PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas has reiterated his hopes that the US-proposed peace plan, dubbed Deal of the Century, will go to hell.
‘I hope that the next Eid al-Fitr would come while the Palestinian people liberate their country from the Israeli occupation, establish their independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and overcome the plots contrived against the Palestinian issue, including the Deal of the Century, which will all go to hell,’ Abbas stated.
Abbas made this statement as he visited and laid a wreath of flowers on the grave of the late president Yasser Arafat for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
He performed the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the al-Tashrifat Mosque in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah.
- Israeli settlers set fire to dozens of dunums of Palestinian farmland in Jalud village, south of Nablus on Wednesday.
Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that a number of Israeli settlers set fire to the villagers’ farmlands, destroying their olive orchards.
The settlers came from illegal settlements of Adi Ad and Achia, which are inhabited by hardcore fanatic Jews.
Daghlas added that the Palestinian villagers rushed to their orchards to put out the fire.
Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have repeatedly blamed Israel for fostering a ‘culture of impunity’ for Jewish settlers committing violent acts against Palestinians.
‘Price tag’ refers to an underground anti-Palestinian Israeli group that routinely attacks Palestinians in the occupied territories and inside Israel.
The Israeli government still refuses to label it as a terrorist organisation and considers it only as group of vandals. It also considers such acts as hate crimes against Palestinians.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
Settlers’ violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.
Over 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.
- In a rare public acknowledgement of Israeli operations, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he personally ordered the recent airstrikes against Syrian military positions.
The Israeli premier made the provocative remarks last Sunday shortly after new air raids struck Syrian military positions in the southern region of Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others.
Israel claims it was responding to two rockets allegedly launched from Syria late last Saturday, which caused no casualties.
‘We will not tolerate firing into our territory and will respond fiercely against any aggression against us,’ Netanyahu said.
Hours after the Quneitra airstrikes, Israel launched missile attacks against the T-4 airbase near the western Syrian city of Homs, killing an army soldier and wounding two others.
The Syrian air defence reportedly managed to successfully intercept a number of the missiles.
Syria says the T-4 airbase near the northern Syrian city of Homs has been targeted by Israeli missiles.
The Israeli prime minister further threatened strikes against positions of Iranian military advisers in Syria, claiming that ‘anyone who tries to hurt us will be hurt far worse’.
The Israeli air force has staged repeated air raids against Syrian military bases that it claims are used by Iranian military advisers.
Iranian advisers are in Syria on the request of the country’s legitimate government to help the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-backed militants.
Syria’s official SANA news agency said the recent Israeli airstrikes are an attempt to prop up terrorist groups based in western provinces of Hama and Idlib that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.
‘The aggression comes in conjunction with the terrorists in Hama and Idlib,’ SANA wrote last Sunday night.
‘The Israeli enemy has intervened over the past several years to support its collapsing terrorist tools,’ the report said.
SANA said the attacks came after Syrian forces liberated several villages in Idlib from ‘terrorist groups’.
Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari says foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists based in the country’s north western Idlib Province are using civilians as ‘human shields’.
Israel has been providing medical treatment to extremist elements wounded in Syria. Numerous reports have also emerged of the discovery of Israeli-made weapons and military equipment during clean-up operations by the Syrian army.
The Tel Aviv regime reportedly used to arm at least seven different terror groups in the occupied Golan Heights.
In recent weeks, Syrian armed forces, under Russia’s air cover, have been conducting counter-terrorism operations in areas surrounding Idlib, the last significant militant stronghold in Syria.
Recently, the Syrian army has warned civilians to leave Idlib amid preparations for a final military campaign to flush terrorists out of the region.
US President Donald Trump last Sunday urged Russia and Syrian government forces to stop bombing Idlib after Moscow said it would continue to back a month-long Syrian offensive there.
Last Friday, the Kremlin said it was Turkey’s responsibility to stop terrorists in Idlib from firing at civilian and Russian targets.
Turkey and Russia brokered a deal in September 2018 to create a demilitarised zone in Idlib that would be evacuated of all heavy weapons and militants.
The Kremlin last Monday rebuffed Trump’s criticism, saying the offensive was justified because it was targeting ‘terrorists’.
When asked about Trump’s criticism last Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that terrorists were using Idlib as a base to launch attacks against civilian and military targets, something he called unacceptable.
- Syrian air defence systems have intercepted and shot down a squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles launched by foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the country’s western-central province of Hama.
The Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency, citing an unnamed Syrian military source, reported late last Tuesday that Syrian army reconnaissance teams were able to detect a number of aircraft as they were approaching a helipad of a government military site in Jubb Ramlah village, located about 189 kilometres (118 miles) north of the capital Damascus.
Israeli missiles reportedly fired from the occupied Golan Heights into south west Syria left multiple casualties.
The report added that Syrian forces then used anti-aircraft defence systems and targeted the drones as they were flying in the sky. There were no reports of any casualties.
Syrian state TV reported on May 22nd that army forces had shot down a drone loaded with bombs near Hama’s airport.
The television network added that the drone had been launched by members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, without providing any further details.
The Syrian army has shot down a drone loaded with bombs near Hama’s airport, Syrian state TV reported.
Back on April 2nd, Syrian army forces shot down a militant combat drone over the northern countryside of Hama province.The aircraft was shot down before it could bomb government positions in the area.
Syrian army forces stationed in Hama were instrumental in the creation of the Tiger Forces, an elite unit commanded by Brigadier General Suheil al-Hassan.
Syria says its air defences in the Hmeimim air base have thwarted projectiles and drones fired by terrorist groups.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.