Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Israel participation in Expo 2020 Dubai amounts to normalization: Hamas

Press TV – January 20, 2020

Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas has censured Israel’s presence in the Expo 2020, which is to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates’ city of Dubai, as a form of normalization between the Persian Gulf state and the Tel Aviv regime.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem, in a written statement released on Monday, slammed attempts by a number of Arab countries, particularly Persian Gulf littoral states, to bring out in the open their clandestine relations with the Israeli regime, calling on them to put an end to such efforts.

“Such a behavior encourages the Occupation to increase the level of its crimes against Palestinian people, and to step up its violations against the sanctities of our nation,” the statement added.

“The Zionist regime must remain the principal enemy of the [Palestinian] nation. The campaign against the regime and its policies, which aim to dent all opportunities for the nation’s awakening and development, must continue,” Qassem pointed out.

Israeli authorities are hoping to reach out to Arab peoples through participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai.

“To us, the added value is in the Arab and Muslim visitor,” Elazar Cohen, the Israeli foreign ministry’s point man for the expo, which is organized by the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), said on December 15 last year.

An auditorium below the pavilion will offer visitors an interactive multimedia experience, the ministry’s director general Yuval Rotem told AFP at the time.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the Israeli expo pavilion as part of “the continued progress of normalization with the Arab states,” alleging that building relations with Arab countries will push the Palestinians toward a ‘peace deal’ with the Israeli regime.

Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on November 6 that the UAE is expected to allow tourists holding Israeli passports to take part in the expo.

“Israeli and the UAE’s authorities have been in talks for a while in order to allow those with Israeli passports to attend the expo in Dubai,” an unnamed source within the expo’s management team told the daily at the time, adding, “These talks are happening because both sides want to see the expo turn into the biggest exhibition in the world.”

Another source said the event in Dubai could be a great pilot run during which Israeli tourists would be allowed into the country, and it can be a signal that the UAE “might leave its doors open to Israeli tourists permanently.”

Israeli foreign minister, Israel Katz, told a ministerial meeting in Jerusalem al-Quds on August 6 last year that he was working toward “transparent normalization and signed agreements” with a number of Arab Persian Gulf littoral states.

Arab countries — except for Jordan and Egypt — have no formal relations with the Israeli regime.

Israel’s trade with Persian Gulf states is estimated to stand at about $1 billion annually, according to a study published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in August 2018.

Jamal al-Suwaidi, founder of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, told the British newspaper The Guardian in an interview in March that the Palestinian issue is no longer at the top of the agenda among the Arab Persian Gulf states.

“The Palestinian cause is no longer at the forefront of Arabs’ interests, as it used to be for long decades,” he said. “It has sharply lost priority in light of the challenges, threats and problems that face countries of the region.”

January 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

General Soleimani ‘martyr of Quds’: Hamas chief Haniyeh

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh addresses a massive crowd of mourners during a funeral procession for General Qassem Soleimani in Tehran January 6, 2020. (Photo by Leader.ir)
Press TV – January 6, 2020

General Qassem Soleimani is a “martyr of Quds” for he devoted his life to supporting the Palestinian people’s struggle against Israel and his assassination by the United States is in many ways similar to crimes committed by the Israeli regime, says Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.

General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), was assassinated in a US strike in Baghdad on Friday, alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s pro-government Hashd al-Sha’abi forces.

A huge sea of mourners, streaming from all the adjoining streets, descended on the iconic Engelab Square in central Tehran early Monday morning and rallied to Azadi Tower in the capital’s west as they chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei led the prayers over the general’s coffin and the remains of his companions at Tehran University, his voice cracking several times with emotion which caused the massive crowd to weep.

Speaking at the funeral procession in Tehran on Monday, Haniyeh condemned the US strike, which was personally authorized by President Donald Trump.

“We have come to Iran to condole with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei, the Iranian government and nation,” Haniyeh said.

“He [Gen. Soleimani] was the commander of the IRGC Quds Force and he is a martyr of Quds,” the Hamas official said.

Haniyeh also sent condolences to General Soleimani’s family and described him as one of the “flag-bearers of resistance against Zionist and American plots.”

Haniyeh said he was in Iran “to express our true and sincere feelings about a dear brother and a martyred commander – a commander who made many sacrifices for Palestine and the resistance until he achieved the position he has today.”

‘A crime similar to Zionist atrocities in Palestine’

Haniyeh said this “brutal crime” by the Americans is representative of the “criminal mentality” that is at work in the occupied Palestinian lands.

“The criminal mentality that led to Commander Soleimani’s assassination and martyrdom is the same mentality that drives the minds of the Zionist regime’s thugs, the same mentality and policy that assassinates and kills Palestinians every day,” he said.

He said Hamas owes its current prowess to General Soleimani’s wisdom. The Palestinian resistance, he said, won’t back away from combating Israel and the fight will continue “until we purge all enemies from the noble Quds.”

New Quds Force chief pledges vengeance

Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, who was named the new Quds commander by the Leader on Friday, said in a statement that Iran will no doubt avenge the assassination.

“Steps will be definitely taken” to avenge General Soleimani’s blood, which Qaani said has set in motion a series of steps that will lead to America’s expulsion from the region.

US ‘elimination’ from region only acceptable retribution

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division, echoed the remarks and said the only possible revenge for General Soleimani’s blood would be the total “elimination” of America from the region.

Launching a few missiles, destroying a base or even Trump’s death will not sufficiently avenge the blood of such a martyr, General Hajizadeh asserted, adding “the oppressed nations of the region will have to be rid of America’s evil.”

January 6, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas delegation in Malaysia for Kuala Lumpur Summit

MEMO | December 19, 2019

A senior delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday morning to attend an international summit in Malaysia’s capital. The movement said that its delegation is attending at the invitation of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The delegation is headed by Hamas Political Bureau member Mousa Abu Marzook and includes his colleagues Khalil Al-Hayya, Izzt Al-Rashiq and Husam Badran along with other officials such as Sami Abu Zohri, Osama Hamdan and Jamal Isaa.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Qatari Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani are also due to attend the summit, at which representatives and delegations from 18 Muslim states are expected to participate. Pakistan has pulled out, apparently after pressure from its allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE and concerns that it could challenge the position of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

 

December 19, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Turkey denies UK news report attacks against Israel planned on its soil

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh informs Hanna Nasser, head of the Palestinian Central Election Commission, that Hamas agrees to the plan for holding Palestinian elections [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh informs Palestinian Central Election Commission head Hanna Nasser that Hamas agrees to Palestinian election plans [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
MEMO | December 18, 2019

The British newspaper the Telegraph has accused Turkey of allowing Hamas to conduct terror attacks on Israel from Istanbul, claims Ankara has denied.

In a report published today, which cited information allegedly gained by Israeli police and security sources from interrogations of the group’s detained suspects, the paper claimed that Hamas’ operations in Jerusalem and the West Bank are being plotted from Turkish soil with authorities there turning a blind eye.

One such operation was a plot to assassinate the mayor of Jerusalem and the national police commissioner.

The report was released only days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul as part of the latter’s foreign tour.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reported to have reassured the Hamas official that “We will keep on supporting our brothers in Palestine.” Haniyeh and his party then praised the president for his continued support and “positions vis-a-vis the Palestinian people and their just cause”.

The report also cited accusations by Israeli officials that Turkey has broken a commitment made in 2015 between it and the US, which forbade the country from allowing Hamas to plan operations against Israel as a result of the latter’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories.

According to the report, Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated that “Israel is extremely concerned that Turkey is allowing Hamas terrorists to operate from its territory, in planning and engaging in terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.”

The accusations levelled at Turkey and Erdogan add to the Jewish State’s long-time criticism of the Republic’s hosting of figures associated with Hamas, the political party which runs the besieged Gaza Strip, and its ties to the Palestinian cause as a whole. While Turkey perceives talking with Hamas as a viable option to provide solutions to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Israel sees it as accommodating a “terrorist group” which fights against its continued occupation of Palestinian territories.

The accusations by the Telegraph and its report have been strongly denied and refuted by Turkey, with a diplomatic source saying that Hamas is “not a terrorist organisation”.

The Palestinian movement has slammed the report as “baseless” due to the fact that “Hamas’ resistance activities are conducted only in the land of occupied Palestine.”

December 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli media campaign targets Palestinian journalist as well as Jeremy Corbyn

Palestinian journalist Walid Mahoumd (Photo from Twitter)
By Robert Inlakesh | Press TV | December 18, 2019

On Sunday, in the wake of the UK election, the Israeli media released a fabricated story, accusing a well-known Palestinian journalist in Gaza of being part of Hamas and an administrator on the ‘We Support Jeremy Corbyn’ Facebook page.

The story was first published on Tazpit (TPS) News, an Israeli media agency, and was later picked up by Right Wing press in the United States. The information was then repeated throughout Israeli media in both English and Hebrew. By Monday, the Jeremy Corbyn supporting group, that has over 70,000 members, was labeled as an “influential” group linked to Hamas by The Times of Israel.

But the story in of itself was built on erroneous claims. The Gazan journalist Walid Mahoumd – referred to by another alias, Walid Abu Rouk, by the Israeli media – is to the best of his own knowledge, not a Hamas member. There is also no information that has been provided to corroborate this claim and when I questioned him on the issue he had the following to say.

“I am not a member of Hamas. I cannot recall when I was made an administrator on the page. I have never posted anything on the page about Jeremy Corbyn. This is not the first time they have attacked me like this. They just want anything to attack Corbyn.” Needless to say, this was not what the original article on the matter from TPS quoted him saying.

TPS News claim that they spoke to Walid over the phone and that he confirmed to them that he had maintained a role as a manager of the page until recently and still has connections to pro-Corbyn activists. But when I reached out to Walid Mahmoud, he told me that he was called by an Israeli journalist about a month ago, who “bragged about being in the army and now being a journalist.” He told me that he declined to comment for the Israeli news outlet as he boycotts Israel. Walid said that the Israeli spoke to him in Arabic and bragged about his role in COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories), which participates directly in enforcing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and besiegement of Gaza.

In a Facebook post, Walid Mahmoud has written that he now fears for his life, due to being labeled a Hamas member and that Israel could now justify targeting him in an attack, such as an airstrike against his home. He also stresses that the man, who called him to ask for information had threatened him if he did not cooperate.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, has over the course of his election campaign endured a relentless campaign from pro-Israeli groups and beyond, accusing his Party of anti-Semitism. One of the smears used against Corbyn is that he referred to Hamas as his friends. It would be perceived that those who created this story, did so believing that tying a Facebook page, which disseminates information about Corbyn, to Hamas, would hurt Corbyn in the elections.

The problem with the numerous articles written by the likes of The Jerusalem Post about Walid’s alleged links to Hamas, is that they have no verifiable information which could possibly prove the well-known journalist’s connection to the governing force in Gaza, nor his position on the Facebook page itself. This leaves many to the assumption that the claim being made is based upon the racist notion that all Gazans are somehow linked to Hamas, a theme which Israel used repeatedly when justifying its recent murder of over 300 protesters in Gaza’s Great Return March.

Walid Mahmoud is a journalist, photojournalist, and peace activist who resides in Khan Yunis (southern Gaza Strip). He is someone that I have personally known for around four years now. He has written in English for the likes of Al Jazeera and Middle East Eye and his work on the ground in Gaza has been shared by progressive Jewish groups in the United States such as Jewish Voice For Peace.

Walid has quite literally put his life on the line to bring the world information from the Gaza Strip, witnessing his colleagues die in front of his eyes from Israeli fire in the Great Return March. On the 30th of March this year, he was even shot at by an Israeli sniper and barely escaped death, with his camera blocking the bullet from hitting his head.

During Israel’s 2014 bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which it dubbed ‘Operation Protective Edge,’ Walid’s home was bombed by Israeli missile fire. Walid Mahoumd has endured living through Israeli occupation when he was younger, followed by eight large-scale military operation by Israel against Gaza after the enforcement of the illegal siege.

Now, he is being punished for merely talking about what he sees around himself. If for instance, he is to travel now, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine this process being made more difficult for him and his family. Hamas is considered by most Western countries to be “a terrorist organization” and despite not being a member, he could be perceived as such due to the numerous articles online claiming this.

Walid told me that he would like to take legal action against TPS for their smears and urges all those who published this disinformation to take it down. However, because he lives in Gaza this suing an Israeli news outlet will be an extremely difficult process. All of this trouble coming Walid’s way because of an article, which reads like a conspiracy theorist blog post claiming proof of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur being alive and well in Cuba.

The TPS article claims to have sources inside of Gaza, which they say told them about a supposed Hamas connection to Abu Rouk, yet they fail to provide the names of any such sources. It claims to have intelligence about London-based activists making Walid Mahmoud an administrator of the ‘We Support Jeremy Corbyn’ page, yet they provide no names of those who supposedly made him an administrator. TPS News then claim that Walid, under the supervision of Hamas, still communicates with London Labour activists.

Instead of providing any material evidence of such libelous claims, the article then goes on to claim that because Walid Mahmoud writes for MEMO, Al Jazeera, and the Middle East Eye, that he is therefore connected directly to the Muslim Brotherhood.

What made matters worse was that prominent Islamaphobe Robert Spencer then decided to post this information on his blog site ‘Jihad Watch,’ making Walid a potential target for online Islamaphobic hate mail.

Walid in a Facebook post on the whole matter writes the following points to clear up the situation from his own perspective:

“1- At no point in time was I ever associated with Hamas. I have even been arrested and interrogated by Hamas before in regard to my humanitarian work in Gaza. I’m entirely politically unaffiliated and only represent myself.

2- I was invited to be a co-admin on a pro-Corbyn fan page because I was asked to post occasional updates about daily life in Gaza under blockade. I used my own name for every post I made, without ever hiding.

3- There’s no way I would ever interfere with the UK election — I never posted a single post on the Corbyn Fan page supporting Mr. Jeremy Corbyn or even discussing the Labour Party.

4- I’ve only learned about (and became very fond of) Mr. Corbyn through his crucial support and recognition of our basic humanity, something that usually is ignored by other British politicians. I was never asked to run any activities supportive of him by any party whatsoever.

5- The Israeli journalist, Baruch Yedid, who fabricated this report about me relies only on one anonymous source falsely claiming that my ‘excellent command of English’ is why I was chosen by Hamas. This is total nonsense.”

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. He has written for publications such as Mint Press, MEMO, and various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European correspondent.

December 18, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sudan closing Hamas, Hezbollah offices to rebuild US ties

MEMO | December 17, 2019

In an attempt to re-establish ties with the US and to lift sanctions imposed on it, Sudan is set to shut the offices of the Hamas and Hezbollah resistance movements in the country, both defined as terrorist organisations by America, according to a source cited by Middle East Eye (MEE).

The decision follows Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok’s visit to Washington earlier in the month. Hamdok became the first leader of Sudan to visit America since 1985 and he held talks aimed at bridging the relationship between the two states after years of sanctions and international isolation, especially with Sudan being placed on the US list of states sponsors of terrorism after hosting former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the nineties.

Post-revolutionary Sudan witnessed the ousting of long-term President Omar Al-Bashir who is currently serving a two-year sentence on charges of corruption, and the inauguration of the country’s first civilian prime minister in three decades. Hamdok has argued for the necessity of Sudan being removed from the US’ blacklist citing the need to improve the economic situation, which is edging towards hyperinflation leaving Sudan among the countries with the highest inflation in the world. The economic crisis is primarily what brought protestors out onto the streets last year. Addressing the UN General Assembly in September, Hamdok said that the revolution aimed at ending Sudan’s pariah status, reiterating that Sudan inherited international sanctions and that “it was the former regime that supported terrorism”, not Sudan’s people.

The Sudanese source who spoke to MEE said: “The government will close the offices of Hamas and Hezbollah and any other Islamic groups designated as terrorist groups that has presence in Sudan, because Sudan has nothing actually to do with these groups and the interests of Sudan are above everything.”

However, the office closures are likely symbolic in nature, said Cameron Hudson, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Africa Centre, given that operations of both organisations have been dormant in the country for years. “The announcement that they are formally closing the offices suggests to me that they were essentially dormant, although not formally closed,” he said.

Nevertheless, the move is interpreted by some as a gradual alignment of Khartoum with the interests of the US and its regional allies. In 2016 Sudan ended diplomatic ties with Iran in the wake of the attacks by protestors on the Saudi embassy in Tehran which was in response to the execution of the Saudi Shia cleric and activist Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr. Two months prior to the severing of ties with Tehran, Sudan reportedly received $2.2 billion for taking part in the Saudi and UAE-led coalition in Yemen, although Sudan is now scaling back its military involvement in the conflict.

Israel for its part had accused Sudan of channelling arms from Iran to Hamas in the Gaza Strip via Egypt’s Sinai desert and is alleged to have bombed Sudanese munitions warehouses and factories in the past.

Sudan has also sought Qatar’s support in its efforts to be removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, which it expressed at a reception hosted by Qatar’s Ambassador to Khartoum, ahead of Qatar’s National Day.

December 17, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gaza Israel Escalation Explained: Who Started It, Where Is It Going And Why?

Palestinian medical workers tend to wounded children of a family six of whose members were killed in an Israeli airstrike, in the central Gaza Strip’s Deir al-Balah, November 14, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
By Robert Inlakesh | American Herald Tribune | November 14, 2019

Earlier this Tuesday morning, Israel initiated airstrikes against Northern Gaza Strip killing the senior commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Baha Abu al-Ata (43 years old),  Asma Mohammed (39 years old) and twenty-year-old Mohammed Atiyah.

This ‘targeted assassination’ of a PIJ leader in Gaza was not the end of the Israeli mission, however. Another round of Israeli airstrikes was then launched targeting Western Mezzeh in Damascus, Syria, targeting Akram Ajjouri, a deputy leader in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement. The strike took place at roughly 4:20 A.M in the morning and hit the residence of the PIJ commander, killing his son, injuring his daughter and murdering a bodyguard named Abdallah Hassan. The strike also injured 10 others, missing the Akram Ajjouri who escaped the blast.

In response to these ‘targeted assassinations’, as Israel calls them, both Islamic Jihad and Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at Israeli towns and cities.

Over 450 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel, striking Tel Aviv, Sderot, and Ashekolon and even triggering alarms as far away as Jerusalem. Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the al-Quds brigades, have vowed to continue their responses.

Israel has also fired hundreds of Missiles into Gaza, destroying 190 homes, injuring over 111 (mostly civilians) and killing over 34. Included in the dead have been at least 8 children and 3 women in Gaza. Israel has also damaged 15 schools with their airstrikes and attacked a power facility, shutting off the electricity supply in Eastern Gaza.

The rocket fire into Israel has proven to have successfully overwhelmed Israel’s air defense systems, specifically its Iron Dome air defense systems. Considering the fact that most of the rockets fired are nothing more than enhanced fireworks, this is extremely embarrassing to Israel and proves that its systems are a failure. Reports have also surfaced indicating that one of Gaza’s armed factions scored a direct hit, using an RPG, on an Israeli Merkava Tank. Despite the rocket fire destroying homes, vehicles, and roads, no Israeli civilians have been killed.

Israel clearly started the recent round of hostilities in Gaza, it has killed and injured overwhelming non-combatants and has somehow received, yet again, favorable coverage in the Western Press.

The BBC, FOX NEWS, SKY, MSNBC, CNN and the rest of the alphabet soup of corporate media outlets, have joined in on the anti-Palestinian hasbara narrative once again. Despite the fact that Israel committed a flagrant violation of the Syrian Arab Republics’ sovereignty, it killed a Palestinian leader without any due legal process and has been the all-out aggressor and only side to inflict civilian casualties.

The mainstream Western media, in fact, deals such a detriment to the journalistic field of work – when it comes to Palestine/Israel – that it is probably better to receive your news straight from the IDF twitter page than it is from them. At least with the Israeli military propaganda, you are getting the clear propagandistic perspective of Israel. Instead of listening to a loosely put together, poorly packaged, piece of romantic action drama, just listen to the Israeli foreign ministry. You will then have one side of the story and not just hasbara constructed to present specifically to an assumed ignorant Western audience, in order to garner support for Israel.

The Return Of Targeted Assassinations?

A widely repeated claim that is being spread throughout Western media, is that Israel has just resumed its policy of ‘targeted assassinations’ and that it hasn’t been involved in such activities in years. This is incorrect.

Israel has consistently carried out targeted assassinations inside of Syria, this year, targeting Iranian military personnel, Hezbollah and others. In fact, just back in September there was nearly a war sparked between Lebanon and Israel due to a campaign of ‘targeted assassinations’ of Hezbollah members.

The only thing that has changed this week, is that Israel has resumed its assassination campaign against Palestinian leaders. A particularly dangerous development as the last war on Gaza in 2014 was started, in part, as a result of ‘targeted assassinations’.

Another problem with the reporting on this issue has been the way the term “targeted assassinations” itself is being used, implying that the target is, in fact, a single person when this is clearly not the case. Entire families of those targeted from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership, have also been injured and killed in the attacks.

This policy is a cowardly one, one not rooted in international law, and seeks to kill members of groups with their entire families whilst they are defenseless and without any legal process.

Why Is Israel Attacking Gaza Now?

In order to understand Israel’s decision to target the Islamic Jihad leadership, we have to keep in mind two key factors, both Israeli and Palestinian politics.

The first reason for Israel’s recent acts of aggression is that the Israelis are likely concerned about the recent developments on the Palestinian political scene. All of the Palestinian factions have come together and decided that it is time to hold new elections in the occupied territories.

There have been numerous failed proposals for new elections and unity before, yet it has failed time and time again, but this time it seems to really be a possibility. This, of course, scares the Israelis, because they know that if any other factions, other than Fatah, win in the West Bank, Israel will have to deal with a new type of resistance from West Bankers.

More important though, is that there will also likely be an end to the ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation army, which allows Israel to operate its cost-free occupation of the territory.

If these strikes escalate into war, then the Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas’s Fatah Party, will likely abandon the idea of elections and condemn Gaza’s aggression. We can assume this as in 2014, unity government talks were ongoing and the prospects for it to go further were completely destroyed upon the war’s initiation. In 2014, the war was also started after targeted assassinations of Hamas officials.

The second reason for Israel wanting to initiate a war or even just launch these, so-called ‘targeted assassination’ strikes is the current election deadlock Israel finds itself in. After Israel’s snap elections on the 17th of September, the Israeli regime has been in shambles, with a possible third election on the horizon within the space of one year.

Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given the first chance at forming a coalition in the Israeli Knesset, despite winning one less seat than his rival Benny Gantz. Netanyahu, the leader of Israel’s Right-Wing Likud Party was then unable to form a coalition and passed the torch onto his rival Benny Gantz, heading the Blue and White Party. Gantz is still unable to form a coalition.

If a third snap election happens, Netanyahu who is still the reigning PM will have to deal with the “Gaza problem” which has led to him losing many votes in the past, especially in the South of Israel. So executions of the leadership in Gaza, are a great PR move for Netanyahu and a war, or even more, targeted assassinations could help him win the next election.

Netanyahu’s Revenge On Gaza

In order to understand the origins of the current Israeli rage influenced actions, we have to look back to November of 2018, when Israel failed a special forces operation in Gaza, ultimately resulting in the death of an Israeli commander, the death of a Hamas commander and a fight that would ensue in the following hours and days. Israel sought to kidnap a Hamas Al-Qassam brigades commander, Nur Barakah, perhaps wanting to achieve a ‘prisoner swap’ type deal, exchanging him for the bodies of Israelis killed in combat, currently held by Hamas. Israel failed badly and the Israeli press shed light on their failure.

Hamas also successfully used an anti-tank missile, in an attack that destroyed an Israeli bus. Hamas waited for Israel to claim that the bus was full of civilians, before releasing a video that revealed the bus was filled with military personnel. Hamas waited and fired the anti-tank missile, following the departure of all but one soldier, from the bus. This was used, to threaten Israel. The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, claimed that Hezbollah had smuggled the anti-tank missiles into Gaza.

The Salahaldeen Brigades then leaked a video to ‘Al-Mayadeen TV’, revealing an operation from back in February of 2018. The video showed several soldiers being killed, by an explosive laced flag pole. The operation was at the time covered up by an embarrassed Israeli military.

Avigdor Lieberman then resigned as Israel’s ‘Defence Minister’ after Netanyahu refused to go to war. He has been the kingmaker in Israeli politics ever since and his opposition to Netanyahu stems from this escalation in Gaza last November.

This year there has been a number of ‘flare-ups’ all of which Israel has not come out of looking militarily good, they have consistently killed civilians and have been fought off by Gazan armed factions. This is despite the fact that Hamas and the other armed factions in Gaza have much less in terms of weapons technology.

If Netanyahu is to impress the Israeli population with his military campaign against Gaza and can bring Avigdor Lieberman around, he will be able to successfully form a coalition government in the third round of snap elections.

Why Is Violence The Only Option For Gaza?

The response of Palestinian Islamic Jihad is quite literally all that they could have done. The peaceful resistance has been shunned by the world’s media, NGO’s, governments and the United Nations.

Since the 30th of March, 2018, over 330 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by Israeli sniper and tear gas fire, 44,000+ have also been injured since that time. The ‘Great Return March’ demonstrations continue until this day, yet the protesters have been ignored and smeared in the West. This was the last desperate cry from Gaza for a peaceful solution and the West has killed it.

Nothing was done to stop Israel’s massacre and the media described the protests as “clashes”. Hilarious that is that these so-called clashes, have gone on for over a year and a half and yet no Israeli has even sustained so much as a significant wound.

Gaza only has two options at this point, to resist the Israeli aggression with whatever weapons they have, or to lay down and die. The West and Israel will only accept the latter.

What happens next?

The ceasefire which was announced to have taken place at 5:30 A.M this Wednesday has already failed due to Israel not respecting the demands of Islamic Jihad and then later PIJ rocket fire into Israel. The two sides are now firing back and forth again.

Currently, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has stayed out of the fight. If Hamas joins the fight it will likely be an all-out war between Israel and Gaza. Hamas has only stayed out of the fight this long because they seek to allow for Palestinian elections to take place and a war would prevent this from happening.

There will likely be more massacres in the Gaza Strip in the coming days.

November 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 4 Comments

Hamas: Iran Provided Palestinian Resistance with Weaponry & Money

Hamas leader Yehia Sinwar in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Al-Manar | November 4, 2019

Gaza’s Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar Monday gave Iran the greatest credit for supporting the Palestinian resistance and providing it with money, expertise and weaponry.

Sinwar stressed that the Palestinian resistance has developed anti-armored missiles, adding that it can fire missiles at Tel Aviv for six consecutive months.

Sinwar also reiterated that the Deal of the Century aims at eradicating the Palestinian cause, adding that the weekly Return Protests achieved many targets.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 3 Comments

Twitter Surrenders to US Congress’ anti-Hezbollah Measures, Suspends Al-Manar’s Accounts

Al-Manar | November 2, 2019

Republican and Democrat US Congress members, have asked social media network Twitter to suspend all accounts affiliated with Hezbollah and Hamas, setting November 1rst as a deadline for the action.

The US Congress members rejected distinguishing between military and the political wings of the organizations they classify as terrorist, stressing that Twitter must not give them any chance to convey ‘hate’.

In this context, Al-Manar TV accounts on Twitter, including @AlmanarEnglish, were suspended without any prior notification.

The accounts which had around one million followers were characterized by objectivity and accuracy in conveying truth.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Longest trial in history’: Palestinian aid worker charged with funding Hamas attends 129th hearing

Former World Vision employee Muhammed al-Halabi (L) at a district court in Beersheva, Israel. © AFP / Dudu Grunshpan
RT | October 23, 2019

A former charity manager in the Gaza Strip accused of funding Hamas has attended court for the 129th time in what has become the longest trial of its kind in Israel’s history, dragging on as witnesses are blocked from testifying.

The 41-year-old aid worker, Muhammed al-Halabi, was arrested in June 2016 while working for World Vision, a Christian humanitarian group, charged with funnelling kickbacks to Hamas and its armed wing. For nearly four years, however, Halabi has been denied his proper day in court, instead forced to endure an endless series of stop-go proceedings in which key witnesses are barred from testifying.

His most recent hearing on Wednesday was no different, quickly hitting a dead end soon after it began.

“Today’s hearing was cancelled shortly after it started because the witnesses were not present,” Halabi’s brother, Hamed, told Middle East Eye. “The prosecution then threatened that any witnesses who come from Gaza to give their testimony will be detained.”

“They do not want anyone to prove them wrong. All the eyewitnesses and even the officials at World Vision gave proof that he was innocent. But this is not what the prosecution is looking for.”

The Israeli government has denied travel permits to crucial witnesses in the former charity worker’s case, preventing them from leaving Gaza to give testimony in Israeli courts. Halabi’s lawyer, Maher Hanna, says that guarantees he cannot receive a fair trial.

One of those witnesses – the owner of a company implicated in the alleged money transfer scheme – “could totally undermine the accusations they made against Muhammed,” Hanna told the Times of Israel. “He has begged Israel to allow him to go to the court and testify, but they have not permitted him to do so.”

A father of five from Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp, Halabi has maintained his innocence since his 2016 arrest and refused to confess to the charges, according to his family, despite facing pressure and even threats from judges. His father said that at one his hearings, a judge promised “long term imprisonment” if Halabi did not admit to collaborating with terrorist groups.

“[The judge] threatened him and tried to force him to confirm the accusations in front of everyone,” Halabi’s father told Middle East Eye.

Halabi’s family also says he has suffered “horrific torture” at the hands of Israeli authorities during several interrogations, including beatings, humiliation and forced sleep deprivation.

A former employee at World Vision said Halabi’s case was part of an ongoing attack on the charity’s aid work in the Gaza Strip and other Palestinian territories.

“There was a political attack on the organisation given that one of its main offices is in the United States,” the employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told Middle East Eye. “The Israeli lobby in the US must have played a major role in impeding the work of the organisation.”

Halabi’s father seconded that take, adding “They know very well that he is innocent, but they cannot release him after four years of interrogation and torture and prove themselves wrong.”

Also on rt.com:

1,700 Gazans shot by IDF face amputation due to funding crisis, UN warns

Palestinians love living under occupation, ex-IDF chief declares, recycling apartheid talking point

October 23, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Foreign agents torturing Palestinian prisoners in Saudi jails

MEMO | October 22, 2019

Palestinian prisoners inside Saudi jails are being interrogated and tortured by foreign agents, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said yesterday.

Speaking to the Shehab News Agency, Abu Zuhri said: “Sadly, the prisoners are being interrogated and severely tortured by foreign interrogators of different nationalities.”

“There are about 60 Palestinian prisoners inside the Saudi jails, including some pro-Hamas or Hamas members,” Abu Zuhri said, noting that some of them have spent more than three decades in Saudi Arabia and contributed to building the country.

“Their detention shocked us and them because it is not justified and not understood.”

Abu Zuhri said that his movement has exerted many efforts, including contacting Saudi and non-Saudi officials through direct and indirect means but has been unable to arrange the release of the prisoners.

He stressed that his movement has not given up working to end the crisis, stating “this is not justified because Saudi has been and is still a supporter of the Palestinians and their cause.”

Last month, rights groups and Hamas revealed that Saudi Arabia has arrested around 60 Palestinians over claims of links to the Palestinian resistance movement, stating that they had disappeared for months without their families knowing anything about their whereabouts. The NGO Euro-Med Observer reported one of the freed detainees as saying that he and the others were subject to verbal and physical torture.

Hamas also revealed that its main official in the kingdom, Mohammed Al-Khodari, 81, has also been arrested.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Why do so many spy agencies take so much interest in Gaza?

By Motasem A Dalloul | MEMO | September 16, 2019

The Gaza Strip is a part of Palestine with more than two million Palestinians living in around 365 square kilometres. It has been occupied by Israel since 1967, which has imposed a near-total 13-year land, air and sea blockade. It is regarded as one of the most densely populated areas on earth.

The coastal enclave has been subject to many Israeli military offensives, with three major attacks during the past decade alone. It has no natural resources and “less than four per cent of fresh water is drinkable and the surrounding sea is polluted by sewage.” Tragic humanitarian statistics — unemployment at 52 per cent; poverty 53 per cent; water pollution 95 per cent; and daily power outage 75 per cent — convey a bleak picture. A United Nations report warned in 2018 that it could soon become unfit for humans to live in by 2020.

However, Gaza has a presence in many corridors of power around the world, in both the East and the West. Last week, a security source in Gaza told me that they had so far discovered agents for 25 regional and international intelligence agencies operating in the territory.

Furthermore, every official or partisan Israeli election list has the issue of Gaza at the top of the agenda in their current campaigns. What are they promising to do with the Gaza Strip?

According to Ron Ben-Yishai, the military correspondent of Yedioth Ahronoth, for example, the Likud Party is planning a large-scale military ground operation in Gaza to deter the Palestinians’ “military power”, after which, he claimed, Israel will call for the world to disarm the security forces there and reconstruct the infrastructure and economy. The Blue and White party, said Ben-Yishai, is promising potential voters that it will do more or less the same thing as Likud.

The veteran journalist pointed out that the head of Israel’s Jewish Home party, Avigdor Lieberman, is promising its voters to carry out a similarly “strong” military operation in Gaza to “completely” remove its government before rebuilding the enclave “from zero”. Again, the intention is to have a disarmed population on Israel’s doorstep. The Yamina alliance led by the former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, meanwhile, is promising to carry out a massive air strike in Gaza and carry out assassinations (“targeted killings”) of Palestinian leaders.

It is no secret that Egypt is a major player in the situation in Gaza. It plays a role in the Israeli and internationally-backed blockade, and has a special unit in almost every security agency tasked with dealing with the Gaza Strip. In practice, Egypt, is the only state beside Israel which has a land border with the Gaza Strip, but regards it as a security issue and is dealing with it as such. As far as the Palestinians can see, though, since the time of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s deep state gives priority to Israel’s interests in Cairo’s relationship with Gaza.

End Gaza Siege! – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The UAE has imposed severe restrictions on Gaza since the victory of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in the 2006 elections. Hamas has been the de facto government in Gaza ever since. The government in Abu Dhabi has since deported or asked hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza to leave the Emirates, and has been running active intelligence agencies in the Gaza Strip with the help of Palestinian MP Mohammed Dahlan who lives in the UAE with his family.

During the 2014 Israeli military offensive against Gaza, the security services discovered that an ostensibly medical aid convoy which entered the territory included intelligence staff instead of doctors and medical staff. To avoid clashes with the UAE, the Gaza security officials immediately deported the UAE nationals.

Jordan also has a hidden agenda in Gaza. A security source told me that a Jordanian MP who visited the territory during the 2014 Israeli offensive was discovered collecting and reporting intelligence on behalf of a certain country. He was immediately deported with the threat that he would be exposed to the media if he did not leave his hotel in the enclave at once.

Other known agents active in Gaza include those working on behalf of Saudi Arabia, Western powers, the US and Russia. Prior to 2008/9, an American citizen in her 20s entered Gaza posing as a journalist and claimed to me that she was a CIA agent. Israel, of course, has many Palestinian collaborators in the territory.

Why are the countries of the world paying so much attention to the sliver of land known as the Gaza Strip? Could it be because Gaza is the only place in the whole Arab world which is being ruled by the people who were chosen by democratic elections declared to be free and fair by international monitoring bodies, including the NGO run by former US President Jimmy Carter? Or is it because the Gaza Strip is a “superpower” that the whole world is afraid of? May be the latter is true precisely because of that electoral accountability.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , | 3 Comments