Time to Challenge Canadian Schools’ Anti-Palestinian Racism

March 10, 2023

Activists protest at Park West school in Halifax, Canada. (Photo: via Palestine Online TW Page)
– Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

By Yves Engler

While Jewish settlers launch pogroms and Israeli ministers call to “wipe out” Palestinian towns, Canadian schools suppress Palestinian symbols and celebrate colonial violence.

Last week Park West School in Halifax forced a half dozen Palestinian-Canadian students to remove Kufiyahs they were wearing during a cross-cultural day. In a flagrant display of anti-Palestinian racism, the principal said the Palestinian scarf “represents the colors of war.”

In a similar case of cultural/political suppression, Palestinian students in Ottawa were blocked from flying the Palestinian flag alongside those from dozens of other countries. The Palestinian Youth Movement has been engaged in a year-long battle with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board over anti-Palestinian discrimination.

Recently a guest speaker, part of the English Montréal School Board Holocaust Education Program, told Westmount high school students that people say “Israel is a terrible country, [that] they’re abusing the Palestinians – which is a bunch of crap. I lived in Israel.

Trust me they’re doing everything but abusing the Palestinians.” Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other establishment human rights groups have concluded Israel is committing the crime of apartheid.

Last month the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation complained to the Toronto Sun about a workshop offered by an Ontario Secondary School Teachers Foundation (OSSTF) local titled “Anti-Palestinian racism: Nakba denial.” In recent years pro-Israel groups have lobbied Canadian school boards to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) anti-Palestinian definition of antisemitism.

While Palestinian solidarity and symbols are targeted, schools expose children to aggressive pro-Israel messages. On January 24 the Jewish National Fund of Canada reported, “270 students from various Jewish day schools in Montreal participated in JNF Day at Beth Zion Synagogue.” A large map showing the grade schoolers included the illegally occupied West Bank as Israel.

The kids were probably subjected to other anti-Palestinian positions. The session was led by JNF Educational Emissary, Yifat Bear Miller, who spent more than a decade as an education officer for the Israeli military. A registered Canadian charity, the JNF is an explicitly racist institution that’s played an important role in the colonization of Palestine.

The JNF educates Canadian educators in its racist worldview. On the “JNF Educators mission to Israel” participants “Learn about Eco–Zionism and the connection between Judaism, Israel, and the environment”.

In a recent JNF Canada Facebook post a young student is wearing an Israel Defense Forces shirt. Has any Canadian school banned shirts promoting this violent organization?

At Canada’s largest private high school kids are pressured to wear IDF shirts. During “IDF Days” at Toronto TanenbaumCHAT they fundraise for Israeli military initiatives. A summary of a 2020 IDF day noted, “Shavuah Yisrael continued today with IDF day. The TanenbaumCHAT community — under the leadership of our Schlichim [Israeli emissaries] Lee and Ariel — showed their support for the Israel Defence Forces by wearing green, eating green, and donating green! Proceeds from the delicious green-sprinkled donuts that were sold during the 10-minute break are being donated to help the well-being of Israeli soldiers on active duty on behalf of TanenbaumCHAT thru the Association for the Soldiers of Israel – Canada.”

Recent posts on the school’s Facebook page mention a presentation by a former member of an elite IDF unit and students taught “Krav Maga is a martial art developed by the IDF”. According to TanenbaumCHAT’s statement of purpose, “Israel engagement pervades our curricular and extracurricular programming and it is a shared vision–part of the consciousness of all our teachers and educators. Through connecting with our staff, guests and visiting speakers, our students develop relationships with Israeli peers and other Israeli role models. Students enjoy special Israel weeks and IDF days.”

As part of TanenbaumCHAT’s Israel engagement, some students attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, D.C. In 2019 there was controversy over one of the school’s teachers, Aviva Polonsky, who posted a group picture on social media of her students meeting Sebastian Gorka, a far-right figure in the Donald Trump administration. Polonsky has stated publicly that she doesn’t accept students expressing non-Zionist views in her classes.

Netivot HaTorah, Bialik Hebrew Day School, Bnei Akiva, Toronto Heschel School are other schools breeding anti-Palestinianism. A December post from Leo Baeck Day School notes, “we are a Zionist institution with a core responsibility to preserve Israel.” An Israeli emissary spends a year at the Toronto elementary school and when they return, noted the Canadian Jewish News, “engages with students by way of live video chat from their Israel Defence Forces barracks dressed in their military uniforms.” Leo Baeck students also pay “tribute” to Israel’s fallen heroes” and fundraise for Beit Halochem Canada/Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel, which supports injured IDF soldiers.

In a damning comment on Canadian political culture, some schools celebrate the colonizers’ military while others repress symbols of the colonized. Fortunately, there’s been some resistance. Thousands emailed and dozens rallied in opposition to the recent banning of Kufiyahs in Halifax, which prompted officials to label the incident a misunderstanding.

The Palestinian Youth Movement has organized protests against discrimination in Ottawa schools and a parent complained about the anti-Palestinian comment made at Westmount High school (these incidents have only come to light because of the protests)

While essential, defensive protests are insufficient. There should be public letters and rallies challenging “IDF Days” and the colonial indoctrination at Canada’s largest private school. We need to directly challenge schools breeding anti-Palestinian racism.


سورية بالفعل قلب العروبة النابض

 الثلاثاء 14 شباط 2023

معن بشور

شريان الأخوّة العربية الى سورية المنكوبة والمتدفّق من لبنان وفلسطين والعراق ومختلف الدول العربية، حكومات وشعوباً، منظمات وأفراداً، يتجاوز في أهميته البعد الإنساني الى أبعاد قومية وإسلامية، أخلاقية وسياسية.

فهو على الصعيد الإنساني تأكيد على عمق الروح الإنسانية في أمتنا، والتي تتجاوز في عمقها ودلالاتها، كل محاولات التفرقة بين أبناء أمة واحدة، بل تؤكد انّ أمتنا ما تزال تولي الاعتبارات الإنسانية ما تستحقّه من اهتمام يتجاوز كلّ الحساسيات والحسابات الضيقة.

وهو على الصعيد الأخلاقي يعبّر عن مدى ما تتمتع به شعوبنا من وفاء تجاه سورية التي ـأسماها يوماً الرئيس الخالد الذكر جمال عبد الناصر «قلب العروبة النابض».
فالفلسطينيون رغم ظروفهم الصعبة التي يفرضها عليهم الاحتلال، من عنف يومي، وإغلاق مناطق ومخيمات وحصار مستمر منذ حوالي العقدين على غزة، لا ينسوا أن الشيخ عز الدين القسّام جاء من جبلة، وان سعيد العاص الشهيد على أرض فلسطين جاء من حماة، وأن مطران القدس المقاوم ايلاريون كبوجي جاء من حلب، وأنّ البحار الشهيد جول جمال جاء من اللاذقية، وانّ سورية بكلّ مناطقها قد فتحت أبوابها لعشرات الآلاف من الفلسطينيين الذين شرّدتهم نكبة 1948، وانّ سورية قدّمت آلاف الشهداء في معارك الصراع مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وانّ أبناء الجولان السوري يشاركون الفلسطينيين عذابات الاحتلال منذ 55 عاماً، وانّ المقاومة الفلسطينية قد أنطلقت من قلب سورية عام 1965، وأنّ سورية بقيت أمينة على هذه المقاومة، فلسطينية أو لبنانية أو عراقية…

أما لبنان فلا ينسى أهله تلك العلاقة المميّزة، بينه وبين سورية، وهي علاقة مصير ومسار واحد، كما لا ينسون تضحيات الجيش العربي السوري على أرض لبنان في بيروت والجبل والبقاع والجنوب في وجه الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، كما لا ينسون كيف فتحت مدن سورية ذراعيها لمئات الآلاف من اللبنانيين في كلّ اللحظات الصعبة التي مرّوا بها خلال الحروب التي عاشها لبنان، لا سيّما يوم اضطر الآلاف منهم للجوء الى سورية خلال حرب تموز 2006، ناهيك عن دور سورية في احتضان المقاومة اللبنانية، الوطنية والإسلامية، الباسلة قبل التحرير وبعده.

أما العراقيون فكيف ينسون موقف سورية، شعباً وقيادة ورئيساً، في رفض الحصار والحرب والاحتلال عام 2003، والتي جسّدها خطاب الرئيس بشار الأسد في قمّة شرم الشيخ في 1/3/2003، وكيف وجد أكثر من مليوني عراقي في دمشق والمدن السورية ملاذاً آمناً لهم بعد احتلال بلدهم، وكيف واجهت دمشق تهديدات واشنطن للامتناع عن دعم مقاومة الشعب العراقي ضدّ الاحتلال، كما لا ينسى العراقيون لجان نصرة العراق في سورية قبيل الاحتلال عام 2003، والتي كان يرأسها المناضل العروبي الكبير منصور سلطان الاطرش (رحمه الله) والتي عمّت كلّ الأراضي السورية.

وفي الجزائر، التي كانت طائرتها هي الأولى التي نزلت الى مطار دمشق بعد الزلزال المدمّر لتعبّر عن وفاء الجزائر لدعم سورية اللامحدود لثوراتها التحررية وآخرها عام 1954، وحيث توجه العديد من شباب سورية، الى معسكرات الثورة ليشاركوا أشقاءهم الجزائريين في ثورتهم التاريخية..

ومصر لا تنسى سورية الإقليم الشمالي في الجمهورية العربية المتحدة ، وشريكتها في التصدي للعدوان الثلاثي على مصر، ودور أبطالها في تلك المواجهة (جول جمّال وتفجير بارجة جان بارت) وقبله سليمان الحلبي الذي اغتال القائد العسكري البريطاني كليبر، ناهيك عن شراكة مصر وسورية في نكسة حزيران 1967، كما في انتصار تشرين الأول 1973، كما في يوم أزمة القمح عام 1976 حين تبرّعت سورية بنصف مخزونها الاحتياطي لنجدة مصر المحاصرة آنذاك.

وتونس الخضراء لا تنسى موقف سورية «يوم الجراد» الذي قضى على محصول القمح التونسي كله، فكان القمح السوري هو البديل.

وفي اليمن، فكيف ينسى اليمنيون الطائرات العسكرية التي انطلقت الى صنعاء يوم حصارها المشؤوم عام 1968، كما لا ينسى اليمنيون احتضان سورية لثورتهم في جنوب اليمن ضدّ الاستعمار البريطاني…

اما شعوب الخليج والجزيرة العربية فلا تنسى مواقف سورية الى جانبها في العديد من الأزمات التي واجهتها عبر العقود الماضية، فيما لا تنسى دول المغرب العربي والسودان وقفات دمشق الى جانبهما في معظم المعارك التي فرضت عليهم..

انّ هذا التفاعل والتضامن العملي بين سورية وأشقائها العرب وقضاياهم هو الذي جعلها هدفاً دائماً للحروب والفتن والحصار الاستعماري ـ الصهيوني عليها، والتي بلغت ذروتها في الحرب الكونية عليها وفيها، والمستمرة منذ 12 سنة، والتي لم تكن تستهدف تدمير سورية الدولة والمجتمع فقط، بل تدمّر علاقة سورية بهويتها العربية وهي التي كانت تدرك على الدوام أنّ العروبة ليست مجرد هوية ثقافية وتاريخية وحضارية لها فحسب، بل العروبة هي ضمان أمنها الاستراتيجي وأفقها الاقتصادي ونهوضها الحضاري..

واذا كانت المساهمات من دول عربية وإسلامية وصديقة عبّرت عن مكانة سورية في الأقليم والعالم، فإنّ المطلوب استكمال هذه المساهمات بالانخراط في المعركة العربية والإقليمية والعالمية لكسر الحصار على سورية الذي حذرّنا منذ سنين من مخاطره وآثاره الضارة على الشعب السوري، وجاء الزلزال المدمر ليوضح فداحة هذه المخاطر والأضرار ويتسبّب بارتفاع أعداد ضحاياه ومشرّديه الى أرقام كبيرة..

واليوم تشكّل هذه الهبّة الشعبية العربية لإغاثة سورية، حقيقة إنّ سورية بالفعل هي قلب العروبة النابض وأنّ ما قدمته لأشقائها دون منّة أو استعراض لا يمكن لهم أن ينسوه، بل أن هذه الهبّة الشعبية العربية والإسلامية، ولأبناء الدول الصديقة ستستكمل بمعركة إسقاط الحصار على سورية، وإسقاط الهيمنة الاستعمارية والصهيونية على الأمّة والعالم.

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الموت «وراءهم وراءهم»: للفلسطينيين من كلّ فاجعة نصيب

 الخميس 9 شباط 2023

يوسف فارس

وُثّقت حتى اللحظة وفاة 29 لاجئاً فلسطينياً في سوريا وتركيا (أ ف ب)

لم تَمنح سنوات الغربة الطويلة، الشاب عبد الكريم أبو جلهوم، سوى طقس جديد من طقوس الموت. ابن مخيم جباليا للاجئين شمال غزة، كان قد هاجر من القطاع قبل اثني عشر عاماً، ثمّ التحقت به عائلته قبل خمس سنوات من اليوم، إلى أن أُعلن عن وفاته وزوجته وأبنائهما الأربعة إثر الزلزال المدمّر الذي ضرب مدينة أنطاكيا، حيث كان يقيم. «كان يعمل نجاراً، يقضي أكثر من 10 ساعات في العمل يومياً، بالكاد يستطيع أن يؤمّن لقمة عيشه»، تقول والدته في حديثها إلى «الأخبار»، مضيفةً: «هاجَر من غزة بحثاً عن ظروف معيشية أفضل، لكن قدرَنا أن نلاحق الموت (….) راح أبناؤه براء ومحمد وكنزي ونورة، ما ترك حدا من ريحته». في مخيّم جباليا، تجمّع الآلاف لتقديم واجب العزاء لعائلة الفقيد أبو جلهوم، وعائلة زوجته فاطمة أبو سلطان. ثمّة ما يصنع تفاضلاً حتى في الموت. على الأقلّ، هنا للضحايا مَن يبكيهم.

في مخيّمات اللاجئين الفلسطينيين في سوريا: حندرات والنيرب في حلب، والرمل في اللاذقية، يبدو الحال أكثر كآبة. ما يزيد على 40 ضحية استطاع الأهالي بجهودٍ فردية انتشالهم من تحت الأنقاض، فيما «يخفي الركام مصائر آخرين»، وفق ما يقول اللاجئ محمد سلمان، الذي يسكن «النيرب»، مضيفاً في حديثه إلى «الأخبار»: «عشرات المباني تهدّمت في كلّ المخيمات، الأهالي يبحثون عن الضحايا بأياديهم، من دون أيّ معدّات، لم تصل حتى اللحظة أيّ طواقم إنقاذ ولا مساعدات للمخيم».
ويتابع: «الأهالي يخافون العودة إلى البيوت، حتى التي لم تتضرّر منها، تحسّباً لهزّات أرضية جديدة، و لا تتوفّر خيام تقي الناس من البرد والصقيع».

من جهته، يفيد الزميل الصحافي حسام زيدان، في حديثه إلى «الأخبار»، بأن مخيم الرمل الجنوبي انهارت فيه ثلاثة مباني كاملة على السكّان، اثنان منها مكوَّنان من خمس طبقات، وآخر على الشاطئ، مضيفاً إن «الأضرار كانت في مخيّم النيرب أقلّ وطأة، حيث انهارت بعض الجدران في المنازل، وتسبّبت بوفاة طفلَين يبلغان من العمر 11 عاماً، وجرْح ثالث ما زالت حالته حرجة، فيما أعلنت القيادة المجتمعية في المخيم أن الحياة عادت إلى طبيعتها، وأن الأهالي رجعوا إلى منازلهم». ويشير إلى أن «النقطة المضيئة هي حالة التكاتف الاجتماعي الكبير الذي شاهدناه في المخيمات، حيث وصلت طواقم الإسعاف التابعة للهلال الأحمر الفلسطيني من حمص ودمشق إلى مخيم الرمل الجنوبي، وساهمت كتفاً إلى كتف مع الهلال الأحمر السوري في إسعاف الضحايا وإنقاذهم». كما يشير إلى أن فريق الإنقاذ الجزائري الذي وصل إلى سوريا، والمكوَّن من 125 شخصاً، أصرّ على زيارة المخيّمات الفلسطينية وتقديم خدماته هناك.

أوضاع اللاجئين في مخيّمات الشمال السوري مأسوية وكارثية

ويبيّن فايز أبو عيد، وهو مسؤول الإعلام في مجموعة «العمل لأجل فلسطينيّي سوريا»، بدوره، أن «طواقم المجموعة وثّقت حتى اللحظة وفاة 29 لاجئاً فلسطينياً – سورياً في سوريا وتركيا»، قائلاً في حديثه إلى «الأخبار»: «حتى اللحظة، الأرقام متضاربة، لكن ما وثّقناه بالاسم والمنطقة يفيد بـ 29 ضحية، من بينهم 20 في الشمال السوري، و6 أشخاص من مخيم الرمل في اللاذقية، وواحد من مخيم العائدين في حمص، وطفلتان في مخيم النيرب». ويَلفت أبو عيد إلى أن «أوضاع اللاجئين في مخيّمات الشمال السوري مأسوية وكارثية، هناك مصاعب كبيرة تُواجه فرق الإنقاذ بسبب الدمار الكبير وقلّة الإمكانات المتوافرة، في حين لم تكن الجهود المبذولة لإغاثة المدنيين كافية نتيجة هول المصاب (…) جرى توفير بعض الخيام، لكنّ العيش في داخلها وسط هذه الأجواء العاصفة والباردة من دون وسائل التدفئة، صعب للغاية».
وكان سفير دولة فلسطين في دمشق، سمير الرفاعي، قد أعلن عن آخر إحصائية للضحايا الفلسطينيين في المخيّمات السورية، قائلاً إن أعدادهم ارتفعت في مخيمات الرمل والنيرب وحندرات، وفي بلدة جبلة، إلى 48، فيما تتواصل أعمال البحث عن أحياء تحت الأنقاض. أمّا السفير الفلسطيني في تركيا، فائد مصطفى، فأفاد عن توثيق وفاة 20 فلسطينياً حتى اللحظة.

من ملف : سوريا… جريمة ما بعد الكارثة

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From Tennessee to Palestine: What Happened to Cause and Effect?

January 30, 2023

Israeli forces raided Jenin and killed nine people. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)
– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

By Benay Blend

In the past few days, Palestine has witnessed heightened aggression by the Zionist government, while in the United States, five Memphis policemen brutally beat a young man to death after a routine traffic stop.

On the surface, these events are not related. A closer look at mainstream news coverage as well as systemic problems embedded in each society reveals how much they have in common.

On January 26, 2023, an article by Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network led with the headline “Massacre in Jenin: Resistance Continues Amid Occupation Killing of at Least 9 Palestinians,”  followed by a photo of grieving women. The caption reads “Jenin bleeds but resists,” which is why Israel chose to murder 9 Palestinians that day, including a 61-year-old woman.

When CNN covered the same event it quoted no Palestinians, except for the Palestinian Authority (PA), but merely repeated justifications for the massacre from Israeli security forces, specifically that they were after a “terror squad [operating in Jenin] belonging to the Islamic Jihad terror organization.”

In this way, mainstream news turns resistance fighters into “terrorists” by quoting the perpetrators of the violence. “The Islamic Jihad terror operatives were heavily involved in executing and planning multiple major terror attacks, including shooting attacks on IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians,” the joint statement from the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Security Agency and Border Police said, thereby defending a preemptive massacre based on what might or might not happen.

On January 7, 2023, five Memphis police stopped Tyre Nichols, a young black man, for alleged “reckless driving.” In early reporting, CNN said that “a confrontation occurred” between the driver and police, after which he “fled on foot.” When the police apprehended him “another confrontation occurred” followed by his arrest.

After the release of bodycam footage and a surveillance camera mounted to a pole, the media changed its story. What the recordings showed was not a “confrontation,” but five black policemen viciously using their fists and a baton to beat a young, handcuffed man to death. The initial reaction is important, though, because it illustrated the ways that mainstream media listened only to the police in much the same way that they accepted as truth what Zionist officials held as their version of the massacre in Jenin.

In both cases, there is no effort to analyze cause and effect. Events are portrayed as singular in form, as if the occupation had not been abusing the occupied since 1948 as if there had never been a black person murdered by the police before Tyre Nichols.

In the foreword to Ramzy Baroud’s The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (2018), Ilan Pappé describes Al-Nakba al-Mustamera, the ongoing Nakba (catastrophe), which he writes is “a common Palestinian reference to the age and time they have been living in during the last seventy years” (p. xi). In other words, the Nakba of 1948 is not merely a historical event but rather it comprises all of the oppression that they have been living under to this day.

“And indeed,” continues Pappé, “examining the history of the Zionist movement in Palestine, it transpires clearly that the settler colonial project that commenced in the late nineteenth century is not over yet; as is the struggle against it” (p. xi).

Yet Western media seldom looks back at the Zionist entity’s actions that resulted in a response, so consequently, resistance fighters are portrayed as terrorists whose deaths are justified in this light. Since the massacre at Jenin, there have been several reprisals on the part of the resistance, the first, the shooting of several Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue, portrayed by police chief Yaakov Shabtai as “one of the worst terror attacks in the past few years.”

There is very little mention of what promoted the shooting, not only the massacre in Jenin but also the 75 years that came before it. In her recent book Imagining Palestine: Cultures of Exile and National Identity (2023), Tahrir Hamdi explains that “the violence of the colonizer is aimed at dehumanization and repression, but the violence of the colonized is meant to end that repression and to rehumanize the oppressed” (p. 146.) In this way, she continues, the colonized undergoes a transformation of the colonized into an “empowered being who is able to create the kind of fear in the colonizer that the colonizer created in the colonized” (p. 147).

This lack of context carries over to the United States each time a person of color, but also the poor of any race, are murdered by the police. “This is not just a professional failing,” Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said. “This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual. This incident was heinous, reckless and inhumane. And in the vein of transparency, when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves.”

In this way, the murder of Tyre Nichols by the police is treated as a lone event committed by a couple of individuals who lacked humanity. Nevertheless, as activist/journalist Jon Jeter notes, the goal of the news and entertainment industry is to “decontextualize violence such as that visited upon this young brotha in Memphis and depict it as an isolated, aberrant occurrence.”

The reality is more “grotesque,” he adds, than the horrible scenes witnessed on the tapes. “America is an apartheid state,” he concludes (and here Jeter might include “Israel” as it is much the same). “It is organized around the principle of white supremacy.” So when it “terrorizes 42 million black people on the streets, in the schools, and courtrooms and workplaces,” the goal is to convince their targets that they are a “defeated people, and that any effort to resist is futile.”

As grass-roots organizer Bree Newsome Bass stated on Twitter: “How can it be racist if the police are Black? Because the institution of policing itself is racist.” Dating back to the days when Black people worked on the slave patrols, there as always been racism embedded in the system, so no amount of promoting diversity on the force will help. What is important is that people of color and the poor are most often victims of the system.

There are other similarities between the Zionist state and this culture of violence in the United States. When asked if the five police, in this case, will likely be indicted for their crimes, Ajama Baraka replied:

“They are scheduled to be sacrificed for the system – so yeah. Even if it is on lesser charges. That is why the Feds are around also. They will prosecute also if the state charges don’t stick. This is way beyond Memphis now. It is an ideological issue for the settler state globally so they are toast.”

Indeed, policing in the United States is a global issue. Palestine is Here, a website that tracks various exchanges with the Zionist state has documented that the Memphis police department has long sent its officers to Israel for training. In 2002, shortly after 911, the first training expedition took place under the guise of learning about “counter-terrorism,” which translated to mean how to deal with the unruly populations in your country. “Rather than promoting security for all, these programs facilitate an exchange of methods of state violence and control, including mass surveillance, racial profiling, and suppression of protest and dissent.”

Considering that policing began as a method to catch enslaved people who had run away from their masters, the force would still be racist even without the benefit of learning from their Israeli counterparts. Still, it links both settler colonial states in a common purpose: to control the oppressed in both countries.

“Jenin is bleeding and resisting,” concludes Samidoun, yet it is “refusing security coordination with the occupation and continuing to struggle, despite massacre after massacre, with the entire Palestinian people for the liberation of Palestine.” Despite all efforts to erase, intimidate, and invoke fear in the beleaguered population in Palestine and the US as well, the struggle for liberation goes on invoking all of us to support the occupied in their struggle for liberation and justice around the world.

Imagining Palestine: Cultures of Exile and National Identity – Book Review

January 13, 2023

Imagining Palestine: Cultures of Exile and National Identity, by Tahrir Hamdi. (Photo: Book Cover)

By Jim Miles

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

(Imagining Palestine – Cultures of Exile and National Identity.  Tahrir Hamdi. I. B. Taurus, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London, 2023.)

In her recent work, “Imagining Palestine”, Tahrir Hamdi has made an intriguing, thought-provoking, and challenging discussion on the idea and reality of Palestine. Imagining Palestine is the ongoing process of remembering and living the ongoing tragedies of the nakba – and keeping alive the culture, geography, and ideals of the Palestinian people. There are two main themes that stand out throughout the ‘imagining’ process: the ideas of exile and the necessity of violent resistance.


Throughout the discussions of the various Palestinian writers and artists is the recurring theme of exile. Two other terms are used frequently – dispossession and of dispersion. This refers to the physical/geographical displacement of the refugees, internal and external, in the many refugee camps in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan as well as the refugees living farther abroad in many countries around the world. Internal exile includes the many apartheid bantustans, the hundreds of checkpoints, the ‘wall’, and all other Israeli initiatives to limit travel of any kind – medical or agricultural or family – within occupied Palestine (being the whole).

Exile also includes the culture and ideas creating a Palestinian narrative – the attempt by the colonial settler Zionists to eliminate the elements of Palestinian life ranging from the destruction of libraries, and the expropriation of agriculture, to the destruction of the olive trees. Many of the latter are over one thousand years old and represent family, the past, and the future; they highlight both ecological and cultural violence against the Palestinians – a bitter leaf with life-giving properties.

Behind the idea of exile is of course the right of return,

The United Nations General Assembly adopts Resolution 194 (III), resolving that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

The symbols of Palestinians’ right of return are characterized by the deeds to land and the keys to houses stolen or destroyed by the Israeli military during the 1948 nakba. Until all Palestinians are free to return home, those few that do, as discussed by Tahrir, are not truly returnees, but remain in exile within their homeland.

Violent Resistance

As recognized by the writers reviewed in Imagining Palestine, the idea of resistance is paramount, “the colonized must liberate themselves by ‘use of all means, and that of force first and foremost.’”. International law allows for an occupied people/territory to legally resist the occupying/colonizing power. For those imagining Palestine, culture comes first then the resistance struggle – signifying a unity of purpose, an inclusiveness and not a mixture of individualized ideals.

In other words, by dividing the Palestinian people into apartheid regions, into different ‘terrorist’ organizations, into different levels of control superseded by the Palestinian Authority acting as security police for Israel, the Israelis – and factions within Palestine itself – preclude an organizing, organic whole necessary for successful resistance against an occupying force. A “collective national identity” is necessary first before a resistance can be successfully implemented.

As expressed by Tahrir,

“The living heritage of Palestine has been focussed and repurposed for the aim of creating a culture of resistance. To imagine Palestine does not mean to contrive something that was not there, but rather to make possible the very idea of resistance, victory, and liberation…an enabling idea.”


Several other themes occur through Tahrir’s analysis of those Imagining Palestine.

The complicity of Arab regimes is reiterated frequently and although not dwelt upon, it is recognition that the ‘regime’, the leaders of the Arab countries, are more concerned about their own survival than the problems faced by the Palestinians. Platitudes are made, peace treaties are made, official recognition of Israel is given, and still, the Palestinians are ignored. Except….

Except as shown by the recent Football World Cup in Qatar (after the publication of this book), the Arab street is still very much aligned with the Palestinians regardless of their separate governments’ attitudes and actions. Farther abroad from Ireland and Scotland to Argentina and others, solidarity with Palestine is strong at the level of international football – not the organizers, but the fans and the players.

Another subtheme, related to all above, is the vast amount of US support for the Israeli government as well as the influence the US carries over many of the Arab states. Capitalism thrives in this environment: three companies “and others thrive on the ‘always war’ policy of the world capitalist system, which gave birth to slavery and the colonialist enterprise.” A strong (im)moral component enters into this support as well with the combination of the evangelical right wishing for the end times and the antiterrorist rhetoric used mainly to reinforce US attempts at global hegemony (via military support for the US $).

Indigenous rights is another subtheme mentioned throughout the book. In particular, the rights of Indigenous North Americans and South Africans are used in comparison to their similarities to the colonial settler regime in Israel. African Americans, while not ‘colonized’ in the strictest sense, are a product of the capitalist-colonial mindset where the ‘other’ is, at best, property to be bought and sold, and when not useful, to be eliminated in one fashion or another.


The recreation and remembering of Palestinian culture in all its forms, and the bringing together of a collective national identity, a living heritage creates an imagined future Palestine as a unitary democratic and peaceful society. The will to resist is alive in many forms and an Imagined Palestine exists, anticipating its liberation as a free, independent country.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 15 – 21 December 2022)

December 22, 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

A Palestinian detainee died in the Israeli prisons due to the medical negligence policy, while 6 Palestinians, including 2 children, were injured, and dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 20 December 2022, Naser Abu Hmeid (50), a Palestinian detainee in the Israeli prisons from Al-Ama’ri refugee camp in Ramallah, died at “Assaf Harofeh” Hospital in Israel after battling lung cancer for more than a year.  Abu Hmeid’s health condition got worse due to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) systematic medical negligence policy against the ill detainees. Details available in PCHR’s press release.

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

On 15 December 2022, a Palestinian child was injured with a rubber-coated bullet during clashes with IOF, after the latter’s incursion into Shufat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

On 17 December 2022, A Palestinian was wounded with a rubber-coated metal bullet during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum peaceful weekly protest, northern Qalqilya.

On 18 December 2022, a Palestinian was wounded with a live bullet in the foot during clashes with IOF following the latter’s incursion into the old ‘Askar refugee camp in Nablus. Before withdrawing, IOF arrested a citizen and his son.

On 20 December 2022, a Palestinian was wounded with a rubber-coated metal bullet during clashes with IOF after the latter’s incursion into Abu Dis in East Jerusalem.

On 21 December 2022, a Palestinian child was wounded with a live bullet in his foot during clashes with IOF at the entrance to al-Shuhada Street in Hebron. On the same day, a Palestinian was wounded with a live bullet in his right thigh during clashes with IOF in Beit Ummar village in Hebron.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, and 3 shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 185 Palestinians, including 123 civilians: 37 children, 8 women, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers and the rest were activists; 20 of them were assassinated in IOF’s attacks in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 6 Palestinian detainees, including a woman, died in the Israeli prisons.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 4 houses, including one inhabited, rendering a family of 2 homeless, and 2 civilian facilities.  They also confiscated 7 agricultural tents and handed notices to cease construction works in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 15 December 2022, IOF demolished a 170-sqm under-construction house in Farsh Al-Hawa area, west of Hebron, and confiscated 2 tents in Tarqumiya village, northwest of Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.

On the same day, IOF demolished a livestock barrack and a 180-sqm horse stable and dismantled agricultural barracks under the pretext of unlicensed construction in East Jerusalem. IOF also handed notices to 7 citizens to stop construction in their houses in Kafr Al-Dik, west of Salfit, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.

On 17 December 2022, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his under-construction house in Jabal Al-Mukaber in East Jerusalem upon an Israeli municipal decision, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering a family of 2 homeless.

On 19 December 2022, IOF demolished 2 under-construction houses: a 2-storey house of 220 sqms and a 1-story house of 140 sqms, in the airport area, east of Jericho, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.

On 20 December 2022, IOF confiscated 5 agricultural tents in Wadi Jahish area in southern Yatta, south of Hebron.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 140 families homeless, a total of 823 persons, including 162 women and 373 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 163 houses and many residential and agricultural tents. IOF also demolished 118 other civilian objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.


On 15 December 2022, settlers attacked a Palestinian with sticks and smashed his vehicle’s windows, near the intersection of Al-Taybeh village in Ramallah.

On 17 December 2022, settlers cut 12 olive trees in Yasuf village, east of Salfit.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 257 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

Forced displacement and deportation:

On 18 December 2022, the Israeli occupation authorities deported lawyer and human rights defender Salah Al-Hamouri (37) from East Jerusalem to France, after 9 months of administrative detention, under the pretext of breaching “the allegiance to the State of Israel;” thus, this deportation amounts to a war crime. Details available in PCHR’s press release.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 171 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, 83 Palestinians were arrested, including 14 children and 3 women. In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out a limited incursion into eastern Rafah.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 8,609 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 4,781 Palestinians were arrested, including 480 children and 52 women. IOF also conducted 35 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 105 Palestinians, including 64 fishermen, 32 infiltrators, and 9 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Closure and restrictions on freedom of movement

On 16 December 2022, Mahmoud Al-Kurd (45), from Deir Al-Balah, died in Al-Mutala’ Hospital in East Jerusalem, due to the deterioration of his health condition after battling lung cancer and due to IOF’s obstruction of his travel for treatment. IOF allowed him to travel on 15 December 2022 after repeatedly rejecting his 5 travel permit requests from July to mid-December 2022.

This comes while IOF maintain their illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continue to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 115 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 4 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established 4,457 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 201 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

The Nakba Day Triumph: How the UN Is Correcting a Historical Wrong

December 14, 2022

Gaza’s Great March of Return. (Photo: Abdullah Aljamal, Palestine Chronicle)

The next Nakba Day will be officially commemorated by the United Nations General Assembly on May 15, 2023. The decision by the world’s largest democratic institution is significant, if not a game changer.

For nearly 75 years, the Palestinian Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ wrought by the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias in 1947-48, has served as the epicenter of the Palestinian tragedy as well as the collective Palestinian struggle for freedom.

Three decades ago, namely after the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian leadership in 1993, the Nakba practically ceased to exist as a relevant political variable. Palestinians were urged to move past that date, and to invest their energies and political capital in an alternative and more ‘practical’ goal, a return to the 1967 borders.

In June 1967, Israel occupied the rest of historic Palestine – East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza – igniting yet another wave of ethnic cleansing.

Based on these two dates, Western cheerleaders of Oslo divided Palestinians into two camps: the ‘extremists’ who insisted on the centrality of the 1948 Nakba, and the ‘moderates’ who agreed to shift the center of gravity of Palestinian history and politics to 1967.

Such historical revisionism impacted every aspect of the Palestinian struggle: it splintered Palestinians ideologically and politically; relegated the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, which is enshrined in UN Resolution 194; spared Israel the legal and moral accountability of its violent establishment on the ruins of Palestine, and more.

Leading Palestinian Nakba historian, Salman Abu Sitta, explained in an interview a few years ago the difference between the so-called pragmatic politics of Oslo and the collective struggle of Palestinians as the difference between ‘aims’ and ‘rights’. Palestinians “don’t have ‘aims’ … (but) rights,” he said. “… These rights are inalienable, they represent the bottom red line beyond which no concession is possible. Because doing so will destroy their life.”

Indeed, shifting the historical centrality of the narrative away from the Nakba was equivalent to the very destruction of the lives of Palestinian refugees as it has been tragically apparent in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria in recent years.

While politicians from all relevant sides continued to bemoan the ‘stagnant’ or even ‘dead’ peace process – often blaming one another for that supposed calamity – a different kind of conflict was taking place. On the one hand, ordinary Palestinians along with their historians and intellectuals fought to reassert the importance of the Nakba, while Israelis continued to almost completely ignore the earth-shattering event, as if it is of no consequence to the equally tragic present.

Gaza’s ‘Great March of Return‘ (2018-2019) was possibly the most significant collective and sustainable Palestinian action that attempted to reorient the new generation around the starting date of the Palestinian tragedy.

Over 300 people, mostly from third or fourth post-Nakba generations, were killed by Israeli snipers at the Gaza fence for demanding their Right of Return. The bloody events of those years were enough to tell us that Palestinians have not forgotten the roots of their struggle, as it also illustrated Israel’s fear of Palestinian memory.

The work of Rosemary Sayigh on the exclusion of the Nakba from the trauma genre, and also that of Samah Sabawi, demonstrate, not only the complexity of the Nakba’s impact on the Palestinian collective awareness, but also the ongoing denial – if not erasure – of the Nakba from academic and historical discourses.

“The most significant traumatic event in Palestinian history is absent from the ‘trauma genre’,” Sabawi wrote in the recently-published volume, Our Vision for Liberation.

Sayigh argued that “the loss of recognition of (the Palestinian refugees’) rights to people- and state- hood created by the Nakba has led to an exceptional vulnerability to violence,” with Syria being the latest example.

Israel was always aware of this. When Israeli leaders agreed to the Oslo political paradigm, they understood that removing the Nakba from the political discourse of the Palestinian leadership constituted a major victory for the Israeli narrative.

Thanks to ordinary Palestinians, those who have held on to the keys and deeds to their original homes and land in historic Palestine, history is finally being rewritten, back to its original and accurate form.

By passing Resolution A/77/L.24, which declared May 15, 2023, as ‘Nakba Day’, the UNGA has corrected a historical wrong.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, rightly understood the UN’s decision as a major step towards the delegitimization of Israel as a military occupier of Palestine. “Try to imagine the international community commemorating your country’s Independence Day by calling it a disaster. What a disgrace,” he said.

Absent from Erdan’s remarks and other responses by the Israeli officials is the mere hint of political or even moral accountability for the ethnic cleansing of over 530 Palestinian towns and villages, and the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians, whose descendants are now numbered in millions of refugees.

Not only did Israel invest decades in canceling and erasing the Nakba, it also criminalized it by passing what is now known as the Nakba Law of 2011.

But the more Israel engages in this form of historical negationism, the harder Palestinians fight to reclaim their historical rights.

May 15, 2023, UN Nakba Day represents the triumph of the Palestinian narrative over that of Israeli negationists. This means that the blood spilled during Gaza’s March of Return was not in vain, as the Nakba and the Right of Return are now back at the center of the Palestinian story.

«الشعبية» في ذكرى الانطلاقة: الكفاح المسلّح طريقاً وحيداً

 الخميس 8 كانون الأول 2022

يوسف فارس

أحيت «الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين« ذكرى انطلاقتها الخامسة والخمسين بمهرجان جماهيري حاشد، عصر اليوم، في ساحة الكتيبة غربي مدينة غزة.

وشارك في المهرجان، إلى جانب قادة «الجبهة الشعبية» وأنصارها، عدد من قادة وممثّلي «فصائل العمل الوطني والإسلامي» الفلسطينية، من بينهم حركتا «حماس» و«الجهاد الإسلامي».

وتضمّن الحفل الذي رفع شعار «انطلاقتنا مقاومة» جملة من الرسائل السياسية المهمة، إذ توسط منصة الحفل شعار يظهر خريطة فلسطين كاملة، في إشارة إلى اعتماد توصيات المؤتمر الوطني الثامن، الذي عقدته «الشعبية» في أيار الماضي، ولا سيما الموقف المتعلق بقبول الحلول المرحلية.

إلى جانب ذلك، رفع المشاركون في الحفل صوراً للشهيد القيادي في مجموعات «عرين الأسود» تامر كيلاني، في إشارة إلى حضور «الجبهة الشعبية» في ساحة الضفة.

وفي كلمة خلال المهرجان، قال نائب الأمين العام للجبهة جميل مزهر إن «رفع شعار انطلاقتنا مقاومة هو تأكيد على ثوابت الجبهة بأن لا قبلة لنا سوى فلسطين، كل فلسطين (…) وأن المهرجان فرصة لمكاشفة الجماهير حول كل القضايا الملحة».

وأضاف مزهر: «أزاحتْ الجبهةُ في هذا المؤتمر الخيارَ المرحليَّ عن الطاولةِ واعتبرتْهُ بوابةً للتنازلات، وعادتْ إلى خيارِها الاستراتيجيّ فلسطين كلّ فلسطين»، مؤكداً أن «لا حلولَ ولا تسوياتٍ ولا مفاوضات، فإمّا فلسطين وإما النارُ جيلًا بعدَ جيل».

بدوره، بيّن عضو المكتب السياسي للجبهة، محمد الغول، أن الأخيرة تمتلك موقفاً واضحاً من الاتفاقيات التي وقّعتها السلطة الفلسطينية في أوسلو عام 1993، إذ رفضت آنذاك كل الاتفاقيات، رغم أنها كانت قد قبلت حينها بحلّ الدولتين، بما يضمن حق العودة للاجئين.

ويرى الغول في حديث إلى «الأخبار»: «اليوم، وبعد انتهاء الظروف الدولية التي كانت تدعم وتدفع بحل الدولتين ومنها ثنائية القطب دولياً بين الاتحاد السوفياتي والولايات المتحدة، لم يعد هناك قيمة للتمسك بحلٍ ليس له غطاء دولي، ولا استعداد في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ولا دولة الاحتلال للتقدم خطوة فيه (…) اليوم، نعيد الصراع إلى مربعه الأول، فلسطين كل فلسطين بدون أي حلول مرحلية ولا تكتيكية».

«الكفاح المسلّح»
ولفت مزهر في خطابه أيضاً، إلى تمسك «الجبهة الشعبية» بخيار المقاومة المسلحة، بالقول إن «هزيمةَ هذا العدوّ لن تكونَ إلا بالكفاحِ المسلّح، وبحربِ الشعبِ الشاملة، فاليوم شعبُنا أقربُ من أيّ وقتٍ مضى لهذا». وأشار إلى «ضرورة توفيرِ الدعمِ والإسنادِ لمجموعاتِ المقاومة، وبما يُوسّعُ رقعةَ الاشتباكِ ونوعيّة المواجهة، وهذا يتطلّبُ منا ومن غيرنا تعزيزَ دعمِنا لحواضنِ المقاومة، وتعزيزَ أشكالِ الوحدةِ الميدانيّةِ سياسيًّا وكفاحيًّا (..) لتطويرِ وإدامةِ الاشتباك، والردِّ على عدوانِ الاحتلال.

ووجّه مزهر التحية إلى «كتائب الشهيد أبو علي مصطفى» وإلى «المقاتلينَ الأمميّينَ الذين امتشقوا السّلاحَ من أجلِ فلسطينَ الرفيقُ كزوموتو ورفاقُهُ الشهداء، المناضل جورج عبد الله المعتقلِ في السجونِ الفرنسيّة، والمقاتل ظافر الإيراني منفّذُ أوّلِ عمليّةٍ استشهاديّةٍ بالحزامِ الناسفِ في تاريخِ الثورةِ الفلسطينيّة، التي نفّذها في سينما (حين) في قلبِ عاصمةِ الكيان في ضاحيةِ يافا المحتلّة».

واعتبر الناشط في الجبهة، رامي سامر، في حديث إلى الأخبار أن «أهم رسالة تضمّنها المهرجان، كانت الاستجابة السياسية للتغير الذي طرأ على الظروف المحيطة بالقضية الفلسطينية، ففيما يتجه المحيط العربي إلى التطبيع، وتدوس إسرائيل ومن خلفها الولايات المتحدة حل الدولتين، وننتظر حكومة يمينية متطرفة، تقول الجبهة الشعبية إن الجنون الإسرائيلي يدفع إلى مزيد من المقاومة العنيفة المسلحة، وليس إلى الإذعان والتفريط».

وأضاف إنه «حتى رئيس السلطة محمود عباس يدرك اليوم عبث الرهان على المفاوضات، وعبث الحديث عن حل الدولتين، ويلوّح بالحديث عن العودة للدولة الواحدة. لذا المطلوب اليوم خطاب جامع، يقود إلى سياسات إجرائية يتحمل الجميع أكلافها في سبيل الانعتاق من الاحتلال».

وفي كلمة مصوّرة، قال الأمين العام لحركة «الجهاد الإسلامي» زياد النخالة: «نقف جميعًا بدون تردد، وبدون أوهام، لنقول إننا إذا أردنا حريتنا وتحرير وطننا علينا أن نكمل طريق الشهداء».

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Drowning by sea or despair: Gaza’s two bleak choices

December 02 2022


Yousef Fares

Seven young men from the Gaza Strip died on 23 October when their boat sank off the Tunisian coast. Among dozens of other refugees attempting to reach Europe, these Palestinian names were added to a list of more than 110 victims who have died in similar circumstances since 2007.

In early November, another boat sank in the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, however, the fate of the 10 young men from Gaza who were on board the boat remains unknown. In the same month, it was reported by Wafa news agency that five Palestinians were rescued from a migrant boat wreck, also in the Aegean.

The exodus of Palestinians from Gaza – or their displacement through living conditions that make survival difficult – dates back to the end of the 1960s, with Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip. After the Israeli “withdrawal” in 2005, followed by the internal conflict between Fatah and Hamas in 2007, and then latter’s control of the Strip, the desire for Palestinians to immigrate only increased, especially among Gaza’s youth.

‘Abnormal lives’

According to a survey published in September by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza, nine out of ten young people said they believed they were living abnormal lives. Of the respondents, 40 percent between the ages of 18 and 29 said that they do not hope to find a job within the next 15 years. The ICRC also contextualized their plight in light of Israel’s on-going economic and political blockade of Gaza:

“Fifteen years of restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of goods and People in and out of Gaza have significantly contributed to a steady deterioration in the economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza. This has limited access to essential services, jobs and opportunities outside of the occupied Palestinian territory.”

In a survey conducted by Al-Aqsa University, 51 percent of young people in Gaza said they would like to emigrate. During the preparation of this report, 26 young people out of 30 expressed the desire to migrate, including 15 of them who confirmed that they are seriously working on it.

Although there is no official data on the number of people who have emigrated from the densely-populated Gaza Strip since 2007, unofficial figures indicate that about 100,000 people have left Gaza during the past 15 years.

Human rights researcher Abdullah Sharshara attributes these numbers to “the psychological impact left by 15 years of Israeli control over the details of life in Gaza.”

“Israel has created expelling living conditions for the population,” Sharshara told The Cradle. “It launched destructive wars, imposed a suffocating blockade, destroyed infrastructure, bombed the power plant, and increased poverty rates among the population, which led to a collective feeling that Gaza is no longer a safe place to build a happy future,” he explained.

Israel’s motives behind Gazan migration

All of the integral components of Palestinian society – be it the resistance factions or the civil and official institutions – agree that the emigration of Palestinian youth ultimately serves Israeli interests, especially if it leads to a brain drain and the younger generation’s disengagement from Palestinian national concerns.

In an article published by the Regional Thinking Forum website in early March 2021, Israeli researcher Omri Sheffer Raviv revealed that successive Israeli governments since 1969 have worked to encourage the emigration of young people from Gaza.

Raviv argued that Israel’s goal in the late 1960s was to try to empty the Strip of a large mass of its population, with the aim of bringing it under the authority of Tel Aviv with the least amount of burden. However, after the Israeli “withdrawal” from Gaza in 2005, the Occupation state lost its ability to directly control the flow of migration, so its focus shifted to creating “expelling living conditions” for the Palestinian population, such as the blockade, successive crises, and seasonal wars.

Israel has launched four devastating wars against Gaza in 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021, in addition to more than 20 battles between those wars, in which around 4,300 Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands injured.

Raviv also revealed that in 2019, Israel, in coordination with some European countries, worked to facilitate the emigration of the residents of the Gaza Strip, and even to officially organize emigration trips.

Tel Aviv also expressed its willingness to build an airport in the southern Negev region, adjacent to Gaza, in order to transport Palestinians to new lives overseas. This approach has not been denied by any Israeli officials. Rather, former Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked promoted it for years, going so far as to criticize her government and army for denying Gazans the ability to leave the Strip.

A new Nakba

Researcher in Israeli affairs, Ismail Muhammad, believes that the policies adopted by the Occupation state through the blockade, legal restrictions, repeated wars, manufacturing electricity and water crises, and the systematic destruction of the Palestinian economy, have entrenched in the collective mind of the new generations that there is no aspired future in their country. This in turn pushes them to search for individual salvation.

If the goal in the 1960s was to reduce the population mass in order to contain the Gaza Strip and dissolve it geographically within Israel’s borders, then the goal after the 2005 “withdrawal” turned to viewing Gaza as an independent entity, which would be a part of future negotiations for a final Palestinian solution – possibly an alternative to their occupied homeland.

Muhammad told The Cradle that by encouraging immigration, Israel seeks to achieve “the displacement of competencies and scientific capabilities in order to prevent the resistance from benefiting from them, in addition to disrupting the wheel of development, so that Gaza remains dependent on the Occupation state in the industrial, medical and agricultural fields.”

He further points out that the number of doctors with rare specializations who emigrated from Gaza exceeded 600 until last year, in addition to thousands of engineers, teachers, and other professionals.

According to Muhammad, the second Israeli goal is to foster an entire generation who oppose the resistance.

“The focus here is on a young generation living a life full of unresolvable crises. This leads to emptying Gaza of its human reservoir, which is its capital in its extended confrontation with the occupation.”

Death boats to Europe

Although the path of illegal immigration to Europe via “death boats” is fraught with dangers, this does not diminish the determination of dozens of families and young people to embark on such a misadventure.

Ahmed, who is in his twenties, says:

“I graduated from Al-Aqsa University ten years ago in English literature. I was first in my batch. I never wanted to migrate, nor did I plan to. Like any young man, I want to work and secure my future, but all roads in Gaza are closed. Life inside Gaza prison is more difficult than anywhere else. I am looking for any way to leave, and I do not rule out death boats, because here we are living in a state of death.”

However, death by drowning is not the only danger facing migrants. The 12 young men who drowned in a boat off the Tunisian coast at the end of last October had been kidnapped by a local Libyan militia that demanded a ransom for their release.

“The kidnappers demanded $10,000 for their release. We told them that if we had that kind of money, they wouldn’t have emigrated. In the end we paid $500 for each of the boys,” Muhammad al-Shaer, Haidar’s brother, who was among the 12 young casualties, revealed to The Cradle.

Palestinians hold a passport that allows them to enter 37 countries without prior visas. However, none of these countries offers them any privileges such as a monthly salary, health insurance, or citizenship.

The root cause of the migrant crisis

Therefore, young Palestinians try to risk traveling to Europe through two main, danger-fraught routes: The first, which is most common, is to travel to Turkey, crossing the Aegean Sea to Greece, and the second, is to travel to Egypt, then onto Libya, and from there to Italy’s shores. Both routes are dangerous and accompanied with a high-level of risk.

Despite the recurrence of drowning incidents and the increase in the number of victims, neither local Gaza authorities, nor Palestinian resistance factions, nor their civil society institutions have made any notable effort to limit this phenomenon. Yet as has been shown, the crux and main cause of the issue lies with the ethnic-cleansing policies of the Israeli government.

From Balfour to Lions’ Den: A contribution to defining Palestinian Nakba

11 Nov, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Makram Khoury-Machool 

The Palestinian Nakba began exactly 105 years ago with the release of a letter from then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the leader of the Zionist movement in what became infamously called the Balfour Declaration.

The project to establish the Zionist entity was and still is based on a long-term joint program between the Zionist movement and some colonial powers, primarily Britain and the US

As someone who grew up and was raised in the city of Yafa after the occupation of eastern Palestine in the 1967 war – known as the Naksa – in the house of his late grandfather and under the auspices of a great educational figure such as my grandmother, known as Madame Khoury, who’s slogan “I’d rather die in my house in Yafa than become a refugee” became a mantra that engraved in our minds the effect of attachment to the land… and as someone who listened and read the successive enthusiastic political articles of his father, the political writer Naim Youssef Machool, about the Nakba, the land, agriculture and steadfastness, as well as the articles, plays, interviews, and lectures of his mother, writer and novelist Antoinette Adeeb El-Khoury, I thought that based on this extensive personal experience, I should support and base my claim, listed below, on journalistic observations from the 80s and 90s in Palestine in particular and on two decades of academic research on the Palestinian issue in Britain in particular, and present a contribution to an expanded project whose main idea I will briefly list below.

We say that it is widely accepted that the Nakba of the Palestinians took place chronologically under the British mandate between the partition plan and Resolution of 29/11/1947 and the 1949 armistice with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, although there was no agreement within the framework of an armistice or the like with the Palestinian people; whether those who were expelled from it or those who remained in their homeland.

Accordingly, the struggle involving the Palestinian people remains open: Zionist domination of Palestine and Palestinian resistance against the occupation.

This article, part of which was presented at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 2011 and the Bandung Conference in 2015 and 2022, argues that although the most catastrophic period of the Palestinian Nakba (lit. catastrophe) reached its peak between 1947 and 1949, the Nakba was neither the beginning nor the end of the Palestinian people’s catastrophe.

This article claims that the Nakba of the Palestinian people began exactly 105 years ago with the release of a letter from then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the leader of the Rothschild Zionist movement in what became infamously known as the Balfour Declaration issued on 2/11/1917, which followed the occupation of Palestine by Britain that was involved in WWI, especially the occupation of Al-Quds by General Allenby in December 1917.

It also argues that the Nakba includes everything that has happened since then until now, but certainly, this catastrophe reached its peak between 1947 and 1949 – which witnessed the forced expulsion of half of the Palestinian people from their homeland and the destruction of the majority of Palestine’s cultural, commercial, and social structure – and is continuing deliberately according to a plan that has not stopped until achieving liberation and independence.

Apart from emotional slogans, the project to establish the Zionist entity was and still is based on a long-term joint program between the Zionist movement and some colonial powers, primarily Britain and the US. In addition, this article claims and warns that an attempt to implement a new chapter of the Nakba of the Palestinian people is very possible, including the expulsion of additional Palestinians from West and East Palestine because the goal is to seize Palestine as a whole and the Palestinian people are seen as an obstacle that must be eliminated to achieve this goal.

Since the peak of the Nakba between 1947 and 1949, Palestinians, whom I defined as the survivors of the Nakba – meaning those who were able to remain in their homeland and who were intended to be loggers and waterers, as per the Israeli occupation administration, for the ruling Zionist class and its Jewish Arab servants who were brought in from the Arab countries to colonize Palestine – consisted a “security problem” not only in Al-Jaleel, the Triangle Area, and Al-Naqab, but also in the Palestinian coastal cities, such as Akka in the north and Yafa in the south.

When late historian Dr. Constantin Zureik published the book The Meaning of the Nakba in 1948, a few months after the catastrophe and the peak of the Nakba, his description of the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people was accurate – due to what he witnessed personally and through his professional academic tools – being coupled with a resounding catastrophic psychological trauma.

However, examining what has happened to the Palestinian people, during the past 105 years, requires a new definition or at least an updated definition of the Nakba that has prevailed so far. What happened since 1917 onward shows the numerous and ongoing chapters of the Nakba of the Palestinian people since the Balfour Declaration till now, including the decision to partition Palestine in 1947 and the occupation of the second part of Palestine in 1967, the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987, the Oslo Accords and their offshoots between 1993 and 1994 and the second Palestinian Intifada that began in Al-Quds in 2000, as well as the killing of the first official Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004, the repeated wars on the Gaza Strip, and the ongoing aggression against the occupied West Bank and Al-Quds, in addition to a set of racist laws against the Palestinian people in western Palestine, specifically the so-called “National Law” of 2018, the continuous killing of the Palestinian people in occupied East Palestine and the arrest of more than a million Palestinian since the Naksa, including women, children and elderly, the expanding settlement that hasn’t stopped and the confiscation of lands, the so-called “Deal of the Century” and Netanyahu and Trump’s annexation scheme, which I called in a previous article the “third armed robbery,” and the economic and “military” occupation siege on the Gaza Strip by air, sea and land, 

On December 16, 2016, exactly on the 99th anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Letter, we launched the Palestine Initiative 100 to re-engage with the beginning of this catastrophe. We were determined to renew encouragement to open the Balfour file since the beginning of the Palestinian people’s Nakba in 1917 and held a publicity evening in London, the capital of the British Empire that issued the Balfour Letter to the Zionist movement. As part of holding Britain to its historical, legal, and moral responsibilities, we demanded three types of steps: apology, compensation, and correction. We believe that canceling any of these steps would be naive, incomplete, or deceptive.

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




By Miko Peled

What is in a cartoon? Who knows what Michelangelo’s political opinions were? What would he have thought about Palestine? We will never know. But there can be little doubt that had he seen this cartoon by the Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh, he would have been moved. I recently visited Italy and saw Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Pietà. It is so powerful that it draws you to the point where you feel the pain of the mother, Mary, holding the dead, limp body of her young, crucified son. It is a powerful image that recreates the moment that is perhaps more painful than any we can imagine: a mother grieving over her slain son. What could be worse than parents burying their children?


The story of Jesus took place in Palestine. Michelangelo’s Pietà is an image of a Palestinian mother holding her young son who had just sacrificed his life for others – a Shahid in the purest sense of the word. Mohammad Sabaaneh, the brilliant political cartoonist living in Ramallah, has recreated Michelangelo’s masterpiece and made a bold political statement – Palestinian mothers, in this case represented by the city of Nablus, are burying their sons.

Mohammad Sabaaneh is a political cartoonist who has created some of the most powerful images of the Palestinian tragedy. His work is replete with images of mothers and children, orphans and bereaved parents, and prisoners in Israeli jails. This particular piece encapsulates the young innocent face of a young Palestinian mother, in this case, Mary, her entire body created by the ancient city of Nablus where so many young people are giving their lives. It is within this city that so many young Palestinian lives are being taken by the brute force of the Israeli war machine because they dare to stand.

Mohammad Sabaaneh

Mohammad Sabaaneh. Credit | United Sketches

The image of the son represents the courageous, and perhaps naive young Palestinian sons who, in the face of impossible odds, stood up to the brute force, to the oppression, to the violent destruction of Palestine and its people, and paid the ultimate price. It can be no coincidence that Sabaaneh saw the images of these young Palestinians in the image of the young Palestinian (albeit a Jewish Palestinian), Jesus Christ.

While the image of the mother is still that of Mary, although created by the stones of the city of Nablus, Jesus, the sacrificed, the Shahid, is a young Palestinian, in jeans and a t-shirt. His face is covered in a Palestinian kufiya, which has become the most adored symbol of resistance to oppression.


The world and Rayan

The World and Rayan

Rayan Suleiman was 7 years old. He was walking home from school when he and his brothers were chased by Israeli soldiers. By the end of the chase, Rayan was dead. According to Al Jazeera, “Doctors at a hospital in Beit Jala, a Palestinian town south of Jerusalem, could not resuscitate him. A pediatric specialist, Mohamed Ismail, said Rayan was healthy and had no previous medical conditions.”

Furthermore, Dr. Ismail said, “The most probable scenario of what happened is that under stress, he had excess adrenaline secretion, which caused the increase of his heartbeat,” and he added, “He developed cardiac arrest.”

Freedom for Ahmed Manasra

Freedom for Ahmed Manasra

The faces of Ahmed Manasra’s parents tell the tale of tortured people who are helpless in the face of the forces who took their son. Ahmed is “my first joy,” his mother says. But those forces then, “brought him to ruin.” The “ruin” that she is talking about is severe emotional issues, illusions, and constantly scratching and hurting himself. All of this is a result of the torture, both physical and emotional, he suffers at the hands of his Israeli jailers.

The agony of this boy, who was arrested at thirteen of “terror” charges. His pain is evident in this Sabaaneh cartoon. Amhed Manasra is both a child and a prisoner being tortured by the brutal Israeli apartheid regime. Manasra has spent many months is solitary confinement, which is considered a form of torture. “He is alone all the time, in isolation. He has no one to talk to, just the four walls surrounding him.” Ahmed’s father told me when I spoke to the family at their home in Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood. “When we visit him he cannot sit still, he is a wreck, the guards keep coming and shoving him onto the chair.”

“I have not been able to touch him for seven years, not even his finger,” His mother said, “I kiss him through the glass.”

This is a small, almost undetectable detail in a larger piece by Sabaaneh. This is a Palestinian, a poor refugee boy with patched clothes nailed to the six-point star – something which has become the symbol of the apartheid state. Although Palestinian children, even ones living in the worst conditions imaginable, are by and large vibrant and full of life, the reality into which they are born is predetermined by a cruel apartheid regime that rules their land and governs their people.

Palestinian children exist in a reality that is so cruel that one sometimes finds it hard to adequately describe it in words. However, Mohammad Sabaaneh nails it in his cartoons. What we may find hard to describe is what he expresses in his art. Knowing what Palestinian children go through, be they rich or poor, refugees or citizens of Israel, this little boy crucified to the Zionists’ star says is all.

It can’t be easy to portray pain, suffering, courage and resistance all at once. Yet in these cartoons, among many others, Sabaaneh manages to combine all of these elements. He has been arrested and harassed by the Israeli authorities, and he even angered the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Mohammad Sabaaneh

Left, Michelangelo’s “Pieta.” Right, Mohammad Sabaaneh’s “Nablus says farewell to her fighters.”

One does not need to be an art critic to see how brilliantly Sabaaneh represents the Palestinian experience through his art. He has published several books of his work, all of which are wonderful expressions of these experiences, including an illustrated novel which details his own experience in an Israeli jail. He is an incredible talent and an incredible fighter.

كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (2/4)

الخميس15 أيلول 2022

عبد الرحمن نصار 

عام 2022، انطلقت كتيبة نابلس ومعها مجموعتان من فتح، لتصبح نابلس ندّاً حقيقياً لجنين، ثم جاءت كتيبة طولكرم لتخفف العبء الميداني عن جنين ونابلس، مع زيادة استنزاف الإسرائيليين على صعيد القوات البرية والمجهود المخابراتي.

كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (2/4)

أخذت جنين حصة الأسد من الحلقة الأولى، ليس حصراً لأن انطلاق كتائب المقاومة المتصاعدة في الضفة بدأ منها، بل لأنها تمثّل الشعلة التي يجب ألا تنطفئ حتى تتّقد المدن الباقية، ولا سيما الخليل. فعلى الطريق إلى الجنوب، زرع الشهيد جميل العموري بذوراً أين ما حلّ، في نابلس وطولكرم، وليس أخيراً طوباس. 

لكن مدناً أخرى، مثل نابلس، تسبب دخولها على خط المواجهة في انقلاب جذري للمعادلة، إذ ربما أمكن احتواء ظاهرة جنين عسكرياً (سياسة القضم البطيء والاستدراج والاغتيالات المركزة)، أو اجتماعياً (“التسهيلات” وزيادة التجارة وتصاريح العمل)، فيما أتى دخول مدن ومخيمات أخرى ليوسّع المأزق الإسرائيلي.

بعد عام تقريباً على انطلاقة “كتيبة جنين” واستشهاد مؤسسها جميل العموري، ومن بعده عبد الله الحصري وشادي نجم وأحمد السعدي وآخرون، أثمر الزرع في نابلس. في 24 أيار/مايو 2022، شهدت منطقة ضريح النبي يوسف القريبة من مخيمي بلاطة وعسكر شرقي نابلس اشتباكات بين المستوطنين والمئات من الشبان الذين رشقوا القوات المقتحمة بالحجارة، قبل أن يتطور المشهد إلى اشتباك مسلح بدا أنه يأخذ الشكل المنظم والمدروس.

بعدها بأيام قليلة، صدر البيان الأول لـ”كتيبة نابلس” شارحاً حيثيات الكمين الذي نفّذه 4 مقاتلين؛ “اثنان اعتليا أسطح أحد البنايات القريبة من القبر… في حين تمركز آخران بين الأشجار في الجهة المقابلة قبل الاقتحام بساعات… انتظروا وقت اطمئنان جنود الاحتلال، وأمطروهم بزخات الرصاص من مسافة قريبة جداً، قبل أن ينسحب مقاتلونا من المكان بسلام”.

أيامٌ أخرى وبدأت عُصب “سرايا القدس” (الجهاد الإسلامي) بالظهور في المدينة التي كانت شبه محسومة لمقاتلي “فتح” (وسط غياب حمساوي مسلح رغم الحضور الجيد للحركة هناك)، وهذا ما كانت تعالجه خطابات الكتيبة بوضوح، إذ قالت في بيان لاحق: “لسنا وحيدين في الميدان… ظروف محافظة نابلس تستوجب العمل ضمن ضوابط في التشبيك والمتابعة والإعلان للمحافظة على أمد العمل المقاوم، فكل بندقيةٍ نفضت غبارها أفقياً هي شريكةٌ حتمية في الكفاح المسلح، لا نقدمها ولا نؤخرها، فنحن نتاج فكرة خرج بها الشهيد المجاهد جميل العموري حينما قال: رسالتي إلى شباب الضفة، لا تطلقوا رصاصكم في الهواء”.

  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح
  • كتائب المقاومة في نابلس
  • كتيبة نابلس / بلاطة – سرايا القدس
  • كتائب الأقصى – فتح
  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح
  • كتائب المقاومة في نابلس
  • كتيبة نابلس / بلاطة – سرايا القدس
  • كتائب الأقصى – فتح
  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح

“جبل النار”

من المعروف أنَّ نابلس لا تُعدّ من معاقل “الجهاد الإسلامي” في الضفة، بل تقتسمها “حماس” و”فتح”، لكن العلاقة الجيدة بين “الجهاد” وعدد من عناصر “فتح”، والأزمة في العلاقة بين فتحاويي المدينة، وخصوصاً البلدة القديمة، والسلطة، والكاريزما التي كان يتمتع بها الشهيد العموري وزياراته إلى نابلس، عوامل ساهمت كلها في سحب قدم كثيرين إلى الظاهرة المستجدة، لكن “كتيبة نابلس” (سرايا القدس) تتركز أكثر في بلاطة الذي يمتاز بواقع أمني وديموغرافي يسمح بتمدد الفعل المقاوم.

في بلاطة كثافةٌ سكانية عالية لأربعين ألف لاجئ يعيشون وسط هندسة مدنية تمثّل عامل احتضان أمني جيّد يحرم القوات المقتحمة حريةَ المناورة، لأنه يتكون من بيوت متجاورة وشوارع ضيقة تسمح بإمكانية التنقل من بيت إلى بيت من دون الحاجة إلى الخروج إلى الشوارع الرئيسية. هو أيضاً بيئة جيدة للعمل العسكري ضد الاحتلال، بالنظر إلى خروجه عن تبعية السلطة، فالعلاقة بين الفتحاويين هناك والأجهزة الأمنية علاقة شائكة وصلت إلى ذروتها في شباط/فبراير 2018، قبل أن تنفجر في 2020.

مع أنَّ مدينةً مثل الخليل فيها كميات سلاح أكبر من نابلس، فإنَّ استغلال القيادي المفصول من “فتح” محمد دحلان حالة النقمة على الأجهزة الأمنية في نابلس لاختراق القواعد الشعبية للحركة هو ما أثار السلطة ضدهم أكثر من غيرهم.

امتدّ هذا الاستغلال 7 سنوات ضخّ فيها دحلان أموالاً إماراتية اشترى بها ولاءات كثيرة، بعدما كان المسيطر من قبله اللواء توفيق الطيراوي، والأخير أيضاً سحب منه رئيس السلطة، محمود عباس، حديثاً عدداً من الامتيازات، منها حراسه الشخصيون، بعد صدامه مع الوزير الصّاعد بسرعة إلى سدة القيادة، حسين الشيخ، وعدد آخر من القيادات الفتحاوية.

في النتيجة، سمحت حالة التوتر داخل “فتح” بإنشاء بيئة حاضنة لكل فعل يعارض توجهات السلطة، وهذا ما دفع “الجهاد الإسلامي” إلى التقاط الفرصة، تحديداً في بلاطة. الخطوة الأكثر ذكاء أنها لم تسعَ إلى تحويل الشبان انتماءهم التنظيمي إليها، بل طلبت منهم الاستمرار بالعمل باسم تنظيمهم كي يحافظوا على ما لديهم من امتيازات، وثانياً – ليس السبب الأخير – كي يستقطبوا عدداً أكبر للمقاومة المسلحة. ما ساعد في ذلك أنَّ الفتحاويين عموماً يتقبّلون التحالف مع “الجهاد” أكثر من “حماس”، وحتى “الجبهة الشعبية”، ولا سيما في مدن شمالي الضفة، ولهذا أسبابه التي تحتاج بحثاً منفصلاً.

ما سبق جعل حتى مناصري “الجهاد الإسلامي” يرون في تشكيل هذه الكتيبة “أعجوبة”، وخصوصاً أن كوادر الحركة المنظّمين رسمياً في نابلس لم يكونوا يتعدّون المئة بقليل حتى وقت قريب. مما يزيد امتيازات دخول المدينة على خط كتائب المقاومة هو وفرة السلاح، ولا سيما في بلاطة، الّذي يمتاز شبابه بخصلة مشتركة مع أهالي جنين هي “شجاعتهم الشديدة واندفاعهم غير المحدود”.

وبينما مثّل الأداء السيئ للأجهزة الأمنية و”فتح” على الصعيد الداخلي، ومن ذلك اغتيال نزار بنات وسرقة أموال بناء مستشفى الحسن للسرطان والتنسيق الأمني، عوامل منفرة، تسبب استشهاد أدهم مبروكة (28 عاماً) ومحمد الدخيل (22 عاماً) وأشرف مبلسط (21 عاماً) في 8 شباط/فبراير 2022 بحالة تأثر كبيرة، خصوصاً أن اغتيالهم جرى وسط نابلس، وفي وضح النهار، بالنظر إلى الحضور الشعبي الذي كانوا يتمتعون به، وهو الأمر الذي أدركت رام الله خطورته سلفاً. ولذلك، كانت ولا تزال تعمل قدر المستطاع على إيجاد شرخ بين العناصر المسلحين التابعين لـ”فتح” من جهة، وخلق عداوات بينهم وبين “الجهاد” من جهة، وأكبر مثال على ذلك الإشكال الذي وقع مع قيادات في الأخيرة (خضر عدنان مثالاً).

منذ اغتيال الثلاثة، بدأت مطاردة شاب صغير يُدعى إبراهيم النابلسي (19 عاماً) لم يكن مشهوراً في ذلك الوقت بقدر شهرته بعد استشهاده (9 آب/أغسطس 2022)، لكن الأشهر الستة التي عاشها مطارداً كانت كفيلة، إلى جانب مقتله في معركة، بالدفع نحو تعزيز حالة المقاومة في نابلس. وجاء استشهاده، ومعه إسلام صبوح (في العشرينات) وحسين نزال (16 عاماً)، ليعطي دفعة جديدة للمقاومين، ويجعل عدداً من الفتحاويين الرافضين أوامر حركتهم يخلقون تشكيلاً جديداً حمل اسم “عرين الأسود”، أعلن نفسه بداية هذا الشهر. 

النابلسي سبق أن نجا من محاولة اغتيال قبل استشهاده بأسبوعين، قضى فيها شهيدان كان لهما أيضاً تأثيرهما في الجمهور، هما محمد عزيزي (25 عاماً) وعبد الرحمن صبح (28 عاماً)، عقب حصار واشتباك. مع ذلك، تواجه الحالات العسكرية في نابلس مشكلة في القيادة الموحدة وتنظيم العمل وجعله يرتقي من وضعية التصدي للاجتياحات إلى المبادرة، وهذا ما يحتاج إلى زمن، لكنَّ آثار التحسن بدأت تظهر أكثر فأكثر مع عدد من الكمائن المتتالية، وخصوصاً التي تستهدف المستوطنين ممن يقتحمون قبر يوسف دورياً. 

من جهة أخرى، تعني قوة نابلس تخفيف الضغط على جنين، وخصوصاً أن بلاطة يمثل أكبر مخيم لاجئين في الضفة، والعقبات اللوجستية بشأن إيصال الأموال والأسلحة إليه أقل من جنين، فضلاً عن أن زيادة حالة المنافسة الحزبية تقود إلى مزيد من الفعالية في العمل، خصوصاً بين “حماس” و”الجهاد الإسلامي”. ورغم سيئات الحالة التنافسية على المجتمع ظاهراً، فإن نتاجاتها على صعيد المقاومة إيجابية في هذه المرحلة.

هكذا، حاول الاحتلال في البداية التقليل من قدر “كتيبة نابلس” وكذلك “طولكرم” و”طوباس”، حتى وصل فيه الحال إلى إهمال ذكر الأخيرتين في الإعلام العبري، لتتحول “كتيبة نابلس” ومجموعات “فتح” بالتدريج إلى ندّ حقيقي لـ”جنين”، وتزيد شعبيتها وحضورها مع توالي الشهداء والتصدي للاقتحامات.

كتيبة طولكرم

في 2 نيسان/أبريل 2022، وقع اشتباك في مدخل قرية عرابة في جنين قضى فيه الشهيد سيف أبو لبدة (25 عاماً)، ابن مخيم عين شمس بطولكرم، ليتضح أنه كان في طريقه لتنفيذ عملية استشهادية قبل أن تطارده قوة خاصة من الجيش. 

أثناء المطاردة، وقعت القوة في كمين محكم شارك فيه عدد من عناصر “كتيبة جنين”، ودار اشتباك طويل مع قوات الاحتلال أدى إلى إصابة 4 من الجنود، أحدهم بصورة خطرة، واستشهاد كل من صائب عباهرة (30 عاماً) وخليل طوالبة (24 عاماً)، إلى جانب أبو لبدة.

قاد حدثان مهمان جهاز “الشاباك” إلى أبو لبدة: الأول تنفيذه قبل أسبوع من اغتياله عملية إطلاق نار على قوة خاصة، أطلق فيها 52 رصاصة على وحدات الاحتلال (“لم يصب أي من الجنود بأعجوبة”، وفق وصف القناة العبرية 12)، والآخر أنه ظهر وهو يتحدث أمام مجموعة من عناصر “الجهاد”، مؤكداً لهم أن حدثاً كبيراً قريباً سيسمعون به. 

في وقت لاحق، نشرت “سرايا القدس” مقطعاً مصوراً ظهر فيه وهو يقرأ وصيته على طريقة استشهاديي الانتفاضة الثانية، ليكون أبو لبدة، كما العموري، صاحب الدور التأسيسي الملهم في طولكرم، فيما توكّل الأمين العام للحركة، زياد النخالة، بنفسه إعلان ولادة “كتيبة طولكرم”.

من الجيد التذكير بأنّ علاقة تاريخية مميزة تربط بين مخيمي جنين ونور شمس، فجذور اللجوء واحدة، لأن المخيم الصغير تأسَّس عام 1951، أي بعد 3 سنوات على نكبة فلسطين، وسكان نور شمس في الأساس كانوا يسكنون مخيماً في جنين مقاماً على سهل جنزور، لكن بسبب عاصفة ثلجية أطاحت به رحلوا إلى طولكرم، فكان المخيم الجديد الذي يقارب عدد سكانه 10 آلاف. ومثل نابلس، لم يسجّل عين شمس خلال سنوات انتفاضة الأقصى الثانية أنه كان معقلاً لـ”الجهاد الإسلامي”، لكن الحركة استطاعت أن تتمدد فيه بعدما كان ثقلها متركزاً في قرى مثل عتيل وعلار وصيدا.

جاء اختيار هذا المخيم لتأسيس نواة الكتيبة جاء بسبب هندسته المكانية والتداخل العمراني وإمكانية الاتصال الجغرافي بينه وبين مخيم جنين، ليكون أكثر أماناً من مراكز المدن. وكما يبدو، احتاج الشهيد أبو لبدة وقتاً شبيهاً بالذي احتاجه العموري للتأسيس والتحشيد لإحياء العمل العسكري من جديد، فضلاً عن تنفيذه شخصياً عدداً من عمليات المشاغلة وإطلاق النار.

في البداية، تجاهل العدو هذه الكتيبة على الصعيد الإعلامي، ولا يزال كذلك إلى حدّ ما، بل عمد إلى العمل عليها مخابراتياً من دون مواجهة مبْكرة كي لا يساهم في صناعة رموز ملهمين كما جنين، وهذا ما يفسر محاولة الاحتلال اعتقال أبو لبدة لا قتله، لكن وقوع القوة في كمين هو ما قاد إلى اشتباك دامٍ بين الجانبين. 

مع ذلك، يَفهم الإسرائيلي أنَّ طولكرم لها بعض الخصائص التي تميزها عن كلٍّ من جنين ونابلس، إذ يمتاز شبابها، بالنظر إلى التجربة في الانتفاضة الثانية، بالهدوء الكبير والتفكير المعمّق والصبر الإستراتيجي في تنفيذ الفعل.

هذا لا ينفي وجود هذه المميزات نفسها في جنين ونابلس، لكن لكلٍّ نقطة قوته. المثال على ذلك ما فعله الشهيد لؤي السعدي (“الجهاد الإسلامي”، 1979-2005) حين أسس مدرسة عسكرية كان قوامها التخطيط الطويل للوصول إلى الأهداف المدروسة بعناية، والقدرة العالية على العمل على نحو يتجاوز الفعل الطارئ إلى المستمر الذي يمكن أن يعاود نشاطه بعد كل ضربة، وأيضاً التخفي عن العدو، وأخيراً الحالة المتشعّبة في توزيع قواعد الفعل العسكري إلى قرى بعيدة ومدن خارج الحيز المكاني الذي تبدأ منه.

السلوك نفسه ينطبق على قيادات أخرى في طولكرم على اختلاف انتماءاتهم الحزبية، منهم الأسير عباس السيد (1966)، أحد أكبر قادة “كتائب القسام” (حماس) في طولكرم، وهو مسؤول عن قتل مئات المستوطنين والجنود في عشرات العمليات الاستشهادية، وكذلك الشهيد رائد الكرمي (1974-2002)، أبرز مؤسسي “كتائب الأقصى” (فتح) وقائدها العام عقب اغتيال ثابت ثابت. وقد اتهمته قوات الاحتلال بالمسؤولية عن قتل العشرات من المستوطنين والجنود، وقالت إن الانتفاضة الثانية تزداد سوءاً بسببه. وكان من الممكن أنْ يؤدي الاستثمار المستمر في نهج الكرمي، الملقّب بـ”صائد المستوطنين”، إلى رفع كلفة الاستيطان في الضفة، وصولاً إلى تفكيك بعض المستوطنات.

خاتمة: طولكرم إذا عادت

إضافة إلى ما سبق، تحمل طولكرم جملة أخرى من المميزات، من أهمها التواصل الجغرافي والتداخل التاريخي بينها وبين مخيم جنين؛ ففي اجتياح 2002، انتقل القائد الشيخ الشهيد رياض بدير (الجهاد الإسلامي) على رأس العشرات من المقاومين من طولكرم، واستطاعوا المشاركة في القتال إلى جانب مقاومي جنين حتى الاستشهاد، وهو ما يفسر التدخل السريع لعناصر “كتيبة جنين” في الكمين. أيضاً، تمتلك بلدات طولكرم ومخيماتها إرثاً تاريخياً مرتبطاً بالشهداء والأسرى شبيهاً بالذي تمتلكه جنين، حتى إننا نتحدث عن أجهزة أمنية يفعل عناصرها ما يفعله عناصر في جنين.

ومثلما تحظى جنين بسهولة وصول السلاح إليها من الداخل المحتل، تتميَّز طولكرم بأنها واحدة من أكبر المجمعات البشرية الفلسطينية التي تمتهن السرقة من المحتل، بل شكلت المدينة السوق الأبرز والأكثر ثراءً لسرقة السيارات ذات الأرقام الإسرائيلية لتنفيذ عمليات فدائية أو نقل الاستشهاديين إلى مدن العمق، لكن العنصر الأهم الذي يُبنى عليه هو ثقافة الاشتباك حتى النفس الأخير ورفض الأسر، التي أنشأها قادة “الجهاد” في الضفة، ولا سيما الشهداء السعدي وبدير وإياد حردان وآخرون.

ساهمت “طولكرم” في تخفيف العبء الميداني عن “جنين” وكذلك “نابلس”، وخصوصاً مع زيادة استنزاف الإسرائيليين على صعيد القوات البرية والمجهود المخابراتي، لكن الأخطر على الاحتلال هو نضوج الفعل العسكري لـ”طولكرم”، لأن مثل هذا الحدث سيشكل فارقة نوعية في الضفة، ليس في تمدد خلايا المقاومة فحسب، إنما زيادة القدرة على اختراق الداخل المحتل أيضاً، وربما تحوّل العمل من الاشتباك التكتيكي ورد الفعل إلى المبادرة والعمل المنظم القادر على كيّ الوعي الإسرائيلي، كما فعل بطلان من جنين لن ينسى أحد اسميهما: رعد خازم، وضياء حمارشة الذي عبر من خلال طولكرم، وقبلهما وبعدهما أسرى وشهداء كثر.

هذا ما يفسر أن أكثر من نصف الكتائب الإسرائيلية المنتشرة في الضفة تتركز حول طولكرم، لتعبّر عن المأزق الإسرائيلي في مواجهة هذه المدينة التي تشبه الرمح المغروز في خاصرة “إسرائيل”، بل يكفيها وصول سلاح بسيط في حسابات الجيوش، مثل قذائف الهاون، ليصير قلب “الدولة” تحت النار.

اقرأ: كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (1/4) 

Palestinian Resistance Movements Call for Quitting Oslo and Ending ‘Security Coordination’

September 15, 2022

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord. (Photo: Vince Musi, via Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinian resistance movements called on Wednesday for a total withdrawal from the Oslo Accords and an end to ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation security services, Quds Press reported.

Speaking on behalf of the movements, senior Islamic Jihad official Nafeth Azzam said that Oslo gave “legitimacy” to the Israeli occupation and illegal Jewish settlements.

Azzam made his comments during a conference in Gaza to mark the anniversary of the Oslo Accords. He also issued a warning about the normalization of Arab states with Israel.

“This path is doomed to fail. The Palestinians have surprised the world with their rejection of Oslo and their rejection of the normalization of ties between the occupation and Arab nations.”

The Palestinian resistance, he pointed out, broke the security equation of the Israeli occupation and forced it to leave the Gaza Strip seventeen years ago.


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«حماس»: عائدون إلى سوريا

الجمعة 16 أيلول 2022

رجب المدهون

تبادَل مسؤولو الحركة والمسؤولون السوريون، خلال لقاءات دورية جمعتْهم، ملاحظات حول فترة القطيعة وما سبقها (أ ف ب)

أخيراً، وبشكل رسمي، وبعد صدور العديد من المؤشّرات المتلاحقة والمتسارعة في هذا الاتّجاه، أعلنت حركة «حماس» قرارها العودة إلى سوريا، مؤكدةً العمل على ترجمته لإنهاء سنوات طويلة من القطيعة مع دمشق، التي «احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن»، كما قالت الحركة. ويأتي بيان الأمس ليُتوّج، بحسب معلومات «الأخبار»، سلسلة من اللقاءات التي جرت بين مسؤولي «حماس» والمسؤولين السوريين، وتخلّلتها مراجعات للفترة السابقة، وتبادل ملاحظات حول الملفّات التي «تجب معالجتها بشكل جدّي»، ليصل العمل حالياً إلى مرحلة «بناء الثقة»، تمهيداً للتطبيع الشامل والواسع

غزة | كما كان متوقّعاً بعد سلسلة لقاءات ومباحثات رعاها «حزب الله»، أصدرت حركة «حماس»، أمس، بياناً أعلنت فيه وقوفها إلى جانب سوريا في وجه «المخطّطات الهادفة إلى تقسيمها»، مؤكّدة سعيها لترجمة قرارها باستعادة علاقاتها مع دمشق. وبحسب ما علمته «الأخبار» من مصادر «حمساوية»، فإن البيان يأتي في ضوء استمرار اشتغال الحركة على تطبيع هذه العلاقات بعد سنوات من القطيعة، و«مواجهة العقبات التي تحاول أطراف خارجية وضعها في طريق تسوية جميع الخلافات مع السوريين». وكشفت المصادر أن مباحثات عدّة انطلقت بعد معركة «سيف القدس» بين «حماس» والقيادة السورية، برعاية من الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله» السيد حسن نصرالله، حيث تمّ كسر الجمود كخطوة أولى، بينما وصل العمل في الفترة الأخيرة إلى مرحلة «بناء الثقة تمهيداً لاستعادة العلاقة بشكل أكبر وأوسع». وتبادَل مسؤولو الحركة والمسؤولون السوريون، خلال لقاءات دورية جمعتْهم، ملاحظات حول فترة القطيعة وما سبقها، والملفّات التي «تجب معالجتها بشكل جدّي لإنهاء الخلاف»، مع إبداء ملاحظات حول كيفية تجاوُز المسبّبات الخارجية والداخلية التي أعاقت التطبيع سابقاً. وأكدت المصادر أن هذا المسار سيتسارع خلال الفترة المقبلة، «في ضوء المتغيّرات والتحدّيات الإقليمية والدولية التي تُواجه محور المقاومة ككلّ، في ظلّ تَشكّل تحالف التطبيع بين الدول العربية ودولة الاحتلال برعاية أميركية، بما يشكّل تهديداً للمحور وأطرافه».

وأعلنت حركة «حماس»، في بيان أمس، بعنوان «أمّة واحدة في مواجهة الاحتلال والعدوان»، مُضيّها في «بناء وتطوير علاقات راسخة مع الجمهورية العربية السورية، في إطار قرارها باستئناف علاقتها مع سوريا الشقيقة، خدمةً لأمّتنا وقضاياها العادلة، وفي القلْب منها قضية فلسطين، ولا سيّما في ظلّ التطوّرات الإقليمية والدولية المتسارعة التي تحيط بقضيتنا وأمّتنا»، مُجدّدةً تمسّكها بـ«استراتيجيتها الثابتة، وحرصها على تطوير وتعزيز علاقاتها مع أمّتها ومحيطها العربي والإسلامي، وكلّ الداعمين لقضيتنا ومقاومتنا». ودانت الحركة «بشدّة، العدوان الصهيوني المتكرّر على سوريا، وخاصة قصف مطارَيْ دمشق وحلب أخيراً»، مؤكدةً «وقوفنا إلى جانب سوريا في مواجهة هذا العدوان». وأعربت عن تقديرها «للجمهورية العربية السورية قيادةً وشعباً، لدورها في الوقوف إلى جانب الشعب الفلسطيني وقضيته العادلة»، متطلّعةً إلى أن «تستعيد سوريا دورها ومكانتها في الأمّتَين العربية والإسلامية»، مبديةً دعمها لـ«كلّ الجهود المخلصة من أجل استقرار وسلامة سوريا، وازدهارها وتقدّمها». وإذ كرّرت «موقفنا الثابت من وحدة سوريا أرضاً وشعباً»، و«رفضنا أيّ مساس بذلك»، فقد جزمت «(أننا) ننحاز إلى أمّتنا في مواجهة المخطّطات الصهيونية الخبيثة، الهادفة إلى تجزئتها وتقسيمها ونهب خيراتها، ونقف صفاً واحداً وطنياً وعربياً وإسلامياً لمقاومة العدو الصهيوني، والتصدّي لمخطّطاته». كما دعت إلى «إنهاء جميع مظاهر الصراع في الأمة، وتحقيق المصالحات والتفاهمات بين مكوّناتها ودُولها وقواها عبر الحوار الجادّ، بما يحقّق مصالح الأمّة ويخدم قضاياها». ولفتت إلى «التطوّرات الخطيرة التي تمسّ بشعبنا الفلسطيني وقضيّته العادلة، وأبرزها مظاهر التطبيع ومحاولات دمج العدو الصهيوني ليكون جزءاً من المنطقة، مع ما يرافق ذلك من جهود للسيطرة على موارد المنطقة، ونهب خيراتها، وزرع الفتن والاحتراب بين شعوبها ودولها، واستهداف قواها الفاعِلة والمؤثّرة، الرافضة والمقاوِمة للمشروع الصهيوني»، مشيرةً في هذا السياق إلى «استمرار العدوان الصهيوني على سوريا الشقيقة، بالقصف والقتل والتدمير، وتصاعُد محاولات النيل منها وتقسيمها وتجزئتها، وإبعادها عن دورها التاريخي الفاعل، ولا سيما على صعيد القضية الفلسطينية»، مُذكّرةً بأن «سوريا احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن، وهو ما يستوجب الوقوف معها، في ظلّ ما تتعرّض له من عدوان غاشم».
وكان نائب رئيس حركة «حماس» في قطاع غزة، خليل الحية، أكد، في حديث إلى «الأخبار» أواخر حزيران الماضي، أن ثمّة قراراً اتُّخذ بـ«السعي إلى استعادة العلاقة مع دمشق»، بعد «نقاش داخلي وخارجي على مستوى الحركة شارك فيه قياديون وكوادر ومؤثّرون وحتى معتقلون داخل السجون». وأوضح الحية أنه «تمّت مناقشة الظروف والتوقيت والشكل»، كما «تمّ وضْع خطّة سيتمّ تنفيذها بمساعدة الحلفاء»، مضيفاً أن «هناك تَوجّهاً نحو البيئة الأوسع، التي تشمل أصحاب الرأي والمفكّرين والعلماء، ومن ثمّ الأطر الشعبية الأوسع»، متابعاً «(أننا) وضعنا تركيا وقطر في أجواء تَوجّهنا هذا، وهما لا تُعارضانه». وسبق كلامَ الحيّة بأسبوع، حديثٌ مشابه نقلته وكالة «فرانس برس» عن مسؤول رفيع المستوى في «حماس»، جاء فيه أن «الاتّصالات مع سوريا في تَحسّن، والعلاقات في طريق عودتها بالكامل إلى ما كانت عليه»، وأن «زيارات عدّة قام بها قادة الحركة إلى سوريا». وإلى جانب تلك التصريحات، أعلن الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله»، غير مرّة، في أحاديث صحافية، اهتمامه «بشكل شخصي» بتسوية العلاقة بين «حماس» وسوريا، مؤكداً أن الأخيرة منفتِحة على هذا المسار الذي وصفه بـ«الإيجابي».

«حماس»: سوريا احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن

يُذكر أن مصدراً قيادياً في «حماس» أكّد لـ«الأخبار»، بالتوازي مع انتهاء معركة «سيف القدس» في أيار 2021، أن لدى الحركة قراراً مسبقاً ببحْث عودتها إلى الأراضي السورية عندما تحين الفرصة المناسبة، «وفي ضوء الرسائل الإيجابية التي نقلها لنا عدد من قادة فصائل المقاومة في سوريا عقب لقائهم الأخير بالرئيس بشار الأسد، وترحيبه بجميع الفصائل من دون استثناء، وتوجيهه التحيّة إلى حماس»، فإن هذا القرار سيتعزّز. وأشار المصدر، آنذاك، إلى أن الحركة ستبدأ مشاورات مع «حزب الله» وإيران خلال الفترة القريبة، بهدف جسّ نبض السوريين حول عودة العلاقة معهم، متوقّعاً أن تكون الردود السورية إيجابية، ومن دون شروط مسبقة، الأمر الذي سيفتح الباب أمام التطبيع، كخطوة أولى تتبعها عودة قيادات «حمساوية» إلى الأراضي السورية في وقت لاحق. ولم يُخفِ المصدر، في ذلك الوقت، وجود محاولات سابقة من قِبَل أطراف في محور المقاومة لترميم العلاقة بين الحركة والسوريين، غير أن تلك المحاولات اعتراها عدد من العقبات، آملاً أن يكون الانتصار الذي حقّقته المقاومة في غزة خلال معركة «سيف القدس» بوّابة لإزالة العقبات المذكورة، في ظلّ الاتفاق على برنامج المقاومة ومواجهة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وتمسّك «حماس» بمبدأ عدم التدخّل في الشؤون الداخلية للدول العربية، وتعزيز العلاقات معها بهدف تجميع طاقات الأمة لدعم المقاومة.

فيديوات ذات صلة

May 31, 2018

مقالات ذات صلة

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

September 14, 2022

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

By Ramzy Baroud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Our Gas is Our Right’: Palestinians in Gaza Rally for Access to Mediterranean Gas (PHOTOS)

September 14, 2022

Palestinian activists take part in a rally at the Gaza City Port to demand their right to receive gas from maritime fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Wafa Aludaini

Palestinian activists took part in a rally at the Gaza City Port on Tuesday to demand their right to receive gas from maritime fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and to pressure the Israeli occupation to lift the siege. 

Palestinian groups in Gaza inaugurated a banner at the Gaza Port reading “Our Gas is Our Right”. 

Suhail al-Hindi, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said: “Tens of thousands of families in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line as the Israeli occupation is still depriving us of our rights.”

Al-Hindi added that Palestinians have a right to their natural resources and gas, as well as to a waterway connecting Gaza to the rest of the world. 

“This land is our land, and this sea is our sea,” al-Hindi stated, warning Israel that “the resistance has the capacity to defend our people and our rights.”

Al-Hindi called on the international community to pressure Israel to put an end to the military occupation and the siege. 

“Your silence in front of injustice committed in Al-Aqsa, in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza will lead to an unavoidable explosion in the region.” 

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

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

September 10, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lebanese Forces: Trenched with blood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How “Israel” through LF, Phalangists horrified the world

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

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

A timeline of forty hours of ruthless slaughter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more: The Lebanese Forces: A Long Bloody History

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 01-07 September 2022)

08. 09. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Five Palestinians were killed, and 31 others were injured, including 9 children, a woman and a paramedic, while dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.  Also, a Palestinian detainee died due to medical neglect policy.  Details are as follows:

On 01 September 2022, IOF shot dead Yazan Na’iem ‘Afanah (24) after being wounded in his chest during their incursion into Ramallah in the West Bank. (Details available in this press release).

On 02 September 2022, Fadi Mohammed Ghattas (24), from Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, was killed after IOF fired 6 live bullets at him and left him to bleed for 40 minutes at the entrance to Beit ‘Einun Road in northern Hebron.  IOF took the dead body and kept it in custody, claiming that he stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier. Later, IOF summoned Ghattas’s father for interrogation and to identify the corpse.

On 03 September 2022, Palestinian Detainee Mousa Haron Abu Mehamid, from Bethlehem, died at the Israeli hospital “Assaf Harofeh.” ( Details available in this press release).

On 05 September 2022, IOF killed Taher Zakarna (19) after they fired a live bullet at his head during the suppression of protestors after IOF moved into Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin in the West Bank. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested two Palestinians. (Details available in this press release).

On 06 September 2022, Mohammed Saba’nah was killed, and 17 other Palestinians were injured, including 6 children, a woman and a paramedic, by IOF fire during the latter’s incursion into Jenin, northern West Bank, and demolition of the house of a Palestinian who was killed after carrying out a shooting attack in Israel in April. The house demolition falls under IOF’s collective punishment policy against the families of Palestinians who are allegedly accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli targets. (Details available in this press release).

On 07 September 2022, Yunis Ghassan Tayeh (21) was killed by IOF fire during the latter’s incursion into al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Tubas in the West Bank. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested Yunis’s uncle. (Details available here)

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

On 02 September 2022, 7 Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.  On the same day, several Palestinians sustained wounds after being beaten, and others suffocated due to teargas inhalation, while 4 Palestinians, including a child, were arrested during IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest organized in solidarity with Nabi Samuel villagers near al-Jeeb military checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 06 September 2022, a child was hit with a stun grenade in his head during clashes with IOF at the western entrance to al-‘Arroub refugee camp in Hebron. On the same day, 5 Palestinians sustained wounds after IOF opened fire and fired teargas canisters during their incursion into Jalazone refugee camp, north of al-Bireh city. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians, including 2 siblings.

On 07 September 2022, a Palestinian was shot with a live bullet after IOF opened fire at him, noting he was riding his motorcycle by Salem Palin in Nablus. IOF then arrested him.

In the Gaza Strip, 2 shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, and 4 other shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza Strip shore. On 01 September 2022, a burnt boat was pulled out of Khan Yunis Sea, and it turned out that Israeli gunboats fired several live bullets at the boat. 

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 116 Palestinians, including 84 civilians: 24 children, 8 women, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settler and the rest were activists; 15 of them were assassinated. Thirty-two of those killed, including 19 civilians: 8 children and 3 women were in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Also, 1,308 Palestinians were wounded in IOF’s attacks, including 204 children, 40 women, and 22 journalists, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 4 Palestinian detainees, including a woman, died in the Israeli jails.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 3 houses, rendering 4 families of 18 persons, including 6 women and 7 children, homeless. Also, IOF demolished 9 civilian economic facilities and razed a plot of land and property in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 02 September 2022, upon an Israeli municipal demolition decision allegedly for unlicensed construction, a Palestinian self-demolished his house in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering his family and his two brothers’ families of 11 persons, including 4 women and 3 children, homeless.  On the same day, upon a similar decision, a Palestinian self-demolished part of his 80-sqaure-meter house in occupied East Jerusalem. The house sheltered a family of 7 persons, including 2 women and 4 children.

On 03 September 2022, IOF’s bulldozers razed 8 dunums in Sinjil village, east of Ramallah. The levelled land is located in an area of 5200 dunums that IOF attempt to seize them, as these dunums are surrounded by 3 Israeli settlements and a military camp.

On 03 September 2022, IOF razed 8 dunums in Sinjil village, eastern Ramallah.  This plot of land is part of 5200 dunums, which IOF try to seize, and is surrounded by 3 settlements and an Israeli camp.

On 06 September 2022, IOF demolished 2 agricultural facilities, sealed off a water well and seized two containers full of construction equipment in Al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Also, IOF demolished for the second time a 95-meter retaining wall surrounding a plot of land in Jabal Mukaber in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 07 September 2022, IOF demolished a house and 7 civilian economic facilities, including 3 livestock barns, a carwash, tires shop, and 2 stores, in the rented Islamic Endowment property (Waqf) at ‘Anata entrance in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 112 families homeless, a total of 666 persons, including 129 women and 307 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 116 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 89 other civilian economic objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

On 02 September 2022, under IOF’s heavy protection, hundreds of Israeli settlers accompanied by the Extremist Israeli Member of Knesset (MK), Itamar Ben Gvir, moved into Nabi Samuel village in occupied East Jerusalem. They roamed its streets raising Israeli flags and attempted to provoke Palestinians. The settlers then gathered at the village’s entrance opposite to a protest organized by the village’s residents.

On 06 September 2022, Israeli settlers, under IOF’s protection, attacked Palestinian houses in Khelet al-Nahlah and Khalayil al-Louz areas opposite to “Efrat” settlement, south of Bethlehem. They attempted to raid the houses by force, beat their residents and threw stones at them. As a result, many residents sustained bruises. Also, IOF attacked the residents, who tried to confront the settlers, and arrested 6 of them. 

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 178 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 190 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, 96 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children and a female journalist.  In the Gaza Strip, on 07 September 2022, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern al-Bureij camp in central Gaza Strip and into eastern Khuza’a in Khan Yunis.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 5,930 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem; during which, 3,540 Palestinians were arrested, including 334 children and 31 women. IOF also conducted 28 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 78 Palestinians, including 45 fishermen, 28 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

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

IOF maintains an illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly- update on the state of Gaza crossings in July.

On 06 September 2022, Mohammed Yaser al-Leddawi (32), from Rafah, died after IOF obstructed his travel to receive treatment at Patient’s Friends Society Hospital in Nablus and at Al-Mutala’ Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, after he applied for a travel permit 8 times in a row to receive treatment for lymphoma.

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 104 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 8 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 04 September 2022, IOF closed the metal detector gate established at the main entrance to Nabi Saleh village in Ramallah, and reopened it on 07 September 2022, as part of the collective punishment policy for an alleged shooting at the military watchtower established there.

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 3,005 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 142 Palestinians at those checkpoints


AUGUST 26TH, 2022


By Miko Peled

BEIT HANINA, OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people.

Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.

When I asked the now defeated Representative Andy Levin about this issue, he said to me that, “no Jewish member of congress will sign the bill,” and when I asked why, he said that it was “anti-Israel.” His response was indicative of the problem. Knowing how Israel treats children makes it imperative to sign any bill that is, as he put it, “anti-Israel.” Why he feels that Jewish members of congress should express loyalty to Israel at all, and on this issue in particular, is another question, and one that needs to be explored. Many Jewish people in America resent the fact that they are somehow expected to be loyal and even held accountable for the actions of a country that wrongly declares itself to be the “Jewish State.”


Anyone who has been to Palestine and has taken the time to speak to Palestinian parents knows what they must endure when Israeli authorities take away their children. There is no law, no court, no human rights organization in the world that can protect Palestinian children from Israel. What these parents know and are unable to understand is the fact that the United States can protect their children, but elects not to do so.

Mourners pray over the bodies of six Palestinians, including children, killed by Israeli airstrikes in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza, Aug. 6, 2022. Abdel Kareem Hana | AP

Just a few days prior to writing these words, I had met with two Palestinian mothers on two separate occasions. One in the village of Nabi Saleh, and the other in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem. No parent with a beating heart can listen to their stories and refrain from crying. No person with a conscience can sit idly by as Israel tortures both children and parents on an ongoing basis and not want to raise their voice.


More has been written and said about the village of Nabi Saleh than one would expect for such a small place. Tucked in one of the most beautiful sports in Palestine, Nabi Saleh has about five hundred residents, all part of the Tamimi clan, one of the largest clans in Palestine. However, as they say, it’s not the size of the person, or in this case the village, in the fight, but the size of the fight in the person. Well, never has this been more true than in the case of Nabi Saleh. It is a small village with the heart and a fighting spirit larger than one hundred villages put together.

Probably the most famous fighter in Nabi Saleh is Ahed Tamimi, the daughter of my friends Bassem and Nariman whose home is like a second home to me. Bassem and Nariman have known their share of sorrow and pain with their own experiences and those of their children being taken by the occupying enemy. However, this particular story is about their cousins Osama and Hamada, as it was told to me by their mother Manal Tamimi.

All Palestinians know that interrogation by the Israeli authorities means torture. In this particular case, both the older sons of Manal and Bilal were taken at the same time. Osama was 19 years old and Hamada was about 17. Their interrogation lasted over three weeks, during which Osama had to be taken to the hospital twice. “We were not able to visit him in the hospital, nor did they tell us why he was taken to the hospital,” Manal told me. When the enemy occupier takes your children, you assume the worst.

Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP/Mahmoud Illean)
Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. Mahmoud Illean | AP

“I used to sleep in their beds at night just to feel close to them. One night in Osama’s bed and one in Hamada’s,” Manal said. Knowing your child is being tortured, exposed to the elements, being treated so severely that he has to be taken to the hospital and having no ability to be there with him is more than any parent should have to endure. “The sensitivity to extreme light and loud noises remained with Hamada even after he was released,” she added.

Hamada, who is the younger of the two, spent twenty-two months in an Israeli prison. Osama was held for about a year. Manal and Bilal had to pay thousands of dollars, as all parents of Palestinian children have to do, before the authorities released them.


I ran into Ahmad Manasra’s lawyer, Khaled Zbarka, in El-Lyd. We were there at a vigil commemorating the murder of Musa Hassuna at the hands of settlers in May 2021. I was introduced to Khaled by El-Lyd city councilwoman Fida Shehade. She suggested that I meet with Khaled and Amhad Manasra’s parents in Jerusalem, where they reside. As things turned out, Khaled was not available, and I went to meet Ahmad’s parents without him.

The story of Ahmad Manasra is well documented, and the latest development is that on August 16 the Israeli court in Bi’r Saba held a hearing regarding his extended isolation in solitary confinement. “He sits there in that cell with nothing but the four walls surrounding him,” his father, Abu-Ahmed, said to me over and over again. The Israeli court rejected the request to end isolation and the recommendation by several mental health experts and international human rights organizations to release him to a mental health care facility where he could receive the urgent care he requires.

Ahmad was badly injured when he was arrested. He had been beaten, run over, and suffered from bleeding and internal injuries. This was seven years ago: he was thirteen years old at the time. His mother thought he was dead at first. Only after a day was she told that he was still alive. Ahmad was handcuffed to a bed at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. His parents were still not permitted to see him. One can hardly imagine the pain of a parent whose child is in hospital but is not allowed to comfort them.

When he was released from the hospital, he was sent to an institution for young offenders. Only after two months of horrifying experiences there were his parents permitted to see their child.

“We were told our boy was involved in a terror attack!” His mother, Umm Ahmad, told me, still in shock by the absurd notion that her sweet, sensitive son could be accused of something like that. His cousin, fifteen, who was also there, was shot on the scene by bystanders. “At thirteen they accused him of terrorism,” Abu Ahmad said over and over. “Thirteen years old a terrorist? Who can accuse a child or terrorism?”

Visits are limited to forty-five minutes once a month. “When he is in the hospital, which often happens for Ahmad, they are not permitted to see him. “He was moved between prisons about ten times,” Abu Ahmad said. I mentioned that this is a violation of international law. His reply was, “Ahmad’s entire case is a violation of international laws. Imagine that: at the age of thirteen, he was interrogated without the presence of a parent or a lawyer.” When the parents plan a visit, very often they receive a message two days before they leave. “They will notify us that he was moved and so the visit is postponed and we cannot see him for another month,” Abu Ahmad told me.


The text of the bill to defend Palestinian children can be found here, and the list of co-sponsors, here. Anyone who is eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm election needs to demand that their candidate commit to adding their name to this bill. No consideration should come before the well being of a child.

في الذكرى الحادية والعشرين لاستشهاده: أبو علي مصطفى القائد الشجاع المرفوع الهامة في حياته واستشهاده.. وقصة ظهوره على “الجزيرة” ومفارقاتها

السبت 27 اغسطس 2022

د. ماهر الطاهر

مسؤول العلاقات الدولية في الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين

في ذكرى استشهاده الحادية والعشرين نتذكر بكل فخر واعتزاز وشموخ قائداً ومقاتلاً فلسطينياً وعربياً، كان ولا زال وستبقى ذكراه ومأثره في عقولنا وقلوبنا، رجلاً من أصدق الرجال وأغلى الرجال وأشجع الرجال الفارس أبو علي مصطفى الأمين العام السابق للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين، الذي اغتالته يد الغدر بقرار من المجرم شارون الذي اتخذ قراراً في المجلس الوزاري المصغر في الكيان الاسرائيلي للتخلص من الخطر الذي يمثله هذا القائد الذي يجسد نموذجاً للإخلاص والعطاء والتضحية والشجاعة والتحدي.

ففي يوم لا ينسى السابع والعشرين من اب عام 2001 وعلى أرض فلسطين المقاومة قصفت الطائرات الإسرائيلية مقر عمله في رام الله وارتقى بكل عنفوان شهيداً ليلتقي ب غسان كنفاني ووديع حداد وجيفارا غزة وخالد ابو عيشة وأبو أمل وخليل الوزير وكل الشهداء.

عرفته الجماهير الفلسطينية والعربية على امتداد نصف قرن مقاتلاً صلباً عنيداً لا ينكسر ولا يتراجع أمام التحديات والمصاعب والمحن.

كان لقائي الاول مع أبو علي مصطفى عام 1972 في بيروت وكان نائباً للأمين العام الدكتور جورج حبش وكان عمره 34 عاما وعمري 19 عاما، وفي هذا اللقاء حيث كنا نحضر اجتماعاً للجنة المركزية العامة للجبهة، كان الحديث سريعاً عن المقاومة وعلى الوضع في لبنان ووضع الثورة الفلسطينية بعد الخروج من الأردن. وشعرت أنني أمام إنسان يدخل إلى القلب بسرعة متواضع إلى أبعد الحدود ويمتلك كاريزما قيادية تترك أثراً عميقاً لمن يلتقيه لأول مرة وشعرت بالإعجاب والتقدير لهذا الانسان منذ اللقاء الأول.

بعد الاجتياح الاسرائيلي للبنان عام 1982 انتقل المركز القيادي للجبهة من بيروت الى دمشق وتسلمت مسؤولية جديدة كأمين سر للمكتب السياسي للجبهة وفي تلك المرحلة منذ أن تسلمت هذه المسؤولية أصبحت على صلة يومية مع الأمين العام الدكتور جورج حبش ونائب الأمين العام أبو علي مصطفى حيث كنا نعمل في مكتب واحد وأستطيع القول انني تعرفت على أبو علي بشكل وثيق عبر سنوات طويلة تشكلت خلالها علاقة صداقة وليس علاقة عمل فقط. وعرفت هذا الانسان وهذه القامة الوطنية الكبيرة ومكونات شخصيته الفذة.

أستطيع القول ان أبا علي انسان منظم في عمله إلى أبعد الحدود بسيط ويعمل ساعات طويلة قبل الظهر وبعد الظهر وكان أول من يحضر إلى العمل وآخر من يغادر ولا يتعامل مع رفاقه إلا بكل محبة وتواضع ويشعر الرفاق العاملين معه أننا أسرة وعائلة واحدة في إدارة العمل، يحمل درجة عالية من الدفء بعلاقته مع رفاقه، الأمر الذي يجعل كل الرفاق يعملون بحماس وقناعة ورغبة شديدة في إنجاز المهمات وليس مجرد تنفيذ واجبات ومهام بشكل روتيني، إنما كفريق عمل وأسرة مناضلة تعمل من أجل تحقيق مبادئ وأهداف سامية.

وفي الوقت الذي كان يتمتع فيه بأعلى درجات التواضع والبساطة فقد كان حازماً ومتابعاً للعمل بأعلى درجات الجدية والحرص على إنجاز المهام في أوقاتها المحددة وكان يتمتع بمناقبية عالية ويرفض أية امتيازات، زاهداً لا تغريه مظاهر الحياة، بسيطاً في طعامه ولباسه وأتذكر عندما أصبح أميناً عاماً للجبهة بعد التنحي الطوعي للقائد المؤسس المناضل العربي الكبير الدكتور جورج حبش، اتصل معنا معد برنامج بلا حدود في قناة الجزيرة السيد أحمد منصور طالباً إجراء حوار في الدوحة مع أبو علي مصطفى بعد تسلم موقعه كأمين عام وفي البداية حاول الاعتذار عن اللقاء لكن تم إقناعه بضرورة إجراء هذا الحوار لكي يطل بمهامه الجديدة على الشعب الفلسطيني ويطرح رؤيته وأفكاره واقتنع بالذهاب ولكنه طلب ان أرافقه في هذه الزيارة وسافرنا معاً وقبل السفر بيوم اتصلت به وقلت له نريد أن نأخذ مبلغ من المال كسلفة عمل في رحلتنا فقال لي إذا كانت التذاكر والاقامة على حساب قناه الجزيرة اطلب من المالية سلفة 50 دولار لكنني قلت له أن هذا المبلغ غير كافي وأخذنا سلفة 100 دولار.

عند استشهاده كنا في اجتماع للمكتب السياسي في حلقة الخارج و فوجئنا بأحد الرفاق يدخل بشكل مفاجئ ويقول أن هناك خبراً تناقلته وكالات الانباء بأن طائرات إسرائيلية اغتالت أبو علي مصطفى، شعرنا بصدمة شديدة وأوقفنا الاجتماع وخرجنا من الغرفة واتصلنا مع رفاقنا داخل الوطن وتأكدنا من صحة الخبر المؤلم، انتابنا مشاعر حزن عميق وكانت مفاجأة وصدمة شديدة، لم يكن قائدنا فقط وإنما كان بالنسبة لنا الصديق والاخ والرفيق الذي عملنا معه سنوات طويلة حافلة بالأحداث والذكريات وبدأت تنهال علينا الاتصالات من سوريا ولبنان والاردن وفلسطين والعديد من بلدان العالم شعرنا بحزن عميق وشديد وبنفس الوقت مشاعر غضب وتحدِ باننا يجب ان نرد ونثأر لشهيدنا الكبير ولكل شهداء شعبنا.

وفعلا جاء الرد مدوياً من رفاقنا الابطال على ارض الوطن وقبل مرور أربعين يوما تم الرد بتصفية وزير السياحة الصهيوني المتطرف رحبعام زئيفي.

لا شك أن القرار الاسرائيلي وعلى أعلى مستوى باغتيال أبو علي مصطفى كان ناجماً عن متابعة ورصد دقيق للدور الكبير الذي يلعبه هذا القائد الاستثنائي على أرض فلسطين بعد عودته إلى الوطن سواء دوره على المستوى الداخلي في تصليب أوضاع الجبهة الشعبية والبناء التنظيمي والكفاحي، أو على المستوى الوطني ضمن إطار فصائل الثورة الفلسطينية، ولذلك أدرك الكيان الاسرائيلي أهمية وخطورة الدور الذي يمكن أن يلعبه هذا القائد الكبير فتم اتخاذ القرار وأعلن شارون مباشرة بعد عملية الاغتيال بأنه تم التخلص من شخصية خطيرة.

خرجت الجماهير الفلسطينية في الأراضي المحتلة عام 1948 وفي الضفة والقطاع و القدس وسوريا ولبنان والاردن وكل مواقع اللجوء والشتات والمنافي البعيدة بمسيرات وتشييع رمزي وإقامة مجالس عزاء لهذه القامة الوطنية والقومية العربية الكبيرة لأنها كانت تدرك حجم الخسارة التي أصابت الشعب الفلسطيني وأحرار العالم.

لقد توهم الكيان الصهيوني أنه باغتيال الشهيد أبو علي سوف يتم إضعاف الجبهة الشعبية وتحجيم دورها، ولا شك ان استشهاد هذا الرمز الكفاحي الكبير قد شكل ضربة مؤلمة وموجعة للجبهة الشعبية ولكن هذه الضربة لم تُضِعف الجبهة الشعبية بل زادتها قوة وإصرار على مواصلة الكفاح والمقاومة وهذا ما أكدته مسيرة السنوات العشرين التي أعقبت عملية الاغتيال الجبانة والغادرة.

عهداً أيها القائد وفي الذكرى الحادية والعشرين لاستشهادك نجدد العهد، عهد الرجال للرجال بأننا سنواصل مسيرة الكفاح والمقاومة حتى تحقيق كامل الأهداف والمبادئ التي ناضلت وقضيت في سبيلها وستبقى في ذاكرتنا وذاكرة شعبنا وأمتنا الى الابد.

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