Some now see the beginnings of a new Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
The election board says delays in opening polling stations and voter registration have pushed back the voting day.Ethiopia has delayed its national election again after some opposition parties said they would not take part and as a conflict in the country’s Tigray region means no vote is being held there, further complicating Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to centralise power.
Birtukan Mideksa, chairperson of The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), “indicated that delays in opening polling stations and voter registration have pushed the voting day”, state news agency Fana reported on Saturday.
Mideksa told Reuters news agency the election would not happen on June 5 as scheduled.
“We will let everybody [know] soon as to how many additional weeks or days to complete the delayed tasks … Wouldn’t be more than three weeks,” she added.
Mideksa cited a plethora of logistical delays, such as finalising voter registration, training electoral staff, printing and distributing ballot papers.
“Practically, it became impossible to deliver all these at the originally slated dates,” she said.
With just weeks to go to the election, there had been few signs of campaigning, and several opposition parties planned to boycott the vote, describing it as a “farce”.
Ethiopians fleeing the ongoing fighting in the Tigray region carry their belongings after crossing the Setit River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border [File: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters]The vote was originally planned for August last year but was postponed for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which was ruling the northern region at the time, had resisted the postponement and held its regional elections in September.
This was a factor that led to the conflict between the TPLF and the central government in Addis Ababa, which has been ongoing since early November.
The fighting in Tigray has killed thousands and led the United States to allege that “ethnic cleansing” against Tigrayans was being carried out in the western part of the region that is home to some six million.
The prime minister, who introduced sweeping political reforms after taking office in 2018 and won the Nobel Peace Prize the following year, has repeatedly promised that this election would be free and fair.
Abiy will keep his post if his Prosperity Party wins a majority of seats in the national assembly.
For much of Canada’s media, the death of an old dog is more newsworthy than the suffering and deaths of imprisoned Palestinians.
That is, in particular, the disgraceful, inescapable indictment of the journalists who populate Canada’s national network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
If the CBC and you doubt this, remember these facts.
On April 27, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the cautious darling of the Western press, published a 213-page report belatedly finding that Israel has, almost since its engineered inception, ruthlessly and systematically persecuted Palestinians.
The overarching motive behind Israel’s ruthless, systemic persecution of Palestinians is not to keep Israelis safe. Rather, Israel’s sinister aim is to impose ethnic supremacy in occupied Palestine and to crush Palestinians into ghettos with grinding, inhuman efficiency.
The, by now, familiar scenes of fanatical Israeli thugs – in and out of uniforms – assaulting Palestinians resisting eviction from their homes in occupied Jerusalem are vivid proof of Israel’s malevolent intent. So too are, of course, images of the limp, disfigured bodies of infants and children – all victims, yet again, of Israel’s brutal bombardment of Gaza.
Israel, HRW concluded, has, for generations, been guilty of apartheid as a matter of international law, not a facile, rhetorical allegation.
The HRW report made a lot of news and triggered a lot of commentary on this page and on other major media across the globe. But not in Canada. And, most blatantly, not on any of CBC’s many publicly-financed digital and broadcast platforms.
Not a word was uttered about, nor was a moment devoted to, the HRW report by any CBC journalist on April 27, despite the network having received an advance copy.
Now, on May 8, the Obama family’s cute Portuguese water dog, Bo, died, after succumbing to cancer. Bo was described as a “White House celebrity” in the headline attached to a lengthy story about his death published by the CBC online.
So, in the cockeyed calculus of CBC journalists, the passing of a “celebrity” dog constituted “news” that required Canadians’ urgent attention, but Israel’s documented crimes against humanity exacted on besieged Palestinians – decade after pitiless decade – did not warrant even a mention by the network on April 27 and save for this buried, passing reference, in the days since.
The CBC also did not invite a Palestinian-Canadian on any of its news or current affairs programmes to discuss the HRW report’s careful findings and recommendations that demanded its attention since they would have provided an instructive framework for Canadian viewers to understand Israel’s manifest record of aggression.
Beyond being a sorry, indelible stain on its already fading reputation, CBC’s institution-wide embargo of the HRW report is in glaring violation of the public broadcaster’s unique, supposedly sacrosanct, mandate to offer Canadians programming that “informs, enlightens and…reflect[s] Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences”.
Why was the HRW report not covered?
To try to answer that question, I approached 17 hosts of the CBC’s most popular news and current affairs programmes with several queries via email to explain their individual and collective failure to “inform, enlighten” and allow Canadians, including scores of able and willing Palestinian-Canadians, to “reflect” publicly on HRW’s report from April 27 onwards.
None of these suddenly mute journalists-turned-TV and radio personalities who ask questions for a living responded. Not one. Instead, they shunted me to a CBC PR official.
Their sad hypocrisy is on clear, dishonourable display.
These CBC journalists – who routinely extol the virtues of the fourth estate and the broadcaster they work for as an indispensable means to hold powerful public and private individuals and institutions to account – retreat like timorous politicians into silence when a nettlesome member of the fraternity tries to hold them to account.
Like celebrities, these star journalists defer to their PR “people” to speak for and protect them from prickly questions.
In a series of emails, CBC spokesperson, Chuck Thompson, acknowledged that CBC “did not pursue any stories regarding the Human Rights Watch report from April 27th”.
Later, when pressed, he claimed that “there was no edict (nor would there ever be on any story) from anyone within CBC News not to cover this report. Every day, across the service, our program teams make independent, editorial decisions as to what they will cover on their respective shows”.
Translation: Yes, it is true, all these CBC journalists working on all these news and current affairs programmes all decided not to cover the HRW report on precisely the same day and they made all those editorial decisions all by themselves. But in no way was that an act of collusion. It was just a miraculous happenstance.
This is as absurd as it is shameful and it cannot stand for several irrefutable reasons that gagged, myopic CBC journalists and their excuse-mongering confederates need to understand finally.
The CBC is owned by Palestinian Canadians too. They can no longer be treated not only as invisible but as the “other” on Canada’s public airwaves.
As such, when a leading human rights group finds that Palestinians have been methodically humiliated, evicted, imprisoned, tortured, murdered and had their ancestral homes stolen as a consequence of Israeli apartheid, then their voices must be heard clearly and repeatedly on the CBC.
Further, CBC can no longer be permitted to practice a transparent double-standard when it comes to its coverage of international human rights “abusers”.
Examine a slice of the incriminating evidence.
On January 14, 2020, CBC posted a story online on an HRW report lacing into China’s human rights outrages.
This is the story’s stinging lead paragraph: “In an annual report, Human Rights Watch released a scathing review of the Chinese government, calling on the international community to push back against ‘the most brutal and pervasive oppression China has seen in decades.’”
Three years earlier, CBC produced a 22-minute documentary that put Russia in its journalistic crosshairs and explained to its audience in a headline: How Canada set out to punish Russia’s human rights abusers.
When HRW establishes that Israel is culpable for the wholesale, illegal persecution of Palestinians and of practising apartheid in occupied Palestine, the CBC treats this criminality as taboo and has failed to air calls in Canada and abroad for Israel to be punished for its crimes.
By prohibiting Palestinian Canadian writers, academics and historians a forum to inform, enlighten and reflect upon HRW’s scathing report, CBC has deliberately prevented Canadians from inspecting the historical context to make sense of the recent eruption of state-sanctioned violence throughout occupied Palestine.
Israel’s unlawful and pending evictions of Palestinians from their homes in occupied Jerusalem, its unilateral repression of Palestinians’ right to assembly, its bloody, sacrilegious attacks on Palestinian worshippers at one of Islam’s holiest sites, its indiscriminate, disproportionate killings of children, women and men in Gaza are not the latest “spasms” of the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict”.
These are, as HRW makes plain, acts of an occupying army whose intent is to batter, bludgeon and bomb Palestinians out of their land and existence.
That preening, “progressive” apostle of human rights and rules-based order, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also prefers to say and do nothing about Israel’s crimes. Lately, he has been busy granting friction-free interviews to obsequious reporters and self-proclaimed online luminaries who play an agreeable game of T-ball with the ever-effervescent prime minister.
Predictably, Trudeau is never challenged to square his puerile-sounding, unqualified support for Israel with, as HRW succinctly and accurately puts it, “the reality on the ground”.
When he is grudgingly compelled to address “the reality on the ground”, Canada’s telegenic poster-boy for hypocrisy clings to and spouts lies in the face of the perpetual humiliation, violence and terror visited on Palestinians by Israel in occupied Palestine – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Only days ago, as the Israeli army was primed, once more, to pummel Palestinians into deference and submission, Trudeau declared like a wind-up marionette that “Canada supports Israel’s right to assure its own security”.
Trudeau’s “policy” towards occupied Palestine – such that it is – amounts to this: Palestinians are supposed to take it, take it, take it, take it, take it, take it, take it, take it as long as Israel wants to humiliate them, traumatise them, evict them, steal from them, imprison them, torture them, maim them, shoot them, cluster-bomb them, invade them, and slaughter them.
Canada’s diplomats – who, stripped of all the polite embroidery, do Trudeau’s callous, retrograde bidding in the Middle East – have been “reviewing” HRW’s report for two weeks.
An official with Canada’s foreign ministry, Global Affairs Canada, “respectfully declined” my requests to be interviewed about the brutality of Israeli apartheid and the grim, familiar costs of the uprising unfolding in occupied Palestine to resist it.
Just like the gallery of uncharacteristically taciturn CBC journalists, apparently, this nation’s diplomats have other, more pressing matters on their minds.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.
On Instagram and Twitter, Palestinians are documenting the violence against them.
Two rockets struck Ramat Gan, where a man in his 50s was killed on Saturday and several others suffered light injuries, Israeli media reported, citing police. The man died after shrapnel hit his apartment.
A video by RT’s Middle East Bureau Chief Paula Slier shows damaged buildings and first responders on the street. A parked vehicle was destroyed and others were damaged.Rocket warning sirens were again heard in Tel Aviv and other cities across southern and central Israel. Projectiles launched from Gaza fell on another town near Tel Aviv, Rishon LeZion, and the Arab town of Tayibe. There were no reports of casualties on the ground.Previous reports said that at least nine people were killed in Israel as militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched more than 2,000 rockets since Monday. Most of the projectiles were destroyed mid-air by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, but others fell on residential areas.The IDF responded to Hamas’ attack by bombing multiple targets in Gaza. On Saturday, the army leveled the Al Jalaa tower, which housed several media outlets, including AP and Al Jazeera. The IDF warned reporters of the incoming airstrike so they would have time to flee.Gazan medical officials said that the IDF killed a family of ten, including eight children, in one of their air raids on Friday night and early Saturday morning. Israel’s Channel 12 cited military sources saying that senior Hamas members were meeting in the building at the time.The Israeli military says it only targets Hamas operatives and infrastructure they use for attacks. According to Palestinian officials, the death toll in Gaza now stands at 140 killed, including 39 children.
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Israeli airstrike levels Gaza tower housing AP, Al Jazeera & other international media (VIDEO)
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The media network says bombing is a ‘clear act’ to stop journalists from reporting events in Gaza Strip, vows to pursue every available route to hold the Israeli gov’t responsible.Al Jazeera condemns in the strongest terms the bombing and destruction of its offices by the Israeli military in Gaza and views this as a clear act to stop journalists from conducting their sacred duty to inform the world and report events on the ground.
Al Jazeera promises to pursue every available route to hold the Israeli government responsible for its actions.
Residents and occupants of al-Jalaa building, which housed Al Jazeera’s office along with leading international media outlets, such as The Associated Press and Middle East Eye, were informed by the Israeli army via a phone call that they had less than one hour to vacate the building.
Al Jazeera calls on all media and human right institutions to join forces in denouncing these ruthless bombings and to hold the government of Israel accountable for deliberately targeting journalists and media institutions.
⭕ LIVE footage of the moment an Israeli air raid bombed the offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press in Gaza City ⬇️
🔴 LIVE updates: https://t.co/RvtP1lEX1x pic.twitter.com/RBO1ZiDAl0
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 15, 2021
Commenting on the bombing of al-Jalaa building, Dr Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said: “We call on the international community to condemn such barbaric actions and targeting of journalists and we demand an immediate international action to hold Israel accountable for its deliberate targeting of journalists and the media institutions.”
Dr Souag added: “The aim of this heinous crime is to silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza.
“The destruction of Al Jazeera offices and that of other media organizations in al-Jalaa tower in Gaza is a blatant violation of human rights and is internationally considered a war crime. We call on all media and human rights institutions in denouncing this heinous crime, and to stand with Al Jazeera and other media organisations targeted by the Israeli army, despite knowing their use of the building as their headquarters for many years.”
The assault on the building hosting international media institutions aims to silence the truth by killing the messenger.
Journalism is not a crime.
Seven women and three children found buried on ex-policeman’s property after he was arrested for two other murders.The buried bodies of seven women and three children were discovered on the property of a former police officer in El Salvador.
Hugo Osorio Chavez Osorio, 51, is being investigated on suspicion of sex crimes and 13 murders, the country’s attorney general’s office said.
He was originally arrested last Saturday for the murder of a woman and her adult daughter, to which he confessed, according to The Associated Press.
That arrest came after neighbours in the western city of Chalchuapa called the police and reported hearing a woman crying for help.
Investigators work in the vicinity of Chavez Osorio’s home in Chalchuapa, El Salvador [AFP]Officers found the bodies of a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter in the house in a pool of blood with signs of sexual abuse.
The investigations led to excavations in various places on the property. Among the bodies found were a 7-year-old girl and two boys aged 2 and 9.
Police did not elaborate why the number of murders being investigated was 13.
Some of the people appeared to have been killed about two years ago, the attorney general’s office said on Twitter.
Seven other possible graves on the property are still being investigated. At least 25 people are considered missing in the area.
Chavez Osorio had been fired from his job as a police officer in 2005 for sexually aggressive behaviour and spent five years in prison, investigators said.
Based on the information in the case, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for nine other suspects who may have acted as accomplices in 13 killings, including the murders of eight women.
Thirty people were sentenced to death in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after a one-day trial for their role in anti-police violence marking the end of Ramadan in the capital.
A policeman was killed in Kinshasa on Thursday as rival Muslim groups fought over the right to mark the end of Ramadan at a major sports stadium.
Lawyer Chief Tshipamba said 30 people were sentenced to death in a trial that started on Friday, a day after the violence took place. A recording of the proceedings confirmed the verdict.
The DRC has not carried out death penalties since a moratorium was introduced in 2003. Since then, death sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment.
The regional government said in addition to the police officer killed several people were hurt and one police vehicle was burned in the fighting outside the Martyrs’ Stadium.
Kinshasa police chief Sylvano Kasongo said about 40 people were wounded and 35 arrested.
Two rival factions have for years disputed the leadership of the DRC’s Comico Muslim federation. The two sides remain at odds and occasionally come to blows.
About 10 percent of the DRC’s population is Muslim, mostly concentrated in the country’s east.
But Kinshasa on the Congo River in the west of the vast central African country also traditionally sees mass celebrations for the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in public squares and on major roads.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have destroyed a building where offices of international media outlets, including Associated Press and Al Jazeera, were located. People were given a one hour warning before the missile attack.
The building hosting the media offices collapsed following a series of massive explosions apparently caused by the Israeli strikes, footage published by the Ruptly video news agency shows.The Israeli military warned the owners of the building in advance about the strike, allowing the journalists working inside to evacuate, AP and Al Jazeera reporters including those who had worked in the building confirmed on Twitter.And now bombs could fall on our office. We ran down the stairs from the 11th floor and now looking at the building from afar, praying Israeli army would eventually retract. https://t.co/WU2eLEX7kn— Fares Akram (@faresakram) May 15, 2021When the building owner asked the IDF for some more time to let the journalists retrieve their equipment, the Israeli military denied the request, Linah Alsaafin, an Al Jazeera producer, said in a tweet.Al Jazeera broadcasted live the phone call (on speaker) between Israel intelligence officer and Abu Husam, the owner of the Jalaa building. The owner is telling the Israeli to give the media time to evacuate their equipment from the building, the officer said no.— لينة (@LinahAlsaafin) May 15, 2021The tower also housed a number of other offices as well as some apartments.It is not the first time Israel has targeted the Gaza buildings housing various media outlets. Earlier this week, the IDF also struck two high-rise towers hosting some 20 media outlets, prompting accusations of deliberate attempts to silence the local press. In all cases, the IDF gave a warning prior to the strikes.
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Israel is deliberately obliterating media buildings in Gaza to cover up the war crimes that will follow
The developments come amid an ongoing violent standoff between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. The conflict was prompted by an Israeli court decision to evict several Palestinian families from an East Jerusalem neighborhood and initially led to massive protests and clashes between the demonstrators and the police followed by a massive rocket attack by the Hamas militant group targeting Israeli cities.Israeli military intercepted most of the rockets and responded with massive airstrikes targeting Gaza. At least nine Israelis perished in rocket fire, while Gaza health officials reported over 100 killed on their side.Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
A building that has housed Al Jazeera’s office in the Gaza Strip was hit by an Israeli air strike totally demolishing the structure.
Images showed the building crashing to the ground after being bombed as dust and debris flew into into air.
Residents of the building, which also houses The Associated Press bureau, had been warned of the strike an hour prior.
This is a developing story