PFLP criticises Abbas for blocking budget payment

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a press conference on Trump's so called peace plan in Ramallah, West Bank on 28 January 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a press conference on Trump’s so called peace plan in Ramallah, West Bank on 28 January 2020 

The Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has criticised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for stopping the PLO’s National Fund from making a budget payment to the organisation, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Sunday.

“Tightening restrictions on the neck of the PFLP, halting its budget and arresting its members will not break it or make it retreat from its principles,” insisted Mariam Abu Dagga, a member of the PFLP political bureau. “The PFLP will continue sticking to its principles regarding resistance against the Israeli occupation and implementation of the decisions taken by the National and Central PLO Councils.”

Abu Dagga pointed out that the PLO does not belong to any particular faction. “It belongs to all of the Palestinians, including the PFLP.”

READ: The PA has no political strategy to counter US-Israeli annexation plans 

Fellow political bureau member Laila Khalid added, “We will not surrender to the financial dictations imposed upon us by the PLO leadership, and we will not give up our principles.” She noted that the PFLP attempted to sort out this issue with the PA President, “But he insisted on his rule: I will punish you until you kiss my shoes.”

The legendary freedom fighter said that this is not how a president should unite the people and bring the factions together to confront the enemy.

According to the Deputy Leader of the PFLP, Ahmed Fu’ad, blocking the budget was an act of “piracy” and “aggression” against the Popular Front. He described Abbas as “unjust, oppressive and authoritarian” but stressed that, “This will not break the back of the PFLP.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is also the head of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Fatah controls the PLO.

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

HSBC blocks donations to British charity despite deadly pandemic

UK protests were held outside branches of HSBC bank over shares in an Israeli arms company accused of manufacturing internationally banned weapons [Ryan Ashcroft]
Activists come together to protest outside branches of HSBC bank over shares in an Israeli arms company accused of manufacturing internationally banned weapons

Standing orders for donations to British charity Interpal, which has been providing humanitarian and development aid to Palestinians since 1994, have been cancelled by HSBC Bank.

Donors have been instructed that their standing order payments to the London-based charity will no longer be processed. HSBC has provided no explanation for cancelling the payments, and admitted that such donations to the charity do not contravene “local” — British — law.

The bank’s move came to light when one donor used social media to publicise the letter that he had received.

It is the latest in a series of attacks by the financial and media sectors against Interpal, whose chair of trustees is MEMO’s senior editor, Ibrahim Hewitt. The only bank account that the charity has is being closed by Al Rayan Bank at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in under four weeks.

HSBC’s decision was met with dismay. “This is more than disappointing for us, our donors and indeed our beneficiaries in the field given that HSBC has chosen the middle of a deadly pandemic and the month of Ramadan to block these payments” said Interpal in a statement. “Ramadan is a time when British Muslim communities are at their most generous and ready to help people in desperate need who need even more support due to the coronavirus Covid-19.” The charity said that it is “a disgrace that a major bank should take such a decision at this time.”

Peter Oborne: HSBC closures of pro-Palestinian accounts part of US ‘attack on democracy’

Commenting on previous attempts to discredit Interpal’s work and tarnish its reputation, the charity repeated for the umpteenth time that “allegations of wrongdoing have been shown to be false following several independent investigations.” It went on to express “extreme disappointment” at the decision to attack a British charity in order “to appease those who act on behalf of an alien state to prevent humanitarian aid getting to the Palestinians. Such efforts to politicise the charity sector are immoral and harmful to poor people at their most vulnerable.”

While no explanation has been provided, the charity has told MEMO that HSBC probably took the decision due to the 2003 US designation of Interpal as a “global terrorist entity”. Pro-Israel groups have also been lobbying the financial sector to close down all of the charity’s access to the international banking system.

The US designation was made at the request of the Israeli government, which alleged that Interpal funds the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas. The trustees of Interpal deny this. There was no due process, and US officials have said subsequently — off the record — that the decision was “entirely political”. The allegations were found to be baseless after a number of investigations and inquiries by Britain’s charity regulator found no evidence of illegal activity by Interpal.

The “terrorist” tag is used widely by pro-Israel lobby groups to target charities like Interpal and pro-Palestinian activists. The allegations generally collapse under legal scrutiny. For instance, last year a British high court judge ordered World-Check, a subsidiary of Reuters, to pay compensation to a pro-Palestine organisation listed as a terrorist group on its global online database. Interpal has been paid hundreds of thousands of pounds in libel damages over the years from pro-Israel media and community institutions.

HSBC faces protests over links to Israel human rights abuse

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

Israel arrests more Palestinians in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian protester during protest against bulldozing operations carried out by the occupation bulldozers near the village of Aqraba, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on 3 March2020. [Ayman Nobani/ WAFA]
Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian protester during protest against bulldozing operations carried out by the occupation bulldozers near the village of Aqraba, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on 3 March 2020

Israeli occupation forces made a number of dawn arrests on Sunday, with Palestinians detained across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, has reported. Others who performed night prayers near Al-Aqsa Mosque were fined NIS500 ($142) on the spot.

According to local Palestinian sources, the Israeli occupation forces raided Al-Tur neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem and arrested Omar Abu Ghannam after breaking into the youth’s house. In Al-Issawiyeh neighbourhood, the Israelis raided several Palestinian homes and arrested another youth, Ahmed Kayid Mahmoud.

The same sources added that the occupation forces also raided Obeid neighbourhood in the occupied holy city and fired tear gas at local residents.

READ: Arab municipalities protest against Israeli government discrimination 

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

Israel freezes Palestinian Authority tax revenue again

Palestinians hold banners during a demonstration demanding boycott against Israeli products in response to cutting of Palestinian tax revenues in Ramallah, West Bank on 6 August 2019. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians hold banners during a demonstration demanding boycott against Israeli products in response to cutting of Palestinian tax revenues in Ramallah, West Bank on 6 August 2019

A court in Jerusalem decided on Sunday to freeze NIS450m ($128m) of Palestinian Authority tax revenue collected by Israeli customs, Quds Press has reported. The decision followed a lawsuit submitted by dozens of Israelis whose relatives were killed in resistance action against the military occupation during the Second Intifada.

The Israel Law Centre — Shurat HaDin — filed the complaints for the plaintiffs and asked the court to freeze NIS7.1bn ($2.16bn) of taxes collected on behalf of the PA by the Israeli customs authorities. The court decided to freeze NIS450m as a first stage, noting that the total sum could reach more than NIS2bn.

READ: UN envoy asks Israel to release Palestinian tax revenues to combat Covid-19 

PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh described this as “theft and piracy”. In February last year, the Israeli government enforced a 2018 law calling such a revenue freeze, claiming that this money was paid as stipends to the families of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and those who had been killed by the occupation.

Shurat HaDin alleges that it is “at the forefront of fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide” and is “dedicated to protecting the State of Israel.” In November 2017, it was revealed that it had “admitted to being a front for Mossad, Israel’s deadly spy agency.”

Palestinian Tax Revenues - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

Arab League to Meet over Israeli Annexation Plans

A general view shows the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 7, 2019

The Arab League said Monday it will convene an urgent virtual meeting this week to discuss Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The extraordinary meeting — scheduled for Thursday at the request of the Palestinian leadership — will bring together Arab foreign ministers via video conference, rather than a face-to-face meeting, due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Arab League’s deputy secretary Hossam Zaki said the ministers will “discuss in their virtual meeting providing political, legal and financial support to the Palestinian leadership to confront the Israeli plans”.

It comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz signed a deal for a unity government that could accelerate the premier’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank in the coming months.

Those Israeli plans — while subject to caveats, including the need to maintain “regional stability” and uphold the peace agreement with Jordan — have drawn wide criticism including from the United Nations and the European Union.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit had last week sent a message to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warning against Israel’s plans saying they risk “igniting tension in the region”.

He also accused Israel of “exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the novel coronavirus to impose a new reality on the ground”.

Netanyahu voiced confidence on Sunday that Washington would give Israel the nod within two months to move ahead with de facto annexation of parts of the West Bank.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a decision regarding the annexation of West Bank territories was up to Israel’s new unity government.

Earlier this year, the US unveiled the so-called deal of the century, a controversial Middle East peace plan that would allow Israel to retain control of the contested city of Jerusalem as its “undivided capital” and annex Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands including in the West Bank.

Arab states rejected Trump’s plan, saying it favored Israel and failed to grant Palestinians their minimum rights.

The Palestinians as well as the European Union have likewise criticized the plan, saying it effectively closes the door to a two-state solution in the Middle East.

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

Israeli Troops Abduct a Palestinian Youth from Bethlehem

Israeli troops abducted, on Monday, a Palestinian young man from the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Local media sources and witnesses said that Israeli soldiers broke into and vandalized the home of Laith Youman, 19, before they abducted him.

The sources, on Alsaf Street, noted that the Israeli troops stormed the street, before they invaded the Youman family home.

Almost on daily basis, Israeli occupation forces invade Palestinian villages, towns and cities and carry out abduction operations of local Palestinian youth.

Currently, Israel holds around 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, inside more than 20 Israeli detention centers and facilities in Israel and the West Bank.

The detainees include the elderly, patients with chronic disease, women and children under the age of 18.

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

PCHR Condemns Restrictions on Freedom of Journalistic Work in Gaza

At approximately 12:30 on Saturday, 25 April 2020, Palestinian police in Gaza city arrested a Palestine TV Satellite’s press crew while recording an interview in Jabalia refugee camp, claiming that they did not have the necessary authorization for photographing and conducting interviews.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the imposition of illegal and unlawful restrictions on the freedom of press work and affirms that photography and press interviews do not require permission from any party, except in pre-defined and announced security area.

The crew, which included journalist Mohammed Ziyadah Issa Nassar (43), from Jabalia, and correspondent Mohammed Salim Salamah Abu Hatab (50), were shooting a report in al-Truns area in the center of Jabalia refugee camp when they were interrupted and detained, according to their statement to PCHR:

“We were preparing a report at the center of Jabalia refugee camp on the onset of Ramadan and the movement of commercial markets under the difficult living conditions in Gaza. As we were interviewing a member of the public, a group of police officers came to us and one of them, ranked as a major, asked us who we worked for, and if we had a permit. We were detained and then taken to the head office of the General Investigation Service at Jabalia police station. We were detained and interrogated about our work. Two hours later, we were released after signing a pledge not to photograph or conduct interviews, except with prior permission from the Government Media Office.”

PCHR affirms that freedom of the press is protected by Palestinian Basic Law, as stipulated in Article (27): “Freedom of audio, visual, and written media, as well as freedom to print, publish, distribute and transmit, together with the freedom of individuals working in this field, shall be guaranteed by this Basic Law and other related laws.”

PCHR considers the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on the freedom of press, a clear violation of Palestine’s obligations under Article (19) of the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights, as a State party to the Convention.

Additionally, PCHR emphasizes that there is no law that forces journalists to obtain permission to do their work, including freedom of photography and interviewing, so long as this work is not conducted in a previously identified restricted area. PCHR also stresses that freedom of expression should not be affected by the declared state of emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

PCHR highlights that freedom of press work is an inalienable right and condemns the detainment of Palestine TV’s press crew and stopping them from doing their work.

Therefore, PCHR calls upon the Government Media Office at Gaza City to provide a clear statement that removes speculations and refutes the need to obtain an advance authorization for journalists to conduct their work in public spaces.

Lastly, PCHR calls upon the Public Prosecution in Gaza City to take the necessary measures against those who detained and arrested the journalists illegally.

~ Palestinian Center for Human Rights

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

Colonial Israeli Settlers Uproot Dozens of Palestinian-owned Olive Trees

Israeli colonial settlers, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, uprooted on Monday, at least 40 Palestinian-owned olive trees.

Chief of the Israeli settlements profile, Ghassan Daghlas, reported that the settlers invaded the Saqya village, south of Nablus city and began uprooting 40 old olive trees, owned by local Palestinian farmer, Mohammad Yousef.

Colonial settlers’ attacks on Palestinian farm lands have been frequent over the past several years, with Israel accelerating illegal settlements construction on Palestinian-owned lands.

In related news, a group of illegal settlers, invaded As-Sawiya town, south of Nablus and chopped off 33 olive trees belonging to local farmer, Hamad Saleh Jazi.

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

In Video and Pictures| ‘Israel’ hands over martyr’s body

The prisoner Noor Barghouthi, who had been jailed for four years, died in an Israeli jail

Ramallah (QNN)- The Israeli authorities on Sunday handed over the body of the prisoner Noor Barghouthi at the military checkpoint in the village of Beit Sera in Ramallah.

Palestinian medical teams received the body of the martyr before taking it to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. Noor’s funeral will be held in his village on Monday.

The Israeli authorities and the Palestinian doctor Ashraf Qadi performed an autopsy for the martyr under the supervision of a lawyer for the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee.

Barghouthi was serving a sentence of eight years at the Negev jail. He spent four years of them before his death.

Noor Barghouthi died last Wednesday after he fell inside his cell’s bathroom in section 25 at the Negev jail.

Although of the prisoners’ calls, Israeli jailers have rejected to provide any treatment for Barghouthi for 40 minutes.

223 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli jails due to torture or medical negligence since 1967.

(Source / 27.04.2020) 

Vasten maar niet bidden!

Dua verbreken vasten

Alle lof zij aan Allah onze barmhartige Heer. Als gunst aan Zijn dienaren heeft Hij het gebed verplicht gesteld. Dit zodat wij Hem daarmee gedenken. Allah zegt:

“Onderhoud het gebed om Mij te gedenken.” [20:14]

Het is tegenstrijdig om te vasten, maar vervolgens niet te bidden. We hopen met het vasten op Allah’s tevredenheid en vergiffenis, maar we zijn Hem ongehoorzaam in één van Zijn grootste geboden?! 

We gehoorzamen Allah in het laten van onze geliefde eten en drinken, maar vervolgens zijn we laks in het gehoorzamen van Allah in het verrichten van de vijf verplichte gebeden, welke belangrijker zijn dan het vasten.
Belang gebed
Het gebed is de tweede zuil van ons geloof, beste broeders en zusters, en het eerste waarover we worden gevraagd op de Dag des Oordeels:
“Het eerste waarover de dienaar op de Dag des Oordeels verantwoording af zal leggen van zijn daden is zijn gebed. Als het correct is, dan behoort hij tot de succesvollen en als het incorrect is, behoort hij tot de verliezers.” [Tirmidhi]
Het gebed is zo belangrijk dat het nooit komt te vervallen, zolang het verstand aanwezig is. Zelfs degene die zo ernstig verlamd is dat hij geen enkel lichaamsdeel kan bewegen, dient het gebed met de intentie te verrichten. 

Het gebed was het laatste advies van onze profeet vrede zij met hem aan de moslimgemeenschap toen hij op zijn sterfbed lag. Hij bleef het advies tot het gebed herhalen totdat het hem te zwaar werd.
Weet dat Allah ons heeft bevoordeeld met dit gebed. Dit gebed waarmee wij dagelijks onze band met Hem onderhouden, waar wij onze rust uit putten en dat onze steun is in moeilijke tijden. 

Velen onder degenen die het gebed verrichten, zijn laks in het verrichten van het gebed op haar voorgeschreven tijdstippen en stellen haar zonder geldige reden uit. Dit is niet toegestaan en behoort tot de grote zonden, Allah zegt:

“Voorwaar, het gebed is de gelovigen op vastgestelde tijden verplicht gesteld” [4:103]

Het gebed mag niet na haar eindtijd (elk gebed heeft een begin en eindtijd) worden verricht en ook niet zonder geldige reden met andere gebeden worden samengevoegd. Allah heeft degenen die laks zijn met het gebed door o.a. haar tijdstippen te verwaarlozen, gewaarschuwd. Allah zegt:

“Wee (bestraffing) voor de verrichters van het gebed. Degenen die onachtzaam zijn met hun gebed.” [107-4,5]

Beste broeders en zusters

Het is een feit dat degene die niet bidt, weinig zal genieten van deze gezegende maand en haar vele verdiensten. Het is gezellig om met familie en vrienden iedere avond samen het vasten te verbreken, maar is de gelovige niet uit op meer? 

In een authentieke overlevering zegt de profeet vrede zij met hem: 

“Voor de vastende zijn er twee vreugdes; een vreugde wanneer hij zijn vasten verbreekt en een vreugde wanneer hij zijn Heer ontmoet.” [Bukhari]

De eerste vreugde is omdat de vastende blij is dat hij de vastende dag heeft afgerond en weer mag eten. Deze vreugde ervaren alle vastende moslims. De tweede vreugde is wanneer de gelovige zijn Heer ontmoet en ziet wat zijn grote beloning is. 

Vreest de gelovige die het gebed heeft gelaten of er laks in is niet dat het voor hem zal blijven bij de eerste vreugde en dat de tweede o zo belangrijke vreugde in het hiernamaals er niet zal zijn voor hem? Dit omdat het vasten niet méér was dan honger en dorst overdag en gezelligheid in de avond …

(Source / 27.04.2020)