The Danish Ministry of Defense announced in a statement today, Sunday, “the withdrawal of all its military personnel from Iraq and Syria who participated in operations against the terrorist ISIS,” according to “Russia Today” news agency.

“The military leadership decided to withdraw and return to Denmark, and this is due to the fact that the number of terrorists from Daesh has decreased to such an extent that there is no urgent need for our contribution, and also because we need our forces in our country,” the statement read.

For his part, the head of the Danish Air Defense Unit, Air Control Wing, Colonel Bjarke Lomborg, said that “the force to confront the threats that we see in our immediate vicinity today is more important to us.”

According to US media, NATO’s new strategy requires its allies in Eastern Europe not to wait for US support in the event of a Russian attack on their countries.

Denmark has been a member of the international coalition against ISIS since July 2014, and it has 300 soldiers and military advisors in Iraq and Syria.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

Weather: Mild spring conditions

RAMALLAH: Weather today in Palestine is partly cloudy with a notable rise in temperatures, creating a pleasant and mild spring atmosphere in most areas, according to the Palestinian Meteorological Department.

Temperatures are anticipated to surpass the yearly average by approximately 6 degrees Celsius. Moderate to brisk southeast to southwest winds will prevail, and the sea waves are light.

Looking ahead to Monday, the weather is forecasted to shift towards partly to mostly cloudy skies, accompanied by a drop in temperatures. However, the overall weather remains moderate in most regions, with temperatures still exceeding the annual average by around 5 degrees Celsius.

Moving into Tuesday, partly cloudy conditions are expected to persist, and temperatures experience a relative drop. The mountainous areas are predicted to become relatively cold, while the rest of the regions tend to remain warm.

On Wednesday, as the evening approaches, the country is set to be influenced by a low-pressure system accompanied
by a cold air mass. The weather is projected to become partly to mostly cloudy and occasionally dusty.

A noticeable drop in temperature is expected on that day, turning the atmosphere cold. Rainfall is anticipated, with showers likely across most regions during the evening and night hours.

Source: Palestine news and Information Agency – WAFA

On third day of Eid al-Fitr, Jericho is under Israeli military siege

On the third day of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the ancient city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank remains under Israeli military siege for the second day in a row, according to witnesses.

Temporary military checkpoints have been set up by the Israeli occupation army at all the main entrances to Jericho since yesterday, resulting in traffic jams and unusually long queues of vehicles.

Palestinians trying to leave the city or enter it and those wanting to travel abroad who have to go through Jericho have not been able to do so and are held for a long time at the military checkpoints erected at the roads leading into and out of the city.

In addition to the siege, confrontations erupted earlier this morning between Israeli occupation soldiers and frustrated Palestinian residents at the south entrance to the city. During the confrontations, Israeli soldiers fired teargas at the protesters, causing cases of suffocation from gas inhalation.

Jericho and the adjacent Aqabat Jabr refugee camp were the scenes of repeated Israeli military assaults since early February, including a bloody army attack on the refugee camp on February 6 that left five Palestinians killed.

At this time of the year, the city usually attacks dozens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and the 1948-occupied territories who visit the city, considered a tourist destination, to spend their vacation time during the Muslims holidays.

Source: Palestine News & Information Agency

A stifling Israeli siege on the ancient city of Jericho on Eid al-Fitr

For the second day in a row, a suffocating, unjustified Israeli military siege continues to stifle the ancient and tourist city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank — at a time of the year when the city attracts dozens of thousands of national tourists during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

The city, which last year witnessed the most active tourist activity not seen for many years, turned this year into a big prison during the Muslim holiday which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, as a result of the Israeli military closure of the city that made it very difficult for tourists and local residents alike to enter or leave the city.

Abdul Karim Sidr, the mayor of Jericho, told WAFA that the arbitrary measures imposed by the occupation authorities “dealt a heavy blow to the tourist activity in Jericho, which usually attracts tourists during the holiday seasons, denying tourists access to the various destinations available in the city.”

“It [Israel] is imposing a siege on Jericho for no reason, and there is no clear justification for this,” he added.

As a result of the Israeli siege, many tourist destinations in the city such as parks and gardens have shut down, largely affecting businesses in the city that rely heavily on the holiday seasons.

Meanwhile, travelers and those seeking travel abroad through the Karama border crossing with Jordan, who have to cross through Jericho first, are facing unbearable delays due to the stifling Israeli checkpoints at all the entrances to the city.

“This is an Israeli policy of collective punishment targeting the people of Jericho, its refugee camps and its visitors,” Sidr added.

Director General of the Ministry of Tourism in Jericho, Iyad Hamdan, told WAFA that the city, which is one of the most attractive tourist destinations during holidays, is witnessing a sharp decline in the number of visitors who used to enter the city by the thousands every year, as a result of the closures imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Tayseer Hamida, the Head of the Jericho Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “The city used to receive thousands of vehicles for merchants and travelers, especially tourists who come to visit the city’s tourist destinations or those who pass through it… But now, the city lost one of its most important sources of livelihood with the stoppage of tourism.”

Hamida asserts that the Israeli siege “greatly affects the tourism and economic sectors, and deals a continuous blow to the city’s economy, which relies on agriculture and tourism. This is what interprets the decline in tourism and the collapse in vegetable prices in Jericho.”

“This is an Israeli policy targeted to strike the Palestinian economic activity in the first place.”

Source: Palestine News & Information Agency

Israeli forces insist on closing Jericho for second day

The Jericho authorities Sunday said the Israeli authorities had put in place flying checkpoints at the city entrances, causing clashes between armed Israeli soldiers and Palestinians.

This is the second day since the Israeli forces imposed a lockdown on the city entrances.

Jericho is witnessing traffic crises at all its entrances as a result of the influx of thousands of Palestinians to the city, which is considered a resort and a go-to destination for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

Source: Jordan News Agency