Palestine today 151111 II

RT @OriginalKebz: Targeting a helpless unarmed population with warplanes is a war crime #Gaza #Palestine #BDS #Israel #fasciststate

within a 30 minute time lapse 3 air strikes hit north,east and west #Gaza tonight. 1 injury reported so far. via @WillOuda

All in a day’s work. Tenders announced for 1557 new settler units in E. Jerusalem. Ramot 743. Har Homa B 319. Har Homa C 430. Pisgat Zeev 65

Now warplanes fired thermal balloons and lanterns lighting the east of Gaza wish safety for all

For the 2nd night in a row: #Gaza is under attack

Israel destroys lives in #Gaza … if not by bombs then mentally !! #Pray4Gaza – I pray israelis will stand up and #BEHUMAN ! #StayHuman

3 Israeli airstrikes in the past 30 min targeted several sites in east, west and north of #Gaza city , 1 injured at least.

DAMN YOU ZIONIST PIGS! btw i have israeli friends – they are not included …just the zionist scum!!!! #Pray4Gaza #STANDwithGAZA

1 injury reported in an israeli airstrike east of #Gaza, #palestine, #occupation

Omg, reports of ANOTHER air strike, but north of #Gaza 3al Safeena! Only God knows how many times that poor building has been HIT, WTF

Israeli shelling north and east  Gaza , confirm.via safa #Pray4Gaza #Gaza #Palestine #HumanRights

The Kaaba as a Place of Worship in History

“And now verily We shall make you turn (in prayer) toward a Qibla which is dear to you. So turn your face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship (the Kaaba of Makkah).” (Al Baqarah 2:144)
Location Of Makkah
Makkah is at the intersection of latitude 21 to 25 degree north and longitude 39 to 49 degree east. It is set in a rugged landscape consisting mostly of solid granite, with rocks sometimes reaching 300 meters (1,000 feet) above see level.
Makkah is enclosed by the Valley of Abraham, which is surrounded by two nearby mountain ranges to the east, west and south. The northern range comprises the Al-Falaq and Qu’aqi’an mountains, while the southern range consists of Abu Hudaidah mountain to the west, Kuday to the south and Abu Qubais and Khindimah to the south-east.
There are three main entrances to Makkah: Al-Mu’allat (also known as Al-Hujûn), Al-Musfalah and Al-Shubaikah.
It is generally agreed that Al-Mu’allat includes all areas which are higher than the Haram and Al-Musfalah covers all areas that are lowers.
Kaaba & Makkah In History
The kaaba: Its Size and History
The small, cubed building known as the kaaba may not rival skyscrapers in height or mansions in width, but its impact on history and human beings is unmatched. The kaaba is the building towards which Muslims face five times a day, everyday, in prayer. This has been the case since the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over 1400 years ago.
The Size of the kaaba:
The current height of the kaaba is 39 feet, 6 inches and total size comes to 627 square feet. The inside room of the kaaba is 13×9 meters. The kaaba’s walls are one meter wide. The floor inside is 2.2 meters higher than the place where people perform Tawaf.
The ceiling and roof are two levels made out of wood. They were reconstructed with teak which is capped with stainless steel. The walls are all made of stone. The stones inside are unpolished, while the ones outside are polished.
This small building has been constructed and reconstructed by Prophets Adam, Ibrahim, Ismail and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). No other building has had this honor. Yet, not very much is known about the details of this small but significant building.
The Other Names of the kaaba
Literally, kaaba in Arabic means a high place with respect and prestige. The word kaaba may also be derivative of a word meaning a cube. Some of these other names include:
1.     Bait ul Ateeq – which means, according to one meaning, the earliest and ancient. According to the second meaning, it means independent and liberating. Both meanings could be taken.
2. Bait ul Haram – the honorable house.
Scholars and historians say that the kaaba has been reconstructed between 5 to 12 times. The very first construction of the kaaba was done by Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). Allah says in the Quran that this was the first house that was built for humanity to worship Allah. After this, Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail (peace be upon them) rebuilt the kaaba.
The measurements of the kaaba’s foundation by Ibrahim are as follows:
The eastern wall was 48 feet and 6 inches
The Hateem side wall was 33 feet
The side between the black stone and the Yemeni corner was 30 feet
The Western side was 46.5 feet
Following this, there were several constructions before the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) time.
Reconstruction of kaaba by Quraish
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) participated in one of its reconstructions before he became a Prophet. After a flash flood, the kaaba was damaged and its walls cracked. It needed rebuilding. This responsibility was divided among the Quraish’s four tribes. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) helped with this reconstruction.
Once the walls were erected, it was time to place the Black Stone, (the Hajar ul Aswad) on the eastern wall of the kaaba. Arguments erupted about who would have the honor of putting the Black Stone in its place. A fight was about to break out over the issue, when Abu Umayyah, Makkah’s oldest man, proposed that the first man to enter the gate of the mosque the following morning would decide the matter. That man was the Prophet (pbuh). The Makkans were ecstatic. “This is the trustworthy one (Al-Ameen)” they shouted in a chorus. “This is Muhammad.” He came to them and they asked him to decide on the matter. He agreed.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) proposed a solution that all agreed to – putting the Black Stone on a cloak, the elders of each of the clans held on to one edge of the cloak and carried the stone to its place. The Prophet (pbuh) then picked up the stone and placed it on the wall of the kaaba.
Since the tribe of Quraish did not have sufficient funds, this reconstruction did not include the entire foundation of the kaaba as built by Prophet Ibrahim. This is the first time the kaaba acquired the cubical shape it has now, unlike the rectangle shape which it had earlier. The portion of the kaaba left out is called Hateem now.
What is inside the kaaba?
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi was the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) had the opportunity to go inside the kaaba in October 1998.
He described the following features:

There are two pillars inside (others report 3 pillars)
There is a table on the side to put items like perfume
There are two lantern-type lamps hanging from the ceiling
The space can accommodate about 50 people
There are no electric lights inside
The walls and floors are of marble
There are no windows inside
There is only one door
The upper inside walls of the kaaba were covered with some kind of curtain with the Kalima written on it.

History of the Kaaba before the Christian Era
Edward Gibbon writes about the kaaba and its existence before the Christian era in his book:
….. of blind mythology of barbarians – of the local deities, of the stars, the air, and the earth, of their sex or titles, their attributes or subordination. Each tribe, each family, each independent warrier, created and changed the rites and the object of this fantastic worship; but the nation, in every age, has bowed to the religion as well as to the language of Mecca. The genuine antiquity of Caaba ascends beyond the Christian era: in describing the coast of the Red sea the Greek historian Diodorus has remarked, between the Thamudites and the Sabeans, a famous temple, whose superior sanctity was revered by all the Arabians; the linen of silken veil, which is annually renewed by the Turkish emperor, was first offered by the Homerites, who reigned seven hundred years before the time of Mohammad.[1]
Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian of 1st century BC who wrote Bibliotheca Historica, a book describing various parts of the discovered world. The following lines are the English translation of Greek quoted by Gibbon from the book of Diodorus Siculus (Diodorus of Sicily) describing the ’temple’ considered to be the the holiest in the whole of Arabia.
And a temple has been set-up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians.[2]
It is interesting to know that Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria, mathematician and astronomer, flourishing about a century after Pliny, undertook to make an atlas of the habitable world. He was not a descriptive geographer, and his book was intended to be no more than a commentary on his maps. He enumerated some hundred and fourteen cities or villages in Arabia Felix.
For example, Dumaetha, placed by Ptolemy just outside the northern boundary of Arabia Felix, must be the mediaeval Arabian Daumet, which is today the chief village of the great oasis of Jauf. Hejr, famous in the “times of ignorance” as the seat of a kingdom, and now Medayin Salih, is Ptolemy’s Egra. His Thaim is Teima, now known for its inscriptions to have had temples and some sort of civilization as far back as 500 BC. It is the Tema of Job. In Lathrippa, placed inland from Iambia (Yambo), we recognize the Iathrippa of Stephan of Byzantium, the Yathrib of the early Arab traditions, now honoured as El Medina, the City of Cities.[3]
Apart from this a place called Macoraba is also shown which is identified as Mecca (please refer to the map facing page 17 of reference [3]). G E von Grunebaum says:
Mecca is mentioned by Ptolemy, and the name he gives it allows us to identify it as a South Arabian foundation created around a sanctuary.[4]
Makkah In The Scriptures
The Qur’ân talks about Bakkah (the older name of Makkah) being the first house of worship appointed for mankind. It also addresses this place as Umm ul-Qurâ i.e., Mother of the Settlements.
Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-‘Alamin (the mankind and jinns). In it are manifest signs (for example), the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham); whosoever enters it, he attains security. And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (kaaba) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns). [Qur’ân 3:96-97]
The Bible also mentions about the valley of Baca in connection with the pilgrimage. Below is the quote from Psalms 84 (NIV):
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young– a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob.
9 Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
The interpretation of the valley of Baca in the The Jewish Encylopedia is quite interesting, though it does not provide a complete evidence and leaves the reader with a suggestion. Below is the full quote.
Baca, The Valley Of: A valley mentioned in Psalms LXXXIV:7. Since it is there said that pilgrims transform the valley into a land of wells, an old translators gave to Baca, the meaning of a “valley of weeping”; but it signifies rather any valley lacking water. Support for this latter view is to be found in II Samuel V:23 et seq.; I Chronicles XIV:14 et seq., in which the plural form of the same word designates a tree similar to the balsam tree; and it was supposed that a dry valley could be named after this tree. Konig takes Baca from the Arabian Baka’a, and translates it “lack of streams”. The Psalmist apparently has in mind a particular valley whose natural condition led him to adopt its name.[5]
The translation of Arabian Baka’a as “lack of stream” seems to throw some light on the nature of the valley before the appearance of the stream of Zam-Zam near kaaba which was a dry place with no vegetation whatsoever.
The Anchor Bible Dictionary does not throw any light on it, albeit, there are some suggestions in it too like the The Jewish Encylopedia. Below is the full quote.
Baca, The Valley Of (PLACE): [Hebrew ‘emeq habakka’], The valley of Baca (Psalms 84:1) is either a historical place name or a symbolical expression for “deep sorrow”. The first part of Psalms 84:6 seems to mean that by “passing through the experience of deep sorrow, righteous ones can make it the source of life.” The Septuagint translated the phrase into Greek as “the valley of weeping”. The word ‘emeq “valley” has the root meaning of “deep”, so the expression may mean “deep sorrow”.
However, some have considered it as the “valley of the balsam tree” from the same word in plural form found in 2 Samuel 5:24. This is based on the assumption that baka may be a “gum-exuding [weeping] tree”. Another possibility is that the word beka’im (plural of baka) may mean “weeping wall-rocks” in the valley of Rephaim on whose tops David and his troops were waiting for the coming of the Philistine army passing through the valley below (2 Samuel 5:24). It seems safe to seek the meaning of baka in relation to the dripping water, since we often find this word in the names related to rivers and wadis, such as Wadi al-Baka in the Sinaitic district and Baca on the wadi in the central Galilee area, W of Meroth. It is also possible to understand beka’im as the place of “weepings” of the Philistine army for their defeat by David. After all these considerations, the expression of “valley of baka” can best be taken as a symbolic expression “weeping” or “deep sorrow” which fits well in the context of Psalms 84:6.[6]
The interpretation of the valley of Baca as a “the valley of weeping” makes sense because of the distress which Hagar(P) underwent when she was left with Ishmael(P) in the barren desert with no means of living.
The two interpretations of Baca, viz., “lack of stream” and “the valley of weeping” appears to fit in the context of pilgrimage to Bakkah, the older name of Makkah where the kaaba is situated. kaaba has been a place of reverence by all Arabians before the Christian era as we have seen earlier.
And Allah knows best!
An Excerpt from the Original
[1] Edward Gibbon (Introduction by Christopher Dawson), Gibbon’s Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, Volume V, Everyman’s Library, London, pp. 223-224.
[2] Translated by C H Oldfather, Diodorus Of Sicily, Volume II, William Heinemann Ltd., London & Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MCMXXXV, p. 217.
[3] D G Hogarth, The Penetration Of Arabia, Alston Rivers Limited, London, 1905, p. 18.
[4] G E Von Grunebaum, Classical Islam: A History 600-1258, George Allen & Unwin Limited, 1970, p. 19.
[5] The Jewish Encylopedia, Volume II, Funk & Wagnalls Company, MDCCCCII, p. 415.
[6] David Noel Freedman (Editor-in-Chief), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Volume I, Doubleday, p. 566.
( / 15.11.2011)

Die heimliche Atommacht Israel

Einer, der darüber sprach und dafür viele Jahre im Gefängnis verbrachte: Mordechai Vanunu   (Bild: AP)Einer, der darüber sprach und dafür viele Jahre im Gefängnis verbrachte: Mordechai Vanunu

Wenn die israelische Regierung über das heimliche Atomprogramm des Iran spricht, dann tut sie das im Angesicht einer durchaus realen Bedrohung.  Aber sie tut das auch in dem Wissen, selbst Nuklearmacht zu sein – ohne das offen zuzugeben.

Im Dezember 2006, vor fünf Jahren, sprach der damalige israelische Ministerpräsident Olmert aus, was bis dahin kein Regierungspolitiker in Israel zugegeben hatte. In einem Interview mit dem deutschen Fernsehsender N24 kam ihm versehentlich ein Satz über die nukleare Macht seines Landes über die Lippen.

“Iran droht offen, explizit und öffentlich, Israel von der Landkarte zu tilgen. Kann man da behaupten, das sei dieselbe Ebene, wenn sie den Besitz von Atomwaffen anstreben wie Amerika, Frankreich, Israel, Rußland?”

Olmert reihte mit diesem Satz Israel wie selbstverständlich in die Riege der Atommächte ein. Offiziell aber hat Israel keine Atomwaffen – und doch weiß alle Welt, dass Israel eine Nuklearmacht ist. Dimona in der Negev-Wüste, so viel ist inoffiziell bekannt, ist der Sitz der israelischen Atomforschung und -produktion. Und an der Autobahn zwischen Tel Aviv und Aschdod, nahe der Mittelmeerküste, weist ein Schild auf die Ausfahrt “Nuklearzentrum Soreq” hin. Fragt man in israelischen Ministerien nach, ob Israel Atomwaffen besitze, heißt es üblicherweise: “Israel wird nicht als erstes Land Atomwaffen in der Region einführen.”

Aber dieser eigentümliche und unklare Satz ist längst überholt, spätestens seit dem 5. Oktober 1986. Damals enthüllte die britische “Sunday Times” auf ihrer Titelseite “Die Geheimnisse des nuklearen Arsenals Israels”, samt Fotos und Zeichnungen. Informant der Zeitung war ein Atomtechniker aus Dimona.

“Ich bin Mordechai Vanunu, der Mann hinter dem “Sunday-Times”-Artikel vom 5. Oktober 1986, der Artikel über Israels nukleare Waffen.”

18 Jahre lang saß Vanunu anschließend in israelischen Gefängnissen, lange Jahre in Isolationshaft. Heute ist er immer noch kein freier Mann. Ausländischen Journalisten darf er keine Interviews geben, und er darf Israel nicht verlassen.

Aufgrund von Vanunus Informationen schätzen Experten, dass Israel über bis zu 300 atomare Sprengköpfe verfügt. Immer wieder halfen verbündete Staaten beim Aufbau der Nuklearmacht. Die USA lieferten schon in den 50er-Jahren einen Forschungsreaktor, Frankreich baute einen weiteren Reaktor und eine Wiederaufarbeitungsanlage.

Der israelische Friedensnobelpreisträger und heutige Staatspräsident, Schimon Peres, spielt in den Anfängen des israelischen Atomprogramms eine entscheidende Rolle. Peres wurde schon 1952 von Ministerpräsident David Ben-Gurion damit beauftragt, das israelische “Atomenergiekomitee” zu gründen. Es war Peres, der mit Frankreich die Lieferung eines Reaktors zur Plutoniumproduktion vereinbart hatte. Er wurde in Dimona, in der Negev-Wüste, errichtet werden. Der Chemiker Uzi Even war im Wissenschaftlerteam von Dimona dabei.

“Damals war der Holocaust noch sehr in unserem Gedächtnis, und uns war klar, dass wir etwas tun mussten, das verhindern würde, dass so etwas noch einmal passiert. Wir waren ein junges Team. Die meisten von uns waren sehr jung, wir waren voller Enthusiasmus und arbeiteten an etwas, das wir für absolut notwendig für unsere Existenz hier hielten, wie die endgültige Versicherung, dass wir nicht angegriffen oder vernichtet werden würden.”

Mittlerweile unterstützen nicht nur die USA und Frankreich die Atommacht Israel, sondern indirekt auch Deutschland. 1999 begann die Bundesrepublik Deutschland mit der Lieferung von U-Booten des Typs “Dolphin”. Fachleute nehmen an, dass sie mit Atomraketen ausgerüstet werden können. Im Juli 2009 schickte Israel eines der Boote auf die Reise durch den Suezkanal ins Rote Meer – mit Genehmigung Ägyptens. Die Regierung in Jerusalem demonstrierte, dass sie auch im Falle eines Atomangriffs des Iran flexibel mit einem atomaren Gegenschlag reagieren könnte. Israel soll auch Cruise Missiles besitzen, also Raketen, die mit Atomsprengköpfen bestückt werden können. Nach Informationen eines israelischen Solidaritätskomitees für Mordechai Vanunu sind die israelischen Raketen bei Jerusalem und in Galiläa, im Norden des Landes, stationiert.

Vor acht Jahren rechtfertigte der Mitgründer des israelischen Atomprogramms und heutige Staatspräsident, Schimon Peres, die Nuklearpolitik seines Landes. Im Jahr 2003 sagte Peres in einem Interview mit der britischen BBC im Blick auf die Geheimhaltung des Programms:

“Jemand will Sie töten, und Sie täuschen ihn, um Ihr Leben zu retten. Das ist nicht unmoralisch. Wenn wir keine Feinde hätten, bräuchten wir keine Täuschung, keine Abschreckung.”

Aus israelischer Sicht hat sich diese Politik bewährt. Die Abschreckung funktioniert. Reuven Pedatzur, Dozent für strategische Studien an der Universität Tel Aviv, führt als Beispiel den Golfkrieg von 1991 an:

“Saddam Hussein feuerte Raketen auf Israel ab, aber obwohl er auch chemische Waffen hatte, setzte er sie nicht ein. Als sein Schwiegersohn nach Jordanien überlief, fragte man ihn: Wieso habt ihr nicht die Chemiewaffen eingesetzt? Er antwortete ganz klar: Wir hatten Angst vor nuklearer Vergeltung durch Israel. Das war also ein Erfolg.”

Neben der militärischen Nutzung der Atomkraft strebt Israel heute auch den Bau eines eigenen Atomkraftwerks an. Bei einer Konferenz in Paris im vergangenen Jahr sagte der israelische Minister für Infrastruktur, Uzi Landau, sein Land wolle zusammen mit Jordanien ein Atomkraftwerk bauen. Frankreich soll die Technologie dazu liefern. Das Kraftwerk soll im Süden des Landes, in der Negev-Wüste, gebaut werden.

( / 15.11.2011)

Palestine today 151111

The target in the 3rd airstrike (east) was a farm . #Gaza

Another explosion heard in east #Gaza city

r they bombing all Gaza ?! everyone is saying a bomb is thrown beside their area !!!! :S #PrayForGaza

drones – F16s- ANOTHER explosion!! #Gaza #northgaza #israel

BREAKING: Huge explosion just rocked #Gaza

i just heard an explosion! #F16 #Gaza

Confirmed: the sound was the impact of the rocket with the ground…but it didn’t explode #Gaza

the explosion targeted (again) As-Safina building (prev. intelligence building) in north west Gaza

Reports the #israeli warplanes targets site close to Al- Safina north-west #Gaza city

The explosion in north-west #Gaza city.

#NOW #Gaza Israeli warplanes being clearly heard following two huge explosions rocking north gaza #Israel

I didn’t hear the sound of the explosion….just feel the effect of the aftershock #Gaza

2 explosions in the middle of the night in this cold weather? you haramis

#Breaking: Israeli Drones over North of #Gaza

Destroying Palestinian Solar Plant

With international attention focusing on the Palestinian UN bid, the prisoner swap and the absurd US response to UNESCO accepting Palestine, a much smaller event but no less revealing has been largely overlooked: Israel wants to destroy a Spanish-sponsored solar power plant in the West Bank.

The solar plant is not particularly big — as far as solar plants go. This is nothing compared to China’s massive solar farms, but it does provide electricity for 40 Palestinian families, a school and a medical centre in a town called Emnaizel, south of Hebron in the West Bank.

The Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development helped cover the costs of around ¤300,000 and the Spanish association, Seba (Servicios Energeticos Basicos Autonomos), helped with the installation in 2009. Israel claims the trouble has to do with the location.

The solar panels in Emnaizel are located in Area C of the West Bank, which is off limits to Palestinian construction and under complete Israeli military control. Essentially no building permits are granted by Israel there and no connections are allowed with the rest of the West Bank. The repercussions here are significant for the inhabitants of Emnaizel — they will simply no longer
have access to electricity since they cannot connect with the Palestinian grid, being in Area C. But the implications reveal a more endemic strategy used by Israel. Why would Israel want to destroy a peaceful little solar plant?

Areas A, B and C are geographic denominations that emanate from the 1993 Oslo Accords. They were meant to be ‘interim’ steps that would pass over gradual authority and eventual sovereignty to the Palestinians in the West Bank. The problem is Israel has not let go.

Area A includes the main cities of the West Bank under full Palestinian authority — even though Israel would often make random incursions for security reasons. Area B is the land around the cities where security is ‘shared’ with Israel. Area C is the rest, indeed a majority of the West Bank.

Area C is where Jewish colonial growth occurs most predominantly. As part of this modern anomaly — for decolonisation in the rest of the world took place in the post-Second World War decades — this neo-colonial project intends to allow potential only for Jewish homes. As elsewhere in the West Bank, the strategy in the southern hills of Hebron therefore is to deny the local Palestinian population the opportunity to grow or in this case basic access to renewable energy, so that they go to the urban centres, and leave the lands open for Jewish colonists to cultivate.

In the best of all possible worlds, cultivating lands is a rather positive endeavour. Tilling the soil, sowing seeds, harvesting — all these activities common to agriculture — are potential sources of great cooperation between peoples, but also a source of conflict.

The destruction of Palestinian orchards — uprooting, burning or chopping down row after row of olive trees — is a malicious act of initiation almost carried out primarily by young Jewish colonists. Vandalism is quite common; what is uglier is the intention to destroy another person’s livelihood.

What is uglier still is when such intentions have been institutionalised to such a degree that they become banal and boring to most who do not understand what they represent in today’s world. It is embarrassing and shameful that Richard Goldstone saw it in Gaza but refuses to recognise the beast.

Goldstone claims there is no apartheid in Israel using circuitous arguments that Jews and Arabs do actually live together within Israel proper in relative peaceful relations — granted Arabs are treated as secondary, tertiary class citizens, but they can sit on the same bus as a Jew. In gross contradiction to his argument, Goldstone quotes the 1998 Rome statue on the definition of apartheid as existing when “committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

There should be no mistaking Israel’s intentions — anyone who has visited the occupied Palestinian territories can attest to this — Jewish neo-colonisation of Palestinian land is a remorseless and nasty beast that serves to conquer more territory for Israel. Spain needs to rally other European countries to stand together and denounce the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land and destruction of their projects. This solar power plant is a small but emblematic example of Israel’s recurring impunity regarding international law. Wasted European tax-payer euros are one thing, but worse is the systematic destruction of Palestinian projects and the institutionalised Israeli lie that this destruction is legal. As an Israeli spokesperson, Lior Hayat, said about the solar plant: “Israeli security forces only act within the law.”

All the laughable terrifying lies …

( / 15.11.2011)

Official: Fatah, Hamas reach agreement on key issues

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Fatah and Hamas have agreed on several controversial issues as part of a reconciliation deal signed on May 4, a Fatah official said Monday.

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a local radio station that details of the agreements would be released after a meeting set to take place in late November between President Abbas and Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mashaal.

On Friday, the official PA news agency reported that Abbas and Mashaal would meet in Cairo in the last 10 days of November.

Al-Ahmad said both parties had agreed that elections will take place in May, although he stressed that certain conditions must be secured before a vote could take place.

The formation of a national unity government, restructuring the central election committee, creating an election court, and reforming the Palestinian security forces are all conditions which have to be met, he said.

The upcoming November meeting will discuss the status of the PLO, the future of the Palestinian Authority, the stalled peace process, upcoming elections and the nature of Palestinian resistance, al-Ahmad added.

The Fatah official said that he had secretly visited Cairo several times in preparation for the meeting between Fatah and Hamas leaders.

“It will be a meeting for reaching agreement, and not only for the sake of holding a meeting,” he said.

It will be the first meeting between Mashaal and Abbas since they signed a May deal in the Egyptian capital to end years of rivalry between Hamas and the president’s Fatah party that split Palestinians into separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza.

The agreement set out a path for the creation of a transitional government of technocrats, but has yet to be fully implemented.

( / 15.11.2011)

Scale of Control: Israel’s control over the Gaza Strip

Ever since disengagement in 2005, almost every discussion about Israel’s policy toward the Gaza Strip eventually raises the question: Does Israel still control Gaza? On one side of the argument, there are those who claim that Israel no longer controls Gaza and therefore no longer bears responsibility for what goes on in the Strip. On the other, there are those who believe Israel alone is responsible for the situation in Gaza because it continues to exercise full control over the Strip, even after the removal of its permanent military bases and settlements.

In our opinion, the truth is more complex and it lies somewhere in the middle. Israel continues to exercise control over significant aspects of life in the Gaza Strip, but it has relinquished control – and with it, responsibility – of other aspects. “Scale of Control” offers a legal framework for Israel’s responsibility in the Gaza Strip based on viewing the “end of occupation” as a process that takes place over time.

The first chapter of the position paper presents a brief review of the areas over which Israel continues to maintain control in Gaza. We have decided to publish the paper in a series of short posts on our blog with the hope that they will help facilitate an open and informed public discussion of Israel’s policy toward Gaza.

Areas of control:

Airspace »
Territorial waters »
Land crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel »
The land crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt »
The population registry »
The tax system »
Physical control of the Gaza Strip »
Control of civilian infrastructure »
Control over the Palestinian Authority and movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank »

( / 15.11.2011)

Palestinian ‘freedom riders’ board Israeli bus to Jerusalem

( / 15.11.2011)
An Israeli border guard checks the ID of a Palestinian  activist riding an Israeli bus between a bus stop outside the West Bank Jewish  settlement of Migron, near Ramallah, and a checkpoint leading to Jerusalem.  Palestinian “Freedom Riders” reenacted US civil rights movement’s boarding of  segregated buses in the American south by riding Israeli settler buses to  Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM — Six Palestinians were arrested on Tuesday as they tried to enter  Jerusalem on an Israeli bus in a novel bid to protest what they call Israel’s  discriminatory policies in the West Bank.

The six activists, five men and one woman, said their protest was inspired by  the “Freedom Riders,” American civil rights activists who rode to the south in  the 1960s to carry out work against segregation and racial discrimination.


In what appears to be a first, they gathered at a West Bank bus stop by the  Psagot settlement and waited for an Israeli bus to pick them up, then tried to  enter Jerusalem.

Palestinians in the West Bank ordinarily require a special permit to enter  the Holy City, unlike Israeli settlers living in the territory who can reach  Jerusalem on Israeli buses that travel on Israeli-controlled roads.

Israel says this measure is necessary to prevent suicide bombers or other  would-be attackers from entering Jerusalem, but Palestinians accuse the Jewish  state of an “apartheid” regime that includes “segregated” bus and road systems,  open to settlers but not Palestinian West Bank residents.

“These buses and this whole system is discriminatory to Palestinians,” said  activist Fadi Quran, as he waited at the bus stop, surrounded by a scrum of  journalists and bemused Israeli settlers and soldiers.

Clutching a sign reading “We shall overcome,” he said the goal of the protest  was “to desegregate the whole West Bank.”

The protest presented an unusual scene — six Palestinians wearing  black-and-white chequered keffiyeh scarves and T-shirts emblazoned with  “freedom” and “justice” — surrounded by dozens of journalists and a few Israeli  commuters.

The first few buses simply refused to stop for the group, though it was  difficult to tell whether they drove on because of the media mosh-pit or to deny  the Palestinians service.

Eventually, after the arrival of border guards and police, who stood by  without intervening, a bus stopped and let the activists on.

Inside the coach, operated by the Egged public transport provider, a handful  of Israeli passengers looked on as the activists took their seats and unfurled a  Palestinian flag.

“They say they can’t ride the bus, but you see it’s not right because they  are in the bus now,” said 70-year-old Abraham, a Psagot resident who declined to  give his last name.

“If they don’t want trouble, why not let them? But if I want to go in a bus  in Beit Hanina (in Arab east Jerusalem), I will find a knife in my back,” he  added.

“We have to be careful, we have the experience of the bombs, the knives, the  terror. But if they are good, we like them, why not let them ride the bus?”

Other passengers avoided interacting with the activists, despite their  attempts to engage them, but grew increasingly annoyed as the coach reached the  Hizme checkpoint, where dozens of border guard and police officials were  waiting.

With the bus pulled over, the Israeli passengers got off, leaving the  activists to try to explain themselves to the police who got on.

“This is Palestinian land, not Israeli land, we are Palestinians going to  Jerusalem and we will not get off this bus,” Quran said, as police told him his  Palestinian identity card would not allow him entry.

“Why don’t you ask the settlers for a permit?” said activist Badie Dweik.

“I am the law, you are not the law,” one officer replied, giving the  activists a chance to walk off the bus, which they refused, before ordering them  forcibly removed.

Before the protest, the activists said they expected to be arrested, but  pledged the action would be repeated.

“We expect this to be the first of many waves,” activist Huwaida Arraf said.  “We have many more people who want to ride.”