Jordan Parliament Votes in Favor of Ban on Israeli Gas Imports

 January 19, 2020

Jordan’s parliament has voted in favor of a motion to ban natural gas imports from the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the wake of mass protests against the government’s multi-billion-dollar agreement with the Tel Aviv regime.

“The majority has voted to send the urgent motion to the government” requesting a law banning Israeli gas imports to Jordan, said Speaker of the House of Representatives Atef Tarawneh in remarks carried live by state television network on Sunday.

The text states that “the government, its ministries and state institutions and companies are prohibited from importing gas from Israel.”

Video footage showed a majority of legislators in the lower house stand up to back the motion.

The move came after 58 lawmakers out of the 130-strong legislature demanded such a ban in a letter to the parliament last month.

The motion will be passed to the government for approval, and must be sent back to the legislature for a formal vote at the upper house of the parliament.

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Senior Hamas official: ‘Qasim Soleimani gave us everything Iran has to offer’

January 15, 2020

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/senior-hamas-official-qasim-soleimani-gave-us-everything-iran-has-to-offer/

(Please support MiddleEastObserver.net on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver)


Description:

In an extended interview with Al-Mayadeen TV, senior Hamas official Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar discusses the role of the late Iranian General Qasim Soleimani in supporting ‘Palestinian resistance groups’ and particularly his relationship with the Hamas movement.

The following translation contains keys excerpts from the interview.

Source: Al-Mayadeen TV

Date: 11-01-2020

Transcript:

The host:

Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, welcome back. There is no doubt that Hamas’ great solidarity with Iran regarding the martyrdom of General Qasem Soleimani has raised many questions and triggered analyses. So we are turning to you to get our facts straight. Has the martyrdom of Hajj, or rather General, Qasem Soleimani actually brought Iran and Hamas closer together and cemented their alliance, following periods of ups and downs in their relationship for regional reasons? Is that true?

Dr. al-Zahar:

Actually it has, but I would like to clarify – after saying in the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate, praise be to Allah, and peace and prayers be upon His prophet… I think that the relationship (between Iran and Hamas), according to my experience in this field, started in 1991 when a group was deported to Marj al-Zohour (in southern Lebanon). At the time, Iran sent civilian envoys to listen to the demands of Palestinians in the region, in order to support this group that stood at the borders of Palestine and was able to come back a year later. Therefore, Iran’s proxy groups and personalities dealing with this matter were known and plain to see. And they are still present to this day.

While the next significant moment was when Hamas took office in 2006 after the elections. As the minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, I visited Iran and met with all political parties and other officials. So our relationship deepened and their support increased not only in the military field, but also at the political level as they backed the government. After that, the relationship carried on until the shared vision become indisputable: the battle to free Palestine, is a real battle, a Qur’anic fact that might come true with cooperation, especially this cooperation that is not founded on short-term interests, but on a strategic dimension, i.e.  achieving comprehensive goals including the ending of the occupation and establishing a Palestinian State on the entire soil of Palestine. All of that while maintaining balanced, respectful relationships with all parties who helped to free Palestine. I think that this cause is not related only to Soleimani. Even though he had a crucial role, and was a very important personality as he knew even the smallest details. Therefore, I think that our cause will not be affected. The only issue is finding the person who will be able fill in Soleimani’s shoes during this period.

The host:

Abo Khaled, did the martyr General Qasem Soleimani ever visit the Gaza Strip? Have you ever met?

Dr. al-Zahar:

No, that is very hard. It is very difficult to come to Gaza. To get to there, there are only two ways: you can come either from Egypt or from the Israeli entity. Either way, that actually never happened. Not to my knowledge at least.

The host:

In a statement delivered yesterday, Hamas’ representative in Lebanon said that Soleimani visited the Gaza Strip multiple times.

Dr. al-Zahar:

I honestly have no information on that matter. I don’t know.

The host:

So maybe yes, maybe no..

Dr. al-Zahar:

Either way, it is a risk that Soleimani could assess. I don’t know. I don’t know everything. Some security and military issues are confidential, and only one or two people might know of them. But to my knowledge – I honestly don’t know.

The host:

Okay. Dr., have you ever met (Soleimani) in person? Do you have a personal relationship with him?

Dr. al-Zahar:

Yes, I have met him multiple times. I believe he highly appreciated the role Hamas has played in all areas. I have actually met him multiple times. And every time, I was more and more confident that this man, who named himself the commander of the Quds Force, attached his name to al-Quds because he was sincere in his support for the Palestinian cause, and for al-Quds in particular. He chose this title and lived up to it indeed. He was a man of his words. In fact, this man was ready to give, and has actually given everything the Islamic Republic can offer to support the Resistance’s cause.

The host:

In return for this support, has Iran ever asked you for anything, at the political or military levels? Or has it asked (Hamas) to adopt certain positions?

Dr. al-Zahar:That’s actually a very important question. Because the side wishing to weaken the Resistance project insists that Iran wants to use Hamas or the al-Qassam Brigades as proxy forces in her regional conflict. During the past period, we have never witnessed – nor did it cross our minds – that Iran might ask us for anything. Our long experience with them from 1991, as I have mentioned, until today, has never revealed, even for a moment, that Iran wants to use us for any cause beyond Palestine. Our whole energy was devoted (to our cause) and they were aware of that. Qasem Soleimani was one of many who insisted that the Palestinian cause should aim all its attention and forces at the occupation to free Palestine. Only after that, parties can sit down to manage their relationships. Some countries that have nothing to do with Palestine, and are fighting it, tried to claim that the Iranian intervention in Palestine serves Iran’s interests and not the interests of the Resistance. I testify before the Almighty Allah that over the past years, from 1991 until the past year, I have never felt, not for a second, that there was a single Iranian request made to the detriment of the Palestinian cause.

The host:Dr., regarding the relationship with the new IRGC’s Quds Force commander Ismail Qa’ani, reports state that Qa’ani met with a delegation from Hamas, and with the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Sayyed Ali Khamenei… Have you looked at the results of these meetings? How does the relationship with the new commander seem to you? Do you think General Qa’ani will have the same abilities as General Soleimani, or will offer you the same cooperation Soleimani has offered you?

Dr. al-Zahar:

In fact, we should stress that the Iranian policy is not dependent on one person, not even on the president. The policy is decided by a system and a group of interventions that control the relationship between Iran and the Palestinian cause. I’ve told you that when I was assigned as a minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006, I met with President Ahmadinejad, the foreign minister, the martyr Qasem Soleimani, and a lot of officials. We were also invited to conferences. Each and every conference mentioned the same cause: the Palestinian cause, that is of central importance to Iran. This is how they’ve talked about it. We’ve heard about it in every forum and every place. This is what we have confirmed. This is also one of the key reasons for which we enjoy a good relationship with Iran. It is not a relationship where a party is taking advantage of another.

Therefore, this long experience at the political, diplomatic or security levels, and in terms of other aids and self-defense techniques (shows that this relationship) is not dependent on individuals. Even if Soleimani is gone, all the accomplishments we’ve made won’t be lost, and previous relationships will continue, that’s my opinion. I’ve actually never met Qa’ani and I don’t know if any of my brothers (colleagues) did, even though it is eminently logical to meet with the new commander of this force that has the honor, as every person, to be associated to al-Quds. As everyone knows the promised final battle is a Qur’anic fact. And everyone who takes part in this battle will not only change the geopolitics of the whole region, but will also, God willing, go to heaven.

The host:

According to the pictures taken in the funeral, there was a meeting between the Hamas delegation that went to Tehran to pay its respects, and Ismail Qaani. However, it is not clear if that meeting was just to show condolences, or it was an actual meeting with deliberations and acquaintances. I don’t know.

Dr. al-Zahar:

Of course, they should make deliberations and acquaintances. It’s also totally logical for Hamas to ask for the continuity of the relationship between not only Hamas but all Palestinian resistance forces especially in the Gaza Strip, and the important (Quds) Force and this country that supports the resistance project. This assassination is the biggest proof of the sincerity of Iran’s policy. If Iran was part of this group of hypocrites, and if it didn’t put pressure on the Israeli entity, and on the Western-Israeli interests related to Christian, Jewish and even Arab Zionism… if that was true, there wouldn’t be an assassination. The assassination was carried out because there were practical measures taken by the (Quds) Force and by Iran through its members, constituents and leaderships to support the Resistance project.

The host:

“My father’s blood will pave the way for us to pray in al-Quds”. Dr. al-Zahar, those are the words of a Muslim girl (Soleimani’s daughter) who lost her father, but is still talking about al-Quds, about Palestine, in Arabic and in front of a crowd of worshipers, while holding a weapon in her hand, even though she can’t be more than 20 years old. Dr. al-Zahar, what is your comment on such a scene? And how much does this scene problematise an notion which many tried to reinforce, and for which large sums of money was paid to transform it into public opinion. I am talking about the notion of sectarian division, and turning people who belong to different sects away from the causes that Muslim people, from Iran to Pakistan and Indonesia, are sympathetic towards.

Dr. al-Zahar:

First, allow me to offer my sincere condolences to this lady, the daughter of the man who devoted himself to Palestine. If Qasem Soleimani was not loyal to Palestine, his daughter would not have said such words. If his words were politically motivated and dishonest, his daughter would not have stressed (on the importance of the Palestinian cause) that she heard her father talking about time and time again. She became certain that he believes in freeing Palestine and in the promised final battle. Otherwise, she would not have come out, stood, held a weapon, and said those words. As the English saying goes: “like father like son”. Soleimani’s daughter, son, brother, etc. will all follow his footsteps. Therefore, may all our martyrs everywhere rest in peace.

The host: Amen.

Dr. al-Zahar:

Regarding the next part of the question. Please remind me what it was.

The host: The sectarian issue.

Dr. al-Zahar:

They have said that Iran is spending money to develop ideological centres in Palestine. I say that I dare anyone to come to the Gaza Strip, and find someone who converted to Shiism, or find a place, a center or an institution for the Shia. These (accusations) are spread only to create a rift between us. Why? Who are those? Does the Sunna (tradition of Prophet Muhammad) allow cooperation with the Israeli occupation? Does the Sunna allow giving money to the Israeli entity, and supporting Christian Zionism? Aren’t Muslims brothers, who shouldn’t let each other down? Muslims, whether Shia, Sunni, Kurdish, Afghan or Pakistani are brothers; regardless of their nationality, country, identity, or identity card. Muslims are brothers. Islam is both believed in the heart, and translated in the actions (of Muslims). Therefore, saying that Iran is seeking influence in Palestine is a lie. We dare anyone to say the opposite. We have never heard anyone asking for a price in return. (Iran) provided us with all kinds of support, even at the political level (to serve) the Palestinian cause. However, it never asked us for such a thing. And if anyone has (evidence), then I invite them to present it to the people for the truth to be revealed. But as a witness during this long period, from 1991 until this very moment, I assure you that the Iranian support to the Palestinian cause is altruistic. They, however, became certain that Hamas and the Palestinian resistance are absolutely serious about freeing Palestine and attaining the promised final battle.

The host:

I am sure you heard of, or followed up on the criticism that was directed at Hamas when its delegation, headed by Ismail Haniyeh, paid respects and participated in the funeral (of Soleimani), and after the speech delivered by Mr. Haniyeh who considered General Soleimani the ‘martyr of al-Quds’. Some of this criticism came from the Islamic movement (in the region) general speaking, not from Hamas and its personnel in particular. But rather from the Islamic community as a whole. How did you receive this criticism, or these voices, that questioned (Hamas’ loyalty), attacked it, and thought that it exaggerated its feelings?

Dr. al-Zahar:

In fact, the problem, or the problems, that aroused before were exaggerated, and some took a stand (against Iran) because of these problems. We were hoping that both sides, Sunni and Shia Muslims, make some steps to bridge the gap between the political – and not the sectarian – positions. Every human has his own beliefs, behavior, style and approach. But what brings us together is the saying: “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger”. I want – so that we don’t get deep into this subject and get drawn into disputes- I call upon Islamic scholars, Shia, Sunni and others, to hold a conference to settle the dispute and find solution, a common solution, for all the current disputes; and to advise Muslims, Shia, Sunni and others, to follow precise instructions. Only then, the scheme run by colonialists, Zionists and others will collapse. As you know a lot of people are sectarian, even within Sunni, Shia and others. Those narrow-minded people shouldn’t distract us from the bigger project.

I want to remind them of a hdith of the Prophet reported by Thawban. I am going to say it in short. The Prophet said: Allah, the Almighty, gathered up the world (or the earth) for me so that I saw its east and its west; and indeed the dominion of my nation will reach what was gathered up for me”. He didn’t say Shia or Sunni. We all follow the Sunna of Prophet Muhammad. Is there a prophet other than Muhammad for us to follow his Sunna? There are some doctrinal differences, and some personal judgments of some scholars. However, in essence, our judgment comes from our belief that Allah is our God, and our absolute loyalty is to him.

The host:

So what I understand is that Hamas doesn’t care about the opinions of extremists, whether Sunni, Shia or other?

Dr. al-Zahar:

In fact, we are hurt by this subject, especially by the hurtful words that were harsh towards the Resistance and Hamas. We’ve heard a lot of words on this matter. But I suggest that, to overcome this crisis and avoid being bogged down in the swamp they want us to fall into, our scholars should hold a conference to unite their word, and adopt a single approach. That way, we will no longer be targeted whether in bad faith, or by simple-mindedness, regarding these suggestions and ideas.

UAE-«Israel» Ties Warming: Emirati FM Tweets Report on Arab-«Israeli» Alliance

UAE-«Israel» Ties Warming: Emirati FM Tweets Report on Arab-«Israeli» Alliance

By Staff, Agencies

“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening said he welcomed the “Israeli” entity’s warming ties to Arab countries in the region, after the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates tweeted a link to a news report on the subject.

“I welcome the closer relations between ‘Israel’ and many Arab states. The time has come for normalization and peace,” Netanyahu tweeted.

Earlier, the UAE’s Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweeted a link to a story in the UK’s Spectator, titled: “Islam’s reformation: an Arab-‘Israeli’ alliance is taking shape in the Middle East.”

The story covered the changing geopolitical landscape in the Middle East, and the realization of many Arab figures that “Israel” could be an important ally against Iran’s expansionism in the region, as well as a potential partner for trade and security.

Tel Aviv is said to have developed clandestine ties with numerous Arab countries in recent years over the cosuntries’ shared antipathy toward Iran.

“Israeli” officials have openly visited several such countries recently. In October 2018, Netanyahu was welcomed to Oman by the country’s longtime ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said. That same month the entity’s so-called Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev traveled to Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament, where the entity’s so-called national anthem was played for the first time in the Arabian peninsula following “Israeli” judoka Sagi Muki’s gold win in the under-81 kilogram category.

The “Israeli” entity has also been invited to participate at the Expo 2020 in the UAE city of Dubai.

Arab leaders, however, have also indicated that true normalization cannot take place so long as the “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict is not resolved.

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الشرق الأوسط ضحية النفوذ الأميركي وتسييس الدين

ديسمبر 20, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

هاتان سمتان عامتان تسيطران على المسرح السياسي في بلدان الشرق الأوسط وتضبطه في تخلف متواصل، يجعله ألعوبة أميركية ومسرحاً سهلاً لسيطرتها الاقتصادية.
هذا الاهتمام الأميركي ذهب في اتجاه اختراع آليات صراع غير حقيقية لا تعكس حاجات شعوب المنطقة بقدر ما تُلبي إصرار الأميركيين على ضبط شعوبها في تناقضات تنتج المزيد من التخلف.

فبعد استهلاك الخلافات القبلية والعشائرية بين آل سعود والهاشميين وخليفة وأئمة اليمن وآل ثاني وزايد؛ هذه الصراعات التي أنتجت معظم الدول العربية المعاصرة، برعاية فرنسية بريطانية؛ نسج الأميركيون على منوال اختلاف تعارضات اخرى مكرسين ذعراً اسلامياً من الغرب المسيحي ليستفردوا به باستبعاد اوروبا وريثة الصليبيين والرومان والفرنجة، ومقدمين أنفسهم وكأن لا علاقة لهم بهذا الإرث التاريخي ذي الواجهة الدينية السطحية والعمق الاستعماري الاوروبي الحقيقي لا المسيحي.

للإشارة بان الولايات المتحدة هي أوروبية التأسيس إنما على اراضي الهنود الحمر أي أن لها حصة بتكوينها الشعبي من الاستعمار الاوروبي الذي شمل العالم بأسره في القرنين الماضيين.

وعندما بدأ العصر الأميركي فعلياً نقل اصحاب البيت الأبيض طبيعة الصراع في الشرق الأوسط الى دائرة العداء الإسلامي ـ الشيوعي، الإسلامي ـ الاشتراكي، او بين انظمة قبلية في الخليج وقومية في سورية والعراق ومصر.
هنا شكل الاتحاد السوفياتي نموذجاً “للكفار” الذين أرادوا ضرب الاسلام وإلغائه، على حد زعمهم، متوصلين الى بناء سد بين معظم المنطقة العربية وروسيا أدرك مستويات العداء. وكان المستفيد بالطبع هي الهيمنة الأميركية الاستراتيجية ـ الاقتصادية على الشرق الاوسط النفطي والاستهلاكي.

هذا السيناريو جابه ايضاً الفكر القومي العربي، فبالتعاون بين الأميركيين وانظمة الخليج، أطلقت هذه الانظمة مقولة تتهم مصر وسورية والعراق بأنها تروّج لفكر عنصري معادٍ لأممية الإسلام الذي يساوي بين كل الأمم التي ينتمي اليها المسلمون في العالم، متوصلين الى إعادة القوميين الى دوائر ضيقة.

لكن الأميركيين ومعهم أنظمة الخليج، أخذوا يبثون مواد إعلامية تتحدث عن الديانتين اليهودية والاسلامية ومعهما المسيحية هي ديانات سماوية متآخية لا يجب على الخلافات السياسية أن تدفع بها الى حالات الاحتراب والاقتتال، وكأنهم أرادوا منذ ذلك الوقت إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية بتفكيك التأييد العربي والاسلامي، وحتى المسيحي لها.

لتأكيد هذا المدى الواسع الذي يلعبه النفوذ الأميركي في تسييس الاسلام عبر وكلائه الخليجيين في المنطقة، اخترع صراعاً بين سنة وشيعة للتعامل مع الصعود الإيراني في الجمهورية الاسلامية، مستغلين شيعة إيران، فليس بمقدور الأميركيين التهاون مع ايران التي تمكنت من اختراق هيمنتهم على الشرق الأوسط، عبر تأييد القضية الفلسطينية بالتمويل والتأييد السياسي والتسليح، ودعم الدولة السورية في وجه الإرهاب الكوني، والعراق ايضاً مع مد يد العون لليمن المستهدف أميركياً وخليجياً.

ايران هذه اخترقت ايضاً افغانستان في الهزارة وطالبان وأمنت مواقع في باكستان والهند وماليزيا، ما استجلب عليها، غضب الأميركيين واستياءهم في الحدود القصوى.

لذلك جاء الردّ على شكل محاولة تطويق ايران بعداء سني لها عبر إحياء الفتنة الشيعية ـ السنية او الفارسية ـ العربية، حسب المطلوب أميركياً.

ولولا التأييد الفلسطيني لإيران لكانت السياسة الأميركية ـ الخليجية أفعل في مجابهتها. هذا يكشف مدى تمكن النفوذ الأميركي من تسييس الاسلام عبر الانظمة العربية المحلية. فالأزهر الشريف اعلى موقع اسلامي تاريخي تُمسِك بقراراته الدولة المصرية منفردة، وتتدخّل لتصبح ملائمة لمصلحة التنسيق الخليجي الأميركي. وكذلك حال المراكز الدينية في المدى الإسلامي الموالي للأميركيين، بما يكشف العلاقة البنيوية بين النفوذ الأميركي في العالم الإسلامي وبين المراكز الإسلامية الكبرى.

أما لمذا تسييس الدين؟ لا يزال الدين العنصر الاساسي في الإقناع والتأثير على الناس، وتشكيل المحاور الكبرى. وهذه تبدأ من الخلافات الفقهية والتاريخية لتشكل تحشيداً يرتحل من الدين الى السياسة والخلافات المذهبية والطائفية والقومية.لبنان واحد من ضحايا هذه المعادلات الأميركية ـ الإسلامية ـ المسيحية، حتى أن مراكزه الدينية الكبرى السنية الشيعية والمسيحية والدرزية مرتبطة بشكل كامل بمواقع القوة السياسية في طوائفها، فتستجيب لكل ما تحتاجه من تأييد شعبي للتحشيد حول مصالحها، وهذا يشمل كل طوائف لبنان، ألم يصدر المفتي دريان حظراً يمنع فيه على أي سني بقبول رئاسة الوزراء باستثناء رئيس الوزراء المستقيل سعد الحريري؟ أهذا من الدين أو من السياسة؟
وهذا للأمانة، يشمل كل المراكز الدينية لطوائف لبنان التي تضع الدين في خدمة قواها السياسية في الداخل ـ وهذه بدورها تخدم المشاريع الكبرى للأميركيين ومنافسيهم في الاقليم.

فهل من مؤشرات على اقتراب موعد القطع مع تسييس الدين لخدمة المشاريع الخارجية؟ الدلائل متواضعة، ويحتاج الأمر الى انتصار اكبر على المشروع الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط، من إيران إلى لبنان، وهذا أصبح ممكناً.

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The Icon of ‘Lebanese Revolution’ is a Zionist Sympathizer!

By Zeinab Daher

Beirut – The infamous and notorious female that became an icon of the Lebanese washed-up protests turned to be a sympathizer with the nation’s enemy.

In a flashback to her history, Perla Joe Maalouly was spotted doing the criminal act of normalization with the Zionist entity’s military account on Twitter, in a reply to the so-called ‘Israel’ Defense Forces’ tweet that was praising the vigilance of Adi, an 18-year-old soldier that foiled a smuggling attempt of 40 guns from Lebanon into ‘Israel’.

Though setting some privacy to her account, and hiding replies from users who don’t share the ‘following’ privilege with her, we managed to track her reply on the tweet that dates back to October 3rd:

“From Lebanon I tell you, we are humanly, mentally and soulfully sick of this war. We want no guns being smuggled, nor airplanes on top of our heads. Part of us just want to live, love, heart fully interact and create and I’m sure that the same goes to part of you [flower],” she replied.

The same Perla, however, was featured in many videos, since the beginning of Lebnon protests, being super nasty to the Lebanese Army and Security Forces who were maintaining protection for protesters and other people on the streets while the so-called rebels were blocking the roads and hindering the living of thousands of the Lebanese people for two months so far.

Additionally, when two ‘Israeli’ spy drones breached the Lebanese sovereignty and entered Beirut’s southern suburb [Dahiyeh], Lebanese President Michel Aoun stated that what happened is a ‘declaration of war’ that allows us to turn to our right to defend our sovereignty, independence and safety of our lands.

Perla, the tenderhearted, replied to the head of state:

“We want peace, enough is enough.”

Here in this case, there are two options that would describe the status of this fierce defender of the demands of the ‘rebels’. Either she is a schizophrenic whose state of mind shifts between caring for the interests of her nationals and putting them above all, but still the poor Perla turns her back to defend also the enemy that occupied the lands of the same nationals and killed, detained and tortured thousands along its history of occupation of Lebanon; or, she does this on purpose, which must be considered a report to the concerned parties that deal with individuals practicing such a criminal act of normalizing ties with the ‘Israeli’ enemy, plus showing sympathy to them.

Until proving the opposite of the theory that considers those influencing the violent protests across Lebanon are dictated by foreign embassies, may God save Lebanon from the malicious intentions and its enemies’ interventions.

هيل مستعجل: أنبوب الغاز الإسرائيلي إلى أوروبا

ديسمبر 18, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– تبقى الأسباب الداخلية لما يشهده لبنان من حراك شعبي مرتبطة بالغضب على النظام الفاسد والطائفي وحجم الفشل في تحقيق الحدّ الأدنى من ضرورات العيش الكريم للمواطنين. وبلوغ هذا الثنائي من الفشل والفساد حداً يهدّد حياة الناس واستقرار معيشتهم؛ لكن لأنه لبنان، فالفصل مستحيل بين مكانة لبنان الاستراتيجية في السياسات الأميركية، كما وصفها جيفري فيلتمان وديفيد شينكر، ويأتي لتأكيدها ديفيد هيل، وبين حدث كبير بحجم الانتفاضة الشعبية التي لا تقودها قوى واضحة، والتي تفجّرت رداً على قرار مشبوه صدر عن وزير لا حاجة للتذكير بموقعه السياسي غير البعيد عن الإيحاءات الخارجية. وفي قلب الفراغ السياسي الذي يبدو على الانتفاضة، يتقدّم ناشطون وتتقدّم جمعيات لا ينكرون جميعاً تمجيدهم للنموذج الغربي، وخصوصاً الأميركي، وربطهم أي خطة إنقاذ بما يسمّونه رضا المجتمع الدولي، ويقصدون الغرب طبعاً.

– لا يغيب ملف النفط والغاز اللبناني عن العين الأميركية، في كل حديث أو تعليق أميركي على الانتفاضة والتضامن مع شعبها، والحرص على أمنها وتحية الجيش اللبناني على حفظه، لكن الحصيلة هي بكلام أميركي واضح يتصل بثنائية هي حكومة وترسيم الحدود البحرية، أو بالأحرى حكومة قادرة على ترسيم الحدود البحرية، والقدرة هنا هي على توقيع مشروع ديفيد سارتفيلد الذي رفضه لبنان. وما تريده واشنطن من ملف النفط والغاز أمر جوهري يتصل بمستقبل الصراع حول لبنان، الذي يختزن مقاومة قادرة تهدّد أمن “إسرائيل” ولا تريد واشنطن أن تفقد قدرتها على الضغط المالي عليه للجم قدرات المقاومة، والنفط والغاز والعلاقة بروسيا والصين مربع واضح لإسقاط ورقة القدرة الأميركية على الضغط. ولأنه يستحيل منع لبنان من الاستثمار في استخراج ثرواته من النفط والغاز، فتوجّه الأميركي للضغط لمنع حصول لبنان على ثروات سريعة وطائلة تقول التقارير إنها مختزنة في البلوكات الحدودية الجنوبية، وخصوصاً البلوك رقم 9.

تقول التقارير المتداولة في سوق النفط والغاز والشركات العالمية الكبرى إن ما قاله رئيس حكومة

الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو عن افتتاح أنبوب الغاز الذي تطمح تل أبيب بضخ الغاز عبره إلى أوروبا بكلفة 7 مليارات دولار، لمنافسة الغاز الروسي بعدما فشل الغاز الصخري الأميركي في تحقيق هذه المنافسة، يحظى باهتمام أميركي خاص ترجمته زيارة وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو في الربيع لرعاية الشراكة الإسرائيلية القبرصية اليونانية الإيطالية في مشروع الغاز، لإطلاق المشروع مطلع العام 2020 عملياً. والعقدة تتمثل بأن الأنبوب يحتاج ترسيماً للحدود يضمن أجزاء من البلوك 9 ضمن الحصة الإسرائيلية، أو سماحاً لبنانياً بمرور الأنبوب في مياهه أو شراكة لبنانية في مشروع الأنبوب، ولأن الخيارين الأخيرين مستحيلان، صار التركيز الأميركي على الخيار الأول بمعزل عما تقوله الخرائط الأممية التي توثّق حق لبنان الكامل بالبلوك 9، ويصل ديفيد هيل إلى بيروت ليقول للمسؤولين اللبنانيين، إن لا وقت للانتظار في قضية ترسيم الحدود البحرية وإن العناد اللبناني سينتج غضباً أميركياً يترجم بعدم المساهمة

في الحلول التي يريدها لبنان مالياً. وهذا سيعني منع الآخرين من المساهمة. –

الخيار اللبناني بين نوعين من رؤساء الحكومات، رئيس يرتاح له الأميركيون ويضمنون توقيعهل مشروع ساترفيلد، ويُفرج له الأميركيون عن بعض المليارات من الدولارات، مقابل حصول “إسرائيل” على مخزون قيمته تفوق 74 مليار دولار من حقوق لبنان، أو رئيس حكومة قادرعلى حماية ثروةلبنان السيادية في النفط والغاز، ولو اضطر لخوض غمار خطة إنقاذ لا تعتمد على التمويل الأميركي، يقدّم لناالأميركيون اسماً مقترحاً لرئاسة الحكومةيعرفون أنه خلال مفاوضات الأروقة الأمميةحول تقارير مراقبة تطبيقا لقرار 1701 كان مصدر ارتياح أميركي إسرائيلي. فهل هذا يحقق مصلحة الانتفاضةالتي خرجت تحمل صوت الشعب بالدفاع عن ثروات لبنانا لمنهوبة؟

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“Deal of the Century” Draft Revealed

“Deal of the Century” Draft Revealed

Translated by Staff, Al-Mayadeen

Beirut-based satellite television channel al-Mayadeen obtained a detailed draft outlining the terms of the “Deal of the Century”. According to the document, the deal involves the signing of a tripartite agreement between “Israel”, the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and Hamas. It also refers to the establishment of a Palestinian state dubbed “New Palestine” where “Israel” will act as the defender from “any external aggression” on condition that Palestinians pay for “Israeli” protection.

Al-Mayadeen announced on Monday that it was in possession of the leaked copy of the so-called ‘deal’, which US President Donald Trump described as “a solution to the ‘Israeli’-Palestinian conflict”.

The document stipulates that “New Palestine” would encompass some of the territory in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but would exclude existing “Israeli” settlements.

Those settlements are to be joined together and remain under “Israeli” control.

The draft notes that the holy city of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] will not be divided.

“It will be shared between ‘Israel’ and New Palestine, and the Arab population will be transferred and become residents of New Palestine and not ‘Israelis’,” the document reads.

Al-Quds is to be designated as a single municipality that would administer all of its lands “except for education which will be the responsibility of New Palestine. In return, New Palestine will pay Arnona and water tax to the al-Quds Jewish municipality.”

The Jewish population will not be permitted to purchase Arab homes, and the same would apply to Arab residents when it comes to the purchase of Jewish homes.

“Additional areas will not be annexed to al-Quds, and the holy sites will remain as they are today,” the draft adds.

Regarding the Gaza Strip, the “Deal of the Century” tasks Egypt with granting new lands to Palestine. The land would be allocated for building an airport, factories as well as facilitating commercial exchanges and agriculture. However, the deal does not permit “Palestinians to live on [the land].”

The deal’s text asserts that “the size and price of the lands will be agreed upon between the parties through a supportive state, which will be identified later.”

Meanwhile, a highway will be constructed to connect Gaza with the West Bank. A water treatment conveyer would be built underground between Gaza and the West Bank.

Furthermore, the draft identifies the United States, the European Union and oil-producing Gulf states as the benefactors of the deal – essentially offering financial guarantees for its implementation.

“An amount of USD 30 billion will be allocated over a period of five years for projects related to New Palestine,” the document explains.

The breakdown of donations is as follows: US 20%, EU 10%, Gulf States 70%. According to the document, the financial burden among Arab states will be distributed in accordance with their oil-producing capabilities.  

On the issue of annexing settlements to “Israel”, including the isolated settlements, the draft tasks the occupying entity with picking up the tab.

When it comes to defense, New Palestine will be banned from “having an army, and the only weapons permitted are police firearms.”

“Israel” and New Palestine would ink an agreement whereby the former would defend the latter from “any external aggression” provided the Palestinians pay the price of protection.     

Separate negotiations between “Israel” and Arab countries will determine the sum that Arabs will pay the “Israeli” army as “a price for protection.”

The draft also offers a timeline and stages for the implementation of the “Deal of the Century”. Once the deal is signed, the following needs to take place:                                       

1-   Hamas gives up all of its weapons, including individual and personal weapons of Hamas leaders. Arms will be handed over to the Egyptians.

2-   Men belonging to Hamas, instead, will receive monthly salaries from Arab countries.

3-   The borders of the Gaza Strip will be opened to international trade through the “Israeli” and Egyptian crossings. The Gaza market will be open with the West Bank as well as by sea.

4-   A year into the agreement, democratic elections will be held to choose a government for New Palestinian, and every Palestinian resident can run.

5-   One year after the elections, all prisoners will gradually be released over a period of three years.

6-   Within five years, a seaport and an airport for New Palestine will be built. Until then, the Palestinians will use “Israel’s” airports and seaports.

7-   Borders between New Palestine and “Israel” will remain open to residents and goods, as is the case with friendly countries.

8-   A suspension bridge will be built between a highway that rises 30 meters above the ground and connects Gaza and the West Bank. The task would be delegated to a company from China. The cost is shared by China 50%, Japan 10%, South Korea 10%, Australia 10%, and Canada 10%. The remaining 10% will be covered jointly by the US and EU.

The draft adds that “the Jordan Valley will remain in the hands of ‘Israel’ as it is today,” while Road 90 will be transformed into a four-lane road.

“Israel” will also supervise the construction of Road 90. Two of the lanes will be for Palestinians. The road will link New Palestine with Jordan and will be under the supervision of the Palestinians.

The “Deal of the Century” draft outlines responsibilities of all parties:

1-   If Hamas and the PLO reject the deal, the United States will cancel all its financial support for the Palestinians and strive to prevent any other country from assisting the Palestinians.

2-   If the PLO agrees to the terms of this agreement, while Hamas or the Islamic Jihad do not accept it, the two organizations bear responsibility. In any military confrontation between “Israel” and Hamas, the US will support “Israel” to inflict harm on the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

3-   If “Israel” rejects the deal, its economic support will be halted.

Finally, the deal includes the transfer of the custodianship of al-Aqsa Mosque from Jordan to Saudi Arabia.IsraelPalestinealqudsUnitedStatesDealOfTheCentury

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