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Dagelijks archief 25 december 2016

Close all mosques & ban the Koran: Poll-topping Geert Wilders launches ‘de-Islamization’ manifesto

Article of 27 Aug, 2016

Dutch far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders © Laszlo Balogh

Dutch far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders, the wild-haired head of the right-wing Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), launched a new manifesto that calls for the “de-Islamization” of the Netherlands as he leads in the polls to become the next prime minister.

Titled, “The Netherlands is ours again,” Wilders published the one page, 11 point screed on Thursday, highlighting the party’s hard-line positions on Islam.

View image on Twitter


The document, published ahead of a general election in March, calls for the closure of all mosques and Islamic schools, a ban on the Koran, and “no more immigrants from Islamic countries.”

A ban on “Islamic headscarves” in public is also proposed, as well as the prohibition of all “Islamic expressions which violate public order.”

All these measures will, Wilders argues, save the country €7.2 bn (US$8bn).

Trying to out-Trump Trump? Geert Wilders vows to ban the Koran in programme for 2017 election. Trans @redlightvoices

“The PVV is fighting Islam, wants to close the borders of the European Union and all the billions we thus save giving back to the people,” Wilders said in a statement. “My message to Netherlands: Netherlands must again be ours.”

“Jihad is not a temporary phase but a permanent war” (Sayyid Qutb)

Let’s fight back against Islamic barbarism now

It also targets the European Union with the party promising to hold a referendum on the country’s membership in the EU.

The PVV is also calling for spending to be increased in the areas of policing and armed forces while they want “no more money for foreign aid, windmills, art, innovation, public broadcasters.”

Wilders’ plans have been described as “utterly bizarre and unbelievable” by the leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal, Sybrand van Haersma Buma.

“The program will further polarize Dutch society,” he said.

Wilders, who has twice appeared in court for inciting hatred in both 2011 and in March 2016, will emerge as the biggest party following March’s elections, if the opinion polls are to be believed.

There is a catch though, with most parties stating they won’t go into coalition with Wilders.

Joining Trump @convention will b Dutch racist Geert Wilders inciting hateful supporters into a lather of hate 

Wilders, who has often been compared to US Republican presidential Donald Trump for both their shared hair styles and immigration policies, attended the four-day US Republican Party convention in July.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

What’s that with right wing/radical politicians having weird hair? Wilders, Boris Johnson, Trump? I smell a pattern.

Trump will bring Geert Wilders next. They’re going to have a hair throwdown.

“I wish we had political leaders like this in the Netherlands who defend their own country… and forget the rest,” Wilders said of Trump’s bid for the US presidency.

If Hillary is America’s Angela Merkel I guess Trump must be our Geert Wilders

In 2009, Wilders was banned from the UK on public security grounds after his film “Fitna” branded the Koran a “fascist book” and linked it to terrorism, causing much controversy. An immigration tribunal ruling overturned the ban shortly after, however.

The following year, the PVV supported a minority government led by the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). This relationship ended in 2012, however, when the PVV pulled their support over austerity measures VVD wanted to introduce.

(Source / 25.12.2016)

Israeli forces ransack homes in Beit Ummar, detain minors in Beit Fajjar


HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces stormed the southern occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar and ransacked two homes early Sunday morning, according to local sources, a day after a funeral in the town for 23-year-old Khalid Ikhlayyil was violently suppressed by Israeli soldiers. Meanwhile, at least seven Palestinians, including minors, were detained in raids elsewhere in the West Bank.Local activist in Beit Ummar Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that Israeli troops ransacked the homes of Abd al-Hamid Muheisin Awad and Muhammad Kamil Zaaqiq and searched them thoroughly before dawn Sunday morning.

Awad noted that police dogs were used in the inspection and that an Israeli intelligence officer interrogated the owners to uncover firearms.The Israeli soldiers left “serious damages” in both houses to the furniture, internal doors, and other items. Awad highlighted that floor tiles had also been ripped out.After more than an hour, Israeli troops left without seizing any weapons or detaining anyone, Awad said.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that the search had been conducted, and also confirmed nobody had been detained and no weapons were uncovered.
Ikhlayyil was shot dead inside his private car in the al-Baqaa area in Beit Ummar on Oct. 30. Israeli forces alleged that he tried to run over a number of Israeli soldiers.
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters at crowds of mourners during the funeral, and in response, Palestinians youth hurled stones at the Israeli soldiers who fired more tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets injuring a number of people.
According to Awad, 11 Palestinians were hit with live ammunition and 10 others with rubber-coated steel bullets. He added that three Israeli soldiers were also hurt.
Meanwhile, at least seven Palestinians were detained in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank.
Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the town of Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank overnight Saturday and Sunday morning and detained three teenage boys and a young man.
Locals identified the detainees as Yazan Ahmad Thawabta, 15, Fadi Fayiz Taqatqa, 16, Anas Taqatqa, 15, and Mahdi Majid Taqatqa, 23.

According to the Israeli army spokesperson, one Palestinian was detained in the Hebron area village of al-Dhahiriya and three in the village of Jalazun in the Ramallah district. In predawn raids Saturday night, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian in al-Zawiya in the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit, according to the Israeli army.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
According to prisoners rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of October, including some 400 minors. The organization estimates that 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.
(Source / 25.12.2016)

Christians, Muslims Heed Interfaith Call To Fight ISIS With Muhammad’s Peaceful Message

Article of 

By Catherine Shakdam

“It is time for all faiths to come together and say in one voice: ‘Not in our name!’” Dr. John Andrew Morrow, one of the forces behind a new interfaith movement to stand in peaceful opposition to ISIS and extremist groups like it, tells MintPress.

LONDON — A country in the throes of war, America has been battling an ever elusive enemy: radicalism. A force with many names and many masks, this threat appears to have compounded into the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, arguably the world’s fiercest and most immediate enemy.

Because of a self-professed affiliation with Islam, ISIS and other violent fundamentalist groups like it have left Muslims around the world to constantly defend themselves and justify their faith against the fury of fundamentalism. Often attacked and accused of harboring “genocidal” sentiments toward Christians and Jews, Muslims have suffered many humiliations because of the folly of a psychotic minority.

Yet one Islamic scholar has vowed not to allow his faith to be slandered or exploited to hateful ends. Dr. John Andrew Morrow, a Canadian-born cleric, researcher and author, is building a movement to oppose terror at its root and inspire an interfaith network strong enough to weather the storm of intolerance.

“Rather than argue theology with blood-thirsty savages, we thought instead to lead by example. In Islam we had a tradition that was cultivated for over a thousand years called futuwwa, or chivalry. Muslims used to compete with each other in nobility. As Imam Ali said: ‘Be a friend of the oppressed and an enemy of the oppressors,’” Morrow told MintPress News.

With America’s military superpower securing just a few victories against ISIS, Morrow and others sympathetic to his cause have decided to step in and offer a different approach to this war of faiths.

“ISIS is more than just a threat to world powers and world nations, ISIS is the very negation of civilization. It seeks to destroy to better subjugate. This group’s sole purpose has been to annihilate a region’s historical, religious, ethnic and social heritage to impose its dogma over the ruins of a people’s soul,” Rabbi Meir Hirsch from the Neturei Karta, a Jewish organization that denounces Zionism as antithetical to Judaism, told MintPress.

Tens of thousands of Yezidis fell under ISIS fire last year in Iraq, pinned by its militants in the most abject conditions. This centuries-old religious community, rooted in the ancient land of Mesopotamia, faces complete annihilation. Recalling the horror of ISIS’ brutal campaign against Iraq’s Yezidis, a report in theHuffington Post early this month reads:

“One year ago this week, the self-proclaimed Islamic State in the Levant — otherwise known as ISIS — perpetrated a genocide against the Yazidi in Sinjar. Tens of thousands of men, women and children fled to Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped for days. Hundreds were massacred by ISIS, and dozens of lives were taken by starvation and dehydration. A U.N. report noted other gross human rights abuses, forced conversions and the abduction of women and girls.”

An estimated 500,000 Yezidis now risk death under the rule of ISIS’ self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Yezidis are not unique in being marked for death by ISIS. The militant organization targets Christians, Alawites, Shiite Muslims and Sufis, as well. Even Sunni Muslims have been persecuted, although ISIS claims itself from this creed.

The Islam of ISIS is rooted in Wahhabism, a harsh interpretation of the Scriptures which advocates for the annihilation of all dissenting voices.

President Barack Obama held a lecture at American University on Aug. 5, where he discussed alternatives to war and military intervention in general, aiming to instead achieve peace through diplomacy.  And though Obama was alluding to Iran and the recently inked Iran nuclear agreement, Morrow, American poet and metaphysician Charles Upton, and Detroit-based Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Eastern Rite uniate churches, among others, also recognize the wisdom in not giving in to military impulses to bring about peace.

They choose to look toward mutual support and religious solidarity to oppose the creeping advances of radicalism, opting to defeat terror ideology with religious inclusion and tolerance rather than bombs and threats. While such interfaith efforts have mainly revolved around a Christian-Muslim collaboration, Morrow is hoping Jewish organizations and other religious denominations will also answer his calls.

Dr. John Morrow and the Covenant Foundation

In October 2013, Dr. John Andrew Morrow published “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad and the Christians of the World.” Meant as both a testament and a witness to Islam’s commitment to interfaith solidarity, Morrow’s book has resonated with both Muslims and Christians.

charter of privelges to Christians

In denunciation of the dogma of Wahhabi-inspired radicals, Morrow’s book seeks to confirm and reaffirm the rulings of the true Islamic law, or Shariah, on the treatment of non-Muslims based on newly re-discovered documents that record the Prophet Muhammad’s actual words.

The book features a trove of historical documents, each highlighting Islam’s commitment to peace and interfaith harmony. “Born not in war but in respect,” Morrow told MintPress, “Islam was never meant as weapon of war against other nations and other faiths — only as guidance for those who wished to accept its truth.”

As word spread and as more gathered around Morrow’s work, all sensing the opportunity behind such a powerful and universal message of peace, the Covenants Initiative was born.

Inspired by Morrow and organized by Charles Upton, an American intellectual and author, a movement began to take form, centered in the belief that there’s a better way to fight terror than endless war.

Morrow described the outreach behind the book, as well as the response it’s enjoyed so far:

“‘The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World’ has been endorsed by leading Western academics as well as leading Sunni, Shiite and Sufi scholars. Our efforts have received the blessings of Al Habib Ali Al Jifri, the pope, and several Christian patriarchs. We have presented copies of the Covenants of the Prophet to all major Christian leaders in the Muslim world and abroad in an attempt to defend the dignity of the Prophet, improve Christian-Muslim relations, and, perhaps, save some human lives in the process.”

Beyond a simple intellectual exercise, Morrow wants to encourage others, regardless of their religious denomination within Islam, to come forth and honor the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet Muhammad by standing for the oppressed.

“In short, we refuse to stand still while atrocities are being committed in the name of Allah, the Prophet, Islam, the Quran, the Sunnah, and the Shariah,” Morrow stressed. “To do this we need all hands on deck: Christians, Jews, Muslims … all.”

The Genocide Initiative

Intent on enacting Islam’s covenant with Christianity and all Abrahamic faiths, Dr. Morrow and Charles Upton reached out to clerics, researchers and men of the cloth, hoping to build a powerful network against religious extremism and intolerance.

Morrow’s book and website both contain The Covenants Initiative, a declaration Muslims can sign, acknowledging their acceptance of the treaties of Muhammad as legally binding for Muslims today. The initiative, which has already been signed by over 20,000 people from all walks of life, offers Muslims a way to stand in solidarity with peaceful Christians, who are also under attack by corrupt and misguided terrorists who falsely claim to act in the name of Islam in the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world.

covenants of Christian world

In the light of reports that world powers have covertly financed terror to use as a weapon of mass destruction to promote a neo-colonialist agenda, Morrow’s efforts could help introduce new dynamics and dispel the misconception that ISIS and groups like it are pushing Islamic ambitions.

On July 29, Bishop Francis Kalabat suggested the launch of the “Genocide Initiative” in partnership with the Covenants Initiative — Muslims and Christians united against those who have declared war on God himself by defiling His Message.

Bishop Kalabat writes in a letter addressed to Morrow and Upton:

“I believe that the Muslim community has a great role to play in this initiative but I am not a great believer in demonstrations.  The Pope himself has made many pleads to stop the atrocities committed by ISIS/ISIL/IS and I know that the USCCB continues to play a vital role.

I do have an initiative that can bring greater focus on a common act that we can all work towards, and that is getting to proclaim the acts of ISIS/ISIL/IS to be genocide, not just in the media, not just in the wordings of some of our politicians, but by the US Congress and by the United Nations.  But entities have proclaimed their acts as “crimes against humanity” but never proclaimed them for what they truly are; genocide.  This must be a coordinated effort that can be done on a local level with our elected leaders and the religious leaders playing a role.  Greater awareness can then be brought to these persecuted Christians and maybe a greater response from the world leaders.

Let’s begin the Genocide Initiative and ask God’s blessings in doing so.”

Morrow answered the Catholic leader’s letter with a resounding yes.

Political ramifications

Bishop Kalabat’s offer to call on world leaders to recognize ISIS’ crimes as genocide have far-reaching political ramifications. So much so that it could potentially change official narratives on terror and open new, unexpected avenues toward solving this modern plague.

Mainstream American and Western media and officials have long held onto one basic position on terror:Muslims and Islam are to blame for the atrocities committed in the name of the faith.

The fact that Muslims themselves have been and continue to be the primary victims and targets of ISIS and its brothers in arms — al-Qaida, the Taliban and Boko Haram — has been largely ignored by the media.

“Rather than fathom that Muslims are not the enemy, for Muslims neither speak nor recognize the radical language of ISIS, the Western establishment has chosen to criminalize Islam and label its people under suspected terrorists ad nauseam,” said Dr. Morrow.

He added:

“This is what we hope to change with the Genocide Initiative. We want to make that first step where the world would recognize and hear the cries of all of our martyrs, whether Christians, Shiites,  Sunnis, Yezidis, Alawites … We cannot tolerate for men such as al-Baghdadi to speak the Quran and associate with Islam when everything his group stands for is a negation of the Islamic faith.”

The Genocide Initiative came just as America shifted, even if ever so slightly, its policy toward Iran, a potential critical partner against ISIS.

Iran has been Washington’s designated nemesis since the onset of the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979, when the Iranian people came together to reject the despotic rule of the U.S.- installed dictator the Shah to reclaim their political self-determination.

Although the Iran nuclear agreement had been described as “tentative” it nevertheless stands witness to Tehran and Washington’s desire to forge a new path and establish new relationships, if not friendships.

Long before any deal was actually reached, Iran proved its worth in fighting ISIS in Iraq when it committed its military power to stop the advances of ISIS militias.

“Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops – some operating artillery and other heavy weapons – in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces,” the Guardian reported, citing a U.S. defense official, in May.

The Genocide Initiative could be yet another cornerstone to this rapprochement of nations, people and faiths against terror.

As Morrow pointed out, religious communities simply cannot afford to look on while Muslims and Christians alike are murdered and brutalized en masse, their sons and daughters enslaved and humiliated, their books defiled and their shrines broken, their faith mocked and their prophets insulted.

“It is time for all faiths to come together and say in one voice: ‘Not in our name!’”

(Source / 25.12.2016)

Bennett: Plans underway to bring settlements under Israeli sovereignty


Israel’s Minister of Education Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that he is intending to present a draft law to the Knesset to bring the settlements in the occupied West Bank under the Israeli sovereignty.

The leader of the Jewish Home party said in an interview with the Israeli army’s radio that the Israeli sovereignty must be enforced in Ma’ale Adumim settlement in particular.

He added that the annexation of Ma’ale Adumim settlement is the best response to the UN Security Council’s latest resolution, pointing out that Israel will never withdraw from Area C in the West Bank as the Israeli Left wishes.

Bennett continued, “We withdrew from Gaza with rockets falling on our heads and tunnels being dug under us and didn’t hear any condemnation from the United Nations,” and called on the Security Council to condemn what he called “Palestinian terrorism”.

The UN Security Council passed on Friday a resolution calling for an immediate and complete halt of the Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. 14 countries voted in favor of the resolution while the United States abstained.

(Source / 25.12.2016)

US envoy to Israel summoned over UN settlement vote

Dan Shapiro had earlier been excluded from summons targeting 14 envoys of UNSC member states that voted for resolution.

Shapiro had been excluded from summons because the US abstained from UN vote, but Washington did not veto it, which helped it pass

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has summoned the US ambassador to Israel hours after envoys of all other UN Security Council members were asked to appear before the foreign ministry for voting for a resolution condemning settlement activity on occupied Palestinian territories.

Dan Shapiro, who was excluded from earlier summons targeting 14 UNSC member states, was on Sunday called to discuss the US decision to abstain. Ahead of the vote, Netanyahu had called on the US to veto the resolution.

The Israeli leader said that he has asked the foreign ministry to prepare an “action plan” to present to the security cabinet within a month over how to handle Israel’s relations with UN institutions.

“We will do all it takes so Israel emerges unscathed from this shameful decision,” Netanyahu said.

By way of rebuke of the vote, Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman also announced on Sunday that Israel was cutting civilian coordination with Palestinians.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Israel now had to choose between closing itself off or opening itself up to negotations.

“I call upon you this morning to seize the opportunity, to wake up, to stop the violence, to stop settlements and to resume negotiations,” he told Israel Radio on Sunday.

On Friday the Council passed the first resolution since 1979 condemning Israel over its settlement policy.

The resolution demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem”.

It says settlements have “no legal validity” and are “dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-state solution.”

Netanyahu, who had rejected the resolution as a “shameful blow against Israel“, repeated the Israeli claim that US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were behind the resolution.

“We have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated the drafts and demanded to pass it,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting.

READ MORE: Security Council vote on Israeli settlements praised

“This is of course in total contradiction to the traditional American policy of not trying to impose conditions of a final resolution. And, of course, the explicit committment of President Obama himself in 2011 to avoid such measures.”

Netanyahu said that he had told Kerry: “Friends don’t take friends to the Security Council.”

In addition to the pledges made on Sunday, Netanyahu cancelled his upcoming meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Additionally, Israel has cancelled a planned January visit to Israel by Senegal’s foreign minister. A visit by Ukraine’s prime minister has also been cancelled in light of its support for the UN vote.

While the resolution contains no sanctions, Israeli officials are concerned it could widen the possibility of prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

They are also worried it could encourage some countries to impose sanctions against Israeli settlers and goods produced in the settlements.

Army radio reported that Lieberman has ordered Israeli security to halt cooperation on civilian matters with the Palestinians, while retaining security coordination. Israeli officials refused to comment on the report.

OPINION: Barack Obama, John Kerry, and the Palestine saga

The measures taken on Sunday add to Netanyahu’s order to review engagements at the United Nations, including funding for UN agencies and the presence of its representatives in Israel.

Right-wing Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Saturday night that Israel should “announce a full annexation of settlement blocs” in response to the resolution.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the far-right Jewish Home told army radio that his party would “soon propose a bill to annex Maale Adumim”, a settlement city east of Jerusalem.

(Source / 25.12.2016)

Israeli forces install road blocks on West Bank commuter road


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed two entrances to a main road connecting the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah to Nablus in the north, locals told Ma’an Sunday evening.

Israeli military vehicles installed cement blocks at the entrance to the road in the Ramallah-area city of al-Bireh, as well as the entrance to the road at Jalazun refugee camp a few kilometers north.Palestinians residing in towns in northern and eastern Ramallah are now forced to take a longer, alternative route to reach their homes.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports of the road closures.
Jalazun refugee camp and al-Bireh are located adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El. Earlier on Sunday, an unidentified gunman opened fire from a passing vehicle near the settlement, with no injuries reported, according to the Israeli army.
Israel’s response to attacks and alleged attacks, such as arbitrary detentions and road closures, have been widely condemned by rights groups, who have said such measures amount to “collective punishment” and represent a clear violation of international law.
(Source / 25.12.2016)

Erdogan to Discuss with Trump Imposing a No-Fly Zone over North Syria


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference after the High Level Partnership Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, February 23, 2016

Ankara, London- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that he will bring up the issue of a no-fly zone with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump when the latter takes office next year, meanwhile the Free Syrian Army is fighting, supported by Turkish army, in the outskirts of al-Bab city in Aleppo province.

Speaking in Istanbul, Erdogan said he wanted a “terror-free safe zone” in north of Syria to protect the region that borders Turkey.

The President also added the formation of a new state in northern Syria would never be allowed.

Erdogan mentioned three border provinces in Turkey, Gaziantep, Kilis and Sanliurfa that because of ongoing insecurity were “hanging by a thread.”

Notably, Turkish forces are currently aiding the Free Syrian Army, or FSA, in north Syria through ground and air support, as part of Operation Euphrates.

Erdogan said that the FSA “is the epitome of moderate opposition in Syria … It has nothing to do with a terrorist organization, but it is precisely a resistance movement. They are trying to save their territory.”

The question of a no-fly zone in Syria has long been a hot-button issue, with Western Allies having argued in the past that such a measure should be used against the Syrian Army in the same way as the NATO-imposed no-fly zone decimated the armed forces of former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Russia on the other hand, has vetoed all proposals at the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone in Syria.

Since winning the election in November, Trump has revealed little detail on the U.S. role in the conflict, but on Thursday he said that “we’ll build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance.”

However, some experts view such a proposal is not only difficult to achieve, but dangerous.

(Source / 25.12.2016)

Hamas launches construction of Gaza mosque in honor of slain Zouari


Hamas embarked on the construction of a so-called Mohamed al-Zouari mosque, in a move aiming to pay tribute to the slain Tunisian drone engineer al-Zouari.

Speaking to the PIC, Dr. Ossama Hamad, in charge of the project, said Hamas initiated the construction of the mosque in honor of the Tunisian scientist Mohamed al-Zouari, killed last Thursday outside of his home in the southern Tunisian city of Sfax.

The mosque is located to the northwest of Jabalia Camp, in northern Gaza Strip.

“This is the least we can offer to commemorate the sacrifices made by the Tunisian scientist who died for the sake of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine,” said Hamad.

He added that worshipers started to perform their prayers in the partially-constructed mosque, which was built on a 150-meter land lot donated by Palestinians from the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Hamad voiced hope that the project would garner support and funding by Arabs and the international community.

Tunisian engineer Mohamed Zouari, who supervised the drone program of Hamas’s armed wing—al-Qassam Brigades—was assassinated outside his home in Sfax on December 15, 2016, in a crime believed to be perpetrated by the Israeli Mossad.

(Source / 25.12.2016)

Israel asked Trump to intervene to avert UN vote on settlements -Israeli official

Donald Trump speaks during the opening ceremony for the Trump International Hotel, Old Post Office, in Washington, USA on October 26, 2016 [Samuel Corum / Anadolu Agency]

Image of US President-elect Donald Trump , in Washington, USA on October 26, 2016

Israel asked President-elect Donald Trump to apply pressure to avert UN approval of a resolution demanding an end to settlement building after it learned the Obama administration intended to allow the measure to pass, a senior Israeli official told Reuters on Thursday.

Israeli officials contacted Trump’s transition team at a “high level” after failing to persuade US officials to veto the Security Council draft resolution and asked him to intervene, the official said. Two Western officials said that President Barack Obama had intended to abstain from the vote.

Trump then sent a tweet urging a US veto and spoke by phone to Egypt’s president, who abruptly ordered his country’s delegation to postpone the vote scheduled for Thursday on the resolution they had sponsored.

The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed….cont: 

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had an acrimonious relationship with Obama, believes the United States had long planned the council vote in coordination with the Palestinians and intended to use it to “ambush” Israel on the thorny settlements issue, the official said.

“It was a violation of a core commitment to protect Israel at the UN,” the official said.

Israel had warned the Obama administration they would reach out to Trump if Washington decided to go ahead with the abstention, and Netanyahu’s aides did so when they realized the United States set on this course, the official said.

The Israeli government appreciated Trump’s efforts, the official said. Members of Netanyahu’s right-wing government have increasingly warmed to Trump, who has made a controversial promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Relations between Obama and Netanyahu were severely strained over the US-backed Iran nuclear deal.

With the clock ticking down on Obama’s tenure, Israel remains concerned that the resolution condemning Jewish settlements could still go ahead with another sponsoring country with continued US support before the president leaves office on 20 January, the official said.

(Source / 25.12.2016)

Israel extends remand of 3 Palestinians, held for more than 1 year without charge


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli courts extended the administrative detention sentences for three Palestinians for the third time in a row Friday and Saturday, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies.

Israel’s policy of administrative detention — internment without charge or trial for three to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence — has been widely condemned by the international community as it allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
The center said that the administrative detention of 54-year-old Ismael Mohammad al-Amsi from al-Fawwar refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron was extended for a further four months.
Al-Amsi was detained on Dec. 13, 2015 at Israel’s Jabaa military checkpoint while he was on his way to work in Ramallah, where he served as the director of the Parisian cooperation section of the PLO Department of Arab Relations.
He was first sentenced to six months in administrative detention, which has since been renewed twice, meaning al-Amsi has spent more than a year in Israeli custody without charges being brought against him.
Al-Amsi also suffers from heart and circulation issues and Israeli authorities have refused to provide him proper medical care, according to the center’s statement.
Meanwhile, an Israeli court also extended the administrative detention of 25-year-old Muhammad Midhat Abdo from the village of Kafr Nima west of Ramallah, for three months.
Abdo was violently detained from his home on Dec. 15, 2015, and taken to Ofer detention center. He was sentenced to six months in administrative detention, which has been renewed twice.
Abdo is a former prisoner who has spent some two years in Israeli prisons previous to his current administrative detention sentence.
Separately, 28-year-old Fadi Abd al-Hakim Abu Dawood’s administrative detention was also renewed for the third time, for six additional months.
Abu Dawood was detained on Dec. 6, 2015, after Israeli forces raided his house in Hebron. He was sentenced to six months in administrative detention, which has been renewed twice.
Abu Dawood is also a former prisoner who spent around five years in Israeli prisons prior to his administrative detention.
Rights groups have charged Israel with using its policy of administrative detention, which is almost exclusively used against Palestinians, as a way of eroding Palestinian democracy and family life, while enabling Israeli authorities to detain Palestinian activists and public figures for extended periods of time without evidence of any wrongdoing.
As of October, Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer reported that 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons, 720 of whom were being held in administrative detention.
(Source / 25.12.2016)