Illegal settler colonisers attack workers in Asira

In the evening of Sunday 16 June, a gang of illegal settler colonisers, accompanied by some 30 Israeli soldiers, attacked the small group of Palestinian men who were working on a water project in the village of Asira, south of Nablus. The settlers threw stones while the army threw stun grenades and fired tear gas at the workers and the villagers who had gathered at the site to protect them. The attackers then told the workers that they “must leave the area”.

Such criminal activities against the workers are committed almost daily in Asira. Even despite the fact that the project they are working on – building a water reservoir and a pipe to connect the surrounding villages of Madama, Burin, and Asira, to a water source – has a building permit, they are not allowed to do their work uninterrupted by violence from the illegal settler colonisers and the Israeli army, who have also destroyed some 100 pipes originally bought for the project.

Water project work site (Photo by IWPS)

Water project work site

Asira [al Qibliya] is an ancient village with the current population of 3,500. West of the village Roman ruins are still visible; before the Romans the territory was inhabited by the Phoenicians and the Canaanites.

Tradition has it that at the beginning of spring, the villagers of Asira would gather for celebrations on a hill close to the village, which according to Islam is a holy site. Among other festivities, they would play with brightly coloured eggs: one who cracks an egg against another’s, wins.

In mid-1980s, the illegal settler colony of Yitzhar was established on that very hilltop. That was the end of the Palestinian spring celebrations, and the beginning of Asira’s land and, crucially, water theft. Before the colony, the area was the locals’ breadbasket, thanks largely to its generous water resources. The nearby natural spring used to be Asira’s main source of water; the illegal settler colony, backed up by the Israeli government and the army, has completely blocked Palestinian access to the spring. Since then, villagers are forced to rely on water tanks; one such tank costs NIS 130 (US $36) in a place where unemployment is high; it is enough for a family for only a week. In this context, water theft is yet another method intended to drive the indigenous population off their land.

Residents of the illegal Israeli settler colony of Yitzhar are considered to be among the most violent in occupied Palestine; they physically attack Palestinian villagers (oftentimes children), set their land and property on fire, destroy houses, and cut or burn olive trees together with other vital sources of livelihood. “[The illegal settler colony of Yitzhar] is like a cancer in the heart of this area,” a local resident told IWPS. “… And in our hearts.”

(Source / 17.06.2013)

Israel bans tourists from visiting West Bank


A delegation of North American religious tourists was banned from visiting the West Bank recently upon their arrival to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Israeli authorities at the airport forbade them from entering the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of the West Bank without an Israeli-issued military entry permit, as first reported by Amira Hass of Haaretz.

The visitors, US Christian clerics who came to Israel and Palestine to collaborate with Christian communities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, were forced to sign an agreement with the Israeli authorities guaranteeing that they would not enter territories under Palestinian civil and military control (Area A) without explicit authorization from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the de-facto governing body of Israel’s occupation in the West Bank.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz shared an extract of the English-translated declaration that the tourists were requested to sign:
“1. I understand that this permit is granted me for entry and visitation within Israel only, and it has been explained to me that I am unable to enter the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority without advance authorization from the Territory Actions Coordinator and I agree to act in accordance with these regulations.
“2. I understand that in the event that I enter any area under the control of the Palestinian Authority without the appropriate authorization all relevant legal actions will be taken against me, including deportation and denial of entry into Israel for a period of up to ten years.”
Despite their agreement, the group did not receive further information from Israel’s Population, Immigration and Borders Authority regarding the procedure required to obtain the necessary entry permit.
The contract explicitly states that authorization must be approved by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. The first paragraph of the aforementioned contract makes specific reference to a permission from Israel’s “Territory Actions Coordinator;” however, the signees were never given procedural instructions on how to do so and no relevant information can be found on COGAT’s website.
“Our experience with Israeli measures is that they always try to have things unclear and ambiguous with lack of transparency,” explains Ghassan Abdullah, an activist with Right to Enter; a grassroots campaign focused on defending the rights of access, movement and residency in the occupied territories against the preventive mechanisms Israel implements by unilaterally controlling all border crossings.
“They keep the uncertainty and arbitrariness on purpose, allowing officials at borders and ministries a large measure of variation in their actions. It is hard to find a ‘law’ that governs their measures. They are willing to compromise on some cases when there is diplomatic pressure or a media scandal. That is why we always demand Israel’s adoption and implementation of a clear, documented and transparent policy,” Ghassan concludes.
The official explanations, the spokeswoman for Israel’s Population, Immigration and Borders Authority, Sabine Haddad, explained that the decision regarding who is entitled to enter the West Bank—an area for which she used the biblical name “Judea and Samaria”—rests with the Israeli Defense Forces chief instead of the Ministry of Interior, which has jurisdiction over the entry of foreigners into Israel. “When a tourist/foreign national arrives at the international border crossings and it is believed that he wants to enter Judea and Samaria, he should be informed [of the procedure] and asked for his promise to receive a permit from the coordinator’s office before his entry – a permit that constitutes an essential condition [of entry to the Palestinian Authority controlled areas],” Haddad argued in a written statement to Haaretz.
Continuous Restrictions on West Bank Visitors 
This kind of measure stands in contradiction to some of the propaganda that the state of Israel uses in attempt to promote religious tourism. The same unit involved in the above-mentioned bureaucratic maze, COGAT, states in one of its press releases: “We represent Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, which provides liberty to every person to exercise his religious right.”
However, the effective control Israel has over Palestinian borders continually prevents the access of any kind of tourist, either religious or not, to the occupied territories, especially for those whom are suspected to be journalists, related to Palestinians or activists.
On September 2012, an international delegation of activists were prevented from crossing the King Hussein border when they tried to reach the West Bank from Jordan as a part of a third failed attempt of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign; a mission aiming to raise awareness regarding freedom of movement issues for Palestinians that stem from Israel’s ongoing isolation policies.
Tourists arriving to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport may also be asked, and must provide or face deportation, the passwords to their e-mail and Facebook accounts for reasons connected to state ‘security.’ “It is performed only in exceptional instances, after other relevant incriminating indications are found,” argued the Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein in response to a petition regarding the intrusive search procedures filed by the Association for Civil rights in Israel in April. Contrary to Weinstein’s argument, the subjects of that requirement are usually tourist suspected to be potential visitors to the West Bank, as Right to Enter campaign assures. The organization also states that this practice is being intensified.
“It must be noted that Israel has reserved for itself the exclusive power of civil registration and issuing IDs for Palestinians, visitors visas and work permits for non-ID holders to the oPt (occupied Palestinians territories),” reports Right to Enter on its website. “By these means it is conducting a swift and effective silent transfer of the Palestinian population while the latter is living at the mercy of the Israeli occupation authorities.”
For those subject to such practices, the Right to Enter campaign suggests the following actions: Inform one’s diplomatic mission beforehand in Tel Aviv or Consulate in Jerusalem, inform relevant bodies in one’s country of origin, and go public—i.e. contact the media or engage an Israeli lawyer.
(Source / 17.06.2013)

Putin, Obama disagree over Syria at tense G8 summit meeting

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) holds a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 17, 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama sparred with Russia’s Vladimir Putin over how to end the war in Syria on Monday during an icy encounter at a G8 summit where divisions over the conflict eclipsed the rest of the agenda.

Speaking after talks with Obama, Putin said Moscow and Washington had differing views over Syria but agreed the bloodshed must stop and that the warring parties should be brought to the negotiating table.

Both leaders looked tense and uncomfortable as they addressed reporters after about two hours of talks, with Putin staring mostly at the floor as he spoke about Syria and Obama only glancing occasionally at the Russian leader.

“Our positions do not fully coincide, but we are united by the common intention to end the violence, to stop the number of victims increasing in Syria, to resolve the problems by peaceful means, including the Geneva talks,” Putin said.

“We agreed to push the process of peace talks and encourage the parties to sit down at the negotiation table, organize the talks in Geneva.”

Obama tried to lighten the mood at the end of their talks by discussing judo but Putin, a black belt in the martial art, replied that the then-smiling U.S. president was simply trying to get him to relax.

Divisions over Syria dominated the atmosphere as global leaders met in the remote golf resort in Northern Ireland, a place once rocked by decades of violence but which Britain now wants to showcase as a model of conflict resolution.

Western leaders have rebuked Putin’s staunch support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and his attempt to crush a two-year-old uprising in which at least 93,000 people have been killed.

Speaking alongside Putin after their first face-to-face meeting in a year, Obama said the two men had different views on Syria but shared an interest in stopping violence and ensuring chemical weapons were not used.

“With respect to Syria, we do have differing perspectives on the problem but we share an interest in reducing the violence and securing chemical weapons and ensuring that they’re neither used nor are they subject to proliferation,” Obama said.

He said the two leaders had instructed their teams to work on a peace conference about Syria in Geneva.

On Iran, Obama added that he and Putin expressed cautious optimism about the ability to move forward on a dialogue with Iran after a moderate cleric was elected president there.

Stung by recent victories for Assad’s forces and their support from Hezbollah guerrillas, the United States said last week it would step up military aid to the rebels including automatic weapons, light mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

Earlier British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is chairing the G8 summit in a remote golf resort in Northern Ireland, also conceded there was “a big difference” between the positions of Russia and the West on how to resolve the war.

(Source / 17.06.2013)

King says no confederation between Jordan and Palestine before establishment of a state


King Abdullah suggested that talk of a confederation is 'premature and out of context', as it would need the state to be established before it could even be discussedKing Abdullah suggested that talk of a confederation is ‘premature and out of context’, as it would need the state to be established before it could even be discussed

King Abdullah of Jordan said on Sunday that there will be no confederation between his country and Palestine until and unless an independent Palestinian state is established. Such a move would, in any case, he added, be subject to the will of both peoples. The Jordanian monarch was speaking during the graduation ceremony of the 26th class of Mutah University’s Military Wing.

Stressing that his country has a moral responsibility to help the Syrian people, the King confirmed nevertheless that Jordan will take all possible and necessary measures if the crisis across the border threatens his country’s security.

Abdullah II confirmed that Jordan is working regionally and internationally to find a solution to the crisis in Syria which would allow refugees to return to their homes. He called for a political solution which will preserve the integrity and unity of Syria.

With regards to the Palestinian issue, the king said that Jordan will continue to support the Palestinian people until they achieve their full rights and establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Talk of a confederation is, he suggested, “premature and out of context”, as it would need the state to be established before it could even be discussed.

Talk about the resettlement of Palestinians in Jordan is “unacceptable”, said King Abdullah. “I do not wish to speak about this subject again,” he insisted. “We in Jordan support the Palestinian right historically and will not change our position; we sponsor the Islamic and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem in full coordination with the Palestinian leadership; and we will continue to look after the holy sites in Jerusalem and support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem until the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.” He will not accept a solution to the Palestinian issue at the expense of Jordan.

The king then went on to mention the many challenges facing Jordan. “These challenges, that are imposed on us as a result of regional conditions and global crises, must be dealt with wisely and responsibly, and within the given data and the regional and international circumstances as well as our limited capabilities.”

He called for violence in Jordanian society to be addressed at the grassroots level, through the application of justice without fear or favour so that citizens have full confidence in state institutions. “The flexibility that some institutions have shown is not weakness,” said the king. “Jordan is strong and capable of protecting the properties of Jordanian citizens, and is able to enforce the rule of law; there is no one stronger than the state.”

The King closed with a message of pride and appreciation to the Jordanian tribes, armed forces and security services who have made sacrifices in maintaining the security and stability of Jordan.

(Source / 17.06.2013)

De Engelen

By Marianna Laarif

Alle lof zij Allah en vrede en zegeningen zij met Zijn Profeet, diens familie en metgezellen.
Allah heeft de Engelen geschapen uit licht. De Profeet (vrede zij met hem) heeft gezegd: “De Engelen zijn geschapen uit licht en de Djinn zijn geschapen uit vuur(vlammen) en Adam is geschapen uit datgene wat jullie is beschreven.”
Van nature zijn de Engelen gehoorzaam aan Allah. Allah zegt in de Koran (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“Zij zijn Allah niet ongehoorzaam betreffende datgene wat Hij hen opdraagt en (zij) doen wat hen wordt bevolen.”
(Soerat at-Tahriem: 6)
Zij zijn zo geschapen dat zij geen eten of drinken behoeven. Hun voedsel bestaat uit het prijzen van Allah en het zeggen van ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah’. Zo geeft Allah te kennen (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“Zij (de Engelen), zijn niet te hoogmoedig om Hem te dienen en zij worden er niet moe van. Zij prijzen Zijn Glorie tijdens de nacht en de dag en versagen niet.”
(Soerat al-Anbiyaa’: 19-20)
De Engelen getuigen van de Eenheid van Allah. Allah zegt namelijk (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“Allah getuigt dat er waarlijk geen god is dan Hij en (ook) de Engelen en de bezitters van kennis (bevestigen dit), standvastig in de gerechtigheid. Er is geen god dan Hij, de Almachtige, de Alwijze.”
(Soerat Aali cImraan: 18)
Allah heeft sommige van de Engelen geëerd door hen te verkiezen als boodschappers, net zoals Hij uit de mensheid enkelen heeft verkozen als boodschappers. Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“Allah kiest uit de Engelen gezanten en uit de mensen (Boodschappers).”
(Soerat al-Hadj: 75)
Toen Allah Adam had geschapen en hem wilde eren, gebood hij de Engelen zich te prosterneren voor hem. Allah zegt hierover (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“En toen Wij tot de Engelen zeiden: ,,Buigt jullie voor Adam”, toen bogen zij, behalve Iblies. Hij weigerde en was hooghartig en hij werd één van de ongelovigen.”
(Soerat al-Baqarah: 34)
De Engelen zijn een grootse creatie, vervullen vele taken en zijn opgedeeld in verschillende groepen, waar alleen Allah kennis van heeft. Zo zijn sommigen van hen belast met het dragen van de Troon, zoals Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“Degenen die de Troon dragen (de Engelen) en wie zich er omheen bevinden, prijzen de Glorie van hun Heer met Zijn lofprijzing en geloven in Hem en vragen om vergeving voor degenen die geloven.”
(Soerat Ghaafir: 7)
Onder hen bevindt zich ook Djibriel, degene die de eerdere Openbaringen naar de boodschappers bracht en de Koran naar Mohammed (vrede zij met hem). Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“Met hem (de Koran) daalde de getrouwe Geest (Djibriel) neer. Op jouw hart (O Mohammed), opdat jij tot de waarschuwers behoort.”
(Soerat ash-Shoecaraa’: 193)
Tevens bevindt zich onder hen Miekaa’iel, die aangesteld is over de regen en het gewas. Alsmede Israafiel, op wie de taak rust om te blazen op de Bazuin als inluiding van het Uur. Weer anderen van hen zijn benoemd over de kinderen van Adam en tekenen hun daden op. Allah zegt namelijk (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“En waarlijk, er zijn zeker bewakers (Engelen) over jullie. Eervollen, schrijvenden. Zij weten wat jullie doen.”
(Soerat al-Infitaar: 10-12)
En er zijn er onder hen die toevertrouwd zijn in het vastleggen van alle daden, ongeacht of deze goed of slecht zijn.
“Wanneer de twee ontvangers (Engelen) aan de rechterzijde en aan de linkerzijde zitten te schrijven. Is er geen woord dat hij uit, of aan zijn zijde bevindt zich een waker die gereed is.”
(Soerat Qaaf:17-18)
Ook zijn er onder de Engelen die de taak hebben de ziel van de gelovigen weg te nemen. Zoals Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
(Zij zijn) degenen die de Engelen als reinen wegnemen, terwijl zij zeggen: Salaamoen calaikoem(vrede zij met jullie), treedt het Paradijs binnen, wegens wat jullie plachten te doen.”
(Soerat an-Nahl: 32)
Anderen van hen zijn bevolen om de ziel van de ongelovigen te grijpen. Zoals Allah dit zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“En als jij (het) zou kunnen zien, wanneer de Engelen (de zielen van) degenen die ongelovig zijn wegnemen, (en hoe) zij hun gezichten en hun ruggen slaan (en zeggen:) ,,Proeft de bestraffing van het branden!” (Dan zie je zeker een geweldige zaak).”
(Soerat al-Anfaal: 50)
Anderen zijn poortwachters van het Paradijs die de rechtschapen dienaren hartelijk ontvangen bij binnenkomst. Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“En de Engelen treden bij hen binnen door iedere poort (zeggende): “Vrede zij met jullie wegens jullie geduld.” Zalig is de uiteindelijke verblijfplaats.”
(Soerat ar-Racd: 23-24)
Weer anderen zijn poortwachters van de Hel. Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“O jullie die geloven, behoedt jullie zelf en jullie gezinsleden voor de Hel, die als brandstof mensen en stenen heeft, waarover strenge en hard optredende Engelen zijn aangesteld, die Allah niet ongehoorzaam zijn in wat Hij hun beveelt en die uitvoeren wat hun is bevolen.”
(Soerat at-Tahriem: 6)
Ook bestaan er Engelen die deelnemen aan de strijd op de Weg van Allah. Zoals Allah zegt (interpretatie van de betekenis):
(Gedenk) toen jouw Heer aan de Engelen openbaarde: ,,Voorwaar, Ik ben met jullie, versterkt daarom degenen die geloven. Ik zal angst werpen in de harten van degenen die ongelovig zijn. Slaat dan hun hoofden af en slaat al hun vingers en tenen af.”
(Soerat al-Anfaal: 12)
Daarnaast is ons bekend gemaakt dat in de maand Ramadan deze Engelen neerdalen tijdens de nacht van al-Qadr. Allah zegt hierover (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“De Waardevolle Nacht is beter dan duizend maanden. De Engelen en de Geest (Djibriel) daalden in haar neer met de Toestemming van hun Heer, voor elke beschikking.”
(Soerat al-Qadar: 3-4)
Overigens treden de Engelen geen huis binnen waarin zich een beeld, foto of hond bevindt. De Profeet (vrede zij met hem) heeft gezegd: “De Engelen treden geen huis binnen met een hond of afbeelding.”
Het geloven in de Engelen is één van de zuilen van het geloof. Degene die dit ontkent, treedt daarmee buiten het geloof. Allah zegt namelijk (interpretatie van de betekenis):
“En wie ongelovig is aan Allah en Zijn Engelen en Zijn Boeken en de Laatste Dag: hij is waarlijk ver weg gedwaald.”
(Soerat an-Nisaa’: 136)
En vrede en zegeningen zij met de Boodschapper van Allah.
Sheikh Mohammed ibn Ibrahiem at-Toewadjri
Fragment genomen uit het boek ‘Oesoel ud-Dien il-Islaam’

Minister: Sweden may cut Palestinian aid

President Mahmoud Abbas addresses a meeting in Ramallah.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) — Sweden is considering slashing its aid to the Palestinian Authority because of a lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution, International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson said Friday.

She told public broadcaster Swedish Radio that aid paid out to the Palestinians to build up their administration in Gaza and the West Bank had been aimed at strengthening the Palestinian side ahead of a two-state solution with Israel.

“Is it worth it for us to continue helping them create the conditions necessary for a two-state solution if Israel and the Palestinians themselves don’t want to sit down at the negotiating table?” she asked.

“I don’t want to haggle with Swedish development aid, but I can only take the position of the Swedish taxpayers,” she said.

“They want to see results. And if the prerequisites are not there to achieve results, then you have to accept the consequences,” she added.

According to Swedish Radio, Sweden’s annual aid to the Palestinians could be slashed by 200 million kronor ($31 million), out of a total of 700 million.

The left-wing opposition criticized the center-right government’s way of thinking.

“To opt out of Palestine the way this government is considering doing is the wrong way to prioritize,” the Social Democrats’ spokesman on development aid, Kenneth Forslund, told Swedish Radio.

‘Aid will still be there’

Days earlier in the West Bank, the minister told Palestinian media that Sweden and the European Union would continue to support projects in the occupied territories.

Carlsson said the “humiliation” of seeing European projects delayed or even destroyed by Israel’s military would not dissuade the EU from assisting vulnerable Palestinians.

“European aid will still be there. And from Sweden we are assessing our new long-term strategy,” Carlsson told Ma’an TV.

The minister said she hoped to persuade Israeli leaders in talks during her visit to “stop now the humiliation to me as a donor” when EU projects come under attack.

“I’m really curious now to talk with the Israelis to see what we can do together because European aid will still be there,” she said. “We need to have a good, enabling political environment to make it really worthwhile.”

She also said: “We are a longstanding partner with the Palestinians, with the PA. We are happy to work with them, to see that they have organized … what we can call a foundation of a well-functioning state.”

Carlsson arrived in the West Bank as a group of 80 international aid agencies urged the EU to support vulnerable Palestinian communities threatened with displacement by Israeli settlements.

The Association of International Development Agencies urged the EU to “effectively challenge Israeli government policies that are creating unbearable conditions” for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, under which Israel maintains full military and civil control under a 1995 agreement with the PLO.

“A year after all 27 EU countries committed to challenging settlement expansion, forced displacement, and demolition of Palestinian property … approvals for illegal settlements have increased and hundreds of Palestinian homes and structures have been bulldozed despite EU saying this must stop,” the report said.

Some 150,000 Palestinians live in Area C, which is also home to over 300,000 Israelis in settlements widely viewed as illegal under international law.

In May 2012, EU foreign ministers adopted recommendations for developing Area C and improving Israeli policies which it views as detrimental to Palestinian well-being.

(Source / 17.06.2013)

Report: “Detainee Abu Hamdiyya Died Of Advanced Stage Of Carcinoma”

Sunday [June 16] Head of the Palestinian Forensics Center, Dr. Saber Al-‘Aloul, stated that the final findings of the forensic report regarding the cause of death of detainee Maisara Abu Hamdiyya, revealed that he suffered from a fourth stage Carcinoma. Abu Hamdiyya died more than 2 months ago.

Maisara Abu Hamdiyya
Maisara Abu Hamdiyya

Abu Hamdiyya suffered a fourth stage Carcinoma center in his lung lymphatic, liver and spine, throat cancer extending to his vocal cords, and brain tumor, Al-‘Aloul said during a press conference at the Government Media Center in Ramallah.

Despite the seriousness of his condition, the Israeli Prison Administration did not grant Abu Hamdiyya the needed specialized and urgent medical treatment, until it was too late.

During a press conference in Ramallah, Al-’Aloul stated that Abu Hamdiyya did not receive any treatment, not even one chemotherapy session, an issue that led to spread of cancer to various vital organs.

He held Israeli directly responsible for the death of Abu Hamdiyya, and said that Israel deprives the Palestinian detainees from adequate medical treatment, and imprisons them under very harsh inhumane conditions.

During the press conference, Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, stated that Abu Hamdiyya is the latest victim of Israel’s ongoing violations against the detainees.

He said that 204 Palestinian detainees died in Israeli prisons and detention center since 1967, and that 52 of them died due to the lack, or absence, of medical attention.

Qaraqe’ added that the forensic experts who examined the body of Abu Hamdiyya demanded forming a joint local and international committee to visit the detainees in various Israeli prisons, and provide the sick with the needed medical attention.

Head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), Qaddoura Fares, stated that there is no doubt that Abu Hamdiyya died due to the lack of medical attention.

Fares called for translating the autopsy report of Abu Hamdiyya into different languages, and to submit it to various international organizations, including the United Nations.

He said that ailing detainees in Israeli prisons are facing gradually deteriorating medical conditions due to Israel’s illegal policies and practices.

Abu Hamdiyya’s sister stated that, in 2007, he suffered hemorrhaging blood from his stomach, and was moved to the Ramla Prison Clinic, but no tests or diagnostics were carried out.

He died on April 2 this year, at the Intensive Care Unit of the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er As-Sabe’ (Beersheba). He was only moved to the medical center after a sharp and very serious deterioration in his health condition.

(Source / 17.06.2013)

Hamas to Hezbollah: Keep your weapons aimed at Israel

42945_345x230[1]GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas on Monday called on Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria and to keep its weapons aimed at Israel.

The Lebanese Shiite movement’s involvement in the Syrian conflict has increased sectarian strife in the region, Hamas said in a statement calling for unity.

Hezbollah has dispatched its fighters to Syria to assist President Bashar Assad’s battle against mostly-Sunni rebel forces. Earlier this year, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Syria’s “friends,” including Iran, would not allow Assad’s regime to fall.

Hamas expressed sympathy for the suffering and bloodshed in Syria, and affirmed the Syrian people’s right to freedom.

“The Syrian people has the right to realize their rights and aspirations for freedom and dignity. This people has always been supportive to resistance and resistance fighters,” Hamas said.

The party urged Hezbollah to leave Syria and return to resisting Israel.

“The question of Palestine is the Arab and Muslim nations’ central cause. Resisting Israeli occupation is the main task and resistance must be on the right track and in the right direction regardless of the circumstances,” Hamas said.

On Friday Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ prime minister in Gaza, denied reports that militants from the Islamist group were engaged in training rebels fighting Assad.

“There is no truth to (claims) that Hamas fighters are in Syria, although we stand on the side of the Syrian people and condemn the brutal attacks they are exposed to,” Haniyeh said at a mosque in Rafah, on the border with Egypt.

In June, Arab media reported that Hamas was strengthening its ties to Hezbollah and Iran, both of whom support the Damascus regime, and that this was causing internal strains.

Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal lived in exile in Syria until shortly after the civil war began. When it did, Hamas refused to support Assad in his deadly crackdown, and Mashaal moved to Qatar in 2012.

“This movement is loyal only to God, to this (Palestinian) people and to this issue. It does not sell itself to its backers,” Haniyeh said, apparently in reference to aid it receives from Iran.

“There is no place for talk of the movement abandoning its resistance in Palestine (in favor of) fighting in Syria.”

(Source / 17.06.2013)

UN reveals Israeli plan to relocate Palestinians to build houses for settlers


Israel's plan includes the construction of thousands of housing units for settlers, creating a continuous built-up area between the Ma'ale Adumim settlement and JerusalemIsrael’s plan includes the construction of thousands of housing units for settlers, creating a continuous built-up area between the Ma’ale Adumim settlement and Jerusalem

A UN organisation has highlighted the plight of small Palestinian farming communities in the hills to the east of Jerusalem which are at risk of forced displacement due to a “relocation” plan advanced by the Israeli authorities. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Occupied Palestinian Territory (UNOCHA) said that the Israelis try to justify their plan on the grounds that the residents do not “possess title over the land”. Around 80 per cent of the people affected are refugees who were forced from their original lands in the south of the country in the early 1950s.

“A combination of measures adopted by the Israeli authorities has created a coercive environment for the communities,” said OCHA. They have restricted access to grazing land and markets to sell their produce. “These acts have undermined their livelihoods and increased their dependency on humanitarian assistance.”

In addition to demolition and the threat of demolition of homes, schools and animal shelters, as well as corresponding restrictions on obtaining building permits, the authorities have also failed to protect the communities from intimidation and attacks by Israeli settlers, alleges OCHA. “The communities have been told that they have ‘no choice’ but to leave.”

The UN organisation stated that the Israeli authorities have allocated public (state) land in two sites designated for the relocation, and prepared planning schemes, which are at final stages of approval. It added that this step raises cultural concerns as it threatens the traditional way of life for these people.

Israel’s plan includes the construction of thousands of housing units for illegal settlers in the E1 area, which creates a continuous built-up area between the Ma’ale Adumim settlement and Jerusalem. OCHA said that this plan has been frozen since the late 1990s, but the Israel government has recently reactivated it.

“The affected area is also planned to be surrounded by the Barrier [West Bank Separation Wall],” said OCHA. “If implemented, these plans will undermine Palestinian presence in the area, further disconnect East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and disrupt the territorial contiguity of the occupied territory.”

According to the OCHA report, “The UN Secretary General has stated that the implementation of the proposed ‘relocation’ would amount to individual and mass forcible transfers and forced evictions, prohibited under international humanitarian law and human rights law.”

The Secretary General based his statements on the following grounds:

  1. As an occupying power, Israel has an obligation to protect the Palestinian civilian population and to administer the territory for the benefit of that population.
  2. The destruction or confiscation of private property, including homes, as well as the transfer of settlers into occupied territory, is also prohibited.

OCHA pointed out that these residents are “calling for the international community to protect them and assist them in their current location and to afford adequate planning and permits for their homes and livelihood-related properties.”

(Source / 17.06.2013)

Palestinian statehood idea at ‘dead-end’: Israel minister

A general view of an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian lands in al-Quds. (File photo)

A general view of an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian lands in al-Quds.
Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says that the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state has reached a dead end.

“The idea that a Palestinian state will be founded within … Israel has reached a dead end,” Bennett said on Monday.

Bennett, who heads the hardline nationalist Jewish Home Party, said the most important thing Israel should do is to build more settler units.

The Israeli minister has consistently voiced opposition to the two-state solution backed by key Israeli ally Washington and the rest of the international community.

Following Bennett’s remarks, Chief Palestinian Authority Negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of officially declaring the death of the two-state solution.

“Several high-ranking Israeli officials have made clear statements regarding their position to actively work against the internationally endorsed two-state solution on the 1967 borders,” Erakat said.

Erekat says the comments by high-ranking Israeli officials against the two-state solution are not isolated events, but a reaffirmation of political platforms and radical beliefs.

A report released last month revealed that the Israeli regime confiscated 1,977 acres of the Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank for its settlement activity during 2012.

The settlements, which cover an area roughly equal to 1,035 soccer fields and twice as big as New York’s Central Park, were approved by “military order,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on May 27.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

(Source / 17.06.2013)