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Israel Escalating Aggression in Syria 


On Sunday, Lebanon’s al-Manar TV said an Israeli drone struck a car in Quneitra province near Golan in southwest Syria, killing two members of the National Defense Forces, allied with Syria’s military.

An IDF spokesperson declined to comment on the incident. Syrian media didn’t report it. Eyewitnesses said Israeli planes breached Syrian airspace in areas bordering both countries.

In January, an Israeli helicopter attack killed an Iranian general and several Hezbollah fighters in Quneitra province, including the son of the group’s late military commander, Jihad Mughniyeh.

Sunday social media reports said senior Hezbollah officer Yasser Assayed was one of the individuals killed when the vehicle he was traveling in was attacked by an Israeli drone.

Separately on Sunday, IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said Israeli forces are monitoring “changes in the Lebanon and Syrian sectors. In Lebanon, Hezbollah continues its efforts to rearm with lethal and more precise weaponry whose purpose is to hit the Israeli home front…”

“The recent declarations from Beirut make it clear that in a future war, the targets will be clear: Lebanon and the organizations operating under its authority and its approval. We are protecting our security interests and acting to prevent weapons transfers to Hezbollah and will make every effort to prevent it in the future as well.”

Fact: Hezbollah poses no threat to Israel or any other country.

Fact: It requires military prepredness to be able to respond effectively to an Israeli attack. Earlier ones occurred in 1967, 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996 and 2006 – besides numerous belligerent incidents.

Israel still illegally occupied Sheba Farms, 14-square miles of water-rich land near Syria’s Golan, seized in 1967 along with Lebanon’s Ghajar village.

For half a century, Israel repeatedly breached Lebanese airspace, launching attacks on its territory and neighboring Syria.

US officials wrongfully call Iran, Syria and Hezbollah the root cause of regional terrorism. America and Israel hold that distinction.

Their provocative actions seem bent on escalating Middle East conflicts. Planned regime change in Syria, if successful, would isolate Iran, leaving it vulnerable to US/Israeli attack.

Both countries seek unchallenged regional dominance, weakening Russia and China if achieved.

Ongoing US-instigated conflicts look likely to continue. Israel attacking Syrian territory twice since Friday is cause for concern.

Are more provocations planned? Trump intends deploying thousands more US combat troops to the region, larger numbers likely earmarked for Syria. Defense Secretary Mattis and Pentagon commanders want a permanent US presence in Iraq.

Instead of cooperating with Russia in combating terrorism, confrontation seems more likely.

Aggrieved Palestinians Denied Compensation

Israel brutalizes Palestinians with impunity, denying them compensation for enormous harm inflicted.

B’Tselem discussed the injustice, its report titled “Getting Off Scot-Free,” saying “Israel guaranteed itself a nearly blanket exemption from the obligation to pay compensation for all this harm.”

“The state does not offer Palestinians harmed by its security forces a genuine opportunity to file for damages in Israeli courts, offering them no more than the illusion of being able to do so.”

Broadening the definition of “warfare activity” made it virtually impossible for aggrieved Palestinians to be compensated for enormous harm they’ve suffered.

Israel gets away with cold-blooded murder, torture, land theft and other high crimes with impunity. Serious violations of international law are ignored.

Apartheid viciousness persists. No redress is possible for serious human and civil rights offenses against Palestinians.

International community silence or refusal to act responsibly lets Israel do whatever it pleases, no matter the human cost.

Israeli law requires compensation for damages resulting from negligence – except during so-called “warfare activity.”

In the aftermath of the early 1990s first intifada, thousands of Palestinian suits were filed in Israeli courts, largely in vain. Cases dragged on for years.

Palestinians awarded compensation had to settle for minuscule amounts, far less than they deserved.

To avoid paying any future compensation, Israel “broaden(ed) the exemption from liability for damage its security forces caused Palestinians…”

Legislative and judicial changes made it virtually impossible for Palestinians to be compensated for harm caused them by security forces.

Israel justified the unjustifiable by claiming immunity from liability for “warfare activity,” saying earlier they paid meritless claims, and maintaining it can’t fact-check Palestinian claims.

In other words, it invented reasons to deny Palestinians compensation they deserve. No amount can make amends for the pain and suffering they endured.

B’Tselem called its arguments “unfounded.” Israeli persecution and wars mostly affect innocent civilians in harm’s way. The state is obligated to pay damages for its lawless acts.

Israel ignores its crimes. When investigations are conducted, they’re whitewashed. “When Israel feels it to be in its best interests, it boasts of having an efficient military law enforcement system with effective investigative abilities for handling cases in which Palestinians were harmed by security forces in the Occupied Territories,” B’Tselem explained.

“Yet, when it finds it expedient, the state argues it cannot carry out this self-same task” – when aggrieved parties are Palestinians.

Israel picks and chooses arguments suiting its own self-interest. It affords itself self-designated occupation rights, avoiding obligations required under international law.

It claims no responsibility for the consequences of its brutality against defenseless Palestinians. Fewer legal claims are being filed against Israel because of the futility of seeking justice.

With rare exceptions, the state is unaccountable for human and civil rights violations against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

“Government officials are shielded from responsibility a priori, with no state body supervising their action,” B’Tselem explained.

Military law enforcement in the Territories, affecting Arabs, not Jews, “functions as a whitewashing mechanism.”

The vast majority of cases against Israeli military or government officials are closed without charges or other actions taken.

Israel’s High Court approves “almost every human rights violation that the state wished to carry out in the Occupied Territories: punitive home demolition, administrative detention, restricting freedom of movement, expelling Palestinians from the West Bank, building the Separation Barrier, imposing a blockade on Gaza, taking over land, removing entire communities from their land, separating families – to name but a few,” B’Tselem explained.

June 2017 marks 50 years of oppressive, illegal Israeli occupation. The state is going all-out to preserve it, wanting Palestinians denied their fundamental rights in perpetuity.

Chances for resolving longstanding conflict are virtually nil.

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About the author: Stephen J. Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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