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Dagelijks archief 12 maart 2017

German daily: Netanyahu one of 7 craziest world leaders

Israel protested against enlisting Netanyahu as he is an elected PM, but ignored that it kidnaps freely-elected Palestinian MPs

German newspaper included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in list of “The Seven Craziest Leaders in the World.”

Israeli occupation authorities kidnap and sentence freely-elected Palestinian MPs because they do not want to see them in the parliament

German newspaper included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in list of “The Seven Craziest Leaders in the World.”

Hamburger Morgenpost featured Netanyahu along with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

It also counted in the list of craziest leaders of the world along with the Israeli prime minister the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte, Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.

The German newspaper wrote against a picture for Netanyahu that he is promoting illegal settlement policies and that he tried to convince the former US President Barack Obama to attack Iran.

Putting aside freedom of speech, which is not applied on Israel, Jews and Zionists, the Israeli foreign minister expressed its anger with the including Netanyahu in the list.

Ignoring the Israeli kidnapping of freely-elected Palestinian MPs and putting them in jails for no reason but because they are not the type of Palestinians that Israel and US do not want to see in the Palestinian parliament, the Israeli embassy in Germany criticised the German newspaper.

“The fact that they put an elected prime minister… alongside some of the worst dictators in the world, reveals more than anything the newspaper’s level of understanding of what is happening today in the world,” the Israeli embassy said.

Israeli officials pushed German officials to ask the newspaper to take Netanyahu out of the list and the newspaper did.

The newspaper also apologised. “Including Netanyahu in the list was a mistake, and we apologise for it,” the newspaper announced on Saturday night.

(Source / 12.03.2017)

PA police suppress protest against decision to try prisoners linked to Basel al-Araj

PA in Ramallah

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian police violently suppressed a demonstration Sunday afternoon in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, after locals gathered in protest of a case against slain activist Basel al-Araj and five other Palestinians who were imprisoned alongside him last year by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Several protesters were detained and several others have been injured  — including Mahmoud al-Araj, Basel’s father — in the clashes, which were ongoing as of Sunday afternoon. Police assaulted and prevented journalists from covering the event and some reported that their equipment had been broken
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Basel al-Araj, Muhammad Harb, Haitham Siyaj, Muhammad al-Salamin, Seif al-Idrissi, and Ali Dar al-Sheikh, had launched a hunger strike after they were detained without charges or explanation by Palestinian security forces in April last year.
Upon their release, Harb, Siyaj, al-Salamin, and al-Idrissi were immediately detained by Israeli forces, eliciting outrage among Palestinians over the PA’s policy of security coordination with Israel.
Al-Araj remained in hiding, and after several months on the run, Israeli forces ambushed him last week in a home near Ramallah and shot him dead, in what was branded as an “execution” and an “assassination” of the 31-year-old, who was beloved in Palestinian activist circles and praised by many as a freedom fighter, an intellectual, and a theorist.
The killing has evoked a strong emotional response among activist youth, who took to the streets on Sunday after the Ramallah district court announced that al-Araj’s fellow prisoners in the case would still be tried in court, despite the fact that four of them remained held in Israeli custody. According to local outlet PNN, Ali Dar al-Sheikh was not in Israeli custody and was present at the court session in Ramallah on Sunday.
In regards to the charges brought against al-Araj, the court did not explicitly say they had been dropped, but rather said that the case against him was “terminated” due to his death.
As of 2:30 p.m, at least 11 protesters were injured by Palestinian police, including the father of Basel al-Araj, Mahmoud, who was hospitalized. He told reporters that he would launch a hunger strike if all Palestinians detained during the march were not immediately released. Six protesters who had been detained were then released.
PA forces were heavily deployed in the area, suppressing the demonstration with tear gas and assaulting protesters with batons.
Among those who were assaulted by police were identified by witnesses as Palestine TV reporter Jihad Barkat, cameraman for Jordanian outlet Roya TV Muhammad Abu Shusha, Roya TV reporter Hafith Abu Sabra, reporter for Ramallah-based Watan agency Ahmad Milhem, lawyer Farid al-Atrash, and Omar Assaf.
This is a developing story.

Lawyer Farid al-Atrash

Mahmoud al-Araj
(Source / 12.03.2017)

Israeli plan aims to accelerate demolition of Arab homes

Israeli soldiers stand guard during the demolition of a Palestinian home in Hebron, West Bank on 21 January 2016 [ Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Israeli soldiers stand guard during the demolition of a Palestinian home in Hebron, West Bank on 21 January 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the preparation of an amendment of an already existing law targeting the Arab existence in Israel in order to accelerate the demolition of their homes, an Israeli rights group revealed earlier this week.

The Mossawa Centre, an advocacy centre for Arab citizens in Israel, said in a statement that “the Kaminitz bill, which will increase home demolitions and further criminalise unauthorised housing and construction, is expected to pass its final reading in the Knesset before March 20, 2017.”

The advocacy centre said that this measure was ordered by Netanyahu’s office, noting that “the bill entered its second reading in the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee on 30 January and it is expected to pass on March 16.”

Read: Israel collects millions of dollars from Palestinians in Jerusalem annually

Explaining how the Israeli occupation authorities have restricted the expansion of the Arab communities in Israel, the Mossawa Centre said: “The State of Israel has allocated lands and provided planning services for over six hundred Jewish communities since its establishment in 1948, yet it has not created a single Arab locality, aside from the seven it established to concentrate the Bedouin community in the south. Meanwhile, the government refuses to recognise many of the pre-existing Arab villages.”

It also noted that Israel has shown a “deliberate unwillingness to approve master plans for Arab localities and distribute building permits [that] has given rise to a housing shortage in official Arab localities, as well, leaving many with no option other than to build and inhabit structures that are not officially recognised.”

The Mossawa Centre called on MKs “to focus their attention on the roots of unauthorised construction and, in turn, propose and support amendments to the Kaminitz bill that will provide a sustainable solution for those living in unrecognised settings.”

(Source / 12.03.2017)

Policeman gunned down, others wounded in Tunisia

File photo of Tunisian security forces

File photo of Tunisian security forces

Militants possibly linked to Daesh extremists attacked a checkpoint in a town in southwest Tunisia early this morning, killing a policeman and wounding three others, security officials said.

Two militants were also killed in an exchange of fire during the attack in Kebili, which lies on the edge of Tunisia’s southern desert region, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The attackers opened fire on a police patrol that had set up a checkpoint at a roundabout in the town, one security official said.

Security forces were combing the area to search for militants who may have escaped following the attack, a second official said.

Tunisia has been trying to tackle an extremist threat after suffering major attacks by Daesh-inspired militants in 2015 and early 2016, including deadly assaults on tourists at a museum in the capital Tunis and on a beach in Sousse.

Militants occasionally target patrols and checkpoints, but attacks in towns and cities are rare. Sunday’s was the first in an urban area since a bomb attack against a bus carrying presidential guards in Tunis in November 2015.

(Source / 12.03.2017)

Israeli settlers steal 150 olive trees from Palestinian land in Nablus

al-Sawiya

Israeli settlers on Sunday morning uprooted and stole 150 olive trees from Palestinian land in Nablus’s southern town of al-Sawiya.

Anti-settlement activist in the northern West Bank, Gahssan Dughlas, said al-Sawiya farmers were shocked as they caught sight of the uprooted olive trees, planted over a decade ago in their land.

The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) have been preventing the owners of the targeted land lots, located near the border fence of Rahalim illegal outpost, from reaching their lands. Only those who obtain a permit from the IOA are allowed access into their tracts.

Dughlas added that the uprooted trees were planted on land lots owned by Palestinian citizens, namely Haythem Kafana and Suheil Suleiman, among others.

(Source / 12.03.2017)

Journalist, girl among several Palestinians kidnapped by IOF

6 Palestijnen opgepakt

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Sunday kidnapped six Palestinians, including a journalist and a girl, following assaults on the West Bank and Jerusalem.

24-year-old girl Batoul al-Rumhi was kidnapped by the IOF from her family home in Serda town, north of Ramallah.

The Israeli forces further kidnapped the Palestinian journalist and ex-prisoner Mus’ab Sa’id, 25, from his family home in Ramallah’s northern town of Birzeit.

Student activist at Birzeit University Osama Fukahaa was further arrested by the Israeli soldiers in Ein Munjid town, in Ramallah.

Overnight, the Israeli army claimed responsibility for the abduction of six Palestinians on allegations of involvement in anti-occupation activities.

Meanwhile, clashes flared up in Bethlehem’s towns of al-Khader and Tekou’ between the Israeli forces and the Palestinian protesters.

The IOF also kidnapped a Palestinian youth from Nablus’s southeastern town of Hawara.

Palestinian citizen Mahmoud Khamous, from Hawara, said the Israeli soldiers stormed the town at the crack of dawn and kidnapped Ali Mohamed Saada from his home.

The IOF further broke into the nearby Ourata town, southeast of Nablus, and wreaked havoc on civilian homes.

In the meantime, a series of military checkpoints was pitched by the IOF on the Jenin-Haifa access road, where Palestinian civilians and vehicles have been subjected to intensive inspection.

The occupation army reportedly raked through Palestinian cultivated lands in Sahl Bin Amer.

(Source / 12.03.2017)

Hamas holds Women’s Day Conference on International Women’s Day

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The women’s branch of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas,  organized Wednesday in Gaza City the second female conference under the name of “the struggle of Palestinian women in preserving the principles of the Palestinian cause”.

Head of the movement’s women branch,  Rajaa Al-Halabi, described the Palestinian woman as a “preserver for the struggle’s principles and a bearer of enormous sacrifices for the cause’s sake”.

Halabi said that Palestinian women have suffered since the Nakba in 1948, and throughout this period they have been kidnapped, executed,  and displaced, but such hardships failed to hinder their strength and willpower in defending Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian cause as a whole.

Halabi also went on and said that the Palestinian woman has selected resistance as the only option in defending the Palestinian cause.

She also stressed that Palestinian women were never excluded from the history of Palestinian people, and is justly the backbone of the Palestinian society.

In the same context, member of Hamas’ political bureau, Mahmoud al-Zahhar, praised the Palestinian woman and the sacrifices she provided for the liberation of Palestine.

He also said during the conference that Hamas highly appreciates the role of Palestinian women in the region and the many campaigns she has organized to raise awareness for the Palestinian case and people.

The conference outline involved two partswhich discussed the struggle of Palestinian women in resisting the occupation in Jerusalem and preserving its holy sites, as well as Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli jails, their experiences and the role of institutions supporting Palestinian prisoners.

(Source / 12.03.2017)

Netherlands suspended all human rights, says Turkish minister

Turkey’s Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya arrived in Istanbul, after being prevented by the Dutch police from entering the Turkish consulate in the Netherlands. She said, “Even our most basic needs were not allowed to be met.”

Photo by: Reuters

Turkey’s Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya (C) speaks during a news conference at Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, Turkey, March 12, 2017

Turkish Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya said on Sunday she experienced “inhuman treatment” from the Dutch police who prevented her from entering Turkey’s consulate in the Netherlands.

Dutch police escorted the Turkish minister back to Germany, from where she had travelled by road to the Netherlands, after the Dutch government had revoked landing rights for a plane carrying Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday.

“All freedoms were suspended in the Netherlands yesterday [on Saturday]. Even our most basic needs were not allowed to be met,” Kaya told a press conference at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, accompanied by Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.

The EU states, including the Dutch government, have often accused Turkey of violating basic human rights of detainees and public workers, who were suspended, under a state of emergency that was imposed after a bloody coup attempt that took place on July 15. Turkey’s government also faced criticism for declaring a state of emergency.

Turkey’s Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya speaks during a news conference at Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, Turkey, March 12, 2017

“The West who questioned the state of emergency we had declared following the July 15 coup attempt, that targeted our country’s future and integrity, have themselves declared a state of emergency in one night for a woman minister’s meeting with her citizens in the consulate building which is counted as their territory,” said Kaya.

“As a minister holding a diplomatic passport, I don’t have to get permission to come together with our citizens at our consulate, which is considered Turkish territory,” she said.

More than a thousand protestors, many of who waved Turkish flags, took to the streets in Rotterdam demanding to see the minister.

Several demonstrators were beaten by police with batons and arrested. Officers carried out charges on horseback and also used dogs and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.

TRT World‘s Kilmeny Duchardt brings more on the tension from Ankara.

Turkey expects official apology

Turkey will continue to take steps against the Netherlands until it apologises over a diplomatic row, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.

Turkey was waiting to see whether European countries would voice criticism of the “fascist act” by the Netherlands, he told reporters in France ahead of a public appearance in the northeastern city of Metz.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Sunday he would do everything to “de-escalate” a diplomatic confrontation with Turkey he described as the worst the Netherlands has experienced in years, after two major incidents on Saturday.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday “Turkey will retaliate in the ‘harshest ways’ to Dutch moves to bar the flight of the Turkish foreign minister and prevent the family minister from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.

“This situation has been protested in the strongest manner by our side, and it has been conveyed to Dutch authorities that there will be retaliation in the harshest ways … We will respond in kind to this unacceptable behaviour,” Yildirim said.

Turkish presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin also slammed the Dutch government.

“Shame for the Dutch government for succumbing to anti-Islam racists and fascists, and damaging long-standing Turkey-NL relations,” Kalin tweeted in response to a call by Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam Dutch politician.

Geert called Kaya to leave the country “and never come back”.

1/Shame on the Dutch government for succumbing to anti-Islam racists and fascists, and damaging long-standing Turkey-NL relations.

Turkey’s Minister of European Union Affairs Omer Celik is among those who criticised the Dutch government.

“Fascism has awaken in the Netherlands and take stage. All real democrats in the world should react to this for free world.” Celik wrote on Twitter.

10) Faşizm, Hollanda’da uyanmış ve sahne almıştır. Tüm dünyadaki gerçek demokratların hür dünya için buna tepki vermesi gerekir.

He added that the Dutch prime minister has become the voice of a dark and racist mentality that led to WWII.

(Source / 12.03.2017)

What ‘just peace’ deal does the PA want from Trump?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland on February 27, 2017 [Mustafa Yalçın / Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland on February 27, 2017

By Motasem A Dalloul

US President Donald Trump telephoned the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday and discussed several issues, including his desire to reach a peace deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis. In return, Abbas hailed him and his commitment to the Palestinian cause.

Revealing some of what was discussed between Abbas and Trump, Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said: “Trump stressed his commitment to a peace process that would lead to a real peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

Going further than speaking about Trump’s phone call with Abbas, Abu Rudeineh gave remarks to the press reflecting that Trump could be a saviour for the Palestinians and is a president who is “committed” to liberating occupied Palestinian land from the Israelis. “President Trump is a very honest man, very courageous man and looking for a deal,” he said.

Therefore, Abu Rudeineh stressed that the Palestinians are ready to deal with Trump and the Israeli occupation to resume peace talks. “If the Israelis are ready, President Abbas has committed himself to a peaceful deal with President Trump.” But Abu Rudeineh did not clarify the features of that deal which he dreams to see fulfilled at the hands of the new “saviour”.

Read: Trump invites Palestinian leader Abbas to White House

Abu Rudeineh spoke of “a peace deal, and a just deal.” What means by these two words is still vague because these words have different meanings for the Palestinians, the Israelis and the Americans. However, he stressed that reaching such a deal is a “strategic choice for the Palestinians”.

Regarding the Palestinians, let’s presumably speak about what has been known as the two-state solution, which was proposed by the George W. Bush Administration, accepted by the PLO and the Arab League.

For the Palestinians, a just peace deal means building an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967 with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital, including land exchange in some areas. This state is to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel.

For the Israelis, it has become very clear that all the Israeli occupation leaders consider to be a just peace is based on the Palestinian concession of all the Palestinian lands as almost all of them have denied the right of the Palestinian to have an independent state whether in the past, present or in the future.

Regarding Trump, since his inauguration on 20 January, he has been using vague language regarding the Israeli-Palestinian cause and the expected solution, namely the two-state solution. During his call with Abbas, he never mentioned the two-state solution and at the same time he did not speak about any clear solution.

However, monitors have always said that Trump’s administration has distanced itself from the two-state solution. Last month, he said in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I am looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.” Commenting on this, Foreign Policy magazine said that this is a departure of the two-state solution.

This departure was very clear in Trump’s remarks reported by the Guardian when he met with Netanyahu in the White House, as he said: “A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve.”

If the Palestinians eye a just peace deal based on the two-state solution, the Israelis see it as one based on no rights for the Palestinians and Trump favours the one which is agreed by both sides. In light of that, what is the deal which Abu Rudeineh speaks of based on? After all, Abu Rudeineh believes that Trump, a man who supports illegal Israeli Jewish settlements, is a “very honest man, [a] very courageous man.”

(Source / 12.03.2017)

PA brings name of Palestinian martyr to court

The martyr was jailed by the PA before he was murdered by Israeli occupation

Israeli occupation forces murdered on Monday morning Palestinian man, wounded two others in occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

“One Palestinian was murdered and two others were wounded,” the eyewitness said. “The man was identified as Basel al-A’raj,” he added

Palestinian Authority (PA) brought on Sunday morning name of Palestinian martyr murdered by Israeli forces to District Court in West Bank.

The Palestinian District Court in the West Bank city of Ramallah held a special hearing to look into the case of martyr Basel al-Araj and six other Palestinians.

Local sources said that the court acquitted Al-Araj because of his death and adjourned looking into the case of his colleagues to another hearing.

Al-Araj and his friends, five of who are prisoners inside the Israeli jails, are accused of owning illegal weapons. The PA, which is the litigant of the Palestinian citizens, did not reveal what kind of weapons do they have.

Early this week, the Israeli occupation forces raided a Palestinian house in the heart of Ramallah, murdered Al-Araj and arrested his body.

In the early morning, Palestinians, including Al-Araj’s father took to the streets, protesting against the PA trial of the Palestinian “heroes.”

The PA attacked them, arrested and wounded many of them, including Al-Araj’s father and other senior Palestinian activists such as the former hunger-striker Khader Adnan.

In addition, the PA forces attacked journalists and cameramen who attended to cover the protest.

(Source / 12.03.2017)