Archive | September 15th, 2019

671 Administrative detention order against prisoners since the beginning of the year


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Ramallah – Jerusalem News: The Center for the Prisoners of Palestine Studies issued military courts (671) administrative decision against Palestinian prisoners since the beginning of this year, most of them renew the arrest.

The media spokesman of the Center, Riad Al-Ashqar, said in a press statement that among the administrative decisions issued since the beginning of this year (424) decision to renew administrative detention for new periods ranging from two months to six months, and reached (6) times for some prisoners .

He pointed out that (247) administrative decisions issued against prisoners for the first time, most of them released prisoners were re-arrested, pointing out that the prisoners who have been issued new administrative decisions are those arrested by the occupation during the year from the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and were transferred to administrative detention and the vast majority Some of them were liberated prisoners who were detained for different periods in the Israeli jails. They were re-arrested again and issued administrative orders .

Al-Ashqar considered the continuation of the occupation in issuing administrative orders without taking into account the caveats and limitations set by international law, and disregarded all customs and laws that limited its use, especially that it affected all segments of Palestinian society .

He pointed out that the injustice suffered by the prisoners due to the use of intensive administrative detention orders and the depletion of their lives behind bars unlawfully, pushed dozens of them to go on individual hunger strikes .

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‘We Had a Beautiful Life, and It Was Lost’: Gaza Women Widowed in the 2014 War Speak Out

On the fifth anniversary of the end of Operation Protective Edge, Olfat al-Kurd, a B’Tselem field researcher in Gaza, visits five women who lost their husbands and other relatives in Israeli bombing

By: Gideon Levy

Islam Awwad, 24, lost seven members of her family, including her husband and son; remarried, she is a homemaker and has a 2-year-old daughter; lives in the town of Jabalya:

“I am the wife of the shahid [martyr] Mohammed Abed Rabo, who fell in the war on July 29, 2014. My husband was the proprietor of a grocery store and a student. I was 15 and my husband was 23 when we married. I gave birth to my son Jamal, who fell as a shahid with his father when he was 2. I lived with my husband for three years, and for me they were 30 years of happiness and joy. I loved him madly. When he would leave the house he would call me all the time and ask how I was.

I gave birth to Jamal in 2012; it was one of the most beautiful days of my life. The happiness of my husband and my family was indescribable. For a whole month [after the birth], I was in bed and the whole family served me with faces shining from happiness. My husband and my son were my beloveds. I never imagined that one day I would lose them.

“In the war of 2014, my life turned upside-down. On July 28, 2014, in the evening, we were all at home; we were drinking and eating. Suddenly shelling began. We started to scream. I heard my husband say, ‘I’ve been hit.’ I saw shrapnel in his leg. We called an ambulance. When it arrived, the shelling increased. The whole family was evacuated to Kamal Adwan Hospital [in Beit Lahia]. Afterward, we returned home; my mother-in-law and I, we took a few things and went to a safer place – the home of a relative in Jabalya.

“The next day, in the evening, my son, Jamal Ali, and I were sitting together waiting for him to fall asleep. Afterward I put him to bed and we sat down to eat. Suddenly I heard the whistling of a shell. The wall of the room fell on Jamal. We ran into the stairwell. My husband went up to the first floor to give his son first aid and found him dying. Indiscriminate shelling started. I saw my husband thrown into the air with half of my son’s body. My mother-in-law was hit by a shell and fell on her daughter. My sister-in-law was hit by shrapnel. I took my sister-in-law’s daughter, who was 8, held her hand, and we walked in the street on the bodies of shahids with the shells falling around me. I was also wounded by shrapnel and taken to the hospital. Seven people from my family were killed: my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law and his 2-and-a-half year-old daughter, my son, my husband and two of his brothers-in-law. I parted from all of them except my husband and my son, because their bodies were dismembered.

“After they were killed, the saga of my suffering started. I moved to my parents’ house and stayed with them for four months. I cried day and night. Every baby I picked up seemed to me to be my little Jamal. I would wake up shouting, ‘Jamal, my son.’ I even tried to kill myself: I went up to the roof, but my aunt saw me and saved me. I did it because I would see the women in the family holding their little children, while I had lost mine. I heard the voice of my son Jamal everywhere.

“Four months after my husband was killed, my parents and my husband’s parents decided that I would marry my brother-in-law Ali. I didn’t know what to do. I stayed with my new husband almost eight months. I served him and his first wife, my sister-in-law Jihad, and her children, because she was seriously injured, almost paralyzed. Eight months that felt like 80 months. I couldn’t go on. I asked for a divorce. Three months after the divorce, my cousin Ahmed asked for my hand. I married him at my parents’ request. They thought it was better for me, because I am a young widow and divorcee, and need to be a married woman.

“At first I did not adjust. There were problems between us. My parents scolded me: ‘Enough, go on with your life, forget the past, adjust.’ Afterward our life improved and I gave birth to Iyyat, who is now 2 and a half. During the pregnancy, I would say to myself: If only she will be like her brother Jamal.

“Five years have passed, and despite the suffering I went through, I say that this is my fate and I accept it. I lost everything beautiful in my life. I still have a splinter of shrapnel in my head, and because of it I feel strong pains. The fragment can only be removed abroad. Even though I married and gave birth, a deep sadness accompanies me – depression, memories of the war. I remember my husband and my son and the beautiful life we had. I remember how my husband loved me and Jamal. We had a beautiful, happy life, the dream of every woman, and it was lost to me. I cry all the time for my husband and my son. May God have mercy on them and open the gates of paradise to them.”

Fatma al-Hadad. “The light’s gone out, it’s growing dark.” Olfat al-Kurd/B’Tselem

Fatma al-Hadad, 55, a mother of 10 from Beit Lahia:

“I am the wife of Sufian al-Hadad, who fell as a shahid in the war of 2014. I lived with my husband for 30 years. My husband was a tailor who worked in textile factories in Gaza. I did not have a steady job, and we are a family of 12. Every day he tried to ensure that we had food. Even though our economic situation was difficult, he would take us on outings in order to see happiness and smiles on the faces of our children. We had a pleasant family life. I liked how in the nights we would spend time in the house together, my husband and the children and me. I liked the mornings, when we had breakfast together with laughs and smiles. I also liked the fact that my husband helped the children with their homework.

“I had a sweet life. But the 2014 war came, took my husband from me and deprived me of happiness. He fell as a shahid in that accursed war. On July 11, 2014, there was heavy shelling of Beit Lahia by the Israeli tanks. There was farmland next to our house, and the Israeli army shelled it. My husband was outside, watering the plants. He was wounded by shrapnel from an Israeli shell that hit him in the throat and caused bleeding. My daughter Marwa was by his side. She came and said to me: ‘Come, Daddy is lying on the ground.’ I saw he was bleeding and started to shout to the young men who were on the street: ‘Help! My husband has been wounded.’ He was evacuated to Shifa [Hospital, in Gaza City], where he died.

“A year after his death, I was in a very bad mental state. I cried all the time and thought about him. My nerves were frayed, and I went to the mental health center. I also suffered from weakness of the heart muscle. The doctor told me that the weakness was due to my mental state and my constant crying over my husband. Five years have passed, and his absence is still felt. The house is empty and I feel lonely. I feel as though the light has gone out in the house and it is growing dark. My life is wretched. We lost his love and compassion. Two weeks ago, my daughter Aya was married, and even then I did not feel happy. My heart aches because her father was not standing by her side, to hold her hand and lead her from the house outside to give her away to her husband. When I miss my husband, I visit his grave. I sit there, crying and praying, running my hands over the grave, talking to him and asking for God’s mercy for him.”

Shireen Bakroun. “I see his face in every corner.” Olfat al-Kurd/B’Tselem

Shireen Bakroun, 37, mother of five; lives in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City:

“I am the wife of the shahid Ibrahim Bakroun. There was artillery fire aimed at the neighborhood. Because of our great fear, my husband said we would leave and go to a house the family had rented in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood. It was a large apartment that held 50 people – my brothers and my sisters and my parents and my sons. But my husband decided to go back to Shujaiyeh, because the apartment was crowded. He asked me to stay with my family and said that he would get by with his friends and we would come home after things were calm.

“I cried when Ibrahim left and I told my mother I was afraid for him. On July 21, 2014, the place he was in was bombed by Israeli warplanes and he was killed, along with many others. I did not get to part from my husband – neither I, nor my sons. That broke my heart. At the end of the war, I returned home. Those were difficult moments: to return without my husband. I felt heartbroken and suffered great pain. I see his face in every corner of the house. My mother stayed with me in the house for a year to be my side, because I was worn out and have a blood pressure disorder. For three months, I felt strong pains in my stomach. It turned out I had a hernia; I had an operation. It happened because of the crying and the heartbreak.

“Five years have passed. My sons remember their father whenever they go on an outing. If only he were with us. These have been five years of weariness and pain. I cry day and night. Without Ibrahim I am weak. I feel that I am an old woman. When I see women going out with their husbands, I feel brokenhearted. I am young and I need Ibrahim, and my sons need him, too. My husband was granted a shahid’s pension. Every month I receive 2,000 shekels ($565).”

Iman Abu Odeh, 47, mother of eight; lives in Beit Hanun:

“I am the wife of the shahid Awad Abu Odeh, who was killed on July 24, 2014, when he was 39. My husband was a truck driver who transported goods between the Gaza Strip crossing points. We brought our eight children into the world, and my husband was the sole provider. We had a sweet life. He was a loving husband; his relationships with his children were filled with love. He provided so well for everyone’s needs that sometimes I felt he was an angel. He would leave the house and work hard for my and my children’s wellbeing. When my husband was alive, I was free of all responsibility for household matters and for the children’s needs. He always told me that he loved to see me happy.

“He had especially good relations with the girls, and particularly the little one, Kamar, who suffered from congenital cerebral atrophy, which affected her movement and her speech. She was Daddy’s pampered girl.

“In one moment, I lost all that happiness. The Israeli army ordered us to evacuate our homes and go to the UNRWA [UN refugee agency] school. We left on July 17, 2014, and took shelter in the school for a week. The conditions were terrible. We were all frightened; the classrooms were flooded with people, filthy. No electricity, no water. We didn’t have mattresses for sleeping. Sometimes the bombings were next to the school and sometimes above it. Afterward, we were ordered to evacuate the school, because the army was about to bomb it – that was on July 24, 2014. I went down to the schoolyard with the children, and my husband was with me. Suddenly everything was covered in white smoke.

“I was thrown to the ground, and didn’t understand what happened. After 10 minutes, I found my son Udai, bleeding. I started to look for my [other] children and my husband. I found Kamar, who was then 8, wounded in her left leg and bleeding. She was throwing up a lot and her face was yellow. Her father was lying on the ground. I saw that he was bleeding from the mouth, nose and eyes. He was wounded by fragments of the Israeli bombs – in his head, his body and his neck. I started to press down on his neck to stop the bleeding, but it got worse. I threw myself on his body with bombing going on all around me, and my son Mohammed trying to rescue me. The paramedics told me, ‘Leave him, he is no longer alive.’

“My children and I were taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital. Because of the seriousness of my children’s wounds, they were taken to Shifa. I stayed to see my husband’s body; I didn’t want to leave him in the morgue alone and wanted to part from him before his burial. Five years have passed since then, and I still feel the need to hug and kiss him.

“After that, my suffering as a widow began, and the difficulties of life without a husband. But the hardest thing is that my children Udai and Kamar were wounded badly and suffered. Udai’s injuries were bad and they wanted to amputate his arm, but I wouldn’t sign [the forms] for the doctors. I turned to Al-Midani Hospital [a Jordan hospital in Gaza], and that is how the treatments for Udai started. He was transferred to Jordan for more treatment. I couldn’t go to Jordan, because my daughter Kamar was in critical condition and I didn’t want to leave her. She was in a coma and had a series of operations. A platinum plate was inserted in her leg, because her hip bones were shattered.

“For four years, I stayed by my daughter’s side in the hospital. It was unbearable torture. For me, the moment when my husband Awad was killed, was nothing compared to my children’s wounds. My life became a grim tragedy. I was torn in two: half of me with my sons and daughters at home; half with Udai and Kamar. I didn’t sleep day or night. Very heavy responsibilities fell on my shoulders.

“The war ended but the torture and the suffering continue. Udai is still being treated in Jordan. He needs a bone transplant in his arm. I accompanied Udai twice for treatments at Makassed Hospital in [East] Jerusalem, and also accompanied Kamar to Slovenia for treatment of her leg. I underwent a harsh trauma, for which I am getting treatment in the mental health center in Gaza. I stopped the treatment for a time, but am thinking of renewing it, because the events of the war don’t leave me. It’s like a continuing nightmare. I always have the feeling that I am choking.”

Shireen Abu Ita. “I’ve become father and mother.” Olfat al-Kurd/B’Tselem

Shireen Abu Ita, 36, mother of four sons; social worker at a rehabilitation nonprofit in Jabalya; lives in Tel al-Zaatar neighborhood in northern Gaza:

“I am the wife of Mohammed Abu Ita, who fell as a shahid. I was married in 2005 and brought four sons into the world. I was happy in my life with my husband Mohammed, who loved me and poured warmth on me and also on the boys, who were the center of his life. Mohammed didn’t work, but always encouraged me to develop myself. He was my support. I lived with him for eight years; they were the most beautiful years. He loved the children and looked after them. He always went to the market and took the children with him.

“It was in the month of Ramadan. My husband was busy during the month baking kadayif in the Jabalya [refugee] camp market. Despite the bombings and the deaths, I didn’t feel afraid. When we were in the street, my husband always said that we should spread out, and not to walk too close to one another, because of the bombings. That same night, at 2 A.M., we were awakened by a loud explosion next to the house. It was a warning missile. I took the children and went downstairs. Mohammed came down right after me. The last thing he said to me was: ‘Don’t be afraid!’ We thought that the ground floor would be safer. Suddenly I found rubble on top of me, stones and sand. Israeli warplanes bombed the house. I shouted: ‘My sons! My sons!’ I saw bodies on the ground.

“An ambulance took me and the boys to Al-Awda Hospital [in Gaza City]. I felt I needed to go home and look for my husband and his family, because I didn’t know what happened to them, but the neighbors stopped me. In the hospital I learned that my husband’s father, Ibrahim, his mother, Jamila, my brother-in-law Ahmed and his son Adham had all been killed. I didn’t know about Mohammed; I thought he was lightly wounded. The next day I went back home to see what had happened. I found a relative who told me to go to the hospital, because my husband was in very serious condition. My mother was crying. She told me that my husband had been killed. I started to scream; I was in an indescribable state.

“We have gone through five years. I am exhausted, I’ve lost my appetite and I am very irritable. I feel alone without Mohammed. The responsibility I have is very great. I have become father and mother. I lost his compassion for me and for the children. Mohammed was everything in my life. My life ended when he departed. The first Eid al-Fitr holiday without Mohammed was the hardest day of my life. I found my son Abd al-Rahman standing next to a window in the house and calling out, ‘Daddy, I hope Daddy will come from heaven and be with me on the holiday.’

“One of my brothers-in-law proposed marriage to me, but I refused, because my goal in life is to be by my sons’ side, and I refuse to be a married woman again, after Mohammed. I sense the looks of men, but don’t feel weakened. I get marriage proposals regularly, but I refuse them. The house without Mohammed is dark.”

Gideon LevyHaaretz Correspondent

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Occupation transfers striking prisoners for solitary


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

GAZA – The Prison Information Office said on Sunday evening that the Nazi Camp Department transferred prisoners on hunger strike for solitary confinement .

According to the office, the Nazi Camp Administration transferred the hunger strikers Abbas al-Sayyed, deputy head of the Supreme Command of the Hamas Prisoners, and the official of the committee and members of the committee Ashraf Azghir and Ahmed al-Qidra to solitary confinement cells.

The prisoners’ media quoted the captive movement as calling on all prisoners to prepare for any decision issued by them to defend the rights and gains and face the Nazi repression machine.

He added that the Nazi Camp Administration insists on its position not to implement what has been agreed on the removal of carcinogenic jamming devices, stressing that new leaders of the captive movement and a number of prisons will join a hunger strike in Nazi Camp for not implementing the prisoners’ demands.

He stressed that the conditions inside the prisons “taking the curve escalation, and the coming hours are crucial,” pointing out that “the prisoners closed a few sections in the prisons;

The prison administration is putting jamming devices inside the prisons in an attempt to interfere with communication devices that secretly enter detainees.

The jamming devices cause pain and headaches for detainees, and prevent them from communicating with their families even though they are not allowed to use public telephones in prisons, according to human rights organizations and families of detainees.

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Fifteen prisoners from the Democratic Front join the battle

three hundred fifty

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Democratic Front organizations in Nazi Camp began implementing a plan to support administrative prisoners on hunger strike, where the strike entered the first batch of fifteen prisoners of the front, to join the battle of empty intestines, in support of their steadfastness and demands to end administrative detention and gain their freedom.

The Democratic Front, in a statement issued on Sunday, that the Front organizations in prisons decided other steps, including the joining of new batches of dozens of prisoners in various prisons of the occupation, to the battle of hunger strike, through gradual and progressive steps until the prisoners achieve their legitimate demands .

Among the prisoners who went on hunger strike were Haitham Antari, Munther Sanbar, Ibrahim Aram, Majdi Salem, Laith Mohsen, Anis Halabiya, Moataz Dakhlallah, Mohamed Zahran, Abdel Salah, Hammam Atta, Moataz Jaffal and Anis Amr.

A number of prisoners have been on an open hunger strike for weeks in order to reject the policy of administrative detention and carcinogenic jamming devices that the Nazi Camp Service has planted.

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Deadline expires today .. 120 prisoners on hunger strike in response to jamming devices


Ramallah – The deadline set by the prisoners as a deadline for the Nazi occupation authorities to end on Sunday to reduce the jamming devices in the Nazi Camp “Raymond”.

Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Prisoners ‘and Editors’ Affairs Authority, told the official Voice of Palestine radio that the company that installed the jamming devices should come to Raymond Prison to reduce it to the lowest level today according to the agreement between the prison administration and the prisoners.

Abu Bakr confirmed that one hundred and twenty prisoners will resume hunger strike tomorrow if the prison administration does not respond to their demand to remove jamming devices from the prison.

Six prisoners in Israeli jails continue their hunger strike to protest their administrative detention.

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Raids and arrests in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Nazi occupation forces carried out raids and arrests in the cities of the occupied West Bank town of Issawiya in the occupied capital campaign, and raids resulted in the arrest of the arrest of three Palestinians .

In al-‘Esawiya, Nazi forces arrested Naseem Amjad Muheisen, 20, and Mohammed Mousa Hamdan, 20, after they raided their houses and transferred them to one of their centers in Jerusalem for questioning .

The Nazi occupation forces arrested Mohammed Mahmoud Daoud Tohme after the Nazi forces raided his house in Qafin village north of Tulkarm on Sunday .

In Hebron, Nazi occupying forces conducted intensive raids in the neighborhoods of Hebron and Al-Dhahiriya town, south of the city. And Moses Joseph potatoes .

At dawn, Nazi occupation forces raided two dormitories of students at Birzeit University during the incursion into the town .

In the town of Eizariya in Jerusalem, at least 46 Palestinians were injured during clashes between youths and soldiers of the Israeli army yesterday evening.

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120 thousand Palestinians arrested since Oslo


Palestine Mahtlh- Quds News : carried out the Israeli occupation authorities, more than 120 thousand cases of arrest, since the signing of the Oslo agreement on the thirteenth of September 1993 / September.

The director of the website “ Palestine behind bars’ ‘specialized in prisoners’ affairs, Abdel Nasser Farwana, in a press statement, that the occupation authorities have taken the arrests as a policy and adopted a consistent approach and behavior since its occupation of the Palestinian territories, and used them as a means of punishment and revenge, and sometimes humiliation and humiliation or pressure and extortion.

He pointed out that the policy of arrests has become an essential part of the methodology of the occupation in the control of the Palestinian people, has become the most repressive and oppressive and devastating means of Palestinian society.

He pointed out that the arrests of the occupation authorities, the Palestinians did not stop one day despite the signing of the agreement “Oslo”, where the occupation authorities opened many prisons and detention centers to accommodate these large numbers of detainees.

The arrests have been going on since Oslo, meanwhile, where the period from 1993-2000 witnessed a marked decline, while it rose and rose significantly with the outbreak of the “Al-Aqsa Intifada” in 2000.

He pointed out that these arrests were not limited to a specific category or segment, but affected all categories and segments of Palestinian society, and from all Palestinian territories, where since the signing of the agreement recorded (2000) girls and women, and about (17500) children.

More than half of the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, ministers, hundreds of academics, journalists, civil society organizations and international institutions were arrested after Oslo.

He pointed out that there is an abhorrent correlation between arrests and torture, as all Palestinians who have experienced detention during the period under review have been subjected to at least one form of physical or psychological torture, moral abuse and cruel treatment.

He explained that the repression, torture and disregard for the lives of detainees doubled in recent years, and that more than twenty laws targeted prisoners discussed and approved by the Israeli Knesset.

107 prisoners were martyred after the arrest, since the signing of “Oslo”, as a result of torture, murder and medical negligence, the last of which was the sick prisoner Bassam Sayeh.

Despite shocking figures regarding the arrests, more than 13,000 Palestinian and Arab prisoners have been released as part of the “peace process” since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Hundreds have been serving life sentences and many have been sentenced to life imprisonment. They have been in detention for many years.

The Israeli occupation forces continue to hold some 5,700 prisoners, including 220 children, 38 prisoners and 500 administrative detainees.

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A boy from Bethlehem is arrested and raids are carried out in the West Bank


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Nazi occupation forces arrested on Saturday at dawn a boy from Bethlehem, and raided houses in different parts of the occupied West Bank.

According to sources, the Nazi occupation forces arrested 16-year-old Mohammed Mousa Hijazi after the Israeli forces raided his family’s house in Jabal Al Mawaleh area in Bethlehem.

In Hebron, Nazi soldiers raided the house of Palestinian Legislative Council member Hatem Qafisheh and handed him a summons to meet the Nazi intelligence in the Etzion settlement bloc.

They also raided the house of the leader of Hamas, Abdel-Khaliq al-Natsheh. In Ramallah, Nazi soldiers raided the house of a boy in Deir Nizam village.

Yesterday evening, the Nazi occupation forces stormed the town of Issawiya in occupied Jerusalem and fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinians, in light of the ongoing attack on the town escalated in recent weeks.

Local sources reported that dozens of Palestinians were suffocated, including a girl with special needs, after Nazi soldiers fired tear gas at Palestinian houses.#

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Echoing Trump, Speaker at 9/11 Memorial Questions Ilhan Omar’s Patriotism

Breaking from non-partisan tone of the ceremony, bereaved son called on lawmaker to ‘show respect’ and said al-Qaida attacked the U.S.’s ‘Judeo-Christian’ values


Nicholas Haros wears a shirt critical of Ilhan Omar's comments while reading names at 9/11 commemorations, New York City, September 11, 2019
Nicholas Haros wears a shirt critical of Ilhan Omar’s comments while reading names at 9/11 commemorations, New York City, September 11, 2019AFP

A speaker at New York City’s September 11 commemoration ceremony on Wednesday assailed U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, a Muslim member of Congress who has often been the target of false slurs by President Donald Trump and right-wing media outlets.

The speaker’s remarks were an unusual deviation into partisan politics and religious division at the somber annual ceremony held at the lower Manhattan site where Islamist al-Qaida hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center in 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Called up to read some of the names of the victims, Nicholas Haros, whose mother, Frances Haros, was killed in the attack, falsely suggested Omar was confused about the nature of the attack. Echoing Trump, Haros also questioned the Minnesota congresswoman’s patriotism.

“Madam, objectively speaking we know who and what was done,” Haros said, addressing Omar, who was not present at the ceremony. “There’s no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion? On that day 19 Islamic terrorists, members of al-Qaida, killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of damage. Is that clear?”

His criticism lasted for nearly a minute and a half, and drew a smattering of applause.

“Got that now?” he continued, saying al-Qaida had attacked the country’s “Judeo-Christian” values. “Show respect in honoring them. Please: American patriotism and your position demand it.”

Haros is a Roman Catholic from Ocean County, New Jersey, who evangelizes online through a group he founded called Facebook Apostles.

Omar fled her native Somalia as a child before her family found asylum in the United States in the 1990s. She was elected from Minnesota last November as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Fox New's Tucker Carlson criticizes Ilhan Omar, July 2019
Fox New’s Tucker Carlson criticizes Ilhan Omar, July 2019Screen shot / YouTube

Right-wing media outlets have vilified her for her outspoken criticism of Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies and of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.

Trump has falsely said that Omar loves and supports al Qaeda, questioned her patriotism and told her to “go back” to Somalia. The insults have led to an increase in death threats against Omar, her office has said. Omar has openly condemned al Qaeda and its affiliates, calling their members “terrorists.”

Right-wing media outlets have criticized Omar for remarks she made earlier this year about the increased prejudice and state surveillance faced by Muslims in the United States after the 2001 attacks.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

She said the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil-rights group, was created after the attacks “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

CAIR was founded in the 1990s, and Omar’s office later said she misspoke, meaning that the organization’s reach grew after the attacks.

Shorn of its context, the phrase “some people did something” has been wielded by Omar’s opponents, including Trump, to suggest she diminishes the attack.skip – Trump

At Monday’s ceremony, Haros wore a T-shirt saying “SOME PEOPLE DID SOMETHING?” and a baseball cap advertising his group, Facebook Apostles.

Asked for comment, Omar’s office shared her statement from earlier in the day: “September 11th was an attack on all of us,” her statement said. “We will never forget the thousands of Americans who lost their lives in the largest terror attack on U.S. soil.”

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Ex Respect leader and anti-war activist Salma Yaqoob launches shock bid to be West Midlands Mayor

Left wing activist Salma Yaqoob has launched an audacious bid to win the Labour nomination to challenge Andy Street as West Midlands Mayor, BirminghamLive understands. Yaqoob has made an 11th hour application to win the Labour nomination.

By: Jane Haynes

Politics & People Editor

Interview with Salma Yaqoob at MAC, Edgbaston.

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Outspoken activist Salma Yaqoob has launched an audacious bid to win the right to challenge Andy Street as West Midlands Mayor, BirminghamLive understands.

Ms Yaqoob, former leader of the Respect Party and an ex Birmingham city councillor, has decided at the 11th hour to throw her hat into the ring to win the Labour nomination – despite questions over her party credentials.ADVERTISING

Subject to confirmation from Labour’s executive that her candidacy meets membership criteria, she will stand against Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne, thought to be the frontrunner, and unions favourite Pete Lowe from Dudley in the race to be selected as the party’s official candidate to take on Street next May.

Ms Yaqoob’s political career so far has been pockmarked with controversy – often, she has said, because she is a woman, a Muslim, and outspoken.

Salma Yaqoob

She is one of the founders of the Stop the War Coalition, the anti-war campaign which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn chaired for four years.

Her candidacy is likely to renew rivalries within the local Labour movement – she has twice stood against Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff and in 2017 stood as an independent in Bradford, and has rejected previous overtures to join Labour.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with former Birmingham councillor Salma Yaqoob. This is the image Ms Yaqoob uses for her Twitter profile
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with former Birmingham councillor Salma Yaqoob. This is the image Ms Yaqoob uses for her Twitter profile

She has received death threats from extremist Islamist groups for engaging in Western politics, while simultaneously coming under fire for refusing to stand in honour of a heroic soldier injured in Afghanistan – she later apologised to him and expressed regret about the fierce reaction that followed.

She was also criticised for describing the 7/7 London terror attack, which she condemned, as “reprisal events”.

The birth of Respect

Ms Yaqoob, 48, co-founded the Respect party in 2004, with Guardian columnist and environmentalist George Monbiot, because, she has said, she did not feel there was a home for her in any mainstream party at that time and wanted to form a radical, progressive coalition.

She stood against Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff in 2005 and 2010, coming a narrow second both times, and served on Birmingham City Council under the Respect flag. She stood down for personal reasons, citing ill health, and later quit the Respect party all together following comments made by George Galloway, Respect’s only MP, about rape.

Salma Yaqoob
Salma Yaqoob

He suggested accusations against Julian Assange by two Swedish women did not constitute rape “as most people understand it” and Assange was simply guilty of “bad sexual etiquette.”

Yaqoob was caught up in the backlash and left the party as a result.

Galloway later lost his seat in Parliament and is now plotting to take on Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson in West Bromwich East, claiming he is the pro Brexit and pro Corbyn candidate that Watson is not.

A second generation immigrant, Ms Yaqoob was born in Bradford to Pakistani parents recently arrived in England, moving to Birmingham soon after.

She grew up in Alum Rock, where she has described herself as ‘tomboyish’, playing football in the street with her friends and neighbours.

She has spoken of her political consciousness being awakened after she spat at and racially abused in the aftermath of 9/11.

Salma Yaqoob

Up til now there has been criticism that the Labour movement in the West Midlands had failed to put forward credible female or BAME candidates for mayor, after potential candidates Neena Gill and Lynda Waltho decided not to stand.

Earlier this week candidate Pete Lowe said it was a “problem” that Labour in the West Midlands had not been able to field a candidate who was not a white male and that, if he was in office, he would surround himself with a team that reflected the region’s diversity.

Ms Yaqoob’s nomination for the mayoral nomination was made ahead of the 31st August deadline for but has been subject to scrutiny by Labour’s National Executive.

We have contacted Ms Yaqoob for comment.

What Salma Yaqoob has said on…

Racism and Islamaphobia

“Every Muslim I know has a story to tell. We are resigned to being blamed and vilified for the actions of any Muslim anywhere in the world. No matter how often we denounce the horrible atrocities carried out by some fanatics, we are still associated with them.” (2016)

Salma Yaqoob with faith leaders at #NotInOurName rally organised to stand against terrorism

Equality Education

“There should be no place in our schools for the promotion of intolerance, division, sexism or homophobia.” (2014)

Being a Muslim

“Sometimes, me being a Muslim – I just wish it was invisible. A Muslim does something on the other side of the world and I get kind of wheeled out – ‘What do you think about it?’ – because I happen to wear a headscarf,” she said in an interview with the website High Profiles .

“I have this tussle about it because a part of me is like ‘It’s got nothing to do with me. I don’t expect you, as a white man, to understand everything another white man might do’; but at the same time I have to deal with the reality of the world right now, that people are genuinely fearful of Muslims – and some of it may be exaggerated and politicians have used it for their own agendas, but there  are  Muslims in the world who are doing terrible things – and as a human being and a citizen anything I can do that allays fears or brings down barriers I see as my responsibility. I shouldn’t have to do it, but it has to be done.” (2016)

Being elected to Sparkbrook ward on Birmingham City Council

She was elected to Sparkbrook as a Respect candidate in 2006 with 49.4% of the vote.

In her acceptance speech she said her election “challenged the traditional conservatism that denies leading public positions to women, and challenged the old order, which treats our communities as silent voting fodder. And it was only possible because we united people around a progressive message of anti racism and social justice.”

Rejecting overtures from Labour to stand as an MP

Ahead of the 2010 General Election she says she was given a choice of two traditional Labour strongholds, in Birmingham and the Black Country, if she staged a high-profile defection from Respect.

She said then: “I do not like mainstream politics which do not accurately reflect the concerns of many of the residents of inner city Birmingham.

“I was approached by Labour and offered a choice of two safe seats…if I could have made the areas stronger I would have taken the opportunity…if it was just about my career it would have been a nice move, but it is not all about me.”

Posted in UKComments Off on Ex Respect leader and anti-war activist Salma Yaqoob launches shock bid to be West Midlands Mayor

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