rejeté l’offre du ministre russe des Affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov, de maintenir les forces iraniennes en Syrie à au moins 100 kilomètres du Golan.

    • Sept hommes armés tués lors d’un raid aérien israélien en Syrie (armée israélienne)
      AFP / 02 août 2018 11h53

      Jérusalem - Sept hommes armés ont été tués lors d’un raid aérien mené mercredi soir par un avion israélien à quelques centaines de mètres des positions israéliennes sur le plateau syrien du Golan, a annoncé jeudi un porte-parole de l’armée israélienne.

      Ces hommes armés venaient de la partie du Golan restée sous le contrôle de la Syrie. Ils ont été repérés alors qu’ils avaient franchi la ligne de cessez-le-feu et s’approchaient à quelques centaines de mètres de la partie du Golan qu’Israël a conquise et annexée, a précisé aux journalistes le porte-parole de l’armée Jonathan Conricus.

      Selon les premières indications, ces hommes étaient membres du groupe Etat islamique (EI) et projetaient de s’infiltrer en Israël pour y commettre des attentats, selon le porte-parole de l’armée.

      « Un avion israélien a attaqué ces sept suspects à l’aide de missiles. Aujourd’hui (jeudi) lors de recherches qui ont eu lieu sur place, des soldats israéliens ont retrouvé sept corps, cinq fusils d’assaut AK-47, des ceintures explosives, et ce qui paraît être des grenades », a ajouté le porte-parole. (...)

    • La Jordanie affirme avoir tué des jihadistes de Daesh près de la Syrie
      N.Ga., avec AFP | 2 août 2018
      https://www.msn.com/fr-fr/news/monde/la-jordanie-affirme-avoir-tu-c3-a9-des-jihadistes-de-daesh-pr-c3-a8s-de-la-syrie/ar-BBLoXNg

      L’annonce de l’armée jordanienne intervient alors qu’Israël a annoncé jeudi avoir tué dans une frappe aérienne sept hommes armés soupçonnés d’être membres de Daesh.

      Les forces armées jordaniennes ont annoncé jeudi avoir tué un nombre indéterminé de jihadistes du groupe terroriste Daesh qui tentaient de s’approcher de la frontière nord séparant le royaume hachémite de la Syrie.

      Ces jihadistes ont été tués mardi alors que des affrontements violents avaient lieu côté syrien entre les forces du régime de Bachar al-Assad et des membres de Daesh, dans la région du bassin de Yarmouk, dans la province de Deraa, a précisé l’armée jordanienne dans un communiqué.

      Selon elle, des combattants de Daesh « ont tenté d’approcher » la frontière mais les gardes-frontières jordaniens les en ont empêchés en ouvrant le feu, « tuant un certain nombre d’entre eux ».

      L’opération de sécurisation de la zone s’est poursuivie mercredi, selon la même source. (...)


  • Syrie : l’armée déployée sur la ligne de démarcation avec le Golan - Moyen-Orient
    Avec notre correspondant à Beyrouth, Paul Khalifeh - RFI - Publié le 30-07-2018 Modifié le 30-07-2018 à 23:42
    http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20180730-syrie-armee-deployee-ligne-demarcation-golan

    L’armée syrienne a annoncé avoir repris le contrôle de la totalité de la ligne de démarcation avec les forces israéliennes sur le plateau du Golan. Le régime contrôle désormais tout le sud-ouest syrien.

    L’armée syrienne s’est redéployée sur l’ensemble de la ligne de démarcation avec le Golan occupé par Israël depuis 1967, allant de la frontière avec le Liban, à l’ouest, à la Jordanie, au sud.

    Cette ligne était contrôlée, depuis 2012, par des mouvements rebelles et une brigade extrémiste appelée l’Armée Khalid Ibn al-Walid, qui a prêté allégeance au groupe Etat islamique.

    Dans un premier temps, l’armée syrienne a repris toutes les régions qui étaient aux mains des rebelles dans les provinces de Daraa, frontalière de la Jordanie, et de Quneitra, au nord du Golan. Puis les troupes gouvernementales se sont attaquées à une enclave de 250 kilomètres carrés dans le bassin du Yarmouk, limitrophes du Golan, et contrôlée par les jihadistes.

    Ce lundi, l’armée syrienne a repris les dernières positions de la brigade affiliée au groupe Etat islamique, ce qui lui a permis d’arriver jusqu’à la clôture de sécurité installée par les Israéliens sur le plateau stratégique.

    Avec cette nouvelle victoire, l’armée syrienne contrôle désormais l’ensemble du sud-ouest syrien. Seuls la province d’Idleb, au nord-ouest, une partie de la voisine limitrophe d’Alep, et l’est du pays, aux mains des Kurdes, lui échappent encore.

    #Syrie


  • What Would Happen if the United States Were to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights? -

    Carnegie Middle East Center - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    http://carnegie-mec.org/diwan/76889?lang=en

    Alain Gresh | Editor of OrientXXI.info

    Such a decision by the United States would only add to the ongoing instability in the Middle East. After the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, it would confirm that the United States is no longer even a “dishonest broker” in Arab-Israel peace negotiations, but rather has become a direct party in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This will make it even more difficult for Washington to broker “the deal of the century” between Israelis and Palestinians. Talks are in limbo, despite many statements this past year on the imminence of a peace plan.

    This situation will strengthen the hand of Russia, which is now seen as an important actor maintaining working relations with all regional leaders, from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It will also play into the hands of Iran, allowing Tehran to widen its alliance with certain “Sunni groups.” We can even imagine that it may play into Assad’s hands as well. After the 2006 war in Lebanon, some Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leaders were ready to engage with Assad in the name of the struggle against Israel. Today, U.S. recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights may revive such impulses.


  • Israël abat un avion syrien qui a pénétré dans son espace aérien
    http://www.europe1.fr/international/israel-abat-un-avion-syrien-qui-a-penetre-dans-son-espace-aerien-3718184

    « L’armée israélienne a repéré l’avion syrien de type Sukhoi qui a pénétré de deux kilomètres dans l’espace aérien israélien et a tiré des missiles Patriot dans sa direction », a précisé l’armée.

    Une source militaire syrienne a accusé mardi Israël d’avoir tiré en direction d’un avion de guerre syrien qui menait des opérations contre les djihadistes en Syrie, l’État hébreu affirmant que l’appareil était dans l’espace aérien israélien.

    Le régime syrien et ses alliés ont lancé le 19 juin une offensive pour reprendre les zones rebelles dans les provinces de Deraa et de Qouneïtra, dans le sud de la Syrie, des régions qui bordent la partie du plateau du Golan occupée et annexée par Israël. Les forces du régime ont réussi à reprendre la majorité de ces territoires aux rebelles et encerclent désormais un secteur tenu par le groupe Etat islamique (EI) proche du Golan.

    Pas de précision concernant l’avion. Le régime de Damas accuse depuis longtemps Israël de soutenir l’EI et d’autres groupes d’opposition. « L’ennemi israélien a confirmé avoir adopté des groupes armés terroristes, et a visé l’un de nos avions qui frappait leurs positions dans la région de Saïda (...) dans l’espace aérien syrien », a affirmé la source militaire syrienne. La source, citée par l’agence syrienne Sana, n’a pas précisé si l’avion avait été touché ou abattu.

    Tsahal se dit être en « état d’alerte ». Plus tôt, l’armée israélienne avait donné une version différente de l’incident. « L’armée israélienne a repéré l’avion syrien de type Sukhoi qui a pénétré de deux kilomètres dans l’espace aérien israélien et a tiré des missiles Patriot dans sa direction », a-t-elle indiqué dans un communiqué. « Depuis le matin, il y a eu une escalade des combats internes en Syrie, y compris un accroissement des activités de l’aviation syrienne », selon le communiqué. « L’armée israélienne est en état d’alerte et continuera à opérer contre toute violation de l’accord » de 1974, a averti l’armée, en référence à un accord sur la création d’une zone tampon démilitarisée entre les deux pays, un an après la guerre israélo-arabe de 1973.


  • Israël a refusé une offre russe sur le rôle de l’Iran en Syrie – La Tribune (Reuters)
    https://www.latribune.fr/depeches/reuters/KBN1KD27S/israel-a-refuse-une-offre-russe-sur-le-role-de-l-iran-en-syrie.html

    Les autorités israéliennes ont rejeté une proposition russe visant à empêcher les forces iraniennes déployées en Syrie d’approcher à moins de 100 km du plateau du Golan occupé par Israël, a déclaré lundi un responsable israélien.

    Le responsable s’exprimant sous le sceau de l’anonymat a précisé que la proposition avait été formulée lundi lors d’un entretien entre le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu et une délégation russe dirigée par le ministre des Affaires étrangères Sergueï Lavrov.

    Benjamin Netanyahu a répondu à ses interlocuteurs que son pays « ne permettrait pas aux Iraniens de s’installer même à 100 km de la frontière », a-t-il dit.


  • Syrie : 800 casques blancs et leurs familles évacués par Israël
    Par RFI Publié le 22-07-2018
    http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20180722-syrie-israel-800-casques-blancs-familles-evacues-jordanie

    Huit cents Syriens, membres des Casques blancs, une organisation de secouristes en zone rebelle, et leurs familles, ont été évacués vers Israël puis transférés en Jordanie, a indiqué ce dimanche matin la radio de l’armée israélienne.
    (...)
    Il s’agit d’une opération menée à la demande des Etats-Unis et des pays européens, précise encore le communiqué de l’armée israélienne. Jérusalem n’entend pas pour autant modifier « sa politique de non-intervention dans le conflit en Syrie et continue à considérer le régime syrien comme responsable de toutes les activités qui ont lieu sur le territoire syrien », ajoute le communiqué.

    Israël, qui a procédé à plusieurs frappes sur le territoire syrien, fait parvenir de l’aide alimentaire et médicale à des civils réfugiés dans la partie du plateau du Golan contrôlée par la Syrie qui ont fui les combats dans le sud de ce pays, rapporte l’Agence France-presse.

    Bénévoles et nons armés, les Casques blancs s’illustrent depuis le début de la guerre en Syrie en évacuant des décombres de bâtiments détruits des civils prisonniers.

    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

    Israël a évacué 800 Casques blancs syriens vers la Jordanie
    22.07.2018
    https://fr.sputniknews.com/international/201807221037305259-israel-casques-blancs-syrie-jordanie-evacuation

    Selon une information de l’armée israélienne, confirmée par le ministère isréalien des Affaires étrangères, 800 Casques blancs syriens ont été envoyés vers un « pays voisin » à la demande d’Israël et des États-Unis.
    (...)
    Les Casques blancs ont été maintes fois accusés de coopérer avec des terroristes. Parmi les griefs retenus contre eux figurent la propagande anti-gouvernementale visant Bachar el-Assad, des tentatives pour encourager une intervention étrangère dans le pays, ainsi que des prétendues preuves fabriquées dénonçant les bavures commises lors de la campagne russe en Syrie.

    Les Casques blancs ont notamment mis en scène la présumée attaque chimique du 7 avril 2018 dans la ville syrienne de Douma, dont un extrait vidéo a été publié par les Casques blancs sur les réseaux sociaux. Par la suite le 20 avril, le ministre russe des Affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov, avait déclaré qu’il y avait « beaucoup de preuves » de l’implication du Royaume-Uni dans la mise en scène de cette l’attaque chimique. Il avait souligné que, sur la vidéo des Casques blancs, on voyait parfaitement que les personnes qui avaient prétendument survécu à cette attaque chimique présumée n’avaient pas de protection, et que seulement « quelques-uns avaient des bandes de gaze ».


  • How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria

    Sunnis have been pushed out by the war. The new Syria is smaller, in ruins and more sectarian.

    A NEW Syria is emerging from the rubble of war. In Homs, which Syrians once dubbed the “capital of the revolution” against President Bashar al-Assad, the Muslim quarter and commercial district still lie in ruins, but the Christian quarter is reviving. Churches have been lavishly restored; a large crucifix hangs over the main street. “Groom of Heaven”, proclaims a billboard featuring a photo of a Christian soldier killed in the seven-year conflict. In their sermons, Orthodox patriarchs praise Mr Assad for saving one of the world’s oldest Christian communities.

    Homs, like all of the cities recaptured by the government, now belongs mostly to Syria’s victorious minorities: Christians, Shias and Alawites (an esoteric offshoot of Shia Islam from which Mr Assad hails). These groups banded together against the rebels, who are nearly all Sunni, and chased them out of the cities. Sunni civilians, once a large majority, followed. More than half of the country’s population of 22m has been displaced—6.5m inside Syria and over 6m abroad. Most are Sunnis.

    The authorities seem intent on maintaining the new demography. Four years after the government regained Homs, residents still need a security clearance to return and rebuild their homes. Few Sunnis get one. Those that do have little money to restart their lives. Some attend Christian mass, hoping for charity or a visa to the West from bishops with foreign connections. Even these Sunnis fall under suspicion. “We lived so well before,” says a Christian teacher in Homs. “But how can you live with a neighbour who overnight called you a kafir (infidel)?”

    Even in areas less touched by the war, Syria is changing. The old city of Damascus, Syria’s capital, is an architectural testament to Sunni Islam. But the Iranian-backed Shia militias that fight for Mr Assad have expanded the city’s Shia quarter into Sunni and Jewish areas. Portraits of Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah, a Lebanese Shia militia, hang from Sunni mosques. Advertisements for Shia pilgrimages line the walls. In the capital’s new cafés revellers barely notice the jets overhead, bombing rebel-held suburbs. “I love those sounds,” says a Christian woman who works for the UN. Like other regime loyalists, she wants to see the “terrorists” punished.

    Mr Assad’s men captured the last rebel strongholds around Damascus in May. He now controls Syria’s spine, from Aleppo in the north to Damascus in the south—what French colonisers once called la Syrie utile (useful Syria). The rebels are confined to pockets along the southern and northern borders (see map). Lately the government has attacked them in the south-western province of Deraa.

    A prize of ruins

    The regime is in a celebratory mood. Though thinly spread, it has survived the war largely intact. Government departments are functioning. In areas that remained under Mr Assad’s control, electricity and water supplies are more reliable than in much of the Middle East. Officials predict that next year’s natural-gas production will surpass pre-war levels. The National Museum in Damascus, which locked up its prized antiquities for protection, is preparing to reopen to the public. The railway from Damascus to Aleppo might resume operations this summer.

    To mark national day on April 17th, the ancient citadel of Aleppo hosted a festival for the first time since the war began. Martial bands, dancing girls, children’s choirs and a Swiss opera singer (of Syrian origin) crowded onto the stage. “God, Syria and Bashar alone,” roared the flag-waving crowd, as video screens showed the battle to retake the city. Below the citadel, the ruins stretch to the horizon.

    Mr Assad (pictured) has been winning the war by garrisoning city centres, then shooting outward into rebel-held suburbs. On the highway from Damascus to Aleppo, towns and villages lie desolate. A new stratum of dead cities has joined the ones from Roman times. The regime has neither the money nor the manpower to rebuild. Before the war Syria’s economic growth approached double digits and annual GDP was $60bn. Now the economy is shrinking; GDP was $12bn last year. Estimates of the cost of reconstruction run to $250bn.

    Syrians are experienced construction workers. When Lebanon’s civil war ended in 1990, they helped rebuild Beirut. But no such workforce is available today. In Damascus University’s civil-engineering department, two-thirds of the lecturers have fled. “The best were first to go,” says one who stayed behind. Students followed them. Those that remain have taken to speaking Araglish, a hotch-potch of Arabic and English, as many plan futures abroad.

    Traffic flows lightly along once-jammed roads in Aleppo, despite the checkpoints. Its pre-war population of 3.2m has shrunk to under 2m. Other cities have also emptied out. Men left first, many fleeing the draft and their likely dispatch to the front. As in Europe after the first world war, Syria’s workforce is now dominated by women. They account for over three-quarters of the staff in the religious-affairs ministry, a hitherto male preserve, says the minister. There are female plumbers, taxi-drivers and bartenders.

    Millions of Syrians who stayed behind have been maimed or traumatised. Almost everyone your correspondent spoke to had buried a close relative. Psychologists warn of societal breakdown. As the war separates families, divorce rates soar. More children are begging in the streets. When the jihadists retreat, liquor stores are the first to reopen.

    Mr Assad, though, seems focused less on recovery than rewarding loyalists with property left behind by Sunnis. He has distributed thousands of empty homes to Shia militiamen. “Terrorists should forfeit their assets,” says a Christian businesswoman, who was given a plush café that belonged to the family of a Sunni defector. A new decree, called Law 10, legitimises the government’s seizure of such assets. Title-holders will forfeit their property if they fail to re-register it, a tough task for the millions who have fled the country.

    A Palestinian-like problem

    The measure has yet to be implemented, but refugees compare it to Israel’s absentees’ property laws, which allow the government to take the property of Palestinian refugees. Syrian officials, of course, bridle at such comparisons. The ruling Baath party claims to represent all of Syria’s religions and sects. The country has been led by Alawites since 1966, but Sunnis held senior positions in government, the armed forces and business. Even today many Sunnis prefer Mr Assad’s secular rule to that of Islamist rebels.

    But since pro-democracy protests erupted in March 2011, Syrians detect a more sectarian approach to policymaking. The first demonstrations attracted hundreds of thousands of people of different faiths. So the regime stoked sectarian tensions to divide the opposition. Sunnis, it warned, really wanted winner-take-all majoritarianism. Jihadists were released from prison in order to taint the uprising. As the government turned violent, so did the protesters. Sunni states, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, provided them with arms, cash and preachers. Hardliners pushed aside moderates. By the end of 2011, the protests had degenerated into a sectarian civil war.

    Early on, minorities lowered their profile to avoid being targeted. Women donned headscarves. Non-Muslim businessmen bowed to demands from Sunni employees for prayer rooms. But as the war swung their way, minorities regained their confidence. Alawite soldiers now flex arms tattooed with Imam Ali, whom they consider the first imam after the Prophet Muhammad (Sunnis see things differently). Christian women in Aleppo show their cleavage. “We would never ask about someone’s religion,” says an official in Damascus. “Sorry to say, we now do.”

    The country’s chief mufti is a Sunni, but there are fewer Sunnis serving in top posts since the revolution. Last summer Mr Assad replaced the Sunni speaker of parliament with a Christian. In January he broke with tradition by appointing an Alawite, instead of a Sunni, as defence minister.

    Officially the government welcomes the return of displaced Syrians, regardless of their religion or sect. “Those whose hands are not stained with blood will be forgiven,” says a Sunni minister. Around 21,000 families have returned to Homs in the last two years, according to its governor, Talal al-Barazi. But across the country, the number of displaced Syrians is rising. Already this year 920,000 people have left their homes, says the UN. Another 45,000 have fled the recent fighting in Deraa. Millions more may follow if the regime tries to retake other rebel enclaves.

    When the regime took Ghouta, in eastern Damascus, earlier this year its 400,000 residents were given a choice between leaving for rebel-held areas in the north or accepting a government offer of shelter. The latter was a euphemism for internment. Tens of thousands remain “captured” in camps, says the UN. “We swapped a large prison for a smaller one,” says Hamdan, who lives with his family in a camp in Adra, on the edge of Ghouta. They sleep under a tarpaulin in a schoolyard with two other families. Armed guards stand at the gates, penning more than 5,000 people inside.

    The head of the camp, a Christian officer, says inmates can leave once their security clearance is processed, but he does not know how long that will take. Returning home requires a second vetting. Trapped and powerless, Hamdan worries that the regime or its supporters will steal his harvest—and then his land. Refugees fear that they will be locked out of their homeland altogether. “We’re the new Palestinians,” says Taher Qabar, one of 350,000 Syrians camped in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

    Some argue that Mr Assad, with fewer Sunnis to fear, may relax his repressive rule. Ministers in Damascus insist that change is inevitable. They point to a change in the constitution made in 2012 that nominally allows for multiparty politics. There are a few hopeful signs. Local associations, once banned, offer vocational training to the displaced. State media remain Orwellian, but the internet is unrestricted and social-media apps allow for unfettered communication. Students in cafés openly criticise the regime. Why doesn’t Mr Assad send his son, Hafez, to the front, sneers a student who has failed his university exams to prolong his studies and avoid conscription.

    A decade ago Mr Assad toyed with infitah (liberalisation), only for Sunni extremists to build huge mosques from which to spout their hate-speech, say his advisers. He is loth to repeat the mistake. Portraits of the president, appearing to listen keenly with a slightly oversized ear, now line Syria’s roads and hang in most offices and shops. Checkpoints, introduced as a counter-insurgency measure, control movement as never before. Men under the age of 42 are told to hand over cash or be sent to the front. So rife are the levies that diplomats speak of a “checkpoint economy”.

    Having resisted pressure to compromise when he was losing, Mr Assad sees no reason to make concessions now. He has torpedoed proposals for a political process, promoted by UN mediators and his Russian allies, that would include the Sunni opposition. At talks in Sochi in January he diluted plans for a constitutional committee, insisting that it be only consultative and based in Damascus. His advisers use the buzzwords of “reconciliation” and “amnesty” as euphemisms for surrender and security checks. He has yet to outline a plan for reconstruction.

    War, who is it good for?

    Mr Assad appears to be growing tired of his allies. Iran has resisted Russia’s call for foreign forces to leave Syria. It refuses to relinquish command of 80,000 foreign Shia militiamen. Skirmishes between the militias and Syrian troops have resulted in scores of deaths, according to researchers at King’s College in London. Having defeated Sunni Islamists, army officers say they have no wish to succumb to Shia ones. Alawites, in particular, flinch at Shia evangelising. “We don’t pray, don’t fast [during Ramadan] and drink alcohol,” says one.

    But Mr Assad still needs his backers. Though he rules most of the population, about 40% of Syria’s territory lies beyond his control. Foreign powers dominate the border areas, blocking trade corridors and the regime’s access to oilfields. In the north-west, Turkish forces provide some protection for Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group linked to al-Qaeda, and other Sunni rebels. American and French officers oversee a Kurdish-led force east of the Euphrates river. Sunni rebels abutting the Golan Heights offer Israel and Jordan a buffer. In theory the territory is classified as a “de-escalation zone”. But violence in the zone is escalating again.

    New offensives by the regime risk pulling foreign powers deeper into the conflict. Turkey, Israel and America have drawn red lines around the rebels under their protection. Continuing Iranian operations in Syria “would be the end of [Mr Assad], his regime”, said Yuval Steinitz, a minister in Israel, which has bombed Iranian bases in the country. Israel may be giving the regime a green light in Deraa, in order to keep the Iranians out of the area.

    There could be worse options than war for Mr Assad. More fighting would create fresh opportunities to reward loyalists and tilt Syria’s demography to his liking. Neighbours, such as Jordan and Lebanon, and European countries might indulge the dictator rather than face a fresh wave of refugees. Above all, war delays the day Mr Assad has to face the question of how he plans to rebuild the country that he has so wantonly destroyed.


    https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2018/06/30/how-a-victorious-bashar-al-assad-is-changing-syria?frsc=dg%7Ce
    #Syrie #démographie #sunnites #sciites #chrétiens #religion #minorités

    • Onze ans plus tard, on continue à tenter de donner un peu de crédibilité à la fable d’une guerre entre « sunnites » et « minoritaires » quand la moindre connaissance directe de ce pays montre qu’une grande partie des « sunnites » continue, pour de bonnes ou de mauvaises raisons, mais ce sont les leurs, à soutenir leur président. Par ailleurs, tout le monde est prié désormais par les syriologues de ne se déterminer que par rapport à son origine sectaire (au contraire de ce qu’on nous affirmait du reste au début de la « révolution »)...


  • Syrians in Golan Heights to boycott municipal election by Israel | Golan Heights
    Al Jazeera | by Nour Samaha | 21 juin 2018

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/syrians-golan-heights-boycott-israel-election-area-180619180933900.html

    Beirut, Lebanon: Thousands of Syrian residents of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are expected to boycott the first municipal elections imposed by Israel on the area, rejecting what they call the ’Israelization’ of the territory.

    Following a decision handed down by Israel’s supreme court last year to hold, for the first time ever, municipal elections in October 2018 for the occupied Golan’s 26,000 Syrian residents, local religious leaders and village elders are calling for a full rejection of the elections, calling it a “red line.” (...)


  • Russia says only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border with Israel

    Israel believes Russia may agree to withdrawing Iranian forces and allied Shi’ite militias from Israel-Syria border

    Noa Landau and Reuters May 28, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/russia-says-only-syrian-army-should-be-on-country-s-southern-border-1.61198

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that only Syrian government troops should have a presence on the country’s southern border which is close to Jordan and Israel, the RIA news agency reported.
    Lavrov was cited as making the comments at a joint news conference in Moscow with Jose Condungua Pacheco, his counterpart from Mozambique.
    Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will leave on Wednesday for a short visit to Russia. He is scheduled to meet with his counterpart, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shvigo, the ministry said in a statement on Monday. Lieberman is expected to discuss with his hosts the recent events in the Middle East, primarily the tension between Israel and Iran over the Iranian military presence in Syria.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the Knesset Monday, saying that “there is no room for any Iranian military presence in any part of Syria.”
    Lieberman said that “these things, of course, reflect not only our position, I can safely say that they reflect the positions of others in the Middle East and beyond the Middle East.”
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    On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Israeli political and military officials believe Russia is willing to discuss a significant distancing of Iranian forces and allied Shi’ite militias from the Israel-Syria border, according to Israeli officials.
    The change in Russia’s position has become clearer since Israel’s May 10 military clash with Iran in Syria and amid Moscow’s concerns that further Israeli moves would threaten the stability of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
    Russia recently renewed efforts to try to get the United States involved in agreements that would stabilize Syria. The Russians might be willing to remove the Iranians from the Israeli border, though not necessarily remove the forces linked to them from the whole country.
    Last November, Russia and the United States, in coordination with Jordan, forged an agreement to decrease the possibility of friction in southern Syria, after the Assad regime defeated rebel groups in the center of the country. Israel sought to keep the Iranians and Shi’ite militias at least 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Israeli border in the Golan Heights, east of the Damascus-Daraa road (or, according to another version, east of the Damascus-Suwayda road, about 70 kilometers from the border).

    FILE – Iran’s Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, left, in Aleppo, Syria, in photo provided October 20, 2017/AP
    According to Israeli intelligence, in Syria there are now around 2,000 Iranian officers and advisers, members of the Revolutionary Guards, around 9,000 Shi’ite militiamen from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and around 7,000 Hezbollah fighters. Israel believes that the Americans are now in a good position to reach a more effective arrangement in Syria in coordination with the Russians under the slogan “Without Iran and without ISIS.”
    The United States warned Syria on Friday it would take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to ceasefire violations, saying it was concerned about reports of an impending military operation in a de-escalation zone in the country’s southwest.
    Washington also cautioned Assad against broadening the conflict.
    “As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement late on Friday.
    A war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported on Wednesday that Syrian government forces fresh from their victory this week against an Islamic State pocket in south Damascus were moving into the southern province of Deraa.
    Syrian state-run media have reported that government aircraft have dropped leaflets on rebel-held areas in Deraa urging fighters to disarm.
    The U.S. warning comes weeks after a similar attack on a de-escalation zone in northeastern Syria held by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. U.S. ground and air forces repelled the more than four-hour attack, killing perhaps as many as 300 pro-Assad militia members, many of them Russian mercenaries.
    Backed by Russian warplanes, ground forces from Iran and allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, have helped Assad drive rebels from Syria’s biggest cities, putting him in an unassailable military position.


  • Water in Palestine: Segregated Sea Access and Running Water in the Israeli Apartheid - THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE
    https://thefunambulist.net/cartography/water-palestine-segregated-sea-access-running-water-israeli-aparthei

    To observe that water is a luxury inaccessible to many has become a cliché of the humanitarian discourse. What this narrative tends to leave asides are the political systems determining the unequal conditions in access to water, whether it is capitalism and its privatizations, or colonialism and its ethnic segregation of this access. Similarly, the so-called “international community” can, at times, recognize the illegally of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (cf. Resolution 2234 voted by the UN Security Council in December 2016) but does not seem to consider the totality of the territorial, social, administrative, judiciary, policing, and resource-management apparatuses that constitute the Israeli apartheid in Palestine – the term “Palestine” designates here the historical region that now includes Israel, the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, and the West Bank.
    Print
    Map by Léopold Lambert for Aman Iwan (2017). (click here for a larger version)

    Before even evoking water as a resource necessary to human survival, we can address the access to the three seas of Palestine (the Mediterranean Sea, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee) as fundamentally restrained through the various apparatuses that restrict Palestinian movements:
    – All Israeli citizens – this includes the 1.8 million of Palestinians – have a total access to the coasts of these three seas, to the exception of the coast along the Gaza Strip since the 2005 Israeli disengagement. They even have full access to the East coast of the Sea of Galilee since the invasion and subsequent occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1967.


  • Israel in major raids on ’Iran’ targets in Syria after rocket fire | AFP.com
    https://www.afp.com/en/news/205/israel-major-raids-iran-targets-syria-after-rocket-fire-doc-14q3b14

    Elle est pas belle la vie ? Ça fait une bonne semaine que l’armée israélienne est en alerte maximale dans le Golan occupé. C’est donc le moment idéal pour lui envoyer une bordée de roquettes dont aucune n’a atteint le territoire israélien…
    Israël est forcément obligé de riposter.

    Israel carried out widespread deadly raids against what it said were Iranian targets in Syria on Thursday after rocket fire towards its forces which it blamed on Iran, marking a sharp escalation between the two enemies.

    The incident came after weeks of rising tensions and followed US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a key 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a move Israel had long advocated.

    It led to immediate calls for restraint from Russia, France and Germany. “The escalation of the last hours shows us that it’s really about war and peace,” warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The raids that a monitor said killed 23 fighters were one of the largest Israeli military operations in recent years and the biggest such assault on Iranian targets, the military said.

    We hit nearly all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria,” Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a security conference.

    I hope we’ve finished this episode and everyone understood.

    Israel carried out the raids after it said 20 rockets, either Fajr or Grad type, were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights at around midnight.

    It blamed the rocket fire on Iran’s Al-Quds force, adding that Israel’s anti-missile system intercepted four while the rest did not land in its territory.

    No Israelis were wounded.


  • Israël a bombardé une position de l’armée syrienne au sud de Damas, affirme un commandant pro-Assad -
    OLJ/Agences - 08/05/2018
    https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1114428/des-explosions-entendues-au-sud-de-damas.html

    L’armée de l’air israélienne a bombardé une position de l’armée syrienne dans le secteur de Kisweh, au sud de Damas, sans faire de victimes, a affirmé à Reuters, un commandant de forces pro-Assad. Selon le Haaretz et l’agence officielle syrienne Sana, des bruits d’explosions ont été entendus au sud de Damas, mardi dans la nuit. Toujours selon Sana, la DCA syrienne a intercepté et détruit deux missiles israéliens.
    Plus tôt dans la soirée, l’armée israélienne avait indiqué avoir demandé aux autorités locales du plateau du Golan occupé d’ouvrir et de préparer les abris antimissiles en raison « d’activités inhabituelles des forces iraniennes en Syrie », de l’autre côté de la ligne de démarcation. Cette annonce est intervenue peu de temps avant l’annonce de la part du président américain Donald Trump de sa décision de sortir de l’accord nucléaire iranien.
    « Par ailleurs, des systèmes de défense ont été déployés et les forces israéliennes sont en état d’alerte élevé face au risque d’une attaque », a dit l’armée israélienne dans un communiqué. « L’armée israélienne est prête à faire face à différents scénarios et prévient que toute agression contre Israël appellera une riposte vigoureuse », a-t-elle dit.


  • الإدارة الأمريكية تلغي مصطلح “الأراضي المحتلة” في فلسطين | رأي اليوم
    https://www.raialyoum.com/index.php/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a5%d8%af%d8%a7%d8%b1%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a3%d9%85%d8%b1

    Le dernier rapport annuel du Département d’Etat US sur les droits de l’homme dans le monde n’utilise pas l’expression "territoires occupés" mais parle "d’Israël, du plateau du Golan, de rive occidentale du Jourdain et de Gaza".

    #palestine


  • #Israël enrôle des #rebelles syriens pour protéger le Golan
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/190318/israel-enrole-des-rebelles-syriens-pour-proteger-le-golan

    Un vieux char israélien sur le plateau du Golan, près du village druze de Majdal Shams, en février 2018. © Reuters Pour tenir éloignés de sa frontière nord l’Iran et ses milices, de plus en plus présents et influents en #Syrie, le gouvernement israélien ne se contente plus de fournir une aide humanitaire aux villages voisins du Golan. Depuis quelques semaines, il arme et finance une dizaine de groupes armés de la rébellion.

    #International #Al-Qaida #Iran #Russie


  • Putin’s Syrian dilemma: Back Israel or Iran?

    All of the Russian president’s achievements in Syria could come crashing down unless he answers this one fundamental question

    Anshel Pfeffer Feb 19, 2018

    Russian President Vladimir Putin thought he could succeed where the U.S.’s then-President Barack Obama failed. Pacify Syria, rescue the regime of his client, President Bashar Assad, and balance the conflicting interests of Iran and Israel in the war-torn country. All this he did with a relatively small investment: the deployment of a couple of dozen aircraft and 2,000 men. As foreign campaigns go, it was power projection on the cheap. The United States on a similar mission would have used a force 10 times the size – aircraft carrier groups and hundreds of fighter jets, aerial tankers and electronic warfare planes. Not to mention boots on the ground.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    But Russia could pull it off thanks to the cannon fodder supplied by Iran. Tens of thousands of Shi’ite mercenaries, mainly refugees from Afghanistan, propped up Assad’s failing battalions. Hezbollah fighters came from Lebanon to carry out the more difficult operations. Russia made do with small teams of special-force troops and, where more muscle was needed, its own mercenaries.
    It was a relatively small investment with few casualties and not, as some predicted two years ago, a rerun of the Soviet Union’s disastrous occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    President Vladimir Putin addressing Russian troops at Hemeimeem air base during a surprise visit to Damascus, December 12, 2017.Mikhail Klimentyev/AP
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    >> Iran and the Assad regime are drawing a line in Syria’s skies | Analysis <<

    With perfect timing, and taking advantage of the vacuum left by Obama’s decision not to get involved in Syria, Putin had put Russia back on the geopolitical map. He made a surprise visit to Damascus in December to declare: Mission accomplished. He should have learned from former U.S. President George W. Bush never to say that – because now everything is starting to fall apart for the Russians.

    A serviceman holds a portrait of Russian air force pilot Roman Fillipov, who was killed after his aircraft was shot down over rebel-held territory in Syria, February 8, 2018.\ HANDOUT/ REUTERS
    There was last month’s Sochi conference, where attempts to agree a political process for Syria’s future under Assad, with the usual farce of elections, failed even before the delegates arrived. Turkey has launched a large-scale incursion into northwestern Syria, in an attempt to prevent Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) forces from establishing a military presence on its border. Meanwhile, the Turks are clashing with the Iranians as well, and as of Monday with regime forces too.
    Much more worrying for Russia is that in the east of the country, another Kurdish force – the Syrian Democratic Forces, which also includes Arab, Turkmen, Assyrian and Armenian forces – is widening its control of areas once held by the Islamic State. The SDF is now the only player in Syria with U.S. military support: During a clash 10 days ago between the SDF and regime forces working together with Russian mercenaries, the United States launched a devastating airstrike. The Kremlin still won’t acknowledge any casualties, but unofficial reports from Russia claim that as many as 200 Russian mercenaries died.
    And then last week there was the first direct confrontation between Israel and Iran.
    The Turkish front is less concerning for Putin, since it doesn’t directly threaten Russia’s main interests. The clashes in the northeast are a much larger problem as they are sending coffins back home to Russia – the last thing Putin needs before the presidential election in mid-March.
    For now at least, the Israeli-Iranian front may not directly put Russian personnel in the line of fire. But it is a much greater threat to the Assad regime itself. Damascus is close to the Israeli border and Assad, with Iranian encouragement, is trying to assert himself by firing anti-aircraft missiles at Israel Air Force planes.
    >> Delve deeper into the week’s news: Sign up to Chemi Shalev’s weekly roundup
    For the past two and a half years, the deal between Jerusalem and Moscow was simple: Israel allowed Russia to resupply Assad’s army and help the regime – through aerial bombardments of rebel-held areas, indiscriminately killing thousands of civilians – to retake large swaths of territory. Russia, meanwhile, turned a blind eye as Israel continued its periodic attacks on convoys and depots of Iranian-supplied weapons destined for Hezbollah. Russia collaborated with Iran in reviving the regime, while not intervening when Israel struck at Iran’s proxies.
    When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Russia prevent Iran’s forces from building permanent bases on Syrian soil, Putin tried to strike a compromise. Iran continued entrenching its Shi’ite militias, but at the same time didn’t come too close to the Israeli border or begin building large bases.

    Israeli soldiers in the northern Golan Heights after an Iranian drone penetrated Israeli airspace and was shot done, February 10, 2018.Gil Eliahu
    That balance can no longer hold. The decision by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to send a drone into Israeli airspace in the early hours of Saturday February 10, followed by Israel’s retaliation against the Iranian command unit that launched the drone and the ensuing air battle between Israeli fighter jets and Syrian air defense batteries, was proof that Russia can no longer contain the interests of all the different sides within Syria.
    Putin has utilized “hybrid warfare” – a combination of military power, deniable proxies and cyberattacks – to destabilize neighboring countries like Georgia and Ukraine, which tried to get too close to the West. Relatively small investments for major gain.
    But just like Russian interference with the U.S. presidential election, where the Kremlin wanted only to undermine America’s democratic process but never actually believed it could help get Donald Trump elected, he may have gone too deep. What was supposed to be an exercise in troublemaking is, despite Trump’s reluctance, now a full-blown confrontation with the U.S. intelligence services.
    Managing a multitrack Middle East policy and engaging simultaneously with all of the regional players takes time, resources and, especially, experience. Until recently, the United States had the combination of seasoned diplomats, military and intelligence officers – with extensive contacts and time spent in the region – to maintain such a complex operation.
    Under President Trump, many of these professionals have left the administration, and there is no clear sense of direction from the White House for those remaining. But the lack of any real U.S. presence or policy doesn’t mean someone else can just come along and take over its traditional role.
    It’s not just that the Kremlin doesn’t have anything resembling this kind of network. Putin’s centralized way of doing business means that every decision goes through him in Moscow. This isn’t helping Russia keep a handle on evolving events on the ground, but it is an advantage for Netanyahu – who is currently the regional player with the best personal relationship with Putin.
    There are currently two schools of thought within the Israeli intelligence community. The skeptics believe Putin will not give up on his Shi’ite boots on the ground and will ultimately limit Israel’s freedom to operate in the skies above Syria – pushing Israel to make a difficult choice between sitting on the sidelines while Iran and Hezbollah build up their outposts or confronting Russia as well. The optimists believe Putin knows Israel has the power to jeopardize its achievements and threaten the Assad regime, and will therefore rein in the Iranians.
    Netanyahu’s team has been working closely with the Russian president for years, and the two leaders speak regularly on the phone and meet every few months. When they’re on their own, with just fellow Likud lawmaker Zeev Elkin to interpret, does Netanyahu openly threaten to destabilize the Assad regime? Probably not. The implied threat is enough.
    Putin will have to make the call on Israel or Iran soon – or risk losing all he has invested in Syria.


  • ISRAEL’S “SAFE ZONE” IS CREEPING FARTHER INTO SYRIA

    https://theintercept.com/2018/01/23/israel-syria-safe-buffer-zone-golan-heights

    ISRAEL IS EXPANDING its influence and control deeper into opposition-held southern Syria, according to multiple sources in the area. After failed attempts to ensure its interests were safeguarded by the major players in the war next door, Israel is pushing to implement the second phase of its “safe-zone” project — an attempt to expand a buffer ranging out from the occupied Golan Heights deeper into the southern Syrian provinces of Quneitra and Daraa. The safe zone expansion marks a move toward deeper Israeli involvement in Syria’s civil war.

    The Intercept learned the outlines of the safe-zone expansion plan through a monthslong investigation relying on information from a variety of sources, including Syrian opposition activists on the ground in the south, Syrian opposition figures based in Jordan, Syrian government sources, and an Israeli-American NGO directly involved in the safe-zone project.

    The safe zone appears intended to keep the Syrian army and its Iranian and Lebanese allies as far away from Israel’s border as possible, as well as solidify Israel’s control over the occupied Golan Heights. Israel seized the Golan from Syria in 1967’s Six-Day War. Expanding a buffer zone would likely make any negotiations over the return of the Syrian territory more difficult in the future, because the Golan Heights will be surrounded on both sides by areas with significant Israeli influence.

    Over the last two years, Israel started building out the first phase of a safe zone in southern Syria. The project enabled the Israeli army, through humanitarian organizations and military personnel, to gain access to opposition-held areas in return for supplying aid, medical treatment inside Israel, and basic goods.

    According to sources, the second phase, which is currently underway, includes, among other things, the establishment of a 40-kilometer, Israeli-monitored buffer beyond the Golan Heights, a Syrian border police force armed and trained by Israel, and greater involvement in civil


  • Israeli army warns: Danger of violence escalating into war is growing -

    With eye on recent events, military intel warn of potential war ■ Abbas may have backed himself into a corner ■ Gaza threat looms over Israelis

    Amos Harel 13.01.2018
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.834343

    The odds of a neighboring country, or one of the terrorist organizations operating inside of it, launching a war against Israel this year are almost nonexistent, according to the Israeli army’s intelligence assessment for 2018.
    Sounding remarkably similar to the 2017 assessment provided to the defense minister, the military noted there is not much left of the Arab armies, and Israel’s neighbors are mostly preoccupied with themselves, while internal problems are distracting Hezbollah and Hamas.
    Is there any difference from 2017? Well, the danger of deterioration – perhaps even to the point of war – has grown significantly, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot stated. The intelligence branch and the chief of staff, who is beginning his fourth and final year at the helm of the army, are concerned about two possible scenarios. 
    The first would be the result of a reaction by one of Israel’s enemies to an Israeli show of force. The second would stem from a flare-up on the Palestinian front. When the terrorism genie gets out of the Palestinian bottle, it takes many months or even years to put it back.
    The first scenario, which the army terms “the campaign between the wars,” might happen when Israel tries to prevent rivals from obtaining advance weaponry they might want to use during a future war, according to Eisenkot.

    Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, center, being briefed by Col. Gilad Amit, commander of the Samaria Brigade, following the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, January 18, 2018.IDF Spokesperson’s Unit
    Most of these operations occur under the radar, far from Israel’s borders. Usually, such operations draw little media attention and Israel invariably dodges the question of responsibility. The previous Israel Air Force commander, Gen. Amir Eshel, told Haaretz last August there were nearly 100 such attacks under his five-year command, mostly on Syrian and Hezbollah arms convoys on the northern front.

    However, the more Israel carries out such attacks, and the more it does so on increasingly sophisticated systems (according to foreign media reports), the higher the chances of a confrontation with other countries and organizations, increasing the danger of a significant retaliation.
    A similar thing is happening on the Gaza border. Work on the defense barrier against cross-border attack tunnels is advancing, while Israel is simultaneously developing and implementing more sophisticated methods to locate these tunnels.
    At least three tunnels were seemingly located and destroyed near the Gaza border in recent months. However, this success could exact a price if Hamas or Islamic Jihad decide to try and use the remaining attack tunnels before they are completely destroyed or redundant.

    Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, accompanied by Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot during a visit to a military exercise in the Golan Heights in 2017.Ministry of Defense
    It is usually accepted practice to call out intelligence officials over mistaken forecasts. But we received a small example of all these trends on various fronts over the past two weeks. The cabinet convened for a long meeting about the northern front last Sunday. Arab media reported early Tuesday morning about an Israeli attack on Syrian army weapons depots near Damascus. A base in the same area, which Iran had reportedly built for one of the Shi’ite militia groups, was bombed from the air in early December. In most of the recent attacks, the Syrians fired at the reportedly Israeli aircraft. The Syrians also claimed recently that the attacks have become more sophisticated, made in multiple waves and even included surface-to-surface missiles.
    A few days beforehand, there was a report about an Israeli aerial attack – apparently on a cross-border attack tunnel – next to the Gaza border. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the demonstrations to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital were dying down, out of a seeming lack of public interest. Then, on Tuesday evening, Rabbi Raziel Shevach, from the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad, was killed in a drive-by shooting attack near Nablus. The army responded by surrounding villages and erecting roadblocks around Nablus, for the first time in two years. The IDF moves were acts of collective punishment the chief of staff would normally rather avoid, but they were approved on a limited basis due to the murder of an Israeli.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that the Shin Bet security service is close to solving the murder, but at the time of writing it was still unclear who did it. Hamas and Islamic Jihad released statements praising the deed, while, in a rare move, Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – which has been virtually inactive for a decade – took responsibility for the attack.
    Its statement, which was posted on several Facebook pages, attributed the attack to the “Raed Karmi cell,” marking the anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades leader’s death. Israel assassinated Karmi – the military leader in Tul Karm responsible for the killing of many Israeli civilians and soldiers during the second intifada – on January 14, 2002.

    U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a more amicable time, May 3, 2017Carlos Barria, Reuters
    Woe to Abbas
    The Palestinian Authority, whose leadership has avoided condemning the murder of an Israeli citizen, is making an effort nonetheless to capture terrorists in designated areas in Nablus under its jurisdiction. The Israeli moves in the area added to the humiliation of the PA, which looks like it has navigated itself into a dead end. 
    President Mahmoud Abbas is in trouble. The Trump declaration on Jerusalem provided him with a temporary escape. Last November the Palestinians received worrisome information that the Trump administration’s brewing peace plan was leaning in Israel’s favor. Trump’s so-called deal of the century would likely include leaving settlements in the West Bank in place, and declaring Abu Dis the Palestinian Jerusalem, capital of a prospective state.
    These planks are unacceptable to Abbas. However, the Trump declaration allowed the PA leader to accuse the Americans of giving up any pretense to being an honest broker. He found refuge in the embrace of attendees at the Islamic Conference in Turkey, and in halting all discussion of renewing negotiations.
    Abbas soon discovered that rejecting a reopening of talks with Israel didn’t stop the drumbeat of bad news coming his way. UNRWA was facing a severe financial crisis well before the Trump administration threatened to freeze the U.S. share of funding for the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugee assistance. The crisis, incidentally, also worries Jordan, which hosts at least 3 million Palestinian refugees and descendants. The flow of funds from the donor nations to the territories is dissipating, at a time that the reconciliation process between the PA and Hamas has ground to a halt, with Abbas saying he doesn’t see any benefit that can come of it.
    Meanwhile, Fatah members from activists in the field to the aging leadership are despairing of the chance of realizing the two-state solution. Israel protests the statements of senior Fatah officials about the right to wage armed struggle. It recently arrested a retired Palestinian general on the charge that he had organized protests in East Jerusalem. Fatah plans a council meeting next week, in which participants are expected to adopt a militant line.
    Abbas, who turns 83 in March, is increasingly feeling his years. His health has deteriorated and so has his patience and fitness to work, although it seems his love for travel has not faded. Claims of widespread corruption, some of which allegedly involve his family, are increasing. Other forces in the West Bank are aware of his weakened physical and political condition. Hamas is vigorously encouraging attacks against Israel, probably in expectation of humiliating the PA. Last week the Shin Bet asserted that for the first time, an Iranian agent was operating a Palestinian terror cell in Hebron.
    Meanwhile, a multiparty effort is being made to halt the violence and prevent a sliding into a military confrontation. Under the shadow of rockets by Salafi groups in Gaza, Israel and the PA announced the transfer of additional funds from the PA to pay for increasing the electricity supply from Israel to the Strip. There has not been a single rocket fired this week, but the situation remains fragile. The army increased security around communities close to the border and has stepped up exercises that simulate terrorists using tunnels to infiltrate under the border to kidnap and kill Israelis. The chief of staff watched the elite Shaldag unit going into action in such a scenario this week.

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants take part in the funeral of their comrade in the central Gaza Strip October 31, 2017. SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS
    The army has to stay alert because Islamic Jihad has yet to avenge the killing of its people together with Hamas operatives in a tunnel explosion on the border last October. In November, Jihad militants fired over 20 mortar shells in a four-minute span at an army outpost near Sderot (no one was injured).
    Shells were fired a month after that, probably by Islamic Jihad, at Kibbutz Kfar Aza during a memorial ceremony for Oron Shaul, who was killed in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge and whose body is being held in Gaza. Army officials expect more attempts.
    The large number of gliders the Palestinians have launched near the border recently likely attests to intelligence gathering ahead of attacks. Israeli officials are also kept awake by recent reports from Syria of a mysterious glider attack against a Russian air force base in the country’s north. Organizations in Gaza are in arm’s reach of this technology.

    An opposition fighter fires a gun from a village near al-Tamanah during ongoing battles with government forces in Syria’s Idlib province on January 11, 2018.OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
    Syria war still isn’t over 
    The civil war in Syria, which enters its eighth year in March, has not completely died out. The Assad regime, which has restored its rule over most of the country’s population, is still clashing with rebels in the Idlib enclave in northern Syria and is preparing for an eventual attack to chase the rebels out of the border area with Israel, along the Golan. The two attacks on the Russian base in Khmeimim (artillery shelling, which damaged a number of planes and helicopters, preceded the glider attack) indicate that some of the groups are determined to keep fighting Assad and his allies.
    The war in Syria started with a protest by residents of Daraa, a town in the south, against a backdrop of economic difficulties for farmers whose incomes were suffering from desertification. The regime’s brutal methods of oppression led to the spread of protest, and things quickly descended into civil war, in which several countries have meddled until today. The war often has consequences on nature. There has been a rise in the number of rabies cases in Israel in recent months, mainly in the north. One of the possible explanations involves the migration of rabies-infested jackals from Jordan and Syria. During the war Syria has suffered a total collapse of civilian authority, and certainly of veterinary services. When there are no regular vaccinations, neighboring countries suffer as well.
    The Middle Eastern country suffering the second bloodiest civil war, Yemen, gets only a tenth as much attention as Syria. The war in Yemen has raged for three years. Some 3 million residents out of a total of 28 million have fled the country as refugees. Over half of those remaining suffer from food insecurity. The UN recently estimated that about a million residents have contracted cholera from contaminated water or food.
    Such outbreaks can erupt easily, even closer to home. The European Union is expected to hold an emergency session in Brussels about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The Israeli defense establishment has confirmed the frequent reports by humanitarian organizations of the continued collapse of civilian infrastructure, mainly water and sanitation, in Gaza. Wastewater from Gaza, flowing straight into the sea, is reaching the beaches of Ashkelon and Ashdod. I recently asked a senior Israeli official if he doesn’t fear an outbreak of an epidemic like cholera in Gaza.
    “Every morning, I am surprised anew that it still hasn’t happened,” he replied.

    Amos Harel


  • Rabin’s forgotten plan for two-state solution

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/israel-palestinians-yitzhak-rabin-oslo-accords-peace.html

    More so. His closest former associates told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that between the years 1993 and 1995, Rabin had developed a vision for a permanent status agreement to be achieved before the year 2000.

    The first essential element of the plan was sharing of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, with the Palestinian state being demilitarized and the Jordan River serving as Israel’s security boundary. Security arrangements would be agreed upon, with Israeli military presence along the Jordan River.

    The plan also consisted of relocating dispersed settlements into “settlement blocs,” mainly in the Jerusalem area. A united Jerusalem would remain under Israel’s control, except for the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhoods. The plan referred also to the Palestinian refugees, granting no right of return to Israel. Instead, the plan offered right of return to the new Palestinian state and international reparations.

    Rabin’s plan favored international and Israeli investment in the Palestinian economy.

    There was also a Jordanian angle to Rabin’s plan, as he held the Jordanian kingdom in very high esteem. The plan proposed a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation that would be decided between the two parties.

    The last part of the plan consisted of normalizing relations between Arab countries and Israel. At the time, Rabin even favored a peace treaty with Syria and was ready to give up the Golan Heights for the proper security arrangements.

    Above all, Rabin believed in a strong strategic relationship with the United States, which would have made such an agreement with the Palestinians possible. He definitely had the courage to make the necessary decisions for such a deal. His peace and security legacy is today espoused by the most senior veterans of Israel’s security establishment.