ONU – “Israel agrees to ‘humanitarian pause’ in war-torn Gaza Strip, UN envoy confirms”

After days of escalating violence and follow-on civilian suffering in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East confirmed today that Israel has agreed to a five hour humanitarian pause – set to begin tomorrow morning – and repeated his call on Hamas to respect the lull “in the interest of the people of Gaza.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson in Jerusalem, Robert Serry UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process confirmed that the Government of Israel agreed the five hour humanitarian pause, which will start at tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., local time and end at 3:00 p.m.

“Mr. Serry appreciates this Israeli decision and repeats his call on Hamas and other factions to respect the humanitarian pause from their side, in the interest of the people of Gaza,” said the statement.

It goes on to say that Mr. Serry reiterates the importance of arriving at a durable ceasefire understanding, also addressing underlying issues in Gaza, as soon as possible. “The United Nations, together with other international actors, will continue to support efforts in this regard,” the statement concluded.

war-amp-peace1

This news comes as media reports suggest that Israel previously had agreed to a pause for several hours Tuesday after Egypt put forward a cease-fire proposal that subsequently collapsed.

Israeli-Palestinian violence has flared ago in the wake of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in late June and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem earlier this month.

And with militants in Gaza stepping up rocket attacks against Israel, and Israeli airstrikes on the enclave intensifying, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and a host of other senior UN officials, as well as the members of the Security Council, have repeatedly urged all actors to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further civilian casualties and overall destabilization.

Meanwhile, earlier today, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator reminded both Israelis and Palestinians of their obligations under international law to protect civilians and to distinguish between military and civilian targets, as she warned that innocent men, women and children continue to bear the brunt of the deadly violence that has engulfed the region.

Extremely concerned by the escalation of hostilities and its impact on civilians, Valerie Amos, in a statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which she heads, said that according to preliminary estimates, as of 15 July, 194 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli attacks, including 149 civilians.

Ms. Amos said that hundreds of homes have been directly targeted by Israeli airstrikes, many of which were allegedly the residences of members of armed groups. More than 1,300 families have been forced to seek shelter with relatives and neighbours. Nearly 80 schools have been damaged because of their proximity to targeted sites. In one incident, an Israeli airstrike killed 18 people in one house, including six children and three women.

Public services have been suspended and the water supply is at risk after two maintenance engineers were killed by an Israeli missile, she added.

“Armed groups are firing rockets from residential areas in Gaza towards populated areas in Israel, reportedly killing one civilian so far and putting at risk the lives of thousands more, both Israeli and Palestinian,” Ms Amos said, and underscored: “Sustained bombardment is terrifying for everyone but particularly for children, who will need psycho-social support long after the violence subsides.”

She went on to remind the parties to conflict that they have responsibilities under international humanitarian law, emphasizing that “they must take precautions to protect civilians and must distinguish between civilian and military targets.”

“This is the third major military confrontation in Gaza in six years, and civilians have borne the brunt each time. They are paying the price for a collective failure to break the cycle of violence and reach a lasting political solution,” declared Ms. Amos.

Fonte: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48284#.U8fX4fldVBs

Iran and Assad have won in Syria, say top Tehran foreign policy figures

Iran and Assad have won in Syria, say top Tehran foreign policy figures

Insiders say western strategy in Syria encouraged radicals and backfired, leading to threat to European security from returning jihadis
Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president

Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. Senior Iranian officials say: ‘The Americans wanted to replace Assad, but what was the alternative? All they have done is encourage radical groups and made the borders less safe.’ Photograph: Uncredited/AP

Iran and its close ally President Bashar al-Assad have won the war inSyria, and the US-orchestrated campaign in support of the opposition’s attempt to topple the Syrian regime has failed, senior Iranian officials have told the Guardian.

In a series of interviews in Tehran, top figures who shape Iranian foreign policy said the west’s strategy in Syria had merely encouraged radicals, caused chaos and ultimately backfired, with government forces now on the front foot.

“We have won in Syria,” said Alaeddin Borujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee and an influential government insider. “The regime will stay. The Americans have lost it.”

Terrorism perpetrated by al-Qaida-linked jihadist groups and individuals armed and funded by Sunni Muslim Arab countries was now the main threat facing the Syrian people, Borujerdi said. Many foreign fighters who had travelled to Syria from Britain and other European countries could soon return. “We are worried about the future security of Europe,” he said.

Amir Mohebbian, a conservative strategist and government adviser, said: “We won the game in Syria easily. The US does not understand Syria. The Americans wanted to replace Assad, but what was the alternative? All they have done is encourage radical groups and made the borders less safe.

“We accept the need for change in Syria – but gradually. Otherwise, there is chaos.”

Shia Muslim Iran is Assad’s main regional backer and has reportedly spent billions of dollars propping up the regime since the first revolt against the president broke out in March 2011. Along with Russia, the regime’s principal arms supplier, it has consistently bolstered Assad in the teeth of attempts to force him to step down.

Western analysts say Iran is engaged in a region-wide power struggle or proxy war, extending beyond Syria, with the Sunni Arab states of the Gulf, principally Saudi Arabia.

Tehran thus has an obvious interest in claiming victory for the Alawite Syrian regime, which is fighting mostly Sunni rebels, they say. Iranian officials and regional experts deny that is their motive.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, deputy Iranian foreign minister, said the priority was to accept the rebellion had failed and to restore stability in Syria before next month’s presidential elections. “Extremism and turmoil in Syria must be tackled seriously by the international community. Those countries that are supplying extremist forces must stop helping them,” he said.”Iran has good relations with the Syrian government, though that does not mean they listen to us,” Ravanchi said. He denied Iran had supplied weapons and Revolutionary Guards combatants to help defeat the rebels, as western intelligence agencies have claimed. “Iran has a diplomatic presence there. There is no unusual presence. We have no need to arm the Syrian government,” he said.

Despite its influence with Damascus and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia fighting alongside government forces, Iran has been largely excluded from international talks to forge a peace settlement owing to US and British objections that Tehran does not accept the need for Assad to quit .

But following last week’s rebel retreat from the strategic city of Homs, the so-called capital of the revolution, some western politicians and commentators have also reached the conclusion that Assad has won.

The US and its Gulf Arab allies have supplied funding, equipment and arms to the Syrian rebels. Last year, the US president, Barack Obama, appeared on the point of launching air and missile attacks over the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons, but Obama’s last-minute decision to pull back was interpreted in Tehran and Damascus as a sign the US was having second thoughts and was not wholly committed to winning the war.

“I think the Americans made a big mistake in Syria and I think they know it, though they would never say so,” said Mohammad Marandi, a Tehran university professor. “If they had accepted the Annan plan in 2012 [which would have left Assad in place pending a ceasefire and internationally monitored elections] we could have avoided all this.”

“Iran sincerely believed it had no other option but to support the Assad government. Anything else would have resulted in the collapse of Syria and it falling into the hands of extremists,” he said.

More than 150,000 people are believed to have died in the Syrian conflict and at least 9 million have been displaced.

Fonte: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/11/syria-crisis-iran-assad-won-war-tehran

Putin: “US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya distorted international law”

Vídeo

Publicado em 04/03/2014
WATCH FULL VIDEO HERE http://youtu.be/QiKF8JN1qmk
Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya were distortions of intl law and UNSC resolution, says Vladimir Putin during is conversation with journalists. READ MORE http://on.rt.com/pmgkkh
Fonter: Russia Today

Syrian News-CrossTalk Israel vs Syria ft. Pepe Escobar)

Vídeo

This video is [FAIR USE] under COPYRIGHT LAW it is: 1 noncommercial 2 trans-formative in nature 3 not competitive with the original work 4 not effecting its market negatively FAIR USE NOTICE: This video contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.syrian news,syria.syria war,The US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged 123m in new non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition. Kerrys announcement comes after meeting with opposition leaders at a Friends of Syria in Turkey on Saturday. The Syrian National Coalition has been calling for weapons and a no-fly zone to help defeat president Bashar al-Assads forces. But Kerry insists that a political solution is the primary focus. Al Jazeeras Dominic Kane reports.no description availableUN human rights investigators have spoken to the victims of Syrias civil war and gathered medical testimonies which point to the fact that Syrian rebels have used sarin nerve gas, while any allegations of its use by the government remain unsubstantiated.

Syrian News-CrossTalk Israel vs Syria ft. Pepe Escobar)

Vídeo

This video is [FAIR USE] under COPYRIGHT LAW it is: 1 noncommercial 2 trans-formative in nature 3 not competitive with the original work 4 not effecting its market negatively FAIR USE NOTICE: This video contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.syrian news,syria.syria war,The US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged 123m in new non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition. Kerrys announcement comes after meeting with opposition leaders at a Friends of Syria in Turkey on Saturday. The Syrian National Coalition has been calling for weapons and a no-fly zone to help defeat president Bashar al-Assads forces. But Kerry insists that a political solution is the primary focus. Al Jazeeras Dominic Kane reports.no description availableUN human rights investigators have spoken to the victims of Syrias civil war and gathered medical testimonies which point to the fact that Syrian rebels have used sarin nerve gas, while any allegations of its use by the government remain unsubstantiated.

O melhor de Pepe Escobar no Corbert Report

Vídeo

Publicado em 12/10/2012
DOCUMENTATION: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=5472

Corbett Report Radio #204

Following our conversation with Pepe Escobar earlier this week, tonight we dip into The Corbett Report archives to highlight some of our previous conversations with the Asia Times Online correspondent. Tonight we look at pipeline politics, the Palestinian bid for UN membership, and the R2P humanitarian bombing paradigm.
Fonte: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAgt5Eroz3I

2013: o que mudou de fato no mundo?

O mais importante foi a mudança de clima no cenário mundial. Desde o triunfo na guerra fria, os EUA militarizavam os conflitos. Não foi assim com Síria e Irã.

Por Emir Sader

Como sempre, se acumulam uma quantidade de fatos – entre mortes, eleições, sublevações, etc. – que se destacam jornalisticamente no mundo, mas dificultam a compreensão das alterações nas relações de poder, as que efetivamente contam na evolução da situação internacional.

No emaranhado de acontecimentos, o mais importante foi a mudança de clima no cenário internacional. Desde que triunfou na guerra fria, os EUA tem tido como postura diante dos conflitos internacionais, sua militarização. Transferir para o campo em que sua superioridade é manifesta, tem sido a característica principal da ação imperial dos EUA. Foi assim no Afeganistão, no Iraque, por forças intermedias na Líbia. E se encaminhava para ser assim nos casos da Síria e do Irã.

De repente, pegando ao Secretario de Estado norteamericano, John Kerry, pela palavra, o governo russo propôs ao da Síria um acordo, que desconcertou o governo norteamericano, até que não pôde deixar de aceitar. Isto foi possível porque Obama não conseguiu criar as condições políticas para mais uma ofensiva militar dos EUA. Primeiro o Parlamento britânico negou o apoio a Washington.
Depois, foi ficando claro que nem a opinião publica, nem o Congresso norteamericano, nem os militares dos EUA, estavam a favor da ofensiva anunciada ou do tipo de ofensiva proposta.

O certo é que os EUA foram levados a aceitar a proposta russa, o que abriu as portas para outros desdobramentos, entre eles, combinado com as eleições no Irã, para a abertura de negociações políticas também com esse país por parte dos EUA. No seu conjunto, se desativava o foco mais perigoso de novos conflitos armados.

Como consequência, Israel, a Arábia Saudita, o Kuwait, ficaram isolados nas suas posições favoráveis a ações militares contra a Síria e até contra o Irã. Foi se instalando um clima de negociações, convocando-se de novo uma Conferência na segunda quinzena de janeiro, em Genebra, para discutir um acordo de paz. Uma conferência que não coloca como condição a questão da saída do governo de Assad, como se fazia anteriormente.

A oposição teve que aceitar participar, mesmo nessas condições. E ainda teve a surpresa que os EUA e a Grã Bretanha suspenderam o fornecimento de apoio militar aos setores opositores considerados moderados, que foram totalmente superados pelos fundamentalistas, apoiados pela Arabia Saudita e pelo Kuwait.

Como dois pontos determinam um plano, as negociações sobre a Síria abriram campo para as negociações dos EUA com o Irã, aproveitando-se da eleição do novo presidente iraniano. Desenhou-se, em poucas semanas, um quadro totalmente diverso daquele que tinha imperado ao longo de quase todo o ano. Os EUA passaram da ofensiva à defensiva, a Rússia, de ator marginal, a agente central nas negociações de paz, a ponto que a Forbes, pela primeira vez, elegeu Vladimir Puttin como o homem mais forte do mundo, na frente de Obama. Isso se deve não ao poderio militar ou econômico da Russia, mas ao poder de iniciativa política e de negociação que o país passou a ter.

Fonte: CartaMaior

A primavera árabe foi uma ilusão?

Não sou daqueles que, preconceituosamente, supõem haver uma incompatibilidade entre democracia e mundo árabe. Mas, há tensões históricas que hoje comprovam o fracasso da tese, romantizada pela mídia, de “primavera árabe”.

Vejamos. Depois do colapso do Império Otomano e do fim dos protetorados europeus no pós-Segunda Guerra, surgiu no Egito o modelo autoritário de modernização (Gamal Abdel Nasser, com a queda do rei Faruk), que procurou silenciar a hierarquia muçulmana e se fundamentar nas Forças Armadas essencialmente laicas, a exemplo do que havia ocorrido com a Turquia, nos anos 1920, com Kemal Ataturk.

O modelo nasserista se espalhou rapidamente pela região, com o pan-arabismo frustrado da RAU (República Árabe Unida), entre 1958 e 1961, e a ascensão do partido Ba´ath no Iraque e na Síria.


Negociação de soluções intermediárias entre grupos antagônicos não está ocorrendo, e é pressuposto para democracia

Esse modelo se enfraqueceu diante das derrotas militares para Israel e, um pouco mais tarde, com a Guerra Civil na Argélia (1991-2002), quando grupos islâmicos desafiaram a hegemonia discricionária da Frente de Libertação Nacional, vitoriosa na guerra de independência contra os franceses.

Eis que, na década de 1980, surge a “guerra santa”, no distante Afeganistão, auxiliada pelos Estados Unidos para a expulsão dos invasores soviéticos. Foi um sinal poderoso que, bem mais tarde, no momento oportuno, foi interpretado corretamente pelos grupos e partidos muçulmanos moderados, da Tunísia ou do Egito, e não tão moderados assim, na Síria e na Líbia.

A simples citação desses países já nos fornece o mapa do malogro da chamada “primavera árabe”. É saudável a articulação para derrubar ditaduras pós-nasseristas. O problema é o que criar no lugar delas.

A democracia supõe a capacidade de negociar soluções intermediárias entre grupos antagônicos. É justamente o que não está ocorrendo. Na Líbia e na Tunísia, sem um Exército nacional verdadeiramente forte, o poder de pressão se pulverizou entre milícias, grupos religiosos e entidades da sociedade civil. No Egito, com Forças Armadas bem ou mal arraigadas na sociedade, as tentativas de islamização das instituições resultaram na deposição do presidente Mohammed Mursi e no banho de sangue estancado pela volta dos militares ao poder. E na Síria, apoiada pelo Irã e ao mesmo tempo hostilizada pela Turquia e pela Arábia Saudita, a Guerra Civil deixou de ser um problema interno para ganhar contornos regionais.

Vejam que esse quadro não espelha o simplismo confessional que procura interpretar o quebra-cabeça segundo a lógica de autodefesa e expansão dos interesses xiitas (associados aos alaouitas) ou sunitas. Estamos diante de um quadro generalizado de desorganização institucional. Depois da etapa do grito, chegou a etapa das armas, prevalecendo o poder dos mais fortes. O que viabiliza e de certo modo legitima a tutela sob a qual os militares conseguiram novamente submeter o Egito, país que hoje é o “mais comportadinho” da região.

Isso é primavera? Com certeza, não. É o prosseguimento, com novas formas de dogmatismo, do longo inverno que dissocia a democracia dessa região do mundo.

 (*) João Batista Natali é jornalista, colaborador da Folha de S. Paulo, onde foi repórter por 38 anos. É professor de Ética na Faculdade Cásper Líbero e comentarista da TV Gazeta. Formado em jornalismo e filosofia, é mestre e doutor em semiologia.

Fonte: OperaMundi