Palestinian flag, Yellow Vests, Anonymous masks: Wide range of protester groups join demonstration in support of Assange (PHOTOS)

24-02-20 06:43:00,

Supporters of Julian Assange have staged quite a show outside Woolwich Court in London, throwing their artistic weight behind the embattled WikiLeaks co-founder.

Overlooked by a few policemen, dozens of protesters began amassing near the courthouse earlier on Monday, just as the judges began the closely-watched extradition hearing for Assange.

There was no shortage of conventional placards calling for Assange’s release, but some activists showed unorthodox creativity. One protester, dressed as a biblical character, stole the show by carrying a yellowish cross, with the words “The truth will win” imprinted on it.

Showing the victory sign, he posed for pictures, with a Palestinian flag unexpectedly waving in the distance.

Gilets jaunes, or the Yellow Vests, also arrived in post-Brexit Britain in order to support Assange’s cause. Their identical fatigues – and the French flags – were clearly visible in the crowd.

Members of Anonymous also made an appearance at the demonstration, stealing some of the limelight. They unfurled British and American flags, chained themvelves up to the banners, sending a message easy to decipher.

Monday’s action has drawn the attention of celebrities, including fashion designer and longtime friend of Assange, Vivienne Westwood, who passionately supported the publisher since he was brought to the high-security Belmarsh Prison.

After a week of opening arguments, the extradition hearing will be adjourned until May 18, when the two sides – Assange’s defense and lawyers for the US authorities – will present their evidence.
If extradited to the US, Assange will face a host of espionage charges carrying a maximum jail sentence of 175 years in total.

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Israel cuts Palestinian farmers’ access to their land behind separation wall with yearly quotas

24-11-19 10:47:00,

Palestinian farmers, whose land ended up on the wrong side of Israel’s West Bank separation wall, have had their access further restricted with yearly quotas. Those affected see it as part of a creeping theft of their property.

In the early 2000s, Israel began the construction of a long barrier between itself and the West Bank, saying it was a necessary temporary measure in response to the Second Intifada. Two decades on, the wall is still in place, and its impact on the life of Palestinian civilians is increasingly harsh.

Large sections of the separation wall have been built across land seized from Palestinian farmers, trapping some of their lots on the Israeli side. The owners now have to receive permits from Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank to gain access to tend to the land. The rules on what kind of access can be granted have been recently tightened, the newspaper Haaretz reported.

The changes include a limit on how many times a farmer can travel through a wall checkpoint each year, depending on the type of produce he grows on his land. The quota is 40 times a year for olives, 50 times for figs, 30 for barley, and 220 for tomatoes or strawberries.

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Once exhausted, a new request for access will need to be obtained, provided the Israeli officials agree there is a need for extending the quota, which is not a certainty. In fact, the rejection rate for entry permits has jumped to 72 percent in 2018 from just 24 percent four years earlier, the newspaper noted.

Pretty restrictive limitations for land access existed even before the latest change, based on factors such as seasons. For example, olive growers are given a month to collect their harvest – regardless of whether a particular family has enough labor to complete the job in the allocated period of time. Some farmers have to take lengthy trips to the nearest gate before backtracking on the other side, whereas they had only to walk a short direct path before the erection of the wall.

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Palestinian Rights: Israeli Army Forcibly Evicts Nonviolent Demonstrators at the Dead Sea – Global Research

30-09-19 10:31:00,

Today, over 100 activists came together at the northern banks of the Dead Sea to reclaim Palestinian rights to land and its natural resources amidst the deepening Israeli occupation of the West Bank. After decades of apartheid and colonialization, and amidst the ongoing threats of full annexation, the demonstration was led by Palestinian activists from across the West Bank and included Israeli and international human rights defenders.

The activists arrived at 10:30am at the site of a former Dead Sea hotel and restaurant, near the illegal Israeli settlements of Kalya and Almog, with signs calling for a reclamation of Palestinian sovereignty over its land and resources. According to a statement released by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), the activists came together to protest “being deprived of our rights to our land, water and natural resources as a colonized people.”

Joined by Israeli and international solidarity activists, the PSCC “aims to reclaim Palestinian access to water for basic drinking needs, agriculture and livelihoods, and recreation, in the face of colonization.” In response to this non-violent demonstration, dozens of Israeli soldiers forcibly evicted the activists, arrest attempts were made, and one Palestinian activist was detained. Even after eviction, the Israeli army set up checkpoints along the road, to ID Palestinian demonstrators as they left the site.

For decades, Israel’s illegal settlement regime has exploited Palestinian natural resources and threatens the right of the Palestinian people to basic water needs. While the World Health Organization recommends 100 liters of water per person per day, Palestinians receive an average of 80 liters /day, while Israelis, including in settlements, receive an average of 280 liters/day. As today’s use of force demonstrates, Israel’s concerted efforts to maintain its control over Palestinian land and its natural resources comes at the expense of Palestinian rights to development, health, and adequate standards of living.

Thus far in 2019, Israel has demolished water related infrastructure across the West Bank and continues to deny Palestinians the right to repair existing water networks, dig wells, or carry out any work to achieve basic water access. Over 60 Palestinian springs have been taken over by Israeli settlements, and Palestinians have no access or legal allocations to the Jordan River or the Dead Sea. These bans are compounded with the on-going illegal policy of land confiscation,

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Palestinian FM urges sanctions on Israel if it starts ‘to annex’ parts of occupied West Bank

10-06-19 06:50:00,

The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Monday called for sanctions on Israel if it starts to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, AFP reported.

The minister was talking to reporters in Poland after a US envoy’s comments that Israel had the right to annex at least some of the territory captured in 1967.

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in a New York Times interview published on Saturday: “Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”

“Friedman with his statement is trying to help [Israeli PM Benjamin] Netanyahu to have the courage to take such a decision” to annex, said Maliki. The minister added that international sanctions should be imposed if Israel resorts to annexation.

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The “Deal of the Century”: The Palestinian Cause Is behind Iran and Hezbollah’s Success – Global Research

20-04-19 05:27:00,

Israel is not preparing a military adventure against Gaza, Syria, Hezbollah or Iran because it is in fact already attaining its objectives both internationally and domestically. 

Its military apparatus regularly hits targets in Syria with a calculated risk of retaliation from Damascus and its allies. Israel willingly risks a Syrian reprisal. If Syria were to respond to Israel’s continuous violations of its sovereignty, it would help Israel attract world attention.

The world powers would then do their best to try and stop an escalation between Israel and all its enemies gathered in one place in the Levant, rather than looking in meticulous detail at Israel’s wrongdoing in Palestine, and its violations of UN and Oslo agreements. Israel is aware that its enemies will evaluate the timing, benefits and reaction to any military response. Syria and its allies believe a war will slow its recovery from 8 years of war. The potential consequences of a war with Israel on the Syrian economy – at a time of ongoing economic crisis – would be devastating. Syria’s allies are not willing to be dragged into a confrontation at Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s whim. They are also aware of Trump’s unlimited support for Israel at all costs and by any means. An Israeli-US war on Syria would be disastrous.

Netanyahu feels very confident, given Trump’s unlimited support and the confirmation of his domestic support in recent legislative elections. He holds the initiative and has managed to concentrate global attention on Iran rather than Palestine. Demonization of Iran as the head of the “Axis of Evil” diverts attention from the Jewish Nationalist law, the dislodging of the Palestinians from the West Bank-Zone C, and the Israeli attempt to wipe out any trace of Palestinians in the occupied Israeli territory.

Saudi Arabia’s record of militant hatred against Iran’s wide influence in the region is nothing new. It dates back to 1981 when Saddam Hussein declared war on Iran. Moreover, Saudi’s extremist Wahhabite Islamic doctrine leaves little room for tolerance towards any other practice of Islam or towards any other religion. Saudi’s takfiri Wahhabist doctrine is the same creed as that of al-Qaeda and ISIS, who consider secular, Shia, Druse, Isma’ili and Zaidi men, women and children as deserving to be killed at sight,

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