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5 Palestinians Attack Israel Defense Forces, Civilian With Kitchen Knives, Officials Say

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5 Palestinians Attack Israel Defense Forces, Civilian With Kitchen Knives, Officials Say
Israeli authorities reported five knife attacks Saturday, all of them at the hands of Palestinians, as the spate of violence afflicting the two sides continued into the weekend.
According to Israeli Defense Forces, three of the attacks occurred in Hebron, one in Jerusalem and one in Qalandia. None of them were fatal, at least for the person stabbed; IDF said the Palestinian assailants in four of the five incidents were shot and killed.But the official Palestinian version of events doesn’t always match the account given by Israeli authorities.

Saturday’s incidents, as reported by both sides:

Hebron

Three of Saturday’s stabbings occurred in the West Bank city of Hebron.

In the first, a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli pedestrian, but according to the Israel Defense Forces, the armed civilian shot the assailant dead.

WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, reported the incident as a shooting death of a Palestinian teenager, it did not mention a knife.

According to WAFA, 18-year-old Fadhil Qawasmi was killed by a Jewish settler as he walked down the street. The settler pursued and harassed Qawasmi before shooting him dead as the teen tried to walk away, the news agency said.

Qawasmi was shot four times and “left to die by Israeli soldiers who prevented paramedics from administering medical assistance to him,” according to WAFA.

In a second incident in Hebron, a Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli border policewoman at the Ashmoret Yitzhak Border Police base, according to Israeli police. The border policewoman shot and killed the suspect. The officer was lightly wounded.

WAFA reported on this incident too, including allegations the woman carried out a stabbing, but the Palestinian news agency also included this caveat: “To be noted, Israeli police and army forces often resort to fatally shooting Palestinians — who are involved in alleged attacks against Israelis — while making no effort to apprehend them.”

In a third Hebron attack, a Palestinian assailant stabbed an Israeli soldier, leaving him with “moderate penetration wounds (in) his upper torso,” according to Magen David Adom, Israel’s national EMS agency. Both Magen David Adom and IDF said that the attacker, identified by the Israel Security Agency as 16-year-old Tareq Ziad Naaman Natshe, was shot and taken along with the soldier to a Jerusalem hospital. Natshe’s condition was unknown Saturday.

CNN has seen no reports of this incident from Palestinian sources.

Jerusalem

In the incident that unfolded in Jerusalem, which was the second of the five to occur, Israeli border police officers approached a Palestinian man in the city’s Armon Hanatsiv neighborhood to conduct a check when the man pulled a knife and tried to them, according to Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

Samri said “the policemen fired and neutralized” the suspect. Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency services said that the Palestinian man died of his injuries.

WAFA, however, casts the incident in a different light.

It reports 16-year-old Mutez Awaysat was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers at short range, and quickly cordoned off the area to prevent journalists from the scene in “the illegal Israeli settlement.”

Qalandia

The fifth stabbing on Saturday occurred at a border checkpoint in Qalandia. According to IDF, an assailant attempted to stab a policeman but the knife did not penetrate the officer’s flak jacket, prompting the officer to fire upon and wound his assailant. When an Israeli solider then inspected the suspect, he pulled out a second knife out and tried to stab him, but was shot and killed before he could inflict any damage, IDF said.

Deadly clashes

Seven Israelis have been killed since October 1 in attacks by Palestinians with knives, guns and cars, according to Israeli officials.

Distinct from that, protesters have also rioted in Palestinian territories, many throwing rocks, and at times Israeli security forces have used live ammunition.

Five Palestinians were killed Friday in clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

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They and four deaths Saturday are among 44 Palestinians killed this month in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank, health ministry spokesman Osama al-Najjar told CNN. This figure includes those killed after carrying out attacks.

This is in addition to the more than 1,770 injured by live fire or rubber bullets in the same time period, according to al-Najjar.

Both sides have traded blame about who is responsible for the ongoing violence. Both sides have turned up gruesome video recordings to support their claims.

Attacks not believed to be organized

The recent knife attacks have confounded Israeli authorities. They have spent millions to prevent suicide bombings with high concrete barriers and to stop rockets from Gaza with the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

But a knife is easy to obtain and carry into a crowd. Israeli authorities so far don’t believe the attacks are the result of any campaign of violence organized by militant groups.

Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, has praised the attacks but not claimed responsibility for them.

It’s often young Palestinians who may be acting out alone or recruited or at least encouraged via social media, Israeli authorities have said.

Civilians arming themselves

In this atmosphere of fear, many Israelis are changing the routes of their commutes, and many who have handgun permits are carrying weapons. Others are applying for permits.

The Israeli government has even called for them to do so.

In recent days, Israeli security forces have swiftly shot dead two Palestinian teenagers who attacked with knives. Abbas, the Palestinian President, accused Israel of committing what he called “extrajudicial executions.”

A coalition of human rights organizations — including Amnesty International and the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories — has said police and soldiers are “too quick to shoot to kill” and criticized calls for civilians to carry weapons.

Clashes at holy site

Palestinian resentments are hardly new, but Israelis and Palestinians have had better relations at times.

Those have since been buried by the second intifada, in which organized deadly attacks targeted Israelis from 2000 to 2005, and three wars in Gaza that killed thousands of Palestinians.

Recent developments have made things worse.

Hardline Jewish activists have begun demanding greater access to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, in Jerusalem’s Old City, and right-wing politicians have called for the rights of Jews to pray there. Known as Haram Al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims, it’s also one of the holiest sites in Islam.

The Palestinian representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, has accused Israeli security forces of escorting Jewish hardliners onto the Temple Mount and into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Clashes at the site have become common.

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International

Syria al-Qaeda Leader Attacked, Unsure of His Survival

An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

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An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

Syrian opposition forces, the Local Co-ordination Committees, posted a photo of the car which was targeted for the attack, as stated by them.

Car with roof shattered is shown in photo taken from Syrian opposition activists

The car, in the town of al-Mastuma, was targeted by “international coalition aircraft”, the group said.

Additionally, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an al-Qaeda official was killed in a strike, but did not confirm it was Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.

The Egyptian, whose real name is Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, was reportedly released from custody by Iran in 2015 as part of a prisoner swap.

Last year, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was reported to have given his blessing to a decision by al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, to cut formal ties with the global jihadist network.

The Syrian jihadist with ties broken with al-Qaeda had renamed its name to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, as reported by CNN.

According to Ahmad Hasan Abu al Khayr al-Masri, al-Qaeda has embraced the split. The man Masri would replace as an upranking to No. 2 of the leadership position in the terror group, is al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri expressed his opinion on the split in a supportive manner and called for infighting between jihadist groups to end.

Although Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was no longer linked to an external entity, the U.S. still kept it on its list of foreign terrorist groups and continued to target air strikes.

Therefore, in January, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham dissolved itself and formed an alliance with four smaller Syrian jihadist groups called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The move seemed to deem an attempt by the group to distance itself from al-Qaeda.

Tahrir al-Sham as since then fought rebel groups for control of the Idlib province in Syria, implying that it was them who had instigated suicide bombs on Saturday against the military in the government-controlled city of Homs.

Although the death of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri is uncertain, the Guardian has stated that he has been killed based off of what jihadists are stating.

The immediate circumstances of Masri’s death were unclear. Video online showed a tan four-door Kia sedan destroyed at a roadside with a large hole in its canopy but its windscreen mostly intact. The location of the attack was unusually far west for a US drone strike.

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International

Honor Killings are Never Justifiable, Not Ever or Anywhere!

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I have decided to shed some light on some insights about honor killings, amidst one that occurred in my parents’ home country, Pakistan, yesterday. An upcoming supermodel by the name of Qandeel Baloch was killed by her brother in Multan, Paksitan while her parents were in their bedroom, asleep. The model was allegedly there to visit family or for other reasons. The brother who strangled her to death, reportedly after he drugged her, was interviewed and showed no remorse for his wrongdoing. Of course, what he did is inexcusable in all ways and is unsurpassable as a violation and a wrongdoing!

Baloch’s brother, who took her life, was embarrassed by his sister’s career as a supermodel and was aghast at her actions in this profession. This, however, can never justify the fact that he felt he had to end her life. Not only in this culture, mostly and especially in Pakistan’s rural areas, is this prevalent. It happens in other areas of the world and this is not attributable to Pakistanis or any type of Muslim or the religion itself, Islam. Anyway, surely you can recall the incident that was reported on television a few years ago. A man killed his daughter by running her over with a car, as well as her attempts to kill her boyfriend and his mother. He killed her because she had a boyfriend.

Oppressing women is not taught in any culture or religion, and is inexcusable in any way. A woman has the right to live however she pleases, at least I genuinely believe in this, and she should not have to fear for her life.

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Breaking News

Turkish Military Attempts to Overthrow President

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted to the nation Saturday that his government is in charge following a coup attempt brought a night of explosions, air battles, gunfire and unrest across the capital and left at least 90 dead, 1,154 people wounded and more than 1,000 military personnel detained.

In a press conference at Ataturk Airport, Erdogan said the architects of the coup attempt would “pay a heavy price” and vowed he would “not surrender this country to intruders.”

A senior Turkish official told the Associated Press that 1,563 military personnel have been detained in the coup attempt.

A Turkish lawmaker contacted by Reuters said he and his colleagues were hiding in special shelters in the bowels of the parliament building after at least three explosions near the complex in the capital, Ankara. Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman told the Associated Press a bomb hit one corner of a public relations building inside the parliament complex, injuring some police officers.

Elsewhere, troops also fired in the air to disperse a growing crowd of government supporters at the Taksim monument in Istanbul as military helicopters flew overhead. A nearby mosque made an anti-coup announcement over its loudspeakers.

Erdogan insisted that the coup attempt wouldn’t succeed.

“They have pointed the people’s guns against the people. The president, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge,” he said. “This government brought to power by the people, is in charge. They won’t succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything.”

In his TV address, Erdogan blamed the attack on supporters of Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan has long accused the cleric and his supporters of attempting to overthrow the government. The cleric lives in exile in Pennsylvania and promotes a philosophy that blends a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.

Turkey’s allies, fellow NATO member nations and world leaders swiftly reacted Friday to an attempted coup Friday night, which could spur immense implications, not only in the Middle East, but also in the West.

“The United States views with gravest concern events unfolding in Turkey,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.

He said the State Department was “monitoring a fluid situation,” and “emphasized the United States’ absolute support for Turkey’s democratically-elected, civilian government and democratic institutions.”

The U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens in Turkey to shelter in place during the attempted coup.

President Barack Obama had been briefed on the situation. “The president and secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey, show restraint and avoid any violence or bloodshed,” a White House statement said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrote in a tweet that he spoke with the Turkish foreign minister. “I call for calm, restraint & full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and constitution,” Stoltenberg wrote, without saying what actions, if any, NATO would take. Turkey joined NATO in 1952.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for calm as the world body sought to clarify the situation, said a U.N. spokesman.

“The Secretary-General is closely following developments in Turkey. He is aware of the reports of a coup attempt in the country. The United Nations is seeking to clarify the situation on the ground and appeals for calm,” said spokesman Farhan Haq.

Britain’s government was also monitoring the turmoil. “We are concerned by events unfolding in Ankara and Istanbul. Our Embassy is monitoring the situation closely,” a British foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also said he was “very concerned.”

The foreign minister of Turkey’s neighbor to the east said he was “deeply concerned about the crisis in Turkey.”

“Stability, democracy & safety of Turkish people are paramount. Unity & prudence are imperative,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote in a tweet.

Slovakia, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, said on Saturday it was following the events unfolding in Turkey with serious concern, and was coordinating appropriate reaction with EU partners.

“Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has been in intensive contact all evening with EU high foreign affairs representative Federica Mogherini and other European colleagues,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“He has also been in contact with partners in the Turkish government with the aim to clarify the situation in Turkey and discuss steps that the EU should take with the aim to maintain and support democracy and stability in the country.”

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she was “in constant contact with EU delegation in Ankara and Brussels from Mongolia.” She called for “restraint and respect for democratic institutions.”

The Kremlin said it was gravely concerned. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that President Vladimir Putin was being kept constantly updated on the situation in Turkey.

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