A total of 3,316 Palestinians, including hundreds of women and children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip since Binyamin Netanyahu became prime minster (for the second time) in 2009, according to B'Tselem, an Israeli rights group.
Cited as the chief architect of Israel’s current oppressive policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians, Netanyahu served as prime minister during two bloody Israeli army operations against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
According to B'Tselem, a whopping 3,316 Palestinians have been killed since 2009, including 775 children and 334 women, in the occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza.
Harsh measures in W.Bank 'mistaken': Israeli commander
Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General, Gadi Eisenkot, has warned against adopting harsh measures against Palestinians in the West Bank, Israeli media reported on Sunday."There's the thinking here that if we only apply more force against terrorism, it will end," Eisenkot was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post newspaper during a conference dubbed “The Army and the Israeli Society”."That's a mistaken approach. I frequently hear that deterrence has collapsed, but such a concept is elusive. Deterrence doesn't drop and isn't built in a day,” he said.He said it was in Israel’s interest not to escalate the situation in the West Bank.Eisenkot’s warning came in response to calls by Israeli officials and ministers for using force in the wake of recent Palestinian attacks.Regarding a recent U.S. decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Eisenkot said "the army has operated independently in this region for decades"."The arrival of the Russians at the end of 2015 created a new challenge, and made it necessary for us to establish a mechanism to prevent friction," he said.On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered all of the U.S. forces in Syria to withdraw from the country, saying Daesh's defeat was his sole reason for being in the civil war-torn country.The U.S. began its air campaign in Syria in 2014, deploying troops to the country to assist in the anti-Daesh fight alongside local partners the year after.Reports have suggested U.S. forces will leave within 60 to 100 days.Gazan dies of injuries from Israeli fireHamas says won’t accept Palestinian state in Gaza
Turkey is the voice of the oppressed, Erdoğan says to Israel's Netanyahu
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's criticizing remarks toward himself and Turkey."Erdoğan is the voice of the oppressed, you [Netanyahu] are the voice of the persecutors. You are cruel!" he said at an opening ceremony in Istanbul."You are conducting state terror, your police detain women and children by kicking and dragging them," he added.He went on to say: "Israel has no right to accuse anyone without accounting for its own sins, crimes against humanity, massacres and destruction."On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu, on his Twitter account, attacked Turkish president over Turkey's counter-terror operation and Cyprus issues.
Gaza has paid the heaviest price during Netanyahu’s second, nine-year stint as premier. It was he who ordered Israel’s devastating "Pillar of Defense" and "Protective Edge" operations in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
These assaults inflicted massive damage on the coastal enclave, leaving hundreds of Palestinians dead and laying waste much of Gaza’s infrastructure.
According to B'Tselem, Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2012 left 167 Palestinian martyrs in its wake.
Two years later, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, launched by Netanyahu in mid-2014, made that year one of the bloodiest ever in Palestinian history.
Over the course of the 51-day onslaught, the Gaza Strip absorbed 6,000 airstrikes, 14,500 tank shells and more than 35,000 artillery rounds, according to UN figures.
Within the same period, 2,104 Palestinians were killed -- including 495 children and 253 women -- and more than 11,000 others were injured.
According to Palestinian sources, the assault left more than 3,000 homes completely destroyed and another 28,000 partly damaged, while some 65,000 Gazans were left homeless due largely to ruined infrastructure.
Palestinian factions slam verdict dissolving parliament
Palestinian factions have decried a Constitutional Court ruling dissolving the Hamas-led parliament.On Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to implement the court ruling dissolving the parliament and holding new parliamentary elections within six months.In a statement on Sunday, Islamic Jihad group described the verdict as “catastrophic”.Group spokesman Mosab al-Berem underlined the necessity "not to mix legal matters with political ones".“National unity should be achieved on the basis of partnership and internal harmony to stand against the [Israeli] occupation,” he said.The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine described the motion as a "political decision that would add new obstacles to efforts for the Palestinian reconciliation".This would bring the "division to a new level that could complicate the domestic affairs even more, and drag the Palestinian arena into a struggle over legitimacy."The group called on the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority not to apply the court decision and focus instead on the implementation of the reconciliation deals”.The Palestinian National Initiative also warned that the verdict “would drag the Palestinians into the trap of the Oslo accords (signed with Israel in 1993) of the self-rule which the Palestinian people and its leadership have overridden successfully”.Gazan dies of injuries from Israeli fireHamas says won’t accept Palestinian state in GazaThe decision is "a flagrant violation of Article 47 of the Palestinian Basic Law which states that the Legislative Council's term is only terminated when members of the newly elected assembly are sworn in."Also, the Popular Resistance Committees rejected the verdict, saying in a statement that such a move would "deepen the Palestinian division."Hamas has earlier decried the court decision, saying the verdict has “no constitutional or legal value”. In 2006, Hamas won the majority of votes in the parliamentary polls, however; the legislative process was disrupted after the Palestinian rift in 2007, when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.Since then, a rift has prevailed between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah group despite mediation efforts for rapprochement. Although the Palestinian Basic Law calls for holding parliamentary elections every four years, no vote was held since 2006.Pan-Islamic body to set up fund for Palestine refugees
Israeli army arrests Palestinian minor near Ramallah
Israeli forces on Sunday detained a Palestinian minor near Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank, according to local residents.Israeli forces raided the vicinity of a school west of Ramallah and arrested students, two of whom were girls, the resident said.The two girls were later released, while the third remained in custody, the same source said.The Israeli army has yet to comment on the report.Israel destroys tunnels on Lebanon borderIsraeli forces martyr Palestinian in West Bank
2018: More bloodshed
This year has seen yet more bloodshed under Netanyahu's command.
Since March 30, Palestinians have been holding almost-daily demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, to which Israeli troops have responded with excessive force.
Protesters demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
Earlier this year, as media outlets covered the rallies, Israeli soldiers could be seen gunning down protesters.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, more than 225 Palestinians have been killed near the buffer zone since the demonstrations began on March 30, while thousands more have been injured, many seriously.
Casualties reportedly include 42 children, four women, three medical workers and two journalists. More than 100 Palestinians have had to have limbs amputated after sustaining bullet injuries near the fraught buffer zone.
Within the same period, random airstrikes and tank shells have left another 14 Palestinians in Gaza dead.
Turkish officials slam Israeli PM over Erdoğan tweet
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on Sunday chastised Israeli premier over his tweet on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan."Accused of fraud in investigations carried out in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to manipulate the international community," AK Party spokesman Ömer Çelik said in a tweet.Çelik said that Netanyahu is "disturbed" by Erdoğan's remarks in favor of humanity and oppressed people.The spokesman emphasized that Turkey will continue to speak up against Israel’s unjust actions against the oppressed Palestinians and its practises that violate international law.On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu, on his Twitter account, attacked Turkish president over Turkey's counter-terror operation and Cyprus issues."It is meaningful that Netanyahu is disturbed by the operations carried out by the Turkish army and security forces against PKK targets, which carry out terrorist acts against our civilians and the Syrian oppressed, regardless of women and children," Çelik said.In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.Meanwhile Turkey’s presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın also responded to Netanyahu's accusations."Instead of begging President Erdogan not to speak out the truth, @netanyahu should end the lawless occupation of Palestinian lands and the brutal oppression of Palestinian people."Bashing Erdogan or using Kurds as a political chip will not save him from his domestic troubles," Kalın wrote in a tweet.Turkey says Israel's Netanyahu 'disturbed' by Erdoğan's remarks on humanityInstead of begging President Erdoğan not to speak out the truth, @netanyahu should end the lawless occupation of Palestinian lands and the brutal oppression of Palestinian people. Bashing Erdoğan or using Kurds as a political chip will not save him from his domestic troubles. https://t.co/I6YdwDP2v4— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) 23 Aralık 2018
Israel's PM is 'cold-blooded killer of modern times,' says Turkish FM
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Sunday slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his recent scandalous remarks on Twitter about Erdoğan."The occupier [Netanyahu] which kicks people lying on the ground is easily offended: @netanyahu is a cold-blooded killer of modern times, responsible for massacres of thousands of innocent Palestinians, bombing children on beaches. Turkey will never stop exposing the truth," he said in a Twitter post.The occupier which kicks people lying on the ground is easily offended: @netanyahu is a cold-blooded killer of modern times, responsible for massacres of thousands of innocent Palestinians, bombing children on beaches. Turkey will never stop exposing the truth. pic.twitter.com/gr5NcDwO8S— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) 23 Aralık 2018
The number of raids carried out by extremist Jews on East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque complex has also increased dramatically under Netanyahu’s leadership.
According to Palestinian sources, this year has seen more than 28,000 Jewish settlers force their way into the flashpoint holy site -- 2,000 more times than last year.
Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities have closed the mosque complex off to Muslim worshippers twice this year.
Under Netanyahu, the Israeli government has also continued preventing Palestinians from building in their communities.
Palestinians are seldom granted construction permits, while their homes are frequently razed by the Israeli authorities on grounds they were built “without authorization”.
According to a report released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel demolished 133 homes in East Jerusalem this year, ostensibly due to licensing issues.
Adding insult to injury, the Israeli government typically forces Palestinians to cover the expense of destroying their homes.
Turkey says Israeli PM 'disturbed' by Erdoğan's remarks on humanity
Turkey’s presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın on Sunday said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 'disturbed' by the remarks Turkish President Erdoğan has made on humanity and the oppressed people of Palestine."Instead of begging President Erdoğan not to speak out the truth, Netanyahu should end the lawless occupation of Palestinian lands and the brutal oppression of Palestinian people," Kalın said on Twitter."Bashing Erdoğan or using Kurds as a political chip will not save him from his domestic troubles," he continued.Instead of begging President Erdoğan not to speak out the truth, @netanyahu should end the lawless occupation of Palestinian lands and the brutal oppression of Palestinian people. Bashing Erdoğan or using Kurds as a political chip will not save him from his domestic troubles. https://t.co/I6YdwDP2v4— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) 23 Aralık 2018
Nigerian daily rates Erdoğan Muslim personality of 2018
A Nigerian Islamic newspaper rated Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan 'Global Muslim Personality of 2018', praising the leader for standing up for the rights of Muslims worldwide.Rasheed Abubakar, publisher of the Muslim News Nigeria, said the choice of Erdogan as the winner of the Global Muslim Personality award was "undisputable" going by the influence and power he wields - both within the Muslim world and in the international community.Erdogan also has a large number of supporters among Nigerian Muslims, Abubakar added."Erdogan is famously referred to as the Amir-ul-Mu'mineen (the Leader of the Believers) for his consistent advocacy for the voiceless and defenseless Muslims all over the world, despite the campaign of calumny by distractors in the global media," Abubakar said.He said Erdogan took the initiative and accused Israel of "willful murder" of Palestinians despite the entire Muslim world kept silent."This same man has on several occasions called on the Muslim world to protect the Rohingya and Uighur Muslims against the government of their countries in Myanmar and China."He didn't just talk or shout to cover-up, he walked the talk by providing humanitarian assistance for millions of oppressed Muslims," he added.Abubakar said the criteria for picking the winners include their overall positive campaign on the rights of Muslims worldwide.Erdogan emerged on top of the ratings that included other influential Muslim figures like Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar (2nd); Malaysian leader Mahathir Bin Mohamad (3rd); renowned Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi (4th); and the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman (5th).
West Bank raids
The arbitrary arrest of West Bank Palestinians has also continued unabated under Netanyahu’s premiership.
Israeli forces conduct overnight raids in the occupied West Bank on an almost daily basis, often arresting Palestinians on vague and unsubstantiated charges. This frequently includes women and children, who are held for days in detention centers before being released.
According to the Committee for the Families of Prisoners, an NGO, Israeli forces have temporarily detained as many as 1,600 Palestinians so far this year in Jerusalem alone. These reportedly include about 400 children, 30 of whom are under 14 years old.
According to official Palestinian sources, some 6,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli prisons, including 52 women, 270 minors, and six Palestinian lawmakers.
The Israeli army has also continued to forcibly disperse demonstrations -- with teargas and rubber bullets -- which are held every Friday across the West Bank to protest Israel’s policy of non-stop settlement expansion.
Along with Palestinian demonstrators, medical workers and journalists are frequently injured -- and occasionally killed -- during these dispersions.
US troops remain in key Syria garrison near Iraq after Trump pullout decision
U.S. troops have not left the strategic Tanf garrison on the Iraq-Jordan border following President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of Syria, the leader of a Pentagon-backed group there said on Saturday.Colonel Muhanad al Talaa, leader of Maghawir al-Thawra whose several hundred fighters work alongside U.S. troops at the Tanf camp, said although they were notified of Washington's decision, the situation on the ground remained as it was."American troops plan to withdraw completely form Syria but I don't have details and things are as they are up until this moment," Talaa told Reuters from the base.The garrison is located in a strategic area near Syria's Tanf border crossing with Iraq at the crossroad of a main Baghdad-Damascus highway, Tehran's main arms supply route by land to Syria and Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah militia.Russia and the Syrian government have repeatedly called on Washington to pull its troops from the Tanf base, where it has declared a 55 km (35 mile)-radius "deconfliction zone" which has become a safe haven for at least 50,000 civilians, mostly women and children, who live in the Rukban camp within it.A western diplomatic source and a regional intelligence source told Reuters the decision to leave Tanf will not necessarily affect the broader U.S. strategy against Iran, where regional power Israel will continue its aerial strikes.Israel has in the last year hit several suspected Iranian-backed militia convoys and bases near Tanf where Iran's proxies are expanding their foothold, especially in the city of AlBukamal to the northeast of the base, another intelligence source involved in Syria said.
Gazan dies of injuries from Israeli fire
A Palestinian youth on Saturday succumbed to wounds he sustained from Israeli army gunfire in the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry.Ayman Munir Shbeir, 18, was shot in the abdomen during anti-occupation protests in Gaza on Friday.“He died of his wounds on Saturday,” the ministry said in a statement.Saturday’s death takes to four the number of Palestinian martyred by Israeli army fire near Gaza’s buffer zone since Friday. Dozens others were injured.Palestinians have been staging mass protests in Gaza to demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.Since the rallies began on March 30, more than 240 Palestinians have been martyred -- and more than 25,000 injured -- by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone.
The Netanyahu administration has also accelerated the pace of Israel’s illegal settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In September, Peace Now, an Israeli rights group, noted that, during the first half of 2018, construction had begun on more than 1,000 new settlement units, easily outstripping last year’s figure.
Today, there are 250 illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank (home to some 400,000 Israeli settlers) and another 18 in occupied East Jerusalem (home to some 220,000 settlers).
In 2015, settlers torched a Palestinian home in the Duma district near the West Bank city of Nablus, killing 18-month-old Ahmad Dawabsheh and both his parents.
In both the West Bank and East Jerusalem, extremist settlers often attack Palestinians -- including homes, vehicles and agricultural land -- with seeming impunity.
Hamas says won’t accept Palestinian state in Gaza
Palestinian resistance group Hamas will not accept a truncated Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, group spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Abu Zuhri said the so-called “deal of the century” – a U.S. backchannel plan to reach a peace settlement between Palestinians and Israel – aims to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza only.“We reject this deal, which seeks to undermine the Palestinian cause by taking the issues of Jerusalem and refugees off the table,” he said.“Our right extends to the whole Palestinian territories, not only the Gaza Strip,” Abu Zuhri stressed. “Our major goal is not only Gaza, but the liberation of all Palestine.”The U.S. administration has yet to unveil the details of the plan, but Abu Zuhri says the “deal of the century” is rather a plan for regional peace than aiming to solving the Palestinian problem.“The U.S. administration seeks to normalize the Arab-Israeli ties and make Israel’s existence inside the heart of the Arab region as normal.”The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority has rejected any U.S. mediation since the Donald Trump administration unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last year.Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.-Gaza protestsAbu Zuhri said the months-long protests staged by Palestinians along Gaza border were part of effort to abort the so-called “deal of the century”.“Our struggle and sacrifices will make it difficult for those who promote this deal,” he said.Palestinians have been staging mass protests in Gaza to demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.Since the rallies began on March 30, more than 240 Palestinians have been martyred -- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone.As for a planned foreign tour by Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, Abu Zuhri said the tour would include Russia and several other countries.Haniyeh received an official invitation from Russia last month to visit Moscow for talks with Russian officials.“We welcome the Russian invitation,” Abu Zuhri said, adding that Haniyeh’s talks in Moscow would focus on boosting relations between the Palestinian group and Russia.“Haniyeh’s tour will also include major Arab and Islamic states,” the spokesman said, without giving further details.No date has been given for Haniyeh’s tour.-Israel truceAsked about Egypt-brokered talks with Hamas for hammering out a ceasefire deal with Israel, Abu Zuhri said the consultations were “ongoing”.“Many of our demands have been met,” he said. “Our consultations are ongoing and have not stopped.”According to observers, the general outlines of the ceasefire involve an easing of Israel’s 12-year blockade of Gaza in return for a halt to mass Palestinian demonstrations near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.Asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that a number of Arab states were seeking to normalize ties with Israel, Abu Zuhri said “we should not be deceived by Netanyahu’s claims”.“Netanyahu is trying to show that they have the upper hand over the Arab region in an effort to evade the losses caused by the Palestinian resistance.”He said Netanyahu’s allegations “come to cover his political and partisan crises”.The Hamas spokesman, however, admitted that Israel has managed to make a breakthrough in relations with some Arab states.“These relations, however, are still limited,” he said.In October, Netanyahu visited the Gulf state of Oman, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.“Welcoming Netanyahu in any Arab or Islamic state would give a pretext to the Israeli occupation to continue its crimes against the innocent Palestinian people,” Abu Zuhri stressed.-Major victoryAbu Zuhri termed as a “major victory” the failure of a U.S. draft resolution at the UN General Assembly to condemn Hamas.Earlier this month, UN General Assembly narrowly rejected a U.S.-sponsored resolution seeking to condemn Hamas.The resolution, backed strongly by Israel and the U.S., needed a two-thirds majority to pass following an earlier vote in the assembly. The vote ultimately failed to cross the higher threshold, with 87 nations voting in favor and 57 voting against. Thirty-three countries abstained.“Washington has exercised major pressures on the member states to vote against the Palestinian resistance,” Abu Zuhri said. “Despite this, Hamas managed to fail the American project”.“The failure to pass this draft was a big achievement for the Palestinian resistance,” the spokesman stressed.-Palestinian riftThe Hamas spokesman criticized a recent threat by President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council (parliament).Abu Zuhri described Abbas’ threat as “baseless” and “reflects his exclusive mentality that does not believe in partnership and unity”.Hamas, which has the majority of seats in parliament, argues that Abbas does not have the authority to dissolve the assembly.“As per the Palestinian Constitution, the parliament has the full power to continue its work until another assembly is elected,” Abu Zuhri said.There was no comment from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority on Abu Zuhri’s statement.Hamas and Abbas’ rival Fatah group have been at odds since 2006 when the former swept the Palestinian legislative election.Tension between the two groups escalated into street fighting in 2007 with Hamas seizing control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah.Ever since, talks aimed at healing the rift between the two rival movements have been fruitless.
US fundraising site suspends account of BDS movement
A U.S. fundraising website on Friday announced they had blocked the account of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement following complaints by a pro-Israel group that the non-violent movement is linked to militant groups.Donorbox, an online fundraising portal from Silicon Valley in California, blocked the account following a complaint placed by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli advocacy group, in coordination with Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs."This decision does not mean that we consider BDS to be a nefarious organization. We are merely reviewing evidence following this complaint. Their donation forms were closed as a precautionary measure," Donorbox said in a statement, reported by According to The Associated Press.Omar Barghouti, founder of the BDS movement, criticized Shurat HaDin for using "McCarthyite" tactics while working with the Israeli government."They are making categorically false allegations, threatening and bullying our partners and service providers in a desperate attempt to undermine our ability to challenge Israel’s regime of apartheid and oppression," Barghouti said.The BDS movement was formed in 2005 by 170 Palestinian civil society and rights groups with the goal of pressuring Israel to ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories.The movement calls for a boycott of Israeli companies involved in violating Palestinian human rights, and for other institutions to divest their interests in those companies.In recent years, BDS has been met by resistance in America with many states passing anti-BDS laws to criminalize any sort of anti-Israel sentiment.More than 20 states have enacted anti-BDS legislation across the country, while critics note that the laws violate the right to free speech guaranteed under the First Amendment.Last week, children's speech pathologist Bahia Amawi was denied work in Texas after refusing to sign a contract which including a cause saying she would not boycott Israel.Meanwhile, in some parts of the country the BDS movement is growing stronger and putting pressure on local governments to divest from Israel.Earlier this month, out of the pressure mounted by local groups affiliated with the BDS movement in the New England region, both the Vermont State Police and the Northampton Police Department in Massachusetts canceled their planned trip to Israel for a training program with Israeli police and intelligence.
Syria’s Turkmen, Arab tribes welcome US plan to leave Syria
The Syrian people welcome U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Omer Dede, vice-president of the Syrian Turkmen and Arab Tribal Association, said Friday."The U.S. finally found the right way. For the first time, it has made a good decision for Syria. As Syrians, we welcome this decision," Dede told Anadolu Agency.Saying the world had long remained silent to developments in Syria, Dede asserted that the global community -- particularly the U.S. and Russia -- had started focusing on the country after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement of a planned military campaign east of the Euphrates River.Trump Syria pullout ‘blow’ to Tel Aviv: Israeli expertsDede said that Turkey had adopted a resolute policy on Syria, manifested in its “Euphrates Shield” and “Olive Branch” operations, going on to note that the planned operation east of the Euphrates had “seriously intimidated” the PYD/PKK terrorist group.Pointing out that the Syrian Turkmen and Arab Tribal Association welcomed the U.S. decision, he added: “We are the true owners of the region east of the Euphrates. The PYD/PKK occupied our land there. God willing, the terrorists will flee once the U.S. withdraws and we return to our homeland.”Dede urged the international community to closely follow Trump’s promised troop withdrawal."We expect Washington to follow through with its decision, which the international community must pressure the U.S. to implement,” he said.Turkey welcomes US troop withdrawal from Syria: FM“Once the U.S. withdraws, the PYD/PKK won't find any quarter… and will be forced to flee, after which we will finally be able to return to our homes," he added.Trump made the withdrawal announcement on the eve of an anticipated Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria against the YPG/PYD/PKK terrorist group.Since 2016, Ankara has conducted two major military operations in the region with the stated aim of destroying the terrorist presence there.