For the first time, the International Criminal Court in The Hague has opened war crimes proceedings against an Islamist militant accused of leading in the destruction of historical monuments.
The charges reflect a heightened global concern about the safety of antiquities across the Middle East and North Africa, including in UNESCO world heritage sites. Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliates are increasingly launching deliberate assaults on treasured religious monuments…
Reuters has the rest here.
With violence against Jewish residents escalating quickly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a diplomatic trip to Germany.
Some say this latest campaign of terror could signal a Third Intifada.
Haaretz has an update on the situation here.
Discovery News is reporting:
Islamic State extremists have blown up the famous Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s head of antiquities said Monday, as the jihadists press their campaign to tear down the treasured heritage site.
“We have received news from the site that the Arch of Triumph was destroyed yesterday (Sunday). IS bobby-trapped it several weeks ago,” antiquities director Maamun Abdulkarim told AFP.
IS has carried out a sustained campaign of destruction against heritage sites in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, and in mid-August beheaded the ancient city’s 82-year-old former antiquities chief.
The jihadists have already destroyed the shrine of Baal Shamin and the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, regarded as Palmyra’s masterpiece, since overrunning the citadel in May.
The Arch of Triumph, situated at the entrance of the ancient ruins’ historic colonnaded street, was an “icon of Palmyra,” Abdulkarim said, warning that IS fighters have already laid explosives in other monuments.
“This is a systematic destruction of the city. They want to raze it completely,” he said.
“They want to destroy the amphitheatre, the colonnade. We now fear for the entire city,” he added, calling on the international community to “find a way to save Palmyra.”…
I’m afraid it may already be too late for the site by now.
Iraqi family tells the awful tale.
ISIS “Were Not Strangers; They Were Our Neighbors”
Read more and watch their heart-breaking video here.
Theology and Society:
Boko Haram militants claim that they are turning Nigeria into an Islamic caliphate. The Muslim extremist organization is in control of three Nigerian towns, and continues to gain power and influence in the region, the Christian Headlines website reports today (August 29, 2014).
In video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is seen announcing, “Thanks be to Allah who gave victory to our brethren in Gwoza and made it part of the Islamic caliphate… By the grace of Allah we will not leave the town. We have come to stay.”
The militants conquered Gwoza on August 6, destroying homes and killing many residents. Some survivors fled to surrounding mountains, as well as bordering nation Cameroon.
Officials fear that Boko Haram is working with Islamic State terrorists, who have taken control of large regions of Syria and Iraq, and have given Christians in their seized land one of three choices: Convert to Islam, pay a non-Islam tax, or be killed.