Connect with us

Trending

Trump launches new ‘communications’ platform

Published

on

Trump launches new ‘communications’ platform



The former president releases new website after social media ban earlier this year.



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trending

Why East Jerusalem has become a flashpoint in the decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict

Published

on

Why East Jerusalem has become a flashpoint in the decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict



Weeks of tensions between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem have boiled over in recent days, unleashing some of the worst violence between Israel and the Palestinians in years.

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have left 30 Palestinians dead, including ten children, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising not to ease up anytime soon. Palestinians militants, meanwhile, have launched hundreds of missiles into Israel, killing three people.

Ostensibly, the rocket launches by Hamas were a response to Israeli police storming the al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem on Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, one of the holiest nights of the year for Muslims. The incident injured hundreds over the weekend.

Hamas then issued an ultimatum demanding Israeli forces withdraw from the compound – the third holiest site in Islam, part of which comprises the Wailing Wall – by a specific deadline. When Israel refused, Hamas’s military wing followed through on its threat by firing rockets toward Jerusalem, forcing Israeli lawmakers to flee parliament.

Jerusalem divided

Beyond the mosque confrontation, though, there are broader historical and political factors at work.

Monday’s airstrikes fell on Jerusalem Day, when Israeli Jews celebrate the “reunification” of Jerusalem following the Six-Day War of 1967. As the ongoing unrest demonstrates, the city is far from unified.

Adding to the tensions, thousands of Jewish ultra-nationalists had planned to march through Palestinian-dominated East Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day as a demonstration of Jewish sovereignty over the entire city.

Israeli police changed the route at the last moment, partly due to the increasingly violent clashes between security forces and Palestinian demonstrators during Ramadan.

There were also concerns of unrest if the Israeli Supreme Court handed down its decision on whether four Palestinian families should be evicted from their homes in the Shiekh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, to be replaced by Jewish settlers. This is the culmination of a decades-long legal battle dismissed as “a real estate dispute” by Israeli officials.

This case is emblematic of the systematic appropriation of Palestinian homes and land in East Jerusalem since 1967. The seizure of Palestinian property is so common here, an Israeli settler was captured on video recently telling a Palestinian, “If I do not steal your home, someone else will steal it.”

The recent evictions in Shiekh Jarrah have been described by Hamas officials – and Palestinian supporters elsewhere – as a form of ethnic cleansing.

The Biden administration has also said it is “deeply concerned” about the potential evictions while urging leaders across the spectrum to “denounce all violent acts”.

Decades of dispossession

Israeli settlement building and expansion, especially in and around East Jerusalem, is a deliberate strategy. This is not only being done to appropriate Palestinian land, but to alter the demographics of the area and prevent the establishment of a sovereign Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel exclusively claims Jerusalem – home of the ancient Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism – as its eternal undivided capital.

The dispossession of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank is not new. Indeed, the expulsion of Palestinians in the areas now largely recognised as the official borders of the self-defined Jewish state of Israel was required to establish a Jewish majority.

On May 14, 1948, Zionist leaders unilaterally declared the independence of the state of Israel, sparking the first Arab-Israeli War. During the war, over 400 Palestinian villages and towns were depopulated and obliterated to make way for modern Jewish towns and cities.

This Saturday marks al-Nakba, or the “Catastrophe”, for Palestinians. It is the day of mourning for the loss of historical Palestine and the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their ancestral homeland.

This process has continued throughout East Jerusalem and the West Bank since their occupation in 1967. There are now more than 5 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UN, nearly a third of whom live in refugee camps.

The plight of Palestinian refugees remains a particularly contentious issue for the two sides. A UN General Assembly resolution in 1948 asserted the right of refugees to return to the areas captured by Israel in 1948-’49.

And in 1967, a UN Security Council resolution demanded Israeli forces withdraw from territories captured during the Six-Day War.

International law

The Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and its ongoing settler activities in the West Bank contravene international humanitarian law. They are also not recognised by the vast majority of the international community, with the notable exception of the United States under the Trump administration.

Yet, Palestinian dispossession continues today with over 600,000 Israeli settlers now living across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The continued Israeli occupation of these territories, coupled with the appropriation of Palestinian land, are among the primary causes of conflict between the two sides.

But there are also domestic political factors at play. Hamas is a militant group, which is also responsible for administering the Gaza Strip. Its legitimacy largely rests on its resistance credentials, which means the movement routinely feels obligated to demonstrate its capacity to confront perceived Israeli aggression.

This is in stark contrast to the inaction of the Hamas’ rival party, Fatah, and its leader, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has remained largely silent in recent weeks despite the loss of Palestinian lives.

Israel’s political system is also in crisis, with no party able to form a stable government after four inconclusive elections in the past two years (and now a fifth potentially in the offing).

With the government in flux, pro-settler parties – namely Naftali Bennett’s New Right Party – have become the kingmakers in the Knesset. Any aspiring government will likely need their backing to form a majority, which requires the support of pro-settler policies.

With all of this in mind, we can expect more violence, regardless of who eventually wins power in Israel. Unless the international community – in particular, the Biden administration – intervenes to find a meaningful solution to the conflict.

Tristan Dunning is a Sessional Lecturer at The University of Queensland and Martin Kear is Sessional Lecturer Dept Govt & Int Rel at the University of Sydney.

This article first appeared on The Conversation.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Could Have Saved Many Lives With Door-To-Door Covid Vaccination: High Court

Published

on

Could Have Saved Many Lives With Door-To-Door Covid Vaccination: High Court


Could Have Saved Many Lives With Door-To-Door Covid Vaccination: High Court

High Court directed the Centre to file an affidavit by May 19, when it would hear the matter further

Mumbai:

The Bombay High Court today said if the Union government had started door-to-door vaccination programme for senior citizens a few months back, then lives of many of them, including prominent persons, could have been saved.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni asked the Union government why not pro- actively start this programme when the lives of senior citizens, who are unable to go to vaccination centres to get inoculated, are concerned.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by two lawyers Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari seeking door-to-door vaccination facility for senior citizens above the age of 75, specially-abled persons and those who are bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound.

The court reiterated its earlier order of April 22 in which it asked the Union government to re-look at its decision to not initiate a door-to-door vaccination programme.

“It has been three weeks and the government (Union) is yet to inform us of its decision. The government should have taken a decision one way or the other,” the court said.

It directed the Union government to file an affidavit by May 19, when it would hear the matter further.

The court noted that many foreign countries have already started door-to-door vaccination facilities.

“In India, we do many things late and things travel to our country very slowly,” Justice Kulkarni said.

Why not start this (door-to-door vaccination) pro- actively when the lives of senior citizens are concerned? the court asked.

“Speaking off the cuff, if we had a door-to-door vaccination programme sometime back, then so many of our senior citizens, including prominent members of society from various walks of life, who have lost their lives to COVID-19, could have been saved,” Justice Kulkarni said.

The court further said it had seen photographs of senior citizens and many wheelchair-bound persons waiting outside vaccination centres in long queues.

“This was very heart-rending and not a good sight.

They must be already suffering from so many ailments and now they face the risk of being infected with COVID-19 also (while) waiting in such crowds,” the bench said.

The court noted that senior judges of the HC had a meeting with Birhanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Chahal on Tuesday where he said the civic body was planning to start ward-wise vaccination camps from next week, which would have the capacity to inoculate 70,000 people per day.

“If such camps are starting, then maybe senior citizens and people who cannot step out of their homes can be identified and the staff can go to their homes and vaccinate them,” Chief Justice Datta suggested.

The bench directed the BMC to file an affidavit stating details of the same and by when it would begin and what steps the corporation plans to take for the next few days with regard to the vaccination programme.

The court noted that the availability of vaccines was also a problem.

To this, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the court that the Covishield vaccine would be made available in a few days.

The court also sought to know from the civic body about what measures it plans to take for the vaccination of homeless people, beggars and those living on streets.

“They are also a significant population and are spreaders of the coronavirus, the high court said.
 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Coronavirus: Maharashtra Cabinet recommends extending lockdown by two weeks

Published

on

Coronavirus: Maharashtra Cabinet recommends extending lockdown by two weeks



The Maharashtra Cabinet has recommended that the lockdown enforced in the state be extended by two weeks in view of the coronavirus situation, reported the Hindustan Times. The state has already extended the shutdown once, and the current restrictions will end at 7 am on May 15.

“At the Cabinet meeting, the health department and ministers proposed to extend the lockdown for 15 days,” state health minister Rajesh Tope told reporters. “The chief minister [Uddhav Thackeray] will take a final decision on this matter.”

As per the current rules, only those who provide essential services are allowed to travel in public transport. Government offices are working at 15% capacity, while marriage ceremonies have been restricted to 25 persons.

Authorities said they were not considering to impose other localised restrictions in districts that are reporting higher cases, according to reports. “Nearly 12 districts are showing a decline in cases, but that is just one-third of the state, the remaining two-thirds is either stable or is reporting an increase,” an unidentified official told Mumbai Mirror. “Opening up would lead to a surge again.”

Maharashtra has so far been the state worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak, contributing about a quarter of the country’s total 2,33,40,938 infections. On Wednesday, the state recorded 46,781 new Covid-19 cases, 58,805 recoveries and 816 deaths in 24 hours. The total number of cases stood at 52,26,710, including 5,46,129 active cases, and 78,007 fatalities and 46,00,196 recoveries.

The surge in infections has coincided with a dramatic drop in vaccinations in the state because of supply problems. On Tuesday, Tope had announced that Maharashtra suspended the vaccination drive for 18 to 45-year-olds for the time being, due to shortage of vaccines. On Wednesday, Mumbai’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council, also tweeted that it had stopped the vaccination drive for this age group.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending