Even in Martyrdom, They Refused to be Apart: Hassan and Yasser

August 26, 2019

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Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hassan Youssef Zbeeb and Yasser Ahmad Daher are two names that were destined not to be forgotten neither by the resistance supporters nor by the Israeli enemy.

Hassan and Yasser’s martyrdom drew new equations first because of the martyrdom itself and second because it came in concurrence with the Israeli breach to Lebanon’s sovereignty after a surveillance drone fell in the Southern Suburb of Beirut (Dahiyeh).

Another significant trace in these two young men was their everlasting childhood friendship that impressed everyone who heard about it.

Hassan, from Nabatieh, born in 1996, and Yasser from Blida village, born in 1997, got martyred after an Israeli rocket targeted their residence in Damascus Saturday midnight while they were performing their duty.

They are both engineering students who have been friends since childhood as they went to the same school (Al-Mahdi Shahed) to later attend the same university in Iran and join the same program (Civil engineering at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad).

They are both sons of employees in Al-Manar TV channel, too.

“Everyone who knew them admired their friendship, if you invited one of them for an outing no need to invite the other because he will definitely be there… They used to come together during the summer vacation to Lebanon and stay side by side… To later rise together to the heavens as matyrs with the fire of the Israeli enemy…” one of their friends wrote on Facebook shortly after their martyrdom.

Another person wrote: “when one of Hassan’s friends heard about his martyrdom, he immediately tried to contact Yasser to check the news since they were always together… He did not know that Yasser also wouldn’t answer.”

A significant post on Facebook with the pictures of the two Martyred friends said: “I will only enter it (heaven) if you were with me…. I agree,” in reference to the pact of brotherhood that is usually vowed on Al Ghadeer day, which was only a couple of days before their martyrdom.

He also appeared in a video posted on Facebook saying: “We are part of those people who sacrificed. This path will only continue with the blood of the martyrs and hopefully we are promised with victory, a victory that we have to pay its price. Nothing comes without a price and this is a great blessing, the blessing of allegiance and martyrdom…”Yasser’s father was quoted as saying to Hassan’s father as he was offering him condolences: “Did you see? Even in martyrdom they refused to be apart!”

Hassan and Yasser left as we are getting close to Ashura. Their bloodshed was a truthful pledge of allegiance to the path of Imam Hussein (as) and this year their condolence was the most generous of all.

The corpses of the two martyrs were taken to Sayyeda Zeinab shrine Sunday for their last visit and brought to Lebanon to be buried in Al-Hawraa Zeinab cemetery in the Southern Suburb of Beirut on Monday.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah mourned the two martyrs on Sunday and reassured that he will implement the vow he made after the Qunaitra attack in 2015 to avenge for any attack or harm the Israeli inflicts on any of Hezbollah’s members.

Sayyed Nasrallah assured that Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that he targeted an Iranian military base in Damascus was a lie and that the location targeted was for Hezbollah, thus he addressed the “Israeli” saying: “Stand on the wall, one leg up, and wait for our response, it might take a day or two or three or four.” He also assured the Israelis that “what happened yesterday will not remain unanswered and Netanyahu is preparing for an election on the price of your blood, he is bringing war to you from all sides.”

Zionist media said the IOF Spokesperson’s Unit has released “detailed information” on Monday morning on the two Lebanese fighters.

They boasted that the IOF have published pictures of the two on board a flight to Iran “to take part in one of the training sessions.” However, the picture was being circulated publicly and Hassan and Yasser have shared it in the past on their Facebook accounts after one of their flights to Iran for studying.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

‘Israeli’ Media: Netanyahu, the Right are Weak in the Face of Palestinian Resistance

‘Israeli’ Media: Netanyahu, the Right are Weak in the Face of Hamas

By Staff, Ynet

‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right are weak, ynet reported.

“Netanyahu and the right are weak. The ‘Israeli’ prime minister is the weak right,” Yoram Yuval wrote for the paper:

No impressive baritone, nor magnificent mushroom clouds rising from bombarded buildings in Gaza, nor the raucous pronouncements of right-wing spokesmen can disguise the truth from us and the entire world: Our very own Benjamin Netanyahu is weak. No one in Gaza is afraid of him, and rightly so.

When fighting terrorism, everything is psychological. When fighting terrorism, emotion and perception determine the end result, not facts. The word terror literally means great fear, and this is the secret of its power – not the ability to overcome the enemy, but the ability to sow great fear.

As such, in confronting Hamas, psychology is much more important than the disparity between army strength.

There is a wonderful Arabic saying that goes something like this: “We asked for the shame, but the shame did not want us.” This is what happened to Netanyahu and the weak Likud.

Hamas does not work for Netanyahu, and was only willing to go along with this routine until the elections. Hamas had a clear interest in Netanyahu being elected, and so kept quiet until that happened. But now that he has been elected, Hamas is no longer willing to play his game.

When confronted with his inaction, Netanyahu says: “What do you want from me? The army is reluctant to enter into a ground battle, and they tell me to improve the conditions in Gaza so that the Gazans have something to lose, and that’s what I do.” But that’s just spin, not to mention a lie.

Netanyahu, like all the weak right, has no strategy other than to do nothing and hope nothing comes of anything.

I don’t know what Netanyahu will decide to do next, but I know what he won’t do. The man who made the phrase “We will topple the Hamas regime” into his own personal slogan will never actually do it.

Netanyahu and the right are weak against Hamas.

Israeli Media: Resistance Can’t Be Defeated!

Source

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Israeli Media: Hamas Can’t Be Defeated!

April 1, 2019

Haniyeh

Hamas Palestinian movement cannot be defeated, and invading the coastal enclave would be like fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, Israeli journalist said.

In an article entitled “Israel has no way of winning in Gaza”, Israeli journalists at Ynet, Oded Shalom, said that Hamas is “far behind” the Israeli army in “every military aspect and there is no room for comparison.”

“I am sorry to say that even as the election campaign enters its home stretch, none of the candidates has the courage to speak the truth about the Gaza Strip: Hamas cannot be defeated,” Shalom said.

The Israeli journalist noted meanwhile that the occupation military is equipped with the most modern technology, adding that “: forces from the air, land and sea could precisely hit and destroy any target in the Gaza Strip from miles away. Yet Hamas is invincible, and that is the truth.”

Then, Shalom said that any Israeli invasion of the besieged strip of Gaza would be like fighting in the jungles of Vietnam.

“Invading Gaza will be like fighting in the jungles of Vietnam. The IDF’s technological advantage will diminish in the maze of tunnels that Hamas has dug. The terror group may ask for a temporary cease-fire, but will never surrender, and Israel – subjected to relentless rocket fire, loss of life and damage to property – will agree to such a truce. It will be a rerun of Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and all the other military operations in Gaza that came before. And that, too, is the truth,” Shalom said, referring to Israeli occupation military and to Hamas resistance movement.

In this context, he said Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is cautious when unleashing the military might of the occupation military on Gaza.

“One good thing that I can say about Netanyahu is that he is the only of the candidates who is not making unrealistic video clips emblazoned with the slogan “Let the IDF win.””

However, Shalom noted that Netanyahu “lacks the courage of leader, like the courage late prime minister Ariel Sharon had when he came up with and gained public opinion for the disengagement from Gaza.”

“A courageous leader should say that Hamas in Gaza cannot be defeated, that those launching firebombs attached to balloons or guerrilla fighters hiding in tunnels cannot be defeated.”

Shalom said meanwhile that the Zionist occupation needs to negotiate with Hamas, but noted that negotiation would take place “by sending suitcases filled with cash but with the mediation of Egypt and the aid of the oil rich Gulf states.”

“We need a long-term cease fire agreement that would include building houses and infrastructure in Gaza. We will not reach a peace deal with Hamas, but we will be able to live next to them in peace,” he added, clarifying that the “balance of terror will be mutual like the balance of terror we have with Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

“But it is our fate to always live by our sword,” the Israeli journalist added.

Source: Israeli media

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Egypt brokering marathon talks for Hamas, Israel deal

Egypt is trying to secure deal before anniversary of Great March of Return
Egypt brokering deal between Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel ahead of mass Great March of Return rally (AFP)

“Marathon talks” held by Egypt with Palestinian factions in Gaza are set to continue on Friday to broker a deal with Israel that could ease demonstrations on Gaza’s eastern boundary that are about to mark their first anniversary.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh confirmed the talks and some of the group’s demands for an easing of the more than decade-long siege of Gaza in a statement on Friday, saying they have reached a “crossroads”, in a week when his own offices were destroyed by Israel during an escalation in Gaza that was feared could become another war.

The anniversary of the Great March of Return protests is expected to be marked with another mass showing on Saturday, instead of the usual Friday, to coincide with Land Day, which last year saw 19 killed as they launched the protest movement by demanding the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes.

Gaza’s future hangs in the balance as Egypt looks to broker Hamas-Israel truce

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Haniyeh said the nature of Saturday’s demonstration would depend on how Israel responds to its demands.

“The Israeli occupation will endure severe consequences in the case that it does not reply positively to the understandings,” Haniyeh’s statement said.

An Egyptian team of intelligence and military officials arrived in Gaza on Wednesday night and immediately started meetings at the office of Yaha Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, which were later joined by leaders of the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) factions and ran until early in the morning.

All sides had been keeping a tight lid on the details of the negotiations but Haniyeh’s office said in a statement on Friday that they wanted to “ensure the end of the suffering of our people” by easing the blockade of Gaza, including by ending an electricity crisis that limits the enclave to only a few hours of power a day and creating fishing and employment projects in Gaza.

The Egyptian delegation consists of the chief of the Palestinian file in the Egyptian Intelligence Agency, Major General Ahmad Abdel-Khaliq, Undersecretary of the Egyptian Intelligence Agency General Ahmad Farouq, and Brigadier General Mohammed Tawsin.

Leaked terms

An informed Hamas source told MEE the organisation does not want to speak about the details of a potential deal, because it is not sure how Israel would respond, but outlined some of the main requests made by Hamas.

He confirmed their main terms were an increase in the number of truckloads carrying commodities to Gaza, allowing medical supplies to hospitals, easing restrictions on imports and exports, the entry of some materials currently banned by Israel on the grounds they could be used for weapon-making, an increased fishing zone and the expansion of a UN job creation programme to cover 40,000 workers.

He also confirmed that the Egyptian mediators have told them that Israel’s demand included ending night demonstrations along the eastern boundary between Gaza and Israel, keeping the Friday protests of the Great March of Return peaceful and stopping weekly sea protests near the Israeli Kibbutz Zikim.

‘Destroyed Palestine, destroyed happiness’: Israeli air strikes ruin Palestinian family’s wedding plans

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Hamas had scaled back the protests during earlier talks that eventually broke down because of opposition from the West Bank-based rival Palestinian Authority, but since February “Night Disturbance Units” have resumed protests that have frustrated Israel.

Hamas’s initial demands had included an eventual agreement for a port or airport that would connect blockaded Gaza to the outside world, a step which had been hoped could be implemented in the future.

However, a Hamas source told MEE that, during a recent meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the Egyptian delegation had refused to pass on to the Israelis Palestinian demands regarding a port or airport or a prisoner exchange deal – arguing that the priority was on immediate steps that could ease the siege and avoid an explosion in Gaza.

Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif al-Qanou told MEE there would be “tangible” results from the ongoing Egyptian mediation.

Palestinian pledge

There appears to be some internal Palestinian agreement on the terms ahead of the 52nd week of Great March of Return protests, with organisers mobilising but appealing to participants to show a high degree of restraint.

In a press conference held on Thursday by National Committee member Khalid al-Batch, part of Islamic Jihad’s political wing, he reiterated the importance of participation in the protests but also echoed a call made by Hamas to ensure the protests were peaceful in order to limit casualties but also implying that the nature of the protests could affect the talks with Israel.

The Gaza Ministry of Health has reported that Israeli forces have killed at least 256 Palestinians and wounded more than 29,000 since the beginning of the protests.

“We want to cut short the way ahead of the Israeli occupation, which always blames the Palestinian resistance groups for the failure of reaching a truce and easing the more than decade-old siege imposed on Gaza,” Batch said in the press conference.

A senior source in a political faction participating in the march committee told MEE that protests would be gradually scaled down and eventually ended should a truce agreement be reached to improve the lives of people in Gaza.

A member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) political bureau, Talal Abu Zarifa, told MEE that the active efforts of the Egyptian delegation to obtain a truce come from Cairo’s recognition of the risk that the situation in Gaza could devolve into all-out conflict.

“All options are open for the resistance” should Israel remain uncompromising in Gaza, Abu Zarifa said.

Pointing to the agreement previously brokered by Egypt in November, following an ill-fated Israeli military raid in Gaza that led to a brief but heated escalation of violence, Abu Zarifa blamed Israeli “intransigence and the evasion of obligations” for the breakdown of the tentative truce.

Israeli agreement

Members of the Egyptian intelligence delegation left Gaza early Thursday to meet Israeli officials and discuss the latest updates about their talks with the Palestinian factions. They returned to Gaza in the evening and Haniyeh’s office said on Friday that talks would continue.

“Hamas is ready for all scenarios. The movement will not hesitate to take any action that serves the interests of the Palestinian people and ensures that the Palestinian sacrifices at the Great Return March have not been made in vain,” Haniyeh said.

Israeli news website Ynet News said on Thursday night that “efforts to restore the calm between Israel and Hamas after several days of fighting appeared to be taking effect.”

The news website referred to remarks made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reportedly said Israel would not opt to carry out a military offensive on Gaza.

Already embroiled in a number of corruption scandals, Netanyahu has been embarrassed by night-time demonstrations in Gaza and protesters’ use of incendiary kites and balloons, which burnt down acres of land in southern Israel last summer.

‘This vest should’ve protected him’: Friends mourn Palestinian teen medic killed by Israeli army

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Yet despite Netanyahu’s inflammatory rhetoric seeking to highlight his iron-fisted approach against Hamas, Palestinian columnist on Israeli affairs Saleh al-Naami said a military escalation in Gaza would not serve the Israeli leader’s electoral objectives.

Netanyahu, Naami said, has shown extreme caution in Gaza, despite criticism at home for failing to stamp out the Great March of Return.

“Netanyahu understands that Gaza and Hamas have nothing to lose,” Naami said, adding that Hamas and other political and armed factions in Gaza were ready to go all the way in the event of a military escalation, regardless of the Israeli election.

“The resistance in Gaza does not accept to be used as a pawn by candidates in the Israeli elections,” Islamic Jihad spokesman Musab al-Buraim said to MEE. “We will accept no less than easing the siege on the political and humanitarian levels.”

‘Skillful negotiators’

The talks appeared to be in peril earlier this week when a rocket from Gaza hit a home in Tel Aviv. Hamas said the rocket had been fired mistakenly but the result was a series of air strikes by Israel on Gaza as well as a number of rockets being launched by Hamas into neighbouring Israeli areas.

Dr Adnan Abu Amer, professor of political studies at Al-Umma University in Gaza, suggested however that the escalation was part of the negotiations.

“This is one of the tactics used by skilful negotiators,” he told MEE. “Hamas could persuade the Egyptian mediators and Israel that the rockets were launched mistakenly both times but I do not believe so.”

He suggested Hamas had calculated that Israel would try to avoid any escalation in the run-up to parliamentary elections in early April.

“The Palestinian negotiators knew that the Israeli side is approaching two deadlines: Saturday’s one-million-man demonstration and the elections. So they wanted to put heavy pressure on them.”

Supporting Palestinian Intifada Tops Closing Statement of Iran Conference

February 22, 2017

Conference

The closing statement of the sixth International conference “To support the Palestinian Intifada” held in Tehran highlighted on Tuesday the importance of the Palestinian cause, calling on supporting it and avoiding marginalizing it amid the regional crises.

The statement also hailed the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements, stressing their role in confronting the Zionist entity.

It also called on the international organizations to denounce and deter the Israeli aggressions, warning some Arab and Muslim countries against normalizing ties with the Zionist entity.

The statement added that the US administration intention to move the Zionist entity capital into Al-Quds must draw a response from the Arab and Muslim states by closing their embassies in the United States.

Finally, the statement highly appreciated the Iranian people sacrifices for the sake of the Palestinian cause.

The Iranian capital, Tehran, hosted on Tuesday and Wednesday an international forum in support of the Palestinian cause, with hundreds of foreign guests, including senior Palestinian leaders and officials of Muslim nations, in attendance.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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“To defend Palestine today is to defend Syria, and vice-versa” ~ Meet the Pro-Syria Palestinians

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For Getting Started:

The shameful traitors of Hamas show once again
to be a bullhorn on the payroll of Erdogan-Saudis
(2/5/16) | Syrian Free Press

Syrian Army, Palestinian resistance forces
launch operations to recapture al-Yarmouk camp

(17/4/16) | Syrian Free Press


syria_palestine_same_arab_cause

Excerpts edited by ‘CanDoBetter’ ~ […] The evidence presented here is only the tip of the iceberg. No doubt that some Palestinians, like some traitorous Iraqis, Syrians and Lebanese, joined the destabilization scheme, but when we get down to the nitty gritty, like most Syrians, most of Syria’s Palestinian citizens back the Syrian Arab Republic, the only Arab nation that has given them a home, supported their righteous cause and treated them as equals.

It is shameful beyond shameful that these truths and more were not only ignored but deceptively covered up by “Palestine Solidarity Movement” activists to push a cookie-cutter propaganda line that meshed with the increasingly toothless nature of “solidarity” speak and praxis, not to mention the worldview of their Jewish and Khaleeji “colleagues”. […]

This publication is an extract only from the original article by Jonahtan Azaziah, published 18 April, 2016 at “Meet The Pro-Syria Palestinians That Electronic “Intifada” Will Never Tell You About.”

PALESTINE

Notable Palestinian supporters of the Syrian Government

[Candobetter editorial heading]

[…] ~ Anwar Hadi, the spokesman of the PLO, who said from day one of the ungodly crisis in Yarmouk that the blame lies squarely at the feet of the Takfiri rebels, who entered the once-vibrant Syrian-Palestinian camp in massive numbers and committed massacres, chased out civilians and looted homes along with businesses. Electronic “Intifada” and company wrote numerous articles attacking the Syrian government for the humanitarian disaster, like Jabhat al-Nusra, the FSA and ISIS were/are mere daydream-constructs “the regime” and its “Shabiha” brought forth from thin air.

~ The Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), the Syrian Arab Army’s Palestinian branch, which has fought on numerous fronts throughout Syria and offered countless martyrs in the struggle against Daesh and its ideological counterparts.

~ Fatah al-Intifada, a Palestinian Resistance group which has been ultra-active in the ongoing fight to liberate Yarmouk. Many volunteers, like Tayseer Mousa and Waleed Suleiman, left their homes in the Damascus countryside city of Jaramana to defend their brethren. Portraits of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah can be found all over their offices.

~ Liwa Al-Quds, the third most powerful Syrian military force after the Syrian Arab Army and the Hizbullah-trained NDF according to Al-Masdar News. Liwa Al-Quds has been a tremendously key part of the battle for the liberation of Aleppo, particularly the camps of Handarat and Nayrab.

~ The PFLP-GC, led by the indefatigable Ahmad Jibril and known for their strong support of the democratically elected government in Damascus, these warriors have also been fighting in multiple arenas, from the capital to Aleppo to Latakia and elsewhere. They played an important role in the historic liberation of the besieged Shi’a towns Nubl and Al-Zahra, showing that there is a united Syrian-Palestinian-Lebanese-Iraqi-Iranian, Sunni-Shi’a, Muslim-Christian front against the usurping Zionist regime’s Wahhabi vassals.

~ Hizbullah moujahid Ali Fawzi Taha ( Haydar al-Hajj Jawad) from Bourj el-Barajneh. Born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother, Ali was martyred during the liberation of the strategic, ancient city of Al-Quryatayn. He participated in many victories across Syria, including game-changers like Al-Qusayr and Al-Qalamoun. Considering he was a member of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance, the only Arab force to ever drive ‘Israel’ out from sovereign Arab lands, is it not significantly newsworthy that this hero had a Palestinian background?! If only he had been a BDS activist or an Amnesty International “researcher”, then Electronic “Intifada” would’ve assuredly profiled him.

~ Muhammad Rafeh, a beloved Palestinian-Syrian actor from the popular TV show Bab al-Hara and outspoken supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Muhammad had lost family members a year before in the Zionist entity’s massacre of protesters in the occupied Golan Heights on Naksa Day and was also known for his strong stance against the ‘Israeli’ enemy. The FSA kidnapped Muhammad and slaughtered him for standing with the Syrian government; very “revolutionary”, wouldn’t you say?

~ Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Palestine’s highest-ranking Orthodox Christian authority and a fiery, BLISTERING vocal backer of the Syrian Arab Republic. Not only has Theodosios of Sebastia spoken in no uncertain terms about the aggression against Syria being a Zionist plot, but he’s also defended Islam and the importance of Muslim-Christian unity in the face of Takfirism at length. The Archbishop is a true Arab hero and is undoubtedly on the path to sainthood.

~ Samer al-Issawi, Palestine’s most epic hunger striker (277 days) and a living legend in every sense of the phrase; the man’s will is of such an unbreakable nature that it will forever echo in history and forever haunt the Zionist enemy. Samer, whose fam goes way back with both the PFLP and the DFLP, supports the Syrian Arab Republic and stands firmly against the war on this sovereign nation. His steadfast anti-Imperialism only adds to his larger-than-life character. Yet, apart from PFLP and DFLP affiliated media, this fact remains largely unknown.

~ Palestinians across occupied Falasteen, not to mention Syrians throughout the Golan Heights, have protested in full support of the Syrian Arab Republic and Hizbullah on too many occasions to make mention of here. And we’re not talking about minuscule rallies but bright, rowdy, militant, BIG demonstrations with seas of Syrian Arab Republic flags waving and portraits of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad standing tall. Not even one of these events was covered by “Palestine Solidarity Movement” mainstreamers.[…]

[…] ~ Simply put, to defend Palestine today is to defend Syria and vice versa, for as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah declared years ago, the Syrian Arab Republic is the backbone of the Mouqawamah and only a fool or a traitor would sit idly by as his backbone is being broken. So what category do the “activists” of the “Palestine Solidarity Movement” fall under? Fools? Traitors? Or a lil’ bit of both?


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MEET THE PRO-SYRIA PALESTINIANS
THAT ELECTRONIC “INTIFADA” WILL NEVER TELL YOU ABOUT

by Jonathan Azaziah, MouqawamahMusic

The courageous pro-Syria Palestinians inside the Syrian Arab Republic as well as occupied Palestine itself have been all but excommunicated from mainstream “Palestine Solidarity Movement” discourse. And truth be told, it is the apogee of sickening. …READ MORE …

Palestine-syria-672x372 (1)


SOURCES:
Excerpts by 'Can Do Better'
Originally published by MouqawamahMusic
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/pro-syria-palestinians/
~

Israel wounds four Palestinians, arrests 15 others including DFLP leader

A Palestinian protester dressed in a Santa Claus costume argues with a member of the IOF during a demonstration against the illegal Israeli settlements and demanding for free movement for the Palestinians during the Christmas period near a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank biblical city of Bethlehem on December 23, 2014. AFP / Musa al-Shaer

Published Saturday, December 27, 2014

Four Palestinians including an elderly woman were injured after Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire on protesters in two separate villages in the occupied West Bank, Ma’an news agency reported Friday, while 15 Palestinians, including a prominent leader, were arrested.

Two Palestinian women, 72-year-old Yusra Mohammed al-Haj al-Abd and 48-year-old Jumana Ahmed Shayib, were injured by so-called “sponge” bullets in the village of Farun south of Tulkarem in the West Bank.

“Sponge” bullets are made from high-density plastic with a foam-rubber head, and are fired from grenade launchers. Israeli police have been using them in Occupied Palestine and annexed East Jerusalem since the use of rubber-coated metal bullets was prohibited there, but protocol explicitly prohibits firing them at the upper body.

An Israeli spokeswoman said the IOF had entered the village – which is in Area A, technically under full Palestinian control – on “some sort of routine patrol” and as they were leaving locals started “hurling stones” at them.

She claimed that Israeli forces fired at the “lower bodies” of the two women after they allegedly “hurled stones at the soldiers.”

However, according to Ma’an, both women, who were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, sustained “upper body” wounds.

Similarly, in a separate incident also on Friday, Israeli forces shot two Palestinian youths with “sponge” bullets during clashes in the al-Khalil town of Beit Ummar.

According to the Popular Resistance Committee in Beit Ummar spokesman, Mohammed Ayyad Awad, two Palestinian youths, 17 and 20, were injured in the head and hand by IOF fire, adding that dozens of Palestinians suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation.

Al-Khalil is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinians and around 500 Zionist settlers, who live in a number of illegal settlement compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.

Zionist settlers live in the center of al-Khalil’s Old City in line with a 1997 agreement that split the city into two areas. H1 is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, while H2 is under Israeli military occupation.

Awad said clashes broke out after Israeli forces raided the area, prompting Palestinian youths to hurl stones at the soldiers in protest.

Since September 2000, following the Second Intifada, at least 9,100 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, including 2,053 Palestinian children, the equivalent of one Palestinian child being killed every three days for the past 14 years.

Israel detains DFLP leader

Meanwhile, the IOF detained a leader in the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) at a checkpoint in annexed East Jerusalem.

Nader Jaffal, 42, was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint near the illegal Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which occupies a strategic position on the main road between Jerusalem and Jericho.

According to Jaffal’s wife, Abeer, the soldiers claimed there was an arrest warrant, or what Israeli authorities call “an administrative detention order” against Jaffal, which in reality means that he could be detained without charge or trial for a potentially unlimited amount of time.

Jaffal, a father of three children, had spent around 15 years in Israeli jails for a number of charges.

Friday’s arrests came one day after the IOF detained 14 Palestinians in the village of Azzun near Qalqilya after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli settler car.

Israeli news website Walla quoted Israeli military sources as saying that among the detainees were two individuals “suspected of involvement” in what Israeli authorities called a “terrorist attack.”

Over 7,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in 17 Israeli prisons and detention camps, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs.

Among Palestinian prisoners behind Israeli bars, there are 18 women, 250 children, 1,500 sick detainees, who are mostly in a critical condition, and 540 Palestinians held under administrative detention without any trial.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous “Balfour Declaration,” called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

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