Israel is losing the fight to obscure its apartheid character

Israel’s separation wall is pictured on 11 February 2020 (AFP)
Jonathan Cook
Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net

Jonathan Cook

14 January 2021 11:31 UTC

New report by rights group B’Tselem will make it harder to smear Israel’s critics as antisemites for arguing that Israel is a racist state


For more than a decade, a handful of former Israeli politicians and US diplomats identified with what might be termed the “peace process industry” have intermittently warned that, without a two-state solution, Israel is in danger of becoming an “apartheid state”. 

The most notable among them include Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, two former Israeli prime ministers, and John Kerry, who served as former US President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Time is rapidly running out, they have all declared in the past. 

Their chief concern, it seems, was that without the alibi of some kind of Palestinian state – however circumscribed and feeble – the legitimacy of Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state” will increasingly come under scrutiny. Apartheid will arrive, the argument goes, when a minority of Israeli Jews rule over a majority of Palestinians in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan controlled by Israel. 

Demographic threshold

The apartheid threat has been wielded by the so-called “peace camp” in hopes of mobilising international pressure on the Israeli right, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The goal has been to force it into making sufficient concessions that the Palestinian leadership agrees to a demilitarised statelet, or statelets, on fragments on the original Palestinian homeland. 

Meanwhile, demographic trends have continued apace, and the Israeli right has ignored all warnings, preferring to pursue their Greater Israel ambitions instead. But strangely, the apartheid moment never arrived for the Israeli peace camp. Instead, its expressions of concern about apartheid fizzled into silence, as did its once-vocal worries about a Palestinian demographic majority.

How much sense would it have made in the former South Africa to claim that apartheid existed only in the Bantustans or black townships, while exempting white areas?

This entirely cynical approach to Palestinian statehood was very belatedly blown apart this week with the publication of a report by B’Tselem, Israel’s most prominent and respected human rights group. It broke ranks to declare what has been obvious for many, many years. Israel has created a permanent reality in which there are two peoples, Jews and Palestinians, sharing the same territorial space, but “a regime of Jewish supremacy” has been imposed by the stronger side. This unequivocally qualifies as apartheid, B’Tselem said. 

It dismisses the sophistry that apartheid relates to some self-serving demographic deadline – one that never materialises – rather than the explicitly segregationist practices and policies Israel has enforced throughout the territories it rules. It also dismisses arguments made by Israel’s partisans abroad that Israel cannot be an apartheid state because there are no South African-style “whites only” signs on park benches. 

Hagai El-Ad, B’Tselem’s executive director, notes that Israel’s version – “apartheid 2.0, if you will – avoids certain kinds of ugliness … That Israel’s definitions do not depend on skin colour make no material difference: it is the supremacist reality which is the heart of the matter.” The report concludes that the bar for apartheid was met after considering “the accumulation of policies and laws that Israel devised to entrench its control over Palestinians”.

Daring analysis

What is perhaps most daring about B’Tselem’s analysis is its admission that apartheid exists not just in the occupied territories, as has been observed before, including by former US President Jimmy Carter. It describes the entire region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River – which encompasses both Israel and the Palestinian territories – as an apartheid regime. It thereby denies Israel’s claims to be a democratic state even inside its internationally recognised borders.

B’Tselem has abandoned the pretence that apartheid can be limited to the occupied territories, as though Israel – the state that rules Palestinians – is somehow exempt from being classified as integral to the apartheid enterprise it institutes and oversees.

That was always obvious. How much sense would it have made in the former South Africa to claim that apartheid existed only in the Bantustans or black townships, while exempting white areas? None at all. And yet, Israel has been getting away with precisely this clearcut casuistry for decades – largely aided by the peace camp, including B’Tselem.

Palestinian workers cross the Nilin checkpoint on 18 March 2020 (MEE/Mohammad Abu Zaid)
Palestinian workers cross the Nilin checkpoint on 18 March 2020 (MEE/Mohammad Abu Zaid)

Now, B’Tselem observes: “Jews go about their lives in a single, contiguous space where they enjoy full rights and self-determination. In contrast, Palestinians live in a space that is fragmented into several units, each with a different set of rights – given or denied by Israel, but always inferior to the rights accorded to Jews.”

Israel’s “Jewish supremacist ideology” is revealed in its obsession with “Judaising” land, in its bifurcated citizenship laws and policies that privilege Jews alone, in its regulations that restrict movement for Palestinians only, and in its denial of political participation to Palestinians. These discriminatory policies, B’Tselem notes, apply also to the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian and have nominal Israeli citizenship. 

El-Ad concludes: “There is not a single square inch in the territory Israel controls where a Palestinian and a Jew are equal. The only first-class people here are Jewish citizens such as myself.”

Permanent occupation

What B’Tselem has done is echo the arguments long made by academics and Palestinian civil society, including the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, that Israel is a settler-colonial society. 

In an emailed response to the report, Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement, said it helped to put an end to “the vicious and deeply racist lies about the not-so-perfect Israeli democracy that has a problem called ‘the occupation’”. Why acknowledging Israeli apartheid is not enough

The B’Tselem report observes that, while “occupation” must be a temporary situation, Israel has no intention of ending its military rule over Palestinians, even after more than five decades. A Palestinian state is not conceivably on the agenda of any Israeli party in sight of power, and no one in the international community with any influence is demanding one. The two-state solution has been smothered into oblivion.

For that reason, it argues, all of Israel and the Palestinian territories under occupation are organised “under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians”.

There are good reasons why B’Tselem is biting the bullet now, after decades of equivocation from it and the rest of the Israeli peace camp. Firstly, no one really believes that Israel will be pressured from outside into conceding a Palestinian state. Trump’s so-called “peace plan”, unveiled a year ago, gave Netanyahu everything he wanted, including support for annexing swaths of the West Bank on which illegal settlements have been built. 

Four years of Trump, and the recruitment of much of the Gulf to Netanyahu’s side, has shifted the conversation a long way from efforts to secure Palestinian statehood. Now, the focus is on how best to delay Israel’s move towards formal annexation. US president-elect Joe Biden will at best try to push things back to the dismal state they were in before Donald Trump took office. At worst, he will quietly assent to all or most of the damage Trump has inflicted on the Palestinian national cause.

Deeply isolated

Secondly, B’Tselem and other human rights groups are more deeply isolated at home than ever before. There is simply no political constituency in Israel for their research into the systematic abuses of Palestinians by the Israeli army and settlers. That means B’Tselem no longer needs to worry about messaging that could antagonise the sensibilities of Israel’s so-called “Zionist left” – because there is no meaningful peace camp left to alienate. 

The disappearance of this peace camp, unreliable as it was, has only been underscored by the Israeli general election due in late March. The battle for power this time is being waged between three or four far-right parties that all support annexation to varying degrees. 

Israel’s apologists will now face the much harder task of showing that B’Tselem is antisemitic, along with the Palestinian solidarity activists who cite its work

The Israeli left has ceased to exist at the political level. It comprises a handful of human and legal rights groups, mostly seen by the public as traitors supposedly meddling in Israel’s affairs on behalf of “European” interests. At this stage, B’Tselem has little to lose. It is almost entirely irrelevant inside Israel.

Thirdly, and as a result, the only audience for B’Tselem’s careful research exposing Israeli abuses is overseas. This new report seeks to liberate a conversation about Israel, partly among Palestinian solidarity activists abroad. Their campaigns have been stymied by the failure of the Palestinian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas to signal where they should direct their efforts, now that prospects for Palestinian statehood have vanished.

Activists have also been browbeaten into silence by smears from Israel’s partisans in the US and Europe, decrying any trenchant criticism of Israel as antisemitic. These slurs were relentlessly deployed against the UK’s Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn because of his support for the Palestinian cause.

Breaking a taboo

By calling Israel an apartheid state and a “regime of Jewish supremacy”, B’Tselem has given the lie to the Israel lobby’s claim – bolstered by a new definition promoted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – that it is antisemitic to suggest Israel is a “racist endeavour”. 

B’Tselem, a veteran Israeli Jewish organisation with deep expertise in human rights and international law, has now explicitly declared that Israel is a racist state. Israel’s apologists will now face the much harder task of showing that B’Tselem is antisemitic, along with the Palestinian solidarity activists who cite its work.

Palestinian protesters confront Israeli soldiers during a protest in the occupied West Bank on 29 January 2020 (AFP)
Palestinian protesters confront Israeli soldiers during a protest in the occupied West Bank on 29 January 2020 (AFP)

The report is also intended to reach out to young American Jews, who are more willing than their parents to foreground the mistreatment of Palestinians and to forgo the Zionist idea that Israel is their bolthole in times of trouble. 

Significantly, the B’Tselem report has been published in the wake of two groundbreaking essays this past summer by influential American Jewish journalist Peter Beinart. In them, he broke a taboo in the US Jewish mainstream by declaring the two-state solution dead and calling for a single democratic state for Israelis and Palestinians.

It doubtless served as a wakeup call to Israeli groups such as B’Tselem that the conversation about Israel is moving on in the US and becoming much more polarised. Israeli human rights groups need to engage with this debate, not shy away from it.

Battle for equality

There is one possible lacuna in B’Tselem’s position. The report suggests a reticence to focus on outcomes. Nowhere is the two-state solution ruled out. Rather, the report notes: “There are various political paths to a just future.” Statements by El-Ad to Middle East Eye indicate that his organisation may still support a framework of international pressure for incremental, piecemeal change in Israeli policies that violate Palestinian human rights.Israeli settlers’ racism is not an aberration. It’s part of an apartheid systemRead More »

That is very much what western states, particularly Europe, have been paying lipservice to for decades, while Israeli apartheid has entrenched.

Does B’Tselem hope its apartheid criticisms will prove more effective than Barak and Olmert’s apartheid warnings, finally galvanising the international community into action to push for a Palestinian state? If so, Biden’s performance in office should soon dispel any such illusions. El-Ad observes that the goal now is “a rejection of supremacy, built on a commitment to justice and our shared humanity.” 

That cannot happen within the two-state framework, even on the untenable assumption that the international community ever seriously rallies behind Palestinian statehood, against Israel’s wishes. So why not say so explicitly? The best-case two-state scenarios on the table are for a tiny, divided, demilitarised, pseudo-Palestinian state with no control over its borders, airspace or electromagnetic frequencies.

That would not offer “justice” to Palestinians or recognise their “shared humanity” with Israeli Jews.

As welcome as the new report is, it is time for B’Tselem – as well as Palestinian solidarity activists who look to the organisation – to explicitly reject any reversion to a “peace process” premised on ending the occupation. The logic of an apartheid analysis needs to be followed to the very end. That requires unequivocally embracing a democratic single state guaranteeing equality and dignity for all.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

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Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine 31 December 2020 – 06 January 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine
31 December 2020 – 06 January 2021
  • Palestinian man killed near “Gush Etzion” Junction, southern Bethlehem, in an alleged stab attack
  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 30 Palestinians wounded, including 4 children and a paramedic
  • 9 IOF shootings reported at Palestinians and agricultural lands, and 3 times at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip
  • In 79 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 58 civilians arrested, including 11 children
  • Wide-scale land razing in the West Bank and 4050 trees uprooted; Bethlehem lands’ confiscation decision ratified
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: one house received evacuation order; 6 walls, a water well and a barracks demolished
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: 300 trees uprooted; civilians and their properties assaulted
  • IOF established 56 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 2 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints




Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. This week witnessed an escalation in settler attacks, mainly stone throwing at civilian houses and vehicles in the West Bank. Additionally, IOF demolitions of Palestinian homes and properties continued as part of Israel’s de facto annexation and under various pretexts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

This week, PCHR documented 189 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information contained in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed one Palestinian and wounded 30 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic in excessive use of force in the West Bank: ‘Ahed ‘Abed al-Rahman Mahmoud Qawqas Ekhlayl (25) from Hebron was killed on 05 January 2021 near “Gush Etzion” Junction in the southern parts of Bethlehem. IOF alleged the victim attempted to stab Israeli soldiers. Moreover, IOF wounded 14 Palestinians, including a child and a paramedic, in its oppression of a peaceful protest in Deir Jarir – Ramallah; 8 others sustained wounds in IOF attack on Kafr Qaddum weekly protest in Qalqilya; another child was injured in IOF attack on another protest in northern Qalqilya; and three sustained wounds, including a father and son, near the Annexation Wall in Jenin. Also, another Palestinian from Hebron was shot from a close distance by Israeli soldiers without any threat to their security; his injury resulted in complete paralysis.

In the Gaza Strip, 9 IOF shootings were reported at agricultural lands, and three times at fishing boats eastern and western Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 79 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 58 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 9 incidents, including:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: house floor self-demolished; evacuation decision issued against a house in Silwan; 6 walls, a well and a barracks were demolished in Anata.
  • Nablus: construction vehicle detained in Rujeib.
  • Salfit: 550 trees razed in Biddya; 300 dunums razed and 3500 trees uprooted in Deir Ballut.
  • Bethlehem: Israel ratifies land confiscation for settlement expansion; agricultural room demolished in al-Khader.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 16 settler-violence incidents:

  • Salfit: 300 trees uprooted, and a notice of land confiscation placed; sand and blocks put in a land in Deit Ballut.
  • Nablus: attacks on the streets and stones thrown at vehicles passing by the entrance of “Homesh” settlement; assaults with stones on civilian houses in Huwara where a Palestinian woman sustained wounds; attacks on Ramallah – Nablus road damaging a journalist’s vehicle; al-Khan area assaulted and an attempted confiscation of the area.
  • Qalqilya: attacks and stone throwing on the main street near Kafr Qaddum.
  • Hebron: civilians and farmers assaulted in southern Yatta.
  • Bethlehem: sewage water flooded lands in Husan village on wide-scale.

 Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

      I. Shootings and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
  • At approximately 13:45 on Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Abu Safiyia area, northeast of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the border area; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 15:45, IOF stationed in the memorial site, southeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at the border area, causing fear among Palestinian farmers; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 01:40 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stoned and empty bottles at Israeli vehicles. Israeli soldiers stepped out of the military vehicles, stationed between residential houses and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at stone-throwers. As a result, many of Palestinian young men suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Clashes continued until 03:00 and IOF withdrew later; no raids to houses were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 11:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Deir Jarir village council, northeast of Ramallah, in the center of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in the area, towards lands under the threat of confiscation and in protest to the establishment of new settlement outposts in al-Shurfa area, where Israeli settlers set up a tent and conducted excavation works on the village’s agricultural lands. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlers, annexation wall and deal of the century. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. The protestors performed the Friday prayer on the lands under the threat of confiscation while Israeli soldiers surrounding them. Following the Friday prayer, the protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 14 protestors, including a paramedic and a child, were wounded; 2 were shot with rubber bullets, while the rest sustained teargas canisters shrapnel wounds and received treatment on the spot. The wounded were:
  • The paramedic Ahmed Mohammed ‘Alawi (25), shot with a rubber bullet in his foot;
  • A 20-year-olf male, shot with a rubber bullet in his head.

Both of them were taken to Silwad Medical Center for treatment. Also, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.

  • Around the same time, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in the eastern outskirts of Kafr Malik village, near ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, northeast of Ramallah. The Palestinian young men threw stones at IOF stationed at the entrance to ‘Ein al-Samiyia area, which is closed with sand berms. IOF fired heavy sound bombs and teargas canister at the stone-throwers and chased them between agricultural fields. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation; no arrests among them were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinian young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 8 protestors, including 2 children, were shot with rubber bullets and another protestor was shot with a teargas canister.
  • At approximately 13:30, Haroun Rasmi Yousef Abu ‘Arram (23), was shot with a live bullet in his neck from the left side by an Israeli soldier when he attempted to prevent IOF from confiscating an electric generator in Kherbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta city, south of Hebron. According to investigations conducted by PCHR’s fieldworker, at approximately 13:00 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbet al-Rakiz, east of Yatta City, south of Hebron, and stationed near Ashraf Khalil Abu ‘Arram’s (39) house. The Israeli Civil Administration officers raided and a searched a cave, where Abu ‘Arram lives, in addition to a tin-plate barrack used for breeding livestock.

The Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated an electric generator and other tools. When Abu ‘Arram attempted to stop them, an Israeli Civil Administration officer beat him with a gun butt in the left side of his head , pushed him to the ground and kicked him in his back and abdomen. In the meantime, Rasmi Yousef Abu ‘Arram, who lives 150 meters away, arrived at the area and intervened to prevent the Civil Administration officers from confiscated the electric generator, but they assaulted him and pushed him to the ground. Meanwhile, Haroun’s brother also arrived at the area on the same time and attempted to help his father and withdraw the generator. The hand-to-hand combat continued for 3 minutes, during which, an Israeli soldier fired 2 live bullets from 2 meters distance; a live bullet wounded Haroun in his neck, so he fell on the ground. Haroun’s mother and father started to scream, meanwhile, Ashraf quickly drove his relative vehicle in order to take Haroun to a medical center in Yatta city. In the meantime, an Israeli soldier opened fire at the vehicle and punctured its rear tires. Al-Tawana villagers arrived at the area and IOF fired live bullets at them, forcing them to flee. The al-Tawana villagers managed to take Haroun via a vehicle which passed on al-Tawana village road. When they arrived at al-Karmil village intersection, Israeli soldiers attempted to stop them, but the vehicle’s driver did not obey the soldiers’ orders. Haroun arrived at a medical center in al-Karmil village, where he received first aid. After that, Haroun was transferred via an ambulance to Abu al-Hasan al-Qasem Hospital in Yatta city and was admitted to the emergency department at 15:30. The doctors stopped the bleeding and referred him to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). According to medical sources at al-Ahli Hospital, Haroun was shot with a live bullet in the left side of his neck, causing fractures and laceration in his backbone. Haroun’s four limbs are paralyzed.

  • At approximately 14:25, IOF stationed at “Eyal Crossing”, which is established in northern Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased the young men, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canister at them; a 15-year-old child was shot with a rubber bullet in his right foot.
  • At approximately 20:10, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Islamic Shuhada Cemetery, and off Abu Safiyia area in eastern and northeastern Jabalia refugee camp, opened sporadic fire at the border area and fired flare bombs in the sky; no causalities or material damage were reported.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuzaʽa village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Sinjil village, north of Ramallah, and stationed in the western neighborhood. IOF pushed Maher Ahmed ‘Awashrah (10) while he was on his way to the market. As a result, he sustained bruises in his back and neck and received treatment in a medical center in Turmus Ayya village.
  • At approximately 20:25, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, and off al-SudaniyiaShore, west of Jabalia refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them and fired flare bombs in the sky, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Tulkarm, chased stone-throwers and fired sound bombs at them. IOF also raided Dr. Thabet Hospital at 03:10 and fired sound bombs in the hospital, under the pretext that the stone-throwers were hiding there, causing fear among patients, their companions and medical staff. The Palestinian Ministry of Health stated that IOF raided the mentioned hospital and fired 4 sound bombs inside it; a sound bomb in the reception and 3 others in the emergency yard, causing fear and panic among the patients, especially children and elderlies. The ministry emphasized that 81 patients are receiving treatment at the hospital, including 10 premature babies in the nursery department, 5 children in the pediatrics department, 7 patients in the ICU, 13 patients in the obstetrics department, in addition to 39 medical and health staff.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. IOF were deployed in the camp and patrolled its streets. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at IOF, who fired sound bombs, teargas canisters, rubber bullets at the protestors and clashed with them. As a result, a 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his leg, and a 23-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh. Both of them were taken to Jericho Governmental Hospital.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Maghazi and Bureij refugee camps, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:50, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles, opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed near the annexation wall, near al-Mariha and Daher al-‘Abed villages, west of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin, opened fire at Palestinian workers who attempted to enter Israel via the annexation wall halls. As a result, 3 civilians, including a father and his son, were wounded and taken to Dr. Khalil Suliman Governmental Hospital in Jenin.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into al-Dawara area, east of Sa’ir village, north of Hebron. IOF were deployed between residential houses. After that, they indiscriminately fired sound bombs at Palestinians’ houses, under the pretext that they were exposed to stone-throwing. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. At 20:30, IOF withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF indiscriminately fired teargas canisters at Palestinians’ houses in al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, under the pretext that a military watchtower established adjacent to the camp’s entrance was exposed to stone-throwing. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 23:45, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, southeast of Beit Hanoun, east and northeast of Jabalia refugee camp, opened heavy fire at border area; no causalities or damage were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched ‘Abed al-Rahman Mohammed Jawabra’s (62) house in ‘Ereq al-Latoun area and withdrew later. No arrests were reported. During IOF withdrawal from the village, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. A number of Israeli soldiers stepped out of the vehicles and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at the stone-throwers. At approximately 03:00, IOF withdrew from the village.
  • At approximately 11:00, dozens of Palestinians and foreigner activists organized a peaceful protest in lands under the threat of confiscation in al-Jomjoma area, east of Halhul city, north of Hebron. The activists brought olive seedlings and planted them. Meanwhile, IOF arrived at the area and fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. As a result, many protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF also uprooted the olive seedlings, declared the area as a closed military zone and threatened to arrest anyone present in the area. It should be noted that the protest was organized after an Israeli settler set up a tent in al-Jomjoma area a week ago.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed near “Gush Etzion” intersection, south of Bethlehem, killed ‘Ahed ‘Abed al-Rahman Mahmoud Qawqas Ekhlayl (25), from Hebron, with several live bullets under the pretext that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. IOF stated that Ekhlayl approached a checkpoint, where a number of Israeli soldiers stationed, in front of “Gush Etzion” petrol station, and carried an ax. IOF also claimed that when they ordered him to stop, he refused, so IOF opened fire at him. IOF in its statement stated that: “ there was an attempt to carry out a stabbing attack near “Gush Etzion” intersection, and the suspect was neutralized.” In addition, Israeli media claimed that another young man was accompanied Ekhlayl, but he managed to escape. It should be noted that Israeli authorities did not publish any video to prove their claims or to show the threat that Ekhlayl posed to the soldiers, especially that “Gush Etzion” intersection is a fortified area, full of advanced surveillance cameras and military watchtowers, and settlement guards are heavily deployed in it. Israel Hayom Newspaper published that the settlement guard opened fire at Ekhlayl. PCHR’s staff continue to investigate the incident, as no Palestinian eyewitnesses were available so far.
  • PCHR also notes that the soldiers could use less lethal force against Ekhlayl such as wounding or arresting him instead of killing him, because he was walking on his feet and did not have a firearm. Following the incident, IOF closed the main street (367), which connects between Bethlehem and Hebron, and established many checkpoints in “Gush Etzion” intersection, causing jam traffic. It should be noted that Ekhlayl was a resident of Safa area in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, and he had opened a sweets shop in the village less than a month ago. IOF summoned his father and uncles to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service “Shin Bet” for investigation.
  • At approximately 14:35 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF stationed in (16) military site, northeast of Beit Hanoun village, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee; no causalities or damage were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Bureij refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF moved into Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Ramallah. They were deployed between residential houses. In the meantime, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who chased the stone-throwers and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 20-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot and was treated on the spot. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 14:35, IOF stationed in a military site (16), northeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at Palestinian shepherds who approached the fence, causing fear among them and forcing them to flee. No casualties of material damage were reported.




       II. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 31 December 2020:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Qalqilya and Kafr Thulth, east of Qalqilya, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fo’ad Na’eem Jitawi (22), and Omar Ayman Shawahna (19).
  • At approximately 02:55, IOF moved into Nur Shams refugee camp and Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Oday Samer Jaber (23), who is a former prisoner, Sa’eed Izzat Jaber (22), and Ahmed Tareq al-Nimri (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Dheesha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians after beaten them. The arrestees are: Ibrahim Munir Arafa (26), Haidar Izzat Abu Dayya (23), and Ahmed Tawfiq Tayeh (33).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Ahmed Rebhi al-Haremi’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah, and stationed at al-Iskan street. They deployed between civilians’ houses, while dozens of soldiers stormed a 4-storey building, included 6 apartments, and stormed and searched Omar Abdul Raheem al-Barghouthi’s (29) apartment, which is in the ground floor, and arrested him. IOF also raided and searched the houses of Ali al-Ka’ba and Mohannad al-Rayyan.

Haya al-Barghouthi, Omar’s cousin, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

My husband and I woke up to loud noise in our building; we went out of our apartment to see a number of the Israeli soldiers and border guards in the third floor with the building owner, Shadi. They were shouting loudly “where is al-Barghouthi”, and asked Shadi about Omar’s apartment, and headed there, immediately detonating the front door. Omar lived alone, as his wife was travelling abroad. I asked the soldiers to go and wake Omar up, but they refused and stormed his apartment and started beating him and insulting him, then they handcuffed him and took him to their military vehicle. At approximately 08:00, Saif, Omar’s brother, received a phone call from an Israeli Intelligence Services’ officer, and told him that Omar is in a critical health condition and he was taken to Hadassah Medical Center in Israel, and that the soldiers hit him on his head and all over his body, which caused wounds, bruises, and loss of consciousness”.

  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Ummar, Hebron, Sa’eer, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 01 January 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Eyad Hasan Abu Obaid’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Khalil Mo’een Fawzi Mousa (27), from Qaryut village, southeast of Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF arrested Eyad Mohammed al-Jo’ba (27), while present near al-Silsila gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • In the evening hours, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Deir Istiya, north of Salfit. They took the measures of the location and withdrew.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Tarqumiyah and al-Shuyukh in Hebron governorate; Haris village, north of Salfit; Kafr Laqif, Sir and Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 02 January 2021:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Zububa village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Suliman Amarna (19).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron, and stationed at al-Harayiq area. They raided and searched Tareq Anwar Da’eis’s (41) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF stationed at “Eyal” military checkpoint, established in the north of Qalqilya, arrested Ahmed Mahmoud Ayyash (16) and Anis Mohammed Abu Tayba (17).
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Yousef Alaa al-Haddad’s (11) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to ‘Ammar Mahmoud Thawabta (15) and Ahmed Jamal Taqateqa (16) and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Halhul, Beit Kahil, and Nuba villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 03 January 2021:

  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Jaba’ village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Mohammed Alawna (21).
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Diya’ Mohammed Obaid’s (15) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF reinforced with dozens of military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah governorate, after throwing stones at an Israeli settler’s car in the street adjacent to “Halamish” settlement, where the settler suffered serious wounds, according to the Israeli media. However, the Israeli vehicles, IOF, the border guards and the Israeli infantry units surrounded the village and closed the main and western entrances of the village. IOF fired sound bombs and teargas canisters, causing fear and panic among civilians. Meanwhile, they raided and searched dozens of houses and arrested (20) civilians including two children in the main street and detain them for 3 consecutive hours under the investigation. Lately, IOF released 17 civilians while kept the two children and the young man under arrest and took them to an unknown destination. The arrestees are: Sajed Abdul Ghani al-Khateeb (17), Mohammed Kheir al-Tamimi (17), and Osama Firas al-Tamimi (18), who is a student at Birzeit University. IOF established a tent near the main entrance and confiscated all the surveillances cameras of the houses and stores.
  • At approximately 18:00, the Israeli bulldozer combed al-Ein land, near “Wad Rayya”, adjacent to the village, they raided and searched several houses and continued closing the entrances and some streets, then stormed the village and the houses again until Monday’s evening, 04 January 2021.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazan (25), and his brother, Islam Kamel Abu Shamla (18).
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Sanniriya and Azun, east of Qalqilya; Sa’ir, Bani Na’im, Samu and Dura, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 04 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Surif, west of Hebron. They raided and searched two houses and arrested Hadi Mahmoud Ghunaimat (30), and Fadi Mousa Ghunaimat (29).
  • Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians; Hussam Hasan Abu Hussain (32), Miqdad Abdullah al-Qawasmah (38), Abdul Aziz Abu Sunaina (34), and Mohammed Hamed al-Rajabi (29).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Nablus, from its southern side, Jabal al-Tur, north of the West Bank, and stationed at Nablus’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Alaa Nidal Abu Shamla (25).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Jannata village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Abdul Rahman Sa’eed al-‘Arouj’s (31) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Jericho. They raided and searched Hasan Shaker Ballou’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians including a child; Abdul Rahman al-Bashiti (16), Zakariya al-Bakry (19), and Mustafa Abu Sunaina (18).
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians, including a child; Hamza Abu Ghannam (19), Fadi Abu Ghannam (17), and Mohammed Abu Sbaitan (22).
  • IOF carried out (1) incursion in Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, in the western side of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 05 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Eyas Hussain Obaid’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus, entering it from the northern side by checkpoint (17), and stationed in Baker street and Kallet al-Amud neighborhood, northeast of the village. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yaser al-Madmouj (28), and took him to Millennium Technology Company, where he works. It should be noted that the company’s owner was arrested on 21 December 2020.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Tulkarm refugee camp. They raided and searched Ra’ed Mohammed Qawzah’s (50) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Zeita Jamma’in village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Zakariya Ahmed Rayyan (51) and Jom’a Mahmoud Ramadan (53).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Batin al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Harbi Abdul Samea’ Abu Subaih (43) and his brother, Wajdi (39), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF stationed on the main entrance to Nabi Saleh village arrested Ahmed al-Rimawy (32) and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses, only 3 of the houses were identified; Oday al-Shahrouri, Munir and his brother Omar Foqaha, and interrogated the civilians, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Mohammed Sami al-Fakhouri’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:30, IOF signed to guard the annexation wall west of Rummanah village, west of Jenin, arrested Kareem Ahmed al-‘Ammour (28), while present near the wall. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into ‘Anin village, west of Jenin. They threatened to destroy and set fire to street carts that were previously served removal notices.
  • IOF carried out 2 incursions in Deir Ballut and Sarta in western Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 06 January 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus, from its eastern entrance. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Subhi Tabanja (38), from Khallat al-‘Amud, southeast of Nablus; and Omar Eyad Staitiya (26), from Zawata village, west of Nablus.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beita, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yousef Musbah Abu Mazen (23), a water technician employee in Beita municipality.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Beit Kahil in northern Hebron and raided Mohammed Assafra’s (30) house. They searched and ransacked through the house before arresting Assafra and taking him with them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-‘Alqa al Fawqa, southern Hebron and raided Ahmed Dodeen’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Deir Nidham village, northwest of Ramallah. They deployed between civilians houses, raided and searched Ragheb Mohammed al-Tamimi’s (18) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF reinforced with several military and construction vehicles moved 100 meters into Al Fukhkhari, eastern Khan Younis. They razed the area for hours and then withdrew.
III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF accompanied with military bulldozers moved into Khelet ‘Elian in Biddya village, west of Salfit. IOF started leveling 550 fruitful trees and retaining walls as well as the fence wires surrounding the land belonging to the heirs of Yousef Salim, ‘Abdel Rahim Salim and Mohammed Salim.

The landowners said that land razing had wiped off the agricultural field that was funded by the International Relief, inflecting a loss of ILS 300,000.  It should be noted that that was the second time the project was destroyed, and the trees uprooted.

Youssef Kamel Youssef Salamah said that:

“IOF moved into the area and closed the entrances, denying citizens and journalists’ access to it.  IOF leveled all the olive, almond, grape and fig trees my cousins and I had planted in a joint project funded by the International Relief.  The uprooted  trees included around 250 olive trees, 100 grapevines, 100 almond trees and 100 fig trees.  We also bought huge amount of sand and brought workers and vehicles to work in the land.”

  • On Saturday morning, 02 January 2021, Amjad Ja’abees self-demolished a concrete slab he built on his land in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and removed the steel-wired fence surrounding the land, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Ja’abees said that last October, he established a concrete slab as a prelude to build a small house on a plot of land he inherited from his family in Jabel Mukaber village.  Ja’abees added that the Israeli Municipality instantly warned him to self-demolish the slab and remove the fence surrounding his land.  However, when he did not obey, the Municipality handed him an administrative decision signed by the Israeli Ministry of Interior regarding the slab and gave him only 7 days to implement the decision; otherwise, the Municipality crews will carry out the demolition and fine him with the costs.  Ja’abees said that the Israeli Municipality previously reject his request for the land use regulation and to have construction license, and this applies to all the surrounding plots of land in the area.

  • On Sunday morning, 03 January 2021, the High Planning Council (HPC) ratified confiscation of Land plots in different areas of Bethlehem to allocate them to settlements.

Hasan Breijiyah, Head of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission in Bethlehem said that the Israeli authorities had ratified the allocation of the following land plots for settlement expansion: Land plot no. (8) in al-Shefa and Wad al-Hendi areas in al-Khader village; Land plot no. (1) in Artas village; Land plot no. (4) in ‘Arab Ta’amra and Land plot no. (5) in al-Morouj area.  Breijiyah added that in the morning IOF handed ‘Ali Salim Mousa from al-Khader village a notice to stop construction works in Jabel Abu Sodah area allegedly for being located in an archaeological area.

  • In the afternoon, IOF handed Nizam Abu Romouz a decision to vacate his family house in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in favor of settlers.

Abu Romouz Family said that the evacuation decision was issued in absentee in 2016 when court hearings were held in absentee to deliberate the status of the estate without notifying or summoning the family to attend the court or even handing them any judicial notices in this regard.  The family added that the court fined them ILS 7,000 for the court and the settlers’ lawyer fees.  The family also said that they will file an urgent appeal to the District Court’s evacuation decision, denying receiving any judicial notice to seize the land where the estate is established.  It should be noted that the family estate is comprised of 3 floors and shelters 3 families.  The estate is within the “Ateret Cohanim” settlement organization’s plans to seize 5 dunums and 200 sqm from the Central quarter in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood under the pretext of being a Jewish ownership since 1881 as ruled by the Israeli Supreme Court.  It is also noteworthy that 87 families live in the plot of land under the threat of confiscation and evacuation.

  • On Monday morning, 04 January 2021, IOF demolished 6 fences, a water well and an agricultural barrack in ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Mayor of ‘Anata village, Taha al-Refa’ie, stated that the Israeli Municipality’s vehicles started demolishing a fence belonging to Mohammed al-Bayaa’ and another fence as well as a 40 sqm agricultural barrack and a water well belonging to Jamal ‘Alqam in al-Nejmah neighborhood in eastern ‘Anata near the industrial area.  The demolition came after a week of handing both civilians  demolition notices allegedly for unlicensed construction. Al-Refa’ie added that the Municipality crews demolished 3 more fences in al-Rahinah area belonging to Isma’il Shihah, ‘Othman Abu ‘Omer, Rami Hamdan, and Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim and another belonging to Mohammed Helwah in al-Thaher area.  Al-Refa’ie said that the Municipality crews distributed many demolition notices in the nearby area and withdrew.

  • In the same morning, IOF demolished an agricultural room belonging to Lutfi Salah in al-Khader village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Salah said that an Israeli military force raided his land and demolished the room and confiscated its contents, including chairs and water tanks used for irrigation.  Salah added that the demolition was carried out without any prior notification, noting that such tin-roofed rooms do not need a license as it is used for agricultural and storing purposes.

  • At approximately 11:30 on Tuesday, 05 January 2020, IOF accompanied with a Civil Administration SUV moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus, northern West Bank.  They confiscated a bulldozer belonging to Majed Ibrahim ‘Abed Dweikat while working in an under-construction house in Khelet Rajeh area, northeast of Rujeib village, and arrested the driver.  IOF took the driver and the bulldozer to “Huwara” military camp, southeast of Nablus, and later released the driver but kept the bulldozer under custody allegedly for illegal construction work in Area C.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF backed by 8 bulldozers and tens of SUVs and trucks moved into  Khalet al-‘Abhar Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit, where part of the annexation wall is established on its lands.  IOF leveled a vacant area; around 200 dunums and 3400 olive and olive trees and grapevines planted 5-10 years ago.  IOF also seized a large number of trees after uprooting them.  These leveled lands belong to ‘Ezat Mousa, heirs of Husni ‘Issa Mousa and ‘Abdullah Mousa. 

IOF also handed 5 new notices to the nearby lands’ owners to vacate them as a prelude to confiscate them in favor of settlement expansion.

While land-razing, IOF attacked and beat up the owners of the leveled lands, including Mohammed Husni Mousa and ‘Aisha ‘Abdullah Mousa.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • On Thursday morning, 31 December 2020, a group of settlers from “Rafafa”  attacked a plot of land belonging to the head of the village council, ‘Omer Samarah,  in al-Ta’erat area in Haris village, north of Salfit.  The settlers uprooted around 300 olive trees planted on an area of 14 dunums 14 years ago, without any prior warning.  They also left a notice in a plot of land belonging to Khaled Mohammed ‘Ali Shamlawi in the same area, saying that this land is owned by the state and giving the owners 45 days to appeal.
  • At approximately 20:00 on Thursday, 31 December 2020, settlers rioted at the entrance of “Homish” settlement that was vacated in 2005 and established on the lands of Burqa and Silat ad-Dhahr villages, northwest of Nablus.  They also threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Jenin Street, but no damage was reported.
  • At approximately 21:55 on the same day, a group of settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement established on Nablus lands threw stones at civilian houses in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus.  As a result, Mo’ataz ‘Ezat Qasrawi’s house windows were broken and his wife, Lina Hasan ‘Awad ‘Odah (34) was injured with a stone in her right leg when she was in her bedroom in the first floor of the 2-storey house while her 4 children and husband were in the second floor of the house. 
  • At approximately 22:00, settlers from ” Shiloh” and “Eli” settlement established on the villages of Qaryout and al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling on Nablus-Ramallah Street.  As a result, a car belonging to Salim ‘Abdel ‘Aziz Salim Bsharat, Palestine TV photojournalist in Tubas, sustained damage; the right door window and mirror were broken while the front and right side sustained damage.
  • On Friday morning, 01 January 2021, settlers from “Leshem” settlement attacked a plot of land belonging to Ya’qoub Hadrous in Khelet Mathar area in Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.  The settler added tons of sand piles on the land, burying the olive trees there, without any prior notice or warning.

‘Omer Ya’qoub Hadrous said that:

“On Friday morning, we found settlers from Leshem settlement transferring piles of sand into my land in Khelet Mathar area, east of Deir Ballut village. We informed the Liaison, and the settlement guardian came after we refused what was going on.  He told the workers who were transferring the piles, “wait until I make a phone call to know if this land belongs to the state or what.”  He made the phone call and immediately ordered them to stop the transfer into this land because it belongs to ‘Omer and not a state property. This talk occurred after they completely covered the land with around 1.5 meter sand and construction remnants, and even if I cleaned it, the land won’t return as it was because it was all ruined.  This means that all the olives were damaged and the land as well.”

  • At approximately 16:55 on Friday, 01 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Shvut Rachel” settlement established on the lands of southeastern al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village  attacked and tried to seize al-Khan area.  A number of citizens immediately gathered and throw stones at the settlers to force them to go back.  It should be noted that al-Khan is an ottoman site which IOF has been trying to seize for a while.
  • At approximately 18:30, a group of settlers from “Kedumim” settlement gathered on the main street near Kafr Qaddum village in Qalqilya.  They threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling in the area and closed the main street connecting Qalqilya with Nablus to perform religious rituals in the area.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Saturday, 02 January 2021, a group of settlers from ” Beit Yatir” and “Susya” settlements attacked members of al-Nawaj’ah family while plowing their land in Um Lakhous area, south of Yatta, southern Hebron.  The settlers attempted to stop the tractors despite the Israeli court’s decision to prevent settlers from entering that land.  Clashes occurred between the settlers and citizens while IOF patrols and Israeli Civil Administration crews arrived to force settlers leaving the land.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 03 January 2021, a group of settlers from the Israeli “Hilltop Youth” group called for protests at the intersections of the main streets  used by the Palestinians.  An hour later, large groups of settlers gathered at the intersections of Adam, northeastern Jerusalem; “Yitsahar” and “Ma’ale Efrayim”, southwestern Nablus; Bypass 60 Ofra; “Pisgat Yahuda” Street on Ramallah-Nablus Street, “Nof Hasharon” settlement; Jit Sarra, southwestern Nablus; and “Shiloh” and “Eli” settlements, southeastern Nablus.  The settler rioted at the intersections and threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles traveling there.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, 04 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Brukhin” settlement moved into Sarta village, west of Salfit.  They threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles and houses, breaking windows of cars belonging to Sa’id Sarsour, Mukhtar ‘Abdullah Sarsour, Mustafa Ibrahim al-Khatib, Mohammed Hisham Sarsour and Ma’zouz Sarsour.  Moreover, wheels belonging of a bulldozer belonging to Youssef Mohammed al-Khatib were punctured.
  • In the morning, settlers from “Beitar Illit” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of Husan, Nahalin and Wadi Fukin villages, southwest Bethlehem, flooded sewage into vacant areas of lands in Husan village, west of the city. 

Husan Village Council stated that settlers flooded sewage into vacant areas of lands planted with grapevines and olive trees, inflecting huge losses and damage in these lands.  The Council added that such attacks are constant as settlers often pump wastewater into Palestinian-owned lands in the villages of Husan, Jab’a, Nahalin and Wadi Fukin.

  • At approximately 19:00, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered on Street no. (1) in central occupied East Jerusalem and closed it, starting to attack Palestinian vehicles and passers-by.

Eyewitnesses said that settlers closed the abovementioned street and nearby Musrara Street and set fire to tires.  They then threw stones at passers-by and Palestinian vehicles, causing damage to them.

  • At approximately 20:00, settlers from “Hilltop Youth” group rioted the streets and threw stones at different intersections, particularly Soliman al-Faresi “Yitzhar” intersection in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus (the entrance to Yitzhar); Beit El Camp Road; Route 60 between Hizma and Jaba’ on Ramallah-Nablus Highway; and al-Nabi Younis intersection in Hebron.
  • At approximately 22:00, dozens of Israeli settlers on Jerusalem-Hebron Street protested near Gush Etzion settlement intersection for the third week consecutively.

Eyewitnesses said that settlers under IOF protection raised slogans calling for Arabs to leave and closed the main streets before Palestinian vehicles.  The settlers threw stones at the vehicles, causing severe damage to them.

  • At approximately 19:00 on Tuesday, 05 January 2021, a group of settlers from “Hilltop Youth” group rioted and threw stones at different intersections, particularly at the entrance to Homish settlement on Jenin-Nablus Road, northwest of Nablus; Soliman al-Faresi “Yitzhar” intersection in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus (the entrance to Yitzhar); Za’atara checkpoint intersection; at the entrance to “Shilo” settlement, southeast of Nablus; Kedumim intersection and completely closed it, southeast of Qalqiliya; and at the entrance to Jurat ash-Sham’a village between “Efrat” settlement and Teqoa on Hebron Road. However, no injuries were reported.
  • On Wednesday morning, 06 January 2021, settlers from “Amihai” settlement established on Jalud village, southeast of Nablus, uprooted and stole 150 olive seedlings from Mahmoud Fawzi Haj Mohammed’s land in Ma’aser Ghzayel area, 100 meters away from the abovementioned settlement.
 IV. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals 56 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance to Ofra settlement, which is established in northeast of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Taybeh village.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF closed Wadi al-Dalb road, which leads to Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. IOF also established a checkpoint at the main entrance to the village. They also closed the metal detector gate established at the entrance to Aboud village and established a military checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of Shuqba village and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of the city.
  • IOF established three military checkpoints on the northern and southern Jericho entrances, and on al-Mo’arajat road intersection.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint near Um al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Jala village, at the western entrance to Tuqu village and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area, leading to Bethlehem’s western villages.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, in Kermizan area in Beit Jala village and near Um al-Nashnash intersection, south of the city.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho for 5 consecutive hours.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho, at the entrance to Al-Auja village, and on al-Mo’arajat road (connecting between Jericho and Ramallah).
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village, north of the city.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement and at the entrance to Beita village, southeast of Nablus.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement and at al-Moraba’a intersection.

Tubas:

  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in al-Me’yar area, east of ‘Atouf village, southeast of Tubas.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Yatta city and at the entrance to as-Samu village.
  • On Saturday, 02 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa and Idhna villages, at the northern entrance to Halhul city, and at the southern and western entrances to Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021. IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Halhul city and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, Sa’ir and Jalajel villages, at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp, and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Tuesday, 05 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Hebron and at the entrances to as-Samu and Beit Ummar villages.
  • On Wednesday, 06 January 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, and at the entrances to ad-Dhahiriya and Beit Kahil villages.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 31 December 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr Laqif and Azzun villages, at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya, and at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 01 January 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.
  • On Sunday, 03 January 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun and to Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Monday, 04 January 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Kafr ad-Dik, Kifl_Haris, Rafat amd Qarawat_Bani_Hassan villages.

Will the Deal of Century include Indonesia?

Source

January 9, 2021 – 12:59

Over the past half a century, presidents of the United States have regularly assured American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at annual meetings of Washington’s commitment to the Zionist regime’s values. To that effect, efforts to help the Zionist regime reach sustainable security constitute a principled policy of Washington.

Nonetheless, under President Donald Trump, these efforts were significantly different. By signing the “Deal of the Century” before cameras, Trump pretended to be a pragmatic president with regard to the security of Israel through mediating peace between Israel and Muslim nations. He had from the very beginning focused specifically on a handful of Muslim nations. 

Shortly after signing the Deal of the Century, Trump delivered on his pledge. He officially gave the go-ahead to the process of normalizing ties between Muslim nations and the Zionist regime. 

From the day the Deal of the Century was signed until normalization agreements between the Zionist regime and several Muslim nations, an opportunity might have been provided to assess the public opinion in these countries and of course the firm determination of their governments for normalizing ties in view of the materialization of the “Deal of the Century” project initiated by the U.S.

Currently, despite sporadic oppositions across the Muslim world, the Deal of the Century project has taken some steps forward. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Morocco are the three Muslim nations that have normalized relations with the Quds occupying regime. However, we have to look into the future of the Deal of the Century.

The Republic of Indonesia is the largest Muslim world and the third biggest democracy in the world. After living for centuries under occupation, colocalization, and exploitation by the Dutch, the Japanese, and the Americans, Indonesia is close to marking the 75th anniversary of its independence.

Living under colonialism, the Indonesian youth sacrificed their lives to achieve independence in 1945. That taught Indonesian Muslims helpful lessons which are symbolized in the country’s Constitution and more importantly in Indonesia’s five major principles. 
Now we intend to test the waters for Indonesia to see if it can join the Deal of the Century and sign normalization or peace deals with the Zionist regime.

Colonialism yoke

A flashback to the black period of colonialism in Indonesia can serve as the first clue to this enigma. The history of the Kingdom of Srivijaya in Indonesia was millennia-old. Alas, it was seized in the 15th century by the Portuguese. Two centuries later, Britain and the Netherlands dominated Indonesia, leaving tragic disasters behind. That was when Indonesia was renamed the East Indian Company. 

History witnesses that the Dutch spilled too much blood in Indonesia to establish their own regime there. Badung, Bali, and Java still remember the horrible Dutch massacre of Indonesians with no mercy for women and children. After the Netherlands, Japan occupied Indonesia while World War II was underway. Then, it was the Americans’ turn to run Indonesian affairs following their victory in the war.  

Although the U.S. dominance of Indonesia was short-lived and the country braced for independence, the U.S. maintained its secret clout with Indonesia’s policy, which resulted in the mass deaths of three million Indonesians under the pretext of a Communist coup. 
Recently declassified CIA documents show that the intelligence agency was, directly and indirectly, involved in the coup and the subsequent carnage of Indonesians. 

It may be said that Indonesia is a large country in the world to have felt the life under occupation and suffered massive deaths committed by colonialist powers.

That is exactly why from the very outset of the Indonesian National Revolution, independence leaders pursued the five basic principles of Indonesia’s independence as the most significant independence document and future strategy for the country, calling for just life for all human communities.   

Pancasila, political philosophy of Indonesia 

As soon as Indonesia declared independence, the country faced serious political tumults. In 1998 Indonesians had to adopt fundamental reforms, known as reformasi. The reformasi brought once more Pancasila to the fore and resulted in a more forceful implementation of Indonesia’s Constitution. 

In fact, reformasi laid emphasis on major and principled policy lines of Indonesia and their implementation by people, a policy line whose main focal point was administration of justice in all human communities and clear dismissal of colonialism and exploitation all across the globe. 

Indonesian governments have since remained faithful to Pancasila and the Constitution. Wherever people have seen any non-compliance with laws they have taken action against their governments. 

Independent foreign policy  

“Independence is the right of every nation. Occupation must be abolished in the world because it does not comply with humanity and justice.” That is how Indonesia’s Constitution begins. Therefore, Indonesia has always pursued an independent line vis-à-vis colonial issues in the world because it is a founding nation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and has always adopted a principled and anti-occupation position vis-à-vis the Zionists’ occupation of Palestine. 

This political line is symbolized in the Indonesian governments’ treatment of the Quds occupying regime. Prior to adoption of reformasi and several years after, the Indonesian government maintained low-level political ties with the Zionist regime without recognizing it. The Indonesian government’s stance against the Zionist regime’s inhumane behaviors came to the limelight after it organized its domestic policy and embraced action on the global scale. 

The administration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) from 2004 to 2014 adopted very tough stance against the Zionists. That is while Indonesia has always faced harsh criticism from the U.S. because of its anti-Zionist stance. On the other hand, Indonesia’s anti-colonialist policy has not been limited to condemnations and political statements. Indonesia has largely helped residents of Gaza and the West Bank. Construction of several hospitals in Palestine, funded by Indonesian government and charities, is a case in point. 
Under President Joko Widodo, Indonesia has pushed ahead with its anti-colonialist policy – as stipulated in the Constitution – since 2014.

Countering Israeli aggression in return for strained ties  

Indonesia has hitherto paid a heavy price because of its faithfulness to the Palestinian cause and its efforts to resolve the issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At political forums and the UN General Assembly, it openly opposed the U.S.’s declaration of al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist regime.

Indonesia’s adoption of an independent policy and support for Palestinian people has not pleased some nations, particularly Australia, leading to a verbal row between the two nations. Indonesia even threatened to sever ties with Australia, saying supporting the Palestinian cause was a principled policy of Indonesia and objecting to Indonesia’s pro-Palestine policy amounted to interference with its domestic affairs. 

Will the Deal of Century reach Indonesia?

In light of the Indonesian Muslims’ support for the Palestinian cause and objection to the Zionist regime’s occupation as well as crimes committed by the regime in Gaza and the West Bank, the issue of normalization of ties between Indonesia and the Zionist regime seems to have no real standing and is just mere speculation. Economically known as the Tiger of Southeast Asia, Indonesia does not depend on the so-called American-Zionist aid. Furthermore, the Indonesian government has shown that it would not shy away from paying any price to support Palestine in line with its Constitution. To that effect, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman recently dismissed any plan for resumption of ties with the Zionist regime or any proposal for the recognition of Israel.

Facts on the Ground – The Trial of Issa Amro, Palestinian Resistance, the Death of the Two-States Myth — Miko Peled

Facts on the Ground invite Miko to discuss the ongoing trial and persecution of Palestinian activist, Issa Amro, as well as the greater context of Palestinian resistance and a whole lot more.

Facts on the Ground – The Trial of Issa Amro, Palestinian Resistance, the Death of the Two-States Myth — Miko Peled

“Forbidden Weapons” Used Against Gaza Strip Palestinians. Israel Deliberately Targets Palestinian Civilians

By Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh

Global Research, January 08, 2021

The following research article will explore three forbidden weapons that were and are still being used against the Palestinian civilians of the besieged Gaza Strip. These weapons are the DIME, the Flechette Shells and the Vacuum Bomb. Furthermore, this research article will attempt to answer an important question: Why does Israel deliberately target Palestinian civilians?

The DIME Components

DIME shell stands for Dense Inert Metal Explosives, is supposedly a “low collateral damage” weapon that was developed by the US Air Force.[1] Already in 2006, the DIME weapon has been used by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. It has been dropped by Israeli drone aircraft.[2]

It should be pointed out that the chemical components of the DIME shell could not have become known to Palestinian physicians because Israel had destroyed Gaza’s only criminal laboratory on June 27, 2006, the first day of the siege.[3] This is indicative of the Zionist sinister future plans to use forbidden weapons against the Palestinian civilians and to keep the world in the dark including the Palestinians. However, after acquiring help from a group of Italian scientists and investigators, Palestinian physicians became aware of the chemical structure of the DIME shell whose extreme dangerous toxicity Israel was trying to conceal.

On October 19, 2006, a group of

“… Italian investigators had tissue samples from the victims in Gaza analyzed by Dr. Carmela Vaccaio at University Parma. Dr. Vaccaio reportedly found “a very high concentration of carbon and the presence of unusual materials, such as copper, aluminum and tungsten.” The doctor concluded that her “findings could be in line with the hypothesis that the weapon in question is DIME.”[4]

According to the spectrometry analyses of biopsies taken from amputation injuries of Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip, and carried out by a group of Italian scientists affiliated with the New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC), the DIME shell included a combination of the following seventeen metals: “…aluminum, titanium, copper, strontium, barium, cobalt, mercury, vanadium, caesium, tin, arsenic, manganese, rubidium, cadmium, chromium, zinc and nickel…”[5] The combination of that many metals, including heavy metals, makes the DIME shell an extremely toxic chemical weapon and a highly dangerous one.

It should be pointed out that the “DIME weapons consist of a carbon fiber casing filled with a mixture of explosives and very dense microshrapnel, consisting of very small particles (1–2 mm) or powder of a heavy metal…”[6] When it explodes, DIME bombs blast a superheated “micro-shrapnel” of powdered heavy metal tungsten alloy.[7]

The DIME Health Hazards

The initial reports on the health hazards of the DIME bomb came out few months after Israel began to use it in the summer of 2006.  Dr. Jom’a Al-Saqqa, chief of the emergency unit at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, observed that the DIME was “a new ‘chemical’ weapon” and Israeli siege was “a live exercise on a new ammunition that, so far, has resulted in killing 50 Palestinians and injuring 200.” He added that, “despite the damage in internal soft tissue in the bodies of injured people, the fragments were not detected by X-ray. In other words, they had disappeared or dissolved inside the body.”[8]

Dr. Al-Saqqa, a surgeon by profession, continued his observation by adding that “There were usually entry and exit wounds. When the wounds were explored no foreign material was found. There was tissue death, the extent of which was difficult to determine. … A higher deep infection rate resulted with subsequent amputation. In spite of amputation there was a higher mortality.”[9]

Moreover, Dr. Al-Saqqa, added the following observation on the death-causing health impact of the DIME weapon.

“When the shrapnel hit[s] the body, it causes very strong burns that destroy the tissues around the bones…it burns and destroys internal organs, like the liver, kidneys, and the spleen and other organs and makes saving the wounded almost impossible. As a surgeon, I have seen thousands of wounds during the Intifada, but nothing was like this weapon.”[10]

Dr Joma Al-Saqqa, chief of the emergency unit at Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa added that, “despite the damage in internal soft tissue in the bodies of injured people, the fragments were not detected by X-ray. In other words, they had disappeared or dissolved inside the body.”[11]

Another witnessing surgeon is Dr. Habas al-Wahid, the Palestinian head of the Emergency Unit at Gaza’s Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital. He made the following shocking observation. “Israel’s new weapon “slices” off its victims’ legs, leaving “signs of heat and burns near the point of the amputation”. It’s “as if a saw was used to cut through the bone…”[12]

Due to the penetration of the body by a number of heavy metals, this situation produces “[m]ultiple syndromes of heavy metal poisoning …” in addition it produces “…polycythemia, which can be induced by cobalt overdose.”[13] Polycythemia is “… a type of blood cancer that causes the bone marrow to make too many red blood cells, a health case that thickens the blood, slowing its flow, and a development which may cause serious problems, such as blood clots. Furthermore, Polycythemia produces cancer of the blood and bone marrow, namely acute leukemia.[14]

It should be pointed out that “[t]he whole Gaza population and their environment, including generations yet to be conceived, have been put at risk of serious long-term injury from heavy metal pollution of the air, soil and groundwater (and possibly the seawater too), while the causal pollution is likely to cross state borders into Egypt and even into Israel…”[15]

As a direct result of use by Israel of forbidden chemical weapons, all sorts of cancer cases have increased in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has revealed that in the beginning of 2019, there were 8,515 cancer patients inside the Gaza Strip, including 4,705 women and 608 children. Cancer “Patients’ in the Gaza Strip suffer from the permanent shortage of equipment, drugs and medical supplies as a result of Israel’s stifling 12-year siege of  the enclave.”[16] They also suffer from denial of exit permits to children cancer patients and their companions for treatment abroad.[17] Other cancer patients are denied any medical treatment. According to the World Health Organization “Getting a permit to access the health care needed outside can be a stressful and unpredictable process, and many apply multiple times before being able to exit. Even then, some patients are never able to secure the permits they need to access care”[18]

These health hazards caused by the use of DIME shells by Israel constitute war crimes. The Israeli generals who were responsible for them are among others, Beni Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi, the leaders of the Blue White Israeli party. Ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, his defense minister are also war criminals. Due to the fact that these war crimes have continued to take place also under the present Israeli government, Benyamin Netanyahu and his defense minister Beni Gantz are also war criminals.

The Flechette Shell Components

The Flechette shell is “…made out of steel and had a very sharp pointy end… For increased aerodynamics, they featured fins on their other end – most likely to increase the speed of descent.”[19] It explodes in the air and releasesapproximately 2,200 flechettes.[20] The metal darts disperse in a conical arch three hundred meters long and about ninety meters wide. It is considered an anti-personnel weapon that is generally fired from a tank.[21] On impact, the Flechette darts are “… capable of penetrating a combatant from head to foot and creating an instantly incapacitating wound…”[22]

One of the hazardous developments that take place is that the “… head of the dart is designed to break away. Having penetrated inside a person, this breakage inflicts a second wound per single dart entry, multiplying the amount of internal damage done by the razor-like darts…”[23]

The Health Hazards of the Flechette Shell

Israel has, numerously, used the Flechette shells in the Gaza Strip. During the war of 2008-2009, Israeli tanks assaulted Palestinian civilians with Flechette shells. There were a number of Palestinian victims of the Flechette shells. The following is the story of two Palestinian medics who were victims of the Flechette shell.

… In the initial shelling that day, Hammad lost his foot when Israeli tanks fired at, according to Hammad, a region filled with terrified civilians fleeing Israeli bombing. His friend Ali was shot in the head while trying to evacuate Hammad. The medics then arrived. Abd al-Dayem and Sarhan had loaded Hammad into the ambulance and were going to retrieve Ali’s body when the flechette shell was fired at the medics and fleeing civilians. Ali was decapitated…[24]

According to Palestinian traditions, parents and relatives of a deceased person usually hold two mourning houses, one for men and another for women. These mourning ceremonies are held outside the house so they can accommodate the largest possible gathering of mourners.

The Palestinian medic Jamal Abd al-Dayem explained what happened at the mourning ceremonies that were held for his late cousin Arafa Abd al-Dayem, the 35-year-old paramedic who died as a result “… of slashes to his lungs, limbs and internal organs.”[25]

After my cousin Arafa was martyred on 4 January, we immediately opened mourning houses, with separate areas for men and women. The next day, at 9:30am the Israelis struck the mourning area where the men were. It was clearly a mourning house, on the road, open and visible. Immediately after the first strike, the Israelis hit the women’s mourning area.” Two strikes within 1.5 minutes, he reported.[26]

The former four Flechette shelling incidents clearly show that the Israeli army is systematically and deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians. They cannot be dismissed as misguided targeting or mistakes. These are repetitive similar shellings of Flechettes that targeted civilians. We should pose the following question. If the Israeli army have on numerous occasions, deliberately targeted civilians, there should be reasons for that.

According to Dr. Bassam al-Masari, a surgeon at Beit Lahiya’s Kamal Adwan hospital, Flechette darts have caused “… more injuries than other bombs precisely because they spread in a larger area. And while the darts appear innocuously small, their velocity and design enable them to bore through cement and bones and “cut everything internal…”[27] Al-Masri added that “… their velocity and design enable them to bore through cement and bones and “cut everything internal…” Accordingly, the prime cause of death is severe internal bleeding from slashed organs, particularly the heart, liver and brain. Brain injuries are the most fatal…[28]

They Target Schools, don’t they?

It is noticeable that, during the past twelve years, Israeli air raids and shelling have targeted a number of civilian facilities inside the Gaza Strip. These facilities included schools, universities, hospitals, medical clinics, mosques, markets, shopping centers, factories, farms, banks, mourning cites, warehouses, a power station, and other essential civilian infrastructure. The following is a partial review of actual incidents.

Hundreds of Palestinian civilians who were forced out from their apartments and houses by the Zionist army, sought refuge inside UNRWA schools thinking that they would be in a safe haven. Nevertheless, Zionist criminal generals thought otherwise.

Author Mike Head reported that, “At least 20 Palestinians were killed and about 90 injured early on Wednesday, including UN workers, when Jabalia Elementary Girls School in Gaza City, which was sheltering 3,300 families, was hit by three artillery shells.”[29] Was it a mistake?

What happened to one UNRWA school was revealed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who reported that “… the exact location of this elementary school has been communicated to the Israeli military authorities 17 times…”[30] yet the Israeli army attacked the school and a number of Palestinians were killed and wounded.

Despite this evidence and during the 2014 war, US President Barak Obama claimed to be “extremely concerned” about the killing of people in UN designated shelters. At the same time Obama accused Hamas of hiding weapons in UN facilities.[31] By accusing Hamas of “hiding weapons in UN facilities” he reiterated Zionist lies and provided a justification for Zionist criminal bombing of UNRWA schools.Israel Killed and Injured More Civilians with Explosive Weapons than Any Other State in 2014

Author Vincent Di Stefano reported that until Dec 2010, “Seven schools in Gaza were totally destroyed, and 135 were substantially damaged. The Al-Azhar University of Gaza was reduced to rubble. Hospitals, medical clinics and Red Crescent warehouses were all targeted…”[32]

The author added that

“It was the second attack, and the sixth strike, on a UN school since Israel’s military offensive in Gaza began on July 8. Last week, 15 people died and about 200 were wounded when another UN school, in Beit Hanoun, was hit as the playground was filled with families awaiting evacuation.”[33]

Author Vincent Di Stefano concluded that “…By deliberately targeting UN schools, [Israel] is sending a chilling message: no one in Gaza is safe from ‘Operation Protective Edge.’…”[34]

In another criminal incident, “… three air strikes killed 15 people and injured 150 in a market area on the outskirts of Shujaiyah. As smoke billowed from the initial air strike, witnesses said emergency services and civilians rushed to help the victims, only to be hit by a further two air strikes minutes later.[35] Was this incident a mistake?

In another criminal assault that was reported by the British Guardian, we quote the following.

During the 2009 war, Mounir a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip reported the following story. While he was sitting around with his family drinking tea in their small courtyard, he heard the loud buzzing of an Israeli drone, clearly visible in the sky above. “He went inside for a moment and, as he returned, he saw a ball of light hurtling down toward him. There was a loud explosion and he was thrown backward. He gathered himself and stumbled out into the courtyard, where he saw the scene he says will never leave him.”[36] In his own words, Mounir described what happened to members of his family by saying: “We found Mohammed lying there, cut in half. Ahmed was in three pieces; Wahid was totally burnt – his eyes were gone. Wahid’s father was dead. Nour had been decapitated. We couldn’t see her head anywhere.”[37] Mounir continued by relating. “You cannot imagine the scene: a family all sitting around together and then, in a matter of seconds, they were cut to pieces. Even the next day we found limbs and body parts on the roof, feet and hands,” Mounir says.[38] Was this incident a mistake?

Despite these deliberate criminal incidents, the Israeli colonial army, as well as, Israeli colonial politicians claim that “… the IDF … intensively trained its personnel on the requirements of the Law of Armed Conflict. It delayed, diverted, or refrained from attacks to spare civilian life. It provided numerous and varied types of concrete warnings before launching attacks.”[39] As reported earlier, concrete evidence points to the contrary.

In addition to schools, Israeli military strikes targeted residential and public structures thus producing utter destruction. Author, Patrick O’Conner reported that “…At least 5,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 20,000 damaged, with many urban centers reduced to nothing more than rubble…”[40]

Moreover, Israeli military assaults targeted public structures. “… The parliament and cabinet buildings in Gaza City were destroyed, as was the city’s police headquarters, the Bank of Palestine building, the main university, several mosques…”[41], and six major water wells were damaged or destroyed.[42] In addition, Gaza’s water and electricity networks were destroyed by the Israeli army.[43]

Israeli war crimes that took place in the Gaza Strip during the last three wars was an election issue adopted by former Israeli army chief, Benny Gantz. He produced an election video for his party in which he bragged about killing 1,364 Palestinians and returning parts of the Gaza Strip to the stone ages.[44] Gantz admits responsibility for these war crimes but is ready to use his crimes as means to win the votes of racist Israelis.

Moreover, on Thursday, August 9, 2018 the Said al-Mishal Centre, a cultural center in Gaza housing the region’s second-largest theater, was bombed by Israeli military forces. The five-floor edifice housed a library, an Egyptian community center, offices for cultural associations, and a theater for arts and dabkeh.[45]

As usual, the Zionist army claimed that the center “… was being used by “the Hamas terror organization for military purposes”[46], an evidence that has never been proved.

Moreover, during the war against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Zionist President Shimon Peres met with a delegation from AIPAC, the American Zionist lobby. In his speech to the delegation, Peres admitted that “… Israel’s aim, … was to provide a strong blow to the people of Gaza so that they would lose their appetite for shooting at Israel…”[47] That was a clear admission that the Zionist army deliberately and systematically targets Palestinian civilians.

One here should pause and ask the following question: Why the Israeli military, target Palestinian civilians in its aggressive wars? This is an attempted answer.

In the last three Israeli wars against the Gaza Strip, Israeli shelling deliberately targeted schools including UNRWA schools, market places, mourning houses and packed houses. This policy has been also implemented in Lebanon, and in Egypt during the Israeli bombardments in the seventies. The Israeli sinister logic behind this criminal policy is this: if you maximize civilian losses, civilians will stop backing Hamas or Hizballah. This faulty logic produced a systematic and deliberate policy of “mini” Zionist massacres. The shelling of civilian structures that are fully packed with people cannot be dismissed as mistakes nor as acted out in self-defense. So, the final aim of the Zionist aggressive colonial policy of choosing these targets, is to maximize civilian killings and terrorize the civilian population in order to force civilians to submit to Zionist colonial policies.

Components of the Vacuum Bomb

The Vacuum Bomb, named also the fuel–air explosive (FAE) is a type of explosive that depends on the use of two highly toxic fuels ethylene oxide and propylene oxide.[48] Once they detonate, they use the oxygen from the “… surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion. In practice, the blast wave typically produced by such a weapon is of a significantly longer duration than that produced by a conventional condensed explosive…”[49]

Once the Vacuum Bomb explodes,

“… the area around the explosion becomes overpressurized, resulting in highly compressed air particles that travel faster than the speed of sound. This wave will dissipate over time and distance and will exist only for a matter of milliseconds. This initial blast wave inflicts the most damage…”[50]

After explosion,

“… the bomb casing, as well as any additional shrapnel (nails, screws or other items included in the bomb), will be violently thrown outward and away from the explosion. When these fragments strike buildings, concrete, masonry, glass and even people, they may fragment even further — and cause even more damage…”[51]

The developments that immediately take place after the explosion are extremely dangerous because of the intensity in the creation of the vacuum and its immediate refill by the surrounding atmosphere. They were described by the author Tom Scheve in the following manner:

At the explosion site, a vacuum is created by the rapid outward movement of the blast. This vacuum will almost immediately refill itself with the surrounding atmosphere. This creates a very strong pull on any nearby person or structural surface after the initial push effect of the blast has been delivered. As this void is refilled, it creates a high-intensity wind that causes fragmented objects, glass and debris to be drawn back in toward the source of the explosion.[52]

It should be pointed out that chemical structure, the explosions, the consumption of the surrounding oxygen, and the vacuum creation, all lead to a number of health hazards.

Health Hazards of Vacuum Bombs

When it explodes, the Vacuum Bomb, “… predominantly affects the pulmonary, cardiovascular, auditory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems…”[53]

Moreover, there are a number of internal injuries that are caused by the health hazards of the vacuum bomb explosion. They could be showed as follows:

…”the effect of an FAE explosion within confined spaces is immense. Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness.”[54]

In short, Vacuum Bombs are highly dangerous weapons that should be treated as forbidden weapons that should not be dropped on highly populated localities like the Gaza Strip. Despite this, the consecutive Israeli governments have been using these dangerous weapons against the Palestinian civilians since 2006.

Could It Be Genocide?

Al-Dameer, a Palestinian human rights organization, had published on 20 December 2009  “… another paper in Arabic on the increase in the number of babies born in Gaza with birth defects, thought to be the result of radioactive and toxic materials from Operation Cast Lead.The birth defects included incomplete hearts and malformations of the brain…”[55]

The conglomeration of Zionist war crimes caused by the use of forbidden weapons, the colonial siege of the Gaza Strip, the deliberate undernourishment of the Gazan Palestinians to the point of severe hunger, the criminal colonial Israeli policy of denying medical permits and restricting the importation of medicines to Gaza, the policy of shoot to kill at Gaza’s borders with the Zionist entity – all these policies and war crimes might very likely lead to genocide. But what is genocide according to International Law?

Article II of the Genocide Convention contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements[56]:

    1. A mental element: the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”; and
    2. A physical element, which includes the following five acts, enumerated exhaustively:
  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Throughout this research article, we have clearly encountered evidence of war crimes in the first four categories. However, the fifth category has not been so far committed by Israel. So, based on this evidence, the Palestinian civilian authorities can submit a demand to the United Nations relevant bodies to force Israel to become accountable for committing these war crimes.

Israel has violated a number of international laws and has violated a number of UN conventions, and resolutions. Due to American hegemony on the Security Council and the use of the veto power Israel was not held accountable for its violations. The Israelis actually admit these violations but they have a criminal way of looking at them. According to the Israeli violators:

If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries. … International law progresses through violations. We invented the targeted assassination thesis and we had to push it. At first there were protrusions that made it hard to insert easily into the legal molds. Eight years later, it is in the center of the bounds of legitimacy.[57]

This is the sick logic of settler colonialists that are armed and supported by Western imperialism. The American imperialists not only do that but they obstruct the work of the Security Council to prevent it from holding Israel accountable for its war crimes. However, this misconduct does not make Israel innocent because its war crimes cannot be hidden, forgotten, permitted or deleted. Israeli war crimes are strongly imprinted in the black annals of human history.

*

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Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh teaches sociology at Birzeit University in the colonized West Bank. He is a resident of Nazareth, Palestine. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester and is author of a number of books and research articles.

Notes

[1] As quoted by Brooks, James “Starve Them; Shoot Them; then Give Them Cancer: An Inquiry into Israel’s use of DIME weaponry in of the Gaza Strip”, Vermonters for a Just Peace, https://vtjp.org, 22-1-2009

[2] Ma’an News, “Palestinian injuries suggest Israel is using chemical weapons in Gaza”, http://www.maannews.net 7-10-2006 and Shaoul, Jean, “Israel used chemical weapons in Lebanon and Gaza”, Centre for Research on Globalization, http://wsws.org, 24-110-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[3] Centre for Research on Globalization/Gulf News, “Israel ’is using chemical ammunition’ in Gaza”, http://www.globalresearch.ca, 13-6-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[4] Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[5] Halpin, David, “Are New weapons Being Used in Gaza and Lebanon”, Electronic Intifada, http://electronicintifada.net, 14-8-2006. As quoted by Lightbown, Richard,  “Israel’s Weapons: A Crime on Humanity”, https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, 1-5-2011.

[6] Wikipedia,” Dense Inert Metal Explosive”, https://en.wikipedia.org. Accessed 5-12-2020

[7] Brooks, James, op. cit.

[8] Al Baik, Duraid, “Israel ’is using chemical ammunition’ in Gaza”Centre for Research on Globalization/Gulf News, http://www.globalresearch.ca, 13-6-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[9] Halpin, David, Are New Weapons Being Used In Gaza and Lebanon, Electronic Intifada, http://electronicintifada.net, 14-8-2006 and Palestine News Network, Ministry of Health report on toxic Israeli weapons confirmed by Gaza City medical sources, http://www.pnn.ps, 13-7-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[10] “Doctors Report Unusual Weapon Used in Gaza”, Pacifica/Free Speech Radio News,  http://www.pacifica.org, 11-7-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[11] Ibid.

[12] “Italian TV: Israel used new weapon prototype in Gaza Strip”, Israeli daily Ha’aretz, 10/19/2006 http://www.haaretz.com, 19-10-2006. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[13] Kalinich et al, “Embedded Weapons-Grade Tungsten Alloy Shrapnel Rapidly Induces Metastatic High-Grade Rhabdomyosarcomas in F344 Rats”, Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 113, Number 6, June 2005, http://www.ehponline.org. As quoted by Brooks, James, “US and Israel targeting DNA in Gaza? The DIME Bomb: Yet another genotoxic weapon”, Media Monitors Network, http://cosmos.ucc.ie, 4-12-2006

[14] Mayo Clinic Staff, “Polycythemia vera”, https://www.mayoclinic.org. Accessed on: 1-1-2021

[15] Lightbown, Richard,  “Israel’s Weapons: A Crime on Humanity”, https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, 1-5-2011

[16] Middle East Monitor, “8,515 cancer patients in Gaza “https://www.middleeastmonitor.com, 5-2-2019

[17] Nedaa Alabadla, King-Hadduck, and Kevin, Edward, TEAM FUNDRAISER, “Cancer Patients in the Gaza”, https://www.gofundme.com. ACCESSED 12-12-2020

[18] WHO, “Palestinian cancer patients in Gaza wait months for Israel permits”,  https://www.middleeastmonitor.com, 6-2-2019

[19] Chambers, Jay, “Meet the Flechette – the Deadliest Weapon of World War I?”, https://www.historyandheadlines.com, 22-1-2020

[20] Centaurs in Vietnam, “Rockets”, http://centaursinvietnam.org. Accessed 8-12-2020

[21] Btselem, “Firing of Flechette shell that killed Reuters cameraman violates laws of war”, https://www.btselem.org, 17-4-2008

[22] Sabot Designs LLC, “Flechette Shotgun Amunition”, http://www.sabotdesigns.com. Accessed 8-12-2020

[23] Bartlett, Eva, “Ensuring maximum casualties in Gaza”, The Electronic Intifadahttp://electronicintifada.net, 16-3-2009

[24] Bartlett, Eva, “Ensuring maximum casualties in Gaza”, The Electronic Intifadahttp://electronicintifada.net, 16-3-2009

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Head, Mike, “US rearms Israel as its war crimes mount in Gaza”, https://www.wsws.org, 31-7-2014

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Di Stefano, Vincent, “And What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Gaza”, https://www.commondreams.org, 25-12-2010

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Chassay, Clancy, “Cut to pieces: the Palestinian family drinking tea in their courtyard”, https://www.theguardian.com, 23-3-2009

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Cook, William A., Now Israel Is Free to Declare Its Innocence before the International Court of Justice”, http://salem-news.com, 15-4-2011

[40] O’Connor, Patrick , “Reports reveal devastation wreaked by Israeli military in Gaza”, https://www.wsws.org, 20-1-2009

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Abunimah, Ali, “Israeli election ad boasts Gaza bombed back to stone ages”, https://electronicintifada.net, 21-1-2019

[45] Weber, Jasmine,  “Palestinian Cultural Center Destroyed by Israeli Military in Recent Attacks”, https://hyperallergic.com, 10-8-2018.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Fay Cashman, Greer, “’Solidarity during war is Israel’s finest hour’”, https://www.jpost.com, 14-1-2009

[48] Wikipedia, “Thermobaric weapon”,  https://en.wikipedia.org. Accessed 9-12-2020

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Andr, David, “MUNITIONS – Thermobaric Munitions and their Medical Effects”, https://jmvh.org. Accessed 4-1-2021

[54] Wikipedia, “Thermobaric weapon”,  https://en.wikipedia.org. Accessed 9-12-2020

[55] Salam, Kawther, “Abortions, Cancer, Diseases and…in Gaza”,  http://www.intifada-palestine.com, 29 December 2009. As quoted by Lightbown, Richard,  “Israel’s Weapons: A Crime on Humanity”, https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, 1-5-2011

[56] United Nations, “Genocide”, https://www.un.org, 2-1-2021

[57] “Israel: Transforming International Law by Violating It”, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/4/09. As quoted by Di Stefano, Vincent, “And What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Gaza”, https://www.commondreams.org, 25-12-2010

Related

Anis al Naqqash: how Soleimani and Mugniyeh helped Palestine

A New Year’s Wish

See the source image
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

PHILIP GIRALDI • JANUARY 5, 2021 
Source: The Unz Review

Let’s remove Israel from American politics

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pollard-and-Netanyahu-600x337.jpg

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

During his 2016 campaign Donald Trump swore that he would be the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, a pledge that some of us viewed skeptically as Trump was also committed to bringing the troops home from “useless wars” in Asia, most of whom were in the Middle East supporting Israeli interests. More recently Trump admitted that America was in the Middle East to “protect Israel” and he has indeed proven to be the great benefactor he promised to be in responding fully to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wish list. Trump has increased tension dramatically with Iran, moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, and has basically given Israel the green light to do whatever it wants on the Palestinian West Bank, including getting rid of the Palestinians. And as all that has played out the Israelis have attacked and killed thousands of civilians in Gaza, Syria and the West Bank with impunity, protected by the U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council against any consequences for their actions while a subservient Congress gives Netanyahu twenty-eight standing ovations and bleats that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” Trump has made the United States completely complicit in Israeli war crimes and has committed a few of its own to include the widely condemned assassination of the senior Iranian official Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad one year ago.

Israel more-or-less openly admits that it controls the actions of the United States in its region, its leaders having boasted how the U.S. federal government is “easily moved” when it comes up against the Israeli Lobby. Nor is there any real secret to how the Lobby uses money to buy access and then exploits that access to obtain real power, which is then used to employ all the resources of the U.S. government in support of the Jewish state. The top donor to the Democratic Party, Israeli-American Haim Saban has stated that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel. This single-minded focus to promote Israel’s interests at the expense of those of the United States makes the Israel Lobby the most formidable foreign policy lobby in Washington and it recalls the warning once issued by George Washington in his Farewell Address, where he stated that “permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”

The complete contempt that the Israelis and Israeli supporters in the U.S. have for other Americans and their interests was on full display last week when convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard flew “home,” meeting Netanyahu as he disembarked from a private plane that had departed from Newark New Jersey before being given a hero’s welcome.

Pollard is the most damaging spy in American history, having stolen the keys to accessing U.S. communications and information gathering systems. He was an unlikely candidate to become a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, and one review board determined that he had been hired in the first place under pressure from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). A month after Pollard’s arrest in 1985, C.I.A director William Casey stated: “The Israelis used Pollard to obtain our war plans against the USSR – all of it: the co-ordinates, the firing locations, the sequences, and Israel sold that information to Moscow for more exit visas for Soviet Jews.” According to a C.I.A. after-the fact-damage assessment “Pollard’s operation has few parallels among known U.S. espionage cases…. his first and possibly largest delivery occurred on 23 January [1984] and consisted of five suitcases-full of classified material.”

Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger wrote a forty-six page review of the case that remains largely classified and redacted to this day, detailing what incredible damage Pollard had done. Part of the document states: “In this case, the defendant has admitted passing to his Israeli contacts an incredibly large quantity of classified information. At the outset I must state that the defendant’s disclosures far exceed the limits of any official exchange of intelligence information with Israel. That being the case, the damage to national security was complete the moment the classified information was given over. Ideally, I would detail…all the information passed by the defendant to his Israeli contacts: unfortunately, the volume of .data we know to have been passed is too great to permit that. · Moreover, the defendant admits to having passed to his Israeli handlers a quantity of documents great enough to occupy a space six feet by ten feet… The defendant has substantially harmed the United States, and in my view, his crimes demand severe punishment… My foregoing comments will, I hope, dispel any presumption that disclosures to an ally are insignificant; to the contrary, substantial and irrevocable damage has been done to this nation. Punishment, of course, must be appropriate to the crime, and in my opinion, no crime is more deserving of severe punishment than conducting espionage activities against one’s own country.”

The Pollard trip to his “home” occurred because Donald Trump had obligingly lifted the travel restrictions on him the week before, one more favor to Israel. At the airport, Pollard and his wife knelt to kiss the Israeli soil before Netanyahu handed him an Israeli citizen ID and welcomed him. The 737 luxury-fitted executive jet Pollard and his wife flew on belongs to Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, chief donor to the Republicans and to Donald Trump. Adelson is married to an Israeli and famously has said that he regrets having worn a U.S. Army uniform when he was drafted, much preferring instead that he might have done military service in the Israel Defense Force.

I should point out that permitting dual nationals with singular loyalty to a foreign nation to have such significant influence over the two leading political parties in the U.S. by virtue of money alone is a recipe for disaster, and so it has proven. What were Trump and Hillary Clinton thinking when they tied themselves to Adelson and Saban? Or were they thinking at all?

The Israeli boosters in the United States have flat out corrupted our political process to get where they are. They have bought or intimidated every politician that matters to include presidents, congressmen and even those in state and local governments. Anyone who criticizes Israel or Jewish collective behavior in support of the Israeli state is subject to character assassination and blacklisting a la Mel Gibson and Rick Sanchez. Those who persist are denounced as anti-Semites, a label that is used liberally by Zionist groups.

Anyone who is bold enough to either criticize the Israelis or defend the Palestinians is targeted, and if they happen to be in Congress like Cynthia McKinney, Pete McCloskey, Paul Findlay, James Traficant, William Fulbright and Chuck Percy they are first vilified in the media and then set up against a very well-funded candidate to drive them from office. The end result is that when Israel kills civilians and rampaging armed settlers destroy their livelihoods the United States government chooses to look the other way and shower the rogue state with money so it can continue to do its dirty work.

The corruption extends to the state level, where twenty-six governments have passed Israel lobby-promoted legislation that limits free speech rights if anyone seeks to criticize Israel. This sometimes includes forcing employees, under threat of dismissal, to sign a pro-Israel oath and promise not to support any boycott of the Jewish state. The massive interference in the internal governance of the United States by Israel and its U.S. born lackeys far exceeds that of any other country, including inappropriately vilified Russia or China.

It is well past time to get rid of the Israel parasite that feeds on the American government and people. The special relationship with Israel, sanctified in the halls of Congress and by a Jewish dominated media, does nothing good for the United States and for the American people. Israel’s constant interference in the U.S. political system and economy comes at a huge cost, both in dollars and in terms of actual American interests.

And then there are the hot buttons which, if the U.S. actually had a functional government that is responsive to the people, should have been pushed long ago. Israel is ranked by the FBI as the number one “friendly” country in terms of its spying against the United States. Pollard is an exception, but Israeli spies are routinely slapped on the wrist when caught and never face prosecution. The Mossad agents who were the “Dancing Shlomos,” celebrating while the twin towers went down on 9/11, were allowed to go home. And Israel has never truly paid any price for the horrific bombing and torpedoing of the U.S.S. Liberty fifty-three years ago, which killed 34 Americans and injured over one hundred more. The completely unprovoked attack took place in international waters and was later covered-up by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Congress. May they burn in hell. The surviving crew members are still waiting for justice.

So, let’s all resolve for 2021 to do whatever we can to pull the plug on Israel. Let Israel pay its own bills and take care of its own defense. American citizens who prefer the Jewish ethno-religious state to our constitutional republic should feel free to emigrate. Lacking Washington’s backing, Israel will also be free to commit atrocities and war crimes against all of its neighbors but without the U.S. United Nations veto it will have to begin facing the consequences for its actions. But most of all, as Americans, we will no longer have to continue to carry the burden of a country that manipulates and uses us and also has a certain contempt for us while doing so. And maybe just maybe freeing the United States from Israel could lead to an end to all the wars in the Middle East that Washington has been waging in spite of the fact that we Americans are threatened by no one in the region and have no real interest whatsoever in prolonging the agony of staying there.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Trnaslated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Before I delve into the occasion of the first annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the two dear leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis [Hajj Jamal Jaafar], and their martyred comrades, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss a few other events.

Firstly, the past few days marked the annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the great and truthful, Lady of the Women of the World, a piece of the Messenger of Allah [may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family], the wife of God’s guardian, and the Mother of Imams [peace be upon them] Sayyeda Fatima al-Zahraa, the daughter of the Messenger of God. Muslims are unanimous in their veneration, reverence, appreciation, and love for her as well as for her dignity and greatness. This is an occasion to offer condolences to her grandson, Sahib Al-‘asr Wa Al-zaman and all Muslims in the world.

Secondly, in the past few days, we lost a great scholar, a jurist, and a thinker in the fullest sense of the word. This comes at a time when the number of thinkers is declining. He was a great Islamic thinker, a  prominent connoisseur, one of Allah’s righteous friends, an educator and a teacher, a loyal wise man, and a steadfast mujahid on the path of truth and in supporting the causes of the nation in this era. I’m talking about His Eminence, the Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Misbah Al-Yazdi [may God Almighty be pleased with him].

Also on this occasion, we extend our condolences to His Eminence, Imam Khamenei, our honorable religious authorities and Hawzas, and our Islamic nation, especially for members of his honorable and generous family, as well as all his students and loved ones. I ask God Almighty to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

In Lebanon, due to the coronavirus scourge, we lost a dear brother from the early generation. He was among the first groups and first founding leaders of Hezbollah’s march, brother Sayyed Abu Ayman Al-Mousawi [Sayyed Muhammad Abbas Al-Mousawi], may God have mercy on him. He was the companion of our martyr and leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi [may God Almighty be pleased with him]. He among the forerunners of the Mujahideen believers working and sacrificing in the Beqaa region. He was among the founders of the Imam al-Mahdi [PBUH] Scouts Association in Lebanon. He was its first president or its first general commissioner. I also offer condolences to all his brothers and sisters and companions on this path, especially his honorable and noble family members. I ask God to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

We come to our occasion. One year ago, in the early hours of the morning much like this one, around the same time in January, this great and tragic incident took place. It was recorded in history and will remain immortal – its magnitude, greatness, the grievances, the blood that was shed, its repercussions, its effects, and its consequences for the entire region.

Today, I would like to talk about several points related to this occasion and the events that occurred between then and the first anniversary.

The first point is loyalty to the martyred leaders and those who were martyred with them. Of course, when we talk about the martyrs, we must once again at the beginning extend our condolences and congratulate the families of martyr commander Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian martyrs who were martyred with him:

  • Martyr Hussein Jaafari Nia, who for 20 years was one of our brothers, a friend, a beloved person, and a shadow to Hajj Qassem.
  • Martyr brother Shahroud Mozaffari Nia
  • Martyr brother Hadi Tarmi
  • Martyr brother Wahid Zamanian

I also offer condolences and congratulate the family of martyr commander Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Jamal Jaafar, and the Iraqi martyrs who were with him:

  • Martyr Muhammad Reda Al-Jabri
  • Martyr Muhammad al-Shaibani
  • Martyr Hassan Abdel-Hadi
  • Martyr Ali Haidar

May God Almighty be pleased with them all.

Loyalty to the martyred leaders.

Loyalty, as we all know, is a human and innate value because man is born with it. It is a moral value that does not need to be inferred. It is a religious value. This is God’s religion.

When a loyal person practices loyalty, it benefits him in this world and the hereafter. Those who you are loyal to may not need your loyalty. The martyrs, who have departed to their great world beside God Almighty, do not need our loyalty. But being loyal to our great people and martyrs, to those who made sacrifices in our nation, to our defenders, to those who were sincere in bearing our responsibility and our causes will benefit us and will benefit our people, our children, and grandchildren in this world and in the hereafter.

Today, loyalty is a duty to these two great leaders, particularly to commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, for being in many arenas and for what they represent. How do we translate this loyalty?

First, we must not to negate their services and give them credit.

Second, we must acknowledge their services and give them credit. This means we should not be silent because it is possible that a person might not refute their services but does not acknowledge them and remains silent! Loyalty is to acknowledge their services and give them credit.

Third, we must remind them to the people, to the world, to our peoples, to our future generations, and to history. We must point out their sacrifices and their achievements. Being loyal means honoring these martyrs and respecting them, in various forms of honor and respect.

Another form of loyalty is to thank them publicly for what they offered and sacrificed. We must tell them thank you. We must thank Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the martyr commander. We must thank Hajj Abu Mahdi a-Muhandis. We must thank the martyrs. We must thank everyone who represents. We must thank these martyr leaders for the sacrifices they made for our peoples, countries, region, and causes. This gratitude is a duty. Look, God Almighty, who is in no need of us, our worship, and our thanksgiving, asks us to thank Him. He tells us that {If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].} But if you deny, it’s a different matter.

Being thankful, being thankful for the blessings and for the services has very great effects even in this world. It is true that whoever stands by you is doing his duty. But when you thank him and when he finds you to be loyal to him, sincere with him, and acknowledging his services, his enthusiasm, courage, seriousness, and drive to help you, to support you, to defend you, and to stand beside you will be greater. This is human nature.

Thus, we must have this type of loyalty. Of course, there are other requirements for loyalty that I will not talk about now because there are people who cannot bear them.

From the first hour of this grave historical event, the martyrdom of these great figures, until today, the first annual anniversary, we have witnessed great and important manifestations of loyalty. For example, since the very first hours, there was great and massive public interaction in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the incident. People rushed to the squares in many governorates and cities, especially in the provincial centers. Also, the same took place when the bodies of the martyrs were brought and during the funeral procession. It was a historic funeral procession. A person can say it was the greatest funeral procession in human history. And if he wanted to be on the safe side, he’d say perhaps the greatest. You can examine this if you want.

This is an expression of loyalty. Since day one, Hajj Qassem was being mentioned by the Iranians – young and old, in all areas and provinces, the state, the regime, the officials, of course His Eminence the Leader, the Iranian people, the scholars, the religious authorities.

There were very diverse and various forms of honoring him and showing respect and appreciation, from that time until today. The Islamic Republic and in the words of His Eminence Imam Khamenei declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran. This was an official announcement. In Iran, a country with an ancient and prolonged civilization, the title of a national hero means a lot. Some Arab countries might consider it a slogan but not in Iran no. It has a different meaning.

In any case, what we have seen so far is an elevated expression of loyalty, love, affection, gratitude, remembrance, and recognition of merit. During all the interviews in which Iranians were asked, they would say that we do this to recognize what Hajj Qassem Soleimani offered to the Islamic Republic of Iran. That’s it.

Of course, this is a lesson for all of us on how to deal with our martyrs and our martyred leaders, how to honor them, how to respect them, how to praise them, how to glorify them, how to give them credit, and how not to be divided over them.

We have also witnessed this matter in Iraq, where this pure blood was shed and this heinous crime was committed,  in Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Turkey, in many Islamic countries, in many non-Muslim countries, in Venezuela, and in other capital cities in the world.

The main topic of my talk in this section is Lebanon. We have to remember, recognize, thank, and appreciate those who stood with us since the first day of the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Here, I will respond to some of the atmospheres and climates in Lebanon, and it is useful to mention them. We all remember that stage. “Israel” and the “Israeli” occupation army invaded Lebanese territory. There was a threat to occupy all Lebanese lands and target Damascus. Iran was preoccupied with a war imposed on it by Saddam Hussein’s regime and all the tyrants of the world and the region baking him.

Nevertheless, Imam Khomeini did not leave Lebanon or Syria. If we are to talk about interests, Iran’s interest was for its leaders, soldiers, and weapons to remain on the front to defend it. It was isolated and besieged by the whole world, yet it did not leave Lebanon or Syria.

Imam Khomeini sent a very high-ranking delegation of military commanders from the Guards Corps and the army to Damascus. They met with Syrian officials. After that, he also sent forces. However, it later became clear that “Israeli” advances stopped at the established borders, i.e. the western Beqaa, Mount Lebanon, and the areas it controlled in 1982. The rest of Lebanon was not threatened.

The conventional warfare stopped. Syria was not the subject of an invasion. So, the next stage was a stage of resistance. Some Iranian forces, specifically belonging to the Guards Corps, stayed behind to help the Lebanese, train and provide them with support to resist the occupation. Since 1982, Iran and Syria were the most important supporter of the resistance in Lebanon.

So when I’m asking the Lebanese people and when we’re talking about loyalty, being grateful, and giving credit to others, I am asking them who has been helping Lebanon liberate its lands since 1982. You tell me certain Arab state provided financial aid and helped rebuild. In recent years, they also provided huge sums of money to some Lebanese, not for Lebanon but for these Lebanese to fight the resistance, conspire against it, and besiege it. This is another research. Who stood by the Lebanese people, protected them, and defended them via diplomacy, politics, in the media, in international forums? Who gave them weapons and capabilities, set up training camps for them, trained them, and financed them until the liberation of the 2000 was achieved? It is very natural for those who were saddened, bothered, and hurt by the 2000 liberation not too feel gratitude. After 2000 and until today, the resistance, within the golden equation, is the one protecting Lebanon against the “Israeli” enemy. The resistance is the one that protects Lebanon. It is the one helping Lebanon to preserve its rights and sovereignty. We must admit this.

Allow me here to say a couple of words since it comes in this context. Yesterday, one of the dear brothers in Iran, Brother Brigadier General Hajj Zadeh, read a statement. The Lebanese media took the statement and distorted it. This is because there are people in Lebanon whose political presence is based on forgery and distortion.

The headline reads: Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Lebanon and Gaza’s missiles are support from us and are our first line in confronting “Israel”.

As for the actual news which was written in Arabic – we have not reached the text in Farsi yet – it reads: All the missile capabilities that Gaza and Lebanon possess are supported provided by Iran, and they are the first line in confronting “Israel”.

Nowhere does it say our first line in confronting “Israel”. There was no mention of Iran’s first line of defense in confronting “Israel”. Iran gave missiles to Gaza and Lebanon to make it possible for the people of Gaza and Lebanon to defend themselves.

But you are a group of weak people who distort news without making sure first and adding to the words of any Iranian official just for the sake of a media scoop.

And one of the graces of God is {perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.} There are people who have been absent for a long time. We haven’t heard from or made any statements. In the two days, they came out to respond to the aforementioned statement.

In the same statement, [Hajj Zadeh] says that we support and stand by all the people who ae confronting the occupation. This is an order from the Supreme Leader. What is wrong about this talk?

Yes, we also say that the Islamic Republic is the one that supports us with weapons and missiles. We also say that we are a front, and Gaza is a front. Gaza has been a front since 1948. Lebanon has been a front since 1948. But since 1948, Lebanon has been a front that was being killed and insulted. Its sovereignty was being violated. Gendarmes were arrested from their outposts in border villages. Massacres were committed in border villages. Lebanon’s airspace as well as territory and waters were violated. But today, it is a different front.

And I tell these people, if Lebanon is strong today and if there is anyone in the world asking about Lebanon or sees Lebanon on the map, or if anyone in America and Europe are asking about Lebanon, it is thanks to this resistance and these missiles. Full stop.

We all know – God willing, I will talk about this issue at a later time –what the value of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon is to the global and regional countries. I also want to tell them that if there was hope for Lebanon to have some money, it would be from the oil and gas. And if someone gave Lebanon the opportunity to extract gas and oil, especially from the rich blocs in the south, it is thanks to the resistance, its missiles, and its weapons – missiles that Iran and Syria gave to the resistance.

Therefore, I would also like to add and say that all Iranian support for the resistance in Lebanon is unconditional. All the battles that the resistance fought in Lebanon from 1982 until today were for the sake of liberating Lebanon and the Lebanese prisoners and defending Lebanon’s land, waters, and sovereignty. It will remain like so. I can also add that perhaps one of the most important and most independent resistance in the history of mankind in terms of its decisions is this resistance that exists today in Lebanon. So, do not tire yourselves a lot. This will suffice for you.

In any case, when we come to loyalty, it is our duty in Lebanon. That is why it is very natural that we mark this occasion and celebrate it, name some of our streets, squares, natural reserves, and some institutions after Hajj Qassem Soleimani or Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Some people believe that we are overdoing it. In the past when we wanted to name a street after Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, or Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi, some people got sensitive about the topic. Why?

Any people who respect themselves, have a civilization, have a culture, and have values deal with their martyrs this way. This is how they deal with people who served them, who were on their side, and supported them. This is also a form of loyalty – from a moral standpoint, I enter into the political topic. Being loyal is also not equating a friend to an enemy, or at the very least, those who left us behind and abandoned us – that is if we do not want to refer to them as enemies. In other words, there are three types of people. There is the enemy, a conspirator and a partner in shedding our blood, occupying our lands, and violating our sanctities. The second type is not the enemy, but they might leave you behind, abandon you, and not offer a helping hand or even a word. Then, there is the third type. These people help you, support you, stand by your side, defend you, put themselves in harm’s way, and offer martyrs. We must not treat these three types of people equally. Neither reason nor morals nor religion accept that, right? Neither human instinct nor logic accept this as well.

We in Lebanon cannot equate between those who supported us with their position, money, and weapons; were martyred with us; lived the hardship with us; helped us liberate our land and free our captives; and made us into a deterrent force in the face of the enemy and those who conspired against Lebanon in 1982 – all these were revealed in documents – supported the “Israeli” enemy during all the years of the occupation, did not provide any assistance to Lebanon, and urged the “Israelis” to continue the July war until the resistance is crushed, even though “Israel” was exhausted by the war and wanted to stop it.

We cannot consider those who were happy for our victory in the July war equal to those who were saddened by our victory. Today, too, we cannot consider those who stand by Lebanon and the strength of Lebanon to regain its oil and gas, protect its land and sky, and face any future dangers or threats equal to those who conspire against Lebanon, besiege it, and prevent it from getting aid.

Likewise in Palestine. The Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people cannot consider those who are providing them with money, weapons, expertise, technology, and training and those who are standing with them in the media, politically, publicly, and diplomatically at every level and bearing the consequences of this position equal to those who are conspiring with the Americans and the “Israelis” against Palestine, its people, and its sanctities as well as the Palestinian refugees in the world, preventing aid from reaching the Palestinian people, besieging and arresting people who are collect aid or donating money to the Palestinian people, let alone those giving them weapons. It is natural that we find loyalty from the Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people towards Hajj Qassem and the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Syria cannot equate between those who were partners, supporters, and financiers of the global war against it, aimed at crushing, destroying, and dividing it and allowing the takfiris to govern it and those who stood by Syria, supported it with money and weapons, men and martyrs, and spent their youth in its squares and fields, such as Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his brothers.

The Iraqis cannot consider those who occupied their lands, destroyed Iraq, committed grave massacres, caused all these disasters, supported all the takfiri groups, sent thousands of suicide bombers and thousands of car bombs to Iraq, provided money and weapons to Takfiri terrorist organizations for many years equal to those who sacrificed their selves, soul, brothers, money, and weapons to stand by the Iraqis, defend them, help them liberate their land from the occupation, help them get rid of Daesh and the Takfiri groups that were destroying and burning Iraq, looting, killing, and committing massacres and sedition. They cannot equate between them.

This is also the case when we talk about Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries. Hence, being loyal also requires that we not equate between these types of people, to know our friends from our enemies from our opponents, and to distinguish between who is just and who is negligent. Loyalty is also one of the conditions of victory. God Almighty threatened to take away blessings from those who disbelieve in them. And for those who are grateful, their blessings will be increased. God will increase their blessings. Loyalty is one of the conditions for victory. It is one of the conditions for perseverance, survival, and steadfastness.

Thus, this is the first topic. Still in this topic, I can say today: Yes, our axis, our nation, our peoples, the resistance movements, their parties, the states, and everyone concerned in this battle regionally expressed their sincerity, loyalty, position, gratitude, recognition, glorification, honor and appreciation to these two great martyr leaders in a proportionate and different manner. And we must continue this. This should not end with the end of the first anniversary. Today, Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi, and all the martyrs are torches. They are suns and moons that illuminate the path for us, and this lighting and guidance must continue.

Second point:

The second point that I want to talk about in this commemoration is the impact of this incident from the beginning until today. This incident was strongly present all year long – in the sentiments, emotions, as well as in the political, security, and military equations. As we speak, there is great concern in the region, in the Gulf region and in Iraq and in our region. Yesterday, the “Israelis” announced that they had raised the level of alert and reserve in their army to the highest levels. All this because of the anniversary of the assassination of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani and martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. This incident imposed itself. And today, the region is in a state of grave tension. Let us not hide behind our finger. We do not know where any incident might drag the region to. The Americans, at the very least, are in a state of fear and worry and are waiting. This is what they are saying.

The brothers in Iran also assume that Trump may prepare something before his departure on January 20. The entire region is in a state of caution and attention. This is as a result of the impact of this incident. This incident cannot be overlooked. And I tell you, this incident will always have a strong impact. Here, I would also like to refer to a very important point because some people here in Lebanon and abroad think in a wrong way. For example, when it comes to the response to the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, some assume that Iran will depend on its proxies as they call them, on its friends, or on its loved ones.    

Iran does not ask its proxies, its friends, or its loved ones for anything, and it has never asked them for anything. When Iran decides to respond militarily as it did in Ain al-Assad, it will respond militarily. When it responds on the security level, it will be in accordance with the nature of the incident.

The assassination of the great nuclear scientist, martyr Dr. Fakhrizadeh was a security operation. If Iran wanted to respond militarily, it would have done so from the beginning or in the first few days, as it responded at Ain Al-Assad base after the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. If Iran’s friends, who are loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the martyrs, took the initiative to respond, it is their business and decision. But what I want the enemies, the friends, and the analysts to know so they do not misanalyse is that Iran is not weak. Iran is strong when it wants to respond militarily and at the security level at the appropriate time, place, and manner.

Some people in Lebanon and the region measure Iran in terms of some of its regional friends. Iran is not like that. Here, I am talking to some of the Lebanese as well. When your master, Trump, talks about some of your regional friends, he says they have nothing but money and that “King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us.” “If we were not defending you, you’d be speaking Farsi in three weeks.”

These are your friends. This is why they need America and others, like the Takfiri groups, and need to finance gangs and mercenaries so that they can defend them, their borders, and even their regimes.

As for Iran, it is strong and does not even need its friends and allies. Let this matter remain clearly present in the minds of everyone who wants to analyze, comment, or approach events of this kind.

Third point:

Also during this commemoration, I want to emphasize that the axis of resistance was able to absorb this big blow. We admit that the blow was very grave and the loss was very great, but the axis was able to absorb it. The Americans, those who helped them, and those who instigated them assumed that when we kill Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the situation in Iraq will turn in their favor and the axis of resistance will collapse. Hajj Qassem represented the wise, courageous, serious, and persevering link, a link that binds the countries, forces, and movements of the axis of resistance. Hence, if we kill this man, the link will be broken.

All this has been addressed and absorbed. Based on our culture, belonging, and history, we know how to turn threats into opportunities. We also know how to transform blood that was unjustly shed into a strong drive to persevere, be steadfast, remain on the path, and be more responsible. They thought that shedding that blood will lead to frustration, despair, carelessness, weakness, withdrawal, or retreat. That is why in the context of this battle, I want the Americans, the “Israelis”, everyone belonging to their axis, and those who kill our leaders and conspire to assassinate our leaders, scholars, elites, or kill our mujahideen, our people, our men and women to know two things very well.

Imam Khomeini used to say, “Kill us; our nation will become more awaken.” Sayyed Abbas used to repeat this phrase: “When you kill us, our people will become more aware.” Look at how Hezbollah in Lebanon was before Sayyed Abbas was martyred. What did it become after his martyrdom? What moral, intellectual, spiritual, and voluntary status and strength did the blood and martyrdom of Sayyed Abbas give to this march? It is the same thing when we talk about the martyrs.

The other thing I wanted to add is when you kill our leaders, we become more adamant, hardened, and more committed to the truth, and our sense of responsibility increases. We’ve lost these great people on this path. How can we abandon it?

Therefore, whoever is betting that murders, assassinations, wars, car bombs, sieges, and sanctions will weaken our will, determination, and resolve is weak. I will later conclude with the sanctions.

Fourth point:

If Iran declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran, we are presenting him as a global hero, a global symbol, a world title, and a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, and loyalty that defends the weak and the oppressed, whether they were Muslims or not.

In every battle and in his entire life, Hajj Qassem Soleimani not only defended the Shiites, but he also defended the Sunnis, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Christians, Muslims, the followers of other religions and denominations, Venezuela, and any country or people that could be besieged, weakened, or conspired against. He was present in the squares. These various and great traits that exist in the personality of this leader qualify him to be a global symbol and hero, to be emulated by all the resistance and mujahideen of this world.

There are also great symbols alongside him. In Iraq, there is Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine in Lebanon and Syria. There are also martyr leaders in Palestine, Yemen, and other arenas. These are symbols and patriotic and national heroes in their country and their nation. But Hajj Qassem Soleimani leads because he was present in all these squares, present strongly and effectively in all of these squares. That is why he must be rightfully introduced. We are not exaggerating or make a legend out of him or anything. Until this moment, I tell you, what has been revealed about Hajj Qassem Soleimani, about the nature of this figure, about his jihad, his watchfulness and his sacrifices, about his achievements as well as the achievement of all the brothers who worked with him in all arenas, have so far been little. There are things that cannot be revealed since the time to talk about them is not appropriate. But they will be revealed later.

In any case, on the first anniversary, I also call for taking this position, dealing with this name, this scene, this image, and this symbolism at this international and global level.

Fifth point:

The last point that I would like to point to is regarding the future, continuing the path. This incident has repercussions. It has very important implications and effects:

1- Expelling America out of the region: This slogan would not have become a slogan and a declared and serious goal that all the peoples of the region should work if it were not for this historical incident and its magnitude. The Americans created Daesh. Trump talked about Hillary Clinton and Obama, but he did not continue. This means the CIA and the Pentagon, i.e. all the Americans. In other words, the Obama administration created Daesh.

By the way, I remember a funny thing when Daesh appeared. Some Gulf newspapers and this black room in the Gulf worked on a group of magazines and articles published by some media outlets, reporting that a meeting took place on the Iranian-Afghan border with three people attending it – myself, the poor servant, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and Osama Bin Laden – and made the decision to form Daesh. Take a look at the level of emptiness, stupidity, and shallowness of the media in the other axis.

In any case, when Trump said the Americans created Daesh, they created it for objectives related to Syria, Iraq, and the whole region. A senior American general admitted that they created Daesh. This can be found on social media, and the boys always acquire them. Even Clinton herself admit it. But now, I remember this specifically. He is a retired American major general or lieutenant general – God knows. He was a military commander of NATO. He said we can only fight Hezbollah with Daesh. We created Daesh to fight Hezbollah. Daesh was created so that the American army would return to Iraq and occupation would return to Iraq, but in a different way.

This incident, this assassination pushed the Iraqi people to take to the street. One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the Iraqi people came out following the assassination. It demanded the withdrawal of the American forces. Then, there was the very important decision taken by the Iraqi parliament that is following up on its implementation with the Iraqi government. the talk now is that the Americans will withdraw within a year or two. The Americans promised to withdraw in three years. This is a detail that concerns the Iraqis themselves. But the incident put the US forces on the path out of Iraq, and this is being pursued by the Iraqis themselves with all the means they see fit. So, this is a goal, which is related to the next phase.

2- Just retribution: Imam Khamenei clearly and specifically defined the circle of the killers of martyred commanders Hajj Soleimani and Haji Abu Mahdi – those who ordered and those who carried out the assassination. It is true that, first and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the Iranians to avenge Hajj Qassem and a primary responsibility of the Iraqis to avenge Hajj Abu Mahdi. But I want to repeat what I said a few days ago via Al-Mayadeen. This is also the responsibility of every free, honorable, resistance fighter, and loyal person on the planet to be a partner in enforcing this punishment.

3- To continue to defend the states, peoples, and movements of the resistance against all the threats that may arise. We are witnessing a revival of some of these takfiri groups, in Iraq and Syria. Recently, there were dangerous operations carried out by Daesh.

4- Palestine, Al-Quds, and the holy sites. It is our natural right to continue to stand by this dear and generous people.

This is the path, and this axis will continue on this path and this battle. Of course, every person should follow it in accordance with what is appropriate for his country, taking into account the group of national interests. We did that and we still do. This axis is managed by its leaders in different countries with reason, wisdom, and understanding of the circumstances of each other in an accurate and responsible manner, not as some imagine. Had it not been for this situation in the leadership of the axis, all these victories and achievements would not have been accomplished. The defeats that befell the other anxious and dilapidated projects  would not have been possible. We have a horizon, but the others don’t. It is through logic, evidence, proof, and argument and not through pretense and slogan, and giving empty morale. Absolutely not.

This is all I’m going to talk about regarding the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great martyr commanders. With regard to the Lebanese file, I felt that if I were to speak at length, it will take more time. Since I wanted to conclude before seven o’clock, I will, God willing, speak in a few days. We’ll see maybe Thursday or Friday, so there’s a break between the two speeches. It will be a speech solely on Lebanese issues. There are several topics that I’d like to talk about, including the government, the developments and the investigation regarding the port, the Americans interfering in the issue of the port, judicial developments regarding this matter, the living and social situation. I have something to say about the Al-Qard Al-Hasan Association. According to our data, the Americans paid some television stations hundreds of thousands of dollars to only report on the Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association. Since Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association has become the subject of official, political, and media attention, I’d like to talk about this topic. I will also talk about the banks, the depositors, the sanctions, and the political choices. Now we are hearing about political and economic choices. So, God willing, my next talk will be purely about the Lebanese file. Now the demarcation of the border and the situation with the “Israeli” enemy, the resistance, oil and gas, in any case, we have talked today and we have spoken several days ago. But God willing, I will focus on these topics.

I would like to conclude by advising those who are thinking about imposing a siege and sanctions. I asked the brothers here to give me a list. They provided me with a long list that dates back to last year and the year before. In the past few months, in particular, the Trump administration has been working on luring countries to normalize [ties with “Israel”] and others to place Hezbollah on the terror and sanctions lists. The Americans worked on this. There were even countries that we never heard of or countries that are of no value to us, like Slovenia. I don’t want to underestimate any country. But if you asked the Lebanese people, what is Slovenia? Some might say it’s the name of a ship, an island, a hotel. With all due respect to this state, this is the reality. For example, there are small countries in far away corners of the world that no one has heard of and no one knows anything about declaring that they have placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, how do we know about this? From the Americans.

Pompeo would call them and thank them. Good job. God bless you.  So, what’s the story? They placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, they know this does nothing. Its goal is psychological – to make the Lebanese people or Hezbollah feel besieged, that the world is besieging it and rejecting it, the world is placing it on the terror list. This is part of the subjugation battle.

I want to end on a moral note. In our culture, we believe in God Almighty and that the realm of the heavens and earth and everything is in the hand of God Almighty. And we consider that we are doing our taklif [religious obligation]. As His servants, we worship Him. We worship Him during prayers and in jihad. When we obey Him and worship Him, we become His soldiers. When we become His soldiers, we become among His soldiers in this existence and in this universe.

{And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him.}

Even if you besieged us in a small plot of land, we are the ones to feel it. Just for you to know who you are fighting and besieging. We do not feel that we are trapped. We have the land, the mountains, the valleys, the dirt, the rivers, the seas, the oceans, the clouds, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seven heavens, the angels, and what He has created from what we know and what we do not know all on our side. We feel that you are the ones that are trapped. America and its greatness are trapped. Our enemies are all trapped. We are not besieged. He who believes in God cannot feel surrounded even if all the landscape closed down on him.

You are fighting a failed battle that will not lead to any results. Killing us will only increase our awareness, persistence, and determination.  Besieging us will only increase our confidence, dependence, and connection to the true source of strength that creates victory. {And victory is not but from Allah.}

Peace, and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

US Congressman Pledges to Resume US Aid to Palestinians

January 7, 2021

US Congressman Gregory Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs. (Photo: File) Committee

US Congressman Gregory Meeks, the new Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has said he was looking forward to resuming humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, as part of a push by President-elect Joe Biden for a two-state solution.

Speaking to the Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, Meeks said he supports the return of the Palestinian diplomatic representation to the United States after the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump closed the PLO office in Washington.

“I’m a firm believer in the two-state solution, providing both parties with self-determination… So we may need to restart the US assistance to Palestinian people, demonstrating that the United States is ready to lead again,” said Meeks.

“We may therefore need to mobilize US aid to the Palestinians to show that the United States is ready to take over the leadership again,” he added.

In 2018, the Trump administration canceled more than $200 million in aid intended for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Trump administration also stopped the US contribution to financing the budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and canceled aid worth $25 million for Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem.

Trump provided unswerving support to the Israeli occupation, violating the international consensus, and in 2017 recognized both parts of Occupied Jerusalem as its capital. This position led the Palestinian Authority to cut off all contacts with the US administration, and the United States responded by closing the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

The Soleimani legacy: Dr Tim Anderson

«الجبهة الشعبيّة»: لعزل البطريرك الخائن «ثيوفيلوس الثالث»

تسريبه عقارات وأراضي فلسطينية للعدو جزء لا يتجزأ من التهويد والتوسع الاستيطانيّ

جدّدت الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين موقفها بضرورة عزل البطريرك الخائن والفاسد «ثيوفيلوس الثالث» وعدم الاعتراف به ومقاطعته بشكلِ كاملِ في ظل استمرار خيانته للأمانة ومواصلة تسريب المزيد من العقارات للكيان الصهيوني، كان آخرها قيامه بتحويل مباني دير مار إلياس الواقعة في بيت جالا إلى فندق تشرف على إدارته شركة أوروبية مشبوهة من المحتمل جداً أن تكون مملوكة للكيان الصهيوني.

وندّدت الجبهة، في تصريح صحافي، بقيام محافظة بيت لحم والأجهزة الأمنية بمنع إقامة المؤتمر الصحافي للحراك الأرثوذكسي الذي كان بصدد كشف خيوط تسريب الصفقة الجديدة لهذا البطريرك الخائن والفاسد للاحتلال في مدينة القدس.

وأكدت أنّ استمرار هذا البطريرك الخائن بتسريب المزيد من العقارات والأراضي الفلسطينية، هو جزء لا يتجزأ من عملية التهويد والتوسع الاستيطاني للكيان الصهيوني، ومحاولة أيضاً للانقضاض على الرواية والهوية الوطنية، ومحاولة لضرب الجذور التاريخية لأبناء شعبنا المسيحيين وتعلقهم بأرضهم وباعتبارهم جزءاً أصيلاً من الشعب الفلسطيني.

ودعت الجبهة إلى ضغط وطني وشعبي واسع من أجل طرد هذا البطريرك الخائن والفاسد، والتصدي لكل مخططات الكيان الصهيوني وأذنابه الهادفة للاستيلاء على الأراضي والممتلكات الفلسطينية.

وختمت الجبهة بيانها مشيدة بالمواقف الوطنية الأصيلة التي عَبّر عنها رجال الدين المسيحيون المخلصون وفي مقدمتهم النادي الارثوذكسي في بيت جالا والمجلس المركزي الأرثوذكسي في فلسطين، ومختلف الفعاليات الوطنية والمجتمعية والشبابية والنسوية برفضهم وتصديهم لهذا الدور المشبوه الذي يقوم به هذا البطريرك الخائن، داعية السلطة إلى وقف التعاطي السلبي والمريب مع هذه القضية وتَحمُلّ مسؤولياتها على المستوى الدولي من أجل نزع الشرعية عن هذا الخائن، والتحقيق في قضايا تسريب أراضي وممتلكات فلسطينية مماثلة من قبل متنفذين فلسطينيين.

What Educational, Religious, Moral, Humanitarian References Justify Normalization with Zionists?

Source

By: Prime Minister Dr.. Abdul Aziz bin Habtoor

Translated from Al-Mayadeen

What Educational, Religious, Moral, Humanitarian References Justify Normalization with Zionists?

Middle East: Arab and Islamic various media showed “downward” models of citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries participating, with tremendous joy and overflowing happiness, with the Zionists their joys and celebrations, visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque and also touring with the Zionists on the beaches of Jaffa, Acre and Tel Aviv

With brazenness, they also visited the Syrian Arab Golan Heights, which Donald Trump had “granted” to the Zionist enemy as a “gift”, to send from there audio messages that are closer to ‘spreading the vice’ that they promote without respect the simplest feelings of millions of free Arabs.

If we try to justify the “Arab” rulers for their “normalization” step, and say that they did so under the tremendous pressure that they are subjected to by the Zionist and US administration, and they may not be blamed because of the presence of US warships, bases and military camps in Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the Saudi Arabia, the Arab and even Islamic public opinion may turn a blind eye to the “normalization” that they committed, which is considered a betrayal.

But how can we explain this “popular” trot by individuals, groups, businessmen, and journalists from those countries, who demand popular “normalization” to the extent of integration and infiltration into Arab families, unfortunately? What kind of people are these from ?! What is their educational, religious, moral and humanitarian reference ?! Here,the question is: Have some of the people of these (financially wealthy) countries lost their connection and ties to their Arabism and religion ?!

This leads us to a general explanation that those belonging to the lavish consumer society in the Gulf have lost their collective consciousness, and their culture and spiritual ties of their belonging to their Arab and Islamic nation have been corrupted, so they no longer distinguish between the occupied Zionist and the oppressed owner of the land. 

There is a permissible amount of openness to others, and there is no harm in it being in a humane and understandable manner, and this relations with others should not make us forget our fateful Arab-Islamic issues.

However, what Arab public opinion showed on the media, was a remarkable phenomenon, the first of its kind, that these “Arab Muslims”, if they are still Arab and Muslims, was abnormal and unacceptable behavior? This is what made us ask: What are the patriotic and religious education that they were brought up with in their families and schools? 

We have witnessed the huge sacrifices made by the Palestinian people in their resistance to displacement, Judaization, starvation and siege. Returning to the history of the national political sacrifices that people made in Palestine, it is similar to the sacrifices made by the Arab peoples who resisted British and French colonialism, offering caravans of martyrs, wounded and missing. Were all these massive sacrifices in the concepts of the ‘new Arabs’ absurd and wrong with no value?

If that were so, we would not have studied in the history the story of the revelution of Spartacus and the slave revolt that did not accept slavery at all. Why do we teach our children and grandchildren concepts of freedom, dignity, morals and shame?

I would like to remind you that the six-year-old Palestinian child, who was enforced to emigrate from his village, returns to his town, his village and the site of his old house, carrying a small bag with him, to take soil of the ground, and he puts it in that bag, after inhaling its perfume saturated with dignity, history and painful memories, then go back to a place and home in the country of expatriation.

This phenomenon is repeated with every Palestinian who was enforced one day to leave his land. They travel thousands of kilometers from where they live and work automatically, without receiving instructions from anyone to do such things.

Therefore, we reiterate that “normalization” with the Israeli enemy has no value nor a real future for it, because the people of Palestine and all the free people of the whole world, will not abandon a just cause, as long as they irrigated its pure soil with their pure blood and planted figs and olives trees in it  to be pegs as mooring mountains.

The Arabs in the Gulf Cooperation Council, rulers or people, except for the free among them, must understand the equation of Palestine as a land and a person, and they must understand the scene of an elderly woman embracing the olive tree to prevent the Zionists from uprooting it.

We have to understand the scene of the children of the stones as they resist the troop carrier and the invading hordes of Zionists soldiers. We have to understand the scene of a Palestinian young woman while she was treating a wounded Palestinian, and she was also hit by a fatal bullet from a reckless Israeli soldier.

Let us remember Laila Khaled and her comrades as they forced the enemy aircraft to surrender, and let us think a lot about the long queue of Palestinain martyrs, including the martyr Sheikh Izz al-Din Al-Qassam, Yasser Arafat, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abu Ali Mustafa, Abu Jihad, Khalil al-Wazir, Wadih Haddad, Fathi al-Shaqaqi, Fatima al-Najjar, Moataz Qassem, Bayan al-Asali, Diaa al-Tahamah, Yahya Ayyash, the child martyr Muhammad Abu Khedira, Muhammad al-Durra, the martyr Razan Ashraf Al-Najjar, and tens of thousands of martyrs.

Talking about these martyrs, the wounded and the steadfast on the borders of dignity is not an old talk of outdated time, as it is promoted by who normalized. No, these are living lessons, and they will continue as long as the Zionist enemy is the same enemy, and as long as the occupation continues. The Zionist hate speech and supremacy remains the same for seven decades. The Zionist attacks on the Gaza Strip continue, and the arrests and killing of Palestinians remain the same. So, what has changed in the scene ?!

We will answer with confidence: As long as the equation does not change, the resistance will continue until liberating the land, and the free Arabs and Muslims will remain supportive of all the Palestinian until victory.

«الجبهة الشعبيّة»: لعزل البطريرك الخائن «ثيوفيلوس الثالث»

تسريبه عقارات وأراضي فلسطينية للعدو جزء لا يتجزأ من التهويد والتوسع الاستيطانيّ

جدّدت الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين موقفها بضرورة عزل البطريرك الخائن والفاسد «ثيوفيلوس الثالث» وعدم الاعتراف به ومقاطعته بشكلِ كاملِ في ظل استمرار خيانته للأمانة ومواصلة تسريب المزيد من العقارات للكيان الصهيوني، كان آخرها قيامه بتحويل مباني دير مار إلياس الواقعة في بيت جالا إلى فندق تشرف على إدارته شركة أوروبية مشبوهة من المحتمل جداً أن تكون مملوكة للكيان الصهيوني.

وندّدت الجبهة، في تصريح صحافي، بقيام محافظة بيت لحم والأجهزة الأمنية بمنع إقامة المؤتمر الصحافي للحراك الأرثوذكسي الذي كان بصدد كشف خيوط تسريب الصفقة الجديدة لهذا البطريرك الخائن والفاسد للاحتلال في مدينة القدس.

وأكدت أنّ استمرار هذا البطريرك الخائن بتسريب المزيد من العقارات والأراضي الفلسطينية، هو جزء لا يتجزأ من عملية التهويد والتوسع الاستيطاني للكيان الصهيوني، ومحاولة أيضاً للانقضاض على الرواية والهوية الوطنية، ومحاولة لضرب الجذور التاريخية لأبناء شعبنا المسيحيين وتعلقهم بأرضهم وباعتبارهم جزءاً أصيلاً من الشعب الفلسطيني.

ودعت الجبهة إلى ضغط وطني وشعبي واسع من أجل طرد هذا البطريرك الخائن والفاسد، والتصدي لكل مخططات الكيان الصهيوني وأذنابه الهادفة للاستيلاء على الأراضي والممتلكات الفلسطينية.

وختمت الجبهة بيانها مشيدة بالمواقف الوطنية الأصيلة التي عَبّر عنها رجال الدين المسيحيون المخلصون وفي مقدمتهم النادي الارثوذكسي في بيت جالا والمجلس المركزي الأرثوذكسي في فلسطين، ومختلف الفعاليات الوطنية والمجتمعية والشبابية والنسوية برفضهم وتصديهم لهذا الدور المشبوه الذي يقوم به هذا البطريرك الخائن، داعية السلطة إلى وقف التعاطي السلبي والمريب مع هذه القضية وتَحمُلّ مسؤولياتها على المستوى الدولي من أجل نزع الشرعية عن هذا الخائن، والتحقيق في قضايا تسريب أراضي وممتلكات فلسطينية مماثلة من قبل متنفذين فلسطينيين.

بفضل الشهيد سليماني… حَسَمَت «حماس» أمرها!

الأخبار

من ملف : القائد الأممي

حسام عبد الكريم 

الإثنين 4 كانون الثاني 2021

منذ تأسيسها في أواخر ثمانينيات القرن الماضي كحركة مقاومة فلسطينية ضدّ الكيان الصهيوني، عانت «حماس» من عدّة أنواع من التجاذبات الداخلية. أول تلك التجاذبات، أنّها في الوقت ذاته حركة شعبية جماهيرية (مع ما يتطلّبه ذلك من تعاون / تعامل واقعي مع منظمة التحرير الفسلطينية أولاً ثم السلطة الفلسطينية لاحقاً) وحركة كفاح مسلّح أيضاً (بما يقتضيه ذلك من سرية التنظيمات الثورية واعتباراتها الأمنية). التجاذب الثاني، كان بين كونها حركة وطنية (فلسطينية) وحركة إسلامية (انبثقت من رحم «الإخوان المسلمين»). وثالث التجاذبات، كان يتعلّق بالموقف من النظام الرسمي العربي (وبالتحديد أنظمة مصر والأردن والسعودية) في مقابل العلاقة مع إيران.

وفي ضوء تلك التجاذبات والعوامل، سارت «حماس» على مدى أكثر من 25 سنة. وبناءً عليها، يمكن فهم التناقضات والمواقف المتضاربة التي اتخذتها الحركة سواء في الداخل الفلسطيني أو على المستوى الإقليمي. بعد اغتيال الشيخ أحمد ياسين في عام 2004، وظهور خالد مشعل كقائد «رسمي» للحركة، ازداد الميل الحماسي للتعامل الإيجابي مع النظام الرسمي العربي، وخصوصاً مع استقراره في قطر. بذل مشعل جهوداً كبيرة للتقارب مع السعودية، وسعى لإقناعها بجاهزية «حماس» لقبول الرعاية السعودية كبديلٍ للسلطة الفلسطينية، أو على الأقل إلى جانبها. ولكنّ مجهودات مشعل لم تثمر واصطدمت بتعنّت شديد، خصوصاً من طرف الأمير سعود الفيصل وإصرارٍ من السعودية على ضرورة قطع العلاقة مع إيران، أي أنهم وضعوه في خانة إما نحن أو إيران! وكذلك مع مصر، حاول مشعل كثيراً مع نظام حسني مبارك لكي يظهر له حسن النية والجاهزية للتعاطي بإيجابية مع الملاحظات والمطالب المصرية، وذلك بهدف التعامل مع «حماس» كشريك وطرف سياسي مقبول، ولكن جهود مشعل قوبلت بالصد ووصلت إلى حائط مسدود مع إصرار مصر على التعامل مع «حماس» على أساس «أمني»، ووضع ملفّها كاملاً بأيدي المخابرات المصرية، وليس وزارة الخارجية. ومع الأردن أيضاً، فشلت جهود خالد مشعل نظراً إلى حساسية جهاز المخابرات تجاه علاقة «حماس» بـ«الإخوان المسلمين» الأردنيين، وثبات السياسة الأردنية على مبدأ الدعم والشراكة مع السلطة الفلسطينية في عملية السلام (استخدمت الأردن العلاقة مع «حماس» كورقة في علاقتها مع سلطة عباس في رام الله تستعملها إذا اقتضت الحاجة من حين لآخر). باختصار، وجدت «حماس» صدّاً وردّاً ورفضاً من النظام العربي، وشروطاً تعجيزية، رغم كلّ محاولاتها وجهودها لنيل الرضا الرسمي.

وهنا ظهر رجب طيب إردوغان. بحلول عام 2009، شعر إردوغان أنه صار يمتلك من القوة داخل تركيا بما يمكنه من تغيير سياساتها وتحالفاتها الخارجية. وعندما بدأ يطلق سهامه السياسية تجاه إسرائيل ويتكلّم عن القدس وفلسطين، وجدت «حماس» متنفّساً كبيراً لها، خصوصاً مع «سنّية» إردوغان وعلاقاته الإخوانية القديمة. اندفعت قيادة «حماس» نحو إردوغان إلى أقصى مدى، بشكل متهوّر يمكن القول، حتى ارتكبت خطأها الأكبر عندما قرّرت قلب ظهر المجنّ لسوريا والانقلاب على إيران. في الفترة ما بين عامَي 2011 و2013، دخلت «حماس» طرفاً في الأزمة السورية، داعمة للمعارضة الساعية لإسقاط النظام، مدفوعة بجذورها الإخوانية وبموقف إردوغان ومتشجّعة بصعود محمد مرسي في مصر. كان ذلك الموقف طعنة في ظهر سوريا وخيانة لإيران.

قرّر سليماني بتوجيهات من القيادة العليا للجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية أن يغضّ النظر عن خطأ قيادة «حماس»


الجناح العسكري في «حماس»، «كتائب القسام»، كانت له دائماً أولوياته واعتباراته التي لا تتطابق بالضرورة مع قيادة خالد مشعل وسياساته العربية ومبادراته ومناوراته. لم تكن الدول العربية في وارد تقديم أيّ دعم عسكري على الإطلاق (بل كانت واقعاً في الخندق الآخر، الإسرائيلي، عندما يتعلّق الأمر بالمقاومة المسلّحة و«كتائب القسام»). وحتى تركيا إردوغان كانت تعرف حدودها، فاكتفت بالكلام السياسي والإعلامي، ولم تقترب أبداً من النواحي العسكرية لدعم القضية الفلسطينية.
الشهيد قاسم سليماني، بتوجيهات من القيادة العليا للجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية، قرّر أن يغضّ النظر عن خطأ قيادة «حماس» (أو خطيئتها بالأحرى) ومكتبها السياسي، وأن يستمرّ في البرنامج الاستراتيجي الذي أطلقه من سنين طويلة والهادف إلى تحويل «حماس» في غزّة إلى قوّة عسكرية حقيقية قادرة على مواجهة إسرائيل وتحدّيها، بل والتغلّب عليها، على نموذج حزب الله في لبنان. مبكراً جداً، دخل الشهيد سليماني على خط المقاومة في غزّة، متبنّياً التنظيمات المسلّحة، وأهمّها وأكبرها «كتائب القسام»، وداعماً لها تقنياً وفنياً، بالسلاح والعتاد، ولوجستياً ومادياً. سخّر الحاج قاسم إمكانيات إيران في هذا الاتجاه، فصارت تؤتي أُكلها وبدأت قدرات جديدة ومتطوّرة بالظهور في أيدي المقاومين الفلسطينيين، أنظمة صواريخ يزداد مداها يوماً عن يوم، قنابل وألغام متطوّرة، قدرات بحرية وحتى جوية! والأهم هو التأهيل والتدريب ونقل الخبرات من أجل ضمان الاستمرارية والقدرة على التصنيع والإنتاج. لم يتعامل الحاج قاسم مع «حماس» بمنطق ردّ الفعل، فلم يوقف برنامج الدعم العسكري لـ«كتائب القسام» ولم يطلب من «حماس» شيئاً، ولا ضغط عليها ولا ساومها لأجل تغيير موقفها السياسي من الأزمة في سوريا.

تعامل الشهيد سليماني مع «حماس» بمنتهى الصبر والهدوء، فلم يعاقبها بسبب «خيانتها» في سوريا وتجاهل، بثقة العالم العارف، خالد مشعل ومكتبه السياسي، وكأنّ شيئاً لم يكن. كانت القضية أكبر من الأشخاص عند قاسم سليماني، وفلسطين مسألة مبدأ وأكبر من خالد مشعل بل من «حماس» كلّها. إنها عقيدة الجمهورية الإسلامية غرسها الإمام الخميني في نفوس قاسم سليماني ورفاقه: إسرائيل غدّة سرطانية ولا بدّ أن تزول، وسوف تزول!

سرعان ما أدركت «حماس» خطأها. فمع صمود سوريا وفشل خطط إسقاط النظام فيها، وجدت قيادة «حماس» نفسها في مهبّ الريح، وخصوصاً مع إقرار إردوغان واعترافه بهزيمة مشروعه في سوريا، عام 2016. فلا النظام الرسمي العربي معها، ولا انتصر «الإخوان المسلمون» في مصر أو سوريا، وقد أبعدت نفسها عن إيران وأغضبتها، وكلّ ما حصدته من مغامرتها السورية هو الفشل والخيبة والظهور بمظهر الغادر الناكر للجميل. فكان التغيير الحتمي. توارى خالد مشعل ورموز مكتبه السياسي خلف الأضواء، واضطرّوا لإفساح المجال لصعود القيادة الجديدة في «حماس»، قيادة العمل العسكري و«كتائب القسام»، لتتسلّم زمام الأمور في غزة، ممثّلة بشخص المناضل العتيد والعنيد يحيى السنوار الذي لن يسمح بعد الآن للسياسيين «بالعبث» في إنجازات «حماس» العسكرية التي تحقّقت بفضل إيران وبالذات الشهيد قاسم سليماني. لا يبالي يحيى السنوار بغضب من يغضب ولا يداري، بل قالها علناً وعلى رؤوس الأشهاد: كلّ ما حقّقناه من قدرات عسكرية كان بفضل إيران ودعمها.

سوف يوجد دائماً في صفوف «حماس» وقاعدتها الشعبية من يعادون إيران على أسس مذهبية، وسوف لن تتوقف الأصوات التي تتحدّث عن الشيعة والسنّة، ولكن لن تكون لهم الكلمة بعد اليوم. تعلّمت «حماس» درسها ولن تغادر محور المقاومة بعد الآن، والفضل كلّ الفضل للشهيد قاسم سليماني.

قالها إسماعيل هنية في طهران ثلاثاً: شهيد القدس، شهيد القدس، شهيد القدس!

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السبيل لإحباط أهداف الحرب الاقتصادية واستكمال معركة التحرّر الشامل من الاحتلال والهيمنة

 حسن حردان

لا تثقوا بالحكام الأميركيين، سواء كانوا من الجمهوريين أو من الديمقراطيين. فالضمانة لإحقاق الحقوق واستعادة المنقوص منها، وإحباط المشاريع والخطط الاستعَمارية للولايات المتحدة، وردع عدوانيتها وتمكين العرب من تحرير فلسطين، إنما هي مواصلة حلف دول وقوى المقاومة، طريق المقاومة المسلحة، والعمل في ذات الوقت على تحقيق التنمية الاقتصادية والعدالة الاجتماعية، بما يحقق الاكتفاء الذاتي من احتياجات الشعب وتوزيع الموارد بعدالة.

لقد بات واضحاً انّ حلف المقاومة نجح في تحقيق جملة من الأمور الهامة من خلال تصدّيه ومقاومته للمشاريع والمخططات الاستعمارية التي استهدفت إعادة رسم خريطة المنطقة وإخضاعها بالكامل للسيطرة الأميركية وأدواتها.. وتجلى نجاح حلف المقاومة بالأمور التالية:

الأمر الأول، إفشال الحروب العسكرية المباشرة، الأميركية الصهيونية، وإلحاق الهزيمة العسكرية والمعنوية بقوات الاحتلال الأميركي الغربي والصهيوني، في العراق، ولبنان، وغزة.

الأمر الثاني، إحباط أهداف الحروب الإرهابية بالوكالة التي قامت بها أميركا في سورية والعراق واليمن، بعد فشل حروبها العسكرية المباشرة..

الأمر الثالث، إحباط مخططات الفتنة الطائفية والمذهبية التي استهدفت دول وقوى المقاومة في سياق ما سُمّي الحرب الناعمة التي استهدفت شيطنة المقاومة والدول الداعمة لها، ومحاصرتها وإضعاف شعبيتها وتقويض عوامل صمودها وصولاً إلى محاولة فرض الاستسلام عليها ونزع أسلحة قوتها إلخ…

اما اليوم فقد بات الحفاظ على هذه الإنجازات وتعزيزها، لاستكمال معركة التحرر الشامل من الاحتلال والهيمنة الاستعمارية بكلّ أشكالها، العسكرية والأمنية والسياسية والاقتصادية والثقافية، يتطلب أيضاً إحباط أهداف الحرب الاقتصادية المميتة ببطء لجمهور دول وقوى المقاومة، فهذه الحرب تقتل الناس بالحصار والتجويع، من دون أن تتكبّد، الحكومات الأميركية والغربية والصهيونية، أي خسائر مادية أو بشرية..

على أنّ تحقيق النجاح في إحباط أهداف الحرب الاقتصادية، يستدعي بالضرورة، الى جانب خوض المقاومة المسلحة ضدّ قوات الاحتلال الأجنبي، اعتماد سياسات اقتصادية واجتماعية ترتكز الى بناء الاقتصاد الذي يحقق التنمية والعدالة الاجتماعية في توزيع الموارد…

انّ سلوك هذا النهج من قبل دول وقوى حلف المقاومة هو السبيل إلى تحقيق ما يلي:

أولاً، إسقاط أهداف حرب الحصار الاقتصادية، والعقوبات الأميركية، وإجبار إدارة العدوان في واشنطن على التسليم بحقّ شعوب ودول المنطقة في تقرير مصيرها واسترداد حقوقها، واحترام سيادتها واستقلالها بعيداً عن أيّ تدخلات أجنبية…

ثانيا، منع إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن، المقبلة، من الاستمرار في الحرب الناعمة التي دشنتها الادارة الديمقراطية في عهد الرئيس باراك أوباما، واستمرت فيها إدارة الرئيس الحالي دونالد ترامب، وبالتالي إجبارها على سلوك طريق:

1

ـ العودة إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي نصاً وروحاً من دون أيّ تذاك لمحاولة إدخال تعديلات عليه لن تلقى اي صدى أو اهتمام لدى القيادة الإيرانية، وبالتالي إلغاء كل القرارات والإجراءات الاقتصادية التي اتخذتها إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب اثر انسحابها من الاتفاق النووي وتعويض إيران عن الأضرار التي أصابتها نتيجة لذلك.

2

ـ سحب القوات الأميركية المحتلة من سورية والعراق والكفّ عن مواصلة التدخل في شؤونهما الداخلية ودعم وتغذية الجماعات الإرهابية من داعش والنصرة وغيرهما من التنظيمات التي صنعتها الاستخبارات الأميركية ودفعت الأنظمة التابعة لواشنطن إلى دعمها بالمال والسلاح لتنفيذ حروبها الإرهابية التي فشلت في تحقيق أهدافها في إخضاع سورية والعراق لنظام الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركي..

انّ اعتماد هذه الاستراتيجية المتكاملة، التي بدأت بها كل من سورية وإيران، يجب أن يقترن كذلك بشن حرب بلا هوادة ضد الفاسدين، والمستغلين من التجار.. فعبر تنفيذ هذه الاستراتيجية يتمّ تحقيق هدفين مهمين:

الهدف الأول، تعزيز التفاف الناس حول خيار الصمود والمقاومة في مواجهة قوات الاحتلال الأجنبي وأدواتها الإرهابية والرجعية، وتحصين الجبهة الداخلية…

الهدف الثاني، سدّ المنافذ أمام قوى الاستعمار، التي تحاول الاستفادة من الثغرات الداخلية، وإنهاك الناس بالحرب الاقتصادية لإعادة فرض مخططاتها، التي فشلت في تحقيقها بواسطة قوتها العسكرية وأدواتها الداخلية والإرهابية.

إنّ إنجاز هذين الهدفين، الى جانب مواصلة استنزاف قوات الاحتلال بالمقاومة المسلحة، هو الذي يؤدي إلى إجبار قوى الاستعمار على التراجع والانكفاء والتسليم بالهزيمة وسحب قواتها المحتلة بلا قيد أو شرط على غرار ما حصل في لبنان عام 2000، وفي غزة عام 2005، وفي العراق عام 2011 .. وبالتالي اختصار عمر المعاناة وتحقيق التحرر الشامل والناجز من الهيمنة الاستعمارية بكلّ أشكالها..

Palestinian Resistance revives its Joint Operations Room

القائد الأممي

الأخبار

حسن عليق الإثنين 4 كانون الثاني 2021

بعد أيام على اغتيال اللواء قاسم سليماني، كان ديوسدادو كابيلّو، أحد أقوى الشخصيات في الحكم في فنزويلا (في العسكر كما بين المدنيين)، يلقي خطاباً في التجمع العالمي المناهض للإمبريالية، فافتتحه بطلب وقوف الحاضرين تحية «للشهيد الكبير الجنرال قاسم سليماني، الذي اغتيل على يد الإرهاب الأميركي الشمالي».

الرجل الذي أنقذ هيوغو شافيز من انقلاب العام 2002 وساهم في إنقاذ بلاده من محاولات انقلابية أخرى لاحقاً، لم يكن يتحدّث عن شهيد محور المقاومة من منطلق «التضامن الثوري» حصراً. هو يرى في إيران داعماً لبلاده أيضاً. توقيت الخطاب سبق بستة أشهر وصول شحنات البنزين الإيراني إلى فنزويلا. لكنه تلا سنوات من التعاون بين طهران وكاراكاس في نواحي شتى، أبرزها الجانب العسكري الذي قلما يُصرّح عنه المسؤولون في البلدين. هناك برنامج عمل، هدفه تعويض النقص الذي تعانيه فنزويلا في قطع غيار الأسلحة والطائرات بسبب الحصار الأميركي، إذ سبق لإيران أن خاضت تجربة مشابهة مع جزء من سلاحها الأميركي الصنع مذ كانت تحت حكم الشاه. لكن الأهم هو مساعدة إيران لكاراكاس على مأسسة «الميليشيات الشعبية» في الدولة اللاتينية، لحماية نظام الحُكم من الانقلابات. طيف قاسم سليماني كان حاضراً في كل هذه الميادين.

لكن كابيلّو كان ينطق بلسان تيار عريض في «الوطن اللاتيني الكبير». هذا التيار اليساري، سواء في الحكم أو خارجه، يرى في إيران الثورة، ومحور المقاومة، حليفاً موضوعياً. ففي تلك البلاد، ومنذ أكثر من 120 عاماً، كانت غالبية التجارب الاستقلالية الحقيقية تصطدم بالسياسات التوسعية للشمال. كان القائد الوطني الكوبي، الشهيد خوسي مارتي، من أوائل الذين تنبّهوا إلى هذه المعضلة، حيث لا تزال أطماع «أميركا الشمالية» هي العائق الأول أمام الاستقلال في أميركا الجنوبية.
يوم أمس، لاقى الرئيس البوليفي السابق وزعيم التحالف اليساري الحاكم في بلاده، إيفو موراليس، كابيلّو، ليصف سليماني بأنه أحد «أبطال القتال ضد الإمبريالية وشهدائه في العالم». كان موراليس أيضاً ينطق باسم التيار نفسه. هذا التيار الذي يرى أن تطوير بلاده وتحسين حياة السكان فيها يمران حتماً بمواجهة العدوانية الإمبريالية الأميركية.

هي الحرب الكبرى التي يجب أن تُخاض، بالصورة نفسها التي خيضت بها بعد عام 1982، انطلاقاً من لبنان


استحضار كابيلّو وموراليس (من بين عشرات الأمثلة في أميركا اللاتينية) لا يهدف إلى «افتعال» بُعد أممي لشخصية سليماني. فهذا البُعد موجود فعلاً. ويندر، في العقود الأخيرة على الأقل، العثور على شخصيات يترك حضورها، كما غيابها، أثراً كبيراً في كل دول الإقليم، وصولاً إلى «أقاصي» العالم، كما هي حال سليماني. على مدى 22 عاماً، كان سليماني يعمل كوزير ثانٍ لخارجية إيران، ورئيساً ثانياً لجهاز استخباراتها الخارجية، وقائداً لقواتها خارج الحدود، وسفيراً فوق العادة لقائدها، وصلة وصل بينها وبين حلفائها، كما بين الحلفاء أنفسهم. وفي جميع الأدوار، لم يكن الحاج قاسم منفذاً لسياسات وحسب، بل صانعاً لها، ومشاركاً في رسمها. يمكن النظر إلى دوره في الحرب السورية، بعد عام 2012، كمثال اعتمده في كل عمله. ابتدع تجربة «الممرات الآمنة»: طرق يصل طول بعضها إلى عشرات الكيلومترات (وأحياناً المئات)، تخترق «أراضي العدو»، لتصل «الأراضي المحررة» بعضها بالبعض الآخر، وتسمح بنقل آمن للمقاتلين والسلاح والمال والغذاء والوقود وما يلزم للحياة، وتغيّر مجرى المعارك. هكذا كان يفعل أيضاً بين الحلفاء، في الإقليم وحول العالم.

يصعب، بعد مرور عام على اغتياله، سدّ الثغرة التي خلّفها غيابه. والمحور الذي كان أحد قادته، مُلزم، بعد مرور 12 شهراً على الجريمة، بالرد على قتله غيلة، مع رفيقه القائد أبو مهدي المهندس. وهذا الرد ليس للثأر حصراً، بل هو، أولاً، لإعادة ميزان حياة المحور إلى ما كان عليه قبل الثالث من كانون الثاني 2020. والرد هنا لا يكون، بإيقاع أكبر قدر ممكن من الخسائر البشرية في صفوف العدو، على المستويات كلها، وحسب. فموازين القوى تَحُول، حتماً، دون التكافؤ في الضربات. الرد، في المقام الأول، هو في توسيع المساحات الآمنة، عسكرياً وأمنياً وسياسياً واقتصادياً، حول «الممرات الآمنة» التي أقامها سليماني ورفاقه، الشهداء منهم والأحياء، في طول الإقليم وعرضه، كما حول العالم. وتوسيع هذه الرقعة يبدأ بإخراج قوات الاحتلال الأميركي من الإقليم. هي الحرب الكبرى التي يجب أن تُخاض، بالصورة نفسها التي خيضت بها بعد عام 1982، انطلاقاً من لبنان. فاستقلال هذه البلاد مستحيل من دون مواجهة العدوانية الإمبريالية الأميركية، وأبرز مظاهرها الاحتلال العسكري المباشر.

من ملف : القائد الأممي

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فارس إيران وجمال العراق بطلان أمميّان.. شهداء بلا حدود

محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ ما يجري ويدور حولنا في هذه الساعة يا حاج قاسم يشي بقرب النصر والظفر في فلسطين وغير فلسطين…

أنت كتبتَهُ بدمك…

مرة كتبته بمسيرة عماد لبنان ومرة كتبته بمسيرة مهندس العراق ومرة كتبته بمسيرة صماد اليمن وفي كلّ مرة كتبته بمسيرة رموز العزة في غزة وبوابات الشام وعند سفوح وهضاب أفغانستان الفاطميّة وشبه القارة الهنديّة الزينبيّة، وبوصلتهم جميعاً إلى القدس من دون مواربة ولا التواء أو درجة انحراف..!

دمك كان يتدفق في أجسام متفاوتة روحها واحدة..!

اليوم وأنت ترقد في كرمان قرير العين صار بإمكانك أن ترى وتشاهد بعين اليقين من رافقوك من القادة كما من ربّيتهم من الكوادر على امتداد البصر أقرب وأشبه ما يكونون بجيش العشرين مليون لتحرير بيت المقدس، كما كان يتمنّى ويخطط إمامك وإمامهم الخميني العظيم..

كلّ هذه الملايين التي شيّعتك والمهندس قبل عام وتحيي ذكراك وذكراه اليوم إنما تنهل من نبع واحد… الإسلام وفلسطين.

دمهم واحد طريقهم واحد هدفهم واحد ولسان حالهم جميعاً… كما سرّك وسرّهم هو القدس فإنّ دربك ودربهم هو دربُ الحسين…

لم يدرس أحد منكم في الأكاديميات العسكرية العليا لكنكم بزّيتم كلّ جنرالات الأرض في القيادة والسيطرة والتخطيط…

لم تتعلّموا في الحوزات الدينيّة التقليديّة ولا الكليّات المدنيّة المشهورة في العالم لكنكم كنتم الأرقى في الأخلاق وفي إتقان العلوم..

لم تسعوا لتسنّم المراكز العليا في السلطات السياسيّة، لكن مواقعكم العمليّة كانت الأعلى والأكثر نفوذاً في مراكز صنع القرار في بلادهم…

لم تفتحوا شهيتكم لمغانم الدنيا وأموالها لكنكم كنتم الأغنى في البذل والعطاء وهم الأفقر إلى الله…

لم تفكّروا في ملذات الدنيا مطلقاً، لكنها أتت إليكم طواعيّة وما أسرَتْكم …

لم تلينوا لحظة واحدة مع العدو لكنكم كنتم الأكثر ودّاً وليناً مع عيال الله بكلّ صنوفهم…

الإيمان كان يغمرك ويغمرهم الى حدّ الذوبان في الله

والعزم والشجاعة كانا يتحزمانك ويتحزمانهم الى درجة صلابة الجبال…

كنتَ وهم الآن أول من يتقدّم الميدان ويخوض الميدان ثم يطلب من رجال الله اللحاق به الى الصفوف الأماميّة…

لا أنت ولا زملاؤك من القادة الذين ربّيت ولا كوادرك كانوا يوماً من المقاتلين الورقيّين او الافتراضيّين في غرف العمليات النظرية…

بل في الطليعة من الجيوش تتقدّمون الصفوف الأماميّة…

خالصين لله كنتم ومن أصفياء الله كنتم وثقتكم به تفوق الوصف، جاهدتم في الله حق جهاده حتى أتاكم اليقين.

من هنا كانت القيادة تليق بكم وأنتم السادة ورمز الانتصار والشهادة بلا حدود..

عابرون للجغرافيا والمكان والزمان والطوائف والمذاهب، وركنكم الشديد مقاومة حتى النصر أو الشهادة

لقد دخلتم التاريخ أبطالاً قوميين لبلدانكم وأقطاركم

وأبطالاً أمميّين لكلّ البشرية والإنسانية جمعاء…

لذلك كله نقول لكم وأنتم الأعلون… تأكدوا يا اسطورة جغرافيا وتاريخ آخر الزمان واطمئنّوا أنكم ستبقون ذخراً لنا وفخراً نعتز به…

في كلّ حركاتنا وسكناتنا أنتم حاضرون، وبيننا أحياء عند ربكم ترزقون أكثر مما تتصوّرون.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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Sheikh Qaouk: Martyr Soleimani Has Left Behind a Million-man Resistance Army

Sheikh Qaouk: Martyr Soleimani Has Left Behind a Million-man Resistance Army

By Staff

Member of Hezbollah Central Council, Sheikh Nabil Qaouk emphasized that “martyr Qassem Soleimani is the pride of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the pride of the entire nation.”

All of the victories stretching over our region have the fingerprints of martyr Qassem Soleimani on them, Sheik Qaouk added.

The Hezbollah official further underscored in a graduation ceremony for “Martyr Qassem Soleimani Group” in the southern Lebanese village of Maroun al-Rass that “the martyr has left behind a million-man army of well-trained and equipped resistance fighters who long for martyrdom.”

Sheikh Qaouk concluded that “the blood of Hajj Qassem Soleimani will always remain and will never be forgotten.”

Iranian President’s Chief of Staff to Al-Ahed: Soleimani’s Martyrdom Broke His Killers’ Backbone

Iranian President’s Chief of Staff to Al-Ahed: Soleimani’s Martyrdom Broke His Killers’ Backbone

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – On the occasion of the first martyrdom anniversary of General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Al-Ahed News spoke with Dr. Mahmoud Vaezi, the Chief of Staff of Iran’s President.

Dr. Vaezi asserted that this martyrdom “broke the backbone and domination of his fake and weak killers.”

“The Trump administration viewed commander Soleimani as a major obstacle to its subversive and escalatory policies in the region, and that is why it assassinated him in this shameful and criminal way.”

In his interview with Al-Ahed, Vaezi pointed out that “the main response to this crime is the full withdrawal of the US from the region. Our basic strategy in the region, which we always made known to neighboring states, is for those countries to ensure security for this region and confront foreign interference. The Hormuz peace plan announced by President Rouhani at the United Nations remains on the table, and we believe that it will be achieved with the help of regional states. We believe that through regional cooperation we can establish peace and stability, and there is no need for foreigners to be present in the region.”

Below is the full transcript of the interview:

On the first martyrdom anniversary of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his companions, the US claims that it has broken Iran’s backbone. What is your response?

In our Islamic teachings, we believe that the blood of the martyr is a stain on the oppressors. During his lifetime, martyr General Soleimani was the source of great deeds for the country, the Axis of Resistance, and the region. His martyrdom led to rapprochement and solidarity between the peoples of the region against America.

In fact, we believe that his martyrdom broke the backbone and dominance of his fake and weak killers. When a country that claims to be a superpower in the world assassinates our military commander in such a treacherous and cowardice manner during an official diplomatic tour, it means that first, you were not a worthy opponent, and second, you are against his legacy.

The legacy of martyr Soleimani is clearly evident today, not only in the region, but in the whole world, especially since he was the first enemy of the terrorists who turned the world into an insecure place. There were many terrorist incidents carried out by Daesh in the West, including Brussels, London, Manchester, and other European cities. The defeat of Daesh is the best evidence that martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani made the region and the world safer. 

Martyr General Qassem Soleimani poured all his energy into confronting American conspiracies. How did he achieve this success and manage to counter America’s arrogant mood?

The greatest proof of the success of this great martyr in confronting arrogant American plots and thwarting its plans in the region, is his assassination by the Trump administration. It is clear that the Trump administration considered him a major obstacle to its subversive and escalatory policies in the region, which is why they assassinated him in this shameful and criminal way.

Martyr Soleimani sought to eliminate terrorism in the region. This great martyr was able to form a strong regional alliance against criminal terrorists in Iraq and Syria, and he helped the peoples of the region during difficult days in confronting Daesh and other terrorist groups.

Hajj Qassem was not only a man from the battlefield, but he was also a seasoned diplomat who combined courage and wisdom. His courage was rooted in his faith and belief. His wisdom was rooted in the knowledge and experience he had acquired during decades of pursuing the path of God.

His unique role was personified through his fight against terrorism, taking into consideration and with full respect for the national sovereignty of the countries concerned. So, based on an official request from the governments of Iraq and Syria, he helped them confront terrorism. This is why he was very popular in the countries of the region. Lieutenant General Soleimani is the pride of Iran, but we do not consider that he belongs to us alone. His departure was a tragedy for all Muslims. Even outside the Islamic world, he served humanity, regardless of nationality, religion, or ethnicity, by playing a major role in defeating Daesh and creating security and stability.

After Hajj Qassem’s martyrdom, Imam Khamenei declared that the main goal was to get US forces out of West Asia. A year after his martyrdom, what is America’s influence in the region?

This is not only a statement by the great leader of the revolution, but we believe it is a divine promise. As I said, we believe that the blood of the martyr is a stain on the oppressors and a starting point for their demise, as America’s power has declined today in the world and not only in West Asia. There are numerous clues that are being unveiled if we had time to delve into this topic. In our region, the influence and status of America has declined more than ever, and the martyrdom of Soleimani must have played an important role in this process.

How will the response to this crime be completed, especially since there is an emphasis on the need for an American withdrawal from the region?

In terms of the military response, you definitely know that the Islamic Republic of Iran poured missiles down on the American base involved in the assassination of martyr Soleimani. This targeted attack sent a clear message to the Americans that attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran and crossing its red lines will certainly not pass without a response.

However, as mentioned earlier, we view the main response to this crime as paving the way for a complete US withdrawal from the region. Our basic strategy in the region, which we always made known to neighboring states, is for those countries to ensure security for this region and confront foreign interference. The Hormuz peace plan announced by President Rouhani at the United Nations remains on the table, and we believe that it will be achieved with the help of regional states. We believe that through regional cooperation, we can establish peace and stability, and there is no need for foreigners to be present in the region. The presence of foreigners in the region has so far caused nothing but destruction and wars. We have always adopted this strategy, and after the martyrdom of Soleimani, we became more determined to achieve it.

What was martyr Soleimani’s role in confronting terrorism and in supporting and consolidating the axis of resistance?

His role in combating terrorism and supporting the peoples of the region in confronting terrorist groups was very clear. When the terrorists occupied two-thirds of Syrian territory, the siege they imposed was so severe that we witnessed bombings and terrorist operations near Damascus and near Syrian government institutions. The situation in Iraq was very similar to that of Syria, where Daesh occupied most of the country, and the level of insecurity peaked.

The images of the crimes committed by terrorists in these two countries, and of course in other parts of the world, have not yet been erased from the memory of the countries of the region. Whoever wants to realize the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran and martyr Qassem Soleimani in the region, must compare the images during those days when terrorism dominated the region with the situation today. The defeat of Daesh was the peak of the resistance in the region, and this would not have been possible without martyr General Soleimani and his field command.

On the martyrdom anniversary of Hajj Qassem, I would like to mention his comrade, the great martyr and Mujahid Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, one of the most prominent symbols of the resistance and one of the main leaders in the war against terrorism in Iraq. His name will remain immortal throughout history.

By assassinating Hajj Qassem, did America manage to stop his march or has the axis of resistance become stronger?

Martyr Soleimani’s path was that of resistance, facing arrogance, and jihad for the sake of God. Our religion taught us that this path does not stop at martyrdom. In Islam, we do not believe that martyrdom is a conclusion or an end, for martyrdom makes the path to the truth stronger, more dynamic, and higher. Although Hajj Qassem Soleimani was a hero in fighting terrorism and opposing arrogance, his martyrdom does not mean weakening the axis of resistance. Ironically, thanks to his pure blood, the peoples of the region woke up today, and the axis of resistance has become stronger than ever.

What was Hajj Qassem’s relationship and cooperation with the government of Iran like?

Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif provided a complete overview of this, which was recently published in various media outlets. It should be noted that in matters related to national security, national interests, and strategic issues such as foreign policy and regional policies, there was complete complementarity between all pillars of the Islamic Republic.

Martyr Soleimani’s operational range was one of those cases around which there was and still is a complete rapprochement in our country. In the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we have always considered diplomacy and defensive force as the two main wings of the country, and we have never separated these two wings or allowed either of them to weaken.

Accordingly, commander Soleimani had a very close relationship with the government of the Islamic Republic and the president himself.

Regarding foreign policy issues, regular weekly meetings were held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This rapprochement and coordination were not based on individuals alone, but it is a ruling strategy in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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