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Resources updated between Monday, September 25, 2017 and Sunday, October 01, 2017

October 1, 2017

The train station in Marseille where the attack took place

Two people have been killed in a knife attack at Marseille's Saint Charles train station.

The assailant has been shot dead by security forces in the southern French city. The incident is being treated as an act of terrorism, media report.

"Two victims have been stabbed to death," regional police chief Olivier de Mazieres told AFP.

France's Interior Minister, Gérard Collomb, said he was immediately travelling to the scene.

France's national police tweeted that the situation at the station had been resolved, and the perpetrator "neutralised and shot down".

Train traffic has been stopped, it said. Police had earlier asked people to avoid the area.

An unnamed official told France's Le Monde newspaper that the assailant had cried "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).

French media report that both victims were women; one had her throat cut and the other was stabbed to death.

According to BFMTV, the attacker was killed by French soldiers who were already in the station as part of Operation Sentinelle, which sees combat troops patrol streets and protect key sites amid an ongoing state of emergency.

The man who carried out the attack was in his twenties and of North African appearance, reports say.

Terrorist stabs two to death in French train station Document

The van used during the attack

Canadian police have confirmed they are investigating possible acts of terrorism after multiple incidents in Edmonton, Alberta, on Saturday night.

They said a police officer controlling traffic at a Canadian Football League game was struck by a car at high speed and then attacked with a knife.

A man driving a van went on to hit at least four pedestrians and was arrested two hours later after a police chase.

Police said an Islamic State (IS) group flag was found in one of the vehicles.

Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said the officer and his vehicle were rammed by a white Chevrolet Malibu at about 20:15 local time (04:15 GMT) outside Alberta's Commonwealth Stadium.

The driver then got out of his vehicle and stabbed the uniformed officer several times, before fleeing on foot. The officer was taken to hospital but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Chief Knecht said information about the vehicle's registered owner was broadcast to patrol officers. Shortly before midnight, a man driving a U-Haul rental van was pulled over at a checkpoint after his name on documents was said to be "very similar" to the one police were searching for.

"The U-Haul truck then immediately fled the scene, and was pursued by police officers toward downtown Edmonton," the police chief said.

He said the truck "deliberately attempted to hit pedestrians" during the police chase.

The driver, a 30-year-old male, was arrested after his vehicle overturned in a police chase.

The condition of the four injured pedestrians is not yet known.

"Based on evidence at the scenes and the actions of the suspect, at 00:38 it was determined these incidents are being investigated as acts of terrorism."

Police said the arrested individual had been known to authorities.

They said they currently believe the suspect acted alone, but are not ruling out the involvement of any others.

Five injured in Canada terror incidents Document

September 29, 2017

The diplomatic mission of the PLO in Washington D.C.

"Israel is working on a plan to get the American administration to shut the Palestinians' diplomatic offices in the US, according to a Hebrew media report.

The plan was hatched together with US lawmakers, Israel's Kan state TV reported Thursday, and is meant to punish the Palestinians for their recent diplomatic advances, including their successful bid to join Interpol, the world's largest police organization, and their ongoing efforts to have Israeli leaders tried at the International Criminal Court.

Hours after Interpol's General Assembly voted Wednesday to make the 'State of Palestine' a full-fledged member, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened that the move would have consequences, though he did not specify what they would be.

During a meeting with Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Netanyahu raised the Palestinians' actions at the ICC and their accession to Interpol, a step he said 'violates signed agreements with Israel.'.."

Israel wants U.S. to shut Palestinians' DC office Article

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, who criticized the UN for attempting to "bully" companies into boycotting Israel (File photo)

"Legislators in the U.S. Congress and pro-Israeli organizations said on Thursday that the letter sent by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to companies doing business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, underscores the importance of passing the 'Israel Anti-Boycott Act,' a proposed piece of legislation that would make it illegal for U.S. Companies to participate in boycotts against Israel organized by international bodies, such as the United Nations.

The letter, first reported by Haaretz on Wednesday, was sent by the UN's Human Rights Commissioner two weeks ago to 150 companies in Israel and around the world, warning them that they are about to be added to a database of companies doing business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats involved in the matter said...

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, told Haaretz that 'the UN has an appalling track record of not treating Israel in a fair way, and this is another sad example. I am strongly opposed to the BDS movement and I support the 'Israel Anti-Boycott Act' because foreign entities and international organizations, like the UN, should not be able to coerce or bully American companies into boycotting Israel, an American ally.'

Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat from Florida and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Haaretz that he is 'outraged and appalled by this blatantly biased action by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner.' He added that 'The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which I have proudly cosponsored, would make it a policy of the U.S. to oppose the Human Rights Council resolution that led to the creation of this 'blacklist.' It would also block American companies from participating in an Israeli boycott by the UN or other international governmental organization.'

According to Rep. Deutch, 'this news out of Geneva is a powerful reminder of why Congress should move forward with our legislation that stands firmly against BDS and with our ally Israel.'..."

U.S. Legislators, AIPAC Push anti-BDS Bill After UN Letter Blackmails Companies Operating in Settlements Article

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein

US Jewish leaders slam UN rights chief over West Bank blacklist Article

September 28, 2017

A destroyed Rohingya village in northern Rakhine state

"The UN leadership in Myanmar tried to stop the Rohingya rights issue being raised with the government, sources in the UN and aid community told the BBC.

One former UN official said the head of the UN in Myanmar (Burma) tried to prevent human rights advocates from visiting sensitive Rohingya areas...

But sources within the UN and the aid community both in Myanmar and outside have told the BBC that, in the four years before the current crisis, the head of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), a Canadian called Renata Lok-Dessallien:

  • tried to stop human rights activists travelling to Rohingya areas
  • attempted to shut down public advocacy on the subject
  • isolated staff who tried to warn that ethnic cleansing might be on the way.

UN covered up human rights abuses, ethnic cleansing concerns in Myanmar for years Article

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (File photo)

"Israeli President Reuven Rivlin held a telephone conference call this evening (Wednesday) with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO). CPMAJO chairman Steve M. Greenberg and vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein participated in the call and discussed a wide range of issues with the president, including the disturbing decision by Interpol to allow the Palestinian Authority to join the organization, the regional security developments, and the issue of rising anti-Semitism around the world.

During the call, Rivlin condemned Interpol's decision to allow the Palestinian Authority to join the international police organization.

'This decision will harm Interpol's ability to fight international terrorism,' Rivlin said. 'It is a political decision that is not based on a professional need. It is very sad that the Palestinians have used another professional body for a political purpose, as part of their campaign to undermine peace negotiations and delegitimize the State of Israel.'

He criticized the UN Human Rights Council for seeking to create a blacklist of companies which do business in Judea, Smaria, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

'We are very concerned about the black list promoted by the UN Human Rights Council, which has the potential to cause damage to American and Israeli companies and to hurt Palestinians as well,' he said. The president urged the heads of the organizations to take every possible step to help Israel fight this blacklist and stressed that it was an American interest no less than an Israeli one..."

Israeli President Rivlin: Interpol decision harms fight against terrorism Article

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File photo)

Netanyahu warns of retaliation for Abbas's diplomatic warfare Article

A veiled Palestinian teacher at a UNRWA-run school in Gaza (Reuters)

New UNRWA textbooks for Palestinians demonize Israel and Jews Article

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein (File photo)

UN sent warning letter to 150 companies for doing business in Israeli settlements Article

September 27, 2017

Rainbow flags held by fans at the concert in Egypt

Egyptian police have arrested seven people after they were allegedly seen raising rainbow flags at a concert in Cairo last week, security sources say.

The seven were reportedly detained on Monday for "promoting sexual deviancy", but have not yet been formally charged.

Prosecutors opened an investigation after images from the concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila - whose lead singer is openly gay - went viral.

Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalised under Egyptian law.

But the authorities routinely arrest people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct on charges of "debauchery", "immorality" or "blasphemy".

The advocacy group, Solidarity With Egypt LGBTQ+, said late last year that it had recorded 114 criminal investigations involving 274 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals since 2013.

The raising of the rainbow flag was a rare public show of support for the LGBT community in the conservative Muslim country.

Late on Monday, the state news agency reported that Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek had ordered an investigation by the State Security Prosecution after images posted on social media were condemned by several politicians and media figures.

The deputy head of the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate, Reda Ragab, meanwhile said it would be taking steps to stop Mashrou' Leila performing again in the country.

"We are a religious, conservative society, an identity we need to preserve," he told the Daily News Egypt website.

"This is a scandal against our traditions and far from serious and meaningful art."

The Egyptian feminist and writer Mona Eltahawy condemned the actions of both the authorities and the musicians syndicate.

"It is utterly ridiculous to arrest anyone for waving a flag. It is utterly ridiculous to arrest anyone for their sexuality as #Egypt does," she wrote on Twitter.

Mashrou' Leila has twice been banned from performing in Jordan. On Saturday, it said the Cairo concert "was one of the best shows we've ever played".

"Was an honour to play to such a wonderful crowd! So much love!"

Seven arrested in Egypt for displaying a rainbow flag Document

The representative from Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture, UN Human Rights Council, September 26, 2017

Anti-Israel Hate from "Civil Society" at UN "Human Rights" Council Session on Intolerance Development

Ilmi Umerov, who was sentenced to two years in prison (File photo)

A court on Wednesday found a Crimean dissident opposed to Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea guilty of separatism and sentenced him to two years in a prison colony, a punishment supporters said amounted to a death penalty for such an ill man.

Ilmi Umerov was deputy head of the Crimean Tatars' semi-official Mejlis legislature before it was suspended by Moscow after it took control of the peninsula in 2014, a move condemned by the West and Ukraine.

State prosecutors had accused the 60-year-old of making statements that undermined Russia's territorial integrity by calling in an interview for an end to Russian control of Crimea.

Umerov, who suffers from Parkinson's disease and attacks of high blood pressure, said he did oppose Russia's annexation but that the interview which prosecutors objected to had been badly translated and his words distorted.

The Ukrainian government called the verdict an "illegal and politically-motivated sentence" which it said violated Umerov's human rights.

"Russia continues its shameful policy of pressure on the independent leaders of occupied Crimea," Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described the verdict as "embarrassing," saying on social media that he hoped the West would now increase pressure on the Russian authorities.

Umerov's lawyer, Mark Feygin, said he would appeal Wednesday's verdict which was delivered by a court in Simferopol, the Crimean capital.

Feygin said his client's life was on the line. "His dispatch to a prison colony would mean his death," he wrote on social media, alluding to Umerov's frail state of health.

The Tatars, a mainly Muslim community that makes up about 15 percent of Crimea's population, have largely opposed Russian rule in the peninsula and say the 2014 annexation was illegal, a view supported by the West.

Moscow says the overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to join Russia in a proper and fair referendum.

Ahtem Chiygoz, another Crimean Tatar leader, was found guilty of stirring up anti-Russian protests earlier this month and jailed for eight years, a move Ukraine's president called an act of Russian repression.

A U.N. human rights report said on Monday that Russia had committed grave human rights violations in Crimea, including its imposition of citizenship and by deporting prisoners. Moscow said it deemed those allegations "groundless".

Russia jails 60-year-old with Parkinson's disease for "undermining" Russia's territorial integrity Document

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani (File photo)

The world must stop ignoring Iran's pattern of obstructing nuclear inspections Article

September 26, 2017

Syrian Ambassador Hussam Edin Aala (File photo)

The Assad regime claimed that Israel is violating the rights of Syrians in the "occupied Syrian Golan" - while Assad forces slaughter Syrian civilians in "unoccupied" Syria. The accusation was made during the UN Human Rights Council's regular meeting to bash Israel on September 25, 2017. According to the Syrian representative, Hussam Edin Aala, Israel's violations include preventing residents of the Golan from attending Syrian universities. The fact that students might avoid Syrian universities because of the daily atrocities perpetrated by Assad forces was left unmentioned.

In the representative's words:

"The sons and daughters of the occupied Syrian Golan are victims of gross violations at the hands of the Israeli occupying authorities who...prevent the Syrians from building on their own land and from communicating with their own families in the mother country, prevents them from continuing education in Syrian universities, prevents them from their livelihoods, and arbitrarily detains them. We call upon the Human Rights Council to condemn these Israeli practices...We also warn that Israel has decided to carry out elections for local councils in the occupied Syrian Golan next year... These violations in fact require monitoring and accountability..."

Genocidal Assad regime claims Israel is "violating" rights of Syrians Development

United Nations in Geneva

UN-sponsored BDS promoted at UN "Human Rights" Council Development

Destroyed buildings in Yemen (File photo)

"Saudi Arabia has in a letter seen by AFP on Tuesday threated economic retaliation against countries that vote for a UN resolution setting up an international probe into violations in Yemen...

[T]he kingdom, accused of bombarding civilian targets like markets and hospitals, has so far succeeded in blocking an international probe.

The Human Rights Council, which concludes its ongoing session on Friday, is again split over a path forward.

Council members are weighing a Dutch/Canadian draft which calls for the international UN-backed probe -- known as a Commission of Inquiry -- and an Arab proposal supporting an extension of Yemen's domestic investigation...

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who says the rebels are supported by Saudi's regional arch-rival Iran.

The war has killed more than 8,500 people and wounded nearly 49,000 others, according to the World Health Organization..."

Saudi Arabia threatens nations who back Yemen probe Article

Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France

Palestinian Interpol bid heads to vote as Israeli lobbying falls short Article

Site of the terror attack

Three Israelis Killed in Terror Attack Document

September 25, 2017

2017 NGO Report Document

Representative from Malaysia at the UN Human Rights Council (File photo)

Anti-Israel hysteria at the UN "Human Rights" Council as Malaysia claims Israel violates all human rights Development

Palestinian Return Centre representative Salman Husein Abusitta, UN Human Rights Council, September 25, 2017

Hamas-affiliated NGO demands "apology" for Israel's existence at UN "Human Rights" Council Development