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Yemen’s Al-Houthi offers to exchange Saudi pilots for Hamas prisoners

MEMO | March 27, 2020

The leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement, Sayyid Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, has made an offer to release Saudi captives in exchange for members of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, being held in Saudi Arabia.

“We are fully prepared to release one of the captured pilots along with four Saudi officers and soldiers,” Al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Al-Masirah. “This will be in exchange for the release of those from Hamas arrested in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Last September, Saudi detained 81-year-old Dr Muhammad Saleh Al-Khodari, a prominent member of Hamas who has served as the movement’s officially-acknowledged representative in the Kingdom for 20 years. He was also the head of Hamas’s General Shura (Consultative) Council.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Saudis were preparing to prosecute Palestinians held in its prisons. Al-Khodari and his son, Hani, are among the detainees. Their arrests on “terrorism” charges are seen by some to be politically-motivated following Saudi Arabia’s increasing normalisation of relations with Israel under de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Last week the Head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, urged King Salman Bin Abdulaziz to release the Palestinian prisoners, citing health concerns given the spread of coronavirus Covid-19.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar welcomed the proposal by the Houthis: “The initiative of the leader of Ansar Allah has pleased the hearts of all Palestinian resistance fighters,” he was reported as saying by Al Mayadeen.

A statement by Hamas also expressed appreciation for the solidarity and support shown by the Houthis: “We greatly appreciate the spirit of brotherhood and sympathy with the Palestinian people and support for their steadfastness and resistance. We express our thanks for this interest and this self-initiative.”

Speaking on the fifth-anniversary of the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen yesterday, Al-Houthi said, “Unfortunately, the regimes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have presented [themselves] as worse than Israel.”

Al-Houthi also said that his movement is “ready for peace and stopping the war if the aggressor is serious about stopping the aggression and siege.” He vowed that the sixth year of the conflict will involve “advanced military capabilities” and will entail new surprises for the coalition. “The general evaluation and studies confirm that the economic losses of the Saudi regime are great and its ambitions have failed,” he added.

March 27, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas condemns continued detention of Palestinian officials in Saudi Arabia

Press TV – March 9, 2020

A Hamas spokesman has condemned the continued detention and prosecution of Palestinian figures in Saudi Arabia over their support for the Palestinian resistance movement, urging Riyadh to immediately release them.

“The national and pan-Arabism duty requires honoring those people and not trying them in this way,” Hazim Qassim told Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television on Sunday.

He added that Arab countries should reinforce the Palestinian cause and “not weaken its resistance with such trials”.

The spokesman said Hamas has contacted various parties to secure the release of Palestinian detainees in the kingdom, expressing hope that Saudi authorities would respond to those efforts and release the detainees.

His remarks came as a Saudi court on Sunday held the first hearing in the case of 68 Palestinian and Jordanian detainees.

According to al-Mayadeen, the detainees are charged with “supporting terrorism and financing it” and belonging to “a criminal terrorist entity”.

Senior Hamas official Muhammad al-Khudari and his son Hani, who were arrested last April, were among those who stood trial on Sunday.

Al-Khudari represented Hamas in Saudi Arabia between the mid-1990s and 2003. He has held other important positions in the Palestinian resistance movement as well.

Saudi Arabia’s repressive measures against the Palestinian resistance movement as well as those seeking to collect donations for people living in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip come as the kingdom and Israel are believed to be planning to publicize their secret ties.

Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since 2007.

Last month, Saudi authorities launched a new campaign of “arbitrary” arrests against Palestinian expatriates on charges of supporting Hamas.

The Prisoners of Conscience, a non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced on February 12 that the kingdom had detained a number of Palestinians, including the relatives or children of those imprisoned last April for the same reason.

Over the past two years, Saudi authorities have deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas financially, politically, or through social networking sites.

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 6 Comments

The war scenario between Israel and Hezbollah

By Elijah J. Magnier – 24/02/2020

Notwithstanding the increase in power of the “Axis of the Resistance”, with its precision missiles and unrivalled accumulated warfare experience, the possibility of war is still on the table. The “Axis of the Resistance” is increasing its readiness based on the possibility that Israel may not tolerate the presence of such a serious threat on its northern borders and therefore act to remove it. However, in any future war, the “Axis of the Resistance” considers the consequences would be overwhelmingly devastating for both sides and on all levels if the rules of engagement are not respected. Notwithstanding Israel’s superior air firepower, its enemy Hezbollah has established its own tremendous firepower, and its experience in recent wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen is an important asset.

Sources within the “Axis of the Resistance” believe the next battle between Hezbollah and Israel, if ever it takes place, would be “controlled and not sporadic, with a focus on specific military objectives without damaging the infrastructure, on both sides”.

The sources consider Gaza as a precedent. In Gaza Palestinians and Israelis have fought many recent battles that lasted only a few days in which the objectives bombed were purely military. This is a new rule of engagement (ROE) regulating conflict between the belligerents. When Israel hits a non-military target, the Palestinian resistance responds by hitting a similar non-military target in Israel. The lesson extracted from the new ROE between Israel and the Palestinians is that every time exchanges of bombing go out of control, both sides understand they have to bring it back to an acceptable and equitable level, to limit damage and keep such mutual attacks from targeting civilians.

The “Axis of the Resistance” therefore considers that the probability is high that the next battle would be limited to military objectives and kept under control. If one side increases the bombing, the other will follow. Otherwise, both sides have the capability to cause total destruction and go on to uncontrolled bombing. In the case of an out-of-control war, allies on both sides would become involved, which renders this scenario less likely.

Hezbollah in Lebanon is said to have over 150,000 missiles and rockets. Israel might suppose that a limited attack could destroy tens of thousands of Hezbollah’s missiles. Is it worth it? “From Israel’s view, Israel may think it is worth triggering a battle and destroying thousands of missiles, thinking that Israel has the possibility to prevent Hezbollah from re-arming itself. But even in this case, Israel doesn’t need to destroy villages or cities or the Lebanese infrastructure, instead, it will limit itself to selective targets within its bank of objectives. However, we strongly doubt Israel could succeed in limiting Hezbollah’s supply of missiles and advanced weapons. Many of these missiles no longer need to be close to the borders with Israel, but can be deployed on the Lebanese-Syrian borders in safe silos”, said the sources.

However, Israel should also expect, according to the same sources, that Hezbollah will respond by bombing significant Israeli military targets within its bank of objectives. “There is no need to bomb airports, power stations, chemical industries, harbours or any highly significant target if Israel doesn’t bomb any of these in Lebanon. But if necessary Hezbollah is prepared to imitate Israel by hitting back without hesitation indiscriminately and against high-value targets, at the cost of raising the level of confrontation to its maximum level. Hezbollah and Israel have a common language in warfare. If the bombing is limited, no side interprets the others’ actions as a sign of weakness”, said the sources.

“Hezbollah doesn’t want war and is doing everything to avoid it. This is why it responded in Moawad, in the suburb of Beirut, when Israeli armed drones failed to reach their objectives. By responding, Hezbollah actually prevented a war on a large scale because it is not possible to allow Israel to get away with any act of war in Lebanon, violating the ROE” said the sources.

Last September, Hezbollah targeted an Israeli vehicle in Avivim with a laser-guided missile in daylight after forcing the Israeli Army to hide for a week and retreat all forces behind civilians lines, imposing a new ROE. The Israeli army cleared the 120 km borders with Lebanon (5 km deep) to avoid Hezbollah’s revenge retaliation for violating the 2006 cessation of hostility’s agreement. Israel refrained from responding and swallowed the humiliation due to its awareness of Hezbollah’s readiness to start a devastating war if necessary.

Israeli officials used to threaten Hezbollah and Lebanon to take the country “back to the stone age”. This is indeed within the reach of Israel’s military capability. However, it is also within Hezbollah’s reach to bring Israel back to the stone age, if required. Hezbollah’s precision missiles can hit any bridge, airport, gasoline deposit containers, power stations, Haifa harbour, oil and gas rig platforms, any infrastructure and military and non-military objectives if Israel attempts to target similar objectives in Lebanon first. Hezbollah’s new missile capability is not new to Israel, who is observing the latest technology Iran’s allies are enjoying and “testing,” mainly in Yemen. The recent bombing of Saudi Arabia oil facilities and the downing of a Saudi Tornado in Yemen revealed that Iran’s HOT missiles are capable of downing jets at medium height and any helicopter violating Lebanese airspace.

Hezbollah’s latest version of the Fateh precision missile, the supersonic anti-ship missiles and the anti-air missiles can prevent Israel from using its navy, stopping any civilian ship from docking in Haifa, thwarting the use of Israeli Helicopters and precision bombing attacks- as in Iran’s latest confrontation with the US at Ayn al-Assad base in Iraq.

Hezbollah’s missiles are unlikely to cause simple traumatic brain injuries – as per the Iranian missile at Ayn al Assad – when hitting targets in Israel in case of war. They can avoid missile interception systems. This increase of capability is a game-changer, and Hezbollah believes it is already decreasing the chances of war. Arming itself with precision missiles and armed drones and showing these capabilities to Israel is Hezbollah’s way to avert a war and protect the equation of deterrence.

In its 2020 security assessment, the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman) unwisely evaluated the assassination of the Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani as a “restraining factor”. Aman’s report, showing astonishing ignorance, stated that Soleimani was responsible for Hezbollah’s missile projects. This lack of understanding of the Hezbollah-Iran relationship and dynamic is quite surprising. Sayyed Ali Khamenei told Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah decades ago that he knows what he needs and what to do and doesn’t need to fall back on Iran. The IRGC and Hezbollah have set up a collaboration engine that won’t stop even if half of the IRGC leadership is killed. The possession of the feared Iranian precision missiles is no longer a secret: all Iran’s allies have these deployed, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Yesterday is unlike today: the power of destruction now belongs to all parties, no longer to Israel alone. War is no longer an option. US/Israeli aggression will be limited to an economic war, so long as the “Axis of the Resistance” continues updating its warfare capability to maintain deterrence parity.

This article is translated free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com  2020  @ejmalrai

February 28, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas: Israel’s aggressive mindset poses a threat to the entire region

Palestine Information Center – February 24, 2020

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has called for pooling the Arab nation’s efforts to confront the Israeli expansionist project in the region.

In a press release on Sunday night, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said that Israel’s “bombing of resistance sites in Damascus vindicated further the Israeli government’s aggressive mentality that keeps targeting the Arab nation and posing a threat to their region.”

“This entails uniting and integrating the entire nation’s efforts in order to confront the Zionist expansionist project and put an end to its ongoing aggression and its existence on the Palestinian land,” spokesman Qasem added.

The spokesman also described Israel’s renewed aggression against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian resistance’s response to its crimes as “an ongoing battle between an arrogant colonial power and a people striving to extract their freedom and live with dignity on their own land.”

“This battle is to be won by our people, the rightful owners of the land and history, while the passing colonist will not have a place on our Palestinian land,” he said.

February 24, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

US-Palestinian intelligence talks focus on Abbas’ successor

By Dr Adnan Abu Amer | MEMO | February 24, 2020

Just two days after the announcement of the “deal of the century” in late January, Gina Haspel, director of the CIA, secretly arrived in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, and met with Majed Faraj, head of the Palestinian Intelligence Service, and a number of senior Palestinian officials. They assured her that Palestinian-American security coordination would not be affected after the announcement of the deal.

This visit took place after Israel revealed it had thwarted an assassination attempt on Majed Faraj, at the order of Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former head of the General Intelligence Service.

The CIA director’s visit came as a surprise, she could have sent one of her aides or summoned Majed Fatah to Washington. There are some who believe that the visit aimed to persuade the Palestinians to accept the deal of the century.

Perhaps the American security visit is related to the preparation for the succession of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, especially since the visit coincided with the revelation of the assassination attempt on Faraj.

Haspel’s visit came despite Abbas’ announcement that security relations with the Israelis and Americans were being cut, which raised big questions about his credibility.

The information received regarding Haspel’s meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian intelligence leaders indicates that the meetings lasted three days, with 16 officers from both sides participating to discuss in depth scenarios and plans to eliminate the Palestinian resistance system, in the Gaza Strip in particular. They also drew plans to ensure that no chaos occurs in the West Bank that causes the situation to explode in the face of Israel.

On the first day, the meetings discussed all the scenarios to deal with the Palestinian resistance, and the general objectives of each scenario. The second day was dedicated to discussing Palestinian intelligence preparations to implement these scenarios, and on the third day a general American-Palestinian debate was opened to discuss what was described as “creative ideas” to emerge from the crises.

In the end, the meetings concluded with several points, the most important of which is the necessity of progressing from containing Hamas to attacking it, by using the conflicts between the leaders inside Palestine and abroad, and inciting against its leader, Ismail Haniyeh’s visit to Tehran and his participation in Qassem Soleimani’s funeral. This constituted clear proof of the political failure to contain the movement, either by Israel or Egypt. Moreover, Hamas’ attempts to strengthen its relationship with Hezbollah and its failure to comply with the Egyptian conditions of not visiting Iran both serve the interest of the same conviction.

At the end of their meetings in Ramallah, the Palestinian and American security sides concluded that it is not possible to eradicate Hamas, because it has a wide popular base, and therefore a strategy must be worked on to weaken it. In this regard, a proposal was made by the Palestinian general intelligence calling for containing the movement and pushing it to be part of the political system in the context of the PLO, along with draining their sources of funding, in agreement with the US Treasury.

This conclusion, reached by Faraj’s men in the Palestinian intelligence services with their American counterparts, or rather their handlers, is related to what Hamas revealed in April 2019 about the details of a long-term plan prepared by the PA’s intelligence services to ignite an internal conflict in the Gaza Strip, in preparation for changing the political reality in Gaza. It is a plan directly supervised by Majed Faraj, which aims to create chaos and disrupt the masses in the Gaza Strip, as well as affect the harmony and coordination between Hamas, which manages the affairs in Gaza, and the rest of the Palestinian factions.

The American visit may also relate to asking Faraj and his security apparatus, which controls the West Bank, to maintain a state of security in it, and not to allow popular demonstrations and mass activities to take place that may spiral out of control to become confrontations with the Israeli army.

Faraj, 58, has been at the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service since 2009, and holds the rank of major general. He was born in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, in the south of the West Bank. He is considered the highest figure among the heads of the Palestinian security services, the only one who practices political activity, and the closest to Abbas. He is directly responsible for contact with the Israelis, participating actively in the negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians in 2014. He is well known to all international players, and is the main partner in the reconciliation talks with Hamas.

In coincidence with Haspel’s visit to Ramallah, the Israeli media revealed it had thwarted an attempt to assassinate Majed Faraj. This was met with official Palestinian silence, which may suggest the authenticity of the Israeli narrative, because it reveals the secret struggle over the succession of Abbas, who is turning 85.

The Palestinian Preventive Security Service arrested a cell of Fatah members who intended to target Faraj and his family. Some of its members were former Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons with links to Major General Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Central Fatah Committee, and the former head of the Palestinian Intelligence Agency.

Tirawi is said to have good relations with Muhammad Dahlan, the dismissed Fatah official and the personal archenemy of Abbas and Faraj.

The Preventive Security Services located the weapons and explosives in possession of the members of the cell who planned to bomb Faraj’s private vehicles after following his family members.

Faraj is considered one of the people with a very high chance of his succeeding Abbas as president. The man in command of the intelligence definitely has American-Israeli acceptance, as well as acceptance from countries that are influential inside the Palestinian territories, particularly Egypt, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, because everyone in Palestine is aware that any future president must be the result of regional and international understandings.

He has a strong network of relationships with senior CIA officers making him the main and likely favourite of Israel and the US due to his ability to provide adequate security in the West Bank, after his ability to eradicate Hamas, confiscate its weapons and limit its military influence. The group has already taken a hit in the West Bank due to Faraj’s efforts.

February 24, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas delegation meets Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister

MEMO | February 20, 2020

A senior Hamas delegation has met with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Islamic Resistance Movement said that its delegation was led by the head of its International Office, Mousa Abu Marzook, accompanied by Political Bureau member Sami Khater and the former leader of its Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, as well as its representative in Moscow.

The Hamas delegation briefed Bogdanov on the latest political developments in the Palestinian cause, including the US “deal of the century”.

They reiterated that the deal is targeting the Palestinian people, their legitimate right to return and the efforts to establish an independent and sovereign state, which is why it has been rejected not only by the movement, but also all segments of Palestinian society.

Bogdanov reaffirmed his country’s support for the Palestinian people and rejection of any “peace plan” rejected by them. Russia, he explained, is ready to provide support for the Palestinians in order to end the internal division and achieve the national unity that is the key to achieving their legitimate objectives.

Furthermore, the Russian official stressed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be solved on the basis of international law, including UN General Assembly resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

February 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 4 Comments

Saudi Arabia launches new campaign of arrests against Palestinian expats

MEMO | February 14, 2020

Saudi Arabia has launched a new campaign of arbitrary arrests against several Palestinian expatriates living in the kingdom for supporting the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas.

The Prisoners of Conscience Twitter account which monitors the conditions of prisoners in Saudi Arabia said it has received “confirmed information” that the Saudi authorities have launched a new campaign of arbitrary arrests against Palestinian ex-pats. It adds that a number of the Palestinians targeted in the new campaign are relatives or sons of Palestinians who had been arrested during the first campaign in April, last year for the same reason.

In April, last year the Saudi authorities launched a campaign of arrests against Palestinian ex-pats including a senior leader in Hamas movement, Muhammad al-Khudari, 81, and his eldest son Hani.

The Twitter account defended the Palestinian detainees saying that supporting the (Palestinian) resistance is not a crime that requires arrests and demanded the Saudi authorities “to immediately release all detainees from the last campaign, and stop the trials of those detained last year which will begin early next month”.

Earlier this month, the Twitter account said the Saudi prosecution accuses the Palestinian detainees of illegally transferring funds (to the Palestinian resistance factions) and establishing unlicensed organisations to defend Palestinian and Jordanian detainees in the kingdom.

The Palestinian detainees will be tried before the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court on March 8.

On September 6, 2019, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said that Saudi Arabia is forcibly hiding 60 Palestinians.

February 14, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | Leave a comment

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