Islamic Jihad Denounces Assault on Liberated Prisoner Al-Akhras

22 Aug 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

The family of liberated Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras protests alongside dozens of Palestinians in front of the police headquarters in Bireh to demand the release of their kin whom the Palestinian Authority arrested.

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Liberated Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras (Archive)

The family of liberated Palestinian prisoner, Maher Al-Akhras, demonstrated alongside dozens of Palestinians in Bireh, 15 km from occupied Jerusalem, to demand the release of their kin whom the Palestinian Authority Security Forces have arrested during a protest.

The protest was against the assassination of Palestinian human rights activist, Nizar Banat, in Ramallah.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad denounced the attacks carried out by the Palestinian National Security Forces, calling the assault on liberated prisoner Maher Al-Akhras ‘shameful’ to the Palestinian Authority.

PIJ also denounced the PA’s heavy-handed suppression of the Palestinians, who went on a march demanding for the killers of Nizar Banat to be held accountable.

Additionally, the resistance movement called on the Palestinian Authority to free all prisoners and to stop violating rights and liberties.

PA Security Forces Arrest Lawyer, Activists amid Nizar Banat Protests

July 4, 2021

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

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

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

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

— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) June 24, 2021

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

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

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

Ramallah – Palestinian Authority security forces detain prominent lawyer and human rights activist Muhannad Karajah.

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

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

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

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

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Najlaa Zaitoun, journalist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Targeted attacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life threatening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smear campaigns

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

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

– Fayhaa Khanfar, journalist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Illegitimacy of Mahmoud Abbas: Complicity and Accountability in Banat’s Killing

July 1, 2021

Prominent Palestinian activist Nizar Banat. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramona Wadi

In the international community’s narrative of illusory state-building in Palestine, the Palestinian Authority’s security services are dissociated from violence. Whether such violence is meted out according to PA Leader Mahmoud Abbas’s directives, or in terms of security coordination with Israel, the EU and the US prefer to retain a distant approach and one that is deeply rooted in the dynamics of the two-state paradigm.

Never mind that the EU and the US are directly funding and training the PA’s security services to turn against Palestinian civilians.

The killing of Nizar Banat at the hands of the PA’s security services last week ignited protests across the occupied West Bank. Simmering beneath the immediate protests is the Palestinian people’s awareness of security coordination with Israel, treacherous collaboration with Israel’s colonial violence that has targeted Palestinians with dissenting voices or involved in resistance activities.

At a time when Abbas is descending into a chaos of his own making, notably his refusal to hold democratic elections, Palestinians are protesting against the intricate web of violence which has so far sustained his “authority”.

US State Department Spokesman Ned Price’s statement is indicative of how Washington absolves itself of any role in creating the PA’s security services and their violence. “We have serious concerns about Palestinian Authority restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression by Palestinians and harassment of civil society activists and organizations,” said Price. Anyone else for dodgeball?

However, the US exhibits no concern whatsoever that it trains the PA’s security services to commit acts that lead to the murder of Palestinian civilians. Once again, Palestinian lives are expendable in view of the international commitment, to which the US is bound by consensus, to keeping the Palestinian people tethered to the two-state compromise and protecting the occupation, apartheid state.

The EU’s statement recognized the PA’s “increasingly persistence practice” of targeting its opponents, yet it hesitated to describe Banat’s death as politically motivated. “Apparently” allows the PA to remain on the EU’s agenda, for no other reason than the two-state compromise and the humanitarian agenda forced upon the Palestinian people. In this context, how can the EU’s calls for there to be accountability for Banat’s killing have any meaning?

If scrutiny is projected onto the donors, namely the EU and the US, an additional process of accountability must be taken into consideration; one that calls into question the Oslo Accords, the two-state compromise, and the international oppression which forced Palestinians to bend under PA rule.

In November 2020, Banat was arrested for a video denouncing the PA’s resumption of security coordination with Israel, a betrayal by the PA at the news that Joe Biden had won the US presidential election. Security coordination, therefore, is the main issue. Banat’s dissent threatened what remains of the PA’s repressive power. Without security coordination, the PA risks political dissolution and accountability.

These are two truths that it tries to stave off, even as Palestinians are clearly more emboldened in their protests and less willing to fit within the parameters imposed by the international community in its quest to legitimize Abbas, despite the clear illegitimacy of his political position and absence of a mandate to govern.

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.

Palestinian Activist Nizar Banat Assassinated After Raid on His Home by PA Officers


Palestinian Activist Nizar Banat Assassinated After Raid on His Home by PA Officers

By Staff, Agencies

Nizar Banat, a leading Palestinian activist and critic of the Palestinian Authority [PA], has died after a raid by PA security forces on his home in Dura in the al-Khalil area early on Thursday.

In a statement, the Governor of al-Khalil Jibreen al-Bakri claimed “during the arrest his health deteriorated,” however Banat’s family said he had been subjected to a beating while being detained.

The arrest took place as the PA stepped up its security crackdown on political opponents and social media users in the occupied West Bank.

Banat was well known for his criticism of the PA leadership and had been arrested several times in the past by Palestinian Authority security forces.

The Middle East Eye cited Muhannad Karajah, from Lawyers for Justice, as saying that Banat had phoned him on Wednesday and told him that he was being subjected to threats by the PA’s intelligence service, who had demanded that he stop his criticism of the authority.

Banat has for months been posting videos on Facebook on which he lambasted PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA and Fatah officials.

Ammar, a cousin of Banat and a spokesman for the family, told MEE that about 25 officers and a member of the Preventive Security and General Intelligence, stormed the house around 3.30am in the morning after detonating its doors.

He said the officers stormed the room in which Nizar was sleeping and immediately began to attack him by spraying him with gas in his mouth and nose.

The cousin said they beat Banat severely with iron and wooden batons.

He added that Nizar had been in a fainting state, so they dragged him, stripped him of his clothes, and transported him away in military vehicles.

The death has been met with anger on the streets and criticism from human rights organizations and Palestinian factions who have called for an independent investigation.

In a statement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] held the PA responsible for Banat’s death.

“The arrest and then the assassination of Nizar again raises questions on the nature of the role and function of the PA and its security services, and its violation of the democratic rights of citizens through the policy of silence, prosecution, arrest and murder,” said the PFLP

Additionally, Sami Abu Zuhri, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said: “We consider that [PA] Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh bears the primary responsibility for the murder of activist and parliamentary candidate Nizar Banat, and we call for the killers to be prosecuted.”

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Palestinians protest death of activist Nizar Banat in PA police custody

Death of prominent critic of the Palestinian Authority has unleashed anger at President Mahmoud Abbas

Protesters hold photos of Nizar Banat, who died in the custody of Palestinian Authority security forces, during a demonstration in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on 24 June 2021 (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

By Shatha Hammad in Ramallah, occupied West BankPublished date: 24 June 2021 11:40 UTC | Last update: 8 hours 33 mins ago

Protesters took to the streets in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, facing police repression following the death of prominent critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Nizar Banat overnight while in the custody of PA forces.

In Ramallah, the administrative centre of the PA, thousands of demonstrators chanted: “In soul, in blood, we defend you Nizar.”

Many other slogans took direct aim at the PA and President Mahmoud Abbas, with chants including: “The people want the downfall of the regime,” and “Leave, leave Abbas.”

PA forces hit demonstrators with batons and fired tear gas and stun grenades in Ramallah.

A member of Palestinian Authority forces wields a baton during the demonstration in memory of Nizar Banat in Ramallah on 24 June 2021 (MEE/Shatha Hammad)
A member of Palestinian Authority forces wields a baton during the demonstration in memory of Nizar Banat in Ramallah on 24 June 2021 (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

Banat was arrested by at least 25 officers, who raided his home in the town of Dura in the southern West Bank governorate of Hebron, at 3.30am on Thursday. He was declared dead shortly afterward.

Preliminary autopsy results showed that Banat was severely beaten with several bruises and fractures showing all over his body, Samir Zaarour, a doctor who oversaw the autopsy, said on Thursday.

The Ramallah-based Independent Commission for Human Rights revealed the autopsy results at a news conference in Ramallah on Thursday.

Zaarour said Banat had injuries in the head, neck, shoulders as well as broken ribs and internal bleeding in the lungs – signs indicative of an unnatural death – stressing that the victim did not suffer from any serious medical condition that would otherwise lead to his death.

Full autopsy and toxicology reports, expected to be available within 10 days, will definitively determine the cause of death.

‘Dangerous precedent’

Ammar Al-Dwaik, the general director of the commission, described the death of Banat a “dangerous precedent” against a political dissident, calling for a criminal investigation into the incident that would refer the perpetrators of the killing to trial.

Banat was well known for his criticism of the PA leadership and had been arrested several times in the past by Palestinian security forces. He was also a candidate on the Freedom and Dignity electoral list for the Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections, which had initially been scheduled for 22 May, but were postponed by the PA.

Human rights organisations and Palestinian factions have called for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Banat’s death – which, according to Mohannad Karajah, a member of the Palestinian Lawyers for Justice group, amounted to an “assassination”.

PA officials announced on Thursday afternoon that Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had ordered an investigation committee – led by Minister of Justice Mohammad Shalaldeh and including a physician appointed by the Banat family, a human rights official, and a security official – into Banat’s death.

But Omar Assaf, a member of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) political bureau, dismissed outright the credibility of an investigation led by the PA.

“There needs to be a popular investigation committee established, not an official committee, because a popular committee will uncover the truth,” he told Middle East Eye.

He referred to the case of Majd al-Barghouthi, who died in PA custody in 2008, only for an official investigation to clear security forces of wrongdoing.

“In the case of Majd al-Barghouthi, they concluded that he was a chain smoker, when he had never smoked once in his life,” Assaf said. “These are the official investigation committees.”

‘Palestinian law protects the occupation’

Speaking at the demonstration in Ramallah, Assaf added: “This is a continuation of the Dayton [Mission] creed, which was adopted by the PA and its security apparatus, that the people are the enemy of the state. There must be the dismissal of heads of the security branches, and the criminals responsible for killing Nizar Banat should be brought to court.”

The PA was established in the wake of the 1993 Oslo Accords, and initially intended to be an interim governing body until the establishment of a fully-fledged Palestinian state.

But with a two-state solution never materialising, the PA – which exerts only limited control over Areas A and B, which make up around 40 percent of the West Bank – has long been accused by many Palestinians of being an extension of the Israeli occupation.

The PA’s security coordination with Israel is a principal target of anger. The policy, through which PA forces are in regular contact with Israeli forces, has meant PA police may withdraw from areas ahead of an Israeli army raid, or arrest Palestinians wanted by Israel.

“Palestinian law protects the occupation, but we want it to protect the Palestinian people,” Maher al-Akhras, a leader of the Islamic Jihad movement in the West Bank, told MEE from the Ramallah protest.Abbas critic Nizar Banat dies after raid on his home by PA forces

Akhras, who was released from Israeli prison in November following a 103-day hunger strike against his administrative detention, drew a parallel between Banat’s death and the killing of another prominent Palestinian activist, Basel al-Araj, in March 2017.

Araj had been one of six activists imprisoned and tortured by the PA for six months in 2016. Most of them were arrested by Israeli forces shortly after their release by the PA, while Araj went into hiding for months, only to later be killed in a standoff with Israeli forces. The PA had been widely denounced at the time as complicit in Araj’s death due to its security coordination.

The PA has also been criticised for its crackdown on political opposition and social media users in the West Bank through draconian legislation on social media posts. Abbas, meanwhile, has been in power since 2005. Though his term as president officially ended in 2009, the PA has not held presidential elections in 16 years.

In addition to legislative elections, a presidential vote initially scheduled for 31 July was postponed in April, with the voting rights of Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem cited as a reason. Critics of Abbas have accused the president of using Jerusalem’s right to vote as an excuse to avoid the election due to the popularity of Hamas, the main rival party to his own Fatah movement.

The US State Department said on Thursday that Washington was “disturbed” by Banat’s death.

“We urge the Palestinian Authority to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation and to ensure full accountability in this case,” spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. 

“We have serious concerns about Palestinian Authority restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression by Palestinians and harassment of civil society activists and organizations.”


Prominent Palestinian Activist Nizar Banat Dies during Arrest by PA Forces

June 24, 2021

Palestinian prominent activist Nizar Banat. (Photo: via Social Media)

A prominent Palestinian political activist and outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority died during his arrest by PA forces early Thursday.

In a brief statement, the Hebron governorate said that Banat’s “health deteriorated” when a force of the security services went to arrest him early Thursday. It added that he was taken to a hospital where he was later announced dead.

The Palestinian Authority has deliberately targeted and killed Nizar Banat in Hebron.
Nizar spoke up about repression and failed policies which keep Palestinians silent, chained.
Today, the PA proved that it doesn’t intend on keeping Palestinians safe and free. #nizar_banat

— مريم البرغوثي (@MariamBarghouti) June 24, 2021

Nizar’s cousin, Mohammad Banat, told Quds News Network that around 25 Palestinian security forces stormed the home where Nizar was staying, blowing out doors and windows.

He added that they beat Nizar with an iron bar and sprayed pepper spray in his eyes before undressing him and dragging him away to a vehicle.

Mohammad and another cousin were present during the arrest.

(Quds News, PC, Social Media)

أكتوبر 17 يوم الرأس بالرأس ويوم طار رأس زئيفي في القدس – نضال حمد


في السابع عشر من تشرين الأول – أكتوبر 2001 كانت فلسطين على موعد مع تنفيذ شعار ” الرأس بالرأس” الذي أطلقه القائد الفذ أحمد سعدات وكذلك رفاق الشهيد القائد الكبير أبو علي مصطفى الأمين العام للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين، الذي اغتاله الاحتلال الصهيوني نهاية شهر آب – أغسطس  في مكتبه برام الله المحتلة.يوم 17-10-2001 على باب الغرفة رقم 816 في فندق بالقدس المحتلة تلقى الوزير الصهيوني الارهابي رحبعام زئيفي خمس رصاصات في الصدر والرأس أدت الى وفاته على الفور.

في تعليقه على عملية الاغتيال قال الارهابي شارون رئيس وزراء الكيان الصهيوني آنذاك: “كل شيء تغيّر”، مع إطلاقه وابلاً من التهديدات ضد الفلسطينيين” تكللت باجتياح رام الله وحصار مكتب رئيس السلطة ياسر عرفات حيث كان يعتقل سعدات ورفاقه بعد أن غدر بهم وتم اعتقالهم بقرار شخصي من ياسر عرفات نفذه توفيق الطيراوي.

زئيفي لم يكن كأي شخص صهيوني، فقد كان من الآباء والقادة المؤسسين للكيان الصهيوني. كما كان واحداً من أكثرهم ارهابا واجراما وعنصرية.. بالاضافة لعدائه الشديد لكل الفلسطينيين والعرب. كان من أشد دعاة الترانسفير وترحيل كل الفلسطينيين من أرضهم المحتلة.

بعد اغتيال زئيفي قامت أجزهة أمن السلطة الفلسطينية المنسقة مع الاحتلال الصهيوني بالاحتيال على “سعدات” الذين كان متخفيا ومتورايا عن الأنظار، وهو الخبير في ذلك لتجربته الطويلة في هذا المجال. طلب توفيق الطيراوي عقد لقاء مع سعدات لبحث شؤون وطنية ملحة، حصل اللقاء في احد فنادق رام الله، حيث تم اعتقال سعدات ورفاقه اعضاء الخلية الجبهوية التي نفذت عملية اغتيال زئيفي.

نقطة... وأول السطر - شخصيات: ما لا تعرفه عن بساطة توفيق الطيراوي ..ماذا طلب  منه ياسر عرفات ؟

بهذا العمل الشنيع أضافت سلطة اوسلوستان وصمة عار جديدة على الوصمات الكثيرة التي لطخت وتلطخ سيرة النضال الوطني الفلسطيني.

تعتبر عملية اغتيال وئيفي في قلب القدس المحتلة وفي فنندق للرسميين الصهاينة من أهم وأشجع العمليات الفدائية الفلسطينية على مر تاريخ الصراع مع العدو الصهيوني. فهي كانت عملية نوعية وجرئية ومميزة بكل المقاييس والمعايير.

باغتيال الارهابي زئيفي ثأر الفلسطينيون لكرامتهم الوطنية ولشهدائهم، كما سددوا ضربة موجعة ودقيقة جداً للعدو الصهيوني. وضربة مؤلمة وشخصية للارهابي شارون صديق زئيفي وللصهاينة بشكل عام، ومن خلال قدرتهم على الرد المؤلم والدقيق والسريع والمميز، كما من خلال تنفيذ الوعد والعهد، وعد “الرأس بالرأس والعين بالعين” في وقت قياسي وسريع، وفي دقة عملياتية واختيار الشخص والمكان والزمان، وعودة وانسحاب منفذي العملية بسلام.

خزي اوسلوستان لم يتوقف عند اعتقال سعدات ورفاقه .. ففي الرابع عشر من آذار – مارس 2006 اقتحمت قوات الاحتلال الصهيوني سجن أريحا التابع للسلطة الفلسطينية. حيث اعتقلت القائد المناضل أحمد سعدات صاحب ومطلق شعار ” الرأس بالرأس والعين بالعين” مع رفاقه منفذي عملية اغتيال زئيفي. بالاضافة للواء فؤاد الشوبكي وهو أحد قادة حركة فتح ومساعد لرئيسها ورئيس السلطة والمنظمة الراحل ياسر عرفات.

بينما خرج سعدات رافع الراس ومكبل اليدين والقدمين محاطا بعشرات الجنود الصهاينة،

خرج وقائيو الأوسلة وأجزهتها الأمنية، حراس السجن من عناصر وضباط أجهزة شرطة وأمن سلطة اوسلوستان عراة وفقط بالكلاسين، مستسلمين، رافعين أيديهم فوق رؤوسهم، في مشهد مؤلم ومفجع ومخجل ومعيب ومهين للشعب العربي الفلسطيني كله صغيرا وكبيرا حياً وشهيدا وحرا وأسيرا.


مشهد لا يغيب عن أعيينا ولن يغيب مدى الحياة.

أين نحن اليوم من شعاراتنا؟أين نحن اليوم من حرية أسرانا؟

الوحدة الوطنية الفلسطينية تجسدها الأعمال والأفعال ضد الاحتلال لا الشعارات الفارغة والكاذبة ولا اللقاءات والاجتماعات والتصريحات وتقاسم السلطات والمحسوبيات. تجسدها أعمال النضال والكفاح الشعبية والمسلحة فلا نضال شعبي ولا مقاومة شعبية بدون مقاومة مسلحة، أي العمل الحقيقي في الميادين وعلى أرض المواجهات. فطريق تحرير فلسطين لا يمر من خلال الكذب على شعبنا بل من خلال تقديم الولاء والطاعة والتوبة للبعض، في بيت الشعب العربي الفلسطيني. بيت المقاومة الفلسطينية المتمسكة بثوابت شعب فلسطين. فالفصائل التي تدعي المقاومة ولا تتمسك بالثوابت لا فائدة ترجى منها ولا من مقاومتها.

OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report | 14 – 27 July 2020 31 Jul 2020

July 31, 2020 5:00 AM

United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Twenty Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in various clashes across the West Bank. This is around 80 per cent below the average of such injuries since the beginning of 2020. Fourteen of the injuries were sustained during clashes that erupted in two separate protests against the establishment of two settlement outposts in the vicinity ‘Asira ash Shamaliya and Beita villages (both in Nablus); the outposts were subsequently dismantled by the Israeli authorities. The other six Palestinians, including a child, were injured during clashes triggered by search and arrest operations in the refugee camps of Balata (Nablus), Al Jalazoun (Ramallah) and Jenin, and in Tulkarem city.

On 21 July, two Palestinian boys (ages 11 and 14 years) were burned and injured, one of them severely, after handling an object that fell from an Israeli aircraft, reportedly during a military training, and ignited.The incident occurred in the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron city (H2) near the boys’ home.

On 25 July, Palestinian security forces shot and killed a Palestinian man, and injured several others, during clashes in Nablus city.The clashes erupted after the Palestinian forces attempted to close shops and arrest the owners, while enforcing the lockdown regulations imposed in the context of the pandemic. The Palestinian authorities announced the opening of an investigation.

In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces carried out 26 search and detention operations, including two at the premises of cultural institutions, and one at a Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) storage center.In the latter incident, the forces requisitioned some 100 food boxes, reportedly planned for distribution to families in home quarantine due to COVID-19; the reason remains unclear. In a statement issued following the operation at the two cultural centers and the arrest of their directors, a network of Palestinian NGOs called on the international community to defend civic space and provide protection to Palestinian civil society organizations. In one of the operations in Al-‘Isawiya neighbourhood, an undercover unit physically assaulted and abducted a 12-year-old Palestinian boy.

On at least 22 occasions, Israeli forces opened warning fire near Israel’s perimeter fence around Gaza, and off its coast, presumably to enforce access restrictions, resulting in no injuries or damage to property. On two occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-levelling and excavation operations near the perimeter fence.

Thirty Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized in Area C and East Jerusalem for the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 25 people and otherwise affecting around 140 others. In one incident on 21 July, the Israeli authorities demolished a structure on the outskirts of Hebron city, which, according to the Hebron Municipality, was planned to be used as a COVID-19 testing centre; this claim is contested by the Israeli authorities. This and three other structures were demolished using Military Order 1797, which allows the removal of unauthorized buildings within 96 hours from the delivery of a notice. Humanitarian and human rights organizations have repeatedly raised concern about this procedure, which largely prevents affected people from being heard before a judicial body.

Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency on 5 March, citing the lack of building permits, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized 19 inhabited homes that were in place prior to that date, displacing 104 Palestinians. This follows a commitment by the authorities to suspend the demolition of such structures during the pandemic. An additional seven inhabited homes were demolished during this period by their owners, following the issuance of demolition orders. Since the start of the emergency, 282 Palestinian structures of all types have been demolished or seized due to lack of building permits, in contravention to international humanitarian law.

Assailants, believed to be Israeli settlers injured three Palestinians and vandalized a mosque, some 30 trees and other properties. The injuries include two Palestinian men physically assaulted with sticks and stoned in Turmus’ayya village (Ramallah) and another in the H2 area of Hebron city. On 27 July, a mosque in Al Bireh city (Ramallah) was set on fire, damaging parts of it, and Hebrew graffiti was painted on its walls; the Israeli police reportedly opened an investigation. Some 30 olive trees were set on fire or cut down in Turmus’ayya, Burin, Qaryut (both in Nablus) and Sa’ir (Hebron) villages. Other properties vandalized include bulldozers and other tools at a quarry in Jamma’in village (Nablus) and closed shops in the H2 area of Hebron city.

One Israeli settler was physically assaulted and injured by Palestinians in the H2 area of Hebron city and, according to Israeli sources, four other Israelis were injured after their vehicles were stoned by Palestinians, while traveling on West Bank roads. A total of six Israeli-plated vehicles reportedly sustained damage as a result of stone-throwing and one as a result of Molotov cocktail throwing by Palestinians.

رايس وخلق المزيد من الفوضى في المشهد الفلسطينيّ

رامز مصطفى

وزيرة الخارجيّة الأميركيّة السابقة كونداليزا رايس، تستحقّ عن جدارة لقب صاحبة نظرية «الفوضى الخلاقة». فها هي منطقة الشرق الأوسط ومنذ عشر سنوات قد دخلت في تلك الفوضى التي لا سابق لها، حتى في ظلّ دول الاستعمار القديم (فرنسا وبريطانيا).

جديد رايس ما جاءت به صفحات كتابها «لا يوجد فخر أكثر من هذا… ذكريات سِنين حُضوري في واشنطن». هو ما ذكرته رايس في أحد فصول كتابها المتعلق بالموضوع الفلسطيني، وعلى وجه التحديد السلطة الفلسطينية برموزها السابقة والراهنة.

خطورة الكتاب في توقيته، حيث ينوي كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني تنفيذ عمليات الضمّ الشهر المقبل. وبالتالي ما تضمّنه لجهة نشر معلومات خطيرة، وإنْ كان الجمهور الفلسطيني بنخبه وفصائله يعرفون الكثير منها، ولكن من دون تأكيد. ليأتي كتاب رايس إقراراً بتلك الأحداث والتطورات التي أثرت في مسار العمل الفلسطيني. فالرئيس بوش الإبن وحسب رايس، قرّر التخلص من الراحل أبو عمار، على خلفية تحميله مسؤولية اندلاع الانتفاضة الثانية وتسليحها، وقبلها رفضه السير بمبادرة الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق بيل كلينتون والتوقيع على اتفاق كامب ديفيد في أواخر العام 2000. أولاً، من خلال استحداث موقع رئيس للحكومة من خارج نصوص اتفاقات «أوسلو»، ومن ثم نقل كافة الصلاحيات من رئيس السلطة إلى رئيس الحكومة.

ما ذكرته رايس في كتابها قد تحقق، عندما أقرّت أنها هي من اختارت السيد محمود عباس رئيساً للحكومة، لأنه يعتبر المقاومة إرهاباً، وقبِل بإعادة هيكلة الأجهزة الأمنية التابعة للسلطة، وفق الشروط لكلّ من الولايات المتحدة وحكومة كيان الاحتلال، بإشراف الجنرال دايتون، صاحب نظرية «خلق الفلسطيني الجديد». وأيضاً تعيين سلام فياض وزيراً للمالية، ليكون بوابة لجلب أموال الدول المانحة. مما أتاح لكلّ من الإدارة الأميركية والكيان تحويل الراحل أبو عمار إلى واجهة من دون أية صلاحيات، بحسب مؤلفة الكتاب.

رايس قد كشفت في كتابها أيضاً، أنّ حكومة الإرهابي شارون قد عرضت على الإدارة الأميركية خطة لقتل أبو عمار، غير أنّ إدارتها رفضت الخطة. وهنا تفرض مجموعة من الأسئلة نفسها على ضوء ما كشفته رايس، أولاً، هل حقيقة أنّ إدارة الرئيس بوش رفضت الخطة فعلاً؟ وثانياً، ألم يكن في مقدور تلك الإدارة، طالما أنها رفضت الخطة، أن تمنع شارون من تنفيذ جريمة اغتيال أبو عمار؟ وثالثاً، من عرض تلك الخطة، مؤكد أنها تضمّنت أسماء المتورّطين، وعليه فهي وإدارتها يعرفون هؤلاء المتورّطين، وهم من داخل الدائرة الضيقة والمحيطة بالراحل أبو عمار؟

من الواضح أنّ ما تضمّنه كتاب رايس من معلومات في هذه المرحلة الخطيرة والحساسة التي تمرّ بها القضية الفلسطينية، يأتي في سياق خلق المزيد من الفوضى في المشهد الفلسطيني، بسبب الخيارات السياسية التي تنتهجها السلطة والمنظمة، وما تشهده الساحة أيضاً من انقسام حادّ ببعديه السياسي والجغرافي. وبالتالي تذكير لرئيس السلطة السيد محمود عباس، أنها وإدارتها من جاءت به رئيساً لحكومة السلطة، ومن ثم رئيساً لها بعد اغتيال الراحل أبو عمار. ولا بدّ أن يحفظ السيد أبو مازن هذا الجميل، والمُطالب وأركان سلطته وحركته فتح، ألا يُصعّدوا بالمواقف مع الكيان والولايات المتحدة بما يتعلق بـ «صفقة القرن»، من خلال التهديد بأنّ سيناريو التخلص من الراحل أبو عمار قد يتكرّر، وإنْ بأدوات غير التي تورّطت وسهّلت في الوصول للراحل أبو عمار واغتياله.


*كاتب فلسطينيّ.

ملفات تشغل المواطن الفلسطيني

سعاده مصطفى أرشيد

ثلاثة ملفات هي شغل المواطن الفلسطيني الشاغل، يتراجع أحدها ليتقدّم آخر وهي مرتبطة ببعضها البعض ارتباطاً عضوياً، والملفات الثلاثة هي: صفقة ترامب (صفقة القرن)، نتائج انتخابات الكنيست وماهية الحكومة (الإسرائيلية) المقبلة، وأخيراً وباء كورونا وحاله الطوارئ التي أعلنتها الحكومة الفلسطينية اثر ظهور حالات إصابة بهذا الفيروس.

شملت حالة الطوارئ التي أعلنتها الحكومة الفلسطينية إغلاق الجامعات والمدارس الحكومية والخاصة ووقف إجازات الأجهزة الأمنية والشرطية والعسكرية ونشر قوات الأمن الوطني (الجيش) في شوارع المدن والقرى، ثم إغلاق مدينة بيت لحم إغلاقاً كاملاً يمنع الدخول إليها والخروج منها، ولاحقاً تمّ إغلاق المقاهي والمطاعم والنوادي في معظم المحافظات، وأخيراً إغلاق معبر الكرامة بوجه المسافرين من وإلى الأردن وهو المنفذ الوحيد الذي يصل أهالي الضفة الغربية بالعالم.

أسئلة تتردّد على ألسنة المواطن: هل نحتاج لمثل هذه الإجراءات الصارمة والطارئة والفورية قبل أيّ دولة في الجوار؟ وهل يتطلب ذلك نشر قوات الأمن الوطني في الشوارع أم نشر الأطباء والطواقم الطبية والصحية؟ وهل يبرّر حالة الاعتقال التي تعرّض لها النائب السابق حسام خضر وهو غير مصاب بفيروس كورونا وإنما بتهمة إطالة اللسان وإثارة النعرات، حيث من الجدير ذكره أنّ خضر كان من قادة الانتفاضتين الأولى والثانيه واعتقل في سجون الاحتلال ما يزيد عن 20 اعتقال إضافة الى النفي والاقامة الجبرية والإصابات بالرصاص، ولم يتمّ الإفراج عنه إلا بعد خمسة أيام وبسبب عناده وإضرابه عن الطعام والشراب والدواء والكلام، إضافة إلى أنّ اعتقاله أثار استياء أنصاره الذين قاموا بقطع الطرق وأعمال شغب. برغم انّ خطورة الوباء أمر يستحق الاهتمام والمعالجة، إلا أنّ المبالغة في إجراءات الطوارئ وخاصة إغلاق المدارس والجامعات من شأنها ان تجعل أيّ تحرك شعبي أمراً صعباً في حال طرأ ما يستدعي ذلك خاصة أنّ التهديدات بتقسيم المسجد الأقصى وقبة الصخرة أمر وارد، كذلك ما نسمعه على ألسنة السياسيين الاسرائيليين بخصوص ضمّ مناطق واسعة من الضفة الغربية.

الشاغل الثاني هو نتائج انتخابات الكنيست واحتمالات تشكيل حكومة (اسرائيلية)، فحتى اليوم لا زال بن يامين نتنياهو يرى نفسه الفائز في حين تتضاءل فرصه (وإنْ لم تنعدم) لتشكيل حكومة، في حين تتزايد فرص منافسه بني غانتس (وإنْ لم تكن مؤكدة)، ومنذ يومين رفضت المحكمة المركزية في تل أبيب طلباً تقدم به محامو نتنياهو لتأجيل جلسات محاكمته في قضايا فساد باعتبار انّ المبرّرات التي تقدّم بها هؤلاء غير كافية، وبالتالي فإنّ الجلسه الأولى ستكون يوم الثلاثاء المقبل، وفي حال أخذت المحاكمة ومجرياتها أشكالاً حادة وفضائحية، وهو الأمر الغالب، فلن يكون أمام نتنياهو إلا الانحناء أمام أحد خيارين الأول هو القبول بحكومة مشتركة مع خصمه وبشروط الخصم، والثاني هو عقد صفقة تقضي بإسقاط التهم المسندة إليه مقابل خروجه من الحياة السياسية.

في المقلب الآخر تراهن السلطة الفلسطينية في رام الله على فرص الجنرال المتقاعد بني غانتس، وبناء عليه فقد تمارس ضغوطاً على القائمة المشتركة (النواب العرب) لمنحه الثقة وذلك على قاعدة أنّ خروج نتنياهو هو المكسب وانْ لم تحصل القائمة المشتركة على أية مكاسب، قد يشاركها في الضغط الأردن ومصر وقطر وتركيا كلّ لأسبابه.

الشاغل الثالث هو صفقة ترامب (القرن) وارتباطاً بما ذكر آنفاً فإنّ هناك فرضية ترى انّ الصفقة مرتبطة بنتنياهو لا بالسياسات اليمينية في كلّ من (إسرائيل) والولايات المتحدة ـ (الجمهورية الترامبية) وانّ المايسترو الأول لهذه الصفقة هو السفير الأميركي في القدس ديفيد فريدمان قبل أن يدخل على خطها لاحقاً كل من الصهر كوشنر والمستشار غرينبلات، فمشاريع كهذه ترتبط بسياسات ورؤى تمّ العمل عليها وزرع بذورها في «أوسلو» و «وادي عربة» و«وثيقة أبو مازن – بيلين» 2005، ثم انّ عقارب الساعة لا تعود إلى الوراء فالقرارات المرتبطة بالقدس أصبحت نهائية، والقرارات التي ستتخذ في القريب العاجل بضمّ مناطق من الضفة ستصبح بدورها نهائية، ولا يمكن لأيّ حكومة (إسرائيلية) مقبلة أن تعود عنها أو أن تضعها في مكانة تفاوضية، فالدولة – أيّ دولة لا تفاوض على أراض تعتبرها جزءاً من أرضها الوطنية.

الربط بين الشواغل الثلاثة واضح، وباء كورونا على جديته لا يستحق هذه الحالة الطارئة والعصبية في تنفيذها وإغلاق الجامعات والمدارس والتي هي بؤر التجمعات الشبابية وأدوات التحرك الشعبي الذي يمكن ان يحصل عند اتخاذ الحكومة المقبلة قراراتها، وحالة الجمود والسكون والهدوء السلبي وتقطيع الوقت قد أصبحت تقليداً سياسياً متبعاً لدى القيادة الفلسطينية، وانتظار ما لا يأتي أو ما لا يستحق الانتظار دون القيام بأيّ عمل جدي قد أصبح حرفة وعادة، فهل يغيّر التشكيل الحكومي في (إسرائيل) من نتائج السياسات اليمينية المتطرفة لدى كلّ من نتنياهو وغانتس؟ وهل سيكون هناك من تأثير حقيقي على جوهر الصفقة في حال فاز برئاسة الحكومة من يفوز؟ من هنا أرى انّ دخول القائمة المشتركة (النواب العرب) على خط التصويت لحكومة برئاسة غانتس ليس عملاً من أعمال السياسة العاقلة والمدركة والعارفة للواقع بقدر ما هو عمل من أعمال النكاية في نتنياهو وهي مسألة يبرع بها الشرقيون عامة ولو على حساب ما هو أهمّ وأجدى، فالأحزاب الاسرائيلية متطابقة في نظرتها للقدس والمستوطنات وترى وفق عقيدتها العسكرية في الأغوار عمقاً استراتيجياً لا غنى عنه.

على هذا المنوال تسير الأمور في ما تبقى من فلسطين، القيادة لا تفعل شيئاً باستثناء احتراف التفاوض إنْ أمكن باعتباره فلسفه حياة والانتظار، فيما يحترف المواطن الحزن وهو يرى هذا الواقع البائس.

*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم بالضفة الغربية.

فيديوات متعلقة

أخبار متعلقة

Palestinian Teen Killed during ‘Violent Clash’ with PA Security Forces

Salah Zakareneh, 17, was shot during a clash with Palestinian security forces. (Photo: via Twitter)


A Palestinian teenager died on Tuesday after being shot in Qabatiya, a village south of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank.

The boy, identified as 17-year-old Salah Zakareneh, was shot during a “violent clash” with Palestinian “security forces and armed men in the Qabatiya area,” according to a statement released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Violence reportedly erupted during celebrations following the release of a prisoner from an Israeli jail.

Marian Houk@Marianhouk

@AFP report: “Salah Zakareneh, 17, was shot during a ‘violent clash’ between Palestinian ‘security forces + armed men in the Qabatiya area late Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.” …i24NEWS English@i24NEWS_ENReport: A West Bank prisoner release celebration took a violent turn, with a teenager killed as #Palestinian security officers confronted gunmen and came under fire Twitter Ads info and privacySee Marian Houk’s other Tweets

Palestinian Authority (PA) Jenin Governor Akram Rajoub said, in a video published on Facebook, that PA security forces were deployed to Qabatiya after information was obtained that a “military-style demonstration” would take place there.

Rajoub said that on arrival in the village, gunmen opened fire and hurled rocks at PA security forces, which responded with tear gas, while some officers shot bullets into the air.

The Jenin governor did not explicitly address whether Zakareneh was shot by PA security forces or Palestinian gunmen, but blamed the latter for causing “the chaos”.

Despite several calls for answers, Rajoub refused to clarify exact events.Palestine Chronicle@PalestineChron

PA Official: Security Cooperation with #Israel is Continuous https#// via @PalestineChron

View image on Twitter

Twitter Ads info and privacySee Palestine Chronicle’s other Tweets

Hamas spokesperson Hazen Qassim has since accused Palestinian security forces of firing a bullet at Zakarneh, which, he said, proves “the logic of thuggery that the services employ against our people”.

Security coordination between Israel and Palestine security forces has been viewed as controversial and widely unpopular among the Palestinian public.

On February 1, Abbas claimed that the PA had cut all ties with the US and Israeli governments, including the so-called security coordination, following the announcement by Washington of its Middle East ‘peace plan’. Children of Peace@ChildrenofPeace

#PALESTINIAN RESEARCH Latest: 94% Palestinians reject “Deal of the Century;” large majorities call for withdrawal of PA recognition of Israel, ending security coordination with Israel. Support for the two-state
solution drops to its lowest level since Oslo 

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However, senior PA official Nabil Abu Rudeineh announced on February 17 that security cooperation with Israel was continuous, during a meeting with Israeli journalists in Ramallah.

“Abbas’s periodic threats to cease such coordination cannot be taken seriously,” wrote renowned journalist and writer Ramona Wadi in a recent article.

“As far as quashing Palestinian political dissent and resistance, the agreement with Israel is the best that the colonizer and collaborator can get. In terms of political engagement, security coordination provides the PA with the much-needed funds to sustain its existence,” Wadi added.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

Ramallah Traitor uncovers Hamas cell in Hebron planning attacks on Israel

PA uncovers Hamas cell in Hebron planning attacks on Israel

Friday, 15 May 2015

JPost 15 May — A Palestinian Authority security official said Friday that the PA’s security services uncovered and arrested a Hamas cell near Hebron in the West Bank. The official told Israel Radio on Friday that the group was planning attacks meant to take place in Israel.  Palestinian police were first alerted to the cell after a report was received of people preparing explosives inside an apartment. Five members of the cell were then arrested.  

The report said that cell members were in the early stages of preparing the necessary materials to make an explosive device and a search of the house did not find any completed explosives. 

The official  said that Palestinian security forces have arrested other Hamas military cells in Hebron, Kalkilya [Qalqliliya], Nablus and Jenin since the beginning of the year.



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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Netanyahu’s Fringe Coalition Regime, Palestinian Authority Hypocrisy

Palestine drapeau
Global Research, May 09, 2015

On May 7, Netanyahu announced the most lunatic fringe coalition regime in Israel’s history. It includes racist hate-mongers, over-the-top fascists and religious fundamentalist zealots – an incendiary combination threatening regional peace and stability.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said “(t)he face of a new form of racist, discriminatory Israel has been revealed.”

Netanyahu is “leading the charge to bury the two-state solution and impose a perpetual apartheid regime.”

He formed a new government “of war which will be against peace and stability in our region.”

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said Netanyahu must choose between peace and a two-state solution or a “policy of aggression and arbitrary violations against our people.”

The PLO negotiations department issued a statement saying:

Netanyahu’s new “right-wing extremist government is not a partner for peace when the leaders call for the annexation of Palestinian land and the forcible transfer of the Palestinian population and the genocide against our people.”

It’s long overdue for Israel to be held accountable for “crimes and violations against our people.”

Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh said the new government will increase “settlement activities and the Judaization of the West Bank, while at the same time isolating the Gaza Strip.”

He said Palestinians should respond through greater resistance – “exposing Netanyahu’s racist policies before the international community.”

Straightaway, his regime approved 900 new illegal East Jerusalem housing units on stolen Palestinian land – even before his new government is officially sworn in on May 11. It’s the most anti-Palestinian, pro-war, apartheid on steroids regime in Israel’s history.

Washington, other major Western nations and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pay lip service only against its horrific high crimes and abuses.

They yawn and do nothing to stop them. America supports all Israeli wars of aggression – longstanding rogue state partners in crime.

At the same time PA officials were denouncing Israel’s new regime, it continues enforcing its ruthlessness – collaborating against their own people for special benefits they enjoy.

On May 8, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused PA-controlled security forces of harassing, persecuting, arresting, interrogating and mistreating West Bank Palestinian students for political views they hold and express.

HRW’s Sarah Leah Whitson called it “deeply worrying that students are being held by Palestinian forces for no apparent reason other than their (alleged) connection to Hamas or their opinions.”

“Palestinians should be able to express critical political opinions without being arrested or beaten.”

Following Birzeit and other university student council elections, Addameer prisoner rights group director Sahar Francis told HRW 25 students were detained or summoned for interrogations.

In custody, they’re beaten and otherwise abused. It’s standard PA  security force practice serving Israeli interests – operating ruthlessly against their own people.

Current abuses followed numerous previous ones. Views critical of Israeli and/or PA policies aren’t tolerated.

PA security services West Bank spokesman Adnan Al-Dimiri lied saying “(w)e never arrest people for their speech or for their political affiliations.”

It happens all the time – including trumped up criminal charges justifying the unjustifiable.

HRW said PA authorities presented no credible evidence indicating arrested individuals committed any criminal activity – or advocated any.

Jihad Salim is a Birzeit University Hamas-affiliated student representative. He said around 6:00PM on April 25, PA security forces accosted him, shoved him into a civilian car, took him to a Ramallah office, and brutalized him during interrogation about earlier Palestinian elections.

Two interrogators were involved, he said. “They started cursing my mother,  cursing my sisters, slapping me around.”

“Then they punched me while asking questions about how Hamas won the elections.”

He was forced to stand uncomfortably, arms and legs spread apart, from11:00PM until 10:30AM the next day. Interrogation continued until 5:00PM. No food or water was supplied.

Numerous other cases follow the same pattern – lawless PA security force arrests, followed by detentions, brutalizing interrogations, beatings and other abuses, denial of all fundamental rights, and at times concocted charges of nonexistent criminality.

HRW said it “previously documented abuses by Palestinian security forces, including credible allegations of torture and arrests of people identified as political opponents.”

US funding and training makes Washington complicit with false arrests and detentions, torture, ill treatment, and other abuses against Palestinians solely for political reasons.

PA officials critical of Israel’s new regime share guilt in its crimes – serving as lawless apartheid enforcers.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Is Abbas’ war crimes bid against Israel a big bluff?

GlobaA Great Comment: Seven Remarks on Shalit Deall Research, January 09, 2015

Intense pressure from Israel and the US last week on members of the United Nations Security Council narrowly averted Washington’s embarrassment at being forced to veto a Palestinian resolution to end the occupation.

The Palestinians’ failure to get the necessary votes saved the White House’s blushes but at a cost: the claim that the US can oversee a peace process promising as its outcome a Palestinian state is simply no longer credible.

Looming is the post-peace process era. Its advent appears to have been marked by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ decision in the immediate wake of the Security Council vote to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

Israel furiously opposes the move, justifiably fearful that its politicians, military commanders and settler-leaders may now be put on trial for war crimes.

But the Palestinian leadership has long been apprehensive about such a move too. Abbas has spent years postponing the decision to sign the Rome Statute, which paves the way to the ICC.

Israeli statements at the weekend implied that Abbas’ reticence signalled a concern that he might expose himself to war crimes charges as well. Israel had “quite a bit of ammunition” against him and his Palestinian Authority, said one official menacingly.

In truth, the Palestinian president has other, more pressing concerns that delayed a decision to move to the legal battlefield of the Hague.

The first is the severe retaliation the Palestinians can now expect from the US and, even more so, from Israel. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu began by halting the transfer of tax revenues Israel collects on the Palestinians’ behalf. Israel is also preparing to lobby the US Congress to enforce legislation that would halt aid to the PA in the event of it launching an ICC action. More punishments are due to be announced.

In selecting the “nuclear option”, as Israeli analysts characterised it, Abbas has also left himself empty-handed in future diplomatic confrontations – and for no obvious immediate gain. War crimes allegations may take years to reach the court and, even then, be stymied by pressures the US will bring to bear in the Hague, just as it currently does in the Security Council.

But most problematic of all, as Abbas knows well, a decision to pursue war crimes trials against Ramallah Traitor ready to make lick the ass of any Israeli PMIsrael threatens the PA’s very existence.

The PA was the offspring of the two-decade-old Oslo accords, which invested it with two temporary functions. It was supposed to maintain stability in the parts of the occupied territories it governed while serving as Israel’s interlocutor for the five years of negotiations that were supposed to lead towards Palestinian statehood.

It has excelled in both roles. Under Abbas, the PA has been doggedly faithful to the idea of the peace process, even as Netanyahu spurned meaningful talks at every turn.

Meanwhile, the PA’s security forces –  – have kept the West Bank remarkably quiet even as Israel expanded and accelerated its settlement programme.

But as Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, argued on Sunday, the Palestinians’ move to the Hague court is further proof that the Oslo accords have expired.

Without a peace process, or any Israeli commitment to Palestinian statehood, why would the PA continue to cooperate on security matters with Israel, let alone consider such coordination “sacred”, as Abbas termed it last year? If the accords are seen to be dead, the impression can only grow that the PA is nothing more than Israel’s security contractor, assisting in its own people’s oppression.

Until now, that reality had been partially obscured by Abbas’ image as the Palestinian peace-maker. But if the process is indeed over, the contradictions in the PA’s role will be dramatically on show.


Abbas is in a bind. If he ends coordination and goes on the offensive, why would Israel allow the PA to continue functioning? But if his security forces continue to collaborate with Israel, how can he retain credibility with his people?

This leaves the Palestinian leader with only two credible strategic options – aside from dissolving the PA himself.

The first is to adopt a sophisticated model of armed resistance, though the PA has specifically rejected this in the past and is poorly equipped for it compared with militant factions like Hamas.

The other is to accept that Palestinian statehood is a lost cause and adopt a new kind of struggle, one for equal civil rights in a single state. But the PA’s rationale and bureaucratic structure preclude that. It is in no position to lead a popular struggle.

That is why Abbas will continue pursuing a Palestinian state through the UN, as he promised again at the weekend, undeterred by the realisation that it is unlikely ever to come to fruition.

The door to the Hague may be open, but Abbas is in no hurry to venture through it.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books).  His website is

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

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Sacred Treason: Palestinian-Israeli Alliance

 Palestinian-Israeli Alliance

On May 30, 2014, unelected President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed that the Palestinian Authority’s acts of treason, spanning 21 years, against the people of Palestine were ‘sacred’: “The security relationship [with Israel]…and I say it on air, security coordination is sacred, is sacred. And we’ll continue it whether we disagree or agree over policy,”

 Vacy Vlazna
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.’ Cicero
On May 30, 2014, unelected President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed that the Palestinian Authority’s acts of treason, spanning 21 years, against the people of Palestine were ‘sacred’:

“The security relationship [with Israel]…and I say it on air, security coordination is sacred, is sacred. And we’ll continue it whether we disagree or agree over policy,”

Conversely, resistance to the enemy, Israel, was once deemed sacred and the severest punishment for collaboration was made into law by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). The PA/PLO ‘security’ and intelligence collaboration with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords comes well within the terms of treason set out in the PLO Revolutionary Penal Code 1979 that is still applied:
Article 144: Any person who provides the enemy with documents, or is considered to have harmed  military actions, or the security of military sites and centres, or any other military institutions shall be punished by death,
 يعاقب بالإعدام كل فرد يعطي للعدو وثائقأ ومعلومات من شأنها أن تضرالأعمالالعسكرية أوأن تضرسلامة المواقع والمراكزالعسكرية وسائرالمؤسسات العسكرية أو يحسب أن من شأنها ذلك .
Article 148: Any person who leads the enemy to the sites of the revolutionary forces, or the allied forces, or misleads these forces shall be punished by death.
يعاقب بالإعدام كل من دل العدوعلى أماكن قوات الثورة أوالقوات الحليفة أو دل هذه القوات للسيرعلى طريق غيرصحيح
PA Mercenaries
As per the disbanded Southern Lebanon Army which was controlled, funded and trained by Israel to quash Palestinians and Hizbollah, the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) and the Preventative Security Service (PSS) function as Israel’s mercenary collaborators: hired, trained and bankrolled since Oslo by Israel, the USA, the CIA and the EU, overtly to maintain social stability and covertly to prevent the establishment of the Palestinian state.
Hanan Ashrawi declared way back in 2003,

“We are the only people on Earth asked to guarantee the security of our occupier, while Israel is the only country that calls for defense from its victims;

a guarantee which every PLO/PA and Fatah Central Committee (FCC) cat in Ramallah, fattened by foreign funding, readily fulfils without moral misgivings.
Cicero’s warning that a nation “cannot survive treason from within” proves ominously true. Thanks to the PA’s collusion with Israel in faux peace processes and subduing Palestinian resistance, Palestine has shrunk to less than 10% gorged away by facts-on-the-ground-illegal-settlements which proliferate by the second.
The PA/PLO/FCC, in line with Cicero’s portrayal, “For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments” has a benign public face and a hidden face of treachery.
Posturing as enemies, Israel and PA hasbara adroitly dissembles their interdependence. During Israel’sOperation Brother’s Keeper, Abbas publicly complained about Israel’s large scale arrests of Hamas supporters while, simultaneously, the PASF were assisting Israel with intelligence in the collective punishment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
In effect, the PASF, with Abbas as its commander-in-chief are conspiring in the war crime of collective punishment under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that the PA signed formally on 2 April 2014.
Systemic crimes of torture
The word ‘traitor’ comes from the Latin, ‘traditor’- one who delivers. And the PA certainly has delivered its people and their dream of freedom to the enemy. The plague of the PA’s treacherous detainment of Hamas supporters, as Cicero explains , ‘infects the body politic”. The infection intensified after the internationally-backed 2007 PA coup overthrew the democratically elected Hamas government in violation of the Palestinian constitution. Since then the PA has rounded up, detained and tortured thousands of Hamas supporters i.e. thousands of their fellow Palestinians.
Shocking details of grave human rights violations by the PASF…

“It is clear that the Palestinian security services have been using torture on a wide and systematic basis for several years using, inter alia, the following techniques: shabh (hanging) of all kinds, beating with cables, pulling out nails, suspension from the ceiling, flogging, kicking, swearing and cursing, electric shocks, sexual harassment and the threat of rape. At least six people have been killed while undergoing torture in Palestinian Authority centres: Shadi Shaheen, Ramallah; Majd Barghouti, Ramallah; Mohammed al-Haj, Jenin; Kamal Abu Taima, Hebron; Haitham Amro, Hebron; Fadi Hamadna, Nablus. Many ex-detainees have permanent disabilities. Mass arrests have taken place on political grounds.” (2011)

… are well documented in the reports, Documenting the crime of torture in the Palestinian Authority’s Territories  by The Arab Organiation for Human RIghts in the UK in association with the Middle East Monitor, 2011 and Detention Policy: Striking Palestinian National Immunity at its Core, The Arab Organization for Human RIghts in the UK, 2012.
Crushing resistance
The atmosphere of fear imposed by the brutal Israeli/PA partnership constricting Palestinian resistance explains why a 3rd Intifada has not emerged. Even minor dissent means torture and imprisonment, therefore Palestinians who have families to support and protect, know, through the shocking experiences of detainees, the horrific dangers of challenging the corruption and treachery of the PLO/PA elite or simply participating in a protest.
Take the experience of Samih Elewi from Nablus. His 5th arrest occurred in March 2010 for filing a case against the PSS for loss of income. During his previous imprisonment he had been tortured, beaten, his nails pulled out, his health deteriorated to the point of a heart attack. While undergoing surgery the PSS raided and looted his jewellery shop and home leaving his family destitute.
AOHR UK has documented the case of journalism student Mus’ab Adnan Al-Husari , 22,’who was arrested and tortured by PA intelligence services on the 12th of May 2014 as punishment for his support for his father who has gone on a hunger strike in Israeli prisons’ and rearrested by Israeli occupation forces on the 27th of May 2014’ purposely jeopardising his graduation.
Union leader, Bassam Zakarneh who was brought to court on 30 June 2014 for accusing Ahmed Majdalan, former Minister of Labour, of corruption and inefficiency, claimed  “the charges are a “futile attempt to scare trade union activists.”
These are merely 3 examples of the thousands of Palestinians subjected to torture by the PASF/PSS. The AOHR UK states that from October 2007 to October 2010, almost 8,640 Palestinians were detained by their own traitors. Each has a horror story.
PA undermining BDS
The PA’s treachery is also evident in its efforts to protect Israel by working overtly and ‘secretly … to undermine the pillars of the’ Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. A blatant example occurred in Australia when in October 2011, The Australian (a devout pro-Zionist newspaper) reported an anti-BDS statement by,

‘Izzat Abdulhadi, head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, said yesterday he did not support a full-scale boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign designed to isolate and delegitimise Israel, and was scathing about recent BDS-inspired protests outside the Max Brenner chain of shops, which are Israeli-owned. “BDS is a non-violent process and I don’t think it’s the right of anybody to use BDS as a violent action or to prevent people from buying from any place,” Mr Abdulhadi said of the Max Brenner protests, which have occasionally turned violent.’

Abdulhadi then scurrilously tainted the BDS activists with the Nazi brush,
‘(The BDS) is also sensitive to the Jewish people (because) in 1937 their businesses in Europe were boycotted.’
…. a refrain taken up ever since by pro-Zionist Australian politicians including the former PM Kevin Rudd and the present Attorney General George Brandis of East- Jerusalem-is-NOT- OCCUPIED notoriety.
Max Brenner is owned by the Strauss Group which actively supports the viscous Golani and Givati elite brigades.
Under pressure, Abdulhadi made a retraction which can be taken with a grain of salt when considering, at a talk in March 2014 by leading French BDS activist, Olivia Zemor, at the Australian National University, Abdulhadi’s staffer, Suheir Gedeon duly insisted that Australians were not ready for BDS.
Late last year, Ali Abunimah blogged on Abbas’ outrageous rejection of boycotting Israel because, “We have relations with Israel, we have mutual recognition of Israel” at, of all places, in South Africa, the wellspring of BDS, on the eve of Mandela memorial service.
This was a snide attack on BDS because the PA knows full well that the BDS movement does not boycott Israel but settlement products and significantly,  institutions, individuals and businesses that support the occupation under which Palestinians suffer and resist (when they are not in a PA prison).
BDS activists inside Palestine are quickly suppressed. Only two months ago, the Gatestone Institute reported that Zeid Shuaibi, Abdel Jawad Hamayel, Fadi Quran and Fajr Harb, were put on trial on 28th May for “provoking riots and breach of public tranquility.” by the PA simply because they protested the performance of an Indian dance troupe that had performed in Tel Aviv.
Undermining the Unity Government
The PA didn’t need Israel’s Brother’s Keeper military intervention to undermine the unity government which since its establishment on 2 June after the failure of the ‘peace’ process, the PASF have maintained the momentum of arresting Hamas  supporters and “Palestinian activists and journalists especially those who support Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons who have gone on a hunger strike.” (AOHR UK)
During Operation Brother’s Keeper, Abbas’ prime concern was for the survival of the PA, not for the hunger striking prisoners nor for the Israeli tsunami of arrests and house invasions. Quick to disloyally concur with Netanyahu that the suspects were connected to Hamas, and without a shred of evidence, Abbas  announced the ‘kidnappers’ were

“seeking the destruction of the [Palestinian] Authority,” then went on to praise “the Palestinian security forces for their efforts to “stop the PA from being dragged into disorder and prevent the factions from taking advantage of the situation for non-nationalistic purposes.”

Abbas also expeditiously acknowledged the humanity of the 3 missing Israelis,  “The missing settlers in the West Bank are human beings like us, and we must look for them and return them to their families,” A humanness Netanyahu turned into emotional gold by sending the 3 mothers to the UN.
And did  the PA organise a UN visit for the Palestinian mothers of slaughtered 18 year old Yusuf Abu Zagher, 14 year old Mahmoud Dudeen,15 year old Muhammad Abu Thahr ,17 year old Nadim Nuwara and 16 year old  Mohammed Abu Khdeir?
But then the PA has a poor record of supporting the mothers of Palestinian martyrs and heroes. When Samer Issawi, the heroic hunger-striker was in a critical condition, Abbas refused to see Samer’s desperate mother. Hunger-striking prisoners tend to galvanise popular support that transcends factions and division- a dangerous trend for the Israeli-PA alliance.
Fall of the PA
The PA’s odious betrayal of Palestinians through its ‘sacred’ collusion in Israel’s Operation Brothers Keeper unjustified collective punishment may be its last act of  hubris and corruption. Palestinians have had enough as The Real News reports,
“Someone get killed from al-Jalazun few–like, three, four days ago during the invasion. So this guy got shot, and they’re seeing they’re suffering, and the PA is doing nothing, and it’s their job to protect them. So when they went outside that night to stop the army and [to provoke?] the army and they saw that the PA, with all their guns and all their money that they’re getting, doing nothing and just watching their people being killed, basically they attacked the army, and then the army left. And it really pissed them off how they saw all the policemen sitting on the balcony, drinking coffees and smoking cigarette, with all their rifles and all their jeeps. Like, they have–in the central police station they have lots of jeeps outside and, like, riot police buses. So when they saw that, like, they were doing nothing and they were sitting and there are people being killed, that’s why they attacked the police cars at night.”
A sure sign of the PA’s fall is the jostling of the Ramallah fat cats for the leadership line up. Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat recently criticised Abbas, as did Maj. Gen. Jibril Rajoub, the deputy secretary of Fatah Central Committee, and Mohammad Dalan ironically accused Abbas of abandoning Palestinians.
Where were their voices and actions preventing PASF/PSS human rights abuses from 1995 – 2014?
Well, Erekat was busy begging Israelis with weaselly compromises while  concurrently resigning ad nauseum from rounds of absurd peace negotiations; the charmer Rajoub had been setting up the brutal and aptly named Preventive Security Service (PSS) – preventing Palestinians from dissenting and resisting the occupation, and Dalan the Goon was heading the aforementioned PSS, getting rich and running death squads.
Cicero asserts that treachery “rots the soul of a nation”. It doesn’t apply to Palestine because the members and employees of the PA/PLO/FCC have no souls. They are not ‘Palestinians’. They are Zionists. Not one of them has an iota of the thriving soul and sumud symbolised by the likes of Samer Issawi, Hanan Zoabi, and Ahed Tamimi.

Video (Arabic) 

Mahmoud Abbas emphasizes  that the security relationship [with Israel]…

“and I say it on air, security coordination is sacred, is sacred. And we’ll continue it whether we disagree or agree over policy”

Intifada (Voice of Palestine)
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Hamas eager to form unity government

ED NOTE: They are cocking aggregates

Hamas eager to form unity government

Palestinians shouts slogans nd wave their national flag during a demonstration supporting a new attempt to reconcile the militant Islamist movement Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Gaza City on May 14, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Mahmoud Hams)
Published Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Gaza: Palestinian rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, recently announced a landmark political pact. With two weeks left to form a new government, Azzam al-Ahmed, a Fatah central committee member in charge of the reconciliation file, is visiting Gaza for further deliberations. Though the pact lacked new incentives, Hamas was compelled to accept it due to prevailing circumstances. While Hamas continues to deny the existence of such circumstances, internal and regional political developments obviously confirm it.

Despite the recent agreement, security forces in Ramallah are still acting as the reconciliation never happened and continue to arrest and summon Hamas and Islamic Jihad members

Hamas seems eager to implement the reconciliation agreement with Fatah as soon as possible. Though Moussa Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, denied that the group’s financial troubles forced it to approve the agreement, statements by Gaza-based leader, Salah al-Bardawil, who called to speed up the government formation, suggested otherwise.
In this time of political and security instability in the Arab world, Hamas arrived to the negotiations table burdened by internal and external struggles, and exhausted due to political and financial hardships with former allies and geographic neighbors.
The other side, Fatah, was not doing much better either. President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas chose reconciliation following a deadlock in the negotiations with the Israelis, and internal disputes within Fatah.
Today, Hamas seems keen to put the reconciliation agreement forward. The Gaza government has been taking many measures concerning freedoms and political arrests, while the West Bank’s authorities appear to be delaying or totally ignoring dealing with such issues.
A few months before the reconciliation, Hamas took the initiative to free a number of Fatah prisoners, however the latter did not respond with a similar step. Despite the recent agreement, security forces in Ramallah are still acting as the reconciliation never happened and continue to arrest and summon Hamas and Islamic Jihad members.
Also, Hamas took the initiative and lifted the seven years ban on West Bank newspapers. A few days later, Fatah allowed Gaza’s papers to be distributed in the West Bank.
According to observers, the main challenge concerns the establishment of a technocrat government led by Abbas and holding the presidential and legislative elections within six months. Meanwhile, other thorny issues such as restructuring the security forces and repairing the Palestinian Liberation Organization shall be postponed until after the elections.
Azzam al-Ahmed, a Fatah central committee member in charge of the reconciliation file, is expected to launch a new round of negotiations with Hamas in Gaza today.
“During my two day visit, I will meet with Hamas leaders to discuss the formation of the new government,” Ahmed said, expecting to announce the unity government within two weeks.
Other Palestinian factions that weren’t involved in political strife, as well as common citizens, fear that the reconciliation process will be impeded, mainly because only 14 days are left to form the new government. They are also particularly worried about American and Israeli intervention.
Fatah official, Yehya Rabah, stressed that the reconciliation is an integral agreement, “its first pillar is the formation of a technocrat government, then holding the elections to renew the Palestinian legitimacy and put forward a new Palestinian political system.”
“After the government formation, all other issues will be addressed. The president and ministers appointed after the elections will deal with the security forces and other unresolved issues based on the Cairo and Doha accords,” Rabah further explained.
Meanwhile, Mustafa al-Bargouthy, a member of the PLO delegation who is also involved in the reconciliation process, had a different position. “How can we go to elections without resolving these issues, mainly political arrests?” Barghouthi asked, revealing that there are 40 political prisoners in the West Bank and that the authorities are still summoning others.
In an interview with Al-Akhbar, Barghouthi called to settle the issue of security bodies before the elections. “It is important to gradually integrate security forces starting with the civil defense and the police, then the preventive security forces, national security and intelligence services,” Barghouthi said.

How can we go to elections without resolving these issues, mainly political arrests?

Despite careful optimism expressed by officials and observers, Hamas’ main challenge is about reaching a common political agenda with the Palestinian Authority, which deems the peace process as the best option to resolve the conflict with Israel and to end the occupation.
Israeli media quoted deputy foreign minister in the Hamas government, Gazi Ahmed, as saying that his group’s approval of a state within 1967 borders is temporary “but it is the main pillar for reformulating a Palestinian national agenda and it is an important common issue with Fatah.”
Meanwhile, Rabah didn’t see substantial differences between Hamas and Fatah. He quoted Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, who said in 2011, that they would accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. Rabah also quoted him as saying that Hamas “is ready to give a chance for negotiations if held under Abbas’ terms.”
Political analyst Hani Habib agreed. He said that the differences are not political, but rather concern the division of shares. “Hamas hailed Abbas’ recent speech in front of the central council when he said that the agenda of the unity government will be in the framework of his own negotiations program,” Habib elaborated.
“Hamas is getting ready to break the political embargo and is willing to approve any agreement that brings it back to the political arena,” Habib said in an interview with Al-Akhbar, adding “the reconciliation doesn’t involve influencing the armed opposition because it has been transformed into a truce in Gaza and a security coordination, which is still going on in the West Bank.”
Both parties insist that the future government doesn’t have any political agenda, even though it is to be headed by Abbas, the pioneer of the settlement project. They stress that the government’s role will be restricted to managing administrative issues in the West Bank and Gaza, while the political agenda will remain in the hands of the PLO.
Moustafa al-Barghouthi distinguished between three main missions that the future government is expected to accomplish: managing people’s everyday life, preparing for the coming elections, and dealing with the repercussions of the internal conflict that prevailed in the past few years.
According to Barghouthi, the issue of recognizing the state of Israel by the new government is not being discussed. “the Palestinian Authority’s institutions (PLO) is the only body required to recognize Israel, but no Palestinian faction or government has to recognize the occupation,” he said.
Meanwhile, observers warned that the unity government may be subjected to conditions set by the international quartet, which include recognizing Israel, rejecting violence and committing to previous agreements, a statement recently reiterated by Suzanne Rice, US national security adviser, in her meeting with Abbas in Ramallah.
In the meantime, Palestinians still remember the international boycott of the Palestinian government headed by Ismail Haniyeh in 2006 because it didn’t abide by those conditions. The government was unable to pay salaries, leading to a major crisis that eventually caused national divisions.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Sharp rise seen in West Bank Palestinians killed by IDF


Palestinian riot police clash with protesters demonstrating against renewed peace talks with Israel in the West Bank city of Ramallah in July. According to an annual report by rights NGO B'tselem, 2013 saw a sharp rise in the number of West Bank Palestinians killed by Israel. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian riot police clash with protesters demonstrating against renewed peace talks with Israel in the West Bank city of Ramallah in July. According to an annual report by rights NGO B’tselem, 2013 saw a sharp rise in the number of West Bank Palestinians killed by Israel. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Twenty-seven Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military in the West Bank in 2013, more than triple the number killed in the previous year, according to an annual report published late Monday by Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem.

The study found that for the first time in 10 years, more Palestinians were killed in the West Bank than in the Gaza Strip.

The group reported 21 fatal incidents in the West Bank during 2013, versus seven altercations in Gaza that left nine Palestinians dead.

In 2012, Israeli security forces killed eight Palestinians in the West Bank and 246 in Gaza, 167 of them during Operation Pillar of Defense. According to B’Tselem, 104 of the 246 were non-combatants.

Nine of the deadly altercations in the West Bank in 2013 occurred during IDF operations to make arrests in the area that turned violent when local Palestinians hurled rocks or shot at Israeli troops, the group said. In one case, the organization was not able to confirm IDF claims that an exchange of fire had taken place.

Jenin: Palestinian Authority Crackdown on Anti-Negotiations Activists

A Palestinian boys rides a bicycle near building materials on the street outside new houses which are part of a project funded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on November 21, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Said Khatib)
Published Friday, November 29, 2013
In the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp, the Palestinian Authority is conducting a security campaign. Its objective: apprehend activists and resistance members who oppose the US-brokered Palestinian negotiations with Israel.
Jenin – Since the resumption of negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government in July, there have been several achievements: 17 Palestinian martyrs (three of whom died Tuesday at the hands of Israeli troops); 400 Palestinians detained by Israel; and 50 Palestinians detained by the Palestinian Authority.
Meanwhile, settlement activity continues unabated in Jerusalem and other West Bank cities without any regard for the promises made by the broker of the negotiations, the US administration, in order to get the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table.
Expressing any opposition to the negotiations by the public or Palestinian political groups has become taboo. As a result, scores of people have been detained by the Palestinian Authority to ensure negotiations can continue smoothly.
Deferring to the Road Map
As a result of the changes taking place on the ground, the Fatah faction opposed to negotiations has put increasing pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The meetings of the movement’s Central Committee saw some stormy discussions about the usefulness of the negotiations, as well as the powers entrusted to the negotiating team, which answers directly to the president alone, rendering it effectively immune to accountability.
This coincides with the radical transformations of resistance factions in the West Bank that have been taking place since 2005: Amnesty for wanted fugitives, assimilation of fighters into security agencies, and high salaries in return for laying down arms, were all sufficient to create a new balance of power tipped in favor of President Abbas within Fatah.
However, this situation did not emerge from a vacuum, and is in fact considered to be the essence of the “road map for peace” plan. In truth, without such measures, none of the plan’s provisions could be implemented.
Between 2002 and 2005, a new faction emerged within the Palestinian Authority that was more enthusiastic about fulfilling the dream of Israel’s generals to end the intifada and abolish armed resistance groups inside the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. This was required by the “road map for peace” plan, which explicitly required the Palestinians to put an end to what it termed “violence and terrorism,” calling on Palestinian security agencies to combat any act of resistance against the Israelis.
Dismantling the infrastructure of resistance movements was a kind of temptation offered to Abbas to strengthen his authority. As time passed and the Palestinian security services failed to completely eliminate resistance infrastructure, especially in the refugee camps, the resistance became a real burden that had to be eliminated.
In 2009, this burden worsened when Abbas entered into talks with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the border issue. An agreement was reached over deploying an international peacekeeping force on the border between Palestine and Israel, stipulating that the Palestinian state must be demilitarized, with the exception of arms necessary for a police force.
However, Olmert resigned before a final agreement could be reached over the borders. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu did not recognize the security agreement between Abbas and Olmert, and asked for the negotiations to restart from scratch.
The Refugee Camps: A Security Burden
Negotiations returned to square one, with the first round taking place between the two sides in occupied Jerusalem after a three-year freeze. Nevertheless, officials in Israel soon announced that they would step up construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
On the Palestinian side, after receiving an aid package worth $4 billion meant to help the Palestinian Authority overcome its financial crisis, the stage had to be set politically for the resumption of the negotiations, with help from the US security team formed in 2005 to assist the Palestinian Authority rehabilitate its security agencies and dismantle the infrastructure of the resistance. Soon after, a security campaign began against anti-negotiations activists.
This was corroborated by the commander of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin, Zakaria al-Zubaidi, in a September 4 interview with the Israeli newspaper Maariv. Zubaidi told the newspaper that the Palestinian Authority was arresting members who openly opposed the negotiations.
Speaking to Al-Akhbar, Palestinian Legislative Council member Jamal Huwail said, “The Jenin camp will remain pro-resistance, and will defend itself against sustained violations and raids by the occupation.” Huwail also said, “The negotiations accompanied by continued breaches by the occupation cannot continue. The Palestinian Authority must discontinue negotiations.”
In turn, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ahmad al-Mudallal toldAl-Akhbar, “The Palestinian Authority and its security services are supplementing the Israeli occupation’s role in persecuting the resistance, in parallel with intensifying Judaization campaigns against Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Jerusalem.”
Mudallal held security services in the West Bank fully responsible for the lives of resistance fighters who are being pursued by the Palestinian Authority in Jenin. He then called on “resistance fighters in the Jenin camp to stand up to the crackdown, and try to prevent the security agencies from entering the homes of the resistance fighters and citizens in any way to arrest or liquidate them.”
Zubaidi, Huwail, and Mudallal’s remarks prove that the camp and the negotiations are moving along two paths that can never converge. But at the same time, one inevitably has to triumph over the other.
Indeed, the presence of anti-negotiations activists is something that will not please the US security team, and will not be conducive to imposing any political solution on the ground. This will no doubt prompt more pressure on the Palestinian Authority to eliminate this burden. In other words, things are on course to erupt and spiral out of control.
The Policy of the Status Quo
With Israel giving the green light to more than 20,000 new settlement units in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Jewish state’s confiscation of hundreds of acres, and the displacement of dozens of Palestinian families, the crisis between the Palestinian and Israeli sides has reached new levels. At least, this is what the pro-Palestinian Authority media claimed, as the Palestinian negotiations team announced it would be resigning after taking part in 20 rounds of talks since July 2013.
In addition, there is strong opposition to the negotiations, both in Fatah and among the Palestinian public at large, something that the Palestinian security services have not been able to influence decisively. All that remains for Abbas is to maintain the status quo, which means continuing the negotiations even after the resignation of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
The resignation of Palestinian negotiators will not lead to the negotiations’ collapse. To be sure, Abbas could issue a presidential decree appointing a new negotiating team that would continue to hold talks. Meanwhile, the crackdown would against anti-negotiations activists would continue, serving to forestall wider popular opposition that could evolve into a full-scale intifada.
The Palestinian Press Fuels Security Crackdown
When Jenin Governor Maj. Gen. Talal Dweikat announced the launch of the security campaign in the Jenin refugee camp to “eliminate lawlessness,” the Palestinian press quickly touted the crackdown as a “necessary evil.” For days, radio programs joined in the attempt to isolate resistance fighters and anti-negotiations activists, demonizing the latter as subversive elements who must be apprehended.
A poll conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Information and Communication showed that 50.5 percent of Palestinians believe that the Palestinian Authority’s decision to resume talks with Israel was “wrong.” The same poll showed that 68.7 percent of respondents believe that the negotiations would not reach an agreement with Israel, compared to 20.8 percent who believed they would.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Islamic Jihad accuses Palestinian Authority of collusion with Israel

AUTHOR Naela Khalil
November 28, 2013
TRANSLATOR(S) Tyler Huffman

JENIN — On Nov. 25, Israeli occupation forces arrested two senior Islamic Jihad members, Ghassan and Suhaib al-Saadi, in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. Following this incident, Islamic Jihad stepped up its accusations directed at the Palestinian security forces, claiming the latter was targeting the movement.
The arrest of the two men came just hours after Palestinian security forces had failed to detain them. During the same raid, the Israeli forces also failed to detain the most prominent wanted Islamic Jihad member, Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi, an influential Islamic Jihad leader who is currently being pursued by Israeli forces. Bassam, who is the brother of Ghassan and the father of Suhaib, was not present in any of the family’s homes in the camp at dawn on Nov. 25.
The attempt by the Palestinian security forces to arrest Ghassan and Suhaib came within the framework of the crackdown that security forces announced in the Jenin camp on Oct. 2, 2013.
“On Monday evening, members of a special force from the Palestinian security apparatus raided the Saadi family’s homes, searching for Ghassan and Suhaib, but they did not find them. After about six hours, a large force from the Israeli army stormed the family’s homes and detained them,” Rabie al-Saadi, Ghassan’s brother, told Al-Monitor.
“Ghassan and Suhaib were wanted by the Palestinian security services because of legal abuses they carried out against the regime and the Palestinian security apparatus,” said Maj. Gen. Talal Dweikat, the governor of Jenin.
Yet Bassam al-Saadi told Al-Monitor, “Ghassan, Suhaib and another [Islamic Jihad] member — Mahmoud al-Saadi — are being pursued by the Palestinian security forces only because of their political affiliation to Islamic Jihad.”
Islamic Jihad’s media office in the Jenin governorate accused “Palestinian Authority [PA] security forces of coordinating with the Israeli authorities to arrest Bassam al-Saadi, one of the movement’s leaders and a national symbol in the West Bank, during the same raid.”
Al-Monitor had to coordinate with one of Bassam’s brothers to arrange a meeting with the leader, as he does not carry a mobile phone or appear in public for fear of arrest or assassination by Israeli forces. Bassam al-Saadi shared that the Palestinian security forces raided his home and the home of other Islamic Jihad members during the first day of the security crackdown.
“The PA claimed that the security crackdown in the Jenin camp was aimed at eliminating drug dealers and criminals, but they raided my home and the home of other Islamic Jihad members. Nearly two months into the crackdown, they haven’t arrested a single criminal or drug dealer. Instead, they are pursuing Islamic Jihad members,” said Saadi.
While Maj. Gen. Dweikat denied “any targeting or arrests based on political affiliation,” the commissioner-general of the Independent Commission for Human Rights — which operates as an ombuds office — said in a report on the crackdown, “We see between the lines that there could also be political reasons” for the arrests.
Although Jamal Huwail, a former prisoner who is now a Fatah deputy in the Palestinian Legislative Council, denied that the crackdown targeted Islamic Jihad, he did note that “Given the importance of a figure such as Bassam al-Saadi, the security forces should deal with him in a different way. There has been some floundering concerning the matter. The security forces first announced that Sheikh Saadi was wanted by them, then denied this claim. They then came back and said that his son was wanted, because they needed to justify the raid on his home.”
“Targeting of Islamic Jihad operatives is occurring in all parts of the West Bank through summons, arrests and harassment. But things are different in the Jenin camp. Every time the occupation forces carry out a raid in the camp, it only results in clashes with the military. This disturbs the PA, which alone has kept its grip on the camps for the past six years, and [during this period] there have not been any armed clashes with the occupation,” said Bassam al-Saadi.
Yet Saadi, who was detained for 12 years and whose wife and son are prisoners and two other sons have been killed, added, “Israel considers the Jenin camp the key to war and peace. They believe it is an indicator of the pulse of the West Bank.”
This year, the Jenin camp has witnessed multiple armed clashes with Israeli forces, which constantly raid the camp. The most prominent raid occurred on Aug. 20, 2013, when a large force raided the camp to arrest Bassam al-Saadi. The raid ended in armed clashes with residents that led to the deaths of two young men, Majdi al-Lahouh and Karim Abu Sabih. Bassam al-Saadi avoided arrest.
On Sept. 17, 2013, Israeli forces raided the camp and assassinated an Islamic Jihad operative named Islam al-Toubasi following military clashes. This raid led to a split between the camp’s residents and the Palestinian security forces. The latter responded to the violent events that accompanied Toubasi’s funeral by declaring a security crackdown in the camp.
“There is no security crackdown, but rather an ongoing security process. The reason for the elevated tensions on Oct. 2 came following Toubasi’s funeral, when vandals targeted property, cut down trees and attacked shops. [Those involved] exploited the blood of the martyr to target security towers with gunfire and locally-made explosive devices,” said Dweikat.
Dweikat’s statement surprised Huwail, who said, “They summoned about 1,000 members of the security forces, including Select Unit 101. They gathered for a speech given by the prime minister, and then raided the camp at night using flares and tearing off doors. Is this not a security crackdown?”
Huwail believes that the “military display that took place in the Jenin camp was aimed at provocation.”
“Why are all these forces taking action because some angry teenagers cut down trees, yet we don’t see the same action when members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council are fired on in Ramallah in broad daylight?” he added.
The Independent Commission for Human Rights recorded violations carried out by the security forces against residents of the Jenin camp during the crackdown.
Khader Adnan, an Islamic Jihad member and former prisoner, told Al-Monitor, “The security forces assaulted me and then incited youth activists against me because I did not call for any activities in support of those detained [in Israeli prisons]. This is part of the aggression carried out against those active in Islamic Jihad and the movement’s supporters.”
Tariq Ka’adan, an active member of Islamic Jihad, concluded by saying, “There is an exchange of roles between the PA and the occupation when it comes to targeting the movement’s members. The PA refrains from arresting members, fearing how this would make them look to the people, and instead asks the occupation to arrest them and clear them out of their way.”


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