Hamas meets Syria-based Palestinian movement

Image of Moussa Abu Marzouk, senior member of Hamas [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Image of Moussa Abu Marzouk, senior member of Hamas

Representatives from Hamas and the Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) have met in Beirut for the first time since the eruption of the Syrian uprising in 2011, according to Quds Press.

Sources told the London-based news agency that a Hamas delegation headed by the movement’s political bureau chief, Moussa Abu Marzouk, met with a PFLP-GC delegation headed by General Secretary, Ahmed Jibril.

Read: Hamas and the rise of false prophets in the Gulf

The meeting was held only a few days after a number of Arab states severed ties with Qatar, alleging that it supports terrorism. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain say that Qatar must stop supporting Hamas and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group before they can restore ties with the fellow Arab country.

Hamas was based in Syria until 2012, having left the country following the eruption of the 2011 events that have spiraled into a civil war. Since 2011, the PFLP-GC has been fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

(Source /12.06.2017)

PA detains 4 Palestinians amid mounting criticism of security coordination

PA detained Palestinians

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Hamas movement said in a statement that Palestinian forces in the occupied West Bank detained four Palestinians on Monday, including two lawyers and a former “political prisoner,” and accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of continuing to detained “tens” of others on charges of a political background — including a university student who was reportedly arrested for criticizing Fatah on Facebook.

In the village of Rantis in the central occupied West Bank, PA forces detained Muath al-Khatib, and a lawyer identified as Ibrahim Abu Salim, during home raids that coincided with an Israeli army raid in the town that same morning, in which Saeb Abu Salim and Suhaib al-Sheikh were detained.
Hamas said that PA forces also detained former “political detainee” Izz al-Din Frihat, just two months after he was released from Palestinian prison — where he reportedly launched a hunger strike in protest of his 40-day detention without charge.
PA forces also detained Frihat’s father Yousif during the Monday morning raid, according to the statement.
In the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas, PA forces ordered Wasim Sawafta to appear for interrogation this coming Thursday, Hamas said.
In the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Hamas said that PA forces raided the house of Fayez Nafiz for the fourth time since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in late May, in attempt to detain him, but failed to do so after searching his house.
The Hamas statement also highlighted that the PA has continued to detain Nasser Jaradat for the fifth day. A Palestinian court in Ramallah ordered to extend Jaradat’s remand by 15 days on Saturday, accord to reports.
The 23-year-old agricultural engineering student and active youth organizer was reportedly detained for writing a Facebook post critical of Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rujoub, who recently said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 that the Western Wall in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City should “remain under Jewish sovereignty.”
Spokesperson for the Palestinian security services Adnan Dmeiri told Ma’an he had “no idea” about Jaradat’s case, but said “I can confirm that we don’t arrest anybody for expressing their opinion.”
However, Palestinian prisoners’ solidarity network Samidoun said that Jaradat’s arrest was part of an ongoing trend of the PA “arresting Palestinians for voicing their political opinions on Facebook,” as part of Israel’s widely condemned policy of security coordination with Israel that critics have described as a “revolving door” that funnels activists from PA jails to Israeli prisons.
Samidoun noted the continued imprisonment of activists of Seif al-Idrissi and Kifah Quzmar by the PA, who the group said have previously been detained detained for social media posts.
“This is a very dangerous path that the Palestinian Authority is taking, targeting people and the resistance. What Nassar Jaradat did is to express his opinion and rejection of Jibril Rujoub’s statement to the Zionist media,” Samidoun quoted Palestinian leftist writer Khalid Barakat as saying.
“The Palestinian Authority is particularly targeting young, dedicated organizers with a vision of liberation for Palestine. No one knows exactly how many Palestinian political detainees are held right now in Palestinian Authority jails or Preventive Security centers,” Barakat said.
The Hamas movement, being the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority’s political rival and one of the PA’s fiercest critics, is one of the few organizations to document arrest by the PA with any regularity — reports that Ma’an usually is not able to confirm independently.
Hamas claimed in an earlier report that a total of 103 Palestinians were detained by the PA over the month of May, including 67 former prisoners of Israel, 83 former political detainees of PA, three journalists, 15 university students, one high school student, and four imams.
Barakat went on to criticize the “silence of some Palestinian human rights organizations when it comes to the practices of the PA, especially when those PA policies — and continued ‘security coordination’ with the Israeli occupation — operate hand in hand with Israeli attacks and mass arrests against the Palestinian people.”
“All of this is an indication that the catastrophic political path that the PA is marching towards. They are gambling with the Palestinian people’s rights in full coordination with the Israeli occupation and under the supervision of Trump’s supervision and conditions,” Barakat said.
Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained for social media activity in recent months. Israeli news daily Haaretz reported in April that Israeli forces detained at least 400 Palestinians in less than a year over social media activity, and that 400 others were detained for the same reason by the Palestinian Authority through security coordination.
(Source / 12.06.2017)

Israel blocks road to Bedouin village, preventing 100 children from going to school

Kids in Umm al-Hiran

Children in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev (File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A recently installed guardrail on an Israeli highway has isolated a Bedouin community in southern Israel for days, preventing 100 Bedouin children from attending school, NGO Adalah reported on Sunday.

According to the group, which focuses on the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, Israeli authorities effectively sealed off Umm Bidoun, a Bedouin community in the Negev desert unrecognized by Israel, by blocking off the only dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31 with a guardrail.
The road surface markings on the highway near other passage out of Umm Bidoun have also recently been changed, making it illegal for vehicles to cross the road, Adalah added.
The recent changes have effectively prevented any vehicles, including school buses, from accessing the village, Adalah said.
As a result, the legal NGO stated that, due to the absence of schools in Umm Bidoun, 100 children who study in the village of al-Furaa 15 kilometers away have been unable to go to school for days.
Adalah said on Sunday it had contacted officials from the Israeli Education Ministry, the al-Qasoum regional council, and Netivei Israel, the national roads authority, to demand that the obstacles to freedom of movement for the residents of Umm Bidoun be lifted.
Adalah field researcher Marwan Abu Freih told Ma’an on Monday that Netivei had told the organization that it was examining the issue.
Spokespersons from the Ministry of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case on Monday.
“It is inconceivable that some 100 students can — in such a sudden and arbitrary manner — be prevented from attending school without any advance notice to or consultation with parents,” Abu Freih said on Sunday. “Adalah and the families demand that the Education Ministry act immediately to correct this situation.”
Abu Freih added on Monday that members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, had reached out to Adalah to offer their assistance in resolving the case.
Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the state of Israel. Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village sites during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were governed under Israeli military law, which ended shortly before Israel’s military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.
Between 160,000 and 170,000 Bedouins are believed to reside in the Negev today, more than half of whom reside in unrecognized villages, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins from developing or expanding their communities, while Israeli authorities have also refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin villages to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the communities from access to health and educational services.
A Knesset report on Bedouins in Israel noted that “(school) dropout rates are high, among various reasons due to lack of access and public transportation to their schools.”
Meanwhile, Jewish-Israeli communities in the Negev continuously expand, with five new Jewish plans approved last year. According to an investigation undertaken by Israeli rights groups ACRI and Bimkom, two of the approved communities are located in areas where unrecognized Bedouin villages already exist.
Rights groups have claimed that Israeli policies in Bedouin communities are specifically aimed at depopulating the Negev of its Bedouin residents to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.
(Source / 12.06.2017)

Ex-detainees: Cutting off our main income source crime


Palestinian ex-detainees in Gaza Strip lashed out at the Palestinian Authority (PA) for cutting off their salaries. They demanded a decent life for them and their families.

In a press conference that was held before the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza, the ex-prisoner Mustafa Maslamani and member of the defense committee for the affected ex-detainees affirmed that they have no other source of income but the PA salary.

“Cutting off our salaries in light of the hard conditions we live in the blockaded Gaza Strip is a crime”. He slammed the PA for ignoring their suffering and sacrifices for decades spent in Israeli jails under harsh detention conditions and lack of humanitarian services.

(Source / 12.06.2017)

PA security forces arrest four men including two lawyers

PA security forces

Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces in the West Bank arrested on Monday four Palestinians including two lawyers. Dozens of others are still held under arrest in the PA jails for political backgrounds with no legal justification.

According to a statement by Hamas Movement on Monday, the PA preventive security apparatus arrested two lawyers: Ibrahim Abu Salim and Muath al-Khatib after storming their homes in Rantis town near Ramallah.

In Jenin city, the same forces rounded up Ezzedin Fraihat, an ex-detainee who was imprisoned in both PA and Israeli jails, along with his father, Yousef. The son was arrested after only two months of being released from the PA prisons.

A Palestinian young man from Tubas, Wasim Sawafta, was summonsed to be questioned next Thursday by the PA preventive security forces. Ex-detainee Naser Jaradat, from the same town, has been detained for the fifth consecutive day by the same forces due to his comments on Jebril al-Rajoub’s statement on the Jews’ rights to al-Buraq Wall in Occupied Jerusalem.

In al-Khalil, the PA intelligence apparatus stormed, for the fourth time during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the home of Fayez Nafez in a failed attempt to arrest him. They searched and wreaked havoc inside his home amid verbal abuse against the family.

(Source / 12.06.2017)

IOF to raze Palestinian home in Jericho

Home-demolition order al-Nuwaima

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday handed over a home-demolition order to a Palestinian woman, Feddiya Zayed from al-Nuwaima village north of Jericho under the claim of lacking a construction permit.

A local source revealed that the IOF soldiers gave the woman two-week long period in order to evict her home where she lives along with her family.

A Palestinian charity has recently pledged to reconstruct the house which consists of four rooms

(Source / 12.06.2017)

Jordanians say diplomatic ties should be cut with Israel, not Qatar

Jordanians said diplomatic relations should be downgraded with Israel, not Qatar and voiced their support of Qatar

Qatar Emir Al-Sani and King Abdullah of Jordan

Qatar Emir Al-Sani and King Abdullah of Jordan

Citizens of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Jordan are outraged for cutting ties with Qatar for splitting families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and educations.

The states involved in sweeping measures are violating human rights and people have taken to social media to object to the arbitrary measures.

Jordanian citizens reportedly shared messages of solidarity with the hashtag “Jordan stands beside Qatar,” according to an article by the Middle East Monitor.

Across social media platforms, users shared the message “Our government should have reduced diplomatic ties with Israel, not Qatar.”

Others said, “We were waiting for our government to be a mediator, but our government got involved in the conflict.”

“When Gaza was drowning in darkness, only Qatar supported them,” said one user.

Jordan said it would downgrade diplomatic relations with Qatar on Wednesday.

(Source / 12.06.2017)

Building Jewish settlement at highest level since 1992

Last week, a plane to build 67,000 new settlement unit was revealed

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday that building settlement units in first half of 2017 was the highest since 1992.

Counting plans and tenders, Peace Now said 7,721 units had been advanced this year, almost triple the number for all of 2016, which amounted to 2,699

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday that building settlement units in first half of 2017 was the highest since 1992.

Responding to criticism from settler leaders over what they believe to be an insufficient amount of construction in the West Bank.

“Anyone who claims that it was possible to approve more construction in the settlements is not just trying to stretch the rope but to tear it completely, thereby endangering the entire settlement enterprise,” Lieberman said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“There was and will not be a government that will take better care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (West Bank),” Liberman added.

Liberman, who is required to authorise each approval by the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee, said 3,651 settlement units were greenlighted last week and a total of 8,345 units have been okayed since the beginning of the calendar year.

The figures were similar to those published by settlement watchdog Peace Now last week.

Counting plans and tenders, Peace Now said 7,721 units had been advanced this year, almost triple the number for all of 2016, which amounted to 2,699.

(Source / 12.06.2017)

Thousands march in Rabat to demand release of protest leaders

Protesters, supporting Rif Movement leader Nasser Zefzafi, stage a demonstration demanding the government to take action for developing the region in Hoceima, Morocco on June 11, 2017 [Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency]

Protesters, supporting Rif Movement leader Nasser Zefzafi, stage a demonstration demanding the government to take action for developing the region in Hoceima, Morocco on June 11, 2017

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Rabat yesterday to call for the release of detained members of the Rif protest movement, Hirak Al-Shaabi, reported local media. The protesters included members of many of Morocco’s civil and political organisations.

The protest march began at around noon in Bab El-Had in the centre of the city and was largely peaceful. A small group of counter-demonstrators chanted their support for King Mohammed VI.

According to Maghreb Arab Press, around 12,000 to 15,000 people attended the protest in the Moroccan capital. It was the largest since the Arab Spring protests in 2011.

Des milliers de manifestants à Rabat en soutien au Rif

Supporters of the Islamic Justice and Spirituality Movement — Al-Adl Wa Al-Ihssane — also responded to the call from its leader, Mohamed Abbadi, to attend the protest.

Quiet easily the biggest political demonstration/march in Rabat since days in 2011.

The protesters demanded the release of the arrested activists who have lead the Rif movement’s calls for better opportunities and funding in the largely neglected north of Morocco.

Read: Morocco’s treatment of protests ‘confounded’

Slogans supporting the protesters of Al Hoceima and their demands were chanted as well as calls for social justice. The parents of Nasser Zefzafi, the protest movement leader who was arrested last month, were also among the protesters, said LeDesk.

(Source / 12.06.2017)

Israel to test Arrow-3 missile system in US’s Alaska

Image of missiles launching [bkw1d/Twitter]

Image of missiles launching

For the first time, Israel, jointly with the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA), will test the Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile system in the US state of Alaska.

According to a statement yesterday by Israel’s Channel 2, the test will take place at Alaska’s Kodiak test site and is scheduled to be accomplished within few months. The location was chosen given its relative isolation as there is a possibility of falling shrapnel after the interception.

The system is set to be tested against a target similar in behaviour to the advanced ballistic missiles, which are currently being developed, and have already been achieved, by Iran.

Read: Israel signs $630m missile deal with Indian navy

The Arrow-3 is an exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile intended to destroy targets outside the earth’s atmosphere, which enables the system to neutralise any threat, including a missile carrying a nuclear warhead, without creating any damage on the ground below. Sometimes, the system is used to intercept satellites.

Official sources at the centre of the spaceport on Kodiak Island announced that the Arrow-3 test will cost an estimated $80 million, with a portion being funded by the US. The sources added that a town hall meeting is set to be held next Wednesday 14 June to answer questions about the missile’s 2018 testing plan.

Alaska Aerospace CEO, Craig Campbell, recently revealed that the test is part of a five to six-year, $80.4 million contract announced a year ago between the MDA and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation.

The missile, which is jointly managed by MDA and the Israel Missile Defence Organization, was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing Company, Campbell explained.

(Source / 12.06.2017)