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The UN’s vision of ‘peace’ for Palestine excludes ordinary Palestinians

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | December 27, 2018

The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave.

Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. This facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as it was entitled to.

Protests in the occupied West Bank expressing solidarity with Gaza have been met with excessive violence from the PA’s security forces, which basically exist to protect Israel, not the people of Palestine. Criticising Abbas’s collaboration with Israel and the international community is a dangerous endeavour for ordinary Palestinians.

None of this is of any concern to the UN. In the past months, the organisation’s officials have specifically expressed a preference for the PA under Abbas to return to Gaza. It was UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov who reiterated this demand in his briefing to the UN Security Council: “Ultimately, reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian Authority and putting an end to the occupation will ensure long-term peace.” Abbas’s own term of office as President was supposed to end in 2009, by the way; he has refused to hold a presidential election that he knows he will lose.

Mladenov also attempted to conflate resistance in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. “It is critical that events in the West Bank do not lead to reigniting the Gaza fuse,” he insisted. “The people in Gaza have suffered enough and must not be made to pay the price for violence elsewhere.”

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are suffering varying degrees of oppression, yet there is one consistent omission from the narrative: both civilian populations are victims of collaboration between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. If the people of Gaza have “suffered enough”, to quote Mladenov, why is the UN insisting that the instigator of a large part of their oppression return to the enclave as part of a solution that is nowhere in sight?

How long will it take, I wonder, for the UN to move from expressing opinions about its preferred Palestinian government, to imposing yet another demand upon the Palestinians in Gaza which will also be detrimental to those in the occupied West Bank?

If the UN really wishes the PA to return to Gaza, and there is no reason to doubt its officials’ statements, it is advocating the elimination of Gaza’s elected political representation — albeit with an expired term in office — in favour of a hierarchy that was created and backed to implement the international plan for Palestine’s destruction.

The UN is implementing a new degree of impunity allocated exclusively to the PA. There will be no voices at an international level clamouring against this human rights violation, though. On the contrary, a future collective chorus seeking PA rule in Gaza will do so from within the loose interpretation of human rights advocated by the UN. There is no logic in seeking the return of an entity that has itself contributed to crippling Gaza as a step towards peace. If this is what the UN wants, then it must be clear that the international community’s vision of peace excludes ordinary Palestinians, which is tantamount to supporting Israel’s plans for a complete colonial takeover of historic Palestine.

 

December 31, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Remembering Israel’s 2008 War on Gaza

By Rebecca Stead | MEMO | December 27, 2018

What: Israel waged a three-week military offensive against the Gaza Strip, killing almost 1,400 Palestinians and wounding thousands more.

Where: The Gaza Strip

When: 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009

What happened?

On 27 December 2008, Israel launched a massive military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Strip had been placed under an Israeli-led siege a year earlier, subjecting the 360 square-kilometre-enclave to a land, air and sea blockade. Codenamed Operation Cast Lead, this offensive began at 11am on a Saturday morning, with Israeli Air Force jets firing on targets across the territory. Ynet reported at the time that “80 jets, warplanes and helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of targets [during] the initial strike.” Among the targets were the small fishing port and the main police compound in Gaza City.

Aerial campaign

Throughout the first week of the assault, Israel relied on aerial attacks to pound Gaza. A report by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights for the week 24–31 December 2008 (cited in the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, sometimes known as the Goldstone Report) found that Israel “launched at least 300 air and sea strikes against the Gaza Strip. These strikes targeted 37 houses; 67 security and training sites; 20 workshops; 25 public and private institutions; seven mosques; and three educational institutions.”

Police stations in particular came under deliberate attack across the Strip. The “Arafat City” police headquarters in Gaza City, as well as three other stations, were attacked within the first few minutes of the assault on 27 December. The UN report states that, over the course of Israel’s military operations, 248 members of the Gaza police force were killed, which means that more than one out of every six fatalities was a police officer.

Israel’s Defence Minister at the time, Ehud Barak, claimed that there were three objectives for launching the offensive: “Dealing Hamas [which, since winning the 2006 Palestinian elections, had governed the Gaza Strip] a forceful blow; fundamentally changing the situation in Gaza; and bringing the rocket attacks against Israeli citizens to a halt.” Barak ordered a “special situation on the home front” for all Israeli communities within a 13-mile radius of the nominal border of the coastal enclave, which was quickly expanded to include the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon.

Israel also drafted around 6,700 army reservists, in case it decided to widen the operation. Given that the assault was launched during election season, all contenders halted their campaigns in a show of support for then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who had also launched a war on Lebanon just two years earlier.

READ: Former Israel PM ordered targeting densely populated areas in 2008 Gaza war

Escalation and ground invasion

On the eighth day of the war – 3 January 2009 — Israel launched a ground invasion of Gaza. Israeli infantry entered the enclave from the north, supported by artillery fire and fighter jets. The Palestinians in Gaza, it must be remembered, have no artillery or other heavy weapons, no tanks, no air force and no navy. They faced the full might of one of the world’s strongest and best equipped armed forces.

The UN report details how Israel tried to cut the Strip in two – bisecting the territory from Karni (Al-Muntar) Crossing in the east, through Al-Nuseirat south of Gaza City, to the coast – before focusing troops in the north. For a further five days the northern towns of Al-Atatra and Beit Lahia came under heavy attack, with the UN report detailing “[Israel’s] alleged use of human shields, the alleged widespread mistreatment of civilians, including detentions, and transfers of large numbers to Israeli prisons in unlawful circumstances.”

Israel’s use of chemical weapons

In the later stages of the war, reports began to surface claiming that Israel had used white phosphorous — a chemical which creates a smokescreen for offensives but which causes severe burns and organ failure — during its attack on the people of Gaza.

Israel initially denied these reports, but investigations by several human rights organisations documented evidence to the contrary. A 2009 Amnesty International report found that “Israeli forces made extensive use of white phosphorus, often launched from 155mm artillery shells, in residential areas, causing death and injuries to civilians.” Among the targets were the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) headquarters and Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City; an UNRWA primary school in Beit Lahia, north of Jabalia; and numerous residential areas.

Amnesty explained that:

[quote] “White phosphorus is extremely dangerous for humans as it causes deep burns through muscle and down to the bone, continuing to burn until deprived of oxygen. It can contaminate other parts of the body, or even people treating the injuries, poisoning and irreparably damaging internal organs.”

The rights organisation added: “Although using white phosphorus as an obscurant is not forbidden under international humanitarian law, air-bursting white phosphorus artillery shells over densely populated areas of Gaza violated the requirement to take necessary precautions to protect civilians.”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) agreed with Amnesty’s assessment, claiming that the manner in which Israel used the chemical could constitute a war crime. HRW’s “Rain of Fire” report argued that while “white phosphorus munitions did not kill the most civilians in Gaza […] their use in densely populated neighbourhoods […] violated international humanitarian law (the laws of war), which requires taking all feasible precautions to avoid civilian harm and prohibits indiscriminate attacks.”

READ:Israel has failed to initiate prosecutions relating to Gaza war crimes, NGO tells UN

Ceasefire

On 8 January 2009, the UN Security Council approved resolution 1860 calling for a ceasefire in the Strip by a 14-0 margin. The United States abstained in the vote. The resolution called for an “immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.” It condemned “all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism”, calling for “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment.”

Both Israel and Hamas declared the resolution invalid. The war continued for another 10 days, only coming to a close after a brutal 22 days. “The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in the more than six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,” the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) observed.

According to figures from Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, 1,390 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. Among those killed were 344 minors and 110 women. B’Tselem estimates that 759 of those killed in Gaza were Palestinians who did not take part in hostilities, and yet were still killed by Israeli forces.

What happened next?

Donald Macintyre, former Jerusalem bureau chief for the Independent, said in his book Gaza: Preparing for Dawn that following Operation Cast Lead, “It was impossible to ascribe ‘victory’ to either side.” He argued that Israel’s “bellicose pre-war talk of ‘crushing’ or ‘removing’ Hamas” proved to be “little more” than talk, while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s claim of victory was “at least as hollow”.

Gaza, however, has never recovered from the 2008 war. While acknowledging that its economy was already being strangled by the siege, the UN report found that Israel’s military operation “destroyed a substantial part of the Gaza Strip’s economic infrastructure and its capacity to support decent livelihoods for families.” The figures speak for themselves: 700 businesses were damaged or destroyed, with direct losses totalling approximately $140 million; the agricultural sector suffered direct losses worth $170 million; and over 3,354 houses were completely destroyed, with a further 11,112 partially damaged, according to figures from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A separate UN report estimated the cost of Gaza’s losses and damage at $1.1 billion.

In the years since, Israel’s siege of the Strip has prevented the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed during its 2008 offensive. To add insult to injury, Gaza has also since been the target of two more wars at the hands of Israel: the 2012 war, dubbed Operation Pillar of Defence, and the 2014 war, dubbed Operation Protective Edge. Almost 4,000 Palestinians were killed during these three offensives. Today, 54 per cent of Gaza’s almost 2 million-strong population is unemployed, while 53 per cent live under the poverty line in what has been described as one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world.

A decade later, Israel continues to shirk responsibility for its actions. Earlier this month, an Israeli court ruled against Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor who lost three of his daughters during an Israeli air strike on his home in Jabalia, in the north of the Strip. Abuelaish’s story was made famous after he discovered that his children — 13-year-old Bessan, 15-year-old Mayar and 20-year-old Aya – had been killed while he was speaking to an Israeli TV channel; his suffering was broadcast live across the country and later shared widely around the world. Despite Abuelaish’s grief and the international attention his story received, the court still ruled that Israel bore no responsibility for the girls’ deaths, instead calling it an “unfortunate side effect” of the war.

READ: Israel killed Gaza teens with ‘warning’ missile then published misleading video, investigation reveals

December 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Enacts Bill Sanctioning Hamas, Hezbollah for Using Civilians as Shields

Sputnik – 22.12.2018

US President Donald Trump signed into law a bill ensuring the imposition of sanctions on members of the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanese organization Hezbollah for the use of civilians as human shields, the White House said in a statement.

“On Friday, December 21, 2018, the President signed into law: H.R. 3342, the ‘Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act,’ which requires the President to identify and impose specified sanctions on members of Hizballah or Hamas who use civilians as human shields,” the statement read.

Washington has been supporting Israel in accusing Hamas and Hezbollah of using civilians as human shields and exploiting infrastructure as a cover-up for their offensive activities. The United States has designated both groups as terrorist organizations, while other countries including Russia and China, regard the two groups as legitimate political parties.

Last week, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said that the US was looking to lead the international fight against terrorism, however, wants other countries to do more to contribute to the effort.

In November, the US State Department offered a bounty of up to $5 million for information on a leader of the Hamas organization and two leaders of the Hezbollah.

December 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moscow Rejects Israeli Complaint over Haniyeh Invitation: You’re Also Talking to Hamas

Al-Manar | December 19, 2018

Israeli ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren recently sent a sharp protest to Russian officials over the invitation the Russian Foreign Ministry sent to the Head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh in Moscow, Israeli Channel 10 reported.

Senior Israeli officials were quoted as confirming that a similar protest was also transferred to the Russian Embassy in the Zionist entity.

Moscow sent the invitation to Haniyeh at the end of November, just two weeks after the end of the round of fighting in Gaza.

Hamas delegation is expected to arrive at the end of the month to Moscow after the arrival of Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki.

Senior Russian officials say they rejected Israeli criticism of the invitation of the Hamas delegation and replied to the Israeli diplomats: “Why do you come to us with complaints – you’re talking to Hamas yourself,” according to Israeli Channel 10.

Two weeks ago, Russia voted against the US proposal to denounce Hamas at the UN General Assembly. Tel Aviv responded yesterday when it voted for a US condemnation of the Russian annexation of the Crimea.

December 19, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

As Israel crimes on Gaza border hit zenith, US backs bill targeting Palestinian anti-occupation leaders

Palestine Information Center – December 12, 2018

RAMALLAH – The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would target for sanctions Hamas resistance movement and Hezbollah over allegations of using civilians as human shields, guaranteeing that it will become law, JTA reported.

The bill describes Hamas and Hezbollah groups as “repeated” practitioners of an action that violates international law, claiming that Hamas routinely launches missiles at Israel from densely populated areas.

The US Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan bill in October.

The bill was authored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and was co-sponsored by 50 other senators. It was first introduced this past summer.

“This critical and timely legislation mandates new sanctions against Hamas, Hezbollah and foreign state agencies that use civilians as human shields or provide support to those doing so,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said in a statement Tuesday after the House passed the bill, which now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Last February, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act which condemns Hamas for the alleged use of civilians, including children, as human shields, sanctioning those who use them.

The act, however, emphasizes the efforts made by the Israeli occupation military to avoid civilian casualties, a claim that analysts said amounts to an attempt to whitewash Israeli crimes and terrorism against Palestinian civilians and unarmed protesters, including on the Gaza border.

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Injustice – The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five

By Vacy Vlazna | OffGuardian | December 9, 2018

Survive prison I must, for when I come out I would hold no grudges, or hate, or resentment. My belief system tells me that whatever comes upon me is a matter already decreed by Allah. He knows better.”
Shukri Abu-Baker, HLF5

Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five is about a grave and cruel injustice wielded by both the the USA and Israel, and paradoxically the book’s foundations are friendship, human dignity, and trust bound together by the integrity of the author, Miko Peled.

Peled’s credentials, as an Israeli dissident, as uncle of Smadar (13), a victim of a Palestinian suicide bomber and as son of an Israeli General gives compelling credibility to the findings of his comprehensive investigation.

INJUSTICE

A decade of innocence caged. It is now 10 years since a Machiavellian travesty of US justice sentenced, between 15 – 65 years, the innocent Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulrahman Odeh, who were senior staff of The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) devoted to “Helping the poor, the orphans, and the widows … one of the pillars of Islamic teachings.”

The HLF was charged with “providing material support for terrorism.” Peled details how the HLF was run with meticulous transparency and with strict adherence to US aid guidelines thus demonstrating that HLF had “no connection to Hamas or any other political or military organizations,”

At the 2007 trial, the prosecution failed to get any convictions.

Undaunted the US government and the FBI mounted a retrial,

The prosecution’s theory was that, by supporting needy Palestinians, HLF had “freed up” Hamas’ own assets to fund terrorist attacks, and that if Palestinians knew that HLF would provide support for their families if assistance became necessary, they would be more likely to become suicide bombers.”

Peled spells out how the spurious charges were backed by questionable documents supplied by Israel, false translations, by cherrypicking ‘documents and phrases until the picture they painted was completely distorted,’ the withholding of ‘secret evidence’ to the defense, unexplained disappearance of crucial records, overt judicial bias towards the prosecution, exploitation of irrelevant and prejudicial testimonies, implausible Israeli ‘experts’, false charges of illegal tax filings, the FBI attempts to recruit collaborators, ‘The FBI even offered me US citizenship and immunity if I testified that HLF was linked to Hamas., ’ and the successful bribing of a key witness for the prosecution by waiving criminal charges of fraud and providing US residency.

Furthermore, the fraudulent manipulations of US justice are mirrored in the injustice that Israel metes out to Palestinians every day. Peled pierces the looking glass to the truth and reality,

I believe that the Palestinian struggle to free all of historic Palestine from the settler-colonialism that is the State of Israel is a just struggle, and I support it wholeheartedly. I accept that the State of Israel in its present form has no legitimacy, and in this I find Hamas’ goal to liberate Palestine completely justified.” Peled

The miscarriage of justice is outrageous. However, when one considers the false evidence the US government made to the UN in the case Iraq’s possession weapons of mass destruction that led to the deaths of half a million-plus innocent Iraqis, one understands that for the government, the collateral damage of 5 innocent Palestinian men sacrificed to further the fake war on terrorism is small potatoes.

FRIENDSHIP & HUMAN DIGNITY

The friendships Peled cultivates with Shukri, Ghassan, Mohammed, Mufid and Abdulrahman are the tour de force that instils intimacy, immediacy and urgency to the injustice they suffer,

I saw how important it is that others come to see them and to understand the background and the context of this story. Only then could anyone understand the travesty and indeed the tragedy that took place here.” ibid.

We accompany Peled on his many visits to the families and to the prisons and thus we empathise with the heartbreaking burden of absence and mutual deprivations suffered by the prisoners and their families; the denial of touch, a kiss, of a father to attend weddings, the burial of a beloved child Sanabel and death of parents, family meals, births of grandchildren.

Peled’s personal accompanying along the journey of injustice generates his moving demonstration of the authenticity of the HLF5’s moral dignity and the raison d’être of their humanitarian work that is grounded in Islam.

Crucially, by sharing respect for Islam embodied in these remarkable men, Peled challenges the the post 9/11 manufactured Islamophobia;

For me, Islam will always be associated with beauty, goodness, and charity. Sadly, the contempt and fear toward Islam, which are a major part of the Jewish-Israeli narrative, has seeped into America and become part of the accepted narrative in the United States as well. Living in the United States, I always felt deprived of the warmth that Islam and the Arab world offer. But when I began working on this book, I met Islam all over again, and in the most unlikely places.”ibid.

Peled repeatedly makes clear the HLF 5 are honourable men. They are not political activists who say ‘No’ to authority, they are activists for Allah-God who say ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’ to love, to compassion, to loyalty and to selfless care of the poorest of the poor.

“As Ghassan said to me, “What my friends and I did at the Holy Land Foundation was to help Palestinians who are suffering. They are victims because they find themselves living under a brutal, racist regime that practices apartheid. To be persecuted for such noble work is exactly what the prophets had faced at their time. And being reminded of this is how I get through it.” Indeed, their faith has made them un-enslaveable.”

Their plight is not unlike arresting Mother Teresa for bringing attention to and acting on Third World poverty mainly exacerbated by Western colonial and capitalist exploitation.

The answers to why the US government attacked a soft target humanitarian NGO that did not fund Hamas, become apparent. Firstly destroying NGO’s is a tool of ethnic-cleansing making Palestinian life even more unbearable so that they will leave Palestine.

Similarly Mohammed el-Halabi, the World Vision manager accused of diverting cash to Hamas and though an official Australian investigation found no such diversion, he remains incarcerated by Israel since his 2016 unwarranted arrest. Then there is the escalation of the humanitarian crisis inflicted on Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank by the recent US withdrawal of funding to UNRWA.

Secondly, their mere existence acts as a perpetual accusation against and evidence of Israeli state terrorism.

Hamas, Peled explains emerged from necessity met by the humane ideals of the Muslim Brotherhood that built,

… an infrastructure of social services, medical clinics, and schools, mostly in the impoverished Gaza Strip. These facilities were sorely needed, due to Israel’s grave failure to live up to its responsibilities as the Occupying Power.

But widespread support for Hamas was not only a result of Israeli ineptitude. Hamas leaders came to embody the honesty, altruism, and dedication that are the hallmarks of Islam.”

Peled’s statement of respect simultaneously discredits the US terrorist designation system, that at Israel’s request, named Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

TRUST

This book is about the sanctity of and also the destruction of trust.

Peled’s thoroughness is trustworthy because it is reinforced by his walking the talk with visits, interviews and research.

For years, the HLF5 deservedly won the trust of the thousands upon thousands of their HLF donors and recipients.

Their trust in their faith that informs their every heartbeat with resilience deserves admiration,

La yukalifu Allah nafsan, ila was’aha – God would not burden a soul with a burden that is beyond its capacity. And so believers accept the burden and carry it with devotion.”

Significantly, Peled reveals that we can’t trust the American Justice System because if it can come for five fine men then we must heed Niemöller’s warning that no-one is safe. Unless we stand together.

By the end of the book, I knew action is imperative. In the spirit of J’Accuse I wrote and will continue to write to the US Attorney General demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the innocent Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulrahman Odeh.

Miko Peled, Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five is published by Just World Books. Al Jazeera’s two part documentary follows the lawless political trail of the US-Zionist conspiracy to deliberately turn 5 decent innocent family men into political prisoners.


Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters and editor of a volume of Palestinian poetry, I remember my name. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was convenor of Australia East Timor Association and coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas thanks UN member states for foiling US draft resolution

Palestine Information Center – December 7, 2018

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has expressed its appreciation to all the countries that opposed on Thursday the US-drafted resolution on the Palestinian resistance at the UN General Assembly and defended the justice of the Palestinian cause.

In a statement, Hamas stressed that the real terrorism that must be confronted and condemned by all countries is Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian land.

The Palestinian resistance movement called for condemning Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian land, its displacement of millions of Palestinians from their areas and homes, the massacres and crimes it had committed against them, its Judaization activities in Jerusalem, its construction of settlements, and its refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Hamas also urged the countries that voted for the US draft resolution at the General Assembly to reconsider their positions and correct what it described as “the historic and dangerous mistake against the oppressed Palestinian people.”

December 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Haley not going out with a bang after US-sponsored anti-Hamas draft fails at UNGA

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. © AFP / Hector Retamal
RT | December 6, 2018

The US-propelled draft resolution targeting Palestinian Hamas has failed to pass a two-thirds majority threshold at the UN General Assembly vote in what is seen is a major upset for the outgoing US envoy to the UN Nikki Hailey.

The resolution garnered 87 votes in favor and 57 against, thus falling short of securing a required two-thirds majority for the motion to pass. Thirty-six member-states abstained from the vote.

The resolution should have condemned Hamas, which has been in control of the Gaza Strip from 2007 to 2014 and again since 2016. The document was in the works for several days, as Haley was seeking to reconcile the text with the EU and major Arab nations, the US allies.

The final draft denounces Hamas “for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk,” demands it and other militant groups, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad “cease all provocative actions and violent activity,” including “airborne incendiary devices.”

Haley has put much personal effort into making sure that what could have been the first-ever UN resolution condemning Hamas found support within the 193-strong body of nations.

It was reported that she had sent letters to all UN missions, saying that the US “takes the outcome of the vote very seriously.”

However, the thinly veiled threat did not sit well with Qatar, which called a procedural vote some 20 minutes before the vote on the resolution, which arguably sealed its fate.

Qatar argued that a two-thirds majority instead of a simple majority should be required for the resolution to pass. The motion, to the dismay of the US, was narrowly approved.

The resolution could have become a swan song for the outgoing diplomat, who abruptly announced her resignation in October, an unnamed Security Council diplomat told AFP.

“She would like to go out with something,” he said.

Haley’s strenuous effort was fully supported by the Trump administration, which has been unapologetic in doing Israel’s bidding at the UN. Hailey repeatedly blasted the UN for its alleged bias against Israel, calling the organization’s treatment of the Jewish state “unfair.”

Ahead of the crucial vote, US Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt attempted to drum up support for the resolution with US allies in the Arab world, reaching out to representatives of Morocco, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt and Qatar, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

In a letter sent to the Arab missions, Greenblatt reportedly said that the Arab states “have no reason” to oppose the US-sponsored draft if they are against terrorism and for the stability in the region.

Haley has been one of the leading pro-Israel voices in the Trump administration. During her tenure as ambassador, the US quit the UN Human Rights Council, which Haley described as “a cesspool of political bias” and “a protector of human rights abusers”.

“Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined,” Haley charged at the time, slamming the UN body as a “self-serving organization.”

UNGA resolutions are not legally binding for members, but are highly-respected and encouraged opinions.

December 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Iran opposes US-drafted resolution against Palestinian resistance Hamas: FM

Press TV – December 3, 2018

Iran has voiced its objection to a US-drafted resolution condemning the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, saying the Islamic Republic would do its utmost to prevent its ratification at the United Nations General Assembly.

In a telephone conversation with Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s full support for the Palestinian people’s rights.

The UN General Assembly plans to vote on Tuesday on the motion that would reportedly condemn the resistance movement “for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence.”

“Iran will make its utmost efforts at the General Assembly in coordination with other Muslim and progressive countries to prevent the ratification of the resolution [which is] a violation of the United Nations Charter and runs counter to the Palestinian people’s resistance,” the top Iranian diplomat said.

He added that the policies of certain regional countries have emboldened the administration of US President Donald Trump not only to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds in violation of the international law, but also to propose a resolution against the Palestinian people’s resistance at the General Assembly.

Earlier on Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party vowed to support its rival Hamas at the General Assembly against the US-drafted resolution.

“We will stand against all hostile efforts to condemn Hamas at the United Nations,” Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh said.

In a letter addressed to UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa late last month, the Hamas political bureau chief condemned “aggressive” attempts by the US to pass the resolution against the resistance movement, urging the world body to end Tel Aviv’s “abhorrent” occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Haniyeh highlighted the importance of international work to thwart Washington’s efforts meant to delegitimize the Palestinian resistance.

The letter came days after Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said that US diplomats had been in talks with their EU counterparts to win their backing for a draft resolution against Hamas.

The Palestinian leadership has been divided between Fatah and Hamas since 2006, when the latter scored a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in the Gaza Strip.

Ever since, Hamas has been running the coastal enclave, while Fatah has been based in the autonomous parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas condemns recent Israeli aggression on Syria

Palestine Information Center – December 1, 2018

GAZA – Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, on Saturday condemned the latest Israeli aggression on Syria.

Member of the Hamas Political Bureau Khalil al-Hayya said in statements to the PIC that the world should realize that Israel is the real threat to the region and international peace.

Al-Hayya called on the world countries to put an end to Israel’s aggression before it destroys the whole region.

“We condemn in principle any Israeli aggression on an Arab or Muslim land, because it comes from an occupying state that sees itself above the law,” he added.

Israeli warplanes on Thursday launched several airstrikes on different targets in Damascus countryside and southern Syria.

December 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas calls on UN to support Palestinians’ right to bear arms against Israel

Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh makes a speech during a conference on 18 September, 2018 in Gaza City, Gaza [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | November 29, 2018

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has called on the United Nations to recognise and support the Palestinian people’s right to bear arms against Israel in self-defence.

Haniyeh wrote to UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernada Spinosa in advance of the organisation’s debate regarding Hamas rocket fire into Israel.

“We reiterate the right of our people to defend themselves and to resist the occupation, by all available means,” wrote Haniyeh, “including armed resistance, guaranteed by the international law.” He based the demand on international law drawn up and implemented by the UN, which gives states and peoples the right to defend themselves with arms if necessary, in the case of an external attack. “The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted dozens of resolutions that affirm the right of peoples to independence, self-determination and struggle by all available means, peaceful and non-peaceful, for that right. The UN singled out the Palestinian people for dozens of relevant resolutions, including 2621, 2649, 2787 and 3236,” he said.

After condemning the US for adopting Israel’s narrative of the conflict and justifying Israel’s aggression towards the Palestinians, Haniyeh insisted that “the last of these efforts is the attempt by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations… to submit a draft resolution condemning the Palestinian resistance and the right of our people to defend themselves against this racist and continuous occupation for more than seven decades.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, commented on Haniyeh’s letter, saying that Hamas “going to the UN for assistance is like a serial killer asking the police for assistance. Israel and the United States will continue to mobilize the countries of the world into a united front against the terrorism that Hamas engages in.”

The debate held in the UN today coincides with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is held every year on 29 November. It comes two weeks after the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, which broke out after an undercover Israeli special forces operation in the strip was botched and compromised by Hamas. Days later, a ceasefire was declared, which was again broken by Israel the following morning when Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza.

READ: US lobbies for vote against Hamas at UN General Assembly

November 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel army arrests Palestinian MP from West Bank home

MEMO | November 21, 2018

The Israeli army this morning arrested a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from the occupied West Bank city of Al-Bireh, according to local witnesses.

Witnesses told the Anadolu Agency that an Israeli military force raided and searched the home of Palestinian MP Ahmad Attoun before arresting him.

The army, they added, also confiscated computers and mobile phones from Attoun’s residence.

The last time Palestinian legislative elections were held in 2006, Attoun – who represents Hamas – was elected for the city of Jerusalem.

Five years later in 2011, Israeli authorities deported him to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli forces detained nine Palestinians in overnight raids carried out across the West Bank, according to an Israeli army statement.

The individuals were arrested for “suspected involvement in popular terrorist activities”, the statement reads, without elaborating on the nature of said “activities”.

According to Palestinian figures, some 6,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli detention facilities, including scores of women and hundreds of minors.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment