‘When I look at the Prawer Plan, I see another Nakba’

+972 speaks with Suhad Bishara, of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, about the challenges of fighting for Palestinian rights in Israel and deciding when not to take legal action in Israeli courts – if doing so would undermine the Palestinian narrative.

When looking at Israel’s Prawer-Begin Plan to evict tens of thousands of Bedouin in order to free land for Jewish development, attorney Suhad Bishara sees a second Nakba coming.

Bishara, 42, is Adalah’s acting executive director and the organization’s director of land and planning rights. Originally from Tarshiha, a village in the northern Galilee near the Lebanese border, Bishara has lived in Haifa since she graduated with a bachelors of law from Hebrew University, and has worked with Adalah since receiving a masters of law from New York University in 2001.

These days, she and Adalah are focusing their efforts on stopping the Prawer-Begin Plan. Sitting down with +972 in her Haifa office last week, Bishara discussed the intricacies of running a Palestinian human rights organization in Israel, and how in each case she must weigh how taking it to court might inadvertently undermine Palestinian rights.

This interview is one in a series of profiles on difference makers in the Israeli and Palestinian human rights community (edited for length). Click here to read partsone and two.

Are the land and planning rights of Arabs in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories more or less protected today compared to 2001 when you joined Adalah?

Generally speaking, they’re less protected. On one level, the Supreme Court has set precedents that disallow land restitution for Palestinian citizens of Israel whose lands were confiscated in the 1950s and 1960s, and were not used for the public purposes of the confiscation. There are also laws that restrict the right of restitution, restrict planning and development rights of Arab communities and procedures that limit the accessibility of land distributed by the state to its Palestinian citizens. Also, there’s master planning, which restricts the development of Palestinian towns and villages on a large-scale, and the massive attempts to displace tens of thousands of Palestinians in the northern Naqab (Negev).

(Click here for +972′s full coverage of the Prawer-Begin Plan)

In regards to land rights, what case concerns you most right now?

It’s basically the Prawer-Begin bill, which the Knesset is trying to enact in the next few months. It aims to evict dozens of Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Naqab, which has about 70,000 citizens, in order to “free” the land for the development of Israeli state interests, either to bring Jewish citizens to the area or develop it for industry or the army.

How do you think the Prawer-Begin Plan will be remembered, whether this Knesset passes and implements it or not?

When I first read the bill, I envisioned the Nakba; you have villages that will be displaced or evicted to build Jewish settlements on top of their ruins. These same stories that we heard in 1948 and we read in the history books, it’s happening to the Palestinians now 65 years later by the same authority and under the same legal system. It seems that in 65 years nothing has developed in the legal system. People speak about constitutional revolutions in Israel in the mid-1990s, but these haven’t even come close to affecting the rights of the Palestinian community, especially when we are talking about land and planning rights.

What strategies have been most effective in fighting to protect Palestinian land rights?

I think what has been most effective so far is public struggle — [trying to influence] public opinion and going out to the media. Of course, when it’s suitable, that takes place alongside legal procedures, but I think there’s a better chance when people decide to take their rights seriously. When you’re speaking about the Palestinian community in Israel, you first want to reach Israeli public opinion and that’s not always possible. We are aware of the limitations of the Israeli legal system; we know it will not dramatically change the situation. Therefore, we think other avenues are crucial.

What aspects of your job motivate you day-to-day and in the long-term?

It seems that everyone here [at Adalah] has the human rights bug. Either you have it or you don’t. I have frustrations, of course, questioning whether I’m doing the right thing, whether addressing the Israeli courts is the right way or not because you’re not getting much there, at least in land and planning issues. But I’m Palestinian; I’m part of a community and I don’t see myself anywhere else in the near future. I’ve been doing this ever since I became a lawyer, especially land and planning, because I see the importance of it. With no land, there’s no Palestine.

Do you ever wonder if your work legitimizes the occupation by working for change from inside Israel?

No. In every case we get we have to determine how it will affect the Palestinian cause. If we see that we have to give up the Palestinian narrative or undermine any Palestinian rights, we decide not to go to the courts. In East Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) we don’t address cases according to Israeli law. It’s an occupied territory and any legal cases should address the area under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and IHL only. We’re very careful there not to undermine any Palestinian claim, knowing what the consequences would be.

Is there room within the international human rights regime for some sort of international intervention in Israel/Palestine, legal or otherwise?

Yes. We do a lot of international advocacy in the U.N., EU and European Parliament (EP). Especially in the U.N., we see a lot of good concluding observations. The question is how that affects the policies de facto, and the answer is, it’s not crucial for the Israelis whether they have criticizing concluding observations or not. We use that and it does affect the Supreme Court sometimes because at least some of the judges have a broader view of how they will be perceived by internationals. But foreign ministries of different states in Europe, the U.S. and the EP are more willing to intervene when we are talking about the OPT, but less so when when it comes to Palestinian citizens of Israel because they perceive it as an internal Israeli issue.

What has been your most humbling experience working in the human rights field?

One is Umm al Hiran in A’Teer. It’s an unrecognized village in the Naqab, established in 1956 by order of the military government. In 2004, the state brought [the residents] to court claiming they are trespassers on the land. We managed to convince the court that we are not trespassers and at some point the court even asked the state: how can you claim they are trespassers when you know they are not?

Read more about Umm al-Hiran here

So we made it halfway. Factually, we proved our case, but the court still said the state can evict you because you were permitted to use the land for free and now the state can decide they don’t want to allow you to use the land anymore, which was of course frustrating. These are citizens, and the court acknowledged their narrative and that they didn’t break any law. And still, there is nothing you can do to protect them.

What do you hope Adalah will accomplish next?

Our main focus and most of our efforts now are going toward the Prawer plan. In the first stage we’re trying to convince Knesset members not to vote for the law, and if it passes, to see how we can challenge it and bring an end to the displacement of tens of thousand of citizens. Much of our efforts are going in this direction, legally, internationally, through media campaigns and in public opinion. This is one of the most crucial issues facing the Palestinian community in Israel. If the government goes ahead with the plan it will be disastrous. Many would say it’s a second Nakba for the Palestinians in the Naqab.

(Source / 14.07.2013)

Durf te geven!

De maand Ramadan is de maand van vrijgevigheid. Ons voorbeeld hierin is onze nobele profeet Mohammed salla allaaho ‘alaihi wa sellam.

“De profeet was de meest vrijgevige van de mensen, en het meest vrijgevig was hij in Ramadan wanneer (de engel) Djibriel hem bezocht. Hij bezocht de profeet iedere nacht om hem de Qoraan te onderwijzen.” [Bocharie]

Van de vrome daden die de gelovige verricht, en dan met name in deze gezegende maand, is het uitgeven aan de armen en behoeftigen. Niet om dank van hen te ontvangen, maar puur voor het welbehagen van onze Heer en voor de grote beloning in het hiernamaals.

Zoals Allah zegt over Zijn vrome dienaren:

(Zij zeiden) “Wij voeden jullie slechts omwille van het welbehagen van Allah, wij verlangen van jullie geen beloning en geen dank” [76:9]

Door de verleiding van dit wereldse leven vergeten we vaak het andere leven dat ons te wachten staat. In dat leven zullen we niets zo hard nodig hebben als de beloning van onze goede daden. Want:

“Op die dag zal de weegschaal de waarheid aangeven. Wiens schaal (met goede daden)dan zwaar is: zij zijn degenen die welslagen. En wiens schaal licht is: zij zijn degenen die zichzelf verlies hebben toegebracht …” [7:8-9]

Allah heeft velen malen de vrome gelovigen geprezen met het feit dat zij van hetgeen Allah hen heeft voorzien uitgeven. Dit in vele versen,  zoals in hoofdstuk al-Anfaal vers nr 3:

“… en zij geven uit van hetgeen Wij hen hebben voorzien”

De oprechte gelovige heeft het gevoel dat de armen en behoeftigen recht hebben op zijn bezittingen:

“en in hun (de vromen) bezittingen is er een recht voor de vragende en de behoeftige(die niet vraagt) [70:24]

Het uitgeven aan de armen en behoeftigen is een teken van dankbaarheid aan Allah. Hij is immers Degene die jou heeft voorzien. En Hij heeft degene die dankbaar is vermeerdering van Zijn gunsten beloofd.

Naast de grote beloning die de vrijgevende te wachten staat in het hiernamaals, komt daar nog bij dat deze uitgaves reden zijn van zegening van de bezittingen. De gelovige streeft immers naar zegening. Allah zegt:

“en wat jullie ook uitgeven, Hij (Allah) geeft er voor in de plaats, en Hij is de Beste der Voorzieners” [34:39]

Allah zegent door het uitgeven van de verplichte zakaat en daarnaast vrijwillige aalmoezen de bezittingen en behoedt het van allerlei onvoorziene kosten.

Vrijgevigheid en liefdadigheid is een bron van geluk. Het gevoel dat je iets goeds hebt gedaan, verruimt de borst en geeft voldoening. Allah beloont jouw goedheid naar de mensen met Zijn goedheid naar jou.

Gierigheid

Tegenover vrijgevigheid staat gierigheid, wat tot de slechtste eigenschappen behoord. Allah zegt hierover:

“wie gierig is: voorwaar, hij is slechts gierig ten nadele van zichzelf” [47:38]

Wie gierig is heeft alleen zichzelf ermee, hij ontneemt zichzelf de grote beloning van de vrijgevigen en maakt zichzelf ongeliefd bij de mensen.

Zoals een grote geleerde van vroeger zei: Iemand kan vele goede eigenschappen bezitten, maar wanneer hij gierig is overdekt dat al het goede.

De ziel neigt naar gierigheid, het is aan de gelovige om zijn ziel op te voeden door haar beetje bij beetje aan te zetten tot gulheid.

De ware ondernemer en investeerder onder ons is degene die een (klein) deel van zijn bezittingen uitgeeft aan de armen en behoeftigen. Want dat is wat zal blijven en wat je zal treffen bij de ontmoeting met jouw Heer.

Eén van onze vrome voorgangers zag een muntstuk in het hand van iemand. Toen vroeg hij hem: Van wie is dat? Hij antwoordde: Van mij! Daarop zei hij: Het is pas van jou wanneer je het uitgeeft aan iets goeds.

Niemand hoeft op de hoogte te zijn van jouw liefdadigheid, laat het iets zijn dat je achter de hand houdt voor de ontmoeting met jouw Heer.

Eén van onze vrome voorgangers werd gezien als een gierig iemand (omdat hij niet ruim leefde), toen hij stierf werd het pas bekend bij de mensen dat hij honderd gezinnen onderhield!

Wel kan het soms goed zijn om openlijk uit te geven, zoals in het geval dat andere mensen hierdoor jouw voorbeeld zullen volgen.

Beste broeders en zusters, wanneer jij in deze gezegende maand wat honger en dorst ervaart, gedenk dan jouw behoeftige broeders en zusters. Een klein bedrag dat in jouw ogen weinig voorstelt en wat jij makkelijk kunt missen, kan bij anderen voor hele verlichting zorgen.

“Wie verlichting brengt voor iemand die het moeilijk heeft, voor die persoon brengt Allah verlichting in dit wereldse leven en het hiernamaals..”  [Sahih Moslim]

Het beste zou zijn iets wat regelmatig is, met het automatisch overschrijven is dat nog nooit zo makkelijk geweest.

De mensen die het meeste recht hebben op jouw liefdadigheid zijn familieleden, omdat de aalmoes op deze manier een aalmoes is en tegelijkertijd zorgt voor goed onderling contact.

Durf te geven beste broeders en zusters, ga vandaag nog op zoek naar iemand die jij blij kunt maken. Iemand die fungeert als jouw hiernamaalse investering. Een investering die altijd winstgevend is.
Abulfadl, student aan de Universiteit van Medina. Saudi Arabië.

5 Ramadan

Take Action: 75 days of strike. Abdullah Barghouthi in health crisis. Implement the demands of Jordanian hunger strikers!

 

jordanstrikeFive Palestinian political prisoners with Jordanian nationality being held in Israeli prisons are entering their 75th day of hunger strike, and facing a severe health crisis. Take action today to join in their demands for justice.

Click to Tweet Now: ACT NOW: Abdullah Barghouthi and Jordanian hunger strikers in health crisis on 75th day of strike. Demand justice: http://wp.me/p2cx3f-Hu 

Abdullah Barghouthi, Mohammad Rimawi, Muneer Mar’i, Alaa Hammad, and Hamza Othman al-Dabbas launched their hunger strike on May 2, 2013. All carry Jordanian citizenship, and together issued three demands:

1. That they be released from Israeli prisons and serve their sentences in Jordanian prisons according to the Wadi Araba Agreement between Jordan and Israel. This agreement was previously applied to the case of prisoner Sultan Al-Ajouli, who was transferred to Jordanian custody in accordance with the agreement.

2. That the Occupation disclose the whereabouts of missing Jordanian prisoners, of which there are 20.

3. That the Occupation remove martyrs from the ‘numbered graves’, where prisoners who died in custody are currently kept in nameless graves.

Their health has worsened progressively. Abdullah Barghouthi is currently held in Afula hospital, while Rimawi, Mar’i, Hammad and Othman al-Dabbas are held in the Ramle prison clinic. All are shackled, hand and foot, to their hospital beds. Abdullah Barghouthi has been physically assaulted on multiple occasions by his jailers, and is now in a severe health crisis.

abdullahbarghouthiHe is no longer able to receive injections in his arms due to inflammation, and is taking only water. He is suffering from kidney, liver and other diseases, reported lawyer Jawad Boulos on July 13. These reports followed updates on July 10 that Barghouthi was suffering severe inflammations throughout his body. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society also released a statement in which Barghouthi said “his hunger strike would end only on or under the Jordanian soil.” Barghouthi has been consistently suffering severe headaches and shivering throughout his body.

Hunger striking prisoners Muneer Mar’i, Mohammad Rimawi, and Ala’a Hammad were transferred to the Ramle prison clinic from Soroka Hospital on July 14. Hamza Othman al-Dabbas remained at Ramle clinic. Each of the prisoners have lost over 18 kilograms of weight and must use wheelchairs to move. Rimawi is being denied critical medicine for his heart disease because he refuses to end his hunger strike.

The families of the hunger strikers have called for action. Protests have taken place in London, throughout all areas of occupied Palestine, including ’48 Palestine, Ramallah, Gaza, and Nablus; and over 70 protests in Jordan. Take action today:

nnmTAKE ACTION!

1. Sign a letter demanding the Israeli state immediately implement the demands of the Jordanian hunger strikers. Tell the Israeli Prison Services that the world is watching! Click here to sign..

2. Join a protest or demonstration outside an Israeli consulate for Palestinian prisoners. Join one or announce your own. Organizing an event, action or forum on Palestinian prisoners on your city or campus? Use this form to contact us and we will post the event widely. If you need suggestions, materials or speakers for your event, please contact us at samidoun@samidoun.ca. 

3. Contact your government officials and demand an end to international silence and complicity with the repression of Palestinian political prisoners. In Canada, Call the office of John Baird, Foreign Minister, and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian prisoners, at : 613-990-7720; Email: bairdj@parl.gc.ca. In the US, call the office of Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1.202.647.7209). Demand that Elizabeth Jones bring this issue urgently to his counterparts in Israel.

Contact Israeli Officials in solidarity with the demands of Jordanian hunger strikers Abdullah Barghouthi, Mohammad Rimawi, Muneer Mar’i, Hamza Othman al-Dabbas and Alaa Hammad

It is urgent that Israeli officials hear that the ongoing hunger strikes of Jordanian prisoners Abdullah Barghouthi, Mohammad Rimawi, Muneer Mar’i, Hamza Othman al-Dabbas and Alaa Hammad are being followed around the world. As they enter their 75th day of hunger strike, tell the Israelis that people around the world join in their demands and are monitoring the situation of Palestinian prisoners and hold the Israeli officials responsible for their lives. Use this form to send a letter of protest to Israeli officials.

(Source / 14.07.2013)

Samer al-Barq enters fourth year in administrative detention without charge or trial

Samer al-Barq is entering his fourth year in administrative detention, without charge or trial, said the Palestinian Prisoners Study Centre.

Al-Barq was transferred from Jordanian captivity to occupation forces at the Karama crossing on July 11, 2010, and immediately placed under administrative detention without charge, said Amina Tawil of the Centre. She said that he engaged in several hunger strikes demanding his release, for 30 days, 125 days, and 43 days. He was repeatedly promised that a deal would be arranged in which he would be deported to Egypt from which he would return to Pakistan, the country of his wife’s citizenship, but these promises were never fulfilled.

He suffered severe medical consequences of his hunger strike, dropping in weight from 93 to 72 kilograms, suffering kidney disease, high blood pressure and low blood sugar. His administrative detention was renewed again in late June for another six months.

Samer al-Barq’s story in many ways captures the transnational security alliances of the US and its allies. He was arrested in Pakistan and held for three months in a secret US detention facility in 2003, from which he was transferred to Jordan. He was held by Jordanian intelligence for four years and then released in January 28. He worked at a medical laboratory, and his wife travelled from Pakistan to join him. He was then re-arrested by Jordanian secret services and transferred to the Israelis. At no point has he been charged with or tried for any crime. During his imprisonment without charge or trial he has been interrogated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, among others.

(Source / 14.07.2013)

Israel lifts publication ban on the kidnapping of Wael abu Rida from Egypt

wael-aburidaIsraeli media reported on Wednesday, July 10, that Wael Abu Rida, a Palestinian from Gaza, was kidnapped by Israeli Mossad agents from Egypt, in the Sinai, a case first reported by Palestinian media on June 23, reaching international press on June 30. It was not until July 10, however, that an Israeli judge cleared news of the kidnapping for publication.

At the same time, the court extended Abu Rida’s detention for eight days. Judge Yuval Livadaro allowed the publication of some details in Israeli media, but extended the gag order of other details by 10 days.

The detainee’s wife, Amani Abu Rida, had reported to Ma’an that her husband disappeared during a visit to Egypt for medical treatment. The couple traveled together to Egypt on June 6. Wael Abu Rida suffers cerebral atrophy and sought treatment at a hospital in central Sinai, his wife said.

On June 21, Wael received a phone call and left without returning, his wife said.

The family later received a phone call from the International Committee of the Red Cross informing them that Wael was in Israeli custody, without giving any reason for the arrest. After the phone call, Amani returned to the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 14.07.2013)

Israel seeks removal of Palestinians: Ralph Schoenman

Interview with Ralph Schoenman

“…above all, the maintenance of the military capacity of the Israeli …[entity] is ultimately aimed at the removal of the Palestinian people from all aspects of their lives in Palestine and the surrounding area.”

Press TV has conducted an interview with Ralph Schoenman, author of the “Hidden History of Zionism”, about Israeli forces detaining a five-year-old Palestinian boy for allegedly throwing a stone at a settler’s car in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Arresting a five-year old child, how is that even justifiable in any way, shape or form?

Schoenman: Well children have always been targeted in Palestine by the occupation forces and by in fact the Zionist apparatus itself from the inception of the colonization of Palestine. Children have been targets, children who merely take part in any sort of protest or who are rounded up indiscriminately in villages and in homes, a five year-old-child is arrested for supposedly throwing a stone speaks volumes to the nature of the occupation and the policies of destruction of the Palestinian people.

The basic fundamental objective of the Zionist …[entity] is to remove the Palestinian people from their land and from history by any and all means necessary.

Any act of resistance, any act of determination to stay on the ground and to protect and to preserve their heritage and their homeland is treated by the Israelis as an assault upon the Zionist project itself.

So children of course are no way immune from the brutality and repression of the Zionist …[entity].

Press TV: Mr. Schoenman, as you have just alluded as well, Palestinian children are languishing in Israeli prisons as well. This is a massive infringement of human rights and international law and yet the world remains silent as far as this goes. What do you make of that?

Schoenman: Well as you know the Zionist …[entity] is an instrument of imperialism, is funded by imperialism, is armed by imperialism and is the attack dog for the designs of the colonial imperial states upon the people of the region, their sovereignty, their self-determination, their control over their natural resources and their ability to resist to minion by imperial or others.

So Israel is funded, armed, sustained and maintained whether through… international institutions or through the constant arming of the nuclear arsenal of the Zionist …[entity] and above all, the maintenance of the military capacity of the Israeli …[entity] is ultimately aimed at the removal of the Palestinian people from all aspects of their lives in Palestine and the surrounding area.

It’s a continuing ongoing policy, all the pretext that are offered by various international bodies do not awe to that fundamental reality. It requires a struggle across the region and of course amongst the Palestinian people themselves reaching out to the settler population who is increasingly sick of permanent war being used as an instrument for destruction of a population and pitted against the people of the region for the removal of the Zionist … [entity] as the apartheid state of Africa was removed so the Zionist … [entity] must be removed in Palestine.

(Source / 14.07.2013)

Een Ramadan planning maken

By Marianna Laarif

Een Nederlands spreekwoord luidt: ‘een goede voorbereiding is het halve werk’ en dat geldt ook voor de Ramadan. Door jezelf goed voor te bereiden op de Ramadan, zal je veel bewuster de Ramadan in gaan en veel beter weten wat je wilt en weten wat je moet doen. De Ramadan is een bijzondere maand met veel voortreffelijkheden, laat deze niet verloren gaan en bereid je voor.

Ramadan planning voor iedereen
Iedereen is anders en dat zorgt ervoor dat er geen Ramadan planning bestaat die handig is voor iedereen. Iedereen gaat op een eigen manier aan het werk. Sommige mensen houden ervan om met schema’s te werken, waarin ze handelingen afkruizen wanneer ze het gedaan hebben, terwijl anderen liever nadenken over hun doel en dit opschrijven of gewoon onthouden. Bedenk daarom eerst op welke manier jij je het beste kunt voorbereiden op de Ramadan en wellicht heb je iets aan het onderstaande stappenplan.
Ramadan planning maken
De volgende stappen kunnen je helpen bij het maken van een Ramadan planning:
Stap 1: Het einddoel vaststellen
Stel allereerst het einddoel vast. Wat wil je met alles wat je gaat doen bereiken? Hoogstwaarschijnlijk staat dit antwoord al vast, aangezien het vasten gebeurt om Allah te behagen en om zo het Paradijs te bereiken. Toch is het goed om hier over na te denken en hier goed bij stil te staan, want alleen met het einddoel in gedachte, kun je jezelf echt overgeven eraan.
Stap 2: Streefdoelen vaststellen
Wat zijn je streefdoelen? Wat wil je bereiken tijdens deze Ramadan? Dit kunnen zaken zijn als: een beter imaan, een bepaalde zonde verlaten, bepaalde vrijwillige daden verrichten. Het kan hier gaan om fysieke doelen, zoals het gebed verrichten of naar de moskee gaan. Maar er kan ook sprake zijn van spirituele doelen, zoals het verbeteren van je imaan of het verkrijgen van geduld.
Voorbeelden van streefdoelen:
  • Een bepaalde hoeveelheid suwar leren uit de Koran
  • De hoofddoek dragen
  • Gebeden op tijd verrichten
  • Zoveel mogelijk naar de moskee gaan
  • Meer dhikr doen
  • Kijk hier voor meer Ramadan ideeën
Stap 3: Stel bij ieder streefdoel vast, hoe je dit kunt bereiken 
Wanneer je bijvoorbeeld als streefdoel hebt dat je de gebeden voortaan op tijd wilt gaan verrichten, dan kun je er over nadenken hoe je dit kunt bereiken. Wanneer je de tijd vergeet, kun je er over nadenken om een adhan-klok aan te schaffen of deze op je computer of telefoon te zetten. Of je kunt iemand in je omgeving vragen om je te herinneren aan de tijd.
Stap 4: Wat heb je nodig?
Om doelen te kunnen bereiken, kan het zijn dat je iets nodig hebt, zoals in het voorbeeld bij stap 3: een adhan-klok. Maak een lijstje van je benodigdheden en zorg ervoor dat je het op tijd in huis hebt.
Stap 5: Doelen en handelingen koppelen aan tijd
Maak met jezelf afspraken over de doelen. Sommige doelen zijn moeilijk aan tijd te koppelen, maar bij andere doelen is dit gemakkelijk. Spreek bijvoorbeeld met jezelf af dat je jezelf iedere dag 5 minuten terugtrekt om dhikr te verrichten of dat je iedere ochtend na Fadjr een half uur Koran gaat lezen.
Bedenk ook hoe je jezelf het beste aan deze doelen kunt houden. Voor sommigen helpt een af-streep-schema en voor anderen helpt het om tijd in de agenda te reserveren. Ga na wat voor jou het beste werkt.

Israel court jails top Hamas members for 30 months

Israel jails for 30 months 30 senior Hamas members.

An Israeli court said Sunday it has jailed for 30 months two senior Hamas members who took refuge inside Red Cross east Jerusalem offices for a year and a half.

The Jerusalem district court issued the sentence as part of a plea bargain in which former Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh and Hamas MP Mohammed Totah admitted to “membership of a terror organization” and staying in Israel without permits.

The two had barricaded themselves inside the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross on July 1, 2010 and were arrested on January 23, 2012.

The ICRC compound is in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied east Jerusalem.

According to police, the two men both had their Israeli identity cards revoked 18 months before their arrest, meaning they were not legally entitled to be in the city.

The 30-month jail sentences were issued on Thursday, but the court only distributed news of the decision to the media on Sunday.

Hamas has 74 members in the 132-seat Palestinian Authority Legislative Council, which is based in Ramallah. Twelve of them are now being held by Israel, including Totah.

(Source / 14.07.2013)

FSA to al-Qaeda: Killing of Syria rebel official ‘declaration of war’

The rebel Free Syrian Army says the killing of a top official by an al-Qaeda-linked group is a “declaration of war.”

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said the killing of Kamal al-Hamami, an FSA official, by members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was a “declaration of war.”

Hamami, also known as Abu Baseer al-Ladkani – was a member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council. He was meeting with members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Syrian port city of Latakia on Friday when they killed him, Reuters quoted FSA spokesman Qassem Saadeddine as saying.

In an interview with Al Arabiya, FSA spokesman Louay Almokdad said the Syrian armed opposition’s demand that Hamami’s killers be handed over to the FSA was “a rightful request.”

“A criminal named Abu Ayman al-Baghdadi killed an FSA official in cold blood using his personal gun and in front of eye witnesses that include FSA leaders,” Almokdad said. “We do not threaten, we do not warn and we do not instigate battles with anyone. This murderer must be handed over to a just and fair judiciary, so justice can run its course.”

Almokdad also said that the FSA was still not informed as to why Hamami was killed.

“We are waiting to know the reason why he was killed. It’s been 48 hours now and no clarification has been issued yet,” he told Al Arabiya. “Hamami was killed whilst discovering a Syrian regime position in order to carry out a military operation,” Almokdad said.

“Hamami’s murderers [served] the interest of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Those who murdered Hamami must explain why they did it, otherwise, let them announce that they work with Bashar al-Assad.”

Almokdad also commented on the relation between the FSA and al-Qaeda-linked groups.

“What is currently happening is not tension between the FSA and al-Qaeda groups, because there wasn’t a relation in the first place. They consider us infidels and they [instructed] Abu Baseer’s companion to tell us: “we will kill you all.’”

(Source / 14.07.2013)

Netanyahu calls Palestinian leader Abbas, urges peacemaking

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday telephoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and said he hoped the two sides could resume peace talks, stalled for three years, Israeli officials said.

Netanyahu offered greetings for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, his office said, adding that he told Abbas: “I hope we will have the opportunity to speak with one another not only during festivals, and will start negotiating. It’s important.”

Direct talks broke down in 2010 over Israel’s settlement of the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians want as part of their future state. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has in recent months mounted shuttle visits in the hope of reviving negotiations.

“I hope Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts will show results,” Netanyahu said, according to the Israeli statement.

(Source / 14.07.2013)