US cuts UNESCO dues


UN cultural organization has made a move opposite to Israel and the United States by giving vote in favor of Palestine for the membership in UN as an Independent country.


Palestine got 107 country’s votes in favor and 14 votes are in opposite and there are 52 countries are abstained.

In response of that Washington stated that it is cutting financial support to UNESCO. Its membership dues give approximately a fifth of the organization’s total budget.

Next month the UN secretary general will vote to decide whether to grant Palestine a full UN membership or not.


Membership of UNESCO- best known for its World heritage sites- it may seem a strange move towards statehood, said BBC’s Jon Donnison, but Palestine leaders see this as a part of push to have international recognition.

UNESCO is the first UN agency Palestinians have required to join since they submit their bid for the international recognition to the Security Council.

"This vote will erase a tiny part of the injustice done to the Palestinian people," Palestinian Foreign Minister said to meeting of UN educational, scientific and cultural organization, after publishing result.


Common applause greeted the result of Monday’s vote where two third majorities is enough to pass the final decision.

BBC’s David Chazan said that Arab countries were active in getting the vote passed despite the opposition from the United States.

He also said, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Russia voted in favor of Palestine in an emotional session, and the United States, Germany and Canada vote against Palestine membership and the UK abstained.

'No shortcuts'

As a Law is passed in 1990s that allows Washington to cut fund to any UN body that favor Palestine as a full member.


In Washington, State department spokespersons Victoria Nuland to the journalists that they were have to made $60 million payment to UNESCO but they will not make that payment.


And earlier, Jay Carney white house spokesperson said that the vote of UNESCO was premature and it weakens the international community’s goal of a comprehensive.

Where Israel called the vote as the unilateral Palestinian maneuver that will not bring any change on the ground but it may removes the possibility of peace agreement.

Peace talk between Israel and Palestine has been stopped since last year over the Israeli settlement building issue.

Israel said that the country will consider the further steps regarding its collaboration with UNESCO.


  • Written by Navid Iqbal
  • Category: International

Israeli air strike into Gaza after 'ceasefire'

After five militants were killed in an air strike of Israel, Palestinian military force fired rockets into Israel.

In Gaza, one Palestinian was killed by the new air strike of Israel that happened hours after Egypt brokered a ceasefire.

In southern border of Rafah, another individual was injured in the attack. Israel said that the pair was arranging to fire a rocket.

Egypt had required to agent a truce after penalizing attack killed 9 Palestinian militants in Gaza and one Israeli civilian in Ashkelon.

Since a prisoner is exchanged between the sides the violence turns serious.

Earlier October, in a swap for rescuing the captured Israel soldier Gilad Shalit 477 Palestinian prisoners were released.

And it is said in the contract between Israel and Hamas that further 500 Palestinian prisoners are going to be freed later this year.

Jon Donnison said that a rise of violence could expose those releases.

Among the first batch that is released in that swap were members of Islamic Jihad which is said to be involved in the violence on Saturday.


'Bomb maker'

In last attack, witnesses called the dead man as Ahmed Jarghun, a militant of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and AFP news said that the injured person is also a militant of DFLP.

Israeli officials stated that the fire exchange was continuing into Sunday which was start at first at 01:00 GMT or 04:00 GMT.

Micky Rosenfeld, police spokesman said, 12 rockets were fired into Israel at night, the last was fired shortly before 07:00 in local time.

Quoting an Israeli military declaration AP news said that Israeli aircraft embattled six militant places in Gaza overnight.


Within 25 miles of Gaza Israeli officials had announced schools to be closed, not only that colleges and University in Beersheba were also announced closed.

After ceasefire a senior officials of Islamic Jihad said that this group was still dedicated to a ceasefire as long as Israel commits to it.

According to Israel, since Saturday 38 rockets and mortar were fired in southern areas of Israel that killed one person in Ashkelon and four people were injured by those attacks.

According to Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson, nine were killed and 15 people were injured in separate attacks on militant.

And according to Israeli military spokesperson, four attacks were done and the target was Islamic Jihad militants.

The spokesperson stated that the first attack was done in midday local time besieged a cell accountable for a long range attack on Wednesday that blasted inside Israel.

  • Written by Navid Iqbal
  • Category: International

Syrian President warns of 'earthquake' if West intervenes

Bashar Al-Asad president of Syria has warned about an “earthquake” if the Western countries intervene in Syria.

In an interview Syrian President said, involvement risked converting Syria to another Afghanistan.

His statements came after when a new call is made by UN secretary general for the oppression to the end.

According to activists, on Saturday when tanks shelled in Homs three people were killed.

More than 3,000 people died since the protest was called.


Fault line

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph Mr. Asad stated western countries are planning to ratchet up the pressure.

He also said this to the London based newspaper that Syria is now the hub of this region. And if anyone wants to play with this ground then it will cause earthquake.

It will burn the whole region if any problem is created in Syria. It will divide the region if the plan is to divide Syria.

To support President Asad ten thousand people rallied in Damascus on Wednesday.

President Bashar al-Asad admitted that his security forces had made many mistake in early part of uprising, but the paper said that he insisted only on terrorists.

Deposing Arab leaders, he stated that he responded in a different way than other to the Arab spring.

Mr. Asad said, “We didn’t go down the road of stubborn government”. He described the uprising as a struggle between pan-Arabism and Islamism.

He also said that they have been fighting Muslim brotherhood since 1950s and still fighting.



UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Mr. Bashar al-Asad need to respond to the demands for change with serious improvement, “not repression and violence”, as well as called for an instant halt to military actions.

Calls of Bashar al-Asad echo those members of Arab league who sent an urgent message on Friday to the government of Syria announcing “the continued killings of civilians” taking part is uprising.

The ministerial committee of that league also urged Damascus to take required measures to protect the general people.

Soldiers killed


Since the protest begins, Friday was one of the most vicious.


On Saturday, two main activist groups, Local Co-ordinating Commities and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said shells crashed in the Baba Amr District of Homs.

Reuters reported that one person was shot dead by sniper and two people were killed during gun fire between Asad force and the defectors in the city.

In another incident 20 Syrian soldiers were killed and 53 injured in clashes. In separate incident, in a bus ambush 10 security agents were killed.

  • Written by Navid Iqbal
  • Category: International

Neighborhoods Organizing Local Militias Following Egypt Unrest

With the diminishing hold of the Egyptian police and military over the country's peace and order, neighborhoods in Cairo have started organizing local militias and defense squads to guard their homes from thieves and looters.

The widespread demonstrations, including the looting and stealing of business establishments in the country's capital, pressed the able-bodied men to take to their own arms the protection of their families, houses and businesses. Makeshift weapons are used, ranging from big sticks, gasoline canisters to homemade Molotov cocktails. These local militias and defense squads have also set up their own checkpoints on main roads to check passing cars.

The weekend following the street protests, there have been reports of thefts, looting and trespassing in various neighborhoods, especially upscale gated residential areas. Due to Egypt's political tension, the presence of the Egyptian police and military has become less felt.

The country's widespread uprising followed after demonstrators took to the streets the call for the resignation of the decades-long President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist for almost thirty years.

Over the last week of January, protesters have gathered in the nation's important cities Cairo and Alexandria, also demanding for economic and political reforms in the poverty-stricken nation. The demonstrations have also resulted in the breakdown of peace, order and state authority.

The widespread uprising also continued over the weekend as protesters defied curfew because of their disapproval of President Hosni Mubarak's firing of the whole Cabinet and the subsequent appointment of the new prime minister and vice president. Speculations have also been raised that the political unrest could still continue for another week, if the President is still adamant on holding on to power.

Prior to the demonstrations in Egypt, anti-government movements have also forced out the leaders of Tunisia, Yemen and Lebanon.