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Resources updated between Monday, March 27, 2017 and Sunday, April 02, 2017

April 2, 2017

Cover and Foreword of book Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Poets by Mohammed Kujjah, Adviser to UNESCO in Syria for Intangible Cultural Heritage

Simon Wiesenthal Center: Qatar Candidate for UNESCO Chief "Endorses the Language of Goebbels" Article

April 1, 2017

Security forces at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City after the stabbing attack

An assailant stabbed two young men and a police officer in Jerusalem's Old City Saturday afternoon, wounding them, before being shot and killed by security forces, police said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the man stabbed two Jewish youths before fleeing, with police forces giving chase. He then stabbed one of the policemen before he was shot.

The victims - two civilians aged 18 and 20, and a border policeman in his early 20s - received treatment at the scene and were taken to hospital. They were said to suffer light-to-moderate wounds.

The attack took place on Haggai Street in the Muslim Quarter. This was the second stabbing attack in the Old City this week.groups say.

A video filmed by a bystander showed the immediate aftermath of the stabbing.

Channel 2 news reported that the assailant was a 17-year-old from the West Bank city of Nablus.

Soon after the attack clashes broke out between stone-throwing Palestinians and police officers who used stun grenades, an AFP photographer said.

On Wednesday Border Police shot and killed a woman as she attempted to stab them with scissors outside Damascus Gate. The Palestinian Health Ministry later identified the assailant as Siham Rateb Nimir, 49, from East Jerusalem.

According to Palestinian media, her son was Mustafa Nimir, who was shot dead by Border Police officers in September after an apparent misunderstanding at an East Jerusalem checkpoint.

Border guards closed off some the entrances and exits to the Old City following the incident and cleared the areas surrounding them, pushing back bystanders.

In the past year and a half the Old City, and the Damascus Gate in particular, have seen several attacks by Palestinians, and in one case a Jordanian national.

Palestinian terrorist stabs 2 Jewish youths & 1 policeman in Jerusalem's Old City Document

March 31, 2017

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File photo)

Anti-Israel 'Apartheid' Report Was No Secret, Despite UN Chief's Disavowal Article

Firefighters put out a blaze from a burning car belonging to Israeli Jews near the West Bank village of Tuqua, November 8, 2013

Another Day, Another Attempt to Burn Jews Alive Document

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely with Deputy Secretary-General Amina Muhammad

'Appoint Israeli UN Under-Secretary-General' Article

March 30, 2017

Israeli flag waving at the Old City in Jerusalem (File photo)

"Arab states plan to contest Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem at the upcoming UNESCO Executive Board meeting in Paris, according to a draft text obtained by Israeli officials.

The resolution, due for a vote on May 1, states: 'any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.'

Past resolutions approved by UNESCO have refused to accept Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, including the Old City.

This text marks the first time that the Arab states have asked the UNESCO Executive Board to reject Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem...

Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan submitted the resolution on behalf of the Palestinians..."

Arab States to UNESCO: Reject Israeli Sovereignty Over All of Jerusalem Article

One of the two elderly men executed by ISIS for sorcery

Islamic State's branch in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula posted a video on Tuesday depicting the beheading of two men the militant Islamist group said it had found guilty of practicing witchcraft and sorcery.

The video, posted on a Telegram channel often used by IS, showed the group forming a religious police unit known as the Hasbah in northern Sinai, where it has waged an insurgency for years. The rugged, thinly populated peninsula borders Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal.

No comment was immediately available from Egypt's military or Interior Ministry.

In the video, two elderly men appear in orange jumpsuits and are taken out of a black van and led to the desert, where they are beheaded. A man reads out what he says is a verdict from a Sharia court condemning them to death for "apostasy, sorcery, claiming the ability to tell the future, and leading people to polytheism."

Islamic State uses the terms sorcerers and heretics to refer to adherents of Sufism, a non-violent form of Islam involving mystical rituals that has been practised for centuries.

IS has killed hundreds of soldiers and police in Sinai since 2013, when fighting intensified, but the video shows the militants are expanding their activities to target civilians.

"Thanks be to God who has allowed the Islamic State's soldiers in Sinai in applying his law and instituting religion in spite of all the infidels, apostates and envious Jews," one fighter can be seen and heard saying.

In the video, which is also notable for the fact that the men speaking in it are unmasked, fighters are shown seizing trucks full of cigarettes and drugs, and then burning them.

They are also seen handing out fliers with religious advice to motorists at checkpoints and raiding a Sufi gathering and arresting a number of men, who are given a religious sermon and then made to sign a document saying they will repent.

Fighters are also seen smashing television sets and satellite dishes, destroying tombs they say go against Islamic burial laws, and using sticks to beat men accused of smuggling.

They are also shown blowing up what they describe as Sufi shrines.

Islamic State has instituted similar religious police units in Syrian and Iraqi territories it controls. The Egyptian branch first showed signs of expanding its goals beyond fighting security forces when in December it bombed a church adjoining Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic papacy, killing 28 people.

In February the militants threatened all Egyptian Christians, the Middle East's largest Christian community, in a video, and began circulating names of Christians who must leave Sinai or die.

Within a period of three weeks they killed seven Christians, prompting almost 200 families to flee northern Sinai, church officials and human rights groups say.

Islamic State beheads two for 'sorcery' in Egypt's Sinai Document

Rima Kalaf, former head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)

Planned Study by UN Body Behind 'Apartheid' Report to Compare Israel to U.S. Slavery Article

March 29, 2017

"Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the Foreign Ministry today to take measures to reduce Israel's payments to UN institutions by USD two million following the recent adoption of resolutions hostile to Israel by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

These funds will be allocated to the expansion and extension of Israeli international development projects (through MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation) in developing countries that support Israel in international institutions..."

Israel Reducing Payments to UN After UN "Human Rights" Council's Latest Demonization of Israel Document

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (File photo)

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley: 'I Believe You Will See Cuts to the U.N.' Article

The victim in yellow jacket before his execution

ISIS have thrown a young man to his death from a rooftop and pelted him with rocks after discovering he was gay.

The barbaric mob released pictures of the public execution in Mosul which was carried out in the name of Allah and Islam through Sharia Law.

A crowd of people had gathered to watch the youth take his final breath and throw stones at him, all because of his sexuality.

The victim was blindfolded and hurled off the roof, according to Iraqi News, before he was stoned to death in the street.

Twisted ISIS militants had even lined the streets with rocks ready for locals to pelt the man with them when he hit the ground as seen in a graphic set of pictures.

It appears to be a common practice among the sick terror group and just four months ago, thugs hurled a prisoner from a rooftop before a baying mob of fanatics pelted his corpse with rocks - again for the 'crime' of being gay.

The victim was dragged to the top of a building in Maslamah City in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, having been accused of 'homosexual relations' in December.

He was then launched face first from the edge of the roof and plunged to his death inches away from a crowd of onlookers.

Although in a different country, the two executions were almost carbon copies of each other, with the victim blindfolded before being thrown to his death.

The same sort of punishment was handed to another man in May last year in Syria and in 2015 the UN estimated 30 men had been thrown to their deaths by ISIS for being gay.

ISIS in Mosul throws man off roof & mob stones him for crime of being gay Document

Scene of attack at Damascus Gate

Border guards shot dead an East Jerusalem woman who attempted to stab them outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

None of the Border Police officers were reported injured in the incident.

According to police, the woman approached the officers with a scissors before they opened fire.

She was pronounced dead minutes later by medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service, a spokesperson said.

The Palestinian Health Ministry later identified the assailant as Siham Rateb Nimir, 49, from East Jerusalem.

According to Palestinian media, her son was Mustafa Nimir, who was shot dead by Border Police officers in September after an apparent misunderstanding at an East Jerusalem checkpoint.

Officers recovered the scissors from the scene, police said.

Border guards closed off some the entrances and exits to the Old City following the incident and cleared the areas surrounding them, pushing back bystanders.

In the past year and a half, the Old City, and the Damascus Gate in particular, has seen several attacks by Palestinians, and in one case a Jordanian national.

Earlier this month, an East Jerusalem man stabbed two Border Police officers near the Old City's Lions' Gate, moderately wounding them before they were able to shoot him.

Israel's security services believe that many of the stabbing and car-ramming attacks seen in recent years are not only ideologically motivated, but are a form of "suicide by cop," or "suicide by soldier."

Though a marked drop has been recorded by security officials in recent months, 40 Israelis, two Americans, a Palestinian and an Eritrean national have been killed in the spate of stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks that began a year and a half ago.

According to AFP figures, some 250 Palestinians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese migrant have also been killed, most of them in the course of carrying out attacks, Israel says, and many of the others in clashes with troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, as well as in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks.

The spate of Palestinian attacks that began in October 2015 was dubbed the "lone wolf" intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals who were not connected to any terror group.

Palestinian Attacker Tries to Stab Cops in Jerusalem Old City Document

March 28, 2017

The Palestinian delegation (L) and the delegations of Oman (C) and Iraq (R) attending the preparatory meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers on March 27, 2017 during the 28th Summit of the Arab League at the Dead Sea, south of the Jordanian capital Amman

"Arab leaders are reportedly calling for the Arab League to recognize fighting against Israel as legitimate and not a form of terror at the group's annual summit in Jordan this week.

In preparatory meetings Monday ahead of the confab, which kicks off in Jordan on Wednesday, foreign ministers from the 22-member organization called for a distinction to be noted between "terrorism and legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation," according to a report in Arabic daily al-Hayat.

The report did not specify what was meant by "resistance" or if the Israeli occupation referred only to areas beyond the 1967 armistice line or all of Israel.
...
The foreign ministers also praised the election of Hezbollah ally Michel Aoun as Lebanon's new president, saying he would help stabilize and unify his country. Last month, Aoun told Egyptian TV that Hezbollah was required to counter the Jewish state "as long as the Lebanese army is not strong enough to battle Israel."
...
The council also condemned the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the UK's "shameful" Balfour Declaration,...

Key participants include King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Staffan de Mistura, the UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, are coming, along with US and Russian envoys...

Arab League to push distinction between terror, 'resisting' Israel at summit with UN Secretary-General in attendance Article

A man carries flags of Crimean Tatars and Ukraine while celebrating Crimean Tatar Flag Day in Simferopol in 2014

Lawyers and human rights activists say Russian authorities in Crimea are increasingly imprisoning human rights activists in psychiatric hospitals and submitting them to psychological abuse.

Since the annexation of the region three years ago many ethnic Tatar activists who oppose the occupation have been arrested and subjected to abuse and imprisonment in outdated mental institutions, said Robert van Voren, a Dutch human rights activist and political scientist.

"The number of cases has increased considerably over the past few years, in particular against Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian activists who oppose Russia's annexation," he added.

Emil Kurbedinov, a prominent Crimean lawyer, said that between December and March 10 Crimean activists had been forcefully sent to a psychiatric hospital in Crimea. Four of them remained there, while the other six had been transferred to prison.

According to Kurbedinov, Crimean activists face appalling conditions in psychiatric hospitals. "Some are placed in isolation and are denied their basic needs, such as access to a toilet. Others are housed with multiple people suffering from severe mental health conditions.

"The activists are interrogated about their alleged involvement in 'extremism' and their views of the government. They are also deprived of the right to speak with their family, or meet their lawyer on a one-to-one basis without a guard being present. All of this violates international law," Kurbedinov said.

All the Crimean activists were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation, which Russia has declared a terrorist group.

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) asserts that there is no evidence to suggest that the organisation is connected to terrorism, nor is there any proof that the men were involved in the group.

According to KHPG, a further 19 Crimean activists are currently in custody, accused of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Memorial, a Russian human rights organisation, has described all the activists in custody as political prisoners.

A new report presented on by Crimea SOS, a Ukrainian advocacy group, claimed a total of 43 Tatar activists have been abducted since the annexation – allegedly by Russian authorities. Of those, 18 are still missing and six have been found dead.

On 26 January, Kurbedinov, a defence lawyer, was himself detained in Crimea and accused of "circulating extremist material". Amnesty International said Kurbedinov was targeted because of his human rights work and called for his immediate release.

Kurbedinov said his eventual release was due to the support of ordinary people, activists and colleagues who "showed me that civil society is alive; that people are not indifferent to the violations of human rights".

Last year, Kurbedinov defended Ilmi Umerov, a Crimean Tatar activist who openly opposed the Russian occupation and was forcefully confined in a psychiatric hospital last August. Human Rights Watch criticised the case, calling it "a shameful attempt to use psychiatry to silence him and tarnish his reputation". Umerov was released 20 days after his confinement.

In the later decades of the Soviet era, psychiatry was used to systematically confine and punish dissidents. Under the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin, various cases of alleged punitive psychiatry have resurfaced, leading many to believe that the Soviet-era practice has returned.

The abuse of psychiatry in Russian criminal trials is not uncommon, according to Yuri Savenko, a psychiatrist and the head of the Independent Psychiatric Association (IPA) in Russia.

"Psychiatry is now part of a frequent procedure in criminal trials where there is no concrete evidence. [Rather than gather evidence] it is more economical in terms of effort and time to acquire a psychiatric evaluation," he said.

Russian authorities 'imprisoning Crimean Tatars in psychiatric hospitals' Document

Ambassador Nikki Haley and political columnist Dan Senor, March 27, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley Statement to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Conference Article

House Speaker Paul Ryan at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, March 27, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan Says U.S. Will Not Tolerate UN's Anti-Israel Bias Article

Nikki Haley at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, March 27, 2017

Nikki Haley: Trump Will Not Allow Security Council Resolutions Condemning Israel Article

March 27, 2017

A protester being dragged away by Russian security forces

Russian Riot Cops Crack Down Hard on Moscow Protesters Document

Site of llegal construction by the UN in Jerusalem

UN Sued for Illegal Construction in Jerusalem Article

UN "Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process" Nickolay Mladenov (File photo)

In his monthly briefing to the UN Security Council, UN "Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process" Nickolay Mladenov claimed that the building of Jewish homes was "deeply concerning" and "highly worrisome" - while the murder of Israelis in Palestinian stabbing and car ramming attacks was merely "also a concern" and "also worrying." Mladenov's statement on March 24, 2017 was the first report to the Security Council since the adoption in December 2016 of Security Council Resolution 2334, which requires all states to distinguish in their dealings between "settlements" and Israel and for the Secretary-General to report on implementation of the resolution to the Council every three months. (Mladenov delivered the report on behalf of the Secretary-General).

In Mladenov's words:

"During the reporting period there have been no developments related to Member States' distinguishing, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied in 1967... The January spike in illegal settlement announcements by Israel is deeply concerning. The large number of advancements, planned infrastructure development, legislative actions and moves to undertake large-scale demolitions against Palestinian communities in Area C, indicate a clear intent to continue expanding the settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territory. In this light, the adoption of the 'Regularisation Law' was a highly worrisome development... Settlement expansion undermines the very essence of the two state solution. Resolution 2334 states that the international community will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those changes that are agreed by the parties through negotiations.

The continuing deadly violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory during the past three months also remains a concern. The recent increase in rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel is also a worrying development."

UN Advisor on Middle East Says Building Jewish Homes - Not Palestinian Terrorism - Undermining Two-State Solution Development

Soldiers overpowering the attacker

Israeli Soldiers Thwart Palestinian Stabbing Attack in West Bank Document

Michele Sison, U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN (File photo)

U.S. Diplomat Accuses U.N. of Bias Against Israel Article