‘Israeli’ Forces Start Demolishing Palestinian Homes in Occupied Al-Quds

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ occupation forces started destroying homes on the outskirts of the occupied East al-Quds, despite international condemnation and mass protests.

Hundreds of Zionist soldiers and police stormed Sur Baher early on Monday and declared the village a military zone, banning journalists from entering.

“Since 2 am they have been evacuating people from their homes by force and they have started planting explosives in the homes they want to destroy,” said Hamada Hamada, a community leader in Sur Baher.

Meanwhile, Palestinian and international activists, who tried to stop the demolition, were present in the scene and filmed the work.

Adnan Gheith, the Palestinian governor of occupied al-Quds, slammed the demolitions as a war crime.

Back in June, the Zionist court rejected a petition by the owners to cancel the demolitions. A deadline for the residents to abandon the houses expired on Friday.

The Zionist pretext for demolishing the houses is its claim that the original landowners ‘had failed to obtain building permits’ from the occupation regime!

The residents, however, stress that they don’t not need ‘Israeli’ permission to build their homes because they had received approvals from the Palestinian Authority.

Relatively, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Sunday called upon the International Criminal Court [ICC] to launch an investigation into the Zionist regime’s mass demolitions in the neighborhood.

The ministry called on the ICC to open an investigation into the ‘Israeli’ regime’s threats to demolish several homes in East al-Quds.

Meanwhile, the United Nations, which recognizes al-Quds as occupied territory, urged the Zionist regime to halt the demolitions.

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Sayyed Nasrallah’s First Interview After the War: Maryam al-Bassam Without Pen & Paper المقابلة الأولى للسيد نصر الله بعد الحرب.. مريم البسام بلا ور

By Fatima Deeb Hamza

Beirut – Everything in it was news. It was a victory document embellished with the resistance’s heroism. And Sayyed’s [Hassan Nasrallah] voice was not a frequent occurrence.

An event of this kind should be recorded for generations to come and in the memories of those who witnessed, participated and were present during the war. It was an aggressive war that lasted 33 days. Everyday in it was a memory being renewed. Then this memory becomes old with the passing of time. The free people use the testaments of victory as a reference. The July war was a witness – and still is – that a strong Lebanon with its resistance has defeated the arrogant entity. This was the most beautiful truth and news, and Sayyed concluded the last days of fighting with it.

The Memory of victory comes back

With precision and enthusiasm, the news and political programs director at Al-Jadeed channel, Mariam al-Bassam tells al-Ahed news about that surprise interview.

“We had asked to conduct an interview with His Eminence, but the conditions of approval were outside our expectations. Suddenly, without warning or notice, and during a regular workday, I found out that the interview was arranged. And we must immediately move,” Al-Bassam recalls.

“It was really a surprise to me. I was informed of the interview minutes before and I was not picturing it at all,” she told al-Ahed.

“Things were not so simple. Nothing was prepared for me, from content to form. I did not even have a pen and paper. And I still remember my confusion at that time until I found a notebook in the house where we recorded the interview,” she added.

After the aggression, Al-Bassam was the first to interview the person who fought a qualitative media war in the face of one of the most sophisticated armies.

She describes those moments well.

“Television interviews were never on the list of my professional pursuits. But I consider the interview I conducted with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah 13 years ago as the adornment of this worldly life. And I have drawn a separating line before and after it,” she said.

At the time Sayyed said the interview was important. Al-Bassam explains to al-Ahed why that is.

“It came directly after the ceasefire and the end of the war,” she continued. “It was a meeting on top of the rubble. From that rubble, it was my duty as a journalist to extract development and architecture in politics, position and the course that the coming days would take in addition to the file regarding the restoration and improvement of the place.”

Al-Bassam remembers the details of that interview. She also remembers discussions she had with her colleagues and friends before and after it. She tells us about “a very special meeting in Al-Safir newspaper. I was asked: What was the first thing that caught your attention? I answered spontaneously: Sayyed’s shoes. All possessions have no value when compared to the dust on his shoes.”

Sayyed above Ground

Sayyed lived his daily life like ordinary people.  According to Al-Bassam, Sayyed clearly exhibited keenness on the safety of the people and their situation.

“He asked about them frequently and about their actual opinion of what happened. That is why he devoted part of the interview to tackle the restoration of life and reconstruction,” she said.

What Mariam al-Bassam remembers about the location of the interview is that “it was conducted above ground and on a high floor. I was surprised by the presence of Sayyed there. I asked him: You are here, how is this possible? Isn’t this a risk? He replied: leave these matters to the security. We are in the same boat.”

This was the memory of the victory. After raising its banners on the highest peaks of Lebanon’s strong history, al-Bassam concludes her interview with al-Ahed by saying “to be remembered and repeated.”

المقابلة الأولى للسيد نصر الله بعد الحرب.. مريم البسام بلا ورقة ولا قلم

فاطمة ديب حمزة

كان كل شيء فيها خبرا، لا بل وثيقة نصر مدموغة ببطولات المقاومين، وصوت السيد .. كان كل ما فيها حدثاً لا يتكرر دائماً .. حدثٌ من النوع الذي يُكتب في سجل الأجيال .. وفي سجل من كان شاهدًا ومشاركًا وحاضرًا .. كانت حربًا عدوانية لثلاثة وثلاثين يومًا، وكان كل يوم فيها ذكرى تتجدد، فتصبح “معتّقة” مع مرور السنين .. وتصبح شواهد النصر مضرب مثل يتباهى بها الأحرار .. كانت حرب تموز الشاهد – ولم تزل – على أن لبنان القوي بمقاومته هزم الكيان المتغطرس المدجج .. كانت هذه أجمل حقيقة وخبر، ختم به السيد آخر أيام القتال.

ذاكرة النصر .. تعود

بدقّة، وحماسة تتكلم مديرة الأخبار والبرامج السياسية في قناة الجديد مريم البسام لموقع “العهد” عن تلك “المقابلة المفاجئة” .. “كنا قد طلبنا إجراء مقابلة مع سماحته، لكن ظروف الموافقة كانت خارج توقعاتنا .. فجأة ومن دون إنذار أو إخطار، وخلال يوم عمل عادي، علمت أن المقابلة دُبرت، ويجب الانطلاق اليها حالاً” ..  تقول البسام لموقعنا: “المسألة بالنسبة لي كانت مفاجأة فعلاً، فاللقاء أُبلِغت به قبل دقائق ولم أكن في صورته على الاطلاق”. وتضيف البسام أن “الأمور لم تكن على هذه البساطة، فلا شيء محضراً بالنسبة لي، من المضمون الى الشكل، حتى إني لم أكن أملك قلماً وورقة، وما زلت أتذكر حيرتي في ذلك الزمان الى أن وجدت دفترًا في المنزل الذي سجلنا فيه المقابلة”.

تجيد البسام – صاحبة المقابلة التلفزيونية الأولى بعد العدوان مع من خاض حربًا إعلامية نوعية بوجه أعتى الجيوش وأكثرها تطورًا – تجيد وصف اللحظات “فالحوارات التلفزيونية لم تكن في يوم من الأيام مدرجة على قائمة الملاحقة  المهنية لدي، لكني أعتبر أن المقابلة التي أجريتها مع السيد حسن نصرالله قبل ١٣ عامًا كانت زينة الحياة الدنيا، وقد وضعت خطًا فاصلًا ما قبلها وما بعد بعدها” .. على طريقة السيد تقولها البسام، وتشرح لموقع “العهد” أهمية المقابلة بوقتها بأنها “جاءت مباشرة بعد وقف اطلاق النار ونهاية الحرب، لقد كان لقاءً فوق الركام، ومن هذا الركام كان عليّ كصحافية استخراج العمران والبنيان في السياسة والموقف والمسار الذي ستتخذه الأيام المقبلة اضافة الى ملف اعادة المكان أفضل مما كان”.

تتذكر البسام تفاصيل تلك المقابلة .. وتتذكر أيضاً ما قبلها وما بعدها من نقاشات دارت مع الزملاء والأصدقاء .. تروي أنها في “جلسة خاصة جداً في جريدة السفير سُئلت: ما هو أول أمر لفت انتباهك، فأجبت بتلقائية: حذاء السيد الذي “فِدى غبرتو” كل الممتلكات”.

السيد فوق الأرض ..

كان السيد يعيش في يوميات الناس .. تقول البسام لموقع “العهد” إن حرص السيد كان كبيرًا واضحًا على الناس وأحوالها “سأل عنهم بشكل متكرر .. عن رأيهم الفعلي بما حصل، ولذلك خصص جزءًا من الحوار عن إعادة الحياة والإعمار” .. وما تذكره مريم البسام عن مكان المقابلة أنها “جرت فوق الأرض وعلى طابق مرتفع، وقد فوجئت بوجود السيد هناك، فسألته: أنت هنا، كيف؟؟ هذه مخاطرة .. فأجابني السيد: تركي هالأمور للأمن، متلي متلك”.

كانت هذه ذاكرة النصر .. بعد أن رُفعت راياته على أعلى قمم تاريخ لبنان القوي .. تختم البسام الكلام مع موقع “العهد”: “تنذكر وتنعاد”.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (11 July – 17 July 2019)

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory for the week of 11- 17 July, 2019.

74 Palestinian civilians injured; 24 of them were children, a woman, 2 journalists including a female, and a paramedic at the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.

5 civilians, including a child, injured in the West Bank.

  1. Shootings, i.e. killings and injuries
  • At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, officers from the Israeli “Mista’arvim”undercover unit dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked to al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, driving 2 civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plate. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sami Ismail al-Ja’fari (33) and then arrested him. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians were shot with live bullets to the lower extremities. They were taken to Al-Hussein Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment.

 

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Thursday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel, northern Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and arrested at Majed Mohammed Husein al-Shafei (44) after crossing the village. As a result, he sustained a live bullet to his lower extremities. According to field investigations, al-Shafei left his house in Jabalia approximately 21:30 on the same day and then disappeared. At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 12 July 2019, his brother Mazen received a phone call informing him that his brother is injured and detained by Israeli forces.

 

  • At approximately 10:30 on Friday 12 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip in the vicinity of a Palestinian border control point. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 06:30 on Saturday, 13 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah Shore opened fire at Palestinian Fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles. The Israeli gunboats then surrounded one of the boats manned by Mohammed Isma’el Isma’el al-Bardawil (40) and his nephew, Ahmed Wael Isma’el al-Bardawil (16); both from al-Mawasi neighborhood, west of Rafah. The Israeli naval soldiers then ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were arrested and their boat was confiscated. At approximately 18:00, Ahmed was released through Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing while Mohammed al-Bardawil is still under arrest and their fishing boat is still confiscated.

 

  • At approximately 13:35 on Sunday, 14 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Youni in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern ‘Abasan village, west of the border fence. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 15 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis, in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at eastern Khuza’ah village. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • Also on Monday evening, Israeli forces opened fire at Fares Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Azem (34), when he was between Ramina and Bazaria villages, east of Tulkarm. As a result, he sustained a live bullet wound to the back, causing him internal bleeding in the lungs. ‘Azem was taken to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm. Due to the serious injury, ‘Azem was transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Israel. An eyewitness stated that:

“At approximately 22:00 on Monday, 15 July 2019, I received a call telling me that a person from my village was wounded and screaming of pain and that the caller is trying to rescure him. I immediately headed to the site and knew that the victim is from Thanabeh village, carries an Israeli ID card and drives a vehicle with an Israeli registration plate. He was taken via an ambulance to Dr. Thabet Thabet hospital in Tulkarm and then transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Israel due to his serious injury.”

 

‘Azem’s father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I received the news of my son’s injury and then headed to Israel to follow-up on his health condition. Doctors only informed me that his injury was serious and he suffers from bleeding in the lungs as the bullet penetrated his back to the lungs. We do not know how this happened to our son; he was probably visiting his in-laws in Ramin village. We are waiting until he wakes up to find out what happened with him.”

 

  • At approximately 17:35 on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at ‘Abasan al-Kabirah. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 08:10 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Khuza’ah village. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.
    • Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem

 

  1. Demolitions and attacks on civilian property for settlement expansion

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Beit Ummer village in northern Hebron. They then stationed in Wadi al-Shaiekh neighborhood, where the Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Mohamed ‘Ali al-‘Alami a 96-hour demolition notice, under the pretext of non-licensing.  Mohamed’s house was under-construction and built on an area of 150 square meters. On 17 April 2018, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the occupied Territory (COGAT), under the direct control of the Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, issued a military order that makes it possible for Israeli forces to demolish Palestinian homes in Area C within 96 hours after delivering demolition orders. Under the order, COGAT excuses itself from informing Palestinian homeowners directly that their homes are slated for demolition and only requires demolition orders be placed “next to” targeted structures 96 hours before Israeli forces arrive to execute demolitions.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit Shabouqa in western Hebron, where they handed Amjad Nofal Sulimah a notice to demolish his 150-sqaure-meter barn under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C, and gave him until 24 July 2019 to challenge.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles moved into ‘Izbit Salman in southern Qalqiliyia, and demolished an agricultural barrack belonging to Dawoud Mahmoud Yousef Ahmed under the pretext of non-licensing. Dawoud said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “I returned from France 3 months ago and my family told me that they found a notice in my land written on it “this is the second notice to demolish the agricultural barrack”. My family, who live in Qalqiliyia, told me that they did not see the first notice as they usually go there for picnic. On Thursday evening, 11 July 2019, our neighbors phoned and informed us that Israeli forces are demolishing the barrack in our land, so they went there and found the barrack was already demolished. We told both the Israeli and Palestinian Liaisons and they informed us that we could challenge the demolition.”
  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces dismantled a sit-in tent established by the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Wadi al-Humis neighborhood in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, protesting at the Israeli decision to demolish 12 residential buildings under the pretext of being near the annexation wall. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces attacked civilians staying in the tent and fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of them suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and agricultural crops were burned. It should be noted that the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision to demolish 16 residential buildings, comprising of 100 apartments, few weeks ago under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall and pose a security threat. This gives the green light to the Israeli forces to demolish all buildings near the annexation wall in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem. In 2003, the residents of Surbaher village submitted a petition against the annexation wall route, which passes in the center of their village, so the route was changed and the neighborhood was annexed within the wall.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Wadi al-Ghrouz area in eastern Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area and the construction vehicles demolished a concrete pool used for irrigating plants under the pretext of non-licensing. The pool belongs to Zayid Nimer Mohamed al-Ja’bari (65), whose family attempted to stop the demolition, but Israeli border guard officers attacked and beat them. The Israeli border guard officers also attacked two photographers identified as ‘Abed al-Hafeez Daib ‘Abed al-Hafeez al-Hashlamoun (55), who sustained minor wounds in his hands and legs; and Mashhour Hasan Mahmoud al-Wahwah (34), who sustained minor bruises in his hand. Zayid al-Ja’bari said the Israeli authorities handed him a notice to stop construction works 3 months ago and handed him a demolition notice on 14 July 2019. Zayid was intending to file documents to the Israeli court for challenging the demolition.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet al-Foron area in eastern Hebron. The construction vehicles demolished a water well used for irrigating plants. The well belongs to Nayif No’man Shokri Da’nah, who was handed a demolition notice on 10 July 2019. It should be noted that the well was partially funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Ghoween al-Foqah area in southern Hebron. The construction vehicles demolished a 100-sqaure-meter barrack built of concrete and tin plates and used for breeding livestock, under the pretext of non-licensing. The barrack belongs to Ahmed Mohamed Mousa Hawamdah (44), who was handed a 96-hour demolition notice on 03 July 2019, so there was no enough time to challenge the demolition.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Khalilah neighborhood in al-Jeep village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The construction vehicles demolished a 80-sqaure-meter garage and store belonging to Waddah Wasfi Abu Dayyiah, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the garage and store were demolished for the 3rd time.
  • In the same context, Israeli construction vehicles demolished a 900-sqaure-meter commercial barrack and a concrete floor belonging to al-Natshah family in Beit Haninah village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. The construction vehicles also demolished a 400-sqaure-meter car wash belonging to ‘Atiyah and Bakirat families in Surbaher vilolage, south of occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli construction vehicles demolished 5 shops built 4 years ago on an area of 250 square meters in Abu Tayieh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said that a large force of Israeli police officers and Special Forces accompanied with bulldozers moved into Abu Tayieh neighborhood, where they surrounded 5 shops belonging to Mohamed Hamdan al-‘Abasi. The shops were demolished after the Israeli Supreme Court refused a petition submitted by Mohamed’s lawyer. The eyewitnesses also said that the Israeli forces forcibly disperse the neighborhood’s residents from the area and beat them up. Meanwhile, the Israeli forces arrested Mahdi Hamdan al-‘Abasi after beating him. It should be noted that al-‘Abasi family headed to the Israeli Supreme Court in order to freeze the demolition order and license the shops, but it refused.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip

As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The most significant implications of the continued Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip are:

  • Movement of goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip is restricted on all three functioning crossings: Rafah border crossing, under Egyptian control; Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint and Karm Abu-Salem Commercial Crossing, under Israeli control.

 

  • The Rafah Border Crossing operates only 5 days a week with severe limitation on travel of persons (300 travelers/day).

 

  • Beit Hanoun checkpoint, designated for the movement of persons, is under severe restrictions for exit and entry of the Gaza Strip. Only limited categories are issued Israeli permits to cross the checkpoint after an exhausting and lengthy security process that may subject civilians to the threat of arrest and often blackmail by Israeli forces.[1]

 

  • Karm Abu-Salem crossing, designated for the movement of goods, bans the export of Gaza Strip products, except for agricultural goods. Also, Israeli forces continue the 12-year ban on the import of 118 goods considered as “dual-use items.” [2] While Israeli authorities announced on Friday, 05 July 2019, that 18 of the banned dual-use items would be allowed into the Gaza Strip; the operating officers at Karm Abu-Salem crossing denied receiving new instructions in this regard.

 

  • Electricity crisis: with power cuts of at least 12 hours a day, the electricity crisis continues to haunt the Gaza Strip and paralyze all sectors of life, including health, education, the economy and the environment.

 

  • Naval blockade: Israel continues to restrict movement within the Gaza Sea, primarily on fishing. Despite imposing a 15-nautical-mile restricted fishing area, Israeli forces launch daily attacks on fishermen while at sea even within 1 – 6 nautical miles, including shootings, arrests and confiscation of fishing boats and equipment. It also restricts the import of necessary fishing equipment.

West Bank

Israeli forces continue to strangle West Bankers with continued restrictions on their freedom of movement, especially with frequent checkpoints between governorates. Currently, 92 permanent military checkpoints exist along the connecting roads between West Bank governorates, some of which have permanent military presence and others are staffed irregularly. Some of these checkpoints act as a terminal into Israel, even though they are located within Palestinian territory.

It should be highlighted that Israel continues to corporatize and privatize its occupation of the Palestinian territory by contracting military security corporations who operate checkpoints with fully armed civilian guards; yet, they act under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense.

Israeli occupation’s presence in the West Bank is not limited to permanent checkpoints, as temporary checkpoints are haphazardly erected across the territory on a daily basis. These temporary checkpoints impede traffic between Palestinian cities, with illegal searches of civilian vehicles and long wait times. These temporary checkpoints are used to ambush civilians as hundreds of arrests are reported at these checkpoints annually.

This week, Israeli forces established 110 temporary checkpoint across the West Bank and arrested four Palestinian civilians. A civilian was arrested while returning via King Hussein Bridge.

Additionally, with the ongoing closure of 30 key roads in the West Bank, Palestinian’s’ freedom of movement is heavily restricted especially in areas adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlements.

Israel allows holders of West Bank IDs (men over 55 and women over 50) to access East Jerusalem without a pre-issued permit; nonetheless, they have to undergo security checks.

In terms of the movement of Palestinians to and from the occupied territory via King Hussein Bridge, Israeli forces continue to impose security measures that threaten the well being of civilians by forcing them to go through a body-search machine that subjects them to harmful radiations. It is also a common practice to arrest civilians at the crossing or deny them travel.

A 6-month research conducted by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), stated that Palestinians lose about 60 million hours of work per year, due to the checkpoints and restrictions imposed by the Israeli forces on Palestinian movement between the towns and villages of the West Bank. ARIJ estimated the loss at about $ 270 million per year, according to the wage of workers per hour, in addition to extra fuel consumption at about 80 million liters per year, estimated at $ 135 million. The consumption of this amount of fuel leads to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, by about 196 thousand tons per year.

Full document available at the official website for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

America’s Agendas are in Decline

ST

The Israeli entity reiterates its ruthlessness and aggression against Syria whenever it feels that the terrorist organizations that it trained and funded in cooperation with the United States and the colonial West are on the verge of being defeated. The more they feel that the destructive chaos that they spread is going to fall, the more Washington is in harmony with this aggressive entity and continues to support separatist militias and extremist organizations In Syria for the same purpose.

The two sides continue to create the pretexts of aggression, especially after the failure of the Bahrain workshop to achieve its goals of passing the sin of the century, which aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause under the cloak of development, peace and prosperity.

Not only did Trump’s aggressive administration attempt to legitimize the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Arab Golan through its decision, the recognition of the so-called Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan, but also encouraged the usurper to build more illegal settlements over its territory and build air fans to serve the settlers and applauded him when he attacked Syria under the pretext of the security of the racist entity.

The American failure in the Syrian scene, and even the whole region, prompted Washington to devise more aggressive policies that it believes serve its interests, such as declaring its intention to form a so-called maritime alliance comprising the Israeli entity and some oil monarchies seeking to free normalization with the latter. It is as if the idea of the Arab-Israel “NATO” does not want to leave the imagination of the neo-conservative in Washington.

From the alleged NATO, which did not see the light, to the new naval alliance through the policies of supporting terrorism and covering up the crimes of “Da’ish”, “Qasad” and ‘al -Nusra” and ending with the attempt to ignite the Arab Gulf with a new war that burns the green and the dry , the American strategy is reeling on the ropes of tricks, arrogance, lies and deceit and all kinds of misleading to achieve some of their suspicious agendas thanks to the steadfastness of the Syrians and the peoples of the entire resistance region.

In the north of Syria, the scene is clearer. The more Idlib’s liberation becomes closer, the greater the level of insomnia and anxiety at the terrorist system increases. The Turkish regime is trying to divert the Syrian Arab Army’s victories from its occupation by dealing with humanitarian situations. Washington is also repeating false accusations against the Syrian state under weak excuses and continuing to support the militias of the forces of separatism, whereas the sponsors of terrorism don’t realize that the Syrians will fold the pages of terrorism and the agendas of their operators, no matter how much it costs them.

Sharif Al -Khatib
Editor-in-Chief
sharifalkh@gmail.com

A War to Remember in July: Stories Told by Al-Manar Reporter

Mohammad Qazan July War

Marwa Haidar

Al-Manar reporter Mohammad Qazan tells his story in covering the Israeli aggression against Lebanon during July war in 2006.

Taking many risks along with Al-Manar team by moving from one town to another across the Lebanese south and under Israeli bombardment throughout 33 days was not easy.

13 years on the divine victory, the reporter wants to talk about his experience, which was etched on his memory, in order to show the Israeli brutality vs the Lebanese heroic steadfastness.

The First Strikes

Image result for ‫محمد قازان‬‎

Al-Manar Reporter Mohamamd Qazan in a photo taken in May 2018.

A day after he covered the press conference of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh), Mohammad Qazan headed to the south, he says. With the main Beirut-south highway was destroyed at Damour bridge following an Israeli strike, Al-Manar reporter took a minor road in a bid to reach Sidon, the Lebanese south’s gate.

Shortly after he crossed Sainiq bridge, Israeli warplanes carried out a raid, destroying the bridge which was a direct tie between Sidon and other southern towns. The strike threw the reporter’s car tens of meters away. Talking about that incident, Qazan says that several people were injured by that strike and he took some of them to a hospital in Sidon.

After rushing to hospital, Qazan had to continue his trip to the southern town of Nabatiyeh, where he was tasked with covering the Israeli aggression. As he crossed Sidon, Israeli warplanes carried out another strike, targeting the town of Ghaziyeh, near Sidon.

“I was in Ghaziyeh as the strike hit Al-Ghaziyeh. Pieces of smashed glass and shrapnel were scattered on my car due to the raid,”

Qazan says in an article talking about his experience in July War 2006, published by Al-Manar’s Arabic Website.

At Nabatiyeh

At Nabatiyeh, the situation was very dangerous. In the third day of the aggression, Al-Manar team became the only journalist staff in the southern town. All journalists who were delegated by other Lebanese channels left Nabatiyeh after receiving calls urging them to flee the area due to high risks there.

“Unlike the situation in Nabatiyeh, Journalists were allowed to stay in the southern city of Tyre, where they had access to secure places,” Qazan says.

In Nabatiyeh, Qazan and the accompanying team’s mission was duplicated. They had to find a secure place for them to sleep, and a place for the SNG vehicle.

“I was tasked with receiving messages from Al-Manar reporters in Sidon and in the border area. Nabatiyeh was the main point where Al-Manar was live streaming so we had to stay there in order to keep track of Al-Manar’s coverage.”

“We had spent our nights at garages, sometimes in the car or under a tree. But the most dangerous and touching incidents, I remember, are when we knew that the place where we had spent the earlier night was hit by an Israeli strike.”

Heroic Steadfastness

The journalistic mission was less difficult, according to Al-Manar reporter who emotionally talks about steadfastness of the Lebanese people who stayed in their houses despite the brutal aggression.

“In every time we entered a town in the south, we were overwhelmed by the people’s insistence to stay in their houses despite the strikes, the massacres, the destruction and all other risks. Those scenes were so encouraging to go ahead with our coverage despite all dangers.”

“I remember very well when we were surprised to see an elderly farmer watering his field in Kfarrumman, or a shepherd leading his cattle to cross the Jarmaq Bridge which was destroyed by Israeli strikes.”

Talking about the most dangerous incidents in July War, Qazan remembers when he and Al-Manar staff went to Zibdin town shortly after Israeli warplanes committed a massacre there.

“Just few seconds after we left Zibdin, Israeli warplanes carried out another strike.”

Qazan also narrates when he survived, along with Al-Manar cameraman, an Israeli drone attack as they infiltrated into an area close to Al-Ghandouriyeh and Al-Qantara villages where resistance fighters were engaged in fierce clashes with Israeli occupation forces.

“I survived, along with colleague Haidar Al-Jawahari, two missiles shot by an Israeli drone as we were trying to cover the Merkava battle in Wadi Al-Hujair.”

“City of Imam Hussein”

“We never knew how we survived such dangers! Is it because we were abiding by security measures or is it our luck?… Or is it because our love to this profession which is molded with our faith in the resistance? I don’t know… And I couldn’t believe what was really happening during those days. We were moving alone, the cameraman and me, from one town to another throughout 33 days. Surely we were encircled by the God’s providence… for we were in a city called ‘the City of Imam Hussein (a.s.)’,”

Al-Manar reporter says referring to Nabatiyeh city.

Cluster Bombs

Recalling a funny but a scaring story of July War, Mohamamd Qazan remembers when one Civil Defense officer gave him some cluster bombs in the lasts days of the war, saying they were exploded. However, it became clear then, that they were unexploded.

“The bombs appeared in one of my live messages on TV. I put them in my car and they stayed there for several days, thinking that they pose no threat. But when the cessation of hostilities took effect in August 14, we handed over the bombs to a resistance fighter to discover then that they were not exploded and that one of them was about to go off.”

“Our feelings at time were mixed between astonishment, laughter and fear. We were for days holding these explosive remnants in my car!”

Moments to Remember

Qazan speaks with passion about several incidents that he had passed through during July War.

“In the last week of the war we were working on our coverage with peace and calmness. I couldn’t know the secret behind such feeling. We appeared in several live messages with Israeli spy drones were clearly spotted, and sometimes strikes were hitting areas close to us.”

“Sometimes, and despite that we were in rush due to our work and other risks, we didn’t hesitate to provide a medicine for an elderly and to drive a civilian to a more secure place.”

According to Qazan, the most beautiful moments were when he and Al-Manar cameraman, Haidar Al-Jawahari, met resistance fighters.

“The resistance fighters were the reason behind our high morals. They also were facilitating our work. I hope that what we did during July War had offered some support to the resistance and imaged the heroic steadfastness of our country in face of the brutal Israeli aggression.”

“One day, we arrived in my hometown, Al-Taybeh, we got into a house where resistance fighters were gathering in the border village during the war. My colleague, Haidar Al-Jawahari, was surprised by his brother, who was a resistance fighter, in that house. That meeting was really memorable!”

Mohammad Qazan voices pride when talking about his experience in July war. He stresses that Al-Manar’s coverage during the 33-day war had contributed to the divine victory through media resistance and psychological warfare.

“After God, all thanks are to Al-Manar staff who was persistent. The team which included Haidar Al-Jawahari- who escorted me throughout 33 days-, technician Ibrahim Karaki and cameramen: Samir Iskandar, Mohammad Saleh and Ali Fahs. It was an experience of high risk for it was a decisive battle that thwarted a great scheme in our region.”

Source: Al-Manar

Hezbollah Moves from Obstructing the Goals of the 2006 Aggression to Putting “Israeli” Entity on the Brink of Demise

By Jihad Haidar

Beirut – The passage of time did not diminish the glow of the 2006 victory. The victory kept shining and its presence remains planted in our consciousness. Subsequent developments revealed the effects of that victory on the region and its role in crystallizing the equations of the conflict, which continues to be renewed until today.

Saying that ‘the war launched by the “Israeli” enemy against Hezbollah in 2006 was an option “Israel” chose’ is not just an estimate based only on data. It has become a fact based on the positions of entity’s leadership. It played a key role in shaping and managing the war against Lebanon. This is what the Winograd report noted at the time, saying that “Israel” initiated the war despite having many alternative options it did not adopt.

The decision to wage a war did not materialize until after the failure of Tel Aviv’s gambits. The former head of the military intelligence, Aman, in the 2006 war Major General Amos Yadlin revealed this (in a conference of the Institute for National Security Research held on the 10th anniversary of the 2006 war). He explained that there were key events that made “Israel” believe launching a war is necessary to get rid of Hezbollah. However, later it turned out to be a failure. Some of these events were 9/11 and Washington’s subsequent war on terror, the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and resolution 1559, which called for the disarmament of Hezbollah under the title: “the dismantling of all militias”.

Yadlin explained that after the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 and the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon, “it seemed at the time that Hezbollah has weakened in contrast to the growing influence of pro-Western parties. This gave the impression in “Israel” that things are evolving in the right direction and that Hezbollah will automatically disintegrate.”

He cited former army chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon (2002-2005) who claimed the party’s rockets would rust. But what actually happened, according to Yadlin, is quite the opposite. Instead of Hezbollah falling, it grew stronger. It can even be said that after all those years, it became a regional power.

The underlying factor of  “Israel’s” military adventure in 2006 was its lack of understanding of the limits of its strength. It also believed that it could conclude the war within a few days. It appears that this estimate was based on the perception that the “Israeli” army would be able to surprise Hezbollah by destroying its long-range missile capabilities in a rapid qualitative operation that would change the balance of power. But the operation the entity carried out was a “qualitative illusion” operation as His Eminence Sayyed [Hassan Nasrallah] announced at the time. Instead of destroying Hezbollah’s rocket capabilities, these capabilities continued to improve until the last day of the war.

The enemy’s goals were not hidden. They included crushing Hezbollah and building a new Middle East. American and Israeli officials even declared these goals publically. But the problem with achieving the second goal (building a new Middle East) was that it was conditional on achieving the first goal (crushing Hezbollah). As a result of the army’s failure and defeat, the American project in Lebanon and the region failed. Moreover, the outcome of the war did not only prevent the achievement of the set goals. It had other effects, including strengthening the deterrent force that provided a protective umbrella to build and develop the capabilities of the resistance and broke the confidence of the [“Israeli”] army as well as the confidence of the [“Israeli”] public and leadership.

This war was a translation of an American decision in the context of a scheme that was aimed at the Lebanese and regional arenas. Hezbollah stood as a barrier to this scheme. When all the previous gambits and attempts to subdue and disarm it failed, it was necessary to resort to the reserve force (“Israel”) that the United States resorts to when necessary.

During the liberation of 2000, Hezbollah’s resistance obliterated the concept “Israel” worked for decades to instill in the consciousness of the Arab people – ‘no occupied land can be recovered except through a political “settlement”.’ Under this settlement, “Israel” legitimizes its occupation of Palestine. But the liberation proved that the Arab people have a viable alternative through which the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories can be retrieved without any political or security concessions.

Through the 2006 victory, Hezbollah proved that by depending on the resistance, it is also possible to confront the “Israeli” aggression and prevent the occupation of the land. What is new in the equations of conflict is that Hezbollah has established an unprecedented degree of deterrence in any arena in the world.

After 13 years, Hezbollah advanced to a level where it is able to put the “Israeli” entity on the brink of demise. It is not only capable of defense, but it is also able to initiate an attack against the Galilee as well as target “Israeli” strategic facilities with its precision missiles.

Paramedics without ’Helmets’: The Islamic Health Society Soothes the Wounds of the July 2006 War

Source

Bilal Assaf

Beirut – Amid the ashes of aggression and the smell of death, there must be a touch of hope that a paramedic plants in the heart of an injured person. This wounded person waits for a long time under the rubble for a man in his gray uniform to extend the hand of salvation. These are the young men of [Hezbollah’s] Islamic Health Society – the Civil Defense, who help and support their community at every dangerous juncture.

Talking about the July 2006 war is not complete without remembering those who were soldiers of humanity – the paramedics and the saviors after every attack and massacre. Among them are those who sacrificed their lives for the cries of the babies and the wounded.

Kamal Zuhour, director of operations at the Civil Defense of the Islamic Health Society during the July war, remembers six medics.

“They sacrificed their lives by carrying out rescue operations and providing medical assistance to ensure that people survived,” said Zuhour tells Al-Ahed News. “They are the martyrs of humanity. They watered the earth with their pure blood for people to enjoy dignity and victory.”

Among them are martyr Mustafa Mansour, martyr Ali Fakih, martyr Abdul Raouf Nassar, martyr Imad al-Haj Ali, martyr Abbas Nasrallah and martyr Ahmed Hazini.

Plan of action

During the July aggression, the [Islamic] Health Society set up a plan of action. Ambulances and ambulance crews were deployed in most areas across the South, the southern suburbs [of Beirut] and the Bekaa, especially in the villages that were subjected to continuous bombardment. There were 70 ambulances and more than 200 paramedics, who were ready to face the aggression by carrying out rescue operations and providing medical assistance as well as transporting the bodies of the martyrs.

Zuhour told al-Ahed that the directorate provided first aid to hundreds. The transfers of the injured break down as follows:

439 wounded from the villages of Tyre to Jabal Amel Hospital

198 wounded from Nabatiyeh villages to Nabatiyeh Hospitals and Ghassan Hammoud Hospital in Sidon

119 wounded from the southern suburbs [Dahiyeh] to Beirut hospitals

35 wounded from the villages of Baalbek to hospitals in the area, in addition to dozens of wounded from hospitals in the South to hospitals in Sidon and Beirut. Some 300 units of blood were secured and distributed to the hospitals.

The bodies of hundreds of civilian martyrs were transferred to refrigerators prepared by the Civil Defense in cooperation with hospitals and in preparation for their burial.

The barbaric attacks by the “Israeli” enemy targeted the humanitarian aid crews. The Civil Defense Operations officer at the time said that anything was expected from this barbaric enemy, which did not distinguish between stone and man, children, young men and women. In its eyes everyone was a target that had to be eliminated.

Zuhour asserts that the civil defense suffered its fair share of attacks just like the rest of the people. Three of its ambulances came under attack from the air and were completely destroyed. Despite this blind hatred and barbaric bombardment, Zuhour tells al-Ahed that the paramedics were neither tired nor worried. Instead they were the first to perform their humanitarian duty to rescue and aid the wounded. They had faith in Allah Almighty and believed in martyrdom on his path. They entered villages being bombed by the Zionist enemy and pulled out the wounded and the bodies of the martyrs. They strived to bring in emergency aid and supplies to the villages to strengthen the steadfastness of the people. They also worked to evacuate many families besieged in the villages where confrontations were unfolding and provide assistance for them.

During the war, the Civil Defense coordinated its operations room with those of similar organizations, such as the Lebanese Red Cross, the Risala Scouts and the General Directorate of Civil Defense in order to transport the martyrs and the wounded. The international organizations (the International Red Cross and the United Nations) as well as the High Relief Committee were contacted. Several meeting were held with their representatives in order to provide an international cover for the entry of rescue teams, paramedics and rubble removal vehicles into areas to recover the bodies of martyrs from under the debris.

Imam Hassan (PBUH) Complex Massacre

Zuhour recalls the destruction of a residential complex in the Ruwais area in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the massacre committed there.

“On the eve of the announcement of the cease-fire, the Zionist enemy committed its massacre in the compound of Imam Hassan (PBUH) in the Ruwais area. The complex contained 240 apartments. The enemy’s aircraft bombed the compound with 23 tons of explosives and completely flattened it. The civil defense teams intervened and set up a quick plan to remove the rubble and recover the wounded and martyrs. 43 martyrs were pulled out,” Zuhour said.

“The rescue operations and the removal of the debris went on for 24 hours for the next 20 days,” he added.

On the morning of the cease-fire, the Civil Defense worked in coordination with similar organizations to remove the martyrs from the rubble. It also worked to identify the martyrs and organize funerals in their villages as well as transport their families to where the burials were taking place.

Development of the work of the Islamic Health Society – the Civil Defense after the July 2006 aggression

After the war things weren’t the same. Development, progress and amplified experience are the natural course of any institution or organization seeking to lift society.

“The work of the civil defense expanded dramatically after the war,” Adnan Muqaddam, the director general of the civil defense at the Islamic Health Society tells al-Ahed. He also points to “the restructuring of the civil defense and the increase in the number of staff and equipment in all specialties.”

Following the war, six centers were opened in the Bekaa, six in Beirut and the north and nine in the South. A center specializing in fire training, rescue operations and providing medical assistance was opened in Rasm El-Hadath in the Bekaa.

Furthermore, Muqaddam points to the opening of a big training center located in the South called the ‘Kafra Training Camp’. The camp includes simulations of earthquakes. It specializes in training for rescue operations and providing medical assistance. It also houses several playgrounds and a world-class swimming pool in addition to rappel towers, an athletics field and a field specialized for motorcycle training.

The development was not limited to centers and equipment. The number of personnel also increased.  According to the Director-General of the Civil Defense, the personnel (both staff and volunteers) have significantly increased. Before the war, the civil defense had 75 employees and 200 volunteers. After the war, the number increased to nearly 3,000 members.

Muqaddam explains that during the July war, the “Israelis” destroyed many of the civil defense centers. This made it impossible to carry out training of its members. There was cooperation with international institutions, including the International Red Cross, the Iranian Red Crescent and some European institutions, to achieve this goal. The staff was trained. Instructors were prepared in all specialties that include rescue and first aid. Training courses were conducted outside Lebanon.

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