Said Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh Wednesday a “breakthroughs” in the implementation of a reconciliation agreement, during the meeting between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Palestinian Liberation Organization (Fatah) in Cairo on Tuesday.

Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza – while inspecting one of the halls exams, which was launched today – “The news that arrives from Cairo talks about the positive atmosphere, and the occurrence of breakthroughs necessary for the implementation of a reconciliation agreement.”

Haniyeh said that breakthroughs developments will contribute to the formation of a government of national consensus and activation of the Palestine Liberation Organization and an end to political arrests, and compatibility in order to resolve all outstanding issues on all tracks and in a balanced manner.

He said Haniyeh of Hamas, the Palestinians are entering a “new phase”, and expressed the hope that reconciliation ship up to safety and begin practice in the implementation of what was agreed upon in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The two organizations agreed – in a dialogue hosted by Cairo on Tuesday – the announcement of the formation of the interim Palestinian government next week in the Egyptian capital Cairo, in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President of the political bureau of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.

The director of Al Jazeera’s bureau in Cairo, Abdel Fattah Fayed said Tuesday that he was the exclusion of the President of the caretaker government in the West Bank, Salam Fayyad, the possibility of lead the next government.

In a statement to the island on Tuesday evening from Cairo, Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas Political Bureau that the two movements Twaafqata independent person to head the government, refused to reveal the name of this character.

Also refused to disclose the names of candidates for membership of the government, but stressed they are all independent of the competencies and personalities it is compatible, and they have specific tasks in the framework of consensus for the management transition.

(Facebook / 15.06.2011)

FORUM: Gaza flotilla is no ‘provocaton’​

By Stanley Heller

The newest crime is “provocation.” The Israeli government uses it as a term to criminalize protest and the U.S. State Department is adopting it, too.

At the armistice line in the Golan Heights May 15 and June 5, unarmed Palestinians came from their refugee camps to try to cross from Syria into Israeli-occupied Syria and then to go to their homeland.This was labeled a provocation. Thirty or so were killed on the two days.

At the end of this month, a U.S. ship filled with Americans, including two longtime Connecticut residents, will join a dozen others to try to sail to the Gaza Strip to break the siege, to allow 1.5 million people a normal life.

Israel labels this a provocation, and in a statement made by a U.S. State Department official there is agreement.

What will our government do if the U.S. boat is attacked?

If past actions of the Obama administration are a sign, the outlook is grim. Last year, seven boats tried to get to the Gaza Strip in an effort called the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. For years, Palestinians in Gaza had no trade, and almost no ability to leave and return.

The United Nations was only allowed to bring in “humanitarian goods,” meaning the minimum that prevented outright starvation.

The Israelis deemed the flotilla a provocation, and met it on the high seas with deadly force. Eight Turkish citizens and one American citizen, 19-year-old Furkan Dogan, were killed.

A few months ago, I spoke to Dogan’s father, Ahmet Dogan. He described the killing as an execution. He said: “He was one of the first shot and he lay injured. Later on, while he was lying on the ground, he was shot above his eyebrows.” In all, Dogan was shot five times.

No protest was made of this killing of an American by the U.S. State Department. Nor did it object to the rough handling of other Americans in the flotilla and the seizure of all their property.

No Connecticut member of Congress raised his or her voice. In fact, all five members of the U.S. House joined in a letter to the president saying Israel’s actions were a matter of “self-defense.”

The prime minister of Israel is trying to get the flotilla stopped because, as the Jerusalem Post reports, he says it will be “organized by radical Islamists” bent on violence. The boats could be bringing Gaza an arsenal of weapons.

Yet if you look at the passenger list on the U.S. ship, this is hard to believe. It includes Alice Walker, one of America’s great novelists, who has said the flotilla is the “Freedom Ride of this era.”

It includes Col. Ann Wright, a retired soldier and former diplomat who served in Afghanistan and on a host of other State Department assignments. It includes Heddy Epstein, whose parents died in the Holocaust and who was on the Kindertransport of German Jewish children who survived the war in England. Also on the boat will be Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst.

I know the two Connecticut passengers well, Gale Khoury Toensing and Libor Koznar. Toensing is a journalist who writes for Indian Country Today. Her grandfather was a Christian priest from Jerusalem. Koznar is a recent U.S. citizen, formerly of the Czech Republic, who has degrees in engineering and marketing, and whose passions are art and activism.

Fifty years ago, blacks in the South had their bare humanitarian needs taken care of, but the Freedom Riders went to the South to help win them full lives. Certainly, the whites down South saw the Freedom Rides as unnecessary provocations and outside agitation.

Today, it is the Freedom Riders who are universally honored.

Will U.S. politicians step up to the plate and defend the rights of American citizens to travel to Gaza? Will they support Palestinians human rights or ignore them for the sake of the “negotiations”? We shall see.

( / 15.06.2011)

From Gaza to Formula One: Khan Younis students go for gold with recycled car

15 June 2011
Khan Younis, Gaza

UNRWA students test drive their Formula 1-style car.

A group of students from UNRWA’s Khan Younis Training Centre (KYTC) in Gaza has created a Formula 1-style car out of mostly recycled parts. The students decided to embark on the project as part of this year’s prestigious Formula Student competition.

Today, after weeks of moulding, sanding, and painting, the students and their teacher ran an official test drive of their car. In just a few weeks, they hope to travel to the Silverstone Circuit, UK to take part in the contest.

One of Europe’s biggest student motorsport events, Formula Student challenges students from around the world to design, build and race a single-seater racing car from scratch. The contest, held this year at Silverstone Circuit, from 14-17 July, serves as a talent-nurturing and recruitment event for companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Shell.

With financial support from Bank of Palestine, Pal Tel Group Foundation and Al Quds (Jerusalem) Bank, the Khan Younis team have been working round the clock in preparation for the competition, said their supervisor, Dr Ghassan Abu Orf.

“They have taken no rest – we don’t have that much time,” he says. “We have to stick to the deadline, and have to be in the UK on time for the competition.”

The team is urgently seeking funding to ship their car and travel to the UK.

Nineteen-year-old Osama Al Othmani, the team’s leader, said “I just can’t wait for the minute when we finish.”

Creativity under siege

Students working on the carIn the week in which the blockade entered its fifth year, the team’s test run gave an insight into the challenges that confront the young and talented in the Strip.

Because of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, most of the parts for the car had to be manufactured at the centre’s modest workshop. For the engine, the team had to buy an old motorcycle to use its engine. The car now boasts an engine originally intended for a Honda CBR600F4i 2002 bike.

A small number of parts ordered from Italy are still missing, Dr Abu Orf explained, because of the blockade.

In contrast to the international career opportunities offered by the Formula Student competition, economic prospects for young engineers without the opportunity to leave Gaza are bleak. The engineering sector in the Strip has been decimated by the blockade.

Colin Brown, Director of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:

“It really is inspirational to see a team working so hard with the odds stacked against them like this. Formula Student is a massive challenge in its own right, but to be working with almost entirely recycled parts in one of the most deprived areas in the world is absolutely remarkable.

“These students epitomise the spirit and inventiveness of those who take part in Formula Student.”

Many of the students at the centre are classed by UNRWA as abject poor. Families living in abject poverty generally have an income of US$2-3 a day. Yet Osama is incredibly proud of his team – and proud to be a Palestinian refugee living in Gaza.

“We are challenging all the pressures here, and the blockade,” he said. “We want to prove to the world that even if we are living on nothing, we can still create something from it!

“The last thing we will do is to stick on the label,” Osama added with a smile. “It will say ‘made in Gaza’.”

– ENDS –

The team is still urgently seeking funds to ship their car and travel to the UK. To arrange a donation, contact Leslie Thomas:

For more information / photos, please contact:

Jamal H. Hamad
UNRWA Public Information Officer, Gaza
Mobile: 059 9416877
Office: 08 2887457 / 2887213

Adnan Abu Hasna
UNRWA Media Advisor, Gaza
Gaza Mobile: +97(0)59 942 8061
Office: +97(0)8 288 7531

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

To arrange quotations and/or interviews with the organisers of Formula Student, please contact:

James Fulker Formula Student
Mobile: +44 207 973 1261


( / 15.06.2011)

Prominenten steunen hulpvloot naar Gaza

Cabaretier Najib Amhali, priester Antoine Bodar en de voormalige ministers Laurens Jan Brinkhorst en Jan Pronk bevinden zich onder de Nederlandse prominenten die Freedom Flotilla 2, de hulpvloot naar Gaza, steunen. De lijst bevat namen van bekende Nederlandse politici, kunstenaars, journalisten en wetenschappers.  De Nederlanders zijn in gezelschap van onder andere de Amerikaanse schijfster Alice Walker, voormalig Unesco-directeur Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Guatamalese Nobelprijswinnares Rigoberta Menchu en de Amerikaanse wetenschapper en filosoof Noam Chomsky.
Freedom Flotilla 2 vertrekt in het weekend van 25 juni 2011 naar de door Israël vrijwel hermetisch afgesloten Gazastrook. Een Nederlandse-Italiaanse boot vaart mee in het konvooi van 12 schepen.  Met delegaties uit Algerije, Australië, België, Canada, Denemarken, Duitsland, Frankrijk, Griekenland, Ierland, Indonesië, Italië, Jordanië, Koeweit, Latijns-Amerika, Libanon, Maleisië, Noorwegen, Nederland, Schotland, Spanje, Tunesië, Turkije, Verenigde Staten, Zweden en Zwitserland is deze vloot de grootste ooit.
De vloot wil op geweldloze wijze de blokkade van de Gazastrook, die de economie nagenoeg heeft lamgelegd en de Gazastrook tot een openluchtgevangenis heeft gemaakt, doorbreken. Ten tweede beoogt het initiatief de nodige hulpgoederen te brengen. De blokkade heeft geleid tot grote tekorten aan onder meer medicijnen, medische hulpmiddelen en schoolspullen.

( / 15.06.2011)

After Running Out Of Anesthesia, All Surgeries In Gaza Put On Hold


Dr. Atef Al Kahloot, head of the Medical Services in the Gaza Strip, reported Monday that all surgeries in hospitals across the coastal region have been put on hold until further notice as they ran out of anesthesia medications and supplies.

Al Kahloot stated that all hospitals and medical centers in the Gaza Strip will be totally out of all supplies related to Anesthesia within 48 hours. Al Kahloot added that there are 180 types of medications that have run out of in addition to 200 types of medical supplies.

He called on the international community and international human rights groups to intervene, and to save the residents from a serious humanitarian crisis.

Al Kahloot further called on the Ministry of Health in the central West Bank city of Ramallah to act on sending all needed medical supplies to the hospitals and medical facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Over 300 patients have died, since Israeli imposed the siege on Gaza in 2007, due to a lack of essential medical equipment. The patients were denied permits to leave the Gaza Strip to seek medical attention elsewhere.

( / 15.06.2011)

US Congress considers shutting down the UN

A top congressman has drafted a resolution that calls on the US to withhold contributions to the UN if the international body recognizes a Palestinian state.

The measure declares that the US secretary of state should cancel American funding for the UN General Assembly if the GA “adopts a resolution in favor of recognizing a state of Palestine outside of or prior to a final status agreement negotiated between, and acceptable to, the State of Israel and the Palestinians.”
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Middle East subcommittee, introduced the nonbinding measure on Friday and so far has no co-sponsors.

But other members are discussing whether Congress should use its control of the government’s purse strings to take a more concrete stand against any UN recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has publicly voiced support for leveraging UN funds to further US policy interests, including preventing a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.

At a hearing in March on reforming the UN, she cited the threat during the George H. W. Bush administration to cut off funding to the any UN entity that recognized a Palestinian state after PLO chairman Yasser Arafat made such a declaration in 1988.

“The PLO’s effort was stopped in its tracks. While Arafat is gone, his successors are up to the same tricks today. The US response must be just as strong,” she said.

“I think there would be broad support for something limiting funding [to the UN] based on what happens at the UN,” said one aide to a representative on the House Appropriations Committee of the possibility of Ros-Lehtinen or others bringing forth such a measure.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he will seek the backing of the UN, most likely in the General Assembly, for a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood when it begins its next session in September.

The US has indicated it opposes the move, but some pro-Israel figures are calling for a more emphatic repudiation of the idea in the hopes that it will dissuade the Palestinians from going to the UN.

Members of Congress have warned Abbas that PA aid is at risk of being reduced should the Palestinians pursue a declaration of statehood this September.

The chairwoman of the US House appropriation subcommittee for foreign operations, Rep. Kay Granger (RTexas), and the subcommittee’s ranking member, Nita Lowey (D-New York), wrote Abbas about their “serious concerns” on that score in April.

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton argued in The Wall Street Journal, however, that a further threat to reduce aid to the UN itself would be most effective.

“Congress should legislate broadly that any UN action that purports to acknowledge or authorize Palestinian statehood will result in a cutoff of all US contributions to the offending agency,” wrote Bolton, who served in the George W. Bush administration. He suggested that the reductions could be tailored so that agencies such as the World Heath Organization or the International Atomic Energy Agency are unaffected.

“Our current federal budget deficits provide another attractive reason to reduce UN contributions.

If political realities make it impossible to cut off funding completely, perhaps a partial reduction, say 50 percent, might be a suitable compromise,” he said.

Pointing to the George H.W. Bush administration’s precedent, he concluded that “although defeating the PLO campaign required further maneuvering, Mr. Baker’s statement was the death knell of the ‘statehood’ push [in 1988].”

( / 15.06.2011)

Marokkaanse jongeren zijn trendsetters

SMN Jong presenteert op vrijdag 17 juni in een nieuwe KennisLounge een avond vol met tips en trends op gebied van westerse en Marokkaanse mode.

Met onder andere: Aniek Smith (auteur ‘Mijn vader had een afro’), onderzoekster Hester Dibbits, Kamalia Creations, Carina Personal Styling en nog veel meer!

Vind jij mode belangrijk en kies jij bewust je outfits? Kom dan vrijdag 17 juni naar SMN Jong’s KennisLounge en praat mee!

And don’t forget: dress to impress!



Hoe luider de roep dat moslims in Nederland moeten kiezen tussen de Westerse waarden en de islam, hoe krachtiger het islamitische bewustzijn zich lijkt te ontwikkelen. Veel jonge moslims keren terug naar de oorspronkelijke bronnen van het geloof en nemen de Koran en de overleveringen van de profeet als leidraad voor hun leven. In Tegenlicht komen deze jongeren zelf aan het woord en krijgen we een inkijk in hun dagelijks leven.

Als God het wil

Hoe luider de roep dat moslims in Nederland moeten kiezen tussen de Westerse waarden en de islam, hoe krachtiger het islamitische bewustzijn zich lijkt te ontwikkelen. Er is inmiddels een islamitische zuil in Nederland aan het ontstaan met scholingsbijeenkomsten, lezingen, internetsites, boekhandels en kledingzaken.

Vooral door de aanslagen van 9/11 en de gebeurtenissen daarna zijn veel moslims gaan nadenken over wat de islam in hun leven betekent. Veel jonge moslims keren terug naar de oorspronkelijke bronnen van het geloof en nemen de Koran en de overleveringen van de profeet als leidraad voor hun leven. Dit fundamentalisme of salafisme wordt wel als een broedplaats voor radicalisering gezien en als een probleem voor de integratie in Nederland. Maar is dat ook zo?

In Tegenlicht komen deze jongeren zelf aan het woord en krijgen we een inkijk in hun dagelijks leven. Hoe staan ze in de Nederlandse maatschappij en waarom kiezen ze zo bewust voor baard, hoofdsluier en vijf keer bidden per dag? Waarom schudden ze liever niet de hand en hoe weten ze leerstellingen van 1400 jaar geleden zo schijnbaar moeiteloos in hun dagelijks leven en werk te integreren? Ze keren zich af van het lege materialisme en zien hun leven in de aanbidding van Allah. We ontmoeten twee jonge Nederlandse vrouwen die voor deze zuivere islam gekozen hebben en volgen de ‘radicale jongerenprediker’ Abdul-Jabbar van de Ven in zijn onvermoeibare verspreiding van het geloof. Duidelijk wordt dat het om een krachtige en zelfbewuste ontwikkeling gaat die niet meer uit Nederland is weg te denken.

( / 15.06.2011)