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Washington Post Op-Ed: 100,000 children in Aleppo may die in the next 20 days

Posted by Tip Staff - November 17, 2016


More than 250,000 Syrians – including 100,000 children – will face death in three weeks, according to a Washington Post opinion piece published Thursday. They are trapped in besieged eastern Aleppo with limited access to food, clean water, and medical supplies. Food and medicine is expected to run out in 20 days or sooner.
“These children cannot eat or sleep without incapacitating fear,” say the writers, one of whom heads the aid organization White Helmets. “Every day, they experience unparalleled levels of trauma and anxiety, making them an especially vulnerable group with only 29 doctors remaining to care for them and their families.”
Eight hospitals were bombed in the past week, the New York Times reported Wednesday. Airstrikes on Wednesday damaged two hospitals in Aleppo – including one specialized for children. Starvation also remains a grave concern.


Human rights groups are blasting Iran for broadcasting videos of “apparently coerced confessions” of Sunni prisoners who were recently hanged during “one of the largest mass executions” in Iran’s history, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The videos, shown on state-controlled websites and television since the August 2nd executions of at least 20 prisoners from Iran’s Kurdish region, feature the condemned men confessing to membership in a Sunni extremist group and saying that they “would have committed atrocities worse than IS if we had not been stopped,” according to a report by Amnesty International. The prisoners, who also confessed to crimes that took place after they were in custody, are seen calling themselves “‘terrorists’ and ‘heinous criminals’ who deserve their punishment.”
Their confessions were interspersed with clips of unrelated attacks by Islamic State jihadists and accompanied with ominous screen titles including “In the Devil’s Hands” and “In the Depth of Darkness,” Amnesty wrote.
“By parading death row prisoners on national TV, the authorities are blatantly attempting to convince the public of their ‘guilt,’ but they cannot mask the disturbing truth that the executed men were convicted of vague and broadly defined offenses and sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials,” said Philip Luther, who serves as Amnesty’s research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, concurred in an e-mail to the Times. “It seems Iran has joined the region’s propaganda industry, producing slick videos featuring the apparently forced confessions of men they later executed as ‘terrorists,’ bizarrely interspersed with scary videos of Islamic State attacks they had nothing to do with,” she wrote.
Since its 1979 Islamic revolution, “Iran has been among the world’s leaders in administering the death penalty,” the Times observed. The death penalty is imposed not only for capital crimes including murder, but also for drug offenses and the ill-defined crime of “enmity against God.”


Kosovo police announced on Thursday the arrest of 19 suspects for their involvement in an Islamic State plot to attack the Israeli national soccer team, the Associated Press reported.
Albanian security forces revealed last week that they had thwarted an attack on a World Cup qualifying match between Israel and Albania on November 12. The terror threat prompted officials to move the site of the game from the city of Shkodër to Elbasan, which is closer to Albania’s capital. Security was tripled for the Israeli team, which ultimately defeated Albania 3 – 0.
Kosovar authorities said that the suspects, one of whom has been released, reported to the self-described “commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq,” Lavdrim Muhaxheri. Weapons, explosives, electronic tools, and a drone were retrieved from the terror cell.
The plot included a series of synchronized “terrorist attacks in Kosovo and also [an attack] against the Israeli football team and their fans during the Albania-Israel match,” Kosovo police told Reuters. Six suspects were also detained in both Albania and Macedonia.
Most of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority is Muslim and largely secular. The nation, which unilaterally declared independence in 2008, has however struggled with Islamic extremism. Over 300 Kosovars are known to have fought alongside ISIS in Syria, at least 50 of whom have been killed. Police have also investigated or detained over 200 suspects in recent years for involvement with ISIS.
In July, Kosovar authorities arrested an Iranian cleric on charges of terror financing and money laundering. The move was part of a broader crackdown on foreign-funded Islamic organizations operating within Kosovo, which the government said are radicalizing youths.


Put 15 painters in an apartment with a breathtaking vista of the Old City of Jerusalem and you get the promise of an extraordinary third annual Jerusalem Biennale, set to take place October 1 through November 16thnext year, 2017. This was one of several events planned to create a buzz for the biennale. “I invited 15 artists to see the view and create something related to this experience,” explained Jerusalem Biennale Founder Rami Ozeri, speaking at an invitation-only kickoff party on October 13 in the penthouse of a new luxury building, Boutique HaNevi’im, which offered the artists a seventh-floor panoramic perspective for inspiration. (via Israel21c)

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