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Resources updated between Monday, March 29, 2021 and Sunday, April 04, 2021

April 2, 2021

The United Nations General Assembly (File photo)

U.S. Shouldn't Squander Financial Leverage at United Nations Article

April 1, 2021

Jimmy Lai (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Hong Kong court convicts media tycoon Jimmy Lai and other activists over peaceful protest Document

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian Authority targeted and in some cases tortured participants of the Trump-administration-led 2019 "Peace to Prosperity" economic workshop in Bahrain, the United States charged in its 2020 Country Report on Human Rights.

"In 2019 there were reports Palestinian security forces arrested, intimidated and tortured Palestinians following their participation in an international conference in Bahrain," stated the annual report published late Tuesday.

The PA had boycotted the conference, but some individual Palestinians participated. "Some of these individuals, labeled 'collaborators' for working with, or engaging with, Israelis on political initiatives the PA did not support, reported direct and indirect threats of violence from Fatah, members of Fatah's Tanzim, Hamas and other groups, some with possible ties to the PA," the report stated.

"They reported damage to personal property and businesses. There were reports that the families of those targeted were pressured to disown them, which would decrease risks for attackers to injure or kill them, and that they and their family members were denied medical treatment in PA health facilities, which allegedly contributed to greater health complications, including death," the United States reported.

The data were part of a wide-ranging report on Israeli, PA and Hamas activities in the West Bank and Gaza. It relied heavily on reports from the United Nations as well as left- and right-wing NGOs.

The report recorded Palestinian terrorist attacks and Hamas rocket attacks against Israelis as well as instances of Jewish extremist violence against Palestinians. It spoke of disproportionate IDF violence against Palestinians as well as PA and Hamas arbitrary and unlawful killings of Palestinians.

Among the issues it raised was the "Israeli government's continued selective revocations of residency permits of some Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. This meant those residents could not return to reside in Jerusalem," the report stated. It explained that "some Palestinians who were born in Jerusalem but studied abroad reported losing their Jerusalem residency status, but the government denied revoking residency status of anyone who left for the sole purpose of studying abroad."

The report also spoke of instances in which Muslim worship was limited at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, also known as al-Haram al-Sharif. There were "intermittent restrictions on Palestinian access to certain religious sites, including the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount," the report stated.

"Israeli officials cited security concerns when imposing travel restrictions, including limiting access to Jerusalem during major Jewish holidays as well as continuing construction of Israel's barrier, which impeded the movements of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the West Bank," it added.

The report also charged that some "Palestinians and Muslim religious leaders used antisemitic rhetoric, including Holocaust denial. Antisemitism also regularly featured in public discourse, including expressions of longing for a world without Israel and glorification of terror attacks on Israelis," the report stated.

It also accused PA officials of "linking Israel and the spread of COVID-19 in the West Bank." In addition, it stated the "PA Ministry of Education has named at least 31 schools after terrorists and an additional three schools after Nazi collaborators, while at least 41 school names honor 'martyrs.'"

The report spoke of IDF demolitions of illegal Palestinian structures, including in the Jordan Valley herding village of Humsa, noting a 61% increase in such activity and explaining that the Civil Administration issued few construction permits.

US: Palestinian Authority tortured Palestinian participants in American-led 2019 Bahrain peace parley Document

March 31, 2021

President Joe Biden (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Biden Admin.-led Statement Praising Anti-Israel Durban Confab Sparks Outrage Article

March 30, 2021

Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin and Avraham Mengistu. (Flash90/The Times of Israel)

Ex-chief of Hamas: 'Bargaining chips' needed for prisoner swap deal Document

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (File photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Breaking with tradition, Canada and the U.S. embrace the anti-Israel hate-fest in Durban Article

March 29, 2021

Houthis marching in Yemen (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Yemen's millennia-old Jewish population has come down to only four elderly men after the last few Jewish families remaining were expelled this week by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reports.

According to the report, one expelled family includes 13 men and women who agreed to leave Yemen if the Houthis freed a Jew who had been in prison for some six years.

The Saudi newspaper reported that the Houthis have made it a goal to wipe out the Yemenite Jewish community entirely. Until recently, the Jewish families resisted pressure to leave. However, when the relatives of the Jewish prisoner, Levy Salam, visited him in prison, the Houthi intelligence services offered to free him if the family would leave the country.

Salam was arrested for publishing an old version of the Torah.

One of the Jews who recently left told Asharq Al-Awsat that "Our choice was between remaining a target for harassment and them not letting Levy out of prison, or leaving, and him being set free."

"Therefore, we were forced to leave. History will document us as the last Yemenite Jews who clung to their home until the last moment. We refused much temptation in other times, but now we must leave," the man said.

Recently, another group of Jewish families left Yemen and found a home in the United Arab Emirates. The latest refugees are looking for a country to take them in, as they do not want to make aliyah.

Houthis expel Yemen's last Jewish families Document

A protest against the Myanmar military (File photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

On a day when Myanmar's commander in chief vowed in a speech "to protect people from all dangers," soldiers and police he controls gunned down dozens of men, women and children across the country, continuing a campaign to suppress widespread opposition to last month's military coup.

Demonstrations began a week after the Feb. 1 takeover, which abruptly ended Myanmar's decadelong shift toward democracy. They have continued every day since as protesters demand that elected government be restored. A civil disobedience movement has brought large parts of the economy to a standstill, with civil servants, factory workers, shopkeepers, bank staff and others refusing to go to work in an effort to push the military to give up power.

Soldiers have responded by shooting citizens in the streets. The U.N.'s Human Rights office said Saturday it had received reports of scores of people killed and hundreds injured across 40 locations in the country. A representative for the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a nonprofit that monitors arrests and fatalities, said at least 91 people had been killed and that the group was working to confirm the full death toll.

Before Saturday, armed forces and police had slain 328 people, according to the group. Images emerge daily of bloodied bodies with gunshot wounds and family members cradling the corpses of their loved ones.

Saturday began with a military parade in the capital Naypyitaw to mark the country's Armed Forces Day, an annual holiday celebrating the Tatmadaw, as Myanmar's armed forces are known. The ceremony was attended by Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin in a show of Moscow's support for the generals, who face sanctions from the U.S. and other Western democracies. Myanmar's military is counting on Russia and China to block firm action against it at the U.N. Security Council, of which the two powers are permanent members.

Shots were fired at the U.S.'s cultural center in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, on Saturday. No one was injured and the incident was being investigated, the U.S. Embassy said on its Twitter account. "On Myanmar's Armed Forces Day, security forces are murdering unarmed civilians, including children, the very people they swore to protect," U.S. Ambassador Thomas L. Vajda said.

"This bloodshed is horrifying," he said.

Saturday's violence comes days after the U.S. took what it called its "most significant action to date to impose costs on the military regime." Washington on Thursday sanctioned the two largest military-owned companies in Myanmar, which have interests across banking, mining, tourism, tobacco, logistics, construction and other sectors, adding to earlier sanctions against military officials. The steps against Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Ltd., or MEHL, and Myanmar Economic Corporation Ltd. were intended to target those who led the coup and the military's economic interests, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

The U.K. also sanctioned MEHL in coordination with Washington. Earlier in the week, the European Union announced travel bans and asset freezes against a number of Myanmar military officials.

Russia's support for the generals drew criticism from protesters, who have called on the international community to pressure the army to restore democracy. On Friday in Myanmar, Mr. Fomin said Moscow was grateful for the countries' longstanding ties, and TV footage showed him and commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing sitting side by side in a large gold-trimmed hall.

"Myanmar is a trustworthy Russian ally and strategic partner in the Southeast Asian region," Russia's Zvezda TV, run by the Defense Ministry, quoted Mr. Fomin as saying.

Russia has maintained defense ties with both the country's civilian and military governments, and since 2001 has supplied approximately 30 MiG-29 warplanes and Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters. In 2018 Russia agreed to sell Myanmar six Su-30 warplanes. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Myanmar in January, before the coup, when he signed a contract with the country's defense ministry to supply the armed forces with Pantsir-S1 air-defense systems and Orlan-10E drones.

Dozens Shot Dead in Myanmar as Military Continues Ruthless Campaign Against Civilians Document