Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says StudyA study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New York compared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

The Coming No-Win War: Revelation 8

Ironies of a no-win war

Maleeha Lodhi

The writer is a former ambassador to the US, UK & UN.

SEVERAL books have been written on Pakistan-US relations. But few have explored the connection between domestic political developments and American foreign policy and the way Pakistan’s internal politics was at times influenced by geopolitical shifts in the region. Zahid Hussain’s latest book does just that. Titled No-WinWar it examines the ups and downs of Pakistan-US ties in the context of their often divergent post-9/11 views and strategies in Afghanistan. This completes the author’s trilogy — his first book Frontline Pakistan and second, The Scorpion’s Tail, offered well-researched accounts of Pakistan’s policy dilemmas in the wake of 9/11 and the country’s battle against militant groups.

His new book shines a light on the many paradoxes that characterised Pakistan-US ties in the shadow of the Afghan war that followed the US invasion in 2001. Zahid focuses on the contradictions of post-9/11 relations. But this relationship has always been mercurial through many phases. From the alliance forged during the Cold War to the phase after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and then the frontline role Pakistan was thrust into after 9/11, closer relations usually evolved in response to global or regional geopolitical storms. They were thus principally a function of factors extraneous to bilateral ones. Once the storms subsided the relationship was downgraded as US strategic priorities shifted.

The roller coaster nature of the relationship has long been evident. Ties have swung in a cyclical pattern between close engagement and deep estrangement, interspersed by periods of benign disengagement. Dubbed during the Cold War as the ‘most allied ally of the US’, Pakistan became America’s most sanctioned ‘friend’ in the 1990’s after the Russian occupation of Afghanistan was rolled back as a result of Pak-US cooperation.

Even at times of close collaboration there was often an elephant in the room. It was India during many phases. For Pakistan ties with the US were part of its external balancing strategy to address its security dilemma given its power asymmetry with a hostile India. This involved the pursuit of extraregional support to mitigate the imbalance but usually left Pakistan disappointed with Washington in the triangular Pakistan-US-India relationship.

Pakistan-US relations have been mercurial and alternated between close engagement and deep estrangement.

Pakistan’s nuclear programme was the issue that divided the two countries in the nineties even though it remained dormant in the preceding decade as the joint struggle against Russian occupation had higher priority for Washington. The divergence was to surface once the Soviets were defeated and US goals changed. Wide-ranging sanctions were imposed on Pakistan in the coercive chapter that followed. Even when re-engagement took place years later, it was defined by its mostly transactional character. Nevertheless, for Pakistan it has been a critical bilateral relationship. Islamabad sought — as it does now — to predicate relations with Washington on Pakistan’s intrinsic importance rather than as a function of a third country or be viewed through a single prism.

When the two countries cooperated on a common goal it worked to their mutual benefit, as illustrated by Al Qaeda’s decimation in the region, which Zahid writes about in much detail. This did not however obscure the sharp disagreements between them over the war in Afghanistan. Conflicting views on why America’s war effort faltered generated a clash of narratives that underlined how fraught this ostensibly cooperative period became. In an insightful chapter titled ‘What’s your Plan for Afghanistan’, Zahid highlights differences over strategy by detailing the conversations between Pakistan’s army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and General David Petraeus. “You must go for reconciliation” (with the Taliban) Kayani is cited as advising the US general when Washington rolled out its new counterinsurgency strategy. But “for the Pentagon talking to the Taliban was a form of capitulation”. Kayani’s extensive parleys with various US officials saw him boldly articulate Pakistan’s position that the war needed a negotiated end. But there were then few takers of this view in Washington.

Kayani is cast in a positive light in Zahid’s book not only for being a “thinking soldier” who “had a strategic mind”. He writes approvingly of his consistent efforts to convince the US that the war was unwinnable and needed a diplomatic strategy — a view Washington came around to several years later. His role at home also gets a positive mention: “General Kayani led his forces in one of the most successful counterinsurgency campaigns in a treacherous terrain.” And “despite constant conflicts with the civilian leadership, he didn’t let the democratic process get derailed. Kayani oversaw two democratic political transitions (2008 and 2013) during his six years in office.”

Zahid’s skilful weaving of Pakistan’s internal politics, the changing fortunes of president Pervez Musharraf and US interests is one of the most compelling parts of his book. He describes how the US and UK sought to forge an alliance between pro-West moderate forces — Musharraf and the PPP — to avert a “right-wing backlash” and lend legitimacy to the military ruler. He explains why the plan went awry, with Musharraf compelled to give up the army chief’s office and then Benazir Bhutto’s tragic assassination. Thereafter Asif Zardari “became the accidental beneficiary of the reconciliation deal between Musharraf and Benazir” — in which the US ambassador Anne Patterson played a key role. He also recalls the ‘reciprocity’ Washington elicited from PPP leaders. Both Zardari and prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani assured US officials they had no problem with American drone strikes, which were immensely unpopular in the country and an infringement of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Writing about tensions between Zardari and the army he claims that “both the civil and the military leadership would confide sensitive information to the US envoy and use her to carry messages to the other side, underlining the growing civil-military divide”. The author’s purpose is not to indict the Pakistani leadership but to demonstrate how the dynamics of the no-win war permeated though the Pakistani power structure and shaped the politics of that period.

For me what is most important about the book is that it is written by a Pakistani who is not defensive about his country’s interests and who by his deep understanding of the country’s policies is able to offer Pakistan’s perspective on a pivotal period in a dispassionate and persuasive manner.

The writer is a former ambassador to the US, UK & UN.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2021

The Iranian and Chinese Nuclear Horns Align

Ex-IDF intel head: Iran-China megadeal includes ‘worrying’ military info-sharing

Amos Yadlin says China believes it can be more aggressive with Biden; full details of agreement not public, but draft reported last year calls for Beijing, Tehran to exchange intel

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, pose for photos at the start of their meeting in Tehran, Iran, March 27, 2021. Iran and China on Saturday signed a 25-year strategic cooperation agreement addressing economic issues amid crippling US sanctions on Iran, state TV reported. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Amos Yadlin, the former IDF chief of Military Intelligence, expressed concern on Monday about a reported clause in the 25-year strategic cooperation mega-deal signed by Iran and China that includes a commitment to military cooperation, with joint training, research and intelligence sharing.

“One of the most worrying clauses in the agreement between Iran and China is the intelligence sharing,” the head of the Institute for National Security Studies told the Ynet news site.

The full details of the final agreement have not been released, but Yadlin said that with that clause, reported to be in a draft last year, “China is putting itself in a place that, until today, it had not been before.”

“On a fundamental level, China opposes an Iranian nuclear bomb, but on the other hand, it is not helping to stop Iran,” said Yadlin. “Iran, too, needs the political support which China has to stop the United States from pressuring it.”

“The Chinese understand that the Biden administration is not the Trump administration, and they can be much more aggressive,” he added.

Institute for National Security Studies Chairman Amos Yadlin attends the Annual International Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv January 23, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/ FLASH90)

The clause is detailed in a former draft of the deal, obtained by the New York Times last year,and calls for joint training and exercises, as well as cooperation on research and weapons development, as well as the sharing of intelligence.

Yadlin’s comments came after China and Iran signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership on Saturday, a 25-year long strategic agreement between the two countries to address economic issues in Iran amid crippling US sanctions.

China is Iran’s leading trade partner and was one of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil before then-US president Donald Trump reimposed sweeping unilateral sanctions in 2018 after abandoning a multilateral nuclear agreement with Tehran.

The New York Times reported that China will invest some $400 billion in Iran in exchange for oil as part of the deal.

Alongside military cooperation, the deal covers a variety of economic activities from oil and mining to promoting industrial activity in Iran, as well as transportation and agricultural collaborations, according to the report.

US President Joe Biden at Emory University in Atlanta, March 19, 2021. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

The agreement could undermine US leverage over Iran ahead of expected negotiations and lessen American influence in the Middle East.

The Times report said Iran was prepared to host direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, further suggesting that US influence in the region could be waning.

The deal also supports tourism and cultural exchanges and comes on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran. The two countries have had warm relations and both took part in a joint naval exercise in 2019 with Russia in the northern Indian Ocean.

Reportedly, Iran and China have done some $20 billion in trade annually in recent years. That is down from nearly $52 billion in 2014, however, because of a decline in oil prices and US sanctions imposed in 2018, after Trump pulled the US unilaterally out of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Additionally, ongoing US sanctions against Iran could hamper its trade with China despite Saturday’s agreement.

The British Nuclear Horn Joins the US-China Fray: Daniel 7

Nuclear Weapons Blazing: Britain Enters the US-China Fray

Ramzy Baroud 29 Mar 2021

Boris Johnson’s March 16 speech before the British Parliament was reminiscent, at least in tone, to that of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2019, on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China.

The comparison is quite apt if we remember the long-anticipated shift in Britain’s foreign policy and Johnson’s conservative Government’s pressing need to chart a new global course in search for new allies – and new enemies. 

Xi’s words in 2019 signaled a new era in Chinese foreign policy, where Beijing hoped to send a message to its allies and enemies that the rules of the game were finally changing in its favor, and that China’s economic miracle – launched under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping in 1992 – would no longer be confined to the realm of wealth accumulation, but would exceed this to politics and military strength, as well.

In China’s case, Xi’s declarations were not a shift per se, but rather a rational progression. However, in the case of Britain, the process, though ultimately rational, is hardly straightforward. After officially leaving the European Union in January 2020, Britain was expected to articulate a new national agenda. This articulation, however, was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiple crises it generated. 

Several scenarios, regarding the nature of Britain’s new agenda, were plausible:

One, that Britain maintains a degree of political proximity to the EU, thus avoiding more negative repercussions of Brexit;

Two, for Britain to return to its former alliance with the US, begun in earnest in the post-World War II era and the formation of NATO and reaching its zenith in the run up to the Iraq invasion in 2003; 

Finally, for Britain to play the role of the mediator, standing at an equal distance among all parties, so that it may reap the benefits of its unique position as a strong country with a massive global network.

A government’s report, “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”, released on March 16, and Johnson’s  subsequent speech, indicate that Britain has chosen the second option.

The report clearly prioritizes the British-American alliance above all others, stating that “The United States will remain the UK’s most important strategic ally and partner”, and underscoring Britain’s need to place greater focus on the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region, calling it “the centre of intensifying geopolitical competition”.

Therefore, unsurprisingly, Britain is now set to dispatch a military carrier to the South China Sea, and is preparing to expand its nuclear arsenal from 180 to 260 warheads, in obvious violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The latter move can be directly attributed to Britain’s new political realignment which roughly follows the maxim of ‘the enemy of my friend is my enemy’. 

The government’s report places particular emphasis on China, warning against its increased “international assertiveness” and “growing importance in the Indo-Pacific”. Furthermore, it calls for greater investment in enhancing “China-facing capabilities” and responding to “the systematic challenge” that China “poses to our security”.

How additional nuclear warheads will allow Britain to achieve its above objectives remains uncertain. Compared with Russia and the US, Britain’s nuclear arsenal, although duly destructive, is negligible in terms of its overall size. However, as history has taught us, nuclear weapons are rarely manufactured to be used in war – with the single exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The number of nuclear warheads and the precise position of their operational deployment are usually meant to send a message, not merely that of strength or resolve, but also to delineate where a specific country stands in terms of its alliances.

The US-Soviet Cold War, for example, was expressed largely through a relentless arms race, with nuclear weapons playing a central role in that polarizing conflict, which divided the world into two major ideological-political camps.

Now that China is likely to claim the superpower status enjoyed by the Soviets until the early 1990s, a new Great Game and Cold War can be felt, not only in the Asia Pacific region, but as far away as Africa and South America. While Europe continues to hedge its bets in this new global conflict – reassured by the size of its members’ collective economies – Britain, thanks to Brexit, no longer has that leverage. No longer an EU member, Britain is now keen to protect its global interests through a direct commitment to US interests. Now that China has been designated as America’s new enemy, Britain must play along.

While much media coverage has been dedicated to the expansion of Britain’s nuclear arsenal, little attention has been paid to the fact that the British move is a mere step in a larger political scheme, which ultimately aims at executing a British tilt to Asia, similar to the US ‘pivot to Asia’, declared by the Barack Obama Administration nearly a decade ago. 

The British foreign policy shift is an unprecedented gamble for London, as the nature of the new Cold War is fundamentally different from the previous one; this time around, the ‘West’ is divided, torn by politics and crises, while NATO is no longer the superpower it once was. 

Now that Britain has made its position clear, the ball is in the Chinese court, and the new Great Game is, indeed, afoot. 

—Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net

Israel forces detain 3 more Hamas leaders outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel forces detain 3 more Hamas leaders in West Bank

MENAFN

(MENAFN) Palestinian sources close to Hamas said that on Friday, Mar. 26 Israeli military detained in the West Bank another three leaders of Hamas, ruling party of Gaza.

The Israeli forces detained the three Hamas leaders, Hatem Qafisha, Eisa al-Jabari and Mazen al-Natsheh, from their houses in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, said the resources to Xinhua.

The Israeli military detained two Hamas leaders in the West Bank, stated on Wednesday the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, a non-governmental organization which was founded in 1993 to help political detainees in Israeli jails.

The report noted that the two senior Hamas leaders, Jamal al-Taweel and Bajes Nakhla, were detained from their houses close to Ramallah in the West Bank.

Protesters outside the Temple Walls demand release of Hamas officials: Revelation 11

Gaza protesters demand release of Hamas officials from Saudi jails

Sunday, 28 March 2021 10:30 AM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 28 March 2021 10:37 AM ]

Hundreds of Palestinians have staged a protest in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, urging Saudi Arabia to release two officials from the Hamas resistance movement who are imprisoned in the kingdom.

The demonstration took place on Saturday, with the participants chanting slogans against Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported.

They called on the Riyadh regime to release Muhammad al-Khudari, 83, and his son Hani, who are being kept behind bars in Saudi Arabia over the past three years.

Abdul Majid al-Khudari, a brother of the elderly inmate, told reporters during the protest that his family had repeatedly sent messages to Saudi officials demanding the detainees’ immediate release, but it had received no response.

“Today, we gathered here to tell the world that there is a human being (Muhammad al-Khudari) who was subjected to oppression and is now in a Saudi prison. He is suffering from cancer,” he said, noting that his brother’s presence in Saudi Arabia was legal and coordinated with the kingdom.

Al-Khudari and his son were arbitrarily arrested on April 4, 2019 and remained in detention without charge for almost one year. The father was undergoing cancer treatment when he was taken into custody.

Both men were forcibly disappeared for one month after their arrest, and held incommunicado and in solitary confinement for the next two months of their detention.

According to Amnesty International, “the two men were interrogated behind closed doors without the presence or participation of their lawyers, and their treatment and conditions of detention have caused them major stress and psychological pressure, especially Dr. Muhammad al-Khudari, as denying him access to adequate medical care led to worsening his health condition”.

“These conducts violate the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.”

On March 8, 2020, they were charged before the Saudi Supreme Court with “joining a terrorist group,” as part of a collective trial of 68 Hamas members.

The trial “was marred by numerous and serious violations of their rights in the due process, including enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and detention and solitary confinement,” according to Amnesty International.

Israel arrests 3 Hamas leaders ahead of elections

On Friday, Israeli forces arrested three prominent Hamas leaders, Hatem Qafisha, Issa al-Jabari and Mazen al-Natsheh, in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

The arrests come as Palestinian political factions are preparing for legislative elections on May 22, in which Hamas is expected to win a majority of seats in the Parliament.

Earlier this week, Israeli forces released two Hamas members after detaining them for interrogation from the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah, and arrested five former Hamas prisoners.

In early March, Israeli media reported that the regime’s spy agency Shin Bet had contacted Hamas members and supporters in the occupied West Bank and warned them against running in the upcoming polls.

According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, a total of 4,400 Palestinians, including women and children, are currently held in Israeli detention facilities.

They experience numerous rights violations, including torture, repression, assault and the denial of proper medical treatment.

The regime in Tel Aviv has an infamous “administrative detention” system, under which it imprisons Palestinians without trial or charge, with some prisoners being held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

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Hybrid Warfare Leading to the First Nuclear War: Revelation 8

Hybrid Warfare: A New Face Of Conflict n South Asia – OpEd

Amber Afreen Abid*March 29, 2021

Hybrid warfare or hybrid threat seems to be the emerging modality in the changing nature of warfare.  In the nuclear era, more attention has been given to the sub-conventional conflicts, because of the lethality of the nuclear weapons; the deterrence being created by the nuclear weapon states prevents other nuclear weapon states to wage a total war, and international legal bindings of prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons against non nuclear weapon states eliminates the probability of an all out war. Thus, the thrust of war has been envisioned by revisionist actors in the form of a new kind of warfare, predominantly through cyber-attacks and subversion, fake news campaign, sponsoring of proxy forces, or even through economic blackmail.

Hybrid warfare is a challenge, which brings into play an array of tactics and strategies thereby inflicting harm to the adversary, whilst exploiting the revolution in technological affairs. It targets the vulnerabilities of any society, with the aim to divide and dissuade the population, undermines the key institutions, and even deteriorates the bond between the states and international organizations. In a nutshell, hybrid warfare is a full-spectrum of war, which encompasses both physical and psychological aspects of the adversary.

Pakistan has also been the victim of hybrid warfare. Since inception, India has been trying to wage a war or indulge into a conflict with Pakistan, in one way or the other. India is sparing no effort in targeting the domestic fault lines of Pakistan, which encompasses all the political, social, economic and religious factors. They are leaving no stone unturned in defaming and maligning Pakistan in the international arena through its fake propaganda. Pakistani society is an amalgam of ethnic groups, sectarian faction, and cultural blocs, which is being exploited by India and is used as a fault line as a grey-zone in conflict. India is operating radicalized militant group in Pakistan and is supporting the dissidents in Baluchistan. Moreover, Afghanistan’s land is being exercised by India in its endeavor to destabilize Pakistan by operating terrorists’ organizations for launching sub-conventional warfare inside Pakistan.

Considering the spillover of untrue and fallacious information, the complexity of warfare has tremendously being increased. India is involved in various operations against Pakistan in order to defame and discredit the country, in its pursuit to isolate it internationally as well. Its conspiracy of defaming and maligning Pakistan has also been put out in the EU DisinfoLab Report. According to that report, India is operating the largest ever fake media network, with 750+ fake media websites, and resurrecting the dead scholars and propagating the false news in the international media.

Moreover, it supported the objectives of right-wing politicians in attaining their objectives, in propaganda to support the minority rights and women related issues. Moreover India is also keenly involved in terrorists and separatists activities, and trying its level best to sabotage the economic project of Pakistan- the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which certainly is a headache to the adversary. India is using a variety of subversive tactics of hybrid warfare, in order to destabilize Pakistan both externally and internally. Pakistan has encountered many security challenges successfully, but has been prone to the non-traditional security challenge-the hybrid warfare, waged by India. Thereof, in the contemporary state of affairs, it is imperative for Pakistan to identify and efficiently counter the gradually escalating non-traditional threat.

There is a need to pen down a grand strategy for countering all the traditional and non-traditional threats posed by the adversary. Pakistan needs to devise a comprehensive strategy to counter the aggression of hybrid warfare. Pakistan will develop Hybrid Warfare and Stratagem Centre (HWSC), with its aim to address policy makers of the threats posed by the hybrid warfare, to make them susceptible of the threats and awareness for curbing them in the future. Moreover, the system to share the sensitive information should be devised in order to spread the information through all the major civil and military institutions of the country.

Moreover, media has to play a vital role in curbing the fake news propaganda and misinformation, as it is the most important tool used in propagating bogus information; besides, the media should strictly promote Pakistan’s narrative in fighting against the prevalent threat. Additionally, the law enforcement agencies should work in coordination with each other and should be properly trained and equipped to fight against this abstract threat, additionally, they should be able enough to smartly utilize Artificial Intelligence as well.

It is imperative for the government to provide awareness and vigilance to the local population of the country, in order to make them aware of the actions and ill-will of the adversary in its attempt to dissect the society, as the objective is to target the common people. Hence, the cautious and observant society is the first and foremost step in the line of defense against this new challenge, and the entire country needs to play the role in curbing the spiteful act of the foe.

*Amber Afreen Abid, Research Associate, Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), Islamabad.