“Hamas will never recognise the Israeli state”

Well, nothing really new in this:

Hamas would consider a “truce” with Israel, but will never recognise the Jewish state, senior leader Ismail Haniya said on Tuesday as thousands of Gazans celebrated the group’s 23rd anniversary.

Speaking before flag-waving Palestinians from across the Gaza Strip, Haniya said the Islamist group would never recognise its sworn enemy.

“Let it be understood far and near that after the war, the siege, the internal and external plots: we will not recognise Israel,” he told the cheering crowds.

“Our founder Sheikh (Ahmad) Yassin said: Liberate what you can of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and where it cannot be liberated, declare a truce,” he said, referring to the group’s spiritual leader who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

Ahead of its anniversary celebrations, Hamas reiterated its aim to recover all of historic Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.

“We will cede none of it, and we will not recognise the so-called state of Israel,” a statement said on Monday, adding that its aim was to make Jerusalem the “capital of the state of Palestine” and pledging to work against Israel’s “methods of Judaisation” in the Holy City.

The strident statements stood in sharp contrast Haniya’s remarks on December 1, when he suggested Hamas could accept a negotiated peace deal if the Palestinian population and diaspora approved it in a referendum.

Hamas “will respect the results of a referendum even if the results conflict with Hamas’s positions,” he told foreign journalists at the time.

“We accept a Palestinian state with full sovereignty on the land occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the issue of refugees.”

Meanwhile, we are sending more money to them through the Palestinian authority, and they are going to be very well off thanks to us.

The European Union continues his anti-Israeli stance and has “threatened” Israel with “recognising the Palestinian state” (which one?) if Israel continues building settlements, inside its borders. Although afterwards it seems that they have thought a little about that and have announced they will “wait for appropriate time” for recognizing it.

Pakistan: Teachers in the crosshairs in Baluchistan

Separatists and Islamic militants in southwest Pakistan are increasingly targeting teachers, college professors and other school officials, stunting development in the poorest corner of the country, an international rights group said Monday.

The Human Rights Watch report on Baluchistan province shows that education in Pakistan is under threat not just in the northwest, where Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants have long harassed teachers and attacked schools, especially those for girls.

Suspected militants murdered at least 22 educators in Baluchistan between January 2008 and October 2010, according to the report. The most prominent killing was that of Shafiq Ahmed, the provincial education minister, who was shot dead in October 2009.

Militant separatists have threatened teachers and school officials to stop teaching Pakistani history, flying the Pakistani flag, and singing of the national anthem. Partly as a result of the threats, bombs or other attacks, government schools in 2009 were open only 120 days — 100 days less than in the rest of the country.

Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest province, covering 44 percent of the country and bordering Afghanistan and Iran. It also is the poorest of Pakistan’s four provinces and the most sparsely populated, with around 8 million people, or just 5 percent of the total population.

via FoxNews.com – Teachers in the crosshairs in southwest Pakistan.

Read it all.

Pakistan: Newspaper faked Wikileaks cables for propaganda war against India

The story was broken by The Guardian’s Declan Walsh, who discovered that none of the purported US assessments could be found on the WikiLeaks database. The Guardian, a British daily which has all the leaked WikiLeaks cables, could find no match for any of the claims made in the Pakistani press.

Now that’s hardly surprising. Whatever you may think about US State Department officials, on reading the WikiLeaked cables, you have to admit, as Roger Cohen put it in his New York Times op-ed, US diplomats write “clear, declarative English sentences”.

So if a US diplomat sends a cable calling a former Indian Army chief an “incompetent combat leader and rather a geek” with a “much far from reality” war doctrine of eliminating China and Pakistan, someone should have smelt a rat.

The stories were apparently generated by the Islamabad-based Online wire agency, that is known for its close links to the Pakistani intelligence services.

The Pakistani mainstream media’s willingness to toe the official military-intelligence line has been much noted, and is a subject worthy of discussion by other people – especially editors of international dailies such as the International Herald Tribune, whose Pakistani affiliate, Express Tribune, published the piece followed by a front-page retraction.

via Faking WikiLeak-ed Cables for Propaganda or How to Beat ‘The Onion’ at Farce | Les blogs.

Read it all.

PS: By the way, Assange has been freed on bail.

Iran: Iranian-born Saeed Malekpour sentenced to death on “Internet offences” charges

Saeed with his wife, back in Canada

An Iranian-born Canadian resident has been sentenced to death after spending two years in an Iranian prison, his supporters have learned. Supporters of Saeed Malekpour say the 35-year-old man has been tortured and forced to confess to “Internet offences” since he was arrested while visiting his ailing Iranian father in 2008.

via Celestial Junk: Behold the Peace of Islam.

Here is the letter he wrote to Iranian Judiciary about the torture he has endured. An excerpt:

While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with their fists, cables, and batons struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck. Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios. Sometimes, they used extremely painful electrical shock that would paralyze me temporarily. Once in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water.

Reat it all. It’s a miracle he is still alive.

More information here (only till Nov 1st, 2010), here.

PS: He is a Permanent Resident of Canada. Correction made.

Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 2 Shiite pilgrims

Another suicide terrorist in Iraq. While the former was against government buildings, this was against Shiite pilgrims.

An Iraqi official says a suicide bomber has killed two Shiite pilgrims north of Baghdad during an important religious ritual for the Muslim sect.Mohammed Maarouf, the mayor of Balad Ruz town in the northern Diyala province, says the bomber detonated an explosives belt during a body check and killed the policeman searching him and a woman standing nearby. Thirteen people were injured, Maarouf said.

More information here.

Sudan: woman flogged savagely on the street

Watched here.

I’m not even considering the causes for this brutality, carried out in the open and without anyone putting a stop on it. I can’t really express how I feel each time I see videos or images of violence carried out against unarmed citizens. We’ll see if the investigation they have promised to do will have any results or not.

Afghanistan: Australian dog declared MIA in Afghanistan returns home


An Australian special forces sniffer dog that went missing for almost 14 months after a battle in Afghanistan has finally returned home to Australia.

Sarbi arrived in Sydney on a flight from Dubai, where she had been in quarantine for the past six months.

She has now been moved to a quarantine facility, where she will undergo further veterinary examinations.

The 10-year-old bitch went missing in September 2008 after her patrol was ambushed in Uruzgan province.

Nine Australian soldiers, including Sarbi’s trainer, were wounded.

After the attack, there was no sign of the dog, and months of searching failed to find her. Sarbi was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

But in late October 2009, the dog was found by a US soldier in the care of a local Afghan man. She appeared to have been well cared for.

via BBC News – Australian dog declared MIA in Afghanistan returns home.

As I always post so depressing stories I thought this one was different. Specially because the man who took care of Sarbi was an Afghan man. That’s shocking,  due to Islam’s take on dogs.