Were It Not for Iran, Where Would Palestine Be?

 November 23, 2022

Ahmad FarhatTranslated and Edited by Mohammad Salami

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed, during a speech last month, that , the most important factor of strength in the axis of resistance is the Islamic Republic of Iran, wondering where Palestine would be without the Iranian role.

The signing of Camp David Accords crowned the US-brokered Egyptian concessions to the Israeli enemy, knowing that the most prominent event in this context was the visit of the Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat to the Zionist entity in November, 1977.

Signing of Camp David Peace Accord (President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin)

Since the end of the 1973 war and the advent of Egypt’s settlements era, the military formulas in the region had changed. The Arab countries, consequently, could not fight on one front against the Israeli enemy which managed to hold bilateral ‘peace’ agreements with the Arab countries in order to avoid facing them altogether.

The Arabs suffered then from a wide case of frustration amid the collapse of the Common Arab Security.

With respect to the Zionist entity, the Arab countries would no longer be able to attack ‘Israel’ without the participation of Egypt despite the fact that the Israeli enemy continued carrying out its occupation and expansion schemes. In this regard, the Zionist enemy invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 and struck the Palestinian resistance.

The following video shows the Palestinian resistance fighters leaving Lebanon in 1982:

Hope Rising in the East

Amid the tragic developments, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini led the Islamic Revolution in Iran to a historic victory in 1979. Just 8 days later, the Islamic Republic identified its foreign policy, granting the keys of the Israeli embassy in Tehran to Yasser Arafat, the late head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This established a new epoch of a strategic Iranian support to the Palestinian cause.

Since its victory, the Islamic Revolution in Iran rejected and confronted all the schemes which targeted the Palestinian cause, providing all the possible means of support to the Palestinian resistance and intifada. The Iranian authorities have been also supporting and funding the Palestinian camps in the diaspora in order to maintain the steadfastness of the refugees.

On August 7, 1979, late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini designated the last Friday of Ramadan holy month as the International Al-Quds Day. Since then, Al-Quds Day has become a day all Muslims and oppressed people across the world rally for Al-Quds and Palestine against the Zionist occupation.

The Islamic Republic in Iran has been also supporting the Palestinian resistance factions which have committed to the rules of Islam.

Axis of Resistance

The axis of resistance led by the Islamic Republic of Iran engaged in several wars in Lebanon and Palestine. Iran supported founding Hezbollah Islamic Resistance that cooperated with the Palestinian resistance to reach victories.

This cooperation appeared clearly during Al-Quds Sword battle in 2021 between Gaza resistance and the Israeli enemy when Hezbollah, IRGC, and Hamas established a chamber of military operations in Beirut during the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza.

This axis, which has sacrificed a large number of martyrs crowned by the former head of IRGC’s Al-Quds Force martyr General Qassem Suleimani, has set praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque as a strategic target.

The video that follows the huge support demonstrated by the Iranian people to the Palestinian cause on various occasions, including mainly Al-Quds Day.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Anderson to Al-Manar: US Wages Proxy Wars, Obsessed with Powerful Iran

November 22, 2022

Mr. Tim Anderson in an interview with Al-Manar (November 2022).

Al-Manar Website Editor

Internationalist academic Tim Anderson unleashed that the US has been for years creating proxy wars across the world, noting that Washington and Tel Aviv are obsessed with powerful Iran.

In a recent interview with Al-Manar, Mr. Anderson tackled with Batoul Wehbe, Al-Manar English Website’s Editor-in-chief, several regional and international issues, including Palestine, the Zionist entity, Iran and the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The senior lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at University of Sydney has been known for his pro-Palestine stances. He has been also known for his position supporting the resistance. He had several publications and books, including “The Dirty War on Syria” and Axis of Resistance: “Towards an Independent Middle East.”

“Resistance Kept Palestine Alive”

Starting with Palestine, Dr. Anderson hailed what he said “big changes coming in Palestine,” referring to acts of resistance across the occupied country, especially in the West Bank.

The Australian academic noted that the Zionist entity is facing internal divisions as well as accusations of committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinian people.

US Waging Proxy Wars in Ukraine, M.E.

Dr. Anderson stressed that the United States has been waging a proxy wars against Russia in Ukraine.

He likened the conflict in Ukraine to the conflict in Syria, noting that as Washington funded the terrorist groups of Daesh and Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq, the same thing is being done with the neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine.

US, ‘Israel’ Working to Destabilize Iran

As he repeatedly used the term “North Americans”, Mr. Anderson said that the US and ‘Israel’ are so obsessed with Iran because it is a strong and independent state that supports the resistance.

In this context, he noted that the US and the Zionist entity use any pretext to destabilize Iran, citing the recent riots across the Islamic Republic.

Misleading Media Coverage

Dr. Anderson was fired from the Australian university in 2019 after he superimposed a swastika over an Israeli flag in a slideshow presentation about media coverage of the Israeli aggression on Palestine.

In his interview with Al-Manar he revealed that there have been negotiations with the University of Sydney to get reinstated.

Stressing that the Western media coverage is misleading, the Australian academic said that anti-Palestine powers want to silence all those who support the resistance.

The Last Word

Asked to say the last word to the region’s people, Mr. Anderson stressed that the only key to confront the war waged against this region is the unity of resistance factions in Palestine, Syria Iraq and Iran.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

JUDAIC FANATICISM IS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE LATEST ‘ISRAELI’ ATTACK ON KATA’IB IMAM ALI

JANUARY 10, 2020

by Jonathan Azaziah


We told you the Jews are attempting to wipe out the Men of God who laid waste to ISIS. And now they’re at it again, bombing the border area between Syria and Iraq in yet another flagrant act of aggression targeting the Iraqi Islamic Resistance. At least 8 fighters have been martyred by the usurping Zionist entity’s criminal attack. It’s Kata’ib Imam Ali that is still on the Jews’ minds and in their crosshairs and while this may solely seem like part of the ongoing American-‘Israeli’ escalation against the Resistance Axis — an analytical observation that is rather elementary to make — there is something more sinister to this onslaught. Indeed, the motivations for these atrocities are rooted 100% in Judaism, both from the “spiritual” perspective and the historical one. The number 3 is of the utmost importance for the Jews, with abyssal Kabbalistic, Talmudic and Halakhic aspects to it. And Shaytan’s Chosen Warmongers haven’t completed their triple murder yet. They got Qassem Suleimani (R.A.) They got Abou Mahdi al-Mohandes (R.A.) But they missed Shibl al-Zaydi, Commander of the Kata’ib Imam Ali.

As elucidated by Rabbi Yossi Marcus, the Kabbalist who runs the ultra-Zionist Chabad of the North Peninsula and spent time as a colonizer in Palestine’s Safad (one of the major capitals of illicit Kabbalistic activity going back several hundred years), when something is done 3 times in Judaism, it becomes permanent. In Hebrew, it is called “chazakah”. Kabbalistically, the number 3 means “peace” and “integration”. And we know that there is no peace from the vantage point of Judaism, nor is there integration within “the tribe”, unless the sanctification of “Yahweh’s” name is being pursued through revenge, war and the eradication of the seed of Amalek.

Indeed, when applied geopolitically and militarily vis-a-vis Zion’s war on the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Mouqawamah Bloc partners, the “chazakah” sought by the Jews in this instance is the elimination of the Dauntless and Defiant trifecta of Suleimani (R.A.), Al-Mohandes (R.A.) and al-Zaydi, which will bring “peace” to the “house” of World Jewry because the most effective personalities in countering its intrigue, these “Viceroys of Amalek”, will be no more. And because the afterlife is barely an afterthought at best in Judaism, with Jewish scholars noting that “Judaism is focused on life and how to live it”, and with the “Torah” having ZERO – repeat, ZERO – mention of it at all, Jews can’t comprehend the Culture of Martyrdom present in Iran as well as Ansarullahi Yemen and elsewhere that keeps its adherents resisting no matter what calamities they face down. Keeping this in mind, al-Zaydi lives, alhamdulillah, and Jewish plots against him and Kata’ib Imam Ali persist as a result.

That was the “spiritual” angle. Now, the historical facets of the ramped up Zionist onslaught against Iraq and Syria are staring everyone right in the face via the name of Shibl al-Zaydi’s group of Righteous Renegades: Kata’ib IMAM ALI (A.S.) The brother, successor and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) was a tour-de-force against the Jewish Power Configuration of his era and on the battlefield, he mopped the floor with the Yahoudlings. Because the Jews were impotent when confronting Haydar al-Karrar (A.S.) eye-to-eye, they collapsed into the shadows, their home, hatching a scheme of subterfuge to dispatch the Imam (A.S.) It was a Jew, Ibn Muljim (L.A.), who assassinated him in the most cowardly manner of cowardly manners, driving a poison sword into his head as he was in prayer in the masjid. Exactly like the cowardly fashion the US and ‘Israel’ murdered Suleimani (R.A.) and Al-Mohandes (R.A.), slaughtering them with a flying robot while they were unarmed on a peace mission. Verily, the similarities between Amir al-Mou2mineen (A.S.) and his modern-day acolytes, the Knight of Kerman (R.A.) and the Brightness of Basra (R.A.), are vast. Most especially in the identical enemy opposing them.

Understanding this struggle as an ideological one will give us better insights into how Dajjal and its lieutenants operate. It is Judaism driving the latest flare-up against Iran currently, along with the war on Islam historically. Not just Zionism, which is merely the political outgrowth of Judaism. The Jewish obsession with the number 3 and the Halakhic-Talmudic-Kabbalistic need to “make permanent” all things in line with the “mitzvot” of the “Torah” is demented. Simply demented. This Judaic fanaticism is dangerous to the umpteenth degree. For the Iraqi Islamic Resistance and the Mouqawamah Bloc of course, yes, but also the whole of the globe. We pray for ALLAH (SWT) to encase in armor all pure-souled opponents of Shlomo as the battle against Jewish supremacist evil rages.

And we sincerely pray for the Jews to hearken to the teachings of Rasoulallah (S.A.W.W.) and Christ (A.S.) before they take us and themselves into oblivion. To say they’re too far out in front of their skis and have been for quite some time is the understatement of… Well… the 40 some odd centuries they’ve been around, wandering about and tormenting Gentiledom along the way.

November 11, A Day to Honor, Preserve the Blood Drops of Every Martyr

November 11, 202

By Mohammad Youssef

Every year, at the eleventh of November, we, at the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon observe Hezbollah’s Martyr Day. This day commemorates the anniversary of our great martyrs who had offered the most generous sacrifice when they with all homage and devotion had given their lives to the cause and the country. Their sacred blood and elevated souls have been serving to ensure Lebanon’s liberation, independence, dignity and sovereignty.

What should be really said and read here is that we need to spread the culture of our martyrs. We need to teach their principles and consolidate them within the consciousness of the present generation and the coming generations. The martyrs’ heritage is so great, immense and sublime. This heritage serves as a guarantee that this umma [community] will continue their path and pledge sincerity and loyalty for their faith and sacrifice.

The importance and greatness of the divine victory that was made by our martyrs is not only because of the liberation that was brought to us, but first, because of the exemplary model that it has brought to the whole region. And second, because of the hope that it has implemented within the umma that we are capable of achieving the final victory by eliminating the occupation from all over the region, particularly Palestine.

It is the responsibility of the umma to preserve the heritage of those great martyrs. Had not it been for them, we would not have been able by anyway to enjoy the liberation and live in safety.

Their sacrifices continue to act as safety valves and represent guarantee to the continuation of the path of the resistance, and thus to achieve victory and liberation.

It is shameful that our state is not up to the level of martyrs’ heritage preservation, that is why it is mandatory that people’s initiative should be encouraged and supported.

This kind of official negligence and indifference about the martyrs should be compensated by fostering the initiatives to commemorate their anniversaries. Moreover, it falls upon the shoulder of the leaders of the Axis of Resistance stretching from Gaza to Tehran to initiate a full coordination and invent a complimentary mechanism to ensure the strength of the front’s steadfastness.

The enemies are fighting us in a unified front, they coordinate their efforts and carry out their conspiracies and aggressions against us in very organized and systematic scheme. That is why, the Axis of Resistance with all its different countries, fronts and organizations, should have a comprehensive plan with specified tasks and missions that should be pursued and accomplished by every individual part of this axis.

This is very important to consolidate the deep sense of faith that our martyrs have planted within the umma.

New chapters of glory and victory will surely be always written by the umma as long as it continues to pursue the footsteps of the martyrs and preserve their heritage.

Exclusive: Attempts to target Iran in the interest of ‘Israel’, US

Nov 8 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

The spokesperson for the Society for Peace movement in Algeria tells Al Mayadeen that weakening Iran or Turkey cannot serve the Arabs.

The spokesperson for the Movement for a Society for Peace in Algeria, Nasser Hamdadouche

The spokesperson for the Movement for a Society for Peace in Algeria, Nasser Hamdadouche, said on Monday that Algeria played a key role in ensuring the success of the Arab Summit by dismantling some mines, including the insistence of some to condemn Iranian or Turkish interference in the region.

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, Hamdadouche said that Algeria enjoys positive relations with everyone, whether Arab or Islamic countries, including Iran and Turkey, adding that Algiers was keen not to raise controversial points during the summit.

Weakening Iran and Turkey is in the enemy’s interest

Hamdadouche added that weakening Iran or Turkey cannot serve the Arabs, Iran or Turkey, and it is in the interest of the real enemy of the region, which is the Zionist entity and the Western hegemony led by the United States.

He highlighted that there is no interest in antagonizing or dwelling on points of disagreement with Iran and Turkey, “because what unites us is far more than what divides us, and dialogue is the way to overcome the problems that face us.”

Hamdadouche pointed to the importance of “rising above differences and moving in the direction of what brings the nation together within a civilized framework of Arab-Islamic integration, that is, the integration of Arab countries with the most important powers in the region, led by Iran and Turkey.”

The Algerian spokesperson pointed out that Algeria is making efforts at the level of parties, organizations, and countries to overcome obstacles and establish dialogue between parties and Arab and Islamic countries.

Algeria resolved the Palestinian file

Hamdadouche said, “There is an Arab division over the Palestinian issue, whether the solution is through negotiation or resistance, therefore, Algeria resolved this file before the summit through a reunification initiative to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.”

He indicated that the Movement for a Society for Peace was looking forward to supporting the option of resistance against the Zionist entity, as well as criminalizing all forms of normalization because it is unreasonable for any Arab country to single out its decision outside the unified Arab political vision.

He also pointed to some Arab countries that did not stop at political and diplomatic normalization with the Zionist entity but rather went to what is even far more dangerous, as in military and security agreements with the Israeli occupation that threaten Arab national security.

The Algerian spokesperson pointed out that Algeria is making efforts at the level of parties, organizations, and countries to overcome obstacles and establish dialogue between parties and Arab and Islamic countries.

Algeria resolved the Palestinian file

Hamdadouche said, “There is an Arab division over the Palestinian issue, whether the solution is through negotiation or resistance, therefore, Algeria resolved this file before the summit through a reunification initiative to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.”

He indicated that the Movement for a Society for Peace was looking forward to supporting the option of resistance against the Zionist entity, as well as criminalizing all forms of normalization because it is unreasonable for any Arab country to single out its decision outside the unified Arab political vision.

He also pointed to some Arab countries that did not stop at political and diplomatic normalization with the Zionist entity but rather went to what is even far more dangerous, as in military and security agreements with the Israeli occupation that threaten Arab national security.

Hamdadouche stressed that Arab national security should not be divided, adding that the Israeli occupation represents the real danger to Arab national security, in addition to water and food security, which are tools of the struggle with “Israel”.
In the same context, he underlined that “normalization with the Zionist entity is condemned, rejected, and criminalized by us, even if it comes from political Islam or from any religious Fatwa or any legal text.”
Hamdadouche said that Algeria would have wanted to criminalize normalization if this decision was within its jurisdiction, adding that “it seems that there was a settlement that took place during the Arab summit, which requires reducing Algeria’s rhetoric against normalization in exchange for withdrawing the Iran or Turkey file from consultations.”
Hamas’ choice to return to Syria is strategic
In a separate context, the Algerian spokesperson indicated that when Hamas raised the issue of resuming relations with Syria, Algeria’s response was the necessity of positioning the movement within the Axis of Resistance in the region, away from the controversial points in the Syrian or Lebanese internal affairs.

Hamdadouche pointed out that some Arab countries did not only stop supporting the resistance against the Zionist entity, but rather categorized the Palestinian Resistance factions as “terrorist organizations”.

In this context, Hamdadouche hoped that Syria will return to its natural position, which, despite all that it has been subjected to from some Arab states and the international community, has remained faithful to the Palestinian cause.

He also highlighted that the Lebanese resistance against the Zionist enemy has honored the Arab nation.

Riots in Iran in the interest of “Israel” and the US

Regarding the Iranian role, Hamdadouche said, Iran has an undeniable history with the Resistance, adding that Hamas asserts that Iran’s support is unconditional and the proof is that when the movement severed its relations with Syria, Iran did not stop its support for the Palestinian Resistance movement.

Commenting on the recent riots in Iran, the spokesperson said that the attempt to target and weaken Iran, in which regional and global powers are allied, will be in the interest of the Zionist entity and the US, who will have no mercy on the Arab region if Iran falls.

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Hezbollah Fighters Salute Palestinian Comrades-in-Arms

 October 28, 2022

Hezbollah fighters saluting Palestine’s flag

After Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah saluted Palestinian resistance heroes in West Bank and Al-Quds and lauded martyr Udai Al-Tamimi who carried out Shuafat shooting and was martyred in another operation he had carried out ten days after being on run, the Islamic Resistance fighters sent similar greeting to the comrades-in-arms in Palestine.

Hezbollah war media department released a video that shows Hezbollah fighters performing the military salutation to Palestine’s flag and, consequently, to the Palestinian Resistance fighters in the occupied West Bank.

The video starts with an audio excerpt from Sayyed Nasrallah’s Thursday speech during which his eminence greets all the Palestinian resistance groups, including Nablus’ Lions’ Den ans well as Jenin Battalion, and stressed that all resistance acts carried out by these heroes “undermine the Zionist entity.”

The Islamic Resistance fighters then chanted a military salutation to entire Palestine, including Gaza and occupied West Bank.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Hamas, Islamic Jihad Urge Unity Against ‘Israel’

October 23, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad resistance movements highlighted the need to boost unity and escalate military confrontation with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime amid a new wave of ‘Israeli’ aggression against Palestinians.

A meeting was held on Friday in the Lebanese capital of Beirut between a Hamas delegation led by Fathi Hammad, a member of the group’s political bureau, and an Islamic Jihad delegation led by Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhala.

The sides affirmed that the liberation of Palestinian lands at this stage requires efforts to unify the resistance forces, escalate the confrontation with the occupying forces, and force the regime to retreat from all Palestinian soil, Palestine Today reported.

They also stressed that al-Quds is the “eternal capital” of Palestine and will remain a symbol of unity for the Palestinian people. 

The meeting comes a few days after a historic visit between Hamas officials and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

A high-ranking Palestinian delegation met with Assad on Wednesday, in the first such visit in more than a decade as the two sides seek to revitalize their ties.

Deputy chief of the Hamas political bureau in the besieged Gaza Strip, Khalil al-Hayya, who headed the delegation, said the spirit of resistance was resurrected within the Arab world following their historic visit to Damascus.

“The relations with Syria will give strength to the Axis of Resistance and to all the believers in the resistance,” al-Hayya said.

The efforts to boost resistance come as the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

Meanwhile, emboldened by the military forces, Zionists occupying the illegal settlements have also been involved in attacks against Palestinian people and neighborhoods.

On Thursday night, the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces shot dead 19-year-old Salah Braiki during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp north of the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, WAFA News Agency reported that a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager was in critical condition after the Zionist forces fired bullets at his abdomen in Qalqilia, West Bank, on Friday.

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Washington warns against reconciliation between Hamas and Damascus

The resumption of ties between Hamas and Syria is a symbolic victory for the resistance, as relations were strained for years following the start of the war

October 21 2022

GAZA CITY, THE GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE – 2018/12/16: A masked Palestinian seen holding a flag during the rally. Palestinians take part in a rally marking the 31st anniversary of Hamas’ founding, in Gaza City. (Photo by Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

ByNews Desk

On 20 October, the US denounced and warned against the current reconciliation process between Syria and Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, stating that the group’s communication with Damascus will reinforce its “isolation” and undermine the interests of Palestinians.

“The Assad regime’s outreach to this terrorist organization only reinforces for us its isolation,” State Department spokesman, Ned Price, told media.

“It harms the interests of the Palestinian people and it undercuts global efforts to counterterrorism in the region and beyond,” he said, adding that Washington will “continue rejecting any support to rehabilitate the Assad regime, particularly from designated terrorist organizations like Hamas.”

Relations between Damascus and the Palestinian resistance group took a sour turn in 2012, a year after the start of the US-backed war in Syria, when Hamas publicly denounced the Syrian government and announced its solidarity with the opposition that had by that time already become aligned with extremist elements.

In 2013, Hamas operatives fought alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions and Jabhat al-Nusra against Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) during the battle of al-Qusayr, in western Syria near the Lebanese border.

The ties between Hamas and the axis of resistance were strained for years after the group’s involvement in the Syrian war. Regardless of this, Hezbollah never condemned Hamas for what was seen by many as a huge betrayal, and in 2013 held meetings with the group’s representatives in a bid to ease tensions.

In recent years, Hamas made a number of attempts to resume ties with the Syrian government, despite the non-compliance of Damascus. On 25 July, however, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah revealed to Al-Mayadeen his personal interest in bringing the two together.

Relations between Hezbollah and Hamas had already thawed at this point, especially in light of the high-level coordination which took place between the two groups during the 2021 Sayf al-Quds battle fought between the Palestinian resistance factions and Israel.

In June of this year, a Hamas delegation reportedly visited Syria and met with officials in a bid to rebuild their relationship.

On 15 September, Hamas disclosed in a press statement that it has officially resumed its relations with Syria after ten years of tension. A month later, President Bashar al-Assad received a Hamas delegation and held a “warm” meeting in Damascus.

“The meeting with Assad is a glorious day, and from now on, we will resume our presence in Damascus to work alongside the Syrian people to regain the country’s stability,” the group’s deputy leader, Khalil al-Hayya said at the time, denouncing all aggression and threats against the country’s territorial integrity.

The reconciliation between Hamas and Syria signifies the return of Damascus into the regional fold, and is expected to be met with further criticism and rejection by Washington and its allies, particularly Israel.

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Hezbollah, Ansar Allah hails courage against the Israeli killing machine

20 Oct 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Lebanese Hezbollah stresses that resistance operations show that the Israeli occupation is nothing but a temporary entity.

Hezbollah expressed its great pride in Palestinian martyr Uday Al-Tamimi

Hezbollah expressed on Thursday its great pride in Palestinian martyr Uday Al-Tamimi and the confrontations that he fought alone against the Zionist killing machine, terrorism, and occupation.

In a statement, Hezbollah praised Al-Tamimi’s courage and heroism throughout the confrontations, as well as his field superiority over the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), despite the large-scale operation that the IOF carried out to arrest one Resistance fighter.

Palestinian martyr Uday Al-Tamimi

The Lebanese Resistance movement considered that Al-Tamimi’s determination shows the strength and solidity of the Palestinian people, in addition to their willingness to offer sacrifices in defense of their land and holy sites.

Hezbollah stressed that the martyr’s blood and his luminous words constitute a beacon to the new generations and to all the brave fighters of the heroic Palestinian people, adding that the heroic operations are a revolution and an act of resistance that will not subside until the liberation of all of Palestine from the sea to the river.

The statement also affirmed that the recent Palestinian operations confirm once again that the hateful racist Israeli occupation is nothing but a temporary entity, adding that the righteous martyrs pave with their blood the path toward complete liberation.

Read more: Lion’s Den targets IOF in response to Uday Al-Tamimi’s martyrdom

Ansar Allah: “Israel” must realize it is incapable of breaking Palestinian will 

On its part, the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement hailed the heroic operations in occupied Palestine, the latest of which is the operation of Palestinian hero Uday Al-Tamimi.

In a statement, Ansar Allah said Al-Tamimi exhibited utmost courage during the confrontation, despite the brutal enemy’s capabilities, stressing that the Israeli occupation must realize that it is totally incapable of breaking the will of the Palestinian people and its resisting youth.

In the same context, the Joint Meeting parties in Sanaa mourned Al-Tamimi, pointing out that the martyr has devoted himself to teaching the Zionist enemy entity harsh and unforgettable lessons through the two heroic operations that revealed the occupation’s inability and weakness.

The statement said that before his martyrdom, Al-Tamimi wrote a will, in which he confirmed that his motive for carrying out the two operations was to mobilize hundreds of Palestinian youth against the Zionist occupation.

Ansar Allah hails restoration of relations between Syria & Hamas

In a separate context, Ansar Allah’s Political Bureau hailed the restoration of relations between Syria and the Hamas movement, indicating that the step serves the interest of the Palestinian cause and enhances the strength of the Axis of Resistance.

It is noteworthy that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad received on Wednesday a delegation of Palestinian factions, including Hamas – for the first time since 2012.

The deputy leader of the Hamas movement in Gaza, Khalil Al-Hayya, said the meeting with Al-Assad was warm, adding that the Syrian President expressed his determination to provide all support from Syria to the Palestinian people and their Resistance.

Al-Hayya indicated that Hamas is restoring its relationship with Syria with the unanimity of the movement’s leadership and the conviction of the correctness of this path.

Read more: 

البحر الأبيض المتوسط وفرص إضعاف الحصار على لبنان وغزَّة

22:09  الجمعة 14 تشرين الأول 2022

البحر الأبيض المتوسط وفرص إضعاف الحصار على لبنان وغزَّة

عمرو علان 

من المعلوم أن عمليات الإعداد وتطوير القدرات التسليحية للقوى العسكرية لا تكون بطريقة اعتباطية.

رغم دخول الحروب العصرية مرحلة “حروب الجيل الخامس”، بحسب تقديرات البعض، والحديث المتزايد عن دور الذكاء الاصطناعي في حروب المستقبل، بما يوحي أحياناً بأنَّ الحرب باتت مختلفة في الجوهر عن حروب الحقب الماضية، فإنَّ واقع الحال يشير إلى عدم تبدُّل الأهداف الإستراتيجية للنزاعات الدولية كثيراً، فتأمين مصادر الطاقة والسيطرة على ممرات النقل، لا سيما البحرية منها، ما زال يؤدي دوراً حاسماً في صعود القوى الدولية وهبوطها.

لذلك، خلال المرحلة الدولية الراهنة التي يتم فيها رسم معالم نظام عالمي جديد، ويترتب على نتيجة مسار الأحداث فيها صعود حضارات وهبوط أخرى، نجد أنَّ القوى الدولية الكبرى، وتلك الإقليمية الفاعلة، تولي عملية التحكّم في المضائق والممرات المائية الحيوية اهتماماً خاصاً، كمضيقي هرمز وباب المندب، وبحري آزوف والأبيض المتوسط، ولا يبدو أنَّ تبدُّلاً حقيقياً سيطرأ على هذه الأهداف الإستراتيجية للنزاعات الدوليَّة قبل أن تصل الحضارة الإنسانية إلى مستوى “النوع الأول” من الحضارات على “مقياس كارداشيف لتصنيف الحضارات”، وقبل أن تقطع شوطاً معتبراً فيه على أقل تقدير، وذلك لن يتحقق إلا لقرون قادمة.

من هنا، نلحظ أن خيار تطوير القدرات الهجومية العسكرية البحرية التي أولتها دول “محور المقاومة” وحركاته اهتماماً ملموساً في السنوات الأخيرة ضمن تكتيكاتها القتالية بات يعطي مفاعيله في عمليات رسم معادلات الحرب وتحقيق المكاسب الميدانية. 

وقد تجلى ذلك في عدَّة محطات مهمة خلال الأعوام الماضية. مثلاً، كانت قدرات إيران العسكرية البحرية قد شكَّلت إحدى وسائل الردع الفعَّالة التي اعتمدتها في مواجهة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، لثنيها عن الإقدام على عدوان عسكري عليها، إذ كان باستطاعة إيران في تلك الحالة تعطيل حركة الملاحة عبر مضيق هرمز؛ ذلك الممر المائي الحيوي الذي يمر عبره ما يزيد على 20% من صادرات موارد الطاقة الأحفورية في العالم.

وفي محطة مهمة أخرى، نجد أنَّ التنافس على السيطرة على مضيق “باب المندب” يعد واحداً من الخلفيات الرئيسة للحرب التي تشنها السعودية على اليمن. لذلك، كان من ضمن إستراتيجية صنعاء العسكرية تطوير قدرات بحرية هجومية مؤثرة يمكن الاعتماد عليها في التأثير في حركة الملاحة البحرية في باب المندب والبحر الأحمر.

أما في لبنان، وفي محطة ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع العدو، وسعي الدولة اللبنانية لفرض حقّها في استخراج الغاز الطبيعي من حقول شرقي المتوسط واستثماره، نجد أنَّ قدرات حزب الله البحرية الهجومية كان لها الدور الحاسم في حصول الدولة اللبنانية على مسودة تفاهم حول ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع العدو، وحول حقّه في استخراج موارده الغازية واستثمارها، بصرف النظر عن الجدل القائم حول إذا ما كانت تلك المسودة قد أعطت للبنان كامل حقوقه.

 ما يهم في هذا المقام، بعيداً من النقاش الدائر حول خطوط الترسيم البحرية اللبنانية: الخط 29، والخط 23، وخط “فريدريك هوف”، والخط “الإسرائيلي” رقم 1 البري، بعيداً من هذا النقاش، على أهميته ووجاهته، يبقى واقع الحال أن الكيان الموقّت ما كان ليعطي لبنان أياً من حقوقه لولا تلويح حزب الله بقدراته البحرية العسكرية.

ولولا إمكانات حزب الله البحرية العسكرية تلك، القادرة على استهداف مصادر استخراج الطاقة في شرقي المتوسط، والقادرة على عرقلة حركة نقل الطاقة عبر البحر الأبيض المتوسط أيضاً، ما كان الأميركي في وارد السماح للبنان بالاستفادة من ثرواته من الغاز الطبيعي، بما يتضمَّنه ذلك من ضرب لأساسات سياسة الحصار غير المعلن التي ينتهجها الأميركي ضد لبنان منذ حين.

إذاً، بناءً على الوقائع السالفة الذكر، يمكن أن نخلص إلى أنَّ الجهد الذي صرفته دول وحركات المقاومة على تعزيز قدراتها البحرية العسكرية وحسن توظيف تلك القدرات تكتيكياً في الميدان أثمر نتائج ملموسةً في مصلحتها، وحقّق لها مكاسب ميدانيةً وسياسيةً، ولا سيما في الحالة اللبنانية. وبناءً على هذه الخلاصة، يبرز تساؤلٌ عما إذا كان من الممكن لفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية الاستفادة من هذه التجارب في فك الحصار المفروض على غزة.

بدايةً، من المعلوم أن عمليات الإعداد وتطوير القدرات التسليحية للقوى العسكرية لا تكون بطريقة اعتباطية، بل تكون استجابةً للإستراتيجيات والتكتيكات العسكرية المرسومة، وضمن الإمكانات المتاحة وظروف الميدان؛ فمن خلال تتبع مسيرة دول “محور المقاومة” وحركاتها نجد أنها عملت منذ البدايات على توظيف سلاح “صواريخ أرض أرض” بطريقة مميزة، بهدف التغلب على معضلة التفوق الجوي الكاسح لمصلحة العدو. وقد كان ذلك ضمن إستراتيجية “الحرب غير المتكافئة” الشاملة التي اعتمدتها قوى المقاومة في مواجهة الأعداء عموماً.

وقد تم تعميم تجربة “صواريخ أرض أرض” بعد نجاحها في جنوب لبنان إبان الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، فصارت إيران بعد ذلك من أكبر القوى الإقليمية من ناحية قدراتها الصاروخية، وباتت فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزَّة تتمتع بقدرة صاروخية يحسب لها الحساب، إذ استنسخت تكتيكات إطلاق الصواريخ من منصات مخفية وتحت الأرض.

وعقب حرب لبنان في تموز/يوليو 2006، التي اختبر فيها حزب الله بنجاح باهر تكتيكات ميدانية ضد سلاح المدرّعات الإسرائيلي، وذلك باستخدام سلاح “كورنيت” الروسي المضاد للدروع، اتخذ قائد حرس الثورة الإسلامية آنذاك، الشهيد اللواء قاسم سليماني، قراراً بنقل تلك التجربة إلى فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة، بالتعاون مع كل من حزب الله والدولة السورية التي زودت القطاع بهذا النوع من السلاح من مخزون الجيش العربي السوري في ذلك الوقت. وقد كان لتكتيك استخدام سلاح “كورنيت” في القطاع دورٌ أساسيٌ في تحديد نتائج حروب غزَّة اللاحقة.

أما راهناً، وفي ظلِّ التوتر الدولي القائم حول الطاقة، وحول الممرات البحرية لنقلها، وارتفاع أهمية أسلحة البحر الهجومية بناءً على ذلك التوتر، ربما بات من المجدي أن تبدأ فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينيّة، وبالتعاون مع أركان “محور المقاومة”، بتسخير الموارد من أجل تعزيز قدرات القطاع البحرية العسكريّة، سواء بالعتاد المطلوب أو بالتقنيات اللازمة لتصنيع العتاد المناسب؛ فإذا كان “محور المقاومة” قد نجح في هذه العملية في اليمن، فلا بد من وجود إمكانية لتكرار الأمر في غزة.

ويدور الحديث هنا بالنسبة إلى غزَّة عن خطة متوسطة المدى أو قصيرة المدى في أفضل الأحوال، بحسب ظروف الميدان، إلا إذا كانت غزَّة قد تسلَّحت بالفعل على هذا الصعيد، مع العلم بأن لا مؤشرات تدل على هذا الأمر.

في كلِّ الأحوال، لا يجوز إهمال أمرين مفصليين عند التفكير في تكتيك استخدام البحر كوسيلة لتخفيف الحصار عن غزة، قياساً على تجربة حزب الله الأخيرة في لبنان. أولاً، لا يجوز بحال تجاهل حقيقة أنَّ حساب “موازين القوى” يختلف إلى حد بعيد من عدة أوجه بين الساحتين اللبنانية والفلسطينية.

لا ينسحب هذا على صعيد قدرة حزب الله التسليحية المتفوقة نوعاً وكماً فحسب، والفروق في طبيعة الميدان التي تتيح للحزب هامشاً أعظم في المناورة، واستفادة الحزب من خطوط إمداد فعالة، لكن أيضاً يجب أن يوضع بالاعتبار، عند حساب “موازين القوى”، حساسية ساحة فلسطين بالنسبة إلى الاحتلال مقارنةً بأي ساحة “معادية” أخرى، فسقف المعادلات التي يمكن إرغام الإسرائيلي على تجرُّعها من دون الدخول في جولة حرب قاسية يعد أعلى من السقف الذي يمكنه قبوله في فلسطين من دون الدخول في حرب يكون من شأنها تبديل التوازنات القائمة بصورة جوهرية.

وبناءً عليه، يمكن القول إنَّ المراهنة على السلاح البحري الهجومي وحده تعد مراهنةً واقعيةً، إذا ما كان الهدف هو تخفيف الحصار، لا إنهاءه بشكل كلِّي عن القطاع، مع أنَّ تخفيف الحصار، الذي يمكن لفصائل المقاومة في غزَّة تحقيقه في هذه الحال، وضمن الظروف الإقليمية والدولية الراهنة، قابلٌ لأن يكون تخفيفاً حقيقياً وذا آثار ملموسة على حياة سكان القطاع.

أما الأمر الثاني، فهو أنه لا يجوز بأي حال أن يتحول تكتيك تطوير السلاح البحري الهجومي في غزَّة إلى بديل من تكتيك المقاومة في تفعيل العمل المقاوم في الضفة، فساحة الضفة لا تزال تحظى بموقع الصدارة من الناحية الإستراتيجية في مشروع التحرير المركزي، ناهيك بأنه ضمن ظروف العدو الموضوعية المستجدة، وضمن تراجع القبضة الأمنية لسلطة “التنسيق الأمني” في رام الله، إضافة إلى الظروف الإقليمية والدولية الراهنة المحيطة، بات من الممكن لساحة الضفة تحقيق إنجاز يفوق بكثير أي إنجاز يمكن لساحة غزَّة تحقيقه على مستوى المشروع الوطني.

ختاماً، يفتح الاشتباك العالمي الدائر بين الدول العظمى آفاقاً جديدةً أمام فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، بما يجعل فرص تخفيف مفاعيل الحصار المفروض على غزَّة بصورة ملموسة أكثر واقعيةً، وذلك عبر المناورة على عقدة الطاقة والممرات المائية، لكن يبقى إنهاء الحصار عن غزَّة بصورة كلية أمراً يلزمه تغيير في “موازين القوى” الحاكمة حالياً، والطريق الأقصر لذلك، والأكثر جدوى وطنياً وإستراتيجياً، يمر عبر تصعيد الفعل المقاوم في الضفة، وتحويل المقاومة فيها إلى حال يحاكي مقاومة غزة، وهذا بات أمراً متاحاً ضمن المستجدات الفلسطينية والإقليمية.

West Bank Ops Part of Armed Uprising, Zionists Have No Chance to Stay Living in Palestine – Islamic Jihad

October 11, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhala underlined that there is today a real and serious revolution in the face of the Zionist occupation in the occupied West Bank, adding that the Palestinian youths are united under a group of battalions that are distributed all over the West Bank, presenting a model in unity.

In an interview with al-Mayadeen network, Nakhala disclosed the great openness and unlimited coordination between the Islamic Jihad movement and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, making clear that this cooperation started after Operation ‘Tunnel of Freedom’ in the high-security ‘Israeli’ Gilboa Prison, which he said opened major horizons in front of the resistance groups in the occupied West Bank.

The Islamic Jihad leader also said: “What the heroes have achieved in the tunnel, and what was achieved on ground, represent a new phase of jihad,” pointing to that the Palestinian Authority has not changed its stance towards the state of resistance, yet there are significant categories from the Fatah Movement that embrace all the resistance men in the battlefield.

“What is taking place in the West Bank is part of a revolutionary process and an armed uprising in face of the Zionist scheme, and we are doing our best to escalate this uprising and push it forward in every direction,” the Islamic Jihad SG added.

“Our brothers are working to develop the capabilities of the resistance in the West Bank and to extend it to the occupied Palestinian territories since 1948,” he uncovered.

Nakhala ruled out the spontaneity of the ongoing uprising and armed resistance in the West Bank, explaining that naming the latest operation against the ‘Israeli’ occupation by ‘Unity of the Battlefields’ was intended, as it means the unity of all battlefields in Palestine and the entire Axis of Resistance.

“Operation Unity of the Battlefields was the mother of all battles for the Islamic Jihad, as it engaged in it alone,” Nakhala said, considering that among his strategic faults was to accept a ceasefire after 50 hours of fighting while the group was able to continue the battle.

We had the ability to continue the battle by ourselves for weeks, with the same performance and intensity, the Palestinian resistance leader explained, underlining that Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people and the Zionists have to learn that they have no chance to live in this place.

The Islamic Jihad leader also unveiled that “the group won’t stop its fight as long as the Zionist scheme exists. We won’t compromise, and we are in contact with the Yemeni Ansarullah movement which will have a major role in supporting the Palestinian resistance and people in practice.”

Palestine besiege its siege … the time of the third intifada?

Tomorrow starts today: Al Mayadeen marks 10 years with a new identity

10 October 2022 

Al-Mayadeen launches in its second decade with a new look in image, color and ink

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Ghassan Ben Jeddou 

Established under the presidency of late leader Hugo Chavez, teleSUR celebrates its 17th anniversary, at which Al Mayadeen CEO sent a letter of congratulations.

Al Mayadeen Media Network Ghassan Ben Jeddou, standing next to the President of teleSUR, Patricia Villegas.

On the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the launching of the Global South media outlet teleSURAl Mayadeen Media Network CEO, Mr. Ghassan Ben Jeddou, sent a heartening letter to the Venezuela-based television network, praising the steadfastness of the outlet’s vision and work against imperialist media.

TeleSUR was founded in 2005 – funded primarily by the Venezuelan government, as well as other neighboring countries in the region. It was launched under the presidency of revolutionary leader Hugo Chávez, who passed away in 2013. 

TeleSUR, like many alternative media outlets, challenges misleading neoliberal narratives that continue to demonize the struggles of the peoples of the Global South, push forward imperialist and exploitative narratives, and circulate war-mongering propaganda.

In his letter to the media outlet, Mr. Ghassan Ben Jeddou wrote: 

“The establishment of teleSUR was a strategic media event. It is not only an informative channel, in spite of its significant media role and success in Latin America and the world, but it was also indeed a bright and visionary decision from the internationalist leader, Hugo Chávez.

Today, on the anniversary of its establishment, we cannot but recall with much appreciation the channel’s journalistic professionalism, political commitment, strategic decisions, and humanitarian example. 

We extend our warm greetings to all the brave, creative, and resilient media workers in this steadfast outlet. Despite the numerous pressures that have been exerted against teleSUR, it is, however, still devoted to its values, and a reference for all the free peoples of the world. 

This is a tribute to the teleSUR administration on its success in cementing its position as one of the most important media outlets Worldwide.”

Moreover, Mr. Ben Jeddou extended his warm greetings to the President of teleSUR, Mrs. Patricia Villegas, remarking that “Patricia is not only a great president of a great channel, but she is also a media icon in the Global South and international community. 

With Patricia and teleSUR, we have established an influential, high-end, candid, professional, intellectual media partnership… We, at Al Mayadeen Media Network, will proceed in this cooperative partnership in full depth, strength, and a long-term vision.”

“The Al Mayadeen family yields heartful felicitations to all their friends and colleagues on the 17th anniversary of the establishment of teleSUR.

From the bottom of my heart, I extend to my colleagues at teleSUR, and to the dear captain of the ship Patricia, the most sincere congratulations. I do so with the conviction that this leading channel, whose headquarters are rooted in beautiful Caracas – the capital of victorious Venezuela over conspiracies, sanctions, blockades, and slander under the presidency of the unfaltering Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, resembles steadfast Venezuela, its great people, its vigorous leadership, and its iconic President.

Thus, teleSUR is destined to succeed, innovate, shine, and triumph.”

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لا حرب في الافق ووجود الكيان على الطاولة..!

الجمعة 7 تشرين الأول 2022


محمد صادق الحسيني

ما يحصل في موضوع البحر وثرواته وشد الحبال بين صاحب الحق والارض وهو لبنان ، وبين المغتصب لحقوق اهلنا في فلسطبن ولبنان هو انعكاس لتبدل موازين القوى على الارض لغير صالح تل ابيب وطغمتها الحاكمة اياً تكن تشكيلتها الحكومية.
والامر لا علاقة له باسم او صفة الحاكم الحالي في تل ابيب بقدر ماهو اختبار صعب المراس لكل الاسماء والرموز او الاحزاب او التكتلات المتنافسة الان عشية انتخابات الكنيست الصهيوني المرتقبة في الشهر المقبل.

فمعادلة الارض من غزة حتى الناقورة تقول ان المنتصر بدأ يفرض شروطه بالسياسة ايضاً، بعد او اوجع العدو في الميدان.

ولذلك فان ما صدرت من تحليلات سواء من جانب المنتصرين او من جانب المردوعبن بان : لبنان انتصر في ادارة مفاوضاته غير المباشرة مع العدو الصهيوني ، طبعا بفضل حزب الله والمقاومة ، صحيحة مائة بالمائة، ولا غبار عليها على الاطلاق .

نعم الحزب انتصر ولبنان انتصر
والكرة انتقلت الى الملعب الاسرائيلي شاء من شاء وابى من ابى، فهذه موازين قوى ميدانية ولا علاقة لها بالحب والبغض.

ومابدأنا نسمعه من اصوات وضجيج من الجانب الاخر ، بعد ان وصلت الورقة الامريكية المقترحة له ، لا ولن يغير شيئا مما بات واقعاً على الارض ، ولا خيار للعدو الا الرضوخ اليه ، أيا يكن الحاكم في تل ابيب ، لابيد او نتن ياهو ..!

وكل ما نسمعه الان في الاعلام ليس سوى بازار سياسي انتخابي سيتبدد شيئا فشيئا كلما اقتربنا من لحظة دفع الاثمان للمهزوم والمردوع.

ولا حرب في الافق رغم كل التهويلات ومبارزات طواحين الهواء الانتخابية.

من يتجه اليوم من بين صفوفنا الى الارتباك في التحليل او تقدير الموقف ، معتبرا اننا استعجلنا يوم قلنا باننا انتصرنا بالمفاوضات ، هو الذي يخطئ ، بل و يرتكب خطأً فادحاً اضافياً.

لانه يكون قد استجاب عمليا لرغبة العدو للعب في ملعبه دون ان يدري.

*فنحن لا نلعب الا في ملعبنا*

‏والمشكلة الان هي عند عدونا المرتبك

فلماذا نتبرع بنقلها الى مربعنا..!؟

‏لابيد كان او نتن ياهو حاكم تل ابيب

‏ثمة ٣ حبال تلف حول عنق الطغمة الحاكمة في تل ابيب او تلك المتحفزة لانتزاع الحكم من خصمها، وهي اشبه بالشرنقة التي تلف حول عنقه :

‏١- خوف جيشه من الحرب المرعبة فيما لو اندلعت، وهي التي تشي باحتمال خسارته لوجوده فيها هذه المرة وليس فقط خسارته للحرب.

‏٢- حاجة سيدته امريكا الملحة للطاقة وهي المرتبكة من اوكرانيا الى باب المندب مرورا بهرمز.

‏٣- جمهوره الناخب، الذي لم يعد يثق ليس فقط بحكامه ، بل حتى بجيشه الذي هو اساس وجوده.

فالكيان الذي لطالما ظهر على المسرح الاقليمي والدولي بانه صاحب الجيش الذي لا يقهر ، تراه يظهر لاول مرة امام جمهور الناخبين بانه جيش المهزومين من الساسة الذين يظهرون للناخب الاسرائيلي ولاول مرة ايضا على حقيقتهم :

*كيان هزيل ومردوع اقيم على اسطورة جيش كان يوما لا يقهر فاصبح اليوم لا يقوى على الوقوف على كلتا قدميه*

هذه الحبال الشرنقات الثلاث هي التي تلف اليوم حول رقاب المتنافسين على اكثرية الكنيست الصهيوني اليوم، فتظهر على شكل ادعاءات او تهويلات وهمية سيظلوا يطلقونها من الان حتى حين ، لمنع تكسر عظام رقبتهم ، وعلى امل وصول العون من سيدهم الامريكي في اللحظة المرجوة.

لكن سيدهم هذا هو الاخر كما هم بات مردوعا من اقاصي الشرق الى اقاصي الشرق، ولا حيلة له الا ركوبها…!

‏*فمحور المقاومة بات يتقن ليس فنون القتال فحسب ، بل و شد الحبال حول الرقاب ايضاً*

*بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله*

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Critical Days in Maritime Demarcation File, Iran Stronger than Ever

October 2, 2022

By Al-Ahed news

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Saturday a speech commemorating the memory of Sayyed Mohammad Ali Al-Amin.

As he praised the noble traits of the late cleric, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that “The true history of our countries and nations is known through our clerics.”

His Eminence further urged collective efforts to preserve our history as “Much of what has been written is an imagined and assumed history.”

“His Eminence lived the incidents including the establishment of the usurping entity, the displacement of Palestinian people, the 1967 war and the successive ‘Israeli’ aggressions on Lebanon, the latest of which was the 206 aggression,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

On the same level, the Resistance Leader called for preserving the blessing of the Resistance. “We must not be affected with the voices that don’t suggest any other alternative,” he added, noting that “The current sense of security and dignity in the south was a victory created in Lebanon and by its people.

Denouncing the fact that “There are no values, ethics or international law in this world, which is governed by the law of the jungle,” His Eminence reminded that “The calmness the people enjoy today, especially the southerners, has been made in Lebanon at the hands of the men of Resistance; this Resistance has presented tangible victories and achievements.”

Moving to the Palestinian front, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “The Palestinians have no choice other than resistance as they have turned desperate from negotiations while the Resistance in the West Bank, Gaza, and all regions is rising.”

On the maritime demarcation negotiations with “Israel”, he considered that the written proposal that was presented to the Lebanese presidencies forms a “a very important step.”

“Following months of political, field, and media resistance, today the Lebanese heads of state received the written proposal on the issue of the maritime border demarcation,” His Eminence clarified, pointing out that “The importance of what happened today is that there is a written text and not just mere words.”

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that “We’ll be facing a decisive week on the level of the maritime border demarcation between Lebanon and the occupied Palestine as the Lebanese authorities prepare their response to an offer that could “open up wide horizons for the Lebanese people.”

“We can extract our resources when we benefit from our strength and unity. We hope that things finally turn good in favor of Lebanon and all the Lebanese people; which in case achieved will open wide horizons to the people of Lebanon. When we stand together and use our available elements of strength we can reach good results,” he added.

He further mentioned that if a deal was reached, it wouldn’t be a result of the US and “Israeli” “generosity” but rather the result of “Lebanon’s strength”.

Regarding the internal Lebanese front, Hezbollah Secretary General viewed that “Holding the session to vote on electing a President of the Republic was an important issue and the turnout confirms what we have been saying that no political alliance in Lebanon possesses the majority.”

“Thursday’s parliamentary session stressed that those who want to elect a president for Lebanon must shun the approach of confrontation and the presidents and candidates of confrontation,” he elaborated.

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah wondered “How would a country be run by a president who wants to challenge a major part of the Lebanese people given the deep crisis in the country and the global developments?”

He, thus, urged the political forces to “consult among each other and activate their contacts in the coming period in order to reach a choice the enjoys a majority in parliament.”

“We are short on time regarding the formation of the Lebanese government,” The resistance Leader warned, adding that “The illegal emigration on the boats of death is almost a crime, and we call on serious and judicial investigation on this level.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned that “The state of ‘Daesh’ [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist ‘ISIS’ group] has collapsed, but ‘Daesh’ as a scheme, organization, and tool still exist.”

“The extent of the US breach of Daesh is huge and a big part of this organization has been transferred to Afghanistan where we are witnessing what is taking place there,” he elaborated.

Moving to the Iranian scene, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that “The United States exploits any incident in Iran in order to provoke the nation against the Islamic establishment, the latest of which is the protests that have broken out following Ms. Amini’s tragic death.”

He also lamented the fact that “The world was moved because an Iranian lady who died in unclear circumstances but turned a blind eye to 50 martyrs in Afghanistan.”

“US-backed vandals took advantage of the unclear circumstances surrounding her death to challenge the Islamic Republic after their so-called campaign of maximum pressure dismally failed,” he said, recalling that “‘Daesh’ was made by the US, and the US intelligence apparatuses are still protecting, facilitating its funding, and transferring more members to it.”

His Eminence went on to warn that “The aim behind imposing sanctions on Iran is to incite the people against the Islamic regime, as it is in Lebanon to incite the people against the Resistance.”

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “The US’ cruel sanctions against Iranians were meant to pit the people against the Islamic state. The successive US administrations have realized that Iran is a strong, dignified and capable country; and that explains why it doesn’t dare to wage a war on the country and restores to agitating internal disputes.”

“Iran enjoys great capabilities, so the US uses all tools to incite provocations against the Islamic Republic. Western and Gulf media outlets are working to incite the Iranian people against the Islamic state, he said, noting that “The US administrations have established troll armies across social media platforms to undermine Iran, but all to no avail.”

“The global media viewed those who took to the streets in the recent events as the Iranian people, but when millions took to the streets in support of the Islamic regime they turned silent, he stressed.

However, His Eminence assured that “All the schemes are unable to harm the Islamic Republic of Iran because of the nation’s readiness to make sacrifices. It is enough for those fools to watch the Iranian people’s commemorations of the different occasions, and the historic funeral of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani to see the will of the Iranian people. The blessed Islamic Republic of Iran is stronger and braver than ever. The Islamic Republic, with its Leader and people, could not be defeated

“Iran does not have any colonial intentions in the Middle East region. The Islamic Republic cannot be defeated, and holding bitter enmity towards it will cause huge losses for the entire Muslim world,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

He also criticized some Iraqi groups for forgetting about the tremendous and heroic sacrifices made by General Qassem Soleimani: “How would the Iraqis befriend Saudi Arabia that sent 5000 suicide bombers to their country? How would the Iraqis forget Iran’s support with arms and money to defend Iraq against ‘Daesh’? Hadn’t been for Iran after the ‘Camp David Agreement’, where would Palestine and al-Quds have been? And where would have Lebanon and ‘Israel’ been?”

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‘Regime change’ in Hamas and a return to Syria

The removal of Khaled Meshaal from power was necessary for normalization with Damascus to occur

September 26 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By The Cradle’s Palestine Correspondent

In mid-September, Palestinian resistance movement Hamas issued a statement indicating that it had restored relations with Syria after ten years of estrangement, effectively ending its self-imposed exile from Damascus.

After the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in March 2011, at the height of the so-called Arab Spring, Hamas – in line with its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) – turned its back on its once-staunch Syrian ally and threw its support behind the mostly-Islamist “revolution.”

As governments collapsed in key Arab states, the Ikhwan felt the time was ripe for their organization to ascend to a leadership role from Gaza to Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Syria.

Yet the decision by Hamas’ leadership to leave Damascus was met with strong opposition from influential circles within the movement, especially in its military arm, the Al-Qassam Brigades.

Despite Hamas’ official position toward Syria, internal opposition to the break in relations remained for years, most notably from Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar, and a number of Al-Qassam Brigades leaders such as Muhammad al-Deif, Marwan Issa, Ahmad al-Jabari and Yahya al-Sinwar.

Today, that balance has shifted notably. Sinwar is currently Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip, and his alliance is in strong ascendence within the movement.

From Amman to Damascus to Doha

But back in 2011, the person with the final say over the decision to abandon its Syrian ally was the then-head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal.

Meshaal was the director of the Hamas office in Amman in 1999 when the Jordanian government decided to expel him. He travelled between the airports of a number of Arab capitals, which refused to receive him, under the pretext that there were agreements with a superpower requiring his extradition.

Only Damascus agreed to receive him. Despite the tension that historically prevailed in the Syrian state’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, Meshaal was given freedom to work and built a personal relationship with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. In the years that followed, Hamas was granted facilities and resources that it did not enjoy in any other Arab capital.

Syria opened its doors to train hundreds of resistance fighters from the Al-Qassam Brigades and to manufacture quality weapons, such as missiles and reconnaissance drones.

One Syrian source told The Cradle that the privileges enjoyed by Hamas leaders and members in Syria were not available even to Syrian citizens. In addition to the high cost of Meshaal’s residence and security in Damascus, the state provided him and his associates with dozens of luxury homes in the capital’s most affluent neighborhoods.

Syria was also at the forefront of countries that facilitated the arrival of high-quality weapons into the besieged Gaza Strip. A source in the resistance tells The Cradle that the first Kornet missile to reach Gaza between 2009 and 2011 came from Syria with the approval of President Assad, and was received by then-Chief of Staff of Al-Qassam Brigades Ahmed al-Jabari.

Also crucial to the Palestinian resistance was the arrival of Iranian and Russian missiles that entered Gaza via Syrian arms depots.

Meshaal chooses Doha

It is important to recognize that while the decision to leave Damascus was not by any means unanimously agreed upon within Hamas, as political bureau chief, it was ultimately Meshaal’s call.

A Hamas source informed The Cradle that in September 2011, six months after the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, Meshaal received an invitation from the Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, to visit Doha. Recall that Qatar was one of the first states to fund and arm the Islamist opposition in the brutal Syrian war.

According to al-Thani’s estimates, the “Syrian revolution” was likely to end in the overthrow of the Assad government. He is reported to have advised Meshaal to abandon the sinking ship, so to speak, because if the rebellion is successful, “those who stayed with him [Assad] will drown, as happened with the late President Yasser Arafat, when Saddam Hussein was defeated in Gulf War,” the source described.

In an attempt to win over Hamas from Iran’s patronage, al-Thani offered to financially support the movement and to provide a geographical space for operations in the Qatari capital and in Turkish territory.

Meshaal is said to have informed his host that such a decision could not be taken unilaterally, and that he needed to refer to Hamas’ Political Bureau and Shura Council for buy-in.

Internal dissent 

On his way back to Damascus, Meshaal made pit stops in a number of regional countries to inform Hamas’ leadership of the Qatari offer. Suffice it to say, the deal was rejected by the majority of members of the Political Bureau and the Al-Qassam Brigades.

The Hamas source says: “The second man in Al-Qassam, Ahmad Al-Jabari, rejected the treachery against the Syrian leadership, along with Mahmoud al-Zahar, Ali Baraka, Imad al-Alami, Mustafa al-Ladawi, and Osama Hamdan.

On the other hand, Meshaal had the support of Musa Abu Marzouk, Ahmed Yousef, Muhammad Ghazal, Ghazi Hamad and Ahmed Bahr, in addition to a number of the movement’s sheikhs such as Younis al-Astal, Saleh Al-Raqab, and Ahmed Nimr Hamdan, while the head of the Hamas government in Gaza at the time, Ismail Haniyeh, did not have a decisive position.

Meshaal’s opponents were of the opinion that as Hamas is a resistance movement, it would be ill-advised to sever ties with the region’s Axis of Resistance – Iran, Hezbollah and Syria – and that leaving this alliance left little options other than to join the “Axis of Normalization” [with Israel].

Meshaal then received a call from Kamal Naji, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), in which he was informed that the Syrians “are aware of all the details of your visit to Qatar, and of the discussion taking place in the Hamas leadership.”

According to the source, Naji advised Meshaal that Hamas “will not find a warm embrace like Syria, and that despite its historical disagreement with the Muslim Brotherhood, Damascus will not ask Hamas to take any declared position on the Syrian crisis.”

The source in Hamas told The Cradle: “The Qataris felt that Meshaal was unable to take such a fateful stance.” At this point, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (considered to be the spiritual guide of the Ikhwan) intervened to pressure both Haniyeh and Abu Marzouk, who had not yet made up their minds.

Fateful meetings

Meshaal was later invited to visit Turkey, where he met leaders of Syrian armed groups, accompanied by the Qatari Minister of Intelligence and officers from Turkish intelligence.

They convinced him that “a few steps separate the opposition from the Republican Palace in the Mezzeh neighborhood of Damascus, and that the days of the Assad regime are numbered.”

The meeting of Hamas’ political bureau in Sudan was the turning point. In that gathering, to the surprise of some participants, both Haniyeh and Abu Marzouk weighed in to side with Meshaal, and it was decided to “discreetly” withdraw from Damascus.

After the decision was taken, the Qataris worked to further enhance Meshaal’s position within Hamas, through an extraordinary visit by the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, to the Gaza Strip – the first for an Arab head of state. During this visit, al-Thani provided generous support with more than $450 million provided for reconstruction and the implementation of development projects.

Hamas’ fateful decision to abandon Damascus, however, was not met with the same enthusiasm by the movement’s military wing, who believed the move made little strategic sense.

Back to Damascus

In the following years, major regional changes contributed to the downfall of Khaled Meshaal and his removal from his position leading Hamas’ Political Bureau.

The Syrian state remained steadfast in the face of collective NATO-Gulf efforts to unseat Assad; Russian military intervention altered the battlefield balance of power; the Syrian political and armed opposition began to disintegrate and suffer heavy losses; the Ikhwan’s rule in Egypt and its control over Libya and Tunisia began to collapse; and a stand-off with Qatar caused Saudi Arabia and the UAE to alter their position on Syria.

With these stunning regional setbacks, it quickly became apparent that neither Qatari nor Turkish support offered any real strategic value for Hamas’ resistance model – nor could they hope to fill the void left by the reduction in Iranian and Syrian military support.

Moreover, Al-Qassam Brigades found itself facing severe financial difficulties, unable to secure the salaries of its members, let alone sustain any meaningful armed resistance against Israel’s continuous assaults and occupation.

At the time, Hamas’ revenues were derived mainly from taxes imposed on Gaza’s residents, while Qatari support, under US supervision, was limited to providing the expenses of the Hamas leadership in Qatar, and providing seasonal financial grants to government employees in Gaza.

Meshaal’s fall from power  

Cumulatively, these events and the stagnation of the Palestinian resistance convinced Hamas’ leadership of the need to reshuffle its regional cards. The freed prisoner, Yahya al-Sinwar, was the initial spark to revamp a fresh new agenda, following his sweeping victory as the new Hamas leader in Gaza.

Sinwar, one of the historical leaders of Al-Qassam Brigades, decided to reset relations with Iran and Hezbollah, and work toward the movement’s eventual return to Damascus.

Meshaal, realizing that regional changes were no longer in his favor, tried to flatter the Syrian state more than once in media statements. But a firm decision had already been taken across the Axis of Resistance that Meshaal was no longer a welcome or trustworthy figure.

This was especially the case after it became clear to the Syrian security services that Meshaal was involved, along with dozens of Hamas members, in supporting armed groups, exposing secret sites of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Lebanese resistance Hezbollah, smuggling weapons to armed opposition in the strategically-located Yarmouk refugee camp and eastern Ghouta region, and providing them with expertise in digging secret tunnels.

Meshaal’s isolation became crystal clear at the end of December 2021, when Hezbollah refused to receive him during a Beirut visit, even though he was officially the external relations officer for Hamas.

According to the Hamas source, Meshaal tried to disrupt the consensus of the leadership of the Political Bureau and the Shura Council on restoring relations with Syria, when he “leaked, at the end of last June, the decision taken in the Political Bureau meeting to return to Damascus.”

Hamas, post-Meshaal

Meshaal’s leak caused media chaos, followed by attempts to pressure Hamas to reverse course. A statement issued by eight of the most important Muslim Brotherhood scholars, advised Hamas to reconsider its decision because of the “great evils it carries for the Ummah.”

Meshaal meanwhile, remained busy trying to restore relations with Jordan, in parallel with Iran, Lebanon and Syria. However, with the recent announcement by Hamas that it would return to Syria, “the efforts made by Meshaal and the Qataris behind him have gone unheeded,” says the movement’s source.

The normalization of relations between Hamas and Syria is significant, not only for the military dividend it could reap for the Palestinian resistance, but also because it can pave the way for Turkey and Qatar to re-establish their Syria ties, although Doha would do so very reluctantly.

With the decision to sideline the Meshaal camp within Hamas, it would seem that Hamas – and not Syria – has ultimately been the subject of regime change in this regional geopolitical battle for influence.

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

«حماس»: عائدون إلى سوريا

الجمعة 16 أيلول 2022

رجب المدهون

تبادَل مسؤولو الحركة والمسؤولون السوريون، خلال لقاءات دورية جمعتْهم، ملاحظات حول فترة القطيعة وما سبقها (أ ف ب)

أخيراً، وبشكل رسمي، وبعد صدور العديد من المؤشّرات المتلاحقة والمتسارعة في هذا الاتّجاه، أعلنت حركة «حماس» قرارها العودة إلى سوريا، مؤكدةً العمل على ترجمته لإنهاء سنوات طويلة من القطيعة مع دمشق، التي «احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن»، كما قالت الحركة. ويأتي بيان الأمس ليُتوّج، بحسب معلومات «الأخبار»، سلسلة من اللقاءات التي جرت بين مسؤولي «حماس» والمسؤولين السوريين، وتخلّلتها مراجعات للفترة السابقة، وتبادل ملاحظات حول الملفّات التي «تجب معالجتها بشكل جدّي»، ليصل العمل حالياً إلى مرحلة «بناء الثقة»، تمهيداً للتطبيع الشامل والواسع

غزة | كما كان متوقّعاً بعد سلسلة لقاءات ومباحثات رعاها «حزب الله»، أصدرت حركة «حماس»، أمس، بياناً أعلنت فيه وقوفها إلى جانب سوريا في وجه «المخطّطات الهادفة إلى تقسيمها»، مؤكّدة سعيها لترجمة قرارها باستعادة علاقاتها مع دمشق. وبحسب ما علمته «الأخبار» من مصادر «حمساوية»، فإن البيان يأتي في ضوء استمرار اشتغال الحركة على تطبيع هذه العلاقات بعد سنوات من القطيعة، و«مواجهة العقبات التي تحاول أطراف خارجية وضعها في طريق تسوية جميع الخلافات مع السوريين». وكشفت المصادر أن مباحثات عدّة انطلقت بعد معركة «سيف القدس» بين «حماس» والقيادة السورية، برعاية من الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله» السيد حسن نصرالله، حيث تمّ كسر الجمود كخطوة أولى، بينما وصل العمل في الفترة الأخيرة إلى مرحلة «بناء الثقة تمهيداً لاستعادة العلاقة بشكل أكبر وأوسع». وتبادَل مسؤولو الحركة والمسؤولون السوريون، خلال لقاءات دورية جمعتْهم، ملاحظات حول فترة القطيعة وما سبقها، والملفّات التي «تجب معالجتها بشكل جدّي لإنهاء الخلاف»، مع إبداء ملاحظات حول كيفية تجاوُز المسبّبات الخارجية والداخلية التي أعاقت التطبيع سابقاً. وأكدت المصادر أن هذا المسار سيتسارع خلال الفترة المقبلة، «في ضوء المتغيّرات والتحدّيات الإقليمية والدولية التي تُواجه محور المقاومة ككلّ، في ظلّ تَشكّل تحالف التطبيع بين الدول العربية ودولة الاحتلال برعاية أميركية، بما يشكّل تهديداً للمحور وأطرافه».

وأعلنت حركة «حماس»، في بيان أمس، بعنوان «أمّة واحدة في مواجهة الاحتلال والعدوان»، مُضيّها في «بناء وتطوير علاقات راسخة مع الجمهورية العربية السورية، في إطار قرارها باستئناف علاقتها مع سوريا الشقيقة، خدمةً لأمّتنا وقضاياها العادلة، وفي القلْب منها قضية فلسطين، ولا سيّما في ظلّ التطوّرات الإقليمية والدولية المتسارعة التي تحيط بقضيتنا وأمّتنا»، مُجدّدةً تمسّكها بـ«استراتيجيتها الثابتة، وحرصها على تطوير وتعزيز علاقاتها مع أمّتها ومحيطها العربي والإسلامي، وكلّ الداعمين لقضيتنا ومقاومتنا». ودانت الحركة «بشدّة، العدوان الصهيوني المتكرّر على سوريا، وخاصة قصف مطارَيْ دمشق وحلب أخيراً»، مؤكدةً «وقوفنا إلى جانب سوريا في مواجهة هذا العدوان». وأعربت عن تقديرها «للجمهورية العربية السورية قيادةً وشعباً، لدورها في الوقوف إلى جانب الشعب الفلسطيني وقضيته العادلة»، متطلّعةً إلى أن «تستعيد سوريا دورها ومكانتها في الأمّتَين العربية والإسلامية»، مبديةً دعمها لـ«كلّ الجهود المخلصة من أجل استقرار وسلامة سوريا، وازدهارها وتقدّمها». وإذ كرّرت «موقفنا الثابت من وحدة سوريا أرضاً وشعباً»، و«رفضنا أيّ مساس بذلك»، فقد جزمت «(أننا) ننحاز إلى أمّتنا في مواجهة المخطّطات الصهيونية الخبيثة، الهادفة إلى تجزئتها وتقسيمها ونهب خيراتها، ونقف صفاً واحداً وطنياً وعربياً وإسلامياً لمقاومة العدو الصهيوني، والتصدّي لمخطّطاته». كما دعت إلى «إنهاء جميع مظاهر الصراع في الأمة، وتحقيق المصالحات والتفاهمات بين مكوّناتها ودُولها وقواها عبر الحوار الجادّ، بما يحقّق مصالح الأمّة ويخدم قضاياها». ولفتت إلى «التطوّرات الخطيرة التي تمسّ بشعبنا الفلسطيني وقضيّته العادلة، وأبرزها مظاهر التطبيع ومحاولات دمج العدو الصهيوني ليكون جزءاً من المنطقة، مع ما يرافق ذلك من جهود للسيطرة على موارد المنطقة، ونهب خيراتها، وزرع الفتن والاحتراب بين شعوبها ودولها، واستهداف قواها الفاعِلة والمؤثّرة، الرافضة والمقاوِمة للمشروع الصهيوني»، مشيرةً في هذا السياق إلى «استمرار العدوان الصهيوني على سوريا الشقيقة، بالقصف والقتل والتدمير، وتصاعُد محاولات النيل منها وتقسيمها وتجزئتها، وإبعادها عن دورها التاريخي الفاعل، ولا سيما على صعيد القضية الفلسطينية»، مُذكّرةً بأن «سوريا احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن، وهو ما يستوجب الوقوف معها، في ظلّ ما تتعرّض له من عدوان غاشم».
وكان نائب رئيس حركة «حماس» في قطاع غزة، خليل الحية، أكد، في حديث إلى «الأخبار» أواخر حزيران الماضي، أن ثمّة قراراً اتُّخذ بـ«السعي إلى استعادة العلاقة مع دمشق»، بعد «نقاش داخلي وخارجي على مستوى الحركة شارك فيه قياديون وكوادر ومؤثّرون وحتى معتقلون داخل السجون». وأوضح الحية أنه «تمّت مناقشة الظروف والتوقيت والشكل»، كما «تمّ وضْع خطّة سيتمّ تنفيذها بمساعدة الحلفاء»، مضيفاً أن «هناك تَوجّهاً نحو البيئة الأوسع، التي تشمل أصحاب الرأي والمفكّرين والعلماء، ومن ثمّ الأطر الشعبية الأوسع»، متابعاً «(أننا) وضعنا تركيا وقطر في أجواء تَوجّهنا هذا، وهما لا تُعارضانه». وسبق كلامَ الحيّة بأسبوع، حديثٌ مشابه نقلته وكالة «فرانس برس» عن مسؤول رفيع المستوى في «حماس»، جاء فيه أن «الاتّصالات مع سوريا في تَحسّن، والعلاقات في طريق عودتها بالكامل إلى ما كانت عليه»، وأن «زيارات عدّة قام بها قادة الحركة إلى سوريا». وإلى جانب تلك التصريحات، أعلن الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله»، غير مرّة، في أحاديث صحافية، اهتمامه «بشكل شخصي» بتسوية العلاقة بين «حماس» وسوريا، مؤكداً أن الأخيرة منفتِحة على هذا المسار الذي وصفه بـ«الإيجابي».

«حماس»: سوريا احتضنت شعبنا الفلسطيني وفصائله المقاوِمة لعقود من الزمن


يُذكر أن مصدراً قيادياً في «حماس» أكّد لـ«الأخبار»، بالتوازي مع انتهاء معركة «سيف القدس» في أيار 2021، أن لدى الحركة قراراً مسبقاً ببحْث عودتها إلى الأراضي السورية عندما تحين الفرصة المناسبة، «وفي ضوء الرسائل الإيجابية التي نقلها لنا عدد من قادة فصائل المقاومة في سوريا عقب لقائهم الأخير بالرئيس بشار الأسد، وترحيبه بجميع الفصائل من دون استثناء، وتوجيهه التحيّة إلى حماس»، فإن هذا القرار سيتعزّز. وأشار المصدر، آنذاك، إلى أن الحركة ستبدأ مشاورات مع «حزب الله» وإيران خلال الفترة القريبة، بهدف جسّ نبض السوريين حول عودة العلاقة معهم، متوقّعاً أن تكون الردود السورية إيجابية، ومن دون شروط مسبقة، الأمر الذي سيفتح الباب أمام التطبيع، كخطوة أولى تتبعها عودة قيادات «حمساوية» إلى الأراضي السورية في وقت لاحق. ولم يُخفِ المصدر، في ذلك الوقت، وجود محاولات سابقة من قِبَل أطراف في محور المقاومة لترميم العلاقة بين الحركة والسوريين، غير أن تلك المحاولات اعتراها عدد من العقبات، آملاً أن يكون الانتصار الذي حقّقته المقاومة في غزة خلال معركة «سيف القدس» بوّابة لإزالة العقبات المذكورة، في ظلّ الاتفاق على برنامج المقاومة ومواجهة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وتمسّك «حماس» بمبدأ عدم التدخّل في الشؤون الداخلية للدول العربية، وتعزيز العلاقات معها بهدف تجميع طاقات الأمة لدعم المقاومة.

فيديوات ذات صلة

May 31, 2018

مقالات ذات صلة

Saad Hariri and the collapse of Lebanon

The Syrian regime-change war and Lebanon’s economic collapse happened under Saad Hariri’s watch, but the Future Movement leader is seldom mentioned for the pivotal role he played in Lebanon’s unravelling

Photo Credit: The Cradle

September 12 2022

By William Van Wagenen

In 2005, US neoconservatives centered around then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s office began collaborating with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, defected former Syrian Vice President Abd Al-Halim Khaddam, and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood to topple the Syrian government.

Washington did so as part of an effort to topple the governments of seven countries in five years, including Libya and Iran, using the so-called ‘War on Terror’ as a pretext.

However another crucial, though overlooked collaborator in the regime change effort was pro-Saudi Lebanese politician Saad Hariri. And his actions would soon see massive repercussions unfold in his own country.

The dynastic Hariris

In 2005, Saad’s father, former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, was assassinated in a massive car bombing, which a highly-politicized UN-backed court pinned on two individuals affiliated with Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah. In the wake of Rafiq’s death, Saad came to head not only the Saudi-supported Future Movement – Lebanon’s leading Sunni political party – but also the multi-billion-dollar Hariri business conglomerate established by his father in Saudi Arabia.

Initially, the US, French, and Israeli governments quickly blamed Syria for Rafiq’s killing. Presumably, Saad was motivated to participate in the US-led regime change effort in Syria as a result.

But business interests also played a role as Saad wished to gain control over Syria’s telecommunication sector. This is something his father had previously tried, but failed to accomplish.

As French journalist Georges Malbrunot details in his book The Road to Damascus, Syria first launched its mobile phone industry in the early 2000’s, and Lebanon’s prime minister at the time, Rafiq Al-Hariri, wanted to invest in one of the two Syrian companies that had just been created for this purpose.

But Rami Makhlouf, cousin of Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad and the dominant investor in the sector, blocked Rafiq’s efforts. Malbrunot notes further that according to a lawyer close to the Syrian government, “there was an immediate veto from the intelligence services against Hariri.”

While the Baath Party may have considered the telecommunications sector to be of strategic importance – and therefore not open to outsiders – Assad would have also been concerned about Hariri’s direct role in bribing top Syrian officials, including then-Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam, prior to his defection, among a broad slate of other grievances.

In the wake of Rafiq’s assassination, Saad was quick to pick up his father’s baton. At the time the Christian Science Monitor reported that:

“[Saad Hariri] may be a newcomer to Lebanese politics, but Hariri is no neophyte. He ran his father’s massive construction company, Saudi Oger, for over a decade and has extensive financial interests in telecommunications in the Middle East. He is ranked at 548 in Forbes Magazine’s annual list of billionaires with an estimated fortune of $1.2 billion. His father was ranked 108th with $4.3 billion. Hariri has adopted his father’s globe-trotting existence, holding talks with Jacques Chirac, the French president and a close family friend, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Middle East leaders.”

Saad’s support of Salafi-jihadists

In addition to running his deceased father’s business conglomerate, Saad was active in protecting Al-Qaeda affiliated militant groups in Lebanon.  Journalist Seymour Hersh notes that according to a 2005 International Crisis Group (ICG) report, Hariri had helped release four Salafist militants from prison who had previously trained in Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and were arrested in Lebanon while trying to establish an Islamic state in the north of the country.

Hariri also used his influence in parliament to obtain amnesty for another 29 Salafist militants, including seven suspected of bombing foreign embassies in Beirut a year prior. Hersh notes that according to a senior official in the Lebanese government, “We have a liberal attitude that allows Al-Qaeda types to have a presence here.”

In the wake of the radical Fatah Al-Islam’s 2007 battle with the Lebanese army, which destroyed the Nahr Al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, Charles Harb of the American University of Beirut (AUB) observed that Saad was giving “political cover” to “radical Sunni movements” that could be directed and employed against the Resistance Axis of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Harb also noted the involvement of Saudi intelligence in cultivating these groups. He explained that “Several reports have highlighted efforts by Saudi officials to strengthen Sunni groups, including radical ones, to face the Shia renaissance across the region. But building up radical Sunni groups to face the Shia challenge can easily backfire.”

Start of the ‘Syrian Revolution’

In early 2011, US planners exploited dissatisfaction among certain segments of Syrian society – not only pro-western liberals but also the country’s Salafi community – to spark initial ‘Arab Spring’ type protests in the country.

Saad Hariri’s interest in gaining control of the Syrian telecommunication network via any successful regime-change operation was hinted at during the first protest in Daraa, a predominantly Sunni governorate, on 18 March, 2011.

As Syrian sociologist Muhammad Jamal Barout revealed, protestors in Daraa chanted against Rami Makhlouf and demanded that his businesses be expelled from the province (recall that Makhlouf held the dominant position in Syria’s telecommunications sector).

Salafist militants, including from Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), quickly began attacking Syrian security forces under the cover of the early protests. US planners facilitated these attacks (with the help of Prince Bandar), in the hope of unleashing a sectarian civil war on the country comparable to that which had destroyed Iraq starting in 2003.

The Future Movement and Salafi terror

Prominent opposition and human rights activist Haitham Manna provided evidence that elements close to Saad Al-Hariri were among those funneling weapons to the Salafist militants in Syria, including in Daraa, in part to secure financial interests.

According to Muhammad Jamal Barout, Manna’ publicly disclosed in an interview on Al-Jazeera on 31 March, 2011, that “he had received offers to arm movements from Raqqa to Daraa three times by parties he did not identify in the interview.”

Barout additionally writes that, according to Manna, there were secret communications between some Syrian businessmen abroad who found themselves bent on revenge against the Assad government because their interests had been harmed by the network of the pro-government businessman Makhlouf.

Furthermore, these groups were willing to fund and arm opposition movements throughout the country. Barout notes that these businessmen apparently had relations with professional networks capable of delivering weapons to any location in Syria and that some members of the Future Movement in Lebanon were among those arranging these weapons shipments.

One name pops up more than others: Okab Sakr, the MP from Hariri’s Future movement made infamous in phone conversations leaked to Lebanese media outlet Al Akhbar, in which he directly discusses large weapons transfers to Syrian militants.

Writes The Guardian of Hariri’s close confidant: “Every time Okab is in town the weapons start to move across the border,” said a rebel colonel from the Jebel al-Zawiya region, who calls himself Abu Wael.

Sakr eventually fled the country to avoid repercussions for his illicit activities, and admitted to his role in arming the Syrian conflict, which dragged Lebanon into the messy and dangerous fray.

Within no time, Fatah Al-Islam and other militants previously under the protection of Hariri and Saudi intelligence in Lebanon were soon identified on the battlefield in Syria. Dr. Haytham Mouzahem, director of the Beirut Center for Middle East Studies explained that, “When the uprising in Syria began in 2011, many of the remaining Fatah al-Islam members crossed the border and joined groups in the Free Syrian Army [FSA].”

This provided one indication among many that the FSA – as it was known then – was not secular, democratic, or comprised primarily of army defectors, as is often claimed, but rather consisted primarily of Salafist militants, including many affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

The role of Al-Qaeda militants from Lebanon came further into focus in the summer of 2011, when Der Spiegel reported that a prominent Salafist cleric in Tripoli was sending fighters into Syria as early as summer 2011 because, in his view, “Assad is an infidel” and “There is a holy war in Syria and the young men there are conducting jihad. For blood, for honor, for freedom, for dignity.”

According to one of the fighters interviewed by the German magazine, around 60 percent of the Lebanese fighters crossing the border from Tripoli to Homs had previously fought in Iraq.

Syrian fallout: Refugees flood into Lebanon

As the months and years passed, more and more jihadists flooded into Syria. As they did, and as fighting with the Syrian army and its allies intensified and became more brutal and sectarian, more and more Syrian civilians flooded into Lebanon to flee the conflict back home.

With the onset of war in Syria in 2011 and subsequent US sanctions, the Syrian economy began to massively contract, which in turn caused the closely connected Lebanese economy to gradually slow as well.

Given that Lebanon is a small country facing its own disastrous economic crisis, it has been unable to provide decent living conditions for even its own 5.5 million residents, let alone for the 1.7 million Syrian refugees present in the country.

Because US planners, along with their many regional collaborators including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon and others, launched a dirty war on Syria in 2011 causing millions of Syrians to flee their homes and seek refuge in bordering states, it is the US and its close allies that bear most of the responsibility for the current refugee crisis Lebanon now faces.

Accommodating such a large number of refugees would always be difficult, but this became near impossible after the October 2019 Lebanese banking crisis, which in turn caused what the World Bank described as a “brutal” economic contraction of a magnitude “usually associated with conflicts or wars.” Even relatively prosperous and middle-class Lebanese were plunged into poverty, losing most of their life savings, as the Lebanese lira quickly plunged.

A Hariri legacy: Lebanon’s economic collapse

The origins of the crisis can be traced to the creation of a banking infrastructure based on efforts to maintain a currency peg between the Lebanese lira and US dollar.

This system was established by Lebanese central banker Riad Salameh in the 1990’s in the wake of the Lebanese civil war, presumably to restore economic stability needed after the wild currency swings seen throughout the conflict.

Then-prime minister Rafiq Hariri had appointed Salameh – his personal money manager at US brokerage firm Merrill Lynch – as governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank.

To maintain the peg, Salameh effectively established a Ponzi scheme that enriched wealthy Lebanese as well as the bankers themselves. As the New York Times explained:

“Lebanon’s Central Bank promised that 1,507 Lebanese lira would be worth exactly $1 and that Lebanese banks would always exchange one for the other. That policy brought stability, but it also required Lebanon’s banks to hold a large store of U.S. dollars . . . so the banks could make good on the promise to exchange 1,507 lira for $1 at any point. Lebanese firms also needed dollars to pay for imported goods, a large part of the economy in a country that produces little of what it consumes. . . . To keep dollars flowing in, the head of Lebanon’s Central Bank developed a plan: Banks would offer very generous terms — including an annual interest of 15 percent or even 20 percent — to anybody who would deposit dollars. But the only way for banks to make good on these terms was by repaying the initial depositors with money from new depositors. Of course, there is a name for this practice: a Ponzi scheme.”

The receipt of such high interest rates on deposits allowed wealthy Lebanese both at home and abroad to slowly loot the country. Commercial bankers benefitted as well, by receiving a handsome spread on the interest rate paid by the central bank and forwarded to depositors. The Hariri family benefited directly from the system, both as owners of huge US dollar deposits as well as owners of their own commercial bank, Bankmed.

Riad Salameh personally benefitted from the system as well, setting up a brokerage firm with his brother, Forry Associates, that took some $330 million in fees for brokering the sale of government bonds between 2002 and 2015, $200 million of which were allegedly transferred to Salemeh’s personal accounts with various Lebanese banks, including with Hariri’s Bankmed. These transfers led to the ongoing investigation of Salemeh by European officials on charges of money laundering and embezzlement.

As the protracted Syrian war – aided by Hariri and his allies -across Lebanon’s only viable land border tore into Lebanon’s fragile economy, and the flow of new US dollars entering the Lebanese banking system also began to slow, Salameh’s Ponzi scheme became unsustainable, and finally began to collapse in October 2019.

Lebanese banks began to restrict US dollar withdrawals for small depositors to minor amounts, while secretly allowing wealthy and connected clients to pull out huge sums for transfer abroad. Soon, small depositors, who had themselves deposited dollars, were restricted to withdrawing an unreasonable equivalent in Lebanese liras instead.

The value of the lira quickly dropped by some 90 percent, wiping out the life savings of many and causing mass poverty as prices of everything, including essential goods, skyrocketed. According to banker and political commentator, Ehsani, the total losses for depositors amount to roughly $111 billion.

According to Syria’s President Assad, some $40 billion of those frozen deposits may be of Syrian origin, with huge negative ramifications for the country’s finances and reconstruction efforts.

The October 2019 economic collapse was accompanied by wide-spread protests expressing anger against Lebanon’s broader political class, pressuring Saad Hariri to step down as prime minister.

Despite the key role played by the Hariri-Salameh political clique in establishing, benefitting from, and finally collapsing the Lebanese banking system, and subsequently the entire economy, both Hariri and Salameh continue to enjoy diplomatic and political support from their backers in Washington.

In February 2020, amidst criticism of Salameh’s role in precipitating the crisis, US ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea suggested to Lebanese TV it was “a mistake to scapegoat any one person or institution for Lebanon’s economic collapse” and that Salameh, still “enjoys great confidence in the international financial community.”

The reason for this was provided, at least in part, in April 2019 when Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar published minutes of a meeting between the US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism Financing and Financial Crimes, Marshall Billingsley, and the (former) Lebanese Economy Minister, Mansour Bteish. The minutes cite a US official saying:

“We need a governor of the Banque du Liban [central bank] and a deputy governor who we can trust, and who is sensitive and with whom confidential information about terrorist financing and money laundering can be exchanged. The situation today is that we trust Governor Riad Salameh and (former) Deputy Governor Muhammad Baasiri.”

As US planners have not been fighting terrorism, but rather funding and arming al-Qaeda affiliated groups to use as proxies in their war against Syria between 2011 and 2017, this suggests Salameh continues to enjoy US protection to avoid details of terrorist financing, in particular Saad Hariri’s role in arming terrorist groups in Syria on behalf of US planners, from coming to light.

It is difficult to imagine that Lebanon can emerge from its current crisis, or deal with corruption and poor governance plaguing the country, while US influence over Lebanese affairs remains dominant and oppressive US sanctions against Syria remain in place.

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

Several ‘Israeli’ Settlers, Soldiers Injured in Heroic Operation in Occupied West Bank

September 6, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

At least seven ‘Israeli’ occupiers, including six soldiers, have been injured in a heroic operation when Palestinian youth opened fire on a bus in the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.

‘Israeli’ sources said the shooting took place near Route 90 in the Jordan Valley, northeast of the occupied West Bank on Sunday, adding that the injured have been evacuated by helicopter, including one soldier who is in critical condition.

The ‘Israeli’ military said it apprehend two Palestinians suspected of carrying out the operation, and guns were found lying on the dirt road nearby. The two suspects were arrested after their vehicle caught fire while escaping. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.

A third suspect reportedly managed to flee, and a manhunt has been launched to capture him.

Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanu reacted to the shooting operation in the West Bank, calling it heroic.

Qanu said the operation that targeted Zionist occupation soldiers and settlers was a reaction to the occupying regime’s crimes and its acts of aggression against al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian prisoners.

“We salute those revolutionary youths, who carried out this special operation, thus highlighting our people’s ability to continue resistance across the West Bank,” he said.

The recent development comes as Zionist occupation forces continue their near-daily raid-and-arrest operations in various parts of the West Bank, wounding or killing Palestinians. Such raids are carried out while ‘Israeli’ settlers also conduct acts of violence against Palestinians and their property.

Settler violence is rampant in the occupied Palestinian territories. The acts of violence and vandalism, known as price tag attacks which are committed by ‘Israeli’ settlers against Palestinians and their property, have risen in recent years.

However, the Tel Aviv regime authorities rarely prosecute Zionist settlers for their assaults on Palestinians and their property and the vast majority of the files are closed due to deliberate police failure to investigate properly.

Many Palestinians have also sustained injuries or lost their lives in incidents due to allegations that they attempted stabbing or car-ramming operations against ‘Israeli’ settlers and forces.

The Zionist regime occupied the West Bank in 1967 before starting to dot the Palestinian territory with illegal settlements and severely restricting the Palestinians’ freedom of movement there.

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The rise and fall of Muqtada al-Sadr…again

While Muqtada al-Sadr may be this week’s biggest loser in Iraq, the country’s battle for influence is still in full swing

September 01 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By The Cradle’s Iraq Correspondent

On Monday at noon, Kazem al-Haeri, a prominent Shia authority (marjaa) in Iraq – particularly among supporters of firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr – announced his retirement and urged all ‘believers’ to follow the Leader of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Within Haeri’s two-page statement, he addressed the influential position of Muqtada al-Sadr – whose Sadrist bloc garnered the most votes in Iraq’s October 2021 election – and accused the wildly popular cleric of possessing neither the religious knowledge nor the ability to lead the Shia sect or the people of Iraq.

In response, Sadr made two decisions: the first, was a tweet to announce his retirement from Iraqi politics. Although he has regularly (nine times) ‘retired’ since 2013, this time it was under the guidance of a religious figure he could absolutely not ignore.

For Haeri is the religious heir to Muqtada’s father Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, one of the most influential Shia authorities in Iraq’s recent history. Before his untimely assassination along with two of his sons in 1999, the elder Sadr had urged his followers to obey Kazem al-Haeri in his stead.

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Although in the intervening 23 years, Muqtada has garnered the widespread support of his father’s followers to become the most powerful Shia political figure in Iraq today, he is not Mohammad Sadeq’s designated religious heir, and so Haeri’s public set down was significant.

Baghdad on fire

On Monday evening, hours after Sadr’s Twitter resignation, Baghdad fell into violent chaos when Sadrists stormed the capital’s Green Zone, leading to 30 dead and almost 200 injured security forces and rioters.

Sadr’s quick resignation had in fact been a smart move to prevent his movement from splitting in half: he feared one group would stay loyal to him, while the second would obey his father’s successor, Haeri.

Haeri’s statement would not be the only blow to Sadr’s ambitions. Despite his vast number of Shia followers, Sadr has recently been beset by a series of political setbacks.

In June, after months of unsuccessfully struggling to form a coalition government with his winning parliamentary bloc, Sadr attempted to shake up the Iraqi political scene by ordering his political bloc to quit.

The resignation of his deputies from parliament did not reap the desired results. Iraq’s judiciary gave him the cold shoulder, refusing to provide legal backing for Sadr’s controversial move. And his political opponents slapped right back at him – step by step, tweet for tweet, street by street.

Not only did Sadr fail to dissolve parliament and put in motion a process for new elections, but his calls for other Iraqi parties and movements to relinquish their weapons were rejected.

A nail in Sadr’s coffin?

Sadr’s major second decision on Monday was executed through his party’s armed wing, Saraya al-Salam (Brigades of Peace, ironically). It is inconceivable that the mobs of armed Sadrists who stormed the Green Zone later that evening were part of a spontaneous action. In actuality, Sadr was sending Iraqis a mixed message: while he is withdrawing from commanding his bloc’s political leadership, he is in effect leaving it in the custody of Saraya al-Salam, which will ultimately take direction from Muqtada himself.

The Sadrists rapidly moved to demonstrate that they still maintain the upper hand in Baghdad – despite their leader’s resignation – with a show of force in the city’s high security Green Zone, where Iraq’s government buildings and foreign embassies are mainly located.

The most prominent of the Sadrists on the street that night was the general supervisor of Saraya al-Salam, Tahseen al-Hamidawi, a long-time fighter who participated for years in battles against US occupation forces in Iraq.

The role of Saraya al-Salam in transferring its militants from the neighborhoods of Sadr City, al-Shaab, and Ur neighborhood, east Baghdad, to the Green Zone was crystal clear on Monday night.

Not only did these fighters engage in armed confrontation in the heart of Baghdad, they also moved to the city’s outskirts to torch the headquarters of some Popular Mobilization Units (PMU or Hashd al-Shaabi ) such as Badr Organization, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and the State of Law coalition of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In addition, during the clashes, rockets were fired at the US embassy and pictures of Iranian leaders were burned.

The Sadrists were clearly trying to provoke the PMU into armed confrontation, but the latter exercised a uniform discipline that left the former clashing with Iraqi government forces instead.

Although regional and foreign media tried to frame these clashes as a Shia-on-Shia fight between Sadists and pro-Iran PMU groups, this was never the case, as Sadr himself later clarified in his statement the following day.

The conflagration that night picked up steam quickly, spreading to Basra, the economic capital of Iraq, and to the provinces of Maysan, Dhi Qar, and Diwaniyah.

The clashes between Saraya al-Salam and Iraqi security forces spilled into Tuesday morning, as in Iraq, each person has his own clan and tribal extension, and any crisis tends not to remain confined between political parties once the bloodshed begins.

This was not a good look for Sadr and his supporters. They were fighting, killing, and injuring Iraq’s own forces, and had not succeeded in drawing his opponents into the street. Muqtada had to stop the clashes, and quickly.

A source close to both Ayatollah Ali Sistani – Iraq’s leading Shia authority – and Sadr, tells The Cradle that Sistani’s son, Mohammed Ridha, called Muqtada to arrange a meeting with his father.

In their meeting, Ali Sistani, the Shia cleric whose famous fatwa led to the creation of the PMU after ISIS invaded Iraq, urged Sadr to stop the carnage at once.

Following their conversation, on the afternoon of 30 August, Sadr aired a televised statement demanding that his supporters end their siege of Baghdad’s Green Zone. He further thanked the PMU for their restraint and for not participating in the clashes.

Humbled by his miscalculations, Sadr referred to himself as an “ordinary citizen” and disavowed his own Saraya al-Salam militia by calling their actions “shameless.”

What now?

Iraqis recognize that what is happening now is merely an attempt to calm the situation, and that at least the immediate risk of renewed fighting has been removed.

While it is true that Sadr’s political rival parties were calling for calm, they too have been prepped for an internal fight. These parties hold Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi responsible for allowing the escalation, and have hinted that he has benefited from widespread Iraqi support for their security forces during the clashes, as he rigorously pursues a second term in office.

The ongoing fragility of Iraq’s political impasse demands tangible, radical solutions implemented by a transitional government that tackles the issues of the Electoral Commission, the electoral law, the overlapping of powers, and constitutional loopholes. These are urgent items agreed upon by all political parties.

In public, the official demands of the two rival Shia camps focus on the way the state is run, but in truth, it is a battle for influence in the government and the state.

According to well-informed sources, several Iraqi armed movements, particularly Iraq’s Hezbollah Brigades and the Badr Organization, are working on reorganizing inter-Shia talks to reconcile their differences and reach a win-win solution palatable to all.

Although Sadr has stepped away from politics – at least for now – he was able to send several messages this week: he confused Iraq’s various regional influencers, reestablished himself as an important militia leader, and in his resignation speech, managed to win the sympathy of some of his opponents.

Winners and losers

Despite scoring some important points, Sadr and his movement are likely the biggest losers from this week’s events in Iraq.

First, Sadr has consistently demanded that Iraqi militias (PMU), mainly the Iranian-backed variety, hand over their weapons to the government, fearing they might be used internally and not against ISIS or foreign occupation forces. Instead, Monday’s events plainly showed the country that the only militia using their bullets on Iraqis were Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam.

Regionally and internationally, Sadr has been a hard nut to crack – an unpredictable powerhouse with a lot of people-power inside Iraq. Muqtada has fought both the Americans by gun and the Iranians by politics, and his statements against both can flip from one day to the next.

If Sadr keeps his word and maintains his distance from politics, this will create a domestic vacuum that both the US and Iran will be eager to fill.

Given that Iraq’s Shia demographic represents more than 60 percent of the country’s population, and Haeri has asked Mohammad Sadiq a-Sadr’s followers to obey Iran’s supreme leader in his stead, Iran may at first glance have the upper hand in this contest.

An Iraq unswayed by US diktats is, after all, more likely to ease its restricted borders, engage more heavily in trade and diplomacy with its immediate neighbors, and play nice with the region’s Axis of Resistance, which wields influence from Beirut and Damascus to Tehran and Sanaa.

The only genuinely popular Shia leader in West Asia who does not share Iran’s political worldview, at least in recent times, is Muqtada al-Sadr. His exit from Iraq’s political scene makes room for the Resistance Axis’ foreign policy and economic development vision to grow, with less fear of internal breaches and more coordination against common external enemies.

The US and its Persian Gulf allies, however, will not stop seeking influence over Iraqi decisions. Their efforts to sow discord between Shia political parties has succeeded in recent years, and whether knowingly or unwittingly, Sadr was instrumental in realizing this schism.

Only time will tell how this picture progresses. Sadr remains a highly unpredictable figure inside Iraq with a strong support base, and one who is not known for sticking to his word.

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

Author

Hezbollah: Forty Dimensions of Uniqueness In Local & Regional Contexts [1/3]

August 26, 2022

By Housam Matar | Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Translated by Al-Ahed News
 
Hezbollah holds a special place among national liberation movements, especially on a regional level. Its success is manifested through its outstanding military efficiency in confronting “Israel” to liberate territory and deter aggression. This success is also evident in the group’s soft and hard regional influences, and in its ability to politically adapt within the Lebanese system.

 
The triumphs and accomplishments have their own reasons and circumstances. These are both subjective and objective, to which the party adds metaphysical and spiritual factors (divine guidance) that are linked to its religious identity.
 
When talking about the success of this model throughout its history one must acknowledge the fact that it is not free of problems, weaknesses, and failures, and this is the case for every political actor from the greatest empires to the smallest political groups.
 
Hezbollah is a small organization fighting “Israel”, which is a regional entity and project with unlimited international support. Therefore, it needed material and financial assets, cadres, an incubating environment, a logistical structure, a dynamic and charismatic leadership, and a strategic geopolitical depth (national and supranational). How did Hezbollah achieve this?
 
The dimensions of this success and its historical circumstances are intertwined, but it is necessary to sort and disassemble them to get a clearer picture.
 
Also, focusing on the elements of success and uniqueness does not translate into ignoring the obstacles, challenges, and changes. Shedding light on these elements contributes to enhancing our understanding of their importance and their role in the party’s march, in a way that encourages interaction with them in terms of reform, correction, and care. Hence, their inclusion is not the result of complacency or vanity.
 
1- The founding generation gains experience: The first generation of Hezbollah gained experience and expertise within Lebanese and Palestinian political and military movements, during difficult times of civil war and confronting the “Israeli” enemy.
 
They experienced challenges, problems, and failures that reinforced their desire and need for changes and acquiring the necessary resources, skills, and networks of influential interpersonal relationships.
 
A number of cadres belonging to the first generation had plenty of experience in large parties such as the Amal movement, local Islamic movements, mosque groups, and a few of them were part of non-Islamic resistance forces (Fatah movement).
 
This generation experienced communist and nationalist ideas, argued with them, responded to them, and often competed with them.
 
This generation suffered the disappointments of the defeat of the Nasserist project, the kidnapping of Imam Musa al-Sadr, the assassination of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in Iraq, the repeated “Israeli” aggressive operations, and the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization from Jordan and then Lebanon.
 
All of these prompted the founders to try and think in a different way. For example, from a military point of view, their collective experience contributed to the planning and implementation of the most dangerous military and security operations during the 1980s, which established a solid foundation for the party’s saga.
 
2- Taking inspiration from the Islamic Revolution and integrating with it.
 
The victory of the revolution in Iran transformed the broader Islamic world. For the Shiites this was a historic opportunity to break out of the state of oppression.
 
The Lebanese Shiites were the first to network with the victorious revolution, especially since some of the cadres had built strong personal relations with Iranian cadres opposed to the Shah’s regime and provided them with assistance in Beirut, in addition to religious relations with Iranian figures due to contacts through the Hawzas in Najaf and Qom.
 
Thus, the benefits of the Islamic revolution reached Lebanon quickly. The most prominent of these was the arrival of the training groups sent by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by order of Imam Khomeini to the Bekaa Valley through Syria following the “Israeli” invasion in 1982.
 
To carry on and grow, this resistance required organizational frameworks that gradually took shape until the structure of Hezbollah emerged.
 
The existence of this regional support for the resistance is indispensable in light of the imbalance of power. The Iranian regional political support and Iranian material resources (arms, training, and money) enabled Hezbollah throughout the decades to focus on the conflict with the “Israeli” enemy without needing to be constantly preoccupied with securing support or searching for compromises with regional powers in pursuit of protection.
 
The religious/ideological link between the party and the Wali al-Faqih [guardian Islamic jurist] organized the party’s relationship with Iran and facilitated an understanding between them. It allowed the latter to look at the party from several perspectives, namely the Islamic revolution, which is hostile to the American system of hegemony in the Islamic field (specifically the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine) and Iranian national security as well as preserving Shiism.
 
3- Solidifying the historical resistance framework of the Lebanese Shiites
 
Hezbollah engraved and reproduced the history of the Lebanese Shiites from the angle of their role in resisting the Ottomans, the French, and the Zionists.
 
Imam Khomeini’s fatwa for the delegation of the nine (they formed the nucleus of establishing Hezbollah) on the duty to resist the “Israeli” occupation with the available capabilities, no matter how modest, played a pivotal role in activating the resistance project as a religious duty first and foremost.
 
Thus, Hezbollah became a natural extension, compliment, and boost to the experiences of the Shiite revolutionaries at the beginning of the twentieth century and the positions of their great scholars such as Sayyed Abdul Hussein Sharaf al-Din and Imam Musa al-Sadr. All these are figures deeply enshrined in the conscience of the Shiite community, especially Imam al-Sadr (the founder of the Lebanese resistance regiments “Amal”) due to the temporal rapprochement between its experience and the birth of Hezbollah.
 
Therefore, loyalty to the resistance project is no longer loyalty to the party, but to the sect’s heroic role in defending the natural unity of Syria and in the face of the “Israeli” occupation since the beginning of its aggression against occupied Palestine.
 
4- Spreading power and confidence within an oppressed sect
 
The historical grievances and the structural marginalization of the Lebanese Shiites, especially after the defeat of their revolution in 1920 (and they had been defeated before that in the second half of the 18th century in Mount Lebanon), contributed to their thirst for changing their reality and the presence of a high revolutionary readiness that was being nourished by the restoration of the revolutionary practices of the Imams of Prophet Muhammad’s household (PBUH).
 
Hezbollah presented the resistance project under the title of confronting occupation and hegemony to which the sectarian system is affiliated. This would free the society from marginalization and oppression – the world in the party’s ideology is divided between the oppressed and the arrogant.
 
What helps the party perpetuate this narrative is its already strong presence among ordinary people born after the mid-1940s.
 
Hezbollah recalls this marginalization, which the society is actually experiencing firsthand – once directly as Shiites and once as part of the center’s marginalization of the parties in the north, the Bekaa, and the south. These areas are inhabited by an Islamic majority, and this made it easier for the party to communicate with various national groups under the rubric of confronting deprivation and marginalization.
 
Accordingly, Hezbollah’s success with resistance had multiple dimensions, serving as a remedy for dissipated pride dating back nearly two hundred years.
 
5- Filling the void in the shadow of a failed state
 
The civil war and the resulting settlement, which the party was not a part of, led to the emergence of a weak state incapable of carrying out many of its sovereign duties.
 
This allowed the party to carry the responsibility of the resistance and conduct social work for relief and development.
 
This state was not, in several stages, in agreement with the resistance project. It was even hostile towards it at times, including the era of Amin Gemayel and later Fouad Siniora’s destitute government.
 
However, it [Siniora’s government] was too weak to confront the resistance even with the help of external supporters.
 
This chronic state deficit that resulted in a lack of sovereignty reinforced the popular legitimacy of the resistance and forced the party to assume responsibilities that were not at the heart of its project, especially with the deterioration of the economic situation in the past two years.
 
6-  Benefiting from the advantages of Lebanese Shiism, which tested nationalist, leftist, patriotic, and Islamic currents and produced a large number of intellectual and scholarly figures (Sheikh Muhammad Jawad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mohsen al-Amin, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, and Sheikh Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din, etc.).
 
It was historically characterized by a moderate tendency resulting from the peculiarities of the highly diverse and complex Lebanese reality, and later due to the many waves of migration towards Africa and the West.
 
In recent decades, the Shiite community has also witnessed the phenomenon of displacement to urban centers (Beirut, the southern Matn coast, and Tyre) and integration into the contracting and trade sectors, which had repercussions on their social class and political awareness.
 
Hezbollah had to work and grow within this type of complex Shiism, and therefore, its relationship with the general Shiite environment is based on a mixture of loyalty to it and negotiation at the same time.
 
This requires the party to be distinguished by social flexibility and targeted communication for each circle of its incubating environments, each of which has its own cultural, class, and regional characteristics for the Shiites themselves.
 
The party gradually attracted elements and cadres from these circles, which was reflected in an internal organizational vitality capable of understanding the complexities of the Shiite scene, dealing with it, and understanding its various internal sensitivities.
 
7-   Maneuvering within the complexities of the Lebanese system resulting from deep-rooted sectarianism, its exposure to external interference, and its highly centralized financial-business economic model, required Hezbollah to maintain a safe distance. The movement positioned itself on the system’s external edge and approached it only to the extent that was needed to protect the resistance from local players with foreign ties to the United States and its allies.
 
Therefore, this complexity imposed on Hezbollah to weave broad horizontal relations in the general political sphere (it had to develop its political thought and initiatives to build a network of cross-sectarian national alliances) and restricted vertical relations within the political system.
 
However, the deterioration of the political system and its poles, leading to the danger of the state’s disintegration, put the party in a historical dilemma; it must work through the system itself to ward off the danger of the state’s collapse (a concern that has grown in the party’s awareness after the devastation that befell Syria and Iraq and the accompanying disintegration of state structures) with apprehension that engaging in regime change or reform would lead to an externally backed civil war.
 
From the beginning, Hezbollah, in particular, had to be aware of the external interference in Lebanon, its channels, borders, and goals, as they represented an imminent threat to it.
 
Just like that, the party’s local political choices could have reinforced tension or appeasement with local and international forces.
 
It was not possible for the party to estimate the direction of the policies of foreign powers (such as America, Saudi Arabia, and France) in internal affairs and how to deal with them regardless of the international and regional situations.
 
Therefore, the party has developed complex decision-making mechanisms from its developing experience in Lebanese politics, which are mechanisms that it can employ in other areas related to the resistance and its regional role.
 
8- The rapid positioning within the Lebanese political arena of conflict is crowded with competitors. Hezbollah came into existence amid a heavy presence of political forces, armed and unarmed, most of which have external relations. It had to expand its influence within all this fierce competition.

In its infancy, the party underwent several field tests and intense political competition with major Lebanese forces rooted locally and forces with a regional reach.
 
Then the party became vulnerable to severe political attacks from the anti-resistance forces, especially after 2004. The burden of this competition increased after Hezbollah confronted the leadership of a national alliance with the so-called March 8 forces and the Free Patriotic Movement.
 
Hezbollah’s opponents receive extensive external support and are distinguished by their presence in various cultural, media, and political spheres in the form of parties, elites, platforms, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, which are entities closely integrated with regional and international financial and political networks hostile to the resistance.
 
Some of these adversaries play security roles that double their threat. This reality produces constant pressures on the party, forcing it to dedicate part of its resources and capabilities to the local political sphere. It also makes it accumulate skills, frameworks, and criteria for managing political competition in a way that guarantees it the local and national stability necessary to avoid open internal conflicts that distract it from its main mission.
 
9-   Intellectual rivalry in a complex and open public sphere resulting from the richness of the Lebanese political and intellectual life, contrary to what is the case in most Arab countries.
 
The party had to present its Islamic thesis in a highly competitive intellectual market where leftist, liberal, and nationalist currents have deep roots and prominent thinkers in the region.
 
This is what the party quickly realized in its infancy and prompted it to self-review the Islamic state and the Islamic revolution.

The party is constantly confronting political and cultural arguments that are highly critical of its political and cultural project (apart from a fierce information war) that prompted a number of its elites and institutions to engage in this “market” and root the party’s proposals on issues such as Wilayat al-Faqih, the homeland, the Lebanese system, multiple identities, the legitimacy of the resistance weapon, American hegemony, and social justice.
 
As a result, despite the party’s intense preoccupation with the issue of resistance and its requirements from the tactical cultural discourse, it finds itself obliged to engage in many discussions and develop its intellectual, research, and scientific institutions and cadres – a challenge still facing the party.
 
10- The ability to transform geography into its environment.
 
The geographical contact of the Shiite communities in Lebanon with occupied Palestine in southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa made this environment targeted by “Israeli” aggression and under constant and imminent threat.
 
Thus, the party gained enormous influence and wide embrace within these communities through the success of its experiment in resistance, liberation, and deterrence.
 
This contact and the success of the party produced what is called the incubating environment, which is the most important element in the success of the resistance’s experiences.
 
The party has succeeded in completely assimilating into this environment, including its fighters, cadres, leadership, voters, and supporters.
 
This contact gave rise to a historical Shiite awareness of the Palestinian issue resulting from the historical personal and commercial ties between the Shiite and Palestinian communities and then Shiite engagement with Palestinian organizations and the residents of Palestinian camps after the 1948 Nakba.
 
On the other hand, this contact with “Israeli” aggression had a significant impact on Shiite urbanization and migration, as the occupied areas witnessed extensive Shiite migration to Africa and North America, and internally to coastal cities, specifically Tyre and Beirut.
 
This migration was a decisive element in the social and political rise of the Shiites, as well as giving Hezbollah popular incubators in vital areas and providing it with necessary human and material resources.
 
11- The participatory nature of the relationship with Iran:
 
The two sides dealt from the beginning on the basis that Iran’s role is to support the party’s decisions that it takes in accordance with the data of the Lebanese reality, especially since the Iranian state was preoccupied with major internal and external challenges.
 
Therefore, the Wali al-Faqih used to grant legitimacy to the act, provided that the party takes the necessary decisions. Later, Hezbollah was able, due to its successes and the role of its Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, to become a partner in the Iranian regional decision-making process, especially in the files related to the resistance project.
 
This partnership is reinforced by the influence of the Revolutionary Guards within the Iranian national security establishment, and the broad respect for the party’s experience among the Iranian people is a lever for this partnership.
The Iranians were keen from the beginning to play the role of an assistant to Hezbollah, which is why the decision was to send trainers instead of fighters to Lebanon after the “Israeli” invasion.
 
This independence is reinforced by the theory of Wilayat al-Faqih itself, which recognizes local and national specificities.
 
With the Wali al-Faqih having the authority to command in all administrative affairs, but according to wisdom, justice, and the ability to understand interests and conditions of time, which are among the obligatory attributes of the Wali al-Faqih, he realizes that every local and national society has deep peculiarities that its people tell about.
 
Therefore, the Wali often leaves the party to determine the interests after he adjusts their terms.
 
This partnership had a direct reflection on Hezbollah’s regional influence, as the Iranians realize that the party’s Arab identity, along with what it has accumulated in the Arab conscience, makes it, among other arenas and files, a major player in managing the resistance project.
 
12- Mastering the administration in connection with the experience of Iranian institutionalization.
 
Hezbollah has benefited from its deep ties with Iranian institutions, whether the Revolutionary Guards, the civil services, or even the hawza in Qom, to draw inspiration from the experience of building institutions and organizing administration, which is one of the historical characteristics of the Iranian experience.
 
A number of the institutions of the Islamic Revolution either initially opened branches in Lebanon and then were run by the party, or transferred their experience to the party, which copied it with a local flavor and peculiarities.
 
Iranian experts in management and human resources have transferred knowledge, skills, and administrative systems to party cadres that worked to build and develop active and efficient civil institutions in the fields of education, development, party organization, health, services, and local administration.
 
The party’s institutions usually benefit from Arab and Lebanese experts and academics from outside its environment to gain access to qualitative experiences and new knowledge.
 
The above-mentioned party institutions in the capital and the outskirts attracted thousands of young men and women graduates of universities who chose these majors or who were encouraged by the party to study in them to benefit from modern sciences in management and human resources.
 
This institutional momentum contributes to the efficiency of the party’s activities and its ability to meet its needs, to preserve and transfer experience, to development, to attract energies, and to adapt to transformations, especially since the “Israeli” enemy has repeatedly targeted these institutions.
 
13- Building strategic interests with Syria after years of mutual anxiety.
 
The relationship between the party and Syria was characterized by mistrust and suspicion at the beginning, with several field frictions between the two parties taking place, which reinforced the mutual distrust.
 
Damascus aspired to gain the regulating position of the Lebanese reality with international and regional recognition and to employ this in Syria’s internal stability, regional influence, and balance with the “Israeli” enemy.
 
Some Syrian government officials were apprehensive that the party’s agenda, identity, and relationship with Iran could disrupt their Lebanese project.
 
But with the war on Iraq, after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the failure of the Arab-“Israeli” settlement project, the end of the Iraqi-Iranian war, and Hezbollah’s steadfastness in the face of the “Israeli” enemy in the 1993 aggression, a new path was launched, the beginning of which was to prevent President Hafez al-Assad, at the initiative of the then commander of the Lebanese army, Emile Lahoud, using the army to clash with the resistance in 1993.
 
Since then, it can be said that a door for direct communication opened on the issue of resistance between the party and President al-Assad, regardless of the complexities of the so-called Syrian-Lebanese security system.
 
This relationship was strengthened during the “Israeli” aggression in 1996 when Syria played a key role in the birth of the April Understanding.
 
The relations between the two parties were strengthened after the American invasion of Iraq and Resolution 1559, as Syria realized its need for the party and its necessity regionally and in Lebanon.
 
Syria also became a vital strategic depth for the party with the expansion of the confrontation arena after 2011, which was proven by the party’s entry into the war in Syria in 2013.
 
The party succeeded in understanding Syria’s concerns in Lebanon and kept pace with its vital interests by not clashing with the post-Taif regime and revealed to it its weight in the conflict with the “Israeli” enemy. The strategic partnership that developed over time between Syria and Iran helped in this.
 
14- The awakening of the marginalized Arab Shiites.
 
With its rise, the party became the center of the Shiites’ eyes, hearts, and minds in the Arab world. They have experienced decades of exclusion and abuse, similar to the Zaydis in Yemen.

Thus, they found in the successes of the Shiite Hezbollah a possible entry point for Islamic and national recognition. This oppression of the Arab Shiites served as an amplifier for Hezbollah’s achievements and a motivator for being identified with it and drawing inspiration from it.
 
Thus, Hezbollah’s regional influence is primarily a product of its soft power, a power characterized by long-term results and acceptable costs. It is a fully legitimate influence.
 
The party supports the choice of these Shiites in peaceful struggle, encourages climates of dialogue with their partners and the governments of their countries, emphasizes Islamic unity, respects their national privacy, helps them in the media to raise their voice to demand rights, and urges them to political, media, and popular participation in support of the resistance project within the region.
 
15- Healing the Arab psychological defeat through victory over the “Israeli” enemy and support for the rising resistance project in Palestine.
 
A large part of Arab societies took pride in Hezbollah’s resistance, interacting with it and getting closer to it, as they found it a response to decades of disappointment and defeats.
 
Hezbollah has been keen to highlight its Arab identity in its political, cultural, and media discourse and in its artistic products (anasheed) and has strengthened its institutions concerned with communicating and engaging in dialogue with Arab elites, parties, and groups.
 
This Arab fascination with the party’s experience in fighting the “Israeli” enemy and in its leadership constituted a provocative factor for the Arab official regimes that emerged from the conflict with the enemy, as the party’s successes practically undermined the discourses of complacency and the legitimacy of its advocates.
 
This explains the insistence of a number of regional regimes on creating sectarian tensions that have had negative repercussions on the party’s relationship with part of its Arab incubators.
 
But the decline of the sectarian wave as the party continues to lead Arab resistance efforts against the “Israeli” entity can create conciliatory atmospheres with Arab incubators on the basis of understanding and dialogue, organizing differences, and neutralizing them from the resistance project.
 
16- Inspiration, representation, and transfer of experience
 
Hezbollah has limited material, human, and financial resources. Therefore, its building of partnerships and alliances at the regional level within the resistance project had to be based on its most prominent assets, namely its ability to inspire and transfer its experience and lessons learned to its peers within movements and forces that practice the act of resistance.
 
What made this possible was that the party’s victories revived the spirit of resistance in the Arab and Islamic spheres (for example, the comparison between Sayyed Nasrallah and President Abdel Nasser abounded) and thus stimulated the desire of many groups and elites to understand and benefit from the party’s experience.

The most prominent results of this appeared in occupied Palestine, especially in the second intifada.
 
Therefore, Hezbollah was interested in transferring its experience in resistance, administration, media, and organization to a large network of Arab and Islamic non-governmental political actors involved, militarily or politically, in confronting the American hegemony system.
 
The transfer of experience naturally includes the transfer of values, ideas, patterns of behavior and practical culture, as well as establishing networks of links and relations with the cadres of these movements and parties.
 
Thus, over time, additional groups joined the equations of force and deterrence for the resistance project. The Zionists started talking about multiple circles of the resistance axis that extend to Iraq and Yemen.

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