Israel exerting ‘secret and public’ efforts to return soldiers lost in Gaza

File photo of Israeli occupation soldiers

File photo of Israeli occupation soldiers

The Israeli government announced on Saturday that it has been exerting “secret and public efforts to identify the fate of missing soldiers in Gaza”, Quds Press reported.

The remarks follow a protest organised by the family of missing Israeli soldier Avraham Mangisto on Sunday in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Protesters called for Mangisto’s release in the Israeli-Turkish reconciliation deal.

In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said that Israel would not stop its efforts until the return of these soldiers, but their families insist that he has failed because he had promised to make their return part of the Israeli-Turkish reconciliation.

The families of three soldiers announced they would organise public activities to call for the Israeli government to not sign the agreement with Turkey because it does not include the return of their sons.

“We have been deceived. It is inconceivable that Israel will sign this agreement while my brother is still being held prisoner,” Ilan Mengistu, brother of Avraham Mangisto, told Israel’s Channel 2.

“We put our trust in the Israeli government and Knesset to do their job faithfully,” he said. “Given the upcoming deal with Turkey, we feel as though we’ve been fooled.”

(Source / 27.06.2016)

The World Calls for Freedom: Report on first global days of action to free Bilal Kayed

The global days of action for Bilal Kayed on 24-25 June saw events and activities around the world demanding freedom for the Palestinian prisoner as he enters his 14th day on hunger strike. Kayed, 35, was ordered to six months’ administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – on 13 June, upon the expiration of his 14.5 year sentence.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have joined solidarity actions with Kayed, noting that his case presents a threat of setting a dangerous precedent that Palestinian prisoners, serving long sentences, may be held indefinitely under administrative detention. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable and based on secret evidence; there are over 700 Palestinians currently held under administrative detention.

Kayed’s comrades in the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have held multiple two-day hunger strikes demanding Kayed’s freedom, as well as other protests inside the prison. Multiple prisoners have launched open hunger strikes in solidarity with Kayed, and the PFLP prisoners have pledged to begin a collective hunger strike in early July if Kayed remains imprisoned. Mohammad Khandakja, 33, of the People’s Party, and Mousa Soufan, 42, who suffers from cancer and has engaged in strikes in protest of poor medical treatment – both imprisoned in Ramon prison with Kayed – have launched strikes in solidarity with Kayed’s demand for freedom. Just today, Kayed was transferred from Ramon to Ahli Kedar prison, once more in solitary confinement.

Around the world, over 150 Palestinian and international organizations joined the call for Kayed’s freedom, with actions and events sharing the information about Kayed’s case and calling for the end of administrative detention and freedom for Palestinian prisoners.

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In New York City, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network protested on Friday, 24 June outside the offices of G4S, the massive security corporation that provides security systems, control rooms and equipment to Israeli prisons. Demanding Kayed’s freedom, protesters distributed information to passers-by and urged people to participate in a cross-United States action calling the White House to act about the situation of Bilal Kayed and fellow Palestinian prisoners, and end US aid to Israel.

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In Vancouver, BDS Vancouver, accompanied by organizations including Canada Palestine Association, Independent Jewish Voices, the Young Communist League, ILPS Canada, Solidaridad con Ayatzinopa and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, protested outside the BC Liquor Stores on Saturday, 25 June as part of the “Boycott Israeli Wines” campaign. The protest urged customers to refuse to buy – and the provincial stores to refuse to sell – Israeli wines, noting that many also come from the occupied Golan. Protesters carried posters and leaflets about Palestinian prisoners, urging freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow prisoners.

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In Dublin, multiple Irish organizations raised their voices to demand freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow Palestinian prisoners. On Saturday, 25 June, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) organized an information stall focusing on Bilal Kayed.

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On Saturday afternoon, the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) organized a demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in Dublin in solidarity with Kayed and his hunger striking comrades.

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In Dublin on Sunday, 26 June, éirígí, the Irish republican socialist party, organized a protest in Dundrum, Dublin to demand freedom for Kayed, an end to administrative detention, and express support for the hunger strike.

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éirígí held a mass leaflet drop in Dublin City Centre on Saturday, 25 June, distributing hundreds of leaflets produced by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. The leaflets highlighted the case of Bilal Kayed and the mass hunger strike by over 100 Palestinian Prisoners to demand his release.

belfast4Meanwhile, in Belfast, the IRPWA joined with éirígí for a vigil and protest for freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow Palestinian political prisoners outside the International Wall in Belfast.

galwayéirígí also organized an information table in Galway, focusing on the campaign to free Bilal Kayed and Palestinian prisoners.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes the Irish comrades and activists and joins the call to free Irish republican political prisoners.

IMG_20160625_142746400In London, the Revolutionary Communist Group/Fight Racism Fight Imperialism held an event and information distribution regarding Kayed’s case on Saturday, 25 June.

rajeen-freebilalIn Brussels, the Raj’een Palestinian Folkloric Dance Troupe distributed materials about Palestinian prisoners and the campaign to Free Bilal Kayed alongside packets of dates, water, cheese and bread for breaking the fast in Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium on Saturday, 25 June.

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In The Hague, dozens of protesters marched through the city to the Drees Monument on Friday, 24 June, passing by the Israeli Embassy, demanding freedom for Kayed and an end to the misuse of state pension benefits for Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The action, organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, was supported by a dozen organizations.

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In Amsterdam, on Saturday 25 June, the weekly protest for Palestine in Dam central square included speeches and literature distributions on the case of Bilal Kayed and the struggle to free Palestinian prisoners.

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In Vienna, Austria, Handala Palestinian Cultural Center organized a demonstration in Stephansplatz in the center of the city, demanding freedom for Kayed and an end to administrative detention. Speakers from Palestinian and solidarity organizations urged action to free Palestinian prisoners and achieve justice for the Palestinian people.

Torino-Bilal

In Torino, Italy, Invictapalestina joined a demonstration on 23 June, raising the call to free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners. Under the slogan, “Freedom for all, from Val di Susa (Susa Valley) to Palestine,” InvictaPalestina carried posters, flyers and banners for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners as part of a demonstration in support of the “NO TAV” movement. The NO TAV movement is a campaign in Italy’s Susa Valley against a proposed high-speed rail line that threatens environmental damage, and which is alleged to be linked to corruption and corporate profiteering; the movement has faced criminalization, “terrorist” labeling and prosecution, and police repression.

milano-bilal

In Milan, Fronte Palestina Milan participated in the national union workers’ festival, reading a statement from the stage calling for action and solidarity to free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners on 24 June. InL’Aquila, Fronte Palestina joined a protest on 25 June against “hard prisons” and administrative deention, denouncing the “41bis” prison regime in Italy used against so-called “terror” detainees. They presented the statement urging the freedom of Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners.

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In Toulouse, France, anti-imperialist collective Coup Pour Coup 31 distributed leaflets and displayed a banner calling for freedom for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners in the city and on various highways and roads around the city on 25 June.

paris1In Paris, on 19 June, calls to Free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners were prominently displayed and spoken about at the national march for freedom for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, as hundreds demanded the freedom of Abdallah, held for 32 years in French prisons.

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In Athens, Greece, Palestinian leader Leila Khaled kicked off the annual Resistance Festival with a powerful speech urging international action to free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and other activists for Palestine participated in the Festival with banners and materials urging freedom for Kayed; festival guests including Figen Yuksekdag, vice-chair of the HDP in Turkey; Sofia Sakorafa, Greek Member of European Parliament and former Olympic athlete; Farid Fernandez, Venezuelan Ambassador to Greece; and international delegations from the Basque Country, Norway, Argentina and Italy joined the call to Free Bilal Kayed.

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In Berlin, Germany, the Democratic Palestine Committees organized a protest in solidarity with Kayed on 18 June, gathering at the Brandenburg Gate with literature and information about Kayed’s case, demanding his immediate release, an end to administrative detention, and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners. The Democratic Palestine Committee will be organizing another solidarity action in support of Kayed on Thursday, 30 June.

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In Denmark, the Internationalt Forum/Middle East Group issued a statement and call to action urging support for Kayed and an end to administrative detention; while in Sweden, the newspaper Proletaren reported on Kayed’s case and the international actions taking place demanding his freedom.

Organizations and activists around the worldtranslated materials for Bilal Kayed’s freedom campaign.

Bilal Kayed is continuing his hunger strike as his comrades plan their ongoing steps of protest. Just today, 27 June, he was transferred to isolation in Ahli Kedar prison, where he is held in solitary confinement. Now is the time to not only continue, but to escalate all of our actions internationally to demand freedom for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners!

The Call to Action and endorsers:

Call to Action: 24-25 June – Days of Action to Free Bilal Kayed and End Administrative Detention

This call out is open for organizational endorsements. Thank you! Please use the form or emailsamidoun@samidoun.net to sign on.

On 13 June, Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed was slated for release after 14 and one-half years in Israeli prison. His family was waiting for him, as were his comrades and friends; however, Bilal never came – because instead of being released, he had been ordered by the Israeli occupation military to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial. He is now on an open hunger strike which he launched the morning of 15 June – demanding his freedom and an end to administrative detention.

Bilal Kayed, 35, is one of approximately 750 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence under administrative detention, and 7,000 Palestinians total in occupation prisons. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable – Palestinians can spend years in administrative detention at a time, never knowing when they will be freed.

Kayed is known as a leader among Palestinian prisoners – as the representative of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine prisoners in Megiddo prison, he was targeted for solitary confinement for one and a half years. His fellow Palestinian prisoners are engaged in a series of protests and actions to demand his release and will be conducting their third two-day hunger strike on 24 and 25 June, returning their meals to demand Kayed’s freedom and and an end to administrative detention.

This is an attempt to impose a precedent for all Palestinian prisoners – that on the date of release, after five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years in prison, rather than being released, Palestinian prisoners be held indefinitely without charge or trial, ordered to administrative detention. The denial of Bilal Kayed’s freedom is a threat to the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners.

The detention of Kayed, a prisoner leader, scheduled for release; Mohammed Abu Sakha, circus performer and teacher; Jerusalemite human rights defender Hasan Safadi; youth organizer Bilal Abu Diab; members of the Palestinian Legislative Council such as Abdel-Jaber Fuquha and Hatem Kufaisha; journalist and union leader Omar Nazzal – amid hundreds more, indicate the level of Israeli state impunity to lock away Palestinian emerging leaders and prominent community figures without charge or trial. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have put their bodies and lives on the lines in extended hunger strikes to demand an end to administrative detention.

We raise our voices around the world to join the call to free Bilal Kayed and all of his fellow administrative detainees and bring an end to the practice of administrative detention. We call for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners – and for the cause for which they struggle, the freedom of Palestine and its people.

We join the call for protests, actions and events around the world on 24 and 25 June in support of the Palestinian prisoners striking for freedom and urge organizations and people of conscience everywhere to join in actions to demand freedom for Bilal Kayed and his fellow prisoners, including building the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to internationally isolate Israel, its institutions, and the corporations – like G4S -that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice.

Free Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian Prisoners!
End Administrative Detention!

Signed:

This call out is open for additional organizational endorsements. Please use the form or email samidoun@samidoun.net to sign on.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Abna’a el-Balad Movement – Palestine
ACAT France
Actions4Palestine – Toronto, Canada
AFPS Association France Palestine Solidarité
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition NY
Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition – US
Alternative Information Center
Asociación Palestina BILADI
Association Belgo-Palestinienne
Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) – India
Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine – AURDIP
Association of the Palestinian Community in Scotland
Associazione Amicizia Sardegna Palestina
BAYAN USA
BDS Action Calgary
BDS Amsterdam
BDS Austria
BDS Berlin
BDS Nederland
BDS Oudàh
BDS Slovenija
BDS Trieste
BDS Turkey (Filistin Için Israil’e Boykot Girisimi)
BDS Vancouver
Belgian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI)
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
Byron Friends of Palestine
Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon
Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
Campaign to Free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah
Canada Palestine Association
CAPJPO – EuroPalestine
Cátedra de Estudiso Palestinos Edward W. Said
Citizens International – Malaysia
Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (Sydney)
Collectif Judeo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine
Collettivo Autogestito CASAROSSA40
Comité Palestina Libre / Uruguay
Comite Salta de solidaridad con Palestina
Committee of the Greater ABC/SP of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – Brazil
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Committees for a Democratic Palestine – Brazil
Communist Party, Sweden
Contemporary Lawyers Association (Çagdas Hukukçular Dernegi)
Corvallis-Albany Palestine Solidarity
Coup Pour Coup 31
Democratic Lawyers’ Alliance – Palestine
Democratic Palestine Committees – Germany
docP (Diensten en Onderzoek Centrum Palestina , Netherlands)
éirígí
Education Equals Making Community Connections
European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP)
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor
Faculty for Palestine (Canada)
February 20 Movement – USA
Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands
Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
Football Against Apartheid
Freedom Archives
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)
Friends of Ain el-Helweh, Grenoble
Fronte Palestina
Gaza Action Ireland
Gerechtigkeit und Frieden für Palästina
Gesellschaft Schweiz Palästina
Grandmothers for Peace
Groupe Non-Violent LOUIS LECOIN
Grupo de Tecnología Alternativa S.C.
Gruppo Azione Palestina – Parma
Handala Center for Prisoners and Former Prisoners
Handala Cultural Center – Vienna
Hilton Head for Peace
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (Türkiye Insan Haklari Vakfi)
Human Rights Institute – Bratislava, Slovakia
Human Rights March – Denmark
Hunter College Students for Justice in Palestine
Initiative for a Just Peace in the Middle East – Slovakia
Inminds.com
intal
International Action Center
International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
International League of Peoples Struggle in Canada
International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
International Solidarity Movement – Palestine
International Solidarity Movement – Northern California
International Solidarity Movement Czech Republic group
Internationale Socialisten
Internationalt Forum/Middle East Group
InvictaPalestina – Torino
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association
Isçi Demokrasisi Partisi (IDP)
Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Labor for Palestine
LADH (Liga Argentina de los Derechos del Hombre)
Landless Workers ‘ Movement (MST) – Brazil
Lefterianews – Greece
Left Perspective – Czech Republic
Leuvense Actiegroep Palestina
Libertarian Lawyers Association (Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Dernegi)
London Palestine Action
Los Otros Judios
Merton PSC – London
MRAP Vaucluse
Mouvement Citoyen Palestine
National Jericho Movement
National Lawyers Guild – Palestine Subcommittee
Netherlands Palestine Committee (NPK)
New York City Students for Justice in Palestine
Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition
NY 4 Palestine Coalition
NYC Free Peltier
NYC Friends of MOVE
OPIRG Carleton
Palästinensische Kulturzentrum Schweiz
Palestijnse Gemeenschap in Nederland
Palestina Kommitee Rotterdam
Palestina Rossa
Palestina Solidariteit
Palestine Platform Human Rights and Solidarity (PPMS)
Palestine Solidarity Campaign of South Africa
Palestinian Arab Cultural Center in Brazil – Rio Grande do Sul
Palestinian Arab Cultural Center in Brazil – Sao Paulo
Palestinian Arab Society – Corumba (Brazil)
Palestinian Child and Youth Institute – Lebanon
Palestinian Club in the Czech Republic
Palestinian Democratic Coalition – Chicago
Palestinian Documentation Center
Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee – Palestine
Palestinian Youth Organization
Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine
Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine
Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association
Progressive Palestinian Youth Union – Palestine
Progressive Student Labor Front – Palestine
Proletaren FF, sports club, Sweden
Raja’een Folkloric Dance Troupe
Red Sparks Union
Release Aging People in Prison
Resistance for Free Palestine – Greece
Revolutionaire Eenheid
Revolutionary Communist Group/Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
Revolutionary Communist Youth, Sweden
Sawt al-Shaab (Voice of the People Radio) – Palestine
SODePAZ Balamil
Solidarity with Novorossiya and Antifascists in Ukraine – NYC
Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine
Stichting Groningen-Jabalya
Studenten Voor Rechtvaardigheid in Palestina- Nijmegen
Studenten voor Rechtvaardigheid in Palestina (SRP) – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
SJP at Sacramento State University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Maastricht
Students for Justice in Palestine at the College of Staten Island
Students For Justice in Palestine – Rotterdam
UDAP – Unione Democratica Arabo-Palestinese
UJFP French Jewish Union for Peace
Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees – Palestine
United for Palestine
USC Students for Justice in Palestine
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
Vlaams-Socialistische Beweging
Voice of Palestine
West Valley Neighborhoods Coalition
Women In Black International(Seattle USA chapter)
Women in Black (Vienna)
Women in Black The Netherlands

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Official: 71 Palestinian prisoners have died of torture in Israeli jails since 1967

[File photo]

[File photo]

As many as 71 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli jails as a result of torture since 1967, Abdel Nasser Farwana, head of the documentation and studies unit at the detainees and ex-detainees committee, said.

In a statement released on Sunday to mark the International Day Against Torture, Farwana said dozens others died shortly after being released as an effect of the torture they had endured, adding that many more suffer from long-term physical and psychological disabilities.

“Israel practices a unique and atypical form of physical and psychological torture and it is the only country in the world that legalises torture in its jails and detention camps and protects its perpetrators,” he explained.

“Israel uses torture on institutional level against Palestinian and Arab detainees. According to our data, 100 per cent of the Palestinian prisoners were subjected to one form or another of torture,” he added.

Farwana called on international institutions and human rights organisations to take serious and effective steps to stop all forms of torture against Palestinian prisoners and to prosecute those who practice torture against them.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Will Lebanon’s municipal elections lead to election of a president?

A woman dips her finger in ink after casting her vote at a polling station during Choueifat’s municipal elections, south of Beirut, May 15, 201

Unlike Jacques Chirac of France, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Ehud Olmert of Israel and other presidents, no head of a municipality in Lebanon has moved on to a senior-level national government position, let alone the presidency. Today, more than two years into the Lebanese presidential void, could the recent municipal elections ironically lead to the election of a president of the republic.

Between May 8 and May 29, Lebanon conducted four phase municipal elections that engaged Lebanese voters in some 1,015 municipalities, in cities, towns and villages. This figure alone explains the intense mobilization surrounding the elections, which included more than 30,000 candidates. Further heightening mobilization efforts was that the elections were held almost three years after the cancellation of parliamentary elections and the parliament’s extension of its mandate as its term ended in June 2013. Longing to cast their votes amid the mobilization generated by the municipal elections, the Lebanese turned the implications of this milestone into indicators that cannot be overlooked: that it is possible to hold elections in Lebanon today and that the traditional parties and forces face a crisis among their popular bases.

The May balloting dispatched with the political and security pretexts, mainly spillover from the Syrian war, that some members of parliament — including those affiliated with the Future Movement, Amal and Hezbollah — had invoked in seeking to cancel two consecutive, mandated parliamentary elections. None of the pretexts were convincing or accurate. What’s more, some legal experts argue that merely holding municipal elections has effectively in a legal, constitutional sense made the case behind the extension of the current parliament invalid.

Ziad Baroud, the former interior minister and a lawyer competent in electoral and constitutional law, told Al-Monitor, “When the parliament extended its own term a second time [on Nov. 5, 2014], the members of parliament who were against the extension — mainly parliamentarians from the Change and Reform Bloc — challenged the decision before the Constitutional Council of Lebanon, which is the highest judicial authority authorized to decide on the constitutionality of laws. On Nov. 28 of that same year, the Constitutional Council issued a decision whereby the extension of the parliament’s term could occur as government authorities thought that holding elections would not be possible in Lebanon amid the security situation prevailing at the time [mainly because of the Syrian war].

“The council accepted the parliament’s extension based on the exceptional circumstances theory used by the government to justify its desire not to hold elections. However, the same Constitutional Council decision said that the extraordinary measures should be limited to the exceptional circumstances period only. [The Lebanese government] should hold parliamentary elections as soon as the exceptional circumstances cease to prevail, without waiting for the expanded mandate to end.”

According to Baroud, the mere holding of municipal elections in May means the extension of the parliament has now become null and void, so the government should hold parliamentary elections without delay. The current parliamentary term, based on the second extension, ends on June 20, 2017.

Some municipal election results caught the major parties and movements by surprise, indicating that they all have fallen somewhat from favor with the public. The Future Movement, which represents the Sunni majority and is led by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, was shocked by the low turnout in its strongholds, namely, Beirut, Sidon and the western Bekaa Valley. The movement suffered a resounding defeat in Tripoli and some other northern municipalities.

The allied Hezbollah and Amal, which represent the Shiite majority, were surprised by the opposition they ran into in their traditional strongholds. Some 35% of voters in the south and some 45% of voters in Baalbek, in the Bekaa Valley, did not vote for them. A similar fate fell on the Druze camp led by Walid Jumblatt as well as Christian forces.

In the wake of successfully held municipal elections showing that parliamentary elections are possible and the unexpected results pointing to the major parties being in crisis, the issue now becomes whether politicians will try to overcome the current impasse by electing a new president, a move that would reshuffle the political cards and give the partisan forces a chance to catch their breath and regain some of their lost popularity.

Michel Aoun, the leader of Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement, told Al-Monitor that this is likely to happen. “A lot of indicators infer such a trend,” he said, without providing details. Aoun is the most popular Christian leader and the most prominent candidate for the presidency. His parliamentary bloc is the largest Christian bloc. The other Christian bloc, the Lebanese Forces, also recently supported his candidacy.

Is a date for a presidential election in sight? It is Ramadan, and Muslims in Beirut are fasting. Everyone will have to wait until the second half of July to find out whether the end of the Muslim fast will be accompanied by an end to the Lebanese presidential void. The election of a president requires a two-thirds majority of parliament, that is, 86 members of parliament out of the 128 total. Since the seats are divided equally between Muslims and Christians — each having 64 — the Muslim parliamentarians’ presence and participation in the parliamentary session for the election of a Christian president is necessary to achieve a quorum and proceed with a vote.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Eerste wat je als moslim moet weten!

Alle lof zij aan Allah onze Verheven Heer. Hij Die geen enkele deelgenoot heeft in Zijn heerschappij, in de aanbidding en in Zijn mooie Namen en vrome Eigenschappen. 

Het eerste wat wij dienen te weten, vóór alle andere kennis, beste broeders en zusters, is de kennis van Tawheed. In dit bericht gaan we in op de Tawheed al-Ibaadah. Deze houdt in dat Allah de Enige is Die het recht heeft om aanbeden te worden en dat wij ons met geen enkele aanbidding, zoals de Du’a, mogen wenden tot iets of iemand anders dan Allah. Allah zegt (betekenis):

“Weet dat Allah de Enige is Die het recht heeft om aanbeden te worden ..” [47:19] 

Zin bestaan
Het alleen aanbidden van Allah is de reden dat Hij de schepping heeft geschapen en is het doel van ons bestaan. Allah zegt:

“En Ik heb de Djinn’s (geesten) en de mens slechts geschapen om mij (alleen) te aanbidden.” [51:56]

Boodschap profeten
Vanwege het grote belang van dit onderwerp zijn alle profeten gestuurd om uit te nodigen naar de Tawheed. Allah zegt:

“En Wij stuurden niet één van de Boodschappers vóór jou (Mohammed), of wij openbaarden aan hem dat er geen andere god dan Ik het recht heeft om aanbeden te worden, aanbid Mij daarom (alleen). [21:25]

Eerste verplichting
Onze nobele profeet Mohammed vrede zij met hem heeft zijn volk dertien jaar lang in Mekka uitgenodigd naar de Tawheed, voordat de overige verplichtingen zoals de zakaat en het vasten werden voorgeschreven in Medina. 

Recht van Allah
De Tawheed is het recht van Allah op Zijn dienaren, de profeet vrede zij met hem vroeg één van zijn metgezellen:

“Weet jij wat het recht van Allah op Zijn dienaren is, en wat het recht van de dienaren (als gunst voor hen) op Allah is?” Hij antwoordde: Allah en zijn boodschapper weten het beste. Daarop zei de profeet vrede zij met hem: 

“Het recht van Allah op zijn dienaren is dat ze Hem (alleen) aanbidden en geen enkele deelgenoot aan Hem toekennen …” [Bukhari]

Shirk
Het toekennen van Allah’s recht, de aanbidding, aan iets of iemand anders dan Allah is het grootste onrecht; dit is shirk. Allah zegt:

“Voorwaar, Shirk is een enorm onrecht” [31:13]

Allah is Degene Die de mens heeft geschapen en voorziet van ontelbare gunsten, wanneer deze zich dan wendt met Zijn recht tot één van Zijn schepping begaat hij het grootste onrecht.

Fundament
Tawheed is het fundament van ons geloof, want de ware Islam houdt in dat wij ons overgeven aan Allah middels de Tawheed.

Wie goede daden verricht nadat de Tawheed is gegrondvest in zijn hart en geen shirk pleegt, heeft zijn daden op een stevig fundament gevestigd en plukt de vruchten van zijn daden in dit leven en in het hiernamaals.
 
Degene die echter goede daden verricht, maar de Tawheed niet heeft gegrondvest door in shirk en ongeloof te vervallen, is net als degene die bouwt zonder pilaren. Zijn daden zijn hierdoor vruchteloos.

Redding van het Vuur
Met het oprecht uiten van de getuigenis van Tawheed, treedt een persoon de Islam binnen en als hij sterft met Tawheed behoort hij tot de bewoners van het paradijs, direct – of na te zijn gereinigd van zijn zondes in het Vuur. Tawheed behoedt de gelovige dus van het behoren tot de eeuwige bewoners van het Vuur.

Beste broeders en zusters

Een van de mooiste vruchten van het bezitten van kennis over Tawheed, in al zijn soorten, is dat jij Allah de meest Verhevene leert kennen bij Zijn mooie Namen en vrome Eigenschappen en bij Zijn daden. Hier vloeit uit voort dat jouw hart verbonden raakt met Allah alleen:

Je houdt van Hem, hoopt op Zijn vergeving, vreest Zijn woede en bestraffing, vertrouwt op Hem, je beseft je dat Hij Degene is Die voorziet, Die geeft en neemt, dat niemand jou kan baten noch schaden alleen met Zijn wil …

Met Tawheed is jouw hoofdzorg de tevredenheid van Allah, wat de mensen dan verder van jou vinden wordt bijzaak. Wie de Tawheed heeft gegrondvest in het hart staat daarom stevig in zijn schoenen, in tegenstelling tot degene wiens hart aanhankelijk is aan de mensen.

Wanneer deze kennis gegrondvest is in het hart, volgen de goede daden en de drang naar het aanbidden en gehoorzamen van Allah. De profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

“Voorwaar, er bevindt zich in het lichaam een ‘vleesklomp’ , wanneer dit goed is, is het hele lichaam goed en wanneer dit slecht is, is het hele lichaam slecht. Voorwaar, dit is het hart.”  [Bukhari]

Wordt vervolgd …

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.

22 Ramadan 1437 / – 27 juni 2016 –

Condemnation of Israeli attack on worshipers at the Aqsa

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Islamic Commission and the Awqaf Council condemned the incursion of Israeli forces into the Aqsa Mosque and attacking worshipers inside. They considered the attack as a violation of the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan and a provocation to Muslims.  Both bodies stressed that the Aqsa Mosque is for Muslims only and will not be for any others whatever it takes.  The Jerusalem’s committee in the Arab common list bloc at the Israeli Knesset condemned the attack as well and underlined that the Aqsa is a sacred place for Muslims. It warned of more tension due to Israeli repeated storming of the Aqsa and abusing Muslim worshipers.  Dozens of Muslims and sit-inners were injured on Sunday and Monday after being attacked by Israeli soldiers who broke into the holy site along with settlers. The forces also tried to evacuate the Aqsa Mosque from Muslim worshipers and sit-inners.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Human rights groups urge global action to end ‘severe’ torture by Israeli authorities

Palestinian child throwing stones at an israeli occupation tank.

File photo of Palestinian child throwing stones at an israeli occupation tank

Three human rights groups urged the international community to take action to end Israel’s torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children, on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26).

In a joint statement, Adalah, Al Mezan, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel say that the Israeli authorities continue, with no accountability, to subject Palestinian prisoners and civilians from the Occupied Territory to torture and ill-treatment.

Israel ratified the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 1991, but to this day, has “no legislation that criminalizes torture and ill-treatment”, and continues “to use these practices against Palestinian civilians, prisoners and detainees, including children, in violation of its obligations.”

Last month, the UN Committee Against Torture issued more than 50 recommendations to end Israel’s lack of compliance with the UN CAT. These include to “end administrative detention, prohibit the solitary confinement of children, refrain from force-feeding hunger striking prisoners, and investigate cases of suspected unlawful killings.”

The human rights groups demand international action to end the “severe acts of torture and ill-treatment” by Israeli authorities, as well as “transparency and accountability” so that “perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment are brought to account and that future violations are prevented.”

The joint statement includes personal testimonies, such as that of 14-year-old Mohamed.

IN SEPTEMBER 2015, MOHAMED CROSSED THE BORDER FENCE FROM GAZA INTO ISRAEL AFTER FINDING THAT THE BARBED WIRES HAD BEEN CUT AND THAT SEVERAL YOUNG DEMONSTRATORS WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE. ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN JEEPS SOON FIRED AT THE GROUP AND SURROUNDED THEM. THE SOLDIERS DEMANDED THAT MOHAMED STRIP NAKED, AND WHEN HE REFUSED, THEY KICKED HIM, THREATENED TO SHOOT HIM, AND FORCEFULLY UNDRESSED HIM. THE SOLDIERS THEN WENT ON TO HIT AND KICK HIM FOR 10 MINUTES, INCLUDING WITH THE BUTT OF A GUN. MOHAMED’S TOOTH WAS BROKEN AND HE VOMITED BLOOD BEFORE PASSING OUT.

WHEN MOHAMED REGAINED CONSCIOUSNESS, HE FOUND HIMSELF INSIDE A MOVING VEHICLE BEING TAKEN TO A MILITARY SITE. UPON ARRIVAL, MOHAMED WAS BLINDFOLDED AND MADE TO SIT ON THE FLOOR WITH HIS HANDS TIED, WEARING ONLY UNDERWEAR. MOHAMED WAS INTERROGATED FOR THREE DAYS, DURING WHICH THE INTERROGATORS TRIED TO MAKE HIM CONFESS THAT HE WAS A MEMBER OF A MILITANT FACTION. THE INTERROGATORS HIT AND KICKED HIM INCLUDING WITH A SHARP OBJECT ON HIS SHOULDER. THEY CURSED AT HIM WHILE SOLDIERS NEARBY LISTENED TO MUSIC AS HE WAS BEING BEATEN. WHEN HE WAS ASLEEP, THE SOLDIERS POURED COLD WATER OVER HIM TO WAKE HIM UP. AT ONE POINT, MOHAMED ASKED FOR WATER BUT WAS GIVEN WINE INSTEAD. ANOTHER TIME, A SOLDIER TOLD MOHAMED TO SMOKE A CIGARETTE, AND WHEN MOHAMED REFUSED, THE SOLDIER PRESSED THE CIGARETTE ONTO HIS FOOT.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Khalid bin Saud: Invasion of Kuwait, Starting Point of Al Faisal’s Health Troubles

Late Saudi FM Prince Saud al-Faisal. AFP

Late Saudi FM Prince Saud al-Faisal

Riyadh- A year ago, on June 27th, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lost an exceptional diplomat who had served his country for four decades. Suffering inside all the turmoil and anxiety ravaging the country and Arab region throughout his career, Prince Saud al-Faisal had died of a cardiac arrest after spending a lifetime in career devotion at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Many concerns were borne by the Prince, may Allah rest his soul in peace. According to those closest to the late Saudi FM, his worst distress was brought about by Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The total war waged by the notorious Iraqi dictator was short to unexpected.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks, the warning of a U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iranian infiltration and dominance of Iraq and last but not least the worldwide wave which came to be known by the Arab Spring, each of which were a considerable burden carried by the late Saud al-Faisal.

Prince Khalid bin Saud bin Khalid, assistant to former FM Saud al-Faisal, speaking to Asharq Al- Awsat newspaper acknowledged the phenomenal and highly cultural man the late FM was. He brought up al-Faisal’s deep insight into domains of history, philosophy and literature; add to that, the late FM was known for his brilliant mind and admirable opinion and decisions.

Having accompanied the late FM in youth, Prince Khalid bin Saud bin Khalid pointed out that the late Prince al-Faisal had graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in addition to minoring in political sciences. Al-Faisal was also said to have shown interest in architecture and had day-to-day involvement with the foreign ministry’s plans, improving them despite not having studied architecture.

Prince Khalid also mentioned that the late FM enjoyed a photographic memory. Employing his vested abilities, FM al-Faisal cited three-decade-old documents, U.N. and League of Arab States resolutions by heart compared to other officials needing to refer to the archives.

Al-Faisal’s capacities made him a man who both served his country and many of the kingdom’s leaderships. The late FM served under the reigns of late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz and the current Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. FM al-Faisal was not only taken for his political advice but was also well-heard outside his administrative post.

Moreover, during the times of the invasion of Kuwait, the late FM, when signing the renewal of bilateral affairs with the Soviet Union, was taken on a tour of Kremlin’s Red Square by Speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union Yevgeny Primakov. As Primakov was briefing the late FM on a church in the square, he viewed the possibilities of building a mosque near the church, well-known for seizing opportunities, the late FM gave an answer within a heartbeat , offering that Saudi Arabia would build the mosque as soon as the decision was taken, according to Prince Khalid.

Prince Khalid also confirmed that the late FM loved nothing more than his job. Despite his illness, late Prince al-Faisal would start his workday at 7:00 am working non-stop as late as 10:00 pm.

Not quitting when fatigued, as his medical condition escalated the late FM would take work home, holding meetings round the clock.

Understanding the weight he was responsible for, when asked to rest from meetings and extensive diplomacy-brokering calls, the late FM would tell Prince Khalid that how he could be asked to rest when leaders of nations await results.

The late FM also made sure that the Palestinian question was always a priority on his list, which he thought should be met with broad diplomatic responsiveness and with all the means necessary as to reach a settlement and deliver justice. He took upon himself to attend the legal shores of the Palestinian crisis and to follow it up internationally.

“Had Arabs and Muslims gotten together as nations and committed to the Palestine cause practically and worked on confronting Israel peacefully, they would have won,” al-Faisal would say, according to Prince Khaled.

Moreover, Prince Khaled believes that it was the Gulf War which had taken its ominous toll on the late FM’s health. Prince Saud al-Faisal started exhibiting health trouble in 1992, as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait brought about acute stress- especially with the greatest shock lying in an Arab state invading another fellow Arab state. The rift in the Arab world brought to pass was a steep uphill which troubled the late diplomat.

Prince Saud al-Faisal had also given a considerable amount of his attention to fears of cyber wars, especially with the U.S. experiencing multiple cases of disruption and security breaches. The late FM feared that the U.S. incidents were but trials of a new form of war. By and by his fears proved right in a sense; Saudi Aramco, national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran, and the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs were later subjected to a cyber-breach.

Prince Khalid said that the late FM made sure to work until the last possible moment, it was until his health stood in the way of him fulfilling his duties justly that al-Faisal left the ministry.

Last but not least, Prince Khalid also spoke of the late FM’s aspirations and political intentions for uniting all Arab nations in a particular way which Prince Khalid was kept from knowing.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Israel criminalizes chanting “Allah the Greatest” at al-Aqsa

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli Magistrate’s Court in Occupied Jerusalem indicted a Muslim young man for chanting “Allah is the Greatest” at the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. Lawyer Ramzi Kteilat who pleaded for 37-year-old Saher Ghazawi, from Nazareth, said the Israeli court criminalized the Muslim chant “Allah is the Greatest” as an act of incitement. The lawyer slammed the verdict which criminalized Muslim chants in the presence of Israeli settlers. Other court hearings are expected to be held over the rule issued against Ghazawi. The Israeli court accused the young man of obstructing police work as they provided a security shield for Israeli fanatics at al-Aqsa in 2011. “The verdict sparks incitement more than Ghazawi does,” Kteilat further stated, raising concerns over the serious repercussions of the verdict. He dubbed the court rule a politicized decision and one that has no legal basis. Commenting on the verdict, Ghazawi said it rather fuels tension at al-Aqsa and triggers rioting. “Saying ‘Allah is the Greatest’ is a ritual that brings us closer to Allah. Nobody has the right to infringe our freedom of worship, particularly in Muslims’ the al-Aqsa Mosque,” said Ghazawi. Ghazawi’s case dates back to September 21, 2011, when Israeli settlers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque while Muslim worshipers kept chanting Allah is the Greatest in protest at the move. Ghazawi was arrested on the same day and was subjected to psycho-physical violence by the Israeli forces. The Israeli occupation authorities locked him up for 24 hours before the Magistrate’s court slapped on him a 10-day ban from al-Aqsa.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

Israeli Soldiers, Undercover Officers, Invade The Courtyards Of Al-Aqsa Mosque (VIDEO)

27 JUN
11:40 AM

Dozens of Israeli soldiers, and undercover officers, stormed on Monday morning that courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the al-Magharba Gate, attacked many Palestinian worshipers before closing the Al-Qibli Mosque, in preparation to allow dozens of Israeli extremists to tour the holy site.

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The soldiers and undercover officers forced all the Palestinian worshipers out of the mosque and its courtyards, in addition to assaulting and wounding many of them. The invasion was carried out through the al-Magharba Gate.

The army closed the al-Qibli mosque with chains, and removed the worshipers from it and its courtyards.

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The soldiers also fired gas bombs, causing several Palestinians to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation, while a number of Palestinians hurled stones on the invading soldiers.

The Maan News Agency quoted Sheikh Azzam Khatib, the head of the Jerusalem Waqf and Endowments Department, stating that the invasions were carried out under direct orders from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reauthorized such provocative tours.

Khatib said the Israeli police affirmed at midnight that the al-Magharba Gate, similar to previous years, will not be open for settlers or foreign tourists during the last ten days of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, but Netanyahu allowed them.

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“The Al-Aqsa Mosque was calm, and all was fine until nine in the morning, when suddenly, the police opened the Magharba Gate to allow the settlers through,” Khatib stated, “The soldiers and police surrounded dozens of worshipers, and attacked many of them.”

On Sunday evening, the police attacked many Palestinian and international worshipers, detained two Palestinians, and decided to force them out of the Mosque courtyards for several weeks.

The police also decided to deport two British men back to their country, after detaining them in the mosque courtyard. They have been identified as Mohammad Froukh and Julfan Heidjan.

(Source / 27.06.2016)