Hamas: We wager on the Saudi role in ending Gaza siege

BEIRUT, (PIC)– The Hamas Movement has said that it is wagering on an Arab role led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt in ending the blockade on the Gaza Strip, affirming that its regional relations are going in the right way. “Hamas’s relations with Egypt are moving reasonably well, even though they should be faster than that,” director of the Movement’s international relations Osama Hamdan stated in press remarks to Quds Press. “The strain [in the relations with Egypt] has dropped considerably, we hope that the relationship will reach a good level, especially that the Palestinian cause needs support from everyone, and Egypt’s role in this regard is indispensable,” Hamdan said. The Hamas official also highlighted the improving relations between his Movement and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Saudi Arabia in particular, pointing to a planned visit to be made by Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mishaal to Saudi Arabia, without specifying a date for it. Replying to a question about the Saudi role in ending Gaza siege, Hamdan stressed that the Palestinians need an all-out Arab effort in this regard. “With regards to ending the blockade, there is no doubt that we need a comprehensive Arab effort because the party that is besieging Gaza is the occupation, and there is international support for this siege led by the US,” he underlined. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a pivotal role in the effort to end this protracted blockade,” he added. As for the relations with Iran, the Hamas official said that his Movement’s ties with Iran are always based on its support for the Palestinian resistance. “Hamas’s relationship with Iran is in a comfortable position for both parties, and we hope that it will have a positive impact on supporting the resistance,” he stated.

(Source / 29.04.2016)

International, Arab key figures participate in 14th Palestinians in Europe Conference

MALMO, (PIC)– International, Arab and Palestinian key figures affirmed their participation in 14th Palestinians in Europe Conference which is to be held on May 07 in the Swedish city of Malmo.  The activist Khalil Aasi, Deputy Head of the preparatory committee of the conference, said that participants include Palestine’s ambassador to Sweden, European MPs from Sweden, Ireland, Spain and members of the British House of Lords. For his part, Majed Hannoun, member of the conference management and president of the Palestinian Assembly in Italy, confirmed the participation of Morocco’s Former Foreign Minister Saad al-Din al-Othmani in addition to pressmen and syndicate representatives of different Arab nationalities.  Khamis Kart, member of the conference management and member of the administrative staff of the Palestinian assembly in Germany, confirmed the attendance of Muslim and Christian religious figures as well as academicians, parliamentarians, politicians and human rights activists.   Researchers and academicians from the Arab gulf countries are going to participate in the conference as well. Isam Qaddoura member of the conference administration and former president of the Palestinian forum in Denmark affirmed the participation of many of Islamic institutions and organizations in addition to Arab activists in Europe.

(Source / 29.04.2016)

Ex-Tehran Uni. President urges Iran’s youths to protest against dictatorship

NCRI – Dr. Mohammad Maleki, the first Chancellor of the University of Tehran following the 1979 revolution and a former Iranian political prisoner, has from his home in Tehran sent a message to the youths in Iran to “rise up and protest” against the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

Dr. Maleki made the plea following a statement of support for Iranian physicist and political prisoner Omid Kokabee who underwent surgery last week to remove his cancerous right kidney.

Mr. Kokabee, 34, and his relatives had repeatedly warned about his various problematic health conditions, but the mullahs’ regime systematically ignored their warnings in the five years that he has been behind bars. Human rights groups say Mr. Kokabee is held solely for his refusal to work on military projects in Iran.

Iranian people, in particular the young generation, “must rise up,” Dr. Maleki said in his message which was recorded last Friday, April 22.

“They must break the silence in the face of these criminal actions.”

“They must put fear aside and protest.”

“They must tell the oppressive rulers of this nation that they will not allow them to act in this inhumane and un-Islamic way and violate the human rights of the wise people and scientists, political opponents, protesters and writers of this nation.”

“Dear students and professors, I urge you to rise up and protest.”

“Until now they have executed many students of this nation. These brutal massacres continue [in Iran]. … I urge all Iranian youths, in particular students and professors, to protest against these despicable actions of the regime and prevent these criminal acts from continuing,” he added.

Dr. Maleki, 83, is a human rights activist who has been arrested and imprisoned by the Iranian regime many times and is banned from leaving the country.

Last November he publicly condemned a brutal rocket attack on October 29, 2015 against members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) in Camp Liberty in Iraq which left 24 people killed and dozens wounded.

In December he publicly said that the victims of the Camp Liberty rocket attack would overcome all obstacles and continue with ever greater force their resistance against the clerical regime, adding that they “seek freedom from cradle to the grave.”

(Source / 29.04.2016)

Dr Maaz: the children’s doctor killed for saving lives in Aleppo

Mohammad Wassim Maaz worked tirelessly in the hell of Syria second city before he was cut down with colleagues in a government air strike

Mohammad Wassim Maaz died on Wednesday

Syrian doctor Mohammad Wassim Maaz saved the lives of countless children in the war-ravaged districts of Aleppo city before an air strike this week on a hospital took his own.

“Dr Maaz was considered the best paediatrician and was one of the last ones left in this hell,” one of his colleagues told AFP.

Late on Wednesday night, an air strike on the al-Quds hospital in the Sukari area of the city took his life and those of a dentist, three nurses, and at least 22 civilians.

Maaz was originally from Aleppo and had been preparing to travel across the border to Turkey to visit his family.

“Like so many others, Dr Maaz was killed for saving lives,” said Dr Hatem, a colleague who preferred not to give his full name.

Hatem manages the Children’s Hospital in Aleppo, where Dr Maaz worked during the day before tending to emergency cases in al-Quds hospital overnight.

“Dr Maaz and I used to spend six hours a day together. He was friendly, kind and he used to joke a lot with the whole staff,” Hatem said in a letter published by the Syria Campaign advocacy group.

He said that Dr Maaz, 36, used to work at the Children’s Hospital during the day and then attend al-Quds hospital for emergencies in the evening.

“He was the loveliest doctor in our hospital.”

That tribute has now been shared more than 23,000 times on Facebook.

Another colleague of Dr Maaz told the BBC that they had worked together for five years.

“He was one of my best friends. He was 36 years old, unmarried up until now, waiting for this bloody war to stop to be married”, he said.

“He loved his country, he loved his city. He had to stay close to those babies. Who would treat those babies if everybody left?”

Dr Maaz kept his beard nearly trimmed and maintained an unlikely sense of humour given the horrors he saw on a near daily basis in the rebel-held parts of the northern city.

More than 270,000 people have been killed in Syria’s brutal conflict, which has seen hospitals destroyed and medical staff killed across the country.

“Dr Maaz stayed in Aleppo, the most dangerous city in the world, because of his devotion to his patients,” Hatem said.

Al-Quds hospital was supported by both Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

MSF said it had been donating medical supplies since 2012 to the 34-bed al-Quds hospital, where eight doctors and 28 nurses worked full time.

“Out of the eight doctors, there are now only six left,” Miskilda Zancada, head of MSF’s Syria mission, told AFP from Kilis in Turkey.

She said 95 percent of the doctors in opposition-held parts of the city have left or been killed, leaving between 70 and 80 doctors to treat 250,000 people.

“The people who are left in Aleppo are the most vulnerable,” Zancada said.

MSF spokesperson Mirella Hodeib said Dr Maaz was a “very dedicated paediatrician and chose to risk his life to help the people of Aleppo”.

“His death is a terrible loss.”

(Source / 29.04.2016)

Egypt’s writers fear increasing restrictions

Journalists and activists protest against the restriction of press freedom and to demand the release of detained journalists, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, April 26, 2016

Some in Egypt believe the state, which claims to fight terrorism, rather is creating it through its obsession with security and its quest to preserve a regressive structure in society. The government has tightened the noose on society, taking a variety of measures against innovative minds such as isolating people, silencing them, limiting their imaginations, confiscating their dreams and basically draining the life out of them.

In Egypt, as in some other Arab countries, the state fears every free voice that calls for fighting tyranny.

Why do dictatorships fear imagination?” asked a number of prominent Tunisian intellectuals in a statement issued March 9 in the wake of verdicts against novelists and authors in Egypt. Signed by 58 intellectuals, the document expressed support for Ahmed Naji, an Egyptian novelist handed a two-year prison sentence in February on charges of offending public decency after he published several pages from his explicit novel “The Use of Life” (also called “Using Life) in Akhbar al-Adab weekly magazine.

Several political parties and rights organizations condemned Naji’s incarceration. Then, less than a month later, journalist Fatima Naoot was accused of contempt of religion after she expressed on Facebook her objection to the slaughter of sheep on Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).

Rights activist Negad el-Borai criticized Naoot’s three-year prison sentence and tweeted March 31, “The [Muslim] Brotherhood and politicians are no longer the only ones who have to flee from the ‘prison for all’ policy.”

Meanwhile, Hafez Abu Saada, a member of the National Council for Human Rights, demanded on Twitter the annulment of Article 98 of the Penal Code and said that it leads to the imprisonment of intellectuals, authors and poets and fills Egypt’s human rights’ record with more violations.

Gamal Eid, head of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, tweeted April 1 that talk about enlightenment or progressive culture under military or religious rule is a waste of energy.

Young novelist Osama el-Shazly, author of “August,” expressed his distress over these verdicts and said he considers the accusations against novelists unfounded.

He told Al-Monitor that the state is generally prone to legally pursuing authors in Egypt, as it honors the notion of a paternalistic, Big Brother state. In a call with Al-Monitor, Shazly added that the religious contempt law in Egypt only punishes those who offend Muslims — as radical imams openly use language offensive to Christians but aren’t accused of religious contempt.

Shazly also wondered how “public decency” is determined, let alone offended. He said what is characterized as offensive often is actually just dark humor. He rejected the notion of a Big Brother state dictating virtue, saying, “We will not write our novels on prayer mats!”

In February, Shazly posted on his Facebook page that he would quit publishing literary works in Egypt, in coordination with Naji. When asked whether he had any intention of taking back his decision, he said he is in the process of completing a new novel, but has not made up his mind about publishing it in Egypt. He added that he is observing the public situation and that might change his mind.

Novelist and journalist Ahmed al-Fakhrany told Al-Monitor that some laws are not fit for the 21st century. Fakhrany noted that the laws regarding contempt of religion are imprecise, making their interpretation subject to judges’ moods. He illustrated his point with Naji’s case, as one court had pronounced him innocent, while another sentenced him to jail. Such verdicts are intimidating and threaten public expression, Fakhrany said. He added that laws should be structured so that decisions are reached objectively.

Egyptian novelist Mohamad Rabie, who wrote the novel “Mercury,” agreed. He told Al-Monitor that these verdicts stem from generally conservative public prosecutors and the judiciary, and this atmosphere enjoys a public support. He said that if the objective behind these trials is to push Egyptian authors to practice censorship, they will not succeed. In fact, Rabie said he considers such decisions challenges, making him even more insistent on proving his point of view.

He said that, unfortunately, Egypt’s cultural minister is not dedicated to culture, but rather the state. Rabie described Minister of Culture Helmy Namnam’s stance on free expression as inconsistent. Rabie downplayed the importance of Namnam taking a stance of solidarity with intellectuals at a conference involving the Syndicate of Journalists’ Freedoms Committee in the wake of intellectual freedom cases. He said such displays of solidarity do nothing tangible to solve the crisis.

Al-Monitor tried to contact Namnam several times for a comment, but he did not respond.

Ibrahim Abdel Maguid, author of “No One Sleeps in Alexandria,” “The Other Place” and “Birds of Amber,” among other novels, told Al-Monitor the contempt of religion law conflicts with the 2014 Egyptian Constitution. He said he has seen such convictions against authors backfire. For example, after Naji was sentenced to jail, his novel received wide attention from more than 1 million readers. Before that, he had only sold 50 copies.

Abdel Maguid expressed his conviction that such an atmosphere will not affect literary or creative production, because writing is based on artistic sincerity.

(Source / 29.04.2016)

UNRWA: 40,000 Palestinians in Gaza suffer from diabetes

GAZA, (PIC)– 40,000 Palestinians in Gaza Strip suffer from diabetes, half of them are women, UNRWA said in a new report issued On the occasion of World Health Day. The Gaza Strip is an environment where malnutrition and infectious diseases can coexist with non-communicable health conditions such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Forced urbanization, over-crowding and the related psychosocial stress can aggravate these diseases, the report said. According to the UNRWA health programme in Gaza, in 2015, approximately 12.2 per cent of Palestine refugees aged 40 years or more were suffering from diabetes.  In total, the UNRWA health programme in Gaza reported 16,889 male and 23,118 female Palestine refugee diabetes patients in 2015. Through the provision of basic health care in its health centres, as well as regular awareness sessions for the community, UNRWA is working towards Sustainable Development Goal 3 – good health and well-being – which calls for the reduction of premature death from non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, by 30 per cent by 2030. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people living with diabetes globally has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults, with most living in developing countries.

(Source / 29.04.2016)

Israël executeert zwangere vrouw

By Engelbert Luitsz                    ©                   (www.alexandrina.nl/?p=4426)


Het is betrekkelijk rustig in Israël de laatste weken. Als we tenminste alleen naar de extreme vormen van geweld kijken. Een bewusteloze Palestijnse man die op straat lag werd door zijn hoofd geschoten. De dader wordt door een deel van de Israëlische bevolking als een held vereerd. Er kwam een 12-jarig meisje vrij dat 75 dagen lang had vastgezeten in een Israëlische gevangenis. Ik ben niet op zoek gegaan naar een verslag van wat ze heeft meegemaakt, maar de lege blik in haar ogen zegt voldoende. Martelingen, ook van kinderen, en seksueel misbruik komen veel voor bij niet-joodse gevangenen.

gevangen_meisjeHet 12-jarige meisje Dima na haar vrijlating na 75 dagen in een Israëlische cel.

Een internationaal bekende Palestijnse astrofysicus werd opnieuw gearresteerd, om maar weer eens te laten zien dat men in Israël overal lak aan heeft. Een circusartiest, pedagoog en steun voor de getraumatiseerde Palestijnse kinderen zit nog steeds in hechtenis. Zonder aanklacht, zonder advocaat of proces.

En er werd een zwangere vrouw van 24, moeder van twee kinderen, met haar broer van 16 geëxecuteerd.


Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail was op weg naar een ziekenhuis in Jeruzalem voor een test vanwege haar zwangerschap. Ze had een pasje ontvangen, want bewegingsvrijheid zit er niet in voor Palestijnen. Maar Maram was daar nieuw en liep op een weg waar ze niet behoorde te zijn volgens de bezetters. Bovendien sprak ze geen Hebreeuws, dus ze begreep niets van het geschreeuw van een paar soldaten. Ze werd daarop vanaf grote afstand neergeschoten. Toen haar broertje haar wilde helpen werd ook hij neergeschoten. Daarna kwamen de soldaten naderbij en vuurden volgens getuigen nog zo’n 15 kogels af op de twee hulpeloze mensen. Hier zullen de soldaten nog wel over berispt kunnen worden. Wanneer je iemand met kogels doorzeeft zijn de organen doorgaans niet meer verhandelbaar. De voorkeursprocedure is een schot door het hoofd, zodat de rest van het lichaam intact blijft. Maar wellicht waren dit beginnende fascisten die de executie als een oefening zagen.


Na de moorden werden er naar goed Israëlisch gebruik een paar messen neergelegd, waarmee de woordvoerder weer een passend verhaal kon maken. Dat er af en toe video’s opduiken die de leugens van de bezetter onderuit halen is geen belemmering om gewoon door te gaan met een beleid van liegen en bedriegen.

De arrogantie beperkt zich niet tot Palestina, ook in de Verenigde Staten en Engeland wordt iedereen die zich kritisch uitlaat over Israël belaagd en indien mogelijk uit zijn of haar functie gezet. En ook het plan van Frankrijk om opnieuw tot vredesbesprekingen te komen werd van de tafel geveegd. Maar ondertussen werd er wel weer meer geld geëist van de Amerikaanse belastingbetaler om precies die lobbygroepen in stand te houden die deze ellende mogelijk maken.

t-shirt israel twee voor de prijs van een

T-shirt van Israëlische sluipschutters met de opdruk “Twee voor de prijs van één”, met een afbeelding van een zwangere Palestijnse vrouw. Ze zijn er in ieder geval duidelijk over.

Er is al vaak gewaarschuwd voor het zionistische fascisme. De kiem van het ultra-nationalisme was al duidelijk geworden na het eerste Zionistische Congres in 1897, maar de ontwikkelingen in de 20e eeuw hebben het wezen van de beweging naar de achtergrond gedrongen, daarbij geholpen door een zeer efficiënte en machtige propagandamachine. Er is echter te weinig aandacht voor een simpel feit: wanneer iedereen het er uiteindelijk over eens is dat we hier met een vorm van fascisme te maken hebben is het veel te laat. Hoe langer er tijd wordt gerekt met semantische acrobatiek over wat termen als fascisme, Apartheid, bezetting, etnische zuivering, genocide, moord en oorlogsmisdaden precies betekenen, hoe kleiner de kans dat we nog kunnen terugkeren tot een menswaardige samenleving. Het menselijke vermogen tot het begaan van wreedheden is niet veranderd in de afgelopen duizenden jaren, de technologie van de dood echter wel.

Agreement on joint commemoration of the 68th Nakba anniversar

GAZA, (PIC)– Refugees Affairs Department of Hamas Movement agreed on Thursday with Palestinian factions on coordinating efforts to commemorate the 68th Nakba anniversary within a joint event program. The department said, in a statement, that the agreement came in the wake of a consultation meeting in the headquarters of Islamic Jihad Movement in Gaza City. The agreement stipulates organizing events under the name of the coordination committee while mentioning the party’s name that organizes each event.  Head of the Refugees Affairs Department of Hamas Movement Isam Odwan said during the meeting that the decision came to highlight the national unity in this event in particular and confirmed that the coordination committee will continuously hold talks on every national event in order to coordinate joint activities.  The event’s program will be announced in a press conference before the headquarters of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza City on May, 08.

(Source / 29.04.2016)

Israeli forces detain dozens of Palestinian youths for stone-throwing at Aqsa

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained dozens of Palestinians youths on Friday afternoon as they were exiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

Lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud told Ma’an that Israeli police detained between 30 to 40 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem as they were exiting the compound to interrogate them for suspicion of throwing stones at Israeli forces on the site.
Limited clashes had erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the Moroccan Gate as Palestinians protested the entry of some 1,000 Israeli Jews to the compound over the Jewish holiday of Passover that began Friday last week and ends Saturday.
Spokesperson for the Israeli police Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli forces asked Waqf (Islamic endowment) officials to contain the clashes without Israeli forces having to enter the compound.
She added the officials were successful and “calm was restored to the area.”
Witnesses said Israeli police detained the youths as they were exiting Al-Aqsa, searched them, and took their photos. Another group of Israeli forces evacuated the compound of the remaining Palestinian youths and detained some of them as well.
Al-Samri said that in addition to the 30 detained, eight suspects were formally arrested Friday for suspected involvement in the stone-throwing. All were taken to the al-Qashla police station in the Old City.
The detentions come after seven elderly Palestinians from Jerusalem were issued indictments earlier on Friday by an Israeli court for alleged incitement and involvement with Murabitun, an Islamic group who frequently demonstrates at Al-Aqsa against what they see as increasing Israeli control over the holy compound.
The third holiest site in Islam, Aqsa is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.
Mainstream Jewish law forbids present-day entry to the Temple Mount; however, right-wing Israelis gaining ground in the current Israeli government have stoked fears in Palestinians since calling for the destruction of the mosque to make room for a Third Temple.
Tensions around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound contributed to the recent escalation of violence after right-wing Israelis made frequent visits to the site during a succession of Jewish holidays last fall.
Tensions have increased at the site yet again as right-wingers tour the site for the Passover holiday this week.
(Source / 29.04.2016)

Lawyer Majdi Yasin on hunger strike in protest at his detention

JENIN, (PIC)– Palestinian prisoner Majdi Yasin, a 33-year-old lawyer, has entered the fifth day of his hunger strike in the Israeli Jalama jail in protest at his detention with no guilt at al-Karama border crossing. The Shin Bet arrested Yasin as he was traveling back to Sweden after he spent a vacation in his native village, Anin, in Jenin. Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that Yasin, who holds Swedish citizenship, went to al-Karama crossing five days ago in order to travel from Jordan to Sweden, but Shin Bet officers detained him for several hours before transferring him, with no reason, to Jalama jail. Yasin told his lawyer that he would not end his hunger strike until he was released.

(Source / 29.04.2016)