Palestinians protest during the Great March of Return near the Gaza fence on 10 May 2019
The Israeli military has instructed its forces stationed by the occupied Gaza Strip to act with greater “restraint” for the duration of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, reported Haaretz.
According to the paper, the army “instructed its commanders to use their better judgement, and every response to fire – with the exception of mortal danger – requires the approval of senior officers in the Southern Command.”
One Israeli news site reported the instructions as a tightening of the open fire regulations.
The Haaretz report also noted that “the military understands that the last round of fighting began after the Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas post”, killing Al-Qassam Brigades members, “an incident that Hamas could not overlook”, stated Haaretz.
Israeli settlement units in Jerusalem on 25 October 2017
Israel’s Local Planning and Building Committee of the Jerusalem Municipality has approved two new construction plans in the occupied city which include 940 housing units, media sources revealed today.
Channel 7 reported that a new settlement complex will be built on the northern side of the illegal East Jerusalem settlement of Givat Ma’shava, which includes 706 units, including public buildings, commercial buildings and markets and open areas for settlers.
A further 235 units will be built in four new residential buildings which will be located in the Nabi Yaqoub settlement to the north of Jerusalem. The new structure will be 13, 14 and 15 floors high.
All settlement activity is deemed illegal under international law.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu waged short brutal offensive on Gaza and said his campaign against Palestinians did not stop. This is not the truth, the truth is that he is weak, his army is afraid.
Former head of the Israeli National Security Council Yaakov Amidror was asked by Army Radio today whether the Gaza “problem” has a solution? He referred to the rule of Hamas then answered: “No, there is no way to get Hamas out of Gaza without completely defeating it.” But he did not mention anything about his country’s prime minister and defence minister who is not ready for such a mission.
This came about one week after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waged a brutal offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip that lasted only two days and whose stated goal was to deter the Palestinian resistance. Netanyahu did not only get the support of the centre and left during his attack, but he also received the “100 per cent support” of the strongest country in the world.
“Once again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” the American President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter, justifying the Israeli offensive by describing it as defence against attack rockets of another state equal with army and power. “We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens,” he added.
Palestinians and Israelis have different views regarding how quickly Netanyahu’s offensive on the coastal enclave came to an end.
For the Palestinians, the continued bombing of Gaza would lead to international pressure on Netanyahu as a result of the civilian deaths wish would result from the bombing. “If he continued his attacks, he would commit more crimes among civilians and this might arouse an international outcry against him,” Waleed Al-Agha, a specialist in Israeli affairs told MEMO.
He also said that Netanyahu is afraid that he might not make real achievements if he continued his offensive and this would undermine his position as a faction leader who is designated to form a government.
“Netanyahu holds the defence ministry and if he lost or at least achieved nothing from such an offensive, he might lose the opportunity to form the government,” Al-Agha said.
Wisam Afifa, editor of the Gaza-based Al-Resalah newspaper, said that Netanyahu might have been busy with “something bigger, which is Iran and its proxy army – Hezbollah.”
While, Mohammad Mardawi said that Netanyahu was shocked with the “qualitative” abilities of the Palestinian resistance and confirmed that this might have been the reason why Netanyahu ended the offensive as quickly as possible.
However, the Israeli critic Jonathan Tobin of the Jewish News Syndicate claimed that Netanyahu was trying to save Gaza from the “Islamist tyranny”, and this is not his job. So, he fails to carry out the mission from time to time and “allows Hamas to periodically terrorize much of the population of Israel without doing anything to put an end to the problem.”
Israeli Professor Yoram Yuval wrote in Ynet News that Netanyahu is a weak prime minister as he is working hard to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank in order to “continue claiming that there is no one on the Palestinian side to talk to, thereby avoiding any peace arrangement that would require the return of territories and the evacuation of settlements.”
“After we allowed Hamas to grow and entrench itself for more than a decade, the cost of ousting it from the Gaza Strip once and for all could be hundreds of dead soldiers.”
But it seems the real reason for Netanyahu’s retreat in Gaza is the reluctance of the Israeli army to enter the coastal enclave. “What do you want from me?” Yuval reported Netanyahu saying. “The army is reluctant to enter into a ground battle, and they tell me to improve the conditions in Gaza so that the Gazans have something to lose, and that’s what I do.”
The New Yorker’s Bernard Avishay wrote that managing “periodic outbreaks of violence” is the best choice for Netanyahu to deal with such an enemy like Hamas in Gaza. “Netanyahu evidently wants observers to believe that, given such an enemy, his government has no choice but to manage periodic outbreaks of violence—to ‘mow the grass,’ as the common military metaphor has it.”
“But he is also seeding the grass—spreading resentment from which Hamas’s support grows,” he warned.
Dr. Ola Awad, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), via figures, historical and current data, reviewed the geographical, demographical and economic situation of the Palestinian People on the eve of the 71th Commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba, which occur takes place on May, 15th; and those figures and data run as the following:
The Nakba: Ethnic cleansing, displacement of Palestinians and settler colonializm
Nakba in Palestine describes a process of ethnic cleansing in which an unarmed nation was destroyed and its population displaced systematically by gangs and individuals from all over the world. The Nakba resulted in the displacement of 800 thousand out of the 1.4 million Palestinians who lived in historical Palestine in 1948 in 1,300 villages and towns. The majority of the displaced Palestinians ended up in neighboring Arab countries and in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and other countries in the world. Furthermore, thousands of Palestinians – who stayed in the area controlled by the Israeli occupation in 1948 – were driven out of their homes and lands, which were seized by the occupation.
According to documentary evidence, the Israelis controlled 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages during the Nakba. The atrocities of Zionist forces also included more than 70 massacres in which more than 15 thousand Palestinians were martyred.
The Demographic Reality: Palestinian population has doubled nine times since the Nakba 1948
The population of Palestine in 1914 was around 690 thousands of whom only 8% were Jewish. In 1948, the number of Palestinians in Palestine exceeded 2 million, 31.5% of them were Jews, while the number of Jews doubled more than six times during this period. Between 1932 and 1939, the largest number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine reached 225 thousand Jews. Between 1940 and 1947, more than 93 thousand Jews poured into Palestine. Palestine received around 318 thousand Jews Between 1932 and 1947 and 540 thousand from 1948 to 1975.
Despite the displacement of more than 800 thousand Palestinians in 1948, and the displacement of more than 200 thousand Palestinians (majority of them to Jordan) after the 1967 war, the Palestinian world population totaled 13.1 million by the end of 2018, which means that the number of Palestinians in the world has doubled more than 9 times since the events of the Nakba of 1948, more than half of them live in historic Palestine by the end of 2018 where their number reached 6.48 million, (1.57 million in the occupied territories in 1948), population estimates indicate that the number of population end of 2018 in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, was 2.95 million, and around 1.96 million in Gaza Strip, and with regard to the population of Jerusalem Governorate, it was about 447 thousand people of which approximately 65% (about 281 thousand people) live in those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli occupation in 1967 (J1), the data show that Palestinians represent 49% of the population living in historic Palestine, while Jews constitute 51% at the end of 2018. The Israeli occupation continues its control over 85% of the area of historical Palestine, which amounts to 27 thousand square kilometer (km2), while the remaining areas continue to endure further attempts of usurpation and control. It should be noted that Jewish under the British Mandate used only 1,682 km2 of historic land of Palestine which represents 6.2%.
Palestinian Refugees Status
Records of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) reported on 1st January 2018 that the total number of Palestinian refugees was 6.02 million, 28.4% of whom live in 58 camps (10 in Jordan, 9 in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank and 8 in Gaza Strip). Estimates, however, indicate that this is the minimum number of refugees since many of them are not registered. This number does not include the Palestinians displaced in the period from 1949 till the six-day war in June 1967. The UNRWA definition of refugees does not cover the Palestinians who migrated or who were displaced after 1967 because of the war and who were not registered refugees. On the other hand, the Population, Housing and Establishments Census 2017 showed that refugees represented 43% of the population of the State of Palestine.
Population Density: Gaza Strip has one of the highest population densities in the world
The population density in State of Palestine at the end of 2018 was 816 individuals per square kilometer (km2): 522 individuals/km2 in the West Bank and 5,375 individuals/km2 in Gaza Strip, noting that 66% of the total population of Gaza Strip are refugees. The flux of refugees turned Gaza Strip into one of the highest population densities in the world. Despite the small area of Gaza Strip, the Israeli occupation set up a buffer zone over more than 1,500 meter along the Eastern border of Gaza Strip. Consequently, the Israeli occupation controls about 24% of the total area of Gaza Strip (365 km2).
Continuous Siege on Gaza Strip
The continuous Siege on Gaza Strip, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, led to a sharp rise in unemployment in Gaza Strip, where the unemployment rate reached 52%, around 72% of youth aged 15-24 years are unemployed. The siege also shakes the economy of Gaza Strip and turns over half of its population into poor 53%, and 11% of households use an improved drinking water source in Gaza Strip due to the deterioration in the quality of water extracted from the coastal basin.
More than 100 Thousand Martyrs since the Nakba 1948
The number of Palestinian and Arab martyrs since the Nakba in 1948 up to the present day (inside and outside Palestine) has reached about 100,000 martyrs . The number of martyrs killed between September 29th, 2000 and May 7th, 2019 was 10,853. The bloodiest year was 2014 with 2,240 Palestinian martyrs, of whom 2,181 were from Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinian martyrs reached 312 persons during the year 2018, out of them 57 children and 3 women. The Israeli occupation also detained the bodies of 15 martyrs.
Around 17 Thousand Wounded since the Start of the Marches of Return
The number of wounded Palestinians during the year 2018 reached about 29,600 persons, while data from the Ministry of Health indicated that the number of wounded in Gaza Strip has reached 16,800 since the beginning of the marches of return on the occasion of Land Day on March 30 2018. It is noteworthy that 136 citizens were amputated as a result of the Israeli occupation forces aggression against the Palestinians in the march of return and breaking the siege East of Gaza Strip, while the number of martyrs 272 citizens, among the martyrs 54 children and 6 women and elderly, and confirmed the martyrdom of 4 paramedics and 3 journalists.
About 1 Million detentions since 1967
The Israeli occupation arrested around 5,700 Palestinians, end of March 2019, of them 250 were children, 47 were women. Since the beginning of 2018, the Israeli occupation has arrested 6,500 Palestinians (including 1,063 Children and 140 women). In addition, the Israeli occupation imposed house arrest on 300 children in Jerusalem since October 2015. Around 36 children are still under house arrest. Most of those children have been arrested after the end of the period of a house arrest, which ranged from six months to one year.
Israeli Occupation: Continuous Expansion of Settlements
There were 435 Israeli occupation settlements and military bases in the West Bank (including 150 settlements and 116 outposts) by the end of 2017. Data indicated that the total number of settlers in the West Bank was 653,621 by the end of 2017, 306,529 (47%), of them lived in Jerusalem Governorate, including 225,335 of them lived in Jerusalem J1 . In demographic terms, the proportion of settlers to the Palestinian population in the West Bank is around 23 settlers per 100 Palestinians compared with 70 settlers per 100 Palestinians in Jerusalem Governorate.
The Expansion and Annexation Wall isolates more than 12% of the West Bank area, this imposed restrictions on 1.9 million people living in areas close to the wall and / or settlements, around 400 thousand people live in Area “C”. In addition to the expansion and annexation wall that surrounds the city of Jerusalem with the length of 93 km isolating about 84 km2 of the area of Jerusalem Governorate, while the incomplete part of the wall which is about 46 km will isolate about 68 km2 of the area of Jerusalem Governorate.
The Jurisdiction Area of the Israeli occupation settlements in the West Bank reached 541.5 km2 as at end of year 2018, representing about 10% of the West Bank, while the confiscated areas for the purposes of military bases and military training are about 18% of the West Bank, which deprives the Palestinian farmers and herders of access to their farms and pastures. The Israeli occupation places all obstacles to tightening the siege and restricting the urban expansion of the Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem and Area (C), in the West Bank, which are still under full Israeli occupation control.
Theft of Agricultural Land
The total area of land classified as high or medium agricultural value in the West Bank is 2,072 thousand dunums, constituting about 37% of the West Bank. The Palestinians use only 931.5 thousand dunums which constitute about 17% of the West Bank area.
The reason for the non-exploitation of agricultural land in the West Bank is the fact that Area (C) constitutes about 60% of the area of the West Bank, which is still under full Israeli occupation control that deprived many farmers from accessing their land and cultivation or taking care of cultivated areas which led to the destruction of most of the crops in those areas, in addition to bulldozing and uprooting 7,122 trees during 2018 by the Israeli occupation forces, bringing the number of trees uprooted more than one million trees since 2000 until the end of 2018. Thousands of dunums were confiscated by settlers, to be cultivated, where the area planted in the Israeli settlements in the year 2018 reached about 110 thousand dunums, the majority were of irrigated agriculture.
Continuous Confiscation of Land
The Israeli occupation used the land classification according to the Oslo Agreement (A, B, C) to tighten control of the Palestinian land, especially in areas classified as (C) with an area of 3,375 thousand dunums. About 2,642 thousand dunums, constituting 76% of the total area classified (C) is exploited by the Israeli occupation directly. The area classified (A) is about one million dunums, and the area classified (B) is 1,035 thousand dunums, and the area classified “Others” is 250 thousand dunums includes (Natural Reserves, and J1 in East Jerusalem, and H2 in Hebron, and unclassified areas). In 2018, the Israeli occupation confiscated 508 dunums of the Palestinian land, in addition to confiscating hundreds of dunums of the Palestinians through the expansion of Israeli checkpoints and establishments of military checkpoints to protect the settlers.
Jerusalem: Intensive and Systematic Judaization
At the time that the Israeli occupation forces demolish Palestinian buildings, and put obstacles and impediments to the issuance of building permits, the Israeli occupation issued deportation orders for 12 Bedouin communities in East Jerusalem, comprising about 1,400 people, in the effort to Judaize the city of Jerusalem. During the year 2018, the Israeli occupation approved the building permits for 5,820 settlement units. The Israeli occupation demolished 215 buildings in Jerusalem Governorate, leading to the forced displacement of 217 people, including 110 children.
The violations of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians continue, in terms of demolishing buildings (housing units and establishments) and forced displacement of residents. Israeli occupation demolished 471 buildings in 2018 (houses and establishments), of which about 46% were in the city of Jerusalem with 215 demolitions. The demolished buildings were divided into 157 residential buildings and 314 establishments. In the year 2018, the Israeli occupation issued orders to demolish 546 buildings in the West Bank and Jerusalem, at a time when the needs of housing units for Palestinians increase. In figures and according to the data of the Housing Conditions Survey 2015, about 61% of households in Palestine need to build new housing units over the next decade.
A Bitter Reality for Water in Palestine, 22% of Available Water in Palestine Purchased from Israeli Water Company “Mekorot” The Israeli measures contribute to limiting the ability of the Palestinians to exploit their natural resources, especially water, and to forcing them to compensate for the shortage of water through purchasing the needed amount from the Israeli water company “Mekorot”. The quantity of water purchased for domestic use reached 83 million cubic meters (MCM) in 2017, which constitutes 22% amounting to 375 (MCM), in addition to 23.5 (MCM) of water flowing from Palestinian springs, 264.5 (MCM) flowing from underground wells, and 4.0 (MCM) of desalinated drinking water.
77% of Available Water is from Surface and Ground Water
Data showed that the percentage of the exploitation of surface and ground water from available water in the year 2017 was high, with an average of 77%. It should be noted that the Palestinians have been denied access to extraction from the Jordan River since 1967, which was estimated about 250 million cubic meters (MCM). On the other hand, the quantity of Water Pumped from Palestinian Wells in the West Bank in 2017 was 86 MCM from Eastern aquifer, Western aquifer and North-Eastern aquifer.
The amount of water extracted from the coastal aquifer for domestic use was 178.7 (MCM) in Gaza Strip in 2017, but this quantity is obtained via unsafe pumping that jeopardizes sustainability of the source knowing that the basin sustainable yield should not exceed 50-60 MCM a year. More than 97% of the water pumped from the coastal aquifer in Gaza Strip does not meet the water quality standards of the World Health Organization, this leads to the depletion of groundwater reserves, where the groundwater level in the coastal aquifer reached 19 meters below sea level.
Sources: 1. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics 2018: Israeli settlements in the West Bank, 2017. Ramallah- Palestine 2. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2019. Revised estimates based on the final results of Population, Housing and Establishments Census 2017. Ramallah-Palestine. 3. Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel. Jerusalem, 2018. 4. Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission 2019: Summary of the most Important Violations in Palestine, 2018. Ramallah- Palestine 5. Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs, Annual Report, 2018. 6. Abdullah Al-Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation, Israeli violations 2018, Ramallah- 2019. 7. National Gathering of Martyrs’ Families, Database of Martyrs Families, 2019, unpublished data.
Wanneer we het woordje kracht horen, moeten we gelijk denken aan gebalde vuisten en ander machtsvertoon. We denken dan met name aan uiterlijke kracht.
Terwijl er een andere soort kracht is, die veel belangrijker is dan deze uiterlijke kracht. Zoals de volgende bekende hadieth daar naar verwijst:
“De krachtige is niet degene die goed is in worstelen, maar degene die zich kan inhouden bij woede.” [Hadieth in Bukhari]
Deze hadieth corrigeert een misvatting, en die is dat uiterlijke kracht duidt op sterkte. Terwijl juist het innerlijke van een persoon duidt op ware kracht.
In dit bericht willen we stilstaan bij deze innerlijke kracht. En dan met name bij het gebruiken van deze kracht om sommige van onze slechte eigenschappen te veranderen.
Persoonlijkheid Ieder van ons heeft zo zijn eigen persoonlijkheid, bestaande uit karaktereigenschappen en gewoontes. Wij hebben allemaal bepaalde eigenschappen die ons kenmerken. Velen van deze eigenschappen zijn goed, maar sommigen ook weer niet.
Niemand zal beweren dat al zijn eigenschappen goed zijn, gebrekkig als we als mens nou eenmaal zijn. Maar wat nu eigenlijk onze kernvraag is: zijn we in staat om wat van onze slechte eigenschappen te veranderen?
Veranderen van gedragingen en gewoontes is niet makkelijk, zeker als het iets is wat je al jaren gewend bent te doen en onderdeel van je persoonlijkheid is geworden. Maar toch is het mogelijk.
Eigenlijk is iedere moslim die de islam praktiseert zoals het hoort, continu in verandering. Iedere keer weer wanneer hij iets nieuws leert, past hij dit toe. Iedere keer wanneer hij leert dat een bepaalde eigenschap niet geliefd is bij zijn Schepper, streeft hij naar verandering.
Dan is de vraag die zich dan vanzelf voordoet: hoe bewerkstellig je een verandering in jouw persoonlijkheid en gedrag?
De volgende hadieth instrueert ons hoe we zo’n verandering in ons karakter en gedragingen teweeg kunnen brengen, de profeet vrede zij met hem zegt (betekenis):
“Zachtmoedigheid bereik je slechts door zachtmoedigheid te oefenen” [Hadith in Daaraqotni]
In deze hadieth leert de profeet ons om de vrome eigenschap van zachtmoedigheid en vergevensgezindheid onszelf eigen te maken door het te oefenen en onszelf daartoe te dwingen.
Aan de hand van het volgende voorbeeld zullen we proberen te verduidelijken hoe we dit gouden advies van onze profeet vrede zij met hem in de praktijk kunnen brengen.
Een persoon kan van nature snel boos worden en geneigd zijn dat ook te laten zien. Doordat hij dan probeert niet snel boos te worden en zich inhoudt wanneer zich een situatie voordoet waarin hij geheid boos zou zijn geworden, en dit keer op keer probeert te herhalen, zal het resultaat naar verloop van tijd zijn dat deze persoon niet meer zo gauw boos te krijgen is.
Zelfs zo dat een onbekende van deze persoon zal denken dat hij altijd al rustig en zachtmoedig is geweest.
De ‘truc’ is eigenlijk dat je bepaalde mooie eigenschappen die je niet bezit, jezelf eigen maakt door ze aan te leren. Tot op een gegeven moment deze aangeleerde eigenschappen zo gemakkelijk gaan alsof ze aangeboren zijn.
Thuis Een terrein waar het toepassen van deze kracht onmisbaar is, is thuis. En dan met name als het gaat om de omgang en relatie tussen man en vrouw.
Het leven onder één dak en het doorbrengen van veel tijd samen kan ongetwijfeld leiden tot wrijvingen en irritaties. Irritaties die weer vaak leiden tot ruzies en het leven thuis behoorlijk onaangenaam kunnen maken.
Om een voorbeeld te noemen van een veelvoorkomende eigenschap die ongetwijfeld voor veel irritatie kan zorgen in huis: kritiek en commentaar leveren op de kleinste zaken. De ander lijkt niks goed te kunnen doen. Wanneer deze eigenschap thuis aanwezig is en tot de nodige irritaties leidt, dient er gewerkt te worden aan het veranderen van deze eigenschap.
Dit kan op dezelfde eerder geschetste manier en advies van onze profeet vrede zij met hem. Door te proberen niet overal wat van te zeggen, en wanneer zich dan een situatie voordoet waarin je ongetwijfeld kritiek zou hebben geuit, hou je je in. En de volgende keer weer, tot aan het moment dat het zonder moeite gaat. Met als resultaat dat je zult zien dat het leven een stuk soepeler verloopt.
Een ander voorbeeld van een eigenschap die buitenshuis, maar zeker ook binnenshuis, kan zorgen voor veel irritaties is koppigheid. Jouw mening is altijd de juiste zonder ook maar in acht te nemen dat de ander het bij het juiste eind zou kunnen hebben. Imam as-Shaafi’i zei in een wijze uitspraak:
“Mijn mening is (in mijn ogen) juist maar zou ook onjuist kunnen zijn, en de mening van iemand anders is (in mijn ogen) onjuist maar zou ook juist kunnen zijn.”
Ook deze eigenschap is weer op dezelfde manier te veranderen; proberen meegaand te zijn.
Gedachten Een algemeen gegeven is dat onze handelingen gekoppeld zijn aan onze gedachtes. Als we niet in staat zijn om bepaalde kernovertuigingen te veranderen, zal er aan ons gedrag ook niets veranderen.
Degene die gierigheid goedpraat door het te zien als ‘economisch ingesteld zijn’ zal geen moeite doen om te veranderen. Degene die het wraak nemen op iedereen die hem wat heeft aangedaan ziet als kracht, zal nooit leren vergeven. Degene die de ander gelijk geven als zwakte ziet, zal nooit van zijn koppigheid afkomen etc.
Het kan geen kwaad om bepaalde kernovertuigingen die we als eeuwige waarheid zien, te toetsen met de werkelijkheid en uiteraard met onze islamitische richtlijnen.
Spiegel De meeste van onze slechte eigenschappen hebben we vaak niet eens door, het zijn meer de mensen om ons heen die deze opmerken. De profeet vrede zij met hem zegt:
“De gelovige is (als) een spiegel voor de gelovige.” [Hadith in Abu Dawood]
De gelovige is voor zijn broeder als een spiegel die hem wordt voorgehouden, waarin hij zijn tekortkomingen ziet. Hij attendeert zijn broeder (op een wijze manier) op zijn tekortkomingen, omdat hij het goede voor hem wenst. Zelfs zo dat meerdere van onze vrome voorgangers gewoon waren te zeggen:
“Moge Allah degene die mij wijst op mijn tekortkomingen barmhartig zijn.”
Het is dan aan de gelovige om nederig te zijn en te kijken of de geleverde kritiek waar zou kunnen zijn, zonder deze gelijk uit hoogmoed te verwerpen.
Kanttekening Een belangrijke kanttekening is dat geen enkele verandering teweeg kan worden gebracht alleen met de wil en hulp van Allah de meest Verhevene. De gelovige is zich daar van bewust en zoekt zijn toevlucht daarom ook bij Allah en vraagt Hem om hulp. Dagelijks reciteren we hoofdstuk al-faitha in onze gebeden, en in het vierde vers zeggen wij:
“Alleen U aanbidden wij en alleen U vragen wij om hulp.”
En in de bekende smeekbede zeggen wij:
لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ
(Laa hawla wa laa qoewwata illa billaah)
Deze smeekbede betekent dat we geen macht noch kracht hebben om te veranderen van situatie naar situatie alleen met Allah’s wil en hulp.
Onze profeet was gewoon om soms het gebed te beginnen met een du’a waarin hij o.a. zei:
“Leid mij naar de beste manieren, niemand leidt naar de beste manieren behalve U. En behoed mij van de slechte manieren, niemand behoedt van de slechte manieren behalve U.” [Hadith in Sahih Muslim]
De moslim vraagt Allah om hem te helpen zijn slechte manieren en gedragingen te veranderen naar betere. En tegelijkertijd onderneemt hij zelf actie, zoals Allah zegt:
“Voorwaar, Allah verandert de toestand van een volk niet totdat zij hun eigen toestand veranderen.” [13:11]
Uit dit vers maken we op dat het begin bij de dienaar zelf hoort te zijn.
Beste broeders en zusters
Iedereen is in staat om te veranderen. Het enige wat het vereist is wilskracht. Als jij jezelf deze kracht kan aanleren, daarbij jouw hulp bij Allah zoekende, zul je zien hoeveel voordelen het met zich meebrengt. Op het gebied van jouw band met Allah én jouw band met de mensen. En zelfs op het gebied van jouw gezondheid, door bijvoorbeeld ongezond gedrag en eetgewoontes om te zetten naar gezonde.
Als je aan de andere kant jezelf overgeeft aan jouw ziel en haar lusten en je vasthoudt aan slechte gewoontes en gedragingen, zonder bereid te zijn deze te veranderen, zul je zien dat je altijd in dezelfde negatieve cirkel zult blijven.
Ben je in staat om je slechte gedragingen om te zetten naar goede gedragingen, weet dan dat je beschikt over ware kracht. Ook al zie je er lichamelijk misschien zwak uit.
Ben je niet in staat om te veranderen naar het betere, en blijf je jaren hangen in dezelfde slechte gewoontes en verwaarlozing van jouw band met Allah, weet dan dat je ware kracht mist. Het is dan hoog tijd om op zoek te gaan naar deze ware kracht …
The National and Islamic Forces, the supreme coordinating body of the major Palestinian factions, has called for widespread participation in demonstrations in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Palestinian exodus, the Nakba of 1948.
In a communique, the Forces called for a major rally in Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank on May 15 to show anger over the racist and discriminatory policies of the occupation, as well as to express outrage over what has become known as the deal of the century.
It also called for mass protests at Israeli checkpoints across the occupied West Bank on May 17 to advocate for the same cause.
The communique called for the implementation of the decisions of the Palestinian National Council and the PLO Central Council, which call for a complete political, economic and security disengagement from Israel.
For over seven decades now, Palestinians have commemorated the Nakba, or Catastrophe, when Jewish militias ethnically cleansed more than 700,000 Palestinians and destroyed more than 500 villages.
The Nakba commemoration this year mark 71 years of dispossession of the refugees – now numbering in the millions – who are still waiting for their right of return.
Several Palestinian organizations, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, denounced Israeli court’s exoneration of a member of an extremist Jewish settler suspected of committing the murder of three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family, in 2015.
The July 31, 2015 firebomb attack of the Dawabsha home in the occupied West Bank village of Douma, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child and his parents in the fire, who were all burnt to death, while the older son survived the attack, suffering from severe burns.
Wafa News Agency reported that in a plea bargain, the murder charges were dropped against the murder suspect, when he claimed that he was a minor at the time of the attack.
The Ministry asserted that the court was complicit in the cover up for the murderers, calling it a crime in itself, and proclaimed that this “encourages other colonists to carry on murdering innocent Palestinians.”
Calling on the International Criminal Court, the Foreign Ministry demanded an immediate investigation into Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians, claiming the Israeli judicial system has failed to provide justice for Palestinians under occupation, and is only used against them.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Prisoners Commission and the Palestinian Prisoner Society, all strongly denounced the exoneration.
One of the top leaders in the Palestinian government, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, has had her visa rejected by the U.S. government with no reason given for the denial.
Ashrawi has long been considered a moderate, tempered voice among the Palestinian leadership who is seen as both uncorruptible and steadfast in her support for Palestinian basic rights. In February of this year, in response to the death of an ill Palestinian prisoner in Israeli prison, Ashrawi stated, “Israel is a serial violator of human rights and its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the systematic use of torture and other inhumane treatment as well as medical negligence. It is high time for Israel’s brutality against Palestinian prisoners, illegally imprisoned inside Israeli territory, to be thoroughly and independently investigated.”
In response to the rejection of her visa, Ashrawi released a series of tweets that read as follows:
1/It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given. Choose any of the following: I’m over 70 & a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance;
2/I’ve always struggled for human rights and against corruption; I’m basically an academic although I was elected to the PLC & PNC & the PLO Executive Committee; I studied for my Ph.D. in the US; I’ve been a frequent visitor there since then;
3/I’ve met (& even negotiated with) every Sec. of State since Shultz, & every President since George H. W. Bush (present administration excluded); I’ve been a vocal critic of this administration & its underlings; I believe in freedom of speech; I’ve always been searingly honest;
4/I despise hypocrisy, misogyny, absolutist fundamentalism, populism, racism of all kinds, exclusivity, arrogance & condescension, power politics & militarism, cruelty in any form, & any sense of entitlement & exceptionalism;
5/Most of all, I have no tolerance for the Israeli occupation in all its manifestations as a most pervasive form of oppression, dispossession & denial; I have no respect for the enablers of this inhuman condition nor for its apologists;
6/I have a tremendous sense of love & protectiveness for the people of Palestine wherever they may be & am constantly humbled by their resilience & persistence in spite of all their pain; I also identify & stand in solidarity with all those who are suffering any injustice.
7/I’m guilty of all of the above, & as such this administration has decided I do not deserve to set foot in the US. I just hope someone can explain this to my grandchildren & all the rest of my family there.
The rejection of Ashrawi’s visa comes a month after the U.S. State Department decided to deny a visa to Omar Barghouthi, known as a leader within the Palestinian campaign known as ‘Boycott-Divest-Sanctions (BDS) urging international pressure on Israel to get that country’s government to adhere to international law and respect the rights of Palestinians.
Although the U.S. State Department has said that it does not deny visas based solely on political views, critics say that it is clear that those are indeed the grounds for these visa denials. Both Barghouthi and Ashrawi have traveled to the U.S. many times before. Ashrawi spent several years as a doctoral student earning her PhD in the U.S., and has children and grandchildren who are U.S. citizens living in the U.S.
Both Barghouthi and Ashrawi received numerous visas to travel and speak in the U.S., through both Republican and Democratic administrations, and have never had visa applications rejected until the current Trump administration. Since nothing has changed in the situation of either one, international analysts say that it is clear that these rejections are based on political beliefs.
According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, a State Department official told their reporter, “Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases”, but added that U.S. law “does not authorize the refusal of visas based solely on political statements or views if those statements or views would be lawful in the United States.”
Ashrawi had a back-and-forth on Twitter with Jason Greenblatt, Donald Trump’s advisor on Israel. In response to a tweet by Ashrawi in February criticizing U.S. policy toward the Palestinian people, Greenblatt responded on Twitter that Ashrawi would be welcome to come and talk to him at the White House.
But now, Ashrawi will not be allowed that chance, due to the U.S. State Department denying her visa with no reason provided.
Greenblatt spoke several days ago at the United Nations, rejecting calls for Palestinian equal rights and instead saying that the ‘peace plan’ that he and Jared Kushner have been drafting in secret will be rolled out within the next two weeks.
He stated that Israel’s security was of the utmost importance to the U.S., did not mention anything about Palestinians having rights, and stated that “I’m not a believer in boycotts but in engagement” – a reference to the worldwide movement to boycott Israeli products and businesses to try to pressure Israel to adhere to international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Setting foreign policy via social media has never been a practice of the U.S. or any government prior to the current U.S. administration, but it has become commonplace in the Trump administration, as Donald Trump and his advisors continually roll out new, often contradictory, policies via Twitter on a nearly daily basis.
On Monday, several Israeli military vehicles, including armored bulldozers, invaded Palestinian agricultural lands in the northern and central parts of the besieged Gaza Strip, and bulldozed some sections while firing live rounds.
Media sources said the soldiers advanced dozens of meters into farmlands in the eastern area of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, and bulldozed sections near the perimeter fence.
They added that the soldiers also invaded Palestinian lands east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, and bulldozed lands near the fence.
In the two invasions, the soldiers fired sporadic rounds of live ammunition, and used smoke bombs before withdrawing.
The Israeli authorities have approved the paving of two new roads to link with illegal isolated colonies, built on private Palestinian lands in the southern and northern parts of the occupied West Bank.
Israeli daily Haaretz said the approval was for two major road in the occupied West Bank, and added that it sets the ground for the annexation of large areas of Palestinian lands.
It stated that the “Civil Administration Office” has issued permits for paving the roads to the isolated colonies, and that the work is scheduled to begin this July.
Israeli Peace Now Movement said the “Subcommittee on Roadways of the Israeli Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee has approved on May 1st, construction permits for the paving of two bypass roads: the Huwwara Bypass Road south of Nablus and the Al-Aroub Bypass Road, south of Bethlehem.”
Palestinian official Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in northern West Bank, said the Israeli side has officially informed the Palestinians of its decision to annex 406 Dunams in three villages near Nablus, to pave the bypass road.
Nasser al-Huwwari, the mayor of Huwwara town, near Nablus, told the Maan News Agency that %98 of the Palestinian lands are owned by Huwwara residents.
Al-Huwwari stated the Palestinians were given 60 days to file appeals with Israeli courts, and that the Israeli government is also planning more colonialist constructions that would be possible after the road is paved, and infrastructure is set.
Peace Now also said, “In early April, the defense minister (at that time Prime Minister Netanyahu), approved to begin the construction of the two bypass roads, and immediately afterwards, the head of the Civil Administration issued orders to confiscate hundreds of dunams of private Palestinian land for paving the roads.”
The road is expected to serve only four settlements: Yitzhar, Itamar, Har Bracha and Alon Moreh, where just 7,132 settlers live. According to reports, the cost of the road, which is 5.5 kilometers long, is estimated at a quarter of a billion shekels ($69 million), or about NIS 35,000 per settler ($9, 750).
Peace Now stated that the work on the newly approved roads can start 60 after the annexation orders of the Palestinian lands are issued, on June 4th, and added that if landowners file petitions against the expropriation of their lands, the work could be delayed until a final ruling is made.
Peace Now: “These expropriations are part of the government’s continued capitulation to the settlers to build Israeli-oriented bypass roads throughout the West Bank. The settlers know very well that without good roads, the settlements will not be able to develop, and tactically demand that they be built “for security reasons.” This stated rationale masks the real goal behind these roads: to expand the settlements and to advance plans for annexing the West Bank at the cost of a two-state solution.”