A state of fragile peace governs the region, with political insecurity undermining the daily lives of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Children grow up with undrinkable dirty water, run down schools, faltering electricity, and the daily threat of bombings. Youths mature to find themselves in an economy with sky-high unemployment rates (45% in Gaza, one of the highest in the world). Parents grow old and face mounting health problems, with limited medical supplies and capacity stunting life expectancy.

Over 46% of Palestinians in the West Bank live below the poverty line, while in Gaza the figure is as high as 80%. Those who grow up in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon are essentially stateless.

All in Palestine face restricted freedom of movement, and systematic abuses of their rights to land. Despite their daily lives being marked by violations of their basic human rights, Palestinians remain resilient.

(Interpal  Ramadan 2011 / Facebook / 17.08.2011)

IOF arrests wife of prisoner and her baby boy

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested the wife of a Palestinian prisoner and her baby boy while on her way to
visit her husband Tareq Eduais in Ofer prison near Ramallah on Monday.

The Palestinian prisoner society said in a statement that the IOF soldiers detained Suha Abu Munshar and her one and a half year old infant Anwar claiming that she was trying to smuggle a mobile phone to her husband.

The statement said that Suha was taken to Hasharon jail along with her baby.

The society denounced the detention of the woman and her child and urged human rights groups to intervene and demand her immediate release. It noted that the woman was due to appear in court in Ofer on Tuesday where military judges would look into a request for her release.

The Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners had said in a statement on Monday that the IOF troops detained 123 Palestinians
since the beginning of Ramadan, which started on 1st August, adding that most of them were liberated prisoners.

(www.palestine-info.co.uk / 17.08.2011)

Israel refuses to apologize to Turkey for flotilla deaths

Israel’s government, defying U.S. pressure, refuses to apologize for killing nine Turkish activists last year on board a pro-Palestinian protest flotilla. The Obama administration fears that the breakdown in ties between Israel and Turkey could further destabilize the region.

Reporting from Jerusalem—

Defying U.S. pressure to mend fences with Turkey, the Israeli government said Wednesday it would not apologize for killing nine Turkish activists last year on board a pro-Palestinian protest flotilla that was attempting to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

U.S. officials had been pressing Israel to formally apologize for the incident as part of a proposal to repair ties between the two significant American allies. Turkey recalled its ambassador and nearly broke off all diplomatic relations with Israel in protest over the May 2010 flotilla clash.

After months of negotiations between the two regional powers, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to convince his right-wing coalition government to accept the deal. Conservative politicians, including Israeli Foreign Minister
Avidgor Lieberman, said an apology would be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

Netanyahu informed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of the decision during a telephone call Tuesday, Israeli
media reported. The Obama administration fears that the breakdown in ties between Israel and Turkey could further destabilize the region.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that relations would not be restored without Israel’s public acceptance of responsibility and compensation to victims and their families.

Activists on one of the flotilla’s boats attacked Israeli soldiers with knives and pipes as the troops tried to seize their craft in
international waters. A U.N. probe into the incident is expected to release its findings in the coming days.

Israel offered to pay compensation as long as its soldiers were protected from lawsuits, but resisted a formal apology.

Analysts said both governments appear more concerned about looking strong in the eyes of their citizens than improving regional

“Leaders on both sides are having this fistfight over the honor of their countries, but they’re overlooking their interests,” said Alon
Liel, former Israeli ambassador to Turkey. “It’s completely crazy to not find a diplomatic solution. It’s not that complicated.”

Echoing the concerns expressed by Americans, Liel said the recent regional upheaval in surrounding Arab countries makes a close relationship between Israel and Turkey even more essential.

“Look at the turmoil going on in the Middle East, especially now in Syria,” he said. “These two stable countries need to coordinate their activities and renew a strategic dialogue.”

Relations between Israel and Turkey have been on the decline for some time. Once one of Israel’s only Muslim allies, Turkey in recent years forged closer ties with Israeli enemies such as Syria and Iran.

Relations soured further when Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon embarrassed the Turkish ambassador last year by summoning him to the ministry for a dressing-down in front of journalists and intentionally seating the ambassador in a smaller,
lower chair. Ayalon later apologized.

In response to Israel’s refusal to apologize, some predict Turkey may expel Israel’s ambassador or reduce economic ties. Military cooperation between the countries had already slowed to a halt.

Erdogan has also threatened to visit the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory controlled by the militantly anti-Israel group
Hamas, which would be seen as a challenge to Israel’s efforts to isolate the enclave.

A spokesman for Netanyahu declined to comment on the demand for an apology, but said Israel remains interested in improving relations with Turkey.

“The prime minister has said on several occasions that he’d like to see the Israeli-Turkish relationship on a more positive trajectory,” said government spokesman Mark Regev. “We didn’t want and didn’t initiate the deterioration.”

A decline in relations with Turkey would further isolate Israel in the region, analysts said. Already, Israel has lost a key ally in deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Jordan has expressed exasperation with Netanyahu over the lack of Palestinian peace
talks. The Palestinian Authority is preparing for a diplomatic showdown against Israel in the U.N. next month over the Palestinians’ bid for formal statehood recognition.

And while Syrian President Bashar Assad was never a friend to Israel, his regime was viewed by Israel as predictable, so many here are nervous about what might replace his government if Assad falls amid rising public protests.

Israeli leaders who opposed calls for an apology said it would hurt the country’s image.

“God forbid we apologize,” Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told a group of Likud Party officials Tuesday. “National pride is not just something people say on the street, but it has strategic significance. If Erdogan goes around afterward and says that he brought us to our knees, he will appear as a regional leader in the Middle East. He won’t leave it alone, even after we apologize.”

(www.latimes.com / 17.08.2011)

De Edele Koran

In Saheeh Muslim, welke één van de twee meest authentieke boeken zijn van overleveringen van de Profeet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa salaam) vinden we een mooi verhaal. Er kwamen wat mannen vragen stellen aan ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab (radya Allahu ‘anhu) tijdens zijn kalifaat. Eén van die vragen ging over de leiderschap van Mekkah. de man vroeg, “Wie liet je Mekkah regeren?” ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab zei, “Ibn Abzaa.” Zij vroegen toen, “En wie is Ibn Abzaa?” ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab antwoordde, “Een vrijgelaten slaaf.” Zij waren verbaasd en zeiden, “Je hebt een bevrijde slaaf bevelvoerend over de mensen van de vallei (de nobele stammen van de Quraysh) gemaakt?” ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab antwoordde, “Inderdaad hij is een (Qari) reciteerder van het boek van Allah (de Qur’an) en hij heeft kennis over de verplichtingen van de Moslims. Hebben jullie niet de verklaring van jullie Boodschapper (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa salaam) gehoord: “Waarlijk Allah verheft sommige mensen door dit boek (de Qur’an) en laat sommige dalen?” (Overgeleverd in Muslim.) Ook heeft ‘Uthmaan (radya Allahu ‘anhu) overgeleverd dat de Profeet (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa salaam) zei: “De besten van jullie zijn degenen die de Qur’an leren en die het leren (lesgeven) aan anderen.” (Overgeleverd in Bukhari.)

(http://tl.gd/cfa6ia / 17.08.2011)

‘Breivik had tweede bom voorbereid’

Anders Behring Breivik heeft ook een tweede bom voorbereid, zo meldt de Noorse openbare televisie NRK. Met meer dan een ton was dit springtuig veel zwaarder dan de bom die op 22 juli ontplofte in het administratieve hart van Oslo.

Op gezag van anonieme militaire bronnen berichtte NRK dat de bom is gevonden in de boerderij die Behring Breivik op ongeveer 140 km ten noorden van de hoofdstad huurde. Het springtuig van 1 tot 1,5 ton was klaar voor gebruik.

De bom die op 22 juli afging in een bestelwagen in de regeringswijk in Oslo was ongeveer 950 kilo zwaar. Bij die aanslag verloren acht mensen het leven.

Bij de Noorse politie was woensdagavond niemand voor uitleg bereikbaar.

(www.nieuwsblad.be / 17.08.2011)

‘Israël biedt geen excuus aan voor commandoraid’

Israël biedt Turkije geen excuses aan voor de commandoraid op een hulpkonvooi voor Gaza. Dat heeft een Israëlische regeringsfunctionaris vandaag gezegd. Volgens hem heeft de reden dat Israël excuses weigert te maken met een ‘geloofwaardigheidskwestie’.

Bij de raid, die vorig jaar mei plaatsvond, kwamen negen Turkse activisten om het leven. Als gevolg van de actie verslechterden de banden tussen de twee landen dramatisch. Beide landen geven elkaar de schuld.

Turkije zei in eerste instantie dat het zich wilde verzoenen met Israël als Jeruzalem excuses aanbood en de nabestaanden van de slachtoffers een schadevergoeding zou betalen. Israël was daar volgens de functionaris toe bereid, maar trok zich terug toen Turkije aanvullende eisen begon te stellen. Een daarvan was het opschorten van de publicatie van een VN-rapport, waarin naar verluidt de Israëlische versie van het verhaal werd verteld.

(www.parool.nl / 17.08.2011)


Zakenman betaalt boerkaboetes

Een zakenman uit Frankrijk heeft vandaag in Brussel de boetes betaald van twee meisjes die op straat een boerka droegen.

De man, die een zoon van Algerijnse migranten is, is zelf tegen het dragen van de boerka, maar ziet het verbod op het dragen van een boerka als schending van de mensenrechten. De moslima’s in kwestie werden in juni 2011 met 50 euro beboet wegens overtreding van het politiereglement, meldden Vlaamse media. Sinds 23 juli is het dragen van een boerka algemeen verboden in België. De zakenman vereffent overigens ook in Frankrijk boetes die zijn uitgeschreven vanwege het dragen van een boerka. Hij zette daarvoor een fonds op van 1 miljoen euro.

(waaromislam.nl / 17.08.2011)

Genoeg bewijs voor ‘Hezbollahproces’

Er is voldoende bewijsmateriaal verzameld om een proces te beginnen tegen vier mannen die betrokken zouden zijn bij de moord op de Libanese oud-premier Rafik al-Hariri in 2005. Dat hebben de rechters van het Hariri-Tribunaal in Leidschendam besloten.

De aanklacht is vandaag vrijgegeven. Daniel Bellemare, de hoofdaanklager van het Hariri-Tribunaal, stelt dat de vier verdachten betrokken waren bij een samenzwering die een terreurdaad als doel had.

De verdachten zouden banden hebben met de radicale sjiitische beweging Hezbollah. Die door Syrië en Iran gesteunde groepering, die iedere betrokkenheid ontkent, zit inmiddels in de regering van Libanon. Het proces ligt daarom politiek zeer gevoelig in het Arabische land.

Het VN-tribunaal heeft Libanon opdracht gegeven de verdachten te arresteren. Het gaat om Mustafa Badreddine, Salim Ayyash, Hussein Oneissi en Assad Sabra. De Libanese autoriteiten hebben nog geen gehoor gegeven aan het verzoek.

Uit het onderzoek van de aanklagers blijkt dat premier en zakentycoon al-Hariri, een soenniet, op 14 februari 2005 werd gedood door een bom die was verstopt in een kleine vrachtwagen. De explosie veroorzaakte een enorme ravage en sloeg een diepe krater in de weg. Behalve Hariri kwamen nog 21 andere personen om het leven en raakten 231 mensen gewond.

Op basis van technisch onderzoek, verklaringen van ooggetuigen en schriftelijke documenten concluderen de aanklagers dat Badreddine leiding gaf aan het netwerk dat de moordaanslag voorbereidde. Ayyash leidde de cel die de zelfmoordaanslag uitvoerde. De twee mannen gelden als hoofdverdachten.

Onneisi en Sabra zouden een kleinere rol hebben gespeeld. Ze zouden onder meer hebben geprobeerd de schuld af te schuiven op de fundamentalistische organisatie Overwinning en Heilige Oorlog in Groot-Syrië.

De daders maakten volgens de aanklagers intensief gebruik van geheime netwerken voor mobiele telefonie.

Saad al-Hariri, evenals zijn vader Rafik oud-premier van Libanon, riep Hezbollah woensdag op om de vier verdachten uit te leveren. ‘Ik hoop dat Hassan Nasrallah, de leider van Hezbollah, een historisch besluit zal nemen’, zo stelde hij in een verklaring.

De regering van Saad al-Hariri viel eerder dit jaar, toen een groep aan Hezbollah gelieerde ministers uit zijn regering stapte. De beweging wilde niet dat premier Hariri zou meewerken aan het moordonderzoek.

(www.parool.nl / 17.08.2011)

As Syria flares, some U.N.’ers take flight

The death and discord plaguing Syria hit home for the United Nations on
Wednesday as the world body temporarily withdrew some staff members amid the
violence there.

The United Nations is relocating 26 non-essential international staff members
and their families from Syria, said Michael Williams, the U.N. special
coordinator for Lebanon.

He had been concerned over the conflict in Latakia, the port city where
Syrian forces kicked off an offensive this weekend.

There are normally more than 160 international U.N. staffers in Syria, with
many of them based in Damascus, a spokesman said. The largest U.N. agency in
Syria has been the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, with a total of 61.

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday will be briefed on Syria in closed
consultations by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay; Valerie
Amos, under-secretary-general of humanitarian affairs and emergency relief
efforts, and a U.N. political officer.

There’s no expected outcome from the meeting like a presidential statement or
resolution, but its purpose is to get the 15-member council closer to a decision
on how to proceed.

In a presidential statement this month, the Security Council called on Syria
“to alleviate the humanitarian situation in crisis areas by ceasing the use of
force against affected towns, to allow expeditious and unhindered access for
international humanitarian agencies and workers, and cooperate fully with the
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

“We hope that we’re near the point that a mission will be able to go in,”
Amos told reporters on Wednesday.

Asked where they would want to go in Syria, Amos answered, “areas where
there’ve been reports of fighting is our priority.”

The U.N. Human Rights Council is also focused on the unrest. It plans to hold
a special session Monday regarding the situation in Syria, according to Cedric
Sepe, press officer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

He said member states have called for the session, in Geneva, Switzerland,
and it may spill into the next day.

These moves reflect international anxiety and outrage among world powers,
including the United States, and among Syria’s neighbors, including Jordan and
Turkey, over the crackdown.

Tunisia has recalled its ambassador to Syria for “consultations,” the
Tunisian news agency said Wednesday, citing an “authorized” Foreign Ministry

“This measure was taken as a result of the recent dangerous developments in
Syria,” the source reportedly said.

Last week, Saudi King Abdullah called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria
and recalled the Saudi ambassador from Damascus.

Bahrain and Kuwait also have recalled their ambassadors from Syria and called
on the Bashar al-Assad regime to end crackdowns.

While the government has maintained that it is targeting “armed groups” and
“terrorists” during the country’s five-month long unrest, witnesses and
activists say the government has been brutally cracking down on civilians amid
calls for al-Assad’s ouster.

Reports of violence persisted Wednesday.

Syria’s state-run media said military forces have departed two major cities
on both ends of the country after putting down “armed terrorist groups,” but
activists in at least one of those cities dispute that assertion.

Security force pullouts have been reported in the western port city of
Latakia and the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. But one activist group, the Local
Coordination Committees of Syria, said they haven’t left the restive Latakia
neighborhood of Ramel.

There is a lot of anti-government sentiment in Ramel, which also is the home
of a Palestinian refugee camp. The camp normally holds 10,000 people, but
reports have surfaced that many people are fleeing the violence are going

Gunfire was heard sporadically there Wednesday morning, and snipers were
perched upon rooftops, said the Local Coordination Committees, a coalition of
activists who organize and document protests.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another activist group, said
Wednesday that a woman in Latakia’s Al Kalaa neighborhood died of wounds
sustained Monday and that an activist saw three civilians who were killed by
gunshots in one of the government hospitals.

In the Idlib province city of Jabala al-Zawiya in the northwest, a man
standing on his balcony was killed as security forces carried out military and
security operations, the observatory said.

“I don’t know if I can get outside of the city now; the military is
everywhere,” a resident said.

Two people were killed in the western city of Homs, the observatory said. One
was killed in the Nazehein neighborhood during security raids and another died
in the Armenian neighborhood during sniper fire. Security forces are conducting
raids and have arrested more than 40 people.

The Local Coordination Committees said that at least 2,545 people have died
since the protests began. The vast majority were civilians, and 391 were
security personnel, the group said.

CNN cannot independently verify opposition or government
claims because Syria has restricted international journalists from reporting
inside the country.

(edition.cnn.com / 17.08.2011)

‘Mossad plotted to harm Egyptian fertility’

Egypt’s Al-Ahram daily claims Israeli Ofir Harrari accused of spying for Israel, devised to sell Egypt hair products endangering reproductive abilities

Israeli citizen Ofir Harrari, recently accused by Egypt of spying for Israel, was allegedly involved in a complicated scheme intended to harm Egyptian reproduction abilities, Egypt’s official state paper Al-Ahram has claimed.

Harrari, accused by Egypt of being an agent of the Mossad, is set be tried in absentia on charges of “spying for a foreign country with the purpose of harming Egyptian national interest,” news agency MENA reported on Sunday.

Cairo alleges that Israeli Ofir Harari, Jordanian national worked for Mossad to recruit Egyptians in telecoms sector

“According to the public prosecutor’s office’s investigation, ‘Mossad agent Ofir Harrari’ instructed Jordanian Ibrahim abu-Zaid to set up a company in Egypt which would exclusively import an Israeli hair product, for both men and women, which causes infertility. This in order to completely destroy Egyptian reproduction abilities,” Al-Ahram states.

The report also asserted that the Mossad supposedly required that abu-Zaid open communications companies in Sudan and Libya, so as to enable Israel to follow communication traffic in both countries.

On June 12, Egypt arrested US-Israeli dual national Ilan Grapel on suspicion of spying for Israel, which denied any such charge.

Egypt’s espionage allegations come at a sensitive time when Israel is trying to understand where Egypt’s new temporary regime is headed.

It has been estimated both in Israel and in Egypt that the Egyptian allegations stem from a wish to appease Egyptian demonstrators protesting against the close relations that existed between Jerusalem and Cairo in the pre-uprising days.

(theuglytruth.wordpress.com / 17.08.2011)