What Is the “Volcano of Freedom or Martyrdom” Protest? [Part 2]

April 2, 2023

Infographic by Abir Qanso, Al-Ahed News

In protest over abusive policies that are being implemented on the direct orders of the extremist Minister of “National Security”, Itamar Ben Gvir, Palestinian prisoners in “Israeli” detention centers launched a mass hunger strike.

Below is an infographic shedding light on the most prominent leader of the “Volcano of Freedom or Martyrdom” protest.

What Is the “Volcano of Freedom or Martyrdom” Protest? [Part 2]

Israel Hamas Palestine Fatah IslamicJihad

Dead on arrival: The US plan to train PA ‘special forces’ in the West Bank

March 15 2023

Despite being in conflict with armed resistance factions in the West Bank, Palestinian Authority forces have also collaborated with them, posing a challenge to those who seek to divide Palestinians.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Robert Inlakesh

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has reportedly agreed to implement a controversial US proposal aimed at restoring its control over northern West Bank areas that are currently dominated by newly formed Palestinian resistance groups. However, the plan, lacking an understanding of the realities on the ground, may have unintended consequences.

During US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel in late January, reports allege that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was pressured to accept a new security plan drafted by US security coordinator Michael Fenzel. According to Israeli and American sources, the proposal involves the formation of a special PA force tasked with combatting armed groups in restive areas like Nablus and Jenin.

The PA is losing control

Since 2021, the formation of new resistance factions, including the Jenin Brigades and Lions’ Den, has challenged the authority of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) on the ground in the West Bank. These armed groups have gained public support and power, making it difficult for the PASF to maintain security control in the latter’s strongholds.

On 31 March, 2022, the Israeli government launched ‘Operation Break the Wave’, which led to frequent Israeli night raids on West Bank villages and communities. Despite the high death tolls among Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel has failed to curb the rising rate of resistance attacks and operations against its soldiers and illegal settlers. In fact, the armed struggle is only growing in size and scope.

In February, CIA director Bill Burns expressed concern that the situation in the West Bank today is beginning to resemble the climate of the Second Intifada of the early-to-mid 2000s. The loss of security control by the PA is a cause for concern for Washington, and the CIA has been working with both the PA and Israel in order to stabilize the situation.

While the PA has not officially commented on the plans for forming a special task force to deal with the armed movements, reports suggest that they have accepted the US’s “Fenzel Plan.” Although not publicly disclosed at the time, an official from the PA’s ruling Fatah party, Abbas Zaki, referenced a private security summit scheduled to take place in Aqaba, Jordan.

At this summit, delegations from Jordan, the US, Egypt, and Israel signed an agreement on implementing the Fenzel Plan and improving security ties between Israel and the PA. The Fatah official told Saudi media outlet Asharq that a recent violent raid on Nablus, resulting in the murder of 11 Palestinians, was “a stab in the back for the mediation efforts to reach calm and sign an agreement of de-escalation.”

The Aqaba meeting was highly controversial given that PA President Abbas had previously ordered an end to his security forces’ collaboration with Israeli military and intelligence, known as “security coordination.” This decision was made in response to the killing of 10 Palestinians in the Jenin Refugee camp in late January.

The decision by the PA to accept US assistance in combating armed resistance groups in the West bank is seen as a betrayal by many Palestinians, who expressed their support for these fighters in recent polls.

In fact, demonstrations condemning the PA’s attendance at the Aqaba security summit took place throughout the West Bank, with the Jenin Brigades armed group even calling a press briefing and urging the public to protest.

Ongoing attempts to contain the armed struggle

A source from within the PA’s Preventative Security Force (PSF) spoke to The Cradle under the condition of anonymity. According to the source, the PASF is already actively pursuing members of the Lions’ Den armed group, and any support from the US would only add to their efforts:

“We are doing our job and following orders to protect them [the Palestinian fighters] from being killed by the Israelis, we know that if the occupation army comes for them they won’t let them live and so it is better for us to capture them alive or to bargain with them to hand over their weapons.”

“There have been cases where our forces pursued fighters but failed to arrest them, and after this, the Israeli military murdered them. Our goal is not to harm them, just to capture them,” the source added.

Another source, who has detailed knowledge of the relationship between the PA’s security forces and the armed groups in both Jenin and Nablus, shed light on the complexities of the situation. According to the source, a significant number of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces’ (PASF) cadres are currently active in the Jenin Brigades, with some of them coming from families of high-ranking PASF members.

The Lions’ Den has reportedly received firearms training from Khaled Tbilah, a second lieutenant in the PA’s security forces, which video evidence appears to corroborate. The same source claimed that Oday al-Azizi, known to the Israeli intelligence as a member of the Lions’ Den, is actually one of the leaders of the group while currently serving as a PASF officer.

Azizi was arrested by the PA, but was allegedly allowed to leave their custody at any time, unlike other detainees held in PA detention, such as Musab Shtayyeh, who is a Hamas party member and is held against his will. This suggests that the PA is administering preferential treatment to Lions’ Den members based on political affiliation.

Azizi, the source claims, is married to a woman from a prominent family that is loyal to President Abbas and is affiliated with a group called the Fatah Tanzeem. The Tanzeem, although also connected to the Fatah Party, holds a completely different outlook than the more active Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which makes up the ranks of a number of the armed groups in the northern West Bank.

Popular resistance challenging the PA

Although multiple sources clarify that the PASF does not directly control the armed groups, it still maintains connections with them. The concern from the PA is that if the resistance factions gain too much power in an area like Nablus, it could spread to other cities like Ramallah.

The military parade in Jenin on 3 March showcased the strength of the resistance with hundreds of fighters present. Surprisingly, Mohammed Jabareen, a PA security force colonel, was seen posing for photos with fighters at the parade.

Additionally, a central and unifying figure who has voiced public support for the armed struggle in Jenin is Fathi Khazem, who held a position with the PA security forces during the Second Intifada. Khazem has urged members of the PASF to fight against the Israeli army – his commands carry an oversized authority that others making similar calls simply do not have.

On the flip side, the formation of a new Palestinian resistance group called the Tulkarem Battalion has led to direct intervention by the PASF in an attempt to stem its growth, which in turn has provoked further anti-PA demonstrations.

This highlights the fact that the PA is employing varying strategies in different areas to deter the rise of armed groups. Geography matters: Nablus city, for instance, is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements that provide constant fodder for clashes, whereas in Jenin, a more isolated area, the groups pose less of an immediate threat.

An informed source from Nablus, who has contacts inside the armed groups, tells The Cradle that there is no real solution in sight for the PA:

“Other than convincing the armed groups to lay down their weapons through bribes of different kinds, there is no way to deal with the groups. Maybe they can try to make the groups look like criminals so that they lose some popular support.”

The Fenzel Plan seeks to train thousands of PASF members in US-owned facilities in Jordan to combat the Palestinian resistance. If implemented in a poorly-informed or ill-calculated manner, the project could lead to massive bloodshed in the West Bank and further inflame popular sentiments against the PA.

‘Peace Bands’ 2.0?

Israel has historically used a variety of local collaborator forces in order to maintain its dominance over the populations it occupies. Preceding Israel’s existence, however, during the 1930’s, the British mandate authorities also employed a strategy of using local collaborator forces in order to suppress the Palestinian resistance bands during the Arab Revolt (1936-9). This strategy is somewhat more relevant to today’s Fenzel Plan.

The Fasa’il al-Salam, or “Peace Bands” were formed with the aid of Britain’s Palestine mandate authorities; receiving arms, funds, and training in order to combat Palestinian militias that were largely under the command of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini.

During the latter stages of the Arab Revolt against British rule in Palestine – and despite having taken control over much of the country from the Palestinian resistance – the British military was unable to secure many of the mountainous and rural areas where the rebel leaders reigned. Like today, Jenin and Nablus were also strongholds for the Palestinian revolt back then.

As one of the many strategies employed by British authorities to crush the revolt, the establishment of pro-British bands did have its successes. In Mathew Hughes’ book Britain’s Pacification of Palestine, he writes:

“While the peace bands would never have grown as they did without British help, they never would have happened in the first place had Palestinians been united.”

During this period, when the strategy of dividing Palestinians to fight each other was employed, the divide between the Nashashibi family faction and those loyal to Hajj Amin al-Husseini was heavily utilized by the British to create its collaborator forces.

While the peace bands of the late 1930s were rooted in Palestinian societal-family structures, those kinds of familial rivalries do not exist for a PASF force to be based on today. The Jenin Brigades are instead rooted in the urban working class and refugee communities that were displaced to West Bank refugee camps during the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

The US-envisioned special tactical force PA units will have no roots inside Jenin or the Old City of Nablus, where Palestinian resistance fighters reside. Another advantage that the peace bands had in their formation was positive press; in 1938, Raghib Nashashibi requested a loan from the Jewish Agency to pay newspapers to provide favorable coverage that would gain them adherents. No such media environment exists in the occupied Palestinian territories today.

A crisis within the PA

The issues facing the PA go beyond its lack of control in the northern West Bank. Today, the much-weakened governing body faces a comprehensive crisis on the security, legitimacy, and economic fronts. At 88 years of age, Abbas is amongst the oldest leaders in the world, and many are anticipating his resignation or death in the near future.

Palestinian author and journalist Ramzy Baroud argues that “the Palestinian Authority has suffered a division crisis from the very beginning,” despite Abbas’ ability to somehow keep the PA together:

“Under Abbas, the disunity took on multiple dimensions, unlike under Yasser Arafat, who was able to maintain a nominal level of unity amongst Palestinians,” Baroud explains. He also demonstrates that Abbas widened divisions between the PA and Hamas, the socialist parties, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

“Even worse, he invested into the division of Fatah itself, with the party breaking into three main branches; there is the Marwan Barghouti branch, which is the more revolutionary branch and is more or less consistent with the ideas of Yasser Arafat; then you have the Mohammed Dahlan branch, which is the branch that is more clan-based and is the branch that more or less represented Gaza; there are also a number of sub-branches within the dominant Mahmoud Abbas branch.”

When Mahmoud Abbas’ reign ends, potential successors include Majid Farraj (head of PPS) and Hussein al-Sheikh (secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization).

However, the transition of power will pose an immense challenge given the chaos and indecision facing the PA, and Fatah’s internal divisions could cause further issues. Now, this crisis becomes even more complicated by the massive rise of armed resistance groups and attempts to crack down on them.

Two anonymous sources have claimed that following the late January Israeli army raid on Jenin camp, which killed 10 Palestinians, a high-ranking PASF official intervened to order a halt to any PA pursuit of resistance fighters in the area.

If true, this suggests that there may be more than a few PA officials frustrated with the current approach towards the armed movements and that this issue is one that the PA cannot afford to miscalculate, especially as calls for a Third Intifada intensify.

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

Fatah: US blackmailed countries at the UN to vote against Palestine

31 Dec 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

The member of the Fatah Central Committee says that the UN resolution to refer “Israel” to the criminal court is highly important.

Ahmed Halas, member of Fatah Central Committee in an interview on Al-Mayadeen.

Member of the Fatah Central Committee, Ahmed Halas, said in an interview with Al-Mayadeen on Saturday that, “the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to refer ‘Israel’ to criminal prosecution is of great importance.”

Halas emphasized that “the Palestinian position is the only thing capable of putting an end to the Israeli aggression,” stressing that “the international community is a catalyst.”

The official added that the “American role in the United Nations is more hostile than the Israeli position towards the Palestinian cause.”

He also pointed out that the “United States exerted pressure and blackmail against many countries to prevent them from voting in favor of the resolution.”

“The time has come to stop talking about Palestinian national unity,” and “we must move to practical steps, away from who will achieve more gains, and the signed unity agreements carry the same content,” Halas added.

Earlier today, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution requesting an opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal implications of “Israel’s” illegal occupation of Palestine and its “practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people,” despite the occupation’s strained efforts to incite and lure several countries in order to prevent the ICJ’s advisory opinion.

Last week, the resolution, titled “Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories,” was approved by the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee with 98 votes in favor, 17 votes against, and 52 abstentions.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), situated in The Hague and commonly known as the World Court, is the highest UN court dealing with international issues. Its decisions are binding, but the ICJ has no authority to enforce them.

The resolution was passed by the General Assembly by a vote of 87 to 26 with 53 abstentions. Russia and China voted in favor of the resolution.

Unsurprisingly, “Israel”, the United States, and 24 of their allies voted against the resolution, most notably the United Kingdom and Germany, while France was one of the 53 nations that abstained.

It is worth noting that the UN General Assembly asked the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on the “legal consequences of Israeli occupation, settlement, and annexation – including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

Read more: 

Nasser Abu Hamid: From Birth to Martyrdom

December 21, 2022 

By Al-Ahed News

Palestine: The Story of the Lions’ Den




The Lions’ Den was relatively unknown outside of Nablus until a few months ago but today they have gained hero-like status across Palestine — for leading a revival of armed resistance against Israeli colonialism. This is their story.

The streets of the Old City of Nablus are quieter than usual.

The typically bustling streets, filled with the sights, smells, and sounds of one of the oldest markets in Palestine, are almost unrecognizable. Most shops and businesses are shuttered; those who are open are noticeably somber, a far cry from the usual animated calls of street vendors advertising their wares to crowds of shoppers passing by.

“This is not common to Nablus,” Abu Ayyad, 72, told Mondoweiss as he sat inside his shop, packaging halkoum sweets — a Nabulsi version of Turkish Delight which he has been making and selling from his shop in the al-Yasmina neighborhood for over 60 years.

Bullet holes riddle the old stone buildings and the rusting iron doors that line the streets. Some of the destruction dates back to the first and second Intifadas. But the newer cars parked along the cobblestone streets, covered in bullet holes and broken glass, remind passersby of the freshness of these wounds.

“What’s happening now in Nablus reminds me of the level of destruction that happened in 2002 when the Israeli forces invaded Nablus,” Sameh Abdo, 52, a resident of the Old City told Mondoweiss as he passed through the narrow alleyways of the al-Yasmina quarter.

“The destruction of the city, the homes, the buildings. We haven’t seen this type of devastation in years,” he said.

Down the road, one man sits outside his shop, piled with old radios, speakers, and other odds and ends. He smokes his cigarette in silence, soaking in the words of the song blasting on one of the newer speakers in his collection. It’s an anthem dedicated to lions.

There are little to no foreigners present, a new reality created by design, not by accident. The presence of anyone or anything unknown to the locals here is considered a potential threat, and understandably so.

Over the past few months the residents of the Old City have grown increasingly wary and suspicious of any foreign presence in their streets. Too many times, undercover Israeli forces entered the city in disguise, after the blood of the young men who have made these streets their home.

Such was the case on Monday, October 25, just after midnight. The streets were quiet, and in the cover of night, Israeli undercover special forces entered the boundaries of the city. Their targets were a group of young men, armed and ready in their hideout in the al-Yasmina quarter of the Old City, but seemingly unaware of the danger that lurked around the corner.

They call themselves the “Lions’ Den”, Areen al-Usud in Arabic. A novel armed resistance group, relatively unknown outside of Nablus until a few months ago, the young fighters have gained hero-like status across Palestine.

In the streets of Nablus’ Old City, however, the lions are more than just mythical heroes. They are the brothers, sons, and friends of the people here. They are people’s neighbors — neighbors who watched them grow up, once kids buying snacks from the shop down the road, and causing a ruckus with the other neighborhood kids.

Now those cubs are lions, and they have taken it upon themselves to do something many believed to be impossible after decades under the boot of the Israeli occupation and its partners in the Palestinian Authority: reviving popular armed resistance.

The origin story 

The emergence of the Lions’ Den into the Palestinian public consciousness can be traced back to the summer, when a stoic, narrow-faced and handsome young man cut through a crowd of thousands of people in the middle of the city of Nablus — his rifle in his right hand, the casket of his friend on his left.

As he marched through the crowd in the funeral procession for his fallen comrades, passersby saluted the young man. In a viral video, one man struggles to grab his hand, still wrapped tightly around his rifle, and kisses it. The young man’s face did not flinch.

The young man was Ibrahim Nabulsi, just 18 years old at the time. Known locally as the “Lion of Nablus,” with a mysterious reputation as a fierce fighter who had managed to evade several arrest and assassination attempts by the Israelis, the young Nabulsi skyrocketed into popular fame and admiration after his showing at the funeral.

At the time, Nabulsi and his comrades were part of a group who called themselves the Nablus Brigades, Katibet Nablus in Arabic, operating out of the Old City. They had been active for months, conducting shooting operations across the northern West Bank.

Modeled after the Jenin Brigades to the north, the group was formed in early 2022, and was comprised primarily of young men formerly aligned with the Saraya Al-Quds (Al Quds Brigades), the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement.

But many of the group’s members and leaders hailed from different political factions. Nabulsi had formerly aligned himself with the Fatah movement; others had origins with Hamas, and even the leftist Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Like the Jenin Brigades, the Nablus Brigades were cross-factional, and while they had money coming in from various sources, they did not officially align themselves with one political party. They were fighting in the name of Palestine, and no one else.

The Israeli government’s first major operation targeting the Nablus Brigades happened in February, when Israeli special forces raided Nablus and ambushed a vehicle, showering it with bullets and extra-judicially assassinating three Palestinian resistance fighters which Israel claimed were wanted.

The three were Ashraf Mubaslat, Adham Mabrouka and Mohammad Dakhil. There was a fourth passenger — some reports said he was injured and arrested by the army, others said he managed to escape. Many speculated him to be Ibrahim al-Nabulsi.

At the time, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (the military wing of Fatah) claimed the three as its members. But they had recently broken off from Fatah, carrying out a number of shooting operations across Nablus in another name. Israeli defense officials were describing them as a “renegade” cell.

Around the same time, Israel’s military apparatus launched Operation Break the Wave, an open-ended massive operation across the occupied West Bank to “thwart terrorism activities,” and growing armed resistance in Jenin and Nablus.

In April, Israeli army chief of staff, Aviv Kochavi, warned: “Our mission is simple—we need to stop terrorism and to restore safety and a sense of security. We will do whatever it takes, whatever is necessary, for however long and wherever needed, until both safety and the sense of security are restored.”

Yet despite the increase of deadly Israeli military raids in Nablus and Jenin, the number of operations and armed resistance activities, whether through organized groups or independently, continued to rise. Rather than break the wave, Operation Break the Wave seemed only to be conjuring a tsunami.

At the end of July, months after Operation Break the Wave began, the Israeli army launched a massive raid on the al-Yasmina neighborhood in the Old City of Nablus. It was the first time since 2002 that the army was conducting a raid in the area, targeting who they said were Palestinians suspected of carrying out a shooting operation targeting Israeli soldiers and settlers as they raided Joseph’s Tomb a month before.

During the raid, resistance fighters fired heavily at Israeli forces, as they barricaded themselves inside the home of Mohammad al-Azizi, who is widely known to be the founder of the Lions’ Den. Israeli forces surrounded the home, bombarding it with explosives and gunfire, overpowering the fighters inside.

After a three-hour shootout, Mohammad al-Azizi, 25, and Aboud Suboh, 28, were killed in the raid, as they reportedly provided cover for their fellow comrades to escape. Israeli media reported that one of the primary targets of the raid, Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, had evaded capture once again.

While both al-Azizi and Suboh were claimed as members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, locally they were known to be some of the earliest members of the Nablus Brigades. It was at their funeral on July 24 that Nabulsi, donning a flak jacket and his rifle, paid tribute to his fallen comrades, further propelling his status as an icon in the city.

Across the West Bank, Palestinians circulated videos and photos of Nabulsi at the funeral. Suddenly, the Lion of Nablus and the group he fought with were becoming household names outside the bounds of their city.

It was only two weeks later that Nabulsi would meet the same fate as his fellow fighters. During a raid on the Old City on August 9, Nabulsi was killed while fighting the Israeli army. Two other members of the brigades who were fighting alongside Nabulsi were killed during the raid: Islam Sbuh, 32, and Hussein Jamal Taha, 16.

In a voice message shared widely on Palestinian social media, purportedly recorded by Nabulsi and sent to his comrades shortly before he was killed, a calm and collected Nabulsi can be heard saying:

“I love you so much. If I am martyred, guys, I love my mother. Take care of the homeland after I’m gone, and my final will to you, on your honor: don’t let go of the rifle — on your honor. I’m surrounded, and I am going towards my martyrdom.”

In his death, the Lion of Nablus was solidified as an icon, and the group he fought with became firmly implanted in the public consciousness. Following the killing of al-Nabulsi, the Den of Lions, now void of its founder and first fighters, began appealing to the public for protection.

Lions’ Den official Telegram account photo (Photo: Telegram account of Areen al-Usud)

Two weeks after the killing of Nabulsi, a new Telegram channel was created alongside a photo of Mohammad al-Azizi and Aboud Suboh holding up their rifles. Overlaid on top of the photograph was a new logo, reminiscent of the symbols used to represent the Fatah and Islamic Jihad armed wings. But this new symbol, showing the Dome of the Rock sitting underneath two crossed rifles, alongside an icon of an armed fighter in the middle of a map of Palestine, did not belong to any of the established political factions.

Plastered across a black banner was the name of the group in Arabic, underneath it a short line of text that read: “The official representative channel of the Lions’ Den.”

Gaining popularity

On September 2, in a memorial for al-Azizi and Suboh, the Lions’ Den made their first official appearance as a group in the Old City, drawing crowds of thousands. A militant from the group, clad in black military gear from head to toe, face covered in a black balaclava and sporting a black bucket hat, stood on the stage facing the throngs of people. Flanked by fighters with upraised weapons on either side, he read out the charter of the Lions’ Den.

“We salute those who have walked in the footsteps of al-Yasser and Yassin and Abu Ali Mustafa and Shikaki,” he said, referring, respectively, to the Fatah founder and late President, Yasser Arafat, the Hamas founder, Shaikh Ahmad Yassin, and the PFLP former Secretary General, Abu Ali Mustafa. “We have come here today, 40 days after the death of the Den’s lions, and in light of the burning revolution of our people in Jerusalem, in Gaza, in Jeningrad [Arafat’s Second Intifada-era stylization of Jenin after Stalingrad]…we have come to tell you that the spark began in the Old City [of Nablus] when our leader Abu Ammar formed the first cells of the revolution in the al-Yasmina neighborhood [during the Second Intifada].”


The charter went on to preach a message of independent resistance, free of the shackles of the old political factions. They vowed to continue to conduct operations across the West Bank targeting Israeli army positions and settlers. They addressed the PA security forces, who have a thorny history with armed groups in the Old City of Nablus, emphasizing that the group’s focus was confronting the Israeli occupation, not the PA.

In the following weeks, the group announced that it had conducted dozens of operations targeting Israeli army and settler positions across the West Bank, primarily in the Nablus area. On October 11, the den claimed responsibility for a shooting operation that left one Israeli soldier dead near the illegal Shave Shomron settlement in the Nablus district.

As the group stepped up their operations, the popularity of the Lions’ Den continued to soar. Over the course of two months, the group amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on platforms like Telegram, with their official channel boasting over 230,000 followers — more than any other Palestinian political faction. On TikTok, montages of the group’s fallen fighters cut together to the tune of the Lions’ Den anthem flooded fan accounts dedicated to the group.

While social media can often feel disconnected from the real world, the popularity of the Lions’ Den online was even more tangible in the streets than it is online.

In the alleyways of the al-Yasmina neighborhood, just one day after the October 25 raid that killed three members of the group, including senior fighter Wadee al-Hawah, young Palestinians from outside the city crowd the alleyways.

Some young folks eagerly ask shopkeepers where the home of the “hero martyr” Wadee al-Hawah is. A man points up to a crumbling facade of an old stone second-floor home. The youth ask if they can go up to the house, but they’re stopped by a group of stoic young men blocking the entrance at the door. So they pull out their phones instead, joining crowds of passersby taking photos of the home where the Lions’ Den leader was killed.

A few steps down the road, a woman salutes to a memorial for the slain fighter Tamer al-Kilani, who was assassinated on October 23 in the same spot where photos of him now lay, adorned with Palestinian flags. Another young mother tells her son to stand in front of the memorial to take a photo.

“Salute him, dear,” she says, as the young boy raises his right hand to his forehead.

Back down the road, outside the old radio repair shop, Jamal Hamou, 57, turns up the speakers blasting the Lions’ Den anthem. When asked what he thought of the group, he beat his fist to his chest, over his heart, a wide grin spreading across his face.


“The Lions’ Den, to the people of the Old City and outside of it, means everything to us,” he said. “These are our sons, our brothers, our boys. They have done something that so many before them tried and failed to do. They represent trustworthiness and honor, and they have made us proud, may God protect them, and bless those who have passed.”

Around the corner from Hamou’s shop, the famous Al-Aqsa Sweets, known across Palestine for its Nablus knafeh, is riddled with bullet holes. Usually packed to the brim with hungry customers, the shop is relatively empty. No one is in the mood for sweets, one of the owners tells Mondoweiss.

“I have worked here since I was five years old. I have lived here my whole life, I was here during the first and second Intifadas,” Basil al-Shantir, whose family owns the shop, told Mondoweiss. “What is happening right now is different. During the intifadas there was much more destruction on a larger scale, but what is happening now is not insignificant,” he said.

“The Lions’ Den is barely a few months old, but they have taken over the public consciousness in a way that is unprecedented.”

Poster at memorial for Wadee al-Hawah, Mashaal Baghdadi, Hamdi Qaim, Ali Antar, and Hamdi Sharaf (Photo: Akram Al-Waara/Mondoweiss)

Israel threatened

A few kilometers outside of the Old City, the day after the deadly raid on the Old City, thousands of Palestinians gathered at the memorial for the “moons of Nablus,” the five Palestinians who were killed.

It was a typical scene for a martyr’s memorial, held for three days after someone is killed by the occupation. Posters of Wadee al-Hawah, Mashaal Baghdadi, Hamdi Qaim, Ali Antar, and Hamdi Sharaf lined the entrance and walls of the local community center where the wake was being held. Family members of the deceased lined up at the door, greeting mourners who had come to pay their respects.

But this memorial was different in one small, but distinguishable regard. It was largely devoid of any symbols marking the political affiliation of the martyrs, a typical feature at the funerals of Palestinian martyrs.

Inside, Mazen Dunbuk, 40, a spokesperson for the Fatah movement in Nablus’ Old City, sat down for lunch, customarily served in honor of the martyrs.

“Young people are thirsty for resistance, for armed resistance, and for a change of the status quo of the past 20 years. And this is what Israel is scared of.”

Mazen Dunbuk

“The funeral of the five martyrs was one of the biggest seen in Palestine in years,” he said. “This is a sign to the [Israeli] occupation, and to the Palestinian leaders, that the public support for these young men is huge,” Dunbuk told Mondoweiss.

Aware of the reputation his political party holds, as the majority part of the increasingly unpopular PA government, Dunbuk said matter-of-factly: “We know that people are tired of the different political factions, they want a united resistance. Nothing is more evident of that than the popularity of the Lions’ Den,” he said.

“Young people are thirsty for resistance, for armed resistance, and for a change of the status quo of the past 20 years,” he said. “And this is what Israel is scared of.”

The threat that the group poses to Israel was evident in the military apparatus’ focus on destroying the group at all costs. In the wake of the October 11 operation that killed one Israeli soldier, the army enforced a more than two-week closure of the entire Nablus district, affecting the lives of more than 400,000 Palestinians.

In the span of just a few days in the last week of October, the army conducted several raids and operations targeting members of the Lions’ Den and their areas of operation. In addition to the targeted assassinations of Tamer al-Kilani and Wadee al-Hawah, several members of the group or those affiliated with them were arrested, including the brother of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi.

The return of Israel’s use of targeted assassinations against resistance members evoked more memories of the first and second intifada, indicating to locals that the army was ramping up its operations to quash the group.

But while the army has snuffed out the lives of several of the Lions’ Den’s leaders and senior members, what it has so far failed to do is squash the influence that the group has wielded over Palestinians, primarily young people, across the West Bank who have been inspired by their messages of independent resistance, unaffiliated with the political parties of yesterday.

And for Israel, that is where the group’s most dangerous aspect lies.

In terms of actual casualties, the Lions’ Den itself has not claimed a significant number of deaths or injuries of Israeli settlers or soldiers. Most of its operations targeting Israeli positions across the West Bank have resulted in some injuries, though not always.

Yet the group’s influence has inspired more “lone-wolf” operations across the West Bank that have proved destructive for Israel. In the nine days since the Israeli military assault on Nablus that killed al-Hawah, at least six operations were carried out across the West Bank by individual Palestinians not officially affiliated with the Lions’ Den or other armed groups.

In the operations, which targeted both settlers and Israeli military positions, several soldiers were wounded, and even one settler was killed. And most notably, Udai al-Tamimi, a young man from Shu’fat refugee camp, killed an Israeli soldier stationed at the Shu’fat military checkpoint in a drive-by lone wolf shooting, and the massive manhunt that ensued lasted for ten days and put the entire camp under siege, before Tamimi himself came out of hiding and attacked and injured Israeli guards stationed outside the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim — notably far away from where the manhunt’s efforts were focused — before he was shot and killed by the guards.

Separate from the armed operations seemingly inspired by the group, the Lions’ Den has forgone the traditional model of hosting dressed-up press conferences or issuing curated public statements that are filtered through standard media outlets and rendered into soundbites, carving out instead a mode of communication with the broader Palestinian community, using public platforms like Telegram to speak directly to Palestinians, always signing off “your brothers in the Lions’ Den.”

On October 16, almost a week after Israel closed off the city of Nablus, the Lions’ Den appealed to Palestinians for a night of disruption, inviting people from across the West Bank to shout from their rooftops and make noise in the streets in response to reports in the Israeli media about army promises to “finish off” the armed group “from the root.”

“To all citizens, to our fathers, mothers, siblings, and children,” the statement read. “Come out tonight on the rooftops at exactly 12:30 a.m. Let us hear your cheers of Allahu Akbar [God is Great]. We want the last sound we hear to be your voices,” the group wrote.

And Palestinians responded to the call: from Nablus, and extending to Ramallah, Tulkarem, Hebron, and Jerusalem.

On October 12, one day before leaders of rival Palestinian factions met in Algiers for reconciliation talks and promises of presidential and parliamentary elections — which have failed to materialize for over a decade — the Lions’ Den called on all Palestinians to strike in solidarity with the then-besieged Shu’fat Refugee Camp. Despite the fact that no official factions, which usually declare strikes, were involved, Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank remarkably heeded the call, and observed a strike that day.

On the same day, the Lions’ Den released a statement, reaffirming that the group did not belong to any political party, and had “turned its back on all disputes and rivalries.


“The fact that they are independent is drawing more youth in, and Israel knows that the danger of the group lies in their political independence,” Basel al-Shantir told Mondoweiss outside his knafeh shop in the Old City. “Because when you do not belong to an official party, you cannot be pressured or blackmailed into bad deals and watered-down agreements.”

Back at the memorial for the five martyrs killed on the 25th, a young man sits solemnly in the corner of a quiet room. He identifies himself as a member of the Lions’ Den.

“Wadee and the others have done something, they’ve created something that the Palestinian political factions have been unsuccessful in doing for decades,” the young man, who requested anonymity, told Mondoweiss.

“They brought people together, to create one united resistance, without political factions,” the young man continued. “Entire nations have tried to do this and failed.”

When asked why he and other young men were inspired to take up arms, he said: “we are under occupation, and this occupation is killing us everyday. Wadee and the others woke up every day to news of more martyrs, more settler attacks, and more of our homeland being stolen.”

“When we fight we are demanding our dignity, something our own government has failed to do for 30 years.”

The role of the PA 

On the night of October 26, shortly after the first day of the memorial for the five martyrs in Nablus came to a close, news broke that four members of the Lions’ Den had turned themselves over the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF).

One of the men, Mahmoud al-Bana, a top commander in the Lions’ Den who was injured in the raid the night before, wrote a statement on Facebook, addressing the Palestinian people about his decision to hand himself into the PA.

“My comrades were martyred by my side, and I was wounded with them several times, and my martyrdom was declared more than once,” al-Bana wrote. “By God’s power and kindness, I am alive today.”

“Today, after consulting with my brothers in the struggle, myself and my comrades-in-arms, it was agreed with our brothers in the [Palestinian] security services to surrender ourselves in order to protect us from this brutal occupier,” he said.

As controversy erupted across Palestinian social media over the fighters’ decision to turn themselves in, the Lions’ Den released an official statement, saying that “whoever surrenders himself, this is their decision and choice.”

In another statement the next day, the group said that those who believed the Lions’ Den was disbanding were “living under an illusion.”

But the impact of the fighters’ decisions to hand themselves over to the PA could not be denied, as the streets and the internet buzzed with talk of the future of the Lions’ Den. Would the group survive the next inevitable Israeli attack? Or would there even be a Lions’ Den to fight by that point?

One certainty remained clear: the Israeli government were not the only ones that wanted the Lions’ Den off the streets, and out of the Palestinian public consciousness for good.

In late September, as the Lions’ Den continued to gain popularity in the West Bank and steadily upped their operations, PA security forces raided the city of Nablus in order to arrest two Lions’ Den fighters who were wanted by Israel, Musaab Shtayyeh, 30, and Ameed Tbeileh, 21.

One Palestinian, 55-year-old Firas Yaish, was killed, while several others were injured. The raid sparked fierce confrontations and widespread backlash, as Palestinians criticized the PA’s ongoing security coordination with Israel, and what they viewed as their own government’s attempts to quash Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation.

“For us it’s the battleground, and for them the diplomacy,” a young 20-year-old fighter told Mondoweiss on the evening of September 20, as PA forces clashed with local youth in the city the day after the arrest of Shtayyeh and Tbeileh.

After the September 19 raid and the subsequent public backlash, the PA stayed relatively silent on the subject of the Lions’ Den, opting instead for a policy of quiet neutralization, working behind the scenes to offer fighters of the Lions’ Den amnesty in the ranks of the PASF in exchange for putting down their weapons, and agreeing to serve time in PA prisons.

Similar to the deals struck with former fighters with the armed wing of Fatah after the Second Intifada, the PA was offering these young men safety — safety from the inevitable: imprisonment, or more likely, death, at the hands of the Israelis. And as the Israeli military upped its attacks on the group through targeted assassinations and large-scale raids, the PA’s proposition became even more appealing.

On October 31, a week after al-Bana and three others handed themselves over to the PA, another senior fighter in the Lions’ Den, Mohammad Tabanja, reportedly followed suit. A source within the PA told Mondoweiss that at least a dozen members of the Lions’ Den had already turned themselves over to the PASF. Mondoweiss could not independently confirm that number.

Three days later, in the heart of the Old City, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh held a press conference, surrounded by dozens of journalists and foreign diplomats — a sight the Old City had not witnessed in months.

Shtayyeh’s statements largely addressed Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territory, criticizing the “collective punishment” policies imposed on the Palestinian people. While Shtayyeh made no mention of the Lions’ Den or of armed resistance, a second message was clear from his appearance in the Old City: the PA had restored “order” and control to the city, at least on the surface.


As the future of the Lions’ Den hangs in the balance, so does the trajectory of the current Palestinian mobilization. The current moment is defined largely by such groups and the influence they wield, inspiring others to take up arms against the occupation. So it is without a doubt that the future of the group will affect the outcome of the current moment, as well as whether the wave of armed resistance we are witnessing will continue to swell, or slowly subside and fade into the distance.

On November 1, the same day the most right-wing, extremist government in Israeli history was elected into power, the Lions’ Den released their most recent statement.

“The most important thing is to you, and everyone who believes that our fire has subsided: a volcano is brewing.

For those who call for peace, look at their elections and you will see their choices.

As for the resistance fighters from the Lions’ Den, or from the blessed factions, or our lone wolves — strike them everywhere. What kind of life is this, that we live in peace with those who abuse our blood and the blood of our children, men, and sisters?

Your brothers, the Lions’ Den.”

Mariam Barghouti is the Senior Palestine Correspondent for Mondoweiss.

Yumna Patel is the Palestine News Director for Mondoweiss.

اغتيال عرفات: الحقيقة المُغيَّبة

الجمعة 11 تشرين الثاني 2022

ثمانية عشر عاماً مرّت على وفاة ياسر عرفات في مِثل هذا اليوم من عام 2004. ثمانية عشر عاماً ظلّ خلالها هذا الملفّ أشبه بلُغز مستعصٍ على التفكيك، وصندوق أسود عصيّاً على الولوج إليه. إلى الآن، لا نتائج واضحة معلَنة لعمل لجنة التحقيق التي كانت قد شُكّلت برئاسة توفيق الطيراوي عام 2010، لكنّ اشتداد صراع الخلافة بين «أولاد فتح» أدّى إلى انكشاف الكثير من المستور، وتسرُّب عدد كبير من الوثائق السرّية التي لم يَجرؤ أيّ منهم على إنكار صحّتها. وإذ يبدو جليّاً أن ثمّة مخطّطاً واضحاً، من وراء هذه التسريبات، لإزاحة الطيراوي من المشهد السياسي، وإخلاء الجوّ لحسين الشيخ وماجد فرج اللذَين يريدان الاستئثار بتِركة أبي مازن وحدَهما لا غير، فإن الوثائق تُظهر أن أبا عمار تعرّض لعملية اغتيال سياسي ومعنوي، كان محمود عباس و«شُلّته» شديدَي الضلوع فيها، سبقت تصفيته الجسدية، وهو ما يجلّيه قول الراحل في أيامه الأخيرة: «وُصلولي… خلّي الكرسي ينفعهم، شعبي والتاريخ لن يرحمهم». وإذا كان التاريخ «لن يرحم» بالفعل رأس السلطة الفلسطينية الحالي، الذي قضى على كلّ ما تبقّى من إرث ثوري، واستعدى مكوّنات المجتمع كافّة، واستحدث سُنّة الطرد من «أمّ الجماهير»، فهو، على العكس من ذلك، سيحفظ لأبي عمار، على رغم كلّ المآخذ على نهجه الحافل بالتناقضات، وعلى رغم «خديعة أوسلو» التي ثبت أنها لم تكن سوى غطاء لتوسّع المشروع الاستيطاني، أنه القائد العسكري الذي لم يُسقط «السلاح من يده»، وتلك لوحدها أعادتْه إلى وجدان الناس، مبرَّأً من كلّ «خطيئة وطنية»، وطنياً فلسطينياً كـ«يوم ولدتْه أمه»

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The Palestinian Resistance is beyond sectarian disintegration

October 29 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Myriam Charabaty 

Christians are an integral part of Palestine, the region’s social fabric and the Arab world’s identity as a whole. Despite the Collective and Historic-West’s active attempt to isolate and contain the Christian role in the struggle for national liberation through the resettlement of Arab and Palestinian Christians in exile, it remains that the formation of the Arab national identity, through the entirety of its social fabric, is rooted in their unified historical and cultural background and identity.

“We will not kneel! Yes, we seek peace but we will not surrender.”

There is a direct correlation between the extent to which people value their lives and their willingness to defend the Arab identity of Palestine, which is integral to the Arab social fabric of the entire region. This correlation between Arabs and their land has manifested as Resistance movements across the Arab world. More specifically, it became visible in liberation movements seeking to liberate Palestine from the settler colonial entity of “Israel” as a primary front for Arab liberation from Western hegemony. This is to say that “Israel” is merely an agent of hegemony seeking to ensure the continuous security and sustainability of the Western project of the New Middle East as it was initially developed through the enforcement of the Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreement. 

As Palestinians and Arabs sacrifice their lives for liberation, the narrative of Christians, be it in Palestine or across the Arab world, is being purposefully obliterated. Having systematically fragmented the Christian voice of Palestinians and the surrounding Sykes-Picot-generated entities through settler colonialism and fragmentation practices, it has become necessary to dissect the Western-led Israeli narrative, despite all Western efforts to obstruct that process, and highlight the engagement of the Christian segment in liberation movements, be it armed resistance or otherwise, across the Arab world. 

Christians are an integral part of the region’s social fabric and of the Arab world’s identity as a whole. Despite the Collective and Historic West’s active attempt to isolate and contain the Christian segment’s role in the struggle for national liberation through the resettlement of Arab and Palestinian Christians in exile, it remains that the formation of the Arab national identity, through the entirety of its social fabric ―Christians, Muslims, Druze, Jews, and all minority groups and confessions― is rooted in their unified historical and cultural background and identity. 

“Israel” isolates Christians from Palestine and the cause

The Palestinian people, both Muslim and Christian alike, believe that the land upon which people walk, in Palestine, and Al-Quds more specifically, is sacred. The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia, Atallah Hanna, has consecrated on several occasions the relationship between the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He reaffirmed the Arab identity of Al-Quds, that of both its land and people, as an integral part of the larger Arab world in the face of the settler colonial entity that is considered the primary threat in the path toward Arab liberation.

Since the 1948 Nakba of Palestine, the Haganah massacres that led to it, in addition to the establishment of the Israeli settler colonial entity, there has been an active and continuous attempt by the Israelis to alter the identity of Palestine. They sought to eliminate its Arab historic and cultural features in the hopes of putting an end to the righteous Arab Palestinian cause and thus legitimizing their settler existence, as well as the sustainability of the non-nations of Sykes-Picot. The Zionist entity, in other words, looked to install the foreverness of a fragmented Arab national identity. 

In this regard, Christian Palestinians did not stand idle, nor did they ever abandon the Palestinian struggle, nor their Arab identity, neither at home nor in exile. Archbishop Hanna reaffirmed that the settler colonial entity threatened the Arab social fabric, history, and national identity, and noted that it cannot “remove Al-Quds from the Palestinian conscience, be it that of Christians or Muslims.”

He further called on Palestinian Christians everywhere “not to forget their church,” adding that Palestine “is their spiritual roots and their national roots, they belong here, and their identity is rooted in this region’s history. They must never forget their Palestinian heritage.”

Brothers in Arms

On October 23, 2022, the Israeli occupation assassinated Tamer Al-Kilani, a Palestinian Resistance fighter from the Lions’ Den group in the West Bank’s Nablus, via a TNT device planted on a motorcycle next to his.  

This marks the latest of the ever-ongoing assassination policy of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against Palestinian Resistance leaders. However, since the beginning of 2022, the IOF has intensified its assassinations and has even used drones and TNT devices to conduct them.  

While many Christian resistance fighters became renowned in the earlier stages of the Palestinian struggle, such as Ghassan Kanafani and Georges Habash, since the Second Intifada, there became a generation of Arabs – both Christian and Muslim – that have questioned the role of Christians in Palestinian liberation movements.  

In 2006, shortly after the end of the Second Intifada, there was a general decision between Palestinian Resistance groups and the Palestinian Authority to de-escalate. During that time, two young men were assassinated for insisting on carrying the legacy of those that were martyred before them.  

Martyr Daniel Abu Hamama, in his early 20s at the time, was assassinated alongside martyr Ahmed Musleh who was around the same age, on Easter Sunday after they were driven into an ambush. In 1990, Abu Hamama joined the Palestinian Authority’s special forces apparatus, seeking a job to support his family. As the confrontations intensified prior to the start of the Second Intifada, Abu Hamama joined the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah. 

  • The IOF assassinate Palestinian Resistance fighters Martyrs Daniel Abu Hamama and Ahmad Musleh in 2006

The IOF’s bullets obstructed Abu Hamama’s path to Beit Lahm in the West Bank, preventing him from attending the Easter celebration with his family and loved ones.  

That evening, the IOF bullets turned Daniel’s holiday delight into a reminder that the way of the Cross ends in resurrection and is the only way to salvation.

His blood quenched the soil that Christians consider the birthplace of Christianity.  The assassination targeted the car Abu Hamama was in with his two friends, Martyr Ahmed Musleh and Arafat Abu Shaira, who was injured during the attempt. 

According to an eyewitness who spoke to Al-Quds News, “When Daniel fell from the vehicle, bleeding, the occupation soldiers attacked, dragging him to the ground to a warehouse 15 meters away from the vehicle, taking off his clothes,” pointing out that “people in the neighboring area then heard the sound of gunfire inside, which made them believe there’s an interrogation. Then, an execution had taken place before an IOF ambulance came and held his body for two days.”

His mother’s words ring notably: “Praise be to God, who honored our son by allowing him martyrdom in defense of the dear homeland,” noting that Abu Hamama has “always wished to be martyred.”

A School of Liberation Theology

Abu Hamama would not have been the first or last Christian to join Fatah. Long before him, the protector of Al-Quds and exiled freedom fighter Archbishop Hilarion Cappucci had assisted Fatah for years before he was arrested and then exiled. 

Cappucci was known for having been both a clergyman and a freedom fighter, a boy from Syria’s Aleppo that refused to watch Palestine suffer. When Al-Aqsa Mosque called for help, he ordered for the bells of the Church of the Sepulcher to be tolled. In his approach toward the Palestinian struggle, Cappucci left behind him a legacy. He became a symbol of confrontation on the individual, religious, and national levels. A symbol of unity of ranks in purpose and fate, and thus a symbol of the Arab liberation theology uniting Christians and Muslims across the Arab and Islamic worlds. 

In his own words, Cappucci summarized his legacy, and that of all those who have chosen to follow in his footsteps, when he said “We will not kneel! Yes, we seek peace but we will not surrender. What we demand is righteousness and justice, and God is righteousness and justice. And if God is with us, then who is against us? Therefore, our dark nights must end, and our chains must be broken.”

Furthermore, the Syrian Archbishop of Al-Quds also said “I, who have lived in Al-Quds for long, have prayed to the verses of its minarets and the tolling of its church bells. I have extended my hand, at times of adversity, to assist Palestinian freedom fighters…and because of that I was arrested and exiled,” calling on generations not to abandon this legacy for the sake of Palestine, and stressing that the people of the region depend on it.

Palestine will remain an Arab cause because it affects all of us living in the made-to-fragment Sykes-Picot entities. The liberation of Palestine and its people is the liberation of the Arab nation, and the first step towards the defragmentation of its social fabric, thereby allowing it to become a united nation capable of developing sustainable social, economic, and political organizations, and securing safety and prosperity for all the remaining minorities in the region on its own terms, without the Western dictations that have plagued the Arab world for far too long now.

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Hamas, Islamic Jihad Urge Unity Against ‘Israel’

October 23, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The West Bank in Palestine is Ready to Explode


Steven Sahiounie

There is a battle brewing in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. Thousands of Israeli occupation forces will be deployed to face a growing resistance force. The ‘natives are restless’ and the Lions’ Den has mobilized to fight for their freedom and human rights.

500,000 illegal Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank in some 130 settlements. Today, the Israeli forces said dozens of settlers ran through Hawara, near Nablus, throwing rocks at Palestinian cars. The settlers used pepper spray on the Israeli commander as well as another soldier and sprayed another two soldiers at a nearby checkpoint. Settlers are allowed to intimidate Palestinians and destroy their property, while Palestinians are hunted down and killed by Israeli occupation forces.

The Palestinian youth have grown up under brutal military occupation and an apartheid state. The resistance in Jenin, Nablus, and Hebron has inspired rebellion against sieges and attacks. The Palestinian people living under the iron hand of oppression are ready to fight the Israeli occupation and are frustrated with their leadership which is seen as collaborating with the Israelis in keeping the status quo firmly in place. The resistance movement sees no benefit in maintaining the occupation and demands a dramatic change in their future.

The Palestinian youth reject the divisions among the factions in the politics of Palestine. The recent unity deal in Algeria has given them hope that political parties can work together in brigades such as the Lions’ Den, which has fighters from Hamas, Fatah, and others fighting together for a single goal of freedom.

On October 11, an Israeli soldier was killed in an attack north of Nablus, and two other shooting attacks against Israeli forces took place in Beit Ummar, near Hebron, and in Sur Baher, a neighborhood in Jerusalem.

On October 14, Israeli forces killed 20-year-old Mateen Dabaya in a raid on the Jenin refugee camp. Dr. Abdallah Abu Teen, 43, rushed to the aid of Dabaya in front of the Jenin hospital and was also shot and killed by the Israelis in his attempt to give medical care to the injured young man. Two Palestinian paramedics and several civilians were also wounded in the attack by the Israelis at the entrance to the hospital.

On October 15, a Palestinian in his twenties was killed north of Ramallah, and Israeli forces raided Nablus and arrested a Palestinian man while continuing to impose movement restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank, which is a hallmark of an apartheid state.

On October 16, Mohammad Turkman, 20, died of his wounds while in Israeli custody. He had been wounded and captured by Israeli forces in Jenin in late September.

On October 20, Mohammed Fadi Nuri, 16, died after being shot in the stomach last month by Israeli troops near the city of Ramallah.

The Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem is completely sealed in a siege by Israeli forces as a form of collective punishment following an attack there, and Israeli police announced that it arrested 50 Palestinians in Jerusalem recently.

Riyad Mansour, the representative of Palestine to the UN, has denounced attacks by Israeli occupation forces and called on the UN to comply with international law and Security Council resolutions. Mansour noted that Israeli forces and settler militias “are relentlessly harassing, intimidating and provoking the Palestinian people in a ruthless manner,” and condemned the new attack against the city of Jenin

The US enables Israel to remain an apartheid state

The United States of America, the champion of freedom and democracy, is currently sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine to fight for democracy. But, you won’t see the US sending a bullet to the Palestinians for their fight for democracy. The US is also the champion of ‘double standards’.

According to the various international human rights groups, which are often cited by the US as evidence of war crimes and atrocities by American foes, the Jewish State of Israel is an apartheid state. The US and her western liberal allies were the chief critics of the former apartheid state of South Africa, and the western criticism helped to fulfill the dreams of freedom and democracy in the land of Nelson Mandela.

The US is like a parent who allows Israel to continue self-destructive behavior. Some parents of teenage drug addicts will buy drugs for their children to protect them from danger and arrest. The parents are not willing to go through the tortuous procedure of rehab for the child, so they minimize the danger and make the drug addiction as safe as possible. This is known as enabling, and this is the role the US has chosen for itself in its relationship with Israel and Palestine. On the one hand, the US claims to support the democratic aspirations of all peoples but is unwilling to stand up to Israeli policies of racism, collective punishment, blockades, imprisonment without trial or legal aid, and other crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people under occupation. The enabling stance of the US is destructive for both the US and the Palestinians, as the reputation of America suffers from global ridicule and shame.

Palestinian unity deal

Arab unity might be too much to ask for, but Palestinian unity has been agreed on in Algeria. Hamas, Fattah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the PLO, and others signed the deal brokered by Algerian President Abdulmajeed Tabboune. This deal resolves a 15-year political dispute among the various factions and looks forward to new elections.

“Jenin has demonstrated to the [Palestinian] leaders meeting in Algeria that national unity is built in the field,” Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

Why is the west bank resisting?

The Palestinian Authority has lost control in Nablus and Jenin the West Bank. The Palestinians view their leadership as an extension of Israeli control and oppression. The Lions’ Den in Nablus has claimed responsibility for the latest resistance operations against Israeli occupation forces.

On October 16, the Jenin Brigade announced they will support the Lions’ Den in their resistance to occupation, and this has raised the prospect of increased Israeli raids on Jenin and Nablus.

Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, trivialized the threat of the Lions’ Den when he made statements on how his occupation forces will capture and eliminate the members. Israel has depended on the divisions among the Palestinian factions. However, Israel has never before faced a unified force of motivated youth who are willing to die for freedom and a chance to create a new future for themselves and their families. Revolutions occasionally succeed.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, over 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and Gaza, since the beginning of 2022, making this year the deadliest since 2015.

UK embassy move proposed

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, have both expressed concern over the proposed UK embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Liz Truss, the embattled British Prime Minister, proposed the idea in her meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid last month.

Pope Francis, the UK churches, and the 13 denominations of Christians in Jerusalem have always maintained a position supporting a UN resolution for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine firstly, and secondly a final status of Jerusalem to be decided afterward. Previously the Christians of Jerusalem stated concern over moving embassies to Jerusalem, “We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.”

Truss has wanted to follow in the footsteps of President Trump who defied international law when he shifted the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Truss plan was first suggested in her letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a pro-Israel lobby group, similar to the pro-Trump AIPAC in the US.

Australia reverses its position on embassy move

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has announced Australia has reversed its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Wong also told reporters that “the Australian government remains committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state can coexist in peace and security within internationally recognized borders. We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect.”

The Lion’s Den: New West Bank resistance strikes fear in Israel

A newly established Palestinian resistance faction has emerged in Nablus and is re-writing the rules of engagement against the Israeli occupation

October 18 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Yousef Fares

On 11 October, Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli soldier near the illegal Jewish settlement of Shavei Shomron, west of the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. On the same day, masked men opened fire on four other Israeli targets on the outskirts of the city.

A total of five operations were carried out in one day, reportedly by the recently established resistance faction called the Lion’s Den (Areen Al-Osood) who claimed responsibility for them.

On Sunday, an unusual top level security meeting was held in Israel, on the eve of a national festival, which included Prime Minister Yair Lapid, alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, National Security Council Chairman Eyal Hulata, Mossad Chief David Barnea, Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar, and Military Intelligence Chief Aharon Haliva, according to Israeli media reports.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new West Bank resistance phenomenon, the Lion’s Den, which Haaretz calls a “major headache” for the Israeli state. Earlier that day, Israel’s Defense Ministry denied entry permits for 164 Palestinian family members allegedly related to the Lions’ Den.

Who are the Lion’s Den?

What do we know so far about the Lion’s Den, a West Bank resistance group that Defense Minister Gantz admits poses a challenge to Israeli security, demanding repeatedly that the Palestinian Authority (PA) limit its expansion?

The first nucleus of this group was formed last February in Nablus, when Israeli security forces assassinated Muhammad al-Dakhil, Ashraf Mubaslat and Adham Mabrouka, all members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military arm of the Fatah movement.

The three were friends with Jamil al-Amouri, a leader in the Al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and founder of the Jenin Brigades, who was assassinated by Israeli forces in early June 2021.

In retaliation, the trio, along with Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, were involved in a string of shooting operations at occupation army checkpoints in the city. The lack of support from Fatah to which they belong, prompted them to seek assistance from other factions, most notably Hamas and PIJ, who provided them with material and logistical support.

After the assassination of Nabulsi on 9 August, 2022, he and the others became national icons for the Palestinian public, joining the extensive list of celebrated martyrs from Nablus. Political researcher Majd Dargham told The Cradle that “Nablus has a special status in relation to the Palestinian Authority and Fatah movement, which does not allow any other organization to be active in it.”

As the Nablus Brigade of the Al-Quds Brigades did not have much chance of success, there was a need to form new non-partisan groups, consisting mostly of Fatah fighters. This is how the Lion’s Den was born, and how within a short period it has transformed into a cross-faction group dominated by the Fatah members.

The leader speaks

The leader of the Lion’s Den, who spoke to The Cradle on condition of anonymity, stressed that his group was “founded for resistance. We renounce partisanship, and we work in unity for God and the nation, and we extend our hand to every member of any faction who wants to engage with us away from his party affiliation.”

In the past month, the military operations of the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank have led to the killing of four Israeli soldiers, and about 800 confrontation events have been recorded.

In a report by Haaretz entitled “Nablus’ Lion’s Den has become a major headache for Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” the authors of the article, Yaniv Kubovich and Jack Khoury, posit that the main problem with this new resistance group is that most of its members belong to Fatah and hail from large families in Nablus.

This places the PA in an embarrassing situation because any operation targeting the Lion’s Den by the Israeli-backed Palestinian security forces will mean the PA shoots itself in the foot, and destroys what remains of its legitimacy among Fatah and its supporters.

While recognizing that “the situation in the West Bank is very sensitive,” Gantz said in a press statement that eliminating the Lion’s Den whose number does not exceed 30 young men, is “possible.”

However, the group’s leader responded to this by telling The Cradle: “Gantz will be surprised very soon by our numbers and methods of work and how far we can reach.” According to Dergham, the popularity of The Lion’s Den is not limited to the old city of Nablus – rather, its influence now extends to all parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

He adds: “Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, Muhammad al-Azizi, Abboud Sobh and others have turned into icons. Whoever assaults them, or arrests their friends, will appear to be a security agent for the occupation, and this is what the authority  (PA) cannot tolerate.”

“Keep your arms”

In advance of his assassination, Ibrahim al-Nabulsi left behind a message in simple colloquial Arabic, in which he said: “For the sake of the honor of your families, keep your arms.”

These words formed the founding charter of the Lion’s Den, which appeared for the first time on 2 September at the memorial ceremony held for their martyred fighters Muhammad al-Azizi and Abd Al-Rahman Subh, who were killed by Israeli forces during a military raid in Nablus on 24 July.

Wearing all black, fully masked, and with weapons held high and close to their right, the members of the Lion’s Den marched through the streets and alleys of Nablus’ old city, with hundreds of people in attendance.

One of the masked men recited the group’s charter, in which he proclaimed the Lion’s Den as “a phenomenon of continuous resistance derived from its unity on the ground, and from the roots of the past revolution.”

He added that “the arrogance of the occupation impose on us as resistance fighters renewed battles, the shape of which the occupation may not expect, especially since this organized and self-managed resistance is able every day to renew the blood in the veins of the resistance in many forms and methods.”

He also reminded fellow members “not to leave the gun under any circumstances and to direct it at the occupation, its settlers, and those who collaborate with the enemy,” and called on their “brothers in the [PA] security services to unite and direct our guns toward the occupation only.”

Popularity of the pride

On 19 September, the PA’s security services arrested Hamas member, Musab Shtayyeh, who is also one of the leaders of The Lion’s Den. In response, the group called for demonstrations that included clashes with Palestinian policemen.

After two days of tension and protests, the group released a statement saying that “the internal fighting only serves the occupation, and our guns will only be directed at the enemy.” Calm returned to the city, and since then, the Lion’s Den fighters have carried out dozens of shooting attacks on settler cars and Israeli military checkpoints.

Due to the group’s rising popularity across the West Bank, several Palestinian factions have sought to claim affiliation with the Lion’s Den, prompting the resistance group to issue statements that it acts independently. The Lion’s Den leader tells The Cradle: “The Qassam, Saraya [Al-Quds Brigades] and Fatah members who operate within the den are involved in a national framework, and do not represent their parties.”

“All are our brothers. When the protests over the arrest of Musab Shtayyeh were about to develop into a strife, we chose to end it, to direct our compass to the occupier,” he explained.

The Hebrew Channel 13, which describes the group as a “terrorist organization,” concedes that: “in less than a year, [the Lion’s Den] have transformed from an obscure organization into an organization that has more influence than all known Palestinian factions, and threatens the security of the Israelis and the stability of the Palestinian Authority.”

Reclaiming territory

A source in the Palestinian resistance in Nablus confirms to The Cradle that the Lion’s Den has indeed expanded the resistance in the West Bank from confronting military incursions and random raids, to organized operations against the collective occupation forces.

The recent operations have illustrated that they are working according to a well-thought-out strategy based on undermining any chance of order that the occupation army and settlers seek to enforce in the cities of the West Bank.

Nevertheless, the Den’s leader expects difficult days ahead in Nablus, the group’s stronghold. In addition to a major security campaign that Israeli forces may launch on the city at any moment to eliminate the group’s infrastructure, the compliant PA is making great efforts to contain the group.

Recently, the PA offered to co-opt Lion’s Den members in its security services, in exchange for an Israeli guarantee that they would not be pursued. The group’s leader responded thus: “We rejected all offers. We will not exploit the blood of martyrs for personal gain.”

According to observers, the new resistance faction has progressed to such an extent that it is now firmly beyond the stage of possible containment or elimination, and the coming days will likely witness its expansion to various West Bank cities and camps.

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

لقاء منفرد مع الأسد… ومشروع مكتب تمثيلي: «حماس» في ضيافة دمشق خلال أيام

السبت 15 تشرين الأول 2022

ثمّة ترتيبات لعقْد لقاء ثُنائي منفرد، بعيداً عن الإعلام، بين ممثّلي «حماس» والأسد (أرشيف ــ أ ف ب)

رجب المدهون  

غزة | بعد وقت قصير من إعلان حركة «حماس» قرارها العودة إلى سوريا، يصل وفد من الحركة، خلال الأيام المقبلة، إلى العاصمة دمشق، ضمن مجموعة وفود فصائلية فلسطينية ستلتقي الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، في ما سيمثّل خطوة أولى على طريق إنهاء خلاف عميق بين الجانبَين، أشعله موقف الحركة من الأزمة السورية. وبحسب ما علمته «الأخبار» من مصادر «حمساوية»، فقد تمّ إبلاغ الحركة بنيّة الأسد استقبال الفصائل الفلسطينية، وأن «حماس» مَدعوَّة إلى هذا اللقاء، وهو ما ردّت عليه الأخيرة بالإيجاب، مؤكدة أن مسؤول ملفّ العلاقات العربية والإسلامية لديها، خليل الحية، ووفداً قيادياً منها، سيكونان ضمن الجمْع المتوجّه إلى دمشق. ولم يحدَّد بعد موعد الاجتماع السوري – الفصائلي، علماً أن الفصائل طلبت تأخيره إلى حين انتهاء لقاءات المصالحة في العاصمة الجزائرية، فيما كشفت مصادر مطّلعة، لـ«الأخبار»، أن ثمّة ترتيبات لعقْد لقاء ثُنائي منفرد، بعيداً عن الإعلام، بين ممثّلي «حماس» والأسد على هامش الاجتماع الموسّع. وأوضحت المصادر أن اللقاء المُشار إليه سيناقش الإشكاليات التي اعترت العلاقة سابقاً، وطُرق تسويتها، وكيفية «قطْع الطريق على المتربّصين» بمسار إنهاء القطيعة بين الطرفَين، كما سيتناول التحدّيات المقبلة التي تُواجه سوريا والقضية الفلسطينية، وإمكانية إقامة مكتب تمثيل للحركة في العاصمة السورية خلال الفترة المقبلة، على رغم أن خطوة كتلك تعترضها عقبات عديدة، بعضها سوري داخلي، وبعضها الآخر مرتبط بـ«حماس» نفسها، التي يرأسها في الخارج خالد مشعل، والأخير لا يزال على موقف معادٍ للقيادة السورية، فيما الأخيرة تُحافظ، بدورها، على نظرة شديدة السلبية إليه. وعلى رغم ما تَقدّم، من المتوقّع أن تَدْفع هذه الزيارة قُدُماً بخطوات «إعادة المياه إلى مجاريها»، وسط دعم من أطراف محور المقاومة لذلك المسار بشكل كامل، ورعاية إيرانية لصيقة، وإشراف مباشر من الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله»، السيد حسن نصر الله.

تم إبلاغ الحركة بنية الأسد استقبال الفصائل، وأن «حماس» مَدعوة إلى هذا اللقاء

على خطّ موازٍ، وقّعت الفصائل الفلسطينية، في العاصمة الجزائر، اتّفاق مصالحة يقضي بإجراء انتخابات تشريعية ورئاسية في غضون عام، لكن من دون تحديد الآليات التي يُفترض من خلالها تجاوُز العقبات السابقة التي حالت دون انعقادها، وعلى رأسها تلك التي فرضها الاحتلال في مدينة القدس. وفي هذا الإطار، أكدت مصادر «حمساوية»، لـ«الأخبار»، أن الحركة وافقت على الورقة الجزائرية ووقّعت عليها، على رغم كونها «فضفاضة على نحوٍ يتيح لأطرافها التملّص منها مستقبلاً»، متهمّةً حركة «فتح» بأنها هي التي دفعت في اتّجاه إخراج الورقة بهذه الصورة. وبيّنت المصادر أن الفصائل طالبت بأن تُجرى الانتخابات خلال 6 أشهر، إلّا أن «فتح» أصرّت على أن يكون ذلك بعد عام من التوقيع، من دون تحديد جدول زمني للخطوات اللازمة، ومن دون تقديم رؤية أيضاً لكيفية إتمام الاستحقاق في القدس. وبذا، لم تختلف المبادرة الجزائرية عن المبادرات العربية السابقة التي طُرحت على مدار 16 عاماً من الانقسام؛ إذ دائماً ما غاب عنها جدول زمني للتنفيذ، إضافة إلى خلوّها من أيّ ضمانات.

ودعت الوثيقة الجزائرية إلى «اعتماد لغة الحوار والتشاور لحلّ الخلافات على الساحة الفلسطينية»، تمهيداً لـ«انضمام الكلّ الوطني إلى منظّمة التحرير الفلسطينية». كما دعت إلى «تفعيل آلية الأمناء العامين للفصائل الفلسطينية لمتابعة إنهاء الانقسام وتحقيق الوحدة الوطنية والشراكة السياسية الوطنية». ونصّت، أيضاً، على «تكريس مبدأ الشراكة السياسية بين مختلف القوى الوطنية، بما في ذلك عن طريق الانتخابات، وبما يسمح بمشاركة واسعة في الاستحقاقات الوطنية القادمة في الوطن والشتات، وانتخاب المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني في الداخل والخارج حيث ما أمكن، بنظام التمثيل النسبي الكامل وفق الصيغة المتَّفق عليها والقوانين المعتمَدة، بمشاركة جميع القوى، خلال مدّة أقصاها عام واحد من تاريخ توقيع الإعلان»، فيما أبدت الجزائر استعدادها لاحتضان انعقاد المجلس الوطني الفلسطيني الجديد. كذلك، طالبت الوثيقة بـ«الإسراع في إجراء انتخابات عامّة رئاسية وتشريعية في قطاع غزة والضفة الغربية، بما فيها القدس عاصمة الدولة الفلسطينية، وفق القوانين المعتمَدة في مدّة أقصاها عام»، مُشدّدة على «ضرورة تطوير دور منظّمة التحرير وتفعيل مؤسّساتها بمشاركة جميع الفصائل»، فضلاً عن «توحيد المؤسّسات الوطنية وتجنيد الطاقات والموارد المتاحة الضرورية لتنفيذ مشاريع إعادة الإعمار ودعم البنية التحتية والاجتماعية للشعب الفلسطيني، بما يدعم صموده في مواجهة الاحتلال»، مُعلِنةً، أخيراً، «تولّي فريق عمل جزائري عربي الإشراف والمتابعة لتنفيذ بنود هذا الاتفاق، بالتعاون مع الجانب الفلسطيني».

من ملف : اسرائيل: كوابيس سيف القدس

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Palestinian factions sign ‘Algeria declaration’ to end division

October 13 2022

(Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency)

The Algerian initiative was put forward as a result of the continuous aggression of Israeli forces against the Palestinians

ByNews Desk

The Palestinian factions signed the “Algerian Paper for Palestinian Reconciliation” on 13 October to strengthen the relationship among several Palestinian national parties in order to resist the confronting forces of the Israeli army.

The Algerian initiative was put forward as a result of the continuous aggression of Israeli forces against the Palestinians, specifically near Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in Jerusalem within the al-Aqsa area.

The document encourages unifying the Palestinian factions in light of these constant attacks and supports efforts aimed at restoring the rights of Palestinian nationals.

Throughout the year, far-right Jewish settlers stormed religious sites in the occupied West Bank, where a day prior, settlers began burning copies of the Quran in an attempt to provoke locals.

Israeli forces protected the settlers as they desecrated holy sites and several copies of the Quran, and prevented Palestinians from entering the squares surrounding the Ibrahimi Mosque.

On 11 October, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune hosted a meeting between delegates from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to facilitate reconciliation talks between the factions.

Hostilities between the parties have been apparent since 2007, following Hamas’s consolidation of power in the Gaza Strip. Previous negotiations have repeatedly failed due to their differences to find a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The meeting between the parties lasts two days and will be led by members of Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Despite peace talks between the factions, Fatah has been reluctant and has mostly rejected the Algerian Paper for Palestinian Reconciliation, whilst Hamas has been more accepting of the request.

Back in early September, Algeria officially invited Palestine to participate in the upcoming Arab summit that will take place on 1 November in Algiers.

The invitation was extended to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, however, critics suspect Abbas is using the votes of Jerusalem residents to cling to power, given the growing discontent with his rule and the PA in general, due to their collaboration with the Israeli occupation.

Earlier in the year, an Israeli official revealed that PA forces carried out raids in the West Bank city of Jenin at the direct request of the Israeli military.

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

October 11, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the West Bank, Resistance Rises as the PA Crumbles


The Palestinian resistance factions of the West Bank are no longer fractured and in disarray, and the results speak for themselves

The Israeli army’s recent incursions into the cities and refugee camps of the northern occupied-West Bank are not going as smoothly as before.

The occupation army’s incursions into the city of Jenin and Jenin refugee camp in early September required the mobilization of large forces, including special units and armored vehicles – in scale, unprecedented since 2014.

On the night of 6 September, a force of about 100 vehicles carried out a raid in Jenin, supported by air with drones, and on land, by hundreds of soldiers from Israel’s elite military units.

Their task? To demolish the house of Ra’ad Hazem, who carried out the Dizengoff attack in Tel Aviv on 7 April, 2022. More than anything, this excessive military build-up over a single home demolition illustrates that the Israeli military can no longer operate in the West Bank as they did before the May 2021 ‘Sayf Al Quds’ conflagration – and its subsequent developments.

After the 6 September operation – which resulted in the death of three Israelis and wounded 14 – the occupation army launched Operation ‘Break the Waves’ in response to the rapid expansion of Palestinian resistance factions and fervor in the West Bank.

The re-emergence of resistance in the West Bank

Break the Waves’ objective, according to then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, was to “attack without borders in order to stop the [resistance] operations” – four of which were carried out in cities in occupied territories – and to destroy the infrastructure of the resistance factions in Jenin and Nablus.

Five months after the Tel Aviv attack, the situation in the West Bank remains tense and is heading toward further escalation. In the interim, three new resistance battalions have been announced in Nablus, Tulkarm and Tubas.

Between 2007 and 2021, the resistance factions, particularly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), remained stuck in a vicious cycle. The enemy’s surgical strikes were hindering their proactive initiatives, and until 2020, their activities were limited to the formation of fighting cells that were able to carry out one or two attacks before being incapacitated.

Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Palestinian Authority (PA) security services have fully collaborated with the occupation authorities to pursue these resistance factions, for fear of having the Gaza model repeated in the West Bank.

The genesis lies in Jenin

The rejuvenation of resistance in the occupied West Bank can be attributed to the martyr Jamil al-Amouri. A prominent figure in the Jenin camp, Amouri was considered the most “wanted” by the occupation state for carrying out several shooting attacks against Israeli positions around Jenin, during the 2021 battle of Sayf al-Quds.

He effectively contributed to the formation of active military cells inside the camp, which later went on to form the nucleus of the Jenin Brigade.

In early June 2021, Amouri was assassinated, along with Lieutenant Adham Yasser Tawfiq Alawi from Nablus, and Captain Tayseer Mahmoud Othman Eissa from Jenin. The deaths of a PIJ commander along with two officers from the PA’s Military Intelligence effectively broke the ice between the PIJ on the one hand, and the Fatah movement and members of the security services in Jenin and Nablus, on the other.

This also led to a subtle change in the popular resistance factions’ perception of the PA security services, who for years have been accused of being agents of the occupation.

As political researcher Muhammad Dargham told The Cradle: “The martyrdom of Amouri with two officers from the security services removed the veil from the eyes of many supporters of the [Palestinian] Authority and the Fatah who woke up after thirteen years and found themselves guards of security coordination with Israel.”

PIJ and Fatah: setting aside differences

According to Dargham, the killing of Amouri, Alawi, and Eissa created harmony – at least in the Jenin camp – between the Al-Quds Brigades and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – the respective armed wings of the PIJ and Fatah.

Three months after Amouri’s murder, five Palestinian prisoners belonging to the PIJ movement, along with the leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, managed to escape from Gilboa Prison, the most fortified of all Israeli prisons. Two of the six, Ayham Kamamji and Monadel Nafeat, managed to reach Jenin refugee camp.

By 19 September, 2021, all escapees were re-captured. However the date is also notable for the establishment of the Jenin Brigade – the first semi-organized resistance formation in the West Bank in 17 years. Importantly, while the Brigade was founded by PIJ operatives, it also consists of members of the armed wings of political rivals Hamas and Fatah.

Resistance spreads like wild fire

For many years, Israel ruled out the success of any semi-organized resistance action in the West Bank cities and refugee camps. This is due to the occupation’s adoption of a “maximum integration” policy that linked all aspects of the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank to Israel.

The occupation also adopted its “mowing the lawn” policy, which sought to target all resistances cells by arresting or killing its members.

These strategies were designed to send the message that any attempt to resist is doomed to failure, and the fate of those who undertake it will be life imprisonment or assassination.

However, what transpired in September 2021 was different from all Israeli estimates. The Jenin Brigade maintained its military continuity, and the attempts to storm the Jenin refugee camp became much more costly for the Israelis.

Previously, any Israeli force that invaded the camp was met with stone-throwing and firecrackers. But over the course of a year and three months, the alliance of Al-Quds Brigades and Al-Aqsa Brigades raised the bar considerably, and stands as testament to the benefits of a united armed front for the resistance.

This was noticeable about a year after the launch of the Jenin Brigade. On 24 May, 2022, clashes erupted in the area of the Prophet Joseph’s tomb, near Balata and Askar refugee camps, east of Nablus. Israeli settlers used to enter this area without any confrontation except for stone throwing.

On that day, though, the confrontations developed into an armed clash that seemed organized and with purpose. A few days later, Al-Quds Brigades issued a statement announcing the launch of the Nablus Brigade.

One month earlier, three resistance fighters from the Al-Quds Brigades were killed in a clash with the Israeli army. One of the three, Saif Abu Libdeh, from the Ain Shams camp in Tulkarem, had worked for months to establish the infrastructure for a group that would be announced six weeks after his death, under the name Tulkarem Brigade. This was followed by the formation of another battalion – the Tubas Brigade in June.

The occupation state: feeling the heat

According to the Israeli army’s Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, the occupation forces have foiled “hundreds of operations” since the beginning of the Operation Break the Wave, and carried out more than 1,500 precautionary arrests.

Indeed, the first half of this year witnessed more than 3,700 Palestinian attacks in the West Bank, during which 21 settlers were killed and 316 wounded, including 2,692 attacks with stones, 577 with Molotov cocktails, 542 with burning tires, 33 with explosive devices, 30 with fireworks, 25 with paint bottles, 14 shootings, 1 case of hit and run, 4 cases of stabbing (with 7 foiled).

However, these numbers maybe underrepresented. For instance, in one week alone (28 August to 3 September 2022), 12 soldiers and settlers were injured, and about 90 points of confrontation were observed, including one stabbing attack, 22 shooting attacks, and 15 throwing explosive devices and Molotov cocktails.

Point of no return

There is consensus among the Israeli security establishment, think-tanks, and military analysts that the situation on the ground in the West Bank has reached a point of no return. The question that worries Israel is: Is it possible to eliminate the new resistance developments – or at least keep them confined to the northern West Bank and prevent their expansion to southern cities such as Hebron and Bethlehem, or central cities such as Jerusalem and Ramallah?

This Israeli concern is justified considering that the beginning of September bore serious consequences for the Israelis. On 4 September, three Palestinians from Jenin (a father and his two sons) shot at a bus carrying Kfir unit recruits in the Jordan Valley, injuring more than seven Israeli soldiers.

Until now, the results of the investigations have not been announced, but it seems that the attack was carefully planned in terms of timing, and choice of location, where there were fewer surveillance cameras at work.

A few days later, the Israeli army aborted an attempt by a Palestinian youth from Nablus from carrying out an operation in central Tel Aviv. The police suggested that the young man “infiltrated through a hole in the wall in the Tulkarem area,” where the army deployed three infantry battalions to thwart further attempts.

There is yet another event that suggests the resistance action in the West Bank is growing. At dawn, on Thursday 8 September, members of the Jenin Brigade detonated a locally manufactured explosive device targeting a military jeep during a raid of one of the neighboring camps.

It turned out that the device was controlled remotely, which represented a major technical development for the resistance factions, whose infrastructure was destroyed at the end of the Second Intifada.

Israelis are fanning the flames

The Israeli Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv believes that the PIJ has succeeded in transforming the northern West Bank into a hotbed of resistance, as well as in smuggling weapons and money to Palestinian cities and camps.

These concerns coincide with expressed doubts over the efficacy of Israel’s “mowing the lawn” policy, which has fueled the “vicious cycle of blood,” according to Amos Harel, a military analyst writing for Haaretz newspaper.

In an article he wrote earlier this month, Harel asked whether the Israeli army is quelling the West Bank’s flames, or actually fanning them.

Avi Iskharov, an analyst in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, opined that Israel is facing a “new situation” that is not similar to the two previous intifadas of 1987 and 2000, pointing out that “there are pockets of Palestinian gunmen in Nablus and Jenin (in the northern West Bank), who clash almost every night with the army and shoot at Israeli targets.”

Sources close to the resistance brigades in the West Bank told The Cradle that “Israel’s concerns are exaggerated for use in the upcoming election campaign.”

“What we are seeing today is the result of years of [resistance] efforts. As the train has set off, returning to the starting point means acceptance of our mass killing, and this is out of the question,” says one Palestinian source.

Israel: The PA is not collaborating enough

The Israelis have sought to place the blame for their inability to eliminate the resistance brigades and to abort operations in the occupied territories squarely on the PA in Ramallah, who they feel are failing to fulfill their obligations.

Israel’s Kan channel quoted an Israeli official as saying that “the Palestinian security services should increase their activity in the cities of the West Bank to prevent further escalation.”

As for the Palestinians, the corruption-ridden PA is too weak to play a pivotal role in curbing the resistance which enjoys broad Palestinian popular support. Any further association made between the PA with the Israeli security campaigns will make it lose what is left of its flagging legitimacy.

The Hebrew Walla website quoted Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, the PA’s channel of communication with the Israelis, as saying: “It is Israel that has weakened the [Palestinian] Authority through daily incursions into the Palestinian areas.”

“The authority cannot accept a reality in which the army storms the occupied territories every night, then we are asked to work during the day against the militants,” added Sheikh.

A dawn of a new era in the West Bank

Meanwhile, the US has been keen to help prop up the PA and help it “restore stability,” by taking measures such as “increasing the number of work permits for Palestinians” in the occupied territories, “pumping economic aid to the Authority from various sources,” and facilitating the movement of Palestinians.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, who recently visited Israel and met with senior security officials, warned that “the situation in the West Bank is worse than it appears and the future of the entire PA is under threat.”

In the early hours of 20 September, PA security forces in Nablus arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a Hamas commander wanted by Israel. Later that day, clashes broke out between the PA and hundreds of Palestinians who hit the streets in protest.

Resistance factions are demanding Shtayyeh’s immediate release and are threatening to bar the PA from Nablus until this is done.

In a video addressing the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian resistance in Jenin cautioned: “we do not want to fight with you, but stay away from us. If you deal in kidnapping, we will also deal in kidnapping.”

The Authority’s unelected President Mahmoud Abbas is in a bind: he fears mutiny from within for collaborating with Israeli security, and fears punishment from Israel for not doing so.

By not adopting a conclusive direction, on a daily basis Abbas drains the PA of further legitimacy and authority, as demonstrated in Nablus today.

In terms of the prospects for Palestinian national liberation, this at least will be a welcome development, as the decline or demise of the western and Israeli-backed PA will open a wide door to revitalized armed resistance in the occupied West Bank.

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كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (3/4)

 الإثنين 17 أيلول 2022

عبد الرحمن نصار 

يمكن لطوباس أن تجري عمليات مشاغلة، وأن تساهم في توسع رقعة الاشتباك. أما المحافظة على ديمومة العمل لوقت طويل، فهي تحدٍّ حقيقي، لكن يمكن لهذه المدينة أن تمثل مستقبلاً مصدر قلق حقيقياً لـ”إسرائيل”.

إنَّ انطلاق كتيبة في مثل هذه الظروف (طوباس) يعني أنَّ هناك حالة تأثر كبيرة بتمدد حالات المقاومة في الضفة

في الحلقة الثالثة، نستعرض تجربة آخر كتيبة معلنة حتى الآن: “طوباس”، واضعين في الإطار “العملية النوعية” الأخيرة في الأغوار الشمالية، مع قراءة سريعة لعمليات إطلاق النار في رام الله، فيما نتحرى وراء إعلان كتيبة في الخليل التي نستشرف واقع العمل فيها، لنكون بذلك قد كشفنا جزءاً كبيراً من المساحة الفعلية لـ”بقعة الزيت” التي تمددت في الضفة في عام واحد فقط، من دون أن تغفل العيون عن محافظات ومدن أخرى.

لا تزال طوباس، الواقعة شمال شرقي الضفة المحتلة، بمحاذاة نهر الأردن، تجهد لتجد لنفسها متسعاً بين كتائب المقاومة المتصاعدة في الضفة، وخصوصاً أن السلطة الفلسطينية استطاعت خلال الشهر الماضي ومطلع هذا الشهر أن تشنّ حملات اعتقال وتنكيل بحقّ عدد من الكوادر الفعالين، وخصوصاً في “الجهاد الإسلامي”. وكانت كتيبة هذه المدينة قد خرجت إلى النور منتصف تموز/يوليو الماضي، عندما صدر البيان الأول الذي أعلن التصدي لاجتياح إسرائيلي.

الفعل الأبرز لـ”كتيبة طوباس” كان رمزياً أكثر منه في التأثير العسكري، لكنه شكّل بادرة مهمة، حين أعلنت الكتيبة فجر الأحد 24 تموز/يوليو 2022 أنها أطلقت النار على حاجز “تياسير” في المحافظة “نصرة لنابلس” خلال حصار حي الياسمينة في البلدة القديمة فيها (محاولة اغتيال الشهيد إبراهيم النابلسي). 

لكن المحافظة تعاني مشكلات من أكثر من ناحية، أولها أن سكانها لا يتجاوزون 70 ألفاً موزعين على مناطق شاسعة وبنايات قصيرة، فيما تشكل الأغوار الشمالية ما نسبته 70% من مساحة المحافظة، وهي مناطق منخفضة ومكشوفة، ويتحكَّم فيها عدد من الحواجز الثابتة والطيّارة التي تنغّص حياة السكان، وخصوصاً المزارعين.

المشكلة الكبرى أن معظم أراضي طوباس تُصنف ضمن فئة “ج” في اتفاق أوسلو، بمعنى أن السلطة الفلسطينية هي المسؤولة عن تقديم الخدمات الطبية والتعليمية للسكان، فيما تسيطر “إسرائيل” على الجوانب الأمنية والإدارية والقانونية. 

ولأن الأغوار الشمالية هي سلة غذاء الضفة من الخضراوات والفاكهة، وهي من أغنى مناطق الضفة بالمياه، فقد وقعت في طليعة الاستهداف الاستيطاني الإسرائيلي. لذلك، تتمحور سياسة الاحتلال حول عزل طوباس عن باقي محافظات الضفة بزيادة المواقع العسكرية فيها، إذ تحوي المحافظة 7 قواعد عسكرية تتربع على مساحة تزيد على 14 ألف دونم.

كتيبة طوباس

ما هو ممكن لطوباس

مع ذلك، إنَّ انطلاق كتيبة في مثل هذه الظروف يعني أنَّ هناك حالة تأثر كبيرة بتمدد حالات المقاومة في الضفة، وخصوصاً في جنين ونابلس وطولكرم، في وقت لم يعد الاستقطاب يقوم على الطرق التقليدية القديمة، بل من الممكن أن تسهم أنشودة أو حكاية شهيد أو مقطع مصور أو خطبة مؤثرة تنتقل عبر مواقع التواصل في صناعة القرار لدى أي شخص للانخراط في المقاومة.

وفي المدينة، عاصمة المحافظة، ثمة حضور متوازٍ للحركات الثلاث الكبرى: “حماس” و”الجهاد الإسلامي” و”فتح”، مع أفضلية محدودة للأولى أهّلتها للفوز في الانتخابات التشريعية عام 2006. الأهم أنَّ تأثير السلطة والأجهزة الأمنية السلبي في السكان محدود، إذ يحافظون على نقائهم القروي بعيداً من حالة التغريب المدني المادي التي تعيشها المدن الكبيرة.

في النتيجة، يمكن لطوباس أن تجري عمليات مشاغلة، وأن تساهم في توسع رقعة الاشتباك. أما إمكانية المحافظة على ديمومة العمل لوقت طويل، فهي تحدٍّ حقيقي، لكن يمكن لهذه المدينة أن تمثل مستقبلاً مصدر قلق حقيقياً لـ”إسرائيل” بسبب التلاحم العشائري بين قاطنيها وأقربائهم في الجانب الأردني، وهذا ما يفسر كثرة الأخبار الإسرائيلية عن حالات إدخال السلاح من الأغوار بصورة أسبوعية تقريباً.

اقرأ أيضاً: كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (1/4)

عملية الأغوار في الميزان

جاءت عملية الأحد 4 أيلول/سبتمبر 2022 التي وُصفت بالنوعية لجهة طبيعة المنفذين وطريقة التنفيذ والمكان، رغم بعض الإخفاقات الميدانية، لتزيد من حضور الأغوار الشمالية في مساحة المواجهة. وقد شرعت وسائل الإعلام العبرية في تقديم معطيات حول الحادثة لتبرير الإخفاقات، وخصوصاً أن الحافلة المستهدفة كانت تحمل جنوداً من لواء “كفير” الذين قيل إنهم التحقوا بالخدمة قبل نحو أسبوعين فقط. زِد على ذلك أنَّ الحافلة لم تكن مصفّحة، وقد تجاوزها المنفذون الثلاثة مستقلين مركبة “تندر”، ثم توقفوا إلى جانب الطريق، وأطلقوا عليها 25 رصاصة حتى توقفت نتيجة إصابة السائق، قبل أن يحاولوا إحراقها بزجاجات حارقة.

تعقيباً على ذلك، رأى “معهد دراسات الأمن القومي” التابع لجامعة “تل أبيب” أن العملية “لم تكن مفاجئة حتى إن تضمنت تكتيكات غير عادية”، واضعاً إياها “علامةً أخرى” في ساحة المقاومة الآخذة بالاتساع. أما ما أراد المعهد التركيز عليه، فهو أن عملية الأغوار جزء من اتجاه ظهر في آذار/مارس الماضي، وبدأ بعمليات في المدن المحتلة عام 1948، “انطلاقاً من جنين التي استطاعت الجهاد الإسلامي أن تحولها إلى أهم بؤرة مقاومة في الضفة”، ثم “أقامت شبكات تعاون مع حماس وعناصر من فتح، وهي تقود جهوداً منهجية لتجنيد الشباب. وقد مولت مجموعات لا تتبع لها تنظيمياً”، أي إمكانية عمل خلايا ظل.

النقطة اللافتة هي إقرار المعهد بأنَّه لا يمكن تفسير ظاهرة تنامي المقاومة من منطلق الصعوبات الاقتصادية، بل يجب الإقرار بأن هناك وعياً متزايداً بضرورة النضال ضد الاحتلال “جراء الفراغ الذي تركته السلطة… ثمن المقاومة ليس باهظاً، فالأبطال الفلسطينيون يولدون كل يوم، والشعور بالقدرة والدافعية للنضال المسلح يستقر في الوعي الجمعي لجيل الشباب، وهذا بحد ذاته سبب كافٍ لتوسع دائرة المواجهة في الضفة”.

ماذا عن رام الله؟

تتتابع على نحو شبه يومي، وأحياناً أسبوعي، الأنباء عن عمليات إطلاق نار في رام الله تستهدف حافلات للمستوطنين وحواجز لـ”الجيش” الإسرائيلي ومداخل مستوطنات، ما دفع كثيرين إلى تقديرِ إعلانِ كتيبةٍ في رام الله والبيرة، وهو الحدث الذي لم يقع بعد.

لكن توالي العمل وحوادث إطلاق النار، وخصوصاً قرب بلدة سلواد شرقي رام الله، أو انطلاقاً منها، يثير علامات استفهام عن كتيبة فعلية يرجح أنها تؤجل إعلان نفسها لأسباب لها علاقة بالسلطة التي ترى أن مثل هذا الواقع في عاصمتها السياسية سيكون ضاغطاً عليها بشدة.

وبينما تمتلك “حماس” قواعد عمل قوية في عدد من قرى رام الله قياساً بـ”الجهاد الإسلامي” التي لم تصرح أو تلمح إلى أي تفاصيل في هذا الشأن بعد، فإن الحضور الأقوى يبقى لمجموعات من “كتائب الأقصى” (فتح) أو عناصر من السلطة قد يتخذون هذا المنحى.

 وكانت أشهر عمليتين وقعتا في رام الله خلال السنوات القليلة الماضية هما “جفعات آساف” (أسفرت عن مقتل 3 جنود إسرائيليين وجرح 2 آخرين) و”عوفرا” (أسفرت عن إصابة 11 مستوطناً أحدهم كانت حالته خطرة)، اللتين نُفذتا (كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2018) بطريقة الكر والفر قرب بلدتي سلواد ويبرود شمال شرقي رام الله والبيرة.

خاتمة: هل يستفيق “الأسد النائم”؟

لا بدّ من عودة إلى بدء، أي الخليل، التي أطلقت شرارة “هبة القدس” (2015-2018) قبل أن تنطفئ، والسبب الأساسي أن المحافظة الملأى بالسلاح كان سلاحها مضبوطاً إلى حد ما بأمر كبار العشائر، وفي أيدي وازنين فيها، لكن سيل السلاح الذي سمحت كل من السلطة و”إسرائيل” بدخوله إلى المحافظة ووصوله إلى أيدٍ غير حريصة خلق فوضى وفلتاناً خلط أولويات سكانها، ولا يزال قائماً حتى اليوم، إضافة إلى مصالح شبكة التجار المعقدة، الأمر الذي نال دراسات وافية حوله، ولا يزال يستحق المتابعة على حدة.

لكن الجمعة 17 حزيران/يونيو 2022 شهد حدثاً لافتاً؛ ففي هذا اليوم الذي استشهد فيه 3 مقاومين من “كتيبة جنين”  هم: يوسف صلاح (23 عاماً، شقيق الشهيد سعد)، وبراء لحلوح (24 عاماً)، وليث أبو سرور (24 عاماً، شقيق الشهيد علاء)، صدر بيان باسم “كتيبة الخليل” أعلن تنفيذ عمليتين استهدفت الأولى مرصداً أمنياً قرب مستوطنة “كريات أربع”، والأخرى حاجز “أبو الريش” جنوباً، ثم اختفت وأخبارها.

مهما كانت الحقيقة وراء ما جرى، فإنه وجّه الأعين مجدداً إلى أقصى جنوبي الضفة، حيث المحافظة التي وصفها الرئيس الفلسطيني الراحل، ياسر عرفات، بأنها “الأسد النائم”، وخصوصاً أن الخليل من أكبر المدن في الضفة، إذ تبلغ مساحتها 997 كلم2، ويقدّر عدد سكانها بأكثر من 800 ألف نسمة، فيما تتغلغل عشرات المستوطنات الإسرائيلية داخلها وتطوّقها كتل أخرى، كما أنها تحمل مركزاً دينياً مهماً هو الحرم الإبراهيمي الذي يمثل شرارة اشتعال، لكنها مطفأة منذ عقدين على الأقل. وربما ما جرى قبل فترة من إشادة فصائل المقاومة بإحراق برج عسكري في الخليل يشي بالتعطش إلى مثل هذا الاشتعال.

بينما تشتهر الخليل بصناعاتها التاريخية وأسواقها القوية، تحكمها تكتلات عشائرية تؤثر كثيراً في اتخاذ القرار. ويتوزع انتماء السكان فيها بين “فتح” أولاً، و”حماس” ثانياً، ثم باقي الفصائل، فيما لا يوجد حضور شعبي لافت لـ”الجهاد الإسلامي”، إذ تتشكل بنية الحركة في المدينة من بعض النخب والشخصيات ذات الكاريزما الاجتماعية أو العلمية العالية، لكن “الجهاد” تمتلك حضوراً جيداً في القرى هناك قياساً بالمدينة، مع أنه ليس حضوراً فعالاً كما شماليّ الضفة، والمشكلة التي تواجه الحركة أن غالبية الفتحاويين في الخليل هم ممن يتبنون خيارات السلطة حالياً.

مع أنّ الخليل تعطي الأفضلية لـ”حماس” في الاستحقاقات الانتخابية، فإن تلك الأفضلية تنعكس في النقابات واستطلاعات الرأي فقط في أحسن الحالات، ولا تعطيها أي هوامش للعمل التنظيمي، إذ تحاصر الأجهزة الأمنية أنصار الراية الخضراء، فيما يشارك الاحتلال في القضاء على أي ظاهرة، مثل العمل الخيري والجماهيري وحملات المساجد. في النتيجة، لم تمتلك “حماس” و”الجهاد” أي غطاء فتحاوي لتتمددا عبره، وخصوصاً أن إجراءات السلطة والاحتلال ضربت أساسات العمل وفكرة بعثه من جديد.

وإلى جانب تلك الضربات الأمنية القوية، وسياسة “الباب الدوار” التي تعتمدها السلطة والاحتلال في اعتقال الكوادر ومنعهم من الراحة، تركت كثرة التجارب السيئة وعياً سلبياً لدى الشباب الذين يمتلكون إرادة الفعل، مفادها بأن نهاية كل محاولة الاعتقالُ عامين إدارياً إذا اشتبه الاحتلال في فعل مقاوم، أو بمحكومية كبيرة إذا ثبت. رغم ما سبق، إذا قُدّر للخليل أن تعود إلى دورها التاريخي والفعال، كما في الانتفاضة الثانية، شرط أن يكون ذلك في الوقت المناسب، فإن هذا سيقلب الموازين بصورة كبيرة في الضفة، وهو أمر رهن السؤال المفتوح.

اقرأ أيضاً: 

كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (2/4)

الخميس15 أيلول 2022

عبد الرحمن نصار 

عام 2022، انطلقت كتيبة نابلس ومعها مجموعتان من فتح، لتصبح نابلس ندّاً حقيقياً لجنين، ثم جاءت كتيبة طولكرم لتخفف العبء الميداني عن جنين ونابلس، مع زيادة استنزاف الإسرائيليين على صعيد القوات البرية والمجهود المخابراتي.

كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (2/4)

أخذت جنين حصة الأسد من الحلقة الأولى، ليس حصراً لأن انطلاق كتائب المقاومة المتصاعدة في الضفة بدأ منها، بل لأنها تمثّل الشعلة التي يجب ألا تنطفئ حتى تتّقد المدن الباقية، ولا سيما الخليل. فعلى الطريق إلى الجنوب، زرع الشهيد جميل العموري بذوراً أين ما حلّ، في نابلس وطولكرم، وليس أخيراً طوباس. 

لكن مدناً أخرى، مثل نابلس، تسبب دخولها على خط المواجهة في انقلاب جذري للمعادلة، إذ ربما أمكن احتواء ظاهرة جنين عسكرياً (سياسة القضم البطيء والاستدراج والاغتيالات المركزة)، أو اجتماعياً (“التسهيلات” وزيادة التجارة وتصاريح العمل)، فيما أتى دخول مدن ومخيمات أخرى ليوسّع المأزق الإسرائيلي.

بعد عام تقريباً على انطلاقة “كتيبة جنين” واستشهاد مؤسسها جميل العموري، ومن بعده عبد الله الحصري وشادي نجم وأحمد السعدي وآخرون، أثمر الزرع في نابلس. في 24 أيار/مايو 2022، شهدت منطقة ضريح النبي يوسف القريبة من مخيمي بلاطة وعسكر شرقي نابلس اشتباكات بين المستوطنين والمئات من الشبان الذين رشقوا القوات المقتحمة بالحجارة، قبل أن يتطور المشهد إلى اشتباك مسلح بدا أنه يأخذ الشكل المنظم والمدروس.

بعدها بأيام قليلة، صدر البيان الأول لـ”كتيبة نابلس” شارحاً حيثيات الكمين الذي نفّذه 4 مقاتلين؛ “اثنان اعتليا أسطح أحد البنايات القريبة من القبر… في حين تمركز آخران بين الأشجار في الجهة المقابلة قبل الاقتحام بساعات… انتظروا وقت اطمئنان جنود الاحتلال، وأمطروهم بزخات الرصاص من مسافة قريبة جداً، قبل أن ينسحب مقاتلونا من المكان بسلام”.

أيامٌ أخرى وبدأت عُصب “سرايا القدس” (الجهاد الإسلامي) بالظهور في المدينة التي كانت شبه محسومة لمقاتلي “فتح” (وسط غياب حمساوي مسلح رغم الحضور الجيد للحركة هناك)، وهذا ما كانت تعالجه خطابات الكتيبة بوضوح، إذ قالت في بيان لاحق: “لسنا وحيدين في الميدان… ظروف محافظة نابلس تستوجب العمل ضمن ضوابط في التشبيك والمتابعة والإعلان للمحافظة على أمد العمل المقاوم، فكل بندقيةٍ نفضت غبارها أفقياً هي شريكةٌ حتمية في الكفاح المسلح، لا نقدمها ولا نؤخرها، فنحن نتاج فكرة خرج بها الشهيد المجاهد جميل العموري حينما قال: رسالتي إلى شباب الضفة، لا تطلقوا رصاصكم في الهواء”.

  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح
  • كتائب المقاومة في نابلس
  • كتيبة نابلس / بلاطة – سرايا القدس
  • كتائب الأقصى – فتح
  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح
  • كتائب المقاومة في نابلس
  • كتيبة نابلس / بلاطة – سرايا القدس
  • كتائب الأقصى – فتح
  • مجموعات عرين الأسود – فتح

“جبل النار”

من المعروف أنَّ نابلس لا تُعدّ من معاقل “الجهاد الإسلامي” في الضفة، بل تقتسمها “حماس” و”فتح”، لكن العلاقة الجيدة بين “الجهاد” وعدد من عناصر “فتح”، والأزمة في العلاقة بين فتحاويي المدينة، وخصوصاً البلدة القديمة، والسلطة، والكاريزما التي كان يتمتع بها الشهيد العموري وزياراته إلى نابلس، عوامل ساهمت كلها في سحب قدم كثيرين إلى الظاهرة المستجدة، لكن “كتيبة نابلس” (سرايا القدس) تتركز أكثر في بلاطة الذي يمتاز بواقع أمني وديموغرافي يسمح بتمدد الفعل المقاوم.

في بلاطة كثافةٌ سكانية عالية لأربعين ألف لاجئ يعيشون وسط هندسة مدنية تمثّل عامل احتضان أمني جيّد يحرم القوات المقتحمة حريةَ المناورة، لأنه يتكون من بيوت متجاورة وشوارع ضيقة تسمح بإمكانية التنقل من بيت إلى بيت من دون الحاجة إلى الخروج إلى الشوارع الرئيسية. هو أيضاً بيئة جيدة للعمل العسكري ضد الاحتلال، بالنظر إلى خروجه عن تبعية السلطة، فالعلاقة بين الفتحاويين هناك والأجهزة الأمنية علاقة شائكة وصلت إلى ذروتها في شباط/فبراير 2018، قبل أن تنفجر في 2020.

مع أنَّ مدينةً مثل الخليل فيها كميات سلاح أكبر من نابلس، فإنَّ استغلال القيادي المفصول من “فتح” محمد دحلان حالة النقمة على الأجهزة الأمنية في نابلس لاختراق القواعد الشعبية للحركة هو ما أثار السلطة ضدهم أكثر من غيرهم.

امتدّ هذا الاستغلال 7 سنوات ضخّ فيها دحلان أموالاً إماراتية اشترى بها ولاءات كثيرة، بعدما كان المسيطر من قبله اللواء توفيق الطيراوي، والأخير أيضاً سحب منه رئيس السلطة، محمود عباس، حديثاً عدداً من الامتيازات، منها حراسه الشخصيون، بعد صدامه مع الوزير الصّاعد بسرعة إلى سدة القيادة، حسين الشيخ، وعدد آخر من القيادات الفتحاوية.

في النتيجة، سمحت حالة التوتر داخل “فتح” بإنشاء بيئة حاضنة لكل فعل يعارض توجهات السلطة، وهذا ما دفع “الجهاد الإسلامي” إلى التقاط الفرصة، تحديداً في بلاطة. الخطوة الأكثر ذكاء أنها لم تسعَ إلى تحويل الشبان انتماءهم التنظيمي إليها، بل طلبت منهم الاستمرار بالعمل باسم تنظيمهم كي يحافظوا على ما لديهم من امتيازات، وثانياً – ليس السبب الأخير – كي يستقطبوا عدداً أكبر للمقاومة المسلحة. ما ساعد في ذلك أنَّ الفتحاويين عموماً يتقبّلون التحالف مع “الجهاد” أكثر من “حماس”، وحتى “الجبهة الشعبية”، ولا سيما في مدن شمالي الضفة، ولهذا أسبابه التي تحتاج بحثاً منفصلاً.

ما سبق جعل حتى مناصري “الجهاد الإسلامي” يرون في تشكيل هذه الكتيبة “أعجوبة”، وخصوصاً أن كوادر الحركة المنظّمين رسمياً في نابلس لم يكونوا يتعدّون المئة بقليل حتى وقت قريب. مما يزيد امتيازات دخول المدينة على خط كتائب المقاومة هو وفرة السلاح، ولا سيما في بلاطة، الّذي يمتاز شبابه بخصلة مشتركة مع أهالي جنين هي “شجاعتهم الشديدة واندفاعهم غير المحدود”.

وبينما مثّل الأداء السيئ للأجهزة الأمنية و”فتح” على الصعيد الداخلي، ومن ذلك اغتيال نزار بنات وسرقة أموال بناء مستشفى الحسن للسرطان والتنسيق الأمني، عوامل منفرة، تسبب استشهاد أدهم مبروكة (28 عاماً) ومحمد الدخيل (22 عاماً) وأشرف مبلسط (21 عاماً) في 8 شباط/فبراير 2022 بحالة تأثر كبيرة، خصوصاً أن اغتيالهم جرى وسط نابلس، وفي وضح النهار، بالنظر إلى الحضور الشعبي الذي كانوا يتمتعون به، وهو الأمر الذي أدركت رام الله خطورته سلفاً. ولذلك، كانت ولا تزال تعمل قدر المستطاع على إيجاد شرخ بين العناصر المسلحين التابعين لـ”فتح” من جهة، وخلق عداوات بينهم وبين “الجهاد” من جهة، وأكبر مثال على ذلك الإشكال الذي وقع مع قيادات في الأخيرة (خضر عدنان مثالاً).

منذ اغتيال الثلاثة، بدأت مطاردة شاب صغير يُدعى إبراهيم النابلسي (19 عاماً) لم يكن مشهوراً في ذلك الوقت بقدر شهرته بعد استشهاده (9 آب/أغسطس 2022)، لكن الأشهر الستة التي عاشها مطارداً كانت كفيلة، إلى جانب مقتله في معركة، بالدفع نحو تعزيز حالة المقاومة في نابلس. وجاء استشهاده، ومعه إسلام صبوح (في العشرينات) وحسين نزال (16 عاماً)، ليعطي دفعة جديدة للمقاومين، ويجعل عدداً من الفتحاويين الرافضين أوامر حركتهم يخلقون تشكيلاً جديداً حمل اسم “عرين الأسود”، أعلن نفسه بداية هذا الشهر. 

النابلسي سبق أن نجا من محاولة اغتيال قبل استشهاده بأسبوعين، قضى فيها شهيدان كان لهما أيضاً تأثيرهما في الجمهور، هما محمد عزيزي (25 عاماً) وعبد الرحمن صبح (28 عاماً)، عقب حصار واشتباك. مع ذلك، تواجه الحالات العسكرية في نابلس مشكلة في القيادة الموحدة وتنظيم العمل وجعله يرتقي من وضعية التصدي للاجتياحات إلى المبادرة، وهذا ما يحتاج إلى زمن، لكنَّ آثار التحسن بدأت تظهر أكثر فأكثر مع عدد من الكمائن المتتالية، وخصوصاً التي تستهدف المستوطنين ممن يقتحمون قبر يوسف دورياً. 

من جهة أخرى، تعني قوة نابلس تخفيف الضغط على جنين، وخصوصاً أن بلاطة يمثل أكبر مخيم لاجئين في الضفة، والعقبات اللوجستية بشأن إيصال الأموال والأسلحة إليه أقل من جنين، فضلاً عن أن زيادة حالة المنافسة الحزبية تقود إلى مزيد من الفعالية في العمل، خصوصاً بين “حماس” و”الجهاد الإسلامي”. ورغم سيئات الحالة التنافسية على المجتمع ظاهراً، فإن نتاجاتها على صعيد المقاومة إيجابية في هذه المرحلة.

هكذا، حاول الاحتلال في البداية التقليل من قدر “كتيبة نابلس” وكذلك “طولكرم” و”طوباس”، حتى وصل فيه الحال إلى إهمال ذكر الأخيرتين في الإعلام العبري، لتتحول “كتيبة نابلس” ومجموعات “فتح” بالتدريج إلى ندّ حقيقي لـ”جنين”، وتزيد شعبيتها وحضورها مع توالي الشهداء والتصدي للاقتحامات.

كتيبة طولكرم

في 2 نيسان/أبريل 2022، وقع اشتباك في مدخل قرية عرابة في جنين قضى فيه الشهيد سيف أبو لبدة (25 عاماً)، ابن مخيم عين شمس بطولكرم، ليتضح أنه كان في طريقه لتنفيذ عملية استشهادية قبل أن تطارده قوة خاصة من الجيش. 

أثناء المطاردة، وقعت القوة في كمين محكم شارك فيه عدد من عناصر “كتيبة جنين”، ودار اشتباك طويل مع قوات الاحتلال أدى إلى إصابة 4 من الجنود، أحدهم بصورة خطرة، واستشهاد كل من صائب عباهرة (30 عاماً) وخليل طوالبة (24 عاماً)، إلى جانب أبو لبدة.

قاد حدثان مهمان جهاز “الشاباك” إلى أبو لبدة: الأول تنفيذه قبل أسبوع من اغتياله عملية إطلاق نار على قوة خاصة، أطلق فيها 52 رصاصة على وحدات الاحتلال (“لم يصب أي من الجنود بأعجوبة”، وفق وصف القناة العبرية 12)، والآخر أنه ظهر وهو يتحدث أمام مجموعة من عناصر “الجهاد”، مؤكداً لهم أن حدثاً كبيراً قريباً سيسمعون به. 

في وقت لاحق، نشرت “سرايا القدس” مقطعاً مصوراً ظهر فيه وهو يقرأ وصيته على طريقة استشهاديي الانتفاضة الثانية، ليكون أبو لبدة، كما العموري، صاحب الدور التأسيسي الملهم في طولكرم، فيما توكّل الأمين العام للحركة، زياد النخالة، بنفسه إعلان ولادة “كتيبة طولكرم”.

من الجيد التذكير بأنّ علاقة تاريخية مميزة تربط بين مخيمي جنين ونور شمس، فجذور اللجوء واحدة، لأن المخيم الصغير تأسَّس عام 1951، أي بعد 3 سنوات على نكبة فلسطين، وسكان نور شمس في الأساس كانوا يسكنون مخيماً في جنين مقاماً على سهل جنزور، لكن بسبب عاصفة ثلجية أطاحت به رحلوا إلى طولكرم، فكان المخيم الجديد الذي يقارب عدد سكانه 10 آلاف. ومثل نابلس، لم يسجّل عين شمس خلال سنوات انتفاضة الأقصى الثانية أنه كان معقلاً لـ”الجهاد الإسلامي”، لكن الحركة استطاعت أن تتمدد فيه بعدما كان ثقلها متركزاً في قرى مثل عتيل وعلار وصيدا.

جاء اختيار هذا المخيم لتأسيس نواة الكتيبة جاء بسبب هندسته المكانية والتداخل العمراني وإمكانية الاتصال الجغرافي بينه وبين مخيم جنين، ليكون أكثر أماناً من مراكز المدن. وكما يبدو، احتاج الشهيد أبو لبدة وقتاً شبيهاً بالذي احتاجه العموري للتأسيس والتحشيد لإحياء العمل العسكري من جديد، فضلاً عن تنفيذه شخصياً عدداً من عمليات المشاغلة وإطلاق النار.

في البداية، تجاهل العدو هذه الكتيبة على الصعيد الإعلامي، ولا يزال كذلك إلى حدّ ما، بل عمد إلى العمل عليها مخابراتياً من دون مواجهة مبْكرة كي لا يساهم في صناعة رموز ملهمين كما جنين، وهذا ما يفسر محاولة الاحتلال اعتقال أبو لبدة لا قتله، لكن وقوع القوة في كمين هو ما قاد إلى اشتباك دامٍ بين الجانبين. 

مع ذلك، يَفهم الإسرائيلي أنَّ طولكرم لها بعض الخصائص التي تميزها عن كلٍّ من جنين ونابلس، إذ يمتاز شبابها، بالنظر إلى التجربة في الانتفاضة الثانية، بالهدوء الكبير والتفكير المعمّق والصبر الإستراتيجي في تنفيذ الفعل.

هذا لا ينفي وجود هذه المميزات نفسها في جنين ونابلس، لكن لكلٍّ نقطة قوته. المثال على ذلك ما فعله الشهيد لؤي السعدي (“الجهاد الإسلامي”، 1979-2005) حين أسس مدرسة عسكرية كان قوامها التخطيط الطويل للوصول إلى الأهداف المدروسة بعناية، والقدرة العالية على العمل على نحو يتجاوز الفعل الطارئ إلى المستمر الذي يمكن أن يعاود نشاطه بعد كل ضربة، وأيضاً التخفي عن العدو، وأخيراً الحالة المتشعّبة في توزيع قواعد الفعل العسكري إلى قرى بعيدة ومدن خارج الحيز المكاني الذي تبدأ منه.

السلوك نفسه ينطبق على قيادات أخرى في طولكرم على اختلاف انتماءاتهم الحزبية، منهم الأسير عباس السيد (1966)، أحد أكبر قادة “كتائب القسام” (حماس) في طولكرم، وهو مسؤول عن قتل مئات المستوطنين والجنود في عشرات العمليات الاستشهادية، وكذلك الشهيد رائد الكرمي (1974-2002)، أبرز مؤسسي “كتائب الأقصى” (فتح) وقائدها العام عقب اغتيال ثابت ثابت. وقد اتهمته قوات الاحتلال بالمسؤولية عن قتل العشرات من المستوطنين والجنود، وقالت إن الانتفاضة الثانية تزداد سوءاً بسببه. وكان من الممكن أنْ يؤدي الاستثمار المستمر في نهج الكرمي، الملقّب بـ”صائد المستوطنين”، إلى رفع كلفة الاستيطان في الضفة، وصولاً إلى تفكيك بعض المستوطنات.

خاتمة: طولكرم إذا عادت

إضافة إلى ما سبق، تحمل طولكرم جملة أخرى من المميزات، من أهمها التواصل الجغرافي والتداخل التاريخي بينها وبين مخيم جنين؛ ففي اجتياح 2002، انتقل القائد الشيخ الشهيد رياض بدير (الجهاد الإسلامي) على رأس العشرات من المقاومين من طولكرم، واستطاعوا المشاركة في القتال إلى جانب مقاومي جنين حتى الاستشهاد، وهو ما يفسر التدخل السريع لعناصر “كتيبة جنين” في الكمين. أيضاً، تمتلك بلدات طولكرم ومخيماتها إرثاً تاريخياً مرتبطاً بالشهداء والأسرى شبيهاً بالذي تمتلكه جنين، حتى إننا نتحدث عن أجهزة أمنية يفعل عناصرها ما يفعله عناصر في جنين.

ومثلما تحظى جنين بسهولة وصول السلاح إليها من الداخل المحتل، تتميَّز طولكرم بأنها واحدة من أكبر المجمعات البشرية الفلسطينية التي تمتهن السرقة من المحتل، بل شكلت المدينة السوق الأبرز والأكثر ثراءً لسرقة السيارات ذات الأرقام الإسرائيلية لتنفيذ عمليات فدائية أو نقل الاستشهاديين إلى مدن العمق، لكن العنصر الأهم الذي يُبنى عليه هو ثقافة الاشتباك حتى النفس الأخير ورفض الأسر، التي أنشأها قادة “الجهاد” في الضفة، ولا سيما الشهداء السعدي وبدير وإياد حردان وآخرون.

ساهمت “طولكرم” في تخفيف العبء الميداني عن “جنين” وكذلك “نابلس”، وخصوصاً مع زيادة استنزاف الإسرائيليين على صعيد القوات البرية والمجهود المخابراتي، لكن الأخطر على الاحتلال هو نضوج الفعل العسكري لـ”طولكرم”، لأن مثل هذا الحدث سيشكل فارقة نوعية في الضفة، ليس في تمدد خلايا المقاومة فحسب، إنما زيادة القدرة على اختراق الداخل المحتل أيضاً، وربما تحوّل العمل من الاشتباك التكتيكي ورد الفعل إلى المبادرة والعمل المنظم القادر على كيّ الوعي الإسرائيلي، كما فعل بطلان من جنين لن ينسى أحد اسميهما: رعد خازم، وضياء حمارشة الذي عبر من خلال طولكرم، وقبلهما وبعدهما أسرى وشهداء كثر.

هذا ما يفسر أن أكثر من نصف الكتائب الإسرائيلية المنتشرة في الضفة تتركز حول طولكرم، لتعبّر عن المأزق الإسرائيلي في مواجهة هذه المدينة التي تشبه الرمح المغروز في خاصرة “إسرائيل”، بل يكفيها وصول سلاح بسيط في حسابات الجيوش، مثل قذائف الهاون، ليصير قلب “الدولة” تحت النار.

اقرأ: كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (1/4) 

كتائب المقاومة في الضفة: عندما يستفيق “الأسد النائم” (1/4)

الثلاثاء 13 أيلول 2022

عبد الرحمن نصار 

كشفت مقاومة جنين أنَّ إمكانية العمل في الضفة متوافرة، وأن الاستثمار الصحيح في بيئتها من جديد، على يد تنظيمات كبيرة مثل “فتح” أو قوية مثل “حماس”، يمكن أن يعيد بناء حالة مشتبكة ومؤثرة.

قدّمت الجهاد الإسلامي دليلاً دامغاً على إمكانية البناء من الصفر مجدداً

كلَّما يتورط الجيش الإسرائيلي في الضفة أكثر، تقترب الانتفاضة الثالثة من أن تكون حقيقة. وبينما يزداد عدد الجنود في كل اقتحام ويصير بالمئات، يتأكد أن الأمور تخرج عن سيطرة “الجيش القوي” فعلاً. ومع عودة الطيران إلى سماء الضفة المحتلة، الاستطلاعي أو المروحي، يتبين أنَّ المواجهات المسلحة تنتقل إلى السيناريوات الأصعب… ليس أخيراً: كلَّما تحضر “إسرائيل” بنفسها، تغيب السلطة الضعيفة، ويقوى عود المقاومة. فما قصة كتائب المقاومة الآخذة بالتزايد والتصاعد في الضفة؟ ولماذا هذا العمل الإسرائيلي اليومي، وحتى اللحظيّ، ضدها؟ نجيب عن ذلك وأكثر في هذه الحلقات الأربع.

المؤكّد بالبساطة والفطرة التي يتحدَّث بها من يخوضون المواجهات فجراً وصباحاً ومساءً في مدن الضفة المحتلة عامة، ومناطقها الشمالية خاصة، أنَّ الاحتلال الإسرائيلي مغناطيس جاذب لكلِّ ما يمكن أن يكون مقاوماً، حتى لأولئك الذين اعتادوا بطريقة ما العيش تحت الاحتلال.

تقدّم “الميادين نت” في هذه المادة التي تأتي في 4 أجزاء معلومات خاصة من الميادين المشتعلة مباشرة، تسرد فيها الحكاية الكاملة لكتائب المقاومة المتصاعدة في الضفة، والسبب وراء السعي الإسرائيلي الحثيث لاجتثاث هذه الكتائب منذ سنة.

بينما ينظر العدو الإسرائيلي إلى كتائب المقاومة كـ”عدوى” لا يمكن السيطرة عليها، في تشبيه بجائحة كورونا التي ثبت عجز حكومات ودول عن التصدي لها بنجاعة، يظهر يوماً بعد يوم أن هذا التشبيه لا يخدم الرواية الإسرائيلية بقدر ما يكشف مكنونات القلق الحقيقي مما يجري في الضفة، إلى حدّ وصف عدد من قادة الجيش والأجهزة الأمنية بأنه الخطر الأكبر حالياً من باقي ساحات المواجهة، من دون أن ينكروا ضمناً أن الصدارة تبقى لمناطق فلسطين الـ48، حتى إن التقديرات الأخيرة لدى الجيش وجهاز “الشاباك” تفيد بأن “انتفاضة ثالثة أو ما يشبهها/انتفاضة من نوع جديد” ستندلع في الضفة قبيل الأعياد اليهودية الشهر المقبل.

بصرف النظر عن الهدف من هذه التقديرات التي تتزامن مع طلبات أميركية بـ”خفض التصعيد” و”مراجعة إجراءات إطلاق النار” في الضفة والقدس والرفض الإسرائيلي لها، يبدو أن الاندفاع والضرب بقوة كبيرة جداً والعقاب الجماعي والعائلي هي السمات التي يمكن بها توصيف السلوك الإسرائيلي، بل يمكن القول إنه لم يُعتقل أحد خلال هذين العامين في الضفة. 

هنا، تفيد آخر الإحصاءات الصادرة الشهر الماضي أنَّ العدو أجرى منذ بداية العام الجاري نحو 4500 عملية اعتقال، وأنَّ نصفها جرى في مدينة القدس المحتلة، مع تنوع مصير المعتقلين بين من أُفرج عنه أو أُعيد اعتقاله أو سُجن إدارياً أو حوكم بتهمة محددة.

طبقاً لتصريحات رئيس أركان الجيش الإسرائيلي، أفيف كوخافي، جرت مطلع هذا الشهر 1500 عملية اعتقال (ضمن 4500) منذ بدء الحملة المسمّاة “كاسر الأمواج” (3/2022)، إلى جانب “إحباط مئات العمليات”. بعيداً من تضارب الأرقام والمبالغة في بعضها، مثل “مئات العمليات”، تعيد هذه الاعتقالات تعريف الفلسطينيين أنفسهم وارتباطهم بمشروع المقاومة، وإن كانت الإجابة عن الجدوى القريبة متعذرة حالياً، لأنها تخلق تجربة نضالية، حتى لو صغيرة، لدى الشباب والفتية.

لا ضير في تتبّع الأرقام، الفلسطينية والإسرائيلية على سواء، لاستشراف الأفق الذي ينتظر جزءاً مهماً من فلسطين، أكلته المستوطنات إلى حدّ أن أحداً ما اقترح قبل سنوات قليلة ضمها إلى المناطق الفلسطينية المحتلة عام الـ48. 

وفق موقع “0404” العبري، تُظهر دراسة للنصف الأول من العام الجاري وقوع أكثر من 3700 هجوم من الفلسطينيين في الضفة، قُتل خلالها 21 مستوطناً وجرح 316. وقد كان منها 2692 هجوماً بالحجارة، و577 بزجاجات المولوتوف، و542 بالإطارات المشتعلة، و33 بالعبوات، و30 بالألعاب النارية، و25 بزجاجات الطلاء، و14 إطلاق نار، وحالة دهس، و4 طعن (وإحباط 7)، وغيرها.

من المهمّ من التوقف عند هذه الأرقام التي لم تحتسب عمليات التصدي للاقتحامات بالوسائل شتى، إنما رصدت ما سمّته “الهجوم”، فيما يقول الراصدون الفلسطينيون إنَّ الأعداد أكثر من ذلك بكثير، ويعطون دليلاً من أرقام أسبوع واحد (28/8/2022-3/9/2022) أصيب فيه 12 جندياً ومستوطناً مع رصد 90 نقطة مواجهة، من بينها عملية طعن و22 عملية إطلاق نار و15 إلقاء عبوات متفجرة وزجاجات حارقة. كما أنَّ الأرقام الإسرائيلية لم توضح الحالة المتصاعدة للمواجهات نوعاً وكماً في مناطق شرقي القدس المحتلة.

لا ينظر الإسرائيلي إلى الأرقام الناتجة من عدوانه المتواصل (منذ بداية العام، قتلت “إسرائيل” أكثر من 85 فلسطينياً من سكّان الضفة والقدس، بينهم 17 قاصراً و6 نساء) إلا من زاوية ما يخدمه في قراءته للتصعيد ليس إلا. ففي التحليل، تعمد الدراسات إلى مقارنة أرقام في مدة محددة بالمرحلة/المراحل الزمنية الشبيهة بها في العام أو الأعوام السابقة، في طريقة رياضية سهلة من أجل رصد التصاعد أو التزايد، لكنَّها لا تجيب عن عوامل أخرى مهمة، وإن كانت تأخذها الأجهزة الأمنية، وخصوصاً الإسرائيلية والأميركية، بالاعتبار.

لتفكيك هذه العوامل تحديداً، لا بدَّ من النظر إلى كل مدينة في الضفة على حدة، بسبب التباينات التي خلقها الاحتلال والتهجير، قبل الوصول إلى صورة عامة، مع التذكير بأن وجه الضفة تغير كثيراً منذ “هبة القدس” (2015-2018) واستشهاد باسل الأعرج (3/2017)، ومن بعدها سلسلة العمليات النوعية، مثل عملية “سلفيت” (2/2018) التي نفّذها الشهيد عمر أبو ليلى، وعملية منطقة “بركان” الصناعية في (10/2018) وما قبلهما ما وبعدهما، لكن استمرارية حدث المقاومة كانت صناعة امتياز لجنين.

في البدء كانت جنين

دوماً ما يُطرح السؤال عن السرّ في كون جنين شعلة النار التي عندما انطفأت في 2002 خمدت المقاومة في الضفة بصورة لافتة، ثم عندما هبّت في 2021 اتسعت بقعة الزيت شمالاً، إلى حدّ أنَّ العيون الآن تترقب وسط الضفة (رام الله، القدس) وجنوبيها (الخليل، بيت لحم). صحيح أنَّ للخليل دوراً كبيراً ولافتاً في “هبة القدس” المشار إليها، لكن سرعان ما وجد الإسرائيليون، ومعهم السلطة الفلسطينية، الحل الناجع لإرقاد “الأسد” مجدداً، ألا وهو: فوضى السلاح – الفلتان الأمني.

في تلك السنوات تحديداً، سمحت السلطة و”إسرائيل”، كلٌّ بطريقته، في إغراق الخليل بالسلاح الذي وصل إلى الأيدي التي لا ترى الاحتلال هدفاً أول، فصار مطلب الأمان الشخصي يتقدم على غيره من الأولويات. في النتيجة، تراجع دور المحافظة التي قدمت خلال أول شهرين من الهبة (10-11/2015) 19 شهيداً من أصل 74. حاول الطرفان، ولا يزالان، تكرار اللعبة نفسها في جنين ونابلس وطوباس وطولكرم. ولما لم تنجح هذه اللعبة، عادا إلى جمع الأسلحة من جديد كي تستغل للمقاومة.

في خطوة أخرى مهمة، لعبت رام الله على وتر التباين بين كوادر “فتح” و”الجهاد الإسلامي”، لكن لا نتائج كبيرة حتى اللحظة. من هنا، نعود إلى سؤالنا: لماذا جنين؟

قبل الإجابة، لا بد من التذكير بأن فصائل المقاومة لم تستطع منذ 2007 حتى 2021 إعادة بناء تشكيلات نظامية أو حتى مجموعات متفرقة في الضفة عموماً، وجنين خصوصاً. ما يمكن تسجيله خلال تلك السنوات هو نجاح بعض المجموعات في تنفيذ عملية واحدة تنكشف بعدها الخلية أو يعتقل أو يقتل أفرادها. 

وتُعد خلية الشهيد أحمد جرار (23 عاماً، “حماس”، عملية “حفات جلعاد”، 1/2018) أبرز الأمثلة على ذلك شماليّ الضفة، وخلية الأسير عاصم البرغوثي وشقيقه الشهيد صالح وسط الضفة (32 و30 عاماً، “حماس”، عمليتا “عوفرا” و”جفعات آساف”، 12/2018).

بعد نحو سنة ونصف سنة، تحديداً خلال معركة “سيف القدس” (5/2021)، بدأت “سرايا القدس” (الجهاد الإسلامي) بتشكيل أولى خلاياها المنظمة في مخيم جنين، وكان يرأسها الشهيد جميل العموري (25 عاماً) الذي قاد مجموعته لتنفيذ عمليات إطلاق النار منذ بداية تلك السنة، فضلاً عن التصدي المستمر لاقتحام الاحتلال جنين ومخيمها. 

من ثَمّ جاء اغتيال العموري في 10/6/2021 لتكون البداية الفعلية لمرحلة جديدة من العمل في جنين، علماً أن العموري قضى مع شهيدين من جهاز “الاستخبارات” العسكري التابع للسلطة، هما الملازم أدهم عليوي (23 عاماً) من نابلس، والنقيب تيسير عيسة (33 عاماً) من بلدة ميثون.

ثمة هنا قطبة مخفية تتعلق بمؤسس الكتيبة، العموري، وكذلك الشهيد عبد الله الحصري (22 عاماً)، ولها ارتباط بعملية التحرر من سجن جلبوع التي اشتُهرت بـ”نفق الحرية” (2021). قيل آنذاك إن تحرر الأسرى الستة واستعداد جنين لاستقبالهم كلهم، أو بعضهم، سرّعا في تقوية كتيبة والتحام مقاتلي السرايا مع مقاتلي “كتائب شهداء الأقصى” (فتح) وتكوين ما سُمّي “حزام النار” لحماية الأسرى المتحررين، وخصوصاً أن منهم قائد الكتائب السابق في المخيم الأسير زكريا زبيدي (46 عاماً).

لكنَّ هذا لا يكفي لتفسير اندفاعة قادة الكتيبة وعناصرها، وهو أمر ستتكفل تفصيله حلقات “الأبطال” التي ستُبث على شاشة “الميادين”، ولا سيّما العلاقة الخاصة التي كانت تربط العموري والحصري بمهندس عملية التحرر وقائدها، الأسير محمود العارضة (46 عاماً)، ودوره الحصري في ما بعد التحرر. أيضاً، يشار إلى دور الأسير وسام أبو زيد (23 عاماً) الذي أصيب خلال عملية اغتيال العموري.

متى تأسست كتيبة جنين؟ وما أبرز عملياتها؟

لماذا جنين؟

في الإجابة عن سؤالنا المركزي: “لماذا جنين؟”، يظهر عدد من المعطيات التي لا يمكن للإعلام الغارق في الأحداث المتلاحقة استكشافها بسهولة. صحيح أنَّ العوامل التاريخية حاضرة بقوة في تجربة جنين تحديداً، لكنْ ثمة عوامل جديدة جديرة بالدراسة، وخصوصاً أن خطوةً إسرائيلية مثل فتح معبر “سالم” (3/2022) بين أراضي فلسطين 1948 وجنين للمرة الأولى منذ إغلاقه عام 2000 تشي بأنَّ الإسرائيلي يعيد تطبيق تجربة غزة (العصا والجزرة)، في إشارةٍ إلى فتح “إيرز-بيت حانون” لدخول العمال، وهي أيضاً الخطوة المتخذة بعد قرابة 20 سنة من وقفها.

هذا ليس التقاطع الأول بين جنين وغزة، بل كان هناك تقاطع رئيسي أشعَرَ أهالي الأولى بأنهم “محافظة محررة”، وذلك حينما تقرر جراء ضربات المقاومة في خطة “فك الارتباط الأحادي” الإسرائيلية مع غزة عام 2005 تفكيك المنشآت العسكرية و”إعادة انتشار” الجيش الإسرائيلي حول جنين، مع إخلاء 4 مستوطنات هي: “غنيم”، “كديم”، “سانور”، “حومش”، علماً أن الأخيرة أُقيم فيها بعد سنوات بؤرة استيطانية لتصير مثل “مسمار جحا” وتتعرض لعملية مميزة من “كتيبة جنين” (16/12/2021) قادها الأسير محمود جرادات (41 عاماً) وأدت إلى مقتل مستوطن.

إذاً، من الأساس، تمتلك مدينة جنين ومخيمها خصوصية كبيرة في العمل المقاوم تاريخياً، فقد شهدت آخر معارك الشيخ السوري عز الدين القسام الذي كان قد خرج من سوريا، وأقام في حيفا، ثم اعتصم في جنين، وتركت مقاومته أثراً كبيراً في اندلاع الثورة الكبرى والإضراب الكبير عام 1936. 

منذ ذلك الزمن، عُرفت جنين كأبرز معاقل المقاومة التي أفرد لها رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي الميّت، أرئيل شارون، اهتماماً بالغاً، لكونها شكلت منطلقاً لعشرات العمليات في الداخل المحتل خلال انتفاضة الأقصى الثانية (2000-2005).

بعد ذلك، تركت معركة المخيم عام 2002 مفاعليها في علاقة أبناء الفصائل الفلسطينية، ولا سيما “فتح” و”الجهاد الإسلامي”، إلى حد أنَّ الجيل الجديد، رغم أنَّه لم يعايش تلك المعركة الفاصلة، نشأ متأثراً بتلك العلاقة المميزة. بعد ذلك، تحضر عوامل أخرى، أبرزها التركيبة العائلية المقاومة في المدينة ومخيمها، وحتى قراها، إلى درجة أن مؤسس “الجهاد الإسلامي” الشهيد فتحي الشقاقي سبق أن وصف قرية مثل السيل الحارثية بأنها “طهران فلسطين”.

إلى جانب تركيز الدراسات والتقارير على البنية الجغرافية للمدينة والمخيم، لا بدَّ من الانتباه إلى أنَّ التركيبة الاجتماعية والنفسية تؤدي دورها بقوة، فضلاً عن الانفتاح على الآخر فصائلياً، وهو ما يذوّب الفوارق التي سعى الاحتلال والسلطة عبرهما إلى كسر حالات كتائب المقاومة حين نشوئها في المحافظات الأخرى. كذلك، تحضر في جنين حالة الرفض لسياسات رام الله بين أبناء “فتح” وموظفي الأجهزة الأمنية، وهذا ما يشكّل حزام حماية، وخصوصاً أن لهؤلاء مساهمات مكشوفة وأخرى مخفيّة لدعم المقاومين.

خاتمة: ما بعد “وحدة الساحات”

في الخلاصة، تؤدي “كتيبة جنين” مهمّتها الأولى بجدارة، وهي مشاغلة الاحتلال والتصدي لاقتحاماته. وقد قدمت عدداً من الشهداء خلال السنة الأولى لانطلاقها، معظمهم من جنين، لكنَّ المهمة الثانية والأهم أنَّها تساهم يوماً تلو الآخر في زيادة التفاف الشارع حول المقاومة، وانخراط شباب جدد في العمل العسكري داخلها وفي مدن أخرى، وهذا ما يخشى الإسرائيلي نتائجه المستقبلية. وبينما كان الزخم الإعلامي الكفيل باستنهاض الحالة الثورية غير كافٍ بداية السنة الماضية، إذ اقتصر آنذاك على إعلام “الجهاد الإسلامي”، ها هو يجتاح الضفة كلها.

بعد سنة من انطلاق الكتيبة، جاءت مواجهة “وحدة الساحات” لتشكّل علامة فارقة أخرى شعر معها المقاومون بوجود ظهير حقيقي لهم في غزة، الأمر الذي كان العدو يريد عكسه تماماً، وإذ بالسحر ينقلب عليه، ليبدو أنَّ المعركة الأخيرة – بصرف النظر عن جملة كبيرة من الملاحظات حولها سياسياً وميدانياً وأمنياً وإعلامياً – دفعت بالضفة نحو المواجهة المفتوحة، إلى جانب أن تكثيف الاحتلال عملياته اليومية، وحتى الساعيّة، وارتقاء الشهداء واحداً تلو آخر وكمّ الاعتقالات الهائل، يزيد بسالة الشبّان وحماستهم.

في المحصلة، كشفت مقاومة جنين أنَّ إمكانية العمل في الضفة متوافرة، رغم سنوات من الأخطاء المتراكمة، وأن الاستثمار الصحيح والمدروس في بيئة الضفة من جديد، على يد تنظيمات كبيرة مثل “فتح” أو قوية مثل “حماس”، يمكن أن يعيد بناء حالة مشتبكة ومؤثرة، فقد أقامت “الجهاد الإسلامي” بشبابها الصغار الحجّة، وقدّمت على محدودية حضورها في بعض مدن الضفة دليلاً دامغاً على إمكانية البناء من الصفر مجدداً، وخصوصاً أنها أعادت إنتاج نفسها، حتى لو بحدود ضيقة وخطى بطيئة.

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

August 26, 2022

By Housam Matar | Al-Akhbar Newspaper

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

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

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

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

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

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

نظرة في تجربتي كتيبتي جنين ونابلس

 الأربعاء 10 آب 2022 

* كاتب وباحث فلسطيني

عمرو علان

لقد مرّت الضفة الغربية المحتلة، خلال العشرين سنة الماضية تقريباً، بمرحلةٍ يصح تقييمها على أنها كانت مرحلة «موتٍ سريريٍ» على صعيد الفعل المقاوِم، وعلى صعيد أثرها على الاحتلال وقدرته على الاستمرارية والتمدّد في أراضي الضفة الغربية. لكننا نشهد، منذ فترةٍ، بشائر نهاية هذه المرحلة، ممّا يوجب النظر في التحولات التي تعيشها الضفة، ليس لغرض التحليل فقط، وإنما لِيبنى على الأمر مقتضاه للمرحلة المقبلة.

لقد تكوّنت قناعةٌ خاطئةٌ خلال الثلاثين سنةً الماضية عند شريحةٍ واسعةٍ من أبناء الشعب الفلسطيني، لا سيما من أبناء حركة «فتح»، تقول بأنه من الممكن استرداد بعضٍ من الحقوق العربية الفلسطينية المسلوبة عبر طريق المفاوضات. ولقد تكَوّن هذا الاقتناع بسبب مسار «أوسلو» الذي سلكته «م.ت.ف» بقيادة حركة «فتح». وتعدّ هذه القناعة وهذا المزاج من الأسباب الجوهرية لمرور الضفة في حالة «موتٍ سريريٍ»، إذ حرم هذا المزاج المقاومة في الضفة من قسم لا يستهان به من حاضنتها الشعبية.

ومثّلت حقبة محمود عباس ذروة مرحلة الموت السريري ، إذ غدا «التنسيق الأمني» الوظيفة الأولى لأجهزة سلطة رام الله الأمنية، فصارت حماية أمن المستوطنات والمستوطنين، والقضاء على أي فرصةٍ لمقاومة الاحتلال مهما كان شكلها، أهم إنجازات سلطة رام الله، لدرجة أنها تفوّقت على الاحتلال ذاته في تلك الوظيفة.
لكن، نتيجةً لوصول مسار «أوسلو» إلى طريقٍ مسدودٍ كما كان محكوماً عليه منذ البدايات، وظهور نتائجه الكارثية في الضفة، وعلى المشروع الوطني الفلسطيني عموماً، بالإضافة إلى تحوّل سلطة رام الله إلى أداةٍ وظيفيّةٍ في يد الاحتلال، وذلك كمسارٍ طبيعيٍ لوجود أي سلطة حكمٍ ذاتيٍ في ظل الاحتلال كما علّمتنا تجارب الشعوب الأخرى، نتيجةً لكل هذا، بدأ في الأعوام القليلة الماضية ظهور بشائر تحوّل في المزاج العام الفلسطيني في الضفة. إذ بدأت الضفة باستعادة نفَسها الثوري بالتدريج، وبدأت الحاضنة الشعبية للمقاومة بالتوسع وعودتها إلى سابق عهدها تدريجاً، واتّضح هذا من خلال انتفاضات الأقصى المتتالية، ومن خلال عمليات طعن المستوطنين وعمليات الدّهس الأسبوعية تقريباً، والتي تصاعدت بعد ذلك لتصبح بعضها عمليات إطلاق نارٍ واشتباكاتٍ مسلّحةٍ، كان منها عملياتٌ فدائيةٌ وقعت في أراضي 1948 المحتلة.
وعلى أهمية عمليات المقاومة الفردية تلك، إلا أن الضفة قد شهدت في الأشهر القليلة الماضية تطوراً ملموساً في عمليات مقاومة الاحتلال، إذ ظهرت مجموعاتٌ منظمةٌ تُحْسِن استخدام السلاح في ساحات الضفة، كانت طليعتها «كتيبة جنين» في مخيّم جنين، والتي شكّلت التجربة الناجحة الأولى، والتي تتكرّر اليوم في مدينة نابلس من خلال «كتيبة نابلس».

ولا يبدو أن هذه الكتائب الفتِيّة تنتمي إلى فصيلٍ فلسطينيٍ بعينه، إذ يظهر أنها تتشكّل من مجاهدين ينحدرون من خلفياتٍ فصائليةٍ متنوعةٍ، إلّا أن ما يجمع بين هؤلاء المجاهدين الاقتناع بفشل مسار «أوسلو»، وبأن سلطة رام الله باتت جزءاً من أجهزة الاحتلال بصورةٍ فعليةٍ، وفوق هذا وذاك يجمع بينهم إيمانهم بخيار المقاومة المسلحة كخيارٍ أصيلٍ للشعب الفلسطيني، يمكن أن يفضي بصورةٍ واقعيةٍ إلى دحر الاحتلال والتحرير.
وممّا ساعد في تطوّر هذه الكتائب ونجاح عملياتها، كان عدم اعتمادها على الصيغة الهرمية في تنظيمها، حيث صعّب ذلك على كلٍ من سلطة رام الله وقوات الاحتلال ضربها والقضاء عليها، هذا بالإضافة إلى تمتّعها بحاضنةٍ شعبيةٍ أوسع، وذلك جراء التحوّل الذي حصل في المزاج العام عند أكثرية الشرائح التي كانت مقتنعةً بمسار «أوسلو»، بعد تبيُّنها عبثيّة ذاك المسار وعقمه.
ولا يمكن فصل مجموع التطورات التي تشهدها الضفة في العمل المقاوم، وبشائر خروجها من مرحلة الموت السريري، عن السياق العام لتبدّل البيئة الاستراتيجية التي تحكم المنطقة، وأهمّها تراجع فعالية الكيان المؤقت عسكرياً، وذلك بعد إخفاقات معاركه التي خاضها منذ حربه ضد لبنان 2006 وحروبه التي تلتها ضد قطاع غزة من المنظور الاستراتيجي. فتراجع الكيان عسكرياً، بالإضافة إلى ما رافقه من تعاظمٍ في قدرات «محور القدس»، لا سيما فصائل المقاومة في قطاع غزة، قد خلق ظرفاً جديداً في الضفة بما يشبه شبكة أمان لكتيبتي جنين ونابلس. إذ بات الكيان يقيم حساباتٍ دقيقةٍ لتصعيد الوضع في الضفة، خوفاً من انفجار الأوضاع ودخول غزة على الخط. فقد كانت «كتائب القسام» ألمحت سابقاً إلى إمكانية دخولها على خط المعركة، في حال قيام الكيان بتنفيذ اجتياحٍ واسعٍ لمخيَّم جنين على غرار اجتياح 2002. هذا ناهيك عن الحديث المستجد حول وحدة الجبهات بين أطراف «محور القدس» في المعارك المقبلة، ولا بد أن توفُّر ما يشبه شبكة الأمان في الضفة، قد أمَّن بيئةَ عمَلٍ أكثر راحةً لكتيبتي جنين ونابلس.

ولا يغيّر العدوان الصهيوني الأخير في هذا الشهر ضد قطاع غزة على البيئة الاستراتيجية الراهنة، فعدم مشاركة «كتائب القسام» علناً بالقتال يعود لحسابات تكتيكية فرضتها طبيعة المعركة الأخيرة وأهدافها، وذلك لتحقيق الهدف المرجو بأقل الخسائر، سواء أكان في عدد الشهداء أم في البنية التحتية لقطاع غزة.
يمكن إذاً القول بأن الضفة تَفتتِح مرحلةً مغايرةً لسنوات «أوسلو» العجاف، بسبب التحولات الداخلية الفلسطينية في المقام الأوّل، مع ملاحظة الأهمية القصوى للتحولات الإقليمية كذلك. وهذا ما يلقي على فصائل المقاومة في قطاع غزة، مع بقية قوى «محور القدس» عموماً، مسؤولية بناء تكتيكاتٍ مناسبةٍ لتطوير تجربتي كتيبتي جنين ونابلس الواعدتين، لا سيما أنه بات من الواضح تراجع فعالية قبضة أجهزة سلطة رام الله الأمنية في الضفة، مما يتيح فرصاً أكبر لإمداد المقاومين هناك بالعتاد، علماً بأن ما يلزم الضفة من حيث نوعية العتاد أقل بكثير مما تحتاجه غزة بسبب الفروقات في طبيعة الميدان.
وفي حال تجذُّر تجربتي كتيبتي جنين ونابلس، وتطويرهما ليمتدّا إلى مناطق أخرى في الضفة، سيكون الاحتلال أمام واقع استنزافٍ حقيقيٍ مشكوك في قدرته على تحمُّله طويلاً، ليصير حينها الحديث عن إمكانية تكرار الضفة لتجربتي جنوب لبنان وقطاع غزة أمراً واقعياً، تلكما التجربتان اللتان أُجبِر فيهما الاحتلال على الانسحاب من دون قيدٍ أو شرطٍ من الأراضي التي كان يحتلُّها، وهنا تكون قوى المقاومة قد قفزت قفزةً كبرى نحو استكمال تحرير كامل الأراضي العربية الفلسطينية من رأس الناقورة إلى أم الرشراش.

وختاماً، أدعو المتشككين في واقعية هذا الطرح إلى العودة بالذاكرة نحو 15 عاماً، ويقارنوا بين حال فصائل المقاومة في غزة حين ذاك، وبين ما وصلت إليه اليوم من اقتدار، فهل كانوا ليتصوروا حين ذاك وصول فصائل المقاومة في غزة إلى ما وصلت إليه اليوم؟

‘Watani’: A Kanafanian Song in the Time of National Crisis (VIDEO)

July 13, 2022

Late Palestinian intellectual Ghassan Kanafani. (Photo: via as-Safir)

By Haidar Eid

Bodies fall, but not the idea. (Ghassan Kanafani)

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani coincides with the passing of 15 years of the Fatah-Hamas rift, instigated by the Bush administration in 2007 and which has led to the formation of two local, opposing administrations by the two parties in the 1967 occupied territories.

The clashes between the two parties created a new reality on the ground, the brunt of which has been paid, mainly, by the 2.4 million residents of the besieged Gaza Strip, and has led to one of the worst national crises Palestinians have had since the emergence of the contemporary Palestinian revolution and the formation of the PLO.

What would Ghassan Kanafani have said?! This song is an attempt to address this question.

The song is written and performed by Haidar Eid.

Nai: Ismail Harazeen

Oud: Mohammed Oukasha

Graphic Design: Alaa Samir



Patience and steadfastness

And forgiveness for what we have done


You are the throbbing heart

You are the throbbing HEART

You are the soul

The soul


And the soul is dear (to the heart)


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