Iranian warships make solidarity trip to Syria

ICEJ News Briefs

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
Posted on: 
20 Feb 2012
Iranian warships make solidarity trip to Syria

Warships of the Iranian Navy sailed into the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday, docking in Syria’s port of Tartus in a demonstration of support for the besieged regime of president Bashar Assad. An Iranian official triumphantly declared that the two ship flotilla would show “the might” of the Islamic Republic to regional countries while also conveying Tehran’s “message of peace and friendship.” The Iranian port call had little visible effect on the escalating violence between troops loyal to Assad and opposition forces over the weekend, with large clashes breaking out in the heart of Damascus and massive bombardments of Homs and Hama continuing. Two senior regime officials were assassinated in the northwestern province of Idlib, joining a long list of casualties over the weekend as the Egyptian ambassador in Damascus became the latest diplomat to be recalled and an official newspaper in China published an editorial accusing Western powers of fomenting civil strife in Syria for their own purposes.

Public Diplomacy Ministry prepares for ‘Israel apartheid week’
Israel’s Public Diplomacy Ministry has announced a plan called “Faces of Israel” to dispatch 100 citizens, representatives from all different parts of Israeli society, to events at universities abroad connected to the upcoming “Israel Apartheid Week” to represent and defend the Jewish State. The participants, including Israeli-Arabs, West Bank settlers, artists, immigrants and security experts, will travel to events in New York, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Toronto, Montreal, Dublin, London, Madrid, Johannesburg and Cape Town. “Most of those who hate Israel have the same disease: ignorance,” Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said. “We are sure that the answer to the attempts to de-legitimize Israel is not just to give facts and data, but to bring Israel to them.” Edelstein added that he hopes students meeting real Israelis will be able to see past the stereotypes and  stop the “messages of incitement and hatred that, at the end of the day, could reach students that are the leaders of tomorrow.”

‘Price tag’ attack directed against church
Graffiti including “Death to Christianity” and profanity about Jesus was spray painted on the walls of the Baptist Narkis Street Congregation in Jerusalem overnight on Sunday, as well as the words "price tag." The tires on three vehicles parked at the church were also slashed. "Officers are investigating a strong possibility of a (Jewish) nationalist motive but no one has been apprehended yet," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. The vandalism follows a similar incident two weeks ago at the 11th-century Monastery of the Cross.

MDA gives aid to African refugees
The Magen David Adom headquarters in Tel Aviv turned into an improvised shelter over the weekend for some 100 homeless refugees from African countries who would otherwise have been out in the cold and wet weather. Many of the refugees from Sudan and Eritrea live in tents and other flimsy shelters in Levinsky Park, near the central bus station. The MDA doctors examined the refugees and volunteers provided hot food, showers, blankets, clean clothes and other necessities. An Arabic-speaking MDA staffer also gave the refugees a first-aid course. Ahmed Isaman, one of the refugees who fled from Darfour four years ago, said “I have no words to express my thanks.”

Iron Dome to be deployed in Gush Dan
Reports surfaced over the weekend that the IDF’s newly formed Air Defense command will deploy an Iron Dome battery in the Gush Dan/Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area for a drill in the near future simulating missile attacks on the city. "The Iron Dome is in the process of being made operational as part of which the battery is being placed in various locations from time to time," said a statement by the IDF spokesperson’s Office, stressing that the move is part of a routine and pre-scheduled training program without any special significance.

Jerusalem ‘blizzard’ falls short of expectations
Israel had another wet weekend including light snow in several areas and several centimeters of rain, although the hopes of Jerusalem schoolchildren for heavy snow to play in failed to materialize. The Israel Meteorological Service reported that 20-25 centimeters of snow fell in the northern Golan Heights, along with several centimeters in Hebron and Gush Etzion. About 14-18 cm. of rain fell in the southern Golan and the northern Galilee, raising the level of the Sea of Galillee another 16 cm. to 212.67 meters below sea level on Sunday morning. Heavy rains and gusty winds also hit many areas of the center and northern Negev regions. Water Authority officials stressed that although the precipitation has been significant, Israel is still in the midst of a severe drought and urged residents to use water carefully. Meanwhile, forecasts call for another wet weekend starting on Thursday.


Share this: