Standing United Against Terrorism and Al-Qaeda

Sheikh Salman al-Oadah at IslamToday.net

This article contains some harsh words for those who choose to follow the path of violence. However, I find it necessary to use a harsh tone – which departs from my normal writing style – in order to confront those people who take up arms with the purpose of bringing death to numerous people and reducing societies to ruin.

When I wrote about al-Qaeda, some of my dear friends took exception to my doing so, warning me that I would be the brunt of libel and attacks upon my honor, or worse. However, I replied that the situation required that we speak clearly and frankly, and it does not matter what people will say.

I have persistently called upon our sincere scholars and preachers – and continue to call upon them – to describe things by their proper names, and to disassociate the word “jihād” (a word rich in meaning which is found in our sacred texts) form the activities of those killing organizations which murder innocent people and undermine security in societies around the world – regardless of whether those societies are Muslim or non-Muslim – since carrying out atrocities and targeting civilians is categorically forbidden in Islam.

Today, I must stress how important it is for us to condemn the abominable and criminal acts being perpetrated around the world in Islam’s name and which are being misrepresented as “jihad.” We must expose those acts and the people who carry them out by calling them what they really are, whether their perpetrators refer to themselves as al-Qaeda, or a jihad organization, or a militant organization or an “Islamic state.” It is not enough to give vague indications and make ambiguous general statements.

At the same time, I must stress that it is the right of every country in the world to defend itself against external aggression and to carry out resistance against an invader or occupying power. This is an international right acknowledged by all nations. Nevertheless, carrying out such legitimate resistance neither justifies nor excuses the targeting of civilians and innocents, regardless of where they are.

It is not enough that we speak up. Things have gone farther than that. A crisis has rent the intellectual and cultural fabric of our society. Therefore, I appeal to myself and to my fellow preachers to condemn this great evil in the clearest and most unambiguous terms, an evil which is causing bloodshed, destroying society, and blackening Islam’s good name. It is also hampering our development, bringing ruin to our countries, inciting transgression against human life, while violating both the tenets of Islam and the dictates of basic human values.

Therefore, we must take care not to confuse our message by discussing other wrongdoings at the same time we discuss this matter, tying them in with each other. Some ignorant people might claim that we are justifying those atrocities or seeking an excuse for them. Indeed, we should not bring up the question of terrorist attacks when we discussing social and political issues, or the media, and say: “This is the cause of that. Avoid these mistakes so as not to give cause for extremism…” This is not a good way to address the matter. It could make some of those people feel, when they see things they dislike, that they have an excuse to perpetrate acts of violence. We need to make a clear distinction between issues, and take care how we speak, so as not to unwittingly have a negative impact upon such people.

We should be wary of how we use the words “but” and “however”, words which can lead some young people to fall into misunderstandings, as if what we are saying has many angles to it which can be interpreted in various ways.

The problem we are addressing is one of blind civil strife, where “every time it seems to come to an end, it just goes on” as the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said in an authentic tradition describing the tribulations of the Last Days. The onus of quelling this strife and exposing how it violates Islamic teachings falls upon the sincere scholars and preachers of Islam who do not fear the censure of others and who feel no hesitation in calling a crime a crime, regardless of the consequences.

I do not care if some people who dislike what I say are going to accuse me of working for this or that interest group, or of being a “government stooge.” I call Allah to witness for what I say. My condemnation of terror stems from my religious faith and my firm convictions. No one has any sway over my beliefs. I am neither for nor against the governments. Regardless of the consequences, I am against deviance, destructive behavior, and acts of atrocity in general, and especially when those acts are perpetrated in the name of religion. I make my position plain.

I do not care if my opponents insist on making false accusations against me. I say what I mean, loudly and clearly. These are my religious beliefs, which I have not changed and which have not been any different in the past. However, there is a more pressing need today than at any previous time to reiterate those beliefs and announce them all the more forcefully. Indeed, ever since the outbreak of these violent acts, speaking out against them has become a religious, educational and moral imperative for anyone who cares about the future of Islam, our country, the generations to come, and preserving what little stability is left in the Muslim world. That which is happening in Somalia and elsewhere is a heartbreaking tragedy. Everything is being laid to waste and people are killing each other over the ruins – all in Islam’s name. People have being killed by the droves, without pause, even in the month of Ramadan.

I declare that Allah does not make right the deeds of those who perpetrate atrocities. Nor does He bring the plots of the deceivers to right guidance. Those who, in the name of Islam, kill innocents – and very often they happen to be Muslims – or who claim that by doing so they are upholding Islamic teachings, they will not succeed and they will not set things right. Rather, they will face Allah’s punishment and become a warning to others unless they repent beforehand.

Al-Qaeda is not what it was before September 11. It has turned into a media phenomenon with many people claiming the name merely for its symbolic value, mobilizing the youth under its umbrella. In this way, the strategy has changed, the evil has shaken loose from its reins and become like shrapnel all over the place, possessing a regional character but making a global noise. Al-Qaeda has become like a trademark that anyone can get hold of and carry out their activities in its name. It is no longer a cohesive organization with strong ties between its leaders and followers.

I call upon those who still make excuses and hesitate when they speak to think about the judgment they will face when they will stand before Allah. They should not let the oppressive acts of governments or their policies – like what took place in Algeria – or the embargoes that governments impose upon them, cause them to be unjust. The heavens and the Earth are only set aright by justice.

The merciful thing to do is to tell those young people who have been deceived, and those who are set to join their ranks tomorrow, that: “This path you are taking is not going to bring you to your goal. It will not save you from Hell or earn you Paradise. Whoever wants success in this life, salvation in the next, and Allah’s pleasure should adhere to the true teachings of Islam and keep far away from bloodshed and strife. Do not attempt to reinterpret the faith so as to justify acts that are clearly and patently evil. In the boldness with which you commit such mortal sins, you engage in crimes far worse in Allah’s estimation than those whom you purport to condemn. ”

This should be the message that parents give to their families, that mothers teach their children, that teachers impart to their students, and that preachers address to their congregations. The condemnation of terror should not be connected with any official campaign, media drive, or salaried work. Rather, it should come from an inner sense of religious duty, from our obligation to raise the next generation correctly and to call people to what is right. It should be carried out with the intention of fostering reconciliation in society and building bridges between ourselves and those who disagree with us, which can be achieved on the basis of our shared concern to safeguard our faith and our worldly lives. In our thinking, we need to get beyond defending our individual interests and look to the general good and to the future. Our concern should be for society: its common folk and its leaders, its rich and its poor, those who are righteous and those who are sinners. All of these people are part of our society, and we must share a sense of loyalty with them all.

When we talk about this issue, which is of the utmost seriousness, we must not mix it up with talk about other things. Those other matters might very well be equally important, or more important, or less. In any case, those issues can be addressed on other occasions.

In all earnest, I call upon our young people to discuss this matter both in person and on the Internet, to uncover the reasons why some people have sympathies for such activities and organizations and how to remedy the causes for those sympathies. I call upon them to hold fast to the clear and explicit teachings of Islam, as set forth in the Qur’an and Sunnah, which warn against sowing dissention, killing, and murder. Indeed, this was one of the last exhortations that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, made to his followers at the end of his life, on the occasion of his final pilgrimage.

Some sick-minded people have started talking about assassinations as if they were a tradition established by the Prophet. This is more than a misunderstanding – it is delusional. Did the Prophet permit the execution of the leaders of Quraysh in Mecca when they sought to stamp out the Muslims in their midst? No. Or the leaders of the traitorous hypocrites in Madinah when the sought to undermine the nascent Muslim community? No. Did he call for executing the leaders of the Jews when there was a covenant between them? No. Did he ever grant anyone the right to pass personal judgment over others and their faith and carry out punishments? No. Never did he permit such things. What chaos would have been worse than that? But this is what these people today want to reduce us to.

I assert, on the basis of certain conviction, that the people who follow that extreme path, if they ever come into power, will bring destruction and ruin to everything. Society, from its civil cohesion, to its family integrity, to its agriculture, would waste away. Those people would foster civil strife and suffer for it in turn. This is because they have deviated from the straight path. They have no understanding of Islamic teachings and the wisdom behind those teachings. They are ignorant of the natural laws that Allah has placed in His creation. Therefore, they will never be successful and never find divine support. That is for certain, as anyone who has understanding can see. Nevertheless, those people are quite successful in spreading chaos and confusion. They are good at misleading the simple-minded and causing discord, and they are given support in this whenever we are silent, mince our words, or withhold judgment.

May the peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, who brought the clear message and established the clear proof. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of All the Worlds.

(www.faithinallah.org / 23.03.2012)

Three Women Injured Near Bethlehem

Palestinian medical sources reported Friday that three Palestinian women suffered concussions and bruises after Israeli soldiers attacked a nonviolent protest in Al-Ma’sara village, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

File - Image Palinfo
File – Image Palinfo

The protest was conducted in support of hunger-striking detainee Hana’ Ash-Shalabi, and to highlight the suffering of Palestinian women under Israeli occupation, while the Palestinians and various countries around the world celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 21 each year.

The nonviolent protesters carried Palestinian flags and chanted slogans expressing solidarity with Hana’ Ash-Shalabi demanding Israeli to her, and to release all Palestinian political prisoners.

Israeli soldiers blocked the path of the march before attacking the nonviolent protesters with clubs and batons wounding three women.

Ash-Shalabi has been on hunger-strike since the Israeli army kidnapped her from her house on February 16, and placed her under administrative detention without charges.

In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, the Hebron Defense Committee and the Popular Campaign Against the Wall and Settlements, held a nonviolent protest in Tal Romedia neighborhood after conducting Friday noon prayers near the local mosque.

The protesters expressed solidarity with Ash-Shalabi and all Palestinian detainees held by Israel.

Media spokesperson of the Hebron Defense Committee, Anan Da’na, stated that this protest comes in support of the detainees, and to express solidarity with Shalabi who has been on hunger-strike since 37 days, demanding her release and an end to the illegal administrative detention policies.

Also on Friday, Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian, Israeli and International peace activists conducting the weekly protests against the illegal Annexation Wall and settlements, in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and in Al-Ma’sara village near Bethlehem, several injuries were reported.

(www.imemc.org / 23.03.2012)

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism endorses de facto annexation of West Bank

One of the main reasons why the “peace process” never panned out the way it was supposed to, according to Israel at least, is because many Palestinians simply do not recognize the State of Israel. Albeit Israel has yet to define its ever-shifting borders, one must question how Israel can demand recognition without even recognizing the existence of Palestinians.

In a map published and presented by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, the West Bank ceases to exist. Instead, it shows highway routes weaving through a borderless Judea and Samaria — highway routes that Palestinians are typically prevented from using. The only territory marked as Palestinian is the Gaza Strip which looks to be less than 1% of the total mapped territory.

Here is a government website that endorses the de facto annexation of Palestinian land. The next time Israel complains about recognition, ask why it doesn’t even bother recognizing Palestine.

(smpalestine.com / 23.03.2012)

Solidarity Rally with Global March to Jerusalem

    • vrijdag 30 maart 2012
    • 13:30 tot 16:00
  • “The historic day 30th March marks Palestine Land Day in Palestinian national memory. This year our aim is to mark it as an international event to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians and to protect Jerusalem. This will be achieved by organizing a Global March to Jerusalem or to the nearest point to it. The march will demand freedom for Jerusalem and its people and to put an end to the Apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation policies affecting the people, land and sanctity of Jerusalem.

    By organizing the March and its preceding and parallel activities we aim to highlight the cause of Jerusalem (the City of Peace) which is considered the key to peace and war in the region and the world. The march will confirm that the policies and practices of the racist Zionist state of Israel against Jerusalem and its people are a crime not only against Palestinians but against all humanity.

    The march will unite the efforts of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all citizens of conscience in the world to put an end to Israel’s disregard for international law through the continuing occupation of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestinian land.

    In three short weeks the world will join in solidarity with Palestinians to demand real change in their struggle for human rights. Land convoys will arrive from India and South Africa. Marches will commence from several locations toward Jerusalem in the West Bank and historical Palestine (Israel). Creative actions and large rallies will occur in Gaza. Palestinian refugees and their supporters will march towards Jerusalem and then hold mass rallies near the borders in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. While solidarity demonstrations will take place around the world on Land Day March 30, 2012. In the United States the Occupy movements in Washington DC and San Francisco are planning to participate. And other actions in the US and Canada are sure to happen.

    We will meet on Freedom Plaza at 130 and plan not to leave no later then 145pm to
    march to the Israeli Embassy to demand the safe return of all participants of the global march to Israel.
    – stop funding an illegal occupation with 8 million dollars of US tax dollars everyday
    – and equal rights and access to Jerusalem for everyone

    Solidarity Rally with Global March to Jerusalem

The Middle East Conflict: FACTS

Click here to download an excellent map of the Separation Wall from Btselem

Suggested Readings

Israel’s Crimes Against
Palestinians: War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide

by Francis Boyle
Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois

The Ethics of Revenge
by Yitzhak Frankenthal
Chairman of the Families Forum, and father of an Israeli 19-year old killed by Palestinian militants.

Apartheid in the Holy Land
by Desmond Tutu
Recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize

FACT: Israel Is Illegally Occupying Palestine
Under UN Resolution 242, Israel is required by international law to withdraw from all the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem. The United Nation’s General Assembly has repeatedly condemned Israel’s occupation of

“You must end the illegal occupation.” 

Kofi Annan, addressing Israel in a meeting of the UN Security Council, March 12, 2002

the territories as illegal (see UN resolutions 338, 1397, and 1402, among others). Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine, sanctioned and maintained by the US, is one of the most serious obstructions to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

FACT: Israel Systematically Violates the Human Rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories
Each day, Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Gaza violate articles of the 4th Geneva Convention on Human Rights, an agreement that governs wartime rules of engagement and to which Israel is a signatory. Palestinian homes and agriculture fields are routinely demolished to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli soldiers regularly arrest and detain–often for years– Palestinians without due process. According to Amnesty International, members of the Israeli security forces regularly use torture and prolonged incommunicado detention against Palestinians.

FACT: The Israeli “Defense” Forces routinely kill children and innocent civilians
According to B’Tselem, the Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, 1059 of the Palestinians killed from September 29, 2000 though July 20, 2002 were civilians. In comparison, 360 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians during this period, in Israel and the Occupied Territories combined. There were also over 108 extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinians during this period — a war crime according to the Hague Convention of 1907.

“I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and West Bank could describe events in South Africa.”

-Archbishop Desmond Tutu

FACT: Israel is an Apartheid State

   In Their Own Words…

“If I was an Arab leader I would never make [peace] with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country.”

First Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion

“I don’t mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal. What you don’t understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it.

Former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, speaking to Amos Oz, editor of Davar, on Dec. 17, 1982

click here for more quotes

Israel has developed an elaborate system of racial discrimination, embedded in its legal system, exceeding Apartheid South Africa’s laws. These laws include the Law of Entry, the Law of Return, the Citizenship Law, the Military Service Law, the Law of Acquisition of Absentee Property, the Law for Acquisition of Land, and a host of legally sanctioned, discriminatory rabbinical rulings.

FACT: Palestinians suffer a severe water shortage due to the Occupation
The Israeli government pursues a grossly discriminatory water policy. Since 1967, the Israeli government has been stealing up to 80% of the groundwater from the”Mountain Reservoir,” a group of groundwater aquifers located underneath the mountains of the Occupied West Bank of Palestine, including the Occupied Jerusalem. The Palestinian people are allowed no control of these extensive water resources.

add Refusnik Watch auto-updatee to your site

FACT: Over 1,000 Israelis have refused military service due to the Occupation.

“We will no longer fight beyond the Green Line for the purpose of occupying, deporting, destroying, blockading, killing, starving and humiliating an entire people,” declares a petition signed by the reservists.

Did you know…? 
*Since the creation of the United Nations in 1945, no country has violated as many UN Security Council Resolutions as the state of Israel. In spite of this fact, Israel, a country slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey, receives nearly 1/3 of the entire annual US Foreign Aid budget.

*As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States has the power to veto any Resolution it wishes, and has used this veto power more than 20 times since 1973, to thwart the will of the Council, and to shield Israel from any consequenses for its actions.

*According to a report released by the Israeli Peace Now movement, the Israeli government spent well over US$533 million in sustaining the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories in 2001, more than half of that amount provided by United States tax-funded economic aid.
click here for more

10 Zionist Obfuscations

(www.monabaker.com / 23.03.2012)

BEHIND THE TOULOUSE SHOOTINGS

In the midst of continuous and intense media coverage and political crisis management our response to the events in Toulouse and Montauban must be put in proper perspective. As in any situation of war and violence, our first obligation is that of compassion for the victims, adults and children alike. Grief and despair has touched French families, be they Jewish, Catholic, Muslim or without religion. Far from the floodlights and the excited commentary, far from hypotheses and from possible political exploitation, our hearts go out to them in an intimate encounter with our minds that alone can express our condolences and our feelings of human brotherhood. The loss of a child, a brother, a father, a husband, a sister, a friend in such circumstances is all but unbearable. In Toulouse and Montauban as well as at the graves of all innocent victims, in the West and in Africa and in the Middle East. They remind us of our shared humanity, of the horrors men commit, of both the dignity of our fragility and the legitimity of our resistance. To the victims, to all victims, go our first thoughts and compassion. And our respectful silence.

Twenty-three year-old Mohamed Merah was a familiar face in and beyond his neighborhood. People describe him as quiet, easy-going, nothing at all like an “extremist jihadi Salafist” ready to kill for a religious or political cause. His lawyer, who had previously defended him in offenses ranging from petty theft to armed robbery, had never detected even a hint of religious leanings, let alone of the Salafi stripe. He had just been tried and sentenced for theft and driving without a permit. Two weeks before the shooting, witnesses said he spent an evening in a nightclub in a very festive mood. In 2010 and 2011 he traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and earlier attempted to join the French army, which was unsuccessful , because of his criminal record. Mohamed Merah stands before us like an overgrown adolescent, unemployed, at loose ends, soft-hearted but at the same time disturbed and incoherent, as illustrated by his long hours of conversation with the police as they surrounded his apartment. An unbalanced, provocative, conscious, non-suicidal killer, are we told, who wanted, as he put it, to “teach France a lesson.”

Religion was not Mohamed Merah’s problem ; nor is politics. A French citizen frustrated at being unable to find his place, to give his life dignity and meaning in his own country, he would find two political causes through which he could articulate his distress : Afghanistan and Palestine. He attacks symbols : the army, and kills Jews, Christians and Muslims without distinction. His political thought is that of a young man adrift, imbued neither with the values of Islam, or driven by racism and anti-Semitism. Young, disoriented, he shoots at targets whose prominence and meaning seem to have been chosen based on little more than their visibility. A pathetic young man, guilty and condemnable beyond the shadow of a doubt, even though he himself was the victim of a social order that had already doomed him, and millions of others like him, to a marginal existence, and to the non-recognition of his status as a citizen equal in rights and opportunities.

Mohamed—how typical the name is !—was a French citizen of immigrant background before becoming a terrorist of immigrant origin. Early on his destiny became tied to the surrounding perceptions of that origin. Now, in a final act of provocation, he has come full circle, has vanished into this constructed and distorted image to become the definitive “other.” For the French of France, there is no longer anything French about Mohamed the Muslim Arab.

That cannot, of course, excuse his actions. But let us at least hope that France can learn the lesson that Mohamed Merah had neither the intention nor the means to teach : he was French, as are all his victims (in the name of what strange logic are they differentiated and categorized by religion ?), but he felt himself constantly reduced to both his origin by his skin color, and his religion by his name. The overwhelming majority of the Mohameds, the Fatimas or the Ahmeds of the suburbs and the banlieues are French ; what they seek is equality, dignity, security, a decent job and a place to live. They are culturally and religiously integrated ; their problem is overwhelmingly a socio-economic one. The story of Mohamed Merah today holds up to France a mirror in which it sees its face : he ends up a Jihadi without real conviction, after having been a citizen deprived of true dignity. Once more, this excuses nothing. But therein lies a crucial lesson for us all.

There was to have been a two-day suspension of the presidential election campaign. Nothing could have been more illusory. Even the suspension was political. With the election one month away, analysts and journalists are speculating who could turn the affair to maximum political advantage. Nicolas Sarkozy, posing as president of all the French, holds a winning hand. The Toulouse killings can be relied upon to shift the focus of the president election even further to the right. There will be much talk of insecurity, immigration, violent Islamism, and of Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine on the international level. Precisely where President Sarkozy is at ease. In his role as crisis manager he can encroach on the territory of the far-right Front National, and display to excess his international stature, where his record is less objectionable. The game is far from over, and the weeks to come may well prove surprising. In France as well as abroad. The opposition candidates are in holding pattern, as though paralyzed at the thought of a slip-up, while Nicolas Sarkozy is now in a position of symbolic strength, and that position carries substantial weight, even though the outcome is still in doubt. At the sight of the maneuvering and the grand gestures, one feels an extraordinary malaise. The victims, the dead, their families, the underlying social and political questions have become secondary. Now is the time for cold calculation, for strategy. Politicians employ the power of symbols just as certainly as Mohamed Merah in his impotence struck at those symbols. Now, these themes have forced their way into the election campaign, carried along by a flood tide of emotion. Much will be said of integration, of Islamism, of Islam, of anti-Semitism, of security, of immigration, or the lost banlieues, of international relations—but it will not be the speech of democrats in tune with the people’s aspirations but populists exploiting events and mocking people’s emotions. The President plays at being the President, and his opponents seek only to prove that they are worthy pretenders. Where we might have hoped for a true debate on political issues, we must now be content with trapeze artists and jugglers, with illusionists, and with clever and cynical attempts to exploit a tragedy.

In Toulouse, France now beholds its own mirror image. The crisis has revealed that the candidates have long ago ceased to engage in politics, not simply for two days in tribute to the victims of a terrorist act, but for years. For years, in fact, real social and economic problems have been pushed aside ; a substantial number of French citizens are treated as second-class citizens. Mohamed Merah was French (whose behavior was as remote from the Quranic message as it was from Voltaire’s texts). Is it so difficult to conceive and acknowledge this fact ? Is it hurting so much ? There indeed lies the French problem.

(www.tariqramadan.com / 23.03.2012)

Soldiers Invade Several Towns Near Hebron

Israeli army invaded on Thursday at night several towns near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and also invaded several neighborhoods in the city, clashes were reported.

File - Palinfo
File – Palinfo

Eyewitnesses reported that several army vehicles invaded a number of suburbs in Hebron, and installed roadblocks at the entrances of Ithna and Beit Kahil towns, held dozens of residents and detained several youths for hours before releasing them.

On Wednesday evening, soldiers invaded Doura town, near Hebron, and clashes with several youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at them; no injuries were reported.

Late on Wednesday evening, a number of Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails at an Israeli monitoring tower near Al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron.

Israeli media sources reported that three Molotov cocktails were hurled at the jeeps, no damages or injuries were reported.

Two more cocktails were hurled at settler vehicles driving at the main road between Gush Etzion settlement and the Al-Arroub refugee camp leading to damages but no injuries, Israeli sources reported.

Soldiers invaded the camp and conducted military searches of homes, no arrests were reported.

(www.imemc.org / 23.03.2012)

Two Civilians Injured, One Critically, As Troops Attack West Bank Anti Wall Protests

On Friday two civilians were injured, one seriously while many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli soldiers suppressed anti wall protests in a number of West Bank villages.

Israel’s military uses chemical water against anti wall protesters in Bil’in – Photo by IMEMC 2010
Israel’s military uses chemical water against anti wall protesters in Bil’in – Photo by IMEMC 2010

At the village of al Nabi Saleh, central West Bank, two teenagers were injured, one critically, when soldiers attacked the weekly anti wall protest on Friday. This week protest was organized under the title of “continued resistance” in response to the Israeli military campaign targeting the villagers to stop the weekly activity in al Nabi Saleh.

Soldiers stopped the villagers along with their international and Israeli supporters at the village entrance and attacked them using rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas. The military also used chemical water as well to force people back into the village. Two 16 year old boys from the village were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets, one in the face.

This week Israeli troops invaded the village of al Nabi saleh at a number of occasions. Soldiers stormed the media office of the Nonviolent Resistance Committee in Nabi Saleh and confiscated a computer, in addition to confiscating three computers from the home of Basem At-Tamimi, who is currently in an Israeli prison for his nonviolent activities against the Wall and settlements. Troops threatened further invasions and attacks if popular nonviolent resistance continued.

“we called our protest today continued resistance, as a response to the Israeli occupation campaign, to tell them that attacks and oppression does not scare us and that we will continue our popular resistance.” Attallah Al-Tamimi from the Nonviolent Resistance Committee in Nabi Saleh told IMEMC.

Also in central West Bank, many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti wall protests at the village of Bil’in and Nil’in.

In southern West Bank also on Friday, villagers of Al Ma’ssara, along with their international and Israeli supporters protested the Israeli wall. Troops stopped protesters at the village entrance before they reached lands owned by local farmers which Israel confiscated to build the wall on. Later troops forced people back into the village using rifle-butts. No injuries were reported.

(www.imemc.org / 23.03.2012)

Persbericht Stop de Bezetting

Op vrijdag 30 maart a.s. zal een vreedzame tocht van tienduizenden mensen vanuit vele landen in de wereld via Beirut, Libanon en Amman, Jordanië richting Jerusalem  plaatsvinden om aandacht te vragen voor de ernstige belemmeringen voor het Palestijnse leven en de vernietiging van de Palestijnse cultuur in Jerusalem. De tocht wordt georganiseerd door een groot aantal organisaties  en personen in tientallen landen wereldwijd. Gretta Duisenberg, voorzitter van de Stichting Stop de Bezetting, zal deelnemen aan de Mars vanuit Beirut.

Sinds de bezetting van Jerusalem – ruim 40 jaar  geleden – hebben de Israëlische autoriteiten de burgerrechten van de ruim 14.000 Palestijnse inwoners enorm beperkt en zelfs geheel afgenomen. De burgemeester van de stad heeft recentelijk verklaard dat de Palestijnen die buiten de muur wonen, overgedragen zullen worden aan de civiele administratie van de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Dat zou inhouden dat zo’n 70.000 Palestijnen de stad niet meer mogen binnenkomen.

Het initiatief voor de Mars is twee jaar geleden genomen door verschillende Europese, Aziatische, Amerikaanse en andere pro-Palestinagroepen. De dag van 30 maart is gekozen omdat die de Palestijnen herinnert aan het eerste verzet tegen de onteigening van hun land op 30 maart 1976, nu de Dag van het Land.
Tegelijkertijd zal over de hele wereld worden geprotesteerd tegen de steeds verdergaande Judaïsering van Jerusalem. In Nederland zal op vrijdag 30 maart 2012 om  14 uur een demonstratie zijn bij de Israëlische ambassade, Buitenhof 47, Den Haag. Wij roepen eenieder op die hart heeft voor de Palestijnse zaak om hierbij aanwezig te zijn.

Jerusalem is het universele erfgoed van christenen, joden èn moslims. De stad is het centrum van spiritualiteit en van grote ideologische betekenis voor alle monotheïstische religies.

De organisatoren benadrukken dat de deelnemers geen politieke partij of religieuze fracties vertegenwoordigen, maar dat eenieder welkom is deel te nemen; daarnaast benadrukken zij dat het een vreedzame beweging is, die geen enkel geweld gebruikt om haar doelen te bereiken.

Enkele leden van de Advies Raad van de Global March to Jerusalem zijn:

Mairead McGuire, Nobel Prijs winnaar;

Fr. Louis Vitale, frater van de Orde van Franciscaner Monniken;

Gretta Duisenberg, oprichtster en voorzitter Stichting Stop de Bezetting, Board member “Free Gaza Movement”;

George Galloway, ex-parlementslid van Engeland en oprichter van Viva Palestina;

Atallah Hanna, aartsbisschop van Sebastia;

Lalita Ramdas, Greenpeace International;

Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prijs winnaar

Germany funds 2 new schools in Gaza

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Germany on Thursday pledged to fund two new schools in the Gaza Strip, the UN agency for refugees said.

Germany will contribute €3 million ($3.96 million) to UNRWA to enhance the agency’s free schooling program, UNRWA said in a statement.

At a signing ceremony in Jerusalem, UNRWA official Marina Skuric-Prodanovic said the donation “will further strengthen UNRWA’s efforts to provide education to young Palestine refugees.”

The new schools will serve 4,400 children, she added.

German representative Bettina Tewinkel said the funding would improve learning opportunities for children who “are deeply affected by the extremely difficult situation in the Gaza strip.”

(maannews.net / 23.03.2012)