JULY 27TH, 2022


By Ramzy Baroud

To judge US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Israel and Palestine as a ‘failure’ in terms of activating the dormant ‘peace process’ is simply a misnomer. For this statement to be accurate, Washington would have had to indicate even a nominal desire to push for negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership.

Political and diplomatic platitudes aside, the current American administration has done the exact opposite as indicated in Biden’s words and actions. Alleging that the US commitment to a two-state solution “has not changed”, Biden dismissed his Administration’s interest in trying to achieve such a goal by declaring that the “ground is not ripe” for negotiations.

Considering that the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly announced its readiness to return to negotiations, one can only assume that the process is being stalled due to Israel’s intransigence. Indeed, none of Israel’s top leaders or major parties champion negotiations, or the so-called peace process, as a strategic objective.

However, Israel is not the only party to blame. The Americans, too, have made it clear that they moved on from that political sham altogether, one which they have invented and sustained for decades. In fact, the final nail in the ‘negotiating solution’ coffin was hammered by the Donald Trump Administration, which has simply backed every Israeli claim, thus shunning all rightful Palestinian demands.

The Biden Administration has been habitually blamed by Palestinians, Arabs and progressive voices within the Democratic Party for failing to reverse Trump’s prejudiced moves in favor of Israel: for example, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, shutting down the US consulate in East Jerusalem, accepting the unfounded Israeli claims regarding its jurisdiction over illegal Jewish settlements built over occupied Palestinian land, and so on.

Even if one assumes that the Biden Administration is capable of reversing some or all of Trump’s unlawful actions, what good would that be in the greater scheme of things? Washington was, and remains, Israel’s greatest benefactor, funding its military occupation of Palestine with an annual gift of $4 billion, in addition to many other schemes, including a massive and growing budget allocated for Israel’s Iron Dome alone.

As horrific as Trump’s years were in terms of undermining a just resolution to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Biden’s policies are but a continuation of an existing pro-Israel American legacy that surpasses that of Trump by decades.

As for Israel, the ‘peace process’ has served its purpose, which explains the infamous declaration by the CEO of the Jewish settlement council in the occupied West Bank, known as Yesha, in 2018, “I don’t want to brag that we’ve won. (…) Others would say it appears that we’re winning.”

However, Israel’s supposed ‘victory’ following three decades of a fraudulent ‘peace process’ cannot be credited to Trump alone. Biden and other top US officials have also been quite useful. While it is widely understood that US politicians support Israel out of sheer interest, for example, the need to appease the influential pro-Israel lobby in Washington DC, Biden’s, support for Israel stems from an ideological foundation. The US President was hardly bashful when he repeated, upon his arrival at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on July 13, his famous statement, “You need not be a Jew to be Zionist.”

Consequently, it may appear puzzling to hear Palestinian officials call on the US – and Biden, specifically – to pressure Tel Aviv to end its 55-year occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Mohannad al-Aklouk, the Palestinian representative at the Arab League, for example, repeated the same cliched and unrealistic language of expecting the US to “exert practical pressure on Israel”, “set the stage for a fair political process based on international law”, and “meet its role as a fair sponsor of the peace process”. Strangely, Mr. al-Aklouk truly believes that Washington, with its dismal track record of pro-Israeli bias, can possibly be the savior of the Palestinians.

Another Palestinian official told The New Arab that PA President Abbas was “disappointed with the results of Biden’s visit,” as, apparently, the Palestinian leader “expected that the US President would make progress in the peace process”. The same source continued to say that Abbas’ Authority is holding meetings with representatives from “powerful countries” to replace the US as sponsors of the once US-sponsored negotiations.

Abbas’ political stance is confusing. The ‘peace process’ is, after all, an American invention. It was a unique, self-serving style of diplomacy that was formulated to ensure Israel’s priorities remain at center stage of US foreign policy in the Middle East. In the Palestinian case, the ‘peace process’ only served to entrench Israeli colonization of Palestine, while degrading, or completely sidelining, legitimate Palestinian demands. This ‘process’ was also constructed with the aim of marginalizing international law as a political and legal frame of reference to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Instead of questioning the entire ‘peace process’ apparatus and apologizing for the strategic plunders of pursuing American mirages at the expense of Palestinian rights, the Palestinian Authority is still desperately clutching on to the same old fantasy, even when the US, along with Israel, have abandoned their own political farce.

Even if, supposedly, China, Russia or India would agree to be the new sponsors of the ‘peace process’, there is no reason for Tel Aviv to engage in future negotiations, when it is able to achieve its colonial objectives with full American support. Moreover, none of these countries have, for now, much leverage over Israel, therefore are unable to sustain any kind of meaningful pressure on Tel Aviv to respect international law.

Yet, the PA is still holding on, simply because the ‘peace process’ proved greatly beneficial in terms of funds, power and prestige enjoyed by a small but powerful class of Palestinians that was largely formulated after the Oslo Accords in 1993.

It is time for Palestinians to stop investing their political capital in the Biden Administration or any other administration. What they need is not a new ‘powerful’ sponsor of the ‘peace process’ but a grassroots-based struggle for freedom and liberation starting at home, one that galvanizes the energies of the Palestinian people themselves. Alas, this new paradigm cannot be achieved when the priorities of the Palestinian leadership remain fixated on the handouts and political validation of Washington and its Western allies.

Palestinian Leaders Abbas, Haniyeh Meet in Algeria (VIDEOS)

July 6, 2022

Palestinian leaders meet in Algeria. (Photo: via Algérie Information TW Page)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met on Tuesday with the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, Algerian media reported.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune reportedly succeeded in bringing the two leaders together for the first time in years. The post included a video clip showing Abbas, Haniyeh and the Algerian president shaking hands, with other Palestinian officials present.

The Algerian presidency deleted the post about 20 minutes after posting it, but then re-posted the same video with the entry:

“The President of the Republic, Abdel Majid Tebboune, brings together, in a historic meeting on the side-lines of the 60th independence celebrations in Algeria, the Palestinian brothers, the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, and his accompanying delegation, and the delegation of Hamas, led by the head of its political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, after many years of not meeting around the same table.”

Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported that Abbas “informed his brother President Tebboune of the latest political developments related to the Palestinian cause, and the practices of the occupation and its aggression against our people, which undermine the chances of peace and the two-state solution.”

WAFA added that the two presidents discussed “means of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and nations, in addition to many international and regional issues of common interest.”

Abbas also attended the large military parade held by Algeria, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its independence and the restoration of its sovereignty, which was performed by the Algerian army.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Hamas and Turkey: Is the honeymoon over?

Hamas’ rifts with Turkey are not unprecedented, but this time Erdogan risks losing the Palestinian resistance card to Iran, Syria and Lebanon if he continues to overplay his hand.

May 06 2022

The recent Hamas-Turkey crisis illustrates how the Palestinian resistance movement is split from within. Although Hamas has institutionally decided on a strategic alliance with Iran, the revived Meshaal faction still curries favor with an unreliable Turkey.
Photo Credit: The Cradle

By The Cradle’s Palestine Correspondent

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas is no longer able to hide its problem with Turkey. In 2011, Hamas took a hard line on Syria in favor of Turkey and Qatar. But eleven years later, the relationship is witnessing an impasse that Hamas can no longer hide, not only from its members, but also from the public. So what exactly is going on?

The Cradle interviewed a number of Hamas leaders, from the second and third leadership ranks, in Istanbul, Ankara, Beirut and Gaza, to get these details. They stipulated that their names not be mentioned for “organizational reasons,” or for reasons related to their place of residence.

More than a criticism

On the surface, Arab, Western and even Israeli media has tended to view the crisis as a new development, one that transpired after the recent Turkish-Israeli rapprochement – and Hamas’ criticism of it.

The revival of Ankara’s ties with Tel Aviv has been under discussion for a year or more, and culminated in early March with the visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Ankara where he met with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Until then, Hamas was able to juggle its Turkish relations with some difficulty, and contented itself with a short statement criticizing the visit. But the Turkish condemnation of Palestinian guerrilla operations inside occupied Palestine in April placed Hamas in an impossible position, forcing the movement to issue a direct condemnation of the Turkish statements – and more.

Arab and Israeli media outlets then began to spread the news that Turkey was expelling Hamas military members or preventing a number from reentering its territory. Neither parties confirmed or denied those reports, which led to even more questions: Why is Turkey silent? Why didn’t Hamas launch a stinging attack against Ankara, as it did against Damascus 11 years ago? Had Syria expelled Hamas from its territory before 2011, would its war have happened – at least on this magnitude?

“Well-rehearsed game”

Sources we met in Istanbul say that what we are witnessing today is not an isolated incident, and has occurred more than once in the past years. In many cases, the Turkish authorities have requested certain Hamas members to temporarily leave the country, or to reduce their activities for a given period, after which things go back to normal. One source adds: “Everything is monitored in Turkey … what was happening was turning a blind eye to some activities at times, and tightening control at other times.”

These sources are close to Hamas’ external leader, Khaled Meshaal, who is the movement’s closest figure to Doha and Ankara, and its number one enemy in Damascus.

American “Muslim” Brotherhood

To indicate that things are normal between Hamas and Turkey, they point out that Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, the official in charge of the group’s West Bank file, is still visiting Turkey.

Al-Arouri left Turkey in 2015 at an Israeli request, settled in Beirut, and has moved between Doha and Tehran and even Damascus at times. “But he still comes here (Turkey) from time to time to meet Abu al-Abed (Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh),” the sources reveal.

The truth is that Turkish authorities have now instructed Hamas that Al-Arouri must now coordinate his visits to Turkey in advance – ostensibly because he uses more than one passport, under different names.

So, this is all a well-rehearsed game. It is true that there is “Turkish tightening” of Hamas movements and activities, but “this took place in coordination with the movement, and upon an understanding on these details before Herzog’s visit. Therefore, there is no media clash between us and the Turks, and there are no statements and responses to them either,” the source continues.

In Gaza, however, there is another side to this story. Sources in the besieged territorial strip deny the existence of an ‘agreement’ between Hamas and Turkish officials. It confirms that the news about preventing the movement from carrying out any military or security activity from Turkish territory is accurate, especially if the action targets the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the 1948 areas.

The Gaza sources also confirm that some Hamas members have been prevented from entering Turkey, others were asked to stop their activities, and worst of all, the residencies of a number of them were not renewed without valid reasons provided, which means that they have to leave Turkey immediately. Although the number “does not exceed 100 with their families, but it is annoying, and it is considered to be in compliance with Israeli conditions.”

The Turks have taken further measures this time, ostensibly for “security purposes:” they have reduced the number of visas granted to Palestinian students and to tourism companies in Gaza. And from December 2021 onward, any Palestinian in Gaza or the West Bank who wishes to obtain a Turkish visa must come to a consulate in person to provide fingerprints and an instant photo, where previously it was sufficient to send their passport in.

But the most punishing measure by Ankara is the almost complete cessation of Turkish relief work in Gaza since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The reason provided by Turkish authorities to its Hamas counterparts in Gaza was that Ankara is “shifting support to other regions.”

Bear in mind that Turkish relief activities that began in Gaza in the aftermath of Israel’s bombing devastation of the strip in 2009, have been significantly reduced since starting work in Ramallah four years ago (2017-2018).

Hamas vs Hamas

Hamas sources in Istanbul and Ankara say that their counterparts in Gaza “exaggerate” when describing the Turkish measures. They point to the fact that Hamas’ Gaza-based leader Ismail Haniyeh is a “semi-permanent resident” in Turkey as he is unable to hold all his meetings in Doha, and cannot visit Beirut whenever he wants. Therefore, he visits Ankara or Istanbul for a few weeks occasionally to hold these meetings. And since Haniyeh is the “head of the movement,” then “if there was a central Turkish decision to restrict Hamas, it would have been sufficient to prevent him from entering and stop hosting him, which never happened,” they argue.

“The movement’s leadership is holding a lot of meetings in Turkey so far, and it has not been prevented from doing so,” says one source. “According to our experience, everything that is requested now is temporary, regardless of how long it will last.”

“The Turks must give the Israelis what they are satisfied with, even if it is only in the media. But the reality is different. There are specific names under discussion, and it is not a broad and comprehensive process of expulsion or deportation,” he adds.

In late April, however, Israel Hayom newspaper reported that the Israelis handed the Turks a list of Hamas figures, including information about some of them being involved in military activities, in order to deport them.

Hamas sources in Turkey say that Ankara still allows entry to holders of the diplomatic (red) passport issued by the Hamas government in Gaza, while the majority of countries (such as Malaysia, Sudan, Syria and sometimes Lebanon) have responded to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority’s request to stop doing so.

They also point to Meshaal’s new TV channel venture that will air from Istanbul, as an alternative to Al-Quds channel broadcast from Beirut which was closed down years ago due to “financial crisis.” Sources in Gaza instead say that that the aim of the closure was to “isolate Meshaal.”

The opening of Meshaal’s channel, which announced in October 2021 that it would begin hiring staff, comes on the back of recent Hamas political bureau elections, which resulted in the return of Meshaal and his team back into the game. Meshaal, who is also known as Abu Al-Waleed, is a supporter of strengthening the relationship with Turkey and Qatar at the expense of Hamas’ relationship with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

Effectively sidelined by Hamas for the past few years because of his monumental miscalculations during the Syrian war, in the past few months, Meshaal has been “very angry” because of Hezbollah’s refusal to meet during his Beirut visit in December. It is likely also why Meshaal’s name will never appear on an Israeli ‘ban list.’

The Hamas defense in Istanbul is therefore this: “Is it possible to open a new channel for the movement at a time when Turkey is expelling us?” Meshaal’s call not to clash with the Turks is based on his argument that Erdogan is facing difficulties now; that Hamas must understand this temporary situation until the Turkish presidential elections in 2023 pass peacefully; that an Erdogan loss will have repercussions on the movement that cannot be compared to any Turkish measures or restrictions now. This is the same theory of ’empowerment’ (tamkeen) to which the Muslim Brotherhood adheres.

Sources close to Meshaal argue that Turkey treats Israel on an equal footing, and it may respond to some Israeli requests as part of its political maneuvering, but that it will not meet all of these requests. This ‘political maneuvering’ is what prompted Erdogan to improve his relationship with the UAE – even though it contributed to the 2016 coup against him – and with Saudi Arabia – which killed a Saudi dissident with a chainsaw on Turkish soil. It is realpolitik, they argue. All for money, investments, gas – and to retain his presidency.

Secrets revealed for the first time

Hamas sources in Ankara and Istanbul revealed further private details to The Cradle, saying the recent Turkish measures did not include Hamas members who have obtained Turkish citizenship: “These have become Turkish citizens, and Israel cannot ask their state to expel them or prevent them from entering the country… We are talking here about dozens of active people.”

They also reveal that “Turkish intelligence protects Hamas members, not only from killing or kidnapping, but also from espionage.” In this context, the sources point to the arrest last October of a cell of 13 to 15 spies working for the Mossad. They were spying on a full range of Hamas and supporters’ activities in Turkey, especially the Palestinian and Syrian students who submitted projects related to drones or engineering that could serve the movement’s military arm. These students are still studying in Turkish universities today.

The Turkish measures also follow US and Israeli diktats that while Ankara and Doha must “contain Hamas,” they should also not lose control of them. One sources explains: “It is true that there are limits to Hamas’ work in Turkey and there is full control over its activities. But if everyone is expelled from here, this will mean throwing these people into the arms of Iran, Syria and Lebanon, because Qatar or any other country will not be able to bear their presence on its soil… and this is last thing the United States and even Israel would want.”

Indeed, despite some ‘collateral damage’ such as military, security and financial activities, it seems that there is a great benefit to the Israelis and the Americans from Hamas’ presence in Turkey, and it is unlikely that Israel will ever request the complete expulsion of the movement and prevention of all its activities.

During this investigation, The Cradle heard many complaints within Hamas about the behavior of some of its members who live in Turkey. Many of these, after obtaining citizenship or residency, engage in investment and real estate projects, and leave work in the movement, and some of them travel to Europe, Canada and even the United States.

Anger in Gaza

The arguments of the Meshaal camp in favor of ‘tolerating’ Turkey’s new measures do not convince Hamas sources in Gaza, who say that a “comprehensive review” of the relationship with Turkey is underway. This review does not intend to end or sabotage the movement’s relationship with Turkey, but instead to assess its “feasibility” and “benefits.”

‘Turkish normalization’ with Israel has caused great embarrassment within Hamas and its members, as well as among its supporters. Many are seriously demanding to know what Turkey has done over the past decades for Palestinian resistance. Even in the years when the relationship between Hamas and Ankara improved, they note that the relationship between Ankara and Tel Aviv was progressing more quickly, and in more areas.

This anger is what prompted the release of leaks and statements over the past two months criticizing Turkish behavior. But the Meshaal-dominated leadership abroad was able to prevent the ‘deterioration’ of the situation, and pledged to communicate with Turkish officials to clarify their position. So far, the issue has not been resolved. It seems that officials in Ankara are in no hurry to provide an answer.

It may be more important, however, to pay attention to what the leadership in Gaza is planning that may ultimately affect the future of the movement’s relationship with Turkey. Sources in Gaza say that the Hamas leadership has taken a decision to bring the relationship with Iran to the level of a “strategic relationship” and not just an alliance, and that this is a decision that has been adopted by the entire movement.

This is why since the end of the last war in May 2021, the speeches of Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, have focused on the relationship with the “Jerusalem axis.” In his most recent speech on April 30, Sinwar spoke about Hamas’ coordination with the axis  “to open the sea route to and from Gaza.”

This is the same route that the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara tried to take in 2010, before the attempt ended with an Israeli massacre. But Erdogan has quickly forgotten his threats over the incident, and was satisfied with an apology over the phone from former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – after Washington’s mediation – which asked Netanyahu to pay compensation to the Turkish victims. Israel at the time “expressed regret” but did not cough up an apology, and offered to pay what it described as “humanitarian funding” to compensate the families of the victims.

Because Hamas’ relationship with Iran has become strategic, and the Gaza leadership attaches great importance to it – to the point that it believes a “war of liberation” is close – it seems almost certain that its relationship with Turkey will continue to decline.

This does not mean that the Iranians have reservations about the relationship between Hamas and Ankara. But “the past and the present reveal the near and distant future,” as described by those we spoke with in Gaza.

They raise a serious issue that is being exposed for the first time. The leadership in Gaza has learned that the Turks are using members of Hamas to help organize programs for Turkish visits to Jerusalem and to persuade Turkish citizens to participate. This is being done under the heading of “supporting Al-Aqsa Mosque,” but it ultimately aims to improve the relationship with Israel, especially as the Turkish visitors will enter the occupied territories on an Israeli visa.

These visits have been very active since late 2021, and come with the encouragement of both the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs and the support of Erdogan, who has a number of associations concerned with this matter under his direct administration.

In April, a huge controversy erupted on social media platforms about the visit of the famous Turkish ‘Chef Burak’ Ozdemir to Al-Aqsa. Many believed the visit was “not innocent” in its timing, as it coincided with the Palestinian confrontation with Israeli forces over the holy mosque. However, Burak was better received by the Palestinians than the Gulf ‘visitors.’

Anxiety in Beirut

Those we contacted from Hamas in Beirut were less angry, but more anxious. They also refer to a “restriction in the granting of visas” through the Turkish embassy in Lebanon dating back to around six months ago. The embassy spun this as a natural reduction in Palestinian applications from Syria, after the Palestinian embassy in Damascus made it easier for Palestinians to obtain a passport issued in Ramallah – which could be used to visit Turkey to obtain residency or purchase real estate instead of via asylum documents.

Whatever the real reason for this restriction, it cannot be separated from the latest set of Turkish measures that were recently placed on Hamas. But the biggest concern in Beirut is about the future of the relationship. This concern is not a result of the difference in viewpoints within the movement, because in the end the decision will be issued collectively and institutionally.

The concern is over the fate of the relationship with Ankara, which appears to be adopting a different approach with the Muslim Brotherhood, after taking harsh measures against its members. The last of these measures was the expulsion of the Mkamelin channel and the suspension of its broadcasts from Turkish territory. Will a similar measure affect Hamas institutions soon?

For these reasons, their concerns appear realistic, especially given the acceleration of reconciliation between Ankara and Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, all of whom are avowed enemies of Hamas – with Doha potentially affected by Turkey’s new behaviors as well.

The answer to this question can perhaps be found back in 2018. This year reveals a lot about events transpiring today.

The 2018 crisis

This was not a good year in the relationship between Hamas and Turkey. Turkish measures against the movement were similar to its actions today: refusal to arrange high-level meetings between the Hamas leadership and Turkish officials, freezing the renewal of residency permits for its members, and poor treatment of the wounded Palestinians from Gaza, among other measures.

That year, Turkey had expressed “disappointment” with the Syrian war, and with Hamas, which had decided in 2017 to improve its relationship with Egypt, start wooing Syria, and strengthen its relationship with Hezbollah and Iran.

The Hamas-Turkish crisis was then based in Ramallah. The President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas did all he could to sabotage the relationship between the two parties and he succeeded in that well.

At that time, Abbas met Erdogan, and provided him with information about an alleged ‘alliance’ between Hamas and the dismissed leader of Fatah, Muhammad Dahlan, who receives Emirati support, and who is accused of participating in plotting the coup against the Turkish president.

Hamas was unable to alleviate Erdogan’s wrath in this instance, and the latter ordered the transfer of the management of relief works from Gaza to Ramallah, and restricted Turkish aid to the PA in the West Bank. While the relationship gradually improved over time as tensions decreased, ties between Hamas and Ankara did not return to their previous levels.

Erdogan’s supportive statements about Palestine ebb and flow, and he stands accused of exploiting the Palestinian cause in order to gain popularity when facing internal crises. The Palestinian cause is still very popular on the Turkish street, and the president’s outreach to Israel has not been well-received.

Today, since Ankara’s relationships with Ramallah, Amman and Tel Aviv are thriving, and may improve soon enough with Cairo too, why does Turkey even care about the Hamas card and Palestinian resistance? It is a troubling question for the movement that its leaders often ask among themselves.

It seems that the coming months, not years, will hold an answer to that. While Erdogan’s actions are unpopular in Turkey, they serve his geopolitical agenda for now. On the other hand, with an uncertain 2023 election result looming, he will need his ‘Palestinian card’ to appeal to constituents – many of whom have now also turned critical of the US, which Erdogan is ever eager to please. It is an almost impossible balancing game for the Turkish presidency.

In the meantime, any Turkish actions against Hamas will not be surprising, but the movement has been put on notice, and its reactions may surprise Turkey right back.

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

Palestine’s Widening Geography of Resistance: Why Israel Cannot Defeat the Palestinians

April 13, 2022

The funeral procession of two Palestinians killed near Jenin. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramzy Baroud

There is a reason why Israel is insistent on linking the series of attacks carried out by Palestinians recently to a specific location, namely the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. By doing so, the embattled Naftali Bennett’s government can simply order another deadly military operation in Jenin to reassure its citizens that the situation is under control.

Indeed, on April 9, the Israeli army has stormed the Jenin refugee camp, killing a Palestinian and wounding ten others. However, Israel’s problem is much bigger than Jenin.

If we examine the events starting with the March 22 stabbing attack in the southern city of Beersheba (Bir Al Saba’) – which resulted in the death of four – and ending with the killing of three Israelis in Tel Aviv – including two army officers – we will reach an obvious conclusion: these attacks must have been, to some extent, coordinated.

Spontaneous Palestinian retaliation to the violence of the Israeli occupation rarely follows this pattern in terms of timing or style. All the attacks, with the exception of Beersheba, were carried out using firearms. The shooters, as indicated by the amateur videos of some of the events and statements by Israeli eyewitnesses, were well-trained and were acting with great composure.

An example was the March 27 Hadera event, carried out by two cousins, Ayman and Ibrahim Ighbariah, from the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, inside Israel. Israeli media reported of the unmistakable skills of the attackers, armed with weapons that, according to the Israeli news agency, Tazpit Press Service, cost more than $30,000.

Unlike Palestinian attacks carried out during the Second Palestinian Intifada (2000-05) in response to Israeli violence in the occupied territories, the latest attacks are generally more pinpointed, seek police and military personnel and clearly aimed at shaking Israel’s false sense of security and undermining the country’s intelligence services. In the Bnei Brak attack, on March 29, for example, an Israeli woman who was at the scene told reporters that “the militant asked us to move away from the place because he did not want to target women or children.”

While Israeli intelligence reports have recently warned of a “wave of terrorism” ahead of the holy month of Ramadanthey clearly had little conception of what type of violence, or where and how Palestinians would strike.

Following the Beersheba attack, Israeli officials referred to Daesh’s responsibility, a convenient claim considering that Daesh had also claimed responsibility. This theory was quickly marginalized, as it became obvious that the other Palestinian attackers had other political affiliations or, as in the Bnei Brak case, no known affiliation at all.

The confusion and misinformation continued for days. Shortly after the Tel Aviv attack, Israeli media, citing official sources, spoke of two attackers, alleging that one was trapped in a nearby building. This was untrue as there was only one attacker and he was killed, though hours later in a different city.

A number of Palestinian workers were quickly rounded up in Tel Aviv on suspicion of being the attackers simply because they looked Arab, evidence of the chaotic Israeli approach. Indeed, following each event, total mayhem ensued, with large mobs of armed Israelis taking to the streets looking for anyone with Arab features to apprehend or to beat senseless.

Israeli officials contributed to the frenzy, with far-right politicians, such as the extremist Itamar Ben Gvir, leading hordes of other extremists in rampages in occupied Jerusalem.

Instead of urging calm and displaying confidence, the country’s own Prime Minister called, on March 30, on ordinary Israelis to arm themselves. “Whoever has a gun license, this is the time to carry it,” he said in a video statement.However, ifIsrael’s solution to any form of Palestinian resistance was more guns, Palestinians would have been pacified long ago.

To placate angry Israelis, the Israeli military raided the city and refugee camp of Jenin on many occasions, each time leaving several dead and wounded Palestinians behind, including many civilians. They include the child Imad Hashash, 15, killed on August 24 while filming the invasion on his mobile phone. The exact same scenario played out on April 9.

However, it was an exercise in futility, as it was Israeli violence in Jenin throughout the years that led to the armed resistance that continues to emanate from the camp. Palestinians, whether in Jenin or elsewhere, fight back because they are denied basic human rights, have no political horizon, live in extreme poverty, have no true leadership and feel abandoned by the so-called international community.

The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas seems to be entirely removed from the masses. Statements by Abbas reflect his detachment from the reality of Israeli violence, military occupation and apartheid throughout Palestine. True to form, Abbas quickly condemned the Tel Aviv attack, as he did the previous ones, making the same reference every time regarding the need to maintain “stability” and to prevent “further deterioration of the situation”,  according to the official Wafa news agency.

What stability is Abbas referring to, when Palestinian suffering has been compounded by growing settler violence, illegal settlement expansion, land theft, and, thanks to recent international events, food insecurity as well?

Israeli officials and media are, once again, conveniently placing the blame largely on Jenin, a tiny stretch of an overpopulated area. By doing so, Israel wants to give the impression that the new phenomenon of Palestinian retaliatory attacks is confined to a single place, one that is adjacent to the Israeli border and can be easily ‘dealt with’.

An Israeli military operation in the camp may serve Bennett’s political agenda, convey a sense of strength, and win back some in his disenchanted political constituency. But it is all a temporary fix. Attacking Jenin now will make no difference in the long run. After all, the camp rose from the ashes of its near-total destruction by the Israeli military in April 2002.

The renewed Palestinian attacks speak of a much wider geography: Naqab, Umm Al Fahm, the West Bank. The seeds of this territorial connectivity are linked to the Israeli war of last May and the subsequent Palestinian rebellion, which erupted in every part of Palestine, including Palestinian communities inside Israel.

Israel’s problem is its insistence on providing short-term military solutions to a long-term problem, itself resulting from these very ‘military solutions’. If Israel continues to subjugate the Palestinian people under the current system of military occupation and deepening apartheid, Palestinians will surely continue to respond until their oppressive reality is changed. No amount of Israeli violence can alter this truth.

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

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Syria’s Return to Arab League to Be Resolved As Soon As Possible – Lavrov

April 5 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hoped for the restoration of Syria’s membership in the Arab League, saying Arab nations would be able to reunify their positions and resolve their differences if Damascus is readmitted to the organization.

Lavrov made the remarks during a press conference with the foreign ministers of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Sudan — members of the Arab Contact Group on Ukraine — in the Russian capital city of Moscow on Monday.

“We expressed our hope for Syria’s return to the Arab League. The issue will be resolved as soon as possible as it will help Arabs unify their positions in the region and the whole world,” Lavrov said.

The Arab League suspended Syria’s membership in November 2011, citing an alleged crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests. Syria has denounced the move as “illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”

The Arab republic was one of the six founding members of the Arab League in 1945. In recent months, an increasing number of countries and political parties have called for the reversal of its suspension from the Arab League.

Early this year, the secretary general of the central committee of the Palestinian Fatah political party denounced the suspension as “disgraceful” for the entire Arab world, especially as the war-ravaged country is a founding member of the regional organization.

Speaking at a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus on January 10, Jibril Rajoub added that Syria must return to the Arab League.

He said that his visit to Damascus at the head of a high-ranking Palestinian delegation is a turning point in light of the ‘Israeli’ regime’s stepped-up aggression and attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

Rajoub noted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to visit Syria in the near future, extending his gratitude to the Syrian people and leadership for their hospitality towards Palestinians living there and for their firm stances vis-à-vis the Palestinian cause despite all the difficulties they have gone through over the past years.

Who Represents Palestinians: Ramzy Baroud Discusses Liberation and Representation on Al-Mayadeen TV (VIDEO)

March 8, 2022

Dr. Ramzy Baroud presents his new book, co-edited with Prof. Ilan Pappé, on Al-Mayadeen TV. (Photo: Video Grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

During an interview with Lebanese TV channel Al Mayadeen, Palestinian author, journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, presented his new book “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out,” co-edited with renowned historian, Professor Ilan Pappé, and published by Clarity Press.

“The term Liberation, along with other terms, such as Al-Muqawama, Resistance, has been viewed with disfavor since the Oslo so-called peace process and the political charade and, naturally, the political discourse that accompanied that charade,” Baroud said. 

Below are a few excerpts from the interview, conducted by Zainab al-Saffar, host of the Al-Mayadeen’s well-regarded program Min al-Dakhil – From the Inside: 

Why ‘Liberation’

“Palestinians and their supporters were divided into camps, the ‘extremists’ and the ‘moderates’, and certain words have been removed almost entirely (…), and this is very dangerous, because the Palestinian people are leading a national liberation struggle.”

“Nothing has changed, Palestine is still an occupied country, Palestinians are still an oppressed nation, are still fighting and resisting for their freedom. So why did we remove the language that is intentionally meant to describe the events in Palestine?”“We have decided to use, or rather re-use, the word ‘Liberation’ as a new marker. If we are to think of a prosperous future for Palestinian freedom, justice and so forth, it has to be based on the right terminology and that is Liberation”.

Ordinary People Matter

“The language has changed but also the characters have changed. The Palestinian people who have always served as the core players in this so-called conflict, in what we call our national liberation struggle, have been removed entirely from the story. They are only allowed to emerge once in a while as victims, numbers or statistics.”

“Our ability to study the events in our region rarely follows the trajectory of ordinary people. We constantly seek the answers trying to analyze leaders, governments and ruling elites but we rarely look at ordinary people.”

“This is why I decided to focus my Ph.D. studies on people’s history at the University of Exeter, and this is my connection with Professor Ilan Pappé. We asked a simple question: What propels Palestinians to fight after 75 years of Zionist colonization of Palestine? Is it characters – Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammed Dahlan, Yasser Arafat? Is it a faction? No, the reason that they carry on is the people themselves.”

Who Represents Palestine

“If an individual on his own comes up with his own, individual vision for liberation, we always have this conflict, the conflict of representation. Who represents the Palesitnian people? And who has the right to speak about the Palestinian people? It hasn’t been resolved. We already know that resistance is something that cannot be compromised. This book attempts to offer an introduction to what a Palestinian political program could look like”. 

“How were these intellectuals selected? And this is where there is a keyword in the title. It is the word ‘engaged’ that makes all the difference. The term, similar to the term ‘organic intellectual’ comes from Antonio Gramsci, the anti-fascist Italian intellectual who died essentially in prison. We wanted to apply this to the Palestinian situation.”

Arafat was Killed by ‘Someone Close to Him’, Former Qatari PM Claims (VIDEO)

February 22, 2022

A painting dedicated to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani claimed in a recent interview with Kuwait’s Al-Qabas that Palestinian iconic leader Yasser Arafat was killed by someone close to him.

Al Thani was asked whether he believed in claims that Arafat had been murdered. “They are not claims,” he said, “This is the truth”. He added that Arafat was “definitely” killed by “someone close to him”.

Al Thani, who served as Qatar’s Foreign Minister and later as Prime Minister, said that several months before his death, Arafat took part in a meeting in Doha, which included a number of Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials. The meeting, hosted by Al Thani himself, was aimed at helping Arafat leave as he was placed under an Israeli siege in his Ramallah, West Bank, headquarters.

However, according to Al Thani, soon after the meeting, both parties notified Qatar that talks were not necessary anymore. A few months later, the news of Arafat’s illness was communicated.

Yasser Arafat, who was the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and subsequently the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), died unexpectedly in November 2004, at the age of 75. The cause of death remains unknown, despite various claims that he was poisoned by Israel. 

(Palestine Chronicle Staff)

مراهنةٌ صهيونيةٌ خاسرةٌ على المركزي الفلسطيني

الاربعاء 23 شباط 2022

المصدر: الميادين نت

عمرو علان 

جاء اجتماع المركزي ليُرتِّب مرحلة ما بعد محمود عباس، وليُسهِّل وصول رموز التعاون مع الاحتلال – على شاكلة ماجد فرج وحسين الشيخ – إلى قمَّة الهرم في سلطة أوسلو بعد غيابه.

في البدء، كان القرار الفلسطيني المستقل. حُكي آنذاك: يحصل هذا الأمر حتى لا يقدّم النظام الرسمي العربي تنازلاتٍ للكيان الصهيوني من دون اعتبارٍ لأصحاب الحق الأصيل، فصار بعد ذلك شعار النظام الرسمي العربي: نقبل بما يقبل به الفلسطينيون. 

يَخشَى الكيان الصهيوني على استقرار سلطة أوسلو بعد غياب عباس

ومن دون الدخول في نقاشٍ حول وجاهة نظر من قال بفكرة القرار الفلسطيني المستقل، قامت بعد ذلك منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، “الممثل الشرعي والوحيد” للشعب الفلسطيني، بالتوقيع على أوسلو، معترفةً بالكيان الغاصب، ومتنازلةً عن 87% من الأراضي العربية الفلسطينية المحتلة، وتاركةً في مهب الريح مصير ذاك الجزء من الشعب الفلسطيني الذي هُجِّر من دياره في العام 1948، وهي تنازلاتٌ ما كان ليجرؤ النظام الرسمي العربي على تقديمها، لتتوالى بعد ذلك حفلات الاعتراف العربية الرسمية بالكيان الغاصب، ولسان حالهم يقول: لن نكون ملكيين أكثر من الملك.

وفي خضمّ هذا كلّه، كانت مساعي الهيمنة على قرار منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية مستمرةً من قبل حركة “فتح”، وكانت تُحقِّق تقدماً، لتُختزَل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية في فصيلٍ فلسطينيٍ واحدٍ بدلاً من أن تكون ممثلاً للكلِّ الفلسطيني.

وفي إثر دخول منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية مرحلة أوسلو – المقيتة الذكر – أُنشئت سلطة الحكم الذاتي المسماة السلطة الفلسطينية، ليدخل الوضع الفلسطيني مرحلة أخرى من الانحدار، حتى وصلنا إلى أن يتآمر على أبو عمار، زعيم حركة “فتح” ومؤسّسها، بعضٌ من بطانته، كي يغتاله الإسرائيلي بالسمّ، في جريمة اغتيالٍ تجاهلتها السلطة، مبرّئةً بذلك الإسرائيلي منها.

بعدها، تولى محمود عباس رئاسة السلطة الفلسطينية، ليبدأ باختزال كلٍّ من منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية وحركة “فتح” ذاتها بسلطة أوسلو. وقد نجح في ذلك نجاحاً تحسده عليه كل الأنظمة العربية! فقد أجهز على ما كان قد بقي من منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، وحوَّله فعلياً إلى مجرد اسمٍ ليس له كيانٌ حقيقيٌ في أرض الواقع، يستحضره كختمٍ متى احتاج إليه.

ليس هذا فحسب، فقد نجح عباس في الانحدار بسلطة أوسلو إلى دركٍ تفوَّق فيه على فصائل السلام وروابط القرى مجتمعين، فما معنى أن يصير التخابر مع العدو من أجل حراسة المستوطنات في الضفة، وتأمين المغتصَبات في فلسطين 48، والسهر على أمن قُطعان المستوطنين فيهما وراحتهم، واجباً “مقدَّساً” عند محمود عباس وسلطة أوسلو؟

واليوم، جاء اجتماع المجلس المركزي الفلسطيني الأخير الذي عُقِد في 6 شباط/فبراير 2022، ليشكّل سقطةً جديدةً في مسار هذا التدهور المستمر، فطامة الشعب الفلسطيني لا تنحصر في إصرار عباس على عقد اجتماع المركزي فحسب، رغم مقاطعة الأغلبية الفلسطينية له، إذ قاطعه كلٌ من حركتي “حماس” و”الجهاد الإسلامي” و”الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين”، إضافةً إلى عدم رضا أجنحةٍ من حركة “فتح” ذاتها، بل كانت الطامة الكبرى في المغزى من عقد هذا الاجتماع، وفي مخرجاته التي كانت معروفةً مسبقاً.

يَخشَى الكيان الصهيوني على استقرار سلطة أوسلو بعد غياب عباس، بسبب التجاذبات الحادة في أوساط حركة “فتح”، ولا سيّما بعد فقدان السلطة وفريق التنسيق الأمني فيها الكثير من شعبيتهما عقب معركة “سيف القدس”، وبسبب تغول السلطة في التعاون مع الاحتلال ضد المقاومين الفلسطينيين ومصالح الشعب الفلسطيني، ففي استمرار التنسيق الأمني مع الكيان الصهيوني مصلحةٌ عليا للاحتلال وحفظٌ لأمن المستوطنات والمستوطنين.

وقد جاء اجتماع المركزي ليُرتِّب مرحلة ما بعد محمود عباس، وليُسهِّل وصول رموز التعاون مع الاحتلال – على شاكلة ماجد فرج وحسين الشيخ – إلى قمَّة الهرم في سلطة أوسلو بعد غيابه. حصل كل هذا برضا الاحتلال ومباركته، إذ عُيَّن حسين الشيخ، الأكثر التزاماً بنهج التنسيق الأمني، في منصب أمين سر اللجنة التنفيذية، ما يمهد الطريق أمامه لرئاسة سلطة أوسلو مستقبلاً. وهكذا، وصلنا إلى اختزال سلطة أوسلو أيضاً بفريق التنسيق الأمني، وتم ترتيب القيادة لمرحلة ما بعد محمود عباس برضا الاحتلال ومباركته!

لكن ما غاب عن حسابات الصهاينة في رهانهم على مجموعة التنسيق الأمني هو وجود شعبٍ فلسطينيٍ حيّ ضاق ذرعاً بسلطةٍ باتت نسخةً مكررةً من جيش “لحد” بصورةٍ مفضوحةٍ. ولا أدلّ على وصول الشارع الفلسطيني إلى هذه الحالة إلا عمليات إطلاق النار التي قام بها مؤخراً مقاومون من كتائب شهداء الأقصى التابعة لحركة “فتح” ذاتها، ناهيك بفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية المتمسكة بخيار المقاومة في الأساس.

وكان البيان المشترك الَّذي صدر عقب اجتماع المجلس المركزي عن حركتي “حماس” و”الجهاد الإسلامي” و”الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين”، والذي رفض الاعتراف بشرعية انعقاد المجلس المركزي وقراراته، ودعا إلى تشكيل قيادة موحدة للمقاومة الشعبية، مؤشراً على شكل المرحلة القادمة.

وغاب كذلك عن حسابات الصهاينة تبدُل أحوال الإقليم، واختلال موازين القوى فيه لمصلحة حركات المقاومة العربية والإسلامية في عدة ساحاتٍ، وتراجع السطوة الأميركية في الإقليم والعالم عموماً، ما يشكِّل رافعةً لحركات المقاومة في الداخل الفلسطيني، ويجعل الرهان الإسرائيلي على استمرار سلطة أوسلو بما وصلت إليه رهاناً خاسراً.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

Following Israel’s Assassination of Three Palestinians, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Call on PA to Cancel Oslo Accords

February 11, 2022

A faction of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades holds a press conference in Nablus. (Photo: via ActiveStills)

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades announced in a press conference that it is mobilizing its fighters in response to the assassination of three of its members in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the Middle East Monitor reported.

“The guns of glory will be pointed towards the usurping occupation and its collaborators,” Al-Aqsa Martyrs said, calling on the Palestinian Authority to cancel the Oslo Accords, as it’s “the reason for what is happening” and it dragged Palestinians into this situation.

“How does the [Israeli] occupation enter the city of Jabal Al-Nar (Nablus) in broad daylight and assassinate our leaders?” the statement said.

Following the press conference, Israeli media outlets reported that a Palestinian gunman fired several shots from a car near the village of Al-Yamoun, near Jenin, towards a nearby illegal settlement.

No casualties were reported; however, the Israeli Special Forces have combed the area in search of who was responsible.

(MEMO PC, Social Media)

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Palestinians denounce ‘abhorrent’ pursuit of resistance activists by Palestinian Authority forces

January 22 2022

According to a statement, resistance factions have demanded the Palestinian Authority release all political detainees and put an end to prosecutions against activists and prisoners in the West Bank

ByNews Desk- 

Palestinian resistance forces described the continuation of the Palestinian Authority’s strategy of arresting and prosecuting activists in Ramallah as “unpatriotic activities that assist the occupation and its objectives in the West Bank.”

Resistance factions decried the attempts of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to “extinguish the torch of popular resistance in Jabal Sabih, Beita, Beit Dajan, villages and cities of the West Bank,” according to a statement obtained by Quds Press on 22 January.

“The use of the abhorrent revolving policy by the PA and its apparatus, as well as its pursuit of leaders and activists who lead confrontations against the expropriation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, is a miserable attempt to prevent the continuation of conflict with the occupier,” the statement said.

“Continued security coordination with the occupation, which enhances the functional role of the authority and its security services,” the statement added, “will not discourage the Palestinian people, cadres, or living forces from continuing the Palestinian struggle in all of its forms until the occupation is defeated from all of our sacred soil.”

According to the statement, the factions demanded the Palestinian Authority immediately release all political detainees as well as end prosecutions and summons against cadres (factional activists) and prisoners released in the West Bank.

Resistance factions have urged the people of the West Bank to “reject the policy of arrests and confront it, and to stress that the resistance will remain an approach rooted in the Palestinian consciousness and conscience, and that it is stronger than all these malicious and sinister attempts.”

Security forces freed three anti-settlement activists from Beita (south of Nablus) on 21 January, a day after their detention.

“The detainees are activists protesting settlements in the town of Beita, and they are permanent participants in the clashes that occur on a regular basis in the neighborhood of Jabal Sabih, where settlers seek to create a settlement outpost,” local sources informed Quds Press.

الضفة تنتفض ضد بلطجة السلطة

يتصاعد الغضب الشعبي ضدّ السلطة الفلسطينية في عدد من مناطق الضفّة الغربية المحتلّة، وذلك على خلفية حالة الانفلات الأمني المتصاعدة، والتي لا تفتأ تحصد المزيد من أرواح الشبّان الفلسطينيين، وآخرهم الطالب مهران خليلية. وفيما تُواصل السلطة تغذية مبدأ «العطوات» في حلّ قضايا القتْل والثأر، لاعتبارات كثيرة أهمّها التخادُم المتبادل بينها وبين «جاهة الإصلاح»، تتزايد حدّة الرفض الأهلي لتفعيل ذلك المبدأ الذي جعل الأرواح بخسةً إلى حدّ مساواتها «فنجان قهوة» عربياً، توازياً مع تكاثر الاتّهامات للسلطة وأجهزتها الأمنية ومنظومتها القضائية بالتقاعس عن محاسبة الجُناة والقتَلة، والتواطؤ في توسيع دائرة الجريمة. على المقلب الآخر، تتواصل العمليات الفدائية الفلسطينية ضدّ جنود العدو الإسرائيلي ومستوطنيه في الضفة والقدس، في موجة جديدة تخشى دولة الاحتلال من أن تكون قد فقدت السيطرة عليها. ولذا، فهي بدأت سلسلة إجراءات احترازية، أبرزها رفع درجة التأهّب على الحواجز والمعابر، وتعزيز تواجد قواتها في مناطق التماس، فضلاً عن محاولة تكبير كُلفة مثل هذه العمليات على الفلسطينيين، خصوصاً في ظلّ التماسها حافزية عالية لديهم لاستلهام الحوادث السالكة خطّاً تصاعدياً منذ أواسط تشرين الثاني الماضي. تصاعدٌ لا يبدو، بحال من الأحوال، مفصولاً عمّا يحدث على خطّ قطاع غزة، حيث حرصت المقاومة، طيلة الفترة الماضية منذ انتهاء معركة «سيف القدس»، على إبقاء فعلها حاضراً في الأراضي المحتلّة، لا لهدف استراتيجي متمثّل في توسيع دائرة المواجهة مع العدو فقط، وإنّما أيضاً لهدف تكتيكي عنوانه استثمار زخم الضفة والقدس في فكّ الحصار عن غزة. لكن المباحثات الدائرة بخصوص ملفّات القطاع مذّاك، يبدو أنها آلت إلى طريق مسدود اليوم، وهو ما سيدفع فصائل المقاومة إلى استئناف التصعيد الشعبي بدءاً من الأسبوع المقبل، وربّما العسكري لاحقاً، سعياً لإنهاء الدائرة المفرغة المصرية – الإسرائيلية، والتي تستهدف إبقاء الضغط مسلّطاً على الفلسطينيين، لانتزاع تنازلات جوهرية منهم

الضفّة تنتفض بوجه السلطة: راعيةُ بلطجة

 الأخبار الأربعاء 8 كانون الأول 2021

أدّت المواجهات إلى إصابة نحو 11 فلسطينياً جرّاء إطلاق الأمن قنابل الغاز بكثافة (أ ف ب )

جنين | تتصاعد حالة الفلتان الأمني في الضفة الغربية والقدس المحتلّتَين، لتمتدّ أخيراً إلى قلْب الجامعات الفلسطينية، وتتّخذ أشكال جرائم قتْل وشِجار بالأسلحة البيضاء. وفيما تتكاثر الاتهامات للسلطة الفلسطينية والمنظومة القضائية التابعة لها بالمسؤولية عن استمرار تلك المظاهر الكارثية، يربط آخرون هذه الحالة بالواقع السياسي المعقّد والفوضوي وغياب الأولويات الوطنية. قبل أيّام، تطوَّر خلاف أمام حرم الجامعة العربية – الأميركية في جنين إلى هجوم بالسكاكين أدّى إلى مقتل الطالب مهران خليلية وإصابة ثلاثة آخرين، في حادثةٍ ولّدت صدمةً لدى الرأي العام الفلسطيني، وأعادت طرْح الأسئلة حول كيفية تعامل القانون مع الجُناة والقتَلة ومرتكبي الجرائم. وعلى إثر الغضب الشعبي الواسع الذي أثارته الحادثة، خاصة في بلدة جبع جنوب جنين التي يتحدّر منها خليلية، الطالب في كلية التمريض، تجمهر عشرات الشبّان، وأغلقوا الشارع الرئيس الواصل بين نابلس وجنين، والذي يمرّ بمحاذاة جبع، وخاضوا مواجهات عنيفة مع أمن السلطة، وسط مطالبات شعبية بالاقتصاص من القاتل، وارتفاع شعار «يسقط فنجان القهوة» للدلالة على رفض الحلّ العشائري و«العطوات» التي تُنهي عادةً هكذا خلافات. لكن بعد أيّام من ذلك التوتر، عاد أهالي القرية واستقبلوا عدداً من وجهاء العشائر، حيث تمّ الاتفاق على «عطوة دفن»، في حلّ مؤقّت، تضمّن بنوداً أبرزها: دفن جثمان الطالب وتشييعه بمراسم عسكرية رسمية، وفتح الطرق المغلقة، مقابل ضمان الكشف عن كلّ المشتركين في الشجار الذي أودى بحياة مهران، مع احتفاظ العائلة بـ«حق الثأر». التتمة

موجة العمليات الفدائية لا تنقطع: إسرائيل تتوسّل حلّاً

فلسطين الأخبار الأربعاء 8 كانون الأول 2021

أوعز وزير الأمن، بيني غانتس، برفع مستوى التأهّب في جميع المعابر والحواجز (أ ف ب )

طولكرم | تصاعدت، في الآونة الأخيرة، العمليات الفدائية في الضفة الغربية المحتلة، وسط اعتراف إسرائيلي بالعجز عن إيقاف مسلسلها، ودعوات إلى الاستعداد لإمكانية تطوّرها، واتّهامات لحركتَي «حماس» و«الجهاد الإسلامي» بتغذيتها والوقوف خلفها. وفي أعقاب عملية الدهس الأخيرة التي نفّذها، صباح الإثنين، الشابّ الفلسطيني محمد يونس في طولكرم، وأدّت إلى إصابة ضابط في جيش الاحتلال بجروح خطيرة، أعربت مصادر أمنية وعسكرية إسرائيلية عن قلقها من تصاعد العمليات الفردية في الضفة والقدس المحتلّتَين، فيما عدّدت وسائل الإعلام العبرية 5 حوادث «خطيرة» شهدها الأسبوعان الماضيان، من دون أن تكون لدى الأجهزة الأمنية الإسرائيلية أيّ إشارات أو معالجات مسبقة لها، وهذا ما يدفع المستوى العسكري في الكيان إلى التحذير من فقدان القدرة على إيقاف هذه الموجة. وما يصعّب الموقف، بالنسبة إلى إسرائيل، هو أن استمرار وقوع هكذا حوادث يُلهم المزيد من الفلسطينيّين إلى تقليدها، في ظلّ تشجيع يلقاه هؤلاء من قِبَل الفصائل الفلسطينية بشكل مباشر، وعلى مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، وهو ما تخشى تل أبيب خروجه عن السيطرة. ولعلّ من بين العوامل التي تسهم، أيضاً، في تعزيز الدافعية الفلسطينية، تَوسُّع سياسة الاستيطان الإحلالي، وعمليات القتل المتواصلة للشبّان الفلسطينيين، والتضييق على حركة سكّان الضفة، فضلاً عن تدهور الوضع الاقتصادي لدى شرائح كثيرة من هؤلاء. التتمة

أخبار متعلقة

المطلوب فلسطينياً في عام الانتظار

أكتوبر/ 7تشرين الأول 2021

 سعادة مصطفى أرشيد*

جرى الاتصال الأول بين الرئيس الفلسطيني والرئيس الأميركي بعد سنة تقريباً من انتخاب الأخير، وكان ذلك أثناء معركة سيف القدس بين المقاومة في غزة والاحتلال، وكما كان بسبب تداعياتها والخشية الأميركية – «الإسرائيلية» من امتدادها شعبياً للضفة الغربية وللداخل الفلسطيني المحتل، فالشعب الفلسطيني كان قد أبدى حتى حينه، مقداراً عالياً ولافتاً من التوحد في الدفاع عن القدس، وذلك في المقدمات التي سبقت المواجهة العسكرية (سيف القدس)، والتي رفعت راية القدس واتخذتها عنواناً، الأمر الذي تجلى في مواجهات باب العمود، ثم حي الشيخ جراح وتهجير سكانه من الفلسطينيين وإسكان مستوطنين غاصبين غرباء في بيوتهم، وفي الدفاع عن المسجد الأقصى في مواجهة الجمعيات التلمودية والاستيطانية المتطرفة والمدعومة من جهات سياسية عليا في تل أبيب، ونذكر كيف زحف الفلسطينيون من سائر الضفة الغربية ومن أعالي الجليل إلى النقب، وفي أجواء القيظ والحر وصيام رمضان، واجتازوا كلّ العراقيل التي وضعت في طريقهم للوصول بأعدادهم الغفيرة للرباط في باحات الحرم القدسي .

في تلك المهاتفة اليتيمة، أسمع الرئيس الأميركي الرئيس أبو مازن كلاماً طيباً، طربت له الأوساط الفلسطينية، إذ أكد التزامه والتزام بلاده بموقف قال إنه (ثابت)، وهو ما تسعى إليه الإدارة الأميركية، يؤمن بحل الدولتين، ويرفض السياسات الاستيطانية في الضفة الغربية، كما يرفض أي تغيير في الوضع القائم في الحرم القدسي، ثم على رفض تهجير المقدسيين من منازلهم في القدس الشرقية المحتلة (في إشارة إلى حي الشيخ جراح)، كما أكد أن سياسة بلاده ترفض الإجراءات الأحادية من قبل أي طرف .

تفاءلت أوساط رام الله بذلك وعقدت الآمال العريضة على تلك المكالمة، وبناء عليها تم العمل على عقد قمة بين الرئيسين، وكان الموعد المفترض أن يكون اللقاء على هامش افتتاح أعمال الدورة الأخيرة للجمعية العمومية، لكن اعتذار البيت الأبيض حال دون ذلك، وأذاع حالة من الإحباط، بخاصة عندما رددت الصحافة أقوالاً نسبت لموظفين أميركان كبار، تقول إن ليس للرئيس الأميركي في هذه المرحلة ما يبحثه مع الرئيس أبو مازن، الأمر الذي تجلى في عدم سفر الرئيس إلى نيويورك والاكتفاء بإرسال كلمة مسجلة عبر فيها عن إحباطه، كما عن تساؤله حول جدية ما قاله الرئيس بايدن له، وعن شكوكه في المسار السياسي الذي سار فيه والذي لم يأت بنتيجة، هكذا قال أبو مازن .

طرح الرئيس في خطابة المسجل ما يبدو وكأنه يمنح العالم و»إسرائيل» فرصة أخيرة، ومهلة مقدارها سنة واحدة، وذلك للعودة إلى مسار عملية التفاوض الذي يؤتي نتائج تحقق إقامة الدولة الفلسطينية على حدود الرابع من حزيران 1967، وإلا فإنّ القيادة الفلسطينية ستكون مضطرة للذهاب باتجاه خيارات أخرى ستكون على طاولة رام الله وأجندتها، ومنها العودة للمطالبة وتنفيذ قرار التقسيم (181)، الأمر الذي يطرح سؤالاً استفهامياً كبيراً، إذ طالما أن «الإسرائيلي» ومن ورائه العالم، غير مستعدّ للقبول بكلّ هذه التنازلات فهل سيقبل بالعودة إلى قرار كان قد صدر قبل خمس وسبعين سنة؟ وإذا كان ذلك ممكناً، فلماذا لا نطرحه من اليوم، لا بل لماذا لم نطرح هذا الخيار من قبل؟

يحار الفلسطيني أمام ما تقدّم، إذ إنّ ميزان القوى الحالي هش وضعيف ومائل في غير مصلحته، وأن تعديل هذا الميزان لصالح الكفة الفلسطينية ورفع منسوب القوة، أمر ليس بالسهل ولكنه أيضاً غير مستحيل إن توافرت الإرادة السياسية أولاً، ومن ثم العمل الجادّ والمثابر ثانياً، بعيداً من منطق شراء الوقت وانتظار المعجزة، ومحاولة كل طرف من طرفي الانقسام التنصل من واجباته وتحميل الآخر مسؤولية إفشال الاتفاق، أو وضع شروط تعجيزية، فالموضوع من الأهمية والجدية بمكان يحتاج للاستعداد لخسارة مكاسب شخصية لحساب مصالح عليا، وهو الأمر الذي يبقى موضع شك في ظل بعض من التركيبة الحالية، التي ترى تناقضاً بين مكاسبها وبين المصلحة العليا .

يحتاج الفلسطيني إلى إبداء قدر من الجدية والمسؤولية، وإلى إعادة تعريف المشروع الوطني، وذلك بالشروع في إعادة بناء النظام السياسي الجديد، من خلال انتخابات سياسية، والعمل على إنهاء الانقسام، وفي ظن كاتب المقال أن هناك ظروفاً دولية وإقليمية مواتية لعمل جاد ينتهي بالنجاح – مرة أخرى إن توافرت الإرادة السياسية -، إذ إن لحظه فراغ جزئي يعيشها العالم، تنشغل بها الإدارة الأميركية وتحالفها الإنكليزي – الأسترالي في التموضع في جوار الصين، وتخرج من تحالفها قوى أطلسية – غربية، لطالما كانت في صفها، وتطلب – تأمر – الإدارة الأميركية من حلفائها ومحسوبيها تهدئة الأوضاع وتخفيض التوتر على مستويات عدة، الأمر الملاحظ في زيارة قائد الجيش السوري للأردن، ثم المكالمة الهاتفية بين الرئيس السوري والملك عبدالله، وفي تحسّن العلاقات المصرية – السورية ولقاء وزيري خارجية البلدين على هامش الجمعية العمومية، وكذلك في الغزل السعودي – الإيراني، وفي المبادرة اللبنانية ووصول ناقلات النفط الإيرانية من دون أن يعترضها أحد، وفي عدم ذهاب «الإسرائيلي» إلى جولة تصعيد في غزة واستبدال ذلك برفع مستويات القتل والاغتيال بالضفة الغربية إرضاء لجمهورهم المتطرف .

استعاض بايدن عن لقائه بأبي مازن، بإيفاد المبعوث الأميركي للشرق الأوسط هادي عمرو إلى المنطقة، حيث اجتمع بالرئيس أبو مازن والقيادة الفلسطينية الاثنين الماضي في رام الله، ووفق ما أوردته وكالة الأنباء الفلسطينية الرسمية (وفا) أن الرئيس أعاد على مسامع ضيفة مضمون خطابة المسجل، وذكره بحديث بايدن الهاتفي، وأكد استعداد السلطة الفلسطينية للذهاب إلى عملية سياسية قائمة على قرارات الشرعية الدولية، وعلى عقد مؤتمر تحت رعاية الأمم المتحدة والرباعية، فيما لم تورد وكالة الأنباء شيئاً عما قاله المبعوث الأميركي، أما ما لم يقله أبو مازن، أنّ كلام ليل بايدن سريعاً ما يمحوه نهاره، وأنه في حين يقول للفلسطينيين كلاماً طيباً ولسبب ظرفي مؤقت، فإنه يقول ويفعل من أجل عكسه لصالح «الإسرائيلي» الذي يتمتع بدعمة اللا محدود، كل ذلك يؤكد أن الفلسطيني الرسمي لم يغادر المربع الذي تموضع به منذ عام 1993 .


*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في الكفير – جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

PA President Abbas Meets Israeli MKs, Cabinet Ministers in Ramallah

October 4, 2021

President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday receives three members of the Israeli Knesset from the Meretz party. (Photo: Mahmoud Abbas FB Page)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday received three members of the Israeli Knesset from the left-wing Meretz party, two of whom are cabinet ministers, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Head of the Meretz party and Minister of Health Ministers, Nitzan Horowitz, Minister of Regional Cooperation Issawi Freij, and MK Michal Rozin discussed the peace process between the PA and the Israeli occupation with Abbas, WAFA noted.

Abbas stressed the importance of ending the occupation and establishing just and comprehensive peace in accordance with international resolutions. He also reiterated the importance of stopping settlement construction, military incursions, home demolitions, the displacement of people, and the return of the bodies of Palestinian martyrs killed by the occupation, according to WAFA.

“Israel must renew the peace process and contacts with the Palestinians… Israel can’t run away from the Palestinian issue. It is here and it is the heart of the matter,” Freij said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed reservations about the meeting, the Jerusalem Post reported, but he did not stop it from taking place. His representatives declined to comment.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

«سلطة أوسلو»: الخطيئة الأولى

الأخبار بتصرف

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

يحيى دبوق

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

«سلطة أوسلو» في عيدها الثامن والعشرين: نقبل الذلّ... نقبله طواعيةً
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يمكن للسلطة الفلسطينية والقائمين عليها أن يطلقوا على أنفسهم ما يريدون من أسماء وتوصيفات ترفع كيانهم السياسي إلى مراتب الدول ذات القرار والسيادة، إلّا أن ذلك لا يغيّر من واقع النظرة الإسرائيلية إليهم:…

يوسف فارس

إكسير «التنسيق الأمني»: كيف نحيا من دونه؟

إكسير «التنسيق الأمني»: كيف نحيا من  دونه؟

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

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الدولة السراب

الدولة السراب

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

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

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

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

يوسف فارس

من «جمهورية الفاكهاني» إلى زبانية الاحتلال

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

رجب المدهون

عدوٌّ للمقاومة من أهلها

عدوٌّ للمقاومة من أهلها

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

رجب المدهون

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

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

قلق متصاعد من انفجار الضفة | رام الله لتل أبيب: معكم في تعقّب الأسرى

الجمعة 10 أيلول 2021

رجب المدهون 

قلق متصاعد من انفجار الضفة | رام الله لتل أبيب: معكم في تعقّب الأسرى
نبّهت السلطة، تل أبيب، إلى تصاعد الدعوات إلى التظاهر والاشتباك في مختلف مناطق الضفة (أ ف ب )

خلافاً لما تُروّج له رسمياً، بدأت السلطة الفلسطينية، فعلياً، التعاون مع إسرائيل من أجل إيجاد الأسرى الستّة المتحرّرين من «جلبوع»، مدفوعةً بخشية هستيرية من انفجار الأوضاع في الضفة بسبب هذه القضية، وهو ما جعلها «تشترط» على تل أبيب الإحجام عن تصفية الأسرى عند العثور عليهم، في حال تَحقّق ذلكغزة | لا تزال الخشية من تجدّد الاحتجاجات الشعبية في الضفة الغربية المحتلة وتصاعدها انطلاقاً من قضية الأسرى الستّة المتحرّرين من معتقل جلبوع، تؤرّق قيادة السلطة الفلسطينية التي وافقت أخيراً على طلب إسرائيل التعاون معها في البحث عن الأسرى. وبحسب مصدر قيادي في السلطة تحدّث إلى «الأخبار»، فإن نقاشاً دار أوّل من أمس بين مسؤولين في «اللجنة المركزية لحركة فتح»، ومسؤولين أمنيين في السلطة، أفضى إلى التوافق على مساعدة تل أبيب في الوصول إلى المحرَّرين، من أجل إنهاء هذا الملفّ الذي يُخشى تطوّره شعبياً وميدانياً، بما لا يخدم موقف رام الله، الساعية إلى تهدئة الوضع لاستكمال مشروع «السلام الاقتصادي» الذي انطلق أخيراً. وجاءت موافقة السلطة على التعاون مقرونة باشتراط ألّا تتمّ تصفية الأسرى، وأن يُكتفى باعتقالهم، بالإضافة إلى تهدئة الأوضاع في السجون بالنظر إلى أن التصعيد الإسرائيلي هناك بدأ يفعل فعله في إثارة الشارع الفلسطيني. وكانت دولة الاحتلال وافقت على طلب تَقدّم به رئيس السلطة، محمود عباس، خلال لقائه وزير الأمن الإسرائيلي، بيني غانتس، قبل أسبوعين، بالإفراج عن بعض الأسرى الفلسطينيين بهدف إعادة تعزيز مكانة السلطة.

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وعلى الأرض، بدأت بالفعل جلسات التنسيق بين الاحتلال والأجهزة الأمنية للسلطة التي حذرت في لقاء عُقد أوّل من أمس في الضفة بين مسؤول منها ومسؤولين في ما يُسمّى «الإدارة المدنية» في جيش الاحتلال، من اغتيال الأسرى الستّة لأن ذلك قد يؤدّي إلى تفجّر الأوضاع في الضفة، على اعتبار أن قضيّتهم تمسّ عوائل وأوساطاً واسعة هناك، منبّهة إلى تصاعد الدعوات إلى التظاهر والاشتباك مع العدو في مختلف المناطق. وتوافَق تحذير السلطة مع خشية مقابلة لدى جيش الاحتلال وأجهزة أمنه من تدهور الأوضاع في الضفة، في ظلّ تنامي التفاعل الشعبي مع المحرَّرين، واتّخاذ عمليتهم «أبعاداً عالمية وإقليمية»، بحسب ما أوردته إذاعة الجيش الإسرائيلي. وعلى رغم نفي رام الله البدء في مساعدة تل أبيب للوصول إلى الأسرى، كشفت قناة «كان» العبرية أن غانتس طلب من السلطة التعاون، وهو ما وافقت عليه الأخيرة خشية إجراءات وعقوبات من قِبَل الحكومة الإسرائيلية ضدّها في حال عدم استجابتها، ولذا أبلغ وزير الشؤون المدنية، حسين الشيخ، غانتس، أن «السلطة ستبذل جهودها ضمن العمل المشترك».

بالتوازي مع ذلك، وفيما أبدت دولة الاحتلال انزعاجها من دعوة أطراف داخل حركة «فتح» إلى مسيرات مؤيّدة لأسرى «حركة الجهاد الإسلامي» المحرَّرين، تواصلت في القدس والضفة التحرّكات الشعبية المسانِدة لهم والتي قابلها جيش العدو بالقمع وإطلاق الرصاص الحيّ والمطّاطي والغاز المسيل للدموع على المشاركين فيها، ما أدّى إلى إصابة المئات منهم، فيما اندلعت مواجهات في مدن القدس ورام الله ونابلس وجنين، وذلك خلال تظاهرات رافضة للإجراءات الانتقامية الإسرائيلية بحق الأسرى. واعترف جيش الاحتلال بتعرّض قواته في رام الله وجنين ونابلس لعمليات إطلاق نار من دون وقوع إصابات، في وقت تواصلت فيه عمليات البحث عن المحرَّرين في جنين والمناطق القريبة منها. وكانت سلطات العدو قرّرت الدفع بـ3 كتائب قتالية و7 سرايا من الجيش، لمساعدة الشرطة في البحث.

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PA Arrests Civil Rights Advocates in Ramallah

August 24, 2021

Palestinians rally to protest Nizar Banat’s assassination. (Photo: Mohammed Asad, via MEMO)

The Palestinian Authority’s security forces have been arresting civil rights activists in Ramallah for the third consecutive day, Lawyers for Justice announced yesterday.

“Among those arrested were the freed prisoner, Muhammed Allan, Ibrahim Abu Al-Ezz, and Loay Al-Ashqar,” the rights organization said in a statement, adding that the arrests are creating a state of “chaos and absence of law.”

On Sunday, the PA’s security forces were reported to have prevented the organization from holding a demonstration at the Al-Manara roundabout located in central Ramallah. They also reinforced their presence around the Al-Manara Square. and arrested all those attempting to start a protest.

Civil rights groups in the occupied West Bank have been holding regular protests in demanding the killers of activist Nizar Banat be brought to justice and for elections to be held in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Banat was a candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council election which should have been held this year. The election was canceled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Banat was killed by PA security forces in late June.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

«هندسة احتلال»

كاتب وباحث سياسي في العديد من المنافذ الإخبارية العربية ، ومنها جريدة الأخبار ، وقناة الميادين الإخبارية الفضائية ، وعربي 21 ، وراي اليوم ،.

السبت 17 تموز 2021

عمرو علان

تطرّق معلقون كثر، بينهم كاتب هذه السطور، إلى أبعاد اغتيال الشهيد نزار بنات. حاولنا في ما يخصنا وضع جريمة في سياقها الصحيح، إذ جاءت كنتيجةٍ طبيعيةٍ لفلسفة السلطة الفلسطينية المبنية على «التنسيق الأمني»… ناهيك بإمكانية وضع تلك الجريمة ضمن ردود السلطة الفلسطينية على منجزات معركة «سيف القدس »الأخيرة، التي شكلت تحدياً لمسار أوسلو سيّء الذكر، ولمفهوم «عملية السلام» الكاذبة برمّتها… فمنجزات المقاومة في معركة «سيف القدس» مثلت هزيمةً لكلٍّ من الاحتلال والسلطة الفلسطينية على حدٍ سواء.

بناءً على تلك الخلاصات يرد في السياق تساؤلان مهمان: ماذا لو لم تتجاوب السلطة الفلسطينية مع المطالب الوطنية بحل ذاتها؟ وما هو مصير المصالحة الوطنية؟

إنّ ما انتهت إليه السلطة الفلسطينية من «تنسيقٍ أمنيٍ مقدسٍ» مع قوات الاحتلال – بما يتعارض وأبسط الثوابت الوطنية – لا يأتي خارج السياق، بل مصيرٌ شبه حتميٍّ لأي سلطة حكمٍ ذاتيٍّ تنشأ في ظل وجود إحتلالٍ، وذلك نتيجةً للعلاقة الجدلية التي تقوم بين الإحتلال وسلطة الحكم الذاتي، حيث تُوجِد هذه العلاقة طبقةً برجوازيةً حاكمةً ترتبط اقتصادياً وعضوياً بالإحتلال ذاته، فيصير بقاؤها مرهوناً ببقائه، وبذلك تتحوَّل سلطة الحكم الذاتي تلقائياً إلى أحد الأدوات الرئيسة والفعالة ضمن إستراتيجيات الإحتلال، من أجل قمع ذاك الشعب المحتل وحركات تحرره الوطنية، وهذا ما تدلل عليه التجارب التاريخية في الحالات المشابهة؛ لهذا ففرص تغيير السلطة الفلسطينية لنهجها تعدّ من شبه المستحيلات؛ إن لم تكن خارج الحسابات السياسية المنطقية بالمطلَق.

إذا ما أُخِذت هذه الحقيقة بعين الإعتبار، يسهل الخلوص إلى أن التعويل على حلّ السلطة الفلسطينية لنفسها من تلقاء ذاتها يُعدّ على الأرجح أمرًا غير واردٍ، كذلك يصير عدم تحقق الوحدة الوطنية بين حركتي «حماس» و»فتح» مفهوماً ومبرراً رغم مرور قرابة 15 عاماً على الإنقسام، ورغم كثرة المحاولات السابقة لإنهائه، فالحديث هنا عن مشروعين متضادين يلغي أحدهما الآخر، وينطبق عليهما «البرهان العقلي» في «إستحالة الجمع بين الأضداد»، فهما لن يجتمعا إلا إذا غيَّر أحدُهما خَصائصَهُ، وهذا محمودٌ في حالة السلطة الفلسطينية، لكنه مستبعدٌ لما ذُكر سابقاً، وممكنٌ في حالة حركة «حماس» بصفتها حركة مقاومة، لكنه سيكون مذموماً من الناحية الوطنية، فإذا ما حصل واجتمع هذان المشروعان فلن يكون هذا إلا ضمن احتمالين اثنين لا ثالثً لهما: فإما أن أحدهما قد غير في خصائصه الجذرية، وإما أن يكون أحدهما قد هيمن على الآخر بشكلٍ فعليٍّ بما يجعل من خصائص هذا الأخير في حكم اللاغية.

وعليه في الحالة الفلسطينية، يصير من الأجدى لفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية صرف النظر عن مسارات المصالحة العقيمة السابقة، وذلك إذا ما كانت تنوي الالتزام بعقيدتها وبخطها المقاوم، والبحث عن مسارٍ جديدٍ يمكن أن يفضي إلى مصالحةٍ وطنيةٍ حقيقيةٍ واضحة المعالم، تكون مؤسسةً على أهدافٍ منسجِمةٍ، تتَّسق مع الثوابت الوطنية دون تفريطٍ.

ولقد منحتنا معركة «سيف القدس» مثالاً عملياً لمسارٍ واقعيٍ، يمكن البناء عليه لتشكيل وحدةٍ وطنيةٍ مضبوطةٍ، فبالإضافة إلى كون معركة سيف القدس قد مثلت نقلةً نوعيةً في مسار مكافحة الكيان الصهيوني، فقد طرحت أيضاً صيغة «غرفة العمليات المشتركة»، التي شكلتها «كتائب الشهيد عز الدين القسام» في قطاع غزة، بناءً على أهدافٍ وطنيةٍ واضحةٍ، وقادت من خلالها المواجهة الأخيرة بكل تفاصيلها بالتشاور والتشارك مع جميع فصائل «غرفة العمليات المشتركة» الأخرى، وقد شملت هذه الغرفة كافة الفصائل الفلسطينية المسلحة قاطبةً، بما فيها فصيلان مسلَّحان تابعان لحركة «فتح»، وحقَّقت بذلك معركة سيف القدس نصراً للشعب الفلسطيني بأكمله دون استثناءٍ، ناهيك عن الإنجاز الذي تجاوز حدوده القُطْرية الفلسطينية ليصب في طاحونة خط المقاومة والتحرير في عموم الإقليم.
ولعل من أهم منجزات «غرفة العمليات المشتركة»، الوحدة الوطنية التي تشكلت حولها في الشارع الفلسطيني، والتي شملت السواد الأعظم من أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني في الأراضي المحتلة عام 1948 وعام 1967 بالإضافة إلى فلسطينيي الشتات، وهذا ليس بالأمر الثانوي في الديناميكيات الصالحة لتأسيس وحدةٍ وطنيةٍ، فهو يدلِّل على كون الإنجازات الميدانية في مواجهة الاحتلال مازالت العامل الأساس لدعم قيام وحدة صفٍ فلسطينيةٍ حقيقيةٍ ونافعةٍ.

نجد إذاً في التفاهمات الميدانية مساراً ناجعاً للوصول إلى الوحدة الوطنية يمكن التأسيس عليها، ويمكن بعد ذلك تطويرها لإنشاء جبهة تحريرٍ شاملةٍ، فالميدان يَفرِز بين الوطني والمتخاذل إن لم نقُل العميل، ويُغلِّب أولوية المعركة على خلافات الحكم، وهذا هو المطلوب، حيث إن الفلسطينيين مازالوا يعيشون مرحلة التحرير، وبعد ذلك فليخوضوا في خلافات الحكم كما يشاؤون.
في مثل هذه الوحدةٍ الوطنيةٍ، يكون لدى كل الفصائل في الساحة الفلسطينية خيار اللحاق برَكْب التحرير، وإلا تجاوزهم الزمن كما تجاوز غيرهم في تجارب شعوبٍ أخرى خاضت معركة التحرير.

وأخيراً، من نافلة القول إن المحازبين كأفراد هم أيضاً مخيَّرون كما الفصائل التي ينتمون إليها، إما بين اللحاق برَكْب التحرير وإما بين الإصرار على الاستمرار في جريمة التخابر مع العدو المسماة زوراً «التنسيق الأمني»، وحينها لا ملامة إن نُعِتوا بما يستحقون وعوملوا على أساسه.

Amnesty: PA Response to Nizar Banat Demonstrators ‘Violent Repression’

July 9, 2021

Palestinians rally to protest Nizar Banat’s assassination. (Photo: Mohammed Asad, via MEMO)

Recent violence by Palestinian government forces against demonstrators in the West Bank has constituted a “chilling campaign of repression”, according to Amnesty International.

The rights NGO slammed the use of “unlawful force” by the authorities in a press release on Wednesday. It said reporters, campaigners, and lawyers had been detained without justification, and that arrestees had suffered torture.

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrate in Hebron city in the occupied West Bank against the the assassination of Palestinian opposition activist Nizar Banat and demanding to apprehend the perpetrators, today.#NizarBanat pic.twitter.com/PAMWbqzMZg

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) July 9, 2021

The group explained that anger has reached boiling point after prominent anti-government dissenter Nizar Banat died two weeks ago in Palestinian detention.

It said the authorities have used unnecessary strength against demonstrators, including this Monday, when they “violently” broke up those rallying at a Ramallah police station before making 15 or more arrests.

Saleh Higazi, Amnesty’s deputy MENA director explained: “Over the past two weeks, Palestinian authorities have launched a deliberate campaign of repression, clamping down on peaceful protesters and carrying out arbitrary arrests in an attempt to instil a climate of fear and crush dissent”.

When the PA men descended on Banat’s house on June 24, the ferocity of their violence was unprecedented https://t.co/1K1lRsyOFr via @PalestineChron #NizarBanat #Palestine pic.twitter.com/jQOyZ7s6Ua

— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) July 9, 2021

Higazi called for Palestine’s long-time president, Mahmoud Abbas, to put a stop to the “chilling crackdown” and see to it that any officers who have perpetrated abuses are held responsible.

Last week, also in Ramallah, Palestinian reporters gathered by a United Nations building to urge freedom of the press in the wake of the authorities’ aggression at Nizar Banat demonstrations.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

PA Security Forces Arrest Lawyer, Activists amid Nizar Banat Protests

July 4, 2021

Prominent human rights lawyer Muhannad Karajah was arrested by PA police. (Photo: Video Grab)

Palestinian police arrested a lawyer and three activists Sunday morning in the West Bank amid ongoing protests against the Palestinian Authority over the death of activist Nizar Banat.

Muhannad Karajah, the head of the Lawyers for Justice group and a lawyer for the Banat family, was arrested in front of the Ramallah Court Building. He was detained alongside activists Jihad Abdo, Salem Qatash, and Izzeddine Zaoul.

“[Atty Muhannad] Karajah said Banat had been threatened with arrest before by Palestinian officials
but that he was motivated to keep up his criticism,
in campaigns and on social media, of a government
that he saw as corrupt and ineffective….

— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) June 24, 2021

The arrests took place before a scheduled sit-in outside the court, in protest over the arrest of activist Ghassan Al-Saadi and Muhammad Fararja, both arrested by Palestinian security services on Saturday evening.

Journalists who were at the scene to cover the sit-in were told to leave the premises within minutes by the Palestinian authorities.

Daoud Darawi, a member of the Bar Association, said the syndicate will escalate if Karajah is not released from detention. Karajah was detained without a proper arrest warrant, according to Darawi.

Ramallah – Palestinian Authority security forces detain prominent lawyer and human rights activist Muhannad Karajah. pic.twitter.com/GOv5WLQEra

— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) July 4, 2021

Hundreds of Palestinians in recent days have demanded the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), after the death of Banat while in custody, on June 24.

These protests have been violently suppressed by PA security forces and plainclothes officers.

Banat, 42, had registered as a candidate in Palestinian parliamentary elections that were set for May until Abbas postponed them indefinitely.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian women journalists speak out against ‘deliberate’ attacks by PA forces

Palestinian Authority forces have violently assaulted women reporting on protests in Ramallah

A recent protest in Ramallah, where Palestinian Authority forces have been targeting women journalists including Najlaa Zaitoun, photographed here (Supplied)

By Aziza Nofal in RamallahPublished date: 2 July 2021 14:49 UTC | Last update: 2 days 1 hour ago

For several days now, Palestinian journalist Najlaa Zaitoun has been trying to convince her children, 11-year-old Haytham and 8-year-old Zein, to leave the house. 

‘A person wearing plain clothes threatened me, to my face, that he would rape me, and then defame my reputation’

– Najlaa Zaitoun, journalist

“I’m afraid the person who beat you will come and beat me,” Zein said to her, as she urged them to keep up their training at the sports club they usually go to every day. 

On 26 June, the 35-year-old was assaulted by plainclothes security forces while she was covering protests called following the death of popular Palestinian activist Nizar Banat while in Palestinian Security Forces custody two days earlier. 

The security forces chased Zaitoun, seized her phone, which she was using to film the protest, and violently attacked her with a truncheon. She was also threatened with rape.

“A person wearing plain clothes threatened me, to my face, that he would rape me, and then defame my reputation,” she tells Middle East Eye.

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
Bruises Najlaa Zaitoun sustained while covering the protests can be seen on her arm (Supplied)

Zaitoun has been living in a state of fear ever since and the violent beating she received has left visible marks on her body.

“I don’t feel safe, not even in my own home,” she says. Since the attack, Zaitoun has been staying at her parents’ house. 

Meanwhile, the assault on the journalist has moved online, with a smear campaign targeting her on social media accounts affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and accusing her of being the “one who attacked the security forces.” 

Targeted attacks

The attack on Zaitoun is one of several instances of violence against women journalists in the course of their work covering the protests. The incidents indicate that Palestinian security forces are specifically targeting women journalists, as reflected in the escalating levels of hostility and violence towars them compared to their male counterparts.

Attacks on women journalists have included physical violence, as was the case with Zaitoun and four others; confiscation of electronic devices used to cover the events; intimidation and harassment; chasing journalists in the street; arrest attempts and a ban on reporting. 

The assaults have continued even after the protests were over, with many female journalists receiving veiled threats that they will be discredited and defamed.

Saja al-Alamy is one of those attacked while reporting on the protests. On 24 June, Alamy was subjected to several attempts by security forces to prevent her from doing her job, and had to show her Palestinian Journalists Syndicate membership card each time. 

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
‘My press armour helped the perpetrators to identify me as a journalist, and attack me’, Saja Alamy says (Supplied)

Two days later, expecting journalist to go on being obstructed, Alamy wore her bulletproof press body armour and affixed her press card on the back of her phone, which she was using to film the events. 

None of this stopped her from being attacked. Instead, she believes the measures did her more harm than good.

“My press armour helped the perpetrators to identify me as a journalist, and attack me,” she says, adding that she was only able to escape the scene after she had taken off her press vest and concealed her identity as a journalist.

“There was a direct attack on us. One of the security officers in plainclothes was pointing at my female journalist colleague and me, asking his partner to take a photo of us so that he can identify us later,” she says.

Security forces had first attacked a group of journalists, including Alamy, with tear gas, but upon noticing her filming an attack on protesters, she was directly targeted. Alamy resisted the officers’ violent attempt to confiscate her phone, and refused to hand it over. She then managed to flee the scene to a nearby building and hide in a women’s toilet.

Alamy tried for more than an hour to reach her colleagues for help, but all entrances were being watched by security officers, including those who had chased her. She was eventually able to escape, after shedding her press armour, and pretended to be out shopping.

Life threatening

MEE reporter Shatha Hammad was also among the women journalists who were targeted in the attacks of 26 June.

She sustained a shrapnel wound to her face from a tear gas canister that a security officer shot directly at her after failing to confiscate her phone. 

Hammad says that security officers in plainclothes had focused their attention on women reporters, singling them out by pointing at them, even before the clashes erupted, which, she believes, suggests that the assault was planned and deliberate.

According to Hammad, the unprecedented violence against women journalists made her feel insecure and trapped.

“What happened is life threatening,” she says, demanding immediate action from local and international organisations to provide the necessary protection for them.

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
Shatha Hammad sustained wounds to face after being directly targeted with a tear gas cannister 

The detailed testimonies of women journalists were shocking to many, especially the Palestinian Authority’s use of cultural norms to shame and intimidate women, exercising social pressure against them as an attempt to silence and prevent them from performing their work. 

According to Ghazi Bani Odeh, head of the monitoring and documentation unit at the Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedoms (Mada), these exponential attacks against women journalists are unprecedented and planned. 

“The assaults on female journalists have two levels. The first is the direct physical violence in the streets; then comes the online attacks designed to incite people to exert social pressure on them,” Bani Odeh tells MEE, in reference to the smear campaigns that use hate speech that could fuel violence against them. 

Smear campaigns

One of the journalists targeted by a defamation campaign was Fayhaa Khanfar, who was beaten up in the street on 26 June, with her phone stolen from her as she covered the protest.

‘When I regained consciousness, I went to security officers crying and asking for help. But no one moved a muscle’

– Fayhaa Khanfar, journalist

Security officers in plain clothes had chased Khanfar to confiscate her device and knocked her to the ground, causing her to briefly lose consciousness. 

No one had intervened to help her. The attack resulted in a hairline fracture to her shoulder and bruises all over her body.

“I was attacked by security officers wearing plain clothes. They pushed me to the ground and stole my phone,” Khanfar tells MEE.

“When I regained consciousness, I went to security officers crying and asking for help. But no one moved a muscle.”

Orchestrated online attacks targeted Khanfar, who wears the hijab, aimed to discredit her in a conservative society by circulating images of a girl in beachwear, who looks very similar to Khanfar, and falsely identifying her as the journalist.

Khanfar was later summoned for interrogation at the intelligence headquarters in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, and told that she had to appear if she wanted to collect her phone, a move she considered an attempt to lure her in and arrest her.

Wafa Abdulrahman, the director of Filistiniat, a civil society organisation, sees the attacks on journalists as a chilling attempt to silence the women who have been spearheading the protests. 

Palestinian female journalists attacked by PA forces
Fayhaa Khanfar suffered a hairline fracture to her shoulder and bruises all over her body (Supplied)

Abdulrahman says that the systematic targeting of women journalists is intended to first send them a threatening message, and second, to warn the society that women reporters will not be spared and that the power of the security forces is unbreakable. 

As attacks on women journalists continue through online defamation campaigns and veiled threats, they find themselves living in constant danger and feeling personally insecure. 

According to Majid Arori, a media freedom activist and a human rights specialist, there has to be individual and collective legal actions to deter such attacks in the future. 

“The attacked women journalists must file legal complaints, providing the necessary documentation via local and international legal organisations to exert pressure on those who perpetrated the assaults,” he says, adding that these attacks are attempts to suppress critical voices and any protests against corruption. 

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