Palestinian law student sentenced to 23 months in occupation prison


224577_345x230Palestinian student Ismail Najib Farraj, 21, was sentenced to 23 months imprisonment and a fine of $3,000 shekels on charges of membership in a prohibited organization (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and participation in resistance to the occupation.

Ismail Farraj was arrested 20 months ago, a second-year law student at Palestine Ahliya University College in Bethlehem.

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Kaart-actie voor Bah en Koulibaly


kaartZe zijn allebei ternauwernood aan uitzetting ontsnapt, ze zijn allebei al geruime tijd in hongerstaking en ze zijn allebei in het Justitieel Medisch Centrum in Scheveningen: meneer Bah en meneer Koulibaly.

Allebei kunnen ze jouw support in deze zware tijd goed gebruiken: stuur ze een kaartje!

Dit is het adres:

dhr. Bah / dhr. Koulibaly

PI Haaglanden, Justitieel Medisch Centrum (JMC)
Postbus 87810

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Mass arrest of Jerusalem residents


Wednesday, 19 June 2013 / SILWANIC – Israeli forces arrested on Monday 40 Jerusalemites from Shu’fat refugee camp and Beit Hanina after raiding their homes and commercial stores.

Bassam Abu Hleil said that a large number of Israeli forces raided Al-Manara building located in “Tal Al-Foul” close to King Hussein’s Palace in Beit Hanina and arrested 25 people and took them to Al-Maskobyeh in West Jerusalem for investigation.

Abu Hleil also said that several charges were directed at some of the owners such as: Non-payment of accumulated taxes on the land for several years, buying unlicensed houses and the existence of a dispute over the ownership of the land since the building is built on 1000 square meters and the legal ownership is only 400 square meters.

He also pointed out that the building was constructed in 2003 and the residents bought their apartment at different times and one of the contract’s conditions was (apply to obtain a building permit for the residential apartments, and if there is any dispute or problem with the land or the apartments, then the contract will be invalid and they get their money back.)

Abu Hleil explained that the building has 25 apartments where approximately 250 people live, and the municipality recently imposed a fine of 1.4 million NIS on the residents and they also received demolition warnings due to the lack of permits but they were delayed few times in order to issue a building permit.

Meanwhile, Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that Israeli forces raided Shu’fat refugee camp and raided several commercial stores and arrested seven owners; they also arrested eight workers from the West bank.

In a related matter, the occupation forces arrested 75 Jerusalemites from Dahyet Al-Salam on Sunday, after raiding their homes.

Bassam Abu Hleil explained that the occupation forces raided on Sunday a complex in Dahyet Al-Salam that has 87 residential apartments, and arrested the owners under the pretext of building without a permit and accumulation of unpaid taxes.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the Magistrate court released them after imposing monthly fines on them in order to pay off the accumulated taxes.

(Sources / 19.06.2013)

Aqsa foundation urges Muslim nation to move to protect Aqsa Mosque



A miniature architectural design of their alleged Jewish temple as aired by the Israeli TV channel

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage appealed to the Muslim nation to urgently move to save the Aqsa Mosque from Judaization, warning that the Mosque is facing fateful and critical moments.

In a press release on Sunday, the Aqsa foundation said the Jews prepared detailed maps, blueprints, models and tools to build their alleged temple on the ruins of the Aqsa Mosque.

It asserted that Israel’s channel 2 broadcast a report on Saturday evening about the process of building the alleged temple of Solomon and revealed that there are materials and tools in place to be used in the construction process.

The foundation noted that the release of such report took place a few days after a horde of Israeli right-wing journalists and media figures defiled the Aqsa Mosque. Their news agencies, at the same time, made special reports confirming that the Israeli regime and its Jewish arms had prepared plans to carry out a major assault on the Aqsa Mosque.

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Israeli authorities raze Araqib village for 52nd time


NEGEV, (PIC)– The Israeli authorities went on the rampage for the 52nd time and razed the entire Bedouin village of Araqib in the Negev on Wednesday.

The Israeli radio said that inspectors at the interior ministry and the land of Israel department destroyed the temporary houses of Araqib village for being “illegal”.

Inhabitants of the village have rebuilt the village, with the help of Negev Bedouins and activists, each time the Israeli authorities flattened it.

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Afghanistan’s Karzai shuns US-Taliban peace talks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations, deflating hopes just a day after the talks were announced.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday his government would not join U.S. peace talks with the Taliban and halted negotiations with Washington on a troop pact, underscoring the fragile nature of hopes for a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.

The United States and the Taliban have said officials from both sides will meet in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Thursday, in a step forward for a stuttering peace process after 12 years ‘,of bloody and costly war between U.S.-led forces and the insurgents.

But Afghan officials, angered by the opening of a Taliban political office in Doha on Tuesday, said the United States had violated assurances it would not give official status to the insurgents.

“As long as the peace process is not Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in the talks in Qatar,” Karzai said in a statement, referring to a body he set up in 2010 to seek a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

Underlining the importance of the process to the United States, the State Department said Secretary of State John Kerry would travel to Doha for meetings with senior Qatari officials on Friday and Saturday. A U.S. delegation had arrived in Qatar earlier for the Taliban negotiations, a diplomatic source said.

Fighting continued in the war-ravaged nation. Four U.S. soldiers were killed in a rocket attack on the heavily fortified Bagram base near Kabul late on Tuesday, international military officials said.

The Taliban’s spokesman in Qatar on Wednesday confirmed the insurgency movement would attend Thursday’s meeting with U.S. officials, but gave no time for the talks. The spokesman, Mohammed Naeem, told Reuters by telephone that no Afghan government officials would be at that meeting.

Karzai said the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar showed the United States had failed to honor promises made to the Afghan state about the role of that office.

An Afghan official said the office gave the Taliban “an official identity”, to which the Kabul government objected.

“The U.S. officials told us the office will be used to move peace talks forward, but not to give them an identity,” the official said.

“The Taliban’s flag and the banner of the Islamic Emirate was something we did not expect,” the official said, referring to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name the Taliban used during their rule.

Senior Afghan officials told Reuters that Washington had given Kabul written assurance that the Taliban office did not constitute U.S. political recognition for the group.

“Before the opening of the office the United States gave us written guarantees, and they were violated,” said one of two officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

On Tuesday, Karzai had said his government would also send a team to Qatar but added the talks should quickly be moved to Afghanistan.

Talking to the Taliban: Violence against women not on the cards

Karzai’s office said it was suspending talks on a security pact with the United States that will stipulate how many U.S. soldiers will stay in Afghanistan after most are pulled out by the end of next year.

“In view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process, the Afghan government suspended the negotiations,” Karzai’s office said in a statement.

Negotiations on the Bilateral Security Agreement began this year and, if completed, will set out how many U.S. bases and soldiers will remain in Afghanistan once NATO ends combat operations by December 2014.

“The suspension of the talks will continue until there is clarity from the United States,” the Afghan official said.

The Taliban have until now refused talks with Kabul, calling Karzai and his government puppets of the West. But a senior Afghan official said earlier the Taliban were now willing to consider talks with the government.

Sign of optimism

Despite the Afghan government’s anger, the commitments by the United States and the Taliban to meet this week have raised hopes for a negotiated peace.

The Taliban have said they want a political solution that would bring about a just government and end foreign occupation of Afghanistan.

The first signs of optimism in peace efforts for many months come as the U.S.-led war effort reaches a critical juncture. The NATO command in Kabul on Tuesday handed over lead security responsibility to Afghan government forces across the country.

U.S. President Barack Obama, travelling in Europe, welcomed Karzai’s announcement that Afghan forces would soon take responsibility for security from the U.S.-led NATO force.

“We do think that ultimately we’re going to need to see Afghans talking to Afghans about how they can move forward and end the cycle of violence there so they can start actually building their country,” Obama said at a joint news conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Earlier, Obama cautioned against expectations of rapid progress in talks with the Taliban, saying the peace process would not be easy or quick.

U.S. officials said that in the talks in Doha, the United States would stick to its insistence that the Taliban break ties with al Qaeda, end violence, and accept the Afghan constitution, including protection for women and minorities.

Asked if the Taliban would renounce al Qaeda, which Washington considers a terrorist organization, Naeem, the Taliban spokesman, said there was no clear definition of terrorism.

“Once we define what terrorism is, for the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban), (we) will be able to say what is acceptable and what is not acceptable,” he said.

The Taliban are expected to demand the return of former senior commanders now detained at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, a move opposed by many in the U.S. Congress, besides the departure of all foreign troops.

But the United States hopes to keep a force, of an as yet undetermined size, in the country after the end of the NATO combat mission.

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Jordanian border guards kill Syrian after attack on soldiers

Jordanian border guards killed on Wednesday a Syrian and wounded two others after they attacked Jordanian soldiers at the border while trying to enter the country, the army said.

While border guards have stopped Jordanians trying to slip into Syria to fight on several occasions, it is rare for Syrians to attack Jordanian troops.

The army said the incident began when a group of people tried to enter Jordan from Syria and “attacked a border guard forward post”.

“A firefight followed that killed one attacker and wounded two others,” said the army statement published by the official Petra news agency.

Authorities took the wounded men to hospital, the statement added, without giving further details on the attackers.

Jordan says it is home to more than 500,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the country’s bloody conflict.

Of these, 150,000 are housed in the Zaatari camp in the kingdom’s north, near the border with Syria.

On Sunday, King Abdullah II vowed to protect Jordan from the war, after the United States announced its F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missiles will remain in the kingdom at the end of military exercises this week.

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Erekat: World should sever ties with Israel

JERICHO (Ma’an) — PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat called on the international community to stop dealing with the Israeli government while it acts as a country above the law.

His statements were made after meeting with Murray McCully, in which he presented the New Zealand minister of foreign affairs with documents and maps detailing the Israeli settlement activity, the siege on Gaza, and the displacement of Palestinians.

Erekat highlighted that Israeli policy is based on destroying the two-state solution, and diminishing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to re-launch peace talks.

Erekat added that Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks that the concept of a Palestinian state was at a “dead-end” was a reflection of Israeli policies.

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Hamas: Erdogan still planning Gaza visit

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan will follow through on promises to visit Gaza despite having to deal with mass protests in Turkey, the Hamas government said Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Gaza government quoted Erdogan as making the remarks in a news conference Tuesday in Ankara after meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister.

“Haniyeh discussed with Erdogan the reconciliation file,” a statement from the Gaza government said. “He stressed the strong Turkish-Palestinian relations, and he praised the Turkish role in the Palestinian issue.”

Haniyeh met with Erdogan Tuesday evening after a tour in Arab and Islamic countries.

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Abdallah Barghouthi on Hunger Strike until Transfer to Jordan

A Jordanian citizen imprisoned in Israel will not end his hunger strike until he transferred to a Jordanian prison, a lawyer said Thursday.

Abdallah Barghouthi, who was transferred to the Haemek Medical Center in Afula in northern Israel, has been on hunger strike since May 2.

Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer for the PA Detainee Affairs Ministry, visited Barghouthi and said he was chained to his hospital bed by his legs and his left hand.

Prison guards have turned Barghouthi’s hospital room “into a kitchen” to harass him, al-Khatib said. They also provoke him by having noisy gatherings in his room.

Barghouthi told the lawyer he felt isolated from the world as he is not allowed to receive newspapers or listen to news bulletins.

In May, Barghouthi, 41, was taken to the al-Jalameh prison for four days where he was interrogated about his hunger strike, a lawyer from the Addameer prisoner rights organization said.

A Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, Barghouthi is demanding his release from Israeli prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in a Jordanian jail, under the Wadi Araba agreement between Jordan and Israel.

Barghouthi is also demanding that Israel disclose the whereabouts of 20 missing Jordanian prisoners, he told Addameer lawyer Faris Ziyad. Further, he is calling on Israel to remove the bodies of Palestinians who died in Israeli custody from nameless graves.

Barghouthi is serving 67 life terms, the highest sentence ever handed down by an Israeli military court. He has been detained since March 2003.

A Hamas leader, Barghouthi was convicted of involvement in multiple attacks in Israel.

(Source / 19.06.2013)