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26 December 2016

26 Dec.ND: IB officer wanted me to go a Muslim village, act a Moulana, indoctrinate young, recruit them for a fictitious terror group, reveals Irshad, acquitted after 11ys

Evening NEWS DIGEST
26  Dec.2016: 26 Rabiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:72
IB officer wanted me to go a Muslim village, act a Moulana, indoctrinate young, recruit them for a fictitious terror group, reveals Irshad, acquitted after 11ys
New Delhi: When Irshad Ali is home, he sits on an old broken sofa outside his single-room home in north-west Delhi’s Inder Enclave, which he shares with his wife and 2 sons.“I feel claustrophobic inside. Jail makes you appreciate the open space,” he says. On Dec.22, when Irshad Ali was acquitted by a trial court in Delhi, he had spent 11 years in jail on terror charges now proved false. “After all these years, I don’t know how I feel,” says the 41-year-old, calmly. “I was angry for years. Then I submitted myself to my fate.”He lost his parents as well as an infant daughter while behind bars. “All because of this case,” says Ali. “My mother died within a year of my arrest. She kept knocking doors, visiting police stations, only to get humiliated. My father died earlier this year. He spent every penny he had earned to get me out of jail. My daughter, Aaifa, was 6 months old when they jailed me. She died in 2013. They said it was diphtheria but the truth is she died because they broke me, ruined my family.”Ali’s father Mohammad Yunus moved to Delhi around 50 years ago from Paigambarpur village in Darbhanga in search of work. Ali was one among his eight children — 2 boys, 6 girls. Yunus found work at a shop and sent Ali to Ahmadiya Salfia madrasa in Darbhanga to study. But Ali left it and returned to Delhi in 1991 after elder brother Noushad was arrested for a murder.That incident was to change the family’s life. Ali says he started working as manual labourer in a factory and “everything was fine” till Noushad jumped parole. “It was stupid. Once he was re-arrested, police charged him in a terrorism case. An additional murder case that hadn’t been solved was also put on him. He was acquitted for that additional murder but the terror tag didn’t go away.”In 1996, Ali was picked up along with his father. “ACP Rajbir Singh kept us in Maurice Nagar for 10 days,” he says. “My father was tortured in front of me. They kept saying my brother was a terrorist so I must be too.”After their mother went to court, police released them, but allegedly after warning Ali’s mother to keep quiet. 4 months later, Ali says, Crime Branch picked him up again.“They tortured me for 8 days.” Meanwhile, the 41-year-old adds, police kept pressuring him to become an informer. “In 2001, I was picked up by an IB officer, Majid Din, who would use Khalid as alias. He also picked up my friend Rizwan, who was a tailor. They kept me for 3 days. They made me write a letter to my brother telling him to do whatever was told to him, so as to save me.While Noushad agreed to work with police inside the jail, Ali did so outside. “I was scared,” Ali says. “They fixed a monthly salary of Rs 5,000, and gave me a phone. While my brother spied on inmates held on terror charges, I would report to Majid. The inmates would give letters to post and I would hand them over to Majid.”This, Irshad said, continued for 3 years. “In between, I helped the Special Cell solve crime cases as well. I was in touch with two officers.”But, Ali says, his handlers weren’t happy. “Majid wanted me to do more. He would say, ‘Work doesn’t come, it has to be created. His modus operandi was simple: Majid wanted me go to a Muslim village, act like a moulana, live there for a while, indoctrinate young men and recruit them for a fictitious terror group and then organise a meeting, which would be raided. While I would escape as the mastermind, the rest would be nabbed and nobody would question the veracity of the operation.”Around 2004, Ali says he was introduced to a Kashmiri, Fayaz, who was also working for IB. “They had put him up in Laxminagar (in east Delhi). The plan was to send me across the border and infiltrate a militant group… My wife Shabana was scared. She didn’t want me to go.”Ali was reluctant too and Fayaz and he made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the border in Jammu. Ali says the IB officer’s attitude changed after that. “On Dec.12, 2005, Majid called me to the Dhaula Kuan office. There were Delhi Police Special Cell people present. They put me in a car and blindfolded me. I was shocked.”He says he was kept somewhere near the Red Fort. “Later, they brought Nawab (Mourif Qamar) too. He was a friend and I had got him involved in this work.”Ali’s worried wife and parents kept calling on Majid’s phone number. “My father went to police and gave them Majid’s number… Nawab’s brother sent telegrams to everyone, from the PM to the President.”On Feb. 9, 2006, the day a look-out notice for them came in media, Ali says, they were taken in a car to the bypass of Karnal, Haryana.“Mohan Chand Sharma (of Special Cell) was there. Majid too was there. They took our pictures… They had prepared a story that we were coming from Kashmir and were arrested as soon as I got off the bus from Jammu. They dubbed us terrorists.” Ali says there was one thing that kept his hopes alive. “I had scores of calls from Majid, other IB officials, Special Cell officers, even calls from the Home Ministry’s landline… Majid had sent me a message on Eid from ACP Sanjeev Kumar’s phone. All this record was crucial evidence.”Nawab’s brother approached the Delhi HC, which found Special Cell’s story “suspicious” and ordered a CBI investigation.CBI eventually confirmed every bit of Ali’s story in its closure report filed on Nov.11, 2008, saying Special Cell had concealed that Ali and Nawab were its informers and implicated them in a fictitious case.CBI recommended their discharge and action against erring officials.“When CBI proved I was falsely implicated, I thought it would lead to a storm. But this system doesn’t work that way for people like us…There was a debate whether CBI or Special Cell was telling the truth. Both belonged to the same govt. But the govt did nothing.”Indian express
IS sympathisers in India use al Qaeda software for secrecy: NIA chargesheet
A group of alleged Islamic State (IS) sympathisers, conspiring to target police stations in Hyderabad, used a host of encrypted applications, including one developed by al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, in order to keep their communication secure, the National Investigation Agency has said.Al-Fajr Media Centre distributes al Qaeda’s online propaganda material. Its technical branch al-Fajr Technical Committee was established in 2012. 2 years later, it released an Android version of it is encryption programme called Amn al-Mujahid for mobile phones. “2 members of (IS sympathiser) group, Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani and Abdulla Bin Ahmed al-Amoodi had downloaded Amn al-Mujahid encryption on their mobile phones,” says NIA chargesheet against 8 men.Even then, they never discussed their plans on these applications and preferred face-to-face meeting to discuss their targets, the agency noted. The group also used Tor applications like ‘Orbot’ and ‘Orfox’, which hide a user’s internet usage by bouncing it through a series of computers around the world.HT
My son was branded as Maoist, tied to tree and killed, says Chhattisgarh man
Nagpur: A man from Metapal village in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh has alleged that his son Somaru Pottam, 13, was branded a Maoist and killed by the security forces.Kumma Pottam has claimed that the security forces “tied his son Somaru to a tree, while a group of four to five jawans interrogated him and tortured him by stabbing him with bayonets attached to their rifles.”Kumma Pottam, who has moved the Chhattisgarh High Court (Bilaspur), claimed in his petition that he and his cousin Sannu Pottam were held by another group of security forces and taken to a spot near the interrogation site of Somaru.According to father, villagers were present when Somaru was “interrogated and thrashed.”thehindu
National Herald case: Relief for Gandhis, court dismisses Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking documents
New Delhi;In a big relief for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi,Patiala House Court dismissed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking documents related to the National Herald case. The HC set the next date of hearing on Feb 10, when Swamy will submit a list of witnesses. Swamy had earlier sought documents and ledger books maintained by the Congress party and Associated Journals Limited.In his petition,Swamy accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which AJL owed to Congress. Besides Gandhis, other accused-Motilal Vora,Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda-have denied the allegations levelled against them. Indianexpress
J-K govt asks for reports on people blinded by pellets during Kashmir unrest
J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Monday directed all deputy commissioners (DCs) to submit reports about those blinded during the unrest in the Kashmir, which began on July 8, after the killing of Burhan Wani. "Taking suo-moto cognizance of a report published in a section of the press, chairperson SHRC, Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki directed the deputy commissioners of all the 10 districts of Kashmir to submit a detailed report of all the victims who have sustained eye injuries during the recent disturbances in the valley," an official spokesperson said in Srinagar. The govt  press release said: "SHRC chairman has directed the DCs to include details of victims, date and place of injury, extent of injury, treatment given and compensation paid if any to them. He has asked for the report containing the requisite information to be submitted to the commission by or before 3 Feb.2017." hindustantimes
Controversial decision by J-K govt can touch a nerve
Kashmir, limping back to normal after five months of violent agitation, is seeing murmurs of protest following a series of decisions that are being read as an attempt to dilute the special status granted to J&K .The Kashmir Valley was shut down on Friday. The separatists had called the strike after a section of media reported that the govt had begun issuing domicile certificates to west Pakistan refugees. hindustantimes
Valley unrest: Mehbooba orders review of cases against youths not involved in 'serious crimes'
Srinagar: J&K  CM  Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday ordered review of the cases filed against the youths who were not involved in "serious crimes" during the over five-month-long unrest in the Valley.An official spokesman said Mehbooba gave directions in this regard at a meeting called to review the pace of development works in south Kashmir. timesofindia
In Kashmir, it’s austere Christmas in solidarity with Muslim brethren
Srinagar:Christmas in Kashmir was on Sunday celebrated with austerity in wake of the civilian killings during the recent summer uprising in the region.In his Christmas message Father Roy Mathew, parish priest at Holy Family Catholic Church at MA Road here, said that the Christian community of Kashmir shares the pain of Muslim brethren of Kashmir. He led the special prayers on the occasion.“We are with them (Kashmiri Muslims) in their pain. We will offer prayers but there will be no celebrations,” Mathews said in his Christmas message delivered this morning.Sharing the views of the community Catholic catechist Shami Joseph said that in view of the current situation the community cancelled the carol singing and parade on this Christmas as a mark of respect and solidarity with Kashmiri Muslim brethren who suffered a lot in the current uprising.“We did not even sing Christmas carol; no Santa Claus, but held special prayers only in which we remembered the pain of our Muslim brethren,” Joseph said. “They (Kashmiri Muslims) did not celebrate Eid  this year; how could we celebrate Christmas then?”he added.Greater Kashmir
Students march in Solidarity with Aleppo, appeal for peace
New Delhi: Aiming to promote peace, over hundred students with human rights activists took out a march in solidarity with the victims of Aleppo genocide here at Jantar Mantar on Saturday. Paying homage to the lives lost in Aleppo city and other regions of Syria during Syrian crises, they urged to the international community to come forward to aid the civilians and establish peace there. The march was called by Roshni Gulati, an ex-student of Delhi Public School, RK Puram joined by many students and civil society members.  "Our hearts have ached for a long time, every time we see an article in our news feed about the skyrocketing death toll. Today it is Aleppo, tomorrow it will be Idlib or some other place. No one deserves to be uprooted and thrown away like worthless flesh. The root of everything is greed and hatred. As we march today, we wouldn't shout slogans against Assad or against the rebels or against any terrorist group or organization. They are mere pawns of a larger problem. We walk in solidarity against hatred, against cruelty and against destruction. Peace will prevail", Gulati said while addressing on the occasion. Roshni Gulati said, “We all know that since 2011 genocide is continue in Syria. In the tussle of political powers, civilians are suffering. We don’t care who is doing what, we are concerned about the common people there.”Expressing solidarity with common civilians suffered in Aleppo during Syrian crises, they raised slogans – “Save Aleppo-Save Syria, Kill hatred not Human”. Speaking over complex situation in Syria, the chairman of International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), Dr. Nem Singh Premi said, “Everyone is aware of the situation in Syria. Save humanity is not just a slogan. Everyone in the world is connected to it.”“UN should take step to stop brutalities carrying out there without favoring to anyone and People should be aided more and more,” he urged. IndiaTomorrow
United Muslim Forum condemn atrocities on Syrian and ohingya Muslims
Hyderabad: United Muslim Forum, a body of religious figures, on Sunday condemned the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime and by the Burmese govt  on Rohingya Muslims. In a statement released to the media, the UMF said that Syrian president Bashar al Assad, in collaboration with the Russian and Iranian forces has turned the city of Aleppo into a graveyard. "In Aleppo, there is a doomsday like situation which is unimaginable and pathetic. The reports from the media tell us that this is an act of genocide," an excerpt reads.Touching upon the conditions of the Rohingya Muslims, some of whom continue to live as refugees in the city, the UMF said that their persecution is a gross violation of human rights. The panel requested all to help these refugees and also called upon various countries to condemn their persecution and put an end to human rights violations.TOI
Muslims remain backward in education & civil services after 10 years of Sachar Committee report
 Rajinder Sachar Committee which was commissioned in 2005 tabled its findings in Parliament on the social, economic and educational conditions of Muslims in India. The Sachar Committee was commissioned by former PM Manmohan Singh. Headed by Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar, it submitted its findings in less than two years.The report submitted a range of issues faced by the community and also tabled their recommendations to address them. The report placed Indian Muslims below Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in backwardness. There was also mismatch between the percentage of Muslims in the population and in key decision making positions such as the IAS and IPS.And most of the indicators have not seen significant changes in the years since the report was submitted. In some cases, things have deteriorated for the community.As per a report of The Indian Express, Muslims accounted to 7.63% in India’s police forces, while it fell to 6.27%  in 2013. Later, the govt stopped releasing data on police personnel on the basis of religion. Muslims also continued to have the lowest average monthly per capita expenditure(MPCE) among all communities. In 2011 the work participation rate for Muslim men increased only slightly from 47.5% in 2001 to 49.5% in 2011.While the increase of Muslim women was even smaller, from 14.1%  in 2001 to 14.8 %  in 2011.india.com
10 yrs after Sachar Report, no major change in condition of India’s Muslims: ZEESHAN SHAIKH
DEMONETISATION
Demonetisation trouble not over, to spill over into new year: Bankers
New Delhi:A mere 4 days before the demonetisation deadline of December 30, by when the pains of customers are supposed to allay -- as PM  Narendra Modi said -- bankers seemed to nurse no hopes of any comfort and expected long queues to slither into the new year and into the months that follow.“The rush is still there and there’s no hope of any respite. How can there be any when the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) is providing only 20-30 % of total cash required at the banks?” All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.IANS
Farmers forced to dump their produce as note ban turns bumper crop worthless
Farmers across India are battling a steep fall in wholesale vegetable prices and are forced to discard their produce as a nationwide cash crunch following the scrapping of high-value banknotes hurts demand.The crash in wholesale prices comes at a bad time for farmers, who reaped a bumper crop and were hoping for good returns to make up for losses induced by two straight drought years. hindustantimes
Congress tries to unite opposition for meeting tomorrow, doesn't quite succeed
New Delhi:Congress party's attempt to cobble together a meeting of all opposition parties tomorrow got a mixed response, with TMC agreeing to attend, the Left and the NCP unwilling, and other parties undecided,news agencies reported. The Congress has planned a joint press conference to follow the meeting here in New Delhi to discuss what it believes are issues it has in common with most opposition parties and against the Modi govt. Expectedly, demonetisation will figure high on the list of subjects."Congress is to organise an Opposition party meet tomorrow on issues of demonetisation, personal corruption of PM," Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said today, according to PTI.TOI
Congress targets BJP over 'links' to businessman who disclosed Rs 13,860 cr income
PM Modi sacrificed the lives of farmers to his demonetisation 'yagya': Rahul Gandhi
Budget 2017 may provide tax gain for common people to soothe note ban pain:TOI
OTHERS
More than hundred students of AMU's Malappuram centre taken ill because of suspected food poisoning:TOI
Malappuram: More than hundred students and five faculty members of AMU Malappuram centre at Perinthalmanna were taken ill following the suspected food poisoning.According to the centre authorities, those who ate dinner from the canteen's North Indian mess on the campus on Saturday night, started to show the symptoms of food poisoning including stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea, after two hours and they approached a private hospital in Perinthalmanna early morning on Sunday. Later, more students were brought into hospital.
‘Seer’ Asks Hindus to Have 10 Kids; Fadnavis Shares Stage With Him
Vasudevanand Saraswat, a Hindu seer at the three-day Dharma Sanstrukti Mahakumbh in Nagpur, said that Hindu couples should have 10 children each, according to a report by The Times of India.Saraswat also added that the PM  needs to take a more definite and quick decision on the beef ban in the same manner as demonetisation. Ironically, the congregation also saw the demand for the national population policy.The Dharma Sanstrukti Mahakumbh is an assembly of Hindu seers, supported by RSS. 3-day affair ended on Sunday.Other eminent people present at the congregation included Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Assam governor Banwarlilal Purohit and city mayor Pravin Datke.Aditionally, Loksatta, a leading newspaper from The Indian Express group reports that VHP working president Praveen Togadia brought up the issue of the proposed Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and said:The Quint
Abducted Kerala priest appeals Pope, Centre to secure his release
Kochi: An Indian Catholic priest abducted from Yemen this year appealed to Pope Francis and the Union govt  through a purported video to secure his release from his captors."If I were a European priest, I would have been taken more seriously. I am from India. I am perhaps not considered as of much value," said priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil in a weak voice in the video, aired by news channels in Kerala."Dear Pope Francis, dear Holy Father, as a father please take care of my life. I am very much depressed. My health is deteriorating," he said in the video, a day after Christmas.PTI
Bombay High Court stays elections to Waqf board
Mumbai: Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court stayed the elections to the Waqf board that were held in August, after a member of the Waqf board complained that he was removed from the board so that he could not contest the elections.The petitioner had prayed that as his appointment to the board was not co-terminus as his term as the Bar Council chairman, his removal from the board after his term as chairman came to an end was done with prejudice. The court upheld the petition and also stayed the outcome of the elections.A division bench of Justices B.P. Dharmadhikari and Indira Jain was hearing a petition filed by former Bar Council chairman advocate Asif Quereshi regarding his ouster from the Waqf board five days before the elections for the post of the chairman. Quereshi had contended that not only was his removal from the board illegal, but it was also done at the behest of vested interests as he was intending to contest the elections as well.ASIAN AGE
No-splurge trend catches up with Muslim weddings
Hyderabad: A trend is slowly but surely gaining momentum within the Muslim community. While several people express their desire to cut down extravagance and escalating costs of marriages, the recent shift in marital tradition —that of having both the nikah and the valima (reception) on the same day — has a social component as well: solidarity with those who are not as privileged.Take the case of Abdul Mutayyib, a 21-year who works at a multi-national corporation in Hitec City. Mutayyib and Fouzia Khan got married on Oct.8, sans any pomp and show. timesofindia
Muslim youths become ‘gau-rakshaks’, save life of critically injured cow: India.com
Bhatinda: At a time when Muslims are being beaten up by ‘gau-rakshaks’ in many parts of the country, two Muslim youths turned real ‘gau-rakshaks’ and saved a stray cow bleeding profusely in the middle of the road.  Shamsuddin Chaudhary and his friend Mubeen came to the rescue of the critically injured cow. The incident took place on Saturday midnight in Malerkotla, the only area of Punjab with a sizeable Muslim population. Shamsuddin Chaudhary, who is a businessman by profession, was returning to his home after dropping his friend Mubeen at Ajit Nagar area when he spotted a stray cow bleeding profusely in the middle of the road. India.com
Nagpur: Muslim youths told to shun kite flying
Nagpur: Little-known Islamic organization Assaqafatur Razaviya of Satranjipura has initiated an anti-kite flying campaign to dissuade Muslim youths from the 'vice'. As part of the campaign, the organization, that draws its ideology from Barelvi movement, has pasted posters outside several masjids across the city beside spreading the message through discourses.During winter, especially in December and January, kite flying becomes rampant across the city. Every year, activists run campaigns to create awareness about the ill-effects of manja, especially the Chinese or nylon one, used for kite flying. Earlier this month, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a nationwide interim ban on the use of glass-coated manja for kite flying.But, Assaqafatur Razaviya has added religious dimension to the issue.
Women activists won't be allowed inside Sabarimala: Kerala govt
Sabarimala: The Kerala govt  on Monday said that the entry of Bhumata Brigade chief Trupti Desai will not be allowed in the Lord Ayyappa temple here, even as the activist plans to lead 100 odd women to the famous hill shrine in Sabarimala.There are restrictions for the entry of women between 10-50 years of age in the temple."The Sabarimala temple is administered by Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and its traditions and rules are applicable to everyone," Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran told reporters here.PTI
Rajnath assures protection of Assamese people, warns rebels indulging in violence
Guwahati: BJP-led govt  at the Centre was committed to provide all Constitutional, legislative and administrative measures to protect the identity of the Assamese people as laid down in Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, union home minister Rajnath Singh said here. Singh’s announcement came at a time when there have been widespread protests against Centre’s move to amend Citizenship Act and provide citizenship to Hindu and other minorities of Bangladesh. AASU, Asam Sahitya Sabha and other organisations of Assam see this proposed amendment as contradictory to the Assam Accord, and a step that would linguistically threaten the Assamese and other indigenous communities. Indian express
Medical emergency in Manipur: 57-day blockade cripples health services
Dijen Singh travels 38km from his home in Manipur’s Thoubal district to Imphal every time his father Jogeshwar Singh needs to undergo dialysis. But he is worried the routine may soon grind to a halt.An ongoing economic blockade by United Naga Council (UNC) in Manipur, which entered its 57th day on Monday, could affect Dijen’s father and thousands of other patients in need of routine and urgent medical care.Medical supplies are running alarmingly low since the UNC took to the streets after the state government proposed the creation of several new districts for what it said was “administrative convenience”. UNC alleges non-Nagas stand to benefit at their cost from the redrawing of the district maps. HT
4,000 paramilitary personnel rushed to Manipur
SP-BSP in booklet war to woo Muslim votes in UP
Lucknow:The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) and its arch-rival BSP are embroiled in a “booklet war” to woo the Muslim community in Uttar Pradesh where the Assembly elections are scheduled to be held early next year. deccan  herald
Raj Babbar rules out alliance with any party for UP polls
In 2012 polls, Muslims lost over 2 dozen seats in UP due to split in votes. Will this trend be repeated in 2017?TCN
Underlining message of social harmony, Muslims celebrate Christmas at Noida church:TOI
Noida: Muslims from a Shia mosque in Sector 50 greeted Christians celebrating their big day at the Bethel Methodist Church just adjacent to the mosque.Perhaps, the only such example in Noida, the area has two churches, a Hindu temple and a mosque, all located within 500 metres of distance.A group of around 10 muslims from the India branch of the 'Who is Hussain' organisation, an international outfit of Shias, led by Maulana of the mosque Ghulam Ali Naqvi, visited the church and presented gifts to the priest and other members of Christian community just after the Christmas prayers.While the building of the Bethel Methodist Church in E block, Sector 50 was completed in 2003, the mosque is almost 18 years old. The tradition of exchanging gifts on Christmas is continuing for the past 4 yearsColonel SBA Zaidi, president of the Anjuman Nasrane- Ahlebait mosque said that the gesture aims at spreading the message of social harmony which has been forgotten these days. Timesofindia
Successful test firing of India's most potent missile Agni 5, paves way for induction in Strategic Forces Command
Why the Enemy Property Ordinance Needed Parliament’s Reconsideration: THE WIRE
WORLD
In defiance of UN, Israel reportedly set to approve thousands of settler units
Days after the UN Security Council approved a resolution affirming the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and called for their construction to cease, reports emerged that Israel is set to approve thousands of new settler units in occupied East Jerusalem.Local Planning and Building Committee of the Jerusalem municipality is expected to approve some 5,600 housing units in East Jerusalem for illegal settlements, the Hebrew version of daily newspaper Israel Hayom reported Sunday morning.According to Israel Hayom, the move came as a direct response to the UNSC resolution 2334, that passed with unanimous approval from 14 council members, while US abstained from voting.The reports said that the committee will approve 2,600 housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo, 2,600 others in Givat HaMatos, and 400 units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement. A spokesperson for Jerusalem municipality could not immediately be reached to confirm the reports. Middle east monitor
Netanyahu freezes ties with UN resolution backers
Jerusalem,(PIC) Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered during the cabinet weekly meeting late Sunday to reduce all diplomatic relations with 12 of the countries that voted in favor of UNSC settlement resolution.According to Haaretz Hebrew newspaper, Netanyahu instructed his govt  to reduce ties with countries that backed the UN anti-settlement resolution.Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu decided not to declare future settlement plans to avoid any new UN resolutions.
US envoy to Israel summoned over UN settlement vote
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu has summoned US ambassador to Israel over a resolution condemning settlements on Palestinian territories.The summon on Sunday came hours after envoys of all other UNSC members were asked to appear before the foreign ministry following UN vote.
Non-Arab states 'get' the Palestinian cause:Mohammad Ayesh London based journalist
Israeli forces suppress Bethlehem’s ‘Santa Claus march’ with tear gas, rubber bullets
Israeli forces suppressed Bethlehem’s “Santa Claus March,” shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants, with many suffering from tear gas inhalation.A number of demonstrators, including five journalists and foreigners, participated in a march near the Israeli checkpoint 300 in the north of Bethlehem, which separates residents from Jerusalem. The march, which includes participants dressing up as Santa Claus close to the Christian holiday of Christmas, was launched under the banner “Terrorism and occupation are two sides of the same coin,” and demanded the opening of Israeli checkpoints for Christian tourists to celebrate the holiday in the birthplace of Jesus Christ. middleeastmonitor
Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian farmers in Gaza
Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian farmlands east of Khan Yunis in the southern besieged Gaza Strip Sunday morning as farmers attempted to tend to their land, witnesses told Ma’an news agency.According to witnesses, Israeli soldiers stationed in watchtowers near the border fence east of the town of Khuzaa fired gunshots while Palestinian farmers were trying to reach their lands. No injuries were reported. middleeastmonitor
Israel to spray pesticides along Gaza border
Palestinian ministry of agriculture has warned local people that the Israeli occupation authorities are going to spray pesticides along the Gaza border between 25 Dec.and 5 Jan. Ministry’s statement was reported by a number of media outlets.“This is an annual Israeli activity which takes place at the end of the year to get rid of unneeded grass in this farming strip along the border,” General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza, Younis Al-Zaytouniyeh, told Quds Press. middleeastmonitor
Civilians killed by barrel bombs near Damascus: reports
At least 14 civilians have been killed and several others wounded in a series of barrel-bomb attacks on rebel-held areas near Damascus, activists have told Al Jazeera.Syrian govt  air strikes targeted the town of Wadi Barada, northwest of the capital on Monday, injuring dozens of people, including several children, activists said.According to videos posted on social media by opposition groups, the Syrian regime intensified its assault on the town. White Helmets, a team rescuing people from bombed-out houses, said a number of people were trapped under the rubble following the heavy bombardment. Barrel bombs are typically constructed from large oil drums and filled with explosives, nails and scrap metal. aljazeera
Syrian regime targets last medical clinic in Madaya
Assad regime has targeted last medical clinic in the besieged town of Madaya, Syrian Network for Human Rights reported on Sunday. Pro-regime forces, including fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah,were involved in assault.It  claims that barrel bombs, mortars and surface-to-surface rockets were fired from military checkpoints surrounding the town. According to report, the offensive has destroyed a lot of Maday’s infrastructure and killed at least eight people, including three children and 2 civil defence personnel. In addition, at least 58 people have been wounded, including 2 civil defence workers;36 of those injured are in a critical condition. middleeastmonitor
Total of 226 IS militants 'neutralised' in latest al-Bab operations - Erdogan spokesman
A total of 226 Islamic State militants have been "neutralised" in latest operations around the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, the spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, supported by the Turkish military, have been laying siege to the town for weeks. Ibrahim Kalin made the comment at a news conference in Ankara that was broadcast live on television. reuters
7 Iraqi troops killed in Mosul clashes
7 Iraqi soldiers were killed in deadly clashes with Daesh militants in Mosul on Sunday amid a major offensive to recapture the northern city from the terrorist group.Daesh militants launched a car-bomb attack and engaged in clashes with Iraqi forces in Tamim district in eastern Mosul, army officer Mohanad Nour al-Din told Anadolu Agency. Middleeastmonitor
Erdogan calls Putin over Syria, Russian plane crash
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin following the tragic Russian plane crash that killed 92 people, presidential sources said Sunday. Erdogan offered his condolences to Putin over Sunday’s deadly Russian plane crash in the Black Sea.AA
No sleeveless blouses please, we are Sri Lankans
Colombo: Female staff of the Sri Lankan parliament are barred from entering the Public Officers’ Box if they are wearing a sleeveless blouse, according to a report in The Sunday Times of Dec. 25.“A trilingual notice freshly placed on the door to the Public Officer’s Box in Parliament stipulated the dress code for female public officers as being saree and a blouse with long-sleeves. And so, a number of female public officers who came to discharge their duties during the budget debate were barred from entering the Box and thus prevented from performing their official functions on the grounds that they were not properly dressed,” the paper said. newindianexpress
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:20 PM)

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