Russia Slams US Backing For Israeli Settlements As “New Dangerous Escalation”

russia-slams-us-backing-for-israeli-settlements-as-“new-dangerous-escalation”

19-11-19 03:39:00,

Reuters reports that Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday condemned the US move to reverse decades-long official policy which viewed Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as illegal. 

“The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements. U.S. public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday, effectively overturning the State Department’s 41-year-old legal opinion that Israel’s West Bank settlements are illegal.

Russia condemned the drastic policy reversal as a severe blow to the peace process, saying “We consider this Washington’s decision as another step aimed at ruining an international legal basis of the Middle East settlement that will exacerbate tensions in Palestinian-Israeli relations,” according to the foreign ministry statement.

The West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, via Reuters.

“We are urging all concerned parties to refrain from any steps that could provoke a new dangerous escalation in the region and impede the creation of conditions for resuming direct Palestinian-Israeli talks,” the statement emphasized.

Russia underscored it still sees as valid and binding the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 which states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State [Palestine-Israel] solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” 

Armed settlers from the hardline Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, via the AFP

Thus Moscow still views such settlements on Palestinian territory as illegal under international law, a Reuters summary of the Russian statement noted.

The historic policy shift of the Trump administration came after the State Department’s legal office was ordered to conduct a year-long review of the official US policy on the expanding settlements in the West Bank, according to The Jerusalem Post

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UN slams US and allied forces for war crimes & civilian targeting in Syria

un-slams-us-and-allied-forces-for-war-crimes-&-civilian-targeting-in-syria

13-09-19 07:50:00,

The UN Commission of Inquiry slammed war crimes committed against civilians in Syria by US and allied forces, in a new report that describes how nine years of war has left some parts of the nation “near complete destruction.”

Civilians continue to “bear the brunt of hostilities” at the hands of all parties in the conflict, declares the report by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, published on Wednesday. However, it singles out the US-led international coalition for repeated and indiscriminate targeting of non-combatants.

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International coalition forces failed to employ the necessary precautions to discriminate adequately between military objectives and civilians,” the report states, warning that “launching indiscriminate attacks that result in death or injury to civilians amounts to a war crime in cases where such attacks are conducted recklessly.”

US and allied forces are blamed for “widespread destruction of towns and villages in [Deir ez-Zor] Governorate” and the resulting displacement of thousands, many of whom ended up in the notorious Al-Hol camp, where disease and abysmal conditions reign.

In addition to failing to take precautions to minimize harm to civilians, the report cites the “dire humanitarian conditions” suffered by populations caught between the “widespread corruption, extortion, lack of services and security, and abuse of power” by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the remnants of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group, as well as other groups like the Levant Liberation Organization (also known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda affiliate), which it accuses of deliberately terrorizing populations living under Syrian government control.

While Syrian government forces are also criticized for their choice of targets, accused of attacking medical facilities and other protected civilian infrastructure in Idlib, and failing to respect a demilitarized zone drawn up with Russia and Turkey, the US remains an uninvited guest in Syria, adding insult to the injuries inflicted by its military.

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UN resolution slams Israeli murder of Palestinians in Gaza

UN resolution slams Israeli murder of Palestinians in Gaza

14-06-18 09:10:00,

A resolution has passed in the UN General Assembly slamming Israel’s use of ‘excessive force’ against Palestinian protesters during their Great March of Return in Gaza, with more than 130 killed and thousands injured.

Many of the protesters were unarmed but encountered live ammunition from Israeli snipers. Victims included journalists and first aid responders, who were well marked but were targeted and slaughtered anyway.

Nikki Haley, the American UN envoy, was adamantly opposed to the resolution and submitted an amendment of her own in which Hamas was to be condemned as the aggressor, with no attention being paid to the death toll racked up by the Israelis who were not being attacked by civilian protesters, which failed to obtain the necessary support in the Assembly.

RT reports:

The UN General Assembly has adopted a nonbinding resolution condemning Israel’s use of ‘excessive force’ against Palestinian protesters in Gaza. A US amendment to condemn Hamas did not get enough support.

The resolution condemns Israel for “excessive use of force” against Palestinian demonstrators on the Israeli-Gaza border and calls for the “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in Gaza. It was adopted with 120 votes in favor and eight votes against, with 45 abstentions.

The amendment offered by US envoy Nikki Haley sought to condemn Hamas, which runs the elected government in Gaza, for firing rockets at Israel. The amendment received 62 votes in favor, with 58 nations opposed and 42 abstaining. It needed a two-thirds majority to pass, however, so it was not included in the final resolution.

The nearly identical resolution proposed by Kuwait was vetoed by the US in the Security Council on Tuesday. Unlike the Security Council resolutions, those adopted in the General Assembly are non-binding.

Haley condemned the adopted resolution as “morally bankrupt.”

“The resolution is one-sided,

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