RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Ofer military court decided Thursday to release the detained Palestinian MP Khalida Jarar, 52, on a bail estimated at 20,000 shekel ($5,000). The court gave the prosecution 72 hours to appeal the decision.
The imprisoned deputy’s husband Gassen Jarar told the Palestinian Information Center that the lawyer demanded Khalida’s immediate release as there is no basis for all the Israeli charges filed against her during the court hearing held ten days ago.
“However, the Israeli prosecution appealed against her release order and called for keeping her in custody,” he added.
During today’s hearing, the court ruled out to release MP Jarar to house arrest in 48 occupied territories and imposed on her a fine of 20,000 shekel.
The court’s order has been postponed for 72 days after the Israeli prosecution appealed again against her release, her husband clarified.
MP Jarrar was detained on April 2 from her home in the Ramallah, and was held and interrogated at the Ofer detention center before being taken to Hasharon prison. She was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 as a member of PFLP.
She also headed Addameer organization for prisoners support and human rights. She was earlier detained in 1989 for a whole month in Israeli jails.
(Source / 22.05.2015)
World Bank report says Israeli blockades, war and poor governance have left 43% of people out of work and the strip facing dangerous financial crisis
Gaza has received only a quarter of the funds pledged by the international community for its reconstruction following last year’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas
The economy of Gaza – assailed by war, poor governance and a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade – has reached the “verge of collapse” with the coastal strip suffering the highest rate of unemployment in the world.
The bleak picture is presented in a devastating report by the World Bank, released on Friday, which said that Gaza’s economy had been strangled by years of blockades, war and poor governance and faces a dangerous crisis over its ability to meet wages and other spending requirements.
Calling for the “lifting of the blockade on the movement of goods and people to allow Gaza’s tradable sectors to recover” the report warned that about 43% of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents are unemployed, with youth unemployment reaching about 60% by the end of last year.
Prepared ahead of the bi-annual meeting in Brussels next week of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates international donor support for the Palestinians, the report is published almost a year after the 50-day conflict between Gaza militants and Israel, in which about 2,200 Palestinians were killed.
On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed.
“Gaza’s unemployment and poverty figures are very troubling and the economic outlook is worrying. The current market in Gaza is not able to offer jobs, leaving a large population in despair, particularly the youth,” said Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza.
“The ongoing blockade and the 2014 war have taken a toll on Gaza’s economy and people’s livelihoods. Gaza’s exports virtually disappeared and the manufacturing sector has shrunk by as much as 60%. The economy cannot survive without being connected to the outside world.”
Smuggling tunnels have been the lifeline of the Gazan economy during the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
In uncompromising terms, the World Bank describes Gaza’s economy as “tremendously damaged by repeated armed conflicts, the blockade and internal divide” and “reduced to a fraction of its estimated potential”.
Gaza has been governed by the Islamist group Hamas since 2007 and has struggled with mounting problems since the closure of the smuggling tunnels to Egypt, which had acted as an economic and social pressure valve.
Hamas has struggled to pay salaries and also lost a key stream of revenue from its taxation of the smuggling route. Egypt has largely closed the Rafah terminal on its border since October, when it began work to create a buffer zone along the border and step up efforts to destroy the tunnel trade.
The report adds that real GDP per person has dropped by a third in the last 20 years.
The report, to be presented next week, says events in the last two years – including Egypt’s closure of the smuggling tunnels and last summer’s war – reduced Gaza’s economy by almost half a billion dollars.
“The closure of tunnels with Egypt and in particular the 2014 summer war,” say the report’s authors, “shaved some $460moff Gaza’s economy, leading to a 15% contraction of its GDP.”
They add: “In Gaza, unemployment increased by as much as 11 percentage points to reach 43% – probably the highest in the world – and that in the West Bank it dropped by one percentage point.
“In Gaza, the poverty rate reached 39% and with poverty in the West Bank at 16%, the aggregate poverty rate amounted to 25%.
A Palestinian boy waits for customers at a market in Gaza City. Youth unemployment is set to reach 60% in the enclave.
“Nevertheless, the growth in government recurrent expenditures of 9% was large and unsustainable; growth in the government wage bill and net lending are of particular concern.
Continuing, the report notes: “The human costs of Gaza’s economic malaise are enormous. If it were compared to that of other economies, unemployment in Gaza would be the highest in the world.
“Poverty in Gaza is also very high. This is despite the fact that nearly 80% of Gaza’s residents receive some aid. These numbers, however, fail to portray the degree of suffering of Gaza’s citizens due to poor electricity and water/sewerage availability, war-related psychological trauma, limited movement, and other adverse effects of wars and the blockade.”
The report also criticised the lacklustre pace of reconstruction and aid to Gaza since last year’s conflict. Of the $3.5bn pledged by the international community for Gaza’s reconstruction, just 27.5%, or nearly $1bn, has been disbursed so far.
(Source / 22.05.2015)
Norwegian foreign minister, Borge Brende
Norway yesterday said the death sentence handed down against ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders was “unacceptable”.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said in a statement: “It is unacceptable that more than 100 people, including former President Morsi, have been condemned to death in a summary trial.”
“Norway has made it clear that we oppose the practice of holding mass trials that fail to comply with Egypt’s international obligations.”
“I expect all those accused to be given the opportunity of a fair appeal hearing and the question of guilt to be decided on an individual basis,” he added.
The Norwegian minister said that his country expects Egypt to establish a fair system that provides convicts with the right to defend themselves.
Brende urged the Egyptian authorities to ensure the independence of the judiciary, saying that courts must safeguard “the right of the accused to a fair trial in accordance with international standards”.
On Saturday, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Morsi and over 100 Muslim Brotherhood members, leaders and supporters to death over charges of espionage and mass jailbreak in 2011.
(Source / 22.05.2015)
File photo of an Egyptian soldier holding Mohamed Morsi’s poster
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that to him the Egyptian President is Mohamed Morsi not Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.
This came in a press conference with the chairman of three-member Bosnian Presidential Council Mladen Ivanic following a meeting with the council’s members in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.
During the meeting, Erdogan expressed his dismay at the decision of the Egyptian judiciary to sentence Morsi and others, including Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members, to death. The court referred the defendants to the Grand Mufti for consultation as per Egyptian law.
Erdogan criticised the West for its silence following the announcement of the sentences. “If executions are banned in the European Union, so why do we not hear your voice, EU countries? Why do you not talk? They issue statements that do not have any meaning,” he said.
Last Saturday, the Cairo Criminal Court ordered the referral of Morsi’s papers to the Grand Mufti along with 121 others from a total of 166 defendants in the cases of jail break and espionage. The court set 2 June as a date for a final verdict.
On his part, Bosnian President Mladen Ivanic denied the existence of any disagreements with Turkey, saying that the security institutions in both countries are cooperating to deal with the issue of foreign fighters who join militants in Syria and Iraq.
He stressed that the two countries are in agreement with regard to their joint combat of terrorism. Ivanic stressed that Turkey is an important partner for his country regarding foreign fighters. “There is good cooperation between the security agencies of both countries, and we are pleased about that,” he said.
The Turkish president arrived in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo yesterday on an official one-day visit.
(Source / 22.05.2015)
If you think that the UN was wrong in labeling Zionism as a racist movement, think again.
Of course, Zionist crimes, committed in the name of Judaism and the Jewish people, have not stopped ever since Zionist supremacists declared their plans to create an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine in the late 19th century.
Zionist Jews employed every form of depravity and immorality to achieve their goal.
But the goal was evil, just as the means used to reach that goal were decidedly evil. This was the case 68 years ago, when Israel was created through blood, fire and terror. It will always be evil.
The passage of 68 years will not morph a hideous crime into a charitable enterprise. Israel will always be a crime against humanity, no matter how many people celebrate its achievements and sing its hymns.
Israel is built upon a foundation of evil and sinfulness. Such a state will not prosper or have an everlasting longevity. It will eventually meet the same fate that other evil states and empires eventually met.
Bennett’s Talmudic fascism
Naftali Bennett, the number-2 figure in the new Israeli government was quoted recently as saying that he would never agree to give non-Jews in Israel equal rights.
When asked what he would tell Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas should he meet with him, Bennett said rather bluntly “I will order him to make me a cup of coffee.”
Needless to say, “asking the Arabs to make coffee for Jews” is a slogan often invoked by leaders of religious-Zionist settlers especially when explaining their attitudes toward the Palestinians.
This manifestly racist mindset is encapsulated by the Biblical terms “water carriers and wood hewers” which refer to the treatment non-Jews were entitled to receive in ancient Israel.
Of course, there are many other Biblical verses which exhort the Children of Israel not to oppress “strangers living amongst you… because you yourselves were once strangers in the Land of the Pharaoh”.
But Zionism, including religious Zionism, has very little to do with the sublime ideals of Prophetic Judaism. This is why, we notice that purportedly religious Zionists select the worst and most barbaric verses from the Old Testament and seek to apply it to the Palestinians.
Criminal versus genocidal
If classical Zionism is manifestly criminal, and it undoubtedly is, religious Zionism is decidedly genocidal.
Several years ago, a Jewish settler leader from the northern West Bank by the name of Daniela Weis gave a speech before a group of settlers in Hebron’s Old Quarter. In her speech, she urged the settlers to “adopt Joshua’s way to deal with the Palestinians.”
“Would you choose Rabin’s way or Joshua’s way in dealing with the Palestinians,” she asked. And the answer came loud and in unison: “We choose Joshua’s way.”
This genocidal fanaticism is not rhetorical or meant just to scare the Palestinians. It is rather a built-in character of the religious Zionist ideology as taught by its founder Abraham Kook.
This the same Kook that wrote that “the difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews– all of them in all different levels — is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.”
Evil ideology, evil conduct
The settler ideology cannot be innocuous since it is not confined to the theoretical framework.
In 1994, a settler from the settlement of Kiryat Arbaa near Hebron descended on the Ibrahimi Mosque nearby and sprayed Muslim worshipers with bullets, using his army-issued machinegun.
He murdered 29 worshipers and injured numerous other people, many with serious disabilities that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Most of the settlers and their supporters enthusiastically gloated over the massacre as the grave of the murderer became a pilgrimage site.
A few years later, another religious Zionist asked a Palestinian cabbie to give him a ride from Jerusalem to Kfar Saba, north east of Tel Aviv. When the settler got to his home, he invited the Arab driver to drink a cup of coffee. However, instead of the cup of coffee, the settler came up with a dagger, stabbing the taxi driver to death.
Still, when the murdered was interrogated by the police, he told them that he heard his neighborhood synagogue’s rabbis saying that the life of a non-Jew had no sanctity.
Last year, three settlers kidnapped an Arab child, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and took him to an abandoned place. There they pumped gasoline into the boy’s mouth, and then set the boy on fire, burning him alive.
Who will call the spade a spade?
Now, the same kind of evil-minded people have a great influence on the upcoming Israeli government. For example, Ayelet Shaked from the far-right HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party was given the portfolio of justice minister as part of a deal that saw PM Netanyahu gather enough support to form a coalition and control the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.
Last year, Shaked, a nice-looking young woman, attracted global attention and criticism when she posted a Facebook status denouncing Palestinians, during Israel’s 50-day military offensive in Gaza.
“The Palestinian people [have] declared war on us, and we must respond with war … Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings.
“Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two peoples. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people.”
Now, do the governments and peoples of the world have the courage to call the spade a spade, especially when it comes to Zionist criminality?
It is not enough to celebrate the annual anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany. It is also imperative to fight Nazi ideals and Nazi ideas everywhere. Including in Israel.
Unfortunately this is not being done with regard to Israel as the capitals of Europe and North America will soon receive Shaked and her equally racist colleagues with all the required trappings.
That would be the ultimate insult to the victims of Nazism, Jews and non-Jews alike.
(Source / 22.05.2015)
Palestinian children stand amid the rubble of their partially rebuilt house, on May 11, 2015, which was destroyed during the 50-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014
Press TV has conducted an interview with Paul Larudee, a member of the Free Palestine Movement in Berkeley, about the World Bank assessment saying the besieged Gaza Strip has the world’s highest unemployment and is facing a “dangerous fiscal crisis,” nearly one year after Israel’s latest war against the coastal enclave.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Larudee, how can anybody try to run any kind of economy when half of the people are out of work?
Larudee: The whole purpose is that there will be no economy in Gaza. I am surprised the unemployment rate is not a hundred percent. Israel regulates everything about Gaza. It does not let people leave, it does not let people enter, it does not let goods in, it does not let exports out, it does not let people travel, it does not allow anything and this is what they are trying to do.
The only thing that is allowed in Gaza is basically whatever Israel allows in to more or less allow the 1.8 million people of Gaza, more than half of them children, to just stay alive and even then not always because people die from all kinds of diseases caused by malnutrition and bad water and all kinds of things because Israel is trying to kill them. Israel is trying to get rid of them, trying to make them miserable so that they disappear from the face of the earth. That is what they want. This is what is going on. The World Bank is talking about a potential crisis, it is a crisis.
Press TV: And Mr. Larudee, how can we all see Washington say really anything on this? I mean the lack of humanity that we are seeing here is just an unheard of level, it is unparalleled to anything we are seeing, it is practically a war crime to deny people an opportunity to pursue livelihood, have them out of work and then create a blockade that they do not allow medical equipment in, building materials, homes still have not been rebuilt since the 50- day of war last year, your thoughts sir.
Larudee: Well you are absolutely right but the specialty of Israel is war crimes. They are the world’s expert in war crimes and crimes against humanity and the United States, I mean maybe, maybe the United States is first, I do not know, certainly in terms of quantity.
So please do not expect anything from Washington. Washington’s specialty is in assassination and mass killing, killing at least a million, maybe a million and a half Iraqis and half of them children.
Press TV: Then Mr. Larudee, so if the US is to remain silent and to continue perpetuate their silence, now what recourse do Gazans have?
Larudee: The United States is not being silent. The United States is speaking out in support of Israel’s ethnic cleansing project.
Press TV: So what recourse do Gazans have, sir?
Larudee: Well they are using the recourses that they have which is to fight back unfortunately under terrible [odds] and they are appealing to the world and it is up to us to help them as much as we can.
(Source / 22.05.2015)