El Salvador declares its recognition of the State of Palestine

The Republic of El Salvador, night, recognition of the State of Palestine.

He thanked President Mahmoud Abbas, President of El Salvador for his country’s recognition of the State of Palestine a sovereign and independent, and expressed hope to further strengthen bilateral relations and development.

The Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki in the West concluded on the twentieth of this month, a historic visit to the State of El Salvador, where he met with senior officials and urged them to expedite the decision-making appropriate to recognize the State of Palestine.

It is noteworthy that an Israeli delegation had attended to El Salvador at the level of Director of Central America and the Caribbean, to urge the participating countries not to recognize the State of Palestine and the risks of such a confession, and they communicate with many countries for the same purpose.

In the same context, President Mahmoud Abbas met at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, on Thursday evening, the Chinese envoy to the peace process in the Middle East Wu Sika.

Aaas envoy briefed the Chinese on the latest situation and developments related to the efforts of the Palestinian-focused approach to the United Nations in order to obtain membership of Palestine and the realization of their legitimate rights.

The President, to go to the United Nations does not conflict with the negotiations and that is our first choice, second and third, but the Israeli government still refuses to respond to the requirements to return to resume negotiations on the basis of references and clear international halt to settlements.

And the price of China’s position in support of the direction of the Palestinian application for membership of the United Nations, pointing out that China’s position has always been a part of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people establish their independent state on 1967 borders.

For his part, the Chinese envoy conveyed a message from Chinese President Hu Jintao and the Chinese government confirming his country’s full support to the position of the Palestinian leadership to go to the United Nations for membership in the State of Palestine in the General Assembly.

(Facebook / 25.08.2011)

Dr Moussa Ibrahim says The war is not over yet speaks live from Libya 25/08/11

Tweets by @laylaanwar:

M.Ibrahin in speech 25.8. says that they (NATO +rebels) want to destroy ALL of #Libya’s infrastructure so they can rob and reconstruct again

M.Ibrahim: we have guarantees from the various tribes in #Libya that they will never allow the occupation of #Libya and will fight to death

M.Ibrahim: we also found several armed gangs, foreign ones in different parts of #Tripoli. These are all volunteers fighting in #Tripoli

M.Ibrahim: we lost some of our good men, and up till 12pm 65 rebels were killed, I am sorry about Libyan blood. It saddens me most.

M.Ibrahim : I wish those Libyans died as martyrs fighting in Gaza or Iraq, but not in Tripoli. we had to refuse the colonization
of #Libya

M.Ibrahim: We have to fight the crusaders not for power, not for money but for dignity and honor. #Libya

M.Ibrahim : We have to liberate #Tripoli, these rebels are not real fighters, & rebel commanders & logistic communications between them cut

M.Ibrahim: addressing Libyans: if you do not save #Tripoli, you will end up like the #Iraqis today nostalgic for their city.

He says be patient, we know that propaganda is strong, Al Rai is an Iraqi channel by the way interviewing

M.Ibrahim – even if NATO and its apaches bomb us, we will NEVER let go of #Tripoli, we will protect all civilians but we will turn #Tripoli into a death hole for the Crusaders NATO. They have been fighting us for 5 months and they will never defeat us.

M.Ibrahim: They the crusaders will not find a safe place to rest, sit, we will NEVER allow them to take over #Libya. We are willing to die one by one, men and women all volunteers, I myself I have volunteered my life for #Libya and am willing to die for it.

Allah is with us. We have roots that will conquer them all, and bring #Libya to sovereignty & will defeat Colonialism.

(uruknet.de / 25.08.2011)

The Constitution of Medina founding the First Islamic State

The Constitution of Medina is the earliest known written constitution. It was drafted in 622, and concerns the rights and responsibilities of the Muslim, Jewish, and other Arabic and tribal communities of Medina during the war between that city and its neighbors. The most important points with respect to the geographically close Jews were:

1. The Jews will profess their religion, and the Muslims theirs.
2. The Jews shall be responsible for their expenditure, and the Muslims for theirs.
3. If attacked by a third party, each shall come to the assistance of the other.
4. Each party shall hold counsel with the other. Mutual relation shall be founded on righteousness; sin is totally excluded.
5. Neither shall commit sins to the prejudice of the other.
6. The wronged party shall be aided.
7. The Jews shall contribute to the cost of war so long as they are fighting alongside the believers.
8. Madinah shall remain sacred and inviolable for all that join this treaty. Should any disagreement arise between the signatories to this treaty, then Muhammad shall settle the dispute.
9. The signatories to this treaty shall boycott Quraish commercially; they shall also abstain from extending any support to them.
10. Each shall contribute to defending Madinah, in case of a foreign attack, in its respective area.
11. This treaty shall not hinder either party from seeking lawful revenge.

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/C…ution-of-Medina

It constituted a formal agreement between Muhammad and all of the significant tribes and families of Yathrib (later known as Medina), including Muslims, Jews, and pagans. The document was drawn up with the explicit concern of bringing to an end the bitter inter tribal fighting between the clans of the Aws (Aus) and Khazraj within Medina. To this effect it instituted a number of rights and responsibilities for the Muslim, Jewish, and pagan communities of Medina bringing them within the fold of one community-the “Ummah”.

The non-Muslims included in the ummah had the following rights:

1. The security (dhimma) of God is equal for all groups
2. Non-Muslim members have equal political and cultural rights as Muslims. They will have autonomy and freedom of religion.
3. Non-Muslims will take up arms against the enemy of the Ummah and share the cost of war. There is to be no treachery between the two.
4. Non-Muslims will not be obliged to take part in religious wars of the Muslims.

The Constitution established: the security of the community, religious freedoms, the role of Medina as a sacred place (barring all violence and weapons), the security of women, stable tribal relations within Medina, a tax system for supporting the community in time of conflict, parameters for exogenous political alliances, a system for granting protection of individuals, a judicial system for resolving disputes, and also regulated the paying of Blood money (the payment between families or tribes for the slaying of an individual in lieu of lex talionis).

The Constitution of Medina, “established a kind of alliance or federation” among the eight Medinan tribes and Muslim emigrants from Mecca, which specified the rights and duties of all citizens and the relationship of the different communities in Medina (including that of the Muslim community to other communities specifically the Jews and other “Peoples of the Book”).

Scholars do not possess the original document but rather a number of versions can be found in early Muslim sources. The most widely read version of the Constitution is found in the pages of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirah Rasul Allah (see wikisource), while alternative copies are located in Sayyid al-Nas and Abu ‘Ubayd’s Kitab al-Amwal. Most scholars accept the authenticity of the document.

Montogmery Watt suggests that the constitution must have been written in the early Medinan period. He supports his view by arguing that had the document been drafted later, it would have had a favorable attitude towards Quraysh, and given Muhammad a prominent place. Hubert Grimme believes the Constitution was drafted in the post-Badr period, while Cetani argues that the document was complete before the Battle of Badr.

The Constitution was not a treaty in the modern sense, but a unilateral proclamation by Muhammad, Bernard Lewis states. One of the constitution’s more interesting aspects was the inclusion of the Jewish tribes in the Ummah, the Jewish tribes were “one community with the believers,” but they “have their religion and the Muslims have theirs.”

Legal Scholar L. Ali Khan says the Constitution of Medina was a social contract derived from a treaty and not from any fictional state of nature or from behind the Rawlsian veil of ignorance. The contract was built upon the concept of one community of diverse tribes living under the sovereignty of One God.

Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has written a book called the Constitutional Analysis of the Constitution of Madina which states an analysis and review of the Constitution. He has categorized the headings of the articles according to the modern legal constitutions consisting of 63 articles.

The Medina Constitution also instituted peaceful methods of dispute resolution among diverse groups living as one people but without assimilating into one religion, language, or culture. Welch in Encyclopedia of Islam states: ”

The constitution reveals his Muhammad’s great diplomatic skills, for it allows the ideal that he cherished of an ummah (community) based clearly on a religious outlook to sink temporarily into the background and is shaped essentially by practical considerations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Medina

The Compact of Medina:
A Constitutional Theory of the Islamic State

M. A. Muqtedar Khan
Published in the Mirror international on May 30th, 2001

In this brief essay I wish to point out to one particular precedent set by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that not only supports the democratic theories of Islamic state but also provides a very important occasion for the development of political theory itself. The occasion I am referring to is the compact of Medina; some scholars also refer to it as the Dastur al-Medina (The Constitution of Medina). We must remember that everything the Prophet (PBUH) said and did is essentially an exegesis of the Qur’an. The Prophet s actions should be understood as an interpretation, a prophetic and divine interpretation, of the Holy Qur’an.

After Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Mecca to Yathrib in 622 CE, he established the first Islamic state. For ten years Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was not only the leader of the emerging Muslim Ummah in Arabia but also the political head of Medina. As the leader of Median, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) exercised jurisdiction over Muslims as well as non-Muslims within the city. The legitimacy of his rule over Medina was based on his status as the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam as well as on the basis of the compact of Medina.

As Prophet of Allah (SWT) he had sovereignty over all Muslims by divine decree so profoundly manifest in the statement of Shahadah, Lailaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasoolullah (There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger). When Muslims declare their faith, they not only assert the sole divinity of Allah (SWT) but also the sovereignty of Muhammad (PBUH) as his messenger and agent on Earth. But Muhammad (PBUH) did not rule over the non-Muslims of Medina because he was the messenger of Allah. They did not recognize this particular credential of his. He ruled over them by virtue of the tri-partite compact that was signed by the Muhajirun (Muslim immigrants from Mecca), the Ansar (indigenous Muslims of Medina and the Yahud (Jews). It is interesting to note that Jews were constitutional partners in the making of the first Islamic state.

The compact of Medina provides an excellent historical example of two theoretical constructs that have shaped contemporary political theory and should therefore be of great value to those scholars who are involved in the theorizing of the Islamic state. Political theory relies heavily on the ideas of a social contract and a constitution. A social contract, made famous by the French philosopher Rousseau is an imaginary agreement between people in the state of nature that leads to the establishment of a community or a state. In the state of nature people are free and are not obliged to follow any rules or laws. They are essentially sovereign individuals. But through the social contract they surrender their individual sovereignty to the collective and create the community or the state. This state then acts as an agent of the sovereign people, exercising the sovereignty that has been delegated to it by the people through the social contract in order to realize the wishes of the people enshrined in the objectives of the social contract.

While western political thinkers like Rousseau and Locke have used this idea of an imaginary social contract as a fundamental premise for theorizing the modern state, there are really very few real examples of such an event in human history. In the American history, the Mayflower compact is one example. The writing and signing of the constitution after six months of deliberation in Philadelphia may be considered as another example of a social contract. But Muslims are fortunate to have the compact of Medina as a tradition upon which the foundations of a modern state can be built.

The second idea that underpins contemporary political theory is the concept of the constitution. In many ways the constitution is the document that enshrines the conditions of the social contract upon which any society is founded. The writing of a constitution is a very old idea. Aristotle himself had collected over 300 written constitutions in his lifetime. The compact of Medina clearly served a constitutional function since it was the constitutive document for the first Islamic state.

Thus we can argue that the compact of Medina serves the dual function of a social contract and a constitution. Clearly the compact of Medina by itself cannot serve as a modern constitution. It would be quite inadequate since it is a historically specific document and quite limited in its scope. However it can serve as a guiding principle to be emulated rather than a manual to be duplicated.

The compact of Medina also illustrates what should be the relationship between the revelation and a constitution. Muhammad (PBUH) if he so wished could have merely indicated the truth revealed by Allah (PBUH) shall serve as the constitution of Medina or the basis for the new community and force this revelation upon non-Muslims. But if he did that then he would have ruled Medina with the authority of Allah behind him but without the complete consent of those under his rule. Muhammad (PBUH) in his great wisdom demonstrated a democratic spirit quite unlike the authoritarian tendencies of many of those who claim to imitate him today. He chose to draw up a historically specific constitution based on the eternal and transcendent principles revealed to him and sought the consent of all who would be affected by its implementation.

In simple terms, the first Islamic state established in Medina was based on a social contract, was constitutional in character and the ruler ruled with the explicit written consent of all the citizens of the state. Today we need to emulate Muhammad (PBUH) and draw up our own constitutions, historically and temporally specific to our conditions and based on the eternal and transcendent principles revealed by Allah (SWT). We can use the compact of Medina as an example of how to develop manuals from principles.

In conclusion, I would like to summarize the principles manifest in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) constitution of Medina. I recommend that all Muslims read this wonderful document themselves. I regret that there is no place in this brief column to reproduce it in its entirety. but readers are welcome to rad its entire text at http://msanews.mynet.net/books/lessons/constitution.html.

The Constitution of Medina establishes the importance of consent and cooperation for governance. According to this compact Muslims and non-Muslims are equal citizens of the Islamic state, with identical rights and duties. Communities with different religious orientations enjoy religious autonomy. Which essentially is wider in scope than the modern idea of religious freedom. The constitution of Medina established a pluralistic state — a community of communities. It promised equal security to all and all were equal in the eyes of the law. The principles of equality, consensual governance and pluralism are beautifully enmeshed in the compact of Medina.

It is amazing to see how Muhammad’s (PBUH) interpretation of the Qur’an and the Maqasid al-Shariah was so democratic, so tolerant and compassionate, while contemporary Muslims (like the Taliban for example) interpretation of the same is so harsh, so authoritarian and so intolerant. I hope this discussion will invite us to look at the Sunnah of our dear Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), more closely. We must learn from him not only the principles of faith but also human virtues of mercy, compassion, equality, justice and tolerance. The constitution of Medina is an excellent manifestation of the Prophet’s (PBUH) virtuous personality.

http://www.ijtihad.org/compact.htm

The Madina Constitution (Charter)

(Full Text)

622 C.E.

In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful.

(1) This is a document from Muhammad the prophet (governing the relations) between the believers and Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib, and those who followed them and joined them and labored with them.

(2) They are one community (umma) to the exclusion of all men.

(3) The Quraysh emigrants according to their present custom shall pay the bloodwit within their number and shall redeem their prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.

(4-8) The B. ‘Auf according to their present custom shall pay the bloodwit they paid in heatheism; every section shall redeem its prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers. The B. Sa ida, the B. ‘l-Harith, and the B. Jusham, and the B. al-Najjar likewise.

(9-11) The B. ‘Amr b. ‘Auf, the B. al-Nabit and the B. al-‘Aus likewise.

(12)(a) Believers shall not leave anyone destitute among them by not paying his redemption money or bloodwit in kindness.

(12)(b) A believer shall not take as an ally the freedman of another Muslim against him.

(13) The God-fearing believers shall be against the rebellious or him who seeks to spread injustice, or sin or animosity, or corruption between believers; the hand of every man shall be against him even if he be a son of one of them.

(14) A believer shall not slay a believer for the sake of an unbeliever, nor shall he aid an unbeliever against a believer.

(15) God’s protection is one, the least of them may give protection to a stranger on their behalf. Believers are friends one to the other to the exclusion of outsiders.

(16) To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided.

(17) The peace of the believers is indivisible. No separate peace shall be made when believers are fighting in the way of God. Conditions must be fair and equitable to all.

(18) In every foray a rider must take another behind him.

(19) The believers must avenge the blood of one another shed in the way of God.

(20)(a) The God-fearing believers enjoy the best and most upright guidance.

(20)(b) No polytheist shall take the property of person of Quraysh under his protection nor shall he intervene against a believer.

(21) Whoever is convicted of killing a believer without good reason shall be subject to retaliation unless the next of kin is satisfied (with blood-money), and the believers shall be against him as one man, and they are bound to take action against him.

(22) It shall not be lawful to a believer who holds by what is in this document and believes in God and the last day to help an evil-doer or to shelter him. The curse of God and His anger on the day of resurrection will be upon him if he does, and neither repentance nor ransom will be received from him.

(23) Whenever you differ about a matter it must be referred to God and to Muhammad.

(24) The Jews shall contribute to the cost of war so long as they are fighting alongside the believers.

(25) The Jews of the B. ‘Auf are one community with the believers (the Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs), their freedmen and their persons except those who behave unjustly and sinfully, for they hurt but themselves and their families.

(26-35) The same applies to the Jews of the B. al-Najjar, B. al-Harith, B. Sai ida, B. Jusham, B. al-Aus, B. Tha’laba, and the Jafna, a clan of the Tha‘laba and the B. al-Shutayba. Loyalty is a protection against treachery. The freedmen of Tha ‘laba are as themselves. The close friends of the Jews are as themselves.

(36) None of them shall go out to war save the permission of Muhammad, but he shall not be prevented from taking revenge for a wound. He who slays a man without warning slays himself and his household, unless it be one who has wronged him, for God will accept that.

(37) The Jews must bear their expenses and the Muslims their expenses. Each must help the other against anyone who attacks the people of this document. They must seek mutual advice and consultation, and loyalty is a protection against treachery. A man is not liable for his ally’s misdeeds. The wronged must be helped.

(38) The Jews must pay with the believers so long as war lasts.

(39) Yathrib shall be a sanctuary for the people of this document.

(40) A stranger under protection shall be as his host doing no harm and committing no crime.

(41) A woman shall only be given protection with the consent of her family.

(42) If any dispute or controversy likely to cause trouble should arise it must be referred to God and to Muhammad the apostle of God. God accepts what is nearest to piety and goodness in this document.

(43) Quraysh and their helpers shall not be given protection.

(44) The contracting parties are bound to help one another against any attack on Yathrib.

(45)(a) If they are called to make peace and maintain it they must do so; and if they make a similar demand on the Muslims it must be carried out except in the case of a holy war.

(45)(b) Every one shall have his portion from the side to which he belongs.

(46) The Jews of al-Aus, their freedmen and themselves have the same standing with the people of this document in purely loyalty from the people of this document. Loyalty is a protection against treachery. He who acquires ought acquires it for himself. God approves of this document.

(47) This deed will not protect the unjust and the sinner. The man who goes forth to fight and the man who stays at home in the city is safe unless he has been unjust and sinned. God is the protector of the good and God-fearing man and Muhammad is the apostle of God.

This text is taken from A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad — A Translation of Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 1955; pp. 231-233. Numbering added.

http://www.constitution.org/cons/medina/con_medina.htm

(islamfactor.org / 25.08.2011)

China to recognize a Palestinian state

The Chinese Middle East envoy to the peace process, Wu Sike, transferred on Wednesday a message from the Chinese leadership confirming China’s full support for the Palestinian UN bid in a meeting with Presidential General Secretary, Tayyeb Abdul Rahim, in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah. He also added that the Chinese leadership and people are closely following the Palestinians’ efforts in their preparation for going to the UN, confirming his countries support, now and always for the Palestinian people and their just cause.

He confirmed that the Palestinian step does not contradict with the peace process and the resumption of the negotiations, stressing that establishing a just peace is represented in ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Wu Sike said that the Palestinian quest will make the UN uphold its responsibility towards the Palestinian peoples’ legal rights, adding that this visit is to show the Chinese leaderships’ concern with the Palestinian situation, in addition to its great interest in the situation in the Middle East.

On his part, Abdul Rahim explained the political situation, regarding the Palestinian- Israeli path, which directed the Palestinian efforts towards the determination to go to the United Nations (UN) to gain full membership and recognition of Palestinian state.

He said that the Israeli policy refuses going back to the negotiations within a clear political reference and specific timeline, which has given the Palestinians no other choice but to refer to the International Quartet to go back to the negotiations according to the international references.

He said that the Quartet Committee failure to restore things to normal led the Palestinian leadership and the Arab countries in the Follow-Up Committee meeting on August 3, 2011, to firmly address the UN, supported by the stance of a lot of the worlds’ countries, the same stance which was confirmed by the Arab Follow-Up Committee in Doha, where they approved again to go to the UN to seek the Palestinians’ state full membership and recognition.

He called on all the parties, especially the United States to support the peace process, by standing by the Palestinians’ legal and just demand, which will be based on the  international legal resolutions and to be carried out by negotiations.

(networkedblogs.com / 25.08.2011)

Palestine / Gaza 25.08.2011

Maan News Agency: Witnesses: Settlers burn hundreds of olive trees http://j.mp/qFEYMO #Palestine #WestBank #Israel

RT @Mogaza: Islamic Jihad spokesman to reporters #Gaza: we will commit to “quietness” if Israel commits…one sided  “quietness” is impossible

Israeli air strikes on #Gaza over 24-hours 9 Palestinians killed and 30 injured http://is.gd/b3R0HY#RT #HumanRights #Pray4Gaza #Palestine

18– 24 Aug. 2011 41 airstrikes on  #Gaza #Pray4Gaza

18– 24 Aug. 2011 – IOF killed 17 Palestinians in the #Gaza Strip.  14 Palestinians, including 5 children and two women, were wounded

Bahr: Israel’s wants a truce without stopping to kill Gaza people – http://goo.gl/xOCNh #Gaza #Pray4Gaza #ProtectGaza (no change there!)

Jewish settlers set Palestinian olive trees on fire – http://goo.gl/8kGMt #Palestine #Occupation #Paltweets

Jerusalem District Police will deploy thousands of police officers in east Jerusalem on Friday,  #Aug26 the #OliveRevolt Free #Palestine

2 Palestinians Killed & 25 Wounded, Including 11 Children and 7 Women, in New Israeli Attacks against the #Gaza Strip –

Fatah Calls for Stopping Israeli Aggression on Gaza –

2 Palestinians Killed and 25 Others Wounded, Including 11 Children and 7 Women, in New Israeli Attacks against the Gaza Strip

In the early morning of Thursday, 25 August 2011, two Palestinian civilians were killed and 25 others, including 11 children and 7 women, were wounded as Israeli warplanes bombarded a sports club in a densely-populated area in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia. The attack resulted extensive damages to dozens of neighboring houses and facilities. On Wednesday, 24 August 2011, an elderly farmer and a worker were killed and four civilians were wounded, while three other persons are missing inside a tunnel at the Egyptian border due to an Israeli air strike against the tunnels. These crimes are part of the Israeli military escalation against the Gaza Strip, which started on Thursday 08 August 2011. As a result of such escalation, 17 Palestinians were killed, including two children, and 14 others were wounded by shrapnel and dozens were injured to glass fragments because of attacks. Besides, civilian properties were damaged as a result. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is gravely concerned
over increasing casualties resulting from the Israeli excessive use of force and targeting civilian facilities that are located in densely-populated areas, which reflects disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians and property.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 00:05 on Thursday, 25 August 2011, Israeli warplanes launched a missile on al-Salama Sports Club near Beit Lahia project’s market in the northern Gaza Strip. The attack resulted in the full destruction of the 3-storey building; the first floor includes a gym, the second floor includes the administration offices and a multi-use hall, while the third one includes a football and volleyball field established on a 1,000-square-meter area. Additionally, two Palestinian civilians were killed due to the attack, as they were in the garden of an adjacent house belonging to Abdul Rahman Mohammed al-Masri in the northwestern side of the club. The victims are: Salama Abdul Rahman al-Masri, 18, the son of the house’s owner, who died immediately; and Alaa ‘Adnan Mohammed al-Jakhbeer, 22, from Jabalya, who was accompanying al-Masri. Al-Jakhbeer suffered from a hemorrhage in the pelvis because of shrapnel and was transferred to the hospital, but he died two hours later. Additionally, 25 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children and seven women, sustained wounds and bruises due to the falling of smashed glass and stones at them. Moreover, extensive damages were caused to al-Huda Children Complex in Beit Lahia to the north of the club. The Complex established on an area of 1600 square meters consists of a kindergarten and a primary school. Dozens of houses surrounding the Club, three stores and three vehicles were damaged.
On Wednesday, 24 August, IOF killed an elderly famer, Isma’il Nemr Ammoum, 62, from al-Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. His body was torn apart and had not been found until the evening. Ammoum’s body was transported to al-Aqsa
Martyrs’ Hospital in Deir al-Balah, where he was identified. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, Ammoum was working in a farm belonging to al-Khaldi family in the northeast of al-Buriej refugee camp when he was targeted by a missile from an Israeli warplane.
In another crime, at approximately 23:30, the Israeli warplanes launched a missile on al-Brazil neighborhood in the south of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, targeting a tunnel in the area. As a result, a worker, Hisham ‘Adnan Abdul Razeq Abu Harb, 20, from al-Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah, was killed. Besides, another four persons were wounded, three of whom are workers and the fourth is a member of the National Security Forces. The wounded were transported to Martyr Mohammed Yusef al-Najjar Hospital in the town, where their wounds were described as moderate. The Palestinian Civil Defense declared that three workers were missing in the atragted tunnel. PCHR condemns IOF’s crimes against the Palestinian civilians, and:
1-  Stresses that targeting houses, densely-populated areas and civilian targets reflects IOF’s disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, and warns of more escalation of crimes against Palestinian civilians and their property in light of statements and threats launched by Israeli political and military leaders, which will bring about more victims in the Gaza Strip;
2- Points out that crimes committed by IOF constitute acts of reprisal and collective punishment in violation of Article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; and
3-  Believes that the failure of the international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to effectively act to stop crimes committed by IOF serves to encourage Israel and IOF to commit more crimes
against Palestinian civilians and their property. The legal protection provided by the United States to Israel, and deliberate obstruction of the application of international humanitarian law, in addition to the conspiracy of silence practiced by European States towards crimes committed against Palestinian civilians do not only place Israel above the international humanitarian law, but also encourage it to unrestrictedly commit more crimes against Palestinian civilians.

(pchrgaza.org / mideastnews-danmike.blogspot.com / 25.08.2011)

The Light at the End of Our Tunnel Has Yet to Shine

Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – It’s tough for Palestinians not to be envious of their Arab counterparts. The courage with which Arab peoples are shaking off the yoke of oppression and tyranny is nothing short of amazing.  As we watch what seems to be the final hours of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s rule, we cannot help but draw parallels. For the past six months, the Libyans
have been engaged in a ruthless battle with Qaddafi’s forces. The death toll has risen in the thousands, people have been made refugees and others have simply disappeared. But finally, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining for Libya.

It must be said, we Palestinians are jealous. As we watch the West call on Arab tyrants to step down, rooting for the Arab masses who so bravely confront the bullets of their own governments, we wonder why it is so different for us. We have led revolutions, we have risen up against the oppressive rule choking us and we have died in the name of a cause. But, unlike the events of Tahreer
Square, of Tunisia and now Libya, our story keeps looping around itself, always returning to the same futile point leading to nowhere.

A few months ago, the Palestinians seemed to be heading in the right direction. A reconciliation deal was signed between Hamas and Fateh, elections were set and the Palestinians were playing the card of international diplomacy. Going to the UN seemed to be the perfect move in light of Israel’s refusal to halt settlements and its overall lack of interest in any peaceful solution.

Israel, we believed, would be in a bind. The Palestinians had done all they could do to contribute to the negotiations but were being constantly stonewalled by Israel. The world would know this when they made their bid at the UN, at least the world sans the United States.

Then came the attack on Israeli targets between the Sinai Desert and Israel’s southern border. Seven Israelis were killed in the shootings in addition to five Egyptian policemen killed by Israeli military forces as they chased the fleeing perpetrators. Israel quickly blamed Hamas in Gaza, Hamas said it had nothing to do with it, the Egyptians were mad because Israel killed its policemen who were only protecting their own border and of course, the people of Gaza were the ones to pay the ultimate price.

Since that day, August 18, at least 15 Palestinians have been killed during Israel’s “retaliation” attack on Gaza. One
Israeli also died after a rocket slammed into his house in Beer Sheva. A precarious ceasefire has now been called between the two sides but the damage, and the propaganda, is well underway.

Israel, in classic style, is  playing on the “terrorist threat” paradigm that has kept it alive and well for so long. Because it claimed that the gunmen originated from Gaza meant this was the story necessarily accepted by the rest of the world, the West in particular. Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committee, which Israel says carried out the attacks, have denied involvement, saying it is not their policy to attack Israel from other countries’ territories.

It doesn’t matter though. As long as Israel says it was Hamas, then it must have been Hamas. Fifteen people, children
included, have been killed in the raids, dozens of others injured. And not unlike Qaddafi or Syria’s Bashar Al Assad, Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak warned that, “Those who operate against us will be decapitated.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was no better. “We all witnessed today an attempt to escalate the terrorist war against Israel by launching of attacks from the Sinai,” he said. “If there is someone who thinks that the state of Israel will let this pass, he is mistaken.”

So today, we are back to the unenviable situation we have been in so many times before. Instead of focusing on our legitimate bid for statehood at the United Nations, we now find ourselves fending off more attacks from Israel and defending ourselves against
unsubstantiated accusations. The seven Israelis who were killed in the Sinai attacks will be used as pawns in Israel’s war against Palestinian independence. And because the West coddles Israel like no other, it will pay off just like it has in the past.

As despotic Arab regimes fall one after another with United States and western backing, is it not time to let go of another despotic
regime in the region? What gives Israel’s military occupation over Palestinian land more legitimacy than Assad’s or Qaddafi’s regime? The Palestinians have been crying out for freedom for years. But because the propaganda Israel feeds to the world is swallowed whole by the western powers that be, the cycle of endless violence continues, just like Israel wants it.

(networkedblogs.com / 25.08.2011)

Israel forbids Qatar’s officials to Enter the West Bank or Israel

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel is ready to implement measures against Qatar for supporting the Palestinian UN bid for recognition in September, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Thursday.

Israeli authorities are reportedly thwarting all Qatari funded projects in Palestine and have closed their diplomatic mission in Qatar, Maariv said.

Qatari officials have also been forbidden to enter the West Bank or Israel.

Qatar also has strong relations with Hamas, Maariv reported Israeli officials as saying.

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 25.08.2011)

Two US drones go down in Somalia

American Predator drone firing two Hellfire missiles
Two unmanned aerial vehicles operated by the US military have reportedly crashed in Somalia’s drought-stricken capital of Mogadishu.

The first drone went down in close proximity to Mogadishu’s Aden-Adde International Airport on Wednesday evening. The remains of the aircraft were retrieved by Somali government and African Union forces, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Later in the day, another American remote-controlled drone crashed onto the Florenza Street, which connects the Presidential Palace, or Villa Somalia, with district of Hararyale.

Somalia is the sixth known country where Washington uses remote-aerial vehicles to conduct surveillance and air strikes.

The United States has employed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen to launch aerial bombings.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.

(www.presstv.ir / 25.08.2011)

Three Killed, 25 Injured, In A Number Of Air Strikes Targeting Gaza

Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that three residents were killed, and more than 25 were injured, as the Israeli Air Force bombarded several areas, including a sports center, on Wednesday at night and on Thursday at dawn; a total of five residents were killed, and dozens were wounded in less than 24 hours. 18 residents, including children, were killed since in one week.

The sources stated that resident Hisham Adnan Abu Harb, and another unidentified resident, were killed when the army bombarded a tunnel in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip; three residents went missing.

Also, resident Salama Al Masry was killed, while 20 residents, including 7 children and 4 women, were injured when the army bombarded a sports center in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip; some of the wounded are in critical conditions.

The sports center was crowded as a sports event was being held when the army bombarded it; medical teams are searching among the rubble to trying to locate and save additional potential casualties.

On Wednesday at night, the Israeli Air Force assassinated a fighter of the Al Quds Brigades, of the Islamic Jihad, in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, in central Gaza. The fighter was identified as Atiyya Maqat.

On Wednesday evening, medics located the remains of a 65-year-old resident, under the rubble of a shelled building east of the Al Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. Medical sources reported that the body of Ismail Amom, 65, was severely mutilated.

Meanwhile, the Al Quds Brigades claimed responsibility for firing five Grad missiles into Asqalan (Ashkelon) and Eshkol. The Brigades said the shelling come in retaliation to the ongoing Israeli escalation and the assassinated of its fighters.

Israel sources reported that two Grad missiles were fired on Wednesday evening into southern Asqalan and near Ofakim; Israel claimed the shells landed in open areas.

Several shells were also fired at areas in the Eshkol Regional Council in the Negev. No injuries were reported while residents of Shear Hanegev and Eshkol were asked to head to the shelters.

On Sunday, and after Palestinian factions declared truce, Israel killed three Palestinians in Gaza and wounded four others.

Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that a total of eighteen Palestinians, including children, were killed and dozens were injured, in ongoing Israeli attacks since last Thursday.

(www.imemc.org / 25.08.2011)