UN speech step in right direction; words must be strengthened with actions

(WASHINGTON DC 10/01/2015) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, is heartened by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ comments before the United National General Assembly yesterday for focusing the world’s attention on Israeli breaches of the Oslo Accords and for demanding Israel to take full responsibility for its occupation of Palestine. At the same time, AMP strongly asserts this rhetoric must be supported by concrete actions, which will serve to unite the Palestinian body politic and could help in ending Israel’s colonizing, apartheid enterprise in Palestine and freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.

While President Abbas did not call for an end to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords outright, he said Palestinians will no longer abide by the agreement in light of Israel's consistent failure to do so for that last 22 years. Since the Accords were signed, the settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has more than doubled; settlement construction continued unabated; an apartheid wall and checkpoints have prohibited Palestinians' freedom of movement and Israel has enforced a total blockade on Gaza. Palestinians daily are faced with the threat that Israeli authorities will divide Al Aqsa mosque and prohibit Palestinians’ presence from a significant portion of the Al Aqsa sanctuary.

Remembering Sabra and Shatila as Palestinians struggle against settler violence at Al Aqsa

(WASHINGTON DC 09/15/2015) – As Palestinians have endured settler violence for three days at Al Aqsa sanctuary, we also remember the thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps who were wiped out in a brutal raid on Sept. 16-18, 1982.

On that date, Lebanese Christian Phalangists, under the approving eye of then-Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, launched a three-day assault on PalestinianS in Sabra and Shatila. The Palestinians were made refugees in 1948 and 1967 and were forced to remain refugees because Israeli policies prohibit their return home, in contravention of international law.

Officially, no one has ever been able to arrive at an exact number of dead, though figures range from the 1,000 corpses buried in a mass grave by the International Committee of the Red Cross to at least 3,500. Many people were buried beneath of the rubble of demolished homes and buildings and hundreds were rounded up and carried away on trucks, never to return, according to Dr. Laurie King-Irani, who has conducted research into this massacre.

AMP condemns attack on Al Aqsa; youth

(WASHINGTON DC 09/13/2015) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, today condemns in the harshest possible terms, the storming of Al Aqsa mosque compound by extremist Jewish settlers and Israeli armed forces, who fired upon Palestinian youth with rubber-tipped bullets and tear gas. In advance of the incursion, Israel had barred all Palestinians from Al Aqsa – including women – except for a small group of men over the age of 50.

Last week, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon outlawed two Muslim groups and banned them from entering Al Aqsa sanctuary. The groups, the Murabitun and Murabatat, comprised of civilian men and women of all ages, respectively, were formed to protect Al Aqsa, peacefully and through civil disobedience inside the sanctuary, from incursions by extremist Jewish settlers. Contrary to the Defense Ministry’s characterization of these volunteers as being the cause of the “tension and violence” at Al Aqsa, the members are not inciting these conflagrations but rather are acting to protect Al Aqsa from militant settlers who have every intent of seizing the holy site for themselves. Furthermore, these Palestinians have every right to gather in their houses of worship.

Today, Israeli forces padlocked the doors to Al Aqsa mosque, locking some Palestinian youth inside. A public call was then made that the Muslim site was open to Jews “who wanted to visit” for the Jewish New Year, according to media reports

Facts on the ground at Al Aqsa – Breaking through Israeli propaganda and media bias

The Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary is a large area that contains the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosques, as well as several other Islamic structures.

It is the third-holiest site in Islam. Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) led all the prophets in prayer and ascended into the heavens from the sanctuary.

Al Aqsa has been under Muslim control since the 7th century.

It is a World Heritage site, protected by UNESCO.

As an occupying power, Israel is obligated by The Hague Regulations and UNESCO to protect Palestinian religious and cultural heritage sites. 1

The Israeli military routinely prohibits Palestinians from Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary.

Incursions by extremist, messianic Jews who are part of the Temple Movements and who call for the destruction of the Al Aqsa sanctuary, have increased significantly in the past year.

Groups Applaud Rep. McCollum’s Concern for Israel’s Killing of Palestinian Children


(WASHINGTON DC / AUG. 24. 2015) — Several organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of supporters, applauded today Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) for raising concerns with the State Department about the cases of Nadeem Nawarah, 17, and Mohammad Abu Daher, 16, two Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces on May 15, 2014 during a protest in the occupied West Bank.

Closed circuit security cameras fixed on the building near where the boys were shot captured both shootings. The video, obtained and released by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), depicts both boys collapsing to the ground after being shot, and their lifeless bodies being carried away off camera by other protesters. Forensic analysis of the video footage showed that neither boy posed any lethal or imminent threat to Israeli forces at the time they were killed.

McCollum’s letter reads in part: “As these killings exemplify, Israel’s treatment of Palestinian youth in the Occupied West Bank is unacceptable and must not be tolerated by the U.S. or the international community.  Systemic human rights abuses are well documented, including the physical and psychological abuse of Palestinian children held in military detention. The murders of Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Daher only highlight a brutal system of occupation that devalues and dehumanizes Palestinian children.  It is time for a strong and unequivocal statement of U.S. commitment to the human rights for Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation.”

Empowerment Through Education and Action

The American Muslims for Palestine firmly believes that educating the American public is key to bringing about change in the Middle East. Because once Americans know what is truly happening on the ground in Palestine, they will no longer allow their tax dollars to be used to support Israel's military occupation of Palestine, the world's last and longest-lasting occupation. We are all empowered to act for justice when we know the truth.

The official positions of AMP are present in official communiqués coming from the national office in the forms of press releases, action alerts, statements and educational emails, as well as from our designated speakers, which include our national leadership and authorized staff, when they are speaking in the capacity of AMP.

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