European Commission to allocate €85 million for PA salaries

he European Commission Friday announced the approval of a $121.85 million financial package for the Palestinian Authority, said to be for the salaries and pensions of PA civil servants.

The decision comes as Israel continues to withhold tax revenues paid by Palestinians for goods imported into Palestinian areas, which are due under agreement for transfer to the PA. The EU package was in addition to the $143.35 million already approved from European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said ” It is important that access to essential public services remains uninterrupted and the right to social services is respected. I would like to reiterate that we are following closely the political developments, and encourage the strive for dignity, prosperity and stability across the region.”

The EU’s Commissioner ?tefan Füle noted in a statement, “With this decision, the Commission is demonstrating again its indefatigable support to the Palestinian people. The money, which will be provided through the PEGASE mechanism, will be used to pay the salaries and pensions of Palestinian Authority employees,” and called on EU member states to continue their support of the Palestinian government.

Israel announced that it would withhold tax revenues when Palestinian factions prepared to sign a unity agreement in Cairo. Israeli officials announced that they wanted to make sure “not one shekel” of the Palestinian tax money would reach Hamas.

Leaders also called on President Mahmoud Abbas to abort the reconciliation deal, saying it would quash already dead peace negotiations.

(www.maannews.net / 08.05.2011)

Thousands of Moroccans call for reforms

MARRAKECH, Morocco – Thousands of Moroccans have demanded political reforms in this Muslim kingdom during an anti-violence march in Marrakech, where 17 people died in a cafe bombing last month.

Sunday’s march was the latest by the February 20 movement that regularly mounts pro-democracy protests. This time, they also spoke out against terrorism after the April 28 bombing at the Argana cafe.

Marchers walked by the severely damaged cafe. Authorities have arrested three suspects and said Thursday that the leader had loyalties to al-Qaida. There’s been no claim of responsibility.

King Mohamed VI has promised reforms to keep Morocco from succumbing to uprisings that have swept the Arab world.

(news.yahoo.com / 08.05.2011)

Yemeni security forces open fire on protests that draw tens of thousands, killing 3

Security forces backed by army units opened fire Sunday on protesters demanding the ouster of Yemen’s longtime president, killing three, an opposition activist said.

In all, tens of thousands of protesters mobilized in several cities and towns, according to activists — the latest installment of daily protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh that have been staged for almost three months.

One protester was killed in the western port of Hodeida, and two were killed in the southern city of Taiz when elite Republican Guard forces tried to disperse protesters by firing in the air, according to activist Nouh al-Wafi.

In all, more than 140 people reportedly have been killed in the government crackdown on the protesters, who have nonetheless grown in number week after week.

Bushra al-Maktari, an activist in Taiz, said youthful protesters had taken over a main street in that city, setting up tents and expanding a sit-in which started on Feb. 11.

In the southern city of Aden, thousands marched against Saleh and demanded the release of detained protesters.

A deal for Saleh to step down — negotiated by the Gulf Cooperation Council — appeared close to collapse after the president said over the weekend that he would have aides sign it rather than doing so himself. The resulting deadlock threatens to plunge the already unstable nation deeper into disorder.

The mediation plan appeared close to success a week ago, with both opposition parties and Saleh agreeing to it, until the president balked just days before the signing ceremony. The plan called for Saleh to step down within 30 days, with a promise of immunity from prosecution, and for a national unity government to run the country until elections are held.

The violent crackdown on protesters has prompted several top military commanders, ruling party members and diplomats to defect to the opposition, leaving Saleh with dwindling options.

Yemen — the souhtern neighbor of Saudi Arabia — has been plagued in recent years by widespread corruption, a weak central government, a Shiite rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south and one of the most active branches of al-Qaida operating in the remote hinterlands.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(www.washingtonpost.com / 08.05.2011)

Israel seals off Palestinian territories ahead of Independent Day

Israel imposed a full closure on the Palestinian territories ahead of the Independent Day holiday.

The decision went into effect as of Saturday midnight and will remain in place till Wednesday, Israel’s Radio reported.

Israel places the Palestinian territories under full cordon during its major holidays for fear of possible Palestinian attacks.

According to the radio report, urgent Palestinian humanitarian and medical cases are allowed to enter into Israel during the holiday.

(news.xinhuanet.com / 08.05.2011)

Extremist Israelis Disrupt Talks for Palestinian Nonviolent Leader In Paris

A group of extremist Israeli youths, members of the outlawed Kach Movement, tried to prevent Palestinian nonviolent resistance leader, Abdullah Abu Rahma, from speaking at a forum in Paris, by creating chaos, acting in a violent way and trying to physically attack him.

Abdullah Abu Rahma and his daughters - image bokra.net
Abdullah Abu Rahma and his daughters

Abu Rahma, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in village near Ramallah, was the guest speaker at the forum.

Fundamentalists interrupted his talk by breaking chairs while raising Israeli flags and by shouting and cursing at him while trying to physically attack him.

The extremists managed to disrupt the talk for approximately 30 minutes. Organizers of the Forum denounced the attack, especially since it is meant to suppress freedom of speech.

During his talk, Abu Rahma spoke of the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, living under Israeli occupation, losing their lands for Israeli settlements and the Annexation Wall, and subject to constant attacks by Israeli soldiers and settlers.
He called for isolating Israel and imposing sanctions on it until it recognizes the legitimate Palestinian tights of liberation and independence.

Abu Rahma is conducting a tour in Europe to talk about Palestinian nonviolent resistance against the Wall and settlements, and the suffering of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

He started his three-week tour two days ago in France, and will also be touring in the Czech Republic, Britain and Germany.

On March 14, Abu Rahma was released from an Israeli detention facility after being imprisoned for 15 months. He was kidnapped by the army in December 2009. Nine months later, an Israeli court “convicted” him of “incitement” and organizing and participating in the nonviolent protests in his village, Bil’in. He was acquitted of stone-throwing and weapons possession charges.

The army tried to accuse him of having weapons for exhibiting spent tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets fired by the army at the local, Israeli and international peace activists conducting nonviolent protests in Bil’in.

Abu Rahma is a well-known Palestinian figure of the ongoing nonviolent resistance against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and illegal settlements built on Palestinian lands in the occupied territories.

Several Palestinians were killed while dozens of Palestinian, Israeli and International peace activists were wounded after being violently attacked Israeli soldiers who also fired live rounds at them.

(imemc.org / 08.05.2011)

Hamas agrees to new Egyptian draft for Shalit deal

The militant Palestinian group Hamas has agreed to a new draft agreement drawn up by Egypt for a prisoner swap with Israel that would see the release of an Israeli soldier held captive by the group for almost five years, Al Jazeera reported Sunday.

Following Hamas’ recent reconciliation with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, Egypt has reportedly stepped up efforts to mediate the deal, which would secure the release of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian jailed in Israel.

Citing Palestinian sources, Al Jazeera said that Egyptian authorities will present the draft to a new negotiator, presumably from Israel, who is set to visit Cairo in the coming days.

Shalit has been in Palestinian captivity since he was abducted in a 2006 cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip by militants from a number of factions, including Hamas. Shalit is now in the possession of Hamas, which seized complete power in Gaza in 2007.

The group’s leader, Khaled Meshaal, said during last week’s signing ceremony for the  reconciliation with Fatah that he hoped to see Palestinians imprisoned in Israel released as soon as possible.

Israel and Hamas have been negotiating for years via a foreign mediator on a prisoner swap deal.

The Al-Hayat newspaper reported late last month that Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing, met recently with Egypt’s new intelligence chief to hash out a plan to advance the prisoner exchange

(gazatvnews.com / 08.05.2011)

Terminologie in de wetsleer

Wetsleer

Wetsleer (Al-Fiqh) betekent in het Arabisch letterlijk ‘het begrip.’ Technisch (islamitisch) betekent het: begrip voor de leer van islamitische wetten/oordelen die uit de gedetailleerde bewijzen/bronnen zijn afgeleid. In deze leer bevinden zich de manieren van aanbiddingen die de moslimdienaar hoort te verrichten en de wetten die te maken hebben met zijn algemene handelingen.

Aanbiddingen en algemene handelingen

Aanbiddingen zijn verboden totdat er een geldig bewijs komt dat de aanbidding voorschrijft. Ook is elke manier van aanbidding verboden totdat er een bewijs komt dat deze manier voorschrijft.

Algemene handelingen zijn toegestaan totdat er een bewijs komt dat het verboden is. Ook zijn de manieren waarop de algemene handelingen worden verricht toegestaan, totdat er een bewijs komt dat deze manieren verbiedt.

Voorwaarden en pilaren

De voorwaarde is een essentieel aspect dat zich vóór een zaak bevindt; als het aanwezig is, hoeft de zaak niet aanwezig te zijn en als dit aspect niet aanwezig is, is de zaak ook niet aanwezig. Een voorbeeld is de wassing. Dit is namelijk een voorwaarde voor het gebed.

De pilaar is een essentieel aspect dat zich in een zaak bevindt; als dit aspect aanwezig is, hoeft de zaak niet aanwezig te zijn en als het niet aanwezig is, is de zaak ook niet aanwezig. Zo is bijvoorbeeld het reciteren van soerat Al-Faatihah een pilaar van het gebed.

Hadieth en Athar

Hadieth is hetgeen wat overgeleverd is van de Profeet (Allah’s gebeden en vrede zij met hem) en waarin zijn uitspraken, handelingen en acceptaties verhaald worden.

Athar is hetgeen wat overgeleverd is van de metgezel van de Profeet (Allah’s gebeden en vrede zij met hem) en waarin zijn (Allah’s gebeden en vrede zij met hem) uitspraken en handelingen verhaald worden.

Een hadieth en een athar bestaan uit twee onderdelen, te weten:

Assanad (Keten)

Een keten is een reeks van geleerden die een hadieth van elkaar overgeleverd hebben die het van een metgezel overgeleverd hebben gekregen die het op zijn beurt weer van de Profeet (Allah’s gebeden en vrede zij met hem) heeft verhaald.

Al-Matn (Inhoud)

De inhoud van een hadieth is hetgeen dat door de metgezel van de Profeet (Allah’s gebeden en vrede zij met hem) verhaald is.

Een hadieth heeft verschillende oordelen ten aanzien van de authenticiteit ervan, de drie belangrijkste zijn:

Sahieh (authentiek)

Wanneer een hadieth sahieh wordt verklaard door een geleerde, betekent het dat de keten en de inhoud van deze hadieth authentiek zijn verklaard. De geleerden in dit vakgebied geven het oordeel ‘sahieh’ wanneer degenen die de hadieth overgeleverd hebben een stabiel geheugen hebben, betrouwbaar zijn (dat wil zeggen dat ze bij de mensen bekend staan als goede moslims) en de keten qua verbondenheid intact is. Het laatstgenoemde houdt in dat de geleerden die naar elkaar overleveren elkaar gekend moeten hebben. Zij hebben dus in dezelfde periode geleefd moeten hebben en/of elkaar gezien hebben.
De inhoud van de overleveringen (ahaadieth) van dit niveau wordt geaccepteerd en dient als bewijs gebruikt te worden.

Hasan

Dit niveau is een niveau lager dan ‘sahieh’ en wordt toegekend wanneer de overleveraarsketen niet meer intact is doordat bijvoorbeeld één van de overleveraars geen sterk of stabiel geheugen had. De inhoud van de overleveringen van dit niveau wordt ook geaccepteerd en dient ook als bewijs gebruikt te worden.

Dacief (zwak)

Wanneer een hadieth dacief wordt verklaard door een geleerde, betekent het dat de keten van deze hadieth niet authentiek is verklaard aangezien de overleveraarsketen niet meer intact is, doordat bijvoorbeeld één van de overleveraars een slecht geheugen bezit, de betrouwbaarheid beschadigd is of de keten qua verbondenheid niet intact is. De inhoud van deze hadieth mag niet als bewijs worden gehanteerd.

(www.al-iemaan.com/nl  / 08.05.2011)

Wilders brings his message of hate to Canada

Geert Wilders has made his name as one of the world’s most outspoken opponents of Islam. The controversial Dutch parliamentarian does not hate Muslims, he’s famously said, but he does hate Islam. His colourful political career has been driven by a belief that the Koran encourages violence, that moderate Islam is an impossibility, that the Netherlands is in the process of being Islamicized, and that immigrants from Muslim countries must be stopped.

Next week, Mr. Wilders will bring his message to Canada, a country he says faces the same prospects of being Islamicized as his own. On Monday, Mr. Wilders is the marquee speaker at an invitation-only event hosted by the International Free Press Society and the Canada Christian College.

“Geert Wilders has a warning for Canada, and his warning is about a lack of free speech here and the threat of demographic jihad,” said Charles McVety, president of the Canada Christian College. “We’re all for freedom of religion, but when its mission is a hostile takeover, well that’s a different story. Islam is not just a religion, it’s a political and cultural system as well and we know that Christians, Jews and Hindus don’t have the same mandate for a hostile takeover. Here in Canada there is a real, clear and present danger. And we’re not even allowed to say anything about it. That’s what Geert Wilders is going to talk about.”

Members of the Toronto Muslim community say they were unaware of any planned hostile takeover and dismiss Mr. Wilders as racist and ill-informed.

(www.islamophobia-watch.com / 08.05.2011)

Top US senators call on Obama to halt funding for PA

Twenty-seven US Senators appealed on Friday to President Barack Obama to halt funding to a unified Fatah-Hamas government that refuses to renounce terrorism or recognize Israel.

“It is imperative for you to make clear to President [Mahmoud] Abbas that Palestinian Authority participation in a unity government with an unreformed Hamas will jeopardize its relationship with the Untied States, including its receipt of US aid,” the senators said in a letter they sent to Obama. The letter, signed by mostly Democratic senators, was organized by Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Robert Casey of Pennsylvania.

“As you are aware, US law prohibited aid from being provided to a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the government and all its members have publicly committed to the Quartet principles,” the senators wrote.

Leading members of the House of Representatives, such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have similarly spoken out.

But the Obama administration has taken no action on the matter to date.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and the European Union say that until more is known about the nature of the PA government to be formed, funding should continue as usual.

Israel, as of Saturday night, has refused to agree to a request by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to continue to transfer tax funds to the PA.

The request came during a phone call on Friday between Ban and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss the stalled Middle East peace process and the Fatah- Hamas reconciliation.

Israel last week suspended the transfer of tax funds it collects on behalf of the PA, in response to the Palestinian unity deal.

No cabinet decision has yet been made on the issue.

But the government has asked the international community to similarly suspend its financing of the PA until it is certain that the money will not end up in the hands of Hamas.

As of Saturday night, the Prime Minister’s Office had not publicly responded to Ban’s request.

But on Friday, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio that the government had no intention of handing money over to Hamas.

“It was important to send a clear red warning to the Palestinian Authority and also to the world that we cannot countenance a terrorist government that on one hand talks about peace, and on the other hands continues, with the money that we transfer to it, to buy missiles and to rearm,” Steinitz said.

In Norway, a visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called on its government to suspend funding to the PA, out of fear that it would be used to harm innocent Israeli civilians.

Netanyahu made similar requests while in Britain and France last week.

But the government’s calls to suspend funding to the PA has fallen on deaf ears.

The European Commission on Friday approved the transfer of 85 million euros to the PA at the request of its Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

He had made the request for urgent financial assistance before the deal was reached with Hamas.

But the European Commission approved the matter two days after Fatah and Hamas signed their unity agreement.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Friday that the funding decision “renews our commitment to support the most vulnerable among Palestinians, and is part of our support to the Palestinian Authority’s institution-building program, contributing to the salaries and pensions of PA civil servants who work in health and education. It is important that access to essential public services remains uninterrupted and the right to social services is respected.”

She spoke despite statements by leaders from the EU, the US and even Ban that any new PA government would have to conform to the three Quartet principles: renounce terrorism, recognize Israel and abide by past agreements.

Hamas has refused to accept these conditions.

While Europe and the international community continue to send strong messages to the Palestinians about their expectations regarding its new government, in practice they have continued business as usual, including their expectations that Netanyahu continue to take bold moves for peace.

Ban told Netanyahu in their conversation that the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians must be overcome. “Continued drifting” would not serve the interest of both parties, he said.

Ban urged Netanyahu to make “decisive moves” toward a historic agreement with the Palestinians.

Ban said that the UN had long urged Fatah and Hamas to reconcile, under the continued leadership of Abbas and within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet’s principles.

Unity is a process that is just beginning now, and it would be best to assess it as it moves forward, Ban said.

Speaking in Beersheba on Saturday night, Deputy Premier Moshe Ya’alon attacked the very notion of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, that we are talking about a true reconciliation. It’s a misinterpretation. I do not buy it. Do we think that Abu Mazen [Abbas] will really empty Gaza of missiles and rockets or that he will allow Hamas to enter Judea and Samaria?” he asked.

Hamas agreed to the unity deal from a position of weakness, because it is struggling in Gaza, Ya’alon said. But make no mistake, its true objective is to establish an Islamic Palestinian state from the river to the sea.

Since the announcement of the unity deal, Netanyahu has been clear that as long as Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s destruction, it can not be a partner to peace.

He said this to international leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron, during visits he made to Paris and London last week.

In France on Friday morning, Netanyahu met with Prime Minister François Fillon and the two men agreed that France would initiate a government-to-government program with Israel, similar to those it has with Italy and Germany.

Under this program, the Fillon will come to Israel with a delegation of senior cabinet ministers.

The two men also discussed France’s participation in a railway line to be built from Ashdod to Eilat.

Netanyahu will visit the US later this month. He will meet with President Barack Obama on May 20 and address a joint session of Congress four days later.

Netanyahu is also considering a visit to Canada, but no date has been set for the trip and it is unclear if he would stop there on this way to or from the US.

On Thursday, Netanyahu called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to congratulate him on his electoral victory.

(R-Florida), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have similarly spoken out.

But the Obama administration has taken no action on the matter to date.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and the European Union say that until more is known about the nature of the PA government to be formed, funding should continue as usual.

Israel, as of Saturday night, has refused to agree to a request by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to continue to transfer tax funds to the PA.

The request came during a phone call on Friday between Ban and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss the stalled Middle East peace process and the Fatah- Hamas reconciliation.

Israel last week suspended the transfer of tax funds it collects on behalf of the PA, in response to the Palestinian unity deal.

No cabinet decision has yet been made on the issue.

But the government has asked the international community to similarly suspend its financing of the PA until it is certain that the money will not end up in the hands of Hamas.

As of Saturday night, the Prime Minister’s Office had not publicly responded to Ban’s request.

But on Friday, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio that the government had no intention of handing money over to Hamas.

“It was important to send a clear red warning to the Palestinian Authority and also to the world that we cannot countenance a terrorist government that on one hand talks about peace, and on the other hands continues, with the money that we transfer to it, to buy missiles and to rearm,” Steinitz said.

In Norway, a visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called on its government to suspend funding to the PA, out of fear that it would be used to harm innocent Israeli civilians.

Netanyahu made similar requests while in Britain and France last week.

But the government’s calls to suspend funding to the PA has fallen on deaf ears.

The European Commission on Friday approved the transfer of 85 million euros to the PA at the request of its Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

He had made the request for urgent financial assistance before the deal was reached with Hamas.

But the European Commission approved the matter two days after Fatah and Hamas signed their unity agreement.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Friday that the funding decision “renews our commitment to support the most vulnerable among Palestinians, and is part of our support to the Palestinian Authority’s institution-building program, contributing to the salaries and pensions of PA civil servants who work in health and education. It is important that access to essential public services remains uninterrupted and the right to social services is respected.”

She spoke despite statements by leaders from the EU, the US and even Ban that any new PA government would have to conform to the three Quartet principles: renounce terrorism, recognize Israel and abide by past agreements.

Hamas has refused to accept these conditions.

While Europe and the international community continue to send strong messages to the Palestinians about their expectations regarding its new government, in practice they have continued business as usual, including their expectations that Netanyahu continue to take bold moves for peace.

Ban told Netanyahu in their conversation that the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians must be overcome. “Continued drifting” would not serve the interest of both parties, he said.

Ban urged Netanyahu to make “decisive moves” toward a historic agreement with the Palestinians.

Ban said that the UN had long urged Fatah and Hamas to reconcile, under the continued leadership of Abbas and within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet’s principles.

Unity is a process that is just beginning now, and it would be best to assess it as it moves forward, Ban said.

Speaking in Beersheba on Saturday night, Deputy Premier Moshe Ya’alon attacked the very notion of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, that we are talking about a true reconciliation. It’s a misinterpretation. I do not buy it. Do we think that Abu Mazen [Abbas] will really empty Gaza of missiles and rockets or that he will allow Hamas to enter Judea and Samaria?” he asked.

Hamas agreed to the unity deal from a position of weakness, because it is struggling in Gaza, Ya’alon said. But make no mistake, its true objective is to establish an Islamic Palestinian state from the river to the sea.

Since the announcement of the unity deal, Netanyahu has been clear that as long as Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s destruction, it can not be a partner to peace.

He said this to international leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron, during visits he made to Paris and London last week.

In France on Friday morning, Netanyahu met with Prime Minister François Fillon and the two men agreed that France would initiate a government-to-government program with Israel, similar to those it has with Italy and Germany.

Under this program, the Fillon will come to Israel with a delegation of senior cabinet ministers.

The two men also discussed France’s participation in a railway line to be built from Ashdod to Eilat.

Netanyahu will visit the US later this month. He will meet with President Barack Obama on May 20 and address a joint session of Congress four days later.

Netanyahu is also considering a visit to Canada, but no date has been set for the trip and it is unclear if he would stop there on this way to or from the US.

On Thursday, Netanyahu called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to congratulate him on his electoral victory.

(gazatvnews.com / 07.05.2011)

Oppressing West Bank Palestinian Children

The Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is a Beirut, Lebanon-based organization engaged in “strategic and futuristic studies on the Arab and Muslim worlds, (highlighting) the Palestinian issue.”

In spring 2010, it published a Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group (BPAPPG) study, including the widespread detention of Palestinian children titled, “Under Occupation: A Report on the West Bank,” discussed below.

Under military occupation, Palestinian children are treated like adults. Each year, about 700 are arrested, brutally interrogated, and prosecuted in military courts, denying them justice.

Since 2000 alone, over 7,000 have been brutalized. On January 31, 2011, 222 Palestinian children were imprisoned, 34 aged 12 – 15. Some at times are 10 or younger. At age 16, they’re considered adults in violation of international law.

Israel, in fact, brazenly repudiates children’s rights and welfare, treating them like adults, in violation of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, its Principle 1 saying:

“Every child, without exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to (fundamental human and civil) rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.”

They’re entitled to special protections and opportunities to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, and socially in a healthy normal way under conditions of freedom and dignity – including their right to life, an adequate standard of living, healthcare, education, leisure, safety and peace, what Israel denied them for over four decades.

Instead, they’re taken to military detention centers, harshly interrogated for days without access to lawyers or family members. In fact, parents and siblings rarely know where they’re held or whether they’re alive or dead.

Moreover, they’re mistreated, beaten, terrorized, usually tortured, hooded, denied food and water for prolonged periods as well as access to toilets and washing facilities, exposed to extreme heat and cold, painfully shackled, and deprived of sleep for several days, often in the shabeh position.

It consists of hands and legs bound to a small chair, at times from behind to a pipe affixed to the wall, painfully slanted forward, hooded with a filthy sack, and played loud music nonstop through loudspeakers.

NGOs like the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Adalah and DCI-Palestine report widespread abuse. In 2009, a sample of 100 sworn affidavits revealed:

– 69% of them were beaten, kicked, slapped, or otherwise abused;

– 49% were threatened;

– 14% held in solitary confinement;

– 12% threatened with sexual assault, including rape; and

– 32% forced to sign confessions in Hebrew most don’t understand.

As a result, from 2001 – 2010, over 645 complaints were filed against Israeli Security Agency (ISA) interrogators, citing mistreatment and abuse. So far, no criminal investigations resulted, even for the most extreme cases.

Based solely on soldiers’ testimonies and coerced confessions, children are usually charged with stone-throwing, whether or not true. To assure lesser sentences and fines, usually two to six months confinement, 81% plead guilty. Otherwise, they’ll be remanded for extended periods, tried and convicted in kangaroo proceedings, nearly always siding against them.

Mahmoud K’s experience was typical, a 15-year old boy from Bethlehem. He was taken to court shackled hands and legs. Wrist restraints were only removed during proceedings, conducted in Hebrew (with translation by an Israeli soldier). Intimidating security guards filled the room.

Mahmoud pleaded not guilty to throwing a Molotov cocktail. He was detained four months prior to trial. Two other arrested boys signed confessions, naming him, retracted when they came to court. Both said they were abused, threatened and coerced to go along. The entire proceeding lasted an hour. It hardly mattered as guilty as charged nearly always follows.

Heading to school, another 16-year old youth was arrested for not having his ID card. Afterward, he was beaten, sent to Etzion detention camp, handcuffed, blindfolded, and beaten again brutally to get him to confess to stone-throwing and reveal names of other children with him at the time.

During interrogation, his head was immersed in cold water, then hot, then the toilet. Later moved to Adorim camp, he was again beaten, tortured, held in solitary confinement for 34 days, then on “restrictive order” at Telmond Prison, in violation of Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) stating:

“No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment….

No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily….

Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect…. (and)

Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance….”

CRC also mandates detention as a last resort for the shortest possible time. Israel does it preemptively, repressively, and irresponsibly to harass, abuse, inflict bodily and emotional harm, torture or kill – legalized by authorities decades ago, including harming children with:

– bad food and unsafe water;

– poor healthcare or lack of it;

– bad sanitation and hygiene;

– insect infested cells;

– cramped and crowded conditions;

– inadequate air and light;

– insufficient clothing, blankets and other protections;

– no play or recreation;

– isolation from the outside world;

– no family visits;

– the absence of counselors and specialists;

– detention with adults, some violent;

– solitary confinement;

– verbal, physical and sexual abuse; and

– no education.

Against adults and children alike, including women and girls, nothing is too brutal or extreme. For example, one 15-year old said he was stripped naked, forced into an extremely painful position, then burned by lit cigarettes to make him confess.

Others are tortured to collaborate. A 10-year old said “They beat me on various parts of my body with plastic hoses. I had to have a surgical operation to have a platinum transplant in my arm. They kept me naked for a whole night, handcuffed and blindfolded; and I was not allowed to go to the toilet for two days!”

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, 95% of children are tortured, 85% to confess under duress and sign Hebrew documents they can’t read or understand.

Israel brazenly violates international law, including in how they treat young children. In fact, harassing, intimidating, threatening, cuffing, shackling, abusing, torturing and denying due process breaches Fourth Geneva, the UN Torture Convention, and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

They’re inviolable legal standards Israel doesn’t give a damn about when it comes to Palestinian Arabs. Why should they when international community leaders raise no accountability issues.

A Final Comment

In the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel’s March Newsletter, Mahd Bader, a human rights law attorney, headlined, “Secret Prison for UFOs,” saying:

Facility 1391 is Israel’s Guantanamo. Officially it doesn’t exist. Detainees aren’t told where they’re held. They’re kept in darkened cells, brutally interrogated, and denied outside contact. On January 11, 2011, Israel’s Supreme Court again “demonstrated its conservative nature with respect to human rights in general and the rights of weak population sectors in particular,” effectively approving the facility’s existence, its location still secret.

In fact, Israel is prohibited from having secret detention facilities. Those existing should be closed or revealed. Instead, the Court performed a “balancing act (with) legal hair-splitting and zigzagging. (It) chose to take the complex, meandering and superfluous road of ‘appropriate balance’ and, after examining the clashing interests and rights,” avoided respecting international and Israeli law.

As a result, it ruled that detainee rights and their families are indeed violated. “However, the infringement is proportional….since the State has suggested an arrangement (to) minimize it.” No details were published or consideration for how often authorities do what they please, freely violating Court decisions with impunity.

Nonetheless, the State agreed “not to hold in this facility citizens of Israel or residents of the occupied territory unless high military officials order it. Moreover, those detained will only be for a short time. Even though the Military Judge Advocate General and Ministry of Justice supervise the facility, many questions and problems remain unanswered.

Also consider “for whom is that unknown detention facility intended if the State” won’t use it for Israeli Arabs or Palestinians? Why is it needed and kept secret? How short is “very short,” and why does any court tolerate illegal practices? No satisfactory answers were provided.

Given today’s extremist Court and Knesset, especially regarding Muslims, offers more proof that “Israel is knowingly and surely sliding towards a dark and oppressive regime.”

Today Arabs are persecuted. Tomorrow others. Soon anyone resisting state authority, no matter how oppressive and lawless. Ahead, Bader sees what he calls a “Jewish phobiocraticstate,” targeting anyone within or outside the law.

(sabbah.biz / 07.05.2011)