Egypt’s former president Mohamed Morsi dies: state media

State TV reports Egypt’s first democratically elected president fainted during court session and died afterwards

State TV said former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi collapsed during his court session and died

State TV said former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi collapsed during his court session and died

Egypt‘s former President Mohamed Morsi has died after appearing in court in Cairo, according to state media.

The 67-year-old died after fainting during the court session in the Egyptian capital on Monday, state TV reported.

“He was speaking before the judge for 20 minutes then became very animated and fainted. He was quickly rushed to the hospital where he later died,” a judicial source said.

Morsi became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012, one year after the Arab Spring uprising saw the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

(Read the complete article / 17.06.2019) 

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman quits over Gaza truce

Avigdor Lieberman announces resignation in protest against Gaza ceasefire with Hamas, making early elections likely

Lieberman delivered a statement after his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, faction meeting at the Knesset [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Lieberman delivered a statement after his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, faction meeting at the Knesset

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has announced he is resigning from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in protest against a truce in Gaza.

Addressing reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Lieberman said he deemed Tuesday’s Egyptian-mediated ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza “a capitulation to terror”.

“Despite the difference in opinion, I tried to stay a faithful member of the government for as long as possible … but it has failed,” Lieberman said.

He said he also fiercely objected to Israel’s allowing Qatar to deliver $15m in aid to Gaza last week.

“From my point of view there are two critical points that made it impossible for me to carry on; the $15m that went into the Gaza Strip taken in suitcases from Qatar … what would happen with the money after it has gone across the border,” the minister said.

“It went to the families of the terrorists who fought on the border with Israeli soldiers throwing grenades. These families are the first who are going to receive part of this $15m – in other words we are … giving terrorists money,” Lieberman added.

“The second point is regarding the ceasefire … I understand all of the reasons and all of the information [behind the decision], but I would not be able to look in the eyes of the people who are within the range of Hamas, who are taken prisoner by Hamas. Hamas has to understand that nobody should go close to the frontier.”

‘Political victory’

In a reaction on Wednesday, Hamas called Lieberman’s resignation a “political victory for Gaza”.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said it marked “recognition of defeat and failure to confront the Palestinian resistance”, adding that “Gaza’s steadfastness sent a political shockwave” through Israel.

The resignation, which comes into effect 48 hours after Lieberman puts it in writing, significantly weakens Netanyahu’s coalition government and could bring about early elections.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu will take over as defence minister on an interim basis.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Tel Aviv, Akiva Eldar, senior columnist at Al-Monitor, said Lieberman’s resignation did not come as a surprise.

“It was a matter of timing. The Israeli army, the chief of staff and the Shin Bet … they all strongly supported the ceasefire and ending the closure on Gaza and allowing more goods in,” Eldar said.

“[Lieberman] doesn’t have partners in the military establishment … they don’t think that cracking down on Hamas will put Israel in a better position … it will give Israel more problems in the international arena.

“Netanyahu just visited Oman, and we were playing in Abu Dhabi, so he [Netanyahu] is looking at the region and has to be careful not to cross certain red lines. Lieberman was a part of this … so it is cheap politics,” Eldar added.

(Source / 14.11.2018)

‘Everything is a target’: Gaza residents decry Israeli strikes

Civilians in besieged enclave express anger at ferocious Israeli attacks that targeted their homes and businesses.

The escalation came after at least seven Palestinians were killed on Sunday in a covert Israeli operation [Anadolu]

The escalation came after at least seven Palestinians were killed on Sunday in a covert Israeli operation

Gaza City – Ahmed Abu Saif struggles to maintain a straight face as he looks at the amorphous pile of rubble of what used to be a five-storey building he owned.

The structure is one of the several civilian sites that have been flattened over the past 24 hours in Gaza as Israeli jets pounded the besieged and densely-populated coastal enclave amid rising tensions.

“I expected to see my building burned to the ground one day, simply because I live in Gaza,” the 64-year-old owner of the al-Rahma building, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

“Everything in Gaza is a target, regardless of who it belongs to,” he said.

“The occupation does not differentiate. To them, a Palestinian is a Palestinian.”

At least seven Palestinians lost their lives in Israeli attacks since late on Monday

On Tuesday, the armed wing of Hamas, the group that administers the Gaza Strip, warned it would increase attacks and fire rockets at the Israeli towns of Ashdod and Beersheba if Israel continues to carry out air raids on civilian buildings.

The statement by al-Qassam Brigades was released hours after a rocket from Gaza killed an Israeli man in the coastal town of Ashkelon.

At least seven Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since late on Monday, in the worst flare-up of violence between the two sides since the 2014 Israeli assault on the Strip.

The escalation came after at least seven other Palestinians were killed on Sunday in a covert Israeli operation, to which Hamas responded with rocket fire from Gaza. One Israeli soldier was also killed in the undercover raid near Khan Younis.

‘I feel numb’

Abu Saif’s now-collapsed building served as office space to several non-governmental organisations and media outlets.

It also had a kitchen leased by Nayef al-Madhoun, a 45-year-old father of six who ran a catering business.

“Some people rang me [on Monday night] and told me that the building had been hit by an F-16 fighter jet,” al-Madhoun told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

“I came running from my home, which isn’t too far from here, and found that the building had been bombed to the ground,” he said, standing before the mass of twisted metals, cement blocks and scraps of wood.

Al-Madhoun said there was “nothing” in the building that would have posed as a threat to the Israeli army.

Abu Saif, the owner, does not think he will ever manage to rebuild al-Rahma.

Ahmed Abu Saif: ‘I expected to see my building burned to the ground one day’

“I feel numb,” he said.

Following the first round of warning sirens, he was contacted by people in the area who informed him of the looming attack.

But he refused to rush over.

“Whether I showed up or not last night, the outcome would have been the same,” Abu Saif said, his voice breaking.

He had hoped this building would help him live his last days as a retired man.

“I used to live and work in Saudi Arabia for 40 years. I had spent all my savings and invested in building this place so that I could have a sustained income to see me through my retirement years,” he said.

‘Indiscriminate attacks’

The Israeli army has over the past few days enhanced its deployment along the fortified fence bordering Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian-imposed blockade, now in its 12th year.

The latest round of fighting comes in a period where both Hamas and Israel seemed to have moved closer to a truce amid mediation efforts by Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar.

Ahmed Nasser: ‘We had no idea this building would ever become a target’

As air raids continued on Tuesday, residents of bombarded sites in Gaza said they were targets of “indiscriminate attacks”.

“We had no idea this building would ever become a target,” Ahmed Nasser, a resident in a seven-storey residential structure, told Al Jazeera.

He said doctors, pharmacists and engineers, all stripped of “political affiliations”, were residing in the building in central Gaza.

Among those who had to immediately evacuate, Nasser said, were a mother with a newborn baby and an elderly woman on a wheelchair, screaming in terror as they ran out with just the “clothes on their back”.

“They all started evacuating the building after hearing the sirens, but halfway through Israeli jets started firing towards the area,” the father-of-two said from the scene of the attack.

Nasser, a father of two, said he had lost more than the walls sheltering his family.

“I couldn’t save my college and Master’s certificates, even my passport and official documents are now gone,” Nasser said.

Like many in the besieged enclave, home to more than two million people, Nasser is unemployed due to Gaza’s dire economic conditions.

The siege has devastated the local economy, severely restricting food entry and access to basic services. It has also stopped the flow of construction materials needed to rebuild much of the enclave’s damaged infrastructure.

Since March 30, Palestinians in the Strip have been protesting along the fence with Israel, demanding their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from 70 years ago.

The protesters are also demanding an end to Israel’s blockade.

Back in al-Rahma, al-Madhoun, the catering business owner, turned his gaze to the rubble as he started thinking about the future.

“This was my family’s source of income for the past three years,” he lamented.

“Up until last night, I had 15 people working with me and this was also their source of income … We all just lost our livelihood.”

(Source / 14.11.2018)

Tension between the authority and the Jahalin Bedouins east of Jerusalem

المحتجون من عرب الجهالين قطعوا الطريق المعروف بطريق وادي النار بين بلدة العيزرية وبيت لحم (مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي)

Protesters from the Jahalin Arabs cut off the road known as the Wadi al-Nar road between the town of Al-Eizariya and Bethlehem

Armed clashes broke out between the security services of the Palestinian Authority and a large number of members of the Bedouin Jahalin tribe in the town of Al-Eizariya east of occupied Jerusalem after the escalation of tension against the background of the clan’s accusation of the security of the authority to kill one of its young men in an operation in the region last night.

Dozens of members of the clan closed the main road linking the town of Al-Eizariya and the Bethlehem area known as Wadi El-Nar since Friday morning with large rocks and burning tires.

The group announced the death of 24-year-old Oudeh Ibrahim al-Jahalin in an operation by the Palestinian Authority’s customs authority that was aimed at closing “illegal” fuel stations, the latter said.

A statement attributed to the Jahalin Arabs in the city of Jerusalem accused the authorities of storming their homes in the village of Arab Jahalin east of al-Eizariya and then shooting indiscriminately, killing the young man “at a time when the sons of the Arabs of the Jahalin struggle to face the Israeli occupation plan to liquidate their case and displacement.”

According to the clan, the security forces went after breaking a petrol station at the entrance of Al-Eizariya to the village of Arabs Jahalin and broke into their homes and got verbal quarrels between the force and the people who threw stones, and responded with heavy fire and gas bombs.

Palestinian security forces intervened last year against protesters in the West Bank city of Hebron

Arab Jahalin said that the dead was away from the scene of the event more than 500 meters and went out to investigate, but was hit directly in the head.

As a result of the closure of the entrances of the area, a private car was taken to the entrance to Ma’ale Adumim colony, where he was taken by an Israeli ambulance to Hadassah Hospital in Issawiya, Jerusalem, but he died.

The family stressed that the dead man had no connection to the fuel stations. The customs officer and the Palestinian leadership claimed responsibility for his death. They demanded the formation of a commission of inquiry into the incident and those responsible for his killing and bringing them to justice.

Local sources told Al Jazeera Net that representatives of the Jahalin tribe met with the security forces in the Palestinian Authority in the city of Ramallah on Friday afternoon. However, the spokesman of the clan Abu Imad Jahalin told Al Jazeera Net after the meeting, “The Authority is trying to evade responsibility for the incident.”

family of the dead carried the Palestinian leadership responsible for the killing of her son and the spokesman of the clan said that the young man was away from the scene when he was shot in the head 

Following the meeting, violent clashes broke out between the Arabs of the Jahalin and the security services at the roundabout town of Al-Eizariya adjacent to the Jahalin Arabs, in reference to the deterioration of things between the parties.

The Jahalin spokesman said the dead man was close to a sheep shed for his family and was not near the gas stations and not the workers. It was the first time that the clan had collided with the Palestinian Authority.

About 3,000 Bedouins from the Jahalin Arabs, about 5,000 in the suburbs of Jerusalem, live in the village near the entrance of the eastern Eizariya. About 200 people face the threat of being deported to the Red Khan in the same area.

Their spokesman said that the Authority called for significant security reinforcements from “Force 101” of the Palestinian National Security , “in order to suppress the Jahalin.”

Police director of the suburbs of Jerusalem:we were fired by oil smugglers and Jahalin Bedouins and our troops responded with fire and gas bombs 

In its narrative of the incident, the Palestinian Authority said that the customs officer was in control of illegal fuel stations, one belonging to the Jahalin Arabs, and was shot by machine guns during the operation, and responded accordingly.

The police director of the suburbs of Jerusalem, Colonel Ali al-Qaimari of the island Net that the force was surprised by the attack from individuals who smuggle oil and fired by the Jahalin Bedouins and responded with fire and gas bombs. ”

Al-Qaimari said that the circumstances of the death of the young man were not clear and that the reports received by the Authority indicate that he was not shot in the head, adding that the clan buried him hastily without investigation or dissection.

Al-Qaimari accused the Arabs of Jahalin of trying to mislead and intimidate things, but said that the investigation is still underway despite the clan’s refusal to carry out the autopsy.

In response, the spokesman of the clan Abu Imad Jahalin told Al Jazeera Net that he personally participated in transporting the young man from the scene after being shot in the head. He added that the clan announced its intention to bury the young man at 10 am without any response from the Authority, About his condition.

On Friday evening, an official security source in the Palestinian Authority announced to the official Wafa agency the formation of a commission of inquiry to find out the circumstances of the incident and raise its recommendations to the leadership.

(Source: Al Jazeera / translated from Arabic / 11.08.2018) 

Israel’s ‘nation-state law’ parallels the Nazi Nuremberg Laws

Israel’s new ‘nation-state’ law follows in the footsteps of Jim Crow, the Indian Removal Act and the Nuremberg Laws

 Susan Abulhawa   By Susan Abulhawa

Israel's parliament on July 19 adopted a law defining the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people, provoking fears it will lead to discrimination against its Palestinian citizens [Reuters]
Israel’s parliament on July 19 adopted a law defining the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people, provoking fears it will lead to discrimination against its Palestinian citizens

More than 80 years after Nazi Germany enacted what came to be known as the Nuremberg Race Laws, Israeli legislators voted in favour of the so-called “nation-state law“. By doing so, they essentially codified “Jewish supremacy” into law, which effectively mirrors the Nazi-era legislation of ethnoreligious stratification of German citizenry.

Israel’s “nation-state law” stipulates in its first clause that “actualisation of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”. In other words, the 1.7 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, the native inhabitants who managed to remain in their homes whenEuropean Jews conquered parts of historical Palestine in 1948, shall be without sovereignty or agency, forever living at the mercy of Israeli Jews. 

In similar fashion, the first of the Nuremberg Laws, the Reich Citizenship Law, deemed citizenship a privilege exclusive to people of “German or kindred blood”. The remainder were classed as state subjects, without citizenship rights. 

Since there was no scientifically sound way to distinguish Jewish Germans from the rest of German society, legislators looked into people’s ancestry to determine their Jewishness. Anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents was defined as a Jew, regardless of whether that individual identified himself or herself as a Jew or belonged to the Jewish religious community.

That will not be necessary for indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel because, since its creation in 1948, Israel put protocols in place to ensure that non-Jews do not assimilate into mainstream Jewish society. 

This brings us to the second Nuremberg Law: Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, which sought to prevent mixing of Aryan blood, dubbed “race defilement”. 

The new “nation-state law” may not mention “race defilement” but in Israel, anti-miscegenation laws are already in place, masquerading as legislation meant to protect traditional values. Marriage can only be performed by religious officials and the Orthodox rabbinate has exclusive purview over Jewish marriages. Interreligious marriage within Israel is strictly forbidden by law.

The Reich Flag Law, which established black, red, and white as the national colours of Germany, and the swastika flag as the new national flag, was also part of the Nuremberg Laws.

The second clause of Israel’s “nation-state law” regarding national symbols similarly indicates that “the flag of the state is white, two blue stripes near the edges, and a blue Star of David in the centre.” Two days after it was passed, Israeli police and military soldiers arrested a Palestinian boy for holding a Palestinian flag outside the Al Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

The third clause of the new nation-state law reiterates Israel’s illegitimate claim to the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, an illegal and internationally unrecognised claim that has been emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

Interestingly, however, this new law does not define state borders and Israel remains the only country in the world without declared borders. This is not surprising, as Israel is a continuously expanding settler-colonial state, even though their admission to the United Nations in 1948 was based on their claim to the areas within the 1948 armistice line only, which does not include Jerusalem or any other part of the West Bank.

This new law also marks the beginning of the erasure of Arabic from the land, as it decrees Hebrew to be the only official language of the state, while Arabic has “special status”. Its fourth clause further explains that use of “the Arab language [sic]” institutionally “will be regulated by law.”

As for the 4.5 million indigenous Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank who do not have Israeli citizenship, the nation-state law eludes to their fate in the seventh clause, which states: “The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labour to encourage and promote its establishment and development.”

Simply stated, Israel will continue to work in earnest to build Jewish-only colonies on seized Palestinian land, ostensibly where a Palestinian state was to be formed per the Oslo Accords.

We can expect that more settlement will simply accelerate Israel’s ongoing displacement of Palestinians to replace them with imported Jews. We know from the past decades of settlement construction that this process is accomplished by systematic dispossession, marginalisation, ghettoisation and robbing of indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. This process more closely resembles the Manifest Destiny removal and marginalisation of First Nations in North America.

Western media should stop mincing words by calling the nation-state law “controversial” when in fact it is encoding the worst human impulses into law, the likes of which were promoted in Nazi Germany, Jim Crow and Indian Removal America and other abominable moments in human history.

(Source / 27.07.2018)