Fatah says Abbas willing to send delegation to Gaza to discuss reconciliation

Deputy Chairman of the Movement's Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri signs the reconciliation agreement to build a consensus with Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]
Deputy Chairman of the Movement’s Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri signs the reconciliation agreement to build a consensus with Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017 

A senior member of the Fatah said on Saturday that the Palestinian President and head of the movement, Mahmoud Abbas, is willing to send a delegation to the Gaza Strip to hold reconciliation meetings with Hamas and other factions.

Rawhi Fattouh said in a statement: “I now announce with confidence that President Abbas is ready to send the Fatah delegation again to Gaza, despite the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Personally, I am ready to implement the task, if I am assigned to it. National unity is above everything else,” he added.

In February, a delegation from Fatah visited the Gaza Strip and met with leaders of a number of factions except Hamas.

Remarking on the visit, Fattouh said: “We had contact with Hamas in order to arrange the meetings, and we were surprised with options put for us that we had to accept according to their arrangement.”

READ: Hamas calls on Fatah to take practical steps towards reconciliation

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

Russia rejects Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank

A Palestinian protester yells at an Israeli soldier as he confronts him atop an Israeli army vehicle during a protest against Israeli forces conducting an exercise in a residential area near the Palestinian village of Naqura, northwest of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on September 4, 2019 (Photo credit should read [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]
A Palestinian protester yells at an Israeli soldier as he confronts him atop an Israeli army vehicle during a protest against Israeli forces conducting an exercise in a residential area near the Palestinian village of Naqura, northwest of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on September 4, 2019  

Russia has confirmed its rejection of Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, stressing that this would undermine the settlement of the conflict on the basis of a two-state solution, and especially the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement yesterday that Moscow and other countries that support the two-state solution share Palestinian concerns that the implementation of these plans may undermine the prospects of the establishment of an independent, viable and integrated Palestinian state.

The National Office for the Defence of Land and Resistance of Settlement in Palestine has warned that Israeli occupation authorities continue to implement their plans to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank, including in Jerusalem, and take preliminary steps to extend the occupation’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the area to the north of the Dead Sea.

According to the data of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), approximately 51.6 per cent of the occupied West Bank is under Israeli control.

There were more than 150 settlements and 128 illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank at the end of 2019 in addition to 15 illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. They were home to 670,000 settlers.

All settlements are illegal under international law.

READ: Palestinian compares virus lockdown to Israel’s occupation

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

EU warns Gantz not to accept annexation of West Bank settlements

Workers hang a Blue and White Party billaboard showing its leader Benny Gantz and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as part of the party's campaign on February 17, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Workers hang a Blue and White Party billaboard showing its leader Benny Gantz and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as part of the party’s campaign on February 17, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel 

The European Union has warned Israel’s Benny Gantz not to accept the annexation of the country’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported on Sunday.

EU officials have apparently told Gantz’s foreign affairs adviser, Melody Sucharewicz, over the past few weeks that Europe strongly opposes any unilateral move to extend Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank.

The officials also told Sucharewicz that any such move would have serious implications for Israel-EU relations.

Gantz has made several comments regarding the annexation of the illegal settlements, and could possibly agree with the move, which could happen if he agrees to be part of a coalition government with Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

The EU diplomats were told by Sucharewicz that Gantz has been forced to compromise his views on annexation. She claimed that the erstwhile leader of the Blue and White bloc would try to turn down such a plan if he does join a coalition government.

READ: Israel’s Lieberman calls on Gantz to back effort to oust Netanyahu

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

Israel refuses to freeze Jerusalem electricity company’s debt despite coronavirus outbreak

Image of an electricity line in Gaza [file photo]
Image of an electricity line in Palestine 

The Director General of the Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), Hisham Al-Omari, said yesterday that the Israeli authorities rejected JDECO’s request to freeze debt accumulated by the company due to the spread of the coronavirus and the subscribers’ inability to pay their bills.

Earlier, the Israeli Electric Corporation (IEC) threatened to impose high levels of interest on JDECO and to take legal action against it if the outstanding debts were not paid on time.

Al-Omari condemned Israel’s rejection of the company’s request, describing its position as “unrelated to reality”.

He noted that the company has sent a strongly worded letter to the Israeli minister of energy, the Israel Public Utility Authority for Electricity and others on the issue.

Al-Omari added that the company has informed the Palestinian government, the Palestinian Energy Authority and the Palestinian Electricity Regulatory Council of the Israeli response to its request and attached all correspondence related to the subject, including details of Israel’s threats should payments not be made.

READ: Netanyahu threatens to boycott elections if prevented from leading government (Source / 20.04.2020) 

Coronavirus nips Gaza’s flower market in the bud

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of workers have lost their jobs as farmers have suffered thousands in losses  

The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The coronavirus has demolished the ability of Gaza’s flower farmers selling their produce abroad.

Farmers begin planting their orchids in June, spending $32,000 to tend to one acre of land, they start each new year picking the flowers, a process that continues until May.

This year however, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of workers have lost their jobs as farmers have suffered thousands in losses.

The Gaza Strip was known for its large rose exports to Europe, where the cost of a rose reaches $6, while locally it is sold for only $2.

Over 100 varieties of flowers are grown in the Gaza Strip, but Palestinian farmers in Gaza prefer to plant carnations, as they can withstand weather conditions.

READ: Palestinian compares virus lockdown to Israel’s occupation

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

Settlers Assault Palestinian Farmers and Activist

Israeli settlers attacked, on Saturday, several Palestinian villages in the Masafer Yatta area, in the southern occupied West Bank, physically assaulting residents, according to a local activist.

Activist, Fouad Amour, told Palestinian WAFA News Agency that illegal Israeli settlers attacked farmers in Khirbet al-Khrouba as they harvested their crops.

Israeli soldiers were said to have done nothing to help the Palestinian civilians under attack, however they ensured the safety of the colonial settlers, and helped to force the Palestinian farmers to leave their own land.

Amour added that an activist with the farmers, who was filming the incident, had his camera confiscated by the settlers.

In another village, a Palestinian man was reportedly assaulted and his donkey was stolen by the colonists.

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

In Pictures| IOF demolish West Bank 2 structures

Nablus (QNN)- Israeli forces demolished two structures in the towns of Sebastia and Burqa in the north-west of Nablus this morning.

Local sources said that the Israeli army demolished a tourism facility belonging to a Palestinian citizen in Sebastia in western Nablus today.

The Israeli army also demolished a mobile room belonging to Mushir Seif in the town of Burqa.

The sources said that the Israelis had demolished the house of Mushir Seif last year and an agricultural facility owned by him a few months ago.

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

Settlers from COVID-19 endemic areas storm Salfit

Salfit (QNN)- Dozens of Israeli extremist settlers stormed Islamic shrines in Kifl Haris in northern Salfit, coming from COVID-19 endemic areas, on Monday.

Israeli media reported that the settlers follow the Breslov extremist group. They came from ‘Bnei Brak’, which is an endemic hotspot, as well as other infected illegal settlements.

Large numbers of Breslov Jews were infected with COVID-19. Instead of forcing them to quarantine, the Israeli authorities unleashed them towards Islamic shrines in Salfit.

The raid continued until 4:00 am. The settlers attacked Islamic cemeteries in the village amid the absence of Israeli soldiers.

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

Taraweeh thuis bidden

Taraweeh gebed

Nu de moskeeën zijn gesloten rijst de vraag: hoe nu verder met het Taraweeh gebed? Het antwoord lees je in dit artikel.

Goed nieuws
Allereerst wil ik goed nieuws met jullie delen. Degenen die gewoon waren om de Taraweeh in de moskee te bidden hebben in sha Allah ook dit jaar de beloning alsof ze in de moskee hebben gebeden. Dit vanwege de bekende hadieth waarin de profeet vrede zij met hem aangeeft dat degene die door een excuus is verhinderd alsnog door Allah wordt beloond. Alhamdolilah.

Verdienste Taraweeh
De profeet vrede zij met hem zegt: “Wie Ramadan staat (in gebed) met geloof (in Allah) en hoop (op Zijn beloning), diens voorgaande zonden worden vergeven.”

Ook dit jaar wil je deze beloning niet mislopen dus vraag je je af hoe je nu zelf het Taraweeh gebed kunt verrichten? Gezien de huidige situatie is het aanbevolen om alleen of samen met jouw gezin het Taraweeh gebed thuis te verrichten.

Tijdstip
Het Taraweeh gebed kun je tussen isha en fajr verrichten. Verricht je het na isha, dan is het aanbevolen om eerst de twee raka’aat van de sunan rawaatib te bidden en vervolgens start je met Taraweeh. De sunan rawaatib zijn de twaalf vrijwillige raka’aat die je voor of na de verplichte gebeden verricht. (Daarover later meer in sha Allah).

Aantal
Je bidt setjes van twee raka’aat – d.w.z. dat je na elke twee raka’aat de tasleem verricht. En vervolgens sluit je af met één rak’ah om datgene wat je hebt gebeden tot een oneven aantal te maken. De sterkste mening is dat er geen maximum qua het aantal raka’aat is. Maar het beste is dagelijks een aantal aan te houden wat je de hele Ramadan kunt volhouden. Vijf, zeven, negen of elf raka’aat bijvoorbeeld.

Het is aanbevolen om de laatste drie raka’aat te eindigen met soerah Sabbihal-Kaafiroen en Qol Howa. Je mag hier ook van afwijken.

Du’a al-Qonoet
Het is aanbevolen om bij de laatste rak’ah van het Taraweeh gebed du’a te verrichten. Dit nadat je omhoog komt van de rokoe’ voordat je naar beneden gaat voor de sudjoed. Je heft dan je handen op en verricht bijvoorbeeld de du’a die is overgeleverd.

Sommige geleerden zijn van mening dat je deze du’a dagelijks kunt verrichten en anderen zijn van mening om het soms wel en soms niet te doen. Wellicht dat deze laatste de sterkste mening is.

Moshaf
Je verricht het Taraweeh-gebed met datgene wat je hebt gememoriseerd van de Koran. Is dit minimaal en wil je toch meer van de Koran reciteren tijdens de Ramadan dan kun je een moshaf gebruiken. Je kunt de moshaf dan in je hand houden of zoals iemand mij aanraadde door wat een bladmuziekhouder of muziekstatief wordt genoemd te gebruiken. Ze zijn online voor ongeveer 17 euro te bestellen. 

Er is niet een specifiek aantal bladzijdes dat je per dag moet aanhouden. Ook wat dit betreft probeer je dagelijks datgene te reciteren wat voor jou de gehele maand haalbaar is. Een bladzijde per rak’ah bijvoorbeeld.

Beste broeders en zusters

Alhamdolilah. Dit jaar worden we gedwongen om zelf aan de slag te gaan met de Koran. Je kunt jouw tijd overdag goed benutten met het voorbereiden en oefenen voor jouw recitatie in de avond. Ongeacht of dat vanuit jouw memorisatie of een moshaf is.

Nog mooier is als je tijdens jouw voorbereiding ook de betekenissen van de verzen opzoekt en overpeinst.

Moge Allah ons allen bijstaan in het zo goed mogelijk benutten van deze gezegende maand.

(Source / 20.04.2020) 

Panellists highlight Israeli racism, medical negligence of Palestinian prisoners

Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to continuous widespread and systematic abuse that can be traced to the start of Israel’s illegal occupation beginning in 1967

A London-based forum has hosted webinar that highlighted Israeli racism against Palestinian prisoners and medical negligence inside Israeli jails.

On 17 April 2020, Palestinian Prisoners Day, EuroPal Forum hosted the webinar via the ZOOM communications platform titled ‘5000 Prisoners: Israeli Racism and Medical Negligence Amidst the COVID-19 Outbreak’.

The webinar, which heard from Motasem Dalloul, Akram Satari, and Charlotte Kates, sought to bridge the lack of coverage on the issue of Palestinian prisoners through facilitating a forum to better understand the current status quo for Palestinians in Israeli jails amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

In this light, the webinar was opened by EuroPal Forum’s Public Relations Officer, Robert Andrews, who noted that the webinar consists of just one action in EuroPal Forum’s broad campaign to highlight the dynamics of the prisoners’ issue.

Andrews noted that EuroPal Forum have pursued a number of initiatives to this end, including a letter campaign that has seen the NGO write to a number of public officials, foreign ministers, and parliamentarians with the expressed aim of raising awareness about the plight of Palestinian prisoners.

The first speaker of the webinar was Gazan-based journalist and political commentator Motasem Dalloul, who concentrated his segment on looking at both the history of the denial of health care to Palestinian prisoners and the gravity of the threat to Palestinian prisoners in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dalloul started his segment by noting that the abuse of Palestinian prisoners is not a novel phenomenon and is not limited to factors of a specific nature.

Rather, he noted that Palestinian prisoners have been subjected to continuous widespread and systematic abuse that can be traced to the start of Israel’s illegal occupation beginning in 1967.

This abuse can be clearly seen, according to Motasem, through both the means and methods through which Palestinians are arrested and taken into Israeli custody, as well as the complete denial of health care once within the prison system.

Since the start of March, according to Motasem, Israel’s systematic arrest campaign has seen the detention of 357 Palestinians (including 48 children and 4 women), while since the start of 2020 Israel has arrested close to 1,300 Palestinians (including 210 children and 31 women).

Other speakers, including Akram al Satari, a former prisoner in Israeli jails, and Charlotte Kates, the international coordinator of Palestinian prisoner rights group Samidoun, spoke about other angels related to the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners.

Al Satari spoke about his gloomy expeirnce inside the Israeli jails and how he was treated inside the “slaughterhouse” which the Israeli prison Service considers as a clinic.

Meanwhile, Kates focused on the different initiatives available to raise awareness about the situation facing Palestinian prisoners.

She noted that with the global pandemic of COVID-19, the prisoner issue has become more critical on a health level than ever before despite being critical on a political, social, and human level prior to the outbreak.

In this context, it is important, as he notes, for international activists to focus on the case of Palestinian prisoners because the ‘potentially devastating impact of the spread of this virus among the prisoners is really quite clear’.

These prisoners, 5000 in number, are ‘mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, teachers, students, community organisers, women’s leaders, workers’ union leaders, freedom fighters, people who are engaged in all aspects of struggle and all aspects of society locked away in Israeli jails and threatened with death by the spread of COVID-19’.

(Source / 20.04.2020)