Palestinian Prisoner Released after Months of Hunger Strike

December 6, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

“Israeli” authorities have freed a prominent Palestinian prisoner, two weeks after reaching a release deal that ended his marathon 131-day hunger strike, a prisoner rights group has said.

Kayed Fasfous, 32, had remained in an “Israeli” hospital since ending his strike on November 23.

He was the symbolic figurehead of six hunger strikers protesting the “Israeli” entity’s controversial policy of “administrative detention”, which allows suspects to be held indefinitely without charge.

The entity has said the policy is necessary to keep dangerous suspects locked away without disclosing sensitive information that could expose valuable sources.

Palestinians and rights groups said the practice denies the right of due process, allowing the entity to hold prisoners for months or even years without seeing the evidence against them. The law is rarely applied to “Israelis”.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club, a group representing former and current prisoners, confirmed Fasfous had returned home to the occupied West Bank through a military checkpoint near the southern city of al-Khalil on Sunday afternoon.

Later, online footage showed the former prisoner in a wheelchair celebrating his return to his southern hometown of Dura.

Fasfous served five years in Israeli prisons without charge or trial, and lost about 45kg [99 pounds] of weight during his hunger strike, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

The plight of the six hunger strikers ignited solidarity demonstrations across the “Israeli”-occupied West Bank and Gaza in November mounting pressure on the “Israeli” entity to release the detainees.

At least four of the five other hunger strikers have since ended their protests after reaching similar deals with “Israeli” authorities. They are expected to be released in the coming months.

Hunger strikes have been common among Palestinian prisoners and have helped secure numerous concessions from “Israeli” authorities.

The nature of these strikes have varied from individuals protesting detention without charge to groups calling for improved cell conditions. Around 500 of the 4,600 Palestinians detained by the “Israeli” entity are held in “administrative detention” according to Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights group.

Palestinian Prisoner Kayed Fasfous Released after 131 Days of Hunger Strike (VIDEO)

December 5, 2021

Palestinian prisoner Kayed Fasfous was released from Israeli prisons. (Photo: via WAFA)

Palestinian political prisoner Kayed Fasfous was released on Sunday after he concluded 131 days of hunger strike last month, in protest of his detention without charge or trial, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

On November 23, Fasfous ended his hunger strike after an agreement was reached to end his administrative detention in Israel and release him this month.

Fasfous was freed at an Israeli checkpoint to the south of Hebron (Al-Khalil) in the occupied West Bank and was welcomed by Palestinian political and security officials as well as representatives of factions, according to WAFA.

He has served a total of five years in Israeli prisons without charge or trial, and reportedly lost about 45 kg of weight during his hunger strike.

There are over 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, about 500 of whom are serving administrative detention orders, without charge or trial.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Man Martyred after IOF Shot Him at Damascus Gate

Dec 04 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen Net

Al-Mayadeen correspondent reports the martyrdom of a young Palestinian man by Israeli bullets at Damascus Gate [Bab al-Amoud] in occupied al-Quds, under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing attack.

A stabbing attack in the Bab al-Amoud area in al-Quds (social media).

Today, Al-Mayadeen correspondent in occupied al-Quds reported the martyrdom of a Palestinian young man by the occupation’s bullets at Damascus Gate [Bab al-Amoud] under the pretext of carrying out a stabbing attack.

Our correspondent said that the Palestinians were repressed at Damascus Gate [Bab al-Amoud] following the summary execution of the Palestinian young man.

The Israeli media reported that a stabbing attack in Old al-Quds led to the serious injury of an Israeli at the Damascus gate. “The perpetrator was killed,” as it put it.

Israeli “Educational Farm”: An Overt Attempt to Judaize Palestinian Land

Nov 4, 2021

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen Net

How an “Educational farm” in Wadi Rababa is really another conquest for eradicating Palestinian heritage and agriculture at the hands of Israeli colonialism.

A fence was erected around the “educational farm” in Wadi Rababa

The Ir David Foundation, a right-wing organization in “Israel”, opened an “Educational farm” in Wadi Rababa, where the land is registered under the name of the “Israel” Nature and Parks Authority (INPA).

The farm, which opened in August, boasts attractions that allow visitors to learn about so-called “traditional agriculture.”

The funny part?

Many of the olive groves located in the adjacent neighborhoods of Abu Tor and Silwan neighborhoods that have been cultivated by Palestinians for years, are strategically left out of the farm in an attempt to replace the current traditions with a right-wing Jewish version.

See more: Palestine: No Justice Is Served under the Occupation, even Climate

Ir David, the supposed nonprofit organization whose funding mainly comes from transferred US funds in the form of nondisclosed donations, runs the site, and settles Jewish families in the neighboring Silwan. 

Even some Israelis were taken aback by the brazen attack on the Palestinian land. A member of the left-wing Emek Shahveh organization commented by saying, ” The infuriating thing about what’s happening in the ‘Hinnom Valley’ is that in the name of development that masquerades as an ancient agricultural landscape, they are displacing the traditional Palestinian agriculture that has preserved the historic character of the place.” 

National Park or Constructed Disaster? 

In 1974, “Israel” bestowed the area around the Old City with national park status. 

According to the INPA, development-related activity may be carried out anywhere in the area in order to protect the land and render it accessible to visitors. 

Ahmed Somrin, whose family owns property in Abu Tor and Silwan, says they “clean up this land and pick the olives that are here every year.” 

Somrin details how land near Silwan and Wadi el Joz that has been cultivated by his family for generations has been handed a landscaping order. Of course, owners of land are not permitted to interfere with “temporary gardening”.

Since a recent court decision ruled that the INPA was permitted to enter the olive tree area in order to maintain and clean it as a “fire precaution,” the INPA recently entered Somrin’s property, and broke through a wall in the process.

It is one of many of “Israel’s” colonial vandalism of lands of Palestinian livelihood and sustenance. 

ICRC data revealed that “over the period of one year (August 2020 – August 2021) more than 9,300 trees were destroyed in the occupied West Bank.”

According to a study published in 2012 by the “Applied Research Institute Jerusalem” (ARIJ), Israeli occupation forces have uprooted 800,000 Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank since 1967.

Wall broken by INPA to access Ahmad Somrin’s olive grove.

“The Nature and Parks Authority built walls there and turned over the earth and put down red dirt and planted centuries-old trees from who knows where,” Somrin said.

“They want to change the face of it to make it look not like Arab land but like Jewish nature.”

International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People Celebrated in Climate of Betrayal, Harrowing Violence

Dec 3, 2021

Since the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II) to partition Palestine into two separate

Source: Al Mayadeen

Hana Saada

After 74 years of the unjust division of the Palestinian land, the UNGA and the UNSC continue to refrain from taking any solid actions in the interest of the Palestinian people and their cause, on that regard, the declaration of the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine appears to be a mere voice act that does not contribute to improving the situation of this people.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was celebrated, on Monday, in a context marked by harrowing crimes committed by the Zionist regime, the intensification of the Zionist settlement operations in Palestine, and the persistent blockage of the peace process, exacerbated by the normalization of relations between the Zionist entity and some Arab countries, dubbed as a betrayal to the Palestinian cause.

Monday, 29 November 2021 marks the 44th observance of the United Nations (UN) International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In 1977, the United Nations selected the date of November 29 for the celebration of the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”. This date, given its significance and importance to the Palestinian people, is based on the UN General Assembly’s call for the annual celebration of the resolution on the partition of Palestine.

Adopted on November 29, 1947, this resolution is intended to create Arab and Jewish states in this ‘disputed territory’. Since then, the Palestinian people continue to lose territory to the Zionists, while the living conditions of the Palestinians have deteriorated more and more amid poverty, denial of fundamental freedoms through the systemic discrimination and subjugation, forcible evictions, and demolition orders of Palestinian property in the neighborhoods of Sheik Jarrah and Silwan. This culminated, more recently, in spurring violence that claimed the lives of innocent women, children, and the elderly during the 11-day offensive on the Gaza Strip that began on May 10, amounting to war crimes. There was a deliberate intention by the Zionist occupation forces to inflict more casualties among the civilians to push the Palestinian people to accept the existence of the Zionist Entity.

A total of 243 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed during the Zionist attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10. Clashes erupted, on May 13, across the occupied territories because of the Zionists’ attacks and restrictions on Palestinians in the Eastern part of Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as a Zionist court’s decision to evict 12 Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Zionist settlers.

The decision on the forced displacement is itself, a war crime and aggression against humanity, transforming the Zionist judiciary into a barbaric tool to pass racist Zionist expansion agendas to the detriment of the Palestinian civilians.

The tension moved to Gaza on May 10, leading to a military confrontation between the Zionist forces and the Palestinian resistance groups, where the Zionist warplanes have caused an unprecedented scale of destruction in the Palestinian homes and infrastructure.

Palestinians are also victims of repeated military attacks, claiming the lives of several innocent civilians (men, women, and children), especially in the Gaza strip, which has been under a strict blockade for 15 years.

The Zionists are committing violations against worshipers in Al-Quds “Jerusalem” by preventing them from accessing places of worship, at the top of which, Al-Aqsa Mosque, the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims, resorting to an excessive force against them in a way that threatens their lives and most likely leads to death. In the holy month of Ramadan, at least 305 people sustained varying injuries as the Zionists stormed the Esplanade of Mosques in East Jerusalem and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent raids by Jewish settlers.

The Zionist Entity is committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against Arabs in the occupied territories, with a view to maintaining the domination by Jewish Zionists over Palestinians.

The Zionist regime has become the sole governing power alongside extremely-limited Palestinian self-rule, where the Zionists are methodically highly-privileged, while Palestinians have been dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas… these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.

Noting that the Apartheid system was a policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.

The 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid defines apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group and systematically oppressing them”. The 1998 Rome Statute to the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopts a similar definition.

For its part, Human Rights Watch’s 213-page report, entitled: “A Threshold Crossed,” states that Palestinians are suffering from the Apartheid; 

“Denying millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights, without any legitimate security justification and solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish is not simply a matter of an abusive occupation,” said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director.

“These policies, which grant Jewish Israelis the same rights and privileges wherever they live and discriminate against Palestinians to varying degrees wherever they live, reflect a policy to privilege one people at the expense of another.”

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People marks the recognition of historic injustice suffered by the valiant Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to recover their stolen rights. It has traditionally constituted an opportunity to recall the Palestinian cause that has not yet been resolved, as well as the sufferings of the Palestinian people who have not yet recovered their inalienable and immutable rights as defined by the General Assembly (GA), namely; the right to independence and national sovereignty, and the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and recover their properties.

This year, the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People comes at a time when the Palestinian cause has experienced a dangerous slippage, marked by the signing, at the end of 2020, of “normalization agreements” between the Zionist entity and four Arab countries.

The Palestinian cause taken hostage:

In 2020, a watershed year for the Zionists’ diplomatic integration into the Arab world, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco have normalized their relations with the Zionist entity, within the framework of the “Abraham Accords”.

This is a political error, a betrayal of Al-Quds, al-Aqsa mosque and the Palestinian cause, and a stab in the back of the Palestinians. For the latter, such normalization with the Zionist Entity encourages the occupation forces to commit more violations against the Palestinian people, paving the way for more aggressive war and the expansion of Zionism, Judaization, and colonization of Palestinian land.


It is in this wake that a vast outpouring of international solidarity with the Palestinian people was launched, in particular, in countries that have normalized their relations with the Zionist entity through demonstrations, sit-ins, and protests against these agreements.

Morocco and Palestine

Morocco, whose king is the Chairman of the El-Quds Committee, normalized its relations with the Zionist Entity on December 10, 2020, in exchange for the recognition by former US President Donald Trump of the kingdom’s alleged “sovereignty” over Western Sahara.

This barter was condemned, in the strongest term, throughout the world and especially by Algeria and the Moroccan people who took to the streets for several days to express their rejection of this agreement, organizing demonstrations often repressed by the regime in place.

More recently, the Makhzen regime and the Zionist entity inked a framework agreement aimed at strengthening the security cooperation between the Moroccan and the Zionist intelligence services, nearly one year after the normalization of their relations, amidst broad popular disagreement. A move dubbed as shameful and disgraceful by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Algeria and Palestine

President Tebboune urged, in a speech delivered on the sidelines of the celebration, in Algeria, of this International Day, the international community to assume its historic responsibilities towards the practices of Zionist occupation aimed at undermining the building of the sovereign Palestinian state, while reiterating Algeria’s unwavering and firm support for the struggle of Palestinian people to recover their stolen rights. He stressed, once again, with a well-articulated position, his rejection of all forms of normalization with the Zionist Entity, deploring the four Arab countries’ scrambling to normalize relations.

“We have noticed a kind of scramble (a mad rush) towards normalization. This is something we will never participate in, nor bless. Palestine’s cause is sacred, and we will not give it up,” the Algerian President said.

He repeatedly expressed the country’s preparedness to invite all Palestinian groups to a comprehensive meeting in Algeria. Tebboune’s words were applauded by Palestinians and Algerians alike, who have a long history of intertwined solidarity.

Palestinian factions praised President Tebboune for his government’s strong opposition to any bids aimed at establishing ties with the Zionist Entity, calling on Arab rulers to follow suit and reject all forms of normalization. 

There is no doubt that when Algerian President Tebboune called the Palestinian cause “sacred”, he was truly speaking on behalf of the Algerian people whose history is marked by resistance against colonial powers. Algerians remain stick to their pro-Palestine stance, considering the Palestinian cause the mother of all causes. Their beliefs about national sovereignty and the right for countries to determine their own destiny are central, firmly committed to the principles of a sovereigntist governing ideology, based on their national pride, far away from any quid pro quo deals, capable of exercising foreign pressure on their country. 

In 1988, noteworthy, when Palestine declared its independence, Algeria was the very first country worldwide to officially recognize its statehood. This decision further contributed to the deeply-rooted Algerian-Palestinian relations. Even when other Arab states, notably those which signed the “Abraham Accords” last year, dropped their pan-Arab commitments to the Palestinian struggle, Algeria has stood by the cause.

For its part, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas hailed Algeria’s principled positions, describing the signing, by the Moroccan regime, of several agreements, particularly in the security and military spheres, with the Zionist enemy as an unjustified act whatever the pretext or the objective.

For the Hamas movement, the normalization and signing of agreements between Rabat and the Zionist Entity “would lead the Zionists to commit more crimes against the Palestinian Arab people and to the violation of their legitimate rights to freedom, independence and return “.

Gantz in Rabat

The agreement was inked in a visit to Rabat by the Zionist Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, received by Morocco’s Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the National Defense Administration Abdellatif Loudiyi. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding which launches officially the security cooperation in all its aspects (operational planning, procurement, research, and development) between Morocco and the Zionist entity, according to media close to the Moroccan military circles.

It should be noted that demonstrations against normalization were scheduled in Morocco on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The Moroccan Action Group for Palestine organized a popular sit-in, Sunday, in front of the parliament headquarters in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, in solidarity with the Palestinian defenseless people and confronting the agendas of Zionist penetration in the region.

The group said, in a statement, posted on Saturday, that the popular sit-in, organized under the slogan “With the resistance against normalization with the Zionists,” comes on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and within the framework of the continuous popular mobilization in support of the Palestinian struggle under the slogan “The Moroccan people: Palestine is a national issue.”

The sit-in, added the same source, “confirms the established historical positions in confronting the Zionist occupation and all its tools, and facing the Zionist intrusion agendas to sabotage the region.”

However, Moroccan security forces prevented the popular sit-in. The president of the Moroccan Observatory against Normalization with the Zionist Entity, Ahmed Ouihmane indicated, in a statement to the Algerian news agency, that the Moroccan security forces prevented, by force, this popular sit-in.

Different protests were organized in Morocco coinciding with the afore-mentioned visit of the Zionist war criminal to create official channels between the intelligence and security services for the two parties. Protesters assured their full adherence and attachment to the support of the Palestinian people and the overthrow of all forms of normalization.

The protests were subject to dispersal using force, under a heavy security siege, amid the participation of human rights defenders, supporters of the Palestinian cause, and the presence of the media. 

This year celebrations constitute a new opportunity for many free countries and brave peoples to express their unwavering and coherent support for the Palestinian people, calling on the international community to translate its words into actions in the face of the dangerous escalation in the Palestinian territories and the UN to honor its commitments.

Epilogue

To this end, the whole world is also called upon to exert real pressure on the Zionist Entity… the enemy of humanity with a view to putting an end to its systematic violation of human rights and enforcement of discrimination against the Palestinian people. Besides, the UN and its member states should take appropriate actions as 74 years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II) to partition Palestine into two separate states, no concrete actions have been taken so far. 

Instead, the hope of achieving sustainable political settlements is fading away with an entity blatantly showing disdain for international human rights law, including two key international human rights instruments, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on Socioeconomic and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), both of which have as their first Article, the Right to Self-Determination, as well as a continuous disrespect of internationally adopted provisions and principles in this direction.

The UN should be held accountable for its evident lack of action in recent years. It lost its credibility for non-abide by the adopted resolutions and turning a blind eye to the Zionists who blatantly flout the relevant UN resolutions, laws of international legitimacy, and international terms of reference, and deny agreements in an attempt to impose the status quo policy, and hamper the building of the sovereign Palestinian state.

This organization is called to honor its commitments to defend international law and order, work to hold the Zionist occupation accountable for the overruns and violations committed, ensure international protection, and stave off attacks and violations against the Palestinian people and their sanctities.

The international community, on the other hand, should re-evaluate its relationship with the Zionist Entity, establish a commission of inquiry to investigate systematic discrimination and repression in Palestine, transcend rhetoric, deploy further efforts in defense of the Palestinians inalienable rights and bring Zionists into compliance with international law.

Palestinian leaders should put on the shelf their domestic rifts, creating a united front aimed at addressing the onus fallen on their shoulders. A favorable atmosphere should be created to address the catastrophic ordeal the Palestinians are passing through. Palestinian national unity stands to be the only basis for achieving the hopes and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people in defeating and thwarting the Zionist schemes that hide behind the titles and slogans of normalization, as well as its perfidious policies aimed at displacing the Palestinian people through creeping Judaization and illegal settlement and forcefully altering the Palestinian religious and historical landmarks.

Finally, addressing ourselves, our collective conscience should react to concrete and permanent actions, not momentary reactions as events unfold!The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

“Israel Ripped My Eye Out; I Want it Back”

Dec 3, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Rasha Reslan

Palestinian and international activists, doctors, and journalists note a worrying “trend”; Israeli occupation forces are intentionally targeting Palestinians’ eyes.

19-year-old Palestinian Fayez Hamed: The medical staff found that the bullet was metal and rubber-coated.

At least 50 Palestinians had one or both eyes gouged out when Israeli occupation forces intentionally shot live or rubber-coated metal bullets at them during the past three years only, according to Palestinian civil organizations.

Since 1948, “Israel” has sought all tools to control and destroy the Palestinians, whether by committing murders or leaving them disabled, psychologically, practically, and socially. Meanwhile, the Palestinian society has repeatedly demonstrated support for those injured by the Israeli occupation’s bullets at various levels.

Israeli occupation forces assault Palestinians on a daily basis and for no reason whatsoever; Palestinians could be protesting forced evictions or performing prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque in al-Quds; they could be heading to work, school, or agricultural land; they could be women, men, or children; they could be journalists and activists.

The Palestinian journalist’s eye

Palestinian photojournalist Muath Amarneh lost sight in one eye after being shot by Israeli police (AFP)

In 2019, a Palestinian press photographer Muath Amarneh was blinded in one eye after being shot by Israeli occupation forces when he was covering Israeli violations against Palestinians in al-Khalil, igniting international outrage on social media and sparking solidarity protests across Palestine.

Read More: “It Is Fun to Shoot Palestinians”: Six Former Israeli Soldiers Speak Up

Muath Amarneh told Al Mayadeen English that the moment he got shot is “a haunting memory” that he keeps recollecting.

I always think about how I survived. I think being alive is a miracle.”

The young passionate photographer divulged that his life shifted 180 degrees.

I was such an outgoing person then after my injury, I became indolent.

It took him two whole years to declare he was finally recovered, physically, yet the emotional harm lingered. 

The photographer related his difficult recovery journey to Al Mayadeen English, stressing that his biggest challenge was to hold his camera and film again.

“It was difficult at the beginning. Every time I held my camera and wanted to take a picture, I recall the moment I got shot. You can say I developed a phobia. After several attempts, I was resilient, overcoming the psychological barrier. I am filming again”, he added.

The field journalist recalled witnessing uncountable Israeli shootings of unarmed Palestinians.

“Two incidents I could never forget. The first is when a young Palestinian man was martyred right next to me near “Beit El”, an Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory. The second is when a young man was shot in his shoulder and the bullet came out from his neck,” he emotionally stated.

Muath also stressed that local and international journalists have been intentionally and brutally targeted several times by the Israeli occupation forces. 

The young Palestinian’s eye

19-year-old Fayez Hamed Abdullah Bani Mufleh from the village of Beita is the latest victim of Israeli brutality, whereby he lost an eye. Fayez was injured on Friday, November 5 of this year. That day, he went to Kharbatha al Misbah, a Palestinian village in the Ramallah Governorate area, to perform the Friday prayer, and then he participated in a peaceful protest in Jabal Sbeih

The protest was nearly 150 meters away from the Israeli occupation forces, and suddenly, the Israeli occupation forces started firing tear gas canisters at the protesters, Fayez recalls. 

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen English, Fayez said that the elderly protesters retreated and the younger men advanced, thus getting closer to the Israeli occupation soldiers, with only a few hundred meters left away from them. 

“At that time, violent confrontations broke out between us and them. They fired more tear gas canisters at us, and we threw them back at them. They fired rubber bullets at us, but no one was hurt,” he added.

“At 2:30 pm, the Israeli occupation soldiers hit me in the right eye. I was taking shelter behind a berm. One soldier sneaked toward us, but at first, I couldn’t see him because he eventually hid behind an olive tree, about 70 meters away,” he emotionally stated.

“As soon as I noticed his presence when I turned to the right, he fired rubber bullets directly at me, and one of the bullets hit me right in the eye. “

I lost my eye, and of course, my eyesight due to the shot.

Fayez still remembers every detail of the scene. He told Al Mayadeen English that fellow protesters carried him on their shoulders for nearly 2 kilometers until they reached the first ambulance. 

“The road was destroyed. An occupation bulldozer had razed the road a day before. The ambulance took me from the Kharbatha al Misbah to the field hospital in the area.”

The resilient young Palestinian said that one of the nurses in the hospital assisted him with first aid, and he was then transferred to an-Najaj Hospital where he had urgent eye surgery to remove the bullet from his eye. 

“The surgery lasted 2 hours and a half. The medical staff found that the bullet was metal and rubber-coated. They had to take my right eye out. I could no longer see, and it gave me herpetic sores in my eye socket.”

When asked if his injury will prevent him from fighting the Israeli occupation, Fayez replied that he refuses to even think about ceasing to confront the occupation and its oppression or to retract his position. 

My subconscious mind rejects this completely. The issue became a matter of survival. It is now a question of existence. In the long run, it is a doctrinal matter. We will not leave our homes in Jabal Sbeih. The israeli occupation should know that this is impossible. All harassment and repressive measures against us will not affect our position.”

He stressed that Palestinians will not leave their homes and land in Jabal Sbeih, no matter what the Israeli occupation does and whatever happens. 

“The occupation must know that using bullets against us will not help, and suppressed protesters will engage once again in the resistance once they recover. They will be at the frontlines of the struggle to defend their rights in the face of the occupation.”

The Palestinian child’s eye

Last April, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy was shot in the eye with an Israeli bullet as he stood at the entrance of the vegetable store where he worked in the heart of al-Khalil. The Israeli occupation forces just stood there and watched the agonized boy without providing him with first aid. He had to wait for 11 hours before being hospitalized. He is now half-blind.

Izz al-Din al-Batash is still unsure what happened to his eye. His parents are too afraid to tell him what the bandages are hiding. He may have removed them in secret and noticed the gaping hole.

The child says that he has a lot of ambition and dreams he wanted to achieve in life, but they have all gone unheeded.

“Israel’ ripped my eye out, I want it back. Let them find a way to get my eye back.”

The Palestinian doctor 

Dr. Farouk Issa Ashour, Ph.D. in ophthalmology, from the occupied city of al-Khalil in Palestine, told Al Mayadeen English that the eye is a “precious jewel” in the human body, and perhaps one of the most precious possessions of a human. 

“The truth is that the occupation always tries to target the most precious possession of the Palestinian, whether by depriving him of his freedom, occupying his homeland, or injuring the most sensitive and important areas of his body, especially the eye. If the occupation is not able to extract his soul, then at least it targets what is most valuable to him, and the eye is the most sensitive organ targeted by the Israeli occupation soldiers,” he tersely stressed.

The doctor stated that he has experienced many eye injuries and has dealt with many similar cases.

Dr. Farouk said that such injuries are very painful since they largely affect the psyche of the injured, causing him real harm, hindering his life, leading to permanent disability, and affecting his work in all aspects of life.

“There is no doubt that the Palestinian is innately resilient and resistant, and he would not have been able to confront the occupation had it not been for his pride, determination, and strength”, he affirmed.

“This determination will not cease as long as the heart of a Palestinian continues to beat and he continues to breathe. His fight will not end despite the injuries inflicted on him by the oppression. Although his injuries are physically and emotionally painful, his fight persists nevertheless”. 

The Palestinian doctor added that even when he breaks the news to the injured Palestinians that they have lost their eyes or sight, they accept their fate with patience and determination because this is the nature of the Palestinian.

“Palestinians remain resistant, and they do not show the occupation any signs of disability or weakness.  And this will remain so until the whole of Palestine becomes free and independent. The day of liberation will come soon, God willing”, he concluded.

‘Israel’ Worried Hezbollah Could Deliver Weapons to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories

Dec 1 , 2021

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israel’ is worried that Hezbollah might be able to deliver weapons into the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories via the Lebanese border, in order to arm Palestinians from the 1948 lands with “high quality” weapons they can use in case of a future ‘Israeli’ war against them, a report from ‘Israeli’ Channel 12 claimed.

The Zionist regime’s police alleged in comments to Channel 12 that they’ve intercepted and seized 140 handguns and 20 assault rifles at the Lebanese border since the beginning of 2021, but they believe countless more weapons have successfully been delivered by Hezbollah to the depth of the occupied territories.

Sources further called the purported smuggled weapons a “strategic threat” to the Zionist entity.

Popular Resistance Committees: Resistance Only Way to Uproot “Israel”

Nov 29, 2021

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, factions call on the Palestinian Authority to stop all relations with “Israel,” and stress that resistance is the only way to end the occupation.

The Committees called on the PA to stop all relations, agreements, and negotiations with the Israeli occupation.

On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Popular Resistance Committees in Palestine considered that the decision to partition the land represents Western and international complicity “that will not legitimize the usurpation of Palestine by the criminal Zionist enemy entity.”

The 29th of November marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People that the UN celebrates every year.

It also coincides with the day the UN General Assembly adopted Partition Resolution No. (181) which called for the partition of Palestinian lands to accommodate the occupation’s expansionist goals, forcefully separating the land into “Arab and Jewish states”.

The Committees considered that the partition plan “laid the foundations for the largest mass expulsion and displacement of the Palestinian people in history.”

In a statement, the Committees affirmed that the only feasible way to uproot “Israel” is through resistance in all its forms.

It called on the Palestinian Authority to stop all relations, agreements, and negotiations with the Israeli occupation, as well as withdraw its recognition of it.

In the same context, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine considered that ending the occupation could only come through the escalation of the struggle against “Israel,” and called for unifying the Arab stance against normalization.

For its part, the Palestinian Freedom Movement urged the Palestinian authority to harmonize with and acknowledge the magnitude of international solidarity that supports Palestinians and rejects the occupation.

Moreover, the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine celebrated the occasion through a series of projects and activities in support of the Palestinian people and their steadfastness in their land.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people is considered an opportunity to draw attention to the Palestinian cause that remains unresolved and the fact that Palestinians have not obtained their inalienable rights, despite numerous international resolutions.

Crimes without Punishment – Ever

November 25, 2021

A protest against US military aid to Israel. (Photo: File)
– Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press). He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. 

What a chamber of horrors the third millennium has been so far in the Middle East, without even a quarter of it having passed.  Iraq, Syria and Yemen on a scale unimaginable even at the high point of imperialism in the 19th century. An estimated 300 children under five dying every day in Yemen from malnutrition, Palestinians shot dead in their occupied country every day, Lebanon and Syria slowly strangled by US sanctions, Iran threatened with military destruction and the revelation of yet another massacre by the US, in Syria, where “about” 70 women and children were killed at Baghuz by bombs dropped one after the other to make sure that no-one escaped.

There is no suggestion that anyone should be punished for yet another ‘mistake.’  This is where thousands of years of drawing up covenants to make the world a safer place have ended up:  back where we started,  the law of the jungle.

This is what the guardians of ‘western civilization’ have given to the world just in the past three decades:

Two wars on Iraq, the ‘cradle of civilization’ shattered by the cradle of a violent hamburger junk culture, millions killed or displaced. Libya, the most developed country in Africa, pulled up by its roots, uncounted thousands killed, the leader of its 1969 revolution slaughtered as Hillary Clinton cackled with glee like one of the witches around the cauldron in  Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Syria torn to pieces, ancient cities and markets destroyed, and half a million killed. In Yemen, more than 230,000 dead, with 43 percent of prematurely born babies dying because of the lack of medical equipment and a genocidal famine – 75 percent of children are suffering from acute malnutrition –  continuing even as fresh supplies of weaponry are dropped off in the Saudi kingdom by the US and Britain. Iran,  Syria and Lebanon targeted with economic sanctions: in occupied Palestine, in Syria and in Iran the Zionist state continues its murderous march through history.

Not one of the global criminals responsible for these massive crimes against humanity has been punished.  They play golf or roam the world picking up millions for their speaking engagements and their ‘philanthropic’ foundations. Not one word of contrition or remorse has been spoken by any of them for the lives they have ended or ruined. Not even the death of children has forced admission of guilt out of them.  Others have been punished for lesser crimes but not this gang. They are completely remorseless.

Imagine the reaction if these crimes were committed in Europe and white people were being slaughtered or driven out of their homes, out of their countries and drowning in their thousands as they tried to escape across the seas.

Well, between 1939-45 it did happen and those responsible were hanged at Nuremberg. We have no Nuremberg now but we do have an International Criminal Court (ICC) which does punish the architects of war crimes and crimes against humanity – as long as their skin is the right color. With the exception of pale-skinned Balkan Serbs charged after the breakup of Yugoslavia, all those hauled before the ICC have been brown or black.

The tsunami of death and destruction which began rolling across the region when Napoleon landed in Egypt in 1798 shows no sign of receding.  Almost no country from the Atlantic coast of West Africa down to the Arab Gulf has avoided being swamped by it and many have been swamped several times.

The prime beneficiary of all of the above in the past century has been the settler state implanted in Palestine after 1918. Israel is the heart and soul of US foreign policy. Indeed, US foreign policy is no more than the Stars and Stripes draped over the interests of the Zionist state.

Take Iran as an example. After the death of Ayatullah Khumayni, Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami sought to repair relations with the US. They offered investment concessions, diplomatic rapprochement and a political pathway into a region of critical interest, central Asia. Iranian society is conservative and God-fearing, rather like the US itself, but as long as Rafsanjani and Khatami refused to drop Iran’s righteous defense of the Palestinians, nothing else counted. Even in the ‘moderate’ Khatami’s time, economic sanctions were tightened, paving the way for the election of the ‘hardliner,’ Mahmud Ahmedinejad.

The attempted strangulation of Iran and Syria through war, assassination and sanctions necessarily involves Lebanon, Hezbollah’s home base.  Since the 1980s Hezbollah has successfully fought off all attempts by Israel – backed to the hilt by the US of course –  to destroy it.  Far from being weakened, Hezbollah has gone from strength to strength, militarily and as a Lebanese political party. The lesson learned by the US and Israel is just that they have to try harder,  to tear Lebanon apart if that is what it takes to destroy Hezbollah.

The latest provocation through Israel’s agents took place in Beirut on October 14, in the predominantly Shia neighborhood of Chiyah, bordering predominantly Maronite Christian Ain Rummaneh, where the ‘bus massacre’ of 27 Palestinians on April 13, 1975, was the trigger pulled to start the civil war.

This time snipers positioned on rooftops shot at Amal and Hezbollah supporters as they moved towards the Palace of Justice in Al Tayouneh to hold a vigil calling for the removal of Tariq al Bitar as the judge appointed to investigate the Beirut port explosion on August 5, 2020, on the grounds that he is running a heavily politicized inquiry heading towards a preordained conclusion, that this was a crime committed by Hezbollah.

Holding Hezbollah or Syria responsible for the crimes they have not committed was first tried after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. Initially, four ‘pro-Syrian’ generals were imprisoned for four years before an international tribunal took over the prosecution and released them for lack of evidence. It immediately pointed the finger at Hezbollah, eventually finding one person, Salim Ayyash, guilty of “involvement” on the sole basis of tapped phone calls made through communications networks known to have been completely penetrated and manipulated by the Zionist state.

The tribunal cleared Hezbollah’s leadership. What this actually means is that if the leadership did not order the assassination, no senior figure in the movement would have carried it out.   Nasrallah and Hariri had differences but a good working relationship and it is virtually unthinkable that Nasrallah would ever have sanctioned such a heinous act.

The only beneficiaries of this monstrous act were the US, Israel and their agents in Lebanon.  Syria was embarrassed internationally and had to withdraw its remaining forces from the Bika’a valley. Lebanon was thrown into the chaos that gave birth to the rise of the anti-Syrian/pro-Saudi, US and Israel March 14 alliance.

Hezbollah produced intercepted reconnaissance footage showing that Israel had been tracking Hariri with drones wherever he went for years and was flying an AWACS plane and another reconnaissance aircraft over Beirut at the precise time of the assassination.  One of its agents had been located at the scene of the killing only the day before.   None of this circumstantial evidence was ever followed up by the tribunal.    Israel and the US have shed buckets of blood in Lebanon over many decades, have between them committed the most atrocious crimes, but the tribunal never even considered them as suspects.

The snipers waiting on the top of apartment buildings in Tayouneh on October 14 killed seven people, one a woman shot dead in her own home. Not just on rooftops, however, but on the ground, the demonstrators were surrounded by militiamen waiting to ambush them with guns, knives and even rocks.   Despite denials by Samir Geagea (Ja’ja), the head of the fascist/sectarian Maronite Christian Lebanese Forces (LF), the armed men were clearly LF and acting on his orders.   Of the 19 arrested, several quickly implicated him.

Geagea is one of the most murderous individuals in Lebanese history, which says a lot given the bloody track record of many others. During the civil war (1976-1989) he killed rivals within his own Maronite Christian ranks as well as Palestinians and other enemies outside them.  In 1994 he was sentenced to four life sentences for the assassinations of former Prime Minister Rashid Karameh (1987), National Liberal Party leader Dany Chamoun (1990), Falangist (Kata’ib) head Elias al Zayek (1990) and the attempted assassination of Defence Minister Michel Murr (1991).  In 1978 he and Elie Hobeika, at the behest of Bashir Gemayel, then head of the Falangists, led 1200 men in an attack on the north Lebanon family home of Tony Frangieh, leader of the Maronite Marada (Giants) faction.  Geagea was wounded and had to be taken away before Frangieh, his wife and three-year-old daughter were killed.

In the 1990 attack, Dany Chamoun’s wife and two of his sons were also killed.   If there is any poetic justice in any of this shedding of blood – including entirely innocent blood – it lies in the 1982 assassination of Bashir Gemayel and the car bombing murder in 2002 of Elie Hobeika, Israel’s leading henchman in the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982.

Geagea himself served eleven years of four life sentences before being released under amnesty after the assassination of Hariri and allowed to take up the leadership of the LF. His brutality is a powerful weapon in the hands of Israel and the US, whose ambassador, Dorothy Shea, has been open in her interference in Lebanese politics.

US economic sanctions against Lebanon have one primary target, Hezbollah; one secondary target, Syria; and one-third target, Iran. How many Christians die defending ‘Christian Lebanon’ is not an issue for the US and Israel any more than the number of Muslims who die fighting them.  All they want is the chaos that will further their ambitions.  They tore Lebanon apart before and they will do it again, mercilessly, ruthlessly, callously, without a care for the innocent blood of thousands that will be shed.

Whatever cause Samir Geagea thinks he is serving, the piecemeal destruction of Lebanon, indeed of the entire Middle East, is primarily about the protection of Israel.  However, Israel is not as safe as it used to be or it might think it still is. It is confronted by enemies who have not backed off one meter from the struggle to liberate Palestine.  Israel has tried hard to destroy them. Up to now, it has failed, so it is getting ready to try again. While planning/contingency planning is a constant, Israel now appears to be actively preparing for a massive military strike that would target  Iran’s nuclear plants and missile capacity.

In September the Zionist chief of staff, Avi Kohavi, said plans for such a strike had been “greatly accelerated.” The military has been given an additional $1.5 billion to buy aircraft, drones and ‘bunker buster’ bombs that would probably include the USAF’s new 5000 lb. (2,267 kg.) GRU-72 Advanced 5k Penetrator, which would be aimed at Iran’s underground nuclear installations. Anticipating a simultaneous war with Hezbollah, Israel has also been carrying out extensive military exercises in northern occupied Palestine, coordinated with all emergency civil services to deal with an expected crisis on the domestic front once the missiles start falling. Israel is clearly planning for a big war, and can be expected to throw everything into this attempt to crush its principal enemies once and for all.

Unlike the white settlers in South Africa, the Zionist leadership sees no writing on the wall, no indications that history is not on their side even as it builds up against them.  No more than Netanyahu does Naftali Bennett have any intention of giving anything back to the Palestinians except the smallest fragments of municipal responsibility. Like Netanyahu, he sees no need to negotiate, no need to give anything away.  Why would he, when in the last resort Israel even has nuclear weapons to destroy its enemies? This is the question to which there can be no answer until the day comes when Israel faces the reality that even its conventional weapons are not sufficient to destroy its enemies.

All appearances to the contrary, unlimited US economic and military support has been a curse for Israel. It has created the illusion of power. Israel is like a plant with shallow roots. Only as long as the US keeps watering it, can the plant thrive. There is no permanent, unbreakable bond between states and all appearances to the contrary, there never will be between Israel and the US. Slowly, Americans are waking up and Israel’s incessant pleading is already beginning to fall on deaf ears, as the public becomes more aware of Israel’s criminality and as congressmen and women (mainly women) are emboldened to speak out. The time may come when the US can no longer afford Israel. The time may come when public opinion has changed to allow a US government to treat Israel as it treats other states.

US economic and military aid has had the same effect on Israel as steroids have on a bodybuilder. The 97-lb weakling is now the neighborhood bully swaggering down the street with pumped-up muscles. He smacks people around or they run in fright but Hezbollah and Iran are not running. They are standing firm and preparing to defend themselves. In any case, in the next war, Israel will take damage it has never experienced before, to the point where so many Jewish Israelis will just want to get out that Israel as a Zionist state is likely to crumble from within and die of its own contradictions.  Is this what it is going to take for peace to become possible?

Masar Badil: The New Palestinian Movement that Has Both Israel and the PA on Edge

November 23rd, 2021

By Robert Inlakesh

Source

Palestinians overwhelmingly reject the Palestinian Authority — which has refused to hold elections and constantly sided with Israeli forces, jailing and torturing rather than protecting its own people — and have long sought an alternative. Now, Masar Badil claims to be the solution.

OCCUPIED PALESTINE — “We are building a campaign against the Palestinian Authority” and will “mobilize our people in the refugee camps” from Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, to all corners of the globe, says a newly launched Palestinian revolutionary movement that supports all forms of resistance against Israel in order to liberate Palestine “from the river to the sea.”

On November 2, a revolutionary Palestinian movement called ‘Masar Badil’ (The Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path) officially announced its launch following conferences convened in Madrid, Sao Paulo, and Beirut. The movement vows to build on the cause of Palestine’s national liberation within the Palestinian diaspora and to provide an alternative to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which currently operates out of Ramallah in the West Bank. A major component of their work will be to unite Palestinians in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, seeking to build the strength of these communities.

In late August, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank began taking to the streets, calling for the fall of the Palestinian Authority, which has ruled over them for decades, after the brutal murder of popular PA critic Nizar Banat. The demonstrations frightened the PA as well as its Israeli allies, threatening to pose serious problems for Israel’s relatively stable security situation in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, a representative body which was created as a result of the Oslo Accords — signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel — currently rules over the most heavily populated cities in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Per the agreements made between the two sides, Oslo had established that three areas would be designated for different levels of control in the occupied Palestinian territories: Area A, where the PA would have both civil and security control; Area B, where Israel controls security and the PA has civil control; and Area C, where Israel has full control. Area C currently covers approximately 63% of the territory. However, this plan was supposed to last only five years, before control was gradually ceded to the PA and eventually a Palestinian State inaugurated on roughly a quarter of historic Palestine.

Israel, however, continues to ignore its obligations under Oslo and Tel Aviv now rejects the notion of a Palestinian State. While many Palestinians expected the PA, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, to fight for their rights, most now see it as doing the very opposite. All elections since 2006, when Hamas beat the ruling Fatah Party in a landslide, have been canceled by Abbas. The PA — which is funded by the UK, EU, and the U.S. — also uses its security forces to collaborate with Israel in the oppression of the Palestinians. Strategically, the Oslo areas gave Israel control in most of the agricultural and open lands, which is where all their illegal settlements are located; and, in turn, the PA forces would rule over the major population centers, such as Ramallah, Nablus and Al-Khalil, among others.

After facing the PA’s perpetual postponement of democratic processes; its refusal to protect Palestinians from Israeli forces; and instead its jailing, torturing, and handing over of its citizens who take action against Israel, through what is called ‘Security Coordination,’ the Palestinian people have come to a position of overwhelming rejection of the Palestinian Authority’s rule and have long sought an alternative. Masar Badil claims to be the movement finally to provide the solution.

A Palestinian revolutionary alternative to Oslo futility

Notable international representatives who appeared for the launch of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path (PARP) Movement in Madrid included: Bolivia’s Nardi Suxo, Venezuela’s Mauricio Rodriguez, and Eumelio Caballero Rodríguez of Cuba, who all attended the PARP Movement’s cultural event. They were joined by representatives from grassroots groups across Europe and from the United States who pledged to work with the PARP.

The attendees of the conference also met with representatives from a range of resistance movements across the world at the headquarters of the Spanish Communist Party, discussing various projects and resulting in the formation of a Boycott Committee, Return Committee and Youth Committee. Additionally, in a letter of support, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) pledged its support for the PARP. Luis Jalandoni, the chief international representative of the NDFP, stated the following:

Let us join hands as we struggle to liberate ourselves from the clutches of U.S. imperialism, overthrow the oppressive and exploitative ruling system, and carry forward with determination our struggle for national and social liberation.”

“We are working to build a Palestinian revolutionary alternative to the Oslo process and the futile so-called peace process,” says Khaled Barakat, the Coordinator of the Preparatory Committee of the PARP Movement. Barakat says that the PARP will begin to “organize with our communities in the refugee camps in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Syria, and across the globe.” He continued:

One of the positions that came out of our conference is to immediately set up a campaign against the Palestinian Authority and the self-rule government in the West Bank, in order to bring this government down and form revolutionary councils and committees in Palestine.”

When I asked Barakat about some of the aspects that make the Masar Badil different as an alternative revolutionary movement, he responded:

Ninety percent, so the vast majority, of the three committees that convened — in Beirut, Madrid and Sao Paulo — were youths and they are assuming their responsibilities, the younger generations participating is very important for us. We also value, whether it be in leadership or other roles, the participation of Palestinian women and put an emphasis on their playing a central role in decision-making, and we believe that this will push our movement into becoming much stronger.

PARP Movement demonstration
PARP Movement demonstration in central Madrid, November 1, 2021. Photo | Robert Inlakesh

Putting the Palestinian Authority on edge

To find out more about the positions of Masar Badil on the PA, I also spoke to a founding member of the PARP Movement, Mohammed Khatib, who participated in the group’s launch and is additionally the European Coordinator for Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network, Samidoun. Khatib says, “I do believe that any step, any work, against the Oslo Agreements and against the Madrid Conference, is against the Palestinian Authority and against the Zionist Entity.” Khatib further states that one of the major missions of the PARP Movement is to “focus on the Palestinian diaspora, on reorganizing our people in the diaspora and re-establishing our institutions in the diaspora and re-establishing our national liberation movement in the diaspora,” which he believes means taking down the PA. Khatib continued:

Sixty percent of the Palestinian people live in the diaspora, as migrants and refugees, so we are the ones with the interest to go back to Palestine and to dismantle this Zionist Entity and also everyone who is cooperating with the Zionist Entity inside of Palestine — especially the PA, who are doing security coordination with the occupation [by Israel] against our people.”

He also says that opposition to the PA comes from the attacks carried out against Palestinians by the forces of PA President Abbas, including “giving up on our political prisoners, shutting off funds and salaries of the families of our martyrs.” He continued:

What the Palestinian Authority is doing today is besieging the resistance, not only inside the West Bank; they are also participating, with the Zionist Entity and the Egyptian Regime, in the siege placed against the Gaza Strip.”

Khatib stresses that all the work that the Masar Badil is doing is to create an alternative to the Palestinian Authority, not to the Palestinian National Liberation Movement:

We are an essential part of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement. All the organizations and associations that are part of the Masar Badil, are part of the National Liberation Movement, so we are not an alternative to anyone who is participating in or practicing resistance against the Zionist Entity. Instead, what we are trying to do is to create a mass movement, a popular movement, that can help to create a supportive environment around the Palestinian resistance.”

The PARP Movement, Khatib told me,

…calls on all the resistance and Palestinian political Parties — Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and everyone who participates and practices armed resistance, especially in Gaza and elsewhere inside Palestine — to work on creating a national democratic Palestinian front where all the resistance will work together to achieve the one program, which is the liberation of all Palestine from the river to the sea and to drop the two-state solution.

Our one and only aim is liberating all of Palestine, so we believe that all of our actions against the Zionist Entity and the Arab Reactionary Regimes are de-facto an effort against the Palestinian Authority. The PA does not represent anyone in our land today; they are there only because they take funds from the EU, U.S., and the Zionist Entity. How can the PA take money from Israel to protect our people? Of course, this is not the case; instead, the PA is a hand of the Zionist Occupation.”

As one of the first journalists to cover the movement’s first public press conference on November 2, I asked Barakat what the PA thinks about the launch of the PARP movement, to which he replied:

We know that the Palestinian Authority is nervous, particularly Fateh. They are nervous because of the establishment of the Masar Badil… last night they [the PA] forged a statement in Spanish and Arabic and they signed three [Palestinian] factions onto it; the statement was a fabrication designed to make it look like Palestinian Parties are rejecting Masar Badil and we believe it to be the work of the PA’s intelligence agents. In fact, one hour ago the PFLP, who were falsely connected to the statement, issued their own statement stating that they had nothing to do with this statement and it was a forgery by the PA.”

Barakat says that the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence network has been consistently attempting to distort the image of the Masar Badil and has caused many problems, including in Beirut, for the PARP’s conference there. He told me:

The PA is nervous because they know what they have done and what they are doing now; …they are attacking our people not just physically, but also our student movements in Palestine and our intellectuals. Critics of theirs, like Nizar Banat, were killed at the hands of the Palestinian security forces.”

I was also informed that Palestinian Authority representatives in Beirut had allegedly been making problems for the Masar Badil, spreading misinformation about the group and its intentions prior to the conference in the Lebanese capital. In response to threats put out, through back channels, the conference required the presence of a security detail for fear of violence being carried out against them and it was believed that the PA had something to do with this, but I was informed that there was no way we could know whether or not it was their doing.

Masar Badil demonstrators
Masar Badil demonstrators hold up banners demanding the freedom of Ahmed Sa’adat and George Abdullah, November 1, 2021. Photo | Robert Inlakesh

After convening three separate conferences, from October 30 to November 2, Masar Badil announced its official declaration and list of 10 key positions, agreed upon by consensus of “The General Preparatory Committee” during the conference’s Plenary Session.

A movement to take on the PA “is finally here”

As one of its first actions, the PARP Movement has received the signatures of at least 91 Palestinian and international musicians, including that of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, to a statement urging artists to boycott Israel’s annual Oud Festival. The statement reads:

The oud, as the quintessential stringed instrument of Palestinian and Arab world music culture, is being appropriated by a Zionist state whose history is based on the erasure and theft of indigenous livelihoods. As the Israeli ‘Jerusalem Municipality’ re-launches its musical PR projects with the easing of certain coronavirus restrictions, Palestinians in Jerusalem are fighting tooth and nail against the accelerating land-grab of Sheikh Jarrah and swathes of the land east of their city. Palestinian performing artists are attacked or imprisoned, while broader communities of the displaced face the terror of aerial destruction of their cultural centers and systematic underdevelopment of their means of production.”

The movement to boycott the festival falls in line with the overall stance of the PARP movement, which rejects any form of normalization with Israel.

As an attendee of the conference myself, I was able to read through all documents outlining the movement’s long-term visions and goals — including creating a Palestinian students network, labor union network, and networks for everything from Palestinian youth institutions and movements to popular committees and Palestinian Cultural Centers. This in addition to founding an institution that sponsors sports clubs; providing support financially for fishermen and farmers in the Gaza Strip; and establishing a foundation that deals with art, cinema, theater, and the fields of creativity and the arts. Even child care and kindergartens, as well as institutions for research and strategic studies, were mentioned. This is important to note, as it demonstrates the long-term scope that the movement has.

As a result of the discussions at the conference, Barakat says,

…we made a decision to establish two youth centers, one in Berlin and another in Athens; the reason we made that decision is that this is where the majority of newly arrived Palestinians in Europe are residing. In Athens in particular, the Palestinian youth in the thousands now are living in poverty, so we seek to organize our youths, our women, and our students; that’s our goal and we have a five-year plan to do this.”

I then asked what the relations between the Palestinian resistance parties were with the PARP movement, to which Khaled responded:

As far as the forces of the resistance — like Hamas, the PFLP, Islamic Jihad — the relationship is good and we hope that we can strengthen this relationship with the Palestinian resistance movement, because we consider ourselves an integral part of the resistance movement, not just on the Palestinian level but on the Arab level.”

The Masar Badil movement also states its intention to fight all imperialist forces, in addition to the reactionary Arab regimes and Israel — with members mentioning the Islamic Republic of Iran as being targeted by imperialist powers, and condemning the sanctions against the people of Iran, which they say comes regardless of any potential reservations from within the group regarding some Iranian policies. The movement sees itself as part of a camp that is confronting imperialism, Zionism and reactionary regimes in the Global South, and hence works with international groups, organizations, and movements in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Philippines, South America, and elsewhere.

The first demonstration that the group staged took place through the streets of Madrid and featured chants against the Palestinian Authority and in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, national liberation, and the likes of Ahmed Sa’adat, George Abdullah, and Ghassan Kanafani.

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?visual=true&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F221904575&show_artwork=true&maxheight=702&maxwidth=468

More on the topic

Hezbollah Mourns Samah Idriss: Palestine Lost a Solid Defender, Fighter

 November 27, 2021

Hezbollah mourned in a statement released on Friday the righteous fighter and writer Samah Idriss who passed away yesterday after a long struggle with disease.

“Lebanon and the Arab world have lost the fighter and writer Samah Idris,” the statement read, adding that the Palestinian cause lost, with his departure, a hero and a solid defender, who harnessed his culture and literary production in defense of Palestine and the freedom of its people, and in the face of all forms of cultural, political and economic normalization throughout the Arab world.

“Hezbollah is deeply saddened and extends its deepest condolences and sympathy to his family and loved ones and to all strugglers on the same path of resistance and facing normalization,” the statement concluded.

Idriss was a writer, publisher, editor, thinker, editor-in-chief of Al-Adab magazine and co-founder of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon. He constantly amplified the voices of Palestinian political prisoners in the pages of Al-Adab, and his work is known among the prisoners themselves.

He was one of the initiators of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement and his speech at the Beirut conference was recently published by Al-Akhbar. His last speech contained his hope for the revolutionary future of Palestinian and Arab liberation.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Samah Idris, the writer, novelist, and co-founder of the ‘Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon’ passed away, but the fight against normalization with the Israeli occupation lives on.

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Palestinian prisoners’ message to Samah Idriss: You are our comrade on the road to freedom

26 November 2021

Following message was written by Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons on the death of Samah Idriss, Lebanese Arab revolutionary intellectual. The editor-in-chief of Al-Adab magazine, Samah Idriss was the co-founder of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon. In his speech to the Masar Badil (Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path) conference in Beirut on 30 October of this year, he declared, “If we abandon Palestine, we abandon ourselves.”

We republish in full the letter from Palestinian prisoners:

The prisoners’ message in memory of Samah Idriss

It is an unusual morning, when the news of your departure comes to sink its teeth into the delicateness of love and emotion, the morning turns into sunset and your soul sets there, Samah. We remain in its shade as it flutters and fills the space on this exceptional morning. The news of the tragedy of your departure replaces for now our thoughts of liberation and freedom. Your absence keeps us transfixed in time, we look around us and remember you, and we still need your words and your committed, principled positions. We are still in the middle of the road to freedom, Samah.

Your news has traveled and reached us as the dew drops fade from the prison fences and bars. With it, our feelings crept in, and we felt the wound of losing you publicly. We want you to hear our last cry, you, who always spoke with our voice and our screams, or perhaps we want to bid you farewell with a whisper of screaming.

Our words will certainly reach you. We are in the prisons of the Zionist colonizer, and we wanted to meet you. You can see and, as you taught us, the journey is still long, and our lamp still needs a lot of oil, so why have you left now?!

Samah, we know that you have not left the mountain. You are as a mountain in your stances, and your steps are engraved in the path of this long journey. You are our beloved comrade, a companion on the hard path of struggle, a friend on the long road. Your body has left us, but your spirit will remain an inspiration to us. Your words and your positions are a beacon that we raise, debate and discuss as we walk. We will keep walking, comrade, until we get there.

From behind bars, behind walls, behind fences, in the clutches of the Zionists, we salute your family, your loved ones, your comrades and your companions. We mourn you with pride and admiration, and the highest commitment to the struggle. We mourn you as a writer, an intellectual, a comrade, and a fighter for the freedom for which you died. Sleep with clear eyes, and know that the road to freedom will never be cut off for free people.

Your comrades in the occupation prisons

26 November 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Occupied Palestine (18– 24 November 2021)

November 25, 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations

18 – 24 November 2021

IOF excessive use of force:

5 Palestinians shot and wounded, including 2 children and a journalist, in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

1 IOF shooting reported against fishing boats in Western Khan Younis, and two incursions into eastern Gaza

In 113 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 73 civilians arrested, including 7 children and 3 women

Demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem: Two residential buildings demolished, and 2 agricultural barracks

A house and cemetery razed in Hebron; paved street razed in Nablus

Settles attack Palestinians’ vehicles and puncture tires in Nablus and Jerusalem

IOF established 36 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 5 Palestinians 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, turning the West Bank into isolated blocks of land. Israeli settlers continued their attacks, including shooting and wounding Palestinian civilians; meanwhile, IOF continued its razing and demolishing of Palestinian properties, mainly in Hebron and Jerusalem.

The Israeli settlement expansion works continued on Palestinian lands and properties. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip enters its 15th year under closure, exacerbating the humanitarian hardships across the territory.

IOF shooting and violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

IOF shot and wounded 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, in excessive use of force in the West Bank: 3, including a child, were wounded in two separate incidents of IOF attacks on protestors in Qalqilya. Two others were wounded, including a journalist, in Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, PCHR documented 1 IOF shooting at fishing boats off Khan Younis coast.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 113 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, 73 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children and 3 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted 2 limited incursions into (eastern) central and southern Gaza Strip.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 6 incidents:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: 2 agricultural barracks demolished in al- Sawahera; two residential buildings demolished in Sur Baher.
  • Hebron: a house and cemetery razed in Yatta.
  • Salfit: construction vehicle confiscated in Deir Ballout.
  • Nablus: a street razed near Asira ash-Shamaliya, northwestern Nablus.

Settler-attacks: 

  • Occupied Jerusalem: several tires punctured in Sheikh Jarrah.
  • Nablus: two vehicles assaulted with rocks.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued its collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the 15-year Israeli closure imposed on the territory deepened the population’s humanitarian and living crises, as unemployment has skyrocketed at 45%, i.e. 217,000 able workers are unemployed, 63% of whom are youth.

More than half of the Gaza Strip population suffer in poverty, as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that 53% of the Gaza Strip population is poor; meanwhile, more than 62.2% is classified as food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Additionally, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the 2000 Second Intifada -still closed to this date- and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest, especially at al-Karama border crossing, alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 18 November 2021, a group of Palestinians gathered at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp in northern Hebron, where IOF established a military watchtower. The Palestinians threw stones at the military watchtower. Afterwards, IOF deployed in the area, stationed near residential houses and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters at stone-throwers. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF chased the stone-throwers on the camp’s streets, closed with a metal detector gate the main entrance the camp and prevented residents from moving through their vehicles. Clashes continued until 22:00.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF moved into al-Dahra neighborhood in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed in the neighborhood’s streets, established several military checkpoints, searched Palestinians passerby, and checked their IDs. During which, dozens of young men gathered near Israeli military vehicles and threw stones and fireworks at them. IOF immediately attacked protestors and fired heavy rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them. They also demanded military backups and a skunk carrying vehicle, which flooded shops and residential houses with wastewater. Clashes between the protestors and IOF continued for several hours and erupted in many areas such as the western entrance to the village, and around al-Arba’in Mosque in the center of the village. As a result, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, IOF arrested Qusai Abu Irmilah (14) after severely beating him up.
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They closed the main entrance to the neighborhood and established a military checkpoint to search Palestinians’ vehicles, causing a traffic jam. Afterwards, dozens of young men gathered near IOF vehicles and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at them. IOF immediately assaulted the protestors, fired heavy live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at them and chased them on the neighborhood’s streets amidst a heavy firing of teargas canisters. As a result, dozens of protestors suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased the protestors, who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 17-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his hand and a 34-year-old man was hit with a teargas canister, causing burns throughout his body.
  • Around the same time, IOF stationed at the southern entrance to Jaljulia village in Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased the protestors, who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 17-year-old male, from Qalqilya, was shot with a live bullet in his lower limbs.
  • At approximately 14:00, a group of Palestinians gathered in Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron where IOF maintain a military checkpoint on the entrance of the closed Shuhadaa St. The protestors set tires on fire and threw stones on the military checkpoint. IOF soldiers deployed on rooftops in the area and fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. Two military vehicles came from al-Shalalah Street to the clashes area. IOF chased the protestors towards Bir Humus area and fired rubber bullets at them. As a result, shop owners were forced to close. The clashes continued until 20:00, and no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 03:30 on Sunday dawn, 21 November 2021, an Israeli infantry force moved into ‘Ein Monjed neighborhood in central Ramallah and fired sound bombs and teargas canisters between residential houses and buildings. As a result, several civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Afterwards, many young men gathered in the area and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF deployed between houses and set tires on fire. IOF chased the stone-throwers and fired rubber bullets at them. Clashes continued until 04:45. During their withdrawal, IOF fired a rubber bullet at a journalist namely Maher Shaher Haroun (20), wounding him in his knee. Maher received treatment on the spot.

Maher Haroun said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “I am a photojournalist and a reporter at Palestine Times Network, and I am studying media at Birzeit University. At approximately 04:45, while I was covering incidents occurred on the main street of ‘Ein Monjed neighborhood, IOF, during their withdrawal from the neighborhood, directly fired a rubber bullet around my knee, despite wearing the PRESS-marked vest and presenting away from clashes area. When I felt that I was injured, I tried to sit on the ground, because I couldn’t walk. It turned out later that I was hit with a rubber bullet below my knee, and I sustained minor wounds. I received treatment on the spot.”

  • At approximately 16:00, a group of Palestinians gathered in Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron where IOF maintain a military checkpoint on the entrance of the closed Shuhadaa St. The protestors set tires on fire and threw stones on the military checkpoint. IOF soldiers deployed at the checkpoint entrance and fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the protestors. As a result, they suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF chased the protestors towards Wad al-Tuffah Street. The clashes continued until 19:00, and no arrests were reported. The shop owners were forced to close due to the clashes.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Monday, 22 November 2021, special Israeli force raided several houses belonging to Ghaith family in al-Westa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Among the stormed houses was ‘Adnan Tawfiq Ghaith (46)’s house. IOF searched the houses and damaged its contents. They also fired sound bombs inside houses and severely beat their inhabitants. As a result, 4 of them sustained bruises, and were taken by Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) staff to the hospital for treatment. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested Waleed ‘Adel Ghith (25), Hamza Nidal Ghaith (31), Rabee’ Nidal Ghaith (29) and ‘Abdullah al-Zaghal (23), taking them to investigation centers. According to a statement issued by Jerusalem governorate, special Israeli forces raided Ghaith family’s houses in al-Westa neighborhood in Silwan and severely beat their residents, including ‘Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem governor. The statement clarified that IOF raided ‘Adnan Ghaith’s house and assaulted him along with his sons and his cousins. They also damaged the house contents. As a result, ‘Adana sustained wounds in his hand. It should be noted that since taking office as Governor of Jerusalem, Geith has been arrested several times and his movement has been restricted as well.
  • At approximately 03:05 on Wednesday dawn, 24 November 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They deployed between residential houses and raided and searched them. While storming Mohammed Sami Abu Sabri’s house, IOF detained the family members in one room and then the officer ordered Mohammed’s brother namely Belal (30) to phone him and tell him to surrender himself. They also threatened him to arrest all the family members if he would not surrender. After that, IOF deployed in the house and searched it. Before their withdrawal, they arrested Mohammed’s mother namely Nabila Hamdi Abu Sabri (50), his brother Belal (30), and then leave. Also, IOF arrested Thaier Zuhair Samad’ah (32), a former prisoner, after searching his house. During IOF’s withdrawal from the camp, a group of Palestinians gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who chased the protestors and fired heavy live and rubber bullets. As a result, three civilians, from Bir Nabala village, west of occupied East Jerusalem, were injured after targeting their vehicle while they were passing through the main Street heading to their workplace. Among thouse wounded: a 23-year-old male, who was shot with a rubber bullet in his shoulder, while the others suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  All of them were taken to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.
  • At approximately 22:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Yunis shore, south of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area, 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.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 18 November 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF arrested Eisa Saysin al-’Arouj (22), after raiding and searching his house in Harmala village, east of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Mos’ab Khaled Tafish (30), after raiding and searching his house in Za’tara village, southeast of Bethlehem.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Ali Abdul Ghaffar Dofish (37), after raiding and searching his house in Hebron.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF arrested Mos’ab Taha al-’Arouj (25), after raiding and searching his house on al-Saf street in Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Wael Subhy al-Izzah (42), the administrative manager of al-Maslamani Hospital in Bayt Sahur, after raiding and searching his house in al-Dawha village, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Bayt Kahil village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Nimir Mohammed ‘Asafra’s (40) house, but no arrests were reported.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Zaki Taysir Za’loul (17) and Mohammed Ibrahim Sayatin (21), after raiding and searching their houses in Husan village, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud Eisa al-A’raj (21), after raiding and searching his house in al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF arrested (4) civilians, including 2 siblings, after raiding and searching their houses in Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin governorate. The arrestees are: Mohammed Ghassan Qabha (24), Ahmed (27) and Belal Khaled Abu Baker (24), and Abdul Jabbar Nfei’at (26).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Adnan Khaliliyah (33), from Jaba’ village, south of Jenin governorate, while passing through a temporary military checkpoint established at Ramallah-Nablus road.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Amjad Ali Deiriyah (25) and Munir Nasim Deiriyah (23), from Bayt Fajar village, south of Bethlehem, after referring to “Gush Etzion” detention center, south of the city.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Hosny ‘Asrawi (22), from Anabta village, east of Tulkarm, while passing through ‘Inab military checkpoint, east of the village.
  • At approximately 19:40, IOF arrested Mo’ath Younis Shawahnah (22), after raiding and searching his house in Kafr Thulth village, in Qalqilyah.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Jaba’, Sanur, Mirka, Nazlat Zayd and Bir al-Basha villages in Jenin governorate; and Qarawat Bani Hassan, west of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 19 November 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF arrested Mousa Mohammed Abu Libda (27), after raiding and searching his house in Qalqilya.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Hosny ‘Asrawi (23), after raiding and searching his house in Ilar village, north of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Suhaib Mahmoud Abu Lifa (28), after raiding and searching his house in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF arrested Suhaib Hani Shweiky (21), after raiding and searching his house in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in al-Hashmiyah village in Jenin governorate; Hebron and Nuba villages. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

  • At approximately 16:45, IOF stationed at the annexation wall established at Dayr Balut village, west of Salfit, arrested Mohammed Saleh Izz al-Dein (23), from Hizma village; and Ibrahim Mohammed Mustafa (22), from Dayr Balut, west of Salfit.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Jamal Alian (36) and Mohammed Zakaria Alian (20), after raiding and searching their houses in al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.

Sunday, 21 November 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested (4) siblings after raiding and accurately searching their house in al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. The arrestees are: Khader Rabah Abu al-Humus (33), and his brothers, Belal (28), Sultan (26), and Mohammed (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested Abdullah Sami Dweik (18) and Dia’ Mousa al-Tamim (20), after raiding and searching their houses in al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested the former prisoner, Mohammed Hussain al-Salameen (24), after raiding and searching his house in al-Shurfa neighborhood in al-Bireh village, north of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Sultan al-Halissi (43), after raiding and searching his house in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 09:10, IOF killed a Palestinian citizen after conducting a shooting attack that resulting in killing an Israeli settler and three others, including 2 Israeli police officers, near Chain Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem. After a while, IOF closed all gates of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City and the Aqsa Mosque, established checkpoint and imposed movement restrictions for an hour.

Meanwhile, IOF stormed and searched al-Rashidiya School, where Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shukheidem (42), who carried out the attack, was working in as an Islamic Education teacher, then they arrested the school guard, Abdul Kareem Abu Kharoub, who was released after several hours of investigation. Furthermore, IOF surrounded, stormed and searched Abu Shukheidem building in Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF severely assaulted Fadi’s family, damaged the house contents, then they arrested his daughter, Aya (20); his son, Abdullah (8); his brother, Shadi; and his nephew, Basel; and summonsed his mother, Samira al-Sweity (69). Several hours later, clashes occurred between dozens of young men and the Israeli soldiers inside the refugee camp, after the camp’s residents closed the main street and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed inside the military checkpoint.

In the evening, a protest launched from Abu Ubaidah Bin al-Jarrah Mosque and headed to Abu Shukheidem building.  IOF heavily fired teargas canisters at houses and shops in the camp. As a result, dozens of residents suffocated due to teargas inhalation.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Majda Ibrahim al-Hanini (47), while present in the Aqsa Mosque yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF handed Mohammed Wael al-Hawash (21) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services Moscovia Detention Center in West Jerusalem, after raiding and searching his house in Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Ali Mahmoud al-Tawil (17), after raiding and searching his house in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Hussain Ahmed Atiya (17), after raiding and searching his house in al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Nabil Nader Shriteh (19), after raiding and searching his house in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Monday, 22 November 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested Abdullah Islam Khudair (20), a student at al-Najah National University in Nablus, after raiding and searching his house in al-Dahiya neighborhood, east of Nablus.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF arrested Murad Ahmed Soboh (37), after raiding and searching his house in Wad Far’a area, south of Tubas.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF arrested (5) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Qalandia refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. The arrestees are: Mohammed al-Khateeb, Ibrahim Afana, Yousef Kisba, Kamal Abu Osba’ and Ashraf al-Zitawi.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF reinforced with 6 military vehicles (4 bulldozers and 2 military tanks), moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence from Kissufim to the south of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They levelled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence. After several hours, the Israeli military vehicles moved to the north, to al-Maghazi area, and deployed again inside of the border fence.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved 100-meter to the east of al-Qarara village, east of Khan Yunis. They levelled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence with Israel, before they deployed again inside the border fence.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF arrested Obada Nidal Dandis (25) and Mahmoud Nader Dandis (23), after raiding and searching their houses in Ras al-Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Rasha Tareq al-Issawy (36), after raiding and searching her house in al-Isawiya village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Hasan Mohammed Asal (41), while passing through Shu’afat military camp’s checkpoint, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 19:40, IOF arrested Ra’ed Majed al-Sanam (20), after raiding and searching his house in Qalqilya.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Halhul, Yatta, Imreish and Bayt Amra villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Ibrahim Ahmed Hmeidan (24) and Jehad Abdul Fattah Hmeidan (51), after raiding and searching their houses in Biddu village, northwest of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested Ali Mohammed Rashayida (52), after raiding and searching his house in al-Rashayidah village, east of Bethlehem.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Osama Ahmed Salatnah (23), after raiding and searching his house in Jaba’ village, south of Jenin governorate.
  • At approximately 03:05, IOF handed Abdul Rahman al-Tawil (23) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Bet El” settlement, north of al-Bireh, after raiding and searching his house in Balou’ neighborhood, north of Ramallah governorate.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Wissam Mohammed Sidr (28), while present near King Faisal Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF severely beaten and arrested Sufian Omar al-’Ajlouni (23) and Mohammed Mahmoud Sa’eed (21), while present near Bab Huta Gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 18:30, IOF arrested Adam Mustafa al-Safadi (15) and Mohammed Ibrahim al-Wahsh (15), after raiding and searching their houses in Beit Ssfafa village, south of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Beitunia and Birzeit villages in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021:

  • At approximately 06:00, IOF arrested Anas Mahmoud al-Qanbar (21), after raiding and searching his house in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Najeh Dawoud Bakirat (64), deputy director general of Jerusalem endowments, while present near Bab al-Asbat (Lions’ Gate), one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Gates.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF handed Khadija Mohammed Khweis (44) and Hanadi Mohammed al-Halawani (41), summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services, while present in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Land razing, Demolitions, and Notices:

  • On Sunday morning, 21 November 2021, IOF demolished 2 agricultural barracks near as-Sawahira village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

As-Sawahira local council stated that IOF and the Civil Administration crews moved into as-Sawahira and demolished a 44-sqm agricultural barrack belonging to Mohammed Shqeirat and another one of 50 sqms belonging to ‘Abeidat family in the area.

  • At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities’ bulldozers demolished 2 residential buildings belonging to Mohammed and Amjad Rabay’ah in Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood in Sourbaher village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction near the security fence in the neighborhood.

Mohammed Raba’ah said that he and his brother Amjad built two buildings on a plot of land 4 years ago, costing them more than 4 million shekels. He added that his 260-sqm building is of 2 floors and houses 4 apartments, and he was supposed to settle in with wife after getting married in 4 months.  Meanwhile, his brother, Amjad’s, building is 150 sqms and of 2 floors with 2 apartments, where he lives with his family of 10, including their mother.  Rabay’ah said that  around 5 months ago the Israeli police raided his house and handed him a paper to refer to the police station in Beit El as they handed him a decision to demolish the 2 buildings under the pretext of building near the “security wall” in the neighborhood.

Rabay’ah added that he hired a lawyer to follow the case and take the necessary procedures, but due to the outbreak of coronavirus, no decision was taken in this case.  He said that he attempted many times to obtain a license or make a settlement to demolish one floor, but the occupation authorities refused.  He pointed out that the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem held 2 hearings relevant to the 2 buildings and issued a demolition decision without informing him as he and his family were surprised with the decision. Around a week ago, the Israeli police ordered him and his brother to self-demolish the buildings and gave them until Wednesday, 24 November 2021, to do so.

Rabay’ah said that he and his brother refused, as they cannot accept the idea of losing what he has earned for 18 years in minutes.  He  added the moment the Israeli bulldozers moved into the area to demolish the family houses was the hardest time he experienced in his entire life, especially that IOF demolished the houses on the furniture and contents as well as levelling a land planted with trees, which separate between the 2 buildings.

It is noteworthy that the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood extends from Sourbaher village with an area of around 3,000 dunums, and now IOF bans its residents from building on about half of its area, under the pretext of its closeness to the wall that separates the neighborhood from several villages in Bethlehem.

  • At approximately 09:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and an excavator moved into Ma’in area, east of Yatta. IOF deployed between the houses and banned their movement while the excavator started demolishing a 2-storey house of 200 sqms belonging to ‘Ali Isma’il al-Hamamdah.  The family was supposed to move in after finishing it.

Al-Hamamdah received on 04 March 2021 a notice to demolish the house according to Military Order (1797) issued in 2018, which gives 96 hours to demolish a building starting from the day the military order is handed, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  It should be noted that IOF refuses the legal appeals filed by Palestinians on these notices.  Meanwhile, around 2 months ago, Hamamdah received a notice of Assault on antiquities.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF confiscated a bulldozer while working al-Marj area in Deir Ballout, west of Salfit, under the pretext of its presence in Area C.

Khaled Abu al-Kheir, the bulldozer’s owner, said that IOF arrived at the area and confiscated the bulldozer while plowing a plot of land belonging to Nayef Qar’oush under the pretext that the land is within Area C, where work is banned.  IOF took the bulldozer away and ordered them not to be here again.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF levelled the paved road to Khelet al-Dalyah in Asira ash-Shamaliya village, northwest of Nablus. The 500-meter road was used to reach the agricultural lands, northeast of the village. It should be noted that the road rehabilitation was funded by the Agricultural Relief in cooperation with the Asira ash-Shamaliya Municipality and Power Company
  • Meanwhile, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration and an excavator moved into Ad-Deirat village, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. The excavator levelled a cemetery that was established near the village under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C, noting that the Israeli authorities notified on 08 June 2021 to demolish the cemetery. Also, IOF seized 2 excavators belonging to one of the village residents and confiscated them while working there.

Setters’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their Property:

  • On Friday dawn, 19 November 2021, a group of settlers punctured tires of Palestinian vehicles in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

‘Aref Hammad, Head of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, said that the vehicles belonging to the families of al-Ghazzawi, Shreiteh, al-Bashiti and Naser al-Deen in addition to a vehicle belonging to a Palestinian from outside the neighborhood. Hammad said that the Israeli police arrived at the neighborhood and opened an investigation into the incident.  They get off the fingerprints from the vehicle, but the police investigations are not serious as the settlers’ attacks on the neighborhood residents happen under the full protection of the Israeli police.

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, 21November 2021, a group of settlers, from “Esh Kodesh” settlement outpost that was established on the lands of Qaryut and Jalud villages, southeast of Nablus, threw stones at a “Kia” car belonging to Hani Mahmoud Samarah. The car was traveling on Qaryut-Jalud Road when the settlers broke the windshield and severely damaged the car front before the driver could flee towards Qaryut village.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Monday, 22November 2021, a group of settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement established in eastern Urif village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the eastern outskirts of the village and broke the windows of a vehicle with stones. The car belongs to Samir Mohammad Samir Sawalmah and was parked in front of a house.

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued its collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the 15-year Israeli closure imposed on the territory deepened the population’s humanitarian and living crises, as unemployment has skyrocketed at 45%, i.e. 217,000 able workers are unemployed, 63% of whom are youth.

More than half of the Gaza Strip population suffer in poverty, as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that 53% of the Gaza Strip population is poor; meanwhile, more than 62.2% is classified as food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

As for commercial crossings, although the occupation authorities allowed the entry of construction  materials outside of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM), it continues to maintain restrictions on the import of thousands of goods into the Gaza Strip, including construction materials necessary for the reconstruction of what was destroyed by the latest Israeli offensive, and the equipment and materials needed to repair the massive damage caused to the water and sanitation facilities and electricity networks by the offensive.

Moreover, IOF continued to impose tightened restrictions on the entry of 62 types classified as “dual-use items”[1] that include hundreds of major goods and essential materials, which are essential for the population. The ban on the entry exacerbates the Gaza Strip’s crises across various sectors, including infrastructure, economic, health, and education.

Also, IOF impose restrictions on the sailing area that fishermen are allowed to access, but still continues to chase and open fire on fishing boats sailing within those parameters. As such, fishermen are denied access to areas rich with fish.

At Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, the Israeli occupation authorities decreased the number of persons allowed travel via the crossing of the already-limited groups that were allowed passage after a thorough security check. Even though the Israeli occupation authorities declared they will allow patients’ travel, they refused to respond to dozens of permit requests applied by the Health Ministry’s Coordination and Liaison Department on behalf of patients with serious diseases, whose treatment is not available at the Gaza hospitals, and referred abroad for treatment in the hospitals in Israel, the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and abroad.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 36 temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs, and arrested 5 of them. IOF reinforced its restrictions on civilians’ freedom of movement at its permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and shut some checkpoints for several hours on multiple occasions.

Here follows PCHR documentation of restrictions on the freedom of movement and IOF-established temporary checkpoints across the West Bank this week:

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF closed the entrance to Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village and established several checkpoints in al-Dahra area, around al-Arba’in Mosque and at the western entrance to Isawiya village.
  • On Sunday, 21 November 2021, IOF closed al-Aqsa Mosque gates and all Jerusalem’s wall gates. They also established military checkpoints. Later, all gates were re-opened.
  • On Wednesday, 24 November 2021, IOF tightened their measures at a military checkpoint established at the entrance to Shu’fat refugee camp and obstructed vehicles’ movement.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Marah Rabah villages, and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area.
  • On Saturday, 20 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area.
  • On Sunday, 21 November 2021, IOF closed a military checkpoint (300) and al-Container checkpoint in front of vehicles’ movement, causing a traffic jam. The two checkpoints were re-opened again.
  • On Monday, 22 November 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Nahalin village and in ‘Aqabet Hassnah area.
  • On Tuesday, 23 November 2021, IOF closed al-Container military checkpoint in front of vehicles’ movement and re-opened it later. Also, they established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ash-Shawawra village.
  • On Wednesday, 24 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Ash-Shawawra village, and at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village.

Ramallah and Al-Bireh:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Beitin villages.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Silwad village, northeast of the city.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, Idhna, Karma and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to the city.
  • On Friday, 19 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, at the eastern entrance to Dura city and at the southern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 20 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints on Wad Abu al-Samen Road in southern Hebron, at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to ad-Dhahiriya village.
  • On Sunday, 21 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and as-Samu villages and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 22 November 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Khasa village and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 18 November 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Salfit, and at the entrances to Deir Ballut and Kifl Haris villages, west of the city.

[1] Israeli authorities claim that these items, although used for civilian purposes, could be used to develop the combat capabilities of the Palestinian armed groups.

Islamic Jihad Warns: Tel Aviv To Be Bombed In Case Of Assassinations

Nov 25, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Palestinian Islamic Jihad waned the Zionist entity that Tel Aviv will be bombarded if the occupying regime assassinates members of the resistance movement.

The movement’s leader Ziyad al-Nakhala vowed on Wednesday to continue the path pursued by Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior commander of the Gaza-based group’s military wing – the al-Quds Brigades – who was assassinated in an ‘Israeli’ airstrike on the besieged Gaza Strip two years ago.

“We do not rule out the possibility of assassination or targeting of commanders and members of the Islamic Jihad movement, and our reaction is the immediate bombardment of Tel Aviv,” Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV quoted him as saying.

Abu al-Ata and his wife were martyred in an Israeli airstrike targeting their home in the Gaza Strip on November 12, 2019. The raid also wounded four of their children and a neighbor, triggering confrontations between ‘Israeli’ occupation forces and Gaza-based resistance fighters.

According to the Islamic Jihad, Abu al-Ata played a major role in carrying out operations against the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Nakhala said the recent retaliatory operation, carried out by Sheikh Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, in the Old City of al-Quds, was a “lesson” for the occupying entity and its mercenaries.

On Sunday, ‘Israeli’ troops fatally shot Abu Shkhaydam, a leader of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, near one of the entrances to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Zionist media reported that Abu Shkhaydam had opened fire at ‘Israelis’ by a Beretta M12 submachine gun before being shot dead at the scene.

Hamas said the retaliatory attack was the “price” for the ‘Israeli’ actions in occupied al-Quds, adding, “The message of the heroic operation is a warning for the criminal enemy and its government to stop the attacks on our land and our holy sites. [‘Israel’] will pay a price for the iniquities it commits against al-Aqsa Mosque, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and elsewhere.”

Nakhala predicted that the Zionist regime was unlikely to wage an attack on the besieged Gaza Strip because of its consequences.

“The resistance is ready to respond to any ‘Israeli’ act of aggression. We can target all Zionist settlements simultaneously,” he said.

The Islamic Jihad leader further stressed that the resistance in Gaza had strengthened its weapons and military capabilities following the 11-day ‘Israeli’ war in May.

The resistance, Nakhala also noted, manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] inside the Gaza Strip.

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Confrontations between IOF and Palestinians in Silwan

November 25, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen Net

Yet again, the IOF carry on their terrorizing activities and Palestinians stand their ground and respond.

Confrontations continue between the IOF and Palestinians in Silwan

Confrontations, yet again, broke out between the Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian youth in Silwan, occupied al-Quds.

The IOF stormed the Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan and closed the roads, during which confrontations broke out in the area. The Israeli occupation forces fired sound bombs and rubber bullets, and the Palestinians responded by throwing stones and fireworks.

On Wednesday, the Israeli occupation forces arrested Mansour Mahmoud, at the entrance to the town of al-Isawiya in occupied al-Quds.

A few days ago, the Israeli occupation forces launched a campaign of raids on civilian houses in the West Bank and occupied al-Quds.

Local sources reported that the IOF arrested a number of civilian Palestinians during the campaign and took them in for questioning.

On Wednesday, dozens of settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles and opened fire in the air near Burqa village, northwest of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said more than 40 settlers attacked dozens of Palestinian vehicles near the settlement of “Homesh” and opened fire on citizens’ homes in Burqa village, northwest of Nablus.

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What is happening in the Jordan Valley?

Israel razes Palestinian Bedouin village
Hadara Oren's film. Translation: Yael Nussbaum Narration: Bobby Lax
 ماذا يحدث في وادي الاردن؟ الآن أيضًا باللغة الإنجليزية. فيلم حضرة أورين. ترجمة: يائيل نوسباوم السرد: بوبي لاكس

https://www.facebook.com/IsraelCrimeMinister/videos/581531689785515/?extid=WA-UNK-UNK-UNK-IOS_GK0T-GK1C&ref=sharing

المنطقة سترقص قريباً على اللحن الفلسطيني

الثلاثاء 23-11-21

لا أرى في القدس إلا أنت يا فادي | فلسطين اليوم
الشهيد الشيخ فادي أبو شخيدم الأستاذ ذي الاثنين وأربعين عاماً
عائلة أبو عصب.. عندما يجبر المقدسي على تسليم بيته للمستوطنين | أخبار القدس  | الجزيرة نت
الشهيد عمر أبو عصب ابن الستة عشر ربيعاً

المنطقة سترقص قريباً على اللحن الفلسطيني

 ناصر قنديل

لا يستطيع أي مراقب للمشهد الدولي والإقليمي أن يتجاهل الاتجاه الثابت لتطورات العقدين الماضيين، بتكريس فشل كل الحروب الأميركية والإسرائيلية، وما يشير إليه ذلك من مسار واضح لما سيحمله قادم الأيام في القرن الواحد والعشرين، لكن ما لا يجب أن يفوت كل متابع هو أن الحكومات والقوى المناوئة للهيمنة الأميركية والعدوانية الإسرائيلية، تدخل العقد الثالث بروحية مختلفة، فيها من الجسارة والتشبت بصناعة انتصاراتها، ما يزيح نموذجاً كان يقوم على حفظ ماء الوجه للأميركي بخروج موارب من المواجهات، ليس فيه نصر بائن ولا هزيمة بائنة، وينزاح معه أيضاً حرص رافق مواجهات العقدين الماضيين على تحييد جماعات وحكومات تدور في الفلك الأميركي، وتقدم خدمات للاحتلال، وتنسق معه فوق وتحت الطاولة، خصوصاً ذلك الحرص الذي طبع العقدين الماضيين على تحييد دول الخليج وفي مقدمتها السعودية، ومساعدتها في كل مرة تذهب للتموضع الصريح في الحروب الأميركية، لتنزل عن الشجرة بأقل إحراج وخسارة ممكنتين، ويتمثل التحول النوعي الذي تشهده المواجهة في مطلع العقد الثالث بهزائم مدوية يتلقاها الأميركي من دون أي مساعدة يلقاها من خصومه لحفظ ماء الوجه، له أو لكيان الاحتلال، أو لنماذج حلفاء تتقدمهم السعودية، ويكفي للتحقق من ذلك، النظر للانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، ولمعركة سيف القدس، ولما يجري اليوم في اليمن، وما جرى في الانتخابات في فنزويلا، وما تقدمه إيران من وقائع في المواجهات شبه اليومية في مياه الخليج، وفي طريقة إدارتها لمستقبل ملفها النووي، حيث المعادلة واضحة، عودوا عن العقوبات إذا أردتم منا العودة لالتزاماتنا، وإلا فنحن ماضون  في تصعيد برنامجنا وافعلوا ما تريدون فنحن لا نقيم حساباً لتهديداتكم.

في مقاربة مثل هذه السياقات التاريخية النادرة الحدوث والمحدودة التكرار، يميل الباحثون إلى الاهتمام بالأكبر فالأصغر، بالدولي فالإقليمي فالمحلي، وفي الإجابة عن سؤال، إلى أين تتجه الأمور، نحو المواجهة أم التسويات، تقول كل الملفات الموجودة على الطاولة، أن قابلية التسوية تتفوق في ماهية كل ملف على حدة، والتسوية على قاعدة التسليم الأميركي بالفشل، لو كان محرجاً وقاسياً، كما كانت الحال مع الانسحاب من أفغانستان، ومن يعود لتقرير بايكر هاملتون سيجد أنه منذ عام 2006 بدأ النقاش على أعلى المستويات الأميركية بحتمية التموضع على قاعدة مثل هذا التسليم، التسليم بشراكة ندية مع روسيا، وبدور إقليمي فاعل لإيران ومكانتها النووية وشراكتها الحتمية في استقرار أفغانستان والعراق وأمن الخليج والطاقة، والتسليم بدور سورية، وصولاً للتسليم بأنه من دون التسليم بالحاجة لحل القضية الفلسطينية يضمن حق العودة للاجئين وقيام دولة فلسطينية عاصمتها القدس الشرقية، فكل شيء سيكون عرضة للانهيار، وبالمقابل تظهر كل ملفات النزاع الراهنة، أن عقدة صياغة التسويات حولها ليس نابعاً من عدم القابلية الأميركية لتحمل الهزيمة، بل عدم قدرتها على قبول تسوية لا تضمن أمن إسرائيل أو تعرض هذا الأمن للخطر، وسواء أخذنا روحية بايكر هاملتون أو الواقع الراهن، فهذا سيعيدنا سواء بالتقرب من الأعلى فالأدنى أو من الدولي إلى الإقليمي فالمحلي، أو إذا سرنا بالعكس، إلى أن العقدة في كل الأحوال هي في المواجهة المفتوحة بين كيان الاحتلال وحركة الشعب الفلسطيني.

الأمر لا  علاقة له هنا بالحديث عن موقع القضية الفلسطينية الوجداني والأخلاقي، بل عن موقعها السياسي كمحرك ومعطل للسياسات، وفي قلب هذه اللحظة التي تبدو صراعات كبرى، كمستقبل الوجود الأميركي في العراق وسورية، والملف النووي الإيراني، والحرب في اليمن، وقد تجمد التفاوض حولها أو يبدو مرتبكاً، بفعل المترتبات التي تنجم عن كل خطوة نحو المواجهة أو نحو التسوية، على أمن إسرائيل، أي مستقبل القضية الفلسطينية، يقرر الفلسطينيون، بكل ما يعنيه الوصف الجمعي لكلمة فلسطينيون، الدخول على الخط كصانع أول للسياسة، بعدما اكتشتفوا أنهم للمرة الأولى أن الصراع الأهم حول فلسطين يخاض على أرضها وبناسها، وأن ناسها باتوا يمتكلون ما يكفي لرسم إيقاع الصراع وعزف لحنه التاريخي، كما قالت لهم تجربة المواجهة الكبرى في سيف القدس، فينتقلون من التربص التاريخي باللحظة إلى الإمساك بها، فتصعد ديناميكية صناعتهم للأحداث ويتزاحم إيقاع حضورهم، ويخرج شيبهم وشبابهم، المعلمون والتلامذة، المقاتلون والقادة، ويتصدرون ساحات النزال، ويكفي لفهم حقيقة ما يجري، التوقف أمام معنى التتابع المتصاعد للأحداث التي لم تتوقف منذ معركة سيف القدس، وفي الساحات الأهم، كالقدس والأراضي المحتلة عام 48 وسجون الاحتلال، والتوقف أمام التعاقب المذهل خلال أربعة وعشرين ساعة بين نموذجي عمر أبو عصب ابن الستة عشر ربيعاً، والشيخ فادي أبو شخيدم الأستاذ ذي الاثنين وأربعين عاماً، لفهم معنى الإمساك الفلسطيني باللحظة التاريخية، ودعوة المنطقة للرقص على إيقاع موسيقى فلسطين.

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The British Empire Strikes against Palestinian Resistance Group Hamas

November 22, 2021

By Iqbal Jassat

The British government’s discredited Home Secretary Priti Patel has once again emerged as Israel’s leading in-house lobbyist.

Though her credibility was severely dented when as UK Aid Minister she had to resign in 2017 following her scandalous unauthorized meetings with senior Israeli officials, Patel has made a comeback to yet again plunge the British establishment into a deeper foreign policy mess.

She has now announced dramatic plans to prescribe Palestinian liberation movement Hamas as a “terrorist entity”.

Previously only the military wing of Hamas, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was proscribed under the UK Terrorism Act 2000.

In a statement released by her, Patel sounded no different to right-wing hawks in control of the apartheid regime: “Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities. That is why today I have acted to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.”

Though her proscription order was introduced a few days ago and debating and voting were expected to follow shortly, the process will require approval by Parliament.

If approved, showing support for Hamas – including organizing events in support of them and flying the movement’s flag – could see punishments of up to 14 years in prison.

Not surprisingly, Israel has gleefully welcomed Patel’s announcement. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said it “sends a strong message of zero tolerance toward terrorist activities aimed at harming the State of Israel and Jewish communities.”

Absent from most media reports is the bizarre fact that Patel confirmed her moves in a speech on security and counter-terrorism in Washington.

BBC’S diplomatic correspondent James Landale suggested that the decision should also be seen through a domestic UK prism.

“Israel has been pushing for this for some time and the fact it is now happening reflects the deep contacts that Israel has within the Conservative Party.”

No newcomer to controversy, Patel is described by various British sources including Wikipedia as Eurosceptic. She “was a leading figure in the Vote Leave campaign for Brexit during the 2016 referendum on UK membership of the European Union.”

Reports indicate that following Cameron’s resignation, Patel supported Theresa May’s bid to become Conservative leader; May subsequently appointed Patel Secretary of State for International Development.

However, her breach of the Ministerial Code in 2017 when Patel was involved in a shameful political scandal involving clandestine meetings with Netanyahu and fellow government leaders in Israel, ended her tenure.

Though the unauthorized conduct of holding 12 separate meetings during a family holiday to Israel without notifying the Foreign Office or Downing Street had disgraced her, Boris Johnson ignored Patel’s violations by resuscitating her political career.

That the controversy surrounding her turbulent political career would expectedly have cautioned responsible leaders, Johnson chose to cave into the pro-Israel lobby by deploying her in one of the most powerful cabinet positions.

In making this outlandish move, Patel has selectively chosen to remain silent on the fact that Hamas, having engaged in Palestine’s political process and won the legislative elections in 2006, was rebuffed by the British government. In doing so, the UK defied and denied the political choice made by Palestinians.

As expected, Hamas has expressed its “shock and dismay” at the move.

It called on the government to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, which illegally set the stage for the creation of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine in 1917, during the month of November.

The statement added: “The Palestinian people, backed by the Arab and Muslim nations and the free people of the world, will continue their fight for freedom and return at any cost and will not be discouraged by those who failed to support them.

“We are confident that the Palestinians will fulfill their aspirations for freedom and independence sooner or later.”

Given the fact that Hamas espouses Islamic values and that its defense of Masjid al Aqsa is profoundly admired, it is widely believed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims across the world support it.

Britain’s four million-plus Muslim population would be no exception to this. It goes without saying that solidarity with Palestine’s freedom struggle is intertwined with support for Hamas.

But by Patel’s decree, Muslims and millions of British citizens of various faith groups, found to be pro-Hamas will face criminal charges and the prospect of long-term jail.

– Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the South Africa-based Media Review Network. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com

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Ultimate Dog Whistle: World Misses Israel’s Hebrew-Language Incitement Against Palestinians

November 22nd, 2021

By Miko Peled

Source

Israeli State-sponsored terrorism and incitement against the Palestinians are not new. The intensity that we currently see, particularly since the uprising of May 2021, is a serious cause for concern. 

THE NAQAB — Zionist incitement against Palestinians is at an all-time high but you wouldn’t know it by reading the international press because it is all done in Hebrew. The violent, racist-supremacist discourse that takes place in the Israeli media and among Israeli politicians is also done in Hebrew and so it gets little or no attention. And so, as the world remains comfortably numb, the Zionist apartheid state is wiping Palestine — or what remains of it — off the face of the earth. The intent is to push Palestinians out of their homes, to take their land, to erase their history, and eventually, to come to the moment Israelis have all been waiting for: the final, glorious destruction of Al-Aqsa and the building of a so-called third Jewish temple in its place.

Wadi Ara

Wadi Ara is a valley in Northern Palestine that connects the coastal plain to Marj Ibn Amr. In 1948, heavy fighting took place in the area and it was eventually occupied and became part of the State of Israel. While there were villages that were destroyed and subjected to ethnic cleansing, many Palestinians did remain steadfast and, to this day, the area is home to Palestinian towns and villages with a combined population of close to 120,000. This reality is one that Zionists, in general, find troubling.

From the outset, Israel has been obsessed with demographics, and particularly what they refer to as the “demographic threat,” wherein Palestinians outnumber Israelis. There have been many open discussions about how to deal with the large Palestinian population that still resides in this very strategic area of northern Palestine. Talk of transferring the people — with or without the land — outside of the state of Israel is not uncommon, and the term “Judaizing the Galilee,” which means boosting Israeli presence in the area so as to create a “Jewish majority,” is not uncommon either.

Wadi Ara Protest
Women protest against home demolitions on the road in Wadi Ara, April 5, 2008. Oren Ziv | Activestills

However, in a recent interview with the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, retiring Israeli Army General Yitzhak Turgeman took the incitement against the Palestinian citizens of Wadi Ara to a whole new level. He warned that in a future war, military convoys going north will have to avoid driving through Wadi Ara. This, he said, is one of the conclusions the Israeli top brass reached as a result of the Palestinian uprising that took place in May of 2021, in which all of Palestine resisted the Zionist oppression, the desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque, and the brutal bombing of the Gaza Strip.

According to a piece in The Times of Israel, General Turgeman is quoted as saying,

What I’m really concerned about… is the impact of violent disturbances on internal security and movement of IDF’s transport convoys… It is a factor that I foresee as having significant potential to delay the ability to maneuver IDF troops.”

While it might seem encouraging to think that Palestinian citizens of Israel have the capacity to slow down the Israeli military, it is hard to believe that they possess such capabilities. Palestinian citizens of Israel — unarmed and suffering greatly under the brutality of the Israeli apartheid system — do not have the ability to slow down the movement of Israeli military convoys going towards Lebanon and Syria. The comments made in this interview are dangerous incitement, feeding into what Israelis already believe of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, even though there is no evidence to this claim: that the Palestinian citizens are, in fact, a fifth column and must be treated as such.

Jenin

A piece in the Hebrew news outlet Mako reports about an event that “raised serious concerns in Israeli military circles.” It was during the funeral of former Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs Wasfi Qabha. According to the report, written in Hebrew, there was a large turnout of armed Hamas fighters during the procession. Qabha was a Hamas leader and, the report claims, this not only worried the Israeli military but also presented a serious problem for the Palestinian Authority.

“Armed members of Qassam Brigades were marching in the street during the procession,” the report states, and it continues, “This is not Gaza but Jenin,” which, the readers are reminded, is near the northern Israeli city of Afula. Jenin does in fact sit in the very northern boundary of the West Bank which means it is close to many Israeli settlements in 1948 Palestine.

Not unlike the incitement against the Palestinians of Wadi Ara, this should be seen as a call for Israeli action against the people of Jenin. Also according to the report, the Palestinian Authority sees this as a problem because “Hamas is the PA’s greatest enemy.” While a strong showing of support for Hamas presents a problem for the Fateh-led Palestinian Authority, the notion that the biggest threat to Palestinians is anything but Israel is absurd.

The Naqab

Hardly a day goes by that Israeli politicians and the Israeli media do not incite against the Palestinian Bedouin of the Naqab. They are portrayed as violent, armed gangs who take over “Jewish-owned” land or “state-owned” land, and as a community that presents a threat to the law-abiding good Jewish citizens of the Naqab, and there is a constant demand that the state use harsher, more punitive measures to control them.

As it is, over the last several years more than 2,000 homes were demolished per year in the Naqab alone. Some of Israel’s most affluent communities and highest standards of living can be found among the Israeli settlements and cities in the Naqab, while the Palestinian Bedouin live in abject poverty as they see their lands being taken and cultivated by their occupiers.

The Hebrew news outlet Walla reports from the occupied city of Bir El-Saba, known as the capital of the Naqab, about a recent outbreak of violence between two Bedouin clans. The Zionist mayor of the city used every codeword in the Hebrew language to call on the government to come down hard on the Palestinian Bedouin community. While the State of Israel ignores and even encourages violent crime within the communities of its Palestinian citizens, Israeli politicians ignore the pleas of the community to disarm the gangs but never miss an opportunity to blame the violence on the community itself.

House demolition Naqab
Israeli bulldozers demolish a house in a Bedouin village of Umm Al-Hiran, in the Naqab. Photo | Activestills

Mayor Ruvik Danilovitch said that, “the State has lost all control,” and that “the militias must be dismantled. He also referred to the Bedouin as terrorists, saying that, “the State needs to fight the internal terrorism.” He called on the government to make use of the Shabak, the Israeli secret police, which detains and tortures Palestinians regularly. It should be noted that Palestinians in the Naqab are already governed by a separate government agency over which they have no control and in which they have no say, while the Shabak regularly detains and tortures young activists from the Naqab.

Known as “The Israeli Agency for Bedouin Development,” the agency has its own policing unit called “Yoav,” which is a highly militarized, commando-like unit that is used primarily against the Bedouin community in the Naqab. The agency, and the Yoav units that are attached to it, are not the only ones working to make life impossible for the Palestinian community in the Naqab. The Israeli NGO Regavim conducts nationwide campaigns of smear and incitement against Palestinians in general and against the Palestinian Bedouin of the Naqab in particular.

The Israeli State-sponsored terrorism and incitement against the Palestinians are not new. The intensity that we currently see, particularly since the uprising of May 2021, is a serious cause for concern.

World Children’s Day, PCHR Demands Protection for Palestinian Children

November 22, 2021

Ref: 134/2021 

November 20th marks World Children’s Day that was adopted by the United Nation; it is a universal day devoted by the international community to entrench promotion, respect and protection of child’s rights according to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This occasion comes this year in difficult circumstances that aggravated the difficult conditions children endure in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).  Children form 45% of the Palestinian society; 42% in the West Bank and 48% in the Gaza Strip; they are affected by both the continued Israeli occupation, which violates their human rights, and by the Palestinian internal division that impeded all attempts to enact laws that are more equitable to them.

The Israeli occupation commits multi-layered violated against children, either by directly harming them like what happened in the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip in May 2021 when 59 children were killed and 632 were wounded while 8 children were killed in the West Bank since the beginning of the year.  Also, children face arrests as there are 200 children arrested in the Israeli prisons in 2021.  In addition, children suffer from the Israeli tightened restrictions on the freedom of movement due to the permanent and temporary checkpoints and the settlers’ attacks against civilians under IOF’s protection.

The Palestinian internal division is one of the main reasons behind the outgrowing suffering of the Palestinian child as the disruption of the Palestinian Legislative Council was a great obstacle in the way of enacting laws that are more equitable to children, particularly the victims of domestic violence.

In 2020, PCHR documented cases of domestic violence, where children were the victims; the latest of which was the rape of a 5-year-old girl from Rafah by her uncle. Children suffer from violence that has lately increased due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which has negatively affected the economic, social, and living conditions.

A study published by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs shows that 270,000 children were subject to different forms of mental, physical, and verbal violence while 10% of female children were exposed to cyber violence

The deterioration of economic and social conditions increased child labor to 3% according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: 4% in the West Bank and 1% in the Gaza Strip.

As part of its concern of further deterioration of children’s conditions, PCHR Calls upon:

  • The international community, by virtue of their contractual obligations, to hold the Israeli occupation responsible and pressure it to end the closure and respect the Palestinian child’s rights in accordance with international conventions, particularly the 1948 Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • The Palestinian government to establish clear, fair, impartial, and transparent mechanisms to protect children in the oPt, including establishing a safe shelter for children exposed to violence.
  • The Palestinian President to adopt the Domestic Violence Protection Bill into law and to harmonize domestic laws with international conventions, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • The police and public prosecution to exert more efforts for the prosecution of those committing domestic violence crimes and take all the necessary legal proceedings against them regardless of any excuses or justifications.
  • The governmental bodies to reconsider the policies taken over the years pertaining to children and to take lessons learned from the current experience that has led to this catastrophic situation, which requires governmental bodies’ to mainstream children’s rights across their policies.
  • The civil society and human rights organizations to work continuously on raising the awareness of the Palestinian society on the forms of violence children are exposed to and the mechanisms to end it.

Banning of Palestinian NGOs: How Israel Tries to Silence Human Rights Defenders

November 22, 2021

By Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo

On October 21, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced the issuance of a military order designating six prominent Palestinian human rights groups as ‘terrorist organizations’. Gantz claimed that they are secretly linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a socialist political group that Israel considers, along with most Palestinian political parties, ‘a terrorist organization.’

The Palestinian organizations included in the Israeli order are Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights, Al-Haq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

Considering the significance of these organizations in Palestine and their global networks among like-minded civil society organizations, the Israeli decision provoked a public outcry. One of the many statements of condemnation was a joint statement by rights groups, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), in which they called Gantz’s move an “appalling and unjust decision”, which represents “an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement.”

Strong Words, but No Actions

AI and HRW, which have documented Israeli human rights violations of Palestinians for many years, fully understand that the ‘terrorist’ designation is consistent with a long trajectory of such unlawful moves:

“For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. While staff members of our organizations have faced deportation and travel bans, Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations.”

Equally important in the world’s leading rights groups’ statement is that it did not fail to highlight that the “decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.”

True to form, the international community did react to Gantz’s decision, albeit it was the kind of ineffectual reaction, which persisted in the realm of rhetoric that is rarely followed by substantive action.

A joint statement by UN experts called the Israeli decision “a frontal attack on the Palestinian human rights movement, and on human rights everywhere”.

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, criticized the “arbitrary” decision by Israel and warned of the “far-reaching consequences as a result,” in terms of work, funding and support for the targeted organizations.

Many governments around the world also condemned the Israeli move and echoed the sentiment conveyed by UN experts. Even the US expressed its ‘concern’, though, using the same typically cautious and non-committal language.

US State Department spokesman, Ned Price, told reporters on October 23, in Washington, that his country “believe(s) respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are critically important to responsible and responsive governance.” Instead of an outright condemnation, however, Price said that the US will “be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for these designations.”

However, like other governments, and certainly unlike AI and HRW, Price made no link between the Israeli decision of October 21 and numerous other past practices targeting human rights and civil society groups in Palestine and, more recently, in Israel as well. Also worth noting is that the supposed link between such organizations and the socialist PFLP is not new.

The following are a few examples of how Israel has attempted to silence some of these organizations, which, eventually were declared to be ‘terrorist.’

Raids, Arrests and Death Threats

Addameer – In December 2012, the Israeli army raided the headquarters of Addamer in Ramallah, confiscating laptops and a video camera. The offices of the Union of Palestinian Women Committees were also raided by Israeli occupation forces on the same day. The organization is one of the six now designated by Israel as ‘terrorist.’

In September 2019, Addameer’s offices were raided, once again. The Israeli military raid at the time, however, did not generate as much attention or outrage, despite the accompanying violence, let alone the blatant violation of human rights. Then, Al-Haq – also one of the other six effectively banned Palestinian groups – issued a statement warning that “the private property of human rights organizations in occupied territory is especially protected under Article 46 of the Hague Regulations (1907).”

Expectedly, such legal constraints mattered little to Israel.

Al-Haq – Al-Haq’s staff have faced many restrictions throughout the years. Shawan Jabarin, the General Director of Al-Haq, has been banned from travel on various occasions, starting in 2006.

In March 2009, Jabarin was prevented by Israel from traveling to the Netherlands to receive an award on behalf of his organization. Again, in November 2011, this time, Jabarin was now allowed to travel to Denmark.

The Israeli obstacles began taking even more sinister turns when, in March 2016, Jabarin began receiving death threats over the phone. These anonymous calls began arriving “in the context of increasing harassment of Al-Haq and its members, amid their recent work at the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking justice for human rights violations being committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” the Front Line Defenders website reported.

Defense for Children International-Palestine – In July, and again August 2021, Israeli forces raided Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) offices in Al-Bireh, in the occupied West Bank. They seized computers, hard drives and other material, alleging a link between the organization and the PFLP.

This allegation had already been advanced in 2018, when UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) persuaded Citibank and the Arab Bank PLC to stop providing banking services to DCIP, providing what they defined as “evidence of the close ties” to the PFLP.

While it is true that the recent Israeli measures against Palestinian NGOs are a continuation of an old policy, there are fundamental differences between the growing perception of Israel, now, as an apartheid state and the misconstrued perception of the past, namely Israel as an oasis of democracy.

Even international entities and groups that are yet to brand Israel an apartheid state are becoming familiar with the Israeli government’s undemocratic nature.

A ‘Tectonic Shift’

In December 2019, and after years of haggling, the ICC resolved that “there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to Article 53(1) of the (Rome) Statute.” Despite intense Israeli and western pressure, the last hurdle in the way of the investigation was removed last February, as the ICC has finally approved the Prosecutor’s request to open legal proceedings regarding war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

This legal milestone was cemented by major declarations, one made by Israel’s own rights group, B’tselem, in January, and another by HRW in April, both slamming Israeli policies in Palestine – not just the occupied territories – as ‘apartheid’.

This critical change in the international legal position regarding Israel’s new, unflattering status, was boosted by Israel’s own violent actions in East Jerusalem, Gaza and throughout Palestine in May. Unlike previous wars, the May events have shifted sympathy mostly towards Palestinians, who are fighting for their freedom, homes and other basic human rights.

The change was also notable within the US government itself, which is unprecedented by any account. An increasing number of US lawmakers are now openly critical of the State of Israel, due to a radical change in the US public opinion and, again, unprecedently, they are not paying a heavy price for it as was often the case in the past due to the great influence of the Zionist lobby in Washington.

“The shift is dramatic; it’s tectonic,” the BBC, on May 21, quoted US pollster, John Zogby, as saying. “In particular, younger generations are considerably more sympathetic to the Palestinians – and that age gap has been on full display with the Democratic Party,” the BBC noted.

Israel’s losses are not just sentimental or political, but economic as well. Last July, the international ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s decided to stop selling its products in illegal Jewish settlements while pinpointedly condemning Israeli occupation, a move that was described by Amnesty as “legitimate and necessary”. A few months later, the sports clothing manufacturer, Nike, followed suit, announcing that it will end the sale of its products in Israeli stores starting May 2022, although it did not justify its decision based on political reasoning.

While Israel continues to lash out at its critics, it no longer seems to behave according to a centralized strategy.

Lacking a strong leadership after the dethroning of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the formation of a diverse ‘unity government’, the new Israeli government does not seem capable of holding back international criticism of its conduct in occupied Palestine. The notion that everything that Israel does is justifiable as a form of ‘self-defense’ is simply no longer a strong selling point. The May war is the perfect example of this assertion.

In the case of the banned NGOs, for example, aside from sending a representative from the Israeli intelligence agency, Shin Bet, and another from the Israeli Foreign Ministry to Washington on October 25 with “relevant intelligence” to justify its decision, Tel Aviv continued to carry out the same policies that further exposes its apartheid in the eyes of the international community.

Indeed, on October 27, Israel announced the construction of thousands of new housing units in illegal Jewish settlements, in its first such move during the presidency of Joe Biden.

A perfect illustration of the frantic nature of the Israeli response came on October 29, when the Israeli envoy to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, during his speech at the General Assembly, tore into pieces a report issued by the UN Human Rights Council illustrating Israeli ongoing violations of international law.

“The Human Rights Council attacked and condemned Israel in 95 resolutions compared to 142 resolutions against the rest of the world,” Erdan said. “This distorted and one-sided report’s place is in the dustbin of anti-Semitism,” he ranted.

Branding Israeli Apartheid

We may be at the cusp of a fundamental change in terms of Israel’s relationship with the international community. While Tel Aviv continues to heavily invest in its apartheid infrastructure, the international community is slowly, but clearly, becoming aware that Israel’s apartheid status is a permanent one. The successive statements by B’Tselem, HRW, the joint HRW-Amnesty statement condemning the de facto outlawing of the Palestinian NGOs and, again, the ICC investigation are all indicative of this growing awareness.

The question remains – will Israel be able to use its power, influence and leverage in Western societies to force the world to accept and co-exist with a full-fledged apartheid regime in Palestine? And if yes, then, for how long?

The South African apartheid example showed that, despite decades of apartheid and initial acceptance, if not support, by western societies of legalized racial separation in South Africa, the pendulum eventually turned. Even before the formal end of apartheid in that country in 1994, it was becoming clear that the days of the racist regime of Pretoria were numbered. That realization was possible because of the growing international awareness, especially at grassroot, civil society level, of the evil of apartheid.

A similar scenario seems to be evolving in the case of Israeli apartheid in Palestine as well. A critical mass of support for Palestinian rights is being constructed around the world, thanks to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and hundreds of pro-Palestine civil society groups all around the globe.

For years, Israel seemed keen on countering the influence of Palestine’s solidarity around the world using a centralized strategy. Large sums of money were dedicated, or pledged, towards that end, and a partly government-controlled company was even established, in 2017, to guide the Israeli global campaign. Much of this has amounted to very little, however, as BDS continues to grow, and the conversation on Palestine and Israel is gradually changing from that of a political ‘conflict’ into recognition of Israeli racism, apartheid and utter disregard of international law.

Of course, it will take more time, more decided effort and, certainly, more sacrifices on the part of Palestinians and their supporters to expose Israeli apartheid to the rest of the world. Now that Israel seems to have accepted that there is little it can do to reverse this brand, it is accelerating its colonial efforts, while hunkering down for a long fight ahead.

The onus is now on the international community to force Israel into dismantling its apartheid regime. Though it is ultimately the people who liberate themselves, international solidarity is essential to the process of national liberation. This was the case in South Africa, and will surely be the case in Palestine, as well.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

– Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

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