Israel rejects Palestinian ‘family unification’ requests

The Israeli Interior Minister, Aryeh Deri, has refused to grant 449 Palestinians permits to be reunited with their families in Israel, Haaretz reported.

The paper quoted Deri as saying that “the requests by 106 Palestinian families to obtain permanent or temporary residency status in Israel have been rejected for criminal or security reasons.”

In 2001, the Centre for the Defence of the Individual and a group of Israeli lawyers filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court after Israeli authorities refused to grant residency permits to thousands of Palestinians who married Israeli citizens.
In response to the petition, Deri informed the court in April 2016 that he intended to grant temporary residency permits to some 2,000 Palestinians living in Israel without any status or social rights.

According to the minister, of the 2,020 applicants, 1,533 “responded to the requirements of the resolution and their position was upgraded to temporary” and 38 applications are still “under examination”.

MK Aida Touma Suleiman of the Arab Joint List said the data indicates “the continuous injustice caused by the prohibition of family reunification”.

She stressed that the law reflects racist laws and regulations that target Palestinians.

The Israeli authorities claimed that 17 Palestinians who were reunited with their families between 2001 and 2016 were “involved in terrorist operations” while 87 of those involved in the operations were members of families with residency status.

(Source / 02.06.2017)

Libya to be divided into 7 military zones

Smoke rises from clashes between the various militant factions fighting over control of Libya [file photo]

Smoke rises from clashes between the various militant factions fighting over control of Libya

The Presidency Council in Tripoli has announced plans for the formation of seven military zones across Libya. They will cover Tripoli, Benghazi, Tobruk, Sebha, Kufra and the Central and Western regions.

Each zone will be headed by a commander who will be appointed by and have to report to the head of the Libyan army, which will be under the council’s control. Financial backing will come from the ministry of defence, which will also help in the training of the troops involved.

It is unclear how these zones will be implemented given the council’s limited authority beyond Tripoli and the surrounding areas, particularly in regions controlled by General Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army. Nor has it been said how the Presidency Council will deal with the array of powerful militias nominally under its authority.

Read: Third Force denies truce in southern Libya

In its announcement, the council further explained that each military zone commander will work with a deputy who will be responsible for preparing and training his forces in both peacetime and war. Commanders will have to clear all plans with the council before initiating any action within their zones.

(Source / 02.06.2017)

Morocco refuses to attend African summit due to Israel’s presence

Image of Morocco's King Mohammed VI [COP22/Twitter]

Image of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry yesterday stated that King Mohammed VI has cancelled his attendance of the 51st Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) because Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also been invited.

In a statement the ministry said King Mohammed VI had planned to visit the Liberian capital, Monrovia, on 3-4 June to attend the 51st ECOWAS Summit, which was expected to examine Morocco’s request to join the regional group as a full member.

The statement added that, “During this Royal visit, a meeting with the President of Liberia, talks with ECOWAS Heads of State and a speech at the Summit were all scheduled.”

Read: Why did Morocco decide to join the African Union?

However, over the last few days, major ECOWAS member states have decided to reduce their level of representation at the summit, to the bare minimum, due to their disagreement with the invitation handed to the Israeli prime minister. The statement also noted that other member states also expressed their astonishment at this invitation.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement also mentioned that King Mohammed VI “does not want his first appearance at the ECOWAS summit to take place in a context of tension and controversy, and wants to avoid any confusion.”

During the summit, members of ECOWAS will decide on the admittance of Morocco as a full-fledged member of the regional bloc.

(Source / 02.06.2017)

Seif Stresses Importance of EU Role in Syria as He Meets EU Foreign Policy Chief

President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif held an important meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini at the European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital Brussels on Friday.

The meeting was attended by a number of European officials. Seif headed a high-level delegation that included head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab, and members of the Coalition’s political committee and the General Assembly.

Seif stressed that the Europeans need to assume a bigger role in Syria and the Middle East. “We feel ashamed when we see statements condemning the Assad regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity while there is no concrete action is taken to stop these crimes.”

While Iran occupies Syria, Russia acts freely in the country, Seif said. On the other side, “our friends have not yet taken action to stop the aggression on Syria nor have they showed the required attention towards this aggression.”

The plan of action set out by the new presidential body aims to enhance the representation of women within the institutions of the Syrian opposition and in the decision-making process, Seif said. He called on the European Union to coordinate efforts with the United Nations to help find a solution for around 10 million Syrians who do not have travel documents.

For her part, Mogherini described the meeting with the Coalition delegation as important for her and her team. She reaffirmed full political support for the Syrian opposition and its participation in the Geneva process. She also pledged to support SIG projects.

The EU is already supporting projects aimed at bolstering the resilience of the Syrian people, the EU foreign policy chief said. The EU is looking for ways step up efforts on the economic level to manage the post-conflict phase, she said, adding that the EU sees the Coalition and its institutions as key partners.

Mogherini stressed that the political process in Geneva is the “basis” for any solution, pointing out that it however may not be the only path to reach a political solution. For the EU, the Astana agreements may be useful in helping to reduce violence on the ground.

Mogherini expressed concerns about division of Syria, stressing that the EU believes that Syria must remain united and highlighting the need for all sides to work for this end despite the difficulty of this mission.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 02.06.2017)

Vast met bezinning …

Het vers dat ons tijdens de Taraweeh is bijgebleven en wij graag met jullie willen delen is een gedeelte van een vers uit Hoofdstuk Al Ma’idah.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor vasten islam

Het zijn slechts een aantal woorden, maar wat voor woorden! Althans, wanneer je deze woorden overpeinst en een moment neemt om stil te staan bij haar diepgaande betekenis. Allah de meest Verhevene zei:

“Vreest Allah tot Wie jullie verzameld zullen worden.” [5:96]

Beseffen wij ons wel dat deze wereld tijdelijk is en wij tot Allah zullen worden verzameld?

Dat alles wat we om ons heen zien zal vergaan en dat we op een uitgestrekte vlakte zullen samenkomen voor de afrekening?

Dat op het moment dat we sterven en onze ziel het lichaam verlaat er geen mogelijkheid meer is om je voor te bereiden voor die afrekening. De afrekening van de Dag des Oordeels, maar daarvoor al de afrekening in het graf!

We zijn door social media e.d. als nooit tevoren gewoon om op alles en iedereen te letten en te bekritiseren. Maar voor één keer beste broeder of zuster laat even alles en iedereen en vraag jezelf af hoe jouw situatie zal zijn in het graf en op de Dag dat we worden verzameld tot Allah?

Ben je tevreden over jezelf en klaar voor dat moment? Zo niet, wees vastberaden en verruil al datgene waar Allah niet van houdt voor datgene waar Hij van houdt en tevreden mee is. Dit is het juiste moment!

Het vasten van deze maand heeft Allah voorgeschreven als middel om Hem én de Dag waarop we naar Hem zullen terugkeren te vrezen. In hoeverre is daar sprake van?

In hoeverre vasten we overdag en staan we ’s nachts in gebed met vurige hoop op Zijn beloning en oprechte vrees voor Zijn straf? Dat is namelijk het echte vasten dat haar vruchten zal afwerpen. Onze profeet vrede zij met hem zei:

“Wie Ramadan vast met geloof en hoop (op Zijn beloning), diens voorgaande zonden worden vergeven. En degene die Ramadan staat (in gebed) met geloof en hoop (op Zijn beloning), diens voorgaande zonden worden vergeven.”

Breng jouw vasten tot leven door niet te vasten omdat iedereen vast, maar omdat je hoopt op Zijn barmhartigheid!

Moge Allah ons doen behoren tot degenen die Zijn boek overpeinzen om er vervolgens lering uit te trekken en ernaar te handelen.

(Source: / 02.06.2017)

Israel to approve 2,600 new settlement units in West Bank

2600 New Illegal settlement units

Israel is expected to approve the construction of 2,600 new settlement units in the West Bank.

The head planning committee of the sol called Israeli Civil Administration is expected to hold two meetings next week after talks were delayed due to Trump’s visit to the region, Yedioth Ahronoth Hebrew newspaper reported on Friday.

According to the Hebrew newspaper, these talks are usually held every few months.

(Source / 02.06.2017)

Israeli army aggressively disbands Palestinian anti-settlement march

Kafr Qaddum peaceful protest

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Friday aggressively quelled a peaceful anti-settlement march staged in Kafr Kaddum.

Israeli forces suppressed the weekly march held in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqilya to protest illegal settlement expansion and push for unblocking the main access road to the village, which has been closed for over 14 years.

Coordinator of the popular resistance committee in Kafr Qaddum Murad Shteiwi said that the Israeli army fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at protesters, causing Palestinians to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

The Israeli forces also attempted to ambush a number of Palestinians in order to detain them, sparking violent clashes in the area.

The Palestinian anti-occupation youth responded to the attack by hurling stones at the Israeli patrols and burning tires.

Hundreds of Palestinians joined the weekly march, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of Israel’s takeover of Palestinian land.

(Source / 02.06.2017)

Israeli settlers release wild boars on Palestinian farms

Wild boars

Palestinian farmers in the Salfit province have complained Friday morning about the continued destruction of their crops, caused by the Israeli-released wild boars in the province.

Speaking to the PIC reporter, the farmers affirmed that hundreds of wild boars were deliberately released by Israeli settlers to destroy their fruit trees, leading to heavy losses.

The farmers appealed to all Palestinian and concerned international institutions to intervene to stop such assaults which caused large-scale destruction of Palestinian crops.

(Source / 02.06.2017)

Pollution blights 50% of Gaza’s beaches

Raw sewage from Gaza being pumped into the sea

The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip can no longer enjoy clean water and air on the territory’s beaches due to high rates of pollution, the local Environment Quality Authority (EQA) reported this week.

According to the authority, 50 per cent of Gaza’s beaches are unfit for recreational purposes due to untreated sewage and waste water being pumped into the sea. An official study showed that they actually pose a serious risk to health and safety.

The sewage treatment works in Gaza have been targeted by Israel on a number of occasions and the Israeli-led blockade prevents spare parts from being obtained to carry out essential repairs. Furthermore, the daily power cuts and fuel shortages mean that what little equipment is working cannot do so adequately.

Read: Situation in Gaza deteriorating fast

The Gaza coast on the Mediterranean Sea is the only recreation area available for most Palestinians in the enclave during the summer. It is about 40 km-long, and there are nine major sewage outlets pumping some 1.1 million litres of raw waste into the sea every day. This is having a major effect on the cleanliness of the Mediterranean Sea, warn local officials and experts.

(Source / 02.06.2017)

New UK poll finds overwhelming cross-party support for Palestine

Image of a protest against Israel's actions in the Gaza strip outside the British parliament in London, UK [Boycott Israel/Facebook]

Image of a protest against Israel’s actions in the Gaza strip outside the British parliament in London, UK

A new poll has found that support for Palestine is widespread across all major political parties in Britain. The poll by YouGov indicates that the difference between Labour and Conservative voters with regards to the Palestinian cause is very small. Despite major differences over key policies, Labour and Conservative voters hold very similar pro-Palestinian attitudes toward issues such as illegal settlements and the boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Participants in the poll were asked whether they thought the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS was reasonable; 43 per cent thought it was. That is more than three times the number who thought that it was unreasonable.

Jeremy Corbyn: Gaza resembles ‘one huge, suffering refugee camp’

Find out British politicians’ views on Palestine
Read more on the #GE2017 page >>

This trend is seen across the three major political parties in Britain, with a majority of Labour voters (51 per cent) and Liberal Democrat voters (54 per cent) thinking that the campaign is reasonable. The figure for Conservative voters was 40 per cent, which highlights a divergence between the Conservative Party leadership and party supporters. The data undermines Tory leader Theresa May’s previous claim that, “The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is wrong, it is unacceptable, and this party and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to it.” In fact, 40 per cent of potential Tory voters disagree with her.

Participants were also asked whether Britain should review its financial and trade relationships with illegal Israeli settlements. Nearly half of the British public, 45 per cent, said yes, and the difference between Conservative and Labour voters on this point was marginal, standing at 44 per cent and 52 per cent respectively. This suggests once more that there is a strong cross-party consensus on the issue. At 56 per cent, Lib Dem voters were the most likely to agree that the review should take place.

“This poll demonstrates the growing support for the campaign for justice for the Palestinian people,” said Ben Jamal, Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. “This support is cross-party and the polling suggests increasing levels of support amongst younger generations.” Despite Theresa May’s protestations, he pointed out, the results show significant numbers of Conservative voters see Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as a reasonable response to Israel’s policies of oppression. “There is no excuse not to call for a review of trade with illegal settlements now that polls show there is huge popular support for this measure.”

In other new data there is a suggestion of greater sympathy for the Palestinians than there is for Israelis: twice as many Britons have sympathy for Palestinians (20 per cent) than with Israelis (10 per cent). The sympathies of 18-24 year olds and 25-49 year olds were four to five times more likely to lie with the Palestinians (20 per cent) than with the Israelis (5 and 4 per cent respectively).

(Source / 02.06.2017)