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Resources updated between Monday, June 24, 2019 and Sunday, June 30, 2019

June 30, 2019

Protesters in Khartoum, Sudan (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Protesters filled the streets of Sudan's capital and cities across the country on Sunday to renew their demand for a civilian-led government in a resurgence of an uprising that was quieted by a violent crackdown in early June.

Hundreds of thousands turned out for the largest demonstrations since scores of protesters were killed in the crackdown that began June 3.

Security forces were deployed across Khartoum in large numbers. Reports from around Khartoum indicated that most neighborhoods remained peaceful, but some areas saw clashes between protesters and riot police, who fired tear gas and blank rounds.

Protesters on Africa Street, near the airport, charged through clouds of tear gas to confront armed security forces, who fired warning shots into the air. Protesters rubbed the leaves of nearby neem trees onto their faces to get relief from the tear gas.

Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, the deputy head of the governing transitional military council, said on state television that snipers shot at least five civilians and three paramilitary soldiers, the Reuters news agency reported. He did not provide details, or say whether anyone was killed.

The protests, which began in December, succeeded in bringing down former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir in April. Bashir had ruled since a coup in 1989; Sunday is the 30th anniversary of that coup.

A transitional military council stepped in quickly to take Bashir's place. But protesters have been demanding civilian rule.

The protests on Sunday marked the return of street pressure on the military council. But it was unclear whether they would they would have any impact on negotiations between the protesters and the council.

A vast sit-in on June 3 was violently dispersed by the military council. The health ministry said 61 were killed over the next two days; protest organizers say the number was 130, and that many bodies were dumped into the White Nile and Blue Nile rivers, which converge near Khartoum's center.

The organizers of Sunday's marches included professional and neighborhood associations. They had hoped to draw out a million people, or around a fifth of the population of Khartoum and its suburbs. Large turnouts were reported from cities across Sudan, including Atbara, where the protest movement began in December, spurred by the rising cost of basic necessities such as bread and fuel.

Mohamed Ilyas, 21, led a march in Atbara in December that burned down a local office of Bashir's party.

"Our demands have still not been met," he said. "The matchbox I used to burn that place - it still has four matches. This is not over."

Sunday's protests were organized almost entirely without Internet service, which has been shut off for almost a month. Graffiti announcements blanket many of the city's walls, and small groups have walked through neighborhoods with megaphones to spread the word.

Sudan has several militias that operate semi-independently from its military. One of them, the Rapid Support Forces, is particularly reviled by protesters for its alleged role in breaking up the sit-in. RSF troops were deployed all around Khartoum on Sunday, as were various units of the army and police.

The RSF is led by Dagalo, who is the supplier of more than 15,000 ground troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates' ground offensive in nearby Yemen. Hemedti and the military council have received vocal support, as well as financial backing, from those countries and also neighboring Egypt.

Sudan has several militias that operate semi-independently from its military. One of them, the Rapid Support Forces, is particularly reviled by protesters for its alleged role in breaking up the sit-in. RSF troops were deployed all around Khartoum on Sunday, as were various units of the army and police.

The RSF is led by Dagalo, who is the supplier of more than 15,000 ground troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates' ground offensive in nearby Yemen. Hemedti and the military council have received vocal support, as well as financial backing, from those countries and also neighboring Egypt.

But inside the compound, Bashir Noori, Oudai's father, had barred his five other children from participating in Sunday's marches.

He has tried to stay composed in front of his kids, but it is hard when he thinks about Oudai's ambitions. The boy had wanted to president of Sudan one day.

When Abdelrahman brought Oudai to the house, he said, he could see that the bullet had passed just a few centimeters above his son's heart. An unsuccessful surgery lasted five hours.

It took weeks to get a murder case opened, and it still hasn't been formally filed.

"I told my sons, 'No, absolutely not,'" said Noori, 63. "More innocents are going to get killed. Now is the most dangerous time of the revolution. It is a game of thrones."

He stood by his door as the protesters, many as young or younger than Oudai, marched down the dirt street, chanting revolutionary slogans.

Sudan protests: Hundreds of thousands demand civilian government; scattered clashes in the capital Document

Incendiary balloons launched into Israel by terrorists in Gaza (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

...Southern residents are planning protests in the coming days.

After fighting 100 fires started by arson balloons last week, Israel agreed to another ceasefire on Thursday night. That didn't stop another 14 fires on Friday and dozens of balloons from floating in on Saturday.

Since April 2018, when Palestinian Arabs in Gaza launched incendiary devices (first using kites), residents have endured fires throughout the region.

According to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, between March 2018 and May 5, 2019, 2000 fires were ignited by arson kites/balloons and 8,648 acres of land were damaged. Smoke from the fires has affected air quality and Israel's environment ministry, after conducing tests, said that the pollution is above acceptable levels.

The residents also might have something new to worry about. On Friday, balloons tied to a Hebrew book with the title "To love Stella" was found. It was a book only in appearance and contained explosive material.

Israeli security authorities estimate that at some point the disguised device was meant to detach from the balloons and fall to the earth, looking for all intents and purposes like a lost book on the ground, waiting for an unsuspecting victim to pick it up.

Old playbook

The Israeli government's method of handling Hamas violence essentially consists of shrinking and extending Gaza's fishing zone and stopping and restarting shipments of fuel to the Strip, depending on whether or not Hamas is curbing the violence.

The latest ceasefire reportedly came about because Israel was seriously considering more aggressive action. After intensive contacts on Thursday night between the sides through Egyptian and U.N. mediators, a new ceasefire was reached.

According to an analysis in Sunday's Yediot, Hamas allowed the situation to deteriorate in the last weeks, despite an unofficial ceasefire in place, for three reasons.

First, Hamas didn't believe that Israel was going to fulfill its promise to develop an industrial zone that would employ thousands of Palestinian workers from the Gaza Strip.

Second, Israel said that electric lines it would build from its territory to the Gaza Strip (paid for with Qatari money) would take three years. Hamas had mistakenly been informed it would take six months and concluded that Israel was dragging its feet.

Third, Hamas wants to increase its exports from Gaza but blames Israel for delaying two pilot export projects.

Gaza terrorists tied a Hebrew book, containing explosive material, to a balloon launched over the border Document

June 27, 2019

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File photo)

U.N. pays lipservice to Holocaust (while promoting antisemitism) Article

An Israeli firefighter in a blazing field (File photo courtesy Yehuda Peretz/JNF Photo Archive)

Palestinian arson balloons from Gaza spark 19 blazes in south Israel Document

Hamas terrorists (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The Flawed Human Rights Watch Report on Gaza Article

June 24, 2019

Fires in the South of Israel, June 23, 2019. (photo credit: MOSHE BARUCHI/JNF FORESTER)

Palestinian Arson Balloons from Gaza Cause Multiple Fires in Israel Document