Makhos: Assad & Its Allies Are Responsible for the Deteriorating Situation in Syria

Spokesman for the oppositions’ High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Munther Makhos said the Assad regime and its allies are directly responsible for the deterioration of the situation in Syria whether on the political, security or humanitarian levels. The political process has reached a deadlock because of the policies of the Assad regime and its allies, he added.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Makhos, who is also a member of the Syrian Coalition, said that the political process in Syria has been disrupted by proposals by the Assad regime and its allies for a partial solution through the formation of a so-called national unity government under the umbrella of the Assad regime.

Makhos pointed out that there is no political transition that includes elements of the Assad regime whose hands are stained with the blood of the Syrian people.

In his latest speech, Bashar al-Assad did not only rule out genuine political transition in Syria, but also reiterated he will carry on with the military solution, recapture Aleppo, and liquidate all his opponents.

There are two opposing approaches to solution in Syria. The first one is the approach of the opposition, which aims to remove the tyrannical corrupt regime and establish a civil, democratic pluralistic state. The second is the regime’s approach, through which Assad seeks to cling to power and adamantly refuses to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria thus forcing the Syrian opposition to suspend negotiations, Makhos went on to say.

“The cessation of hostilities agreement no longer exists on the ground in spite of the announcement of local sporadic, temporary truces. Violence and hostilities, especially the dropping of barrel bombs by the Assad regime on populated areas, have continued unabated since the declaration of the agreement, and sometimes even increased. The Assad regime and its allies have not shown any respect for the UN Security Council resolutions 2254 and 2268.”

Makhos added: “The political solution is still in a state of clinical death. The stalled political process cannot be pushed forward as negotiations have reached an impasse for purely political reasons rather than for technical details that could be overcome.”

“The Assad regime has only allowed small amounts of aid into besieged areas, which further proves a complete lack of commitment to its obligations, especially with regards to improving the humanitarian situation.”

Makhos added that humanitarian assistance reached only 46 percent of those in need across Syria, while only 12 percent of civilians in hard-to-reach areas got access to aid. He compared the situation in besieged areas to that in the Russian city of Leningrad during World War II.

“Moreover, these figures can be misleading as the humanitarian aid that was allowed into the areas besieged by the Assad regime and its allies were almost completely emptied of life-saving medical supplies after regime forces removed them from the UN aid convoys.”

All kinds of aid were supposed to be delivered to besieged areas before the launch of Geneva talks to create an environment conducive for launching a political process as was set out in the UN Security Council resolutions 2254 and 2268, he stressed.

Makhos noted that the Assad regime uses starvation and blockades as a weapon of war to force civilians and rebel fighters in besieged cities to surrender and agree to so-called reconciliations according to terms dictated by the regime.

“Mothers have been reduced to cooking leaves and grass to feed their starving children. It was not until videos and photos of skeletal children and babies in areas besieged by the Assad regime began to emerge in early January that the UN decided to take action. These photos were clearly reminiscent of the Holocaust.”

Makhos pointed out that no progress has yet been made in the file of detainees in Assad’s prisons, accusing the Assad regime of large-scale systematic violations and abuses against detainees in its prisons.

UN Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 2254 and 2268, have clearly called for the immediate release of all detainees in Assad’s prisons whose numbers are estimated at no fewer than 250,000. In addition, there are about 100,000 people who have gone missing. Those missing people have been most likely executed and buried in mass graves that will be discovered later, according to Makhos.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 23.06.2016)

Journalist Abu Zaid tortured in PA lock-up

NABLUS, (PIC)– Palestinian journalist Tareq Abu Zaid said he had been subjected to harsh torture in the solitary lock-downs of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Nablus. A PIC news correspondent quoted Abu Zaid as stating that he was kidnapped from his own family home and locked up in a solitary cell in the PA Juneid jail, where he was prevented from sleeping for the first three days.  Prisoner Zaid also said he had been slapped on the face by the investigators all the way through the first week of his detention. A PA intelligence officer also pushed him against the floor and hit his lower body parts with his boots. The PA investigators further forced Abu Zaid to smoke a cigarette and threatened to snuff it out in his body if he refuses. The PA investigators questioned him on reports he conducted on the psycho-physical torture perpetrated in the PA lock-ups in the West Bank. Abu Zaid was arrested by the PA intelligence forces from his own family home in Nablus on 16 May, 2016.  He was incarcerated in a solitary cell before he was released on bail on Wednesday.

(Source / 23.06.2016)

Wie heeft recht op onze zakaat?

Allah de meest Verhevene heeft in de Koran verduidelijkt aan wie wij onze zakaat moeten geven. Dit zijn acht groepen die Allah in één vers heeft genoemd. Allah zegt:

“Voorwaar, de zakaat is slechts voor 1) de armen en 2) de behoeftigen en 3) de werkenden (aan de inzameling ervan) en 4) de Moe’allaf  en voor 5) het vrijkopen van de slaven en 6) de schuldenaren en om (uit te geven) op 7) de weg van Allah en voor 8) de reiziger (die zonder proviand is komen te zitten) als een plicht tegenover Allah …” [9:60]

Het zijn slechts deze acht groepen die recht hebben op de zakaat, andere doeleinden hoe vroom ze ook mogen zijn, zoals het bouwen van moskeeën e.d., mag geen zakaat aan worden besteed.

In dit bericht gaan we in op de drie meestvoorkomende groepen rechthebbenden:

De armen
Allah heeft als eerste de armen genoemd omdat zij het meest behoeftig zijn. De arme is niet wat wij ons voorstellen bij het woordje “arme”: namelijk iemand die geen woning heeft en er onverzorgd bijloopt.

Met een arme wordt in islamitische termen een persoon bedoeld die helemaal geen inkomen heeft, of een inkomen heeft maar dat het minder dan de helft van zijn jaarlijkse kosten dekt.

Voorbeeld
Een persoon heeft een inkomen op jaarbasis van €3000, en zijn jaarlijkse kosten (en die van degenen die hij onderhoudt) qua huur, eten, kleding e.d. bedraagt €7000. Dan behoort deze persoon tot de groep “armen” (faqier) omdat zijn inkomen minder dan de helft van zijn jaarlijkse kosten dekt. Hij heeft in dat geval recht op datgene wat hij op jaarbasis tekort komt, en dat is in dit voorbeeld €4000.

De behoeftigen
De behoeftige is in minder hoge nood dan de arme. Een persoon die onder de behoeftigen valt, heeft voldoende inkomen om: de helft van zijn jaarlijkse kosten te dekken, of meer dan de helft.

Voorbeeld
Een persoon heeft een inkomen op jaarbasis van €3000, en zijn jaarlijkse kosten zijn €4000. Deze persoon behoort tot de groep “behoeftigen” (miskien) omdat zijn inkomen meer dan de helft van zijn jaarlijkse kosten dekt. Hij heeft in dit voorbeeld recht op €1000 zakaat.

Het valt op dat het enige verschil tussen de twee groepen, de hoogte in nood is. Ze komen beiden overeen in het feit dat hun inkomsten niet genoeg zijn om hun jaarlijkse kosten te dekken. Dat is dus ook de reden waarom zij recht hebben op zakaat.

De schuldenaren
Een persoon die genoeg inkomsten heeft om zijn jaarlijkse kosten te dekken, maar met een schuld zit en niet in staat is om deze af te lossen, is ook rechthebbende. Dit wanneer de schuld is ontstaan door het lenen van geld voor noodzakelijke zaken, zoals het kopen van kleding voor zijn gezin e.d. en niet wanneer de schuld is ontstaan vanwege het kopen van allerlei overbodige zaken.

Deze schuld mag direct aan de schuldeiser worden afgelost, wanneer de schuldenaar bijvoorbeeld niet goed met geld om kan gaan en wordt gevreesd dat hij het zal verspillen.

Intentie
De zakaat is een aanbidding en voor elke aanbidding is een intentie vereist. Wanneer je dus een persoon geld geeft als zakaat, moet de intentie van zakaat vooraf zijn genomen (in het hart). Je kan een bedrag dat je iemand hebt gegeven zonder intentie dat het zakaat is daarom niet achteraf als zakaat beschouwen.

Vermelden dat het zakaat is
Wanneer jij zo goed als zeker weet dat een bepaalde persoon recht heeft op zakaat, hoeft het niet te worden vermeld dat het geld dat jij hem geeft zakaat is, aangezien dit de betreffende persoon in verlegenheid kan brengen.

Wie je geen zakaat mag geven
Iedereen die jij verplicht bent te onderhouden (wanneer zij dat nodig hebben en jij daartoe in staat bent) mag je geen zakaat geven. Dat zijn met name jouw ouders (en hun ouders) en jouw kinderen (en hun kinderen), omdat je met het geven van zakaat jouw verplichting om hen te onderhouden op deze manier ontloopt. Wel wordt er een uitzondering gemaakt wanneer een persoon het niet ruim genoeg heeft om hen te onderhouden, dat hij ze van zijn zakaat geeft. Een andere uitzondering is in het geval dat degenen die jij verplicht bent te onderhouden, zoals vader of kind, schulden hebben. Dan mag jij hen helpen met het aflossen van hun schulden.

Voorrang
Het beste is om jouw zakaat aan arme familieleden te geven, omdat de zakaat op deze manier liefdadigheid is én reden van het onderhouden van de familiebanden, zoals dat in een overlevering staat. Vaak geven mensen hun zakaat aan allerlei instantie’s terwijl zij familieleden hebben in binnen of buitenland die nauwelijks rond kunnen komen.

Voorgaande jaren
Zakaat die jij voorgaande jaren niet hebt uitgegeven vanwege bijvoorbeeld onwetendheid, komt niet te vervallen. Met het tonen van berouw maak je goed wat tussen jou en Allah is, maar de schuld naar de armen en behoeftigen blijft staan.

Wie niet exact weet wat zijn inkomsten waren, maakt een schatting totdat hij het gevoel heeft dat hij over al zijn voorgaande inkomsten zakaat heeft betaald (uiteraard de voorwaarden in het vorige bericht in acht nemende). Allah belast een persoon niet boven zijn vermogen.

Beste broeders en zusters

De zakaat is een onlosmakelijk onderdeel van ons geloof, net zoals het gebed en het vasten dat is. De gelovige is blij wanneer het jaarlijkse tijdstip van het uitgeven van zijn zakaat aanbreekt, omdat hij dan zijn arme en behoeftige broeders en zusters blij kan maken met een klein deel van zijn geld.

Nu het – hopelijk – duidelijk is geworden hoe de zakaat wordt berekend en wie de rechthebbenden zijn, rest nu nog alleen het handelen naar deze kennis.

Moge Allah de meest Verhevene onze bezittingen zegenen.

Stuur het door; “Wie aanspoort tot het goede, heeft dezelfde beloning als degene die ernaar handelt.” [Sahih Muslim]

Abulfadl / Student aan de Universiteit van Medina, Saudi Arabië.

18 Ramadan 1437 / – 23 juni 2016 –

Saudi women reject US claim they are oppressed

WASHINGTON/JEDDAH: Several Saudi women have rejected claims by the US State Department that women are oppressed in the Kingdom, with daily discrimination experienced socially and in the workplace.

The claims were rejected by Lina Almaeena, founder and CEO of Jeddah United Sports Company, who said: “Women have gone through transformation all around the world, including the US, where (at one time) they could not vote or run in the Boston Marathon.”
“We (Saudi society] are evolving and we have come a long way, as now women are part of the Shoura Council (Consultative Assembly). It was unthinkable in the past. Change is a process and it is coming to Saudi Arabia,” she said in an interview with Voice of America.
Allen Keiswetter, a scholar at Washington’s Middle East Institute, agreed with the notion that change was coming to Saudi Arabia with regard to women’s rights but that it was slow. Access to education would increase opportunities for them, he was quoted as saying.
Thuraya E. Al-Arrayed, a member of the Shoura Council, told VoA that women have power in the consultative body. “The reports of all ministries that should go to the ministers, and then to the king, come to us. We read these reports carefully and see whether we agree with what they ask for. The decision of the king is based on what we advise.”
Ghadah Al-Ghunaim said many Westerners look at a women’s veil as a sign of discrimination but this was wrong. She said the veil, whether worn for religious or traditional reasons, was a sign of respect, and that the Virgin Mary wore the hijab.

(Source / 23.06.2016)

Two Palestinian workers sustain fractures after assaulted by IOF

File photo

Palestinian medical sources have reported that two workers were injured, on Thursday morning, after Israeli soldiers assaulted them, near Bethlehem, while trying to enter occupied Jerusalem for work.

According to IMEMC, sources said that the two workers are from the al-’Obeydiyya town, east of Bethlehem, and have been identified as Mohammad Jamil Radayda, 22, Jihad Jamal Radayda, 21.

The soldiers chased and assaulted them in Wadi Abu al-Hummus area, near the al-Khass village, east of Bethlehem. The army claimed that the two workers were trying to enter Jerusalem without a permit.

The two were repeatedly hit and kicked by the soldiers, and suffered various fractures, cuts and bruises to different parts of their bodies, and were transferred to Beit Jala governmental hospital, suffered moderate injuries.

It is worth mentioning that Wadi Abu al-Hummus area became a site of repeated Israeli military assaults against dozens of workers, including some who were recently shot and injured.

On Thursday morning as well, IOF have kidnapped at least ten Palestinians from different parts of the occupied West Bank, including Ramallah, Jerusalem, Qalqilia, Hebron.

(Source / 23.06.2016)

After poisoning Palestinian water, Israeli settlers steal it

Currently, the suffering of the villagers increases due to the heat wave hitting the region

Israeli Jewish settlers steal water of Palestinian villages near to illegal Jewish settlements in West Bank city of Bethlehem.

“At night, the Israeli settlers close taps of water pipes feeding the two Palestinian villages in order to let it serve only the Israeli Jewish settlers,” Rashaydeh said

Days of Palestine, West Bank -Israeli Jewish settlers steal water of Palestinian villages near to illegal Jewish settlements in West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Palestinian residents in Bethlehem villages of Al-Rashaydeh and Rawa’en are suffering from a shortage of water as their supply is stolen by illegal settlers.

Head of Al-Rashaydeh Village Council Fawwaz Rashaydeh said the shortage was caused by the use of settlers in the nearby settlements.

Noting that the water supplies are weak, he said that priority is given to the settlements and Israeli factories and not Palestinian communities.

“At night, the Israeli settlers close taps of water pipes feeding the two Palestinian villages in order to let it serve only the Israeli Jewish settlers,” Rashaydeh said.

The head of the village council called for the responsible bodies to solve the problem of the two villages, reiterating this is the most important issue for the villages who depend on livestock for their income.

He noted that there are 20,000 sheep and 500 camels in both villages.

(Source / 23.06.2016)

US gives Israel F-35 jet to kill Palestinians

This is how the US invests taxes collected from its citizens

The US is to send the first F35 jet to Israel to kill Palestinian women and children, as well as to destroy schools, mosques, hospitals and kindergartens.

The Israeli occupation has always used American-made fighter jets to attack Palestinians citizens and infrastructure all of the occupied Palestinians territories

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem –The US is to send the first F-35 jet to Israel to kill Palestinian women and children, as well as to destroy schools, mosques, hospitals and kindergartens.

F-35 is the world’s most advanced fighter jet. Israel is set to receive it amid a celebration that will be held in Washington which will be attended by the Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The F-35 plane is capable of evading radar signals and operates in all conditions, including very bad weather. It is also capable to carry out multiple rockets of different types and sizes.

The ground-breaking jet will take part in exercises in the United States, then the Israeli Air Force will install high-tech Israeli systems onto it, before it will be eventually sent to Israel’s Nevatim base in mid-December.

This plane is the first in a series of its kind which the Israeli Air Force will receive over the coming years.

(Source / 23.06.2016)

NYT whitewashes abuse of Palestinian workers in Israel

NYT draws a picture about the Palestinian workers which is completely different than the real dark one

Palestinians are pouring over the border from the West Bank to Israel daily, The New York Times tells us in a recent front-page story lavish with photos.

Missing from the piece, however, is the full story of Palestinian workers inside Israel, both legal and illegal, and the abuse they endure

By Barbara Erickson

TimesWrapPalestinians are pouring over the border from the West Bank to Israel daily, The New York Times tells us in a recent front-page story lavish with photos.

The job seekers, many of them illegal, face tough commutes and low pay, but they continue to come in the tens of thousands, desperate for work.

In this article by James Glanz and Rami Nazzal we learn that up to 60,000 Palestinian workers without permits are on the job daily inside Israel, with another 75,000 in possession of permits who are labouring in the settlements and inside Israel. The story gives us a look at several of the illegals as they make their way over and through the barrier Israel has built around their territory.

Missing from the piece, however, is the full story of Palestinian workers inside Israel, both legal and illegal, and the abuse they endure. According to the Times, their most pressing problems are low wages, occasional arrests and interrogations and “being dropped off at a checkpoint as far as possible from where they were picked up.”

If they had permits, the article states, life would be better: Employers would have to treat to them “similar to Israeli workers in terms of wages and benefits, covering sick days, vacations, health insurance and pensions.”

Permit system increases abuse

The Times, however, fails to explain that the reality for many legal workers from the West Bank is far from this ideal scenario. As the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem found, in spite of the law on the books, “Palestinian workers employed in Israel and the settlements suffer blatant discrimination, and their social rights are systematically trampled by their employers and at times also by the Israeli authorities.”

The permit system, ostensibly created to improve security, adds to this abuse. Workers who demand their full rights often find their permits revoked. “There are the workers whose employers fire them when they are injured,” Haggai Matar writes in the Israeli magazine 972. “There are those who try to unionise, against whom employers can use the army, the permit regime and ‘security’ excuses in order to forbid them from working.”

The system, Matar states, creates a corps of “frightened subjects who lack basic rights, wake up every morning at 3 am [in order to pass through checkpoints], and have almost no way of protecting themselves.”

And these are the legal workers, touted in the Times story as fully protected and almost on a par with Israelis. It follows that illegal workers have a much harder go, but the article splashed across the front of the newspaper yesterday gives a benign account of their working conditions.

“Some employers house [illegal] workers in trailers, some workers stay with relatives or friends, and some camp outside,” the Times story states, giving the impression that even illegal workers find comfortable quarters during their stays in Israel.

B’Tselem report, however, paints a far different picture of “the most invisible workers in Israel,” many of whom are forced to sleep at their work sites for fear of meeting police on the outside. It highlighted one worker who spent nights at the work site with nothing more than a mattress and blanket and without any heat, water or toilet facilities.

In the Times, however, an illegal labourer, Abu-Khalid, is quoted as cheerfully explaining how he ends his day: “We go find a water pipe to take a shower, and then we find a nice tree and sleep under it.”

Discerning readers will take pause at this, but the Times story continues in this light-hearted tone with an account of two young workers who “chuckled about a time when tight security forced them to go under the wall” by way of a water main.

Workers locked without food, water

The article turns a bit more sombre with a quote from a worried father whose son makes the trek into Israel to help support the family. “When he comes and goes I have my hand on my heart for fear of something happening,” the father says.

Although B’Tselem has reported that police Israeli security forces “frequently beat Palestinians working illegally in the country, sometimes severely, and detain them for hours without food and water,” the article by Glanz and Nazzal spins the father’s concern as based on the threat of meeting Palestinian terrorists, not abusive members of the security forces.

“You do not know who you are walking with,” a young labourer states, leaving the impression that he fears his traveling companions rather than the security forces.

Yet the percentage of troublemakers among those who cross into Israel appears to be negligible. The Times article states that—according to the security agency Shin Bet—over four months beginning last October, 21 Palestinians who attacked Israelis were in the country illegally. This was at the height of the “lone wolf” assaults, mainly by youth wielding knives.

Some 21 attacks is a trifling number considering that up to 60,000 Palestinians were illegally inside Israel daily during that time, yet the Times chose to give the attackers equal billing with the workers in its headline: “Smugglers in West Bank Open Door to Jobs in Israel, and Violence.”

No mention to ‘Apartheid Wall’

The story also fails to give a full account of the notorious wall, referred to by Israelis as a “security barrier” and known to Palestinians and their sympathisers as the “apartheid wall.” Nothing is said about the arbitrary route of the wall, which snakes inside the West Bank, nor is there any mention of the International Court of Justice finding that the barrier is illegal and harmful.

In fact, a full 85 percent of the wall runs through Palestinian land, well inside the West Bank, giving the lie to claims that it is purely for defence against would-be terrorists. It cuts through neighbourhoods, separates farmers from their fields and generally incorporates water sources and illegal settlement blocs in the “Israeli side” of the barrier.

Nor do we hear a word about the resounding vote against the wall passed down by the ICJ in 2004 in response to a request from the United Nations General Assembly. The court told Israel to stop construction of the barrier inside the West Bank, to dismantle all construction in the territory and to compensate Palestinians for losses incurred from the wall’s construction.

Israel has refused to comply with these demands and has continued to build the barrier inside the West Bank. It is now more than 60 per cent completed.

In the Times story it has become an inconvenience to Palestinian workers looking for employment in Israel, little more. The devastation and dislocation created by the wall get no mention in the newspaper’s account; the daily humiliations and suffering of West Bank workers, legal and illegal, are glossed over; Israeli abuses are once again obscured; and Times readers are left in ignorance.

Barbara Erickson is a retired journalist living in Berkeley, California. She has visited Palestine four times, and is a member of Friends of Sabeel-North America.

(Source / 23.06.2016)