Het verbod op onderlinge verdeling

<<< Aboe Hoerayrah (moge Allah tevreden zijn met hem) verhaalde in de h’adieth, overgeleverd door at-Tirmidzie, Ibn Maadjah en Aboe Daawoed, dat de profeet (Allah’s zegeningen en vrede zijn met hem) heeft gezegd: “De joden en de christenen waren verdeeld in 71 of 72 religieuze sekten, en deze oemmah (gemeenschap van moslims) zal verdeeld zijn in 73 religieuze sekten – allemaal (zijn) in de Hel, behalve één, en die ene is degene (die het pad volgt) waarop ik en mijn metgezellen vandaag zijn (d.w.z. het volgen van de Koran en de Soennah van de profeet).” >>>

En er zijn vele andere voorbeelden uit de teksten (van de Koran), die ons opdragen tot de djamaa’ah (op de weg van de metgezellen) – het bij elkaar komen – en verdeeldheid en meningsverschillen verbieden. En de mensen die het meest als voorbeeld dienen bij dit grondbeginsel zijn de Ahloe l-Djamaa’ah (de mensen van de djamaa’ah), net als de mensen die het meest als voorbeeld dienen bij het verlaten ervan, de mensen van de sektes zijn.

Hetgeen dat de Soennah samenvat is: gehoorzaamheid aan de boodschapper. Dit is waarom de profeet (Allah’s zegeningen en vrede zijn met hem) zei: “Voorwaar, Allah is welgevallen met drie dingen: dat je alleen Allah aanbidt zonder het toekennen van enige deelgenoten aan Hem; dat je jezelf stevig vastklampt aan het touw van Allah en niet verdeeld raakt; en dat je oprecht advies geeft aan degene die door Allah belast is met het beheer van jouw zaken”. [Overgeleverd door Moeslim (3/1340) en Ah’mad (2/367).]

En in de Soenan verzamelingen van de h’adieth van Zayd ibn Thaabit en Ibn Mas’oed – die beide grote foeqahaa-e waren (geleerden van fiqh) – die overgeleverd hebben dat de profeet (Allah’s zegeningen en vrede zijn met hem) zei: “Moge Allah degene die mijn woorden hoort, uit het hoofd leert en het overdraagt aan anderen… Er zijn drie dingen waar het hart van een gelovige geen wrok over koestert: oprechtheid jegens Allah in zijn daden; oprecht advies geven aan degenen in posities van autoriteit en vastklampen aan de djamaa’ah.” [Sah’ieh’, overgeleverd door Ah’mad (4/80) en Ibn Maadjah (nr. 320), authentiek verklaard door sheikh al-Albaanie in as-Sah’ieh’ah (nr. 404).]

<<< Fiqh: letterlijk betekent dit begrip. Islamitisch betekent het de islamitische jurisprudentie, wetgeving. De volledige definitie van fiqh is: het kennen van de islamitische oordelen over islamitische praktijkzaken met daarbij de uitgebreide duidelijke bewijsvoering. >>>

(Deel uit: Source / 06.06.2013)

Should soccer boycott Israel’s European Championship?


Mahmoud Sarsak's story became global news last year. The 23-year-old lost half of his body weight in a 93-day hunger strike after being held without charge in by the Israeli authorities for three years. Sarsak was accused of being involved in terrorist activities. His release came after the intervention of senior football figures such as FIFA president Sepp Blatter.Mahmoud Sarsak’s story became global news last year. The 23-year-old lost half of his body weight in a 93-day hunger strike after being held without charge in by the Israeli authorities for three years. Sarsak was accused of being involved in terrorist activities. His release came after the intervention of senior football figures such as FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Mahmoud Sarsak is twice the man he used to be.

The diminutive Palestinian soccer player is sitting in a small cafe in central London, tired but otherwise surprisingly healthy for a man who had lost half his body weight during a hunger strike 12 months ago.

It is his first visit to the British capital but, like many who try to leave Gaza, his journey was long and far from easy.

“The Rafah border (between Gaza and Egypt) was closed for days because of the kidnapping of soldiers in Egypt. It was hectic,” explains Sarsak, a talented striker who had once been called up to the Palestinian national team squad.

“I managed to cross the border by miracle. I was the last one to be allowed to cross.”

But Sarsak says he wasn’t in London to pursue his dream as a professional soccer player, or to spend time there as a tourist. He was there to protest outside the UEFA Congress, held recently in the UK capital, to campaign for a boycott of the European Under-21 Championship which started in Israel on Wednesday.

Read: Israelis release Palestinian ex-footballer imprisoned without charge

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“How did UEFA give this to Israel?” he says, shaking his head. “Why did they think it was acceptable despite knowing the violations of human rights the Israeli state conduct on a daily basis?”

Sarsak claims he has experienced this first hand. In fact, he says he is lucky to be alive.

This time last year he was on the verge of death, he says. The 23-year-old says he had lost half of his body weight in a three-month hunger strike after being held without charge in administrative detention by Israeli authorities for three years.

Under administrative detention, a person can be held indefinitely without charge or trial on secret evidence.

The Israelis have accused Sarsak of having links with the extremist organization Islamic Jihad and of being involved in terrorist activities. A senior Israeli security source with knowledge of his case, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN: “The individual in question was held in administrative detention due to security-related matters, including involvement in attacks on Israeli forces, and planned to perpetrate suicide bombings.” But Israeli officials offered no specific response to questions about why Sarsak was released.

He was let free last July, emaciated and pale, after the likes of FIFA president Sepp Blatter intervened on his behalf, appealing to the Israel Football Association for help.

For much of the past year, campaign groups and famous names in soccer, including former Mali international Frederic Kanoute, have called for a boycott of the U21 tournament due to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, including athletes like Sarsak.

Read: Former Palestinian footballer vows to continue hunger strike

A petition was raised by the pro-Palestinian campaign group Red Card Israeli Racism, attracting more than 8,000 signatures. An open letter was also sent to British newspaper The Guardian in May, signed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as well as a raft of other politicians and celebrities.

“UEFA is rewarding Israel’s cruel and lawless behavior by granting it the honor of hosting the European Under-21 finals next month,” the letter read.

“UEFA should not allow Israel to use a prestigious football occasion to whitewash its racist denial of Palestinian rights and its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.”

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But, for some of those campaigning for a boycott of the tournament, they say the most damning evidence comes from Sarsak’s own experiences while in detention.

“This (hunger strike) was the only way left to achieve my liberation,” he claims. “The Israelis killed my hope, killed my dreams, killed everything. It was either to live in dignity or be buried underground.”

Sarsak grew up in Rafah, a Palestinian city in southern Gaza, with little other than soccer.

“It runs through the family blood. All of my brothers played,” he says.

“When I was growing up I looked up to Palestinian players. We didn’t have TV so we didn’t know anything of any international players. We looked up to them because they were so confident and happy. They made people smile. They brought spirit and life into the destructive places we were living in. That’s what I wanted to do. Put smiles onto people’s faces in such a hard place to live.”

Read: FIFA wants action on hunger-striking player

It soon became clear that Sarsak had talent. At 14 he became the youngest player to represent the Rafah soccer team, and was called up for an international tournament in Norway. Soon he came to the attention of the Palestinian national team, which has been recognized by FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, for more than 15 years.

But it wasn’t until 2009 that Sarsak was offered a professional contract with a team in the West Bank. Finally he managed to secure the hard-to-come-by permit required by Palestinians to leave Gaza.

“I was delighted,” Sarsak recalls of the day he left his home.

“Through football I would be able to help my family survive. I was on my way to establishing myself as an independent person. Building a home, building a family. The day before I traveled, all my friends came and celebrated. Everyone was delighted.”

That dream turned sour. When he arrived at the Erez Crossing into Israel the situation quickly deteriorated, he said.

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“A woman soldier and officer said I should go for an investigation. I wasn’t worried as lots of people were being investigated,” he said.

“I was surprised when my hands and legs were chained immediately. No-one else was. I thought, ‘OK, something is happening.’ ”

It was the start of a three-year nightmare for Sarsak.

“They searched me and then put big black glasses on my eyes so I couldn’t see. They took me with my chained arms and legs down into what felt like a big bunker underground. When I got there and took the glasses off I was sitting on a chair in front of an interrogator.

Read: FIFA grants Palestinian soccer $4.5M

“I was harassed, brutalized, hit on the head with the guns they were using. They took me off into an army center where they called my brother and told him I was in prison. I spent 45 days there. I saw death many times throughout that period.”

Sarsak claims that during this period he was physically and psychologically tortured.

“A human being is being kept in a place not suitable for an animal. It is a two-meter-by-two-meter bunker,” he recalls.

“Damp. No sun. No air. It is not a place where even animals should be. At first I had 18 days of investigation. I was chained to a chair. My eyes were closed. I was not allowed to sleep for 18 days. I was beaten up, humiliated. I was put in a fridge for a time where I was frozen almost to death and then straight from there to the hospital. Every time you go through these cycles you feel like you are going to die. And you could die at any moment under those conditions.”

The Israeli authorities deny any allegation that Sarsak was tortured. “Any claims he was physically mistreated in any way are totally baseless,” the senior security source said. They also believe that administrative detention is a vital, and legal, security tool.

“Administrative detention is legal under international law,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said when asked about the use of administrative detention and why Sarsak was not brought to trial.

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“We prefer not to use it, we prefer open court but sometimes this proves impossible. If you have sensitive intelligence material, hard-line terrorist groups will immediately and violently eliminate our intelligence sources. We use this sparingly. Where a situation like this arises we need to protect our security sources.

“The process is not arbitrary. There are checks and balances in place. You cannot be held for a few days before being brought before a judge. They can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. The Israeli judiciary is fiercely independent and has no issue ruling against the government.”

Sarsak maintains his innocence.

“If I actually had links with terrorists, why was I never charged? Never brought to trial justly?” he says.

“I spent three years in prison with no accusation. If I did have links I should have been brought to court. But in reality they had nothing on me. This was a false charge under which they kept me in prison. I lost three years of my life.”

Back in London, later in the day, Mahmoud Sarsak joined a small but vocal protest outside the Grosvenor House hotel where the UEFA congress was taking place. He personally delivered the petition calling for the boycott of the tournament.

“I have great respect for the Palestinians,” UEFA president Michel Platini told CNN when asked about the protests.

“We have solidarity with Palestinian football … we have sent money, letters to press for the release of players and to get visas (but) Israel has just as many rights as anyone else to host a tournament. This shouldn’t affect a youth tournament.”

Read: Politics and football mix as Iran hosts Palestine

For the Israelis, the European Under-21 Championship is arguably the most prestigious international sports tournament ever held in the country. It is particularly poignant given that Israel used to be part of the Asian Football Confederation, even qualifying for the 1970 World Cup finals, until a boycott by its Arab neighbors forced the Israeli Football Association into the wilderness.

It was eventually accepted as a permanent member of UEFA — European football’s governing body — in the 1990s. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on hosting the tournament. Two state-of-the-art stadiums have been built, and two more renovated.

Israel, Palestinians exchange prisonersIsrael, Palestinians exchange prisoners

“Four years of hard work by all involved are coming to fruition,” Israel Football Association spokesperson Michal Grundland said.

“We hope viewers and tourists will see Israel for what it really is — a vibrant country with a rich culture, an absolutely phenomenal place for young people and tourists to enjoy and have fun, peacefully — and not what it is perceived to be from the way it is usually represented in the foreign media.”

For many Israelis, talk of a boycott is counterproductive. They say soccer is one of the few areas in Israeli society where Arabs, who make up around 20% of the country’s population, are well represented. Virtually every Israeli league side has Arab players, with the exception of Beitar Jerusalem — one of Israel’s best supported teams — which has never had an Arab player on its team. Five Israeli Arabs have been called up to the Israel side for the tournament.

“(That is) a much higher percentage than in the general population,” Grundland said. “Soccer in Israel is a uniting sport. Four of the five Arab Israelis in the squad will be part of the starting XI.”

Read: American soccer star playing for Palestine

Yet, as the protesters chanted outside the Grosvenor House Hotel for the tournament to be stopped, others within Israel believe that boycotts harm the Palestinian cause. Only recently, distinguished British scientist Stephen Hawking controversially boycotted a major international conference in Israel over the treatment of the Palestinians, sparking a debate as to how effective such actions actually are.

“You call these groups calling for a boycott pro-Palestinian. They are not. They are nihilistic and anti-Israeli,” said Regev.

“These groups calling for a boycott of football are the same groups who call for a boycott when the Israeli philharmonic orchestra plays overseas. They boycott Israelis. I challenge you to find one person calling for the boycott of this football tournament who isn’t calling for other boycotts too. They demonize Israelis and harm the creation of a Palestinian state.”

The two-week tournament, which began Wednesday with Israel drawing 2-2 against Norway, is expected to go ahead as planned. Sarsak will spend the next couple of weeks touring the UK, speaking at public meetings about his experiences and why he believes UEFA is wrong to allow Israel to host the tournament.

“Michel Platini came to Palestine and saw the real situation. He said that he will carry the Palestinian cause and would advocate against the oppression of the Palestinian people,” Sarsak says.

“He has completely changed his mind. He has given Israel a present on a platter of gold by giving them the honor of hosting the tournament.”

Sarsak has made a good physical recovery from his hunger strike. As the tournament kicks off, he says he is haunted by the memories of his detention, the time he has lost and the mental scars he still endures. But, one day, he hopes to play soccer again.

“I still want to pursue my dream,” he says, “because the Israeli intention was to destroy my dream and stop me playing football.”

(Source / 06.06.2013)

Large US force arrives in Jordan for deployment at Syria border amid Syria’s Qusayr victory

U.S. Marines landing in the Jordanian port of Aqaba

A large U.S. military force has reportedly arrived at a port in the south of Jordan, ready to be deployed at the country’s border with neighboring Syria.

The Israeli military intelligence website DEBKAfile has reported that 1,000 U.S troops from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force arrived at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba on Tuesday and made their way to the north of the country under heavy Jordanian military escort.

According to DEBKAfile, Washington imposed a blackout on the arrival of the rapid-response force as the Pentagon only reported the sending of a Patriot missile battery and F-16 warplanes to Jordan for a military drill.

On Monday, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command based in Tampa, Florida, Lieutenant Colonel T.G. Taylor, confirmed that Patriot missile launchers and F-16 fighter jets “were approved for deployment to Jordan”.

The U.S. has sent numerous ground troops to Jordan over the past few months, mainly for operating a training camp for militants fighting against the Syrian government.

The recent deployment of U.S. troops to Jordan’s border with Syria comes amid rising concerns over U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to appoint Susan Rice, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as his next national security adviser.

According to Antiwar, with Rice taking the reins of the national security machinery of the White House, the U.S. will keep “a keen eye on military intervention in Syria”.

U.S. Senator John McCain, who met with several leaders of the foreign-backed militants in Syria last week, urged Obama on Sunday for a military intervention in Syria as he acknowledged that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has the upper hand in the Syrian conflict.

The developments come as Syrian government forces on Wednesday regained full control of the strategic city of Qusayr after three weeks of fighting with the foreign-backed militants.

Damascus has repeatedly said that the crisis in Syria is being engineered from outside the country. On May 18, President Assad said militants from 29 different countries were fighting against his government in different parts of the country.

Last week, the FBI confirmed the death of a 33-year-old American woman who had been fighting along with foreign-backed militants in Syria against the Syrian government.

Syrian TV showed a black VW Golf car, belonging to the American female militant, identified as Nicole Lynn, along with three other foreign militants including a British man, from which several Kalashnikovs were retrieved.

(Source / 06.06.2013)

IOF imposes curfew on Ramallah village, storms Salfit



RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) imposed a curfew on Mughir village to the north east of Ramallah, and closed all entrances to it on Thursday morning.

Local sources said that the soldiers clamped the curfew at the pretext that inhabitants were throwing stones on them, adding that the soldiers threatened the village notables that the curfew would extend for a week if the stoning incidents continued.

The sources said that confrontations took place between the soldiers and inhabitants to the east of the village, adding that a number of young men suffered breathing difficulty in the confrontations.

Meanwhile, IOF soldiers in four patrols stormed the city of Salfit and deliberately provoked inhabitants, locals reported, adding that limited clashes took place as young men threw stones and empty bottles at the invading troops.

(Source / 06.06.2013)

An irrational relationship

By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj

WHEN signing up for the military, US soldiers swear to serve their country and defend the constitution with their life.

They march in harm’s way to the end of earth and sail the seas, following orders from their leaders. In return, they expect leaders to uphold the constitution and honour their sacrifices.

However, this was not the case for the 34 American sailors who lost their lives and the 171 injured when their leaders surrendered them on an Israeli altar on June 8, 1967.

The sailors were navigating international waters onboard the USS Liberty, a Navy technical research (eavesdropping) ship, when it came under a two-hour attack from Israeli jets and navy boats. The ship’s defences were first pacified by aircraft cannons, rockets and US-made napalm before Israeli torpedo boats moved in for the kill. Israeli spin was swallowed up by the receptive US media, with a story that the ship was mistaken for an out-of-service Egyptian ship El Quseir. American officials accepted the Israeli tale, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

A US National Security Agency report discredited the Israeli claim by pointing out that the Egyptian ship “was approximately one-quarter of the Liberty’s tonnage, about one-half its length and offered a radically different silhouette”.

More than 25 years later, retired Captain Ward Boston released a signed affidavit accusing president Lyndon Johnson and secretary of defence Robert McNamara of telling those heading the Navy’s inquiry to “conclude that the attack was a case of ‘mistaken identity’.”

Boston, who worked as a senior legal counsel to the Navy Court of inquiry and who investigated the attack, issued a sworn statement at a Capitol Hill Conference in October 2003 explaining that he stayed silent for years because he’s a military man, and “when orders come … I follow them”.

Sharing the same frustration, retired Admiral Thomas Moorer – former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – described the official conclusion of the investigation as a whitewash and “one of the classic all-American cover-ups”. He asked why the US government would put Israel’s interests ahead of its own.

The cover-up was finally exposed by an Israeli pilot who was interviewed 15 years later by former Congressman Paul McCloskey about the attack. The senior pilot revealed that he informed headquarters the target appeared to be a US ship, but was told to ignore the American flag and proceed with the attack.

The pilot’s communication, which was eavesdropped by the US Embassy in Beirut, was confirmed by then US ambassador to Lebanon, Dwight Porter.

The reconnaissance ship was most likely destroyed to keep secret Israeli plans to invade the West Bank, following president Johnson’s assurances to the Jordanian monarch that the US would restrain Israel from attacking Jordan.

As part of a hollow apology, Israel paid $7 million to the families of the killed and injured American sailors and years later paid $17m for damages caused to the USS Liberty.

The compensation was less than the interest Israel makes on the annual US financial aid package. The irrational Israeli-American relationship is controlled by a small number of Israel-first pundits who place the welfare of a foreign country before the well-being of the US military and people.

It couldn’t be more striking today, when children of American soldiers serving overseas are warned that budget cuts might force their schools to take furlough days next year – while the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbies to exempt Israel’s $3 billion aid package from budget sequestration.

This is even more absurd in light of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s recent report placing Israel two rankings ahead of the US in terms of the number of university graduates.

How ironic that financial aid for US students is slashed, while hard-earned US tax money is subsidising Israel’s educational institutions – enabling the welfare recipient to surpass the bankroller.

Road 38 to Beit Shemesh to be Expanded; 20,000 Homes to be Built

Beit Shemesh building site

Beit Shemesh building site
In Israel, real estate developmentoften follows the routes of new highways and roads that enable potential residents to easily commute to their jobs in the Tel Aviv or Jerusalem areas. On Thursday, the government’s special “Housing Cabinet,” which is supposed to come up with ways to lower the cost of housing and increase the availability of homes for first-time homebuyers, gave its approval to the construction and improvement of several traffic arteries that will give the green light to construction of large housing projects in several “hot” areas.

Among the projects approved is an expansion of Road 38, the main artery residents of Beit Shemesh use to commute to Jerusalem and the Dan region. Currently a singlelane road in each direction, the road is notorious for major traffic jams, accidents, and difficult driving conditions due to its many hills, twists, and turns. Ministers on Thursday gave their consent for the expansion of the road to a two lane highway in each direction by the Netivei Yisrael company (formerly Ma’atz).

The expansion of the road will cost NIS 900 million ($250 million). With the project approved, construction can begin on a number of major housing projects in Beit Shemesh, as expansion of the road was a condition for the commencement of construction. Some 20,000 apartments and homes are slated to be built in Beit Shemesh in the coming years.

Also receiving approval was construction of a new road and interchange that will serve the southern reaches of Rosh Ha’ayin. In recent years, the town has become a very popular one, with many new housing projects in what was once a dusty development town. Demand is high in the area, and the new road and interchange will ensure direct access to Road 5, the main artery to Tel Aviv. With approval of the project, construction will soon begin on some 5,000 new housing units.

In addition, the cabinet approved construction of a new interchange on Road 70 in the lower Galilee, with a direct exit into the Arab town of Furadis. With approval of that project, construction of 811 homes in Furadis got a green light as well.

(Source / 06.06.2013)

Israel charges Stop the Wall activist with supporting prisoners

Hassan Karajah

For the first time in more than four months, Hassan Karajah’s father was able to see him this week in an Israeli military court.

The family of the imprisoned activist has been forbidden from attending several of his previous hearings.

Arrested during a night raid in January, Karajah — youth coordinator with the Palestinian organizationStop the Wall — has clearly suffered the effects of being jailed with little access to sunlight and without proper nutrition. His fiancée Sundos Mahsiri said he has lost significant weight and that his skin appeared jaundiced during a recent hearing.

“But his spirit is very strong,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “We weren’t allowed to talk to him, but he told us not to worry as he entered and made victory signs during the proceedings.”

Karajah suffers from a pre-existing nerve condition in his back after he was in a car crash some years ago. At the beginning of his detention, he was completely denied access to his medicine. His family obtained medical forms from his doctor and submitted them to theInternational Committee of the Red Cross, after which the Israeli Prison Service agreed to provide him with his medicine. But it only gave him one-third of his prescribed daily dosage, according to Mahsiri.

Karajah then decided to stop taking the medicine altogether, Mahsiri explained, because of concerns about hygiene. Addameer, the Palestinian prisoner support group, has documented how other detainees may have contracted diseases as a result of non-sterilized medical equipment being used by personnel working for the Israeli authorities. They include the former hunger striker Thaer Halahleh, who was diagnosed with hepatitis following dental treatment (“Ex-hunger striker contracts hepatitis from Israeli prison clinic,” 22 May 2013).

“Baseless” charges

To date, Karajah has had more than a dozen hearings, most of which lasted no more than five to ten minutes. The Israeli military court handling his case has delayed the delivery of its verdict until 9 July.

Last month, Karajah was charged by Israeli prosecutors with being a member of an “illegal organization,” the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, passing information to Lebanese resistance group Hizballah, and organizing protests on behalf of Palestinian “security” prisoners.

European Union officials were able to attain the exact details of the charges against Karajah and pass on an English translation to Stop the Wall. The allegations included participating in the a student group affiliated with the PFLP at Al-Quds University, distributing flyers and organizing protests, attending a PFLP anniversary commemoration, and meeting a Hizballah operative in Beirut, among a litany of others.

His fiancée Mahsiri argues that the charges were baseless. She believes that Israel targeted him because of the effectiveness of his activism and as revenge for his family history.

Karajah’s sister Sumoud had been given a twenty-year sentence for stabbing a soldier, but she was released after serving two years as part of the October 2011 prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel.

Karajah’s younger brother Muntasser, who was arrested in September 2012, is now serving a ten-month prison sentence for membership in the PFLP. “It’s like they took revenge on his family because of his sister’s release,” Mahsiri said.

Beaten and isolated

After his arrest in January this year, Karajah was denied access to a lawyer for three weeks. His family was prevented from attending his first three hearings.

“For those three weeks, we had no idea where he was, how his health condition was; we had no information at all,” Mahsiri said.

During the interrogation period, Karajah was “hit, interrogated for ten to fourteen hours per day, and was held in solitary confinement in a small cell — about one meter wide and two meters high,” Mahsiri added.

Jamal Juma’, director of Stop the Wall, echoed the belief that the charges against Karajah were strictly politicized attempts to stifle Palestinian campaigners. “Anyone who travels abroad a lot, especially to Lebanon, and meets with Arabs, will be chased [by Israel] and probably accused of working with Hizballah,” he told The Electronic Intifada.

“We’ve all been arrested”

Juma’ said that Stop the Wall had been targeted because it has exposed Israeli human rights abuses and land theft, and cultivated international solidarity. Stop the Wall has also been a vocal proponent of the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

“We’ve all been arrested,” said Juma’, who has also been arrested twice for similar charges. A total of five youth members of the Stop the Wall campaign are currently detained in Israeli prisons, and several others working with the organization face the threat of arrest.

The group’s offices have been raided twice by the Israeli military, once in February 2010 and again in June 2012.

To preserve its system of domination, Israel enforces a fractured political geography on Palestinians by regularly targeting activists, intellectuals and entire organizations. One of the biggest factors behind Karajah’s arrest, according to Juma’, is his history of organizing solidarity events on behalf of Palestinian prisoners.

“The prisoners have been huge for Palestinian unity, and Israel doesn’t want to see any mass mobilization like this,” said Juma’. “Any attempt to bring people together across parties — Israel wants to smash it. Any leader, they will get him.”

According to Juma’, Israeli interrogators use spurious claims of affiliation to Hizballah to pressure activists into giving up information about peaceful movements against the occupation. During his own interrogation, he said, Israeli intelligence squeezed him for information about Stop the Wall and names of activists involved in the BDS campaign — which Israel calls the “de-legitimization movement.”

“There’s no logic in their racism,” he said. “Their courts and laws are in favor of their political goals. Illegal settlers who attack Palestinians and destroy olive trees on a daily basis are not questioned, but Palestinians like Hassan, who choose a peaceful route, are imprisoned.”

(Source / 06.06.2013)

After the flames, only determination remains in Burin and Madama


Villagers fighting the fires that lasted from 11:30 until 19:00 (photo: ISM)Villagers fighting the fires that lasted from 11:30 until 19:00

(Occupied Palestine) On Monday 3rd June, around a dozen settlers from the illegal colony of Yizhar set fire to Palestinian’s fields in the villages of Burin and Madama, destroying at least 50 acres of arable land with olive trees. The settlers were joined by a jeep of border police when 40-50 Palestinians from the village of Burin came out to attempt to put out the fire, with some being stopped from doing so by the border police present.

As people from the two villages south of Nablus were hoping for an uneventful workday, the settlers from Yizhar, renowned for being one of the worst for settler violence, set fire to fields in the Khallat al-Injas neighbourhood of Madama. One young person there desribed how, “then I went there quickly with my friends and tried to extinguish it. During that time the settlers went to the eastern area which is between Madama and Burin. They set fire into the hills there”.Before long, the enormous fires spread across the field and towards the olive tree groves of neighbouring Burin. Shortly after, Israeli border police turned up at the scene in Burin’s land, delaying the extinguishing of the fire.

Salman Valley was a major source of income for Burin (photo: ISM)Salman Valley was a major source of income for Burin

Of the Palestinians that gathered, the Israeli border police only allowed uniformed firemen and those from the Palestinian Authority’s civil volunteer service to put out the raging fires. Those who approached to help were threatened with pepper spray. The fire was eventually slowed down when  the border police left and the community was able to help. Areas of the hills still burned when volunteers were leaving at around 6 o’clock in the evening. The Israeli fire service appeared in case the fire spread to settler-occupied land, but did nothing to help the Palestinians nearby.

One of the farmers stopped from tackling the fires with what was on-hand (photo: ISM)One of the farmers stopped from tackling the fires with what was on-hand

This level of violence is far from unheard of in the villages of Madama and Burin, which like other villages in proximity to Yizhar, are both subject to regular crop burnings, harassment and serious violence from the illegal settlement, that, with the assistance of the Israeli occupation forces, show no signs of stopping their assault on the surrounding Palestinian land and its inhabitants. Residents of Burin also face harassment from the Israeli army, which includes the tear-gassing of a Burin home, with a months old baby inside, during this February’s ‘al-Manatir‘ action. A protest for which the village has received several military reprisals since, including destruction of the local cultural centre.

Yizhar is at the forefront of settler violence and operates a strict “price tag” policy, where any action taken by the Israeli government on illegal settlements within the West Bank must be met by carrying out harsh and violent crimes on Palestinian communities. It has frequently produced anti-Palestinian propaganda, including literature justifying the killing of Palestinian children and material supporting the actions of mass murderer Baruch Goldstein.

Villagers fighting the fires that lasted from 11:30 until 19:00

A familiar sight for one; a reality to somehow grasp for others

The charred landscape runs between the two villages serving as a cruel reminder of their neighbour's intentions (photo: ISM)

The charred landscape runs between the two villages serving as a cruel reminder of their neighbour’s intentions

(Source / 06.06.2013)

Israeli prison contracts take centre stage at G4S shareholder meeting

New chief executive Ashley Almanza faces criticism from shareholders over Israel involvement, but says security company is not breaking international law

Protesters demonstrate in front of G4S's AGM, June 2013

Protesters demonstrate in front of G4S’s AGM.

The new boss of G4S, Ashley Almanza, faced a barrage of tough questions over the security company’s business in Israel at his first meeting with shareholders on Thursday.

Almanza was appointed chief executive of the world’s largest security company last month after Nick Buckles’ shock resignation that followed a string of mishaps, including failing to supply enough staff for the London Olympics last year.

Almanza, who joined the company in April from BG Group, repeatedly insisted that G4S was not in breach of international law.

One shareholder claimed that “children as young as 12 are being held in solitary confinement at G4S prisons”. He asked: “When will [the board] do the right thing and withdraw from providing services to the Israeli prison service.”

John Hilary, a shareholder who is also executive director of campaigning charity War on Want, told the meeting he was “profoundly concerned with G4S’s exposure in Palestine“.

Almanza insisted G4S was not complacent. “We believe this contract has not breached international law and we will continue to keep these matters under review, ” he said. “If we were making five times as much money in Israel, our judgement wouldn’t be any different.”

G4S employs 620,000 people in 125 countries, although fewer than 1% of its staff are in Israel. It recently announced that it was pulling out of providing a prison and barrier checkpoints in the West Bank from 2015, but will continue to run prisons inside Israel.

G4S chair John Connolly also sought to reassure shareholders the company had tightened risk procedures following the Olympics debacle that cost the company £88m.

The meeting was twice disrupted by flash protests over the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan national who died while he was being deported from the UK. Mubenga had been restrained by three G4S security guards.

Nikolaj Villumsen, a shareholder and Danish MP, said after the meeting he was concerned that G4S had not listened to criticism over its Israeli prison contracts. “In Denmark, it is a huge issue and in the city council of Copenhagen they are discussing whether to sever co-operation with G4S,” he said.

(Source / 06.06.2013)

Israeli courts extend remand of 23 detainees including two young women



NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli courts in Jalama and Petah Tikwa extended the remand of 23 Palestinians including two young men on Wednesday, the Tadamun foundation for human rights said on Thursday.

Mohammed Al-Abed, a lawyer with Tadamun, said that Jalama court extended the custody of Sireen Sawafte, 25, for one week to present her file with the military prosecution.

He added that Petah Tikwa court extended the custody of Duniya Dirar, 27, for eight days for further interrogation. She was taken from her home in Tulkarem a few days ago.

Abed said that the remaining 21 captives, from Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem, were held in custody for further interrogation.

(Source / 06.06.2013)