By Marianna Laarif
Zit het tegen en voel je je niet zo best?
Heb je geen hoop meer of is je hart gevuld met pijn?
Weet dan: wat je meemaakt is een tijdelijke test.
Gedenk Allah om ervoor te slagen: er is geen beter medicijn!
By Marianna Laarif
Zit het tegen en voel je je niet zo best?
Heb je geen hoop meer of is je hart gevuld met pijn?
Weet dan: wat je meemaakt is een tijdelijke test.
Gedenk Allah om ervoor te slagen: er is geen beter medicijn!
Today is 8th March, International Women’s Day, and as I sit here in my comfortable home with 24/7 electricity & clean water on tap, my thoughts are with the women of Gaza, women I was supposed to be with on this day.
As part of a delegation of 100 women from around the world, this day was earmarked as a day we would meet with our sisters in Gaza – women who have little. Women who endure ongoing hardship and lack of services and support due to the blockade imposed by Israel.
I was to keep a daily blog on our activities and experiences.
The idea was to meet ordinary Palestinians and listen to their stories; visit fishermen, university students & various other organisations and as a gesture deliver solar lamps so they may have light during the darkness.
Our delegation ‘Women against the Gaza blockade’ is a collection of women from around the world. Women who see the injustice of the blockade, and who’s mission it is to bring attention to what life is really like as a Palestinian under Israeli rule.
Initiated and coordinated by CAPJO – EuroPalestine & CodePink, a broad selection of women answered the call including Irish activist & Nobel Peace laureate, Mairead Maguire & Algerian activist 79 year old Djamila Bouhired as well as many others. I was just a small cog in a much larger machine.
Wanting to do everything by the book and to coordinate with the Egyptian government, a list was sent with the names and details of all the women participating – including passport details, to everyone’s respective Egyptian embassies as required, including details of where we were going and why – a full month before our travel date. No objection was lodged by Egypt.
March 4th – on the eve of my departure, news arrived that Medea Benjamin, one of the founders of CodePink had been detained at Cairo Airport but Col Ann Wright had made it through ok. What was going on? As time ticked by more confusion reigned. Medea was able to message from what she termed her ‘dorm’ room (holding cell) complete with pictures. In the ensuing hours several more delegates passed through ok but Medea was deported for apparently being on a ‘black list’.
The harrowing account of her ordeal can be found here.
In the ensuing hours three more women were deported and 3 more allowed through. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it. All I could do was arrive and take my chances, after all, I have been to Egypt before and had never caused any trouble either there or anywhere else, however, I was on THAT list!
March 5th my departure was uneventful. News was coming through sporadically regarding the other delegate’s departures so I was characteristically optimistic. With suitcase packed to bulging with ‘goodies’ such as rechargeable lamps, Turkish delight, decorative Turkish scarves etc… all meant as gifts for Gaza’s women I set off. Destination Gaza!
4:40pm my arrival at Cairo International airport was uneventfully – Cautious optimism crept in.
Visa? Check! Customs/Security stamp? Check! Access into Cairo? DENIED!
Once my Visa was stamped, the lady at customs made a call. The next thing I knew a man was ushering me to go and sit down, minus my passport. Optimism diminishing.
Once seated, I noticed several other women together at the other end. I decided not to approach them; my reasoning was that if they were part of the delegation I might lesson my chances of getting in if I was seen cohorting – at that point I figured being seen as a solitary ordinary tourist would do the trick. Good try!
The next wave of delegates arrived approximately 30 minutes after me. Resistance was futile. By now it was clear that nothing was going to happen particularly fast. Security seemed to be picking off anyone they suspected as being part of the delegation – list or no list. I had a lovely conversation with a young Syrian girl who was studying in Cairo and I suspect they thought of as a delegate. She was held for about an hour then let through leaving me with a ‘good luck’ key ring.
Minutes turned to hours very quickly and soon there were approximately forty of us. Predominantly from the French CAPJO – EuroPalestine , the rest consisted of Americans from CodePink, myself and ladies from Belgium, (I think) I never got to meet them.
During the course of the night people were madly texting and talking on their phones trying anything to get messages out, passports back and as hopeless as it seems now, entry into Egypt.
My luggage was nowhere to be seen and every time I enquired about it, I was told “Don’t worry”.
Eventually I called my husband and asked him to get a hold of the British embassy. Predominantly to get my passport back, but also to notify the Egyptians that officials knew where I was and would be watching.
Time was marching on and by now the French part of the delegation had set up camp in the middle of the arrival hall much to the chagrin of the officials. I think it was becoming clear on both sides that this was a stalemate that would not be ending anytime soon.
Banners were unfurled; ‘check-point’ signs erected and anti-Israel songs were being sung. As it became apparent that we would not be entering Egypt, items that were meant for the women of Gaza were unpacked and displayed as a show of defiance to the Egyptian officials who were obstructing our mission and thereby denying the women of Palestine.
In all of this, I have to say Olivier Zemor is my new hero. Her spirit and fight for justice knows no bounds. She worked long into the night and the next day, negotiating with delegates, Egyptian & French officials and anyone else who might have been able to help. She was the strength that kept us all going and is one lady I would never want to cross.
As hours rolled by the Egyptian officials were clearly trying to divide and conquer. At one point they convinced some of the women that if they wanted to leave they could but it would have to be NOW!
We found out the next day that ‘now’ was a ploy and they were still being held, hours later in another part of the airport. Clearly our trump card was to remain as a group – strength in numbers.
I still did not have my passport or luggage and no one, save the British Embassy had approached me for alternatives. I eventually got my luggage back after I told an official I needed my medication which was in my luggage. Hours had gone by and I was praying that it was not still revolving on the conveyer belt. Fortunately, it had been checked in at lost & found and after several guarded marches back and forth we were reunited.
During all of this it was clear that we had to make our presence felt and make the most of any publicity that we could get. There was a reporter and photographer travelling with us but we needed to get the word out there as loud and fast as possible. Not just for our current plight, but for the original reason were there. If we couldn’t got to Gaza then were would bring Gaza to the people, much to the bemusement and frustration of the Egyptian officials.
During the twenty six hours we were held, many songs were sung, dances danced and protest chants uttered. The reaction was mixed. Most people were bemused, some irritated, but many still cheered. People wanted to take pictures but were stopped for the most part by security. The security men themselves, tired of having to constantly video our disruption installed a permanent video camera in the hall facing the group. It shall be forever known as the ‘Women against the Gaza blockade’s’ camera. Look for it at the top right hand side of the security gate when next you arrive in Cairo.
The Egyptian attitude to Gaza surprised me. I expected a ‘brother in arms’ type of attitude, instead what I saw was contempt and no interest for the most part as to the plight of the Palestinians, mainly because they associate Palestine with Hamas; as does the rest of the world, which is a shame because while Hamas is the main focus and excuse for Israel’s abhorrent behavior towards the Palestinians, the ordinary citizens of Gaza suffer and die.
I did however see some hope in the attitudes and comments from several of our airport ‘minders’ once their colleagues were out of ear shot. Thanking us for what we were trying to do and wishing us well. At one point even a passing pilot gave us the thumbs up in full public view – all is not in vain.
And so now I am home, thanks to my very supportive husband and British Embassy staff who did a great job speaking with the Egyptians & coordinating my exit.
As I left, the ladies from CAPJO – EuroPalestine were still in high spirits. Still pressing for their release, both for themselves and the people of Gaza. I, who was already unwell, had developed a chest infection during the long air-conditioned confinement that stopped me from most of the singing and dancing but not dampening the enthusiasm that comes from meeting such incredibly courageous and strong women.
If anyone is in any doubt regarding the hardships of Palestinians, ask yourself these questions. What other country or territory in the world can you be barred from visiting by a neighboring country? What other country in the world has sway over other completely independent nations to the point of stopping people even boarding their planes on their way to visiting another country?
And so it is with a solemn disposition that I spent March 8th – International women’s day.
Reflecting on what I was supposed to be doing today with wonderfully inspiring and courageous women from around the world and reading reports of how Israel treated Palestinian women on this their day.
According to Israel’s Maariv newspaper, Israeli sources believe that the international boycott of Israeli settlement products has already caused Israel’s economy financial losses amounting to about 100 million shekels ($30 million), with the agricultural sector in the Jordan Valley suffering the most.
One source described the boycott as a “constant war”, while others added that they expect Israel will face an increase in the number of boycott calls, especially if the peace talks with the Palestinians fail and the construction of settlements continues, noting that the European Union will also renew its decision to label settlement products if the negotiations fail, which would cause even more damages to the Israeli economy.
The newspaper reported on Friday that the European calls to boycott settlement products would likely grow, while the European imports from Israel would shrink. The overall volume of settlement exports to Europe is estimated to be about 300 million shekels ($90 million), with most sales generated by SodaStream.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
Protesters called upon the international community to end Israeli violations of Palestinian women’s rights and to pressure Israel to lift the siege of the Gaza Strip, in a march that began at the Square of the Unknown Soldier and ended at the office of the United Nations.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member Mariam Abu Diqa said that Palestinian women struggle for the freedom of their nation, the end of internal divisions between Palestinian political parties, and for full equality for women and men in both rights and duties.
Public relations coordinator for the Union of Health Work Committees Haneen Washah, meanwhile, called for international solidarity with Palestinian women, who she said “have a role in the struggle that cannot be ignored.”
Washah also called upon the international community to stand with Palestinian female prisoners who are denied their rights in Israeli prison.
Amjad Shawa, coordinator of a network of NGOs in the Gaza Strip, said that Palestinian women suffer due to the continuation of the Israeli siege and the worsening rates of unemployment. He called for serious and effective intervention to end the tragedy facing the Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million residents, who he highlighted were mostly women.
The march was originally scheduled to include approximately 80 women from a number of foreign countries, including the celebrated Algerian revolutionary Djamila Bouhired and Northern Irish Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire.
Egyptian authorities, however, prevented the solidarity delegation from reaching the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel with Egyptian support since 2006.
The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.
The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
Dozens of Palestinian women rallied early Saturday near Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem to mark International Women’s Day.
Israeli forces stationed at the checkpoint launched tear gas canisters at high velocity towards the women in response to the protest.
Israeli forces closed the checkpoint to Palestinians immediately after the crowd approached it.
As Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters, Palestinian men hurled stones at the soldiers.
One protester told Ma’an that Palestinian women “want to live free from occupation in an independent Palestinian state.”
The rally was organized by the General Union of Palestinian Women.
An Israeli army spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama met to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian Peace talks. However, it should be no surprise that there is no optimism in the talks. Netanyahu said that “Israel has been doing its part and, I regret to say, the Palestinians have not” according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry has a deadline on April 29th for a “framework Agreement”between Israel and Palestine. “It’s my belief that ultimately it is still possible to create two states, a Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine, with people living side by side in peace and security,”Obama said. “But it’s difficult. It requires compromise on all sides” the report said.
On Tuesday Netanyahu demanded that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish State’, “President Abbas: recognize the Jewish state and in doing so, you would be telling your people.. to abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees” he said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) earlier this month. One of the major compromises that the Palestinians would have to accept according to Netanyahu is for Israel to be recognized as a “Jewish State”. Netanyahu demands comes at a time when his administration continues to build Jewish settlements at unprecedented levels which have been admitted by the Israeli media including the Times of Israel. The Times of Israel stated the facts:
New construction in the West Bank skyrocketed in 2013 compared to 2012, new Israeli data revealed on Monday. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported an increase of 123 percent in construction of new homes in the West Bank in 2013 compared to 2012, a ratio dramatically higher than in the other six districts examined. The southern district, coming in second, witnessed an increase of 12%, Haifa 8%, Jerusalem 3%, central Israel 2%, and northern Israel 1%. New construction in the Tel Aviv district dropped 19% between 2012 and 2013
The Lebanese based online news website the Daily Star reported that Mohammad al-Madani who quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as saying “We cannot continue negotiations with ongoing settlement construction,” concerning the negotiations imposed by Washington. The report confirmed that Abbas met Zehava Galon who is head of the Meretz party (an Israeli left wing political party) in Ramallah this past Monday:
A statement from Galon’s office said that in addition to a settlement freeze, Abbas would also demand a release of “further prisoners beyond the next tranche, including women, youths and administrative detainees.”
Israel committed in July to releasing 104 Palestinian prisoners in four tranches. It has so far released 78 of those in three batches.
Abbas also told Galon that “if the American framework agreement will not sufficiently address the fundamental principles of the core issues, we won’t enable extending the negotiations,” according to the statement
For the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish State’ would be devastating politically. It would concede that all Jewish people would have a natural right to be in Palestine. For Palestinians who do live in Palestine, it will be only by permission of the “Jewish State” not as a natural right of the Palestinians who have been in the land for thousands of years. If the Palestinians were to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State” then the Palestinians living in Palestine has been illegitimate. This is one of the main reasons the Palestinians would not accept the “Jewish State” status of Israel. One other factor that the Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not succeed is because the United Nations recognition of Palestine based on its pre-1967 borders with Israel. This does not sit well with Israel because it legitimizes the Palestinians territorial integrity. Historically Palestinians have a right to be in Palestine and exercise their right to establish a sovereign state of their own. It is important to note that Israel as a Jewish State would also jeopardize the rights of all Palestinians who currently live in the Palestinian territories and of the Palestinian refugees who were forcibly expelled from their homes in 1948 after the state of Israel was created under the Balfour Declaration.
Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is not beneficial for all people living within Israel as well since 25% of the current population is actually non-Jewish. Despite Netanyahu’s demands, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasir Arafat recognized Israel in the 1980’while Israel did not recognize Palestine. In 1988, The New York Times reported that Yasir Arafat and the PLO with the Palestinian parliament had ”accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region” and ”declared its rejection and condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.” But it was rejected by both Washington and Tel Aviv as the New York Times explained why they were not convinced:
In Jerusalem, Israeli leaders discounted the Stockholm declaration and Mr. Arafat’s comments. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres characterized them as a ”cunning exercise in public relations.” What was needed, he said, was ”a commitment in reality” to an end to violence. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was similarly dismissive.
The United States has long said it would not deal with the P.L.O. until it stated unambiguously that it recognized Israel’s right to exist and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which lay out the basis for a negotiated settlement and peace in the Middle East. The United States has also asked for an unequivocal statement that the P.L.O. renounces all forms of terrorism
The peace process began in 1991 in Madrid with the intention of establishing peace between Israel and Palestine. The United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 was eventually accepted by Arafat and the PLO in 1993 during the Oslo accords disregarding the Palestinian people. The Oslo Accords or the Declaration of Principles (DOP) resulted in the recognition of Israel by the PLO and Israel recognizing the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people for whom the Israeli government can negotiate with. The Oslo Accords helped create the Palestinian Authority (PA) with limited self-government over Palestinian lands, but many issues involving Israel’s recognition of Palestine as a state and its occupation and the Palestinian right of return remained unsolved. Overall, a Palestinian state was never granted under the Oslo Accords, it was a failure. When the Oslo Accords began and Yasir Arafat agreed to recognize Israel as a state, it only gave the Israeli government more power over the negotiations and the Palestinian people. In an article written by human rights advocate and fellow Palestinian Edward Said called ‘The Morning After’ he criticized Arafat’s decision to recognize Israel as a State. He wrote:
By contrast Arafat’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist carries with it a whole series of renunciations: of the PLO Charter; of violence and terrorism; of all relevant UN resolutions, except 242 and 338, which do not have one word in them about the Palestinians, their rights or aspirations. By implication, the PLO set aside numerous other UN resolutions (which, with Israel and the US, it is now apparently undertaking to modify or rescind) that, since 1948, have given Palestinians refugee rights, including either compensation or repatriation. The Palestinians had won numerous international resolutions – passed by, among others, the EC, the non-aligned movement, the Islamic Conference and the Arab League, as well as the UN – which disallowed or censured Israeli settlements, annexations and crimes against the people under occupation
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Yasir Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994 for their peace efforts during the Oslo Accords agreement. According to the Oslo Declaration of Principles, it states that “a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338″ which did not address Palestinian rights. MIT professor Noam Chomsky explained in Z magazine in 1993 the flaws regarding UN Resolution 242 and what it meant for the Palestinian people. He wrote:
The draft agreement makes no mention of Palestinian national rights, the primary issue on which the US and Israel broke with the international consensus from the mid-1970s. Throughout these years, it was agreed that a settlement should be based on UN 242.
There were two basic points of contention: (1) Do we interpret the withdrawal clause of 242 in accord with the international consensus (including the US, pre-1971), or in accord with the position of Israel and US policy from 1971? (2) Is the settlement based solely on UN 242, which offers nothing to the Palestinians, or 242 and other relevant UN resolutions, as the PLO had proposed for many years in accord with the nonrejectionist international consensus. Thus, does the settlement incorporate the right of refugees to return or compensation, as the UN has insisted since December 1948 (with US endorsement, long forgotten), and the Palestinian right to national self-determination that has repeatedly been endorsed by the UN (though blocked by Washington)? These are the crucial issues that have stood in the way of a political settlement.
On these issues, the agreement explicitly and without equivocation adopts the US-Israeli stand. As noted, Article I states that the “permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338,” nothing more. Furthermore, as Beilin made explicit, the withdrawal clause of UN 242 is to be understood in the terms unilaterally imposed by the US (from 1971). In fact, the agreement does not even preclude further Israeli settlement in the large areas of the West Bank it has taken over, or even new land takeovers. On such central matters as control of water, it speaks only of “cooperation” and “equitable utilization” in a manner to be determined by “experts from both sides.” The outcome of cooperation between an elephant and a fly is not hard to predict.
Chomsky was correct in his assessment on UN resolution 242 when one of the Nobel Peace Prize Winners Shimon Peres addressed the Israeli public in 1995 and stated that “the deal kept the following in Israeli hands: 73 percent of the lands of the territories, 97 percent of security and 80 percent of the water.” Another important factor regarding the DOP is in Article XVII Jurisdiction 1.
In accordance with the DOP, the jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory as a single territorial unit, except for:
a. issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis; and
b. powers and responsibilities not transferred to the Council
Which means that the Palestinian matters concerning Israel’s strategic military locations, Israeli settlements, the Palestinian Right of Return to their lands and the issue of Jerusalem becoming the capital of Israel would be under political and strategic control of the Israeli government. Oslo Accords was a failure for the Palestinians and for Israel for the simple matter that they could not wrap their tentacles around the Palestinian people and its lands any tighter than it already is. Israel would have come out being the benefactor to the peace agreements, not the Palestinians. The peace talks are unfortunately going to fail once again. The pre-conditions for the Palestinians to accept a peace deal with Israel through Secretary of State John Kerry’s “Framework Agreement” will backfire. “Jerusalem will not be divided so long as I’m prime minister” Netanyahu was quoted as saying on Israeli television this past January. President Abbas responded by saying “The Palestinians want confirmation in writing that the capital of a future Palestinian state will be in East Jerusalem, Abbas told the Meretz leader. With regard to the refugee issue, Abbas said that claims he wants to flood Israel with 5 million Palestinian refugees are a lie.” President Abbas was also responding to Netanyahu’s speech at the AIPAC conference. President Abbas said “If the American framework agreement doesn’t address our basic principles regarding the core issues, we will not allow the talks to be extended beyond the original end date of April 29,” Gal-On quoted Abbas as saying” according to the Haaretz report. “Back in the region, Meretz chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On said after meeting with Abbas yesterday that he was pessimistic about the chances of reaching a framework agreement that would allow the peace talks to continue.”
Allowing Palestine to accept Israel as a “Jewish State” will not happen. The new peace talks are not any different from the previous efforts by the United States and Israel. This time Netanyahu demands the Palestinian government to recognize the “Jewish State” of Israel. However, he does want a two-state solution, but on his terms. He once said “I think that peace will require two states, a Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.”
The Palestinians deserve their own state; Palestine is a place that dates back thousands of years, it is a nation. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister admitted that the Palestine belonged to the Palestinians in 1938 speech when he clearly stated
“Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”
Maybe Netanyahu should revisit the historical speeches of Israel’s past leaders, but that would not make a difference anyway. Peace is unachievable with the US backed “Framework Agreement” because what Israel is asking the Palestinians to accept is unrealistic. It is only a process that would advance Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East and allow it to expand its territory and obtain natural resources with its advanced military capabilities with the help of Washington.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
Reports from inside Iran as of 1:00 pm local time on Saturday indicate that agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security clashed with the people in the streets nearby as they attempted to gather outside Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office located near Panzdah-e Khordad Square and Galoobandak intersection.
The anti-riot force used pepper gas against the protesters. Hundreds were arrested, including 80 women. A number of the arrestees were interrogated in the Panzdah-e Khordad Police Station.
Meanwhile, elements of the suppressive forces who were being escorted by motorcycle riders from the anti-riot units fired shots into the air and clashed with the people who had come to participate in the gathering in front of the Hosseinieh of Gonabadi dervishes in Behesht-e Zahra Street of Tehran.
They beat up with batons the arrested dervishes who were resisting getting on the anti-riot forces vehicles to be taken to prison.
The Saturday’s gathering was announced from few days ago in support of 10 Dervishes imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison, Karaj’s Gohardasht Prison and in prisons in cities of Shiraz and Bandarabbas.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 8, 2014
(Source / 08.03.2014)
Shireen al-Issawi, sister of former hunger striker Samer al-Issawi
An Israeli court extended the detentions of Shireen Issawi and her brother Shadi Issawi without charge until March 13, a lawyer from the Prisoners’ Club society said. Both siblings were detained on Thursday evening in Israeli raids the al-Issawiyeh town of east Jerusalem, while clashes also left two Palestinians Ammar Obaid and Feras Obaid arrested.
Shireen and Shireen are brothers of ex-prisoner Samer al-Issawi, who nine-month hunger strike protest of his being detained without charge or trial attracted world attention.
On Thurday, Prisoner’s Club society said an Israeli force detained Shadi Issawi while on his work at a civil society where they fully inspected the place. The force also raided the home of Samer al-Issawi without arresting him.
Later, another Israeli patrol detained Shireen, sister of Samer al-Issawi, as she was at Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, the society added.
The Prisoner’s Club’s lawyer Mufeed al-Haj said in a statement that both Shadi and Shireen are being held in the al-Maskobia detention center. They have been issued a 24-hour arrest order pending a court hearing to be held tomorrow, Friday.
Shadi al-Issawi is himself an ex-prisoner.
Issawi was released from prison a month ago after going through an internationally observed 270-day hunger strike in protest at Israel’s holding of him without trial.
Israel arrested him soon after his release under prisoner exchange deal with Hamas in October 2012, which saw the release of 1047 prisoners.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
|The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released an audio message in which it harshly criticized the Saudi decision to blacklist the group.
ISIL described that the Islamic Front, which was excluded from the Saudi list of the blacklisted groups, as a traitor, adding that it works for the Saudi regime.
ISIL’s message did not mention Nusra Front whose commander had threatened ISIL.
It is worth to mention that Nusra and Islamic fronts are allies, so how would their alliance by the Saudi decision?
Saudi has included ISIL and Nusra Front in its list of terrorist groups and banned supporting or belonging to them.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
At least 12,813 women were killed by attacks carried out by the Syrian regime during the civil war in Syria in the last three years, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
The organization issued a report, entitled “Syrian women, truth and pain” to commemorate International Women’s Day.
The report says that most of the women lost their lives through attacks carried out by the Syrian regime. 483 women were shot by snipers, while 31 of them were killed by torture in the government’s detention centers, the report said.
The report also reveals that approximately 87 percent of those killed by the Syrian regime were civilians, and 11 percent of these were women.
More than 7,500 women have been raped since the civil war started and 850 of these events occured in prisons controlled by the Syrian regime, SNHR stated.
The SNHR underlined that the Syrian regime is heavily violating human rights against women, and said that there are more than 4,000 women in Syrian prisons.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which carries out attacks on the opposition groups in Syria killed 33 women so far.
According to the SNHR, women in Syria are being used for bartering. “In order to rescue a person who has been kidnapped, women are being used as a bargaining tool,” the report said.
The report declares that the Syrian regime’s acts of violence against women are humanitarian crimes and calls on the United Nations Security Council to start an investigation.
Meanwhile, Syrian Local Coordination Committee (LCC) stated that Hezbollah militants in Syria, who were backed by regime forces, attacked the besieged village of Zara in Homs province on Saturday killing 20 people.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) confirmed the attack and said that the Assad forces have been blockading Zara village for a while. The committee and general commission described the incident as a ‘massacre’.
(Source / 08.03.2014)