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Snow Reaches Desert's Edge In Iran

Snow Reaches Desert's Edge In Iran

While northern Iran has been hit by record snowfall in recent days, snow has also covered for the first time in living memory, the district of Shahdad in southeastern Iran, which typically has desert conditions and scorching temperatures.

The head of the Shahdad district, Mohammad Mo'meni, told Iran's Mehr news agency snow began to fall Tuesday, continuing into the next day, with an approximate accumulation of four centimeters.

"I spoke to people here and the oldest among them who is 80 said he had never seen snow," said Mo'meni.

The Jomhuri-e Eslami newspaper reported Thursday that six "foreign travellers" had to be rescued after they were stuck in the snow at the edge of the Lut desert, in what the daily described as "close to the hottest place on earth."

Here's how the area looks from a satelite image (Wikipedia)

[rebelmouse-image 27087786 alt="""" original_size="800x530" expand=1]

Meanwhile in northern Iran, snowfalls around the city of Mazandaran (photo above isasma via instagram) totaled some two meters, more than has been seen in 50 years.

@HassanRouhani sends ministers to provinces slammed by snow #Iran #Rouhani https://t.co/9UmaPbRfvW pic.twitter.com/BM8iHpQiM0

— Iran (@Iran) February 6, 2014

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Palestinian Olive Trees Are Also Under Israeli Occupation — And That's Not A Joke

In the West Bank, a quieter form of oppression has been plaguing Palestinians for a long time. Their olive groves are surrounded by soldiers, and it's forbidden to harvest the olives – this economic and social violence has gotten far worse since Oct. 7.

A Palestinian woman holds olives in her hands

In a file photo, Um Ahmed, 74, collects olives in the village of Sarra on the southwest of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Mohammed Turabi/ZUMA
Francesca Mannocchi

HEBRON – It was after Friday prayers on October 13th of last year, and Zakaria al-Arda was walking along the road that crosses his property's hillside to return home – but he never made it.

A settler from Havat Ma'on — an outpost bordering Al-Tuwani that the United Nations International Law and Israeli law considers illegal — descended from the hill with his rifle in hand.

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After kicking al-Arda, who tried to defend himself, the settler shot him in the abdomen. The bullet pierced through his stomach, a few centimeters below the lungs. Since then, al-Arda has been in the hospital in intensive care. A video of those moments clearly shows that neither al-Arda nor the other worshippers leaving the mosque were carrying any weapons.

The victim's cousin, Hafez Hureini, still lives in the town of Al-Tuwani. He is a farmer, and their house on the slope of the town is surrounded by olive trees — and Israeli soldiers. On the pine tree at the edge of his property, settlers have planted an Israeli flag. Today, Hafez lives, like everyone else, as an occupied individual.

He cannot work in his greenhouse, cannot sow his fields, and cannot harvest the olives from his precious olive trees.

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