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Dagelijks archief 4 maart 2017

Poll: 43% of Israelis support new war on Gaza


A new Israeli poll revealed that an overwhelming majority of the Israelis support launching a new war on Gaza.

The survey said that 43% of the participants believe that “a military intervention would succeed to prevent future attacks on Israel.”

At the same time, however, only 29% of the public supports a political solution to the conflict.

42% of Israeli respondents said they think the Israeli recent military response to Gaza rockets fire was “not enough,” while 39% supported it. About 9% said it was “very strong.”

Meanwhile, 53% expressed dissatisfaction with the Israeli Army Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s performance.

Over the past decade, Gaza Strip has witnessed three bloody aggressions which left thousands of victims including women and children.

(Source / 04.03.2017)

What Prophet Muhammad’s covenants with Christians say about IS

Article of 3 June 2016

Prophet Muhammad’s covenants state that Muslims are duty bound to protect Christians. It is time that IS sympathizers heeded his call

Picture this. A Muslim leader reaches out to a group of Christians and invites them to his country. The Christians happily accept the invitation, while the Muslim leader prepares his people for their arrival. This is the first time the two communities have met in an official delegation. Matters of state, politics and religion are the topics of discussion. The two groups see eye-to-eye on most issues, but also agree to disagree on theological issues. If one phrase can best describe their meeting, it is “mutual respect”.

At the end of their talks, the Christians tell the Muslims, “It is time for us to pray”. The problem for the Christians is that there is no church nearby to worship. Instead of letting the Christians pray on the dirty street, the Muslim leader tells the Christians, “You are followers of the one true God, so please come pray inside my mosque. We are all brothers in humanity.” The Christians agree to use the “Islamic space” as their own. A bridge between these religious communities is made in the name of peace and goodwill.

This story is not some fairytale. It is a historical fact (I did, however, make-up quotes based on how the interaction might have played out). The Muslim leader of the story is Prophet Muhammad and the Christians are from Najran, or modern-day Yemen. The event happened in Medina in 631 AD. This moment in time represents one of the first examples of Muslim-Christian dialogue, but more importantly, one of the first acts of religious pluralism in Islamic history.

Now fast forward to 2016 in Damascus, Syria. The city – and much of the Middle East – has plunged into darkness. Pastor Edward Awabdeh leads a prayer in a Church despite threats on his life by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group. Pastor Awabdeh maintains the Christian faith, although many of his religion have fled a country which is now ranked the fifth most dangerous country in the world to be a Christian.

The militant group regularly persecutes religious minorities in the large swathes of Syrian territory it has taken, and its ultimate aim is to destroy all traces of Christianity in the Middle East.

But to put it bluntly, the daily abductions, murders, beheadings and destruction perpetrated by IS fanatics on the vulnerable Christians of the Middle East directly contradict Prophet Muhammad’s vision of an Islamic state.

The covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time indicate that Christians living within the ummah – Arabic for community – were protected and defended. These covenants were written between 622 and 632 AD and were designed to protect peaceful Christian communities, not attack them.

The covenants have been located in obscure monasteries around the world and books that have been out of print for centuries. Islamic scholar John Andrew Morrow, author of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time (Angelico Press 2013), is responsible for translating the documents and distributing them to a wider audience. Scholars like myself are turning to them now in the hope of countering the widespread violence against Christians in the Middle East.

In “The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Najran,” the prophet was emphatic on the issue of complete religious freedom. He was not relegating Christians to the status of second-class citizens. On the contrary, the prophet was treating them as equal citizens of the Islamic state.

Muhammad wrote: “I hereby declare that my horsemen, my foot-soldiers, my armies, my resources, and my Muslim partisans will protect the Christians as far away as they may be located… I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites wherever they are found… I will protect their religion and their Church… I commit myself to protect them from any harm or damage; to exempt them from any requisitions or any onerous obligations and to protect them myself, by means of my assistants, my followers and my nation against every enemy who targets me and them.”

Prophet Muhammad is clear – Christians should be free to be Christians while living in the ummah. This is an integral part of any “Islamic state.” Similar, if not identical passages are found in other covenants of the prophet with Christians that were living in Egypt, Persia and Jerusalem.

“The Covenant of the Prophet with the Christians of Najran” goes further than simply tolerating or supporting Christians in practicing their religion. Muhammad commanded that Muslims are duty bound to aid and care for Christians.

In a recent peer-reviewed paper that appeared in the academic journal Religions, I argue that the principle of religious pluralism espoused by Muhammad in the covenants can and should be used to further improve relations between Muslims and Christians not only in “Islamic states,” but also around the world.

The covenants reveal that Muhammad preferred religious pluralism over mere tolerance. He called on Muslims to energetically engage with diversity, both cultural and religious, and called on his followers to embrace commitments and agreements across the religious divide. Ultimately, the covenants show that the prophet of Islam encouraged members of the ummah to celebrate – instead of denounce – difference. Tolerance, after all, is too thin of a foundation for a community of religious difference and proximity.

The covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time clearly show that modern-day “Islamic states” that mistreat Christians cannot be justified in light of Prophet Muhammad’s commandments and vision. Considering that IS’s treatment of Christians is so severe that it has been called “genocide” by the United States, it is difficult harmonise Muhammad’s views and the actions of IS.

Christian heritage is part of the social fabric of the Middle East and always has been. Prophet Muhammad’s treatment of Christians is a testament to that. His covenants can be viewed as a kind of medicine to cure the diseases of both Islamophobia and Islamic extremism. It is time that IS and its sympathizers heed his call.

(Source / 04.03.2017)

ISIS Executes Four Palestinian Refugees, Orders Execution Of Anyone Who Raises Palestinian Flag

04 MAR
11:03 AM

Fighters of ISIS terrorist organization in Syria, occupying large areas on the al-Yarmouk refugee camp, in Damascus, have executed, among others, four Palestinian refugees, and issued orders to its gunmen to execute any person who raises a Palestinian flag.

One of the executed refugees has been identified as Mohammad Nassar, while another was from Oleyyan family, and two others from Tayha family.

Also, ISIS ordered the execution of any person who raises a Palestinian flag in areas controlled by the terrorist group.

This is not the first time that ISIS destroys and removes Palestinian flags and symbols; in 2016, its gunmen removed and destroyed posters of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and in various cases burnt and stepped on Palestinian flags.

In 2015, ISIS fighters managed to invade and occupy large areas of al-Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, in collaboration with fighters of Nosra terrorist organization.

Palestinian Child, 3, Dies From Wounds Suffered In Istanbul Bombing

Alleged ISIS-supporters Give Hamas 48 Hours to Stop Crackdown

ISIS Offshoot Group Claims Responsibility For Killing A Hamas Commander In Gaza

ISIS Affiliates Suspected of Car Bombing Hamas Members

(Source / 04.03.2017)

PLO: Israeli doctors torture Palestinian prisoners

A Palestinian committee on Saturday accused Israeli doctors of torturing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

In a statement, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s committee on detainees claimed Israeli doctors working with prison and security services and in military camps tortured detainees and subjected them to psychological pressure.

“The doctors systematically neglected the detainees’ health and did not abide by the ethics of the medical profession and international and humanitarian conventions,” it said.

The panel claimed Israeli doctors had filed reports suggesting the prisoners’ ability to endure torture.

“They also refrained from intervening to provide treatment for prisoners…and did not oppose bargain for treatment in exchange for confession,” it said.

There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the committee’s claims.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons in Israel, according to the Palestinian government.

(Source / 04.03.2017)

Rash Of Mosque Burnings Stuns American Muslims, Civil Rights Advocates

With four mosques burned in the last seven weeks and 385 anti-Muslim acts recorded just last year, the rise of Islamophobia can no longer be ignored.

Police tape marks off the burned front lobby of the Islamic Center of Palm Springs in Coachella, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Flames were reported just after noon on Friday. The fire was contained to the small building's front lobby, and no one was injured. (AP Photo/David Martin)

Police tape marks off the burned front lobby of the Islamic Center of Palm Springs in Coachella, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Flames were reported just after noon on Friday. The fire was contained to the small building’s front lobby, and no one was injured

While Sept. 11 is most often remembered as a day that drastically changed U.S. foreign and domestic policy, particularly due to the advent of the never-ending “War on Terror,” many American Muslims look back on the event as a major turning point in the national perception of their religion. Islamophobia, although undeniably existent prior to the attacks, began to surge throughout the United States, later spreading to other countries throughout the Western world.

Now, nearly 16 years later, Islamophobia is more prevalent than ever, thanks to years of propaganda justifying the bombing of Muslim-majority nations and the Muslim migrant crisis in the European Union, among other factors.

Indeed, 2017 – after just two months – has already become a year of high-profile Islamophobic incidents, some of which turned deadly. The most recent of these took place last week, when a man in Kansas shot two Indian men, one of whom was killed. The attacker, upon confessing to the crime, stated that he believed his victims were not Indian, but Iranian. A month prior, a Canadian man opened fire in a mosque, killing six people and wounding 19 others.

Mosque burnings have also been surprisingly common in 2017, with four mosques destroyed just in the last seven weeks. The first took place on Jan. 7, when the uncompleted Islamic Center of Lake Travis in Austin, TXcaught fire and “burned to the ground.” A week later, an Islamic Center in Bellevue, WA was badly damaged by a fire confirmed to be the work of an arsonist.

The FBI, ATF and other agencies sift through the burned remains of the Victoria Islamic Center a mosque in Victoria on Jan. 29 2017. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The FBI, ATF and other agencies sift through the burned remains of the Victoria Islamic Center a mosque in Victoria, Texas on Jan. 29 2017

On Jan. 27, another Texas mosque was destroyed by fire, this time an Islamic Center in Victoria, TX. More recently, on Feb. 24, a fire broke out in front of the Islamic Society of New Tampa. This fire was also attributed to arson.

This has not been terribly surprising in light of the fact that 2016 was one of the worst years on record for Islamophobic acts. Last September, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) stated that 2016 was set “to be one of the worst years ever for anti-mosque incidents.” A CAIR survey conducted around the same time found that 85 percent of Muslim voters believed that Islamophobia and general anti-Muslim sentiment had increased within the past year.

The Huffington Post’s Islamophobia tracker registered a total of 385 anti-Muslim acts over the course of last year, while the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded 112 anti-Muslim incidents just between Nov. 9 and Dec. 12 last year.

Despite the fact that 2017’s anti-Muslim violence has been part of an existing trend, American Muslims and their advocates have been stunned nonetheless by the uptick. “In normal times, I will see one to two mosque incidents of any type per month, and rarely is it arson,” Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, told Buzzfeed.

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, echoed Saylor’s words, stating that “We’ve never seen four mosques burned within seven weeks of each other. It’s part of a whole series of dramatic attacks on Muslims. […] The short answer is we haven’t seen anything like this in the past.”

(Source / 04.03.2017)

Israel transfers 16 Palestinian women prisoners from Hasharon to Damon prison


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel Prison Service (IPS)  transferred 16 Palestinian women on Saturday from Israel’s Hasharon prison to the Damon prison until repairs are finished on section 11 of the prison.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that some sections of the HaSharon prison are not suitable for living, as dozens of Palestinian prisoners have complained and demanded that the sections be repaired in order to improve the living conditions inside the prison.
Spokesperson of the center Amina al-Tawil said that Aisha al-Afghani, Ansam Shawahneh, Falastin Nijm, Ghadir al-Atrash, and Asmaa Bahlawi were among the prisoners being transferred.
Al-Tawil highlighted that the living conditions of both Hasharon and Damon are difficult and “worsen day by day,” noting that 51 Palestinian women prisoners lack the “basics of human life,” while prison officials “ban them from even simple rights and from continuing their studies.”
She added that 12 of the prisoners have been suffering from bullet wounds inflicted by Israeli forces at the time of their detentions, and have experienced medical neglect during their imprisonment, while 13 of the prisoners were minors.
She also pointed out that some of the prisoners were issued long sentences by Israeli courts, in addition to fines, and were transferred from the prison with their hands and legs cuffed.
A spokesperson for IPS was not immediately available for comment.
Israel’s HaSharon prison was also where the youngest Palestinian prisoner, 12-year-old Dima al-Wawi, was held for more than two months last  year after Israeli forces accused her of attempted manslaughter and being in possession of a knife when she was detained.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 10,000 Palestinian women and girls have been detained by Israeli forces over the past 45 years. In 2015 alone, Israeli forces detained 106 Palestinian women and girls, which according to the group represented a 70 percent increase compared to detention numbers in 2013.
Most of the Palestinian women detained by Israeli forces are held in Hasharon and Damon, which the group pointed out are both located outside of the 1967 occupied Palestinian territory, in direct violation of international law that states that an occupying power must hold detainees within the occupied territory.
Since a wave of political unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015, leading to Israeli forces carrying out mass detention campaigns, the number of Palestinian women and girls detained by Israeli forces has risen sharply.
According to Addameer, among those detained since October 2015 were 13 underage girls, some of whom were wounded when Israeli forces detained them. The group has also reported on the treatment of Palestinian women prisoners by Israeli prison authorities, stating that the majority of Palestinian women detainees were subjected to “psychological torture” and “ill-treatment” by Israeli authorities, including “various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”
“These techniques of torture and ill-treatment are used not only as means to intimidate Palestinian women detainees but also as tools to humiliate Palestinian women and coerce them into giving confessions,” the group stated, adding that “while Israel’s prison authorities and military forces recruit women soldiers to detain, and accompany women prisoners during transfers, the female soldiers responsible for these procedures are no less violent towards Palestinian detainees than their male counterparts.”
Meanwhile, the group has also researched the “policy of medical negligence” by IPS officials in the prisons, citing a study conducted in 2008 by the group that revealed that “approximately 38 percent of Palestinian female prisoners suffer from treatable diseases that go untreated. The poor quality of food and lack of essential nutrients cause women detainees to suffer from weight loss, general weakness, anaemia and iron deficiency.”
Skin disease has also developed in the prisons, according to Addammeer, due to the harsh conditions of the prison, including “lack of fresh air and sunlight, dirty overcrowded cells, and infestation of insects.”
According to the group’s January statistics, 53 Palestinian women were being held in Israeli prisons.
(Source / 04.03.2017)

Banksy’s art in walled off West Bank hotel

Banksy’s murals sarcastically reflects Israeli violations against the Palestinians

Small Palestinian hotel to official open its doors on March 11 features murals of the British graffiti artist Banksy, who has global fame.

The Walled Off Hotel unveiled Banksy’s murals on Friday as its owner took a number of journalist in a tour around the nine-room guest house in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Wisam Salsa, 42, the owner of the hotel, called it sarcastically the “hotel with the worst view in the world.”

In front of the hotel, large murals of Palestinian and international graffiti artists are drawn at the Israeli Apartheid Wall, which divides the West Bank cities and villages into very small squares.

Banksy himself painted several murals on the Apartheid Wall as he secretly had visited the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which was torn up by three consecutive Israeli wars in six years.

Room number three in the hotel is identified as “Banksy’s Room,” where guests sleep in a king-size bed underneath Banksy’s artwork showing a Palestinian citizen and an Israeli soldier in a pillow fight.

The hotel also features a presidential suite and a museum with the artist’s politically-charged work. The cheapest rooms were available from $30 a night.

(Source / 04.03.2017)

Israeli forces injure 5 Palestinians, including journalist

Israeli occupation forces use metal-coated-with rubber bullets that cause serious wounds to disperse peaceful protests

Israeli occupation forces shot, wounded on Friday five Palestinian citizens, including journalists in West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Among the three wounded in Gaza, Al-Qidra said, one sustained serious wounds and is still receiving treatment in the hospital

Israeli occupation forces shot, wounded on Friday five Palestinian citizens, including journalists in West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said that the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at Palestinian protesters in northern Gaza Strip and wounded three Palestinian citizens.

Among the three wounded in Gaza, Al-Qidra said, one sustained serious wounds and is still receiving treatment in the hospital.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at the Palestinian protesters in several areas.

Palestinian medical sources in the occupied West Bank said that two Palestinian protesters were wounded by the Israeli forces during the weekly protest in the village of Kafr Qaddoum in the governorate of Qalqilia.

The medical sources said that one of the wounded is a journalist who reports to Palestine TV. He was shot with a metal bullet in the head, noting he is in stable condition in the hospital.

(Source / 04.03.2017)

Voter registration centers open in West Bank, Jerusalem


The Palestinian Central Elections Commission announced on Saturday opening voter registration centers in all local councils in the West Bank starting from Saturday morning until Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming local elections on 13th May 2017 which will be held in the West Bank only.

The commission said in a press statement that 758 voter registration centers were opened in the West Bank and Jerusalem based on a decision by the Council of Ministers, adding that the electronic registration is available through the website of the commission.

According to the Palestinian law, all citizens who have Palestinian IDs, enjoy legal eligibility, and are 17 years old or more (born on 8th March 2000 and before) have the right to register in any of the centers placed in the local council which is registered as an address of residence in their ID cards.

1,125,310 names were registered in the primary list of voters representing 76.19% of the citizens of the West Bank who have the right to vote.

Publication and objections are considered the first stages of local elections which will continue for 5 days to reach a final, accurate and updated voters’ record.

The Central Commission announced opening the door for censorship committees and journalists to cover and observe the elections process from the first days of registration until the announcement of results. It affirmed that special facilities will be provided for citizens, observers, and journalists with disabilities.

The Palestinian High Court in Ramallah decided in October 2016 to complete the procedures of the local elections in the West Bank only excluding the Gaza Strip. The court justified its ruling by claiming that appellate courts in Gaza are illegal.

Later on, the Palestinian consensus government decided to postpone the local elections (which were scheduled to be held on 8th October 2016) for Four months.

The Palestinian government in Ramallah said that Hamas was given a week time limit, which ended on Monday, to allow holding the elections in the Gaza Strip on 13th May 2017.

Hamas stated that holding local elections in the West Bank and excluding the Gaza Strip will “entrench the internal division”, stressing that the Movement “will never be subjected to the policy of threats and blackmail.”

In an earlier statement published on 21st February 2017, the Palestinian consensus government called on Hamas Movement to change its position toward the local elections scheduled to be held in mid-May.

The government affirmed that Hamas’s participation in the local elections would be “a gateway to a national consensus on the general political elections including the presidential elections and the elections of the National and Legislative councils.”

The latest Palestinian municipal elections were held in 2012 in the West Bank only as Hamas refused to participate and prevented holding them in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 04.03.2017)

New Judaization projects in Gilo, Qalandia in O. Jerusalem


The Israeli government launched new Judaization projects last week near Gilo settlement and the industrial area of Qalandia, north of occupied Jerusalem, according to Iroshalim weekly newspaper on Saturday.

The Hebrew paper reported that the construction of a temporary road had already started, supervised by Gal-Or company, to link between a new settlement location on the foothills of Gilo settlement and Ein Yael area, which would speed up the construction of the new settlement neighborhood there.

The paper said that the work on the new road began following an approval issued by the Israeli Ministry of Housing which is in charge of the development of the infrastructure in the site.

Ofer Ayoubi, the head of Gilo’s community administration, said that despite the fact that the temporary road is just a limited step after the massive efforts that were exerted, it is still considered a first step in the right direction.

Ayoubi added that efforts will continue to obtain the approval of the authorized parties to convert the road to a permanent one and link it to the settlement as an emergency exit.

Meanwhile, Both Ze’ev Elkin, the Minister of Jerusalem affairs, and Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, announced launching the project “Atarot-C” in the Qalandia industrial area.

According to Kol Ha’ir newspaper, the project will be implemented on an area of about 100 dunums. 12 pieces of lands with an area of 70 dunums will be allocated for the first phase of the project to build 12 factories including food and mineral factories.

The so-called Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation supervised drawing the plans for the Israel Land Authority and the Ministry of Economy. The Project is expected to cost 45 million shekels beside the 12 million shekels allocated for the infrastructure works. A discount of 31% will be offered on the prices of lands.

(Source / 04.03.2017)