PRESS RELEASE: Israel’s Criminal Policy in Al Quds (Jerusalem)

The Return Center

The international conference on Al-Quds, last Sunday, highlighted the growing concern over Israel’s annexation policy in Jerusalem.

The conference organized under the theme “International Conference for the Defense of Occupied Jerusalem”, assembled 350 representatives from 70 different countries, under the auspices and attendance of HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Participants included Arab League Secretary General , Arab foreign ministers, heads of international and regional organizations and bodies, federations advocating human rights, clerics, as well as intellectuals, legal, political and historical figures. Mr Majed Al Zeer, General Director of PRC, just returned from the conference said “Israel’s policy in Al-Quds is a clear violation of international law, numerous resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly, concerning the rights of the Palestinian people”.

The situation in Jerusalem has been a growing concern for the international community since its occupation in 1967. Israel has adopted a series of measures designed to force Palestinians out of the city, including systematic home demolition and settlement construction.

Most concerning of all is its determination to Judaize the city by removing Arab, Christian and Islamic characteristics of the city with the ultimate goal of severing East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

The Israeli government and the Jerusalem municipality are working hand in hand to alter the city’s demographic balance. They assist extremist Israeli organizations for the takeover of Palestinian homes and implant further Jewish settlements.

The Israeli script for the ultimate colonization and occupation of Palestine has not changed. The first wave of expulsion in 1948 was followed by many more, all intended for the ethnic cleansing of the
indigenous Palestinians from their land.

Israel’s policy in Palestine never ceased to be inflammatory. In East Jerusalem it’s reached a new level of depravity that should be a concern for the region and the international community.

Mr Zeer also encouraged the international community to act saying Al Quds is vitally important, not just for the 350 million Arabs but the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world, not to mention that without Al Quds any prospective resolution committed to by the international community will be totally shattered.

It is therefore imperative for Britain, Europe and the international community to stop Israel’s immoral, illegal, inflammatory and extremely dangerous policy in the holy place”.

( / 02.03.2012)

News from Syria 02.03.2012 II

The temp in #Homs now is below freezing point. Meanwhile, electricity is cut off in many parts&there is no fuel to keep warm #Syria#BabaAmr

More bad news from Baba Amr will probably come tomorrow 🙁

It’s a quiet night in #Homs, interrupted by a few isolated explosions & sniper fire at the checkpoints #BabaAmr #Syria

As relayed earlier, #ICRC & #RedCrescent were denied entry into#BabaAmr after their convoy reached its entrance #Homs #Syria

20,000 REFUGEES,7500 KILLED, 16,000 injured,59,000 DETAINEES, 20,000 VICTIMS in #Hama $Bils stolen from #Syria ns#AssadCrimes #SyriaBleeds

#SNC: You are either too slow to act or inexperienced. Either way get out of the way. Dissolve the #SNC.We need leaders NOT actors.#Syria

To the #SNC: Get it through your heads there is no solution to the#Syria n crisis EXCEPT the military solution. STOP embellishing.#Syria

if what is happening in #Syria is not ethnic cleansing then we do not know what is. #Syria #SyriaBleeds

#Syria opposition chiefs at odds over military body Just UNITE, you idiots. #Syria ns are dying!

We not only need political leadership for #Syria n opposition but military leadership also. #SyriaBleeds

Despite our retreat from #Homs we will never stop our revolution. We will never go back and #Assad will be toppled. #Syria #SyriaBleeds

Hamas blames power crisis on Egypt in rare rift

GAZA, March 2 (Reuters) – Gaza’s top political leader blamed Egypt on Friday for causing a power crisis that has triggered lengthy blackouts in the Palestinian enclave, laying bare tensions between his Islamist group Hamas and Cairo.

The outages started in mid February, leaving households with just six hours of electricity a day, provoking widespread criticism within the territory of Hamas, which governs Gaza.

Looking to deflect the anger, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told supporters that Egypt controlled the flow of fuel into Gaza and suggested the authorities in Cairo should have done more to help following the downfall of former president Hosni Mubarak.

“Is it reasonable that Gaza remains without electricity a year after the revolution in Egypt?” Haniyeh said in a weekly address, accusing Cairo of trying to force Gazans to accept their energy supplies via arch foe Israel.

“Is it reasonable that Gaza remains blockaded a year after the dismissal of the tyrant (Mubarak) regime?” he said.

There was no immediate comment from Egypt.

Israel imposes a land, sea and air blockade to prevent any materials which could be used to make arms from reaching Hamas, which does not recognise Israel’s right to exist.

Mubarak helped maintain the blockade and Gazans celebrated his ousting in the belief that the new rulers would be much more supportive of their cause. But change has come slowly.

Crucial fuel supplies that feed Gaza’s sole power plant were unexpectedly cut last month and Egypt has told Hamas that in future it should import its oil through legal channels — namely the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Officials have indicated that Egypt was angry that Hamas was smuggling in subsidised fuel intended for the Egyptian people. Haniyeh said he could not agree to shift imports via Kerem Shalom because they would be too costly and vulnerable.

Haniyeh said Egypt wanted Gazans to pay $1 a litre for fuel in future — more than what they paid for smuggled diesel. Hamas used to tax the oil that came in from the tunnels, but goods entering Gaza via Israel is taxed by its rival, the Palestinian Authority (PA), thereby jeopardising Hamas finances.

“There is also a security problem. If someone fired a bullet three kilometers away from Kerem Shalom, the Israelis would close the crossing and prevent the entry of fuel,” Haniyeh said.

Hamas has not renounced violence and militants in the enclave regularly fire missiles at Israel.

The power crisis has come at a bad time for Hamas, which is struggling to overcome unprecedented internal divisions over efforts to overcome a deep rift between itself and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose PA body runs the West Bank.

The reconciliation efforts have been partly brokered by Egypt and some newspaper commentators have suggested that Cairo turned off the fuel taps to put pressure on a highly hesitant Hamas to accept the proposed unity accord.

Without mentioning Egypt by name, Haniyeh appeared to give credence to the speculation. “Some parties want to continue to pressure Gaza, Hamas and the government, believing they can get concessions,” he said, adding: “Neither electricity nor anything else will push Gaza people make any concession.”

With the situation deadlocked, Haniyeh said Gaza might be able to get fuel for free from Algeria or Iran.

( / 02.03.2012)

Marokkaan cel in voor Israëlische vlag

Een Marokkaan moet 6 maanden de cel in, omdat hij de Israëlische vlag heeft gehesen bij zijn huis. Volgens een rechtbank heeft de man ‘de nationale vlag van Marokko ondermijnd’, meldt de Arabische nieuwszender al-Arabiya

De 42-jarige man wilde protesteren tegen het feit dat het water en de elektriciteit bij zijn huis waren afgesloten. Hij woont in de Oost-Marokkaanse plaats Nador, in een wijk die wordt beheerd door het leger. De moeder van de man had koning Mohammed VI gevraagd haar zoon vrij te laten. Hij deed het om aandacht te krijgen, zei ze in een videoboodschap op internet.

( / 02.03.2012)

Pillaging blow to Palestinians

20081127 dror_etkes_betar_illit

After a recent Israeli Supreme Court decision allowed Israeli companies to maintain quarrying and mining activities in the occupied West Bank, local human rights groups and activists say the decision has opened the door dangerously to Israel’s pillaging of other Palestinian resources.

“On its face, the new rule allows the occupier [in a long-term occupation] to make endless use of the variety of objects found in the occupied territory,” Israeli human rights group Yesh Din

stated. “To pump its water sources, to transfer its archeological artifacts to elsewhere outside the territory, to use areas within it for garbage disposal, to sell public real estate, and more.”

In late December, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed a petition put forth by Yesh Din, challenging the legality of Israeli mining and quarrying operations taking place in the occupied West Bank.

The court argued that the laws of occupation change when the occupation is long-term; in other words, the powers of an occupying power can expand, while the prohibitions against it become increasingly flexible, in a long-standing occupation.

The court also inferred that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had consented to the quarries’ operation, since the Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement, which was meant to expire in 1999, left the quarries under complete Israeli control in Area C of the West Bank. Shutting down Israeli quarrying activities would harm the local Palestinian population, the court added, since the industry employs Palestinian workers.

On the ground, however, the ruling has left Palestinians concerned that Israel’s illegal exploitation of other resources in the West Bank, including water, will now be viewed as legitimate.

“This law is dangerous. We are talking about one of the main humanitarian needs: water. I don’t think that anybody, any law, any state, has the right to steal one of the main necessary needs for people,” said Fathy Khdirat, a Palestinian resident of Jordan Valley and coordinator of the Jordan Valley Solidarity campaign.

“When they say that the occupation is long term, that means that Israel is planning to continue its occupation of our land, to continue to make this kind of open-air prison for the Palestinians who managed to stay in their land,” he added.

In Jordan Valley, Israel has taken control of most of the area’s water sources for the near-exclusive use of the 9,400 Israeli settlers living there. These settlers consume approximately 6.6 times more water per capita annually than the 56,000 Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley.

While some Bedouin communities in the area have water consumption levels comparable to humanitarian-disaster areas, it is estimated that Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley use almost one-third the quantity of water – for household and agricultural use – that is accessible to the 2.5 million Palestinians living in the entire West Bank.

“Now there are just a few [Palestinian] communities, maybe 13 communities, that have the right to buy a limited amount of water from the Israeli [water] company, Mekorot. More than this, Israel confiscated water tanks which are pulled by the farmers’ tractors and bring water from outside the Jordan Valley,” Khdirat told Inter Press Service (IPS).

“Palestinians can hear the water running in the pipes but they are not allowed to drink from them.”

According to Yesh Din, the Supreme Court’s ruling not only violates international law, but dangerously “creates a license for pillage” in the occupied Palestinian territories. The organization applied to the High Court in January for a new hearing on the issue in front of a broader panel of judges.

“Manipulation of the rule prohibiting the harming of property in occupied territory creates a legal basis for irreparable economic exploitation of occupied territory by the occupying power, despite the fact that the prohibition on such exploitation is one of the overriding principles of the laws of occupation,” Yesh Din stated.

Israeli quarry operations in the West Bank began in the mid-1970s. It is estimated that there are 10 Israeli-owned quarries in the West Bank, of which eight are operational. These facilities produce approximately 12 million tonnes of mined material annually, and the vast majority of these materials – up to 94% in some quarries – are transferred for use in the Israeli construction market.

A September 2011 report released by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy and the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem found that the total costs imposed on the Palestinian economy as a result of the Israeli occupation amounted to US$6.9 billion in 2010, or approximately 85% of the total Palestinian gross domestic product.

“The majority of these costs do not have any relationship with security concerns but, rather, come from the heavy restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in the access to their own natural resources, many of which are exploited by Israel itself, including water, minerals, salts, stones and land,” it stated.

The inability of Palestinians to access their own natural resources – which, by extension, causes them to lose revenues and pay higher costs for raw materials – amounts to $4.5 billion annually, 56% of the Palestinian GDP, the report found.

According to Fathy Khdirat, this strain on the Palestinian economy has a clear purpose: to get Palestinians to leave their lands.

“Destroying their economy and making people poor means that they are pushing them to leave,” Khdirat said. “But in spite of this kind of law, in spite of all this kind of pressure, we are still there. The Palestinians are still there. Very simply, there is nowhere to go. We don’t have choices. Our choice is to exist.”

( / 02.03.2012)

SPECIAL FOCUS on Palestinian Prisoners

The recent Egyptian-brokered prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel garnered significant international attention and was celebrated by many Palestinians. Despite the freedom granted to 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, another 6,000 remain.

The issue of imprisonment by Israeli authorities is longstanding and pervasive. It is estimated that since 1967, one-fifth of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories has been in an Israeli prison at one time. Frequently, they are held without charges or proper recourse to legally challenge their detention.

Palestinian political leaders have also been imprisoned, including members of the parliament, mayors and factional leaders.

These articles offer background on the history of exchanges, the effect of prisoners on the different sectors of Palestinian society, women prisoners, the psychological impacts of incarceration, and the Israeli protocol for handling prisoners as it developed over time. In this Special Focus, we share selectedJournal of Palestine Studies articles about Political Prisoners in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


The Prisoner Exchange” by James Dorsey

The Prisoner Exchange” by Ze’ev Schiff


Detention of Palestinian Youths in East Jerusalem” by Leah Tzemel and Eytan Grossfield

Resistance and Repression: Political Prisoners in Israeli ” by Naseer H. Aruri

Prisoners for Palestine: A List of Women Political Prisoners” by Soraya Antonius


Experiences of Torture, means of Coping, and Level of Symptoms among Palestinian Political Prisoners” by Raija-Leena Punamaki

Ordeal by Internment

Israel and Torture

( / 02.03.2012)

Normen en waarden in Islam

Voor de moslim is het een plicht zich te sieren met goed gedrag. Goed gedrag kenmerkt zich door:

  • Oprecht zijn
  • Eerlijk zijn en te vertrouwen
  • Kuisheid
  • Schaamte
  • Moed en dapper
  • Goedgeefs en generositeit
  • Trouw zijn
  • Zich afkeren van alles wat Allah verbiedt
  • Hulp bieden aan mensen, vooral bij nood
  • Alle gedragingen die door Qur’an en Sunna worden aangemoedigd

Naast een goed gedrag, bestaan er de fatsoensregels:

  • Groet de mensen
  • Glimlachen
  • Met de rechterhand eten en drinken
  • Het zeggen van Bismillah (in de naam van Allah) voor en na de maaltijd
  • Het zeggen van Alhamdoellilah (Alle lof zij Allah) na het niezen
  • Het zeggen van Jarhamoeka Allah aan de niezer
  • Zieken bezoeken
  • Het bidden voor de doden, een lijkstoet volgen, een begrafenis bijwonen
  • De gedragscode bij het binnentreden en verlaten van de Moskee  respecteren
  • De gedragscode bij het binnentreden en verlaten van het huis en bij het niezen respecteren
  • De gedragscode met de ouders, familieleden, buren, ouderen en kinderen respecteren
  • Het feliciteren van een bruiloft
  • En andere regels van fatsoenlijkheid zoals o.a. kledingcode

Naast het goede bestaan er ook (hoofd)zonden:

  • Ongehoorzaamheid tegenover de ouders
  • Het verwaarlozen van de familiebanden
  • Valse getuigenis of een valse eed
  • Buren slecht behandelen
  • Onrechtvaardig zijn tegenover de mensen, d.w.z. bloed vergieten, stelen, onwettig afdwingen van iemands geld of bezittingen, iemands eer aantasten
  • Nuttigen van alcohol
  • Gokken en andere kansspelen
  • Roddelen
  • Laster en / of kwaadspreken over iemand
  • Alle andere zonden die door Allah of zijn Boodschapper werden verboden

Red Cross convoy bringing Baba Amr aid stopped in Homs

Footage on state TV on Thursday and Friday showed snow and destruction in Baba Amr and activists’ video showed residents in Bab Sbaa

The Red Cross says it has been refused permission to deliver aid to the Baba Amr district of the bombed-out Syrian city of Homs, despite earlier getting the go-ahead from the authorities.

ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said the hold-up was “unacceptable”.

The delay has given rise to opposition allegations that government forces were trying to get rid of evidence of summary killings.

Baba Amr has suffered heavy bombardment by government forces in recent weeks.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said on Thursday it was leaving the district in a “tactical withdrawal”.

On Friday the UN human rights office said it had received reports of a “particularly grisly set of summary executions” of 17 people in Homs.

Meanwhile Paul Conroy, a Sunday Times photographer who fled Syria after being wounded in Homs, told the BBC that what was happening in Baba Amr was “systematic slaughter”.

Two French journalists caught up in the shelling and smuggled out of Homs into Lebanon have been flown back to a military airport outside Paris.

Edith Bouvier and William Daniels were met on arrival by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Ms Bouvier was badly injured in the bombardment of a makeshift media centre last week, in which two other journalists were killed.

“Start Quote

They start shelling at six o’clock in the morning, they finish at six o’clock pm – so there is no place to hide because there are no shelters, just wait in your house and hope that they don’t hit your house”

Javier EspinosaSpanish journalist who escaped from Homs
She was stretchered off the plane and is set to undergo surgery on Friday evening for multiple leg fractures.

The ICRC said it had received the bodies of the two dead journalists, Marie Colvin of Britain’s Sunday Times and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, and will take them to Damascus.

‘Green light’

Mr Kellenberger said in a statement that the seven-lorry aid convoy carrying food, medicine and blankets, along with ambulances from the Syrian Red Crescent, would stay in Homs overnight in the hope of entering Baba Amr “in the very near future”.

“It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help,” he said.

The statement added that the Syrian authorities had earlier given a “green light” for the convoy to enter, and that the problem was not a technical hitch but something more serious.

The convoy had also been hoping to evacuate the wounded.

Mr Kellenberger said that in the meantime the group would help those families that had fled Baba Amr.

But the BBC’s Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says the tone of the statement suggests that the Red Cross is not very confident about getting permission to enter Baba Amr immediately on Saturday either.

Of the 100,000 people who normally live there only a few thousand remain, with the FSA saying it had pulled back to save those still there from an all-out assault.

Many of those still in the district are without power and running low on basic supplies. The ICRC has said it fears there could be many seriously wounded people there.

The opposition Local Co-ordination Committees reported that in Syria as a whole 56 people had died on Friday, of which 32 were killed in Homs and 16 in the nearby town of Rastan.

Activists spoke of revenge killings in an agricultural area outside Homs, and the summary killing of 10 people behind a local co-operative building.

The reports prompted UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville to warn the Syrian government of its responsibilities under international law.

“Enough crimes have already been committed in Syria over the past year,” he said.

“We urge the authorities to make sure no more are committed now that they have taken control of Baba Amr.”

The UN estimates more than 7,500 people have died in the 11-month anti-government uprising in Syria.

Javier Espinosa: “The city (of Homs) has been badly damaged by a constant rain of rockets”

‘No place to hide’

Mr Conroy, who was smuggled out of Syria into Lebanon on Tuesday, described the scenes in Homs from his hospital bed in the UK.

“I’ve done a fair few wars, I’ve never seen anything on this level,” he said.

“There are no targets, it’s pure systematic slaughter of a civilian population.”

Spaniard Javier Espinosa, who also escaped, described his flight as part of a group of 50 people who crept through the government lines at night.

“There were a group of kids who were terrified… we tried to just shut [quieten] them down … but it was too late and they [government troops] started shooting, so we had to run for our life… to hide,” he told the BBC.

“I guess there were some people who died.”

He also spoke about the suffering he saw while he was in the city.

“We are talking about 20,000 mainly women and old people, civilians, trapped in a very small enclave under constant shelling during the whole day until night,” he said.

“It was very systematic. They start shelling at six o’clock in the morning, they finish at six o’clock pm. So there is no place to hide because there are no shelters, just wait in your house [and hope] that they don’t hit your house. And there is no basic stuff like milk for the babies, like bread, like water.”

( / 02.03.2012)

Hamas deputy: Political operations out of Damascus

Mousa Abu Marzouq (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Speaking from Cairo, the deputy head of Hamas’ politburo said Thursday that Hamas’ offices would remain in Syria despite the relocation of all political and media activities out of Damascus.

The violent crackdown on protests by Syria security forces have prompted Hamas to review its headquarters in Syria, and the movement’s leaders-in-exile have steadily moved out of the country.

Hamas insists its official position has not changed, but in an interview with Arabic satellite channel Al-Arabiya, Mousa Abu Marzouq said Hamas operations had left Damascus due to the situation in the country.

Abu Marzouq and his family moved to the Egyptian capital several months ago, and a week ago the Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh publicly applauded the revolutionaries in Syria in a speech in Cairo.

Marzouq, who had been slated as a potential candidate to replace Khalid Mashaal to head the party, insisted that Hamas has its “own point of view.”

Hamas is a liberation movement, the party deputy stressed, in an apparent move to separate the move out of Damascus from international policy towards Syria.

He accused US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton of standing for her interests only, and failing to care about the victims of the conflict.

Clinton falsely accuses Hamas of having links to Al-Qaida, Abu Marzouq said, adding that the party is entirely opposed to bloodshed.

( / 02.03.2012)

De Avond van De Vijf Zuilen

    • donderdag 29 maart 2012
    • 8:00 tot 11:00
  • Op donderdag 29 maart vindt de vijfde avond in de islam-serie plaats. Deze keer een verrassende en nuchtere avond over de vijf zuilen, met bijdragen van een bonte verzameling gasten uit wetenschap en kunst o.l.v. islamoloog Hatice Kurşun.

    De rituele praktijk van de islam rust in essentie op vijf grondslagen: de vijf zuilen. Dat zijn de vijf plichten die iedere moslim dient na te komen. Dit zijn: het uitspreken van de geloofsbelijdenis (shahada), het dagelijks vijf maal verrichten van het gebed (salaat), het geven van aalmoezen (zakaat), het vasten in de maand Ramadan en het verrichten van de bedevaart naar Mekka (hadj).

    Op donderdag 29 maart zijn tijdens De Avond van De Vijf Zuilen te gast: Gerard Wiegers, hoogleraar religiestudies aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, die een mini-college geeft over de vijf zuilen van de Islam. Ud speler en componist Mehmet Polat zal een aantal stukken op de Ud spelen. Samir Aoulad M’hand zal enkele koran passages die gereciteerd worden tijdens het gebed ten gehore brengen. Najou Bijjir zal kort vertellen over haar Hadj reis. Dmv een aantal film fragmenten zal Hatice Kursun ingaan op een aantal zuilen en met de schoonheid van imperfectie als voornaamste inspiratiebron, draagt de gelauwerde dichteres Najiba Abdellaoui een gedicht voor over de Ramadan. Bestel kaarten via: