Dialogue, Displacement and Despair: Why Palestine is Burning Like Never Before

January 20th, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

The dialogue phenomenon tries to cover up the fact that millions of Palestinians are displaced and that despair is all that life has to offer them. But it provides no hope, no solution, only a guarantee that things will continue to get worse for Palestinians.

OCCUPIED PALESTINE – When no one is steering the ship, the wind, the currents and the waves lead it into the depths. This is what is happening in Palestine. The Naqab is burning, Sheikh Jarrah is burning, young and old Palestinians are being killed everywhere, Gaza is practically underwater with flooding, and Palestinian refugees are barely alive in camps throughout the region. Furthermore, in the U.S. capital there isn’t a single entity that represents Palestine; and, in those rare capitals where some representation does exist, it is quite useless.

Zionist trolls on social media are disrupting the lives of Palestinians and those who support Palestine, while social media platforms allow Israeli Defense Force (IDF) pages to portray hate-filled, racist Zionist terrorist organizations as peace-loving, attractive – even sexy – groups of well-meaning people.

The refugees

Palestinian refugees, both in Palestine and in the neighboring countries, not only are forgotten but are also being allowed to perish slowly as the world denies them meaningful relief. Living in camps built 75 years ago that were only supposed to house them temporarily; living through the hunger, poverty, constant bombardment and terrorizing by Israel. In addition to all of that, wars and massacres by various groups – usually working in collusion with Israel — have made their lives a living hell.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, was created to care for the Palestinian refugees but it is not really able to care for all of them. As mentioned in an earlier article in this publication, the legal case for reparations and return is strong. However, the same study that made that legal case also revealed that there are legal distinctions between refugees, and, while these distinctions are unseen, they exist and make a great deal of difference in what little relief refugees are able to receive.

Gaza
A Palestinian family warm themselves by a fire in the Khan Younis refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

The dismal funding UNRWA has received over the years was barely enough to allow the Palestinian refugees to survive. Then, in 2018, under Zionist direction, President Donald Trump proudly announced that his administration was going to end all funding to UNRWA. If that was not enough, according to a 2021 Al-Jazeera report, “The United Kingdom cut more than half its funding to UNRWA. It went from $56.5 million in 2020 to $27.6 [million in 2021].” The report also states that wealthy Gulf states that once contributed $200 million provided only $20 million in 2021.

According to a report by the Brookings Institution:

Nowhere are the UNRWA cuts more acute than in the Gaza Strip, where about two million souls inhabit a tiny area twice the size of Washington, D.C. that few can gain permission to leave. There, UNRWA provides services to 1.3 million people, spending about 40 percent of its overall budget. Roughly 262,000 boys and girls are enrolled in 267 UNRWA schools there. Twenty-two health clinics provide for millions of patient visits a year.

In Lebanon, where the entire country is suffering from what seems to be an unprecedented economic crisis, Palestinian refugees are particularly vulnerable. According to a recent story in the Palestine Chronicle:

Not being able to obtain Lebanese citizenship, Palestinians cannot get Lebanese identity cards and therefore they cannot access social assistance and government services. To receive medical help or any other form of humanitarian aid, they need to turn to UNRWA and charities.”

Furthermore, the Chronicle states:

As the demand for their services is rising and the costs of preparing food baskets or distributing medicines are going up, UN agencies and aid groups are struggling to cope with helping all those who need it… Not only are the living conditions there very poor but refugees receive practically no support from the state.

The situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was dire even before the current crisis but now, faced with meager savings, limited employment opportunities, and skyrocketing inflation, they are destitute and unable to meet their basic needs.”

Gaza
Palestinian children play outside their homes on the outskirts of the Khan Younis refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

Optimism

While many people like to add a touch of hope when speaking about Palestine, in the current reality it is wrong to present anything but urgency. People often quote polls that show that public opinion has changed, that young American Jews feel this way or that way about Israel and about Palestine. None of that is helping the people in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. It does not help the Palestinians in the Naqab, where 11,000 homes were demolished in a few short years, and who are now being attacked by militarized police units for saying “Enough!” It does not help the people in Gaza.

Optimism is good but it cannot take the place of urgency. Palestine is burning; it is being overrun by an armed, violent, racist and ruthless regime that was democratically elected by the Israeli people. Israelis either cheer it on or sit idly by as the massive war machine they put in power destroys everything in its path. It is time for unprecedented, original, bold action that will stop the Zionist killing maching in its tracks and force change in Palestine.

Dialogue, displacement and despair

In an interview I had recently published with Dr. Ghada Karmi, Dr. Karmi said “I don’t want to hear about how nice things are. Why don’t you tell me why I can’t go home.” The dialogue industry promotes fake, feel-good exchanges between Israelis and Palestinians, which in turn are designed to create the illusion that there is hope. As though all that is needed is for us to sit together and get to know one another because deep down inside we are all well-meaning people. This is precisely what Dr. Karmi is talking about when she says she doesn’t want to hear “how nice things are.”

At the end of all the meetings, camps and weekend retreats, Israelis return to their privileged lives and the Palestinians to their reality of constant oppression. Israelis continue to serve in the military in all of its ugly forms, as reservists or professionals, and Palestinians return to the camps and villages where they live with targets marked on their backs.

The dialogue phenomenon tries to cover up the fact that millions of Palestinians are displaced and that despair is all that life has to offer them. But it provides no hope, no solution, only a guarantee that things will continue to get worse for Palestinians.

As the saying goes, if you’re not mad – infuriated, actually – then you’re not paying attention.

Palestine in the face of Palestinicide

15 Jan 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Susana Khalil

Today, some Arab tyrannies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, seek to submit to this colonial-imperial force, putting the Arab-Persian world at risk.

Palestine in the face of “Palestinicide”

Zionism is a European colonial movement. The English historian Keith Whitelam conceptualizes it as the continuation of Colonial Europe. In 1948, Zionism succeeded in imposing a colonial regime in Palestine called “Israel”. It is classic colonialism, but it differs from historical colonialism in that it does not come from a people, but from a movement that aromatically falsifies history and disguises itself as a people, i.e. the “Jewish people”. Jews, Muslims, and Christians are not peoples, they are religions, and it is sad to have to explain this, at this point in human history and to a supposedly enlightened, educated, and secular world.

The West supposedly has to its credit a worthy history of fighting for secular values, which cost them blood. Secularism is today part of its identity and culture and is a sentiment, but it is inept and structurally ignorant to believe and feel that Jews are a people. To address this issue is to be discriminated against, even by pro-Palestinians. Beyond being a rotten Western taboo, it has its reckless consequences due to sophisticated totalitarian censorship, clear Western obscurantism.

The ideologues of Zionism foresaw that in their colonial enterprise, the day the native achieves his independence, they, as colonizers who do not come from a people but from a movement that seeks to become a people, do not have a point of return as happened in classical colonialism, that they as Jews would return to their respective original homelands. That is why Zionist colonialism has as its nature the very end of that native people in order to settle and ensure the foundations of a “nation-state” called “Israel”. This principle not only remains in force but also advances. Today, some Arab tyrannies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, seek to submit to this colonial-imperial force, putting the Arab-Persian world at risk.

The colonial and expansionist regime of “Israel” withdrew from the Sinai territories in Egypt, conditioning and subjugating the Egyptian dictatorship. There is a false withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, conditioning and subjugating a caste of Palestinian traitors of the so-called Palestinian Authority. They maintain a military invasion in the Golan Heights in Syria. They unilaterally withdrew from South Lebanon, without conditioning and subjugating the Lebanese government or any Lebanese caste, and this exception is because they were overthrown by the Lebanese armed resistance of Hezbollah. The international Zionist lobby is the mastermind of the barbaric US imperial military invasion of Iraq, for the alleged establishment of democracy, and for the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There will be no justice in the Arab-Persian world, except through the abolition of “Israel’s” colonial expansionist anachronism.

The worst thing about the Oslo Accords is not Zionist colonialism that managed to infiltrate through the Palestinian Authority, but the “memoricide” exercised by that Palestinian Authority, erasing the essence or the raison d’être of what the cause of liberation of the native Palestinian people against the Israeli colonial yoke is. And this “memoricide” takes place when the armed struggle is abandoned, so people are encouraged to follow the “peaceful” approach of struggle, which already existed, that is to say, the cultural, legal, academic, political, financial, economic, media, intellectual, humanitarian, religious, artistic, culinary, and historical struggle, which already existed and must exist; it is vital and magical. But the point is that on the stage, in the peaceful universe, the raison d’être of the Palestinian Cause is censored, evaded. In fact, almost nobody talks about the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, anymore.

I do not remember the author of the phrase: “If you want peace, prepare for justice.” The Palestinian people are facing the most powerful fascist movement of our historical time. Zionism is neoliberal and non-neoliberal imperialism itself.

Armed struggle is not easy and neither is it a guarantee for the liberation of historic Palestine. The peaceful struggle is not easy; it focuses on human rights, and in many cases, it does not address the essence of the Palestinian Cause. Both fronts are important, all fronts of struggle are important.

From the peaceful stage, as a native Palestinian from the Diaspora, the daughter of peasant survivors of Al-Nakba, I fight against the colonial yoke of Israel, I fight for the National Liberation of my Palestinian people against a colonial force.

From the peaceful scenario, does the colonial regime of “Israel” have the right to exist? From the noblest of my soul, I say no. The so-called Israeli population would become Palestinian. Just to raise this is outrageous. I do understand and comprehend the reaction of not understanding; comprehending and accepting the right of native people to decide for themselves. I understand the atheists of freedom and justice.

Some might defend the existence of that colonial, imperial regime and anachronism and believe they have the right to do so, but what is not morally acceptable and constitutes an outrage to human dignity is censoring defending the others’ right to voice their rejection in the universe of debate. That is contrary to the free-thinking world.

There are those who lovingly state, I support “Israel”, and to those I say, support it in your country. why don’t you give it your homeland? There must be a debate, and this is part of the human condition.

I believe that we Palestinians must reposition ourselves, renaissance the root of our cause, be reiterative, not fall into distractions, and not submit to the reality of a contour or conjuncture. This implies intellectual courage and deep human fortitude in the face of so much censorship, fear, demonization, and threat. We must make our intellectual peaceful revolution. We must kick the table and be a rebellion of lucid intellectual light. Therein lies not only the beauty of the Palestinian Cause, but the beauty of being Palestinian.

… More than an intellectual challenge, it is to liberate intellectual fear, for Zionism itself is an intellectual, academic, media, legal, historical, moral, aesthetic, religious, archeological, sociological and philosophical fraud.

The Palestinian Liberation Cause is a direct cause for the protection of the Arab, Persian, and Kurdish world from Israeli expansionist colonialism. As I heard, it was said in the neighborhood of El Guarataro, in Venezuela, the liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world.

Let us free ourselves from the self-censorship that sets the trap for us. We must be strategic, intelligent, and subtle. We will not receive any subsidy, if we do so, we will be rejected, demonized.

They operate an extermination plan against the Palestinian people; they not only colonized the homeland, but also its history, its cuisine, and its most popular artistic expression. And it is logical to say that, for example, they colonized the falafel and the embroidery. That is proof and sample that it is colonialism that does not come from a people, it needs to disguise itself as a people and take it from the native people. They are extermination modalities; they must expel Palestine from history.

It is all about being honest, the world, yes, the world is at risk in the face of Zionism. The Palestinians have an appointment with history and it is to liberate today, in the 21st century, their people from the anachronistic and expansionist colonial regime of “Israel”. Likewise, the Palestinians have a debt with humanity itself and it is to extirpate Zionism, the most powerful fascism of our time, for this we need everybody in, which is the struggle of our time.

Let me be riddled and demonized with the filthy and bastard accusation of the Zionist supremacy of anti-Semitism. Anyway, as Ernesto Guevara used to say, “How can my life matter if what is in danger is humanity.”

Yes, the liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world, that is to say, taking steps against imperial, colonial atrophy and barbarism synchronized by Zionism.

The gloomy thing is that if we let the Palestinian people disappear, they will sadly exist in the echo of humanity as the cursed people, that by not liberating its noble cause, humanity remains in darkness. In this case, the outcome would be a cursed Palestinian, a traitor Arab.

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

Jewish Settler Runs over, Kills Palestinian Man near Ramallah –

January 6, 2022

Mustafa Falaneh, 25, was killed when a Jewish settler ran him over near Ramallah. (Photo: via Social Media)

A Jewish settler on Thursday ran over and killed a Palestinian man as he was on his way to work, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The victim was identified to be Mustafa Falaneh, 25, from the village of Safa, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

According to a relative, Falaneh was crossing the street when he was run over by a Jewish settler, who willed him. Falaneh was a father of a one-and-a-half-year-old girl.

In a separate incident, another settler ran over and wounded Shafiqa Bisharat, 48, from a Nablus-area village, who was admitted to hospital for treatment. Witnesses said that the settler had attempted to run over sheep in the area and was harassing Palestinians on the road before hitting Bisharat.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry warned against the rise in incidents involving Israeli settlers running over Palestinians. The PA ministry expressed its fears that such deadly incidents are often premeditated. Moreover, it condemned what it described as Israeli police indifference.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

WATCH: Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Young Man in Refugee Camp near Nablus

January 6, 2022

Bakeer Hashash, 21, was killed by Israeli occupation forces near Nablus. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli forces killed early Thursday a Palestinian young man during a dawn raid in the Balata refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Palestinian security sources told WAFA that clashes broke out after the Israeli forces raided the Nablus-area suburb of Balata al-Balad, and opened fire towards Palestinian youths critically injuring Bakeer Hashash, 21.

Hashash was rushed to a hospital in Nablus to get urgent medical treatment. However, he succumbed to his wounds, hours later.

Israeli forces have killed thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank throughout the years, and several international human rights groups say Israeli forces have used excessive force in attacking and subduing Palestinians.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)Hash

السعودية: تكفير وإرهاب من

الخميس 6 يناير 2022

 شوقي عواضة

لم يكن نشوء الكيان السّعودي أقلّ دمويّةً وإرهابيّةً من قيام أميركا التي قامت على أنقاض الهنود الحمر ولا أقلّ إجراماً من نشوء الكيان الصّهيوني الذي قام على أجساد الفلسطينيين، بل كان أكثر إرهاباً وإجراماً وقتلاً وتمثيلاً وتنكيلاً بالبشر. وما يميّزه عن الكيانين الأميركي «والإسرائيلي» يجعله أكثر خطورةً على الأمّة حيث أنّ آل سعود المنحدرين من أصلٍ يهوديٍّ يعود لجدّهم مردخاي بن ابراهام بن موشي الدونمي من يهود الدونمة وفق ما أثبته الكاتب الشّهيد ناصر السعيد في كتابه «تاريخ آل سعود». وعليه فإنّ هؤلاء اليهود الذين أسّسوا الكيان السّعودي بدعمٍ بريطاني تكمن خطورته في الحقائق التّاريخية الآتية:

أولا ـ تبنّيهم للهوية العربيّة وهم يهود في الأصل واتخاذ الإسلام ستاراً للحكم وقيام كيانهم الوظيفي والحليف للكيان الصّهيوني.

ُثانياـ اغتصابهم لشبه الجزيرة العربيّة بدعم بريطانيا التي دعمت قيام الكيان الصّهيوني الذي اغتصب فلسطين.

ثالثا ـ قيام الكيان السّعودي على الغزوات وارتكاب المذابح والمجازر بحقّ القبائل العربيّة كما حصل في فلسطين من غزواتٍ ومذابحَ على يد عصابات الهاغاناه وشتيرن وغيرها.

رابعا ـ ضرب واستهداف كلّ عناصر القوّة في الأمّة لا سيما تيّارات المقاومة وتشتيتها وتحويل مسار الصّراع مع الكيان الصّهيوني إلى صراعاتٍ وحروبٍ داخل الأمة.

عبر التاريخ أثبت الكيان السعودي بكلّ ملوكه وحكّامه الذين توالوا على الحكم هذه الحقائق. فالسعوديّة التي استدرجت الرئيس جمال عبد النّاصر للحرب في اليمن لم تكن مهمّتها سوى إشغال الرئيس المصري عن استكمال المواجهة مع العدو الصّهيوني

وثائق الدور السعودي في حرب يونيو

فقد كشفت وثائق للمخابرات الأميركيّة والبريطانيّة و»الإسرائيليّة» نشرت مؤخّراً عن حقائق هامّة تتعلّق بدورٍ خطيرٍ قام به الملك فيصل بالتنسيق مع أميركا قبل حرب 1967 للتآمر على عبد النّاصر وهزيمته، وكشفت عن اتصالاتٍ سرّيةٍ أجراها السعوديون بالإسرائيليين بهدف دعمهم مباشرة أو من خلال واشنطن لضرب عبد الناصر وتحجيم دوره القومي، وفرض الهزيمة المعنويّة عليه بعد الهزيمة العسكريّة عام 1967 وهو ما جرى فعلياً…

كذلك الأمر اليوم أعادت السّعودية نفس السيناريو من خلال ما يسمّى بالرّبيع العربي لاستنزاف سورية قلعة المقاومة وحصنها وإشغال المقاومة بعد انتصاري 2000 و2006 ومحاولة تفتيت قدراتها لكنّها فشلت وأسقط مشروعها، ومحاولة استعادة العراق من محور المقاومة، والسّيطرة على اليمن الذي أذلّ طواغيت آل سعود وحلفائهم. لم تتغيّر مسلكية آل سعود منذ نشوء كيانهم الوظيفي حتى اليوم وهذا ليس تحليلاً ولا توقعاً بل وقائع تاريخيّة موثّقة عبّر عنها الزّعيم الراحل :جمال عبد النّاصر في محطاتٍ كثيرةٍ. فمن خطاب له في الثالث والعشرين من كانون الأول/ ديسمبر عام 1962 قال

سقط لنا 136 ضابطاً وعسكريّاً جزمة كلّ واحد منهم أشرف من تاج الملك سعود والملك حسين

وفي الثّاني والعشرين من تموز/ يوليو من العام نفسه كشف عبد الناصر عن التّعاون بين الاستعمار والنظام السّعودي قائلاً «لاحظنا في السنة الأخيرة تعاوناً مطلقاً بين الرجعية العربيّة وقوى الاستعمار ويوجد تعاونٌ وتضامنٌ بينهم في العمل ضدّ القومية العربيّة وقوى الثّورة والتّحرر العربي. صفقات السّلاح التي تستهدف العرب ولا تستهدف عدو العرب».

أمّا عن قضية فلسطين وآل سعود فكان للزعيم عبد الناصر رأي يقول

«أنا لا أتصوّر بأيّ حال من الأحوال أن المملكة السعودية تستطيع أن تحارب في فلسطين وفيها قاعدة أميركية وفيها قاعدة بريطانيّة.

لم تكن مواقف الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر حينها طائفيّةً ولا مذهبيةً ولا عشائريةً أو عنصريّةً وهو العربي الذي عمّد عروبته بالدّم، وهو المسلم الذي تقدّم لمقاومة المحتلّ الصهيوني لأرض فلسطين، وهو السني الذي ثار في وجه الظالمين والمستبدّين وفي مقدمتهم آل سعود.

تلك المواقف لم تكن إلا تعبيراً عن واقعٍ وحقيقة دامغة كشفت دور آل سعود ومؤامراتهم على الأمّة. وما قاله الأمين العام لحزب الله السيّد حسن نصر الله في خطابه الأخير في ذكرى الشّهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبي مهدي المهندس هو نفس الحقيقة التي عبّر عنها الرئيس عبد الناصر منذ أكثر من خمسين عاماً، ولا يزال نفس الكيان يتآمر على الأمة ولكي لا يعطي البعض صبغةً طائفيةً أو مذهبيّة لكلام السّيد نصر الله نقول لهم راجعوا مواقف الرّئيس عبد الناصر التي ردّ عليها آل سعود بتكفيره في الثالث والعشرين من كانون الأول/ ديسمبر من عام 1962 حيث نشرت صحيفة «عكاظ» السّعودية على صفحتها الأولى وبالخط العريض فتوى لفقهاء البلاط الملكي تقول (جمال عبد الناصر كافر بالإجماع) عنوان يختصر عقليّة الكيان السّعودي وحكّامه المستعربين الذين لم ولن يتغيّروا. اليوم يكفّرون الشّرفاء ويتهمونهم بالإرهاب وكلّ ذلك لن يغيّر من حقيقة تقول بأنّ الكيان السعودي الذي قام على المذابح والقتل هو أصل الإرهاب وليس أقلّ خطورة من إرهاب العدو الصّهيوني، وأنّ الوهابيّة التي غزت بدواعشها دمشق وبغداد لا تقلّ عدوانية عن عصابات الهاغاناه وشتيرن، وان شيوخ الوهابيّة هم كفقهاء التلمود، وأنّ كيانكم السرطاني سيزول كما سيزول الكيان الصّهيوني والآتي من الأيام سيُنبّئ بذلك.

Palestinian Refugees are Struggling to Survive amid Lebanon’s Deepening Crisis

December 23, 2021

– Katarzyna Rybarczyk is a Political Correspondent for Immigration Advice Service, an immigration law firm based in the UK but operating globally. Through her articles, she aims to raise awareness about security threats worldwide and the challenges facing communities living in low and middle-income countries. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

By Katarzyna Rybarczyk

As a result of the ongoing Israeli occupation, more than seven million people have fled Palestine to nearby countries. Unfortunately, leaving Palestine does not always mean that their dreams of finding peace and better quality of life are fulfilled. On the contrary, often they find themselves living in degrading conditions and being pushed to the margins of host societies that were supposed to protect them.

In Lebanon, for example, there are nearly half a million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and almost half of them live in the country’s twelve official refugee camps for Palestinians. Not only are the living conditions there very poor but refugees receive practically no support from the state.

The situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was concerning even before the crisis but now, faced with meager savings, limited employment opportunities, and skyrocketing inflation, they are destitute and unable to meet their basic needs.

Ghetto-like Settlements

Some Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in informal tented settlements, but the twelve official camps have turned into permanent dwellings that resemble small impoverished cities with tall concrete houses.

One of the places that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon now call home is the Shatila refugee camp, located on the outskirts of southern Beirut. Shatila, established in 1949, is known primarily for the Sabra and Shatila massacre that lasted for approximately thirty-six hours from 18:00 on 16 September to 08:00 on 18 September 1982. During this time the Lebanese Christian militia, which was under the command of the Israel Defence Forces, slaughtered as many as 3,500 civilians. The exact number of victims is not and most likely will never be known, though.

Initially, Shatila was supposed to temporarily house five hundred people but since its establishment, the camp has grown tenfold. The biggest problem associated with that is that, as refugees in Lebanon are not allowed to build outside of the state assigned camp areas, the growth has mainly been vertical. To accommodate the rapidly expanding population of the camp, new stories keep being added randomly without careful planning or solid foundations being laid first.

Flags with Yasser Arafat in Shatila. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

Since Shatila was frequently targeted during the civil war in Lebanon, a significant proportion of the camp was destroyed. To this day, the infrastructure has not been renovated and those who reside there often live in buildings that pose a threat to their lives or that have no windows, doors, or running water.

Furthermore, the Lebanese government does not get involved in what is happening in refugee camps, so there is no garbage collection system in place, no security forces, and no education or healthcare services provided by the state.

The situation is similar in all other Palestinian camps, or even worse in the ones that house more people such as the Ein El Hilweh Camp, which has the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees in the country.

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon Lack Fundamental Rights

The exclusion of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is apparent not only when looking at the conditions they live in but also at their legal status. They are not entitled to Lebanese citizenship and they pass on the refugee status to their children. That means that even new generations of Palestinians born and raised on the Lebanese territory are stuck in the limbo of limited employment opportunities and being stuck in refugee camps.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon do not have the right to own property and work in certain skilled professions. Even if they want to undertake menial jobs in agriculture or construction, they face obstacles as many of the Lebanese exercise pressure on them to return to violence-ridden Palestine rather than try to settle down in Lebanon. Consequently, Palestinian refugees work mainly in the informal sector where abuses and exploitation are common.

Moreover, to avoid closing their doors completely during Lebanon’s almost total collapse of the economy, employers often have no choice but to lay off some employees. Sadly, unskilled Palestinian workers are usually the first ones to be let go.

Not being able to obtain Lebanese citizenship, Palestinians cannot get Lebanese identity cards and therefore, they cannot access social assistance and government services. To receive medical help or any other form of humanitarian aid, they need to turn to UNRWA and charities.

But as the demand for their services is rising and the costs of preparing food baskets or distributing medicines are going up, UN agencies and aid groups are struggling to cope with helping all those who need it.

The Palestinian Issue is Not a Priority

With seventy-eight percent of the Lebanese living below the poverty line, the economic meltdown and political crisis have caused unimaginable suffering for a significant part of the country’s population, not only for refugees.

Lebanese families desperately need support to cover basic needs, including food. After all, as the Lebanese lira loses value each day, going grocery shopping often means spending one’s whole monthly wage, now equivalent to around $34.

Hence, aid organizations have been focusing primarily on reaching out to the vulnerable Lebanese. Still, more attention needs to be given to the alarming situation of Palestinian refugees as Lebanon is now their home too.

And yet, looking at the Shatila camp reveals the fact that the conditions Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in are humiliating. Walking around the narrow streets paved with garbage, one is under the impression that those living there are not just ill-treated but have been completely abandoned.

A narrow street filled with waste in the Shatila refugee camp. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

These people have been in Lebanon for more than seventy years, waiting for the moment when Palestine is stable enough for them to go back. Now, Lebanon is becoming unlivable so thousands fear that they might lose their newly found safety and have to once again seek protection elsewhere.

In Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Palestinian flags can be seen at every corner but instead of representing pride, it seems like they signify longing to return to their motherland. As the prospects of that happening are currently slim, however, Lebanon needs to at least give refugees a chance to live in dignity.

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بين قرار وزير العمل والمعترض

التعليق السياسي

في كل نقاش يطال تنظيم أحوال الفلسطينيين في لبنان تدخل مفردة شائنة وقبيحة تربط كل تحسين إنساني لأوضاع الفلسطينيين بمزاعم رفض التوطين والتجنيس، وفقاً لمعادلة عنصرية تقول إن الفلسطيني سيتخلى عن حق العودة أو أن التوطين سيصبح أمراً واقعاً لمجرد أن يجد الفلسطيني بيتاً يسكنه أو مهنة يعيش منها، بدلاً من الخيمة والتشرد وتسول المساعدات، وأي نظرة على الواقع الفلسطيني في بلاد مثل كندا والدول الاسكندينافية تفيد أنه حيث تتاح للفلسطينيين أفضل شروط الحياة والاندماج بالمجتمعات المحلية والتقدم الاجتماعي، ترتفع أعلى الأصوات للتمسك بحق العودة، وتنطلق أشد حملات نصرة القضية الفلسطينية.

ثمة صعوبة استثنائية تصل حد الاستحالة لتقبل توجيه تهمة التشجيع على التوطين لطرف سياسي ينتمي لمقاومة لا تقبل أي تسوية للقضية الفلسطينية، يوجهها لها خصم أو حليف يجعل الحل السياسي مع الاحتلال سقفاً لموقفه ويعلن أن لا عداء إيدلوجي بينه وبين كيان الاحتلال، في ظل معرفة الجميع واعترافهم أن ألد عدو للتوطين هو حق العودة، وأن ألد أعداء حق العودة هو كيان الاحتلال ورعاته الدوليين، وأن أهم نقطة اشتباك بين المقاومة وكيان الاحتلال هي التصادم بين مشروعي حق العودة والتوطين.

ما ذكر لايعني إقفال باب النقاش حول قرار وزير العمل بفتح مجالات معينة للعمل أمام الفلسطينيين المولودين في لبنان، ولكن مع الدعوة لإبعاد المزايدات السياسية بالإعتراض من باب الحرص على رفض التوطين.

حق المعترضين بالمطالبة بتشاور وطني يسبق مثل هذا القرار في مسألة حساسة تثير العصبيات كان سيحظى بالاحترام لو حصرت به الاعتراضات.

حق المعترضين بمناقشة نص القرار قانونياً أو مهنياً أو إقتصادياً حق لا نقاش فيه، لكننا سمعنا نقيب الأطباء يعترض قبل أن يقرأ القرار الذي ينص على أن المهن المنظمة بقانون كالطب والهندسة والمحاماة لا تخضع للاستثناء الذي يتيح للفلسطينيين حق العمل.

القرار ككل قرار وزاري يقبل حق المراجعة أمام مجلس شورى الدولة، والمعترضون يملكون القدرة على مناقشة بنوده من قبل قانونيين بعد التفضل بقراءته أولاً، وتقديم طعونهم بكل هدوء، وعندها لا حاجة للضجيج السياسي والإعلامي والتحدي الطائفي، وحتى لو جاء القرار القضائي مجحفاً بحق قرار الوزير فليس أمام الوزير إلا الالتزام.

فيديوات متعلقة

الفلسطيني يرفض “تشليح” اللبناني – زاهر أبو حمدة

 

 الصفصاف

لا يُعرف لماذا اختار جبران باسيل، مصطلح “تشليح” لوصف قرار وزير العمل اللبناني مصطفى بيرم، في ما يخص عمل الفلسطينيين ومكتومي القيد. صحيح أن المصطلح معترف به في المعجم العربي، لكنه يفيد بخلع الملابس وتعرية الجسد. بتاتاً، لا يهدف الفلسطينيون إلى تعرية أي لبناني ولا سيما في هذه الأجواء الباردة. لكن “اللاوعي الباسيلي” اعتاد “تشليح” الناس انسانيتهم وإلباس بعضهم العنصرية بكل أشكالها المقزّزة والبالية.

ومن دون الخوض في السياسة اللبنانية الداخلية، يكفي معرفة أن من “شلّح” أموال المودعين في المصارف ليسوا فلسطينيين، لا بل احتجزت (إذا لم نقل سُرقت) أموال الفلسطينيين. وللمفارقة الغريبة أنه بحجة السرية المصرفية ترفض البنوك الإفصاح عن أرقام وقيمة مدّخرات المودعين الفلسطينيين، ممن فقدوا جنى عمرهم. لكن التقديرات تشير إلى أكثر من مليار دولار أميركي.

وهناك احتمالان لموقف باسيل. الأول: أن فريقه لم يشرح له ماذا يعني قرار الوزير. هكذا ومن دون مقدمات اعتبر عمل الفلسطيني توطيناً مقنعاً وسرقة للوظائف من اللبنانيين. وهنا لا بد من توضيح الأمر، وهذا ما فعله بيرم لاحقاً. فالقرار ليس قانوناً وبالتالي لن يتغير الأمر وسيبقى الفلسطيني ممنوعاً من العمل في المهن الحرة وهي الأساسية. وهذا يحتاج تشريعاً في البرلمان وموافقة النقابات. أما الثاني: أنه يعرف التفاصيل كافة، واستغل الأمر لشد العصب المسيحي قبل الانتخابات والمزايدة على خصومه ورفع أسهمه السياسية والشعبية. وهنا، استغلال غير انساني لقضية إنسانية في المقام الأول. وفي الحالتين يخسر باسيل انسانيته مرة أخرى، فحقوق الانسان بغض النظر عن عرقه ودينه وأصله أهم من السجالات والمناكفات. ولذلك لا بد من سؤال باسيل: هل أنت انسان؟

وبالعودة إلى مسألة “التشليح”، وجب الذكر أن هذا الخطاب ليس جديداً، فهو مستمر منذ جيل النكبة الأول. وفي الخمسينيات، دفع تصاعد الحديث عن التأثيرات السلبية للوجود الفلسطيني في لبنان على الاقتصاد اللبناني، “اللجنة العربية العليا لفلسطين” بقيادة الحاج أمين الحسيني، إلى إصدار تقرير موثق بالأدلة بتاريخ 18 كانون الأول عام 1959 حول الأرصدة المالية الفلسطينية في لبنان. وذلك بهدف إقناع اللبنانيين أن الوجود الفلسطيني لا يشكل عبئاً على لبنان ولا يهدد اقتصاده ومصالحه، بل على العكس هو داعم حقيقي. يفيد التقرير بأن قيمة الأرصدة المالية الإجمالية المحولة لصالح الفلسطينيين في لبنان بلغت 195 مليون ليرة لبنانية، أي أعلى بثلاث مرات من موازنة الدولة اللبنانية أوائل الخمسينيات. استفاد لبنان من رؤوس الأموال والأصول اللاجئة، وتشكلت طبقة رجال الأعمال الفلسطينيين من ذوي الخبرة في التجارة والقطاع المصرفي والمالي والمحاسبة والسياحة والتأمين والهندسة والبناء والصناعة. ووفق بعض التقديرات لم تشكل هذه الطبقة أكثر من 5% من مجموع اللاجئين الفلسطينيين. أما اليوم، ووفقاً لأرقام منظمة العمل الدولية، فالحجم الاقصى للقوى العاملة الفلسطينية يقدر بنحو 45 ألف عامل فقط، يمثلون 3.5% من إجمالي قوة العمل في لبنان. وبالنسبة للمهن الحرة المنظمة بقوانين خاصة (المحامون والأطباء والمهندسون والصيادلة)، فإن عدد الفلسطينيين ذوي الاختصاص ليس كبيراً. ووفقاً لأحدث الدراسات الميدانية لمنظمة العمل الدولية الصادرة عام 2015، يبلغ عدد الأطباء الفلسطينيين 400 طبيب ينتسب نحو 239 منهم إلى الاتحاد الفلسطيني العام للأطباء والصيادلة ويعمل عدد لا بأس به منهم في عيادات الأونروا ومستشفيات جمعية “الهلال الأحمر الفلسطيني”، بينما يصل عدد المهندسين الفلسطينيين، إلى 1200 مهندس غالبيتهم يعملون خارج لبنان. هكذا أرقام لا يمكن أن تزاحم اللبناني، وبكل تأكيد لا يريد الفلسطيني المنافسة على الفرص إن سنحت له بقدر ما يتمنى بعض الإنسانية إذا توافرت.

Palestinian engineer files lawsuit in Texas to protest antiboycott law

7 Dec  2021

Source: The Guardian

By Al Mayadeen

Palestinian-American engineer Rasmy Hassouna is suing the state of Texas to cancel a law that bans government contractors from boycotting “Israel” and its products.

Hassouna’s case could cost him to lose a certain amount of money of his yearly revenue.

Rasmy Hassouna, Texan civil engineer and contractor for the city of Houston, is fighting the Israeli occupation in his way.

The Palestinian-American citizen was about to renew his contract with the government before he noticed a legal clause that forbids him and his company A&R Engineering and Testing, Inc, from ever protesting “Israel” and its products as long as working for Houston, reported The Guardian.

“I came here and thought I was a free man. It’s not anybody’s business what I do or what I say, as long as I’m not harming anybody,” Hassouna expressed.

“Why do I have to pledge allegiance to a foreign country?”, he questioned.

In response, Rasmy, 59, decided to take action and file a lawsuit against the Texas state law that bans government contractors from boycotting the Israeli occupation, which is the case in more than 25 US states, mentioned the newspaper. 

According to The Guardian, Hassouna’s company is one out of only two companies to challenge such laws.

The lawsuit will be heard in federal court on Tuesday for violating free speech, and if ruled, the 2019 Texas ban on boycotting “Israel” will be canceled.

However, according to his lawyer, Hassouna’s case could cost him to lose a certain amount of money of his yearly revenue.

Flying to the US as an immigrant in 1988, the engineer became a US citizen in 2005. Back then, he fought his first battle: His citizenship certificate read “Israel” in the place of birth section.

“I went to the lady who was giving the certificates away and told her I didn’t want ‘Israel’ on my certificate,” he explained.

“They told me ‘Palestine was not in the system.’”

After back-and-forth discussions with officials, the immigration office finally granted him a new certificate with the place of birth section saying Gaza Strip.

WATCH: ‘Unity and Resistance’: Ramzy Baroud Delivers Speech at Casa Arabe in Madrid

December 3, 2021

Ramzy Baroud speaks at Casa Arabe in Madrid, Spain. (Photo: The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestine Chronicle editor, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, delivered a speech at Casa Arabe on Thursday, as part of the Palestine Week, which was organized to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. 

The conference focused on the events that took place in Palestine last May, from the resistance against the forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah to the Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip, as seen from the point of view of the Palestinian people.

ENGLISH ORIGINAL

Baroud, a historian whose books have focused on reorienting the history of Palestine towards a people-centered narrative, known as people history, traced the history of the events through the prism of a renewed sense of unity and the strong resistance movement that came into being. 

SPANISH INTERPRETATION 

Baroud’s presentation was facilitated in an interview form conducted by Spanish journalist Itxaso Domínguez de Olazábal, coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa Panel at the Alternativas Foundation, and Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator.

Baroud also discussed his forthcoming book ‘Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out’, co-edited jointly with Israeli historian Professor Ilan Pappé.

A day earlier, Baroud also delivered a lecture at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain’s largest university. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

‘Israeli’ Prisoners “Won’t See Daylight” Until Palestinian Inmates Released – Hamas

Nov 29, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

Chief of Palestinian resistance Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniya stressed that ‘Israeli’ prisoners in the besieged Gaza Strip will not see the light of day until Palestinian inmates held in ‘Israeli’ jails are released.

Haniya made the remarks in an interview with the international Arab Forum for Solidarity with Detainees in Zionist prisons on Saturday, the movement’s official website reported on Sunday.

He stressed that the issue of the Palestinian prisoners in ‘Israeli’ occupation jails would remain a top priority for Hamas and the movement supports these inmates by strengthening their steadfastness and working hard until they are released.

Haniya also noted that Hamas has managed to free more than a thousand Palestinian detainees from Zionist jails in the Wafaa al-Aharar [“True Promise of Free Men”] prisoner swap deal with the occupying regime in 2011.

Haniya emphasized that Tel Aviv does not make compromises willingly, confirming that “this enemy gives nothing without being forced to do so.”

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in ‘Israeli’ jails. Hundreds have been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which allows holding Palestinian inmates without trial or charge. Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Haniya paid homage to Operation al-Quds Sword, which marked the latest military faceoff between the Zionist regime and the Gaza-based resistance groups, including Hamas.

He confirmed that this confrontation with the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces was a milestone in the history of Palestine, as it has “put the region on the path towards ending the ‘Israeli’ occupation of Palestine.”

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

 November 27, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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

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

26 November 2021

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

We republish in full the letter from Palestinian prisoners:

The prisoners’ message in memory of Samah Idriss

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

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

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

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

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

Your comrades in the occupation prisons

26 November 2021

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

November 23rd, 2021

By Robert Inlakesh

Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Palestinian revolutionary alternative to Oslo futility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Putting the Palestinian Authority on edge

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PARP Movement, Khatib told me,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on the topic

The Central Myth of Zionism: Jews Have No Future in the Arab and Muslim World (Updated)

Net 5 Nov, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samuel Geddes

The loss of 100 or so citizens to Iran, Iraq, Yemen, or Morocco would at best be terrible public relations for “Israel”. The loss of 100,000 or more would be existentially disastrous. 

Flourishing communities such as those in Iraq, Iran, and Yemen were, for much of history, the centers of the Jewish world and deeply enmeshed within the societies that surrounded them. One of the most effective lies of the Israeli propaganda has been to posit the irreconcilability of Jewish and Arab identities as if it is impossible to be both. The existence of hundreds of thousands of Jews with origins from Morocco to the Gulf demonstrates otherwise. 

Throughout the decades in which Arab leaders, in particular, pledged their opposition to the existence of “Israel” and its further colonization of Palestine, they have neglected to use one of the most powerful weapons at their disposal. Had Arab leaders in Iraq, Yemen or the states of the Arab Maghreb wished to truly damage the viability of “Israel”, they could easily have opened the way for their historic Jewish populations to return, trading in their Israeli passports and citizenship for that which they, their parents or even grandparents lost.  

The tactical argument

By this point, it has become clear even to the mainstream western opinion that the two-state solution envisioned by the Oslo Process is not even a remote possibility. Rather than the self-determination of an Arab state on the territories occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967, the central issue of the conflict has shifted to the political equality of all Palestinians within the territory of Mandate Palestine. The achievement of this goal would instantly nullify the concept of a “Jewish State” as Jews within the entire territory are already outnumbered by Palestinians, a demographic imbalance that will only grow with time.

Consequently, in terms of alleviating the colonial pressure on the Palestinians, as well as amplifying their demographic, and by extension political advantage, it makes complete sense for the surrounding countries to voluntarily reabsorb their Jewish former citizens, thereby removing them from the arena of conflict. 

In the case of Yemen, we are speaking of roughly 430,000 people. Of Iraqi Jews, between 200,000 to 600,000, Iranian Jews number 200,000 to 250,000, and Moroccans some 473,000. Were these communities to return to their homelands in any significant number it would be a catastrophic erosion of “Israel’s” demographic position, as well as its pretensions to being central to the identity of all Jews everywhere.

The loss of 100 or so citizens to Iran, Iraq, Yemen, or Morocco would at best be terrible public relations for “Israel”. The loss of 100,000 or more would be existentially disastrous. 

Perhaps surprisingly given the intensity of its opposition to the Zionist state, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the regional countries best placed to facilitate this. Since the success of the 1979 revolution, Judaism has received official recognition along with other minority religions such as Christianity and Zoroastrianism, including political representation in parliament.

The Iranian leadership has consistently made clear the distinction it sees between Jews, an ethnoreligious community, and Zionists, purveyors of a racist political ideology. Still, the country’s Jewish citizenry is a fraction of its pre-revolutionary size. Despite this, the future large-scale and permanent return of Iranian Jews is entirely conceivable if Tehran goes to the necessary lengths to assure them that their cultural, religious, and political freedoms would be guaranteed. 

Iran would likely be apprehensive about repatriating hundreds of thousands of its former citizens, their children, and grandchildren, in light of the ongoing Israeli campaigns of sabotage and assassination against its nuclear program and other targets. In the long run, however, even a relatively small demographic decline would dramatically constrain the military and covert power of the Israelis, hamstringing their capacity to attack their neighbors. 

A population drain of this kind could well lead to a self-reinforcing cycle, whereby other Israeli citizens witnessing outmigration may also choose to emigrate to countries where their long-term future is better guaranteed. 

The moral case

This is also a question that may force itself on the governments of the region whether they choose to address it or not. 

The Jews of the Arab and wider Islamic world to a significant extent continue to hold on to their eastern cultural heritage. To those governments and movements opposing the colonization of Palestine, this fact represents a unique advantage to be exploited. As both the global and regional environment becomes more hostile to “Israel”, its behavior could become yet more erratic and desperate. By offering resettlement to their former Jewish communities, regional countries would both give them a peaceful way out and demonstrate that Jews do have a future in the region outside of occupied Palestine. Such a gesture would demonstrate to many the futility of sacrificing themselves for a colonial project that will inevitably fail.  

Prior to the conflict, the Arab and Islamic world had nothing approaching the levels of persecution and discrimination as those suffered by the Jews of Christian Europe. In the aftermath of the Second World War and the exposure of the Holocaust to global awareness, the west could have earnestly confronted its own deeply rooted anti-Semitism. Instead, it chose to cynically back European Jewish ethnonationalism in Palestine.

For those struggling to end the colonial project in Palestine, an essential element of the strategy must be to demonstrate to enough Jewish Israelis that their own survival is not tied to the survival of “Israel” and that being a Yemeni, Iraqi, or Moroccan Jew does not exclude a person from membership of the Arab nation. 

As well as the enormous economic benefits to be had from the reintegration of hundreds of thousands of highly educated and productive people, the value of the societal and cultural enrichment that would follow would be incalculable. 

The peaceful repatriation of North African and Middle Eastern Jews to the countries of their birth or recent ancestry may seem like an idealistic pipe dream but it would not entail the creation of a radically new social dynamic. Rather it would be a return to the religious, cultural, and ethnic pluralism which has predominated in the region for so much of its history. 

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

 34 عامًا على انطلاقة “الجهاد”.. تأكيد على المقاومة حتى النصر

المصدر

 34 عامًا على انطلاقة "الجهاد".. تأكيد على المقاومة حتى النصر

تحت شعار “جهادنا حرية وانتصار”، تُحيي حركة الجهاد الإسلامي في فلسطين هذا العام الذكرى الـ34 لانطلاقتها الجهادية. 

القيادات والحركات الفلسطينية باركت لحركة الجهاد هذا اليوم، مؤكدة وحدة الصف الفلسطيني بوجه العدو المحتل. 

قيادات “الجهاد”

وبالمناسبة، قال الأمين العام لحركة الجهاد الإسلامي زياد النخالة إن “ما حدث بعد نفق الحرية يؤكد للعدو مرة أخرى أن هذه الأرض لنا وأن العدو إلى زوال”. 

ولفت النخالة إلى أن “هؤلاء القتلة الصهاينة وجب قتالهم فإما حياة كريمة لنا أو ذل مستدام”، مشيرًا إلى أن “هذا العام شهدنا رفضًا لكل محاولات العدو لتهجير أهلنا في الشيخ جراح وحي سلوان”. 

النخالة اعتبر أنه “المحزن أكثر هو تمدد الصهيونية في المنطقة العربية بشكل لم يحلم به مؤسسو الصهيونية”. 

وقال: “نحن أكثر وعيًا بالمشروع الصهيوني فلنقف جميعًا شعبًا واحدًا وإرادة واحدة”، لافتًا إلى أن “المشروع الرسمي الفلسطيني أقصر من قامة الشهداء”.

وأشار إلى “أننا موعودون بالنصر والعدو محكوم بالخروج من فلسطين وعلينا أن نخرج من الغمغمة السياسية”. 

ووفقًا للنخالة، فإن “بعض الأنظمة العربية يأخذ خطابنا للارتماء في المشروع الصهيوني الأميركي”، مضيفًا أنه “إذا لم نفعل ذلك سيبقى الاحتلال وسيتمدد لذلك يجب أن نراهن على شعبنا ومقاتلينا”.

ورأى الأمين العام لـ”الجهاد” أن “معركة سيف القدس كشفت هشاشة الاحتلال وأحيت الأمل لدى شعبنا بأن الانتصار على العدو ممكن”، مشيرًا إلى أنه “أصبح واضحًا للعالم أن مهرجانات التطبيع والسلام الكاذب وافتتاح السفارات لن تغير حقائق التاريخ”.

النخالة أكد أنه “رغم التحديات نراهن على ثبات أهلنا في القدس في التصدي لاقتحامات المستوطنين للأقصى”، قائلًا إن “ما تمر به قضيتنا الفلسطينية من تحديات لا يمنعنا من أن نرى بوادر أمل من أن الانتصار قريب”.

كما شدد على أن “شعبنا شعب مقاوم ومرابط ولم يبخل يومًا في تقديم التضحيات من أجل فلسطين ويواجه أعتى احتلال”. في المقابل “هناك من يراهن على تسويق الوهم في إمكانية إحداث اختراق لدى ذلك الاحتلال”، موجهًا “التحية إلى الأسرى ولا سيما منهم أسرى حركة الجهاد الإسلامي”.

كذلك وجه التحية إلى أبطال نفق الحرية وإلى الأسيرات اللواتي وصفهن بأنهن نجمات على جبين الأمة، مؤكدًا “وحدة قوى المقاومة في فلسطين والمنطقة وحماية هذه الوحدة”.

وشدد الأمين العام على “التمسك بفلسطين كل فلسطين وعلى أن المقاومة خيارنا”، مجددًا رفضه الدائم لكل مشاريع التطبيع والاستسلام مهما بلغ عدد الدول المتورطة فيها.

ممثل “حركة الجهاد الإسلامي” في لبنان إحسان عطايا قال من ناحيته إن “ذكرى انطلاقة حركة الجهاد الإسلامي الـ34 لها ميزة ونكهة خاصة، ولا سيما أنها جاءت خلال عام حافل بالإنجازات المهمة التي غيَّرت فيها “سرايا القدس” وفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية الكثير من المعادلات مع العدو الصهيوني”.

وأكد عطايا لـ”إذاعة القدس” أن “حركة الجهاد ما زالت ثابتة على خيار المقاومة من أجل تحرير كل تراب فلسطين، ولم تتزحزح عن ثوابتها التي انطلقت من أجلها قيد أنملة”.

وأضاف: “حركة الجهاد في مواقفها وإنجازاتها أكدت للجميع أنه لا يمكن بغير المقاومة تحقيق إنجازات نوعية وتفوق على العدو في طريق تحرير القدس وكل فلسطين”.

ولفت إلى أن “الساحات كلها تعمل على قدم وساق من أجل الاحتفال بذكرى الانطلاقة الجهادية المركزية المتزامنة فيما بينها، لتثبت الحركة بذلك مجددًا أنها ما زالت متماسكة، وقادرة على التواصل والتفاعل، ويمكنها إرسال رسائل متعددة الاتجاهات بأنها ستبقى متسلحة بثوابتها، ومتمسكة بمبادئها ومنطلقاتها، وستظل وفية لنهج قادتها المؤسسين، ولدماء شهدائها المخلصين، وكل الذين استشهدوا على طريق القدس وفلسطين”.

وأكد عطايا في ختام حديثه أن “حركة الجهاد في طليعة المقاومين، وتخوض المعركة مع العدو دفاعًا عن فلسطين ومقدساتها، وصونًا لكرامة الأمة وعزتها”، موجهًا “التحية لشهدائنا وجرحانا وأسرانا البواسل في سجون العدو وزنازينه، ولشعبنا الصابر والمقاوم في غزة الأبية الصابرة، الذي لا يزال يدفع أثمانًا باهظة، ويتحمل الحصار الخانق لتمسكه بخيار المقاومة، وكذلك لأهلنا في القدس والضفة وعموم أرضنا المحتلة في انتفاضتهم المباركة بوجه الاحتلال”.

من جهته، أكد القيادي في حركة الجهاد الإسلامي أحمد المدلل أن الحركة من خلال سلاحها البسيط استطاعت أن تدك العدو الصهيوني وتصنع معادلات ردع جديدة.

وأكد المدلل في تصريح لقناة القدس اليوم أن شرف الانطلاقة الجهادية الـ34 أن الدكتور المؤسس فتحي الشقاقي أراد  لفلسطين أن تكون حاضرة دائمًا في صلب الوعي الإسلامي ومن تمحور حوله هم الشباب المسلم.

وقال: “بالرغم من كل ما واجهته حركة الجهاد الإسلامي من حصار ومطاردات إلا أنها أصبحت قوية أكثر”. وأوضح أن كل العمليات البطولية لحركة الجهاد وصولًا لعملية انتزاع الحرية أعادت تأثير الحركة على الطاولة العالمية.

وشدد على أن المقاومة الفلسطينية والشعب الفلسطيني هما السد المنيع أمام العدو الصهيوني الذي لا يفهم سوى لغة القوة. وأكد أنه لا بد من وجود مشروع عربي إسلامي نهضوي في مواجهة المشروع الاستكباري الصهيوني.

وبيّن المدلل أن الكيان الصهيوني يعيش في أسوأ مراحله لأن سلاح المقاومة وعلى رأسه سلاح سرايا القدس استطاع ضرب عمق “تل أبيب”.

قيادات “حماس”

وقد هنأت حركة المقاومة الإسلامية “حماس” حركة الجهاد الإسلامي وأمينها العام، وأعضاء المكتب السياسي، وعموم قادة الحركة وكوادرها بمناسبة ذكرى الانطلاقة الرابعة والثلاثين. 

وقالت “حماس” في بيان إن انطلاقة حركة الجهاد الإسلامي مثلت إضافة نوعية وإسهامًا كبيرًا في تعزيز المقاومة، وردف مشروع التحرير وحق العودة بالقوة والمنعة. 

وأكدت الحركة في هذه المناسبة وحدة الهدف والقواسم المشتركة القائمة على خيار المقاومة ومقارعة المحتل، والمضي في تعزيز وحدة الحال والكلمة، والاستمرار في تحالف متين نحو هدفنا المشترك، تحرير فلسطين من بحرها إلى نهرها. 

ولفتت إلى أن الصورة المشرقة التي جمعت سرايا القدس وكتائب القسام وكل أذرع المقاومة الفلسطينية في مواجهة الاحتلال ستبقى هي الحقيقة الثابتة، والتي لن تتغير حتى تطهير الأرض والمقدسات. 

وأضافت “في هذا اليوم المجيد نقف إجلالًا للقادة الشهداء، المؤسس الدكتور الشهيد فتحي الشقاقي، والدكتور الشهيد رمضان شلح، وكل الشهداء والأسرى من حركة الجهاد الإسلامي الذين برهنوا بالدم على صدق التمسك بمسار التحرير والإصرار عليه، وأنهم لن يقيلوا أو يستقيلوا حتى يتحقق هدف التحرير”. 

وبعثت الحركة بخالص التبريكات والدعوات الصادقات لرفقاء الدرب وشركاء الدم، مجددة معهم عهد الوفاء لفلسطين حتى نلتقي في ساحات المسجد الأقصى المبارك مهللين مكبرين محررين، وما ذلك على الله بعزيز ولا بعيد.

من جانبه، وجه اسماعيل رضوان القيادي في حركة حماس التحية والتهنئة لحركة الجهاد الاسلامي في ذكرى انطلاقتها، مؤكدًا أن انطلاقة حركة الجهاد الإسلامي نوعية وليست زيادة رقمية حيث أضافت رخمًا جديدًا في العمل المقاوم وأبدعت في ميداني السياسة والمقاومة معًا.

وقال رضوان: “نعتز بالعلاقة التي تربط حركة حماس والجهاد الاسلامي، حيث إننا يدٌ واحدة، وسرايا القدس وكتائب القسام تعملان سويا وستواصلان العمل كونهما رفقاء الدم والمصير”، مشددًا على  حرص حركته على تطوير العلاقة الثنائية بين حركتي الجهاد الاسلامي وحماس وكل الوطن حتى الوصول للوحدة الوطنية التي تحافظ على الثوابت حتى تحرير فلسطين.

وأضاف رضوان: “العلاقة التي تربط بين الحركتين قائمة على المبدأ والعقيدة كوننا أصحاب مدرسة ايمانية تستمد أساسها من القرآن والكريم والسنة النبوية، وهي ما يربطنا في الفكر والتربية فنحن نسير على ذات الشوكة”.

وأشار رضوان إلى أن حركتي الجهاد وحماس قدمتا أغلى ما لديهما من رموز القيادة، بالإضافة إلى قيادة الجهاد الإسلامي مؤسسها فتحي الشقاقي وهاني العابد والخواجة وبهاء أبو العطاء وغيرهم من قوافل الشهداء، مؤكدًا أن التحام الحركتين نابع من صدقهما في تحرير فلسطين والتكامل القائم من رأس الهرم إلى باقي المجالات العسكرية والميدانية.

حركة “المجاهدين”

في السياق نفسه، تقدمت “حركة المجاهدين الفلسطينية” ممثلة بأمينها العام أسعد أبو شريعة “أبو الشيخ” وأعضاء مكتب الأمانة العامة وكافة قيادة وكوادر الحركة من إخوة الدين والدرب والجهاد في حركة الجهاد الإسلامي، وعلى رأسهم القائد زياد النخالة الأمين العام للحركة وأعضاء مكتبها السياسي وكوادرها، بخالص التهاني والتبريكات في ذكرى انطلاقتهم الرابعة والثلاثين.

وقالت حركة المجاهدين في بيان لها إن الانطلاقة أضافت زخمًا جهاديًا لمسيرة النضال الفلسطيني وللحركة الإسلامية في فلسطين، فكانت معلمًا بارزًا في مشروع التحرير والعودة، وقدمت رصيدًا كبيرًا في مسيرة الفكر والبندقية.

واعتبرت أن هذه المناسبة الجهادية أكدت الروابط الوثيقة التي تجمع مجاهدي الحركتين ومقاتلي سرايا القدس وكتائب المجاهدين والمشوار الطويل من التنسيق والعمل المشترك لنؤكد مضينا في تعزيز روابط الشراكة والتحالف نحو تحرير فلسطين من بحرها إلى نهرها وانتزاع كل الحقوق.

وشددت على ضرورة تعزيز التعاضد بين فصائل المقاومة كجسم فلسطيني أصيل يعبر عن ارادة الشعب في التحرر والخلاص من المحتل.

حركة “الأحرار” 

بدورها، هنأت حركة الأحرار حركة الجهاد الإسلامي في الذكرى الـ34 لانطلاقتها الجهادية، مؤكدة أنها امتداد لمسيرة من الجهاد والعطاء في خدمة مشروع المقاومة

وقالت حركة الأحرار إن حركة الجهاد الإسلامي شكَّلت عنوانًا من عناوين الجهاد والبطولة وركيزة أساسية في ريادة مسيرة نضال شعبنا وإضافة نوعية لفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية.

واستذكرت الحركة قادتها الكرام المؤسس الدكتور فتحي الشقاقي والأمين العام السابق د.رمضان عبد الله شلح وقافلة كبيرة من الشهداء، متمنية لحركة الجهاد دوام الرفعة والتقدم والارتقاء والثبات على خطى الشهداء.

حركة “فتح”

بالموازاة، هنأ عباس زكي عضو اللجنة المركزية لحركة فتح الأمين العام لحركة الجهاد الاسلامي القائد زياد النخالة ومكتبها السياسي وكوادرها بذكرة الانطلاقة الجهادية الـ34، مشيدًا بالحفاظ على نهج الحركة القائم على الثوابت ونضالها من أجل استعادة الأرض دون أن تسأل عن مكانتها في الحصص.

وقال زكي: “كرم الله حركة الجهاد الاسلامي أن يكون قائدها الأول شهيدًا، ونحن نراهن على الحركة التي تعلقت وملأت الفراغ وأصبحت قوة لا يستهان بها في ظل أوضاع غاية في التعقيد”.

وأشاد زكي بالأمين العام لحركة الجهاد الاسلامي القائد زياد النخالة لحفاظه على الإرث العظيم بعناده وإصراراه على الثوابت التي تُشكل طموح شعبنا.

وشدد زكي على أن العدو يقف حائرًا أمام حركة تكرس الوعي والفهم الذي انطلقت على أساسه بالإضافة إلى دورها المعاصر، مشيرًا إلى أن الاحتلال يستهدف أسرى الجهاد الإسلامي، بعد أن قام ستة من نخبتها بحفر نفق داخل سجن جلبوع واصطحاب المارد الفتحاوي ليعطي العارضة رسالة لنا جميعا أن الوحدة هي الأساس للقضاء على الاحتلال.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre Anniversary September 1982 – Never Forget

ARABI SOURI 

Sabra and Shatila Massacre - Lebanon September 1982

Sabra and Shatila massacre is the most horrific, most heinous, ugliest war crime deliberately committed by armed forces against innocent civilians, rather refugees in their houses in the camp they were sieged in, what makes it more heinous is the criminals are known and they are not prosecuted, they are celebrated as heroes by their supporters.

We are commemorating the 39th anniversary of this disgusting massacre that not even ISIS committed similar to it in the same place despite the number of beyond horrific massacres this US-sponsored anti-Islamic terrorist organization has committed.

The video is available here and on BitChute.

Video report transcript:

The massacre is one of the most horrific things written in the history of the entire world, it is the massacre of Sabra and Shatila, which was committed by the Israeli occupation forces in Beirut on this day, 39 years ago, which claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Palestinian people.

The massacre was pre-planned by the Israeli occupation forces, which set out in the dark on the night of September 16, 1982, to commit murders that lasted for 48 hours in collusion with groups of the Lebanese Forces militia and the so-called South Lebanon Army, the proxy agent at the time, against the Palestinians and Lebanese residing in Shatila camp and the neighboring Sabra neighborhood.

The Israeli occupation vehicles sealed the escape exits of the camp and did not allow entry until after the massacre ended on September 18, when the world woke up to one of the most heinous massacres in history and to find thousands of dead bodies of women, children and the elderly who were killed in a way that shames humanity.

Despite the ugliness of the massacre that the world woke up to, the ‘international community’ did not bring the perpetrators and try them by any court, and none of them were punished for what they have committed. The matter was limited to investigation committees that reached results that were not followed by legal follow-up.

The number of martyrs who fell as victims of this massacre is not clear, as estimates indicate the death of about seven thousand martyrs, and the pictures of children who did not exceed the age of three and four while they were in their pajamas and their blankets stained with their blood, and the families killed by the Israeli occupation forces while they slept, remain a living witness that will not go away and evidence of the ugliness of the crime.

End of the Report.

Samir Geagea, the head of the Lebanese Forces militia was sentenced to prison for life in Lebanon for a number of other crimes including the bombing of a church while holding a mass, the slaughtering of the whole family of his political opponent, the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rachid Karami and a Lebanese army officer with him, and he was pardoned by the US and Saudi proxy Lebanese politicians, he didn’t spend the rest of his days repenting and asking for forgiveness, he’s the head of a block in the Lebanese parliament and a staunch opponent of the majority of the Lebanese people working publicly for the Saudi regime.

None of the Israeli officials is prosecuted or tried at a court of justice, some of them were left to commit series of other war crimes in Lebanon and in Palestine, including against Gaza, and around the world bombing, assassinating, and instigating strife, all in the guise of ‘fighting terrorism’ following the steps of their main patron, the United States of America post-September 11. the USA invaded two countries and slaughtered over a million people in Iraq alone, displaced millions of others avenging the killing of around 3000 of its people in the 2001 attacks, how should the relatives of the 7000 victims of the Sabra and Shatila massacre avenge the massacre? And we’re not talking about the Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans, Palestinians, Somalians, Yemenis, Serbians, to count a few.

The next time the US or European officials ever mention the need to prosecute war criminals around the world ask them about the accountability for Sabra and Shatila massacre victims, then ask them about the other war crimes they’ve committed and ask them to at least shut up.

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An Everlasting Trauma: Sabra and Shatila by the Hours

September 16, 2021

Source: The Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 31, No. 1. 16 Sep 23:31

By Al Mayadeen

Ariel Sharon gave the commands, the Israeli-backed militiamen did the dirty work.

See the source image

On one occasion of forty hours of ruthless slaughter, “Israel’s” June 6, 1982 invasion of Lebanon, called “Operation Peace for Galilee,” hardly experienced any sense of peace. Linda Butler, an associate editor at the Journal of Palestine Studies, narrates it well

According to “Israel,” the aim of the operation was to push back the frontiers of the Palestinian resistance fighters to “protect the people of Galilee” – however, little did 3500 Palestinian and Lebanese know about how their death, sans criminal record, would protect settler colonialism miles and miles away. The second goal of the invasion was to station a government that has an affinity to Israeli settler colonialism. In this case, the president that was to assume office was right-wing leader Bashir Gemayel. 

Sharon called it, “ridding the world of international terrorism.” 

West Beirut, which engulfed the Sabra and Shatila camps, was besieged for 70 days. Three months into the invasion, 17,825 people were killed in occupied regions. West Beirut’s death toll alone, due to airstrikes, artillery and gunfire, took up 2,461 civilians.

As the death toll incessantly mounted, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) came to an understanding in August: to evacuate 11,000 Palestinian fighters and officials under the supervision and auspices of French, US, and Italian troops. The troops left by September 10, 1982. 

On the afternoon of the 14th of September, Bashir Gemayel was assassinated in the Kataeb (Arabic for Phalengist) headquarters in Achrafieh, East Beirut. Habib Shartouni, a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, was blamed for the explosion. 

Ariel Sharon, the security minister at the time, capitalized on the assassination to execute a plan that has impacted the lives of thousands.

Sharon immediately pused the narrative that the Palestinians were behind the assassination of the Christians’ leader, and that they must be avenged as soon as possible.

Accordingto an Israeli journalist, Amnon Kapeliouk, the horrendous operation to be launched by Sharon had been “meticulously planned long in advance.” 

At 3:00 AM on the 15th of September, Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, Major General Amir Drori, 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 IDF, shall command the forces in the area.” While the IDF 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 IDF. 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 Friday, 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 murdering 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” as to not be blamed for anything, refusing any accountability and denying any involvement in the disaster. 

«سلطة أوسلو»: الخطيئة الأولى

الأخبار بتصرف

ثمانية وعشرون عاماً مرّت على توقيع «اتفاقية أوسلو». عقدان وسنوات ثمانٍ ثبت خلالها أن تلك الاتفاقية لم تكن أكثر من خديعة تعرّض لها الفلسطينيون، حتى يُربط مصيرهم أبداً بالاحتلال، من دون أن يقدروا على الفكاك منه. وبمعزل عن تفسير ما أقدم عليه الراحل ياسر عرفات من صفقة خاسرة أعطت إسرائيل كلّ شيء مقابل بعض الشيء وأشياء كثيرة متخيّلة، فإن ما آل إليه واقع السلطة التي أفرزها «أوسلو» يبدو من السوريالية بمستوى يصعب وصفه. إذ إنها تحوّلت إلى سيف مسلّط على رقبة المقاومة الفلسطينية، ليس من المبالغة القول إنه أمضى من السيف الإسرائيلي نفسه، فيما أضحى الهمّ الشاغل لقياداتها ووجوهها المحافظة على وجودهم ومكاسبهم، وإلى ذلك طريق واحد وحيد: “التنسيق الأمني”، الذي أضحت بموجبه السلطة حارساً وفيّاً لأمن إسرائيل ومصالحها، مع اطمئنان شبه كامل لدى الكيان العبري إلى أن هذا الواقع لن يتغيّر حتى ولو مات محمود عباس وشبع موتاً

يحيى دبوق

«سلطة أوسلو» في عيدها الثامن والعشرين: نقبل الذلّ… نقبله طواعيةً

«سلطة أوسلو» في عيدها الثامن والعشرين: نقبل الذلّ... نقبله طواعيةً
See the source image

يمكن للسلطة الفلسطينية والقائمين عليها أن يطلقوا على أنفسهم ما يريدون من أسماء وتوصيفات ترفع كيانهم السياسي إلى مراتب الدول ذات القرار والسيادة، إلّا أن ذلك لا يغيّر من واقع النظرة الإسرائيلية إليهم:…

يوسف فارس

إكسير «التنسيق الأمني»: كيف نحيا من دونه؟

إكسير «التنسيق الأمني»: كيف نحيا من  دونه؟

بعد مقتل الناشط السياسي، نزار بنات، مطلع الشهر الجاري، وما سبق ذلك من فضيحة اللّقاحات منتهية الصلاحية، وأزمات الفساد و الحضور الهامشي لـ«المقاطعة» خلال حرب غزّة، زاد الحديث في الأوساط السياسية…

رجب المدهون

الدولة السراب

الدولة السراب

على مدار سنوات سبقت توقيع «اتفاق أوسلو»، سعت شخصيات فلسطينية وأخرى عربية في إقناع قيادة «منظّمة التحرير»، ورئيسها الراحل ياسر عرفات، بالذهاب نحو حلّ مرحلي، وإنهاء الكفاح المسلّح ضدّ دولة الاحتلال،…

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«أبو عمار» لو حكى: سلطة «أبو مازن» خطيئة كبرى

«أبو عمار» لو حكى: سلطة «أبو مازن» خطيئة كبرى

على مدار الأعوام الماضية، واجهت المقاومة الفلسطينية عدواً داخلياً تمثّل في السلطة الفلسطينية وأدواتها الأمنية والسياسية، التي عملت على وأد المقاومة بالاعتقال والاغتيال والتنسيق الأمني مع الاحتلال….

يوسف فارس

من «جمهورية الفاكهاني» إلى زبانية الاحتلال

من «جمهورية الفاكهاني» إلى زبانية الاحتلال
See the source image

يصحّ القول إن طموح الدولة، أو تحصيل أيّ مظهر من مظاهر السيادة، مثّل عقدة نقص لدى القيادة الفلسطينية، ليس منذ تأسيس «منظّمة التحرير» في مطلع الستينيات فحسب، إنّما للأمر جذورٌ فطرية تتّصل بواقع الشخصية…

رجب المدهون

عدوٌّ للمقاومة من أهلها

عدوٌّ للمقاومة من أهلها

على مدار 27 عاماً، واجهت المقاومة الفلسطينية عدواً داخلياً تمثّل في السلطة الفلسطينية وأدواتها الأمنية والسياسية، التي عملت على وأد المقاومة بالاعتقال والاغتيال والتنسيق الأمني مع الاحتلال. وخلال…

رجب المدهون

«فتح» تحت قيادة عباس: الراتب أوّلاً… والراتب أخيراً

Visual search query image

لم تَعُد حركة «فتح»، بعد قيادتها السلطة الفلسطينية، كما كانت قبلها؛ إذ باتت أطرها جميعاً مرتبطة بوجود السلطة التي تربط التنظيم بالرواتب والمناصب التي توزّعها على قياداتها. ومنذ بداية تأسيس السلطة،…

My Visit to Lyd, Where Historical and Contemporary Zionist Oppression Meet

August 19th, 2021

By Miko Peled

Source

Palestine stretches from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean and goes right through the ancient Palestinian city of Lyd.

LYD, PALESTINE — One of the toughest challenges facing those who fight for justice in Palestine is breaking the Zionist paradigm, which limits the name Palestine to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These two delineations of territory have no historical meaning and no geographical significance. They are no different from other parts of Palestine except that they were drawn by Zionists who, after the murderous 1948 campaign of ethnic cleansing, decided that they would not include those two areas within the boundaries of the Zionist state.

In 1967 the State of Israel occupied these two areas, and today the West Bank exists only in people’s imagination, while the Gaza Strip operates as a prison. After the disastrous Oslo process began in 1993, and the Palestinian Authority came into being, these two areas became known to the world as the State of Palestine.

Lyd as it was

In July 2021, I visited the city of Lyd, where I met with Councilwoman Fida Shehada, a Palestinian member of the Lyd City Council who was kind enough to spend a day with me in her city. She gave me a tour of the town before we sat down for a lengthy and detailed interview, which will soon be posted to my Patreon page.

“Lyd has archeological sites that show it is as old as the city of Jericho,” Shehada told me. However, the state and the municipality refrain from excavating because these sites have no value to the Zionist narrative. Lyd is perhaps most famous for being home to the Church of Saint George. The church was built over the grave of the famous Saint George of Lyd, who was buried in the city of his Palestinian mother’s birth after he was martyred in the early fourth century.

Church of Saint George, Lyd
Church of Saint George, Lyd, Palestine

The world-renowned hip hop band “Dam” is also from the city of Lyd. According to their website, “Struck by the uncanny resemblance of the reality of the streets in a Tupac video to the streets in their own neighborhood in Lyd, Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar and Mahmood Jrere were inspired to tell their stories through hip hop.”

1948 bloodbath

It is becoming clear today that the city of Lyd may well have been the site of the worst massacres by Zionist militia in 1948. In a move more cynical than can be imagined, the municipality of Lyd was renamed Lod in Hebrew, and a plaza was built to commemorate the Palmach right in front of the Dahmash Mosque. The Palmach was the largest of the Zionist militias and was responsible for committing massacres in the city.

The mosque itself was the site of a horrifying bloodbath when citizens from the city, who were fleeing the shooting, crowded into it seeking shelter from the violence. But a Zionist militia headed by Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin took no pity on those seeking refuge and massacred everyone in the mosque. More than 150 men, women and children were gunned down.

Palmach Plaza LYD
The Palmach Plaza in front of the Dahmash Mosque, the site of the massacre, commemorating the murderers as the memory of the victims lingers

Those who were not gunned down at the mosque or on the streets were forced to leave the city, and an estimated 40,000 men, women and children were made to take part in what became known as “The Death March.”

In her book “Palestinian Women, Narrative Histories and Gendered Memory,” published in 2011 by Zed Books, Dr. Fatma Kassem recorded the testimonies of Palestinian women from Lyd who survived the massacres and the forced expulsion.

Some of the women whom Dr. Kassem interviewed had witnessed the massacre at the mosque. One recalled:

The first days when the Jews came in, people went inside the mosques, they thought that the Jews would not kill them in the mosques. But they killed everyone who was inside.”

Another woman remembered:

My father and many others went inside the mosque to protect themselves. He was not fighting. He was an old man. My father and my cousin pushed them into the mosque and [the militia] shot all of them.”

The Kaminitz Law

In 2017, the Knesset passed legislation cracking down on “illegal” construction. The provisions of the new law were based on a report written by Deputy Attorney General for Civil Law Erez Kaminitz. According to Fida Shehada, this law has resulted in over 40,000 demolition orders for Palestinian homes in the north and central parts of the country alone — this does not include the Naqab, Jerusalem or the West Bank. The Kaminitz Law is one of many racist laws designed to keep Palestinian citizens of Israel from building homes.

“I remember one day I saw seven homes being demolished all at the same time, at the same minute,” Shehada told me. “I wanted to understand why this was happening and how to prevent this from happening in the future.”

This drove Shehada to study urban planning. But, she said, “then I saw that when they draw plans for the city, they only have plans for the Israeli population, not the Palestinians.” The city does not account for the growth of the Palestinian population, which makes up about 30% to 40% of the city’s population.

Miko Peled Fida Shehada

Miko Peled, left, meets with councilwoman Fida Shehada in the city of Lyd

“We have 30% Palestinian population, but 40% of the school children,” Shehada said, and smiled as she saw the puzzled look on my face. Officially, on record, the Palestinians make up 30%. Still — because of another racist law, called the Citizenship Law, which limits the rights of Palestinians to wed other Palestinians — some are Palestinian women who are married to Palestinian men are deprived of citizenship.

Their children are citizens but cannot attend public schools, “while their mothers are not allowed to study or work or leave their homes.” So, if the father dies, the mother has to leave, and if she takes the children with her back to the West Bank or Gaza, they will lose their status — which, with all its difficulties, is still better than that of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

A new reality?

In an effort to instill the love of settlement activity in the hearts of Israeli Jews, religious Zionist settlers have made Lyd their home. They have their own municipal budgets and luxury apartments built for them exclusively, even as Palestinians struggle to find housing in the city. During the uprising of May 2021, over 500 armed settlers from the racist, violent Regavim movement moved into the city’s municipality. They aimed to incite violence and terrorize the Palestinian population.

When Councilwoman Shehada questioned the mayor about this, he threatened to report her to the Shabak. The Shabak is the Israeli secret police, known for targeting, detaining and torturing Palestinian political activists. She had to remind him that the Shabak does not work for the mayor’s office.

The most surprising thing I saw or heard during my visit to Lyd was a comment by Councilwoman Shehada: “I am very optimistic,” she said with a grin. “Things are changing, we have seen more Palestinians resist and organize, and I believe that we are facing a new reality today.”

If there is room for optimism, Shehada certainly has a big role in it. “I decided to run for mayor in the upcoming elections,” she told me. Local elections are scheduled to be held in the fall of 2021. Even if the world hasn’t come to terms with reality, Palestine stretches from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean and goes right through the ancient Palestinian city of Lyd.

Adding Fuel to Fire: The Politics of Power Outages in Gaza

August 20, 2021

Source

BY YOUSEF ALJAMAL

The continuing electricity crisis in Gaza means that it is only a matter of time before another Palestinian family dies in a fire caused by candles.

A Palestinian boy holds a candle during a protest against power cuts on November 3, 2013 in Gaza City. Gaza’s lone power plant shut its generators on Friday due to a fuel shortage, a move that will likely increase already long blackout hours in the impoverished coastal territory. Photo by Ashraf Amra. Anadolu Agency.

In late June 2006, and soon after Palestinian factions captured the Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in an attack against an Israeli military outpost southeast of Gaza, Israel started a destructive military operation in the coastal enclave to bring its solider back. One of the main infrastructures destroyed by Israel’s military operation in Gaza at the time was Gaza’s only power plant, located in the Al-Nuseirat refugee camp where I grew up.

Israel’s F-16s destroyed the power plant with a dozen missiles as my family gathered in the middle of the night to seek some sort of protection. I remember that night vividly as my mother brought us together while Israeli warplanes fired their missiles at the power plant a mile away from my family’s house. The house would shake and the screams of children at night would be heard even clearer, breaking the relative silence of the night which was violated by the sonic sounds of the Israeli warplanes.

In the same year, my youngest brother Omar was born. Today, he is 15 years old – the number of years of Israel’s siege on Gaza – and he has probably not enjoyed a single full day of electricity in his entire life in Gaza. The year 2006 saw the start of the power outages crisis in the coastal enclave, which has only got worse over the years. At the start of the crisis, electricity was cu off for four hours a day. As the demand for more electricity increased with Gaza’s population doubling by some 70,000 a year, and as fewer people were able to pay electricity bills due to the lack of jobs, the crisis has only got worse.

For years, Israel has prevented the entry of materials needed to fix the damaged power engines and the oil tanks destroyed by its warplanes. In many instances, Israel would link allowing shipments of manufactured fuel to run the Gaza Power Plant to ceasing hostilities. Meanwhile Gaza’s power plant, which produces 140 MW of Gaza’s total need of 450 MW, has rarely been able to function at full capacity. Gaza depends on other sources to cover the rest of its needs including two Egyptian and Israeli supply lines. In many instances, these two lines have gone down, and Israel has used the pretext of the security situation in the Gaza Strip to postpone fixing the Israeli supply line.

The electricity crisis has impacted all aspects of life in Gaza. From 2006 to this day, dozens of patients have passed away due to the lack of electricity in the intensive care units (ICUs).

As forest fires continue unabated in many parts of the world due to the recent heat wave, one can only imagine what this heat wave means for the people of Gaza. In a place like Gaza, where green areas are limited, and where thousands of people live in tin houses in ever-crowded refugee camps, the heat is even worse. The only place people can escape to is the Mediterranean Sea, much of which is polluted by untreated sewage water that is pumped into the sea because the only desalination treatment in the Gaza Stirp was also destroyed by Israel in 2008/9.

The electricity crisis has impacted all aspects of life in Gaza. From 2006 to this day, dozens of patients have passed away due to the lack of electricity in the intensive care units (ICUs). It has become nearly impossible for students to sit their exams or study due to the lack of electricity. Many factories and industries have stopped working due to the lack of electricity which is crucial to their functioning. All the people living in Gaza have had to change their lifestyle including when to cook, use the washing machines, or sleep, based on the power outage schedule.

A woman helps children study under candle light during a power cut in Khan Yunis, Gaza on August 18, 2020. After Israel tightened the blockade in Gaza Strip, the only power plant in the area stopped production affecting the life especially the health sector. Photo by Mustafa Hassona. Anadolu Agency.

The power outages crisis in the Gaza Strip has created new industries, some of which have been exploited by greedy merchants. Nearly every household in Gaza has a generator. As fuel prices jumped to 7 NIS (more than $2) per liter, following the destruction of many tunnels connecting Gaza with Egypt that were used to smuggle fuel, fewer people were able to run their generators.

In 2011-2013, when Egyptian fuel reached Gaza, most people turned on their generators at the same time, creating excessive noise pollution in the overpopulated coastal enclave. As this industry developed more and with fewer people able to run their own generators in the Gaza Strip, another private industry emerged with private electricity networks and companies being established. People interested in six extra hours of electricity pay approximately $50 a month and are able to use their lights and turn on their TVs –  but not their fridges or electrical devices that consume a lot of energy.

With unemployment rates rising by the day in the Gaza Strip, only a handful of people can afford to pay their electricity bills, let alone subscribe to private electricity networks. The majority of people choose to leave their oven-like houses for the sea, which tends to be very crowded in the summer. The lack of electricity has also affected people’s ability to pump water into their tanks, creating yet another problem for Gazans.

Read: Overcrowded and Under Siege: Worrying Pandemic Scenarios in Gaza

So far, the international community has failed to provide tangible solutions to Gaza’s ongoing electricity crisis. First, it has failed to make Israel accountable and ensure it does not target Gaza’s already fragile electricity infrastructure. The international community has also failed to pressure Israel to allow the implementation of long-term projects in the Gaza Stirp that would solve the issue of power outages in the coastal enclave such as the proposal by Turkey to send a floating power plant; the proposal by Qatar to convert the power plant so that it operates on gas and to establish a gas line to provide Gaza’s power plant with the needed gas; or Algeria’s proposal to send fuel to operate the power plant.

The Palestinian division between Hamas and Fatah has added fuel to the fire in this regard. In many instances, the Palestinian governments of Gaza and the West Bank would exchange accusations over who is responsible for the crisis. Meanwhile, Israel, the occupying power, which should provide Palestinians with all needed services according to international law, acts with impunity.

The international community should hold Israel responsible and make sure that it provides Palestinians, who live under its tight siege in Gaza, with electricity.

The people of Gaza, who have experienced four major Israel offensives – the latest of which was in May 2021 and which resulted in the destruction of more infrastructure in the Gaza Stirp – deserve to live in dignity and to enjoy full, basic services. The international community should hold Israel responsible and make sure that it provides Palestinians, who live under its tight siege in Gaza, with electricity.

The denial of basic rights to the Palestinians has created a Palestinian generation that sees no hope in achieving a just solution to their plight. Meanwhile, the continuing electricity crisis in Gaza means that it is only a matter of time before another Palestinian family dies in a fire caused by candles.

Israel and the international community should fear the reaction of people like my youngest brother Omar. The situation in the Gaza Strip is unsustainable, and if the dignity and freedom of Palestinians there are not respected, regional security will always be at stake, and it will be a matter of time before another conflict breaks out, bringing even more destruction to Gaza’s infrastructure.

VIDEO: Nakba Survivors Speak: “The sky was our blanket and the ground was our mattress”

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