US opposes prosecution of Israel over Shireen Abu Akleh murder

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Mourners and bearers of the coffin of Shireen Abu Akleh being attacked by Israeli troops

The United States has opposed Al Jazeera’s efforts to have the Israeli regime prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Tel Aviv’s murder of the Qatari news network’s veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

‘We oppose it in this case,’ US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday after the network took the murder’s case to the ICC.
Wearing press attire, 51-year-old Abu Akleh was murdered in cold blood while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on May 11th. Later, her funeral was also attacked by the regime forces.
The Israeli military has only admitted that the journalist had been ‘accidentally’ killed by the regime forces’ gunfire.
Tel Aviv has insisted that it would neither open any criminal investigation into the case, nor would it cooperate with any such relevant probe.
Price reaffirmed the US’s decades-old policy of protecting the Israeli regime’s against whatever instance of accountability at international organisations, including the Hague-based court, over its atrocities against Palestinians.
The unwavering American policy has seen Washington invariably use its veto power to block anti-Israeli resolutions at the United Nations.
‘We maintain our longstanding objections to the ICC’s investigation into the Palestinian situation,’ Price said when asked about Al Jazeera’s request from the court.
Besides shielding the Israeli regime on the international arena, the US provides Tel Aviv with an annual military assistance package worth close to $4 billion that it freely uses to shore up its occupation of the Palestinian territories and reinforce its often deadly efforts to trample on Palestinians’ freedoms.

  • Israel’s ramped-up killing spree is bringing Palestinians on the cusp of another Intifada, the editor of Veterans Today has said.

Kevin Barrett, also an author and radio host, made the comments during Press TV’s Monday edition of Spotlight programme, days after a Palestinian youth was shot dead at point-blank range by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank town of Huwwara near Nablus.
‘Obviously, there are very good reasons for the Palestinians to be angry right now, with genocidal Itamar Ben-Gvir joining the new Binyamin Netanyahu government and with the upswing in the slaughter of Palestinians, and it is as if the Zionists are deliberately willing to up the ante and they are provoking an Intifada uprising,’ Barrett said.
He compared the current situation to ‘having a tiger by the tail’, owing to the fact that the Israelis cannot stop the imminent Intifada.
‘They cannot really win militarily, and they cannot execute all the Palestinians, which is what Ben-Gvir would like,’ he said. ‘Ultimately, there are a whole lot of rockets behind them. The Islamic Republic of Iran has their back. So something has to break here and we’ll see what it is.’
Israeli forces have been carrying out overnight raids in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.
Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli troops have killed more than 200 Palestinians, including 50 children, in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds as well as the besieged Gaza Strip.
During Netanyahu’s previous term, over 3,500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation forces, including 799 children and 342 women. His role led to the destruction of over 8,000 Palestinian homes, leaving over 12,000 homeless.
Ben-Gvir is regarded by many as the most notorious ally of the Netanyahu regime. The militant Israeli settler is known to have had a picture of Baruch Goldstein in his home enjoying pride of place.
Baruch Goldstein is famous for his attack, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers in the Ibrahimi mosque of al-Khalil in 1994.
‘Carte blanche to execute Palestinians’
Highlighting Israeli forces’ impunity, Barrett said Israeli troops’ ‘typical behaviour’ is to act as if they have the ‘carte blanche to execute Palestinians in cold blood’.
This is what has been happening since 1948, he said, making a reference to the Deir Yassin massacre which took place when around 120 terrorists from Zionist military groups attacked the Palestinian Arab village of the same name, killing at least 107 Palestinians.
And now, they have been emboldened to do more of this, he lamented.
Barrett went on to say that top Israeli officials are not only ‘tacitly’ allowing the murders committed by the troops but also ‘actively encouraging’ them. He slammed the ‘bloody-mindedness and genocidal intent’ of the Israelis.
‘Ben-Gvir actually called the killer of the most recent close-range execution-style murder of the unarmed Palestinian a national hero,’ he said.
Huge gap between people and pro-Israel regimes
On normalising ties with the Israeli regime, Barrett pointed to the ‘huge gap’ between the ‘sold-out elements among Persian Gulf oil states’ and the people of the region and the Arab world, who do not agree with the normalisation of ties with the Israeli regime.
He described Ben-Gvir’s shaking hands with Emirati Ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja during the United Arab Emirates reception in Tel Aviv last Thursday as ‘bizarre’ since Ben-Gvir is an anti-Arab racist who basically feels that ‘the only good Arab is a dead Arab’.
Israel and the UAE normalised ties in 2020, during Netanyahu’s previous term as prime minister, as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords.
Barrett said the ‘split between the people of the region and the leadership is ultimately going to a much more open and intense conflict.’
Making a reference to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, he said the event has turned into a show of the Arab people’s disgust against the Zionist regime and the manifestation of the solidarity of nations with the Palestinian cause.

  • A senior member of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says Damascus has turned down Ankara’s request for a meeting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after more than a decade of bitter enmity since the outbreak of Syria’s conflict.

Orhan Miroglu told Russia’s Sputnik news agency that ‘Syria intends to put off the meeting until after the Turkish presidential election,’ which is scheduled to be held on June 18 next year.
Last Friday, it was reported that despite Russia’s mediation efforts, the Syrian president has resisted meeting with his Turkish counterpart.
According to the report based on three different Syrian sources, Assad rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to meet with Erdogan.
Two of the sources said Damascus believes such a meeting could support Erdogan ahead of next year’s Turkish election, especially if Ankara addresses its goal of repatriating some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees from Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to establish a ‘safe zone’ in Syria with the professed intention of protecting the country’s southern border.
Stating that there will be no rapprochement before the upcoming Turkish poll, the source said, ‘Why hand Erdogan victory for free?’ He added that Syria had also turned down the idea of a foreign ministers’ meeting.
A third source, a Syrian diplomat, said Damascus ‘sees such a meeting as useless if it does not come with anything concrete, and what they have asked for so far is the full withdrawal of Turkish troops.’
Earlier, Erdogan said normalisation of relations with crisis-stricken Syria was possible.
‘Just as relations between Turkey and Egypt take shape, ties with Syria can follow the same path in the next period,’ Erdogan said on November 27th.
He was referring to an ongoing normalisation process between Turkey and Egypt, which saw Erdogan meet with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, at the FIFA World Cup in the Qatari capital city of Doha. Ankara severed its ties with Cairo in 2013 in protest at the latter’s bloody crackdown on the followers of late Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi.
‘There is no room for hard feelings in politics,’ Erdogan also said.
Turkey cut off its relations with Syria in March 2012, a year after the Arab country found itself in the grip of rampant and hugely deadly violence waged by foreign-backed militants and terrorists, including those allegedly supported by Ankara.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that a meeting with Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad is a possibility, suggesting that the two sides are close to mending fences after 11 years.
Since 2016, Turkey has also conducted three major ground operations against United States-backed militants based in northern Syria.
The Turkish government accuses the militants, who are known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), of bearing ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist group.
Turkey has been launching airstrikes on northern Syria and Iraq since November 20, against, what it calls, hideouts belonging to the PKK.