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The Palestinians’ Inalienable Right to Resist

By Louis Allday | EBB Magazine | June 22, 2021

We remembered all the miseries, all the injustices, our people and the conditions they lived, the coldness with which world opinion looks at our cause, and so we felt that we will not permit them to crush us. We will defend ourselves and our revolution by every way and every means.

George Habash (1926-2008)

A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

In December 1982, following Israel’s devastating invasion of Lebanon six months earlier, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution A/RES/37/43 concerning the ‘[i]mportance of the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination’. It endorsed, without qualification, ‘the inalienable right’ of the Palestinian people to ‘self-determination, national independence, territorial integrity, national unity and sovereignty without outside interference’, and reaffirmed the legitimacy of their struggle for those rights ‘by all available means, including armed struggle’. It also strongly condemned Israel’s ‘expansionist activities in the Middle East’ and ‘continual bombing of Palestinian civilians’, both said to ‘constitute a serious obstacle to the realization of the self-determination and independence of the Palestinian people’. In the four decades since then, Israel’s violence against the Palestinian people and its colonisation of their land has not ceased. Up to the present moment, all over historical Palestine, from the Gaza Strip to Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinians are still under that same occupation, subject to suffocating control over virtually every aspect of their lives – and the sadistic, unaccountable violence of the Zionist state.

In addition to its endorsement by the UN, the Palestinians’ right to resist their occupation is also guaranteed by international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention requires an occupying power to protect the ‘status quo, human rights and prospects for self-determination’ of occupied populations, and as Richard Falk – an expert in international law who later went on to be appointed the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – has explained, Israel’s ‘pronounced, blatant and undisguised’ refusal to ever accept this framework of legal obligations constitutes a fundamental denial of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and engenders their legally-protected right of resistance. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and its flagrant disregard for international law through the construction of illegal settlements and other daily violations has continued unabated since Falk’s assessment was made during the al-Aqsa Intifada. In fact, the occupation has only become further entrenched since then with the collaboration of the comprador Palestinian Authority.

Furthermore, regardless of what is mandated by international law, the Palestinians possess a fundamental moral right to resist their ongoing colonisation and oppression through armed resistance, and that right must be recognised and supported. The multi-generational suffering of the Palestinians, perhaps none more so than those who live in the besieged and bombarded Gaza strip, is unremittingly cruel and has one central cause: Israel and the perpetual belligerence, expansionism and racism that is inherent to its state ideology, Zionism. Moreover, contrary to the Western media’s narrative that, without fail, portrays Israel as acting in ‘retaliation’, it is the actions of the Palestinians which are fundamentally reactive in nature, because the violence that Israel inflicts upon them is both perpetual and structural, and therefore automatically precedes any resistance to it. ‘With the establishment of a relationship of oppression, violence has already begun’, said Paolo Freire; ‘[n]ever in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed’. In Palestine, as Ali Abunimah recently wrote, ‘the root cause of all political violence is Zionist colonisation’.

Given that the Palestinians’ legal and moral right to pursue armed resistance is clear, endorsement of this position should be uncontroversial and commonplace among supporters of their cause. Yet in the West, such a position is rarely expressed – even by those who loudly proclaim their solidarity with Palestine. On the contrary, acts of Palestinian armed resistance, such as the firing of missiles from Gaza, are condemned by these ostensible supporters as part of the problem, dismissed condescendingly as ‘futile’ and ‘counter-productive’, or even labelled ‘war crimes’ and ‘unthinkable atrocities’, said to be comparable to Israel’s routine collective punishment, torture, incarceration, bombardment and murder of Palestinians. This form of solidarity, as Bikrum Gill has argued, is essentially ‘premised upon re-inscribing Palestinians as inherently non-sovereign beings who can only be recognized as disempowered dependent objects to be acted upon, either by Israeli colonial violence, or white imperial protectors’.

To sit in the comfort and safety of the West and condemn acts of armed resistance that the Palestinians choose to carry out – always at great risk to their lives – is a deeply chauvinistic position. It must be stated plainly: it is not the place of those who choose to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians from afar to then try and dictate how they should wage the anti-colonial struggle that, as Frantz Fanon believed, is necessary to maintain their humanity and dignity, and ultimately to achieve their liberation. Those who are not under brutal military occupation or refugees from ethnic cleansing have no right to judge the manner in which those who are choose to confront their colonisers. Indeed, expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause is ultimately meaningless if that support dissipates the moment that the Palestinians resist their oppression with anything more than rocks and can no longer be portrayed as courageous, photogenic, but ultimately powerless, victims. ‘Does the world expect us to offer ourselves up as polite, willing and well-mannered sacrifices, who are murdered without raising a single objection?’ Yahya al-Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, recently asked rhetorically. ‘This is not possible. No, we have decided to defend our people with whatever strength we have been given.’

This phenomenon speaks to what Jones Manoel calls  the Western left’s ‘fetish for defeat’ that predisposes it towards situations ‘of oppression, suffering and martyrdom’, as opposed to successful acts of resistance and revolution. Manoel continues:

People become ecstatic looking at those images – which I don’t think are very fantastic – of a [Palestinian] child or teenager using a sling to launch a rock at a tank. Look, this is a clear example of heroism but it is also a symbol of barbarism. This is a people who do not have the capacity to defend themselves facing an imperialist colonial power that is armed to the teeth. They do not have an equal capacity of resistance, but this is romanticized.

As a result, large swathes of the Western left express solidarity with the Palestinian cause in a generalised, abstract way, overstating the importance of their own role, and simultaneously rejecting the very groups who are currently fighting – and dying – for it. All too often, those who have refused to surrender and steadfastly resisted at great cost, are condemned by people who, in the same breath, declare solidarity with the cause. Similarly, it is common for these same people to either ignore or demonise those external forces that materially aid the Palestinian resistance more than any others – most notably Iran. If this assistance is acknowledged, which is rare, the Palestinian groups that accept it are typically infantilised as mere ‘dupes’ or ‘pawns’, for allowing themselves to be used cynically by the self-serving acts of others – a sentiment that directly contradicts Palestinian leaders’ own statements.

A specific criticism of Hamas that is frequently deployed in this context is the ‘indiscriminate’ nature of its missile launches from Gaza, actions which both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty Intentional regularly label ‘war crimes’. As observed by Perugini and Gordon, the false equivalence that this designation relies upon ‘essentially says that using homemade missiles – there isn’t much else available to people living under permanent siege – is a war crime. In other words, Palestinian armed groups are criminalised for their technological inferiority’. After the latest round of fighting in May 2021, al-Sinwar stated clearly that, unlike Israel, ‘which possesses a complete arsenal of weaponry, state-of-the-art equipment and aircraft’ and ‘bombs our children and women, on purpose’, if Hamas possessed ‘the capabilities to launch precision missiles that targeted military targets, we wouldn’t have used the rockets that we did. We are forced to defend our people with what we have, and this is what we have’.

This failure to support legitimate armed struggle is a part of a wider problem with the framing used by many supporters of the Palestinian cause in the West, that obscures its fundamental nature and how it must be resolved. Palestine is not simply a human rights issue, or even just a question of apartheid, but rather an anti-colonial fight for national liberation being waged by an indigenous resistance against the forces of an imperialist-backed settler colony. Decolonisation is a word now frequently used in the West in an abstract sense or in relation to curricula, institutions and public art, but rarely anymore in connection to what actually matters most: land. And that is the very crux of the issue: the land of Palestine must be decolonised, its Zionist colonisers deposed, their racist structures and barriers – both physical and political – dismantled, and all Palestinian refugees given the right of return.

It should be noted that emphasising the importance of supporting the Palestinians’ right to carry out armed struggle in pursuit of their freedom does not mean that their supporters in the West should recklessly call for violence or fetishize and celebrate it unnecessarily. Nor does it mean that non-violent efforts such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) are inconsequential or unimportant. Rather, BDS should be considered part and parcel of a broad spectrum of resistance activities, of which armed struggle is an integral component. Samah Idriss, founding member of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon has stated: ‘[b]oth forms of resistance, civil and armed, are complementary and should not be viewed as mutually exclusive.’ Or, as Khaled Barakat has stressed: ‘Israel and its allies have never accepted any form of Palestinian resistance, and boycott campaigns and popular organizing are not alternatives to armed resistance but interdependent tactics of struggle’.

Nelson Mandela’s analysis is relevant in this context, when he wrote that, ‘[n]on-violent passive resistance is effective as long as your opposition adheres to the same rules as you do’, but if peaceful protest is met with violence, its efficacy is at an end’. For Mandela, ‘non-violence was not a moral principle but a strategy’, since ‘there is no moral goodness in using an ineffective weapon’. Clarifying the rationale behind the African National Congress’ decision to adopt armed resistance, Mandela explained that it had no alternative course left available: ‘[o]ver and over again, we had used all the non-violent weapons in our arsenal – speeches, deputations, threats, marches, strikes, stay-aways, voluntary imprisonment – all to no avail, for whatever we did was met by an iron hand’. This standpoint is reflected in the words of al-Sinwar, who  when referring to the Great March of Return protests in 2018-19, during which Israeli snipers shot dead hundreds of Gazan protestors and seriously wounded thousands more said: ‘we’ve tried peaceful resistance and popular resistance’, but rather than acting to stop Israel’s massacres, ‘the world stood by and watched as the occupation war machine killed our young people’.

Mandela’s reference to efficacy is crucial. Despite what many Western supporters seem intent on implying, although it comes at a huge cost, the Palestinian armed resistance in Gaza is not ‘futile’ and has grown enormously in effectiveness and deterrent capacity. This was already evident after Israel’s failure to win the 2014 war on Gaza and has been underlined by the recent success of the resistance in May 2021, during which it launched an unprecedented number of missiles that can now reach deep inside historical Palestine. In spite of its devastating aerial bombardment of Gaza, Israel was unable to stop the launch of these missiles and, after the losses it experienced in 2014, is now too fearful of launching another ground invasion of the strip – notably as the resistance is now equipped with greater numbers of Kornet missiles previously used to such deadly effect against Israeli tanks in Southern Lebanon. The ceasefire that was declared on May 21st was widely seen in Israel as a defeat, and was celebrated by Palestinians across historical Palestine as a victory. The military balance has changed, and although Israel is still vastly more powerful by every conventional measure, the resistance is in a stronger position now than it has been for years. It has built upon the successes of Hezbollah against Israel in 2000 and 2006 and with the support, training and further aid of the Lebanese group and others in the Resistance Axis, it has taken its capabilities to a higher level. This change is reflected in the fact that since 2014, Israeli arms sales have stagnated and its aggressions against Gaza no longer lead to an immediate rise in the stock price of its arms companies that use Gaza as a training ground and stage for its latest technologies. Shir Hever has noted that after Israel’s failures in Gaza beginning in 2014, customers of its arms companies began to ask ‘What is the point of all this technology? If you cannot pacify the Palestinians with these missiles, why should we buy them?’.

In addition to its practical impact, armed struggle has significant propaganda value. The reality is that Palestine would not have dominated global news headlines in May 2021 in the way that it did were it not for the armed resistance in Gaza that – contrary to the Western media’s singular focus on Hamas – is composed of a united front of various factions including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is a case in point in this regard, for it was their actions throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, most notably a series of plane hijackings (in which passengers were released unharmed), that implanted the Palestinian cause in the consciousness of millions of people for the first time and marked a key turning point in raising awareness of the Palestinians’ plight globally. Indeed, the Palestinian writer and PFLP spokesman, Ghassan Kanafani, believed that armed struggle was the ‘best form of propaganda’ and that in spite of the ‘gigantic propaganda system of the United States’, it is through people who fight to liberate themselves in armed struggle ‘that things are ultimately decided’.

In 1970, after the Western-backed regime in Jordan had shelled Palestinian refugee camps in the country, the PFLP – under the leadership of Kanafani’s comrade (and recruiter) George Habash – took hostage a group of nationals from the US, West Germany and Britain (Israel’s primary supporters) at two hotels in Amman. In return for their safe release, the PFLP demanded that ‘all shelling of the camps be ended and all demands of the Palestinian resistance movement met’. Shortly before the hostages were eventually released, Habash addressed them apologetically and said:

I feel that it’s my duty to explain to you why we did what we did. Of course, from a liberal point of view of thinking, I feel sorry for what happened, and I am sorry that we caused you some trouble during the last 2 or 3 days. But leaving this aside, I hope that you will understand, or at least try to understand, why we did what we did.

Maybe it will be difficult for you to understand our point of view. People living different circumstances think on different lines. They can’t think in the same manner, and we, the Palestinian people, and the conditions we have been living for a good number of years, all these conditions have modelled our way of thinking. We can’t help it. You can understand our way of thinking, when you know a very basic fact. We, the Palestinians… for the last 22 years, have been living in camps and tents. We were driven out of our country, our houses, our homes and our lands, driven out like sheep and left here in refugee camps in very inhumane conditions.

For 22 years our people have been waiting in order to restore their rights, but nothing happened… After 22 years of injustice, inhumanity, living in camps with nobody caring for us, we feel that we have the very full right to protect our revolution. We have all the right to protect our revolution…

We don’t wake up in the morning to have a cup of milk with Nescafe and then spend half an hour before the mirror thinking of flying to Switzerland or having one month in this country or one month in that country… We live daily in camps… We can’t be calm as you can. We can’t think as you think. We have lived in this condition, not for one day, not for 2 days, not for 3 days. Not for one week, not for 2 weeks, not for 3 weeks. Not for one year, not for 2 years, but for 22 years. If any one of you comes to these camps and stays for one or two weeks, he will be affected.

You have to excuse my English. From the personal side, let me say, I apologize to you. I am sorry about your troubles for 3 or 4 days. But from a revolutionary point of view, we feel, we will continue to feel that we have the very, very full right to do what we did.

Habash’s words should be listened to carefully. The urgency that underlines his message is even more palpable half a century later, for the Palestinians – consistently refusing passive victimhood – have now lived in the wretched conditions Habash depicts for 73 long years, not 22.

Revolution, Mao Zedong once remarked, ‘is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle’. The same is true of decolonisation, in which although past struggles have been multi-faceted, armed resistance of some kind was almost invariably an integral component of the struggle. Palestine is no exception. Beyond endorsement of BDS and other civil society campaigns, the Palestinians’ unassailable right to pursue armed struggle must be supported by those who choose to stand in solidarity with them and their righteous cause.


June 23, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Energy in Palestine – an introduction

By Palestina, Gas en de Palestijnse Revolutie | 25-12-2017

Fifteen gas fields have been found on the coast of Palestine since 1999. With a value of at least two hundred thirty billion dollar, this gas will play an important role in the region. The key question for us is how the gas will influence the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation. This article is a short introduction to this topic.

Who, what, how much?

The first gas field off the coast of Palestine was found in 1999 and the first flow of gas was realized five years later. Up until today fifteen gas fields have been found that belong to Palestine, six of which are being exploited by ‘Israel’.[1] The total amount of gas is between forty and fifty TCF (trillion cubic feet) and has a minimal value of $230bn.

‘Israeli’ state and exploitation

As a settler-colony and apartheid state, ‘Israel’ has complete control of the gas fields. 40% of the gas will be exported and the remaining 60% will be used for domestic consumption.[2] The sole current export is to Jordan with a total value of fifteen billion dollars. Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the EU also have a joint agreement for the construction of a pipeline to facilitate ‘Israeli’ gas exports to Europe. In regards to domestic consumption the gas makes ‘Israel’ energy independent for the coming decades. ‘Israel’s’ economic position and economic independence are clearly strengthened by the exploitation of the gas fields.

The PA and political parties

The gas has far reaching political consequences. Gas deals with foreign states on the one hand further normalize ‘Israel’ and strengthen its economy. On the other hand gas platforms, pipelines and complicit companies are new targets for the Palestinian resistance and the international solidarity movement. It is only a matter of time before the global BDS movement becomes a significant force against the ‘Israeli’ exploitation of the gas. In this sense, the political meaning of the gas is two-sided or contradictory: on the one hand it strengthens the occupation economy; on the other hand it offers more ways of resistance.

But not all Palestinians have a problem with the Zionist gas exploitation. The Palestinian Authority is as always positive about ‘Israel’ and ‘their’ gas. While the PA canceled a $1.2 billion gas deal with ‘Israel’ in March 2015[3], they offer no resistance to ‘Israeli’ control over the gas. This holds for the gas in Gaza, the Dutch institute SOMO wrote that ‘Israel’ is currently stealing the gas there.[4]

Hamas, who govern Gaza, and the PFLP have been confronting ‘Israel’ about the gas. Mohammed al Zoari, aka ‘the engineer’, was killed in Tunisia in December 2016. He was working on an underwater drone for Hamas to attack gas- and oil platforms.[5] The PFLP rejects all non-Palestinian exploitation of the gas and also agitates against regimes that make gas deals with the Zionist entity.[6][7][8][9]

The Palestinian struggle for liberation in the Netherlands

Noble Energy (United States), Delek Group and Avner (both ‘Israeli’) are the most active companies currently involved with Palestinian gas. Additionally involved is, Royal Dutch Shell (British-Dutch), mainly working on the gas fields on the coast of Gaza. While the PA is in talks with Shell about exploitation of these fields, this is likely never to be a reality. Multiple high-placed ‘Israeli’ scientists and politicians have spoken negatively about a fast exploitation of the Gaza fields. Shell also wants to buy ‘Israeli’ gas to sell in Egypt.[10]

It may be clear that the Dutch movement can play an important role because of the Shell involvement. Add to this that work is being put into constructing a pipeline from Palestine to Europe.[11] With a government that probably wants less dependence on Russian gas[12], Palestinian gas can be flowing through the Netherlands in a decade.

The BDS-movement, especially in the Middle East, is already working on stopping the gas theft. It is our task in the Netherlands to follow this example and stand shoulder to shoulder with activists in Jordan,[13], Turkey[14] and Palestine. We have to struggle in order to guarantee that the resistance will be stronger than the ‘Israeli’ gas profits.

[1] Al-Haq. 2015. ‘Annexing Energy’ report. http://www.alhaq.org/publications/Annexing.Energy.pdf

[2] Jordan BDS. 2014. ‘$8.4billion to Israel’s treasury from Jordanian citizens’. http://jordanbds.net/?page_id=581

[3] Winer, Stuart. 11 maart 2015. ‘Palestinians cancel natural gas deal with Israel’ https://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-cancel-natural-gas-deal-with-israel/

[4] SOMO. 2017. ‘Beneath troubled waters’ report. https://www.somo.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Beneath-troubled-waters.pdf

[5] Burton, Fred. 31 December 2016. ‘Mossad’s Fingerprints on a Murder in Tunisia’.  https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/mossads-fingerprints-murder-tunisia

[6] 25 februari 2015. PFLP denounces “treacherous” gas deal (between PA and ‘Israel’) and demands immediate cancellation. http://pflp.ps/english/2015/02/25/pflp-denounces-treacherous-gas-deal-and-demands-immediate-cancellation/

[7] 18 mei 2016. PFLP denounces joint US/Israeli/Greek military exercises, calls for action from Greek popular movement. http://pflp.ps/english/2016/05/18/pflp-denounces-joint-usisraeligreek-military-exercises-calls-for-action-from-greek-popular-movement/

[8] 1 juli 2016. PFLP warns of dangerous Turkish-Israeli agreement built on looting the natural gas of the Palestinian people. http://pflp.ps/english/2016/07/01/pflp-warns-of-dangerous-turkish-israeli-agreement-built-on-looting-the-natural-gas-of-the-palestinian-people/

[9] 25 oktober 2016. Jordan protests continue against national gas deal with Zionist state. http://pflp.ps/english/2016/10/25/jordan-protests-continue-against-national-gas-deal-with-zionist-state/

[10] 21 augustus 2017. Shell ‘to buy Israeli gas’ for Egypt market.  https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/8/21/shell-to-buy-israeli-gas-for-egypt-market

[11] https://www.reuters.com/article/energy-mediterranean-natgas/greece-italy-israel-and-cyprus-back-natgas-pipeline-to-europe-idUSL8N1O537F

[12] https://www.fluxenergie.nl/europa-wordt-steeds-afhankelijker-russisch-gas/

[13] 12 november 2016. (Jordanian) Protesters detained briefly over protest against gas deal with Israel. http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/protesters-detained-briefly-over-protest-against-gas-deal-israel

[14] 28 maart 2017. BDS Turkey: Turkish-Israeli energy cooperation is unacceptable! http://bdsturkiye.org/bds-haberler/bds-turkey-turkish-israeli-energy-cooperation-is-unacceptable/

Translation by Samidoun

December 25, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli police say singing event was organized to ‘sympathize with terrorists’

(Photo credit: Ahmad Jalajil)
Ma’an – December 8, 2016

JERUSALEM – Israeli forces raided the Palestinian National Theatre in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah Thursday evening, preventing organizers from holding an event titled “Sing with Us” for allegedly being organized by the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in order to “sympathize with terrorists.”

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli special forces, police, and intelligence raided the theater, also known as al-Hakawati Theater, during the event, which was organized by the Milad Fund for University Education.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevy signed an order on Thursday “to prevent holding a conference for the terrorist PFLP group,” citing Article 9 of the newly minted anti-terrorism law of 2016 — that members of Israel’s parliament have referred to as “draconian and unacceptable.”

“The chief’s decision was made after receiving intelligence information that the aforementioned terrorist group plans to hold a conference in order to sympathize with terrorists and other issues,” al-Samri’s statement continued.

“After the decision, a police unit headed to the designated place in East Jerusalem and prevented the holding of the conference without any exceptional incidents.”

The Israeli law, which was passed in June, includes a provision expanding the definition of terrorist organization membership to include “passive members” who are not actively involved in any group, but can now be indicted by Israeli authorities. It applies only inside Israel and occupied East Jerusalem, but not the occupied West Bank.

Head of the Joint List of Israel’s parliament Ayman Odeh said at the time of the legislation’s passage that it will damage Israel’s security cooperation with the PLO and Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, pointing out that Israel considers the majority of political parties within the PLO — including the PFLP — to be terrorist organizations.

For Palestinians, the PFLP — founded by a Christian doctor, George Habash — is the most popular political faction for secular leftists.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported last month that al-Hakawati, after operating for three decades as a leading cultural center for Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem, faced closure by Israeli authorities as a result of unpaid bills to the Jerusalem municipality amounting to $150,000, citing Palestinian commentators who believed Israeli authorities were pressuring the theater in order to “marginalize Arabic cultural and arts institutions.”

(Photo credit: Ahmad Jalajil)

(Photo credit: Ahmad Jalajil)

(Photo credit: Ahmad Jalajil)

December 8, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel renews detention of two PFLP leaders, held for 1 year without charge

Ma’an – June 4, 2016

RAMALLAH – Israeli authorities decided to renew the administrative detention of two PFLP leaders for six additional months, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said on Saturday, a day after leading member of the PFLP Khalida Jarrar was released from Israeli custody.

The center said in a statement that Jamal Barham, 56, and Shahir Ali al-Rai, 47, have been in Israel’s Ktziot prison in the Negev since their detention on June 3, 2015.

The center said that the two are being held for their activity in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated by Israel as an “illegal terrorist organization.”

The majority of Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Israel, including those that make up the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and association with such parties is often used as grounds for imprisonment, according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

The Israeli military prosecution said Barham and al-Rai held high ranks in the PFLP and took part in “incitement” against Israel, according to the center.

Both of the PFLP leaders had previously spent time in Israeli custody for their political activism.

Al-Rai, from the northern occupied West Bank city of Qalqilya, has spent a total of 12 years in Israeli jails, mostly under administrative detention — the controversial Israeli policy of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence.

Prior to his detention last year, Barham was arrested only once before, in December 1984, and released in August 1987.

Following his release, he and his family were the target of repeated house raids, while Barham was also wanted throughout the 1990s until the beginning of the second Intifada, according to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

During his detention in June 2015, Israeli forces ransacked his house, destroyed his computer, and confiscated flash drives belonging to his children.

Barham, from the village of Ramin in the northern district of Qalqiliya, was the head of the Arab Studies Department in PLO. He also suffers from various medical issues including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a disc in his neck.

Due to the lack of evidence against Barham to support Israel’s accusation that his previous political activity presented a security threat, his detention “is considered a violation of his right of expression and political activity,” insisted Addameer in their profile of Barham.

“His detention is arbitrary and a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The decision to hold him under administrative detention confirms the occupation authorities’ arbitrary use of the administrative detention policy when sufficient information is not available to put any Palestinian on trial.”

Barham was among 50 other Palestinian administrative detainees that launched a boycott of Israel’s military courts in July 2015, in protest of the courts’ impartiality and “their utilization as a mere formality,” said Addameer.

The boycott served to emphasize the prisoners’ “continued detention based on secret information that neither the detainee nor his lawyer can review, and additionally to the fact that military courts are a tool to legitimize the occupation and arbitrary detention.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian lawmaker and leading member of the PFLP Khalida Jarrar was released from Israeli custody on Friday, after being held for 14 months in Israeli prison.

Detained on April 2, Jarrar was initially sentenced to six months of administrative detention, however international pressure later forced Israeli authorities to bring charges against her, all 12 of which focused on her political activism.

News of the Israeli military prosecution’s renewal of Barham’s and al-Ray’s administrative detention follows the announcement of prominent Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem last week that it was discontinuing its strategy of holding Israel accountable for its crimes against Palestinians through internal military mechanisms.

“B’Tselem has gradually come to the realization that the way in which the military law enforcement system functions precludes it from the very outset from achieving justice for the victims. Nonetheless, the very fact that the system exists serves to convey a semblance of law enforcement and justice,” the report stated.

June 4, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli court sentences Palestinian MP Jarrar to 15 months in jail

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Palestine Information Center – December 7, 2015

RAMALLAH – An Israeli military court on Sunday evening sentenced member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Khalida Jarrar to 15 months in prison.

Ofer military court gave Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar a 15-month prison sentence for purely political reasons, according to her husband, Ghassan Jarrar.

Jarrar was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces from her home in the West Bank town of al-Bireh, on 2 April 2015.

The Israeli government charged her on 12 accounts, and after 25 court hearings, the prosecution and the court settled on three main charges: Providing assistance to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), incitement against Israel, and membership in the PFLP.

Jarrar is a prominent and inspirational leader in Palestinian society. In addition to being a lawmaker, she is a women’s rights activist and a member of the board of directors for the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

Addameer reported in November that the Israeli military prosecution relied on alleged secret material to maintain leverage during the trial proceedings in Jarrar’s case.

Jarrar was placed under administrative detention based on “secret material” from the day she was arrested.

Addameer also said that Israel used “fabricated charges” against Jarrar obtained through “deceptive and flawed interrogation techniques” that were used to force confessions from Palestinian detainees.

The witnesses later denied the confessions, which they said were given under duress.

Jarrar’s husband told al-Araby website that the Israeli police had been exhausting his wife by transporting her from prison to court nearly 25 times in the past few months.

“It takes 22 hours to transfer her each time. She is usually prevented from using the toilet for nearly 8 hours and remains in cuffs all the time.”

Jarrar is detained in Hasharon prison where Palestinian women are mainly held. Her husband is not allowed to visit her on “security” grounds.

Jarrar had also been targeted by forced displacement to Jericho from Ramallah by an occupation military order, which she succeeded in defeating after a month-long sit-in at the PLC office and an international support campaign.

“The conviction of Khalida Jarrar comes as no surprise; Israeli military courts serve no function except as an instrument of repression and suppression directed against Palestinians. Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian political leader and an internationally-renowned struggler for justice. She has dedicated her life to working for freedom for her people and her land, and especially for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners,” said Charlotte Kates, coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

“It is urgent that we build the movement internationally to demand freedom for Jarrar and for her nearly 7,000 sisters and brothers held as Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails,” Charlotte Kates added.

December 7, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli court brings 12 charges against MP Khalida Jerrar

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Ma’an – 18/04/2015

BETHLEHEM – An Israeli military court has brought 12 charges against Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jerrar in connection to her membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an international rights group said.

Having been detained and interrogated since Apr. 2, Jerrar was charged by the Israeli military prosecution on Wednesday, according to a report released Friday by Amnesty International.

Charges included membership of an illegal organization, participation in protests, and incitement to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

A review of the charges against her will take place on Apr. 29, the report said.

Jerrar’s defense team argued there was no basis to the incitement charge and that it was vindictive, according to Amnesty’s report.

The majority of Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Israel, including those that make up the PLO, and association with such parties is often used as grounds for imprisonment, according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

Jerrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 as a member of PFLP.

Jerrar was detained on Apr. 2 from her home in the Ramallah neighborhood of al-Bireh, and was afterwards held and interrogated at the Ofer detention center. She was later taken to Hasharon prison inside Israel.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an that Jerrar had been detained for being the leader of a “terrorist organization,” and had encouraged “terror activities” in the previous few weeks.

The arrest also came after Jerrar refused a deportation order from Israeli authorities in August, demanding that she leave the Ramallah district for Jericho.

‘A symbol of resistance’

Jerrar has been targeted by Israeli authorities throughout her life, although Wednesday was the first time the lawmaker had been officially charged by Israeli military courts.

Palestinian factions have decried the arrest, with one PLO committee saying it was “an outrageous violation of her parliamentary immunity.”

Legislative Council lawmaker Jamil al-Majdalawi said: “Israel does not lose a chance to attempt to break the resistance’s will, the people’s resistance and their leadership symbols, and Khalida Jarrar is one of those symbols of resistance.”

In February, Jerrar joined the Palestinian committee in charge of conducting an International Criminal Court investigation into Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

She is also vice-chair of prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

Until the charges against her on Wednesday, Jerrar had been held in Israeli prisons under administrative detention.

Palestinians held in administrative detention are often held without charge or trial for months and without access to the evidence that led to their detention, even though international law stipulates this tactic only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Israeli prisons currently hold 14 members of the PLC, eight of them in administrative detention

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sixteen Legislators Currently Imprisoned By Israel, Soldiers Kidnap Leftist Legislator Khaleda Jarrar

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | April 2, 2015

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israel is currently holding captive sixteen democratically elected legislators, including Khalida Jarrar, who was kidnapped earlier Thursday.

The PPS issued a press release stating the nine of the imprisoned Palestinian legislators are held under arbitrary Administrative Detention, without charges or trial.

The Nine are Hasan Yousef, Abdul-Jaber Foqaha, Mohammad Jamal Natsha, Mohammad Bader, ‘Azzam Salhab, Nayef Rajoub, Bassem Za’arir, Mohammad Abu Teir and Abdul-Rahman Zeidan.

The PSS added that five legislators have been sentenced to different terms, including Marwan Barghouthi, who was kidnapped by the army in 2002, and was sentenced to five life terms, and legislator Ahmad Sa’adat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who was kidnapped in 2006, and was sentenced in 2008 to 30 years.

Israel is also holding captive legislators Nizar Ramadan, Hosni al-Bourini, Riyad Raddad, in addition to the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Dr. ‘Aziz Dweik.

Earlier on Thursday, soldiers stormed the home of legislator Khalida Jarrar, in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and kidnapped her.

jarrar_khalidaMedia sources in Ramallah said at least sixty Israeli soldiers, and security officers, invaded Ramallah, before storming into the home of the feminist leader, and prominent human rights advocate, and violently searched her property, before kidnapping her.

The sources said the soldiers kicked down the door of Jarrar’s home, and held her husband in a separate room, while searching the property, and kidnapped the legislator.

Jarrar is also a senior political leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), former executive director of the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and a current member of its board.

The Legislator is also the chairwoman of the Prisoners’ Committee of the Palestinian Legislator Council (PLC).

The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network has reported that Israel has been denying Jarrar the right to travel outside of Palestine since 1988, and that, in 2010, it took a public campaign lasting for six months before the Israeli Authorities allowed her to travel to Jordan for medical treatment.

On August 20 2014, Jarrar received an Israeli military order instructing her to leave Ramallah to Jericho, within 24 hours, but in September of the same year, the legislator managed to overturn the order.

Her abduction now raises concern that the Israeli Authorities might be planning to force her out of Ramallah, or to imprison her for an extended period.

April 2, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Journalism Student & Folk Dancer, Lina Khattab, Sentenced to Six Months

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | February 17, 2015

lina-khattabThe Israeli military court in the ‘Ofer prison, in the occupied West Bank, sentenced on Monday, a Palestinian journalism student who is also a Folk Dancer and activist, Lina Khattab, to six months imprisonment and a 6,000 Shekel fine.

The court also instated a three-year suspended sentence on Khattab, 17 years of age, for what it called “participating in a protest in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners,” in front of the Ofer prison.

Lina Khattab, who is a Journalism student at Birzeit University, was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers on December 13, 2014, during a nonviolent protest organized by students marking the 47th anniversary of the establishment of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

This past December, an Al-Quds News broadcast report about Lina featured an interview with her mother who spoke of the kidnapping of her daughter by the soldiers, who deliberately targeted her for her nonviolent political activities.

In the interview, Lina’s mother said that when she managed to see her for the first time, she noticed that her daughter has lost a lot of weight, and also told reporters that despite harsh living conditions and interrogation methods, her daughter remained steadfast to her principles of justice and liberation.

She added that her daughter told her about the extreme beating she was subjected to when the soldiers kidnapped her, before placing her in their jeep, and that the soldiers were angered that despite the beating, she was not crying, and even asked her why she wasn’t crying, but she remained strong and steadfast without showing any signs of weakness.

The soldiers claimed she hurled stones at them, but she continuously told them she was visiting her friend, and that the soldiers were just trying to frame her by making different allegations and fabrication.

Following her arrest, Dina was moved to the ‘Ofer Israeli prison, were she was forced to stand against a wall in the rain and cold, and the next day, she was moved to the HaSharon prison.

Whenever she was moved to HaSharon to the Ofer military court, the soldiers would wake her up nearly at 2 am, and deprive her from sleeping, before moving her to Ofer in a military vehicle while deliberately running cold air through the area of the vehicles were she was held, and once arriving in Ofer, she would also be placed in a cold room with a cooling system on despite the cold weather.

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment