Israeli air force chief to give Moscow findings on Russian plane downing

Israel's air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow to share the military's findings on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2018
0

Israeli air force chief to give Moscow findings on Russian plane downing

  • Israel's air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow
  • On Monday, Syrian air defences shot down a Russian military plane, killing 15 soldiers

JERUSALEM: Israel's air force commander will lead a delegation to Moscow to share the military's findings on the Syrian downing of a Russian warplane following Israeli air strikes, the army said Wednesday.
The delegation, led by Major General Amikam Norkin, would on Thursday "present the situation report... regarding all aspects" of the incident, the army said in a statement.
"In addition, they will present the continuous Iranian attempts to transfer strategic weapons to the Hezbollah terror organisation and to establish an Iranian military presence in Syria."
On Monday, Syrian air defences shot down a Russian military plane, killing 15 soldiers, after Israeli missiles had struck the coastal region of Latakia.
The Russian military accused Israeli pilots of using "the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air defences".
Israel denied the allegations, saying its jets were already back in Israeli airspace when Syrian forces launched the missiles that hit the Russian plane.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his "sorrow" to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Tuesday, offering to assist Moscow in the investigation.
Putin had said the incident was the result of "tragic accidental circumstances," warning Netanyahu against carrying out such operations in the future and pledging to beef up security for Russian forces in Syria.
Accompanying Norkin on the Thursday visit will be officers from the intelligence and operations directorates, the army said in its Wednesday statement.


Jordan’s king urged to bolster UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem

Girls play in their school yard in the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem. Israel has frozen plans to demolish the village that has drawn the world’s attention. (AFP)
Updated 24 October 2018
0

Jordan’s king urged to bolster UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem

  • The call came in an open letter to King Abdullah in his capacity as custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites
  • If a UNESCO fact-finding mission arrives in Jerusalem too late, it may not find real facts to be documented: letter

AMMAN: Religious and political figures in Jerusalem urged Jordan’s king to coordinate with the Palestinian president and the UN to obligate Israel to implement resolutions passed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regarding the city.

The call came in an open letter to King Abdullah in his capacity as custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites. 

“If a UNESCO fact-finding mission arrives in Jerusalem too late, it may not find real facts to be documented,” the letter said.

“The mission will find only an altered status quo, faked history, and important monuments and archaeological layers would be removed or Judaized.”

Wasfi Kailani, director of the Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Arab News: “The issue of Jerusalem is always a high priority for the king, and Jordan will be studying the appeal from all aspects before making a decision as to the next steps.”

Hanna Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim-Christian Committee and a signatory to the letter, told Arab News: “This appeal reflects clear Christian-Muslim unity in the face of continued and daily Israeli violations, especially in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He expressed hope that the issue will reach the International Criminal Court (ICC), but said: “Unfortunately, US hegemony has rendered many of these institutions totally impotent.”

The latest UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem — sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan — said: “The Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” 

It reaffirmed that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem… are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”