Re: Israel army trying to ‘drive Palestinians out’ in southern Hebron Hills, says NGO

The Israeli army is imposing “harsh travel restrictions” in an effort to “drive Palestinians out” in the southern Hebron Hills area of the occupied West Bank, according to human rights NGO B’Tselem.

Since the beginning of November 2017, B’Tselem says, Israeli occupation forces have targeted Palestinian communities of Masafer Yatta with restrictions including road blocks, and then “deep, wide ditches” that “prevent any sort of accesses by vehicle” on “several roads in the area”.

These movement restrictions compel Palestinian residents “to walk long distances, sometimes in harsh weather, or to drive along rough routes that damage their cars and cannot be used to transport bulk goods.”

“The [Palestinian] residents of Masafer Yatta have been suffering incessant harassment by Israel for decades,” says the Israeli rights group.

Israel does not allow them to connect to infrastructure and repeatedly demolishes their homes, in an attempt to drive them out of the area.

“Forcible transfer of residents constitutes a war crime,” B’Tselem added.

Such forcible transfer can be said to have occurred, the group continues, “even if the residents of these communities leave their homes, supposedly of their own volition, due to the unbearable living conditions that Israel’s policy is forcing upon them”.

Read: Life under occupation in Hebron

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Hamas official injured as car explodes in southern Lebanon – Lebanese TV

A blast destroyed a car in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, injuring a member of the Palestinian group Hamas, Al-Manar TV reported. Identified as Mohamed Hamdan, also known as Abu Hamza, the man has been taken to the hospital with “slight injuries.” Pictures from the scene show a BMW ripped from explosion, with fire and black smoke rising into the sky.

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Firefighter Killed Battling Thomas Fire In Southern California, Officials Say

A firefighter was killed battling the monstrous Thomas Fire in Southern California, officials said on Thursday. The unnamed man was an engineer with Cal Fire and based in San Diego.

“I am very saddened to report that a firefighter fatality has occurred on the Thomas Incident,” Chief Ken Pimlott, director of Cal Fire, said in a statement. “Please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers and all the responders on the front lines in your thoughts as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions.”

Pimlott said the man’s family and his unit had been notified.

The Thomas Fire, a behemoth that has scorched some 242,500 acres over the past week, quickly became the fourth-largest fire in California state history. Fire officials initially struggled to contain the blaze as it was spurred on by ferocious winds. As of Wednesday morning, it had reached 30 percent containment, with officials expecting to have the fire fully contained by early January.

More than 8,000 firefighters were dispatched to fight the Thomas Fire, including 1,200 from other states, but the resurgence in strong winds had officials worried the blaze could gain new life on Thursday.

Around 18,000 structures are still under threat from the flames, and nearly 1,000 have already been destroyed.

The National Weather Service had a Red Flag Warning in effect for much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties through Friday morning, warning that some areas could see gusts up to 55 mph.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.


Watch news, TV and more on Yahoo View.

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First Fatality In Southern California Wildfires Confirmed

Medical officials confirmed the first fire-related fatality in Southern California’s most recent spate of wildfires to HuffPost on Saturday.

Virginia Pesola, 70, of Santa Paula was found in a car that had crashed along an evacuation route in Ventura County ― north of Los Angeles ― on Wednesday night, a representative for the county medical examiner’s office said. Her cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma along with terminal smoke inhalation and heat-related injuries.

The blaze devouring Ventura County, known as the Thomas Fire, is currently the largest out of several wildfires raging in the region, burning through over 148,000 acres so far and requiring use of 575 fire engines to help contain it. 

Evacuation orders were lifted for portions of the area on Saturday, however, as the blaze reached 15 percent containment. More than 530 structures have been destroyed and 118 damaged. 

The Thomas Fire burns near Ojai, California, on Dec. 8. (Marcus Yam via Getty Images)The Thomas Fire burns near Ojai, California, on Dec. 8. (Marcus Yam via Getty Images)

High winds and low humidity have sparked at least five other, smaller fires across Southern California this week that have continued to burn into the weekend. Shifting breezes have made it difficult to predict the direction of the blazes, which have produced images of apocalyptic landscapes torn apart by flames.

A man walks along Ventura Avenue as the Thomas fire leaves behind smoke on Dec. 8. (Wally Skalij via Getty Images)A man walks along Ventura Avenue as the Thomas fire leaves behind smoke on Dec. 8. (Wally Skalij via Getty Images)

Firefighters continue to make progress. The Los Angeles Police Department announced Saturday afternoon that two of the region’s other blazes, the Creek and Skirball fires, were contained at 80 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

This has been one of the worst years for California wildfires on record, with more than twice as many acres burned so far in 2017 than in 2016. 

More than 40 people lost their lives in October during a series of Northern California wildfires that are now the state’s deadliest in its history. 

A home is consumed by fire in Ojai, California, on Dec. 7. (Justin Sullivan via Getty Images)A home is consumed by fire in Ojai, California, on Dec. 7. (Justin Sullivan via Getty Images)
  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Insane southern snow, Öræfajökull caldera deepens, volcanic uptick globally

Snow filled roads Wednesday in Valdez, Alaska.


Jackson Mississippi sees highest snowfall since 1982

Record snow blankets Houston and Texas

Snow is falling in Houston, TX, last measurable snow there was 8 years ago.


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Revolutionary Guard Su-22 crashes in southern Iran, pilot killed

A Sukhoi Su-22 warplane of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) went down at 8am local time in Sarvestan in the southern Iranian province of Fars Saturday, killing the pilot, local media reports citing a statement by the IRGC. The jet was conducting exercises when it crashed, it added.

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A dozen dead dolphins wash up in 3 weeks in southern France


Local authorities in Provence have opened an enquiry into the “unusual phenomenon” of a dozen dead dolphins washing up on French beaches.

It’s not exactly what you expect to see when strolling the French coastline.

But for the past three weeks the marine mammals have been found stranded between the îles d’Hyères and Cap Sicié on France’s south coast.

This “unusual phenomenon” has led the Mediterranean marine authorities to ask for an enquiry into the strange occurrence.

“A dozen stranded dolphins were found on the beaches of the southern provencal Var department over the past three weeks,” marine authorities said.

“In light of the first observations made on the state of their injuries, the centre has asked for an enquiry into the cause behind the deaths.”

Surveillance has also been increased in the affected zone.

But while some find the situation unusual, others have put it down to chance.


“This doesn’t mark an increase in deaths. On average, 80 marine mammals are found dead on the shores of the French Mediterranean coast, between Perpignan and Menton, as well as Corsica, every year,” marine expert Murielle Oriol told French local Var Matin.

The specialist confirmed that “a large number of them die after colliding with large ships”, adding that “pollution and and rubbish” also pose a threat.

“Last year, a large dolphin was found off the coast of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. We discovered some plastic in its stomach,” she said.

The marine authorities warn that if a member of the public comes across a stranded marine animal, to avoid direct contact (due to health risks), to take photos and note its exact location before contacting the French body responsible for the mammals when they wash up on the coast (Reseau National d’echouage).

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Floods and landslides strike southern Norway


Many people have had to leave their homes because of landslides and flood in Southern Norway. The Road Administration has lost the track of the number of closed roads.

Several places in southern Norway report serious incidents associated with the storm and heavy rain. In Lyngdal, around 20 people were evacuated after a river flooded on Monday.

Agder police published a warning on Monday to drivers about very difficult driving conditions in the region.




A number of roads in the Agder counties are closed due to floods. There have also been several serious damages related to the storm in recent hours.

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[WATCH] Southern California Cop Pulls Out Gun and Fires While Struggling with Unarmed Juvenile

A video is going viral on Facebook showing an off-duty Los Angeles police officer pulling out a gun and firing as he struggles to arrest an unarmed boy who appears to be about 14.

The incident took place Tuesday in Anaheim, which is in Orange County, so the cop was completely out of his jurisdiction.

The student being arrested can be heard saying he is not even sure the man is a cop and the students witnessing the arrest are also not sure. Some are even saying they have called police.

At one point, other students begin to defend their classmate by pushing the man off him, which is when he pulls out his gun and fires in what appears to be a negligent discharge.

Luckily, nobody was struck. At no point did the man ever pull out a badge.

Eventually, uniformed cops arrive and handcuff the boy and pat the man down, but he is not arrested.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Because the police officer used his gun, homicide detectives were assigned to the case and interviewed witnesses at the scene.

The names of the two teens arrested were not released because they are juveniles. One was booked on suspicion of battery and making criminal threats, and the other on suspicion of assault and battery.
It’s unclear what led to the dispute.

Wyatt said the off-duty officer is cooperating with the inquiry and has not been arrested. His name was not released.

The video was posted to the Mediatakeout Facebook page with the following description:

14 Year Old Latino Gets Into ARGUMENT . . . With Off Duty Police Officer . .. And The Cop Pulls Out His Gun . . . And Starts SHOOTING AT THE KIDS!!! (All This . . . Over An ARGUMENT?????)
The video was posted this morning and is quickly approaching a million views.

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