#PalHunger | Palestinian prisoners give IPS 48 hours to end isolation of Abu Sisi

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RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation jails have given the Israeli prion service (IPS) 48 hours to end the isolation of Dirar Abu Sisi, a human rights center said on Wednesday.

The Ahrar center for studies and human rights said in a statement that Palestinian prisoners in Nafha, Eshel, and Raymon had decided to support the case of Abu Sisi by all means available.

They threatened to escalate their protests to an open hunger strike in the event the IPS did not respond and end the solitary confinement of Abu Sisi, who has been in isolation since his kidnaping and detention in 2011.

The center said that meetings took place recently between representatives of those prisoners and the IPS in which the latter was given 48 hours to end the isolation of Abu Sisi, the only Palestinian prisoner still held in isolation, or else the prisoners would go on open hunger strike.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

Syria deaths: powerful asphyxiant in strike was probably sarin, say experts

Specialists say symptoms observed in footage of victims offer strong evidence that nerve agent was used near Damascus

Victims of the attack on districts of Damascus

A still image from a video posted on YouTube showing the burial of victims of the attack on districts of Damascus.

Expert opinion is hardening behind attributing the deaths on Wednesday of hundreds of people in Damascus to a nerve agent such as sarin, with regional and western governments expecting to receive smuggled biological samples from the site in the coming days.

Chemical weapons specialists, who have studied footage showing the dead and dying victims of the attack, said several symptoms offered strong evidence that a nerve agent was used; it would be the worst such attack anywhere in the world in the past 25 years.

Stefan Mogl, a Swiss chemical weapons expert and former arms inspector, said: “There’s a significant number of videos of children’s faces and of adults who seem to have been exposed, that show typical symptoms of acetylcholinesterase inhibition poisoning, which coincides with a nerve agent.”

Mogl told the Guardian it was very likely the agent used was sarin. “The significance is, it’s not a single case. One person with constricting of the pupils, or with excessive salivation, or with spasms, or gasping for air, one single incident is not very significant, but … I came to the conclusion that there is a likelihood of nerve agent poisoning and this should be thoroughly investigated. You see children dying, people with very severe effects. I’ve seen a lot of people with uncontrolled muscle movement.”

Alastair Hay, another former weapons expert, who investigated the aftermath of the Halabja attack, when up to 5,000 people were gassed in Iraqi Kurdistan by Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1988, said: “I’m struck by the appearance of the victims and the absence of any signs of trauma. This suggests some powerful asphyxiant. Many of the victims have individual signs suggestive of exposure to an organophosphate agent. Nasal and lung secretions are very evident in many of the victims. These are just some of the signs consistent with [such] exposure.”

Mogl said there would be immense interest among regional and western powers in obtaining samples from east Damascus, where the attack took place.

Biological samples had been given to MI6 and to French intelligence members after alleged small-scale chemical attacks earlier in the year. Both governments, along with the US, then declared that sarin had been the agent used.

However, the apparent huge toll of dead and wounded from Wednesday’s attack has raised the stakes, with France threatening to use force in response, and foes of the Assad regime seeming to harden their positions.

“I’m sure the UK and other countries will get samples very quickly and analysed,” said Mogl, warning that a chain of custody had to be guaranteed if smuggled samples were ever to be considered decisive.

A UN team of inspectors is in Damascus intending to investigate three earlier alleged uses of chemical weapons, and 36Thirty-six countries have written to the UN secretary general requesting immediate access to east Damascus.

A French official said France’s priority was for UN inspectors to get to the scene.

“What is important for us today is to confirm the facts. There is an international expert team that is 15 minutes by car from the place where the attack happened, that team must be able to immediately go there without constraints to take samples. If the Syrian regime has nothing to hide it must let the UN team go there in all independence.”

France, like other governments, has handed the UN evidence before, from reported chemical attacks in June after samples were analysed in French military laboratories, but the UN must use its own expert team to gather its own evidence on the matter of chemical attacks.

Western officials said that the Syrian military’s stockpile of sarin and mustard gas had been closely monitored over many decades. The US and UK had tried to prevent Syrian officials buying two precursors needed to dispense sarin, however substitutes could retain the lethal effect of the gas.

Meanwhile, attention was shifting towards the attack missiles. The strike occurred around 2am Friday at a time when the Syrian military had launched an advance into the rebel-held area east of Damascus. The missiles bore similarities to those used in at least two previous attacks where a toxic gas was reported to have been used.

Elliott Higgins, a British-based blogger who collates information on weapons systems in use in Syria, said the rockets’ projectiles shared features in common. He said they had first been used by government forces in Daraya, south-west Damascus, on 4 January this year.

The same missile has also been implicated in two other claimed chemical attacks in Adra, north-east of Damascus on 11 June, when it was described by activists as a “chemical missile”, and later in the same town on 5 August, where again it was linked to a chemical attack.

The slender rockets, which appear to be compatible with both an explosive and a non-conventional pay-load, have a distinctive fin arrangement, including a circular tail piece that appears to have been manufactured to the same specifications in each instance and a bolt hole on the tail in the same place.

Eyewitnesses have described the missiles and rockets launched in the attack as having come from two areas of Damascus which are both under regime control – the Mezze airbase, south-west of central Damascus, and the October War Panorama military museum in the city.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

Egypt’s Sabahy: ‘We will not return to Mubarak’s regime’

  • Hamdeen Sabbahy has thrown his weight behind the military suppression of Mohammad Mursi’s Islamist supporters.
Former Egyptian presidential candidate Handeem Sabahy said the police state that ruled Egypt prior to Egypt’s 2011 revolution will not return, now that Hosni Mubarak has been released from jail and most of Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been detained.

“There is no way at all that Egypt will suffer again from a police state or any incursion by any security apparatus internally in this country,” Sabahy, also a member of the National Salvation Front that sided with the military in ousting President Mohammad Mursi, said in an interview with Euronews.

He said the Egyptians are capable of confronting any attempts to revive the old regime.

“We will not return to Mubarak’s regime after we got rid of the Brotherhood one. And as our revolution of June 30th, shows, we did not get rid of Mubarak just to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to take over. And just because we’ve now dropped the Brotherhood does not mean we want to restore the Mubarak regime,” Sabahy said.

The leftist opposition leader has thrown his weight behind the military suppression of Mursi’s Islamist supporters. He said the Aug. 14 crackdown on two major Islamist sit-ins in which hundreds were killed was a decision made by the people and carried out by the state security forces “after a period of patience, deliberation and after warnings.”

“The actions during the break up itself were proportionate to the degree of resistance,” he told Euronews, adding that European countries that condemned the dispersal need to understand the context in which they were carried.

Sabahy has also praised Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan for financially supporting Egypt.

Gulf Arab states have offered Egypt $12 billion in financial aid.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

Syria’s Assad reshuffles government: state media

 

A handout picture from SANA on April 17, 2013 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) during an interview in Damascus. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed six new cabinet ministers on Thursday, the official SANA news agency reported, in a cabinet reshuffle targeting namely economic portfolios.

A handout picture from SANA on April 17, 2013 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) during an interview in Damascus. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed six new cabinet ministers on Thursday, the official SANA news agency reported, in a cabinet reshuffle targeting namely economic portfolios.

AFP – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed six new cabinet ministers on Thursday, the official SANA news agency reported, in a cabinet reshuffle targeting namely economic portfolios.

Assad replaced the ministers of the economy and external trade, industry, internal trade, higher education, tourism, and appointed a minister without portfolio, the agency said.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

Only Assad can prove the ‘toxic gas’ claims are false

If the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria is true, it would defy all logic. But the burden of proof now lies with Syria’s president

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad

It is in Assad’s interests to ­co-operate with the UN inspectors.

Although we do not have independent information as to whether Bashar al-Assad’s regime fired chemical weapons on the eastern suburbs of Damascus and killed hundreds of civilians, as the opposition claims, the burden of proof, morally and legally, lies squarely on the shoulders of the Syrian president.

If the regime’s counter-claims of denial are to be believed, Assad must convince the Syrian people and the world. He can do this by allowing the United Nations inspectors access to the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta, where this apparent massacre occurred. A 20-strong UN team is already in Damascus, investigating three other incidents of alleged chemical weapons attacks said to have taken place six months ago.

The UN, together with scores of nations, has called on Assad to grant permission to its inspectors and allow them to conduct a “thorough, impartial and prompt investigation”. Assad’s prompt agreement would not only show his sincerity about addressing the serious and urgent concerns of the international community, but could also forestall western military strikes. His refusal could prompt such a strike.

If proven, and given the scale of the atrocity, the “red line” established by US president Barack Obama about the use of chemical weapons has surely been crossed. Pressure is mounting on Obama at home. Some US lawmakers immediately renewed calls for the administration to intervene more decisively in the Syrian conflict.

France has already threatened to retaliate militarily against Syria after a UN security council statement failed to agree to call for UN inspectors to investigate. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said: “If it is proven, France’s position is that there must be a reaction, a reaction that could take the form of a reaction with force.”

It is therefore in Assad’s interests – and it is his responsibility – to co-operate with the UN inspectors.

However, it is also important to note that, analytically and strategically, his alleged use of such weapons defies logic. Beyond the nature of the attack itself, therefore, there are other questions the international community needs to ask.

First, why would the Syrian government use chemical weapons on such a scale while there is a strong team of UN inspectors in Damascus? That would be foolish and reckless.

Second, why would the Syrian army use non-conventional arms when it had already gained the upper hand in Ghouta, a strategic suburb, in the past nine months? The town has been besieged and under constant attack by the Assad forces – they have recently launched a major assault to recapture on the suburb. A few days ago the Syrian National Coalition released a public statement naming Ghouta mintaqa mankuba[a disaster area] and calling on the international community to pressure Assad to allow food and medicine to be delivered to the besieged neighbourhoods.

Third, why would Assad utilise chemical weapons at this stage and bring about a potential western military intervention? His decision to allow the UN to investigate the earlier alleged chemical attacks was designed to neutralise the opposition’s calls for direct western intervention.

If history is a guide, Assad may indeed have been reckless and irrational – but again, only a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation by the UN can hope to answer these questions.

Meanwhile, the debate must not make us lose sight of the catastrophe unfolding before our eyes. Toxic gas or not, hundreds of people, including many children, perished in a single day – the largest atrocity of the two-and-a-half-year war so far. What began as a popular uprising against Assad family rule has turned into a nightmare, a heartbreak, a prolonged war of attrition with no end in sight. As the country becomes a playground for the merchants of death from near and far, its diverse social fabric is coming apart and extremism has taken hold of the traditionally tolerant Syrian soil.

Regional and international powers wage wars-by-proxy on Syria’s killing fields while pretending to support the aspirations of its people. No wonder the international community is paralysed. The watered-down final statement by the UN security council on the apparent use of chemical weapons in Ghouta is just one case in point. In the meantime, the body count has exceeded 130,000.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

Rockets Fired from Lebanon towards Israel

Several rockets were fired at Israel from southern Lebanon on Thursday, but one was intercepted by an anti-missile shield and three others fell outside Israeli territory, the military said.

There were no reports of casualties, but Israeli television showed at least one car damaged by remnants of the rocket that was shot down.

“The [Israeli army] is regarding this as a one-time incident. There is no change in regulations or orders,” army chief spokesman Yoav Mordechai told Channel 2 television, looking to play down the attack.

It was the first such incident since May. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s rocket fire and the Israeli army said it had not shot back across the border.

The Israeli military said initial information showed that three or four rockets were launched, and that the Iron Dome anti-missile system had destroyed one of them between the Israeli coastal towns of Acre and Nahariya.

“The remaining rockets fell outside of Israeli territory,” the military said in a statement.

The rockets were fired from Rashidiyah, a Palestinian refugee camp near the southern city of Tyre in Lebanon.

“I heard a weak explosion, and then in parallel to the siren, I heard a stronger boom,” Keinan Engel, a resident of Nahariya, told Army Radio. “I went to take cover, in a reinforced room.”

Eli Bean, director of Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service, said no one had been hurt.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

125 Palestinians in administrative detention

125 Palestinians in administrative detention

Ahrar– A human rights group said that the Israeli occupation authority was holding 125 Palestinians in administrative detention, without trial or charge.

Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights said in a statement that most of those detainees were liberated prisoners.

The center said that most of the detainees are held in the Negev desert prison while 39 are held in Ofer jail and a few in Megiddo.

It pointed out that most of the detainees are from Al-Khalil including MP Hatem Qufaisha and Sheikh Adel Shanyur who have spent the longest years in administrative custody.

Ahrar center asked human rights groups, official circles, and the media to shed light on the suffering of those detainees and to demand an end to their suffering in administrative detention.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

Heb jij ALLAH swt bedankt?

By Marianna Laarif

Selectie uit “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat ash-Shâkireen”
Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Salmaan al Farisi (ra) zei:

“Er was een man die alle luxe van de wereld was gegeven, en dan van hem werden afgenomen. Toch bleef hij ALLAH prijzen en danken tot alles van hem werd weggenomen, zelf zijn bed. Dan nog bleef hij ALLAH swt prijzen en danken. Een andere man, die ook veel wereldlijke luxe had vroeg hem: “Waarvoor prijs en dank je ALLAH?” De man antwoorde, “Ik prijs en dank hem, voor de zegeningen, dewelke als anderen mij zouden vragen het hen te geven, in ruil voor al hun bezittingen, ik ze nooit zou schenken.” “Wat is dat dan?” vroeg de man hierop. “Zie je dat dan niet?” Vroeg de eerste man.”Ik kan zien, ik heb een tong, handen, voeten,…”

Layth ibn Abî Burdah heeft gezegd:

“Wanneer ALLAH swt de mensen zal verzamelen op de dag des oordeels, zal Hij hen herinneren aan zijn zegeningen. Eén van zijn dienaren zal zeggen: “Laat mij iets herinneren”, en ALLAH zal zeggen: “Herinner je wanneer je deze en deze tegenslag had, en je bad tot mij, dus verloste ik je ervan. Herinner je dat je doorheen deze en deze plaats reisde, en je me om een reisgenoot verzocht, die ik je gaf…Herinner je, wanneer je de hand van die-en-diens dochter vroeg, en anderen die om haar hand vroegen, en ik gaf je haar ten huwelijk, en de anderen hield ik weg van haar.” Zijn slaaf zal voor zijn Heer staan en zich Zijn zegeningen herinneren.”” De overleveraar van dit verhaal, Layth, weende en zei, “Ik hoop dat niemand op deze manier voor zijn Heer zal staan, want degene die dit doet zal gestraft worden.” (d.w.z. Indien ALLAH swt moet aanduiden datgene wat duidelijk is, is dit een teken van deze persoons ondankbaarheid, en zal hij worden gestraft.)

Een man met kennis heeft gezegd:

“De zegen van ALLAH swt door luxe van deze wereld van ons weg te houden is groter is groter dan de zegen van datgene dat hij wel heeft gegeven. Dit omdat hij niet wou dat Zijn profeet saws luxe had in dit leven. Zodoende verkies ik te leven op de manier die Hij voor zijn profeet heeft verkozen, dan te leven op een manier die Hij niet voor hem verkoos.”

Ibn Abi’d-Dunya heeft gezegd:

“Er werd me verteld dat een geleerde heeft gezegd: “De geleerde zou ALLAH moeten prijzen dat Hij hem berooft heeft van de luxe van dit leven, op dezelfde manier dat hij Hem zou moeten prijzen voor datgene dat Hij hem heeft geschonken.Hoe kan men vergelijken, de zegeningen en de luxe voor dewelke hij verantwoordelijk zal worden gehouden met de beroving van de luxe die een ontheving zijn om ervoor getest te worden, en die die zijn geest vrijhoudt om ALLAH swt te aanbidden en te herinneren? Hij moet ALLAH swt daarvoor dankbaar zijn.””

Een man zei aan Abu Hazim:

“Wat is de dankbaarheid van de ogen?” Hij zei, “Wanneer je goede dingen ziet, spreek je erover, en als je slechte dingen ziet, zwijg je erover.” Hij vroeg, “Wat is de dankbaarheid van de oren?” Hij antwoordde, “Als je iets goed hoort, accepteer je het, en als je iets slechts hoort, verwerp je het.” Dan vroeg hij, “Wat is de dankbaarheid van de handen?” Hij zei, “Neem niet datgene wat jou niet toebehoort, en weerhou je niet om datgene wat ALLAH swt te betalen (d.w.z. de zakat).” Toen vroeg hij, “Wat is de dankbaarheid van het hoofd?” Hij zei, “Er kennis in te hebben.” Toen vroeg hij, “Wat is de dankbaarheid van iemands private delen?” Toen quote hij de volgende aya: “5. En die hun vleselijke lusten beheersen. 6. Behalve met hun vrouwen of hetgeen hun rechterhand bezit, want dan treft hen geen verwijt. 7. Doch degenen die deze perken te buiten gaan, zullen overtreders zijn.” (al Mouminoun 23/5-7)

Ibn Abi’d Dunya vertelde dat Dawoud (as) aan ALLAH swt vroeg: “Wat is de minste van uw zegeningen?” ALLAH swt tot hem: “O Dawoud, Adem diep in.” Dawoud deed dit, en ALLAH zei tot hem: “Dit is de minste van mijn zegeningen over jou.”

Prisoner deported to Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel on Thursday deported a Palestinian prisoner to the Gaza Strip as part of a deal to end his 40-day hunger strike.

Ayman Abu Daoud is from the West Bank city of Hebron, where his wife and children live.

He was freed in October 2011 in Israel’s prisoner swap deal with Hamas, but Israel rearrested him four months later. Israeli prosecutors sought to sentence him to 28 years, the remainder of his former sentence.

Abu Daoud went on hunger strike for 40 days, and Israel agreed in May to deport him to the Gaza Strip for 10 years.

He arrived in Gaza through the Erez crossing on Thursday.

(Source / 22.08.2013)

World Zionist Organization funneled NIS 400,000 into infrastructure work at illegal West Bank outpost

al ray 1

Jerusalem, Alray – The World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division has financed NIS 400,000 worth of infrastructure work in the West Bank outpost of Negohot, even though the work was carried out without building permits.

Negohot, located in the western Hebron Hills, was built on the ruins of an army outpost in 1998. Over the years, the Housing Ministry built permanent houses there, and another outpost, called Mitzpeh Lachish, was set up nearby. Together, these two outposts are home to some 50 families. But neither has ever had an approved master plan, and therefore, there is no way to issue legal building permits.

Over the past two years, however, extensive infrastructure work has been done in Negohot, including construction of sidewalks and supporting walls, and upgrades of the water and sewage systems. Documents obtained by Haaretz show that the work was carried out by the Mount Hebron Regional Council, but some of the funding came from the WZO’s Settlement Division.

A report on unauthorized West Bank outposts that the state commissioned from attorney Talia Sasson in 2005 found serious flaws in the Settlement Division’s conduct. Inter alia, it found that the division regularly funded illegal construction in many locales.

In response to Sasson’s report, then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz issued orders barring the use of public funds for illegal construction. Those orders applied to all public bodies and explicitly defined legal construction as construction carried out in accordance with a valid master plan.

(Source / 22.08.2013)