An Airstrike kills two Palestinians on the border of Gaza-Egypt.

On the morning of February 9th, an explosion killed two Palestinians and left five wounded on a smuggling tunnel between the Egypt-Gaza border. The origin of the airstrike is a question, Palestinian officials said that the explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike, but the Israeli army denied any involvement in the incident.

Gaza’s health ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qidra (also known as Ashraf al-Qedra), has pointed out that the aim of the attack was the tunnel that unifies the city of Gaza and Rafah. The tunnel is normally used as a way to pass products between Gaza and Egypt. It has become an important means for transports and exchange of armament and basic resources to survive. The huge tensions in the border have caused that more than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are still living since 2014 under a military blockade.

Ashraf al-Qidra said that the two men were “martyred and five other people were wounded as a result of being targeted by the Israeli warplane along the Palestinian-Egyptian borders”. According to Al-Qidra, the Two Palestinian victims have been identified as Hossam Al-Sufi, 24, from the town of Rafah, and Mohammed al-Aqra, 38, resident of Gaza City.

Some witnesses said that they saw an Israeli airplane threw a missile against the entry of the tunnel on the bounder, but the Israeli army denied having carried on these attacks. The facts happened a few hours after the draw of several rockets on Wednesday night from the Sinai city, Egypt, that is between the border of the East side of Israel and Gaza, Palestine.

The Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights has expressed their concern that Israel could be starting a high-scale military offensive. Also, the non-governmental organization has prayed to the international community to “act promptly against Israel’s military escalation, to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians, and ensure respect for the rules of international law,” claiming that “acting before a full-scale military bombardment is launched is crucial to ensuring the protection of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

The idea of building the tunnels comes from Hamas, who decided to build this grid of tunnels in order to support the Gaza strip. They built two kinds of tunnels: on the one hand, the one used by the Gaza strip and another one used to infiltrate Israel. The first category allows the terrorists of Gaza to hide their weapons, their commander center and their launching rockets ramps underground. The second one was made in order to kidnap and kill civilians from Israel.

In the past years, Egypt has destroyed more than 2,000 tunnels that provides basic resources to more than 2 million Gaza citizens. Also, Tamer al-Rifai, the Egyptian army spokesman, stated that in the past two months the Egyptian army has destroyed and uncovered six tunnels at the border between Gaza and the North Sinai, Egypt.

Angela Cantero, Alejandra Torres and Marie Camacho. 

United States Court of Appeals Denies Trump’s Travel Ban

The controversial decree signed by President Donald J. Trump banning refugees and restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter in the U.S. was declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

trumps-travel-ban

President of United States Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump signed the Executive Order 13769 under the name of “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”resulting in the suspension of this decree on 3rd February. The U.S. Court of Appeals on 9th February unanimously rejected President Trump’s attempt to re-apply it

From this declarations, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

This victory should not lead to complacency. This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.”  

Three judges supported arguments in order to keep the suspension of the traveling ban and Mr. Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Trump defend his travel ban and accused the judiciary branch of becoming “political” during an address to the Washington, D.C.conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He also made references to his current measures related to the electoral campaign:


“One of the reasons I was elected was because of law, order, and security.”

Mr. Trump talks directly to the American people, Courts of Appeal and to the Opposition:


“You are great men and women, and we have to allow you to do your jobs, and we have to give you the weapons that you need […] they are trying to taking away from you, because of politics, or political views.”


In those statements, he is calling for Americans to understand the travel ban as a tool for increment security and jobs. Then Trump alleged the possibility of the Courts of being influenced by the opposite party in its decisions. 

This article from The Guardian informs about Trump called for surveillance against mosques and support the idea of establishing a database for all Muslims living in the United States. This ideology has led Trump wants to the shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until he was able to figure out how to attack horrendous threats by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life, in his own words.

Trump’s executive order of the travel ban restriction proposed (also applied to permanent US residents, like green-card holders and foreign visitors) the imposition of a 90-day ban on travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lybia, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq, according to the Telegraph

However, the ban is not applied to Christians of these countries. 

Trump’s executive order has been strongly criticized by many people, as the Court of Appeals alleged that the travel ban has nothing to do with the reach of ‘national security’:

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national security.”


By Alejandro Martínez, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

Thailand – An Indecisive Country

The ongoing political crisis in Thailand has deterred tourists and investors, and after the military coup, it’s not better. On the contrary, many Thais crave for security and order – and free elections. In Bangkok, the hope is high that the coup will finally bring peace and stability.

The middle and upper classes fear what could come soon – they supported the overthrown government of Yingluck Shinawatra. Thats why today, everybody is cautious.

In turn, the military currently tries to justify the coup from last week. “A clash was very likely and if a clash were to happen, it might as well lead to a civil war,” so Bangkok could have become something like Syria, Libya or Iraq, said Lieutenant General Chatchalerm Chalermsukh of the Thai Army. They could not let that happen, and the chief is sure that most Thais also did not want that to happen.

Something relevant that must be mentioned is that since 1932, there has been the 19th coup d’état; this nineteenth one is lead by the army’s Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Prayuth Chan-Ocha, and it is assumed that he has the control of the country.

The martial law has been declared under a strong censure control and suspending the Constitution of 2007 on the 20th of may 2014 – with the exception of some dispositions related with the monarchy – being the king the most estimated politic figure in Thailand, and no politician would dare to overthrow him. The general Chatchalerm Chalermsukh told to the international press that the coup d’état was not premeditated and that they have been ‘forced’ to intervene due to the inability of both political sides to reach an agreement. The general said that it is “impossible” to go to the polls in a climate of hostility.

In this context, in order to maintain order and prevent the protests, the military government in Thailand has blocked the Internet and media access. Thus, Thailand is suffering a big drama nowadays; the freedom of all citizens is being questioned by the military government’s restrictions on the media and the Internet. The only media that is still working is the military controlled media. In order to contain the protests against the military coup, the ‘government’ first restricted and then blocked the Internet access to Thai population. For example, Facebook has been blocked, as well as all the foreign news channels like CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera.

To explain these restrictions made by the military, the current ‘government’ argues that it was a technical problem – does that really justify it?

 

Anyway, there is still some hope: the government assigned to the ICT Minister (Information and communications technology) Anudith Nakornthap the creation of a supervisory committee – in order to implement the new Internet policy – and to follow social media and its publications made by the Thai population.

This previously mentioned assignment will take time to get into the daily life of Thais, but what really matters is that it is in process. Obviously, the population desires more freedom, but in today’s type of regime, a supervisory committee is a huge change… To say and to do are two different things. So, can the ICT Minister perform his duties in the name of the Thai population?

Future events will show…

London 2012: Sport, economic crisis and missiles on residential flats.

Two months left to the beginning of the 2012 London Olympic Games. England’s capital is ready to receive the thousands of athlets and millions of tourists who will enjoy with the Olympic Games. The biggest miltary deployment since World War II will ensure their safety and the citizens. However do the citizens of London, want to convert their city into an Olympic city? Are the Olympic Games appropiate in this moment of a huge global economic crisis? How does this affect the daily lives of the people of London?

It is difficult to find the exact number, but it is estimated that the total cost of the Olympic Games could exceed 11 billion pounds. Only the construction of the Olympic stadium has exceeded 537 million pounds, wich makes it the most expensive stadium in the world. This year the Londoners have seen their taxes go up 20 pounds per citizen to finance the Games. Thousands of citizens are against the holding of the olimpyc games and remaind that they were not consulted and that Greece´s financial crisis started after the celebration of the Olympic Games in Athens 2004. Another concerns Londoners have is what is going to happen with the facilities when the Olympic Games have finished. Unfortunately the “madrileños” can understand the fears of  Londoners because Madrid has tried to be an Olympic City two consecutives times and not happy with their failure are competiting to be Olympic City for 2020.The citizens of Madrid are going to be paying for the ambitions of a Mayor for decades because the facilities that were built are now empty, deserted. Those constructions have not helped at all, only to put the city and the citizens in debt. They will pay the debt through added taxes. How it is it possible that the council with the most debt in Spain wants to be an Olympic City? Should not be the citizens who decided?

Security during the Olympics is an other factor wich furiates the citizens. The army is going to instal batteries of missiles on the roofs of family residences, there will be an aircraft carrier on the River Thames, 13, 500 soldiers will be deployed (a number higher than the British detachment in Afghanistan) will be among 30,000 and 50,000 troops adding policies, security officers and intelligence. All of this in times of austerity. The use of force has been authorized against uncomfortable protests towards the government such as “15M” or “Occupy Wall Street” movements and 300 new security cameras have been installed across London.Monitored citizens, citizens affected by road cutoffs and on public transport too, indiscriminate security controls, families with rockets on their roofs and citizens paying more taxes through the fault of the politician´s egos. While the city becomes poorer political and security companies get richer.

 

By: Isidoro Arriola, Rafael López, Patricia Martínez and Alejandra Rojo.

Concerns about the Olympic Games security plans

By Isidoro Arriola, Rafael López, Alejandra Rojo y Patricia Martínez.

It is known that the US has repeatedly expressed their preoccupation about the security in the London Olympics. Due to this preoccupation, the US Government has sent over one thousand security agents.

The American officials have been ultimately organizing the number of personnel in security matters that should be operating during the Olympics Games, telling what to do to the anti-terrorist and police forces of the UK.

This mandatory attitude from part of the United States is making the UK officials to get bothered, as they think that they are not equal partners in this theme. The general opinion about the position of the US is that they are being very demanding.

In the other hand, it has been known that the original security plan was composed by 10.000 security agents, and, after the first review, they realised that up to 21.000 agents where going to be needed, so the changes have to be done in this plans.

This error has brought some severe problems, such as the money that will need to be paid to the new security agents, money that will have to come from the Ministry of Defence, as there is no more money left for this in the budget due to the economical crisis that we are living now a day.

The problem will do little to reassure Washington, which will be supplementing its FBI personnel with an equal number of diplomatic security officials, some of whom will be armed to protect even better the security. Though the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has lowered the threat of attack to the third level, even though western intelligence agencies remain in alert because there is still some danger.

It is possible that Al-Qaeda, or other terrorist group, may attack to disrupt the Olympics Games, with members of the US team being obvious targeted. It is the perfect situation to attack because there will be many important political leaders with whom they may have some problem, and to they want to attack.

Even the believe of the strong security strategy and the solving of the problems that occur, some American officials have continued with the concern about the actual level of security agents.

One well-placed Presidential source said the whole Olympic security operation was being prepared actively “with the US in mind”, and that “The US will have no qualms in saying it is unsafe. If something happens and we say we did not have enough people, we are finished.”

Other source explained that the Americans where “risk averse”, that they want to control absolutely every single point of the security, such as building protection, counter terrorism and the VIP security.

Several anti-terrorism exercise have been carried out at the London Olympic Games Village amid fears of armed sieges, sniper attack and even bombing attack or biological weapons.

Finally, an official explained that the security plans were being mounted with the help of the government and some specialised security agencies, so the security is going to be more effective.

Here we can find an example of an anti-terrorism exercise in the Thames.