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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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 www.jonathan-cook.net.

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.
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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.
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