US-sponsored ISIS Terrorists Assassinate Two Officials in Daraa Province

 ARABI SOURI

US-sponsored terrorists of an ISIS-affiliated group operating out of the Al Tanf area have assassinated the head of the town council and the head of the Baath Party in the town of Al Nuaymah in the eastern countryside of Daraa.

Ali Awad Abboud, acting head of the town council, and Fouad Abboud, the head of the Baath party constituency in the town arrived dead at the National Hospital of Daraa, a source in the hospital informed the Syrian news agency Sana in a statement.

The hospital source said in the statement that both victims were killed by gunshots to their chests confirming the information circulating by local sources in the town who said ‘unknown gunmen shot the two officials in the town’ and they immediately fell dead.

This assassination indicates it was carried out by terrorists highly trained by an agency with such experiences, like the CIA or one of the US military agencies that carry out similar crimes around the world.

We’ve reported on the 23rd of December 2021, less than 5 months ago, the assassination of the mayor of the town of Al Nuaymah Alaa Al Abboud, he was killed by a bomb planted under his car, and some other members of his family were injured in the terrorist attack.

We also mentioned in the report on the previous assassination how the remnants of ISIS terrorists and members of the ISIS-affiliated terrorist group Maghawir Thawra operate out of the 50 kilometers no-fly zone established by the Biden forces illegally deployed in the Al Tanf area in the furthest southeastern Syrian desert, these forces have carried out military drills with the terrorists who also hold hundreds of Syrian families in the infamous Rukban concentration camp as human shields.

Syrian people, state and army officials, politicians, scientists, and tribal notables have all been targeted by the US-sponsored ‘Moderate Rebels’ or call use the latest trend by NATO the ‘Foreign Legion’ – Syria Branch, the US under the Noble Peace Laureate Obama have created these terrorist groups after failing to take over Syria by the color revolution dubbed Arab Spring, later beefed up by Trump, and now came back the diverse, most inclusive regime of Biden to continue investing in these terrorist groups to punish the Syrian people for not accepting the modern-day slavery decided upon them by the owners of the USA.

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“Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

17 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Atilio A. Boron 

How long will Washington’s double discourse last?

“Israel”, the United States and the internationally accepted genocide

Israeli government troops assassinated Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, one of the leading figures of Al Jazeera TV network. Yet, Washington and the Western media and governments remain silent in complicity against this unspeakable crime, not only for the murder itself but also for the vicious attack on freedom of the press. Can you imagine how these governments and their dependent press would have reacted if this crime had been committed against a Venezuelan-American journalist in Venezuela? This news would have been the cover of all the newspapers in the West and the subject of all the radio and television programs, denouncing the brutality of the Maduro “regime”. But, since the crime was committed by the Israelis, what prevails is silence and concealment of the information. Again, the damn double standard of the empire!

Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot dead while covering an Israeli army incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. A Palestinian colleague of the murdered journalist, Ali Samudi, was also attacked by Zionist bullets and was shot in the back, fortunately not causing fatal injuries. The “Israel” Defense Force confirmed that it carried out an operation Wednesday morning in the Jenin refugee camp, but denied that they have shot at journalists present at the scene. However, Israeli army sources assured that there was an exchange of fire on the ground and Defense Minister Benny Gantz himself told the foreign press at night that the army “was not sure how the journalist died. Maybe it was a Palestinian who shot her, the shot could also have come from our side, we are investigating,” Gantz said. Nevertheless, one of the photographers from the French news agency AFP said that Israeli forces were firing in the area and that he saw the body of the Al Jazeera reporter on the ground. In addition, he said that there were no armed Palestinians in the area.

Al Jazeera called on the international community to hold “Israel” responsible for the “intentional” death of the journalist. “In a flagrant murder that violates international laws and norms, the Israeli occupation forces cold-bloodedly murdered the Al Jazeera correspondent in the Palestinian territories,” the channel said. Qatari Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater said on Twitter that the correspondent was shot “in the face” and called the act “Israeli state terrorism.” For its part, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), the autonomous Palestinian government based in the West Bank, described the journalist’s death as an “execution” and as part of the Israeli effort to hide the “truth” of its occupation of the West Bank. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that these protests will find an echo in the Western press, completely controlled by US imperialism and its European lackeys.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid assured that his country wanted to join an “investigation into the sad death of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh” and stressed that “journalists must be protected in conflict zones”, for which “Tel Aviv” has “the responsibility to get to the truth.” The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called for the facts to be investigated by “both parties” in a transparent manner. In a completely hollow speech the diplomatic stressed that the “absolute priority” of the United States is “the protection of American citizens and journalists”, something blatantly false. Beautiful words, devoid of any substance because the United States and Western countries have been endorsing the genocidal policies of the state of “Israel” since 1948, and there is nothing to suggest that this policy will be changed in the near future, especially in the context of the Ukrainian war.

For its part, Amnesty International (AI) pointed out that the “increase in unlawful killings” in recent times is one more example of the need to put an end to “Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians.” In an unusually harsh public statement, the organization denounced what could be “extrajudicial executions” against Palestinians. It also said that “the murder” of the journalist “is a bloody reminder of the deadly system in which “Israel” locks up Palestinians. “Israel” is killing Palestinians left and right with impunity. How many more must die before the international community acts to hold “Israel” accountable?” questioned AI’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Saleh Higazi. This statement is in line with a recent declaration by Noam Chomsky, who accused the Israeli government of practicing genocidal policies in Gaza, the largest open-air prison in the world according to his words. The sad culmination of this policy followed by the neo-Nazi government of “Israel” was the scandalous repression that occurred during the funeral of Abu Akleh, which offends the most basic canons of human rights. However, despite these brutal transgressions and “Israel”‘s escalation of repression in recent weeks -in which at least 31 people were killed- the American government continues to monolithically support the slaughterers of the Palestinian people.

How long will Washington’s double discourse last? How is it that Biden, who claims to be recognized as a champion of human rights, supports a regime like the Israeli one that, since its foundation, has systematically violated the human, social and economic rights of the Palestinians stealing their land, destroying their houses and condemning them to a trickle-down genocide?

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Will Shireen Abu Akleh’s Murder Mark a Turning Point in the Liberation of Palestine?

May 14th, 2022

Feature photo | Protesters hold candles and a photo of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Haifa, Israel, May 11, 2022. Ariel Schalit | AP

This particular targeted killing of a journalist – not the first and sadly, probably not the last – touched us all. And the response of the Zionist establishment in occupied Jerusalem, as well as in Washington, is cold and full of excuses.

By Miko Peled

JERUSALEM – As I write these words, the world is trying to make sense of the brutal assassination of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was targeted by Israeli forces while covering yet another Israeli assault on Jenin. Furthermore, Israeli forces have now attacked the funeral procession leading Shireen to her final resting place. One wonders why is anyone surprised.

How often have we seen innocent lives taken? How often have we seen the Israeli military attack funeral processions? And yet, for reasons that perhaps cannot be explained, awe, sadness, and despair have descended upon the world with this particular killing. This particular targeted killing of a journalist – not the first and sadly, probably not the last – touched us all. And the response of the Zionist establishment in occupied Jerusalem, as well as in Washington, is cold and full of excuses.

Israeli police attacks mourners carrying the casket of Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral, May 13, 2022. Maya Levin | AP

On the same day the funeral procession of Shireen was taking place in Jerusalem, a memorial procession was taking place in the ancient city of Lyd. This procession was to commemorate the murder of Musa Hassuna.  It was a year ago in Lyd, as settler gangs were assaulting Palestinians in Lyd, that Musa Hassuna was murdered. This procession, besides being a memorial to the killing, was also a reminder that the Israeli authorities decided to close the case against the only suspects who were on the scene and who fired their weapons at the same place and the same time as Musa was killed. Sources in Lyd say that the Israeli minister of interior called the local DA to demand that they close the case on grounds of self-defense.

Of course, we are all well aware that Musa and Shireen, who were murdered one year apart, were not the only victims of Zionist violence. They are joined by countless others who, without cause or trial, were taken from their loved ones, from their people, and turned into martyrs for the cause. Sure enough, once again we are forced to look at reality in the face and accept that no one will save Palestine but us. No one else can free Palestine, no one can save Palestinians from the long, violent, heartless arm of the Zionist apartheid regime. Only a unity of purpose and an uncompromising pro-Palestinian, pro-justice, pro-liberation agenda can save Palestine and its people from bloodshed and destruction.

As it happens, I had just witnessed precisely such unity, albeit on a small scale. Anyone looking for an agenda on Palestine that is both progressive and unifying should have been in New York City in early May of 2022. Al-Awda New York held its “Rising to Return” conference at the People’s Forum in New York City on Mother’s Day weekend this year. The energy, the speakers, the volunteers, and even the vendors all provided an atmosphere of unity of purpose and unity of cause – the cause being the liberation of Palestine as well as the total rejection of Zionism and the Zionist apartheid state.

Signs of unity

Sitting side by side under posters displaying Che Guevara and T-shirts displaying the image of Thomas Sankara, as well as other fighters for justice, were Palestinians, American Jews, communists, secular and religious people, women wearing hijab, and ultra-orthodox rabbis. All were there to speak and listen but mostly to demonstrate support for the liberation of Palestine and the end to the apartheid regime in Palestine.

Shireen Abu Akleh

Mourners gather at the hospital where the body Shireen Abu Akleh was taken to her final resting place, May 13, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Contrary to the common misconception regarding the pro-Palestinian camp, a clear and uncompromising message regarding Palestine does have the capacity to unite people of different backgrounds, faiths, and even political affiliations. One is hard-pressed to think of any other issue on which all of these groups could find common ground. Yet Al-Awda New York – with its message of a free, decolonized Palestine – managed to do just that.

The misconception is that in order to present the Palestinian case, in order to achieve the goals of those of seek to free Palestine, we must go slow. “We must first crawl before we walk and run,” we are told. In other words, in order to achieve the liberation of Palestine, we must tread lightly so as not to upset anyone. This was never true and it is not true today.

Who is a Jew?

Too many people think that Jewish people who are orthodox and dress as ultra-orthodox are associated with settlers and right-wing Israeli politics. However, at the Al-Awda conference and in many, many other pro-Palestinian spaces we see ultra-orthodox Jewish people carrying Palestinian flags and calling for the “peaceful dismantlement of the Zionist state.” So the question that needs to be asked is which one of these groups – the racist, violent Settlers or the peace- and tolerance-promoting Jews – represents Judaism?

Revered rabbis from Jerusalem, London and New York have for decades demanded an end to the Zionist state and the liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian people. Young Yeshiva students in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Me’a Sha’arim, as well as in cities around the world, proudly carry the Palestinian flag as they march side by side with Palestinians.

So, clearly, the Zionist Jewish settlers may dress as orthodox Jews but in fact, they are violating the most sacred tenets of the Jewish faith.

Opposition

The opposition to the cause of justice has always been fierce and, in the case of Palestine, the Zionists have learned from other oppressors and refined their methods. This means that the struggle for justice and liberation in Palestine is challenging and demanding, and we who stand on the side of justice and liberation have to work harder and smarter than those who had to fight in other arenas.

We need to reclaim Palestine by teaching the world that what they wrongly refer to as Israel is Occupied Palestine. And that a glorious history was cut out from the curriculum and therefore they don’t know about the long impressive history of this land, which sits at a crucial crossroads uniting Asia, Africa, and Europe.

 Shireen Abu Akleh

Palestinians carry pictures of Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 11, 2022. Nasser Nasser | AP

We need to teach the world that whatever the Zionists had told them was a lie, and then we must be there and in no uncertain terms provide the truth. I was asked once in an interview what I miss about Israel. “This is not Israel,” I replied, “It is Palestine.” The interviewer was astonished: “How can you say that?” he asked me. “It was Palestine, it is Palestine and it will always be Palestine,” I responded. If we act without compromise it will be liberated.

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Seif Al-Quds: The battle which ushered in a new era of Palestinian armed struggle

12 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Robert Inlakesh 

The battle fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel” completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

Seif Al-Quds: The Battle Which Ushered In A New Era Of Palestinian Armed Struggle

Although for many, the Seif al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem) battle, last May, represented significant suffering and loss of Palestinian life, the war fought between the unified Palestinian resistance factions and “Israel”, completely changed the trajectory of the region’s conflict with the Zionist regime.

Lasting between May 10 and May 21, dubbed the “11-day war”, Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip combined their strength with that of the entire Palestinian population inside occupied territories. After consistent Israeli incursions into al-Aqsa mosque last Ramadan, the spokesperson for the al-Qassam brigades [armed wing of Hamas], Abu Ubaydah, gave Israeli occupation forces a 6 PM deadline to withdraw from Al-Aqsa Mosque and stop a far-Right settler march. On the deadline, a barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza, into Israeli settlements surrounding Jerusalem. It was then that “Israel” officially announced it was going to war with Gaza.

Around 270 Palestinians were killed across the occupied territories by Israeli occupation forces and settlers, however, the story of human suffering during the war was not the only significant element. Unlike had been the case in 2014, 2008-9, and even in 2012, all years when the Israeli occupation forces launched military operations against the Gaza Strip, no significant win could be taken from the side of the Palestinian resistance. With the exception of the 2012 war, the other battles between Gaza’s armed groups and “Israel” had resulted in the weakening of the position of the Palestinian armed struggle. During Seif Al-Quds, things were quite the opposite, for the first time, it was a real strategic victory on the part of a unified front of armed factions, making up what has become known as the ‘Joint Room’ of resistance factions.

“Israel” was forced into political and military disarray, as the victory of Seif Al-Quds only further led to the downfall of former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ushering in a new Israeli ruling coalition. “Israel”’s military strategy of attempting to draw the resistance forces into the attack tunnel systems, in order to bombard them and kill hundreds, failed tremendously and completely took the Israeli military by surprise. The Gazan forces had somehow figured out, most likely through intelligence gathering methods, what “Israel” had been planning – a fake invasion announcement – preemptively preparing themselves for such an Israeli attack. Hamas even dictated to the Israelis in “Tel Aviv” when they could come out of their bomb shelters, telling them that they would stop their rocket attacks for 2 hours on one given night. The sight of Israelis listening to the guidelines set to them by Hamas and the other armed factions, made “Israel’s” air defense systems and military strategy seem weak, proving the Zionist forces useless at defending their own population.

Furthermore, the tactics used by the armed groups, such as; slowly revealing new weapons technology, striking everywhere inside the 1948 territories, putting Israeli airports on temporary lockdown and controlling the course of the battle, all showed the entire region the weaknesses of “Tel Aviv”. If little besieged Gaza could foil “Israel’s” military strategies that they had worked on for years, not lose their military capabilities, force “Israel” to accept a non-conditional ceasefire, imagine what a force like Lebanese Hezbollah, or the Syrian Arab Army, would do to them? This was the question in the minds of world leaders at the time. To conclude the battle of Seif Al-Quds, “Israel” did not fire the final shot by midnight when the ceasefire kicked in, it was Hamas that had the last say. 

Seif al-Quds proved for the Palestinians, as well as regional allies of the camp of resistance to “Israel”, that the armed struggle was the only way forward. The Palestinian Authority (PA), based in Ramallah, chooses the path of “security coordination” and refuses to resist “Israel” with violence and has failed to achieve a so-called “two-State solution”. The PA, of President Mahmoud Abbas, has little legitimacy left in the eyes of Palestinians and has no negotiating chips to bring to the table of any talks with the Israeli side, on top of this, no Israeli ruling coalition will have anything to do with the PA and talks of “two-States”. Now, the answer, following the era of Oslo, which really died with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, is again the armed struggle and this is clearly what we see, as the rising belief, all throughout occupied Palestine.

A regional coalition, to fight for al-Aqsa Mosque, is now developing in its coordination and capabilities, included in which will be; Hezbollah, Ansarallah, groups from within the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Palestinian armed factions. The head of the Hamas movement in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has vowed that the war for Jerusalem will begin after Ramadan and that the armed factions in Gaza will be on high alert to thwart Israeli plots against the Palestinian people and Jerusalem’s Holy Sites. 

The battle of May 2021 represents the opening of a new chapter in the conflict with “Israel”, forcing the entire region and beyond to pay attention. Having said this, the questions to now be answered are; How will a regional coalition launch a successful military campaign against “Israel”? When will the Israeli ruling coalition collapse and how will the resistance deal with this? When will the PA change hands from its current rulers or collapse? And, when will the international community begin to start approaching Hamas as a representative of the Palestinian movement and people? The answers to these questions will be determining factors to how the Palestinian cause will once again emerge as a top priority on the regional and international stage. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Hamas Calls for “Unified Command” Against “Israel”, Urges PLO to Abolish Oslo Accords

May 14, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

In response to the cold-blooded killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF], the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called for a unified command against the occupying regime.

In his remarks late on Friday, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Gaza-based resistance movement’s political bureau, urged the “speedy formation” of the command to lead the struggle against the “Israeli” entity.

The call came two days after 51-year-old Abu Akleh was brutally murdered while covering an “Israeli” military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The long-time Al-Jazeera Arabic journalist, who shot to fame while covering the second Palestinian Intifada between 2000 and 2005, was accompanying a group of local journalists when she was targeted.

Haniyeh said the Palestinian liberation struggle is going through a “new stage,” which demands the adoption of “incisive and strategic decisions”.

He said the unified command will be tasked with directing the resistance against the apartheid regime.

Formation of the unified front is indispensable in the light of the regime’s “bestiality,” which manifested itself in the “assassination of the daughter of Palestine,” Haniyeh said, referring to Abu Akleh.

The Hamas leader said Palestinians need to get their act together in the face of Tel Aviv’s unbridled aggression, advocating unity between different Palestinian political groups.

He cited examples of “Israeli” aggression such as the increase in settlement construction activities across the occupied territories, assaulting Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the holy occupied city of al-Quds, the longstanding and crippling siege of Gaza, detention of thousands of Palestinians, and denying them the right to return to their homeland.

Haniyeh called on the West Bank-headquartered Palestinian Authority [PA] to end its cooperation with the regime in Tel Aviv and scrap the so-called Oslo Accords, which were signed in 1993 and marked the first time the “Israeli” regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] recognized each other.

The Oslo Accords were signed in the White House but named after Norway’s capital city, where the secret back-channel dialogue took place.

The Hamas leader urged the PA to withdraw its “recognition of ‘Israel’,” stop its “security cooperation” with Tel Aviv, “and concentrate on the resistance’s comprehensive plan for confronting the occupier.”

Pertinently, it came on the eve of Nakba Day, [the Day of Catastrophe], when in 1948 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and the “Israeli” entity came into existence as an illegal and illegitimate entity.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (28 April- 11 May 2022)

12 05, 2022

(This weekly report covers two weeks due to holidays)

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Five Palestinian civilians, including a female journalist and a child, were killed and 27 others, including a woman, a female journalist and a male journalist, were injured, while tens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in separate incidents in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 30 April 2022, a Palestinian civilian was killed after being shot with a live bullet in his chest while walking on the street during the Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF)  incursion into Azzun village in Qalqilya.

Om 08 May 2022, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian, from the Gaza Strip and resided in the West Bank, while trying to sneak into Israel through a hole in the annexation wall in southern Tulkarm. More information available here. On the same day, a child, from Bethlehem, was killed after being shot with 4 live bullets by an Israeli security officer, under the pretext that he sneaked into “Tekoa” settlement that is established on Bethlehem lands. IOF claimed that he had a knife in his possession. There were no eyewitnesses to the incident.

On 11 May 2022, journalist Shireen Abu ‘Akleh, Al-Jazeera media network’s reporter, was killed and her colleague was injured by the IOF fire during their coverage of IOF’s incursion into Jenin refugee camp. More information available here. On the same day, IOF killed a Palestinian boy during clashes in al-Bireh city in Ramallah, after chasing Palestinian protestors in the area. More information available here.

Meanwhile, those wounded were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

On 30 April 2022, two Palestinians were injured with live bullets during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Zababdeh village, southeast of Jenin.

On 01 May 2022, a Palestinian sustained live bullet wounds in his foot while others suffocated after clashed with IOF at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron.

On 02 May 2022, 3 Palestinians were wounded with rubber bullets and other suffocated during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah.

On 05 May 2022, a Palestinian was shot with a live bullet in his foot during clashes with IOF near Kalandia military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem. On the same day, IOF beat and pushed Palestinians present in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied East Jerusalem. This coincided with IOF’s securing the raids of  hundreds of Israeli settlers to the mosque’s yards. Also, IOF surrounded Palestinian worshipers inside al-Qibli chapel and al-Marwani Mosque, closed the doors of the mosques and fired sound bombs and rubber bullets inside them. As a result, the glass of Salah Al-Din Minbar (pulpit) in al-Qibili chapel was broken. In addition, IOF severely assaulted Palestinian women, who tried to present during settlers’ raids to the mosque, obstructed press crews’ work and forced them to evacuate the mosque’s yards.

On 06 May 2022, 4 Palestinians were shot with rubber bullets in their limbs during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya.

On 07 May 2022, a Palestinian sustained live bullet wounds in his shoulder after IOF opened fire at a group of Palestinian workers who tried to enter Israel via a hole in the annexation wall in southern Qalqilya. On the same day, 3 Palestinians were inured with rubber bullets fired by IOF to disperse a Palestinian group gathered to confront settlers, who moved into Haris village in northern Salfit and attacked Palestinians’ houses.  Also, a Palestinian woman sustained wounds while trying to prevent IOF from assaulting her husband.

On 08 May 2022, a journalist and human rights defender sustained bruises after being assaulted and dragged on the ground by IOF while covering and filming IOF demolition of a tin-plate room in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron. On the same day, a Palestinian was shot with IOF’s fire while passing through a military checkpoint in Bab al-‘Amoud area in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext that he stabbed a police officer. IOF prevented to provide first aid to him for more than half an hour before he was transported to Hadassah Hospital in a critical condition.

On 09 May 2022,  three Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot with live bullets during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Nablus to secure Israeli settlers raids to Joseph’s tomb from the eastern side. On the same day, 4 Palestinians were injured by IOF’s fire while trying to confront settlers attacks in Azzun village in Qalqilya.

On 10 May 2022, a female journalist sustained teargas canister shrapnel wounds in her foot and 6 other Palestinians were assaulted during IOF demolition of al-Rajbi family house in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 11 May 2022, a Palestinian was critically injured by IOF’s fire at al-Qatateen gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, before he was arrested, under the pretext that he tried to carry out a stabbing attack. Following the incident, IOF closed al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, physically assaulted Palestinian worshipers, prevented them from present in the mosque’s yards, and arrested one of them.

 In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 8 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza Strip. Also, eight IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 46 Palestinians, including 36 civilians: 9 children, 4 women, including a female journalist, and the rest were activists; 3 of them were assassinated. Also, IOF attacks wounded 551others, including 63 children, 4 women and 18 journalists : all in the West Bank, except 7 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

During the reporting period, 21 settler-attacks were reported in the West Bank: 7 Palestinians, including 2 journalists, sustained bruises; 397 trees were cut and damaged and several vehicles sustained material damage. Details are as follows:

On 29 April 2022, Israeli settlers, from “Kochav Hashachar” settlement, cut and seized 60 grape seedlings from an agricultural land in Kafr Malik village in Ramallah. In the evening, settlers, from ” Shilo” settlement, threw stones at Palestinian vehicles passing on Ramallah-Nablus street. Also, settlers, from ” Givat Asaf” settlement, Palestinian vehicles passing on a street leading to Beitin village, east of Ramallah.

On 03 May 2022, a Palestinian sustained wounds during settlers’ attacks on Kafr Malik village in Ramallah. Also, settlers ran over 3 sheep in the area.

On 05 May 2022, Israeli settlers, from ” Ma’ale Livona” settlement, cut olive trees twigs in Sinjil village, northeast of Ramallah. On the same day, Israeli settlers damaged 300 olive trees and legume crops planted in 15 dunums after grazing their sheep in these dunums in western Al-Khader village in Bethlehem. Also, Israeli settlers physically assaulted Palestinians, who confronted settlers to prevent settlers from seizing 60 dunums in Al-Khader village in Bethlehem. In the evening, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near the intersection of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. As a result, a glass of a vehicle was broken and his owner was injured. In addition, Israeli settlers damaged  a Palestinian vehicle and broke its windows, 500 meters away from Al-Mughayyir village’s intersection, north of Ramallah. Also, they attacked and damaged a Palestinian bus at the entrance to Beit Furik village, and attacked another vehicle near Huwara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus.

On 06 May 2022, Israeli settlers, from ” Yitzhar” settlement, attacked 3 houses in Urif village, southeast of Nablus, and set 3 vehicles parked in the area on fire. 

On 07 May 2022, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian houses at the main intersection leading to Haris village, north of Salfit. On the same day, settlers cut 30 olive trees from Kafr ad-Dik land, west of Salfit.

On 08 May 2022, Israeli settlers threw stones at a bus carrying 15 players, including 4 children, from ‘Azmout club at Beit Furik military checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, causing material damage to it. On the same day, Israeli settlers threw stones at a Palestinian vehicle at Huwara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, broke its windshield and caused material damage to it. Also, settlers attacked 7 Palestinian vehicles parked on Nablus street in central occupied East Jerusalem, causing material damage to them.

On 09 May 2022, Israeli settlers, from  Ma’on ” settlement, uprooted 20 olive trees in eastern Yatta in Hebron. On the same day, 3 Palestinians, including 2 journalists, were injured during settlers’ attacks in Azzun village in  Qalqilya.

On 10 May 2022, Israeli settlers uprooted 17 olive seedlings and damaged an agricultural room on Kafr ad-Dik village’s lands, west of Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 120 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

Israeli authorities demolished 14 houses and dwellings, making 19 families homeless, a total of  90 persons, including 21 women and 51 children. Also, they demolished 10 commercial facilities , built a road for settlers, razed 22 dunums, and authorized the expulsion of 2000 people from Masafer Yatta in Hebron. Details are as follows: 

On 05 May 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court authorized forcible expulsion of hundreds of Palestinians from their lands in Masafer Yatta in Hebron. Next day, the Israeli civil administration announced that the sub-committee of the of Judea and Samaria Higher Planning Council is set to give its approval for planning and  building 3,988 new settlement units in the West Bank. More information available here.

On 09 May 2022, IOF built a 300 m length of road  for settlers on Wadi Fukin village’s lands, west of Bethlehem. On the same day, IOF razed 22 dunums in Jab’a village, west of Bethlehem, for settlement purposes.

On 10 May 2022, Israeli vehicles demolished a 3-storey building (600 sqm) in Silwan village, under the pretext of non-licensing. The first floor included shops while the second and third floors included 5 residential apartments housing 5 families, including 30 members: 6 women and 19 children.

On 11 May 2022, Israeli authorities demolished 4 houses; 3 were self-demolished in Silwan, Beit Hanina and Isawiya villages in occupied East Jerusalem. IOF made 5 families homeless, a total of  21 persons, including 6 women and 10 children. On the same day, Israeli authorities demolished 2 facilities; one of them was a real estate office in Jabal Al Mukaber neighborhood while the other was an iron storage in Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem. On the same day, Israeli authorities demolished a house in Al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem. Also, they demolished 9 dwellings and rooms and 8 barracks and livestock tents in Kherbet al-Rakiz and Kherbet al-Fakhit in Hebrob. IOF made 9 families homeless, a total of 39 persons, including 22 children. In addition, IOF served 14 demolition notices to dwellings and barns in southern Hebron.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 60 families homeless, a total of 339 persons, including 69 women and 166 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 65 houses and 5 residential tents. IOF also demolished 39 other civilian objects, leveled 244 dunums and delivered 63 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 306 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 139 Palestinians, including 13 children, were arrested. Also, IOF arrested a child after he tried to sneak into Israel via the border fence in eastern Khan Yunis, and released him later.

”So far in 2022, IOF conducted 2979 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2166 Palestinians were arrested, including 224 children and 16 women. IOF also conducted 12 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 40 Palestinians, including 25 fishermen, 13 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On 07 May 2022, under its collective punishment policy against Palestinians accused of conducting attacks against  IOF or settlers, IOF demolished the family house of a Palestinian prisoner from Jenin. More information available here.

On 08 May 2022, under its collective punishment policy, IOF took the measurements of 2 houses as a prelude to demolish them after their incursion into Rummanah village  in western Jenin. The two houses belong to the families of 2 Palestinians arrested by IOF on the same day, after being accused of carrying out an attack that resulted in the murder of 3 Israelis in Elad city in Israel.

So far in 2022, IOF demolished 5 houses and closed another one after damaging its contents, as part of collective punishment policy.

The Israeli occupation authorities declared closure of crossings with the Gaza Strip and West Bank starting from 03 to 06 May 2022, On the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. On 05 May 2022, Israeli authorities announced the decision of Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, to extend the imposed closure until 08 May 2022.

On 07 May 2022, Israeli authorities decided to extend the complete closure until 09 May 2022.

On 08 May 2022, Israeli authorities announced the reopening of the West Bank crossings to permit holders, except for residents of Rummanah village in Jenin, as the two Palestinians accused of carrying out an attack in Elad city in Israel, live in this  village. In addition, Israeli authorities announced that the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing remains closed for the Gaza Strip residents until further notice, except for patients and humanitarian cases that can be entered and traveled after receiving a permission from the concerned authorities.

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

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 142 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 11 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established 1406 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 89 Palestinians at those checkpoints

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229 Rights Groups: “Israel” must Be Held Accountable for Premeditated Assassination of Palestinian Journalist

May 13, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies 

Some 230 international rights organizations and networks have strongly condemned the assassination of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by ‘Israeli’ occupation forces in the occupied West Bank, calling for the Zionist entity to be held accountable for the brutal crime.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency said the 229 signatories affirmed in a statement that the “Israeli” occupation forces’ targeting of the Palestinian journalist was a “deliberate and premeditated act and a full-fledged assassination operation.”

“Martyr Shireen Abu Akleh is a direct victim of organized terrorism [by ‘Israel’], which behaves with the mentality of criminal gangs,” the signatories stressed.

The statement said the killing was a result of systematic incitement against Palestinian journalists by the occupying regime for their professional role in revealing the truth and exposing the “Israeli” entity’s crimes.

It further criticized the international community’s silence over atrocities committed by “Israeli” troops against Palestinians, saying it exposes their double standards.

“The ‘Israeli’ occupation forces, with their heinous act, want to obscure the truth and cover up their horrendous crimes against the sons and daughters of the Palestinian people. Moreover, the regime, with its heinous act, wants to scare and intimidate journalists to prevent the conveyance of the truth to the world,” the signatories underlined.

The statement also called for the opening of a “neutral, independent and transparent” international investigation into the “Israeli” targeting the Palestinian journalist under the supervision of the International Criminal Court [ICC].

The signatories stressed the need to launch an international campaign by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the International Federation of Journalists, international nongovernmental organizations, and Palestinian human rights institutions to hold “Israeli” war criminals accountable, prevent impunity for the perpetrators, and bring a legal human rights case at the ICC to prosecute “Israeli” leaders and politicians, who publicly incite the killing of Palestinian civilians, including journalists.

Shireen Abu Akleh, a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was martyred on Wednesday after being shot in the head while covering the “Israeli” army’s raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

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Al Mayadeen mourns the martyrdom of journalist Sherine Abu Aklah

May 11, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English

 

The assassination of martyr Shireen Abu Akleh was a deliberate Israeli decision to intimidate journalists and prevent news and photos from exposing the occupation’s terrorism.

Al Mayadeen mourns the martyr Sherine Abu Aklah

Al Mayadeen network, through its CEO Mr. Ghassan Ben Jeddou, released a statement regarding the martyrdom of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh at the hands of the Israeli occupation:

Al Mayadeen expresses its deep sorrow over the martyrdom of the Palestinian Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Martyr Shireen was an idol of discipline and professional commitment that the Palestinian and Arab media will miss with sorrow and pain. We express heartfelt condolences to the family of martyr Abu Akleh, her colleagues, the Al Jazeera administration, and its chairman of the board Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani. We condemn the heinous crime of the Israeli occupation.

This murder is a continuation of a deep-rooted Israeli policy that targets all Palestinians. The assassination of martyr Shireen Abu Akleh was a deliberate Israeli decision to intimidate journalists and prevent news and photos from exposing the occupation’s terrorism.

Al Mayadeen urges the international press bodies to condemn the assassination of martyr Shireen and “Israel’s” ongoing terrorism against the Palestinian people.

Martyrdom of Shireen Abu Akleh

The statement comes following the announcement Palestinian Ministry of Health of the martyrdom of Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, whom the Israeli occupation forces shot in the head with a live bullet. The Israeli occupation aggressed against Jenin refugee camp, north West Bank, at a time when journalists covered the storming of the camp. 

Abu Akleh, according to the ministry, was hit by a live bullet before being rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh martyred by occupation forces in Jenin (Updated)

May 11, 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

“Israel” shot, killed Abu Akleh, and wounded Ali Samoudi, another journalist, during the occupation’s raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh.

On Wednesday morning, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced the martyrdom of Al-Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, whom the Israeli occupation forces shot in the head with a live bullet. The Israeli occupation aggressed against Jenin refugee camp, north West Bank, at a time when journalists covered the storming of the camp. 

Abu Akleh, according to the ministry, was hit by a live bullet before being rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Warning: Graphic content

The Israeli attacks on journalists were not limited to one victim: Palestinian journalist Ali Samoudi was also wounded by a live bullet in his back; his condition is stable. 

Palestinian media reported heavy gunfire between resistance fighters and the occupation forces in the Jenin refugee camp, noting that many journalists were wounded by Israeli bullets while covering the occupation’s incursion into the Jenin refugee camp.

Last week, “Israel” arrested 15 Palestinian journalists on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club. 

In a statement, the PPC said that the Israeli Occupation Forces continue to harass Palestinian journalists through a plethora of systematic abusive policies, most notably through detention. Since the start of this year, the occupation has continued to arrest journalists and activists and has assaulted many of them, causing injuries, especially amid the escalation that began in April.

Read more: “Israel” arrests Palestinian journalist, injures another covering protests

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‘Israel’ Preparing Teams to Assassinate Hamas Leaders Abroad

May 9, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist occupation regime has reportedly told foreign allies that it is readying teams to carry out the targeted killing of leaders of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement group who live abroad.

Unnamed intelligence sources told Britain’s The Times newspaper in an article published Monday that a “clear message” needed to be sent to Hamas.

While the resistance group has not taken responsibility for most of the operations carried out since March 22 that have left 19 ‘Israeli’ occupiers killed, Hamas leader in Gaza Yehya Sinwar has repeatedly called for Palestinians to retaliate in the form of operations targeting the ‘Israeli’ occupiers. Hamas then has publicly praised the perpetrators, encouraging more operations.

The report said that any potential targeted killings are more likely to take place in other countries in the region where Hamas leaders live, with Lebanon and Qatar given as examples.

The report said targets could include Saleh al-Arouri, a deputy leader of Hamas who splits his time between Qatar, Turkey and Lebanon and is in charge of West Bank operations.

The newspaper also named Zaher Jabarin, a senior figure in Hamas.

The report said that Hamas is thought to have been warned of the potential resumption of targeted killings, by the intelligence agencies of a number of countries in Europe and the Middle East.

«حماس» في عَقْدها الرابع: المقاومة عصيّة على التدجين


الأربعاء 15 كانون الأول 2021

الأخبار


34 عاماً مرّت على تأسيس حركة «حماس» في الـ14 من كانون الأوّل 1978. ثلاثةُ عقود مرّت خلالها الحركة بالكثير من التجارب والاختبارات، وعاشت العديد من التقلّبات، فيما ظلّ الثابت في كلّ مفصل من مفاصل تلك السنوات رفْضُ الاحتلال ومواجهتُه في الساحات كافّة. صحيح أن «الحمساويين» تنزّلوا، في وثيقتهم السياسية الجديدة الصادرة عام 2017، عن بعضٍ من ثوابتهم، لاسيما لناحية قبولهم دولةً على حدود الرابع من حزيران 1967، إلّا أن محاولات وضْعهم على السكّة التي وُضعت عليها حركة «فتح»، وأوصلتها إلى التخلّي عن البندقية وانتظار «الفُتات» من دولة الاحتلال، لا تزال تبوء بالفشل. تدرك الحركة، اليوم، أن ما أرادته من وراء تلك الوثيقة من «جواز عبور» إلى ضفّة القبول الدولي بها، لم يَتحقّق لها بأيّ حال من الأحوال، وما إدراجها قبل فترة وجيزة على قوائم «الإرهاب» البريطانية إلّا أسطع دليل على ذلك. وبنفْس مستوى المعرفة هذا، تَعلم «حماس»، أو أقلّه مَن يَهمّ أن يعلم فيها، أن الالتصاق بـ«محور المقاومة» هو السبيل الأنجع للدفْع بمعركة اجتثاث الاحتلال وتحرير فلسطين قُدُماً، ولذا تمضي عملية إصلاح العلاقات بين الطرفين وتطويرها، على قدَمٍ وساقٍ، وصولاً إلى الإعداد الجماعي لحربٍ متعدّدةِ الجبهات، لن تكون «سيف القدس» إلّا نموذجاً واحداً وغير مكتمل منها. وفيما تبدو الحركة، في المرحلة الراهنة، أمام فصلٍ جديدٍ، أكثر قساوة، من فصول السعي لتدجينها من بوّابة «لقمة العيْش»، فهي تُظهر، إلى الآن، إصراراً مدهشاً على عدم تضييع مكاسب المعركة الأخيرة، ورفْض العودة إلى ما قَبْلها، وانتزاع حقوق الغزّيين من دون قيْد أو شرط. خطوطٌ حُمر لا يجد الفصيل الرئيس في قوى المقاومة في غزة، مناصاً من الثبات عندها، ولو استدعى الأمر الانجرار، مجدّداً، إلى تصعيد عسكري، تنبئ المؤشّرات بتوافُر كلّ العوامل اللازمة لتفجيره، وهو ما تَعدّ له جيّداً «كتائب القسام»، التي لا يُغفَل أخيراً دورها المستمرّ في الدفْع نحو هجْر الفكر «الإخواني» الذي ولدت «حماس» من رحِمه، وتعميق الوعي الثوري لدى أبناء الحركة.

«حماس» في عَقْدها الرابع: المقاومة عصيّة على التدجين

فلسطين رجب المدهون

بعد انتفاضتَين وأربع حروب مرّت بها حركة «حماس» في قطاع غزة، وأثبتت خلالها قدرة عالية على مواجهة الاحتلال، لم تتوقّف محاولات حرْف الحركة عن أهدافها التي أقيمت لأجلها، وذلك عبر البوّابتَين السياسية والاقتصادية، وصولاً إلى التخطيط لدفْعها في الطريق نفسه الذي سارت فيه حركة «فتح»، وتخلّت عن بندقيّتها في نهايته، بعدما التصقت بالسلطة وبما يوفّره الاحتلال من فُتات مالي لها. وفي أعقاب معركة «سيف القدس»، افتُتح فصل جديد من مساعي التدجين تلك، حيث كان آخر العروض المُقدَّمة إلى «حماس»، رفْع الحصار عن القطاع بشكل كامل وإعادة إعماره وبناء مدن صناعية وسياحية فيه، مقابل هدنة طويلة الأمد والتخلّي عن سلاح المقاومة باتفاقية دولية. لكنّ الحركة لا تزال على رفْضها أيّ تنازلات من هذا النوع، خصوصاً في ما يتّصل بقدراتها العسكرية، التي شهدت تطوّراً كبيراً خلال السنوات الماضية، بفعْل الإمكانات الذاتية لمُهندِسي جناحها العسكري، والخبرات الخارجية التي أمدّها بها «محور المقاومة»، حتى باتت تمتلك أسلحة كاسرة للتوازن. التتمة

يوسف فارس

«جواز عبور» لم يُختَم: العِبرة في فِعْل «الحمساويين»… لا قَوْلهم

 الأربعاء 15 كانون الأول 2021

يوسف فارس

متغيّرات كثيرة طرأت على حركة «حماس» خلال قرابة ثلاثة عقود، دفعتها إلى تعديل شعاراتها وجعْلها «أكثر واقعية». فلم تَعُد الحركة، بعد 34 عاماً من انطلاقتها، تُنظّر لـ«إقامة حُكم الله في الأرض». كما تخلّت عن رفْضها الحلول المرحلية، وصار ما كنت تَعيبه على «منظّمة التحرير الفلسطينية»، من تحصيل دولة على حدود عام 1967، مقبولاً ولو كحلّ مؤقّت، ناهيك عن أنها تخفّفت من عبء التبعية لجماعة «الإخوان المسلمين». ولم تكن الضغوط التي مارسها الاحتلال على «حماس» كتنظيم مقاوم، بقيادتها وقاعدتها الجماهرية، هي الدافع إلى تلك التعديلات؛ ففي عام 1992، عندما اقتادت إسرائيل المئات من قيادات الحركة الدعَوية والسياسية إلى الإبعاد القسري، كانت «حماس» تؤسّس في مرج الزهور، لبنائها التنظيمي الحديدي الذي بقي متماسكاً إلى اليوم. لكنّ النقطة الفارقة في ذلك المسار، هي تَحوُّل الحركة إلى دولة أو ما يشابه الدولة من كيانات. صحيح أن فوزها في انتخابات المجلس التشريعي عام 2007، لم يمنحها هذا الهامش على النحو الفعلي، إلّا أن تحمّلها مسؤولية حياة مليونَي فلسطيني في قطاع غزة، وضَعها أمام تحدّي تحصيلِ قبولٍ دولي، سقْف الآمال فيه، ليس التفاوض معها، بل عدم اعتبارها «منظّمة إرهابية» على الأقلّ، خصوصاً أن الجهة التي تحظى بالاعتراف و«الشرعية»، هي الخصم التقليدي لـ«حماس». التتمة

رجب المدهون

معَ المقاومة في «محورها»: لا قطيعة بعد اليوم

 الأربعاء 15 كانون الأول 2021

معَ المقاومة في «محورها»: لا قطيعة بعد اليوم

فلسطين رجب المدهون

بعد 34 عاماً على تأسيسها، باتت حركة «حماس» جزءاً لا يتجزّأ من محور المقاومة في المنطقة، على رغم التوتّرات التي مرّت بها علاقات الطرفَين، خصوصاً إبّان الأزمة السورية. توتّراتٌ لم تَحُل دون إعادة العلاقات إلى طبيعتها إلى حدّ بعيد، وصولاً إلى عملية تطوير كبيرة في الإمداد والجهد الاستخباري، تجسّدت مفاعيلها خلال معركة «سيف القدس» في أيار الماضي، فيما يجري التحضير لمواجهات متعدّدة الجبهات مع العدو مستقبلاً. التتمة

مزاج «لا إخواني» متنامٍ: الوعْي الثوري أوْلى

 الأربعاء 15 كانون الأول 2021

فلسطين 

رجب المدهون

شهدت حركة حماس، خلال 34 عاماً منذ تأسيسها، سلسلة تَغيّرات على عدّة مستويات، وخاصّة في علاقتها بجماعة «الإخوان المسلمين»، إذ شهدت السنوات الأخيرة تنامي قناعة داخل صفوف جزء لا يُستهان به من أبناء الحركة وقياداتها، بكون منهج «الإخوان» لا يحمل «الثورية» الكافية للدفْع بمشروع تحرير فلسطين قُدُماً، وبضرورة أن تصبح مواجهة الاحتلال مُقدَّمة على أيّ اعتبار سياسي أو إيديولوجي آخر، بما يقتضي ضرورة ضمّ شرائح مختلفة من الفلسطينيين إلى هذه المعركة. وفي الوقت نفسه، كانت تتعزّز فكرة التخلّي عن الارتباط بـ«الإخوان» لدى أطراف من الجناح العسكري، يرون أن فكر الجماعة يعيق الخطّ الجهادي للحركة، وأن الأخيرة بحاجة إلى تعميق الوعي الثوري لدى أبنائها، بعيداً من سرديّة الضحية التي يتربّى عليها «الإخوان» في مختلف الساحات. كذلك، برزت حالة رفض داخلي للمدرسة الوهابية، التي حاول عدد من قيادات «حماس» الذين درسوا في السعودية إدخال مبادئها إلى الحركة، وهو ما قوبل بتململ من قِبَل مَن يجدون هذا الفكر عقيماً، وبعيداً عن منهج المقاومة وفلسفتها. التتمة

«التصفية النوعية» لم تؤتِ أُكُلها: «حـماس» ولاّدة قادة

الأربعاء 15 كانون الأول 2021

«التصفية النوعية» لم تؤتِ أُكُلها: «حـماس» ولاّدة قادة
كان الهدف الإسرائيلي من الاغتيالات يتمثّل في إعادة إنتاج تجربة «منظّمة التحرير» (أ ف ب )

فلسطين يوسف فارس 

لا تنحصر فكرة الاغتيال لدى إسرائيل، في حدود الانتقام الشخصي، بل إن استخدامها لتلك الوسيلة بوجْه الكيانات الحزبية الكبيرة، يستبطن قدْراً وافراً من الدراسة لطبيعة الشخصيات التي يتمّ وضعها على قوائم التصفية. هذا ما تقوله عمليات الاغتيال التي نُفّذت بحقّ قيادات «منظّمة التحرير الفلسطينية» منذ منتصف الستينيات وحتى أواخر الثمانينيات، وفي حالة «حماس» أيضاً، مع اختلاف النتائج. برز الاغتيال كركيزة أساسية في إنفاذ أهداف الحركة الصهيونية، منذ اغتالت المجموعات الصهيونية التي لم تكن قد حملت اسم «الموساد» بعد، اللورد موين، وهو سياسي ورجل أعمال بريطاني شهير، عام 1944؛ لأنه لم يكن يشجّع هجرة يهود بريطانيا إلى فلسطين. وأعقب تصفيةَ موين، تنفيذ عدد من عمليات الاغتيال المركّزة بحق كبرى العائلات اليهودية في ألمانيا، لإثارة الرعب في صفوفها، ودفْعها للهجرة إلى فلسطين. التتمة

عقل وعيّاش والضيف وآخرون… أساطير الحاضِرة المحاصَرة

 الأربعاء 15 كانون الأول 2021

فلسطين يوسف فارس

أن يُخفي البطل وجهه باللّثام، وتَظهر أفعاله من دون أن يعرف أحد قسَماته، ويُسمِع صوتَه العالمَ في اللحظات الفارقة، لهو شيء أقرب إلى الخيال، لكن الواقع يقول إن قادة «حماس» تحوّلوا، بالفعل، إلى رموز من هذا النوع. ليس القائد العام لـ«كتائب القسام»، محمد الضيف، أيقونة الحركة الوحيدة في هذا المجال، بل ثمّة شخصيات من أشباهه يسجّلها التاريخ الشفوي لسكّان غزة والضفّة المحتلّة، سبق صيتها عصر شبكات التواصل الاجتماعي. في مخيّم جباليا للاجئين شمال القطاع، يمكن لك أن تَذكر اسم عماد عقل مثلاً، وتسمع عنه الأساطير من حكايات التنكّر والتخفّي التي أرهق بها مخابرات الاحتلال وجيشه حتى استشهاده عام 1993. يُقال إن عقل، وهو أحد أبرز مؤسّسي الجهاز العسكري لـ«حماس»، كان يَنْفذ من حواجز العدو التي نُصبت خصّيصاً للقبض عليه، في اليوم مرّتَين، إذ يذهب متنكّراً بزيّ امرأة، ويعود عبر الحاجز نفسه بهيئة كهْلٍ يتّكئ على عكّازه. الطالب المتفوّق الذي أنهى المرحلة الثانوية عام 1988 في مدرسة الفالوجا مُحرِزاً المرتبة الأولى على منطقة بيت حانون والمخيم، فيما حرمه السجن من دراسة تخصّص الصيدلة الذي كان يحبّ، «دَوّخ» خلال سنوات عمله المقاوم، جهاز الأمن العام الإسرائيلي «الشاباك». وممّا يُحكى عن عقل في أروقة المخيم، أن الإسرائيليّين كانوا يستدلّون على المكان الذي يتواجد فيه، من بصمته المميّزة في عمليات الهجوم والاشتباك. لكن المثير في الأمر، أن أيادي ابن مخيم جباليا كانت تضرب خلال شهر واحد، في الخليل – في الضفة الغربية جنوب القدس، – وفي الشجاعية – شرق مدينة غزة -! التتمة

«سيف القدس» لم يُغمَد: المقاومة تنتظر موعدها

 الأربعاء 15 كانون الأول 2021

فلسطين الأخبار

عقب انتهاء معركة «سيف القدس» في أيار الفائت، خرج رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة «حماس» في غزة، يحيى السنوار، وأعلن أن «فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية لم تُوقّع اتفاقاً مكتوباً عبر الوسطاء، بل كان وقْفُ إطلاق النار متزامناً وبلا أيّ شروط». وأضاف أن «الأمر متروك للعالم ليحتوي الموقف حتى لا ينفجر من جديد، ويقدّم الإنجازات السياسية لشعبنا»، محذراً من «(أنّنا) سنُحرق الأخضر واليابس إن لم تُحلَّ مشاكل قطاع غزة قبل نهاية العام الحالي». وانطلاقاً من كلام السنوار حينها، وبناءً على مجمل التطوّرات التي أعقبت المعركة مذّاك، يبدو أن «حماس» تسير بخُطى ثابتة ومدروسة، على طريق تريد في نهايته تغيير الأوضاع الاقتصادية والإنسانية في القطاع. التتمة

لمحة تاريخية

34 عاماً مضت على انطلاق «حماس»، الحركة التي تُعرّف عن نفسها بأنها «حركة تحرّر وطني، ذات فكر إسلامي وسطي معتدل، تحْصر نضالها وعملها في قضية فلسطين، ولا تتدخّل في شؤون الآخرين». لم يكن تاريخ 14 كانون الأول 1978 سوى الإشهار الرسمي لولادتها كذراع يمتلك خصوصيّة القتال المسلّح في أرض محتلّة، بعدما أخذ مُؤسّسها الشيخ أحمد ياسين على كاهله مهمّة التنظير لجماعة «الإخوان المسلمين»، فيما عملت هي تحت مسمّيات أخرى كـ«االمرابطون على أرض الإسراء»، و«حركة الكفاح الإسلامي». ظلّت الحركة، حتى قبل بضع سنوات من اليوم، تَعتبر نفسها وليدة التنظيم العالمي الذي أسّسه حسن البنا عام 1928، وتولّى الشيخ ياسين، ومعه عدد من قادة الجماعة، التنظير لدعوته، انطلاقاً من «مسجد المجمع الإسلامي» في حيّ الصبر في مدينة غزة، متّخذاً من المسجد ركيزة أساسية للتوسّع وسْط البنى الشعبية البسيطة، ومنطلِقاً منه في تأسيس شريحة من القيادات الدينية النخبوية التي ألقى على عاتقها مهمّة قيادة المجتمع. التتمة

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Iran Asks the Interpol to Arrest Trump and his Partners for Killing Soleimani

ARABI SOURI 

Trump war crime killing Iran IRGC Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Mohandis in Iraq

Iran submitted documents to the Interpol needed to arrest the outgoing US President Donald Trump for his extrajudicial crime in killing the Iranian General Qassim Soleimani last year.

A spokesman for the Iranian Judicial Authority revealed that the authority sent to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) based in Lyon, France to issue a ‘Red Notice’ locate and provisionally arrest the US president along with all the individuals who helped him commit the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassim Solemani on the 3rd of January 2020 near Baghdad International Airport.

The move might be symbolic as even the former presidents of the USA continue to enjoy the protection of their country’s security apparatuses, especially the so-called ‘Secret Service’, which was enacted by no other than the Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama in 2012 who wanted to protect his friend and former war criminal George W. Bush and himself in the future for life on the account of the US taxpayers and the US personnel.

Interpol may act to fill Iran’s request for a ‘Red Notice,’ which in turn would require individual countries’ to issue warrants for his arrest. Upon issuance, Trump’s movement around the world would be limited in countries that still respect international law.

If, on the other hand, the Interpol chooses to ignore the Iranian request despite the overwhelming evidence, this would limit cooperation by Iran with the international police.

Iranian Minister for Security Mahmoud Alawi stated today that the documents in the crime of assassinating the ‘Martyr General Qassim Soleimani are one thousand pages.’

The Iranian security minister added: ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up the blood of the martyr Qassem Soleimani. Of course, a small slap was dealt with the enemies at Ain al-Asad, but the main slap and harsh revenge remained.’

Mr. Alawi’s was referring to the Iranian bombing of the US military base in Ain al-Asad in western Iraq on 8 January 2020 in retaliation for the US killing of General Soleimani, the bombing caused considerable casualties among the US troops positioned in the base despite the denials from the regime of Donald Trump, later they started revealing that dozens of their soldiers suffered from brain injuries and severe headaches from the incoming precision Iranian missiles!

The Iranian minister said that his country ‘will avenge the killing of its top general especially that the enemy has declared their responsibility for this terrorist act’.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killing and Arbitrary Execution Mrs. Agnes Callamard rightfully stated the US assassinations of the Iranian General Soleimani and the Iraqi top commander Al Muhandis are war crimes.

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Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder.

The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of war.

Not only the drone strike at Baghdad airport, directly ordered by President Trump, was unilateral, unprovoked and illegal: it was engineered as a stark provocation, to detonate an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by American “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. Call it a perverse form of double down, reversed false flag.

The imperial Mighty Wurlitzer spun it as a “targeted killing”, a pre-emptive op squashing Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.

False. No evidence whatsoever. And then, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of his Parliament, offered the ultimate context: Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission, on a regular flight between Damascus and Baghdad, involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as mediator, at the request of President Trump.

So the imperial machine – in complete mockery of international law – assassinated a de facto diplomatic envoy.

The three top factions who pushed for Soleimani’s assassination were US neo-cons – supremely ignorant of Southwest Asia’s history, culture and politics – and the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, who ardently believe their interests are advanced every time Iran is attacked. Trump could not possibly see The Big Picture and its dire ramifications: only what his major Israeli-firster donor Sheldon Adelson dictates, and what Jared of Arabia Kushner whispered in his ear, remote-controlled by his close pal Muhammad bin Salman (MbS).

The armor of American “prestige”

The measured Iranian response to Soleimani’s assassination was carefully calibrated to not detonate vengeful imperial “deterrence”:

precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon received advance warning.

Predictably, the run-up towards the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination had to degenerate into intimations of US-Iran once again on the brink of war.

So it’s enlightening to examine what the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1399/10/13/2423366/ told Lebanon’s Al Manar network: “The US and the Zionist regime [Israel] have not brought security to any place and if something happens here (in the region) and a war breaks out, we will make no distinction between the US bases and the countries hosting them.”

Hajizadeh, expanding on the precision missile strikes a year ago, added, “We were prepared for the Americans’ response and all our missile power was fully on alert. If they had given a response, we would have hit all of their bases from Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf and even their warships in the Indian Ocean.”

The precision missile strikes on Ain al-Assad, a year ago, represented a middle-rank power, enfeebled by sanctions, and facing a huge economic/financial crisis, responding to an attack by targeting imperial assets that are part of the Empire of Bases. That was a global first – unheard of since the end of WWII. It was clearly interpreted across vast swathes of the Global South as fatally piercing the decades-old hegemonic armor of American” prestige”.

So Tehran was not exactly impressed by two nuclear-capable B-52s recently flying over the Persian Gulf; or the US Navy announcing the arrival of the nuclear-powered, missile loaded USS Georgia in the Persian Gulf last week.

These deployments were spun as a response to an evidence-free claim that Tehran was behind a 21-rocket attack against the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The (unexploded) 107mm caliber rockets – by the way marked in English, not Farsi – can be easily bought in some underground Baghdad souk by virtually anybody, as I have seen for myself in Iraq since the mid-2000s.

That certainly does not qualify as a casus belli – or “self-defense” merging with “deterrence”. The Centcom justification actually sounds like a Monty Python sketch: an attack “…almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.” Note that “almost certainly” is code for “we have no idea who did it”.

How to fight the – real – war on terror

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did take the trouble (see attached tweet) to warn Trump he was being set up for a fake casus belli – and blowback would be inevitable. That’s a case of Iranian diplomacy being perfectly aligned with the IRGC: after all, the whole post-Soleimani strategy comes straight from Ayatollah Khamenei.

And that leads to the IRGC’s Hajizadeh once again establishing the Iranian red line in terms of the Islamic Republic’s defense: “We will not negotiate about the missile power with anyone” – pre-empting any move to incorporate missile reduction into a possible Washington return to the JCPOA. Hajizadeh has also emphasized that Tehran has restricted the range of its missiles to 2,000 km.

My friend Elijah Magnier, arguably the top war correspondent across Southwest Asia in the past four decades, has neatly detailed the importance of Soleimani.

Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across vast swathes of the Global South is firmly aware of how Soleimani led the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he was instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

Zeinab Soleimani, the impressive General’s daughter, has profiled the man, and the sentiments he inspired. And Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayed Nasrallah, in an extraordinary interview, stressed Soleimani’s “great humility”, even “with the common people, the simple people.”

Nasrallah tells a story that is essential to place Soleimani’s modus operandi in the real – not fictional – war on terror, and deserves to be quoted in full:

“At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shi’ism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic seminars], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU].” This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.”

Orientalism, all over again

A former commander under Soleimani that I met in Iran in 2018 had promised me and my colleague Sebastiano Caputo that he would try to arrange an interview with the Maj Gen – who never spoke to foreign media. We had no reason to doubt our interlocutor – so until the last Baghdad minute we were in this selective waiting list.

As for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed side by side with Soleimani in the Baghdad drone strike, I was part of a small group who spent an afternoon with him in a safe house inside – not outside – Baghdad’s Green Zone in November 2017. My full report is here.

Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, reflecting on the assassination, told me, “the most important thing is that the Western view on the situation is very Orientalist. They assume that Iran has no real structures and that everything is dependent on individuals. In the West an assassination doesn’t destroy an administration, company, or organization. Ayatollah Khomeini passed away and they said the revolution was finished. But the constitutional process produced a new leader within hours. The rest is history.”

This may go a long way to explain Soleimani geopolitics. He may have been a revolutionary superstar – many across the Global South see him as the Che Guevara of Southwest Asia – but he was most of all a quite articulated cog of a very articulated machine.

The adjunct President of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amirabdollahian, told Iranian network Shabake Khabar that Soleimani, two years before the assassination, had already envisaged an inevitable “normalization” between Israel and Persian Gulf monarchies.

At the same time he was also very much aware of the Arab League 2002 position – shared, among others, by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: a “normalization” cannot even begin to be discussed without an independent – and viable – Palestinian state under 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital.

Now everyone knows this dream is dead, if not completely buried. What remains is the usual, dreary slog: the American assassination of Soleimani, the Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless, relatively low-intensity Israeli warfare against Iran fully supported by the Beltway, Washington’s illegal occupation of parts of northeast Syria to grab some oil, the perpetual drive for regime change in Damascus, the non-stop demonization of Hezbollah.

Beyond the Hellfire

Tehran has made it very clear that a return to at least a measure of mutual respect between US-Iran involves Washington rejoining the JCPOA with no preconditions, and the end of illegal, unilateral Trump administration sanctions. These parameters are non-negotiable.

Nasrallah, for his part, in a speech in Beirut on Sunday, stressed,

“one of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of US forces from the region. Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set US troops on the track of leaving Iraq.”

This may be wishful thinking, because the military-industrial-security complex will never willingly abandon a key hub of the Empire of Bases.

More important is the fact that the post-Soleimani environment transcends Soleimani.

The Axis of Resistance – Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hezbollah – instead of collapsing, will keep getting reinforced.

Internally, and still under “maximum pressure” sanctions, Iran and Russia will be cooperating to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company.

Iran is increasingly solidified as the key node of the New Silk Roads in Southwest Asia: the Iran-China strategic partnership is constantly revitalized by FMs Zarif and Wang Yi, and that includes Beijing turbo-charging its geoeconomic investment in South Pars – the largest gas field on the planet.

Iran, Russia and China will be involved in the reconstruction of Syria – which will also include, eventually, a New Silk Road branch: the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Eastern Mediterranean railway.

All that is an interlinked, ongoing process no Hellfires are able to burn.

Mohammed bin Salman Faces His Biggest Threat to the Throne. US Law Suit against Saudi Crown Prince

Law Suit in US Federal Court

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, August 12, 2020

Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has been able to dodge legal responsibility in the death of Jamal Khashoggi, while US President Trump has defended and supported him.  It appears Mohammed bin Salman is facing a serious legal threat, and it will take personal interference by Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to save him from facing a judge in the federal court at Washington, DC.  Mohammed bin Salman may be praying for Trump to win in November 2020 to be sure he holds a ‘get out of jail’ card. 

Mohammed bin Salman faces US court summons

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been issued a summons by the US District Court in Washington, DC. on August 7, 2020, after Saad al Jabri filed a lawsuit accusing Prince Mohammed bin Salman of sending a Saudi death squad to Canada to kill him.

Saad al Jabri was a former senior Saudi intelligence official working under the former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was then Minister of the Interior.  Al Jabri was well known as the key link between Saudi intelligence services and their counterparts in the US and Europe.

Jabri’s lawyers filed a recent lawsuit in a federal court in Washington, DC. against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, alleging he had sent a Saudi death squad to kill him in Canada on October 15, 2018, less than two weeks after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Jamal Khashoggi

Al Jabri owes his life to the Canadian border officials who were suspicious of the Saudi death squad after they were caught lying at the Ontario International Airport while carrying forensic equipment and traveling on tourist visas, which resulted in denied entry to all but one member who carried diplomatic credentials.

The lawsuit reads:

“Dr. Saad was privy to sensitive information about Defendant bin Salman’s covert political scheming within the Royal Court, corrupt business dealings, and creation of a team of personal mercenaries that Defendant bin Salman would later use to carry out the extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi, among others.”

The FBI became aware of the threats to al Jabri and his family in January 2018, when his son, Khalid al Jabri, was prevented from boarding a flight departing from Boston’s Logan International Airport by FBI agents, who informed the young man his life and that of his family were under threat.

Al Jabri’s legal team maintains that the threat to his life remains, and the Saudi death squad was planning to enter Canada by land, thus avoiding any airport security.

Mohammed bin Salman’s death squad on trial in IstanbulIs CIA Leak of Bin Salman’s Guilt in Khashoggi Murder Aimed at Kushner, or Trump Himself?

Last month the trial in Istanbul began against 20 Saudi Arabians accused of killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate at Istanbul on October 2, 2018, even though none of the accused were present. His body was dismembered while his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, had waited outside the consulate, and his remains have never been found.

Saudi Arabia’s former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri is accused of planning the murder and assembling a team to carry out the murder of Khashoggi at the behest of their boss, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  Saud al-Qahtani, a close adviser to Mohammed bin Salman, is similarly charged with having “instigated premeditated murder with monstrous intent.”  Qahtani continues to work closely with the crown prince, and according to a Saudi Arabian activist, who had been in prison, Qahtani told her, “I’ll do whatever I like to you, and then I’ll dissolve you and flush you down the toilet.”

Agnès Callamard said the Turkish trial is an “important judicial process. Here we have a space where the victims are heard in a way they have never been heard before. We have a space where witnesses are asked to speak under oath.”

UN report names Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s death

In June 2019, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, published the results of her investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

The report concluded that Khashoggi’s death “constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible”. The report also said there is “credible evidence” warranting further investigation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The full UN report can be read here.

 “The operation involved multiple flights, including two private jets, one under diplomatic clearance. It entailed training, with two Saudi attaches from Istanbul flying to Riyadh for ‘top secret’, ‘urgent’ training and preparation, and it required planning and execution in Istanbul,” wrote Agnes Callamard in the report for the UN.

Callamard concluded that the decision to murder Khashoggi was taken before two of the most important members of the Saudi death squad Maher Mutreb, and Salah Tubaigy, the forensic pathologist who cut the body up, flew from Riyadh to Istanbul.

CIA concluded Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi murder

In November 2018, the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi,

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and senior adviser have remained close to Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Trump and Kushner have defended and supported the strong relationship with Mohammed bin Salman, despite the various important reports placing the responsibility of the murder of Khashoggi on him.

US arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Democrat and Republican lawmakers in the US Congress had held up a Trump administration request to sell 22 batches of munitions worth $8.1 billion to Saudi Arabia, because the US-made weapons were being used to kill thousands of civilians in Yemen, including the targeting of school buses full of children.

Marik String was acting chief of the US State Department’s political-military affairs bureau in early 2019, and he helped Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bypass a congressional freeze on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE by using a declared state of emergency in May 2019 to dodge the congressional hold.

The State Department’s inspector general, Steve A. Linick, had opened two investigations; one into the arms sale beginning in June 2019 and one into possible misuse of agency employees for the benefit of Mr. Pompeo and his wife. Pompeo asked Trump to fire Linick in May 2020, who was investigating whether the declared state of emergency was legal. Pompeo promoted String to acting legal advisor the very same day as he had declared the state of emergency.

Congressional officials have been told that the Trump administration plans to sell yet another package of weapons to Saudi Arabia worth $478 million.  With Linick gone, there will be no investigations.

*

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Steven Sahiounie, Global Research, 2020

Devastating Beirut Explosion: An Accident or Something More Sinister?

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, August 05, 2020

On Tuesday, a massive explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon’s port area.

Scores were killed, thousands wounded, dozens of people missing, along with widespread destruction and damage.

According to Lebanese authorities, around 2,700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate were stored in a port area warehouse for six years without proper safety precautions — an unacceptable ticking time bomb.

The material is used in agricultural fertilizers and dynamite. Its detonation is believed to have caused what happened, perhaps by a negligent spark.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun convened the country’s High Defense Council to discuss how to deal with the disaster.

Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that rescue workers dug through rubble overnight searching for bodies and survivors, adding:

The high death and injury toll is expected to rise. A two-week state of emergency was declared.

The port of Lebanon and surrounding areas resembled the aftermath of a powerful bomb blast.

At least three Beirut hospitals were destroyed, two others damaged, a devastating blow to the city’s hard-pressed healthcare system when thousands injured from the blast need treatment, including surgery.

According to the Red Cross, dozens of wounded people are in critical condition. The organization is providing treatment for non-critical injuries.

President of Beirut’s Order of Nurses Mirna Doumit said what happened was a “catastrophe” to Lebanon’s “already bleeding” healthcare system, adding:

“I don’t find words to describe what happened. It’s like we are in a horror film.”

American University of Beirut’s Nasser Yassin said Lebanon needs international help to cope with what happened, adding:

“Like many issues for the last few months, we’ve seen the Lebanese government not taking the right decisions when it comes to the economy, or finances or social issues.”

“And I can imagine that this disaster, this catastrophe, will be dealt by the way Lebanese people do – relying on themselves and the support of their communities.”

According to Germany’s GFZ geosciences center, Tuesday’s blast was the equivalent of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake.Beirut Is Burning: Rebellion Against the Elites Has Commenced

A personal note: I experienced an earthquake of this magnitude over half a century ago in San Diego, CA.

I was in my 10th floor’s office at the time. Everything shook violently for what seemed like an eternity.

It was only around a minute or two. On the phone at the time, my initial reaction was to get under my desk to avoid falling ceiling debris that didn’t happen.

Damage reported in the city was minor. I, others in my office, and family feared something serious was happening, fortunately not so.

Major destruction and damage in Beirut affected around a four-square-mile area. It was heard and felt scores of miles distant from the port of Beirut.

An investigation was initiated to determine the cause and who bears responsibility.

Import traffic was diverted to the port of Tripoli. Most likely what happened was caused by negligence, not terrorism or another form of attack. The fullness of time will tell more.

Ammonium nitrate was responsible for deadly explosions in Tianjin, China (2015), North Korea’s Ryongchon rail station (2004) Toulouse, France (2001), Galveston Bay in the port of Texas City (1947), Oppau, Germany (1921), and Faversham, UK (1916).

The port of Lebanon is the country’s import/export hub. Vitally needed wheat supplies stored there were destroyed.

Massive destruction and damage,  along with the loss of essential food supplies dealt a major blow to already dire economic conditions in the country.

While negligence most likely was responsible for what happened, possible sabotage or something as sinister can’t be ruled out.

Lebanon has the misfortune of bordering Israel. According to the Netanyahu regime, Hezbollah controls the port of Beirut.

While no obvious Israeli fingerprints are on what happened, Tuesday’s blast was reminiscent on February 14, 2005.

At the time, a powerful car bomb blast killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 20 others, scores injured.

The blast left a 30-foot-wide/six-foot-deep crater. Syria, then Hezbollah, were falsely blamed for what happened, four Hezbollah members wrongfully indicted by a Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in the Netherlands.

Israel was responsible for what happened, targeted killings one of its specialties.

At the time, Hezbollah-intercepted Israeli aerial surveillance footage and audio evidence showed Hariri’s route on the day of his assassination.

Criminal law expert Hasan Jouni called its evidence compelling.

North Lebanon Bar Association head Antoine Airout said “revelations by Hezbollah (were) very serious and objective.”

Syria and Hezbollah had nothing to gain from what happened. Israel clearly benefitted, including by false accusations against its enemies.

At the time, Middle East journalist Patrick Seale said “(i)f Syria (or Hezbollah) killed (Hariri), it must be judged an act of political suicide…hand(ing) (their) enemies a weapon with which to deliver (a destabilizing) blow.”

Israel’s fingerprints were all over what happened, Hezbollah falsely blamed.

While vast destruction and damage in Beirut on Tuesday most likely was caused by negligence, possible Israeli (or US) involvement can’t be ruled out.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Syria NewsThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

If Soleimani Assassination Happened To the West, It Would Declare War – UN Official

By Staff, Agencies

If Soleimani Assassination Happened To the West, It Would Declare War - UN Official

The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, who has raised a firestorm by condemning the assassination of Iranian Lt. General Qassem Soleimani, has once again denounced the United States’ sheer disregard for international law.

“It is just violation of every single principle not only governing international law, but governing international relations,” Callamard told Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV network in remarks aired on Sunday.

General Soleimani, the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force, was assassinated in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport on January 3, along with Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and their companions.

Both commanders were extremely popular for their key role in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group in the region], particularly in Iraq and Syria.

On Thursday, Callamard provided the UN Human Rights Council with a report on the atrocity, which underlined the “unlawful” nature of the operation because the US had failed to provide evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike.

In her interview, Callamard repeated that the US has “failed to demonstrate how the strike could match and meet the requirement under the definition ‘self-defense.’”

“I should add that what they have done is part of an evolution that has been worrying me and many others for a number of years now,” she added.

The UN official explained how the US has falsely tried to rationalize such acts of aggression.

In response to the assassination, the IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles at a US air base in Iraq on January 8. Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.

Had an official “from a so-called ‘democratic’ Western country” been targeted in such a manner, that country would have considered the attack “as an act of aggression and as declaration of war,” Callamard emphasized.

She reminded how the aftermath of the strike featured a flurry of diplomatic efforts at avoiding the exacerbation of the already dire situation brought about by the assassination, “because everyone understood that we were on the brink of something extremely serious”.

The UN rapporteur finally issued a warning to the US and other countries, urging them not to repeat such acts of aggression.

“I’m hoping that the international community and the United States will understand that we avoided the abyss after that strike,” she said. “Let’s make that the one and only moment, where such a step would have been taken.”

Callamard’s stance has enraged the United States, with State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus calling her report “tendentious and tedious.”

Ortagus on Wednesday accused her of “a special kind of intellectual dishonesty” for condemning the United States, claiming that Washington’s assassination of Gen. Soleimani was an act of “self-defense”.

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الاغتيالات آخر حروب أميركا المأزومة

شوقي عواضة

يشهد العراق ارتفاعاً في وتيرة الأحداث المتسارعة لا سيّما بعد اغتيال قائد فيلق القدس الجنرال قاسم سليماني ونائب رئيس هيئة الحشد الشّعبي أبي مهدي المهندس مطلع العام الحالي. واحتدمتِ المواجهة على أثر اندلاع حركة الاحتجاجات الشّعبية إذ تطالب بتحسين الأوضاع المعيشيّة في العراق، والتي حاولت إدارة البيت الأبيض استثمارها بالتزامن مع بداية انتشار جائحة كورونا للتّحريض على الحشد الشّعبي الذي شكّل سياجاً منيعاً للعراق، وكان الحصن الذي تحطّمت على أعتابه أحلام واشنطن والرياض من خلال الانتصارات الكبيرة التي حقّقها الأحرار من الشعب العراقي والحشد والشّرطة الاتحادية والقوى الأمنية بالقضاء على داعش ووأد المؤامرة الشّيطانية في مهدها لتحوّل إدارة ترامب المعركة إلى معركةٍ سياسيّةٍ مارست خلالها المزيد من الضغوط على حكومة عادل عبد المهدي لإسقاطها بعد رفضه الخنوع للشّروط الأميركية في ظلّ كرٍّ وفرٍّ ديبلوماسيٍّ أدّى إلى تعيين مصطفى الكاظمي رئيسا للحكومة، تعيين لم يغيّر من سياسة الولايات المتحدة وعدائيتها للعراق ولحشده الذي أصبحت بعض فصائله قوّةً كبيرةً لمحور المقاومة، إذ شكّلت تهديداً حقيقيّاً للولايات المتحدة الأميركية والكيان الصهيوني وعلى رأس تلك الفصائل كتائب حزب الله من أوائل الفصائل التي أدرجتها الإدارة الأميركيّة على قوائم الإرهاب في ظلّ اعتبار تلك الفصائل للتواجد الأميركي على أرض العراق هو احتلال وسيتمّ التعامل معه على أساس ذلك في حال لم يعلن برنامج انسحابه وفقاً للاتفاقية الأمنيّة بين البلدين وبعد مطالبة البرلمان العراقي ببرنامجٍ زمنيٍّ واضحٍ للانسحاب الأميركي الذي لم يستجب لذلك بدأت إدارة ترامب وحلفاؤها بتحريك بعض المجموعات الداعشيّة في محاولة لقلب الموازين وتغيير قواعد الاشتباك لتبرير استمرار وجودها تحت عنوان محاربة الإرهاب ومع إدراك فصائل الحشد للأهداف الأميركية بدأت عملية الاستهداف للقواعد والمصالح الأميركية بالصّواريخ ممّا دفع ترامب إلى شنّ حربٍ على الحشد دون تقديمه أيّة خسائرَ عسكريّةٍ أو ماديّةٍ في محاولة منه للردّ على الهجمات ولإيجاد شرخٍ بين الحشد الشعبي الذي هو جزء من المؤسّسات العسكريّة والحكومية العراقيّة وبين جهاز مكافحة الإرهاب الذي أقدم بتاريخ 25 _ 6_ 2020 على اعتقال 14 شخص من كتائب حزب الله في منطقة الدّورة في بغداد، وهي عملية استدعت استنفار فصائل الحشد وتطويق المنطقة الخضراء ومن ضمنها السّفارة الأميركية، وبعد إجراء العديد من الاتصالات تمّ الافراج عن المعتقلين لتتحوّل الفتنة التي أرادها الأميركي بين أبناء الخندق الواحد إلى صفعةٍ وهزيمةٍ جديدةٍ لم تيأس واشنطن من تكرارها لتستعمل أسلوباً شيطانيّاً جديداً مستهدفة رأس الهرم المتمثّل بسماحة آية الله السّيد علي السيستاني الذي كان له دورٌ أساسيٌّ في تأسيس الحشد الشعبي من خلال فتواه الشهيرة فلجأت أدوات ترامب للإساءة إلى المرجعية من خلال نشر رسمٍ كاريكاتوريٍّ يسيء للمرجعيّة في صحيفة “الشرق الأوسط” السعودية في عددها الصّادر في 3_ 7_ 2020، إساءة وحّدتِ الشّارع العراقي بكلّ مكوّناته وأشعلته فخرجت مسيرات الغضب مندّدةً بإساءة الإعلام السعودي للمرجعيّة، موقف استدعى ترامب إلى المحاولة مجدّداً لإيجاد شرخٍ يضرب مشهد الوحدة العراقيّة ويضع العراق في دائرة الفوضى وعدم الاستقرار بعد الفشل الذريع في عملية الاغتيال المعنوي للمرجعيّة، الأمر الذي دفع بالأميركيين وأدواتهم إلى عمليّة اغتيال الباحث والخبير الاستراتيجي هاشم الهاشمي في السّابع من الشّهر الجاري، واكبتها تغطيةٌ إعلاميّة واسعةٌ أطلقتها أبواق واشنطن والرياض موجّهة الاتهام لكتائب حزب الله بعد أقلّ من ساعة على عملية اغتيال الهاشمي مستبقةً التّحقيقات ومستشهدةً ببعض الإعلاميين والمحلّلين ومرتزقة السفارات الأميركيّة والإسرائيليّة والسّعودية، عملية اغتيال بتخطيطٍ أميركيي وتمويلٍ سعوديّ وتنفيذ بعثيين سابقين درّبوا في معسكرات “بلاك ووتر”. يبرز ذلك من خلال دقّة رصد الهاشمي وتتبّعه واستغلال اللّحظة المناسبة لتنفيذ العملية بأعصابٍ باردةٍ تدلّ على وجود مجموعاتٍ داعمةٍ للقتلة في محيط منطقة الاغتيال كانت على استعداد للتدخّل في حال وقوع أيّة مفاجأة لحماية القاتلين وتغطيتهم للانسحاب أو حتى تصفيتهم بعد التنفيذ، سيناريو هوليودي الهدف منه صناعة قضية رأي عام كما حصل في عملية اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري في لبنان لاستثمار الدّم سياسيّاً ومن ثمّ اتهام حزب الله بالاغتيال كمقدّمةٍ لتجريده من سلاحه.

هو أسلوب واحد لأمّ الإرهاب في العالم تجدّد باغتيال الهاشمي في بغداد لتلصق التهمة بكتائب حزب الله وتصنيفها بمنظمةٍ إرهابيّة لإضعاف قوّتها وإجبارها على تسليم سلاحها ردّاً على استهداف قوّات الاحتلال الأميركي في العراق، تلك الكتائب التي كان ولا يزال هدفها الدّفاع عن العراق والأمّة في وجه الغطرسة الأميركية وقوّاتها التي لا يمكن التعامل معها إلّا على أساس أنّها احتلالٌ مأزومٌ ومهزومٌ لا محال.

UN Expert Calls US Assassination of General Soleimani ’Unlawful Killing’

UN Expert Calls US Assassination of General Soleimani ’Unlawful Killing’

By Staff, Agencies

United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard said the United States’ assassination of top Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad was an “unlawful” killing in violation of the international law.

Callamard said on Monday that the US has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the January drone strike on General Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport.

“Absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the US was unlawful,” Callamard wrote in a report.

The drone attack “violated the UN Charter”, she added, calling for accountability for targeted killings by armed drones and for greater regulation of the weapons.

“The world is at a critical time, and possible tipping point, when it comes to the use of drones. … The Security Council is missing in action; the international community, willingly or not, stands largely silent,” Callamard, an independent investigator, told Reuters.

The senior UN expert is due on Thursday to present her findings to the Human Rights Council, giving member states a chance to debate what action to pursue. The United States is not a member of the forum, having quit two years ago.

On January 3, the US assassinated General Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and a group of their companions just as they left Baghdad Airport while on an official visit to the country.

Both commanders enjoyed deep reverence among Muslim nations over their endeavors in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

The operation was conducted with the authorization of US President Donald Trump.

Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and several other US military and political leaders who were behind the assassination.

Prosecutors in Tehran say Trump, along with more than 30 others, was involved in the assassination, and accordingly face murder and terrorism charges.

Israel attempted to assassinate Islamic Jihad leader in Syria: Netanyahu

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:00 P.M) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the IDF’s attack last night in Syria’s capital city, Damascus.

In an interview with Radio Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the operation was an attempt to target a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement, but failed.

“The Israeli army tried to assassinate and target an Islamic Jihad leader in Damascus without mentioning his name, but failed and instead targeted two from his movement,” Netanyahu reportedly said, as quoted by Sputnik Arabic.

On the possibility of the Israeli army entering into a military operation in the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu said that “if Israel enters into a large-scale military operation in Gaza, it will be greater than the three previous wars,” pointing to “tension in the south and rocket fire in the vicinity of the Strip.”

The Israeli Prime Minister said: “They know they are attacking us and we are ready to attack and eliminate them.”

He pointed out that “there may be no escape but to go out in a battle to clean Gaza, but I do not rush to war.”

Netanyahu’s comments came just hours after the Israeli Defense Forces carried out several strikes in Damascus and the Gaza Strip.

Watch: Syrian air defenses confront Israeli missiles over Damascus

Syrian air defenses in Damascus brought down several ‘hostile targets’ coming from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights last night after the Israeli forces fired several missiles towards the southern outskirts of the capital.

The Israeli military launched a series of raids against what they called ‘terrorist targets’ belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Syria and throughout Gaza, IDF spokesperson Avichay Adraee confirmed in a rare admission of strikes against its neighbor.

According to the Islamic Jihad Movement, at least two of their members were killed as a result of this attack by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) last night.

The Islamic Jihad Movement confirmed that the Israeli Defense Forces also targeted several of their sites inside the Gaza Strip.

The Syrian military did not report any casualties.

Israeli policy of assassinations cannot terrorize Palestinians to accept Trump’s deal: Nakhala

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 

Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement Ziad al-Nakhala speaks during a televised speech broadcast live from Gaza City on February 19, 2020.

Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement Ziad al-Nakhala speaks during a televised speech broadcast live from Gaza City on February 19, 2020.

The secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement says the Tel Aviv regime’s plan to return to “the policy of assassinations” against distinguished figures of Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip cannot terrorize Palestinians to acknowledge US President Donald Trump’s so-called deal of the century on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel to reinstitute ‘assassination policy’ against Palestinian groups in Gaza: KatzThe Israeli foreign minister says the Tel Aviv regime would reinstitute

He added, “The threats of enemy leaders will not intimidate us, nor will make us accept what they have crafted and called the deal of the century. They will not make us relinquish our historical rights in Palestinian lands and al-Quds (Jerusalem).”

‘Oslo Accords bore nothing for Palestinians other than humiliation’

Nakhala also censured the Oslo Accords signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli regime more than two decades ago, stating that the set of agreements brought nothing for Palestinians other than humiliation, shame and delusions.

“We presented our history as well as our children, and sacrificed them on the altar of delusion of peace. We reaped nothing other than despair that was represented by the deal of the century,” he pointed out.

The Oslo Accords — consisting of Oslo I and Oslo II accords — were signed by the late chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, respectively in Washington DC, in 1993 and Egypt in 1995. The purported goal of the accords was to achieve peace based on the United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and to realize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

PressTV-Palestinians threaten to quit Oslo Accords over Trump dealThe Palestine Liberation Organization says it reserves the right “to withdraw from the interim agreement.”

The senior Palestinian official also lambasted some Arab and Muslim countries for supporting and acknowledging Trump’s proposal in the eye of the international community.

Nakhala then called upon all Palestinian resistance movements to join forces, and tirelessly protect Jerusalem al-Quds and the Palestinian cause from liquidation.

‘The US decision to declare al-Quds as the capital of Israel was not surprising, given that America is the sponsor of the Zionist project ever since its inception (back in 1948). It is a full partner to this project, and is in fact spearheading the Western project in our region,” he underscored.

Billboards in Tel Aviv incite reprisal against Palestinians over rejection of Trump dealBillboards appear on highways in Tel Aviv with hateful messages against Palestinians, in apparent reprisal for their refusal to accept US President Donald Trump’s plan for the Middle East.

On January 28, Trump unveiled his so-called deal of the century, negotiated with Israel but without the Palestinians.

Palestinian leaders, who severed all ties with Washington in late 2017 after Trump controversially recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli regime, immediately rejected the plan, with President Mahmoud Abbas saying it “belongs to the dustbin of history.”

US deal violates UN resolutions, Palestinian sovereignty: AbbasPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the plan proposed by the US for the Middle East is in breach of UN resolutions and Palestinian sovereignty.

Palestinian leaders say the deal is a colonial plan to unilaterally control historic Palestine in its entirety and remove Palestinians from their homeland, adding that it heavily favors Israel and would deny them a viable independent state.

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