Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Stronger than Ever, Serious and Ready for Any Scenario

August 09, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech on the Day of Ashura in which he conveyed messages all across the region, affirming mainly the readiness, capabilities, and preparedness of the resistance against any aggression, and renewing that Lebanon would never concede any of its rights and resources.

Sayyed Nasrallah reminded the enemies that “We are the lovers and followers of the Imam who stood on the same day like this one during which he rejected any kind of humiliation.”

At the end of the massive Ashura March that Hezbollah organized in Beirut’s Southern Suburb [Dahiyeh] on Tuesday morning, the Resistance leader underlined that on the day of defending the dignities, “I tell you and I tell all the Lebanese people, especially the people of the Resistance, and mainly the resistance fighters, that we have to be ready and prepared for any scenario.”

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah thanked the mourners and the participants in the Ashura commemorations, telling them: “Today, you express your loyalty, love, and faithfulness as you did over the past 40 years, no matter how harsh the circumstances were.”

The Hezbollah leader started the speech by sympathizing with to the Nigerian people who have been shot by the regime forces while commemorating Ashura mourning procession, and condoling with Nigerian leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky on this massacre.

Then Sayyed Nasrallah set the standard of humanity, Islam, honor, and for those who claim Arabism, which he identified as the stance towards Palestine, and what happens there and against its oppressed people.

“The Palestinian people fight in Gaza and Nablus, impose their equations, and affirm that resistance is their sole way,” His Eminence said, renewing commitment to the Palestinian cause and supporting the resisting Palestinian people.

Additionally, he said we are proud of the Palestinian resistance fighters and martyrs, but questioned the stance of those who claim to be Muslims regarding the blood that was shed in Palestine. His Eminence then affirmed Hezbollah’s stance being at the forefront of confronting the Zionist enemy.

Slamming the Bahraini regime, Sayyed Nasrallah termed it as the ugliest among those who normalized ties with the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity as it doesn’t tolerate the presence of the Hussaini banners while it allows the Zionists to tour in the kingdom.

Moving to praise the Yemeni people’s patience and defiance, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “On the Day of Ashura, we renew our unending support to the Yemeni people regardless of anything [consequences].”

“The Yemenis don’t skip any of the Ummah’s occasions despite the blockade, pain and wounds they are suffering from; the Yemeni people are the true representation of Imam Hussein [AS]’s Karbala, and we believe that supporting them is the most urgent duty in this world.”

Regarding the unrest in Iraq, the Hezbollah leader hoped that the Iraqi people solve their internal disputes to save their country from what is being plotted against it, cautioning as well that there are countries and peoples who are besieged in Gaza, Syria, and Yemen with the aim of being forced to surrender.

As for the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sayyed Nasrallah said it will remain the strongest power of Islam and the Axis of Resistance, recalling on this day the prominent martyr Qassem Soleimani and his brother martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

On the local level, Sayyed Nasrallah said “In Lebanon we are facing the blockade and the sanctions, and we will keep looking forward to a better future for a strong, free, and dignified Lebanon,” warning that the hand that will touch our wealth will be cut, as it was cut when it touched the Lebanese soil.

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah advised the Lebanese officials to experience the people’s pain to be able to ease it, and called for forming a true government that has authorities to shoulder the responsibilities whether a president of the republic was elected or not.

As for the indirect negotiations on the maritime border demarcation and the disputed gas and oil in the sea, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “In this battle, we are serious to the maximum level, and as I addressed the Americans in the past, who present themselves as mediators but they are not, I tell the ‘Israelis’ that from now on, Lebanon and its people would never forgive looting their resources. We’ve reached the end, and let nobody test or threaten us.”

“In the coming days we wait the enemy’s response regarding Lebanon’s demands over the maritime border demarcation,” His Eminence underlined, lecturing the enemy that “Lebanon and its people won’t accept from now on looting its wealth, and we are ready for any scenario.”

As Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the Resistance has received the messages that were wanted to be conveyed in the war on Gaza, he added that “we have seen the defiance in Gaza, and we in Lebanon have another account to settle [with the ‘Israeli’ enemy].”

“The resistance is stronger than any time before,” the Hezbollah leader told the enemy, advising it not to commit any mistake against Lebanon and its people. “The enemy has to recognize the side it is facing and that there is in Lebanon a resistance that has proven it can defeat the army that was referred to as ‘invincible’.”

We have received some reports in the past days that plans to assassinate Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders, and other Palestinian resistance factions’ figures outside Palestine, including Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah warned, answering such threat by the following warning: “Any attack against any person in Lebanon won’t go unpunished and won’t go unanswered.”

By the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah voiced Lebanon and the Lebanese people’s rejection of looting their wealth, violating their sovereignty, and imposing things against their will.

“We foresee the promising future that has been shaped by the victory of the blood against the sword,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

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Producing New Enemies for No Reason Whatsoever

Why did Nancy Pelosi go to Taiwan?

AUGUST 9, 2022

PHILIP GIRALDI 

A good friend of mine, learning of the impending visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, recalled Homer’s description of Helen of Troy, “The face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the towers of Ilium.” Well, Nancy ain’t no Helen of Troy, but she might nevertheless be in the business of launching warships and burning cities due to her bizarre interpretation of her foreign policy prerogatives as Speaker.

It is like watching a train wreck developing in slow motion. Witnessing the highly dangerous behavior of the Biden Administration and its acolytes in power like Pelosi, one feels compelled to ask whether the White House and Congress are now setting the stage for the elevation of China to the status of foreign enemy number one? Indeed, if one has been hanging around Washington for the past twenty-five years or so, it was hard to miss the often-surfaced bipartisan contention that China is America’s major over-the-horizon adversary, or even enemy, with its growing economy, its successful geopolitics, and its huge industrious population. I can still recall my shock at hearing Democratic Senator Jim Webb, an honorable and highly intelligent Iraq War critic, telling a conservative gathering in 2015 that the real future threat to the United States would be coming from China.

Fear of China, sometimes dubbed in racist language as the “Yellow Peril,” has a long tradition in the United States and in Europe. In the current context, the US government is certainly apprehensive about where the increasing rapprochement between China and Russia is going, summed up by Secretary of State Tony Blinken as “The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.” Ironically enough, that development stems from the inept US diplomacy exemplified by Blinken’s tunnel vision that most recently allowed a negotiable crisis to develop into a full-fledged war over Ukraine.

But a much more significant development stems from the Chinese success when playing at what might be called the global geostrategy game. The Chinese Silk Road project threatens to create a new economic reality for Eurasia, squeezing the US out and creating unique networks for marketing, transportation, and the contractual exploitation of third world natural resources. Again ironically, the US was once upon a time the master at creating such networks to benefit the American economy and workers, but unmanageable debt plus inflation combined with outsourcing and lack of any industrial policy means that that advantage has largely vanished. To put it bluntly, China has outcompeted the United States, and whether that constitutes a threat depends on which side of the fence one is standing on.

NATO alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, is also part of the gamesmanship, observing how “China is substantially building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons, bullying its neighbors, threatening Taiwan … monitoring and controlling its own citizens through advanced technology, and spreading Russian lies and disinformation.” Stoltenberg and Blinken’s indictment of China was followed by a NATO issued “strategic concept” document that declared for the first time that China poses a “systemic challenge” to the alliance and declarations by the heads of the CIA and MI6 that China constitutes the “biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security.”

One would not expect China to be silent when confronted by the threats from the West and, indeed, Beijing has made clear that that Washington is “playing with fire” and that there would be “consequences.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian observed that the “so-called rules-based international order is actually a family rule made by a handful of countries to serve the US self-interest,” adding that “[Washington] observes international rules only as it sees fit.”

It would be correct to describe the US-China relationship as currently occupying a low point. The result has been to create an international crisis where there was none to start with, and it goes on. There have been two more interesting developments in the US versus China saga in the past two weeks. First came a video-link two hour and seventeen minute “summit” between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Biden’s declared mission was to address those issues that impeded a more manageable relationship between the two countries, or at least that is how it was described.

The issues discussed by Biden and Xi included not taking any steps that would challenge the status quo re Taiwan as well as Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea which the US maintains have inhibited “freedom of the seas” for foreign vessels transiting the area. China has responded that it is only exercising its sovereignty and stresses that its international presence is largely derived from its perfectly legal commercial and business activity. Other issues under discussion included what to do about climate change and the evolving situation in Ukraine. The possibility of rolling back some tariffs imposed by Donald Trump apparently was not discussed.

More provocative by far than the Biden phone call, which at least was ostensibly intended to mend fences, is the decision by Nancy Pelosi to make an August trip to Taiwan, which has now been completed. It was the first visit by an American official at that level since 1997 and it sought to confirm the US total commitment to defend the Taiwanese if China were to seek to establish full control of the Island. The proposed visit had been linked to moves by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who shifted US military resources in the Far East to provide possible protection for Pelosi’s travel on a US Air Force plane if the Chinese were to attempt to block her by declaring a no-fly zone over the island. Austin ordered the Commander of US Forces in the Indo-Pacific region (aka INDOPACCOM) to send the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group into the South China Sea as a “show of force,” which was construed as a deliberate demonstration to the Chinese that they have no actual sovereignty over Taiwan.

In the event, China responded to the Pelosi visit with a live fire military exercise in the air space and in the waters around Taiwan and whatever takes place next will have to be dealt with by the Taiwanese. The Pentagon is reportedly preparing “options” if China actually does choose to invade. But nevertheless, the visit, which cost the US taxpayer $90 million, was clearly intended to send certain signals to Beijing and those signals were not only not friendly but even threatening. Pelosi assured Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, that there would be US support despite threats from China, saying “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America’s determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It is also language that is largely intended to appeal to the domestic audience in the US with midterm elections coming up in November. It always is popular to take cheap shots at Russia, Iran or China.

Interestingly, President Joe Biden, apparently supported privately by Austin, actually opposed the Speaker’s trip as it reportedly could disrupt his intention to actually meet Xi face-to-face at some point in the future. Pelosi, who lacks having any actual constitutional foreign policy role apart from approving budgets, has provided ammunition for those among the Chinese leadership who have come to believe that the United States cannot be trusted to honor any agreement made with a foreign government. The Speaker clearly had not heard about or understand the “One China Policy” and the “strategic ambiguity” that governs the relationship between China and the US over Taiwan to avoid any military escalation regarding that issue. Joe Biden, admittedly, has also muddied the waters by declaring three times that the US might have to use force to defend Taiwan if it is attacked as Ukraine was, even though he and his aides later insisted that he was not changing policy. The US, for its part, actually concedes the island is part of China, though “strategic ambiguity” has meant that Beijing has not yet sought to assert direct political control over it. Given that status and the threatening moves by Austin to protect Pelosi’s trip, one might imagine what the American reaction would be if China were openly making plans to fly its fighter jets into US airspace in order to forcibly land a senior Chinese official without an invitation from the State Department.

As always, there have been other possible developments, including reports that the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is active in currently unstable Myanmar (Burma), fomenting trouble to distract China in its own backyard. NED is notorious for its role in regime change operations that were once the responsibility of the CIA, including the 2014 Maidan revolt in Ukraine. China is surely aware of the American involvement in regional meddling. Pushing from the other direction, North Korea is threatening to use nuclear weapons if it is attacked by the US and South Korea, which will inevitably involve China. Pyongyang was responding to reports that Seoul and Washington are planning war games that will include a “decapitation exercise” simulating the assassination of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

On balance, the United States has little to gain and much to lose by ratcheting up the pressure on China and its leadership in an attempt to create the “Pearl Harbor Moment” so much desired by the neocons and the hardliners in government. On the contrary, Nancy Pelosi should have stayed home and the White House should be working even harder to identify and pursue those opportunities for cooperation between the two countries. The ongoing bipartisan framing of China as an enemy of both the United States and of NATO is not the way to go, as it will literally force the Chinese to respond in kind. If one considers what is going on with Russia in terms of disruption of international trade, just imagine what would happen if the world’s biggest economy in China were to begin its own round of sanctions and selective withholding of manufactured goods. And then there is the risk of igniting yet another needless war, one that also comes with nuclear weapons as a last resort if either side were to perceive that it was “losing.” It is just not worth it, is it? But then again, it never is.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

Exclusive: The Fugitive Who Tried to Spark a US-China War

With a Special Correspondent

AUGUST 5, 2022

PEPE ESCOBAR

ISTANBUL – Guo Wengui, also known as Guo Haoyun, and by his English names Miles Kwok and Miles Guo, is a politically connected, self-proclaimed exiled Chinese billionaire who tried to start a U.S.-China war.

On Feb. 15, the billionaire filed for Chapter 11, personal bankruptcy protection in US Bankruptcy Court in Bridgeport, CT, listing assets of just $3,850 and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. Guo’s declaration came after a Hong Kong money manager, Pacific Alliance Group, sued him over unpaid debts.

That certainly didn’t add up. Only three months after filing for bankruptcy, Guo had spent nearly $2 million on legal fees. Yet on May 11, he filed a waiver of personal bankruptcy with the court through his lawyer, stating he had no more funds to pay his legal fees.

During the bankruptcy hearing, Guo claimed he owned no house, no car, and no credit cards. That certainly didn’t square up with the lavish lifestyle he flaunted on social media – replete with mansion, private jet and yacht.

So is this story really about bankruptcy? Or a very elaborate ruse?

‘I Wanna Be a Part of It, New York, New York’

Guo was born to a modest family in February 1967 in a rural area of Shandong province. According to the news site China Youth Network, he went through proverbial, eye-opening experiences as a teenager, such as skipping school, brawling and gambling. He married at 18; got his own brother killed for an argument revolving around a mere 7,000 yuan; and was sentenced to three years in prison and four years probation for fraud.

Guo rose to fame by building a real estate empire in Beijing, which earned him titles such as “Capital Giant”, “Power Hunter” and “Pirate of the Caribbean” from awed Chinese netizens. In 2017, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Guo, who had already fled to the US in 2015 after being accused by the Chinese government of fraud, bribery, and money laundering. He denied all charges.

Yet according to information publicly available, Guo committed a series of financial frauds, including a $539 million scam targeting small investors in the United States, a $470 million fraudulent loan in China, and a $43 million cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme.

In recent years, Guo has had a quite active life online, amassing special notoriety for his fierce criticism of the Chinese Communist Party.

According to China’s Chongqing Public Security Bureau, Guo has been building a case since August 2017 for political asylum in the US by concocting a series of online exposés.

Some of these, revolving around Hunter Biden’s sex antics, caught the attention of US media. Guo’s central spin at the time was that “We have to express…the Chinese Communist Party used these to threaten Hunter and [Joe] Biden.” But he provided no proof of this.

In 2017, Guo gained the attention of Foreign Affairs in an article co-written by Rush Doshi, who’s now senior director for China at the US National Security Council. The article focused on how Guo – without providing sources or conclusive evidence – threw lurid allegations at Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, the head of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

“Guo Wengui, an expatriate Chinese billionaire, began to make explosive allegations on YouTube and Twitter about China’s leaders,” Doshi and co-author George Yin explained.

“President Xi Jinping, Guo claimed, had sought incriminating information about Wang Qishan, Xi’s right-hand man and the chief of his anti-corruption campaign. The figure tasked with rooting out China’s official graft, Guo suggested, was himself corrupt — if not directly, then through his family’s alleged financial holdings. Guo’s claims seemed designed to sever China’s most important political relationship before this fall’s 19th Party Congress, where officials will determine Xi’s longevity as president and select members for China’s top decision-making bodies.”

Guo’s patrons included disgraced Chinese security officials Ma Jian, Vice-Minister of Public Security 2006-2015 and Zhou Yongkang, Minister of Public Security 2002-2007.

A powerful member of the Politburo’s Standing Committee, Zhou was expelled from the Communist Party in 2014 and sentenced to life in prison the following year. In 2018, Ma was sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes from Guo, according to court proceedings. Another of Guo’s handlers, Politburo member Sun Zhengcai, got a life sentence for bribery in 2018.

Sun was the Communist Party boss in the western megacity Chongqing. After Sun’s disgrace, the supervision of Guo passed to China’s vice-minister of police Sun Lijun (no relation), and Justice Minister Fu Zenghua. Sun Lijun was convicted of corruption in July 2022 and awaits sentencing. Fu is under arrest and awaiting trial.

What stands out is that throughout this period Guo acted as an agent of elements in China’s security services purged and convicted for corruption.

Later, in 2021, Guo switched to promoting the allegation that Chinese hackers had shifted presidential election votes from Trump to Joe Biden.

Guo’s politicking is just as intriguing as his business adventures.

Especially because of his status as former protégé of the very powerful ex-Vice Minister of State Security Ma Jian, who was himself a mentor of security chief Zhou Yongkang, then a Politburo member.

It’s not an accident that Guo fled China soon after Ma and Zhou were arrested as part of President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign. At the time, Guo was in a bitter business dispute with his former partner and politically connected tycoon Li You. That was bringing unwanted attention to his financial dealings.

The central plot in this murky saga revolves around opaque developments inside the all-powerful Ministry of State Security (MSS) in the early 2010s, when Xi Jinping came to power.

Guo’s intelligence handlers, Ma and Zhou, were allies of Ling Jihua, who was former President Hu Jintao’s chief of staff. The crucial link between Ma and Ling was provided by Sun Zhengcai, the former party secretary of Chongqing, also a Politburo member.

As we’ve seen, Zhou, Ling, and Sun all ended up in jail – targets of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign. But, remarkably, not Guo – who according to former Chinese government officials was Ma’s MSS agent in charge of special ops overseas.

Guo’s job in 2012 was to sabotage the ascension of Xi by spreading an array of fake news in China and among the Chinese diaspora. That failed.

Nonetheless, Guo remained at work as an MSS agent until at least October 2021, according to well-placed Chinese sources. Considering his recent activities and the fact he was lavishly embraced by prominent US China hawks, it appears that his assignment was to cause maximum damage to US-China relations, arguably derailing them to a point of no return.

How to Profit From Lavish Overseas Funds

Guo impressed his American hosts with a show of vast wealth. After fleeing China he took up residence in New York in a $70 million apartment in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park.

His bragging rights included buying more than 200 custom-tailored suits a year; spending more than $20 million in legal fees around the world; smoking $10,000 cigars; and drinking limited editions of the Chinese liquor Moutai. All that, of course, neatly fit his claim to bankruptcy court of holding only $3,850 in personal assets.

In his bankruptcy filing, Guo argued to the court that his expenses were funded by his family. The luxury apartment in New York was owned by the family company; a villa was owned by his wife’s company; daily expenses and all those customized suits were provided by Golden Spring, a New York-based company owned by his son Guo Qiang.

Qu Guojiao, or Natasha Qu, Guo Wengui’s former financial assistant, still living in China, revealed in an exclusive interview that in the space of over 20 years, Guo set up more than 100 companies in Hong Kong, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands. None of these were under his name, she said. Yet regardless of who and which company holds them, the ultimate flow of funds and shareholding arrangements always proceeded at Guo’s own discretion, Qu said.

Guo is known to have amassed a huge fortune by colluding with corrupt Chinese powerbrokers and business tycoons: that’s the reason for his fame among Chinese netizens as a “Capital Giant”. Yet most of the funds came from unknown sources, and were never under his name.

The Blair Connection

As previously reported by the respected Chinese business newspaper Caixin Global, one of Guo’s main sources of money materialized with the help of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. With Blair’s endorsement, Guo raised $3 billion from the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Blair flew on a luxury private jet during a visit to the Middle East in 2013 when he was the U.N. Quartet’s Middle East envoy; he was accompanied by Guo, who was responsible for paying for the flight, according to Caixin.

Guo won the Blairs’ favor when he bought 5,000 copies of Blair’s wife Cherie’s new autobiographical book in Chinese, Speaking for Myself, in August 2009. In 2013, Blair introduced Guo to a group of dignitaries from the Abu Dhabi royal family, the newspaper reported.

In 2014 Guo, with the support of all-powerful Ma Jian, then Chinese vice minister of security, used Blair’s position as the Special Envoy to the Middle East Quartet to gain the trust of the Abu Dhabi royals. Guo ended up signing a contract with them in Macau on Dec. 16 that year, setting up a “China-Arab Fund,” according to China Daily.

The first $1.5 billion was paid from Abu Dhabi’s Cayman Islands-registered company Roscalitar 2 to one of Guo Wengui’s bank accounts the following day. Guo’s assistant at the time, Qu, confirmed in the interview that the money was used to buy Hong Kong stocks, property, a yacht and other assets.

CAPTION: Voucher signed and authorized by Guo Wengui for the transfer of €25.2 million from Bravo Luck Ltd to DWF LLP for the balance of the purchase of the Lady May yacht

CAPTION: Voucher signed and authorized by Guo Wengui for the transfer of €25.2 million from Bravo Luck Ltd to DWF LLP for the balance of the purchase of the Lady May yacht

Natasha Qu stated: “In December 2014, the Abu Dhabi side transferred 1.5 billion to Guo Wengui, who immediately instructed her to transfer the money to HK International Funds Investment Ltd, a company controlled by Guo Wengui through her and Guo Qiang.”

Guo, according to Qu, “asked to transfer a total of $520 million in two installments to the Bravo Luck Ltd account. Payments were then made through the Bravo Luck Ltd account to purchase the Lady May yacht, the luxury apartment in New York, and money was also transferred to Guo Qiang himself and to his controlled [company] Golden Spring” at its Hong Kong head office.

CAPTION: Voucher signed and authorized by Guo Wengui for transfer from Bravo Luck Ltd \\$62,990,741.85 to IVEY Barnum & O’Mara LLC for the balance of the apartment in the Sherry Netherland Hotel in New York

CAPTION: Voucher signed and authorized by Guo Wengui for transfer from Bravo Luck Ltd $62,990,741.85 to IVEY Barnum & O’Mara LLC for the balance of the apartment in the Sherry Netherland Hotel in New York

Natasha Qu adds: “Although Guo Wengui had more than a hundred companies in Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands, none of them had any real business and there was basically no money in the company accounts. They were set up simply to raise and transfer money. All of Guo Wengui’s spending in those two or three years both at home and abroad came from this Abu Dhabi money.”

There’s no information as to whether any of these funds are still left. What is clear is that Guo kept spending right up until and after his recent bankruptcy filing. After claiming he was flat broke, Guo hired three big-name lawyers from top US law firm Brown Rudnick LLP each charging more than $1,000 an hour, according to news reports of the bankruptcy filing.

Lawyers’ fees listed in the court papers submitted by Guo Wengui

Lawyers’ fees listed in the court papers submitted by Guo Wengui

Documents in Guo’s bankruptcy case show that the day before filing for bankruptcy, he sent $1 million to law firm Brown & Rudnick from Lamp Capital Ltd (Lamp Capital). In addition to this firm, Guo also hired the services of Stretto Insolvency Solutions and V&L Financial Services, according to court filings. In May 2022 Guo set up an $8 million loan from his own New York-based company Golden Spring to pay for insolvency administration and financial services.

Should I Stay (Bankrupt) or Should I Go?

It’s not clear how wealthy Guo Wengui really is, and what are his real assets.

One of the most contentious assets in the years-long litigation between Hong Kong’s Pacific Alliance Group and Guo Wengui is the now-famous Lady May yacht, where federal officials had arrested Steve Bannon in 2020 for alleged fraud. Guo claimed that he sold the yacht to his daughter Guo Mei for $1, and that it is docked in a Spanish harbor.

Natasha Qu reports that the yacht was purchased in February 2015 by Guo Wengui for €28 million, with funds from the first US$1.5 billion released by the China-Arab Fund, in the name of Hong Kong International Fund Investment Ltd, and registered in the same name.”

Qu says she transferred the ownership of Lady May to Guo Mei for US$1 on June 17, 2017, as instructed by Guo. Back in October 2014, Guo asked Natasha Qu to sign a Declaration of Trust to hold Hong Kong International Fund Investment Limited for him, after which the company was transferred to Natasha Qu to hold on his behalf for the price of HK$1.

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The Declaration of Trust made it clear that all actions of the trustee, Natasha Qu, in relation to the shareholding of the company were to be done in accordance with the instructions of the beneficiary, Guo Wengui. After Qu signed the Declaration of Trust, she said the document was taken away by Guo and kept by his lawyer.

As Natasha Qu explains, “When the Hong Kong police investigated Guo Wengui for money laundering in 2017, Guo asked me to prepare the paperwork for a trip to the United States to transfer the entirety of Hong Kong International Fund Investment Limited to Guo Mei.”

CAPTION: Declaration of trust signed by Natasha Qu to hold Hong Kong International Fund Investment Limited for Guo Wengui

CAPTION: Declaration of trust signed by Natasha Qu to hold Hong Kong International Fund Investment Limited for Guo Wengui

After he fled to the US, Guo tried his best to package himself as deeply hostile to Beijing. Guo’s patrons in the security services were convicted of major crimes or under investigation, and he feared arrest under corruption charges. According to the New York Times, Guo was on China’s most-wanted list for bribery, fraud and money laundering.

Guo spent lavishly to win the support of associates of President Donald Trump. He hired former White House strategist Steve Bannon for a $1 million a year retainer. In 2020, alongside Bannon, Guo announced the creation of the “New Federal State of China,” supposedly to overthrow China’s Communist Party.

The “Federal State” held an event in New York on June 4, 2022, with Bannon and a group of former senior Trump aides, including White House trade advisor Peter Navarro and speechwriter Jason Miller.

Before the “Federal State” adventure, Guo set up the Rule of Law Foundation in 2018; launched a G series of investment projects such as GTV and G Coin, as well as farm loans, G-Club cards and Xi Coin. These ventures brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and donations, but landed him in legal trouble.

In May 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed a $539 million penalty for Guo’s US$487 million in illegal private placements of GTV and G Coin. The remaining projects are also being investigated to varying degrees, including a “farm loan” of almost US$200 million at the end of 2020 and over US$100 million from the sale of one billion H-coins in 2021. The whereabouts and use of these funds are a complete mystery.

Guo Wengui’s personal bankruptcy case is still pending. Under court order, Guo, as the owner of the Lady May yacht, promised on April 6 to allow the yacht to return to the US by July 15 and to post a US$37 million bond. On April 17, the bankruptcy court held Guo in contempt for hiding his yacht overseas.

On May 11, Guo voluntarily filed to dismiss his personal bankruptcy case. This bizarre behavior caught the attention of major news media.

Bankruptcy Court Acts

On June 16, the Connecticut Bankruptcy Court noted that Guo Wengui and his family had interests in numerous limited liability companies and allegedly hid assets and defrauded creditors by depositing substantial personal assets among numerous subordinates and family members.

The court ultimately denied Guo’s motion to dismiss, appointed a trustee for the bankruptcy assets, continued the bankruptcy proceedings, and appointed a trustee to conduct a worldwide investigation into Guo’s assets and whether Guo had acted in good faith in filing for bankruptcy.

If creditors pursuing their investigation find that Guo has hidden assets and filed for bankruptcy, he may be found guilty of violating US bankruptcy laws as well as bankruptcy fraud. That would land him in serious legal trouble. And this time there won’t be any powerful Ministry of State Security patrons to lend a helping hand.

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• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American MilitaryChinaChina/AmericaGuo WenguiTaiwan

The China/America Series

Fresh Zionist Attacks on Gaza Come Out of US President’s Regional Tour: Iran’s Veep

 August 8, 2022

First Vice-President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber underscored that the new attacks by the Zionist regime on the Gaza Strip is a result of a recent trip by US President Joe Biden to the West Asia region.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Ashura day mourning ceremony, Mokhber said on Monday that the recent regional tour by the US president to the region has emboldened the Zionist regime to resume brutal attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The new round of pounding Gaza is also indicating that Israel is facing internal challenges and crises, but such attacks will end up in consolidating unity among Muslims and resistance movement groups, the Iranian official argued.

Describing Iran as the steadfast supporter of oppressed Palestinian people and resistance movements, he emphasized that efforts made by the Zionist regime and its regional and international allies show that how much the resistance movement’s might has improved.

The first vice president also stressed that resistance is the only way to conquer the occupiers, expressing hope that the holy Quds region can be liberated soon with the God’s help and as a result of resistance by Palestinian youths and Muslims.

The Islamic Jihad of Palestine fired hundreds of rockets into occupied territories in retaliation to the Zionists’ pounding of the Gaza enclave.

According to the most recent reports, the number of martyrs of Zionists’ attacks on Gaza mounted to 43 people, including 15 children. Moreover, some 311 residents in Gaza have been injured in the new wave of Zionist attacks so far.

Some news sources have reported that Gaza and the Zionist regime have agreed upon a ceasefire to be announced at 23:30 local time on Monday, which was mediated by Egypt.

Source: Agencies

A quick note about the latest aggression against Gaza

9 Aug 2022
Amro Allan

On 27 Dec. 2008, the Zionist occupation forces began an aggression against Gaza that lasted for three weeks. The aggression resulted in thousands of civilians killed and injured, tens of thousands displaced, and large destruction in Gaza’s civilian infrastructure.
the Zionist entity announced that the objective of that aggression was to annihilate Hamas, the Palestinian resistance group that was a fraction of what it is now in terms of its strength.
At the end of the three week long operation, the occupation clamed victory, and the occupation forces, the settlers, along with their supporters started congratulating themselves on their (so called) victory.
However, 13 years later, in 2021, the Palestinian resistance, specially Hamas, was bombarding the occupation with long range missiles, reaching pretty much all the occupied Palestinian land.
Now few days ago, the occupation forces began another aggression against Gaza. This time though, they said they were going to annihilate Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian resistance group that is comparable to what was Hamas back in 2009 in terms of size and strength.
But, this aggression lasted 3 days and not 3 weeks. One of the reasons for this was that the Zionist entity feared the sequences if Hamas entered the battle field with Islamic Jihad. This is the same Hamas that the occupation claimed to have defeated in 2009, you remember?
Anyway, again The occupation claimed victory at the end of their three day long operation. And again, the occupation forces, the settlers, and their supporters are congratulating themselves on what they think is a victory, only that Islamic Jihad hasn’t disappeared!
The occupation tried, during the past few days, to do with Islamic Jihad what it tried to do with Hamas thirteen years ago. But most likely, from past experience, the growth trajectory of Islamic Jihad will be like Hamas’s. And in few years, the occupation will have to face two Hamas size resistance groups in Gaza rather than only one!
the Zionists occupied Palestine 74 years ago, and they have been trying to defeat the Palestinians since. But those pesky Palestinians proofed to be a lot more tougher than what the Zionist colonisers have imagined. And it is clear that the Palestinians are determined to liberate their homeland from its occupiers. So, I would suggest to the Zionists to stop their aggression against Palestinians, give back what they have stolen from them, and go back to their homes. Then, and only then, everyone can live in peace.

Saudi airspace open before Israelis but not Yemenis: Al-Houthi

Aug 9 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Ansar Allah chief Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi underlines Sanaa’s stance in support of the Palestinian cause and condemns “Israel” and the United States.

Ansar Allah leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi during a speech on August 8, 2022 (Ansar Allah’s Website)

There are aggressive steps being taken against those who oppose the Israeli occupation and counter American hegemony and normalization, Ansar Allah leader Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi said on Monday.

“The Americans and the Israelis want to deviate the Ummah from the right path, and the Israeli-US views corrupt human society, especially the Islamic society,” Al-Houthi added.

“The Americans and Israelis cannot accept our nation being independent and rejecting subordination,” he said. “The enemies seek to deviate the Ummah so that  it is loyal, obedient, and submissive to them […] the Saudi airspace is open to the Israelis and closed to the Yemeni people.”

The main goal of the enemies, he said, is normalization, which is an approach they are taking toward many Arab regimes. He also stressed the Sanaa government’s stance in support of the Palestinian cause, calling on the Islamic and Arab countries to take an explicit stance against the Israeli occupation.

Regarding the recent Israeli offensives on Gaza, Al-Houthi said: “The recent Israeli escalation, which was confronted by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, is a message that reminds us that the enemy continues to commit its crimes.”

“The Israeli tactic comprising of targeting a Palestinian faction while saying it is not targeting other factions is a means of trickery aimed at driving a wedge between the resistance factions,” Sayyed Al-Houthi underlined.

The Israeli occupation’s aggression on Gaza was conducted under the pretext of “Tel Aviv” targeting high-ranking officials in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) while murdering dozens of innocent civilians, including children.

“The normalizing regime’s enmity toward the freedom fighters in Palestine is flagrant, so much so that the Saudi regime imprisoned humanitarian workers,” the Yemeni leader explained.

The leader of the Ansar Allah movement called on the Palestinian resistance factions “not to allow this Israeli tactic to succeed,” while urging the Palestinian people “to remain in a state of constant readiness to confront the enemies at any moment during the temporary truce.”

Al Mayadeen‘s source reported that there was a ceasefire agreement reached in the Gaza Strip on late Sunday. The sources noted that the agreement was reached with the Israeli occupation agreeing to the PIJ’s demands in full.

The Israeli occupation began on August 5 with aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Tayseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

Consequently, Al-Quds Brigades launched an operation in response to the Israeli occupation’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, by launching salvoes of rockets toward the occupied Palestinian territories.

Our correspondent reported that the death toll of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has reached 41 martyrs so far, with 311 others wounded.

Palestine Resists

Kicking off with a brutal Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip that claimed the lives of nearly a dozen civilians, including children, “Tel Aviv” is launching a campaign of aggression on the blockaded strip. This promoted the Palestinian resistance to take up arms against the occupation and resist its barbaric offensives.

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Israel looking to delay border deal with Lebanon until after November elections

Tel Aviv is also reportedly looking to push back the extraction of gas from Karish

August 08 2022

An Israeli Sa’ar Class 4.5 missile boat guards the Energean floating production, storage and offloading vessel at the disputed Karish gas field, 2 July, 2022. (Photo credit: Israeli army)

ByNews Desk

Arabic media reports revealed on 8 August that the US sent a message to Lebanon via Kuwaiti diplomatic channels, saying that a deal to demarcate their maritime border with Israel will not be possible until after Knesset elections in November.

In their communication, Kuwait also told Lebanon that the US is willing to “provide guarantees” that they will receive “all of their demands” in the maritime dispute.

Tel Aviv has reportedly also held discussions to delay the extraction of gas from the disputed Karish gas field, likely due to officials shifting their focus to bombing the Gaza Strip.

However, the report by Al Akhbar highlights that Hezbollah did not welcome the proposal, and that they would not wait longer than announced, reiterating that the resistance is ready to take military action.

The US mediator in the negotiations, Amos Hochstein, returned to Israel on Monday to receive a response to Lebanon’s latest maritime proposal, a week after leaving the region.

Hochstein arrived in Israel on 8 August according to Al-Ahed, to complete his meetings with Israeli officials after failing to reach a conclusion during his visit on 3 August.

Hochstein left last week, as the Israeli premiership was midway through planning for the offensive on Gaza.

According to Al Jazeera TV, the Israeli proposal delivered by Hochstein on 31 July would grant Lebanon the area north of Line 23, including the unproven Qana gas field, while giving Israel full control of the Karish field.

Additionally, the Israeli proposal demanded that Lebanon accept to alter the dimensions of several maritime blocs, giving Israel parts of the southwest blocks near Cyprus.

The demand, however, was rejected by Lebanon, as they refuse to compromise further after forfeiting Karish.

In light of these developments, Lebanon is waiting for the written Israeli response in order to be able to resume the US-mediated negotiations at the UN headquarters in Naqoura, South Lebanon.

On 7 August, Lapid welcomed opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu to his office, marking the end of Netanyahu’s year-long boycott of meeting with the coalition government that unseated him last June.

However, Lapid and Netanyahu will face off again in the November elections. Polls indicate that the elections might unseat Lapid in favor of the Netanyahu’s Likud party, leading to a shift in policy, according to local Israeli media.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 28 July- 03 August 2022)

04. 08. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

Two Palestinians were killed; one was a child killed by an Israeli settler’s fire and the other was a person with disability succumbed to his injury by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)’s fire. Also, 16 Palestinians, including a child, were injured, while dozens of others suffocated in in the West Bank. Details are as follows:

On 29 July 2022, Amjad Nashat Abu ‘Alia (15) was killed with a live bullet that penetrated his back and exited his chest after an Israeli  settler opened fire at him from a distance of less than 60 meters during IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest against settlement activity near the eastern entrance to Al-Mughayyir village. According to eyewitnesses’ statement, a group of Israeli settlers, under IOF’s protection, spread in the area, where the peaceful protest was organized, and assaulted the protestors along with IOF.

On the same day, Hussain Hasan Qawareeq (59), a person with disability (mental disorder), from Nablus, died in an Israeli hospital after succumbing to wounds he sustained on 26 July 2022 when he was shot by IOF at Huwara checkpoint that is established at Nablus’s southeastern entrance. IOF claimed that Qawareeq did not obey their orders at the time, and they took him to an Israeli hospital to receive treatment.

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

On 28 July 2022, three Palestinians were injured and one of them, a police officer, was arrested after IOF stationed at Huwara checkpoint that is established at Nablus’s southeastern entrance opened fire at a vehicle travelled by them near the checkpoint. Two of the injured Palestinians managed to flee while the third one was arrested and taken to an Israeli hospital.  Later, IOF claimed that they thwarted a shooting attempt at the checkpoint. 

On 29 July 2022, 11 Palestinians were shot with rubber bullets; 2 of them were shot in the head, in clashes after IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.

On 31 July 2022, a Palestinian sustained a bullet wound in his leg after IOF opened fire at him and other workers near the annexation wall adjacent to Zeita village in northern Tulkarm while the workers were trying to infiltrate through the wall to work in Israel.

On 01 August 2022, a child was wounded after being hit with a teargas canister in his head, while dozens of other Palestinians suffocated in clashes that accompanied IOF’s demolition of a house in Kafr ad-Dik village, west of Salfit. On the same day, a woman sustained bruises after being assaulted by IOF, who raided her house in Jenin refugee camp and arrested her husband Bassam Ragheb al-Sa’di, a leader in the Islamic Jihad Movement, and his son-in-law. During IOF’s incursion, clashes broke out with members of armed groups; as a result, one of them (a boy) was killed.

In the Gaza Strip, 9 IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the Gaza western shores, and 6 other shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 71 Palestinians, including 53 civilians: 16 children, 5 women (one was journalist Shireen Abu ‘Aqlah), a Palestinian with disability, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settler and the rest were activists; 6 of them were assassinated. Also, 998 others were wounded in these attacks, including 115 children, 5 women, and 20 journalists: all in the West Bank, except 15 fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, a male and female prisoners died in the Israeli jails.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 2 houses, rendering a family of 8 persons, including 6 children, homeless. Also, IOF demolished 3 facilities and notified to demolish and cease construction works in 3 other facilities in the West Bank. Details are as follows:

On 01 August 2022, IOF demolished a 160-sqaure-meter house in Kafr ad-Dik village, west of Salfit. It should be noted that the house was ready to live in it.

On 02 August 2022, IOF demolished a 1-story house built on an area of 140 square meters in Sebastia village in Nablus, under the pretext of illegal construction, rendering a family of 8 persons, including 6 children, homeless. Also, IOF demolished two commercial facilities (a cafeteria and a carwash) at the eastern entrance to Bizzariya village, northwest of Nablus. On the same day, IOF demolished a tinplate barrack used for agricultural purposes in southern Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 03 August 2022, IOF notified to stop construction works in a tinplate barrack, to remove an electricity network and to demolish a classroom in Khelet al-Dabi’ school in al-Tawana and Sha’b al-Baten villages in Hebron.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 83 families homeless, a total of 479 persons, including 96 women and 239 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 88 houses and 40 residential tents. IOF also demolished 64 other civilian objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 104 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 63 Palestinians were arrested, including a child. Also, on 01 August 2022, IOF conducted widescale arrest campaigns, as at least 32 Palestinians were arrested; most of them were from Hebron. In the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 2 Palestinians ( a worker and a businessman) from Maghazi refugee camp, while traveling to Israel  via Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing although both had travel permits. The worker was arrested on 27 July 2022, while the businessman was arrested on 31 July 2022.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 5029 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 3050 Palestinians were arrested, including 297 children and 26 women. IOF also conducted 24 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 74 Palestinians, including 41 fishermen, 28 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

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

Under collective punishment policy, on 02 August 2022, IOF closed Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the travel of persons in northern Gaza Strip and the Karm Abu Salem commercial crossing for goods until further notice.  Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 63 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem arrested 5 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established 2626 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 119 Palestinians at those checkpoints

Palestinians march in solidarity with Gaza

7 Aug, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Palestinians all over occupied Palestine reaffirm their solidarity with the Gaza Strip by taking to the streets and protesting the Israeli aggression.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with Gaza in Ramallah, occupied Palestine

Palestinians all over occupied Palestine took to the streets on Sunday for the third day in a row to protest against the Israeli occupation’s brutality and “Tel Aviv’s” aggression on the Gaza Strip, as well as to show solidarity with the Palestinian resistance.

Dozens of Palestinians went on protests and solidarity stands in Ramallah, occupied Palestine, which was called for by various movements and organizations.

The protestors held up the photos of the Palestinians who were martyred by the Israeli occupation’s aggression on Gaza following three days of continuous air raids conducted on the Strip. 

The demonstrations also championed the cause of the Palestinian prisoners held in the Israeli occupation’s prisons, namely Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 158 days, calling for his freedom alongside the many prisoners arbitrarily held by the Israeli occupation.

Further protests were called for by various youth organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories in Taybeh, I’billin, and Arrab.

The Israeli occupation launched an aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Tayseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

Our correspondent reported that the death toll of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has reached 31 martyrs and more than 220 wounded since Friday afternoon.

The latest tally, however, shows that 41 Palestinians have been martyred so far, with 311 others wounded.

Palestinian sources told Al Mayadeen earlier today that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement is refusing any mediation efforts made by any parties until they take revenge for the aggression and the assassinations carried out by the Israeli occupation.

PIJ Spokesperson Tariq Salmi confirmed Sunday that the Resistance’s missiles are only a small part of the price that the Israeli occupation will pay over its crimes and the assassination of commander Taiseer Al-Jaabari.

Late last night, Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent reported that the Israeli occupation committed a horrifying crime in the Jabalya refugee camp, located in the northern Gaza Strip.

Five people were martyred, including three children, and many others have been wounded. Netizens have said that the Israeli occupation’s raids on the area have martyred nine people so far.

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إسرائيل تعرض تأخير الترسيم إلى ما بعد انتخابات الكنيست… وقلق في اليونان | المقاومة: إقرار كامل بالحقوق… وسريعاً

الإثنين 8 آب 2022

الأخبار 

سياسة قضية اليوم 

تطورات متسارعة ومتناقضة ترافق انتظار لبنان عودة الوسيط الأميركي عاموس هوكشتين، بعدما حمل من بيروت الى تل أبيب، الأسبوع الماضي، الموقف اللبناني الذي وثّقه اجتماع بعبدا بموقف موحّد من الرؤساء الثلاثة، يقوم على الإقرار بحق لبنان في الخط 23، مع كامل حقل قانا، وإعطاء ضمانات للشركات بالتنقيب بعد إنجاز الترسيم، ورفض أي كلام عن أي تنقيب مشترك تتولّاه شركة واحدة.

ومع أن هوكشتين عقد اجتماعات مع كبار المسؤولين الإسرائيليين، وناقشت الحكومة الإسرائيلية المُصغرة الأمر الأربعاء الماضي، إلا أنه تبيّن أن العدو لم يصل إلى قرار في هذا الشأن، وأن التركيز كان على خطة العدوان على قطاع غزة. فيما يبدو أن الحكومة الإسرائيلية المؤقتة تميل إلى التسويف وتأخير بتّ الملف الى فترة لاحقة، مع إعطاء إشارات متناقضة، من بينها احتمال تأخير بدء الاستخراج من حقل «كاريش»، بالتزامن مع معلومات عن أن انشغال الإسرائيليين بالعدوان على غزة قد يؤخّر مهمة هوكشتين، علماً بأن الأخير حاول خلال زيارته لبيروت التقليل من أهمية تهديدات حزب الله، من زاوية أن «إسرائيل لا يمكنها الخضوع لابتزاز حزب الله لأن ذلك سيفتح الباب أمام ممارسة أطراف أخرى هذا النوع من الابتزاز»، بخلاف السفيرة الأميركية دوروثي شيا التي قالت لزوار لبنانيين ولمسؤولين في الإدارة الأميركية إنه ينبغي التعامل بجدية مع تهديدات الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله.

وسيط عربي
وعلمت «الأخبار» أن رسائل أميركية وصلت الى الجهات اللبنانية المعنية بالملف، ليس عبر القناة القطرية هذه المرة، بل عبر الكويت التي نقل مسؤول فيها أن الولايات المتحدة حصلت من إسرائيل على ضمانات بأنها ستعطي لبنان ما يريده في مسألة الترسيم، لكنها تميل إلى تأجيل الأمر الى ما بعد انتخابات الكنيست في إسرائيل. وبدا ناقل الرسالة مهتماً بمعرفة موقف المقاومة من هذا الطرح أكثر من أي أمر آخر.

وأفادت المعلومات بأن الوسيط الكويتي سمع كلاماً واضحاً بأن المقاومة غير معنية بالانتخابات في إسرائيل، وهي أساساً لا تميّز بين حكومة وأخرى وبين حزب حاكم وآخر، بل تعتبر الجميع مسؤولين عن كيان عنصري يحترف الحروب وسرقة موارد العرب وثرواتهم وحقوقهم. كما أن المقاومة تعمل وفق أجندتها وليس وفق الأجندة الإسرائيلية أو الأميركية، وهي غير معنية من قريب أو بعيد بالتفاوض القائم المتروك للدولة اللبنانية، لكنها معنية بحصول لبنان على كامل حقوقه من دون زيادة أو نقصان. كما أنها معنية أيضاً بأن يفهم الأميركيون قبل الإسرائيليين أن حقوق لبنان تعني سيادة كاملة على المناطق الاقتصادية الخاصة به، وحرية العمل فيها وفق ما يراه مناسباً، وبالتالي فإن رفع الفيتو الأميركي عن عمل الشركات العالمية في التنقيب والاستخراج في الجانب اللبناني مطلب أساسي.
وبحسب المعلومات، فقد أُبلغ الوسيط (لم يعرف ما إذا كان هناك لقاء مباشر بينه وبين المقاومة أو عبر وسيط) أن على العدو أن يتذكّر بأن المقاومة أعلنت أنها لن تنتظر طويلاً وأن المهلة الزمنية غير مفتوحة قبل أن توجّه ضربات مباشرة الى منصات العدو.
ورغم أن الأميركيين سبق أن أشاروا الى ضرورة إنجاز الملف من دون ربطه بالانتخابات الإسرائيلية، انتشرت تحليلات بأن حكومة يائير لابيد ستجد نفسها أقوى في حال خروجها من معركة غزة قوية، ما يمكّنها الذهاب نحو اتفاق يتضمّن «تنازلات» في ملف ترسيم الحدود البحرية.

شياطين التفاهمات
وسط هذه التطورات، قالت مصادر رفيعة المستوى إن «لبنان ينتظِر الرد الإسرائيلي المكتوب»، وإن «اجتماع بعبدا تولّدت عنه مقاربة جديدة لملف الترسيم، بيّنت أن العدو الإسرائيلي يريد أن ينُجز حلاً في المضمون، لكنه يبحث في الشكل عن مخارج له»، علماً بأن «كل ما حصل منذ الزيارة لم يصل إلى مرتبة الإجراءات العملية»، معتبرة أننا في حالة من «اللاسلبية واللاإيجابية في آن».
ولفتت المصادر إلى أنه في حال عودة هوكشتين حاملاً الجواب المكتوب «سيدعى الوفدان اللبناني والإسرائيلي إلى الناقورة مجدداً لتوقيع النصوص برعاية الأمم المتحدة».
وقالت مصادر سياسية إن «التفاهمات المفترضة حول ملف الترسيم لن تكون رهن توافق عام فقط»، لأن «ما طرحه الوسيط الأميركي كان على أساس أن يتولى هو مواصلة المفاوضات وصياغة التفاهم، وأن يصار الى عقد اجتماع واحد أو اجتماعين في الناقورة لأجل الإقرار». لكن رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري قال لزواره إن «العناوين العامة جرى النقاش حولها، وهو (هوكشتين) سمع منا وذهب الى الإسرائيليين ليعود بجواب، ونحن ننتظر. وفي حال حصول تقدم، سيحال الأمر الى مفاوضات غير مباشرة في الناقورة».
وبحسب المصادر، فإن «ما يهدف إليه الوسيط الأميركي ولو برعاية الأمم المتحدة هو توقيع اتفاق أو تفاهم بين لبنان والعدو برعاية دولية يشتمل على كل نقاط الخلاف». وبالتالي، يعتقد مطّلعون في بيروت أن مثل هذا الأمر «لا يقف عند حدود تفاهم عام، بل هو مرتبط بتفاهم مفصل». ما يعني أنه سيكون هناك جهد حثيث، له بعده القانوني والأمني والتقني، وهذا يتطلب فريقاً متخصصاً، ما يعيد الحديث عن تشكيل الوفد اللبناني الى جولات التفاوض غير المباشر في الناقورة.
ورأت المصادر نفسها أن كلام رئيس كتلة الوفاء للمقاومة النائب محمد رعد عن «أننا نريد أن نرى بأعيننا الاتفاق لا أن نسمعه مجرد أخبار»، يتضمن إشارة واضحة الى أن «المقاومة ملتزمة بموقفها منع العدو من أي عملية استخراج قبل الوصول الى تفاهم يحفظ كامل حقوق لبنان. وهو ما يعني ضمناً أن المقاومة التي تنسّق مع الرؤساء الثلاثة وتتواصل مع جهات دولية، لن تكون بعيدة عن تفاصيل الاتفاق، من دون أن تكون شريكة لا في التفاوض ولا في الصياغة».

اليونان تتراجع وتقرّ بملكية سفينة الاستخراج وتخشى على حياة العاملين على متنها


وكان لافتاً ما تمّت الإشارة إليه من أن لبنان لم يحصل بعد على إقرار إسرائيلي كامل بحقه في كل ما هو شمال الخط 23، بالإضافة الى بقية حقل قانا. إذ لفت مصدر مطّلع الى أن «نائب رئيس مجلس النواب إلياس بوصعب كان قد تهرّب من سؤال الصحافيين حول هذه النقطة بعد اجتماع بعبدا الأخير،. ليتبيّن أن الأميركيين يشيرون الى أن إسرائيل قد تقبل بأن يُصار الى التمييز بين الملكية والسيادة القانونية. بمعنى أن تحسب كامل حصة حقل قانا للبنان، على أن تحتفظ هي بحقها في جزء من الحقل عند الترسيم، وهو أمر يرفضه لبنان بصورة قاطعة».
ورغم انشغال قيادة العدو بالعدوان على قطاع غزة، إلا أن الدبلوماسية الأميركية تتحدث كما الجهات الأوروبية (التي يقول دبلوماسيوها بشكل صريح إن الملف كله في عهدة الأميركيين) عن استمرار المساعي والاتصالات لضمان حصول الوسيط الأميركي على موقف إسرائيلي يعود به الى بيروت لضمان الأجواء الإيجابية، وخصوصاً أن هوكشتين لم يتمكن من الحصول على أي وعد من أي جهة لبنانية بأن المقاومة ستقف مكتوفة الأيدي أمام المماطلة.

قلق يوناني
إلى ذلك، طرأ تطور تمثّل في تبدّل الموقف اليوناني من مسألة ملكية سفينة الاستخراج «إنيرجيان». وقد طلبت سفيرة اليونان في لبنان كاثرين فونتولاكي موعداً للاجتماع اليوم مع وزير الخارجية عبد الله بوحبيب لمناقشة ملف ترسيم الحدود والسفينة.
وكان الوسيط الأميركي قد استغرب نفي اليونان علاقتها بالسفينة، مؤكداً أن اليونانيين يملكون الحصة الأكبر من الشركة وأن مديرها العام يوناني. وفي وقت لاحق من الأسبوع الماضي، سارع اليونانيون الى تبديل روايتهم الأولى، بعدما أبلغوا لبنان، بعد تهديدات الأمين العام لحزب الله، عبر رسالة رسمية أن اليونان تملك حصة تأسيسية في الشركة. قبل أن تعود أثينا، في الأيام القليلة الماضية، إلى إبلاغ لبنان رسمياً أن يونانيين يملكون أسهماً كبيرة في الشركة، وأن المدير التنفيذي يوناني الجنسية وأن معظم البحارة العاملين على السفينة يونانيون. ويعكس هذا التطور، بحسب مصدر معني، القلق اليوناني المتعاظم من احتمال ضرب السفينة. وبحسب معلومات، سمع اليونانيون الذين تواصلوا مع مسؤولين في حزب الله كلاماً واضحاً بضرورة سحب السفينة، وأن أثينا وأصحاب السفينة يتحمّلون المسؤولية عن أي ضرر مادي أو بشري يصيبها.

مقالات ذات صلة

Anatomy of the EU “gas crisis”

August 05, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilches

Europe today does not have – or possibly never had – an effective vision of the no-nonsense existential strategy it required to subsist in peace. Furthermore, as if not aware of the coming debacle, EU leaders firmly insist on their failed policies. Now, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder proposes to solve the EU’s self-inflicted ´gas crisis´ by launching the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipeline… although German authorities have repeatedly rejected the idea.

Today the EU is governed by childish impulses necessarily leading to confusion and self-harm. First the EU imposes highly crippling sanctions on its Russian partner and then demands from her full natural gas delivery — even under the current most special situation — while flagrantly violating well-known contract clauses. Accordingly, it is obvious that the assumed European ´energy crisis´ does not really exist as such, be it for natural gas, oil, distillates, coal, uranium rods… or whatever others for that matter. Because if a genuine “energy crisis” truly existed, Europe would not have full access to tangible energy from Russia, which is not the case. Actually, Europe has an enviable, excellent access to high quality, decades-proven, swift, trouble-free, close-by, door-to-door delivery of truly cheap energy from fully-vetted Russian vendors willing and able to reliably deliver the goods as they always have since decades yonder.

contract violations

But besides being immature, the EU can also be highly creative. For instance, by playing games with sacrosanct contractual requirements for the famous peripatetic Siemens NS1 turbine # 073… now stranded at Mülheim an der Ruhr after a yet unfinished maintenance episode at very distant Siemens Canada facilities of all places. Accordingly, Russia´s Gazprom has now officially rejected to accept delivery of turbine # 073 on the basis that

The sanctions regimes of Canada, the EU, the UK and a mismatch of the current situation with the existing contractual obligations by the Siemens side make delivery of the 073 engine to the [ Russian ] Portovaya compressor station impossible”. Gazprom claims that essential documents have not been presented stating that turbine 073 is not under sanctions. “Words are not enough”.

Ref #1 https://www.rt.com/business/560216-kremlin-responds-german-turbine-accusation/

Furthermore, the Minister of Natural Resources of Canada Jonathan Wilkinson declared that “Canada grants a time-limited and revocable permit for Siemens Canada to allow the return of repaired Nordstream 1 turbines to Germany…” So, no direct return to Russia — which is a clear breach of contract — and also under time-limited and revocable conditions which is an additional contract violation simply because turbine # 073 is still not sanctions-free and thus uninsurable. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov made clear that the turbine had been sent to Germany without Russia’s consent and that in the current situation Moscow should now have to make sure that the turbine “cannot be stopped remotely”… Sabotage cannot be excluded while Germany is actively sending weapons to Ukraine to kill Russians.

Ref #2 https://nationworldnews.com/gazprom-repeats-west-bloks-nord-stream-turbine-shipments/

Ref #3 https://www.ft.com/content/d926a768-f976-4bee-823c-0f255afb7087

Ref #8 https://tass.com/economy/1477929

Ref #4 https://www.reuters.com/article/ukraine-crisis-gas-nordstream/update-1-russias-gazprom-sanctions-make-delivery-of-nord-stream-turbine-impossible-idUKL8N2ZF6SQ

Ref #5 https://news.yahoo.com/turbine-works-germanys-scholz-points-083241601.html

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what happened ?

EU sanctions have shut down several Russian pipelines thus completely tying down Gazprom´s hands. Ukraine and Poland effectively closed off the Yamal-Europe pipeline. Ukraine did it overtly for strictly political reasons while Poland by refusing to pay under the new gas-for-Roubles scheme. Also, the NS1 pipeline is still suffering the Siemens-Canada tumultuous service problems. Besides, Gazprom is unable to fully use another pipeline route as Ukraine has been rejecting its transit applications. In sum, Europe has pro-actively shut itself off from Russian gas. Go figure…

et tu Siemens ?

Siemens Energy is the NS1 turbine manufacturer squarely and contractually responsible for the regular maintenance and proper functioning of all NS1 turbines, property of Russia. Siemens has now officially declared what Gazprom has been saying all along, namely that only one of five NS1 turbines is truly operational and able to deliver gas. Of course, this means that Europe is able to receive only 20% of Russia´s badly-needed natural gas as the condition of the four other remaining NS1 turbines is still undefined. According to former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, the reduction in the NS1 flow rate capacity is entirely Siemens’ fault, not Gazprom´s. Sanctions obviously still apply to turbine # 073 and surely to any other Russian-related piece of equipment or produce or program or whatever Russian.

et tu Gazprom ?

Vitaly Markelov, deputy head of Gazprom, said that Siemens has not fulfilled its obligations to adequately maintain NS1 engine and thusly several pieces of equipment are currently idle. Besides, Gazprom claims it has not received from Siemens the required, well-known, complete package of documents allowing transportation, maintenance service and repairs of Russian-owned equipment. The EU keeps playing lots of childish games while winter gets ever closer. If Gazprom were to accept the turbine it would be liable for illegally breaking the EU sanctions regime plus other unfavorable complications. Lots of tricky lawfare involved while the EU can’t stop digging an ever deeper hole for itself. What´s bloody wrong with Europeans ? Why do they insist in choking down on their own vomit ? EU sanctions were rolled back regarding insurance on freight vessels with Russian oil, right ? So go for it you ignorant fools, now.

Gazprom says: “The current anti-Russian sanctions are hindering the successful resolution of the issue of the transportation and repair of Siemens gas turbine engines for the Portovaya compressor station, which supplies gas to European consumers through the Nord Stream pipeline.”

Ref #6 https://www.rt.com/business/560144-turbine-manufacturer-explains-gas-shortfall/

Ref #7 https://www.rfi.fr/en/business-and-tech/20220803-gazprom-says-gas-turbine-delivery-to-russia-impossible-due-to-sanctions

Ref #8 https://www.rt.com/business/560232-gazprom-explains-turbine-complications/

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the NS2 “solution”

In the whole history of worldwide warfare, no help was ever made readily available by any enemy. Let alone would such help ever include the life-blood of Europe´s economy, including vital products and energy. So Russia right now is not Europe´s “enemy”. Today European industry and households are simply undergoing a fake ´energy crisis´ (not) of their own making by decisions made by un-elected EU politicians who do not represent Europe´s best interests. Now, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder insists in a Stern Magazine interview the NS2 pipeline with Russian-made turbines would immediately solve Europe´s — possibly terminal — ´energy crisis´ come winter 2022 – 2023.

Ref #9 https://www.rt.com/business/560125-gerhard-schroeder-nord-stream-gas/

three NS2 problems

But there are three major “problems” to be solved. Number one problem is the absurdly required US political approval of the idea as broadly explained below. Problem number two is time is up as the NS2 certification and commissioning process would have to start right now — meaning yesterday – in order to possibly make it soon enough as neither problem #1 or #2 are simple nor quick to solve. Why so ? Well, one reason the dependency on US authorization of anything meaningful for Europe which is now clearly exposed for all to see. This also includes among other things any European trade and investment decisions with Russia. Furthermore, due to serious and most valid technical reasons, several weeks are required before any natural gas can flow from Russia to Germany through the NS2. Otherwise, the risks of serious accidents and/or malfunctioning could mean the sudden end to any possible successful solution of the problem at hand. People at large – and even top ranking specialized politicians – many times think that oil & gas feedstock flows can be turned on and off with the flip of a switch (not). Of course, all of the above furthermore requires German cooperation and correct decisions such as not using NS2 terminal facilities for any other purposes than those originally intended with specific design criteria and construction technology in mind. This is of utmost importance because German officials have already announced their idea of ´speeding up´ and supplementing the installation of LNG terminals with available NS2 hub-heads to support non-Russian LNG gas imports.

And problem number three is that at this very late stage of the game Gazprom could only deliver 25% of its nominal design capacity. In May, Russia´s President Putin specifically advised German Chancellor Scholz that Gazprom had contractually reserved the NS2 delivery capacity which needed to be effectively purchased as it could not remain suspended in mid-air indefinitely. Thus, President Putin then also warned Chancellor Scholz that Russia was forced to soon redirect half of the NS2 volume for domestic consumption and processing. Therefore, even if Gazprom were to be duly authorized to launch NS2 tomorrow morning, it would pump only 50% of its original nominal design capacity. And given that we are already more than halfway through 2022, that would be just be 20-25%…or less.

Ref # 10 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/energy/general/germany-unable-to-use-second-nord-stream-2-line-before-2028-gazprom/35291

US interference

The US does not leave Europe free to make rational decisions, simply because Europe constitutes a heterogeneous group of vassal states still under US military occupation. The NS2 natural gas pipeline runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany right besides the currently problematic NS1. Its construction was recently completed but the pipeline was denied certification and commissioning by German authorities prior to the crisis in Ukraine. Despite former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder´s insistence, the German government has repeatedly said that launching NS2 now is absolutely out of the question. It is impossible to make this stuff up…

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the EU perfect storm

Europe is facing a perfect storm: energy prices are up, economic growth is down and winter is coming ” officially stated by Mr. Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Add to that the ever-lower Rhine River water levels – almost impassable by barges of any draft — and you get the idea. This ultra-low Rhine level tremendously restricts – and may possibly cut-off altogether – the very badly-needed coal shipments to the now absurdly RE-commissioned coal-fueled power stations. Of course, also this impacts the physical delivery of everything – not just fuels and inputs thereof — with necessarily much higher costs requiring non-available trucking freight. “The risk here is the trade of huge quantities of commodities that would otherwise be used to stave off an economic crisis become logjammed on the Rhine as low water levels make certain parts impassible. Shipment costs for coal are therefore increasing, which in turn inflates the costs of operating coal plants.”

The low water levels are already forcing “irregular operation” at a Uniper 510-megawatt Staudinger-5 coal-fired power plant through the first half of September because fewer and fewer barges have been able to deliver coal as stockpiles dwindle. Rhine water levels below 40 centimeters at Kaub would halt shipments via inland waterways to the power plant, forcing highly expensive and inefficient shipments by land. Many other key industries are seriously affected.

Gazprom explains complications in turbine row

The Rhine River directly affects trade and industrial logistics of several key European countries namely, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, and the Netherlands while indirectly affecting many others or, in some cases, all the others. In particular, the über-important German inland transportation system – and therefore its entire supply chains network – depends upon normal levels of Rhine River waters. Because it´s not only a matter of sourcing the right quality, quantity and price of any produce. It is just as important to receive it Just-In-Time at process destinations such as refineries or power plants as explained later. Simultaneously, all European stakeholders are competing with each other tooth and nail struggling to find, contract and retain exactly the same resources in order to solve the same unexpected problems all at once and by the same date.

Ref #11 https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/europe%E2%80%99s-energy-balancing-act_en

Ref #12 https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/german-barge-traffic-shrinks-rhine-water-levels-fall

Ref #13 https://thesaker.is/europe-hypnotized-into-war-economy/

Ref #14 https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/germanys-uniper-warns-irregular-operation-power-plant-rhine-river-dries

Al-Quds Brigades responds to latest assassinations using 130 missiles

7 Aug, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al-Quds Brigades announces the bombing of large areas in the occupied lands with salvoes of missiles as part of its initial response to the assassination of one of its commanders, Khaled Mansour.

Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards occupied lands, Gaza city, Palestine, Saturday, August 6, 2022 (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ), announced Sunday the bombing of large areas of “Tel Aviv,” the central settlements, and the Gaza envelope using salvoes of rockets, as part of its initial response to the assassination of one of its officials, Khaled Mansour. 

The brigades said in a statement, “As a preliminary response to the crime of assassinating the great leader Khaled Mansour and his martyred brothers, we bombed large areas of Tel Aviv, the central cities, and the Gaza envelope.”

The statement added, “As part of Operation Unity of Battlefields, Al-Quds Brigades launched massive missile strikes against Tel Aviv, Palmachim base, Ashdod, Beer Al Sabe, Askalan, Netivot, Mefalsim, Mivtachim, and all the usurped areas of the Gaza envelope.”

In this context, Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent in Gaza pointed out that “the Al-Quds Brigades fired about 130 rockets at the settlements within 10 minutes.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement mourned those who were martyred in the aggression that targeted a residential area in the Yabna camp in Rafah, including commander Khaled Mansour.

The Israeli occupation began on August 5 aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Tayseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

The Palestinian Resistance factions mourned the martyrs of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, stressing that the occupation shall bear all the consequences of the aggression. 

Consequently, Al-Quds Brigades launched an operation in response to the Israeli occupation’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, by launching salvoes of rockets toward the occupied Palestinian territories.

Earlier today, Palestinian sources revealed Sunday to Al Mayadeen that “the Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ) possesses a game-changing weapon.”

The sources confirmed that this weapon is capable of seriously changing the course current battle, adding that “the resistance has not decided yet whether or not to use this game-changing weapon now or postpone it for a coming decisive battle.”

Exclusive: Truce reached in Gaza, PIJ demands agreed upon

7 Aug, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al Mayadeen’s sources report that an agreement has been reached on a ceasefire in Gaza, and the announcement will be made in the coming hours.

A rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip towards the occupied lands, Gaza, Palestine, Sunday, August 7, 2022 (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Sources confirmed on Sunday to Al Mayadeen that a ceasefire in Gaza has been reached agreeing to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s demands in full.

The sources confirmed the agreement on a truce in the Gaza Strip and noted that the announcement will be made in the following hours.

The head of the political department in the Islamic Jihad Movement, Muhammad Al-Hindi, said that “a formula for the Egyptian declaration of the truce agreement has been reached, and it includes Egypt’s commitment to work for the release of the two prisoners, Khalil Awawdeh and Bassam Al-Saadi.”

Israeli media, quoting Israeli political sources, said that the ceasefire will enter into force at 11:30 this evening.

In turn, political and military affairs writer, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, confirmed to Al Mayadeen that “the truce was delayed because the enemy renounced implementing the demands,” warning that they should be cautious “because the Israeli enemy is treacherous.”

Abdel Rahman added that “the rockets that targeted Ben Gurion Airport caused great losses for the enemy that is lying.”

He added, “The Al-Quds Brigades escalated and pushed the enemy to seek a de-escalation.”

This comes after Palestinian sources revealed earlier today to Al Mayadeen that “the Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ) possesses a game-changing weapon.”

Earlier, the representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ) in Lebanon, Ihsan Ataya, said in an interview with Al Mayadeen that “the mediations that are taking place seek to save the Zionist entity,” stressing that “we have not accepted any mediation that does not confirm our right to defend our people.” 

The Israeli occupation began on August 5 with aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Taiseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

Consequently, Al-Quds Brigades launched an operation in response to the Israeli occupation’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, by launching salvoes of rockets toward the occupied Palestinian territories.

It is worth noting that at least five people, most of them children, were martyred and 10 were injured as a result of an Israeli shelling that targeted Jabalia Camp yesterday, bringing the number of martyrs since the beginning of the Israeli aggression to 31, including six children, and the number of wounded reached 253.

[To be updated]

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Al-Quds Brigades: Missile capabilities tiny portion of actual ability

August 7, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The military spokesperson for Al-Quds Brigades, Abu Hamza, warns that the missile capabilities revealed so far, “draining our foolish enemy”, are but a small portion of the movement’s actual ability. 

Al-Quds Brigades: Missile capabilities are only a small part of preparations.

The military spokesperson for Al-Quds Brigades, Abu Hamza, said today the Brigades pledge to God, our people, and our nation to make the so-called Gaza Envelope unviable.

Abu Hamza confirmed, “Our missile capabilities revealed so far are but a small portion of our actual abilities,” stressing that the movement still has a lot more undisclosed capabilities that can hurt the enemy…

Abu Hamza added that Al-Quds Brigades is stronger and prouder with the heroic blood of the two great martyrs, Tayseer Al-Jaabari and Khaled Mansour, spilled in the course of Operation Unity of Battlefields. 

He stressed that with every drop of blood spilled, they are overwhelmed with pride and honor as the Resistance fighters are fighting this battle with pride, honor, and loyalty, “side by side with the brave leaders and fighters of Al-Quds Brigades on the battlefield.” 

As for the on-the-ground operations, Al Mayadeen correspondent confirmed that Al-Quds Brigades targeted a group of military vehicles in Sufa with several mortar shells.

Read next: IOF pursue airstrikes in Gaza, martyrs fall in house strike in Jabalia

On their part, Al-Quds Brigades, National Resistance Brigades, Al-Mujahideen Brigades, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and others announced that they targeted the occupied city of Askalan with missile barrages.

As part of Operation Unity of Battlefields, Al-Quds Brigades targeted a group of vehicles in the “Kissufim” site with several heavy mortar shells.

The Israeli occupation launched an aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Tayseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

The Palestinian Resistance factions mourned the martyrs of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, stressing that the occupation shall bear all the consequences of the aggression. 

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Kicking off with a brutal Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip that claimed the lives of nearly a dozen civilians, including children, “Tel Aviv” is launching a campaign of aggression on the blockaded strip. This promoted the Palestinian resistance to take up arms against the occupation and resist its barbaric offensives.

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Israeli occupation murders children in Jabalya camp massacre

August 7, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al Mayadeen’s correspondent to occupied Palestine reports that the Israeli occupation committed a horrifying massacre in the Jabalya refugee camp.

The Israeli occupation launching an airstrike in the vicinity of the Jabalya refugee camp

The Israeli occupation committed a horrifying crime in the Jabalya refugee camp, located in the northern Gaza Strip, Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent reported.

Five people have been martyred, including three children, and many others have been wounded. Netizens have said that the Israeli occupation’s raids on the area have martyred nine people so far.

Several martyrs, including children, have arrived in nearby hospitals. They were killed by an Israeli occupation air strike on the Jabalya refugee camp.

This comes as part of the Israeli occupation’s latest round of aggression. Just yesterday, “Tel Aviv” launched several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, martyring around a dozen civilians, including a five-year-old girl, in addition to at least 125 critically wounded, Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent reported, citing Palestinian medical sources.

The Palestinian resistance on Friday started responding to the Israeli occupation’s aggression on the Gaza Strip by launching salvoes of rockets toward the occupied Palestinian territories.

Al-Quds Brigades, PIJ’s military wing, announced the martyrdom of Taiseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip.

Shortly thereafter, all of the Palestinian resistance factions issued statements condemning the Israeli occupation’s aggression and its assassination of resistance figures and leaders, as well as solidifying the resistance’s unity against the Israeli aggressors.

Sources in the Palestinian resistance told Al Mayadeen today, Saturday, that Egypt offered to mediate a ceasefire for a few hours between the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian resistance. But the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) responded by saying now was the time to respond to the Israeli occupation’s crimes, sources in the Palestinian resistance told Al Mayadeen

The head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s media office, Daoud Shehab, confirmed Saturday that there was no talk about any de-escalation for now, with no ceasefire on the horizon.

“Our priority right now is resisting the occupation and responding to the aggression, terrorism, and violations committed against our people,” he said. “Palestinian Islamic Jihad is ready for this battle to continue, and it will create a real state of attrition within the enemy’s ranks.”

Al-Quds Brigades, the PIJ’s military wing, started responding on Friday to aggression waged by the Israeli occupation on the Gaza strip, which has so far martyred 15 Palestinians and injured dozens of others.

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Jihad al-Bina: A Development from The Womb of The Resistance

August 6, 2022 

By Hassan Shreim

Beirut – Harsh political and security conditions ravaged Lebanon following the outbreak of the civil war and its aftermath.

Years later, matters worsened with the “Israeli” invasion of the capital Beirut in 1982.

This was a bitter reality. There was a complete absence of the state and poverty deepened in the historically forgotten Lebanese areas, especially in the Beqaa, the south, and the north. As the resistance movement emerged to face the “Israeli” enemy, it was necessary to unite the mighty and unwavering efforts to help our dear people and meet their needs, as well as reduce the dangers resulting from occupation and war.

This paved the way for the integration of jihad and construction, giving rise to the Jihad Al-Bina Development Association.

The birth of Jihad Al-Bina

Jihad al-Bina is a resistance development organization that was officially established in 1988. Its goal is to help alleviate the consequences of the Lebanese civil war and resist the “Israeli” occupation by supporting people and construction.

In an interview with al-Ahed News, Jihad al-Bina General Director Eng. Muhammad Al-Khansa tells us about the institution and its abilities.

“The early days of the institution go back to the late 1980s. They appeared clearly and practically after the horrific explosion and massacre in Bir al-Abed on March 8, 1985 in an area in the southern suburbs. It claimed the lives of more than eighty martyrs, including men, women, children, and fetuses. So, many engineers, as well as interested and experienced people combined their efforts to heal the wounds and embrace people morally and materially so they can overcome the devastation and destruction left by the massacre. They set up reconstruction workshops and provided aid to those affected and the needy.”

Jihad al-Bina keeps up with development projects and the progress

According to al-Khansa, the official establishment of the association in 1988 was followed by “the concept of work while functional and voluntary work within the institution developed. The institution began keeping pace with people’s daily and living needs.”

“The aid was increased to include other projects, most notably: securing electricity in some remote places and water by digging wells, extracting water from them, and delivering it by extending pipelines to people’s homes and shops. Among those projects was the Al-Abbas Project for drinking water, which is still ongoing today. Jihad al-Bina also worked to remove garbage from the southern suburbs of Beirut in the absence of state services and interest in many cities, villages, and towns.”

Within the framework of the Jihad al-Bina’s focus on the development of its projects, a delegation visited the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was inspired by the experience of Imam Khomeini in Iran and was briefed on many development plans and projects. It applied the experience in Lebanon and commenced with plans and projects that were suitable for the country and its people.

Al-Khansa recalls that “work was at its peak along the border areas at the time of the ‘Israeli’ occupation of the villages and towns of the south, when the enemy was bombing public facilities, homes, and roads and practicing its hostile and brutal acts. Work was continuing despite all the dangers and threats.”

Its services program was accompanied by many sacrifices while the Association carried out its developmental duty towards its people in the homeland, especially during the occupation era and along the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine. Many of those working with Jihad al-Bina were martyred as a result of the “Israeli” attacks. Others were wounded by mines and cluster bombs left behind by the “Israelis”.

Al-Khansa stresses that nothing deterred Jihad al-Bina from continuing its work; the blood of its martyrs was a motivation for strength, determination, and the will to face challenges and move forward in keeping pace with the needs of the villages and their people. The focus at that stage was on building houses and restoring those damaged as a result of the repeated “Israeli” shelling on Lebanon and the border areas.

Between 1988 and 1997, Jihad al-Bina restored 1,500 housing units damaged by the Zionist attacks, in addition to building and rehabilitating 42 schools.

Between 1999 and 2000, 57 vocational training courses and 142 agricultural extension courses were conducted, in addition to the establishment of the Farmer Relief Project: the distribution of cows and Varroa strips for bee disease to 3,763 parties.

Pivotal junctions in the work of Jihad al-Bina

Al-Khansa remembers pivotal junctions in Lebanon, in which Jihad al-Bina played a major role:

– The first is the Seven-Day War, which “Israel” dubbed Operation Accountability in July 1993. “Israel” relied mainly on its air force to dismember the Lebanese areas, so it separated the south from the capital Beirut and the Bekaa region from the west and north through a dense belt of fire.

– The second juncture, according to Al-Khansa, is the April 1996 aggression. It was a quick and barbaric military attack on Lebanon that lasted for sixteen days, in which hundreds of civilian were killed and wounded.

– As for the historical juncture, which was engraved in the memory of the homeland in Al-Khansa’s opinion, came on May 25, 2000, the Resistance and Liberation Day. It was the day the “Israeli” army was defeated and withdrew from most of the Lebanese territories it had been occupying since 1978.

Al-Khansa adds that after the liberation and the return of citizens to their villages, Jihad al-Bina’s work to meet people’s needs continued. Its interests and efforts expanded from restoration to the agricultural sector through land reclamation and encouraging people to invest, plant, and sell the surplus of its crop, especially in the south and the Bekaa, where there are vast areas and fertile lands that are suitable for agriculture and investment.

The July War: Massive missions and a pivotal juncture in the association’s history

Al-Khansa said the pivotal and most important juncture was the July 2006 war on Lebanon or what was known as the Second Lebanon War, when “Israeli” barbarism became more intense and exacerbated destruction and devastation. It did not spare people or stones. The human and material losses were extensive. People were martyred and displaced. Those who were displaced left behind memories only to return after the war and find them in ashes.

Indeed, the Jihad al-Bina organization has proven that it is responsible. It surprised the enemy and friends alike with the tremendous efforts it made to rebuild and provide shelter for those displaced returning to their destroyed homes. As part of its project to provide shelter, it provided them with rent and furniture allowances until the rubble removal operations were completed.

The reconstruction carried out by the association covered all the villages and cities that were destroyed. It built the destroyed houses and restored damaged ones, making them even lovelier than they were before the destruction.

July 2006 war:

1- Inspection: 1386 buildings

2- Structural restoration: 150 buildings

3- Demolition after inspection: 83 buildings

4- Partial demolition: 15 buildings

5- Demolished buildings: 195 buildings

6- Restoration of common sections: 943 buildings

Jihad al-Bina agricultur and industry (2020 – 2021)

To complement its development projects and in support of the agricultural sector, the association established several centers to serve as starting points for agricultural development. These centers are:

1- Martyr Sayyed Abbas Al-Moussawi Center for Agricultural Development and Extension in Duris – Baalbek (destroyed in the 2006 war)

2- Imam Al-Jawad Center for Agricultural Development and Extension in Hermel

3- Abi Dhar Al-Ghafari Center for Agricultural Development and Extension in Dardaghiya – Tyre

4- Al-Firdous Center for Agricultural Development and Extension in Al-Firdous in Nabatiyeh

These centers were able to keep pace with farmers’ activities, meet their needs, encourage them to grow, and market their agricultural products in various areas, including online. They conducted a number of agricultural projects and fairs, including nearly 76 fairs, where 2478 people benefited. Some of these fairs are:

1 – Hakoura Project (rehabilitation for home farming):

– Distribution of 75,000 boxes of summer seeds

– Beneficiaries: 26720

– Cultivated area: 120000 acres

– Combined courses: 200 courses / Number of beneficiaries: 15238

– Electronic counseling courses: Number of beneficiaries: 268322

2- Ghallal Project:

– Distribution of 80 tons of wheat seed

– The cultivated area is 5350 acres

3- Afforestation project:

– Distribution of 150,000 implants to benefit 4,000 parties

– Distribution of 1000000 seedlings to benefit 1233 parties

4- Livestock vaccination project:

– Immunization of 2038,157 head of livestock to benefit 10,696 parties

5- Livestock Credit Project:

– 560 head of cattle annually

– A number of areas benefited from it, especially in the north and Akkar.

6- Electronic agricultural extension seminars: number of beneficiaries 6260

7- Agricultural Extension Project [electronic]: Number of beneficiaries: 142924

8- Providing agricultural supplies: Number of beneficiaries: 87825

9- Environmental guidance and awareness: Number of beneficiaries: 113,878

10- Field and veterinary tours: 54989, number of beneficiaries: 57705

Agricultural extension projects or animal and plant production are still in constant development, as Jihad al-Bina worked to conduct a census of more than 10170 farmers so far. In a new step, the association is seeking to market products online.

Accelerated vocational and handicraft training project

As part of its rehabilitation program, Al-Khansa points out that the Jihad Al-Bina Association also seeks to establish craft workshops and training courses in its main or subsidiary centers in villages and towns or through mobile centers in the areas. Their aim is to shape the individual and help him acquire a new craft or profession that will be a source for a decent paycheck, especially in light of the current situation.

Between 2020-2021, 4211 professional and craft courses and workshops were held. 102031 trainees benefited from them. A census for more than 3500 professionals and craftsmen has been conducted so far.

The association also paid attention to the cooperative sector, as it worked on establishing, rehabilitating, and assisting more than 400 diverse cooperatives in various Lebanese areas.

Among the fairs that Jihad Al-Bina carried out to encourage craftsmen and producers was the Ardi Exhibition. Ardi supports small producers and craftsmen to market their products. It was last held in the southern suburbs of Beirut in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic. About 3496 people participated in the exhibition.

In addition, there are mobile markets in the south, the Bekaa, and other areas: about 39 markets, benefiting 1613 people.

Ongoing achievements & the door for volunteering is open to all

Al-Khansa commends the efforts of the administrative staff and “the whole family” in the Jihad Al-Bina Association. He praises the efforts of volunteers who join the association from various specializations and categories based on the sectors and files that the association is working on. He stresses that Jihad al-Bina’s doors are open to all, thanks to God and “hand in hand and with the charitable people, we will continue our work and carry on.”

International condemnation against Israel grows as Gaza blitz continues

Russia referred to the Israeli strikes as a ‘provocation’, and has urged all sides to exercise restraint

August 06 2022

The father of five-year old Palestinian Alaa Qadoum carries her body during her funeral in Gaza City on 5 August, 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Ashraf Amra)

ByNews Desk- 

Many nations have issued condemnations of Israel’s brutal airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip that started on 5 August.

So far, Tel Aviv’s bombing campaign has left over 100 injured and caused the deaths of 13 Palestinians, including a five-year old girl and three commanders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Palestinian resistance groups have launched several rocket attacks in retaliation, targeting nearby illegal settlements.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, condemned on 6 August the escalation that “was provoked by Israeli air strikes,” adding that Moscow is deeply concerned over the breakout of large-scale conflict.

The official also called all sides to “exercise maximum restraint.”

Egypt has also condemned the attacks and warned against escalation, with an anonymous Egyptian security source telling Arab media: “We hope to reach a consensus to return to calm as soon as possible.”

Another Egyptian source revealed that a PIJ delegation may travel to Cairo on 6 August for talks with Egyptian officials.

In another strong condemnation of the Israeli aggression, Qatar called on the international community to “move urgently” to stop Israel’s continuous violence against civilians.

The Gulf state’s foreign ministry affirmed via statement the kingdom’s “firm position on the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, and the establishment of their independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Jordan also called on Israel to “immediately stop its aggression,” warning of the dangerous consequences of increased escalation.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan vehemently denounced Tel Aviv’s actions on Saturday, with the Taliban foreign ministry calling on the international community to perform its duty and prevent Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

On the same day, the Islamic Republic of Iran issued its own condemnation of the attacks on Gaza.

“In its last night’s crime, the Zionist regime once again showed its occupier and aggressor nature to the world, but the resistance of the people of Gaza will speed up the decline of this child-killing regime,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on the morning of 6 August.

A statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on 5 August “strongly” condemned the Israeli bombardment, referring to the loss of civilian life as “unacceptable,” and urging “restraint and common sense.”

Turkey has recently strengthened its diplomatic relationship with Israel after a long period of tension, and has reportedly been deporting members of the Hamas resistance faction at Tel Aviv’s request and in a bid to further improve relations with Israel.

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Sword of Jerusalem II has begun and there is no room for negotiation

Israel may have miscalculated, again. The PIJ resistance it has brutally targeted in Gaza and the West Bank wants to take this confrontation until the liberation of Palestine

August 06 2022

By Abdel Bari Atwan

Only about half of the 160 rockets (Israel says 400+) fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) on the mass of Israeli settlements flanking the Gaza Strip were intercepted by Israel’s US-funded Iron Dome systems.

This, in itself, is a major military and psychological achievement for the Palestinian resistance. The settlers have lost their security, their time to leave has come.

The PIJ cleverly handled the pre-battle phase by stepping up armed military confrontations in the West Bank, entering into strategic operational coordination with Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – particularly in Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarem – and besieging and forcing a curfew on more than 1.5 million Israelis in the southern settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

These confrontations were in retaliation for Israel’s targeting of PIJ’s cadres throughout Palestinian territories this summer. But it was the Israeli leadership which decided on war and must take responsibility for the consequences of its decision, regionally and internationally. The PIJ lured Tel Aviv to war without firing a single missile, and herein lies the miracle.

A war or a skirmish?

The battle is still in its infancy, and in its first two days was limited to the PIJ alone, which stands with its resistance fighters in the face of the mighty Israeli military machine.

The participation of other Palestinian factions in the battlefield, especially Hamas, is still not excluded.

The PIJ’s announcement on Saturday that its military forces are mobilized and prepared may be the first step to what comes next.

It is Israel that began the airstrikes and violated its commitments to previous agreements, most notably by initiating and executing a campaign to assassinate PIJ leaders: most recently Tayseer Al-Jabari, their field commander in the Gaza Strip, and a number of his fellow fighters. For this, Tel Aviv will now have to pay a heavy price.

The resistance in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and their constituents are rushing to join Hamas and its fighters, missiles, drones, and frogmen into the confrontation; to provide protection to the more than two million Palestinians currently under Israel’s absolute rule in Gaza.

The most frequent question asked in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today is “where are Abu Obeida, Mohammad Deif, and Yahya al-Sinwar?” – in reference to the military spokesman of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, its supreme military commander, and Hamas’ political leader in Gaza, respectively. “How long will they be absent from this battle?”

Israel’s big problem 

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz may have launched the airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday, but he will not be the one to decide the battle’s conclusion. As in the Sword of Jerusalem (Saif al-Quds) conflagration in May 2021, which Gantz incorrectly predicted would last at least a week, he cannot control the outcome of this fight.

That May, to Israel’s utter horror and confusion, for the first time in decades, West Bank, Gaza and 1948 Palestinians banded together to confront Israel over its provocative storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. In one short month, Tel Aviv’s decades-long systematic efforts to separate and compartmentalize these three Palestinian areas was decimated.

Gantz, his army, and his prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) were impotent in the face of the multi-front Palestinian response. It was US President Joe Biden who begged Egyptian mediators for a quick intervention because Israel could not sustain the repercussions of one more missile hitting Tel Aviv.

Will Hamas join the fight?

It is clear that Hamas cannot stand by while Israeli raids kill children and bomb towers in the Gaza Strip.

Although somewhat restrained by its Turkish and Arab allies, Hamas – a resistance partner to the PIJ – must ultimately listen to its Palestinian, Arab and Muslim constituents, or risk losing much in the short and medium term.

Daoud Shihab, spokesman for the PIJ’s Al-Quds Brigades, has already said “No” to Arab mediators led by Egypt. The PIJ believes that this is not the time to calm down, but to confront Israel’s aggression, avenge the Palestinian martyrs and ask:

How dare the mediators resume their efforts, talk about ceasefires, and try to halt a justified Palestinian response. Did the Israeli enemy respect its commitments to rebuild the Gaza Strip, refrain from assassinating the leaders of the resistance, and ease years of a harrowing siege?

“We have been deceived by the mediators,” says Mohammad Al Hindi, a member of the Political Bureau of the PIJ movement.

When General Benny Gantz says that his current Gaza operation is to strike the entire PIJ network – in parallel with strikes directed by his security forces in the West Bank – he reveals his plan for a “fitna” (inner rebellion) to tear apart the unity of the resistance and instigate a factional war between the PIJ and Hamas movements. Greater awareness and discipline is required to thwart Gantz’s plan, specifically by Hamas.

On Friday night, the PIJ’s Secretary General Ziad Al-Nakhala declared in an on-air interview with Al-Mayadeen that this war is open: there are no red lines and it will continue until victory.

Nakhala also said he may issue instructions to the PIJ delegation to refuse Egyptian mediation in Cairo, and halt ceasefire negotiations that will serve Israel’s interests only and save Tel Aviv from this trap it fell into with eyes wide open.

A war until liberation?

This is a war that will last. It comes as a precious gift to the Palestinian people and their resistance, and the coming days will reveal shocking and terrifying surprises for the Israelis that will send millions of them into shelters and global isolation.

Hezbollah’s Hisham Safieddine, executive council chairman of the Lebanese resistance movement, recently said: “The resistance has obtained strategic weapons that will break the balance of power, and the enemy’s attempt to prevent their arrival has failed.”

To this he added: “we must be present and not be affected by propaganda media campaigns that want to undermine our capabilities – by the Israeli, US and Gulf media and some of their ‘mignons’ in Lebanon. We will not give up our wealth [natural resources] in our territorial waters,” which means that the gas war is very imminent.

We are facing a war that may have begun in the Gaza Strip, but could, with just one ill-timed spark, transform into a regional war involving many other resistance factions. This comes at a time when western colonialism is facing two major power wars – in Ukraine (with Russia) and East Asia (with China).

Millions anticipating the appearance of Hamas’ Abu Obeida with his red kefiyah may not have to wait long. The Sword of Jerusalem II is in the running to be a much larger and more dangerous confrontation than the Sword of Jerusalem I.

Airports may close very soon, and thousands of Israeli settlers may take to the seas in search of safety from the retaliatory missiles of the resistance. Watch this space and its developments in the coming days.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Debunking The Conspiracy Theory That The US Assassinated The Al Qaeda Chief From A Kyrgyz Base

Aug 6, 2022

Source

By Andrew Korybko

This interpretation of events speculating that COAS Bajwa approved of an American drone flying through Pakistani airspace to assassinate the Al Qaeda chief in neighboring Afghanistan as part of his efforts to secure the Biden Administration’s support for an IMF loan is arguably much more believable that the one speculating that Russia approved the deployment of at least one US attack drone on the territory of its Kyrgyz mutual defense ally despite its rival presently waging an unprecedented proxy war against it in Ukraine.

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was assassinated last weekend by America in a drone strike that reportedly targeted his safehouse in the Afghan capital of Kabul, prompting speculation about how exactly it carried out this attack when it doesn’t have any regional bases on record. Dawn, the largest and oldest English-language newspaper in Pakistan, published a piece that referred to uncited American reports to claim that “Drone that hit Ayman al Zawahiri flew from Kyrgyzstan”. This aligns with what a Pakistani government source familiar with the development told the Express Tribune, another one of their country’s reputable outlets, with respect to Islamabad supposedly having “no role of any sort”.

That interpretation of events lacks credibility, though. Kyrgyzstan is a Russian mutual defense ally through the CSTO and hasn’t hosted US forces since 2014. Furthermore, the official Kremlin website reported on 20 December 2011 during the bloc’s Collective Security Council meeting between its heads of state that “The leaders agreed by consensus that the deployment of military infrastructure on the territory of CSTO member states by non-members of the CSTO is possible only with the obligatory coordination of this issue with all CSTO members.” Moscow, meanwhile, has opposed the Pentagon’s reported plans to deploy forces in its regional allies’ territory since its evacuation from Afghanistan.

It’s therefore literally a conspiracy theory to claim that the American drone attack that assassinated Zawahiri in Afghanistan came from CSTO member Kyrgyzstan’s territory since this would have had to be approved by Russia in advance yet all reports on the topic prove that Moscow has consistently been against its proxy war rival deploying any military forces on the territory of its allies. With this in mind, it’s much more likely that the drone flew through Pakistani airspace from an American base in the Gulf exactly as many had speculated for obvious reasons despite Islamabad indirectly denying this through the government source that reportedly spoke to the Express Tribune as was earlier cited.

Should that have been the case, then it would suggest that the Pakistani military once again did a favor for its American allies by approving overflight through their country’s airspace, perhaps in exchange for some shadowy quid pro quo that hasn’t yet been revealed but might be connected to Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Bajwa’s reported efforts to gin up economic support after everything crashed following the extremely unpopular post-modern coup against former Prime Minister Khan. The man who many believe to be the country’s de facto leader nowadays reportedly just sought help from the US for an IMF loan and also reportedly just approached Pakistan’s Emirati and Saudi allies for assistance too.

This interpretation of events speculating that COAS Bajwa approved of an American drone flying through Pakistani airspace to assassinate the Al Qaeda chief in neighboring Afghanistan as part of his efforts to secure the Biden Administration’s support for an IMF loan is arguably much more believable that the one speculating that Russia approved the deployment of at least one US attack drone on the territory of its Kyrgyz mutual defense ally despite its rival presently waging an unprecedented proxy war against it in Ukraine. It’s of course everyone’s right to believe whatever they want, but the first-mentioned interpretation is credible while the second is indisputably a conspiracy theory.

عدوانٌ صهيونيٌ على غزة والهدف الضفة الغربية

  السبت 6 آب 2022

عمرو علان 

فلسطين

لعل ادّعاء الاحتلال أنه يخوض هذه الجولة التصعيدية ضد حركة “الجهاد الإسلامي” فقط، بعيداً من حركة “حماس”، لعل ذلك يصبّ ضمن تكتيك فصل الجبهات، بل محاولة الفصل بين حركات المقاومة نفسها.

عدوانٌ صهيونيٌ على غزة والهدف الضفة الغربية 

بدأ العدو الصهيوني بعدوانٍ جديدٍ على قطاع غزة في الخامس من الشهر الجاري، وأتى هذا العدوان في ظاهره على أنه خارج السياق، إذ شهدت جبهة غزة هدوءاً طوال الأشهر الماضية، ولم تشهد غزة في هذه المدة أي تطورٍ داخليٍ يستدعي قيام العدو بعدوانٍ آخر، هذا إضافةً إلى أن فكرة القضاء على فصائل المقاومة في غزة لم تَعُدْ أمرًا واقعيًا، ضمن التوازنات الحاكمة للمشهد في هذه الحقبة على أقل تقديرٍ، فيصير السؤال المطروح: لماذا إذن يفتح الكيان الموقّت جبهة على قطاع غزة في هذا التوقيت؟ 

لم يَعُدْ الاحتلال قادرًا على الفصل بصورةٍ كليةٍ بين ساحات فلسطين المحتلة، وذلك عقب معركة “سيف القدس” في رمضان 2021، التي وحَّدت بين جبهة غزة وساحات القدس والضفة الغربية وأراضي فلسطينيي الداخل. 

ومذ ذاك الحين، شهدت الضفة الغربية تطورًا ملحوظاً في العمل المقاوم ضد الاحتلال، كانت تجلِّياته في ظهور “كتيبة جنين” و”كتيبة نابلس” في الضفة الغربية، اللتين مثَّلتا تحديًا للاحتلال من حيث قدرته على التعامل معهما، وذلك بصورةٍ تنهي هاتين الظاهرتين كلياً، على غرار ما فَعَله سابقًا مع الظاهرة المسلحة التي نشأت في مخيَّم جنين عام 2002.

ويُدْرِك العدو مدى خطر تجذُّر تجربتي “كتيبة جنين” و”كتيبة نابلس” المسلَّحتين، ما يفتح الباب واسعًا على تمدُّد هذه التجربة المسلحة إلى مناطق أخرى في الضفة الغربية، وما يضع الاحتلال أمام تحدٍ حول كيفية الخلاص من هذه التجارب المسلحة الصاعدة قبل تجذُّرها. 

ويُعَد تعاظم قوة فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة، من أهم الأسباب التي تُعقِّد مهمة الاحتلال في القضاء على كتيبتي جنين ونابلس، إذ إن قيامه بعملية اجتياح واسعة لمخيّم جنين أو مدينة نابلس، كما فَعَل عام 2002، يمكن أن يؤدي إلى تفجُّر الأوضاع شعبيًا في عموم الضفة الغربية، التي تعيش حالة ثورية متصاعدة، باتت ملحوظة من تعداد العمليات الفدائية المتكررة في الأعوام القليلة الماضية. 

ويتيح انفجار الأوضاع في الضفة الغربية فرصة مواتية لغزة للدخول على خط المواجهات، إذ كانت الفصائل المسلحة في غزة قد ألمحت سابقًا إلى هذا الاحتمال. 

وفي حال تحقُّق هذا السيناريو، فسيجد الاحتلال نفسه في مواجهة جبهتين مشتعلتين في وقت واحد، فكيف ستكون حاله حينذاك، وهو الذي لم يَعُدْ يطيق التعامل مع جبهة واحدة؟

ولهذا، يبدو أن العدو الصهيوني لجأ إلى تكتيك يأمل أن يمكّنه من تفكيك الجبهات والاستفراد بها، كلٌ على حدة، فالاشتباك بالسلاح مباشرةً مع فصائل غزة يقلّل من احتمالية تحرّك الوضع الشعبي في الضفة الغربية، وذلك قياساً على الحروب السابقة التي خاضها على قطاع غزة، والتي كان فيها تحرّك الضفة الغربية خجولًا. 

ولعل ادّعاء الاحتلال أنه يخوض هذه الجولة التصعيدية ضد حركة “الجهاد الإسلامي” فقط، بعيداً من حركة “حماس”، لعل ذلك يصبّ ضمن تكتيك فصل الجبهات، بل محاولة الفصل بين حركات المقاومة نفسها.

ويمكن أيضاً الربط بين العدوان المستجد على غزة والضفة الغربية، في كون هذا العدوان جاء مباشرةً عقب تنفيذ الاحتلال بضع عمليات محدودة في الضفة الغربية، استهدفت الأخيرة منها، قبل أيام، قياديًا بارزًا في حركة “الجهاد الإسلامي” في الضفة الغربية.

لذلك، يبدو أن العدو الصهيوني في عدوانه على غزة هذه المرة، يستهدف بالدرجة الأولى الحال المقاوِمة في الضفة الغربية، بمحاولته كسر شوكة فصائل غزة، وردعها في حال قيامه مستقبلًا باجتياحاتٍ واسعة لمناطق الضفة الغربية، ومن ناحيةٍ أخرى بمحاولته قطع الطريق على أي تحرك شعبي واسع في ساحة الضفة الغربية، في الوقت الذي يكون فيه مشتبكًا مع جبهة غزة.

وفي هذه الحال، يصير إشعال ساحات الضفة الغربية بانتفاضةٍ شعبية واسعة، التكتيك الأفضل الذي يمكن أن يتبنّاه الشعب الفلسطيني لمواجهة هذا العدوان المستجد، فالضفة الغربية هي الهدف الحقيقي منه في نهاية المطاف، فضلاً عن أن اشتعال ساحات الضفة سيربك مخططات العدو ويبعثِر أوراقه، ويخفف عن غزة عبء التصدي لهذه الهجمة الجديدة. 

ويتيح هذا التكتيك، على أقل تقدير، تحقيق إنجازاتٍ أكبر بتكلفةٍ أقل لكلٍ من المقاومة الفلسطينية في ساحتي غزة والضفة الغربية معًا، هذا إن لم تُطوِّر المقاومة الفلسطينية فعلها الدفاعي في هذه المعركة إلى إستراتيجية هجومية طويلة النَّفَس، تُحقِّق إنجازاتٍ ملموسة على طريق التحرير الكامل.

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