What is the Alternative

should we give the Islamic Wave a chance in the Arab World, special in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafis???

as a Muslim I would answer with a Yes

as a faithful Muslim and an open minded Human being , I would decide to study some facts, what is the situation, the history and what is the best for the country.

Yes, in Egypt the Muslim-Brotherhood were and are the biggest organized group and did a lot for the poor people.

Through using the religion the have the most supporters, but is this a reason enough to guaranty us that they are able to lead Egypt through the 21th Century

what can we expect  from politician:

-. who only ride the wave to be on the winner side

-. who only chose the middle way in order to have the power

-. who use the religion for own purpose

It´s not of the Islamic features to be false and against the truth, as Islam is a religion of truth,

can we trust those who only use the religion.

can we trust those who support the oppressors (SCAF) of the Egyptian nation

can we trust them with the double standard policy they practice

They hit Women by peacefully demonstrations

They make deals and agreements with SCAF, USA, and Israel

The Egyptian Constitution say “no political groups or parties on Religious base”

They are the reason that Egypt didn’t get civil government in year 52

To all the Egyptians to every Muslim, open your eyes and see the truth, open your mind and think, did you think why is this Islamic wave having success at the moment?

Only because as Mubarak before they do deals with the enemies, with west Governments in order to rule the country, better said in order to be their puppets.

This would give the west the opportunity they wanted to control us our beloved Egypt and rob it, the west recognized that with the religion is the easiest and best way the Arab nation can be controlled and manipulated.

As Marx called the religion as “opium of the people”

Is this the Islam?

Is the Saudi government a Islamic one?

Its time for us to make the music, not only to dance on the rhythm of others

I would suggest that the alternative are Truth-Justice-Freedom, and this we find in the Tahrir, and don’t forget that our main enemy is among us starting by the SCAF

(Raef El-ghamri  / Facebook / 06.02.2012)

Netanyahu to Abbas: Choose Hamas or peace with Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters / Baz Ratner)

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the reconciliation of rival Palestine factions Fatah and Hamas.He says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ agreement to head the caretaker cabinet shows Abbas has “abandoned the path of peace.”

Hamas is a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel, and is supported by Iran,” Netanyahu said hours after the reconciliation agreement was signed in Qatar.

It is either peace with Hamas or peace with Israel. You can’t have them both. If Abbas realizes what was signed in Doha shows that he is choosing to abandon the path of peace and join with Hamas, without Hamas accepting the minimal conditions of the international community,” the Israeli PM added.

Abbas, who heads the secular Fatah party, said on Monday that a unity government would “heal wounds and end the chapter of division.” The reconciliation agreement allows the cabinet is to start preparations for general Palestinian elections, both presidential and parliamentary.

The Palestinians have been divided between two contesting governments since 2007, when Hamas ejected Abbas’ forces from the Gaza Strip. The two parties reached a breakthrough peace agreement last year, but their dispute on who would head an interim government delayed its implementation.

The US and Europe, who sending millions of dollars in financial aid to the Palestinian Autonomy, said earlier they would not keep up ties with a cabinet including even a single Hamas member. Previous year, Washigton blocked $200 million in a response to the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN. In order to avoid that, the fresh pact between the two factions proposes the interim government be made up of independent technocrats.

(rt.com / 05.02.2012)

Colloquium “Moeders der gelovigen” met S van Ael,K Benhaddou en M Chatouani

    • Wanneer
      zondag 11 maart 2012
    • Tijd
      11:30 tot 17:30
  • We nemen jullie mee naar een tijd waar de beste vrouwen die de mensheid heeft gekend hebben geleefd.
    We bestuderen Aicha ,Khadija, Zainab, Sawdah en alle andere “moeders der gelovigen” tussen geloof ,geduld en standvastigheid.
    We zullen hun eervolle eigenschappen bestuderen en leren hoe we deze in ons dagelijksleven kunnen praktiseren.

    De broeders die ons zullen helpen hierbij zijn Suleyman van Ael, Khalid Benhaddou en Mohammed Chatouani.

    Mis deze opportuniteit zeker niet !!!

    ps;Plaatsen zijn beperkt!!!

    Deuren open: 12h30
    Begin 13h:00

    Tickets: 5€

    Info voorverkoop;

    Iqra,Abdijstraat 131 ,Antwerpen 2020
    CT Belgium ,Turnhoutsebaan 239 ,Borgerhout 2140

    Online tickets
    storten op bankrekening
    363-0789675-38 met in mededeling uw naam en emailadres

    Alle info
    www.almawada.be
    FB; ALMAWADA
    info@almawada.be
    tel +32484172127

News from Syria 06.02.2012

People of #Homs are crying out for BLOOD & MEDICAL SUPPLIES.#Syria

There is some serious lack of medical supplies in #Homs. The wounded are dying! #Syria @DamascusTweets

#Qouriyah #DeirEzzor #Syria – 6th february 2012 anti government demonstration took place this evening

#Homs Violent shelling by the regime’s army on Baba Amr al-Khaledieh Bayada and Wady Arab areas

#DeirEzzor An evening demo started at Al-Aarafy Mosque near the Madlaji roundabout; participants chanted for the besieged citie

#UN #CHINA #RUSSIA – you have assads trust and ability 2 #help! ORGANIZE MEDICAL AID NOW!!!! #SYRIA #SOSHOMS#BabaAmr #Homs #NOW !!!

There is acute shortage of medical supplies here in #Homs city espicailly in desaster areas BabaAmr,Inshaat&Khalidiya #Syria WE NEED HELP

If you have the ability to provide people of #Homs with ways to stay online to report what’s going on please let us know! Please RT!#Syria

I’m in #Homs now using international internet i confirm:heavy randomly shelling from #Assad‘s forces by Mortar has returned an hour #Syria

I’m tweeting live frm #Homs city which’s under heavy shelling from#Assad‘s forces since yesterday Mobile&Electricity&internet r down#Syria

#Midan #Damascus #Syria – 6th february 2012 anti government demonstration kicked off at 8.30 pm in the al-Zahira

Raqqa Another evening demo started at Shuhada Mosque; participants chanted for the detainees and demanded

With tanks deployed into #Zabadani area of #Damascus people there have experssed there fear of a massacre! #Syria

Sanctions sanctions sanctions blah blah blah. Maybe if you actually wrote a decent news report on #Syria, things might be different

Scores killed and injured as #Syrian army shells #Homs; shelling seen as ‘real war’

#Qara #Damascus #Syria – 6th february 2012 anti government demonstration this evening in the Qara area of Damascus

#Damascus An evening demo in Qa’a area within al-Midan area was attacked by sec forces amid heavy gunfire and unidentified explosions

Israel: End Restrictions on Palestinian Residency

Military Control Over Population Registry Splits Families

Manal Alsaafin holds a photograph of her and her husband, Abdullah, whom Israeli authorities have prevented from returning to his home in the West Bank since 2009 on the basis that they have “registered” him as a resident of the Gaza Strip, not the West Bank.

Israel has never put forth any concrete security rationale for blanket policies that have made life a nightmare for Palestinians whom it considers unlawful residents in their own homes. The current policies leave families divided and people trapped on the wrong side of the border in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel should revise these policies and process requests for families to reunite, so that Palestinians can live with their families where they want.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

(Jerusalem) – Israeli policies on Palestinian residency have arbitrarily denied thousands of Palestinians the ability to live in, and travel to and from, the West Bank and Gaza, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Israel should immediately stop denying or cancelling the residency of Palestinians and close family members with deep ties to the West Bank and Gaza, and end blanket bans on processing their applications for residency.

The 90-page report, “Forget about Him, He’s Not Here,” describes the arbitrary exclusion by the Israeli military of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians since 1967 and documents the impact that exclusion continues to have on individuals and families. The way Israel’s military has exercised its control over the Palestinian population registry – the list of Palestinians whom it considers to be lawful residents of the West Bank and Gaza territories – has separated families, caused people to lose jobs and educational opportunities, barred people from entering the Palestinian territories, and trapped others inside them, Human Rights Watch said. Egypt also has problematic policies on Palestinians trying to enter Gaza that are based on the Israeli-controlled population registry.

“Israel has never put forth any concrete security rationale for blanket policies that have made life a nightmare for Palestinians whom it considers unlawful residents in their own homes,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The current policies leave families divided and people trapped on the wrong side of the border in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel should revise these policies and process requests for families to reunite, so that Palestinians can live with their families where they want.”

Israel requires Palestinians to be included in the population registry in order to be considered lawful residents and obtain Israeli-approved identification cards and passports. In the West Bank, Palestinians need the ID cards to travel internally, including to schools, jobs, hospitals, and to visit family, because Israeli security forces manning checkpoints require these cards before allowing passage. Israeli officials, who control all West Bank borders, also require Palestinians entering or leaving the territory to present an identification card or passport.

In many cases, arbitrary policy changes have divided families: Israeli border officials have denied entry to the West Bank to Palestinians from Gaza, even if they had previously lived there or are close relatives of West Bank Palestinians, and to foreign-born spouses, and have denied re-entry to people living in the West Bank who have traveled abroad. In Gaza, where Egypt controls the southern border, Egyptian officials also continue to demand that Palestinians present such documents in order to leave and enter Gaza.

In September 1967, Israel conducted a census in the West Bank and Gaza three months after it occupied these territories, counting 954,898 Palestinians who were physically present. The census excluded at least 270,000 Palestinians who had been living there before the 1967 war but were absent during the census, either because they had fled during the 1967 war or were abroad for study, work, or other reasons. Israel did not include these Palestinians in the population registry and shortly afterwards prevented many of them, including all men aged 16 to 60, from returning, stating that they were ineligible to apply for residency.

Israel also struck from the registry thousands of Palestinians who traveled and stayed abroad for long periods; from 1967 to 1994, it did this to 130,000 West Bank Palestinians, thereby preventing them from living in the territory as legal permanent residents. A survey conducted in 2005, on behalf of the Israeli rights group B’Tselem, estimated that more than 640,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza had a parent, sibling, child, or spouse who was unregistered.

Israel further tightened its restrictions on Palestinian residency in September 2000, at the beginning of the second Palestinian “intifada,” or uprising. It barred Palestinians whom it had not registered as West Bank residents from entry there, and similarly barred unregistered Palestinians from entering Gaza, where it completely controlled all border crossings, to both Israel and Egypt, until 2005.

Also beginning in 2000, Israel refused to process applications for registration and residency by unregistered Palestinians, their spouses, and close relatives, even if they had lived in the West Bank or Gaza for years and had families, homes, jobs, or other ties there.

Israel also barred entry to the West Bank to virtually all Palestinians whom it had registered as residents of the Gaza Strip and refused to allow Palestinians living in the West Bank, but registered in Gaza, to change their registered addresses to the West Bank. Around 35,000 of these “Gazans” had entered and resided in the West Bank using temporary permits that have expired, according to Israeli military records. Under Israeli military orders, they are now considered unlawful “infiltrators” in their own homes.

Since 1967, thousands of spouses or close relatives of registered Palestinians had moved to the West Bank and applied for residency status through a process known as family reunification. However, Israel processed such applications slowly, often imposing low annual quotas and using arbitrary criteria that failed to take into account genuine familial or historical ties, until it stopped processing such applications altogether in 2000.

Since 2000, unregistered Palestinians who traveled abroad have been systematically denied re-entry when they tried to return to the West Bank; those who remained inside the West Bank are at the mercy of soldiers at checkpoints, who have in some cases detained them for residing there “unlawfully.”

Israeli authorities have justified these policy changes by arguing that the second Palestinian intifada resulted in a “breakdown” in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA), which in 1995 took on the role of transferring the applications for registration to the Israeli side for approval. In fact, the PA continued to send the applications, but the Israeli side refused to process them. Israel received as many as 120,000 such applications from 2000 to 2005 that it did not process. Israel’s policy of refusing to process applications for family reunification has continued long after the ending of the second intifada.

From 2007 to 2009, Israel processed some 33,000 registration applications as what it called a political gesture during peace talks with the PA, and in 2011, it allowed around 2,800 Palestinians registered as residents of Gaza to change their addresses to the West Bank. These steps have not cleared the backlog. Israel has argued that it has no obligation to process Palestinian applications related to the population registry, but may do so at its discretion. In cases where Israeli rights groups have petitioned against these policies, the Israeli authorities have argued, and the courts have accepted, that since the blanket restrictions are a political matter tied to Israel’s relations with the PA, Israeli courts are not competent to adjudicate them.

“Israel should allow Palestinians to live in their homes with their families, and to travel freely, not treat its control over where Palestinians can live as a political bargaining chip,” Whitson said.

Israel has also cited the general security situation during the second intifada as a rationale for refusing to process residency and address-change applications. Attacks by Palestinian armed groups killed hundreds of Israeli civilians during that intifada – attacks that Human Rights Watch has repeatedly condemned. However, after the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000, Israeli authorities rejected many Palestinians’ applications for residency without claiming that the individual applicant presented a security threat, and without providing any individual grounds for the denial.

Israel has never explained why its blanket refusal to process address changes and family reunification applications is necessary for security reasons, or why it does not screen applicants individually for security risks. The Israeli policy of indiscriminately rejecting applications by Palestinians for legal residency vastly exceeds what could be justified under international law as necessary to address legitimate security concerns, Human Rights Watch said.

Israel’s control over the population registry has significantly reduced the registered Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza, probably by hundreds of thousands of people. This reduction has occurred while Israel has simultaneously increased the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank, in violation of international humanitarian law on transferring one’s population to occupied territory.

Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there. From 2000 onward, for instance, Israel denied unregistered Palestinians entry to Gaza, which it completely controlled until 2005 and which remained largely sealed off even after Hamas took over the territory in 2007. During this period, thousands of unregistered Palestinians, as well as Gaza residents’ foreign-born spouses, bypassed Israeli border controls without Israeli military permits – often by using tunnels beneath the Egyptian border – in order to be reunited with their families. Unregistered Palestinians cannot obtain ID cards or passports required to travel abroad; at least 12,000 are estimated to be in Gaza.

In addition, Egyptian policies have the effect of nearly trapping unregistered Palestinians in Gaza. At its border with Gaza, Egypt denies entry and exit to unregistered Palestinians, who do not have Israeli-approved ID cards or passports, even if they have foreign passports. In addition, in the vast majority of cases, Israel systematically denies even registered Gaza residents permission to enter the West Bank, regardless of their family or other ties there. Human Rights Watch identified numerous cases where family members in the West Bank have been separated for years from their close relatives in Gaza.

As noted, since it stopped accepting residency and address-change applications after 2000, Israel has processed a certain number of applications as a “political gesture.” However, Israel is not processing Palestinian applications on an ongoing basis, and the small quotas do not address Israel’s refusal to acknowledge its obligation to respect Palestinians’ rights to live with their families and to move within and travel abroad from occupied Palestinian territory.

“Israel should create an efficient, rights-based, and transparent process based on individual decisions to ensure that Palestinians, including those who have been unfairly stripped of legal residency, can gain that status and the rights that flow from it,” Whitson said.

(www.hrw.org / 06.02.2012)

Gaza’s hidden treasures – which Israel doesn’t want you to know about

 


Eve Bartlett, In Gaza 

Two years ago I wrote about Gaza’s antiquities, many of which were destroyed in the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza. But until a few months ago, I hadn’t had the privilege of seeing one of them. Unexpectedly one day, while interviewing the Ministry of Agriculture on their many projects, I was taken by Tel Umm Amer, an archaeological site preserving fantastic mosaics and the monastery of St. Hilarion (which I wrote about here, thanks to Abeer Jamal’s information)

“Few outside of Gaza would consider its history much beyond the decades of Israeli occupation. But Gaza is a historical treasure house. Many of those treasures are now in Israeli museums, and those that remain are becoming difficult to preserve due to the Israeli siege. Gaza, set along the historical silk road and on the bridge between Africa and Asia, was host to civilisations, including the Pharaohs, Canaanites, Philistines, Crusaders, Mamluks, Romans and many following. Alexander the Great invaded Gaza; Napoleon Bonaparte passed through.

“’Throughout Gaza, you find pottery and carved columns and capitals, and the remnants of civilisations past, including artifacts from early human presence like the iron and bronze ages,’ says Asad Ashoor from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Gaza.

“’There are visible relics in Gaza,’ says Ashoor. These have survived civilisations and more recently, Israeli bombings.

“In the Deir al Balah region, the vast excavated remains of the Monastery of Saint Hilarion, the first church in Palestine, include surprisingly intact floor mosaics and structural pillars.”

Mosaics of great intricacy and surprisingly intact, given that so much in Gaza has been rendered rubble by Israeli attacks.

One problem Abeer mentioned was the inability to protect these relics. In some places she said they’d resorted to simply covering up items with dirt anew in their efforts to preserve them. But areas like St. Hilarion’s ruins are open and being excavated, though an Israeli attack could at any moment erase more of Palestine’s rich history.

Among the attempts to provide some protection, Asad Ashoor from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Gaza says they’ve contacted UNESCO which has “refused to address” archaeological relics from Gaza.

Even though I had written about Gaza’s antiquities, it was strange to travel down Gaza’s worn out main highway Salah el Din, onto ruddy backgrounds, past donkeys and their carts, and arrive in a dusty field, beside which is the archaeological site. Hidden in plain view.

We ended at the Pasha Palace, a place I had been before, but never inside. The museum guide was keen to tell me every detail of history, but time wouldn’t allow it, so she shuttled me from room to room to room of antiquities, from wine urns to jewelery to old Palestinian coins.

Abeer and Asad Ahoor a couple of years ago had told me about the difficulties in keeping these relics in good shape.

She said they have: a lack of specialised equipment and preservation chemicals needed to excavate and maintain relics. “We urgently need materials, particularly for cleaning and maintaining artifacts.”

“The occupation and siege prevents not only Devcon and Ethanol, the chemicals we need for maintaining our relics, but also outside expertise to help in excavation and restoration,” said Ashoor.

The museum itself is an amazing building, with various uses over its history, including a prison, school, and apparently hosted Napoleon for a night.

It would be brimming with artifacts, had many not been destroyed and many more not been, as Jammal says, taken by the Israeli occupation. She told me:

“Most international visitors that enter Gaza enter via Erez and are given by the Israelis ‘a tourist guide to Israeli territory’.”

Gerald Butt, an historian, also alludes to that in his book, ‘Life at the crossroads: A History of Gaza’:

“The Israel Museum has among its collection a broad-based painted chalice taken from Tell al-Ajjul, [one of Gaza’s most important archeological sites]. Pottery manufactured by the Philistines during this period can be seen in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem [he notes that Philistine artifacts were largely unearthed in the Wadi Gaza region].”

Asad Ashoor had pointed out that he’s pretty sure Israel’s actions in stealing Palestinian relics and whenever possible destroying historical sites is intentional.

“”Israel’s goal is a blackout on Palestine’s history and culture. Israel wants outsiders to think only that Gaza is a depressing, dangerous place devoid of culture, history and beauty, and that the main theme here is humanitarian aid.”

He’s right in a way; many people only think of the crowded, under-serviced refugee camps and the still-in-ruins areas ravaged by the last Israeli war on Gaza. But more people are becoming aware of Gaza, Palestine’s rich culture, history, and beauty, and the living witnesses to Israel’s Nakba and continuous, terrorist bombing campaigns, who will never allow the world to forget Palestine’s history.

 (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com /06.02.2012)

Hamas leader returns to Gaza after 21 years in exile

GAZA, (PIC)– Political bureau member of Hamas Emad Al-Alami returned to Gaza Strip on Sunday night after 21 years in exile.

He said on arrival that his joy at returning to Gaza was not complete as many of his comrades and his father were not present while millions of other Palestinians were still refugees.

Alami said that victory omens were rampant but a lot of work still has to be done, adding that Hamas would continue along the path of resistance until liberation of Palestine.

Alami was arrested in 1988 on charges of launching media campaign in favor of Hamas and released in late 1990 then banished to Lebanon along with three other Hamas members four months after his release.

(www.palestine-info.co.uk / 06.02.2012)

Khaled Jarrar Stamps His Authority

Start in east Jerusalem, board bus Number 18, cross Qalandia checkpoint, and drive 10 kilometers into the central West Bank until you reach Ramallah’s bus station. Get off the bus and get ready for a firm handshake, a wide smile, and question that will surprise you.  “Welcome to Palestine! Can I please stamp your passport?”

Palestine is not yet an official state, but a Palestinian state stamp might be coming soon to a passport near you. Meet Khaled Jarrar. Armed with a bold idea and a black inkpad, this up-and-coming Ramallah-based artist is turning heads with his new project, Live and Work in Palestine, and getting people in the political and arts worlds alike to ask the question, “What’s in a passport?”

“The thought started from a conversation with some friends about three years ago,” Jarrar explains. Visiting Ramallah from abroad, these friends were complaining about a recent experience at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, where they were interrogated by security personnel about plans to visit the territories. Characteristic of the patchwork institutional framework that characterizes life across the security fence/separation barrier, the territories have no immigration authority of their own: all you need to get in is an Israeli-issued visa. Jarrar started thinking, “Why should Israelis be the only ones to decide who gets to enter Palestine? I wanted to welcome people, as a Palestinian, to Palestine.”

First Jarrar started making what he called ‘Green Cards’ for visiting friends, souvenirs inviting them to live and work in Palestine. But it was not until January 2011 that Jarrar took his idea to the next level, from a few friends to the greater public, from the green card to the passport, and from under-the-radar artistic project to an overtly subversive political gesture.

Jarrar designed his own state symbol – the Palestinian sunbird (a folkloric symbol for the Palestinian people) surrounded by the words “State of Palestine” in English and Arabic. He put it on a stamp, and headed to the bus station in downtown Ramallah to welcome tourists to the territories – without quite knowing what to expect.

“When I told my friends I wanted to stamp passports, they thought I was crazy. ‘It’s illegal!’ they said. But, it isn’t… You can get touristic passport stamps all over. Checkpoint Charlie, Machu Picchu, the tower of Pisa, to name just a few.”

But Palestine is not Pisa. And Jarrar’s project is about politics, not tourism. “I wanted to provoke the whole idea of the state,” he explains. “I want people to look at a logo, and think about its way of controlling government, ministries, police, people. It’s about the authority behind a symbol.” But in an environment where the threat of upheaval is an ever-present reality, plays on symbols of authority are not taken lightly. And as cross-border tension was mounting in the weeks leading up to the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations in September, Jarrar could not have chosen a more contentious time to start stamping. “My project is very risky, very dangerous,” he admits. “No one has done anything like this here.”

The risk is not his alone. Israeli border security is already notoriously tough, and carrying a Palestinian stamp doesn’t make it any easier to get in and out of the country. Jarrar couldn’t predict how authorities would react, and he was even less certain about how many people would be willing to hand him their passports.

Today the total stands at 238 stamps, 10 of them in Israeli passports; and the reaction from authorities has been varied. When the first person, a South African, with a Palestinian stamp went to Ben Gurion, the only thing security said was, “This is the first time I’ve seen something like this!” before stamping his exit visa and returning his passport. The next time one of Jarrar’s stamps came through, on a Dutch passport, the police were more skeptical. “He told me that they called over five guards to look at the stamp,” Jarrar says, “but nobody said anything. They made a photocopy and then gave him the passport back and he left.”

As more and more of the stamps started passing through Israeli airports, however, not everyone was so lucky. Some faced interrogation and one Palestinian-stamped Israeli passport was even cancelled; but, for the most part, the police have done little except show some curiosity. “They don’t know if this is real or art,” says Jarrar.

Live and Work in Palestine is certainly a symbolic political statement, but is it art? For Jarrar, the two are one and the same. “There is nothing here that is not political. I am an activist for freedom, so this is how I find the role of the artist.” And it’s a role he is taking far beyond Ramallah. Though he still stamps at the same central bus station, he also has been making appearances worldwide – recent stops include Cairo, Amman, Belgrade, Brussels, Rome, and London – and the arts establishment is taking note. Jarrar was invited last October to exhibit in Paris at the FIAC (one of the most prestigious international contemporary art fairs) and he will participate in the 11th Berlin Biennale this spring.  As an Israeli girl with one of Jarrar’s stamps told a security guard at Ben Gurion, “You’re going to be seeing a lot more of these.”

(www.rollingstoneme.com / 06.02.2012)

Stap naar verzoening Hamas en Fatah

Mahmoud Abbas.

De Palestijnse president Mahmoud Abbas gaat een Palestijnse interim-regering leiden. Dat is de uitkomst van overleg tussen zijn partij Fatah en haar rivaal Hamas in Qatar. Dat maakte Abbas vandaag bekend. Het akkoord wordt gezien als een belangrijke stap naar verzoening.

Fatah bestuurt delen van de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Hamas nam in juni 2007 met geweld de macht over in de Gazastrook. Hamas staat op de lijst van terreurgroepen in de Europese Unie en de Verenigde Staten.

Abbas onderhandelde in Doha met Hamastopman Khaled Meshaal over de kwestie. Beide partijen spraken vorig jaar april al af de strijdbijl te begraven en een interim-regering te vormen tot de verkiezingen, die voor mei dit jaar gepland staan. Maar ze konden het niet eens worden over de benoeming van een interim-premier. Fatah hield vast aan huidige premier Salam Fayyad, terwijl Hamas een nieuwe tijdelijke regeringsleider wilde. Fayyad ligt goed in het Westen en bij Israël.

De nieuwe regeerploeg gaat bestaan uit onafhankelijke personen en technocraten. Ze gaat de presidents- en parlementsverkiezingen in Gaza en de Westoever voorbereiden. Op 18 februari worden de nieuwe regering en de verkiezingsdatum bekendgemaakt. Verder beloven beide partijen alle politieke gevangenen vrij te laten, aldus nieuwszender al-Jazeera.

De laatste verkiezingen in de Palestijnse gebieden waren in 2006. Toen won de strengislamitische Hamas de parlementsverkiezingen. De relatie tussen Hamas en Fatah verslechterde daarna snel. Sindsdien is er een reeks pogingen tot verzoening geweest.

Premier Netanyahu
Israël is niet blij met de toenadering tussen de Palestijnse rivalen. Abbas kiest ervoor de ‘weg van vrede te verlaten’, als hij het akkoord uitvoert dat moet leiden tot verzoening met de strengislamitische Hamas, aldus de Israëlische premier Benjamin Netanyahu vandaag.

(www.parool.nl / 06.02.2012)

Egypt army urges swift move to presidential election

A protester waves an Egyptian flag during clashes with security forces near the Interior Ministry in Cairo February 6, 2012.

CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s military leadership called for a swift move to a presidential election on Monday and security forces sealed off the Interior Ministry in Cairo from stone-throwing protesters clashing with riot police for a fifth day.

In a sign that the army’s planned transition to civilian rule could be accelerated, the head of the ruling military council, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, called for a quick completion of the election procedures.

“Field Marshal Tantawi stressed the need for quick completion of these procedures and their announcement,” the Egyptian state news agency reported after Tantawi met the head of the constitutional court.

An Egyptian election official said nominations for the presidential election race would be accepted from March 10, according to the semi-official Al Ahram media website.

Thirteen people have died in the violence which erupted in Cairo and the eastern city of Suez after 74 people were killed at a soccer match, drawing a stinging rebuke of Egypt’s army-backed government.

The fighting has reduced a swathe of central Cairo to a rock-strewn battle zone as angry football fans and young revolutionaries demanding the generals relinquish power clash with riot police armed with batons, tear gas and shotguns.

Some citizens formed lines across streets near the interior ministry to try to separate the two sides. But the fighting flared again on Monday afternoon, with up to 1,000 mostly young men hurling rocks and stones through the acrid clouds of gas.

Police crowded around protesters close to their lines, raining down blows with batons and dragging them away senseless towards the ministry, which was sealed off from the city with concrete blocks laid across roads since Sunday.

“The military council wants this (clashes),” said Ahmed Ibrahim, an activist. “They are happy with it… We had two truces that were broken by the police.”

What began as a protest at the police’s failed handling of security at a soccer match has now become another broad protest against the army, which some Egyptians accuse of blocking real change in Egypt after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak a year ago.

Many are angry there has not been a deep clear-out in the police force and that officers use the same heavy-handed tactics against protests as in Mubarak’s era.

The crowds of protesters have thinned to hundreds from thousands since the weekend when they came within meters of the ministry building, symbol of a security regime that many Egyptians say remains unreformed despite Mubarak’s overthrow.

Graffiti covers walls down Mohamed Mahmoud Street, epicenter of the latest violence, reading, “down, down with military rule” and “we want revolutionary law”.

Some residents frightened by the scenes of chaos said the protesters were threatening to bring the country to its knees.

“What’s happening isn’t bringing down the regime but bringing down the state,” said Haytham Ismail, an employee at a newspaper legal compliance department.

Parliament speaker Mohamed Saad al-Katatni appealed for restraint.

“Civil defense forces are now firing cartridges and tear gas and I am asking the Interior Minister to order troops not to disperse protesters using force,” he said. “I demand that the protesters abide by the law and do not assault buildings.”

Faster transition

In an apparent concession to the army’s critics, the government said on Sunday it was preparing to move Mubarak to a Cairo prison hospital from a military hospital.

Protesters have long complained the generals were sparing their former commander the humiliation of jail by detaining him in a military hospital during his trial over the deaths of protesters during the uprising that ousted him.

The protesters are demanding a quick presidential election and an early handover of power by the army.

The Muslim Brotherhood which has the biggest bloc in a newly elected parliament, added its voice on Saturday to calls for a faster transition to civilian rule.

Political figures and a civilian advisory body to the military have suggested bringing forward a presidential vote to April or May, from the June date foreseen in the transition timetable of the army, which took power after Mubarak quit.

An army-appointed civilian council set up to advise the military is proposing accepting nominations for the presidency from Feb. 23, nearly two months sooner than the April 15 date previously announced. This could lead to a vote in April or May.

(www.maannews.net / 06.02.2012)