Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Hamas condemn Israel destruction of Al Aqsa TV station

MEMO | November 12, 2018

The Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – has condemned Israel’s destruction of Al Aqsa TV station in the Gaza Strip. A spokesman for the movement, Fawzi Barhoum, described the targeting of the TV Channel and demolishing of its headquarters as a blatant act of aggression against journalism and all free voices dedicated to communicating the truth.

Barhoum called on international, legal and media organisations to denounce this latest act of Israeli aggression against journalism and freedom of expression.

Hamas said that Israel’s crimes would never stop Palestinian journalists from continuing their humanitarian and professional mission to expose the occupation’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

In airstrikes late Monday, Israeli fighter jets tried to wipe the Hamas-run TV station in Gaza off the map.

Firing 10 missiles at the Al-Aqsa TV station, Israeli jets destroyed its headquarters, witnesses said.

Amid the airstrikes, the station went off the air briefly before resuming operations. Many buildings around the station were also damaged.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , | 5 Comments

Oman rejects mediating between Israelis, Palestinians

Press TV – October 27, 2018

Oman says it will not act as a “mediator” between Israelis and Palestinians, playing down an earlier visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The sultanate was only offering ideas to help Israel and Palestinians to come together, Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah told a security summit in Bahrain’s capital Manama on Saturday.

The remarks came a day after Netanyahu visited Oman in a rare visit, while accompanied by other senior Israeli officials, including the head of the Israeli spy agency Mossad.

“We are not saying road is now easy and paved with flowers, but our priority is to put an end to the conflict and move to a new world,” Reuters cited Abdullah as saying.

Despite apparently trying to sound impartial, Abdullah said Oman relied on the United States and efforts by US President Donald Trump in working towards the “deal of the century.”

The Trump administration has targeted the plan at the situation in the Palestinian territories.

Details are yet to emerge, but reports say it envisages a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty across about half of Israel-occupied West Bank and all the Gaza Strip. The deal also reportedly foresees potential disarming of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and does not find Palestinians entitled to the eastern part of Jerusalem al-Quds as their capital.

This is while Abbas, who visited Oman before Netanyahu for three days, has renounced the plan, saying it has been devised without consulting the Palestinians. He also spurned any intermediary role by the US late last year after Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”

In June, however, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan assured the US of their support for the plan during visits to those countries by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy to the region.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told the Manama gathering on Saturday that the kingdom believed the key to “normalizing” relations with Israel was the “peace process.”

The Omani minister also claimed Israel was “present in the region, and we all understand this, the world is also aware of this fact and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and also bear the same obligations.”

Observers say Muscat has come to accommodate the US plan under pressure from Washington and Riyadh, the strongest US ally in the Persian Gulf region, which has been inching towards Tel Aviv over the past years.

Palestinian groups, however, condemned the Israeli prime minister’s visit to Oman, urging Arab countries to support the oppressed people of Palestine, instead.

Hamas warned about the dangerous consequences of Netanyahu’s visit for the people of Palestine. The Islamic Jihad movement also censured the visit, saying Oman acquitted Netanyahu of the crimes committed against innocent Palestinians by welcoming him to the country.

Commenting on Netanyahu’s visit, Paul Larudee, with the Free Palestine Movement, told PressTV, “What in the world would Netanyahu know about peace and stability, when his objectives and objectives of Israel have always been war and instability?”

“The importance is what their objectives are not. They are not about Arab unity, not about solidarity with Arabs who are suffering namely the Palestinians,” he said.

“These other countries realize that sooner or later they are potential targets of Israel… that they can be in the same place that the Palestinians are now,” Larudee said.

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lieberman: ‘We exhausted all options with Hamas’

Palestine Information Center – October 22, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israel’s war Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) threatened to wage a bloody war against Gaza at the start of a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the minister claimed on Monday. “Anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.”

Lieberman alleged that Hamas was behind recent violence from the blockaded Gaza Strip and pays large sums to protesters.

“There is no popular uprising,” Lieberman said. “There is violence organized by Hamas. Fifteen thousand people don’t come by foot to the border at their own will. They come by bus and are paid.”

“I don’t believe in reaching an arrangement with Hamas,” he said. “It hasn’t worked, doesn’t work and won’t work in the future.”

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud) also accused Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas of inflaming tensions in the Gaza Strip by preventing supplies and funding from reaching the people there.

“It is intolerable, unacceptable and unreasonable that Abbas closes the faucet for Gaza and Israel has to pay the price,” Dichter said.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

As Gaza’s economy collapses, so does any hope of peace

By Jonathan Cook – The National – September 30, 2018

The moment long feared is fast approaching in Gaza, according to a new report by the World Bank. After a decade-long Israeli blockade and a series of large-scale military assaults, the economy of the tiny coastal enclave is in “freefall”.

At a meeting of international donors in New York on Thursday, coinciding with the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, the World Bank painted an alarming picture of Gaza’s crisis. Unemployment now stands at close to 70 per cent and the economy is contracting at an ever faster rate.

While the West Bank’s plight is not yet as severe, it is not far behind. Countries attending the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee were told. Gaza’s collapse could bring down the entire Palestinian banking sector.

In response, Europe hurriedly put together a €40 million aid package, but that will chiefly address Gaza’s separate humanitarian crisis – not the economic one – by improving supplies of electricity and potable water.

No one doubts the inevitable fallout from the economic and humanitarian crises gripping Gaza. The four parties to the Quartet charged with overseeing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN – issued a statement warning that it was vital to prevent what they termed “further escalation” in Gaza.

The Israeli military shares these concerns. It has reported growing unrest among the enclave’s two million inhabitants and believes Hamas will be forced into a confrontation to break out of the straight jacket imposed by the blockade.

In recent weeks, mass protests along Gaza’s perimeter fence have been revived and expanded after a summer lull. On Friday, seven Palestinian demonstrators, including two children, were killed by Israeli sniper fire. Hundreds more were wounded.

Nonetheless, the political will to remedy the situation looks as atrophied as ever. No one is prepared to take meaningful responsibility for the time-bomb that is Gaza.

In fact, the main parties that could make a difference appear intent on allowing the deterioration to continue.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ignored repeated warnings of a threatened explosion in Gaza from his own military.

Instead, Israel is upholding the blockade as tightly as ever, preventing the flow of goods in and out of the enclave. Fishing is limited to three miles off the coast rather than the 20-mile zone agreed in the Oslo accords. Hundreds of companies are reported to have folded over the summer.

Intensifying the enclave’s troubles is the Trump administration’s recent decision to cut aid to the Palestinians, including to the United Nation’s refugee agency, UNRWA. It plays a critical role in Gaza, providing food, education and health services to nearly two-thirds of the population.

The food budget is due to run out in December, and the schools budget by the end of October. Hundreds of thousands of hungry children with nowhere to spend their days can only fuel the protests – and the deaths.

The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, headquartered in the West Bank, has no incentive to help. Gaza’s slowly unfolding catastrophe is his leverage to make Hamas submit to his rule. That is why the Palestinian Authority has cut transfers to Gaza by $30 million a month.

But even if Mr Abbas wished to help, he largely lacks the means. The US cuts were imposed primarily to punish him for refusing to play ball with US President Donald Trump’s supposed “deal of the century” peace plan.

Israel, the World Bank notes, has added to Mr Abbas’s difficulties by refusing to transfer taxes and customs duties it collects on the PA’s behalf.

And the final implicated party, Egypt, is reticent to loosen its own chokehold on its short border with Gaza. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi opposes giving any succour either to his domestic Islamist opponents or to Hamas.

The impasse is possible only because none of the parties is prepared to make a priority of Gaza’s welfare.

That was starkly illustrated earlier in the summer when Cairo, supported by the UN, opened a back channel between Israel and Hamas in the hope of ending their mounting friction.

Hamas wanted the blockade lifted to reverse Gaza’s economic decline, while Israel wanted an end to the weekly protests and the damaging images of snipers killing unarmed demonstrators.

In addition, Mr Netanyahu has an interest in keeping Hamas in power in Gaza, if barely, as a way to cement the geographic split with the West Bank and an ideological one with Mr Abbas.

The talks, however, collapsed quietly in early September after Mr Abbas objected to the Egyptians. He insisted that the Palestinian Authority be the only address for discussions of Gaza’s future. So, Cairo is yet again channelling its energies into a futile attempt at reconciling Mr Abbas and Hamas.

At the UN General Assembly, Mr Trump promised his peace plan would be unveiled in the next two to three months, and made explicit for the first time his support for a two-state solution, saying it would “work best”.

Mr Netanyahu vaguely concurred, while pointing out: “Everyone defines the term ‘state’ differently.” His definition, he added, required that not one of the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank be removed and that any future Palestinian state be under complete Israeli security control.

Mr Abbas is widely reported to have conceded over the summer that a Palestinian state – should it ever come into being – would be demilitarised. In other words, it would not be recognisable as a sovereign state.

Hamas has made notable compromises to its original doctrine of military resistance to secure all of historic Palestine. But it is hard to imagine it agreeing to peace on those terms. This makes a reconciliation between Hamas and Mr Abbas currently inconceivable – and respite for the people of Gaza as far off as ever.

October 1, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas: We will remain adherent to option of resistance

Palestine Information Center – September 28, 2018

GAZA – On the 18th anniversary of the Aqsa Intifada (uprising), the Hamas Movement has reiterated its adherence to the option of resistance against the occupation and its support for the March of Return until its intended goals are achieved.

“The reasons for the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada still exist and escalate as the enemy persists in its crimes under the protection of imperialist powers,” Hamas stated on Friday.

Hamas also expressed its confidence that the Palestinian people would continue defending the Aqsa Mosque and remain vigilant about the dangers threatening it.

The Movement underlined that resisting the occupation is a legitimate right guaranteed by all divine laws and international conventions as a mean to restore the usurped national rights.

It pointed out that “the Aqsa Intifada proved the failure of the settlement process and that the Israeli occupation state only understands the language of force.”

Hamas also highlighted in its statement the issue of the stalled inter-Palestinian reconciliation, calling on the Palestinian Authority leadership to end its sanctions on Gaza and honor the 2011 Cairo agreement and the 2017 Beirut agreement in order to heal the rift in the Palestinian arena.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas: Abbas’ UN speech stab in Palestinians’ back

Palestine Information Center – September 28, 2018

GAZA – Hamas dubbed Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly delivered on Thursday evening a redundant reverberation of his unproductive policies regarding the Palestinian cause and anti-occupation struggle.

In his speech, Abbas just repeated his demands to the international community, complained about the negligence of the U.S. administration and its bias, and expressed his disappointment over the refusal of the Israeli occupation to fulfill its due commitments pledged in PA-Israel agreements that led to catastrophic consequences on the Palestinian cause, Hamas said in a statement.

The movement said Abbas’ speech is an explicit announcement of the failure of his policies and a straightforward confession that settlement path will never bring about just solutions or any other accomplishment for the Palestinian people.

Regarding his question about the borders of the Israeli occupation, Abbas would have posed the same question before entering into Oslo Accords and recognizing the Israeli Occupation, added Hamas.

According to the resistance movement, Abbas overlooked the Great Return March in his speech and the great sacrifices the Palestinian people has made to resist the occupation. He also turned his back on the Gaza Strip and its people in his words before the General Assembly.

Abbas deepens the Palestinian rift, paves the way for the Israeli occupation to perpetrate more crimes and killings, and facilitates the implementation of the deal of the century, the movement warned.

The confirmation of Mahmoud Abbas that he is committed to the negotiations with the Israeli occupation after hundreds of rounds and conferences held to that end is just a reverberation of failure and an out-of-charge chance of which the occupation will always take advantage to expand its illegal settlements, judaize Islamic holy sites, and infringe the Palestinian right of return by dismantling UNRWA, the statement read.

Hamas noted that while all of the above violations are currently in place, Mahmoud Abbas maintains security collaboration with the Israeli occupation and steps up crackdowns both the Palestinian resistance and people.

Hamas strongly condemned Abbas’ designation of the Palestinian resistance as “terrorist militias” while standing before the UNGA, saying it is a “sharp stab” to the Palestinian people.

Hamas said Abbas used a UN platform to announce his isolation of the Gaza Strip and the launch of new punitive measures. Such threats endanger the Palestinian reconciliation. Abbas should have rather announced a decision to lift the sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip. We do hold Abbas responsible for the upshots of his measures against the besieged enclave.

In light of the aforementioned challenges, Hamas said it believes that it is necessary for Abbas to repudiate the Oslo Accord which has inflicted overwhelming repercussions on the Palestinian people. In addition, Abbas should reconsider the unilateral policy he is pursuing and listen to the Palestinian people and factions.

Hamas added that Abbas should work on reuniting the Palestinian people and rearranging the internal political scene on the basis of a real partnership aiming to retrieve Palestinian rights. To those ends, Hamas maintained, all forms of security cooperation with the Israeli occupations should be immediately brought to a halt.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s clear the US and Israel favoured Abbas. It’s also clear he failed.

US President Donald Trump with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House on May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]
By Dr Mohammad Makram Balawi | MEMO | September 18, 2018

A few years after Arafat assumed the leadership of the Palestinian national movement he tried to tempt the West to offer him something in return for what he called peace. Many people still remember him with his white sweater, in the United Nations General Assembly in 1974, saying: “I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter’s gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

As one Fatah former leader and Arafat companion once told me, Arafat and his group always thought that liberation should happen within their lifetime and that they should enjoy its fruits. They were convinced from the early stages that they cannot beat the Zionists with all the American and Western support behind them. They were ready from the beginning for something other than complete liberation, unlike most Palestinians. It was not a surprise to my friend that Arafat ended up trapped with a lousy agreement, the Oslo Accords, engineered secretively by Mahmoud Abbas, his successor.

Almost all Palestinian factions, including those who are members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), rejected it and many Fatah and Palestinian National Council (PNC) members resigned in protest against the agreement, including Mahmoud Darwish, Ibrahim Abu Lughod and Edward Said, who accused Arafat of treason.

The attempts of Fatah to lead the Palestinian national movement led eventually to the complete monopoly of the Palestinian national decision. All other factions who used to get their financial support and annual budget from the PLO had to concede to Arafat’s decisions even if they opposed them, and for those who refused to do so Arafat used to smear, intimidate and in many cases use brutal force against them, including assassination if necessary.

Although the PLO’s institutions and other Palestinian bodies had elections, most of the time they were decorative. Most of the Palestinian leadership, including Arafat, did not believe in leadership succession and democratic transition. Opposition was never allowed unless it was superficial and could beautify the face of the PLO and give legitimacy to the “historical leadership”, as Arafat and his group used to be called by their supporters.

In the eighties, after Hamas and Islamic Jihad (IJ) became serious contenders, Fatah tried to combat them. In the beginning Arafat refused to recognise that these movements ever existed. Then he spread a rumour, which many still believe in, that these movements were the creation of Israel to divide the national Palestinian decision. Fatah and its members used to assault members of Hamas and IJ, in universities, Israeli detention camps, mosques and wherever they could.

In 1993 the Oslo Accords were signed and from that moment on a deep rift was created between the Palestinian people, who were once always united behind resistance. Arafat believed, and made many Palestinians believe, that through diplomacy Palestinians could have their independent state. This sweet dream was a mere illusion, which Arafat eventually realised before his mysterious death.

The “peace process” – which was supposed to yield according to Oslo a Palestinian state within six years – continued for about two decades and managed only to consolidate Israeli control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Arafat eventually realised that the United States and Israel had turned him into a policeman whose duty it is to keep his own people calm and accept the gradual annexation of land and the looting of resources.

By the beginning of the second intifada, which was triggered by Ariel Sharon’s intrusion into Al-Aqsa Mosque, Arafat started local resistance groups in secret and released many Hamas leaders and members from his prisons. Sharon and George W. Bush decided that it was time to get rid of him and the Israeli Army destroyed almost all the infrastructure Arafat managed to build with European aid in the West Bank, surrounded his headquarters in Ramallah, and imposed Mahmoud Abbas on him as a prime minister.

It was by then very clear that the Americans and the Israelis despised Arafat and favoured Abbas. Arafat’s health gradually and mysteriously deteriorated, he finally died and Abbas took over. Abbas did not believe in pressurising Israel using armed resistance, nor with peaceful resistance, as is evident in the way he runs the areas under his jurisdiction. He seems to believe that the only way to implement his plans of having a state is to convince the Americans and reassure the Israelis, which seems a very naïve approach.

Yet there were some serious obstacles to overcome. First was the armed Fatah groups Arafat founded and financed, which Abbas could liquidate quickly. The second is groups like Hamas, which Arafat, with all his might, could not contain. Abbas chose a new tactic; elections. Abbas managed to convince Hamas’ leadership to take part in the general elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, inaccurately estimating that it would not get more than 30 per cent of the seats of the Legislative Council, and he would emerge victorious and impose his views on Hamas through democracy.

Abbas found no other way except to recognise the results of the elections but worked to undermine the work of the government which was formed by Hamas, and boycotted by most of the other Palestinian factions due to Abbas’ pressure. Through Fatah armed groups and PA security agencies, Abbas started with the help of people like Mohmmed Dahlan – who was then the head of the Preventive Security Force in Gaza – an armed revolt. Abbas made the work of the government almost impossible.

Local Hamas leaders got fed up of the situation and with their smaller and less equipped forces, kicked Dahlan and the armed leaders of Fatah out of the Gaza Strip, and Abbas in return cracked down on Hamas in the West Bank. From that time on Abbas and his group monopolised Palestinian representation under the pretext that Hamas carried out a coup in Gaza and unless it surrenders and hands over everything to Abbas there will be no reconciliation, which gave Abbas all the liberty he wanted to go on his way undisputed.

Yes, Abbas ruled undisputed, but it is very clear that he failed. Abbas worked for three decades to make the Oslo Accords a reality but ended up cursing his partners, the Americans and the Israelis, in a vulgar way, for he has nothing else he could do. Abbas lacks the courage to declare that he led the Palestinian people into a disaster, apologise and give way to a new leadership. One day, most probably soon, Abbas like Arafat will pass away, and leave his people face to face with his disastrous heritage.

September 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli minister urges assassination of Palestinian leaders

Palestine Information Center – September 16, 2018

Israel’s Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan called for assassinating Hamas leaders in the besieged Gaza Strip to quell anti-occupation protests at the eastern borders.

Israel’s Channel 7 quoted Erdan as stating that Israel might increase secret assassinations in case Hamas continues to fuel anti-occupation protests on borderlands with Gaza.

Erdan vowed that the Israeli army will step up aggressions against Hamas no matter the cost.

Sometime earlier, Israeli lawmaker Haim Jelin called for launching attacks against Hamas resistance fighters so as to force the group to yield into a long-term ceasefire in response to an alleged incendiary balloon dropped at his home in Kibbutz settler community, near Gaza’s border area.

September 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

What Lies Beneath: The US-Israeli Plot to ‘Save’ Gaza

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | September 4, 2018

Israel wants to change the rules of the game entirely. With unconditional support from the Trump Administration, Tel Aviv sees a golden opportunity to redefine what has, for decades, constituted the legal and political foundation for the so-called ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict.’

While US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has, thus far, been erratic and unpredictable, his administration’s ‘vision’ in Israel and Palestine is systematic and unswerving. This consistency seems to be part of a larger vision aimed at liberating the ‘conflict’ from the confines of international law and even the old US-sponsored ‘peace process.’

Indeed, the new strategy has, so far, targeted the status of East Jerusalem as an Occupied Palestinian city, and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. It aims to create a new reality in which Israel achieves its strategic goals while the rights of Palestinians are limited to mere humanitarian issues.

Unsurprisingly, Israel and the US are using the division between Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, to their advantage. Fatah dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah while Hamas controls besieged Gaza.

A carrot and a stick scenario are being applied in earnest. While, for years, Fatah received numerous financial and political perks from Washington, Hamas subsisted in isolation under a permanent siege and protracted state of war. It seems that the Trump Administration – under the auspices of Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner – are turning the tables.

The reason that the PA is no longer the ‘moderate’ Palestinian leadership it used to be in Washington’s ever self-serving agenda is that Mahmoud Abbas has decided to boycott Washington in response to the latter’s recognition of all of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. True, Abbas’ subservience has been successfully tested in the past but, under the new administration, the US demands complete ‘respect’, thus total obedience.

Hamas, which is locked in Gaza between closed borders from every direction, has been engaging Israel indirectly through Egyptian and Qatari mediation. That engagement has, so far, resulted in a short-term truce, while a long-term ceasefire is still being discussed.

The latest development on that front was the visit by Kushner, accompanied with Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, to Qatar on August 22. There, Gaza was the main topic on the agenda.

So, why is Gaza, which has been isolated (even by the PA itself) suddenly the new gate through which the top US, Israeli and regional officials are planning to reactivate Middle East diplomacy?

Ironically, the suffocation of Gaza is particularly intense these days. The entire Gaza Strip is sinking deeper in its burgeoning humanitarian crisis, with August being one of the most gruelling months.

A series of US financial aid cuts have targeted the very socio-economic infrastructure that allowed Gaza to carry on, despite extreme poverty and the ongoing economic blockade.

On August 31, Foreign Policy magazine reported that the US administration is in the process of denying the UN Palestinian refugees agency, UNRWA – which has already suffered massive US cuts since January – of all funds. Now the organization’s future is in grave peril.

The worrying news came only one week after another announcement, in which the US decided to cut nearly all aid allocated to Palestinians this year – $200 million, mostly funds spent on development projects in the West Bank and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

So why would the US manufacture a significant humanitarian crisis in Gaza – which suits the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu well – while, simultaneously, engaging in discussions regarding the urgent need to end Gaza’s humanitarian woes?

The answer lies in the need for the US to manipulate aid to Palestinians to exact political concessions for Israel’s sake.

Months before rounds of Egyptian-sponsored indirect talks began between Israel and Hamas, there has been an unmistakable shift in Israeli and US attitudes regarding the future of Gaza:

On January 31, Israel presented to a high-level conference in Brussels ‘humanitarian assistance plans’ for Gaza at a proposed cost of $1 billion. The plan focuses mostly on water distillation, electricity, gas infrastructure and upgrading the joint industrial zone at the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel. In essence, the Israeli plan is now the core discussion about the proposed long-term ceasefire.

The meeting was attended by Greenblatt, along with Kushner who is entrusted with implementing Trump’s unclear vision, inappropriately termed ‘the deal of the century.’

Two months later, Kushner hosted top officials from 19 countries to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

There is a common thread between all of these activities.

Since the US decided to defy international law and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last December, it has been in search of a new strategy that will circumvent the PA in Ramallah.

PA President, Abbas, whose political apparatus is mostly reliant on ‘security coordination’ with Israel, US political validation and financial handouts, has little with which to bargain.

Hamas has relatively greater political capital – as it has operated with less dependency on the Israeli-US-western camp. But years of relentless siege, interrupted by massive, deadly Israeli wars, have propelled Gaza into a permanent humanitarian crisis.

While a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian groups in Gaza went into effect on August 15, a long-term ceasefire is still being negotiated. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, citing Israeli officials, the truce would include a comprehensive ceasefire, opening all border crossings, expansion of the permitted fishing area off the Gaza coast, and the overhauling of Gaza’s destroyed economic infrastructure – among other stipulations.

Concurrently, Palestinian officials in Ramallah are fuming. ‘Chief negotiator,’ Saeb Erekat, accused Hamas of trying to “destroy the Palestinian national project,” by negotiating a separate agreement with Israel. The irony is that the Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and PA have done just that for over 25 years.

However, delinking the future of Gaza from the fate of all Palestinians can, indeed, lead to dangerous consequences.

Regardless of whether a permanent truce is achieved between Israel and the Hamas-led Gaza factions, the sad truth is that, whatever grand illusion is harboured by Washington and Tel Aviv at the moment, is almost entirely based on exploiting Palestinian divisions, for which the Palestinian leadership is to be wholly blamed.

September 4, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seven detained Palestinian women activists from al-Khalil face Israeli persecution

Photo: Protest demands release of Palestinian women prisoners. Via Wattan TV
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – August 29, 2018

Seven Palestinian women from al-Khalil have been jailed by the Israeli occupation, with many held in intense, torturous interrogation for many weeks. The Israeli Shin Bet intelligence agency is now attempting to market these arrests in the media as an attack on “Hamas infrastructure” in al-Khalil in an attempt to justify the ongoing large-scale arrests targeting active Palestinian women in the city.

In addition to the main arrests targeting seven women, a number of other women were summoned to hours of interrogation before being released. Riyad al-Ashqar of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that all of the women work in social services, public activities, media work or at home with their families and that none are involved in Hamas’ political or military work. He said that the Shin Bet’s claims are an attempt to create a state of fear and terror to suppress Palestinian women’s participation in activities against the crimes of the occupation or supporting the Palestinian resistance.

The campaign against Palestinian women in al-Khalil began with the arrest of City Council member Suzan Abdel-Karim Owawi, 40, on 5 June. She was subjected to extensive, harsh interrogation that was extended repeatedly during that time. In addition to her public service as an elected official, she is a social activist who works to support Palestinian prisoners; she is married and the mother of four children.

Safa Abu Hussein, 36, was arrested next after Israeli occupation forces invaded her home and took her to interrogation. Her detention has been extended four times.

Rawda Mohammed Abu Aisha, 53, was next to be seized by occupation forces; she was seized when she drove to a checkpoint in Bethlehem and taken to interrogation.

The occupation forces also arrested Dima Said al-Karmi, 38, the widow of Nashat al-Karmi, a Hamas activist killed by Israeli occupation forces and the mother of an 8-year-old daughter. She was taken to Ashkelon detention center and interrogated harshly and extensively and deprived of sleep. During her interrogation, she fainted on multiple occasions. Her detention has also been repeatedly extended.

Lama Khater, 42, is a Palestinian writer who was seized on 24 July by Israeli occupation forces after they invaded her family home. She was deprived of sleep, insulted and threatened by Israeli interrogators at the Ashkelon detention center. The mother of five children – the youngest only 2 – she is a political analyst and writer whose work is widely published on newspapers and websites.

Saida Badr, 55, is the wife of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Mohammed Badr, 61, who has spent many years in Israeli prison including a recent sentence in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Finally, Sonia Hamouri, 40, a university lecturer, was seized from her family home in al-Khalil on 14 August. A number of other women were also detained for several hours and interrogated.

The Israeli occupation is accusing the women of communicating information from Palestinians in exile to those inside occupied Palestine, especially activists in Hamas. They were also accused of doing social and charitable work in support of the movement by providing aid to the prisoners’ families.

Palestinian political parties and movements are labeled “illegal organizations” by the Israeli occupation, and thousands of Palestinians are jailed for allegedly supporting or belonging to these liberation movements. One of the most common charges against Palestinian prisoners is “membership in an illegal organization,” as participation in most major Palestinian political movements is criminalized by the colonial occupation.

These seven women are among a total of approximately 63 Palestinian women prisoners, including several held without charge or trial under administrative detention, such as parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and student Fidaa Akhalil.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli minister urges assassination of Hamas leaders

Press TV – August 11, 2018

Israeli culture and sport minister has called for the assassination of the leaders of Hamas Palestinian resistance movement, stressing that Israel should reinstate its policy of targeted assassinations.

Miri Regev told a recent meeting of local leaders of Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip that the Palestinian resistance movement’s senior officials should “live in fear”.

“We must go back to the policy of targeted assassinations of leaders of this murderous terrorist group,” she added, referring to Hamas.

Other Israeli politicians likewise called on the Israeli leadership to come down harder on Hamas, which controls Gaza and has defended the enclave against three Israeli wars.

Leader of Israeli party Zionist Union Avi Gabbay, who was visiting the city of Sderot in the west of Negev Desert, was recently quoted by media as saying that Israel had “a strong army and weak politicians,” who would not intensify the regime’s aggression.

The current regime “doesn’t know how to deter a terrorist organization or to negotiate,” he added.

Israel has assassinated many Hamas figures over the past years.

Last March, it assassinated Mazen Fuqaha, one of the group’s senior figures, in Gaza. The victim was shot with four bullets to his head.

In 2010, Israel had itself embroiled in an international scandal when its operatives used false European and Australian passports to assassinate senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the United Arab Emirates.

Oren Hazan, an Israeli lawmaker from Likud Party, also recently said, “We are not hitting Hamas hard enough for fear of an ongoing conflict, even though we are deep inside one”.

“If we would have hit them, they wouldn’t have allowed themselves to shoot 200 rockets in one day. So enough with the stories that we hit them hard. The public isn’t stupid, and neither is Hamas,” he added.

Besides staying prepared to take the territory under wholesale warfare, Israel regularly strikes Gaza, saying it needs to target Hamas.

Earlier in the week, Israeli raids on the coastal enclave killed three Palestinians who included a pregnant mother and a toddler.

Israel ramped up attacks on March 30, shortly after Gazans began weekly rallies near the territory’s fence in support of their right to return to their homeland.

The demonstrations and Israeli offensives especially hiked on May 14, the anniversary of the Nakba Day in 1948, when Israel claimed existence after a deadly war against Arab territories.

Nearly 160 Palestinians have been killed and some 17,500 others wounded during the Israeli military’s attacks targeting the March of Return protests, the Palestinian Health Ministry says.

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Bringing Justice to the Holy Land is a Basic Test of Humanity

The UK Foreign Office still fails it

By Stuart Littlewood | Dissident Voice | July 23, 2018

Evenhandedness, like justice, isn’t in some people’s vocabulary. It certainly plays no part in the Israel-Palestine peace process. Despite the occupying military’s continuing atrocities UK policy remains: ‘be nice to the Israelis, kick the Palestinians in the balls’.

The Zionist stooges at the top of UK Government are well known and currently fighting like cats in a sack over Brexit while the never-ending misery of the Palestinians goes almost unnoticed. So I’d hoped for something better from the likes of Lord Ahmad, a Muslim (of Pakistani origin) in the House of Lords who serves as Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

They say a leopard cannot change its spots. But politicians can and some do, often for the worse. Even Muslims do, some becoming that oddest of oddballs, a Muslim-Zionist. So what are we to make of Tariq Ahmad, now a Conservative peer with the title Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon? Since his elevation to the Lords he seems to have joined the ranks of those anxious to downplay Israel’s crimes and guarantee the rogue state’s impunity.

For example, in a debate on the Israel-Palestine conflict in March he said:

Any party that believes in the destruction of Israel of course cannot be party to a peace process. The UK Government have made it clear that, before taking part in any peaceful negotiations on the two-state solution, any party at the negotiating table needs to agree the right of Israel to exist.

But what about the Palestinians’ right to exist? Lord Ahmad must know that he’s talking about the fate of his Muslim brothers and sisters there, not to mention the Christian communities. The UK Government stubbornly refuses to recognise their Palestinian state.

Doesn’t our Government’s blatant favoritism bar us from the peace process?

And once again we’re tossed that hoary old chestnut, a ‘two state solution’. Given the many irreversible facts on the ground the Israelis have been allowed to create with impunity, what would that look like? Yeah, too messy and ridiculous to even begin to describe. So why keep pushing it as a ‘solution’, Lord Ahmad?  Netanyahu has said repeatedly that there will be no Palestinian state during his tenure as Israel’s prime minister.

Furthermore there’s no prospect of Israel willingly giving up Palestinian territory it illegally occupied and effectively annexed in 1967 and which must be returned if Palestinians are ever to enjoy freedom and independence. Netanyahu has declared:

We will not withdraw from one inch…. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel…. This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land…. We are here to stay forever.”

And that from somebody who, I suspect, has no ancestral links whatever to the ancient land of Israel…. like most of his vile comrades.

So the Israeli government too is disqualified from any peace process.

As for the US administration, it is so stuffed with Zionist pimps, has fouled up so many peace moves, is so discredited by its past and present performances and so contemptuous of international law that it too has no place in the peace process.

‘It is for the International Court of Justice to decide’

Indeed, none of Israel’s allies should be involved. The fate of Israel/Palestine is not a matter for meddlesome nations with vested interests seeking to override UN resolutions and re-shape the Middle East to suit themselves. Trump especially, with his warped mentality, deeply unpleasant connections and half-witted ‘ultimate deal’ or ‘deal of the century’, should remove himself for everyone’s good. It is for the International Court of Justice to decide on the basis of international law. But we never hear about law and justice from the UK Government, or the US administration in relation to the Holy Land. Why is that, Lord Ahmad? Don’t we believe in it any more? Or are we too yellow to uphold it, too morally bankrupt to pursue it?

When it comes to “agreeing Israel’s right to exist”, I presume Lord Ahmad knows that Israel refuses to declare its borders. So which Israel would he like us all to agree to? Israel behind the borders allocated by the UN Partition Plan? Israel behind the 1967 armistice borders? Israel with its boot on every Palestinian’s neck and illegally occupying all Palestinian territory? Or Israel seen by many as a brazen ‘racist endeavour’ that has just passed laws declaring itself “the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”?

Let’s not forget that the new state of Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949 was conditional upon honouring the UN Charter and implementing UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 and 194. It has failed to meet these obligations and to this day repeatedly violates provisions and principles of the Charter.

Israel does not even comply with the rules of the EU-Israel Association Agreement of 1995 which require adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and “respect for human rights and democratic principle (which) constitute an essential element of this agreement” in return for trading privileges. Here too Israel snatches the privileges without delivering on the obligations.

So why would anybody feel obliged to agree the entity’s right to exist?

Bringing justice to the Holy Land is a basic Test of Humanity. We British have failed that test for 100 years, starting with Balfour’s infamous document in 1917 which created what Lord Sydenham called “a running sore in the East” by promising not the Jewish people but Zionist extremists a homeland for Jews in Palestine without consulting the indigenous Muslim and Christian Arabs. Britain repeated the betrayal in 1948 by abandoning our Mandate responsibilities and leaving Jewish terror militia to plunder, steal and murder their way through Palestine, grabbing all the territory they could lay hands on and putting the Arab population to flight.

Ever since, we have rewarded Israel’s non-stop crimes with ‘favoured nation’ status instead of punishing its appalling cruelty, naked aggression and utter disregard of international law, while it continues to impose a crushing blockade on the Palestinian Territories (not just Gaza). We still refuse to apply the sanctions we wouldn’t hesitate slapping on other delinquent countries.

Most other governments in Western Christendom fail the H-test even though their inaction means there may soon be no Christians left in the place where Christianity began.

Betrayal:  boycott Hamas but welcome Israel’s thugs

Earlier this month Baroness Jenny Tongue put down a written question (HL9144):

To ask Her Majesty’s Government… when they last discussed with the leaders of Hamas the position of that organisation on Israel.

Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The UK retains a policy of no contact with Hamas in its entirety.

Why is that? Hamas’s political wing is NOT proscribed by the UK as a terrorist organisation. Hamas was elected to govern in full and fair elections last held in 2006 so is not a usurper of power. It has simply enforced its democratic right to rule, much to the annoyance of Israel, the US and the UK. The US-UK-Israel axis prefer working with the quisling Abbas, leader of the defeated Fatah, who has long overstayed his official term as president and should have been consigned to Palestine’s political wastepaper basket years ago.

Hamas has offered the occupying Israelis peace if they get back behind their 1967 border in compliance with UN resolutions and international law. Why does the UK Government have a problem with that, unless the axis plan is to keep trouble brewing to buy time for Israel to cement its ill-gotten gains, grab even more Palestinian land and resources and make its occupation permanent? Does Lord Ahmad seriously think that mumbling the same old “peace process” mantra still provides cover?

Hamas is a legitimate player and apparently enjoys more cred among Palestinians than Abbas’s Fatah who still controls the failed Palestinian Authority and PLO. If Britain talks to one it should talk to the other.

Ask yourself, my dear Lord Ahmad: who in the Holy Land has the most blood on their hands?

July 24, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment