Palestinians hold prayers in Jerusalem area threatened with eviction

Palestinians perform Friday prayers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem, an area threatened with eviction on 15 September 2017

Palestinians perform Friday prayers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem

Dozens of Palestinians today demonstrated in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem to protest against Israel’s targeting of the neighbourhood.

The prayer came at the invitation of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood defence committee, protesting the eviction of a Palestinian family and warning other families not to evacuate in favour of Israeli settlers.

Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, condemned the eviction of the Shamasna family from her home since 1964 and warned several other Palestinian families of eviction.

He also condemned Israeli attempts to implement settlement plans in the Palestinian neighbourhood.

(Source / 15.09.2017)

Israel detains Palestinian for Facebook post declaring intentions to carry out attack

Suliman al-Natsheh

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian in the town of al-Eizariya in the Jerusalem district of the occupied West Bank during dawn hours on Friday after he allegedly posted a status on Facebook that declared his intentions of carrying out an attack in Israel.

According to Hebrew media, Suliman al-Natsheh published a photo of himself strapped with an explosive belt accompanied by a post that read, “I joined ISIS and I will bomb Israel tonight.”
Hebrew media reported that Israeli investigations have not yet confirmed whether the account belongs to al-Natsheh or if it was a fake account. It also remained unconfirmed if the explosive belt in the picture was real.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the detention.
According to Ma’an documentation, 55 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of the year during actual or alleged attacks, while at least 18 of these Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli forces or during violent Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank.
Since the beginning of 2017, 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians, almost all of whom were uniformed Israeli officers or Israeli settlers residing in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law.
Palestinians have often cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel’s nearly half century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for political attacks on Israelis.

(Source / 15.09.2017)

2 Hamas fighters die in tunnel collapse in Gaza

Hamas fighters died

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades — the Hamas movement’s military wing –died in a tunnel collapse on Friday, according to the group.
A statement by the brigades identified the two fighters as Khalil Bassem al-Dumyati from the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip, and Yousif Sabri Abu Abed, from the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis.
The brigades did not provide further details on the circumstances of the tunnel collapse, saying only that the tunnel was located around Gaza City.
Scores of Palestinians in Gaza have been killed in the vast tunnel networks that lie below the besieged enclave, which are largely used for smuggling in the south and military purposes in the north.
While the tunnels along the southern border with Egypt are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply highly demanded necessities for Gazans — who have been trapped under Israeli siege for a decade — including food, medicine, and much-needed infrastructure materials.
The Institute for Palestine Studies reported in 2012 that Hamas authorities had counted 160 deaths inside the tunnels since the Israeli blockade began in 2007, and in August 2014, Al-Jazeera reported that figure to be as high as 400.
(Source / 15.09.2017)

Israeli forces suppress Palestinian marches in Hebron city

Marches Hebron city

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces suppressed two marches in Hebron city in the southern occupied West Bank on Friday, one of which was launched to protest the expansion of municipal services to Israeli settlers residing in the Old City in violation of international law.

Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful march that was launched following Dhuhr (noon) prayers towards the Old City to protest a recent decision by the Israeli army to extend municipal services to Israeli settlers illegally residing there.
According to witnesses, Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at protesters, and prohibited them from approaching the settlements in the city.
Governor of Hebron Kamel Hamid said earlier this month that the decision would serve to further strengthen Israeli control in Hebron while undermining the Palestinian Authority (PA), in a city where Palestinians already contend with the highest concentration of military checkpoints in the West Bank and are surrounded by hundreds of notoriously aggressive settlers living under the protection of the Israeli army.
“The order jeopardizes any political settlement in the area, which stands in contradiction with the peace process and the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Hamid said.
Story continues below
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, Israeli forces suppressed a march at the entrance of Khirbet Qalqas south of Hebron city.
The march was launched to protest the Israeli closure of the village’s entrance several years ago. Protesters demanded that Israeli forces open the gate.
Israeli forces responded by shooting tear gas canisters at the protesters, causing several to suffer from tear gas inhalation. Israeli forces also detained two Palestinian protesters.
(Source / 15.09.2017)

Three injured in clashes with IOF on Gaza border areas

Clashes with IOF

Three Palestinians were injured on Friday evening in clashes with the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) near the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.

Spokesman of Gaza’s Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qedra, said that three Palestinian youths were moderately injured after being targeted with tear gas canisters fired by the IOF soldiers at the demonstrators to the east of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

Dozens of Palestinians demonstrated on Friday near the border fence separating the Gaza Strip and the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories in protest at the decade-long blockade imposed on the coastal enclave.

The IOF soldiers fired tear gas canisters and live and rubber bullets at the protesters who responded by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are ordered to stay at least 300 meters away from the eastern border line. Israel calls this area “the buffer zone” and whoever approaches it gets shot or arrested.

(Source / 15.09.2017)

Syrian Coalition & Association of Independent Kurds Reaffirm Commitment to Syrian Revolution Principles; Insist Assad Must Go

President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif met with representatives of the Association of Independent Kurds (AIK) at the Coalition headquarters in Istanbul on Friday.

The meeting was attended by members of the Coalition’s political committee Abdel-Ahad Steifo, Anas Abdah, Hadi Bahra and Yasser Farhan as well as AIK’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Abdul Aziz Tammu, members of AIK’s Board Mohammed Ali Issa, Ibrahim Basha, and Azad Osman.

The discussions focused on the latest political and field developments in Syria as well as the options available to the Coalition and the Syrian opposition in light of the international sharing of influence in Syria. Both sides also discussed ways to preserve the independence of the opposition’s decision-making process.

The two sides agreed to work together as they reaffirmed commitment to the principles of the Syrian revolution in any future political solution. They also stressed rejection of the survival of the Assad regime neither in the transitional period or in the future of Syria.

The delegation of the Association pointed out that the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are seeking to stifle the political life in the areas under their control and drag the Kurds to battles that they have nothing to do with.

The delegation pointed out that the PYD’s practices have made the situation of the Kurds in Syria no better than the situation in the rest of Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 15.09.2017)

Een vreedzaam huis!

Alle lof zij aan Allah. Hij Die onze huizen tot een plaats van rust heeft gemaakt.[16:80]

De huizen zien er steeds fraaier uit. Er wordt volop geïnvesteerd om het huis om te toveren tot een knus onderkomen en dat is alleen maar goed. De vraag is wel of de huizen, naast een mooi aanzicht, ook vreedzaam zijn? Dat je na een drukke dag buitenshuis blij bent wanneer je eindelijk huiswaarts gaat?

Het huis van een moslim onderscheidt zich ongetwijfeld van de overige huizen. Dit prachtige geloof voorziet ons namelijk van tal van richtlijnen, voor zowel binnen als buitenshuis. Lees mee en neem kennis van een aantal fundamenten die fungeren als de ware pilaren van het huis.

Het huis van een moslim kenmerkt zich met de sterke band die haar inwoners hebben met Allah de meest Verhevene. Het besef dat Hij je ziet en hoort, al waan je je alleen thuis in het holst van de nacht, is altijd aanwezig. Dit besef is hét fundament van het huis van een moslim!

De moslim doet niemand thuis onrecht aan. Niet uit vrees voor jeugdzorg of andere instanties, maar uit vrees voor Allah. Hij bij Wie we verantwoording zullen afleggen voor al onze daden.

De moslim vreest Allah en zijn hart is aanhankelijk met Hem alleen. Voor shirk, in al haar vormen, zoals amuletten, horoscopen e.d. is geen plek in het huis van een moslim.

Het huis van een moslim kenmerkt zich met de grote waarde die wordt gehecht aan het gebed. Zodra een tijdstip van het gebed aanbreekt, wordt er gebeden en aangespoord tot het gebed. De mannen verrichten de verplichte gebeden in de moskee en (een deel van) de vrijwillige gebeden thuis. Onze profeet vrede zij met hem zei namelijk:

“Verricht het (vrijwillige) gebed thuis; maak geen begraafplaatsen van jullie huizen.” (het zijn namelijk de begraafplaatsen waar niet wordt gebeden) [Muslim].

Het gebed in huis zorgt voor zegeningen, barmhartigheid, aanwezigheid van engelen en verjaagt de vervloekte duivels.

Gedenken van Allah
Het huis van een moslim komt tot leven door het veelvuldig gedenken van Allah en het reciteren van de Koran. Onze profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

“De vergelijking van het huis waarin Allah wordt herdacht en waarin Allah niet wordt herdacht, is als de vergelijking van de levende en de dode.” [Muslim]

Met het gedenken van Allah verjagen wij de vervloekte duivels van onze huizen. De profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

“Wanneer Allah wordt herdacht bij het betreden van het huis en bij het avondeten, zegt de duivel (tegen de andere duivels): jullie hebben hier geen slaapplaats noch avondeten … [Muslim]

Het huis van een moslim kenmerkt zich met het grote respect dat de ouders genieten. Zaken zoals het verheffen van de stem tegen de ouders en ongehoorzaamheid komen daar niet in voor. Velen wonen vandaag de dag bij hun ouders, i.p.v. met hen te wonen. Gedenk dat de ouders het meeste recht hebben op jouw gezelschap.

Net zoals de ouders recht hebben op een goede omgang, hebben de kinderen recht op een goede omgang en opvoeding. Het huis van een moslim kenmerkt zich dan ook met de grote waarde die wordt gehecht aan het islamitisch opvoeden van de kinderen door hen de vrome islamitische normen en waarden bij te brengen. Eén daarvan is hen tijdig opdragen tot het gebed. De profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

“Spoor jullie kinderen aan tot het gebed wanneer zij zeven zijn [Abu Dawood]

De man en vrouw vormen de basis in huis en zij zijn het voorbeeld. Als zij het onderling niet kunnen vinden, zullen ze moeilijk in staat zijn om de voorbeeldfunctie die ze hebben haar recht te geven. Daarom is het belangrijk dat ze werken aan een goede onderlinge verstandhouding en eventuele conflicten buiten de kinderen om oplossen.


De man verdient de kost, zorgt met een gevoel van verantwoordelijkheid voor zijn gezin en stelt ze boven alles en iedereen. Onverantwoord (verboden) gedrag, zoals drugs en alcoholgebruik, gokken en merendeels buiten rondhangen kent hij niet. Het huis fleurt op zodra hij binnenkomt door zijn glimlach en vrolijkheid. De man heeft gezag in huis, maar maakt hier geen misbruik van door als een commandant te bevelen.

De vrouw zorgt ervoor dat de man zich thuis voelt. Dit door goed voor haar man (en kinderen) te zorgen. Om maar een voorbeeld te noemen: bij zijn thuiskomst na een lange dag werken is het eten tijdig klaar en ontvangt zij haar man (opgemaakt en verzorgd). In woorden en daden maakt zij toonbaar dat ze blij is dat hij weer thuis is (en blijft). Zij ondermijnt zijn gezag niet: wanneer hij na het aanhoren van haar mening toch besluit zijn mening door te zetten, accepteert zij dit (en voorkomt zij zo vele ruzies).

De meeste ruzies in huis hebben betrekking op onzinnige zaken. Allah de meest Verhevene zegt:

“Aanvaard het makkelijke ..” [7:199]

In jouw omgang met anderen, des te meer in huis, dien je de ander niet af te rekenen op elk detail en al jouw rechten op te eisen. Aanvaard datgene wat binnen het vermogen van de ander is en zie de rest door de vingers.

Wanneer je niet overal een punt van maakt, zal je zien dat het leven thuis een stuk aangenamer is.

Het feit dat jouw partner zijn/haar best doet (zwak zijn we allemaal) met het praktiseren van het geloof door de islamitische verplichtingen na te komen en zonden te laten, is het belangrijkst.

Veel ruzies zijn het gevolg van harde woorden en onnodig kwetsende opmerkingen.
Wanneer je een statement wil maken thuis, doe dat dan niet met kwetsende denigrerende opmerkingen, maar met zachtheid. Allah zegt (betekenis):

Zeg tegen Mijn dienaren dat ze de beste woorden gebruiken, de duivel zaait verdeeldheid onder hen … [17:53]

Wanneer je slechte en harde woorden gebruikt, maak je ruimte voor de duivel om verdeling en verderf te zaaien, terwijl je bedoeling misschien niet eens zo slecht was.

Imam as-Sa’di zei over het vorige vers: “Wie zijn tong onder controle heeft, heeft al zijn zaken onder controle.”

En onze profeet vrede zij met hem zei (betekenis): “Wie geen zachtheid heeft, is het goede ontnomen.” [Muslim]

Wat voor sfeer en liefde verwacht je in huis met opmerkingen als: ‘Je doet nooit wat goed!’

Het huis van de moslim kenmerkt zich met kalmte en niet met geschreeuw en herrie. Allah zegt:

“Spreek met een zachte stem: voorwaar, de meest verafschuwde van de stemmen is zeker de stem van de ezel.” (omdat deze veel lawaai maakt zonder dat dat nodig is) [31:19]

Hoeveel voorzorgsmaatregelen je ook moge treffen, er kan zich altijd wel een woordenwisseling voordoen. Maar wil dit zeggen dat de stemmen moeten worden verheven en er met deuren (en glazen) moet worden gesmeten? De moslim kent de grote beloning van het inhouden van zijn woede en praktiseert dit buitens, maar vooral: binnenshuis.

In kalmte zijn de grootste geschillen op te lossen, terwijl in staat van hysterie voor de kleinste geschillen geen oplossing is.

Beste broeders en zusters:

De moslim heeft vandaag de dag al genoeg te verduren buitenshuis. Als deze dan ook nog binnenshuis zijn rust niet vindt, wordt het leven moeilijk te verdragen.

Het verbaast hoeveel jonge pasgetrouwde stellen er al na een paar maanden weer een einde aan maken.

Het is aangrijpend om aan te horen hoe velen gebukt gaan onder dagelijkse ruzies in huis waar vaak jonge kinderen de dupe van zijn.

We kunnen allemaal van onze huizen een betere plaats maken. Maar dan moeten we daaraan werken door onze huizen ten eerste te zegenen met gehoorzaamheid aan Allah en het laten van zonden.

En daarnaast door te werken aan het ons eigen maken van onmisbare eigenschappen in huis. Door meegaand, makkelijk, vergevensgezind, betrokken, motiverend, positief, zacht en vrolijk te zijn.

En door het laten van zaken als constante kritiek, kwetsende opmerkingen, (fysiek) afreageren van een slecht humeur etc.

Ons voorbeeld daarin is onze profeet vrede zij met hem. Hij was belast met de grootste taak en toch was hij makkelijk en liefhebbend in huis. Hij betrad weleens het huis en vroeg zijn vrouw Aicha of er wat in huis was. Wanneer zij dan met nee antwoordde, zei hij simpel: “Dan vast ik (vandaag)!”

Dit is praktiseren beste broeders en zusters. Zijn zoals onze profeet vrede zij met hem was in huis. Je vraagt je af wat degenen die beweren dat ze praktiseren, maar niets anders dan schelden en kwetsende opmerkingen kennen thuis, eigenlijk praktiseren?

Dapper en wijs zijn degenen die (professionele) hulp inschakelen om van zaken als woede uitbarstingen, verslavingen etc af te komen om zo hun thuissituatie te verbeteren.

Beste broeders en zusters:

De goede band met jouw partner en kinderen thuis is jouw ware vermogen en meest winstgevende investering. En haar verlies, is het grootste verlies.

Moge Allah onze huizen zegenen en deze tot vreedzame rustgevende plaatsen maken.

(Source: / 15.09.2017)

Will Egypt impose a ‘Gaza supervisor’ on Hamas?

At the end of the Sept. 11 meeting of Hamas leaders with Egyptian intelligence head Khaled Fawzy, the leaders announced that they are willing to dissolve the new council they established in the Gaza Strip, and instead consolidate a unity government with Fatah. Thus, in just one meeting in Cairo, Fawzy succeeded in doing what Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas failed to do, despite the latter’s destructive sanctions imposed on Gaza. The Hamas top brass agreed to dissolve the shadow government set up by the new leader of the movement in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

Since April, Abbas had imposed on Gaza several sanctions, including the darkening of the Gaza Strip (by refusing to finance its electricity supply), cutbacks in the salaries of the Palestinian Authority’s employees in Gaza and even cessation of funding for medical services and maintenance of hospitals. These sanctions intensified the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. But despite all that, Hamas was not willing to forfeit the new council. This was Sinwar’s declaration of independence in the Gaza Strip, which turned out to be a serious mistake on his part. Sinwar tried to flex his muscles and prove that he is capable of coping with the difficulties and obstacles placed in front of the movement. But very quickly it became clear to the Hamas leadership that their new Gaza leader was a political novice who did not anticipate the results of his steps in advance.

“After the terrible suffering that [Sinwar] generated, and continues to impose on the almost 2 million residents of the Gaza Strip, the Hamas leaders are returning with their tails between their legs,” said a high-placed Fatah source from the West Bank, speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “What was he thinking? And what did [Hamas political bureau head] Ismail Haniyeh do to stop him?” Now, both Sinwar and Haniyeh are trying to turn the clock back in appealing to Abbas to be a partner in administrating Gaza via a unity government. Will Abbas accept the invitation? Will he be ready to enter Hamas’ sickbed, when Hamas runs an army that is larger than all the Palestinian security apparatuses in the West Bank, and even fund all this?

“He might not have a choice,” said the Palestinian source, raising the great dilemma faced by the Palestinian president: Proper relations with Egypt are important to Abbas these days when he is planning to embark on important international diplomatic initiatives. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is an important key figure. Without his support, Abbas will find it difficult to recruit the pragmatic Arab countries to his side. On the other hand, he will not want to carry Hamas on his back during the next fateful year. According to Fatah officials, this may be Abbas’ last year in power due to his advanced age. Moreover, after the World Bank released an optimistic prediction for the Palestinian market (West Bank and Gaza) of a 7% growth (assuming that the correct economic steps are taken), Abbas has no reason to pour millions of dollars into Hamas at the expense of the West Bank. On the other hand, Gaza residents will not view the Palestinian president as their leader after divorcing himself from the Gaza Strip and abusing its residents with sanctions.

Cairo had two main reasons to push for a thaw in relations between Fatah and Hamas and for establishing a unity government in Gaza. The first is its desire to prevent Hamas from assisting jihadi elements in the Sinai Peninsula, and to cause the organization to cooperate with Egyptian efforts against the Islamic State. The second reason is Cairo’s justified concern that a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza will threaten Egypt’s security as well. After Hamas’ coup in June 2007 and the imposition of a blockade on Gaza by Israel, hundreds of thousands of furious Palestinians knocked down the walls of the Philadelphi Corridor — the steel wall Israel put up between Gaza and Egypt in the Rafah region — in an attempt to loosen the noose around their necks.

“There is no doubt that Egypt is aware of the dangers and is doing everything it can today in order to avert such a scenario of [a severe humanitarian crisis] that is more imminent than ever before,” the Palestinian source told Al-Monitor. According to him, Egypt is also concerned about its image in the Arab world; they do not want to be viewed as siding with Israel in order to starve 2 million Muslims living under siege in Gaza.

Even if a unity government does arise, there will still be a weighty bone of contention between the sides. The Egyptians want to appoint someone of their own to supervise Hamas’ activities. This man is former Fatah senior member Mohammed Dahlan. Three months ago, in the midst of the electricity crisis, Sinwar met with Dahlan in Cairo. Several days after the meeting, the Palestinian Maan news agency published documents that, it asserted, testify to the fact that Sinwar offered Dahlan during this meeting the position of Gaza’s next prime minister. Dahlan denied this. One of his close associates in the Gaza Strip told Al-Monitor that Dahlan was offered an official function in the talks, but not that of prime minister. According to the Gaza source, Dahlan would not be willing to serve as prime minister under Hamas, but what was under discussion was the role of supervisor of the Gaza administration.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Abbas would not be willing for his bitter political rival Dahlan to serve in any position at all. Therefore, the name under discussion now is that of Samir al-Mashharawi, Dahlan’s right-hand man who was partner to the conciliation efforts. Mashharawi recently visited Gaza and, according to the Gaza source, the Egyptians hope that Mashharawi will be a key figure in closing a deal with Hamas, Fatah and Dahlan — a deal that will ultimately lead to the alleviation of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

At the moment, all of this hinges mainly on Abbas’ willingness to reconcile with his two enemies — Hamas and Dahlan.

(Source / 15.09.2017)

Tunisia Lifts Ban on Muslim Women Marrying non-Muslims


Women look at sale signs at a shop in central Mehdia,Tunisia, Aug 17, 2017

Tunisia- The Tunisian government lifted on Thursday the ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim foreigners, a step that triggered a legal and social controversy among conservative Islamic blocs and liberal and left-wing blocs.

“Congratulations to the women of Tunisia for the enshrinement of the right to the freedom to choose one’s spouse,” presidency spokeswoman Saida Garrach posted on Thursday.

The announcement came a month after President Beji Caid Essebsi called for the government to lift the ban dating back to 1973, preventing Muslim Tunisian women from marrying a non-Muslim.

In a related matter, the opposition and civil society in Tunisia have expressed concerns over the democratic transition after the parliament enacted a controversial amnesty law for those involved in corruption during the former regime term.

Monica Marks, a researcher at Oxford University, said the law’s passage was “a huge symbolic victory for impunity. It signals a green light, from the top of Tunisia’s state institutions to individuals engaged in abuses of power.”

The bill grants an amnesty to businessmen and Ben Ali officials on trial for corruption, in exchange for returning ill-gotten money plus paying a fine. In the face of growing public anger, the text was revised to cover only officials accused of involvement in administrative corruption, not those who received bribes.

The presidency defended the law, saying it would enhance the investment climate in a country undergoing an economic crisis.

“The law applies to around 2,000 senior officials who did not receive any bribes,” cabinet director Selim Azzabi said to AFP, adding it would affect people who “received instructions and applied them without profiting.” He said the law could boost Tunisia’s economic growth up to 1.2 percent.

Others say it could even represent a return to authoritarian practices. Amna Guellali of Human Rights Watch said the law “risks perpetuating practices inherited from the old regime” and places the young democracy on a bad slope.

Nidaa Tounes, which includes members of the former regime, welcomed the adoption of the law as it paves the way for a new stage of reconciliation and union.

“Ultimately, Ennahda – despite being the party most persecuted by the old regime, including old regime officials likely to be amnestied by the Reconciliation Law – prefers to preserve coalition with Nidaa Party,” Marks said.

(Source / 15.09.2017)

Israel eats up more Palestinian land rights in Hebron

HEBRON, Israel — Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman granted Aug. 29 hundreds of Jewish settlers in settlements in the Old City of Hebron independence from the city’s municipality affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA). His decision raised Palestinian public and official ire due to its serious repercussions on the city’s already deteriorating geographic and humanitarian situation.

Liberman’s move would lead to the establishment of an Israeli-run municipality. Settlers would receive services from Israeli authorities, whereas they were previously tied to the Palestinian-run municipality of Hebron granting services to Palestinian residents and settlers alike.

Sara Daajna, a resident of the Old City of Hebron, said that the decision pushed Palestinian governmental, factional and civil associations in Hebron to call for meetings because they know the bad implications of the Israeli decision on the citizens. As per the decision, Israel would take administrative control thus preventing the Palestinian-run municipality from providing services due to obstacles from settlers after establishing a new Israel municipality in the Old City of Hebron, she told Al-Monitor.

Daajna said, “The Israeli decision aims at implementing the settlement vision to evacuate the Old City of its citizens and Judaize it, and thus transfer the privileges of Palestinian citizens and Jewish settlers to Israelis. The new decision is dangerous, and everyone [involved] should be held accountable.”

Daajna said that the repercussions of the decision on the ground will be worse than ever, noting, “The Israeli blockade on the Old City of Hebron persists as dozens of checkpoints are spread throughout. Citizens are facing a clampdown, and the decision will add insult to injury.”

Walid Assaf, the head of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission in the West Bank, told Al-Monitor that the Israeli decision will divide Hebron and pave the way for the Judaization and division of the Old City.

Assaf said, “The decision will affect the lives of thousands of citizens in the Old City and its surroundings as well as the workers and home owners. It will also affect the interaction between the different neighborhoods of Hebron and will strip the municipality of its properties and transfer them to settlers as per the comprehensive settlement plan. It will also increase pressure on citizens to expel and forcibly displace them.”

In January 1997, the PA signed the Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron with Israel to divide the security control of the city. Area H1 was put under the security and administrative control of the PA, while Area H2 falls under the Palestinian administrative control and Israeli security grip, in the presence of international observers. The Old City is located in Area H2, where Jewish settlers and Palestinian citizens live.

The director of the legal department of the Gaza-based International Commission to Support Palestinian People’s Rights, Islam Sukkar, told Al-Monitor, “Israel’s latest decision annuls the protocol it signed with the PA and transfers the Palestinian administrative control to a municipality Israel will build for settlers in Hebron.”

He added, “The illegal measures and policies that Israel took against Palestinian citizens and land by transferring some settlers to the Palestinian territories and expelling the citizens of the occupied land violate the provisions of international law and the United Nations resolutions, as well as the PA-Israel agreements such as the Hebron protocol. Legally, this shows that Israel does not respect bilateral understandings.”

Sukkar believes the Israeli decision proves that the presence of Israeli settlers in Hebron reflects Israel’s serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention provisions (1949) and the additional first protocol appended to it, describing it is a war crime.

Sukkar added that the Israelis will suffer the consequences of their decision, saying, “The implementation of the decision will prevent the Hebron municipality from providing the needed protection for the city. It will also grant the settlers’ municipality the right to own lands, properties and spaces, under the pretext of public interest when in fact its objectives are settlement expansion, imposing taxes on Palestinian citizens, restricting their movement and isolating them from the other parts of Hebron.”

Bilal al-Shawbaki, the head of the political sciences department at the faculty of law and political sciences at Hebron University, told Al-Monitor, “Israel wants to tell Palestinians that it will continue entrenching its powers and undermining Palestinian existence.”

He added, “The negotiations and a settlement as an option to manage relations between Israel and Palestinians have gone downhill. What’s worse, the recent Israeli policy is aimed at winning over the extreme right in Israel and promoting the stability of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s government.”

Shawbaki noted that the PA cannot do much on the ground in its current structure. It can, however, take serious steps to financially support the citizens of the Old City and Tel Rumeida in Hebron.

He added, “The PA should announce new options beyond the two-state solution and should take advantage of the Israeli policies to justify its new stance before the international community. However, Israel is still safe from any serious international action to control it.”

Member of the PLO’s Central Committee Ahmad Majdalani told Al-Monitor, “Israel’s new decision is different from past ones. The settlers’ municipality to be established has the right to use the properties of absent citizens. Each empty house would be under the control of settlers who barely amount to 400 people. This aims at connecting the Old City to Kiryat Arba [Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron] and expanding the settlement space to reach the center of Hebron.”

He noted, “The PA needs to take serious steps; condemnation and disdain are no longer sufficient. New sanctions must be imposed on Israel, and it must be held accountable. The PA is moving on all levels, which is pivotal. The United States is playing a key role in convincing Israel to halt settlements, and the door is open for the PA to address human rights groups and the International Criminal Court.”

(Source / 15.09.2017)