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Four Palestinians killed by Israeli forces 

Health officials in the Gaza Strip say the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during protests near the fence with Israel has risen to four.  

Yousef al-Fasih, 29, was shot dead while demonstrating in the eastern Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Wafa said. 

More than 600 people were wounded by Israeli forces..........

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/gaza-protest-latest-updates-180406092506561.html

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https://www.rt.com/news/429131-australian-soldiers-crimes-afghanistan/

Aussie special ops 'disregarded humanity', committed 'horrendous' acts in Afghanistan – reports

Soldiers from Australia's elite Special Air Service (SAS) allegedly committed war crimes in Afghanistan, according to a leaked military inquiry. The document notes "violence" and a "disregard for human life" by servicemen.

The leaked report, seen by Fairfax Media, includes details of a confidential defense inquiry which was commissioned in 2016 by then-Special Operations Commander Major General Jeff Sengelman and conducted by a defense department consultant.

It cites special forces insiders who stated that soldiers had practiced the "unsanctioned and illegal application of violence on operations"which extend to a "disregard for human life and dignity."

Citing witnesses, the report said there is a "pattern of...cover-ups - real or imagined, and misdemeanors or more serious offenses in the field, as well as a culture of drug and alcohol abuse." It continues to say that at the very least, "there is no doubt that there are major issues of morale or performance..."

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https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201806081065241434-hezbollah-syria-assad/

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah announced that Hezbollah forces would not withdraw from Syria until the country is "liberated" and its "territorial integrity is restored."

According to Hassan Nasrallah, Iranian troops were present in Syria at the request of the Syrian leadership, just like the Russian Aerospace Forces.

"Even if the whole world wanted it, no one would force us to leave Syria, which would only happen when the Syrian authorities demand it," Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said on the Al-Manar TV channel.

The official's statement followed a demand, repeatedly put forward by Israel, for the military group's withdrawal from Syrian soil. 

A similar position has been voiced by Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri earlier in June. 

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-opec-iran-exclusive/exclusive-iran-slams-u-s-for-seeking-saudi-oil-output-hike-says-opec-wont-comply-idUSKCN1J415J

Exclusive: Iran slams U.S. for seeking Saudi oil output hike, says OPEC won’t comply

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran said on Friday a U.S. request for Saudi Arabia to pump more oil so that it could cover a drop in Iranian exports was “crazy and astonishing” and said OPEC would not heed the appeal, setting the stage for a tough OPEC meeting this month.

Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival, has a history of raising challenges in OPEC meetings. In 2015, Tehran refused to sign up to OPEC policies, saying it needed to hike output due to the easing of sanctions after a nuclear accord with world powers.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-13/erdogan-fights-to-keep-power-as-bloomberg-poll-shows-tight-votes

Turkey’s election this month could go down to the wire, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan facing a tougher battle to cement power or even an upset, according to a poll commissioned by Bloomberg.

Erdogan can win the presidential vote in the first round on June 24 with 50.8 percent support and get the backing of a majority in parliament, the survey by Foresight Danismanlik of 500 people on June 7-11 found. But a surprise victory for the opposition is also within the margin of error.

The key takeaway is that any array of options is possible and the only certainty is that it will be very close. Erdogan and his AK party can’t win alone, and in previous elections they got the support of religious conservatives, free-market liberals or Kurds to govern. Now success hinges on how voters identifying as nationalist cast their ballot, the poll found.

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44463749

Yemen war: Saudi-backed forces begin assault on Hudaydah port

Pro-government forces in Yemen, backed by Saudi Arabia, have begun attacking a key port held by rebel fighters.

The coastal city of Hudaydah is where most of the aid arrives for people in Yemen's rebel-held areas. Agencies have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe.

About eight million people are at risk of starvation in the war-torn country.

Pro-government strikes began after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels ignored a deadline to withdraw by midnight (21:00 GMT on Tuesday).

It is the first time the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Gulf states has tried to capture such a well-defended major city in Yemen.

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15 minutes ago, mr6666 said:

Common Dreams @commondreams 6h6 hours ago

 
 

Amid Scathing Accusations of War Crimes, UN Votes 120-8 to Condemn 'Indiscriminate' Israeli Violence Against Palestinians https://goo.gl/rzuDrU 

"We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations."

The Associated PressVerified account @AP 22h22 hours ago

 
 

BREAKING: U.N. General Assembly votes to blame Israel for Gaza violence,

rejects U.S. call to condemn Hamas for attacks on Israel.

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https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/israel-rehomes-illegal-settlers-west-bank-while-demolishing-handful-houses/

Israel rehomes illegal settlers in West Bank while demolishing handful of houses

HUNDREDS of Israeli settler activists tried today to block the destruction of 15 homes built illegally on Palestinian land, after a court ordered them demolished.

All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, which Israel ignores, but the Supreme Court ruled that a technicality meant these houses were also illegal under domestic law.

Palestine Liberation Organisation spokesman Wassel Abu Youssef warned that Israel’s illegal settlement programme was continuing despite the court decision, which hinged on the Netiv Ha’avot settlement not receiving authorisation from the Israeli government.

“All settlement is illegal and must be removed. Israel is trying to fool world public opinion by removing some homes here and there while it continues to build settlements,” he said.

The owners of the destroyed homes are set to be compensated and rehoused by the Israeli government in another illegal settlement on nearby Palestinian land, with the remaining houses granted legal status.

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https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1207/bad-allies-bad-timing/

Bad allies, bad timing

Sometimes countries are just plain unlucky. Yassamine Mather looks at Iran and its fraught international relations

In the June 9 statement issued by the G7 leaders, the following related to the Iran nuclear deal:

We are committed to permanently ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme remains peaceful, in line with its international obligations and commitments to never seek, develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. We condemn all financial support of terrorism, including terrorist groups sponsored by Iran. We also call upon Iran to play a constructive role by contributing to efforts to counter terrorism and achieve political solutions, reconciliation and peace in the region.

The second part was a concession to US negotiators, who after president Donald Trump’s early departure from the summit were keen to include some condemnation of Iran’s Islamic Republic. Of course, only a few hours later, Trump dismissed the entire statement via a tweet and the ‘cold’ trade war gained momentum with accusations and counter-accusations being flung around.

But no-one could be happier than Iran’s leaders. In many ways most of the statement - and in particular the section on Iran - was an attempt at papering over obvious cracks, yet the unprecedented fallout and continued verbal confrontation between Trump and the other G7 leaders gave Tehran hope that the European Union in particular will be more determined to stick to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015).

-

Following Trump’s summit with the North Korean leader, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz is correct when it says:

the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, can only regret he did not anticipate that a leader like Trump would rise to power in the United States - and that he didn’t wait until Trump came into office to sign the nuclear agreement with him instead of president Barack Obama.3

The US-North Korea declaration stipulates that North Korea will aim for “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”. However, there is no timetable and no pledge that the proposed denuclearisation will be irreversible. This contrasts to the agreement signed by Iran in 2015, which can only be described as a tightly worded and detailed document outlining the dismantling of many aspects of its nuclear programme and allowing intrusive, rigid monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency. A detailed timetable was drawn up for the removal of the country’s 20%-enriched uranium, and the shutting down of centrifuges.

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http://mondoweiss.net/2018/06/officially-declares-democracy/

The Knesset officially declares that Israeli democracy is for Jews only

In a rare act, the Presidency of the Knesset (a ten-member group representing most parties) last week disqualified a bill moved by Israeli Palestinian parliamentarians from coming to a debate or vote. The bill in question was named “Basic Law: Israel [is a] State of All Its Citizens.”

As the names hints, the bill would have declared that Israel belongs not to its Jews but to all its residents. The Knesset Presidency decided the bill was too dangerous to come to a vote.

The bill was put forward by the Joint List, a mega-party composed of three Israeli-Palestinian parties, forced to run together because the Zionist majority hiked the percentage of votes needed for a seat in the Knesset to 4%, which none of the parties would pass on its own, in an explicit attempt to ban them.

The chances of the bill passing even a preliminary reading was slim: similar to the chance that a baked pig, an apple in its mouth, would spread its wings and fly. The following parties supported the Presidency decision: Likud, Labor, Yesh Atid, Kulanu, Israel Beteinu and Torah Judaism. A member of another party, Betzalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home (Naftali Bennett’s party), abstained, saying that even though he thought the decision was justified, he did not think the Presidency had the authority to disqualify a bill.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-taliban/afghanistan-eid-car-bomb-claimed-by-islamic-state-kills-26-idUSKBN1JC044

Afghanistan Eid car bomb, claimed by Islamic State, kills 26

KABUL (Reuters) - A car bomb killed at least 26 people at a gathering of Taliban and Afghan armed forces in the eastern city of Nangarhar on Saturday, an official said, as soldiers and militants celebrated an unprecedented Eid ceasefire.

 

Islamic State claimed responsibility. The group’s Amaq news agency said the target was “a gathering of Afghan forces” but gave no details. The Taliban had already denied involvement.

Dozens of unarmed Taliban militants had earlier entered the Afghan capital and other cities to celebrate the end of the Ramadan fasting season. Soldiers and militants exchanged hugs and took selfies on their smartphones.

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https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1207/no-such-thing-as-socialist-zionism/

No such thing as socialist Zionism

The historic contradictions of the Zionist left are being played out in the death throes of Meretz, writes Tony Greenstein

Gideon Levy is one of the few, lonely voices of sanity in an Israel that has veered towards the lunatic far right. In a recent article Levy describes the terminal decline of the Zionist left, as represented by Meretz, the Civil Rights Party.1Also worth reading is Ron Cahlili’s article, ‘Meretz, Israel’s ‘Zionist left’ party, is finished’.2

In a 2012 interview with Arutz Sheva, the settlers’ radio station, the leader of the Israeli Labor Party (ILP) at the time, Shelly Yachimovich, complained that calling the ILP a leftwing party was “a historical injustice”.On the contrary, “Labor has always drawn its power from being a centrist party.”3

I agree. It would indeed be an injustice to pretend that the ILP has ever been leftwing. Indeed it is a wicked calumny. Only fools or liars, such as Emily Thornberry, would ever subscribe to such nonsense (I cannot decide which she is, though I tend to the latter).

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