Take action: Two Palestinian youth activists detained by Palestinian Authority security forces

Hamza Zbeidat (l) and Montasser Karajah (r)

Two Palestinian youth activists have been detained on Saturday, 14 October in separate incidents by Palestinian Authority “security forces.” Montasser Karajah, 27, a former Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails and a social justice activist, was detained by PA intelligence after he was summoned by security forces from his home in Saffa village.

Meanwhile, Hamza Zbeidat, also a Palestinian youth activist, was also arrested by PA security forces as he accompanied a delegation of solidarity activists about land defense in the Jordan Valley against the settlements and Israeli agricultural and industrial exploitation taking place there on Palestinian land.

“These arrests come amid a great deal of rhetoric about reconciliation and moving beyond political detention. Quite clearly, however, the Palestinian Authority is still engaged in the business of political detention, targeting young activists who work to defend the rights of the Palestinian people and who are at risk on a daily basis of arrest and imprisonment by the Israeli occupation,” said Charlotte Kates, international coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

While it is not yet clear why Karajah or Zbeidat are being detained, their arrests also come in the context of the Electronic Crimes Law, the new law created by decree by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.  Numerous Palestinian activists and organizers have been arrested under the law, which attempts to criminalize social media posts and other online publications critical of PA officials. Palestinian civil society organizations have demanded its immediate cancellation, noting that it is an attack on public freedoms and deepens Palestinian division at a time that Palestinian expression is under massive attack by the Israeli occupation.  Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has published a lengthy analysis of the dangers posed by the law. 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network strongly denounces the arrest of Montasser Karajah and Hamza Zbeidat and demands their immediate release and the release of all political detaineesIn addition, we join and support the Palestinian calls to cancel the dangerous and unlawful “Electronic Crimes Law” and the ongoing attacks on Palestinian websites, journalists and activists, especially as the Israeli occupation daily threatens them with closure and imprisonment.

We also join our voices with Palestinian organizations and activists demanding an end to Palestinian Authority security coordination with the Israeli occupation. Political detention of Palestinian activists cannot be separated from the PA’s coordination with the occupier. It is very important for international supporters of the Palestinian people and Palestinian cause and Palestinians in exile and diaspora to make their voices heard to the PA to demand the release of Montasser Karajah, Hamza Zbeidat and an end to security coordination, repressive legislation and political detention.

1. Email the Palestinian Embassy or PLO Mission in your country. Click here for a list of contact information.  You can email the Ambassador to the PLO Delegation to the U.S., Husam Zomlot, at info@plodelegation.us and the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, at palestine@un.intMake it clear that Palestinians around the world and international friends of Palestine stand together to confront occupation, end security coordination, and free Hamza Zbeidat, Montasser Karajah and fellow political detainees.

2. Call the Palestinian Embassy or PLO Mission. This is a case where phone calls can make a real difference! Palestinians and internationals around the world can raise their voice and demand action. Phone numbers for some missions follow:

  • PLO Delegation in Washington, DC:  202-974-6360.
  • Palestinian Mission to the UN: 212-288-8500.
  • Palestinian General Delegation in Ottawa, Canada: 613-736-0053.
  • Palestinian Mission UK: +44 (0)20 8563 0008.
  • Palestinian Mission to Belgium and the European Union: +32 (0) 227352478.
  • Palestinian Mission in Germany: +49 30 2061770.
  • Palestinian Mission in France: +33 1 48 28 66 00.
  • Palestinian Embassy in Greece: +30 21 0672 6061.
  • More may be found here!

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Moroccan police break up Daesh cell ‘planning attacks’

Protesters from Rif movement clash with security forces during a demonstration against government in Imzouren town near Al Hoceima city of Morocco on June 2, 2017 [Jalal Morchidi / Anadolu Agency]

Moroccan security forces seen in Imzouren town near Al Hoceima, Morocco on June 2, 2017

Moroccan authorities said on Saturday they had dismantled a cell linked to Daesh that was active in eight towns and cities and was planning terrorist operations.

Eleven people were arrested.

Security forces detained the alleged mastermind of the cell in a safe house in Fez, where they found guns and a large quantity of bullets, materials for making suicide belts, nails and electric wires, according to a statement from the interior ministry.

Police also found chemical products that could be used for making explosives, and a “suspicious car”, the statement said. It said one of the suspects was an explosives expert.

Opinion: The end of the Arab nation state

Those arrested were “planning to carry out dangerous terrorist operations targeting sensitive sites, at the instigation of Daesh coordinators”, it said.

Moroccan authorities say they have dismantled dozens of militant cells since 2002, including about 50 with alleged links to Daesh.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Updated – PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Abduct Fourteen Palestinians In The West Bank”

15 OCT
12:24 PM

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, fourteen Palestinians from their homes, in various parts of the occupied West Bank. One child was also abducted in Jerusalem.

The Hebron office of the PPS, in the southern part of the West Bank, said the soldiers stormed and ransacked homes in different parts of the governorate, and abducted five Palestinians identified as former political prisoner Mohammad Mahmoud Sleibi, 32, in addition to Abdul-Rahman Ismail Awad, Rashid Ismail Abu Hadid, Mos’ab Sweity and Samer Dajjani.

In Jenin, in northern West Bank, the soldiers abducted four Palestinians, identified as Abdul-Qader Ahmad Abu ar-Rob, 16, Hamza Mohammad Abu ar-Rob, 20, Bassel Mohammad Abu Zeid, 22, and As’ad Abu ar-Rob, 21, all from Qabatia town, south of Jenin.

In addition, the soldiers abducted two Palestinians, identified as Amer Atef Abu Alia, 18, and Ehab Salama Abu Alia, 22, from the al-Mughayer town, and Mohammad Rashid Barghouthi, from ‘Aboud.

In Bethlehem, the soldiers abducted Odia al-Khmour, and injured another Palestinian during ensuing clashes.

Another Palestinian, identified as Ibrahim Awad Dweikat, 28, was abducted in Qalqilia, in northern West Bank.

On Sunday morning, the soldiers abducted a Palestinian child, near the Rashidiyya School, close to the Sahera Gate (Herod’s Gate), in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli Navy Abducts Four Fishermen In Gaza|

Updated From: Israeli Soldiers Abduct Fifteen Palestinians In The West Bank – October 15, 2017 9:15 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, fifteen Palestinians during massive invasions and violent searches of homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank.

In Bethlehem, dozens of soldiers invaded the Deheishe refugee camp, south of the city, searched and ransacked homes, and abducted one Palestinian, identified as Odai Mustafa al-Khmour, 20. The soldiers also shot and injured another Palestinian.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Wad Abu Kteila area, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, before breaking into and violently searching many homes in a residential building, and abducted a young man, identified as Rashid Ismail Abu Hadid.

The invaded apartments are inhabited by members of the families of al-‘Oweiwi, Sharif, Qawasmi, Maswada, Abu Hadid, and al-Ajlouni.

The soldiers also invaded and searched homes in several neighborhoods in the city, and abducted Samer Dajani, 19.

In Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, the soldiers also invaded and searched homes, and abducted two Palestinians, including a former political prisoner.

The abducted Palestinians have been identified as Bilal Abdul-Rahman Awad, 17, and a former political prisoner, identified as Mohammad Mahmoud Sleibi, 32, after confiscating his car.

In Qabatia town, south of Jenin, the soldiers invaded many homes, and abducted four young men, identified as Ahmad Abu ar-Rob, 17, Hamza Mohammad Abu ar-Rob, 20, Basel Mohammad Abu Zeid, 22, and Ezzeddin As’ad Abu ar-Rob, 21.

Following the invasion, many youngsters hurled stones at the military jeeps, while the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs.

On its part, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers have abducted at least fifteen Palestinians, from their homes in various parts of the occupied West Bank, at dawn Sunday.

It is worth mentioning that  Israeli navy ships opened fire, on Sunday morning, at several Palestinian fishing boats, in the Sudaniyya Sea area, northwest of Gaza City,  boarded boats and abducted four fishermen.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Syrian Coalition’s Political Committee Marks “Syrian Day of Rage” Campaign Inside Syria

The Syrian Coalition’s political committee marked the launch of the Syrian Day of Rage campaign by organizing several meetings, sit-ins and events inside Syria today.

Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Rahman Mustafa said that the propagation of the Syrian Day of Rage represents a revival of the spirit of the revolution, its principles and demands, most importantly bringing Assad and his clique to account.

The Syrian Day of Rage media campaign comes to protest and condemn the continued bloodshed in Syria by the Russian occupiers, forces of the international anti-ISIS coalition, the Iranian militias, and the Assad regime forces.

“Today, on our soil and among our people, we raise our voices high to reaffirm commitment to principles of the revolution, first and foremost to remove Assad and his regime, put an end to the tragedy unfolding in Syria, bring criminals to justice, and establish a democratic, pluralistic state that guarantees freedom, dignity, and justice for all citizens without discrimination,” Mustafa said.

Mustafa went on: “Today we call on brothers and friends in the international community to focus on the root cause and origin of corruption and destruction in Syria and the region, namely the Assad regime. The Assad regime practiced all acts of terrorism against the Syrian people and brought terrorist groups and sectarian militias to Syria as well as paved the way for the Russian and Iranian occupation forces to invade the homeland and killed hundreds of thousands and the displaced millions more.”

Nasr al-Harbi, head of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) delegation to Geneva talks, said that “there will be no stability in Syria and the region as long as Bashar al-Assad clings to power.” He stressed that “defeating terrorism depends on defeating its sponsors and its manufacturers, chiefly among them is the Iranian regime and ousting them and their militias from all Syrian territory.”

“After 50 years of tyranny and corruption, during which the Assad family thought that they succeeded in subjugating the Syrian people, the Syrian people rose up and rocked the ground under the feet of the Assad regime,” Hariri added.

Syrian activists on Saturday launched a major campaign on various social media sites with the aim of mobilizing all Syrian rebels and revolutionaries against the Assad regime, calling on “advocates of humanity” to stand by the Syrian people in their struggle for freedom and dignity.

Organizers of the Syrian Day of Rage campaign set Saturday as the date for the start of the campaign which aims to “reaffirm commitment to the principles and values ​​of the revolution until the overthrow of the Assad regime.”

Organizers pointed out that they seek to mobilize millions in one day and send a message to all the free people around the world that Bashar Al-Assad is the source of terrorism in Syria. They stressed that “the Syrian Day of Rage is the day when all the revolutionaries in the world stand united against the Assad regime.”

Organizers of the campaign called on the United Nations and the international community to hold Bashar Al-Assad accountable and condemn the crimes being committed by the Iranian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Afghan and the rest of foreign militias which were brought by the Assad regime and its allies to Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 15.10.2017)

Israeli authorities to grab Palestinian park in Occupied Jerusalem

Palestinian Park grabbed

Hebrew-speaking media have unraveled Israeli plans to grab hold of a park in the Palestinian village of Jabal al-Mukabbir, east of Occupied Jerusalem, in favor of Israeli settlers and tourists.

According to Yorshalim weekly, the occupation authorities have set plans to Judaize the High Commissioner’s Palace Park in Jabal al-Mukabbir and turn it into a recreational area for Israeli settlers and visitors.

The move makes part of a so-called al-Tala Plan, aiming to establish over 1,000 hotel rooms. The plan, supervised by the Jerusalem Development Authority, is under study.

Another plan forwarded by Elad settlement organization suggests the renovation of a side area in the park so as to turn it into an attractive site for tourists. The plan received the approbation of the so-called Local Construction and Planning Committee. It is expected to be put into effect sometime soon.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Palestinian detainee locked up in Israeli jail for 16th year

Ashraf Zgheira

Palestinian prisoner Ashraf Zgheira, from Occupied Jerusalem, has been held in Israeli jails for 16 years running.

39-year-old Zgheira was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on October 14, 2002, and had been subject to harsh investigation sessions over allegations of giving lifts to anti-occupation attackers and being affiliated with Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing. An Israeli court sentenced him to six life-imprisonment terms.

Zgheira’s reputation both inside and outside Israeli bars has been marked by a sense of self-negation, optimism, cooperation, courage, dynamism, and intellectual vitality.

He had become a close companion of the anti-occupation leader Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh prior to his death in the Israeli Eshel jail.

A fashion designer, Zgheira earned a bachelor’s degree from the Open University of Israel. He is currently incarcerated in the Nafha desert penitentiary.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Blair: We were wrong to boycott Hamas after its 2006 election win

Mistake Blair

Former British premier and Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair has admitted for the first time that he and other world leaders were wrong to yield to Israeli pressure to impose an immediate boycott of Hamas after it won Palestinian elections in 2006, according to the Guardian newspaper.

The results of the 2006 elections were judged free and fair by international monitors,

At the time, Blair offered strong support for the decision, driven by the George W Bush White House, to halt aid to and sever relations with the newly elected Hamas-led Palestinian Authority unless it agreed to recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by previous agreements between its Fatah predecessors and Israel, but such ultimatum was rejected by Hamas.

Interviewed for a new book “Gaza: Preparing for Dawn,” Blair said: “In retrospect, I think we should have, right at the very beginning, tried to pull [Hamas] into a dialogue and shifted their positions. I think that’s where I would be in retrospect.”

“But, obviously, it was very difficult; the Israelis were very opposed to it. But you know we could have probably worked out a way whereby we did, which in fact we ended up doing anyway, informally.”

Blair did not elaborate on subsequent “informal” dealings with Hamas, but he appears to be referring to clandestine contacts between MI6 and Hamas representatives during and possibly after the kidnap of BBC journalist Alan Johnston by an extreme fundamentalist group in 2007. The kidnappers eventually released Johnston after heavy pressure from the Hamas government.

The Guardian quoted sources as saying that Blair had held at least six lengthy private meetings with Khaled Mishaal, the former Hamas political bureau chief, and his successor Ismail Haneyya.

Those meetings were to explore a possible long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, but the international block on official contacts with Hamas eroded western leverage in the region, increased the isolation and suffering of the Gaza public, and helped to drive the Movement into the arms of Iran, all without dislodging it from its dominance of Gaza.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Gov’t delegation to pop in Gaza to take over border crossings

Border crossings taken over

A government delegation led by Nadhmi Mehanna is expected to arrive in Gaza in the next few hours, after Hamas agreed to hand over control of the border crossings to the consensus government.

Head of the General Commission of Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, said the government will take over the crossings file in the next 24 hours, as part of the first steps made by Fatah and Hamas to implement the terms of the reconciliation deal struck in Cairo on Thursday.

Al-Sheikh said the real challenge faced by all parties lies in enabling the government to fully take up its mission in Gaza without hindrances, in anticipation of a projected meeting between the national factions on November 21.

Al-Sheikh also said a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah is slated to be held in the next few hours so as to restructure the security institutions in cooperation with concerned authorities in Gaza and set a date for a visit by Palestinian security officials to Gaza, as stipulated by the reconciliation deal.

On Thursday, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo. Key to the deal is the rehabilitation of the government mission in Gaza and the takeover of the crossings file by November 1, 2017.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Palestinian youth arrested by Israeli forces at Salem court

WB homes raided

The Israeli occupation forces on Sunday arrested a Palestinian young man near the main entrance to the Salem military court, in the northern West Bank.

According to eye-witnesses, the occupation soldiers closed off the Salem military camp and locked up Palestinian prisoners’ relatives and lawyers at the court hall, moments after they arrested an unidentified youth.

At daybreak Sunday, over 14 Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli army from the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

Syrian Woman to the West: Don’t Believe Your Countries’ Lies

By Afraa Dagher

I couldn’t sleep last night.  I found myself praying for our army with hot tears, again.  Not two weeks ago, the US and coalition bombed a military position in Deir Ezzor. Eighty-three of our soldiers were massacred.  US said it was “accident.”  Maybe you heard of Deir Ezzor because of this “accident.”  Deir Ezzor has been under siege of your moderates for a long time.  On 16 January 2016, those moderates slaughtered 300 Syrian civilians there.

Two days ago what your leaders call “moderate opposition” fired new GRAD rockets at our soldierstrying to rescue our civilians at al Handarat. They were going to launch it against our people on the coast, in Aleppo, and in Hama.

More than five years, to now, every day we welcome martyrs and injured soldiers. I ask myself how brave those men in our SAA [Syrian Arab Army. Conscription in Syria is mandatory for men.  Many women volunteer], to give their souls and sacrifice their lives to protect us. They lose their blood. Some lose a hand or a leg or both because of the sophisticated weapons the “moderate rebels” have, have been given by your countries.

Moderates threatened to murder the parents of Syrian soldiersModerates threatened to murder the parents of Syrian soldiers

One ironic point is that many of these ‘moderates’ (mostly non Syrians to start with) are fighting in areas which have oil resources, like al Shaer field in Homs. Do you know of the massacres of Syrian workers there?  On 16 July 2014, ‘moderates’ began with suicide attacks. Coordinated assaults on check points massacred more than 200 of our soldiers. More than 300 of our volunteer National Defense Force were slaughtered [NDF  consist of part-time reservists who function under the direction of the SAA]. Civilian workers were kidnapped and later found executed, in the desert.

al Shaer gas field

Don’t let the media fool you by the name ISIS. The same sites which were controlled by the so calledmoderate rebels are now controlled by ISIS.  Regrouping and renaming gives the US its pretext to support “moderates” and pretend the “moderate” fight ISIS. However they are all one, whether called FSA or Jahbat al Nusra or ISIS or any of the very long list. Which ever name, in Raqqa, in Homs, al Shaer, they murder us, they kill our soldiers, they destroy our infrastructure, they steal our oil and sell it to Turkey and Israel.

If you think there was ever a peaceful revolution, how would you explain their slogan in March 2011 the date of this bloody revolution: Alawites to grave and Christians to Beirut! Can you see any thing but killing and displacement in this slogan? Can you hear any word about democracy or freedom in the slogan to exterminate one Syrian minority and force expulsion of another?

They started by massacring Syrian soldiers in Jisr al Shoghour, then civilians there. They massacred men in Latakia countryside, under orders of the Syrian rebel who was actually the Qatar FSA prince. They massacred mostly elderly men.  They younger men were in the military.  They kidnapped the women and their children. Qatar’s al Jazeera then made these women lie that their were cowards who ran away, abandoned them. They forced them to lie that they — kidnapped, imprisoned — were treated well by these FSA moderates who murdered and kidnapped.

Those you call “moderate” treated their victims so well that they murdered the kidnapped children and used their bodies to accuse our soldiers and government of the chemical attack in al Ghouta in Damascus countryside in August 2013. Your media accused our army! Your governments almost bombed us because of these lies.

In December 2012 your FSA threatened Syrians with neurotoxin chemical weapon VX. UN refused to investigate the threatIn December 2012 your FSA threatened Syrians with neurotoxin chemical weapon VX. UN refused to investigate the threat

Do you really believe that Qatar has spent more than 3 billion dollars to harm us because they want us to have democracy?  Or do you imagine they want our country for their pipeline?

Now the news is that FSA has new Grad missiles from foreign countries [now identified as from Bulgaria]. And that was by the Arab Gulf money. The FSA threatens to use these weapons to kill us, to kill our soldiers, again in our Coast, in Aleppo, in Hama.

Do those in the UN Security Council care?  Our ambassador [who has been restricted by the State Department to 25mi/ 40km from the UN] declared that the UN is not a place for security or peace but it is a place for destruction and terrorism.

For our people, we have lost any faith in the West. Your leaders and councils ignore how Syrian children and students are killed by “moderates.” Do you know that 82 students were martyred at Aleppo University 15 January 2013? That 20 architecture students were blown up at Damascus University 8 March 2013? Your ‘moderates’ did this to us.

You are not told about the every day atrocities committed against us.  But you all recognize the drowned baby Aylan Kurdi. Do you know he was living with his family in Turkey not Syria? Do you know they left Turkey to go to the EU, that his father was the captain of this death boat? Other children were drowned, too. An Iraqi mother had two children drown in that sea from the overcrowded boat. She paid $10,000 to Aylan’s father, the death captain.

The world cares for the kid Omran, a boy lives in terrorists strongholds and he seems to be fine in red ambulance with some dust. His photograph is famous but why don’t you know the man who took the photograph is friends with the monsters who cut off the head of 12 year old Abdullah Issa.

The world can’t see Yemen kids under Saudi bombs.. under cluster bombs… the world can’t see our kids after every suicide bombing. We have faith in our army who has been bombed twice by the US coalition — accidentally!

This is the Coalition that never bombed convoy of ISIS even accidentally, but that bombs our infrastructure, our soldiers, our civilians.

This is the coalition that allowed “ISIS” convoys to move confidently through the desert from Iraq into Syria under the watchful eyes of the USA.

Our country was free before you decided to “regime change” us. We had jobs. We had homes. We went to school. We lived normal lives. Our country was one of the top safest tourist destinations in the world. Now we suffer daily bombings. We endure savage “economic sanctions.”

Why do you accept the war crimes against us? Why do you accept the lies about us?

(Source / 15.10.2017)