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UN resolutions on Palestine won’t be implemented as long as Israel enjoys US support: Hamas

Press TV – December 31, 2022

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has condemned the United States’ unwavering support for Israel, saying United Nations resolutions concerning Palestine will not be implemented as long as Tel Aviv enjoys Washington’s support.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem made the remarks in a statement on Saturday, after the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution in favor of Palestinians, according to Arabic-language al-Ahad television network.

“This resolution will add to the long list of international resolutions concerning Palestine, which have never tuned into a practical step to put pressure on the occupying regime even once,” Qassem said.

“As long as the US acts as a partner of the occupying regime and covers up Israeli crimes, all such decisions will remain on paper,” he added.

On Friday, the UNGA adopted a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an opinion on the legal consequences of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli “annexation” and the “legal status of the occupation” of Palestinian territories.

The resolution promoted by Palestinians passed by a vote of 87 in favor, 26 against, with 53 abstentions. Russia and China voted in favor of the resolution.

Israel, the US and 24 other members – including the United Kingdom and Germany – voted against the resolution, while France was among the 53 nations that abstained.

The resolution is titled “Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories” and calls on the Hague-based ICJ to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”

It also calls for an investigation into Israeli measures “aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of al-Quds” and says Israel has adopted “discriminatory legislation and measures.”

The resolution demands the court weigh in on the conflict in accordance with international law and the UN charter.

Palestine’s UN ambassador Riyad Mansour noted that the vote came one day after the swearing-in of a new far-right Israeli cabinet led by hawkish prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which he said promises an expansion of illegal settlements and will accelerate “colonial and racist policies” towards Palestinians.

Earlier this month, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad al-Maliki announced that the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution that affirms the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

He further called on the international community to work on obliging Israel “to implement international resolutions and guarantee the right of the Palestinian people, as he hailed the resolution.

The General Assembly also adopted five resolutions recently in favor of Palestinians, including the issue of Palestinian refugees.

These decisions are issued every year by the General Assembly, which is consisted of 193 members, and are non-binding.

December 31, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas criticises ‘biased’, ‘contradictory’ EU resolution on two-state solution

MEMO | December 29, 2022

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas issued a statement yesterday criticising the EU over Resolution no. 2949/2022 (RSP), on the prospects for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

In a political memorandum, Hamas said the resolution “contained several inaccuracies and contradictions about the Palestinian issue”, noting that it “is heavily biased against the Palestinians’ inherent and legitimate rights to freedom, return and self-determination.”

Among the issues raised with the resolution, the movement said it has sided with the Israeli occupation’s narrative, while ignoring the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to resistance and self-defence.

“Voting against this right is considered a great sin that Europeans have committed, once again. This vote also reflects the double standards with which the European Union deals with issues of peoples and freedoms around the world.”

“In recent months, we have seen the European position on the crisis in Ukraine, and how the Ukrainian resistance was considered legitimate and supported with money and weapons,” the statement said. The resolution, Hamas insists, has disregarded terrorism practised by the Israeli occupation on a daily basis.

The EU resolution was called out over its double standards in regards to its advocating “customised” democracy for the Palestinians and the issue of the participation of resistance factions in free and fair elections, “despite the fact that most of the candidates for the Israeli Knesset have criminal records and terrorist practices and are labeled on terrorist lists in many countries, including Israel itself.”

Hamas acknowledged the resolution’s demand to end the Israeli blockade, imposed on the people of Gaza since 2006 but concluded that the resolution is further proof of “the European bias towards the Israeli occupation and its racist policies” and the EU’s lack of seriousness in pursuing a just and fair solution to the Palestinian cause.

The movement urged the European Parliament to reconsider Resolution 2949 and to correct its position in order to achieve a just solution for the Palestinian people.

Earlier this month, a senior member of Hamas denounced the EU over its silence concerning the complicity of over 700 European financial institutions in supporting illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.

December 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social media’s history of suppressing Palestine content

By Kathryn Shihadah | Israel-Palestine News | December 12, 2022

For years, social media have been making it difficult for Palestinian and their allies’ voices to be heard – even as Israel’s stranglehold on Palestinians has grown stronger, and as increasing amounts of US tax money have been sent to Israel and to various countries for Israel’s direct benefit.

Social media users, especially Palestinian human rights advocates, have reported puzzling occurrences on the major platforms Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – especially during times of Israeli crackdowns.

Users who shared information on the situation in the Palestinian territories described posts being deleted as “hate speech or symbols,” or “violence,” inexplicably losing followers and views of their content, or having entire accounts abruptly frozen or deleted.

One rights group documented over 700 instances of social media networks restricting or removing Palestinian content in May 2021 alone, during a time of especially heavy Israeli state violence.

Another group reported that nearly half of the Palestinian-themed content that disappeared off of Instagram during this time period

occurred without the company providing the user a prior warning or notice. In an additional 20 percent of the cases, Instagram notified the user but did not provide a specific justification for restricting the content.

When users appealed the censorship, often their content or account would be restored, with a message that it never should have been deleted to begin with. But by the time this resolution came, the opportunity to inform and influence readers was past.

For example, in May 2021, during a time of escalating Israeli violence, Twitter restricted the account of Palestinian-American journalist Mariam Barghouti, who had been posting photos and videos of the violence in Jerusalem. It later restored Barghouti’s account and apologized for the suspension, saying it was done “by mistake.”

A long report on social media actions regarding Israel-Palestine in the Columbia Journalism Review pointed out: “Some of those who have been covering such issues for years don’t think these kinds of things are a mistake; rather, they believe social networks are deliberately censoring Palestinian content.”

Barghouti explained the significance of Twitter to the Palestinian rights movement:

It’s our only avenue for speaking with the world from under a military occupation that controls all our entry and exit points. We’re left to share through soundbites of 280 characters. If even that is taken away, we’re looking at the slaughter of Palestinians in silence.

Social media suppression is particularly critical since mainstream media tend not to cover Israel and Palestine with the kind of accuracy and context that would enable Americans to understand the issue.

In essence, social media have been preventing the victims of Israeli violence from sharing their experiences or building support for their plight.

Excuses

Although owned by two different companies, the three platforms, Twitter and Facebook/Instagram, have offered duplicate “explanations” for what has happened, including glitches that just happened to affect posts and hashtags about Israel, and  “widespread global technical issue not related to any particular topic.”

One Facebook spokesperson stated,
While these [glitches] have been fixed, they should never have happened in the first place. We’re so sorry to everyone who felt they couldn’t bring attention to important events, or who felt this was a deliberate suppression of their voice. This was never our intention – nor do we ever want to silence a particular community or point of view.
Human rights advocates familiar with the years-long social media battle were not convinced.

TRT World reported another case in which Twitter restricted information on Palestine:

Pro-Palestinian activist Hebh Jamal’s Twitter was targeted with complaints over a post detailing an emotional conversation between her husband and his little cousin in Gaza. The young cousin admitted to wanting to brush his hair before sleeping for fear that the Israeli fire may kill him in his sleep. He said he wanted to look good in case he died. Hebh’s post was flagged for deletion, and restricted by Twitter.

Since the German government has implemented legal measures to make social media companies accountable to users, Twitter later confessed to Hebh that the complaints against her post were baseless. Under German law, Twitter has to inform the user if their post or account is being investigated. This only applies because Hebh and her family reside in Germany. For most Palestinians hailing from Gaza City, there’s a different set of rules, and a radically different set of rights.

TRT reports: “Hebh now faces a video review for every post she makes. She’s also been reported on TikTok as well, with her account deleted before.”

Journalist Bayan Ishtaiwi explained: “For Palestinians sealed-off in open-air prisons like Gaza, social media is all they have. Whoever uses words like occupation or martyr, is penalized for three days at least, which happened to me, or face a ban on live videos for a month.”

Whistleblowing

A group of Instagram employees confirmed the human rights activists’ suspicions when they protested the platform’s blocking of pro-Palestinian content during Israel’s violence in May 2021 – even after the issue had already been reported.

An employee circulated an internal document, which was later shared with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in which he asked,

Can we investigate the reasons why posts and stories pertaining to Palestine lately have had limited reach and engagement, especially when more people than ever from around the world are watching the situation unfold?

Other employees added comments, including,

I’d really like to understand what exactly is breaking down here and why. What is being done to fix it given that this is an issue that was brought up a week ago?

Soon after, nearly 200 Facebook employees signed on to an open letter demanding that Facebook address the allegations of censorship.

Israel calls the shots

Foreign Policy reports:

“Since 2015, the Israeli Justice Ministry has operated a Cyber Unit that has issued tens of thousands of content removal requests to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, mostly alleging violent incitement or support for terrorism.

Technically, these requests are voluntary. They are not legally binding and are therefore not tracked in the transparency reports that technology companies use to disclose formal government censorship orders.

Nonetheless, social media companies have complied with the Cyber Unit’s requests roughly 90 percent of the time.”

Israel’s infamous Cyber Unit patrols social media, searching for “incriminating” content, passing along thousands of requests to social media administrators to remove what the unit finds unacceptable.

In 2016, the Israeli government and Facebook agreed to collaborate on ways to combat what Israel considers “incitement to violence” on the platform.

Then-justice minister Ayelet Shaked noted that at the time, Facebook’s compliance with Israel’s requests to take down content was up to 95%, but expressed hopes that the plan would result in even more censorship.

Neither Israel nor the platforms have been transparent about this practice.

In 2020, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs issued a report on allegedly “phony” online profiles that put out content critical of Israel.

Within a day, Twitter “suspended dozens of Palestinian and pro-Palestine accounts,” claiming the information they circulated violated its terms of service.

It may be noteworthy that both Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk have had private audiences with top Israeli leaders.

Israelis abound in Silicon Valley, with about 60,000-100,000 in the Bay Area, and Israel partisans are also ever-present. A recent photo of Musk shared on Twitter was of him with his friend Ari Emanuel, son of a former Irgun terrorist and brother of Rahm Emanuel, who once volunteered with the IDF.

One Palestinian activist summed up the situation:

Rather than being some kind of enabler of democracy, social media has come to be the epitome of political silencing and repression as tech giants have collaborated with various oppressive governments, including the Israeli government, to censor and delete content that exposes their true oppressive character.

Facebook, Instagram report card

Facebook’s Oversight Board recommended that Meta (parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) undergo an evaluation of its treatment of Palestinian content in May 2021. Meta hired the consulting company Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) for the work.

Jewish Currents summarized BSR’s final report in an article entitled “Human Rights Due Diligence of Meta’s Impacts in Israel and Palestine”:

The report underscored heavy-handed content moderation by Facebook and Instagram, which Palestinian social media users claim censors critics of Israeli repression.

These restrictions have undermined Palestinian users’ effort to use social media to document Israeli human rights abuses.

BSR contrasted Meta’s over-enforcement of Palestinian social media posts with its under-enforcement of Hebrew-language posts, which the report attributes to Meta installing an algorithmic “hostile speech classifier” for Arabic, but not for Hebrew.

The report concludes that Arabic language content is over-regulated because Hamas, the ruling, elected party in Gaza, is on Facebook’s blacklist, so it was standard to remove posts that appeared to “praise, support, or represent” that group or others on the list.

Other reasons for the interference lie in the fact that the Palestinian content was not reviewed by Palestinian dialect speakers of Arabic, nor was the algorithm developed with the proper “linguistic and cultural competence.”

Internet policy experts summed up the situation at Facebook and the other platforms:

Social media companies have] shown a willingness to silence Palestinian voices if it means avoiding potential political controversy and pressure from the Israeli government.

“Unintentional”? Really?

BSR’s report speculated that the impact of Facebook’s actions – Palestinian users’ loss of rights to expression – was unintentional. Rights groups disagreed.

Dozens of groups signed a public statement in response to BSR’s report, insisting that they had been

calling Meta’s attention to the disproportionately negative impact of its content moderation on Palestinians for years, [so] even if the bias started out as unintentional, after knowing about the issues for years and not taking appropriate action, the unintentional became intentional.

Looking ahead

The BSR report ends with 21 recommendations to Meta, some of which Meta has committed to, either fully or in part.

Marwa Fatafta, a policy manager for a digital rights group, had mixed feelings:

The report validates the lived experiences of Palestinians… They cannot tell us anymore that this is a system glitch. Now they know the root causes…

But regarding Israel’s interference in content restriction, he added,

We’ve wanted more clarity on this because Meta refuses to provide answers. Users deserve transparency on whether their piece of content has been removed as a result of the Israeli government’s request.

Bottom line

Social media have for years – and for various reasons – repressed content about Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

In some particularly egregious situations, like Israel’s aggression in May 2021, the companies have offered excuses and apologies. But impartial analysis has proven these excuses false and the apologies hollow.

Not only are social media platforms inherently skewed to over-regulate Palestinian voices, but they are influenced by a powerful foreign government (and no doubt, its US lobby) to an extent we can only imagine.

And Palestinians continue dying.

A report in Foreign Policy by Emerson T. Brooking and Eliza Campbell described the situation with rare eloquence:

The 4.8 million residents of the occupied Palestinian territories live in two simultaneous and vastly different realities. In the physical world, Palestinians are captives, crammed into Gaza or West Bank enclaves and blockaded by Israeli military checkpoints…

But on the internet, the checkpoints disappear. Palestinians can converse with family from whom they are separated by barbed wire and machine gun emplacements. They can share their stories with observers and sympathizers around the world.

In doing so, Palestinians can call themselves citizens of a sovereign State of Palestine: one recognized by 138 countries and admitted in 2012 as a non-member observer state to the United Nations. This second, digital Palestine represents a fulfilment of the internet’s optimistic and largely forgotten promise to give voice to the voiceless and illuminate the darkest corners of the world.

It is also under threat of being extinguished. This is due to a confluence of three forces. The first is the expansive police and surveillance apparatus of the State of Israel, which is used to track, intimidate, and imprison Palestinians in the occupied territories for their online speech.

The second is a network of formal and informal institutions used by the Israeli government to target pro-Palestinian expression across the globe.

The third—and most surprising—force is that of American social media companies, which have shown a willingness to silence Palestinian voices if it means avoiding potential political controversy and pressure from the Israeli government.

Together, these forces demonstrate how it is possible for an ostensibly democratic government to suppress a popular online movement with the acquiescence of ostensibly liberal Silicon Valley executives. The playbook being pioneered against Palestinians will not stay in the Middle East forever. In time, it may be deployed against activist communities around the world.

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fatah rejects Algeria proposal for internal Palestinian reconciliation

MEMO | October 12, 2022

Before the start of Palestinian national meetings in Algiers yesterday, Fatah rejected an Algerian proposal for the internal Palestinian reconciliation, Quds Press reported yesterday.

“While the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has accepted the Algerian proposal for the reconciliation with Fatah, the latter rejected the proposal and suggested two major changes,” an informed source told Quds Press.

The source added: “Fatah set a condition that Hamas must accept the International Quartet’s decisions and recognising that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the only representative of the Palestinian people.”

According to the source, Fatah wants Hamas to recognise the PLO without seeking to make any change to it.

For its part, Hamas told the Algerian mediator that “it completely rejects Fatah’s conditions,” stating that the Quartet, which was created in 2002 by the UN, US, UK and Russia, wanted Hamas to recognise the Israeli occupation of Palestine and give up legal resistance.”

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is hosting a comprehensive Palestinian dialogue for the Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas. Talks began yesterday and are due to resume today.

October 12, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Whose side is the PA on?

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | September 27, 2022

The arrest of a couple of prominent Palestinian activists, one of whom was Musab Shtayyeh, by Palestinian Authority police on 20 September was not the first time that the notorious Preventive Security Service (PSS) has arrested someone who is wanted by Israel. The PSS is largely linked to the routine arrest and torture of Palestinians who are active against the Israeli occupation.

Several Palestinians have died as a result of PSS violence, the latest being Nizar Banat who was tortured to death on 24 June last year. The killing of Banat ignited a popular revolt against the PA across occupied Palestine.

For years, various Palestinian and international human rights groups have criticised the PA’s violence against dissenting Palestinian voices, quite often within the same human rights reports critical of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine. The de facto Hamas government in Gaza also has to take its fair share of blame in terms of violence against dissenters.

In its January 2022 World Report, Human Rights Watch said that, “The Palestinian Authority (PA) manages affairs in parts of the West Bank, where it systematically arrests arbitrarily and tortures dissidents.” This was neither the first nor the last time that a human rights group has made such an accusation.

The link between Israeli and Palestinian violence targeting political dissidents and activists is equally clear to most Palestinians, even though some may at one point have believed that the PA’s role is to serve as a transition between their national liberation project and full independence and sovereignty on the ground. Nearly thirty years after the formation of the PA, though, such a notion has proved to be wishful thinking. Not only has the PA failed to usher in the coveted independent State of Palestine, but it has also morphed into a massively corrupt institution whose existence more or less serves the interests of a small class of Palestinian politicians and business people; in Palestine, they are largely one and the same group.

PA corruption and violence aside, what continues to irk most Palestinians is that the authority, with time, has become another manifestation of the Israeli occupation, curtailing Palestinian freedom of expression and carrying out arrests on behalf of the occupation security services. Sadly, many of those arrested by the Israeli military in the West Bank have experienced arrest by PA goons as well.

Riots in Nablus following Shtayyeh’s arrest were reminiscent of the riots against Israeli occupation forces in the northern West Bank city and elsewhere in occupied Palestine. Unlike previous confrontations between Palestinians and PA police — following the killing of Banat, for example — this time the violence was widespread, and involved protesters from all Palestinian political groups, including the ruling Fatah faction.

Perhaps unaware of the massive collective psychological shift that has taken place in Palestine in recent years, the PA was desperate to contain the violence. Subsequently, a committee that represents united Palestinian factions in Nablus declared on 21 September that it had agreed a “truce” with PA security forces in the city. The committee, which includes prominent Palestinian figures, told Associated Press and other media that the agreement restricts any future arrests of Palestinians in Nablus to the condition that the individual must be implicated in breaking Palestinian, not Israeli, law. That provision alone implies a tacit admission by the PA that the arrest of Shtayyeh and Ameed Tbaileh was motivated by an Israeli, not a Palestinian agenda.

But why would the PA bow down so quickly to pressure from ordinary Palestinians on the street? The answer lies in the changing political mood in Palestine.

In considering this matter it must be stated that resentment of the PA has been brewing for years. One opinion poll after another has indicated the low regard that most Palestinians have of their leadership, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and particularly of the PA’s “security coordination” with Israel.

Moreover, the torture and death of political dissident Banat last year erased whatever patience Palestinians had with regard to the leadership. Banat’s death demonstrated that the PA is not an ally of the people, but a threat to the people.

It also has to be said that the Unity Intifada of May 2021 has emboldened many segments of society across occupied Palestine. For the first time in years, Palestinians have felt united around a single slogan and are no longer hostage to the geography of politics and factions. A new generation of young Palestinians has advanced the conversation beyond Abbas, the PA and their endless and ineffectual political rhetoric.

Finally, armed struggle in the West Bank has been growing so rapidly that the Israeli army Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, claimed on 6 September that since March, around 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank and that, allegedly, hundreds of attacks against the Israeli military have been thwarted.

In fact, evidence of an armed intifada is growing in the Jenin and Nablus regions. What is particularly interesting, and alarming from the Israeli and PA viewpoint, about the nature of the budding armed struggle, is that it is largely led by the military wing of the ruling Fatah party, in direct cooperation with Hamas and other Islamic and national military wings.

For example, on 9 August, the Israeli army assassinated Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, a prominent Fatah military commander, along with two others. Not only did the PA do little to stop the Israeli military machine from conducting more such assassinations, but six weeks later it also arrested Shtayyeh, a close comrade of Nabulsi.

Interestingly, Shtayyeh is not a member of Fatah, but a commander within the Hamas military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades. Although Fatah and Hamas are meant to be intense political rivals, their political tussle seems to be of no relevance to military groups in the West Bank.

Unfortunately, more violence is likely to follow because Israel is determined to crush any armed intifada in the West Bank before it spreads across the occupied territories; there is a leadership transition looming within the PA due to Abbas’s old age; and unity is growing among Palestinians around the issue of resistance.

While the Israeli response to all of this can easily be gleaned from its legacy of violence, the PA’s future course of action will likely determine its relationship with Israel and its western supporters on the one hand, and with the Palestinian people on the other. The question has to be asked: whose side is the PA on?

September 27, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment

Hamas: “Jerusalem Declaration” will not give Israel legitimacy

MEMO | July 15, 2022

Palestinian factions have categorically rejected the Jerusalem Declaration signed by US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, saying it represents “an aggression” against Palestinian people and their rights.

In its statement after Biden and Lapid signed the declaration on the strategic partnership between the two sides, Hamas explained that the agreement comes to further “consolidate Washington’s approach of siding with and supporting the occupation’s aggression against our Palestinian people and their Islamic and Christian lands and holy sites and a continuation of the US’ suspicious attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause by integrating this Zionist entity into our Arab and Islamic Ummah [nation].”

“This declaration expresses the blatant and unacceptable bias of the US administration toward the Zionist entity and its occupying agendas. It makes the US administration a partner in the Israeli occupation’s aggression and terrorism against our Palestinian land, people, and sanctities,” it added.

In turn, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine considered the deal a continuation of the aggression against the Palestinian people and their national rights and said it gives Israel more freedom to expand and deepen its colonial project in Palestine and its expansion abroad.

It called for “the escalation of all forms of resistance” against the “aggressive colonial and Zionist policies.”

For its part, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said the Jerusalem Declaration is an open invitation to ignite regional wars and to reinforce Israel’s aggressive role at the expense of the interests of the peoples of the region under the pretext of Israel’s “right to defend itself”.

It warned of the repercussions of the plans of the United States and Israel to drown the region in “seas of blood and many problems such as impoverishment, starvation, waste of wealth and mass destruction”.

The four-page Jerusalem Declaration includes an American commitment to Israel’s security and its military superiority in the region.

July 15, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestine resistance seize Israel’s surveillance balloon

MEMO | June 18, 2022

The Palestinian resistance managed to seize control of the Israeli surveillance balloon early on Friday after it was shot down in the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources confirmed to Quds Press that the Israeli surveillance balloon seized by the Palestinian resistance was not the first it had seized. It has previously seized several balloons, as well as advanced drones.

Israeli sources revealed fears of dangerous information leaks and the resistance obtaining high-quality imaging equipment.

Palestinian writer and political analyst Mustafa Al-Sawaf believes: “What is important is that the resistance was able to seize this surveillance balloon, regardless of what method is used to shoot it down,” describing the incident as “serious”.

Al-Sawaf told Quds Press: “The occupation believes that the resistance is unaware and does not monitor its movements, so it tried to penetrate the Gaza Strip from the north and present a special force, but the resistance men were on the lookout, confronting the occupation and preventing them from entering the Gaza Strip.”

He pointed out: “The matter almost reached the level of a clash, but a reconnaissance aircraft intervened by firing two missiles, thus preventing this and securing the withdrawal of the special force.”

He added: “The occurrence of three incidents in Jenin and Gaza gives quick and dangerous indications that confrontation between the resistance and the occupation is fast approaching, and we must monitor the situation with high accuracy because the coming hours will carry a lot.”

It is worth noting that the Israeli army radio station, Doron Kadosh, announced: “The army’s initial investigation revealed that the surveillance balloon that fell in Gaza had fallen due to technical difficulty and that the army said there is no fear of significant information leakage, although the army tried to open warning fire near it, Hamas still managed to seize the balloon.”

June 18, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Gaza Running Out of Bread as Authorities Struggle to Find a Solution

Samizdat – 12.06.2022

There are roughly 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip and they consume 500 tons of flour a day. For years, they have relied on exports from Russia and Ukraine but the outbreak of Moscow’s special military operation has disrupted these supplies sending prices to unprecedented heights. Wheat has long been a staple of Palestinian cuisine.

The outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, however, and the subsequent shortage of wheat has led to Gazans tightening their belts.

Adham Al-Basiouny, the official spokesman for the Hamas-run Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza, says the enclave’s small quantities of wheat will barely last weeks.

“What we are seeing now is a serious crisis. We are struggling to obtain wheat and its derivatives. And what we have at present does not exceed 30 percent of our citizens’ needs,” he says.

The Gaza Strip does produce its own wheat – the region has 12,000 dunams (approximately 3,000 acres) of fields producing 4,300 tons annually. But that only answers the needs of three to four percent of the 2.3 million inhabitants. Put another way, if the locals consume 500 tons a day, each year the region produces enough to last only nine days.

Unable to rely on their own production, Gazans have turned to Russia and Ukraine, both of which account for nearly a third of global grain production. The outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine have not only disrupted much-needed wheat supplies – it has also put a rocket under prices, squeezing the already impoverished Gazans, who have been living for years under dire economic conditions, further.

Reports suggest that in recent weeks the Gaza Strip has seen a price spike of 20 percent on wheat and its derivatives. In an area, where nearly 60 percent live below poverty line, that rise has not gone unnoticed.

Al-Basiouny says he doesn’t believe the crisis will reach the levels of unrest and clashes which existed in Egypt back in the Seventies. But he acknowledges the situation is acute and that his government needs to do “everything in its power” to cater for the needs of the population.

One of the measures Hamas – that has been running the enclave since 2007 – has already taken is to approach other wheat-producing countries, such as Canada and Australia, to make good the shortfall. Their prices, however, turned out to be higher than those demanded by Russia and Ukraine so the government, whose annual budget is normally no greater than $1 billion, is still struggling to find grain.

Hamas has also threatened local millers and bakery owners with fines and punishments if they are caught manipulating prices.

However, that move has run into certain obstacles, not least because those local merchants who have been importing wheat from the West at inflated prices are reluctant to operate at a loss. They, therefore, are angry with the government for forcing them to work for what they consider to be peanuts.

Once again, Hamas needs to find a solution, and Al-Basiouny says the organisation has no choice but to lobby support from rich donors.

“Right now, we are communicating with a number of donor countries such as Qatar, who would provide us with financial assistance to buy flour,” he says. “We also get flour from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) that provides bread to Palestinian refugees in the enclave, who account for about 85 percent of all residents.”

So far, reliance on what UNRWA provides has kept things stable. But with more and more donors to the organisation cutting back on spending, a situation where Gazans are starving for bread could just be a matter of time.

June 12, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

Hamas: Australia aligned itself with Israel’s terrorism

Palestine Information Center | February 17, 2022

Senior Hamas official Hisham Qasem has condemned Australia’s intention to designate his Movement as a terror group as “a reflection of blatant bias in favor of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.”

In press remarks to Quds Press, Qasem said that “the Israeli occupation regime sees every opponent as a terrorist party, although it practices organized state terrorism day and night against the Palestinian people at home and abroad.”

“Hamas has never been hostile to any country of the world and only resisted the occupation inside the occupied Palestinian territory, which makes any terror designation by Australia ‘a step against logical reasoning’ and ‘without foundation.’ It is rather complete adoption of the occupation’s aggressive narrative,” the Hamas official underlined.

“The Australian step against the Movement will not change its conviction about upholding its path of resisting the occupation until it achieves its final goal of liberation and return,” he said, stressing that Hamas would never deviate from this path.

Flouting the fact that Hamas is a national liberation movement that resists an occupying power in accordance with international laws and resolutions, the Australian government has declared its intent to add the Hamas Movement to its list of terror groups.

Australia had previously listed the armed wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades, as a terror group in 2003, but the new designation, which will come into effect in April, will blacklist the Movement in its entirety.

February 17, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 4 Comments

Hamas slams UK’s intention to label it as a ‘terrorist organization’

MEMO | November 19, 2021

The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, on Friday, decried the British intention to label it as a “terrorist organization”Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a statement, the group said Britain continues “favouring the (Israeli) aggressor at the expense of the (Palestinian) victims.”

“Resisting the occupation with all possible means, including armed resistance, is a guaranteed right by the international law for the people under occupation,” Hamas statement said.

It added: “The (Israeli) occupation is terrorism. Killing the indigenous people, expelling them by force, demolishing their homes and detaining them are terrorism.”

The statement urged the international community, including Britain, to stop the “double standards and the grave violation of the international law.”

UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is expected to outlaw Hamas for “links to terrorism and anti-Semitism against Jewish people.”

Since 2001, the UK has been calling the Hamas armed wing—Ezzeddin Al-Qassam Brigades—a terrorist organization, but did not include the Hamas political bureau within the designation.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, on Twitter welcomed the decision by Britain, claiming: “Hamas is a terrorist organization.”

“I welcome the UK’s intention to declare Hamas a terrorist organization in its entirety because that’s exactly what it is,” he added.

November 19, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Let’s Arm the Gazans!

Victims of aggression need America’s help!

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Well, here we go again. The Israelis, in collusion with no less than 420 criminals in the US Congress, have again ripped off the US taxpayer. I stop short of calling the congresscritters “traitors” because the US Constitution, which defines the word, requires that one actually be cooperating with a declared enemy of the United States to be so described. Israel is not yet an enemy as defined by a declaration of war from that same Congress, which is instead intent on showering our goods and even our freedoms on the Jewish state. Indeed, Israel has so corrupted our political system that it receives far more in benefits from the federal treasury than does any American state. And it is all done with a wink and a nod from the Jewish dominated media and through the agency of a grossly disproportionate number of Zionist Jews in high office and government aided and abetted by a host of pigshit ignorant Christian Zionists who are incapable of seeing or understanding what is best for their own country.

To be sure, many of those in Congress who pander to Israel as a top priority are not Jewish. But they know that that the Jewish state can be a harsh master if they deviate in any way from providing their enthusiastic support for the Greater Zionist project outlined in the Yinon Plan of 1982. This has led to America’s own interests being sacrificed and a continuous cash flow of many billions of dollars from Washington to Jerusalem, even though Israel is one of the ten wealthiest countries in the world per capita and its citizens enjoy free top level medical and educational benefits that many Americans cannot afford.

This is what happened last week, revealing yet again the US government’s total subjugation by Israel: Congress was preparing to vote on a multi-billion stopgap bill to pay for continuing government functions through December since a comprehensive budget has not yet been agreed to. Democratic Party friends of Israel had inserted an amendment into the bill only days before, consisting of a $1 billion gift to Israel so it could rearm its Iron Dome defense system, which ran low on missiles during the recent “Operation Guardian of the Walls” slaughter of Gazans, as well as for the purchase of other munitions. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama defended the arrangement, saying “Importantly, our legislation includes funding for the Iron Dome, making good on our commitment to a historic and significant ally.” He explained that the money would “bolster Israel’s defense capacity and protect against Hamas attacks.”

Hamas attacks? Inserting freebies for Israel in such a fashion is routine in Congress as it allows money to flow without any debate or context, but this time there was a problem. A number of Democratic Party progressives in Congress objected and made an issue of it, in part because procedurally the move was an obvious attempt to hide what was being done, so the amendment was withdrawn. The Israel friendly media, tv talking heads from both parties, and leading congressmen all immediately went to bat for poor little defenseless Israel and a new bill was quickly drafted up to give the Jewish state the money without delay. Representative Josh Gottheimer complained in a tweet how “The Iron Dome protects innocent civilians in Israel from terrorist attacks and some of my colleagues have now blocked funding it. We must stand by our historic ally – the only democracy in the Middle East.”

One might suggest that Gottheimer go to live in Israel as he appears to like it so much and he might well fact-check his comment. It is not possible to be an apartheid state and occupying power as well as a nation where only one religion constitutes full citizenship if one aspires to be a democracy.

In spite of continued objections by “the squad” progressives, including this by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents, who said “I will not support an effort to enable and support war crimes, human rights abuses and violence. The Israeli government is an apartheid regime,” the new bill passed by 420 votes to 9. It did not mention that Israel had previously used its US-provided weapons to kill more than 250 Palestinian civilians, including 60 children. The nine brave Congressmen, who will now be targeted for non-re-election by Israel and all its friends, consisted of Thomas Massie (R-KY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN.), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), André Carson (D-IN), Marie Newman (D-IL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Chuy Garcia (D-IL). Massie was the only Republican, who tweeted that “Foreign aid is the result of foreign influence exerted on US politicians at home.”

It is interesting to note some of the media comments that surfaced supportive of giving the Israelis another billion dollars on top of the $11 billion or so it already gets annually in direct military assistance, trade agreements and support for its illegal settlements coming from fake charities. The conservative Washington Times described Iron Dome, somewhat bizarrely, as “relied on against Islamist efforts to kill its [Israel’s] civilians.” A New York Daily News editorial last Thursday reads in part “A small claque of far-left House Democrats thought on Tuesday that they had torpedoed a $1 billion replenishment for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system by threatening to vote down a larger package, forcing the Israeli assistance to be stripped out of it. On Thursday it all backfired, when 210 Democrats joined with 210 Republicans to approve the money in a brand new, standalone bill, the Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022. Exposed and alone, no shield to protect them, just eight Dems voted no, along with an always cantankerous Republican… So that’s the vote, on the record: almost unanimous support in the House for the Jewish state’s right to defend itself from Hamas and Hezbollah rockets.”

Bret Stephens, over at the New York Timeshas this to say about anyone who would dare oppose funding Israel’s war machine: “It would behoove Democrats in the honorable majority to start treating their Israel-hating members not as parliamentary nuisances or social media embarrassments but as the ill-intended bigots they well and truly are.” Sure Bret, it all comes down to anti-Semitism, like always, doesn’t it? Bret is of course Jewish and reliably Zionist. He lived in Israel where he was editor of the Jerusalem Post.

The Republicans inevitably had accused the Democrats of having gone wobbly on Israel, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeting “While Dems capitulate to the antisemitic influence of their radical members, Republicans will always stand with Israel.” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik also tweeted that Democrats “do NOT support Israel. Instead they choose to side with the Hamas Caucus wing of their Party.”

Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, provided pushback as she enthused after the vote: “This bill demonstrates Congress’s commitment to our friend and ally Israel is bipartisan and ironclad.” What she should have said was the Israel’s grip on the US Congress and theft of taxpayer money is shameful, but somehow she must have misspoke. And the Daily News piece is, of course, bullshit unless one actually believes that snipers shooting children and warplanes blowing up apartment buildings is defense against home-made rockets and balloons.

And there was also plenty going on behind the scenes between Capitol Hill and Jerusalem. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, possibly the most rabidly pro-Israel partisan in Congress, said “There are some few that won’t support [the new bill], but the overwhelming majority of this Congress — not in a partisan way but in an American way — will support defending the Democratic state of Israel.”

Hoyer seems to be saying that all good Americans must support Israel. He should know as he was negotiating with the Israelis on the deal to bring about a quick vote to approve the Iron Dome funding. His maneuvering was in response to Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who had watched developments in Washington with alarm and telephoned Hoyer who, in turn, assured Lapid that what had occurred was no more than a “technical delay.” He quickly moved to bring the new bill to a vote. Of course, one might also note that Lapid had not hesitated to contact Hoyer and state clearly Israel’s demand that something be done. He felt himself empowered to put pressure on a foreign legislative body to take action that would result in considerable benefit to his own country precisely because he knew that Hoyer would be on his side. One wonders if bottom dwellers like Hoyer might be indicted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) since he is clearly no longer working for the United States, nor defending its Constitution as he is required by oath to do.

So it is a done deal once again. Israel has its money, as always, and has bent American politicians to its will. Unfortunately, the denizens of Congress were all too willing to be bent. The stooges on Capitol Hill and in the media are largely to blame for this shameful behavior, to be sure, but Alison Weir of If Americans Knew has proposed that those who object to the use of US taxes to support a rogue state might well begin to put pressure on their congresscritters to encourage the wealthy Israelis to pay for their own missiles. Beyond that, as it is the Gazans, West Bank Palestinians and Lebanese who have borne the brunt of Israel aggression, the US can finally seize the high ground on a major human rights issue by ponying up another billion to improve their defensive capabilities for the next time the Jewish state comes calling. It is a wonderful idea and it just might convince Israel that there are consequences for bad behavior. And, by the way, it would be an antidote to some very bad behavior by the United States of America, which has been funding and encouraging Israel and emboldening its apologists ever since the Suez Crisis in 1956, which was the last time a US President actually successfully defied Israel.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

September 28, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas calls for revoking Abraham accords with occupation state

Palestine Information Center – September 19, 2021

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has called for renouncing the shameful Abraham accords and ending all forms of normalized relations with the Israeli occupation state, urging the Muslim and Arab nations to restore their role in defending Palestine.

In a press release on Saturday, Hamas stressed the need “to swiftly correct such wrong political trajectory and respond to the aspirations of the peoples in the region who reject any sort of normalization with the occupation state.”

“The so-called Abraham accords are a Zio-American project par excellence, aimed at establishing regional openness and normalization with the Zionist entity, integrating it into the region and forging alliances with it to shift the conflict priorities, instead of being with the Zionist entity that is occupying Palestine and considered the greatest danger to the region,” the Movement said.

“The US administration and the Zionist entity are working on deceiving our nations and anesthetizing their awareness through an intensive marketing and promotion campaign for the Abraham accords that have been brokered with rogue regimes working against the region’s history, present and future,” it added.

“Those accords are aimed at consolidating and achieving the Zionist hegemony over the region militarily, politically and economically, plundering its wealth, marginalizing the Palestinian cause and isolating our Palestinian people from its Arab and Islamic surrounding and depth,” the Movement underscored.

On September 15, 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain officially signed normalization deals (Abraham accords) with the occupation state under the auspices of the previous US administration. Sudan and Morocco followed suit soon later.

September 19, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment