Arab foreign ministers condemn Israeli plan to annex parts of occupied West Bank

An Israeli soldier sits in an army Merkava tank during a military drill in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on 12 February 2019 [JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images]
An Israeli soldier sits in an army Merkava tank during a military drill in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on 12 February 2019

Arab countries on Thursday condemned Israel’s plan to de facto annex parts of the occupied West Bank as a “new war crime” against Palestinians, the Arab League said in a statement after a video conference of foreign ministers, Reuters reports.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in announcing a deal to form a unity government, has said cabinet discussions will start on July 1 on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and annexing the area’s Jordan Valley outright.

Palestinians have expressed outrage at Israel’s plans to cement its hold further on land it seized in the 1967 Middle East war, territory they are seeking for a state.

Implementing such plans “represents a new war crime added to the Israeli record full of brutal crimes against the Palestinian people”, the Arab foreign ministers said in a statement after their emergency meeting, which was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Palestinian factions insist that annexation will not pass unnoticed

Arab League secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit accused Israel of “taking advantage of the global preoccupation with confronting the coronavirus epidemic to impose a new reality on the ground”.

“This step, if taken, would eliminate the possibility of embodying an independent, sovereign, geographically connected and viable Palestinian state. This step, if completed, would end the two-state solution,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said during the meeting.

Netanyahu said on April 26 that the United states would give Israel the nod within two months to move ahead with de facto annexation of parts of the occupied lands.

The Arab countries urged Washington to abide by UN resolutions and “withhold support for plans and maps of the Israeli occupation government woven under the cover of the so-called American-Israeli deal of the century,” the statement said.

Palestinians have flatly rejected the US peace proposal announced by President Donald Trump in January, partly because it awards Israel most of what it has sought during decades of conflict, including nearly all the occupied land on which it has built settlements.

Arab states on Thursday also urged European Union countries to exert pressure on Israel to cancel its plans for the West Bank, and to recognise a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967 “to save the hope of peace and a two-state solution”.

READ: Urgent Arab League meeting to discuss Israel plan to annex West Bank

(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Palestinian factions insist that annexation will not pass unnoticed

Construction workers build illegal settlements in West Bank on 25 August, 2017 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Construction workers build illegal settlements in West Bank on 25 August 2017 

Palestinian National and Islamic Forces of Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate stressed on Wednesday that Israeli plans to annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank will not pass unnoticed, Quds News has reported.

“Our people are able to stand firm in the face of the Zionist-American plans,” the factions said in a media statement.

At the same time, they noted Israel’s “piracy” of Palestinian tax revenues and stricter measures taken against Palestinian women and girls held prisoner by the occupation state.

“Such moves will not weaken the will of our people and prisoners,” the groups insisted. “Under international law, the occupation authorities must release the elderly prisoners, women, children and those in need of medical care.”

READ: Annexation of occupied territory is a crime

Yet again, the signatories to the statement pointed out, Israel is in flagrant violation of international law, not only for keeping such prisoners behind bars during a pandemic but also making their conditions even worse.

In closing, the factions reiterated the importance of Palestinian national unity and ending the political division in order to be in a better position to challenge all US-Israeli projects intended to liquidate legitimate Palestinian rights.

READ: The Israeli military opposes its politicians’ annexation of the Jordan Valley

(Source / 30.04.2020)  

Abbas backtracks on benefits package for senior PA officials

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a press conference on Trump's so called peace plan in Ramallah, West Bank on 28 January 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a press conference on Trump’s so called peace plan in Ramallah, West Bank on 28 January 2020

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has backtracked on an improved benefits package for senior PA officials, Arab48.com has reported. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Wednesday.

Reports about the package stirred anger among the Palestinian people, rights groups and legal centres because it is aimed only at senior officials and neglected those in need.

On Tuesday, Shtayyeh revealed on Facebook that Abbas had ratified the law to approve better benefits and salaries for MPs, ministers and other employees holding ranks equal to ministers. This coincided with another decree obliging all PA employees to forego their salaries for two days.

According to Arab48.com, the resultant anger pushed Shtayyeh to announce that the “donation” to PA funds would be optional.

It is worth noting that the Independent Commission for Human Rights sent letters to Abbas and Shtayyeh, asking them to stop making such decisions without adequate and open discussions being held.

READ: PA to ease lockdown as GDP looks set to fall by 7%

(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Gantz knew Israeli soldiers would suffer heavy losses in Gaza

Former Israeli Chief of Staff and current Speaker of the Knesset Benny Gantz on 2 March on 18 February 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Former Israeli Chief of Staff and current Speaker of the Knesset Benny Gantz on 2 March on 18 February 2020

Former Israeli Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, the current Speaker of the Knesset, has revealed that when he watched his soldiers entering Gaza in 2014 he knew that they would suffer heavy losses, Safa News Agency reported on Wednesday. Gantz made his comments in an interview with Hebrew language newspaper Maariv.

When asked about the lessons to be learnt from Israel’s military offensives against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in 2008/9, 2012 and 2014, Gantz replied: “We must be strong, otherwise, we will not live here. We must have morals. Why should we live if we don’t have morals?”

In the 51-day Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, the Israeli occupation army lost 67 soldiers in addition to having 469 wounded. Gantz’s “moral” army, however, killed 2,310 Palestinians, including 500 children and more than 400 women. A further 10,626 were wounded, many with life-changing injuries.

Most of the Palestinian casualties were in civilian facilities, with many killed as their homes were blown up as they sheltered inside.

READ: Israel’s new government is being lauded despite Apartheid and annexation

(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Over 180 rights bodies urge ICC prosecutor to investigate Israel’s crimes in Palestine

A Palestinian boy hold a banner in front of Israeli soldier in the West Bank village of Safa near Hebron Feb 13,2010. Photo by Najeh Hashlamoun/ApaImages
A Palestinian boy hold a banner in front of Israeli soldier in the West Bank village of Safa near Hebron on 13 February 2010 

More than 180 Palestinian, regional and international human rights coalitions, organisations, and individuals yesterday urged International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

In a joint open letter initiated by Palestinian coalitions representing over 200 Palestinian civil society organisations, rights groups said they overwhelmingly support the Prosecutor’s findings submitted to the Pre-Trial Chamber.

“We urge that in light of the pervasive climate of impunity, which has prevailed for over five decades in the occupied Palestinian territory, that perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Palestine must be held accountable at the International Criminal Court,” they letter read.

Bensouda is expected to file her final determination to the ICC on whether Palestine can be regarded as a state today.

In December 2019 she ruled in favour of acknowledging statehood, adding that there is sufficient evidence to open a criminal investigation against Israel on war crimes charges. If the ICC recognises Palestine as a state, it could bring war crimes charges against Israel.

READ: International intervention is needed to block the ‘deal of the century’ 

(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Prisoners Affairs Committee: Majority of Palestinian Prisoners Belong to the Labor Sector

Head of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Committee, Qadri Abu Baker, said on Thursday, on the eve of International Workers Day, that majority of Palestinian prisoners, inside Israeli jails and detention centers, belong to the labor sector and that their lives have been spent in jail.

In his remarks, Abu Baker added that the Israeli occupation authorities have been abducting Palestinians since 1967, the year Israel occupied the Arab Palestinian East Jerusalem, along with the remainder of the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

On the eve of International Workers Day, Abu Baker maintained that Palestinian laborers have always been a symbol for the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation, as they have been wounded, imprisoned or killed, by the thousands, in the struggle for freedom.

For his part, director of the Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies, Dr. Rafat Hamdouna, said that back in the 1970s, Israeli authorities exploited hundreds of Palestinian laborer prisoners, in works that benefited the occupation state of Israel.

For the time being, Hamdouna said that Israeli prison authorities have intentionally given no chance for Palestinian prisoners to make their own foods or manage their own purchases from the prison cafeterias.

He demanded all relevant international organizations to give some more attention to the suffering of Palestinian prisoners and even work on their release, as soon as possible.

Israel holds around 5,000 Palestinian prisoners including women and children under the age of 18. Hundreds of those prisoners are reported to have been suffering from chronic diseases and are in need of special medical care.

(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Israeli Forces Arrested 40 Palestinians during First 6 days of Ramadan

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies, said on Wednesday, that Israeli troops abducted 40 Palestinian residents, since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, last Friday.

Spokesperson for the center, Riyad Alashqar, was quoted as saying that the Israeli occupation forces have exposed lives of Palestinian prisoners to danger, by continuing to abduct them under the spread of the coronavirus, across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Alashaar strongly criticized the Israeli authorities for conducting their abductions during the holy month of Ramadan, in which Palestinian families celebrate, gathering together in prayer and around 2 important meals, one prior to beginning a fast, and the other to break the fast.

“Among those abducted during the holy month of Ramadan, were 6 Palestinian teens from occupied East Jerusalem. In addition, Israeli authorities in east Jerusalem summoned the wife of late Palestinian, Misbah Abu Esbaih and took her to the Maskoubiya interrogation center”, the center’s spokesperson maintained.

The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies called on all relevant local and international prisoners institutions to pressure the Israeli government to halt all its oppressive policies against the Palestinian people, mainly the continued arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of Palestinian civilians.

(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Israeli Bulldozers Raze Palestinian-owned Lands in Nablus

Israeli army bulldozers razed, early on Wednesday, some areas of Palestinian-owned farm lands in south of Nablus city, in the West Bank.

Palestinian chief for the file on illegal Israeli settlements in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas, said that Israeli army bulldozers began razing several dunams of Palestinian-owned farm lands in Burin village, near the Israeli colonial settlement of Yitzhar.

Daghlas pointed out that Israeli army levelling of Palestinian farm lands, mainly around Israeli colonial settlements, including Yitzhar, has recently increased.

According to B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories;

The settlements are the single most important factor in shaping life in the West Bank. Their destructive impact on the human rights of Palestinians extends far beyond the hundreds of thousands of dunams [1 dunam = 1,000 sq. meters], including farmland and grazing areas, that Israel appropriated from Palestinians in order to build them.

More land has been expropriated to pave hundreds of kilometers of roads for settler use only; roadblocks, checkpoints, and other measures that limit Palestinian movement only have been erected based on the location of settlements; Palestinian landowners have been effectively denied access to much of their farmland, both within settlements and outside them; and the winding route of the Separation Barrier, which severely violates the rights of Palestinians living near it, was established inside the West Bank in order to leave as many settlements as possible – and large tracts of land for expanding them – on the western side of the barrier.

(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Deze zes zuilen moet je kennen

6 Pilaren in Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Onze geloofsovertuiging is gebaseerd op zes zuilen. Elke moslim dient deze te kennen en daarin te geloven. Het geloof van een moslim is enkel correct wanneer hij in al deze zuilen gelooft. Deze zuilen zijn als volgt:

  1. Het geloven in Allah.
  2. Het geloven in Zijn engelen.
  3. Het geloven in Zijn boeken.
  4. Het geloven in Zijn boodschappers.
  5. Het geloven in de laatste dag.
  6. Het geloven in het lot (al-qadr). 

Het geloven in Allah
Het geloven in Allah de meest Verhevene is het fundament van het geloof. De rest van de zuilen zijn gebaseerd op deze zuil.

Tawheed ar-Roboebiyyah
Het geloven in Allah houdt in dat we geloven dat Hij de Enige Schepper is, dat alleen Hij Degene is die voorziet, dat alleen Hij Degene is die doet leven en sterven en dat Hij Degene is die de volledige heerschappij heeft over het heelal. Niets gebeurt binnen Zijn heerschappij, enkel met Zijn wil.

Tawheed al-Oloehiyyah
Het geloven in Allah houdt in dat we geloven dat Hij als Enige het recht heeft om aanbeden te worden en dat men zich met geen enkele aanbidding, zoals bv. de smeekbede, mag wenden tot iets of iemand anders dan Allah. We geloven dat alles wat naast Hem wordt aanbeden valsheid en bedrog is.

Tawheed al-Asmaa wa as-Sifaat
Het geloven in Allah houdt in dat we geloven in de mooie namen en verheven eigenschappen van Allah. Wanneer wij de Koran lezen dan zien wij dat Allah vele namen en eigenschappen aan Zichzelf heeft toegeschreven. Dit geldt ook voor alle namen en eigenschappen die voorkomen in de authentieke overleveringen van onze profeet vrede zij met hem. Wij geloven in al deze namen en eigenschappen zonder daar wat van te ontkennen, hun betekenis te verdraaien, ze te vergelijken met de eigenschappen van Zijn schepsels of invulling te geven aan hun werkelijke aard. Allah zegt:

Niets is aan Hem gelijk. En Hij is de Alhorende, de Alziende. [42:11] 

Zo geloven wij dat Allah verheven is boven Zijn troon, boven de schepping op een manier die past bij Zijn grootsheid. En dat Hij met Zijn schepping is met Zijn kennis, hulp en steun.

Het geloven in Allah houdt in dat we geloven in alles wat Allah ons heeft bericht over het onwaarneembare.  

Het geloven in de engelen
We geloven dat Allah de meest Verhevene engelen heeft geschapen vanuit licht. Zij aanbidden Allah en zij zijn Hem nooit ongehoorzaam.

We geloven in alles wat Allah heeft bericht over hen. We geloven specifiek in de engelen die bij naam zijn genoemd, zoals JibrielMieka’iel en Israfiel. En we geloven in zijn algemeenheid in de engelen die niet bij naam zijn genoemd. 

Zo geloven we in alle taken waarmee zij zijn belast, zoals dat er engelen zijn die de ziel inblazen bij de embryo in de baarmoeder, engelen die de daden van de mens noteren, een engel die bij de dood de ziel neemt enz. 

Het geloven in de boeken
We geloven dat Allah boeken heeft geopenbaard aan de boodschappers, middels de engel Jibriel, om deze te verkondigen aan hun volkeren. We geloven specifiek in de boeken die bij naam zijn genoemd, zoals de Thora, Bijbel en de Koran en we geloven in zijn algemeenheid in de boeken die niet bij naam zijn genoemd.

We geloven dat de voorgaande boeken, zoals de Thora en de Bijbel, van tijdelijke aard waren als leiding in die tijd en dat ze niet onveranderd zijn gebleven. Allah heeft met het neer zenden van de Koran de voorgaande boeken opgeheven en deze is, omdat Allah waakt over de Koran, onveranderd gebleven en zal een leidraad voor de mensheid blijven tot aan de Dag des Oordeels.

Het geloven in de boodschappers
We geloven dat Allah de meest Verhevene boodschappers heeft verkozen vanuit de mensheid en middels de engel Jibriel aan heeft geopenbaard. Wij geloven in alle boodschappers die bij naam zijn genoemd, zoals Ibrahim, Moesa (Mozes), Iesa (Jezus) en Muhammed – vrede zij met hen – en we geloven in zijn algemeenheid in de boodschappers die niet bij naam zijn genoemd.

We geloven dat Muhammed de laatste en beste der boodschappers is en dat er geen profeet na hem is gekomen of zal komen. 

Met de zending van Muhammed vrede zij met hem is er geen andere godsdienst die wordt geaccepteerd bij Allah dan de islam. Allah zegt:

Wie een ander godsdienst dan de islam wenst te volgen, het zal nooit van hem worden geaccepteerd en hij behoort in het hiernamaals tot de verliezers. [3:85]

Het geloven in de laatste dag 
We geloven dat Allah de meest Verhevene de schepping uit de dood zal doen opwekken op de Dag der Opstanding en dat zij afrekening zullen afleggen voor hun daden. 

Wanneer de engel Israfiel, welke belast is met het blazen op de bazuin, op de bazuin blaast zal elk levend wezen sterven. Wanneer hij dan nogmaals blaast, wordt de schepping opgewekt. Allah zegt:

En er zal op de bazuin geblazen worden, waarop allen die in de hemelen en op aarde zijn bezwijken, behalve (voor) wie Allah wil (dat deze blijft leven). En er zal nog een keer op de bazuin worden geblazen en dan zullen zij opstaan (uit hun graven) en (angstig) kijken (naar wat er met hen zal gebeuren)[39:68]

We geloven in alles wat Allah en Zijn profeet hebben bericht over de zaken die betrekking hebben op het leven na de dood, zoals de genietingen en bestraffingen van het graf en alles wat zal plaatsvinden op de Dag der Opstanding. 

Het geloven in de voorbeschikking
We geloven dat niets in deze wereld gebeurt, kleins of groots, enkel met de voorbeschikking van Allah. Allah heeft kennis van alle zaken, van wat is geweest en wat zal komen, en Hij heeft deze allemaal genoteerd in ‘het welbewaarde paneel’ waarin alles dat zal gebeuren tot aan de Dag der Opstanding geschreven staat. Niets gebeurt binnen Zijn heerschappij enkel met Zijn wil.

Beste broeders en zusters:
De gelovige gelooft in al datgene wat Allah of Zijn profeet ons hebben bericht over het onwaarneembare. Allah heeft in een van de openingsverzen van de Koran de vromen hiervoor geprezen. Allah zegt:

“Dit is het boek waaraan geen twijfel is, een leidraad voor de godsvrezenden. Zij die geloven in het onwaarneembare ..” [2-2/3]

Het geloven in deze zuilen brengt vele mooie vruchten met zich mee. Zo zorgt het geloven in Allah en zijn mooie namen en verheven eigenschappen dat je van Allah houdt en je hart alleen aan Hem aanhankelijk raakt. Hij die jou ziet en hoort. Hij die ervan houdt dat jij jouw vertrouwen in Hem stelt. Hij die van Zijn vrome dienaren houdt en hen bijstaat in al hun zaken.

Het geloven in de engelen die met ons zijn en onze daden noteren, motiveert de gelovige om vele goede daden te verrichten omdat niets ervan verloren gaat en alles nauwkeurig wordt genoteerd. 

Het geloven in de boeken die Allah heeft neer gezonden en de boodschappers die hij heeft gestuurd, doet de gelovige beseffen hoe groot de ontferming van Allah is over Zijn schepping en dat Hij hen niet aan hun lot heeft overgelaten. 

Het geloof van de moslim in alle boeken en profeten toont het verschil met de andere godsdiensten, zoals het christendom en het jodendom, die de Koran en Muhammed verloochenen.

Het geloof in de profeten is in de islam zonder nalatigheid en zonder overdrijven, in tegenstelling tot het christendom dat is gaan overdrijven m.b.t. Jezus en hem tot God of zoon van God heeft gemaakt – Verheven is Allah – en in tegenstelling tot het jodendom dat Jezus lastert en verloochent.

Het geloven in de laatste dag waarop de afrekening voor onze daden zal plaatsvinden, wekt bij de gelovige angst op en maakt van hem een beter mens door onrecht in al haar vormen te laten. 

Het geloven in de voorbeschikking geeft de gelovige een enorme rust, door zich neer te leggen bij al datgene wat hem of zijn geliefden overkomt aan narigheid. Het geloven in de voorbeschikking en de krachtige overtuiging dat Allah niets laat gebeuren enkel met Zijn wijsheid, stelt de gelovige in staat om elke ramp te boven te komen. Ook is de gelovige wanneer hem het goede treft niet buitensporig blij en onder de indruk van zichzelf, omdat hij weet dat Allah Degene is die dit heeft voorbeschikt.

We danken Allah de meest Verhevene voor dit prachtig geloof en vragen Hem om ons standvastigheid te schenken.
(Source / 30.04.2020) 

Kairos Palestine raises an alarm over consequences of Israel’s coalition government

Jerusalem – The board of Kairos Palestine, the most extensive Palestinian Christian ecumenical non-violent movement, today raised an alarm regarding the dire consequences of Israel’s new coalition government on Palestinians and the region.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Bennie Gantz’s Blue and White, two of the most right-wing parties in Israel, entered on April 20 a deal that directly threatens Palestinians’ freedom, health and human rights, said Kairos Palestine in a statement.

“Described as an ’emergency government’ to address the impacts of COVID-19, and under the cover of a so-called ‘coronavirus cabinet,’ the State of Israel is empowered to continue its policies of home demolitions, closures, arrests, child detention and settler violence” against Palestinians in the occupied territories, it said.

It warned that the deal also allows Netanyahu to pursue his long-standing promise to annex substantial portions of the occupied West Bank as early as July 1.

“For the past few years and especially during the administration of both (US President Donald) Trump and Netanyahu the foundations of the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis have been sabotaged by the different policies and announcements that both administrations have unilaterally adopted. This annexation is only one of these moves,” said the Palestinian Christian group.

“While we see that the equation of land for peace have lost its credibility and now look impossible for a two states solution, we at Kairos Palestine are committed for our people and churches to continue to struggle for the values that make for peace. Equality and Justice are our beacon. Thus, we urge all churches to support these values in every means. We urge them to say no to injustice of any illegal political move and building for a future of equality on this land between all the peoples, no matter what the political frame it brings at the end.”

Kairos Palestine called on “people of faith and all those of conscience around the world to:

“• Plead with your elected representatives to hold the State of Israel accountable to international law and human rights;

“• Demand that your governments do not recognize Israel’s annexations of East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, that your governments express their disapproval of Israel’s further plans of annexation, and that your governments pressure Israel with concrete measures to comply with international law and UN resolutions.

“• Protect Palestinians’—and all people’s—right to resist, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, until Israel complies with its obligations as an occupying power.”

(Source / 30.04.2020)