Israeli airstrike injures 2 in Gaza City

A Palestinian boy carries chicken waterers found in a coop as he walks over debris at the site of an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 6, 2012.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli warplanes fired on a naval police base in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, injuring two Palestinians.

Medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said two people were evacuated to Shifa hospital, one of whom was in a critical condition.

The dawn airstrike hit a naval police post in the Sudaniyya neighborhood of Gaza City, a Ma’an correspondent said.

Witnesses also said Israeli fighter jets fired at a poultry farm in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning. No injuries have been reported.

An Israeli army statement said the strike “targeted two weapon storage facilities … The sites were targeted in response to the rocket fire on communities in southern Israel.”

On Tuesday afternoon a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel, without causing damage or injuries, the Israeli army said.

Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since Friday have injured 15 Palestinians, with two men later dying of their wounds.

On Friday, a Palestinian gunman had breached the southern Gaza border and opened fire on Israeli soldiers, who returned fire, the army said. A soldier and the Palestinian were killed.

(www.maannews.net / 06.06.2012)

Health Ministry closes Hebron yogurt factory

The PA on Monday sealed a yogurt factory in Hebron following a health inspection.
HEBRON (Ma’an) — The PA Health Ministry on Monday closed a yogurt factory in Hebron over health and safety concerns, an official said.

Local environmental health director Yasser Issa said inspectors and custom agents went to the factory to investigate after the department received complaints that it did not meet industry requirements.

“A heated argument erupted with the owner, and we had to call the police,” Issa said.

Inspectors found the factory did not comply with health regulations and the owner did not have a license, he said, adding that a final decision would be made following further investigations.

(www.maannews.net / 06.06.2012)

The Brothers Abbas

Are the sons of the Palestinian president growing rich off their father’s system?

 

The president’s son is certainly entitled to do business in the Palestinian territories. But the question is whether his lineage is his most important credential — a concern bolstered by the fact that he has occasionally served in an official capacity for the Palestinian Authority. In 2008, Yasser reportedly visited Kazakhstan as a special envoy, and according to a former Bush administration official, he “regularly accompanies his father on official travel.”

Tarek Abbas appears less inclined than his older brother to take part in the political aspect of the Palestinian cause, but is just as ambitious in the business world. His online biography indicates that he followed in the footsteps of his older brother, working in the same Gulf contracting firms, as well as a trading company in Tunis during the early 1990s.

Today, he appears to be a successful entrepreneur. His principal enterprise, Sky Advertising, had 40 employees and earned $7.5 million in sales in 2010. And once again, the firm has worked with the U.S. government: Reuters reported in 2009 that Sky received a modest grant of approximately $1 million in USAID funds to bolster public opinion of the United States in the Palestinian territories.

The younger Abbas is also listed by the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC), as the vice chairman of “Arab Shopping Centers.” This is presumably shorthand for Arab Palestinian Shopping Center Company, valued on the Palestine Exchange at $4.2 million. The company, a project of APIC, now has two shopping centers, three supermarkets, and two indoor play facilities in the West Bank.

APIC is an economic juggernaut in the West Bank. In 2010, the company had more than $338 million in revenues. The company lists Tarek Abbas’s Sky Advertising on its roster, as well as the Ramallah-based Unipal General Trading Company, where Tarek sits on the board. Unipal, which has 4,500 retail outlets in the Palestinian territories, distributes consumer goods to Palestinians, including products from Philip Morris Tobacco, Procter & Gamble, and Keebler.

Since the Arab Spring began in late 2010 and early 2011, the Abbas brothers have largely dropped out of sight in the West Bank. Where have they gone? According to an article written by Rachid on the staunchly anti-Abbas website InLight Press, the family owns lavish properties worth more than $20 million in Gaza, Jordan, Qatar, Ramallah, Tunisia, and the UAE.

Of course, the Abbas brothers’ absence doesn’t mean that Palestinians will forget. On a research trip to Ramallah last year, several Palestinians told me that the Abbas family dynasty is common knowledge. However, discussion of the issue rarely rises above a whisper — thanks to growing fear of retribution by PA security officers, who have apprehended journalists and citizens for openly challenging President Abbas’s authority.

At a time when the sons of Arab strongmen are under scrutiny, the questions surrounding the Abbas brothers will not go away. Indeed, the Arab public continues to demand accountability from its leaders — and the upcoming Rachid trial will only bring this controversy closer to Ramallah.

(www.foreignpolicy.com / 06.06.2012)

Netanyahu creates settlement committee

Settlers, right wing politicians have long called for Netanyahu to create c’tee that can authorize West Bank construction.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed late Tuesday night to establish a ministerial settlement committee, empowered to authorize West Bank Jewish construction without a full cabinet decision.

Netanyahu has an informal ministerial advisory committee on settlements, but it was not a fully authorized committee.

Settlers and right wing politicians have long called for Netanyahu to create such a committee, which had existed under past governments.

The move comes amid major political controversy over the West Bank outpost of Ulpana.

Netanyahu plans to relocate five apartment buildings from Ulpana to an authorized tract of land in the Beit El settlement.

The High Court of Justice has ordered the five Ulpana buildings removed by July 1 because they were built on private Palestinian property without the proper permits. Homes on three other outposts — Migron, Amona, Mitzpe Assaf — are slated for removal this year, as a result of petitions by Peace Now and Yesh Din to the High Court of Justice.

MKs Ya’acov Katz and Zevulun Orlev plan to propose outpost bills for a preliminary reading Wednesday which they hope would avert the demolitions and would retroactively legalize unauthorized West Bank Jewish homes, including those in Ulpana.

Netanyahu vowed to fire any ministers who vote for the bills, but has taken strides to portray himself as a champion of settlements within a framework that respects the rule of law and the separation of powers.
(www.jpost.com / 06.06.2012)

Israeli Authorities Renew Administrative Detention against Four of Hamas Members

hamas-flag-new893

 

Hamas Leadership committee condemned on Thursday, 31st May, the decision of the Israeli military court to extend the administrative detention of four of its members in Negev prison, without any charge or trial.

The committee said in a press release that the Israeli authorities renewed the detention of the Samir al-Qadi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, from Sourif village in Hebron for another four months, for the second time respectively. Al-Qadi spent more than five years in Israeli jails; he was arrested in 16 June 2011.

The Israeli authorities also renewed the administrative detention of Hamas leader, Hussein Abu Qweik, from Ramallah for another six months, for the third time respectively.

The renewal decision also been imposed on the two prisoners: Amin Shafiq al-Qwasma from Hebron for another 4 months, and Khalil Abu matar who has been in administrative detention for 21 months, and Israel renewed the detention period for another six months.

(english.pnn.ps / 06.06.2012)

Is een moslim verplicht de islam te verspreiden?

Allah vermeldt in de Qur’an:

En laat er een groep onder jullie zijn die tot goedheid aanspoort en tot rechtvaardigheid maant en het kwade verbiedt; dezen zijn het die zullen slagen. (Qur’an 3:104)
Gij (Moslims) zijt het beste volk dat voor de mensheid (ter lering) is verwekt; gij gebiedt wat goed is, verbiedt wat kwaad is en gelooft in Allah. (Qur’an3:110)
Het is de plicht van ieder moslim om de islam te verkondigen. Het is aan Allah of onze verkondiging verspreidt wordt en zijn weg vindt in de harten.
Hoe moeten we de islam verkondigen?
Allereerst moeten we zelf de islam optimaal proberen te (be)leven zoals Allah het heeft voorgeschreven.
O jullie die geloven, waarom zeggen jullie wat jullie niet doen. Groot is de woede bij Allah dat jullie zeggen wat jullie niet doen. (Qur’an 61:2-3)
Onze handelingen moeten voor ons gaan spreken, niet onze tong. De metgezellen van onze edele profeet, vrede en zegeningen zij met hem, en de generaties die hen volgden gingen naar verre oorden, om de islam te verkondigen, zonder dat ze de taal van die streek spraken. Er zijn Sahabe graven van Marokko tot aan China te vinden die zijn geemigreerd naar die verre plekken om de islam te verkondigen. Als we kijken naar landen en volkeren zoals Indonesie, Malesie, Turken en vele anderen, zien we dat zij massaal moslim zijn geworden omdat ze de puurheid van de islam in die voorbeeldmoslims zagen. De handelingen van de moslims, die waren geëmigreerd naar die streken waren veel effectiever en blijvender dan wapens.
Als we met onze handeling en daden een goede voorbeeld zijn, en goede contacten hebben met niet-moslims, zullen er momenten komen dat er vragen gesteld worden over onze geloof. Dan kunnen we met woorden, onze geloof verkondigen. Hiervoor moeten we dus genoeg kennis over onze geloof hebben. Als we deze kennis niet bezitten, moeten we kunnen zeggen dat we het niet weten en dat we het graag willen onderzoeken en voor de volgende keer terug zullen komen op deze vraag.
Hoe moet onze houding en gedrag zijn bij deze mondelinge verkondiging?
Op een gepaste en milde wijze.
Roep tot de weg van uw Heer met wijsheid en goede raad en wissel met hen van gedachten op een gepaste wijze. (Qur’an 16:125)
Gaat naar Fir’aun: voorwaar, hij overtrad. En spreekt mild tot hem, moge hij zich laten vermanen…
(Qur’an 20:43-44)
Als we dit alles hebben gedaan dan rest ons nog een ding; doe’a doen dat Allah de harten zal gaan openen voor Hem.
(www.vraagislam.nl / 06.06.2012)

‘Hypocritical West ignores int’l laws when it comes to Syria’

Syria’s armed rebels have announced their decision to no longer abide by the internationally-brokered peace plan for the country- – a decision that has sparked concerns over a civil war in Syria.

Western powers have frequently accused President Bashar al-Assad’s government of not abiding by the UN-brokered peace plan, while Saudi-backed armed gangs have repeatedly broken the ceasefire.

Press TV has interviewed Dr. Kevin Barrett, author and Islamic studies expert to further discuss the issue.

The program also offers the opinions of two additional guests: Niall Bradley, editor of the Signs of the Times Scott.net and political analyst Jihad Mouracadeh.

The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: My first question to Dr. Kevin Barrett in Wisconsin. Dr. Barrett let us start with the latest news that has been revealed by the British sources, confirming that UK troops are now on the ground in Syria ready, they say, to help the armed opposition in case of a civil war.

Now first of all, does the UK have a legal mandate to send its troops to a foreign country without UN approval? One source was justifying it by saying that, in his words, safe havens would be an invasion of Syria, but a chance to save lives, and that is why we are doing it.

Barrett: You know, this is such a double speaking and hypocrisy that we are hearing from these Western countries. Essentially what we have now, is a complete revocation of the international order that grew out of the Nuremberg trials after the World War II.

The most important, fundamental tenet of international law that grew out of the Nuremberg trials, is that aggression is the supreme war crime. Violating the borders of a sovereign country is the supreme war crime, it is worse than genocide, it is worse than any other imaginable crime that a human being can commit because that crime leads to all the other crimes.

It leads to mass violence, it leads to war and war of course is legally, ritually sanctified mass murder, which gives cover to all of these other crimes.

With the 9/11 inside job, the Western powers or that is a tiny cabal that is in control of the Western powers, has tried to reset the clock and to throw out the Nuremberg Precedent and create a world in which they have the right to invade any country they want, any time and to violate other countries’ sovereignty, blatantly criminal manner, and they have been doing this constantly since 9/11 and it looks like they are doing it again in Syria.

Press TV: Dr. Barrett, a lot has been said since the Houla massacre occurred and some observers are saying that, that was the happening that led the international community to pileup the most intense pressure that they have had yet on Syria to go ahead with the UN condemnations and to, now call for a military intervention.

First of all who do you think was behind the Houla massacre in your opinion? Do you think that we can even clarify who did it because of the situation that Syria is facing now in journalistic terms is it possible to do that?

Barrett: Well, it is interesting you asked that because I was here on Press TV, I believe within 24 hours of the Houla massacre, and I was asked about my interpretation of it and I said we need to wait and see rather than rushing to judgment and attributing this massacre to the Syrian government, which is what the Western media was doing, we need to wait and find out what the reports from Syria tell us and it turned out that I was right.

As other guest just said, the reports from Syria indicate that this was actually carried out not by the Syrian government and not even by a pro-government militia but by an anti-government militia or call them terrorist if you will.

It was a classic false flag operation, probably designed to demonize the Syrian government, could create this big media event that would be used precisely for this purpose to bring in Western forces violating Syria’s sovereignty. So I think that, my initial sense that we need to wait and see who is responsible for that massacre has been vindicated by these reports and people need to be aware that these kinds of false flag media events in which one side goes out and creates a massacre or terrorist incident to blame it on another side, are very common and we need to keep our eyes open for this.

Press TV: Dr. Barrett we are also hearing of the armed groups making an announcement today, saying they no longer recognize Kofi Annan’s peace plan and they are not going to be committed to it or observe it.

And also the day before that, president Bashar al-Assad was saying that he is going to be very adamant and decisive, in his fight against what he calls terrorism.

So do you think that this is an official end to the ceasefire plan?

Barrett: Well, I hope not. If so it is going to be a tragic development, it does look as if primarily it is the Western powers that are signaling, giving a green light to the anti-government forces, and there is a broad, there is a very different desperate group of anti-government forces in Syria, ranging from peaceful democracy protesters who I would fully support to these armed thugs and terrorist mercenaries, hired by the NATO countries that I would not support.

But the bottom line here is that regardless of what one of these two guests just said, and his quoting of the Washington post; the Houla massacre does appear by all reports I have seen out of Syria to be a false flag event, designed to trigger Western intervention in a more decisive way in Syria.

What appears to be happening is that these Western decision makers have pushed the button to escalate the war and this is a very, very bad news.

The Russians are not going to take this lying down, once again we are seeing these baby steps towards a full scale war in Syria, and I would like to say that anybody who believes a word they read in the Washington Post is completely out of their minds.

If you think Bashar al-Assad lacks credibility, just read what the Washington Post and New York Times have had to say about the obvious false flag attack on 9/11, their complete cover up of Building seven’s demolition and so on.

The US media has lost its credibility at least a decade ago and anybody relies on them for facts about what is happening in this kind of situation is living on another planet.

Press TV: Dr. Barrett if you could conclude for us. Do you think there will be a military intervention and what will be the repercussions? Is that the solution for the Syrian crisis?

Barrett: Well, I am told by sources that I trust, that the policy makers in the US know that they cannot enforce a regime change in Syria, the way they did in Libya.

So what that means is I suppose that they are going to be escalating the situation, but I do not think that they are going for an all out endgame by other league destroying the Syrian government with air power and so on.

The reason they cannot do that is that the Russians are basically not going to allow it to happen and so I am afraid we are in for an escalation of bloodshed in Syria but I do not think there is going to be a clean resolution either way anytime soon.

(www.presstv.ir / 06.06.2012)

Two Egyptian aid convoys to Gaza carrying fuel and medicines

 

CAIRO, (PIC)– Three vehicles carrying 150 tons of diesel fuel and gasoline left the Egyptian Suez province, on Tuesday morning, towards Gaza through Rafah commercial crossing, aiming at ending the fuel shortage crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Sources told the Egyptian newspaper “Al-yawm assabi” (The seventh day) that the three vehicles moved towards Gaza under the guard of the military police forces, under the Egyptian attempts to end the Palestinian suffering from the lack of gasoline, diesel fuel and electricity, pointing out that this fuel was donated to Gaza by the Cooperative Petroleum Association based in Al-zitiat port in Suez.

The sources added that despite the fuel crisis in the Egyptian market, six other vehicles will also leave on Wednesday the same port towards the Palestinian territories and will be heading to Gaza hospitals.

For his part, Major General Jaber Al-Arabi, the Secretary General of the North Sinai Governorate and the Chairman of Red Cross, said that there are four other trucks carrying drugs left the Rafah crossing heading to Gaza, donated by Arab Doctors Union.

Major General al-Arabi added, in a press release, that the trucks were carrying 13 tons of medicines and medical supplies to cover the deficit in the Gaza strip and that the entry procedures of the medicines to Gaza are still ongoing.

(www.palestine-info.co.uk / 06.06.2012)

Palestinian footballer’s hunger strike sparks fears for his life

Doctors warn that Mahmoud Sarsak, 25, is risking death or permanent damage with 80-day protest to end detention

Mahmoud Sarsak's relatives gather around poster

Relatives of Mahmoud Sarsak walk near a poster bearing his picture in the southern Gaza Strip. Photograph: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A former member of the Palestinian national football team remains on hunger strike over his imprisonment by Israel without charge, or trial, despite an agreement that was reached last month in order to end a mass protest by Palestinian prisoners.

Mahmoud Sarsak, 25, has refused food for 80 days, since 19 March. He began his hunger strike after his “administrative detention” order was renewed for the sixth time.

He was arrested in July 2009 while on his way from his home in Gaza to a national contest in the West Bank.

Sarsak is due to be visited for the first time on Wednesday by a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) – an Israeli organisation – following legal submissions. A PHR spokeswoman said although Sarsak may be taking fluids and supplements, “every day that this goes on he is at risk of death or permanent damage”.

The Israeli Prison Service has said the footballer is on “intermittent hunger strike” and is receiving medical care.

Sarsak’s family deny that he is a member of any militant organisation.

“The entire family and friends are afraid for Mahmoud’s life,” his brother Emad told the Ma’an news website.

A mass hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners ended on 14 May after a deal was reached – following mediation by Egypt and Jordan – to end solitary confinement, and to allow family visits and improve conditions, such as access to televisions and telephone calls. But the Israeli authorities refused to end the practice of administrative detention.

The measure is used to suppress legitimate and peaceful activities in thePalestinian territories, according to a report by Amnesty International published on Wednesday. Administrative detainees have been subjected to violations, including torture and ill-treatment, during interrogation and detention, it added.

“Israel has used its system of administrative detention – intended as an exceptional measure against people posing as an extreme and imminent danger to security – to trample on the human rights of detainees for decades,” said Ann Harrison of Amnesty.

The report, Starved of Justice, calls on Israel to release all prisoners held under long-standing administrative detention orders or put them on trial.

(www.guardian.co.uk / 06.06.2012)

Fishermen detained off Gaza coast

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday arrested three fishermen off the coast of the Rafah beach near the Palestinian-Egyptian border.

Mohammad Ali Sultan, Ismael Ali Sultan and Sami al-Naddi were on a fishing boat when Israeli navy forces detained them and took them to an unknown location, the fisheries directorate of the local agriculture ministry said in a statement.

An Israeli military spokesman told Ma’an that the fishermen deviated from the designated fishing zone and did not respond to calls to return to the area. He said they were detained, questioned by security forces and released.

The ministry said incidents of arrests and abuse of Palestinian fishermen have been on the rise recently, and particularly during the fishing season.

(www.maannews.net / 06.06.2012)