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Resources updated between Monday, July 29, 2019 and Sunday, August 04, 2019

August 4, 2019

The tomb of Aaron (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Jordan closes Aaron's Tomb after Jews seen praying at site Document

A demonstration after the murder of Mexican journalist Javier Valdez in 2017 (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Three Mexican journalists were killed in four days Document

Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The Latest U.N. Horror Show: Christian Refugees Ignored

Russian police and protesters (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Russian police make hundreds of arrests at Moscow protest Document

August 2, 2019

A Saudi woman (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Saudi Arabia finally allows women to have passports, travel without a man's permission Article

Protesters against antisemitism in the UK Labour Party (File photo courtesy social media)

First half of 2019 sees record-high numbers of antisemitism in UK Article

Iranian women rights defenders Monireh Arabshahi (Center), Yasaman Aryani (Left) and Mojgan Keshavarz (Right) have been detained in prison since April 2019. (Social media)

Three Women Sentenced To 55 Years For Defying Compulsory Hijab In Iran Document

August 1, 2019

A screen capture shows a man raising a sword into the air before plunging it into his victim. (Screenshot)

German City Rocked After Kazakh Man Hacked to Death by Syrian Migrant in Broad Daylight Document

Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA (File photo courtesy UN)

Corruption on top of failure at the U.N.'s "Palestine" agency Article

Israeli soldiers near the scene of the attack, August 1, 2019. (Courtesy IDF Spokesman Unit)

Three Israeli Soldiers Wounded by Palestinian Terrorist In Gaza Border Attack Document

July 31, 2019

Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

"The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against the Iranian regime's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif (Javad Zarif), pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13876 because Zarif acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
...
'Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran's Supreme Leader, and is the regime's primary spokesperson around the world. The United States is sending a clear message to the Iranian regime that its recent behavior is completely unacceptable,' said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. 'At the same time the Iranian regime denies Iranian citizens' access to social media, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spreads the regime's propaganda and disinformation around the world through these mediums.'

While OFAC is taking today's action against Zarif under E.O. 13876, this new authority, additional information indicates that Javad Zarif oversees a foreign ministry that has coordinated with one of the Iranian regime's most nefarious state entities, the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), which is designated pursuant to terrorism and human rights authorities. Zarif's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its high ranking officials have engaged in and funded efforts to influence elections, some of which have involved the IRGC-QF..."

U.S. Treasury Department Adds Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Sanctions List Article

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

"The Netherlands and Switzerland announced the suspension of funding for UNRWA, the United Nations' aid agency for Palestinians.

The suspensions, announced by both countries on Tuesday, followed a damning report alleging corruption on the organization's highest levels.

An internal report leaked Monday alleged both graft and sexual misconduct of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which was thrown into crisis after the United States last year announced it would no longer fund it.
...
Switzerland's suspension will impact money slated for 2020, not the $22.5 million already earmarked for 2019, Swiss officials told media there. The Netherlands, which funds UNRWA to the tune of about $15 million annually, will suspend its contributions 'until we get satisfactory answers,' Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands' minister for international aid, told the NOS broadcaster..."

Netherlands joins Switzerland in suspending funding for UNRWA Article

IDF forces secure the holy site, July 29, 2019. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

Terrorist attack prevented as 1,200 worshippers visit Joseph's Tomb Document

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl (File photo)

Schadenfreude and the UNRWA scandal Article

July 30, 2019

The profile picture of the Iranian dissident Facebook page

Iranian revolutionary court officials proclaimed Monday that women who send images of themselves not wearing a headscarf to a dissident social media page would face up to ten years of imprisonment.

"Today, head of the revolutionary court in Iran reported that women who send me videos risk 1 to 10 years of jail," exiled activist and journalist Masih Alinejad posted on the page My stealthy freedom. "My Response: the regime isn't scared of me. They're scared of people & their demands. I'll keep relaying the voices of people as long as I keep receiving videos."

Alinejad, 42, started the Facebook page in 2014 to protest against the Iranian law that forces women to cover their hair with a hijab.

Born in a modest and conservative family in the Iranian countryside, she was first arrested at the age of 18 for her writings criticizing the Islamic Republic.

An exposé on corruption in the Iranian Parliament was among the stories that she covered as a professional journalist. She left the country in 2009 after escaping arrest once again. Her memoir "The Wind in my Hair – My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran" was published in English in 2018.

"My stealthy freedom" describes itself as a non-political page.

"The initiative reflects the concerns of Iranian women, who face legal and social restrictions," reads the description.

"All of the photos and captions posted have been sent by women from all over Iran and this is a site dedicated to Iranian women inside the country who want to share their 'stealthily' taken photos without the veil," it adds.

However, Tehran authorities accused Alinejad to be in the pay of the US government.

"As Masih Alinejad has a contract with the Americans, all those women who send the video footage of removing their hijab to her will be sentenced between one to 10 years of jail according to the article 508 of the Islamic Criminal Justice Act," the head of Tehran's Court of Revolution cleric Mousa Ghazanfarabadi told Fars news, as reported by The Telegraph.

"My understanding of the law is that three types of video recordings are criminal acts; to film our military installations; to record private life of another citizen and the third case is to record a film with the aim of working with an enemy government," he added, when asked if sending clips to an individual in US amounts to a criminal act.

Earlier this year, Alinejad met with US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, who thanked her for her courage and her battles. At the same time, on her personal website, she points out how "following Donald Trump's notorious immigration ban," she found herself separated from her child, who lives abroad. The latest videos published in "My stealthy freedom" include footage showing a policeman seizing a motorcycle from a woman (in Iran women are not allowed to ride motorcycles), and passersby harassing women on the street for not wearing a hijab.

"When the chief of the revolutionary court states that I'm part of a 'hostile state,' our answer is clear: No government has been more hostile to Iranian people than its present government," Alinejad said in a video. "Forty years ago, Iran belonged to all Iranians, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Bahai, believers or non-believers. But based on the rules of the regime, Iran is only home to those who comply with Islamic dress," she added.

"You have taken a nation hostage, and you are our enemy," she further noted.

IRAN THREATENS WOMEN WHO SEND PICTURES TO DISSIDENT WITH YEARS OF PRISON Document

An UNRWA school (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Switzerland suspends UNRWA funding amid corruption allegations Article

Hezbollah flag (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Israel, U.S. working to upgrade U.N. peacekeeping mandate to weaken Hezbollah Document

July 29, 2019

United States Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

"US President Donald Trump's Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt called for a full UN investigation into its agency for Palestinian refugees, after a report leaked Monday alleged widespread corruption and sexual misconduct.

The confidential internal ethics report claimed mismanagement and abuses of authority at the highest levels of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), even as the organization faced an unprecedented crisis after US funding cuts. The allegations are now being scrutinized by UN investigators.

'We're extremely concerned about UNRWA allegations,' Greenblatt said in a tweet. 'We urge a full & transparent investigation by the UN.'

He added: 'UNRWA's model is broken/unsustainable & based on an endless expanding # of beneficiaries. Palestinians residing in refugee camps deserve much better.'

Trump's former UN envoy, Nikki Haley, took to Twitter to say, 'this is exactly why we stopped their funding.'..."

U.S. envoy urges transparent investigation of UNRWA over alleged misconduct Article

Protesters in Hong Kong (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Hong Kong Protest: Clashes With Police Turn Downtown Into Tear Gas-Filled Battlefield Document

Boko Haram terrorists (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Suspected Boko Haram attack on a funeral leaves 65 dead in Nigeria, official says Document

UNRWA building in Jerusalem (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Report alleges ethical abuses at U.N. agency for Palestinians Article

Alexey Navalny (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Vladimir Putin critic Alexey Navalny hospitalized with suspected poisoning, doctor says Document