One Palestinian Moderately Injured After Israeli Air Force Fires Missiles Into Gaza

17 MAY
3:03 AM

The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that one Palestinian was moderately injured after the Israeli Air Force fires missiles into several sites run by the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, causing damage.

The Air Force fired three missiles at “Asqalan Camp,” in Beit Lahia in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, causing serious damage, in addition to causing damage to homes in the area.

The army also fired two missiles at another site in the Sudaniyya area, west of Gaza city, causing damage.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said one Palestinian was injured due to the Israeli bombardment in northern Gaza, and was rushed to the Indonesian Hospital.

(Source / 17.05.2018)

Drones over Gaza: How Israel tested its latest technology on protesters

Tear gas grenades dropped from above caused injuries, panic and death during this week’s Gaza and West Bank protests

Drones above Gaza 15th of May

Israeli drone drops tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators in southern Gaza on 15 May 2018

The mismatch between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces has often been likened to David and Goliath. Now, Goliath doesn’t even need to enter the field of combat.

In a new innovation, small drones have been used by Israel’s military to drop tear gas on Palestinian protests along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel and in the occupied West Bank.

First seen in early March, when Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV filmed a group of protesters in Gaza as they were targeted by one, the gas-carrying drones were used heavily in protests in the coastal enclave and the occupied West Bank on Monday and Tuesday.

There appear to be three types of drones being used to disperse the gas.

The first, developed by Israeli company ISPRA and known as the “Cyclone Riot Control Drone System”, is a small drone with rotas that carries a box containing nine light aluminium cartridges which burn up after they are released.

However, two other models appear to have been used, which experts told MEE have never been seen before.

One is a drone that releases gas directly from the craft, like an aerosol, dispersing a cloud on those below.

The other, a potentially far more dangerous device, is a helicopter-style drone which carries rubber bursting grenades with metal tops that disperse gas as they fall.

Sharif Kouddous


VIDEO: Israel has developed drones that deploy tear gas. In mid-March Israeli military officials said they had experimented with them in Gaza. They now seem operational.

As the Great March of Return protests came to a crescendo earlier this week, the third type of drone became by far the most regularly used of the three, according to experts spoken to by MEE.

An Israeli drone drops tear gas canisters during clashes with Palestinian protesters near the border east of Gaza City on May 15, 2018.

This drone does not appear to be a sophisticated device.

“It’s more sophisticated [than a commercial drone] – it’s not something that you would buy cheaply on Amazon, but I think it’s not far from it,” Itay Mack, an Israeli human rights lawyer and activist who tracks Israel’s military exports, told MEE.

‘It’s not something that you would buy cheaply on Amazon, but I think it’s not far from it’

– Itay Mack, human rights lawyer

The drone appears to be fitted with a spring-loaded rack, which opens to drop a number of tear gas grenades.

“I think the pins are manually pulled from the grenades when they are secured in the rack before takeoff,” James Bevan, executive director of Conflict Armament Research, told MEE.

The rack is then released once the drone is positioned over the area where the controller wishes to disperse the gas.

“It may be something as simple as a retracting pin attached to a servomotor, which is wired into the drone’s circuits,” Bevan says. “This is what Islamic State [IS] used in Iraq and Syria.”

According to Bevan, IS is the only group for which there is physical evidence of these small, helicopter-type drones’ use in combat situations, mostly seen in Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Tal Afar.

“We see drone use in other theatres, including by non-state groups, but these have been military fixed-wing drones,” he said.

New range, new danger

Monday’s demonstrations in Gaza coincided with the ceremony marking the official opening of the United States’ new embassy in Jerusalem while Tuesday’s protests marked 70 years since the Palestinian Nakba – or Catastrophe – when 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes in historic Palestine in 1948.

Over the two days, 62 Palestinians were killed by live fire or tear gas inhalation, as Israeli forces attempted to quell the protests.

At least 980 Palestinians were wounded by tear gas dropped on the protests on Monday, Gaza’s health ministry said, including many minors.

The drones have given the Israeli forces new range. Previously, gas canisters had only been fired into the Gaza Strip from vehicles on the Israeli side of the divide.

The large fence that separates the besieged enclave from Israel restricts the military’s ability to fire gas across the border, unlike in the West Bank where soldiers often fire the canisters from specially equipped rifles.

Israeli forces rarely make ground incursions into the Gaza Strip, which they pulled out of in 2005, while they maintain a significant presence in the occupied West Bank.

This new range has allowed the Israelis to target areas far from the flashpoint border area, places more likely to be populated by families, minors and the elderly.

Gas a threat to the vulnerable

“The problem with gas grenades is they are especially dangerous to small children and elderly people,” Mack said.

The gas can be fatal in two ways: suffocation and overdosing on the chemicals used.

The deaths of several Palestinians in the West Bank have been linked to tear gas inhalation in recent years. In 2015 an eight-month-old baby in the village of Beit Fajjar died after soldiers fired tear gas into his home.


This Palestinian camp is the community most exposed to tear gas in the world

And in 2014, Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein died from complications related to tear gas inhalation after attending a protest near the village of Turmusaya.

A report last year described the Aida refugee camp in the southern West Bank as the “community most exposed to tear gas in the world”.

Reports emerged on Tuesday that an eight-month-old baby, Leila al-Ghandour, was also killed by tear gas in the Gaza Strip. She is said to have been exposed to the gas while at a protest site far from the Israeli separation fence, though at the time of publication this could not be independently verified by MEE.

Indiscriminate projectiles

Though made of rubber, the gas grenades dropped from the drones are weighty and have a metal top.

The Israeli military has regulations banning firing such projectiles directly at people. Gas canisters fired from specially fitted rifles are particularly dangerous at short range.

The long-range 40mm grenade launchers used by Israel are also considered dangerous because they can be fired with only limited accuracy.

Palestinians run to take cover as an Israeli drone fires tear gas grenades east of Gaza City during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, on May 15, 2018.

A spokesman from Omega Research Foundation, which researches the manufacture, trade in and use of military, security and police technologies, told MEE that drones can be used to increase accuracy when dispersing tear gas.

“On a purely technical level, the drones can hover at a safe height to drop the grenades and target individuals that pose a threat,” the spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

However, video footage of this week’s protests appears to show the canisters dropping from a considerable height, reducing accuracy and increasing the risk of head injuries.

Not a threat

Israel has repeatedly accused the protesters in Gaza of attempting to cross the border fence and lay explosives in Israeli territory. It says the use of live fire and tear gas is justified by the threat protesters pose by breaching the barrier.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the AFP news agency previously that the drones have “the capability of flying over certain zones and certain areas and then letting go of tear gas in areas that we want to prevent protesters from reaching”.

However, MEE reporters in Gaza and the West Bank and videos emerging online suggest Israeli forces targeted areas far from the border area and people who did not appear to pose a threat.

CJ Werleman


Watch Israeli drones drop tear gas on journalists who were documenting Israel’s massacre in Gaza.

The entire Israeli enterprise is built on a war against truth. It not only spends hundreds of millions of dollars in propaganda (hasbara) but also deliberately targets journalists.

On Monday, an MEE reporter was gassed by a drone along with several other members of the media. The area targeted was clearly populated by many journalists, with vehicles prominently displaying “Press”.

Video footage also showed a drone dropping gas on a communal tent full of women and children, apparently more than 500 metres from the border.

Raf Sanchez


The Israelis keep dropping tear gas with a drone on this communal tent full of women and kids. We’re 500+ yards from the border and I can’t see anyone throwing stones nearby or any other justification.

The deployment of gas grenades from above appears in some situations to have sown confusion and fear among crowds, rather than dispersing them to other locations.

In a demonstration on Tuesday near the illegal Israeli settlement Beit El in the West Bank at least four drones deployed gas directly onto protesters.

A 20-year-old protester there, who wished to remain anonymous, told MEE that “panic ensued” when the drones appeared in the sky.

“People were running in all directions unsure of where to go as the drones hovered above our heads waiting to drop tear gas,” the protester told MEE.

“The Israelis have only begun using these drones in the last few weeks. They are indiscriminate, and show no mercy.”

‘They are indiscriminate, and show no mercy’

– Palestinian protester

According to Gabriel Avner, an Israeli security consultant, Israel’s policy in Gaza is a departure from its usual crowd-control methods.

“The situation in Gaza right now is completely different to what is happening anywhere else… they’re thinking of this as a full-on conflict zone,” he told MEE.

“There is some cause for concern because the rules of engagement are hard-coded,” he said, adding that the Israeli military needed to make sure soldiers were properly trained to understand the potential consequences when new technology such as this is introduced.

‘Kite terrorism’

The use of drones is not limited to dispersing tear gas, however.

Some Palestinians have been flying kites across the border, often incendiary ones carrying burning coals with the objective of starting bush fires in Israeli territory.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the Israeli military has enlisted amateur racer drones to intercept the kites, using the rotas and fish hooks attached to the crafts to cut their cords and send them off course.

An Israeli army drone flies near a Palestinian kite along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018.

The drones intercepting the kites are operated by hobbyists, and can reach speeds of 110 metres per second, Haaretz reported.

One of the kites that reached the Israeli side of the divide carried a suspected remote-controlled bomb, the paper reported.

While the device did not explode, and police sappers said it may have been a dud or a fake, the paper speculated it could herald a new phase along the border of what it called “kite terrorism”.

Many of the kites are harmless, however, with protesters often using them to fly the Palestinian flag.

If not intercepted by drones, these kites are often shot down using live fire.

Technology to sell

Israel is one of the world’s leading countries in drone technology.

It has been using unmanned aerial vehicles since the late 1970s, when they were used by the military for surveillance in south Lebanon, and were widely deployed in Israel’s 1982 invasion of its neighbour to the north.

Mack, the human rights lawyer, noted that Israel has previously used conflicts to showcase its weaponry with the intention of selling it on.

Israel sells its arms and technology to many countries. Last month the German Defence Ministry announced its intention to sign a $1bn contract with Israel Aerospace Industries to lease unmanned aerial vehicles.

Tel Aviv has been criticised for selling weaponry to governments with poor human rights records, most recently Myanmar, which has reportedly bought Israeli military equipment as it conducts an operation against the Rohingya minority. The Myanmar government’s assault against Rohingya communities has been widely described as ethnic cleansing.

Israeli company Global Group also sold surveillance drones to the beleaguered and cash-strapped government of South Sudan for millions of dollars in December.

The South Sudanese government’s forces have been accused by the UN of serious human rights abuses since its civil war broke out in 2013.

The Israeli military’s use of drones to drop gas in Gaza and the West Bank suggests that the models sold to South Sudan could equally be adapted to release tear gas or other payloads.

“Larger commercial drones … are designed to carry a range of payloads (large cameras for sports events, crop-spraying attachments), so are designed to operate payload functions remotely. This would be very easy to configure,” Bevan said.

(Source / 17.05.2018)

Zo start je het vasten!

arabian dried fruit silver

Vandaag, 17 mei, is de eerste dag van de gezegende maand Ramadan. Dit houdt in dat de intentie voor het vasten van Ramadan vóór aanvang van fajr (ochtendgebed) moet zijn genomen, vanwege de volgende overlevering:

Wie geen intentie voor het vasten heeft vóór fajr, zijn vasten is niet correct. [Bayhaqi]

Het nemen van de intentie is geen ingewikkelde handeling. De intentie houdt in dat jij vastberaden bent om de volgende dag te vasten. En dat ben je. Want wanneer iemand jou zou vragen of je morgen vast, dan zou je direct antwoorden: ‘natuurlijk!’ Dit duidt erop dat jouw intentie gewoon aanwezig is.

Moet deze intentie dagelijks voor iedere dag afzonderlijk worden genomen of volstaat de intentie, om de hele maand te vasten, aan het begin van de maand?

De geleerden verschillen hierover in mening, o.a. de grote geleerde shaych al-‘Uthaimeen moge Allah hem genadig zijn, neigt naar de mening dat de intentie aan het begin van de maand volstaat. Wellicht dat deze de sterkste mening is.

Wel moet daarbij in acht worden genomen dat degene die het vasten heeft verbroken, vanwege bijvoorbeeld ziekte, reis of menstruatie, zijn intentie moet vernieuwen indien hij of zij de volgende dag weer van plan is om te vasten.

De sahoer
Het valt onder de manieren van het vasten om de vastende dag met sahoer (ochtendmaaltijd) te starten. Dit was de gewoonte van onze nobele profeet vrede zij met hem en zijn metgezellen. De profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

“Nuttig de sahoer, want de sahoer is gezegend.” [Bukhari]

En hij zei:

“Nuttig de sahoer, ook al is het slechts een beetje water.” [ibn Hibbaan]

De profeet heeft in een overlevering het eten van dadels als sahoer geprezen, het is daarom aanbevolen om ook dadels te nuttigen met de sahoer.

Degene die de sahoer nuttigt, dient dit te doen met de intentie van het navolgen van de sunnah van de profeet vrede zij met hem, zodat dit een aanbidding is en hij hiervoor wordt beloond.

De sunnah van sahoer is om deze uit te stellen tot aan het einde van de nacht, vlak vóór fajr aanbreekt. Dus als je bijvoorbeeld aan een kwartier genoeg hebt voor de sahoer, nuttig je deze een kwartier vóór fajr.

Van de voordelen van het nuttigen van sahoer kort vóór fajr, is dat je het fajrgebed tijdig verricht, vóór zonsopgang. Beter kan je de dag niet beginnen!

Ook is de tijd van sahoer een gezegende tijd voor smeekbede en het vragen van vergiffenis. Allah heeft zijn vrome dienaren geprezen in de Koran voor het feit dat zij Hem op dat tijdstip vergiffenis vragen. Allah zegt:

“En in de ashaar (tijd vóór fajr) vragen zij om vergiffenis.” [51:18]

Het kwartier of langer voor tijd stoppen met eten, ook wel aangeduid op sommige gebedskalenders met imsak, wordt door de geleerden als een innovatie (bid’ah) beschouwd en als overdrijven in het geloof. Je mag eten totdat fajr aanbreekt.

Beste broeders en zusters

Weet dat het bereiken van deze gezegende maand op zich een grote gunst is. Hoeveel van onze jonge broeders en zusters dachten er deze maand gewoon bij te zullen zijn, maar is de dood tussenbeide gekomen? Hoeveel van onze broeders en zusters genoten tot voor kort nog van een goede gezondheid totdat zij plotseling met een ziekte zijn getroffen? Maak gebruik van jouw leven en goede gezondheid door altijd bezig te zijn met datgene waar Allah van houdt en tevreden mee is.

Beste broeders en zusters

Allah zegt:

“O jullie die geloven, het vasten is jullie verplicht gesteld zoals het ook degenen vóór jullie verplicht is gesteld opdat jullie Allah zullen vrezen. (het vasten is slechts) Een beperkt aantal dagen.” [2:184]

We vasten een maand, maar in werkelijkheid zijn het slechts een beperkt aantal dagen, voor je het weet is deze mooie maand weer voorbij!

Moge Allah de meest Verhevene ons helpen bij het nuttig besteden van deze gezegende maand en ons vergeven voor onze tekortkomingen.

(Source: / 17.05.2018)

Rights Organizations Urge Israel to Stop Killing Palestinian Civilians

Hundreds marched in the funeral of eight-month-old Leila al-Ghandour, whose body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag

Around 17 human rights and civil society organizations operating in Israel and the Palestinian territories have sent a joint letter to the Israeli government demanding it to stop killing civilians and embarking on a fair and real peace process.

In their statement, the organizations said that there could absolutely be no military solution to the conflict, noting that despite the high number of injuries, there was no Jew among the wounded in border protests.

Since March 30, Israel has been responding with lethal force to protests taking place on the Palestinian side of the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. The confrontations have left more than 100 people dead and 10,000 injured, including children and women. Therefore, the organizations urged Israel to immediately refrain from the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians.

“The Israeli government has described the events as an assault on Israel’s sovereignty, while failing to address the reality that has led to the mass protest – 50 years of occupation and over 10 years of blockade. Daily life for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip is unbearable: Basic infrastructure is in ruins, the economy is stunted, unemployment has reached an all-time high, and health services are in danger of collapse. For years, residents of Gaza have lived on the verge of a humanitarian crisis,” the letter said.

“Children in Gaza, who make up the majority of the population, are still struggling with the trauma of previous rounds of violence and war, terrified of another attack and more death and destruction. Time and again reality demonstrates that there is no military solution to the conflict between Israel and Gaza. Instead, Israel must stop the shooting and killing and immediately lift the closure, thereby safeguarding the lives and human rights of the people of Gaza and the region as a whole,” it added.

The letter was signed by Amnesty International, Gisha, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights, the Coalition of Women for Peace and others.

(Source / 17.05.2018)