Minor Palestinian riots erupt in West Bank
Palestinians continued to clash with security forces in multiple low-level incidents across the West Bank on Tuesday, during which a soldier was lightly injured. Separately, a settler was injured when a rock was thrown at him as he worked in a field outside the Kiryat Arba settlement. An Israeli was also injured by a rock in the area of the Mevo Dotan settlement. Security sources have continued to explain that the upsurge in violence cannot be characterized as a third intifada.
Shlomo Vaknin, in charge of security for the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, concurred with that assessment. But, he said, there is no question that there has been an increase in the number of low-level incidents, which continue to spread beyond areas that have been the traditional flashpoints for violence in the last few years. “The area of unrest in widening,” he said.
“The amount of stones and Molotov cocktails are greater, and in the long term, this is a dangerous thing on its own,” Vaknin said. On Tuesday, some 70 Palestinians threw rocks at soldiers at the village of Jalama, in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. Soldiers responded with riot dispersal means. In Beitunya, a group of 50 Palestinians threw rocks, as other Palestinians threw a Molotov cocktail near Abatot Junction, in the northern West Bank, damaging an Israeli vehicle. In Hebron, 100 Palestinians clashed with soldiers. Rocks were thrown at the IDF in the area of Machsom Hashoter, and the IDF used riot dispersal means to end the violent disturbance. Rocks were also thrown at the IDF in the area of the Cave of the Patriarchs.
The IDF registered a small disturbance at Beit Hagai, consisting of 15 rioters. In Kalkilya, 30 Palestinians threw stones. Near the village of al-Fawar, in the Mount Hebron area, a soldier was lightly injured by a rock and hospitalized for treatment. Palestinians and security forces also clashed across the West Bank on Monday, in the wake of the funeral for Arafat Jaradat, 30, who died in the Megiddo jail on Saturday.
Israel has claimed he had a heart attack, while Palestinians charge he was tortured. In Bethlehem on Monday, two Palestinian teens, 13 and 16, were injured by security forces in an incident in which Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails at a guard tower by Rachel’s Tomb. Mohammed El-Kord, 13, was shot in the stomach and leg by a .22-caliber bullet, and is serious condition at a hospital in Beit Jala. The 16-year- old teen was shot in the head by a rubber bullet, and is in serious condition at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
Protest clashes wound 14 in Mansoura
Fighting between protesters and security forces has injured at least 14 people, including five police, in Mansoura in the Daqahliya Governorate. Central Security Forces fired tear gas in response to the Molotovs and stones hurled by protesters, who also set tires on fire in the middle of Suez Canal Street. Several protesters and passers-by near the city’s old security building suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. Security also arrested protester Wessam al-Shahat inside a Mansoura hospital, where he had accompanied one of the injured. Dozens of protesters had withdrawn from the Thawra Square earlier on Wednesday, adn several women also protested against the injury of a female demonstrator amid stone-throwing.
Confrontations erupted Monday between government supporters and opponents outside the governorate office, which protesters had attempted to close as part of a civil disobedience campaign against President Mohamed Morsy. Several provinces have witnessed violence between security forces and demonstrators since 25 January, when opposition groups marked the second anniversary of the 2011 revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, with areas in the Nile Delta and along the Suez Canal being particular hotbeds of unrest.
Rocket launcher believed to be Provisional IRA weapon
A rocket launcher and an accompanying warhead found in west Belfast is believed to be a Provisional IRA weapon that was not decommissioned. Recovering it has saved lives, said the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Police found the Russian-made RPG7 launcher in an unoccupied house in Hawthorn Street. Large quantities of the weapons were brought into Northern Ireland by the Provisional IRA from Libya during the Gaddafi regime. The new find was made by police investigating dissident republican activity. The item has been taken away for examination. Homes were evacuated following the discovery on Tuesday evening.
A PSNI spokesman said: “This is a significant seizure in that it shows the continuing intent of dissident terrorists to inflict death and serious injury. “It also displays the callous disregard these small groups have for the lives of those in local communities, given where it was stored and its potential to injure or kill anyone in the vicinity of where it would have been fired. “These weapons systems are clearly intended to kill and we should be in no doubt that the recovery of these items has saved lives.”
West Belfast MP Sinn Fein’s Paul Maskey said it was a “very worrying development”. “This community welcomes the fact this weapon is now off the streets,” he said. ‘Shocked’ “[I have] no idea where it comes from, who had it. Obviously some form of dissident republicans have brought this into the area. “Some people are stuck in the past and don’t want to come out of it.” He said local people wanted the dissidents to come forward and explain why they have such weapons and why they are attacking the PSNI.
SDLP councillor Colin Keenan, who lives in Hawthorn Street, said local people were “shocked” that such weapons had been found in their area. Mr Keenan said up to 10 houses had been evacuated and residents were given shelter in a nearby parish hall during the operation which began at about 20:00 GMT on Tuesday. The residents were later allowed to return to their homes. Earlier this month rocket launchers were intercepted in County Tipperary. Irish police seized four rocket launchers and explosives believed to be en route to Northern Ireland. Two men have already appeared before the Special Criminal Court in Dublin in connection with that find.
Land Protest Leaves One Dead, Dozens Injured
One policeman is dead and dozens of police and protesters were injured following clashes that broke out on Tuesday over efforts to end a demonstration by farmers demanding the return of confiscated farmland. According to local officials in Maubin Township, Irrawaddy Division, 27 police and 15 farmers were injured in the melee that erupted after police moved in to break up the protest at around 6 pm on Tuesday. Ye Kyaw Thu, a policeman who was seriously injured when the protest turned violent, died at a hospital in Rangoon on Wednesday morning. 01 The protests began last Thursday, when several hundred farmers gathered near an artificial fishpond on 550 acres of land in the village of Palaung in Maubin Township.
The farmers say the land was confiscated from them by Burma’s former military junta in 1996 and sold to a company owned by a businessman named Myint Sein in 2004. According to local sources, regional authorities held a meeting concerning the protest on Tuesday afternoon, after which they declared a curfew and ordered the protesters to disperse. They reportedly said that anyone who did not leave the area by 2 pm would be shot. However, no action was taken until shortly after 6 pm, when police moved into the crowd.
According to Soe Hlaing, a Maubin resident who took part in the talks between the authorities and the farmers, the protesters were the first to lash out. One of the protesters contradicted this claim, however, saying that the police started hitting a woman when they were in the middle of the crowd, provoking the others to fight back. Despite the outbreak of violence, around 180 farmers resumed their protest on Wednesday.
According to Maung Maung Soe, one of the protesters, around 200 riot police have taken up position in the area. Aye Thaung, a local administrator, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that the security forces had been deployed to maintain security. “As long as we are not attacked, we will not do anything,” he said, adding that no further negotiations were planned.
The police crackdown on the protesters came as a Farmers’ Conference was being held in Rangoon from Feb 25-26. More than 150 farmers’ representatives from across the country participated in the event. Land protests have taken place in many parts of Burma since the former military regime handed over power to a quasi-civilian government two years ago. Land ownership problems plague many farmers, because under current laws, they rarely have actual ownership of their farmlands, even if their families have used them for generations.
Last July, Burma’s Parliament formed a commission to investigate cases of land grabbing. The commission has since received numerous complaints relating to land confiscation that took place under the former regime. According to a report by the state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar on Wednesday, the government’s Settlement and Land Records Department plans to initiate a farmland ownership registry that will give farmers legal ownership of ancestral lands.
Skirmishes mark 3rd day of protests by ‘Pablo’ survivors in Davao City
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Pockets of violence marred the third day of protests by thousands of Typhoon “Pablo” survivors who have been camping outside the Department of Social Welfare and Development compound here. Two protesters were arrested following a riot with policemen outside the agency’s office on Wednesday morning. The scuffle started when protesters blocked a police vehicle not knowing it was just bringing in food for police forces.
A policeman was wounded in the brief rampage. Also on Tuesday morning, protesters confiscated a 39mm handgun from a policeman in civilian clothes who “blended” with the crowd. The gun was immediately turned over to a uniformed police. Senior Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, the city police chief, admitted that he deployed the undercover policeman. The protesters, lashing at the DSWD’s alleged inept delivery of relief and rehabilitation services in areas devastated by Typhoon Pablo, started occupying the area outside the agency’s regional office on Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday morning, the protesters knocked down the agency’s gates and carted away sacks of rice and boxes of relief goods. In the afternoon, however, the police forcibly confiscated the goods, again resulting in a brief riot and leaving several protesters and policemen injured. Karlos Trangia, Barug Katawhan spokesperson, explained that the residents were only claiming what was rightfully theirs. “These relief items were allocated for us. Why is the government depriving us of these items?” Trangia said. Trangia added that they were also demanding the immediate release of 10,000 sacks committed by Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman in the January 15 roadblock in Montevista town.
The DSWD, however, is firm in its position that it would not release the rice until the residents comply with the requirements mandated by government protocols. OIC DSWD Regional Director Priscilla Razon said Barug Katawhan failed to provide a master list of the recipients.
But Barug Katawhan said the residents feared that the list might be used against them after eight of their leaders were charged in court for joining the roadblock. “Our intent in requiring them to provide their list is to counter-check it with our lists. This is to clarify their allegations that some families are not receiving relief goods or are not included in the list,” Razon said.
“If there are really families not listed in our system then we will include them,” Razon added. Trangia said DSWD was only passing on its responsibility to the people. “What we are offering is that everyone will sign once they receive the goods in their villages. It will be transparent and DSWD has nothing to worry about these goods getting to people who are not recipients,” Trangia said. Meanwhile, donations of relief goods poured in. As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, a total of 220 sacks of rice, sent by anonymous donors, arrived in the barricade site. Bread was also donated. On Wednesday morning, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio gave Dela Rosa the authority to disperse the protesters.
“I gave Dela Rosa full authority to disperse the rally at all cost as soon as possible today,” Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview. “I ordered Dela Rosa to arrest the protesters in case they resist or create violence in the course of the dispersal,” she added. The city government has also sent buses to ferry the protesters to their places of origin. Despite the threats of dispersal, the protesters said they would hold their line. As of 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Barug Katawhan leaders and DSWD officials were still negotiating inside the agency’s office.
Protest against India-EU FTA
Imphal, February 26 2013: A one day public consultation cum protest rally against the proposed India EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was held on Feb 24 at Maram Khullen, Senapati district, Manipur. The event was organized by Maria Bianchi Social Care Ministry, Senapati in collaboration with Maram Khullen Women Society. More than a hundred people participated in the said protest.
Banner and placards reading “No to lndia-EU FTA” “People have Self-determination Over Land and Resources and Its Management,” “No to Mega Dams,” “Stop Tipairnukh Dam,” “Stop Petroleum Exploration in Manipur,’ “Go Back NHPC,” “Go Back Jubilant Oil and Gas Pvt Ltd,” “Revoke MoU on Tipaimukh Dam,” “Cancel Petroleum Exploration Licences,” “We Want Justice, Equity and Rights Not Exploitation and Profit,” “Free Trade is Not Fair Trade,” “FTAs: Don’t Trade Away Our Freedom,” “FTAs: Don’t Trade Away our Human Rights,” ” Free Trade is A Deadly Exploitation of the Poor” etc were displayed during the demonstration.
The demonstrators also called upon the Government of India not to sign the FTA with European Union unless the matter is discussed and debated in the Parliament and state assemblies. It also urged for free, fair and prior informed consent of the peoples in all cases before initiating any investment and the Government of India should respect and recognize indigenous peoples’ rights over their land and resources in India’s North East and also to respect and recognize their self determined development processes in the region. It further demanded implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 and recommendations of all UN human rights bodies in all development processes affecting land and resources.