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Resources updated between Monday, December 11, 2017 and Sunday, December 17, 2017

December 17, 2017

The International Criminal Court (ICC)

"The Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Saturday elected 'the State of Palestine' as a member of its bureau, the Palestinian Authority (PA) mission to the United Nations said, according to the WAFA news agency...

It also stated that all the States Parties have activated the ICC jurisdiction over the crime of aggression and accepted a definition that considers "the occupation" as a crime of aggression...

When the PA officially joined the ICC on April 1, 2015, it immediately filed a series of legal complaints with the court. In addition to claiming that Israel committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war, it also claimed that Israeli 'settlements' are 'an ongoing war crime'.

In September, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said it would submit an official request to the ICC to investigate what it called 'illegal Israeli settlement activity'...

International Criminal Court members elect "State of Palestine" to leadership position Article

December 15, 2017

Remnants of the stones and water bottles of paint that were thrown at the Israeli vehicle

An Israeli sustained minor injuries after rocks were thrown at his vehicle near the West Bank village of Hizme on Friday, according to the Magen David Adom emergency service.

A groups of Israelis had arrived at a car wash near an entrance to Jerusalem when they came under attack, Hadashot television news reported.

The victim, a 30-year-old man, was treated by MDA medics at the scene before being taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

Separately, settlers reported that Palestinians from the northern West Bank village of Burin hurled rocks and water bottles of paint at Israeli vehicles near the nearby settlement of Yitzhar. No injuries or damage were reported.

Settlers also reported stone throwing from Palestinians at Israeli vehicles traveling on Route 60 near the Carmel and Beit Hagai settlements in the south Hebron hills. No injuries were reported, nor damage caused to the cars.

For a second consecutive Friday, Israeli security forces were on high alert for Palestinian protests following last week's announcement by US President Donald Trump that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Hundreds of additional IDF soldiers have been deployed across the West Bank and on the Gaza border in anticipation of demonstrations against the US move, expected to follow Friday noon-time prayers.

Clashes were also expected in Jerusalem, but following relative clam in the capital last week, police are again planning not to impose any age restrictions on Muslim worshipers praying on the Temple Mount. At times of expected violence, Israeli authorities sometimes limit access to the site for young men.

Israeli injured in West Bank rock-throwing attack Document

Israeli Border Police fighting off attacks

A Palestinian wearing what appeared to be an explosive belt stabbed a Border Police officer in the upper body, moderately wounding him, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday during a violent Palestinian protest, police said.

"A terrorist approached Border Police officers who were responding to a riot at the Judea and Samaria Square in Ramallah, and stabbed one of them," police said, adding that they were investigating the possibility that the terrorist was "mingling with journalists and posing as a one" in order to get close to the troops.

The assailant was shot by the other officers at the scene and was seriously wounded. Some Palestinian media outlets reported that he had been killed.

The apparent explosive belt did not go off. Police said they were investigating if it was a real bomb or only a device meant to look like one. The attacker, still wearing the apparent suicide bomb belt, was taken away from the scene for medical treatment by the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service.

The officer was treated at the scene and then taken to Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where he was listed in "a moderate condition with two stab wounds in the upper body." The hospital said his condition was stable and he was undergoing examinations before being operated on.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the security forces.

"I praise the work of the Border Police force that took out the terrorist," Netanyahu tweeted, adding that he sends his wishes for a speedy recovery to the soldier who was wounded. "Thank you to our forces who protect us around the clock. Everybody salutes you."

Once a mainstay of Palestinian terrorist tactics during the second intifada, suicide bombings have become exceedingly rare in recent years. The last suicide bombing occurred in April 2016, when a Palestinian terrorist blew up a bus in Jerusalem, killing himself and injuring 20 people, in an attack organized by Hamas.

Friday's stabbing took place in the midst of a violent protest against US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last Wednesday.

Also Friday, a 30-year-old Israeli was lightly injured near the West Bank town of Hizme, outside Jerusalem, when Palestinians threw rocks at his car. He was treated at the scene by medics at the scene and taken to a Jerusalem hospital for treatment, the Magen David Adom emergency service said.

Palestinian media said that a number of protesters sustained light wounds after being hit by Israeli tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, but no serious injuries were reported as of Friday afternoon.

Following noon-time prayers, riots were reported in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya and Nablus. Demonstrators burned tires and threw rocks at Israeli troops, who fired back at them with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Hundreds of Palestinians also took part in protests throughout the Gaza Strip, according to local media.

While widespread, the protests initially appeared to be less violent than the previous week's, and had fewer participants.

Hundreds of additional IDF soldiers were deployed across the West Bank and on the Gaza border ahead of the demonstrations against Trump's proclamation.

Clashes were also expected in Jerusalem but following relative clam in the capital last week, police did not to impose any age restrictions on Muslim worshipers praying on the Temple Mount.

At times of expected violence, Israeli authorities sometimes limit access to the site for young men, who are more likely to clash with police.

Palestinian with suicide bomb belt stabs border guard during protest Document

Haley displays missile as evidence Iran is violating U.N. resolutions

Haley Says Missile Parts Prove Iran Violated U.N. Resolutions Article

December 14, 2017

Mahmoud Abbas at Organization of Islamic Cooperation conference in Istanbul

Abbas Defies Oslo Agreements, Demands Full U.N. Membership Article

Iranian children who were victims of fire (file photo)

A lawyer in Iran is speaking out about sexism in the country's legal code after the families of two children who died in a fire at an elementary school were denied full compensation because the victims were girls.

"In the case of the two innocent girls who died from burns in this terrible incident, the Diyah allocated for them has been cut in half because of their gender," Hossein Ahmadiniaz, a lawyer representing victims of the fire, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on December 9, 2017. "That's discriminatory and unfair."

According to Islamic law, Diyah, known as "blood money" in English, is paid as financial compensation to the victim or heirs of a victim in the cases of murder, bodily harm, or property damage.

However, in Iran, the Diyah for women is worth half the value of the Diyah for men.

"The religious leaders should keep in mind that we are not in seventh-century Saudi Arabia. We are in the 21st century. In progressive societies, women work side-by-side with men," said Ahmadiniaz.

He added that Iran's Islamic Penal Code must be revised to prevent future cases of injustice against females.

Ahmadiniaz is the legal counsel for the families of Siran Yeganeh and Saria Rasoulzadeh, two young girls who died in a fire at a public school in the village of Shinabad, West Azerbaijan Province, in December 2012. 

A faulty substandard heater was determined to be the cause of the fire, which left burns on nearly 30 children. Many of the burns were so serious that the children continue to require reconstructive surgery five years after the event.

Ahmadiniaz told CHRI that his clients have still not received any compensation from the government. 

"All women in Iran face this discrimination when they are in an accident," he said.

"Article 20 of the Constitution clearly states that there should be no inequality between men and women and Article 21 states that the government should facilitate gender equality," he said.

"However," Ahmadiniaz said, "we are still witnessing inequality between the sexes."

According to Article 551 of the Islamic Penal Code, the family of a woman who was murdered would receive half the Diyah that the family of a murdered man would receive.

Ahmadiniaz said some of his other clients are experiencing similar problems caused by the gender discrimination contained in Iran's penal code. 

In May 2012, two young women, Monia Yousefi and Roxana Iravani, fell and died when the "Crazy Mouse" ride malfunctioned in the state-owned Eram amusement park in Tehran. 

"The government is completely liable for the incidents at Eram Park and inShinabad and must take steps to provide treatment for the survivors and equal compensation to the families of the dead," Ahmadiniaz told CHRI.

"A human being's worth in Iran is much, much less than what is accepted in Europe and the US where victims can collect millions of dollars for police brutality," he said. "In Iran, the maximum amount of blood money is 250 million tomans [approximately $71,700 USD], which is cut in half for women."

Iran denies full compensation to families of two fire victims because they were girls Document

December 13, 2017

Palestinian representative to the U.N. Riyad Mansour at the UN Security Council, December 8, 2017

Palestinians going to U.N. to bash Trump and Israel over Jerusalem decision Article

December 12, 2017

A rocket midair as it is intercepted

IDF tanks and IAF fighter jets attacked Hamas military positions in the northern Gaza Strip overnight Monday in retaliation for the rocket fire on Ashkelon.

The rocket, which was launched around 11:30pm, triggering Code Red alarms in multiple communities in Ashkelon and the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system. No one was harmed and no damage was reported.

   In addition to the intercepted missile, the Iron Done system identified more rockets launched from the strip, leading to Code Red sirens being sounded from Netiv HaAsara near the Gaza border, all the way to Kfar Silver on the outskirts of Ashkelon. 

   Among the communities in which the Code Red alarm was triggered were also Berekhya, Hodaya, Mash'en, Nir Yisrael, Beit Shikma, Bat Hadar, Ge'a, Zikim, Karmia, and Yad Mordechai. 

Another rocket was launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip earlier Monday, and detonated in open land within the Eshkol Regional Council on the Gaza perimeter. No physical or material damage was caused. The IDF confirmed it retaliated to the rocket launch using armored and air forces targeting Hamas posts near the border fence in southern Gaza.

  It was cleared for publication Sunday the IDF had exploded a Hamas terror tunnel reaching hundreds of meters into Israeli territory.

In response, Hamas threatened that "the enemy must be afraid and know it will pay a price for breaking the rules of engagement with the Gaza resistance. The coming days will prove the enormity of the enemy's mistake and miscalculation as to the resistance's willpower."

A barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza Strip at Israel Document

North Korean defector Ji-Hyeon-A

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea where one defector spoke about how she was forced to have an abortion following her repatriation from China.

The woman, Ji Hyeon-A, describes a harrowing scene of prison dogs eating dead bodies at her prison camp. She pleaded for the world to act.

The event was titled "The Terrifying experience of forcibly Repatriated North Korean women," and was sponsored by the U.S. France, Japan, South Korea, Canada and the U.K.

Ji Hyeon-A was repatriated three times to North Korea after she was caught in China. She finally escaped to South Korea and spoke of her horrifying experiences.

She described how North Korean women who got pregnant in China were forced to have abortions.

"Pregnant women were forced into harsh labor all day," she said. "At night, we heard pregnant mothers screaming and babies died without ever being able to see their mothers."

North Korea does not allow for mixed-race babies, she said. At one detention center, she described how inmates starved to death. Their dead bodies, she said, were given to the guard dogs for food.

The third time Ji Hyeon-A got caught and sent back to North Korea she was three months pregnant. She tearfully described how she was forced to have an abortion without medication at a local police station.

"My first child passed away without ever seeing the world," she said, "without any time for me to apologize."

She finally reached South Korea in 2007 and has since been reunited with her mother, brother and her younger sister. She still has not heard news of her father.

Ji-Hyeon-A said that the North Korean soldier who recently escaped to South Korea "represents a dash toward freedom which is a dream of 25 million North Koreans."

She said North Korea was "a terrifying prison and the Kim's are carrying out a vast massacre and it takes a miracle to survive there."

She criticized the Chinese government for sending North Koreans back to the regime, and urged the Chinese government to stop repatriating people back to the Hermit Kingdom, saying they know what will happen to them when they get there.

Ji-Hyeon-A urged the U.N. and world leaders to fight for North Korean defectors and especially those who are repatriated.

She recited a poem called "Is anyone there?" from a collection of poems she wrote.

"I am scared, is anyone there? I'm here in hell, is anyone there? I scream and yell but no one opens the door. Is anyone there? Please listen to our moans and listen to our pain. Is anyone there? People are dying, my friend is dying. I call out again and again but why don't you answer. Is anyone there?"

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Matthew Rycroft, praised Ji-Hyeon-A for speaking at the event, and said the crimes discussed, which included, "forced abortions, summary executions, hard labor, rape: those are conditions that amount to crimes against humanity," he said.

Earlier in the day China had tried to stop a Security Council meeting convened by Japan on the human rights situation in North Korea. China only had the support of Russia and Bolivia and failed in its attempt to stop it from moving forward.

At the Security Council meeting, Haley said the full story of the North Korean people needed to be told.

"The regime is using that power to develop an unnecessary arsenal and support enormous conventional military forces that pose a grave risk to international peace and security," she said.

"Their menacing march towards nuclear weapons begins with the oppression and exploitation of ordinary North Korean people."

Haley said the situation was made possible "through the export of workers abroad to earn hard currency and the use of forced labor at home, the regime uses its people to underwrite its nuclear and ballistic missile programs."

She said the Kim regime has imprisoned an estimated 100,000 people.

"The North Korean regime's system of guilt-by-association," she said, "allows for up to three generations of family members to be imprisoned along with the accused."

North Korean defector describes forced abortion, said bodies fed to dogs in prison Document

Knife found on the Hebron teenager

Border Police officers on Tuesday arrested a Palestinian teenager who tried to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron with a knife. At a security checkpoint at the entrance to the holy site, a box cutter was discovered hidden on the teenager's person, according to police.

The 17-year-old Hebron resident was detained and taken in for questioning.

Last month, two 17-year-old Palestinians were also detained after attempting to smuggle a knife into the site, in two separate incidents a day apart.

The 17-year-old Hebron resident was detained and taken in for questioning.

Last month, two 17-year-old Palestinians were also detained after attempting to smuggle a knife into the site, in two separate incidents a day apart.

Palestinian teen caught with knife at entrance to Tomb of the Patriarchs Document

City of Salfit where the stabbing attempt took place

The army on Tuesday launched an investigation after soldiers shot a Palestinian who they said appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket, though no such weapon was recovered at the scene.

In a statement, the IDF said troops spotted a group of Palestinians approaching the fence around the Ariel settlement "in a suspicious manner."

The soldiers opened fire at one of the suspects after he "appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket," the army said.

However, upon searching the area, near the Palestinian village of Salfit, the military found no knife, indicating the soldiers apparently opened fire in error.

The Palestinian was seriously injured, suffering a head wound.

Israeli army medics treated the wounded Palestinian on the scene, before taking him to the hospital.

"The incident will be reviewed," the army said.

The army's statement, released Tuesday evening, conflicted with earlier reports from the afternoon, which claimed the injured Palestinian had been throwing rocks at soldiers and when confronted by them, took out a knife and tried to stab them.

An army spokesperson said she would not comment on the reports of rock throwing or on anything that happened prior to the shooting.

"It's all being investigated," she said.

Th incident came hours after the IDF arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian armed with a knife outside Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs.

On Sunday, an Israeli security guard was stabbed and seriously injured outside the Jerusalem bus station by a Palestinian terrorist, who was later apprehended.

A rock-throwing Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab soldiers in West Bank Document

December 11, 2017

The terrorist Akayed Ullah

A Bangladeshi national in his 20s has been taken into custody with serious injuries after a suspected pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station Monday morning.  

The explosion happened around 7:20am, in an underground tunnel linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Times Square. The underground tunnel is a major thoroughfare for workers during the morning rush hour.

The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, was found injured at the scene and rushed to Bellevue Hospital. He was wearing what appears to be a homemade pipe bomb attacked to his body with velcro and zip ties.  Authorities say Ullah is talking to investigators at the hospital. 

Three other people also reported to local hospitals for minor injuries like ringing in the ears and headaches.  

There have been reports that Ullah was inspired by ISIS.   

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC's Morning Joe that the suspect 'supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS' and that it was 'definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended'. 

At a morning press conference, current NYPD Commission James O'Neill said that the suspect 'did make statements' but that they are not going to comment on them yet. 

Though it's still early in the investigation, New York City officials say it was definitely an attempted terror attack. 

'This was an attempted terror attack and thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals,' Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

CNN reports that it appears the Subway was not the intended target of the pipe bomb, and that it may have went off prematurely. 

They also learned that the device was homemade and could have caused catastrophic damage if it went off as intended. 

Commissioner O'Neill said that they have obtained CCTV footage of the attack, but they have not detailed yet what it shows.  

The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the largest in the country and the busiest in the world - serving about 225,000 commuters a day. 

It's what's known by law enforcement officials as a 'soft target' because it handles a lot of traffic but doesn't have the same kind of security as a place like an airport. 

New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo said a bombing in the subway is 'one of our worst nightmares'- but he said New Yorkers will get through this as they have before on 9/11 and even the most recent terror attack on Halloween. 

"This is the New York. The reality is we are the target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy and against freedom. We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor and that makes us an international target. 

'We understand that anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur-level explosive device and that is the reality that we live with. 

'The counter reality is that this is New York and we all pitch together and we are a savvy people and we keep our eyes open and that's what 'see something, say something' is all about. And we have the best law enforcement on the globe and we're all working together extraordinarily well,' Gov. Cuomo said.  

New York's Port Authority Terror attack: Suicide Vest of ISIS-inspired Bangladeshi explodes, injuring three Document

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. General Assembly (File photo)

"The Palestinian Authority and the Arab League may seek a United Nations General Assembly resolution against US President Donald Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is Israel's capital, according to diplomatic sources.

Such a text is likely to garner a majority of the 193 UN member states. Already last month, 151 nations voted at the UNGA to disavow Israeli sovereignty.

The forum allows for the Palestinians and the Arab states to issue a powerful diplomatic statement, but it lacks the impact of the UN Security Council, which also has enforcement capabilities...

Israel's Ambassador to the UN in New York Danny Danon told The Jerusalem Post, 'In response to the historic American announcement about Jerusalem, the Palestinians and their supporters are seeking to incite in the halls of the UN. Instead of criticizing this courageous American act, the UN should instead unequivocally condemn the Palestinian rockets and stabbings against innocent Israelis.'...

Separately, the UNGA is expected to approve 10 anti-Israel resolutions in December."

Palestinians may ask U.N. to condemn U.S. Jerusalem declaration Article