Was Jesus Christ really crucified or someone else?

 

Jesus Muhammad Brothers in Faith

By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org

Question:

The Quran says, “They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him” (4:157). Does Islam deny the historical crucifixion of Jesus?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

There are several interpretations of this verse regarding what happened to Jesus, upon him be peace, the moment his enemies came to crucify him. In our opinion, the most plausible explanation of the verse, supported by strong evidence, is that the body of Jesus was crucified while his soul was raised to heaven. Thus, his soul was not killed but rather he was protected by Allah from the crucifixion while the people on earth saw his body being crucified.

Allah said:

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا

And their saying, “Verily, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear to them. Verily, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. They did not kill him, for certain.

Surah An-Nisa 4:157

The difference of interpretation is over the phrase, “it was made to appear to them.” Many commentators relied upon exegetical reports claiming that another person was made to resemble Jesus, perhaps a disciple or Judas. However, these reports contradict each other and are not authentic traditions attributed to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

Muhammad Asad explains:

There exist, among Muslims, many fanciful legends telling us that at the last moment Allah substituted for Jesus a person closely resembling him (according to some accounts, that person was Judas), who was subsequently crucified in his place. However, none of these legends finds the slightest support in the Quran or in authentic traditions, and the stories produced in this connection by the classical commentators must be summarily rejected.

Source: Message of the Quran, verse 4:157

It seems very unlikely that the intention of the verse is to radically change the accepted historical narrative. Rather, the Quran was revealed to confirm the Gospel.

Allah said:

نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ

He has sent down upon you the book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel.

Surah Ali Imran 3:3

Based upon the Quran’s confirmation of the Gospel, the most plausible exegetical report is found in the commentary of Ibn Jareer At-Tabari.

Wahb reported: When Allah informed Jesus son of Mary that he would soon be departing this world, he was disheartened by death and sorely grieved. So he called the disciples for a meal which he had prepared for them. He said, “Come to me tonight, for I have a favor to ask of you.” When they had come together at night, he served them himself; and when they had finished eating, he washed their hands and helped them perform their ablutions with his own hands, and he wiped their hands and garments. The disciples regarded this as beneath the master’s dignity and they disapproved, but Jesus said, “Anyone who opposes me in what I do tonight is not from me and I am not from him.” So they agreed and he said:

مَّا مَا صَنَعَتُ بِكُمُ اللَّيْلَةَ مِمَّا خَدَمْتُكُمْ عَلَى الطَّعَامِ وَغَسَلْتُ أَيْدِيَكُمْ بِيَدِي فَلْيُكَنْ لَكُمْ بِي أُسْوَةٌ فَإِنَّكُمْ تَرَوْنَ أَنِّي خَيْرُكُمْ ، فَلَا يَتَعَظَّمُ بَعْضُكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَلْيَبْذُلْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ نَفْسَهَ ، كَمَا بَذَلْتُ نَفْسِي لَكُمْ وَأَمَّا حَاجَتِي الَّتِي اسْتَعَنْتُكُمْ عَلَيْهَا فَتَدْعُونَ لِيَ اللَّهَ وَتَجْتَهِدُونَ فِي الدُّعَاءِ أَنْ يُؤَخِّرَ أَجْلِي

As for what I have done for you this night, serving you at a table and washing your hands with my own hands; let that be an example to you. You regard me as the best of you, so let not one among you regard himself as better than the others; and let each one of you offer his life for the others just as I have laid down my life for you. The favor for which I have called you is that you pray fervently that Allah will extend my term.

When they stood up for prayer, wishing to prolong their earnest supplications, they were overcome by sleep and they were unable to pray. Jesus said:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ مَا تَصْبِرُونَ لِي لَيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً تُعِينُونِي فِيهَا

Glory be to Allah! Can you not be patient with me one night and support me?

They said, “We do not know what overcame us; we would stay up in the night for long prayers but tonight we cannot help but sleep; whatever supplication we wish to make, we are prevented from saying.” Then Jesus said, “The shepherd will be taken away and the sheep will be scattered,” and he continued to lament his end. He said:

الْحَقُّ لَيَكْفُرَنَّ بِي أَحَدُكُمْ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَصِيحَ الدِّيكُ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ وَلَيَبِيعَنِي أَحَدُكُمْ بِدَرَاهِمَ يَسِيرَةٍ وَلَيَأْكُلَنَّ ثَمْنِي

In truth, I say to you, one of you will deny me three times before the rooster crows; and another will sell me for a few pieces of silver and consume my price.

After this, they went out, each his own way, and they left him. The Jews then came seeking him and they seized Simon, saying, “He is one of his companions!” but he denied it, saying, “I am not his companion!” Others also seized him and he again denied. Then he heard the crowing of a rooster, and he wept bitterly.

The next morning one of the disciples when to the Jews and he said, “What will you give me if I lead you to Christ?” They gave him thirty pieces, which he took and led them to him. Before that, however, it became unclear to them. Thus, they took him after ascertaining that it was him and they tied him with a rope and they dragged him, saying, “You raised the dead and cast our Satan and healed those who were possessed; can you not save yourself from this rope?” They spat on him and placed thorns upon his head. Thus they brought him to the piece of wood upon which they wished to crucify him, but Allah raised him up to Himself and they crucified what was made to appear for them.

Jesus remained for seven hours and his mother and the woman whom Jesus cured from madness came to weep in the place of the crucifixion. Jesus came to them and said, “For whom do you weep?” They said, “For you!” He said:

 إِنِّي قَدْ رَفَعَنِي اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَلَمْ يُصِبْنِي إِلَّا خَيْرٌ وَإِنَّ هَذَا شَيْءٌ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ فَأْمُرَا الْحَوَارِيِّينَ أَنْ يَلْقَوْنِي إِلَى مَكَانِ كَذَا وَكَذَا

Verily, Allah has raised me unto Himself and nothing befell me except goodness, for this is something which was made to appear to them. Go now and tell the disciples to meet me at such-and-such place.

There were eleven who met him and the disciple who sold him and led the Jews to him was missing. Jesus asked his companions about him and they said, “He regretted what he did, so he hanged himself.” Jesus said:

 لَوْ تَابَ لَتَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ

Had he repented, Allah would surely have turned toward him.

Source: Tafseer At-Tabari, verse 4:157

In this narration, Jesus is informed by Allah that his death is near, so he prepares himself for martyrdom, saying, “Let each one of you offer his life for the others just as I have laid down my life for you.” The wisdom behind this is that if Jesus were to sacrifice his life that would save the lives of his disciples, for if they had killed the leader of the movement, they would no longer pursue its followers. A similar action was undertaken by Uthman ibn Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, when he refused to defend himself from his killers.

Abu Huraira reported: I entered upon Uthman on the day he was under siege in his house and I said, “O leader of the believers, I have come to give you my support.” He said to me:

يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ أَيَسُرُّكَ أَنْ تَقْتُلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَإِيَّايَ مَعَهُمْ

O Abu Huraira, does it please you to ‘kill the people altogether’ (5:32) including me?”

I said, “No.” He said:

وَاللَّهِ لَئِنْ قَتَلْتَ رَجُلا وَاحِدًا لَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلْتَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا

By Allah, if you have killed one man then it is as if you have killed all the people.

Source: Sunan Sa’id ibn Mansur, Grade: Sahih

So Abu Huraira returned and he did not fight. This shows the incredible wisdom and sacrifice of Uthman. If he commanded Abu Huraira to fight on his behalf, they would have likely killed Abu Huraira as well and the Muslims would have been deprived of so many prophetic traditions narrated on his authority. Likewise, Jesus refused to defend himself out of his concern for the safety of his companions.

Awf reported: I heard Al-Hajjaj giving a sermon and he was saying:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عُثْمَانَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ

Verily, the likeness of Uthman with Allah is the likeness of Jesus son of Mary.

Then he recited these verses and he explained them:

يَا عِيسَى إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنْ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا

O Jesus, verily, I will cause you to die and will raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve. (3:55)

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 4641, Grade: Hasan

This is an important moral lesson taught by the story of Jesus’ martyrdom. The virtue of refusing to fight back when wisdom dictates was also taught by Prophet Muhammad.

Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think if someone enters my house and stretches out his hand to kill me?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

كُنْ كَابْنَيْ آدَمَ

Be like the son of Adam.

Then, Yazid ibn Khalid recited the verse:

لَئِن بَسَطتَ إِلَيَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِي مَا أَنَا بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِيَ إِلَيْكَ لِأَقْتُلَكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ

If you should raise your hand against me to kill me, then I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you; verily, I fear Allah the Lord of the worlds. (5:28)

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 4257, Grade: Hasan

Moreover, Jesus showed tremendous patience, forbearance, and mercy during the whole event, as he prayed for Allah to forgive his oppressors. As recorded in the book of Luke:

ויאמר ישוע אבי סלח להם כי לא ידעו מה הם עשים ויחלקו בגדיו להם ויפילו גורל

Jesus said: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Source: Luke 23:34

This exact incident was mentioned by Prophet Muhammad.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, tell the story of a prophet who was beaten by his people and he wiped the blood from his face, saying:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِقَوْمِي فَإِنَّهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6530, Grade: Mutaffaqun Alayhi

So Jesus was handed over to the authorities and he refused to defend himself in order to protect the lives of his companions. They abused him, spat on him, placed a crown of thorns on his head, and yet he still asked Allah to forgive them. When the moment came to take him to the cross upon which to crucify him, Allah raised his soul to heaven and He spared His Messenger from this pain and humiliation. As At-Tabari reported:

حَتَّى أَتَوْا بِهِ الْخَشَبَةَ الَّتِي أَرَادُوا أَنْ يَصْلُبُوهُ عَلَيْهَا ، فَرَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَصَلَبُوا مَا شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ

Thus they brought him to the piece of wood upon which they wished to crucify him, but Allah raised him up to Himself and they crucified what was made to appear for them.

What was made to appear to them was the crucifixion of his body while his soul was protected in heaven. This is the meaning of Allah’s words, “I will take you and raise you to Myself.” (3:55)

Ibn Kathir reported: Ibn Abbas explained the verse, saying:

إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ أَيْ مُمِيتُكَ

“I will take you,” means “I will cause you to die.”

Source: Tafseer Ibn Kathir, verse 3:55

And Wahb explained the verse, saying:

أَمَاتَهُ اللَّهُ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَهُ ثُمَّ رَفَعَهُ

Allah made him die for three days, then He resurrected him, then He ascended him.

The resurrection of Jesus after his bodily death and his ascension o heaven is the signature miracle of his prophetic career, just as Moses’ miracle was the parting of the sea and Muhammad’s miracle is the revelation of the Quran. The miracle of the resurrection definitively proved the truth of the Day of Resurrection, which some Jews had denied, and also that Allah’s will can never be frustrated. Although the body of Jesus was killed, they could never kill his soul and prevent his message from being delivered.

Allah said:

وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا

For certain, they did not kill him.

Surah An-Nisa 4:157

This is because those who are martyred for the sake of Allah can never die.

Allah said:

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

Never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision.

Surah Ali Imran 3:169

And this is why Jesus said:

إِنِّي قَدْ رَفَعَنِي اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَلَمْ يُصِبْنِي إِلَّا خَيْرٌ وَإِنَّ هَذَا شَيْءٌ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ

Verily, Allah has raised me unto Himself and nothing befell me except goodness, for this is something which was made to appear to them.

Therefore, we can conclude that the enemies of Jesus never crucified or killed his soul, but rather what was “made to appear to them” was only the crucifixion of his body. This interpretation is the most plausible because of the texts we cited, it reconciles the Quran with the Gospel narrative and historical accounts, and it preserves the wise lesson of peaceful martyrdom and forgiveness also taught by the Prophet.

Furthermore, it should be mentioned that some of the most ardent supporters of the “substitution” theory are themselves Christians who attempt to use the story as proof that Islam is a heretical sect of Christianity. By affirming the historical crucifixion and reconciling it with the Quran, they will no longer be able to use such stories against Islam.

Finally, it must be said that biographical details of Jesus’ life are not as important as his message and teachings. There are numerous interpretations of the verse, “it was made to appear to them,” and we have only presented what we believe is the strongest opinion. However, our affirmation of the historical crucifixion certainly does not mean we endorse how this issue has been interpreted in the Christian doctrines of Trinity, Incarnation, and Original Sin.

It is not necessary for Muslims to accept our opinion if they believe in another explanation reported in the books of exegesis. What a Muslim is required to believe about Jesus was mentioned specifically by the Prophet, namely, that Jesus is the servant of Allah, His Messenger, His word bestowed upon Mary, and His spirit from Him.

Ubaida ibn As-Samit reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ قَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَأَنَّ عِيسَى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَابْنُ أَمَتِهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ وَأَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ النَّارَ حَقٌّ أَدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ مِنْ أَيِّ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ الثَّمَانِيَةِ شَاءَ

Whoever testifies that there is no God but Allah alone without any partners and that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger, and that Jesus is the servant of Allah, His word which He bestowed upon Mary and His spirit from Him, and that Paradise is true and Hellfire is true, then he will enter through any of the eight gates of Paradise he wishes.

Source: Sahih Muslim 28, Grade: Sahih

In conclusion, the meaning of Allah’s words, “They did not kill him nor crucify him, but rather it was made to appear to them,” refers to the crucifixion of Jesus’ body while his soul was raised to heaven. This interpretation is based upon exegetical reports and supporting evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. It is not necessary for Muslims to adopt this opinion, but we believe this is the strongest interpretation because it reconciles the Quran with the historical narrative, it preserves the moral lessons taught by Jesus’ martyrdom, and it prevents Christians from using substitution interpretations against Islam.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Arming Syria’s Rebels Now an ‘Option,’ Says Pentagon Chief

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, shown here during an April 23 trip to Saudi Arabia, didn’t want to express a view on arming Syria’s rebels.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed today that the Obama administration is reconsidering its opposition to providing lethal weapons to the Syrian opposition.

“Arming the rebels, that’s an option,” Hagel said in a Pentagon press conference with his British counterpart, Philip Hammond. That confirmed a report from the Washington Post earlier this week that after reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, the Obama administration was considering a deeper involvement in the country’s bloody civil war.

Judging from Hagel’s comments, the administration is nowhere near a decision, let alone a specific package of weapons to send to the beleaguered rebels. The administration is “constantly evaluating” its options in Syria, Hagel said, waving aside a question from CNN’s Barbara Starr about uniformed U.S. military opposition to the move. Nor did Hagel, who has been skeptical of what he’s called a “lengthy and uncertain” war in Syria, express any enthusiasm for the measure.

“I’m in favor of exploring options,” Hagel said, when asked his personal view of arming the rebels.

U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal today that their experience dealing with Syrian rebel forces over a $250 million package of nonlethal aid has given them greater visibility about the myriad factions in Syria — and their relative trustworthiness. “We can see how it can be done and we know who we’re dealing with,” an anonymous official told the paper. Yet few analysts believe that shipping a panoply of weapons to the Syrian rebels will tip the balance of the war inexorably against dictator Bashar Assad.

While it remains unclear what President Obama will do in response to a possible violation of his “red line” against chemical weapons use, the administration has put its weight behind verifying that such an attack took place, at Assad’s behest. The Journal further reported that U.S. spy satellites are trained on suspected chemical-weapons sites; and the Syrian opposition has collected “a dead bird, leaves, urine, hair and soil samples for testing,” as well as blood samples, something first reported by Danger Room. According to the Journal, it took 13 days for the blood samples to reach U.S. analysts, running the risk of degraded evidence.

Hammond called establishing the evidentiary trail of chemical weapons usage linking back to Assad a must for the U.S. and UK to rally support for further action. British public opinion “remembers the evidence we were presented with in 2003 around Iraq, which turned out not to be valid,” he said. “There is a strong view that we have to have very clear, very high-quality evidence before we make plans and act on that evidence.”

Hammond also suggested that allied intelligence was confident in the location of Assad’s chemical stocks. Eli Lake at the Daily Beast today reported the opposite. While it’s unlikely that the U.S. ever had total clarity on the whereabouts of at least 500 metric tons of chemical weapons precursors, “We’ve lost track of lots of this stuff,” a U.S. official told Lake.

But Hammond disagreed. “We have a great deal of knowledge of location of chemical weapons,” the British defense chief said. “That is not the same as saying that I can put my hand on my heart and say that we know where every last item is. In terms of any possible response, I wouldn’t want to close off any options.”

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Hunger Strikes in Israeli jails escalate as 30 Jordanian prisoners join Ayman Abu Daoud to demand freedom

Occupied Ramallah, 2 May 2013 – Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association’s lawyer was able to visit hunger striking detainee Ayman Abu Daoud yesterday, 1 May 2013, in Megiddo Prison. Ayman is 32 years old, from Hebron and was re-arrested on 13 February 2012.

According to Addameer’s lawyer, Abu Daoud started an open hunger strike on 14 April 2013, to reject his re-arrest and detention after his release in the last prisoner exchange on 18 October 2011. He was given amnesty after serving 7 years of a 36 year sentence. The Occupation’s prosecution is now seeking to have him serve the remaining 29 years of his previous sentence as prescribed in Article 186 of Military Order 165, under the pretext of violating the terms of his release in a prisoner exchange deal.

The Military Prosecution also presented a charge list for Abu Daoud that accuses him of violating the terms of his release in the prisoner exchange deal, as well as providing financial aid to certain groups.

According to a deal he signed prior to his release, Abu Daoud was forbidden from leaving the Hebron region for 3 years and was required to present himself to the DCO (District Coordination Office) every 2 months. Abu Daoud abided by this deal.

The lawyer informed Addameer than the detainee Abu Daoud has lost 10 kg since he has announced his hunger strike, and now only weighs 74 kg.

Abu Daoud is being held in Al-Jalameh Prison in Section 3, which includes approximately 10 small rooms for civilian prisoners. Ayman’s room is completely isolated, along with one other room, both of which are divided from the rest of the rooms by way of an iron door. The other isolation room is used to punish civilian prisoners. The room measures 2X2 meters, and includes a concrete bed with a mattress that is a mere 5 cm thick. They gave him 3 extremely dirty blankets. The room has a shower and a hole for Abu Daoud to relieve himself. There is no window. Rather, there is only a 20X20 cm opening in the door, through which neither sun nor air can enter the cell. There is no air conditioning and the cell is lit 24 hours a day by an electric light.

Abu Daoud is currently the only Palestinian prisoner who is on hunger strike, however today 30 Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails also announced hunger strikes to demand their release.

Addameer expresses deep concern for the life of Ayman Abu Daoud as well as the lives of the hunger striking Jordanian prisoners and places full responsibility on the Occupation for their lives.

Addameer also renews its call to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon and all international organizations to intervene immediately for the release of the prisoners on hunger strike.

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Samer Issawi

Shireen Issawi was able to speak to her brother, Samer Issawi, who recently ended a 277 day hunger strike protesting administrative detention.

Part of the conversation was regarding Palestinian detainee, Mansour Moqadah. Samer was disappointed about the silence regarding Mansour’s case. He urged everyone to help Mansour

Mansour Mouqada, a prisoner held in Israel, is in critical health condition after a sudden swelling appeared in his neck, said Palestinian Prisoner Club (PPC) Thursday.

Shireen Issawi was able to speak to her...

Mouqada told a Prisoner Club lawyer that a Red Cross doctor informed him that the appearance of the swelling without feeling any pain is very worrying and it is necessary to take a sample for examination as soon as possible.

Mouqada suffers from hemiplegia and his intestines and stomach were replaced with plastic ones, which were described as a “lump outside his body.”

His case is one of the most serious cases in Ramla prison clinic, said PPC.

Mouqada, who is sentenced to life imprisonment, said he was transferred several days ago to the hospital and was given an injection into the vein, which caused him severe pain.

(Facebook / 02.05.2013)

Harrowing video shows Israeli soldiers arresting Hebron children

 

Two videos of Israeli soldiers arresting three young boys in Hebron give a harrowing glimpse into the everyday violence faced by children in the occupied West Bank city where settlers have taken over Palestinian homes under the protection of the army. (Videos embedded above and below.)

The videos, published by the group Youth Against Settlements, show a chaotic scene of settlers confronting Israeli soldiers, Palestinian residents and international observers at Shuhada Street on Sunday. The heavily-armed Israeli soldiers drag away three young boys while Palestinians and an international activist attempt to intervene. One of the boys wails with fright as he is pulled away. A woman bystander defiantly goes into the Israeli army jeep and manages to remove the one of the boys from it.

According to the International Solidarity Movement in Hebron, Palestinian children were walking home from school when they were attacked by a child from one of the settlements in the city center, who was accompanied by his two older brothers. Youth Against Settlements told The Electronic Intifada via email that the children from the settlement were waiting for the Palestinian students as they exited the school.

The younger child from the settlement began “throwing sticks, beating … and hurling insults” at one of the Palestinian children in the video, identified by the International Solidarity Movement as 12-year-old Ahmed Abu Heikel.

The ISM adds:

As soon as Ahmed defended himself against the beatings, the settler children immediately called for soldiers at nearby checkpoints who came running. Eyewitnesses state that the Palestinian children were not violent. The settler children pointed out Ahmed and [his 11-year-old brother] Mouawieh as well as their classmate Bilal Said, who were violently grabbed and pushed against a wall by soldiers.

A crowd of about 50 people quickly gathered, mostly Palestinian neighbours and classmates as well as international activists, journalists and settlers. The crowd, and especially the headmistress of Qortoba school, Noora Zayer, who was walking with the boys and witnessed the attack, insisted that the arrest was unacceptable. Bystanders and international activists managed to de-arrest Bilal, who then ran away. However Ahmed and Mouawieh were arrested; Ahmed is apparently being charged with assaulting the Israeli soldier who was called to the scene by the settler children and grabbed the Palestinian rather than the settler child.

A non-violent Swedish activist who intervened peacefully on behalf of the children has also been arrested and is being charged with assaulting a soldier. The two children and the Swedish activist were taken away separately in military jeeps [author’s note: the activist was taken away in a police van]. The Swedish activist is currently being held in Givat Havot settlement near Hebron city, whilst Ahmed and Mouawieh are being held in interrogation centres.

The Israeli soldiers took no action against the settler children who had instigated the attack. The police summoned the youngest settler child who had attacked Ahmed and spoke to him in the presence of his parents for about half a minute, after which he was allowed to go back home without any repercussions.

The ISM states that the brothers were released a few hours after their arrest, and that Ahmed had his fingerprints taken and that Mouawieh was kicked in the stomach by a soldier.

The activist who Israeli soldiers are seen shoving in the videos is in detention and faces deportation, according to the ISM, who say that “He was beaten during his arrest and hit with a gun. Soldiers conducted two mock executions by pointing guns at his head, loading them and pretending to press the trigger. He was blindfolded and kept inside the military base in Hebron, where he could hear the crying of the arrested children next to him.”

Child arrests in Hebron

The incident captured in the harrowing videos is hardly an isolated event. Video shows Israeli soldiers, backed up by armed settlers, arresting a 14-year-old boy in Hebron two weeks ago.

Christian Peacemaker Teams released a report last month documenting dozens of arrests of Palestinian children aged 15 and under in Hebron between February and mid-April of this year.

Meanwhile Israeli soldiers were caught on video using a handcuffed Palestinian teen as a human shield as they fired at protesters in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, last month.

According to the rights group Defence for Children International – Palestine Section, 236 Palestinian children were in Israeli detention in February of this year, 39 of them aged 15 or younger.

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Resheq slams PA for pledging not to move legally against occupation

 

images_News_2013_05_02_abs-Kerry_300_0[1]BEIRUT, (PIC)– Member of Hamas’s political bureau Ezzat Al-Resheq denounced the Palestinian authority for promising the US not to take legal action against Israel at international courts and bodies as a goodwill gesture towards the peace process.

Resheq made his remarks in response to de facto PA foreign minister Riyadh Al-Maleki who stated recently that the PA pledged to US secretary of state Johan Kerry to freeze its efforts to join UN institutions and halt its intentions to file complaints with international organizations against Israel in order to revive the peace talks.

The Hamas official condemned such position as political disorientation and a waiver of the Palestinian people’s rights.

“How come the people whose land is under occupation, their holy sites are violated and they are exposed every day to killing and arrest start to make goodwill gestures towards the occupation?” Resheq rhetorically questioned.

“20 years of frivolous negotiations which have brought the [Palestinian] cause to a deadlock are not enough for the Oslo team in order for it to start once again making political concessions as good faith gestures for the sake of talks exploited always by the occupation to impose more settlements as a fait accompli, seize more lands and Judaize Jerusalem!” he exclaimed

“There is no option for our people but to be united and devise a national strategy based on steadfastness and resistance in all its forms in order to confront the occupation, and its Judaization and settlement policies because the rights are taken by force and not begged,” the Hamas official emphasized.

For his part, Yousuf Rizqa, the political advisor of the Palestinian premier, castigated the political pledges made by the PA to the US and described it as shameful.

“It is unfortunate that the PA leadership keeps hogging the Palestinian decision-making and act far from the will of the Palestinian people and without the participation of the factions operating on the ground,” Rizqa stressed in a press release.

“This position only reflects a group of people monopolizing the authority and the representation of the people, and contradicts the popular and factional vision, which the Palestinian people dominantly share,” the political advisor said.

He warned it is a grave mistake to use goodwill gestures in the management of the political conflict with the Israeli occupation.

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Mashaal: All forms of resistance is a top priority for Hamas

 

images_News_2013_05_02_Mashaal-0_300_0[1]DOHA, (PIC)– Head of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Mashaal said that all forms of resistance would be a top priority for his Movement in the next stage, and pledged to have the Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails.

Mashaal told Al-Jazeera satellite channel on Wednesday that the first priority for Hamas is the resistance because it is the normal and legitimate behavior for a people under occupation.

“The resistance in Gaza is honorable, although it has become weak in the last years in the West Bank, so we need resistance in all its forms, either popular or military. Our options are open and various,” the Hamas leader said.

The second priority, he said, is to revive the issue of occupied Jerusalem as a national agenda and a headline of the Palestinian conflict with the occupation, and to rally the Muslim nation to shoulder its responsibilities towards the holy city.

Mashaal also pledged to work on extracting the freedom of the Palestinian prisoners in the coming four years, and to activate the issue of the refugees.

As for the national reconciliation, the Hamas official stressed the importance for respecting and executing all parts of the agreements signed in Cairo and Doha.

He also said that the reconciliation should be based on the national constants, including the resistance of the occupation and the liberation of Jerusalem, and on the political partnership.

Mashaal also reiterated his Movement’s rejection of the proposal made recently by the Arab League about swapping lands and warned of its negative impact on the Palestinian cause.

“We are against this move, against the persistent concession policies and against waiving an inch of the Palestinian land,” he stated.

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Bardawil: Hamas rejects any solution waiving an inch of Palestine

 

images_News_2013_05_02_flags-0_300_0[1]GAZA, (PIC)– Senior Hamas official Salah Al-Bardawil said his Movement rejects any solution ceding one inch of the Palestinian land and believe that Palestine is not to be shared with the Israeli occupation.

Bardawil told Quds Press that the renewed move made by the Arab League to revive the peace process and its acceptance of land swaps are part of the Arab peace initiative which has been utterly rejected by Hamas since its emergence in 2002.

“The position of the Hamas Movement towards the Arab peace initiative has been clear since it started, that is, it has never accepted it and seen it as a waiver of the right of refugees to return and as recognition of the occupation,” Badawil stated.

“We expected that the Arab League would withdraw this initiative, but we were surprised by this new overture which is based on swapping lands,” he added.

“Neither this initiative nor any other will be successful since they go against the Palestinian people’s rights,” he emphasized.

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Jerusalem mosque to be partially demolished, Israeli court rules

 

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Israeli border policemen stand guard as a Palestinian performs Friday prayer on a street in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud on 5 April 2013.

An Israeli court has rejected an appeal to stop the partial demolition of a mosque in Ras al-Amoud in East Jerusalem, the mosque’s imam said.

The court ruled that a section of the Muhammad al-Fatih mosque was built without a license and must be demolished, sheikh Sabri Abu Diab told Ma’an news agency.

The imam said the section under threat is used by women worshipers.

The 70-square-meter section was built in 2009 to increase the mosque’s capacity, particularly on Fridays, as thousands of people who are denied access to the al-Aqsa mosque pray in Ras al-Amoud instead, Abu Diab said.

Engineers and lawyers tried to get a license for the additional section but Israeli authorities refused, he added.

A Jerusalem court first ordered the demolition of the section in 2012, but the decision was appealed.

The latest decision cannot be appealed, but Palestinian members of Israel’s Knesset, Ibrahim Sarsour, Massoud Ghanayim and Taleb Abu Arar, have said they will try to stop the demolition.

The rest of the mosque was built in 1964 on land owned by the endowment foundation.

(Source / 02.05.2013)

Israel frees Palestinian former hunger-strikers

Palestinian protesters hold placards during a demonstration in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Samer al-Issawi, outside Kaplan hospital in Rehovot near Tel Aviv April 22, 2013.

An Israeli military appeals court on Thursday ordered the release of two Palestinian prisoners held without trial since November, who had staged a three-month hunger strike, a prisoners’ rights group said.

Sarahna Amani, a spokesman for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club told AFP that Jaafar Ezzeddine and Tariq Qaadan would be freed on May 8.

The men ended a 90-day fast in February after being promised a hearing on their case.

Under what Israel calls “administrative detention” suspects can be imprisoned without trial by order of a military court. Such orders can be renewed indefinitely for six months at a time.

Israeli news Website NRG quoted Ezzeddine and Qaadan’s lawyer as saying that their initial six-month term was due to expire on May 22 but they feared that it would be extended and therefore launched their protest fast and legal campaign.

(Source / 02.05.2013)