THE NABLUS RIOTS AND THE FUTURE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

The arrest of a prominent Palestinian activist, Musab Shtayyeh, and another Palestinian activist, by Palestinian Authority police on September 20 was not the first time that the notorious PA’s Preventive Security Service (PSS) has arrested a Palestinian who is wanted by Israel.

PSS is largely linked to the routine arrests and torture of anti-Israeli occupation activists. Several Palestinians have died in the past as a result of PSS violence, the latest being Nizar Banat who was tortured to death on June 24, 2021. The killing of Banat ignited a popular revolt against the PA throughout Palestine.

For years, various Palestinian and international human rights groups have criticized the PA’s violent practices against dissenting Palestinian voices, quite often within the same human rights reports critical of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. The Hamas government in Gaza, too, has its fair share of blame.

In its January 2022 World Report, Human Rights Watch said that “the Palestinian Authority (PA) manages affairs in parts of the West Bank, where it systematically arrests arbitrarily and tortures dissidents.” This was neither the first nor the last time that a human rights group made such an accusation.

The link between Israeli and Palestinian violence targeting political dissidents and activists is equally clear to most Palestinians.

Some Palestinians may have believed, at one point, that the PA’s role is to serve as a transition between their national liberation project and full independence and sovereignty on the ground. Nearly thirty years after the formation of the PA, such a notion has proved to be wishful thinking. Not only did the PA fail at achieving the coveted Palestinian State, but it has morphed into a massively corrupt apparatus whose existence largely serves a small class of Palestinian politicians and business people – and, in the case of Palestine, it is always the same group.

PA corruption and subsequent violence aside, what continues to irk most Palestinians is that the PA, with time, became another manifestation of the Israeli occupation, curtailing Palestinian freedom of expression and carrying out arrests on behalf of the Israeli army. Sadly, many of those arrested by the Israeli military in the West Bank have experienced arrest by PA goons, too.

Scenes of violent riots in the city of Nablus following Shtayyeh’s arrest were reminiscent of the riots against Israeli occupation forces in the northern West Bank city or elsewhere in occupied Palestine. Unlike previous confrontations between Palestinians and PA police – for example, following the killing of Banat – this time, the violence was widespread, and involved protesters from all Palestinian political groups, including the ruling Fatah faction.

Perhaps unaware of the massive collective psychological shift that took place in Palestine in recent years, the PA government was desperate to contain the violence.

Subsequently, a committee that represents united Palestinian factions in Nablus declared on September 21 that it has reached a ‘truce’ with PA security forces in the city. The committee, which includes prominent Palestinian figures, told the Associated Press and other media that the agreement restricts any future arrests of Palestinians in Nablus to the condition that the individual must be implicated in breaking Palestinian, not Israeli, law. That provision alone implies a tacit admission by the PA that the arrest of Shtayyeh and Ameed Tbaileh was motivated by an Israeli, not a Palestinian agenda.

But why would the PA quickly concede to pressure coming from the Palestinian street?

The answer lies in the changing political mood in Palestine.

First, it must be stated that resentment of the PA has been brewing for years. One opinion poll after another has indicated the low regard that most Palestinians have of their leadership, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and particularly of the ‘security coordination’ with Israel.

Second, the torture and death of political dissident Banat, last year, has erased whatever patience Palestinians had towards their leadership, demonstrating to them that the PA is not an ally but a threat.

Third, the Unity Intifada of May 2021 has emboldened many segments of Palestinian society throughout occupied Palestine. For the first time in years, Palestinians have felt united around a single slogan and are no longer hostage to the geography of politics and factions. A new generation of young Palestinians has advanced the conversation beyond Abbas, the PA and their endless and ineffectual political rhetoric.

Fourth, armed struggle in the West Bank has been growing so rapidly that the Israeli army Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, claimed on September 6 that, since March, around 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank and that, allegedly, hundreds of attacks against the Israeli military have been thwarted.

In fact, evidence of an armed Intifada is growing in the Jenin and Nablus regions. What is particularly interesting, and alarming, from the Israeli and PA viewpoint, about the nature of the budding armed struggle phenomenon, is that it is largely led by the military wing of the ruling Fatah party, in direct cooperation with Hamas and other Islamic and national military wings.

For example, on August 9, the Israeli army assassinated Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a prominent Fatah military commander, along with two others. Not only, did the PA do little to stop the Israeli military machine from conducting more such assassinations, six weeks later, it arrested Shtayyeh, a close comrade of Nabulsi.

Interestingly, Shtayyeh is not a member of Fatah, but a commander within the Hamas military wing, Al-Qassam. Though Fatah and Hamas are meant to be intense political rivals, their political tussle seems to be of no relevance to military groups in the West Bank.

Unfortunately, more violence is likely to follow, for several reasons: Israel’s determination to crush any armed Intifada in the West Bank before it is widespread across the occupied territories, the looming leadership transition within the PA due to Abbas’s old age, and the growing unity among Palestinians around the issue of resistance.

While the Israeli response to all of this can easily be gleaned from its legacy of violence, the PA’s future course of action will likely determine its relationship with Israel and its western supporters, on the one hand, and with the Palestinian people, on the other. Which side will the PA choose?

The Beautiful Rayyan and the ‘Israeli’ Beast

30 Sep 2022

By Zeinab Abdallah

As a mother goodbyeing her children going to school every day, her biggest concerns would be how anxious they are, how much comfortable they feel without her being with them, how concentrating they are in their classes, and whether the food they took with them was enough or they will return hungry so she would rather have their lunch prepared before they are back…

But as a mother goodbyeing her children going to school in Palestine, the concerns are totally reduced. She would only be worried whether the apple of her eyes will be back home or not.

In the beautiful Palestine, there is an ‘Israeli’ beast that aims at the land and its owners alike. No matter how young the generation is, its land-tie is a crime as per the occupier’s standards.

Seven-year-old Rayyan Suleiman, from the central part of the occupied West Bank, has lost his life after falling from a high place while running away from ‘Israeli’ occupation forces who were chasing him.

Medical sources reported that Rayyan was admitted to hospital after his heart had stopped beating. Attempts to revive him failed, and he was officially pronounced dead soon afterwards.

The frightened minor ran away from the Zionist regime soldiers as they chased him and other students after leaving their school. Rayyan subsequently fell from a high place and died.

His father, Yasser, said the ‘Israeli’ troops chased his son to their house, adding that Rayyan’s heart stopped beating because he was apparently so scared.

The bereaved father noted that he put his son in his car and rushed to hospital but was stopped half way by ‘Israeli’ occupation soldiers who let him drive on only after they had made sure Rayyan was dead.

In Palestine, it is not the children who fear the beast, although it is monstrous enough to frighten their entire childhood. In Palestine, it is the beast that fears the children… Although as innocent as they must be, children in Palestine are born with a strong attachment to their motherland, which the occupier fears could make them future liberation-seekers.

This vital spirit that is haunting the Zionists’ very existence won’t be extinguished by killing Rayyan and his friends. Mothers in Palestine in every moment give birth to a resistant and revolutionary soul that will very soon eradicate this usurping entity.

Rayyan’s martyrdom didn’t catch the world’s attention. His cold-blooded killing didn’t draw the international bodies’ condemnation. World media didn’t employ its lenses to expose this heinous crime as it did for the sake of Morocco’s Rayyan. The Moroccan boy fell in a well next to his home and world media provided round-the-clock coverage for the rescue operations before he died. However, the world’s double standards sadly consider the Palestinian boy as just a number in a full record of the victims of the ‘Israeli’ occupation.

The beautiful Rayyan will rest in peace, but the ‘Israeli’ beast will never live at ease, never…

العدو يغامر بجيشه: «بروفة» اجتياح في جنين

 الخميس 29 أيلول 2022

أحمد العبد  

سبقت أحداثَ جنين مواجهاتُ عنيفة عاشتها أحياء مدينة القدس المحتلة (أ ف ب)

رام الله | بات خطّ النار في الضفة الغربية المحتلّة أكثر وضوحاً، ممتدّاً من جنين مروراً بنابلس وصولاً إلى الخليل، ليبْقى الاشتباك حيّاً، والسلاح متأهّباً لأيّ مواجهة قد تقع، على غرار ما حدث صباح أمس في مخيّم جنين، الذي شهد معركة جديدة قد تكون الأشرس في الضفة منذ سنوات. وبدأت قوات الاحتلال، الأربعاء، عملية عسكرية واسعة في المخيم، شاركت فيها أكثر من 60 دورية عسكرية وطائرات مروحية، وأخرى مسيّرة مذخّرة بالصواريخ، في ما بدا أقرب إلى اجتياح واسع، استهدف خصوصاً عائلة الشهيد رعد حازم، منفّذ «عملية ديزنغوف» في تل أبيب. وبحسب مصادر محلّية تحدّثت إلى «الأخبار»، فإن جنود العدو حاصروا منزل العائلة من كلّ الجهات في تطبيق لأسلوب «طنجرة الضغط»، الذي يتّبعه جيش الاحتلال في حصار المقاومين، ومن ثمّ قاموا بقصفه بصاروخ مضادّ للدروع والرصاص الثقيل، ما أدّى إلى احتراقه، واستشهاد شقيق رعد، عبد، ورفيقه محمد الونة، بينما استشهد الشاب أحمد علاونة، وهو أحد عناصر جهاز الاستخبارات العسكرية، برصاصة في الرأس أطلقها عليه قنّاص إسرائيلي، أثناء خوضه مع عشرات المقاومين اشتباكاً مسلّحاً بالبنادق والقنابل المحلّية، منذ اللحظات الأولى للاجتياح. وادّعت وسائل الإعلام العبرية، نقلاً عن جيش العدو، أن الشهيد عبد حازم متّهَم بتنفيذ عمليات إطلاق نار على آليات لقوات الاحتلال قرب حاجز الجلمة، وتحضيره لتنفيذ هجمات أخرى، في وقت لا تزال فيه ملاحقة والده جارية. وعقب انتهاء الجولة الأولى من الاقتحام، استمرّت المواجهات في محيط المخيّم، ما أدّى إلى إصابة العديد من الشبّان، لتبلغ الحصيلة النهائية للعدوان، بحسب وزارة الصحة الفلسطينية، 4 شهداء و44 جريحاً، بعضهم في حال الخطر، وليعمّ الحداد والحزن والغضب، إثر ذلك، جميع أنحاء الضفة.

وجاء العدوان على مخيّم جنين في الذكرى الثانية والعشرين لانتفاضة الأقصى، وكأنّ العدو أراد تذكير أهالي المخيّم بما ارتكبه من مجازر قبل 22 عاماً. لكنّ المقاومين ذكّروا الاحتلال، في المقابل، ببأْسهم في مواجهته إبّان الاجتياح الذي كبّده خسائر مؤلمة، فضلاً عن العمليات الفدائية التي خرجت من هذه المدينة تحديداً. وإذا كانت جنين قد برزت كقائدة للمقاومة خلال الانتفاضة الثانية، وشكّلت معركة مخيّمها آنذاك علامة فارقة في تاريخها، اكتسبت المدينة على إثرها ألقاب «جنين غراد» و«عاصمة الإرهاب» و«عشّ الدبابير»، فإنها تبدو اليوم أكثر ثباتاً على نهجها، الذي استطاعت تجديده منذ معركة «سيف القدس»، وصولاً إلى شكله الحالي، حيث لا يفتأ يتوسّع في اتّجاه مدن أخرى، على رأسها نابلس القديمة ومخيّماتها والخليل ورام الله. وهذا النهج تحديداً هو ما أعادت جماهير الضفة تمسّكها به أمس، في مسيرات مندّدة خرجت إثر مجزرة مخيّم جنين، في حين أعلنت سلطات الاحتلال رفع التأهّب الأمني إلى درجة قصوى، ليس في الضفة فقط، وإنّما أيضاً في الداخل المحتل، خشية خروج تظاهرات ساخطة قد تتحوّل إلى مواجهات عنيفة على غرار ما جرى في أيار 2021. وبينما احتفى قادة العدو والمستوطِنون بالمجزرة، ودعوا إلى تكرارها في جنين ونابلس، كان الفلسطينيون يهتفون بالمطالبة بالانتقام، وعلى رأسهم أبو رعد حازم الذي خاطب المقاومين في فيديو قصير إثر استشهاد نجله الثاني، بالقول: «المخيم أمانة في أعناقكم… لا تُضيّعوا وحدة الصفّ الفلسطيني». وإذ نعت فصائل المقاومة ومجموعات «عرين الأسود» في نابلس، الشهداء، ودعت إلى تصعيد أعمال المقاومة، لم يتجاوز موقف السلطة الفلسطينية حدود الاستنكار والإدانة.

يبدو أن عدوان الأمس على مخيّم جنين سيكون عنصر تأجيج إضافياً للأوضاع الميدانية


وفي وقت يهدّد فيه العدو بحملات جديدة ضدّ جنين ونابلس، وتتواصل استفزازات مستوطِنيه في القدس، يبدو أن عدوان الأمس على المخيّم سيكون عنصر تأجيج إضافياً للأوضاع الميدانية في الأراضي المحتلّة، ودافعاً إلى مزيد من المواجهات والعمليات الفدائية، في مسلسل لا يزال متواصلاً، إذ تَعرّضت قوات الاحتلال، مساء الثلاثاء، لإطلاق نار من مركبة قرب عصيرة الشمالية في محافظة نابلس، كما تَعرّضت قوّة أخرى لحادث مماثل قرب بلدة جبع جنوب جنين. واستهدف شبّان في الخليل، أيضاً، برجاً عسكرياً إسرائيلياً بقنبلة محلّية الصنع (كوع متفجّر)، فيما تمكّن شابّ، فجر الأربعاء، من اقتحام حاجز شعفاط بمركبته، حيث أطلق الجنود النار عليه بزعْم محاولته تنفيذ عملية دهس. ولم تكد ساعات تمرّ على اجتياح المخيّم، حتى استُهدف جيب عسكري إسرائيلي، ظُهر الأربعاء، بعدد من العبوات المحلّية الصنع قرب مستوطنة «يتسهار» جنوب مدينة نابلس، في حين جَرى رشْق جيبات أخرى بزجاجات حارقة قرب طولكرم ونابلس، وطاولت حاجزَ الجلمة شمال جنين عبواتٌ شديدة الانفجار، ما دفع العدو إلى إغلاقه.

وسبقت أحداثَ جنين مواجهاتُ عنيفة عاشتها أحياء مدينة القدس المحتلّة لليوم الثالث على التوالي، حيث ألقى عشرات الملثّمين في بلدات صور باهر والطور وسلوان الزجاجات الحارقة والألعاب النارية والمفرقعات والحجارة على شرطة الاحتلال، لتردّ الأخيرة بإطلاق قنابل الغاز المسيل للدموع وقنابل الصوت عليهم وعلى منازل الواطنين، ما أدّى إلى إصابة 15 مقدسياً. وتزامَنت تلك المواجهات مع «عيد رأس السنة العبرية»، والذي فشلت فيه الجماعات الاستيطانية في حشد آلاف المستوطنين لاقتحام المسجد الأقصى وإقامة الشعائر التلمودية داخله، كما كانت تخطّط له. لكن ذلك لن يمنع استمرار التأهّب الأمني في الضفة والقدس، خصوصاً أن «الأعياد اليهودية» ستستمرّ حتى الـ17 من تشرين الأول، وأن اقتحامات المستوطِنين للمسجد ستتكرّر، فضلاً عن أن مجزرة جنين ستُلقي بظلالها على المشهد برمّته. وابتداءً من أمس، وحتى الأربعاء المقبل، بدأت «منظّمات الهيكل» المزعوم التركيز على اقتحام الأقصى بالثياب الكهنوتية البيضاء، وأداء الطقوس الجماعية داخله في ما تُسمّى «أيام التوبة» التوراتية، الأمر الذي سيدفع سلطات الاحتلال إلى إبقاء الاستنفار على أشدّه، من خلال نشْر مئات من عناصر الشرطة وحرس الحدود في شوارع المدينة وطرقاتها، ونصْب الحواجز العسكرية والمتاريس، وتقييد حركة المقدسيين.

من ملف : العدو ينوء بالضفة: محاكاة اجتياح

مقالات ذات صلة

Israeli Bombing of Gaza: The Man Who Had His House Demolished to Reach Trapped Neighbors

September 27, 2022

Ashraf Al Qaisi had his house demolished to allow Gaza civil defense workers to reach trapped neighbors. (Photo: WANN, Supplied)

By Shahd Safi

“I was at my father’s house when I heard the voices of bombardments. Immediately after, I received a call. They told me that Israel was bombing my neighborhood,” said Ashraf Al Qaisi, a 46-year-old vendor from Gaza.

Ashraf ran to his home. When he arrived, the whole neighborhood was devastated. Some people were injured and taken to ambulances; others were shouting and running. Every sight, smell, and sound at the scene was intense. It was exhausting to see all that and feel helpless.

Ashraf went right home to check on his family. His wife was injured. His son was already in the ambulance. He was assured his son was alive, so he checked again on his wife. She had been holding their youngest son when small bomb fragments struck her hand.

His wife’s injuries were much less severe than other people in the neighborhood, so he just sent her and the other children to one of our neighbors’ houses to leave more space in the ambulance for severe cases. As for Ashraf’s son, he was still at the hospital, as they are trying to get some fragments out of his hand.

Al-Shout Camp was bombed by Israel at 9:30 p.m on August 6, as part of aggression against the Gaza Strip. The raid killed eight people, including a 14-year-old child and three women, left 50 injuries, and flattened six houses, under which several bodies were trapped.

During the intense attack on Al Shout Camp in the southern area of the Gaza Strip, the civil defense had to ask to demolish the remainder of Ashraf’s house to be able to save people under the rubble. He didn’t think twice about it.

They had to ask for a bulldozer from Gaza, which took two hours to arrive. Four hours later, civil defense workers managed to pull out the first two bodies. After eight hours, they had pulled out a total of eleven.

All that was left from the house were four damaged walls and one room. When the civil defense asked to use that to reach other people under the rubble, Ashraf couldn’t refuse. People all over the neighborhood were in desperate need of help.

Ashraf Al Qaisi’s neighbor, Omar Farhat, 60, an eyewitness of what happened that day, said that out of nowhere the rockets began falling on the buildings around him as he was lying on a carpet beside his home.

There was no warning. He put his hands over his head and ran inside his home, where his daughters and wife were sitting. About 15 people were inside. He helped them all get out.

Then Omar saw his neighbor, Iyad Hassouna, whose face was covered with blood. His neighbor was unable to run, so Omar lifted him over his shoulders and carried him to an ambulance. The neighbor was shouting, “Save my children!” Omar knew that they were already dead. He had seen Hassounas’ wife and daughter, entirely covered with blood. The sight was terrifying for him.

People were horrified. Dust was everywhere. They barely could see each other. Flesh was scattered among the rubble. Omar Farhat heard many others calling out, searching for their relatives and children. It was the worst thing he had ever heard.

Omar’s son woke up yesterday, yelling, “There’s a rocket, dad, there’s a rocket!” He and all the others are deeply traumatized. Omar felt grateful to God that he was covered only with dust, not blood.

The spokesman for civil defense, Major Mahmmoud Bassal, said “Israel didn’t warn anyone in the neighborhood, so people were trapped under the rubble and it was too hard to get into the bombed houses, as all houses there are very close to each other.”

To enable the bulldozer to reach the rubble, four neighbors permitted the civil defense to demolish homes completely and partially. In one place.

The spokesman explained that civil defense in Gaza suffers from the lack of equipment due to the Israeli siege.

“The civil defense doesn’t have any of its own heavy equipment in Gaza. They borrow bulldozers from the ministry of public works. They have been using those vehicles since 1994, although they have to replace them every five years,” he said.

“We could’ve saved so many people, had we had more and better equipment,”.

Until now, Ashraf did not receive any compensation. Some organizations, neighbors and friends gave him some money, but not enough to cover his financial loss, build a new house, and live a decent life.

However, Ashraf never regretted his choice, because saving lives was much more important for him. “At times like that, all you could think of is helping other people survive,” he said, adding that he wishes God would compensate him for his sacrifice.

(All Photos: WANN, Supplied)

– Shahd Safi is a Gaza-based freelance translator and writer for We Are Not Numbers. WANN contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

IOF storm Al-Aqsa, prevent worshipers from entering compound

Sep 26 2022 08:20

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

At the beginning of the celebrations of Jewish holidays, Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under the heavy protection of occupation forces.

Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under the heavy protection of occupation forces

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque to secure the settlers’ incursions, and prevented men under the age of 40 from entering the compound to perform the Fajr (dawn) prayer, Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent reported Monday.

On Thursday, Israeli right-wing extremist Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque amid restrictions on the entry of worshipers, and toured the mosque’s courtyards, starting from the Mughrabi Gate, guarded by the occupation forces.

Ben Gvir is one of the most notorious Israeli politicians, as he is infamous for constantly carrying out provocative tours in Al-Aqsa mosque and rallying illegal Israeli settlers that call for the death of Arabs and Palestinians alike while chanting racist slogans and slurs against Muslims and Arabs.

Before Ben Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa, the occupation police tightened their presence at the gates of Al-Aqsa and prevented entry to it, especially from the Qattanin Gate.

At the door of the Council Gate (Bab Al-Majlis), the IOF detained the worshipers and prevented them from entering it.

This comes on the eve of Jewish holidays, amid calls to organize mass incursions by settlers into Al-Aqsa during the holiday’s three-week period that began on Sunday.

On the other hand, Palestinian institutions called for intensifying the presence of Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque during this period.

Hamas: Amping up resistance in West Bank foiled enemy’s schemes

In the same context, the Hamas movement called Sunday for the amping up the acts of resistance to thwart the Israeli plans against the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The movement’s spokesperson, Hazem Qassem, said in a press statement that ramping up the acts of resistance in the occupied West Bank and the ’48 occupied Palestinian territories is enough to thwart Israeli plans against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He added that the gatherings and stationing in Al-Aqsa Mosque will fail the occupation’s plans, stressing that the extremist incursions under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces must be met with more of these gatherings and stationing.

He continued to say that the Palestinian people will protect Al-Aqsa Mosque with every means possible, while stressing that the “key to the victory of the Palestinian people” is stationing at the Mosque, adding that “with their unity and resistance, the occupation plans in Al-Aqsa will be thwarted.”

It is noteworthy that celebrations of the “Hebrew New Year” are scheduled to start Monday, followed by the “Yom Kippur” celebrations on October 5.

Read more: 30 Palestinian prisoners launch open-ended hunger strike

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THE ISRAEL FILES: WIKILEAKS DOCS SHOW TOP HOLLYWOOD PRODUCERS WORKING WITH ISRAEL TO DEFEND ITS WAR CRIMES

SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2022

Source

THE ISRAEL FILES IS A NEW MINTPRESS SERIES EXPLORING AND HIGHLIGHTING THE MANY REVELATIONS ABOUT THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE THAT WIKILEAKS DOCUMENTS DISCLOSED. IT HOPES TO SHED LIGHT ON MANY OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND UNDERREPORTED REVELATIONS THE PUBLISHING GROUP EXPOSED. 

By Alan Macleod

As Israel was launching a deadly assault on Gaza, killing thousands of civilians and displacing more than 100,000 people, many of America’s top TV, music and film producers were organizing to protect the apartheid state’s reputation from widespread international condemnation.

Together, the Sony Archive – a cache of emails published by Wikileaks – prove that influential entertainment magnates attempted to whitewash Israeli crimes and present the situation as defending itself from an impending “genocide”, liaised with Israeli military and government officials in order to coordinate their message, attempted to cancel those who spoke out against the injustice, and put financial and social pressure on institutions who hosted artists criticizing the apartheid government’s actions.

AS ISRAEL ATTACKS, HOLLYWOOD PLAYS DEFENSE

“[Israel’s message] Must be repeated ad infinitum until the people get it,” wrote Hollywood lawyer and producer Glenn D. Feig, in an email chain to many of Tinsel Town’s most influential executives. This was in response to the unprovoked 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza, one of the bloodiest chapters in over half a century of occupation.

Named “Operation Protective Edge”, the Israeli military engaged in seven weeks of near-constant bombing of the densely populated coastal strip. According to the United Nations, over 2,000 people were killed – a quarter of them children. 18,000 houses were destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless.

The Israeli military deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant and shutting down its water treatment plants, leading to economic, social and ecological devastation in an area Human Rights Watch has labeled the world’s largest “open air prison”.

Many in Hollywood expressed deep concern. “We must make sure that never happens again”, insisted producer Ron Rotholz. Rotholz, however, was not referring to the death and destruction Israel imposed on Gaza, but to the fact that many of the entertainment world’s biggest stars, including celebrity power couple, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, had condemned Israel’s actions, labeling them tantamount to “genocide.”

“Change must start from the top down. It should be unheard of and unacceptable for any Academy Award-winning actor to call the legitimate armed defense of one’s territory…genocide” he continued, worrying that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a worldwide campaign to put economic pressure on Israel in an attempt to push it to meet its obligations under international law – was gaining steam in the world of the arts. Israel’s legitimacy rests upon political and military support from the U.S. Therefore, maintaining support among the American public is crucial to the long term viability of its settler colonial project.

Rotholz then attempted to organize a silent, worldwide pressure campaign on arts venues and organizations, including the Motion Picture Academy in Hollywood and the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, to stamp out BDS, writing,

What we can do is urge the leaders of major film, TV and theater organisations, festivals, markets and potentially the heads of media corporations to issue official statements condemning any form of cultural or economic boycotts against Israel.”

Others agreed that they had to develop a “game plan” for opposing BDS.

Of course, when influential producers, festivals and heads of media corporations release statements condemning a certain position or practice, this is, in effect, a threat: stop taking these positions or suffer the professional consequences.

LOACH ON THE BRAIN

The Sony emails also reveal a near obsession with British filmmaker and social activist Ken Loach. The celebrated director’s film, “Jimmy’s Hall” had recently been nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and in the wake of Israel’s assault on Gaza, he had publicly called for a cultural and sporting boycott of the apartheid state.

This outraged many in Hollywood. Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, a film producing company responsible for financing more than 200 movies, demanded that not only Loach, but the whole Cannes Film Festival be cancelled. “The studios and networks alike must join together and boycott cannes,” he wrote. “If we don’t we are sending a message that another holocaust is fine with Hollywood as long as it is business as usual,” he added, framing the Israeli attack on a near-defenseless civilian population as a Palestinian genocide of Israelis.

Others agreed. Ben Silverman, former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios and producer of shows such as “The Office”, “The Biggest Loser” and Ugly Betty” said that the industry should “boycott the boycotters”. Rotholz, meanwhile, wrote to the head of the Cannes Film Festival, demanding that he take action against Loach for his comments. “There is no place for [Loach’s intolerant and hateful remarks] in the global world of film and filmmakers”, he insisted.

.

Others came up with another way of countering Loach. “How about we all club together and make a documentary about the rise of new anti-Semitism in Europe,” suggested British film producer Cassian Elwes, adding,

I would be willing to contribute and put time into it if others here would do the same. Between all of us I’m sure we could figure out a way to distribute it and get it into places like Cannes so we could have a response to guys like Loach. Perhaps we try to use it to rally support from film communities in Europe to help us distribute it there”.

“I love it,” replied publishing oligarch Jason Binn, “And I will promote it in a major way to all 3.2 million magazine subscribers across all on and offline platforms. I can even leverage Gilt’s 9 million members,” he added, referring to the shopping and lifestyle website he managed.

“Me too,” said Amy Pascal, the Co-Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Meanwhile, Mark Canton, producer of movies such as “Get Carter”, “Immortals” and “300” busied himself drumming up more Hollywood support for the idea. “Adding Carmi Zlotnik to this growing list”, he replied, referencing the TV executive.

This whole correspondence was from an email chain of dozens of high-powered entertainment figures entitled “Happy New Year. Too bad Germany is now a no travel zone for Jews,” which ludicrously claimed that the European country had become a Muslim-controlled Islamic theocracy.

“It is horrible. But in the end, it is no surprise, because apologists for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians will go to any length to prevent the people opposing them,” Mr. Loach said, when asked for comment by MintPress. “We shouldn’t underestimate the hatred of those who cannot tolerate the idea that Palestinians have human rights, that Palestine is a state; and they have their country,” he added.

SHUTTING DOWN FREE EXPRESSION

The pro-Israel group in Hollywood also put serious pressure on American institutions to crack down on support for Palestinian human rights. Silverman revealed that he had written to Peter Gelb, the general manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera, in an effort to shut down a performance of “The Death of Klinghoffer”, an opera that tells the story of the 1985 hijacking of an airliner by the Palestine Liberation Front. “I suggest though that we each call him on Monday at his office at the Met and your point about the Met’s donors’ leverage is important,” he advised the other entertainment oligarchs, thereby shining a light on how the powerful move in secret to silence speech they do not approve of, and how they use their financial clout to coerce and strong-arm others into toeing their line. A lot of pressure was necessary, because, as Silverman explained, “as members of the artistic community it is very hard to be pro free speech only some of the time and not all of the time.”

Ultimately, the performance did go ahead, but not without a large and coordinated protest both inside and outside the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, as individuals attempted to shut down the performance, claiming it was “antisemitic.”

LIAISING WITH THE IDF

The email conversations of many of Hollywood’s most influential individuals show that they believe they are on the verge of a worldwide extermination of Jews, and that Israel – and themselves – are the only things standing in the way of this impending fate. As Kavanaugh wrote, “It’s our job to keep another Holocaust from happening. Many of you may think that can’t happen, that is extreme…[but] If you pull newspapers from pre Holocaust it seems eerily close to our world today.”

Rotholz was of a similar opinion, writing that,

It is imperative that leading figures in the LA/NY film, tv, media, digital and theater communities who support a strong and potent Jewish state develop a strategy for liasing with colleagues in London and Europe and also with the creative communities here and in Europe to promote and explain the Israeli cause.”

The Sony Archive emails also show that, not only were Tinsel Town’s top brass coordinating strategies to silence critics of Israel, but that they were also closely liaising with the Israeli government and its military.

Producer George Perez, for example, messaged his colleagues in the chain email to introduce them to an IDF colonel, stating (emphasis added),

Everyone please use this “reply all” list from here on.  I have included Kobi Marom a retired commander in the Israeli army. Kobi was kind enough to give my family and I a jeep tour of the Golan Heights during our June trip to Israel.  He also took us to visit an army base on the border of Israel and Syria, an area which has been in the news lately.  Hard to imagine that the “kids” that we met at the base are most likely engaged in combat with our enemies.”

Seeing as the large majority of those who died were Palestinian civilians, it is unclear whether he considers all Palestinians or just Hamas as enemies of Hollywood. Perez also noted that “Kobi works closely with the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) who are in need of donations,” and advised that Hollywood needed to “dig deep to help in the constant struggle for the survival of Israel.”

Hollywood celebrities including famed producer Haim Saban and actress Fran Drescher, pose with IDF soldiers at the FIDF Western Region Gala

The group also attempted to recruit Israeli-American movie star Natalie Portman into their ranks. But the Academy Award-winning actress appeared more concerned that her personal details were being shared. “How did I get on this list? Also Ryan Seacrest?” she replied, before directly addressing Kavanaugh, writing,

[C]an you please remove me from this email list? you should not be copying me publicly so that 20 people i don’t know have my personal info. i will have to change my email address now.  thank you”.

While Portman’s open contempt for the group of rabidly pro-Israel producers is notable, more so was Kavanaugh’s response, which revealed how close the connection between the Israeli state and Hollywood is. Kavanaugh wrote back,

Sorry. You are right Jews being slaughtered for their beliefs and Cannes members calling for the boycott of anything Israel or Jewish is much much less important than your email address being shared with 20 of our peers who are trying to make a difference. my deepest apologies…I had lunch yesterday with Israel consulate general who brought J street up to me. He was so perplexed confused and concerned when he heard you supported them that he begged me to connect you two.”

Thus, the leaked emails prove beyond any doubt that both the Israeli government and the IDF liaise with some of the most powerful people in the entertainment world in order to push forward a pro-Israel message and stamp out any deviance from that line.

HIP HOPPERS FOR APARTHEID

While their efforts at recruiting Portman fell flat, one star who responded enthusiastically was hip hop mega producer Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records and the brother of Joseph “Rev.Run” Simmons, one third of Run DMC. Simmons has recently been the subject of controversy, after 20 women have come forward, charging him with rape or other sexual misconduct.

The emails reveal that promoting engagement with Israel within the African-American community is one of Simmons’ primary interests. When asked if he had any ideas how to improve Israel’s image, he said, “Simple messaging from non Jews specifically from Muslims promoting peace and Israel’s right to exist…We have resources and the desire to win rather than lose the hearts of young Muslims and Jews.”

What these resources were, he explained,

We have hundreds of collaboration programs between Imams Rabbis and their congregations We have many respected imams who would join former chief rabbi metzker (spelling) rabbi Schneier and non Jews in promoting the Saudi peace plan”.

“Through this campaign we will be helping Israel,” he concluded.

TURNING THE TIDE

Despite the best efforts of Simmons and others, however, American public opinion has, in recent years, begun to turn against Israel. Young Americans, in particular, are more likely to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people and support an independent Palestinian state.

Much of this has to do with the rise of social media and a new generation of activists breaking through the barriers to highlight injustices being carried out by their government. Today, Americans are more likely to see first-hand, unvarnished accounts of Israeli brutality on social media platforms. As veteran political scientist Noam Chomsky explained to MintPress last year, “The veil of intense propaganda [is] being lifted slowly, [and] crucial U.S. participation in Israeli crimes is also coming more clearly into view. With committed activism, that could have salutary effects.”

Despite the best efforts of Simmons and others, however, American public opinion has, in recent years, begun to turn against Israel. Young Americans, in particular, are more likely to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people and support an independent Palestinian state.

Much of this has to do with the rise of social media and a new generation of activists breaking through the barriers to highlight injustices being carried out by their government. Today, Americans are more likely to see first-hand, unvarnished accounts of Israeli brutality on social media platforms. As veteran political scientist Noam Chomsky explained to MintPress last year, “The veil of intense propaganda [is] being lifted slowly, [and] crucial U.S. participation in Israeli crimes is also coming more clearly into view. With committed activism, that could have salutary effects.”

Nevertheless, U.S. government support for Israel continues to rise. Between 2019 and 2028, it is scheduled to send nearly $40 billion in aid, almost all of it military, meaning that American taxpayer funds are contributing to Palestinian oppression and displacement.

Loach was even more upbeat on the issue, telling us that those who stand in the way of justice will be judged poorly by history, stating,

The denial of human rights of the Palestinians is one of the great crimes [of the modern era] and Palestinian rights is one of the great causes of last century and this century. We should all support the Palestinians. If you have any care for human rights, there is no question: the Palestinians have to be supported. And these people who oppose them, in the end, will fade away. Because history will show this was a terrible crime. Palestinians suffered ethnic cleansing of their homeland. We have to support the Palestinians, full stop.”

Those people, however, have no intention of “fading away”, and continue to organize on behalf of the Israeli government. Thanks to the leaked documents, those who care about Palestinian self-determination have a clearer understanding of how they operate.

Al-Houthi: US plans were paving way for controlling, occupying Yemen

September 20, 2022 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The leader of Ansar Allah movement asserts that the US was working to escalate chaos in Yemen, but the Yemeni people thwarted these plans.

The leader of the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement, Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi

The leader of the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement, Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, said on Tuesday that the US plans were aimed at dismantling Yemen internally, fueling divisions and fragmentation, and stirring internal differences.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the September 21 revolution, Al-Houthi explained that the United States adopted a destructive policy against Yemen and did not care about the interests of the Yemeni people, adding that the US plans were paving the way to completely control and occupy Yemen.

He indicated that Washington was working to escalate chaos in Yemen, underlining that the alertness and action of the Yemeni people are what foiled the schemes of the United States and its allies.

The Yemeni leader pointed out that Washington was working to strip the Yemeni army of its military capabilities, noting that the targeting of the state’s military, civil, and administrative facilities unravels the destructive policy of aggression that aims to force Yemen into total collapse.

Al-Houthi added that Washington has turned its embassy in Sanaa into a headquarters for managing all sabotage activities in Yemen, adding that all Yemeni parties were sure that what the US ambassador in Sanaa was doing represented a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty and independence.

He mentioned that some Yemeni political parties were responding to US demands, but the resistance of the Yemeni people confused the Americans.

The leader of the Ansar Allah movement emphasized that the slogans, goals, and popular momentum of the revolutionary movement were broad, stressing that the revolution was not restricted to one group without the other; rather, it belonged to all components of the Yemeni people.

The popular movement expressed the awareness and values ​​of the Yemeni people, as well as their rightful demands that are far from any factional and sectarian discourse.

Al-Houthi said the Yemeni people insisted on gaining freedom in its true sense in order to obtain their rightful independence on September 21.

He considered that the aggression against Yemen revealed the reality of those who wanted to continue the guardianship over the country and exposed their hostile policy, adding that the aggression confirms the hostile policy of the Americans and their allies against our people.

The Yemeni leader noted that the aggression targeted government and service facilities, which shows the true American intentions to destroy everything in the country.

He pointed out that the coalition of aggression destroyed all infrastructure and even targeted courts, prisons, cemeteries, and schools and sought to tighten the noose on Yemenis in their livelihood by means of a harsh inhuman siege and economic conspiracies.

Yemen stands against path of normalization

Al-Houthi indicated that Yemen is militarily doing what many Arab countries are unable to do and is currently moving to work on the civil industry sector.

Regarding normalization with the Israeli occupation, Al-Houthi said Washington and its allies are seeking to bring about change in the region under the title of normalization and the loyalty of Arab regimes to “Israel”, stressing that Yemen stands against the path of normalization and by the Palestinian cause and the free people of the nation against its enemies.

Al-Houthi mentioned that the coalition of aggression and traitors among the Yemeni people are plundering the Yemeni oil wealth and controlling the country’s resources and wealth.

Earlier, the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, headed by Mahdi Al-Mashat, affirmed the country’s geographical and social unity and sovereignty over its wealth.

Read more: Yemen: More than 300 killed, wounded since the start of the truce

Palestinian Authority security arrests Palestinian wanted by IOF

19 Sep 20223

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Local Palestinian sources say Palestinian Authority security services arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Palestinian who is wanted by the IOF in Nablus.

Local Palestinian sources say Palestinian Authority security services arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Palestinian who is wanted by the IOF in Nablus.

Musab Shtayyeh and martyr Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi

Al Mayadeen correspondent in occupied Palestine reported Monday that the Palestinian Authority security services arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Palestinian who is wanted by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), in the city of Nablus, in the occupied West bank.

Local sources said that a Preventive Security force arrested Shtayyeh, along with two others, from downtown Nablus.

Our correspondent said that young men from Nablus are burning rubber tires in protest of the arrest of Shtayyeh by the Palestinian Authority, adding that a number of camps in Nablus are witnessing demonstrations calling for Shatyyeh’s release.

In response, Hamas movement spokesperson Abdel Latif Al-Qanou considered Shtayyeh’s arrest by the Palestinian Authority security services to be a free service to the Israeli occupation.

It is noteworthy that Shtayyeh is a freed prisoner, and Israeli occupation forces have repeatedly threatened his father to assassinate him.

Battle of Naalan mountain: one town’s fight against the full might of the Israeli settler project

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 

The small town of Mazraa Qabaliya in the northern West Bank is fighting the Israeli military and armed settlers to protect a resource that is both revered and essential to their community — Naalan mountain.
JAAFAR LADADWEH, 55 AND YOUSEF ALI LOOKING AT THE SETTLEMENTS ACROSS FROM NAALAN, SEPTEMBER 2022. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

Source

By Mariam Barghouti

On October 26, 2018, the small town of Mazraa Qabaliya just 11 km northwest of Ramallah witnessed a brutal assault by Israeli settlers and their military vanguard. 

As Palestinian men gathered for Friday prayers under a cluster of brown and green leadtrees, they were met with teargas from the Israeli military in tandem with an organized attack by armed Israeli settlers. Youth responded by hurling stones back at the settlers and soldiers.

“It was a bloodbath that day,” Jaafar Ladadweh, 55, recalled to Mondoweiss almost four years later on the same Naalan mountaintop where two men were fatally shot.

Two Palestinians from the village were shot — Othman Ahmad Ladadweh, 33, was hit in the thigh and died that Friday evening, while Mohammad Ibrahim Shreiteh, 28, was shot in the head, succumbing to his wounds almost two weeks later, on November 10, 2018. More than a dozen were injured with live bullets while dozens more were injured with teargas and rubber bullets.

The view from Naalan mountain overlooking Israeli settlements in the north of the West Bank. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)
The view from Naalan mountain overlooking Israeli settlements in the north of the West Bank. (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)THE VIEW FROM NAALAN MOUNTAIN OVERLOOKING ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN THE NORTH OF THE WEST BANK. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

Guardians of the mountain: ‘we must keep the light on’

The confrontations in Naalan would intensify in 2018. Protests were being held in tandem with the Great March of Return in Gaza, where Palestinians marched every Friday in the thousands to protest the Gaza siege and its population of 2 million people. 

Like the Israeli military response to Palestinian unarmed protest in Gaza, the youth and residents of Mazraa were met with lethal force — mostly live ammunition. 

Four years later, the sunset from the top of Naalan mountain is calm and the air is crisp, with a breeze reminiscent of Ramallah’s windy evenings. The contrast of the dying colors of orange, red, yellow, and purple blue with a darker sky and almost yellow full moon commands appreciation. 

Under September’s full harvest moon, a group of 11 men gather on plastic chairs and wooden benches they have set up over the years, to revive the mountain and maintain it.

“We all take turns making sure there is electricity extended and that the lights on this mountain are on at all times, to make sure there is a sign of life here” Ahmad Obeid, 62, says with a smile. 

Eager and passionate about sharing their story of successfully holding on to their homes, Obeid points at one of the flickering lights hanging from a treehouse they had built months ago to encourage visitors to come and help protect the mountain from settler takeover.

“We must keep the light on,” Obeid said, his tone passionate. “We must keep the light on here on the mountain at all times. Once it’s off, know that something is wrong, that there has been an attack,” he said to Mondoweiss. 

Image of two martyrs hanging in the community office on Naalan Mountain (Photo: Mariam Barghouti/Mondoweiss)
POSTER WITH THE IMAGES OF TWO MARTYRS KILLED DURING MILITARY AND SETTLER ATTACKS ON OCTOBER 26, 2018, HANGING IN THE COMMUNITY OFFICE AT THE TOP OF NAALAN MOUNTAIN. MOHAMMAD SHREITEH, 28, ON THE LEFT, AND OTHMAN LADADWEH, 33, ON THE RIGHT. (PHOTO: MARIAM BARGHOUTI/MONDOWEISS)

Abandoned by parties and actors that are supposedly responsible, including the Palestinian Authority (PA), the mountain was nurtured and developed through the power of community initiatives and youth volunteers. 

Through collective conversations, the village of Mazraa Qabaliya organized itself into committees to renovate, preserve, and document the archeological artifacts that sprawl across and inside the mountain. 

“When we pray here, you would find settlers coming to also pray,” Ali Shreiteh, 54, told Mondoweiss. Shreiteh had been documenting the historical significance and archeological richness that is hidden across the mountain top, from Roman wells to centuries-old antiques. 

Over the past four years, organized settler visits and attacks on the site in coordination with Israeli army have intensified. These visits seek to establish a presence on the land, which in turn would create a justification for the annexation and forcible takeover of Palestinian lands by judicial decree. 

Yet, these sinister practices do not occur in isolation. They are embedded in, and enforced through, broader Israeli policies denying Palestinians ability to use their resources and lands for growth and building of healthy and unified communities.

Israeli forces arrest an unarmed Palestinian during confrontations in 2018. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
Israeli forces arrest an unarmed Palestinian during confrontations in 2018. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)ISRAELI FORCES ARREST AN UNARMED PALESTINIAN DURING CONFRONTATIONS IN 2018. (PHOTO: MOHAMMAD SHREITEH)

Greenlighting ethnic cleansing in Area B

Naalan mountain is located in Mazraa Qabaliya, a town known for its agricultural produce and capacity for sustainable water infrastructure. 

Mazraa Qabaliya and its Naalan mountain are also categorized as “Area B” under the Oslo Accords, which places them under the civic and administrative control of the PA and military control of Israeli army. This power vacuum, combined with the lack of foreign support, has meant that the town residents have had to take it upon themselves to counter the continuous impunity for armed Israeli aggressions and organized settler crimes.

Since the growth of settlement expansion to Areas B in 2017, added to the peak in settler violence in 2018, the townspeople have directed their efforts to ensure that Naalan mountain remains vibrant and accessible to Palestinians. This has largely only been possible through constant confrontation whereby Palestinians must face armed settlers and soldiers with either their voice, their bodies, or the hurling of stones — a crime punishable by up to 10 years under Israeli military regulations.

“They want to take this mountain by any means, even if it is fabricating a historical association with it,” Yousef Ali, 45, told Mondoweiss. 

Naalan mountain, 2018 (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
Naalan mountain, 2018 (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)NAALAN MOUNTAIN, 2018 (PHOTO: MOHAMMAD SHREITEH)

ccording to the Oslo Accords, settlers expanding to Area B are not only in violation of international law, but also Israeli law. The clandestine manner in which Israel takes over lands has been well-documented, but with little repercussions. In 2018, former US president Barack Obama was reportedly “shocked” at the systemic nature of Israeli settlements and their fragmentation of Palestinians from one another. 

This settler expansion has been devastating to Palestinian farmers. Already economically deprived of more than 63% of the most fertile and grazing land as well as agricultural resources in Area C, farmers in Mazraa Qabaliya and the rest of Area B are restricted by Israeli veto power over building and constructing water wells and drilling into reservoirs or springs.  

The wells around the Naalan mountain top could provide the community with the resources that would allow for sustainability and income generation in the face of the economic depression plaguing Palestinian communities.  In fact, the families and communities near Naalan have renovated some old wells, but the energies of the townspeople continue to be occupied mainly with surviving and confronting Israeli efforts to takeover their lands for the purpose of expanding illegal settlements.

In this way, not only are settlements furthering Israeli theft and abuse of natural resources, but are also impeding Palestinian capacities to develop what resources they have.

Israeli settlers marching with military protection on Naalan mountain. (Photo: Mohammad Shreiteh)
ISRAELI SETTLERS MARCHING WITH MILITARY PROTECTION ON NAALAN MOUNTAIN. (PHOTO: SHREITEHPHOTO)

In contrast, illegal Israeli settlers are not only provided with Israeli court-ordered military force as protection, but also governmental financial support from the “Settlement Division” of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to help link agricultural and natural resource networks with a growing physical settler infrastructure..

In June and July of this year, the WZO declared plans to invest additional $ 8.5 million USD in connecting and legitimizing illegal outposts in the West Bank, a policy pushed forward by former Prime Minister, Naftali Bennet. And not only are settlements expanding but they are even creeping towards Area B of the West Bank also in violation of the Oslo Accords.

What this adds up to is that Palestinian communities lack nearly any form of financial, legal, emotional, or logistical support in their efforts to defend their land while Israeli settlers are provided with international impunity, constant and growing economic funding, as well as protection from its military, one of the most advanced in the world. 

Call for solidarity

With what little remains, Palestinian towns and villages are constantly attempting to salvage what they have been able to hold onto in the face of a increasingly emboldened settler population, which maintains a strong hold on military power and international public opinion.

As Palestinian communities attempt to safeguard their communities from settler attacks, they are calling on supporters to join them in ensuring that Palestinian lands remain alive with Palestinian lives. “Just come be with us, build with us, bring nothing but will and joy,” Ladadweh says as the evening fades into darkness, as an LED lightbulb flickers behind him. 

In that moment, words from earlier in the evening seemed to hang in the air and resonate with the 11 men firmly planted at the top of Naalan mountain: “the light must stay on.”

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah’s Eyes & Missiles Are on Karish, We Do Not Fear Any Imposed Confrontation

September 17, 2022

By Al-Ahed News, Live Coverage

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech at the end of the Arbaeen procession that headed towards the shrine of Sayyeda Khawal [AS] in Baalbek on September 17, 2022.

Sayyed Nasrallah began his speech by condoling Muslims on the Arbaeen of Imam Hussein [AS] and thanks the participants in the Arbaeen March who walked to the holy shrine of Imam Hussein daughter, Sayyeda Khawla in Baalbek.

In his speech, the Secretary General talked about the most important lessons of the Arbaeen saying, “Looking back at the stances of Imam al-Sajjad and Sayyeda Zeinab [AS] in Yazid’s palace, a believer could never show weakness or despair no matter how hard the calamities and the circumstances are.”

In the light of this, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “The remembrance of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and his household is eternal until the Day of Resurrection.”

The Resistance Leader affirmed, “There is no place for humiliation, but rather for moving on based on the long history of faith in the future and the divine promise.”

Also, in his speech, His Eminence addressed the Iraqi people thanking them for their great generosity, hospitality, and love they have been showing for the visitors of Imam Hussein [AS].

“We must thank our brothers and sisters in Iraq, the authorities and the people, for their immense generosity, time, effort, and management of this grand event,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

His Eminence highlighted that “The Arbaeen Walk in Iraq, in which 20 million visitors took part, is unprecedented in history on the level of the participating masses.”

 “At least hundreds of thousands of those walked the road leading from Najaf to Karbala. Those visitors went there with their own money; states do not fund this ziyara. Those 20 million visitors are 20 million hearts beating in the love of Imam Hussein [AS]. The poor and the needy are the first we see there,” Sayyed Nasrallah clarified.

Elsewhere in his speech, the Hezbollah SG recalled the Sabra and Shatila Massacre which was carried out from the 16th of September, 1982, and until the 18th of the same month.

Sayyed Nasrallah explained, “The ‘Israeli’ enemy sponsored the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, but it was mainly perpetrated by certain Lebanese sides that are known and that were allied with ‘Israel’ militarily in the invasion of 1982.”

“The Sabra and Shatila Massacre could amount to the biggest and most heinous massacre that was committed in the history of the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict,” the Resistance Leader added, remembering that “Around 1900 Lebanese martyrs and some 3000 Palestinian martyrs were the victims of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre.”

His Eminence said that the Sabra and Shatila Massacre remains “The most horrific to have been carried out by ‘Israel’s’ tools in Lebanon, and the ones responsible for it were never held accountable for it.”

Sayyed Nasrallah slammed those who have been sowing strife in Lebanon saying, “We’ve been hearing phrases comparing ‘our Lebanon’ and ‘your Lebanon’, telling us we do not belong to ‘their’ Lebanon. I tell them that the Sabra and Shatila Massacre is one of the faces of ‘their’ Lebanon! The liberation of the South is the face of our Lebanon!”

“The culture of death belongs to those who committed the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, while the culture of life belongs to those who liberated South Lebanon without even killing a chicken! They say the massacre was carried out to avenge Bachir Gemayel. They took revenge from who? From innocent civilians! Whereas during our fight, we did not even kill a chicken! Who are the ones of a death culture?!” the Hezbollah SG exclaimed.

Elsewhere in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “The American guarantees neither protected the Lebanese and the Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila nor elsewhere. Anyone who trusts the Americans in this sense is offering their men, women, children, and even the unborn to be slaughtered.”

The Resistance chief hailed the Palestinian youths, particularly those in the occupied West Bank, for their active presence in the field of resistance.

“The enemy now is frightened by the resistance of the West Bank as it is fighting its young generation,” His Eminence said.

Relatedly, Sayyed Nasrallah praised Hamas’ latest statement on resuming ties with Syria as a respected choice, saying, “Palestine’s priority lies in fighting the ‘Israeli’ enemy and the confrontation with the ‘Israeli’ enemy will prevail all stances as per the statement issued by Hamas.”

His Eminence went on to say, “The Syrian leadership and people will remain the true supported of the Palestinian people and are bearing the sacrifices for their sake,” adding, “Resistance, and not begging, is the sole way to reclaim the rights.”

Regarding the extraction of gas from the Karish platform, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “Lebanon is in front of a golden opportunity that might not be repeated, which is extracting gas to solve its crisis.”

“We sent a powerful message warning that the enemy not to extract from the Karish field until Lebanon is given its rights, as this would be crossing a red line,” the Resistance Leader said.

“We offered the negotiations a true opportunity in which Lebanon extracts gas and we were not after any trouble,” His Eminence explained, saying, “We are not part of the maritime border demarcation negotiations, but our eyes are on Karish, as are our missiles.”

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say, “I believe that the ‘Israelis’, the Americans, and others have enough info for them to know that the Resistance is very serious in its warnings, and that we don’t fear any confrontation if it was forced upon us.”

Another issue His Eminence addressed during his speech was the UNIFIL’s mandate in Lebanon.

“The most recent development regarding the UNIFIL is an act of aggression and a violation of the Lebanese sovereignty; it reflects the absence of the aging state and the one behind this ‘Israeli’ trap is either ignorant or traitor,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out.

His Eminence added, “The latest decision regarding the UNIFIL would have exposed Lebanon to grave dangers, but the stance of the Lebanese state was a good one.”

Concerning the issue of the government formation, Sayyed Nasrallah said that hopes are high, warning that the country must not enter a presidential void.

“Everybody should offer compromises so that electing a president would take place in its due constitutional time,” the Resistance chief said, saying, “Threats are futile and we support calls for agreeing on a president with meetings being held away from tensions and vetoes.”

Sayyed Nasrallah focused on the issue that “The President of the Republic must enjoy a wide popular and political base to assume his legal and constitutional duties.”

In his comments about the events surrounding the banking sector, the Hezbollah Secretary General said, “Dealing with the security level is insufficient and officials must form a crisis and emergency cell to finds real solutions.”

The Resistance leader summed up his address by stressing the importance of the popular support base that the coming president should have in order to be able to fulfill his duties adequately.

“No matter how hard the difficulties in Lebanon and the region are, we will definitely emerge victorious and our people will be able to enforce their will,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

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Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine ( Weekly Update 08 – 14 September 2022)

15. 09. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

A child was killed, 8 others were wounded, and dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 08 September 2022, IOF killed Haytham Hani Mubarak (17) from Beitounia, West of Ramallah, with several bullets at the DCO checkpoint near the entrance to Beitin village, east of Ramallah, and kept his body in custody, claiming that Mubarak tried to stab a soldier with a knife, yet there was no eyewitness to the incident.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force during IOF incursions into cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 08 September 2022, A Palestinian was injured with a rubber bullet in the foot in IOF clashes following their incursion into Qalandia refugee camp in East Jerusalem. Also, a Palestinian was injured with a live bullet when IOF opened fire at Palestinians, who tried to confront settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah.

On the same day, IOF violently attacked Palestine TV journalist, Yousuf Mohammad ‘Aadi (36), when he was on Al-Wad Street in East Jerusalem, causing him bruises, wounds and fractures before arresting and later releasing him on bail the following day. ‘Aadi said to PCHR’s staff that IOF violently assaulted him and dragged him to the ground when he started screaming for help to passersby, who tried to intervene, but the soldiers prevented them and continued hitting him on the head, grabbed his hair and yanking him many times to the ground between the iron bars of a barrier.  Although he fainted, they continued beating him and then tied him up and arrested him.

On 09 September 2022, 4 Palestinians were shot by IOF’s rubber bullets in clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya. On the same day, an elderly suffocated due to teargas inhalations and others were sustained brises and suffocated during IOF suppression of a peaceful protest in support of Al-Nabi Samuel village residents, near al-Jib military checkpoint, northwestern East Jerusalem. In addition, 2 Palestinians were wounded and 5 suffocated during IOF suppression of a peaceful protest against land confiscations and settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, 2 IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza shore, and 2 other shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 120 Palestinians, including 85 civilians: 25 children, 8 women; 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers; and the rest were activists; 15 of them were assassinated. Thirty-two of those killed, including 19 civilians: 8 children and 3 women were in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Also, 1,316 Palestinians, including 204 children, 40 women, and 22 journalists, were wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 4 Palestinian prisoners, including a woman, died in the Israeli prisons.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF forced 2 Palestinians to self-demolish 2 houses and an animal barn in East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 08 September 2022, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his under-construction house in Silwan village in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Also, they demolished retaining walls in al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 09 September 2022, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish a barrack he owned and used as an animal barn in Al-Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 12 September 2022, IOF forced a widow to self-demolish her house in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering her and her 3 children homeless.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 113 families homeless, a total of 670 persons, including 130 women and 310 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 118 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 90 other civilian economic objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks

On 08 September 2022, an Israeli settler threw stones at a vehicle travelling on Bypass Road (60) near Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron, and broke its windshield. On the same day, 2 Palestinians were injured and sustained bruises while 5 cars were badly damaged  as a result of the settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah

On 13 September 2022, a Palestinian sustained wounds and fractures when Israeli settlers assaulted him in his land near at-Tuwani village close to Havat Ma’oun settlement outpost, south of Hebron. When a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance arrived and tried to evacuate the injured, the settlers intercepted it and damaged its tires. IOF arrested the injured and took him via an Israeli ambulance to Soroka Hospital.  He was then referred for investigation to the police station in Kiryat Aba’ settlement, claiming that he attempted to kill a settler. Later on, IOF backups arrived in the area, opened fire, and fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinians there.  As a result, some of them suffocated.  Also, IOF arrested 10 Palestinians and interrogated them about a settler’s injury in clashes against Palestinians in the area.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 180 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 210 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 78 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children and a woman. In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out 4 limited incursions into eastern Khan Yunis, eastern Gaza Valley village, southeast of Gaza, and Deir Al-Balah in the central governorate.

On 08 September 2022, IOF arrested 2 Palestinians, including a child, while trying to infiltrate via the border fence, east of Rafah, and released them the next day. On 13 September 2022, the Israeli Naval Forces arrested 4 fishermen after intercepting their boat off Gaza Valley shore.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 6,140 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 3,618 Palestinians were arrested, including 339 children and 32 women. IOF also conducted 32 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 84 Palestinians, including 49 fishermen, 30 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 100 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 4 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 08 September 2022, IOF established a military watchtower near the western entrance to Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem.

On 11 September 2022, IOF closed the metal detector gate established at the western entrance to Husan village in Bethlehem and later reopened it.

So far in 2022, IOF established 3,105 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 146 Palestinians at those checkpoints

Two Palestinians Martyred After Killing ‘Israeli’ Officer Near West Bank Checkpoint

September 15, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ occupation military forces shot and killed two Palestinian youths in the northern part of the West Bank as tensions have been rising across the occupied territories in recent weeks, with Zionist troops ratcheting up detention raids and other repressive measures.

The Zionist military said in a statement that the two Palestinians were detected near a checkpoint close to the village of Jalamah, which lies north of the West Bank city of Jenin, early on Wednesday morning.

The statement further alleged that soldiers from the Nahal Brigade surrounded the pair and attempted to arrest them, but they opened fire on the troopers. The soldiers returned fire in which the two men were martyred.

The two martyrs were identified by Palestinian media as Ahmed Abed and Abdul Rahman Abed, from the village of Kafr Dan near Jenin.

The Jerusalem Post daily newspaper also reported that an ‘Israeli’ soldier was killed in the exchange of fire. No other details were immediately available.

Jalamah is located adjacent to the security barrier just north of Jenin, where a number of Palestinian retaliatory operations earlier in the year originated and where the ‘Israeli’ military has concentrated much of its clampdown.

More than 70 Palestinians, including 37 Palestinian children, have been martyred so far this year, many as a result of the use of lethal force by the ‘Israeli’ authorities in a manner described by the UN Human Rights Office in the Occupied Territories as a violation of international human rights law.

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‘Avenging Sabra and Shatila’: On Israeli Massacres and Palestinian Resistance

September 14, 2022

On September 16, in 1982, several thousand Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon were brutally massacred. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

September 16 marks the 40th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, the killing of around 3,000 Palestinians at the hands of Lebanon’s Phalangist militias operating under the command of the Israeli army.

Four decades have passed, yet no measure of justice has been received by the survivors of the massacre. Many of them have died, and others are aging while they carry the scars of physical and psychological wounds, in the hope that, perhaps, within their lifetime they will see their executioners behind bars.

However, many of the Israeli and Phalange commanders who had ordered the invasion of Lebanon, orchestrated or carried out the heinous massacres in the two Palestinian refugee camps in 1982, have already died. Ariel Sharon, who was implicated by the official Israeli Kahan Commission a year later for his “indirect responsibility” for the grisly mass killing and rape, later rose in rank to become, in 2001, Israel’s Prime Minister.

Even prior to the Sabra and Shatila massacre, Sharon’s name was always affiliated with mass murders and large-scale destruction. It was in the so-called ‘Operation Shoshana’, in the Palestinian West Bank village of Qibya in 1953, that Sharon earned his infamous reputation. Following the Israeli occupation of Gaza in 1967, the Israeli general became known as ‘The Bulldozer’, and following Sabra and Shatila, ‘The Butcher’.

The Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Menachim Begin, also died, exhibiting no remorse for the killing of over 17,000 Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. His nonchalant response to the killings in the West Beirut refugee camps epitomizes Israel’s attitude toward all the mass killings and all the massacres carried out against Palestinians in the last 75 years. “Goyim kill Goyim, and they blame the Jews,” he said.

Testimonies from those who arrived at the refugee camps after the days of slaughter depict a reality that requires deep reflection, not only among Palestinians, Arabs and especially Israelis, but also humanity as a whole.

The late American journalist Janet Lee Stevens described what she had witnessed:

“I saw dead women in their houses with their skirts up to their waists and their legs spread apart; dozens of young men shot after being lined up against an alley wall; children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open, her eyes still wide open, her blackened face silently screaming in horror; countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles.”

Dr. Swee Chai Ang had just arrived in Lebanon as a volunteer surgeon, stationed at the Red Crescent Society in the Gaza Hospital in Sabra and Shatila. Her book, ‘From Beirut to Jerusalem: A Woman Surgeon with the Palestinians’, remains one of the most critical readings on the subject.

In a recent article, Dr. Swee wrote that following the release of photographs of the “heaps of dead bodies in the camp alleys”, a worldwide outrage followed, but it was all short-lived: “The victims’ families and survivors were soon left alone to plod on with their lives and to relive the memory of that double tragedy of the massacre, and the preceding ten weeks of intensive land, air and sea bombardment and blockade of Beirut during the invasion.”

Lebanese and Palestinian losses in the Israeli war are devastating in terms of numbers. However, the war also changed Lebanon forever and, following the forced exile of thousands of Palestinian men along with the entire PLO leadership, Palestinian communities in Lebanon were left politically vulnerable, socially disadvantaged and economically isolated.

The story of Sabra and Shatila was not simply a dark chapter of a bygone era, but an ongoing moral crisis that continues to define Israel’s relationship with Palestinians, highlight the demographic and political trap in which numerous Palestinian communities in the Middle East live, and accentuate the hypocrisy of the West-dominated international community. The latter seems to only care for some kind of victims, and not others.

In the case of Palestinians, the victims are often depicted by western governments and media as the aggressors. Even during that horrific Israeli war on Lebanon 40 years ago, some western leaders repeated the tired mantra: “Israel has the right to defend itself.” It is this unwavering support of Israel that has made the Israeli occupation, apartheid and siege of the West Bank and Gaza politically possible and financially sustainable – in fact, profitable.

Would Israel have been able to invade and massacre at will if it were not for US-western military, financial and political backing? The answer is an affirmative ‘no.’ Those who are in doubt of such a conclusion need only to consider the attempt, in 2002, by the survivors of the Lebanon refugee camps massacre to hold Ariel Sharon accountable. They took their case to Belgium, taking advantage of a Belgian law which allowed for the prosecution of alleged international war criminals. After much haggling, delays and intense pressure from the US government, the Belgian court eventually dropped the case altogether. Ultimately, Brussels changed its own laws to ensure such diplomatic crises with Washington and Tel Aviv are not to be repeated.

For Palestinians, however, the case will never be dropped. In her essay, “Avenging Sabra and Shatila”, Kifah Sobhi Afifi’ described the joint Phalangist-Israeli attack on her refugee camp when she was only 12 years old.

“So we ran, trying to stay as close to the walls of the camp as possible,” she wrote. “That is when I saw the piles of the dead bodies all around. Children, women and men, mutilated or groaning in pain as they were dying. Bullets were flying everywhere. People were falling all around me. I saw a father using his body to protect his children but they were all shot and killed anyway.”

Kifah has lost several members of her family. Years later, she joined a Palestinian resistance group and, following a raid at the Lebanon-Israel border, was arrested and tortured in Israel.

Though Israeli massacres are meant to bring an end to Palestinian Resistance, unwittingly, they fuel it. While Israel continues to act with impunity, Palestinians also continue to resist. This is not just the lesson of Sabra and Shatila, but the bigger lesson of the Israeli occupation of Palestine as well.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

40 Years on The Sabra-Shatila Massacre: West Complicit in ’Israeli’ Crimes against Humanity

September 14, 2022 

By Mohammad Youssef

Forty years have passed since Sabra and Shatila massacre was perpetrated by the ‘Israeli’ enemy occupation forces led by Ariel Sharon and Lebanese collaborators that belonged to the Kataeb Party and the ‘Lebanese Forces’ militia.

It was a horrible unforgettable massacre that led to butchering thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese people on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut. It was a massacre that highlights the climax of the cruelty of the ‘Israeli’ occupiers and their unquenched thirst for bloodshed.

After a two-day siege of the two Palestinian camps, Sabra and Shatila, the ‘Israeli’ soldiers along with the aforementioned Lebanese militias started their savage butchery.

It is worth mentioning that this massacre is an episode in a series of massacres against the Lebanese and the Palestinians, along with many Arabs from different nationalities: Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians, and many others.

The history of the ‘Israeli’ entity is a history of genocide and massacres especially against the civilians. The massacres aimed at shocking, terrorizing, and pushing the people to leave their places so they could be totally uprooted from their homeland.

This was an ‘Israeli’ policy to evacuate the land so they can easily capture it. It was supported by the Western powers, especially Britain and the United States. They always used their veto power to sabotage any attempt to condemn ‘Israel,’ impose any sanction against it, or even put it into questioning.

This is not strange at all, because the history of the western European powers, whether France, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Austria or the United States, is similar to that of the ‘Israeli’ entity; a history of massacres, racism, colonization and exploitation for people all over the world.

The so-called progress, modernization and western civilizations are nothing but a real history of exploitation, colonization and genocide. That is why they have become normal supporters for the ‘Israelis’ and their allies especially in their plots and conspiracies!

People of the western world should be aware of all the oppression, atrocities, and massacres carried out by their governments against other people all over the world. They should recognize they hold responsibility for their choices when they go to choose for elections in their so-called genuine democracies.

The permanent support for the Tel Aviv regime makes them all real partners in all its crimes against humanity.

Our people should be equally aware and should have unshakable belief not only in their capability to defend and resist the criminal attacks of ‘Israel’ and its Western allies, but also to achieve victory against them. The examples are so many and vivid.

From Palestine to Yemen, going through Lebanon and Syria, our people have portrayed and continue to portray with their sacrifices and blood an image of glory and victory. With our steadfastness and resistance, by God’s willing, their conspiracies will definitely fail, and we will prevail!

Israeli documents confirm responsibility with the battalions for the Sabra and Shatila massacre

IOF Officer Killed in Confrontation Near Al-Jalama Checkpoint in Jenin

 September 14, 2022

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) admitted Tuesday that one of its officers was killed in confrontations with Palestinian Resistance fighters near Al-Jalama checkpoint in the Jenin district.

Palestinian media reported that Resistance fighters Ahmad and Abdelrahman Abed from Jenin were martyred after armed confrontations with the IOF at the checkpoint.

Israeli media reported that an Israeli occupation watchtower monitored the Resistance fighters near Al-Jalama checkpoint, where the two were surrounded and shot dead by IOF gunfire.

The media indicated that the armed confrontations between the Resistance fighters and the occupation forces near the checkpoint lasted for minutes, pointing out that one of the Palestinians who confronted occupation forces at Al-Jalama checkpoint is a member of the Palestinian Authority’s security services.

In the same context, Israeli news website Haaretz reported that “As of earlier this week, 81 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank in 2022, making it the deadliest year since 2015 – in which 99 were killed.”

According to the website, 78 out of the 81 Palestinians have been martyred by Israeli occupation forces and three by Israeli settlers.

Haaretz highlighted that about 31 Palestinians were martyred in the Jenin region in the past year, where Israeli occupation forces have been conducting nightly raids.

Source: Palestiian media

Palestinian factions to PA: Abort Oslo, recant ‘Israel’ recognition

September 13, 2022 14:28 

Source: Al-Mayadeen

By Al-Mayadeen English 

Palestinian factions reaffirm position to liberate all of Palestine.

29 years after Oslo Accords, Palestinians have not given up on liberation.

Hamas movement urged on Tuesday the Palestinian Authority to take the initiative and announce the end of the Oslo Accords and recanting the recognition of the usurping Zionist entity.

Hamas said in a statement on the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords that “the Lapid government’s quest to co-opt the Palestinian Authority and its members is suspicious, and we warn the authority not to go along with it.”

The statement added that “the security coordination policy with the Zionist enemy and the prosecution of our people and activists defending their land and holy sites in the face of settlement and Judaization projects is a crime and a code of conduct that violates all national customs and values and must stop,” stressing that the “masses revolting to defend themselves, their land and holy sites by all available means must not be restricted.”

The statement renewed its “categorical rejection of all agreements, no matter their source, that do not recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is their struggle and Resistance to defend themselves, their land and holy sites, and their right to liberate the land and return to their cities and villages from which they were forcefully displaced, not to mention establishing their independent, fully sovereign state with Al-Quds as its capital.”

Resistance Committees in Palestine: The Oslo agreement led to the loss of many achievements

Director of the media office of the Resistance Committees in Palestine, Mohammed Al-Barim “Abu Mujahid”, stressed that “all agreements and conspiracies will not take away or cancel any of our rights or our constant principles and will not give any legitimacy to the existence of the Zionist entity occupying our land.”

“The Oslo agreement brought disasters and misfortunes to our people and represented a dangerous decline for which the Palestinian cause paid heavy prices and was exploited by the Zionist enemy as a cover for Judaization, settlement, and normalization, whether secret or public,” Al-Barim said.

He also pointed out that “the Oslo accords led to the loss of many achievements reached by the Palestinian people during the course of their struggle and restricted the march to liberation in light of numerous attempts to end the Resistance, which throughout history has been the conscience of the people and the nation and its legitimate force in the face of the occupation and Zionist aggression.”

“What is required now is to end the current approach of settlement with the enemy, end all forms of relationship with it, cancel the Oslo Accords, and withdraw recognition of the criminal entity,” he said.

Al-Ahrar: Vast difference between the Resistance Project and the settlement project

Al-Ahrar movement said in a statement, “We must work nationally to get rid of the Oslo Accords and its annexes, considering that the first and last beneficiary from them is the Zionist occupation through the abominable security coordination.”

“The Palestinian negotiator who went alone to conclude this disastrous agreement contrary to the will of our people committed a great sin during which he made more concessions than the occupation expected, so we call for its dissolution and siding with the will of our people to build a national strategy for comprehensive Resistance,” it added.

“After 29 years of signing this ill-fated agreement, everyone must move to push for a complete revision of this absurd path to abandon and drop the Oslo accords, which has only brought misery to our people,” the statement said.

The movement pointed out that “there is a difference between the Resistance Project, which has accomplished achievements and succeeded in forcing the occupation out of Gaza, and the frail settlement project, which opened the door wide for the occupation to implement its settlement and Judaization plans to plunder the capabilities of our people, their land and their rights.”

The movement stressed that “resistance will remain the only way to achieve the unity of our people, end its crises, defeat the occupation and free the land of Palestine, all of Palestine.”

Mujahideen movement: Oslo is a national sin

The Palestinian Mujahideen movement said in a statement that “Oslo is a national sin that must be cleansed and dropped, and the defeat of the occupation in Gaza is proof of the effectiveness of the option of Resistance.”

The movement added that “the fateful Oslo accords were a phase of betrayal to our national cause and opened the doors to all forms of normalization of some Arab regimes with this criminal occupier.”

The movement stressed that “liberating our land from the occupation can only be by Resistance, not by surrender and concession, and this requires everyone to adopt an inclusive national strategy that supports the option of Resistance and strengthens the resilience of our people in the face of dangers and challenges.”

25 Palestinians still in occupation prisons 29 years after Oslo

The Ministry of Prisoners in Gaza said that “25 Palestinians have been imprisoned in occupation cells since before the Oslo Accords, 29 years ago, some even for longer than 35 years.”

Overthrowing “Oslo” and the Palestinian state… the strategic choice of resistance

Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

 SEPTEMBER 11, 2022 

PROTESTOR HOLDS SIGNS SUPPORTING BDS, THE MOVEMENT FOR BOYCOTTS, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL, AT ‘TEL AVIV SUR SEINE’ IN PARIS, AUGUST 13, 2015. (PHOTO: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Source

By Haider Eid

“If only it (Gaza) would just sink into the sea
– Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 1992

In 2008 Gaza was bombed by Israeli Apache helicopters and American-made F16 fighter planes for 22 days, ultimately causing the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians. Israel, with the impunity it has enjoyed since its establishment, decided to come back into Gaza four times since then and repeat the same crimes by launching areal strikes, killing more than 4000 civilians, including hundreds of children, women, elderly, and injuring thousands. In fact, over the past 15 months alone, apartheid Israel has carried out two extensive military assaults on Gaza, killing hundreds, including more than 80 children, and injuring thousands, destroying vital infrastructure, while maintaining its 15-year illegal siege on the 2.4 million Palestinians here.

Israel’s airstrikes which always damage essential infrastructure and terrify the civilian population are a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and are war crimes which are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict. 

But Israel continues to get away with these war crimes and crimes against humanity. The “international community” does not seem seriously interested in the suffering of the native Palestinians. Neither does it even try to show concrete sympathy with those children who get killed in broad day light. After all, they are not Ukrainians, i.e., white.  In fact, while the American president apparently thinks that while “Israel has the right to defend itself,” the same right does not apply to Palestinians. This is in spite of the multi-tiered oppression of Palestinians by Israel, from apartheid to military occupation and colonization, and in spite of the deadly, hermetic siege imposed on Gaza for more than 15 years, so much so that Israel has even been using ‘calorie count’ to limit Gaza food during the blockade. 

This, however, has been Israel’s policy for a long time. In 1992, the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin wished that Gaza “would just sink into the sea.” The Oslo Accords, signed by Rabin, brought more misery into the lives of the 2 million inhabitants of this besieged, impoverished, occupied, small strip of land. The fact that Gazans are not born to Jewish mothers is enough reason to deprive them of their right to live equally with the citizens of the state of Israel. Hence, the Israeli logic goes, like the Black natives of South Africa, they should be isolated in a Bantustan, in accordance with the Oslo terms, without calling it so; and if they show any resistance to this plan, they must get punished severely by transforming the entire strip into an “open-air prison.” 

Both the US and the European Union display ignorance in the face of the brutal reality caused by Israel to GazaAs a result of Israel’s blockade on most imports and exports and other policies designed to punish Gazans, about 70% of Gaza’s workforce is now unemployed or without pay, according to the United Nations, and about 80% of its residents live in grinding poverty. About 1.2 million of them are now dependent for their day-to-day survival on food handouts from U.N. or international agencies; an increasing number of Palestinian families in Gaza are unable to offer their children more than one meager meal a day, often little more than rice and boiled lentils. Fresh fruit and vegetables are beyond the reach of many families. Meat and chicken are impossibly expensive. And fish is unavailable in its markets because the Israeli navy has curtailed the movements of Gaza ‘s fishermen. No wonder, a report by the UN predicted that by 2020, Gaza would become “unlivable.” 

We are left with one option: people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The UN, EU and the international community by and large have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Apartheid Israel. The corpses of hundreds of dead children and women have failed to convince them to act. We are, therefore, left with one option; an option that does not wait for the United Nations Security Council, namely, the option of people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in 1976 Soweto Uprising. This campaign ultimately contributed to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state.

Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza, like Soweto and Sharpeville, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it until it complies with international law. Like black South Africans, Palestinians deserve freedom, justice and equality.  Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

HEBRON, PALESTINE: AN ANCIENT GEM RUINED BY APARTHEID AND OCCUPIED BY SETTLERS

SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

Far too often we focus on the problems that plague Palestine because of the Zionist occupation. However, from time to time it is important to remember the rich heritage and unique resources that exist in Palestine: its beauty, history, architecture, and how the Palestinian people have faithfully and lovingly maintained the historical heritage of this unique land.

HEBRON

A city that is far too often in the news for the violence and racism that Zionist settlers and the Israeli army constantly force upon this town, it is in fact an ancient gem. It contains within it one of the finest Jewels in the crown of Palestine. I was fortunate enough to see the beauty of this ancient city with a friend who is a son of this city and who loves and knows the city as one who loves and knows his home.

When driving into Hebron from Jerusalem I like to enter through what is the main city entrance off of route 35. This gets me right into the heart of what is known to be one of the largest, busiest, and economically wealthiest Palestinian cities. There are very few places that stand out for their beauty in this otherwise dusty bustling city. It consists of streets upon streets of dusty roads filled with cars and shops. But this is the main city, the modern Hebron.

It takes me about ten kilometers before I reach the spot where I park my car and walk into the Old City, where I climb onto one of the most magical spots in Palestine, Tel-Rumeida. It is a small hill with Roman ruins and olive trees whose trunks tell you that they are as old as time.

Ancient olive trees on Tel-Rumeida
Ancient olive trees on Tel-Rumeida. Credit | Miko Peled

From Tel-Rumeida one can enjoy the remarkable view of the entire old city of Hebron, or as it is known in Arabic, Alkhalil.

The moon over the old city of Hebron, view from Tel-Rumeida
The moon over the old city of Hebron, view from Tel-Rumeida. Credit | Miko Peled

The filth and destruction caused to the old city by Israeli settlers and soldiers are evident almost everywhere. This is true to the point where Palestinians had to erect special protective covers to the city’s market for fear of having rocks, cinder blocks, and filth thrown at them by Israeli settlers who have taken over many of the apartments above the market. However, we will ignore these cancerous cells who try to kill the city and its life in this article and focus on what was created by centuries of Palestinians that is now protected by the ones who still live in the city.

HIDDEN ALLEYWAYS

Walking into the Souk, or market, we slowly approach the old city. We walk through winding alleyways with arches, hidden as though trying to protect themselves from the settler-induced destruction that is taking over the city like a cancer. People are living in homes built by the Mamluks, who ruled Palestine from the end of the thirteenth century to the beginning of the sixteenth century, or the Ottomans, who governed Palestine from the sixteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. Children are seen running and playing through these allies which were paved in stones that were set there centuries ago.

Here and there, one will find a cafe or restaurant, or a specialty shop. We whisked quickly through these alleyways when I noticed a bright light from a small open door. We entered to find a cave, with what looked like the treasure in the cave of Aladdin. It was one of the more famous glassware workshops in the city. Hebron is renowned for glassware and this shop/workshop was the finest in the city. How we came across it seems like a mystery now but it was truly magical.

This was The Land of Canaan glass factory, a well-known and respected institution in the old city of Hebron, maintaining one of the old traditions of the city. Glass blown into vases and cups and whatnot, with the typical Hebronite blues and teals. All hand made and some delicately hand painted with lovely intricate designs.

Hebron vase
Credit | Miko Peled

THE MOSQUE

The most impressive and imposing structure in Hebron, and what gives it its religious significance is the Ibrahimi Mosque. Said to be built over the cave, which according to religious tradition, was built by the patriarch Prophet Abraham, or Ibrahim, who purchased it as a burial site for him and his family. The site has been used as a place of worship for Jews, Christians, and Muslims for several millennia. The imposing walls are said to have been built by King Herod, the arches and windows by consecutive Muslim builders and architects.

Steps leading into the Ibrahimi mosque, Hebron
Steps leading into the Ibrahimi mosque, Hebron. Credit | Miko Peled

The intricately designed rostrum, or manbar in Arabic, is the oldest and one of the most beautiful in the Islamic world. It was placed there by order of Salahaddin in the twelfth century and is still used today for sermons.

The Saladdin Rostrum in Hebron
The Saladdin Rostrum in Hebron. Credit | Miko Peled

A stone plaque with an inscription in Greek is still set in the wall of the mosque. It is said to have been inscribed by Helena mother of Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, at the time that the site served as a church.

Greek inscription
Greek inscription by Helen mother of the emperor Constantine. Credit | Miko Peled

Until 1948, the site was used for mixed worship. Jews and Muslims worshiped side by side at the times of their services. After the Zionist occupation of Palestine, it was decided that the city of Hebron along with an area of Palestine that was designated as “The West Bank,” would be governed by the newly created Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Following the 1967 Six-Day war, Israel occupied the West Bank and Jews again began to visit the site. A portion of the mosque was slated to be designated for Jewish worship, but until 1994, Muslims and Jews worshipped there together. Because the Jewish settlers who came to Hebron after 1967 were not the Jewish residents who lived there prior to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, tensions were high.

These Israeli settlers are a new brand of colonial Jews, so to speak –  violent, racist armed, and hate-filled. They wanted the Muslims to have no part in what they considered a Jewish site. Eventually, on February 25, 1994, during the month of Ramadan, a Jewish settler, who was an officer and a doctor in the Israeli army came to the mosque and sprayed the worshippers with his semi-automatic rifle. He murdered 29 worshippers and injured over 150 before being overpowered and killed.

At that point, the Jewish settlers got what they wanted and a large part of the mosque was separated for Jewish-only worship. Severe restrictions were placed on Muslims but the settlers along with soldiers enter the mosque whenever they wish, not bothering even to remove their shoes as is customary to do when one enters a mosque.

POLITICAL CHANGE, NOT CHARITY

Palestine is a rich country. As is exemplified in the city of Hebron, Palestine which is endowed with resources and a heritage that is equal to none. Contrary to the way the West likes to view Palestine, it is not a country that needs charity but demands political change. Palestinians are neither beggars nor terrorists but a people who are fighting for what is theirs – the right to live free and independent in their homeland: Palestine.

Israel demands full impunity for killing Shireen Abu Akleh – and the Biden administration agrees

 SEPTEMBER 10, 2022 

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER YAIR LAPID (RIGHT), US PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, AND ISRAELI MINISTER OF DEFENSE BENNY GANTZ AT THE CEREMONY WELCOMING BIDEN TO ISRAEL ON JULY 13, 2022. (PHOTO: KOBI GIDEON/ISRAEL GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE)

By Mitchell Plitnick

Source

Despite the best efforts of the Israeli and American governments, the spirit of Shireen Abu Akleh simply won’t go away. 

Shireen’s family won’t let her memory fade into the background in Washington or Tel Aviv as the memories of so many thousands of Palestinians have in the past. Neither will the broader Palestinian and Palestine-advocacy communities. But perhaps the most crucial group that is keeping Shireen’s spirit hovering over the politics of Israel’s policies, especially in Washington, are her fellow journalists

Israel’s “report” on Shireen’s murder, as expected, admitted that one of its soldiers was responsible for her death, but duplicitously said that it was the result of an errant bullet during an exchange of fire with Palestinian “terrorists.” 

That this is nonsense has been clearly established. The exchange of fire at the time of Shireen’s killing was blocks away. The Israeli military unit involved in the murder was the elite Duvdevan unit, a highly-trained bunch who do not fire wildly, but at targets, generally Palestinian people. The bullet which killed Shireen penetrated a small opening between her helmet and bullet-proof vest, with word “PRESS” clearly written in both the front and back. All of this is substantial proof of, at the very least, an intentional killing. 

But in the wake of the report being published, we saw a very clear, and very disturbing, demonstration of where the Israeli government under Yair Lapid and the U.S. administration of Joe Biden stand, not only the issue of Shireen’s murder but of the entire relationship between Israel and its benefactor and protector in Washington. 

Israel had long since made it clear that it would not prosecute the soldier who murdered Shireen Abu Akleh. In response, the State Department and Secretary of State Antony Blinken modified their very humble request, reducing it to a simple review of Israel’s rules of engagement when their soldiers entered a Palestinian area under their iron-fisted occupation. 

But even this was too much to ask in Israel’s eyes. “I will not allow an IDF soldier that was protecting himself from terrorist fire to be prosecuted just to receive applause from abroad,” Lapid stated. “No one will dictate our rules of engagement to us, when we are the ones fighting for our lives. Our soldiers have the full backing of the government of Israel and the people of Israel.”

Lapid’s message had two intended audiences. The first was the Israeli public, which eagerly gobbles up any example of an Israeli leader defying what they see as the United States ordering them about. Most Israelis would draw the line at any action that might jeopardize the absolute and lock-step U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support. But, to date, reactions from the Biden administration indicate Israel has not even approached such a line.

This is evidenced by the reaction of Lapid’s second audience, which is the Biden administration itself. State Department Spokesman Ned Price’s initial reaction to Israel’s initial report—an obvious whitewash that Israel, in its hubris, made no effort to disguise—made it clear that the U.S. was unwilling to press Israel about Shireen, but needed also to appease some in the Democratic Party who were unwilling to simply forget about her. 

“We welcome Israel’s review of this tragic incident, and again underscore the importance of accountability in this case, such as policies and procedures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future,” Price said. And when Israel made it clear they would not do this, Price’s understudy, Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel, repeated an embarrassing mantra: “To reiterate, we continue to underscore the importance of accountability in this case, and we’re going to continue to impress our Israeli partners to closely review its policies and practices on the rules of engagement, and consider additional steps that will mitigate risk in this circumstance.”

One could almost feel sorry for Patel, being hung out to dry in front of experienced foreign policy reporters with nothing but this tissue-thin line to offer. Under a series of questions from journalists, he could do nothing but continue to repeat himself, despite the fact that what he was describing was not only the opposite of accountability, but was the United States government once again choosing to shirk its responsibility to protect its citizens from a foreign government that has killed them with impunity. 

That was what Patel had to defend. Shireen Abu Akleh was only the latest American citizen to be killed by Israel. Nearly twenty years ago, it was activist Rachel Corrie, crushed under a U.S.-made and supplied, but Israeli-modified Caterpillar armored bulldozer. Twelve years ago, it was 18-year old Furkan Dogan, killed by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara as it tried to bring food and supplied to people being starved by Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Six year ago, Mahmoud Shaalan was gunned down while his hands were in the air at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank. Earlier this very year, Israeli forces ripped 78-year old Omar Assad from his car, abused him, handcuffed and blindfolded him, causing such stress he died of a heart attack. 

Israel has never been held accountable, nor held anyone accountable, for the deaths of these American citizens. Lapid’s words made it clear they would not stand for anything less than total impunity regarding these murders. 

Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett clarified Israel’s stance. “At any given moment,” Bennett tweeted on Tuesday, “there are Palestinian terrorists trying to murder Israelis. Not the other way round. We are not trigger-happy, but our moral duty is to hit terrorists and thereby save lives.” The army, Bennett stated must be “detached from any pressure, internal or external.”

Sifting through the blatant racism and dishonesty of Bennett’s characterization of Israeli military innocence and Palestinian bloodthirstiness, he is plainly stating that an Israeli soldier can shoot any Palestinian any time she or he wishes, and the very nature of their respective identities as Israeli soldier and Palestinian “terrorist” places the Israelis above reproach. And above any kind of law. 

Lapid’s message got through to both the Israeli public and the Biden administration. But how well is that message playing more broadly in the United States? 

Democratic hawks like Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez—who was in Israel earlier this week—have been remarkably quiet about Shireen lately, but even Menendez, earlier this year, expressed concern over her killing and called for a credible investigation of her death. The silence of pro-Israel Democrats is indicative of the difficult position Israel has put them in, and it has left a vacuum which is amplifying the more critical Democratic voices. 

Outgoing Rep. Marie Newman, for example, tweeted, “The @StateDept’s response to Israel’s statement refusing to prosecute the soldiers responsible for killing Palestinian American Shireen Abu Akleh is woefully inadequate. I expect nothing short of a US investigation that leads to accountability. It’s the least we can do.”

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), who earlier this year introduced the “Justice for Shireen Act,” said the Israeli report fails to “address the key questions around Shireen Abu Akleh’s death and falls short of what we expect when a U.S. citizen is killed on foreign soil.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva, said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken “has a responsibility to hold Israel accountable and demand justice for [Abu Akleh’s] death,” and that “the silence is damning and deafening. We need justice for Shireen.”

Perhaps most important was the statement of Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who, while at the progressive end of the Democratic Party is still closer to the center than the Representatives who spoke out and is up for re-election this November (albeit in a race that he is universally seen as safe for him). Van Hollen tweeted, “The crux of the “defense” in this IDF report is that a soldier was “returning fire” from militants. But investigations @NYTimes @AP @CNN @washingtonpost & @UN found no such firing at the time. This underscores need for independent US inquiry into this American journalist’s death.”

There is no factual argument that can refute what these Members of Congress have said, which is why Israel’s supporters on Capitol Hill are trying to avoid engaging with them. Indeed, if anything is to be critiqued it is the call for an impartial U.S. investigation. As unlikely as the investigation is, impartiality should it come about is even harder to imagine. 

It is crucial, however, that these calls be supported. Shireen’s murder must remain on the agenda past the November elections. Until then, even the hardiest Democrats are going to tone down criticism of their President and Secretary of State. 

But in two months, that pressure will be lifted. And the Biden administration must be taken to task for its behavior here. As hypocritical as it was for Biden to fist-bump Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, it’s important to recall that, as important a figure as Jamal Khashoggi was, he was a U.S. resident, not a citizen. 

Shireen Abu Akleh, like Rachel Corrie, Furkan Dogan, Mahmoud Shaalan, and Omar Assad before her, was an American citizen. Foreign countries are not supposed to be allowed to murder American citizens with impunity, especially when they are killed for doing their jobs as reporters. 

But Yair Lapid brazenly stated that Israel must be allowed to do just that. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken supported Lapid in that statement, in effect. That’s something that Shireen’s fellow citizens can’t allow. 

“Israel” planned, LF executed: The Sabra and Shatila massacre

September 10, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Evidence continues to pile up, classified documents are unmasked, and a more complete picture of the 1982 Massacre committed by Israeli occupation forces through Israeli-associated far right militias emerges.

Bodies at the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut in 1982 (Institute for Palestine Studies)

Newly-released classified documents from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office revealed details of atrocities committed during the 1982 Massacre, most notably a direct link between “Israel’s” Mossad spy agency and the Lebanese far-right militia group responsible for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees and Lebanese citizens, including children and women.

The document covers the years 1981-1982, including the planning and execution of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982.

The classified information was made available following “a court petition seeking information about the connection between the Mossad, Israel’s espionage agency, and the [far right] militias in Lebanon responsible for massacring Palestinian refugees”.

On September 16-18, 1982, militias of the Lebanese Forces (LF), the military wing of the far-right Kataeb Party at the time, also known as the Phalangists, carried out the brutal killings of between 460 and 3,500 Palestinians and Lebanese citizens in Beirut’s Sabra neighborhood and the nearby Shatila refugee camp.

Lebanese Forces: Trenched with blood

Israeli cooperation with the LF was already infamous: when the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched the 1982 invasion, they advanced to the outskirts of Beirut but held back in support of the LF as it advanced into the city and seized power.

The IOF maintained nearly complete control over the LF, dictating its actions during the invasion as well as its policies after assuming power, as per the document.

“We have the Lebanese to do what we want them to do,” the document read, according to Haaretz.

“That is the asset we have, now tell us what to do with it. Because the state isn’t all that organized in its decision-making, the ones who told us what to do with the asset wasn’t [Former Israeli PM Menahem] Begin, and the government, but rather the military,” the documents added.

Unsurprisingly, the documents have also unmasked that IOF and LF had been planning the Israeli invasion of Lebanon for over a year.

“It was Israel’s most planned war,” the document says. “The preparations had already begun in mid-1981, and they gained momentum towards the end of that year. In January of 1982, [IOF General and Defense Minister] Ariel Sharon met the [LF] leadership – and said to Pierre Gemayel: ‘We are embarking on a full-scale war and that as a result of it, there ought to be change in Lebanon-Israel relations.’’

The documents went on to reveal that the Israeli connections within Lebanese politics date back to the 1950s and the administration of Lebanese Prime Minister Camille Chamoun. After Lebanon descended into civil war in 1975, Chamoun’s National Liberal Party joined forces with Kataeb to form the Lebanese Forces. Chamoun sought assistance from “Tel Aviv”, which began selling LF lethal weapons.

The documents have also detailed how the arms were covertly smuggled into Lebanon, stressing that they were “loaded onto rafts of a sort that carried quantities of arms. We would arrive on a given night with two shipments, and in the third stage we refined it even more.”

The Israeli Mossad said that it transferred 6,000 M-16 rifles and 60,000 rounds of ammunition for the Lebanese Forces, as well as 40 120-millimeter mortars with 12,000 shells and 100 81-millimeter mortars with 2,000 shells.

How “Israel” through LF, Phalangists horrified the world

The harrowing killings perpetrated by Phalangists against unarmed Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in the two refugee camps outside Beirut horrified the world.

According to an Israeli investigation of the Sabra and Shatila massacre known as the Kahan Commission, Security Minister Ariel Sharon and IOF Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan decided that the Lebanese Forces should be used to enter the Palestinian refugee camps located there. The two, along with several other senior Israeli security officials, met in a building 200 meters from the Shatila camp the day before the attack and gave the order for the LF to enter the camps”

A timeline of forty hours of ruthless slaughter

At 3:00 am on the 15th of September, Israeli Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, Major General Amir Drori, the LF’s Chief of Intelligence Elie Hobeika, and the Lebanese militia’s new commander-in-chief Fadi Frem met to discuss entry into the Sabra and Shatila camps. Sharon instructed, “Only one element, and that is the [IOF], shall command the forces in the area.” While the Israeli occupation forces gave the orders, the Phalangist militiamen did the dirty work:

Fighter jets flew at a low altitude and tankers and troops surrounded the camps from all sides. Israeli snipers were at work, tanks were shelling the premises, and all exits and entrances were blocked by the Israelis. Families locked themselves in their homes. 

By 11:30 am on the 16th of September, the Israelis announced that they had taken control of Beirut. 

At 4:00 pm, jeeps supplied by the Israeli occupation forces drove into Shatila with the guidance of arrows drawn on the walls by the Israelis. 

A platoon of 150 militia soldiers, armed with guns, knives, and axes, stormed the camp. Immediately, they entered homes, slit throats, axed, shot, and raped. On many occasions, they would also slit pregnant women’s bodies open, leaving them and their fetuses to bleed to death. Entire families and neighborhoods were lined up on the streets and shot ruthlessly. 

On Thursday and Friday, Israelis fired light flares into the camps to guide the militiamen in the massacre. One Dutch nurse described the camp as bright as “a sports stadium lit up for a football game.”

By 8:40 PM, a briefing by an army general, Yaron, took place: He said that the militiamen are confused as to what to do with the men, women, and children. They were concerned that they found no terrorists, which left them to wonder what to do with the population they have rounded up. 

At this point, the Israelis were divided on whether the operation should proceed or not. On the one hand, one commander thought things “may have gotten too far,” another commander was impressed with the militiamen’s work and that they should continue, as they called it, “mopping up” till 5 AM the next day. Upon requesting another bulldozer to “demolish illegal structures,” the Israelis unconditionally granted it to the Phalangists. 

On Friday the 17th of September, the systemic murder persisted. Bulldozers were at work: they were digging mass graves, and scooping bodies into piles on trucks just outside the camps. The “illegal structures,” which were inhabited buildings, would be destroyed so that bodies would be buried under the wreckage. At the height of this round of massacre, 400 militiamen were involved.

On Saturday at 6 am, loudspeakers passing through the camps would order civilians to give in to the militia, to exit their homes, and turn themselves in. At that point, it was reported that a thousand people marched out of their homes in lines. The Israeli-backed militiamen would take some of the civilians out of the line and execute them on the spot, whereas others would be dragged to trucks nearby the Kuwaiti embassy and kidnapped…never to be found again. 

At 9 am, international journalists and media outlets entered the camps only to find piles of bodies lying down on the floor – many mutilated, maimed, and unidentifiable. Many graves were shallowly dug, leaving dead body parts to appear arbitrarily. 

By 10 am, the militiamen left the camp and the Israelis stayed out of the “scene” so as to not be blamed for anything, refusing any accountability and denying any involvement in the disaster.

“Afterward, the area was closed off, and only a few journalists were able to get in and describe what they found. One described how many of the bodies of the dead had been severely mutilated: young men had been castrated, some people had been scalped…”

In a cruel and heartless statement, Prime Minister Menachem Begin commented on the massacre, at the time, by saying it is as “goyim killing goyim,” the Hebrew word for non-Jews. 

They did so, in fact, on Israeli orders, and with Israeli weapons.

Read more: The Lebanese Forces: A Long Bloody History

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