Repeated storming of Israeli Soldiers on Al Aqsa mosque

Repeated storming of Israeli Soldiers on Al Aqsa mosque


Al Qassam website – Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) has warned of the consequences and goals of the repeated storming of the Aqsa mosque by Israeli soldiers in uniform.

It said that such programmed tours of the Aqsa by various military units point to a serious and suspicious scheme being hatched by the Israeli occupation

Around 50 Israeli male and female conscripts stormed the Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Monday and walked in separate groups inside the holy site while listening to explanations by a guide.

The foundation said that it had monitored the repeated violations of the sanctity of the holy site and was apprehensive about the method and tours of those soldiers.

It explained that the soldiers are deployed in the form of military units that are positioned in specific areas especially in the eastern and western flanks of the holy site.

Tour guides usually lead those groups while holding signs carrying certain names and letters that are sometimes not comprehensible, the foundation said.

It warned that the repeated storming of the Aqsa mosque is absolutely rejected and posed dangers on it.

(Source / 24.03.2013)

Iran: US-Israel arms deal to destabilize region

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran criticized on Tuesday a US deal to sell advanced missiles and aircraft to Israel, saying the move will only destabilize the region.

“This kind of aid will only lead to instability and insecurity in the region,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters at his weekly press conference.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who touted the deal during his trip to Israel, has said it sends Iran a “very clear signal” that military action to stop its controversial nuclear program is still an option.

The deal will see Israel obtaining anti-radiation missiles designed to take out enemy air defenses, radar for fighter jets, aerial refueling tankers and Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor transport aircraft.

US and Israeli leaders have been at odds over Iran, with President Barack Obama’s administration arguing that tough sanctions and diplomacy need to be given more time to work.

But Israel, believed to be the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, has repeatedly warned time is running out and has refused to rule out a pre-emptive military strike to prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic weapons capability.

In March, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said his country would “annihilate” the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the Islamic republic comes under attack from regional arch-foe Israel.

Iran denies it is developing an atomic bomb, saying it is pursuing its nuclear program purely for peaceful medical and energy purposes.

(Source / 24.04.2013)

Israel destroys over 1,000 olive trees in Hebron village

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces destroyed over 1,300 olive trees in the south Hebron hills on Tuesday.

Israeli soldiers accompanied officials from Israel’s civil administration as demolition crews uprooted hundreds of olive trees in the village of Susiya, Ma’an’s reporter said.

According to B’Tselem, there are 26 outstanding Israeli demolition orders in the village.

In February 2012, right-wing settler advocacy group Regavim petitioned Israel’s supreme court on behalf of an Israeli settlement overshadowing the village, calling for Israeli authorities to implement the demolition orders.

Meanwhile, settlers from Karmi Tzur uprooted 30 olive trees east of Halhul, local Saeed Madiyah told Ma’an.

In al-Malih and al-Madareb, in the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces demolished 15 animal shelters belonging to Bedouins in the area.

In Hizma, north of Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished shelters belonging to Nayef al-Ashab.

Al-Ashab told Ma’an he used the shelters to store produce for his shop and that he was not warned they would be demolished. The goods were all destroyed in the demolition, he said.

(Source / 24.04.2013)

Israeli soldiers and Border Police destroy 200 young olive trees in Palestinian village of Susya

Israeli soldiers and border police today used a backhoe to uproot 200 young olive trees in the Palestinian village of Susya in the South Hebron Hills. The demolition of the olive grove began at 8:00 am and finished at 10:45 am. The trees destroyed were planted about one year ago on land belonging to three families of the village, across a valley from the Israeli settlement of Susya.

Israeli bulldozer uprooting olive trees (Photo by CPT)

Israeli bulldozer uprooting olive trees

The village of Susya has existed since around 1830, and is present on British maps from 1917. In l983 Israeli settlers built a settlement at Susya, and many of the village’s residents were forced from their homes. These families now live nearby in isolated sites to the north of the settlement. The Israeli Civil Administration has informed residents of Palestinian Susya of their intention to carry out six demolition orders for houses that were issued in the 1990s and in 2001. These demolition orders cover 50 buildings, including homes, animal pens, solar energy panels and water cisterns.

These demolition orders have been issued despite the fact that Palestinian ownership of the land in Palestinian Susya is well established legally. Israeli attorney Plea Albeck stated in a legal opinion in l982 that the land in Palestinian Susya is Palestinian owned. Because the Israeli Civil Administration has not completed a master plan for the region, the residents of Palestinian Susya are unable to obtain building permits.

Since 2001 Israel has, through its military and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza, uprooted, burnt and destroyed more than 548,000 olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmers and land owners.

Israeli bulldozer about to uproot an olive tree (Photo by CPT)

Israeli bulldozer about to uproot an olive tree

Palestinian woman carrying an olive tree which was going to be uprooted by Israeli forces (Photo by CPT)

Palestinian woman carrying an olive tree which was going to be uprooted by Israeli forces

(Source / 23.04.2013)

Tensions high after Iraq forces raid Sunni camp, 23 dead

A man is brought to a hospital on a stretcher after after being wounded in a clash between Iraqi forces and Sunni Muslim protesters in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

(Reuters) – At least 23 people were killed when Iraqi security forces stormed a Sunni Muslim protest camp near Kirkuk on Tuesday, triggering a gun battle between troops and protesters and provoking insurgent attacks in other areas.

It was the worst fighting Iraq has seen since thousands of Sunni Muslims started staging protests in December to demand an end to perceived marginalisation of their sect by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government.

Iraq’s education minister and its the science and technology minister, both Sunni Muslims, offered to resign on Tuesday in protest against the raid, according to the deputy prime minister’s office and their Iraqiya party.

Hours after violence in Hawija, Sunni Islamist militants fought gun battles with police and army outside Kirkuk and west of the capital Baghdad in Ramadi.

In the first clash, Iraq’s defence ministry said troops opened fire early on Tuesday after coming under attack from gunmen in the makeshift protest camp in a public square in Hawija, near Kirkuk, 170 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad.

“When the armed forces started… to enforce the law using units of riot control forces, they were confronted with heavy fire,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The defence ministry and military sources said troops found rocket-propelled grenades, sniper rifles, AK-47 guns and other weapons at the camp.

But protest leaders said they were unarmed when security forces stormed in and started shooting in the morning.

“When special forces raided the square, we were not prepared and we had no weapons. They crushed some of us in their vehicles,” said Ahmed Hawija, a student.

The defence ministry said 20 gunmen were killed at the camp along with three of its officers. Three military sources said twenty people at the camp and six soldiers died.

Sectarian tensions still simmer close to the surface in Iraq where intercommunal fighting between Shi’ite militias and Sunni insurgents killed tens of thousands of people at the height of the war that followed the 2003 invasion.

The Hawija clashes will likely widen divisions in Maliki’s cross-sectarian government which has been deadlocked by fighting among Shi’ite, Sunni and ethnic Kurdish parties over how to share power since the last American troops left in 2011.


After the Hawija raid, security forces imposed a curfew in the surrounding province of Salahuddin, burned protesters’ tents and cleared the square.

Later in the day, Sunni tribal members attacked and briefly seized control of three checkpoints in villages around Hawija before armed forces backed by helicopter gunships took them back, military sources and tribal leaders said.

Gunmen also attacked Iraqi army posts to the south of Kirkuk, wounding four soldiers, and insurgents burned two army humvees on the highway outside Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad. Military officials said three soldiers were killed.

Violence in Iraq has eased since the intercommunal slaughter that erupted after al Qaeda militants bombed an important Shi’ite shrine in 2006 and triggered a wave of retaliation by Shi’ite militias on Sunni communities.

But Sunni Islamist militants are still capable of major attacks. Al Qaeda’s local wing has stepped up its campaign of bombings and suicide blasts since the start of the year in an attempt to provoke more widespread sectarian confrontation.

Since the last U.S. troops left in 2011, Iraq’s government has been mired in crisis over a power-sharing agreement that splits post among the Shi’ite, Sunni and ethnic Kurdish parties. Maliki’s critics accuse him of amassing power at their expense.

Many Iraqi Sunnis say they have been sidelined after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion that ousted Sunni strongman Saddam Hussein and allowed the country’s Shi’ite majority to gain power through elections.

(Source / 24.04.2013)

Gaza to export truckload of spices to Europe

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing on Tuesday for the export of one truckload of herbs and spices to Europe, a Palestinian liaison official said.

They also allowed the access of 350 trucks loaded with goods and cement and building materials for international projects in Gaza, the official said.

Limited quantities of cooking gas were to be transferred into the sector, he said.

(Source / 24.04.2013)

Twee kikkers

By Marianna Laarif

Een groep kikkers trok door het bos en twee van hen vielen in een diepe kuil.
Alle andere kikkers verzamelden zich rond de kuil.
Toen ze zagen hoe diep de kuil was,
vertelden ze de twee kikkers dat ze zo goed als dood waren.

De twee kikkers negeerden de opmerkingen en probeerden met al hun kracht uit de kuil te springen.
De andere kikkers bleven hen vertellen dat ze moesten stoppen, dat ze zo goed als dood waren.

Uiteindelijk nam één van de kikkers aan wat de anderen riepen en gaf het op. Hij viel neer en stierf.

De andere kikker bleef zo hard springen als hij kon.
Weer riep de groep kikkers hem toe dat hij de kwelling moest stoppen en gewoon moest sterven.
Hij begon nog harder te springen en eindelijk sprong hij eruit.

Deze kikker was echter doof, hij hoorde de kreten van de anderen niet.
Hij dacht ze hem de hele tijd aan stonden te moedigen.

Dit verhaal leert ons twee lessen.

De tong heeft de kracht van leven en dood.
Een aanmoedigend woord aan iemand
die in de put zit kan hem er weer bovenop helpen en hem de dag door slepen.

Een ontmoedigend woord aan iemand die in de put zit kan net datgene zijn dat hem doodt.

Wees voorzichtig met wat je zegt.
Spreek het leven tegen iedereen die je pad kruist.
De kracht van woorden is sterk.

Een aanmoedigend woord kan zo lang mee gaan.
Denk na voordat je spreekt.

“Een mens struikelt vaker over zijn tong dan over zijn voeten.” – Bayhaqi

Palestinian prisoner ends fast after deal with Israel

 Palestinians hold placards depicting prisoner Samer al-Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for 209 days, during a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah, calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, February 17, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

 (Reuters) – A Palestinian prisoner whose hunger strike had stoked weeks of protests in the West Bank ended his eight-month on-off fast on Tuesday in exchange for early release by Israel, Palestinian officials said.

Israeli and Palestinian officials had feared that had Samer al-Issawi, 32, died because of refusing food, it might have led to mass unrest.

At least six Palestinian protesters were wounded in February in clashes with Israeli troops after another Palestinian died while being interrogated in an Israeli jail. The clashes were fuelled by the worsening health of Issawi and other prisoners.

Under a deal signed by Issawi and a military prosecutor, he will serve eight more months for violating bail conditions from an earlier release, the officials said, announcing he had ended the strike.

He will then be allowed to go to his Jerusalem home, Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian prisoner organization, told Reuters.

Israel convicted Issawi of opening fire on an Israeli bus in 2002, but released him in 2011 along with more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier held hostage by the Hamas Islamist group in Gaza.

He was re-arrested last July after Israel said he violated the terms of his release by crossing from his native East Jerusalem to the West Bank, and ordered him to stay in jail until 2029 – his original sentence.

Citing security concerns, Israel restricts Palestinian movement between East Jerusalem and the West Bank – a policy criticized by Palestinians as collective punishment. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Middle East war, annexing East Jerusalem in a move that has not won international recognition.

Both Palestinian and Israeli officials have visited Issawi frequently to reach a compromise and prevent the violence his death could have provoked, potentially further complicating any peace efforts.

Issawi’s lawyer and sister had conveyed the offer, which was brokered by Israel and Palestinian officials, to his bedside in Israel’s Kaplan hospital, where he had been under Israeli guard and receiving intravenous vitamins but was refusing food.

Palestinians regard Issawi and the prisoners as heroes of their struggle for statehood and welcomed the news of the deal.

“I consider this a great victory and a reversal (to Israel)” said Issa Qaraqea, Palestinian minister of prisoners. “This isn’t just a personal achievement for him, but one for the sake of all the prisoners and citizens who want freedom.”

Israel holds some 4,800 Palestinians it accuses of committing or planning violence against it. Palestinian official say 207 Palestinian security prisoners have died in Israeli jails since 1948.

(Source / 24.04.2013)

Jerusalemite bodies warn of Israeli calls for storming Al-Aqsa Mosque


images_News_2013_04_21_aqsa-ramadan_300_0[1]OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Supreme Muslim Council and the Council of Endowments and Islamic Affairs in Jerusalem warned of the aggressive irresponsible statements made by members of Knesset and other Jewish officials concerning Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Supreme Muslim Council and the Council of Endowments denounced in a joint statement on Sunday “the daily raids carried out by extremist groups into Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the protection of the Israeli police, and which aim to desecrate the Mosque.”

The Jerusalemite bodies rejected the remarks made by Likud MK Miri Regev, and which demanded to “allow the Jews to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

They also held the Israeli government responsible for the consequences of such statements that would ignite the conflict, provoke the feelings of all Muslims, and desecrate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Jerusalemite bodies stressed that Al-Aqsa Mosque is an Islamic waqf, and that Muslims will never give up any part of it, whatever the circumstances are. It also asserted that Al-Aqsa Mosque is not subject to political negotiations as it belongs to Muslims.

(Source / 24.04.2013)

The odd question: Is the liberation of Palestine still possible?

"Israel is the enemy and Egypt, Syria, and Iraq will never grow under the sponsorship of America; confrontation is the only means of development"

“Israel is the enemy and Egypt, Syria, and Iraq will never grow under the sponsorship of America; confrontation is the only means of development”

Yes. This question seems odd and the answer even odder. Nowadays, some people ask if the liberation of Palestine is necessary, as people are preoccupied with their internal wars; Sunni vs. Shi’ite, Islamists vs. Secularists. Some are busy with economic development and making a living. Despite the danger of my implied accusations of selfishness, I argue that defeating Israel is possible and that a confrontation with it and the US is a requirement for unhindered economic growth and social justice in Egypt and the Arab world as a whole. The world is changing and our opportunity is here, but we must make sure we do not miss it while some of us are busy fighting each other.

First: the world is currently witnessing the largest process of shifting the revolution from the west to the east, i.e. from Europe and the US to China, India, and eastern Asia. According to a number of reports published by American research centres, including the National Intelligence Council, in approximately the next 10 years China will be the second largest economy and will have the second largest military budget in the world. It will need to expand its markets and will need more petrol and gas, which will lead to its desire to diversify its energy sources in order for it not to remain reliant on the sources controlled by the US. In other words, relations between China and Iran, Russia, and the central Asian countries will strengthen because these oil and gas producing countries are able to supply China without the permission of the United States. Moreover, energy supplies from these countries will be done through ground pipelines, without the need to pass through the seas and straits controlled by the US and its allies.

Second: Russia will need China, Iran, Iraq, and Syria to access the Mediterranean Sea, because all the trade done through other Russian ports must pass through NATO controlled straits, whether from the Baltic Sea through the Denmark straits to the North Sea then Atlantic Ocean, or from the Black Sea, through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, which are also controlled by NATO. As for Russia’s northern and eastern coasts in Siberia, they are technically part of the North Pole and cannot be used for trade. Russia’s need for the Middle East after losing the Balkans and the Adriatic Coast in the 90’s is a vital need in order for it not to become a confined country without ports suitable for trade or defence. This means that the Chinese-Iranian-Russian alliance will become stronger in the next 10 years on account of Washington’s control over the area.

Third: The political impact of the American financial crisis will last throughout the upcoming years, as Washington still does not have the financial ability or political desire to engage in a long-term regional war in the Middle East or East Asia, nor does it want to directly challenge the Chinese-Russian alliance, or have enough power in India to force the latter to rehash its old conflict with China. Although New Delhi likes to anger Beijing, it does not want to anger Moscow as well, in addition to the fact that Islamabad is a friend of Beijing that is always prepared to support it. This relative isolation of America gives us the chance to fearlessly get rid of an alliance imposed on us with Washington.

Fourth: There have been some demographic developments in our favour in our region. First, 40 per cent of the Turkish and Iranian population will be classified in the 25-40 age group, the age group costing the country the least in terms of health care and education and the most productive age group that can provide for others. The Iranian and Turkish demographic development increase the likelihood of their continued economic improvement. Moreover, America’s sanctions against Iran hasn’t caused great harm to Iran due to what I mentioned earlier regarding Iran’s trade on the ground with Russia and China, without America being able to hinder it. There is also the fact that Iran’s bank sanctions drove it to increase its gold reserve, and we know that if a country increases its gold reserve then its dependence on foreign currencies, especially the Dollar, decreases so its economy is not linked to the American economy. As for Egypt, 40 per cent of the population will be in the 18 – 25 age group. After this the same percentage is in the under 15 age group, meaning the percentage of youth in Egypt will be higher than the percentage of children, increasing production potential and alleviating the burdens of providing for them. This also increases Egypt’s fighting potential, and its ability for revolutionary work. In Palestine, the Arabs will outnumber the Jewish people in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River by about 2 million in the next 10-15 years, and the problem of demographic containment will put pressure on the Israeli security and economic institutions. This will also increase the possibility of an outbreak of armed rebellion by the Palestinians, not only limited to the West Bank and Gaza, but the entire country from the Sea to the River.

Fifth: The current and successive Egyptian leadership, whether Islamic or secular, will realise sooner or later that the Turkish model cannot be applied in Egypt. The Turkish model, in short, is development through alliances with the West, then gradually leaving these alliances through the appropriate democratic means. I say that this model cannot be applied in Egypt due to the difference in geographic location between the two countries. A strong Turkey would mean a hindrance to Russia’s access to the Black Sea and the Balkans, making its relative strength a western interest. This was true in the 19th, 20th, and beginning of the 21st century until WWI, when the allies’ interests depended on keeping Turkey relatively strong and in control of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits in order to act as an obstacle in the face of Russian expansion. However, based on its geographical location, a strong Egypt would pose a threat to Israel, as well as the oil and shipping in the Suez Canal. Therefore, despite being an ally of the West for 40 years, Egypt continues to become poorer, and unlike Turkey, America’s alliance with Egypt does not aim to strengthen it, rather weaken it, because Egypt is not a tool for America to strengthen in order to weaken others, rather it is a target to be weakened. The worst part of this alliance is that the more the West is reassured that Egypt will not rebel against it, the less its share of the international economy is and the poorer it gets. It is as if Egypt is a factory producing security and stability in the Suez Canal and Israel area, and the more it produces, the cheaper it becomes. Therefore, Mubarak’s value in Washington decreased because he was a loyal ally and gave it what it wanted.

Sixth: The biggest challenge of taking advantage of all these developments is for it not to turn into a battle against Israel, or a battle between the Sunnis and Shi’ites in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. In a war between the Sunnis and Shi’ites, no one will emerge as the victor, and it is certainly not a means of development. Therefore, we must find a solution that immediately ends the bloodshed and establish an elected democratic regime away from tyranny, which preserves the unity of the country, its factions, its international and regional alignment, and prevents the spill over of violence into Lebanon and Iraq to unify us as one nation. Although there are criminals in both groups, there are also innocent and oppressed people from both groups. Israel is the enemy and Egypt, Syria, and Iraq will never grow under the sponsorship of America; confrontation is the only means of development.

(Source / 23.04.2013)